The 2021 Gardening Thread - what's going on in your yard?

On behalf of the vernal equinox (“spring has sprung!”) let’s talk about what we’re growing this year. Gardeners and wannabe growers, here’s our thread!

What seeds have you planted, even if they’re in a pot or window box?
What are your weather prayers?
Any new plants, try-outs, building initiatives?

It’s a warm, sunny day here in western Michigan, so the gardening depots are FULL this afternoon. This being my first year here, after decades in north Texas, I have been advised not to rush things, that there will be more frost/snow, and that this is a false spring.


OK, not really, I did try to restrain myself. Today’s endeavors involved mostly seeds:

  • poppies (I put out lots last autumn, but ya never know … )
  • sweet peas
  • alyssum
  • catnip
  • chives

I also bestirred myself to plant the tulip bulbs that were chilling in my fridge all winter. Word on the street is, they may show up in several weeks.

I also planted the same tulip varietal in ground late last autumn. We shall see, who will sprout and grow and bloom - it’s like the world’s slowest horse race.

I’m a newbie to tulips (they’re an expensive PITA in N TX, basically squirrel food) and despite multiple attempts, have never gotten ornamental poppies to come up for me.
I’m “gardening” in the shitty, compacted, car-fluid-contaminated dirt of yet another rental … but optimism has no boundaries in spring.

Some stuff came up for me last summer here. Time to see what might grow this year.

Well, I’ve got the three containers on my balcony from last year, and two more containers to add to them. I have fresh rock for weight/drainage for the new containers. Still need to get some fresh dirt - had good success last year with “moisture control” mix.

Planned plants this year:
Swiss chard
Lettuce (red and green leaf)
Curly parsley
Green beans

It’s still cold here. But i ordered two apple trees and some wood to graft to a rootstock i planted last year.

I suppose I’ll grow parsley again. Basil.

My major purchase thought right now is that i need more fencing. The critters ate my bamboo and scallions to the ground last year. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

I am having a hard time deciding what to do. I got myself an Aerogarden for herbs in the fall, which has been great to have over the winter. The parsley, dill and sage plants are still going strong in there, so I’ll keep that going for as long as the plants want to grow. I may try some cherry tomatoes and/or chili peppers in there later, depending on how long the current plants last.

I’ll definitely plant more parsley outside, and probably basil too, as the Aerogarden basil is done now. I have thyme, chives, oregano, and sage plants that have all overwintered outside, so I won’t need any more of those. I’ll probably buy a roma tomato or two and plant those in containers. And probably a cayenne pepper as well, or maybe a tabasco. I probably don’t need another jalapeno plant - I still have a big bag of those in the freezer from last season.

I bricked out a small new garden last summer. There’s an American cranberry in there already, and I’ll need to figure out what else to put in there. Maybe a blueberry bush - or maybe just some flowers. I don’t do many flowers so that might be nice.

The beautyberry in the front garden is toast, so my husband is going to take that out as soon as the weather gets warmer, so I’ll need to figure out what to put in its place.

I won’t be doing any plant shopping for another month - I want to get both my Covid shots first, and while that will put me a little late in starting in this area, it won’t be too bad.

I’m also in the Midwest, and champing at the bit. As gorgeous as today was, I know we’ve got another 6 weeks until the last frost date.

I’ve started sweet peas inside, because they can go out earlier than the other stuff. I have seeds for:

  • Cosmos, nicotiana, nasturtiums, zinnias, and sunflowers
  • Cucumbers, runner beans, honey nut squash, dill, parsley, spinach (will direct sow soon), radishes and several lettuces.

The beds out front have been expanded and been topped up with compost. Bulbs are coming up, and many perennials have been ordered to fill in the gaps.

The raised beds out back have been topped up as well, and are ready for the veggie starts and seeds. All will be started from seeds (or direct sown), except I’ve ordered a tomato plant (Sungold cherry *chef’s kiss).

Let’s goooooo!

I’m on the second floor. Last year I had 48 containers outside, sills and stoop and back yard. I spent over $400. This year I’m doing from seed and cutting. I’m going mostly with foliage, some flowers, darks and warms. Sending vines up staggered windowboxes the whole three floors.

Vines from seed and bulb:
–flowering kudzu
–bronze leaved hyacinth beans
–gold leaved scarlet runners
–red stemmed Malabar spinach
–cinnamon vine
–Chinese yam

5 coleus from seed and cutting
Various ferns
Burgundy ivy geranium from cutting
Gold pineapple sage from cutting
Windowboxes on the sunny side of my apt: 6 feet of a couple dozen Salvia “Van Houttei”; impossible to find last year but I’ve been cutting and rooting from plant the previous year. I’ll probably try to sell them in some of my rare plant groups.

Backyard, sun, will be jasmine I’m rooting and dwarf papyrus I’ve divided from last year. Heliotrope. And about a dozen herbs.

I’m also rooting and seeding other plants to sell. Most excited about Christian cordata,kind of a holy grail among rare plant collectors and there doesn’t seem to be any U.S. sources. I bought 6 seeds from Indonesia, and will be cutting and rooting from them. And wild species type Poinsettia. To sell.

And several exotic begonia and nicotiana

Actually a lot more but seeing it in writing this is a little overwhelming :grimacing::grimacing::grimacing:

Got my seeds too, need to start some indoors! Hoping the butterfly garden will really take off (ha) this year.

I’m still worried about the effects that the “Big Freeze of '21” had on my orange trees here in Southeast Texas. I cut them back to green wood, but still see no signs of growth. In a normal year they would have blossomed already. My oleanders froze to the ground, but I think they’ll come back. The bottlebrush bushes are history, and I haven’t decided what to replace them with yet.

Beets were growing in my raised bed before the freeze and they got covered with compost, sheets, and moving blankets and they miraculously survived - they are a true winter crop! About five or six are ready for harvest every week now. Normally I would have had some lettuce, spinach, and a cole crop or two, but luckily I felt lazy and didn’t do that this year. I’m sure they would have been toast.

Cherokee Purple, Arkansas Traveler, and semi-determinate(Better Bush?) tomatoes got planted right after the freeze and all have tiny fruit right now.

There are also two varieties of bell pepper, a poblano, and a Cajun Belle(not bell); a couple of straight-necked summer squash and a Japanese eggplant. All are doing well but it will be a couple of weeks before they blossom.

Now all I have to worry about are diseases, insects, birds, and squirrels :slight_smile:

Well, i didn’t get around to pruning my raspberries over the winter, and now i don’t need to. The deer have done a very aggressive job of it.

The squirrels here are the bane of my existence. If anyone knows how to keep the little bastards out of a peach tree, I’m all ears.

When we moved into our house, we inherited the property of someone who teaches horticulture. For three summers now we’ve been managing the slow decline of beauty, as we don’t have the time nor skill to keep up with all the things each year. :stuck_out_tongue:

Our tasks yesterday and today were:

  • Cut back various raspberry/black raspberry vines in three different areas of the yard.
  • Prune currant and gooseberry bushes.
  • Prune grape vines.
  • Prune/cut back rose bushes, both the three that were intentionally planted, and some other creepers on the other side of the yard that got there who knows how.
  • Rake and clean the asparagus bed.

Still on the “gotta get done” list:

  • Serious pruning of our kiwi vines (like, as close to stumps as I can without killing them), so I can re-build the trellis/structure holding them up that came down in Nov 2019.
  • One long bed behind our house that we just kind of let be wild has a bunch of fast-growing woody bush/tree things with roots that spread like crazy and put up shoots. Last year I dug/cut a bunch of them out of an un-used portion of our vegetable garden. This year, I’ll dig/cut them out of this other bed.
  • Clean/clear/till the vegetable garden from all the weeds that took over late last year.
  • General mulching, and bed clearing.

Raised veggie bed: jalapeños, green peppers, peas, roma tomatoes, green beans, spinach. I’d like to try broccoli again.

Garden bag: heirloom carrots and red potatoes. Maybe zucchini, don’t know yet.

This year all the herbs will be in planters. Learned the hard way many are like goldfish- give them space to grow and you’ll have parsley and cilantro taking over the joint.

Daughter and FSIL are coming up over Mother’s Day weekend to help de-rock the flowers beds out front. When I moved in, there were hideous shrubs and rock. Lots of rock. Shrubs were removed years ago, rock remains. Then I’m plunking in a bunch of pollinators, completely randomly. I just want color.

Oh, and if the blueberry bush survived the winter, it needs to be moved down the fence line to shadier and more acidic ground.

The daffies are all in bloom, as is the forsythia bush and the daphne bush. There are lots of buds on the Asian pear tree. The camellia tree is shedding its blooms. We bought some veggie starters at the nursery and also some flower seeds for my wheelbarrow garden. Too cold to plant them yet, so they’re sitting in the garden window in the kitchen. We also bought a couple of potato. . .um. . .bags, I guess you’d call them. Nylon sacks with zippered openings on the side for harvesting. The nursery had zero tomato starts, so we need to make a return trip. If you plant tomatoes, you might give the Celebrity variety a try. It produced really well last year and tomatoes were a nice medium size. For small tomatoes, we always have good luck with Sweet Millions.

From last year:

What worked well:

  • Charlotte potatoes - delicious, good yield, kept really well. A definite do-again, already bought the seed potatoes for this year. Busy chitting in the garage.
  • Potatoes in pots - this was kind of a joke last year: you can’t do that because they need daily watering, and when you go away on vaca… Uh, OK, sure you can do that. Thing is, they worked really well in 7-10 liter pots full of home-made compost. Definite repeat for early potatoes. (Frost? Put 'em in the shed!)

What failed:

  • Swede - the greens were good, but for some reason the tubers never developed sweetness. Two years of failure - done with them.
  • Mangetout - plants struggled and didn’t produce - another two-and out.
  • Beetroot - bastard mice ate them. I’ll move that crop from the allotment to the beds at home.
  • Leeks - got swamped by the swedes. I’ll make sure they have their own space this year.

The usual suspects: On the allotment I’ll also be growing runner, broad/fava and french beans, peas, pumpkin, squash, turnip, courgette/zucchini, cucumber, asparagus. At home marjoram, thyme, tarragon, basil, rosemary, mint, salad leaves (lettuce, land cress, spinach); plus gooseberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, more asparagus.

I’ll also have a little spare space on the allotment, as my mentor J has back problems which will prevent her from playing in a corner of my plot. Any edible suggestions? (Not tomatoes - tried and failed several times).

The only real experiment this year is my very own, brand new Medlar Tree!* Been in the ground for two weeks now, and just coming into leaf. Oh, and I realised that, if I got myself properly organised and did some timely germination, when I take the potatoes up at the end of June I can probably use the ground for a second crop of peas and broad beans - I did that as a pilot last year, peas worked, broad beans needed more time. I’ll do it properly this year. (Turnips are always a second crop done this way.)


* - obsession detailed in the Coelacanth Jam thread

As someone who lived in the American South for a long time, this made me go :scream:

Then I remembered you said they’re all in pots, and I still was all :open_mouth:

It’s safe in Chicago’s climate

For now.

But our climate is changing.

Just planted burpless cucumber plant, we put one in last year and it was quite the producer. Also planted some jalapenos and habernero and getting some Roma tomatoes going.
We also had a few small shrubby bush things out front die in the big freeze, so we will replace those with some Azeleas. I might also try some sweet potatoes again in a big planter I made and see if I can keep the rabbits out of it this time.

2nd peach tree (bare root)
New raspberry canes
Figs, cherry, plum may be old enough to bear
Sweet peppers
Many varieties of hot peppers
Delicata squash
Buttercup squash
Summer squash
Sugar pod peas
Tsatsoi if I can get seeds or starts
Alpine strawberries

No lettuce or cabbage this year

Planted 3 citrus in ground. A grafted kumquat, a grafted limequat, and a sour orange seedling. The sour orange will be used for making marmelade and to grow rootstock from seed for grafting. (Did you know that most citrus come true from seed, as the fruit and seed don’t require pollination?)

Also growing seedling kumquats to be used as bonsai material.

Put six figs in containers…Kadoka, Violette de Bordeaux, Panache, Peter’s Honey, Yellow Longneck, Celeste. Started rooting fig cuttings of several varieties - but They are in the garage inside humidity chambers. Also in the garage are several hundred Adenium seedlings under lights and on heat mats. Have just potted up 172 seedlings from January into 3 ½ in pots and they are outside on one of the plant benches. Repotted a silk floss tree and two Moringas. Growing several hundred barrel cacti of various species.

I’ve noticed that gardening supplies have really increased in cost, and availability has really gone down. Apparently lots of folks have taken up gardening in response to the restrictions of COVID. Welcome to my world!

Did I mention having a passion? (My wife calls it an addiction)