The SDMB 2015 Gardening Thread

Here we go again…

Early March, there is still snow on the ground, but I inventoried my seeds yesterday. I pulled all old and likely not viable ones out of the box - usually I toss them into the untended lots around here. If anything sprouts the wildlife can enjoy it.

This year I’m going with:
Lettuce (mixed leaf)
Radish (“easter egg” mix)
Bok choy
Chard (multi-colored)
Onions (white, yellow, red)
Carrots (purple, will also acquire more colors)
Beets (multi-colored)
Dill (expecting volunteers since last year I let it go to seed. Also expecting swallowtail butterflies, who are damn lucky I think they’re pretty as both caterpillars and butterflies)
Parsley (curley)
Maize (have some Oaxacan I’m pretty sure is still viable)
Potimarron (French heirloom squash, sort of like acorn but I think it’s tastier)
Cucumbers (Japanese climbing)
“Green” beans (actually have them in green, yellow, and purple)

This year’s New Vegetable is PARSNIPS, which I have never attempted to grow before but we enjoy eating.

Dropped off the list this year:
Kohlrabi (I’m the only one that eats it and while I like it well enough it’s not that exciting)
Popcorn (fun, but I need the room for the maize for the parrots and popcorn is cheap at the store)
Acorn squash (need the room for the potimarron)

What is everyone else planning?

I’m getting back into gardening this year after a two-year lapse. Bought a raised bed kit, and also going to do some container gardening. The back of the yard where I used to have my garden is all shaded now from trees that have grown up - and I like it that way - so I’ve had to come up with another solution to have a garden.

Planned plantings:
Green Beans
Sugar Snap Peas
Cherry Tomaters
Green Peppers (and red and yellow)

In the containers will go my herbs - haven’t decided which ones yet beyond at least parsley and some common chives.

I have some raspberry and blackberry bushes way in the back, buried under weeds and small junk shrubs that have grown up. I’m going to try getting back in there this year and see if I can clear things out and save them… might be too late, but worth a try. :slight_smile:

My bulbs are sprouting! The tulips, daffodils, and lilies are poking up their little green leaves! Spring is here!

Early spring, seductively calling me to plant early… but I know better. The days are warm but the nights still frost. Despite the seeds sitting in my seed box, planting time is not here.

I’ll just have to content myself with cleaning up the beds, removing trash, and turning over the compost heaps. Have to do that stuff anyway, right?

Tulips are up and blooming here, as are daffodils, grape hyacinth and others. So beautiful, but a little disturbing that daffodils were in bloom fully two weeks early. My crocus were blooming in late December, no joke. :eek: Mid January is more usual for here.

I’m in the midst of rehabbing my vegetable garden after a hiatus of a couple of years. Though I prefer no-till, I’ll be tilling a lot this year to get the thing back in shape, was already tilling before we got a rainy stretch. I was unable to source enough straw at a reasonable price to carry on with no-till last year and paid dearly for that in weed control. :mad: So for me, no gardening in earnest until fall. I’ll plant a cover crop of field peas after I’ve completed the first tilling. After the field peas, I may put in a lot of pumpkins for my pigs and devote only a small corner to lettuces, spinach, beets, carrots, fennel and the like.

Rhubarb is already up well leafed out and I’m transplanting strawberry daughters to a temporary container until I get control over the weeds… will probably set those out properly in the garden next spring. The deer really had their way with the existing patch over the last year. At least I still have asparagus.

Berries grow wild everywhere here, but I’m cultivating a new raspberry patch this year. The starts made a circuitous journey from and back to my garden. They originated from a dear friend who has since died. I gave roots from my patch to a few friends where they are thriving – so now that my patch is struggling due to competition from other berry plants, I can get roots back from my friends to start a new patch. I like how that works. :slight_smile:

It’s too early to tell how fruit trees will do this season. My prediction is they will do pretty well due to the very mild winter we’ve had.

I also need to foil those damn deer, miserable varmints they are. I’ve resisted fencing because my garden is situated in a picturesque spot, but I may not have any choice. Ideas welcome.

This year I am finally getting to branch out and plant a plot in the community garden next to our building! There are only 4 plots, and I was lucky enough to snag one (it’s mostly a decorative garden). Which means I can plant in something other than the window boxes on the deck, although I did do amazingly well with some cherry tomato plants in the window boxes facing south (the others all had morning glories in them).

I totally can’t decide what to plant, so I bought a whole bunch of seeds, with the thought that if all of them actually germinate, I can give a bunch of the seedlings away to a friend who lives nearby and has a huge double lot that she’s been gardening in just the past year or so. Because we have so little space, I tried to concentrate on things that are either not available at all at supermarkets or farmer’s markets, are hideously expensive, or are best when fresh-picked and don’t travel well (constrained by space, of course). So far, not counting more bulbs for the front yard where it’s shady, I have en route:

4 different kinds of morning glories (we strung nylon cord up to the balcony above ours, so they climb up it and end up being a wall of flowers to look at rather than the alley)

Charentais melons
Padron peppers
Black Krim tomatoes
Mixed basil seeds
Aunt Ruby’s German green tomatoes (heirloom)
Blue Beauty Tomato
Carouby de Maussane peas (heirloom)
Red Marble cipollini onions (heirloom)
Chioggia beets (heirloom)
Corno di Toro peppers (heirloom)
Armenian cucumbers (heirloom)
Purple Peacock broccoli
Mixed peppers

I realize this is insanity in a 4’ x 8’ plot, but I can’t help myself (and am hoping to give some seedlings away, as I mentioned). Any tips on how to arrange things, trellis hardware, intensive fertilizing, etc. to maximize output? Or maybe I should check with the garden organizers whether there were takers for all the other plots, but I am afraid that I have already bitten off more than I can chew. Maybe I can do the basil in the window boxes where I did the cherry tomatoes last year?

ETA: also would love ideas on keeping the rabbits and squirrels from eating my flower bulbs!

Limited to a deeply shaded, north facing balcony again this year. :frowning:

Just planted “Cherry Rose” nasturtium, spinach, chard, and radish seeds. Planning on some colorful coleus when it’s warmer.

So far in raised beds and/or containers I have planted:

Butternut squash
Green beans
Bibb lettuce
bell peppers
habanero peppers
Swiss chard

Still growing from the winter garden:

Brussels sprouts

Yay! Just saw the community garden manager, and I can have 2 beds!

Still have about a half foot of snow on the front lawn. Did finally. . . FINALLY see a crocus spring up yesterdat. There were iris and daffodil fingers under the window since Tuesday (where shoveled snow did not get piled. It was strange seeing them before the crocuses.

It’s been a looooong, snowy summer here (Long Island, NY) and there is more snow in the five day forecast. On the bright side, we have made it over 40 for a good 5 days in a row. After the cold temps we were having, it feels like summer. I take my Burpee’s catalog out on the front steps and dream of spring.

The Big Thaw is still happening here; I still have a Mount Everest of plowed snow in the back yard, crushing my magnolia tree. My asparagus bed has been scraped over to the center of the yard. I’m afraid my back yard will need massive reconstruction following this winter.

But in the front yard, snow drops are in bloom, about a month late. No sign of spring bulbs yet.

Last year, because of the cold spring, there were no forsythia blooms. Fingers crossed for this year.

Last summer I had a beautiful flowering begonia plant on my front steps. In the fall, I brought it inside onto my enclosed patio. It’s still blooming! I think it’ll go back on the front steps when it’s warmer.

Does anyone have experience with hanging tomato plants? I’ve bought the container, but still need to figure out where to hang it. This is from a need to keep animals away from my tomatoes.

A few bulbs are starting to poke up in the front yard. I just threw down some blood meal, which seems to do a decent job of keeping away the critters that dig them up, though I wasn’t diligent about it over the winter and I think we lost some. Hopefully not too many.

So what veggies with short growing periods can I start as soon as the ground is defrosted? I seem to remember onions, garlic, radishes?

I’ve had some success using coyote urine to ward off plant munchers. It’s not foolproof. Among other things, you need to have real coyotes in the neighborhood so the herbivores are familiar with the smell, and after a rain it does tend to smell like a giant dog whizzed in your garden. Also, not effective against turtles. Must be reapplied at regular intervals.

Upsides: non-toxic.

Broomstick, I like how you think. :slight_smile: I really appreciate non-toxic and non-chemical.

I’ve had some limited success with dried blood as well but hadn’t heard if the coyote urine worked. I do have coyotes near enough to be a real threat. I’ll give it a try – thank you!

Peas, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, and beets (probably) all grow just fine here where we have a very short growing season. We don’t really plant in the ground here until the frost is most likely passed - around May 21st.

I just started my hot peppers, tomatoes, and pumpkins indoors this week. I’ve never really done seeds from scratch before - this will be an interesting experiment.

I went to the greenhouse last week; the plants aren’t in yet, but they’ve got a bunch of seedlings started, too. My tulips are also coming up - I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find out that our new house (we moved last July) has a whole row of tulips planted in the back. As expected, I’ve had to cover them tonight because it’s supposed to freeze overnight.

The sugar pumpkins get their first transplant. I’m calling them all “Audrey” at this point. :slight_smile:

My current garden. The tomatoes are up nicely, as are the pumpkins. The hot peppers are malingerers.

ETA: I had to show my dirty fingers - it’s not gardening if you don’t get dirty.

My daffodils started to come up, then got very confused when they had 5 inches of snow dropped on their heads. I guess that’s why they’re called DAFFY-dills, right?

My daffodils aren’t even up yet, but they always get snowed upon. I use this fact to depress my wife every spring.

I’m going BIG this year with the garden. Besides my normal 1000 sq ft of raised beds, I am going to experiment with Straw Bale Gardening. My neighbor is dropping off 10 straw bales this weekend. The idea is you add fertilizer and soak them repeatedly and the interior begins to decompose and turn into soil.

I’m really looking forward to growing tomatoes and carrots in them. The heat of decomposition is supposed to yield tomatoes up to 2 weeks earlier than normal, so I will be attempting to beat my previous record of July 5. My soil is still a bit too dense for carrots, so growing them in a bale that I can just pull apart to harvest is very appealing to me.

I planted over 200 spring bulbs last fall, and I’m worried about them. Right in the spot where I planted them sits a 4 feet of snow bank. The spot just happened to be where the plow pushed the snow from our driveway. I will be upset if I did all that work for nothing.

Normally that bank would be about gone, but we had soooo much snow this winter. Ugh!

I am very limited in where I can start plants inside so they can get enough light to germinate before it’s warm enough to plant outside – the only spot that is reliably cat-free is the kitchen window, about 3’ wide, and there are currently another whole bunch of potted indoor plants out there (a huge aloe, rosemary, Greek oregano, and a tropical leafy thing – I usually put them out on the porch when it gets warmer, but we obviously aren’t there yet). So I’m going to try something new this year – a greenhouse shelf thingie, which is basically a metal shelf with a clear plastic cover over it. I’m hoping to start plants on it, and put them in the sunroom with the blinds up, and hopefully they will get enough light. Any tips for keeping the cats from going bonkers and shredding the plastic, etc.?

Even so, I won’t have enough space for all the seeds to germinate at the same time. I guess I will start with the peppers, because they have the longest lead time, and then the tomatoes?

Also, my bulbs are finally coming up in the front yard – I am hoping they don’t freeze with the snow we had this week, but so far it’s almost all melted off and they seem to be OK (they had only poked up an inch or two, and they are planted right in front of the building, which is a bit sheltered from the wind).

If they’re close to the building, they’ll be in a micro-climate of warmth radiating from the building, and probably be fine.

My peppers are poking up too, now! Whee! And my pumpkins are sitting on a sunny window ledge. I’ve never raised seeds before; does anyone know if the plants need the light from the greenhouse bulb (very much like this one), or can they get all the light they need from the sun if I can find enough sunny spots for them? I vaguely recall somethng about glass blocking some of the UV spectrum, but houseplants seem to do okay…