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  1. #1

    A general gardening thread

    We have several threads for the prep of food, so I thought it would a good idea to have a thread on the growing of food.

    Right now I am getting my usual itch to work in the garden. I usually try to grow the usual peas, potatoes, beets and others. We also have several apple trees, a grapevine, several rose bushes and a cherry tree.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

  2. #2
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    Still waiting on a particularly cold set of rain storms to pass. But spring is here big time.

    I have roses, petunias, last fall I bought three fushias, all gartenmeister bonstedts which do well around here. Three kinds of jasmine, with a clear preference for pink jasmine. On warm still days you can smell it forty feet away.

    This season I'm going to expand on the amount of orange in the flowers of the yard and go will these nice poppy orange pansies which are a lot less problematic than actual california poppies. California poppies never seem to grow were you want them and always grow where you don't.

    I put the pansies in bower bowls, and place them between the larger plants. As I like lobelia (var. Crystal Palace) a lot it makes a nice contrast.

    I might transplant a 4 bush bed of roses this spring. They have been struggling with a smidgeon too much shade since I put them in in the late '80's. The new spot has a nice southern exposure that other roses thrive in.

    I'll replace them with tall fushcias I'm thinking. In the backyard I might try hollyhocks this year. In my youth the old guys would grow champeon sized stalks. The tallest growing between two houses both painted white to reflect light with north/south exposures that protected the long stalks from the prevailing westerlie winds.

  3. #3
    Ground still frozen and some snow on the ground but the more prep work I get done now will probably help.

    The growing season around has turned a little weird lately. In April and the first of May it is warm and dry and late May it turns wet for a couple of weeks. And late July and August it turns wet and cool. I am thinking of starting most of the vegetables early and using cold frames to overcome some the problems with the weather.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

  4. #4
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    I've ordered some more apple rootstock and scions for more attempts at grafting and has just sown a lot of tomatoes in the hope that I can get them out into the green house in the beginning of April.

    Ground still frozen and partially covered with snow, so I'm hopeful the cabbages (white and red head cabbage) I started last autumn has survived the winder and will soon start growing.

    The potatoes from last year are sprouting nicely, but it'll likely be at least a month more before it's safe to plant them, as they can't take frost after the spouts get above ground.
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  5. #5
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    It's still snowy outside, but we've cleared up our plantations from last year and are planning to plant some tomatoes and some herbs once the windowsill is cleaned.


  6. #6
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    The Old Farmers Almanac weighs in:
    Planting Dates for Seeds

    Here's when to plant your seeds indoors, in the ground, and by the Moon. No hand calculations! Just type in any location...
    almanac.com

  7. #7
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    Potatoes chitting. 2 out of 3 chilli varieties, and sweet pepper, germinated in the last few days. Probably have to take them out of the propagator before they go rotten, though since I've discovered the use of anti-damping-off chemicals, I get a much better success rate.

    Last year I tried achocha. It's rampant and its fun. Not only do the fruits look like hedgehogs, the seeds look like hedgehogs too. And taste OK too. Like tomatoes and squash, you can't put them in the ground outside until all risk of frost has passed. And then they can die through lack of water or slugs until well established. But once they are going, they go. Got all the way to the top of the apple tree. I've kept a few seeds, perhaps I'll try again.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Viehoff View Post
    Probably have to take them out of the propagator before they go rotten, though since I've discovered the use of anti-damping-off chemicals, I get a much better success rate..
    Would you care to expand on the subject of anti-damping off chemicals? I'm having issues with some terrariums I started.

  9. #9
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    This weekend we did some spring cleaning, then started our new windowsill plantations.

    We have a pot of basil, oregano, cilantro and parsley each, some chives too.
    Some bigger pots will house different leafy greens (rocket, red lettuce, field salad, hopefully some mangold and mini cauliflowers - really curious about that last one).
    And we've started a planter with different chiles, small-growing cherry tomatoes, white peppers and mini eggplants. This year we're trying to avoid having a jungle on our window and are planting specifically pottable varieties. Heh. We'll see how that goes


  10. #10
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    Trimmed the apple tree awhile back and bushwhacked the roses. Plum trees are close to blooming. Mowed the lawn twice already - looks like last year's fertilizer is still working.

    Crocuses and hyacinths are blooming. Daffodils are well on their way with a couple blooms and the other perennials (hostas, peonies) are starting to show growth.

    As far as veggies, I'll usually buy the seedlings, so it will be a little bit before they can go in. We are having a current run of cool weather after the spring-like weather during the Olympics.

  11. #11
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    Oh! Plant the begonias...

  12. #12
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    My yellow Jasmine is starting to bud already as the days have been quite warm and dry for the past week, the snow drops have been out for a while now and my hyacinths are sprouting out of the ground too, I am just hoping they don't get frost bite on the new shoots. The Bluebells are popping their heads up too.
    The real art of conversation is not only saying the right thing at the right moment but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the most tempting moment. -- unknown

  13. #13
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    Still got snow here. Last year we moved into our new house. Our previous address the back yard was bathed in sun almost all day long, allowing for some great gardening. This new house,2 story which faces west, has a very large maple in the back yard blocking the majority of the sun in the morning. The house then blocks the light the remainder of the day. We only have one plot that gets full sun the majority of the day and the previous owners had it full of limestone and landscaping tarp. It will take us a couple of years to get the loam mixture up in it to have a nice growing location.

  14. #14
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    The tomatoes have just started sprouting, with the first two pulling their leaves out of the ground today and many of the rest showing bent stalks pushing up.
    Got about 10 different varieties sown this year, which is quite a lot fewer than last year where my girlfriend went into total Toad mode with sowing and growing tomatoes.
    Last edited by HenrikOlsen; 2010-Mar-11 at 12:01 AM.
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  15. #15
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    My garden is west facing, in the summer it is a sun trap and can get very hot at times, my plants love it even though I have a high fence around it, giving shade to the plants who like it and protection from the winds too.
    The real art of conversation is not only saying the right thing at the right moment but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the most tempting moment. -- unknown

  16. #16
    My garden is in a one two fields on the north and south side of the house. Mostly on the south side, right now just waiting for the ground to thaw so I kind start the tiller.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

  17. #17
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    My windowsill boxes are sprouting already. Things are in a hurry this year.

    Photos when there's something to show.


  18. #18
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    Last year I started a garden, my very first time. When I was younger my family had them, so I sortof knew what I was doing. Though it rained alot last year, and we've got round after round of hail storms in June and July.. most of my tomatoes where destroyed by blight and the ice. This year, I've decided to triple my tomatoe stock. I will double it outside, and grow some indoors. I will grow potatoes for the first time, along with carrots. Beans, Cucumber, Zucinni.. I know I'm forgetting more but I'm rather excited about it.. I only used half my garden that I plowed, so this year I'll have enough food to last me atleast a few months.

  19. #19
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    Did you make a long term plan for crop rotation yet?

    Especially the potatoes shouldn't go the same place every year.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  20. #20
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    I have a decent amount of land.. I rototilled it for the first time last year. It's in a good spot.. I expect a good year for crops since last year was crappy. I know planes always go past here though, with those chem trails..... Not sure if it has anything to do with anything, but I don't like it for my plants.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sententia View Post
    I have a decent amount of land.. I rototilled it for the first time last year. It's in a good spot.. I expect a good year for crops since last year was crappy.
    Don't use a rototiller unless you really have to, the main effect you have of it is that all the nasty root weeds get their roots cut into nice (for them) bits and planted evenly so they can go really wild.

    I know planes always go past here though, with those chem trails..... Not sure if it has anything to do with anything, but I don't like it for my plants.
    Chem trails is a myth and contrails don't do anything to your plants and isn't really a good subject in this forum.

    I suspect your problem may be with your soil.
    You say you rototilled it, that sounds like you had grass before, is that right?
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Chem trails is a myth and contrails don't do anything to your plants and isn't really a good subject in this forum.
    Repeated for emphasis. The subject of chemtrails belongs in the Conspiracy Theories forum...only. No need to mention it further in this thread.
    Brett's the name. Peters Creek is the place.
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  23. #23
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    We're far from being master gardeners but The WifeŽ and I put two small raised beds in the back yard last year and I'm thinking of adding a third this spring. Nearly half of one was dedicated to herbs and was quite successful. I was especially happy with the rosemary, which grew much more quickly than my previous potted attempts. Of course, the mint grew like a weed but that was okay. I enjoy my mint juleps in the summer.

    This year, in addition to the herbs, I think we'll again plant sugar snap peas, carrots, butter lettuce, spinach, and we'll take another stab at beets which didn't finish last time. I hate 'em but she loves them. I don't think we'll try summer squash again. They just didn't yield enough compared to the limited space they took up.
    Brett's the name. Peters Creek is the place.
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  24. #24
    Sententia, have you checked the ph of you soil some plants like more acidic then others. If you soil is too acidic get some lime. The local garden supply place should have some. Also some plants like more nutrients then others, so you might need to get a couple of different kinds of fertilizer. I found out beets might like more potassium the most and wood ashes are a good source. I am going burn some branches roughly where I am going to plant the beets. To keep the weeds down on thing to do is put something like shredded newspapers where you don't want weeds.
    Mine main problem in the past few years was my work schedule. I did not get tilling until the end of May when I had my vacation. Also I had to work like seven days in a row then on my days off it would raining or just rained. Some plants like beans and tomatoes do not like being touched while wet so I stayed away from the garden.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidlpf View Post
    To keep the weeds down on thing to do is put something like shredded newspapers where you don't want weeds.
    Actually a similar trick is to put down newspapers, not shredded, in a thick enough layer that the sun don't get through, then plant through tears in the newspapers or black plastic.
    I did that two years ago for a new plot I grew potatoes in, didn't need to hoe the potatoes as the plastic already kept them from getting sun and it finished off the last of the goutweed which had previously infected the entire area until I dug the plot and carefully removed all the rhizomes I could find.

    It'll also kill off a lot of the annual weeds which will try to germinate but won't succeed in growing to make seeds for next year.

    If you use newspaper, you don't even have to remove then, but can just dig through them when preparing for the next year, they'll add to the soil structure.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidlpf View Post
    Sententia, have you checked the ph of you soil some plants like more acidic then others. If you soil is too acidic get some lime. The local garden supply place should have some. Also some plants like more nutrients then others, so you might need to get a couple of different kinds of fertilizer. I found out beets might like more potassium the most and wood ashes are a good source. I am going burn some branches roughly where I am going to plant the beets. To keep the weeds down on thing to do is put something like shredded newspapers where you don't want weeds.
    Mine main problem in the past few years was my work schedule. I did not get tilling until the end of May when I had my vacation. Also I had to work like seven days in a row then on my days off it would raining or just rained. Some plants like beans and tomatoes do not like being touched while wet so I stayed away from the garden.
    I never got that deep into the whole thing. I know I got a decent amount of beans... Huge cucumbers, some I picked earlier than others.. and I got around.. 20 decent tomatoes. I'm forgetting some others.

    I used organic fertilizer, I'll probably use that again because it was good

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Sententia View Post
    I never got that deep into the whole thing. I know I got a decent amount of beans... Huge cucumbers, some I picked earlier than others.. and I got around.. 20 decent tomatoes. I'm forgetting some others.

    I used organic fertilizer, I'll probably use that again because it was good
    Cucumbers, squash and pumpkins are heavy feeders so if you have enough fertilizer they will do well.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

  28. #28
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    Sententia, I would try dumping a bunch of manure and peat moss onto the plot and till that in. Also as Davidlpf suggested, get yourself a PH kit from your local gardening store or Big Box home store. Do you know what hardiness zone you live in (wiki)?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen
    Actually a similar trick is to put down newspapers, not shredded, in a thick enough layer that the sun don't get through, then plant through tears in the newspapers or black plastic.
    I did that two years ago for a new plot I grew potatoes in, didn't need to hoe the potatoes as the plastic already kept them from getting sun and it finished off the last of the goutweed which had previously infected the entire area until I dug the plot and carefully removed all the rhizomes I could find.
    I have used old carpets, no weeds penetrate through the pile and the hessian backing, a lot cheaper and lasts a heck of a lot longer than paper.
    The real art of conversation is not only saying the right thing at the right moment but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the most tempting moment. -- unknown

  30. #30
    Most of the weeds I have are grasses milkweed and horseradish. The horseradish pops up everywhere. I think it is similar to goutweed in the method it spreads. It was started by grandfather years ago. He liked chopped up and put into chopped up pickled beets in kind of a relish. Now I am the only one that likes spicy food so it does not get used at all.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

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