Author Topic: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017  (Read 23560 times)

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #150 on: April 24, 2017, 09:40:29 AM »
Harvested some asparagus - the first time we have gotten enough to warrant cooking it - we each ate a spear.  It is still super early but I moved the asparagus that wasn't really doing very well into a sunnier location last year.  I planted it in spring 2011 in a place that was just too shady and also got quite dry.
I also cooked up all the shiitake mushrooms and we feasted.  There are a couple more coming.  Hopefully the two logs will continue to produce.

Greenhouse greens should be ready for picking in a week.

I opened my full sun allotment garden.  Garlic is up and doing well.   I planted some old garlic that was trying to sprout in the garlic patch to fill it out.
A profusion of strawberry plants is trying to take over the garden. Hopefully I can make some trades. 
I worked in forking through the soil and fencing to keep out the bunnies and squirrels. 
Then I planted some peas.  Thinking I want to eat peas until I get sick of them.  Planning on planting a crop every week until it gets hot.

The haskaps around my house are loaded with blossoms.  Some of the plants got overtrimmed by the bunnies but are still flowering.  The large bush that was fenced is huge.  Praying that we don't have a super cold frost.

Rhubarb is up but seems too small to pick.  My home garden is so shady.  My allotment is only 10x10 feet so I have to be very careful with my planting plans.

Tried to move the tomato seedlings to bigger pots but the roots aren't developed enough.  The pepper seedlings look anemic.  I have a lot but they don't look that great.  Four plants died.  Hopefully I get enough to plant out.  I have a plan for creating a little hot spot for them.  I read that they can't have any temperature dips or moisture issues or they stop fruiting.  They sure don't germinate very consistently.

Seeing the possibilities

Trudie

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #151 on: April 24, 2017, 09:50:10 AM »
Horseradish is coming up (actually spotted it more than a week ago), and rhubarb is coming up.  And I think one garlic leftover from last year, fell off when harvesting, so I just covered it back up.

And dandelions, and creepy charley...

G-dog... since you're local, where did you get your horseradish starts?

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #152 on: April 24, 2017, 10:45:32 AM »
!!!! They really ARE pink! I want some. Dammit.

step-in-time

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #153 on: April 24, 2017, 11:04:21 AM »
If you haven't tried those pink lemonade blueberries I recommend them - not sure if they pollinate the regular sort.

Ooooooh, pink lemonade blueberry looks amazing! I'll check if that might work here (Central FL). I've heard that pomegranates and persimmons can potentially do well in more sheltered northern spots too.

Also trying not to bust the garden budget and go in stages with fruit trees/shrubs first.

And wow, growing mushrooms that is impressive. Fresh asparagus and shiitakes sound delicious!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #154 on: April 24, 2017, 11:08:12 AM »
The stem of sellery that we put in a pot of earth has only grown some leaves, but the stems are not growing. All the other things, garlic and spring unions are growing big greens. We have eating at least as much as we bought originally.
The chili peppers amd tomatoes are doing well but growing slowly. The only get sunlight if the weather is good.

G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #155 on: April 24, 2017, 11:22:39 AM »
Horseradish is coming up (actually spotted it more than a week ago), and rhubarb is coming up.  And I think one garlic leftover from last year, fell off when harvesting, so I just covered it back up.

And dandelions, and creepy charley...

G-dog... since you're local, where did you get your horseradish starts?

Spouse got them - so either Earl May or Lowe's I think. I can ask. I think you are suppose to plant in the fall - so I can give you some starts - it's just a chunk of thin root!

boarder42

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #156 on: April 24, 2017, 11:27:20 AM »
we've got our first garden - 2 raised 6x3 beds .  see how it goes.

tomatoes
cucumbers
jal/ana/pob peppers
kale
cauliflower
basil
Cilantro

gonna make lots of salsa with the romas and jalepenos.
PM me about how to save 6% on your annual grocery Bill!

There is a 35k starwood bonus right now as well. PM me for the info.

G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #157 on: April 24, 2017, 11:39:35 AM »
Horseradish is coming up (actually spotted it more than a week ago), and rhubarb is coming up.  And I think one garlic leftover from last year, fell off when harvesting, so I just covered it back up.

And dandelions, and creepy charley...

G-dog... since you're local, where did you get your horseradish starts?

Spouse got them - so either Earl May or Lowe's I think. I can ask. I think you are suppose to plant in the fall - so I can give you some starts - it's just a chunk of thin root!

And - I have no qualms about digging out a start now, just not sure it will work. But it probably will - you can't kill this stuff! Well, not easily?

ooeei

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #158 on: April 25, 2017, 12:54:54 PM »
Harvested two "Sweet 100" cherry tomatoes today, the plant has probably 50 more waiting to change to red.  I gave both to my girlfriend and she approved!  The husky red cherry tomatoes are starting to turn red as well.

The Cherokee purple has probably 6-8 tomatoes on it so far, with lots of flowers.  The "champion" has tons of medium sized fruit.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #159 on: April 25, 2017, 01:54:53 PM »
I had a Super Sweet 100 plant last year. It made more than 700 tomatoes. I'm not kidding. (and yes, I count what each plant produces.)

I repotted the rest of my tomatoes yesterday; well, most of them. A few seedlings look like crap and I suspect are not going to make it (Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple, Gold Medal). That's OK, as I don't have enough room for all of these anyway. The others all look good; I am running out of space under the grow-light for them, though, and I need to find a way to elevate the smaller pots so that the seedlings are closer to the light. (I have some big pots of basil under there too so I had to raise the light. Curse Chicago weather which won't be warm enough for these plants until probably June!)

geekinprogress

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #160 on: April 25, 2017, 02:41:03 PM »
Community garden plot assignments were announced, and I got two plots again this year (each is 10'x10'), and a friend got two plots next to me.  They're opening up the gardens this weekend, which is earlier than usual, so weather permitting we're going to go set up our trellis for peas/beans, and maybe I'll put in some onion starts.  I'd love to plant the tomatoes but I'm worried about another frost coming along and wiping them all out; it's only a couple more weeks until last frost, at least, and then I'll get the space in my living room back. 

The asparagus I started from seed last year in my parents' yard actually survived, and sent up two spears!  I'm really shocked.  I still wish I'd not decided I had to be so hard core about it, and just started from crowns, but whatever.  In theory I'll have something edible in a year.  I'm mostly in it for fun, anyway, and my dad gets a kick out of relaying updates to me.  :) 

The pink blueberries posted above look great!  I'm gonna have to look into getting some!

SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #161 on: April 25, 2017, 02:49:39 PM »
I just found this thread!

I planted a bunch of stuff a few weeks ago and so far the verdict is: disaster. :( The fucking bunnies around here ate everything that started sprouting and made off with my oregano plant entirely. They make the idea of a pellet gun and rabbit stew very appealing. At least they left the rosemary alone? But they ate all the leaves off one of my broccoli starts. It looks like it's still alive but I haven't seen any action or growth and it's been about three weeks.

I have three tomato starts, one pepper start, three squash starts. They're still waiting in a sunny place in the garage (and occasionally outside when I remember) until it warms up a bit more.

My spinach that overwintered is taking off again, somewhat, despite the wild rabbits. Enough that I've been able to get some leaves for myself about once a week to add to things. Since my husband doesn't care for spinach this has been acceptable.

I got my potatoes into a potato tower I made out of pallets. (Yes, I checked to be sure they're not treated lumber.) After doing research online I decided that the best way to do this is to start with a lot of dirt over the potatoes and only hill them once, making it about a foot of dirt over them total, with one small layer of mown grass in there to provide some nutrients and a bit of warmth as it decomposes. Around the edges I plan to plant beans, but haven't gone to get bean seeds yet.

It's been so rainy here that everyone is expecting an atrocious year for grow-your-own. Ugh. At least the apple tree and cherry tree are full of blossoms. Although, in five years we have yet to get a single cherry off that tree for human consumption because the birds and squirrels get to them as soon as they show the least sign of being almost ripe. (Yes, we've hung flashy stuff in the branches before. That does not deter the pests.)

We're in the midst of trying to move. This garden is at my parents' house. We'll see if we move in time to get anything in the ground in our new place. (Putting an offer in tomorrow with fingers crossed because it's an AWESOME house!) Hopefully we'll have time to at least plant starts before summer takes off? If it ever does take off around here. Bleh.

What's the best time of year to plant fruit trees? Is autumn an acceptable time, or should it really be spring?

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #162 on: April 25, 2017, 03:09:02 PM »
If you want cherries - you may need to net all or part of the tree so the birds cannot harvest before you.

Rabbits or birds got our first broccoli and kohlrabi. The kohlrabi was planted after the broccoli had already been eaten. You'd think spouse would know it needed to be covered....

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #163 on: April 25, 2017, 03:15:05 PM »
SisterX - if you are buying container grown plants - you can plant them any time.  It is better to buy them in the fall on sale though!   The treemobile website has great information about various species of fruit trees.  In fact it is good for food producing plants. http://www.transitiontreemobile.org/woo-commerce/catalogue/  Not sure what zone you are in but I think they have a great amount of information on this website that would translate well to other areas.
Hope you get your house and most importantly your garden. 
Seeing the possibilities

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #164 on: April 25, 2017, 05:38:13 PM »
DS and I finally planted the 50 strawberry plants today that have been sitting on my kitchen counter for three weeks. (Yeah, I went a little crazy and overbought at the garden center.)  They came as dry, dormant  little bundles of crowns strapped together with rubber band.  First time I ever saw them sold like that.  They were $8 for a bundle of 25.  The weather was crappy when I got them, so I put the bundles in a bowl with a little potting soil and some water.  They totally took off and exploded with stems and leaves.  Our nonstop rain finally let up today, so we got those little soldiers outside into the ground pronto.  Live long and prosper little guys.     

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #165 on: April 26, 2017, 07:45:48 AM »
DS and I finally planted the 50 strawberry plants today that have been sitting on my kitchen counter for three weeks. (Yeah, I went a little crazy and overbought at the garden center.)  They came as dry, dormant  little bundles of crowns strapped together with rubber band.  First time I ever saw them sold like that.  They were $8 for a bundle of 25.  The weather was crappy when I got them, so I put the bundles in a bowl with a little potting soil and some water.  They totally took off and exploded with stems and leaves.  Our nonstop rain finally let up today, so we got those little soldiers outside into the ground pronto.  Live long and prosper little guys.   
  And don't just feed rodents....
Seeing the possibilities

SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #166 on: April 26, 2017, 09:49:45 AM »
SisterX - if you are buying container grown plants - you can plant them any time.  It is better to buy them in the fall on sale though!   The treemobile website has great information about various species of fruit trees.  In fact it is good for food producing plants. http://www.transitiontreemobile.org/woo-commerce/catalogue/  Not sure what zone you are in but I think they have a great amount of information on this website that would translate well to other areas.
Hope you get your house and most importantly your garden.

Thanks!

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #167 on: April 27, 2017, 07:18:06 PM »
I've been documenting my gardening stuff in my Journal...but this thread, in it's various incarnations over the years, has been so helpful to me that I want to hang out here too and enjoy the company of others who also enjoy growing things.

Spring FINALLY feels like it has arrived. There is now, seemingly in equal measure, doses of clear blue skies, with the occasional Spring shower - really, just perfect early season growing conditions...though perhaps just a touch cooler than normal. Peas, onions (now that a mystery critter seems to be done with pulling out the onion sets), radishes, overwintered Swiss chard and horseradish are doing great. I was late getting in spinach and lettuce....but they are planted and should be poking through the soil surface any time now. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower starts will be brought over from Vancouver next week to get transplanted in....tomatoes (20 plants!) and peppers will go in the ground once a bit more  heat manifests itself. I would be planting my quinoa now...except that I seem to have lost the seed packet.

Got me seed potatoes in the ground yesterday...


DW and I have been constructing some new 8x4 raised beds over the past week...we got three built and filled with soil. She went back to the city a few days ago and I have continued to work....trimming back the ever encroaching blackberry thickets, mixing in soil amendments into the existing beds - SeaSoil, and organic fertilizer. Today, I realized I had enough wood left over to build a fourth new raised bed...so I did. I went through pictures from last year at the same time, and I am clearly behind...but talking with other gardeners, this has been the case for everyone, given the cooler and wetter than normal early Spring.

These pics are a bit outdated, as they don't show my 4th new raised bed...but it gives a good glimpse of where our little operation is at the moment. Once I get my starts transplanted in, it will look much more like a proper garden. ;) The layout probably looks pretty familiar to some as I been posting pics of this since I embarked on my gardening career after quitting my other one in 2014. This one sure makes me happier...and healthier. :)




I just need to cool my jets on building any more beds. No promises regarding next year though. ;)

Things that I don't foresee getting done this year despite previous hopes of doing so...a greenhouse, and some semblance of irrigation system. Next year!

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #168 on: April 28, 2017, 05:15:14 AM »
My battle with our local deer continues. Went out to the orchard this morning and discovered that they have eaten all the leaves off the three young cherry trees we planted a month ago.  What. The. Hell?   First it was our apple trees, then the blueberries, now this?   I've never known deer to go after leaves like this before.  Plus, I thought cherry leaves were toxic(?)  I've heard they are to goats.  Very weird.   DH will make another trip to the store today for more 4-foot woven wire fencing.  Sigh.

On the positive side, my kids and I slipped some day old chicks under our two broody hens last night after dark,  I peeked into the coop this morning, and so far so good.  We've had good luck in the past with our broodies fostering chicks, so fingers crossed.  Definitely a win-win-win when it works out.


 

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #169 on: April 28, 2017, 08:42:58 AM »
Plunged from 70s to 40s overnight. Brrrrr. At this rate the seeds I sowed in the bed are never going to come up. My lettuce plants liked it though; it has really crisped up.

This weekend I am going to bite the bullet and buy the rest of the soil I need to fill up the raised bed and my large containers. Since I don't have a car I've been buying soil a little bit at a time and it's driving me insane.  I can only fit 2 large bags of soil in my granny cart at a time and I'm going to need at least 6 more, plus compost to mix in. I feel like this is really not mustachian, but I'm going to get a carshare to get it all home.  I am so tired of making repeated trips on public transport hauling only 2 bags of dirt at a time. The $20-ish for the carshare is worth the time savings, I think. And then I can finally be done and plant the blueberry and raspberry bushes that I bought.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #170 on: April 28, 2017, 11:25:58 AM »
. . . . 

On the positive side, my kids and I slipped some day old chicks under our two broody hens last night after dark,  I peeked into the coop this morning, and so far so good.  We've had good luck in the past with our broodies fostering chicks, so fingers crossed.  Definitely a win-win-win when it works out.
 

DH just called me and said all is well with the two new mama hens and their foster chicks.  They have accepted them and seem to be co-parenting.  :)

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #171 on: April 29, 2017, 09:21:06 AM »
Yesterday I filled our 2000 gallon cistern that I use to water my garden over the growing season - by pumping out of some existing deep ground wells. The 5 acre plot is off-grid...so we located the big tank about 8 to 10 feet above the grade of the garden so there a decent amount of gravity-fed water pressure. Unfortunately, as the tank diminishes, so does the water pressure so sometimes we will "top it up" mid-season.

Last year, we got through the season with a quarter tank remaining despite the fact it was, for the PNW, a hot and dry Summer. This season I will be growing more than ever before so it will be interesting to see if I drain the tank completely. I foresee a scenario in which we will have to install a second one.

Water!


sol

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #172 on: April 29, 2017, 09:29:22 AM »
Yesterday I filled our 2000 gallon cistern that I use to water my garden over the growing season -

Sweet setup, JS.  I'm assuming that this is your island garden space, and it doesn't have plumbed water?  Why do you fill the tank, rather than just pump your well all summer as needed?

I've looked into water storage solutions around here, because I'd love to do our summer watering with winter floodwater, but I can't make the costs pencil out even with big tanks and seasonally expensive city water.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #173 on: April 29, 2017, 09:52:22 AM »
Yesterday I filled our 2000 gallon cistern that I use to water my garden over the growing season -

Sweet setup, JS.  I'm assuming that this is your island garden space, and it doesn't have plumbed water?  Why do you fill the tank, rather than just pump your well all summer as needed?

Yes, this is the tank for our island garden. We keep the tank filled to the top as long as we can because, when the inevitable PNW Summer drought hits, the deep wells start to dry up quickly. Quite simply, come August, there isn't much water to pump out of them....so the water in the big tank becomes the sole lifeline for my vegetables in the last half of Summer.

And also, we use a Honda gasoline pump to move our water around  - which can be a problem if the island fire danger reaches EXTREME category and running small gas powered engines is banned. This occurred last Summer in mid-July I believe.

One more pic, with my fourth new raised bed installed....this is what I'm going with this year. Still looking very much like a blank slate....though in the very far corner this are peas, spinach , chard, onions and radishes coming on strong. One month from now I hope to see much more GREEN...less brown dirt. :)

SpeedReader

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #174 on: April 29, 2017, 10:26:34 AM »
Late start this year, because of the rainy cool winter in our area.  I have or will be planting:

Three columnar apple trees in their second year
Two flowering quince, second year so probably no fruit yet
Three huckleberries - no fruit yet, have to figure out what I'm doing wrong
Pink Lemonade blueberry - ditto
Loganberry
Dwarf raspberry
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Pickling cucumbers
Snow and sugar snap peas
Bush beans
Runner beans
Carrots
Garlic
Basil
Lovage
Sorrel
Rosemary
Thyme
Sage
Chives, onion and garlic types
Tarragon
Oregano
Marjoram

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #175 on: April 29, 2017, 06:12:46 PM »
great day in the garden today.
Planted
peas
an onion medley pack - red, white, yellow ones
dill
cilantro
beets

I get my allotment fenced
Dug out all the strawberries that had escaped the strawberry area
Laid down weed cloth on the pathways
removed the grass from the strawberries that I am keeping

In the greenhouse, I moved all the defiant tomatoes to large pots.
I still have a gazillion mystery tomatoes to move to bigger pots but I wanted to get out into the allotment.

In the basement under the grow lights
I have lots of basil, sage, dill, zinnias and pepper plants coming along.
Seeing the possibilities

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #176 on: April 30, 2017, 10:33:21 AM »
I went through pictures from last year at the same time, and I am clearly behind...but talking with other gardeners, this has been the case for everyone, given the cooler and wetter than normal early Spring.

Everything is SO behind compared to last year.  A pic of my first harvest of lettuce and radishes came up on my Facebook feed from this date last year.  Right now, my radishes have just started to form, so we're a solid two weeks behind, or really, more on track for a "normal" year. 

Yesterday I was lucky to bring my truck out to the stable and coincide with the property owner loading manure into his trailer, so he filled my truck up with the most rotted stuff at the back of the pile.  That will be getting worked into the beds today.  Temps are starting to warm considerably, so I'm thinking peppers, eggplants and tomatoes will go in the ground around the 10th.  May 15th has traditionally be a safe frost-free date here, but in recent years, I've been planting out at the end of April, so we're really back to a more usual date.  We've had a ton of rain, so it will take a bit for the soil to warm considering how wet it is.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #177 on: April 30, 2017, 06:37:34 PM »
Great weekend.  With help from my awesomely strong kids (11 and 13 y.o.) finally finished digging and filling my experimental 24 X 4' 'Hugelkultur' raised bed (rotten wood and compost on the bottom).  Planted 16 bell peppers and 6 jalapenos that I had sprouted under the grow lights in the basement. 

Some of our 50 new strawberry plants look like they are not going to make it.  No worries.  Once they take hold, strawberries are tough as hell.  Even if only half of those plants make it, they will fill in that 15 X 10' bed in no time.

Chick update:  all well.  Both mama hens doing great and still co-parenting their fosterlings.  Saw a cat inside the fenced chicken field this morning. Debating on whether to try live-trapping it with the Hav-A-Hart and taking it to the Humane Society.  But realistic about a feral cat's chance's of adoption (very low).  I really don't want to lose our new chicks to this cat, though . . . For now I will wait and see.  Hopefully Mr. Cat will find something else to eat and will not make a move on our chicks.   

Next on deck for the garden:  got to find some sweet potato slips and direct seed some kale.   I've got two beds waiting.   

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #178 on: April 30, 2017, 08:42:17 PM »
Torrential downpour all weekend plus quite cold (no frost though). My gardening plans were severely curtailed as a result and I'm really cranky about it. My blueberry bushes really want in the ground but it's like soup out there so I don't dare. More rain coming tomorrow. I shudder to think what the community garden plot looks like right now. :(

G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #179 on: May 01, 2017, 06:29:46 AM »
Torrential downpour all weekend plus quite cold (no frost though). My gardening plans were severely curtailed as a result and I'm really cranky about it. My blueberry bushes really want in the ground but it's like soup out there so I don't dare. More rain coming tomorrow. I shudder to think what the community garden plot looks like right now. :(

Yep, we are on day 4 or day 5 of rain and cold temperatures. For the last days, it has rained almost steadily for all the daylight hours. Today it looks like the rain will end by about noon. Finally.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #180 on: May 01, 2017, 06:42:05 AM »
Torrential downpour all weekend plus quite cold (no frost though). My gardening plans were severely curtailed as a result and I'm really cranky about it. My blueberry bushes really want in the ground but it's like soup out there so I don't dare. More rain coming tomorrow. I shudder to think what the community garden plot looks like right now. :(

Yep, we are on day 4 or day 5 of rain and cold temperatures. For the last days, it has rained almost steadily for all the daylight hours. Today it looks like the rain will end by about noon. Finally.
It poured last night.   I suspect my planting on Saturday is probably all washed down to the river.  But if not  the predicted downpours today will likely will do the trick.
Seeing the possibilities

SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #181 on: May 01, 2017, 10:34:18 AM »
That spinach I was so excited about having overwintered? Those GD bunnies (or maybe the squirrels?) ripped almost all of them up and stole them. Item #1 on my gardening wishlist when we move (our offer on that house was accepted! still waiting for the bank to give the green light, though, so not really "ours" yet...) is to get the stuff for row covers. That way I'll have at least a small amount of protection from critters.

Also, planning and dreaming. Not just for veggies, but also thinking of what medicinal herbs I want to plant. HusbandX gave me the side-eye when I used the term "medicinal herbs", thinking I was going off the deep end into crazy hippie territory. Was much comforted when I said that the herbs I want are things like lavender and lemon balm and chamomile. :) Also, when I mentioned that they all have more than one use. Like, I want comfrey. It's not only supposed to be amazing as a balm/salve for bruises and such (which I get a lot of) but it also pulls nutrients from deep in the ground and makes fantastic mulch or compost. Win all around. Chamomile makes a soothing tea but it also soothes skin, so I plan to steep some in my face oil. Same with lavender.

I'm still putting together my list of what I want and why. If anyone's interested, I'd be happy to post the list here when it's all together. It won't be huge, but it's all stuff I will use in a variety of ways and for differing reasons.

For veggies, we'll have to see what the garden looks like when we move in (there are already raised beds) and how much money we have leftover after the down payment. :)

FerrumB5

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #182 on: May 01, 2017, 01:30:56 PM »
Torrential downpour all weekend plus quite cold (no frost though). My gardening plans were severely curtailed as a result and I'm really cranky about it. My blueberry bushes really want in the ground but it's like soup out there so I don't dare. More rain coming tomorrow. I shudder to think what the community garden plot looks like right now. :(

Hey, ThisPrior. When do you plan to transplant tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers out? They (cukes for sure) are overgrowing in pots inside but it's f..g Chicago weather

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #183 on: May 01, 2017, 01:48:34 PM »
Honestly, unless it stays consistently warm out before then (HAHAHAHAHA), probably around Memorial Day weekend. I'm right at the lakefront so it's common for it to be a good 10-20 degrees colder here than it is in the rest of Chicagoland. Which of course further complicates matters.

This year, I got wise and started my tomatoes and peppers late. Every other year, I've started them early and had tomato TREES by the time it was warm enough; they'd be huge and busting out of their pots. Not this year; they're all small and manageable at this time. In fact, my pepper seedlings are staying tiny and I'm concerned about them. Never needed to add heat before because until a month ago I was living in an apartment where the radiators are constantly blasting. New apartment is chilly and that seems to have made the peppers all grind to a halt at 2 sets of true leaves. :(

Linda_Norway

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #184 on: May 02, 2017, 12:12:58 PM »
The berry bushes that we bought online, in dryed shape, aren't getting aluve as we had expected. The our now standing outside, on the south side with plastic in front of it to keep the moisture. We will wait and see.
Most herbs in the kitchen window are doing fine and are being recognizable. I see dill, basil, parsely, coriander.

Poundwise

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #185 on: May 02, 2017, 02:45:28 PM »
I have a problem with shrubbery. Since I moved here, I have planted 5 azaleas, 6 hydrangeas, 3  mountain laurel, 2 lilac, and 11 blueberry bushes in the ground. At considerable expense. However, of these only 2 blueberry bushes are alive (unless you count the lilacs which started at 1 foot high two years ago, and now are 1 inch high each after being weed whacked by my helpful but horticulturally ignorant spouse). I'm very good with container plants, but just can't seem to keep bushes alive in the ground.

So I fully expected the grapevine I planted last summer to be dead. The bark was peeling off and it looked completely defunct. To my great joy, there are leaf buds.  I will fertilize mildly today and hope that it doesn't get eradicated by my brute of a son who is practicing soccer footwork only 5 feet away.

G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #186 on: May 02, 2017, 03:01:24 PM »
I have a problem with shrubbery. Since I moved here, I have planted 5 azaleas, 6 hydrangeas, 3  mountain laurel, 2 lilac, and 11 blueberry bushes in the ground. At considerable expense. However, of these only 2 blueberry bushes are alive (unless you count the lilacs which started at 1 foot high two years ago, and now are 1 inch high each after being weed whacked by my helpful but horticulturally ignorant spouse). I'm very good with container plants, but just can't seem to keep bushes alive in the ground.

So I fully expected the grapevine I planted last summer to be dead. The bark was peeling off and it looked completely defunct. To my great joy, there are leaf buds.  I will fertilize mildly today and hope that it doesn't get eradicated by my brute of a son who is practicing soccer footwork only 5 feet away.

How frustrating (and expensive)!
Problem with your soil? Did you get all the plants from the same source? Any guarantees? How long did it take the plants to die?

bender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #187 on: May 02, 2017, 03:12:11 PM »
My first try at gardening.  I got:
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Corn
Peppers
Carrots
Basil

A few I got plants, but most are starting from seeds.  I have everything indoors at the moment.  I need to find a proper place to plant things and protect from critters.  Raised beds sound like a good idea, but I'll also need a fence.

Poundwise

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #188 on: May 02, 2017, 03:42:45 PM »
I have a problem with shrubbery. Since I moved here, I have planted 5 azaleas, 6 hydrangeas, 3  mountain laurel, 2 lilac, and 11 blueberry bushes in the ground. At considerable expense. However, of these only 2 blueberry bushes are alive (unless you count the lilacs which started at 1 foot high two years ago, and now are 1 inch high each after being weed whacked by my helpful but horticulturally ignorant spouse). I'm very good with container plants, but just can't seem to keep bushes alive in the ground.

So I fully expected the grapevine I planted last summer to be dead. The bark was peeling off and it looked completely defunct. To my great joy, there are leaf buds.  I will fertilize mildly today and hope that it doesn't get eradicated by my brute of a son who is practicing soccer footwork only 5 feet away.

How frustrating (and expensive)!
Problem with your soil? Did you get all the plants from the same source? Any guarantees? How long did it take the plants to die?

Thanks for the sympathy! It does make me a little glum sometimes when I look at all the little brown stumps.

I'm not sure about the soil, but I planted in various parts of my yard. The plants are from different sources, and in some cases I kept some shrubs in containers in my garage and they are still in good shape. I can't do that with everything though because the plants take up a lot of space.  Some I might be able to return to Home Depot. Nothing is lasting much more than a year.

I can point to different possible causes in many cases.  The azaleas were probably killed off by drought and hot summer. Hydrangeas: could be the cold winters, but I did try hard to mulch thickly with leaves this year. Maybe I will have to wrap with burlap. Mountain laurels disappeared without a trace: deer? Lilac were whacked by my husband, as previously mentioned. But danged if I know why the blueberries all died, after what looked like a decent summer.  Maybe combination of drought and cold?

Anyway, I've had good success with bulbs and little fruit trees, so I will try to stay happy with them.


G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #189 on: May 02, 2017, 03:46:20 PM »
Blueberries like acidic soil, but I don't know that pH would kill them off.  You could try contacting your closest extension office for help.

I planted 3 Spirea. Digging the holes was niserable (clay soil with tree roots and chunks of concrete "fill") - one lived.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #190 on: May 02, 2017, 03:53:20 PM »
My soon to be island-bound cabbage, onion, broccoli and cauliflower starts...currently residing in a mini-greenhouse/coldframe on my condo patio. Really, they should be going into the ground now..but they need to hang on for another five or six days. Thank goodness for my 4 new raised beds...from last year I know how much room cabbage needs - they rudely shouldered some onions and tomatoes into submission - and I think I've got at least 15 growing right now. Yipes.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 04:01:09 PM by Jon_Snow »

AerynLee

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #191 on: May 02, 2017, 07:59:13 PM »
So I'm a complete gardening newbie, as in I've never successfully kept a single plant alive (granted I've rarely tried).
Here's a picture of the back of my house. I want to have a garden maybe 4 feet deep with a paver divider. Can some one walk me through the steps to prepare the area? As in explain it like I'm an idiot because I've googled and haven't found an explanation down to my level yet



Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #192 on: May 03, 2017, 04:44:00 AM »
So I'm a complete gardening newbie, as in I've never successfully kept a single plant alive (granted I've rarely tried).
Here's a picture of the back of my house. I want to have a garden maybe 4 feet deep with a paver divider. Can some one walk me through the steps to prepare the area? As in explain it like I'm an idiot because I've googled and haven't found an explanation down to my level yet


Hey AerynLee.  My first suggestion would be to spend a day or two watching your yard to see how much sun you get, and at what times of the day.  Then think about what you hope to grow.  Fruits (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, etc) need a LOT of full sun -- ideally 8 hours a day or more.  Vegetables and herbs (kale, spinach, basil, etc) can get by with less, but need 6 hours+.  Those guys can tolerate more shade.   

A day or two of studying the sun on your yard will help you understand what you CAN grow, and where exactly it should go.     

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #193 on: May 03, 2017, 04:54:39 AM »
I have a problem with shrubbery. Since I moved here, I have planted 5 azaleas, 6 hydrangeas, 3  mountain laurel, 2 lilac, and 11 blueberry bushes in the ground. At considerable expense. However, of these only 2 blueberry bushes are alive (unless you count the lilacs which started at 1 foot high two years ago, and now are 1 inch high each after being weed whacked by my helpful but horticulturally ignorant spouse). I'm very good with container plants, but just can't seem to keep bushes alive in the ground.

So I fully expected the grapevine I planted last summer to be dead. The bark was peeling off and it looked completely defunct. To my great joy, there are leaf buds.  I will fertilize mildly today and hope that it doesn't get eradicated by my brute of a son who is practicing soccer footwork only 5 feet away.

How frustrating (and expensive)!
Problem with your soil? Did you get all the plants from the same source? Any guarantees? How long did it take the plants to die?

Thanks for the sympathy! It does make me a little glum sometimes when I look at all the little brown stumps.

I'm not sure about the soil, but I planted in various parts of my yard. The plants are from different sources, and in some cases I kept some shrubs in containers in my garage and they are still in good shape. I can't do that with everything though because the plants take up a lot of space.  Some I might be able to return to Home Depot. Nothing is lasting much more than a year.

I can point to different possible causes in many cases.  The azaleas were probably killed off by drought and hot summer. Hydrangeas: could be the cold winters, but I did try hard to mulch thickly with leaves this year. Maybe I will have to wrap with burlap. Mountain laurels disappeared without a trace: deer? Lilac were whacked by my husband, as previously mentioned. But danged if I know why the blueberries all died, after what looked like a decent summer.  Maybe combination of drought and cold?

Anyway, I've had good success with bulbs and little fruit trees, so I will try to stay happy with them.

Hey Poundwise

I've struggled with blueberries too, even before my recent deer-attacks on them.   A couple ideas about the deaths -- they are shallowly-rooted, so they are hit hard by drought, and they also are in direct competition for water and nutrients with nearby grass and other plants.  Best to clear a big space around them, and then mulch like hell to retain moisture.  Second thing I learned the hard way -- blueberries are very sensitive to juglone, the toxin produced by the roots of walnut and hickory trees.  Got any of those nearby?  They say a walnut or hickory can spread its juglone far out into the soil (like 60-80 feet), so best to keep sensitive plantings outside that radius. 

Recently I've been having better luck with blueberries and azaleas.  Still having no luck with gooseberries.  I'm going to try again this year.  People say they are easy to grow, but I somehow manage to kill them.

EDITED to add:  Could you maybe try elderberries for a hedgerow/shrub? They are tough.

Happy gardening!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 05:25:56 AM by Trifele »

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #194 on: May 03, 2017, 07:54:35 AM »
Aerylee:  I am seeing those shadows from the trees in your photos.  I would google lasagna gardening - it is a method to get you into gardening quickly.  Start small - and cheap - but invest in some rodent exclusion or grow things they don't like.  Most garden veggies are fairly easy to grow depending on your location.  My location, lettuce, peas and other greens are easy to grow unless it gets really hot in the summer, then stuff like peppers and tomatoes do better. 
Our area has a master gardener program that provides free help to grow food.  Our library has shelves of books that are great to get you started or up your game.  The best help will be someone with local knowledge - maybe you can volunteer at a neighbourhood community garden and then copy the tasks in your own garden.  I run a garden that grows veg for a food pantry and every year many people help in the garden to increase their gardening skills.

Poundwise:  the cause of your struggles is not easy to immediately tease out.  I think all your plant species are an acidic loving types.  I am wondering if you had pot bound stock to start with and the problems started right out of the gate at transplanting.  Death can be slow and somewhat random with this issue.  Depending on the degree of the root congestion, planting method and watering during establishment and even resilience during the winter can all be traced back to the initial quality of the stock.  Maybe you can do a little research about how to plant a root bound plant and find some photos or videos that may look familiar. 
Seeing the possibilities

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #195 on: May 03, 2017, 08:01:12 AM »
So I'm a complete gardening newbie, as in I've never successfully kept a single plant alive (granted I've rarely tried).
Here's a picture of the back of my house. I want to have a garden maybe 4 feet deep with a paver divider. Can some one walk me through the steps to prepare the area? As in explain it like I'm an idiot because I've googled and haven't found an explanation down to my level yet


Hey AerynLee.  My first suggestion would be to spend a day or two watching your yard to see how much sun you get, and at what times of the day.  Then think about what you hope to grow.  Fruits (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, etc) need a LOT of full sun -- ideally 8 hours a day or more.  Vegetables and herbs (kale, spinach, basil, etc) can get by with less, but need 6 hours+.  Those guys can tolerate more shade.   

A day or two of studying the sun on your yard will help you understand what you CAN grow, and where exactly it should go.   

Good advice.  Also, it looks like there is a tree casting shadows, but maybe the leaves aren't fully out yet?  Make sure to account for increased shade when it has all its leaves.

To prep an area like that, you can either: 1) smother the grass with plastic, layers of cardboard, etc. which will take time, or 2) dig the grass out.  I'd suggest sinking a barrier about 8" down into the ground to keep grass roots from creeping back into your garden space.

Once the grass is taken care of, you'll want to start building your soil.  You might want to do some research to learn about the characteristics of your local soil, or you can get it tested and get a nutrient report.  If you have rocky soil, you may want to consider building a raised bed and filling it with soil.  That may be a good approach for that area anyway, because it will keep your garden soil and mulch out of your sidewalk, and help with the grass issue.  If you aren't set on having the garden in this year, you can start building compost directly in the raised bed.  How you do that depends on what you have access to.  My garden is built almost entirely on horse manure.  ;)

Poundwise

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #196 on: May 03, 2017, 09:25:04 AM »
Thank you everyone for troubleshooting! I have been at my wits' end  and now I have some leads to follow.

Blueberries like acidic soil, but I don't know that pH would kill them off.  You could try contacting your closest extension office for help.

I had the soil tested,  not in the front yard where I planted the blueberries, but not too far off, and it was at pH 5.8. I also fertilized with a scoop of acidic  azalea fertilizer, just as I do when they are in containers.

Quote from: Trifele
A couple ideas about the deaths -- they are shallowly-rooted, so they are hit hard by drought, and they also are in direct competition for water and nutrients with nearby grass and other plants.  Best to clear a big space around them, and then mulch like hell to retain moisture.  Second thing I learned the hard way -- blueberries are very sensitive to juglone, the toxin produced by the roots of walnut and hickory trees.  Got any of those nearby?  They say a walnut or hickory can spread its juglone far out into the soil (like 60-80 feet), so best to keep sensitive plantings outside that radius.

Recently I've been having better luck with blueberries and azaleas.  Still having no luck with gooseberries.  I'm going to try again this year.  People say they are easy to grow, but I somehow manage to kill them.

That is very interesting... I never heard of juglone before! It so happens that the neighbors have a very big hickory tree (the same that drops nuts on our car and broke the moon roof) about 70 feet from where I planted the blueberries.  Hmmm.

Also, there are a lot of established plants where I planted the blueberries, so maybe I didn't clear out enough space for them... the roots in that area are quite thick.

Quote from: Frugal Lizard
Poundwise:  the cause of your struggles is not easy to immediately tease out.  I think all your plant species are an acidic loving types.  I am wondering if you had pot bound stock to start with and the problems started right out of the gate at transplanting.  Death can be slow and somewhat random with this issue.  Depending on the degree of the root congestion, planting method and watering during establishment and even resilience during the winter can all be traced back to the initial quality of the stock.  Maybe you can do a little research about how to plant a root bound plant and find some photos or videos that may look familiar.

Another very good idea, thanks! The blueberries (and possibly the azaleas) were indeed potbound and I just did my standard thing of cutting a bit on the sides of the rootball and then fluffing it out at the bottom. Maybe that is not a very good way of dealing with potbound roots... will do more research. And maybe that explains why I have this issue with shrubbery... the trees arrived with bagged roots so I was careful to plant them within a week, but I tend to keep shrubs around in their pots for several months (or years) until I get around to planting them.

AerynLee

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #197 on: May 03, 2017, 09:56:58 AM »
Thanks everyone for the comments. Unfortunately, even though the house faces east (side with two windows) and south (side with the patio door) it's probably not very sunny between the trees on both sides and the two story townhome attached to mine to the north. I'll try to pay attention to just how much sun the area gets this weekend. And fyi, that brown box is a compost bin so it can be moved.

I also guess I should specify; at this point I'm less concerned with what to grow as I am with how to set up the garden area to look better than current grass-mingles-with-unknown-bushes-and-weeds-then-meets-house. I figured I'd decide what goes in the garden after I get the current area cleared away and paver barrier installed. Is that backwards?

SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #198 on: May 03, 2017, 10:08:29 AM »
Well, all signs currently point toward us getting that house. (Still not saying it's ours until the bank confirms the loan and appraisal has happened.) BUT, looks like I get to start planning what I can do in a maritime NW garden at the beginning of June. From pictures and the times I've been to the house it appears that there are already some things that will be established, maybe some lettuces and a few other things. Outside of the raised beds there are strawberries, still fairly young but there.

I don't plan to do too much this first year, as we'll also be moving and figuring out a new childcare situation, etc. But I would like to get at least some long-term plants in as soon as possible so that they can take root and start producing next summer. I'll hold off on fruit trees until the fall. That will give me plenty of time to look around and assess what should go where, and if there are any shrubs/small trees that I want/need to remove/replace. But for blueberries, can those go in the ground early summer? Would that be a good time to plant them, or should I hold off on those as well?

ooeei

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #199 on: May 04, 2017, 09:25:48 AM »
Tomatoes are coming along nicely in the earthtainers.  The largest one is probably 9 feet tall, 7 after you subtract container height.  These are 31 gallon tubs they're in.  Much easier than regular pots, and so far doing great!  The hybrids are really blowing up, tons of fruit.  The heirlooms are a bit slower but are doing well.  The cherry varieties have had a few ripen so far, mostly the sweet 100.  A few went missing, I think from birds?