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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: G-dog on March 04, 2017, 02:34:29 PM

Title: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 04, 2017, 02:34:29 PM
OK - let's get this party started!

What are you growing this year?
Trying anything new this year?
What did you learn from past years?
Best tips to pass along.
Having problems?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise on March 04, 2017, 02:48:28 PM
- tomatoes, peppers, basil, lettuce so far, but I have seeds fore every occasion
- I'm going to try to get some new soil in my garden so I can have a real garden!  Also I'm going to leave one fruit each on the new little apple trees I planted last year...
- I learned that I have to water consistently in the summer!  I thought that shade would keep the soil moist, but it's dry shade and all my shrubs died.
- You don't have to plant all the seeds in the packet and then thin.  Plant just what you need. Or, if your seeds are old, start them in baggies or indoors first, and then set the seedlings out later. Square foot gardening is great!
- Yes, see my post in DIY about contaminated soil!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on March 04, 2017, 03:50:43 PM

 Here we go! I have tomatoes sprouting outside in raised beds already. These may survive; we're a long way from last frost historically here, but it's been a weird spring, and this raised bed is right against the south side of the house we are set up for passive solar heat gain anyway.


Tomorrow, I'm planting lettuces and spinach in our atrium, which stays even warmer because it's south and enclosed  on three sides.  I probably should have planted there about mid February, but I'll get a cutting or two before they bolt.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on March 04, 2017, 04:51:23 PM
Posting to follow! My community garden org's seed swap - AKA help yourself to shittons of free seeds! - is tomorrow and I'm bouncing off the walls with excitement. So I figure I'll be starting seeds tomorrow when I come home from that.

Even better news: in a month we're moving to an apartment with full-sun garden space that I will be allowed to plant things in. I need to verify with the landlords that they don't use pesticides on the existing ornamentals that are planted nearby though, before I start sticking stuff in the ground there.

In my community garden bed, assuming everything made it through the winter (we're not allowed in until late April so cannot check), I should have:
-dwarf raspberry
-dwarf blueberry
-3 strawberries
-oregano
-thyme
-chives
-garlic
-chocolate mint, which I attempted to overwinter in a container so it doesn't take over the bed. I have never successfully overwintered anything in a container so we'll see.

I'll be adding lettuce, spinach, chard, onions, dill, basil when it gets warm enough (may just leave that in containers; our spring can be fickle here), sugar snap peas, lots of tomatoes, and peppers. I'm thinking I'll cut down a bit on the tomatoes this year and put more peppers in their place. I did well with the mini pepper varieties last year.

Beyond that, I'll be growing whatever I find at the swap that looks interesting. I kind of want to try something new this year but am not sure what. Maybe some new herbs? I have failed repeatedly, every time, at anything in the squash family so I think I'm done trying.

Eggplant is out this year, I've grown it twice and realized that I just don't like it that much. (Pretty sure I've still got some in my freezer from last summer!) Best to use that space for something I'll eat, since I only have the 1 raised bed and whatever space I'll have in the backyard.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 04, 2017, 05:16:20 PM
Do many of you use inoculated (Rhizobium sp.) when planting peas? We will try it this year. Along with planting the peas much earlier - tomorrow. We haven't had much luck with peas (or any early spring plant). Thus may be the year!

We've had trouble growing radishes, carrots, beers and the like. We get tops, but the roots don't fill out. My spouse may be pulling them too early, but still there is very poor development.

I've already got some seeds started - three tomato varieties, jalapeño peppers, beans, one cabbage (planted 3 seed each of 2 varieties - got one seedling), and some marigolds for borders.

We've grown lots of tomatoes and peppers for several years. We need to back off this year to allow some rotation and recovery. Though I doubt my spouse can resist ....



Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on March 04, 2017, 09:28:46 PM
Posting to follow.

I've innoculated pea seeds before, but don't bother anymore because I didn't notice a difference.

Starting my seeds and direct sowing some things tomorrow.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow on March 04, 2017, 10:08:18 PM
Ooohhh....shiny new thread for 2017!

A lovely day spent in the garden today...the sun came out, and because of my garden's location in the middle of a forest glade which traps the sun's heat and blocks a lot of the wind...it warmed up enough to work in just a t-shirt and jeans.

In the ground, as of today....peas, radishes, arugula, corn salad, spinach, mustard greens...overwintered Swiss chard and kale look a little worse for wear, but I expect them to perk up. Garlic planted last Fall is looking good...though I wish I had planted more. I'm even got some Brussel sprouts plants still producing.

I do worry about lots of wood (pill) bugs lurking about...one of the big downsides of having leaf/straw mulch covering my beds is that it gives these little b*stards a place to hang out all winter, munching on the decomposing matter. We will see if they go to town on my little seedlings as they emerge this year. I suspect this is what happened to my spinach crop last year....or...the soil pH was too high. This is only my 3rd year of gardening....still TONS to learn. This process of learning things completely new to me has been great fun and suprisingly rewarding.

Within days I will be getting a bunch of things started indoors....and I want to build more wood-sided raised beds. Import some high quality topsoil. Really thinking about a small greenhouse too.

At some point I will post a list of everything I'm going to grow (or at least ATTEMPT) this year. It is a big list...and it has gotten bigger again this year. I've been told this is a common occurance in the life of a vegetable gardener. I'm finding restraint difficult. :) I worry about this...my current garden occupies a small corner of a 5 acre lot...there is far too much room to expand. I don't want this to EVER feel like a job. Been there, done that. ;)

Here's hopin' that everyone has success this year!



Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on March 04, 2017, 10:41:33 PM
Following
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: oneyear on March 05, 2017, 03:27:29 AM
Spent yesterday building fences and prepping for our first year hop production. Harvested some rhubarb and leeks that were ready also. First of the year and worth the wait. This year it's: potatoes, onions, peas, rhubarb, strawberries, hops, garlic, sweetcorn, plums, pears, apples and an array of herbs.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 05, 2017, 06:44:37 AM
Hey all

-On tap again this year:  Kale, chard, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, leeks, onions, cukes, beans.  I will try white potatoes again, however last year the slugs destroyed them.  First time I've ever had a potato crop fail.

-New this year (We just moved to this property last year, so this is only a second year garden): planting perrenials such as blueberries, raspberries, sorrel, cherry trees.

-Today:  I'm starting peppers in my indoor grow cabinet.  I'm filling a new raised bed that DH made for me (yay!)  I'm going to try a 'hugelkultur' type thing, with rotten wood in the bottom of the bed, compost and soil on top of that.  I've gardened in raised beds for many years, but have never done any hugelkultur experiments. 

All in all -- very excited about 2017.  Still learning how to garden in this new climate.   
 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 05, 2017, 06:49:49 AM
Can you tell us more about hugelkultur? What advantages or logic behind it?

A friend used to grow potatoes by putting down layers of newspaper, potato starts, then cobpvering with straw. That might discourage slugs. In fact I think straw is supposed to discourage the little bastards.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cranky on March 05, 2017, 06:49:56 AM
I'm resisting the temptation to start any seeds before 4/1, but last week's nice weather did lead to some yard clean up work. The herbs are all in good shape, and I've even got a little kale that wintered over.

I should buy some onion sets next week.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 05, 2017, 06:58:09 AM
I'm resisting the temptation to start any seeds before 4/1, but last week's nice weather did lead to some yard clean up work. The herbs are all in good shape, and I've even got a little kale that wintered over.

I should buy some onion sets next week.

It's hard to wait though!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: KMMK on March 05, 2017, 07:39:39 AM
I have a yard this year but not sure how much time I'll have and it needs a lot of soil prep. I'm thinking two small areas - a raised bed in the front yard and a small patch in the back. Maybe 4' by 4'. (And expand each year.)
I think I'll focus on greens that I can use a lot of, can freeze and are expensive to buy: kale, spinach, turnip, chard. Maybe two zucchini plants. Short growing season here so things like tomatoes and peppers would take more effort than I can commit to right now.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Mezzie on March 05, 2017, 07:51:21 AM
My plan:
Various lettuces
Strawberries
Basil
Thai basil (this one already started)
Thyme
Rosemary
Sage (I've started this one as well)
Cilanreo
Italian parsley
Curly parsely
Chard
Spinach
Carrots
Sweet potatoes
Various squash
Onion
Garlic
Cucumber
Saffron

I kill most plants, so we'll see how I do! I'm also planting a milkweed garden for endangered monarch butterflies.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on March 05, 2017, 08:51:27 AM
Can you tell us more about hugelkultur? What advantages or logic behind it?


Once the wood gets nice and rotted it acts like a big sponge that holds and releases moisture all summer.  Large, established hugulkultur beds ofthen don't need to be watered at all in summer.  I've set up three in raised beds, but the rotting process is going slowly, so I don't seem to be recognizing the benefits just yet.  They are traditionally just stacked wood and soil, but that can be a little impractical for regular backyards.  https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 05, 2017, 08:57:27 AM
Can you tell us more about hugelkultur? What advantages or logic behind it?


Once the wood gets nice and rotted it acts like a big sponge that holds and releases moisture all summer.  Large, established hugulkultur beds ofthen don't need to be watered at all in summer.  I've set up three in raised beds, but the rotting process is going slowly, so I don't seem to be recognizing the benefits just yet.  They are traditionally just stacked wood and soil, but that can be a little impractical for regular backyards.  https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur

Thanks! I imagine you have to be careful what wood you use, e.g. untreated, or type of wood (hardwood vs. softwood, etc.)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on March 05, 2017, 09:26:01 AM
Can you tell us more about hugelkultur? What advantages or logic behind it?


Once the wood gets nice and rotted it acts like a big sponge that holds and releases moisture all summer.  Large, established hugulkultur beds ofthen don't need to be watered at all in summer.  I've set up three in raised beds, but the rotting process is going slowly, so I don't seem to be recognizing the benefits just yet.  They are traditionally just stacked wood and soil, but that can be a little impractical for regular backyards.  https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur

Thanks! I imagine you have to be careful what wood you use, e.g. untreated, or type of wood (hardwood vs. softwood, etc.)

Yes, you would only want to use raw wood.  Also, I've read that brassicas don't appreciate hugakultur beds because of all the fungal activity in the soil, so that's one limitation to be aware of.  I used Russian elm because we've been cutting them off our property, but softwood would probably break down faster.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 05, 2017, 11:48:38 AM
Horsepoor, you beat me to it.  :)   Yep, at our new house we found a pile of old cut firewood that had rotted, so I am using it to fill in the bottommost layer of this big new raised bed I have.   It's supposed to hold moisture and please all the micro- and macroscopic critters in the soil.  The name 'hugelkultur" means "hill culture" in German.  The classic way to do it (see link provided by Horsepoor) is to actually pile the wood up above the ground (the "hill").  What I'm doing is just an experiment.  Figure it can't hurt, and it might be really good.  Gotta put something in there after all.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on March 05, 2017, 02:06:06 PM
Back from the seed swap..... and, I've no idea where I'm going to put all of these goodies. :D Yes, I went a bit overboard, but hey, it was all free. Lots of greens, tomatoes, herbs, peppers. Only things I wanted and didn't find were rosemary and mini sweet peppers.

I need to google some of the tomato varieties I got; some weren't in their original packets and I just grabbed them because their names sounded interesting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: 10dollarsatatime on March 05, 2017, 05:33:25 PM
I haven't started my garden planning yet.  I'm doing the whole30, accidentally discovered that peppers are a trigger for me, and figured I should go full AIP to see what nightshades I was OK with.  Losing peppers saved me 30 row feet right off the bat.  If I lose tomatoes, I don't know what I'm going to fill this garden with.

I know for sure that I'll be planting sweet potatoes, and hopefully I'll be ok with my purple potatoes as well.  Spaghetti, SweetMeat, and Delicata winter squashes, along with a couple of zucchini plants will be going in.  I'll probably do rows of kohlrabi, rutabegas, carrots, and turnips.  Should they prove to not be a trigger, I'll plant green beans, sweet peas, and heirloom red runner beans.  I had been doing corn, but still have jars from two years ago that I canned and never ate.  With the new room in the garden, I may try some brassicas... cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower... I've never had much luck keeping the pests away from those, though.

Waiting to see what I can eat without ill effect is frustrating.  I'm usually planning the garden by this time of year...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SAfAmBrit on March 05, 2017, 09:06:37 PM
I currently have mostly herbs growing right now- chives, mint, basil, flat leaf parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, scallion and peas. I just harvested my cauliflower - and will be planting my tomatoes next week. I have not had a lot of luck here - forget to water 1 day in 115 deg F weather and everything dies! I am definitely going to try garlic this year!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 06, 2017, 04:38:10 AM
I haven't started my garden planning yet.  I'm doing the whole30, accidentally discovered that peppers are a trigger for me, and figured I should go full AIP to see what nightshades I was OK with.

Waiting to see what I can eat without ill effect is frustrating.  I'm usually planning the garden by this time of year...

Hey TenDollars -- I'm doing the Whole30 as well, to try to get a better handle on my food allergies.  I have Oral Allergy Syndrome, Birch group, diagnosed many years ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_allergy_syndrome   

Peppers are supposed to be a Birch group trigger, but I've always eaten them without any immediate effects  . . . But I've been having some mystery hives lately that I haven't been able to pin down.  I'm going to eliminate peppers on the W30 and then see what happens.  I LOVE peppers and really hope I don't lose them.  I will be devastated if I lose tomatoes too . . . 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: asauer on March 06, 2017, 05:22:11 AM
We will grow: kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos (we make hot sauce for xmas gifts), patio eggplant, cupcake squash, strawberries, carrots, beets, figs, blackberries, blueberries, pickling cucumbers and tons of herbs (we make our own herbal teas). 

New this year are the patio eggplants and cupcake squash- very excited to try.

Back this year are 4th of July tomatoes.  These things are incredibly easy to grow, prolific and germinate wonderfully.

No winter squash this year. Every year we've had terrible squash bugs and it's just not worth the space to try again. : (
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 06, 2017, 06:36:24 AM
We've had trouble with squash bugs too! Ugly smelly bastards. Usually on zucchini. We had some luck with zucchini last year, I think because we got them in earlier and avoided early insect pressure.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow on March 06, 2017, 10:18:09 AM
I have a bit of spare time this morning....so while sipping my coffee...my GROW LIST.

Arugula - already planted
Beans - (soya, bush, pole)
Beets - (Red Ace, Detriot Supreme)
Broccoli - (Everest, Gypsy)
Brussels sprouts (Roodnerf)
cabbage - (Charmant, Copenhagen Market, Early Jersey Wakfield, Super Red) I love cabbage guys. :)
Carrots - (Danvers, Canada, Imperator)
Cauliflower - (Amazing, Snow Crown) For some reason, I didn't know you were supposed to fold the leaves over the "head". Will do that this year.
Corn Salad - already planted...then it SNOWED. :(
Cucumbers (Patio Snacker, Green Dragon, Lemon, Pickles!) Going to really get into pickling these.
Garlic
Horseradish - learning to preserve this was a highlight of last season
Kale
Kohlrabi  - I saw this in the seed catalogue and thought it looked funky...why not give it a shot?
Lettuce - too many varieties to list
Mint - this stuff is EVERYWHERE
Mustard greens - planted a few days ago.
Onions - (Alica Craig, Walla Walla, Red Wing)
Pac choi - planted
Parsley - same as the Mint
Peas - snap, snow...if there is one thing I can count on..it is PEAS. Planted some already.
Peppers - really need a greenhouse to do these justice, but still worth doing with current setup
Quinoa - excited to try this for the first time
Spinach - (Olympia, Samish) Didn't work last year...trying again.
Squash - (Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti)
Swiss chard - so easy to grow
Tomatoes - too many types to list. But Sungold's picked off the vine are one of life's true gifts. :)
Zucchini

That's it for now...I reserve the right to add to the list. :)





Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 06, 2017, 10:52:51 AM
Horseradish is almost impossible to eradicate - and it spreads. So be careful where you put it. It won't look like much this year, but you'll have a nice surprise next year. The foliage reminds me of Jurassic Park environs!

Jon - How did you preserve it? The typical way (grate and acidify)?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow on March 06, 2017, 11:00:02 AM
Horseradish is almost impossible to eradicate - and it spreads. So be careful where you put it. It won't look like much this year, but you'll have a nice surprise next year. The foliage reminds me of Jurassic Park environs!

Jon - How did you preserve it? The typical way (grate and acidify)?

I was warned of this when I bought the first package of horseradish roots...I took proper heed and it has it's own separate area away from most everything else. I'm actually hoping it spreads...in a way I can manage. :)

Nothing fancy to preserve it....yes, just grate it up, some salt and vinegar. Ate a ton over a few weeks, froze a bunch. I need to learn how to preserve it the "pressure seal" way so I can really stock up on it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on March 06, 2017, 12:20:41 PM
Woooooooooo gardening! There's still a foot of snow on the ground here, but I got antsy and have so far started peppers, tomatoes, scallions. We've got indoor grow lights and a shelf system rigged up this year so hopefully no leggy seedlings. It's our first full gardening season in the new house (got possession start of summer last year) so we've definitely got a lot of work to do - we're planning on doing raised beds in the south-facing, hottest part of the yard, and continue growing more shade tolerant crops in the garden already established to the west of the house.

We're also hoping to remove some of the overgrown/neglected perennials/trees (ew lilacs) and replacing them with fruit trees (apples, saskatoons, haskaps.)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 06, 2017, 12:23:08 PM
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...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise on March 06, 2017, 02:47:18 PM
I have a couple of bags of sprouted potatoes.  What stops me from just planting them and seeing what comes up (apart from my contaminated soil, that is?) I seem to recall some warnings about plant viruses...?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 06, 2017, 05:10:12 PM
I planted peas today. And some romaine. The packet advises doing staggered plantings for romaine. I planted another lettuce in a container.

We are supposed to get some rain tonight. I hope that will help get these started.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on March 06, 2017, 07:47:13 PM
I have a couple of bags of sprouted potatoes.  What stops me from just planting them and seeing what comes up (apart from my contaminated soil, that is?) I seem to recall some warnings about plant viruses...?

I do this.  No apparent problems so far.

Today I seeded two 72-cell flats with 10 varieties of tomatoes, about 100 pepper plants and three kinds of eggplant.  Somehow I don't have any Opalka tomato seeds, though I was sure I'd ordered a new packet.  They are my prime canning tomato, so I'll be ordering new seeds and starting ~10 of those.  In cups I started broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collards and several kinds of onions.  Peas went in a plastic baggie with a wet paper towel to sprout, and will go out in the garden in a few days.  Also hoping to plant out carrots, radishes, beets, spinach, lettuce, chard and parsnips this weekend.  My purple sweet potato harvest is still in pretty good shape, so I'll start some new plants from slips, and find a nice orange yam to use for slips as well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on March 06, 2017, 08:26:09 PM
Today I planted spinach, lettuce, chard, and thyme.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on March 06, 2017, 08:28:19 PM
I have a couple of bags of sprouted potatoes.  What stops me from just planting them and seeing what comes up (apart from my contaminated soil, that is?) I seem to recall some warnings about plant viruses...?

What do you mean? it is the best potato to be planted - with sprouts! (I don't do it here in the US, but we did it for many many years overseas)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 07, 2017, 02:48:37 AM
At the moment:
- 2 stems of spring union that are growing new green bits out of them.
- 2 pieces of fresh coriander with a root, planted in a pot. 1 died, the other 1 is growing.
- 1 avocado stone buried in a pot now gives a nice plant. I don't expect it to really give new avocados, but it is nice to have created a new plant for free.
- Grape bushes in the garden, trying to survive the winter. An attempt to make new plants by planting the stems did not work.
- Lots of blueberry bushes in the garden. They were there when we bought the house.
- Some edible mushrooms in the garden. I will try this summer/autumn to shake out my favorite forest mushrooms in the garden to sow them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 07, 2017, 03:53:06 AM
I have a couple of bags of sprouted potatoes.  What stops me from just planting them and seeing what comes up (apart from my contaminated soil, that is?) I seem to recall some warnings about plant viruses...?

What do you mean? it is the best potato to be planted - with sprouts! (I don't do it here in the US, but we did it for many many years overseas)

I think she means is it safe to plant potatoes that have been sprayed with anti-sprouting chemicals.  In the US all grocery store potatoes are sprayed after harvest, unless they are labeled "Organic".   Of course if you buy organic potatoes and they sprout -- that's a good thing.

@Poundwise -- I haven't ever planted sprayed potatoes that are sprouting.  I guess I assume they won't be as vigorous as non-sprayed spuds(?)  Plus it's so easy to just buy organic ones. 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 07, 2017, 03:55:10 AM
At the moment:
- 2 stems of spring union that are growing new green bits out of them.
- 2 pieces of fresh coriander with a root, planted in a pot. 1 died, the other 1 is growing.
- 1 avocado stone buried in a pot now gives a nice plant. I don't expect it to really give new avocados, but it is nice to have created a new plant for free.
- Grape bushes in the garden, trying to survive the winter. An attempt to make new plants by planting the stems did not work.
- Lots of blueberry bushes in the garden. They were there when we bought the house.
- Some edible mushrooms in the garden. I will try this summer/autumn to shake out my favorite forest mushrooms in the garden to sow them.

That's cool, Linda.  I've never grown mushrooms, but would like to try.  I'll have to read up on that.  Not sure if we have the right conditions.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: asauer on March 07, 2017, 05:51:17 AM
We've had trouble with squash bugs too! Ugly smelly bastards. Usually on zucchini. We had some luck with zucchini last year, I think because we got them in earlier and avoided early insect pressure.
I'm hoping our cupcake squash does well since it's not out in the garden as long as a winter squash is.  Crossing fingers.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 07, 2017, 06:46:41 AM
That's cool, Linda.  I've never grown mushrooms, but would like to try.  I'll have to read up on that.  Not sure if we have the right conditions.

I guess you would need to adapt the mushrooms to your kind of garden. My garden looks like our local forest, so I can try to sow Cantharellus and Russula. If you have a grassy lane, you could try Agaricus. There are several wild varieties that grow on grass.

I have heard of people successfully sowing Cantharellus in their garden. When the mushroom is ripe, is will loosen it's spore's. You can see this if you leave a mushroom on a sheet of (coloured) paper overnight. The only thing I don't know is whether it is enough with the spores from 1 mushroom or whether you need somelike like a male and a female.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 07, 2017, 07:03:37 AM
I am going to plant
beets
beans
cukes
zukes
greens -lettuce, kale, chard, mustard, arugula
potatoes
tomatoes
peas
basil
dill
parsley
cilantro
and flowers - lots of flowers to brighten my garden.

Some greens are planted in the greenhouse already.  Will start the tomatoes on the weekend.
I am excited about the potential

I tried growing shitake mushrooms but some creature kept eating the spawn plugs.  Spent 70 bucks and four hours drilling the holes and many minutes watering and checking and got nadda.  It was so disappointing.

My six maple trees are tapped and the sap was running slowly yesterday. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: recklesslysober on March 07, 2017, 01:11:33 PM
We have a tiny apartment balcony but I'm giving container growing a shot, mostly herbs to start - basil, cilantro, oregano, chives, parsley, arugula, and spinach.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on March 07, 2017, 06:50:33 PM
We have a tiny apartment balcony but I'm giving container growing a shot, mostly herbs to start - basil, cilantro, oregano, chives, parsley, arugula, and spinach.

Don't waste time on chives. Buy a bunch of store green onions, use greens as desired, and stick the white parts with tiny roots into dirt. You will never need to buy green onions again. Tested. Much faster than from seeds
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: recklesslysober on March 07, 2017, 06:58:37 PM
We have a tiny apartment balcony but I'm giving container growing a shot, mostly herbs to start - basil, cilantro, oregano, chives, parsley, arugula, and spinach.

Don't waste time on chives. Buy a bunch of store green onions, use greens as desired, and stick the white parts with tiny roots into dirt. You will never need to buy green onions again. Tested. Much faster than from seeds

Thanks but I actually like the taste of chives way better than green onions so I'm going to try with seeds. If it doesn't work out I'll switch back to green onions.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: evensjw on March 07, 2017, 07:08:16 PM
What are you growing this year?

Tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, some kind of greens.

Trying anything new this year?

I have walking onions that I planted last fall, but will harvest this year, which I haven't done before.  Except the chickens got in and tore them up a bit.  Hoping something survived.

What did you learn from past years?

Tomatoes are going in the front yard this year, not enough sun out back.  I've given up on squash, too many squash beetles.

Best tips to pass along.

Get ducks for weed control

Having problems?

Don't get chickens, their scratching is too destructive.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on March 07, 2017, 07:12:06 PM
We have a tiny apartment balcony but I'm giving container growing a shot, mostly herbs to start - basil, cilantro, oregano, chives, parsley, arugula, and spinach.

Don't waste time on chives. Buy a bunch of store green onions, use greens as desired, and stick the white parts with tiny roots into dirt. You will never need to buy green onions again. Tested. Much faster than from seeds

Thanks but I actually like the taste of chives way better than green onions so I'm going to try with seeds. If it doesn't work out I'll switch back to green onions.

Ah (we have both chives and scallions)! In this case you are set for years (if they start) - chives are perennials.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 07, 2017, 07:24:22 PM
A friend of mine cannot garden - the chickens destroy just about everything!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on March 07, 2017, 07:30:27 PM
A friend of mine cannot garden - the chickens destroy just about everything!

I have bunnies + squirrels + birds problem. They destroyed my peas completely last year and ate my best tomatoes (how do they know, really!?) But when they tried my jalapenos - it was just one bite and escape :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 07, 2017, 11:22:52 PM
The vegetable leftovers are doning very well.
The spring unions stems have gotten 5 cm of green growing out of it. The garlic is getting a 10cm long green leave. And the coriander is looking good.
Yesterday I put a sellery stem in water to see whether it will start growing roots.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on March 08, 2017, 08:44:34 AM
This morning I had two tiny arugula sprouts! Hooray!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: AustinHorn on March 08, 2017, 11:02:05 AM
I have six 8x4 raised beds and have already planted greens (swiss chard, kale, and a variety of red lettuce), carrots and beets.  I should be putting peppers, okra and tomatoes in the ground this weekend.

I'm not growing anything new this year as I'm so far behind right now and am just hastily throwing things I have experience with in the ground for the spring.  I didn't do a fall garden, so I'm glad to at least get something in the ground and get back to it!!!!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 09, 2017, 04:40:18 AM
A friend of mine cannot garden - the chickens destroy just about everything!

We have both chickens and a huge garden.  It's true you do need to separate them, because chickens are not kind to plants, but the good news is it's fairly easy to fence out chickens.  A three-foot-tall roll of chicken wire fencing will usually do it.  Most chicken breeds don't fly much if at all, and they don't like to land on top of the chicken wire, because it's bendy.    I actually love gardening with my chickens -- at certain times of the year.  After harvest, I let them in and they happily scratch around in the beds for worms as I'm puttering.  I love to listen to them "talk" as they work.  They contribute a little nitrogen to the soil as well.   

Many gardeners -- especially urban/suburban gardeners with limited space -- find creative ways to make it work.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 09, 2017, 07:18:26 AM
A friend of mine cannot garden - the chickens destroy just about everything!

We have both chickens and a huge garden.  It's true you do need to separate them, because chickens are not kind to plants, but the good news is it's fairly easy to fence out chickens.  A three-foot-tall roll of chicken wire fencing will usually do it.  Most chicken breeds don't fly much if at all, and they don't like to land on top of the chicken wire, because it's bendy.    I actually love gardening with my chickens -- at certain times of the year.  After harvest, I let them in and they happily scratch around in the beds for worms as I'm puttering.  I love to listen to them "talk" as they work.  They contribute a little nitrogen to the soil as well.   

Many gardeners -- especially urban/suburban gardeners with limited space -- find creative ways to make it work.

Oh, I know - there are other factors at work in their space, and I think along with those they'd rather let the chickens roam.  They do chatter - it's kind of soothing yet amusing.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 09, 2017, 07:26:29 AM
A friend of mine cannot garden - the chickens destroy just about everything!

We have both chickens and a huge garden.  It's true you do need to separate them, because chickens are not kind to plants, but the good news is it's fairly easy to fence out chickens.  A three-foot-tall roll of chicken wire fencing will usually do it.  Most chicken breeds don't fly much if at all, and they don't like to land on top of the chicken wire, because it's bendy.  <...>

I have seen many cases of run away chickens. So the chickens are also creative in finding ways to escape.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on March 09, 2017, 08:25:36 AM
I feel like a dumbass - forgot to turn the growlight on this morning. I only have 4 seedlings up so far - three arugula and 1 snap pea - so if they die in the dark I guess I start over. Dammit.

I have to get that thing on a timer, or else put a big note on the front door reminding me to turn it on before I leave for work. It is kept in a room that is always shut, so the cat doesn't eat the plants, and if I can't see something then it doesn't get done in the mad rush to leave the house.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: AustinHorn on March 09, 2017, 09:43:55 AM
A friend of mine cannot garden - the chickens destroy just about everything!

We have both chickens and a huge garden.  It's true you do need to separate them, because chickens are not kind to plants, but the good news is it's fairly easy to fence out chickens.  A three-foot-tall roll of chicken wire fencing will usually do it.  Most chicken breeds don't fly much if at all, and they don't like to land on top of the chicken wire, because it's bendy.    I actually love gardening with my chickens -- at certain times of the year.  After harvest, I let them in and they happily scratch around in the beds for worms as I'm puttering.  I love to listen to them "talk" as they work.  They contribute a little nitrogen to the soil as well.   

Many gardeners -- especially urban/suburban gardeners with limited space -- find creative ways to make it work.

Oh, I know - there are other factors at work in their space, and I think along with those they'd rather let the chickens roam.  They do chatter - it's kind of soothing yet amusing.

I'm in the suburbs - we have backyard chickens and six garden beds - 2 of which are in the back yard.  I actually put hoops over those and when they are in production I cover them with insect netting to keep them out (also keeps birds/squirrels/rabbits and many pests out as well, so a double benefit).  Has worked well so far.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: wintertell on March 10, 2017, 07:54:22 AM
We are in the process of moving houses this year and are staying with family, so no garden for me this year : (

Following anyway!

I might compromise and at least plant some herbs in pots to put on the back deck outside. Cooking with fresh herbs grown in your own garden is one of the best small delights in life you can give yourself : ). Plus everything is way, way tastier!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: StarBright on March 10, 2017, 08:12:19 AM
I was looking for a thread like this over in DIY and didn't see it. Happy to find it over here!

Haven't gardened for a few years but won the lottery for a spot in our community garden.

In the spring we'll do:
spinach
chard
kale
lettuces
and maybe try peas if we have time.

Summer-
lots of tomatoes (my kids eat cherry tomatoes by the pound)
peppers
basil
pole beans
zukes

and because our garden plot is about twice the size we expected to get we are going to use the extra bed to try cantaloupes.

We also have a huge dirt patch behind our garage/next to our alley that gets great sun so we're thinking of planting some blackberries or raspberries in it.

We're basically newbies at anything other than tomatoes, peppers and greens but we are psyched to grow some of our own food and have our kids help us.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on March 10, 2017, 11:02:20 AM
Cleaned out the tomato and basil beds this morning. Looks like I won't need to plant either one if the volunteers I found survive the freezing temps forecasted for two nights next week.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: geekinprogress on March 10, 2017, 10:44:16 PM
I'm continuing my experiments in gardening.  Started a few varieties of tomatoes and of basil a bit early this year because last year I saw how much smaller my plants were than commercially available ones around the last frost date here - probably partially a result of less than stellar lighting, but I think it's mostly because they just could have used more time/space to grow out.  I'll find out, either way!  I had a rainbow of cherry tomatoes last year and it was delicious and fun, and I'm trying out different basil varieties to try and find one that is a bit less tasty to Japanese Beetles (but I am not optimistic). 

Aside from those, I've also started a couple luffas (needed to start them extra early for them to even have a *chance* at maturing in this region), some broccoli, and have some potatoes starting in pots made from 2-liter soda bottles.

Not 100% sure what will end up in my garden plot this year.  Probably the luffas, another squash or two, a bunch of cherry toms, peas, dill, lots of basil, lettuce, radishes, and some marigolds to help repel bugs. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cressida on March 10, 2017, 11:47:05 PM
A new 2017 thread! Thanks G-dog!

Last year I tried bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Only the cherry tomatoes really did well. I think this year I'll switch to mini peppers, stick with the cherry tomatoes, try the cucumbers again, and add tomatillos. It's the PNW (so not enough sun) and I have very little space.

Quinoa - excited to try this for the first time

I love quinoa, and it's pricey. I'm super interested to hear how this turns out.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 11, 2017, 04:06:18 AM
A friend of mine cannot garden - the chickens destroy just about everything!

We have both chickens and a huge garden.  It's true you do need to separate them, because chickens are not kind to plants, but the good news is it's fairly easy to fence out chickens.  A three-foot-tall roll of chicken wire fencing will usually do it.  Most chicken breeds don't fly much if at all, and they don't like to land on top of the chicken wire, because it's bendy.    I actually love gardening with my chickens -- at certain times of the year.  After harvest, I let them in and they happily scratch around in the beds for worms as I'm puttering.  I love to listen to them "talk" as they work.  They contribute a little nitrogen to the soil as well.   

Many gardeners -- especially urban/suburban gardeners with limited space -- find creative ways to make it work.

Oh, I know - there are other factors at work in their space, and I think along with those they'd rather let the chickens roam.  They do chatter - it's kind of soothing yet amusing.

I'm in the suburbs - we have backyard chickens and six garden beds - 2 of which are in the back yard.  I actually put hoops over those and when they are in production I cover them with insect netting to keep them out (also keeps birds/squirrels/rabbits and many pests out as well, so a double benefit).  Has worked well so far.

I was in the suburbs until last year (country now), and I did exactly the same thing Austin.  I had two beds inside the yard, and I used hoops and netting over them.  I was using 3/4 inch deer netting, and it worked great.  I had to keep it pulled down taut so the little wild birds didn't get their feet tangled in it, but in 8 years I had no bird fatalities, so that worked out well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 11, 2017, 06:36:25 AM
A new 2017 thread! Thanks G-dog!

Last year I tried bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Only the cherry tomatoes really did well. I think this year I'll switch to mini peppers, stick with the cherry tomatoes, try the cucumbers again, and add tomatillos. It's the PNW (so not enough sun) and I have very little space.


We've grown tomatillos with variable results. The variety is supposed to be adapted to growing here, but I think it may be borderline adapted. The plants get huge and are really open and vineyard. The flowers and fruits are pretty - like little hanging lanterns. One year the fruit got fairly big at ping-pong ball size, but I think they should get bigger. Last year I started from seed, so likely a different strain, the fruit never got very big (marble size), and would fall off of the vine.  But it's nice to make your own salsa verde.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on March 11, 2017, 08:18:38 AM
I have a few little tiny sprouts from the seeds I planted on Monday!

We had a rainy week, and it is looking to be a glorious sunny weekend with temps in the 60's, so I'll definitely get some things direct-sowed (sown?).  I'll need to shift some soil around because I need several truckloads of compost and doubt that my piles have decomposed much over winter since it was so cold.  But yay!  Beets, carrots and parsnips, spinach and lettuces definitely going in today.

I'm getting new chickens this year, so my three remaining old girls will be on landscaping duty.  I'm going to build a moveable pen paired up with an old dog house and put them in some of the fallow areas to scratch and poop.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Nola584 on March 11, 2017, 08:41:10 AM
Does anyone have any favorites for growing in small containers, like on a small balcony?

Through trial and error, I've found that tomatoes (cherry or the "balcony" varieties), basil, and Serrano peppers seem the happiest on my balcony. Dill wasn't very productive, but I might replant again just because I love the smell of fresh dill. Other plants that I didn't have success with: cilantro, Thai chilis, strawberries (container variety- they made a few berries here and there but not that much). Ghost peppers grew ok, but then I wasted them when I never got around to drying them or making a hot sauce.

Any other ideas? My balcony is quite small (really a Juliette balcony), so I'm limited to pots and hanging pots.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: geekinprogress on March 11, 2017, 12:41:39 PM
Does anyone have any favorites for growing in small containers, like on a small balcony?

Through trial and error, I've found that tomatoes (cherry or the "balcony" varieties), basil, and Serrano peppers seem the happiest on my balcony. Dill wasn't very productive, but I might replant again just because I love the smell of fresh dill. Other plants that I didn't have success with: cilantro, Thai chilis, strawberries (container variety- they made a few berries here and there but not that much). Ghost peppers grew ok, but then I wasted them when I never got around to drying them or making a hot sauce.

Any other ideas? My balcony is quite small (really a Juliette balcony), so I'm limited to pots and hanging pots.

Chives! 

For the ones that haven't been successful - did you feed them?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on March 11, 2017, 07:02:38 PM
Does anyone have any favorites for growing in small containers, like on a small balcony?

Through trial and error, I've found that tomatoes (cherry or the "balcony" varieties), basil, and Serrano peppers seem the happiest on my balcony. Dill wasn't very productive, but I might replant again just because I love the smell of fresh dill. Other plants that I didn't have success with: cilantro, Thai chilis, strawberries (container variety- they made a few berries here and there but not that much). Ghost peppers grew ok, but then I wasted them when I never got around to drying them or making a hot sauce.

Any other ideas? My balcony is quite small (really a Juliette balcony), so I'm limited to pots and hanging pots.

Green onions, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, sage. Dill is more difficult in pots (but extremely easy outside) as it's a big tall plant and needs a bit more space. Cilantro could be difficult too.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cressida on March 11, 2017, 08:26:37 PM
A new 2017 thread! Thanks G-dog!

Last year I tried bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Only the cherry tomatoes really did well. I think this year I'll switch to mini peppers, stick with the cherry tomatoes, try the cucumbers again, and add tomatillos. It's the PNW (so not enough sun) and I have very little space.


We've grown tomatillos with variable results. The variety is supposed to be adapted to growing here, but I think it may be borderline adapted. The plants get huge and are really open and vineyard. The flowers and fruits are pretty - like little hanging lanterns. One year the fruit got fairly big at ping-pong ball size, but I think they should get bigger. Last year I started from seed, so likely a different strain, the fruit never got very big (marble size), and would fall off of the vine.  But it's nice to make your own salsa verde.

You read my mind!

Someone told me that tomatillos grow well in the PNW. I guess I'll find out. Good to know that the plants get big.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 12, 2017, 10:50:01 AM
Just planted a bunch of peppers in my grow cabinet -- jalapenos and bells.  I meant to do it two weeks ago and never got to it.  Oh well, better late than never!  I've got some more shelf space, so I may plant some more things over the next few days.  It's my first year using the grow cabinet (bought it used) and I am super excited.  It opens up whole new vistas of possibilities. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on March 13, 2017, 12:00:46 PM
A new 2017 thread! Thanks G-dog!

Last year I tried bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Only the cherry tomatoes really did well. I think this year I'll switch to mini peppers, stick with the cherry tomatoes, try the cucumbers again, and add tomatillos. It's the PNW (so not enough sun) and I have very little space.


We've grown tomatillos with variable results. The variety is supposed to be adapted to growing here, but I think it may be borderline adapted. The plants get huge and are really open and vineyard. The flowers and fruits are pretty - like little hanging lanterns. One year the fruit got fairly big at ping-pong ball size, but I think they should get bigger. Last year I started from seed, so likely a different strain, the fruit never got very big (marble size), and would fall off of the vine.  But it's nice to make your own salsa verde.

You read my mind!

Someone told me that tomatillos grow well in the PNW. I guess I'll find out. Good to know that the plants get big.
I'm up in the canadian prairie - got some tomatillo seeds for christmas this year and kinda looked at them sideways at first. I'm assuming they grow like indeterminate tomatoes?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 13, 2017, 12:05:45 PM
A new 2017 thread! Thanks G-dog!

Last year I tried bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Only the cherry tomatoes really did well. I think this year I'll switch to mini peppers, stick with the cherry tomatoes, try the cucumbers again, and add tomatillos. It's the PNW (so not enough sun) and I have very little space.


We've grown tomatillos with variable results. The variety is supposed to be adapted to growing here, but I think it may be borderline adapted. The plants get huge and are really open and vineyard. The flowers and fruits are pretty - like little hanging lanterns. One year the fruit got fairly big at ping-pong ball size, but I think they should get bigger. Last year I started from seed, so likely a different strain, the fruit never got very big (marble size), and would fall off of the vine.  But it's nice to make your own salsa verde.

You read my mind!

Someone told me that tomatillos grow well in the PNW. I guess I'll find out. Good to know that the plants get big.
I'm up in the canadian prairie - got some tomatillo seeds for christmas this year and kinda looked at them sideways at first. I'm assuming they grow like indeterminate tomatoes?

Yes, but smaller leaves and stems, more open structure. The plant doesn't get as heavy, but we used tomato cages with them. Now, if our fruit had gotten to a proper size....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 14, 2017, 01:38:39 AM
I put the stem of a bunch of celery into a glas of water. And also this vegetable has started to sprout new growth out of it. It just needs to grow more roots, so it's staying in the water for the moment. The spring onions that we put in a pot a few weeks ago are doing really well and growing long green leaves.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SAfAmBrit on March 14, 2017, 09:10:39 PM
Got my tomato plants planted today. Trying a new on called heat wave (apparently good in the desert), Romano, cherry, and an Italian one - I thought why not what do I have to loose? There was also a lonely Banana Pepper for $2.88 - thought I would throw it in a pot and see what gives. All my herbs survived winter and are doing well. Nothing very challenging but realistic with my current workload.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on March 15, 2017, 02:29:55 PM
 Deer got some of my tomato starts, but the ones inside chicken wire are still doing fine despite the cold. Going to put up some more chicken wire and wait to see if I get more tomatoes out of the deal.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on March 15, 2017, 03:40:33 PM
Some of my Red Russian kale seeds are sprouting after only three days.  RR is my favorite kale variety hands down.  Such good little soldiers reporting cheerfully for duty.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: recklesslysober on March 15, 2017, 04:30:29 PM
We have spinach and arugula sprouts. Yum!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on March 15, 2017, 06:41:25 PM
I'm having really poor luck with seed starting this year. I've never had so much trouble. Fewer than half of the seeds I started have germinated and it's been nearly 2 weeks. Normally I'd have more sprouting by now.

I'm doing exactly the same thing as I've done every year, and every other year I've been good, so ????

The only thing I can think of is that it's too hot in our apartment. We can't control the heat, it's constantly blasting despite us frequently asking the landlord to turn it down a little. I thought seeds liked heat, but maybe this is too much for cool-weather crops?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on March 15, 2017, 06:51:35 PM
I started seeds a little over a week ago, in a windowsill box.

Two kinds of tomatoes: only one kind has sprouted thus far.
Hot peppers and sweet peppers: nothing yet.
Picking cucumbers: about half of them are up.
Brussel sprouts: literally every seed is already two inches tall, will have to do some serious thinning.
Oregano and Thyme: still tiny but reliably sprouted.
Basil:  probably less than half are up, but they were old seeds.

Really it's only the hot peppers that have disappointed me.  I couldn't get any to sprout last year, either.

Out in the yard, all of my blueberry bushes and the apple tree are in good shape.  The pomegranate I planted last year doesn't have any leaves yet so I'm not sure it survived the winter, but it's still early.  The strawberries appear to have self-mulched and may have choked on their own blanket of decaying leaves from last year's strawberry forest.  And it's still too early tell if the asparagus is coming back, they're only one and two years old and there's significant new weed competition in that bed.  edit:  I weeded.  Asparagus definitely still alive, I found some early shoots.

And they're not normally considered edible, but I have three new climbing rose bushes to plant tonight and a new 10 foot tall trellis for them to grow on.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on March 15, 2017, 06:56:33 PM
Supposedly asparagus doesn't compete well with weeds*, etc. you may want to clear some of that.

*according to an asparagus farmer on a locally produced public TV show.

I have trouble starting peppers too, I think my house is a bit too cold. I tried one set and got 2/4 to germinate, with one much slower than the first. I planted some more, and have 4/6 germinating, slowly.

I started some marigold for borders, and they germinated within 36 hours!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: geekinprogress on March 15, 2017, 07:19:57 PM
One brand of luffa seed has sprouted, no sign of life from the other brand.  Bummer, but I guess good I decided to try two varieties? 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 16, 2017, 02:36:45 AM
One brand of luffa seed has sprouted, no sign of life from the other brand.  Bummer, but I guess good I decided to try two varieties?

Last years we bought some herb seeds from a certain cheap chop. Non sprouted. Next time we should buy somewhere else. Or just stick to what we have started to do recently, putting veggie stems into earth. The spring onion is doing so well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tyn on March 16, 2017, 04:04:46 AM
I'm starting seedlings for my allotment (had it last year but most things got eaten slugs, but I've tidied up a lot since then so hopefully they'll have fewer hiding places), sprouting so far:

Artichoke, aubergine, cucumber, celery, kale, peppers (bell and some random little sweet ones from peppers I bought at the supermarket), tomatoes and a range of flowers. 

I also have rhubarb, raspberry, blackcurrants and strawberries in place.  Need to build some netting to protect them from birds, but they are only just waking up so I've got some time to do that.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on March 16, 2017, 11:36:52 AM

 I have various tiny sprouts for greens out in the atrium – I can't remember what I planted where, but it's lettuce or spinach or both – or Swiss chard, I suppose.


I still have a few tomato starts in the raised beds, but the deer seem to have realized that our dogs can't get to those beds. I'm going to need to protect around the base of another section with chicken wire.


 I still need to get out and check and see if my volunteer basil seedlings survived the freeze last night.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on March 16, 2017, 03:08:11 PM
I'll have to restart everything except 5 cucumbers. Bad soil (or low temps? I keep 67-69F inside). 2+ weeks lost but probably not a big deal as I planted first batch a bit too early hoping for late-April transplanting, while last frost could be as late as early May in Chicago. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SAfAmBrit on March 17, 2017, 08:36:42 AM
I finally have a lemon tree growing, in my garden. I was in hospital and I hate being bought flowers so my friend bought me my coveted lemon tree in a terracotta pot on wheels so when it gets too hot in summer I can move it. A LEMON TREE!

Oh the simple things that can make us happy!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on March 17, 2017, 08:51:46 AM
And, now my seed-starting pods are growing mold, so I had to throw out a bunch of them.

I have never had so much trouble! I guess I should've taken off the plastic cover even though the instructions say to leave it on, and I have always left it on. ??

The seedlings are really not enjoying how it's always in the upper 80s in my apartment, but there's nothing I can do about that. I don't feel comfortable having the window open to cool things off as there's no screen and we're in a very high-crime neighborhood. I'm just trying to keep them watered and cool them off that way. I tried a fan but it seems to just be moving the heat around.

We're moving in the beginning of April, to an apartment where we can actually control our own heat. So maybe I'll just have to start over then.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on March 17, 2017, 12:28:58 PM
I started seeds a little over a week ago, in a windowsill box.

Two kinds of tomatoes: only one kind has sprouted thus far.
Hot peppers and sweet peppers: nothing yet.
Picking cucumbers: about half of them are up.
Brussel sprouts: literally every seed is already two inches tall, will have to do some serious thinning.
Oregano and Thyme: still tiny but reliably sprouted.
Basil:  probably less than half are up, but they were old seeds.

Really it's only the hot peppers that have disappointed me.  I couldn't get any to sprout last year, either.

Out in the yard, all of my blueberry bushes and the apple tree are in good shape.  The pomegranate I planted last year doesn't have any leaves yet so I'm not sure it survived the winter, but it's still early.  The strawberries appear to have self-mulched and may have choked on their own blanket of decaying leaves from last year's strawberry forest.  And it's still too early tell if the asparagus is coming back, they're only one and two years old and there's significant new weed competition in that bed.  edit:  I weeded.  Asparagus definitely still alive, I found some early shoots.

And they're not normally considered edible, but I have three new climbing rose bushes to plant tonight and a new 10 foot tall trellis for them to grow on.

Hot peppers are really finicky - I've heard that they can take up to a month to germinate. Heat helps a lot - I had a small heat mat underneath mine. I started them Feb 20 and I would say it's at about 75% germination rate so far. Tomatoes seemed to germinate a lot faster, even without heat.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on March 17, 2017, 04:38:41 PM
 Basil died in the freeze, but I've got a whole bunch of lettuces coming up. Some of the tomatoes are still going strong – basically all of the ones the deer can't reach.  The sorrel kind of wilted in the cold, but it's perked back up and is blooming a bit, so it should do just fine.  I'll reseed basil this weekend if nothing pops up in the next day or so
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 18, 2017, 05:28:58 AM
This weekend we will plant a lot of herbs, but only in pots in the kitchen.
We also have hot pepper seeds and will try what is described above, using a heat mat, which we already have.
We have already planted cherrie tomatoes in another pot inside. Would be interesting.
The spring unions are ready for eating.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on March 20, 2017, 12:31:42 PM
I currently have my wee seedlings in a 72 cell seed starting tray, with seed starting mix. Does anyone know if I could use regular potting soil when I pot them up to bigger containers? It's just so much cheaper and I'll need to use quite a bit.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on March 20, 2017, 12:51:01 PM
I currently have my wee seedlings in a 72 cell seed starting tray, with seed starting mix. Does anyone know if I could use regular potting soil when I pot them up to bigger containers? It's just so much cheaper and I'll need to use quite a bit.

Yes, potting soil is fine.  As far as I know, the only difference between potting soil and seed starting mix is that the seed starting mix has been screened to remove the larger pieces, so that tiny seeds are more likely to find soil instead of air right after they sprout.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on March 20, 2017, 01:26:07 PM
I currently have my wee seedlings in a 72 cell seed starting tray, with seed starting mix. Does anyone know if I could use regular potting soil when I pot them up to bigger containers? It's just so much cheaper and I'll need to use quite a bit.

Yes, potting soil is fine.  As far as I know, the only difference between potting soil and seed starting mix is that the seed starting mix has been screened to remove the larger pieces, so that tiny seeds are more likely to find soil instead of air right after they sprout.

It is finer, and it's usually peat-based, so it's pretty devoid of nutrients.  I believe that is meant to prevent damping off, and usually a non-issue after the seed leaf stage.  Potting them up into potting soil will give them the nutrients they need.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow on March 20, 2017, 04:51:24 PM


Quinoa - excited to try this for the first time

I love quinoa, and it's pricey. I'm super interested to hear how this turns out.

You got it Cressida...PNW quinoa growing updates here! Will be a few months yet before I have any quinoa related stuff though.

Someone mentioned "salsa verde" earlier...just happens to be one of my most favourite things. So of course, tomatillo seeds have been purchased. Right now, onions and various braccias are sprouting happily under my grow lights. I foresee the purchase of another growlight apparatus soon...I knew that day would come. There was a reason I bailed on the Frugal March thread. ;)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: tomatoprincess on March 21, 2017, 09:34:49 AM
Hello everyone! New to this forum. I've been gardening for 5 years started as a stress relief after I read Baker Creeks book. 

This year I'm doing a lot of flowers, zinnia, sunflower, poppy, dahlia.
Veggie my goal is to use only the seeds I have and maybe buy 1-2 tomato plant as I'm in a new house and travelling a lot. There is going to be lettuce, chard, peas, watermelon hopefully and lots of basil.

My fiancé set up his shop light for me as a grow light. I know it's not the ideal spectrum but it seems like it might work given what I've read on the internet.

I'm in zone 4-5 btw.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on March 21, 2017, 10:37:00 AM
I killed most of my windowsill seedlings last weekend by failing to vent the enclosure on a very sunny day.  Will have to start again.

Still no luck with the hot pepper seeds, I may have to just buy starts.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei on April 11, 2017, 06:17:02 AM
Tomato plants transplanted in mid-late February.  Four plants in two Earthtainers, and two plants in pots with 5-1-1 mix.  I wish they got a bit more sun, but so far they seem to be doing well.  The cherries are fruiting quickly, the larger ones need to hurry up before the Texas heat hits us.

I've also got some herbs, but no other veggies.  This is my first year in a house with a yard, so I'm starting off small.  Our local nursery does small veggies/herbs for $1/pot, so I didn't care too much about starting the tomatoes from seed this year.  Next year I may try some more obscure varieties and need to do seeds.


Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on April 11, 2017, 06:19:38 AM
Oh lovey ooeei.

Still too cold here on average to put tomatoes out. But my starts are getting huge.

No germination of lettuce or peas I planted earlier. I guess I'll reseed the lettuce. Not sure about peas... it may have been too early...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei on April 11, 2017, 06:23:57 AM
Oh lovey ooeei.

Still too cold here on average to put tomatoes out. But my starts are getting huge.

No germination of lettuce or peas I planted earlier. I guess I'll reseed the lettuce. Not sure about peas... it may have been too early...

Yeah we have the opposite problem here, in a month or so it's going to be too hot for the blossoms to fertilize, so you've got to get started early.  This year is somewhat of an experiment to see how everything turns out, I'll be dialing it in next year.  Until now I've just done balcony planting with 4-5 hours of sun a day, which is not nearly enough for tomatoes.   

One plus to containers is being able to move them indoors if you want to get a little risky with your start date.  Granted, these Earthtainers are HEAVY when full.  Next year I'll probably start a bit earlier even, this year I had to build the containers and was a bit lazy about it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise on April 11, 2017, 08:17:03 AM
If you lke basil, I can't recommend the "Italian Cameo" variety (seeds available from Renee's Gardens) enough for containers. Thick bunches of leaves and hardly any stem. Need little space. I saved the seeds from a few years ago, and they have sprouted nicely this year... will see if this variety breeds true.


Does anyone have any favorites for growing in small containers, like on a small balcony?

Through trial and error, I've found that tomatoes (cherry or the "balcony" varieties), basil, and Serrano peppers seem the happiest on my balcony. Dill wasn't very productive, but I might replant again just because I love the smell of fresh dill. Other plants that I didn't have success with: cilantro, Thai chilis, strawberries (container variety- they made a few berries here and there but not that much). Ghost peppers grew ok, but then I wasted them when I never got around to drying them or making a hot sauce.

Any other ideas? My balcony is quite small (really a Juliette balcony), so I'm limited to pots and hanging pots.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 11, 2017, 09:45:09 AM
Did you guys know Aldi sells raised beds? I bought one for the little scrap of yard that I'm allowed to use at my new apartment. It will contain tomaroes.

There is still some space left over outside the bed, and I'm trying to figure out what to put there. No greens, as the neighborhood has a serious bunny problem and I don't want to put up fencing; my community garden bed is fenced so I will put the greens there.

I'm probably going to have more peppers than I can fit in the community garden, so maybe I'll put some of those in the yard. And eventually some basil. I also am seriously jonesing for some berry bushes, but I'm told that raspberries will become invasive, and since I'm renting that seems unwise. Maybe blueberries?

I want to get something in there growing NOW but it won't be warm enough for tomatoes, basil,  and peppers for at least another month, month and a half. Hmmm. Carrots? Onions? Herbs? I have a dill plant I started from seed that can probably go in the ground soon. Do bunnies eat dill?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: RetiredAt63 on April 11, 2017, 11:14:35 AM
I planted some of last year's bell and banana pepper seeds.  No germination with the bell peppers, about 1/3 germination with the bananas, which will give me enough plants.  I have been starting sweet potato slips, some of those are rooted and potted up.  Time to start some tomatoes.  We have just enough chance of late frost that the tender plants get planted the end of May.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 11, 2017, 11:40:03 AM
Did you guys know Aldi sells raised beds? I bought one for the little scrap of yard that I'm allowed to use at my new apartment. It will contain tomaroes.

There is still some space left over outside the bed, and I'm trying to figure out what to put there. No greens, as the neighborhood has a serious bunny problem and I don't want to put up fencing; my community garden bed is fenced so I will put the greens there.

I'm probably going to have more peppers than I can fit in the community garden, so maybe I'll put some of those in the yard. And eventually some basil. I also am seriously jonesing for some berry bushes, but I'm told that raspberries will become invasive, and since I'm renting that seems unwise. Maybe blueberries?

I want to get something in there growing NOW but it won't be warm enough for tomatoes, basil,  and peppers for at least another month, month and a half. Hmmm. Carrots? Onions? Herbs? I have a dill plant I started from seed that can probably go in the ground soon. Do bunnies eat dill?
Don't think they like herbs at all.
My experience with juneberries is that they take about three years to begin fruiting.  It is too alkaline for blueberries here so I have no wisdom about them but the plants are similar size and shape.  I have to fence mine because bunnies find them very tasty.
Raspberries are very spready but can be contained by the lawnmower if they are surrounded by turf.  I am not sure how quickly they will set fruit and you need a fair number to get any volume of harvest. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on April 11, 2017, 12:52:50 PM
I think some of my indoor starts (tomatoes) were too wet and got wilty from a fungal infection :( I clipped off the wilty bits and most of them seem to be bouncing back. Most of my other tomatoes seedlings are getting nice and stocky, which is great! Except that it's still dipping below freezing here and I won't be able to plant them out for another month at least!

We're starting to do yardwork and remove all of the gross overgrown plants (looking at you, lilacs). I'm hoping to eventually replace these with food bearing plants, ie: haskaps, saskatoons, apples, etc.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on April 11, 2017, 01:09:07 PM
Oh lovey ooeei.

Still too cold here on average to put tomatoes out. But my starts are getting huge.

No germination of lettuce or peas I planted earlier. I guess I'll reseed the lettuce. Not sure about peas... it may have been too early...

Yeah we have the opposite problem here, in a month or so it's going to be too hot for the blossoms to fertilize, so you've got to get started early.  This year is somewhat of an experiment to see how everything turns out, I'll be dialing it in next year.  Until now I've just done balcony planting with 4-5 hours of sun a day, which is not nearly enough for tomatoes.   

One plus to containers is being able to move them indoors if you want to get a little risky with your start date.  Granted, these Earthtainers are HEAVY when full.  Next year I'll probably start a bit earlier even, this year I had to build the containers and was a bit lazy about it.

This Spring is being a bit schizophrenic - some very warm days (or even a week) starting in early February, then back to normal temps, then up, etc.

I replanted peas, planted beans (2 plant starts, and direct seeds) - gave both inoculant.  Then planted some potatoes.
Radishes and beets are coming up. Brassica all look OK except when bunnies or birds can access them as a "salad bar". Garlic, rhubarb, and horseradish started to really take off now.

Oddly, some of the marigolds look burned, I assume it got too cold overnight one night. They are recent transplants, so not really hardened. I've started some more, but even with those we may need more for the garden.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on April 11, 2017, 09:46:49 PM
40 degrees weather, WTF!? Slowest germination and slow seedlings growth, nevermind starting anything outside except parsley and dill.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise on April 12, 2017, 06:01:08 AM
I also am seriously jonesing for some berry bushes, but I'm told that raspberries will become invasive, and since I'm renting that seems unwise. Maybe blueberries?

Blueberries grow wonderfully in containers and small spaces, as they require only shallow soil. Try a container variety such as "Top Hat".
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 12, 2017, 08:40:57 AM
I have a Top Hat! It bore well and the few berries I got to taste after the birds decimated the rest of them were pretty good. (Note to self- net it right away this year.)

I left it in its pot in the community garden bed, which we don't have access to until Saturday, so I don't know whether it made it through the winter. I have never, not once in all the years I've been gardening, successfully overwintered anything in a container - even stuff that's supposed to be impossible to kill like mint -  so I'm going to assume it's dead until I see otherwise. Following some advice I found online, last fall I buried its pot in the garden bed so that the roots would be protected against cold. Fingers crossed.

I wonder what would happen if I got another Top Hat and put it in the soil instead of a container?

It's in the 50s today and I took a chance and put my pots of greens outside, as they're looking pretty limp in my warm apartment.

And, one of my sugar snap pea plants is making a pea pod already!!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on April 12, 2017, 08:46:08 AM
My DH went out some rainy and foggy night to cut off the tops of some branches in a field of what he thought we grape bushes. We put them in pots in a warm place and they are doing very well, developing many leaves. Turns out they are raspberries. We'll plant them in the garden soon. I know they will grow big, so we'll need to put them some place controlled.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 12, 2017, 09:14:59 AM
It was wonderfully warm here yesterday and then the thunderstorm - complete with hail - coming down sideways.  Our porch is 10 feet deep and the hail stones were bouncing off the door.  Today it is just above freezing and cloudy and damp.  Wishing the furnance would turn on because my hands are freezing.
Have some greens up in the greenhouse
Flowers, tomatoes and peppers are up in the basement under the grow lights.  Some of the tomatoes were collected seeds and I have no idea what they are.  I meant to label them better last year and didn't, again.  Tags read: "mystery cherry dark colour or large lighter colour"
Ordered some more rhubarb and asparagus plants.  The ones I have are just not coming along well so am going to go for volume. Also ordered a collection of three species of Tayberries.  Had never heard of them before, but it isn't an expensive experiment.  The Juneberry experiment was very successful.

And the best surprise of all - drum roll please -

the shiitake mushrooms are coming out of a log that that I had thought was a complete bust.  Planted - inoculated? a bunch of logs in 2015 and nothing happened - except every chipmunk or bird or squirrel or raccoon pulled the plugs that took a day of drilling to install or so I thought.  I left the logs lying around for biomass and low and behold - while hanging out some laundry I noticed that there are mushrooms on one of them.  A bunch of tiny ones and two large ones.  The inoculant plugs ended up costing like $70 bucks so it was a really wasteful experiment and low and behold two mushrooms.....at a ridiculous unit cost.  Will try not to think about it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei on April 12, 2017, 11:21:27 AM
It was wonderfully warm here yesterday and then the thunderstorm - complete with hail - coming down sideways.  Our porch is 10 feet deep and the hail stones were bouncing off the door.  Today it is just above freezing and cloudy and damp.  Wishing the furnance would turn on because my hands are freezing.
Have some greens up in the greenhouse
Flowers, tomatoes and peppers are up in the basement under the grow lights.  Some of the tomatoes were collected seeds and I have no idea what they are.  I meant to label them better last year and didn't, again.  Tags read: "mystery cherry dark colour or large lighter colour"
Ordered some more rhubarb and asparagus plants.  The ones I have are just not coming along well so am going to go for volume. Also ordered a collection of three species of Tayberries.  Had never heard of them before, but it isn't an expensive experiment.  The Juneberry experiment was very successful.

And the best surprise of all - drum roll please -

the shiitake mushrooms are coming out of a log that that I had thought was a complete bust.  Planted - inoculated? a bunch of logs in 2015 and nothing happened - except every chipmunk or bird or squirrel or raccoon pulled the plugs that took a day of drilling to install or so I thought.  I left the logs lying around for biomass and low and behold - while hanging out some laundry I noticed that there are mushrooms on one of them.  A bunch of tiny ones and two large ones.  The inoculant plugs ended up costing like $70 bucks so it was a really wasteful experiment and low and behold two mushrooms.....at a ridiculous unit cost.  Will try not to think about it.

The mushroom experiment is great!  I've wanted to do it since researching it, that sounds pretty expensive though.  Mushrooms are just interesting things.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: geekinprogress on April 12, 2017, 05:59:33 PM
The fact that there are actually mushrooms now though is a great sign - since it did managed to get established within the log (and as long as it's not attacked by disease or battling it out with other fungi for dominance in the log) it will probably keep growing and fruiting for a good long while.  Frustrating that it's taken so long for payoff for sure, but the dividends over time will hopefully make it worthwhile.  Mushroom farming in logs is the gardening equivalent of investing in bonds :D
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 12, 2017, 07:35:39 PM
The fact that there are actually mushrooms now though is a great sign - since it did managed to get established within the log (and as long as it's not attacked by disease or battling it out with other fungi for dominance in the log) it will probably keep growing and fruiting for a good long while.  Frustrating that it's taken so long for payoff for sure, but the dividends over time will hopefully make it worthwhile.  Mushroom farming in logs is the gardening equivalent of investing in bonds :D
Thank you so much for the encouragement.  The ones I picked today are a really good size.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: geekinprogress on April 12, 2017, 10:52:18 PM
Thank you so much for the encouragement.  The ones I picked today are a really good size.

Yay, that's rad!  You'll have to update us if there are any new developments!  :D 

Speaking of rad, one of my luffa seedlings is doing pretty well.  Not convinced its roots will fare well in transplant so could still easily be a bust, but the dream is alive for now, at least. 

Plot assignments for the community garden at work are coming up in a few weeks.  The gardens aren't actually "open" until May-ish, which is a bit of a bummer because it'd be nice to try to direct sow a few things earlier, but whateva - it's a great location, they do a lot of setup for us, and it's free. 

Interesting re: overwintering questions above, I haven't had much success overwintering anything perennial before, but my chives are springing right up this spring.

Also, tangentially related to gardening - I started a few trays of cat grass for my cats, my parents' cats, and my friend's cats, using recycled to-go food containers and some of last year's used potting soil.  Going great so far, so I'm probably going to use this as a go-to gift for cat owning friends for the next couple months...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: RetiredAt63 on April 13, 2017, 08:03:39 AM
You are all doing so well!  My pepper plants are still tiny, but I just started my tomatoes.  All old seed, so in damp paper towels in the oven with the light on, for extra warmth.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise on April 13, 2017, 09:41:50 AM
I have a Top Hat! It bore well and the few berries I got to taste after the birds decimated the rest of them were pretty good. (Note to self- net it right away this year.)

I left it in its pot in the community garden bed, which we don't have access to until Saturday, so I don't know whether it made it through the winter. I have never, not once in all the years I've been gardening, successfully overwintered anything in a container - even stuff that's supposed to be impossible to kill like mint -  so I'm going to assume it's dead until I see otherwise. Following some advice I found online, last fall I buried its pot in the garden bed so that the roots would be protected against cold. Fingers crossed.

I wonder what would happen if I got another Top Hat and put it in the soil instead of a container?

I'm not sure... it would PROBABLY be just fine, but I haven't had much success with planting blueberries in ground. Last year I had 12 potted blueberries, and with considerable effort and hope I planted 10 of them. Only three are still alive, between summer drought, winter cold, and a husband with a weed whacker. 

A bright spot in my brown-thumb misery (I am an aces container gardener but apparently no good at keeping things alive in the ground) is a bunch of 20 ramps that I bought at the grocery store last spring and planted in a woodsy area. They disappeared without a trace by early summer, so I thought it was another fail for sure. But  3 of them are coming up!!  I hope we will have a nice patch some day.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on April 13, 2017, 12:04:46 PM
My new asparagus bed is coming in strong, I'm very excited.

Average date of last frost here is this weekend and the weather is warm, so I'm going to start hardening off my window sill seedlings for transplant to their new outdoor homes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 13, 2017, 12:44:37 PM
You are all doing so well!  My pepper plants are still tiny, but I just started my tomatoes.  All old seed, so in damp paper towels in the oven with the light on, for extra warmth.

Huh, I never heard of starting seeds that way. I may try this. I think my new apartment is too cold for successful seed starting, and some of my seed is old. I started them a few days ago in the peat pellets, which usually worked well in past years, but was struck by how cold it was in the room I have them in (only room I can put them in so that the kitty doesn't mess with them). Our old apartment constantly had the heat blasting - seriously, it was always in the mid-80s in there! - which was not too comfy for me but the warm-weather crops certainly enjoyed it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on April 13, 2017, 01:36:05 PM
Well, the slugs got all my pea plants. Guess I'll do a little pest control and try again.

I've planted loads (like 100) alpine strawberry seeds (yellow and red) in trays (using a tweezer for the seeds - painstaking!) and they are now up with their first leaves.  I'm excited about this as I'm going to use them to line the flower beds - they don't have runners and are supposed to grow okay in part shade so we'll see.  I've had one plant for a few years and the fruit is tiny but has a fantastic taste.  100 plants might even get me enough to make a couple jars of jam one day.

The regular strawberry plants have spread everywhere so I'll be doing some digging.  I've got a lot of extra raspberry shoots I have to remove too so if anyone is in Victoria and wants some let me know - Carolina and Autumn Gold for the raspberries and the strawberries are ever-bearing while the raspberries are fall-bearing with a smaller summer crop if you leave some of the canes in.   Some of the raspberry canes have flower buds already.   

I'm doing a long row of sunflowers at the back off the vegetable garden.  I've planted them in peat pots and they are up but their roots are big.  I guess this is why usually you'd direct sow them.  Hope they make it through the hardening off before the roots get too cramped. I've planted tomato seedlings outside already with more in seed trays. Also planted some zucchini starts. 

The dwarf peach, plum, nectarine and cherry trees are covered in blossoms - really pretty.  My clematis armandii is also blooming. 
I've come to love this vine for its evergreen nature and easy to grow ways - we get loads of blooms from the three we've planted and I think I'll plant more this year as they make a great fence cover at a time in early spring when nothing else is blooming.

If you are looking to grow blueberries in pots we've had excellent results with pink lemonade blueberries - they really are pink, prolific, and taste delicious.

Last fall I experimented with planting snow crocuses that I ordered from Brecks in the grass, and darned if it did not work out great.  The crocuses came out before the grass started growing and were done by last week when it was time to mow.  Really pretty - looked like this except i didn't have so many: https://oldhousegardens.com/LawnCrocus

So, now I have one empty half barrel to fill.  I'm thinking of another dwarf fruit tree.  Looking for something that is maybe a bit expensive in the store or perishable - maybe asian pear?  Maybe another fig tree?  Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: RetiredAt63 on April 13, 2017, 03:09:11 PM
You are all doing so well!  My pepper plants are still tiny, but I just started my tomatoes.  All old seed, so in damp paper towels in the oven with the light on, for extra warmth.

Huh, I never heard of starting seeds that way. I may try this. I think my new apartment is too cold for successful seed starting, and some of my seed is old. I started them a few days ago in the peat pellets, which usually worked well in past years, but was struck by how cold it was in the room I have them in (only room I can put them in so that the kitty doesn't mess with them). Our old apartment constantly had the heat blasting - seriously, it was always in the mid-80s in there! - which was not too comfy for me but the warm-weather crops certainly enjoyed it.

This is a must for peppers, my house is way too cold for them.  I don't bother with new tomato seed, but these will have iffy germination.  I plant them in starter pots as soon as there is any root, so there is no issue of roots growing into the paper towels.  Although wet paper towel rips nicely, so I can be slow and just pot up plants with roots in a blob of paper towel if things go too fast. Sometimes one or two seeds will be super fast and be big before I am even thinking of checking.

Biggest worry - forgetting they are in there and turning the oven on!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SAfAmBrit on April 15, 2017, 11:01:48 PM
I will be harvesting my sweet banana peppers tomorrow, hopefully I get more grown before the 110 weather. My tomatoes are growing - cherry tomatoes and roma are definitely doing well. My San Marinos not so good - plants look healthy just no tomatoes showing yet. We shall see.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on April 16, 2017, 12:06:18 AM
Our tomatoplants are growing green plants. They were started by putting slices of small tomatoes in a pot with earth. Because of our cold climate they are standing in the living room and are lokked after well.
We have also some samplings of raspberry (commercial size berries) and they are all growing green leaves on the stems. Even the chili peppers are starting to grow. Both the chili peppers and the raspberries are standing in a plastic crate in the living room, on a warm floor.
In the kitchen we have 3 pots of herbs, started from seeds. The corianders is becoming recognazible. The other pots contains some small green leaves that all look like basil, although I'm sure I planted different herbs. I will know when they get bigger.
In the kitcher is also a plastic box with samplings of grape plants, on a heating pad. They are the most difficult to grow un til now. The samplings we cut from our own grapes never started to get leaves. Now we try with some others.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 16, 2017, 05:55:52 AM
Outside rhubarb and chives are up. Shiitakes look like they got hit by frost.  Bunny barricades are up in our front garden.
More lettuce seed planted in greenhouse along with dill, coriander, parsley, kale, cukes.  The greens and a whack of weeds are coming along.  No sign of peas yet.
All tomatoes are up and onto secondary leaves.
Some of the Cal wonder pepper are up - highly variable germination rate from the same seeds in the same tray on the same heating pad.
Nasturiums, morning glory, strawflowers, marigolds are up and the morning glories are likely going to need to go into the greenhouse to slow them down.

I want to plant herbs for under the grow lights - greenhouse is not warm enough for basil.  I also want to grow zinnias, portulaca and scarlet runner beans.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 16, 2017, 08:23:24 PM
All of the tomato seeds that I started have sprouted! So did the purple basil and - FINALLY - the cilantro. Of course, the cilantro sprouted the day after I gave up and bought a plant; I figured after 3 tries with no success, I was going to write off the seed, which is quite old.

I'm not allowed to plant my community garden bed until next Saturday - when of course it will be cold and rainy, sigh. But we had our garden volunteer cleanup day yesterday. I signed up so I could get a sneak peek at my plot and see what survived winter. Almost everything did! Only thing that died was the oregano. This is the second year in a row this has happened; I guess oregano does not like to overwinter in my plot. Maybe this year I will dig it up and bring it indoors.

My dwarf blueberry and dwarf raspberry both look great! I didn't realize dwarf raspberries will spread, but I found raspberry shoots in places they don't belong. All 3 strawberries look good. Thyme and chocolate mint are slowly regenerating, and the chives got huge! Minor bummer, only about half the garlic I planted came up. Maybe because it was a mild winter with almost no snow.

Bad news: There is almost certainly lead in the soil in the yard of the building I just moved to, which I have permission to plant. I was going to do a soil test, but a friend who is an urban farmer told me that given the neighborhood I live in, it almost certainly would come back positive, so I may as well save the time and expense of the test and do containers and raised bed only. I already have the raised bed, but will need some bigger containers. Which means I will also need more soil to fill them with. Argh. Oh well, at least I found this out before I stuck my onion sets in the ground and gave my family lead poisoning!

This is getting to be more expensive than I had expected. At least all of my seeds this year were free, and assuming everything continues to do well, there are only a couple of plants I'll need to buy (favorite high-yielding plants that I've not yet found seeds for.)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on April 16, 2017, 10:37:21 PM
One of my kids dumped out my window sill tray onto the floor, crushing everything that was growing, destroying everything that was recently planted, and completely ruining my carefully labeled ordered grid.  I think the whole thing is a loss. 

I've probably got enough toms and cucs into larger pots already, but I'm going to need to restart everything else.  So sad.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: frugalwitch on April 17, 2017, 05:01:55 AM
One of my kids dumped out my window sill tray onto the floor, crushing everything that was growing, destroying everything that was recently planted, and completely ruining my carefully labeled ordered grid.  I think the whole thing is a loss. 

I've probably got enough toms and cucs into larger pots already, but I'm going to need to restart everything else.  So sad.

That's so sad, so sorry :(.

I started cold tolerant varieties in my zone 5b garden and they are finally starting to show up! Also started about 72 seedlings of tomatoes and peppers. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to take care of them all :P.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on April 17, 2017, 06:10:26 AM
One of my kids dumped out my window sill tray onto the floor, crushing everything that was growing, destroying everything that was recently planted, and completely ruining my carefully labeled ordered grid.  I think the whole thing is a loss. 

I've probably got enough toms and cucs into larger pots already, but I'm going to need to restart everything else.  So sad.

That's so frustrating. But, it's just stuff - messy, messy stuff.
Third time is the charm, right?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on April 17, 2017, 08:12:52 AM
I am probably going to be dialing it back a bit this year.  My seed starting efforts have been a little lackluster for one.  I started the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in 72 cell trays right away when I got back from an extended work trip to DC, but then I had to travel a few more times, and was just busy, and the trays kept drying out, so I had very spotty germination.  Then I didn't get them transplanted to cups soon enough, so the seedlings I do have are smaller than they should be at this point.  I've also started kale, cabbage, cauliflower and onions in cups, and some of the cauliflower is buttoning at the 4-leaf stage, so that is a total loss.  Probably also from uneven watering, though this was supposed to be a hardy, drought tolerant variety.  Outside, germination of the root veggies and greens I've planted has been really slow.  On the other hand, we have weeds galore.  Not so much in the veggie beds, but weed control is going to take time away from getting the veggies tended.  Last weekend I ripped out a raised bed that has always been plagued by grass.  The other raised beds are needing an infusion of composted horse manure. 

All in all, I think I just need to focus on growing in a few beds and building the soil in the others this year, then go big again next year.  Also, I just bought a new horse and will be riding two for the next couple months, and honestly, as much as I love gardening, riding wins.  I'm raising chicks this year too, and need to build an mother in law suite for my old girls, so the new girls can take over the main coop in about six weeks.  So yeah.  Less emphasis on the veggie farming this year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: rockeTree on April 18, 2017, 04:52:59 AM
So far no exciting new veggies but shallots and garlic overwintered, peas are up, bunch of new flowers for the bees in the new beds out front, and this morning brought the first bean sprout! Cukes and tomatoes and peppers on the way (buying tomato plants- cats and kids hate seedlings, as noted above...).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cranky on April 18, 2017, 05:40:41 AM
Let's see... my thyme, oregano, chives, sage, and mint all look robust, and we've been using all of those for a while, now.

I have three dwarf blueberries in tubs. They're a couple of years old, and we've only gotten a few berries from them the previous summers, but they are certainly flowering enthusiastically this year!

The first round of onions are up, and the peas are in planters on the deck - I need to put some strings up for them soon!

Lots of seeds in various stages.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise on April 19, 2017, 05:34:32 AM
For blueberry enthusiasts, I forgot to point out that you often need a combination of different varieties for effective pollination and fruit set. I like to visit the garden centers at the end of the season and pick up the bushes when they are 50% off.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei on April 19, 2017, 12:11:43 PM
Saw some of the Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes blushing today, hopefully we can start harvesting soon!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei on April 20, 2017, 06:26:40 AM
Took some pictures yesterday, everything is coming along nicely.  For size reference, those totes are 31 gallons, and just under 3' long.  The plants are getting TALL. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 20, 2017, 08:12:50 AM
Oh wow, I am so envious. Where are you? Here in Chicago we've still got another month until last frost so we can't even plant yet!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei on April 20, 2017, 08:25:53 AM
Oh wow, I am so envious. Where are you? Here in Chicago we've still got another month until last frost so we can't even plant yet!

Houston, TX, we had I think 3 days below freezing this last winter.  I've worn shorts and t-shirts for the most part since mid February.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on April 20, 2017, 08:56:35 AM
Got some chard planted outside that is looking good.   Pepper plants indoors also looking good -- will set them out soon, as soon as I get my new hugelkultur raised bed finished.  Two out of our three fig trees look like they made it through the winter.  We are still learning about those, as we just moved down south last year.  We are right at the edge of where you can keep figs going, and it was probably not a coincidence that the two with the best protection (cages stuffed with leaves) made it and the other did not.  Hoping that the dead-looking one has enough energy in the roots to at least send some shoots up -- then we can try to nurse it through next winter and keep it going.   

Planted some young blueberry bushes last weekend and the deer have been at them -- eating all the leaves off.  We have acres of beautiful grass, and they have to eat the blueberry leaves?  Why? Fencing the blueberries today.  That and/or deer netting.  Damn deer. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Roots&Wings on April 20, 2017, 11:16:30 AM
Good luck protecting those blueberries! I'm planting a blueberry bush this weekend, will see how it goes. At least not many deer around here, birds will likely be the biggest competitors.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 20, 2017, 05:27:14 PM
No deer here either but I lost almost all my blueberries to the birds (I assume. Hope it wasn't rats.) last year. This year I'm netting whatever fruit bushes I end up putting in.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on April 21, 2017, 04:10:02 AM
Yeah, I was definitely prepared to argue with the birds over the berries when the time came, but these bushes are brand new.  No flowers even, just a few leaves.  I hadn't ever heard that blueberry leaves were so yummy that animals would go out of their way for them?   Weird.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on April 21, 2017, 04:30:57 AM
This weekend I'm going in search of a mulberry tree to plant for the birds.  I'll plant it far from the house.  Learned my lesson on that one.  Mulberry tree = purple, staining bird poop.   :)  And you don't want it anywhere where you would pick up fallen fruit on your shoes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on April 21, 2017, 07:34:03 AM
This weekend I'm going in search of a mulberry tree to plant for the birds.  I'll plant it far from the house.  Learned my lesson on that one.  Mulberry tree = purple, staining bird poop.   :)  And you don't want it anywhere where you would pick up fallen fruit on your shoes.

The birds "plant" the seeds EVERYWHERE! Especially along fence lines, where they sit and poop out seeds. The seedlings are very hard to kill, made even more difficult by trying to work around your fence.

I'd never voluntarily plant a mulberry, unless I had several acres of land... Or even then.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: rachellynn99 on April 23, 2017, 04:33:18 PM
We've got lots of goodies going this year also. So far I've got out:
60 tomato plants ( variety of breeds)
34 pepper plants ( variety of breeds)
eggplants
zuchinni
yellow squash
cucumbers
onions
corn
potatoes
beets
broccoli
cauliflower
lettuces
radishes
strawberries
blueberries
muscadines( a variety of grapes grown in the south)

We also planted a few new fruit trees in addition to the ones we already have so hopefully we'll up our fruit production this year
pear
plum
sour cherry
apples
peaches
pecan

Last year we got over 50 gallons of pecans, the year before that nothing, so who knows this year? We got tons of pears last year, but just a handful of plums. We only got about 6 peaches this year, but we are looking to have more this year!

This Fall will be the first time we harvest our honey as well to I'm excited about that.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on April 23, 2017, 04:40:41 PM
We've got lots of goodies going this year also.

Wow, you are WAY more serious about this than we are.  I thought I was going overboard with eight toms, five cucumber, and three pepper plants.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: rachellynn99 on April 23, 2017, 05:45:12 PM
So we kind of have this weird commune thing going on- my husband and I built our house on land gifted to us by my father - a piece of his land. So we live pretty close to them and we share gardening space, gardening duties and then of course share the bounty. We have 3 growing kids to feed- and I don't work during the summer so I have time to can, freeze and work in the garden.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 23, 2017, 06:18:41 PM
Wow, you are WAY more serious about this than we are.  I thought I was going overboard with eight toms, five cucumber, and three pepper plants.

Um, I will not disclose how many tomato seedlings I currently have, haha. (Fewer than rachellyn, except I'm cramming it all into a TINY yard and a 4 x 8 community garden bed.) I may have a problem.... :D

I pretty much spent the entire weekend planting cool-weather crops in the community garden bed, which opened for the season yesterday. I bought 2 lettuce, 1 spinach, and 1 cilantro plants as the cilantro didn't come up from seed (although of course it did the day after I bought the plant! Oh well, cilantro bolts quickly here so good to have backup) and I can't seem to get lettuce started in pots, it only does well for me if I sow it right into the ground. I have, I think, 8 different varieties of greens going, between the plants and the seeds.

Also put in onion sets, carrot seed and snow pea seeds, and planted the 2 sugar snap peas I started from seed that are already making pea pods. Oh, and the "mammoth dill" I started from seed. That thing'll be as tall as me when it's fully grown.

My dwarf blueberry bush is covered in flowers and two out of three strawberry plants are flowering too. Everything looks good, I feel very accomplished!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on April 23, 2017, 09:34:36 PM
I bought five huge used concrete planters today.  Going to plant dwarf fruit trees with strawberries - I have hundreds of new strawberry plants popping up and I've given away a bunch.  Had to replace some of my sunflower seedlings that toppled over.  And hung up a stained glass square in the garden arch - it looks pretty nice when the sun hits it. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on April 24, 2017, 08:01:36 AM
Totoro that looks great! Good luck with the dwarf fruit trees.

Thanks!  I'm pretty amateur but we started with zero (backyard was a mix of weeds, broken fencing, gravel, pavement, concrete and a big pile of dog doo in the corner where the neighbours had been dumping over the fence for years!), so anything is an improvement.  It sounds like you are in a more southern region than me (Victoria BC), but I'm interested n trying lemons, kafir limes, pomegranate and persimmon.  Our winters are mild enough that some of the tropical stuff will do ok on a south-facing wall with xmas lights for warmth over winter.

I have a hard time spending all the funds at once for the garden - it sure adds up when you start from nothing - but the sooner you plant the perennials and trees the longer you enjoy the benefits and more established they become, so it probably best to bite the bullet and get all the rest done this year.   If you haven't tried those pink lemonade blueberries I recommend them - not sure if they pollinate the regular sort.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 24, 2017, 08:42:05 AM
Oooooo... I really wanted to try the pink lemonade blueberries. I was very curious about those, but couldn't stomach paying $35 for the bush. But that was at Fancy Garden Center; I know I saw them at Home Depot too and am pretty sure they were cheaper there. Instead I got a Northcountry and a Northsky blueberry; both dwarf bushes that get 1-2' high. That works better for me anyway as we're renting so those can go in containers and travel with us should we need to move again (please god no; we just moved a few weeks ago and I never want to do that again.).

I agree with you, totoro; I have startup costs this year due to having a yard for the first time in my life and it's been painful. I'm trying to make frugal choices, but there is some stuff that you just cant get around. Just the cost of soil/compost alone, ugh. My landlord gave me permission to start a compost pile in the backyard so hopefully that will at least partially solve that issue in coming years.

When I had chosen my blueberries, I asked one of the workers if they'd already been treated with soil acidifier, or if I still needed to put some on. And they gave me a small free paper bag of acidifier! That was a nice surprise. Saved me some money.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: starjay on April 24, 2017, 08:54:20 AM
Alrighty, though I'm a renter and so can't dig holes in the ground, I'm joining this thread in a limited manner: got some free, second-hand large pots, filled with dirt, and planted a small tomato plant in each. They're lined up on the south-facing side of the house! Hopefully this summer we'll have delicious tomatoes to enjoy!

And I've lined the stoop with pots of herbs: the rosemary, parsley, and oregano that survived our (mild) winter, plus new pots of basil, garlic chives, lavender, and dill. Cilantro is next!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on April 24, 2017, 09:04:51 AM
Oooooo... I really wanted to try the pink lemonade blueberries. I was very curious about those, but couldn't stomach paying $35 for the bush.

We got ours two years ago at a non-fancy garden place out in a more rural area - they were 15 each.  They are in pots and produce a lot of blueberries (pinkberries?) - more than the regular bushes have for us - and did so from year one.  They are about a foot taller now.  This year I'm going to put them into the garden bed and free up the pot space for fruit trees on the patio I think. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trudie 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on April 24, 2017, 10:45:32 AM
!!!! They really ARE pink! I want some. Dammit.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog 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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: boarder42 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior 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!)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: geekinprogress 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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog 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....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele 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.     
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX 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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow 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...
(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2818/34294074315_6a4fa21509_z.jpg)

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. :)
(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2842/34209190236_b6cf273e64_z.jpg)

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2882/34092800572_dcb03bd376_z.jpg)

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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele 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.


 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele 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.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow 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!

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2847/34179328011_35ba5907d2_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow 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. :)
(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2913/33487012234_c67ba7ab45_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SpeedReader 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
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele 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.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior 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. :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX 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. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 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
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior 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. :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise 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.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow 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.

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2950/34029991360_a5f4577a04_m.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: AerynLee 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

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170503/6418a571d822376e8d9e8b407959efac.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170503/c4a192f1029150f5482a09db38c87224.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele 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.     
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele 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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor 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.  ;)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: AerynLee 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei 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? 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 04, 2017, 05:56:11 PM
Hmmm - y'all are making me envious with your photos.  My tomato plants are back in the house because it is going to be too cold overnight for the next little while to risk overnight in the greenhouse.  Snow flurries are forecast for Sunday.
And it has been raining steady for the last seven hours with more rain for the next 24 hours at least.  The forecast is for 15-25mm tonight, 15-35mm tomorrow and 10-20 tomorrow night. And periods of rain Saturday. 
My seeds are for sure down in the river. 
I got all the rain barrels set up around the house and they are now full. 
Enough already!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Blissful Biker on May 04, 2017, 08:27:55 PM
This week I am going to plant radishes, kale and spinach, which are tasty things that prefer cold.  There is still a risk of frost for another few weeks but I am feeling bold!

In late May I'll plant tomatoes, beans, zucchini, carrots and let the kids try a few new things to experiment with.

I fertilised the raspberries and strawberries today.  Hope to see another bumper crop this year.

My biggest problem has been aphids getting the kale by July every year.  I heard marigolds would prevent aphid infestations so I planted lots of them with the kale last year.  They looked beautiful but did not seem to be a deterrent for those darn aphids.  :(

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 04, 2017, 08:33:41 PM
Blissful Biker, what do you fertilize your raspberries with? I have them for the first time this year, do they need anything special or does a general organic fertilizer suffice?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Blissful Biker on May 04, 2017, 08:35:37 PM
I use fish fertilizer in the spring for everything including the raspberries.  Stinky but effective. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 05, 2017, 04:42:10 AM

My biggest problem has been aphids getting the kale by July every year.  I heard marigolds would prevent aphid infestations so I planted lots of them with the kale last year.  They looked beautiful but did not seem to be a deterrent for those darn aphids.  :(

I had the same issue with my kale last year Blissful.  I guess not enough predator insects?  I see in some of my seed catalogs that they sell packages of ladybugs.  If it happens again this year I might give that a try. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 05, 2017, 05:39:16 AM
Do you other DIY-growers plan your holiday around the harvesting season?  For work reasons we often need to take vacation in mostly July, and often the first week of August, and these are exactly the weeks that our strawberries need harvesting. Luckily the spinach went better and could be eaten on time.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Blissful Biker on May 05, 2017, 08:37:05 AM

My biggest problem has been aphids getting the kale by July every year.  I heard marigolds would prevent aphid infestations so I planted lots of them with the kale last year.  They looked beautiful but did not seem to be a deterrent for those darn aphids.  :(

I had the same issue with my kale last year Blissful.  I guess not enough predator insects?  I see in some of my seed catalogs that they sell packages of ladybugs.  If it happens again this year I might give that a try.

That is a good idea!  Thanks
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 05, 2017, 08:51:07 AM
Do you other DIY-growers plan your holiday around the harvesting season?  For work reasons we often need to take vacation in mostly July, and often the first week of August, and these are exactly the weeks that our strawberries need harvesting. Luckily the spinach went better and could be eaten on time.

Yes!  We've done this.  In the past we have planned our vacation travel around the garden.  Tried to squeeze it in between the busy planting time and the busy harvesting time.  Our biggest worry then was making sure we had our watering system (drip irrigation) set up to run while we were gone.  We had a neighbor check every few days to make sure that went ok.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 07, 2017, 07:26:08 PM
This Prior, how do you like our Chicago weather? I put the thermometer outside last night, it showed 29.8F as low. WTF?????
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 08, 2017, 01:23:11 AM
I removed all weeds from the flower garden and vegetable patch. We have sown spinach. We have put the chili pepper plants to bigger pots. They are doing really well. The first strawberry bushes are getting flowers.
Quite a few flowers in the flower bed are coming up. A couple are already showing flowers.
The herbs in the kitchen window are still growing, but not yet big enough to eat. The remaining spring onion cuts are having high greens again and can be eaten again. I will have to put a new garlic fed in the pot as the old one died.
2 Yearlings from the grape bushes are starting to grow leaves. This was a difficult process.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 08, 2017, 03:45:49 AM
Great weekend in the garden! We had some brisk overnight lows in the 30s, but everything came through it ok.  I had my new little pepper plants (only 3" tall) under row cover, so they did ok.  Sowed kale. 

Worked in the orchard for hours yesterday. We have a five year old apple tree named Bob that has a cool story.  Bob started out as a seed inside an apple my husband was eating. As he finished the apple DH noticed that one of the seeds was sprouting.  He gave it to me and I put it in a pot. That seed took off, and a year later was a foot tall seedling.  I planted him outside, and his first two years were rough.  Twice-- twice! -- the rabbits got to him and ate him down to the ground, every leaf and twig.  And twice -- twice! -- he grew back. Talk about a survivor.   Last spring, when Bob was four years old and about 18 inches tall we moved cross country.  We dug him up and took him with us in a pot.  We planted Bob in the orchard at our new place, and he took off.   He is now almost six feet tall.  He has survived one deer munching last fall which took off most of his branches, but he is looking pretty good now.  He has lots of branches and leaves, and we have him well fenced. Damn deer.  Spent some good time on Bob yesterday -- pruning, fertilizing, weeding, mulching, making sure his fence is secure.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on May 08, 2017, 04:02:59 AM
Barring further herbivore attacks, when will Bob likely make fruit?

We have a dog we've nicknamed Bob , Bob Barker 😀
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei on May 08, 2017, 06:04:04 AM
Great weekend in the garden! We had some brisk overnight lows in the 30s, but everything came through it ok.  I had my new little pepper plants (only 3" tall) under row cover, so they did ok.  Sowed kale. 

Worked in the orchard for hours yesterday. We have a five year old apple tree named Bob that has a cool story.  Bob started out as a seed inside an apple my husband was eating. As he finished the apple DH noticed that one of the seeds was sprouting.  He gave it to me and I put it in a pot. That seed took off, and a year later was a foot tall seedling.  I planted him outside, and his first two years were rough.  Twice-- twice! -- the rabbits got to him and ate him down to the ground, every leaf and twig.  And twice -- twice! -- he grew back. Talk about a survivor.   Last spring, when Bob was four years old and about 18 inches tall we moved cross country.  We dug him up and took him with us in a pot.  We planted Bob in the orchard at our new place, and he took off.   He is now almost six feet tall.  He has survived one deer munching last fall which took off most of his branches, but he is looking pretty good now.  He has lots of branches and leaves, and we have him well fenced. Damn deer.  Spent some good time on Bob yesterday -- pruning, fertilizing, weeding, mulching, making sure his fence is secure.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but apples don't grow "to type" from seed.  It's literally a lottery every time you plant an apple seed.  Bob could have the tastiest fruit in all of the world (in which case, you can probably sell branches to a few orchards to graft onto their trees), or he could be king of crabapples.  Kind of cool to wait and see what happens.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Roots&Wings on May 08, 2017, 06:18:00 AM
Do we get to see a pic of Bob, the-most-determined apple tree? :) And how do you mulch/fertilize your fruit trees, curious what you use?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 08, 2017, 06:19:48 AM
Great weekend in the garden! We had some brisk overnight lows in the 30s, but everything came through it ok.  I had my new little pepper plants (only 3" tall) under row cover, so they did ok.  Sowed kale. 

Worked in the orchard for hours yesterday. We have a five year old apple tree named Bob that has a cool story.  Bob started out as a seed inside an apple my husband was eating. As he finished the apple DH noticed that one of the seeds was sprouting.  He gave it to me and I put it in a pot. That seed took off, and a year later was a foot tall seedling.  I planted him outside, and his first two years were rough.  Twice-- twice! -- the rabbits got to him and ate him down to the ground, every leaf and twig.  And twice -- twice! -- he grew back. Talk about a survivor.   Last spring, when Bob was four years old and about 18 inches tall we moved cross country.  We dug him up and took him with us in a pot.  We planted Bob in the orchard at our new place, and he took off.   He is now almost six feet tall.  He has survived one deer munching last fall which took off most of his branches, but he is looking pretty good now.  He has lots of branches and leaves, and we have him well fenced. Damn deer.  Spent some good time on Bob yesterday -- pruning, fertilizing, weeding, mulching, making sure his fence is secure.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but apples don't grow "to type" from seed.  It's literally a lottery every time you plant an apple seed.  Bob could have the tastiest fruit in all of the world (in which case, you can probably sell branches to a few orchards to graft onto their trees), or he could be king of crabapples.  Kind of cool to wait and see what happens.

Interesting!  I don't know much about fruit trees, but it's high time I learned because we have a bunch of them on our new property.  Plus I have Bob to care for.  I don't even know what kind of apple Bob came from!  I think he was probably Fuji, but not sure.   It's a total crapshoot.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on May 08, 2017, 06:30:40 AM
Great weekend in the garden! We had some brisk overnight lows in the 30s, but everything came through it ok.  I had my new little pepper plants (only 3" tall) under row cover, so they did ok.  Sowed kale. 

Worked in the orchard for hours yesterday. We have a five year old apple tree named Bob that has a cool story.  Bob started out as a seed inside an apple my husband was eating. As he finished the apple DH noticed that one of the seeds was sprouting.  He gave it to me and I put it in a pot. That seed took off, and a year later was a foot tall seedling.  I planted him outside, and his first two years were rough.  Twice-- twice! -- the rabbits got to him and ate him down to the ground, every leaf and twig.  And twice -- twice! -- he grew back. Talk about a survivor.   Last spring, when Bob was four years old and about 18 inches tall we moved cross country.  We dug him up and took him with us in a pot.  We planted Bob in the orchard at our new place, and he took off.   He is now almost six feet tall.  He has survived one deer munching last fall which took off most of his branches, but he is looking pretty good now.  He has lots of branches and leaves, and we have him well fenced. Damn deer.  Spent some good time on Bob yesterday -- pruning, fertilizing, weeding, mulching, making sure his fence is secure.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but apples don't grow "to type" from seed.  It's literally a lottery every time you plant an apple seed.  Bob could have the tastiest fruit in all of the world (in which case, you can probably sell branches to a few orchards to graft onto their trees), or he could be king of crabapples.  Kind of cool to wait and see what happens.

Yes, apples are interesting that way. Some varieties have even come from a sport (~ side branch) of a tree that produced better fruit.

Bob may be a great find - "The Red Delicious apple variety was discovered in 1875 as a chance seedling growing on Jesse Hiatt’s farm in Peru, Iowa. Thinking it was a nuisance, Hiatt tried to chop down the seedling, but the tree grew back repeatedly. On the third time, Hiatt allowed it to grow and produce apples."

I think the original Red Delicious was likely a tastier apple than we see today. We may have selected for production, shipping, and handling characteristics that inadvertently selected against the best flavor and texture.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 08, 2017, 06:33:37 AM
Do we get to see a pic of Bob, the-most-determined apple tree? :) And how do you mulch/fertilize your fruit trees, curious what you use?

Ha ha -- sure.  I will try to take a pic tonight when I get home.  :) He is tall and thin.  Hoping he "fills out." 

I pulled out all the grass to about a three foot diameter around his trunk.  I bought some 19-10-5 fruit tree fertilizer at the garden center and sprinkled it on the ground around him. (The folks at the garden center said ideally I should have fertilized earlier this spring, but still fine to do it now, as he is not flowering). Then I put down composted grass clippings and shredded wood as a mulch to keep the grass down.
 
If any of you know about apple trees, please feel free to give me pointers!  I don't know much. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 08, 2017, 06:36:09 AM
Barring further herbivore attacks, when will Bob likely make fruit?

We have a dog we've nicknamed Bob , Bob Barker 😀

Bob Barker -- love it.  :)

Don't know when Bob will make fruit.  He hasn't flowered yet.  And honestly, after the deer attack in the fall, he needs to work on growing his branches back before he should think about fruit. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: RetiredAt63 on May 08, 2017, 07:58:29 AM
A friend gave me some garlic from her garden last fall.  I ate the bigger cloves and planted the smaller ones.  I have masses of garlic up.  And so far it hasn't drowned, I love raised beds.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 08, 2017, 08:04:51 AM
It stopped raining in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  Glorious sunshine.  Even though the soil was heavy I planted five asparagus roots to add to the five I already have.  I made a mental note that this asparagus bed needs a heaping helping of manure.  Only two of the existing plants are really producing. 

I am also trying Tayberries.  I had never heard of them before.  They are a cross between a raspberry (like 'em) and a blackberry (like 'em too).  I got three plants.  They won't get full sun all day as my neighbour's pine trees cast a shadow over them late in the day but these trees are about five years past their prime and planted way to close together.  I can't see them being around for five more years. 

I have two rhubarb roots to plant.  I have rhubarb in my front garden but it doesn't get enough sun so I haven't been able to harvest it yet.  I am thinking of planting these two new ones in the shared part of the community garden.  It is full sun. 

The other big job I did was plant the potatoes.  The dandelions just started blooming in the lawn so it was time to get that job done. I got my free wire cage set up in a good sturdy circle.  This year I made a watering tube.  Last year it was very difficult to get the water into the tower.  I used three pots of decreasing size partially filled with rocks and soil.  The pots are right in the center of the tower stacked in a pryamid. I also had a short piece of scrap downspout that I placed into the stacked pots so that I can put the hose in the top and fill the pots deep within the tower.  I emptied the kitchen compost bin from last year and the yard waste composter from three years ago into the wire cage.  I planted the seed potatoes about 8 inches from the outside edge.  There are five layers of potatoes in total so it works out to about 6 inches between each layer of potatoes. I used some of the old leaves that were still on the gardens to hold the lovely light compost in the wire.  I topped it off with a 10 gallon pot of manure and another of soil from a trenching project three years ago.  I will likely need to add more material over the summer as the compost and leaves compact down quite a bit.  I think there might be more warmth with a little decomposition still happening but am not sure if that causes some nitrogen deficiency.  Last year the crop was disappointing but that might just be drought related.  Hopefully the design modifications improve the yield.

I did not go to my allotment garden to see what happened with all the rain.

I think I found yellow morels growing in the front garden near the tayberries.  Pretty cool if I can forage on my own property! 

Fruit tree growers:  I haven't had time to check out the videos at orchardpeople.com but someone recommended this site.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on May 08, 2017, 08:12:28 AM
Try pouring the water left from cleaning and soaking morels into your yard. A friend did this and has morels coming up in her yard! Easiest foraging ever!  Not sure if she picked spots with specific characteristics - like shade or west side or...)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on May 08, 2017, 09:52:44 AM
Planted two pomegranates, four figs and a red fleshed apple in half wine barrels plus two persimmons in the ground all while being scolded by a nesting pair of wrens as I was too close to the birdhouse - sorry!  Next year that birdhouse is getting moved to somewhere away from the patio. 

Anyhow, see how these all do in our pacific northwest climate and if they do well paw paws are up next.  I am also definitely planting a lemon and lime tree next week after watching this and visiting the experimental farm:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX-R8sq6-vg

Also moved around a bunch of strawberry runners and am almost ready to plant the wild strawberry seedlings although I fear the slugs.

This is what the apple is supposed to look like:

http://www.freshplaza.com/2014/1218/moon1.jpg
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 08, 2017, 10:01:06 AM
This Prior, how do you like our Chicago weather? I put the thermometer outside last night, it showed 29.8F as low. WTF?????

I HATE IT. HATE HATE HATE HATE.

At least I am at the lakefront so we didn't get frost. I think we were in the high 30s. And at least it is sunny.

I keep telling myself that last frost date here is 5/15 so technically these temps are "normal" for us. But it's still making me really cranky. Although my greens are really enjoying the cool weather. Yum, spinach!

I'm now going to have my yearly whine about how hard it is to harden off warm-weather seedlings when one is at work all day while the sun is shining and cannot run the plants inside if it gets cold or starts violently storming or they seem unhappy. My tomatoes and peppers get sunburn every year when I plant them because I only have 2 days a week that I can set them out in the sun for a couple hours and baby them. They actually spent a lot of time outdoors this weekend since it was sunny, if cold, and they tolerated it OK. Too bad I won't be able to do that again until Saturday.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on May 08, 2017, 10:45:56 AM
Third year of gardening for me. The garden is done/for myself and local family (parents, brother). This year we probably have too many of somethings, but here's the list right now:

~ ?? Strawberries (~4'x6' worth right now, haven't counted plants as plants from the shoots last year and the year before are probably 1/2 of that).
5 pickling cucumbers
2 grape tomatoes (Tami G's, they were very prolific last year).
5 roma tomatoes (various)
11 slicing tomatoes (various)
12 bush beans (first time doing these, we'll see how that works out)
5 mammoth jalapenos
4 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
2 pepperoncini peppers (just planted seeds about a week ago, hoping they come up).
3 cayenne peppers
2 chili peppers (1 Fresno and I can't remember the other one's name right now)
some yellow onions
and a bunch of carrots.
also
Genovese Basil, dill, thyme, rosemary, oregano, hot and spicy oregano, leaf parsley, curly parsley, some romaine lettuce, and a bunch of cilantro
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on May 08, 2017, 11:25:32 AM
Tris Prior - this year my method of hardening off my heat-lovers was to keep them in the garage by a sunny window all the time. I brought them out on a couple of decent weekend days, then put them back in the garage. Then I pulled them out one sunny evening and completely forgot that I had them outside until the next day when I was at work. :) They lived, and actually they seem to be doing pretty well, despite the cool spring we're having in the NW. I planted them in buckets so that they wouldn't get root bound, and so I can move them to our new place, but that's been it so far. I can't believe I didn't kill them with my neglect.

The strawberry bed at my parents' house has overflowed and now there are plants growing outside of the bed. I'm going to dig them up and take them with me when we go. Free strawberry plants!

Also, this is the first year my daughter (3 1/2) has started to really understand growing food. We've been checking on the strawberry blossoms frequently and I've been explaining that they'll turn into strawberries soon. She's waiting anxiously. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 08, 2017, 03:06:54 PM
Yeah, my mom keeps hers in the garage - sometimes inside the car which is in the garage if it's particularly cold or windy. Unfortunately, no garage here - but I'm grateful that my new apartment has a back deck that gets sun. At my last place I was running plants up and down 3 flights of stairs to the tiny scrap of yard that the building had. It was a huge pain, given the large quantities of plants I start from seed every year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on May 08, 2017, 03:48:24 PM
Harvested some of the lettuces and spinach today - grown in containers on the deck.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on May 08, 2017, 09:26:24 PM
The weeds are so awful this year I'm about to cry uncle.  Actually, progress has been made, but it seems like each time I resolve to garden, I just deal with another section of weeds, and never get around to planting anything. 

Eight tomato seedlings survived my neglect and were rewarded with roomy gallon pots in the greenhouse, where they're growing rapidly.  None are cherry tomatoes, so I sucked it up and paid $3.99 for a black cherry tomato.  I have 20 or so pepper seedlings and too many eggplants.  Really need to get my cucurbits started, but just haven't gotten to it.  My cole crop seedlings are all stunted and root bound in their cups, and I'm not sure if it will even be worth it to transplant them.  I might just chuck them and focus on some fall crops instead.  I don't know what is going on with the things I direct-sowed in March.  The peas are thriving, but the radishes and lettuces have just finally started to grow.  A few carrots have come up, but are barely growing.  The spinach made the 4 leaf stage and promptly bolted; I think I'm done with spinach.

On the up side, I have lots of overwintered leeks, a few beets, and in excess of 100 garlic plants growing nicely.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 09, 2017, 07:29:41 AM
I have had pretty good results hardening plants off with putting them outside late afternoon the day before a cloudy day in a fairly windless location.  If they get used to the wind first to strengthen their little stems before having to deal with full on sun and rain, they seem to be fine.

I have one more night of frost so one more day of everything being light deprived.  Tomorrow am everything goes into the greenhouse again.  I need to cut back a curly willow tree that blocks the greenhouse and get the replacement vent lifts installed but I don't know if I can have time tomorrow to do that.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 09, 2017, 08:20:27 AM
Has anyone used a vitamin B supplement on their plants? I was volunteering with my community garden org on Sunday, and mentioned that my pepper seedlings, while they don't look unhealthy, seem to have stopped growing. One of the garden leaders recommended that I visit this hydroponic garden supply store (which of course is only open when I'm at work so I can't go until Saturday) for a vitamin B supplement, which solved this problem for her. This supposedly jumpstarts seedlings that look OK but just aren't getting any bigger.

Has anyone heard of this? She couldn't remember the name of the supplement, and the store's far enough away that if I could order online instead, that'd be good.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 09, 2017, 08:38:54 AM
@This Prior.
Exactly same situation with my peppers. They just stagnated
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 09, 2017, 09:46:55 AM
Yeah, must be the cold weather. This is the place my garden org sent me to: https://www.brewandgrow.com/ Maybe it's this: http://www.brewandgrow.com/grow/b-772.html

But YOW, that is expensive. Cheaper to just buy new starts, if my peppers don't make it. Yikes!



Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Roots&Wings on May 09, 2017, 02:46:24 PM
^ Awww, it's no wonder Bob is now flourishing, what a great spot!!! Very nice protective barrier too. And great job posting the pic...no idea why they go sideways sometimes :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 10, 2017, 05:25:02 AM
So -- this involves a different kind of 'gardening', but here goes.   This summer our kids and I are going to try to rehab this old water/rock garden on our property.  It must have once been beautiful, but now is just overgrown and hidden.   It's a ~15 ft long artificial 'streambed' which runs downhill to a small artificial pond that is about 6 feet across and about 3 feet deep.   We would like to clean out the pond and get the waterworks running again, then landscape around it to make it a nice place to spend time.   This past year of living here we noticed the pond is heavily used by the tree frogs in the spring to lay their eggs and hatch out their babies.  We would not want to take that away from them.   It is also used by the bears, who stop by on hot summer nights to take a dip and cool off.  Kind of like a big bathtub, haha. I'm kind of curious what the liner is made of on the bottom of this little pond, and if the bears' claws have done it any damage over the years.   It's still holding water, so I guess it can't be too bad . . .

Should be an interesting project!   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on May 10, 2017, 09:44:48 AM
I planted some seeds indoors in a seed starter about 2 weeks ago, and everything is growing nicely except for my bell peppers.  What's up with that?  Not a single sprout.  Carrots took a long time but finally have tiny sprouts.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 10, 2017, 10:18:51 AM
In my experience, bell peppers take a long time to sprout, especially if it is not warm in your house. (In my last apartment, where we could not control the heat and it was always 85° in there, the pepper seedlings did great.) I know they sell heat mats that you can put under your seed-starting cups or pods or whatever. I haven't tried this, but I may next year as my seedlings did not really enjoy my much colder new apartment this spring.

Anyway, don't give up, and if you have a warmer spot in your house, maybe try moving them there?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on May 10, 2017, 11:14:28 AM
Thanks for the tips!  We are in the shoulder season where it's warm enough to shut off the heating system, but the inside temp is in the low 60s.  I can see the peppers not wanting to sprout at these temps.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on May 11, 2017, 06:58:55 AM
So -- this involves a different kind of 'gardening', but here goes.   This summer our kids and I are going to try to rehab this old water/rock garden on our property.  It must have once been beautiful, but now is just overgrown and hidden.   It's a ~15 ft long artificial 'streambed' which runs downhill to a small artificial pond that is about 6 feet across and about 3 feet deep.   We would like to clean out the pond and get the waterworks running again, then landscape around it to make it a nice place to spend time.   This past year of living here we noticed the pond is heavily used by the tree frogs in the spring to lay their eggs and hatch out their babies.  We would not want to take that away from them.   It is also used by the bears, who stop by on hot summer nights to take a dip and cool off.  Kind of like a big bathtub, haha. I'm kind of curious what the liner is made of on the bottom of this little pond, and if the bears' claws have done it any damage over the years.   It's still holding water, so I guess it can't be too bad . . .

Should be an interesting project!

That sounds really lovely!  You may want to do some research on frog habitat - I'm not sure if they'll appreciate the moving water, but you could probably create a more still area in the pond for them to lay their eggs.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on May 11, 2017, 07:40:47 AM
Thanks for the tips!  We are in the shoulder season where it's warm enough to shut off the heating system, but the inside temp is in the low 60s.  I can see the peppers not wanting to sprout at these temps.

Pepper seeds "can" germinate in soil temps from 60-90F, but do much better towards the high end of that spectrum (85F being about ideal). Low 60's *may or may not* be warm enough for any given seed. They can also take up to 3 weeks to germinate.

At ~75F, my pepperoncini seeds took right at 3 weeks to germinate in my Aerogarden, in which most things germinate at the lower end of their germination time estimates (herbs that said 5-8 days to germinate were germinating in 3 days for instance).

You may need to use a heat pad or other similar method to raise the temps to get them to germinate.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 11, 2017, 08:30:50 AM
My carrot seeds have sprouted! Finally! So has almost all of the lettuce/greens. The only thing that didn't come up were the Asian greens, which I was curious about. Oh well. I should have plenty of lettuce otherwise.

It looks like it's going to warm up next week - high 70s?!? so I'm contemplating putting some of my tomatoes in. Do I dare tempt fate, when a few years ago it snowed on May 19?! Meh. They're probably OK in their pots for a while, but Boyfriend is eager for the plants to be out from under the grow light. (due to the way our apartment is configured, his office is the only room with a door where the grow light will fit, and behind a door is essential so the cat doesn't eat the plants.) Hmmm.

Maybe the warmth will also help the stunted pepper seedlings?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 12, 2017, 03:47:17 AM
So -- this involves a different kind of 'gardening', but here goes.   This summer our kids and I are going to try to rehab this old water/rock garden on our property.  It must have once been beautiful, but now is just overgrown and hidden.   It's a ~15 ft long artificial 'streambed' which runs downhill to a small artificial pond that is about 6 feet across and about 3 feet deep.   We would like to clean out the pond and get the waterworks running again, then landscape around it to make it a nice place to spend time.   This past year of living here we noticed the pond is heavily used by the tree frogs in the spring to lay their eggs and hatch out their babies.  We would not want to take that away from them.   It is also used by the bears, who stop by on hot summer nights to take a dip and cool off.  Kind of like a big bathtub, haha. I'm kind of curious what the liner is made of on the bottom of this little pond, and if the bears' claws have done it any damage over the years.   It's still holding water, so I guess it can't be too bad . . .

Should be an interesting project!

That sounds really lovely!  You may want to do some research on frog habitat - I'm not sure if they'll appreciate the moving water, but you could probably create a more still area in the pond for them to lay their eggs.

Thanks, Horsepoor. I think you may be right about that.  I'll do a bunch of research before we do anything! 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 12, 2017, 07:02:32 AM
My carrot seeds have sprouted! Finally! So has almost all of the lettuce/greens. The only thing that didn't come up were the Asian greens, which I was curious about. Oh well. I should have plenty of lettuce otherwise.

It looks like it's going to warm up next week - high 70s?!? so I'm contemplating putting some of my tomatoes in. Do I dare tempt fate, when a few years ago it snowed on May 19?! Meh. They're probably OK in their pots for a while, but Boyfriend is eager for the plants to be out from under the grow light. (due to the way our apartment is configured, his office is the only room with a door where the grow light will fit, and behind a door is essential so the cat doesn't eat the plants.) Hmmm.

Maybe the warmth will also help the stunted pepper seedlings?

Put my tomatoes out yesterday. Could not wait any longer... and bam.. 44F overnight 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 12, 2017, 08:36:38 AM
Ferrum, it's going to be in the 80s next week, apparently?! I'm considering putting some of the bigger tomatoes in, if that really happens. I'm just so paranoid from that one year when it snowed in late May. I should probably locate my frost blankets.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: starjay on May 12, 2017, 08:44:36 AM
Ferrum, it's going to be in the 80s next week, apparently?! I'm considering putting some of the bigger tomatoes in, if that really happens. I'm just so paranoid from that one year when it snowed in late May. I should probably locate my frost blankets.

Would a water wall (or whatever the brand name is) help protect your tomatoes when the temp drops? My mom used them a lot when we lived in upstate New York State, near Lake Erie, because we had a fairly long winter and similarly variable temperatures in the spring. Something like this product (https://www.lehmans.com/product/wall-o-water-tubes/seeds-and-planting), to insulate the plant a bit.

For all I know, you've already tried this kinda thing and it didn't work, but Mom swore by it, so I thought I'd mention.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 12, 2017, 09:37:57 AM
Those look awesome! What a great idea. But I've got around 20 tomato seedlings, and at $30 a pop for those Wall o'Water things.... yeah, not in the budget. The frost blanket works ok, it's just a pain in the ass to get it looped around the tomato cages and secured so that it doesn't blow away in the wind (which actually happened one year, taking a branch of a tomato plant with it.)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: starjay on May 12, 2017, 10:08:46 AM
Oh geez, I didn't realize how many seedlings you have. Gotcha!

Ha, and I didn't even look at the price, I just found a link to illustrate what I was talking about.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on May 12, 2017, 11:50:49 AM
Herb garden planted in the self-watering cedar planter boxes I built and installed on the deck railing.

Basil, parsley, dill, cilantro x 5, spicy oregano in this one.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170512/a22f61ac0ac0f2d1dde2af90b7b3fcd0.jpg)

Regular oregano, some lettuce, and other stuff from seed in this one.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170512/8fb7082b0053501a4f195de6becc08b2.jpg)

Planted some that were already grown/growing, other stuff from seed.

I moved the basil outside because holy fuck does that grow fast. If left in the Aerogarden it would overshadow everything else if I didn't cut it back daily.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sisto on May 12, 2017, 03:23:11 PM
We have a dwarf Fuji apple, a dwarf nectarine, and a dwarf peach tree. I love the fruit it provides, but we are all organic and fairly lazy gardeners so it sometimes has bug bites and irregular fruit etc. Then we have 2 blueberry bushes, 2 strawberry plants, and a raspberry bush. We also have some herbs that seem to stay year round, rosemary, sage, and oregano and a year round artichoke/s. Then we plant a garden in the spring. This year we have zucchini, straight neck yellow squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, peas, kale, lettuce, cilantro, thyme, and parsley.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on May 13, 2017, 09:35:25 AM
Love the planter, Starjay!

It was 33 this morning, and dropping into the 30's again tonight, so I'm not planting out yet.  It was nearly 90 on Thursday afternoon; the weather is giving me whiplash...

$30 for Wall-O-Waters seems high?  The local garden center sells a 3-pack for $15.  Still fairly expensive when you have lots of plants, but they do work well.  One of my co-workers always puts his tomato plants out in them in April, well before our usual last frost date and swears that it allows them to grow a big root system so they take off faster when the weather warms (and he his a PhD ecologist, so I tend to trust his observations on the topic).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow on May 13, 2017, 10:04:41 AM
Looks like I have a pretty serious wireworm problem. Might have to unleash some nematodes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 14, 2017, 05:48:51 PM
Transplanted everything out. Just because too tired to move stuff in/out, worry about cold/heat... Chicago, you know
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 14, 2017, 06:14:09 PM
Glorious weekend in the garden.  Direct-seeded more kale, planted out cucumber and tomato starts, planted two new grape vines (Muscadine -- very excited about those), and weeded and mulched the two young fig trees we planted last summer. They look pretty good --  a little winter damage toward the ends of their branches, but plenty of leaves and new growth lower down.  We learned a lot last winter about how to protect figs, so we'll do a better job wrapping them this fall.   Our big fig (was here when we moved in last year) survived the winter but had considerable damage. Will have to give some thought to how to cold-protect something the size of a small tree.

Also bought a few cantaloupe starts.  DH has volunteered to hoe up a new in-ground bed for those guys tomorrow. 

We located a bunch of blackberries in different areas of our property, and we are going to relocate them to a central, organized berry patch.     
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 14, 2017, 07:15:31 PM
I hear you, Ferrum. I got a case of the fuck-its and put seven tomatoes in the ground this weekend. Just the ones that were getting tall and really wanted to be in the ground.  I have frost blankets if the weather goes to shit. Hopefully they'll be all right.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on May 14, 2017, 09:33:44 PM
Looks like I have a pretty serious wireworm problem. Might have to unleash some nematodes.

Muah'Dib
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: starjay on May 15, 2017, 08:55:16 AM
Love the planter, Starjay!

It was 33 this morning, and dropping into the 30's again tonight, so I'm not planting out yet.  It was nearly 90 on Thursday afternoon; the weather is giving me whiplash...

$30 for Wall-O-Waters seems high?  The local garden center sells a 3-pack for $15.  Still fairly expensive when you have lots of plants, but they do work well.  One of my co-workers always puts his tomato plants out in them in April, well before our usual last frost date and swears that it allows them to grow a big root system so they take off faster when the weather warms (and he his a PhD ecologist, so I tend to trust his observations on the topic).

The planter IS awesome, and it belongs to jlcnuke - I can't take credit for that.

I'm sure the wall-of-water thing is cheaper elsewhere; that was just the first link I happened on, and then copied, into my post to illustrate what I was describing. Mom swore by these years ago, and there's no way she would have or could have paid the equivalent money 30ish years ago. We were too poor then...one of the reasons she had a garden was to keep food on the table. Even now, when she gardens more for pleasure than for necessity, she wouldn't fork out that much for them (and she still uses 'em here in the Southeast...just earlier in the year, given how long our growing season is).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 15, 2017, 10:34:15 AM
Put my peppers outside yesterday. A f...g bunny already killed one :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on May 15, 2017, 12:02:11 PM
Ferrum, my sympathies on those GD rabbits. Little fuckers decimated my seedlings.

About the wall-o'-water things, could you not just reuse milk jugs and whatnot as a cheaper/free alternative? I mean, fill old plastic bottles with water and set them around the plants.

Now that I'm writing that out I'm thinking of my own heat-lovers and how they've been rather pitiful since I planted them out. I think I'll do that this afternoon when I get home. I should be able to get roughly 800 seltzer-water bottles from my parents.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 15, 2017, 12:47:19 PM
Thanks for sympathy. I'm gonna shoot these bastards (have 3 constantly living here).
I can't imagine refilling the water "gates" every day with warm water, or is it not needed? I have ~23 tomatoes, ~35 peppers, ~15 cucumbers total
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 15, 2017, 12:52:17 PM
Bunnies eat peppers? Aw, shit. I was planning on putting the peppers in my unfenced raised bed at home, rather than greens, since those are obviously bunny food. And I didn't want to deal with fencing in the home bed; I have fencing around the community garden bed and it is such a PITA.

Sigh. I guess I'll have to put some chicken wire around the damn thing after all. Stupid bunnies.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 15, 2017, 12:59:08 PM
Bunnies eat peppers? Aw, shit. I was planning on putting the peppers in my unfenced raised bed at home, rather than greens, since those are obviously bunny food. And I didn't want to deal with fencing in the home bed; I have fencing around the community garden bed and it is such a PITA.

Sigh. I guess I'll have to put some chicken wire around the damn thing after all. Stupid bunnies.

They do. Last year they ate two peppers. One recovered suddenly (I was pleasantly surprised)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on May 15, 2017, 02:10:17 PM
Ferrum, my sympathies on those GD rabbits. Little fuckers decimated my seedlings.

About the wall-o'-water things, could you not just reuse milk jugs and whatnot as a cheaper/free alternative? I mean, fill old plastic bottles with water and set them around the plants.

Now that I'm writing that out I'm thinking of my own heat-lovers and how they've been rather pitiful since I planted them out. I think I'll do that this afternoon when I get home. I should be able to get roughly 800 seltzer-water bottles from my parents.


 My grandmother did this,  first with glass Coke bottles or chipped canning jars and then later, after plastics became common, with 2 liter bottles. In later years, when she had an in heated greenhouse, she painted the 2 liter bottles black and set them against the north wall where they heated in the sun all day And kept everything warm at night.  But earlier, yes, bottles all around sensitive plants. Plastic bottles are better for this because you can put the lid back on and the water doesn't evaporate. [size=78%] [/size]
Title: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: rockeTree on May 15, 2017, 03:22:35 PM
Bunnies ate my damn marigolds this year and left the lettuce. World turned upside down.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on May 15, 2017, 05:20:09 PM
Everything is almost in the ground now, but the weather is still not cooperating.  Going to be a short growing season this year by at least a month.

I've planted less variety this year than last because the strawberries went to town and stole the space.  The rest is mostly peas, tomatoes and herbs so I guess there is less to go wrong with a shorter growing season.  The rest of the food garden is a perennial mix of small fruit bushes (raspberry, blueberry, black and red currant - haskap did not make it) and dwarf trees (apple, peach, nectarine, persimmon, cherry, pomegranate) under-planted with, yes, strawberries, which are also filling the spare space in the patio planters, and I gave loads away.  I think I started with 10 plants about 2 years ago and now I easily have more than 100.

I also have about 60 alpine strawberry seedlings left to plant in the borders, but they are not quite big enough for me to feel ok about the slug menace that I suspect needs addressing.

Also, good news, our kitten is no longer using the indoor litter box.  Bad news, the wine barrel planters on the patio with the fig trees are the new preferred it spot.  Don't ask how I discovered this.  So, anyways, I trimmed up some prickly holly and sprinkled in the barrels along with some cayenne and so far so good.  Totally ignored the outdoor litter area we created for her though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow on May 15, 2017, 05:25:39 PM
Looks like I have a pretty serious wireworm problem. Might have to unleash some nematodes.

Muah'Dib

*snort*

Planted another row of beets yesterday....and will probably do one more in a couple of weeks. One more planting of peas too I think, as it is my opinion you can never have enough fresh peas ready to be plucked from the vine. I have 15 cabbage plants in the ground and they seem to be thriving already - I will need to develop a strategy for proper utilization when the time for harvesting comes.

Quinoa is sprouting.

The weather looks to be clearing up and warming up significantly starting in a few days. At that point, tomatoes, squash, and cukes will transplanted into the garden - and it will be time to plant beans, both bush and pole varieties. I think I will wait for a bit more serious heat to put the peppers out.

And if only Swiss chard tasted as good as it looks. :)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4183/34299778710_819680ca52_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on May 15, 2017, 06:04:14 PM
"And if only Swiss chard tasted as good as it looks.."

Yeah, learned my lesson.  Turns out you can have too much of a sort of good thing.  Did not make the planting list this year.  Neither did spinach because, as much as I like it, the slugs like it more.

P.S. Would you like some strawberries?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on May 15, 2017, 08:49:37 PM
I have a question about 'intensive gardening' and spacing.  I have fairly limited space this year as it's my first garden.  How tight can I pack veggies in a raised bed?  I know it varies per plant type, but it looks like I have things a bit tighter than recommended for some items, like cucumbers for instance...

Also what's the deal with sweet corn - how hard is it to grow?  Thanks!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 16, 2017, 05:08:07 AM
I have a question about 'intensive gardening' and spacing.  I have fairly limited space this year as it's my first garden.  How tight can I pack veggies in a raised bed?  I know it varies per plant type, but it looks like I have things a bit tighter than recommended for some items, like cucumbers for instance...


I've always planted things way closer than recommendation in my raised beds and have had good luck.  Think in terms of sun, water, food, and air movement.  If the plants have what they need, they will do fine.  You will likely need to feed more often (with compost or whatever) if you are planting intensively. 

What are you planting, besides cukes?   As for cukes, they are rowdy -- vining all over the place.  My favorite way is putting them in pots up against a fence and letting them climb up chicken wire or hardware cloth.  Saves on space in the raised bed.   If you definitely want them in the raised bed, you can plant them next to the outside edge and let them spill down over the side onto the ground.  I have a friend who grows them 'down and out' like that, and they do well.   
   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on May 16, 2017, 07:41:14 AM
Thanks for the compliments on the planter Horsepoor and Starjay :)

I have a question about 'intensive gardening' and spacing.  I have fairly limited space this year as it's my first garden.  How tight can I pack veggies in a raised bed?  I know it varies per plant type, but it looks like I have things a bit tighter than recommended for some items, like cucumbers for instance...

Also what's the deal with sweet corn - how hard is it to grow?  Thanks!

This is a good site for basic space requirements using square foot gardening. Just put in the size of your garden and then drag and drop plants to each area to see how many can be planted.

http://www.gardeners.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Gardeners-Site/default/KGP-Design

For cucumbers, I recommend trellising vining plants instead of using bushes so you can fit a lot more in the same ground space.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on May 16, 2017, 08:00:34 AM
Thanks for the help.  So far I've planted:

In the raised bed (with raised bed compost soil):
Carrots - about 3 inches apart
Peas - with some chicken wire to climb, about 6 inches apart
Leaf Lettuce - about 6 inches apart
Strawberries - just one plant - near edge
cucumbers - about 6 inches apart with some near edge and some near chicken wire

On the ground - experimental bed with just loam and fertilizer:
Sweet Corn - 4 rows of 5 plants each - about 6 inches apart.  This is probably pretty dense for corn.  Hopefully OK?
More cucumbers - overflow
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on May 16, 2017, 08:11:55 AM
I plant peas one inch apart - those you can space closely in the row than you have.   I don't plant corn because we would be feeding the raccoons, but this person does and plants closer than you have: http://www.homestead-acres.com/how-to-grow-corn-in-square-foot-garden/
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 16, 2017, 09:35:03 AM
Thanks for the help.  So far I've planted:

In the raised bed (with raised bed compost soil):
Carrots - about 3 inches apart
Peas - with some chicken wire to climb, about 6 inches apart
Leaf Lettuce - about 6 inches apart
Strawberries - just one plant - near edge
cucumbers - about 6 inches apart with some near edge and some near chicken wire

On the ground - experimental bed with just loam and fertilizer:
Sweet Corn - 4 rows of 5 plants each - about 6 inches apart.  This is probably pretty dense for corn.  Hopefully OK?
More cucumbers - overflow

Hey Bender
Can't comment on the corn (never grown it) but all other spacing looks great -- except you can put the peas closer together.  I do about three inches for climbing peas.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: wannabe-stache on May 16, 2017, 09:47:10 AM
OK - let's get this party started!

What are you growing this year?
Trying anything new this year?
What did you learn from past years?
Best tips to pass along.
Having problems?

I am trying to grow cilantro, basil and garlic.  All in pots, outside in South Florida.  The basil keeps getting fungus and dying, quite frustrating.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on May 16, 2017, 12:19:34 PM
Thanks again all - this is a great thread!  I'm encouraged to plant some more!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on May 16, 2017, 02:54:50 PM
I wouldn't bother with a corn patch that size, bender.  It requires a pretty big block to get good cross pollination.  When I've tried small blocks, even with some hand pollination, I've gotten partially filled cobs, and it's tall, so it shades everything else out.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on May 16, 2017, 03:03:45 PM
Ok I was reading about the cross-pollination today.  How much corn would be enough?  My wife says I won't be successful in growing corn and I want to prove her wrong!!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on May 16, 2017, 04:40:08 PM
Ok I was reading about the cross-pollination today.  How much corn would be enough?  My wife says I won't be successful in growing corn and I want to prove her wrong!!

That's the best reason to grow something. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rosy on May 16, 2017, 05:31:57 PM
OK - let's get this party started!

What are you growing this year?
Trying anything new this year?
What did you learn from past years?
Best tips to pass along.
Having problems?

I am trying to grow cilantro, basil and garlic.  All in pots, outside in South Florida.  The basil keeps getting fungus and dying, quite frustrating.

Another Floridian here:)
If you are growing the basil in a pot - the fungus will live on. Dump the soil then cClean the pot with lots of vinegar, then brush with hot water and dish soap, then plain water. Spend the extra money on moisture control potting soil and your plants and you will be very happy:)

As far as Basil - I'd recommend that you find African Blue - very fragrant, with a slightly spicy (not hot) peppery flavor. The leaves are green/purplish. It likes the heat as long as you give it water, it will turn into a little mini bush. With lots of TLC it will live for about three years.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: o2bfree on May 16, 2017, 05:47:19 PM
Planted so far:

Started the above inside because we're having an unusually COLD and WET spring here in the NW. It was friggin 41 degrees outside this morning! Got them under an LED grow light, and added a 125W heat lamp last weekend because they're in the back room and we don't keep the heat on back there.

Started snow peas outside a couple weeks ago, and they're about an inch tall now. Hubby put in some potatoes, and those are coming up as well.

We had problems with rabbits last year. Never had them before, but the hill at the back of our property got cleared last year, so they probably got flushed out of there and were looking for new territory. Haven't seen any yet this year, maybe the hawks and eagles have been doing their thing.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on May 16, 2017, 06:25:07 PM
Ok I was reading about the cross-pollination today.  How much corn would be enough?  My wife says I won't be successful in growing corn and I want to prove her wrong!!

My corn year before last was about as successful as I've ever managed, and I think the patch was about 4x10'?  Last year I did more like 8x12' but more spread out, and still had some unfilled ears, but it was pretty good.  IMO, dent corn is more satisfying, because it's used after it's off the cob vs. eating sweet corn on the cob when the cobs aren't totally filled.

You can grow nice big corn stalks, just the actual kernels might be a problem except for the plants in the middle of the row.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 17, 2017, 03:54:46 AM
Planted more tomatoes last night, then watered and mulched with the stuff in my big leaf bin.  (Leaves, grass clippings, etc). Man that is quite the ecosystem in there.  Loaded with worms and crickets. I picked up a big handful of mulch, felt movement and dropped it (I was thinking a snake).  And a big fat lizard came running out.   I'd live in there too if I was a lizard or a snake -- it's like the reptile 'grocery store'. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 17, 2017, 07:46:27 AM
Ferrum, my sympathies on those GD rabbits. Little fuckers decimated my seedlings.

About the wall-o'-water things, could you not just reuse milk jugs and whatnot as a cheaper/free alternative? I mean, fill old plastic bottles with water and set them around the plants.

Now that I'm writing that out I'm thinking of my own heat-lovers and how they've been rather pitiful since I planted them out. I think I'll do that this afternoon when I get home. I should be able to get roughly 800 seltzer-water bottles from my parents.


A few years ago I would drive out of my driveway to go to work everyday and they would sit around at the top eating grass and giving me the finger (they literally laughed at me).  After decimating my garden, I couldn't take it any more. My sons and I spent a day driving around in my truck on my ten acres drinking beer and using a spring air to shoot those little bastards.  We killed 22.  Made some rabbit stew (not very good).

Fast forward a few years and I spotted one on his way to the garden yesterday.  I may have to do another cleansing.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 17, 2017, 07:48:36 AM
Thanks for sympathy. I'm gonna shoot these bastards (have 3 constantly living here).
I can't imagine refilling the water "gates" every day with warm water, or is it not needed? I have ~23 tomatoes, ~35 peppers, ~15 cucumbers total

Shoot 'em now.  The thing about that saying "multiple like rabbits"?  That's a no-shitter.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: 10dollarsatatime on May 17, 2017, 11:34:36 AM
Still prepping my garden for planting.  Which is fine.  It freaking snowed last night.  Should warm up after this weekend and I'll be good to go.

I've got the day off on Friday, so I'm planning on getting compost (lots of it) from the city compost yard.  They charge $2 per square yard for residents and I'm planning on at least $30/worth.  My garden is tilled up lawn.  I spent a month last year just sifting out rocks and gravel.  The soil isn't high quality, even though I've manured and mulched every year for the past 3 years.  I'm hoping a huge infusion of compost will help the process.

Haven't really decided what I'm planting yet.. should have figured it out already.  But I've discovered that I can't eat nightshades anymore, which means more than half my garden is available.  I used to plant a lot of potatoes, peppers and tomatoes.

I'm thinking:
Spaghetti Squash
Sweet Meat Squash
Zucchini
Cantelope
Cucumbers
Green Beans
Peas
Heirloom Red Runner Beans
Sunflowers
Sweet Potatoes
Carrots
Parsnips
Rutabegas
Turnips
Kohlrabi
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Shallots
Dinosaur Kale
Green Onions

And I'm planning on putting strawberries in one of the front flower beds, and planting herbs in the other.  We'll see how much I can actually get done...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Elderwood17 on May 17, 2017, 12:32:15 PM
Nothing beats food you have grown yourself.

So far we have harvested a couple pounds of asparagus, some rhubarb and several cuttings of lettuce.

The blackberry and grape vines are looking great.  We have some cantaloupe and watermelon planting but not all of them came up yet, so I may need to replant this weekend.   



Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on May 17, 2017, 12:38:59 PM
Looks like I have a pretty serious wireworm problem. Might have to unleash some nematodes.

Muah'Dib

*snort*

Planted another row of beets yesterday....and will probably do one more in a couple of weeks. One more planting of peas too I think, as it is my opinion you can never have enough fresh peas ready to be plucked from the vine. I have 15 cabbage plants in the ground and they seem to be thriving already - I will need to develop a strategy for proper utilization when the time for harvesting comes.

Quinoa is sprouting.

The weather looks to be clearing up and warming up significantly starting in a few days. At that point, tomatoes, squash, and cukes will transplanted into the garden - and it will be time to plant beans, both bush and pole varieties. I think I will wait for a bit more serious heat to put the peppers out.

And if only Swiss chard tasted as good as it looks. :)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4183/34299778710_819680ca52_z.jpg)

Haha swiss chard really is gross, isn't it? I used to give it away when I grew it before. I've just moved on now.

It's been rainy and wet and cold here in Alberta. Just installed a few haskap bushes (the saleperson at the nursery claimed they were invincible). In the past week I've planted potatoes, bush beans (might've jumped the gun on that), carrots, spinach, lettuce, beets, thai basil, scallions, radishes. We'll see what happens :) Should be warmer the next few days, so I'll be putting out the tomatoes finally. They're getting way too tall for their solo cups.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 17, 2017, 01:22:45 PM
Haha, I had SO much chard last year and I forced myself to eat it all. (Hint: it's good substituted for spinach in spinach artichoke dip; of course, the dip also contains like 4 varieties of full fat dairy so not exactly healthy!) I don't think it's bad, exactly, it's just not something I want to eat that much of. This year I'm keeping it in a container, so it doesn't get huge. It tastes better if you pick the leaves when they are small, as "baby greens." More tender, less bitter and tough.

One of my raspberry bushes that I just planted into a container looks like crap. Turning brown and dying on the bottom. Not enough water? Too much water? Who knows. I've read that you're not supposed to fertilize them the first year so I haven't - true or false? It just looks like it needs *something.*

My peppers are greatly enjoying our unseasonable heat though!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 18, 2017, 08:17:46 AM
And.... apparently we're plunging from the 80s to the 40s today. Time to break out the frost blanket, if I can find it, and bring in all the damn peppers and basil. Glad I didn't put those in the ground yet.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 18, 2017, 08:25:57 AM
Got a bunch of raspberries and blackberries on the cheap.  Planning to plant those this weekend.   My peppers are just sitting there, not dying but not growing either.  Hope they take off soon, now that the weather is getting warmer. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 18, 2017, 08:38:18 AM
And.... apparently we're plunging from the 80s to the 40s today. Time to break out the frost blanket, if I can find it, and bring in all the damn peppers and basil. Glad I didn't put those in the ground yet.

I planted all, except may be 8 weakest peppers. They still are not growing at all. But I would not dare to put any blankets - very high chance of it flying away breaking all plants. My maple tree suffered damage yesterday - two huge branches broken
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 18, 2017, 09:40:12 AM
Yeah, it still is pretty windy out there. I usually take the frost blanket and clip it to the tomato cages with big binder clips. So, sort of making a tent over the plants, instead of being anywhere near them. The tomatoes are still small enough that when I planted them deep like you're supposed to, there are just a few leaves sticking out above ground. So maybe they don't even need the blanket? I dunno. I am worried that this 40-degree plunge is going to shock them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow on May 18, 2017, 10:35:38 AM
This pretty much says it all about how wet and cool our Spring in the PNW has been.

You want mushrooms with your broccoli? No problem!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4175/34603886471_2283b9d1f5_z.jpg)

The weather, according to forecasters is about to take a turn for the better and I expect the garden will soon explode with growth. After the May long weekend, all the warmer weather crops are getting put out.

Did I mention my quinoa is sprouting? :) My excitement over this is somewhat embarrasing, lol.

And I haven't been able to resist building a few more raised beds....but NOW I'm done...I promise. Here is the final configuration I'm going with.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4164/33926088503_164040fbdd_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on May 18, 2017, 11:42:02 AM
Where are those quinoa sprout photos? I'd like to see what the plant looks like as it grows. In other pictures, it looks like it has a panicle seed head. Looking forward to hearing about how this progresses, and harvesting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on May 18, 2017, 12:12:20 PM
Great looking garden John_Snow!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Jon_Snow on May 18, 2017, 08:20:26 PM
Where are those quinoa sprout photos? I'd like to see what the plant looks like as it grows. In other pictures, it looks like it has a panicle seed head. Looking forward to hearing about how this progresses, and harvesting.

The sprouting quinoa are so TINY that I'm not even sure my phone camera would pick them up right now. ;) If there are no hiccups and they continue to grow I promise I will get photos and post them here or in my Journal. I'm going to be away from my garden until Tuesday of next week so I've managed to rope (bribe) some family members in to do some watering cause it's finally going to heat up out here.

Great looking garden John_Snow!

Thanks! Though there is a lot of bare dirt right now...but that should really change over the next few weeks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 20, 2017, 02:45:22 PM
Plants survived the cold snap. Today it is 60ish and rainy, supposed to really downpour later. Ugh.

My raspberry started looking worse and worse, so I snapped some pix of it and took them to the garden center experts (after doing a fair amount of googling on my own). They confirmed what I feared - it has verticulum (sp?) wilt. The guy there said to pull it, and not to plant anything in that same soil that's susceptible to that disease - more raspberries, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, basil. Other than potatoes, that's all I have left to plant. Poop. :(

I bought a replacement that he said was more disease resistant and also better for containers as it does not like to spread as much. What is the matter with me?? I am not supposed to be spending more on the garden or on anything right now (layoffs are coming at work and we have no idea whether our team will be hit or not so I am in uberfrugality shove-as-much-as-possible-into-savings mode.). I am like an alcoholic in a bar when it comes to this garden center - which, since we moved last month, is now within walking distance. Dangerous!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 21, 2017, 04:03:31 AM
What is the matter with me?? I am not supposed to be spending more on the garden or on anything right now (layoffs are coming at work and we have no idea whether our team will be hit or not so I am in uberfrugality shove-as-much-as-possible-into-savings mode.). I am like an alcoholic in a bar when it comes to this garden center - which, since we moved last month, is now within walking distance. Dangerous!

O my god, am I the same . . .  The garden center is my downfall big time.  I joined the "Hella Cheap Ass May" challenge thread, trying to have a really frugal month, and then I blew it (twice) at the garden center . . . I just have to stay away.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: MrsDinero on May 21, 2017, 04:33:33 AM
Newbie gardener here.  I live in Zone 5 (NH), so I haven't planted any vegetables in the ground yet, but I've got some seedlings ready to go.

I thought I would be ready to go, but when talking to the guy at the local greenhouse he said I should use lime in the garden.  I've read a few articles saying it is necessary and others saying it is not.  I'm really conflicted on if I should use it.  I'm also unsure HOW to use it.

Any advice on how to use dry lime?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: CutTheFat on May 21, 2017, 06:39:19 AM
We got rid of our garden bed a couple years ago, due mostly to putting more time and money into it then what we were getting out of it.  We had a huge problem with neighborhood cats using it as their litter box and not enough sun for many of the things that we were trying to grow, that plus I was having major health issues and it was too much for me to manage.  I'm doing much better and last year I wanted to do something.  So we made a vertical pallet garden bus tapeling landscape fabric to the back of a heat treated pallet and filled it with organic soil.  We planted herbs, lettuces and greens all from plants.  This was more manageable and successful, albeit more expensive than growing from seed.  So this year we decided to grow herbs from plants and direct plant lettuce and bush bean seeds into the pallet garden.  Then I took all my large pots (that I usually plant flowers in on the patio) instead I bought organic tomato plants from Costco.  Spent about $25 dollars on 8 plants which is less than what I typically spend to fill them with flowers.  They had gorgeous, huge rosemary and lavender plants for $15 dollars each!  I wanted them last year but by the time I rationalized the cost they weren't selling them anymore.  I refrained from buying them because I don't know where I'd put them and I'd probably end up making a new bed and therefore costing us more money.  I also have a strawberry pot that I'd like to do something edible in.  I'd love to do strawberries but if memory serves me you aren't 'supposed' to harvest strawberries the first year.  I don't know how that applies to container gardening.  Does anyone know?  I still haven't planted my window boxes on the front of the house.  I've been wracking my brain trying to think of something that looks pretty and flowers for the boxes, but also has the added benefit of being edible.  I'm not coming up with anything so I might just buy flowers for the window boxes.  Thinking into the future I really should attempt to grow flowers from seed for the boxes next year which will save huge.         
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on May 21, 2017, 07:51:33 AM
Yesterday was finally planting day.  I think this is the latest date I've ever planted since moving to this area in 2006, but the weather has been really wonky and we had frost last week.  Due to my half-assed efforts with seedling starting this spring, I bought about half of what I planted at the garden center yesterday.  I'm still waiting for the cucurbits I planted last week to sprout, but if they aren't out by next weekend I'll be back to the garden center for more plants.

I was lucky enough to get a good truckload of manure from the back of the pile at the barn a couple weeks ago.  It turned in and incorporated with the old soil in the beds perfectly before planting yesterday, so I should have happy plants.  There is more to spread out, which I'll hopefully get done this morning.  Tons to do and I'm leaving town for the week early Monday morning. 

Yesterday I planted:

14 tomatoes
30 peppers
Rosemary
2 collards
6 Swiss chard
~100 onions (sweet and red)

Still have potatoes to plant today, and might put in some corn as well.  Also need to start my basil and okra seeds and sow more lettuce and radishes.  The birds have been destroying the lettuce, so bird netting is going to be needed if we want any salads.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:08:41 AM
Here are some pictures of my garden

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:12:55 AM
Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Garlic, Asparagus, Cucumbers, Spaghetti Squash

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:13:58 AM
Tomato closeup - Roma and Beefsteak

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:15:23 AM
Summer Squash closeup

(Note the stem coming out of ground right middle of picture.  Does this look like a problem?)

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:16:24 AM
Cukes Closeup

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:17:10 AM
Mexican Dragon Peppers Closeup

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:19:07 AM
Peppers, Basil, Cilantro and Sage

 (I stuck the sage plant in as a temporary place to put it.  I will give it its own container at some point)

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:20:11 AM
Cherry Tomatoes, Mexican Dragon Pepper (Thyme and Oregano in bottom left of picture)



Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 21, 2017, 10:25:39 AM
I have also planted carrots and Dill.  Still need to plant green beans.

I am trying something new with the cucumbers growing on trellis around spaghetti squash.  Still looks too crowded.  I'm going to need to take some spaghetti squash out. 

Any tips or ideas from others?

I can always use some help.

I struggle with planting carrots and dill.  I don't have the patience or physical attributes to thin them out.  I fat thumb seeds and they clump up.  I read where someone else posted mixing the sees with a sifted soil and broadcasting will give an even distribution.  I'm going to try that next year (or later this year).  In the meantime, if I wanted to de-clump and replant evenly, what would be the best size of sprout to work with?

South Carolina - Zone 8A

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 21, 2017, 12:17:07 PM
My DH is often setting the plastic boxes with plants outside in daytime to get some sunlight. But the grape samplings don't seem to like it today. It is extremely difficult to get them to grow without getting mouldy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cressida on May 21, 2017, 06:08:47 PM
Container gardeners: What do you do when you're planting in a container that you planted in the year before? Do you wash it out? Disinfect it? Just use it as is? Does it make a difference what kind of plants were in it in the current vs. prior year?

I appreciate all advice. Thanks!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 22, 2017, 02:32:47 PM
Has anyone tried growing plants in a large rubbermaid bin that you've drilled drainage holes into?

I really could use one more huge pot (like the size a tomato would go in). These are $$$ at Home Depot and my garden center, and there are not currently any on Craigslist, where I bought my others. Realized today that I have a bunch of empty rubbermaid bins that are the right depth, just rectangular rather than round. I want to put either a tomato or a raspberry bush (compact variety that supposedly "stays put" and therefore is good for containers)  in it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: KMMK on May 22, 2017, 09:07:25 PM
I finally got everything planted yesterday. Though not that late as May long weekend is generally considered around the safe date here re: frost. I was going to take pictures but haven't yet.

I put in a strawberry bed, am trying out some flower seeds.

And then I got bedding plants of:
cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, several peppers, and then for fun experimentation one eggplant, watermelon, and pumpkin. Not sure how those will work out, but with enough heat and sun there's a chance.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: MrsDinero on May 23, 2017, 08:14:51 AM
I finally got everything planted yesterday. Though not that late as May long weekend is generally considered around the safe date here re: frost. I was going to take pictures but haven't yet.

I put in a strawberry bed, am trying out some flower seeds.

And then I got bedding plants of:
cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, several peppers, and then for fun experimentation one eggplant, watermelon, and pumpkin. Not sure how those will work out, but with enough heat and sun there's a chance.

Glad there are a few other people on this thread in a colder zone like me! People's photos of tomatoes, etc. were making me depressed. I did herbs last weekend -- Genovese basil, lemon thyme, sage. I also planted carrot seedlings from winter sown seeds. My seeds are going in this weekend: more carrots (I'm testing whether winter sowing vs. direct sowing gives them any kind of head start), beets,  cabbage, lettuce, pole beans, chard, and kale.

For you cold zone folks, are you finding you can grow/overwinter plants meant for the next zone up? I'm in zone 4 but finding zone 5 plants and seedlings for the 2nd year in a row--cilantro and thyme, most notably.

Not in the category of growing our own, but I'll also spend some time dividing and spreading perennials. We're progressively getting rid of our lawn but spending $0 doing it!

I'm on Zone 5 so I'm with you on the jealousy of my Zone 3 and Zone 4 friends!  My tomato and pepper seedlings didn't survive my cat, so I went to the local green house and bought a couple of starter plants to replace those.   The guy told me to not even try to plant seeds until after Monday (yesterday).  I did sow some beets and carrots last week directly into the soil last week during a hot spell.  We will see!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on May 23, 2017, 09:20:00 AM
I got to check out my new garden yesterday. (Walk-through of our new house.) It's wonderful! The sellers had already planted some annuals (beans--no idea what variety--lettuces, a few others) along with some herbs (most notably, mint!), and lots of strawberries. Hurray!

First task: figure out where to plant some blueberries (will probably require removing a monster shrub, but I hate that particular plant anyway) and at least one fruit tree.

Has anyone tried growing plants in a large rubbermaid bin that you've drilled drainage holes into?

I really could use one more huge pot (like the size a tomato would go in). These are $$$ at Home Depot and my garden center, and there are not currently any on Craigslist, where I bought my others. Realized today that I have a bunch of empty rubbermaid bins that are the right depth, just rectangular rather than round. I want to put either a tomato or a raspberry bush (compact variety that supposedly "stays put" and therefore is good for containers)  in it.

Yes! I did this quite successfully. My only concern has been the possible leaching of the plastic into the dirt, since it's not food safe. But I successfully grew tomatoes in Alaska using this method, since I could pull the totes into the garage when it was going to be too cold. The totes were nice and deep and the tomatoes seemed quite happy.

I also grew some tiny, round Parisienne carrots (http://diy.sndimg.com/content/dam/images/diy/fullset/2010/12/16/9/RX-DK-VGN12601_parmex-carrot_s3x4.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1707.jpeg) in a short square tote. That was actually one of my most successful crops ever.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Fishindude on May 23, 2017, 09:31:27 AM
Finished up my planting yesterday.  We have (3) 4' x 16' and (1) 4' x 6' raised beds.  We are growing green beans, cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, zucchini, radishes, lettuce, cucumbers and a couple types of bell peppers.  Also tilled up a big strip with the tractor alongside field and planted a big pumpkin patch, (16) hills.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: CutTheFat on May 23, 2017, 09:36:23 AM
Zone 5 here!  Very envious!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on May 23, 2017, 09:43:14 AM
Oh, those carrots are so round and cute! I am growing "Short and Sweet" carrots this year, which is a new variety for me. We'll see how they do.

Are the plastic pots that you get in a garden center or big box store food-safe, necessarily? I've never seen them labeled as such.

I netted the blueberry and raspberry bushes that are in the community garden, so that this year hopefully  I get to eat berries before the birds do. The blueberry is a dwarf in a container, so that was relatively easy to net once I got the netting to stop catching on my clothing, rings, the scissors I was using to cut it, etc. The raspberry was a huge PITA. I have the net sort of clipped to various parts of the rabbit fence, and also to the ropes that mark off my square feet. Now the netting is partially covering up the thyme and lettuce that's next to the raspberry. So that's going to be a PITA to harvest. Damn birds.

Can you cut down a raspberry? I have a dwarf variety that supposedly isn't supposed to spread. HAHAHAHA. Wrong! I mean, I'm glad it's so healthy. I love raspberries. But it is really giant this year, after being relatively small for the last 2.

 I have absolutely no idea how to net the 2 dwarf blueberries in the raised bed at home. That raised bed is vinyl, and I can't nail anything into it. Maybe those metal staples that you use to hold down barrier cloth would work?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ooeei on May 25, 2017, 08:38:53 AM
Has anyone tried growing plants in a large rubbermaid bin that you've drilled drainage holes into?

I really could use one more huge pot (like the size a tomato would go in). These are $$$ at Home Depot and my garden center, and there are not currently any on Craigslist, where I bought my others. Realized today that I have a bunch of empty rubbermaid bins that are the right depth, just rectangular rather than round. I want to put either a tomato or a raspberry bush (compact variety that supposedly "stays put" and therefore is good for containers)  in it.

My tomatoes are currently growing in 31 gallon Rubbermaid containers, granted I converted them into "earthtainers" but I don't see why they wouldn't work with simple holes drilled.  FWIW my plants are at least 8 feet tall in the containers, they seem to like it.  I posted pictures on page 4, they've gotten quite a bit bigger since then.

I also found large plastic pots at walmart for very reasonable prices compared to lowes and home depot.  Granted, that might just be local pricing for me, I'm not sure how consistent they are.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on May 25, 2017, 02:04:53 PM
I've seen this before on ripening tomatoes.  Is it a problem?

Title: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: rockeTree on May 25, 2017, 06:07:43 PM
It's where a bug sucked a little juice out I think- stink bugs make those marks in my zone. Won't kill the plant or make the fruit unsafe but a lot of it affects flavor a bit.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on May 25, 2017, 09:41:28 PM
This picture is my potato "tower". Made of pallets. After doing some research online I discovered that building them up really tall doesn't actually seem to do much good. So I buried the potatoes really deep, will hill them once, and that's it. The rest of it is currently wasted space but the intent, and future use, will have beans trailing over the three tall sides. They're companions, since the potatoes are heavy feeders and the beans will give them nitrogen. (Might still be worth planting some beans? The plants would only be in there for about three months.) It doesn't take up much space (about 3 x 4?) and the total cost for the project was zero, since we already had access to a drill and some screws. I'll let everyone know how this experiment goes at the end of the summer when we dig them all up, whether it was worth it or not. I have an idea that planting the potatoes deep (these are about a foot deep without hilling) and then forcing them to grow a lot before they reach daylight might be key to getting lots of spuds in a small space, but I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 26, 2017, 04:04:18 AM
I like the potato 'tower' Sister X.  I imagine you could also grow some cukes up the sides if you wanted.  Do you have to worry about the beans/climbers shading the potatoes inside?  Or does the open side face south?

No gardening here the past week or so . . . We have had bucketing rain nearly every day.  I've got grapes, raspberries, and blackberries that need to go into the ground.  Hoping we get a let up for the weekend so I can at least do that. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on May 26, 2017, 09:09:45 AM
I like the potato 'tower' Sister X.  I imagine you could also grow some cukes up the sides if you wanted.  Do you have to worry about the beans/climbers shading the potatoes inside?  Or does the open side face south?

It does face south. I took the picture in late afternoon/early evening and that's about as much shade as those 'taters get. I supposed if I planted a bunch of something vining then it might shade them out, but my original plan had been to just plant a few around each side, just enough to get a little nitrogen bump and utilize the upward growing space.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on May 26, 2017, 09:53:30 AM
This picture is my potato "tower". Made of pallets. After doing some research online I discovered that building them up really tall doesn't actually seem to do much good. So I buried the potatoes really deep, will hill them once, and that's it. The rest of it is currently wasted space but the intent, and future use, will have beans trailing over the three tall sides. They're companions, since the potatoes are heavy feeders and the beans will give them nitrogen. (Might still be worth planting some beans? The plants would only be in there for about three months.) It doesn't take up much space (about 3 x 4?) and the total cost for the project was zero, since we already had access to a drill and some screws. I'll let everyone know how this experiment goes at the end of the summer when we dig them all up, whether it was worth it or not. I have an idea that planting the potatoes deep (these are about a foot deep without hilling) and then forcing them to grow a lot before they reach daylight might be key to getting lots of spuds in a small space, but I'm not sure.

One pack of seed potatoes instructed digging a trench 1 foot deep to plant the potatoes, then cover with 3-4 inches of soil. It then instructed to add soil 3-4 inches at a time (I expect mulch would work) as the potatoes grew to eventually have a bit of a hill.
This is not how my parents did it (if that matters), we just planted, then mulched/ hiked with grass clippings. Always got good yield (really nice loamy soil).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on May 26, 2017, 10:27:28 AM
The soil can definitely make a huge difference. If it's rocky and poor then you're going to have a poor yield. If it's loose and rich you should have a great yield no matter how it's grown.

I'm still getting used to some non-Alaska gardening things. Like, my MIL never rotates where her potatoes go in the garden because there's no need. The potato diseases aren't going to survive the winter, it seems. Now I actually have to think about that stuff.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: CutTheFat on May 26, 2017, 06:37:24 PM
Something is already eating my basil!  Any ideas?  I picked up a beautiful rosemary shrub from Costco today.  Last week it was $14.99 and I wanted it, but held off because I was already spending enough.  Today they were marked $9.98 some of them looked a little misshapen I dug for the prettiest one and took it home with me :)   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on May 26, 2017, 07:43:04 PM
Something is already eating my basil!  Any ideas?  I picked up a beautiful rosemary shrub from Costco today.  Last week it was $14.99 and I wanted it, but held off because I was already spending enough.  Today they were marked $9.98 some of them looked a little misshapen I dug for the prettiest one and took it home with me :)


 Like last year, I have some kind of grasshopper thing eating my basil. I've found that a spray bottle full of mostly water with just a few drops of dish soap, sprayed on the leaves, takes care of the grasshopper problem. Also, occasional squishing doesn't hurt. I use Ivory dishwashing soap because it's mostly just soap.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: CutTheFat on May 27, 2017, 06:33:29 AM
I'll give that a try. Thank you!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on May 28, 2017, 06:04:16 PM
The cool weather crops are finishing up -
A couple of spinach plants trying to bolt - I'm pinching off the tiny inflorescence, but it's probably a losing battle
Mustard greens - again, two trying to bolt, again, pinch, pinch
Lettuces - no bolting yet, but I am trying to start more seed, we may be able to get them growing if we keep them n a shadier spot.
Broccoli - a few more plants still going, likely all gone by next week, replaced by zucchini. Does anyone eat the leaves from the broccoli?
Radishes a all harvested.

Hopefully the warm weather plants will pick up the pace - tomatoes and peppers - have a few tomatoes on a couple of plants. Should have ripe tomatoes early in June. I think peppers will take longer.
I hope we have beans to pick in June.
Maybe some cucumbers too.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 29, 2017, 09:32:16 AM
Good weekend in the garden.
All my seedlings are planted out and I have extras to share with my garden network.
Been harvesting rhubarb, greens, asparagus
Greenhouse is getting a little more empty with most of the tomatoes gone. I am going to try some tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse over the summer.  Peas are flowering really well and there are some pods.

Have had a very successful season with the seedlings overall.  The tomatoes and peppers got to be a very good size.  I got lots of herbs and flowers as well. Next year I would like to buy new seed trays.  The ones I have are starting to fall apart and the others are really hard to get the plants out of.  The hardest part of the weekend was easing this little plants out with loosing all the soil.

The early seeding in my allotment garden has been successful.  I planted out some herbs and peppers and did a second planting of greens and beets.  I also planted carrots, bush and pole beans and some more cilantro.  My cilantro seed is old so not getting a good germination.  I got three wheelbarrows of manure spread among the plants.  The garden is looking good but I haven't any photos.
My neighbour has allowed me to take over a small patch in around the greenhouse in addition to the entire inside of it.  I planted watermelon and cukes among some flowers.  I still want to cut down the willow stump but I have planted a bunch of flowers and herbs around it.   I grew sage from from very old seed and have about five times as many plants as I need so I stuck a bunch in there.  I will have to wait until the fall when I can trample them.  I moved the rhubarb into more sun and planted it farther apart in anticipation of better growth. The final step was forking on a good thick layer of manure.  It was still really wet from all the rain and being at the bottom of the pile.  It will break down in the sun and will work as a mulch for this first season.  Under the watermelons and cukes there is a little "pillow" of manure so they should be able to grow like gang busters.  Watermelon is a little dicey in our zone but hopefully this sheltered spot in front of the greenhouse is good. I still have to put down more newspaper and mulch over the weediest area at the front. I am waiting until they get their lawn mower working so that I can really cut the weeds down short first.  And it is not like I haven't been doing a bunch of other stuff. 

This is the first year I have planted a lot of flowers for cutting.   I love arranging flowers but have stopped spending money on cut flowers with my mustachian resolutions.  Hopefully everything I have planted grows well.

All the little fruit trees have set a good crop.  I rigged up a net tent over the haskaps and the black cherry.  The saskatoons are laden and the strawberries and raspberries are flowering heavily.  Even my pear trees that I planted in 2016 have fruit.  I am so excited. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 30, 2017, 08:09:57 AM
Great weekend in the garden.  DS and I planted pole beans, weeded and mulched the cherry trees, the big fig tree, and the strawberry patch.  I got the grapes, blackberries, and raspberries planted finally.  They seem happy.  Cleaned out the chicken coop and the enclosed run.  We have a third (!) broody hen now, so we will probably get her a few chicks next weekend. 

One problem -- the cantaloupe starts I planted two weeks ago look like they are dying.  The leaves are turning yellow and curling up.  No bugs on them as far as I can see.  Maybe there is some disease that melons get?    This is a large in-ground bed, and the other plants in that bed look fine.  It's been years since I grew melons, but I can't recall any disease issues . . . 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 30, 2017, 08:13:09 AM
One problem -- the cantaloupe starts I planted two weeks ago look like they are dying.  The leaves are turning yellow and curling up.  No bugs on them as far as I can see.  Maybe there is some disease that melons get?    This is a large in-ground bed, and the other plants in that bed look fine.  It's been years since I grew melons, but I can't recall any disease issues . . . 

Too much water?  Planted too deeply?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 30, 2017, 12:49:48 PM
One problem -- the cantaloupe starts I planted two weeks ago look like they are dying.  The leaves are turning yellow and curling up.  No bugs on them as far as I can see.  Maybe there is some disease that melons get?    This is a large in-ground bed, and the other plants in that bed look fine.  It's been years since I grew melons, but I can't recall any disease issues . . . 

Too much water?  Planted too deeply?

Definitely not planted too deeply, but maybe too much water.  We have had a bunch of rain lately . . .
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 30, 2017, 02:08:52 PM
Our strawberries outside have gotten flowers.

The Oregano and parsley are consumable now.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on May 30, 2017, 06:48:25 PM
Great weekend in the garden.  DS and I planted pole beans, weeded and mulched the cherry trees, the big fig tree, and the strawberry patch.  I got the grapes, blackberries, and raspberries planted finally.  They seem happy.  Cleaned out the chicken coop and the enclosed run.  We have a third (!) broody hen now, so we will probably get her a few chicks next weekend. 

One problem -- the cantaloupe starts I planted two weeks ago look like they are dying.  The leaves are turning yellow and curling up.  No bugs on them as far as I can see.  Maybe there is some disease that melons get?    This is a large in-ground bed, and the other plants in that bed look fine.  It's been years since I grew melons, but I can't recall any disease issues . . .

Melons tend to sit around and sulk for a few weeks before getting over transplant shock, IME.  A bit of compost tea or diluted fish emulsion might give them a boost.  If you've had a lot of rain, it may have leached nitrogen from the top of the soil, and they tend to be fairly hungry.  Also if it's cool they won't be happy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on May 31, 2017, 05:20:33 AM
Great weekend in the garden.  DS and I planted pole beans, weeded and mulched the cherry trees, the big fig tree, and the strawberry patch.  I got the grapes, blackberries, and raspberries planted finally.  They seem happy.  Cleaned out the chicken coop and the enclosed run.  We have a third (!) broody hen now, so we will probably get her a few chicks next weekend. 

One problem -- the cantaloupe starts I planted two weeks ago look like they are dying.  The leaves are turning yellow and curling up.  No bugs on them as far as I can see.  Maybe there is some disease that melons get?    This is a large in-ground bed, and the other plants in that bed look fine.  It's been years since I grew melons, but I can't recall any disease issues . . .

Melons tend to sit around and sulk for a few weeks before getting over transplant shock, IME.  A bit of compost tea or diluted fish emulsion might give them a boost.  If you've had a lot of rain, it may have leached nitrogen from the top of the soil, and they tend to be fairly hungry.  Also if it's cool they won't be happy.

Thanks for the tip, HorsePoor.  We've been having highs in the low 80s, nights in the mid 50s.  Not sure if cantaloupes think that is "cool."  (I know tomatoes and peppers like those warm muggy nights in the upper 60s and 70s).  I fed them some compost this morning.  We'll see if that does the trick. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: CutTheFat on May 31, 2017, 06:22:32 AM
All of my seeds (lettuces and bush beans) are sprouting! :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on May 31, 2017, 07:41:48 AM
Bottom leaves on my cucumbers are turning yellow. Overwatering? I water them every 2-3 days.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Beegee on May 31, 2017, 01:26:13 PM
Coming in late to this thread, but I'm so excited to follow everyone's gardening endeavors!

In zone 5 (southwestern Ontario) and so far I have in my garden growing from seed:
-lots of spinach
-parsley
-peas
-kale
-lettuce
-garlic (well, not from seed but planted bulbs last fall and are ~almost~ ready to be picked)

And transplanted 10 days ago, but already growing well:
-kale
-basil
-tomatoes
-Aunt Molly's ground cherry

I planted some red runner bean seeds and sunflower seeds last weekend but they haven't sprouted up yet.  Keeping an eye out for those.  Once I pull the garlic and spinach, I will have more space in which I plant to plant zucc/squash/green&yellow beans/carrots.  Maybe more peas.  Gardening in my tiny backyard is my fave hobby ever!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on May 31, 2017, 03:07:30 PM
Round 2 of radishes is going like gangbusters.


Tomatoes are just beginning to bloom, though. I could get them faster if I started seeds indoors, but I get more than I can use by just letting the volunteers grow, so I do that.


Basil continues to struggle a bit with the grasshoppers. Dilute soap spray works, but only until it rains.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Beegee on June 01, 2017, 07:12:11 AM
Snapped a few pics of my gardens last night to share with you guys, and found that a recent hail storm beat down four of my tomato plants, wahhhhh!  *shakes fist in air at Mother Nature*.  Everything else seems to have survived.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 02, 2017, 05:29:46 AM
The new feds of garlic that we planted in a pot in the kitchen are growing high greens and can be eaten any moment. The herbs are finally recognizable and should be bit enough to be consumed in a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on June 04, 2017, 05:08:15 AM
The pole beans we planted last weekend are going gangbusters --100% germination, and they are nearly 4" tall.  These guys were seeds I had saved from two years ago.  I've had them in the freezer since then.  This is Northeaster variety, flat pod/Roma stye.  Wasn't sure it would like the south (we moved last year), but so far so good! 

Now I just have to figure out how to grow storage onions down here.   I'd like to find a good variety that's a long keeper.  My old go-to onion champ, Patterson, is not going to work -- it is too 'long-day'.   Any suggestions?   We are zone 7a, latitude 35 degrees N.  Technically that's 'intermediate' territory for onions from what I've read, but the local folks say to go with short-day.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on June 04, 2017, 05:19:26 AM
Spinach is done - I was pinching off bloom buds, but it was determined to bloom. Pinch off the apical bloom, then several laterals start.  I may try to start some seed for fall planting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on June 04, 2017, 05:19:23 PM
I ate my first ripe strawberry today! And one of the raspberry bushes - a new one, no less - has a berry that's almost ripe already!

Bucketfuls of greens are coming out of the garden. It is hot today, but supposed to plunge to the 60s tomorrow so hopefully nothing bolts. So far so good.

My cilantro that I had in the rasied bed didn't bolt but it turned bitter and disgusting, overnight apparently, so I had to pull it. The one in the pot is OK.

The tomatoes that I planted in huge containers in my yard are going gangbusters. No fruit yet - too early for that here, but they look very strong and healthy. Yay!

Any tips on keeping the neighborhood cat from pooping in my raised bed, without using chemicals or anything with blood in it? (Found repellent spray at the garden center but it contains blood and I am vegetarian so no thanks.) I have heard cayenne pepper sprinkled in the preferred poopin' area helps. T/F?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: CutTheFat on June 04, 2017, 05:38:56 PM
I finally planted my window boxes!  I'd like to plan earlier next year and try to grow flowers from seeds.  It cost $32 for 8 plants and my window boxes aren't nice and full, the way that I like them.  I usually buy more, but I couldn't see spending more when I know that in time they will fill in.  I if I plan it right, I could spend a couple dollars on seeds, to have flowers for spring.  I also took all the empty pots out of the shed and planted more green beans and lettuces.  I figure I still have seeds left and planting them at different times should give me more harvest potential.  I didn't buy any flowers for the patio, everything in pots are edibles.     
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cressida on June 04, 2017, 11:59:25 PM
Any tips on keeping the neighborhood cat from pxxping in my raised bed, without using chemicals or anything with blood in it?

Also interested in responses to this, although I am squeamish and redacted a word.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on June 05, 2017, 06:24:07 AM
Barriers? Wire or other panels you can use to block access.

Here's several options:
https://www.organiclesson.com/how-to-keep-cats-out-of-flower-beds/ (https://www.organiclesson.com/how-to-keep-cats-out-of-flower-beds/)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Beegee on June 05, 2017, 08:05:34 AM
We had another hail storm yesterday... twice in a week now, so crazy!  My plants did not enjoy it.  BUT!  I've pulled a row of spinach and some lettuce out, which has been great and made room to plant two rows of beans (green and yellow bush beans).  The garlic should be ready in a week or two, which will also free up a bunch of space.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 05, 2017, 10:20:52 AM
I planted a pumpkin yesterday.  I started a package of 7 seeds indoors and only one germinated, maybe too cold inside...  I didn't really have a plan for them anyways since they take up so much space.  I just stuck it in a pot outside for now, assuming it will vine out and go wherever from there.  Maybe this will make it easier to move later.  Do pumpkins have large root systems, or OK in a pot?

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cressida on June 05, 2017, 08:14:45 PM
Barriers? Wire or other panels you can use to block access.

Here's several options:
https://www.organiclesson.com/how-to-keep-cats-out-of-flower-beds/ (https://www.organiclesson.com/how-to-keep-cats-out-of-flower-beds/)

hm, some good ideas there. Off to stick pointy things in my herb bed.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise on June 06, 2017, 05:49:05 AM
The little cherry tree we planted last year had 5 cherries!  One of them was bit into while green by a squirrel (grrr) but there are still 4 left.  I probably have to make a cage for it if we want to hope for edible fruit.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on June 06, 2017, 06:01:07 AM
Barriers? Wire or other panels you can use to block access.

Here's several options:
https://www.organiclesson.com/how-to-keep-cats-out-of-flower-beds/ (https://www.organiclesson.com/how-to-keep-cats-out-of-flower-beds/)

hm, some good ideas there. Off to stick pointy things in my herb bed.

That was my favorite - cats are picky about surfaces.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on June 06, 2017, 04:24:59 PM
Any tips on keeping the neighborhood cat from pxxping in my raised bed, without using chemicals or anything with blood in it?

Also interested in responses to this, although I am squeamish and redacted a word.

We collected big pine cones and put them down around the plants in our large raised planters and that worked.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 07, 2017, 10:39:37 AM
I new to gardening and could use some help with fertilizer.  So far I've researched the following:

Fish fertilizer - people seem to rave about this and use it on everything.
Epsom Salt - Generic - use on everything as well
Bone Meal - use specifically on certain high nitrogen feeders (corn?)

So what do people use and how do they use it (how often, etc)?  I'm trying to figure out a plan for my corn, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and peas.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on June 07, 2017, 11:44:44 AM
I new to gardening and could use some help with fertilizer.  So far I've researched the following:

Fish fertilizer - people seem to rave about this and use it on everything.
Epsom Salt - Generic - use on everything as well
Bone Meal - use specifically on certain high nitrogen feeders (corn?)

So what do people use and how do they use it (how often, etc)?  I'm trying to figure out a plan for my corn, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and peas.  Thanks!

Too much of any type of fertilizer can be harmful to plants, which is why you want to start by testing your soil before blindly adding stuff to it. Do soil samples to figure out what you need (in the US, you're almost guaranteed to have a university agriculture department extension nearby that will do them for you for free/cheap, then fertilize with the appropriate fertilizer.  Epsom salt provides magnesium and sulfur. Bone meal is a bit of nitrogen and a bunch of phosphorus but no potassium. Fish fertilizer is more nitrogen a bit of phosphorus and a bit of potassium. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the "primary" fertilizer ingredients you'll see labeled on most plant fertilizer, in that order (NPK). This is generally shown with 3 numbers sequentially (for instance, fish fertilizer is often 5-1-1 indicating it has 5 parts nitrogen for every 1 part phosphorus and 1 part potassium).

A good soil sample test should also let you know if your soil needs additional amounts of magnesium, sulfur, calcium, etc.

Problems with plants can also give you an indication of deficiencies in some cases (such as bottom end rot which indicates a need for calcium and/or magnesium generally).

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on June 08, 2017, 04:52:31 AM
The raised bed garden that I put in this year has been growing much, much, much slower/worse than the rest of the garden, despite being planted around the same time. I decided to test the "organic gardening soil" I bought to fill it up with. Turns out, if your soil doesn't have any/much nitrogen then plants don't grow too well (test kit didn't even register a change in color, so tried the other kit and got the same "nada" result for nitrogen). Hopefully the urea I put down yesterday will start to fix that problem. That's what I get for expecting the stuff I paid for to be suitable for what its purpose is..

Oh, and blight in one of the other beds is causing havoc with the tomatoes this year but as long as I cut off the infected leaves regularly I hope that the plants that have grown to a decent height will continue to be okay overall.  Next year I'll have to avoid planting anything susceptible to blight there.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on June 08, 2017, 05:13:26 AM
Anyone use a shun shade in their garden for themselves?  Does it block too much sun for the plants?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 08, 2017, 08:43:50 AM
I second testing before adding a lot of fertilizers.  That said, top dressing with compost both to add micronutrients to the soil and help with moisture retention can be done without worry.  I am continually adding an inch of compost spring and fall and as the compost is ready throughout the summer. But just on the bare areas of soil -never against the stems of plants. 

My experience with garden /potting soils is that they have very little fertility over time. The fertilizers that come in them must be highly water soluble and ready just to get things started. I have liberally supplemented all the soil in the pots and beds with manure and compost. As soon as I stop picking asparagus - I add a few forkfuls of manure to each crown.  In the fall I put my garden to bed with lots of leaves, manure and the compost.  I try to have both compost bins nearly empty at the beginning of winter so that there is lots of capacity over the winter.  That often means that some of the compost is not entirely finished in September but I just dump it on top of the leaves to keep them from blowing away.  In the spring, I may have to push some of it out of the way to plant a row, but I keep it between the rows as mulch to prevent moisture loss.

The thing will mulches is this:  If they are not fully decomposed (as finished compost is), they actually draw nitrogen out of the soil surface for decomposition. Once rotted completely the nitrogen is released back into the soil.  So besides blocking light to the soil surface they are also reverse fertilizing for a period. 

I have always felt adding a specific fertilizer is a short term solution which may be necessary for this season's crops, but I recommend ramping up the long game with nourishing a very deep healthy rich soil. 

I will add epsom salts around the tomatoes if they don't seem to be ripening.  One year they had way to much green growth and very little fruit so I really cut back the manure the next year around them. 

I should probably run a soil sample to the ag lab this fall just to see if there is anything specifically deficient.  I am going to try and reuse the soil in the green house planting boxes as getting all new soil will be too costly and difficult so a test might be a good idea.  I am going to let it get really hot and dry out to kill molds and fungus first for a couple of weeks in the fall while it can still get really hot inside.  But then add compost and keep it moist to bring back the biota. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 08, 2017, 09:47:04 AM
Thanks for the advice on soil fertility.  It's way more complicated than I hoped.  I wish it could be made as easy as general lawncare - put down X in the spring and Y in the fall and you're done...  I'm sure that's not scientific, but its what most people do and it generally works fine.

My corn and cucumbers seem to be getting yellowing on the leaves.  I assume this is N deficiency so I watered with some fish fertilizer and some epsom salt to try to help for now. 

I bought a soil test kit and will be testing the soil this weekend so I'll be more scientific about this in the future.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Elderwood17 on June 09, 2017, 08:39:05 PM
Started picking raspberries this week.....got about a quart Monday, and two quarts Wednesday and today!  Should be picking about every other day for the next week.   This is our third year for them and they are starting to really come in.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 09, 2017, 11:07:22 PM
I need to move to NC, just for a he garden temps!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 10, 2017, 01:30:49 PM
Just ate my first cucumber of the year. Zone 5
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on June 10, 2017, 02:15:54 PM
Very envious of everyone already enjoying their produce!

So far, we've harvested a lot of rhubarb (it doesn't stop) and pea shoots. Everything else is coming up very well - tomatoes and tomatillos are flowering too. I'm also attempting a cut flower garden, just a couple of beds, with zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers etc.

I'm getting really tired of weeding the lawn... we're not at the point yet where we can just tear it all out (probably have close to 2000 sq ft of lawn on our property still.) Has anyone had any luck with a clover lawn or any other alternative?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 10, 2017, 06:04:03 PM
Any tips on keeping the neighborhood cat from pxxping in my raised bed, without using chemicals or anything with blood in it?

Also interested in responses to this, although I am squeamish and redacted a word.

We collected big pine cones and put them down around the plants in our large raised planters and that worked.

My neighbours have 4 cats and I have pine cones - thanks for the idea!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 11, 2017, 05:28:57 AM
Very envious of everyone already enjoying their produce!

So far, we've harvested a lot of rhubarb (it doesn't stop) and pea shoots. Everything else is coming up very well - tomatoes and tomatillos are flowering too. I'm also attempting a cut flower garden, just a couple of beds, with zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers etc.

I'm getting really tired of weeding the lawn... we're not at the point yet where we can just tear it all out (probably have close to 2000 sq ft of lawn on our property still.) Has anyone had any luck with a clover lawn or any other alternative?

My lawn is a mix of clover, moss, wild strawberry and traditional turf seed.  I just mow frequently and over seed three or four times in the spring to fill in the bare spots and reduce opportunity for dandelions.  I have a very small lawn though.  I have more wild meadow than lawn - mostly asters and goldenrod.  My dad the farmer thinks it is a weedy mess but I love watching the butterflies and goldfinches.  I think it is all about perspective.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 11, 2017, 05:43:48 AM
I harvested peas - which is phenomenally early for my area.  I planted them in one end of the greenhouse planter. 
Tomatoes that I am growing in the greenhouse are flowering.
Haskaps are sweetening up but still pretty sour.  Do they ever get sweet like blueberries?  This is the first year with netting.  I rescued a chipmunk out of the netting yesterday so re barricaded them with chicken wire at the bottom and netting on the top.  Last year between the birds and the chipmunks, the berries never did fully (I hope) ripen.  Today is going to be hot so I will water in the morning and hopefully enjoy the sweet fruit this evening.
Allotment garden is filling in - I lugged water down from rain barrels and then refilled them in the river and lugged them back up.  Strawberries are covered in fruit but if last years experience is any indicator - water is required or the fruit just falls off.  Peppers are settling in from transplanting.  Basil is looking good, peas are flowering.  Some beets, lettuce, beans are coming up.  No sign of cilantro, carrots or golden beets.
Only two of the three Tayberry canes are leafing out.  All of them looked like dead stick when I planted them.
Black raspberries are covered in blooms.
Saskatoons are coming along.
Lots of flower and herb seedlings are in the ground and coming along.
Squirrels dug out most of the sunflower seedlings.  More chicken wire and trying again.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: BTDretire on June 11, 2017, 08:15:35 AM
My wife is the greenthumb in our household, I'll post her extensive list of plants.
Fruit trees- Lychees, longans, persimmons, Meyer lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, pomelo, sugarapple, starfruit, guava, mango, peach, blueberries, pomagranite, a miracleberry tree. We have a greenhouse frame over some of these that we cover for about 4 months a year.
 Herbs- Green onions, basil, chives, mint, ginger, hot peppers (several varieties), lemongrass, and at least two others I don't know the name of.
 Other- taro root, wintermelon, two types of luffa, bittermelon, sugarcane, and aloe vera.
 I'm sure there's more, but that's most of it.
 People say, you must have a lot of land, no, this is all on less than a 150ft x 150ft lot with a house and two sheds, and still more grass than I want to mow. :-)
 It is kinda fun to run out and cut green onions, basil, or hot peppers at supper time.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 11, 2017, 12:55:43 PM
We have now a small field of oregano and parsley in the garden, ready for consumption. I just need to get used to using parsley.
Today I used the green of garlic feds in a dish.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: totoro on June 11, 2017, 01:09:35 PM

My neighbours have 4 cats and I have pine cones - thanks for the idea!

No problem.   You need quite a few to make sure there is not space for the cats to dig in between still.  Once the plants grow in this is less of an issue.   We tried cayenne pepper first and that did not work.  Also we used some cut holly leaves when we ran out of pine cones.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: CloserToFree on June 11, 2017, 08:34:02 PM
Reading this thread has been great inspiration for me, a very non-green thumb type who's trying to grow her first veggie and herb garden this year. Here's what I'm attempting:
Tomatoes
Peppers
Zucchini
Summer squash
Edamame

Herbs:
Basil
Mint
Dill
Cilantro
Parsley

So far I haven't killed anything yet, but I'll report back! The herbs have been wonderful​ already-- a ton of dill and moderate amount of everything else.  I'm not expecting much from the tomatoes bc my patch doesn't get quite enough sun, I don't think.  Fingers crossed at least some of the veggies pan out :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 11, 2017, 08:53:46 PM
I've run a soil test with a kit from Amazon.  Tested in two spots so far with similar readings.

N - sufficient
P - off the chart high - I guess this means avoid any P fertilizer or manure.  Any thoughts?
K - inconclusive- maybe sufficient or depleted depending on how test is read (reagents kept separating).  Keeping it shaken up looks sufficient.

Ph - around 5-6.  Pretty low for veggies.  Hopefully it will be ok.  Is there anything I can do to increase Ph during the season?  after the growing season I guess lime?

Not sure what else to do with this info - at least I know I don't need to rush to put down any fertilizers.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Spruit on June 12, 2017, 01:27:32 AM
I'd recommend wood ashes: it adds both Kalium and Calcium (raises the pH). Don't overdo it, as a oversupply of K can slow growth of plants by preventing them from taking up enough N to grow. So, sprinkle ashes around in moderation. Ashes are a great addition especially around potatoes, carrots, strawberries, and other fruitbearing/tuberous vegetables that use a lot of K.
Do not add ashes to blue berries, they are not a fan of neutral soils but prefer acidic
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: StarBright on June 12, 2017, 08:34:57 AM
I almost had strawberries but a few unseasonably warm days might have killed them off before they got big enough. Am keeping my fingers crossed that they will make a comeback as they were one thing my 5 year old planted himself. My cilantro also looks like it is ready to bolt. I may cut it back and dry the rest of it just to get some use out of it. Had a huge salad for dinner last night to use up some greens before the heat gets them too.

On the good news side - this is the first time I've successfully had peas flower! Both sweet and sugar snap - I think I'm about a week and half from harvestable peas and I'm super psyched. I only planted about a square foot of each since they were an experiment this year. But I will definitely plant more next spring.

I totally overplanted tomatoes and peppers but my kids will eat a pint of cherry tomatoes in one sitting, so I don't think any will go to waste.

The rest of my space is filled up with kale, basil, cucumbers, bush and pole beans and I'm trying some cabbage and beets this year too.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on June 14, 2017, 09:17:17 AM
We started harvesting strawberries this week and my brother and I got to eat the first couple of cherries off the tree I gave my mom about five years ago. (She's out of town or the honor would have been hers.) Most of the cherries are still green so I'm hopeful that they'll stick around until my mom can have some.

One blueberry bush is looking pretty good and the other, right next to it, has plenty of leaves but zero berries. I'm not all that concerned. The plant has looked sickly in the past so the fact that it's leafing out nicely is progress.

My spinach bolted so I'm letting it go to seed for fall. Some of my broccoli has also bolted, so I'm doing the same tactic. (Although, it might not get planted for fall.)

At our new house, I'm still trying to figure out the garden. I pulled out a bunch of stuff that the previous owners had planted that had either bolted or that we didn't want. Now I need to add compost to all of the raised beds and re-plant with what we do want. We'll see if that actually happens, though. It's a busy summer/year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 14, 2017, 12:07:34 PM
I finally found some use for the parsley in the garden. On a fish dish.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on June 14, 2017, 11:47:03 PM
Strawberries are fruiting.  About half of my tomatoes are thriving and half in a different part of the yard are pitiful and shriveled.  All but two of my cucumbers died, and those two seem to have stopped growing so they might make one or two veg each.  The sunflowers are chugging along, but much more slowly than in previous years.  The puppy has been chewing on my two year old asparagus bed, but I think they'll all live.  I have one hot pepper plant on the deck that is just now setting flowers.  Most of my basil didn't survive being transplanted, but the oregano is thriving and will hopefully be a permanent fixture.  The blueberries are three years old and finally generating significant amounts of berries.  I'm still waiting for my apple tree to flower. 

It's been a cool, wet spring around here.  Everything is sort of unfolding more slowly than normal.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: boarder42 on June 15, 2017, 05:48:00 AM
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 15, 2017, 07:32:03 AM
I just did some reading on tomatoes last night and it got me to prune my indeterminate tomato plants.  I cut off the lower branches that are within a few inches of the ground.  This helps let air and light closer to the soil to prevent fungus, blight and other diseases.  Seems to make sense.  Also pruned off some 'sucker' branches that were growing in between main branches.  Hopefully the plants will like it.

I have a bunch of flowers on most of my tomato plants that have been developing for a couple of weeks.  I tried gently shaking the plant to encourage pollination.  A couple of the flowers and their stems fell right off.  I guess I was too late as it seems the plant was rejecting those flowers.  Hopefully I see some of these flowers start going to fruit soon.

My peas are about a month old and are growing fast.  No flowers or pods yet - how long do these take to flower?

Corn is now reaching 'V4' stage and is looking good.  They're planted about 4 per sq. foot which is starting to look pretty tight.  Some leaves are touching each other and the plants are only about a foot tall.  Research shows this is as tight as you should plant, so it may be OK.  Considering thinning, but I really don't want to as I don't have that many plants.  It's probably too late to try to relocate some of them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Poundwise on June 15, 2017, 07:37:06 AM
Update on my garden:
Cherries on 2 year old cherry tree... had 5 beautiful cherries, which disappeared before they were ripe.

Blueberry bushes: Largest bush set many clusters of berries, which never seem to ripen.  Many fewer berries now than originally set.

Strawberry patch: Over three years, has spread to cover a 3' x 6' area.  Many flowers.  Saw one stunted red berry yesterday, which disappeared by this morning.

Squirrel crop: bumper.  Enough to run an export business!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 15, 2017, 09:05:31 AM
I hear you poundwise.  The pests eat everything.  I've got a groundhog, squirrels, and chipmunks.  It seems this year the chipmunk population has boomed.

So far I'm having luck with my garden fence, but I worry it's only a matter of time before they figure out there's good stuff in there.  My cheap fence consists of 8 foot tall pressure treated tree stakes with some 7 foot tall deer netting wrapped around the perimeter and stapled to the stakes. 

My blueberries usually get eaten by birds.  I'm planning to put some deer netting on top of them soon to hopefully prevent that.

All this is new experimental stuff this year - my first year attempting to grow food to actually eat.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on June 15, 2017, 12:47:49 PM
I just did some reading on tomatoes last night and it got me to prune my indeterminate tomato plants.  I cut off the lower branches that are within a few inches of the ground.  This helps let air and light closer to the soil to prevent fungus, blight and other diseases.  Seems to make sense.  Also pruned off some 'sucker' branches that were growing in between main branches.  Hopefully the plants will like it.

I have a bunch of flowers on most of my tomato plants that have been developing for a couple of weeks.  I tried gently shaking the plant to encourage pollination.  A couple of the flowers and their stems fell right off.  I guess I was too late as it seems the plant was rejecting those flowers.  Hopefully I see some of these flowers start going to fruit soon.

My peas are about a month old and are growing fast.  No flowers or pods yet - how long do these take to flower?

I am trying to be more vigilant about pruning my indeterminates this year. Last year I ended up with a jungle of vines winding their way in and out of one another's cages. I still got a LOT of tomatoes, but it was a mess to tear down.

I planted my peas (from seed) in late April and just saw a flower on one a couple of days ago. It very suddenly got hot here, and the peas aren't that happy with the heat. I may not get any this year. :(

My one raspberry bush that's already bearing ripe berries is starting to grow right through the netting. Ugh. It was such a PITA to get it put on.

Of my 3 blueberries, one's covered in them, one has a handful, and one has exactly ONE berry forming. The latter 2 are brand new bushes bought this year so I'm happy to be getting anything off of them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: boarder42 on June 15, 2017, 02:00:39 PM
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?

anyone?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on June 15, 2017, 02:11:45 PM
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?

anyone?

These will be larvae of moths or beetles or other insect.  So - you need some sort of insecticide.  Likely eggs laid on or near the plant, hatching out and then snacking on your garden.
If you have an extension office - they could help you identify the most likely pest, and treatment options.  Or google.  Or your local nursery or store that sells garden supplies (TruValue, Ace Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot, or local store). If you can, take pictures of the damage to the plants, and the larvae/catepillar eating on your plant.

We haven't been using any insecticides - so no advice.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on June 15, 2017, 02:28:17 PM
Seeds are cheap.  My advice for dealing with insect damage is to plant more, and accept some losses.

Of course that only works if the bugs are vaguely under control and you don't get wiped out by locusts or something.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 15, 2017, 07:11:19 PM
1 part soap and 20 parts water.  Spray on all sides of the plants, hose down after 10 minutes. 
Look for the eggs and squash before they become caterpillars? 
Floating row covers to prevent the moth/insect from laying eggs in the first place?

Everything in the cabbage family is highly susceptible to cabbage moths so maybe that is what you have.  Organic farmers use row covers and squashing them....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SAfAmBrit on June 15, 2017, 09:52:20 PM
I am drowning in tomatoes. I have always planted in pots and got some tomatoes - so this year I put them in the ground and - wow!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: KMMK on June 16, 2017, 12:48:53 PM
I have tiny bell peppers, one tiny hot pepper, and some tiny tomatoes! Pretty good for mid-June in Edmonton.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on June 16, 2017, 09:37:53 PM
No cherry crop at all this year, but it's looking like it will be the first real apple harvest from my three small trees this year. 

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.

The tomatoes are nice and bushy, and have even set a few fruit.  The peppers and eggplants are protesting the cool spring and not doing much.

Lots and lots of garlic is on the way, and the potato plants are growing nicely.  It looks like I'll be getting lots of raspberries this year too.

The squash are planted out and a couple melons will go out tomorrow.

After getting bird netting over the lettuces, we are enjoying some salads.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: PJC74 on June 18, 2017, 10:33:04 PM
Organic Microgreens! I grow them in planter trays. After 2 weeks cut them ,enjoy, let the roots dry out , and plant more. Super healthy, easy to grow and they don't take up much area

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on June 19, 2017, 04:52:23 AM

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.


That's interesting Horsepoor -- I've never known anyone to grow them.  Do you homebrew? Use them for something else?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 19, 2017, 08:48:05 AM
Gardens are looking really good after a week of heat and some rain and some irrigation.
Harvested one dozen strawberries from plants that I have been coxing along for three years.  I have fenced my allotment garden and that seems to be the magic.  There are more fruit on the plants so hopefully the fencing holds.
Planted more beans, carrots and cilantro in the allotment.  The first outdoor planting of peas are developing pods.  The second are flowering.  The early carrots are MIA, while most of the beans look great.  I also harvested garlic scapes, some onion and accidentally a garlic bulb.  It is pretty big already.

I made a huge salad for Father's day supper with greens, basil, edible flowers and spring onion. All ten adults are big salad eaters so it was all gone even though I started with two salad spinners full of greens.  Simple vinaigrette - black cherry balsamic (that I made last year) olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup (made this spring), basil (thinnings) salt and pepper.

The greenhouse is nearly empty of seedlings - just some lonely mystery tomatoes and a pot of zucchini starts that were slower than the others.  I normally don't start zukes inside but I had nowhere to plant the seeds that I left in my pocket and ran through the washing machine.  Nearly a %100 seed germination with new seed, freshly laundered. The greens are just about finished, peppers are just sitting there, tomatoes and cukes are blooming.  Need to find out if they will set or do I need to assist pollination.

The patch in front of the greenhouse (neighbours property) is coming along except for the sunflowers (gone)  Zinnias, calenduala, sage, rhubarb transplants are looking robust.  The seeds - cukes and watermellon have been spotty.  I only had three watermellon seeds and have two small plants so hopefully this works out.  Only one cuke came up in the hill.  I dumped a bunch of old seed to see if anything else will catch.

Outdoor stuff on the front lawn is coming along.  Potatoes are only sprouting in the top of the tower - so I poked holes in the side.  Gourds are up, tomatoes blooming, haskaps finished by the birds, edible flowers are blooming, sunflowers are gone but marigolds and strawflowers are looking lovely.  Pear trees are looking sad with some pests.  Saskatoons have potential.  Monitoring for asparagus beetles but haven't seen any yet.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on June 19, 2017, 10:02:46 AM
Who here has netted their fruit bushes? How do you keep the bush from growing through the netting - do you just remove and re-net with a bigger piece as it gets bigger? Do you cut a hole? That seems counterproductive. Also, how do you secure the netting if the bush is in the ground (or a raised bed)? I have it sort of clamped to the sides of the raised bed, but it is loose on one side and a determined bird or critter could probably still get in there. And one side of the blueberry bush is getting smooshed down by the netting. The netting I bought is such a pain in the ass, so tangly and unwieldy. I really don't want to have to keep re-netting these things as they grow.

Three of my tomato plants are making tiny tomatoes! And I have two pods forming on the snow peas! I was sure that they were going to die in the sudden heat. Unfortunately the sugar snap peas did not make it. :(

One of my peppers appears to be about to burst into flower. Seriously, about 20 buds on it. (It is a mini pepper variety.) The rest of the peppers aren't doing so well. I mean, they look healthy but most are not flowering. A couple have one or two small buds. Most are in my small raised bed at home, and I think they're getting too shaded by the tomatoes. One of which was supposedly a dwarf variety. Which I suspect is false, as this thing is now enormous and very leafy. I may need to prune it so it doesn't take over.... except I thought you weren't supposed to prune determinates? Argh.

Oh well. Now that I see how the sun hits the back yard, I'll be able to better plan next year.

This is my first time growing tomatoes in big containers. I have 3 in containers and the rest are in one or the other of my raised beds. The container plants are already taller than me and have outgrown their cages, In mid-June. Yikes. Is that normal? The ones in the raised bed are about the size I'd expect for this time of year. I guess they must like having some space and depth to spread out. I actually have better soil in the raised bed so it's not that.

I am trying to be better this year about harvesting and drying the herbs that I am not able to use up while fresh. I cut down my "mammoth dill" - aptly named variety, it gets huge - and am drying that, and also some oregano. Waste not want not! Last year I just couldn't use up everything I had.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SAfAmBrit on June 19, 2017, 02:19:39 PM
Tomatoes have taken over my life - I have 3 kg frozen in the freezer, eat some every meal and given about 3 kg away.  We are now 110 + so the plants are stating to die. I have a lot of thyme so started drying it. 1/4 jar so far!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on June 19, 2017, 06:11:17 PM

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.


That's interesting Horsepoor -- I've never known anyone to grow them.  Do you homebrew? Use them for something else?

I haven't in a while, but plan to do a couple batches this fall.  I also use them to flavor kombucha, but mostly they are a Mustachian summer shade for the south wall of our house.  There are some large commercial hop fields within 20 miles of my house, so apparently it's a very favorable climate for them!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 19, 2017, 06:12:26 PM
I got to eat strawberries straight from the garden today.  I was weeding, I think the animals missed them because they were hidden in grass (my bad, I'm not weeding enough in the heat wave and he weeds are thriving).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: sol on June 19, 2017, 09:21:43 PM
There are some large commercial hop fields within 20 miles of my house, so apparently it's a very favorable climate for them!

[agricultural tangent]
Hops are a remarkably drought-tolerant crop, except when they're flowering, but for good acid development they like loooong summer sunlight hours coupled with cold nights.  That effectively restricts their zones of commercial development to inland areas of northern latitudes, which is why Washington and Wisconsin and New York are the the big hop growing states.  Oregon grows some, but mostly for local craft breweries who can pay a premium for 100% local ingredients. 

About 70% of the US domestic hops supply comes from one little valley in central Washington, not because they are the best but because there it is cheap to grow the cheapest hops that get added to cheap (mass-produced, oft-maligned) American lagers.  If you only care about the bittering agent, and not the flavor profile, why pay for anything fancy?  Budweiser certainly doesn't.

Germany grows a bunch in Europe, for similar reasons.  High latitude means long days, inland areas mean cold nights, and they have local buyers.

There's actually a thriving body of scientific literature about how our changing climate will slowly and inevitably change the ideal locations to grow specific crops.  Just like we all choose garden plants specific to our local climate, farmers grow for their climate too and they're much more concerned about maximizing exact yields.  For most things it doesn't matter so much, but for flavoring hops and (even more importantly) for specific wine grapes, terroir is everything.  You need that perfect combination of soil and climate and ag methods to generate a uniformly recognizable product, and as things warm up you just can't grow a good Bordeuax in Bordeaux anymore.  But we CAN identify which areas are most susceptible to losing their favorable climate (French wine is going to turn into Australian wine, sadly) and which areas that are currently marginal are going to improve (no surprise, it's the northern and the upper altitude fringes of the current areas).

But to expand that same science, we can also identify which areas appear to be ideally suited to particular crops where they are NOT currently being grown.  For example, large parts of the middle east should be producing the best wines in the world, if they only bothered to make such things there.  Such a loss.

We can do the same thing now for broccoli or onions or pears or corn, but generally speaking no one is interested.  These are commodity crops that will get grown wherever it makes economic sense, not in places that have spent decades and millions of dollars cultivating a public perception of location-specific quality in a particular agricultural product, the way the French have with wines.
[/agricultural tangent]
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on June 20, 2017, 06:25:58 AM
But field corn (and maybe sweet corn) IS adapted for various growing regions by the efforts of breeders (selecting for earlier maturity to enable growing in more northern climes). This is a plant that came from Mexico - and is now grown down into southern Brazil and up into Canada, across Europe, China, Australia.

I planted a bunch of varieties with a big spread of maturity in the middle of the corn belt (central Iowa).  For some varieties from Mexico - the plants were more than 10 ft tall, and finally had ears in September, clearly a MUCH longer maturity!

Now - I don't know how many fruit and vegetable crops this has been done for. But I've bought tomatillo seed adapted for my area. Whatever seed or plant you are buying in your region has likely been adapted for your area (growing zone). That said, you may not get the highest yield (on average) of ANY growing zone, but you should get a good yield for your growing zone.  That said - still not growing bananas or pineapples here (yet).

Sounds like hops has more specific requirement than growing zone per se (cold nights, etc.). that was really interesting - thanks Sol
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on June 20, 2017, 07:08:43 AM

Sounds like hops has more specific requirement than growing zone per se (cold nights, etc.). that was really interesting - thanks Sol

Yes, thanks, Sol.  Very interesting about the hops.  And I now recall seeing a couple of commercial hops fields when we lived in Wisconsin.  I only knew what they were because I had seen them grown years ago in Germany. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on June 20, 2017, 08:23:01 AM
Interesting about the hops! Our local Fancy Garden Center sells them, and had quite a few still when I went last weekend to browse. I've been curious but I have no idea what I'd use them for as I don't brew beer. I'm in Chicago so it sounds like our climate is probably favorable for them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 20, 2017, 10:09:11 AM
Here's my little 4x4 raised bed:
(http://i68.tinypic.com/14l7x1e.jpg)

It's a bit crowded, but seems to be growing well.  Some tomatoes on the left, a pumpkin, cucumbers along the bottom right.  They seem to be having trouble with yellowing leaves and stunted growth, but there's two more plants slightly pushed into the center that look very healthy.  Pepper plants center right, bean, strawberry, with peas climbing behind them.  Not visible on the other side is a bunch of carrots and lettuce. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 21, 2017, 11:11:35 AM
DH has bought two new grape bushes, this time of best type suited for northern climate, Solaris.

We have eaten the first strawberries, nice and sweet.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: StarBright on June 21, 2017, 11:14:46 AM
I had my first strawberry this morning and picked a ton of snap peas!

My son (who usually hates peas) wants to eat them for dinner so I'm quite excited about our garden's affect on my kids' eating habits :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on June 22, 2017, 04:30:45 AM
I had my first strawberry this morning and picked a ton of snap peas!

My son (who usually hates peas) wants to eat them for dinner so I'm quite excited about our garden's affect on my kids' eating habits :)

+1. Peas fresh out of the garden are glorious!   One of the very best things about gardening.  Our kids munch those -- and the fresh green beans -- down as well. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 22, 2017, 11:05:07 AM
My peas are finally starting to flower, and I have 4-5 cherry tomatoes growing.  Pretty exciting!  Just ate a bunch of lettuce from the garden as well. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on June 22, 2017, 12:23:49 PM
We've been eating spinach/lettuce/other green thinnings for about a week now! So good.

Tomatoes (mountain princess, determinate) are starting to set fruit. Like the poster above mentioned, I also pruned back my tomatoes - I'm trying to grow them up a string trellis this year, so they need one strong vine. From what I hear, anything foliage that doesn't have tomatoes on it needs to go! This encourages bigger and better fruit.

My pepper plants that are in pots are loaded with flowers... whereas the ones I have in the ground just look yellowish and sad. Won't be doing peppers in the ground after this year.

We've also been snacking on our haskap berries - they're probably 3-4 year old shrubs, and so far providing about a handful of berries each. Quite tasty when they're ripe.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 22, 2017, 02:54:56 PM
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on June 22, 2017, 04:19:20 PM
I've learned that I'm not very good at growing things, generally. But I can still preserve the harvest when it's in a glut season and down to a buck a kilo. I find that's cheaper for me than spending money on a garden that I still haven't managed to get to be productive! I try a new veg or something every few years, but there are only one or two things I've managed to get the hang of. I'm good at growing peas and beans. Not much else!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on June 22, 2017, 05:53:14 PM
First full harvest of the main garden for this year today. Also have ~12 cayenne peppers and 10 or so super chili peppers not shown. Not including herbs in pics from the garden.

Beans are growing pretty well now (11 bush bean plants) but they'll be a little while.

I've had a TON of blight on my tomatoes this year, so I don't know how long I'll be able to keep the plants alive, but I'm going to enjoy their fruit until they die...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on June 22, 2017, 05:57:46 PM
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.

I'm just getting into composting, but from all of my reading you're much better off just composting leaves than trying to compost scraps. A pile is all you really need too. A bin or something similar (preferable with worms or access for worms) will speed up the process though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on June 22, 2017, 06:16:31 PM
First full harvest of the main garden for this year today. Also have ~12 cayenne peppers and 10 or so super chili peppers not shown. Not including herbs in pics from the garden.

Beans are growing pretty well now (11 bush bean plants) but they'll be a little while.

I've had a TON of blight on my tomatoes this year, so I don't know how long I'll be able to keep the plants alive, but I'm going to enjoy their fruit until they die...

Lovely!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on June 23, 2017, 03:51:53 AM
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.

I'm just getting into composting, but from all of my reading you're much better off just composting leaves than trying to compost scraps. A pile is all you really need too. A bin or something similar (preferable with worms or access for worms) will speed up the process though.

Leaves are great, but for balanced composting, you'll want a mix of kitchen scraps plus things like paper, leaves, etc.  Here's a guide: http://ccetompkins.org/resources/compost-home-composting-brochure

You'll want to set your compost pile outside on the ground somewhere.  Many people use a container (drum with no bottom) or else a 3- or 4-sided open top bin made of anything -- hardware cloth, pallets, scrap wood, etc.   @jlcnuke --
 you could use a cardboard box, but it won't last long.  It'll become part of the compost.  :)   You can also just make a pile on the ground if you don't care how it looks or if critters dig in it.   (That doesn't always happen.  It depends on where you live and what mix of wild and domestic critters you have). 

When you've got your location just throw in a mix of "greens" (kitchen scraps) and "browns" (things like leaves, shredded newspaper, used paper towels, etc).  You can stir it/flip it over periodically if you like. It helps it "cook" faster.  You'll know by the smell when the pile is happy and has the right mix of greens and browns.   It will also have a healthy population of bugs and worms in it.  If it stinks in a bad way, your mix may be too "green";  try adding some "browns". 

Pretty much all kitchen scraps are fine to add, though many people don't add bones, meat, or grease because of the unwanted animal attention that draws.  Personally I also don't add citrus fruit peels or pineapple trimmings because they don't break down fast enough for my taste.  Egg shells and coffee grounds are AOK -- pure gold in fact.   Tomatoes and peppers LOVE egg shells in their compost dressing.   

When it is done cooking it will look and smell pretty much like black soil.   Good luck and have fun.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Roots&Wings on June 23, 2017, 05:38:47 AM
^ The super easy (or lazy) compost method is to just dig a small hole and bury it. Where I live, it becomes rich soil in about 2 weeks. Citrus peels and avocado can take a bit longer to fully break down. There's an occasional raccoon that visits my fruit/veggie scraps.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own
Post by: ooeei on June 23, 2017, 06:47:45 AM
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.

If you're just doing veggie scraps, look into starting up a worm bin too.  It's slightly more maintenance than a compost pile, but works better with having lots of "greens" (nitrogen rich) instead of "browns" (carbon rich) in your waste.  For a compost pile to work most efficiently, you need a ratio of about 20 browns to greens (by weight). 

In reality, anything will eventually decompose and be fine. The difference is whether it takes a few weeks or a few months, and whether it's smell free or stinky and attracting pests. The guides for how to do it "right" online generally assume you want it as fast and as smell free as possible.


In garden news, my tomato plants in the earthtainers are ridiculously massive, but due to the Texas heat have stopped putting on fruit.  A few of the cherry varieties still are, but noticeably slower than before.  Guess now I just have to keep them alive until Fall and hope for a better crop then.

I've also had quite a bit of issue with birds destroying tomatoes. I read that putting up a bird bath should help since usually they eat them because they're thirsty, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: mikedom on June 23, 2017, 07:32:18 AM
Our garden (Zone 5 in Michigan) has already yielded lettuce, spinach, and beets and now I have some open space. What can I direct sow this late in the season? I recently put in some more beet seeds, but am curious about other options.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on June 23, 2017, 08:24:08 AM
Our garden (Zone 5 in Michigan) has already yielded lettuce, spinach, and beets and now I have some open space. What can I direct sow this late in the season? I recently put in some more beet seeds, but am curious about other options.

The "yellow" zone on this chart is the "sow directly into ground" area for zone 5.
(http://imavex.vo.llnwd.net/o18/clients/urbanfarm/images/Garden_Guide/Planting-Zone-5.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on June 23, 2017, 08:51:04 AM
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.

No, you don't need anything fancy.  A cardboard box will disintegrate if the pile is getting adequate moisture though.  My compost bins are made out of 2x4" wire mesh.  Squirrels and birds get in, but I haven't had problems with larger wildlife even though we're on larger lots outside of city limits.

Cardboard can be shredded and go in the pile as a brown.   You'll want to add dried leaves and "browns" along with your veggie scraps, which are a "green" to get proper composting and not just a pile of slime.  Since you don't plan to use the compost until next year, you can employ the same lazy method that I use, which is: 1) put things in a pile 2) wait.  Next spring flip everything over and the bottom will be beautiful, rich compost.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 23, 2017, 08:51:15 AM
Thanks for all the composting info!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on June 23, 2017, 10:32:22 AM
This, and other similar papers/discussions from agriculture department personnel, is where I got the info telling me that kitchen scraps etc aren't needed for compost. Just FYI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9OhxKlrWwc
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on June 23, 2017, 11:50:44 AM
This, and other similar papers/discussions from agriculture department personnel, is where I got the info telling me that kitchen scraps etc aren't needed for compost. Just FYI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9OhxKlrWwc

Sure, you can just do leaves.  It's just a different thing.  I consider that "mulch" rather than compost.  Shredded leaves are great for the soil, but they don't have the nutritional benefits that compost does.  I have both a leaf bin and a true compost pile.  I use the leaves to mulch around plants, and the compost to feed the plants.  One is mostly a protective barrier/blanket for the plants, and the other is mostly food.  Both good things.     
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on June 23, 2017, 05:44:54 PM
I tried composting for the first time this spring, just throwing kitchen scraps into a pile. This caused a fly situation that was Out Of Control. As soon as I stopped adding to the pile, the flies were much less, so I assume it was the compost drawing them. Has this happened to anyone else?

I was more concerned about rats, as I'm in the city. Didn't consider Epic Fly Population.

I think the issue may have been not enough brown - but I rent and did not have a source of dried leaves when we moved in this spring. Maybe if I start collecting dried leaves in the fall? We don't have trees in our yard, though.... hmmmm.

My pepper plants that are in pots are loaded with flowers... whereas the ones I have in the ground just look yellowish and sad. Won't be doing peppers in the ground after this year.

I am having the same issue. Well, the ones in the ground aren't yellowish, but they are not growing that much and are not even considering making any flowers. I thought it was because they're not getting enough sun; I planted "dwarf" tomatoes around them that are now enormous. I pruned the tomatoes so that they're not blocking the peppers so maybe that will help - but the peppers definitely like containers better. I have at least 6 peppers starting on my mini yellow bell - that's early, for here.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 23, 2017, 09:04:39 PM
We (Chicago area) seem to have zero to none flying insects to pollinate cucumbers. They look complete shit. They start blooming, growing a bit and die off. I'm trying to hand pollinate them with male flowers but it doesn't  seem to work at all, may be one or two.

Tomatoes are doing OK. Peppers are slow (don't forget to top yours if you haven't done it yet). 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Blissful Biker on June 23, 2017, 10:09:35 PM
Tomatoes are doing OK. Peppers are slow (don't forget to top yours if you haven't done it yet).

Thanks!  I had not heard of topping peppers.  Googled it and now heading out to cut off those tops.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on June 24, 2017, 04:07:02 AM
We (Chicago area) seem to have zero to none flying insects to pollinate cucumbers. They look complete shit. They start blooming, growing a bit and die off. I'm trying to hand pollinate them with male flowers but it doesn't  seem to work at all, may be one or two.

Tomatoes are doing OK. Peppers are slow (don't forget to top yours if you haven't done it yet).

Hey Ferrumb5 -- there are some cucumbers that don't require pollination (gynoecious/parthenocarpic). You could try those.    One that I had great luck with was Corinto.   Seed is expensive though.

I had the same pollination problems as you before I switched.  I remember being out there with a Qtip trying to hand pollinate them, until I had enough of that.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 24, 2017, 11:48:38 AM
Trifele, those are great tips. I will put it in my garden logbook for next year. I was not aware of self-poll cukes. Thanks!!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on June 24, 2017, 05:08:18 PM
I didn't see this thread. Been less active on the forums recently...

Anyways, we've picked off a bunch of Japanese beetles in the past few days. No real obvious damage (just a bit on the peas?) which is good, so hopefully either they have better food or our garden is so prolific that they can't do much damage. Anyone have good ideas for this? Internet seems to suggest just manually plucking them.

Some pictures of our adventure this year. If you have slow internet I'm sorry.

Here's the garden map. Had we planned better it would have been a lot more organized, particularly with the peppers. I don't think we anticipated so many this year, but that's my fault for spontaneously buying more constantly :-)



(http://i.imgur.com/CN19mih.png)

Next our peas/beans and a row of peppers (and the rhubarb):

(http://i.imgur.com/vIEIHIL.jpg)

Looking nice!

Tomatoes are more or less doing well. We've picked a few cherries already (top) and have a few ripening Early Girl tomatoes:

(http://i.imgur.com/BUbsKGc.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/3esL0e6.png)

Translated raspberry roots (from inlaws) seem to actually be doing well enough to fruit this year. They had them quite a few years with none... turns out sun is important?

(http://i.imgur.com/RQYHk8w.png)

Obligatory "lol zuchinni" pic:

(http://i.imgur.com/81ykFGv.jpg)

Some ripening peppers!
(http://i.imgur.com/MI7fFYa.png)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on June 24, 2017, 05:15:18 PM
Tomatoes are doing OK. Peppers are slow (don't forget to top yours if you haven't done it yet).

Thanks!  I had not heard of topping peppers.  Googled it and now heading out to cut off those tops.

Same. I'm not sure we can do it now as multiple of our plants are already producing fruit, but it seems like a crazy good benefit!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 24, 2017, 08:08:36 PM
Oh yes! You will love it next year. I made an experiment last year - left a couple just as is... and the ones that were topped were like a huge fat fur tree with plenty of fruit while the ones that were not topped - just a plain ok pepper (still got fruits from them of course). DO TOP YOUR PEPPERS folks!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 24, 2017, 08:13:43 PM
Ah! Basil tips:

Tips for good basil (applies to peppers too) - when a plant develops at least 2 (3 is better) sets of true leaves, TOP it right away (and don't be scared - it's really good for the plant!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jhmOC5uVjA

Tip number 2: NEVER EVER let basil bloom - it ruins the taste of the WHOLE plant immediately. It just turns to bitter grass. If you see flowers starting to develop - cut this part quickly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOW--OqJo8M

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cressida on June 24, 2017, 10:58:54 PM
This topping business - is it just for hot peppers, or is it for sweet peppers too?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 24, 2017, 11:13:18 PM
All peppers. Just do it when 3 true leaves grow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj3EZYcjyyI
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cressida on June 25, 2017, 07:29:50 PM
All peppers. Just do it when 3 true leaves grow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj3EZYcjyyI

Oh, quite a bit too late then. Oh well. Hopefully they did it at the nursery!  :)

Thanks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on June 26, 2017, 04:53:17 AM
It was a beautiful weekend full of gardening challenges here.   

The GD deer browsed down my new blackberries to nothing.  Why???   Last year we moved from the upper midwest down to our new place in the southeast.  We had lots of deer up north, so we are no strangers to them, but the northern deer didn't go after plantings like these southern deer.   These deer eat everything -- trees, shrubs, garden plants they are not supposed to like, like tomatoes.  (In 20 years of gardening, I have never had any animals eat tomato plants, yet these deer do.)  I cannot figure this out. We have several acres of beautiful meadow, as do our neighbors.  The deer are not hurting for food.  Gah!  Getting really tired of this.   

Also the slugs have been eating the leaves off my peppers something fierce.  I'm going to have to get after them.   And a rabbit or woodchuck got under the garden fence, walked right by the chard patch, and ate about half of my Red Russian kale.   Whatever it was has good taste, at least.   :)  But we won't be getting any big harvests this year. 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Fishindude on June 26, 2017, 07:05:04 AM
Great looking garden pics !
Thus far, we've only harvested radishes and some lettuce, but cucumbers are now about 5" long and baby peppers and tomatoes are taking shape on the plants.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on June 29, 2017, 09:48:40 AM
Tips on supporting really tall tomato plants that are too heavy for their cages? Went outside last weekend and two of my tomatoes that are in big containers were practically horizontal, cage and all. I added a stake to each, and tied the main stem to the stake. Went out yesterday - horizontal again! The plants, cages, and stakes were now all tipped over.

What else can I use? I can't get a better cage on it at this point; the plants are too big. Stakes all the way around the plant, maybe? The ground that the container is sitting on is very hard and dense and full of tough tentacle-like roots that I haven't been able to identify or entirely dig up, so I think maybe the stake wasn't deep enough. I just don't know how to get it deeper. I need someone with upper body strength, I guess, haha.

I mean, seriously, these only have a few baby tomatoes on them (and they're heirlooms that produce big tomatoes) so this is only going to get worse. And I've been pruning them diligently so that they don't spread; they're just really, really tall. And it's only June! In Chicago! This is only the start of our tomato season!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 29, 2017, 11:38:33 AM
Can you build some sort of support structure outside of the bin?  A simple example is 2 stakes in the ground on either side of the container with a string tied between them that will support the plant.  You can expand with more stakes and strings running between them at different heights.  It may not look great, but it will be functional.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 29, 2017, 12:51:48 PM
All peppers. Just do it when 3 true leaves grow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj3EZYcjyyI

Oh, quite a bit too late then. Oh well. Hopefully they did it at the nursery!  :)

Thanks.

I mean, when at least 3 sets of true leaves grow. Not earlier, but it definitely can be done later, unless your peppers already producing.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 29, 2017, 01:07:19 PM
I have a green pepper plant that I bought and had 2 peppers on it.  That was over a month ago.  These peppers are probably 1/3 the normal green pepper size and don't seem to be growing at all.  Should I just pick them?  The plant seems healthy otherwise and has set a lot of other flowers and is growing one other pepper now.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 29, 2017, 01:21:08 PM
I have a green pepper plant that I bought and had 2 peppers on it.  That was over a month ago.  These peppers are probably 1/3 the normal green pepper size and don't seem to be growing at all.  Should I just pick them?  The plant seems healthy otherwise and has set a lot of other flowers and is growing one other pepper now.

Are there any other flower buds forming on it? Is it inside/outside? Bed/container?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on June 29, 2017, 02:11:37 PM
It's growing other flowers and has one small new pepper growing.  It's in an outside raised bed.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 29, 2017, 03:02:17 PM
It's growing other flowers and has one small new pepper growing.  It's in an outside raised bed.

If the stem is already the "V"-shape (or "Y"), it's probably too late. If not, go for it :) watch some you tube videos on it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on June 29, 2017, 05:20:33 PM
Can you build some sort of support structure outside of the bin?  A simple example is 2 stakes in the ground on either side of the container with a string tied between them that will support the plant.  You can expand with more stakes and strings running between them at different heights.  It may not look great, but it will be functional.

Maybe? Or maybe several stakes all around the pot, with rope going all the way around? Sort of making a secondary "cage" around the outside? That could work. I just have to figure out how to get the stakes deep enough into the very unyielding ground so that the entire thing doesn't tip.

I have a green pepper plant that I bought and had 2 peppers on it.  That was over a month ago.  These peppers are probably 1/3 the normal green pepper size and don't seem to be growing at all.  Should I just pick them?  The plant seems healthy otherwise and has set a lot of other flowers and is growing one other pepper now.

What's your weather been like? I've found that when we've had cooler summers, or wildly swinging up and down temps, my peppers will just kind of halt where they are until it gets hot again. They seem to really need the heat in order to grow and ripen the peppers.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on June 29, 2017, 05:31:32 PM
Anyone have good suggestions for getting rid of Japanese beetles?

Been crushing many a day here...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on June 29, 2017, 05:44:37 PM
Anyone have good suggestions for getting rid of Japanese beetles?

Been crushing many a day here...

Call Mr President and get them deported. I'm sure they don't have visas or green cards :)
Having same issue here. Just bought bug-in-a-bag kit, will try this weekend
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on June 29, 2017, 10:42:08 PM
I have a green pepper plant that I bought and had 2 peppers on it.  That was over a month ago.  These peppers are probably 1/3 the normal green pepper size and don't seem to be growing at all.  Should I just pick them?  The plant seems healthy otherwise and has set a lot of other flowers and is growing one other pepper now.

You can eat them as green anytime if you want.  As far as I know, all bell peppers will turn another color when they ripen, so you could watch for some yellow, red or orange to appear.  That is a signal that they aren't going to get any bigger.

Tris Prior  If you have a sledge hammer, some t-posts with rope between them might be the answer for you.  It should be possible to pound them into the ground where it's too hard to dig.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on July 01, 2017, 01:31:15 PM
This Prior, all IL residents. What's going on? Most of my cucumbers just died. And the ones that are still alive are all yellow leaves, nevermind producing any fruit (literally no bees here). AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 01, 2017, 02:43:11 PM
Too much rain, maybe? We had some pretty serious downpours here.

I've never had success with cukes, zukes, or anything in that family, and have since given up.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on July 02, 2017, 08:30:53 AM
We have been able to eat 6 of our strawberries per day.
The tomatoe plants have been collapsing, so we have tied them around a stick. The peppers plants are still tiny.
My avocado plants is growing well, getting many big leaves. I just put it in a bigger pot. Unfortunate that it will take about 7 years before it will grow avocadoes, if it does at all.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 02, 2017, 09:59:59 AM
I found one of those foldable zigzagging tomato supports in the "free" pile at the community garden! Score! I put it around the most horizontal tomato, outside the pot, in sort of a triangle shape. It wouldn't connect at the sides as the pot's too big, so I strung rope in that area. The plant has now stayed vertical since yesterday afternoon!

Also bought some stakes and did essentially the same thing with another tomato and that seems to be holding as well. Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on July 02, 2017, 10:53:31 AM
Thanks all for the advise on the stunted pepper plant.  I decided to leave the peppers on until they yellow or otherwise show they are overripe. 

Maybe the plant is stressed / diseased as many of the mature leaves had some brown on them - most likely some kind of blight.  I removed all the damaged leaves and hoping for the best.  Hopefully it doesn't spread to my other healthy plants!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: KMMK on July 02, 2017, 08:56:14 PM
First harvest!

(https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/19702114_1403933606352339_9115609744654076407_n.jpg?oh=5d651d055095ebfe49282ac1fcf5b1ad&oe=59D575C2)

I also plucked a bell pepper but it was inedible. Will try leaving them for longer.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Threshkin on July 02, 2017, 10:10:43 PM
I am late to this thread but not late to the party.

So far we have finished off the bok choi, spinach, radishes (2 kinds), strawberries and peas.  The peas were my favorite.  I would eat a few raw every day while watering/weeding plus we added them to many meals.

Currently we are harvesting sour cherries.  We have a bumper crop this year from our two small trees.  The first batch we cooked into sauce that we have used in baking and makes the greatest addition to tea.  For the second batch we will try making some wine.  After talking to friends and some internet searching we have a very simple recipe (4lbs cherries, 2.4 lbs sugar, wine yeast & water to make a gallon.  Mush up the cherries a bit, dissolve the sugar, dump it all in a clean bottle, attach an airlock and wait.)

Growing strong are dozens of tomato plants, peppers, egg plant, squash, cucumbers, cabbage, brussels sprouts, grapes and other assorted goodies.

Our seed cost this year was ZERO!  We went to a local seed exchange and collected more seeds than we know what to do with.  For example we are growing about ten different kinds of heirloom tomatoes and still have more varieties that we have not tried yet.  (Note: We also brought seeds to that swap, it was not just a grab and run)

For future enjoyment we are adding a trellis to about 22 feet of south facing fence and will put in more grape vines.  There are some varieties that are supposed to very well in our cold winter climate (Zone 5).  I will get the details from our local extension office once the bed and trellis are ready.

I FIREd last October and we cannot travel due to my mom's health condition so this is the first year that I can really focus on the garden.  It is tons of fun!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on July 03, 2017, 05:54:43 AM
I have tremendous enthusiastic wall of tomato vines on the southern exposure, but all the tomatoes are staying green for an extended period, probably because it's been cool and rainy. I'm impatient.


Of course, given that I picked my last tomatoes in December last year (!), I really don't have any room to complain.


Basil has recovered from The Great Grasshopper Scourge of 2017 and is growing well, no doubt in part because all the grasshoppers have decided it's more fun to come in the house. I keep finding them.


For some reason, my marigolds won't grow, but the mystery mums are blooming.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on July 03, 2017, 08:44:03 PM
We are currently over run with greens! I just plucked all the bok choy this week, and we've got lots of lettuce and kale coming along. I've attached a couple pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on July 05, 2017, 04:43:21 AM
Soon we will leave for our 3 week vacation. We have some pepper plants and tomato plants inside, plus some grape twigs that are finally developing roots. They will have to be able to survive those three weeks without getting water. We plan to set them out in the garden, like we did last year with the plants. But than we didn't have tomatoes and peppers, just normalt living room plants.
We put the plants outside today to get used to that, just not where the rain could fall and also on the east side of the house (only morning sun). My avocado plant was getting a hard time in the hard wind with it's big leaves. So I put in in a more wind shielded area.
When we go on vacation we will put them in the open where they can catch rain.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on July 07, 2017, 10:09:57 AM
Came back from a ~5 day vacation and got the first major harvest of the year. We're going to get a kitchen scale and try to keep track of how much we get for reference point since it's our first year gardening.

(http://i.imgur.com/7iELjuul.jpg)

My wife guesstimates she only picked about 1/2 of the beans compared to the remaining ones and flowers. Think that'll be enough for the next year...

We're going to have an insane crop of tomatoes which is great and the point (want to freeze enough for a year) and zucchini is doing its thing already (well you always get a ton from a single zucchini plant). Our cantaloupe plant that has looked anemic all year is looking better and better now and has about a dozen flowers. So we'll see.  Tomatoes on the left are early girl, the right are defiants. All those plants started pretty big compared to the others.

Pruned a TON off our tomato plants. I probably pruned 50 branches off of one plant which was insanely bushy. Hopefully that helps. Most of the dozen tomato plants we have now have about a dozen flower clusters on them... so that's great :D

Our peas are getting hit with powdery mildew. Though at this point.. even if they all die I guess we got plenty of peas haha. Just will have to watch that spreading to the other plants. Luckily the beans are a buffer and those are going to all come out in a few weeks or so as they are in their peak harvest now.

About half our peppers have peppers on them now. Have 3 giant flavorburst ones going right now which are turning already colors. Next year I think we'll start peppers (bought them all this year) and start them to be ready to go much earlier than we did this year.

The spontaneous "oops forgot to eat them" potatoes we planted in a spot that gets poor sun are all flowering, soooo... might actually get some of them too?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on July 07, 2017, 11:08:49 AM
Very nice, Ender!!  Hard to believe that's a first year garden!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Elderwood17 on July 07, 2017, 11:34:40 AM
This week the last of the raspberries got picked just as the first of the blackberries were ready!  We have a lot of blackberry vines so should be set for them for at least four weeks.   The blue berries should be ready about the time the blackberries quit but the birds seem to really be liking our limited blue berry bushes this year, so they may not yield much (we have one early variety bush and it was picked clean).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on July 07, 2017, 11:50:59 AM
Very nice, Ender!!  Hard to believe that's a first year garden!

Welll technically last year we planted some 50% off veggies August 1st after we bought our house...

my wife won't let me get a greenhouse though unless we have an acreage... hmmmmmmmmmm.

Measured, we got about 4.5 pounds of peas and just under 4 pounds of green beans. And just under 3 pounds of tomatoes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on July 07, 2017, 01:17:57 PM
rabbits ate our green beans - we got one meal out of them.  the plants were too big, so they ate all the leaves, and any beans, but not to the ground The beans are trying to flower again so I'm just leaving them as a rabbit buffet.

The rabbits also have grazed on the kohlrabi, and beets.  Nervy buggers.

Spouse wanted to create wildlife refuges in the yard - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 07, 2017, 04:54:07 PM
I saw a hint of color on one of my Sungold tomatoes today! :D

Got a good-sized handful off of my second-year blueberry bush today too, with more to come.

Unfortunately, it looks like my peas are once again a FAIL. Maybe it got too hot? Other beds in my community garden have peas that are still going strong, though. Mine have mostly dried up despite diligent watering, and have produced exactly one pea pod. The same thing happened last year.

I can't figure out whether the tomatoes in the community bed are a bit stunted this year, or whether it's just that the ones in my back yard are SO full and bushy and healthy, that they just look a little spindly by comparison. I've also been diligently pruning them and shoving them back into their cages when they threaten to sneak out of them, so perhaps they are just more contained. I should go look at last year's garden pix and see where they are compared to last year at this time. All but 3 plants are currently making tomatoes. The other 3 have flowers on them, but don't seem to be fruiting. They are all heirloom varieties which I know can sometimes be tricky, and low bearers. (White Beauty, Brandywine, and Gold Medal, if anyone's interested. I was especially interested in White Beauty but so far it's just making flowers that shrivel up. Oh well. Started from free seeds, so I'm only out my time and effort.)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on July 07, 2017, 05:03:19 PM
I saw a hint of color on one of my Sungold tomatoes today! :D

Got a good-sized handful off of my second-year blueberry bush today too, with more to come.

Unfortunately, it looks like my peas are once again a FAIL. Maybe it got too hot? Other beds in my community garden have peas that are still going strong, though. Mine have mostly dried up despite diligent watering, and have produced exactly one pea pod. The same thing happened last year.

I can't figure out whether the tomatoes in the community bed are a bit stunted this year, or whether it's just that the ones in my back yard are SO full and bushy and healthy, that they just look a little spindly by comparison. I've also been diligently pruning them and shoving them back into their cages when they threaten to sneak out of them, so perhaps they are just more contained. I should go look at last year's garden pix and see where they are compared to last year at this time. All but 3 plants are currently making tomatoes. The other 3 have flowers on them, but don't seem to be fruiting. They are all heirloom varieties which I know can sometimes be tricky, and low bearers. (White Beauty, Brandywine, and Gold Medal, if anyone's interested. I was especially interested in White Beauty but so far it's just making flowers that shrivel up. Oh well. Started from free seeds, so I'm only out my time and effort.)

I've grown heirloom Gold Medal and Brandywine and they did OK me. Brandywine produced better, Gold Medal makes BIG tomatoes, and seems to be a bit slow about it. Brandywine are nice big (not huge) tomatoes.  I didn't track weight of fruit from each plant, but have an idea of how many tomatoes/plant. By weight there would be less difference in yield, but I think a Brandywine would still be higher than Gold Medal.

I'm in essentially the same growing area as you (central Iowa).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on July 07, 2017, 05:31:47 PM
lots of us central iowan gardeners here... :o

I don't think peas got too hot, ours get full sun all day and are probably 6 feet tall right now (they only have about a 4 foot fence to grow up, too, kind of ridiculous how straight they still grew after taht).

When did you plant them? Did you weed them fairly regularly? We picked about 4 pounds of peas today from maybe 35 feet worth of pea plants...


rabbits ate our green beans - we got one meal out of them.  the plants were too big, so they ate all the leaves, and any beans, but not to the ground The beans are trying to flower again so I'm just leaving them as a rabbit buffet.

The rabbits also have grazed on the kohlrabi, and beets.  Nervy buggers.

Spouse wanted to create wildlife refuges in the yard - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

We have rabbit fence lined with chicken wire. I *think* that has stopped all rabbits from getting in (watching them literally jump through the rabbit fence was quite depressing).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on July 07, 2017, 05:41:15 PM
lots of us central iowan gardeners here... :o

I don't think peas got too hot, ours get full sun all day and are probably 6 feet tall right now (they only have about a 4 foot fence to grow up, too, kind of ridiculous how straight they still grew after taht).

When did you plant them? Did you weed them fairly regularly? We picked about 4 pounds of peas today from maybe 35 feet worth of pea plants...


rabbits ate our green beans - we got one meal out of them.  the plants were too big, so they ate all the leaves, and any beans, but not to the ground The beans are trying to flower again so I'm just leaving them as a rabbit buffet.

The rabbits also have grazed on the kohlrabi, and beets.  Nervy buggers.

Spouse wanted to create wildlife refuges in the yard - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

We have rabbit fence lined with chicken wire. I *think* that has stopped all rabbits from getting in (watching them literally jump through the rabbit fence was quite depressing).

We have raised beds. We'll fence next year - they are not desperate enough to eat the cucumber, zucchini, peppers, or tomato leaves now. 
Fencing makes weeding an even bigger PITA!

We have two terriers - the yard has much evidence of their presence. Bunnies not deterred at all. Damn high productivity reproduction strategy - can afford to lose a few...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on July 07, 2017, 05:50:06 PM
We have two terriers - the yard has much evidence of their presence. Bunnies not deterred at all. Damn high productivity reproduction strategy - can afford to lose a few...

I see 3+ rabbits on a regular basis around our yard and behind our yard. Our garden would get destroyed without a fence, hah.

Today they were munching some weeds from the garden that I'd thrown into our yard..
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 09, 2017, 02:57:50 PM
lots of us central iowan gardeners here... :o

I don't think peas got too hot, ours get full sun all day and are probably 6 feet tall right now (they only have about a 4 foot fence to grow up, too, kind of ridiculous how straight they still grew after taht).

When did you plant them? Did you weed them fairly regularly? We picked about 4 pounds of peas today from maybe 35 feet worth of pea plants...

I know I planted them late, but it is what it is, because we weren't allowed into our community garden plots until April 22. I planted them (from seed) that day. I did weed; that part of the bed didn't really seem to get very many weeds but I did pull what came up. I watered them regularly. Nevertheless, one by one they became dry and crispy overnight and then keeled over. (like, one day they were fine and the next, nearly dead.) Maybe all that water I gave them still was not enough? Do peas get diseases? Because their rapid death makes me think disease or parasite, but I didn't see anything like that on them.

G-dog, good to know about the Gold Medals, that they are later bearers. It is still fairly early in tomato season here in Chicago; I just now am getting a couple of ripening sungolds. The Gold Medal does have flowers on it, as does the Brandywine. Just no hint of fruiting yet. The plants look pretty healthy though so I'm just going to let them do their thing.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on July 09, 2017, 06:58:50 PM
It is HOT here in Boise, and the squash bugs are out in force.  I will probably harvest all the garlic on Tuesday when it's going to be a blessed 90 degrees instead of 100.I need to get some seedlings started for fall crops this week.

I will not plant these purple carrots again.  Most of them bolted instead of forming roots, and the ones that did aren't that great.  There were some nice Nantes carrots in the mix though.   Here is today's haul:
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cranky on July 10, 2017, 05:51:50 AM
Let's see...

We got quite a few strawberries at the beginning of June - a few quarts worth anyway, which is better than usual. I planted these strawberries 20 years ago, and they've sort of wandered around the yard over the years.

The first rush of raspberries is about done. I've picked a cup or two every day for the last several weeks. The next round of flowers is starting. We did have a week of very hot weather that seemed to damage some of the plants this year (we were out of town, so I'm unsure if that's exactly when it happened.)

Dh built a new bed in the front, and the first round of tomato plants were devoured by bunnies so I had to replant them. You can tell it's a first year bed because those plants are okay, but not wonderful. The other bed of tomatoes plants is quite exuberant this year!

Kale is good. Broccoli is good. Squash is good. I expect to start harvesting basil next week.

I had peas planted in tubs, and we actually got quite a few! I pulled them out last week and replanted with some green beans.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on July 10, 2017, 03:27:11 PM
We have been able to eat 6 of our strawberries per day.
The tomatoe plants have been collapsing, so we have tied them around a stick. The peppers plants are still tiny.
My avocado plants is growing well, getting many big leaves. I just put it in a bigger pot. Unfortunate that it will take about 7 years before it will grow avocadoes, if it does at all.

Is it a Haas avocado tree?  If it is, I think it is a hybrid and it has been propogated from a single tree back in the 1920's.  You my not get any avocados. It has been propagated by trimmings spliced with tree trunks from other trees.  I might be wrong, but I remember reading about it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on July 10, 2017, 03:28:44 PM
Trying to decide what to plant after we rip out our peas/beans.

In Iowa, anyone have suggestions? We could do more of those I guess..
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 10, 2017, 03:55:10 PM
I'm trying to decide the same thing, now that stuff is dying off in the community raised bed. The peas are FAIL, so they're gonna go. Lettuce is almost done. The garlic greens have all shriveled up - I pulled one to see if it had done anything and got a very small garlic bulb. In general the garlic did really poorly this year; I'm going to blame it on not having had a proper winter with much snow at all. So I'm probably going to pull the rest of that.

I have some chard in a pot at home that is doing OK but it does much better in the ground for me, so that'll take up one square-foot of the bed. Also a dill that's finally starting to grow after being quite stunted for a few months - that can go in the bed too. I have a bunch of basil in pots, but I've also got some in the home raised bed and it's convenient to have it all in one place, given the quantities of pesto that I plan on making with it. So I think I'm going to leave that as is.

Hmmmmm.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on July 10, 2017, 03:59:53 PM
Can you easily freeze pesto? I wonder if I should plant a bunch of basil. Though my wife dislikes pesto immensely I really like it..
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on July 10, 2017, 05:00:20 PM
Can you easily freeze pesto? I wonder if I should plant a bunch of basil. Though my wife dislikes pesto immensely I really like it..

Basil turns black in the freezer - so make sure there is enough oil to cover any pesto and I think it is fine.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 10, 2017, 05:05:46 PM
I freeze it in mason jars with the 2-piece lids and don't put any extra oil on top of it, and haven't had it turn black.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on July 10, 2017, 05:06:48 PM
I freeze it in mason jars with the 2-piece lids and don't put any extra oil on top of it, and haven't had it turn black.

Ah, that's good. Reporting what a friend observed. Ive never made pesto - yet.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 10, 2017, 06:24:31 PM
Do it! Pesto is soooooo good. Seriously one of my favorite treats. I could eat it out of the jar with a spoon!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on July 10, 2017, 07:10:40 PM
probably tl;dr. sorry :D

Can you easily freeze pesto? I wonder if I should plant a bunch of basil. Though my wife dislikes pesto immensely I really like it..

Basil turns black in the freezer - so make sure there is enough oil to cover any pesto and I think it is fine.

Maybe I will do that then. I kind of want to play with starting plants inside anyways and it'd be nice to try on a "throwaway" setup I don't care about since next year I'll be a bit sad if our started plants fail.

Here's the pile of pea plants that gave us about 7.5 pounds of peas (in about 29 feet of plants):

(http://i.imgur.com/J2UDmWKl.jpg)

They might have kept going but the powdery mildew was really getting bad on them. Unfortunately I showered all the beans with it when pulling them out... :\  at least they are nearly done too and no where near as susceptible as the peas are (in theory, at least).

Again pruned tomatoes and this time pruned all of them. Anecdotally it seems this is having a huge impact, as the plants I had pruned within the past week now all have well over a dozen flower clusters and most of which are new. Hard to tell whether that's causation or correlation, but either way the large number of branches I pruned weren't doing much. I think next year I'm going to try to get ALL very tall tomato cages as many of the tomatoes are already above the top of their cages and it's still early July! I might have to stake/tie them at this rate.

Gosh I forget how good Sungolds are. Next year we might just plant them for cherry tomatoes. We have a few cherry varieties but again Sungold is by far my favorite.

Many of our purchased/transplanted peppers are anemic. The only ones which are really doing well are ones we transplanted first and which were large when we did that - next year I'm going to aim to have all the pepper transplants like 8" or taller when we plant them in late May.

Pulled out more beans tonight too. Up to about 6.5 pounds (from ~24 linear feet worth, 3 rows of about 8 feet long and about a foot row spacing). Going to be a good amount as we'll get more from them too. Then a good sized area will free up between peas/beans (probably a 10x15 area?) and I have to figure that out. I guess that could be a lot of basil ;)

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on July 10, 2017, 09:57:23 PM
I saw a hint of color on one of my Sungold tomatoes today! :D

Got a good-sized handful off of my second-year blueberry bush today too, with more to come.

Unfortunately, it looks like my peas are once again a FAIL. Maybe it got too hot? Other beds in my community garden have peas that are still going strong, though. Mine have mostly dried up despite diligent watering, and have produced exactly one pea pod. The same thing happened last year.

I can't figure out whether the tomatoes in the community bed are a bit stunted this year, or whether it's just that the ones in my back yard are SO full and bushy and healthy, that they just look a little spindly by comparison. I've also been diligently pruning them and shoving them back into their cages when they threaten to sneak out of them, so perhaps they are just more contained. I should go look at last year's garden pix and see where they are compared to last year at this time. All but 3 plants are currently making tomatoes. The other 3 have flowers on them, but don't seem to be fruiting. They are all heirloom varieties which I know can sometimes be tricky, and low bearers. (White Beauty, Brandywine, and Gold Medal, if anyone's interested. I was especially interested in White Beauty but so far it's just making flowers that shrivel up. Oh well. Started from free seeds, so I'm only out my time and effort.)

Since we are almost in the same city, I'll chime in on that.
My peas were an absolute failure 2 years in a row. next year I'm not going to even try. It's either weather (this year) or rabbits (last year).
I have picked only 2 blueberries from a 3-4 year old bush. Others are still ripening - I covered them with cottage cheese cloth (birds), may be that's the reason?
Tomatoes: HUUUUUGE ! Switched to Early Girl (YESSS!!! Wonderful! big fruits, already turning yellow. Big vines, lots and lots of fruits. Indeterminate, meaning I will have them produce until October if I keep pruning them right), Monster (big big fruits, later in season than girl tho, which is good), same cherry (nice and better than last year).
Cucumbers: crying here. Not good at all this year. No bees, no rain (lately), no nothing. Bunnies ate 4 bushes to the roots. The ones that are still there produce nothing, even with hand pollination
Peppers: topped them at 3 leaves. So they are going to produce fruits (or how do you call it?) later than non-topped ones, but the crop will be better by a huge margin. Already seeing little guys there.
Cilantro: meh, I'd call it fail. Not good
Parsley: meh, better than cilantro but still. Don't know WTF.
Dill: good
Basil: OK to good
Pumpkin: no idea, there's a monster bush 4x4 ft in the garden :) bloomed today. Gonna take over the garden
Experimental potatoes (just to show my family how potatoes grow) not very good,  probably because of pumpkin shade (potatoes need sun)
Blackberries: joke. No idea WTF is going on, bloomed a lot, but then NO berries.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Weedy Acres on July 11, 2017, 07:01:06 AM
I freeze pesto in snack sized ziplock bags with great results.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 11, 2017, 07:55:43 AM
I've never had luck with cukes. Or Early Girl. Whenever I've grown Early Girl, the yield was just OK and the plant invariably looked like shit. Seriously, one year it was a brown stick with a few leaves on it - but still making tomatoes, however feebly, so I just let it do its thing until they ripened and the whole thing keeled over. Fourth of July is my new favorite early variety, though the name is false, I never actually get ripe tomatoes by the 4th. I think last year it was the 18th. This year there are bunches of tomatoes on it but all still very green.

Now that I have yard space I might try starting peas really early like you're supposed to. I feel like not being able to direct sow until late April, as that's when the community bed opens, impedes things. But that means I need a bunny fence at home. Ugh.

My cilantro did very well, then suddenly got bitter - but hadn't actually bolted. For me, cilantro doesn't last that long - maybe a few weeks. I've read that you should continue sowing seeds all season so that when one plant's dying, another is getting ready. Meh. I don't eat that much cilantro so that doesn't seem worth it. Though I do have more seed, and some spaces opening in the community bed as stuff dies off in the heat.

Not to make you feel bad, but I have TONS of bumblebees in my backyard. One day I counted at least 12, happily pollinating the flowers that my landlord put in. I asked him what they were and he said hydrangea - they don't look like hydrangea to me, though, they're less poofy. Maybe a different variety? Anyway, maybe plant some pollinator plants near your veg garden if you have the space? They seem to be making the bees very happy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on July 11, 2017, 08:21:15 AM
Or Early Girl. Whenever I've grown Early Girl, the yield was just OK and the plant invariably looked like shit. Seriously, one year it was a brown stick with a few leaves on it - but still making tomatoes, however feebly, so I just let it do its thing until they ripened and the whole thing keeled over.

Huh. Our early girls are on pace for an astronomical crop right now - each of them has already produced a half dozen tomatoes and each have probably 5 clusters growing now with another dozen recent flower clusters.

Quote
Not to make you feel bad, but I have TONS of bumblebees in my backyard. One day I counted at least 12, happily pollinating the flowers that my landlord put in. I asked him what they were and he said hydrangea - they don't look like hydrangea to me, though, they're less poofy. Maybe a different variety? Anyway, maybe plant some pollinator plants near your veg garden if you have the space? They seem to be making the bees very happy.

I've wondered about whether peas/beans help with this. The peas flowered first, then the beans, with tons of flowers - so our garden is full of bees too, in fact I was annoyed the other day that there were so many bees in the bean plants that I didn't want to pick them!

We also got burrowing honeybees on the perimeter of our patio. And I'm sick of shooting down paper wasp nests.. I wonder if there's something I can spray to get rid of them or stop them from rebuilding nests in our overhangs.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on July 11, 2017, 10:54:33 AM
@This Prior. Early girl:
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Kaybee on July 12, 2017, 08:52:38 PM
Oh my...I missed this thread (probably because I've been out in the garden so much lately).  I only have a tiny plot in a community garden but I've been harvesting lettuce, beet greens and a tiny bit of spinach regularly for a few weeks now.  My tomatoes are starting to fruit but they look like they'll need a bit of time before anything's ready to be picked.  I've been thinning my carrots and beets and they're starting to look pretty much full size (carrots probably need another week or so).  I had a huge radish crop which was funny, because I originally planted them simply because they are a quick crop but now I really like radishes and am impatiently waiting for the next wave to start growing.

Beans are growing but no actual beans have been sighted yet.

Strawberries...between the birds and squirrels, I haven't had a chance to have a single one but I'm trying to not buy more garden stuff at this point.  I'll dig out some row cover and see if I can rig something up at that end of my plot.

My bell peppers aren't doing much (I didn't know I had to top them!) and were hit pretty hard by a recent hail storm so I might just give up on them.

I also have a bush squash plant but this is my first real garden so I very naively squished a lot into my plot.  The squash is not getting a lot of sun due to other plants so I'm not expecting much there.

I thought I'd try gardening to see what it was like to grow some of my own food...I had no idea it would become so addictive!!!  I'm already trying to plan for next year. :D


Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on July 12, 2017, 09:37:36 PM
Trying to decide what to plant after we rip out our peas/beans.

In Iowa, anyone have suggestions? We could do more of those I guess..

I'm not sure how the Iowa growing season is, but here I just dug up some early potatoes and planted parsnips, beets and carrots in their place.

This weekend I'm starting cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower inside and will plant them out under shade cloth in mid-August.  That worked last year to give them enough time to grow before the weather cooled, but not so much that they bolted.  The shade cloth will come off in September.  I'll also try for a fall lettuce crop planted around Sept. 1, and a few radishes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on July 13, 2017, 07:26:36 AM
Trying to decide what to plant after we rip out our peas/beans.

In Iowa, anyone have suggestions? We could do more of those I guess..

Ender -- in Iowa you can do a fall crop of carrots or greens, planting in early August or so . . .
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 23, 2017, 03:13:15 PM
I feel like my garden is not very Mustachian this year.

All of the tomatoes in my community garden appear to have gotten hit with early blight and just were not looking as vigorous as they had in past years (or as vigorous as the ones in my backyard). I did some research and talked to folks at the garden center, and came home with a bottle of organic fungicide (we are only permitted to use organic products in the community garden). $9.99. Also got some tomato-specific soil amendment that I've used in past years with great success, because the garden folks pointed out - and I knew this but don't have much choice other than to not grow tomatoes for a year or two - that if you keep growing the same plant in the same spot the soil's nutrients get depleted. $12.99.

After a few days of applying both, the tomatoes are looking happier and less diseased! But, I think about how many 59-cent cans of tomatoes I could've bought at Aldi instead and started feeling kind of disgusted with myself.

I don't just grow my own to save money, though. I do it because I enjoy it, because homegrown tomatoes taste better, because I get to try new and different varieties, because it's important to me to be in control of my food supply to the extent possible as a city dweller with very little access to land.

I still feel kind of angry with myself for spending $25 and change after tax, when I know I won't get $25 worth of tomatoes back out of it. Does anyone else ever feel this way?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: StarBright on July 23, 2017, 03:25:22 PM
I feel like my garden is not very Mustachian this year.
 . . . .

I still feel kind of angry with myself for spending $25 and change after tax, when I know I won't get $25 worth of tomatoes back out of it. Does anyone else ever feel this way?

I do feel that way until I eat my first couple of tomatoes. The first slice of Cherokee Purple on my BLT or with mozzarella and basil and I'm always thankful I plant them.

On a tomato note - we got some free Brad's Atomic Grape starters from our head community gardener this year and I'm not sure when they ripen! They are huge for "grape" tomatoes and they've been green and purple for weeks. It is driving me crazy.

I was also a dummy and planted two indeterminates too close to each other and now I have a six foot jungle of tomatoes in one of my 4x4 plots).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on July 23, 2017, 03:26:25 PM
OH yes! On a pure cost basis (seeds, plants, amendments, watering...) I think there is a poor ROI on lots of garden stuff.  But it's not just cost, is it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on July 23, 2017, 04:21:23 PM
I sometimes have that feeling of why bother too - and then I get a fantastic pick of something - and bam - feeling is gone. 

Today I harvest all the garlic and onions.  The odd garlic was going mushy.  I think that the super wet weather is not good.  I got a decent harvest. They were drying on a cardboard box in the garden until it started to rain .  Now they are on the garage floor.
I was also able to pick a quart of yellow bush beans and one - but a good size - golden beet.  Last week I picked two rodinia beets.  All three are simmering away.
Tomatoes are coming along....any day now.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: rockeTree on July 23, 2017, 05:10:53 PM
Lousy year for tomatoes here- early blight was bad, weather was bad- but hoping some late volunteers will save the season. Garlic heads on the small side, shallots ok, carrots happy. Beans mixed, cakes happier than I've seen them, peppers just kicking into gear after a rough start.

It's not economic but it's tasty, pushes me to eat more veg, and I think of it as therapy and community building- do a lot of passing things over the fence with neighbors.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 23, 2017, 05:31:03 PM


I do feel that way until I eat my first couple of tomatoes. The first slice of Cherokee Purple on my BLT or with mozzarella and basil and I'm always thankful I plant them.

Ooooooo, thank you for that reminder. Last year I grew Cherokee Purple and it made exactly one huge tomato. It was glorious. This year I've got probably 8 tomatoes on that plant, with more coming. Not ripe yet, but I cannot wait! I'm so happy I planted that one again this year; almost didn't because of last year's poor yield.


I was also a dummy and planted two indeterminates too close to each other and now I have a six foot jungle of tomatoes in one of my 4x4 plots).

Ummmmmm, we will not discuss the jungles that are currently going on in both my community garden plot and in my backyard. I tried so hard to stay on top of the pruning, too. Yikes.

OH yes! On a pure cost basis (seeds, plants, amendments, watering...) I think there is a poor ROI on lots of garden stuff.  But it's not just cost, is it.

No. It's not. It's a hard thing to explain to someone who doesn't also garden. I often get "but.... you can just buy that stuff at the grocery store, can't you? Why put in all that work?" I don't bother explaining it any more.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on July 23, 2017, 08:07:18 PM
Finally getting some ripe tomatoes. They've been green forever.


And this is the third year of purely volunteer regrowth tomatoes (Black Cherry heirlooms). Aside from the cost of watering every few days, I haven't bought anything associated with tomatoes since 2014, but I still haven't finished all of last year's harvest. The key seems to be to plant the tomatoes right next to the compost heap.


I wish, though, that I'd bought some Cherokee Purple seeds. The last time I grew them, which happened to be 2014, I also got exactly one glorious tomato. It was worth the cost and the summer of trouble, even now that it's a three-year-old memory. It made me remember what summer is supposed to be like, and for a few minutes I was young again and the US was celebrating its bicentennial. Hmm. Next summer I plant Cherokee Purple on the other side of the compost heap.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on July 23, 2017, 10:09:06 PM
Almost all my tomatoes in the raised bed are loosing leaves (turning brown and fall off). What is it? Dots appear and then all dry. Fruits are OK, but I worry that with less foliage the plants will produce less. They looked sooooo healthy 3 weeks ago
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on July 24, 2017, 07:27:42 AM
Almost all my tomatoes in the raised bed are loosing leaves (turning brown and fall off). What is it? Dots appear and then all dry. Fruits are OK, but I worry that with less foliage the plants will produce less. They looked sooooo healthy 3 weeks ago

Likely Septoria Leaf Spot or blight. For either, the "treatment" is pretty much the same. Cut off infected leaves (most places say to, some say it doesn't matter though for septoria) and use fungicide to help minimize the spread (a copper fungicide is what I use). The fungicide won't "stop" or kill off the infection, but can help protect non-infected plants/leaves.  I've lost ~1/2 of my plants both the last two years to such things though, so I may not be the best person to consult..
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 24, 2017, 10:19:43 AM
I have been using copper fungicide for my early blight and it does seem to be helping. I also cut off the infected leaves - doesn't seem to have hurt the yield much, and the foliage is growing back.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on July 24, 2017, 12:48:32 PM
It's storming out today, so time for some inside activities instead of gardening. We've been eating bush beans, zucchini, carrots, and some early potatoes, as well as all of the greens, of course. I've been running a mini weekly CSA with friends where they pay me what they can/like for produce and it's been pretty fun. Not really making much money, but at least the food isn't going to waste. I've also donated a lot of greens to the local youth shelter :)

Here's a picture of yesterday's harvest. Round and long zucchini, carrots, and golden beets.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on July 24, 2017, 03:15:35 PM
I have been using copper fungicide for my early blight and it does seem to be helping. I also cut off the infected leaves - doesn't seem to have hurt the yield much, and the foliage is growing back.

Suggest an inexpensive one that you might have tried? There are many in store from $10 to $60
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 24, 2017, 06:43:26 PM
Mine was $10 for a bottle about the size of a bottle of spray household cleaner. I got it at my local Fancy Garden Center but looks like you can get it online too: https://www.amazon.com/Bonide-811-Copper-Fungicide-473ML/dp/B00BSULSHA

$60?! Yeesh.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on July 24, 2017, 07:36:04 PM
I have herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, parsley) in the same bed under the tomatoes. Will it hurt them and ME? :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on July 25, 2017, 06:56:11 AM
I have dill right next to my tomatoes and it seems OK. I'd just wash it first.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on July 25, 2017, 07:11:31 AM
I have been using copper fungicide for my early blight and it does seem to be helping. I also cut off the infected leaves - doesn't seem to have hurt the yield much, and the foliage is growing back.

Suggest an inexpensive one that you might have tried? There are many in store from $10 to $60

I use this https://smile.amazon.com/Bonide-811-Copper-Fungicide-473ML/dp/B00BSULSHA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1500988079&sr=8-2&keywords=copper+fungicide

Diluted in a sprayer. It makes 8-32 gallons, but I generally go with 1-1.5 oz/gallon (not measuring exactly each time). So I get ~12 gallons for $16.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on July 25, 2017, 07:13:24 AM
I have herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, parsley) in the same bed under the tomatoes. Will it hurt them and ME? :)

I've sprayed it on all my plants (including herbs) without any damage. I'd recommend not spraying them the day you plan to harvest from them, but it shouldn't be a problem.

Trees/bushes, on the other hand, should be avoided. Copper fungicide should only be applied to peach trees (for instance) when dormant or it will damage the tree (temporarily). I learned that one the hard way :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: A Definite Beta Guy on July 25, 2017, 03:31:58 PM
OH yes! On a pure cost basis (seeds, plants, amendments, watering...) I think there is a poor ROI on lots of garden stuff.  But it's not just cost, is it.

Honestly, the value of the herbs alone are going to make up the entire garden cost in like 6 months.

Growing swiss chard has also been pleasantly beneficial.

Tomatoes seem to return a decent amount.

Onions and beets were a less than awesome idea. I think root crops are definitely getting axed next year. Carrots might be the exception, but I'm really bad about thinning my carrots out.

I am not planting a dwarf squash in a container ever again....no sirree!

Peppers are not growing well at all. We had one tiny fruit so far.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on July 26, 2017, 06:47:46 PM
I have been using copper fungicide for my early blight and it does seem to be helping. I also cut off the infected leaves - doesn't seem to have hurt the yield much, and the foliage is growing back.

Suggest an inexpensive one that you might have tried? There are many in store from $10 to $60

I use this https://smile.amazon.com/Bonide-811-Copper-Fungicide-473ML/dp/B00BSULSHA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1500988079&sr=8-2&keywords=copper+fungicide

Diluted in a sprayer. It makes 8-32 gallons, but I generally go with 1-1.5 oz/gallon (not measuring exactly each time). So I get ~12 gallons for $16.

Got it at ACE. Didn't read instructions yet (As I wasn't sure it's the right one), Do I spray on leaves AND fruit? Ground as well? I don't think I have a big sprayer - just one of those little ones from household
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on July 26, 2017, 07:14:39 PM
And How often should it be applied?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on July 30, 2017, 09:19:48 AM
I harvested 2.5 pounds of yellow beans last night.  Delicious.
I am also getting a good number of zukes and the odd cuke.
Tomatoes are coming along.  I ate one yellow pear shaped cherry tomato yesterday.
Onions and garlic are drying out in the sun.  Some of the garlic was rotting but I think I caught it soon enough.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on July 30, 2017, 12:45:29 PM
Tore out the zucchini - between fungal disease and maybe some insects - it was dead/dying. One plant kept trying to put out new growth and even had some very small fruit, but now it's in the compost waste bag with the others.  sigh....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: jlcnuke on July 31, 2017, 03:37:04 PM
And How often should it be applied?

Apply every 1-2 weeks while you still see evidence of disease on the leafs/plants.


My green beans are starting to come in now. The peppers I planted late (pepperoncini) in the new garden (that had no nitrogen initially) are still stunted some but starting to fruit now.
 The cantelope plants are FINALLY producing. I should have the first one in the next week or so I'd guess (wild guess, but the largest is now about 80-90% the size of the melons in the stores). My cucumbers have been quite prolific and are getting to be more so. I've gone through about 3 quarts worth of pickles and I have 11 quarts pickled and untouched. At this point I'm just waiting to find my "favorite" recipes (trying a new one every batch of 2-4 quarts). I may cut back the number of plants some next year. Bell peppers are getting some rot again, so had to go spray them again this week, but otherwise the peppers have been doing pretty well (and getting better now that we're stringing together more than 1 day in a row without rain and cloud-cover...).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on July 31, 2017, 10:09:04 PM
My Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are small this year, but they taste amazing. 

I thought I'd lost my zucchini plant, but the entire top died off and healthy leaves are growing from the base.  The yellow crookneck looks pretty good, but has only made like two fruit.  It's weird not drowning in summer squash this time of year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 01, 2017, 07:47:35 AM
My mortgage lifters are still all green, but this year they are HUGE! I grew them a couple of years ago and they were much, much smaller. Didn't do anything differently, so, ???? Looking forward to being able to taste one!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on August 01, 2017, 08:21:27 AM
And How often should it be applied?

Apply every 1-2 weeks while you still see evidence of disease on the leafs/plants.


My green beans are starting to come in now. The peppers I planted late (pepperoncini) in the new garden (that had no nitrogen initially) are still stunted some but starting to fruit now.
 The cantelope plants are FINALLY producing. I should have the first one in the next week or so I'd guess (wild guess, but the largest is now about 80-90% the size of the melons in the stores). My cucumbers have been quite prolific and are getting to be more so. I've gone through about 3 quarts worth of pickles and I have 11 quarts pickled and untouched. At this point I'm just waiting to find my "favorite" recipes (trying a new one every batch of 2-4 quarts). I may cut back the number of plants some next year. Bell peppers are getting some rot again, so had to go spray them again this week, but otherwise the peppers have been doing pretty well (and getting better now that we're stringing together more than 1 day in a row without rain and cloud-cover...).

My favorite pickle recipe is using just dill and garlic.  No other spices or herbs (salt, water and vinegar of course).  It's simple and they are awesome.  I pack the jars and pour the cooled liquid over them and put them in the fridge (cold pack).  They last up to three months and are really crispy.  It takes about 3-4 weeks before they are ready.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 01, 2017, 05:26:17 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/7S1GrTtl.jpg)

Good harvest tonight, about 8 pounds of tomatoes, nearly a pound of Jalepeno (from one plant! and it's only August 1st so far), 1.5 pounds of cherries and other peppers each.

Up to 62 pounds this year now. 26 of tomatoes, nearly 16 of green beans from maybe 25 feet worth of plants (!), about  7 or both peas and zucchini (RIP) each, and the balance being Jalepeno/peppers/tomatillos.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on August 01, 2017, 09:15:53 PM
Nice haul Ender!  All my tomatoes have been mature but green on the vine for several weeks.  Only the cherry tomatoes are turning.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on August 02, 2017, 03:48:16 AM
Nice haul Ender!  All my tomatoes have been mature but green on the vine for several weeks.  Only the cherry tomatoes are turning.


Huh. Same thing here, green but otherwise happy-looking tomatoes for weeks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 02, 2017, 05:43:40 AM
I once heard that lots of green tomatoes not ripening can be a sign of nutrient deficiency.  The easy fix was a dash of epsom salts on the soil surface with a splash of rain water.  Worked great from me.

Really envious of the haul Ender.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 02, 2017, 09:25:36 AM
I saw signs of ripening on a couple of the backyard tomatoes, finally!!

My strawberries are doing another small round of fruit. Just a couple berries on each of my 3 plants, but they are visually PERFECT and large and ripe and oh so sweet. :D

Northern climate folks, is it your experience when growing peppers that the plant will only make 1 pepper at a time? I have a Chocolate Beauty that's making a lovely large (but as yet green) pepper. It tried to make a couple of more, but those are stuck at the tiny-butt-end-of-a-pepper-poking-out-of-the-bud stage, and have been for a couple of weeks. This has been my experience in past years as well, with normal peppers. The mini peppers seem to be able to handle making multiple peppers at a time, but not the regular sized ones. Oh well. I hope the ONE pepper I get off this thing ends up tasting good, at least.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on August 02, 2017, 06:56:27 PM
@This Prior. My bell peppers are very slow. Just a couple of fruit here and there. But jalapenos are in dozens if not in hundred or more (total). I think a couple of seeds in bell bags were actually jalapenos, as I have a map of what I planted and it doesn't match :(
Waiting for jalapenos to go red this year for extra spice. They will be HUGE by that time
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 02, 2017, 08:08:29 PM
A recent harvest:

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on August 02, 2017, 09:35:02 PM
I once heard that lots of green tomatoes not ripening can be a sign of nutrient deficiency.  The easy fix was a dash of epsom salts on the soil surface with a splash of rain water.  Worked great from me.



Huh, magnesium shortage, maybe. I may try that, thanks. I have the epsom salts on hand and rain due this weekend.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on August 03, 2017, 12:44:00 PM
Finally posting something in here again, as I actually have a tiny bit of progress. It was a crazy start to summer (to make the story short, I found out I was pregnant, we closed on our house, and then my dad died on moving day, all in less than three weeks) so my garden has been blatantly ignored, to the point that I can't believe any plants survived at all. There's been ZERO rain here and the watering has been intermittent.

Still. Got the first few tomatoes ripening, and a bunch more on the plants. I'll use them to supplement what I buy from the farmer's market to make tomato sauce for the coming year.

I got one giant zucchini (with which I'm going to make this (http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2014/09/03/sweet-potato-breakfast-skillet-with-bacon/)) and the rest all withered away. I'm certain it's nitrogen deficient so I've, uh, been peeing in the planter. Well, not directly in there. I've occasionally used the toddler potty, watered it down some, and carried that outside. It works, though. Got a few more tiny zukes starting, which will be thoroughly washed before consumption. :)

My potato plants are showing the first signs of being done. As I was trying a new method of growing them this year (in a structure I built out of pallets) I'm excited to see what the harvest might be like. Just a few more weeks....

My other crop doing really well are my onions. They're nothing like grocery store size, but I'm rather impressed I got them to grow at all. Not from starts, either, but from direct sown seeds. Woo! I think I've got about 30 small onions, and they'll keep growing for a while yet.

A few odds and ends: some blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and basil.

Soon to harvest: the apples off my mom's tree. We're going to sell her house (she can't live alone, needs assisted living) so this will be the last harvest from it.

Am getting from friends or urban foraging: plums, blackberries, pears, and more apples. (I make not only applesauce but we press our own cider, so we're always on the lookout for more apples.)

Since we have our own property now (!!!!) I'm planning and prepping for putting perennials in next year. So many yummy choices! And next year should (hopefully) be somewhat less crazy, so annuals might have a better chance too. I really miss having my own homegrown carrots.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on August 03, 2017, 09:34:32 PM
Hi Folks,

I just applied bonide copper fungicide on tomatoes and cucumbers, when 1.5 hrs later we had a downpour and strong winds. Did it ruin my application and I should reapply? :( such a waste if need to redo
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Fishindude on August 04, 2017, 08:09:25 AM
We are covered up in green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes right now.  Doing my best to eat a bunch of them nearly every day.
Hope to run across some good sweet corn this weekend and put up a mess for the freezer.

Enjoy this stuff while it's fresh, because it will be done around here in a couple months.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 04, 2017, 08:43:40 AM
The zuchini avalanche has begun here.  Two plants are in overwhelming production mode.  The cukes are doing poorly.
Tomatoes are starting to ripen up - we just had five days of good heat. 
I also picked a huge bouquet of flowers for the kitchen island. 

Fishindude is right - eat up and put away.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SAfAmBrit on August 07, 2017, 12:00:00 AM
After 3 months of tomatoes my plants are giving up. I got a hold of 20 milk crates so started filling them today - hoping for some good results - desert soil is hard to grow in. Planted some Romaine, cucumbers and curly parsley today. More to do but so little time. I built a drip system out of "stuff" in the garage - I am excited it worked.

Great progress by all.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 07, 2017, 09:35:22 AM
Ferrum, at the garden center they said to apply anyway if it's going to rain, because the rain spreads out the fungus. So if you can kill off some of the fungus before it rains and is washed onto healthy leaves, that will help.

That being said, if we have a downpour I have been reapplying. My plants don't look great, but they've definitely improved.

I got my first ripe Cherokee Purple yesterday! I'm so excited! And I may have some ripe yellow mini bell peppers soon; they are starting to turn color. It's been an awful pepper year for me, so I'll be sure to savor those. :)

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on August 07, 2017, 11:51:49 AM
Our grape sampling survived three weeks of summer vacation without supervision. They have grown well in there plastic crate.

Our strawberries have produced well. There were even some ripe strawberries left when we came back.

We have gotten raspberries in the garden that have spread from somewhere else.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Sister C on August 07, 2017, 07:05:55 PM
We planted greens this year for the first time (from seed), as well as herbs which we've done before (also from seed).  And we've had huge ongoing harvests of kale for the past two months with very little effort.  I'm planning to use a simple fabric row cover to extend the growing season.  The basil plant is huge but is developing some sort of black dusty fungus.  We will probably just ditch it- unless anyone has any easy/frugal suggestions?

One exciting discovery- you can plant scallion bottoms (with roots) after you've used the green part and they will grow more green shoots!  I read that tip somewhere on the MMM forums and it is sort of mind blowing to watch.

We have one cherry tomato plant which hasn't produced much- but the baby gets a kick out of eating a couple of cherry tomatoes every time we're in the back yard!  Same story with the raspberry bushes.  I bet next year they'll take off...

All in all an enjoyable and cost effective food growing experience.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on August 08, 2017, 04:11:54 AM
I will soon plant a potato in a pot or in the garden. I hope to be able to find potatoes that will still sprout. It would be fun growing some of my own.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: StarBright on August 08, 2017, 07:41:46 AM
Greenbeans, various cherry tomatoes (sunsweets, sweet 100s, rosellas and brad's atomic grapes), and basil in major production mode now.

Zukes, yellow squash, and peppers seems to be ramping up.

I've got tons of mature, yet green, larger tomatoes (mortgage lifters, cherokee purple and pineapple). When/if they ripen I think I'm going to be buried in tomatoes.

My kale seems to be petering out and my two red cabbages are giving up the ghost as well. Will probably try planting some fall crops towards the end of this month.

My two go-to cook books right now are the New Southern Garden Cookbook and Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking. I've eaten fresh food from my garden for the last several meals and it has been glorious!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 08, 2017, 08:48:01 AM
I got basil in the CSA and put it in water on the counter so it didn't go black. It rooted so I planted it out in soil.  It will be interesting to see if it produces more shoots.

I made a 'pizza' from a huge zuke - grated and press out the water.  It was an odd recipe - 8 parts grated zuke, 1 part Parmesan...etc...but it tasted phenomenal and it used up a huge zucchini.
The yellow bush beans are super productive.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on August 08, 2017, 03:20:19 PM
Frugal Lizard - I've seen the idea of making pizza boats with zucchini. Cut in half, hollow out a little bit, fill with cheese and pepperoni, or other pizza toppings that will fit, and consume.

Also, zucchini can be shredded and frozen for winter. I do so in zip-top bags that can be flattened in the freezer, in 1 and 2 cup increments. Then all winter I can pull them out for zucchini bread or zucchini pancakes (a family favorite) and get a taste of summer. Also, it helps spread out the zucchini instead of trying to use the glut up all at once.

Last, I like making this (http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2014/09/03/sweet-potato-breakfast-skillet-with-bacon/) during zucchini season. Yum!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 08, 2017, 05:12:23 PM
That looks tasty SisterX. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on August 09, 2017, 01:31:46 AM
Yesterday my DH made dolmas from the wine leave of his own wine plants.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Sister C on August 09, 2017, 09:50:05 AM
Also, zucchini can be shredded and frozen for winter. I do so in zip-top bags that can be flattened in the freezer, in 1 and 2 cup increments.

Good to know-  I was just wondering if this would work!  We have been eating massive amounts of shredded/salted zucchini sautéed with lots of butter and occasionally garlic/parm. When this gets old I'll start freezing it for the winter.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: bender on August 09, 2017, 01:49:20 PM
Something got into my fenced garden and ate the foliage from all my carrots!  Who would do such a thing?  I guess a determined squirrel or chipmunk can get in, but would they eat carrot foliage and ignore ripe tomatoes?  We had a groundhog a while back but I don't see a good point of entry for him.

Will they grow back if about 50% of the foliage was eaten, or should I try to harvest what I've got (very small carrots)?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on August 09, 2017, 01:56:35 PM
@bender, I believe they will recover. Probably slower than normal, but most likely they will. My pepper that was eaten to the ground recovered - small plant now compared to others, but they are tough :)

Made home-made salsa. Will never look at store-bought salsa the same way again
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on August 10, 2017, 09:36:03 AM
I discovered last night that a) I nearly killed my tomatoes from lack of water and b) I have a bell pepper!! This is the first time I've tried growing any peppers so I'm excited by even the one.

Also, the tomatoes have been properly watered and are recovering. They're also tomato-ing away, and so far I've collected about 3.5 oz. of tomatoes (in other words, just a few), with lots more on the bushes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 10, 2017, 10:05:35 AM
I harvested three giant zukes, 3L basket of beans, cilantro and three green peppers.  Especially proud of the peppers because I grew them from seed.
I planted some lettuce, beets, carrots and basil seed for fall harvesting.
I have also decided to give up my allotment garden at the end of the season.
The garden is pretty disorganized and some of the rules are draconian while some things that I think are important are not getting addressed.  There is a rule that we aren't supposed to fence our individual plots but the perimeter fence is not bunny proof.  And I lost some plants because a human trampled through my plot.  The rain barrels are not hooked up but no one knows the code to the shed they are contained in.  But we are not allowed to haul water from the river.
It is a bit sad because I have got amazing soil through hauling wheelbarrows full of manure from my dad's farm, my compost bin and bags of leaves from my driveway.  Kids have given me permission to remove more turf and the neighbour has allowed me to take over the area in front of the greenhouse.  I am glad I made the decision now so that I can plan my garlic planting for the fall and move the strawberry plants to my house.
I am going to move a bunch of my flowers around to make an equivalent sized plot for veggies in the sunniest area of the front lawn and then I can do exactly what I please.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: spedleysam on August 10, 2017, 10:09:39 AM
Anyone in NC area have any fig trees?  Are they hard to maintain?  I've read differing things on the internet and looking for some experiences at this point.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on August 13, 2017, 06:01:58 AM
Our normal strawberries has stopped to produce strawberries. Butvthe bushed with forest strawberry are still producing a pile of berries. They will continue to do so the while season. I am going to dry them to add to the boring muesli on our future hikes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 13, 2017, 01:53:29 PM
Two of our tomato plants seem to have early blight. Soo.... chopped away a bunch of those branches in the hopes of letting their fruit mature.

Luckily the others seem prolific still. Here's after 3 days worth of not harvesting...

(http://i.imgur.com/4zZATkNl.jpg)

Peppers are looking better and better. I was originally worried about an overall anemic crop but multiple plants have 10+ fruit growing on them now (after doing what appeared to be nothing for nearly 2 months).

Also, is there something absurdly good about Early Girl tomatoes? We have gotten twenty pounds of them already from just two plants. I mean I am not going to complain but that seems ridiculous.

Our green beans have been dying for weeks and yet producing still. We ripped out the peas a month ago and were going to take the green beans then too, but they keep on trucking even though they look horrible.

I think I forget that it is only mid August (in Zone 5). So we likely are going to get insane amounts more yet too. Going to be great! Almost 100# this year already and we are easily going to blow through that if not 200 pounds.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on August 13, 2017, 06:41:38 PM
Yes! Early girl is great (if all my toms didn't get hit with brutal blight. sprayed copper - still no recovery yet). Monster - not so great, got a couple of huge ones but that is pretty much it, not a big turnaround. Cherry - good, but need a different "brand" next year, I have a suspicion that blight comes from these plants (2nd year in a row)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 14, 2017, 07:09:56 AM
Something is eating my tomatoes before they are ripe.  Back up go the rodent barriers to see if we can't get some tomatoes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 14, 2017, 09:50:35 AM
My Early Girls have always been crappy producers, but I seem to be the outlier on that one.

Does EVERYONE have early blight this year?! I've never seen anything like it. Most of the tomatoes in others' plots, in my community garden, have it. I know it can spread quickly in close quarters like we have. I still have it, but my plants are still producing so I'm just trying to remove the affected leaves as I can.

Ferrum, are you planting tomatoes in the same spot each year? Because apparently the blight can get into your soil. So you're supposed to move them elsewhere for a year or two. I can't do that as I've just got the one plot, and I'm not going to skip tomatoes entirely for a whole year!

From the small backyard raised bed, I am now getting HUGE Cherokee Purples and Mortgage Lifters. HUGE. The romas are ripening, but I'm disappointed in their flavor. They are pretty tasteless, to be honest. WTF? Oh well, I'll throw 'em in sauce with other varieties.

My banana peppers are FINALLY giving it up. I have 5 wee peppers starting on them. And I think my orange bell pepper is starting to make one too. Effing finally!! It's not going to be warm for that much longer here....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 14, 2017, 10:09:09 AM
My Early Girls have always been crappy producers, but I seem to be the outlier on that one.

Does EVERYONE have early blight this year?! I've never seen anything like it. Most of the tomatoes in others' plots, in my community garden, have it. I know it can spread quickly in close quarters like we have. I still have it, but my plants are still producing so I'm just trying to remove the affected leaves as I can.

We do on a few of them. I hacked them to pieces though to hopefully protect the rest of them, as in removing nearly all the branches in hopes that the large clusters of remaining tomatoes survive.


Quote
My banana peppers are FINALLY giving it up. I have 5 wee peppers starting on them. And I think my orange bell pepper is starting to make one too. Effing finally!! It's not going to be warm for that much longer here....

This is the same for us too.  Our peppers were looking like crap for almost two months and now are all doing nicely - we have close to a dozen bell peppers on one of our bells and TONS of smaller peppers. Same situation about lack of warmth too...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on August 14, 2017, 10:34:39 AM
My Early Girls have always been crappy producers, but I seem to be the outlier on that one.

Does EVERYONE have early blight this year?! I've never seen anything like it. Most of the tomatoes in others' plots, in my community garden, have it. I know it can spread quickly in close quarters like we have. I still have it, but my plants are still producing so I'm just trying to remove the affected leaves as I can.

Ferrum, are you planting tomatoes in the same spot each year? Because apparently the blight can get into your soil. So you're supposed to move them elsewhere for a year or two. I can't do that as I've just got the one plot, and I'm not going to skip tomatoes entirely for a whole year!

From the small backyard raised bed, I am now getting HUGE Cherokee Purples and Mortgage Lifters. HUGE. The romas are ripening, but I'm disappointed in their flavor. They are pretty tasteless, to be honest. WTF? Oh well, I'll throw 'em in sauce with other varieties.

My banana peppers are FINALLY giving it up. I have 5 wee peppers starting on them. And I think my orange bell pepper is starting to make one too. Effing finally!! It's not going to be warm for that much longer here....

Effing blight!!! Most of my tomatoes got it. And yes, same plot every year. Cannot move it. I do, however, plant extras in various places around the backyard - and those seem to be less affected by decease. Cucumbers - same thing, most bottom leaves are gone now.
Romas - not practical, they are quite tasteless indeed. They are good for salsa and canning but not great raw
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: boarder42 on August 14, 2017, 10:52:18 AM
Canned 6 quarts of salsa this weekend. 4 smoked 2 oven roasted. Using jalepenos Roma's and cilantro from the garden. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on August 15, 2017, 01:21:12 AM
My Early Girls have always been crappy producers, but I seem to be the outlier on that one.

Does EVERYONE have early blight this year?! I've never seen anything like it. Most of the tomatoes in others' plots, in my community garden, have it. I know it can spread quickly in close quarters like we have. I still have it, but my plants are still producing so I'm just trying to remove the affected leaves as I can.

Ferrum, are you planting tomatoes in the same spot each year? Because apparently the blight can get into your soil. So you're supposed to move them elsewhere for a year or two. I can't do that as I've just got the one plot, and I'm not going to skip tomatoes entirely for a whole year!

From the small backyard raised bed, I am now getting HUGE Cherokee Purples and Mortgage Lifters. HUGE. The romas are ripening, but I'm disappointed in their flavor. They are pretty tasteless, to be honest. WTF? Oh well, I'll throw 'em in sauce with other varieties.

My banana peppers are FINALLY giving it up. I have 5 wee peppers starting on them. And I think my orange bell pepper is starting to make one too. Effing finally!! It's not going to be warm for that much longer here....

Effing blight!!! Most of my tomatoes got it. And yes, same plot every year. Cannot move it. I do, however, plant extras in various places around the backyard - and those seem to be less affected by decease. Cucumbers - same thing, most bottom leaves are gone now.
Romas - not practical, they are quite tasteless indeed. They are good for salsa and canning but not great raw


Worst year for blight I've ever seen this year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 15, 2017, 11:05:45 AM
And yet I have absolutely no blight in the small raised bed and containers in my backyard. That's all new soil, though. Maybe conditions this winter were such that it didn't kill off all of the nasty stuff in the soil? (We didn't have a proper winter; not too cold and nearly no snow). Just throwing ideas out there.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 15, 2017, 05:28:26 PM
Many of ours are now showing early blight signs. I pruned a massive chunk off one of our early girls (which I think is still going to produce 5+ pounds even if the blight gets it).

Up to 60 pounds of tomatoes harvested, about 11 of that is cherries. So even if the blight kills all our tomatoes we're going to get a ton still.

Also pruned a few peppers which had bad looking leaves on them. Many of those plants now have considerable numbers of fruit, so if those all produce we'll have a great crop of them too.

And 4 cantaloupe are growing somehow! Will be curious to see if any of those mature.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Threshkin on August 15, 2017, 09:40:00 PM
Harvested ~5 pounds of tomatoes this morning and am cooking them into sauce right now.  Also picked about a dozen peppers that will be pickled tomorrow.  This is after of a larger harvest on Sunday.  My DW especially likes the Cherokee Purple tomatoes.  They are reserved for snacking.

Grapes are almost ripe.  Edible now but still quite tart.  It was a good year for the green grapes but the purple ones only have a few clusters.  This is a reverse from our usual harvest.

Looks like we will get 6-8 pumpkins this year, all volunteers.  The watermelon plant inexplicably started to die off a few days ago.  Looks like we will get one melon that is currently about cantaloupe size.  The other melon is only softball sized so it may not be that good.  The fruit are bright yellow so it will be interesting to see what they are.  (mystery seeds FTW) 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cranky on August 16, 2017, 05:30:55 AM
We have a million billion concord grapes this year. My dh is hovering over them, but I taste them every day, and they are NOT ready. LOL

We are also going to be eating butternut squash every week this winter.

The second round of raspberries is in full swing, but we could use some rain.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 16, 2017, 09:29:31 AM
Oh man, I went to the community garden last night after work and the blight got BAD, overnight. :( I gave all the plants a good haircut. Some of the yellowed branches were coming off right in my hand. WTF?

I'm still harvesting tons of tomatoes, though. Mostly sungolds. I need to stop snacking on them raw so that I'll have some to put up. Also got my first mini red pepper, and my first White Beauty tomato. Yes, it is white. Weird! (That plant looks like total shit, though, so that is probably the only tomato I'm going to get off of it.)

Made heirloom tomato salsa last night with my huge cherokee purples, creme brulees, and mortgage lifters. And some hot peppers that were still in the freezer from last year's harvest but seem just fine. Yum!

Just to see what would happen, I threw some lettuce seed in the community bed to see if I can try for a fall crop. And it's coming up! In past years I was never successful at fall greens; they never germinated. Hopefully I'll get some fall lettuce this year, then.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cressida on August 16, 2017, 07:47:54 PM
Hi all. Does anyone know what's up with my tomatoes? A lot of the lower leaves look like this.

(https://d26dzxoao6i3hh.cloudfront.net/items/2P45153z142Z0E1r2C3d/IMG_1188.jpg)

I appreciate any input. Thanks everyone!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Sister C on August 17, 2017, 07:13:13 PM
Kale has aphids! Diagnosed by a gardening friend. Will strip the plants of leaves, spray with insecticidal soap and wait 2-3 weeks for the plants to regenerate. Oh and apparently we need to fertilize with a fish emulsion.  Hoping to extend the kale harvest well into fall.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on August 18, 2017, 07:34:40 AM
Hi all. Does anyone know what's up with my tomatoes? A lot of the lower leaves look like this.

(https://d26dzxoao6i3hh.cloudfront.net/items/2P45153z142Z0E1r2C3d/IMG_1188.jpg)

I appreciate any input. Thanks everyone!

Looks like blight to me.  Being that it is on the lower plant leaves, blight can be transferred from "splashing" of rain onto the soil and up onto the leaves.  Those leaves also get little sunlight which blight likes :).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on August 18, 2017, 09:07:56 AM
We harvested our potatoes last night. I only had a few plants, and I was trying a new method. (A potato box thing--I think I put up a picture earlier in this thread?) The soil, such as it was, was pretty poor, mostly mulch, and I only hilled them once. Well, we got a little over 8 lbs of potatoes, so not too shabby, especially considering the serious lack of care I put into these plants. And my daughter had a ball finding the potatoes and pulling them out as I sifted through the dirt with a pitchfork.

Next year, I want to have a big potato patch, plus the box.

We also harvested some tomatoes, almost up to a pound total of those (romas and cherry tomatoes, so they're small) and we've got a few more zucchinis springing up.

Last, I checked on my onions. Some of them are nearly twice the size they were just two weeks ago, so I guess they've finally decided to make their final push to get bigger before fall. Yay!

Coming up soon: harvesting apples. I can them as sauce and we press our own cider (hard and sweet). Yum!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on August 19, 2017, 03:12:41 PM
Hi all. Does anyone know what's up with my tomatoes? A lot of the lower leaves look like this.

(https://d26dzxoao6i3hh.cloudfront.net/items/2P45153z142Z0E1r2C3d/IMG_1188.jpg)

I appreciate any input. Thanks everyone!

Looks like blight to me.  Being that it is on the lower plant leaves, blight can be transferred from "splashing" of rain onto the soil and up onto the leaves.  Those leaves also get little sunlight which blight likes :).


Afraid I agree - that's early stage blight.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 19, 2017, 03:58:41 PM
Another 13 pounds of tomatoes today (last harvested on the 15th, so what... that's 4 days ago?). Up to about 75 total this year, yay!

Blight is looking bad. But at this point we're going to get more than enough fruit even if all them get blighted.

I hacked away TONS of branches again today, both blighted as well as extra. Our Early Girls don't look like they have much blight now (after a massive pruning a few days ago) so fingers crossed there. But a few other plants picked up traces of it. I guess we'll see what happens.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cache Stash on August 19, 2017, 04:06:35 PM
Another 13 pounds of tomatoes today (last harvested on the 15th, so what... that's 4 days ago?). Up to about 75 total this year, yay!

Blight is looking bad. But at this point we're going to get more than enough fruit even if all them get blighted.

I hacked away TONS of branches again today, both blighted as well as extra. Our Early Girls don't look like they have much blight now (after a massive pruning a few days ago) so fingers crossed there. But a few other plants picked up traces of it. I guess we'll see what happens.

Good for you!  I've harvested about 60lbs so far.  I'm in the southern local so I don't have but maybe one more good harvest.  Probably end up with about 70lbs.  I was hit hard by the white moth larvae.  I did massive pruning.  Then blight set in just a few weeks ago.  I'm yanking everything next week and planting fall veggies.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 19, 2017, 04:09:07 PM
Good for you!  I've harvested about 60lbs so far.  I'm in the southern local so I don't have but maybe one more good harvest.  Probably end up with about 70lbs.  I was hit hard by the white moth larvae.  I did massive pruning.  Then blight set in just a few weeks ago.  I'm yanking everything next week and planting fall veggies.

We've got a bunch of peppers that look promising but I'm hoping to end up with around 100# of tomatoes.

Will be a nice haul, should last us a year, but I do like putting them in lots of things... so we'll see.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: wannabe-stache on August 25, 2017, 08:12:47 AM
OK - let's get this party started!

What are you growing this year?
Trying anything new this year?
What did you learn from past years?
Best tips to pass along.
Having problems?

I am trying to grow tomatoes (indeterminates i think, they're getting big) in containers.  Staking them has been tough though, i am using strips of t-shirts to tie them but they seem to slide down and don't really serve their purpose.

interestingly, the immediate area around where the containers are located seem to be really getting weedy.  i assume this isn't a coincidence.

i am also trying to grow herbs but starting them outdoors, in rainy season in south FL, seems to be a mistake.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: StarBright on August 25, 2017, 08:17:04 AM
If anyone is looking to use up some tomatoes I recommend the "Tomato Pie" recipe from the Hoosier Mama Book of Pie. It is intense tomato-ey goodness.

Bonus - you can double the filling recipe and then blend up the second batch for sauce in the "Chicago Pie" recipe which is also excellent.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: asauer on August 25, 2017, 08:27:47 AM
If anyone is looking to use up some tomatoes I recommend the "Tomato Pie" recipe from the Hoosier Mama Book of Pie. It is intense tomato-ey goodness.

Bonus - you can double the filling recipe and then blend up the second batch for sauce in the "Chicago Pie" recipe which is also excellent.

Actually made tomato pie last night!  Still getting tons of 4th of July tomatoes.  Also, still harvesting bell peppers and jalapenos.  I can't tell you how many jars of hot sauce I've given away. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: asauer on August 25, 2017, 08:29:40 AM
Looking forward to getting my seeds for fall planting- spinach, peas, carrots, garlic and turnips.  Can't wait!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 25, 2017, 08:52:37 AM
Community garden bed officially looks like poo. Still getting tomatoes, but the plants look the way they usually do around mid-October. Very sad. It's making me not want to go there and continue to tend it, but I still do.

Backyard is still churning out loads of romas, cherries, and the Red Prides finally started to ripen. Some are really large. Still getting some big heirlooms too. I had to throw out a Mortgage Lifter that I left on the counter too long. It had a split in it that I didn't see and got moldy and liquefied. Ew.

A question on blight. So, everything I read about it says you have to rotate your crops or else you'll get it again next year. I don't have another place to plant, though, and I don't want to give up tomatoes entirely for a few years. (One thing I read said plant nothing in the tomato family for FOUR years?!) What would happen if I emptied out much of the soil from the bed and replaced it with fresh? Would that help? Every year I top off with fresh compost, but the same soil is still in there underneath (and probably has been for as long as the community garden's been going). Has anyone successfully done this? Because, it's going to be expensive and I don't want to make the effort if it won't actually help.

I planted fall spinach but it didn't come up, booo. The fall lettuce is up but not really growing. It's gotten cooler these past few days, though, so maybe that'll make it happy.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on August 25, 2017, 09:11:09 AM
I ordered lettuce, spinach, and carrots for my fall/winter garden. Going to make some low tunnels over my garden beds so that everything will grow faster and nicer than it did last year, out in the open. My spinach made it through all of the frosts, but it grew so. slowly. I actually want it to be harvestable over the winter this year.

I'm now over 1.5 lbs of tomatoes. :) That's nothing compared to some of your harvests, but the few plants I have and the profound neglect they've suffered at my hands means I'm happy to get anything at all.

I have enough ripe cherry tomatoes that I think HusbandX and I will be hipster Millennials and make avocado toast this weekend. Never tried it, but it looks yummy.

Sorry, no advice on blight.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 25, 2017, 12:18:16 PM
A question on blight. So, everything I read about it says you have to rotate your crops or else you'll get it again next year. I don't have another place to plant, though, and I don't want to give up tomatoes entirely for a few years. (One thing I read said plant nothing in the tomato family for FOUR years?!) What would happen if I emptied out much of the soil from the bed and replaced it with fresh? Would that help? Every year I top off with fresh compost, but the same soil is still in there underneath (and probably has been for as long as the community garden's been going). Has anyone successfully done this? Because, it's going to be expensive and I don't want to make the effort if it won't actually help.


I don't know.

So far blight has been annoying but not "entire crop ruining" - I think for next year I'll just plant more Early Girls (which mature... early) and just keep a watchful eye out.

If blight had completely devastated our crop I would be more worried. But it's been slow attrition and realistically I probably should be pruning them anyways.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 25, 2017, 01:06:38 PM
Yeah, my plants in the community bed aren't dead and I'm still getting tomatoes, but they look BAD. Very spindly compared to the lush forest that I've got in the backyard. So, not devastating but my yield is much less than in past years.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on August 25, 2017, 02:04:15 PM
After 2 sprays of copper fungicide - very little dead leaves!! Will apply last one for the season tomorrow
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 26, 2017, 03:26:34 PM
Most tomatoes in our garden are looking blighted. I pruned another massive pile of affected leaves today though and that seems to be pretty effective at curbing the onslaught.

I'm... not that worried now either, as our freezer is mostly full and at this point most of the tomatoes we harvest are going to salsa with the peppers.  It's been a very successful garden year so far even if everything dies a horrible death right now!

Picked a half dozen massive banana peppers today too. I'm getting excited for the next month as more peppers start maturing. We've got two plants FULL of bell peppers that should be great :D
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on August 26, 2017, 03:42:14 PM
My banana peppers are still green, but they are enormous! I am excited!

I'd hoped to be able to can enough tomatoes to get us through the winter and spring, but that does not seem likely as my yield is much less than last year and we ran out of my home canning in February. Ah well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on August 29, 2017, 07:31:27 PM
Getting to be pretty regular 10 pound plus hauls from the garden. Almost 14 this time and that's without cherry tomatoes (or a final-final-final bean crop from the BEANS WHICH WONT DIE).

Blight looks less bad now, other than the first two where I didn't do much pruning seems to have stemmed the spread of blight, though some of the tomatoes seem to have spots (which we'll cut out of course).

Our two early girl plants have now produced a total of just under 37 pounds between the two of them. WOW. And they have a bunch more on them now, too!

Pepper crop is looking great. Going to have a ton of them compared to my expectations given how many are out there. Already harvested ~2.5 pounds of Jalepenos (that's a lot of them) from our single plant!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on September 10, 2017, 04:32:46 PM
No one has updated this for almost two weeks (!).

Pulled another 6 pounds of tomatoes today. Up to 120 this year now.. that's a loot. Our recently purchased 22 cubic foot freezer is looking full already with our garden harvests.

Plus I pruned about two wheelbarrow loads of tomato leaves/branches that were showing any signs of blight. First signs in the garden were a month ago, the plants that showed them are pretty bad off but the ones I have been aggressively pruning seem to be in good shape!

Peppers are going to be a great crop. We'll use a bunch for salsa and the rest will get frozen for stir fries!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: StarBright on September 10, 2017, 06:45:43 PM
I've run out of freezer room and I don't can. I have 15 tomatoes sitting on my window sill and I'm at a loss. I hate to say it, but I'm a little tomato'd out.

I'm sort of debating whether or not to fight the blight or just let the tomatoes go since I have more than I can use.

My last two weeks worth of green beans, cucumbers and peppers have all gone to a local foodbank. Our community garden has a neat option to send everything to a food kitchen once a week.

The only thing that are getting eaten with regularity are the cherry tomatoes because my kids are still eating them by the handful.

Will probably finish planting fall greens this week in my emptied 4x4.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on September 10, 2017, 09:37:34 PM
Getting lots of big beefsteak tomatoes right now. I've dried several dehydrator loads of tomatoes, canned some whole, canned some soup, and a big batch of salsa today with roasted bajio chiles.  I gave away at least 20# at work last week, and have probably 25# spread out in the kitchen in various stages of ripeness.

Chiles are HOT this year.  I also made a batch of sambal olek this afternoon, and picked and roasted a bucket of green chiles last night.  The chocolate habaneros are absolutely scorchingly hot.  Cayenne peppers will come in next - I'm thinking about doing a fermented Tabasco-style sauce, as well as cayenne powder if I have enough.  There is another whole large batch of Thai chiles ripening as well.

I've gotten several nice honeydews, and have cantaloupes ripening.  The spaghetti squash was the only winter squash to survive, but it looks like it will give me at least a dozen squash to store.

Potatoes - I've dug about 10# of blue and fingerling potatoes.

I've got cabbage, broccoli and kale going for fall, and just took the shade cloth off of them a few days ago.  Hoping for some nice production there, as well as from the few carrots that managed to survive a summer planting.  I'm hoping to get some salad greens in the ground in the next few days as well.  I also noticed new sugar snap pea plants popping up where the peas were planted this spring.  Not sure if they are re-sprouts, or from seed, but I'll be interested to see how they do, as I've never had luck with fall-planting peas.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on September 11, 2017, 10:31:36 AM
Things are more or less the same in my garden. The community plot still looks like poo, but is still making tomatoes. My sungolds had quit for a while, but now are churning out another round. In the backyard, I think the Roma's about done, but the heirlooms and cherry tomato are still bearing lots. The peppers are taller than me now - too bad that they're just deciding that now would be a fine time to start making peppers. No way are those going to ripen before it gets cold out. Oh well.

Looks like I'll get some fall lettuce soon; I planted a "gourmet blend" of red and green lettuce, from seed, and it's starting to come up.

And, I have a volunteer dill plant growing just outside my community bed! Perfect timing as the dill I planted intentionally is about done.

I have no idea what to do about my raspberry bushes. It's my first year having them. One has just grown in 1 long stalk that's got to be about 8 feet long. It's growing sideways, not up. That one didn't bear anything. The other is fuller (and did make probably 20 or so raspberries in July-ish) but is starting to do the same - putting out long sideways stalks. Can I cut those down or do I have to leave them so that they make berries next year? I have these in huge pots and their branches are growing into all the native ornamental plants that my landlord has in the ground, but I've really no good place to move them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on September 11, 2017, 11:16:38 AM
Are cherry tomatoes any good if dehydrated?

The fall garden has started popping up. Yay! I still need to get the materials to make low tunnels. It's on my to-do list for today, though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: ender on September 11, 2017, 12:58:13 PM
Are cherry tomatoes any good if dehydrated?

The fall garden has started popping up. Yay! I still need to get the materials to make low tunnels. It's on my to-do list for today, though.

We froze a bunch this year. I've heard of people deydrating them though, too.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on September 11, 2017, 12:58:36 PM
@This Prior.
We are in same location, so I'll share my experience here relative to Chi land.

Dill - mostly done (the one I planted in spring). Great seeds outcome for next year and lots of it dried and frozen for winter. And of course used all summer long in meals and tomato canning.
Basil - still OK. Early plants are done, the ones I planted later in summer are still good.
Same with parsley - good.
Miserable fail with cilantro. No idea why. 2 years ago it was great

Cucumbers - done. Summer was not warm so I'm somewhat glad I could get like 70 from 6-7 vines.

Jalapenos - turning red! Excited to pickle them with this extra spiciness

Bells - meh, cool summer. Still green and low outcome

Tomatoes - still OK. Lots of green ones on vines (I only plant indeterminates. Never going back to determ)

Re raspberries - there are two types: june-bearing and everbearing. The june ones produce on 2-year canes (so if it grew this year, next year it will give you berries. and you cut down the ones that produced - they are done). Everbearing - produce on new growth only. You can cut to ground in fall/winter.

My blackberries did absolutely nothing again for the second year so I decided to remove them (and will fight with roots for next 10 years)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on September 11, 2017, 01:58:13 PM
I too dried a lot of dill, as well as thyme and oregano. One of my purple basils dropped dead but the other one, and all the regular basil, are still hanging in there; since it's gotten chilly overnight I was concerned but so far so good.

My cilantro was doing OK for a while and then it started tasting awful, though it didn't visibly bolt. ??? Tried again, and the second try quickly dropped dead. Oh well. It's 69 cents for a huge bunch of it at Aldi so I am not that upset.

I got a lot of chives.... but realize that I don't really eat chives. I don't dislike them; I just don't cook much that uses them. Wondering if I should pull it and make room for something else.

I cannot grow anything in the cucumber or squash families. I get male flowers only and then the whole thing drops dead. (Though, maybe next year I'll try a couple in the backyard; although it is not far from the community garden conditions seem totally different between the 2, at least based on what grew well where.)

I think I might get some sweet banana peppers before it gets cold - I've got a bunch and they're large but still unripe. The regular bells are maybe 2 inches big right now. Boooo. Honestly, I think next year I'm going to do mini bells only; I got a yellow mini bell at Home Depot and that one did well and ripened quickly. Maybe 15 peppers off of the one plant? Given my track record with peppers (poor), that's pretty good.

I googled my raspberry varieties - is midsummer-bearing the same thing as June-bearing? That's what one of mine is (the one that did make some berries). The other one's a purple brandywine and I cannot find any info as to when it bears - and it did not bear this year. I did read that it's supposed to make long canes rather than filling out width-wise and you're supposed to trellis it. Oops. Live and learn. And, I guess the fact that it's long and skinny is normal for this bush. Hmmm. If I'd known that I probably would've picked something else. Oh well.
(ETA: Found it. Purple Brandywine is "late summer bearing." Which I am assuming is not the same as everbearing, so I guess I should leave it be as none of its canes produced berries.)

You know what else is really stunted this year? My mint. Weird! I thought that was a plant that's supposed to go insane. But, nope. It doesn't look unhealthy, just small, and last year the same plant got huge.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on September 11, 2017, 02:00:33 PM
Are cherry tomatoes any good if dehydrated?

The fall garden has started popping up. Yay! I still need to get the materials to make low tunnels. It's on my to-do list for today, though.

Yes, they are very sweet.  They make a great addition to pesto when the basil has gotten a bit bitter.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on September 11, 2017, 02:39:55 PM
@This Prior: I'm still fighting my mint. Who created this plant?? it's insanely tough - dug out root, sprayed lots of chems there. Still coming up. Man.

Cucumbers - I had 12-13 vines planted, only 6 or 7 survived our cool spring/summer. And no bees - this is how cukes are growing. I had lots of small ones in the beginning of summer but with no pollen they died. I even started hand pollination with male to female flowers - felt like I'm ... you know
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on September 11, 2017, 10:28:35 PM
Haha, that's why I keep my mint in a pot and not in the ground.

I do have a LOT of bees in the backyard. Maybe cukes and zukes would do OK there? Hmmmm. Though, that doesn't solve the male flowers only problem.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on September 13, 2017, 05:32:42 PM
Thanks for the advice about dehydrating cherry tomatoes! Now I know what to do with the glut and will feel a bit less overwhelmed.

Another question: I've been mulling the idea of getting backyard chickens for a long time now. Like, years. I have some very minor experience with them, as a family member raises them. I've even looked into the local ordinances to know what I am even allowed to do as far as flock size and all of that.

I have an area in mind for making into a rather large run, but I want to make sure it would be suitable before I talk my (incredibly reluctant) spouse into letting me go for this. There's a raised corner of the yard that a previous owner propped up with boulders and topped with ground cloth and gravel. However, this has not stopped the invasive weeds (blackberry, bindweed, a few others) from taking over that area. I was thinking of building a coop up on the raised part, taking over that entire corner of the yard, and having the run go down into the lower part of the yard.

My questions are: would those weeds be a problem for the chickens, or would they scratch them enough to keep them at bay? Could this be used as effective weed control as well as delicious eggs? Also, would the pebbles and rocks be a problem for the chickens? I don't care if they scratch up all the pebbles in that area, I just want to be sure they wouldn't be hurting little chicken feet and causing problems.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on September 13, 2017, 09:04:11 PM
Thanks for the advice about dehydrating cherry tomatoes! Now I know what to do with the glut and will feel a bit less overwhelmed.

Another question: I've been mulling the idea of getting backyard chickens for a long time now. Like, years. I have some very minor experience with them, as a family member raises them. I've even looked into the local ordinances to know what I am even allowed to do as far as flock size and all of that.

I have an area in mind for making into a rather large run, but I want to make sure it would be suitable before I talk my (incredibly reluctant) spouse into letting me go for this. There's a raised corner of the yard that a previous owner propped up with boulders and topped with ground cloth and gravel. However, this has not stopped the invasive weeds (blackberry, bindweed, a few others) from taking over that area. I was thinking of building a coop up on the raised part, taking over that entire corner of the yard, and having the run go down into the lower part of the yard.

My questions are: would those weeds be a problem for the chickens, or would they scratch them enough to keep them at bay? Could this be used as effective weed control as well as delicious eggs? Also, would the pebbles and rocks be a problem for the chickens? I don't care if they scratch up all the pebbles in that area, I just want to be sure they wouldn't be hurting little chicken feet and causing problems.

That sounds like a fine place to me.  The chickens should scratch out the bindweed.  I think if you cut the blackberries down to the ground before the chickens go in, they'll kill it eventually be immediately eating any sprouts that try to come up.  Of course, your ratio of pen area to chicken numbers will be a factor in whether they can kill everything.  You might want to have a strategy for hemming them into one part of the run at a time, so they can control weeds, and then move to the next place, if the area is too big for your flock to kill all the weeds at once.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: SisterX on September 13, 2017, 10:02:48 PM
Thanks for the advice about dehydrating cherry tomatoes! Now I know what to do with the glut and will feel a bit less overwhelmed.

Another question: I've been mulling the idea of getting backyard chickens for a long time now. Like, years. I have some very minor experience with them, as a family member raises them. I've even looked into the local ordinances to know what I am even allowed to do as far as flock size and all of that.

I have an area in mind for making into a rather large run, but I want to make sure it would be suitable before I talk my (incredibly reluctant) spouse into letting me go for this. There's a raised corner of the yard that a previous owner propped up with boulders and topped with ground cloth and gravel. However, this has not stopped the invasive weeds (blackberry, bindweed, a few others) from taking over that area. I was thinking of building a coop up on the raised part, taking over that entire corner of the yard, and having the run go down into the lower part of the yard.

My questions are: would those weeds be a problem for the chickens, or would they scratch them enough to keep them at bay? Could this be used as effective weed control as well as delicious eggs? Also, would the pebbles and rocks be a problem for the chickens? I don't care if they scratch up all the pebbles in that area, I just want to be sure they wouldn't be hurting little chicken feet and causing problems.

That sounds like a fine place to me.  The chickens should scratch out the bindweed.  I think if you cut the blackberries down to the ground before the chickens go in, they'll kill it eventually be immediately eating any sprouts that try to come up.  Of course, your ratio of pen area to chicken numbers will be a factor in whether they can kill everything.  You might want to have a strategy for hemming them into one part of the run at a time, so they can control weeds, and then move to the next place, if the area is too big for your flock to kill all the weeds at once.

Thank you! I knew there'd be at least one person in this thread who'd be able to help advise me. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on September 17, 2017, 09:02:08 PM
Isn't it way late in the season - in the Chicago area, anyway - to get aphids?

I assume that's what the tiny black insects are that, literally overnight, have COVERED all the tomato plants in the backyard.

I'm leaving town in a couple days and have a crazy long to-do list beforehand, so I'm tempted to just let them have it, to be honest, since there's less than a month until frost anyway. I don't know of any natural remedies other than ladybugs and it's too late in the year to buy those.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: FerrumB5 on September 17, 2017, 10:24:00 PM
Isn't it way late in the season - in the Chicago area, anyway - to get aphids?

I assume that's what the tiny black insects are that, literally overnight, have COVERED all the tomato plants in the backyard.

I'm leaving town in a couple days and have a crazy long to-do list beforehand, so I'm tempted to just let them have it, to be honest, since there's less than a month until frost anyway. I don't know of any natural remedies other than ladybugs and it's too late in the year to buy those.

Just let them be. We are very close to the first frost, and we are enjoying our 80 degree weather today, right? I'm still expecting 5-8 cucumbers unless cooler weather kills them (already lost 3 vines). Tomatoes still OK. Jalapenos - what do I do with so many? Bells - mediocre to bad
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Tris Prior on September 17, 2017, 10:41:50 PM
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm satisfied with my yield of tomatoes this year, and there are still plenty of tomatoes ripening. The tomatoes are definitely enjoying this warm weather! It looks like it's going to be warm through the next week so hopefully most of them will finish ripening before the aphids take them out.

I got so many jalapenos last year, I didn't grow any this year, because I STILL have some in my freezer! They freeze well, BTW - just chop them up (wearing gloves - learn from my error!) and throw them in a freezer bag.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Threshkin on September 18, 2017, 05:00:42 PM
Finishing up the garden here on Northern Colorado.  We had a major pumpkin haul this year, 12 from 3 plants and the largest was over 38 pounds!  We will let them finish ripening in the basement and then they will mostly become soup.  All of our pumpkins are volunteers from the compost bin.

Other big winners this year included: Peppers (Hungarian Wax, Santa Fe Yellow, Anaheim and Bell), Eggplant (Italian did better than Japanese), Pineapple Tomatillos (so yummy to eat raw) and Chinese Cucumber.

Tomatoes were a mixed bag.  We got LOTS (Brandywine Pinks are to die for) but we also suffered from blight (TMV?), blossom end rot and hungry mice.

We have not decided if we will do another big garden next year.  Now that we have time for ourselves we are contemplating extensive slow travel for the next few years.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on September 19, 2017, 05:32:51 AM
I have been away for a long weekend after traveling for work so had neglected my little garden.  Was pleasantly surprised to find a dozen green peppers ready for harvest.  I planted three watermelon seeds and harvest one tiny watermelon.  Tomatoes are doing poorly but got a few cherries.  Some of the lettuce is coming along for a late fall harvest. 

The greenhouse is working out ok.  I am getting more cherry tomatoes from there than my front lawn. Most of the peppers came from there.  The only thing that was a bust was the cukes - and they were a bust all around. I am now scheming how to improve productivity for next season. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: pekklemafia on September 20, 2017, 12:21:52 PM
It snowed here yesterday.

That is all.


(I've plucked all of my tomatoes/anything sensitive to frost, but it's all mucky out and really hard to do yard cleanup!)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on September 20, 2017, 12:25:53 PM
It snowed here yesterday.

That is all.


(I've plucked all of my tomatoes/anything sensitive to frost, but it's all mucky out and really hard to do yard cleanup!)

OMG - I am so sorry. 

We have had four patchy frosts already but the last two weeks have been summer - it is so hot I had to water the plants that I protected from those first frosts.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on September 23, 2017, 12:28:49 PM
DH's grapes, planted in front of a wall on the southside of our garden are still sour. They need some more days with sunny weather and I'm not sure it will come. The summer as a whole was not warm enough.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Trifele on October 10, 2017, 07:17:15 AM
Haven't posted in a while, but here is our update:

I waged war with the deer all season, and finally gave up on some items.  (I used high hoops and deer netting early on, but gave that up after I found one dead black snake caught in the netting, and one injured one.  I really hated that because I like snakes a lot.)   DH and I are hatching a plan for an 8 foot deer fence next spring. We are planning on woven wire for the fencing material, which should allow the little critters safe passage.  Move to a new area and live and learn!  It is weird though.  Friends of ours just a few miles from here have no deer, and we have loads.   

My most exciting development is that I planted three paw paw trees, and I just bought four persimmons to plant.   Our orchard is filling up nicely!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on October 10, 2017, 07:56:06 AM
Well, we had a light frost on Sunday night, so all the warm weather crops are done.  I harvested a wheelbarrow full of green tomatoes and about three gallons of various peppers yesterday, then set about pulling out plants and taking down tomato cages.  The chard, collards, broccoli and cabbage are all growing nicely, but the latter aren't really forming heads yet, but should have another six weeks or so to get it done.

I'm off work this week and starting on some raised bed reorganization.  Right now it's kind of a garden Tetris figuring out where to put the piles of soil and compost so I can work in a specific area.  I have another week off in November, which is when the actual bed building will probably happen.  There is enough to do just in prepping things this week.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rosy on October 23, 2017, 06:44:02 PM
So excited to see the first fig ever on our fig tree. Took almost five years!

Started in with fall gardening here in sunny Florida. Planted three new peppers and managed to save one from the summer crop which already has a nice size pepper and is looking quite healthy now. Now I'd like one more plant that has just a little bit of spice, but isn't too hot - any suggestions?

Seeded lettuce which has begun to sprout, but the hot weather is a deterrent to the cabbage, it is not looking happy - although the celery seems to do fine, my first go at celery ever.

Next are radish seed, three tomato plantlings (two roma and one cherry) and I can't wait for swiss chard - the nursery didn't have any yet and I forgot to buy seeds.I've had good luck with that in the past.

I did some serious planter scrubbing and am using new moisture soil for the tomatoes. By mid July they all had a white powdery ashy something on their leaves and the leaves just died - so I am hoping via diligent cleaning to keep this blight from returning.

All my rosemary is doing so well that I think I may buy two more as a nice border near my veggie garden seating area. One orange mint and the spearmint survived - yay, all the other mints died at the end of summer - too hot, not enough attention i.e. water. I need some Mojito mint:) - may have to wait for the plant fairs to find some.
I don't understand why mint is so difficult for me to grow - everyone always talks about what a nuisance it is, I struggle to keep it alive in the summer heat.

I think I may plant two lemon verbena, two dill and two lemon grass - hoping they'll have some nice geraniums and tall marigolds too. My African basil survived the summer and the Italian basil is recovering. Already planted two lemon balm which are looking fine.
Attempting to grow some African basil babies from the mother plant...worked before.

My sweet potatoes are looking good too, but I thought they died off in the cooler months? They seem to be wanting to start over?
I'll try to find some of that japanese egg plant that did so well for me in the past.

I can't believe I actually have a lavender that survived the summer by some miracle (lavender does not like tropical heat) - it should be enough to make sachets for my undie drawers and a couple for Christmas gifts - if I sew up a couple of fancy pouches:)
I just bought one, because I love the scent, expecting it to never bloom - just goes to show ya, you never know when it comes to gardening.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on October 27, 2017, 10:58:23 AM
Currently we have four bottles of wine that are clearing. DH had to buy a few kgs of commercial grapes on sale, to combine with his 5 bunches of homegrown grapes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Rural on October 28, 2017, 01:49:07 PM
Looks like I'll have to pick the rest of the tomatoes still green tomorrow as we have first freeze forecast for tomorrow night.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on October 30, 2017, 02:22:18 AM
Looks like I'll have to pick the rest of the tomatoes still green tomorrow as we have first freeze forecast for tomorrow night.

Yesterday we found out that we also have real tomatoes growing in the garden. They are very small and green. And since it is the end of October, the chance of tomatoes ripening while it is below zero C at night, are very small.

Our strawberry plants still produce strawberries. We planted an unusual species that produces small strawberries the whole season, rather than some big ones during 1-2 weeks like normal strawberry plants.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: StarBright on October 30, 2017, 07:39:02 AM
We're almost done. I cleared out almost everything last week but left all the peppers as they seemed to be having a second wind. This week ended up donating another couple of pounds of sweet peppers to a local mission with a large hot meal program.

We've dropped below freezing last night so I'll have to clean up the peppers and marigolds that I had left.

For our first community gardening experiment I felt like it was really successful! We ended up with enough cherry tomatoes that I didn't need to buy any for three months (my kids go through several pounds a week), got just enough summer squash and zucchini to actually use and not waste, had enough green beans that I got tired of them, got one gorgeous butternut squash that I turned into ravioli and lasagna this weekend, and ended up with lots of frozen pesto and various types of tomato sauces.

We also ended donating lots of greenbeans and peppers.

I'm already forming my plan of attack for next summer! So far my plan includes no mortgage lifter tomatoes, and definitely some early girl tomatoes and more sauce tomatoes next year. I went overboard on late producing slicing tomatoes and ended up with pounds and pounds of pineapple and cherokee purples in September and early October and had almost nothing in July.

Am also planting garlic over winter because the mission has specifically requested garlic and onions from our community garden.

This thread has been great to read this summer and I found it very helpful! Thanks y'all.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on October 30, 2017, 08:04:39 AM
I harvest a few more cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse and hoping for a few more to ripen before it gets too cold in there.
I planted seed garlic in a new bed I made at home.
I have given notice that I won't be returning to my garden plot and have been harvesting the last of the greens and carrots there. I am hoping to transplant all the strawberry plants that never seem to have enough water down there up to my home garden where the problem will be sunlight and squirrels instead.
Overall this season has really been mixed.  My tomatoes, potatoes and strawberry harvests were disappointing while garlic, onions, asparagus, greens, herbs, zukes and cukes were pretty good.  I think the biggest issue is loss to squirrels.
Next summer my garden is going to be at the neighbours in full sun just in front of the green house.  They have four raised beds that don't produce well and lots of additional space around them that is currently turf and too narrow to mow with their big mower.  I have already started killing the turf with cardboard and mulch on top and will be pulling the raised beds apart, adding more manure and making it into a traditional on ground garden.  The deal is I can garden all I want and I will share the harvest.  They have a dog so I just have to keep the dog out of the beds and he will keep the squirrels on their toes.  I am going to invest in some soil tests at the local ag-lab so if there is something in the soil that is preventing growth then we can amend.  I think it is mainly a watering issue.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Cranky on October 30, 2017, 11:38:56 AM
We've had frost, but it hasn't really knocked anything back at this point.

Let's see - the tomatoes were so-so. August was really cool, and really dry, and dh didn't water while I was gone, plus one bed got knocked back by blight. I still have a few green Romas out there that I should bring in to ripen, and then pull the rest of the vines.

The herbs all did well, though again, dh shoulda water the basil.

The raspberries were crazy. I didn't get as many as if it had rained more regularly, but we had plenty and the freezer is stuffed. I'm working on cutting back that patch and making it generally tidier before it takes over the world.

I've still got quite a bit of kale.

We had two small volunteer pumpkins, which are sitting on the front porch looking fall-ish. We had a billion, or about 30, butternut squash, and 3 random acorn squash that I thing came from the compost.

The strawberries were pretty good - May and June must have been just right for them.

My friend has given me a ton of apples from the old trees at her house, and so the spots in the freezer not full of raspberries and squash are given over to jars of applesauce.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on November 14, 2017, 04:56:55 AM
We recently bought a bigger container for our avocado plant. Now we are one month later and it has already grown a lot bigger. I think it might need an even bigger container at some later time. I have understood it can become quite a big plant. But it will take on average 7 years or so for it to generate avocados. It is now approx 2 years old.

My husband has been cutting off his grapes and had put the cutoffs in water in the hope that they will develop roots. If this works out, we will have a lot of grape plants next spring and need to take a new sunny part of our garden in use for them. Our experience so long is that it is very difficult to let the cutoffs grow roots before they develop fungus. We will see. He has now 3 or 4 different species of grapes, may 1 or 2 will be more successful.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Frugal Lizard on November 14, 2017, 05:40:06 AM
I pasteurized some straw I got from my dad to inoculate with the oyster mushroom that stopped producing.  In August I attended a workshop and came home with a bucket of inoculated straw.  In September and October we harvested a good amount of the mushrooms.  Then nothing.  So I did some research and found some more buckets and made a mess in the kitchen and now I have three buckets of hopefully healthy oyster mushroom innoculated straw in the bathroom where it is pretty bright and very humid.

I didn't get the strawberry plants moved from my alotment garden before the temperature dropped well below zero for three days.  Hopefully I can get them in the spring to move to my new location.  I also left some carrots and beets in the ground.  I am wondering what the rules are for clearing off the allotment.  Hopefully it will not be so wet this weekend I can go and collect all the fencing and stakes. 

Part of me what to bag up a bunch of the soil - I have really worked on improving it for four or five years but then part of me is saying not to be petty.

My new garden will be starting at square one again in the spring.  It is accessible to a hose and I can drive right up beside it so it won't be as hard to amend and care for as lugging everything by wheel barrow and hauling water up the bank from the river.  I am thinking I should see if I can get a load of manure on this winter while the ground is frozen so that I can just drive right up to it without compacting the soil.  I am also planning to seed the large areas in green manure.  I am thinking about beans and peas for the green manure.  Since the area is about ten times bigger I am also planning to grow a ton of flowers. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on November 14, 2017, 07:13:58 AM
Close to wrapping things up here.  There are still half a dozen cabbage plants, broccoli, kale and collards going.  The broccoli plants are just now putting out 1.5" crowns, so I'm hoping they'll produce something worth harvesting.  A couple of the cabbages have decent heads, but others are just kind of hanging out, so if they don't produce soon, I'll probably just mound them up with straw and see if they make it through winter.  A couple weeks ago I dug up and moved my asparagus to an area where they'll get overspray water from the lawn.  Most of the crowns are ~6 years old now, and have never been harvested, so I'm hoping next year is the year.  That bed also got a nice layer of partially composted manure.  On the vacated side, I planted garlic, shallots and fingerling potatoes.  Fall planting the potatoes is a new experiment.  I just used the ones that were a little green when I dug them up.  However, I have volunteer potato plants every year from little spuds I miss when harvesting, so I don't see why this won't work.

For the most part the other beds are topped up with manure and will be ready to plant in the spring.  I still have a 4x16' empty space where I need to build new beds and fill them, but I doubt I'll get ambitious enough to do that before spring.  Next year I think I'll be focusing on growing lots of chiles.  This year my green chiles came out nice and hot, and nearly as good as authentic Hatch chiles.  I saved lots of seeds and may just dedicate an entire garden bed to them next year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on November 14, 2017, 04:23:30 PM
Fall planting potatoes - hmm, I like this idea. Seems like it should work. We definitely get a hard freeze, so not sure for my area. But I think it should still work.  People get volunteer tomatoes in this zone, so maybe another fall planting option?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on November 14, 2017, 04:30:37 PM
Another big year for tomatoes and peppers! I got so many jalapeños. And the freezer is full of various tomato products (fresh diced, whole roasted sauce, pasta sauce, dried) and tomato jam in the fridge.

Peppers (all) - what wasn’t eaten fresh is pickled (sweet or regular), dried, or chopped and frozen. ETA: and hot sauce - forgot about tgat.

I didn’t even harvest mint since I have a ton from last year.

Oh, a bunch of kohlrabi too - thinking of trying pickling. Anything can be pickled, right?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: Linda_Norway on November 15, 2017, 03:13:37 AM
We have a small problem. I put garlic feds in a pot of earth and they grow nice long greens which I can use in food. I cut it off and next week there is a new long green. So far to good.

But recently we were getting a lot of fruit flies in the kitchen. Killing them off didn't seem to help, there would be new ones every day. They clustered around the pot of garlic. Putting the garlic outside and then killing the fruit flies helped. When taking it back inside, the flies started to reappear around the garlic pot.

So I like to have a put of garlic in the kitchen. It also works with spring onions, they also grow back very fast. But I want to avoid the flies. Outside we currently have winter and snow, so planting it in the garden is not an option.

How to prevent this? And why would they suddenly appear from the garlic if we earlier didn't have flies there? I did have fruit in the house when we started getting the flies. The fruit have been eaten now. But maybe the flies layed their eggs in the wettish earth. Maybe I should try again getting the pot inside and putting in some new spring onions that I bought.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: horsepoor on November 15, 2017, 07:23:00 AM
Fall planting potatoes - hmm, I like this idea. Seems like it should work. We definitely get a hard freeze, so not sure for my area. But I think it should still work.  People get volunteer tomatoes in this zone, so maybe another fall planting option?

We had a really cold winter last year and temps got down around -10F a few times, and I still have volunteer potatoes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
Post by: G-dog on November 15, 2017, 01:27:05 PM
Fall planting potatoes - hmm, I like this idea. Seems like it should work. We definitely get a hard freeze, so not sure for my area. But I think it should still work.  People get volunteer tomatoes in this zone, so maybe another fall planting option?

We had a really cold winter last year and temps got down around -10F a few times, and I still have volunteer potatoes.

Data!

And, I usually like to think that "wild" potatoes (or plant X) had to propagate season after season, so they are more resilient than our crop practices might suggest at first glance. Of course, there is good reason to buy new seed or stock too (disease resistance, selfing issues, etc...)