Author Topic: Planting / Growing your own 2018  (Read 47536 times)

asauer

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #100 on: March 09, 2018, 06:04:09 AM »
So excited about 2018!  We have 3 raised beds in the yard and a bunch of pots on the deck.  I bought another 24x30 planter too.  This year we are growing:
2 fig trees (2 years old)
4 blackberries
7 blueberries- note- we never get any berries from any of these- the birds get them first.  Probably b/c my husband put out a birdbath and three bird houses right next to them.  Oh well, I can run a bird resort.
cowpeas

In the raised beds:
tomatoes
peppers
Mexican sour cucumbers
new kind of cauliflower that resembles brocollini
peas
bush beans
lima beans
spinach

in pots:
REALLY excited to try a new kind of corn that can be grown in pots
lavender
rosemary
lemon balm, stevia, mint (we make our own herbal tea w/ these)
sage
thyme
chamomile (used for tea also)
oregano
basil- if the damn Japanese beetles will leave them the f*ck alone this year.

Haven't started anything indoors yet- my seed order has been delayed. Ugh!

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #101 on: March 09, 2018, 10:35:35 AM »
Had my peas up on the kitchen table for a warmer place to germinate, but noticed some radicals (baby roots) emerging so moved the tray down to the basement grow light area. The cat is loving the grow light being on, but so far has not been messing with the pots.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #102 on: March 09, 2018, 11:00:45 AM »
I'm starting some tomatoes from seed but two weeks in and I don't have any sprouts.  Soil has been consistently moist, but my house temp drops into the 50s overnight and when no one is home. 

Other veggies started to sprout after about a week.

Tomatoes need warm soil (80-85) to germinate quickly. Ditto peppers and cucurbits. You might see some sprouts this week if ambient temps are 50s-60s. I use germination heating mats to raise the temp, theyíre not that expensive on Amazon. Mine donít have a thermostat, I think IIRC they raise the temp about 20 degrees F above ambient. Alternately, depending on what kind of growlight you use, sometimes just the heat kicked off by it, if you cover the tray, will create enough of a greenhouse effect that it warms up a decent amount.

krmit

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #103 on: March 09, 2018, 11:32:27 AM »
@asauer corn in pots?? where did you find that? Keep us posted on how that goes!


furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #104 on: March 09, 2018, 12:18:24 PM »
Anyone growing these? ;)


Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #105 on: March 09, 2018, 01:50:08 PM »
Are those Indigo Rose? I can't see enough of the bottoms to tell. Indigo Rose are black on top and red on the bottom, and they're tasty. I haven't grown that one in a few years. Might have to try it again this year!

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #106 on: March 09, 2018, 04:19:14 PM »
Are those Indigo Rose? I can't see enough of the bottoms to tell. Indigo Rose are black on top and red on the bottom, and they're tasty. I haven't grown that one in a few years. Might have to try it again this year!

Bang on Tris....without seeing the bottom, tough to identify as Indigo Rose....which I grew last year. My DW loved them, while I thought they were just ok in taste. I do wonder if I let their appearance affect the interpretation of my palate. And as a lover of Summer salads out of the garden...they looked a bit odd chopped up in a big salad...not nearly as attractive a presentation (to me) as the traditional red tomato...or yellow (I'm thinkin' Sungold's).

I'm going to tell my DW I just "forgot" to plant them this year. ;)

Consider me a "tomato traditionalist".


Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #107 on: March 10, 2018, 10:10:01 AM »
Haha, I'm the opposite - if it's the wrong color or shape from what a vegetable "should" be, I totally want to grow it. White tomatoes, brown tomatoes, black tomatoes, stripey tomatoes - yes please!

Going to do some purple carrots this year too. :D

Boyfriend is always totally disturbed by veg that aren't the color they're supposed to be, which I find amusing.

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #108 on: March 10, 2018, 11:03:23 AM »
Speaking of unusual veg colors, I was looking through the beautiful Territorial Seeds catalog this morning and laughed when I saw the yellow cauliflower, yellow carrots, yellow peppers, and yellow toms. Thought it would look funny to have one raised bed dedicated to yellow veggies.

Under the basement grow lights, I have a smattering of veg and flowers growing. I want to redo my flower/herbal tea bed this year and add more bee friendly plants but also want more of a cottage garden look. Hollyhocks, joe pye weed, yarrow, poppies, sunflowers, angelica, valerian, coreopsis, borage, and lots of marigolds are just peeking through the soil. With bee balm, rue and fennel already planted in that area, I will need to move things around to get the tall plants in the back near the shed and the shorter ones up front.

Will need to start squashes soon so they are ready for planting in May.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #109 on: March 10, 2018, 11:03:58 AM »
Haha, I'm the opposite - if it's the wrong color or shape from what a vegetable "should" be, I totally want to grow it. White tomatoes, brown tomatoes, black tomatoes, stripey tomatoes - yes please!

Going to do some purple carrots this year too. :D

Boyfriend is always totally disturbed by veg that aren't the color they're supposed to be, which I find amusing.

Purple carrots, at least the ones Iíve had, are okay fresh but not particularly good roasted. Didnít have enough to try cooking them other ways. Yellow carrots (I grew Yellowstone) were tastier.

I have grown purple snap beans that were very tasty (my kids liked them raw). I think I still have seeds, forgot to order them. This year Iím growing purple broccoli (Purple Peacock, technically a broccoli-kale cross).

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #110 on: March 10, 2018, 11:07:08 AM »
@Indio Iíve always read that squash do best direct seeded or transplanted VERY young (like a week after sprouting, so 2-2.5 weeks in the pot total). Iíve never tried transplanting any older than that personally.

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #111 on: March 10, 2018, 11:27:02 AM »
I don't know whether it's ideal, but I regularly plant my squashes out 8 weeks after seeding indoors. I do this because I have a short season, so can't really plant them until early June, and because I'm impatient. My pumpkins are peaking through the soil, but I haven't started my Kaiser Alexander cucumbers yet (they resemble dinosaur eggs and are great for fresh eating).


Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #112 on: March 10, 2018, 12:08:56 PM »
@Indio Iíve always read that squash do best direct seeded or transplanted VERY young (like a week after sprouting, so 2-2.5 weeks in the pot total). Iíve never tried transplanting any older than that personally.

I usually direct sow but last year didn't and it gave my plants a huge advantage. I had luffa, gourds, pumpkins and winter squash about 3 weeks earlier than when I direct sow. I think the key was to use a 4" pot, instead of the small cell holders.

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #113 on: March 11, 2018, 07:57:01 AM »
After unintentionally leaving my cabbage seed packet on my potting table, it got soaked and all of the seeds sprouted! Loath to waste sprouted seeds, I put them into every pot where the original seeds didn't germinate. I'll be planting them everywhere! Has anyone had any success with planting them in less than full sun?

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #114 on: March 11, 2018, 09:22:10 AM »
Thanks to the free seeds at the seed swap, I am dipping my toe into the world of growing flowers. I've never done this.

I got some sweet pea seeds, and according to Google I can start these indoors. So I am going to try that.

I also got some wildflower mix - named "Grandma's Garden" or something like that. They are all kinds of different flowers. Should I start those indoors as well or direct sow, as I won't know what exactly each seed is, what it needs, etc.?

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #115 on: March 11, 2018, 10:46:42 AM »
After unintentionally leaving my cabbage seed packet on my potting table, it got soaked and all of the seeds sprouted! Loath to waste sprouted seeds, I put them into every pot where the original seeds didn't germinate. I'll be planting them everywhere! Has anyone had any success with planting them in less than full sun?

I donít grow cabbage, as Iím allergic to it, but I grow other brassicas like broccoli and kale in 1/3-1/2 shade here in southern WI with good results.

Thanks to the free seeds at the seed swap, I am dipping my toe into the world of growing flowers. I've never done this.

I got some sweet pea seeds, and according to Google I can start these indoors. So I am going to try that.

I also got some wildflower mix - named "Grandma's Garden" or something like that. They are all kinds of different flowers. Should I start those indoors as well or direct sow, as I won't know what exactly each seed is, what it needs, etc.?

I would be inclined to direct sow, as many wildflowers germinate best with freeze/thaw or temperature change cycles anyways.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #116 on: March 11, 2018, 06:11:54 PM »
The problem with most of the "unique" coloured vegetables is when you peel them (carrots) or cook them (beans) they turn their regular colour! So disappointing.

I'm in the thick of planning. Went out to a lovely seed store yesterday, and stocked up. Re-arranged my front yard container garden today and planted two kinds of kale, two kinds of lettuce, chamomile, echinacea and calendula.

Planning my garden plot and I think I'll try square foot gardening this year. The problem is the strange size (7x17') and that I can only access it from 3 sides. I will need to build some pathways to easily harvest, and then I need to build the grid. I went to Home Depot to check out materials to make the walkway, but the options seemed either pricey or difficult to manage without a truck to transport and power tools to cut to size. Any ideas?

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #117 on: March 11, 2018, 08:21:16 PM »
Can you use logs or thick tree branches for your pathway @offthewheel ?

We've had so many nor'easters that I have my pick of logs and branches now that are piled up along the roadside. I'm going to use them and about 5 inches of wood chips to build a winesap mushroom cultivation area.

middo

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #118 on: March 11, 2018, 08:30:35 PM »
I had plans to start our winter crop planting yesterday (Australia).  Unfortunately the weather turned out to be 40 degrees C, so no, no planting happened.  Our tomatoes are going well, and we should be drying roma's shortly for pasta.  Our basil is going great guns as usual. 

Yesterday was going to be leek, beetroot and garlic day, but it will have to wait a couple of weeks now.  We have engagements next weekend, so planting waits.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #119 on: March 11, 2018, 10:03:05 PM »
What an incredible past few days in the garden. Today, in particular, was beyond gorgeous. Thermometer said 14C, but it felt warmer than that to me. There is very much a sense of the land awakening...and speaking of awakening....we have spinach germination! I pulled back the row cover fabric to check on the peas...nothing poking through the soil yet, but I couldn't resist digging down to have a peek at a few, and found a shoot just barely emerged from the casing of one. I gave them a water and put the fabric back over them. No sign of kale growth yet, but I have some started indoors to be transplanted out in a few weeks...direct sowing kale has been hit and miss for me in the past.

I sowed another couple of short rows of spinach (Samish, Tyee) and some radishes. Thought, what the hell, might as well sow some lettuce too...a loose leaf variety, Grand Rapids, which I have had amazing success in the past getting started in still cool weather.

My DW and I took note of an old dinghy, a large hole in it's fibreglass hull, moldering away on someone's acerage. We both came to an almost simaltaneous conclusion (because we both had gardening on the brain) that the little boat would be a great bed/planter for our garden - it will fit in nicely with the island theme.  I will approach the landowner about taking it off their hands next weekend. Then I will need to find a source for soil.

Great to see everyone's plans taking shape here. :)

ETA: With the sun just a bit higher in the sky now, the sunlight quotient is noticeably better now.



DW also got her mason bee house set up. :)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 12:10:28 PM by Jon_Snow »

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #120 on: March 12, 2018, 06:43:13 AM »
The problem with most of the "unique" coloured vegetables is when you peel them (carrots) or cook them (beans) they turn their regular colour! So disappointing.

I'm in the thick of planning. Went out to a lovely seed store yesterday, and stocked up. Re-arranged my front yard container garden today and planted two kinds of kale, two kinds of lettuce, chamomile, echinacea and calendula.

Planning my garden plot and I think I'll try square foot gardening this year. The problem is the strange size (7x17') and that I can only access it from 3 sides. I will need to build some pathways to easily harvest, and then I need to build the grid. I went to Home Depot to check out materials to make the walkway, but the options seemed either pricey or difficult to manage without a truck to transport and power tools to cut to size. Any ideas?


Have you considered making your own concrete stepping stones? Quikrete is cheap in the quantities you're talking about. You could either buy some molds or improvise your own (line with heavy garbage bags if you use something you want to keep, and sprinkle some sand in the bottom to create traction). For that matter, you can use a hollow in sand or a hole in tamped-down soil for the mold,Magin with the plastic.

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #121 on: March 12, 2018, 07:04:29 AM »
For path, why not just some mulch? With a 7 foot wide area accessible on 3 sides, I would do one bed 18-24Ē which is about as wide as I like for single-reach beds, then a path whatever width you are comfortable with, then a double reach bed thatís the remainder of the growing area (depending on how wide you make your path.

Iím assuming the inaccessible side is one of the long ones, if itís one of the short sides instead of having multiple paths running all the way across, a more efficient layout would be a series of keyholes with paths coming in from just one side.

Edit: I can sketch what I mean if this doesnít make sense.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 07:07:35 AM by HarbingerofBunnies »

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #122 on: March 12, 2018, 07:41:33 AM »
The pepper plants are starting to germinate!  yeah.
Two weeks until seed swap.

PKate

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #123 on: March 12, 2018, 05:33:25 PM »
I love growing purple and red carrots.   The big down side I found to growing  Purple 68 Carrots is they will dye your entire dish purple.  This tends to cause people to ask questions when you DH is eating purple chicken soup at work. 



Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #124 on: March 12, 2018, 06:12:41 PM »
We bench grafted 10 apple trees last night for the first time.  Very fun in a Dr. Frankenstein kind of way.  We did not have anyone to show us how, so thank god for Youtube.  :)  Although those guys make it look so easy, when it isn't quite. 

The 'babies' are resting in the garage now for a couple weeks following their surgeries.  I will let you all know if any of them take, and how many. 

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #125 on: March 12, 2018, 07:02:49 PM »
We bench grafted 10 apple trees last night for the first time.  Very fun in a Dr. Frankenstein kind of way.  We did not have anyone to show us how, so thank god for Youtube.  :)  Although those guys make it look so easy, when it isn't quite. 

The 'babies' are resting in the garage now for a couple weeks following their surgeries.  I will let you all know if any of them take, and how many.

Which grafting method did you use? What rootstock? I have read and watched a decent amount about grafting but never attempted it myself.
 

cerat0n1a

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #126 on: March 13, 2018, 01:02:13 AM »
After unintentionally leaving my cabbage seed packet on my potting table, it got soaked and all of the seeds sprouted! Loath to waste sprouted seeds, I put them into every pot where the original seeds didn't germinate. I'll be planting them everywhere! Has anyone had any success with planting them in less than full sun?

They need to get a few hours sun each day in order to form a solid/tight "head" - sometimes a problem here in England if we get a cloudy spring. Most likely, you're a good deal south of us, so probably less of an issue. If you have the space to plant them all out, what's the worse that can happen?

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #127 on: March 13, 2018, 03:55:04 AM »
We bench grafted 10 apple trees last night for the first time.  Very fun in a Dr. Frankenstein kind of way.  We did not have anyone to show us how, so thank god for Youtube.  :)  Although those guys make it look so easy, when it isn't quite. 

The 'babies' are resting in the garage now for a couple weeks following their surgeries.  I will let you all know if any of them take, and how many.

Which grafting method did you use? What rootstock? I have read and watched a decent amount about grafting but never attempted it myself.

We did whip-and-tongue on 7 of them, and for the other 3 the scion wood diameter was too small, so we did side grafts.  The side grafting was trickier -- harder to get the cut oval surfaces to match up -- but it looked ok in the end.  The two hardest things in the whole process were not cutting ourselves, and dealing with the grafting wax. That stuff is intensely sticky -- like pine sap.  You need paint thinner to get it off your hands.

We used Geneva 890 semidwarf for the root stock.  The nursery said it was hardy and self-supporting. They'll need it, if any of these take -- the scion tree (same parent tree for all 10 grafts) is very fruitful.  Can't wait to see if any of them live -- very excited!  :)

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #128 on: March 13, 2018, 09:41:56 AM »
All of my indoor starts have now sprouted.

Tomatoes germinated in 5 days....tomatillos in 6....peppers in 7. This is illustrative of the power of providing bottom heat. :)

I've two grow light setups going....and I am still a bit hard pressed to get everything crammed under them. I do have a nice cold frame out on our condo patio so as soon as I can I will put some of the cool weather tolerant crops (kale, collards, spinach, lettuce) out there, making more room for the heat-lovers under the indoor lights.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #129 on: March 15, 2018, 09:22:02 PM »
I love growing purple and red carrots.   The big down side I found to growing  Purple 68 Carrots is they will dye your entire dish purple.  This tends to cause people to ask questions when you DH is eating purple chicken soup at work.

After awhile, people just decide you're weird and stop asking questions about your food.  I know from experience. ;)

I'm growing the Pusa Asita or Black Nebula carrot this year (can't remember offhand which one).  I was not impressed with the types that have orange flesh and a purple outer bit, but I'm hoping these black carrots will be a different beast entirely.

So far I've potted up 48 of my special strain of green chile, 12 eggplants, and 12 more pepper plants.  Quite a few more to go, and I will be starting tomatoes this weekend.  Should have a week or two ago, but time got away from me.

Uneven germination on my various onion varieties, but it looks like we'll have lots of Ailsa Craigs and Walla Walla Sweets this year.  Not doing so well on my various cruciferous vegetables and may need to break down and purchase some starts.  Might try putting my lettuce starts out in the garden this weekend and just see if they make it.  I have tons to do, and lack of time...

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #130 on: March 16, 2018, 08:32:29 AM »
I'm going to start some seeds this weekend. I am probably going to regret doing this as I still have no plan for how to keep them alive during our week away in April when it will still be too cold to plant them out. I am hoping that by then they'll be large enough to not need to be babied too much. If they all die - well, the seed was free so I'm only out my time and effort.

horsepoor: BLACK CARROTS?!?!? OMG. Be still my inner goth girl heart. I want those!

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #131 on: March 16, 2018, 09:57:15 AM »
@horsepoor - onion seed is so fragile that it doesn't germinate at any rate worth attempting after one year, this according to my friend who is a CSA farmer and explains my experience.  Some seed just doesn't keep.

It was well below freezing here today - even during the day but there is a little sun coming in patches between snow flurries.  Yesterday I planted super hardy kale and spinach and some mesclun mix in the greenhouse.  It is not getting that warm in there and I haven't filled up all the buckets of water to create the battery - in fact I have dumped out all the old water so it is going to be super chilly in there. 

My farmer friend have made small hot beds inside their huge greenhouse by placing eaves trough gutter ice melting cables in a sand bed covered with ceramic floor tiles.  They can heat these little hot beds warm enough for greens and onions.  The tomatoes and peppers need seed mats.  I am hoping to plant my tomato seeds today in my basement grow lights.  I would really like another seed mat so that I can do two trays at a time.

I am going to grow mountain spring hybrid, stellar hybrid, mountain merit hybrid for my church garden - we supply a food bank from our little garden.  We have yet to grow enough to exceed demand, except for the year someone planted 18 jalapeno plants.  It was a super year for peppers.   I also start 18 California wonder peppers for them.

For me, I will grow one or two of the church varieties so that I can keep a close eye on production plus I am going to tree some green zebra and romas and random cherries.  Which I hope to get into the seed tray this afternoon.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #132 on: March 16, 2018, 11:51:21 PM »
@horsepoor - onion seed is so fragile that it doesn't germinate at any rate worth attempting after one year, this according to my friend who is a CSA farmer and explains my experience.  Some seed just doesn't keep.

Thanks, you are probably right on the money.  I think one or two of the older varieties have germinated, but overall, it is the older seed that has failed me.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #133 on: March 17, 2018, 04:48:13 AM »
@horsepoor - onion seed is so fragile that it doesn't germinate at any rate worth attempting after one year, this according to my friend who is a CSA farmer and explains my experience.  Some seed just doesn't keep.

Thanks, you are probably right on the money.  I think one or two of the older varieties have germinated, but overall, it is the older seed that has failed me.

Iíve read that too, the seed catalogs strongly stress how perishable everything in the allium family is. What I donít know is if freezing the seed will help. Might be worth a shot if you end up with extra seed in a future year?

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #134 on: March 17, 2018, 08:58:39 AM »
@horsepoor - onion seed is so fragile that it doesn't germinate at any rate worth attempting after one year, this according to my friend who is a CSA farmer and explains my experience.  Some seed just doesn't keep.

Thanks, you are probably right on the money.  I think one or two of the older varieties have germinated, but overall, it is the older seed that has failed me.

Iíve read that too, the seed catalogs strongly stress how perishable everything in the allium family is. What I donít know is if freezing the seed will help. Might be worth a shot if you end up with extra seed in a future year?
My CSA farmer friend is one of the most frugal and knowledgeable growers I know.  I would suspect that if it can be done, she would have done it. She said she just gives away the seed they don't plant because it isn't worth anything.  The onion seed I bought this week was really cheap. except for the fancy shallot hyrbid.  I planted the entire packet of the shallots in the plug tray.  I am going to sow the remaining seed  straight into ground between the rows between the seedlings when I plant them out in the garden to use up the rest of the package on the two more plentiful types.

I just had about 98% germination on 2015 Basil.  And 80% on 2017 California wonder peppers.

My neighbour approved the plans I have for her garden.  She is really excited.  She also said that she will be the brawn behind my brain since it is going to be shared family garden.  It is exciting to have an assistant.  I hope this means no waste.  She is keen to have good production.  The area was not that productive for her last season.  I grew about four times the amount in a much smaller space but I have been growing stuff for more than thirty years.  I think I should invest in a soil test because last year I gave her a bunch of manure from my dad's farm and didn't notice a huge improvement over the previous year. 

I am going to plant 15 asparagus crowns (?) and a bunch of strawberries.  And everything will have to be protected from free range hens.  I had to protect the rhubarb from those hungry ladies two days ago.  They are looking for greens!


asauer

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #135 on: March 17, 2018, 01:27:57 PM »
@asauer corn in pots?? where did you find that? Keep us posted on how that goes!
I got them from Burpee.  Theyíre the On Deck variety.  Iíll let you know how it goes!

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #136 on: March 18, 2018, 11:10:20 AM »
Another stunning, sun soaked day in the garden yesterday. Wonderful to see directly sowed spinach, kale, collards and peas growing nicely. I sense that lettuce emergence may be imminent. There are gaps in my spinach rows where I suspect the clumpy nature of the seedbed is preventing some from making it to the surface in a timely manner. My soil is on the clay side of things, so it is always a bit of a struggle to get things to a nice tilth early in the season. I'm thinking I should have sowed the spinach in a starting mix soil. Next time for sure.

But things as things are warming up, I have been spending time working the top 6 - 8 inches of the soil, adding some compost and organic fertilizer. Yesterday I spent a fair bit of time working the soil, moving from the garden fork, to the 3 pronged cultivator, and eventually the finer 5 pronged cultivator. Still a bit clumpy, but much, much, better. A bit of work with a garden rake before my next round of planting should see me putting seeds into soil of much finer tilth.

The blackberry thicket that surrounds my garden is showing real signs of life now, so before it becomes a handful I cut it back another 3 feet away from my garden beds. By July it will have reclaimed that 3 feet and will send underground tendrils to emerge randomly in my raised beds. The annoyance and work it causes me is more than made up by the berry bounty, and the fact that the blackberry blossoms attract legions of pollinating insects.

I am getting antsy to get my cabbage starts transplanted out...but it's still too early. I really need to do it by the first week of April though. Hopefully the weather gods cooperate.

Had a bit of a scare with my pepper starts...they all suddenly flopped over to lay on the soil of thier individual planting cells. Some quick googling revealed it may have been "damping off"...i.e., the soil was just too damn wet. I removed them from the wicking mat they were on, and voila! Back to attention in about 8 hours. Learning stuff like this is just bloody fascinating to me. :)

One more thing...when I first arrived back to my garden site I discovered that a huge branch had fallen from one of the big firs at the back off the garden, landing directing on the wire fencing. The fence posts back there have long since rotted away, and the only thing keeping the fence upright was the supporting nest of blackberries, salal and wild rose thickets. These were not enough to prevent the fencing from being almost flattened to the ground. Had this happened in the Summer, it would have provided a superhighway for a deer invasion and my garden would have been decimated in short order. I have propped up the fence up and pounded in some metal posts which should be enough to get through the season....but that entire back fence needs a permanent fix at some point.



Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #137 on: March 19, 2018, 07:25:10 AM »
Yesterday was sunny and the temperature in the greenhouse climbed to 22C.  I spent the afternoon puttering.
I got all the empty containers filled with fresh water so there is a very substantial heat sink now.  I raised on planter off the floor on five paving bricks so that I could have big buckets of water under it for thermal mass and since cold air sinks - it would be warmer. 
I was not able to move the other planter by myself and since I (overzealously) planted some seeds in it, I couldn't make it lighter by emptying it.  Hopefully will get some help with that next weekend.
I am going to plant more varieties of the seeds in the planter.  I am thinking cukes and peas plus greens again.  Maybe I will do that today.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #138 on: March 19, 2018, 06:03:53 PM »
Planted an assortment of herbs and heat-tolerant greens in husbandís grad school city - in pots. Planted flowers in a bed. Wonít grow anything edible in the soil on the ground because of contamination concerns.


Yesterday planted a zillion bulbs an elderly relative had thinned from her yard at our house. Hopefully next year Iíll have flowers from originals first planted by my great grandmother in the spring, maybe some from her mother.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #139 on: March 20, 2018, 07:56:33 AM »
It was in the mid-50s Sunday so I finally dumped out the dirt from the huge tomato pots and washed them out. Felt very productive. Noticed what may be small signs of life on the blueberry bushes. Raspberry bushes still look like dead sticks.

Also, my landlord found a composter that had been thrown out in his alley and asked if we wanted it. Yes please! We tried a compost pile last year but it drew lots of flies, and we didn't want rats. Boyfriend does not want worms in the house so an indoor worm bin is out. It's this one, which is $89 new: https://www.amazon.com/Yimby-Tumbler-Composter-Color-Black/dp/B009378AG2/ref=sr_1_4?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1521553778&sr=1-4&keywords=composter So, we will be having adventures in making our own compost this year!

Then the temps plunged - my weather app says 30 but there is a nasty wind out there. Spring, my ass.

I got some seed-starting stuff on Sunday also and am hoping to start some cool-weather herbs and peas and chard this week - and maybe peppers? Do I dare start these knowing that I'll be out of town for a week next month with no one to tend them except the timer that I'll use for my grow light? Peppers are SO slow growing for me though I hate to wait until the end of April when we're back to start them. The seed was free, so worst case, everything dies and I try again. Or buy starts. I know you're supposed to direct sow greens but oddly, starting chard indoors always works well for me. Same for peas. The indoor-started plants did well and the direct-sowed (sown?) ones were wimpy and keeled over. I'll probably try it both ways, should it ever stop being Hoth out there. Ugh.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #140 on: March 26, 2018, 01:40:47 PM »
Bought two new pear trees.  We have two old pear trees in our orchard, but we had to brutally trim one last fall due to fire blight, in an attempt to save its life.  The poor thing is still recovering and doesn't look like it will manage any flowers this spring.  Meaning that our remaining healthy pear tree has no pollinator.  So in come the two new young trees -- different varieties.  Neither of the young trees is flowering yet, so we may have little to no fruit this year.  But for next year we should be set for another good harvest from the old tree.  That old tree (a Kieffer, I believe) produced a couple hundred pounds of fruit last year.  It's a champ.


Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #141 on: March 27, 2018, 08:41:02 AM »
Seedlings are coming along.  Third planting of peppers has finally filled the trays.  Tomato germination rate is pretty poor.  Especially on the new expensive hybrid.  The cheap seeds are fine.  The flowers are coming along nicely.  Two onion types are up and vigorous.  The one hybrid is almost not germinating at all.  GRRRR.
Over in the green house, things are sprouting.  Should have greens in five weeks!
This weekend I am going to plant sweet peas outside directly into the soil.  My grandma also planted her sweet peas by Good Friday.  So it is a thing I like to do at Easter.


Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #142 on: March 27, 2018, 08:47:33 AM »
Things that have sprouted so far: 3 kinds of arugula, 2 kinds of peas, 2 kinds of chard, spinach.

Does anyone have a problem with seed-starting pellets growing mold? I use the pellets in the "greenhouse" with the plastic cover. It's usually only 1 or 2 pellets in the tray, and the rest are fine. It's never the same kind of plant, either. Our apartment is very, very dry, so I assume the issue is the plastic cover that traps humidity inside.

I want to direct-seed some peas outside too but we're supposed to get snow on Easter, and snow several times after that. I hate this city and its crap weather.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #143 on: March 27, 2018, 09:10:15 AM »
Yesterday I cleaned out one side of the chicken coop and dumped about 20lbs of nitrogen rich chicken manure in a raised bed. It's been about 4 years since I supplemented that bed so it is much needed. After I mix it into the soil and let rest for 6 weeks, I will test soil to see if it needs any other ammendments.
I filled up 2 garbage bins, that hold 75 gals, with chicken manure about 5 weeks ago giving it a head start on composting down. Will likely move that as it gets closer to May to another growing area.
In the cold frame, I have arugula, parsley, lettuces growing. The garlic tops are about an inch out of the ground.
On the to do list for this week.
1. Assemble the hoop house so I can move some of the basement starts out there.
2. Secure chicken run with new fencing.
3. Prep bee hives for new packages of bees arriving on thursday. Call bee mentee to come over and observe.
4. Reinforce raised bed garden fencing with lightweight bird fencing over top to keep squirrels and flying predators out of garden.
5. Set up new rain barrel and find a way to repurpose cracked rain barrel as turning barrel composter. (this goal might take a little longer)
6. Make 10lb batch of charcoal soap using comfrey (dried from last year's garden) infused olive oil. Use same olive oil to make achy muscle salve because I'm already feeling as if I'm out of gardening season shape.



Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #144 on: March 27, 2018, 09:22:05 AM »
Does anyone have a problem with seed-starting pellets growing mold? I use the pellets in the "greenhouse" with the plastic cover. It's usually only 1 or 2 pellets in the tray, and the rest are fine. It's never the same kind of plant, either. Our apartment is very, very dry, so I assume the issue is the plastic cover that traps humidity inside.

I do - if the humidity gets out of control.  I only use the lids to get the seeds germinate.  Another strategy is to water from the bottom?

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #145 on: March 27, 2018, 09:40:27 AM »
Does anyone have a problem with seed-starting pellets growing mold? I use the pellets in the "greenhouse" with the plastic cover. It's usually only 1 or 2 pellets in the tray, and the rest are fine. It's never the same kind of plant, either. Our apartment is very, very dry, so I assume the issue is the plastic cover that traps humidity inside.

I do - if the humidity gets out of control.  I only use the lids to get the seeds germinate.  Another strategy is to water from the bottom?

The moldy pellet didn't germinate yet; it'd only been a few days. I didn't add any additional water, after the initial water you put in to get the pellets to expand. I'm worried that if I take the dome off, then nothing will germinate. Maybe one or two moldy pellets per tray is just going to happen sometimes?

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #146 on: March 27, 2018, 10:16:20 AM »
Does anyone have a problem with seed-starting pellets growing mold? I use the pellets in the "greenhouse" with the plastic cover. It's usually only 1 or 2 pellets in the tray, and the rest are fine. It's never the same kind of plant, either. Our apartment is very, very dry, so I assume the issue is the plastic cover that traps humidity inside.

I do - if the humidity gets out of control.  I only use the lids to get the seeds germinate.  Another strategy is to water from the bottom?

The moldy pellet didn't germinate yet; it'd only been a few days. I didn't add any additional water, after the initial water you put in to get the pellets to expand. I'm worried that if I take the dome off, then nothing will germinate. Maybe one or two moldy pellets per tray is just going to happen sometimes?
what is the typical germination time for the seed?

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #147 on: March 27, 2018, 11:19:16 AM »
Stuff is really slow here. The ground is taking a long time to unthaw. Based on plants breaking dormancy we are 1-2 weeks behind last year. My peas were started way too early in pots and are half dead. Deciding whether to replant in pots or just wait for soil to thaw and direct seed.

Will likely start my broccoli and other semi-hardy veg indoors this weekend. Maybe peppers. Tomatoes should likely wait another week.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #148 on: March 27, 2018, 01:36:52 PM »
Gardener's guilty confession time:  I bought a pomegranate tree.  I don't know what possessed me -- we live on the bleeding edge of a zone where you might barely hope to grow such a thing -- but it was just so cute . . . and I swear it was talking to me asking me to take it home . . .

[hangs head in shame] I really have to stay out of the garden center.  And maybe spend some more time with people instead of plants.  :)

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #149 on: March 27, 2018, 05:01:10 PM »
Gardener's guilty confession time:  I bought a pomegranate tree.  I don't know what possessed me -- we live on the bleeding edge of a zone where you might barely hope to grow such a thing -- but it was just so cute . . . and I swear it was talking to me asking me to take it home . . .

[hangs head in shame] I really have to stay out of the garden center.  And maybe spend some more time with people instead of plants.  :)

Are they something that can be kept in a pot like some folks in the north do with dwarf citrus trees?