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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: clarkai on December 28, 2017, 08:49:41 PM

Title: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: clarkai on December 28, 2017, 08:49:41 PM
I'm too excited to wait for the new year, so I jumped the gun to start this thread!

Why am I so excited? We bought a house last year, and I have a big, blank canvas with lots of good soil and light to work with. This year, I tracked our grocery purchases over the course of a few months, and used that to inform my garden decisions instead of just guesstimating what would be worthwhile to grow based off of (price per meal)*(number of meals we eat with that plant)*ease of growing, with the addition of things I just can't go without. So now it's a score based on (amount spent over the course of 3 months of shopping)*(how well it grows here) + (how much I want to grow it)^2. Not actually. But that's how I'm choosing to represent it here. I did make an excel file to help decide.

So this year, I'm starting from seed:

Spinach
Kale
Broccoli
Various uncommon greens like: minzuna, tatsoi, minerís lettuce, perilla, turnip greens and vietnamese coriander.
Red bell peppers
Carrots
Red onions
Garlic
Fingerling and fancy potatoes
Herbs
Lemon cucumbers
Cherry and yellow pear tomatoes
Brussels sprouts
Basil
Artichokes
Bok choi
Asparagus

I've also got a front year that I'm going to fill with fruiting trees, bushes, and vines, so I need to plan that out before I order anything.

Some questions to get the thread going:

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 2018
Post by: sparkytheop on December 29, 2017, 12:56:36 PM
I cheat by just helping provide labor for my parent's garden.  They have about a 2/3 acre garden, dad's retired, my mom loves "playing in the dirt", and I don't like to garden, so it works well. 

New this year:
Artichokes (I bought seeds for my mom to plant)
Saffron Crocus (I kept five for myself, and they actually started to grow, so we'll see if they survive the winter and give me some saffron next fall.  I gave 15 or 20 to my mom, and she's got them planted, but her's are almost guaranteed to grow.)

Parents do (all from seed):

Zucchini (makes awesome relish if anyone wants the recipe)
Tomatoes (several varieties)
Peppers (several varieties, nothing intentionally hotter than an Anaheim)
Carrots
Lettuce
Potatoes
Corn (if they can get the soil healthier-- it's really sandy here, so takes several years to build up good soil, and they've only had this house a few years)
Herbs
Snap peas
Green beans
Watermelon
Pumpkins
Cantaloupe

I'm sure there is a ton of stuff I can't think of.  We can a ton of stuff over the summer.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PinsAndArrows on December 29, 2017, 04:06:05 PM
This year, I tracked our grocery purchases over the course of a few months, and used that to inform my garden decisions instead of just guesstimating what would be worthwhile to grow based off of (price per meal)*(number of meals we eat with that plant)*ease of growing, with the addition of things I just can't go without. So now it's a score based on (amount spent over the course of 3 months of shopping)*(how well it grows here) + (how much I want to grow it)^2. Not actually. But that's how I'm choosing to represent it here. I did make an excel file to help decide.

Very Mustachian! I'm still more on the guesstimating side, but I'd like to try tracking my veggie usage better this year.  Then I'll be able to improve my SWAGs as well.  :)

What are you growing this year?
Trying anything new this year?


My landlord left a bunch of large containers empty in the yard when she rented our house to us, so I'm making use of them this year!  As such, everything is brand new.  As a side bonus to the containers, expensive plants like blueberries will be haul-able to the next house instead of stuck at the rental.  (Mwahaha!)

Area Info: Pacific Northwest, Washington State, Plant Hardiness 8b
Experience Level: Journeyman Grower (My parents have a huge blueberry/veggie garden I used to help plant and maintain.)

Growing from Seed:
- Lots and lots of Basil because I live on pesto
- Purple Carrots
- Becco Pumpkins for the novelty of hull-less pumpkin seeds.

Full Plants:
- Tomatoes (Cherry, Early Slicer, Canning).  The boyfriend loves cherry tomatoes and slicers, so those are mostly for him.  I like tomato sauces, so the canners are for me.
- Blueberry plant - You haven't lived until you've had homemade blueberry syrup on pancakes.
- Strawberries

Keeping it small because the rental only has a small, shady patch out back for a garden.  I'm more focused on container friendly plants that will do well on our deck, which has better lighting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on December 29, 2017, 04:31:33 PM
Snap and sugar peas. Easy to grow, expensive at the store. Do you like rhubarb? And are your winters cold enough?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Lichen on December 29, 2017, 07:32:39 PM
I needed to see a gardening thread right now, the snow has be down and seed catalogs haven't shown up yet! This is probably my last summer gardening here before we move and either sell or rent the house, so I need to make it count. I know what we eat from careful tracking over the last 10 years. We try to follow the rule that we don't eat anything we didn't grow and preserve unless it is within season within 200 miles of us or it stores well. So fresh produce has to be local, a storage item (like apples), or from the summer garden. There's a couple of exceptions on the list, like avocados and pineapple. Each year we get closer to achieving this goal.

We have eight 12*4 ft raised beds, this year I'm planning:

- 12 Tomato plants. This seems to be the perfect number. Four Cherokee purples, four Rutgers, and four plum. (Who am I kidding. A few more will sneak in once I go to the garden sale in spring.)

-Onions.

-Peas

-Ancho and gypsy peppers

-Spinach

-Leaf lettuce

-Zucchini!

-Tricolor green beans

-cabbage

-Brussels sprouts

-Cucumbers

New stuff:

I'm going to try more spring crops. Our springs are so persnickety. Broccoli for sure. Not sure what else yet.

Right now:

Garlic is out there right now, per usual. I'm also trying my hand at some winter gardening. I have turnips and kale in the cold frame. (Cold frame is simply an old storm door laid over one of the big beds.) I probably should knock the snow off when the sun starts to shine again.

Herbs:

I have a few perennials -- sage, thyme, chives, rosemary (potted so we can move it indoors). I'll probably grow basil. May also try cilantro, chamomile, and anything else that grabs my fancy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: lemonverbena on December 29, 2017, 07:53:49 PM
I must admit, I won't be thinking about my garden for another week or so (coasting off the holidays, mid-January is my garden dreamtime)... but I'm so intrigued by saffron crocuses and becco pumpkins! Will any crocus do, or is the saffron crocus a particular varietal? What colors do they come in? I only use saffron once a year (St. Lucia Day) but considering saffron costs more by weight than gold, it's definitely worth growing myself. And these pumpkins... what size and color are they? Are they more ornamental or good for baking with as well? Thanks!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: clarkai on December 29, 2017, 08:58:03 PM
I must admit, I won't be thinking about my garden for another week or so (coasting off the holidays, mid-January is my garden dreamtime)... but I'm so intrigued by saffron crocuses and becco pumpkins! Will any crocus do, or is the saffron crocus a particular varietal? What colors do they come in? I only use saffron once a year (St. Lucia Day) but considering saffron costs more by weight than gold, it's definitely worth growing myself. And these pumpkins... what size and color are they? Are they more ornamental or good for baking with as well? Thanks!

Saffron crocus are a different species- they are fall blooming, have enlarged flower parts (the style and the stigma). I planted some for the first time this past fall, and so far I've got a lot of leaves! I'm hoping for flowers next year.

I planted naked-seeded pumpkins last year, and the seeds were really tasty! I'm not sure I'll grow them again though, because we don't actually eat that many pumpkin seeds so I'm not sure it's worth the space- I was just so curious!. I'm still on the fence about it. I've attached one of my pictures of the pumpkin before I cut them open and ate the seeds. (Unfortunately, my plant markers didn't work and I tried 3 different varieties, and I have no idea which one this is)

I don't know how to insert an image, so here's a link: https://imgur.com/a/96Ky9
The jar you see part of on the right is a 2 quart jar, hopefully that gives you some idea of the size.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PinsAndArrows on December 30, 2017, 01:07:42 PM
I must admit, I won't be thinking about my garden for another week or so (coasting off the holidays, mid-January is my garden dreamtime)... but I'm so intrigued by saffron crocuses and becco pumpkins! Will any crocus do, or is the saffron crocus a particular varietal? What colors do they come in? I only use saffron once a year (St. Lucia Day) but considering saffron costs more by weight than gold, it's definitely worth growing myself. And these pumpkins... what size and color are they? Are they more ornamental or good for baking with as well? Thanks!

I ordered these ones: Beppo Pumpkins (http://www.territorialseed.com/product/Beppo_Pumpkin_Seed) (I misspelled them originally).  This particular one doesn't have good baking flesh, but it looks nice and ornamental in my opinion along with the bounty of seeds. I haven't tried them before, but my experience is that buying carving pumpkins works out better for my family than planting them, since you get to pick the perfect pumpkin as your canvas instead of relying on good growth at home.  And my final justification for the splurge is that I like to try at least one novelty item in the garden every year to keep things interesting.  :)

Snap and sugar peas. Easy to grow, expensive at the store. Do you like rhubarb? And are your winters cold enough?

I do like rhubarb, and I think it grows well in the Pacific Northwest!  Not something my parents ever grew since they didn't like the taste, but something I can see expanding to later.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: meall earraich on December 30, 2017, 01:26:16 PM
Posting to follow - starting from scratch with very little knowledge!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: littlelykke on December 30, 2017, 01:35:24 PM
Yay, garden plans! We'll be having a busy year, so we'll keep things easy this year:

- Lots of tomatoes --> last year our tomatoes did great. And canning them gave such fantastic tasting tomatoes that i'd like to have some more next year.

- Zucchini --> versatile, great for pickling and for using fresh in a 1000 other recipes.

- Carrots
- Herbs (mostly basil, because pesto is the best thing ever)
- Strawberries
- Blueberries
- Rocket/rucola

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: clarkai on December 30, 2017, 01:58:00 PM
Posting to follow - starting from scratch with very little knowledge!

That's exciting! Do you know what zone/type of climate you're in? Do you have an idea of what you want to grow?

Here's two links to help you figure out your zone, if you don't already know.

USDA hardiness zone: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
The USDA zone is what most people use, and it measures how cold it gets in winter.

Sunset Climate zones: https://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones
Sunset zones are more detailed, and take into account the length of your growing season, how hot it gets in summer, rainfall patterns, and so on.

For example I'm a USDA zone 8, which means I can expect it to get down to about 10* at the coldest. But I'm on the west coast, so I have a very different growing season and summer than a zone 8 in Texas, for example. The sunset zones account for that, and I'm a sunset zone 5- which means I have a really easy time growing greens, but not eggplants, for example.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Bracken_Joy on December 30, 2017, 05:33:09 PM
Posting to follow, I'll update more later. My second year in this house, I have 4 3'x5' beds and a couple containers. Not a ton of space, but I got a good amount out last year- lots of lettuce and peas and beans, pretty good amounts of tomatoes and tomatillos. Total bust on cucumbers, hot peppers, and raspberries.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cgbg on December 30, 2017, 05:33:19 PM
I took advantage of the 50 degree weather today and worked in the garden. I hadnít fully winterized everything so I was able to get a bunch done today. The territorial seed catalog arrived last week and I already see at least two items Iíll look for at the local nursery- a new pepper variety and a new tomato variety.

I will grow (all from seed):
New Zealand spinach
Rocket
Paste tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
JalapeŮos
Mini sweet peppers
Fireball peppers
Zucchini
Sweet meat squash
Delicata squash
Pickling cucumbers and dill
Lemon cucumbers
Slicing cucumbers of some sort
Beans (pole and bush)
Tithonia (Mexican sunflower, not a true sunflower but it brings in every bee for miles and grows to 6í easily)

I can or freeze what we donít immediately eat. Two of those squash varieties are winter squash so Iím hoping to be able to use them through the fall and early winter.

I generally try to add one long term food producer each year. I have rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish, a plum tree, apple trees and various berries including cranberry bushes. Iím eyeing my choice for the year. I almost had DH convinced to go with the truffles but the tree that they are inoculated with grows to 65í tall so probably not.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: clarkai on January 01, 2018, 07:38:01 AM
Right now, in USDA zone 8/Sunset zone 5, I have a lot of overwintering crops, and some that have been and will continue to be harvested.

For overwintering crops, I've got garlic, sprouting broccoli, normal broccoli, 3 kinds of kale, collards, chard, and arugula (there's also lettuces and other greens, but I'm not sure they'll actually survive the winter) . I've been harvesting kale, collards, chard and arugula at a slow rate over the fall. Next year, I intend to plant even more so that I can harvest at a higher rate over the winter. There's also some fall peas that I planted and harvested that are now looking kind of sad with the frosts we've been getting, and I'm really interested to see if they'll die all the way, or try to make a comeback in spring.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on January 01, 2018, 12:36:59 PM
Thanks for starting this thread. It was -4 before the windchill when I got up this morning. This is a nice reminder that we will not be living on Hoth forever.

I am in a quandary this year. Normally I start nearly everything from seed, with free seeds that I get from my community garden's seed swap, so my plant cost is nearly zero (I do usually buy a few seedlings if I can't find seeds for them at the swap). The community garden opens in April, usually around Earth Day, at which point I plant my cool-weather crops. All this time, I have many, MANY tomato seedlings being babied under the grow light in my apartment, until it's warm enough to put them in the ground - usually in mid to late May here.

This year, though, it's very likely that we're going to be out of the country for a week right around the time the community garden opens. I am not that concerned about the actual community garden; I can always just plant that when we return, and there's not much that can go in the ground here in April anyway, pretty much just greens and some herbs.

What I'm not sure about is, do I still try and start tomatoes and peppers from seed? I usually start them in early to mid-April so they're ready to plant out by the time it's warm enough. I can put the grow light on a timer, but I do not have anyone who would be willing to come in and water the seedlings, rearrange them under the grow light daily, move the grow light up once they get tall enough that they're right on top of the bulb, etc. (I always have too many to fit comfortably so I have them take turns being right under the light, with the others at the perimeter and getting less light, then I swap them. So far this has worked pretty well.)

Do I start them later, have them not ready to plant out until June, and lose a few weeks of our already very short warm-weather-crops season? Or do I just buy seedlings this year, which is of course not mustachian? Having a large tomato yield is important to me; I do a lot of canning and we're still eating off last year's harvest with lots still in the cupboard.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on January 02, 2018, 09:31:09 AM
Do you have a gardening friend who can watch your seedlings at their house while you are gone?  If not, I would buy seedlings when I return and plant them late.  But not start seedlings late, they would maybe take too long to get to size.

I do not, that is the issue. (Also no car, and would be hard to transport baby seedlings on public transit. And yeah, I was thinking that I should just start with seedlings this year, but that's really going to add up and I'll have to reduce the number of plants, probably. Last year I had 22 tomato plants, all grown from seed, mainly because it was free to do so. At $3-$4 per plant at Home Depot, more at the really nice Fancy Garden Center down the street.... can't do it.

Maybe I'll start a couple from seed anyway but do mostly plants. I have a couple of cherry tomato varieties that turned into Audrey Two and took over my entire bed and bore really well. I feel like losing a few weeks off of their life cycle would not have hurt that much. And for all I know this year we'll have a late frost and they won't be able to go into the ground until late anyway. We've had snow in mid-May before....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: soccerluvof4 on January 03, 2018, 03:44:49 AM
I have put this off for 3 years now. This is the year I am going to do it. I keep saying I am going to build some raised beds but to make sure i do this i have 2 areas I dont need to so I am snapping some photos once it warms up a bit to send to thegoblinchief to see what he thinks will be best to plant. I am thinking though at least tomatos, cucumbers and one other...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: cerat0n1a on January 03, 2018, 03:59:36 AM
Saffron crocus are a different species- they are fall blooming, have enlarged flower parts (the style and the stigma). I planted some for the first time this past fall, and so far I've got a lot of leaves! I'm hoping for flowers next year.

Quite fiddly to harvest in my experience; I use tweezers!  The leaves disappear in the summer and re-appear early autumn and it can be quite easy to "lose" the bulbs at this time as there's nothing above ground. Perhaps also worth mentioning that so-called "autumn crocus" - colchicum species - is not the same thing and is in fact quite poisonous.

I like to grow something new each year (both edible and not) and this year I'm going to have a try at edamame (soya) beans plus a few succulents like Aloe & Echeveria from seed that I've only previously propagated by division/cuttings.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: sparkytheop on January 03, 2018, 04:29:48 AM
I must admit, I won't be thinking about my garden for another week or so (coasting off the holidays, mid-January is my garden dreamtime)... but I'm so intrigued by saffron crocuses and becco pumpkins! Will any crocus do, or is the saffron crocus a particular varietal? What colors do they come in? I only use saffron once a year (St. Lucia Day) but considering saffron costs more by weight than gold, it's definitely worth growing myself. And these pumpkins... what size and color are they? Are they more ornamental or good for baking with as well? Thanks!

I ordered mine here: https://www.rareseeds.com/pre-order-for-2018-saffron-crocus-25-bulbs-/

You have to wait until they are "in season" for them to be sent.  I ordered mine last summer, they arrived in the fall, and planted them shortly after (you're suppose to plant them right away).  Mine have grown leaves, and I'm hoping they flower in the fall so I can try it!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on January 03, 2018, 09:26:13 AM
I'm a gardening novice but planning to start one this year! I always wanted to start one at my old house, but I didn't have a good place to put it that would be protected from dogs and rabbits, and I didn't want to invest a ton of time  and energy in setting it up. But I moved last year to a house that already has raised beds in a fenced side yard, plus we're in a different state with a much longer growing season. We moved in last summer just in time to harvest the previous owner's tomatoes, which was nice.

I'm in zone 9 so I can grow pretty much everything. My tentative plan for this year is carrots, kale, bell peppers, and snap peas. Those should all be doable for a beginner, right?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on January 03, 2018, 09:21:54 PM
I'm looking forward to this year, and plan to grow lots of peppers.  I've been getting more into making different hot sauces and chile powders over the last couple years.  Ordered from Baker Creek already and scored a packet of Aji Charapita, which are tiny orange, round peppers that are apparently prized in Peru.  Also adding Sugar Rush Peach and Black Hungarian peppers to the mix.  Probably won't bother with bell peppers this year as they always get sunburned and usually aren't very productive.

I acquired some Hatch-style peppers from a coworker a few years ago and saved the seeds because they were HOT whereas other NuMex varieties I've tried in this climate were always mild and thin-walled.  Anyway, last year I was only able to get about 6 decent seedlings because I almost lost my seed source.  This year I have plenty of seeds, and plan to do a full 4x12 bed of them for red and green chile.  I lived in New Mexico for a few years and developed that green chile addiction, you see.

Also growing:


Other usual suspects:
Lettuce, beets, kale, collards, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, eggplant, radishes, Thai and Italian basil, perennial herbs, strawberries, carrots, chard, cabbage, summer squash

We also have hops, several raspberries, a fig, cherry, and three small apple trees, none of which did much in 2017, but will hopefully pick it up this year.

It's a lot, but I have a never-ending source of free fertilizer!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on January 04, 2018, 12:23:37 AM
RESERVED

Still formulating plans and goals. I've been tossing around the idea of scaling things back this year, but I suspect when it comes down to it, I'll be hard pressed not to build a new bed or two. One thing I've discovered heading into my fourth year of gardening post-FIRE...it's as addicting as fu*k. ;)

I just received my West Coast Seeds 2018 Gardening Guide in the mail so my thoughts have just now started to look ahead to spring. I noticed the beaches here have healthy deposits of kelp above the high tide line so I might throw a bunch into the beds that didn't get the seaweed treatment back in early November.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on February 08, 2018, 01:02:39 PM
The seed starting lights are on! So far I've started the following:

Rhubarb - yeah, I know crowns are recommended, but I got my hands on a free pack of seeds and decided to give it a try. Plus I'm still renting and don't have a permanent place to keep it yet. Got two seedlings sprouted and growing nicely.
Lettuce
Lavender

Planning to also start tomatoes, kale, peas, herbs, and zucchini (and maybe a winter squash if I can squeeze it in somewhere). Super excited to get started as the weather warms up!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on February 08, 2018, 01:12:20 PM
Got two 72 cell flats of peppers and eggplant started today.  Tonight or this weekend I'll start cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, onions, cauliflower and leeks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: sparkytheop on February 08, 2018, 05:57:49 PM
My saffron crocus sprouted nicely at the end of fall, and has made it through the winter.  Pretty, thin, green leaves poking out of the soil, so really hope I see some nice flowers in the fall!  If they make it this year, I'll dig up some of the bulbs and move some over to the corner of the yard.  I'll just have to make sure to put a border of some type around them so they don't get mowed over.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on February 08, 2018, 05:59:38 PM
Love growing things but I'm seriously BAD at it. Plants just see me and die! But I can still buy super cheap veg in season and can or freeze etc.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on February 08, 2018, 09:35:18 PM
My saffron crocus sprouted nicely at the end of fall, and has made it through the winter.  Pretty, thin, green leaves poking out of the soil, so really hope I see some nice flowers in the fall!  If they make it this year, I'll dig up some of the bulbs and move some over to the corner of the yard.  I'll just have to make sure to put a border of some type around them so they don't get mowed over.

Are there particular dishes you use the saffron in?  Once in a while, I feel fancy and procure some saffron, then it languishes in the cupboard because it's not really part of my cooking repertoire.  Now is one of those times, and I need to use up this little packet of saffron.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Off the Wheel on February 08, 2018, 11:31:21 PM
Yessss! I'm still waiting for my 2018 seed catalogue, but I think I've almost decided. Going to focus on where I had successes last year (tomatoes, greens, roots) rather than where I didn't (brassicas, squash, exotics).

Overwintering:
- Blueberries
- Currant
- Gooseberry
- Mint
- Rosemary

Will plant:
- Beans
- Peas
- Tomatoes
- Kohlrabi
- Brussel Sprouts
- Lettuces
- Asian Greens
- Kale
- Spinach
- Swiss Chard
- Beets
- Carrots
- Radishes
- Some herbs
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: sparkytheop on February 09, 2018, 03:50:02 AM
My saffron crocus sprouted nicely at the end of fall, and has made it through the winter.  Pretty, thin, green leaves poking out of the soil, so really hope I see some nice flowers in the fall!  If they make it this year, I'll dig up some of the bulbs and move some over to the corner of the yard.  I'll just have to make sure to put a border of some type around them so they don't get mowed over.

Are there particular dishes you use the saffron in?  Once in a while, I feel fancy and procure some saffron, then it languishes in the cupboard because it's not really part of my cooking repertoire.  Now is one of those times, and I need to use up this little packet of saffron.

Not yet...  There have been recipes I've seen that I wanted to try, but they called for saffron, and I'm too cheap to buy it.  So, once it grows and I can get some off the flowers, I'll start looking up recipes. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: cerat0n1a on February 09, 2018, 04:45:32 AM
I like saffron (from the garden) with figs (from the garden.) Both are fairly expensive to buy in supermarkets here and typically come from Turkey, so lots of food miles.

Basically make a syrup by boiling up sugar & honey and water and adding a strand or two of saffron. Add the figs and simmer for a couple of minutes until they're soft and then serve the figs with the syrup drizzled on top. Or let it cool and have with cream or ice cream.

Paella is the classic recipe that calls for saffron though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on February 11, 2018, 08:23:35 AM
I like saffron (from the garden) with figs (from the garden.) Both are fairly expensive to buy in supermarkets here and typically come from Turkey, so lots of food miles.

Basically make a syrup by boiling up sugar & honey and water and adding a strand or two of saffron. Add the figs and simmer for a couple of minutes until they're soft and then serve the figs with the syrup drizzled on top. Or let it cool and have with cream or ice cream.

Paella is the classic recipe that calls for saffron though.

Thanks!  I will keep this in mind if my fig (I'd say tree, but it's more of a shrub) bears fruit this year.

Started two more 72-cell flats:  Aspabroc (haven't had success growing it yet), cauliflower, lettuces, cabbages, kale, collards and mizuna.  Today I'm completing one of the flats with onions and leeks.  I've gotten more into growing alliums the last year or two, and hope to grow all my storage onions this year since the fruit stand I used to buy 50# bags from shut down.

The tomatoes will get started in another two weeks or so, and I think the root vegetables will start getting sown outside around the same time.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PKate on February 11, 2018, 09:28:49 AM
While I am brand new to the MMM community my passion is gardening.  I am in Northern New England and have a very large garden.   We already have a 1/4 acre fenced in garden that we have been adding raised beds to for 4 years.  My long term goals include growing 70 to 90 percent of all the vegetables, fruits, and nuts we eat.   
We have some perennials that we have planted in the last 4 years that are just starting to produce and I am looking forward to the addition of more home grown fruit.

Fruits
Strawberries June bearing and ever bearing
Blueberries
Raspberries
Blackberries
Pears
Apples
Grapes
Sour Pie Cherries

Vegetables and hebs that I am planting or are producing
Asparugus
Rhubarb
Wine Cap Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Bell Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Tomatillos
Potaotes
Parsnips
Carrots
Parsley
Lovage
Celeriac
Garlic
Onions
Bunching Onions
Chives
Kale
Pac Choi
Broccoli
Cabbage
Green beans
Cucumbers
Zucchini and Patty Pan summer squash
Spaghetti Squash
Delicata Squash
Butternut Squash
Daikon Radish
Snap peas
lettuce
Rutabagas
Thyme
Sage
Rosemary
Oregano
Nasturtiums
Dill
Basil
New Zealand Spinach
Spinach
Leeks
Sunchokes
Swiss Chard
Lemongrass
Borage
Sunflowers

We also have 2 bee hives that produce honey and a small flock of egg laying hens.
 
 
 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Teachstache on February 11, 2018, 10:33:45 AM
Following this. We have a 2 ft by 18 ft spot along our backyard fence in which we grew 9 tomato plants, 4 basil, 4 zucchini plants, 1 eggplant and 2 rosemary plants. We canned 20 pints of tomatoes and ate zucchini and tomatoes all summer (lots of Zucchini spaghetti). I made 8 pints of basil pesto.

Would love to expand to pole beans and bell peppers. Suggestions for how to maximize growing space in our 18 by 2 foot garden space?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PKate on February 11, 2018, 11:06:13 AM
Following this. We have a 2 ft by 18 ft spot along our backyard fence in which we grew 9 tomato plants, 4 basil, 4 zucchini plants, 1 eggplant and 2 rosemary plants. We canned 20 pints of tomatoes and ate zucchini and tomatoes all summer (lots of Zucchini spaghetti). I made 8 pints of basil pesto.

Would love to expand to pole beans and bell peppers. Suggestions for how to maximize growing space in our 18 by 2 foot garden space?

The easiest way is to some early season fast growing greens.  Spinach, lettuce, and arugula can be planted a month or 2 before your warm weather crops go in the soil.  I buy larger packs of seeds for this.  I either transplant seedlings that I grow or I direct sow the seeds.  I plant them thickly at 2" spacing.  As the plants grow I thin and eat every other plant as they need more room.  Once it is time to plant the warm weather summer crops I thin out a spot for the transplant and continue removing greens as the transplants need more room.  By the time the transplants start to take off the greens will  need to come out due to bolting from the heat leaving room for your summer crops.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on February 11, 2018, 11:49:57 AM
I'm in!  My favorite time of the year.  :)

This year will be a bit scaled back, due to our house construction taking precedence over our time. I'll still grow a few summer basics (tomatoes, various greens, beans, peppers),  and we have lots of perennial fruit, veg, and nut trees that I'll be caring for (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, apples, cherries, pears, grapes, figs, asparagus, leeks, hickory, walnuts).  Just can't handle the full blown vegetable garden this year with the other demands.

Brand new for me this year are 3 paw paw trees and 4 persimmons I planted this past fall.  Very curious to see how they came through the winter, and what they do this spring.  Also I am going to try some bench grafting of a nice old apple tree we have.  We'll see if it works!  And last but not least -- I'll be trying my hand at some mushrooms this year.  Excited about that.   

My challenge continues to be the GD deer here.  I've been gardening a long time but have never seen anything like it.  They are eating things deer aren't even supposed to like.   I have to protect everything from them, even tomatoes.   It's nuts.  Deer netting works, but snakes get caught in it sometimes and die, which makes me sad.  Still searching for the perfect solution.   DH says that next year, after our house is built, he will build me an 8 foot deer fence around the whole garden if I want.  It may come to that. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Teachstache on February 11, 2018, 01:49:57 PM
Following this. We have a 2 ft by 18 ft spot along our backyard fence in which we grew 9 tomato plants, 4 basil, 4 zucchini plants, 1 eggplant and 2 rosemary plants. We canned 20 pints of tomatoes and ate zucchini and tomatoes all summer (lots of Zucchini spaghetti). I made 8 pints of basil pesto.

Would love to expand to pole beans and bell peppers. Suggestions for how to maximize growing space in our 18 by 2 foot garden space?

The easiest way is to some early season fast growing greens.  Spinach, lettuce, and arugula can be planted a month or 2 before your warm weather crops go in the soil.  I buy larger packs of seeds for this.  I either transplant seedlings that I grow or I direct sow the seeds.  I plant them thickly at 2" spacing.  As the plants grow I thin and eat every other plant as they need more room.  Once it is time to plant the warm weather summer crops I thin out a spot for the transplant and continue removing greens as the transplants need more room.  By the time the transplants start to take off the greens will  need to come out due to bolting from the heat leaving room for your summer crops.

PKate, we have good sun 12 hours in our front yard. It's 15 feet by 30 feet. Our side yard has a 65 year old oak  tree that shades our 1 story house. We'd like to plant some fruit trees (apple, pear, plum, possibly cherry). I'd also like to plant some raspberry & blackberry canes. Trying to figure out if we have space for all that.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PKate on February 11, 2018, 04:22:42 PM
Space is and light are always a premium when it comes to gardening in a small lot.  Are you in the right climate and soil conditions to grow the fruits you have listed? 

In terms of  space I would plant dwarf fruit trees that have more than variety grafted on the tree so you won't need 2 of each for cross pollination.  Unless your neighbors have fruit trees than you can go with a single variety per tree.  Here is one source for combination trees.  http://raintreenursery.com/fruit-trees/fruit-trees-combinations?p=2&product_list_limit=all

You will have room for 3 dwarf fruit trees or 2 semi dwarf fruit trees in the front yard.  This spacing is based on their full size.   

Raspberries and blackberries are  easy to grow but you will need to be prepared dig out runners and off shoots or they will take over.  They will fit in with the trees. 

Grass will be the biggest competitors for nutrients.  So I use wood chip mulch that we get free from tree trimming companies when they are in the area or we pick it up from our town dump.  I also plant strawberries, irises, daffodils, and chives around the base of my trees.  This helps keep the grass at bay, gives me an additional harvest and helps the tree out.


If you eliminate the lawn it will give you space to grow more annual veggies in the front yard till the fruit trees shade out the space.   Herbs, Rhubarb, zucchini, kale, garlic, edible flowers, lettuce, eggplant, and peppers can all be tucked in landscaped shaped garden beds and look great.  Pole beans on a trellis look amazing particularity with a variety with pretty flowers like Scarlet Runner Beans or Rattlesnake Pole Beans.  I love having sun flowers, nasturtiums, borage, johnny jump ups, and various herbs like thyme, sage, chives, and dill flowering in the garden beds.  They add color and you can eat them too.   
 
Sheet mulching is a great way to smother grass and quickly create a landscaped look for gardening in the front yard.  I also mulch my garden beds once the plants are established.  I use wood chips and mulch hay.  That way everything has a clean look and I save on watering and weeding. 

I do most of my gardening in my front yard.  I don't have to worry about any restrictions since I am in a semi rural area that is zoned agricultural.  We are still working on making our garden productive and beautiful.
(https://i.imgur.com/6c3WJ5Dm.jpg)

This is my lower part of my front yard garden. I plant a good chunk of my annual veggies here along with the asparagus bed, raspberries and blackberries.

(https://i.imgur.com/9RnOKQ6m.jpg)

This is higher up the hill and directly in front of the house.  The trees are dwarf apples and pear.  The raised bed is to the left is full of flowers, apple trees, blueberries, and currents.   The beds on the right I use for some annual veggies and behind them is pear tree with strawberries as ground cover.  To the right of the photo we are building a garden pond between the upper and lower part of the garden.

 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: MrsDinero on February 11, 2018, 07:16:05 PM
I was waiting for this thread to show up!  I learned so much from out first garden last year, including what vegetables we really don't like.

This year, I am focusing focusing on less than last year, but in greater number.

I will be planting:
Peppers
Onions
Beets
Carrots
Tomatos
Beans
Jalapenos
Pumpkins
Squash
Potatoes
Kitchen Herbs

I am also going to plant about 4-6 more fruit trees.

I thought about growing some lettuce but the farm down the road grows a wonderful variety and sells them cheap, so I see no need to grow my own.

I'm also going to learn to can this year. 

One thing I would like to do is build a greenhouse to extend the growing season.
I am going to use the spare bedroom as my seed starter.  It gets great natural light, is warm, and best of all I can keep the kids and pets out of the room. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Mongoose on February 13, 2018, 07:55:33 AM
We're thinking about starting our tomatoes indoors pretty soon. And bell peppers. It'll be awhile before we can plant outdoors.

New this season: my parents have developed some health issues so we'll be doing more helping out with their garden over the season. Should give us a nice bunch of produce as well. Nothing happening until mid-April when we will need to look for a break in the weather to prepare the soil.

We are going to till a small area of our yard this year. I would love to have a large garden but it's just not possible on our current property. Tomatoes haven't been doing great in containers so I identified a bit of ground that we can fence the dog out of (he eats our tomatoes off the vine just before they are ripe!!!) that actually gets some sun. We have a lot of shade. Not sure what we'll grow besides tomatoes and peppers. Currently have 3 blueberries in the front yard for which we need to make removable bird netting as well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cezilous on February 13, 2018, 08:22:46 AM
This year, though, it's very likely that we're going to be out of the country for a week right around the time the community garden opens. I am not that concerned about the actual community garden; I can always just plant that when we return, and there's not much that can go in the ground here in April anyway, pretty much just greens and some herbs.

What I'm not sure about is, do I still try and start tomatoes and peppers from seed? I usually start them in early to mid-April so they're ready to plant out by the time it's warm enough. I can put the grow light on a timer, but I do not have anyone who would be willing to come in and water the seedlings, rearrange them under the grow light daily, move the grow light up once they get tall enough that they're right on top of the bulb, etc.

We will be out of the country from 4/30 - 5/18 and reading this just made it click for me that if we do seedlings, we need to figure out how they'll survive while we're gone.  Thank you for the reminder.  I'm wondering if maybe we can take them to my sister's place for care, since she also does seedlings, though I'm not sure she's going to have room..

We built three 8' x 4' raised garden beds in our backyard in 2015.  I'd like to seriously grow some vegetables that we can use this year.  One garden bed got turned into a wildflower bed last year, so I'm not sure if we can undo that choice.  So I have two beds.  I'd like to do spinach however something usually eats the leaves and lays larvae on the underside of the leaves so I never really got to eat it in the past.  I'm reluctant to try again for not getting to eat it again.  I don't want to use chemicals or sprays.

Ideally, if it were a perfect world and I still had my gardening patience, I'd try:

Spinach
Kale
Rainbow Chard
Lettuce
Cauliflower
Broccoli
1 Tomato Plant
Bell Pepper Plant
Onions
Kitchen Herbs (in a separate garden right outside our kitchen side door - very convenient)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on February 13, 2018, 08:59:54 AM
I am getting sooooo antsy for my community garden's seed swap which is the first weekend in March. Because this determines, to a large extent, what I'm going to plant. Free seeds! Hooray!

I'm thinking of doing the peas in my backyard this year, since I won't be able to get into the community bed to direct sow them until nearly May. I direct sowed on opening day in late April last year and that wasn't enough time for them to get going before it got hot. I got exactly 1 pea pod and then it got into the 90s and they dropped dead. Also tried starting indoors and transplanting and they didn't like that. I don't have a good way to fence them against bunnies, in the backyard, though. Thinking of putting them in a tall pot that I had a raspberry bush (that died) in. Can bunnies jump 3 feet? Probably. I guess I could put chicken wire around the pot.

Right now I'm sort of leaning toward starting the tomatoes and peppers the day before we leave. It's not that warm in our apartment and I don't use heat mats or anything, so often they don't sprout in 6 days which is how long we'll be gone. Worst case scenario, they sprout, drop dead from lack of light, and I start over. Since all my seeds are free I'm just out the cost of the little seed-starting pods (not frugal, I realize, but I have the best results with them for whatever reason.

I really need to start saving for necessary garden expenses like soil and chicken wire and fertilizer. I meant to put aside holiday sales money (from my side business) toward that but instead we decided to take a trip and then had massive vet bills. Oops.

Folks with only one raised bed - how often do you typically replace the soil, if ever? At our community garden, they tell us to just top off with fresh compost (which unfortunately they had to stop providing to us). That worked fine for me for a few years but last year my tomatoes didn't do nearly as well and I figured that it's because I've been growing tomatoes in the same soil over and over again. Also had more problems with disease than usual, while the few tomatoes I had in the backyard (brand new raised bed and soil) went crazy and looked so healthy. Wondering if I should a) dump all soil and replace or b) add compost as usual and amend the soil (with what?).

I know the real issue is growing the same crop in the same spot repeatedly, but I don't have another spot to put them, and don't want to skip tomatoes for the, what, 3 years it's supposed to take for the soil to replenish itself. I can put them in different parts of the bed, to some extent, though I feel like that'll shade out other plants that I want to grow. Has anyone solved this?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Off the Wheel on February 13, 2018, 10:38:27 PM
Does anyone have experience growing a medicinal garden? I'd like to plant chamomile, calendula, echinacea and a few other things to use in DIY home and beauty things, but what else am I missing?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: haypug16 on February 14, 2018, 06:32:41 AM
Does anyone have experience growing a medicinal garden? I'd like to plant chamomile, calendula, echinacea and a few other things to use in DIY home and beauty things, but what else am I missing?

Love this idea! following along for tips as well.

My hope for my garden this year is to start seedlings next month;
Peppers
Onions
Squash (zucchini, summer, etc.)
Pumpkins
Spinach
Tomatoes
Lima beans

And be able to successfully transplant them into our raised beds. Last year we transplanted them too soon and they all died. :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Nancy on February 14, 2018, 06:49:32 AM
Does anyone have experience growing a medicinal garden? I'd like to plant chamomile, calendula, echinacea and a few other things to use in DIY home and beauty things, but what else am I missing?

I'm going to try to grow some herbs as well. I got Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs book from the library. It's a good guide for a newb like me. I'm trying:
-echinacea
-nettle
-thyme
-calendula
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on February 14, 2018, 09:37:20 AM
I grow and put up a lot of tomatoes, kale, zucchini and beets, along with smaller amounts of cucumbers, lettuce, carrots. oregano, basil and green beans to eat in season.

This year, I'm going to aim for a greater variety, and have ordered seeds for eggplant, brussel sprouts, rutabaga, leeks, snow peas and pie pumpkins and quinoa in addition to my staples. I'm trying the quinoa mostly as a novelty. In the past, I've also grown lentils for fun to see how they grow (it's very zen to pick and hull lentils, as they come in tiny pods, with one or two lentils per pod).

My rhubarb, raspberries and dwarf apple trees should be mature enough to produce a bit this year too.

I also grew jalapenos and cabbage last year, but with only 2 peppers per plant and slugs devastating the cabbage, I'm not sure if I'll try again this year. I have a short growing season, but my garden does get full sun, so short-season varieties tend to do alright. Even in my raised beds, my soil is very heavy with clay, despite my efforts to add composted manure and a lot of plant matter. I may try adding some sand this spring too. If anyone has had success in loosening clay soil, I'd love to hear how you did it.

@Off the Wheel If it'll grow in your climate, I'd suggest growing lavender for your medicinal/beauty garden. It's a delight.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on February 14, 2018, 09:48:46 AM

If you want to have your soil tested to see what needs to be added, University of Mass has a very inexpensive soil testing program.  I think I paid maybe $20 a couple of years ago to have it tested and that included the test to see how much organic material was in the soil.  You might consider that.

Also, if you have a county Master Gardener program through a university cooperative extension, you can contact them and ask for local vegetable information.

My garden org is pretty good about keeping us informed and does a lot of education so I'll probably ask them - though they did some blog posts about this last year and said the best thing to do is to not grow the same thing every year. Not going to give up my tomatoes, though, that's really the main point of me even doing this.

I'd like to get the soil tested but since I'm not even allowed in the community garden until the very end of April, I hate to sit and wait for a soil test to come back before I can plant anything. We go from freeze to boil pretty quickly here and I would like at least some lettuce before it gets into the 90s and it all bolts.

If I had gotten the soil tested at the end of the season last fall, would the results have still been valid for this spring, I wonder? Does the snow cover do anything to it? Because, that would've been a way to go, if I'd thought of it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rosy on February 14, 2018, 10:33:25 AM
Does anyone have experience growing a medicinal garden? I'd like to plant chamomile, calendula, echinacea and a few other things to use in DIY home and beauty things, but what else am I missing?

Try these:

1. Mint - I like spearmint for tea, but peppermint tea is the one you want for headaches and upset tummy and of course to alleviate sinus pain.
 3-4 drops of peppermint oil, hot water in a bowl - breathe it in for 15 min.-tent a towel around the bowl and your head, twice a day - morn and night. Set the bowl near where you are to help your breathing throughout the day.

Chocolate mint for cooking (add a spoonful of dried leaves or fresh mint leaves to your buttered carrots - I like to use unsalted butter and add sugar or honey - yum).

My orange mint seems to have a little pick-me-up effect. So it's great for an afternoon herbal energy drink.
Mints work well for facials and masks.

... and of course, Mojito Mint:)

2. Fennel - tea - recommended for babies with colic and anyone with an upset tummy, digestion.
 I don't grow it, because I don't like the scent/flavor, it looks a lot like dill and I always grow dill - love it, so pretty and airy and the flowers look so cool. We love it in egg and fish dishes and sauces. I give the seeds to a friend who uses them for canning.

3. Lemongrass - 'cause I like to cook with it and use it for a herbal mixed tea on occasion, it isn't acidic like a lemon.
 
4. Aloe - just learned that there are Aloes that have stronger medicinal properties than the common aloe, which is the best thing ever for sunburn!!!
Great for face masks and wonderfully soothing and healing for little cuts too.
Of course, the medicinally stronger plants look rather mean and viciously spiky - not without some otherworldly appeal though:) My son gave me a couple, but never told me it's what he uses for a healing salve for leg pain - have to get more detail on all that.

5. Ginger root - looking into that for this year. If the plants look pretty enough, I'll find a spot in the garden and give it a shot.

6. Elderberry - birds seeded some in my garden, but they look nothing like the big elderberries I know from Europe. They are more like a tall bush - great for cough syrups and tonic and fine Elderberry liqueur or wine. I absolutely love the beautiful white lacy, frothy flowers - I know you can eat them, but they are so pretty:)
This year - I'll look for some seeded babies to plant in the back border of my garden. Then I'll have enough to make some delicious liqueur - never mind the medicinal uses:)

7. Lemon Verbena - the leaves have the most wonderful sweet lemon flavor. People are always surprised how good it tastes. I just make ice tea with it in the summer, mixes well with white wine for a refreshing wine cooler and I do like hot in the winter. It has plenty of other uses incl. for scent in lotions, I like to add it to homemade cleaners.

8. Rosemary - is a no-brainer for cooking, medicinal and household use. Last year I dried small bundles tied with ribbon - hung them from the curtain rod in our kitchen/dining area - run your hands against the grain and voila, you have dried rosemary for cooking and to put in little sachets in your undie drawer or to make your own cleaner. Mostly I use fresh for cooking and in the bath-invigorating.

9. Roses - rosa rugosas, for the vitamin C - rosehips-tea, facial tonics - not to mention scented potpourri. Who doesn't love roses:)

10. Books I recommend:
1. Rosemary Gladstar's book "Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health" if you are interested in the medicinal application of herbal teas, healthy tonics, oils, salves and tinctures.

2. A good book on herb gardening in general - for beginners, is "grow herbs" - starts with the basic know-how and has a nice 100 herb reference - author Jekka McVicar published by DK.

3. Fragrant Herbal (Crabtree & Evelyn) - author-Leslie Bremness - an oldie but a goodie if you love fragrance, want some sweet inspiration about pretty fragrant herb gardens, night-scented garden designs - information on aromatic herbs and use of essential oils.
Different potpourri recipes, an A-Z of herbs and interesting home decor uses.
I specifically liked their expansive recipes, mouthwatering pics, and appetizing vegetarian dishes. Not your run of the mill green stuff, but inspired cooking, romantic dinners, nighttime drinks and desserts everyone loves.

4. Another favorite has a rather misleading title in my opinion anyway - "The Home Apothecary". Tells you how to grow herbs, provides full information on everything from elderflower moisturizer to potpourris to sleep pillows to rosemary tonic wine to herbal shampoo to herb teas for everyday problems to cough and cold decoctions to marigold skin salve to hand and foot treatments - great pics and easy to follow instructions.

If you were to buy just one book on herbs - this one might be it.
You can always add a herb reference book from National Geographic later if you become more interested.   

I envy you that calendula does well for you. Here in Florida, I haven't had much luck with it. The chamomile has to be German Chamomile if you are using it for medicinal purposes.

I'm not an expert, just a gardener who loves herbs and saving money. Instead of bleach and chemicals, I prefer lemon and rosemary et al for my cleaners. Fresh herbs and spices for my cooking and herbal tea from my own plants which haven't been treated or sprayed - my garden is organic all the way.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rosy on February 14, 2018, 11:37:29 AM
My spring gardening begins next week. Had some help from the kid, so I'm much better prepared than usual.

Rainbow Chard - does well in containers and will grow back if you don't rip it out by the root:)
Lemon Verbena - I managed to kill mine 'again' last year.
Golden potatoes - in a half barrel - sweet potatoes are going strong already in the other half barrel and some in the ground.
Tomatoes - two Roma - perfect for sauces and everything else
                 one Patio tomato - it's a cherry tomato, grows in clusters, perfect for Mr. R. to take to lunch.
Peppers - the four I planted in fall are doing fine, just harvested a big fat one for brunch on Sunday. Adding one small mild red.
Lemongrass - two or three as a border, now that I redesigned the garden layout. (not sure if there is one container survivor from last year)
Italian Basil - I think I'll just spend 99 cents each on two and buy some cheap seeds to throw in with the cherry tomatoes.
Geraniums - three red ones for my window box and the garden. I love geraniums!
Marigolds - to plant in with the lettuce seed.

Honeysuckle to climb up the garden shed wall - my favorite scent along with roses.

Still going strong:
Garlic chives-extremely garlicky
African blue basil - thrilled they made it through the winter - now I need to start one or two babies.
Lemon balm - nice surprise - usually they don't make it through our hot summers.
Parsley - looking good, both curly and flat.
Pineapple Sage - looks really good right now - pretty lipstick red flowers - I better harvest some for a tea mix.
Lavender - my, my, - I can't believe it - I found two last year that are blooming right now - looking fine. Trust me, lavender in Florida is a finicky business.
There will be sachets and a Herb de Provence spice mix. Yay:)
Bay Leaf - bush, seems to have recuperated from the plague:)
Lemon thyme - needs a little TLC - I may try some in my new Buddha head flower pot or maybe I'll find a spiky grass.
Mints - except I'll have to hunt down some Mojito mint at the big garden show in April.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural on February 14, 2018, 06:13:51 PM
Discovered one of the public libraries in husbands grad school city has a seed swap, so I'm digging around to see what I can contribute and planning to start some Cherokee Purple seeds from there inside next weekend.

ETA for Rosy - I have the same  trouble with elderflower – too pretty, and besides, the flowers make elderberries! But I've discovered that the petals are what is really good in fritters, and you can gather those by waiting until the flower is past its prime, covering the flower head with a bag, and gently shaking it.  Many of the petals will drop into the bag, and you can fry them up in a batter. As long as you don't break the stem, the berries will still form at that point.  Obviously, you'll need a bunch of flowers if you're going to make very many fritters, but that applies if you do it the traditional way, too.

For the medicinal garden, let me suggest sage, too, for sore throats. And plantain if you can find seed and are in a suitable area. Also a little stevia makes a lot of teas more palatable.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Mongoose on February 15, 2018, 08:21:33 AM
It's time to plant our tomato and pepper seeds. Tilling up an area of the yard will have to wait a bit. And our milkweed seeds apparently need to be cold soaked for a month so we definitely need to get that started as well.

I was planning on taking out our shallow raised beds but am wondering. I could refresh the soil and have a good size area of herbs and salad greens. I think most of those would do fine with the shallower root space. The tomatoes we had in there before did ok but we thought they'd be happier in ground.

I ordered a few seeds today for some container plants...dwarf varieties of things we can't grow in ground here because it is too cold.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on February 15, 2018, 10:03:15 PM
I'm still waiting for my 2018 seed catalogue....

Heading into what is now my fourth year of vegetable gardening (fourth year of FIRE too...this is NOT a coincidence) a tradition has developed whereby I take my preferred seed catalogue down to the Baja with me, where I take my time to develop my gardening strategy for the upcoming season. This is pretty much where my plan comes together. And I would highly recommend checking out the West Coast Seeds catalogue - it has some wonderful content above and beyond the seed selection itself. And at the risk of coming across as a paid shill for the company, the seeds are great too - in my experience the germination rates seem much higher than some other varieties I've tried over the past several years.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4606/39499809824_6d6b54aab9_z.jpg)

I was pretty much determined NOT to build any new beds this year, but as I look at the list of items I want to plant, I think at least one more 4X12' bed may be in the cards. I may post my planting wish list soon - a mixture of directly sowed crops and indoor starts.

Another thing I find myself thinking about is the very nature of the land on which I have enjoyed learning about the process of food growing over the past 3 years. The parcel of land itself is 5 acres...perhaps one acre of it is cleared...with the majority of it being typically dense PNW forest. My garden lies within this clearing, surrounded by a ring of steadily growing Douglas firs and cedars. My desire for my garden to be more successful with each passing year is clearly going to run headlong into the issue of slowly decreasing amount of sunlight reaching my garden site. As it stands now, I'd say the amount of light reaching my plants is just above adequate.

Some sort of tree cull in order to increase sunlight to my garden site....doesn't quite sit quite right with me.

My DW is in charge of the herbs and the bees. I'm strictly the veggie guy. ;)


THE LIST

Kale & Collards - Lacinato (as requested by a prominent forumer), Red Russian, Champion Collards
Peas - shelling: Green Arrow
         - snow: Oregon Sugar Pod II
         - snap: Super Sugar Snap
Radish - Wasabi, Amethyst
Spinach - Monstrueux de Viroflay,  Olympia
Broccoli - Everest, Green Magic
Cabbage - Tiara, Integro (red), Copenhagen Market
Cauliflower - Amazing, SKYWALKER
Lettuce - Super Gourmet Salad Blend (5 different varieties)
Peppers - Ancho (Poblano), Serrano, Ghost Chili (freakin' HOT)
Tomatoes - Parthenocarpic: Oregon Spring, Siletz
                  - Early: Early Cascade
                  - Main Season: Super Fantastic, Caiman
                  - Cherry: Sungold, Red Robin, Sweet Million
                  - Roma: La Roma, Pazzano
Quinoa - Brightest Brilliant Rainbow (gonna try this again - wood bugs be damned)
Onions - Ailsa Craig, Rossa di Milano, Walla Walla
Beets - Boro, Red Ace
Carrots - Yaya, Scarlet Nantes, Sugar Snax
Fennel - Orion
Turnips - Purple Prince
Okra - Clemonson's Spineless
Tomatillos - Toma Verde
Beans - Bush: Tri-colour Bush Bean Blend
            - Pole: Kentucky Blue, Purple Peacock
Squash - Table Queen, Vegetable Spaghetti, Black Beauty Zukes, 8-ball Zukes
Cucumber - Patio Snacker, Lemon Cucumber, Marketmore
Potatoes - Early season: Warba
                 - mid-season: Yukon Gold
                 - Late: Gemstar

My Swiss Chard patch has been growing non-stop for a few years so no need to plant more. That....and it's Swiss freakin' Chard - of all the crops that have proved to be invulnerable and eternal it had to be THAT. But perhaps I just haven't yet discovered how to make this substance taste good.

And once I get back north I expect to see my garlic crop poking through the leafy mulch blanket I covered the bulbs with in late October.

I really, REALLY, can't wait to get back North to my little island and get started.




Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Nancy on February 16, 2018, 08:30:42 AM
@Jon_Snow the picture and the description of your other location are gorgeous. I think you PNW garden/forest is my dream. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on February 16, 2018, 10:43:59 AM
Zone 5b, in a lower density urban neighborhood. Once you subtract the house we have about 4500 sqft to work with, plus weíre a corner lot and we can use almost all of the sidewalk strip to grow in. We have about 40 4x8 raised beds plus perennials tucked in a number of other areas. Most of the useful garden space is in the front yard and the sidewalk beds. The backyard is in deep shade, which is perfect for the livestock we have (see below).

Been doing this for several years and still feel very much like a novice sometime despite my obsession with learning about all sorts of farming systems. In many ways my skill level is still catching up to my very ambitious scale. The previous two years I also had additional 5,000sqft plot. Perfect soil and solar aspect but far away and just too much for me even being a stay at home parent, since I homeschool and that takes up an increasing amount of my time as my kids get into the middle and junior high grades. 

My garden beds were formed with purchased compost that didnít end up performing very well, so Iíve had mixed results. Hopefully rabbit manure lives up to its reputation as garden magic and will improve yields and vigor over the next year and more.

No new human edible species this year but always trying new varieties. Main crops I grow are raspberries, lettuce, basil, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, snap peas, potatoes, garlic, zucchini. Also have some not super productive blackberries, assorted herbs, and a bunch of young fruit trees. Some of the trees got girdled pretty bad as I forgot to protect their trunks.

Also growing comfrey plus adding echinacea, shrub willow, and sweet potato (for their greens) for my animals. We have a laying flock of chickens and raise meat rabbits. Currently producing about 45% of our non-dairy animal protein needs, would like to get this to 75% by the end of the year.

If anyoneís interested I can post a video of my place I took last fall. Not very impressive this time of year, lol.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rosy on February 16, 2018, 10:55:51 AM
^^^ yes - video please:)

@Jon_Snow
Quote
My Swiss Chard patch has been growing non-stop for a few years so no need to plant more. That....and it's Swiss freakin' Chard - of all the crops that have proved to be invulnerable and eternal it had to be THAT. But perhaps I just haven't yet discovered how to make this substance taste good.

Try fixing it with smoked bacon - super tasty that way. Just fry the bacon halfway, chopped in little pieces,  then add the swiss chard with some onion (red ones seem to compliment it better than the milder yellow - but that's a question of taste preference) and white pepper. No salt since the smoked bacon will have plenty salt.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on February 16, 2018, 11:01:38 AM
This is off my old YouTube channel, still need to create one for my new (and final) name of Buntastic Gardens.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DPMPBzVUlg8

I recorded it, intending to use it for my session at CMC last year but didnít end up using it because the weather was so nice that we all wanted to sit outside.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on February 16, 2018, 11:22:55 AM
@Jon_Snow the picture and the description of your other location are gorgeous. I think you PNW garden/forest is my dream. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the kind words @Nancy

I have waxed on extensively elsewhere on the forum about how wonderful my island spot is. It's not just the great climate and location for gardening and orchards...but the wild berry foraging opportunities as well as the bounty that the Salish Sea provides right off our doorstep...it all makes me want coffee not my blessings that this is one of the places I call home.



@Jon_Snow
Quote
My Swiss Chard patch has been growing non-stop for a few years so no need to plant more. That....and it's Swiss freakin' Chard - of all the crops that have proved to be invulnerable and eternal it had to be THAT. But perhaps I just haven't yet discovered how to make this substance taste good.

Try fixing it with smoked bacon - super tasty that way. Just fry the bacon halfway, chopped in little pieces,  then add the swiss chard with some onion (red ones seem to compliment it better than the milder yellow - but that's a question of taste preference) and white pepper. No salt since the smoked bacon will have plenty salt.

Ah yes...bacon. When all else fails, that is often the nuclear option isn't it? :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Off the Wheel on February 18, 2018, 03:19:24 PM
@Jon_Snow the picture and the description of your other location are gorgeous. I think you PNW garden/forest is my dream. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the kind words @Nancy

I have waxed on extensively elsewhere on the forum about how wonderful my island spot is. It's not just the great climate and location for gardening and orchards...but the wild berry foraging opportunities as well as the bounty that the Salish Sea provides right off our doorstep...it all makes me want coffee not my blessings that this is one of the places I call home.



@Jon_Snow
Quote
My Swiss Chard patch has been growing non-stop for a few years so no need to plant more. That....and it's Swiss freakin' Chard - of all the crops that have proved to be invulnerable and eternal it had to be THAT. But perhaps I just haven't yet discovered how to make this substance taste good.

Try fixing it with smoked bacon - super tasty that way. Just fry the bacon halfway, chopped in little pieces,  then add the swiss chard with some onion (red ones seem to compliment it better than the milder yellow - but that's a question of taste preference) and white pepper. No salt since the smoked bacon will have plenty salt.

Ah yes...bacon. When all else fails, that is often the nuclear option isn't it? :)

I also love using my swiss chard in place of spinach in saag paneer. So good.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PKate on February 18, 2018, 04:50:17 PM
This is off my old YouTube channel, still need to create one for my new (and final) name of Buntastic Gardens.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DPMPBzVUlg8

I recorded it, intending to use it for my session at CMC last year but didnít end up using it because the weather was so nice that we all wanted to sit outside.

I Love front yard gardens, food forest, sheet mulching and most food growing awesomeness. Here are photos of my garden from last July.
https://imgur.com/a/oRX2N

  I also suggest using cattle panels for tomato supports.  They hold up to heavy indeterminates wind storms and thunderstorms.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on February 18, 2018, 07:34:58 PM
I also love using my swiss chard in place of spinach in saag paneer. So good.

Thanks for that OtW. It's been my experience that using Swiss chard as I would spinach hasn't been all that successful. I just find the chard to be bit "stringy" and not as tender as cooked spinach. Perhaps I'm not harvesting the chard early enough? I confess that I tend don't tend to harvest it until the leaves are quite large. I won't give up on it yet. ;)

And I just checked out the saag paneer dish...oh wow. Right there is some fine motivation to grow lots of spinach this year.

And further putting a damper on my original plan to cut kale production way back was my experience with KALE PESTO about a month ago. It was surprisingly, mindblowingly great.

Hanging out in this thread has really got me excited to get my hands in the dirt again (though from reports filtering down to me from the North, the dirt is still probably in a MUD state). And again I find myself pleasantly surprised at what at first I thought might be fun post-FIRE "hobby" has really become an integral part of my LIFESTYLE.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PKate on February 18, 2018, 07:47:17 PM
I find chard is best when the plants are 6 inches tall.  Unfortunately so does my local wildlife. 

I find a kale like Red Russian is a great substitute for spinach in many recipes and it doesn't bolt when the weather gets hot. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on February 18, 2018, 08:06:55 PM
I find chard is best when the plants are 6 inches tall.  Unfortunately so does my local wildlife. 

I'll definitely try to harvest it earlier this year. As for the wildlife comment....I have 10' high deer proof fence about the entire garden perimeter....otherwise things would go very badly, very quickly. PKate, I saw the images of your garden on the previous page....looks great.

I find a kale like Red Russian is a great substitute for spinach in many recipes and it doesn't bolt when the weather gets hot. 

I enjoyed success with Red Russian a few years ago and it's on my planting list again this year. I believe our Summers in the PNW are cooler than yours, but yes, eventually our spinach bolts too. Always a sad occurance - though the spinach haters amongst us probably cheer inwardly. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PKate on February 18, 2018, 09:12:19 PM
The deer only jump the 7 foot fence during drought years.  My big problem is all the critters that dig under the fence.  I find row covers work well at protecting seedlings till they are big enough to not be so tender. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on February 19, 2018, 04:45:32 AM
Have never quite figured out spinach in my climate so I buy it. Deathly allergic to chard.

I usually have decent luck with successions of mesclun type lettuce mixes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Mezzie on February 19, 2018, 06:30:55 AM
We're just about set up. Here's the plan:

Planters #s1&2: Herbs that we use often (cilantro, basil, thyme, chives, thai basil, mint, parsley, sage). My responsibility.
Planters #s 3&4: carrots, sunflowers, squash, strawberries. Husband's responsibility.
Planter #5: Monarch butterfly garden (various milkweeds). My responsibility.
Front flower bed: California native wildflowers. Maybe some saffron. My responsibility.
Back flower bed: Roommates may use it. If not, snap peas and tomatoes. Shared responsibility.

We already have a small but hardy rosemary bush, tenacious lemongrass, and a ridiculously productive lemon tree.

I'm toying with the idea of adding a dwarf avocado tree and dwarf orange or tangerine tree.


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on February 19, 2018, 11:06:13 AM

I also love using my swiss chard in place of spinach in saag paneer. So good.

Chard is also really, really good in spinach artichoke dip. Which of course has like 4 kinds of dairy in it and therefore is not all that healthy. Still, SO good.

I tend to not care for cooked greens but sauteeing chard in sesame oil with a little garlic is surprisingly good.

I get maybe a couple weeks out of my spinach each year before it bolts. I usually buy plants for it, too, because I've rarely gotten seeds to germinate - and if they do then the seedlings keel over pretty quickly. No idea what I'm doing wrong.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Serendip on February 19, 2018, 12:25:10 PM
So excited to read through this thread :)

We have been growing for 3 years in a community garden plot and a small patio space..we were just debating whether to grow 2 of our own boxes or 1 box with a CSA box to supplement but have decided to go for growing our own (and will visit the farmer's market when necessary)


 I use all sorts of greens to make vegan saag paneer and to be honest, it was so delish with radish greens and borage leaves.
 You can mix whatever you have and I find it a tasty way to eat greens
recipe : https://www.veganricha.com/2013/10/palak-tofu-tofu-in-spinach-curry-vegan.html

We have a short growing season (mountain region) but the community spot has good sun exposure (and that sometimes means wind)
We also have bears in the area so can't grow anything which is considered an attactrant (ie..berries)

There is a communal herb section with sage, lavender, thyme & borage but I tend to still grow lemon balm, rosemary, mint & basil on the deck since it's nice to have access to.
We have a huge hop plant which needs some taming..sometimes friends use the hops for home-brewing beer but I also just love the plant..it's so wild looking.





Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PKate on February 19, 2018, 12:42:22 PM
We're just about set up. Here's the plan:

Planters #s1&2: Herbs that we use often (cilantro, basil, thyme, chives, thai basil, mint, parsley, sage). My responsibility.
Planters #s 3&4: carrots, sunflowers, squash, strawberries. Husband's responsibility.
Planter #5: Monarch butterfly garden (various milkweeds). My responsibility.
Front flower bed: California native wildflowers. Maybe some saffron. My responsibility.
Back flower bed: Roommates may use it. If not, snap peas and tomatoes. Shared responsibility.

We already have a small but hardy rosemary bush, tenacious lemongrass, and a ridiculously productive lemon tree.

I'm toying with the idea of adding a dwarf avocado tree and dwarf orange or tangerine tree.

Have you looked into mixing  your own potting mix?  I found it to be cheaper than buying premixed bags if you use a lot of it. If you have a  source of free compost it is totally worth doing.   Here are some options.   I have found you can use coconut coir instead of peat moss if that is cheaper in your area. 

https://www.hobbyfarms.com/6-homemade-potting-soil-recipes-2/

https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/4-diy-potting-soil-recipes-to-make-any-plant-thrive

I used to container garden when I lived in the city and I found large planters with multiple plants did much better than individual pots.   I found 10 to 20 gallon tubs with holes drilled in the bottom worked the best because they only need to be watered once a day during the hottest part of the summer.  I live in Northern New England so our summers are not that hot. 

I also found I needed to feed the plants a good organic plant food more often than a regular garden bed because the frequent watering would wash the nutrients out of the potting mix faster.    While this is not much of an issue for herbs it does make a difference in anything the produces a fruit. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Mezzie on February 21, 2018, 03:48:29 PM
Thanks for the links and tips!

We do compost, bug we haven't produced quite enough yet. I'd like to start vermicomposting, too.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on February 23, 2018, 11:43:05 AM
Well...

Despite the call for snow on the B.C. South coast I decided to head over to my island garden anyway...sort of counting on the moderating effects of a compartively warm sea (still chilly, but warmer than the surrounding air mass) to prevent any serious accumulations. This is USUALLY how it goes, even when nearby Victoria and Vancouuver (and even Seattle) get a decent snow dump.

Oops.


Now, it would have been a really nice bonus had the weather been mild enough to get some early peas or spinach planted, but I'm not that surprised this won't be happening. However, at the very least I had wanted to get some dolomite lime spread into my beds. The question I have is, can I still do it? Do I scrape the snow off the beds and add the lime? Or can I get away putting it directly on the snow, trusting it to find it's way properly into the soil once the snow melts?

Part of the issue I'm having is....I'm here, and I want to do SOMETHING. ;)

(And the picture above was from YESTERDAY. It's snowing again today...quite heavily at the present time)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on February 23, 2018, 11:52:57 AM
Put it right on top of the snow.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on February 23, 2018, 12:48:11 PM
Will do, chief. Thanks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on February 25, 2018, 08:46:04 AM
Garlic seemingly unconcerned with the unusual late-season snow event.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4660/25595689687_5537c54334_z.jpg)


And the Swiss chard, while looking slightly bedraggled, still looks harvestable.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4754/40422976402_b6f0d00fbd_z.jpg)

And some overwintering carrots are always appreciated. So sweet!
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4713/40466695941_ae20710ce5_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Serendip on February 25, 2018, 10:48:45 AM
@Jon_Snow So nice that you can begin your gardening! We are at a higher elevation so the snow will around for much longer and the boxes are barely visible :)

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on February 26, 2018, 02:33:32 AM
Some warmer weather arrived here in NC over the weekend. It's too soon to do anything in the vegetable garden, but I got a lot done in the orchard: 

-- Did a thorough pruning of an old pear tree we have that's still producing well
-- Fertilized and composted the young apple, persimmon, cherry, and pawpaw trees I've planted
-- Cleaned up the downed leaves from last year on the old banana trees to expose the 'nubs'
-- Pruned several bushes and trees that were damaged in an ice storm we had last month
-- Ordered 10 apple rootstocks for my bench grafting project. Very excited! They arrive next week

Next up:  We have several old grape vines here at our new place that start to look sick mid-summer. I need to educate myself about grapes and how to take care of them.


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on February 26, 2018, 04:38:03 AM
Some warmer weather arrived here in NC over the weekend. It's too soon to do anything in the vegetable garden, but I got a lot done in the orchard: 

-- Did a thorough pruning of an old pear tree we have that's still producing well
-- Fertilized and composted the young apple, persimmon, cherry, and pawpaw trees I've planted
-- Cleaned up the downed leaves from last year on the old banana trees to expose the 'nubs'
-- Pruned several bushes and trees that were damaged in an ice storm we had last month
-- Ordered 10 apple rootstocks for my bench grafting project. Very excited! They arrive next week

Next up:  We have several old grape vines here at our new place that start to look sick mid-summer. I need to educate myself about grapes and how to take care of them.

Nice! Reminds me that I need to do a little bit of pruning. Our oldest cherry tree needs some thinning out.

I know very little about grapes myself, but generally from what Iíve read pruning is the biggest thing, as it leads to better fruiting but most importantly airflow to avoid fungal diseases.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on February 26, 2018, 05:08:03 AM
Nice! Reminds me that I need to do a little bit of pruning. Our oldest cherry tree needs some thinning out.

I know very little about grapes myself, but generally from what Iíve read pruning is the biggest thing, as it leads to better fruiting but most importantly airflow to avoid fungal diseases.

Thanks for the tip on grapes!  I will check out the pruning aspect. 

I am new to cherries, but I read that unlike other fruits they should be pruned in the fall rather than late winter.  I think there is some disease that is more likely to attack them after a late winter/spring pruning
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Mezzie on February 26, 2018, 05:59:22 AM
The butterfly garden is planted.

We'll start planting edible things next weekend.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on February 26, 2018, 06:18:32 AM
Nice! Reminds me that I need to do a little bit of pruning. Our oldest cherry tree needs some thinning out.

I know very little about grapes myself, but generally from what Iíve read pruning is the biggest thing, as it leads to better fruiting but most importantly airflow to avoid fungal diseases.

Thanks for the tip on grapes!  I will check out the pruning aspect. 

I am new to cherries, but I read that unlike other fruits they should be pruned in the fall rather than late winter.  I think there is some disease that is more likely to attack them after a late winter/spring pruning

Duly noted. This tree got some kind of foliar disease last year and dropped a bunch of leaves early. Forgot to ever ID it an research a treatment. Orcharding is hard on a small property because one tree getting diseased or damaged puts such a huge percentage dent in your plan. Not sure Iíll keep replacing trees here.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on February 26, 2018, 09:12:22 AM
I got my gardening season underway yesterday. 
I went through my seed collection and made a list of the very few packages of seed that I need to buy new.
I stopped into the greenhouse - not very much progress but I started to formulate a plan of how I want to set it up this year.  It is my fourth season trying to make it work without power or water source.  Yesterday was so sunny and warm that the roof vents were open.  I repaired them last year with parts that I ordered online.  Next weekend it gets planted if my husband can help me lift the large soil tray and I can get all the water jugs filled with water to help stabilize the overnight temperature.
I have been dreaming about my new garden site. It is almost a blank slate.  I am going to dismantle my neighbor's raised beds and garden the whole area very intensively so that I can grow enough food for my family of four and the six member family who owns the property.  It is going to be a big job but I am so excited.  It is six times bigger than my garden allotment of the last four years.  I am fairly certain that lowering the raised beds so that they don't dry out so darn quickly will really improve the productivity.
Loved the photos others have posted up thread.  I shall take some before shots next time I am in the garden.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on February 26, 2018, 09:27:22 AM
{taps foot impatiently, waiting for my garden org's seed swap so I can start planning out what I'm going to grow}

It's next Sunday! Cannot wait! This week I need to take inventory of what I have and what I need.

It's getting warmer here but I know it is nowhere near safe to plant anything yet. Not falling for it! It's not even March yet, we can, and have, gotten blizzards in March and April before!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on February 26, 2018, 06:35:59 PM
I've just started my seeds! It's an early start for seeds, but I have a relatively short growing season, so I like my seedlings to be as robust as possible at planting. I'm so excited I wet my plants!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on February 27, 2018, 01:40:17 PM
I pulled out the grow lights and the heating mat.  Located the soil leftover from last year,  Looking for the waterproof trays and cell packs to get started.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: redbird on March 03, 2018, 08:32:10 PM
I started my garden. Here's what I planted:

- romaine lettuce
- swiss chard
- red cabbage
- green peppers
- chocolate mint
- oregano
- chives
- broccoli

I've been enjoying the decorative house + outside plants that I've been growing for the last almost 1 year, so now I want to try edible things for the first time. In my head, I really like the idea of having a good sized veggie + herb garden. I just don't know what I'll actually think of it until I try. My current house doesn't have the space for much in the yard, but I do also own some undeveloped land in easy driving distance. That land I'm going to build a house on eventually. If I like gardening, I'll definitely set aside a nice sized area on that land to do that. I live in the south US, so I have a pretty long growing season to do all sorts of things if I make space for it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on March 04, 2018, 01:00:15 AM
A wonderful past couple of days in my garden. An early start on weeding is always a good idea before the b*stards get a serious foothold. The first day was mostly spent weeding the entire garden and working the soil a bit. My garden has a slight slope to it, the back portion of the garden slightly higher than the front. As a result, soil in the beds at the back dry out quicker and I concentrated on these, plunging my garden fork a foot into the soil and loosening things up. I dug around with a shovel a bit quite pleased to see that my soil is chock full of earthworms. As per usual I added a few bags of Sea Soil to each bed. Sea Soil, an organic compost, is a great product that I've been using for years and will continue to do so until I am able to get my own compost operation going.

I planted a bit more spinach today, after planting some yesterday along with some peas and kale. Frost is actually quite rare thanks to the moderating effects of the nearby sea, but overnight lows are still getting down to the mid-single digits Celsius so I have covered everything under a heavier duty fabric row cover for a bit of extra warmth retention. In all honesty, I'm probably jumping the gun planting anything right now...but I do this EVERY YEAR. :)

One more milestone today...my first Oya is in the ground - with a few varieties of kale planted around it. No need to fill it with water yet. (I will likely be referencing my Oya-love often in the future. For now, it is proving to be a great solution for watering in an off-the-grid property)
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4759/39711734865_752e0b146d_z.jpg)

Currently I've got all sorts of varieties of lettuce and onions started indoors, with tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, and cabbages getting ready to go. I'm very excited about what this season may bring. I'm even tempted to start some quinoa indoors as some little insect jackholes munched them down to the nubs last year. I'm going to give this crop one more try.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 04, 2018, 04:55:03 AM
@redbird I love chocolate mint! I think it makes the best tea, very soothing, and I like the flavor better than peppermint or spearmint, which are much more commonly used in tea. It also has, unsurprisingly from the name, the correct mint flavor for making mint desserts especially ice cream.

Itís not true mojito mint but Iím told itís also good in those as well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Mezzie on March 04, 2018, 08:56:49 AM
We had somd gentle rain the last few days, and this morning I woke up to little sprouts coming out of the butterfly garden planter. I'm super excited!

Today my husband and I are going to put together the Garden Tower 2 and decide what all we're going to plant in it, and I'm going to start some herbs indoors.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on March 04, 2018, 09:06:17 AM
Itchy fingers. I want to get started. But it's still too cold here and we are not out of the woods re big snows.

There are also absolutely no weeds sprouting up in the backyard so I am kind of waiting for that - the plants know what's what better than us overeager humans, yes?

I did see some crocuses sprout up in the yard, though! Spring is coming!

Going to the seed swap today. I have my list. Note to self: you don't actually need more tomato varieties right now. Hahahaha. Of course I'm going to come home with 10 more. But I really need to focus on greens; I'm down to nearly no lettuce/arugula/spinach.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 04, 2018, 12:32:00 PM
It is a very beautiful bright day - but man is it cold out. I pulled out the potting soil and filled two flats with soil.  I have some 2017 California wonder pepper seeds and some 2015 basil seeds so I thought I would give them a go.  I have no idea how viable the seeds will be so I planted half a flat of each.  I will give them a few weeks and then replant with fresh seed if they don't germinate.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 04, 2018, 02:42:39 PM
Mucked out the rabbitry from the winter. Spread it all on my mini orchard, thought it would go further than this actually, but as the bunnies keep pooping, I'll keep spreading ;) Would like to cover the perennial area over by my garage as well, then I'll compost additional bedding until late fall when I'm putting things to bed again.

(https://i.imgur.com/2Oz8eLQ.jpg)

Spotted some comfrey sprouting. Also saw the beginnings of daffodils and dandelions.

(https://i.imgur.com/bn7LpFx.jpg)

A bit early to start anything, might do some peas for a transplant experiment this week. But anything else will get too big for the pots I have before it's safe to transplant. Broccoli and kale in about two weeks. Solanums in about a month.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Off the Wheel on March 04, 2018, 05:32:52 PM
@Jon_Snow - looks beautiful! Are you by chance one of the Gulf Islands? My parents have a place on one, and I'm debating whether I want to start a low maintenance garden thataway.

ALSO! I just discovered they have Sea Soil at Costco!!! $8.49 for the big bag. I will be stocking up next weekend.

Today I met some people at my community garden plot to learn all about pruning from our resident expert. We hacked back some raspberry, blackberry and blueberry bushes, the grape vines, and the wisteria. And then I was prepped to do my own plants! Happy to see that some of the plants I thought might be dead are green and thriving on the inside (dormancy really is a thing) so hoping for fruitful (har har) blueberries, gooseberries and currants this year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on March 05, 2018, 08:22:34 AM
@Jon_Snow - looks beautiful! Are you by chance one of the Gulf Islands? My parents have a place on one, and I'm debating whether I want to start a low maintenance garden thataway.

ALSO! I just discovered they have Sea Soil at Costco!!! $8.49 for the big bag. I will be stocking up next weekend.

Yes, my garden is on one of the Gulf Islands. My family has a long history there and we have several acreages scattered about our particular island. It all started when a descendant homesteaded there many generations ago. The only thing I'll say publicly is that it's NOT Saltspring. ;)

And that's a pretty good deal on Sea Soil...I'll likely hit up a Costco soon and load up my pickup until the rear bumper is dragging on the ground. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 05, 2018, 11:46:20 AM
Adding kale to my smoothies this week. As long as my stomach tolerates it okay (itís not been an issue before, but I have some ridiculously strong allergies to cabbage and chard) Iím going to add kale to my garden plan as itís much easier to grow here than the spinach I mainly use for smoothies. I have a bunch of lascinato (dinosaur kale) seeds on hand that are a couple years old.
 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Kaydedid on March 07, 2018, 01:48:24 PM
Started broccoli and brussel sprouts today. 
Planning on 2 gardens this year, a smaller one in the backyard with beds and grass clipping mulch, and a plot at the community garden. 

Debating whether or not to plant something else instead of potatoes at the community garden.  We do eat them, and they grow beautifully, but we live near tons of commercial growers and get every potato pest imaginable.  Plus super cheap to buy.  Maybe some husk cherries, or expand the fall broccoli/brussel sprout plantings?

Has anyone had luck growing carrots with landscape fabric?  Normally we mulch with grass clippings on top of cardboard, but it's a pain to get between the carrot rows, and the weeds always seem to take over. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 07, 2018, 02:00:49 PM
What many commercial growers do for carrots is use stale seed bed techniques. Get the soil consistently wet for a week, then let weeds flush flush for 1-2 weeks, cultivating shallow any time they show up with a nice sharp hoe or other weeding implement. Then direct seed.

If you have a flame weeder, an even slicker technique is to direct seed, with a few beet seeds in the same bed. As soon as the beet seeds germinate, flame weed all the weed seedlings, as the carrot seeds will germinate about 3-4 days after the beets.

I wouldnít use landscape fabric. Try growing without any mulch so you can regularly cultivate with a precision tool like a wire weeder or collinear hoe. For a small patch of carrots regular cultivation is a very fast job and will kill every weed without any bending over except whatever is in the row itself. The problem with thick mulch is that hand weeding becomes the only effective organic option for weed control as the mulch often gets in the way of any hoe you would use, unless youíre doing a Back to Eden style no-till system in which case weeds are very easily uprooted.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Mongoose on March 07, 2018, 03:33:37 PM
I have baby tomato plants up. We start the tomatoes and peppers indoors to plant outside in early May. I put them in my bathroom cabinet until they sprout as it is warmest place in the house. I love baby plants! Makes me think of Spring...

This weekend we are going to start some other plants...butterfly plants and milkweed for DDs butterfly garden, a dwarf pomegranate, and a dwarf papaya. The butterfly plants and milkweed will be transplanted into the yard in early May. Both of the later should do well as potted trees. DS is very enamored with tropical plants so he wanted to try those. We're starting them from seed to keep the price down plus it's always exciting to watch the seeds sprout and grow.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on March 07, 2018, 06:01:17 PM
So many free seeds from the seed swap! I was greedy. I just cannot resist weird varieties I've never heard of. I do not have room for all of this. Tough choices must be made!

Have any of you grown the following tomato varieties:
Mr. Stripey
Litt'l Bites Cherry
Mystery Pink Brandywine
Inca Jewels
Martino's Roma
Nebraska Wedding

Also, any experience with Candy Cane red peppers? I don't know why I'm bothering starting peppers from seed as their yields are always low. I keep thinking that one of these years we're going to have one of those really hot summers and then the peppers will be happy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: meadow lark on March 07, 2018, 08:15:10 PM
@Tris Prior , I know I'm several weeks late, but in my master gardener training I was encouraged to grow tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets, with new potting soil every year (and the buckets have to be well washed and left to dry).  I also had the issue of sad, sad tomatoes after planting in the same spot 2 years in a row, and I don't do it anymore.  I've had good luck with home made 'earth boxes'.

I am a pretty new Gardener, and what I do know is about New Mexico high desert.  So of course I moved to zone 9, Southern Louisiana!

We built a raised bed 4'x30'.  Planting some tomorrow.
Currently in my fron yard, I have 6 tomatoes in containers, a basil that looks half dead, 2 fig trees in buckets that need to be planted.  Also a couple red onions from one that I planted after it started to sprout on the counter.

My big goal this year will be getting fruit trees planted.  The figs of course, but also Orange, grapefruit, persimmon, Lemon, and whatever sounds good.  We have some berry canes in the back yard, growing from where birds have dropped seeds, we think.  We are going to let them grow and see what they are.  We also have lots of tiny wild strawberries as ground cover.  They d,on't taste good, but they make an attractive ground cover.  One problem, before we plant to many fruit trees, we have 4 ginormous oaks that shade quite a bit of the back yard.  We probably need 3 gone to get enough light to really have an excellent orchard/garden.  So I need to call an arborist for a quote.  I will not be dropping a 60' oak tree on my or my neighbor's roof.  My wife,Stingray, thinks I am being ridiculous.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 08, 2018, 07:37:22 AM
Really old (2015) basil seed has all germinated.  No sign of peppers but not expecting anything for a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on March 08, 2018, 08:25:17 AM
@Tris Prior , I know I'm several weeks late, but in my master gardener training I was encouraged to grow tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets, with new potting soil every year (and the buckets have to be well washed and left to dry).  I also had the issue of sad, sad tomatoes after planting in the same spot 2 years in a row, and I don't do it anymore.  I've had good luck with home made 'earth boxes'.

I have a few of those and the tomatoes went insane in them. Definitely better than in the community garden bed. I still have to dump out the dirt from last year and wash them, though. It froze too fast last fall for me to get to it.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on March 08, 2018, 10:13:00 AM

We built a raised bed 4'x30'.

Whoa. Raised bed envy is a thing I guess. ;)

One problem, before we plant to many fruit trees, we have 4 ginormous oaks that shade quite a bit of the back yard.  We probably need 3 gone to get enough light to really have an excellent orchard/garden.  So I need to call an arborist for a quote.  I will not be dropping a 60' oak tree on my or my neighbor's roof.  My wife,Stingray, thinks I am being ridiculous.

Similar issues with trees here. Not only are my veggies being robbed of another 2 hours of possible sun by the surrounding ring of quickly growing conifers, but the existing fruit trees (pear, apple, plum) in the meadow could really use more as well. Heck, add the walnut and hazelnut trees too. I should hire you to oversee our tree thinning operation...you seem a lot more pragmatic and sensible about it than my spousal unit and I. There is much fretting on our parts regarding cutting down trees.



DW and I are off to the island tomorrow...I have hopes to see some peas, spinach and kale pushing through the soil. I've got all sorts of starts merrily sprouting indoors. Definitely feels like Spring. :)

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: asauer 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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on March 09, 2018, 11:32:27 AM
@asauer corn in pots?? where did you find that? Keep us posted on how that goes!

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 09, 2018, 12:18:24 PM
Anyone growing these? ;)

(https://i.imgur.com/PT9b4Rv.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior 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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow 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".

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat 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).

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior 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.?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Off the Wheel 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: middo 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow 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.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4787/40716763712_177b85e187_z.jpg)

DW also got her mason bee house set up. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 12, 2018, 07:41:33 AM
The pepper plants are starting to germinate!  yeah.
Two weeks until seed swap.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PKate 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. 


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele 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. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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.
 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: cerat0n1a 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele 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!  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor 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...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior 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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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!

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: asauer 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!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow 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.


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele 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.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio 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.


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele 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.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens 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?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on March 27, 2018, 05:24:02 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?

Hey maybe!  I will look into that.  Thanks HarbingerofBunnies!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on March 28, 2018, 08:19:26 AM
OK, so apparently you CAN grow pomegranate trees in pots, so I think I will give that a shot.  Thanks again @HarbingerofBunnies.

And -- very exciting news! -- we unwrapped our biggest fig tree today and found green buds 5 feet off the ground!! Yay!  Our latest wrapping experiment from last fall paid off big time.  We are still learning about figs since moving here, and our first two years they basically died to the ground in the winter because we did not know how to wrap them.  This year I pruned them back to about 5 feet high and wrapped them snugly in a double layer of heavy weight row cover.  DH built a sturdy wooden cage of 2X4s around them, and then we wrapped tarps around that.  It did the trick! The wooden cage bore the weight of the snow that the tarp caught.

I have read of passionate fig growers further north -- like up into Pennsylvania -- who literally bury their trees in winter.  They dig a trench, then dig out the roots enough that they can push the tree over horizontally into the trench, bury it in earth/straw, cover the whole 'grave' with a sheet of plywood, and then shovel dirt on top of that. Then they dig the tree out in the spring and stand it back up.  My god, what a lot of work.  Grateful we will probably not have to do that.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cgbg on March 28, 2018, 01:33:23 PM
I cannot imagine doing that to grow a fig tree! Iím grateful that we live in Oregon where such extreme measures are unnecessary.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on March 28, 2018, 02:07:54 PM
I cannot imagine doing that to grow a fig tree! Iím grateful that we live in Oregon where such extreme measures are unnecessary.

I'm with you!  So figs grow pretty well in Oregon?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cgbg on March 28, 2018, 03:26:51 PM
Yes- figs grow great here. Not on the coast or in the mountains but pretty much in the valley including Portland. Not fussy at all.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 28, 2018, 05:57:38 PM
I have fig envy - in my area you have to bury them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on March 29, 2018, 02:08:55 AM
I have fig envy - in my area you have to bury them.

Wow Frugal Lizard -- People are growing figs in Ontario?  I'm impressed that that works, even with the heroic burying measures.  The things you learn on the forum!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 29, 2018, 04:30:08 AM
Thereís at least one fig variety (Chicago Hardy) thatís zone 5, and there are parts of Ontario as warm as zone 7 (e.g. right around Windsor).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 29, 2018, 07:06:07 AM
I have fig envy - in my area you have to bury them.

Wow Frugal Lizard -- People are growing figs in Ontario?  I'm impressed that that works, even with the heroic burying measures.  The things you learn on the forum!

There is a very large Italian community in Toronto who must have figs.  One of my uni friends would go to his friend's grandpa's place in October to help bury the fig trees.  They buried 6 trees every year and had a huge bounty of figs the following summer.  They did the dig around 2/3 of the root ball and lay them down in a trench - which they dug by hand.  The only redeeming thing about this task is that they dug in the same location year to year so it was easy digging?!? 
Other people keep them in pots and put them in the cold cellar.  I have long wish for a fig tree or three.  If I ever build a house, I will be designing it with an in ground cold cellar for root veggies and overwintering fig trees. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on March 29, 2018, 08:35:49 AM
DAMMIT! I am sitting here at work and just remembered that I forgot to turn on the grow light for my seedlings this morning before I left (overslept and rushing). I really need to put that thing on a timer. Do you guys think there's any hope that they won't all be dead when I come home? It is dark and grey out today so there will be no sunlight in the room that they're in.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 29, 2018, 10:33:40 AM
DAMMIT! I am sitting here at work and just remembered that I forgot to turn on the grow light for my seedlings this morning before I left (overslept and rushing). I really need to put that thing on a timer. Do you guys think there's any hope that they won't all be dead when I come home? It is dark and grey out today so there will be no sunlight in the room that they're in.

I doubt one day will hurt them too much. Timers are cheap, though :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cgbg on March 30, 2018, 08:36:06 AM
Yeah I donít think one day is going to hurt a thing. Probably not much growth but no real damage.

I did the same thing a month ago. Dh leaves about a half hour after I do and he noticed I hadnít turned on the lights. He sent me a text after he got to work, letting me know heíd turned the light on. Um, lights? No, light. Well, one out of three isnít bad I guess. No harm. I was starting peppers at the time so the heat mat didnít turn on either. Oops. I should probably do the timer thing too.

My ground cherry seeds just popped up. Iíd forgotten how tiny they are at germination.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: sparkytheop on March 30, 2018, 10:04:53 AM
My saffron is surviving me!  Hopefully, come fall, I'll have a small amount to harvest and I can plant more crocus bulbs in an area of the yard that is hard to get at with a lawn mower.  Next time I go to my parent's house, I should see how they are doing there.

I should buy my mom a fig tree...  We don't eat figs all that often, but would eat more if they were fresh off a tree at "home" rather than having to buy them. 

We did a lot of work on her garden, and my BIL got her leaves all tilled under (was able to get the tractor to till down 16 inches).  Her deal with the landscaper guy seemed to work out really well.  Out of yards and yards of leaves, there were only two bags that were mostly limbs (they went to the burn pile) and minimal garbage.  They broke down really well over the summer and hopefully will make the sandy soil much better at holding moisture.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on March 30, 2018, 02:09:44 PM
Seedlings are all fine, hooray! But yeah, I have to get a timer anyway for when we go on vacation in a few weeks so I may as well put it on the grow light.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Teachstache on March 30, 2018, 07:16:01 PM
So many free seeds from the seed swap! I was greedy. I just cannot resist weird varieties I've never heard of. I do not have room for all of this. Tough choices must be made!

Have any of you grown the following tomato varieties:
Mr. Stripey
Litt'l Bites Cherry
Mystery Pink Brandywine
Inca Jewels
Martino's Roma
Nebraska Wedding

Also, any experience with Candy Cane red peppers? I don't know why I'm bothering starting peppers from seed as their yields are always low. I keep thinking that one of these years we're going to have one of those really hot summers and then the peppers will be happy.

Aww, yeah, Nebraska Wedding tomatoes are great for slicing fresh. My sister, a native Nebraskan, grew them for her wedding dinner caprese salads (she got married in Colorado).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 31, 2018, 04:38:52 AM
Have to share this meme here:
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 31, 2018, 06:42:29 AM
thanks @furrychickens
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 31, 2018, 06:50:48 AM
I have never grown onions from seed before so it has been fun watching these weird little seedlings come up. I am hoping that this thread has some plant nerds that would be interested in the kind of plant unique traits that I find so intriguing. 
Onions come up in an inverted u shape and then finally when they are about two inches high the growing point pops out of the soil and then a day or five later (a long time to me) they finally stand straight up with the seed shell on the top still.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on March 31, 2018, 06:58:35 AM
I have never grown onions from seed before so it has been fun watching these weird little seedlings come up. I am hoping that this thread has some plant nerds that would be interested in the kind of plant unique traits that I find so intriguing. 
Onions come up in an inverted u shape and then finally when they are about two inches high the growing point pops out of the soil and then a day or five later (a long time to me) they finally stand straight up with the seed shell on the top still.

Yeah, when I first started gardening, I really wished seed packets had a picture of the seedling in cotyledon stage so you know whatís come up is what you planted.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Mezzie on March 31, 2018, 08:21:30 AM
I have pumpkin, cilantro, strawberry, and basil sprouts. I HAD English Thyme, but it all disappeared overnight. Bugs?

I am impatiently awaiting all the other sprouts.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 31, 2018, 01:53:05 PM
Got myself warm despite the wind and cold working in my future garden. And popping into the greenhouse to water the little seedlings. 
I have made a little tent for the planter boxes because it is going to be really chilly overnight.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on March 31, 2018, 02:16:06 PM
I just potted up 32 New Guinea impatiens cuttings - hope they root (yes I used rooting hormone).  I also found some old mallow seeds and started them - 4 tiny babies up so far.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on March 31, 2018, 09:11:31 PM
Acquired and planted some horseradish roots this weekend, with some to spare for the kitchen! Super excited to see how they grow. I've only ever had the storebought stuff; can't wait to try it fresh.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 01, 2018, 04:50:24 AM
Acquired and planted some horseradish roots this weekend, with some to spare for the kitchen! Super excited to see how they grow. I've only ever had the storebought stuff; can't wait to try it fresh.

Itís stronger if I remember what my sister has told me from her experience. Itís also a pretty interesting looking plant.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cgbg on April 01, 2018, 07:17:27 AM
Horseradish has very nice leaves! My neighbor likes to harvest them to use on her tables at summer parties (I have enough plants going that I donít mind her leaf harvesting at all.)

Grating fresh horseradish is best done under a vent hood with the fan on high. Itís that strong. Fresh horseradish sauce is incredibly tasty compared to the jarred stuff.

I find the plant is mildly invasive. I give it challenging growing conditions to keep it in check.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on April 01, 2018, 08:40:47 AM
I've started Journaling again and much of my garden exploits will be detailed there, but I'd also like to pop my head into this thread once in a while. I enjoy following all the different approaches to growing things in different locations and climates.

I freaking LOVE horseradish and have a corner of my garden set aside for it - I was told to do this because it can TAKE OVER. Sometimes I'll dig up a root, give it a rinse, and wander around the garden munching on it. DW just shakes her head. ;) I haven't yet got into large scale preserving of it, apart from a few jars here and there.

What can I say other than my garden is off to a great start this year....as symbolized by this beautiful little spinach....

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/894/40435754914_5d594443a2_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 01, 2018, 10:39:23 AM
Nice! Spinach is something I havenít figured out here yet, havenít tried it in a couple seasons though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on April 01, 2018, 03:21:26 PM
I had to toss my tomato seedling, because for the second year running, they got blight. (AAAAAAAAAAAARGH) They had such nice air circulation, and didn't have wet feet, but I forgot to sterilize the pots, so they must have picked up some lingering bacteria. At least I recognized it and cut my losses early this year, rather than trying to nurse them through the summer as I did last year. Fortunately, I have time to sterilize the pots, buy new seed and try again before planting time, since spring is taking it's time here. If these next ones fail, I'll concede defeat and buy seedlings.

Does anyone know if tomato blight harms other plants? One pumpkin seedling is looking a bit rough, and I'm wondering if I should quarantine it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 01, 2018, 04:44:14 PM
"tomato blight" is a nebulous term, especially if it's attacking a seedling. Needknow a more specific disease.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on April 01, 2018, 05:06:02 PM
I had no idea that there were multiple types of blight! Now that I've had a look at various pictures, I think that it's septoria leaf spot. That tells me that it probably spread through contaminated seed, since I saved seeds from the impacted plants because the fruit seemed fine. Since the fungus only impacts solanaceous plants, I'll move my eggplant seedlings to another area.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 03, 2018, 04:57:35 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.

So yesterday we opened the container on the apple trees we grafted, and -- THEY'RE ALIVE!!!  All 10 show strong growth on the graft, which surpasses my wildest hopes.  This is the biggest gardening thrill I've ever gotten.

They're all potted out now, sitting in a sheltered location outside.  If they can make it til summer, from what I've read they should be good to go.  Live long and prosper little guys.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 03, 2018, 05:27:12 AM
Nice!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: mountain mustache on April 03, 2018, 08:17:37 AM
I'm in the high rockies of Colorado, and this year I am determined to make a garden work. My little town is really more "high desert" as it has a pretty low snowfall, and is very, very dry. We get a lot of Spring weather activity though, as we are close to the continental divide, and it could snow as late as June. I come from Louisiana, where you can pretty much throw anything in the ground and it will be amazing, so this has been a huge learning curve over the past 5 years.
What I've got going so far, all inside under grow lights still currently. I started everything from seed this year, which is new for me, but has been so fun to watch everything grow. I had about a 99% germination rate, which I'm stoked about!

- 12 San Marzano tomato seedlings
- 6 cherry tomato seedlings
- 2 trays of baby greens (I'm thinking of putting these outside soon, since they can handle a little cold)
- 1 tray of Sage
- 2 trays of Italian basil
- 1 tray of Thai basil
- 1 tray of oregano
- 1 tray of thyme
- 1 tray of cherry peppers
- 1 tray of jalepenos
- 1 tray of Rainbow Chard
- 2 trays of Lacinato Kale.
- 6 beautiful zucchini seedlings 

I'm also planning to sow directly into the ground some more baby greens, kale, rainbow chard (later) and spinach.

I just acquired 4 large rectangular wooden beds that will be perfect for the greens, herbs, etc. I've placed them on the south side of my house which gets TONS of sun, and is regularly 15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside. I also have a raised bed that I'm planning to put the zucchini, peppers, and whatever else I decide to plant later in the summer. The tomatoes of both varieties will be in big 5 gallon buckets, as I've read they do best there. I love the ability to bring them in the garage if we get a random late cold snap.
The biggest hurdle here besides the 40+ mph winds, the cold, the late snow, the dry air, etc haha...are our millions of town deer, who eat everything in site and jump any fence they see. I'm really hoping to out smart them this year, but that is definitely the thing I am most worried about!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on April 04, 2018, 07:39:27 AM
@mountain mustache  Please post plenty of updates on your garden! I LOVE the Colorado mountains and one of my fantasies is to relocate to a small mountain town in the Canadian Rockies, and I wonder about my ability to garden at altitude so am keenly interested in how your garden grows!

Here in the Canadian prairies, I'm heating water to sterilize my tomato pots before sowing new seeds (I'm trying to rid my garden of septoria leaf spot fungus). There's nothing like making plastic pot soup in the morning to make me feel like a proper eccentric!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 04, 2018, 07:59:33 AM
It snowed overnight and I want to cry. Enough already!

But three of my peppers have finally sprouted indoors! Two sweet bananas and a "candy cane" pepper which I am excited to try.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 04, 2018, 10:05:10 AM
@mountain mustache  Please post plenty of updates on your garden! I LOVE the Colorado mountains and one of my fantasies is to relocate to a small mountain town in the Canadian Rockies, and I wonder about my ability to garden at altitude so am keenly interested in how your garden grows!

Here in the Canadian prairies, I'm heating water to sterilize my tomato pots before sowing new seeds (I'm trying to rid my garden of septoria leaf spot fungus). There's nothing like making plastic pot soup in the morning to make me feel like a proper eccentric!
  Love it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural on April 04, 2018, 08:15:10 PM
This year Iím growing flowers like a lady of leisure (the soil in husbandís grad school city is too contaminated to grow food, which is all Iíve ever grown before). It feels really weird. I may not grow any food other than herbs this year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 05, 2018, 04:34:29 AM
This year Iím growing flowers like a lady of leisure (the soil in husbandís grad school city is too contaminated to grow food, which is all Iíve ever grown before). It feels really weird. I may not grow any food other than herbs this year.

That sucks.  Do you know what it's contaminated with?  Could you do containers or raised beds?

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 05, 2018, 07:38:52 AM
I ordered 6 gooseberry bushes, coming next week.  And then I REALLY need to get off the fruit kick I am on and plant some damned vegetables.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 05, 2018, 07:54:29 AM
I ordered 6 gooseberry bushes, coming next week.  And then I REALLY need to get off the fruit kick I am on and plant some damned vegetables.  :)

There's a u-pick here that does gooseberries. They're very similar to grapes, on the tart side but definitely no sugar needed for a ripe one. I have some here but none producing very well yet and have had some issues with insects defoliating them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 05, 2018, 08:27:06 AM
Can someone explain to me like I'm 5 years old how I'm supposed to be doing the early spring pruning of raspberry bushes? I have googled and read many articles but I can't seem to relate the instructions to how my bushes look. I see that I'm supposed to prune the old canes that bore fruit last year. I don't remember which ones bore fruit on the one bush, it was last July, so how can I tell which are the old canes? And what about the bush that didn't bear at all last year? Do I do anything to it?

I'm worried that they didn't make it through the winter; I see absolutely no new canes which, from these articles, it sounds like they should have? No signs of life at all. Maybe I killed them. :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 05, 2018, 08:28:04 AM
This year Iím growing flowers like a lady of leisure (the soil in husbandís grad school city is too contaminated to grow food, which is all Iíve ever grown before). It feels really weird. I may not grow any food other than herbs this year.

Do you have any space for containers or a raised bed? I live in an area where all the soil is pretty much contaminated so that's what I am doing for my vegetables.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 05, 2018, 09:01:10 AM
Can someone explain to me like I'm 5 years old how I'm supposed to be doing the early spring pruning of raspberry bushes? I have googled and read many articles but I can't seem to relate the instructions to how my bushes look. I see that I'm supposed to prune the old canes that bore fruit last year. I don't remember which ones bore fruit on the one bush, it was last July, so how can I tell which are the old canes? And what about the bush that didn't bear at all last year? Do I do anything to it?

I'm worried that they didn't make it through the winter; I see absolutely no new canes which, from these articles, it sounds like they should have? No signs of life at all. Maybe I killed them. :(

New canes donít start growing until the plant is out of dormancy and raspberries are one of the later perennials to break dormancy.

Are your berries a floricane variety (one crop in summer on second year canes) or a primocane variety (these bear an additional fall crop on first year canes)?

The best/easiest practice in my book is to prune the second year canes after they are done bearing in the summer. Obviously you canít do this right now. Second year canes will tend to have a darker/woodier bark and also be thicker. First year canes are a lighter/smoother tan color. Take out the thick, woody canes and leave the thinner canes unless the whole plant is really wild/overgrown in which case thin some of the younger canes too.

I hope that helps? If youíre still struggling maybe post a picture and I can draw arrows?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 05, 2018, 09:15:21 AM
I ordered 6 gooseberry bushes, coming next week.  And then I REALLY need to get off the fruit kick I am on and plant some damned vegetables.  :)

There's a u-pick here that does gooseberries. They're very similar to grapes, on the tart side but definitely no sugar needed for a ripe one. I have some here but none producing very well yet and have had some issues with insects defoliating them.

Yep, I've grown them before with mixed results.  I just read that they are fairly finicky about ph, and they also are heavy feeders of potassium and magnesium.  That may be why I've only had blah results before.  This time around will be keeping an eye on these things.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 05, 2018, 09:17:33 AM
Can someone explain to me like I'm 5 years old how I'm supposed to be doing the early spring pruning of raspberry bushes? I have googled and read many articles but I can't seem to relate the instructions to how my bushes look. I see that I'm supposed to prune the old canes that bore fruit last year. I don't remember which ones bore fruit on the one bush, it was last July, so how can I tell which are the old canes? And what about the bush that didn't bear at all last year? Do I do anything to it?

I'm worried that they didn't make it through the winter; I see absolutely no new canes which, from these articles, it sounds like they should have? No signs of life at all. Maybe I killed them. :(

New canes donít start growing until the plant is out of dormancy and raspberries are one of the later perennials to break dormancy.

Are your berries a floricane variety (one crop in summer on second year canes) or a primocane variety (these bear an additional fall crop on first year canes)?

The best/easiest practice in my book is to prune the second year canes after they are done bearing in the summer. Obviously you canít do this right now. Second year canes will tend to have a darker/woodier bark and also be thicker. First year canes are a lighter/smoother tan color. Take out the thick, woody canes and leave the thinner canes unless the whole plant is really wild/overgrown in which case thin some of the younger canes too.

I hope that helps? If youíre still struggling maybe post a picture and I can draw arrows?

X2 -- Exactly right.  I wouldn't do any pruning now unless you are 100% sure which canes are Year 1 and which ones are Year 2.  Best practice is to prune in fall when it is obvious, and take out all the Year 2 canes at that point. 

Edited to add:  I would not touch the bush that didn't bear last year; wait and see what it does this year.  It could just be waiting for 2nd year growth to flower/bear.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 05, 2018, 10:24:03 AM
I ordered 6 gooseberry bushes, coming next week.  And then I REALLY need to get off the fruit kick I am on and plant some damned vegetables.  :)

There's a u-pick here that does gooseberries. They're very similar to grapes, on the tart side but definitely no sugar needed for a ripe one. I have some here but none producing very well yet and have had some issues with insects defoliating them.

Yep, I've grown them before with mixed results.  I just read that they are fairly finicky about ph, and they also are heavy feeders of potassium and magnesium.  That may be why I've only had blah results before.  This time around will be keeping an eye on these things.

Good to know. I hadnít really done much research on them. Iím personally getting to the point with perennials that rather than my earlier desire to GROW ALL THE THINGS Iím letting high maintenance stuff atrophy out and just buy the fruit from orchards/farms, though so far raspberries have been very happy here, which is awesome since theyíre one of the most expensive fruits to buy. Plus in my very limited space, some of the easiest perennial stuff to grow is valuable feed plants for my animals like comfrey and shrub willow (Iím planting a Cornell variety of willow this year specifically selected as a good livestock forage).

When you get some gooseberries, I really like a jam thatís 1/2 gooseberry and 1/2 raspberry. Iíve got a bunch of both kinds of berries in the freezer from last year waiting to be turned into this jam. No sugar if you donít mind intense, a bit tart, or sweeten to taste. At least here gooseberries bear at the same time as the summer crop of raspberries, not sure if that stays the same in other climates.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 05, 2018, 10:39:57 AM


New canes donít start growing until the plant is out of dormancy and raspberries are one of the later perennials to break dormancy.

OK, good to know. I have a dwarf raspberry bush in my community garden (which I'm not allowed in until the end of the month). I've never seen it before late April, at which point it's generally growing back - and I've never done a damn thing to prune it. It bears well! But, these aren't dwarves, and I've no idea what the dwarf looks like right now. Maybe this is normal. Our winter wasn't THAT cold, as winters go here, maybe 2 weeks of below zero. But it seems to be lingering. :/

Are your berries a floricane variety (one crop in summer on second year canes) or a primocane variety (these bear an additional fall crop on first year canes)?

The best/easiest practice in my book is to prune the second year canes after they are done bearing in the summer. Obviously you canít do this right now. Second year canes will tend to have a darker/woodier bark and also be thicker. First year canes are a lighter/smoother tan color. Take out the thick, woody canes and leave the thinner canes unless the whole plant is really wild/overgrown in which case thin some of the younger canes too.

I hope that helps? If youíre still struggling maybe post a picture and I can draw arrows?

I have a Canby - I just googled and it is floricane. It made raspberries in July last year and that was all. The other is a purple brandywine that did not bear at all. It's supposed to be everbearing. I will take a look and see whether I can tell the difference between the canes - on the Canby they all look thick to me, and the brandywine is basically just one big long cane - ??
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 05, 2018, 10:43:46 AM
I may be able to help with a good picture. Do any of them still have flower/fruit deadheads? Many of mine have dead heads that stay on through winter, could be another way to tell the canes apart.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 05, 2018, 11:14:06 AM
I ordered 6 gooseberry bushes, coming next week.  And then I REALLY need to get off the fruit kick I am on and plant some damned vegetables.  :)

There's a u-pick here that does gooseberries. They're very similar to grapes, on the tart side but definitely no sugar needed for a ripe one. I have some here but none producing very well yet and have had some issues with insects defoliating them.

Yep, I've grown them before with mixed results.  I just read that they are fairly finicky about ph, and they also are heavy feeders of potassium and magnesium.  That may be why I've only had blah results before.  This time around will be keeping an eye on these things.

Good to know. I hadnít really done much research on them. Iím personally getting to the point with perennials that rather than my earlier desire to GROW ALL THE THINGS Iím letting high maintenance stuff atrophy out and just buy the fruit from orchards/farms, though so far raspberries have been very happy here, which is awesome since theyíre one of the most expensive fruits to buy. Plus in my very limited space, some of the easiest perennial stuff to grow is valuable feed plants for my animals like comfrey and shrub willow (Iím planting a Cornell variety of willow this year specifically selected as a good livestock forage).

When you get some gooseberries, I really like a jam thatís 1/2 gooseberry and 1/2 raspberry. Iíve got a bunch of both kinds of berries in the freezer from last year waiting to be turned into this jam. No sugar if you donít mind intense, a bit tart, or sweeten to taste. At least here gooseberries bear at the same time as the summer crop of raspberries, not sure if that stays the same in other climates.

Yes -- when I lived in Wisconsin I grew  gooseberries and raspberries near each other, and the gooseberries bore fruit just a tad earlier than the raspberries.  Always had great luck with raspberries -- super vigorous and productive -- while my gooseberries were sort of anemic.  Now I'm in a new area.  Raspberries are doing well here -- they are just happy-go-lucky plants I think.  We will see how the new gooseberries do! 

Gooseberry jam is the best!  I never heard of combining it with raspberry but that sounds yum.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 05, 2018, 11:19:46 AM
I may be able to help with a good picture. Do any of them still have flower/fruit deadheads? Many of mine have dead heads that stay on through winter, could be another way to tell the canes apart.

I will take pix when I get a chance. thanks!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on April 05, 2018, 11:20:21 AM
My tomato starts are HUGE - I let spring fever get the better of me and sstarted seeds a few weeks too early.  I noticed a few flower buds forming on the largest one. Should I pinch off the buds? It's an indeterminate cherry tomato. Probably won't be able to harden them off for at least another 2-3 weeks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 05, 2018, 11:31:56 AM
Plus in my very limited space, some of the easiest perennial stuff to grow is valuable feed plants for my animals like comfrey and shrub willow (Iím planting a Cornell variety of willow this year specifically selected as a good livestock forage).

@furrychickens -- I had to google shrub willow, but I didn't see anything about it being used as feed.  It sounds like it is woody -- how does that work?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 05, 2018, 01:42:58 PM
Plus in my very limited space, some of the easiest perennial stuff to grow is valuable feed plants for my animals like comfrey and shrub willow (Iím planting a Cornell variety of willow this year specifically selected as a good livestock forage).

@furrychickens -- I had to google shrub willow, but I didn't see anything about it being used as feed.  It sounds like it is woody -- how does that work?

Lots of animals benefit from eating woody forages (goats being the big ones in terms of livestock, but sheep and cattle will definitely browse woody plants, and poultry will nab the leaves and more tender shoots). In my case, itís mainly for the rabbits. The leaves have a protein and overall nutritional profile similar to alfalfa, and the bark has anti-parasitic properties. So itís both food and medicine. Much like comfrey, which also is a high protein feed with medicinal benefits.

The specific variety Iím planting is SX61. My cuttings should arrive later this month.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 05, 2018, 01:46:19 PM
Plus in my very limited space, some of the easiest perennial stuff to grow is valuable feed plants for my animals like comfrey and shrub willow (Iím planting a Cornell variety of willow this year specifically selected as a good livestock forage).

@furrychickens -- I had to google shrub willow, but I didn't see anything about it being used as feed.  It sounds like it is woody -- how does that work?

Lots of animals benefit from eating woody forages (goats being the big ones in terms of livestock, but sheep and cattle will definitely browse woody plants, and poultry will nab the leaves and more tender shoots). In my case, itís mainly for the rabbits. The leaves have a protein and overall nutritional profile similar to alfalfa, and the bark has anti-parasitic properties. So itís both food and medicine. Much like comfrey, which also is a high protein feed with medicinal benefits.

The specific variety Iím planting is SX61. My cuttings should arrive later this month.

Interesting!  Thanks
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PinsAndArrows on April 05, 2018, 08:05:25 PM
Planted: 25 strawberries in a total of three containers.  May need to thin them out, but so far they are all happy looking.  *prays the squirrels leave them alone*

Also planted, our tiny Blueberry plant.  I put it in a large container to grow into as a container friendly plant.  I'm thinking about planting some companions because it is tiny and the pot can definitely sustain more than just the blueberry plant.  Maybe basil?

I'm trying to decide if I want to go all in and build a small squarefoot garden in the back yard.  If I take over the weedy/gravelly area where they were parking their boat, the plants would get full sun.  I'm just not sure if we'll be in this location enough years to make it worth it.  Decisions...  Still have most of the rest of April to decide since we're still getting frosts, although I've been setting aside egg cartons to start seeds in.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 06, 2018, 04:45:47 AM
Planted: 25 strawberries in a total of three containers.  May need to thin them out, but so far they are all happy looking.  *prays the squirrels leave them alone*

Also planted, our tiny Blueberry plant.  I put it in a large container to grow into as a container friendly plant.  I'm thinking about planting some companions because it is tiny and the pot can definitely sustain more than just the blueberry plant.  Maybe basil?

I'm trying to decide if I want to go all in and build a small squarefoot garden in the back yard.  If I take over the weedy/gravelly area where they were parking their boat, the plants would get full sun.  I'm just not sure if we'll be in this location enough years to make it worth it.  Decisions...  Still have most of the rest of April to decide since we're still getting frosts, although I've been setting aside egg cartons to start seeds in.

Strawberries can vary a lot on spacing. It really depends on how much you want to let the runners fill in over time. I suck at growing them, so take with a grain of salt, but I think a good target spacing crown to crown is ~6Ē (this includes mature ďdaughterĒ crowns).

The trick with a companion for blueberries is finding something that likes the very low pH blueberries need. Most other edibles need a much more neutral pH. Iíve had decent luck growing some annual flowers like petunias next to my blueberries though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 06, 2018, 09:25:43 AM
My tomato starts are HUGE - I let spring fever get the better of me and sstarted seeds a few weeks too early.  I noticed a few flower buds forming on the largest one. Should I pinch off the buds? It's an indeterminate cherry tomato. Probably won't be able to harden them off for at least another 2-3 weeks.

I've done this before. At this point you want to channel the plant's energy into becoming a strong plant, not into making tomatoes.

I hear you on starting too early - I'm determined to wait a couple more weeks this year. It seems like if I start mine before late April, I end up with trees before it's warm enough to plant them out. My past 2 years have been like that!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural on April 07, 2018, 06:02:08 AM
This year Iím growing flowers like a lady of leisure (the soil in husbandís grad school city is too contaminated to grow food, which is all Iíve ever grown before). It feels really weird. I may not grow any food other than herbs this year.

Do you have any space for containers or a raised bed? I live in an area where all the soil is pretty much contaminated so that's what I am doing for my vegetables.


Thanks, guys. I am doing (or trying to do) some containers with herbs there at least. But something keeps digging them up while Iím at home working. Iíll have to find a solution to that,


I just donít think Iíll be at our home regularly enough to water and weed this summer, so I wonít be able to grow anything that needs much space. But in the last few years Iíve really gotten the most mileage out of foraging anyway, food-wise. I donít have to be here regularly for that.


Itís just weird. Aside from transplanting shoots from my great grandmotherĒs rosebushes as a teenager, Iíve never grown a flower in my life. Well, unless you count squash blossoms. :) But the flowers give me something I can watch, can water if Iím around, and no great loss if they die because Iím not around. Itís weird, and Iíll miss my tomatoes, but itll be okay.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on April 07, 2018, 09:40:48 AM
Thereís at least one fig variety (Chicago Hardy) thatís zone 5, and there are parts of Ontario as warm as zone 7 (e.g. right around Windsor).

I have one of these.  Each fall, I have the best intentions of wrapping it, but never get around to it, so it dies back to the ground.  Winter before last was really harsh, so it seemed like it took extra long in the spring to start growing again, and I just got a few ripe figs at the end of summer.  This winter was much more mild, so I'm hoping it will get growing sooner and bear some more figs.  My old house in California had a huge old Black Mission fig tree - I'm spoiled for those and usually buy a basket or two when I can get my hands on them.  The Chicago Hardy figs are more like Brown Turkey - still good, but not the most delicious.

Yesterday I planted out lettuce, chard, peas, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and cabbage starts, and seeded in radishes and 4 kinds of carrots.  Now we're getting lots of rain, so I should have happy little seedlings.  Hoping the weather is dry enough tomorrow to get out there and do some more work.  I need to get trellis up as the hops are about 2' tall right now, and have tons of onions and leeks to transplant.

Pepper seedlings are limping along indoors, and the tomato seeds have just emerged in the last week. 

Work is messing with my ability to take my normal days off to get the garden in order this year, so I'm just doing my best and will leave a couple places fallow, or maybe use them for fall crops.

Waiting anxiously to see asparagus sprouts.  I've had the crowns in for several years and never harvested, but hoping this is the year where they look robust enough to spare some.

The cherry tree is just about to bloom, so I'm optimistic for a good crop this year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 07, 2018, 12:28:59 PM
Just spent a lovely several hours in the orchard, assisted by my chicken 'assistants'.  :)  Dug the holes for my gooseberry bushes which are coming next week, and weeded and fertilized the blueberries.  I have several varieties planted.   The Patriots are already leafed out and covered with flowers, while the Bluecrop and Blueray varieties are a bit slower.  Our two new pear trees that we planted last week look great, as do the 10 apple graftlings.  Our four three-year-old cherry trees also look good;  I hope they flower/fruit this year.  And last but not least --the persimmon trees are waking up nicely.  They are three-year-olds and already bore a small crop of fruit last year.  Love those!

Not sure if the young paw paws made it through the winter.  So far they look kind of dead.  This is my first year with them, so not sure when they normally awake.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on April 07, 2018, 01:28:53 PM
Not sure which hardiness zone you are in but my paw paw trees are always the last of my fruit trees to lease out.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on April 07, 2018, 06:00:22 PM
I am concentrating on flowers since I want the house to have nice curb appeal when I list it.  My mallow seedlings got beheaded and there were 2 hollows in the pot that had some spring bulbs.  You guessed it, a field mouse was in the house - usually this is a fall issue.  Unfortunate for my mallows, and the mouse.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 08, 2018, 05:32:37 AM
Not sure which hardiness zone you are in but my paw paw trees are always the last of my fruit trees to lease out.

Thanks Indio!  Good to know.  We are 6b
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 08, 2018, 02:58:49 PM
MORE GD SNOW in the forecast tomorrow.

{cries}
{fetal position}

MAKE IT STOP
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 08, 2018, 03:36:17 PM
At this point I am late on seedlings. Will try to get them done this week. Spring is really slow so far this year so maybe not that late but life has been crazy and was just not in the right head space last week and spend most of this weekend with food poisoning or a stomach bug.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 08, 2018, 04:28:56 PM
The greenhouse was 12C while outside was 1C this afternoon.  The peas are up and some of the lettuce is coming along.  Most everything is barely changing though.  No chard came up. 
My tomato seedlings are getting leggy. Peppers and basil looks really good. The cukes, zukes and squash are starting to sprout.  I have no more space under lights.  I want spring so badly!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on April 09, 2018, 08:34:40 AM
The nice thing about leggy tomatoes is that you can plant them deep and roots will develop from the buried stem. More roots = more food for your fruit!

My marigolds are starting to form buds, so I may have a nice display of indoor flowers before I'm able to plant anything out. There could be worse problems to have :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on April 09, 2018, 08:40:16 AM
I am receiving reports that my tomatillos are flowering.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on April 09, 2018, 04:31:09 PM
Am I the only one who is tempted to abandon their snow-covered plots to move into the blackberry thicket in Jon Snow's island paradise?

Jon Snow - if your neighbours tell tales of a lady with a huge hat wandering around your garden, don't worry, it's just deer.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 09, 2018, 07:45:04 PM
Am I the only one who is tempted to abandon their snow-covered plots to move into the blackberry thicket in Jon Snow's island paradise?

Jon Snow - if your neighbours tell tales of a lady with a huge hat wandering around your garden, don't worry, it's just deer.
You are not alone.  It bloody snowed here again today.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on April 09, 2018, 08:29:52 PM
Sorry for everyone for whom winter is staying on uninvited.  Shoo!

It was gorgeous today after a rather stormy weekend, so I slipped out of work a little early and headed home.  No working on the veggie patch, but I got the front yard looking respectable which was no small feat.  With just two small areas left to clean out, I'll be able to turn my attention to the vegetable patch with more focus.

I'm going to try for 20-30 minutes of yard work time each week night - it usually turns into longer, but if not, it still adds up to a couple hours of productive time so things aren't so dire on the weekends, which are currently being eaten up by a slow-motion bathroom remodeling project.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: mountain mustache on April 10, 2018, 07:13:28 AM
It's been warming up here during the afternoons, sometimes as high as 70! But the nights are still super chilly, low 30s, so I haven't planted anything outside yet. I'm chomping at the bits to plant my lettuce, spinach and chard seeds outside but I think I'm going to wait a few weeks. I keep reminding myself that we are about 6 weeks behind the "normal" planting schedule. At the local nursery, they say our "safe" planting date is June 10th! I plan to put all my plants outside about a month sooner than that...just because it's been a warmer winter than normal. But still, I'm getting impatient!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on April 10, 2018, 07:41:14 AM
Am I the only one who is tempted to abandon their snow-covered plots to move into the blackberry thicket in Jon Snow's island paradise?

Jon Snow - if your neighbours tell tales of a lady with a huge hat wandering around your garden, don't worry, it's just deer.

Lol...be careful what you wish for. I am currently about 4000km south of my garden (in Mexico) and from I have gathered it has not stopped raining in the week I have been gone. When I left I had some lovely peas, spinach, kale, collards  and lettuce going. My garden is actually quite a wet site at the best of times so I am actually concerned that my young crops may be in standing water - those in the in-ground beds - with this much rain. Or the young, tender lettuce might have been pummelled onto the dirt by the rain, if it has been prolonged and heavy. My DW is going to travel over to see how things are later in the week and I asked her to take some pictures - so I may post a few here when I receive them.

My flowering tomatillos are under my grow lights....along with, uh...24 tomato plants. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 10, 2018, 08:40:29 AM
Am I the only one who is tempted to abandon their snow-covered plots to move into the blackberry thicket in Jon Snow's island paradise?

Jon Snow - if your neighbours tell tales of a lady with a huge hat wandering around your garden, don't worry, it's just deer.
You are not alone.  It bloody snowed here again today.

{raises hand} We got snow yesterday too and I was so angry. Looks like the rest of the week is warming up, possibly as high as 70 (though at the lakefront we're always cooler than everywhere else). Then back down into the 30s. Thppppppppppppt.



My flowering tomatillos are under my grow lights....along with, uh...24 tomato plants. :)

I'll be right there with you in a few weeks.... I start at least that many each year and most of them make it. Delaying this year since I'll be out of the country (and since every time I start them before late April, I end up with huge tomato TREES before it's warm enough to plant them out.)

Going to direct sow 8 varieties of lettuce today; my garden org says it's safe though I am skeptical. If it dies - whatever, the seed was all free. And it looks like some of my basil is ready to be potted up. Ugh, at the rate we are going I won't be able to put that outside until freaking July!! The greens that I am going to be growing in containers, are in their containers. It's going to be warmer later this week so maybe some hardening off can start? Insert my annual rant here about what a PITA it is to harden off plants when you have a 9-5 butt-in-seat job. I always worry that I'm home too late for them to get much sun.

Pepper seedlings are growing verrrrrrrrry slowly. I'm not sure one of the dills is going to make it - I didn't notice that it had sprouted and it got REALLY leggy before I did, oops - but the other one looks OK. It is so exciting when they start making their true leaves and start looking (and in some cases smelling) like what they're going to be!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 10, 2018, 09:25:40 AM
I'm going to try for 20-30 minutes of yard work time each week night - it usually turns into longer, but if not, it still adds up to a couple hours of productive time so things aren't so dire on the weekends, which are currently being eaten up by a slow-motion bathroom remodeling project.

You and I are living parallel lives @horsepoor!  I try for 30 minutes in the garden at night after work, but with kids/making dinner/etc. I don't always manage it.  (Working is really cutting into my gardening and other activities.  Time to FIRE :))    I hear you about the weekends too -- We are in the midst of a slow-mo DIY house build.  Not sure how we are maintaining our sanity . . .

 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: wannabe-stache on April 10, 2018, 11:01:48 AM
Has anyone had to deal with powdery mildew before?  I've got it all over my pepper plant leaves.  Seems problematic in humid south FL.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 10, 2018, 02:44:21 PM
(Working is really cutting into my gardening and other activities.  Time to FIRE :))   

Oh man.... don't remind me. Soon I'll be running between two gardens PLUS having to work more hours over the summer. (We are required to work longer days in the summer because of summer Fridays, which is kind of asinine, but whatever.) I make myself go in early so that I don't lose gardening time after work and getting up an hour earlier totally sucks. By summer's end I get SUPER resentful about having to freeze my ass off in my over-air-conditioned cubicle when the plants need tending!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 10, 2018, 03:12:03 PM
Has anyone had to deal with powdery mildew before?  I've got it all over my pepper plant leaves.  Seems problematic in humid south FL.
I haven't had it hit peppers before.
But keeping the leaves dry or getting them dry as quickly as possible is the best prevention.  Others may have better ideas how to treat.  I usually just try to have the plants grow beyond it.  Water the soil surface not the leaves.  Have some wind to dry them up quickly.  Water in the morning so that the leaves aren't wet overnight.

I am out of room under the grow lights and other things are getting leggy so I took all the onions over to the greenhouse at the neighbours.  This, thinking that the temperature was staying above freezing.  Nope - so I am heading back over shortly to cover everything and bring the onions back home.  Where I put them safely beyond cats, I know not.  Snow in the forecast for the next two nights. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on April 10, 2018, 08:18:45 PM
I'm going to try for 20-30 minutes of yard work time each week night - it usually turns into longer, but if not, it still adds up to a couple hours of productive time so things aren't so dire on the weekends, which are currently being eaten up by a slow-motion bathroom remodeling project.

You and I are living parallel lives @horsepoor!  I try for 30 minutes in the garden at night after work, but with kids/making dinner/etc. I don't always manage it.  (Working is really cutting into my gardening and other activities.  Time to FIRE :))    I hear you about the weekends too -- We are in the midst of a slow-mo DIY house build.  Not sure how we are maintaining our sanity . . .

 

A house build sounds much more demanding than what we're doing.  Wow!  We'll hopefully be done with the bathroom in a couple weeks.  It's just more a matter of getting through it without filing for divorce.

Aaaand, I already missed my gardening time tonight, but doubled up on riding and going for a run after work. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 11, 2018, 06:51:21 AM
Nice weather next two days, hope to get my indoor starts finally done and Iíll sow some mesclun, peas, and parsley outdoors. Then rain and snow mixes will keep them nice and wet for germination over the weekend....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 12, 2018, 11:25:12 AM
Got two varieties of peas (Opal Creek and Super Sugar Snap) in, two varieties of parsley (Krause and Dark Green Italian), and two trial rows of lettuce mixes (Encore from Johnnyís and Frank Mortonís interesting looking Freedom Gene Pool).

Not been feeling 100% so that sadly tapped most of my energy, but the rain coming will make for good germination so Iím glad I got them seeding. Will work on indoor starts the next few days. Still havenít done any broccoli, kale, tomatoes, peppers, or basil.

Also received our seed potatoes a few days ago. Need to start chitting them out, just gotta figure best place to put them that the cat wonít go crazy, lol.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 12, 2018, 01:11:59 PM
OK, @furrychickens - I finally got around to taking pix of the raspberries. The purple brandywine, which didn't make any berries last year, has just the 2 vines - the thicker of which is much taller than me, probably going on 7 feet long. The Canby, with more and smaller vines, did make berries but I'm not certain of which canes as that was last July. Neither shows any signs of life, but since winter continues to spill into April I suppose that's to be expected. (More snow this weekend, ARGH)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 12, 2018, 02:24:04 PM
OK, @furrychickens - I finally got around to taking pix of the raspberries. The purple brandywine, which didn't make any berries last year, has just the 2 vines - the thicker of which is much taller than me, probably going on 7 feet long. The Canby, with more and smaller vines, did make berries but I'm not certain of which canes as that was last July. Neither shows any signs of life, but since winter continues to spill into April I suppose that's to be expected. (More snow this weekend, ARGH)

Iíve never grown raspberries in a container, interesting. Theyíre a plant that spreads under the ground, so I wonder how they will do in containers long term. Maybe some other folks can comment on that.

 On the Canby, Iíd say the younger cane is the more tan one (to the right in the second picture). Itís not overly crowded, though, so you could just leave all the growth intact and prune when you see which of the old canes is blooming come June/July. That will be plenty early enough to allow this yearís new canes space to come in.

On the Brandywine, Iíd leave the existing cane intact, but perhaps prune shorter if you want as long as there are buds emerging below where you make the cut. It should put out new cane(s) mid year.

Iím just a bit north of you and mine arenít showing signs of breaking dormancy yet so no cause to freak out yet :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 12, 2018, 03:14:53 PM
Thanks! I appreciate you taking a look. I rent, and my landlord graciously allows me to garden in part of the yard, but I didn't want to plant these in the ground because they can spread. If we move I don't want future tenants to be digging out raspberry shoots everywhere. Fancy Garden Center said they should do OK in a large container so we'll see!

Bonus: If we ever move, I can take these with! In theory, at least. Not sure how to transport safely, haha.

So, it sounds like the Canby is good as is for now, prune that when it starts doing its thing in summer, and I can hack off some of that huge Brandywine cane with no ill effects once I see if/where it is budding.

I'm not freaking out. I am seeing TINY signs of life on the blueberries - small buds forming though no leaves or anything right now - so that makes me happy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on April 13, 2018, 10:11:42 PM
Gorgeous weather today, so I knocked off work at noon and spent all afternoon in the garden.  Plenty of weeding, but planted lots of leek and onion seedlings, and a few other random things.  It looks like it will be nice all weekend, so I'm hoping to get more root vegetables sown, and keep hacking away at the weeds.  Sadly, the straw I bought last fall had a fair bit of seed in it, so I have wheat or oats or something growing in all the flower beds, and will need to get that churned up as well.  Spotted a few fat spears emerging from my largest asparagus crown.  The cherry and apple trees are looking good, and have put on a lot of new growth.  I also spied the first radish seedling emerging from where I planted them last weekend.  Wishing I'd more clearly marked the areas where I fall-planted potatoes.  None have come up yet, and my memory is vague.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 14, 2018, 04:59:55 AM
Whatís your frost depth there? Iíve never thought about fall planting potatoes, I figured my winters would be too cold. Technically our frost depth can go to 4 feet, but I think 2-3 feet is more typical these days.

Fall planted garlic is something I do, but I thought potatoes would be damaged by getting frozen?

People always say straw is more weed free than hay, but the friend I get both from (his prices are reasonable, not the cheapest, but I know he doesnít spray anything) Iíve only ever had weed issues with his straw and not hay, lol. If I need straw for something in the garden Iíll let the chickens have at it for a week to grab the seeds first.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 14, 2018, 05:28:38 AM
Got the new gooseberries in the ground last night.  DH helped construct some temporary deer protection for them.  You would think with those one inch thorns they would be safe from deer, but since the deer have already eaten my blackberries down to the nub I am taking no chances.

We're planning some serious deer fencing, but it has to wait until our house is built -- next spring.  So until then we are making do with half-baked deterrence measures.   

I gaze with envy at your deer fencing @Jon_Snow . . .  But all in good time.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on April 14, 2018, 06:38:50 AM
We're transplanting seedlings today from starter flats to our large collection of yogurt containers!

Definitely are going to have enough tomatoes for planting outside (probably another month yet) and our peppers are looking ok, but way smaller. Hopefully having a month will be good for those :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on April 14, 2018, 09:15:13 AM
I gaze with envy at your deer fencing @Jon_Snow . . .  But all in good time.  :)

Ah, without it I would be beyond screwed. ;) I think I once mentioned it was 10ft high...but no, just 8ft. More than enough for the modestly sized black-tailed deer that are my neighbours.

My DW is going to give me a status update today on my garden waaaaay up North. And pictures, she promised to send some.

What I hope to see. Radishes in desperate need of thinning. Onions, both sets and seedlings showing signs of growth. Seed potatoes, in their "grow bags" (going with bags to mitigate the effects of wireworms), having sent their green shoots above the soil line. 1st planting of peas, snow and snap, at least 8 inches to a foot up the trellis...2nd planting, sowed just before I left for Mexico should have germinated. Garlic should be looking healthy, and I gave it a dose of COF before I left to ensure that this continues. It was a bit early to plant out some of my cabbage starts, but I put them in a mini greenhouse tent, with an Oya, so I am hopeful that they have made it. 1st planting of spinach was looking beautiful when I left, so unless some disaster has befallen them, they should be ready to start harvesting. Lettuce should be getting close too, but I suspect not quite yet. Kale and collards should be thriving in the cool, wet weather in the PNW. And Swiss chard...well, that stuff has proven eternal and indestructible so I'm sure it's going gangbusters. Same with the horseradish.

I have steeled myself against the likelihood that the weed situation, and a just a general explosion of the surrounding greenery, is rather alarming at this point. But I don't expect my DW to weed or bushwhack. Though, if she did, I'd be in her debt (even more than I already am).

I await the pictures this morning with an almost unseemly hunger.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 14, 2018, 12:14:02 PM
Restocked on hay and straw from Farmer Friend. Bought some eggs and a whole chicken (now I have two in the freezer for next time I want to smoke some chicken) while I was there. The new van can hold seven two string bales in the back cargo area with the third row folded down.

Broccoli (Arcadia, Purple Peacock, and Happy Rich) seeded. Purple Peacock is a broccoli/kale cross bred by Frank Morton thatís just beautiful. More for leaves (a Red Russian like leaf) than for the heads, but the small heads are delicious. Not been available in catalogs for a couple years so I jumped on it when I saw it this year. Happy Rich is a broccoli/gailon cross. Supposed to be very sweet, very small heads, so grown at a higher density. I have had some serious reactions to brassica family crops so Iíll be very careful when trying that one for the first time.

Peppers seeded (Tiburon, Beaver Dam, Flaming Flare, and Feher Ozon). Tiburon is a Ancho variety. I really like Poblano/Ancho peppers, and whatever we canít use green (Poblano) Iíll get to red (Ancho) stage and dry to make chili powder. Beaver Dam is a Wisconsin heirloom that IIRC is mildly hot, and I thought might blend well into the chili powder. Flaming Flare is a hot pepper. Feher Ozon is a paprika pepper.

Just finished lunch and will get my tomatoes seeded. Basil will probably wait until another day.

@Tris Prior my raspberries are putting out buds now. But remember even if the old canes have died back for some reason, wait until early summer to see if new canes grow from the roots.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 14, 2018, 02:24:01 PM
Mine too! Just noticed this afternoon. I'm surprised because it's 37 out right now.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on April 14, 2018, 08:38:34 PM
Moved 30 seedlings from starter trays to bigger containers. Need to figure out where to put the rest we want to move!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 15, 2018, 03:25:30 PM
Hope your plants are doing OK up there, furrychickens, I saw that WI is getting pummeled with weather this weekend! Us: snow tonight. Snow tomorrow. Sigh.

I potted up the pepper seedlings that had made their real leaves, and my one remaining basil, and a dill that I'm fairly certain isn't going to make it (it sprouted in its pellet and I didn't notice until it was SUPER leggy, but we'll see.) Still have 5 pepper seedlings that haven't put out their real leaves yet. The jalapeno in particular isn't doing so well - it took 3 1/2 weeks to even germinate and is just sort of sitting there with its baby leaves, not really growing.

For those who grow in containers, what brand of potting soil do you use, and what do you pay for it? Yesterday I bought all the potting soil I (think I'll) need for the year, and I have sticker shock. I have tried the few organic brands that Home Depot has, and I didn't really like any of them except Miracle Gro Organic Choice - which of course they then promptly stopped carrying. I can order it online but the shipping cost negated any savings over buying the brand that I used last year, and had VERY good results with. (Like, unprecedently good; I have never gotten that many heirloom tomatoes, on absolutely disease-free plants, ever. Baccto Organic potting soil.) I can only get that at Fancy Garden Center and it's $10/bag. I have a bunch of huge tomato pots to fill. That seems high, but OTOH I don't want to use soil that's going to give me poor results either.

I have long since given up the illusion that gardening at home saves me money. It gives me satisfaction, and I know they're grown without chemicals and crap, and it eliminates waste (no greens or herbs rotting in fridge as I can just snip off what's needed). But buying tomatoes and greens and herbs at Aldi or at our local Cheap Produce Market would be way, way cheaper.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on April 15, 2018, 04:11:46 PM
Hope your plants are doing OK up there, furrychickens, I saw that WI is getting pummeled with weather this weekend! Us: snow tonight. Snow tomorrow. Sigh.

I potted up the pepper seedlings that had made their real leaves, and my one remaining basil, and a dill that I'm fairly certain isn't going to make it (it sprouted in its pellet and I didn't notice until it was SUPER leggy, but we'll see.) Still have 5 pepper seedlings that haven't put out their real leaves yet. The jalapeno in particular isn't doing so well - it took 3 1/2 weeks to even germinate and is just sort of sitting there with its baby leaves, not really growing.

I actually have a couple jalepenos like that too. I'm curious if I should just accept it's a loss?

Quote
For those who grow in containers, what brand of potting soil do you use, and what do you pay for it? Yesterday I bought all the potting soil I (think I'll) need for the year, and I have sticker shock. I have tried the few organic brands that Home Depot has, and I didn't really like any of them except Miracle Gro Organic Choice - which of course they then promptly stopped carrying. I can order it online but the shipping cost negated any savings over buying the brand that I used last year, and had VERY good results with. (Like, unprecedently good; I have never gotten that many heirloom tomatoes, on absolutely disease-free plants, ever. Baccto Organic potting soil.) I can only get that at Fancy Garden Center and it's $10/bag. I have a bunch of huge tomato pots to fill. That seems high, but OTOH I don't want to use soil that's going to give me poor results either.

Can you make your own? When looking into this I found a ton of people doing that.

Quote
I have long since given up the illusion that gardening at home saves me money. It gives me satisfaction, and I know they're grown without chemicals and crap, and it eliminates waste (no greens or herbs rotting in fridge as I can just snip off what's needed). But buying tomatoes and greens and herbs at Aldi or at our local Cheap Produce Market would be way, way cheaper.

I actually came here to lament this exact thing! I am realizing I love growing things but man. I have spent way more than I thought I would (well, more like I knew I'd spend more than I thought initially and have confirmed that). There is a lot of infrastructure cost to setting up stuff, too. Though most of that will hopefully last many years to come yet.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 15, 2018, 05:41:31 PM


I potted up the pepper seedlings that had made their real leaves, and my one remaining basil, and a dill that I'm fairly certain isn't going to make it (it sprouted in its pellet and I didn't notice until it was SUPER leggy, but we'll see.) Still have 5 pepper seedlings that haven't put out their real leaves yet. The jalapeno in particular isn't doing so well - it took 3 1/2 weeks to even germinate and is just sort of sitting there with its baby leaves, not really growing.

I actually have a couple jalepenos like that too. I'm curious if I should just accept it's a loss?

I may, yeah. I feel like I have a couple pepper seedlings every year that do this. They don't die, they don't look unhealthy, they just sort of stall out and don't grow. This is my first time starting jalapenos from seed so I wasn't sure what to expect. The seed was free, so whatever. The sweet bananas look pretty good though! Wee, but growing and healthy.


Can you make your own? When looking into this I found a ton of people doing that.


I am going to start making my own compost this year, thanks to the composter that my landlord found discarded in his alley and asked if I wanted it. Score! We tried a pile last year, but it drew a lot of flies. (Like, seriously, a LOT.) Boyfriend does not want worms in the house so indoor composting is out. This composter looks do-able, though. (I bought two bags of compost too, since obviously any food scraps I put in this thing are not going to become compost for a while. Argh.)

As for making my own soil - I honestly know nothing about that! I wonder if that is any cheaper?

I was excited to see signs of life on one of the raspberry bushes today! It's not dead!!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: cerat0n1a on April 16, 2018, 03:26:39 AM
I have long since given up the illusion that gardening at home saves me money. It gives me satisfaction, and I know they're grown without chemicals and crap, and it eliminates waste

I think when you factor in the number of hours spent (and how much you could earn if you worked for those hours), it's completely uneconomic. On the other hand, what value do you put on the health benefits of spending time outdoors, getting exercise, contact with soil bacteria, mental health improvements etc?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 16, 2018, 06:22:00 AM
Economics: there are plants that save you tons of money growing, but tomatoes are definitely not it with possible exception of cherry varieties, which are often quite prolific.

A few of my favorite plants in terms of economic return (especially factoring time in): green beans, zucchini/summer squash, cucumbers, hot peppers (particularly ones used primarily green like jalapeŮos or poblanos), raspberries (once established), garlic IF you successfully save the cloves from the first year for at least one season beyond the ďseed garlicĒ price.

If you use a lot of fresh herbs, many can be grown very cost effectively. Iím spoiled by my wife being in the spice trade, so our dry herbs and spices are very high quality for free, which often are just as good as fresh. So there I focus on herbs that I enjoy growing and/or have medicinal value for my animals thatís lost when dry.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 16, 2018, 06:29:32 AM
Seed starting mix: Iím still searching for one that I like thatís not $$$. This year Iím trying the Jiffy mix. Friends I know like the Burpee mix. My favorite is Vernont Compost but itís VERY pricey at retail bag quantities ($35-40 for 60qts) and only available shipped or an hour plus drive from me.

Not sure how cost effective mixing your own is for small quantities. Lots of recipes out there but I have no personal experience with them myself.

Most of what I start in pots will grow well in pure compost, so I may try that next year as Iíve got plenty of compost. I can get a bag of perlite if I feel like the mix needs it. You need to make sure itís very well aged so that the nitrogen is bio available. Rabbit manure and hay are my main feed stocks, plus chicken manure with lots of carbanaceous material, all of which should result in a reasonably well balanced final product.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 16, 2018, 06:51:46 AM
I buy the huge bags of Pro-Mix organic.  It doesn't have vermiculite in it.  It doesn't have long lasting fertility so when I up size the pots - from cell pack to 4" or from 4" to final container, I add some compost or well rotted manure that is free. 

I think my gardening is economic now that I have all the infrastructure purchased - the stakes, the trays, the lights, fencing and irrigation supplies because I can consistently grow a lot of food and I have gotten my season extended with access to a free greenhouse.  I am still waiting for many of the perennials to mature to full production. I should keep track of how much I harvest.  Last year I was harvesting salad greens on Mother's Day - (which is a frigging awesome achievement looking out over the snow, ice pellets and rain frozen onto every surface as I type).  I try to grow things that are not easy to buy - shelling peas and beans - because they are labour intensive to harvest.  Last year we got our first really good harvest of asparagus - and no store bought - can come close to fresh picked asparagus.  It is so tasty it can be eaten raw.  But I wouldn't do that with bought - because of e-coli. 

I transplanted all my tomatoes into 4inch pots yesterday.  I need to do the peppers but have no room.  Some of the hardier stuff needs to move from under the lights over to the greenhouse.  But with wretched freezing weather I can't put them in an unheated greenhouse.  There is snow in the forecast up to Thursday. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 16, 2018, 07:01:11 AM
Pro-Mix isnít stocked here in any stores that Iíve seen but Iíve heard good things. IIRC in the non organic version it is a sterile, essentially zero fertility, peat mix so it is designed to have fertility added to it. Not sure if the organic is the same or not. A podcaster I used to listen to loved that mix but stressed the need to add fertility. I think his preferred method was compost tea.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 16, 2018, 07:41:09 AM
My bareroot gooseberries have only been in the ground 3 days, and they are popping full leaves already!  I've never seen that happen so fast with a bareroot transplant.  Hopefully this full-speed start is a sign that they approve of the site and the soil, and a harbinger of more good things to come. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 16, 2018, 09:06:04 AM
Economics: there are plants that save you tons of money growing, but tomatoes are definitely not it with possible exception of cherry varieties, which are often quite prolific.

I mean, I'm still eating off of my stash of home-canned tomatoes from last fall.... but yeah, I agree. I'm going to grow jalapeŮos after skipping them last year, because I had SO many of them chopped and frozen from 2 years ago, I didn't need to. Greens are cost effective for me too, when grown from seed, since store bought lettuce seems to always rot in the fridge so quickly. (Except in years when we get freak 90 degrees early and everything bolts.) I cannot successfully grow anything in the squash/cuke family, unfortunately. And I do use a lot of fresh herbs.

I HATED the Jiffy mix, YMMV. I honestly only have good success with starting from seed if I use the Jiffy pellets. I know those are not mustachian but that's the only thing that I can get healthy seedlings out of.

I am only allowed to use organic products in the community garden so I haven't tried any nonorganic soil. Maybe once I am producing my own compost, I can try growing in pure compost. I thought that was too rich for newly transplanted seedlings?

I feel like I have the infrastructure that I need - last year was an infrastructure year because I moved into a building with a small yard that I'm allowed to garden in, so I needed a raised bed (Aldi) and some big containers (Craigslist) and I bought the fruit bushes. My main expense going forward is going to be all this soil - because everything I read tells me that I should not reuse it from year to year. Ugh. How do people do this?

Some of the hardier stuff needs to move from under the lights over to the greenhouse.  But with wretched freezing weather I can't put them in an unheated greenhouse.  There is snow in the forecast up to Thursday. 

Same problem here, though I *think* the snow is supposed to end today. Yesterday I forgot to bring my plants in until around 10 p.m. and there was freaking SNOW in the pots!! :( They do not seem worse for wear, though; it was just peas, spinach, arugula and chard, and it was technically still above freezing. I am so sick of snow, I cannot even.

I really want to buy a second grow light because every year this is a problem - too many plants to cram under the light because it is still freezing cold and most things cannot go outside. But I  don't want to spend the money. I keep thinking one year we'll have an actual spring....


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 16, 2018, 09:11:38 AM
Economics: there are plants that save you tons of money growing, but tomatoes are definitely not it with possible exception of cherry varieties, which are often quite prolific.

Some of the hardier stuff needs to move from under the lights over to the greenhouse.  But with wretched freezing weather I can't put them in an unheated greenhouse.  There is snow in the forecast up to Thursday. 

Same problem here, though I *think* the snow is supposed to end today. Yesterday I forgot to bring my plants in until around 10 p.m. and there was freaking SNOW in the pots!! :( They do not seem worse for wear, though; it was just peas, spinach, arugula and chard, and it was technically still above freezing. I am so sick of snow, I cannot even.

I really want to buy a second grow light because every year this is a problem - too many plants to cram under the light because it is still freezing cold and most things cannot go outside. But I  don't want to spend the money. I keep thinking one year we'll have an actual spring....
I am using light bulbs in the work light thing and a desk lamp to stop them from getting so leggy.  and I burnt a bunch of the leaves when they got too close to the heat bulbs so I unscrewed those.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on April 17, 2018, 09:48:19 PM
Whatís your frost depth there? Iíve never thought about fall planting potatoes, I figured my winters would be too cold. Technically our frost depth can go to 4 feet, but I think 2-3 feet is more typical these days.


I don't know frost depth, but last winter was frigid.  I think we got to -15F a couple nights, and probably had a month below freezing, and I had volunteer potatoes.

I don't chit them, just leave whole small potatoes in the ground, not sure if that makes a difference.  This is the first time I've purposely fall-planted, and they haven't sprouted yet, but I did dig up a potato a couple days ago and it was in good condition and looked like it was thinking about sprouting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 18, 2018, 05:54:05 AM
Whatís your frost depth there? Iíve never thought about fall planting potatoes, I figured my winters would be too cold. Technically our frost depth can go to 4 feet, but I think 2-3 feet is more typical these days.


I don't know frost depth, but last winter was frigid.  I think we got to -15F a couple nights, and probably had a month below freezing, and I had volunteer potatoes.

I don't chit them, just leave whole small potatoes in the ground, not sure if that makes a difference.  This is the first time I've purposely fall-planted, and they haven't sprouted yet, but I did dig up a potato a couple days ago and it was in good condition and looked like it was thinking about sprouting.

Our frost depth is 4 feet for foundations but rarely does the ground actually freeze any where near that deep - And it is all related to how much snow we get first.  I would think the biggest issue would be freeze and thaw cycles.  But just about every year I grow potatoes I miss one or six and they all reveal themselves in the spring.  I think I will try and fall plant this fall for an experiment now that I will have the space.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on April 19, 2018, 03:56:50 PM
Whatís your frost depth there? Iíve never thought about fall planting potatoes, I figured my winters would be too cold. Technically our frost depth can go to 4 feet, but I think 2-3 feet is more typical these days.


I don't know frost depth, but last winter was frigid.  I think we got to -15F a couple nights, and probably had a month below freezing, and I had volunteer potatoes.

I don't chit them, just leave whole small potatoes in the ground, not sure if that makes a difference.  This is the first time I've purposely fall-planted, and they haven't sprouted yet, but I did dig up a potato a couple days ago and it was in good condition and looked like it was thinking about sprouting.

Our frost depth is 4 feet for foundations but rarely does the ground actually freeze any where near that deep - And it is all related to how much snow we get first.  I would think the biggest issue would be freeze and thaw cycles.  But just about every year I grow potatoes I miss one or six and they all reveal themselves in the spring.  I think I will try and fall plant this fall for an experiment now that I will have the space.

I'm further north and east, and the one year I left some potatoes in the ground they all turned to mush.  Fall planted garlic is fine though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on April 20, 2018, 12:48:53 PM
Spring has sprung here! The daytime high is above 12C, so I've begun taking my seedlings out to the back yard to enjoy the sun for a bit each day. Neighbours also took advantage of the warmth yesterday to do yard work, and were kind enough to drop off a few bags of leaves for me to use as mulch on my vegetable beds (I only have one mature tree + 5 wee twigs, so I don't get quite enough leaves from my own yard). 

No signs of life yet on the three fruit trees that I planted last year, so I'll be hovering attentively to look for signs that they survived their first winter. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 21, 2018, 08:21:39 AM
 I am going to put all the fragile seedlings out into the greenhouse for the day. It was 24 in there yesterday.  If I can't get a heater rigged up, DH said he would help me carry them back in the house for the night.  They are getting too leggy to continue under the grow lights.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: KBCB on April 21, 2018, 08:44:23 AM
Current Plantings:
Red Raspberry patch -Planted 2014
Black Raspberry -at end of the above patch -Planted 2015
Apple Tree -Planted 2015 (Got mowed down by deer last winter but it survived and with wrapping this winter survived again!)
Peach Tree -Planted 2017
Plum Tree -Planted 2017

2018 plan:
Set up compost
build green house
set up in ground vegetable garden

I would love to plant in the ground this year, we have so much set up to do I think it might be best to set up everything this year and plant next!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on April 21, 2018, 10:07:30 AM
I'm heading back up to B.C. in about a week. I have been receiving reports that things are starting to go gangbusters. And with temperatures about to tick considerably higher things will just accelerate further. I have been unable to coax any friends or family to do any weeding for me - completely understandable - so between that and all the seedlings I need to plant out when I get back...I am going to be insanely busy in the garden for a while.

And frankly....I cannot wait. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 21, 2018, 11:17:02 AM
I would love to plant in the ground this year, we have so much set up to do I think it might be best to set up everything this year and plant next!

Or you could maybe plant some potatoes this year?  I've found they are a great 'pioneer' plant for a new garden spot.  I've even planted them with no tilling at all -- just dig a shallow hole, backfill, and then hill them and mulch with dirt/leaves/straw as the plants grow.  In my experience the potatoes (and/or the mulch/hilling material?) really improves the soil, and then voila -- next year you've got some primo soil in that spot.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 21, 2018, 04:32:03 PM
Seedlings are back in the house for the night.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cressida on April 21, 2018, 11:12:54 PM
I can't believe I missed this thread until now. I've grown stuff in containers the past two years, fairly successfully the first time, less so the second. I haven't yet decided what I'll do this year, but posting to follow.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 22, 2018, 04:50:11 AM
Plan is to get potatoes and the SX61 shrub willow cutttings (a Cornell selection of Salix miyabeana) that arrived in the snowstorm last week finally in the ground. Everything else that can be planted outside this time of year was seeded before the snow, hopefully it will germinate properly.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cranky on April 22, 2018, 06:49:12 AM
Aldi's had "seed starter" mix this year and I bought a couple of bags. I usually just use potting soil, though.

It's been a long, cold winter. I see that I've got some onions that overwintered. The raspberries are perking up. (I really hacked back the raspberries last fall - they were getting out of hand.) The herbs and strawberries look good.

I'm going to plant some peas this afternoon.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on April 22, 2018, 11:30:34 AM
It's nearly warm enough to move our greenhouses from the kitchen/dining room to our 3.5 season porch!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on April 22, 2018, 06:18:56 PM
I ate my first harvest from the garden yesterday: a single strawberry. A few more should be ripe this week.

I thinned out my carrots a little more today, as I didn't thin them adequately the first time. A few were orangish and sort of carrot-like. About how long from that point until they're ready to harvest?

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on April 23, 2018, 04:51:00 AM
I ate my first harvest from the garden yesterday: a single strawberry. A few more should be ripe this week.

I thinned out my carrots a little more today, as I didn't thin them adequately the first time. A few were orangish and sort of carrot-like. About how long from that point until they're ready to harvest?

Depends on the variety. You can poke around with your finger to estimate the size of the carrot before pulling it out of the ground, but itíll probably be a couple weeks minimum.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 23, 2018, 05:05:14 AM
I got a small heater plugged in at the neighbours so that if the temperature in the greenhouse drop to below 4C - it would turn on.  The weather station said 0C at 5 am this morning and it is currently still 0C.  Here is hoping all was fine under the floating row covers!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on April 23, 2018, 07:35:22 AM
I'm further north and east, and the one year I left some potatoes in the ground they all turned to mush.  Fall planted garlic is fine though.

Yesterday I turned up a yellow potato right near the surface (I was planting beet seeds) and it was in great shape and had some sprouts starting.  Last winter was pretty mild though; I think a couple nights got down to 7F, but we didn't have a ton of sustained freezing weather.

Planted beets, parsnips and more radishes this weekend.  Got the hops trellises up, and temporarily repurposed several remesh tomato cages to grow pole beans. Repotted a ton of seedlings and kicked them all out to the greenhouse. Still need to get cucurbits and okra seedlings started.  The cherry tree is blooming and *should* be in the clear of any killing frosts.  It's supposed to be 80 on Thursday.  Tiny little carrot seedlings are starting to pop up too.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 23, 2018, 08:08:00 AM
Garlic is up.  Still have some snow in places but I think it will be gone by the end of the day.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: KBCB on April 23, 2018, 08:20:31 AM
I would love to plant in the ground this year, we have so much set up to do I think it might be best to set up everything this year and plant next!

Or you could maybe plant some potatoes this year?  I've found they are a great 'pioneer' plant for a new garden spot.  I've even planted them with no tilling at all -- just dig a shallow hole, backfill, and then hill them and mulch with dirt/leaves/straw as the plants grow.  In my experience the potatoes (and/or the mulch/hilling material?) really improves the soil, and then voila -- next year you've got some primo soil in that spot.

This is totally doable! - Is the idea not to actually plant the potatoes for food just to help the ground?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on April 23, 2018, 08:52:55 AM
I would love to plant in the ground this year, we have so much set up to do I think it might be best to set up everything this year and plant next!

Or you could maybe plant some potatoes this year?  I've found they are a great 'pioneer' plant for a new garden spot.  I've even planted them with no tilling at all -- just dig a shallow hole, backfill, and then hill them and mulch with dirt/leaves/straw as the plants grow.  In my experience the potatoes (and/or the mulch/hilling material?) really improves the soil, and then voila -- next year you've got some primo soil in that spot.

This is totally doable! - Is the idea not to actually plant the potatoes for food just to help the ground?

It's a two-fer.:)   Get some tasty taters and some happy soil
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: cerat0n1a on April 23, 2018, 09:48:04 AM
This is totally doable! - Is the idea not to actually plant the potatoes for food just to help the ground?

The potatoes themselves don't really "help" the ground - in the sense they are reasonably greedy feeders. It's just that they tend to out-compete weeds and the process of earthing them up (covering them up so the tubers don't turn green) or mulching and then digging them up to harvest the potatoes does a decent job of turning rough ground into something ready for other crops. Obviously if you're mulching with organic stuff that will improve the soil quality.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on April 23, 2018, 12:40:54 PM
I ate my first harvest from the garden yesterday: a single strawberry. A few more should be ripe this week.

I thinned out my carrots a little more today, as I didn't thin them adequately the first time. A few were orangish and sort of carrot-like. About how long from that point until they're ready to harvest?

Depends on the variety. You can poke around with your finger to estimate the size of the carrot before pulling it out of the ground, but itíll probably be a couple weeks minimum.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on April 23, 2018, 06:01:48 PM
I'm getting antsy to back to my garden now. This feeling actually started to grow a few weeks ago. My DW and my extended family have been doing period checks and walkthroughs for me....sending me a bunch of pics as well. They have started to harvest spinach and a few varieties of lettuce. First two plantings of peas are doing well (I will start a third as soon as I get back, the goal this year is to have a steady supply of peas ALL SUMMER). Potatoes are up. Onions are showing lots of new growth, especially the onion "sets". My quinoa seems have escaped being munched on this year. Kale and collards are looking really good. The only real bad news is that 3 of the 6 cabbage plants I put out in late March have died. I knew it was too early to set them out, so not too dissapointing. I have another 10 cabbage starts under the lights in our city condo.

The weather has really warmed up in the PNW...forecasts are for 20C (68F) for the next several days. Given my garden's tendancy to capture warmth in it's forested glade, I expect it to be much warmer than that. I know my DW well enough to sense that she might be getting a bit overwhelmed by the amount of starts under her care under the grow lights - tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos...so I want to get home in order to ease her burden as well. With any luck the late Spring will be a warm one and I can start to get some of these things planted out.

Someone mentioned garlic.....we've got that covered this year.



Before heading south I expanded one of my last remaining in-ground beds in order to make a large "mound" on which I'm going to plant my squash. I've tried squash in the wooden raised beds....and it's been my experience that they seem to prefer being in the ground.  The "new" in ground bed can be seen almost dead centre in the picture. Just needs a bit more soil when I get back....you can see how the soil level is a bit low on the left.



That pic is almost a month old now. I'm thinking of investing in a brand new gas powered string trimmer when I get home. It ain't gonna be pretty. ;)

And yes....that's a BOAT.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 28, 2018, 03:52:14 PM
I have kitted the greenhouse at the neighbours up.  Temperature is dropping below freezing tonight and tomorrow night. (-1C)  It may not get that cold as we are in town and the weather station is on the edge of town.  But I just can't bring all these plants back in the house. So I am taking a chance and these are the strategies:

In addition to a huge number of bins of water, I have a very small electric heater, floating row cover material over the plants and in front of the door.  I have also put a piece of plastic in the upper part of the house.  The temperature was 10C at 4pm.  I ran the heater on a high setting while I rigged up the tenting inside and then turned it back down to very low before I left.  The heater only has about 1/3 of the air space to keep warm and my experiments with the row covers last week showed that they definitely hold the heat down near the plants. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on April 28, 2018, 07:47:53 PM
After a week of complete neglect because I was out of the country, my plants all survived! Only the peas looked a little limp, and they perked up after a good long drink. The basil that's still in the house under the grow light looks GREAT!

However, my plan to start tomato seeds immediately before leaving, in hopes that they'd start sprouting in a week like normal (and thus be just sprouting when we arrived home) was a FAIL. Most sprouted early. They were all SUPER leggy and spindly and lying on their sides, having grown taller than the seed-starter "greenhouse" plastic dome. I've never had them sprout that fast. Figures. I have *maybe* 3 viable plants, out of the 24 that I started. Oh well. The seed was free. Starting over today; I'll be running late, but usually my tomato plants are enormous by the time it's warm enough to plant them out. So hopefully that will be OK.

The community garden's open, and today I put up the rabbit fence, sowed 4 kinds of lettuce seed and 3 kinds of carrot seed, and transplanted some more lettuce, spinach, and dill. The dwarf raspberry looks great! The strawberries are slowly waking up. I think the thyme's dead, but who knows, we don't even have leaves on our trees here yet so maybe it's just running behind?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Livethedream on April 28, 2018, 08:09:05 PM
Did some edible landscaping and added 10 blueberry plants to form a small hedge in the future. Got 5 different varieties. Drip irrigation and timer hooked up. Now to replace couple fruit trees that died!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 01, 2018, 02:12:32 PM
It is 26C outside at the moment - and 34C in the greenhouse.  I am going to try and setup a fan and a screen to get the air moving.  This morning it was only around 4C when I left for a meeting so I didn't want to leave the door open. At lunch I rushed over to water and open things up and it was close to 40C. Only lost one little calendula seedling in today's heat. 
Moved all the sunflowers, love-in-the-mist, bachelor buttons, squash, cukes and zukes out to the greenhouse yesterday.  They are much happier - except nothing is happy with cooking temperature.
One of the vent lifts wasn't replaced last year because it seemed to work fine.  I have a new one and will try and install it tonight.

I planted some shelling peas in the ground on the weekend and should really plant a bunch more greens outside with the beautiful weather.  We have about three-four more weeks before the risk of frost ends but I would like to get a whack of stuff in before that.

Pepper seedlings need to graduate to pots. As does the basil.  So much to do - so little time!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 02, 2018, 04:52:18 AM
Spotted this yearís first flowers on my property: some honey berry/haskap. They havenít fruited before, maybe this year will be the first year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 02, 2018, 05:22:42 AM
Planted some kale and sorrel this past weekend.   Found a couple volunteer potatoes growing in that raised bed, so I left those guys and planted around them.  I never turn down a good soldier volunteering for duty.

The 10 baby apple trees we grafted in March are rockin' on.  If I can figure out how to post a picture I will do that -- they are so beautiful!   

The pomegranate tree I got in March looks great.  So far it is very happy in a big pot against a sunny rock wall. (Thanks @furrychickens for the idea).

And last but not least, the gooseberries I planted look absolutely fantastic -- like they are going to take over the world.  Booyah!   So interesting.   I struggled to grow them in Wisconsin, but down here they take off.  And on the flip side, other things that grew well up north struggle here, even though on paper they should work.  There are so many variables -- it's quite an education.  What was it Thomas Jefferson said in his later years?  "I am an old man, but I am only a young gardener."

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 02, 2018, 08:29:40 AM
You guys! The black raspberry, which looked like a completely dead bare dry stick, started sprouting leaves yesterday!! It's not dead!! I am so excited!

Now I just have to figure out how to support the main vine, which is at least 8 feet long....

I ate my first Salad That I Grew yesterday. Spinach, chard, and arugula. Yum!

The lettuce that I planted on Saturday is going "WTF" over the suddenly warm weather - from 50 to 80 in the span of 2 days. I hope I don't lose it all.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 02, 2018, 08:54:45 AM
Awesome @Tris Prior !  That is great.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on May 03, 2018, 08:12:35 AM
Of the 5 raspberry canes that I planted last year, 2 are looking quite vigorous, 2 look dead, and one is missing altogether. My little fruit trees are doing better, with all 5 showing growing leaf buds. All in all, I'm pleased.

I'll transplant the kale and cabbage seedlings outside later today. I'll also rifle through my seeds for direct planting to see what can tolerate a risk of frost - I'm thinking lettuce and radishes. Peas and rhubarb are already peeking up, and I think that they could use some company. To distract myself from my urge to plant everything out, I'm putting myself to work cutting dandelions out of the lawn. Every year, I tell myself that I'm going to save the roots to make dandelion coffee, but I never do.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 03, 2018, 09:05:29 AM
Got the second vent lift installed on the greenhouse vents.  I have also rigged up a screen door so there is now some air flow.
The tomatoes are huge - and we are still three to four weeks away from planting outside.  Some of them are tipping over even though the stem is good and solid.  I realized that they were two close together and were reaching out for light.  I doubled the spacing between them. 

All the peppers are looking happier now that they are further apart.  I still haven't got all the basil into bigger pots- but kind of thinned the tray out a bit. 
A number of the seeds that were started in round three have not germinated - I am a little mystified as to why not.  But I don't want to bring them back in the house and try and get them to come along with a heat mat and lights.  I am more interested in keeping everything in one location and not having to water and worry about multiple areas.

This weekend the forecast dips below freezing overnight while last night it was 16C at the coldest. 

Sun Hat - I would plant your kale, lettuce and radish out - if you have peas up.  They should be good to go.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 03, 2018, 10:25:14 AM
My three young paw paw trees planted last year are finally starting to leaf out, long after everything else in the orchard.  Glad to see they all came through their first winter, but wow they are ssloooowww . . . They are roughly on the same schedule as the oak trees we have. 

We had a near-frost the other night (~33 degrees), and one of my young persimmon trees took some leaf damage.  Fortunately it's not too bad.  It should be fine.  Live and learn!  From now on I will cover them for anything under 35 degrees once their leaves have opened. 



Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 04, 2018, 09:08:42 AM
Paw paws are the last to leaf out.  I should try them again.  They were doing well at my old house.  I would have to protect them from the huge squirrel population here.

I harvested some greens from my greenhouse planting - the spicy mix is coming along.

Everything is growing gang busters but it is going to get really cold again for a couple of nights this weekend.  Tonight I will batten down the hatches and make sure that heater will come on.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Serendip on May 04, 2018, 09:32:26 AM
I love reading this thread and feeling inspired.

My teeny garden is still a load of work, so good job to all!
We have two plots in the community garden (about a 4km bike ride away) and a patio which we jam full of plants as well.

It's been warm recently but I am in a mountain region so temps still dropping at night. Trying to be patient since I've been advised to wait a few more weeks but took a risk and put in some radishes/lettuce seeds and the radish have come up.Only parsley, chives and one kale have survived from last year.

And our hops have been thriving --need to rig up some trellis/climbing system for them (I change it up every year as a creative project)
Cleaned up the patio yesterday, saw the first hummingbird and put some lemon balm and strawberry mint in a cedar box. Obtained new rosemary ( never survives the winter here)

Also need to restain our deck chairs so we can enjoy our little patio jungle.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Serendip on May 04, 2018, 09:34:56 AM
Another note: the Chef's Table episode (on netflix) with Jeong Kwan (Korean Buddhist nun/gardener/cook extraordinaire) is a beautiful inspiration!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 07, 2018, 06:16:57 AM
Big weekend in the garden
Enlisted the troops - Hubs, DS and DD to help my for an hour to construct the veggie garden at neighbours'.  The problem with the planters is now evident.
The soil is way too heavy.  The native soil near the planters is beautiful. I am going to spread the planter soil all around and then I can top dress it with some great manure from the farm and hopefully the contents of neighbours chicken coop and their huge compost bin.  The whole task is rather overwhelming at the moment.

Haskaps are blooming - and I thought they would be dead from trying to bloom last November.
Asparagus is up.  Might get a meal tonight or tomorrow.  Rhubarb is also up - not completely demolished by the chickens.

I have ordered additional asparagus to plant in the neighbours garden.  Once it is established I will move the six plants from my garden that don't get enough sun to make it worthwhile, over to the neighbours.

I ate my first greens, and had some basil garnish a salad.
It is going to be a fantastic growing season!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on May 08, 2018, 05:51:18 AM
Strawberry patch is prepped (tilled, fenced, and strawed).

Two weeks till we move things into the garden. Still tons of things to do before then!

Going to order some asparagus plants online, any recommendations?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 08, 2018, 06:32:57 AM
@ender Get the oldest asparagus crowns (I think that is what they are called ) you can.   You can't harvest them until the shoots are as big as your pinky.  Plant them in the richest soil you can find.  I have a couple of varieties but can't remember what is where so have no idea what is best.  I have some Mary Washington  and some varieties developed at the University of Guelph.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 08, 2018, 06:33:35 AM
Strawberry patch is prepped (tilled, fenced, and strawed).

Two weeks till we move things into the garden. Still tons of things to do before then!

Going to order some asparagus plants online, any recommendations?

Go with the all/nearly all male varieties. Memory is a bit hazy, but Jersey Knight is one I think.

The purple varieties are pretty though less productive. Like purple pod peas and snap beans, they tur green when cooked.

Asparagus has not been happy here, Iíve given up on it. I try to focus on what will thrive with minimal to no spraying or other insect management, but I got creamed by asparagus beetle and all but a couple plants in the patch are dead.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on May 08, 2018, 08:32:53 AM
I'm probably going to buy some online, maybe even Amazon like this https://www.amazon.com/Jersey-Supreme-Male-Asparagus-Roots/dp/B06XN5VZW5/

I think that's what @furrychickens is saying (jersey supreme vs knight?)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 08, 2018, 09:03:14 AM
I'm probably going to buy some online, maybe even Amazon like this https://www.amazon.com/Jersey-Supreme-Male-Asparagus-Roots/dp/B06XN5VZW5/

I think that's what @furrychickens is saying (jersey supreme vs knight?)

I think Jersey Knight is an older strain. Theyíre constantly developing new stuff.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 08, 2018, 09:08:03 AM
One strawberry is flowering! My blueberries are covered in buds and about to pop. Raspberry bushes look healthy, I've got peas and lettuce from seed coming up in a big container and saw a tiny bit of lettuce peeking up out of the ground in the raised bed too.

Harvested some basil (which is still indoors in pots due to our up and down temps) and put it on homemade pizza last night. Yum!

The tomatoes I started from seed seem to be VERY slow growing this year, most not putting out their true leaves yet. I have 3 that were big enough to put into small pots (these were the 3 that survived my experiment of "start a bunch of seeds, then run away overseas for a week"). So they've been around since, I guess, the 20th or so? Well, I guess the tomatoes are just going to run late this year. I started the rest on, I think, the 28th or 29th. So that hasn't really been that much time.

The problem being, I've got 8 peppers (that look GREAT) but I usually base my pepper planting on where I have space after putting in tomatoes and then give the rest away when I can't cram everything into the space I have. Clearly that is not going to work this year, as the peppers are ready to go in now (except I can't because weather) and the tomatoes are going to need probably until early June if they continue the way they are going. Hmph. Maybe the solution is (I can't believe I am saying this) to get more huge containers?

I'm really hoping the greens survive these crazy temps without bolting. We're having 80s one day and 50s the next. They must be very confused. And one spinach did already bolt on the day it hit 86. Booooo.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on May 08, 2018, 10:37:07 AM
@Tris Prior are they very leggy (or were they)? did they have good close light when they sprouted?

If so, they probably won't do well for a long time.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 08, 2018, 11:24:50 AM
No, they're not leggy, they have a grow light right on top of them. (Actually, the 3 that are doing well WERE leggy as they sprouted sooner than I thought and we were still out of town.) They just seem.... stalled out?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 08, 2018, 12:43:55 PM
@Tris Prior - I am wondering about the soil fertility.  Have you added fertilizer?  Potting soils have very little nutrients.  Is there good root development coming in out the bottom?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on May 08, 2018, 12:45:51 PM
@Tris Prior - I am wondering about the soil fertility.  Have you added fertilizer?  Potting soils have very little nutrients.  Is there good root development coming in out the bottom?

Yeah it's worth checking that.

Some seed starter soil has no nutrients.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 08, 2018, 02:02:11 PM
I usually wait until the first true leaves come out before adding fertilizer. That's worked every year up until now. Do you all fertilize when the plant only has its baby leaves?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 08, 2018, 02:11:40 PM
It is rather odd that they stalled now - I am now wondering if you haven't had enough warmth?  I would still try a little fertilizer now. But this recommendation is not coming from any real expertise or experience.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 08, 2018, 02:52:29 PM
We have had a warm day here and there but plenty of cooler ones too, and it's chilly in our apartment so maybe that is the problem. I don't use a heat mat or anything; haven't needed to before.

Thinking about it more, I think the peppers took at least as long to really get going this year. I just started them way sooner than the tomatoes. So maybe this is just how long it's going to take, in this apartment. (In our last place we couldn't control the heat and it was routinely above 80 degrees in our apartment all winter and spring.)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 10, 2018, 05:15:32 AM
So I was in the market recently for some insect row cover, to battle the cabbage moths that go for our kale.  I stumbled across an article on line about using tulle (wedding veil fabric) instead.  It has openings that are about 1/8", too small for the moths to get through.  Like you literally go to the fabric store and buy the stuff, then sew/join it into the shape you need.  The author even did research on the best way to join it, and it turns out regular old paper staples work the best.  Talk about easy! 

So I went to the fabric store and found out that yes indeed tulle is cheaper.  I bought some, and paid about 60% of the price I would have paid for ag insect barrier.  I stapled it together into the width and length I needed, and I've had it up for a week now.  It is draped over the medium hoops that stretch over my kale bed. I love it!  It's delightful to work with and water passes right through it.  It has already come through a thunderstorm with some medium winds with no problem.  Nice!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on May 12, 2018, 08:11:44 PM
I use king size mosquito netting, which is probably the same thing.  I put all brassicas in pots now so I donít have to worry about crop rotation when Iím not amending the soil in that bed.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on May 12, 2018, 08:44:08 PM
Harvested a couple carrots today. They were still pretty small but my 3-year-old was impatient lol.

I am a total gardening newb and didn't realize how big zucchini plants get. I planted two and they're crowding both each other and the rosemary that is planted in the same bed. What are the chances I can transplant one and have it survive? They're pretty big but not flowering yet.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Teachstache on May 12, 2018, 09:24:08 PM
My raspberry canes that I planted in the front yard plantbed are growing! My 8 tomato plants will be transplanted tomorrow. My pepper plants were unsuccessful, so I bought 8 for $4 at a local nursery. I plan to put those into pots tomorrow as well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: middo on May 13, 2018, 03:15:51 AM
Harvested a couple carrots today. They were still pretty small but my 3-year-old was impatient lol.

I am a total gardening newb and didn't realize how big zucchini plants get. I planted two and they're crowding both each other and the rosemary that is planted in the same bed. What are the chances I can transplant one and have it survive? They're pretty big but not flowering yet.

I wouldn't worry about moving the zucchini. When they start producing you are going to have too many anyway.  Just harvest them small and be ready to share with friends.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 13, 2018, 05:07:32 AM
Harvested a couple carrots today. They were still pretty small but my 3-year-old was impatient lol.

I am a total gardening newb and didn't realize how big zucchini plants get. I planted two and they're crowding both each other and the rosemary that is planted in the same bed. What are the chances I can transplant one and have it survive? They're pretty big but not flowering yet.

They would almost certainly die if you transplant them. Cucurbits do not like their roots being disturbed. Zucchini will grow away from each other as needed, but you can always trim leaves off the one crowding the rosemary to keep it from being shaded. Or pull one out if theyíre super crowded.

Even the most behaved modern varieties are roughly 3 feet wide bushes when mature. Some of the sprawly heirlooms like Costata Romanesco or Cocozelle will be 3 feet wide by 10 feet long or more by the end of the season.

Zucchini rampante (not sure on spelling, it was ďrampant zucchiniĒ in Italian) Iíve heard is even worse, as thatís based the C. moschata species (think butternut) versus C. pepo. Havenít tried that one, but saw it in a seed catalog this year.

If you really want two plants, just plant some seeds in a new spot. Zucchini are a good candidate for succession planting. They often slow down after the first month of picking, or succumb to diseases like mildew, etc.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 13, 2018, 10:30:38 AM
Grumble. After a couple weeks of pretty nice spring weather, the temps plunged. It's been in the 40s for a few days and yesterday it POURED. All warm-weather crops are now living indoors and they don't all fit under the grow light. The lettuce and spinach are loving it, though, and I have more flowers on one of the strawberries.

My tomatoes seem to, finally, be progressing and putting out their true leaves. One dropped dead, though. A variety I really wanted to grow again, too. (Sunrise Bumblebee). Oh well. I have too many tomato seedlings for the space anyway.

Hmm, has anyone used tulle to cover fruit bushes, so that the birds don't get the berries? I have bird netting, but I HATE that stuff, it gets all tangled and the branches start growing through the holes and it is generally just a huge PITA. Tulle seems like it'd be less unwieldy. Of course, they don't sell bird netting in small quantities so I have a huge roll of it.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: PinsAndArrows on May 13, 2018, 11:19:05 AM
Well, I've ended up planting less than I thought, but I'm pretty happy with my first proper garden, nonetheless!

Lots of strawberries -- about 20 plants total.

1 Blueberry plant, temporarily sharing it's container with rosemary and pansies.
3 varieties of tomato, cherry, slicer, and sauce
Mint, Lavender, and hopefully basil if it germinates successfully.

All container plants since we're renting, which makes for a lovely desk and patio area.

Looking forward to a good season!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 13, 2018, 12:18:51 PM
@Tris Prior no experience with it. Someone mentioned tulle as a alternative to row cover. What I donít know is whether itís UV stable, so it might be the type of thing to degrade in a single season?

Up to now I havenít bothered netting my berries. I lose some but not a ton. That equation may change.

óóó

Planting a good portion of my summer garden today. Extended forecast is good, soil is pretty warm in most spots, though when applying rabbit bedding to my tomato beds last fall, I was pretty optimistic about how fast a thick layer would decompose, so I had to pull a decent amount off the holes just to reach soil.

Doing some comparative trials of pole beans, cukes, and zukes this year. Most of the other summer plantings are proven varieties, though Iím trying a few new peppers for fun, one mildly hot, one super hot, and one for paprika.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 13, 2018, 02:49:55 PM
@furrychickens, are you guys already past last frost up there? Technically we've got a few more days. I am nervous. The peppers are ready to go in but not the tomatoes, obviously. And I don't dare put in the basil yet.

My first year that the blueberry bush made berries, the birds got nearly ALL of them. Ugh. So I feel like at minimum I need to net that. It's such a pain to put that stuff on, though, I get tangled up in it and I find it hard to cut down to size evenly (as all my berry bushes are in large containers; maybe it'd be easier if I were just draping it over a row of bushes in the ground).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 13, 2018, 03:19:09 PM
@furrychickens, are you guys already past last frost up there? Technically we've got a few more days. I am nervous. The peppers are ready to go in but not the tomatoes, obviously. And I don't dare put in the basil yet.

My first year that the blueberry bush made berries, the birds got nearly ALL of them. Ugh. So I feel like at minimum I need to net that. It's such a pain to put that stuff on, though, I get tangled up in it and I find it hard to cut down to size evenly (as all my berry bushes are in large containers; maybe it'd be easier if I were just draping it over a row of bushes in the ground).

Statistically we are 95%+ frost free by this point in the year, and the 10 day forecast has lows in mid 40s or above so I consider it safe to plant at this point.

Daveís Garden used to have a frost date calculator where you could punch in your zip code and it gives you the historical data for the nearest weather station. Try seeing if itís still there? It was the last time I looked.

Bird netting isnít too bad for rows of in-ground plants, Iíve seen the blueberry farm we pick at using it during the season and she gets it off really easily.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: aurorarouge on May 13, 2018, 04:27:38 PM
I love to garden, but we have a challenging yard for veggies. It's a small space to start with, plus it's partly shaded by oak trees, and we're close to the ocean so it's often cool and foggy. Everything is in strategically placed containers to make the best use of the limited sunshine and to foil the local gopher population. Our main plantings are:

I wish we had room for more, but luckily we live in an agricultural area and are able to get good, local produce pretty inexpensively. Good luck with all your gardening projects!


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on May 13, 2018, 09:34:59 PM
Harvested a couple carrots today. They were still pretty small but my 3-year-old was impatient lol.

I am a total gardening newb and didn't realize how big zucchini plants get. I planted two and they're crowding both each other and the rosemary that is planted in the same bed. What are the chances I can transplant one and have it survive? They're pretty big but not flowering yet.

You should be able to transplant the Rosemary.  The zucchini plants will just grow away from each other.  It's common practice to put a couple squash plants together in a "hill", so I wouldn't worry about it.

Over here, I can't seem to catch up on the weeds enough to get my plants in the ground, so the tomatoes and peppers are still hanging out in the greenhouse.  I'm hoping to take some more time off of work this week to get everything in.  5/15 is our "safe" date for planting out, but in recent years, I've been 1-2 weeks ahead of schedule without problems; this year it's just lack of time holding me back.

We did have a nice salad of homegrown lettuces, green onions and radishes yesterday, and have quite a few volunteer leeks popping up.  I'm finding garlic everywhere, and will probably have about 200 heads all told.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on May 14, 2018, 06:05:40 AM
I think some of our tomatoes have freeze damage, from being on the porch. :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 14, 2018, 06:25:16 AM
Have had a completely unexpected 2Ē of rain in last 6 hours but I donít think we sustained much damage, and beds are draining properly.

I think we may have a bad year for rabbit damage though. The local population is pretty high. Hope the foxes start working soon!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: cerat0n1a on May 14, 2018, 07:02:38 AM
It's also very easy to take cuttings of rosemary, as insurance - "heel cuttings" taken this time of year have a high success rate.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 14, 2018, 07:31:10 AM
I have sore muscles from the massive day in the garden that I had to celebrate mothers day. 

I have had hit and miss success with transplanting rosemary.  I potted up 7 plants that were grown in the garden and they all lived.  Four seasons on - I transplanted them to bigger pots and only one pot made it through the winter in the pot.  So now it is staying in the pot in perpetuity.

I dug around in my new garden and got all the soil shifted into beds.  I still need to fork the whole thing. The 15 Mary Washington asparagus crowns, 24 strawberry plants and 3 more rhubarb plants all got planted.  I probably now have way too much rhubarb.  The onions and leeks are now transplanted.  Half of the sunflowers are now in the ground.

I bought some pollinator plants at a plant sale and got them in the ground.  Snakeroot, green and grey coneflower, liatrus, tall coreopsis, heart leafed aster and milk weed.  I also bought some white pine seedlings and some sumac.  I love the colour of sumac in the fall and don't have any.  The white pines are for more privacy from the street.

We are still about two weeks away from frost free dates but a number of the plants in the greenhouse are so big that I really should get them into the garden.  The zukes and cukes are busting out of their pots so I might just stick them in the garden tonight and cover them with floating row covers.  The peppers are still tiny so they can hang on for a bit more.  The plan was to grow seedlings and also have hills of directly seeded squash and zukes and cukes to extend the harvest. 

The peas in the greenhouse are in flower and I am harvesting greens every second day.
It is all bursting forth.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on May 14, 2018, 09:33:15 AM
The upcoming May long weekend pretty much signals the end of my geographical separation from my garden site, meaning that in a few days I will be present consistently to tend to it appropriately. The weather has turned decidedly gorgeous here in the PNW, overnight lows now consistently in the double-digits Celsius, so when I head over to the island soon I will have a truck full of peppers, tomatoes (which are already bearing fruit!), cukes and zukes reading to be planted out. A relative was kind enough to give my garden some water yesterday, as well as giving me a video tour via FaceTime. Apart from the entire garden area needing trimming and mower treatment, things look amazing. Peas, lettuce, spinach, chard, radishes, garlic, kale, collards, cabbage, quinoa, potatoes and beets are thriving. This year it looks like I will be eating first crops of tomatoes, peas, and potatoes earlier than ever before. My garlic has never been this big and healthy before....I can only imagine how big the bulbs are going to be which I pull up the first ones in about a month. The blackberry and salal thickets that ring my garden are exploding with growth...and in terms of other foraging opportunities, nettles and salmonberries look to be especially prolific this year.

As as soon as I get to the garden I need to sow bush and pole beans ASAP....

One more pressing need....we must fill our 3000 gallon water cistern, which provides the water-lifeblood for my off grid acerage throughout the drought like conditions which inevitably seize the Southwest B.C. Coast come mid-Summer....

There is a lot to do, and normally I would look upon all this with relish....but I'm currently operating at what feels like 50% physical capacity so this is going to be somewhat challenging. It must get done though....and I suspect it will. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 14, 2018, 06:35:58 PM
Snort, yeah, "statistically" we shouldn't get any more frost, but I keep thinking of a couple years ago when it snowed around May 20 and I already had put my tomatoes in. We seem to keep having these "hundred-year" freak weather events every couple years or so....

At any rate, it violently stormed today so I am glad that nothing too fragile has been planted out yet. My blueberries are covered in blossoms and looks like one of the raspberries might be budding as well!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 14, 2018, 07:03:20 PM
Context is king. If your property wants to grow rabbit food, grow rabbits! ;)

(https://i.imgur.com/VkUbUJ3.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/lghSD72.jpg)

Nowhere near sufficient in feed from forage alone, nor am I attempting to do it, but being able to harvest a 5 gallon bucket of forage just about every day from only 1/10 acre is pretty good in my book. Comfrey and dandelions love this wet spring weather, I'm already on the second cutting from some of comfrey - normally 5-6 cuttings for the entire season is expected this far north.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 14, 2018, 07:04:20 PM
Hmm, has anyone used tulle to cover fruit bushes, so that the birds don't get the berries? I have bird netting, but I HATE that stuff, it gets all tangled and the branches start growing through the holes and it is generally just a huge PITA. Tulle seems like it'd be less unwieldy. Of course, they don't sell bird netting in small quantities so I have a huge roll of it.

I will be using tulle on my small cherry tree and my blueberry bushes for the first time soon, so I will let you know.  The article I found online that turned me on to tulle said that (a) it works great to cover fruit, and (b) it lasts more than one season, so we will find out if that's true. 

Agree -- I hate bird netting.  And deer netting (the harder, plastic-y netting).  What a pain.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 15, 2018, 05:35:46 AM
Things were getting dry around here, but awoke this morning to a gentle rain.  Everything is greening up and starting to bloom.  It is beautiful.  Hopefully I can find some time tonight to fork a couple of beds and plant some seeds. 

The seedlings are fantastically healthy - I almost can't believe that I have grown them myself. 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on May 15, 2018, 05:57:54 AM
@furrychickens I want to snuggle them so badly! I also wish that you were nearby so that I could contribute my astounding crop of dandelions to their forage snacks!

Per my usual, I've planted just about everything out well in advance of the last safe frost date. I watch the forecast for evening lows and cover everything with an assortment of junk if it gets too chilly. I've lost one basil seedling, but otherwise things are doing well.

Does anyone have any experience with plum trees? I planted a very small plum in 2016, it put out leaves last year, but hasn't shown any signs of growth this year. Most trees here are putting out leaves, and two of my apples are just about ready to flower. I'm wondering whether plums are just slow to stir, or whether our very cold winter killed it. Any ideas how long I should wait before giving up and replacing it?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 15, 2018, 06:02:50 AM
@Sun Hat it should have broken dormancy by now Iíd think. You can scratch some of the bark on the trunk or a major branch with your fingernail or a knife. If the cambium is green, still alive. If brown, itís dead.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on May 15, 2018, 06:35:47 AM
A friend's plum is showing flower buds while her apples are barely showing leaf buds.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Raenia on May 15, 2018, 06:41:00 AM
@furrychickens So cute!  What breeds do you keep?  We used to have Silver Foxes and a NZ/Flemish cross, but I've always wanted Rex.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 15, 2018, 06:47:10 AM
@furrychickens So cute!  What breeds do you keep?  We used to have Silver Foxes and a NZ/Flemish cross, but I've always wanted Rex.

The top picture is New Zealand in blue. The bottom is Rex. My breeding pair is Castor but also throws Black Otter.

I also have Silver Fox, a Flemish doe that I cross with our NZ buck, and a FG/NZ cross that I breed back to her father the NZ.

If I had just a bit more space and money Iíd love to add American Chins but rabbit math is sneaky like that, lol. In reality instead of adding more breeds, I need to make my current lines better.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 16, 2018, 08:27:54 PM
I decided to plant the tomatoes out tonight.   It is going to be warmer for the next week.  They are having trouble standing up in their pots. Some of them are flowering. I have to keep 16 plants for church until the 27th.   I might have to pot them up a size.  Asparagus continues to produce. 
Something dug up my new strawberry plants.   They are all replanted and protected with chicken wire.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on May 18, 2018, 10:53:21 AM
I decided to plant the tomatoes out tonight.   It is going to be warmer for the next week.  They are having trouble standing up in their pots. Some of them are flowering. I have to keep 16 plants for church until the 27th.   I might have to pot them up a size.  Asparagus continues to produce. 
Something dug up my new strawberry plants.   They are all replanted and protected with chicken wire.

Our nights are all below 10 for at least the next week, so the tomatoes are only out during the day.    :-(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Raenia on May 18, 2018, 11:11:00 AM
@furrychickens So cute!  What breeds do you keep?  We used to have Silver Foxes and a NZ/Flemish cross, but I've always wanted Rex.

The top picture is New Zealand in blue. The bottom is Rex. My breeding pair is Castor but also throws Black Otter.

I also have Silver Fox, a Flemish doe that I cross with our NZ buck, and a FG/NZ cross that I breed back to her father the NZ.

If I had just a bit more space and money Iíd love to add American Chins but rabbit math is sneaky like that, lol. In reality instead of adding more breeds, I need to make my current lines better.

I thought the second looked like a Rex, but I'd forgotten NZ come in blue.  American Chins are beautiful too, they were one of the breeds I considered originally.

On topic, I sadly don't have the space for an outdoor garden right now, but I planted a window box with rosemary and oregano a few weeks ago, and it's doing beautifully.  Can't wait to cook with the fresh herbs.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on May 18, 2018, 03:39:34 PM
ughhhh!!!! we havenít watered for a while and a half dozen of our peppers uhÖ. probably didnít make it. And weíre planting them tomorrow! itís like we got so close butÖ just not far enough
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 19, 2018, 06:08:32 AM
ughhhh!!!! we havenít watered for a while and a half dozen of our peppers uhÖ. probably didnít make it. And weíre planting them tomorrow! itís like we got so close butÖ just not far enough

Sucks :(

Iíve learned the hard way too many years that you have to check seedlings in pots daily.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 19, 2018, 06:56:37 AM
Noticed yesterday that two of my four young persimmon trees look great -- lush leaves, loaded with flowers -- and the other two are having some kind of weird leaf-curling problem.  ?  I can't see any insects on there, so maybe fungal?  Time to consult Dr. Google . . . 

With our house build project taking all our time, this is going to be a very minimalist year for the veg garden.  Just a few greens, tomatoes and peppers.  I outdoor-sowed my own greens, and yesterday I scooped up 6 tomato plants and 6 pepper plants at the farmer's market.  Feels like cheating.  I have a gorgeous grow cabinet, and it's so weird to think it will not even get used this year. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 19, 2018, 08:10:54 AM
Just thought I would share a pic of one of my grafted apple trees.  They are doing great!  One of them already has almost 15 inches of growth on the graft -- astonishing progress in only 8 weeks.  These guys make me so happy every time I look at them. 

Edit to add:  sorry, can't figure out how to turn the picture
 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 19, 2018, 08:33:20 AM
Just walked down to the vegetable garden, and overnight the g.d.f#&ing woodchuck tore up my nice new tulle cover.  Three big holes ripped into it.   Shit!  I am pretty sure that he would also have gone through the bird netting I used last year, but this tulle was working really well, so this hurts.

Here is hoping that the deer fence next spring keeps that fat greedy pig out.  We were planning to bury the fencing at least a foot, and flare it out a bit.   If that does not work we will have to resort to more serious measures. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 19, 2018, 08:49:59 AM
Just walked down to the vegetable garden, and overnight the g.d.f#&ing woodchuck tore up my nice new tulle cover.  Three big holes ripped into it.   Shit!  I am pretty sure that he would also have gone through the bird netting I used last year, but this tulle was working really well, so this hurts.

Here is hoping that the deer fence next spring keeps that fat greedy pig out.  We were planning to bury the fencing at least a foot, and flare it out a bit.   If that does not work we will have to resort to more serious measures.

My dad once poured concrete down a woodchuck burrow in frustration at garden damage, lol. I think it worked, canít remember for sure.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on May 20, 2018, 09:22:15 PM
Thanks everyone for the zucchini advice.

I thought I was done planting, but yesterday I saw bell peppers at the grocery store 6/$3 and decided to go for it. I tried to grow bell peppers from seed awhile back but they didn't sprout, then I planted  other things and ran out of room, but I've harvested enough carrots that there is room in one bed now.

My tomato plants are huge and flowering, with a couple pea-sized tomatoes. Zucchini is flowering too. I'm feeling optimistic about my first year of gardening!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 21, 2018, 04:30:24 AM
Been working so hard this long weekend.  I used a floating row cover on the tomatoes that I planted out.
Peas are setting pods! 
I can't go to my garden until at least 10.  The neighbour's dog barks at me until he figures out it is me - and the neighbours sleep in their screen porch so they are all awake by the time the dog figures out it is just me. 
My rhubarb needs harvesting- this is the first year that I will be able to really pick it. 
I planted three blackberry bushes - now I have five in total and really hoping for some fruit. 
The bush sized sweet cherry got severely pruned by the bunny (ies) but it seems to be recovering.
The strawberries I transplanted last fall are flowering.  The new ones I bought are only half thriving.  Good thing they were cheap.

Yesterday I inoculated one huge log with shiitake spawn and am also trying some other configurations with the shiitake spawn. I don't know if any of it will work.  I did one bucket of pasturized wood chips.  I had been saving an oak log and was going to pasturize it but it is well colonized by a yellow fungi so I am not going to bother.  I am also going to make a roll of maple branches and pasturized wood chips with the spawn strewn in and see what happens.  It was cheaper to buy the 5 pounds from this guy a couple of hours away than the last time I bought it.

I also did three buckets of oyster mushroom spawn.  Two are in straw and the third is in oak chips.  I am going to try and pasturize some sawdust using a black plastic bag and the greenhouse.  Hopefully I can just have a steady supply of material to keep adding to the bucket and keep the supply of mushrooms coming.  If this all works out I will have too many but it could all be an epic failure and be a waste of $55 and a whole lot of time. 

I need to plant out the rest of my plants and upsize the pots for all the church seedlings.  They have to wait one more week.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 21, 2018, 06:20:59 AM
Depending on bird pressure (which isnít very high here on our fruits), Iím tentatively optimistic we will get to try haskap/honey berry for the first time this year. Quite a bit of fruit has set. Theyíre supposed to ripen just before strawberries, so Iím guessing a couple more weeks? Strawberries here are usually starting mid/late June.

Too early to tell if fruit has set on any of our trees.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on May 21, 2018, 08:27:58 AM
It's ALIVE!!! My plum tree has two tiny buds at the base of the trunk. I'll be channeling Miracle Max and counting on mostly dead being still partly alive.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 21, 2018, 01:23:44 PM
Great news Sun Hat!

To Furry Chickens and the rest of the folks battling the birds for their fruit -- I noticed that our blueberries were ripening.  So last night I wrapped the bushes in tulle, secured to the trunk -- picture a lollypop wrapper.  I will keep you updated on how it works.  The material appears to be light enough that it will not weigh down the bushes too much, even when it's wet. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 21, 2018, 01:59:09 PM
We've been having end-times, maybe-build-an-ark rain since Friday. Ugh. Also, the high yesterday was around 48 so I'm really glad I haven't put my peppers in yet. Maybe next weekend.

My tomatoes are doing much better now - except for one that has curling leaves. None of the tomatoes have spent any time outside yet so it's not due to our crazy weather, and I can't think how it would pick up a disease in my house, they're too small to prune or transplant, and I haven't put any chemicals on it, so I'm guessing it's a water issue? (According to Dr. Google those are the causes). That plant seemed pretty dry this morning; I admit I haven't been on top of the watering since I was mostly out all weekend and keeping crazy hours. Anyway, hopefully at some point the rain will let up so I can start hardening off the tomatoes. Normally they'd be big and in the ground by now, but I guess with yesterday's temps, it's a good thing they weren't.

Trifele, I think I'll try the tulle this year - I just can't face another year of wrestling the bird netting. My blueberry bushes are still blossoming so I've got some time.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 21, 2018, 05:26:24 PM
I worked like a fiend today.  All but one bed is planted.  Almost all the manure is spread.  Peppers and squash are in the ground.   Many seeds have been sown.  Some straw has been spread around and some fencing is up. 
I am exhausted and can barely walk my feet hurt.  I am in a comfortable chair listening to birds and my bubble fountain.   I am hoping for gentle rain tonight.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 22, 2018, 05:10:00 PM
A before and after of my new vegetable garden
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on May 23, 2018, 07:50:58 AM
What a project Frugal Lizard! It looks like you have a glorious little farm!

As the owner of some raised beds like those in your "before" picture, may I ask what prompted you to switch to an on/in-ground approach?

I hope that your body has forgiven you for all of the hard work. I know that a day of digging always makes me appreciative of simple joys like a heating pad and the comfort of lying down.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 23, 2018, 10:03:13 AM
@sunhat - the beds were not producing well - even with generous amounts of manure.  I find that raised beds dry out too quickly here.  And I wanted to expand the capacity.
When I got the soil out of the beds, it became apparent that one of the problems was very little organic matter in the soil.  After the top inch or soil the soil was so heavy.  Hopefully all the measures that I am taking now result in a higher yield without needing too much irrigation.  It is not my house so I don't have regular access to water.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 23, 2018, 10:21:40 AM
@sunhat - the beds were not producing well - even with generous amounts of manure.  I find that raised beds dry out too quickly here.  And I wanted to expand the capacity.
When I got the soil out of the beds, it became apparent that one of the problems was very little organic matter in the soil.  After the top inch or soil the soil was so heavy.  Hopefully all the measures that I am taking now result in a higher yield without needing too much irrigation.  It is not my house so I don't have regular access to water.

I think my climate is similar to yours, and yeah the raised beds dry out fast unless you keep them mulched. The compost I bought to fill them originally also did a horrible job with water retention if it was left bare to the sun, including in-ground beds I used it for amending. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 23, 2018, 01:24:56 PM
I have a mixture of raised beds and in-ground beds.  Last spring I started an experimental new raised bed by piling rotten logs in the bottom of it, then compost and soil on top of that. (Hugelkultur meets raised bed).  Last summer the plants in there did fine.  The soil seemed to resist drying out more than the other raised beds, which I'm attributing to those rotten logs buried in there, that were acting like an underground sponge.

Last night I dug into that bed for the first time this year to plant tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.  The soil looks great.  Will keep you posted on how the plants do this year, as those logs keep decomposing.   

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 24, 2018, 08:42:45 AM
It's warm out, finally! Three peppers went into the ground yesterday. Hoping to get the rest of them, and some tomatoes, in this weekend. About half of the tomatoes are still too little to get planted, but I should be able to get a decent number of them in the ground.

Found out there's a neighborhood plant swap near me on Saturday so I'll be going to that.

Can we talk about flowers here? I was given two hanging baskets by a neighbor. The shallow round kind that have that sort of brown mossy stuff in the bottom instead of an actual pot, and then the dirt goes on top of them. Anyone have suggestions for something that's easy-care to put in them? I know absolutely nothing about flowers, only veggies, so I'm not sure where to start. I'm going to put them on my balcony which gets good afternoon sun. Flower-wise, my favorites are long skinny flowers in blue/purple tones like larkspur and delphinium and lavender, but I feel like those would look weird in such a shallow hanging basket. Maybe petunias? Hm.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on May 25, 2018, 03:20:03 PM
Tris Prior - lavender might be worth considering, since it's drought tolerant, and I suspect that those baskets dry out quickly. I don't remember what their root system is like though. Petunias are reliable standards if you don't want to chance it.

Frugal Lizard - I hear your pain about heavy soil. The mix that I had delivered to initially start my raised boxes was supposed to be 25% compost, but it was still very heavy in clay. I've had to add a lot of mulch and manure just to lighten it up. On the plus side, canvassing my neighbours for unwanted leaves has been a good way to meet people on my street.

Spring here went from late and cold all the way to blazing heat in the space of a few weeks, and all with little rain. Now that all of my plants are in, I'm going to start adding a layer of leaves around those that are established, in the hopes of retaining moisture. Since I don't have a mulching mower to break them down, I'll be using them whole, on the assumption that that's how it works in forests. Has anyone had successes or failures to report with this approach?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 25, 2018, 07:24:52 PM
Backyard garden is just about done - I'll probably stick a couple of basils here and there where there is space. Everything looks happy! Finally some warm weather!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 26, 2018, 07:11:32 PM
Worked on the church garden today.  Tomorrow the messy church service will be a blessing of the seeds and then planting the tomato plants.  We already planted the cukes, zukes, peppers and basil.  We also planted asparagus and rhubarb.  All the produce from this garden goes to a food bank that the church supports.

I also puttered around at home in the heat.  It was unbelievable.  Tonight I planted a few exotic tomatoes and peppers in my own garden while I watered and mulched. 
A whole bunch of stuff that I planted last weekend is up.  Except I keep having to replant the cukes and zukes.  I think I might have the chipmunks foiled.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on May 26, 2018, 07:14:04 PM

A whole bunch of stuff that I planted last weekend is up.  Except I keep having to replant the cukes and zukes.  I think I might have the chipmunks foiled well fed.
FTFY
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 27, 2018, 05:11:52 AM
Going to be a bumper summer raspberry crop. The blooms are covering the plants.

First hilling on potatoes. Soil level is already tall enough in the beds that I might not be able to hill again. Might try potato towers next year, as Iíve got a number of odd spots I could put 2x2 foot boxes in that arenít currently growing anything.

Will have first salad soon, very close to harvest size.

Way behind on weeding, and I forgot just how bloody persistent the ďsporeĒ form of a rabbit parasite is and seem to have reinfected my herd by feeding weeds, so now those weeds are much less useful to me, as the chickens love their salad - but they can only eat so much of it. Just the clippings from my grass paths and weeds from the beds is enough for them, so I may start eradicating dandelions again, weíll see.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Raenia on May 27, 2018, 06:30:42 AM
Way behind on weeding, and I forgot just how bloody persistent the ďsporeĒ form of a rabbit parasite is and seem to have reinfected my herd by feeding weeds, so now those weeds are much less useful to me, as the chickens love their salad - but they can only eat so much of it. Just the clippings from my grass paths and weeds from the beds is enough for them, so I may start eradicating dandelions again, weíll see.

You do know that dandelions are edible by people, too, right? ;)  I really wanted to try making dandelion jelly (https://teaspoonofspice.com/make-dandelion-jelly) this year, but we didn't know if the neighbors use pesticides on their lawn so wasn't comfortable foraging them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 27, 2018, 07:10:19 AM
Way behind on weeding, and I forgot just how bloody persistent the ďsporeĒ form of a rabbit parasite is and seem to have reinfected my herd by feeding weeds, so now those weeds are much less useful to me, as the chickens love their salad - but they can only eat so much of it. Just the clippings from my grass paths and weeds from the beds is enough for them, so I may start eradicating dandelions again, weíll see.

You do know that dandelions are edible by people, too, right? ;)  I really wanted to try making dandelion jelly (https://teaspoonofspice.com/make-dandelion-jelly) this year, but we didn't know if the neighbors use pesticides on their lawn so wasn't comfortable foraging them.

Oh, I know, but I canít eat sugar (so no dandelion jelly) and Iíve had enough severe reactions to leafy greens besides spinach (several make me deathly ill) that Iím scared to try the greens.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on May 27, 2018, 08:35:12 AM
Raenia - I made dendelion jelly a few years ago using blooms from a local sports field, since I knew that the community centre didn't use pesticides. The recipe called for a fair bit of lemon juice, resulting in a slightly citrus, floral jelly that was somewhat like honey in taste. I highly recommend trying it! I haven't made it since, since I discovered that while I love making jams and jellies, I don't actually eat them :)

In my garden, I've learned the hard way that I should have looked up what quinoa and rutabaga seedlings look like as soon as I planted them. It turns out that they look identical to two varieties of weeds that I have in spades, so I think that I've plucked out all of the quinoa and rutabaga. Alas. On the bright side, that opens up space for a couple of other things that I forgot to plan space for.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: TheWifeHalf on May 27, 2018, 09:17:15 AM
Within the last 2 years, 7 new families have moved into houses within walking distant. (All but the house directly across the road, I suspect they're going to stay there until they HAVE to move.) I've met a few, this is a small country town that has the attitude 'You live your life, we'll live ours'  but talk when we see someone walk down the sidewalk - if we're out.

 I have more variegated hostas than I need. 25 years ago my brother in law and his wife bought a house in the nearest city, which came with a bunch of hostas, that they didn't like. I took them, divided them, and have been dividing them ever since.

Last week I was digging a few up, wondering where in the yard I was going to put them, and noticed the lady 2 doors down planting some flowers by her mailbox.  I walked down, introduced myself, and asked her if she'd like some. I have a bunch in my front yard, I told her in the front of the big blue house with the red door. I have to divide them every 9-10 years.

She seemed happy I asked, and since she was out front by her mailbox, with an about 2 yr old nearby, and a 9 mo old (she told me) in a stroller, so I told her I'd put them in a wheelbarrow and wheel them down. So I did? How country is that? (City Boy TheHusbandHalf is always glad he's not home when I do stuff like that!)

We have a burning bush that our neighbor (69, has since died) said her kids gave to Pressie (the original owner of our house, who we bought the house from).
When we drive down the road, I see many plants that started life here, though the owners don't know that.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Raenia on May 27, 2018, 10:36:48 AM
Oh, I know, but I canít eat sugar (so no dandelion jelly) and Iíve had enough severe reactions to leafy greens besides spinach (several make me deathly ill) that Iím scared to try the greens.

Fair enough :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 27, 2018, 11:49:43 AM
Oh, I know, but I canít eat sugar (so no dandelion jelly) and Iíve had enough severe reactions to leafy greens besides spinach (several make me deathly ill) that Iím scared to try the greens.

Fair enough :)

Same problem here.  I found out the hard way that I have a severe allergy to mustard greens, and now I am verrry cautious about trying any new ones.   I usually stick with my tried-and-true spinach and kale.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 27, 2018, 12:10:19 PM
Gave away a few seedlings to a friend.
Planted a few more in my own garden.
Planted the rest of the ones I grew for the church at the church this morning.
It is so unbelievably hot today we are hanging out on the porch looking at the garden.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 27, 2018, 02:20:30 PM
My country garden plot is taken down and done. Had a number of trellises to dismantle and horrible landscape fabric paths to pull up.

It was a good experience to try it for two years, but much too far away, though I think any off-site garden is too far away for me, unless it was a literal next door neighbor. I like being able to work gardening into my day in short bursts, not drive and have to get 4, 6, or more hours in before driving back.

Way behind on my home garden, weeds everywhere, but with that task no longer hanging over my head I can focus on the house and get it in shape. I have some empty beds still, just waiting to see if my sweet potato slips ever show up in the mail.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on May 27, 2018, 02:45:27 PM
It's 100+ today and we're gone for the weekend :\

I watered most things heavily friday before leaving. But it's super warm for May right now. Hoping things survive...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on May 27, 2018, 07:16:14 PM
Made soup today with carrots, rosemary, and a couple parsley leaves from the garden. I planted a bunch of parsley seeds but only one grew and it's pretty scraggly. I've been waiting for it to fill in but it doesn't look like it's going to. The carrots have been really successful, and the kids love picking them and eating them straight out of the ground (after washing, of course), so I think I'll try planting another crop in the fall.

Spied a couple zucchini that I expect will be ready to eat by next weekend.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on May 28, 2018, 08:55:42 AM
Apart from the immense satisfaction that comes with producing your own food - last night featured a big garden salad and freshly caught fish - there is also the fact that I find the garden just a wonderful place TO BE.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/898/42345003772_244fcddda6_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on May 28, 2018, 05:06:53 PM
It's 100+ today and we're gone for the weekend :\

I watered most things heavily friday before leaving. But it's super warm for May right now. Hoping things survive...

Outdoors things seemed to have survived.

Some of the peppers inside our 4 season porch though.... :\ I think I should have brought them inside. Will see how they recover but it's not looking good.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 29, 2018, 07:27:02 AM
My new garden is coming along.
Harvested a small bowl of the most super sweet tasting snow peas.
Beets, cilantro, shelling peas, snow peas, lettuce, cukes, zukes, potatoes, new asparagus, and spicy greens are all up.
Transplanted tomatoes, zukes, rhubarb, peppers, basil and onions all appear to be settling in. 

Chipmunk barrier is holding steady.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Finntastic on May 29, 2018, 08:57:20 AM
Got about 100Ė120 fruit trees which of currently only bananas, limes and lamiyai are bringing fruits but 2 years from now should have plenty more than we can eat.

Should mention that this farm locates at my weekend offgrid house in Northern Thailand
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 29, 2018, 09:20:36 AM
My spinach is doing so well this year, even in the heat! Usually it's sparse with small leaves and it bolts as soon as it gets a whiff of 90-degree temps. This year I'm getting huge crisp leaves as big as my hand.

The cilantro did bolt, though. Oh well. I don't have much luck with cilantro; should probably give up on trying to grow it as it only does well for a few weeks. I don't have the patience to keep starting it from seed over and over again like I've read you're supposed to.

All tomatoes are now in the ground and look good!

And, I'm so excited - my purple raspberry bush that did exactly jack shit last year is starting to form buds! Not many, but as I got zero berries last year from it and it never even flowered, this is progress.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 29, 2018, 11:53:36 AM
Got about 100Ė120 fruit trees which of currently only bananas, limes and lamiyai are bringing fruits but 2 years from now should have plenty more than we can eat.

Should mention that this farm locates at my weekend offgrid house in Northern Thailand

Green with envy even if I have no idea what lamiyai are.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Jon_Snow on May 29, 2018, 12:53:58 PM
My spinach is doing so well this year, even in the heat! Usually it's sparse with small leaves and it bolts as soon as it gets a whiff of 90-degree temps. This year I'm getting huge crisp leaves as big as my hand.

I've been enjoying a wonderful spinach crop as well Tris...unfortunately a warmer and drier than normal May has much of it bolting with abandon now. I've made a note NOT to plant Samish variety spinach again...this bolted a full month before my Tyee and Olympia varieties. Oh, how I will miss the wonderful fresh spinach salads and spinach based pastas.

One positive is that once I clear out all the spinach that will open up some much needed garden space. Not sure what I'm going to plant there, probably this coming weekend....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Finntastic on May 30, 2018, 02:07:20 AM
Got about 100Ė120 fruit trees which of currently only bananas, limes and lamiyai are bringing fruits but 2 years from now should have plenty more than we can eat.

Should mention that this farm locates at my weekend offgrid house in Northern Thailand

Green with envy even if I have no idea what lamiyai are.

Sorry about that I always thought it was the English name for it, but turned out its called Longan in English
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on May 30, 2018, 04:23:59 AM
Got about 100Ė120 fruit trees which of currently only bananas, limes and lamiyai are bringing fruits but 2 years from now should have plenty more than we can eat.

Should mention that this farm locates at my weekend offgrid house in Northern Thailand

Green with envy even if I have no idea what lamiyai are.

Sorry about that I always thought it was the English name for it, but turned out its called Longan in English

Thank you Finntastic! I have never heard of the Longan either, but I just googled it and learned something new. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 30, 2018, 07:27:19 AM


I've been enjoying a wonderful spinach crop as well Tris...unfortunately a warmer and drier than normal May has much of it bolting with abandon now. I've made a note NOT to plant Samish variety spinach again...this bolted a full month before my Tyee and Olympia varieties.

You know, I've tried all the heirloom longstanding and slow-bolting varieties with little luck - and the spinach that's performing well now are these boring Bonnie Spinach plants I picked up at Home Depot on sale. Go figure.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 30, 2018, 03:23:30 PM
We need some rain here.  North end of town got some on Saturday evening.  None here.  Going to have to water with city water again today.  It has been windy and 30C today.  Might be some showers tonight but I am not sure if I can risk the seedling going until tomorrow if it doesn't rain.  Rain barrels are empty.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 31, 2018, 04:53:32 AM
We need some rain here.  North end of town got some on Saturday evening.  None here.  Going to have to water with city water again today.  It has been windy and 30C today.  Might be some showers tonight but I am not sure if I can risk the seedling going until tomorrow if it doesn't rain.  Rain barrels are empty.

We got some needed rain yesterday, otherwise I was due to water this morning before we go up to a bit over 30C again.

Could poke your finger in the soil to judge moisture and make a call then. I find everything does much better with rain than city water, but city water isnít hugely expensive, so I irrigate whenever needed.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 31, 2018, 05:05:10 AM
I ended up watering.  Surface was completely dry.  Peppers are in bud to  actually blooming.  Most of the seeds are just up.  I have straw over most areas but am waiting for the actual rows to come up before putting the last bits of straw down.  It hasn't rained yet.   Looks like it could today.

Harvested greens, basil, peas and chard.  Nothing tastes better than peas straight from the pod.  Greenhouse pea experiment is a success.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on May 31, 2018, 06:40:33 AM
Peas are definitely something best very fresh! I spotted my first pea bloom yesterday. Yield wonít be incredible as Iíve got them in my most marginal bed but theyíre growing better there than anything I tried last year, even with this crazy heat.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on May 31, 2018, 07:13:25 AM
Forecast yesterday was storms all day long. When it still hadn't rained, and didn't look like it might, by the time I got off work around 6, I went and watered. An hour later we had torrential downpours. Oh well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on May 31, 2018, 07:32:31 AM
Forecast yesterday was storms all day long. When it still hadn't rained, and didn't look like it might, by the time I got off work around 6, I went and watered. An hour later we had torrential downpours. Oh well.
If you hadn't watered it probably wouldn't have. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on June 01, 2018, 08:24:34 AM
Forecast yesterday was storms all day long. When it still hadn't rained, and didn't look like it might, by the time I got off work around 6, I went and watered. An hour later we had torrential downpours. Oh well.
If you hadn't watered it probably wouldn't have. 

Despite everything I know about science and causation, I feel this way too. Just like how I plan to stave off rain by bringing a raincoat to a volunteer gig this weekend.  That said, I'm loving the smell of cool post-rain mornings with the air smelling heavily of lilacs.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 01, 2018, 08:44:44 AM
We are hot and humid with promised thunderstorms.  We are not parched but a thunderstorm or 3 would be welcome.  This 83% humidity is getting to me.  At least the night-time temperatures are warm enough that the tomatoes and sweet potatoes can get planted this weekend.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 01, 2018, 08:55:54 AM
My plants must be so confused. Yesterday it was nearly 90. Right now: 57. Ugh.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: StarBright on June 01, 2018, 09:02:59 AM
I haven't posted here this year yet. We had an abnormally cold spring (still having lots of 30/40 degree days in April) and now we have temps in high 80s.

My spring plantings failed miserably. My peas just sort of petered out and my spinach was puny and then bolted. Broccoli, collards and brussel sprouts might make it though.

My fingers are crossed for tomatoes, green beans and squash and I usually have luck with beets. I also planted more herbs than usual this year and I planted some cut flowers this year (zinnias and blacked eyed susans).

The thing that I am most excited about is that I made a cool double tee-pee with a connecting arch for the entrance to my garden. Between that and the flowers, it should at least look pretty.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 01, 2018, 10:53:28 AM
@StarBright are you planning to grow anything on the arch?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: StarBright on June 01, 2018, 11:02:00 AM
@furrychickens - green beans!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 01, 2018, 11:03:17 AM
@furrychickens - green beans!

Nice! Iíve thought about doing a trellis arch over my front walk. Me being a fan of redneck engineering, it will probably be a bent cattle panel, lol.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: StarBright on June 01, 2018, 11:04:31 AM
@furrychickens - green beans!

Nice! Iíve thought about doing a trellis arch over my front walk. Me being a fan of redneck engineering, it will probably be a bent cattle panel, lol.

I used two hula hoops (painted dark green)!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 01, 2018, 06:15:43 PM
Encore lettuce mix from Johnnyís made a tasty salad base tonight, impressed with how it handled the crazy heat and was only barely bitter.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 01, 2018, 06:55:41 PM
"There's no such thing as sustainable, only exponential growth, or exponential decay" --> https://youtu.be/nEQRjMb0Q_Y?t=9m30s
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on June 03, 2018, 06:01:34 PM
Planted, irrigated, and mulched the rest of the peppers today. Also mulched the previously planted peppers and relocated raspberries. Up to:


Fun to see them grow.

Was surprised how big the plants were for June - it's only June 3rd! We still have 3 full growing months! If these plants survive (go away blight...) we're going to have huge pepper/tomato plants. I pruned a decent amount of the lower tomato leaves, too. Hard to believe how much tomato plants just explode with growth once they get settled and have warmth, sun, and water.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 03, 2018, 06:12:02 PM
Today I finished my 2 week project of clearing 3 raised beds (2 years worth of weeds), adding massive amounts of compost, and planting.  Now in the garden are 9 tomato plants, 4 sweet peppers, and a bunch of sweet potatoes.  Still to go are 3 cucumber plants, but they will have to wait, tomorrow is supposed to rain all day.  Plus some beans will get planted once the rain stops.

And I am exhausted.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 04, 2018, 06:58:56 AM
Trying out my new herb drying rack with some oregano. Unfortunately also dealing with some pest damage on oregano and mint. Anyone dealt with tiny red bugs that leave spots in the leafs?

(https://i.imgur.com/SEBAtmX.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 04, 2018, 08:17:41 AM
I spent a little time Saturday afternoon and a big chunk of time Sunday morning in the garden.  I think they are full - no more seedlings or new plants will fit. I got most of it weeded.  Most of the straw mulch is down - although I have a little bit more for the areas I just planted once the seeds are up. Things are coming along nicely.  Good blooms on the plants I grew from seed.  The roots I bought have all sprouted shoots - and hopefully in a couple of years my days of buying rhubarb and asparagus are done.


And tonight it is dropping to 6C overnight - WTF it is June.  I have covered my peppers and cukes etc with floating row covers.  The tomatoes are a little more challenging.  I think I am just going to fill every jug I have with more rain barrel water and arrange them around them for a little thermal mass.  I can't cover them unless I take out the stakes and many of the plants are all twisted around them. 

Nice herb drying rack @furrychickens .  No experience with red bugs.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 04, 2018, 09:04:35 AM
We were 28C two days ago, yesterday was 23, today is 10 (10!!!) and raining.  No single digits forecast though, which is good because the sweet potatoes don't like cold.

Tiny red insects, could they be red spider mites?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 04, 2018, 09:21:31 AM
This weather's been crazy. Nearly 90 one day, 50s the next. Not as cold as you all are north of the border, though! Yikes!

Frugal Lizard, do you have a frost blanket? I have had success in the past sort of clipping the frost blanket around the tomato cages. You have to clip it securely though or else it'll become a sail in the wind.

My spinach bolted. Boooooo.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 04, 2018, 09:32:15 AM
@Tris Prior I do not have such a thing.   
@RetiredAt63  check your overnight lows. 
I am not going to spend anymore on stuff.   Will take photos of my water jig installation and report on how it all works out. 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 04, 2018, 09:53:46 AM
 
RetiredAt63  check your overnight lows. 

lows 10, 11, 11, 9, 12, 10, 12
highs 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 22, 23

This is June?

Great gardening/cycling temperatures though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 04, 2018, 09:56:49 AM
I hear that. Every year I think about how, while most of my plants are grown from free seed, I end up spending an awful lot of money combating the challenging growing conditions we have here - everything from frost blankets because it gets freaking cold in JUNE sometimes, to bird netting so that I get to enjoy at least some of my berries, to rabbit fencing to keep the bunnies out of the lettuce, to various organic remedies for whatever's chewing on my leaves. It's a wonder we all manage to grow anything edible sometimes, you know? haha.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 04, 2018, 10:31:42 AM
@RetiredAt63 you have way better weather than me!  overnight 6, 7, 9, for the next three nights!
@Tris Prior - I already bought netting that is finer than a chipmunk head to try and get something!  I am cutting myself off.
 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 04, 2018, 10:33:24 AM
We were 28C two days ago, yesterday was 23, today is 10 (10!!!) and raining.  No single digits forecast though, which is good because the sweet potatoes don't like cold.

Tiny red insects, could they be red spider mites?

That was a possible pest that came up in my searches. Will have to pay more attention and figure out what my strategy is going to be for intervention.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on June 04, 2018, 11:02:24 AM
First harvest of snap peas is ready! First non-herb harvest of the summer.

My tomato plants are huge and flowering all over the place. Hoping it will be a better year for tomatoes than last year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 04, 2018, 11:38:13 AM
Picked some not quite ripe haskap in my excitement spotting them turn color. (Apparently they turn color 1-2 weeks before being dead ripe, like blackberries.) At this stage I find them edible, though sour with a slight astringent taste. Like a not fully ripe blueberry crossed with a not dead-ripe gooseberry, if that makes any sense. Excited, as I've been waiting 2 years to try these things, though there's so much new breeding work being done on them that my plants are already obsolescent. They're very pretty shrubs, though, and hopefully will bear nicely. Yields are supposed to be 4-6lb per bush when mature.

(https://i.imgur.com/TpIr33q.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/jOSol5K.jpg)

For how slow our spring seemed in April and early May, it's caught up in a hurry!

(https://i.imgur.com/8v5gAC5.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 04, 2018, 02:06:50 PM
@furrychickens - Only problem with haskaps are that squirrels, chipmunks, robins and every other large bird loves them - and not yet ripe.  Damn tasty if any are left to get ripe.

I put a bunch of jugs of water along the row of tomatoes to act as a little wind break for them.  I am feeling pretty happy with how it is coming together from no garden to this.  I also am thrilled with how well the basil, peppers and cukes are doing in the greenhouse.  We have had enough sun today that it is a toasty 26C today.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 04, 2018, 02:52:26 PM
@RetiredAt63 you have way better weather than me!  overnight 6, 7, 9, for the next three nights!


We may drown instead.  We had already had 1.4" of rain when I left for Ottawa, and I drove through 2 downpours - I heard people referring to them as monsoons.  It will be interesting to check the rain gauge when I get back.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 04, 2018, 06:38:32 PM
@RetiredAt63 you have way better weather than me!  overnight 6, 7, 9, for the next three nights!


We may drown instead.  We had already had 1.4" of rain when I left for Ottawa, and I drove through 2 downpours - I heard people referring to them as monsoons.  It will be interesting to check the rain gauge when I get back.
oops I take that back.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 04, 2018, 06:58:37 PM
Wasn't sure if soil was warm enough to reliably direct seed melons, but one hill has 100% germination already after only a few days in the ground. Growing an Ananais type (Dove) and a Muskmelon variety(Hannah's Choice)

Last year I grew the recommended way, from transplant, and slugs killed every single plant. Will be interesting to see if these are hardier
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 05, 2018, 05:14:50 AM
Our one mature cherry tree came ripe, and we picked two quarts from it.  :)  The tulle worked like a charm -- SO much better than bird netting.   (I hate how bird netting snags on the leaves and branches and pulls fruit off when you move it).


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on June 05, 2018, 06:08:03 AM
I love the greenhouse frugal lizard!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: asauer on June 05, 2018, 07:48:33 AM
Excited!  Yesterday was the first harvest that yielded enough for dinner for the 4 of us.  Made Moroccan tagine!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 05, 2018, 08:06:55 AM
Trifele, that looks sooooo much easier than the netting! I think I am going to go get some this weekend before the blueberries get any bigger. I have not been able to face putting the netting on, haha. I told Boyfriend he was going to help me with it this week and he let out a huge groan!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 05, 2018, 01:44:40 PM
Trifele, that looks sooooo much easier than the netting! I think I am going to go get some this weekend before the blueberries get any bigger. I have not been able to face putting the netting on, haha. I told Boyfriend he was going to help me with it this week and he let out a huge groan!

Yeah -- much easier.  I got mine at Joanne craft store.  It was $1.59 on sale per yard, regularly $3.00 a yard.  Watch out for the width of the fabric -- between different makers it varied from 53" up to 108" -- it's on the sticker at the top of the bolt.  (No idea why it varies so much.)  I went with the wider version.  I just used a regular paper stapler to join pieces together, and then tied it on with twine.  I've got it on the blueberry bushes too.  Holding up well so far, and it does fine in the rain and wind.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 05, 2018, 01:51:46 PM
On the tulle, Iím letting yíall (and some folks in FB groups) be guinea pigs for me before buying any, lol.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on June 05, 2018, 01:54:09 PM
On the tulle, Iím letting yíall (and some folks in FB groups) be guinea pigs for me before buying any, lol.

huh I just realized you changed your name/picture, hah
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 05, 2018, 04:27:50 PM
On the tulle, Iím letting yíall (and some folks in FB groups) be guinea pigs for me before buying any, lol.

huh I just realized you changed your name/picture, hah


Selfie with a bunny.  Love it!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 06, 2018, 02:55:25 PM
Damage on herbs and other plants from the 4 lined plant bug - is wait and see if predators show up a valid approach with this pest in your experience? Or should I consider spraying something to keep damage from getting worse.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: mountain mustache on June 06, 2018, 09:52:29 PM
Ugh, I put my beloved tomato plants outside finally (our last frost date is June 2nd), and I'm worried about them. Because we are at such high altitude, the sun is really strong, and the leaves got burned in the first couple of days. I weaned them slowly by putting them outside for a few days before I permanently put them out, but it still seems like being out 24/7 is affecting the much worse. It's so hard to garden here! I'm actually having a lot of success with baby greens, chard, and herbs...but everything else is struggling. My peppers have barely grown in 2 weeks, the kale is questionable, and spinach is pretty stunted as well. It's a little heart breaking to see plants struggle after caring for them inside all spring...it makes me want a greenhouse, where I can keep them protected all year round
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 07, 2018, 04:45:41 AM
Ugh, I put my beloved tomato plants outside finally (our last frost date is June 2nd), and I'm worried about them. Because we are at such high altitude, the sun is really strong, and the leaves got burned in the first couple of days. I weaned them slowly by putting them outside for a few days before I permanently put them out, but it still seems like being out 24/7 is affecting the much worse. It's so hard to garden here! I'm actually having a lot of success with baby greens, chard, and herbs...but everything else is struggling. My peppers have barely grown in 2 weeks, the kale is questionable, and spinach is pretty stunted as well. It's a little heart breaking to see plants struggle after caring for them inside all spring...it makes me want a greenhouse, where I can keep them protected all year round

I feel for you @mountain mustache. I've struggled with sunburn at various times as well.  I've had some luck by suspending utility/safety fencing (that plastic mesh stuff like snow fencing, only it's green) above them as a shade 'cloth'.  Sometimes one layer and sometimes two, slightly off set.   It takes the edge off the sun . . .  I've got my three one year old paw paw trees and 10 newborn grafted apple trees under that stuff right now.  The paw paws had sunburn last summer, so I'm nursing them through it this year.  So far so good. 

I prefer the safety fencing to any kind of cloth or netting. Much easier to work with.  Good luck!   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 07, 2018, 04:55:27 AM
In my limited experience with sunburned plants, they seem to adapt much better the smaller you put them out. I used to have lots of issues with basil getting sunburnt but now I put them out when they get their first true leaves and are still very small, no issues.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 07, 2018, 06:30:55 AM
@RetiredAt63 you have way better weather than me!  overnight 6, 7, 9, for the next three nights!


We may drown instead.  We had already had 1.4" of rain when I left for Ottawa, and I drove through 2 downpours - I heard people referring to them as monsoons.  It will be interesting to check the rain gauge when I get back.
oops I take that back.

Total 2" in 2 days.  Plus we continue to be cloudy and showery.  My baby plants are not thrilled with the cooler temperatures, but none have died.   It's 13 now, and a high of 20.  This is June?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Serendip on June 07, 2018, 11:00:20 AM
We planted a bunch of seedling last week and sadly, the swiss chard has been munched on by some critter...perhaps the same thing that has been eating our radish tops!?

The kale & sui choi took well and we also made an excellent parsley/chive pesto last week. So far, gardening success! Patio tomatoes look relatively happy and lemonbalm is off & running (in a positive way).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 08, 2018, 04:06:04 PM
Harvested the rest of the cherries from our one tree -- another two quarts. 

Picked the first raspberries and blueberries of the year.  Happy happy, joy joy!

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on June 10, 2018, 05:35:57 AM
Had to throw a rabbit (a young one) out of the garden yesterdayÖ. how they get through our fence is a mystery but the poor thing couldnít figure out how to get out so it obviously was confused how to get out, too.

Will have to shore up the fences AGAIN. Though I think it's because we have brick along most of the bottom of the fence line but since we expanded it, we don't everywhere yet.

But I really don't want rabbits eating our asparagus and other garden plants. Ugh.

Bright side is I got to inspect all the peppers/tomatoes while chasing the rabbit around and they look good :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on June 10, 2018, 06:49:54 AM
I've been remarkably lucky when it comes to rabbits, since I don't have rabbit-proof fencing and there are loads of the little critters in my neighborhood. While there was a bunny living under my shed over the winter, I haven't seen any in the yard since spring. As quacky as it sounds, I've been following a Pinterest tip and distributing dog hair around my garden to deter the rabbits with the smell. My dog spends most of the day inside, where it's cooler, but will enthusiastically chase any bunnies when he is outside, which may reinforce the scent-deterrent.

Now if I could just keep the damn dog out of the garden, I'd be set! I put up a makeshift fence of rope and tomato cages, but he seems to see it as a delightful obstacle course to leap through. Oy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 10, 2018, 06:56:23 AM
I have wild rabbits in my garden all the time and they rarely do any damage to the veggies. Mostly they nibble on dandelions, other weeds, sometimes my perennial flowers. Maybe itís the sheer scale of my garden but theyíve never done noticeable damage. Squirrels are honestly the biggest nuisance, stealing strawberries and just disturbing seedlings with their digging around.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on June 10, 2018, 07:02:16 AM
I have wild rabbits in my garden all the time and they rarely do any damage to the veggies. Mostly they nibble on dandelions, other weeds, sometimes my perennial flowers. Maybe itís the sheer scale of my garden but theyíve never done noticeable damage. Squirrels are honestly the biggest nuisance, stealing strawberries and just disturbing seedlings with their digging around.

Have you planted beans or peas?

There are a variety of plants they don't really touch (tomatoes/peppers for example). But I'd be impressed if they didn't wreck beans/peas if you had them planted from seeds.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 10, 2018, 07:05:15 AM
So envious of the folks who have cherries and berries.  I always get a serious case of climate zone envy at this time of year.

I have been harvesting basil and greens like crazy.  I am definitely doing a repeat of the basil seeding in March.  I think I can be a little less generous on the seeds per cell or maybe I will use a bigger sized tray.  I am going to ask for LED grow lights for my birthday because the ballasts are shot on my hand-me-down florescent ones.  There are really fancy LED tubes and I have table space for six flats so I want to have enough light to blast'em all. 

My sweetie helped me put wood chips down on the pathways in my garden. Hopefully this will help the organics in the soil over the long term and with moisture retention in the short term.
I took the floating row cover off the peppers because they are in bloom.  Tomatoes have fruit.  So do some of the cukes.  I think that I have overseeded pumpkins and gourds.  Between re-seeding for chipmunk feasting and having really old seed - I have now have a huge number of seedlings.  I put them in an area that has a lot of perennial weeds so hopefully they just go nuts and I will figure out the mess in the fall.

I have had the chipmunks at bay from the peas and the pumpkins, squash.  They have now moved into the green house.  Not sure what to do about this.  The chickens have gotten in once more but not for a couple of days.  Bunnies are staying away so far.  Hopefully things are good for now. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: mountain mustache on June 10, 2018, 07:09:18 AM
Does anyone have recommendations for something to deter the critters that keep munching on my chard and kale? They don't touch the baby greens, or peppers, but are enjoying many feasts of chard leaves.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 10, 2018, 08:25:37 AM
I have wild rabbits in my garden all the time and they rarely do any damage to the veggies. Mostly they nibble on dandelions, other weeds, sometimes my perennial flowers. Maybe itís the sheer scale of my garden but theyíve never done noticeable damage. Squirrels are honestly the biggest nuisance, stealing strawberries and just disturbing seedlings with their digging around.

Have you planted beans or peas?

There are a variety of plants they don't really touch (tomatoes/peppers for example). But I'd be impressed if they didn't wreck beans/peas if you had them planted from seeds.

Yep. And I have seen them literally run right past those beds, so theyíre fully aware they exist. Peas are marginal this year both because of the bed Iíve got them planted in and the crazy heat a while back didnít help. Beans look very healthy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on June 10, 2018, 09:43:51 AM
I have wild rabbits in my garden all the time and they rarely do any damage to the veggies. Mostly they nibble on dandelions, other weeds, sometimes my perennial flowers. Maybe itís the sheer scale of my garden but theyíve never done noticeable damage. Squirrels are honestly the biggest nuisance, stealing strawberries and just disturbing seedlings with their digging around.

Have you planted beans or peas?

There are a variety of plants they don't really touch (tomatoes/peppers for example). But I'd be impressed if they didn't wreck beans/peas if you had them planted from seeds.

Yep. And I have seen them literally run right past those beds, so theyíre fully aware they exist. Peas are marginal this year both because of the bed Iíve got them planted in and the crazy heat a while back didnít help. Beans look very healthy.

I want your bunnies in our neighborhood!!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 10, 2018, 10:26:32 AM
I have wild rabbits in my garden all the time and they rarely do any damage to the veggies. Mostly they nibble on dandelions, other weeds, sometimes my perennial flowers. Maybe itís the sheer scale of my garden but theyíve never done noticeable damage. Squirrels are honestly the biggest nuisance, stealing strawberries and just disturbing seedlings with their digging around.

Have you planted beans or peas?

There are a variety of plants they don't really touch (tomatoes/peppers for example). But I'd be impressed if they didn't wreck beans/peas if you had them planted from seeds.

Yep. And I have seen them literally run right past those beds, so theyíre fully aware they exist.

Maybe your rabbits have passed the word to their wild cousins that they should stay far, far away from you or they will be dinner, lol
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 10, 2018, 02:50:47 PM
I have wild rabbits in my garden all the time and they rarely do any damage to the veggies. Mostly they nibble on dandelions, other weeds, sometimes my perennial flowers. Maybe itís the sheer scale of my garden but theyíve never done noticeable damage. Squirrels are honestly the biggest nuisance, stealing strawberries and just disturbing seedlings with their digging around.

Have you planted beans or peas?

There are a variety of plants they don't really touch (tomatoes/peppers for example). But I'd be impressed if they didn't wreck beans/peas if you had them planted from seeds.

Yep. And I have seen them literally run right past those beds, so theyíre fully aware they exist.

Maybe your rabbits have passed the word to their wild cousins that they should stay far, far away from you or they will be dinner, lol

Lol. Funnily enough Iíve never had wild rabbit!

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 10, 2018, 05:09:28 PM
Some little asshole critter took a FU bite out of my first ripe strawberry. I hope it was delicious. Grrrrr. I have rabbit fencing around the bed but I don't have any netting on them. (And I couldn't go to Joanns for tulle this weekend because I ended up having to work at my stupid job instead.)

Someone in one of the gardening Facebook groups said it might be pillbugs, which I do have in abundance in the community bed. That it might not be 1 bite missing, but the result of lots of tiny chewing. Ewwww! Not sure what to do about them. Things I've read say to avoid excess moisture in the garden; as we're currently in a Noah's Ark situation here, that's not possible. I also read about putting out a dish of beer for them, but again, that's not going to work when it is freaking pouring all the time. We aren't allowed to use pesticides in the community garden. Hmmm.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 10, 2018, 05:50:36 PM
Some little asshole critter took a FU bite out of my first ripe strawberry.

Chipmunks?  Robins?   I used to find robins UNDER my netting, eating strawberries.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 10, 2018, 06:11:02 PM
Robins and squirrels decimate my strawberries. Iíve mostly given up on them except as a pretty groundcover around my fruit trees and berries.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 10, 2018, 07:17:54 PM
I used to find robins UNDER my netting, eating strawberries.

What little assholes!!

I've never had to protect the strawberries before, though the birds went after my blueberries. Maybe the weird weather is making them forage in new places.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 10, 2018, 08:02:39 PM
The vermin chipmunks here eat strawberries a day or three before they are ripe.  I am hoping that just having a large number of plants = some for me and the family.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on June 10, 2018, 09:03:40 PM
My zucchini are turning yellow. :( From some googling it sounds like the most likely culprit is lack of calcium. There's also a bunch of aphids on the plant. I tried a natural bug spray and it didn't seem to do much. Is it worth getting some ladybugs? Or any other suggestions for getting rid of aphids?

I planted two tomato plants, and intentionally got  different varieties so I could see which did better, but I didn't bother to research the varieties and  didn't realize one was a cherry tomato plant until I wondered why the tomatoes weren't growing as quickly as my other plant, and then finally saw some ripening lol. We picked our first few cherry tomatoes yesterday, and they were delicious, so it was a pleasant surprise..

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 11, 2018, 05:23:35 AM
@nessness  - I love those kind of gardening surprises.  I have never learned enough about what deficiencies cause what symptom.  I don't think you can go wrong with a little fertilizer.
My experience with beneficial insects is also very limited.  How do you get your ladybugs to stick around and eat the aphids in front of them?  How often did you dose with the spray?  I tend to use a 5% dish soap with water in my old windex bottle and do a number of closely spaced applications (every three days for a couple of weeks) to keep them critters in check. 

I sunk a bucket into the ground for mint containment in my developing herb garden and then filled it with soil and some of the invading mint from my house. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 11, 2018, 05:51:22 AM
My zucchini are turning yellow. :( From some googling it sounds like the most likely culprit is lack of calcium. There's also a bunch of aphids on the plant. I tried a natural bug spray and it didn't seem to do much. Is it worth getting some ladybugs? Or any other suggestions for getting rid of aphids?

I planted two tomato plants, and intentionally got  different varieties so I could see which did better, but I didn't bother to research the varieties and  didn't realize one was a cherry tomato plant until I wondered why the tomatoes weren't growing as quickly as my other plant, and then finally saw some ripening lol. We picked our first few cherry tomatoes yesterday, and they were delicious, so it was a pleasant surprise..

On the zukes, it could be low calcium but in my experience more likely low overall soil fertility. Some quick release fertilizer of your choice would be a good option. (Not familiar with conventional products, in organic I think youíre looking at kelp, fish emulsion, bloodmeat, etc.) No harm in adding some calcium, though. Crushed antacid tablets are the fastest release, followed by oyster shell or bone meal, then crushed up eggshells.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Finntastic on June 11, 2018, 10:28:33 PM
Some photos from our organic farm. The lans is about 0.4 hectares and its very much a slope. We got 33 sqm small off grid house with solar panels and rain water collection and filtration system. Right now we have about 150 fruit trees growing and we expecting to really start getting some serious fruits in 2-3 years from now. This year only some: longan, bananas and limes. The mango there is from our neighbor who we swop fruits with occasionally.

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0i532ODWGaHmho

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 12, 2018, 05:19:40 AM
Wow Finntastic -- that is cool, thanks for sharing.  Are you in Thailand did you say?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 12, 2018, 08:47:56 AM
They got 2 more strawberries. I have not yet been able to taste one! Grrrr.I am not totally convinced that it's birds or chipmunks; that part of the garden is crawling with the damn pill bugs.

It isn't going to rain today - first day in I don't even know how many - so maybe stuff will dry out and I can work on eradicating them. The garden looked absolutely drenched yesterday. :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 12, 2018, 10:01:49 AM
I had to water today - it is sunny and windy and we have had so little rain.  Things pop out of the soil right after I water.  I gave everything a drink on Sunday morning and decided to do again this morning because it was beautiful growing weather - and a bunch of stiff just came up.

Did you folks know that the flowers on sage are gorgeous?  I did not.  I picked me a sage bouquet. 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 12, 2018, 10:14:36 AM
I had to water today - it is sunny and windy and we have had so little rain.  Things pop out of the soil right after I water.  I gave everything a drink on Sunday morning and decided to do again this morning because it was beautiful growing weather - and a bunch of stiff just came up.

Did you folks know that the flowers on sage are gorgeous?  I did not.  I picked me a sage bouquet.

I need to add culinary sage next year, Iím starting to use it a lot for sausage making, but there are several common ornamental perennials in the sage family. Many of the herbs have very pretty flowers, actually.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 12, 2018, 11:02:10 AM
Hmm, I might have to add sage at some point. I don't have much space so I am trying to cut down on herbs that smell or look nice but that I won't actually eat (I am looking at you, lemon balm that smells wonderful but made truly vile tea!), but it would be nice to have something that flowers nicely. Good for bees, too, though I've seen a few bumblebees in the backyard already.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 12, 2018, 04:31:23 PM
Do you think leaf lettuce would work in a smoothie instead of baby spinach? Iíve got an abundance of it currently.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on June 12, 2018, 07:30:36 PM
My zucchini are turning yellow. :( From some googling it sounds like the most likely culprit is lack of calcium. There's also a bunch of aphids on the plant. I tried a natural bug spray and it didn't seem to do much. Is it worth getting some ladybugs? Or any other suggestions for getting rid of aphids?

I planted two tomato plants, and intentionally got  different varieties so I could see which did better, but I didn't bother to research the varieties and  didn't realize one was a cherry tomato plant until I wondered why the tomatoes weren't growing as quickly as my other plant, and then finally saw some ripening lol. We picked our first few cherry tomatoes yesterday, and they were delicious, so it was a pleasant surprise..

On the zukes, it could be low calcium but in my experience more likely low overall soil fertility. Some quick release fertilizer of your choice would be a good option. (Not familiar with conventional products, in organic I think youíre looking at kelp, fish emulsion, bloodmeat, etc.) No harm in adding some calcium, though. Crushed antacid tablets are the fastest release, followed by oyster shell or bone meal, then crushed up eggshells.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on June 12, 2018, 07:35:38 PM
They got 2 more strawberries. I have not yet been able to taste one! Grrrr.I am not totally convinced that it's birds or chipmunks; that part of the garden is crawling with the damn pill bugs.
I put a fake owl overlooking my strawberries and it seems to be working so far - I had a couple of strawberries disappear before I put it out but none since.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Finntastic on June 14, 2018, 09:42:58 PM
Wow Finntastic -- that is cool, thanks for sharing.  Are you in Thailand did you say?

Yes in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai to be precise
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on June 15, 2018, 06:04:45 AM
Do you think leaf lettuce would work in a smoothie instead of baby spinach? Iíve got an abundance of it currently.

Can you try and report back? I'd like to know since my lettuce is growing well, I don't grow spinach, and my kale will be ages before it's ready.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 15, 2018, 06:31:53 AM
Decided to add some dahlias to my garden.  I am loving having cutting flowers for the house so I got some of the extras from my dad.  Hopefully I have enough sun here.  Maybe I will stuff them at the big garden. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 15, 2018, 10:27:16 AM
Do you think leaf lettuce would work in a smoothie instead of baby spinach? Iíve got an abundance of it currently.

Can you try and report back? I'd like to know since my lettuce is growing well, I don't grow spinach, and my kale will be ages before it's ready.

Plan to try it soon, just keep forgetting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 16, 2018, 10:49:25 AM
Lettuce smoothie was gross. Too bitter.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 17, 2018, 08:31:58 AM
Picked more berries.  The various bushes are putting out about a pint every other day -- perfect for fresh eating. :)

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 17, 2018, 08:35:52 AM
Picked more berries.  The various bushes are putting out about a pint every other day -- perfect fo r fresh eating. :)
so jealous.


I am having some great production of oysters.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 17, 2018, 09:10:26 AM
Picked more berries.  The various bushes are putting out about a pint every other day -- perfect fo r fresh eating. :)
so jealous.


I am having some great production of oysters.

My turn to be jealous!  I haven't yet tried mushrooms -- that setup looks awesome!  Did you make that yourself?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 17, 2018, 09:42:42 AM
@Trifele I did a workshop on growing mushrooms that included one of the buckets.  They demonstrated making them.  Made the rest myself. 

Pasturized the straw myself but bought the spawn.  It was 55 for 5lbs of shiitake and Oyster.   I only used a little more than half.  I had no more space.  I ended up giving it away to a very grateful person who can make good use of it. 

The lids are the sap bucket covers. 

One of my jobs today is to get going on pasturizing more material so that I can keep the production going for longer than my workshop one.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 17, 2018, 04:44:17 PM
It is hotter than hell this weekend and my peppers are loving it. Some are finally flowering! Some of the tomatoes are finally flowering, too. I feel like everything is running so far behind this year.

I bought tulle to put around the raspberries and blueberries, and it was SO much easier to handle than bird netting. It looks a little weird, though. Let's see if it works to keep the birds off!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on June 17, 2018, 07:44:46 PM
Thanks for sharing the results of your lettuce-smoothie test, Furrychickens. I'll know not to try it.

I ate my first snow pea yesterday, and it was delightful. So far, I'm able to eat my dill, basil, lettuce, arugula, rhubarb and one snow pea, so it's a season for salad!

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on June 18, 2018, 06:44:16 AM
Ugh. Tomato blight and only mid-June?

:(

Guess I'll hope the plants make more leaves than I can prune...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on June 20, 2018, 06:58:50 AM
Ugh. Tomato blight and only mid-June?

I'm sorry to hear it! I've found that spraying plants with a mixture of 1 tsp baking soda per cup of water can help a bit.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 20, 2018, 09:46:07 AM
Had a bunny invasion - so refortified my fencing.
And tomato wilt.  Going to remove three plants and weep and hope that no more succumb.
Oyster mushrooms got away from me and they shed spores so now I have to figure out if this was good or bad or neutral - but later - must get back to paid work the to do list is way long!.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on June 20, 2018, 09:48:16 AM
I planted peppers several weeks ago and they look healthy but they've barely grown and haven't flowered. Time to give up on them?

It's been hot and my tomato plants are looking a little sad, but the cherry one is producing like crazy. My 3-year-old loves the cherry tomatoes; I'll usually pick the ripe ones in the evening after she goes to bed and she'll ask to eat them for breakfast.

Can we talk about growing animals here too? Because I bought 14 chicks and 3 Guinea fowl the other day. I wasn't planning to get that many but someone was selling them together with a coop. We put a fair amount of work in securing the coop against predators.

The coop isn't really big enough for all of them, or at least won't be when they're full size (although we'll need to give away the roosters when we know which ones they are so we won't have 17 forever) plus the little Silkies are getting trampled by the bigger chicks and Guinea fowl. Luckily my neighbor offered us a spare coop she has, it just needs a new roof - planning to do that on Friday.

A family of wild turkeys has taken up residence in our yard this week - I'm guessing they're looking for spilled chicken feed. DH keeps joking that he wants to catch a couple of the babies and put them in with the chickens.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 20, 2018, 11:28:16 AM
Coop size recommendations depend a lot whether they are confined to the coop/run all the time or if they have additional space during the day. Typically the recommendation is 4 sqft per bird minimum if permanently confined, 1 sqft if itís nighttime only. Personally, I think those are low, but even those numbers are way more than they get in industrial flocks. Even ďhumane certifiedĒ flocks.

My flock is a mixed age flock where half insist on roosting in a different spot but my coop currently is about 28 sqft, thereís a mostly secure run (need to fix a few broken things...knowing me I wonít get to them until something gets in and kills a bird, just keep forgetting) thatís 300 sqft, and then they have my whole fenced backyard of additional 600 sqft during the day. For only 13 birds itís overkill, the run alone. We may try a flock of 20-25 and then have enough eggs to sell. 13 at peak laying rates is only enough for our own needs, plus the occasional gifted dozen as thank you gifts.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 20, 2018, 02:04:40 PM
Chickens!  My favorite part of the "garden."  :)

I agree that the 4 sqft rule of thumb is low.  We have a mixed flock of 13.  Coop is 50 sqft and we have a secure attached run of about 200 sqft.  The lucky ladies free range in our 1.5 acre fenced pasture/orchard during the day.

If they were permanently confined to just the coop and run, the 250 sf would be ok, but not ideal for 13 IMO.  When we go away for a long weekend, we leave them locked up and the lower ranking hens sometimes suffer a bit.  We have come back at times to find that feather picking and bullying has occurred. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on June 20, 2018, 02:08:45 PM
TWO perfect strawberries, untouched by any critters, were harvested yesterday! I didn't put anything on them. Maybe the excessive heat killed or deterred whatever was eating them?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 20, 2018, 04:36:00 PM
Chickens!  My favorite part of the "garden."  :)

I agree that the 4 sqft rule of thumb is low.  We have a mixed flock of 13.  Coop is 50 sqft and we have a secure attached run of about 200 sqft.  The lucky ladies free range in our 1.5 acre fenced pasture/orchard during the day.

If they were permanently confined to just the coop and run, the 250 sf would be ok, but not ideal for 13 IMO.  When we go away for a long weekend, we leave them locked up and the lower ranking hens sometimes suffer a bit.  We have come back at times to find that feather picking and bullying has occurred.

Though I wonder if the flock dynamics would be different if that was ALWAYS their space, like maybe theyíd be fine if they never had a larger space. They probably would, my guess.

If weíre adding animals to this thread, I can help with rabbit questions :). I grow a lot of rabbits and have had a very steep learning curve (my mentors say Iíve had just about the worst first two years they could imagine).

Currently at 79 rabbits on site (all ages) and might crack 100 by the end of the week. We probably need a rotating population of 125-150 to meet most of our meat needs.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 20, 2018, 05:56:21 PM
Chickens!  My favorite part of the "garden."  :)

I agree that the 4 sqft rule of thumb is low.  We have a mixed flock of 13.  Coop is 50 sqft and we have a secure attached run of about 200 sqft.  The lucky ladies free range in our 1.5 acre fenced pasture/orchard during the day.

If they were permanently confined to just the coop and run, the 250 sf would be ok, but not ideal for 13 IMO.  When we go away for a long weekend, we leave them locked up and the lower ranking hens sometimes suffer a bit.  We have come back at times to find that feather picking and bullying has occurred.

Though I wonder if the flock dynamics would be different if that was ALWAYS their space, like maybe theyíd be fine if they never had a larger space. They probably would, my guess.


That is a very good point.  You could be right FurryChickens.  Like any creature chickens get used to what they have, and as long as some minimum quality of life is present, it isn't the status quo that causes the stress but change
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on June 20, 2018, 07:23:57 PM
Thanks furrychickens and trifele! I only have about 3 sq ft per chicken, but when I get the second coop from my neighbor I'll put the five Silkies in there and I think everyone will be comfortable.

Our yard isn't currently fenced, but we're getting ready to put in a fence and then I plan to let them roam some then. A couple questions on that:

- Is it hard to get them to go back in the coop?

- Do you guys let them roam all day even when you're not around? We live in the suburbs but on a wooded wildlife corridor and have the standard set of predators (raccoons, weasels, coyotes) plus neighborhood cats and dogs. The fence should keep out the dogs and coyotes. A cat might be able to kill a Silky now but they'll presumably be bigger soon. Are there other daytime predators or risks to worry about?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 21, 2018, 04:10:48 AM
Thanks furrychickens and trifele! I only have about 3 sq ft per chicken, but when I get the second coop from my neighbor I'll put the five Silkies in there and I think everyone will be comfortable.

Our yard isn't currently fenced, but we're getting ready to put in a fence and then I plan to let them roam some then. A couple questions on that:

- Is it hard to get them to go back in the coop?

- Do you guys let them roam all day even when you're not around? We live in the suburbs but on a wooded wildlife corridor and have the standard set of predators (raccoons, weasels, coyotes) plus neighborhood cats and dogs. The fence should keep out the dogs and coyotes. A cat might be able to kill a Silky now but they'll presumably be bigger soon. Are there other daytime predators or risks to worry about?

I should have said earlier -- we lived in the suburbs before living in our current rural location, so I've had the exact set up you're describing @nessness .  It worked well. 

All the chickens we've ever had always want to go back into the coop when it gets dark.  It's their home, and instinct tells them they need to get to safety when it's dark.  They just put themselves to bed, and we lock the door after them.  You'll want to make sure the coop is raccoon and weasel proof (hardware cloth skirting, buried in the ground), but then you should be good to go.

Yes, when we were in the suburbs we let them roam the fenced yard when we were gone during the day.  We didn't have daytime predator (hawk) issues there.   And you're right -- once a chicken is grown cats don't typically mess with them.   I can't speak for bantams though -- never had any.

Good luck!  You'll have fun.     
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 21, 2018, 06:21:32 AM
If you ďhomeĒ them to the coop for a couple days by keeping them locked in, they will almost always go back at night. Sometimes it takes a bit longer.

Slightly trickier is what you do if you arenít going to back until late at night and herd them in. A leaf rake works pretty well to herd them. I train mine to come to the sound of scratch grains shaking in a bowl, takes a week or two before they figure it out but I can get mine locked back up now any time of day if need be.

I leave mine out all day. Iíve got a high privacy fence, so not worried about loose dogs. We have a big shade tree that covers nearly all of the yard space, so also not too concerned about aerial predators. Iíve had some perch on top of my chicken run (!) and watch the birds intently, but have not lost one.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 22, 2018, 07:14:13 AM
I leave mine out all day. Iíve got a high privacy fence, so not worried about loose dogs. We have a big shade tree that covers nearly all of the yard space, so also not too concerned about aerial predators. Iíve had some perch on top of my chicken run (!) and watch the birds intently, but have not lost one.

I had to laugh at this!  Much like the groundhog who sunned herself on my compost heap, staring at my fenced and electrified vegetable garden.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 23, 2018, 04:38:39 PM
Fed a bunch of over mature lettuce to the chickens. Taco salad for my dinner tonight.

We had enough snap peas for dinner last night and should have enough to make them again tomorrow night.

Got about 1/4 pint of raspberries today.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Viewfromthemiddle on June 23, 2018, 05:00:53 PM
We have three raised beds (8' x 4') in our yard and have grown corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, pak choi, black beans, plus a whole lot more. This year, though, we started late and missed the summer planting season so we purchased plants from our local nursery. Our garden has  yellow crook neck squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and a tomato plant whose seed had fallen on the ground and germinated in a crack in the driveway.

I am surprised at how satisfying it is to grow and preserve your own food.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 26, 2018, 08:59:28 AM
I am pretty certain that the tomato crop is going to be a bust.  Several more plants are wilting and it looks like fungal wilt is widespread in the soil.  I am going to leave the remaining plants in place so that I can see what happens.  Next summer I will plant tomatoes at my house where the garlic is currently growing.  I will solarize as much of the garden as I can this fall, over winter and early spring so that I can hopefully reduce the fungal load overall.  I will not plant any Solanacaea there next season and will only remove the plastic as I plant the garden out.  Hopefully that will result in enough heat /time to work.  The various web resources say 6 to 10 weeks.  I don't want to give up a huge amount of capacity next season.  The garden already feels too small for what I want to grow.
I planted some more squash, lettuce, beets, peas, beans and basil yesterday.  The gardens got a great soaking on the weekend. But took a big hit from the bunnies.  I harvested greens and basil for my dinner party on Saturday and was able to add some flowers to the salad to make it look beautiful. I also picked my first cucumber from the greenhouse plants. The plants in the green house look amazing.  The greenhouse might be another option for tomatoes - I could solarize the soil now for a more permanent tomato growing next season. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on June 26, 2018, 10:09:55 AM
Harvested about half my garlic this week. The rest of it needs a little longer - I'll give it another week, max, before I yank it all.

I'm growing winter squash for the first time this year (red kuri) and am delighted by the big frilly flowers - so much fancier looking than zucchini flowers! Speaking of, picked my first zucchini the other day and have a couple more on the way.

Really, really happy with my tomato jungle. There's a good amount of flowers and green fruit setting. Last year was kind of a bust - the plants just stopped growing at about 3 feet tall - so I'm cautiously optimistic about potential yields. I guess starting way too early this year has paid off!

I started my winter cabbage this week. I grew entirely in containers last year and had pretty small heads; going to divide this year's plants between the bed and some larger containers.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 26, 2018, 11:01:23 AM
Frugal Lizard - do you have an agricultural service like the county extension agencies here in the US that you can get a positive ID on what youíre dealing with? Both type of disease and what ďraceĒ of that disease will help you greatly in deciding next steps.

Based on your description, it seems like youíre suspecting fusarium? Solarization can work for that from what Iíve read, but another path would be growing resistant varieties and/or grafting onto resistant varieties.

There is also at least one independent plant breeder down here that intentionally grows their tomato seeds in the worst possible conditions (they plow residues back in, grow tomatoes in the same field year in year out) to select for heirlooms that have broad genetic based resistance. I can dig up the link for one Iím thinking of if itís not a huge deal to order seeds across borders.

Itís similar to what Frank Morton did with lettuce breeding in his ďHellís Half AcreĒ trial, if youíve heard that story.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on June 26, 2018, 11:21:42 AM
@furrychickens  - Thanks for the suggestions.  I am growing three varieties of fungal resistant tomatoes - and a bunch of favourites - but if the fungal load is high - even the resistant ones will succumb. It is a little early though.  As it is the first year gardening in the location, I was pretty sure I would have some of these problems. Because I disassembled the raised planting beds, the contaminated soil got widely spread around. And this garden soil was really unproductive last summer.  The property owner is blown away by how much I have growing already. 
I haven't done the testing route because I am too cheap. I am going to spend the cash on a roll of vapour barrier plastic that I can hopefully use over and over again for both solarization and for making mini poly hoop houses for early spring starts next season. 
I should maybe look into an appointment with a master gardener - they are pretty active in our area.  From my research I narrowed it down to two possible types of wilt and both can be remediated by two seasons of no solanaceae with solarization. 

I was in the garden this morning to water the peppers in the greenhouse and one of the potatoes is right down in wilt.  Hopefully we get some production before they bite the dust as well. 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 29, 2018, 01:48:45 PM
Some updates from Milwaukee.

One bed of Arcadia broccoli is nice and happy. Will be eating some soon!

(https://i.imgur.com/UBI5lCq.jpg)

Unfortunately, the other two broccoli beds are not happy at all. I'm wondering if these beds are simply just too shaded. They also have root competition from a honey locust. Wondering what else I should try here, maybe potatoes? Or just give up and throw some flowers here. I grew carrots here last year that did okay but these beds have never been particularly productive in the past that I can recall.

(https://i.imgur.com/zNEtra0.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/qZYSlks.jpg)

This patch of calendula in the mini orchard is really pretty. Last night it had a "god ray" of sunshine hitting it but I couldn't quite capture it on the camera. I'm letting it go in this part of the property along with the borage (the blue flowers in foreground) but eradicating it from other parts as it is SO weedy about reseeding itself.

(https://i.imgur.com/3afEMs0.jpg)

Baby green beans. Truly fresh green/snap beans are probably my favorite veg, followed closely by fresh cucumbers and zucchini.

(https://i.imgur.com/r2N5udF.jpg)

Did I mention zucchini?

(https://i.imgur.com/AgrAVEb.jpg)

This elderberry is just coming into peak bloom, others are almost done.

(https://i.imgur.com/W0bjX1h.jpg)

Melons are doing better this year. By this time last year every single one was dead. So it's a start!

(https://i.imgur.com/OPLWDy6.jpg)

Droopy ears from the heat. It is BRUTAL today. Trying not to keep count of the dead buns so far. One of my breeder friends is having even crazier heat. 60F overnight, then 105F by 11AM.

(https://i.imgur.com/vFSlNvA.jpg)

How my wife feels after a day at work:

(https://i.imgur.com/NdiXW2D.jpg)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 29, 2018, 03:14:23 PM
Those are some nice garden shots @furrychickens !  Love the elderberry.

Do you literally mean some of your rabbits are dying from the heat?  That's terrible.  I've heard of freezing milk jugs full of water, then placing them in the coop to keep chickens cooler in brutal heat.  Could something like that maybe help?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 29, 2018, 05:47:40 PM
Those are some nice garden shots @furrychickens !  Love the elderberry.

Do you literally mean some of your rabbits are dying from the heat?  That's terrible.  I've heard of freezing milk jugs full of water, then placing them in the coop to keep chickens cooler in brutal heat.  Could something like that maybe help?

I am having issues with bloat in weanlings this year that I wonít take the time to discuss here but I have written about in my journal, so adding the heat stress doesnít help anything. Have not lost any adults, newborns, or previously fully healthy weanlings but yes heat can kill rabbits, especially if the swing is rapid. A breeder friend of mine in UT is losing some of her first rabbits to heat ever because her nights are 55F but then itís swinging all the way to 105 by 11AM.

I donít want to intervene besides providing shade and fresh water because I donít want my stock reliant on that, because there are days we have to be away from the house during midday and we rely on a friend to ďfarmĒ sit for us for an annual vacation each year and he would not have the time to do the frozen bottle thing at all.

Plus before Iíd thought through the reasonings I tried the frozen bottles the first year I had rabbits - they hated them and kicked them as far away as possible, lol.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Allie on June 29, 2018, 07:30:18 PM
I didn't join this year since my harvesting/growing was looking sad...but I'm still trying and have a question for the more advanced gardeners. 

The muni just opened up its compost pile.  I can drop off scraps and pick up compost.  But, my sad, sad little garden is already planted.  Everything that is growing is packed in kinda tight.  I have peas, carrots, lettuce, and one sad little broccoli plant.  I have raspberry bushes and currant bushes.  I have tomatoes and peppers in 3-5 gallon buckets.  Is there a way to add compost to the soil now in a way that will help my plants but not disturb their roots?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on June 29, 2018, 07:42:42 PM
@Allie everything you listed can easily be ďside dressedĒ (basically add compost on top of the soil around the plant). The amount is somewhat up to you. The only thing Iíd be careful on putting too much right up against the crown would be the currants, otherwise everything else you listed doesnít really care if their crowns get buried some as long as youíre not putting several inches or more down.

Might be easiest to do it by hand than by shovel if it is densely planted. Rinse off any soil that gets on their leaves.

Compost is actually best applied to the top only at all times, not tilled in. Iím becoming a huge believer in no-dig style gardening.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Allie on June 29, 2018, 10:41:35 PM
No dig sounds perfect, as I hate work!  Thanks chief!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on June 30, 2018, 04:24:43 AM
Those are some nice garden shots @furrychickens !  Love the elderberry.

Do you literally mean some of your rabbits are dying from the heat?  That's terrible.  I've heard of freezing milk jugs full of water, then placing them in the coop to keep chickens cooler in brutal heat.  Could something like that maybe help?

Plus before Iíd thought through the reasonings I tried the frozen bottles the first year I had rabbits - they hated them and kicked them as far away as possible, lol.

Hilarious! 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on July 01, 2018, 05:57:26 PM
I harvested eight raspberries yesterday! They were delicious!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on July 01, 2018, 06:20:15 PM
I harvested eight raspberries yesterday! They were delicious!

Yay @Tris Prior!  Nothing like growing your own.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 02, 2018, 05:01:37 PM
Had the time to record a video update on the garden today. About 15 minutes.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EkM4Booow9c
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 02, 2018, 08:32:44 PM
I've been keeping a running list of how my plants have done this year, to decide what to plant next year. Figured I'd share here so I don't forget. The list below is based on a combination of productivity, fun, and taste.

Winners:
- Sungold tomatoes. We've gotten maybe a quart of them already. They're delicious and my 3-year-old loves them.
- Carrots. Probably no money savings, given how cheap carrots are, but they were fun and easy.

Losers:
- Zucchini. Despite my best efforts, my plants are still producing rotten yellow zucchini. Also, my neighbors all grow zucchini and share with me, so...

Meh:
- Strawberries. Got like 10 strawberries total from four plants. But I'll let them go and see what happens next year.
- Kale. I only planted two plants and they did fine, but I was deluding myself into thinking I actually like kale.

Too soon to tell:
- Celebrity tomatoes. Picked the first one yesterday and it was pretty good but not amazing.
- Peppers. I was about to give up when a couple of them finally budded. So maybe there's still hope?

New things to try next year:
- Cucumbers
- Snap peas
- Raspberries
- Asparagus
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 03, 2018, 05:09:28 AM
@nessness do you like green beans? They are very easy to grow and are hands down one of my favorite veggies for the difference between fresh picked and even farmers market fresh.

Provider is my favorite bush bean, Royal Burgundy is another nice one. If you want pole beans, Iím less familiar with them, Iím growing them for the first time this year.

Whatís the issue with your zucchini again?

Celebrity - IIRC this is a variety primarily bred for disease resistance, not stunning flavor, and even on the disease resistance front itís behind the curve compared to stuff available in seed catalogs as itís a pretty old variety at this point.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on July 04, 2018, 06:24:16 AM
All my tomato plants have tomatoes.  This is excellent for early July, given how cold our nights were for most of the spring and how late the plants went into the garden because of that.

Most of my sweet potato plants are growing - a few died from the cold nights.  Hmm, maybe I am selecting ones that can survive a bit more cold?

I added a lot of compost to the garlic, I think the soil was not rich enough last year.  No scapes yet, I hope it is happy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 04, 2018, 06:28:59 AM
@furrychickens I do like green beans; thanks for the suggestion! My zucchini have been turning yellow and mushy when they're still only a few inches long.

Oh, and I forgot to mention my biggest win, the chickens! No eggs yet (they're only a few months old), but they are just so much fun. We don't have the fence in yet (hoping to get it done this week), but I've been letting them out in the evenings and they stay close to the coop and go back in without too much trouble.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 04, 2018, 06:32:11 AM
@furrychickens I do like green beans; thanks for the suggestion! My zucchini have been turning yellow and mushy when they're still only a few inches long.

Oh, and I forgot to mention my biggest win, the chickens! No eggs yet (they're only a few months old), but they are just so much fun. We don't have the fence in yet (hoping to get it done this week), but I've been letting them out in the evenings and they stay close to the coop and go back in without too much trouble.

My guess is that theyíre not getting pollinated and so the fruits are ďabortingĒ. You can hand-pollinate pretty easily if you want to test that theory. Not sure Iíll  be able to describe the process well without pictures handy, so try googling. Itís pretty simple. If you canít find any info, Iíll dig something up for ya.

Chickens are awesome to have. Our current flock just barely supplies all our needs. Will definitely bump it up a bit more next year when we refresh the flock. Assuming we donít get caught. Weíre way over the allowed limit.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on July 04, 2018, 06:48:32 AM
@nessness -- so glad you are having fun with your chickens!  They really are great.  We have 13 right now, which is way too many for our own needs, but I sell the excess eggs so that's a win.

I harvested the last blueberries of the season from the bushes I planted last year -- total came to six pints from four bushes.  They were delicious and I'm very happy with the yield!  And the tulle -- the TULLE! -- made it all possible.  It's getting folded up now with my gratitude and put away til next spring.  I'll let you know how the fabric holds up in year 2.

I also got a small handful of gooseberries from the baby bushes I planted this spring.  The Hinnomaki variety was the clear winner over the Pixwell.  Bigger berries, tons more flavor. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 04, 2018, 06:51:22 AM
@nessness -- so glad you are having fun with your chickens!  They really are great.  We have 13 right now, which is way too many for our own needs, but I sell the excess eggs so that's a win.

I harvested the last blueberries of the season from the bushes I planted last year -- total came to six pints from four bushes.  They were delicious and I'm very happy with the yield!  And the tulle -- the TULLE! -- made it all possible.  It's getting folded up now with my gratitude and put away til next spring.  I'll let you know how the fabric holds up in year 2.

I also got a small handful of gooseberries from the baby bushes I planted this spring.  The Hinnomaki variety was the clear winner over the Pixwell.  Bigger berries, tons more flavor.

13 is how many we have an even at summer laying rates itís barely enough for my family (of 5), lol.

Hinnomaki Red seems to be the winner here too. Hinnomaki Yellow is not nearly as good. I forget the other ones I have here.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Raenia on July 04, 2018, 07:55:35 AM
Well, I believe my oregano may be dying.  A lot of the leaves are turning brown at the edges, then gradually falling off.  There is still a little new growth, so I tried trimming back the dead stems to give the new ones more space/light, we'll see how it goes.  The rosemary is showing a tiny bit of the same browning, but just at the edges of a few leaves, not to the point of falling off or inhibiting growth.  Not sure if it's due to the excessive heat we've been having, or too much sun (these are supposed to be full sun varietals, but who knows?).  I don't think it's lack of water, I've been watering pretty vigorously.  Ah well, we got at least one batch of incredible pizza sauce from the fresh oregano leaves.  If it doesn't make it, we'll try something else next year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 04, 2018, 08:11:14 AM
Well, I believe my oregano may be dying.  A lot of the leaves are turning brown at the edges, then gradually falling off.  There is still a little new growth, so I tried trimming back the dead stems to give the new ones more space/light, we'll see how it goes.  The rosemary is showing a tiny bit of the same browning, but just at the edges of a few leaves, not to the point of falling off or inhibiting growth.  Not sure if it's due to the excessive heat we've been having, or too much sun (these are supposed to be full sun varietals, but who knows?).  I don't think it's lack of water, I've been watering pretty vigorously.  Ah well, we got at least one batch of incredible pizza sauce from the fresh oregano leaves.  If it doesn't make it, we'll try something else next year.

How hot?

You may be overwatering potentially. Both of those are native to the Mediterranean so are used to drought conditions.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Allie on July 04, 2018, 01:11:40 PM
So much goodness coming out of the gardens!

I harvested a bunch of cilantro and 4 lettuce leaves last night.  It's a start...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on July 04, 2018, 01:38:11 PM
@nessness -- so glad you are having fun with your chickens!  They really are great.  We have 13 right now, which is way too many for our own needs, but I sell the excess eggs so that's a win.

I also got a small handful of gooseberries from the baby bushes I planted this spring.  The Hinnomaki variety was the clear winner over the Pixwell.  Bigger berries, tons more flavor.

13 is how many we have an even at summer laying rates itís barely enough for my family (of 5), lol.

Hinnomaki Red seems to be the winner here too. Hinnomaki Yellow is not nearly as good. I forget the other ones I have here.

Wow @furrychickens -- you all eat a lot of eggs!  We are a family of four, but only three egg eaters.  We eat less than a dozen a week.  In the summer we are swimming in eggs; I sell 4 to 5 dozen a week.  I'll say this -- That old rule of thumb of one chicken per person in the family definitely does not apply to you!

Yes, that's what I have -- the Hinnomaki Red gooseberries.  They're yummy. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 04, 2018, 02:50:25 PM
I typically eat 7-8 eggs a day just myself. 6 for breakfast and 1-2 hard boiled later as snacks.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on July 05, 2018, 06:20:21 AM
Picked a whole lot of greens, herbs, shelling peas, snow peas and a cuke. 

Tomatoes are definitely a bust.  Plan worked out for next year:  Grow crop in pots.  Some pots in the greenhouse, others in the garden.  Potatoes are also starting to succumb so the fungus is widespread.  Potatoes will be grown in towers in new soil and compost and manure.  It is definitely making me very sad to see everything shrivel up and die.  Rona has 99 cent bags of black earth so I am going to load up on them and a friend is giving me all the large pots I want.  Now I need to source the plastic for solarization. 

I have got to work on the fencing again.  The individual row covers don't work once the plants get too tall.  So I am thinking of a strategy for a more secure perimeter fence against bunnies and a temporary seed protection against chipmunks in the spring.  Chipmunks only seem to eat the cucurbits and peas.

The fertility of the soil is really bad at one end of the garden.  That is going to get the entire contents of the chicken house.  The chickens are free during the day so it isn't a huge amount of manure, but between the compost pile and it - that should be the boost that is needed.  I am also going to get all the leaves this fall that I can.  With the perimeter fenced, I should be able to contain them. I am hoping that boosting the organics in the soil and getting a richer biome going will help with fungus.

Had another flush of oysters.  Yippee. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 05, 2018, 07:11:18 AM
Sorry about the disease damage :(

Chickens actually deposit half their manure load overnight, so thatís actually a lot of manure :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on July 05, 2018, 07:49:51 AM
Sorry about the disease damage :(
thanks for the condolences.

Chickens actually deposit half their manure load overnight, so thatís actually a lot of manure :)
I did not know that about chickens.  7 chickens producing it....
BTW you eat a lot of eggs. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: OmahaSteph on July 10, 2018, 11:44:04 AM
Hello all! I'm suuuuper late to the party, but this year I grew tomatoes, peppers and broccoli from seed to moderate success, though it was definitely a learning experience. We have clay soil so I built four raised beds on a slope (OMG). Two of them got finished, the other two will have to wait. I bit off a little more than I can chew by myself. They also have trellises on one end. Also created a large bed for tomatoes.

In total:

Variegated tomatoes (from Seed Savers Exchange, no idea what they actually are) +

Cherry tomatoes = 10 plants

1 Roma

3 San Marzanos

3 broccolis (they won't form heads - I think it's the heat since we went from snow to 90 degrees in a week)

2 patches of dill

1 clump of chives

4 patches of thyme

A metric ton of basil :)

3 sq feet of English cucumbers

3 square feet of pole beans (currently getting munched by bean leaf beetles, neem oil isn't cutting it)

1 sq foot of calendula (supposed to be a good companion for broccoli?)

Rhubarb

2 garbage cans of potatoes (one is doing well, the other not so much)

6 pepper plants (seeds saved from various farmers market peppers, all mixed together - could be bell peppers, could be hot peppers, not sure yet; leaves are looking pale, but there are several little peppers growing)

Most of the tomatoes got the following treatment in their hole: shrimp shells, eggs shells, two aspirin, fish emulsion, and mykos on the roots. And now they're topping their metal cages, lol.

It's only a matter of time before we get chickens ...

There are lots of pictures on my IG (Steph_Lawton)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Finntastic on July 10, 2018, 10:55:02 PM
Anyone here experienced growing cannabis outdoors? I've used to grow indoors back in Europe, but now in Thailand with the legalization coming (medical in 9 months, recreational following probably soon) would be interested to try to grow some thai sticks. I have half a hectare slope land that could probably fit few hundred plants, but I would not be able to look after them on daily basis, it would most likely be visit once a week to water them etc...

Any weed experts here?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on July 11, 2018, 03:39:38 AM
Anyone here experienced growing cannabis outdoors? I've used to grow indoors back in Europe, but now in Thailand with the legalization coming (medical in 9 months, recreational following probably soon) would be interested to try to grow some thai sticks. I have half a hectare slope land that could probably fit few hundred plants, but I would not be able to look after them on daily basis, it would most likely be visit once a week to water them etc...

Any weed experts here?

I've never grown it, but would be interested to try as well.  Our neighbor up the hill has a patch of a few dozen plants  -- seems like it can grow well here.  I just did a quick Google search and with the expanding legalization there are lots of how-to articles on growing.  Seems like the most challenging part might be getting good seeds, if you aren't yet in a full-legal location. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 11, 2018, 06:32:55 AM
Could try asking in the main forum. I may be wrong, but I swear there are at least a few professional MJ growers on the boards.

There are also numerous dedicated forums for growing cannabis. I remember ending up on several when researching grow lights years ago.

I donít know how different the strains are between industrial hemp and MJ for smoking/edibles, but there may be more data available on outdoor cultivation for hemp as that used to be and is becoming again an important industrial scale crop. My state used to be one of the biggest hemp producers in the world before the legality changed.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on July 15, 2018, 06:40:40 AM
It's yet another race against blight this year for our tomatoes.

I restaked them all after a storm knocked them over. They are giant plants right now - most are 5+ feet already, if not taller. Blight is spreading but there are quite literally hundreds of tomatoes on the plants right now. Our tomatillos are going nuts too, if we get a fraction of as many as are on those plants it will be a bumper crop.

Asparagus is mostly up, will be a next year crop. There is crabgrass all over it :( I'm not sure how to best get rid of that... was hoping those ferns would get big enough to just crowd out the weeds but not all of them are getting very big for some reason.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on July 15, 2018, 10:40:29 AM
I'm harvesting a handful of blueberries daily. Lettuce all finally keeled over, but I went to pull the peas, which looked like shit in the heat, and found a few more pea pods. Yay! I pulled a few garlic bulbs the other day, and two small carrots. My basil is doing pretty well (other than one Thai basil that dropped dead suddenly) so I'm going to make a big batch of pesto today.

I'm going to have to restake one of my tomatoes that is busting out of its cage, and give everything in the backyard a good haircut because it's starting to be impossible to walk between my small raised bed and my tomatoes in huge pots.

All tomatoes so far are starting to make tomatoes other than the Brandywines (which are flowering but not doing jack shit otherwise) and the Nebraska Wedding, which I've had problems with from the start - started from seed, didn't sprout. Started again, sprouted but died. Third try resulted in a plant, but it seems puny and unhappy and isn't flowering. Not sure what's up with that; it's a new to me variety that I got free seeds for. One plant (Inca Jewels, also a new variety to me) had some issues with blossom end rot but the new tomatoes that are forming seem OK. I've been fertilizing and adding some ground up eggshells for calcium. I find that the Roma-like varieties, which this one seems to be, have way more problems with rot than other "normal" varieties or cherry varieties, does anyone else find that to be true?

I think I have blight too in the community garden - either that or some other fungus. Most of the tomato plants in people's beds seem to have it. That's a down side of a community garden - the beds are so close together that I feel like if one person gets a disease, it spreads pretty fast. So far I've been keeping it at bay by removing the diseased leaves and using organic copper fungicide. It's not perfect, but it's better.

Yesterday my local Fancy Garden Center was having a sale so I finally replaced the thyme that didn't make it through the winter, and got a citronella plant because we have a serious mosquito problem on our back deck. I'm not quite sure what to do with it - the garden center said it was pretty easy care but they said that about the petunias that I killed too, so who knows. I don't seem to do well with plants that do not make food.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural on July 15, 2018, 11:21:27 AM
I'm quite unhappy with my year of growing virtually nothing, so I'm going to start figuring on how I could grow more next year while living in two different places. I should at least be able to grow container tomatoes and herbs in my atrium if I could figure out the water situation. But they need a lot of water there with the sun on an enclosed south-facing space, and our water pressure is high and tends to wear out drip systems fast in spite of our whole-house regulator. More contemplation is needed.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on July 16, 2018, 01:50:25 PM
We got some rain just now.  Enough to wet the soil.  Hoping for more.  We need about three days worth. 

My garden gave me half a dozen peppers, three pounds of yellow bean, much kale, lettuce and some tomatoes - despite their sickly appearance, the fruit tastes pretty good. Latest rodent barrier appears to be holding, although the chickens have been digging up the newspaper and spreading the wood chips all over.  It looked so tidy before
I have been using city water from my neighbour's hose to keep things well watered.

I also harvested half a pound of oyster mushrooms.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 17, 2018, 04:34:35 AM
@Tris Prior yes, determinate tomatoes do seem to get BER more easily. They donít have root systems as deep as indeterminate varieties.

Sprinkling a liberal layer of oyster shell at the beginnng of the season usually does the trick for me.

If youíre applying calcium regularly but still constantly seeing BER make sure

1. Soil is staying evenly moist.

2. Soil pH. Calcium becomes highly non-bioavailable in pH below 7, particularly 6.5 or lower.

For a faster calcium fix, Iíve heard of folks using antacid tablets ground up. Eggshells are very slow release, slower even than oyster shell in my experience.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: mountain mustache on July 17, 2018, 06:58:22 AM
my tomatoes are somehow doing incredibly! We are having a good year for tomatoes (short winter, warm spring, hot summer...usually quite different) and I am over the moon to have 12 happy plants with dozens of tomatoes on them. I didn't really think I could do it here in the high rockies to be honest. My pepper plants are also super happy recently, as it's gotten really hot...they are full of little baby peppers that I can't wait to eat! All my lettuce and spinach has bolted, which is a bummer because the every 3 days fresh baby greens was super nice for the month that it lasted...chard and kale are both doing amazing, and getting ready to harvest.
Something that is not going so well for me is basil. Usually that is the one thing I can count on...but this year I am having a major Earwig problem, and they are eating all of it! They don't touch the Thai basil, or oregano, or thyme, or sage, just the regular basil. Any tips?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on July 17, 2018, 08:17:19 AM
We got rain.  Lots and lots of torrential rain late yesterday afternoon.  The forecast for the next 7 days looks favourable for planting more beans and greens for early fall picking.
I am going to make pesto for the first time in 15 years tonight.  The basil is looking lovely.  Lets hope my kids will start eating pesto now.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on July 18, 2018, 07:23:59 AM
FL, lucky you with the rain.  We got 1/2 " the other night, not enough to bring the grass out of dormancy.  Yes, I have a brown and green lawn, the brown is the grass, the green is the "weeds" - some are true weeds, some are just other plants, like the clover and bird's-foot trefoil.  I have been watering the vegetable garden regularly, it has been so dry.  The tomatoes have lots of green tomatoes on them, the peppers have a few peppers (I think they don't set if nights are too hot and we have had hot nights), the basil is fine, and I harvested my first cucumber the other day.  The rest of the cucumbers are those tiny 5 mm babies.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 18, 2018, 10:16:34 AM
My tomatoes are getting a lot of dry, brown leaves and slowing down production. It's been 100+ degrees every day, so I'm guessing I need a thicker layer of mulch to retain more water during the day? They just have a thin layer of straw right now.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on July 18, 2018, 12:52:15 PM
@Tris Prior yes, determinate tomatoes do seem to get BER more easily. They donít have root systems as deep as indeterminate varieties.

Sprinkling a liberal layer of oyster shell at the beginnng of the season usually does the trick for me.

If youíre applying calcium regularly but still constantly seeing BER make sure

1. Soil is staying evenly moist.

2. Soil pH. Calcium becomes highly non-bioavailable in pH below 7, particularly 6.5 or lower.

For a faster calcium fix, Iíve heard of folks using antacid tablets ground up. Eggshells are very slow release, slower even than oyster shell in my experience.

Now the Roma at home has it too. Only on a couple of the tomatoes, though? Maybe I'll try the antacid tablets. I think I might have a pH test somewhere in the basement still, from when I put the soil acidifier on my blueberries (which are producing pretty well!).

It's been very dry here. I water daily but it probably needs 2 waterings a day as it's bone dry every time I go there; but I don't think I can cram in a morning community garden trip considering that I'm already having to arrive at work stupid early every morning during the summer. (and TBH am feeling SUPER overwhelmed this year by maintaining 2 gardens.) I haven't had this problem at home yet. Usually I have a Roma in a container and it initially gets rot on some fruits but then it goes away. 2 plants getting it is unusual for me.

Ate the first ripe Sungold right off the vine yesterday. It was delicious!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on July 18, 2018, 01:50:14 PM
Ate the first ripe Sungold right off the vine yesterday. It was delicious!

Sungolds are wicked, wicked good.  I am a tomato junkie (see my avatar!) and Sungold is one of the absolute best. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on July 18, 2018, 03:02:58 PM
@Tris Prior - I pretty much have no tomato crop - and the potatoes are dying off too.  It is not a watering or heat issue - it is a fungus in the soil.  My research found no solutions to treat the existing plants.  So I have accepted low yields this year and have made plans to grow in pots next season and solarize the soil this fall and early next spring.  Hopefully in 2020 I can go back to planting in the ground with the cause of the wilt removed from the soil.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Allie on July 19, 2018, 02:20:53 PM
Oh guys!  I think my raspberries have cane blight.  I am so sad.  :-(


I have my fingers crossed they live and produce berries this year, but they are dying back as fast as the flowers can pop and start to turn into berries. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on July 20, 2018, 06:51:30 AM
My roma tomatoes have blossom end rot. I've added compost with blood meal, but will add some calcium nitrate as well. For the tomatoes that already have the BER, I'm thinking of picking them, cutting off the bad ends and making green salsa. Hopefully, removing the more mature tomatoes will encourage the plants to flower and set more fruit (I can't remember if they're determinate or indeterminate).

Fortunately, the rest of my garden is doing well. My experiment in growing eggplant and celery is working beautifully, and I'm enjoying a huge crop of basil.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: StarBright on July 20, 2018, 07:34:24 AM
Been a while since I checked in.

Been picking about a pound of bush beans every few days for the last week or so. I suspect they'll end their run soon. Pole beans are starting to flower. Yellow squash are just starting and I have a tiny cantaloupe the size of a gumball - fingers crossed that it turns into something.

Starting to get cherry tomatoes and romas. My Early Girls haven't produced anything; so much for early! Dreaming of Cherokee Purples but I think they are still a few weeks from ripeness.

My basil is meh this year. I decided to experiment with broc and brussel sprouts. I had some brocolli in Mid June but the sprouts just keep growing giant leaves. They look gorgeous but I'm not seeing anything that looks remotely likely a brussel sprout. Did I miss something when I was on vacation at the beginning of the month? Anyone here grow brussel sprouts?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on July 20, 2018, 08:29:14 AM
I am going on holiday for three weeks so last night I harvested the garden really hard.  I took 6 grocery bags to my local food pantry last night for distribution to their clients today at their weekly morning food supplement.  Five of the bags were lettuce, the remaining were the yellow beans and six green peppers.  I missed the zucchini that I found this morning.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 25, 2018, 11:36:37 AM
My sweet pepper plants are FINALLY flowering, so maybe there's still hope of getting some peppers this year.

I thought I'd killed my mint plants, which was kinda embarrassing because of how famously easy it is to grow mint, but after dying way back they're getting some new growth again.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on July 25, 2018, 11:58:16 AM
Jumping in here mid-year- so neat to read about everyone else's gardens!

I share three different community/neighborhood vegetable gardens with my DH and neighbor. We're able to garden year round and harvest year round.

What are you growing this year?
Currently: tomatoes, bush beans, pole beans, onions (red italian, "Walla Walla", green, and yellow), "Wee Be Little Pumpkins", cucumbers, zucchini ("Magda" and green), basil, "Glass Gem" corn, peppers (Anaheim, Poblano, and a new one), kale, chives, last of the lettuce, arugula, potatoes, amaranth, malabar spinach, purslane, alpine strawberries, and oregano.

Trying anything new this year?
Some new varieties of tomato ("Rose de Berne" and "Eva Purple Ball"), a gorgeous new variety of popcorn "Glass Gem" (seriously GTS), artichokes (they were delicious to us and the gophers) and garlic. Looking forward to planting more garlic- such an awesome thing to be eating homegrown garlic.

Best tips to pass along.
Take time to sit in your garden and just enjoy the season.
Composting is worth it- you are so badass if you can grow soil.
Share the bounty- pass along the extra produce, take friends through your garden, let them pick produce or flowers, share the beauty.
Grow flowers! "Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread, but give us roses."
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 25, 2018, 02:24:29 PM
Where do you guys buy your seeds from? I'm starting to plan my fall/Winter garden - I promised my daughter we could grow rainbow carrots, and I think I'll do some lettuce and cabbage too.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on July 25, 2018, 03:01:02 PM
@nessness I have had good success with ordering from Pinetree Garden Seeds https://www.superseeds.com/ . I like their smaller sized seeds packets and the variety of things they offer.

I also like Renee's Garden too: https://www.reneesgarden.com/ They're local to me and really passionate about trials and offering interesting, tasty veggies.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on July 25, 2018, 04:03:33 PM
Got some more sungolds, and so far 3 decently sized jalapeŮos. One of my "Fourth of July" tomatoes is finally showing tiny signs of ripening. (haha, they're supposed to be ripe by the 4th of July, which never happens here). I have to do some serious pruning in the backyard as the tomato jungle has started already. All other varieties remain green, so far. I am impatient; looking back at my garden photos from last year, I was already getting a decent crop by now.

Oh, did I mention that the purple raspberry that I thought was dead and did not do jack shit last year is now producing small amounts of gorgeous deep purple and very juicy raspberries? Hooray! The dwarf raspberry in the community bed has also finally gotten with the program, though I don't think I'm going to get a huge yield like last year. It just seems behind schedule. Maybe they're just coming later. I came home from vacation Monday and found 4 ripe berries on it, which were delicious.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on July 25, 2018, 04:58:49 PM
Two months ago I thought that only two of the five raspberry canes that I planted last year survived the winter, but then seemingly overnight canes started sprouting everywhere. I now have a lush little raspberry patch that yields a nice handful of berries a day. A real delight!

I've canned my first batch of dill beans and have started a huge batch of pesto that I'll freeze into cubes for later use.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on July 26, 2018, 07:48:21 AM
Two months ago I thought that only two of the five raspberry canes that I planted last year survived the winter, but then seemingly overnight canes started sprouting everywhere. I now have a lush little raspberry patch that yields a nice handful of berries a day. A real delight!

Are volunteer raspberries indeed a thing? I have something sprouting up next to my (red) raspberry container that sure looks like another raspberry. I didn't realize they did that. I assumed it was a weed but now I feel like I shouldn't pull it just in case.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: StarBright on July 26, 2018, 07:53:04 AM
I have a question - what do I do with 6 romas? Not enough to make sauce and I don't have an immediate use for them for a few days. I don't want to waste them.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on July 26, 2018, 08:00:55 AM
Caprese salad? Slice them up with some fresh mozzarella, basil, and drizzle with balsamic.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 26, 2018, 08:34:27 AM
@nessness I have had good success with ordering from Pinetree Garden Seeds https://www.superseeds.com/ . I like their smaller sized seeds packets and the variety of things they offer.

I also like Renee's Garden too: https://www.reneesgarden.com/ They're local to me and really passionate about trials and offering interesting, tasty veggies.
Thanks! I just ordered from Renee's Garden.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on July 26, 2018, 08:49:06 AM
@nessness awesome! What did you end up ordering?

@StarBright Try chopping them up and cooking them with scrambled eggs! Or any kind of veggie stir fry or curry mix. I find if I'm chopping up veggies and cooking them together it's a great place to use that tiny amount of random veggies. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 26, 2018, 09:01:18 AM
@Vasilisa I got "sweet greens and reds" lettuce blend, "harlequin mix" carrots, and "pixie" cabbage. I'm pretty excited. :) Shipping cost was a bit high ($5), but the seed costs seemed pretty reasonable, and I like that they sell seed blends for the carrots and lettuce, rather than having to buy each type separately.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on July 26, 2018, 09:27:44 AM
I grew the Sweet Greens and Reds this spring and it did well and was really pretty!

Thinking about trying for a fall crop of lettuce, but I've never had success with it. It just doesn't seem to want to germinate, ever. The weather's probably too iffy here for it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on July 26, 2018, 10:30:55 AM
I have a question - what do I do with 6 romas? Not enough to make sauce and I don't have an immediate use for them for a few days. I don't want to waste them.

You could chop them up and put them in a mason jar and freeze them.  I've done that when I don't have time to can.  Frozen tomatoes separate a bit, but you can still use them for soup, chili, etc.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 26, 2018, 04:24:08 PM
Where do you guys buy your seeds from? I'm starting to plan my fall/Winter garden - I promised my daughter we could grow rainbow carrots, and I think I'll do some lettuce and cabbage too.

Primarily FedCo. Good quality, very good prices, especially for the minimum packet sizes. I also order occasionally from Johnnyís and have ordered from several independent plant breeders to get unusual strains/varieties Iíd read about.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on July 26, 2018, 04:58:59 PM
Trimmed and cleaned up my garlic harvest! Almost 2 pounds harvested from one head of garlic planted last year. It made a delicious batch of pesto.  I'm absurdly pleased at how easy it was to grow.

My cherry tomatoes and zucchini are coming in at a manageable level. First of the Moskvich tomatoes are ripening too.

My Italian parsley has all bolted - I thought parsley was a biennial and only flowered in the second year. Is that only curly parsley that does that? Or should I have been trimming off the stems as they sprouted up?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cranky on July 27, 2018, 07:14:22 AM
Two months ago I thought that only two of the five raspberry canes that I planted last year survived the winter, but then seemingly overnight canes started sprouting everywhere. I now have a lush little raspberry patch that yields a nice handful of berries a day. A real delight!

Are volunteer raspberries indeed a thing? I have something sprouting up next to my (red) raspberry container that sure looks like another raspberry. I didn't realize they did that. I assumed it was a weed but now I feel like I shouldn't pull it just in case.

Hahaha. Raspberries will take over the world. I planted 3 or 4 canes, and could probably open a U Pick, if I didn't whack them back every year.

Any, the June crop of raspberries is over, and conveniently was pretty much finished just as we left for vacation. The canes are loaded with flowers and new fruit - I think we'll be having round 2 in about 10 days.

Tomatoes look pretty good. I'm getting a few Romas and a lot of grape and cherry tomatoes. The squash is spreading fast, but not setting yet. The basil looks great - we should have the first batch of pesto this weekend. The perennial herbs are in full swing - makes the bees happy!

I've experimented with lettuce in pots this year, and it has worked well. I've planted a pot every other week and we've had lettuce since May.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: StarBright on July 27, 2018, 07:35:09 AM
Caprese salad? Slice them up with some fresh mozzarella, basil, and drizzle with balsamic.

I had turkey burgers and fries on the menu last night (gotta have a meal for the kiddos every now and then). I turned the grown ups meal into Caprese Turkey Burgers and a green bean/tomato salad!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 27, 2018, 03:26:15 PM
I think I'm going to get rid of my guineas. I'd heard they were loud but OMG I had no idea. It's only a matter of time before my neighbors start complaining.

Of my 14 chickens, there are 3 I'm sure are roosters and 3 more suspected. Someone at the feed store told me about a local biweekly livestock auction where she said she always sold her roosters. So I think I'll probably take the roosters and guineas there, though it makes me a bit sad.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on July 27, 2018, 04:38:01 PM
I think I'm going to get rid of my guineas. I'd heard they were loud but OMG I had no idea. It's only a matter of time before my neighbors start complaining.

Of my 14 chickens, there are 3 I'm sure are roosters and 3 more suspected. Someone at the feed store told me about a local biweekly livestock auction where she said she always sold her roosters. So I think I'll probably take the roosters and guineas there, though it makes me a bit sad.

Could eat them too :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on July 27, 2018, 07:49:14 PM
I think I'm going to get rid of my guineas. I'd heard they were loud but OMG I had no idea. It's only a matter of time before my neighbors start complaining.

Of my 14 chickens, there are 3 I'm sure are roosters and 3 more suspected. Someone at the feed store told me about a local biweekly livestock auction where she said she always sold her roosters. So I think I'll probably take the roosters and guineas there, though it makes me a bit sad.

Could eat them too :)
I did think about that, but I don't think I could handle processing them myself, and paying someone to process them didn't seem worth it, given how rarely we eat meat. Plus my 3-year-old is going through a phase where she doesn't want to eat fish because she has a pet fish and it makes her sad, so I can't imagine how traumatized she would be over eating our chickens.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on July 29, 2018, 12:00:38 PM
My tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. Yesterday, I had enough cherry toms to make a salad. It was a major culinary event.

Went through inventory of canning jars, emptied old food, scrubbed jars, bleached reusable lids to remove smell, and now I'm ready to stand over a boiling pot of water to preserve some summer goodness. I've got pickles and zucchini relish on the prep list. Every canning season, I dream of an outdoor kitchen setup. One of these years, I have to get on it.

Finished the honey harvest from one hive and had 26.2 lbs of honey. Yes, I weighed it. It's almost all bottled. Put honeycomb into a few widemouth canning jars and filled it up with honey. Looks good.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on July 30, 2018, 05:35:52 AM
That's awesome @Indio.  Have you been beekeeping long?  I am hoping to get into that soon.  I've done a day-long cooperative extension class, and found it totally fascinating. 

Haven't posted much here lately.  The early summer fruits (cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries) are all done, and the tomatoes and peppers are not ripe yet. 

Tree fruit is looking pretty good.  One of our apple trees is nearly ripe, so we have that to look forward to.  Our grand old Kieffer pear tree is loaded with fruit again this year.  We actually had to thin the fruit quite a bit to avoid branch breakage.  I have no idea what that old tree used for a pollinator this spring (I don't know of any other mature pears within bee range) but somehow the job got done.  Kieffers are known to be partially self-fertile, however it's got a lot of fruit on it!  We have three young pears in the ground that will hopefully flower next year.  Our fig trees have quite a bit of fruit on them, but a long way from ripe.  The pomegranate I bought this spring on a whim looks fantastic -- has tripled in size -- but no fruit on it.  Of the 4 young persimmons I planted last year, only one has fruit on it.  Two of the other three are suffering some kind of leaf-curl problem.  Grapes look good.  The Concords are loaded with fruit, and the baby Muscadines are growing well.

Next spring I will be FIREd and will be able to really go to town on my garden.  Can't wait!     
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 01, 2018, 06:53:22 AM
Had bees for almost a decade now. Got into it after I noticed a drop off in backyard garden veg. Then I realized that pollinators declined cuz town was spraying for west mile mosquitoes. When they stopped, ecosystem balanced out with more birds and bats to feed on them.
Bees are a great hobby. Itís good exercise too cuz im always carrying around lots of heavy stuff. Was in Volvoís early on with a new bee group in our area and this year we started offering free mentoring to new beekeepers. Itís so satisfying to see others get interested in it. Happy to answer any questions if you need help when you get started.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 02, 2018, 05:34:16 AM
Cool -- thank you @Indio !  One thing I've been pondering is the start up costs of beekeeping.
I know there are those who say it can be reasonable if you DIY your hives, rent/borrow equipment and so on.  Since I am "lean FIREing" next year, I will not have lots extra in the budget, so figuring out how to start up cheaply will take some careful planning . . .
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 02, 2018, 08:01:12 AM
You're right the start up costs can be very high. When I first got into beekeeping, I had no idea that you could DIY, but I've met lots of people that have done it with great results. Probably the only thing you would need to buy would be a bee smoker/bellows. I saw one guy who was a cigar smoker who got around it by puffing cigar smoke on the bees. Don't think it is worth the trade off.

If you want to pick up used equipment, keep checking craigslist. There are always people that get out of beekeeping cuz it became too physically demanding for them. 

You can easily make hive bodies out of discarded wooden wine boxes and then modify them slightly, if you want a langstroth style hive, but there are many successful hive bodies out there. I've experimented with a few that were given to me and I've had the most success with Langstroth and Warre. Frames can be made from kebab skewers. And you can pick up bees when they swarm, but this can be difficult and requires really good timing, usually Spring, and the ability to react quickly. sI saw a swarm on a Home Depot truck in their parking lot this May. They wouldn't let me take it for insurance reasons. :( Look on FB for a local bee group. When homeowners have a swarm on their house or car, they might post it there for someone to come and get it. Alternately, beekeepers might have a rapidly growing colony that they need to split to prevent it from swarming and they don't have enough space or hives for the bees so they give it away. That would be the best scenario for you to get a starter bee colony.

For tools to manipulate the hive, a straight edge screwdriver, small spackler/trowel and a soft broom used for sweeping into a dustban, should be enough.

Check out anarchy apiaries http://anarchyapiaries.org/ in upstate NY. I believe he has built all his own hives and has photos. He specializes in queen rearing, which is where the big money is. He inspired me to breed winter hardy, mite resistant queens.  Another beekeeper imported the winter hardy queens from Canada and I'm crossing them with my mite resistant queens to see if I can create a bee that is impervious to a few of the environmental factors that are leading to their die off.

What hardiness zone are you in @Trifele ?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 02, 2018, 08:37:48 AM
You're right the start up costs can be very high. When I first got into beekeeping, I had no idea that you could DIY, but I've met lots of people that have done it with great results. Probably the only thing you would need to buy would be a bee smoker/bellows. I saw one guy who was a cigar smoker who got around it by puffing cigar smoke on the bees. Don't think it is worth the trade off.

If you want to pick up used equipment, keep checking craigslist. There are always people that get out of beekeeping cuz it became too physically demanding for them. 

You can easily make hive bodies out of discarded wooden wine boxes and then modify them slightly, if you want a langstroth style hive, but there are many successful hive bodies out there. I've experimented with a few that were given to me and I've had the most success with Langstroth and Warre. Frames can be made from kebab skewers. And you can pick up bees when they swarm, but this can be difficult and requires really good timing, usually Spring, and the ability to react quickly. sI saw a swarm on a Home Depot truck in their parking lot this May. They wouldn't let me take it for insurance reasons. :( Look on FB for a local bee group. When homeowners have a swarm on their house or car, they might post it there for someone to come and get it. Alternately, beekeepers might have a rapidly growing colony that they need to split to prevent it from swarming and they don't have enough space or hives for the bees so they give it away. That would be the best scenario for you to get a starter bee colony.

For tools to manipulate the hive, a straight edge screwdriver, small spackler/trowel and a soft broom used for sweeping into a dustban, should be enough.

Check out anarchy apiaries http://anarchyapiaries.org/ in upstate NY. I believe he has built all his own hives and has photos. He specializes in queen rearing, which is where the big money is. He inspired me to breed winter hardy, mite resistant queens.  Another beekeeper imported the winter hardy queens from Canada and I'm crossing them with my mite resistant queens to see if I can create a bee that is impervious to a few of the environmental factors that are leading to their die off.

What hardiness zone are you in @Trifele ?

I am in Zone 7a.  Funny you mention capturing wild bees -- there is an article this month in Mother Earth News about doing just that.  It seems sort of advanced for a newbie though!

Edited to add:  When I attended the workshop, I won a really nice hive tool as a door prize!  So all set there.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 02, 2018, 05:41:39 PM
I watered like mad during our drought and now we have had some rain (but need more more more).  My reward - tonight my first 2 tomatoes (Celebrity), 2 cucumbers, and 2 cherry tomatoes that were eaten while I was still in the garden.  Cherry tomatoes are our gardening reward right?  They are not meant to make it to the house.

I also cut one basil way back and have lots of leaves drying.  I have two more that also need cutting back, no place to put the leave while they dry.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 04, 2018, 11:23:53 AM
I absolutely love August when the garden is producing like crazy. This morning I picked 6 quarts of tomatoes. We've had heavy rain this week so I needed to stake some of the plants upright again. About a 1/3 of tomatoes were split from rain so I'm popping them into the food dehydrator. I love "sundried" tomatoes in Winter salads and soup. Chickens will get some of the more damaged tomatoes. One of the 4 chicks we added to the flock, has started laying. Oh yeah... egg production has been on the slow side from the big girls. Averaging about 5 eggs a day. Will need to thin the flock of the older hens soon.

The zucchinis are humongous too. Might turn the gigantic ones into zucchini bread. Made 8 quarts of zucchini relish and it's sitting on the pantry shelf with the soothing yellow glow of added tumeric.

The cuckes need to be pickled asap. Using ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, red onion, I made a delish salad with very thinly shaved cuckes. Ate that for dinner and breakfast.

Going to make pesto today, harvest more dried cilantro seeds and dill heads to use in the pickles.

I keep thinking about how good the eating is this time of year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 04, 2018, 01:22:26 PM
I picked my third Celebrity tomato today.  This is the best my tomatoes have done in years for early ripening, especially since they went in so late because of the cold spring.    There is one more sort of orange one, and the rest are green.  The Sweet Chelsea and unknown cherry are also doing well.  My 3 Italian paste tomato plants have masses of green, oddly shaped tomatoes - I hope they don't all ripen at once!

My bush beans have not done well the last few years, but I planted some short rows a week ago and they are all up, and no mis-shapen leaves. This was seed ordered from a good seed company instead of off the rack at the garden centre.  So that is a win!  I also started some broccoli indoors for planting out in a few weeks, and half the seeds are up.   We've had long mild falls the last few years, so I am hoping for some harvest - both are early varieties.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 04, 2018, 04:30:52 PM
An animal broke into the coop where I keep my five Silkies last night and four of them are missing. I'm hoping a couple of them will show up at dusk but I'm not that optimistic. :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 04, 2018, 04:42:43 PM
Oh @nessness -- I am sorry to hear that!  Fingers crossed for you.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on August 04, 2018, 06:58:31 PM
Really sorry to hear that, nessness. :(

This week I have gotten the following varieties of ripe tomatoes:
- black cherry
- sun chocula (makes brown cherry tomatoes)
- a variety that's just called "cherry." My mom gave me the seed packet probably 5 or 6 years ago, it cost 5 cents on clearance. Every year it's my best producer and healthiest plant. Even with seed that is now very old. I will despair when I finally run out of seed for this thing.
- Fourth of July
- Inca Jewels. This one's a disappointment. I picked the one ripe tomato it produced today and tried a piece before cutting up the rest for salad. It is completely tasteless. WTF?
- Little Bites
- Sungolds sungolds sungolds! Including one that looks like a butt! :D

Not ripe yet, but making green tomatoes:
- Mr Stripey
- Brandywine
- Mystery Pink Brandywine
- Boxcar Willie
- Roma
- Martino's Roma
- Creme Brulee
- Rutgers

Doing exactly jack shit:
- Nebraska Wedding
-
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 04, 2018, 07:07:32 PM
An animal broke into the coop where I keep my five Silkies last night and four of them are missing. I'm hoping a couple of them will show up at dusk but I'm not that optimistic. :(

Sorry. What did you build with and how did they get in?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 04, 2018, 11:18:55 PM
An animal broke into the coop where I keep my five Silkies last night and four of them are missing. I'm hoping a couple of them will show up at dusk but I'm not that optimistic. :(

Sorry. What did you build with and how did they get in?
It's a pre-built coop that my neighbors gave me. Two of the wood pieces were apparently attached to each other with plastic screws, and the animal pried them apart. I suspect a possum. There were a bunch of feathers around the coop, and I found a pile of feathers about 50 yards away, but no other evidence, and only the one live chicken.

My mom was housesitting last night and said she heard scratching but she thought it was coming from the roof, and she didn't hear any chickens making noise, so she didn't go out to check them. She feels terrible.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 05, 2018, 05:18:11 AM
So sorry Nessness.  In my experience, chickens go very quiet at night (they kind of shut off) and don't make much noise, even when serious shit is going down.  So there may not have been a lot of noise.

May have been a raccoon -- they are very strong, motivated, and have clever little hands.  For future repairs/construction -- hardware cloth is your friend.  It's work, but doable to build a coop that nothing bigger than your finger can get into.   Well, a bear can get in -- if you have those.  But at least here it is rare for bears to tear into coops.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 05, 2018, 06:17:29 AM
Also, attach hardware cloth with either screws and fender washers or poultry staples that you hammer in. Regular staples from a staple gun are not strong enough. Predators can peel the wire off. Never lost a chicken that way, but lost a rabbit doe and her entire litter when a coyote peeled the hardware cloth off a hutch that was attached with staple gun staples.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 05, 2018, 08:52:42 AM
Also, attach hardware cloth with either screws and fender washers or poultry staples that you hammer in. Regular staples from a staple gun are not strong enough. Predators can peel the wire off. Never lost a chicken that way, but lost a rabbit doe and her entire litter when a coyote peeled the hardware cloth off a hutch that was attached with staple gun staples.

+1. Yes -- use the big metal staples that you hammer in. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 05, 2018, 09:02:53 AM
Also, attach hardware cloth with either screws and fender washers or poultry staples that you hammer in. Regular staples from a staple gun are not strong enough. Predators can peel the wire off. Never lost a chicken that way, but lost a rabbit doe and her entire litter when a coyote peeled the hardware cloth off a hutch that was attached with staple gun staples.

+1. Yes -- use the big metal staples that you hammer in.

Though the screw+washer is easier, and easier to pull out. Slightly more expensive.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 05, 2018, 09:25:38 AM
Also, attach hardware cloth with either screws and fender washers or poultry staples that you hammer in. Regular staples from a staple gun are not strong enough. Predators can peel the wire off. Never lost a chicken that way, but lost a rabbit doe and her entire litter when a coyote peeled the hardware cloth off a hutch that was attached with staple gun staples.

+1. Yes -- use the big metal staples that you hammer in.

Though the screw+washer is easier, and easier to pull out. Slightly more expensive.

Agree -- I have pried those staples out, and it is a pain.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: StarBright on August 05, 2018, 10:39:40 AM
The caterpillars got my Kale and Brussel Sprouts :( I'll be pulling them all in the next day or two and possibly putting starts in for a fall crop.

My single cantaloupe is still hanging on. Tomatoes, squash, and green beans are all producing just as they should! The weather has heated up the last few days and my basil likes it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 05, 2018, 05:34:47 PM
- a variety that's just called "cherry." My mom gave me the seed packet probably 5 or 6 years ago, it cost 5 cents on clearance. Every year it's my best producer and healthiest plant. Even with seed that is now very old. I will despair when I finally run out of seed for this thing.

If they are an open pollinated variety you could save the seeds from this year's tomatoes.   If it doesn't say "hybrid" or "F1" on the packet you should be fine.  Tomato seeds are easy to save, lots of instructions on the net.   Pick from your best plants and your next generation will be that much better adapted to your growing conditions.  I am growing an Italian paste tomato that I got from someone who got it from someone who got it from someone - so it has had several generations in my area since it left Italy.  ;-)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 05, 2018, 07:38:46 PM
Thanks @Trifele and @furrychickens . We're going to try to fix the small coop and fortify both coops tonight.

Unfortunately the one remaining silkie is a rooster. I think I'm going to take him and my 3 guineas to a poultry auction next week. I need to examine my other suspected roosters closely this week and decide whether there are any others I'm confident in. They're mostly mixed breeds which makes identification harder.

In happier news, my pepper plants are suddenly full of tiny xzbaby peppers. I was thinking about giving up on them at one point because they barely grew for several weeks after I planted them, but  I'm glad I didn't.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on August 06, 2018, 07:24:36 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your travails nessness!

My garden is a mixed success this year. Despite my epsom salt sprays and addition of blood meal, many of my tomatoes are still coming up with blossom end rot. I had planted fewer tomatoes than usual this year to allow for more variety in the garden, but at this rate I don't think I'll have enough to keep me in sauce for the year.

However, since adding the blood meal and epsom salt sprays, the pumpkin and spaghetti squashes are setting fruit like mad! Fortunately, my basil is also going gangbusters, so I've been making and freezing pesto, which will hopefully help to offset the shortage in tomato sauce this winter.

On the other end of the garden, I've started harvesting celery. It isn't beautiful, but will make great additions to soup, along with the leeks that are getting huge. Seemingly overnight my kale has been devoured by cabbage moths. Do you folks know if the moths lay eggs on the kale? I'm wondering if it's too late to cover them with a floating row cover to salvage new leaves.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 06, 2018, 09:19:15 AM
Today I will pick  my 4th Celebrity tomato. Then there will be a break, the rest are doing well but still green.  I saved egg shells (rinsed and dried) all winter and added crushed eggshell to all my vegetable beds this spring.  Despite the lack of rain and my hand-watering (which is never a full substitute) I have had no blossom end rot on the tomatoes or peppers.

I have a raised bed that I hadn't planted, it had strawberries from last year.  In the heat I never managed to keep it properly weeded.  The last few days I have dug out all the weeds (a lot of grasses, some of it is quack grass so the underground stems go for ever) and will solarize it with clear plastic for a few weeks.  Then the baby broccoli (9 seedlings so far) can go in that bed, and garlic can go in there for the winter.  The strawberry plants will go where the garlic is now.  It is about ready to harvest so I can do soil amendments before I move the strawberries.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 06, 2018, 11:34:48 AM
@Sun Hat BER is a calcium deficiency, not a magnesium one.

On that note, I completely forgot to put calcium down on my tomato beds this year, so other than cherries Iím probably going to get zero/little usable fruit. Even the ones so far that have looked nice have had internal rot in them.

Iím probably going to take a break from tomatoes other than a few cherry plants next year and put all that space into doubling/tripling my peppers because I really want to try my hand at making chili powder, paprika and other pepper based seasonings. Still have lots of hot sauce but maybe Iíll grow hot peppers too because it makes a great gift.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 06, 2018, 11:38:32 AM
Forgot to add that the cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans are all picking back up now that weíre getting some rain again. They struggle on city water alone - anyone else notice this? (And yes I know how to properly water.)

Need to go debone a bunch of rabbits now :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 06, 2018, 11:57:57 AM
Forgot to add that the cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans are all picking back up now that weíre getting some rain again. They struggle on city water alone - anyone else notice this? (And yes I know how to properly water.)
 
My water is from a well, but hard where rain water is soft.  It is fine for the garden, I just have to make sure I water enough to really soak the soil, instead of the top inch or less.  My house water goes through a softener becasue of all the minerals.  I don't use it at all on house plant, as it is gradually lethal.

Our drought is over, but barely, we are still getting thunderstorms instead of proper rainfall.  I have watched the storms go south of me, and north of me, and ended up with 3 mm.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on August 06, 2018, 04:27:22 PM
@Sun Hat BER is a calcium deficiency, not a magnesium one.

It took me a while to remember why I had done the addition of magnesium, but it's because I read that often there is enough calcium in the soil, but that it isn't being taken up because of a shortage of magnesium. I went with the Epsom salts first because I had them handy. Some of the newly formed tomatoes are free of BER, so it's possible that one of the additions was useful, though to be safe I should add some calcium too.

Now for an exciting evening of de-worming my kale!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: middo on August 07, 2018, 10:18:49 PM
@Sun Hat BER is a calcium deficiency, not a magnesium one.

It took me a while to remember why I had done the addition of magnesium, but it's because I read that often there is enough calcium in the soil, but that it isn't being taken up because of a shortage of magnesium. I went with the Epsom salts first because I had them handy. Some of the newly formed tomatoes are free of BER, so it's possible that one of the additions was useful, though to be safe I should add some calcium too.

Now for an exciting evening of de-worming my kale!

BER is a calcium deficiency, but it can be happen in soils with plenty of calcium and high pH, due to a lack of water.  The water is needed to allow the calcium ions to get to the fruits of the tomatoes, as I understand it.  We have very high calcium soils, but very hot dry summers, and blossom end rot is an issue for us when the watering levels drop off.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 08, 2018, 04:48:08 AM
Forgot to add that the cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans are all picking back up now that weíre getting some rain again. They struggle on city water alone - anyone else notice this? (And yes I know how to properly water.)


Yes, I noticed this too when living in the city.  Huge difference between city water and rain.  During dry periods my watering would keep them alive, but that was it.  Then when the rain came the plants would stand up tall and take off.  I always assumed there was some additive in the city water they didn't like(?)  I know they added fluoride. Not sure what else.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on August 08, 2018, 06:15:10 AM
BER is a calcium deficiency, but it can be happen in soils with plenty of calcium and high pH, due to a lack of water.  The water is needed to allow the calcium ions to get to the fruits of the tomatoes, as I understand it.  We have very high calcium soils, but very hot dry summers, and blossom end rot is an issue for us when the watering levels drop off.

This may well have been a factor in my BER, since we've had a very hot summer and there was a period in July when I didn't water enough. I'm being more attentive now and hope that the BER is behind me.

Picking the larvae off of the kale, brussels sprouts and rutabaga went better than expected, though I don't presume to have eliminated the white moths. I also got to enjoy some very dignified frolicking around my yard, catching the mature moths in a butterfly net.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 08, 2018, 07:19:27 AM
Forgot to add that the cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans are all picking back up now that weíre getting some rain again. They struggle on city water alone - anyone else notice this? (And yes I know how to properly water.)


Yes, I noticed this too when living in the city.  Huge difference between city water and rain.  During dry periods my watering would keep them alive, but that was it.  Then when the rain came the plants would stand up tall and take off.  I always assumed there was some additive in the city water they didn't like(?)  I know they added fluoride. Not sure what else.

I asked my parents last night when they were over for my birthday and they confirmed that was their experience as well when they still had a veggie garden, and theyíre on the same water system as I am.

Make me wonder if it affects plants that strongly (perhaps because itís altering the soil microbiome?) whether I shouldnít spend the $$ on a really good water filter like a Berkey because weíre super reliant on our own microbiome.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on August 08, 2018, 07:59:16 AM
I have noticed too that rain is better than me personally watering. Of course, god only knows what's in the city water here. We've gotten a lot of rain over the past couple days; haven't visited the community garden as a result but I'm hoping that everything's happy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on August 08, 2018, 08:23:15 AM
blight + massive inconsistent rain ==> lots of lost tomatoes (between blight killing the plants slowly and tomatoes splitting).

:'(

we still picked 25 pounds yesterday though, so there's that. And our peppers look GREAT - not a ton off them yet but the ones we started from seed are huge plants right now and I see a lot of started peppers and flowers yet. Still a few months for them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on August 08, 2018, 08:46:06 AM
@ender what varieties of peppers are you growing?

The pole beans in my garden have been so productive- picking pounds a week it feels like. Basil is coming in strong too. The bush beans petered out, so ripped those out this weekend and put in some lettuce, spinach, kale, zinnias and a couple peppers.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on August 09, 2018, 01:07:15 PM
@ender what varieties of peppers are you growing?

The pole beans in my garden have been so productive- picking pounds a week it feels like. Basil is coming in strong too. The bush beans petered out, so ripped those out this weekend and put in some lettuce, spinach, kale, zinnias and a couple peppers.

Whole bunch of varieties - bells, bananas, a few various sweet pepper types I don't know off hand.

We have 36 plants (18 of which we started from seed, the others we bought).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on August 09, 2018, 01:36:44 PM
I got three mini red bell peppers yesterday. They are so little and cute!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 09, 2018, 03:32:16 PM

Check out anarchy apiaries http://anarchyapiaries.org/ in upstate NY. I believe he has built all his own hives and has photos. He specializes in queen rearing, which is where the big money is.

Thanks again for this @Indio.  I checked out that website -- great stuff! I have read a few books, lots of articles, attended a day-long class, and this website is the first time I have read about small-cell beekeeping.  (I have sooooo far to go, knowledge-wise.)  This apiary's approach (let the bees do their thing, work with them both on the scale of individual hives and generations, let them build more natural small cells in small hives) resonates with me.  It feels like the way I feel about gardening, orcharding and chicken keeping -- I'm not the 'master' of any of this.  I'm the student, and privileged to observe and support.  I start from the assumption that the plant or creature knows best, and interventions into those processes should be rare and thoughtful.  And Anarchy's hive boxes look simple to build -- very encouraging.

I'm not worried about failure for my sake, but I would not want to let the bees down somehow due to my ignorance.  I wish I could find someone of more or less the same philosophy who could take me by the hand and show me what to do.  I'm such a newbie, I've never even seen a hive close up! 

I love watching the bees on our land though.  Not sure if they are wild? I don't know of any neighbors that keep bees.  I remember last summer we had loads of bees visiting our compost pile.  Do you know what they were doing? They were rubbing themselves on coffee grounds.  I watched them at it for months, doing vigorous scrubs on their bellies and then rolling onto their backs.  They didn't seem to be gathering the grounds or trying to eat them.  I'm guessing they were trying to treat themselves for some ailment?  Maybe mites?  They haven't been doing it this year as far as I've seen. 


 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: clarkai on August 09, 2018, 04:54:02 PM
Today, I sowed seeds for fall and over-wintering crops. It's been really dry here, and I expect that to continue, so I'll have to water, but I think it's worthwhile. I intend to sow more, but so far I have spinach (a heat resistant variety), carrots, kale, and arugula.

I want to sow a lot more kale, along with more bok choi, arugula, lettuce, and more.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 09, 2018, 09:59:13 PM

Check out anarchy apiaries http://anarchyapiaries.org/ in upstate NY. I believe he has built all his own hives and has photos. He specializes in queen rearing, which is where the big money is.

Thanks again for this @Indio.  I checked out that website -- great stuff! I have read a few books, lots of articles, attended a day-long class, and this website is the first time I have read about small-cell beekeeping.  (I have sooooo far to go, knowledge-wise.)  This apiary's approach (let the bees do their thing, work with them both on the scale of individual hives and generations, let them build more natural small cells in small hives) resonates with me.  It feels like the way I feel about gardening, orcharding and chicken keeping -- I'm not the 'master' of any of this.  I'm the student, and privileged to observe and support.  I start from the assumption that the plant or creature knows best, and interventions into those processes should be rare and thoughtful.  And Anarchy's hive boxes look simple to build -- very encouraging.

I'm not worried about failure for my sake, but I would not want to let the bees down somehow due to my ignorance.  I wish I could find someone of more or less the same philosophy who could take me by the hand and show me what to do.  I'm such a newbie, I've never even seen a hive close up! 

I love watching the bees on our land though.  Not sure if they are wild? I don't know of any neighbors that keep bees.  I remember last summer we had loads of bees visiting our compost pile.  Do you know what they were doing? They were rubbing themselves on coffee grounds.  I watched them at it for months, doing vigorous scrubs on their bellies and then rolling onto their backs.  They didn't seem to be gathering the grounds or trying to eat them.  I'm guessing they were trying to treat themselves for some ailment?  Maybe mites?  They haven't been doing it this year as far as I've seen. 


 

@Trifele So glad you enjoyed the info. Not sure how far away you are, but if you wanted to visit Anarchy apiaries, I'm sure he would love to show you around. His passion comes through when you speak to him. He might even be open to the idea of an "intern."
 
Another great resource where you could take a class, which is closer to your hardiness zone, is spikenard bee sanctuary. https://spikenardfarm.org/ Gunther is like the bee whisperer. It's amazing to see in person. I'm on his email list and saw that he was offering a class online at one point, but couldn't find it on the website.

Bees are fascinating creatures. It wouldn't surprise me if they were sucking the leftover coffee liquid out of the grinds. They may have had too much caffeine, which led to their tricks. I have several bowls of water throughout the yard for the bees to drink from and they prefer the soaker hoses and the leftover duck bath water. Go figure.

One of my favorite things to do is watch the bees flying in and out of the hives. They have flight paths, similar to aircraft, and do an amazing job of not crashing into each other as they zip in and out of the hives. Recently, I took a video of a bee, about to take off foraging, and she spent about 5 mins getting ready by grooming herself, while seemingly oblivious to all of her sisters comings and goings.  Between the chickens hysterical dust bathing, wild bees hopping from cucumber flower to flower without flying, a praying mantid (that probably hatched from an egg case I found on a rue plant) hitchiking into my living room, firefly's sky writing mating dance, its all fascinating to observe.

Meanwhile, I just discovered that dehydrated zucchini chips are delish. Don't know if anyone else has tried this, but I highly recommend it. They dehydrate much faster than apples and tomatoes and the texture is similar to chips.


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 09, 2018, 10:04:47 PM
I have noticed too that rain is better than me personally watering. Of course, god only knows what's in the city water here. We've gotten a lot of rain over the past couple days; haven't visited the community garden as a result but I'm hoping that everything's happy.

I believe that it's fluoride and chlorine that are in water supply that slows plant growth.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 10, 2018, 05:56:16 AM
Thanks @Indio!  I am not that far from Spikenard Farm -- I will definitely plan a trip there to check it out.  Unless I missed it -- I couldn't find an address on the Anarchy website (other than 'the Hudson Valley' ?).  I do make one or two trips to upstate NY a year, so that is also a possibility.  And I'll keep putting out feelers (har har) locally. There may be a local bee guru who'd be willing to show me the ropes.

Haha - you may be right about the bees in my coffee grounds.  Maybe they were just wriggling and buzzing on a coffee high.  ; 

One more question for you -- what do you recommend (if anything) that I plant just for bee feed?  I'd like to get going on that now, as there's a chance I'll start with bees next spring.  Are flowers like monarda the best way to go for that? We have a fair size orchard and garden, and some ornamentals as well -- but I have loads of space to plant more.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 10, 2018, 06:28:44 AM
I liked zucchini chips until I suddenly started not liking them, now I canít eat them anymore, thereís a weird flavor note or something. I canít remember, itís been a couple years since I last tried.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 10, 2018, 10:14:23 AM
I got my first zucchini last night - I didn't think we were going to get any (it was producing a bunch of rotten ones early in the season, so I fertilized it and applied some eggshells, and didn't see any fruit at all for weeks), then last night I spied two zucchinis that had been hiding, one of which was already like 15" long! I was inspired by this thread to try making zucchini chips - they're in the oven now.

I prepped the soil yesterday to plant our cool season crops - carrots, lettuce, and cabbage - which I plan to plant this weekend. My daughter has been asking to plant broccoli too, which should have been planted in July in my area but I might try it anyway if I find some seeds in the next couple days.

I'm planning to take my guineas and my one remaining confirmed rooster to a poultry auction on Sunday. The guineas are just too darn noisy, and I'm pretty sure they're all males, so no eggs. We might get another hen or two at the auction if they have any young ones.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: ender on August 11, 2018, 08:12:10 AM
A friend of ours made zucchini noodles, too. Those were really good and considerably better for me than regular flour based noodles.

Makes me want to plant another zucchini again next year!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 11, 2018, 10:09:21 AM
@Trifele There are a lot of sites that post info about plants honeybees prefer https://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/plant-a-bee-garden/. Since the bees travel far and wide, chances are they won't linger in your garden for too long, unless you have a lot of land.

If you're looking for plants, I would focus on plants that bloom early spring and late summer, since that is when there is usually a dearth. Light colored spring honey is my favorite so I have a lot of daffodils, crocus and 12 different fruit trees that bloom in succession - nectarine, plum, peach, pear, apple. Your fruits trees will likely cover the early spring demand. One spring, I walked by blooming nectarine trees and there were so many bees on it, I could hear the high pitch buzz about 20 ft away from it. This is unusual because bees don't exhaust a pollen/nectar supply all at once, without having identified other sources.

For late summer, I've noticed that my honeybees prefer fennel, sedum, goldenrod (which is in my next door neighbor's garden.), zucchini, echinacea, flowers on lettuce/mustard/kale that go to seed, and clover in the lawn. There is also a vining plant, similar to kudzu, but I don't know its name that the bees are crazy about. I hate it because it is so invasive and fast growing. I watch the bees leave the hive and head straight for it. If you want some fennel seed, DM me because I save it every year and will have some fresh seed in a few weeks. The chickens like the fennel too so I throw it in the lower garden and let them eat it when it's a few inches tall. .

Monarda keeps the wild, solitary bees happy, which is also good for the habitat, but my bees don't usually spend a lot of time visiting it, despite the name.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 11, 2018, 11:17:25 AM
Thanks @Indio! Very helpful.  I'll start reading more about things I can plant.  We have the vegetable garden and the orchard, and we are lucky enough to also have an additional two acres that are currently fallow, and I'm just letting whatever grow there.  When we moved here three years ago it was just grass, but now some other wild things are getting a toehold.  There's a decent amount of thistle, which I personally like, and the bees, birds and butterflies seem to dig it.  I was planning to put in a bunch of milkweed.

Is this the vining plant you see?  I've been battling a fair amount of oriental bittersweet around here . . .it is so vigorous it literally covers and kills whole trees. I haven't seen bees going for its flowers, but now will pay attention.   

 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on August 11, 2018, 02:55:33 PM
DH is harvesting honey today - expecting at least a few gallons, but will know the final amount later today.

Worked all morning in a nearby community garden and brought home tons of summer squash, some tomatoes, peppers, and beans. My fridge is overflowing with produce, plus I've been making dried apples and applesauce all week from the bounty of my parent's apple tree....any ideas for more things to do with apples or summer squash?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 12, 2018, 04:35:15 AM
DH is harvesting honey today - expecting at least a few gallons, but will know the final amount later today.

Worked all morning in a nearby community garden and brought home tons of summer squash, some tomatoes, peppers, and beans. My fridge is overflowing with produce, plus I've been making dried apples and applesauce all week from the bounty of my parent's apple tree....any ideas for more things to do with apples or summer squash?

Hi @krmit -- love your updates from your urban gardening adventures.  For apples, we eat them all and never have extras, haha, so no advice there.  Winter squash we bake and freeze the extra, but I've never tried that with summer squash . . . Wonder if it would work? 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 12, 2018, 05:03:50 AM
If you like making zucchini bread or using shredded zucchini mixed into things like tacos, chili, etc you can shred and freeze in appropriate size portions. Works well, Iíve done it in the past with good results. This year Iím just giving away the excess though.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on August 12, 2018, 11:38:18 AM
A nearby community garden is doing a cider pressing today, just in the nick of time for my apples! Looking forward to bringing a few gallons home.

Total honey harvest almost 50 pounds (or around 4 gallons), plus beeswax. The ladies did really well this year; hopefully they'll survive the winter!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on August 13, 2018, 08:18:16 AM
@krmit You could try making apple butter with excess apples. I'll be starting a batch today with a mix of crab apples and regular apples, just as soon as the caffeine from my coffee kicks in to get me up and out the door to pick crab apples.

I'm going to try to make the most of today's reprieve from the heat to fling open all of my windows and do a round of canning and blanching veg to freeze. I have AC, but it seems wrong to use the stove to produce heat, only to have the AC work to remove it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 14, 2018, 06:56:49 AM
One more question for you -- what do you recommend (if anything) that I plant just for bee feed?  I'd like to get going on that now, as there's a chance I'll start with bees next spring.  Are flowers like monarda the best way to go for that? We have a fair size orchard and garden, and some ornamentals as well -- but I have loads of space to plant more.

Indio has lots of ideas below, but one thing I noticed a few years ago is that the local bees love broccoli flowers.  Some of my fall broccoli had flowered and had lots of visitors.  I let the rest flower and the bees were there every day.  This gave them a post-frost nectar source.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: clarkai on August 14, 2018, 08:38:02 AM
For people looking to help bees, particularly native bees, the Xerces Society has a wonderful resource for the U.S.:https://xerces.org/pollinator-resource-center/ It has lots of info about how to help local native species.

If you just want the plant list of what best to plant for native bee species, this page is a good one: https://xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/plant-lists/ It has regional lists with bloom time, water needs, and a lot more.

One thing that was new information for me is that there are two types of bees, to generalize. Generalists, which visit a wide variety of species, and specialists, which might visit a few or even one single species. Honey bees, mason bees, and bumble bees are generalists. There are, however, lots of native bees that are specialists, and they are having a hard time as their plant species die out. If you care about native bees, I'd encourage you to plant plants that are native to your area.

After all, the native bees don't have beekeepers looking after them. They're on their own.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 14, 2018, 09:30:13 AM
Thank you @RetiredAt63 and @clarkai !  Yes -- I'm interested in both the generalists and the native specialists, and I'm lucky to have lots of space, so I'll probably plant many things -- focusing on natives. 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 14, 2018, 11:12:25 AM
My garden is now a jungle.  I have planted a great number of species that support various different types of pollinators.  Right now the sneezeweed, cup plant, grey coneflower, purple coneflower, brown-eyed susan and one of the goldenrods are blooming.  The different types of bees and butterflies we are seeing is lovely.  The goldfinches are back eating the cup plant seeds.  They are so joyful with their goldfinch chatter.

While we were away - two of the buckets of oyster mushrooms fruited and are now an ugly mess.  Just before we left I added a third of a bucket of sawdust substrate to all the buckets and moved them outside so they didn't dry out too much.  Guess they liked it.  The straw topping is not colonized but the sawdust is and no evidence of the mushroom flies.  Not sure whether to move them back inside now because they actually look a little too wet.  I think I will put them under the porch if it rains so they don't get wetter but keep watching them for another fruiting.  And starting to prepare more substrate to feed them again.  We are now beyond what I had hoped to harvest when I paid $25 for the spawn. 

I have beans, beets, carrots, cuke, delicata squash, onions, leeks, zukes, peppers, garlic and potatoes in the vegetable patch.  Last night I made a warm potato salad and fried eggs for supper and the only ingredients I had to buy from the store was bacon, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika and vinegar.  It felt so cool to chop up all the veg from the garden and top it with eggs from the neighbours.  Tonight I hope to plant a number of new seeds for fall harvest and some more beans that will be used mainly for green manure if we have early frost. The beans planted before holiday are up but I am not sure we will get a harvest.  The late planted peas in early July are not producing well.  I have lots of old seed so I may try more peas and if it doesn't work out consider them more green manure. I need to get the soil deeper for carrots. And the south end of the garden is really poor soil.  The last two rows are very sad indeed.  We will be cleaning out the hen house onto that end of the garden next week.  I think I should do another truck load of manure this fall as well.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 16, 2018, 09:30:09 AM
My plan for the weekend was to buy two more pullets and sell my rooster and guineas at an auction. My neighbors also had a rooster they wanted to get rid of, so I offered to take their rooster too. I bought the pullets off Craigslist on Saturday. Sunday morning two or the guineas escaped and flew up on the roof while I was attempting to put then in a box, but I decided to take the rest anyway. And...the auction was cancelled. So now instead of getting rid of four unwanted birds, I now have five unwanted birds (since I still have the neighbor's rooster, who is way louder and more annoying then mine). Eating them is looking more appealing by the day.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 16, 2018, 10:57:29 AM
My plan for the weekend was to buy two more pullets and sell my rooster and guineas at an auction. My neighbors also had a rooster they wanted to get rid of, so I offered to take their rooster too. I bought the pullets off Craigslist on Saturday. Sunday morning two or the guineas escaped and flew up on the roof while I was attempting to put then in a box, but I decided to take the rest anyway. And...the auction was cancelled. So now instead of getting rid of four unwanted birds, I now have five unwanted birds (since I still have the neighbor's rooster, who is way louder and more annoying then mine). Eating them is looking more appealing by the day.

Coq au Vin is a recipe for old roosters.  Just saying.   ;-)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on August 16, 2018, 12:18:43 PM
@Frugal Lizard isn't eating your home-raised food amazing? I have meals like that too where I categorize everything that was grown by me or someone I know!

Picked the first "Wee Be Little" pumpkins last week- darn those things are cute. Will enjoy them for awhile and then make something tasty with the flesh and the seeds. Still getting an amazing amount of pole beans in, but the bush beans petered off- those got ripped out and composted. Planted lettuce and kale and my salad bowl is empty until they get a bit bigger, not much left of tasty greens to eat raw. Still plenty of Malabar spinach, amaranth and arugula for cooking though. Harvesting beautiful basil bunches and enjoying large leaves on sandwiches and chopped up with the few tomatoes that are ripening.

In coastal California I'm starting to think about and plant fall veggies- we have the luxury of gardening year-round here. Where is everyone else growing and any fall tasks on the horizon?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on August 16, 2018, 01:01:03 PM
I didn't check last night because it was storming..... but, pretty sure the first Cherokee Purple of the season is ripe and ready! :D I'll pick it tonight!

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: clarkai on August 16, 2018, 02:01:42 PM
@Frugal Lizard

In coastal California I'm starting to think about and plant fall veggies- we have the luxury of gardening year-round here. Where is everyone else growing and any fall tasks on the horizon?

I'm on the west side of Washington state, so we don't get active growth year round, but we can have year-round harvests. I've just started some arugula, kale, bok choi, carrots, and spinach. I'm going to sow some more lettuce, probably today when it cools down a bit.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 16, 2018, 03:32:54 PM
Year round growing here is only possible in greenhouses or similar protected climates and I just donít have a great spot for one when combined with the rules concerning them. So the only thing I grow in the winter is eggs and rabbits ;)

My main fall tasks are spreading compost and mulching. I may tackle another garden layout change but unsure if I will have the time to do it before winter, or if it will end up being a spring 2019 project.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 17, 2018, 07:51:58 AM
I still haven't gotten the seeds planted this week and last night it rained.  But I did work on clearing out the finished plants to prepare an area for solarizing.
Beets that I planted four weeks ago are only sporadically germinating now.  I cut back the beans to see if they will re-flower in the nothing ventured nothing gained....
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: plainjane on August 17, 2018, 08:51:12 AM
An insect or something chewed on the base of my zucchini stalk, and the leaves started to yellow/wilt, so I cut it down. There is a second plant, but like the first it is only giving flowers and only of one kind (so I can't hand-polinate).

I feel like a failure, the beginning gardener who kills zucchini and rhubarb and never got a strawberry from the 4 plants purchased this year. My parsley is still happy, but that is it.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 17, 2018, 09:09:47 AM
@krmit You could try making apple butter with excess apples. I'll be starting a batch today with a mix of crab apples and regular apples, just as soon as the caffeine from my coffee kicks in to get me up and out the door to pick crab apples.

I'm going to try to make the most of today's reprieve from the heat to fling open all of my windows and do a round of canning and blanching veg to freeze. I have AC, but it seems wrong to use the stove to produce heat, only to have the AC work to remove it.

How about canning apple pie filling and making apple cider vinegar? Vinegar takes a few weeks but it's so easy to do.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on August 17, 2018, 09:14:52 AM
@Tris Prior yum! 'Cherokee Purple' are some of the best tomatoes! Enjoy!

You guys are inspiring me to start some seeds this week! Definitely want to get some more lettuce going and might try and squeeze in one more round of bush beans too.

@plainjane Bummer! Sometimes plants just don't make it. But YOU are not a failure just 'cause one plant in your care died- all of our annual vegetable plants die, some sooner than others. Sometimes it's just a matter of finding what plants thrive in your unique location. And some years the things you always have success with, don't thrive. Oh the joys and struggles of being a gardener.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on August 17, 2018, 09:32:41 AM
@plainjane I can't grow zucchini either. The plants always make only male flowers and then get powdery mildew and drop dead. I've given up. And critters got all but 4 of my strawberries this year. They're flowering again though so maybe I will have more success.

I also have never had any success whatsoever with fall crops. I've tried fall greens, but they never germinate.

Last night after work I went in the backyard and discovered I'd had a tomato plant avalanche. One plant had busted out of its cage and was leaning against the stakes I'd placed outside the cage so heavily that the plant was nearly horizontal. I swear, I turn my back for a day and everything turns into a tangled jungle. I gave everything a good haircut and now everything's more or less vertical-ish. Some of the tomato vines are nearly snapping in two due to the weight of the tomatoes.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 17, 2018, 09:35:09 AM
Here's the update from my 1/4 acre homestead.

This week I've been fighting sneaky little critters off my tomatoes and I'm losing. I cut up leftover mosquito netting into large squares and wrapped it around clusters of toms, all to no avail. Now I'm picking green tomatoes that are ripening indoors, which is better than nothing. They don't seem to prefer the cherry toms so whatever isn't eaten in salsa, grilled, salads, are being dehydrated. I'm going to look into getting a stronger netting, possibly a type of pvc like plastic, that is still a fine mesh for protecting fruit trees and plants.

I'm in full on preservation mode now. Last night, while watching Blacklist on Netflix, I cleaned dill seed heads, cilantro seeds and the dried leaves off of lemon balm stalks. The half gallon canning jars are filling up on the pantry shelves all labeled with mint, tulsi basil and lemon balm.

Made 3 quarts of refrigerator pickles - 2 dill and 1 sesame.  Will make a batch of canned cucumber relish soon since the cucumbers are so abundant. I want to try using a little bit of jalapeno in the recipe to add some zing.

Used a few tablespoons of wax cappings from a recent honey harvest to make 18 tubes of lip balm. Infused olive oil with comfrey, calendula and plantain for healing properties and added peppermint essential oil. Not sure if this will be enough to get us through winter, but the plantain feels good on mosquito bites. Speaking of which, the mosquitoes are horrendous now that we've had a rainy summer.

Have been drying out the dragon tongue beans to shuck in a few weeks and use for winter chili. I know you can buy these in the store cheaply, but the fresher ones are so delicious.

Seed saving for next year is also fully underway. I've been hanging onto large junk mail envelopes, instead of shredding them for the compost pile, they are being repurposed as seed packets.

Zucchini plants are almost finished and in a way I'm relieved. Pulling them out and planting cold crops and fast growing herbs in its place.

Still waiting on sweet and red potatoes.

March chicks have all started laying and the little eggs are always a nice suprise. Added 2 ameracaunas and 2 Buff Orpingtons to the flock this year. They are still in their mini cooper and will need to be moved into the main coop with the big girls soon. Will need to clean out the main coop in September and want to put a new roof on it using metal roof panels instead of plywood.

Happy growing everyone.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on August 17, 2018, 09:54:53 AM
@plainjane Don't despair, you're not a failure, you're learning how not to grow zucchini! I've learned that I can't get them to produce well in pots. I regularly have things die or just be sickly and not productive, and I've found that the best solution is to have so many things planted that statistically, something is bound to survive.

I'm in Manitoba, Canada, where the frost date is normally mid-September, so there's no fall gardening here. I'll leave my kale in until after the light frosts, but other than that, I'll be winding up in about a month. For me that means mulching perennials, adding leaves to the raised beds and preserving things. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 17, 2018, 11:50:51 AM
An insect or something chewed on the base of my zucchini stalk, and the leaves started to yellow/wilt, so I cut it down. There is a second plant, but like the first it is only giving flowers and only of one kind (so I can't hand-polinate).

I feel like a failure, the beginning gardener who kills zucchini and rhubarb and never got a strawberry from the 4 plants purchased this year. My parsley is still happy, but that is it.

Zucchini - sounds like squash borer, which is a SUPER common pest. And, as others have pointed out, zucchini loves to die for lots of other reasons too. Mine will probably be dead from mildew in next couple weeks.

Rhubarb is hard to kill once established, but often tricky to get established in the first place. I think about half or more of the crown divisions I planted never got established.

Strawberries are tricky to actually get them productive. Iím still figuring them out, will probably rip out the remainder of my current planting and may/may not start over fresh with a new variety next year, or wait another year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on August 17, 2018, 12:17:38 PM
Preservation results from the epic apple haul:
Canned 6 quarts of slices for baking
Canned or froze 12 quarts applesauce
Dried apple slices 4 gallon bags full
1 and a half gallons apple cider from a community pressing last week. Drinking half a gallon fresh and put the gallon in primary fermentation for hard cider.
Still got a couple pounds in the fridge for fresh eating and baking. 

Spent the week canning almost daily - made 2 half pints of jam from the invasive blackberries reaching into our yard from the neighbors, and picked up some tomato seconds and canned salsa, whole tomatoes, and sauce. Dumped the cooled down canning water on my tomato plants this morning. I'm getting a handful of Romas and cherry tomatoes every day; probably won't ever have enough ready at the same time for more canning, so I'll dry whatever we don't eat fresh.

It feels like fall is coming. I'll be glad when it cools down a bit.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 19, 2018, 01:21:52 PM
I sold my roosters and guineas today! I didn't stay for the auction, so I don't know how much they sold for (they just mail a check after), but I'm just happy to have them out of the coop, and not waking up the whole neighborhood at 5 a.m.

I thought the auction would have mostly roosters, but I saw hens, chicks, pigeons, quail, and rabbits. I'll definitely go back there if I want to add to (or subtract from) my flock in the future.

In plant news, I thought I'd planted mini red bell pepper plants, but the peppers are getting big and showing no signs of turning red yet, so I guess they're full-sized peppers? I'll have to pay more attention to what I'm buying next year lol.

ETA: Got the check. $32 for five birds after the auction house's cut. Not bad, I guess, and it's much more pleasant not to have all that squawking and crowing.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 22, 2018, 05:20:26 PM
What do you think a fair price for used canning jars is?

I need to downsize dramatically. Especially quarts. Iím thinking $4 for dozen if theyíre just jars and rings, $5-6 for the cases I have still new in the shrink wrap.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on August 23, 2018, 02:57:28 AM
Sounds about right to me, @furrychickens.  Just did a quick peek at our local CL and the going rate seems to be $0.40 - $0.50 per quart jar.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 23, 2018, 04:39:08 AM
Sounds about right to me, @furrychickens.  Just did a quick peek at our local CL and the going rate seems to be $0.40 - $0.50 per quart jar.

Already have a buyer lined up, lol. Friend of mine will clean me out of whatever Iím willing to part with.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 23, 2018, 07:27:51 AM
My sweet potatoes have flowers!  This is year 4 of growing them, first time ever for flowers. Very pretty, deep purple throats and palest lilac petals.  If they are happy enough to bloom, I am hoping for a great harvest.

Tomatoes and cucumbers are producing consistently.  Garlic was a bust.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: plainjane on August 23, 2018, 08:39:36 AM
@furrychickens looks like you are right. The second plant is suffering from something else, so I'll put it out of its misery.

My mom says the rhubarb is probably a light issue, which is very probable in our garden. Our parsley is still pretty happy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on August 23, 2018, 09:37:39 AM
@plainjane If you find a sunnier spot for your rhubarb, you can try growing it from seed. I haven't had any luck with transplanting mature rhubarb, so when I moved into my new place I grew some from seed with great results. I only mention it because many people I know were surprised to hear that rhubarb seed was even a thing.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on August 24, 2018, 07:49:33 AM
Hmm. Wavering over trying to start some fall plantings. Greens, maybe peas. I have the seeds. But I can never get anything to germinate in the fall. Should I bother? I wonder if cilantro would work? I hate that my cilantro always has already bolted in the heat by the time I'm getting tomatoes (and would like the cilantro for salsa canning).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 24, 2018, 07:58:49 AM
Hmm. Wavering over trying to start some fall plantings. Greens, maybe peas. I have the seeds. But I can never get anything to germinate in the fall. Should I bother? I wonder if cilantro would work? I hate that my cilantro always has already bolted in the heat by the time I'm getting tomatoes (and would like the cilantro for salsa canning).

Iíve got snap peas a few inches tall right now :) Thatís about the only fall planting I do.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 24, 2018, 09:13:32 AM
Hmm. Wavering over trying to start some fall plantings. Greens, maybe peas. I have the seeds. But I can never get anything to germinate in the fall. Should I bother? I wonder if cilantro would work? I hate that my cilantro always has already bolted in the heat by the time I'm getting tomatoes (and would like the cilantro for salsa canning).
I've never grown cilantro but supposedly it does better in the fall. I planted carrots, lettuce, and cabbage a couple weeks ago. The lettuce germinated within a few days but I only have one cabbage seedling and no carrots yet. But my carrots took a few weeks to germinate in the spring too.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Livethedream on August 26, 2018, 10:38:17 AM
Growing some extra large pumpkins for first time, this one is up to a large watermelon size so far.

Planning on planting a lot more plants next year and doing our own miniature pumpkin patch next year to invite friends and family over to pick and decorate. Figure we can save some seeds from the big pumpkins, and $20 should give us enough for a bunch of average and small size pumpkins, then collect those seeds and continue.(http://)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 26, 2018, 04:04:25 PM
@Livethedream Nice pumpkin you've got there. I used to grow them but they took up so much space it started climbing up the fenced sides of the garden.

This was a busy animal weekend. I treated all of the beehives with a sugar shake for varroa mites. Don't use chemicals in the hives. Finely ground sugar, that's whipped in the mini chop, is a light coating that gets sprinkled on all of the bees but mostly the drones. This encourages them to groom themselves and the mites get pulled off in the process. Will get some 2nd cut hay bales to put around the hives as a winter break.

Harvested another 12 frames of honey. With all of the rain this August, we haven't really had a pollen/nectar dearth, though the weather pattern can still change. The bees have plenty of food to get thru the winter. Cut up chunks of honey filled comb and put it into wide mouth canning jars for  friends and family holiday gifts. Filled up 36 more 8 and 12 oz bottles. Might try to sell a few bottles at upcoming community events because this is such a huge harvest, that I'm out of bottles.

Cleaned out the chicken coop today. Put all of the used shavings into two garbage cans where it will age. In Oct, I will put it in 2 raised beds where the soil needs supplementing. When it's spread out, it will decompose faster. Will test nitrogen levels in Spring. Still want to rebuild/reinforce chicken run but not sure I will have time this Fall.

Harvested about a gallon of hops.

Zucchinis succumbed to mildew. Was kinda relieved because I was tired of canning.

Still drying lemon balm, tulsi basil and mint for winter teas.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Penn42 on August 26, 2018, 05:40:40 PM
I'm a super inexperienced gardener.  This is my 3rd season with a little plot a tend.  This year I planted carrots, spinach, cabbage, and snow peas in March.  The peas and spinach did great.  The carrots have actually not done well despite doing well my previous two seasons.  This was the earliest I planted them, though the package directions fit the conditions this season.  Oh well.  The cabbages got decimated by something, not sure what ate them.  They didn't do well at all. 

Once it got warmer in May I planted green beans, zucchini, cucumber, and tomatoes.  Last year the green beans did terrible.  This year they're coming in in droves.  Last year the zucchini and cucumber did amazing, this year only a few per plant.  My tomatoes are doing better than my previous two seasons, which is nice.  I actually have some full fist size tomatoes on a couple plants, but there's still not the numbers I think there should be. 

Gardening is proving to be very fickle; I think i need to do some more research.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on August 26, 2018, 07:04:58 PM
I just harvested 15 spaghetti squash from just two vines! I also diced and froze several eggplants today, so it's a good day for my savory fruits. Somewhat incredibly, the raspberries that I thought were dead this spring are still producing and have grown into quite a thicket. Tomorrow it's pumpkin picking and blanching beans and kale to freeze.

@Penn42 I tend to blame slugs for cabbage problems, but last year some of mine also got a really gross black fungus. Now I stick to kale.

Edited to add a spaghetti squash that I found hidden behind a shrub this morning. Six very pretty pumpkins are joining them in the basement today.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 26, 2018, 07:56:13 PM
Our last few falls have been so mild that I am taking a chance with a fall garden.  Today I planted 8 short season broccoli plants and 3 rows of snow peas.   If we get an early killing frost at least I will have kept the soil covered and added some organic material to the soil.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 27, 2018, 08:09:14 AM
Yesterday was a great day in the garden.
I harvested and prepped for storage a huge number of onions. Anyone made pickled onions?  We had some while on vacation and they were tasty.  And I have a ton of tiny onions that were growing in the very poor part of the garden.
The squirrels are having a field day with the pumpkins and squash.  Very disappointing.
The asparagus roots that I planted in the spring are really going gang busters.
I have never ever grown as many green peppers and the plants are still flowering.  The ones in the greenhouse are developing woody stalks at the base.  I am curious to see if I can keep them going into the fall and for how long.  I was going to do a big clean out of the greenhouse in October so that it was completely ready for startup in February again.  But if it is still full of thriving pepper plants then maybe I should be planting greens in there then for late late fall harvest? 
I fed the over ripe beans to the chickens.  Then I thought I should have kept some of them for seed.  I collected coriander seed for next year.
The tomatoes are still trying to grow and shooting out new growth despite all the death of the more mature stems.  I have got the new soil in bags sitting in the sun cooking for next season.
Another thing I noticed is that the carrots are not growing well.  The soil is not deep enough. 
My plan is to work on really building up the soil with a huge amount more organic matter.  I am going to increase the depth of the wood chip pathways and every leaf I rake is going to go on an enormous compost row where I am currently growing flowers and vines.  Since one end of the garden was so poor, I am going to use it for three potato towers next year.  As I want to have no solanaceae in the actual soil next year, I think I can put a plastic barrier down on the ground and grow the potatoes in cages filled with manure, compost, straw and leaves.  I have to figure out a way to ensure stable moisture in case of a drought.
Once the potatoes are harvested all that organic super soil will go straight onto the beds and that end of the garden should also be ready to have nightshades after a year of rest.  The tomatoes will grow at the opposite end of the garden against the greenhouse in a row of pots.  The middle of the garden will grow a bunch of other stuff. Hopefully, after two complete seasons without solanaceae all the mildews/fungi and such in the soil is gone. 
I am hoping that I can get some manure that came out of the barn in July on all the beds in mid fall so that it can be heating the soil with a little activity and start to work on any leaves I add.  Maybe I should be using the floating row covers to keep it warmer?  Just not sure how to really maximize the productivity of this small space.  I could really use double the space and just plant a green manure cover crop and alternate years growing each part. 
I also planted a bunch of seeds - with the expectation that I may not harvest them - but using old seed so if it germinates poorly - then but for the effort, no loss.  Spinach, arugula, buttercrunch lettuce, mesclun mix, beets, beans, peas, freckles lettuce should take us into the fall.  I might try some more kale and spinach once the rest of the onions finish up.  I was going to plant some more carrots and peas - but was disturbing the roots of the asparagus so that area is now off limits.

After eating delicious steamed carrots, some baby cukes and roasted fingerlings with paprika last night for supper sitting at a table with a bouquet of zinnias- this garden doesn't owe me a thing.

@Penn42 - gardening is fickle.  Some plants are really particular about moisture levels and temperature when they are flowering.  A little bit of drought or too much rain for a pepper will cause it stop flowering.  Carrots are really tricky with germination.  I can use the same package of seeds planting every two weeks and have completely different results.  In my experience, carrots don't do well in seasons that peas and spinach does.  The trick is to have a balance of different crops so if you have a lot of cool nights or really hot days - you still have some success.  I have been gardening for more than 30 years and am still learning.  It is a wonderful pastime IMO.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 27, 2018, 03:42:54 PM
One of neighbors apparently complained to the HOA about my chickens and now we're probably going to have to get rid of them. We knew they're technically banned, but other neighbors have them and the HOA just turns a blind eye. I am so upset right now. I'm sure it was the roosters and guineas that the neighbor was upset about, which we already got rid of last weekend, but because they went straight to the HOA instead of talking to us about it we have to get rid of our hens as well.

ETA: My awesome neighbors (who also own chickens) are going to help me fight the HOA on this. I think we have a pretty solid case.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on August 28, 2018, 04:53:07 AM
One of neighbors apparently complained to the HOA about my chickens and now we're probably going to have to get rid of them. We knew they're technically banned, but other neighbors have them and the HOA just turns a blind eye. I am so upset right now. I'm sure it was the roosters and guineas that the neighbor was upset about, which we already got rid of last weekend, but because they went straight to the HOA instead of talking to us about it we have to get rid of our hens as well.

ETA: My awesome neighbors (who also own chickens) are going to help me fight the HOA on this. I think we have a pretty solid case.

Good luck! Iíve been on the receiving end of numerous anonymous complaints that could have been resolved so much easier if the complainer had just talked with me first.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on August 28, 2018, 05:56:29 AM
@nessness - Hope that this works out.  I love my neighbours chickens, except when they vandalize my garden.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Sun Hat on August 28, 2018, 06:40:37 AM
Good luck @nessness ! I think of the benefit of urban chickens daily when I'm out picking slugs with no birds to feed them to.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cranky on August 28, 2018, 06:58:09 AM
The butternut squash suddenly put out another round of female flowers last week, and now we've gone from lots of squash to LOTS of squash.

I need to cut the dill heads and dry them.

Lots of tomatoes, raspberries, basil.

A groundhog and I have waged war over the lettuce all summer, and the groundhog has pretty much won. S/he is a better climber than an I would have guessed!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 29, 2018, 07:01:52 AM
A groundhog and I have waged war over the lettuce all summer, and the groundhog has pretty much won. S/he is a better climber than an I would have guessed!

I used to have a groundhog who sunned herself each day on top of the compost pile.  She stared at the garden while sunning, I am sure she was trying to figure out how to get past the fence and electric wires.   ;-)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on August 29, 2018, 09:58:46 AM
One of neighbors apparently complained to the HOA about my chickens and now we're probably going to have to get rid of them. We knew they're technically banned, but other neighbors have them and the HOA just turns a blind eye. I am so upset right now. I'm sure it was the roosters and guineas that the neighbor was upset about, which we already got rid of last weekend, but because they went straight to the HOA instead of talking to us about it we have to get rid of our hens as well.

ETA: My awesome neighbors (who also own chickens) are going to help me fight the HOA on this. I think we have a pretty solid case.

@nessness I had a fight with my town over my chickens because my neighbors lied about problems. Over 3 years, the town sent over inspectors 4 different times from wetlands, health, environmental, and community. Police came several times too. I let them all inspect and they found no problems, until 1 police officer, trying to advance his career, decided that the chicken coop was too close to an unused well in my backyard so therefore it was a health code violation. I consulted with 3 different attorneys, on free calls, to get info to defend my position that I wasn't breaking any laws. It went to the state level and I fought it myself, without attorneys. It was so ridiculous at the state hearing, there was the judge and stenographer. On the other side of the table, the town had 3 attorneys, 2 experts and loads of photos and evidence from all of the inspections they did over the years that I willingly let them do and at no point did they indicate I was in violation of any ordinances. On my side of the table, it was me and my 2 kids who were both under 8yo. I figure the town was in about $75K in time to fight about a 30 ft surface fed well that is used only to water my gardens and doesn't even access the aquifer. I won the case because the well was grandfathered, which they all knew, because it was in the town records that we all had access to. Then I chastised them for wasting taxpayer money on pursuing a neighbor's vendetta.

Besides reliving this great moment, my advice is to contact local attorney's who specialize in environmental issues and ones that specialize in unreasonable HOA guidelines, and get their input. My chicken meetup group even has an attorney in it, who gives locals advice about town laws.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on August 29, 2018, 10:24:24 AM
Thanks @Indio. My county allows all types of poultry without a permit on lots over 10,000sf (which mine is), so  no issues there.

My neighbors were able to defend a past complaint about their tree house by insisting that if they enforced that rule, they enforce all the restrictions on backyards, which included bans on fences and pools, which many homes have. The HOA dropped the complaint and subsequently got rid of those rules - now they just say that you have to get fences and pools approved prior to building them. We might use the same tactic with animal-related regulations and say that if they're going to enforce this rule they need to enforce the rule that animals must be under their owner's control at all times and make everyone get rid of their outdoor cats, of which there are many.  I've been mentally composing a list of all the reasons letting cats roam freely is far more problematic than chickens that are confined to my property. We're also going to offer to move the coop closer to the border we share with the awesome neighbors (at their suggestion), where it will not be visible by the neighbors that we assume made the complaint.


Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on September 04, 2018, 10:59:02 AM
I have two questions about compost:

At what point during the year do you stop putting stuff in your composter because it won't break down before it freezes? Or, do you even stop? Our average first frost is 10/15.

Second: Anyone have a neighbor complain about your composting? My landlord gave us a composter that he found discarded in the alley. It is enclosed - one of those rotating barrels on a stand. We just had a new tenant move into the first floor apartment (two-flat, we're on the top floor) and she's horrified that I am composting. She is certain we're going to have rats.

I told her that our landlord had encouraged me to do so - and that I'd asked him the same question about whether it draws rats and he said he's never had that problem (he lives a block away from us and composts in just a loose uncovered pile). I have seen no rats - and I'd think that, given that I have a vegetable garden right there too, I'd have seen some evidence in the form of nibbled tomatoes and such. But, maybe not. Anyway - any advice on pacifying her? I really don't want to stop composting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cgbg on September 04, 2018, 11:45:23 AM
Iím glad I live in an unincorporated part of the county where I can have all the chickens and roosters I want. I like my neighbors so I donít keep roosters.

On the compost question, I have three round black bins. I lazily add stuff to one bin until itís full. Then it sits until itís ready. Once itís full, I donít turn it or do anything with it for months. Itís been pretty well layered with greens and browns, including a weekly load of shredded paper+chicken poop from the hen house poop board so it tends to break down pretty fast. But I donít keep adding to it even when it clearly reduces in volume.

If my compost smells I donít notice it. Usually that means you donít have a balance of browns and greens. If all you are throwing in is veggie scraps then you need something to layer in that is a brown- leaves or shredded paper. When I dump some veggie waste, I tend to spread it so itís a thin layer in a circle. Then I throw some leaves on - I keep a few open wire bins nearby that I can pull the leaves from as needed ( just a bottomless round of wire that fall leaves go in; when you eventually upend the round youíll find some nice black gold there.)

I live in the maritime PNW so I compost all year round. Since Iím adding chicken poop, I give the bins almost a year to decompose. I donít find it useful to stir my compost- lazy and all that.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cranky on September 04, 2018, 11:47:54 AM
I'm in NE Ohio, and I compost all winter. It stays hot in there!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cgbg on September 04, 2018, 11:51:56 AM
Also an enclosed bin wonít attract a rat, or, at least a rat that stays around. If they canít get to the food source theyíll seek out one that they can get to.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on September 04, 2018, 11:56:14 AM
My compost doesn't smell bad, though I probably am too veggie-heavy with not enough brown. I should be able to remedy that soon enough when the leaves start falling.

Cgbg, that is my theory too. This thing's totally enclosed and on legs. Unless rats start growing opposable thumbs there is no way they can get it open. But she's completely grossed out at the thought of vegetable scraps rotting in the back yard, even in a container, so I'm not sure reasoning is going to work with her. :(
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on September 04, 2018, 04:22:35 PM
Composting most definitely can attract rats, though a tumbler style on legs? Not likely. Your landlord with the open pile on the ground would have 5-10 rats a night in my neighborhood unless thereís a healthy population of feral cats, foxes, coyote, etc. The natural predators do a pretty good job here but every so often I need to lend a helping hand with bait and/or traps.

Youíre a bit south of me, but Iíd expect a tumbler unit to freeze solid in the winter. Even my 2 cuyd piles freeze solid in the depth of winter unless the feedstock is something super hot like poultry litter.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: plainjane on September 05, 2018, 04:31:17 AM
At what point during the year do you stop putting stuff in your composter because it won't break down before it freezes? Or, do you even stop? Our average first frost is 10/15.

We stop when the Shadowy One decides it is too cold to go outside in teva sandals, or when the lid freezes shut. The lid generally freezes shut first, but we also don't tend to get much snow. There are only two of us, so we don't really generate enough compost to worry about speed of breakdown.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 05, 2018, 06:08:32 AM
In winter not much compost material is generated, meal prep leftovers go in a bucket outside that gets dumped into the compost in the spring.

After the summer drought we have had 2.7" of rain in the last 9 days.  My lawn grass is so happy.  So am I, I get a break from watering the vegetable garden.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on September 05, 2018, 08:50:04 AM
In winter not much compost material is generated, meal prep leftovers go in a bucket outside that gets dumped into the compost in the spring.

I feel like an outdoor bucket would definitely attract rats!

We are only 2 people, but we eat a lot of fruit and vegetables (the husks from Boyfriend's corn on the cob alone are taking up tons of space) so I feel like we're generating a lot.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on September 05, 2018, 08:57:43 AM
We keep filling our bin until it won't hold anymore during the winter.  And then switch to the second bin that I try to have empty in the fall.  During the summer the material is composting so it takes a long time to fill it, but come January it is just freezing solid so the capacity of the bin is reached really quickly.  I don't worry about rats or raccoons or skunks.  As long as they all keep the bickering and brawling to a dull roar so it doesn't wake me in the night, I am good.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 07, 2018, 01:19:23 PM
In winter not much compost material is generated, meal prep leftovers go in a bucket outside that gets dumped into the compost in the spring.

I feel like an outdoor bucket would definitely attract rats!

We are only 2 people, but we eat a lot of fruit and vegetables (the husks from Boyfriend's corn on the cob alone are taking up tons of space) so I feel like we're generating a lot.

It is frozen solid.  Great White North and all that . . .  If there are rats around here I haven't seen them.  They would be hanging out in farmers' barns where the pickings are better.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on September 07, 2018, 09:28:14 PM
We keep the compost going all winter. If the snow is too high, we throw it into the basement worm bin. I keep a pile of leaves next to the compost pile to add brown layer. Any critters in the compost are just helping with the aeration and turning it over.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on September 08, 2018, 03:36:33 AM
When we lived in Wisconsin we would keep throwing things in the compost all fall and winter but it did freeze solid eventually.  Now down here in the southeast it never freezes, and cooks all winter.  I don't care what critters get in there -- no harm to anything.  We have an open chicken wire bin, and I've seen birds and lizards visiting it regularly.  I'm sure things go in at night too, but whatever they are they are neat visitors; nothing has ever scattered it about. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on September 08, 2018, 05:14:19 AM
When we lived in Wisconsin we would keep throwing things in the compost all fall and winter but it did freeze solid eventually.  Now down here in the southeast it never freezes, and cooks all winter.  I don't care what critters get in there -- no harm to anything.  We have an open chicken wire bin, and I've seen birds and lizards visiting it regularly.  I'm sure things go in at night too, but whatever they are they are neat visitors; nothing has ever scattered it about.

Where in Wisconsin did you live? Just curious. Iím in Milwaukee.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on September 08, 2018, 05:32:06 AM
When we lived in Wisconsin we would keep throwing things in the compost all fall and winter but it did freeze solid eventually.  Now down here in the southeast it never freezes, and cooks all winter.  I don't care what critters get in there -- no harm to anything.  We have an open chicken wire bin, and I've seen birds and lizards visiting it regularly.  I'm sure things go in at night too, but whatever they are they are neat visitors; nothing has ever scattered it about.

Where in Wisconsin did you live? Just curious. Iím in Milwaukee.

Southwest driftless area -- small town.  :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on September 08, 2018, 06:26:38 AM
When we lived in Wisconsin we would keep throwing things in the compost all fall and winter but it did freeze solid eventually.  Now down here in the southeast it never freezes, and cooks all winter.  I don't care what critters get in there -- no harm to anything.  We have an open chicken wire bin, and I've seen birds and lizards visiting it regularly.  I'm sure things go in at night too, but whatever they are they are neat visitors; nothing has ever scattered it about.

Where in Wisconsin did you live? Just curious. Iím in Milwaukee.

Southwest driftless area -- small town.  :)

A part Iíve never visited even though Iíve lived here my whole life (excepting undergrad).
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 08, 2018, 07:01:22 AM
I've found bumblebees and ring-necked snakes in past compost bins - they like the warm (not hot) areas.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on September 08, 2018, 10:24:16 AM
This is all good to know. I'm just not sure how to prove to the neighbor that we won't have rats. How do you prove a negative? I mean, I haven't seen them, or evidence of them, but they come out at night.

I'd say that the garden is more likely to draw rats than the compost bin, but I don't want to plant (ha, no pun intended) the idea in her head that I should rip out the garden - not happening!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on September 08, 2018, 10:33:14 AM
This is all good to know. I'm just not sure how to prove to the neighbor that we won't have rats. How do you prove a negative? I mean, I haven't seen them, or evidence of them, but they come out at night.

I'd say that the garden is more likely to draw rats than the compost bin, but I don't want to plant (ha, no pun intended) the idea in her head that I should rip out the garden - not happening!

Just brainstorming . . . do the ads for these tumbler style bins say anything about "rodent proof" etc.?  Maybe seeing it in black and white would help the neighbor believe that rats won't be a problem?

EDIT:  or how about this -- get a letter from one of your county Master Gardeners with their opinion that this style of bin is fine and won't attract rats?  People tend to respond to the 'Master Gardener' title...
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on September 10, 2018, 11:08:01 AM
Had my first compost rat trauma this summer- (free) black plastic squares that have lids but have open access to the ground. Went to turn pile with garden fork after having it sit a month or two and had rat jump out at me. Screamed and laughed to the great amusement of neighbors at the community garden. Unfortunately there was continued squeaking come from pile... ugh. Found a nest of baby rats at the bottom of the pile which my neighbor "relocated". Shudder. Am still giving my bins a big kick before opening the lid and am definitely turning the pile more frequently. No cozy rat nests allowed!

On a more pleasant topic- harvested the 'Glass Gem' corn this weekend. SO pretty! Looking forward to popcorn already!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on September 10, 2018, 11:50:05 AM


Just brainstorming . . . do the ads for these tumbler style bins say anything about "rodent proof" etc.?  Maybe seeing it in black and white would help the neighbor believe that rats won't be a problem?

Yeah, so, I looked it up on Amazon, the same model I have, and there's a negative review that says a rat CHEWED THROUGH the side of the thing and nested in it.

!!!!!

Ew ew ew ew ew. Well, there goes that argument.

I mean, I know they can chew, but this thing is so hard and sturdy, I never ever would have thought that possible. Plus, how did they climb up the slippery legs and stay there long enough to chew the hole?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 12, 2018, 04:13:22 PM
We had another 1/2" of rain.  Still harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes, wax beans (finally), sweet peppers and basil.  Sweet potatoes will get dug in a few weeks, when the warm weather is totally gone.  Got some local garlic for fall planting.  Apparently around here the day to plant is Halloween - I can just see the vampire jokes about that date!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on September 13, 2018, 05:06:54 AM
We had another 1/2" of rain.  Still harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes, wax beans (finally), sweet peppers and basil.  Sweet potatoes will get dug in a few weeks, when the warm weather is totally gone.  Got some local garlic for fall planting.  Apparently around here the day to plant is Halloween - I can just see the vampire jokes about that date!

Interesting, that seems a little late to me but thereís a lot of schools of thought on garlic (including folks who donít mulch it, or grow mainly spring planted, etc). I think I plant mine a bit earlier than that here but I do it by the seasonal progression, not a date. The rule of thumb Iíve been using is to wait for the first really strong frost and then get them planted. Usually thatís mid-October but sometimes closer to Halloween.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on September 13, 2018, 05:34:30 AM
My late July planted beans yielded a couple of handfuls of yellow beans for supper last night.  All the plants have started flowering. 
Squirrels are hopping the fence and digging up everything - why the leeks I ask?
The peppers are slowing down but man was it a super year.  To try and keep them ripening up, I have put the floating row cover over them last weekend when it was particularly chilly
Fall greens are coming along.  One packet of old seed did not germinate and another pack of spinach only managed two plants out of a quarter packet.  Arugula and beets are looking good.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on September 13, 2018, 09:05:11 AM
I've saved some garlic to plant- in Northern California October looks to be the month too. I grew some last year and I have to say it was very little work for some fun rewards of harvesting great garlic! And it's a wonderful feeling to cook with garlic I've grown.

@Frugal Lizard Oh my gosh. Squirrels!! I seriously googled if it was legal to kill them the other day. They have been digging up the new lettuce, completely destroyed the new seedlings I had started the other day and they just love to knock over my pots. I'm now the crazy lady who chases the squirrels out of my yard if I spot one. Darn things!

Still getting pounds of green beans a week- have been sharing extras with neighbors and friends. Has anyone had success in freezing them?

The seasons are shifting and I'm enjoying harvesting lettuce, kale, arugula and herbs to make delicious salads. What are you excited about in your garden this week?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on September 13, 2018, 09:19:56 AM
Yes I've frozen loads of green beans.  It works great.  I trim the ends and dunk them in boiling water first for a short time, then drain, cool, package and freeze.  I think if you skip the 'blanching' step their texture will just not be as good after you freeze them, and they won't be as bright green, but they should still be fine. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on September 13, 2018, 09:57:40 AM
My first season of gardening was more or less a success. Still getting quite a few tomatoes. Made list of what I want to plant next spring. Posting here mainly so I can reference it when I inevitably forget. :)

- Sungold tomatoes. These were the star of the show this year - great production and the kids ate them by the handful.
- Full size tomatoes. I wasn't super impressed with the Celebrity plant I planted this year so I'm going to try a different variety, TBD.
- Carrots. Easy and fun.
- Melon, variety TBD.
- Bell peppers. Not too successful this year (peppers are kind of tough and bitter) but want to give it another shot next year.
- Snap peas. Haven't tried this one yet but they're one of my family's favorite veggies.
- Maybe a pumpkin if I have space. The kids would get a kick out of that.
- Will leave the strawberries in but not plant any more. I only got a handful of strawberries this year but hopefully next year will be better.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on September 22, 2018, 09:09:03 PM
Still getting a few ripe cherry tomatoes every day as the weather cools off.  My fall cabbages are looking pretty good, although some of them will be harvested early because...

Mr. krmit and I have bought our first house! Closing is scheduled for Oct 15. It has 3 former raised beds in the front yard (no wood sides) that have fully overgrown with the lawn, which I'm definitely interested in converting back to beds. I was thinking about spreading down a layer of cardboard and a thick layer of wood chips to give me a head start on soil for next spring. I'll wait on adding any additional beds until the spring. Is this a good idea?

Thanks, all! Any and all first time homebuyer garden advice gladly accepted :D
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on September 23, 2018, 04:54:51 AM
Congrats on the house @krmit !  That sounds like a good plan to get those three raised beds back into production.  A thick layer (8-12") of leaves or organic straw also make a great 'blanket' for fall in an area you plan to plant in the spring.  You can also start composting over the fall and winter to have some nice stuff to add to the beds come next year.

Excellent day here yesterday!  We picked our Kieffer pear tree (we only have the one old tree producing currently) and we got 124 pounds of pears.  That's a little less than last year, but I expected it because I did a major pruning on the old gal last winter.  Love that tree.  It's a champ.  And we have three young pear trees that may start bearing next year.  We also continued to harvest figs.  They don't all ripen at once; it's really gradual which is nice.  We've got one old tree and two young ones producing, and we've gotten about five quarts so far. 

And -- AND! -- I met a neighbor very recently who has chickens and bees!  She invited me over yesterday to watch her inspect her hives.  It was thrilling.  She is new to beekeeping, but was able to teach me plenty, and now I have a neighbor to call with questions or exchange animal care with.  So happy. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on September 23, 2018, 05:22:12 AM
@krmit congrats! Iíve started new garden beds in the past by smothering grass, tilling it in, or by cutting the sod and removing it to compost. From a soil biology perspective smothering the grass is best but if your fall ends up super busy with the moving in, the other two methods will work just fine if you canít prep anything until spring.

Cardboard (get as much tape off as you can) or 5+ layers non-glossy newsprint (my parents still get the paper every day, so Iíve had them save me a week or twoís worth before), get it soaking wet, then put something down to keep it from blowing away.

Crops that Iíve found do better in the first year after grass: potatoes, squash family, beans. Tomatoes and peppers will do okay too. You donít need to amend heavily for nutrients typically the first year. Pick something that will be easy to weed around, as there will be lots of weeds.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on September 23, 2018, 04:04:25 PM
Thanks! I've been reading a ton of gardening books but haven't had much opportunity to get my hand in the dirt so it's nice to know my instinct was right. Trying to take it slow to not overwhelm myself while also wanting to plant ALL THE THINGS.

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on September 25, 2018, 08:10:55 AM
My post yesterday got vapourised - drat.

I want to share my black bean harvest.  I think they are a variety called rattlesnake but I have no idea for sure.  They came in a seed swap and the writing on the paper faded to illegible.  When on holiday this summer, my hubs family were growing beans that looked exactly the same - creamy yellow / white with red mottling on the pods.  Through poor translation and hand signals we determined that I shouldn't eat them at that point in time.  And they tasted really chalky as green pods.  (At least I could make the entire hubs uncle and family laugh as I had to spit out this bean in their garden).  So I gathered that I was to dry them and shell them and then use them in soup.  To my surprise look what I got this past weekend -

And I also harvest a great bunch of peppers and gave the bay leaf tree a big haircut.  I am really enjoying making cut flower arrangements for my tables.  Not spending 12-15$ every week on fresh flowers has been one of those reformations that I had to make on my mustachian journey. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on September 25, 2018, 08:35:03 AM
I'm still getting tomatoes though it's cooled off a little, and my yellow bell pepper is finally making a pepper - ?? I hope it ripens before it freezes.

The basil is pretty much kaput, though. I pulled the two plants that still looked good for one last round of pesto, as we're looking at lows in the high 40s (!) in the next couple days.

I tried for a fall crop of arugula and lettuce - it all sprouted but has just stalled there, with its baby leaves, no true leaves, and it's been a couple weeks. So I guess that is another fail. I've never been able to do fall greens from seed and am unsure of what I am doing wrong.

Strange thing happened with the blueberry bush I've had for 3 years (Top Hat). I got a pretty decent crop off of it, picked them off as they ripened and ate them right off of the bush. There was still a handful of berries that weren't quite ripe. So I left them to do their thing. It's now late September, while the others ripened in July/August, and they are still not ripe. So I guess they're not going to be. Is that normal? Never happened before. I did get a decent harvest so I'm not that worried about it, it just seems weird.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Vasilisa on September 25, 2018, 08:54:46 AM
I am really enjoying making cut flower arrangements for my tables.  Not spending 12-15$ every week on fresh flowers has been one of those reformations that I had to make on my mustachian journey. 

I SO agree- love growing my own cut flowers! It's so much fun to cut a big bouquet to give away and wonderful to able to fill my house with beauty I grew. I have been fantasizing about having whole beds dedicated to growing flowers for picking. Also- have you checked out Floret Farms? They published a great book on cut flowers but their website is gorgeous with all the things they're growing. So beautiful!

Your dried beans look lovely and it'll be so satisfying to cook them up!

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on September 25, 2018, 09:08:19 AM
I am really enjoying making cut flower arrangements for my tables.  Not spending 12-15$ every week on fresh flowers has been one of those reformations that I had to make on my mustachian journey. 
Also- have you checked out Floret Farms? They published a great book on cut flowers but their website is gorgeous with all the things they're growing. So beautiful!

OMG - flower porn. 

Now I am going to need plant some bulbs for cutting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on September 29, 2018, 07:55:59 PM
My cool-season garden is kind of a dud. Most things either failed to germinate or germinated and quickly died - the only thing doing well is the broccoli.

My bell peppers are redeeming themselves with a late crop - I don't know why it took them so long to mature. Sungold tomato plant is still producing but slowing down. Weirdly, one of my strawberry plants produced one perfect, delicious strawberry, after not having had any for like 3 months.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on September 30, 2018, 04:46:53 AM
@nessness often you need to germinate indoors because the summer soil temps are too high for some of the typical fall crops.

Iíve never had much luck with anything other than fall snap peas or broccoli. Our falls here are typically warm, then suddenly very very cold.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on September 30, 2018, 06:39:57 AM
@nessness often you need to germinate indoors because the summer soil temps are too high for some of the typical fall crops.

Iíve never had much luck with anything other than fall snap peas or broccoli. Our falls here are typically warm, then suddenly very very cold.
Darn, that was probably the issue, although my city's planting guide does say the plants I chose can be direct seeded outdoors in late summer/fall. It also says you can plant lettuce and carrots through October so I'll probably try again with those now that it's cooling down.

Can I ask a chicken question too? My chickens are almost 7 months but none of them have started laying yet. Is it likely that they won't lay until spring?

And a brief update on my HOA fight over my chickens: after some back-and-forth, the HOA sent me an official letter saying I can only have 3 chickens, but then an email implying (I'm pretty sure) that they'll overlook the fact that we have 9 so long as they don't get any more complaints. So that was a relief.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on September 30, 2018, 09:06:35 AM
@nessness often you need to germinate indoors because the summer soil temps are too high for some of the typical fall crops.

Iíve never had much luck with anything other than fall snap peas or broccoli. Our falls here are typically warm, then suddenly very very cold.
Darn, that was probably the issue, although my city's planting guide does say the plants I chose can be direct seeded outdoors in late summer/fall. It also says you can plant lettuce and carrots through October so I'll probably try again with those now that it's cooling down.

Can I ask a chicken question too? My chickens are almost 7 months but none of them have started laying yet. Is it likely that they won't lay until spring?


@nessness in our experience over the years (~30 chickens, many different breeds), they start laying anywhere from 22 weeks old to 32 weeks old.  Highly variable.  But in my experience the weather did not matter.  Even in the middle of the Wisconsin winter (with frequent subzero winter daytime highs) they would start laying if it was their time.  We had numerous pullets lay their first egg in January.  Unless you are further north than that, where maybe the shorter daylight might cause them to wait until spring(?), I bet they will go ahead and lay. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on September 30, 2018, 12:20:33 PM
@nessness often you need to germinate indoors because the summer soil temps are too high for some of the typical fall crops.

Iíve never had much luck with anything other than fall snap peas or broccoli. Our falls here are typically warm, then suddenly very very cold.
Darn, that was probably the issue, although my city's planting guide does say the plants I chose can be direct seeded outdoors in late summer/fall. It also says you can plant lettuce and carrots through October so I'll probably try again with those now that it's cooling down.

Can I ask a chicken question too? My chickens are almost 7 months but none of them have started laying yet. Is it likely that they won't lay until spring?


@nessness in our experience over the years (~30 chickens, many different breeds), they start laying anywhere from 22 weeks old to 32 weeks old.  Highly variable.  But in my experience the weather did not matter.  Even in the middle of the Wisconsin winter (with frequent subzero winter daytime highs) they would start laying if it was their time.  We had numerous pullets lay their first egg in January.  Unless you are further north than that, where maybe the shorter daylight might cause them to wait until spring(?), I bet they will go ahead and lay.
Thanks, good to know! We're in California so mild winters. I've just been surprised that we haven't gotten a single egg yet, with 9 hens of all different breeds.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on September 30, 2018, 01:08:10 PM
This is why I love commercial hybrids like ISA Browns. Consistent point of lay at 17-18 weeks, 20 weeks at the latest. And unlike other commercial breeds like Leghorns, theyíre pretty quiet and calm too.

Do you have light on them? Photoperiod can affect laying as well as when they come into lay. I have light on my birds from 5AM to past sunrise and then before dusk to about 9PM but some donít like to do that.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on September 30, 2018, 02:27:16 PM
@furrychickens no, we don't have any artificial light. Since we don't need heat we don't have any electricity running to the coop. The chickens are more of pets than anything else for me so I'm not super concerned about maximizing their laying, though a few eggs would be nice.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on September 30, 2018, 07:52:08 PM
@furrychickens no, we don't have any artificial light. Since we don't need heat we don't have any electricity running to the coop. The chickens are more of pets than anything else for me so I'm not super concerned about maximizing their laying, though a few eggs would be nice.

The light doesnít need to be very bright to trigger their pineal gland, so something solar powered would be an option. Iíve been told even Christmas tree lights are bright enough, so weíre not talking a lot of lumens.

I happen to use a brighter LED bulb just because I had it laying around and my coop is right next to the garage so power is no problem.

No heat here either, they do great in the winter as long as they stay dry and can get out of the wind as desired. Theyíve survived -30 so far just fine and I know folks using similar hybrids in much colder climates than mine in similarly unheated but windproof structures. Chicken coop fires are incredibly common from trying to heat them.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on October 01, 2018, 04:15:19 AM
@furrychickens no, we don't have any artificial light. Since we don't need heat we don't have any electricity running to the coop. The chickens are more of pets than anything else for me so I'm not super concerned about maximizing their laying, though a few eggs would be nice.

@nessness -- no worries then, you'll get eggs.  The wait is hard though.  :)

Re:  putting light on them:  If you don't care much about maximizing egg production (we don't either) then skip the lights.   The way I figure it, if the bird's body is telling her to take a break due to day length (or something else) then I will let that happen naturally.  Chckens' frequent egg laying is really astounding from a biological perspective, and takes loads of physical resources.  It makes sense to me to let the animal replenish those resources the way it sees fit.   

Re:  hybrid egg-laying breeds -- We've had a couple and I have to say I don't care for them.  They had more health problems and didn't live very long. They seem to pump out eggs unnaturally fast and burn themselves out at about 2 years old.  That's what lots of people want, if they intend to butcher them when their laying slows down.  Personally, give me a heritage/traditional breed that will take sensible breaks from laying now and again (for brooding, fall molting, etc.) any day.  We have a 6 year old bird that is still laying 3-5 eggs per week, hasn't been sick a day in her life, and has a delightful personality.  The only sign of age I can see in her is that her beard has a few white feathers now, and her egg shells have some weird bumps on them now and again.

Re:  Light and heat.  FurryChickens is right -- they are two separate issues.  Chickens can handle temps down to 30 below in a good coop. We never heated in Wisconsin.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: nessness on October 09, 2018, 08:47:38 PM
We got our first egg today! Also, I realized that I'd done the math wrong and they're only 6 months and 1 week old, so I was probably too hasty in worrying about it lol. Thanks @Trifele and @furrychickens for all the chicken advice you've given me!

We've had an unusually warm start to fall so we're still getting about a pint of cherry tomatoes and a couple bell peppers per week, and my carrots have finally germinated. So overall I'm feeling pretty satisfied. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: middo on October 09, 2018, 09:03:50 PM
Nutrition also plays a part in egg production.  Chickens need a rounded diet, with shell grit added at times.  If the laying drops off at a time that is unexpected, such as late spring, then think about adding wheat or a layer-pellet additive to their diet.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on October 10, 2018, 03:20:47 AM
We got our first egg today! Also, I realized that I'd done the math wrong and they're only 6 months and 1 week old, so I was probably too hasty in worrying about it lol. Thanks @Trifele and @furrychickens for all the chicken advice you've given me!

Congrats on your first egg!  :)  That is a happy day.

@middo makes a great point about nutrition also playing a large role in chicken laying.  They need a well-balanced layer feed, and also free-feed calcium/oyster shell on the side.   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on October 10, 2018, 04:54:08 AM
The pullet eggs are so cute looking. Snack size! ;)

I offer calcium free choice, I use a mix of oyster shell and their own eggshells ground up. Mine prefer the eggshells. If theyíre only eating layer ration, they donít need it, but if theyíre getting scraps and other foods they need the extra calcium.

Youíll get best production with a 18% protein layer ration. Mine slow down when Iíve tried 16% feeds. Mash or pellets, I prefer mash as itís cheaper.

I know youíre not concerned with best production rates, but I thought Iíd add that my chickens give me about $100 worth of eggs (valuing at $4/doz) a month on only $20-$30 worth of feed ;)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on October 11, 2018, 06:15:10 AM
Well, we are very near the end of the garden for the year here.  We are still picking figs and just started picking a few persimmons from our little two year old trees, but then that's it. 

We processed about half our Kieffer pears into thick sauce, and got 10 quarts.  (We could have gotten more, but the kids were doing the initial work to cut the cores out unsupervised, and they weren't being that careful . . . When I looked at their "cores" in the compost bin there was still a lot of flesh left on them.  :))  So when we finish processing the rest, I figure we will have maybe 22 quarts altogether.  If I can get my act together I also wanted to press out some juice and try making pear mead . . . or do you call it a cyser?  I have to read more about that.

Happy fall everyone!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on October 11, 2018, 10:54:08 AM
Word nerd alert: Cyser is apple cider with honey. A pear (or any other fruit) and honey ferment would be a melomel. If you make a spiced mead, it's called a metheglin. I love the Old English names!

I've had good luck with wild fermenting berry melomels in 1-gallon batches. I've tried raspberry and cherry, and have been happy with both. It would be interesting to see if pear would work as well. If you like a tangy, slightly sour fruity drink, you could try following this process: https://www.thymeherbal.com/2014/08/14/wild-herb-and-fruit-mead/

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on October 11, 2018, 10:59:14 AM
Word nerd alert: Cyser is apple cider with honey. A pear (or any other fruit) and honey ferment would be a melomel. If you make a spiced mead, it's called a metheglin. I love the Old English names!

I've had good luck with wild fermenting berry melomels in 1-gallon batches. I've tried raspberry and cherry, and have been happy with both. It would be interesting to see if pear would work as well. If you like a tangy, slightly sour fruity drink, you could try following this process: https://www.thymeherbal.com/2014/08/14/wild-herb-and-fruit-mead/

Thank you @krmit !  This is great information. I read an article that referred to pear melomel as "pyser."  I guess they totally made that word up by combining 'pear' and 'cyser'?   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: furrychickens on October 11, 2018, 11:36:24 AM
Word nerd alert: Cyser is apple cider with honey. A pear (or any other fruit) and honey ferment would be a melomel. If you make a spiced mead, it's called a metheglin. I love the Old English names!

I've had good luck with wild fermenting berry melomels in 1-gallon batches. I've tried raspberry and cherry, and have been happy with both. It would be interesting to see if pear would work as well. If you like a tangy, slightly sour fruity drink, you could try following this process: https://www.thymeherbal.com/2014/08/14/wild-herb-and-fruit-mead/

Actually, incorrect. Melomel is a general term for meads made with fruit. So, a cyser is a type of melomel.

Your definition of metheglin is correct though :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on October 11, 2018, 01:33:54 PM
Do you all wait until actual frost before picking all of your green tomatoes, or do it when temps get close to frost? 36 degree low coming here.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 11, 2018, 05:33:00 PM
I just dug my sweet potatoes before it gets too cold.  Not a great harvest, even though we had a hot summer and there was lots of foliage.  I think they got a late start because of the cold spring, a lot of the tubers were just starting to get fat.

Also picked the last of the wax beans.  No frost predicted for the next week, but low temperatures.  Nothing is growing, it is just hanging in there.  Just about time to plant the garlic.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on October 11, 2018, 06:38:08 PM
I have my little garden under floating row covers.  I harvested greens this morning.  I think we are getting a frost tomorrow night and that will be it.
Damn squirrels keep digging up the garlic.  I made the mistake of adding some compost and they are digging through it.

I have a good crop of herbs coming on in the green house.  Peppers and cukes have finished.  I will I had planted some more greens for late November.  I don't know if there is enough light to get a crop going now.

All and all it has been a pretty good year for this first garden.  I have been standing in it contemplating my next moves to secure it better from squirrels so that I can get even more food from my efforts.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural on October 11, 2018, 09:01:51 PM
Do you all wait until actual frost before picking all of your green tomatoes, or do it when temps get close to frost? 36 degree low coming here.


If they freeze and thaw they'll rot (long term) and get gross and slimy (short term), so either pick them before first frost or get out there while the frost is still on them and pick for the freezer/ cook immediately.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on October 12, 2018, 08:40:29 AM

If they freeze and thaw they'll rot (long term) and get gross and slimy (short term), so either pick them before first frost or get out there while the frost is still on them and pick for the freezer/ cook immediately.

Right, I know they have to be picked before first frost. But on my local garden groups everyone's freaking out about picking all their tomatoes now now now! And we haven't had frost yet. So I was wondering if I'm missing something.

I haven't even been to the community garden since... Sunday? Monday? I can't remember. The short days make it hard; it's barely light when I leave for work and it's mostly dark when I get home. Hmph.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural on October 12, 2018, 10:30:03 AM

If they freeze and thaw they'll rot (long term) and get gross and slimy (short term), so either pick them before first frost or get out there while the frost is still on them and pick for the freezer/ cook immediately.

Right, I know they have to be picked before first frost. But on my local garden groups everyone's freaking out about picking all their tomatoes now now now! And we haven't had frost yet. So I was wondering if I'm missing something.

I haven't even been to the community garden since... Sunday? Monday? I can't remember. The short days make it hard; it's barely light when I leave for work and it's mostly dark when I get home. Hmph.


As long as you beat any actual freeze or frost, they'll be fine. They won't be growing or ripening hardly at all with the weather you're reporting, though, so at this point you may be best served to pick the first chance you get.


I've waited until the afternoon before the first forecast frost and had no issues, but my tomatoes are right outside my front door so the picking is easy (and for me, that happens in early November or, one memorable year, the first of December...)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: 10dollarsatatime on October 12, 2018, 02:17:44 PM
My garden is about done for the year.  The zucchini isn't dead yet, but I expect a frost kill any day now.

I've got a giant box of calico popcorn sitting in my living room drying right now.  I just ordered a "little stripper" for shelling it, as doing it by hand was going to give me blisters. I'm really looking forward to eating homegrown popcorn, and giving gorgeous bags of it away for Christmas.

I also grew some purple cornmeal corn, but it4 grew on really short stalks and something, probably a rabbit, discovered the garden patch and decimated my harvest.  I have about a half bushel that I managed to save.  Next year's cornmeal corn will be taller, so as to avoid this problem.

I have 4 mesh bags of cranberry bean pods drying in the kitchen.  I imagine it won't actually be very many beans once shelled, but I'm looking forward to them.

I also grew my mystery Anasazi ruin beans, except I finally managed to hunt them down!  They are Hopi purple string beans, and I managed to grow two rows of them.  This is enough to replenish my dad's seed stash, my stash, and hopefully have a few pounds left for eating.  I find the story behind these beans fascinating, so I was really happy to get some of my dad's old stock to sprout this spring.  They're still out on the vines drying.  We're supposed to have dry weather for at least the next 10 days.  I'll just be sure to pick them out once there's rain in the forecast again.

There are about a dozen spaghetti squash out on the vine.  Watching for the frost date so I know when to bring those in.  I managed to get one sweet squash.  I don't remember what it is, but it probably won't ripen enough to be food anyway.

Did well with cukes this year, but didn't actually do anything with the picklebush cucumbers.  I'll do better with those next year.

Carrots did well, though for some reason, all the red ones went to seed.  They're still tasty, and I'm saving a ton of seeds.  It was just weird.

I think I'll get a good harvest of parsnips as well.  I've planted them before, but not had much luck with them.  I know those are best harvested after a frost, as they'll be sweeter.  So again... any day now.

I did manage a few cabbages eventually, too.  I'll pick the last of them this weekend.  They didn't do super well because of the neighborhood rabbits.  Although once I caught FLB (furry little bastard), things picked up.

On that note, I learned to butcher a rabbit this year.  I decided when I caught FLB that I'd raise him and see if I could butcher and eat an animal I'd raised.  Turns out I can, and in a year or two when I've got the backyard privacy fenced, I'll look into raising rabbits for food.

Is it too early to start next year's thread?  I bought some seeds already.  Figured I may as well since I was already paying shipping for the corn sheller.  Boyfriend asked if he could pick some things to plant next year, so we got some french heirloom pumpkins, pool ball zucchini, and a couple of other things that looked like fun.  He doesn't really like gardening, but he's willing to help me with it.  Being interested in what we're planting is a good step forward for him. :)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on October 13, 2018, 07:11:42 AM
Love your update @10dollarsatatime -- your roster of veg is very pioneer-like:  beans, corn, squash, carrots, etc.  And cool to hear about the rabbit plans.  I'm sure FurryChickens will have lots of advice for you on that if you pull the trigger. 

Something really weird happened here yesterday, not garden-related but since you are all interested nature observers, I thought I'd share.  We heard a bird hit the window and went to look.  At the same moment we looked out the window a squirrel ran across our deck, grabbed the stunned bird (house sparrow) and started eating it.  The squirrel looked like it knew what it was doing and had done it before . . . plucking out the feathers like an expert.  We opened the door with a half-thought of seeing if the squirrel would drop the bird, but it took off with it in its mouth, ran up a tree, and finished eating it.   

I've read that squirrels eat bird eggs and even baby birds from time to time, but this was really surprising.  I had no idea squirrels could be so . . . carnivorous.  It especially surprised me because this time of the year there's lots of food for them;  we have loads of walnuts and hickory nuts lying around everywhere.  There's no way the squirrel is hungry for calories or protein.  Puzzling and interesting.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Rural on October 13, 2018, 02:41:16 PM
I didn't know about squirrels eating birds, either, but apparently it's not uncommon:
https://askanaturalist.com/is-eating-dead-birds-normal-for-a-squirrel-or-chipmunk/ (https://askanaturalist.com/is-eating-dead-birds-normal-for-a-squirrel-or-chipmunk/)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 13, 2018, 05:59:30 PM
Lots of rodents eat meat.   Mice eat lots of insects.  That squirrel sounds like it has learned window thump = easy meal.    Cats and raccoons will patrol tall buildings at dawn to find bird window strikes.

Back to the garden.  I dug all my sweet potatoes, lots of red skins (white inside) and some purples.  I will use that bed for garlic, I have a bunch of different kinds and will use the biggest cloves for planting.  I'm also moving rhubarb to a better spot, and getting some beds ready for early peas next spring. 

I also bought another blueberry bush.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Blueberries on October 13, 2018, 07:21:59 PM
One tip is to look into winter sowing.  Another is to shop migardener.com for seeds; they are $1 with reasonable shipping and some unusual varieties.  I used to love Rare Seeds for unusual varieties, but it got too damn expensive. 

I have two questions about compost:

At what point during the year do you stop putting stuff in your composter because it won't break down before it freezes? Or, do you even stop? Our average first frost is 10/15.

Second: Anyone have a neighbor complain about your composting? My landlord gave us a composter that he found discarded in the alley. It is enclosed - one of those rotating barrels on a stand. We just had a new tenant move into the first floor apartment (two-flat, we're on the top floor) and she's horrified that I am composting. She is certain we're going to have rats.

I told her that our landlord had encouraged me to do so - and that I'd asked him the same question about whether it draws rats and he said he's never had that problem (he lives a block away from us and composts in just a loose uncovered pile). I have seen no rats - and I'd think that, given that I have a vegetable garden right there too, I'd have seen some evidence in the form of nibbled tomatoes and such. But, maybe not. Anyway - any advice on pacifying her? I really don't want to stop composting.

I compost with a bin for the most part, but a couple months of the year I will just compost in the ground.  If you have the ground space and the neighbor keeps pushing the compost bin issue, just compost in the ground (10+ inches).  It's simple and effective. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on October 13, 2018, 07:32:05 PM
Speaking of animals eating other animals, this morning the internal organs of a small mammal were in the middle of my garden path. There were no bones, fur or feathers so I was uncertain which animal it came from or what was the predator. I hate garden mysteries.

The temps finally felt like Fall today. First frost feels much closer now. I installed medium size electrical conduit PVC to make low tunnel hoops over lettuce, kale and peas. Inspected the Agribon frost cloth is standing by to cover herbs.

I've been making biochar in the firepit all summer and will spread that on the beds that are going to rest this winter. I've used biochar in past but only on cold compost piles. Has anyone spread it directly on soil? Would love to hear your experience. Debating if I should put cover crop on top of it or leave it mixed in slightly on top soil layer.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on October 14, 2018, 06:28:58 AM
We had a hard frost last night.  I am going to transplant three asparagus plants I missed in the spring.   And clear out all the plants that may hold fungus,  mold, or stuff and put it in the green bin.  I have been stockpiling maple leaves for a booster load of organic material. I am looking forward to getting out for a couple of hours.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Cranky on October 14, 2018, 06:45:26 AM
Lots of stuff in the garden to clean out now, and Iím housebound. Oh well, Iím looking forward to spring already!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on October 14, 2018, 08:54:27 AM
Speaking of animals eating other animals, this morning the internal organs of a small mammal were in the middle of my garden path.

<snip>

I've been making biochar in the firepit all summer and will spread that on the beds that are going to rest this winter. I've used biochar in past but only on cold compost piles. Has anyone spread it directly on soil?

Re:  the internal organs:  I think that could be the leftovers from a meal enjoyed by a cat or fox.  Or -- I believe some animals also leave dead and sometimes partially eaten animals as a 'sign post' to their presence too, like to mark their territory.  I'm a trail runner, and I frequently see dead shrews and mice dropped on the trail regularly in the same conspicuous spot.  I'm thinking foxes are doing it.  Last year a family of foxes moved into our property and I saw them several times.  Right around the time they moved in, I started finding dead "presents" right smack at the bottom of our driveway.  Same spot every time. Sometimes the animal was in once piece, just bitten to kill it, and sometimes it was half eaten.  The dead animals ranged from mice and shrews up to (once) a half-eaten woodchuck.  The foxes hung around our place a month or so, and then they took off.  And the dead animals stopped appearing.  I was glad they left, and thankful we didn't lose any chickens to them while they were around.  And glad I didn't have to wonder what I was going to find when I walked down to the mailbox each day, lol.  The dead animals were mildly creepy -- kind of like a cosa nostra message or something.

@Indio -- I've never heard of biochar, so thanks for this!  I'll read up on it.     
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on October 14, 2018, 06:35:47 PM
I am also going to read up on biochar. 
I worked in the garden all afternoon - the weather was beautiful. I am whupped.

I did so much tidying up and dreaming about next years garden.  There were two tiny zucchini's on the frost killed vines this morning.  Not all the cut flowers got killed.  All the basil not in the greenhouse was mush.  I got a whole area cleared out and took down some of the fencing so that the hens can get in there and clean up up.  Still a bit of harvesting to do - the leeks and kale are coming on.  Planning on where I might put my sweet potatoes (@RetiredAt63 inspired me) and checking out just how well the asparagus plants came along.  I just might be getting some spears next spring. 

I made a whole bunch of food this weekend from my produce and it just feels so amazing.  The second last seeding of greens are at their peak and I have them under floating row covers.  Herbs that self seeded in the greenhouse are coming along as well. The last seeding of greens are only just up and I don't know whether to juggle the floating row covers to try and get them to come along or just give up.  The soil in that part of the garden is just awful so I could just start dumping compost and leaves there now.  My plan is grow potatoes in round elevated wire cribs in this area next spring.  A couple of reasons:  the soil is really crappy, the bins would be completely separated from the soil and any residual fungus/germs/mildews etc that attacked my potato and tomato crop this year wouldn't get into them.  I am going to lay down plastic film over the soil and put the wire cribs on top.  I will plant the potatoes in manure that has a lot of straw.  At the end of the growing season I will spread this out over the whole area and grow tomatoes and potatoes at a different end of the garden the following season.  But voila - fantastic soil for other stuff.

Now I must go and finish my first batch of sauerkraut.  I have been buying tiny jars for $6 at the market.  A lovely cabbage came in my CSA this week and now it is all cut up and salted waiting to be massaged and packed into jars.  Please let this work out. 

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on October 14, 2018, 07:10:20 PM
@Trifele my motion sensitive outdoor light was triggered on a few nights ago by a large fox/coyote. It moved too quickly for me to get a good look at it, but that might be source of the "gift." I guess I won't let the chickens free range till after first snow and I can watch the tracks.

So I went to a bee club meeting today and the two speakers were great, but one blew me away. Ross Conrad, the author of a seminal book on organic beekeeping, spoke first about the dangers of neonics, abbreviated name for the family of chemicals that ends with -cides, used in farming, gardening and landscaping. Ross was the primary reason I attended. He is well known bee advocate in the beekeeping community. The second speaker, Dr. Samuel Ramsey, talked about his PhD thesis on varroa destructor mites. Here's a recent article that summarizes his points: https://www.beeculture.com/downtown-new-hope-fight-varroa/
A version of his talk, for a German audience, is on youtube for anyone who wants to geek out honeybee pests. Wow... it was amazing how he laid out his hypothesis and tested it in the lab. Now Sam is studying a new type of mite that is spreading rapidly in southeast Asia, where varroa originated and spread around the world in two decades. He expects that this smaller, faster and fertile mite will proliferate faster than varroa, which will really suck, if that happens.

Another fantastic aspect of attending this event, were all the sustainable and environmentally minded people I met.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on October 15, 2018, 05:28:45 AM
Wow @Indio -- excellent meeting at your beekeeping club!  I will check out those speakers.  @Frugal Lizard -- that's a creative plan for your potatoes -- let us know how it goes! 

It was a gorgeous weekend here -- sunny and cool.  I planted two Lobelias I bought a month ago at the local arboretum plant sale.  This is part of my project to plant-all-the-things-for-bees. :) According to the state extension, Lobelia is in the top 10 native perennials for pollinator value. 

You might recall our winter experiment where we grafted 10 baby apple trees for the first time.  They all survived the grafting and started off well.  Over the summer some of them fell victim to insect attacks.  Now we have six left that look vigorous and have grown well, and four that are basically leafless.  (I don't know if the leafless ones will survive the winter and have the energy to leaf out again.)  So this weekend we started planting them.  The six healthy ones are going into our orchard, and the four sickies are going into a nursery row down in the garden.  I got two of the healthy ones planted yesterday.  Live long and prosper little trees.   

And wow -- am I out of gardening shape. Very sore this morning from digging.  I'm FIREing soon, and looking forward to more hours in the garden and getting stronger again. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on October 15, 2018, 06:44:45 PM
@Trifele - I have done it four times before in my community garden.  The first year was fantastic because we had a very wet season so the potatoes were very happy to be a little drier.  The last two times I didn't use 100% manure, thinking that it was a moisture issue so I am going back to 100% manure and will have access to water if it is really dry.

It is a space saving strategy and I can't claim credit for it - I think someone on the forum also does this but can't remember who.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 16, 2018, 06:01:55 AM
The garlic is planted, one row each (7 cloves each) of 8 different varieties.   A grower told me garlic needs to be well mulched in our area to prevent frost heave, so there is a mound of sweet potato vines over the garlic bed.   One more garden chore ticked off the fall prep list.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on October 17, 2018, 06:42:30 AM
What do you compost?

I never seem to have enough high quality loam for my garden so I focus on making as much compost as I can throughout the year. I'm curious to learn what types of items people put into their compost besides the obvious food scraps, garden waste and chicken/rabbit bedding.

I keep a bin in the kitchen and ask the kids to put dirty tissues and paper towels in it. When it gets full, I mix it into the composting system outside or in the worm bin and it's converted to usable soil. I also shred all junk mail. Separating the plastic window from the mailing and return mailing envelopes, and then recycling the plastic is a standard practice. I also go through the coupon mailers and separate the glossy and matte paper. Yup, the matte paper gets shredded and then put into the compost. The dustballs and furballs from the vacuum also go into the compost, though I've found that human hair doesn't break down quickly. Soon I will be picking up the leaf piles, that my neighbors lawn service blows to the curb, putting that through the portable leaf shredder and right into the grow beds.

So, what else does everyone put into their compost piles?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 21, 2018, 09:23:24 AM
We've had a frost, so the high mound of sweet potato vines mulching the garlic is now a limp flat blanket.

I'm getting into more perennial crops.  Yesterday I planted 3 hazelbert shrubs (American hazelnut x European filbert), a hardy self-pollinating pear, a black currant bush, and a Korean pine (such a baby) for pine nuts.  I'm looking at a 3-5  year wait for the hazelnuts and longer for the pear and pine.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on October 22, 2018, 06:58:40 AM
@Indio I am impressed with the list of materials you compost.  The only thing I compost in addition to your list is tired mushroom substrate.   We have municipal  compost pick up so I only compost the easy stuff at home. 

@RetiredAt63 I am curious about the nut trees.   I probably have too many squirrels to actually harvest any nuts but it would be so fun to try.

Enjoying the late greens harvest.  Have picked about 3lbs.  So totally worth the effort.   It's under a floating row cover so hopefully we can get a little more.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 22, 2018, 08:11:08 AM
@RetiredAt63 I am curious about the nut trees.   I probably have too many squirrels to actually harvest any nuts but it would be so fun to try.

Well, the Korean pine is a total baby right now, 3 years old and about 8" tall.  They look a lot like a white pine, and need the same conditions, so I am planting it with my white pines.  It will be a long wait, edible pine nuts at the end.

The hazelberts are an American hazelnut x European filbert cross, so nuts more like European filberts with the hardiness of American hazelnuts. Large bushes, I should see a few nuts in 2-4 years.

They have lots of other nut trees and hardy fruit trees.

The nursery is further north than I am by quite a bit, so anything that is hardy there should be fine here.

http://hardyfruittrees.ca/ (http://hardyfruittrees.ca/)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Tris Prior on October 22, 2018, 11:26:32 AM
Hmph. The forecast didn't call for frost, but it appears we had one, or at least it was close enough to make all the tomato plants look like total shit. Pulled out about half of them yesterday, along with all the peppers (which had some decently sized green ones on them, anyway). Still have some baby greens, which I'm hoping become non-baby greens before the garden closes for the season on the 4th.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Indio on October 27, 2018, 09:17:07 AM
I know a few of you following this thread are beekeepers so I thought I'd share this article. It has all of the highlights - environmentalist, frugal, biking, entrepreneurial, and of course, bees.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/27/story-exchange-minneapolis-beekeeper-is-building-a-thriving-business.html
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: sparkytheop on October 27, 2018, 09:06:28 PM
I had feared that I killed my saffron...  The bulbs I gave to my mom did great.  She had forgot to water them all summer, and it worked out quite well for her!  She started giving them just a little bit of water sometime around late August/early September.  Over a few days, several flowers popped up, and we picked the stigmas, put them in an open spice jar left in the car (to cheaply dehydrate them), and now I have a nice little pile.

Mine hadn't bloomed.  Still didn't bloom.  Then a few days ago I got one!  Yea!  I managed to not kill one little bulb :D  I can grow mint and weeds really well, but I kill everything else.  One little bulb was a success.  Then, last night, another bloom.  And tonight when I got home from work, there was one more!  I planted five bulbs, so I've got over a 50% survival rate and am extremely happy about that.

I'll be looking up recipes this weekend to see what I can make with my tiny little harvest.  I don't like seafood, so paella is out...

In other news, my mom came home to four little plum trees dropped off by a coworker (the original tree they volunteered from was planted in the late 1800s.)  My mom only wanted one (she already has another grafted plum tree), so she asked if I wanted one (my tree no longer bares fruit, when the neighbor cut his tree down it lost any cross-pollination.)  So, I took two home and planted them in the front yard.  I like the plums on the back yard tree (big and juicy and perfect, while the new trees are more "prune" type) so I'm really hoping they will provide some cross-pollination so that it can produce again.

Anyway, I'm just thrilled that I got to see something from start (bulb) to harvest all by myself!  Saffron has survived my black thumb of death.  Like the mint, it has earned it's place in front of the house and will hopefully be around for many years to come.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on November 02, 2018, 07:55:24 AM
I've been MIA all summer - very busy with horses and work - but managed to have a fairly decent, if scaled down garden.  All that's still in the ground is leeks, chard and collards.

The theme this year was peppers - I ended up growing about 80# of green chile, which is all tucked into freezer bags and canning jars now.  Made cayenne, chile powder and chipotle peppers, hot sauce, and still have more down in the basement waiting to be processed.  We had a nice flow of okra, tomatoes, onions and greens, and this was the first year my raspberries really stepped up and produced.  First year trying to grow dried beans and I managed to produce... almost an entire cup of dried beans, lol.  Thai pumpkin was also a total bust this year - huge, healthy plant that never set a single pumpkin.

Now I'm re-working my garden beds to make things more efficient and hopefully easier to care for.  Will post and update when it's done (hopefully in a couple weeks).  Need to haul in a few truckloads of manure to fill them and top up the old beds.

Also, I built a chicken tractor that just needs a couple finishing touches, and then will go into service for weed control and working fallow beds. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: GardenBaker on November 07, 2018, 02:06:26 PM
My fall planted seeds are coming along nicely. We have peas, radish, turnips, kale, broccoli, cabbage and carrots emerged. Nothing to harvest yet, maybe in another 30 days or so. I bought two large fall tomato plants which are now blooming; hoping to have some tomatoes in the next month or so too. The garden beds are in full sun, but with the time change we have significantly less daylight.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Raenia on November 08, 2018, 08:48:08 AM
My sad little potted rosemary is still chugging along, though the oregano finally bit the dust a month or so back.  However, I'm now looking at growing ginger root!  I have a chunk of ginger that I got from the store, and it is attempting to sprout.  A quick google suggests that I should be able to plant that bit and it will start producing new rhizomes (sp?).  We'll see how it does!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: krmit on November 08, 2018, 01:43:07 PM
Tis the season for creating new systems! Mr krmit and I moved last month and in anticipation of our first year of real gardening, we:

- Bought a secondhand push mower and mowed the lawn.
- Disconnected the overflowing rain barrel and diverted the downspout out to the lawn. We'll reconnect in the spring, before the rain stops but hopefully late enough that we don't have to deal with a lot of overflow.
- Received a pile of wood chips and used them and our flattened moving boxes to create new garden beds to compost in place over the winter.  This included shoveling out some old gross red bark mulch and taking up a bunch of landscape fabric where we're going to plant our raspberry patch and herbs.
- Discovered that our patchy front lawn was, in fact, hiding a garden path stepping through the former raised beds! Mr krmit cleared the overgrown grass away and the front yard looks pretty awesome now.
- Starting to plan the garden for next year - it's never too early, right?

Got a few container kale and cabbage that made the move with us, although they look pretty sad. Hoping to do some proper fall/winter gardening next year.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: 10dollarsatatime on November 08, 2018, 08:03:33 PM
You guys!  I just ate a bowl of popcorn I grew myself!  It's not cured quite enough... it should get fluffier as it ages, but it was so good!  I grew Calico Popcorn this year... 9 rows, 12 plants per row.  I've got SO much popcorn!  40-50 pounds maybe?  And it's delicious... it tastes more, um, corny, I guess, than store-bought popcorn.

I picked up a couple of pots today at the thrift store.  I decided my garden isn't big enough yet, so I'll be planting my butterbush butternuts and some other things in pots along the back of the house.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide how I want to go about some winter gardening.  I have a bunch of old windows... I might try to put together some cold frames and grow some radishes and such. 
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on November 09, 2018, 04:20:16 AM
You guys!  I just ate a bowl of popcorn I grew myself! 

Super cool!  Congrats @10dollarsatatime !
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Frugal Lizard on November 09, 2018, 05:45:52 AM
You guys!  I just ate a bowl of popcorn I grew myself! 

Super cool!  Congrats @10dollarsatatime !
  amazing
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Blueberries on November 14, 2018, 11:46:05 AM
I struggle to find joy in the garden during the cooler months and especially as winter approaches. 

I do have some greens planted, along with some garlic and onion, but overall, I don't do a whole lot.  I am going to pull my potatoes soon as the greens died back completely.  Hopefully I have enough for Thanksgiving.

I had feared that I killed my saffron...  The bulbs I gave to my mom did great.  She had forgot to water them all summer, and it worked out quite well for her!  She started giving them just a little bit of water sometime around late August/early September.  Over a few days, several flowers popped up, and we picked the stigmas, put them in an open spice jar left in the car (to cheaply dehydrate them), and now I have a nice little pile.

Mine hadn't bloomed.  Still didn't bloom.  Then a few days ago I got one!  Yea!  I managed to not kill one little bulb :D  I can grow mint and weeds really well, but I kill everything else.  One little bulb was a success.  Then, last night, another bloom.  And tonight when I got home from work, there was one more!  I planted five bulbs, so I've got over a 50% survival rate and am extremely happy about that.

I'll be looking up recipes this weekend to see what I can make with my tiny little harvest.  I don't like seafood, so paella is out...

Anyway, I'm just thrilled that I got to see something from start (bulb) to harvest all by myself!  Saffron has survived my black thumb of death.  Like the mint, it has earned it's place in front of the house and will hopefully be around for many years to come.

I'm envious.  I planted several saffron bulbs from a reputable place and I haven't seen one come up.  Oh well, maybe one will surprise me in the future.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: sparkytheop on November 14, 2018, 01:08:46 PM
I struggle to find joy in the garden during the cooler months and especially as winter approaches. 

I do have some greens planted, along with some garlic and onion, but overall, I don't do a whole lot.  I am going to pull my potatoes soon as the greens died back completely.  Hopefully I have enough for Thanksgiving.

I had feared that I killed my saffron...  The bulbs I gave to my mom did great.  She had forgot to water them all summer, and it worked out quite well for her!  She started giving them just a little bit of water sometime around late August/early September.  Over a few days, several flowers popped up, and we picked the stigmas, put them in an open spice jar left in the car (to cheaply dehydrate them), and now I have a nice little pile.

Mine hadn't bloomed.  Still didn't bloom.  Then a few days ago I got one!  Yea!  I managed to not kill one little bulb :D  I can grow mint and weeds really well, but I kill everything else.  One little bulb was a success.  Then, last night, another bloom.  And tonight when I got home from work, there was one more!  I planted five bulbs, so I've got over a 50% survival rate and am extremely happy about that.

I'll be looking up recipes this weekend to see what I can make with my tiny little harvest.  I don't like seafood, so paella is out...

Anyway, I'm just thrilled that I got to see something from start (bulb) to harvest all by myself!  Saffron has survived my black thumb of death.  Like the mint, it has earned it's place in front of the house and will hopefully be around for many years to come.

I'm envious.  I planted several saffron bulbs from a reputable place and I haven't seen one come up.  Oh well, maybe one will surprise me in the future.

I got mine from Baker Creek... https://www.rareseeds.com/ 

I hope you get to see some, if not this year, then next year!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on November 22, 2018, 02:05:36 PM
Now I'm re-working my garden beds to make things more efficient and hopefully easier to care for.  Will post and update when it's done (hopefully in a couple weeks).  Need to haul in a few truckloads of manure to fill them and top up the old beds.

I  can't believe I actually got this done, but here is the photographic evidence!

I took a 4x12' bed out of the front left and replaced with these 3, 3x5' galvanized side beds.  I should have been more careful with the math and made them a little longer and narrower - there is only 14" between them, but it should be fine.

Towards the back on that side, I took out a trellis structure that was interfering with my cherry tree, and reduced the size of the bed it was in, added 2, 4x12' beds there.  On the right side of the path, I had 4x16' beds, but one half would get watered from overspray from the lawn, so they were difficult to manage.  They are now gone and the beds are reconfigured so the two on the far right will get the lawn overspray, and the two near the paver path will get watered with soaker hoses.

Lastly, I built a little "tool kiosk" mostly with scrap, including 4x4s from the trellis structure I took down.  I still need to add some hooks and things on the inside, but I love this little shed.  Hopefully I'll be much less prone to leaving my tools out in the rain to rust, and my wheelbarrow finally has a home.

Overall, I think this will make everything more productive and easier to manage, so I'm looking forward to the 2019 growing season now!

Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on November 22, 2018, 06:38:08 PM
Now I'm re-working my garden beds to make things more efficient and hopefully easier to care for.  Will post and update when it's done (hopefully in a couple weeks).  Need to haul in a few truckloads of manure to fill them and top up the old beds.

I  can't believe I actually got this done, but here is the photographic evidence!

I took a 4x12' bed out of the front left and replaced with these 3, 3x5' galvanized side beds.  I should have been more careful with the math and made them a little longer and narrower - there is only 14" between them, but it should be fine.

Towards the back on that side, I took out a trellis structure that was interfering with my cherry tree, and reduced the size of the bed it was in, added 2, 4x12' beds there.  On the right side of the path, I had 4x16' beds, but one half would get watered from overspray from the lawn, so they were difficult to manage.  They are now gone and the beds are reconfigured so the two on the far right will get the lawn overspray, and the two near the paver path will get watered with soaker hoses.

Lastly, I built a little "tool kiosk" mostly with scrap, including 4x4s from the trellis structure I took down.  I still need to add some hooks and things on the inside, but I love this little shed.  Hopefully I'll be much less prone to leaving my tools out in the rain to rust, and my wheelbarrow finally has a home.

Overall, I think this will make everything more productive and easier to manage, so I'm looking forward to the 2019 growing season now!

PS  Can you give more detail about your bed construction and the galvanized metal sides?*  I have been using spruce and it rots out.  And the beds are low, those look much easier to plant and weed becasue of the added height, and the plant roots have more space too.

*Or a URL or book that explains it, you don't have to type it all out.

That is impressive, looks well organized, next year should be a great gardening year for you.

Can you come visit me next spring?  I have lots of projects to keep you busy/happy.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Trifele on November 23, 2018, 03:21:59 AM
Wow that looks really great @horsepoor!  Love the tool kiosk.  I have a huge redesign of our garden on tap for the spring -- can you come over and help?  :)   
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on November 23, 2018, 06:59:14 AM
Wow that looks really great @horsepoor!  Love the tool kiosk.  I have a huge redesign of our garden on tap for the spring -- can you come over and help?  :)

NO, I asked first!
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on November 23, 2018, 06:29:42 PM

PS  Can you give more detail about your bed construction and the galvanized metal sides?*  I have been using spruce and it rots out.  And the beds are low, those look much easier to plant and weed becasue of the added height, and the plant roots have more space too.

Sure, I just made corners by joining 2x4's in an "L" shape by bolting them together with lag bolts.  I used a little Dremel saw to cut the metal, which worked great.  I was nervous about that because my dad helped me with the first ones on the right, and I remember him using a special blade on my circular saw, and LOTS of sparks flying.  The Dremel went through like butter, not too many sparks.  The galvanized panels are about 26" wide, so I just cut them right down the middle to get 13" sides.  I then used lathe screws to attach them to the 4x4 corners.  I cut 2x2's to fit along the top edge of the metal, in between the 2x4 "L" corners, and also attached those with lathe screws.  Next was putting on the top 2x4's, again attached with lag bolts.  Last, I used deck screws to attach the 2x2 reinforcements to the top 2x4's to help stabilize the metal sides.

I think I've been offered a few years' worth of work building and maintaining other people's gardens since I finished this up, so I'll put you on the list.  ;)
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: RetiredAt63 on November 24, 2018, 07:47:27 AM

PS  Can you give more detail about your bed construction and the galvanized metal sides?*  I have been using spruce and it rots out.  And the beds are low, those look much easier to plant and weed becasue of the added height, and the plant roots have more space too.

Sure, I just made corners by joining 2x4's in an "L" shape by bolting them together with lag bolts.  I used a little Dremel saw to cut the metal, which worked great.  I was nervous about that because my dad helped me with the first ones on the right, and I remember him using a special blade on my circular saw, and LOTS of sparks flying.  The Dremel went through like butter, not too many sparks.  The galvanized panels are about 26" wide, so I just cut them right down the middle to get 13" sides.  I then used lathe screws to attach them to the 4x4 corners.  I cut 2x2's to fit along the top edge of the metal, in between the 2x4 "L" corners, and also attached those with lathe screws.  Next was putting on the top 2x4's, again attached with lag bolts.  Last, I used deck screws to attach the 2x2 reinforcements to the top 2x4's to help stabilize the metal sides.

I think I've been offered a few years' worth of work building and maintaining other people's gardens since I finished this up, so I'll put you on the list.  ;)

This is really great detail, thanks.  The galvanized panels - what are they sold for/what are they called?  I have to be able to explain at the store what I am looking for  ;-)  And am I shopping in a home hardware store or a farm supply store?  Dremel, which bit?
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: horsepoor on November 24, 2018, 08:03:25 AM
They are corrugated roofing panels.  They might have them at a farm store, but any Lowe's or Home Depot will carry them.

The Dremel I have is actually a tiny circular saw, not an attachment to a regular Dremel tool.  If you have a circular saw, you can get a special blade, or you might be able to cut with tin snips, it would just be tedious.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dremel-SawMax-3-3-8-in-6-Amp-Worm-Drive-Corded-Circular-Saw-with-Steel-Shoe/50078404?cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-ToolsAndHardware-_-RotaryAndOscillatingTools-_-50078404:Dremel&CAWELAID=&kpid=50078404&CAGPSPN=pla&store_code=688&k_clickID=go_625706834_53014029837_258132035406_pla-424719174430_c_9029605&gclid=CjwKCAiAiuTfBRAaEiwA4itUqIDED2-aQBsBpVPcckFSViIZ38mZ7gBEIiyJGExKt4x1SZfA26jC9xoCZesQAvD_BwE
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: Blueberries on December 10, 2018, 03:33:32 PM
You guys!  I just ate a bowl of popcorn I grew myself!  It's not cured quite enough... it should get fluffier as it ages, but it was so good!  I grew Calico Popcorn this year... 9 rows, 12 plants per row.  I've got SO much popcorn!  40-50 pounds maybe?  And it's delicious... it tastes more, um, corny, I guess, than store-bought popcorn.


We had a tiny harvest and ate our sweet corn raw (I never knew this was a thing); it was delicious.  The rest was Gem corn and we just made some popcorn. 

I'm envious of your harvest.  One day....


I got mine from Baker Creek... https://www.rareseeds.com/ 

I hope you get to see some, if not this year, then next year!

Thanks!  Their catalog is the only one I get and it just arrived.  They announced they now have free shipping within the U.S.  I stopped shopping there for a while, but I might just have to place an order.
Title: Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
Post by: lettuceevangelist on December 10, 2018, 06:59:14 PM
Horsepoor, you have inspired us. We have 12 4x8 raised beds, which we built with untreated wood (because they're for growing food). After 5 years, they have rotted, and will need to be replaced before we do big planting next spring. Corrugated metal looks like just the thing!