Author Topic: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019  (Read 27198 times)

horsepoor

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #300 on: April 09, 2019, 09:19:34 PM »
I saw actual orange trees with oranges on them in people's yard. Sigh. Why do I live in zone 5?

When I was a kid my aunt and uncle lived in the bay area and had a grapefruit tree that overhung the deck.  So we would go sit outside with breakfast and literally reach out and grab a grapefruit, cut in half, sprinkle sugar and eat.  I do wish I could grow citrus, but I also like having winter (and am too lazy to maintain potted citrus).

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #301 on: April 10, 2019, 07:10:08 AM »
OK, friends.  I need some opinions.

I just had a bunch of trees removed from my yard for various reasons.  This opens up a lot more of my yard for gardening.  I was planning on building raised beds, but as many as I want is going to be expensive.  The rest of my garden is in ground, and a few smaller raised bed containers that I was given.

My ground is more rock than dirt.  When I sifted all the rocks out of the front garden, I had enough to gravel half my driveway and it took a couple of years of amending just to get the volume back up to ground level.  It also took weeks to do.  The back area isn't just rocky... it's rooty and it's garbagey.  I'm pretty convinced that my yard used to be the dump for the neighborhood farm.  I'm on just the next block from the old house.  I've found glass, porcelain, metal, unbroken bottles, marbles, and everything else all over the yard.  With that knowledge, raised beds seem like the way to go.  But expensive to build out of cedar and/or metal.  I did find some 4'x12'  metal beds online for $80, but I want so freaking many of them... I don't want to spend that much.

My current plan: Lay cardboard all over the area I'd like to turn to garden (20' by 60' ish).  Get a load of topsoil and spread it over the top at least a foot deep.  Use branches or cheap 2x4 to delineate 4' wide beds and mound the soil up a bit there, so I'll still have areas I'm not stepping.  Add manure and/or compost.  Mulch the hell out of it; wood chips in the pathways and straw in the beds.

Can I plant in this the first year?  I have SO MANY seeds I want to plant!  It won't all fit in my other garden beds. (Which are 8'x8', 10'x10', and 12'x30'ish).

I need to make some decisions so I can start some seeds.  When I was a kid, you never planted out until mother's day in Utah, however, my expected last frost date is now May 1st.  Which is coming right up.

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #302 on: April 10, 2019, 07:38:59 AM »
OK, friends.  I need some opinions.

{...}

Can I plant in this the first year?


Oh heck yes.  I did pretty much that exact same thing one year.  My best 'pioneer plants' in those new beds were potatoes and bush beans.  They not only grew great the first year, but they made the soil wonderful.  By year two those beds had some of the best soil I've ever seen.

I would go ahead and plant everything you want to -- Why not?  Have fun!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #303 on: April 10, 2019, 09:40:13 AM »
OK, friends.  I need some opinions.

{...}

Can I plant in this the first year?


Oh heck yes.  I did pretty much that exact same thing one year.  My best 'pioneer plants' in those new beds were potatoes and bush beans.  They not only grew great the first year, but they made the soil wonderful.  By year two those beds had some of the best soil I've ever seen.

I would go ahead and plant everything you want to -- Why not?  Have fun!
I would second it. Go for it.
Research how much topsoil depth you really need.  If the rock is bedrock, it is one thing.  Glacial till or builders mix is different.  Our topsoil is only about seven inches and then we hit poorly sorted gravels.  Things grow fine with a little additional organic matter to aid in moisture retention.
Maybe only put the soil in the planting areas and just cover the cardboard 'pathways' with wood chips or straw for future organic matter.  Just one word of caution on the crops - carrots like a deep loose soil - and probably parsnips are the same if I could ever get the damn things to germinate.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #304 on: April 10, 2019, 09:42:56 AM »
10dollarsatatime

Your gardening situation is totally different from mine.  So take this with a pound (not a grain) of salt.

What are your gardening issues? Short growing season?  Dry weather?  Other stuff?  We know you have poor soil.

The thing is, raised beds are great for improving drainage - I have raised beds because I have very clayey soil and it is a pain to try to grow anything in it.  Raised beds also warm up faster in spring.

Areas that have really good drainage (i.e. sandy/rocky soil) or soils that warm up fast (on limestone) don't need raised beds as much.  In areas that are dry and windy they are a liability, they put the plants even more into the wind and dry out fast, so you have to water a lot.  What Native Americans did in those situations was actually depressed beds -   less water loss and more shelter from winds.

I have raised beds with sides, which are now rotting (spruce does't last for ever).  There are downsides to having permanent sides, and it is hard to hoe in them, you end up hand weeding a lot.  If you can manage, your lasagna beds without permanent sides will probably work better. And sure you can plant in it right away, you are talking about a foot of soil and manure/compost.  Just don't use fresh manure. And as Frugal Lizard said, don't waste soil on your paths.

coffeefueled

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #305 on: April 11, 2019, 11:17:32 AM »
Garden updates...

The voles are leaving the pears alone. We don't know whether it's the sound stakes or the lack of mulch, but either way we're happy.

Sprouting outside: peas, lettuce, kale, radishes

Inside: 2 varieties of cherry tomatoes, 2 varieties of peppers, and ground cherries are all a couple inches tall. I'm going to start bringing them outside for short bursts and leaving the window cracked so they can harden off. Wish we had a greenhouse.

Water issues: I made a 10x20 plot for wildflowers next to the garden. I scattered seed and have been hand watering once a day enough to moisten the soil. There's no space for the garden near the house because of the woods, but carrying water down the drive to the garden is getting old quick. I think we're going to look into the cost of running a water line from the house to a spigot in the garden. I'd like to use rain barrels to be green (we're on well so we're not worried about water costs), but I think we'd run into the same carrying water by hand from the house problem unless we could figure out a pump. Has anyone else had this problem and how did you solve it?

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #306 on: April 11, 2019, 12:29:56 PM »
Hi @coffeefueled

The prior owner of our house ran a water line to a spigot down to the garden; it runs off the same pressure tank as the house.  No idea how difficult that was or what it cost.  I know the pipe is very shallow -- just a few inches below ground level.  That works here because the ground doesn't freeze at all.  With a certain frost depth to consider, that might complicate a water line like that?  Don't know.

When we wanted water out at our chicken coop we put a rain barrel at the corner of the building, to catch rain from the roof.  That has worked out great.  Is there any way you could put up a rain barrel near your garden?  Any roof there?  A shed?  It doesn't take much roof surface to generate lots of water for a barrel . . . ours is always overflowing. 

I haven't researched it, but maybe there is a way to use a rain barrel if you have no roof.  Maybe you can put up a sheet of corrugated metal to catch the water, and a gutter to funnel it? 

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #307 on: April 12, 2019, 12:24:54 PM »
Most of the seeds have germinated and now I am really out of space.
I moved the onions over to the greenhouse and put them under a floating row cover.  It will still be near freezing over night
It appears that the chipmunks are having a great old time with the seeds in there so I worked on some barricades around the planting boxes.
Then I noticed that the chickens were ripping out the garlic in the garden so I rigged up the chicken exclusion fence.  I have bought some new materials with chipmunk proof mesh but they are in my garage and it was threatening to rain. 
I am going to some gates this year so getting in and out is easier.  It is supposed to be nice tomorrow and super warm today with some rain, perhaps we can get some of the frost out of the ground so getting the fence up permanently is possible.
I am also going to set up the rain barrels this weekend.
Some of the seeds have been really slow to germinate - especially worrying are the expensive hybrid tomato seed that I grow for our church garden to supply the food pantry. Hopefully they were just planted deeply by the girl guides and they will pop up any day.

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #308 on: April 12, 2019, 03:40:36 PM »
So I went to the farmer's market for a couple of things yesterday, and came home with wayyyyy more than I should have, including 6 more blueberry bushes.   Spent half of today with DH terracing a row for them inside the deer fence and planting them.  They are so beautiful!  Happy happy.

Something is digging up my sprouting potatoes at night.  The weird thing is, they don't disturb the potato piece or eat it; they just uncover it.  It's like the critter says "Hey, something is buried here.  Let's see what it is!  Oh, it's just a potato, yuck . . ."   So every morning I re-bury them, and the next morning they're all uncovered again.  Weird.  It's not deer, rabbits, or woodchucks.  And it's happening at night, so it isn't birds.  Mice?  Raccoons?  Possums? 

horsepoor

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #309 on: April 12, 2019, 09:33:57 PM »
That is really odd!  Could you put wire mesh or something over them to see if that prevents the digging?

It looks like tomorrow is going to be beautiful.  My plan is to plant out onions, and cover another bed with bird netting so I can plant out more cole crops.

My peppers are getting really big under the LED lights.  I might need to pot them up again, and think about booting them out to the greenhouse in another week or so.

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #310 on: April 13, 2019, 04:34:51 AM »
That is really odd!  Could you put wire mesh or something over them to see if that prevents the digging?

It looks like tomorrow is going to be beautiful.  My plan is to plant out onions, and cover another bed with bird netting so I can plant out more cole crops.


Good idea @horsepoor, thanks -- I'll try some mesh.  If they go through it, then I'll know it's something tiny.

What's after your cole crops?  Rabbits?

horsepoor

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #311 on: April 13, 2019, 08:50:19 AM »

What's after your cole crops?  Rabbits?

Birds.  They love anything leafy.  Once the kale and collards get big enough to take the abuse, I leave a couple uncovered for them to peck at.  We have lots of quail around and they are adorable and ravenous.

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #312 on: April 13, 2019, 09:19:06 AM »

What's after your cole crops?  Rabbits?

Birds.  They love anything leafy.  Once the kale and collards get big enough to take the abuse, I leave a couple uncovered for them to peck at.  We have lots of quail around and they are adorable and ravenous.

Interesting!  I wondered when you said you were using bird netting, but then I thought "Nah, couldn't be birds."  :)

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #313 on: April 13, 2019, 09:49:44 AM »
Update time.


Whereas March was amazingly (and disturbingly) dry and warm, April has reverted back to a more typical PNW Spring pattern of showers interspersed with glorious bouts of sunshine. Quite honestly it's been pretty much perfect to get a garden going early with leafy greens (various lettuces and spinach), peas, and brassicas. Yesterday was so wonderful. The sun had emerged, the Pacific Wrens, Flickrs, Song Sparrows and Orange-crowned Warblers were in full throat and their song surrounded me as I worked. I could sense the growth of green things all around me....both inside the garden and out. This has become a Spring ritual for me and it has truly become one of the unexpected, joyous discoveries of FIRE.

My first planting of peas (planted mid-March) are clambering up the trellis now, the second planting (late March) have just made their first grasping contact with the trellis. And I just planted a third, 10 foot row of snap peas yesterday. When I return from Mexico in early May, I will quickly plant a 4th. And very quickly get my heat loving crops ready to go.

My brassicas, always a very reliable and prodigious garden performer, are well on their way. Directly sowed cabbage, and volunteer kale, have emerged...and I have bolstered these (because they could get munched by wood bugs) with lots of transplants....cabbage: red, Tiara, EJW, Charmant. 3 varieties of kale, 3 or broccoli, and 3 of cauli.

I'll be planting out my onions very soon - my onion sets are already showing 4 inches of growth. I'm very lucky that I don't really have that many pests to contend with in my garden...once the deer have been thwarted with a proper fence. But....birds have been very fond of pulling out my onions. I'm guessing they do this in order to find bugs in around the roots? Whatever the reason, I do have to put netting over them until they are more established.

I've planted 4 different potato varieties over the past few weeks. I've got some in my established beds, while I've got a bunch growing in dedicated "grow bags" in soil which I imported from a high quality source. I do this because I have had a bit of an issue with wire worms (larval stage of the click beetle) in some of my raised beds. They are not too big an issue, except when it comes to potatoes. They are attracted to them like moths to a light source. The bed in which I put the seed potatoes didn't seem to have any, but I like the idea of a guarenteed potato source as back up. There are few things as wonderful as fresh, out of the garden taters...that don't have little orange worms in them. ;)

While I'm in Mexico my family are going to tend things. A sibling has taken ownership of the carrot crop...for whatever reason I've never had great luck with them. I suspect my thinning technique leaves something to be desired. This sibling is going to plant beets for me as well.

Turnips and parsnips seem to be doing okay, though I suspect they would welcome a few more degrees of warmth.

The beds in which I have my brassicas this year are where last years tomatoes were. And now there must be HUNDREDS of little volunteer tomatoes popping up everywhere. For some reason it really pains me to pull these out.

When I'm sitting on the beach gazing out at the Sea of Cortez I know my thoughts will increasingly drift north, wondering how my garden grows in my absence. I know my family will be able to keep me abreast of how things are going, but I suspect that by the end of my Mexico trip I will almost be panicky to return.

ender

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #314 on: April 13, 2019, 11:43:06 AM »
Asparagus shoots are coming up! Yay!

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #315 on: April 15, 2019, 05:43:03 AM »
My new tomato seeds arrived!  Lots of tomatoes being started today.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #316 on: April 15, 2019, 09:30:57 AM »
So far I have three tomatoes and one basil sprouting from seed.

It snowed yesterday. Kind of a lot. All day long. Boooo. I had bought some lettuce and spinach starts and I had to bring them inside because of the heavy wet snow. Maybe they could have survived but the weight of the snow seemed like it'd be too much for them. I can't plant them until next weekend anyway because that's when the community garden opens.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #317 on: April 15, 2019, 09:54:02 AM »
A little later than intended, but beets and carrots are in!

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #318 on: April 15, 2019, 01:30:49 PM »
A little later than intended, but beets and carrots are in!

Me too!

Fae

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #319 on: April 15, 2019, 01:51:32 PM »
Got my seeds planted and set up in my kitchen window. Now to wait for them to sprout and my frost date to hurry up and get here.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #320 on: April 15, 2019, 02:22:10 PM »
Got my seeds planted and set up in my kitchen window. Now to wait for them to sprout and my frost date to hurry up and get here.

Tomato seeds appreciate a warmer start than my house provides (19-20 during the day, 16-17 at night).  They are planted and in the oven with the light turned on for just that extra bit of warmth.  I'll give them a few days before they come into the house.  I know, I must remember them if I want to use the oven!  Melted plastic is not good.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #321 on: April 15, 2019, 02:52:18 PM »
Wow, late to the thread but also in the PNW (Victoria).  We did the great permaculture experiment and have turned the entire front and backyard in giant planting areas for food and flowers.  The cardboard, manure, leaves and wood chips put down in layers in the fall over the weedy grass have turned poor soil into something remarkable.  I recommend this method over regular raised beds and bringing in topsoil.  We’ve used driftwood to separate the pathways and create borders and this has also turned out well.  Next big challenge is drip irrigation if anyone has any tips?

Fae

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #322 on: April 16, 2019, 05:42:28 AM »
Got my seeds planted and set up in my kitchen window. Now to wait for them to sprout and my frost date to hurry up and get here.

Tomato seeds appreciate a warmer start than my house provides (19-20 during the day, 16-17 at night).  They are planted and in the oven with the light turned on for just that extra bit of warmth.  I'll give them a few days before they come into the house.  I know, I must remember them if I want to use the oven!  Melted plastic is not good.

My house isn't too much warmer than yours, 67-69F (19.5-20.5) during the day and 64-65F (17.7-18.3) at night. My saving grace is my kitchen window is a garden window on the south side of the house, so it stays pretty warm.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #323 on: April 16, 2019, 06:29:36 AM »
@totoro   Would love to see pics!

We got a bunch more rain overnight, but it's supposed to be sunny and mid-70's by Friday!  The seedlings might get kicked out to the greenhouse for a few days of sunbathing.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #324 on: April 16, 2019, 06:57:17 AM »
Got my seeds planted and set up in my kitchen window. Now to wait for them to sprout and my frost date to hurry up and get here.

Tomato seeds appreciate a warmer start than my house provides (19-20 during the day, 16-17 at night).  They are planted and in the oven with the light turned on for just that extra bit of warmth.  I'll give them a few days before they come into the house.  I know, I must remember them if I want to use the oven!  Melted plastic is not good.

My house isn't too much warmer than yours, 67-69F (19.5-20.5) during the day and 64-65F (17.7-18.3) at night. My saving grace is my kitchen window is a garden window on the south side of the house, so it stays pretty warm.

Lucky you to have a garden window.  My sliding door to the back deck faces south-west and the non-opening side is a great spot for plants, but I figured the seeds needed a bit more.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #325 on: April 16, 2019, 07:17:05 AM »
Lucky you to have a garden window.  My sliding door to the back deck faces south-west and the non-opening side is a great spot for plants, but I figured the seeds needed a bit more.

The luckiest part is having the kitchen being south facing. When we replaced all of our windows three years ago, I paid extra to get a garden window. I love having it especially in the winter so I can have something green growing but it was a third of the total cost ($1135 out of $3400).

ender

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #326 on: April 16, 2019, 08:00:48 AM »
Got my seeds planted and set up in my kitchen window. Now to wait for them to sprout and my frost date to hurry up and get here.

Tomato seeds appreciate a warmer start than my house provides (19-20 during the day, 16-17 at night).  They are planted and in the oven with the light turned on for just that extra bit of warmth.  I'll give them a few days before they come into the house.  I know, I must remember them if I want to use the oven!  Melted plastic is not good.

We used something like this which helps with germination - https://www.amazon.com/Certified-Seedfactor-Waterproof-Germination-Hydroponic/dp/B078J2YMY9

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #327 on: April 16, 2019, 08:26:18 AM »
3 tomatoes and 2 basils have sprouted! (I think one of the basils may have dropped dead overnight though. :( )

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #328 on: April 16, 2019, 08:37:14 AM »
Today will be my last day in my garden for about a month. I have so much to do - grass trimming, more planting/transplanting, fertilizing, moving soil... but I will enjoy every moment of it. Before I close the gate behind me this evening I will take a picture or two....and when I return from my Baja trip I expect things will look much different. The rate of growth is really taking off.

I trust my family to take care of things while I'm gone....and I trust them implicitly...but I'm still feeling slight tinges of stress.

When I return, my tomatoes and peppers will go out, closely followed by squash and cukes.

I do look forward to seeing my grapefruit and lime trees in Mexico though. ;)

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #329 on: April 16, 2019, 06:31:56 PM »
Got my seeds planted and set up in my kitchen window. Now to wait for them to sprout and my frost date to hurry up and get here.

Tomato seeds appreciate a warmer start than my house provides (19-20 during the day, 16-17 at night).  They are planted and in the oven with the light turned on for just that extra bit of warmth.  I'll give them a few days before they come into the house.  I know, I must remember them if I want to use the oven!  Melted plastic is not good.

We used something like this which helps with germination - https://www.amazon.com/Certified-Seedfactor-Waterproof-Germination-Hydroponic/dp/B078J2YMY9

I have those too.  But for just what I am doing the oven is better.   ;-)

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #330 on: April 18, 2019, 06:39:30 AM »
Seedlings are coming along but I have some mold/slime issues as well as some space issues.
We have four nights of warm temperatures so most every thing except the tomatoes and peppers are going out to the greenhouse. They are all getting a little leggy so some light is needed.

The expensive hybrid tomato seeds have been very slow to germinate.  Most of the collected seeds have not germinated at all.  I am going to give them a few more days and then replant with something else that likes warmth (such as basil).

The peppers are going to have to graduate to bigger pots soon which will impact space again.  Hopefully tomatoes can graduate to larger pots and move to the greenhouse in one step in two weeks when the cold risk is less.

This weekend is going to be warm but wet so I haven't yet been able to plant anything in the actual soil.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #331 on: April 18, 2019, 08:54:02 AM »

This weekend is going to be warm but wet so I haven't yet been able to plant anything in the actual soil.

Same here but the soil is only thawed about an inch deep, all the rain is running off and we have flood warnings.  My "babies" are staying safe and warm in the house.   ;-)

I'm looking forward to thawed gardens and early peas being planted.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #332 on: April 18, 2019, 09:19:17 AM »
My seed-starting is going really poorly this year. I got 1 more tomato sprout (which promptly keeled over) and that is it. I usually get the "greenhouse" tray with the pellets, this has always worked way better for me than seed starting mix in peat cups or whatever. But this year the growing medium in the pellets looks much different than it did last year, though I bought the exact same brand from the same store. Something in there, my seeds don't like. Oh well.

Community garden opens Saturday!

One of my blueberry bushes is starting to put out tiny leaves. The others look like they might be thinking about it - so maybe they all survived?

Why can I never overwinter oregano? That one's dead for sure. I have never had it come back, regardless of whether it's in the ground, in a pot, at home, in the community bed..... argh.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #333 on: April 19, 2019, 09:34:22 AM »
My tomatoes are up.  5 days in the oven with the light on for a bit of extra warmth.  They normally take 7-10 days in the house.  I had forgotten how tiny tomato sprouts are compared to peppers, they look so fragile, and will end up as 6-10 foot vines.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #334 on: April 19, 2019, 03:09:36 PM »
I've got tomato, basil, dill, cosmos, and coreopsis seedlings.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #335 on: April 21, 2019, 07:23:23 PM »
We had great weather this weekend and I got so much done!

Planted: dill, strawberry (to replace the two that did not make it through the polar vortex, BOOOO), oregano, cilantro, lettuce and spinach seedlings, onions. I direct sowed 4 varieties of carrot, 2 varieties of peas, and approx. 10 zillion varieties of lettuce and arugula - all from free seed.

The community garden looks pretty good overall. Garlic is up. I have some sort of volunteer onion-family I-don't-know-what that sprouted up. The thyme and the biggest of my 3 strawberries made it. The dwarf raspberry looks just OK; it is supposed to be a bush but it seems to be turning into spread-out vines that look spindly but ARE making leaves so I'm going to let it do its thing and see what happens.

The most exciting thing is that I started composting last summer; my landlords said I could and actually found a compost bin in their alley that they gave to me. I pretty much just kept dumping stuff in it and turned it (it's one of those spinning barrels on legs) and let it do its thing and ignored it all winter - and, you guys, what's in there actually looks like compost! I probably should have put fewer corn cobs and avocado pits in there as those did not break down, but overall it looks pretty good. Free fertilizer! Hooray!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #336 on: April 21, 2019, 08:37:09 PM »
I spent five hours on my vegetable garden - fencing it.  Still have a small section to chipmunk block with the tiny mesh.  The chipmunk got in the greenhouse and destroyed some of the flowers last night.  I had moved a bunch of plants out to the greenhouse because they are getting too leggy with not adequate light levels in the basement. (Calendula, asters, cosmos, zinnias, sunflowers, nasturtiums) I didn't think that the chipmunk would get at them but I should have known the sunflowers would be tempting.  I will replant them tomorrow - it was the sunflowers they were after.  Hopefully the mesh across the greenhouse door with prevent their access.   

Tuesday and Wednesday evening are going down to near freezing so I may have to move all the seedlings back in for a couple of days.  It is a pain but I haven't been able to get electricity to the greenhouse for either the heating pad or some light bulbs to keep the chill off. Some of the strategies have been:
have a huge number of containers of water to retain heat.
Black weed barrier on the floor. 
Covering the plants with a layer of plastic or the floating row cover closer to the seedling.  When it is sunny, it gets too hot under the covers so I may need to keep them off if I have to leave super early in the morning- or I will come home to crispy seedlings.

I moved some rhubarb so that it is consolidated in one location so that the fence could go a slightly shorter route and is long enough without having to buy more.  We got an astonishing amount of rain Thursday night to Saturday afternoon so I shouldn't have been stepping so much in the garden - but I couldn't resist - it was warm and the Hubs was home and willing to help me stretch the fence. 

In the basement seedling area: Pepper seedlings need to move up to four inch pots - they are looking good!  Zukes and cukes are looking fantastic.
Tomatillo, basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, melons and squash  seeds are up, as are second planting of sweet banana peppers.  Really disappointed in the seed shared peppers - zero germination, and same conditions as the sweet bananas that are close to 90%.  Most varieties of the collected tomatoes are also not germinating.  Some were super successful - such as the a cherry tomato that is dark red to black around the stem - they were 100% nearly.  The really old seed was also not great - less than 10%.  I might try the rest of the seed - it seems a waste to throw it out without trying it.  I was given some free new varieties: black krim, oxblood, cosmonaut volkov and something stripey and they were pretty good germination.  I am going to have way less space than I need for all this gardening craziness!

And most exciting - the asparagus is up.  It is not going to be large enough this spring but I think if I super feed it this year I can get those roots just going for spring 2020. 

I am thinking about moving all the haskaps to my vegetable patch at the neighbours.  They are too crowded and shady in my home garden and I can't screen them from the birds where they are now.  They are already leafing out.  I have seven of them. 



Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #337 on: April 24, 2019, 12:32:08 PM »
Have not excluded the chipmunks from the greenhouse.  ARRRRRG.

The end of the week is going down to below freezing overnight for a couple of nights.  Going to work on supplemental heating in the greenhouse on the weekend but for now I going to bring everything fragile back into the house.  Where I have no idea.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #338 on: April 24, 2019, 01:09:13 PM »
This thread needs more pictures!

I am currently 3000km's south of my garden, and a week removed from having last said adios to fledgling crops. My family has been noticeably lacking in providing any sort of updates. Not sure if that is good or bad. Could it be that someone left the gate open and the black-tailed menace gained entry and laid waste to my burgeoning peas, leafy greens and brassicas? It's probably FINE. *gulp*

Here is how things looked a week ago when I left. Can't see much of what's growing, apart from some garlic in the right foreground...but it gives a sense of the layout. Largely raised beds with a few in ground beds remaining.


Had a cute little visitor in my pea and lettuce patch. Hopefully dispatching slugs. :)

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #339 on: April 24, 2019, 01:14:22 PM »
Hmph, my tomato seedlings are stalled and not growing. I suspect it might be too cold in my basement - though they're near the boiler which throws off some heat. This is a bummer; I already was doing so few seeds from scratch, and now to have everything stalled at the 2-baby-leaves stage for upwards of a week and a half kind of sucks.

This has been an epic fail this year. I've never had such poor results.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #340 on: April 25, 2019, 10:40:46 AM »
My final tomato seed order arrived and they are planted. Candyland currant tomato had better be exceptional, there were only about 20 seeds in the packet compared to a good palmful for the other currant variety.
 
All my tomatoes are doing well, although slow because my house is not that warm.  The peppers are the best I have ever started, the plants are big and healthy.  Most are going to fundraisers for sale, so "big and healthy" is good, we will be able to charge more for them.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #341 on: April 25, 2019, 07:48:49 PM »
I recommend a heat seedling mat under seedlings like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #342 on: April 26, 2019, 08:57:15 AM »
I recommend a heat seedling mat under seedlings like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant.

They are nice (and I have them), but the oven is easy, and once they have germinated I want them to grow in not-ideal conditions.  I have 2/cell, so once they have true leaves the weaker one will be clipped off and the stronger one left.  Life won't be easy once they are outside, I start selecting for tough plants as I go.

I know of gardeners who are much tougher than I am.  Plant 6 seeds, keep the best 1 or 2 seedlings.

coffeefueled

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #343 on: April 26, 2019, 08:59:27 AM »
What are everyone's' opinions on rows vs sq ft spacing for raised beds? I read that sq ft spacing is supposed to help with crowding out weeds and let you put in more crops per foot. Has it worked for you guys? We've got rampant chickweed that has made it's way into the raised beds so I don't think the anti-weed benefit is going to happen with our vegetable seedlings this small.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #344 on: April 26, 2019, 09:39:43 AM »
What are everyone's' opinions on rows vs sq ft spacing for raised beds? I read that sq ft spacing is supposed to help with crowding out weeds and let you put in more crops per foot. Has it worked for you guys? We've got rampant chickweed that has made it's way into the raised beds so I don't think the anti-weed benefit is going to happen with our vegetable seedlings this small.

Having the plant crowns meet (i.e. square foot spacing) is fine once the plants are big.  When they are small there will still be lots of light getting to the soil, which means weeds.  There is no magic way to get out of weeding.  Of course, if you keep the weeds gone before they set seed, eventually the weed seed bank will shrink.  And mulch helps once the soil has warmed up.  And having enough space between plants for a hoe means less hand weeding.

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #345 on: April 26, 2019, 01:52:47 PM »
Thanks for the pictures @Jon_Snow!  Lovely.

Here's one from our place today.  We have a big viburnum bush in our apple orchard, and the chickens love to hang out under it.  The bush is covered with flowers which are just starting to fall -- very pretty.  This chicken is our Brahma pullet -- the one we found starved and dumped by the side of the road in January.  She's doing great now, and has made herself right at home.  We're really enjoying her; wonderful bird.  :)

 

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #346 on: April 27, 2019, 09:36:35 AM »
Thanks for the pictures @Jon_Snow!  Lovely.

Here's one from our place today.  We have a big viburnum bush in our apple orchard, and the chickens love to hang out under it.  The bush is covered with flowers which are just starting to fall -- very pretty.  This chicken is our Brahma pullet -- the one we found starved and dumped by the side of the road in January.  She's doing great now, and has made herself right at home.  We're really enjoying her; wonderful bird.  :)

My DW surprised me earlier this year when, out of the blue, she said she'd like to have chickens one day. That would require that we be more "full time" on our island property...but I could see this happening one day, especially if she wants to take that on.

That is indeed a beauty @Trifele.

In other news...got some rather pleasant beach reading in yesterday. My thoughts, predictably, have increasingly started to drift North towards my forest garden....


The West Coast Seeds catalogue has really become my garden bible over the years. A tremendous resource.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #347 on: April 27, 2019, 05:50:27 PM »
Pretty hen there, Trifele!

Jon, I'm a little jealous of that view.  Kicking back and listening to the surf sounds nice right about now.

Weeds are posing quite an issue this year.  The sunflowers got EVERYWHERE, and there are more seedlings every time I turn around.  Last week I cleaned the beds of straw mulch and the grass that was sprouting from the straw (grr, I used to have straw that didn't do this, but last two batches sprouted grass like crazy). 

Today I turned a good amount of composted horse manure into one of my 4x12 beds and transplanted leeks, Brussels sprouts, parsley, cabbage and broccoli.  Then I set myself on the weeds for a couple hours.  I swear I barely even made a dent.  Trying not to do such a long stint that I'm half-crippled and useless the next day.  Really I need to put the chicken tractor in some of the worst locations and have the hens help me out, because I don't think I'll get caught up on my own.

Sometimes I'm planting warm weather crops out by this date, but tonight we're expecting lows to 35, so transplanting will have to wait until I return from a work trip around 5/10.  Might need to pot up some of the peppers in the meantime, as they've gotten so big under the LED lights.

And since we're sharing pics, some of the lovely tulips I brought inside today:

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #348 on: April 30, 2019, 07:21:43 AM »
Made a booboo last week and forgot to water my seedlings one night before bed.  All the ones on the heat mat were in serious distress.  And it took three waterings to get them back to looking okay - apart from the five or six that I lost.  Oh well.

BTW - it snowed here yesterday.  WTF.  I want spring.  The soil is so soggy I still haven't planted anything in the ground.

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #349 on: April 30, 2019, 08:14:10 AM »
No fair on the beach picture @Jon_Snow.  Borderline cruel.  :)

Love your flowers @horsepoor.  Very pretty.  And I'm jealous of your horse manure.  I could use some, and have started searching Craigslist for a source. 

Things are going pretty well here.  My potatoes are up about 4 inches now, and looking very happy.  As a gardener my passion leans toward perrennials and trees, but as vegetables/annuals go -- potatoes are fun to grow. 

My raspberries are also looking good.  Back in February I took a bunch of sprouts from my existing raspberry patch, and potted them up.  They have leafed out beautifully and I now have 6 2-gallon pots full of bushy raspberries I will plant inside the deer fence.