Author Topic: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020  (Read 24711 times)

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 484
  • Location: Western NC
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #100 on: January 24, 2020, 10:35:03 AM »
Congratulations Trifele!!  Beekeeping is an immensely satisfying hobby with sweet rewards.

When it comes time, we have a heated knife and hand crank honey extractor we will happily lend you in exchange for a taste of your harvest.

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2538
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #101 on: January 24, 2020, 10:46:36 AM »
My garden is getting bees this year.  A neighbour is moving her three hives to another neighbour's house - and I have my vegetable garden there.   

I bought a few packages of seeds yesterday.  It was a two for one sale.  I had a mental list of what I needed.  I am going to start my onions really early this year.  I also picked up some heavy duty trays.  I start the seeds inside and need to make sure that the water and soil stays in the containers.

Hoping my DH finishes my grow table.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #102 on: January 24, 2020, 12:39:10 PM »
Congratulations Trifele!!  Beekeeping is an immensely satisfying hobby with sweet rewards.

When it comes time, we have a heated knife and hand crank honey extractor we will happily lend you in exchange for a taste of your harvest.

Deal!  ;)

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #103 on: January 24, 2020, 08:30:38 PM »
@Trifele thanks for the insight into the tea plant. Think I might have to put it into a pot to bring inside for winter. Got a Burpee catalog via snail mail and I was admiring the leeks. That might be enough to push me toward ordering the tea plant.

That's great new about the bees. So excited for you. It's absolutely addiciting to watch bees. When I first got them, I kept peeking into the hive because I wanted to see what they were doing. Now some hives have side windows to encourage curiosity.

Did you see that Polyface and Mother Earth News are teaming up this summer? https://www.motherearthnewsfair.com/polyface-farm/  I think I may attend.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #104 on: January 25, 2020, 01:45:40 AM »
Did you see that Polyface and Mother Earth News are teaming up this summer? https://www.motherearthnewsfair.com/polyface-farm/  I think I may attend.

Ooo.  That looks really good.  I may have to think about that too -- Thanks!

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #105 on: January 25, 2020, 01:16:27 PM »
That would be so much fun if you went to it the Polyface event too @Trifele . Any other gardeners near Polyface farm in VA who might want to meet up there?

I dusted off my Readers Digest Back to Basics How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills and Country Living books looking for herbal apothecary inspiration this winter. Want to attempt some new oxymels and infusions with all of the dried herbs I saved. Haven't tried it yet but was thinking of doing this one https://blog.mountainroseherbs.com/herbal-oxymels-methods. Anybody have any experience with fire cider?

@Frugal Lizard when I first got bees it was amazing how well my garden produced that year. I had a bee traffic jam on the squash blossoms almost every day for weeks.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3315
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #106 on: January 27, 2020, 10:58:26 AM »
We've had such a mild winter, the ground has barely frozen.  I think I might get my seed-starting operation up and running in the next few weeks, aiming at getting the cold weather crops outside in March.  I think peppers and eggplants will get started mid-February, followed by tomatoes around March 1.

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2217
  • Location: Florida
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #107 on: January 27, 2020, 04:36:22 PM »
Speaking of bees, we have the gentlest little super hard-working bees ever. They never buzz or sound angry and totally ignore my presence.
I've read somewhere that they get used to your scent.

My new neighbor gave me a little Papaya tree so I did some research online yesterday. Who knew Papaya trees are so short-lived, like 4-5 years.
Of course, then I fell into the rabbit hole and looked at a couple of Asian YouTubes on Papaya's - amazing:).
Decided to plant my tree facing south-west as recommended, tomorrow - I may well have my own fresh Papayas in nine to eleven months.

I want to finish my (too many) ongoing projects. I have a ton of seeds and plants, herbs, flowers, trees - I want everything in the ground by the end of next week and with luck maybe even see a seedling or two emerging.
The goal is to get enough done in Feb and March so that I can slow down a bit in April and enjoy the garden and the fine weather.
Besides I have a helper for a few hours here and there this week and I intend to make the most of it.
For me, the gardening season ends around June the 1st due to the heat and the humidity, no seedlings would survive our brutal summers.

I will be trying out the cardboard method of permaculture in parts of our garden - have y'all tried that?   

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2538
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #108 on: January 27, 2020, 06:57:54 PM »
I will be trying out the cardboard method of permaculture in parts of our garden - have y'all tried that?
If this means you are laying down cardboard to suffocate the existing vegetation and then layering some leaves and soil and compost and such - then yes, I have done that quite successfully.

My little grow table is ready to start seedlings on.  It is not so pretty but has a lot of capacity.  First up for seeding will be all the onion family - leeks, storage, sweet spanish and bunching onions - actually will plant the bunching onions in four phases to spread out the harvest.

Roots&Wings

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #109 on: January 28, 2020, 04:48:41 AM »
I will be trying out the cardboard method of permaculture in parts of our garden - have y'all tried that?
If this means you are laying down cardboard to suffocate the existing vegetation and then layering some leaves and soil and compost and such - then yes, I have done that quite successfully.

Same here, but I've found it doesn't work well long-term for some things like live oak tree sprouts (which come right through) or oxalis weeds. Part of that might be my fault and needing to get more groundcovers planted.

Very inspiring to hear about the bees, I just have a small solitary bee house, and they are fascinating to watch!

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #110 on: February 02, 2020, 12:18:46 PM »
Pea shoots and radish micro greens are on grow racks in the basement with silver warmth blankets hanging around sides to add reflective light. Have been cutting the greens for use in salads and soups. Since they usually last us about two weeks, I start the succession planting as soon as I began harvesting from the first batch. It's such a treat to have access to fresh greens, that I didn't have to go to the supermarket for, in winter.
I'm not a fan of the T8 white grow lights because the light tubes seem to burn out so quickly and rarely last more than 8-10 weeks. The light spectrum that is the combo of red and blue LED light helps the plants to grow just as well.

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2538
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #111 on: February 02, 2020, 12:48:08 PM »
love the sprouts - I should try this.  How deep is the growing medium and what type - potting soil or something else?

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #112 on: February 03, 2020, 09:15:26 AM »
love the sprouts - I should try this.  How deep is the growing medium and what type - potting soil or something else?

Since the roots don't need to go very deep because they will be harvested before they get too large, I use about 1.5" of promix soil. Any seedling soil should work. I combine a small amount of worm castings into the soil to help with nutrients. I've got about 7 trays growing at the same time so I bought bulk seeds at High Mowing seeds.

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2538
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #113 on: February 03, 2020, 09:22:47 AM »
love the sprouts - I should try this.  How deep is the growing medium and what type - potting soil or something else?

Since the roots don't need to go very deep because they will be harvested before they get too large, I use about 1.5" of promix soil. Any seedling soil should work. I combine a small amount of worm castings into the soil to help with nutrients. I've got about 7 trays growing at the same time so I bought bulk seeds at High Mowing seeds.
Thanks.  I have room at the moment under my grow lights.  I will do some experiments!

sixwings

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #114 on: February 08, 2020, 10:53:39 AM »
I'm excited to join this group this year! I live in a suburban neighborhood and have a huge deer investation problem. Last year I worked on deer fencing my yard and grew a bunch of tomatoes in pots to test if they could get in. Well, they can't! I'm planning on putting in a raised veggie bed in a few weeks and start growing some stuff.

Suggestions? I live in southwest British Columbia, can't remember the zone but it's pretty mild. We definitely want kale and tomaotes.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #115 on: February 08, 2020, 11:53:51 AM »
I'm excited to join this group this year! I live in a suburban neighborhood and have a huge deer investation problem. Last year I worked on deer fencing my yard and grew a bunch of tomatoes in pots to test if they could get in. Well, they can't! I'm planning on putting in a raised veggie bed in a few weeks and start growing some stuff.

Suggestions? I live in southwest British Columbia, can't remember the zone but it's pretty mild. We definitely want kale and tomaotes.

Welcome @sixwings!  Congrats on the deer fence -- that's excellent.  I totally feel you.  Our deer fence is the only reason I can grow anything.  As for what to grow, you could start with what you like to eat.  Then figure out whether those particular things will grow in the space you have.  Kale and tomatoes are a great start! 

sixwings

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #116 on: February 08, 2020, 01:40:55 PM »
I'm excited to join this group this year! I live in a suburban neighborhood and have a huge deer investation problem. Last year I worked on deer fencing my yard and grew a bunch of tomatoes in pots to test if they could get in. Well, they can't! I'm planning on putting in a raised veggie bed in a few weeks and start growing some stuff.

Suggestions? I live in southwest British Columbia, can't remember the zone but it's pretty mild. We definitely want kale and tomaotes.

Welcome @sixwings!  Congrats on the deer fence -- that's excellent.  I totally feel you.  Our deer fence is the only reason I can grow anything.  As for what to grow, you could start with what you like to eat.  Then figure out whether those particular things will grow in the space you have.  Kale and tomatoes are a great start!

Yeah that's a great point about growing what we eat, thinking carrots, radishes and maybe potatoes of some kind.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #117 on: February 08, 2020, 02:26:03 PM »
I'm excited to join this group this year! I live in a suburban neighborhood and have a huge deer investation problem. Last year I worked on deer fencing my yard and grew a bunch of tomatoes in pots to test if they could get in. Well, they can't! I'm planning on putting in a raised veggie bed in a few weeks and start growing some stuff.

Suggestions? I live in southwest British Columbia, can't remember the zone but it's pretty mild. We definitely want kale and tomaotes.

Welcome @sixwings!  Congrats on the deer fence -- that's excellent.  I totally feel you.  Our deer fence is the only reason I can grow anything.  As for what to grow, you could start with what you like to eat.  Then figure out whether those particular things will grow in the space you have.  Kale and tomatoes are a great start!

Yeah that's a great point about growing what we eat, thinking carrots, radishes and maybe potatoes of some kind.

I love all those, especially potatoes!  Are you going to start with 'seed potatoes'?  That's best, but you can also just buy some organic eating potatoes (in the store), put them in a paper bag and let them sprout in a dark drawer or cupboard.  Voila seed potatoes.  :)  You should only do that with organic potatoes, though.  Non organic ones are sprayed with chemicals to inhibit sprouting

sixwings

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #118 on: February 08, 2020, 02:49:44 PM »
I'm excited to join this group this year! I live in a suburban neighborhood and have a huge deer investation problem. Last year I worked on deer fencing my yard and grew a bunch of tomatoes in pots to test if they could get in. Well, they can't! I'm planning on putting in a raised veggie bed in a few weeks and start growing some stuff.

Suggestions? I live in southwest British Columbia, can't remember the zone but it's pretty mild. We definitely want kale and tomaotes.

Welcome @sixwings!  Congrats on the deer fence -- that's excellent.  I totally feel you.  Our deer fence is the only reason I can grow anything.  As for what to grow, you could start with what you like to eat.  Then figure out whether those particular things will grow in the space you have.  Kale and tomatoes are a great start!

Yeah that's a great point about growing what we eat, thinking carrots, radishes and maybe potatoes of some kind.

I love all those, especially potatoes!  Are you going to start with 'seed potatoes'?  That's best, but you can also just buy some organic eating potatoes (in the store), put them in a paper bag and let them sprout in a dark drawer or cupboard.  Voila seed potatoes.  :)  You should only do that with organic potatoes, though.  Non organic ones are sprayed with chemicals to inhibit sprouting

I'll probably do seed potatoes. Fresh potatoes prepared simply with some butter is just amazing.

My house used to have a pond that I removed last year (it was old, all the concreate was cracked, it looked awful), but there is an automatic sprinkler system installed so I will probably raise the sprinkers and then build my raised beds around them so I can have automatic watering. I'll probably start with one raised bed this year and expand gradually.

I also need to learn to prune and care for my apple, pear and plum tree. They are pretty amazing for fruit production (3 years ago I had 500 pounds of apples from the one tree!) and I make a really nice dry cider from the pears and apples, however I've always just had an arborist do it for me. I didn't get it done last year to save money and my arborist retired. All the quotes I have got this year have been like for like 2K, so I guess it's time to learn this. Any arborists around here have some resources to point me to?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 06:20:40 PM by sixwings »

trashtalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #119 on: February 08, 2020, 03:10:44 PM »
I'm excited to join this group this year! I live in a suburban neighborhood and have a huge deer investation problem. Last year I worked on deer fencing my yard and grew a bunch of tomatoes in pots to test if they could get in. Well, they can't! I'm planning on putting in a raised veggie bed in a few weeks and start growing some stuff.

Suggestions? I live in southwest British Columbia, can't remember the zone but it's pretty mild. We definitely want kale and tomaotes.

Welcome @sixwings!  Congrats on the deer fence -- that's excellent.  I totally feel you.  Our deer fence is the only reason I can grow anything.  As for what to grow, you could start with what you like to eat.  Then figure out whether those particular things will grow in the space you have.  Kale and tomatoes are a great start!

Yeah that's a great point about growing what we eat, thinking carrots, radishes and maybe potatoes of some kind.

I love all those, especially potatoes!  Are you going to start with 'seed potatoes'?  That's best, but you can also just buy some organic eating potatoes (in the store), put them in a paper bag and let them sprout in a dark drawer or cupboard.  Voila seed potatoes.  :)  You should only do that with organic potatoes, though.  Non organic ones are sprayed with chemicals to inhibit sprouting

I'll probably do seed potatoes. Fresh potatoes prepared simply with some butter is just amazing.

My house used to have a pond that I removed last year (it was old, all the concreate was cracked, it looked awful), but there is an automatic sprinkler system installed so I will probably raise the sprinkers and then build my raised beds around them so I can have automatic watering. I'll probably start with one raised bed this year and expand gradually.

I also need to learn to prune and care for my apple, pear and plum tree. They are pretty amazing for fruit production (3 years ago I had 500 pounds of apples from the one tree!) and I make a really nice dry cider from the pears and plums, however I've always just had an arborist do it for me. I didn't get it done last year to save money and my arborist retired. All the quotes I have got this year have been like for like 2K, so I guess it's time to learn this. Any arborists around here have some resources to point me to?

Call your local library and ask them if you have a regional *master gardener* program and/or a local agricultural college. Someone there can advise you or point you toward a program that can train you.

sixwings

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #120 on: February 08, 2020, 06:23:32 PM »
Wow thanks for that idea! I just called them and there's a pruning class next sunday, so there we go!

trashtalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #121 on: February 08, 2020, 06:36:50 PM »
Wow thanks for that idea! I just called them and there's a pruning class next sunday, so there we go!

Oh I'm so stoked it worked out. Yay -- the Internet did something right for once.

chaskavitch

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 780
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #122 on: February 09, 2020, 08:24:12 AM »
@trashtalk thanks so much for mentioning the Master Gardener programs!  I had seen the one offered by me a year or two ago and didn't have time/money for it, but I'm so excited to take classes from them now!  There's an online "certified gardener" program, and now I'm going to learn about care and pruning of fruit trees :)

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #123 on: February 09, 2020, 09:58:46 AM »
Just watched this incredible film Need to Grow about all of the different people involved in sharing their experience and knowledge about soil loss, regenerative agriculture, composting, seed saving, healthy eating, and the algae and mycelium connection.

If you're interested, it's streaming free until Feb 13. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/02/08/how-industrial-agriculture-destroys-soil.aspx

I've used biochar in the past but will add it to all of my raised beds this year when I mix in the aged chicken compost. It's also inspired me to learn more about humic acid as a soil amendment or foliar spray.

If you watch it, would love to know what your takeaways were from the film.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #124 on: February 12, 2020, 04:32:31 AM »
Thanks for the link @Indio!  I just checked it out -- great video.  My main takeaway is that I need to learn more.  I've read such conflicting things about biochar -- what it does, how it does it, how to make it -- that I'm confused.  How do you make yours?  Or do you get it somewhere?  What do you add to it before you put it into the soil?

Very busy in the garden here! 
      - Doing lots of bed prep, spreading compost and composted chicken manure. 
      - I've got quite a few chard and kale plants that overwintered in great shape, so I'm watching to see if they go to seed
      - The comfrey I planted last month is up several inches and looking good. 
      - I'll probably be planting potatoes soon. 
      - I'm very excited that this year I have 4 large beds (4X24') plus three medium beds (6X10') to play with.
      - I fired up my grow cabinet.  I'm starting cabbage, lettuce and chard this week, and then I'll do the peppers and tomatoes in about two weeks.  Yay seeds!

We're also doing intensive bee prep -- getting all the equipment I need for when my bees show up in about 5 or 6 weeks.  Lots of front-loaded work.  I picked a site for the two hives, and we'll be leveling the ground and putting up a bear fence.  DH is an old hand at fencing (you name it, he's built it) so this little bee yard won't take him long.  I just finished a 6 hour local class on beekeeping -- totally fascinating.  And then I have the March Spikenard Farm two day class to look forward to.  I find it especially interesting to hear the different perspectives; sometimes you hear diametrically opposed advice.  I'm looking forward to learning more so I can develop my own opinions! 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 04:37:24 AM by Trifele »

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #125 on: February 12, 2020, 10:28:03 AM »
@Trifele

I usually buy biochar and a little bit goes a long way. It's hard for a home gardener to make because the wood needs to be burned without oxygen. Most people take the ash from fireplace or firepit and consider that biochar. A few years ago I looked into making it myself but it looked complicated for the amount of free time I had available then. I bought it from Fedco seeds, when I visited their warehouse in the backwoods of Maine, and groworganic.com.

Congrats on signs of spring coming up in the garden, especially the comfrey, and the bee course. This morning I noticed daffodils peeking through the ground about three weeks ahead of schedule. Even the fruit trees are showing signs they are ready for spring. If this climate change keeps up, I won't have to move to a longer growing season locale when I retire.

When it comes to bees, you're right there are so many opinions out there. I mentored someone last year who would check with Reddit for every question he asked me. The problem was that Reddit isn't local and didn't know the location, climate and other variables, like nearby water sources, so when he followed their advice it mostly created more problems till he lost 1 of his 2 new hives. A local beekeeper who knows your environmental conditions - when there's a pollen dearth, local drought, etc -- is the best person to rely on but a lot of it is trial error too. A lot like caring for children. It isn't one size fits all.



trashtalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #126 on: February 13, 2020, 10:15:26 PM »
* put asparagus roots in the ground today; we demolished some concrete last year and it left us with a nice contained bed that will be good for asparagus

* planted a second grapevine that's more of a fresh eating grape

* need to get ginger and turmeric going next; the garlic and herbs in the same area are already well underway. And maybe this is the year I won't kill the thyme?

* Swiss chard, collards and sorrel are looking great

* tiny almond seedling has beautiful almond blossoms

* boysenberry and pomegranate appear to be starting up for the year

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #127 on: February 14, 2020, 04:00:41 AM »
Interesting mix of things you have growing @trashtalk!  Where are you?  If you have pomegranates in the ground, I'm guessing at least zone 8?

asauer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 644
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #128 on: February 14, 2020, 12:45:07 PM »
Joining in.  I'm in NC, growing zone 7a/7b- I'm on the line there.  My favorite part of February is telling my hubs and kids to leave me alone so I can peruse seed catalogs and order green things.  It's also the time when my garden plans are laid out beautifully and everything is still possible.  The squirrels and birds haven't decimated anything yet. haha.  Last year, I was able to produce 30% of our food and would like to bump that to 35% this year.  It's always as test to see how far I can push it until the HOA Nazis crack down on my garden as not "being in keeping" with the aesthetics of our neighborhood.  Anyway, this spring/ summer I plan to grow:
1. superball melons
2. 4th of July tomatoes- have found these to be really prolific and good canning tomatoes
3. carrots- short nanets b/c of the shitty clay soil we have
4. centennial sweet potatoes- had really good luck with them last year
5. ring leader jalapenos so my hubs can choke me out of the house again when he makes hot sauce
6. golden bush beans
7. strawberries
8. we still have blueberry/ black berry bushes in the yard
9. bunch of herbs in pots on the deck

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2538
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #129 on: February 14, 2020, 01:00:19 PM »
As a Valentines treat to myself, I went through the seed catalogue with my seed box and got my order sorted.
I am so excited about possibility.

@asauer  I totally get your favourite part of February.  My favourite season is a little later.  At the very beginning of June everything is still possible but it more tangible.  Direct sown seeds have germinated in the ground and all the transplants are in.   Today our high temperature is -9C . 

sui generis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #130 on: February 14, 2020, 03:38:51 PM »
I'm excited that we are going to get lettuce greens and bok choy in the ground this weekend.  These are things we eat a lot, so would be a boon to grow.  The broccoli is going well, though it's still not coming up like a big head like you see in the grocery store.  Someone else in our neighborhood is growing broccoli and their plant looked really strong and beefy, and even theirs was not growing a bulky big head, but lots of more individual florets that were just bulkier than the ones we have so far.  So that's surprised me, but I was so pleased that we had enough broccoli to make a cheesy broccoli pizza with last weekend, and we're just getting started!  We also had a pizza with kale on it, and then had kale with dinner the next night - all from the garden.

One thing that isn't working out?  The blackberries. Based on what I've read here and elsewhere I feel like we might be the world's first failed blackberry farmers.  Maybe we just need to give it more time.  The canes we planted don't look dead per se, but they haven't grown, no new leaves, etc.

It'll be a couple months before we can consider this year's tomatoes, but we're talking about them now and making big plans.

Jon_Snow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3640
  • Location: An Island in the Salish Sea (or Baja)
  • I am no manís chair.
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #131 on: February 14, 2020, 05:48:06 PM »
Daffodils and tulips are emerging. I have come to take this as a sign that gardening season has officially begun for me. Growlights are up and running and onion plantings are situated under them. If conditions are mild enough Iíll be sowing spinach and peas in the next couple of weeks. In order to help warm the soil up a bit Iíve laid some clear plastic down in those areas which will be receiving the spinach and peas.

It has been an unbelievably wet (even for the PNW) Winter and my garden area is doing a great impression of a swamp. Rubber boots are mandatory right now. Hopefully some drier weather is coming. I have had a big leaf/seaweed mulch covering my beds for the Winter and it is all very nicely decomposed....and digging down just little bit reveals that the worm population seems to have been loving it as well. :)

As ever,  excitement is mounting as to what this veggie growing season will bring.

And yeah, my overwintered kale patch is still growing rather epically. ;)

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3315
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #132 on: February 14, 2020, 09:09:18 PM »
Starting seeds this weekend!

trashtalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #133 on: February 15, 2020, 01:07:20 PM »
Interesting mix of things you have growing @trashtalk!  Where are you?  If you have pomegranates in the ground, I'm guessing at least zone 8?

Yes we are coastal Southern California, which has a "Mediterranean climate."

I think we are zone 10. It's not wet for most tropical edibles but we can get away with a few.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #134 on: February 16, 2020, 02:36:10 AM »
Joining in.  I'm in NC, growing zone 7a/7b- I'm on the line there.  My favorite part of February is telling my hubs and kids to leave me alone so I can peruse seed catalogs and order green things.  It's also the time when my garden plans are laid out beautifully and everything is still possible.  The squirrels and birds haven't decimated anything yet. haha.  Last year, I was able to produce 30% of our food and would like to bump that to 35% this year.  It's always as test to see how far I can push it until the HOA Nazis crack down on my garden as not "being in keeping" with the aesthetics of our neighborhood.  Anyway, this spring/ summer I plan to grow:
<snip>


Nice list of things you are growing @asauer!  Lol about the HOA . . . 

Sounds like we live in the same area -- I'm in NC on the 7a/7b border too.  I hear you about the clay soil -- same here.  I've been growing Danvers carrots, which do well: https://www.seedsavers.org/danvers-carrot.   

Tom Bri

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 686
  • Location: Small Town, Flyover Country
  • More just cheap, than Mustachian
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #135 on: February 16, 2020, 02:56:22 AM »

We're also doing intensive bee prep -- getting all the equipment I need for when my bees show up in about 5 or 6 weeks.  Lots of front-loaded work.  I picked a site for the two hives, and we'll be leveling the ground and putting up a bear fence.  DH is an old hand at fencing (you name it, he's built it) so this little bee yard won't take him long.  I just finished a 6 hour local class on beekeeping -- totally fascinating.  And then I have the March Spikenard Farm two day class to look forward to.  I find it especially interesting to hear the different perspectives; sometimes you hear diametrically opposed advice.  I'm looking forward to learning more so I can develop my own opinions!

I suggest you join the BeeSource forums:

https://www.beesource.com/forums/forum.php

People are very nice and helpful to newbies. There are members from all around the world, and almost certainly some near you who can give local advice.

The biggest problem new beekeepers face these days is parasitic mites, varroa mites, that can quickly kill a hive. Read up on that topic and have a plan in advance how you will respond.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #136 on: February 16, 2020, 03:09:38 AM »
Thanks @Tom Bri -- I will check out that forum!  And definitely -- I'm all over the mite issue, trying to learn as much as I can.  I helped my neighbor sugar roll her bees a couple times last year, so I've seen the monitoring process.  In the class I just took they recommended rotating between several treatments.  I'm attending an intensive beekeeping course in a few weeks at Spikenard.  We'll see what they recommend!

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #137 on: February 17, 2020, 08:55:33 AM »
It's so exciting to hear about everyone's garden plans for the season and the overwintering progress for those giant kale plants. :)

Two of my mature 9+ year old hops plants are showing signs of slowing down so I'm adding three new ones to keep the beds viable with a succession planting. I train the plants to grow across a fence at the back of the yard and they end up looking a bit like an espaliere fruit tree with all of the growth guidelines.

Adding 4 gooseberry, Hinnonmaki and Invictus, plants to the fruit bush collection. Haven't grown gooseberry before and looking forward two years to when they are producing.

I've been saving amazon shipping boxes, removing the tape and labels, and will use them for weed control soon. Hoping to get a shipment of wood chips in April to spread around the beds and on top of the boxes to hide them.

Ordered 6 Rhode Island Red chicks to add to the flock this year. Unfortunately, the farm store has a minimum number, and we have town restrictions on how many hens I can keep. Will probably only keep 4 of the chicks and sell the other 2 on local chicken meetup board. I find RIR's to be bossy but I've added so many different breeds over the years that I need to get a different breed each year to remember their ages. This year I will need to dig out a lot of the "soil" from the chicken run. It's accumulated about a 5" compressed layer over the years. After letting it compost down a bit, it should be excellent garden soil.

Going to get started on the veg seedlings today. My next door neighbor and I share seeds and seedlings, and she is way ahead of me. She's already been testing germination rates for her tomato seeds and it's looking good.

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 484
  • Location: Western NC
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #138 on: February 17, 2020, 01:41:01 PM »
The DH and I finished filling the raised bed (12x3x2ft) with soil this weekend.  Tired, dirty and in the rapidly approaching dark, I still couldn't resist planting peas, kale, beets & parsnips in the freshly filled bed.

Indoors, still tired, but cleaner and well lit, I planted tomatoes, cucumbers & brussels sprouts in homemade newspaper pots.


trashtalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #139 on: February 17, 2020, 10:30:33 PM »
Planted out some sunflower starts and worked on some waterflow/drainage stuff for the new asparagus bed.

I need to hack back the oregano. This is me writing down that I need to hack back the oregano before spring gets underway.

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2538
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #140 on: February 20, 2020, 08:58:53 AM »
Basil and old lettuce is germinated!
Peas for pea shoots are moldy.  The seeds are five years old when I made an ordering booboo and accidentally ordered double of large sized packets.

Trudie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1772
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #141 on: February 25, 2020, 08:45:15 AM »
I live in the Midwest (Zone 5A).  This year I am going to experiment with the winter sowing method.  Minimal work, and it gets great reviews.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Age: 53
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #142 on: February 25, 2020, 10:00:40 AM »
My tomatoes and lettuce in the grow cabinet are well up, but I'm waiting on everything else.  The pepper and chard seeds were 2-3 years old, so I may end up with some poor germination.

The oldest ones I'm trying are these 4 year old 'Corinto' cucumber seeds.  They're seriously awesome -- all female/self fruitful/nearly seedless/vigorous/tasty -- like the perfect cucumber.  Years ago I used to buy started plants from a friend of mine, and then I decided to try sprouting them myself.  They cost something like $0.70 per seed.  I bought ten seeds and then life got busy and I never planted them . . . I hope at least a couple sprout.

UPDATE:  SIX of the ten cucumbers are already up!  That's unbelievable -- I only planted them 4 days ago!  That is some crazy good seed.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 07:05:10 AM by Trifele »

Jon_Snow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3640
  • Location: An Island in the Salish Sea (or Baja)
  • I am no manís chair.
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #143 on: February 26, 2020, 11:26:09 AM »
We have successful outdoor spinach germination! ( I also started some indoors as backup) I usually take this as a sign that gardening season has officially begun for me.

On a sadder note, I cut a few trees down in order to give my garden site more sun in the months to come....and in falling one tree I made an error in anticipating itís trajectory of decent and it landed square on my magnificent overwintered kale and collards patch. It wasnít pretty. So, with a deep sigh I pulled the plants (after a last kale/collard harvest) and put them in the compost. But as Iím typing this I have some kale and collard starts growing merrily under my grow lights, so the circle of (kale) life will continue on.

Getting itchy to plant some peas, but will probably wait until the weather is just a little bit warmer. And in a few days I will get some brassicas going indoors. If I were to pick my favourite things to grow, in part because I think my climate is perfect for them, it would be brassicas. I find it incredibly satisfying to grow ginormous cabbages especially. 😊

Is it apparent that Iím getting amped for the growing season to come?

« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 11:59:48 AM by Jon_Snow »

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2217
  • Location: Florida
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #144 on: February 26, 2020, 02:36:11 PM »
Quote
Is is apparent that Iím getting amped for the growing season to come?
:) oh yeah:)

* I noticed my last post said I'd be done with seeding in a week - ha ha - wishful thinking. I'm beginning to think I bit off more than I can chew.
So far the new bed in the front yard is in, but it didn't turn out how I saw it in my mind - I've redone it twice so far:) - I hate it when something doesn't look as good as I thought it would.
Re-shaped again this morning and I think the third time might indeed be a charm.

* Re-doing has slowed down that particular project and took time away from the one big project this year - an entire new garden section.
It is intended to be more natural, I'm attempting some permaculture and putting in a "mini food forest".
I've no idea how it will turn out but I think if I can get at least 75% to survive the first year it will be a success.

* Two Bananas - one vanilla ice cream banana (supposed to be very tasty and do fine in wind and even cold).
One dwarf banana that will only get six feet high or so.
Really looking forward to that harvest:).

* Chilean Guava - what a surprisingly pretty plant that is, quite suitable for landscaping - will have pretty flowers and of course fruit.
Wish I'd ordered two, but I'll wait and see how we like the fruit and maybe I can do a cutting?.
Planted it two weeks ago and it is growing happily.

* Four black Elderberries - I've always wanted to make Elderberry wine, cordial and medicinal syrup. They will be part of my windbreak hedge and oh la la they do have the prettiest pink flowers I've ever seen (online - new variety) - can't wait for them to get fat and happy.
** I do have wild elderberries on the property with pretty white blooms, but the foliage is light green and thankfully they do sucker as will the black Elderberry - so I will take advantage and between those two - (the wild ones are actually starting to bloom) I may finally have elderberry wine.

* Two dwarf Apple trees - the jury is still out, they were in a pot for many years, without ever fruiting, and are just now deciding whether they like their new freedom.
There is hope:).

* Edible Hibiscus - Florida Cranberry, it is native to Florida and a really pretty big bush suitable for a fence, with purple foliage and dark red flowers.
Planted two weeks ago - it got over the transplant shock and is looking good. 
Couldn't find a live plant for the Thai Red Roselle - hibiscus but found seeds at Amazon. Hopefully, they will do well, I decided on planting six seeds.
Looking forward to hibiscus tea and pretty pink flowers.

* Found the prettiest landscape plant, a variegated umbrella leafed small bush. Surprise - it turns out it is a Cassava - Tapioca plant.
I hadn't ever heard of Cassava but in permaculture, it is widely used and appreciated for its many uses, but this is a variegated form, so I just hope it will be as easy to grow as the highly touted Cassava.
From what I read it likes it hot - so hopefully it will be a winner. 

* One Persian Lime tree - I won it at an auction years ago and it has lived and produced fine organic limes while in a big pot in the yard.
I planted it about a month ago - it loves its new spot.
It is doing fine and blooming like crazy, I can actually see the new baby limes forming already - success:).

* Herbs - so far: Garlic, 10 Garlic Chives - I divided some existing clusters from other parts of the garden - they taste wonderful in an omelet, 8 Dill(s) - from seed, already about a foot high, Feverfew - found a lovely variety online, Rue - it looks particularly happy, Fennel, Angelica - doing so much better than I thought it would, maybe I found a good spot, Greek Oregano - within a week it is already stretching out in all directions, much better than the temperamental Italian oregano although I managed to keep the spicy Italian oregano alive and am trying it in a different part of the garden this year.

Lemon balm - I seeded a bunch of lemon balm which is just now raising its little green heads, I may try a couple underneath the lime tree so they get some shade. Not sure if they will make it though unless I'll make them a little umbrella:) JK. The rest will go into a shady side garden, but even there they struggle in the heat by the end of summer.

African Blue Basil - waiting for two more to grow roots from the mother plant so I can transplant them.

I picked up two variegated leaf Nasturtiums at the local garden center that are looking rather happy under the apple tree, but I am going all out this year, since I have a whole stack of seed packets of different kinds of Nasturtiums that is on my list to be seeded next - one of them can get six to ten feet tall - I'm most excited about those and the "Glorious Gleam" Heirloom variety I came across.

* Flowers - gotta have flowers:)
COSMOS - bright orange and sunny yellow cosmos - freebies - little selfseeders from other parts of the garden.
VINCA - white with dark red center - also freebies - happy little selfseeders ...

This morning I planted four Alocacea (think big green leafed tropical foliage) about a foot or more tall - also freebies that grow wild in the back forty and can get huge, like over six feet wide and tall. I'll probably add three more, but it started raining so I'm done for today. I also planted one in the front yard in a corner, it is a nice ornamental, we'll see if it likes it there - right near the Papaya tree which looks like it might do fine - I was having doubts about this gift from my neighbor.
I like the tropical look and it should work well with the bananas and I like that it is evergreen and will need no extra attention once it is established.
Mr. R. planted two Cannas (bright orange/deep yellow flowers - huge tropical foliage) three weeks ago, that were living in a pot - they look happy to be in the ground and are multiplying their little hearts out already.
They are flanking one of the entrances into this new garden area.

I'm sure I mentioned that I went a little nuts ordering seed online last year and added even more (for my birthday and Valentines - right?:).
I miss the Forget-me-Nots from my childhood and found to my delight last year that the Chinese forget-me-nots do fine here, I was thrilled.
I'll try the old fashioned kind under some bushes this year - maybe they'll like it in my garden after all.
COSMOS - oh my goodness - there is a lacy looking Rose Cosmos to die for and then I found some other interesting varieties - there will be blooms and possibly flowers for cutting everywhere this year.
ZINNIAS - who doesn't love Zinnias and who knew they've come out with all sorts of interesting new varieties.

The first batch of Zinnias and Cosmos were seeded a week ago and they are about an inch or two tall as we speak. The Forget-me-Nots and the Viola (King Henry) are also sprouting.

* Veggies - we are enjoying fresh Leeks and Lettuce, Celery and Swiss Chard. I'll have to move the Parsley soon as it doesn't like it past 80 degrees.
Peppers are doing well although the seeded pepper is taking its time - not showing up yet. I may buy another four-pack and actually try them in the new garden area or not:).
Tomatoes - I'll cave and buy two plants - one Roma and one grape tomato for Mr. R.

* Lots more to do - perennial spinach and Seminole pumpkin will be seeded next and I'm anxious to get my collection of different salvias seeded so they have time to grow fat and happy before June 1.

* I also put in another small new garden bed with nothing but scented herbs and scented flowers - there is still a bit of room for some seeds in there:).
If you've never inhaled the scent of a Pozo Blue Salvia you haven't lived:)...

Happy Gardening everyone!:)


 

trashtalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #145 on: February 26, 2020, 07:01:06 PM »
Put in lemongrass, turmeric and ginger today.

Purchased French thyme and catnip (I'm allergic to cats but my son wants one so I can at least offer him stoned neighborhood kitties rolling around our yard).

The black walnut is leafing out, and the cherry and the Concord grape are budding. (We don't really have enough "chill hours" to grow cherries but they were selling cherries at Home Depot and I said what the heck.)

Borage, nasturtium, calendula and lipstick sage are in flower. Milkweed should have blossoms soon.

Sprayed the blood orange and the lemon with neem oil.

Took cuttings of another color of milkweed that grows as a weed in an alley near here. Hopefully it will root and I can add it to the yard.

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #146 on: February 26, 2020, 08:14:27 PM »
Sorry to hear about the tree @Jon_Snow . How many more hours of sunlight did you add to the garden with the tree trimming? What are you doing with the hardwood?

@Rosy @trashtalk Your gardens and plans sound amazing. As I was reading your posts, I was wishing you would post pics of everything and share which zones you're in.

I follow a few gardeners, homesteaders and sustainability folks on IG to get inspiration and learn. Would love to know where everyone gets their ideas from... books, botanical gardens, blogs, IG? Are there any that you would recommend reading and following?

On my end, I just finished organizing the seeds for a seed lending library I started a few years ago at the local library. I added 80 new seed packets from Baker Creek to the collection. It was rewarding that the people who have "borrowed" seeds are now starting to actually save seeds year over year. We have a huge collection of zinnia seeds and will likely do a class for library patrons on how to make seed bombs just for something a little different.


Jon_Snow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3640
  • Location: An Island in the Salish Sea (or Baja)
  • I am no manís chair.
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #147 on: February 26, 2020, 10:19:11 PM »
Sorry to hear about the tree @Jon_Snow . How many more hours of sunlight did you add to the garden with the tree trimming? What are you doing with the hardwood?

Well, the kale DID cushion the fall somewhat so my raised beds werenít damaged too bad...so there is that positive spin to be put on it. 😊

As for sunlight gained by my tree falling misadventures...Iím going to estimate that Iíll have gained at least an hour of late day sun in the northwest quadrant of my garden. Wonít know for sure until the sun is higher in the sky over the coming weeks. Itís just getting high enough to send some filtered sun into my garden currently. Itís been enough for the spinach at least. The (now dearly departed) kale certainly didnít need ANY direct sun over the winter at all.

trashtalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #148 on: February 26, 2020, 11:34:01 PM »
Sorry to hear about the tree @Jon_Snow . How many more hours of sunlight did you add to the garden with the tree trimming? What are you doing with the hardwood?

@Rosy @trashtalk Your gardens and plans sound amazing. As I was reading your posts, I was wishing you would post pics of everything and share which zones you're in.

I follow a few gardeners, homesteaders and sustainability folks on IG to get inspiration and learn. Would love to know where everyone gets their ideas from... books, botanical gardens, blogs, IG? Are there any that you would recommend reading and following?

On my end, I just finished organizing the seeds for a seed lending library I started a few years ago at the local library. I added 80 new seed packets from Baker Creek to the collection. It was rewarding that the people who have "borrowed" seeds are now starting to actually save seeds year over year. We have a huge collection of zinnia seeds and will likely do a class for library patrons on how to make seed bombs just for something a little different.

We have a tiny urban yard that's awkwardly situated and has too much shade to grow most annual food plants but I try to do right but the birds, bugs and butterflies, as well as saving us a little money but growing a few edible perennials and fruit trees.

I've been studying permaculture for years and that's the basis for what "design" we have.

I have too many kids and pests (raccoons, pocket gophers) and too little time to do anything high maintenance. It's highly imperfect but I do have enjoy building soil fertility and developing polycultures.

Pictures? No picturesque garden panoramas happening yet but here's a bee sexing up some borage (one of my favorite self-seeding annuals).

« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 02:53:54 PM by trashtalk »

trashtalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #149 on: February 26, 2020, 11:34:45 PM »
Sorry to hear about the tree @Jon_Snow . How many more hours of sunlight did you add to the garden with the tree trimming? What are you doing with the hardwood?

@Rosy @trashtalk Your gardens and plans sound amazing. As I was reading your posts, I was wishing you would post pics of everything and share which zones you're in.

I follow a few gardeners, homesteaders and sustainability folks on IG to get inspiration and learn. Would love to know where everyone gets their ideas from... books, botanical gardens, blogs, IG? Are there any that you would recommend reading and following?

On my end, I just finished organizing the seeds for a seed lending library I started a few years ago at the local library. I added 80 new seed packets from Baker Creek to the collection. It was rewarding that the people who have "borrowed" seeds are now starting to actually save seeds year over year. We have a huge collection of zinnia seeds and will likely do a class for library patrons on how to make seed bombs just for something a little different.

We have a tiny urban yard that's awkwardly situated and has too much shade to grow most annual food plants but I try to do right but the birds, bugs and butterflies, as well as saving us a little money but growing a few edible perennials and fruit trees.

I've been studying permaculture for years and that's the basis for what "design" we have.

I have too many kids and pests (raccoons, pocket gophers) and too little time to do anything high maintenance. It's highly imperfect but I do have enjoy building soil fertility and developing polycultures.

Pictures? Nothing garden panoramas happening yet here's a bee sexing up some borage (one of my favorite self-seeding annuals).



(I think we are in zone 10 -- coastal Southern California.)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk