Gardening

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Seed catalogs are now arriving! Let's talk about gardening here.
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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    Heck, we plant the garlic in November to winter over, and it's getting closer to the time to get the peas in by St Patrick's day. Ilike to get my potatoes in shortly after that.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    I've tried a number of times to grow herbs indoors. They always die, no matter what I do. :cry:

    My latest attempt was with the Chia set (yeah, yeah, yeah, but it came across well and has been reviewed well :blush: ), but now they're all dead after two months.

    I'm thinking of this next: The AeroGarden. Anyone tried this? It's a pretty big cash outlay, but it looks like it solves the main problems I seem to have (light and food - just the little things that these danged herbs seem to demand and I seem to have so much trouble providing :P ).

    It would probably take me very many years to recoup the investment if everything works advertised, but that would be okay with me if it would, um, work as advertised.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Interesting, but if it's in the house, I'd kill it. I have no difficulty with outdoor gardening, but every dang plant I've tried to keep indoors dies on me. :confuse:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    Yea... I don't even have luck with starting veggies inside. They get too spindly and the weather here makes the hardening up process a real guessing game. So I start seeds in outdoor trays and any of them that make it should be able to handle whatever the weather has in store!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    The pink banana seed that someone mailed us from Tennessee has sprouted. It was planted around last Christmas. We have about 40 seedlings coming up in the south facing window at the moment (mostly red yucca, other yuccas and agaves). There's lettuce started outside plus some rose cuttings that hopefully will root - last frost date is May 10, just around the corner. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Ok, I usually till the soil and add some compost and peat moss, but should I try something different? I feel like I've been doing the same process for the past 8 years and I should try something new to improve the soil.

    Any suggestions?

    It's a 16' by 6' plot, partial sun, in the Mid Atlantic. I usually do 'maters, cuces, green beans, etc.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    16'x 6'... heh...that's roughly the size of one of the beds in my patch. Overall about 30'x 40' graded into three tiers with stone walls to keep the water evenly distributed on each level. (Did that after visiting Monticello and seeing Jefferson's gardens) Also have a double bin composter right next to the garden with side by side 4'x8' bins about 5' deep. Anything and everything that will breakdown goes into one side,then I turn one bin into the other, take the really good stuff out of the bottom and dump it into the beds that need it, then start dumping everything in the other bin.

    If you've been taking care of the soil for 8 years, it's probably a nice consistency now. Maybe work in a little fetilizer to boost nutrient levels?

    Might also want to take a sample to your cooperative extension office and have them do an analysis for you and see if you're lacking anything specific.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You have a lot of space, I'm envious!

    Yeah, I visited Monticello a couple of years ago and also checked out the gardens there. The green beans were in season. It was a HOT day in August, too hot!

    The top layer is good, but the soil is all clay underneath. You dig more than 4" and that's all you get.

    I've had great years but the last couple were only so-so. Of course we only got rain late, and then it was too much of it. :sick:

    -juice
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    I have that clay problem in my front yard, but fortunately not in the garden. I guess you could chip away at the clay a little bit each year to increase the depth of the good garden soil over time. Slow and steady wins the race!

    Maybe you could even use the clay underneath tocreate sort of an underground "pot" to help hold moisture in the bed. Sort of scoop out the clay deeper in the center and leave a "lip" around the edge to keep the water around the roots of your plants. I know that leveling out my tiers made a HUGE difference in runoff. The downhill plants were always better watered and larger than those uphill.

    I'll have to cogitate on that one some more :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I should try to level it. Right now the water pools on the back of one side.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    after visiting Monticello and seeing Jefferson's gardens

    We have a short ha-ha in our front yard. Never get cows in the yard either (although the llama's across the street showed up once).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    All sort of animals around me. Let's see:

    * whitetail deer
    * fox
    * coyote (!)
    * tons of squirrels
    * chip munks
    * rats :(

    That's just off the top of my head.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Fun bunch of critters. Except for the rats. :shades:

    We get a few mule deer browsing the rose bushes on their way to the neighbor's pond. But we have no big trees in our yard so we have few squirrels visiting and no chipmunks show up to eat my Subaru wiring (hopefully!).
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    We have rabbits up the wazzoo...

    But when you have rat snakes your rodent problems are minimized :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I see rabbits, too. Forgot to list them.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    It was 75 here in Boise yesterday and looks to be the same again today, before cooling back to the more usual 60's for the rest of the week.

    So I planted a palm.

    It's actually our second outdoor palm - the other survived last winter ok and is looking good. This one will be more marginal but who knows. There are about a dozen around town that we know of, including two at one of the car dealers. :shades:

    Our microclime falls in zone 7.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Wow, it's April and we just got about an inch of snow...good things I hadn't planted yet as the seedlings could have been frosted.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    Our last forst date here is like May 15th, and usually is later than that. We're not down with winter by a long shot here :surprise:
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,114
    Anyone know how to kill it for good? I had a bunch dug/pulled a few years ago, but some of it is coming back.

    Putting on weed killer, and even everything-killer, just makes somewhat brown and seems to anger it.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Don't know but I do know is very stubborn and hard to control, much less get rid of it.

    Grows so fast, too, you gotta kick the shoots over else it'll take over the whole yard.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,114
    At this point I am getting rid of it by putting my house on the market. It may seem drastic, but it WILL rid me of the problem.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You would probably need to install some sort of barrier (retaining wall?) if you wanted to let it grow in a small area and then dig out the yard to kill all the roots that already grew past a certain point.

    I just planted my garden this weekend. I'm pretty proud of myself, too. Used home-made compost, plus some hummus and peat moss I had left over. Laid down the plants, mulched the area, put up cages, a small fence, and even a soaker hose and an automatic timer to water the whole thing. :shades:
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,114
    I don't want it at ALL. A few years ago, it was way overgrown & I had a professional team come dig it out. Three years later, it's coming back. It is actually worse than ivy.

    I'm a minimalist (in effort, at least). Here's my backyard. The bamboo keeps wanting to appear entwined in those bushes up against the house.

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  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    We keep nursing our bamboo and trying to lead it along - lots of water, plenty of mulch for the winter, etc. We have one little "stand" that's survived for 3 years now while two other varieties we've tried have died completely.

    How does that saying go - a weed is a plant in the wrong place?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    OK, time for me to transplant the seedlings of green beans and cucumbers that I planted from seeds with my kids. Hope to get to that project tonight. :shades:
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    You going to grow Agave for tequila? The Mexicans are digging up their agave fields to plant corn for tortillas. One more negative for ethanol production from corn.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    My wife loves agaves but they don't winter well outside here. She has great hopes for "Spike" but it's so succulent, I'm dubious.

    Spike

    one of our palms

    I'd snap a photo of the switchgrass but I can't find it at the moment. :shades:
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    They grow ok around here. No one harvests them outside Mexico that I know of. It may be very labor intensive. They are a neat looking plant. Good luck. Cover it in the winter and it should survive.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I don't think so - my wife came home early today and took a look, and Spike's looking pretty sad. He's been covered with straw since late October.

    However, she has several specimens of a Utah variety warming up in the bull pen (aka, our living room) to try next.
  • okko1okko1 Member Posts: 327
    well it never fails when i plant my tomato vines it frost just one more time. and it happened last night so today all my neighbors started planting theirs. so if you haven't planted your garden yet the all clear to do so has been sounded :sick:
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    We moved the indoor starts out to the shade house today; last average frost free day is the 10th so it won't be long. The weeds are going full tilt, that's for sure.

    Spike didn't make it, btw. :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Put tomatoes in the ground and have seeds for beans and cucumbers, though not many have come up yet so I may re-plant a few more seeds.

    I set it up to water automatically each morning, too. :shades:
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    water automatically

    Some would say that you're farming, not gardening. :D Watering is when you most get to enjoy the plants growing. Out here in the high desert, you may get to enjoy the plants twice or even three times a day. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm not around enough do water it 3 times. Plus the wife only goes out there when it's time to PICK FRUIT! :D
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Watering is when you most get to enjoy the plants

    I agree with that. However I have all my trees and garden patches on automatic sprinklers or drip systems. No one to water the 2 weeks in Hawaii. All were doing well on return in spite of 100 degree weather while we were gone. I will take some pics of the tomatoes in the straw bales. I think that is a good way to go. We have tomatoes about inch and a half in diameter now. I think those are Celebrity.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I got tomatoes about 2 inches and just turning yellow. So much better than store bought. Basil is doing well. Ready for some tomato & basil with angel hair pasta... mm
    Photobucket

    Photobucket
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Parts of my yard looks like yours. The gravel part.

    And, I can hardly believe it, but Spike lives.

    image
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Good thing you did not dig it up. Probably has a good root system...
    Winter before last when we had the coldest winter on record for our area most of the bouganvilla died back to the ground. When it got warm they came back. Our 30 year old Ficus tree was not so lucky. It was a beautiful big tree. This winter was warmer though longer with hot spells.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    My 'maters are doing OK but I'm having my house painted so hopefully they don't damage the garden. They do have to put their ladders there at times.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    We're down to our last 3 cloves of garlic (cloves, not bulbs).

    The new crop traditionally gets harvested on July 4 and the tops are dying back nicely so I think we'll make the transition ok. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    My garden isn't doing so well. I think the soil needs some more conditioning or something.

    To make matters worse, I'll be out of town for 3 weeks in July. I hope my automatic watering works while I'm gone!
  • okko1okko1 Member Posts: 327
    first time i have grown them , hungarian peppers, are doing very well. i have pulled about a half doven. and much to my surprise they are a little more than i would call medium hot. they are about 6-8 in. and are very good for stuffing with good cheese not the fake stuff. no tomatos yet just bell peppers and the hot ones. :)
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    We made our second batch of plum jam and have not put a dent into the crop. I have never seen a tree so loaded with fruit as our one plum tree. So far the birds have taken just a few. Maybe the owl on the fence is working. I have downloaded a couple recipes for plum brandy. I want to make at least 2-3 gallons. Tomatoes are getting ripe. We have 12 tomato plants so that will mean lots of salad and tomato & basil with angel hair pasta....

    image

    image
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm comin' over. Those look good!

    So far I've had one tomato and half a dozen or so string beans, so my garden hasn't really gotten started yet.

    We've had too much rain, the ground is soggy. Bring on the sun!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    You are always welcome. We can have some ice cream with plum or peach brandy on top. I have to get going on the peach brandy. They are ripening fast now. Wife is going to can some peach and plum jam today.

    Here is this morning's harvest:
    image

    This set of bales has all the ingredients for great pasta. Zucchini, basil and tomatoes. The tall tomato vine is over 6 foot and no sets yet. It is supposed to be Super Beefsteak tomatoes.

    image
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Very nice...

    I'm back from vacay, but the crop still isn't doing much better. The ground is still soggy. Funny thing is I usually have the opposite problem.

    I may build a raised bed for next year.

    Did you plant those right in the hay bale? That's hilarious. Must drain real well?
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I soaked in some potting soil to give it a little nutrient. The problem here is lack of rain. Yes the bales drain very well. I have to water every day when it is warm. Not sure if I will do the bales next year. I think I am going to build up some more gardens with cement blocks. I will use the straw from the bales as compost. I am getting good squash and tomatoes. It is also better for keeping squirrels out of the tomatoes. It is all fun to try different things. I like using 55 gallon plastic barrels cut in half also. They keep the critters out pretty much.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I get some critters, too, but mostly it's just that the plants are spindly and thin. I added some compost and mulch, so we'll see.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I am thinking that I could use some of my land for one of these systems. It would be nice to have nice fresh veggies year round. They also are growing algae for biodiesel. At the very least I will buy some of their stock. Seems like the best system I have seen thus far.

    http://www.valcent.net/s/HDVGS.asp?ReportID=266563

    http://cc.pubco.net/www.valcent.net/i/misc/HDVG/index.html
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I saw an episode of How It's Made (great show BTW) on hydroponics, I think that's what it was called. They grew lettuce with rather incredible efficiency, all floating in pools of water in a green house. Very neat.

    Update: my green beans are actually doing well. I was out for 3 weeks so some overripened, but I filled up a small basket.

    I have 2 good cucumber plants, my best crop last year, so let's see if those take off.
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