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  1. #1
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    The Gardening Thread



    I'm currently in the process of figuring out where everything's going to go in my tiny vegetable garden this summer! Eggplants are definitely in - these are Asian elongated eggplants, and it's my first time trying them so I'm super excited! Last year's eggplants didn't work out quite so well, that's about as big as they got These babies are probably going out in the garden in about two weeks or so, I actually don't know how big they are now since I took them all home over spring break and will have to rely on my mom to plant them out

    My current project is tomatoes - I have 24 seedlings right now I think about 6 of them are yellow pears and the rest are Oregon Springs. I don't have an updated pic of this year's seedlings but I'll upload one tomorrow (I like to take a pic every Sunday and save them all so I can compare progress from year to year. I think we're actually a bit behind schedule this year because the temperatures have fluctuated so much and now we're at 40 degrees at night again

    I love basil and can't wait until I have pesto. This is a pic from a few months ago - I've given away the two smaller containers and kept the ones in the orange juice container (yay recycling!), and those are now probably about 5-6 inches tall and will go in the garden as soon as I get home. Last year's plants got to about 2 feet tall each!

    I planted spinach and Swiss Chard and Chinese broccoli when I was home for spring break - Mom says the seedlings are coming up, but I haven't gotten to see them yet. Swiss Chard is a summer staple in my house for salads and stirfries and everything that requires greens, but after three summers of it I'm a little tired of it, so we're trying some new stuff too

    In terms of houseplants, all I have in my room right now are my jade plant and an aloe that probably needs to be repotted, but I'm so busy w/ finals and stuff Currently sunning at home are my baby lemon tree that I grew from a seed 3 years ago and my pineapple plant, grown from the top of a store-bought pineapple

    OK, hopefully I linked all those pictures correctly! Can't wait to hear about everyone else's planting adventures!

  2. #2
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    We are having an extremely early spring in Minnesota. The only thing blooming is pasque flower. We finally got some rain two days ago and all the perennials are now coming up.

    I have hundreds of plants under my lights. I am going on vacation for a week and SO will have to water them and rotate them under the lights. I will be transplanting the peppers, tomatoes and three kinds of petunias into larger containers before I leave. Even though it is a lot of work, I love spring!

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    Its really to early here, but if its nice on Sunday I think I will turn the soil in my garden and seperate some of my Hosta's and find new homes for the divisions. My husband and I have done the initial spring clean up, clearing leaves and trimming grasses and bushes.

    I think we are in for a very HOT summer this year!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkats View Post
    Currently sunning at home are my baby lemon tree that I grew from a seed 3 years ago and my pineapple plant, grown from the top of a store-bought pineapple
    You are such an inspiration! I remember when you planted that pineapple, and I intended to try it myself but never did. I even bought a book about renegade growing from fruit seeds ... do you still have the avocado plant??

    Spring is very early here this year - we had a very mild winter, so now bluebells are already in full swing (half my backyard is covered in them, and I love it!), the lilacs are leafing well, the herb garden is coming along nicely. I'm already using chives (yay for not having to buy imports from the Dominican Republic anymore!); the strawberry plant already looks healthier than last year; lovage, sorrel, salad burnett and good king henry are already up and doing well; tarragon, oregano and mint are starting to peek from the soil. Hostas and lilies of the valley are sprouting, ferns starting to uncurl, periwinkle in full glorious purple bloom. The few crocuses the squirrels didn't dig up (I swear they were in the trees mapping them out when we planted the bulbs) are already done.

    Once again this year I have to buy seedlings as our 2 year old kitten will not allow open dirt and sprouting in the house. In spite of the warm weather, I still don't want to risk planting before the end of May. I'm planning tomatoes (cherry and one other - we're giving up on beefsteaks because they never make it to full ripe without the animals feasting on them), fewer cayenne peppers than last year because I still have a ton dried from the last harvest, beans because I like how they look climbing, a bunch of new herbs (www.richters.com) and maybe some sweet peppers and cucumbers. I would like to try some hearty leafy greens too. Parsley is a must - I hate having to buy it!

    Last year we also did impatiens around the garden in addition to our usual big pot of geraniums for the deck (the only plant the squirrels don't seem to like), and we will plant another lilac or two to fill in for the old ones.

    So excited to be back in the garden again, and can't wait to hear more about what everyone else is doing.

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    Oh, I have the fever. It's been a perfect spring on Long Island: cool and bright but with plenty of rain and a day or two of heat to speed it all up. With the thrilling severe winter we had, spring is a real contrast and that makes it even more wonderful. The miracle of rebirth and the beauty of blooms, sprouts, shoots--it is a glory.

    I do a full circuit of the yard every morning and every night to see what has changed. My perennial garden is looking great. I created it from scratch over the last 7 years. At this point, it's really filling in and naturalizing very nicely. I'm going to try to discipline myself and not plant so much new stuff this year, but rather divide what i have. Ferns are unfurling, bluebells emerging, azaleas budding and coloring, hosta sticking up their pointy noses...

    I do a huge potted annual display too, and started getting out all the pretty pots and dreaming about how colorful and pretty it will be once again. I'm especially psyched because two dear friends plan to visit my home for the first time in August and I'm motivated to knock myself out this year.

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    I'm busy looking at my small vegetable garden space and my 8-mth old German Shepherd. Any fence suggestions?

    Also, I want to transplant my rhubarb plant from the front yard to the back yard but have heard that the leaves are poisoness for people. What about dogs? Anyone know?

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    24 tomato seedlings? Four is enough for me. All of them are already flowering thanks to SoCal weather, but no tomatoes yet...

    I bought a flat of strawberry plants from Home Depot, but all but two of them died. Maybe I didn't put them in a location with enough sun. The last two seem happy, though.

    I planted a bunch of seeds outdoors a few weeks ago but only a few of the sunflowers and the soybeans have come up. I also figured that if I wanted to really splurge on pots and soil, I could put a bunch of plants on the side of my apartment as well, since we have that entire space in full sun going unused...oh the possibilities!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    You are such an inspiration! I remember when you planted that pineapple, and I intended to try it myself but never did. I even bought a book about renegade growing from fruit seeds ... do you still have the avocado plant??
    Sadly the avocado died I've had so many avocado trees, I've lost count... they all get to the exact same stage where they start sending out their second set of leaves, and then they brown and die on me. I have no idea why! Let me know what fruits you try sprouting, they're so much fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    24 tomato seedlings? Four is enough for me. All of them are already flowering thanks to SoCal weather, but no tomatoes yet...
    Yeah. About that... I was out of the country all last summer and my parents who didn't know any better unfortunately kept all my seeds in the dark, humid, moist basement. so I wasn't sure how many would actually germinate (not to mention they're 3 years old anyway) so I went ahead and planted about thirty of them, only expecting to get about 50% germination tops. Well almost all of them germinated (and a few died in transplantation), so now I've got some to give away. I'm SO looking forward to making yellow pasta sauce this summer

    ETA to add: tomatoes at 4 weeks
    Last edited by mkats; 04-16-2010 at 06:12 AM.

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    Reminds me of my first garden..... Lived alone & not knowing any better, planted six tomato, six cherry tomato, six zuchini, and six yellow squash!! I think I ate nothing but tomatoes & squash that year...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    I bought a flat of strawberry plants from Home Depot, but all but two of them died. Maybe I didn't put them in a location with enough sun. The last two seem happy, though.
    Hang in there. We bought a strawberry seedling last year for our herb garden, and while it never died, it never grew either. Just sat there beneath its waiting trellis and pouted.

    And then surprise surprise, this year it's already got twice the leaves and is looking quite robust - and it's only April! Apparently they take a year or two to settle in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkats View Post
    Yeah. About that... I was out of the country all last summer and my parents who didn't know any better unfortunately kept all my seeds in the dark, humid, moist basement. so I wasn't sure how many would actually germinate (not to mention they're 3 years old anyway) so I went ahead and planted about thirty of them, only expecting to get about 50% germination tops. Well almost all of them germinated (and a few died in transplantation), so now I've got some to give away. I'm SO looking forward to making yellow pasta sauce this summer
    Wow, that's a great success rate for 3-year-old seeds stored in suboptimal conditions! I planted some sunflower seeds from last year and they sprouted. I think a few beans from last year sprouted as well. And a few basil seedlings are finally poking their heads up. Maybe all they needed was a good rain.

    It's amazing how resilient some plants are. My chives were looking very sad all throughout the winter, and once the sun started coming out, it shot out new growth immediately. And my sad-looking sage and rosemary just needed bigger pots. My mom helped me transplant a bunch of things for the winter clean-up, and I was like, "Aaah!" when handling them a little roughly and she was like, "It'll be fine!" We also found some earthworms in the pots, and I was so afraid of crushing them, and she had the same response.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Hang in there. We bought a strawberry seedling last year for our herb garden, and while it never died, it never grew either. Just sat there beneath its waiting trellis and pouted.

    And then surprise surprise, this year it's already got twice the leaves and is looking quite robust - and it's only April! Apparently they take a year or two to settle in.
    Oh, so they're perennial? Cool! I'll have to repot though, since I planted them in two window boxes and only one plant per window box survived and it looks funny. Do they need deep pots and a lot of room?

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    I don't have a green thumb at all, but I was thinking of growing some tomatoes this year.... in a couple of containers. There's really only one area that gets pretty good sun, so I thought I would give it a shot. Anyone have any tips for me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8pics View Post
    I don't have a green thumb at all, but I was thinking of growing some tomatoes this year.... in a couple of containers. There's really only one area that gets pretty good sun, so I thought I would give it a shot. Anyone have any tips for me?
    Get the biggest containers you can. Tomato roots go very deep. I had a large seedling in a small container that I had been procrastinating on transplanting, and by the time I got around to it, the roots had started to grow through the drainage holes.

    Similarly, it's best not to water it lightly every day. Go for watering deeply every other day, because the roots are deep. I go about an inch of water each time, and tomatoes seem happier than they did last year. I also like using a tomato cage, but it doesn't have to be huge. Just something to support the branches with, because they will get heavy and drag on the ground, rotting the tomatoes.

    That's the most basic stuff, at least that's all I do. I do have to prune back the largest plant I have, because you can't see through the middle and it's getting awfully crowded. You just snip off the shoots that grow in the middle of forks. I let the SoCal sun take care of the rest, haha. I think by planting in containers, you avoid some of the diseases since they aren't sharing soil with other plants.

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    I have my front garden pretty much finished this year. I will plant a couple annuals but want to see how the plants grow. Having just moved in this house, who knows what will pop up!!

    I found a Clematis growing in the backyard but don't really like it's location. How easy is it to transplant Clematis? I have to wait as this spring has been very mild so all of the plants are already thriving.

    I turned over the soil in what will be the veggie garden, I am going to plant some tomatoes (beefsteak and cherry) , peppers (a few types), strawberries, herbs/spices and am wanting to plant blueberries and raspberries but am wondering how bad do raspberries spread? My grandfather had a big area for raspberries, and they just spread like wildfire but not sure if that is the norm?? I have tomato cages that the previous owners of the house left behind, so that is actually pretty helpful as I used to just tie my plants to a stake.

    I have onions growing in the garden too I noticed, which is kind of funny. Never knew they could seed themselves from a previous year like that... kind of neat actually except for where they are located in the garden.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Oh, so they're perennial? Cool! I'll have to repot though, since I planted them in two window boxes and only one plant per window box survived and it looks funny. Do they need deep pots and a lot of room?
    wish I could give you advice, but I know nothing about growing strawberries! I was surprised myself to see the plant come back, and it was hubby who said he heard they take a year or two to settle in. (As a youth, he worked part time in a garden centre, so he's an expert )

    Forgot to mention my tenacious potato. Last year there was one sprouting in the compost, so we planted it. Our harvest was two tiny potatoes the size of walnuts, but I planned to eat them anyway. One day my kitten was trying to play with one of them, so I hid it in a cupboard and forgot about it. Months later, I saw a sprout peaking out, and now it's grown to about six inches. No water, no soil, no light! We're going to plant it in a few weeks. Never seen such a determined potato.

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    The deer are eating my bluebells and pulling the bulbs out of the ground. Any suggestions? (residential neighborhood = no hunting )
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemommy View Post
    The deer are eating my bluebells and pulling the bulbs out of the ground. Any suggestions? (residential neighborhood = no hunting )
    Does cayenne pepper hurt bluebells? I was told about that from my sister. Just sprinkle that or any really hot dried spice??
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    I also like using a tomato cage, but it doesn't have to be huge. Just something to support the branches with, because they will get heavy and drag on the ground, rotting the tomatoes.
    Um, tomato cage? Do they sell them at the... place where I would buy my tomato plant seedlings? See, I am a real novice! Thanks for the tips!

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemommy View Post
    The deer are eating my bluebells and pulling the bulbs out of the ground. Any suggestions? (residential neighborhood = no hunting )
    Mix hot cayenne pepper and hot sauce with water in a water bottle and spray the mixture onto the plants that the deers like to nipple on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8pics View Post
    Um, tomato cage? Do they sell them at the... place where I would buy my tomato plant seedlings? See, I am a real novice! Thanks for the tips!
    Most hardware stores and nurseries will carry them.

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