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The Gardening Thread

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by mkats, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. mkats

    mkats Well-Known Member


    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 :lol: 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 :drama:

    My current project is tomatoes - I have 24 seedlings right now :eek: 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. Lizziebeth

    Lizziebeth the real Lizziebeth

    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!

    MOIJTO Banned Member

    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!
  4. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    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. :cat: 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. :cheer:
  5. Aimless

    Aimless Active Member

    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.
  6. RoseAugust

    RoseAugust Active Member

    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?
  7. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    24 tomato seedlings? :eek: Four is enough for me. :lol: 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. :p 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!
  8. mkats

    mkats Well-Known Member

    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 :)

    Yeah. About that... :lol: 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. :yikes: 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 :swoon:

    ETA to add: tomatoes at 4 weeks
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  9. backspin

    backspin Active Member

    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...
  10. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    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.
  11. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    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. :lol:

    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!" :rofl: We also found some earthworms in the pots, and I was so afraid of crushing them, and she had the same response. :lol:

    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. :lol: Do they need deep pots and a lot of room?
  12. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

    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?
  13. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    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. :lol:

    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.
  14. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    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. :lol:
  15. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    :lol: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.
  16. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

    The deer are eating my bluebells and pulling the bulbs out of the ground. Any suggestions? (residential neighborhood = no hunting :angryfire)
  17. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    Does cayenne pepper hurt bluebells? I was told about that from my sister. Just sprinkle that or any really hot dried spice??
  18. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

    Um, tomato cage? Do they sell them at the... place where I would buy my tomato plant seedlings? :lol: See, I am a real novice! Thanks for the tips!
  19. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. mkats

    mkats Well-Known Member

    Most hardware stores and nurseries will carry them.
  21. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

    Has anyone tried the upside down tomato cage, a hanging plant device?
  22. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Home Depot used to carry the 36" ones, and now I can only find them in 42" and 54". :lol: Like my tomatoes would ever get that big!

    I was out pruning and doing some cleanup in the backyard today, and two of my tomato plants already have a tiny green tomato on them. :cheer: My chives are also sprouting buds! And the parsley is such a monster - the roots have gone clear through the drainage holes into the ground. :rofl:

    Yay for Craigslist postings for free stuff. I got some wood scraps I can cobble together to make a garden shelf so my pots and dirt aren't just hanging out outside the door. :lol:
  23. BittyBug

    BittyBug Dispirited

    We have a tree peony that usually puts out about 10 - 12 flowers when it blooms in the spring. This year, we only have 2 buds. :(

    In 15 years of having this tree (it's more like a little bush), I've never done anything special to it other than water it on occasion. Should I be fertilizing it? Preparing it for winter in a particular way? The plant seems otherwise healthy.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  24. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    I have one...it's only been hanging about 10 days & I have some flowers but no tomatoes yet. But the foilage looks very healthy.

    I just came in from outside...I've been planting a rose bush in a spot that was thick with St Augustine grass. That was really hard work to get thru all the roots. I finally got all the grass removed & then ringed the plant with large river rocks. It looks really pretty.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  25. mkats

    mkats Well-Known Member

    Eek, I woke up yesterday morning to find out that one of my lights had tipped so that the bulb was actually touching a poor tomato plant, which promptly fried.

    At least I have 23 more? :lol:

    I love that they're getting to the size where I can tell the different kinds apart by their leaf shape - no need to turn the cups constantly looking for the initials I scrawled on the side.
  26. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Awww, poor thing!

    I'm spoiled here in SoCal. I already have about 6 small tomatoes on all of my plants. :saint: That's one thing I also have going against my bf's crazy idea of moving to Portland (besides the cloudiness and the fact neither of us have ever been there..) - gardening is SO much easier when there's warmth and sun! It's a bit of work checking all the plants every 2-3 days to pinch off the suckers, though.

    I planted a few more arugula seeds, thinking that maybe I could get these to grow in the shade under our backyard tree. They sprouted in 4 days, when daytime temps were in the mid-70s. I imagine their little seed brains were like, "CRAP it's hot we need to sprout NOW!" :rofl:
  27. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

    I'm thinking of trying to grow some rosemary and some other herbs on my kitchen window sill. It gets a lot of morning sun but not much after that.. does anyone think it will work? I'm tired of buying fresh herbs and then throwing half of them out because we don't use them all that much.
  28. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    We have a plant called a Barbara Karst Bougainvillea. It has been the one that has flourished the best since we got a few plants. I water it everyday and it was just full of beautiful pink flowers. The last week or so they have all begun falling off. Is this just a normal process, kind of like shedding in preparation for the next blooms or something? I just don't see what has changed as they did so well for a month or so and I haven't changed anything. I am thinking of moving my Rose bush into the shade as they dry up and begin dying off even though I water every day. Maybe in the shade they will not require watering twice a day.
  29. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    I just got back last night after a week away, so the first thing I did this morning is check out my garden and O.M.G. I can't believe how much growth there has been! It's like a whole new backyard. And just now it rained, so more encouragement for my plants, yay!
  30. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    My husband and I are tearing up the wood border for our front garden and are going to change it to stone bordering. (Well we are when I tell him that we are doing it. ;) )

    I have to fix the edging of our driveway. It looks fab but the previous house owners just covered it with red mulch and no netting to prevent weeds from coming up so I have to pull up all the red mulch and the white decorative stones and put down the netting. Then replace the red mulch and white decorative stones. That is going to take forever. lol