Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 3, January 20, 2012
Posted on 01/20/2012 9:56:41 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde
It was just a couple of weeks ago that I was really glad that the last of my garden had frozen. Being blessed with a long growing season is not always what it's cracked-up to be. You understand ... gardening is hard work! When it lasts from March or April until December, it can get tedious.
Then, yesterday, my first order of seeds that I don't need came in from John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds. Four beautiful little envelopes that sound like maracas; Baby Lincoln Leeks, Tres Fine Maraichere Endive, Beaumont Broccoli, and Large Fruited Mixture Ornamental Gourds.
I am stoked.
Yep, that's all it takes to get the soil coursing through my veins once again. Newspaper pots are about to be made ... my plastic trays need to be washed in a sudsy bleach solution. Clean off a couple of shelves in the garage and hang up the grow lights. Now, if I could just remember where I put that 55 quart bag of moisture control potting soil ...
Last week, the Weekly Gardening Thread welcomed the 500th member of the ping list. What a great way to begin our 2012 gardening season! More members = more information to share. Let's grow!
The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.
This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you wont be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isnt asked.
It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!
Excellent information! Thank you so much for posting.
Very nice! Are those cucumbers or squash in the background by the fence looking structure?
I have a nice crop of Swiss Chard right now. It will be part of my spaghetti sauce tonight. Lettuce seedlings ready to transplant. Spring bulbs sending up shoots. I wish the weather would settle down, however. It doesn’t seem like winter at all as temperatures hover around freezing mark.
Spinach, Kale, and Swiss Chard.
Just wanted to do a little test run before ramping up.
And in my dirt bed, I’ve still got oregano, leaks, and mint growing along with some Swiss Chard that survived the freeze (-20 outside for a couple days) that happened before I got the Aquaponics system pumping to better regulate the temperature.
Will be seeding the cukes and squash this week ;-) Probably some bush beans too.
BTW. the Fence Looking Structure is version 1.1 of my wall mounted solar heat exchanger. It will warm 75 gallons of 38 degree water up to 70 degrees on a sunny January day. But I’d like more BTUs for buffering the cold nights and better all around plant growth conditions... so Version 2.0 is in the works.
Thanks for checking in! I’ve never had chard in spaghetti sauce before ... sounds interesting. I’ve never grown chard either. It seems so popular with the gardening group that I may have to try some.
I would love to see some larger angle views of your setup. Sounds impressive!
We have had 5.7 inches of rain this week and are rapidly making up for our deficit of the past 2 months. It is still raining. I’m not posting as often here due to the slow hang times on FR...
Do you do the reconstruction on the tear-outs for the bees?
The queen will start running just as soon as we open up the hive to light. She will try to get out of reach, and is sometimes successful. We had one cutout where we left a little brood comb and she came back to it overnight and we caught her the next day. The remaining bees will be in a wad around her and you can pick-up the whole group and drop them into a bee box. You do run the risk of having the queen and her attendants "swarming", or leaving the area looking for new digs to start a hive. That happened to us once also.
The cutout that we are going to try to do tomorrow is about 15 ft. off the ground on the outside wall of an apartment building. No bees have been reported inside, so we are relatively certain that we'll be able to remove a few wooden shakes and remove the hive. We are borrowing a man lift to get us up there.
I am learning so much on the Gardening Threads. I have only been gardening for flowers and ornamentals, but this summer I want to start vegetable gardening.
I am considering a square foot garden. I don’t really understand the purpose of raised bed gardening.
Is it a vegetable or an ornamental?
Raised beds are very useful when your soil is very rocky or very clay, or similarly unsuitable. Raised beds are also useful for people who don’t bend well, if you make them high enough. I did my first raised bed last year, called it my ‘salad bar’. You could make your way around it and have a beautiful, colorful, delicious salad. I did it in a raised bed thinking that weed control would be easier, but it was only minimally so. I did bury some soaker hoses in a concentric circle with hookup at one corner. THAT was very handy because lettuces don’t have deep roots and needed to be watered almost daily.
I believe that one of our gardeners said that her tomatoes didn't do really well in SFG. Kinda leggy and not very strong.
I will really look forward to the information on soil types!
In the meantime....if you want to see an extravaganza of tomatoes....including LOTS of Italian types, check this out:
You do bees too?????
We have some hives, a smoker and a bee keeper’s hat....but we’ve never had bees. How difficult is it to get started?
Spring and bee swarming season is coming and, if you can capture a swarm, you're off to a great start. If you put the word out that you will come get a swarm, people will call you, believe me. If you need to buy bees, you can.
After you've done some reading and you have questions, the premiere bee forum is Beesource.com. Many of the authors of bee books and some of the best breeders hang out there and answer questions. Beekeepers are a great community.
I will warn you, however, that bees will steal your heart immediately, and your own source of honey and the other by-products of bees is invaluable in a self-sufficient lifestyle.
They have an awesome selection of tomatoes. Darn you ... tomatoes are really my weakness. :)
Wow! Thanks so much for this. My husband and I have a major project (fence) to get done and when it’s finished, I’m going to spend some time learning more about bees and getting the hives cleaned up.
What are some good edible hedgerows or fence crops? I’m in 7B, Texas.
If you can put a sturdy top rail across some fence, muscadines would do well and you can make some kickin' jelly, syrup, juice and/or wine with those. You could train some blackberries or raspberries to a fence as well. We have several fence lines covered in blackberries because the birds have deposited them there.
No, but it's something I really want to look into this spring. Care to share some more info, maybe with pictures?
Is gleaning fruit from a source like this practical?
I have some lettuce, pole beans, black eyed peas, and a couple types of okra seeds that I have been growing repeatedly (often unintentionally). Also a sweet onion which I haven’t tried yet, but the package says heirloom. Send me a mail with your address if you want to try any.
>>Care to share some more info, maybe with pictures?
Heh. Absolutely plan on sharing soon FRiend.
Got the heat exchanger reworked today ;-)
Next weekend I’ll get ‘er painted and presentable. Right now looks like a WIP Construction zone... which it is.
The bugs are pretty much worked out of the system; and my intent is that when I do the presentation, the system will be be in a proven and stable state that folks can duplicate relatively easily with off the shelf components.
I am in a very rural area that has been farmland ever since, well forever. There are many old home sites, generally no house anymore, but you can tell the old sites because there will be a group of trees and shrubs in the middle of open farmland.
There is almost always old pecan trees, a few fig trees, a plum or two, peaches, and sometimes a quince tree. With permission, I can get more fruit and nuts than we could use in 4 lifetimes, and I do canning and preserving a full 3 or 4 months every year.
We have photos and I'll get them sorted and post a couple of them tomorrow. It was a small hive of probably 40,000 bees and we got almost all of them, including the queen.
Hope the dental appt. went okay. Thought you were gonna check back in and I thought about you today.
Shhhhh...can’t you see I’m watching the 49s...
You’re right, I did say I would check back in...............in a way I did because I read - but I should have posted. My bad.
Dental appointment went as well as could be expected. She is learning her lesson that not brushing holds VERY serious consequences.
shhhhhhhhh ... sorry! So am I ... they are in trouble.
So am I - but I’m not really happy here. I really do not want to be rooting for the Giants in the Superbowl.......
EGADS..............root for the Giants? ACKKKKKKKK
I was born and raised in NYC and have NEVER rooted for the Giants..........
Serves me right, they lost! Looking forward to your photos but who owns the man lift or do you use it to look over the top of the corn?
Here Mark (left) and I are beginning to remove the wood shakes. Very little room up there, we have the bee vacuum, a hive box, and we hung the buckets for the honeycomb and the shop vac on the outside of the bucket to make room.
Thanks for letting me know everything was okay.
I live near Raleigh, 7B. This year we’ll try to plant cabbage a couple weeks earlier than last, because we got bad worm damage right at harvest time last year, unfortunately. So we’ll plant our cabbage and brocolli nearer to the beginning of February than the middle, like last year.
Can’t wait. The garden’s ready to plant.
I know how you feel - the Giants beat the Packers.
This was a really tough game for me because I am a Saints fan.
I think the yung’un has learned her lesson - she had a tooth pulled 2 weeks ago. But she’s not done - she’s got another appointment in 2 weeks.
Good luck this year! Nothing better than home grown cole crops ... they have so much more flavor than those that you buy in the grocery. Do you intend to start your seeds inside now, or are you planning to direct sow?
I will get sprouts to set out locally from our hardware store (brocolli and cabbage). Last year the brocolli variety I planted had no worms, which is extremely unusual. I forget the name, though. I let one head go to seed so I could possibly plant it this year, but of course I can’t find where I put them. Anyway, the brocolli variety only put out the central head, rather than the central head with off-shoots, which also is unusual. If I put out a different variety this year, it’ll be OK for that reason.
I start tomatoes, squash, cukes, pumpkins, and peppers from peat moss starter cups. Dixie Lee peas, 6 weeks peas, butter beans, green beans, and corn are direct planted. Usually I’ll buy 3 or 4 specimens of a particular tomato variety that I can’t get the seeds for: Parks Whopper. Best tomato I’ve ever grown, hands down.
Will a Home Owners policy cover this expense? It must be darned expensive with the tear out and rebuilding. Nice looking home btw...
No problem on me having a garden!
But we will have to put up $500 non refundable deposit for having Cashmere ... I can understand that. But thought it was high. She likes her new store and her job. But told me that Wal-Mart is not helping money wise in our move! I am so pissed off about that! We are not wealthy and this move will be very difficult for us.
The cutout we did yesterday was at an apartment complex, and insurance on properties like those may be different. That building may look nice, but the place is really a dump. When we removed the wooden shakes and began cutting the honeycomb out, we discovered that it was attached to the back of the sheetrock walls. There was no insulation whatsoever, and we further discovered that the hive was built totally around electrical wiring and outlet boxes. Had the building been insulated, there would have been no room for the bees to ever build a hive.
The apartments were not far from Grambling University and most of the tenants appeared to be students. Cars in the parking lot with student parking stickers.
Thanks for the photo updates! Are you going to thin your corn? The brussel sprouts are beautiful.
It is really chintzy of WalMart to decline some reimbursement for the move.
Thanks for the photo updates! Are you going to thin your corn?
Yes when I get done weeding the watermellon patch.. It’s taking forever.. I hate hurting.. I still have about a 20’ X 20’ spot to do... I will get it.. It just takes me a while.
We have the strangest damn thing going on here. Yesterday our yard was full of birds as usual but today there is not one to bee seen! I think it has to do with the burst of solar radiation that was reported yesterday but my wife thinks we are going to have earthquake??????????
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