Skip to comments.WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 15 APRIL 12, 2013
Posted on 04/12/2013 12:55:20 PM PDT by greeneyes
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!
We avoided the tornadoes that struck St. Louis, but we had plenty of high winds and severe thunderstorms.
So I got one of the raised beds totally planted with spinach and lettuce. I got some seeds started indoors under the kitchen grow light. I also started a bag of lazyman's compost.
A dark garbage bag full of twigs, leaves, some kitchen scraps, shredded newspapter, and old bark. The bark had fallen off a tree stump next to my garden and I could break it up into pieces with my hands. I raked it all together and used a dust pan to help scoop it up. It was laying on some pea gravel, so I even got a little pea gravel in it. I punched holes in the bag and set it in a corner of the patio, where it will get plenty of sun once it decides to shine. Should have mulch by summertime heat or at least by the fall planting period.
Turned under the rye grass in one of the raised beds, and covered it up with cardboard from some of the boxes the seed companies sent stuff in. Anyone know why they use huge boxes to ship something that doesn't even take up 1/4 of the space?
I have an experiment going on with the lettuce and spinach. I punced holes in a bag of top soil, and a bag of mushroom compost. Mixed a 50/50 mixture and combined it with my existing soil. Then I split the bags open and planted the same thing in each bag and the mixture to see which one does the best. I read that mushroom compost is superior for spinach and lettuce so we shall see.LOL
Spring cleaning continues - very slow indoors and outdoors. All in all a pretty good week. Hope you and yours are doing fine and having fun with your gardening. Have a great weekend and God Bless.
Pinging the List.
I have chard, beets, radishes, and cabbages popping up now. They’re little cute things an inch high, but progress is progress and I’ll take it. It’s been two weeks since I planted.
Here’s a planting calendar that you can use by just typing in your zip code. It was accurate for my area, but for those who may have year round growing seasons, not so much.
If you try it, let me know whether it works for you or not.
Here is the link tubebender provided last week. It was a pretty interesting video for a laid back approach to gardening and the use of layers of mulch. Lots of biblical quotes as it goes along. I really enjoyed watching it.
I have nothing sprouting outdoors yet-it’s been pretty cold most of the time.
I do have some spinach and corn sprouting indoors. I have never tried this with corn before. I am hoping to get a jump start on the corn so that I can beat the heat/drought season and get some heirloom corn this year.
Tomatoes are growing great, no losses to cutworms this year because I remembered to use aluminum foil around the stalks. Some of the tobacco is going crazy and shooting up, and some is just lazing along. I don't know why. 2 died, but I had replacements to put in their place.
Potatoes are putting out foliage like nobody's business... If they make potatoes, I'll be happy.
Peppers are waiting for the heat, but I expect they will do well, they are healthy and strong.
Sunflowers and peanuts are planted, and should be up by next friday's thread.
Wound up giving my daughter a shopping bag full of lettuce that I had to thin out. Spinach that germinated is doing great, but lots of the seeds didn't germinate this year for some reason. Maybe a bad batch of seeds.
Kohlrabi is doing well, and I've had about 8 or 9 meals out of the asparagus bed so far this year.
Lots to do, but lots of positive feedback from how everything is growing so well.
I hope that continues and we don't end up with another nuclear summer.
Warming up the grow lamps, starting some seeds this weekend. Looks like a late May planting season again... goes with the Mn turf!
It's 75F here, and I've got windows open in the house and a fan on. They are saying 85F for Monday.
Ditto that about nuclear summer. Michigan Bulb still has not shipped the potatoes that I ordered Feb. 1st. I filled out their survey gave them a very poor rating and also written comments about their unacceptable service.
April 1-15 is the date for planting potatoes in Missouri. Today we got part of the order delivered, but still no potatoes. If they don’t come in the next few days, I am going to just get some walmart product maybe.
I cut off the tops of my indoor pepper plants, and they are now blooming again, I may transplant them out doors and just see how long I can keep them going.
I have a basil plant that I planted in a little 5 inch pot in 2010, I have harvested more basil than I could ever use, and given some away. I just keep cutting it back and it just keeps on growing. At some point you would think it would get root bound and die or something. It will be interesting to see just how long it can go.LOL
I was hoping that we would have an early spring this year, but no such luck. It sounds like you have a good start on the growing season.
You do have some challenges in your zone!
Good to know. Thanks.
Here's some pictures of the garden last week before the storm. It's a lot more bushy than this already, and we got some fruiting going on-- tomatillos, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peas and squash. My marigolds are doing good, and my zinnas are just about to bust out, I think.
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Love that miniature corn for Asian dishes - but the cans are so expensive. I read up on it and apparently it is normal corn just picked very early while the ears are ‘miniatures’. So I experimented with a small row last year but the bugs got to it.
Will give it another shot. Gardening is great for the grandchildren too - it encourages them to appreciate and even eat the veggies once they understand how much work, science and effort is involved. Home grown veggies are valuable in so many ways.
Well if there’s a ping list for the garden then please put me on it.
We always have a garden but one thing I want to do this year is start a few herbs outdoors in small window sill-sized containers.
Then in the fall we can bring them inside to winter over, use, and hopefully bring outdoors again, if that’s even possible, I dunno.
Something like basil, parsley, chives...whatever is useful and will stay compact.
hey fid-— do you start everything by seeds planted where they currently are or do you transplant any seedlings later on? I’m so jealous, ehehehe !
On the tomatillos.. I don't use them a lot because I don't think of them unless they are in front of me but they make a great green salsa. How are they different from growing tomatoes? If I was growing them, I would use them.
Just returned from a business trip in Florida. I brought home some seaweeds from Dania beach—packed in plastic inside my luggage. What a stink-—right now its out back in a bucket of water in the sun brewing seaweed tea—for the plants of course. Anyone have experience using seaweed tea or just for mulch/compost?
Or cilantro, for that matter.
We did also get a couple early marigold and alyssum plants. We wanted to put them in while the seed ones were growing to stave off the bugs. My marigolds have caught up, but my alyssum were kind of disappointing.
Thanks so much for all the pictures. I love the way your gardens look. So nice and tidy and pretty.
I should probably look into that too. My granddaughter hates most veggies, but she does like miniature corn. Wonder if you can plant it closer together?
fid—I live in the DFW TX area. There’s a little asian lady up the block with a small corner patch and she’s got lettuce and some other greens growing nicely even in February where its fairly cold here too. She starts them from seeds in the ground too-—I’m so amazed at folks who have great gardening skills.
GREAT report from MASTER GARDENER ME:
Hey, this gardening stuff is easy: Since I don’t know what I’m doing exactly, I’m just doing GREAT:
I have 9 tomatoes (two are cherry) in containers growing GREAT. I’ve got actual tomatoes, real, honest to goodness tomatoes, 6 on one cherry and 4 on another cherry (the one growing in the potting soil bag), and flowers on three regular tomatoes. The other regular ones without flowers I planted a number of days after the blooming ones.
I have tiny lettuce I can see coming up in a 5 ft. long on the ground planter. GREAT.
When at Lowe a several weeks ago, I got a small plastic container with basil seed in it and one with a sweet pepper in it and just added the water and planted those in the little plastic contains a couple of days ago. I can see two tiny basil already and no response yet from the pepper but its too soon for that. GREAT.
Yesterday, I replanted tobacco seed Johnny sent me and hope they do right this time as I managed to kill the other ones I planted. GREAT.
I bought a small greenhouse and have heirloom seeds coming from Terroir Seeds, should be here in a day or so. That is all I could think of doing to keep the birds from eating my seeds and have a place to grow seeds in the early springs. There are two huge oak trees behind the fence of my garden and squirrels and birds live in those trees and watch for something to eat in my garden. GREAT.
One package of those seeds are wild tomatoes that were found on Gallipolis Island. These are smallish tomatoes that insist on staying alive and if you leave one sort of in the ground, it will grow another plant the next year. Just leave as many as you want for the next year in the ground. I will also save seed from that plant. I also got a wild onion that insists on growing the next year and the next, etc. GREAT.
I bought a large size row cover that isnt here yet. This one lets sun and rain in, but keeps out birds and squirrels. Its fine on a row or cut it to fit around a plant. I will do that for the tomatoes as soon as it gets here to keep the squirrels and birds from getting the tomatoes which they damn sure will as they have done it in past years when my husband did a garden. GREAT.
SEE, this gardening stuff isnt so hard when I have people like you from which to learn. GREAT.
Growing tomatillos is pretty much like growing tomatoes. You need two of them to cross-pollinate, but they're hearty and fast growing, just like tomatoes. Those are them in the big white containers. We did get these from the nursery as little seedlings (because it was late) but next year we'll try different kinds from seed.
Yes there is a ping list, and I will put you on it. It’s a weekly ping on Friday afternoon. Then we just keep posting during the week to that same thread as people have time.
To answer your question : Yes you can start the plants and bring them indoors. If you have a southern or west facing window, you may not even need a grow light.
I have done this with several herbs. The most outstanding results was with basil. See my prior post up thread. The plant from 2010 is still going strong.
Marcella, what GREAT news you have! You make me smile. You have come a long way babe!!!!!
I also use it to feed my compost pile and it makes my compost work about 6 times faster than normal. So what would normally take a year to compost, breaks down in a couple of months.
My understanding is that it is actually food for beneficial bacteria and other little squigly wigglies that makes plants happy and makes compost break down faster.
“Tomatoes are growing great, no losses to cutworms this year because I remembered to use aluminum foil around the stalks.”
Tell me about using aluminum foil around stalks. Where exactly did you put the foil? I don’t have tomatoes in the ground but I need to know about this when I do have them in the ground.
Can you do this with other plants to stop bugs from getting on the plants and eating? I know nothing, either, about using chemicals on plants for anything. What should I know?
I don't use commercial chemicals or even natural chemicals that can kill soil bacteria or fungi. If the soil is healthy, plants can fight off most diseases. Macroscopic fauna like cutworms and vine borer pests, I either treat mechanically, as with the AL foil, or with special bacteria or beneficial nematodes.
Healthy soil stops lots of problems from ever happening.
Are you saying when I sweep up leaves on my deck to put them in a big plastic bag and put food garbage in there and seal it and keep doing that (but I'd have more food scraps than I would leaves so is that a problem - seems like I would just have a smelly mess)?
Right now, I've got those dead thorny rose limbs but I should throw those away, right? Don't want those thorns in a mulch, right?
I'll have to take pictures this year. I've never done that previously, so this could be either a lot of fun, or a resounding public disgrace. :)
Wow! Wonderful pics!
Thank you. :)
JR— after the seaweed tea is done I will compost whatever residue remains. I’ll have to get some molasses so thanks for that tip. Currently I’ve mixed in some used coffee grinds in the seaweed tea bucket. Feeling like a mad, organic biologist lately but without the liberal lunacy of mother earth worship. (’
It just makes sense that the plants can't actually eat what is in soil without enough of the correct beneficial bacteria in it. I worry about getting the soil right, and let the plants handle rest.
I've got a neighbor that uses harsh chemicals for every little problem and his soil is pretty barren. Earthworms don't live in it because they don't have enough to eat. I don't want to be ThatGuy(tm).
I'm on the far west side of the MetroMess, so we are in the same zone for gardening. Gardens can grow here, but timing, soil condition and water are everything.
Not being burdened with anyone else in the house, I'm free to use the kitchen table as I please, and no-one complains.
Yes, that's a carburator in the bathroom sink. I'm single. ;)
Plants of all kinds, limbs, twigs, kitchen scraps, leaves are all like gold for the garden. It helps to put nutrients back into your soil. Otherwise, your soil will be depleted and crops will not do so well.
If you click the link tubebender provided last week (posted above) there’s a video that explains a lot about mulching with wood chips. Mulching is a good idea to help keep the moisture in the soil and decrease the amount of watering you need to do among other things.
No the compost pile doesn’t stink as long as you have plenty of air available. When everything is decomposed enough you have great fertilizer for your garden it is just as sweet smelling as the best dirt you can buy. LOL
We brought some Spanish moss back from Georgia and are interested in getting it to grow in central north Carolina. Do you think if we install mister line up the side of the tree and keep the moss moist that it will survive? I have seen it on the Carolina coast in new Bern. But since we are inland we are hoping to imitate those conditions near our pond.at least during the hot months.
Well I improvise and use a Milk Carton to make markers. Just take kitchen shears and cut out a thing rectangle. Then write on it with permanent marker and stick it in the dirt of the container I am using. It’s cheap and helps get rid of Milk carton trash.
I have a baking station sort of in my downstairs basement. It’s about 39 inches long. I just take a newspaper and cover the counter, do my thing, then wad up the mess and stick in into the big compost bin. I have a grow light on the downstairs kitchen table, which we don’t really use to eat on anyway, because I put the containers on an old pan covered with aluminum foil.
Since I pass by the table constantly during the day, I don’t forget to check on the progress of the starts.
It’s always better to share the chores with someone, even if its just the kids, and even if all they do is talk about what you do. At least that’s the way I am. I find it hard to get as motivated when it’s just me. That’s why this garden thread is so helpful to me.
Reading what everyone is doing or especially seeing pictures gets me motivated big time.
I second that motion. I'm also telling myself “You have always been able to learn anything, and you MUST do this.” That “MUST” keeps bugging me until I do what is necessary, plus I know the people on this thread are working at this, and I'd better have something every week to report that shows I'm trying, along with these master growers.
I'm also impressed with the number of growers that have physical problems that should limit what they can physically do and they do it anyway.
Something creative and motivating about growing plants and gardening plus connecting here with other FReeps who do.
I think the Lord put the desire deep within—after all, Adam and Eve tended the garden of Eden from the start.
I agree with my esteemed buddy, all you said is true!!! I am so glad that you decided to join us!
You may be on to something there for sure.