Skip to comments.WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 15 MAY 17. 2013
Posted on 05/17/2013 1:01:42 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!
The seeds I started last week sprouted almost immediately, and have had a 100% germination rate. I have a few plants ready for transplanting and hope to do that this week.
Hubby has convinced me to plant my potatoes in the old compost heap from last year, instead of taking up space in my raised beds. (He already has a volunteer taking off there).
I have a bunch of sweet peppers and fooled you jalepenos growing like crazey. The lettuce and spinach in the mushroom compost is ready to harvest a little, and past time to thin it. The other mediums have fewer plants and they are only about the diameter of a pea.
I'll be using mushroom compost from now on, if I can find it. Hope you and your gardens are doing well.
Have a great weekend. God Bless.
Pinging the List.
Ok, need some wise advice...
First time trying to grow zucchini and cukes and am trying them in large pots.
Only two of my zucchini seeds have sprouted...these two look strong and are growing like gang busters but why only two?
My cukes are doing well but I have a lot so how do I thin? There’s good drainage in the pot but maybe too much...mulch?
I ended up getting nearly 100% germination on the Purple Passion asparagus seeds I got from Kitchen Garden Seeds. Yay. I have over 100 little teeny asparagus ferns in cups now. NOW we see how many of them actually LIVE to transplant. I have a reputation. Ahem.
My sweet peppers are finally putting on new growth, it’s finally warmed up outside where they’ve been. My frostbitten tomatoes are starting to green up. The ones that will live. I’m busy transplanting eggplants and hot peppers since it’s finally warm enough outside for them. Also transplanting my rice into the big garden.
Started my flour corn and sweet corn seeds germinating in a glass dish like I saw tubebender do. I’m reminded to ping him now that I’ve mentioned his name.
Busy week ahead planting stuff out in the big garden. Planting, laying papers, mulching. We’re expanding the garden this year. Again. I’m going to grow (try to grow) black oil sunflower seeds and millet for my chickens. And some Texas Gourdseed corn for them too.
In other BIG news related to new things and spring arrivals, our big fat Buff Orpington setting hen is a mommy. Mommy X 5. We let her sit on 6 eggs. Not expecting success the first time. We don’t have a setting box, just sort of a shelf with small ledge for the hens to lay on. It was a scramble to get the babies and get them into a box with heat lamp inside. I was afraid they’d fall off the shelf and break little chick parts.
Mama Buff pinched a blister on hubby’s hand while he was stealing her babies. We’re adding on to the coop this weekend to give her a spot to set and brood. Next time we’ll let her keep the babies. Daddy chicken is a Rhode Island Red and the hens are Rhode Island, Black Australorp and Buff Orpington. So the only purebreds will be any Rhode Island Reds. BUT they’re all chickens and will lay eggs and end up in the crockpot eventually.
You’ve been busy. That all looks great! Is that garlic or leeks or onions just upwards of the black pots?
What’s in the black pots?
I don’t know about why the seeds didn’t sprout, but it could just be bad seeds I suppose.
My Virginia peanuts didn’t sprout - 100% failure rate. The Carolin Black from a different seed company sprang up almost overnight and are ready to transplant to flats or the raised bed within a week. 100% germination. Same basic conditions.
One or 2 zuke plants in a big pot is enough, so you won’t have to thin them out.
Not enough info re the mulch. I usually grow cukes 3 per sq foot. Just pull out the weak sisters and pitch them on the compost heap. Or you can use a knife and kinda prick them out doing as little damage as possible, and transplant to another pot-they might survive.
That is one beautiful neat garden. Thanks for sharing the pic.
That’s some great progress and good news for the chickens. I know if I raised them, I would not be able to wring their little necks. However, I suspect that hubby would be able to.
Youngest daughter has located our source of anitbiotic free, GMO free, free range source of chickens from a young man she went to school with who is homesteading. He has agreed to sell her/us his extras.
She has agreed to go help him with the processing so she will have the knowledge and skills, in case we decide to try to raise some chicks in the future.
Well I got my first strong beans. Yay me. Granted I have 4 plants and getting a couple of string beans French is not a meal. But it is a start.
My tomatoe plants are both over 4 ft tall, yet nothing coming from them. Not even a blossom. That’s sad. Zucchini look nice but nothing yet. Same with carrots.
Been doing a lot of stuff with herbs. Basil with home made mozzarella and tomato is delish. That’s what is upsetting me with my tomatoes.
Tomorrow doing another 4x4 SFG. Cukes, more carrots and more tomatoes. Hopefully this time around will be better.
French? Darn, I hate spell check.
Today, my Yorkie, Prissy, and I ate the first produce from the garden a ripe cherry tomato we shared it. Another one was ripe and its in the kitchen. Those two ripe cherry tomatoes are the first food ready to eat that I have ever grown in my entire long life. How much was their cost? If there was no other food, it doesnt matter what they cost. Over time, cost will go down dramatically its the first set up that takes some money and Im not through doing that. With a small space, planning is everything.
Im still planning and reading. All the Miracle Gro bags I planted seeds in are growing something except one of the big bags. I think that is the Alpine Strawberry seeds and nothing is happening. I found I can order the plants rather than seed and next time may do that because its major disappointing to see nothing in that bag. Ill try to do seeds again since I have the small greenhouse but I will buy actual plants, too, both the strawberries and blackberries in order to get a start.
Im making a list of foods one would need to stay alive and give the best nutrients and be able to grow in containers large and small on my deck, and that would be a spring and fall garden so the plants will differ from one season to another. Certain veggies will be in there but I have to have fruit and Alpine strawberries would be one because they come back and blackberries that come back would be another. I studied different types of blackberries to find a good one that would take Texas heat. I always consider the heat when I choose seeds.
In a few days, I will have a composter unit. I need instruction about this. I need to know everything that can go in there and what cant. Pretend I know nothing, which I dont, and list what is permissible and what is not in a composter. Can dead rose limbs with severe thorns on them, be put in the composter? What about limbs I cut that were coming into my garden from another yard? How small do limbs have to be? Is there a limit on the width of a limb? Can every bit of food garbage be put in there? What are you putting in yours even if it isnt in a composter unit but in a corner of your garden open to the air? What definitely should not be put in there?
What kind of tomatoes did you plant? When did you plant them? What sort of fertilization did you use?
Check for ants to see if the peanuts were eaten. I lost over half my seeds to ants. Next year I start them all inside where I can keep an eye on them.
I got my button mushroom spores. They look like little white mouse droppings. I'm assuming most of it is inert binders to make it easier to handle.
Waiting on daughter to deliver my horse poop and straw to grow them on.
Here in Southern North Carolina, the various-lettuces are almost done after several hot days this week. I’ve had many meals of colorful leaves! They were neatly planted, but catz excavated the beds later, so they’re all mixed up ;-).
Sugar-snap peas liked the cool April and May. We’ll begin picking them tomorrow. Tomato plants are just sitting there, so far.
I know I wouldn’t be able to process the chickens. Hubby’s hunted since he was 10 or so and promises me he’ll have no problems. I just need to let him go to Whole Foods or Kroger and price the ‘whole organic chickens’.
My grandmother kept chickens and did her own processing. I witnessed the whole process from beginning to end with chicken and dumplings in a pot on the stove. Chicken dinners are a lot of trouble!
Peanuts are going to go in the ground the end of May. I’ve got something from Southern Exposure. I can’t remember the variety offhand. Hopefully it’ll finally be warm enough outside for them.
I’ve got to transplant a whole packet of sprouted Mary Washington asparagus plants too. Those took about a week longer than the hybrid asparagus seeds.
I’m starting trays of perennial herbs next week too. Once I get all the stuff that’s currently on my driveway planted and gone. I get to make it all white trash again out there. Hopefully by the middle of July the neighbors can stop talking about me.
I don't put meat in the compost. I don't put dairy in the compost. It stinks pretty badly if you do. I do bury meat and diary in the garden, if I actually have any scraps to get rid of, which is rare.
I also don't put in limbs or things like whole vines (rose bush limbs) or even bermuda grass runners without hitting them once with the lawn mower to break them down. I'd like to have a shredder or hammer-mill to break stuff down before I put it in the compost pile.
I do put all of my coffee grounds, egg shells, moldy bread, bad veggies, etc in the compost pile.
If you have a lawn guy, have him dump the bag from the mower into your compost pile.
My compost pile is mainly oak, elm, and cottonwood leaves that I also try to hit with the mower before composting. I wish I had pine needles like I had in NM.
A compost pile is basically food for bacteria and fungi that are going to break the organic materials into stuff that plants can use. The little bacteria and fungi do better with smaller bits to operate on.
I couldn’t process chickens. But, when I lived in Washington State and was active in a Quilting guild, I remember a conversation among members about the best way to process hens. One lady recommended tying their legs together and hanging them from a clothesline and then going down the line and wringing their necks — 1, 2, 3. I sat there with my mouth open and I’ve never forgotten that conversation!
Heirlooms, planted that about 8 weeks ago and I am in central Texas. I used a compost, peat moss, vermiculite mixture.
That’s a nice size plot!
Two days ago I came downstairs and opened the curtains across the large three pane glass that looks into the garden. There were two squirrels on the deck close together and it was like the “Keystone Cops”. It scared them so badly, one turned right at top speed and the other turned left at top speed and they ran smack into each other (my squirrels are not real smart). The crash sent them rolling and they fought to get right side up and get out of there.
I've got birds coming in. Today, a huge blue jay landed right next to my large cherry tomato plant growing in the bag and I was out there like a flash to make him leave.
You see, I can sit in my chair and turn my head left and see the whole garden and be out there in a few seconds. I don't want to spend my life every minute of the day trying to keep my food safe staring out in the garden from my chair. That's why I'm going to grow mainly on the deck and cover that area with netting.
Thinking about it, I could put large containers in the garden itself, have them grouped together and use the netting there, too. That means another bag of netting to get. I am going to keep my plants safe from squirrels and birds - it's either me or them.
My two rose bushes are full of beautiful blooming large pink roses with mega number of petals on them.
Try 3% rock phoshate. If you can, dig a small hole near your plants and put about a handful of rock phosphate in the ground next the plants. They’ll love you for it.
If you would be so kind, please put me on the ping list here. Thanks.
Pacific Northwest semi-rainforest here, where I’ve got only a small piece of land, and must fight my wife for vegetable space amongst her ever-encroaching flowers. :)
Grains don’t do well here, (nor do many other things) and are rather inefficient sources of calories, IMO, so I’ve concentrated on high calorie, high nutrient items that do well here and can be easily propagated and stored between seasons.
Dry beans and potatoes are my staples, and I’ve been experimenting for four years to find what works best here.
Ireland Creek Annie, Rockwell, Yellow Indian Woman and Hutterite Soup beans are my favorites, though I have a back up roster of Steuben Yellow Eyes and Great Northern White beans to plant/eat in a pinch.
Potatoes: Yellow Finn, Kennebec, Plain Russet, and Dark Red Norland’s do best in my little micro-climate.
This year I’m focusing on onions/shallots/garlic to see what works best here. My wife planted a few leafy odds and ends as well, though they’re not likely to keep us alive long if it comes to it.
We’ve also got several asian pear and plum trees, and four figs that do fair here. Neighbors have all the apples we could want, and we’ve planted various cherries that have not yet produced.
Chickens? I like dark brown eggs: Pure and interbred Welsummers, Marans, Orpingtons (eggs not that dark, but good broodies), New Hampshire Reds, and both black and red sex-links do well here - if my wife stays ahead of the game trapping predators (a job she relishes). I couldn’t even begin to list the list of predators we have here (most not very good eating) and there is therefore quite a turnover in the flock, though I have beefed up security this year. :)
When your tomatoes start coming on more, save the seeds from a few of the better ones to plant for next year. Tomato seeds take an extra couple steps to save than other plants. Scrape out the seeds from two or three same variety tomatoes and drop them into a small jar of water. Set the jar, uncovered, in a window sill or on top of the fridge so they stay a little warm. This step takes off the gel coating of the seeds that prevents sprouting. After a few days, you’ll see some scum or moldy gunk growing on top of the water. Empty the jar out into a mesh strainer that’s small enough to catch the seeds. Rinse the seeds in cool water and spread them out on a saucer (or whatever) for several days to dry. After they are totally dry (if they aren’t dry, they’ll mold), put them in a jar or envelope for storage. Label the container with the variety, the date and any other information you might need for next year such as bloom time, spacing, etc.
Well. My sweet little southern belle grandmother used a small hatchet. And Gulf wax for the pin feathers. I won’t forget either of those.
Hubby cleans his own deer and processes it. Ditto bunnies and other assorted wild ‘food’. I told him if he gets it to a state that looks vaguely like something I get from the grocery store we’re good to go.
I have multiple squash blooms but no squash. I have several tomato blooms but only 2 green tomatoes have appeared Hope it’s just because of the cooler weather and plants will get more productive soon.
Better yet, don’t let the yard guy bag the clippings in the first place. Let them lay where they are to naturally fertilize the yard. Have the yard guy clean the gutters and put that onto the compost pile.
When I bought those tomato plants at Lowes, I figured they would die since I can kill any living plant. Well, I've got tomatoes.
I've tried to be nice to the plants to let them know I really want them to live and prosper. I am a licensed professional counselor so I'm using the Carl Rogers counseling technique. That method is the patient is simply wonderful and everything they say is simply wonderful. If I can get the plants to think that, maybe they won't die.
I’m seldom at a loss for words, but I was that day. The image of all those poor chickens hanging upside down on the clothesline, squawking until someone broke their necks was just too much for me. I considered becoming a vegetarian.
The conversation was between an elderly lady in her 90s and a woman about my age who was a “mother earth” type and married to an American Indian. Obviously I’m a couple of generations from the farm.
Well, my grandmother dispatched them one at a time. No waiting. My hubby isn’t a sadist either.
I can imagine the shock. Sweet little quilting bee ladies and poof, they turn into Ted Bundy chicken torturers.
Oh, I like the transplant idea! Thanx!
my back hurts just looking at it .. LOL
Please, think small. There is no where to use a mower in my little garden. I have a large one step up deck and a small garden area behind that. There is no grass. I’ve got thousands and thousands of leaves from the two oak trees that I have swept up in piles on the deck. There are leaves all in the actual garden area. I’ve got WEEDS. That’s another question - do I put the weeds in there?
Then, I have the many dead rose limbs with thorns I had to cut down because all the roses died except four I still have. I found out what killed all the roses in 2011. It was “sun scorch”. The temp for over two months was 105-107 every day. The leaves, no matter how much I wantered the rose, shrunk and curled and died. I read a post by a fellow in Arizona and he explained sun scorch - that’s what happened.
Marcella, you are an amazing person. Soon you’ll be our encyclopedia on gardening. LOL.
Strawberry plants are relatively cheap, so I usually just order the plants that I want. These plants will form runners which can be used to propogate more plants when you want.
Lots of gardeners propogate using the runners, and give some away to neighbors-good will gesture no doubt.
Compost. Anything that is not diseased or moldy is what I put into my compost, except for bones and meat - stuff that might attract dogs and other varmits.
I don’t get too anal about what amounts of stuff either, since I don’t try to hurry up the compost. All my kitchen stuff like potato peels, coffee grounds, banana peels, and eggshells for example. I keep some of the eggshells in a seperate container, because I put them in with my tomatoes and melons for slow release calcium.
I don’t have a chipper, so break branches into smaller chunks and add them to the compost along with leaves, grass trimmings and shredded newspaper.
Start out with a 2-4 inch layer of twigs/small branches sunflower stalks etc to allow plenty of air circulation. After I have added a gallon full of kitchen scraps, I toss on some shredded newspaper or leaves and some grass clippings, and a little layer of my hard clay rocky soil on top.
Here’s the main ingredients you need: Air, Moisture about like a sponge that has been wrung out as much as possible, Nitrogen (manure, alfalfa, bean pods, green stuff)Bacteria-from garden soil, Heat (no problem in Texas summer).
When I need compost, I just take off the plastic trash can type container that has no bottom and plenty of air ventilation on sides. Remove the unfinished materials and put them back into the container. That leaves a heap of finished compost on the bottom.
My stuff always look quite black, and kinda fluffy and smells like dirt- not stinky at all. I always take some of my green cover crop for the green material.
There’s a lot more to it, if you want to hurry it along, but I am a lazy daisy type. I figure that nature doesn’t do a lot of chipping, grinding, stirring, so neither do I.LOL
Male squash blooms or females? My squash usually put out males about a week or 10 days before they actually start ‘producing’.
These were started indoors. That’s why I just think it was bad seed.
Lot’s of trouble, but great eating.LOL
LOLOLOL! The conversation started because the younger woman was leaving early to head to the post office to pick up her shipment of hatching eggs. At that time I didn’t even know that you could mail order chickens (and other poultry).
What heirlooms exactly?
Rose petals are edible. Rose hips have a lot of vitamin C.
I was looking at McMurray last night. Those evil people put VIDEOS of BABY CHICKS on their website. That there’s just dirty tricks.
I mean how cute can you get? Even the babies have the little poofy on top of their little heads.
And look at the little feathered feet on the sweet little babies in this video.
I could easily be a chicken hoarder LOL. Good thing we can’t afford too feed that many!
What? I've got squash plants - NOW I HAVE TO LEARN THEIR SEXUAL HABITS? Crap, I don't know if I have males or females.
Johnny, you did not tell me about sex and squash, I mean, squash and THEIR sex.
And they cheep too! Too cute!
The male blooms are just like regular flowers with a stalk. The females look like a tiny little squash with a flower on the very end.
“I put weeds in the compost pile. I generally shred them with the mower first.”
I DON’T HAVE A MOWER.