Skip to comments.WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 17 APRIL 25, 2014
Posted on 04/25/2014 12:24:10 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.
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NOTE: This is a once a week ping list. We do post to the thread during the week. Links to related articles and discussions which might be of interest are welcomed, so feel free to post them at any time.
We got almost an inch of rain last night. We are supposed to get several days of rain next week. Rain barrels are full, but the swimming pool is not yet.
I have some ripe cherry tomatoes to eat from Mr. Indoor tomato, so salad tonight or tomorrow. I moved the peas and lettuce outdoors for transplant tonight or tomorrow. Lemon tree blooms are smelling good, and lemons are of various sizes all still green.
Cut some rye grass and used it for mulch along with some straw. Potatoes are about 1 inch above the straw mulch. Corn and second set of peas are soaking and will be started indoors tonight.
Hope all is well with you and your gardens. Have a great weekend. God Bless.
Pinging the list.
The tomatoes are hardened and I just checked the 10 day forecast. They are going in today.
Duly did the research, Internet sites, called Shaw's Garden in StL, and so forth.
Then, I got smart. Asked a local pro gardener about the details of doing it right...and he was puzzled. Took out his garden shears, cut off two 7-inch branches, and -- with NO other prep of any type -- pushed them down into some nice loose fertilised soil where I wanted them. Took all of 60 seconds.
His parting advice? Pona mucha agua cada dia hasta las raices comenzan.
"Water them very well every day until the roots start growing."
Well, that's simple enough. Assuming he's right and the cuttings do prosper (and he has the very GREENEST of thumbs, btw), here's the question:
Why the devil does everyone I consulted have a list of 10 or so materials and 20 or so steps to go through just to make a healthy cutting? I don't get it.
LOL. Ya got me. Some people are just verbose?LOL
Have you ever really looked at a mature Anise plant? In most big towns, Anise plants and seedlings are as ubiquitous as dandelions, and often just as lowly valued. If you want a mild licorice flavor or aroma, you can easily get that from anise. There are many Asian recipes that rely heavily on flavors like anise or clove. I used to smoke those french clove cigarettes in colored paper, until the fumes overwhelmed the room I was in.
Yesterday I was in my car sitting at a red light, and to my right, by the freeway curb was a majestic growth of this plant, easily over 6ft high, and still thriving, still reaching up, up, up to confront the sun. Look at the top edges of the leaves or fronds, see how soft, wet and green they are? The Anise foilage has a slight resemblance to the asperagus fern, another plant that once established, can be low maintenance and highly pleasing to see in it’s natural state. One might say the roadside Anise, ignored in it’s soft fragrant, flowing perfection, is the dirty pigeon of the succulent freeway greens. The Iceplant is a half step higher in status, more homogenized, and domesticated to suit the needs of people.
All Right. You know you’ve arrived when it’s time to transplant the maters.
No I have not. I do have some in my kitchen spice drawer, but don’t have many recipes that call for it. It sounds like a really nice plant.
I just might have to try planting a few on the outer edges of our little acre.
rightly, I searched for any sign of a pepper today on all those pepper plants, and nothing yet.
sockmonkey, There are five tiny Lemon Balm plants tall enough for the leaves to be completely above the surface of the soil, so they are going to grow.
There is another 4 inch tall National Pickling cucumber with a blossom - that is two that tall with blossoms. The two foot tall Homemade Pickles cucumber has blossoms on it. That plant is really a grower. I had put a cane in the pot and plant latched onto it on its way up.
I get 6 to 8 red strawberries a day off the plants.
I really like the homemade pickle cukes. You can pick them quite small or let them get to the Klausen Dill size.
Speaking of pickles, I opened some pickled zukes last night. I hadn't tried them yet. They were a sweet and spicy recipe. Now they were really good, and crisp too.
I hope I can find the recipe and the notes I made last year. I only canned one batch of 7 pints, and didn't really expect to like them. Figured they'd be mushy.
Forgot big news: There are three tiny bits of green coming up in the Cilantro pot outside. I hope more seeds germinate, but at least there are three Cilantro plants trying to grow from seed. I sprayed water from a bottle over and around them to keep moisture there. Hope to see them taller tomorrow and maybe more of them.
To address your question; Why such complex responses for a basic planting task? I think some enjoy the mystique of gardening, the fact that no matter how much experience one has, you can be contradicted and dramatically humbled by the course of natural events.
Gardening is part science/ botany, part methodical thinking, and part an Artistic Expression, that says; Hells Bells, throw the bucket of seeds up in the air, where it lands, I don’t even care. Let it grow, let it grow!”
Last answer, many gardeners want to be known as The Plant Expert Who KNOWS How to Make Things Happen, so they tend to ‘embroider’ their routine a little bit, hoping to make it so impossible for you, that almost no one could reproduce their result, this would ‘prove’ to that Plant Expert that they were right all along, it is this person alone who has the GREEN THUMB!! (them, not you-yet).
I’m still 2 weeks away from planting mine here onthe CT shoreline.
Garden is all tilled, sheetrock scraps and all.
Spring is rampaging full force here now with daffodils blooming all over the place, a few early tulips, and forsythia ready to pop! I need to get my mower ready to go to get a head start on the trimming as soon as the winter downfall is gathered.
Northern Wisconsin still has plenty of ice on Lake Superior and the northern parts of Lake Michigan. In fact, there was an article today complaining that the barges couldn’t get through and the manufacturers were short of steel.
This afternoon will see temps of 62 degrees, but tomorrow will drop to the 40s again with rain predicted for Sunday night. Too early to plant, but a good time to get the winter downfall cleared so that we’re ready when the temps are more predictable.
My grandmother could make a cutting of anything she touched grow like crazy. I don’t think she ever BOUGHT a plant — she just gave homes to snippings from her neighbors’ yards.
They used to grow as ‘volunteers’ out by my garbage barrels in CA. Very pretty plant.
Greetings from coastal Virginia. Winter appears to have finally left us, but the wind has not. I swear the wind has not stopped since Thanksgiving.
It was supposed to me 75 today, with rain and T-storms coming in this evening and winds 10-20 - well it never got above 65 and the wind has not dropped below 25 all day and is about 29 right now. Tonight’s rain is a good thing, as the winds and low humidity have everything dry.
You are at the time when it is really easy to be impatient, and have lots of spring fever. It used to catch me down here, and I’d wind up putting stuff out too soon.
My hyacinths have bloomed and are kinda dying down. Still have some tulips and daffodils, but those are beginning to get spent too.
So far the only thing that is out and into the ground is the potatoes, garlic, chives, and lavender. Everything else is either in starter cups or planting pots so they can be taken in or out as needed, but it shouldn’t be long now.
We too are knee deep in clean up after winter storms.
Wind can really hurt the trees and vegetation making it so dry. We are going to take advantage of our recent rains by getting some trash burned.
Most of our trash is recycled or composted, and the rest is for the burn pile.
Indeed! After 27 years I whole-heartedly believe the local wisdom that you don’t plant anything tender outside before Memorial Day. And then you must get everything in that week, or else it won’t have the opportunity to grow and bloom, or fruit, before winter! You can’t really deviate from that schedule too much without engendering heartbreak.
That just about sums it up.LOL
No. She’s been gone since 1971. But, I remember her starting her “slips” in water until they showed roots, or sticking them in damp sand until they took root. I’m sure she had plenty of failures, but she had enough successes that everybody considered her a master gardener, even though she never had a class in horticulture. She never heard of “rooting compound”, or any special way of taking a cutting. She just did it.
That’s how we handle much of our trash - but the burn pile is starting to get mighty large, as it usually does this time of year because of our burn laws - through the end of this month we haven’t been able to burn before 4:30pm since February. But the winds have just been too much to even consider doing a small burn. Because we’ve had to keep the wood stove going much longer this year, we’ve been able to deal with some of what would have normally gone for the burn pile.
It's looking like a June planting again up here in N. MN. But Hey! I can see the raised garden beds now and hope springs eternal...
Had a tomato. It vanished. Wondering if my Golden got to it. Zucchini are looking good as are the beans. I still have stuff in the ground from the winter. Pulled some beets and carrots last week.
Planted spinach and cukes this week. Unfortunately the artichokes I planted several weeks back never came up. Has anyone had any experience with artichokes?
Love licorice! Will look for anise!
After last winter's ice and snow her in Mizzou, Naples, Marco Island, etc., is sounding pretty good.
Meanwhile, radishes and the first wisps of lettuce are up. Poblanos are with fruit. The B. sprouts are having heat spasms or something. They slump nearly flat after 6 hours of sun, then a dose of water brings them back.
Our county is unencumbered by a lot of rules. No zoning commission. Sometimes when the weather is very dry, the commissioners will issue a no burn order, but that’s it.
I found an article last week talking about a freedom scale of places to live. Missouri ranked #7, so 6 other states have more freedom according to that. But we are number 1 and 3 IIRC, when it comes to booze and smokes.LOL
Anyway, the big metro areas have lots of danged rules, but the rural areas kinda live and let live.
—rightly, I searched for any sign of a pepper today on all those pepper plants, and nothing yet.—
Patients, be patient, it’s early and peppers have a mind of their own.
I think all of my peppers now have either blooms or tiny peppers on them, even the ghost peppers which went naked over the winter and I almost wrote them off as lost, They barely are leafing out and I see baby peppers on them today when I was out there. I guess they are making up for the long winter we had.
Still need rain, the hill is turning into a dune.
Got a bit of sheetrock mud on the wall today. I am not fond of sheetrock work. Perfection is off the table here. Good enough is good enough.
Ok. 15 heirlooms buried to their necks, caged and watered. No this isn’t Guantanamo. Now for the peppers. Anaheim, cayenne, Jalapeno and bells.
Picked about 6 pounds of lemon squash too. Very interesting plant. Seems to be naturally resistant to pickle worms. Looks like they try to drill into the fruit but just can't make it. The skin of the fruits was a bit "freckled" but all the insides were perfect. Cooks up just like summer yellow crookneck. :)
Also got lots of french breakfast radishes and cukes that are ready for salad.
Tomatoes are still green but a few look like they may be ready in about a week or so. Should be a colorful tomato harvest if all goes well: Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra and Charger(basic red). Meanwhile, eggplants are just starting to produce some tiny fruit. Those should be colorful as well: Ping Tung (purple), Casper (white), Thai Long(green).
The Feb to April burn restriction is a state law. We’re pretty unencumbered here where I live otherwise. I like living not “in town.”
Me too. We live just about a mile outside a very small town. The town doesn’t have too many laws either, but enough that I’d just as soon remain outside.
Fortunately all the town’s growth has been in another direction.
Just because I happen to be thinking of it, here's a short cheat sheet for growing herbs (that's all I grow, except for a little plot of pimentones which basically grow themselves once the bleep-bleep seeds germinate).
I suspect, but cannot prove, that the following is valid for anywhere S of Mexico.
First, be wary of the instruction "full sun" (sol pleno) on a seed packet. In Panama -- and I'm in the hills where the weather is consistently temperate, not hot -- "full sun" many times translates to "dead seedlings". At 3000 feet and just 9 degress Lat. N of the equator, the sun is simply more intense here (Lord knows what it must be like in Panama's Arco Seco, where the weather is uniformly hot and dry!) Dill, sweet and Greek basil, and oregano (vulgaris) do much better with about half sun. Dill grows like a bloody weed here; I've one plot that's 6 inches high, from seed, in just 7 weeks.
Second, most of Latin America, esp Panama, has a rainy season. This is called the rainy season because, fr/Apr-May to Nov-Dec, it usually rains a boatload. 5-6 days a week, a shower or storm in the afternoon is typical. Thus, if you plant ANYTHING that is subject to root rot -- lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme and so forth -- you WILL plant them in or transplant them into raised beds, or they will -- not may, but will -- die, along about August or September.
Third, I've much better success planting seeds in small plastic cups in a mix of potting soil, local soil (volcanic, very rich) and sand. When ready to transplant into the garden, wet down the soil pretty well, dig the appropriate-sized hole, cut the plastic cup away with scissorts or shears, and take the whole cupful and put it in the hole. Even for an amateur like SAJ, this works almost every time, except for cilantro, which REALLY doesn't like being transplanted at all.
Happy gardening, mate!
I hear ya. Missouri is bad enough. Glad we can almost always count on good ole June.
Good going. I still have to wait a bit before any warm weather stuff can be outdoors permanently. We could still have a snow storm
Thanks for the picture. Nice looking plant. Your planting schedule is so much different. Here we are just beginning, and you are already about harvesting summer stuff.
Mmmm-- a source for calcium rockdust from the sheetrock or just unintended consequences? That reminds me I gotta pick up some diatomaceous earth for the garden. If anyone is interested in reading more about it here's the website below.
Several of my beds are located where they get shade from trees in the afternoon for this reason.
I use the standard Mel's mix for about half of my beds. That's equal parts, Vermiculite, Peat, and Compost the first year. Replenished each year with compost. Almost impossible to over-water.
I now understand that is the reason I had success the first year - I was using that mix/sq. foot gardening. Drainage so good that I didn't over-water. Figured out that's why I killed almost everything before then - too generous with the water.LOL
Well I too have that possibility. I 'm taking a chance because I still have another 15 Tomatoes in the greenhouse just in case. If mine survive friends , family and neighbors get tomato plants. The peppers are in pots so they can be brought back to the greenhouse.
Well, I am hoping your neighbors get lots of maters.LOL
I could only pose as a Garden Whisperer for now, and a very amateur Whisperer at that since I have no place right now for a real garden. You have a lot of practical knowledge. I’m renting out the room with the little terrace. The present renter is tickled to death sticking plastic flowers in dirt. No accounting for taste, right?
3 plots in the main garden, 14 X 28, 12 X 28, and 10 X 14, have had 3" of compost double tilled into them.
We have violets blooming, and the lilacs are budding. Bulbs and iris are thriving, though a long way from blooming yet.We are inundated with wild pasque flowers, the SD state flower; never had so many before.
A friend of a friend is selling me her 10 X 10 King Canopy greenhouse frame for $25, and is throwing in the anchors. A neighbor's tree limb broke in a windstorm and tore the cover; they replaced it with an entire new one for her, and she doesn't have room for both. I am ordering a new cover for it from Amazon for another $112, and free shipping. On the rear wall there is a vent window.
The spousal unit had me grind pine bark, then help her lay weed fabric around our elm. She then circled it with large pieces of quartz, petrified wood, and other rocks we've collected while wandering through the Black Hills; and then mulched with the bark.
Now that’s gonna be a nice greenhouse. We are getting flowers and buds on our fruit trees too.
I took a picture of the mystery tangerine which is fully decked out loads and loads of blooms on every branch. We are hoping this will be the year we actually get some fruit to eat and preserve.
Last year we go a few peaches, but the tree dropped the fruit while it was still small and immature. We got nothing on the rest. The trees were still a bit young I guess, and the dreadful summer of drought no doubt had a negative impact.
If we get a pool full of water this next week, we’ll be set to make sure they get the water they need, even if the summer is drier than usual.
How far apart should fruit trees (apple/pear/peach) trees be planted?
I’ve heard anywhere from 10’ to 20’.
Is there a heat source ?
We have several million gallons of water available. A pump on our boat dock lifts lake water to all the zones hereabouts.