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Gardening: 2010 season


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(HOST'S NOTE: Previous seasons' gardening discussions can be found here)

I got my first packets of seeds for this season; the rest will be on order by the end of next week. I'm planning to start them all at the same time. So far on the list:

Blue Lake 274 beans

Royal Burgundy beans

Super Wax beans

Waltham Butternut squash

Super Sweet 100 Hybrid tomato

Sun Gold Hybrid tomato

Yellow Pear tomato

San Marzano tomato

I don't like hybrids much, but the Sun Golds I had last year were so tasty and the sweet 100 is such a garden staple that I couldn't pass it up. All the tomatoes will be started at the same time. I'm looking forward to the San Marzanos. I want to know what all the fuss is about. :)

This isn't all, obviously. There will be zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash, sugar snap peas and sweet peas, carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, onions, lettuce, watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries. I'm still on the fence about adding lettuces, cabbage, broccoli, and your other leafy greens. They took over a friend's garden last year. :) I'm also undecided as to what herbs to grow this year, though basil and parsley do see a lot of use, and my rosemary, thyme, and oregano should all come back. Chives, marjoram, savory, and fennel may join the ranks this year, as well as regrowing the basil, parsley, and sage.

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)
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Just got back from the garden center. Picked up pineapple sage and Italian parsley, but the 4 and 6" vegetables were looking lovely. People were already buying tomato plants. My current small garden has cabbage just forming heads, collard greens and broccoli forming smaller heads after I harvested the big crowns. These seem to be doing well despite our erratic temps (too warm) which bring out the bugs. I do not use pesticides, trying to stay as natural as possible. Since not all the cabbage is forming heads I am just plucking the leaves along with the broccoli leaves and using them like any green in soups and sautees.

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It is a bit premature to be thinking about nice such things around here, inasmuch as we are expecting between 1 and 2 feet of snow tomorrow into Saturday. We are still, however, harvesting greens we planted in the greenhouse last October and I am only a week from getting some seeds started in the basement.

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Our community garden closed in December, and so my "farm" is now limited to the 200 sq. ft. balcony. In our building, we are not allowed to attach anything to the outside, so no hanging planters, etc., unless I have floor standing hooks.

The chard is very happy, and is sprouting new shoots from where I cut it 2 weeks ago.

A bit early for us to plant anything outside, but Seedy Saturday is in only a month!

Karen Dar Woon

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm starting to get ready for the 2010 season in earnest now: most of my tomatoes just got transplanted for the first time as they begin to set their first true leaves (Eva Purple Ball, German Head, Orange Strawberry, Dorothy's Green).

DSC_4512.JPG

And a few laggards taking their sweet time getting to that point (Druzba and Purple Perfect):

DSC_4511.JPG

Anyone else in the warmer zones started anything yet? Got big plans for this season, or scaling back?

Edited by Chris Hennes
Grammar (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Well, two things I am NOT going to plant are parsley and onions.

A couple of years ago I planted one -- ONE -- parsley plant. It had terrific parsley leaves for about a week and then it bolted and flowered. I let it. I've had baby parsley plants all over my garden ever since.

I also bought a few onion plants once. Onions have beautiful flowers.... I was picking out baby onion plants for about three years.

On the other hand, I let the dill grow where ever it wants. It reseeds every year. I have a carefully segregated mint patch that does the same.

As to stuff I deliberately plant, I'm limiting it this year to sweet basil, holy basil (in high summer), Vietnamese balm, two or three types of chilies, and sweet 100 cherry tomatoes. I'll fight the deer for the tomatoes (and probably lose).

I also have year round thyme, rosemary, oregano, French sorrel, rau ram, cardamon, tumeric, and galanga.

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I have many seeds we picked up a few weeks ago.

I am starting daikon, pak choy, mustard greens, lettuce and green onions in an aquarium with growlights. The garden opens March 20 and I expect to transplant that weekend or the next. That garden should hold me until about late May when my summer vege will go in.

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I haven't started thinking about what plants I'm going to get this year yet - we're still in snow season. But if it's nice-ish (you know, comparatively) I'm going to fix the electric fence and cut back the brush around the garden. I keep mine out at my grandpa's farm in the middle of the woods. Last year he convinced me that the deer weren't that bad so we didn't get the fence up and running. We harvested 1 green pepper and 2 tomatoes. If we were lucky, we could get some baby lettuces before it was chewed down. The cabbages and peas never even had a chance. We also got about 10 potatoes the size of a baby's fist, but I think that was mostly due to the rain. I don't think the mounds were high enough to deal with last summers deluges. The rain also washed away all of my onions.

I am determined to have success this year. At least the blackberries, raspberries and gooseberries should be good after all this snow. They grow wild around the outside of the garden.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I live on a rocky hillside, so my gardening is in containers. I tried tomatos last year, with little luck. This year, it will be herbs, and I will be starting them in about two weeks, inside. I'm planning parsley, basil, Thai basil, cilantro, chives, rosemary, thyme, dill, mint, lemongrass, and anything else the nursery happens to have.

Has anyone tried the tomatos that grow upside down out of the hanging basket? I've had people swear by them; am tempted to try one or two.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Well, two things I am NOT going to plant are parsley and onions.

A couple of years ago I planted one -- ONE -- parsley plant. It had terrific parsley leaves for about a week and then it bolted and flowered. I let it. I've had baby parsley plants all over my garden ever since.

I also bought a few onion plants once. Onions have beautiful flowers.... I was picking out baby onion plants for about three years.

On the other hand, I let the dill grow where ever it wants. It reseeds every year. I have a carefully segregated mint patch that does the same.

Egale -- I just call this choosing my weeds. After all, you're going to have weeds no matter what you do, you might as well have weeds you like.

My favorite self-sowers that reliably come back are wild arugula, fennel (green and bronze), and red perilla. On the other hand, I can't get dill to grow for me for love or money, and cilantro is a challenge. Parsley is a biennial, so it doesn't usually survive our winters after the first year to flower the second year. And what I wouldn't give to have baby onion plants without all the fuss of ordering them by mail! Maybe I'll try to get some sort of OP variety and nurse it along through the end of the season in case it flowers before the frost. After all, I can always move them to where I want them...and they're guaranteed hardy.

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Tomatoes grown upside down just get ridiculed by other tomatoes. Grow 'em normally.

I've grown tomatoes for many years. I grow heirlooms for the most part like Cherokee Purple, Lucky Stripe, Green Zebra, and Black Krim. The one hybrid I grow every year is Sungold. It's such a great fruit. Sweet yet tangy. My daughter thinks I grow it only for her, because it's her favorite.

Edited by TomV (log)
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I saw a lot of folks at the garden center last year coming back for more of the upside down hanging 'maters. It is a self contained ready to go product. If it gets people growing their own, I say "coool"

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I hope to get a garden growing this year. Wifey and I have a new addition to the family. I think this years garden will consist partially of foods I can cook and puree for little Abigail this fall.Any thoughts outside of peas and carrots?

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Has anyone tried the tomatos that grow upside down out of the hanging basket? I've had people swear by them; am tempted to try one or two.

I drank that Kool-aid about 2 years ago. I think I got a total of 10 tomatoes off the 3 plants I had in the contraption. And they weren't very good tomatoes at that.

I've had friends grow small (i.e. hot, jalapenos and such) peppers in one, and they've had good luck with it. I think that there isn't enough soil in one of the bags to support a big root system, and certainly not more than one root system.

The tomatoes also were very small...it was almost like they couldn't figure out what to do or how to grow, so they just didn't. After the first crop, the vines did flower, and even set some small fruit, but they never developed. And the vines stopped growing *very* prematurely. Like by the end of July they were done, and I live in SoCal. I should be (and used to be) harvesting tomatoes in November. I used cultivars I'd had success with before, and the baggie and stand were in placed in a location where I'd grown tomatoes in the ground before, so I have to blame the contraption for the dismal output.

The baggie of soil went into the trash, and the stand went into the recycling bin. A VERY expensive little experiment.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I will be gardening in my raised bed this year. The box was built by my hubby last June and we tried to grow tomatoes and peppers there but I think they went in too late (southeast Texas) and we had a terribly dry summer. Last fall I put in curly and flat leaf parsleys, purple sage, creeping rosemary, garlic, garlic chives, and arrugala. I also planted various radishes, spinach, and mixed lettuces in October and November. This winter has been unusually cold so the plants are only now really starting to take off. Actually I'm surprised at how much made it through. A few of the "squares" are fallow right now and I plan to plant them with more lettuce and spinach in the next couple of weeks, plus some basil and cilantro.

Edited by robirdstx (log)
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Went to the garden today and sowed in some fertilizer since we have had so much rain here. Raked it as well. I had some lettuce and spinach that I had planted from seed still growing, LOL.

Starting seeds for lettuce, diakon, pak choy and green onions today.

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snow tonight and tomorrow...we have a nursery that starts tomatos early, and we buy them at a large size ( some have even set fruit) in mid May.(last average frost) gotta get the San Marzanos,,,they are the best, sliced on pizza and for general eating.. and they freeze well for winter pizza( need to let the slices thaw and drain before putting on the pies),,,We Also get a couple other varieties as well.every thing else will start from seed in the garden, we do start,inside, a bunch of savia , and agastache for the flower beds and the Hummers...

Bud,, (at a Mile high, on the edge of the Rockies.......

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We're still getting snow in this part of the world, but it's time to start thinking about starting a few things that like the cold spring weather. I'll probably try starting some kale and spinach at the end of March, and hold off planting peas until April. No point even thinking about putting in tomatoes or beans until mid/late May. What have other cold climate gardners found to be successful as early crops?


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Hoping to add an olive to our mini-Mediterranean balcony plantings. The meyer lemon produced 7 fruits, one of which has become a luscious martini. Anxiously awaiting the reminders :)

Karen Dar Woon

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I got my seeds going for my eggplant, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, chard. I am getting my lettuce and spinach sowed outdoors this weekend. I will start my herbs early next month, I like to wait till last frost on those.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I started up a few varieties of peppers this past weekend, at my wife's request, which will be nice to have.

I have a question for the tomato-growers out there. I'm following the seed-starting instructions in Male's 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden, which have you start the seeds in a tray, and then basically pluck them out when the first set of true leaves begins to emerge and transplant into individual containers. So, this is done, for most of my seedlings. I have five that didn't fit in the trays, so I just left them in their little seed-starting pellets. The ones I left alone are probably 5-10 times the size of the ones I transplanted, two weeks later. Is this normal? Did the transplanted ones just put all their energy into roots instead of leaves?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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