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Gardening: 2010 season


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Azurite--I ordered from Stark Bros. I got Seckel Pear Standard, Starking® Delicious™ Pear Standard, Blackgold™ Sweet Cherry Semi-Dwarf and a Meyeri Lemon Plant. I have 2 acres, so room for standard trees is not a problem. (Picking pears from the tops of standard trees might be, however, but we will climb that ladder when we come to it.) I am hoping that my hardy kiwis produce something this year--they will be 3 years old, I think.

Yesterday, I planted tomato seeds (Ananas Noir, Golden Sunray, German Johnson and Big Month, all from Baker Creek Seeds) and green pepper seeds--a variety that turns orange at maturity.

I might be able to get the garden tilled towards the end of next week. Right now it is warm and rainy, and everything is too wet. Some years I already have lettuce and spinach up by the first of March, but spring has been slow coming this year. The daffodils are blooming now, and the peepers are peeping, so I guess it is here to stay.

I gave all my chickens to my son last fall--I had knee surgery at Christmas, and wasn't able to care for them. I am getting ready to order new chicks--they should be here in April. I miss having my "automatic composters" out in the pen to take care of all my kitchen and garden waste.

sparrowgrass
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What kind of lettuce are you growing?

A couple kinds really. I have a patch for mesclun greens and two different kinds of leaf, a green and red. It's a Burpee mix pack of Black seeded simpson, lolla rossa, red salad bowl, royal oak leaf, salad bowl.

I have to get the other raised bed in this soon, but snow is in the forecast for Saturday, so looks like that will wait. So I will bake bread.

"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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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 :)

Are these dwarf trees? I have been wanting to pot up some dwarf varieties in containers.

"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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@ CKatCook: not dwarf trees that I know of. Just potted. The Lemon is about 18" tall, and in a 14" pot. The Olive I saw last year was a Spanish variety, and about 3' tall in a 14" pot. Both of these were at nursery stores in our region. The biggest concern for either of these will be watering. The balcony faces southeast, and the building has a lot of glass and concrete for absorbing heat and reflecting light.

Karen Dar Woon

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@ CKatCook: not dwarf trees that I know of. Just potted. The Lemon is about 18" tall, and in a 14" pot. The Olive I saw last year was a Spanish variety, and about 3' tall in a 14" pot. Both of these were at nursery stores in our region. The biggest concern for either of these will be watering. The balcony faces southeast, and the building has a lot of glass and concrete for absorbing heat and reflecting light.

Interesting, so the containers restrict the roots, which restrict the growth? I am thinking of going to get a peach and a pear since they are in the stores now. :wub:

"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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We had a "topsy-turvy" upside down plant last year as an experiment. We used a bush type hybrid and it did well. We got a decent amount of tomatoes and had no disease or pests problem. I still prefer the wild heirlooms but this worked and we will do one again this year. Here is an early photo of it.HangingPlant.jpg

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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I compost in a bin. While everything does decompose, it is never "hot" enough to destroy seeds...so I get lots of volunteer plants. After our wonderful rains (Southern Ca), I have all these volunteer tomato plants scattered throughout the spring garden area and I just keep looking at them and trying to decide what to do with them. I haven't a clue as to the variety. Good chance they are heirloom since that is mostly what we eat, but they could also be hybrids. It seems a shame to just pluck them out as weeds since they showed such determination to sprout! :-) I have potted some in containers to just see what they do. Anyone else faced with this situation?

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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I've got about 14 Roma plants started, and some Rutgers Select tomatoes. I've also started some hybrid jalapenos, just because I had the seeds, even though I don't like planting hybrids. I was too late starting my onions, so I'll be buying those as plants. I'd like to start some broccoli, too.

I still have yet to plan the layout. I have 6 3x3 boxes and 6 3x2 boxes. I'm planning on 6 more 3x3 boxes. I trellis any climbers or indeterminate tomatoes.

I have a permanent bed dedicated to herbs: Munstead and Provence lavenders, oregano, Minus, creeping white and common thyme, sage, and garlic. I also have a Roman chamomile in there, but I'm going to move him. He likes to lay all over everyone else, so I'm going to plant him out by the back property line where he can do as he pleases.

I've also got some potted herbs: stevia, regular and prostrate rosemary, catnip, apple mint, spearmint, chocolate mint, peppermint, lemon balm, chives and garlic chives. The chives have come back, but not the garlic chives, and I'm not sure the mints survived the winter out on the deck. The stevia and rosemaries came inside over the winter.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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I'm in a foggy zone 5a or 5b with the Atlantic Ocean across the street. Last year we put up a modest greenhouse which is now ready for daytime transplants. Mostly, it's my wife's tomatoes, and I'm trying a bunch of exotic hot peppers. Salsa time should be formidable this fall. These sprouts get a fluorescent lamp overhead in addition to South window light.101_4271.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 2 weeks later...

I built my cold frame this weekend. I am excited because this is going to make hardening off them seeds so much easier!

Swiss chard, lettuce, peas are already in...

"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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We are going gangbusters with lots of lettuce, bak choi, greens and radishis in various stages. Some transplants, some seeds but all doing really well. Starting summer vege, the salsa garden, in the aquarium this week.

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The arugula and Italian parsley from last fall are going to seed. Last fall's curly parsley, sage and rosemary are growing well. The lettuces are producing nicely. Fingers crossed for a long, cool Spring. I've added basil, thyme and cilantro plants to the bed in the last week. The basil seems to grow as you are watching! I've also sown some leek, baby bok choy, raddichio, and spinach seeds in their own "squares" and all have already sprouted. I've also planted 4 tomato plants in the bed and two others in their own pots. I didn't have much luck with tomatoes last year, hopefully this year will be better.

RaisedBed04042010.jpg

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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.

Be careful with the sage Heidi, I have one that started out as a 2" pot and it's now 6 feet tall and over 4 feet in diameter. I do have a question though, how do you use it? I love the smell, but I haven't really cooked with it. It just takes up a corner in my garden, smells nice and has beautiful red flowers..

edited to fix the font.

Edited by Shamanjoe (log)

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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

How did you start the tumeric and galanga? I've been trying tumeric for the past couple years from a piece in the ground, and it sprouts some leaves but never develops any roots.

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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

How did you start the tumeric and galanga? I've been trying tumeric for the past couple years from a piece in the ground, and it sprouts some leaves but never develops any roots.

Originally (about five or six years ago) I bought some VERY small tumeric and galanga plants mailorder from a guy in Florida. The galanga was just a bit of root with a green shoot. The tumeric was just a root. I got them going in a small greenhouse I have. They now grow and thrive on my front porch with no special treatment except water and some fertilizer. At the time I didn't realize that these plants could be started from roots bought in the store.

Are you really sure that your tumeric is not growing roots? It takes about a year to notice growth. Tumeric goes dormant in the winter and all the green leaves die. If you plant tumeric roots now, while they are still dormant (at least mine are still dormant) they will sprout leaves in a month or two. Fertilize them and water them and keep them in partial sun -- too much sun and the leaves burn. Then wait until the leaves die next winter. You can easily see the roots then. I bet you will notice more roots than were present when you planted them. From then on you can harvest roots whenever you want.

GOOD LUCK. Fresh tumeric and fresh galanga are a delight!

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*happy dance* I had my first asparagus of the spring for dinner last night. *happy dance*

My new knee is feeling much better, and I have run the tiller a little and planted peas and lettuce. The rabbits have eaten every pea for the last couple of years, so I bought a roll of chicken wire and fenced the pea patch. I hope it discourages the bunnies until the peas are up and vining.

My fruit trees arrived--at least the lemon, the cherry and the delicious pear did. Someone forgot to put the Seckel pear in the box, but I called them this morning and they are shipping it.

I also got my first shipment of chicks last week--all cockerels, destined for the freezer. The pullets will be arriving later this month.

Edited by sparrowgrass (log)
sparrowgrass
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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.

Be careful with the sage Heidi, I have one that started out as a 2" pot and it's now 6 feet tall and over 4 feet in diameter. I do have a question though, how do you use it? I love the smell, but I haven't really cooked with it. It just takes up a corner in my garden, smells nice and has beautiful red flowers..

edited to fix the font.

The pineapple sage was purchased more for the hummingbirds. I am told, however, that the leaves and flowers can be added to fruit salads or to iced tea. I think it is a very subtle taste.

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Heidih, bacillus Thuringiensis (aka bT, Dipel or other brand names)is an organic control for those nasty green worms on broccoli and other cole plants. I can't deal with broccoli that hasn't had its bT--I never find all the worms until I cook the broccoli, and limp green worms are not my favorite food.

sparrowgrass
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