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Gardening: 2011 Season


Chris Hennes
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Here in the Dallas area, it actually has become too hot, too soon. Lettuce is starting to bolt. However, it is still good enough for fresh salad. Leeks, onions, shallots are doing well, and tasting great. Garlic is getting close to the stage for early picking and curing. We have a couple of green tomatoes showing in pots (have four raised beds, but nematodes attacked tomatoes in those beds in past), so they should ripen soon. Rosemary, sage, and three citrus trees we overwintered in make shift "green house" are doing okay. Kitchen garden of herbs are wonderful. We have nasturtiums, chives, basil of all kinds, dill, oregano, thyme and mint in pots, all ready for harvest. Green peppers have put out some small peppers, so unless heat continues to be unseasonably warm, we should have great harvest. Then we have problem of TOO MUCH, what do we do with it all? :hmmm: Guess it will be time to call in neighbors to help themselves!

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Wow. It killed the sage? Winter WAS brutal in Boston this year!

Yeah, I always thought sage was indestructible. I know a few people who have been trying unsuccessfully to kill their sage bush for years!

OK score one for those in harsher climes- I can not get the sage to even get to an edible stage! (in Los Angeles)

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Really?! There is a lot of native California Sage, it should grow well. We grow several varieties.. Talk to Jimmy Williams at Hayground Organic gardening, he has great plants and good advice and experience. He's usually at Sunday Hollywood FM and Wed SMFM

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This week was our official opening of our garden. It's still going to snow later, but we have the equipment ready, appropriate seeds started. The official rulz in these parts have spuds going in the ground on Good Friday. I'm not a very good Christian, actually I'm a pretty poor Jew, so they went in today under the cover of darkness.

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Really?! There is a lot of native California Sage, it should grow well. We grow several varieties.. Talk to Jimmy Williams at Hayground Organic gardening, he has great plants and good advice and experience. He's usually at Sunday Hollywood FM and Wed SMFM

The native stuff grows like the local weed that it is but the culinary stuff seems to draw a blank in my garden - I think I need better drainage on it and less water - will try again

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heidih, glad I'm not the only one with that problem.

I also wonder if having it in a pot is the issue - not enough for a deep taproot?

I can barely get enough leaves for cooking once a month, from two sad little plants.

We should have perfect sage weather.

On the other hand, we grow enough rosemary to build a house from the prunings.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Sage is funny--it grows okay in cooler, drier weather, but as soon as it gets too much water, poof, it's gone. Even in a raised bed or a pot--it just *does not like* wet feet. This year, I let my parsley crop (planted in the fall to use all winter long) go to seed, and it's now 5' tall with great big seedheads. I'll try planting a bit of the seed for an early summer patch, but it usually bolts before 5 leaves appear.

My zucchini are hitting their stride; a few fruits and plenty of flowers. Looking forward to stuffed blossoms this weekend.

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I planted brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi, celery and lettuce yesterday, but that is probably it for the next week--rain, rain, rain, and then I think it is going to rain again. I planted some peas and lettuce way last month, but not a sign of them--that wascally wabbit probably got them. (The dogs have been regularly snacking on baby bunnies--good dogs!!)

The sparrowgrass is up, so I am a happy woman. As soon as I have a few minutes to cook, I am going to batter and 'French-fry' some.

sparrowgrass
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I have herbs in the pots on the deck. Too damn many rocks in the ground on this mountain to have a real garden. Everything's kitchen ready except the basil, which needs a couple of weeks yet.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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My summer squash, green beans, cucumbers and beets look like they are settling into a growth spurt. The tomatoes are blooming. A boy down the road came over and said his grandma wanted some rosemary and sage from my garden for a recipe and I was shocked to see that the sage had plumped up and I was able to give him some. Sharing garden goodies is part of the pleasure. They do lots of chard which I do not have room for so it all plays out nicely.

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I have been avoiding reading this thread since our gardening season seems to be weeks and weeks away :sad:

Woke up this morning to a 3 inch coating of snow so I am just going to start some herb seeds in the house. Heidih, thanks for that great picture of Rosemary! I did not know it grew so prolifically! I am green with envy, any special secrets other than your location? I usually use organic fish emulsion for fertilizing my herbs so if you have a special technique for that Rosemary plant I would love it if you would share your secret.

The Rhubarb and winter onion were sprouting yesterday but they are buried today so I hope they survive.

Thanks for your lovely photos of your garden's, it keeps me hopeful that spring will arrive Someday :unsure:

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Heidih, thanks for that great picture of Rosemary! I did not know it grew so prolifically! I am green with envy, any special secrets other than your location? I usually use organic fish emulsion for fertilizing my herbs so if you have a special technique for that Rosemary plant I would love it if you would share your secret.

I am also a fish emulsion kind of girl. The rosemary get lots of sun and is not crowded by anything else. The other 2 bushes are either shaded by large trees or in crowded beds. They still thrive but are not at bushy. I think the oily herbs thrive on neglect :biggrin:

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My original plan was to plant stuff that I cannot get easily from the farmer's market. But all good plans...

The garden is not going to be good this year, unfortunately... I got to ordering my seeds too late and most of what I wanted was out of stock. I also had some personal issues come up, so my gardening this spring has been canceled. In about a month a local farm is having their annual seedling sale, so I will probably buy myself a nice garden this year, assuming time and other issues are on my side.

Dan

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

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Picking the last of my fava beans. Just love this ancient plant!! Anyone have any special recipes to recommend. I have done dip with goat cheese and lemon, pureed soup, crostini topping, and tossed into vegetable pasta.

Favas.jpg

Favas2.jpg

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

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Picking the last of my fava beans. Just love this ancient plant!! Anyone have any special recipes to recommend. I have done dip with goat cheese and lemon, pureed soup, crostini topping, and tossed into vegetable pasta.

Envy...I love favas and very rarely see them fresh. We just don't have the climate here.

There's a recipe for "Pureed Fava Beans with Broccoletti Di Rape" in Marcella Hazan's Marcella's Italian Kitchen that has always stuck in my head, both because the recipe sounds delicious and her prose is so striking (as usual). She uses dried favas but I'll bet fresh are better.

My description: favas pureed with a bit of bread/milk panade, topped with garlic-sautéed rapini and good evoo. Marcella's description: poetry.


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  • 3 weeks later...

My efforts at seed starting this season completely failed (I blame the cold, wet weather plus a healthy dose of pregnancy-induced forgetfulness/neglect) so we caved and brought transplants this year. We ended up with -

1 Italian oregano

2 French thymes

4 ‘Red Express’ cabbage

4 ‘Bush Pickle’ cucumbers

4 ‘Rhubarb’ chard

4 ‘Gypsy’ sweet peppers

4 ‘Anaheim hot peppers

4 ‘La Roma’ tomatoes

We already have a thriving bay tree and some garlic greens and I intend to start some potatoes in a barrel as soon as we get some more potting soil. We got all the transplants into containers today, but we'll have to repot the tomatoes, peppers and cabbages next weekend since we ran out of soil and had to just get them in. They're way overcrowded right now but I figure they'll be fine for a couple of weeks until we can get another supply of soil and get them into their permanent containers.

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Asparagus!! A pound or so every other day, with no waste--if you pick it out of the garden, you just snap it off at the 'tender point'.

My tomato 'corral' is up, and the tomatoes are mulched with cardboard and straw. The cardboard is to keep the weeds at bay, and the straw is so that my garden does not look like a recycling area. The straw also breaks the force of the wind a little, so the cardboard does not take off for parts unknown. (I am a lazy, lazy gardener--cardboard for mulch makes my life so easy. Almost no weeding--and the few weeds that manage to find a way to the surface are easy to pull up.

It has been extraordinarily wet here this spring--20+ inches of rain in April, and another 4 or 5 in May. I am up in the Ozarks, so we don't have standing water like the bootheel, but my garden is very wet. I usually have most of the garden planted by now, but it has been impossible to work the soil.

I did manage to get some lettuce and kohlrabi into the ground last weekend, and they are coming up.

Kitchensqueen, don't leave your plants crowded for too long--the roots will tangle, and it will set them back when you separate them.

sparrowgrass
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Kitchensqueen, don't leave your plants crowded for too long--the roots will tangle, and it will set them back when you separate them.

Yeah, I know - I was so annoyed we had to pot them that way in the first place. I'm really hoping the rain lays off on Saturday so we can get more soil and get them all properly settled. How long do you think I have before the situation gets dire (or least unpleasant)?

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