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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

Gardening: (2016– )

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14 hours ago, Toliver said:

If anyone is still in their planting or pre-planting stage, I thought this article about planting certain plants/veggies/herbs together benefits each other, was interesting:

"Plants You Should Always Grow Side-by-Side"

I had heard this about "friendly" planting years ago with tomatoes, garlic and oregano (I believe). The companion plants coincidentally go well together in the kitchen. 

Anyone else hear of this?

Yes!  I have had this book Carrots Love Tomatoes for years.  Very helpful.

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14 hours ago, kayb said:

Well, we always used to plant green beans in the corn, two or three weeks later, so the beans could run up the corn stalks.

This is brilliant!

 

Took some pictures of the just beginning garden this morning.

 

Radishes just poking through.  

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Red potatoes and Yukon gold

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Onions

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Lettuce.  We've already had some super hot days with more to come so I don't think it's going to do very well.

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Pak Choi.  Dunno how this is going to do either

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Got a few tomatoes in the ground.  They were getting too big in the green house.  I usually don't plant until around Mother's Day, but I think it'll be fine this year.  Knock on wood, no more freezes.

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And finally the asparagus area

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@Shelby your plot is big. Can you describe your planting physically. String a line to make rows? On your hand and knees or leaning over or hoe and drop? Lot of work!

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, heidih said:

@Shelby your plot is big. Can you describe your planting physically. String a line to make rows? On your hand and knees or leaning over or hoe and drop? Lot of work!

I just use a hoe to make a straight-ish row.  The tiny seeds like lettuce I crouch down and sprinkle.  The big seeds like beans I'm on hands and knees or crouching depending on how my knees are feeling lol.

 

A couple years ago I bought one of these things that attaches to a drill.  It's SO nice for planting tomatoes.

 

Edited to add.  I have a couple rows of beans planted but they aren't up yet.  I'm waiting on more corn seed because the dang raccoons broke into my seed box in the garage and ate ALL THE CORN.  Arrrrgh.


Edited by Shelby (log)
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My little container, 4' x 3'.  Its spent a few nights under a tarp. Seeds are just sprouted, but the six pack of salad mix seedlings are roaring. Gonna have a lot of veg this summer.

 

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I'll expand the "what to plant together" discussion to container gardening indoors.  Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to plant all the different herbs I'll be growing.  In an ideal world, I'd have each planted separately so I can tailor water/nutrient/light to each plant.  The last time I grew a bunch of herbs, I had them in my windowsill NFT (nutrient film technique) garden.  In this situation, they all got the same amount of everything, and consequently, some were very unhappy - like my cilantro which bolted after about 2 weeks since my window is southern facing and on a sunny day can get HOT!  Now, I'm preparing to move (whenever NY State and my building decide to start allowing non-essential construction to do my renovations) eventually, so I've been putting my herbs in my 5'x5' grow tent that sits in the middle of my living room.  I'm also going to be experimenting growing them a little differently - hydro in coco coir.  I had a lot of issues with the NFT system - I realized that NFT is not meant for long term plants - it's best suited to sow/grow/harvest the whole plant all at once.  So, for instance, my basil which I would only harvest some at a time, lived for a long time and turned into a giant bush - but the root system got so large that it blocked the water flow causing ponding in the trough, and almost caused a flood all over my floor! Ponding is a no-no because the stagnant water doesn't quickly becomes devoid of oxygen which then causes root rot issues.

 

So far I have a small kaffir lime tree, and curry leaf tree, sawtooth coriander aka culantro, rau ram aka vietnamese coriander and lemongrass.  The kaffir lime and curry leaf are similar in the fact that they're both in the citrus family - so both like lots of light - full sun, which I am interpreting as a DLI of about 25mol/m2/day and the roots like to dry out a little between waterings as they are very prone to root rot issues.  These will each go in their own container with their own moisture sensor to determine watering frequency. The sawtooth, even though it is a tropical plant, doesn't like too much light - from my research, the leaves have better texture and more flavor if grown in part-shade, which I am interpreting as a DLI of about 10.  So it will need its own container so I can place it further away from my sole source light.  The lemongrass and rau ram seem to have similar requirements - full sun and keep the soil moist at all times.  So, they can probably be put together - but my question is whether the lemongrass will spread - does anyone have any experience with it?

 

Down the line, I'll be planting mint (which needs its own container due to its invasive root system), cilantro (which may be able to be put with the sawtooth), thai basil and regular basil, which could probably go in the same container as well.

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Champing at the bit here, as my yard guy can't bring the dirt for my beds until his truck gets fixed. Hopefully next week. Later than I would like to be planting.

 

The herbs look pretty good, though, although something is munching on my basil. The mint is positively taking off in its iron kettle I planted it in to confine it. We will have lots of mint. I need to mix up some fertilizer and feed them today.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

 - but my question is whether the lemongrass will spread - does anyone have any experience with it?

 

 

Lemongrass is a clumper but like the goldfish in the bowl on the counter the container size will limit it.  If you are asking about companions - not so much - it is bossy

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After a few days with more light and some nutrient, the rau ram is starting to look a lot better

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8903903C-479C-4367-8641-77606DF204C7.thumb.jpeg.6af784966ee35bf977001c57765d5d8e.jpeg

 

 

Soldiers getting ready to go out and fight the good fight!! 
 

sorry for the orientation there is still no method to rotate it once uploaded! 

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@TicTac 

 

here you go  ;

 

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I think 

 

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Sigh. Yard guy's truck is still on the fritz, so still no dirt in the beds. I called a local nursery that delivers. Come to find out I need nine yards of dirt (I figured it, thought that sounded like an awful lot of dirt, the nursery people figured it, and got the same amount). A mix of 2:1 topsoil to compost will cost me $35 a yard. It'll come in two loads (I guess they use pickup trucks), and delivery fees are $150 total. So $500 worth of dirt, roughly, still less than I'd spend if I got bagged garden soil at Lowe's or Home Depot, and then I'd still have to get it home.

 

Oh, well, I have to spend that stimulus check somewhere.

 

I have, btw, three 6 x 12 foot beds, a foot deep; and one 6 x 6 bed, a foot deep. That one is the asparagus bed. The others will be:

 

Bed 1: Tomatoes and peppers

Bed 2: Viney things -- squash, cucumbers, melons

Bed 3: Green beans. Probably all green beans, as I cannot find Kentucky Wonders in any market around here to save my soul, and maybe 210 square feet will give me enough to can for winter. Those and the tomatoes, and maybe a few pickles, will likely be all I'll can, until it gets time to make apple butter this fall. 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Really?!? After clutching for a barf bag I ran out to the trash bin.Oddly we do not recycle as waste management studies have shown it more environmentally harmful in the area.

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Question: is the middle of next week too late to plant asparagus crowns? I am on the border between zones 7 and 8.

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Thanks!


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Ha gardening not for the feint of heart - that whole circle of life thing

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Posted (edited)
On 4/28/2020 at 1:04 PM, Shelby said:

 

A couple years ago I bought one of these things that attaches to a drill.  It's SO nice for planting tomatoes.

 

 

This perfect ad flashed across my facebook page recently.  I laughed for possibly an hour.  The video isn't as . . . snarky, or whatever you call this Bonnie-n-Clyde aspect to the still shot.  But, still.  I need humor.   I live in NYC.  

 

 

Screenshot 2020-05-05 17.26.48.png


Edited by SLB (log)
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I begin to despair of my garden. As the yard guy's truck was on the fritz, I ordered garden soil from a local nursery. It was to be delivered Tuesday morning. Midmorning, I got a call; their truck had to go in the shop. I could have soil this coming Monday.

 

Sigh. I take comfort in the fact all this will be DONE next year when I get ready to plant.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Posted (edited)

Does anyone remember Henry Mitchell? He wrote a gardening column ("Earthman") for the Washington Post for many years (he passed away in 1993, while dividing iris, as I recall) that I discovered by accident when we were in DC for several weeks in 1983. Crusty old dude, very opinionated and ultimately totally charming. He wrote The Essential Earthman, which I've given to many of my gardening friends. I wonder if it's still in print? His focus was primarily ornamentals though he did dabble in vegetables from time to time. From him I learned to be less timid--you don't like that plant? Tear it out and replace it with something you do like. That silver maple blocking all the sun from your garden? Cut it down (he hated silver maples). And he had very strong opinions about roses.

 

I think I'll look for my copy of the book and spend some quality time with it. We're in full gardening mode now--because of the virus we pay our gardener to stay safely at home, so we're on the hook for all the watering and pruning, sweeping up of leaves, etc. (We have no shortage of compost material.) And we planted vegetables for the first time in 10 years, in large heavy plastic troughs. I gardened for 29 years in Colorado, at 7200 feet, which made it very hard to get tomatoes to finish. Interestingly we now live at the same altitude in Pátzcuaro, but because we're much farther south I don't have to worry about late and early freezes like I struggled with in Colorado. The rainy season is tricky--tomatoes planted out in the open turn black by mid-July after days of rain, and cloudy skies keep some things from maturing normally. But I don't care--I can do this year-round!

 

I've just signed up for the AWayToGarden newsletter, to get more inspiration now that we're doing our own gardening for as long as the virus, and our energy,  lasts. And I'll look for her contributions in the Times.


Edited by Nancy in Pátzcuaro add content (log)
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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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Some new growth on the kaffir lime

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

I've just signed up for the AWayToGarden newsletter, to get more inspiration now that we're doing our own gardening for as long as the virus, and our energy,  lasts. And I'll look for her contributions in the Times.

 

She is amazing. In need of smiles google :My Man Jack  If in need of sense of current horror https://www.amazon.com/Shall-Have-Some-Peace-There/dp/0446556092

Edited to add Jack link  https://awaytogarden.com/remembering-man-jack/


Edited by heidih (log)

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Went to my community garden plot last night with the intention of using the communal rototiller, but it's apparently not back from its spring tuneup yet. So I dug a perimeter around my plot(s) - actually three adjoining 8' X 8' plots - since you generally need to do that after tilling anyway. Also, it gave me a chance to take a look at the soil. It seems decent...reasonably rich and friable, even after spring rains and a couple of years' disuse and compaction.

 

Also I took a knife and made my ritual first harvest, of dandelion greens. Brought home a very full shopping bag, about 3 pounds or so, which translated to about 1 1/2 pounds when trimmed and cleaned and rinsed and spun dry.

...and, greens being greens, further translated to about 2 cups when cooked down for the freezer. :P

 

I'd covered part of the plot with corrugated cardboard last autumn for weed suppression (didn't get the whole area covered, because it snowed) so some of the dandelions were beautifully blanched, with a nice yellow-green color (shading to pale yellow-white), a mild flavor and a lettuce-crisp texture. Those went into last night's salad. If you've never blanched dandelions, and have an unsprayed yard, give it a go. The flavor's much like Belgian endive.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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