Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Gardening: 2002-2009 Seasons


Hopleaf
 Share

Recommended Posts

How late is too late to start a vegetable garden? And things like garlic. Is it too late to start garlic?

---

And speaking about manure. I've always heard that horse manure is one of the best things you can put in a garden -- horse manure turned fertilizer, that is. But early in the thread someone suggested something to the contrary, or at least cautioned that it may not always be the best thing.

You are definitely not too late to start a garden in Indiana. Your Cooperative Extension office probably has a list that tells when to plant what. And, even though garlic is usually planted in the fall, you can plant it in the spring. Check out info about CSU's test on spring planted garlic at The Garlic Store (right column, scroll down).

I think composted horse manure can be great. The only problem I've had is that it can be full of weed seeds. Fresh manure of any type can be too "hot" and injure your plants, although some can be incorporated when first preparing the beds. Just not too much!

I started gardening just like you--full of big ideas and excitement. I threw myself into it and I'm glad I did. I made lots of mistakes (luckily that never happens anymore :wink:), but it's part of the fun. If you've got the time & energy, I say go for it.

Julie Layne

"...a good little eater."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are very welcome and helpful responses, thanks so much. Although, maybe I was actually hoping you'd all say, No! You can't possibly do it now! I've just spent the morning directing the guy who pulled up with a semi full of building materials for the oven, and more for adding on to the barn, concrete blocks outside, other stuff in the garage, more fencing out back, etc. The oven's finally starting to feel real. Yikes. But some day I'd like to move into a place that's already fenced.

Fred, I agree that small goals are best. I'm having to rein my husband in. But he's got way greater reserves of energy than I do. Except when it comes to shopping malls, and then he's unaccountably exhausted after about 20 minutes. What's with that?

CL, yes, most hay is usually full of the seedy stuff. I think it's unavoidable. And I'd never put fresh horse manure on anything. I'm scrupulous about cleaning the back pasture around the barn because it's good pasture, and I still have to remind my husband that fresh manure isn't good for anything but killing grass. I used to board my mare with a couple who always cheerfully instructed me to just toss manure into the field because, "It's fertilizer!" Made me nuts.

lovebenton, the tea manure thing intrigues me. I'm gonna try that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the latest thinking in compost tea is to make aerobic compost tea by using an aeration device such as a bubbler to introduce oxygen to the water to have "live" microorganisms for better juice. John Dromgoole of the Natural Gardener here in Austin has a commercial setup that produces gallons for sale fresh each week. I think he got the idea from SoilFoodWeb.org. Check out Soil Food Web's media and their links page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having some sad moments lately. We moved recently, after 18 years in the old place. Full of perennials, herbs, nice veggie garden. ALmost two decades of collecting and growing and figuring out what was best where.

New place is gardening hell. The previous owners never even raked the yard; the lawn is full of piles of leaves blown last fall and never removed.

But, what is so sad is that at this time of the year, I used to leap out of bed, grab that first cup of coffee and head to the gardens to do the finger poke to see what was coming up, and what wasn't coming up.

Blank slate does not begin to describe this yard. Yank this spring, spend a year watching the light, and figuring out what should go where more accurately describes it. So, I will take one of the places that we need to remove a tree (many, never tended, suckering, diseased and in need of removal) and heel in some plants from the old place (included in purchase agreement) and find a place for a few tomato plants). And, hope that the buyers of our former domicile know not to cut down the wisteria that so wonderfully covered the pergola (the greatest gift I ever received). Sigh.

I wondered this am as I made omelets where my chive plant will go.

Edited to add: manure/compost tea rules.

Edited by snowangel (log)
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meme, thanks for the links, they're exactly what I need. Here's one I found particularly useful for science- and garden-challenged people like me.

http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/pages/g00030.asp

Very clear instructions on exactly what to do and what to use for making a compost tea. Fabulous. I'm saving these for my husband and to take with me when I start to put this stuff together.

Snowangel, having just moved into a new home, I can understand some of your frustration. Starting over again is a pain in the butt. It happens with us whenever we're transferred, and we invariably have to make the brand new place horse friendly where there have never been horses. But I envy you your knowledge. Even though we're both just starting out in new surroundings, you at least have all that gardening experience under your belt. That's a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Cooking forum, there is a discussion of horseradish.

It is odd how the planets align or something like that. The other day, my sister and I were looking at the forlorn garden shed in her backyard thinking of what to do. We got to remembering the ""Year That Dad Grew Horseradish". He got curious about cooking with fresh horseradish. Back in those days about all you found in the stores was iceberg lettuce. He actually recalled that he had never even seen a fresh horseradish. The only thing to do was to grow some. He read up a bit and figured out that it would have to lay around in its bed a lot. So, he didn't want it cluttering up the regular garden plot. He made it its own little cubby next to the shed.

We were in awe of those plants. They were huge. They were "intimidating". (My dad's words.) But we had a lot of fun with it. One holiday, we went out to pull the first fresh root to make a horseradish sauce for the roast. After he figured out that you don't pull horsradish like you do carrots :laugh: he got out the digging tools. After marveling at the big ugly prize, we triumphantly made our way into the kitchen little knowing that we were transporting a WMD. We proceeded to gas the rest of the family, literally running everyone out. (Small house, poor ventilation.)

It was fun, though. And the fresh horseradish was terrific.

Does anyone else grow horseradish? How does it do in your part of the world? Here in SE Texas it sometimes succumbs to some kind of root weevle. Hey... We have tough bugs in Texas.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone else grow horseradish? How does it do in your part of the world? Here in SE Texas it sometimes succumbs to some kind of root weevle. Hey... We have tough bugs in Texas.

We grew horseradish one year in Denver, and it was very happy here. So happy, in fact, that the next 5 years we were frantically working to eradicate it, like some three mile island mutant mint.

I buy it at the store now when I get the urge for fresh horseradish!

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whew, looks like summer is coming early this year. I got blooms on my tomatoes and squash and hopefully that means some good eating soon!

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Well, everyone must be out getting their gardens together. Don't let the thread die!! :smile:

I finally got mine going and what a surprise when I removed the two-foot thick layer of leaves. the soil was SOOOOO rich! I found an earthworm thicker than a pencil and nearly as long.

Planted broccoli, cauliflower, 9 heads of romaine, 12 tomato plants, dill, basil, and a few peppers (hot, of course). Got my fence posts in, but had to bail as the rains started. That left my defenses sorely lacking and the rabbit has already decimated my young broc and c-flower plants. No worries, they'll bounce back. But it's war with me and the silly wabbit.

The squirrels are another story. My earlier plans to erect an Epcot-like structure have been thwarted by lack of time. I might just have to resort to the air rifle.

How's everyone else doing? you southerners must be harvesting already. come on, make us jealous!!

{tilts ale on high} here's to dirt under yer fingernails!!

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just about to look for this thread!

Not much happening here, nor will much happen this year.

We moved this winter, and had not seen the house before December (no leaves, lots of snow). The yard itself is sort of a disaster (as sort of was the house). While the former owners didn't abuse the place, they just didn't do squat. Nada. Zilch. Except leave piles of leaves, a bag or two of doggie do, and never pruned anything. So, first order of business was chain to the back end of my Ford Bronco to yank over 40' of way overgrown, half dead arborvitae, so we could see the front of the house and emit light into same. I'm going to get someone in to remove the what must be over 2 tons of rock in the front.

I'm contemplating where to do what in the back yard, but since the ash tree is just starting to leaf, it's too early. I will find a place to heel in a few tomato plants and some herbs, but just may take is easy on the gardening front this summer, as there is are a myriad of inside things that must be done, and the season for The Cabin starts Friday morning.

I may also plant some pole beans up the posts of the deck. Otherwise, I think I'll veggie at the farmer's market.

And, at our old house, I had hundreds of perennials. We did write into the purchase agreement that we can go back in June and take what we want. I won't decimate those flower beds; they were overcrowded and this was to be my year to thin things out, so this will be good.

I am aching to get dirt under my nails. But, I don't trust planting anything until Memorial Day weekend or the weekend following that.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

snowangel, you must plant. I've enjoyed reading your elegant posts on this thread for almost two years now, and it would be like losing a Thalassa Cruso equivalent if you didn't keep a hand in the mix. C'mon and heel in those tomatoes, pole a bean and keep us all abreast of the progress, pilgrim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me just tell you all a couple of things I learned about leaf lettuce this spring. I picked my first washtub full last week, and it is delicious. (Fry some bacon, add some vinegar, a little sugar, a few slices of onions, pour the hot dressing over the leaves--Missouri wilted lettuce salad.)

Number one: when you mow around the garden, point the mower AWAY from the leaf lettuce, or you will be sitting on the back porch with a tub of water, the hose, and the salad spinner until a week from Tuesday, picking and rinsing each little leaf to get the grass clippings off. :angry:

Number two: If you mulch your asparagus with leaves, AND let the chickens out, don't plant the leaf lettuce within chicken scratching range of the mulch, or you will be on the back porch til a week from Wednesday, picking leaf bits out of the lettuce. :angry::angry:

(General Rule: Fugettabout the mulch completely if you have chickens. They enjoy it entirely too much.) :angry::angry::angry:

I would have peas this week if the chickens hadn't picked all the leaves and flowers off the pea plants. :angry::angry::angry::angry:

Good thing I like real eggs so well. :hmmm:

sparrowgrass
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been eating salads of arugula, lolla rossa, young mustard and various green lettuces for a coupla weeks now (when the snow isn't covering them). The spinach is not doing as well (it rarely does for us?), a lot of tarragon and chives are making their way into our omelettes pastas, salad dressings etc. also.

I am getting ready to make green garlic soup--we picked a few of the green garlics and grilled them like spring onions the other night with a hanger steak--delish.

I just heard from someone else that there are chinese or japanese recipes for garlic chive flowers (nira flowers). So, last night I stir-fried some regular chive flowers (which I have an abundance of and have never thought had much culinary value) and they were pretty good. I am going to pursue this further--I'm thinking tempura chive flowers!?!

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just about to look for this thread!

Not much happening here, nor will much happen this year.

We moved this winter, and had not seen the house before December (no leaves, lots of snow). The yard itself is sort of a disaster (as sort of was the house). While the former owners didn't abuse the place, they just didn't do squat. Nada. Zilch. Except leave piles of leaves, a bag or two of doggie do, and never pruned anything. So, first order of business was chain to the back end of my Ford Bronco to yank over 40' of way overgrown, half dead arborvitae, so we could see the front of the house and emit light into same. I'm going to get someone in to remove the what must be over 2 tons of rock in the front.

I'm contemplating where to do what in the back yard, but since the ash tree is just starting to leaf, it's too early. I will find a place to heel in a few tomato plants and some herbs, but just may take is easy on the gardening front this summer, as there is are a myriad of inside things that must be done, and the season for The Cabin starts Friday morning.

I may also plant some pole beans up the posts of the deck. Otherwise, I think I'll veggie at the farmer's market.

And, at our old house, I had hundreds of perennials. We did write into the purchase agreement that we can go back in June and take what we want. I won't decimate those flower beds; they were overcrowded and this was to be my year to thin things out, so this will be good.

I am aching to get dirt under my nails. But, I don't trust planting anything until Memorial Day weekend or the weekend following that.

Susan, I know you won't be able to resist putting in some annuals somewhere at least! :wink:

We are spoiled down here -- hardly ever rake a leaf -- just chop it all up with the lawn mower on the next trip, which must be done year-round most years. I just plopped in some pretty veggies and some perrenial herbs in the front bed until I was sure which other indigenous perrenials I want to set in there. My mr dug up the rose bushes, transplanted them to a spot against a rock wall next to the giant rose bush, and I cut back the octopus arms of the honeysuckle that suddenly threatened to eat the whole front yard this spring. Put in all new dirt/compost there, edged with rock -- we have plenty of that also. :blink: Now it looks like the real deal and once all that is done and down for the season I can move in some more happy native plants. Time to decide and still enjoy getting dirty. :wink:

So after the grand annual opening of the cabin, Susan, give yourself another treat and dig in with some short-lifers, at least! :laugh: You desrve it after all the rock piling you've been doing. :biggrin:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I will garden. I will move some of the perennials from the old place to this place. I need to spend more time outside observing, watching the light and how we live in this yard to I can put things in the right place (both for light and mood).

What's been so hard this spring is that up here, it's dicey to put out vegetables and annuals before Memorial Day weekend. So, I have relied on my perennial gardens to feed that spring soul. I have missed so much getting the kids off to school in the morning and racing out to the gardens with cup of coffee in hand to see just what has poked it's head up. Although I've been very busy stripping wallpaper, etc., my mornings feel so empty without the joy of poking in the dirt to get a good look.

Two years ago, I gave a couple of good friends slips of overcrowded flowers, and I have been living vicariosly though them as they call and let me know how my progeny is doing.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

....overgrown, half dead arborvitae, so we could see the front of the house and emit light into same.

Did we move into the same house?

Arborvitae removal, and much more.

That was last year. This year is different. I harvested my first mesclun and arugula yesterday!

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Liz, thanks for the link. Tell us more about your new kitchen garden. :biggrin: How do you have it set up? And how are the the dwarf fruit trees doing?

I think we lost our dwarf nectarine this year. We inherited it as a baby planted in the front yard when we bought the house five years ago (Central TX). I came to realize that it was planted in the poorest section of the property, but was not sure where to move it. So we have just helped her along and she was finally starting to look like a big girl (almost five feet tall and branching out)-- then we had snow :shock: just when she was budding out all over and nothing since then. I think we should cut her way back and see if there is any life left in her. Any one have suggestions? :blink:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Liz, for the links and book recommendations. I do think I just flat need some serious musing in the yard once the trees are fully leafed and much will be revealed.

How did you remove your arborvitae?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have two questions if anyone is able to help out, re: container gardening (balcony).

--some of my Italian/Portguese neighbours have gorgeous grape-vines and/or climbing hops plants. is it possible to get new stock from stem cuttings on these two? are they suitable for container gardening?

thanks in advance,

gus :smile:

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as the arborvitae, our tree guy removed them with a chain saw, but the stump of one is still outside my front door. Luckily, the other was so sick that the stump already disappeared into the ground.

That article was just the first of a three in a series. In the end, we couldn't afford the stone and brick we wanted.

Building a Foundation

Unfortunately, the third article isn't online. But basically what happened is that we planted too close together (common neophyte mistake, I'm sure) and squash borers got my zucchini. The whole thing was a nightmare — but so was last summer's weather, as anyone in the northeast will remember.

This year, we have carefully edged the yard and installed a rubber barrier so the mulch doesn't go all over the sidewalk. We have planted far apart and left room for rotating crops. We've also spread flower seeds along the fences and the house, so I'm hoping we'll have more color. I've just fininshed writing the article that will describe this spring's thinking, so I'll post it once it publishes.

The dwarf trees are doing well! We lost one cherry, but the other just flowered. I don't know if we'll have fruit this year, though. The fruit cocktail trees WILL give us fruit this year, but it being the first time, we have no idea which ones are on which branches!

Yes, I would suggest cutting baby nectarine way back, and wait. You never know!

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone else grow horseradish? How does it do in your part of the world? Here in SE Texas it sometimes succumbs to some kind of root weevle. Hey... We have tough bugs in Texas.

We grew horseradish one year in Denver, and it was very happy here. So happy, in fact, that the next 5 years we were frantically working to eradicate it, like some three mile island mutant mint.

I buy it at the store now when I get the urge for fresh horseradish!

A couple of years ago I noticed that what was left of my grocery store horseradish root was sprouting. My husband had just that spring built a raised flower bed/herb garden next to the house, and I was impatient to have things growing in it other than the herbs I'd purchased, so I stuck the root in there. A couple of weeks later I was pleased to see shoots coming up from the general location of the root. A couple of weeks after that the horseradish foliage was looming over everything else. I was so proud. I named the plant Fingol (after the giant) and checked his progress every day, eager for my very own supply of horseradish root. Eventually my husband asked what was doing so well out there; when I told him, he claimed that it would be coming through the basement in a couple of months. His brother concurred later in the summer, so - with a sigh - I went after Fingol. I used a bulb planter to core around the root to make sure I got it all - and I dug, and I dug, and then I traced the little finger roots where the root had split into multiples, the better to explore its home. By the time I was satisfied I had it all I was in past my shoulder...and yes, tracing toward the house. I replanted Fingol in the woods (if you hear of the horseradish that ate Duluth, now you'll know where it started) where it seems to be holding its own against the shrubbery, but I haven't seen a trace of it near the house. Whew. What an aggressive plant. It would be interesting to plant mint, horseradish and lupines together and let them duke it out for dominance.

Snowangel, I know exactly what you mean about going out to watch how well things are growing. The bulbs are poking up out of that same flower bed, the dwarf irises have already bloomed, and my sorrel has successfully overwintered. How gratifying! My order of herbs and tomatoes should arrive soon from Papa Geno's Herb Farm (a great online source, folks) but I'm already having fun.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we lost our dwarf nectarine this year. We inherited it as a baby planted in the front yard when we bought the house five years ago (Central TX). I came to realize that it was planted in the poorest section of the property, but was not sure where to move it. So we have just helped her along and she was finally starting to look like a big girl (almost five feet tall and branching out)-- then we had snow :shock: just when she was budding out all over and nothing since then. I think we should cut her way back and see if there is any life left in her. Any one have suggestions? :blink:

Hmm. The California nectarines lose the crop if it gets too cold after budding, but the trees generally survive anyway unless it's a long hard freeze. Unless a dwarf nectarine is much more tender, your tree will probably do all right - just no blossoms or fruit this year. What a bummer! Yes, do cut her back and see how she does. I'd suggest fertilizer (or compost) of some sort, too.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

is it possible to get new stock from stem cuttings on these two? are they suitable for container gardening?

yes to the first, no to the second, but I'd try it anyway and let the experts be damned. After all, folks on this thread have grown citrus trees from their breakfast orange halves and olive trees from martinis, so why not go for it?!

off-topic: with all this TX rain, my herbs and maters are leaping out of the ground, but the caterpillars are also making themselves known. Not to mix dogma, but if you say a quick prayer before committing wormicide, does it mitigate any bad karma associated with the crime?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New to this thread, having posted info on orchard mason bees elsewhere. . . though this is a better place for it (thanks, fifi!).

At this year's PacNW Flower & Garden Show (or whatever it's called), I bought 3 tubes of orchard mason bees more or less on a whim. We'd had a couple sparse years with the old fruit trees, and I figured what the heck. Well, I can't recommend them enough--it is idiot simple, seems to have worked (ie, there already seems to be a lot more fruit forming this year, presumably because we had our own little pollinating crew), and it's strangely entertaining to watch the critters do their thing.

You buy 'em in winter or early spring in paper tubes/straws. Store in the fridge until it gets warm enough. Then put the tubes outside in some kind of container on a sunny wall, together with about 3 times as many more tubes (you can buy more tubes and a "nesting box," or you can just drill some holes in scrap wood) for the mama bees to lay eggs in.

That's IT. . . they aren't honeybees, so there's no smoking, honey-gathering, etc. involved, and they are completely non-aggressive. Kids are fascinated by them. They leave their tubes each morning once it's warm enough to fly, and they return every night until they've filled a tube (or two) with eggs. Then--sadly, because by then I was feeling a peculiar attachment to them--they croak. You just repeat this process each season until. . . whenever! You can also, of course, share your bees with your friends and neighbors.

Here are links:

Washington State University extension service has good info

http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/inse006/inse006.htm

Knox Cellars (where my bees came from)

http://www.knoxcellars.com/

The other big discovery for us this year was that Bt (bacillus thuringiensis, I think) spray works like a charm on tent caterpillars. . . completely nontoxic to everything but caterpillars.

All that to say. . . fruit trees are doing well--cherries, apples, plums, and pear all look like they'll bear well. Two kinds of peas (not counting sweet peas), favas, broccoli, various lettuces, Early Girl, Super Fantastic, and Green Zebra all going to beat the band. Very warm and dry so far this year--great for now, but gardeners in this corner of the map are worrying about drought come the summer.

agnolottigirl

~~~~~~~~~~~

"They eat the dainty food of famous chefs with the same pleasure with which they devour gross peasant dishes, mostly composed of garlic and tomatoes, or fisherman's octopus and shrimps, fried in heavily scented olive oil on a little deserted beach."-- Luigi Barzini, The Italians

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...