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Gardening: 2002-2009 Seasons


Hopleaf
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Onions, leeks, tomato, pepper, artichoke and eggplant seedlings are now growing indoor under fluorescent lights. In a few weeks I will plant lettuce, kale, swiss chard and other greens indoors to transplant them outside in late april. Cucumbers, squashes, ground cherries and tomatillos, among others, will wait even longer. By mid June, everything should be planted in the garden; from now to then feels like an eternity... at least its mapple syrup season.

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Let us not forget Arbor Day, April 24th. Coming up soon.

Last year, grapefruit and orange went in - this year I think a Meyer Lemon and a Key Lime. I wish I could grow stone fruit here, but it just isn't going to happen - ever.

We are just now winding down our main growing season. Heat, humidity and pests are beginning to crank up. Last of the tomatoes being sauced. From here on out it will be melons, beans and (southern) peas. My marrowfat beans did better than expected over winter. Next year I will have the timing a little better, I think. I missed the window for rutabaga, but will try again next season. Root crops are kind of tricky in my climate. I've given up completely on corn. Takes up too much space.

I want to try peanuts this Summer as well. I have some red Valencia seed that a friend sent me. That was the typical type of peanut grown in dooryards when I was a kid.

I hadn't thought of it in terms of Arbor Day, but I am expecting 11 apple trees of two mystery varieties from the nursery shortly before then. I guess its about time to give the old spade an oil change and tune-up.

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I am thrilled. I finally got my soil test back, and I am ready to lay that down and plant! I went and got some lemon grass to plant this year, and I need to transplant my rosemary out of the containers and put them in ground after I get some nitrogen in (there is NONE! NONE according to the test! I got some organic stuff in there now and it still not enough! so its 34-0-0 for me this year anyway) my beans are going in containers, and for the first time I am planting squash. I want to do blackberries, but I don't think my grown is acid enough. I need to read up on what it needs...does anyone know?

"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 am thrilled. I finally got my soil test back, and I am ready to lay that down and plant! I went and got some lemon grass to plant this year, and I need to transplant my rosemary out of the containers and put them in ground after I get some nitrogen in (there is NONE! NONE according to the test! I got some organic stuff in there now and it still not enough! so its 34-0-0 for me this year anyway) my beans are going in containers, and for the first time I am planting squash. I want to do blackberries, but I don't think my grown is acid enough. I need to read up on what it needs...does anyone know?

I think blackberries only need slightly acid soils. Blueberries (grow naturally in the woods) want it very acid.

Peat moss or oak leaves will acidify soil pretty easily. I have to amend with large amounts of peat moss because my soil is very sandy and basic for almost everything.

Isn't soil testing great? It helps a lot to know exactly what is needed.

Oh, there is also elemental sulfur. Probably quicker acting, but dramatic.

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Be still my beating heart! I have rhubarb nubs, and see signs of life in my chives, sage and thyme. I should really check my tarragon.

I'm still at least a month away from planting anything, but how springs eternal.

Oh, and even here in the northern part of Zone 4 (or are we the south of Zone 3?), purple perilla is indeed either a perennial or a self seeder.

I'm more than ready for a dirt manicure.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I am thrilled. I finally got my soil test back, and I am ready to lay that down and plant! I went and got some lemon grass to plant this year, and I need to transplant my rosemary out of the containers and put them in ground after I get some nitrogen in (there is NONE! NONE according to the test! I got some organic stuff in there now and it still not enough! so its 34-0-0 for me this year anyway) my beans are going in containers, and for the first time I am planting squash. I want to do blackberries, but I don't think my grown is acid enough. I need to read up on what it needs...does anyone know?

I think blackberries only need slightly acid soils. Blueberries (grow naturally in the woods) want it very acid.

Peat moss or oak leaves will acidify soil pretty easily. I have to amend with large amounts of peat moss because my soil is very sandy and basic for almost everything.

Isn't soil testing great? It helps a lot to know exactly what is needed.

Oh, there is also elemental sulfur. Probably quicker acting, but dramatic.

Yeah, soil testing was the best thing I ever did...I am going to plant some now that I know only slightly acid. I love blackberries, it's the one fruit I don't mind spending extra to get it out of the store during winter.

edit to add: I have not planted yet, I was going to this weekend, but it is going to snow here :shock: this weekend. So I am holding off until april.... :angry:

I am jealous of all you that have stuff growing!!!!

Edited by CKatCook (log)

"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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  • 2 weeks later...
Yippee! 'Tis the season to break out the Big Burpee '03 and build ye tomatocastles in the air!  Who's goin' with me?! Heirlooms? Which, and how many?  On Roma, On Celebrity on Lemon Boy and Beefsteak!

tomatocastles? in the air? Big Burpee? Can you explain this?

Hop, you'll understand next year. :biggrin:

Try some Brandywines. They get big and ugly. But, they've got flavor!

Amen and hallelujah!

I'll try and see if this year I can grow a $280 tomato, having already managed the $60 tomato (distressingly easy to do) and then the $120 tomato (barely more difficult).

IS a perfect tomato worth $60? $120? $280?

When I'm actually eating said tomato, on fresh wholegrain bread with homemdae mayonnaise and a couple of leaves of basil? Man, I don't know.

Sitting here in the relative chill of a New England "spring"? Sigh.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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Zone 7 planting schedule, legumes in the fall, root veggies in the winter, etc.. anyone have one?

I intend to keep the garden going through out the year this year. I finally got a break in the endless floods to get out and turn over the dirt and mix in a little composted manure (5/5/5). I've got the ground covered with landscaping fabric to deter weed growth until I can plant. My intent is to leave the fabriv down and cut openings for plants. I had a massive weed problem last year.

Another question, I've got nine rows that are about a yeard apart from each other, is there an order I should use for what get planted in each? Are there things that should not be planted close to each other? An example is last year I planted corn, it didn't fair well and I really only wanted enough to make some fall/harvest decorations. I had it next to the cucumbers and was constantly having to untangle the cuke vines from the stalks.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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Corn is a very demanding plant. Add a lot of compost/manure and rotate your culture (corn grows well after beans or peas). Weeding is also important to ensure that competition is not too fierce.

Other than that, I'm not a very strong believer in companion planting... I prefer to think in terms of rotations and plant height (the talest plants on Northern side to maximize sun exposure).

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Corn is wind pollinated, and needs to be planted in a block in order to grow ears. I would think that you should probably plant at least 16 plants, in a 4 by 4 block.

Some folks interplant squash or pumpkins with their corn--I have heard that raccoons don't like to climb thru scratchy pumpkin vines to get to the corn, but I think that might underestimate the evil powers of raccoons. :cool:

sparrowgrass
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Corn is a very demanding plant. Add a lot of compost/manure and rotate your culture (corn grows well after beans or peas). Weeding is also important to ensure that competition is not too fierce.

Other than that, I'm not a very strong believer in companion planting... I prefer to think in terms of rotations and plant height (the talest plants on Northern side to maximize sun exposure).

I found this too, but it isn't clear if this is for seeds or seedlings. I assume seedlings, since it calls for tomatoes to be around April.

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All of my hanging basket tomatoes are doing well, thanks. I'm not sure why I didn't figure this out years earlier, but they are just a vine and, when placed through the sides of hanging baskets, they look cool and make like crazy.

Also have the whole herb grouping in, okra is doing great, as are the squashes and other orbs.

Off to a good start.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I still have a foot of snow in my garden!!  I am so jealous of your Rhubarb!

All this talk of gardening is making me want to move to a warmer climate.... :cool:

But not too warm, or you can't grow rhubarb! :) Of which I am also jealous, because I seem to have lost mine - I moved a year ago and transplanted it. It grew great through last summer but has failed to reappear. :(

Right now my garden has lots of fava beans in bloom, sugar snap peas a few inches high and the rainbow chard from last year is producing like crazy now! Garlic is coming along well too; I use it green. Other than these I tend to try and grow the things I can't normally find in the markets here:

Purple potatoes

Russian black tomatoes

Grape tomatoes (a cherry type)

Cilantro (almost completely unknown except in the E. Black Sea region of Turkey)

Lime Basil (this is WONDERFUL, you can find seed from several sources)

Japanese winter squash - never grown them before but am intrigued by all the descriptions of their "chestnut-like" flavor

Trying an Italian winter squash, "Chioggia di Marina" - it's a dark gray warty one.

Chinese amaranth - there are wild amaranths here that people do use but the Chinese one with the red blotch on the leaf is really tasty

Giant orange amaranth - not sure how the leaves are but the flower heads are said to produce up to a pound of seed each. This is a first-timer too.

Some peppers brought from Urumiyeh in N. Iran, said to be the most popular one there,

Garlic chives - I'll never be without these again, wonderful!

Bitter melon. Ironically they grow them here but as medicine not food.

Wide-leaf purslane (available here in every market but it's so nice to have on hand!)

Spearmint (ditto)

Chocolate mint (a peppermint with chocolaty overtones)

Luffa (they say you can eat them when they're young, I never tried but will now!)

A white chinese radish said to produce in 28 days. I'm counting!

Arugula (the huge Turkish variety)

Mizuna

Sweet potatoes, if I can get some brought next month!

Sweet corn - an old yellow heirloom variety and one called "Inca rainbow" with multicolored kernels.

A red popcorn with variegated leaves - almost more of an ornamental than a food plant as the popcorn tends to be a bit tough, but still very flavorful.

Okra - because I like to let it get a little bigger and here they pick it when it's an inch long!

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Woohoo! Tomatoes and peppers arrived from Cross Country Nurseries this afternoon! This year I've got six tomatoes (three San Marzano and three Cherokee Purple) and six peppers (two Guajillo, two serrano and two "Biker Billy" jalapenos). Now I just have to weed the plot that's reserved for them... :hmmm:

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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  • 1 month later...

This year's garden.

gallery_55239_5394_819134.jpg

Fruits..errr..veggies of one's labor.

gallery_55239_5394_353103.jpg

gallery_55239_5394_593044.jpg

Toms- 2 better boys, 1 big boy, 2 early girls, 2 amelias, 2 cherry bushes, 1 hybrid red/yellow striped

Bell peppers

Okra and lettuce in the planters waiting to go in the ground.

gallery_55239_5394_204042.jpg

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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A question for you experienced gardeners/horticulturists: I live in USDA Zone 9b and want o get a couple of earthboxes to begin growing stuff... what are the easiest vegetables/herbs to grow in this climate?

thanks!

cheers!

pw

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Mexchef, are you in the US? If so, call your local extension offce. Google "your state, your county, university extension".

If you are in Mexico, you might try looking on line at extension in Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, or New Mexico, whichever one is closest to your area.

sparrowgrass
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Tomatoes are easy. (Im in zone 10).

Speaking of which - we are picking the SunGolds in 1s & 2s already!

We have the first Early Girl ripening in the window - someone got confused about which tomatoes were ripe at orange, and which need full red.

We've had loads of carrots, and are waiting for the fun purple ones to get bigger. We've pulled a couple tiny ones, just to see and taste. Lots of fun!

"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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Tomatoes are easy. (Im in zone 10).

Ahem. We're in zone 4a (some years, things perform more like 3b). We are in the midst of a serious drought, and to date, we haven't had a night-time temp above 60 -- if that.

So, I've given up on many of the heirlooms -- let's face it, my growing season is so short that an 80-day tomato means they just might start ripening when we're on the lookout for the first frost. So, this year, I went with some tomatoes bred by Burpee. I'm curious about the Early Pick variety (I did plant a couple of them) because they are bred to be happier than most with low night-time temps.

The other really smart thing I did, in terms of water, was to plant them in tires. Require much less water, and the soil warms up much earlier in the spring.

Oh, and carrots? My neighbor's are about knee-high to a grasshopper as I type.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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My tomatoes went in on Mothers day and are doing nicely, though we could use some sunshine and warmth to make them happy. Unlike Susan, we have had plenty of rain. Did some heirlooms and so others as well. End of July I hope to have a nice crop. The old surgically repaired back is doing well this year and I can tend my garden more than in the past couple of years.

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Night temps predicted in the low to mid-40's for the next few days. Glad I planted 60-70 day tomatoes. Do the dance for the predicted rain, please. We're starting to look like the dust bowl.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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