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Love those Texas Gardens


lovebenton0
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Aren't seeds fascinating? I am a third generation (and probably more than that) seed starter. My sister and I were just discussing the subject yesterday. She always had a really nifty growlight set up. I never got that complicated but I will say that her success rate was higher than mine. We need to revive that.

I tend toward the "dump seeds out there and see what happens". And I love anything that self seeds. It is so much fun to poke around and see what is coming up. One year I scattered some parsley seed in a corner of one of my beds. The theory was (according to mother) that parsley was damn difficult to start from seed. HAH! I had a sea of parsley. It was gorgeous. Some of my volunteer basils were really interesting.

The main mirliton vine in my sister's yard may have survived the winter so the supply may be assured. It was sprouting up from the base a couple of weeks ago and we really haven't had any hard freezes this winter. We even started eating raw mirliton sticks as snacks last year. We also revived the tradition of fighting over the seed when preparing a batch of stuffed ones.

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

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How are your artichokes doing?  :huh:  I have been wanting to start some, and really would like to know what you are doing with yours. Soil mix, sun? Position in your garden? How many 'chokes have you put in? And where are you located in the state?  :biggrin:

Anyone else growing artichokes, too?

The poor things are a bit shy. I've thunked them into containers, singleton-style, and they grow at the rate of about 1 leaf per 2wks. I think they're intimidated by their braggadocious neighbors, the spinach, who are elbowing one another for more space and attention in their pot. Everything gets full sun--maybe that's the problem with the chokes, I dunno. We're out in the suburban wasteland north of Austin.

Beware the ides of March, but if you're Texan, it's time to sink the vegies into the ground!

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How are your artichokes doing?  :huh:   I have been wanting to start some, and really would like to know what you are doing with yours. Soil mix, sun? Position in your garden? How many 'chokes have you put in? And where are you located in the state?  :biggrin:

Anyone else growing artichokes, too?

The poor things are a bit shy. I've thunked them into containers, singleton-style, and they grow at the rate of about 1 leaf per 2wks. I think they're intimidated by their braggadocious neighbors, the spinach, who are elbowing one another for more space and attention in their pot. Everything gets full sun--maybe that's the problem with the chokes, I dunno. We're out in the suburban wasteland north of Austin.

Beware the ides of March, but if you're Texan, it's time to sink the vegies into the ground!

Yes, I could say that just maybe we won't get that last sneaky fre. . . but I don't quite want to tempt the fates right now. :wink: We are west of Austin, off 620. Lake Austin is way down our street from here, about a mile, and Mansfield dam is right there. So our weather gets weird over here. It can be pouring rain over the lakes and we just watch it split around us. But, the cold and heat does not avoid us. We have been bitten by that final unexpected frost too many times. Nothing worse than waking up to your spring babies looking like cooked spinach. :shock:

I have to ask, jess: what kind of artichoke are you growing? I've been checking them out and some info I've seen tells me most about what is usually grown commercially, in a moderate climate in CA. Nothing like us around here, except for the generally mild winters. Looks like yours may need some shade, and misting every day. If I can find one I'm thinking about putting mine in on the eastern side of the storage bldg, where the sun is not vicious. They grow the green globe a lot for commercial produce, what we probably eat from the market. Says plants get to be 3-4 feet high, and 6 feet in diameter. I knew it would take a big plant to support those thistle babies but wow! where are you going to put the thing? :biggrin:

Munching on your spinach yet? :biggrin:

I tend toward the "dump seeds out there and see what happens". And I love anything that self seeds. It is so much fun to poke around and see what is coming up. One year I scattered some parsley seed in a corner of one of my beds. The theory was (according to mother) that parsley was damn difficult to start from seed. HAH! I had a sea of parsley. It was gorgeous. Some of my volunteer basils were really interesting.

Love those volunteers. We have gotten a few "watzat" plants more years than not, and the watermelons nearly claimed half the middle section of the garden one year; Chuck was so delighted that came up on their own he didn't want to weed any out. :laugh: The basils, also the peppers can be very interesting. I had several hot Thai plants reseed last year from the year before. They never were as big and prolific as their parents, but I had so many already dried from the two years before, that I just let the volunteers grow and be dwarfish last season. They were fighting with the big showy basils and banana peppers anyway. :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

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Brooks... What is your source for lady peas and cream peas? Also, it has been damn difficult to find a pea that we used to grow when I was a kid called a cream crowders.

Try looking for your crowder peas here. They have a couple but maybe not the exact variety you remember?

I've ordered from these guys (Bakers Creek) before and I really like them.

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

--NeroW

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Yet another dynamite web site. Many thanks for that.

The way my plans are going, I am going to have to lease a few acres. :biggrin:

Oooo... I see they have Vulcan Chard. I used get the seed from Shepherd's until they got bought out and the seed varieties went to hell. This is one of the best of the red stemmed chards. It is absolutely stunning in the garden.

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

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yeah, their selections keep getting better and better. I was very surprised to see they even have a Korean item! (hot pepper). Burpee is also carrying the chamae melon (a Korean melon) which stunned the hell out of me.

I got some lettuce seeds (Sunset and Forellenschluss) from Bakers Creek and I swear they sent me like an 1/8 cup of seed in that packet! Also, I got the Blacktail watermelon from them. Will tell you how they are.

I remember the days when Shepherds Seeds rocked my lil gardening world. It's sad what happened. I still have some of their seed, including Italian Gold tomato and some SunGold tomato seeds.

Yes, luring you to the dark side, fifi.

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

--NeroW

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I haven't seen anyone mention a great seed source right in your own backyard, Wildseed Farms in Fredricksburg, is the biggest wildflower and herb seed farm in the US (of course it has to be the biggest-it's in Texas :blink::raz::wink: ). I buy stuff from them all the time and have visited a number of times. If nothing else ya'll should all be getting their catalog because it is a pretty gorgeous thing to get in your mailbox on a grey winters afternoon.

Their flower seeds work and their wildflower mixes are the best.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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Ah... Not the dark side. I can't wait to get back to gardening. What I am plotting now is getting some small scale farmers to start growing some of this stuff and starting a market. Ah well... Something to do when I retire from my day job. I look at all of these seed sources available and wonder why someone isn't growing these things for commerce.

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

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Wildseed Farms got very good reviews here. Ooh, they say inexpensive seed in generous amounts. Now you're talking my language. They only have the most basic herbs, but for a dollar a pack, that isn't bad at all.

Garden Watchdog Reviews No negative reviews.

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

--NeroW

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Thanks, Mayhaw Man, for the WildSeeds link. Ordered some herb basics right up. Can't wait to get out there to visit the farm. :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

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I planted some mint, giant sunflowers, shastas, gerbers, and choriopsis from there yesterday.

Incidentally, if any of you have the room and the patience (not to mention if you are going to live long enough :wink: ) the large packets of mixed wildflower seeds are gorgeous and reasonably priced. My mom has an area at her lake house where she has followed all of the rules and after 4 years the patch is blooming with something year round and reseeds itself beautifully.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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The irises are in full bloom and woo-hoo! I planted some herb cuttings from my neighbors yesterday in the newly composted bed below the front deck. :biggrin: Full sun there! Straight to the west! :cool: Wish we still had that tree out front that died right after we bought this place, but I think the Oreganos, Italian and Mexican varieties, and the savory and germander will do well there. Have plenty more from neighbors to use fresh and to dry until mine start growing on their own.

I have been checking in on the GardenWeb site and have good news about the bay trees from there as well. I'm going to get my ever willing Chuck to dig some holes so I can transplant them into the natural ground now. They should really take off after that; every time I have transplanted them into a bigger pot they grow like they know what they're doing again, so I think the yard sized pot will make them really happy now. :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

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How are your artichokes doing?  :huh:   I have been wanting to start some, and really would like to know what you are doing with yours. Soil mix, sun? Position in your garden? How many 'chokes have you put in? And where are you located in the state?  :biggrin:

Anyone else growing artichokes, too?

The poor things are a bit shy. I've thunked them into containers, singleton-style, and they grow at the rate of about 1 leaf per 2wks. I think they're intimidated by their braggadocious neighbors, the spinach, who are elbowing one another for more space and attention in their pot. Everything gets full sun--maybe that's the problem with the chokes, I dunno. We're out in the suburban wasteland north of Austin.

Beware the ides of March, but if you're Texan, it's time to sink the vegies into the ground!

jess, if you haven't already come across this, I found an encouraging link on growing artichokes. Makes my mouth water just to read it. :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

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You gotta really water and fertilize those artichokes if you want big fat ones. Artichokes grow wild around here, and also my coop neighbors grow them. I notice the people that really pamper them get big fat ones and the non pamperers get little ones. I think they would probably grow best in straight compost. Personally, I think they take up too much room for me to allocate any of my precious coop garden space to them. Those plants are huge!

The wild ones have really pretty neon purple flowers that form from the choke (which is really a flower bud). Alas, with all the housing projects around here, they'll soon be gone.

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

--NeroW

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Wildseed Farms got very good reviews here. Ooh, they say inexpensive seed in generous amounts.  Now you're talking my language.  They only have the most basic herbs, but for a dollar a pack, that isn't bad at all.

Garden Watchdog Reviews No negative reviews.

Got my seeds in the mail yesterday, and they sent a free pack of mixed wildflower seeds with my order. :biggrin:

My cats will be happy, I got them catnip; enough seeds for about, oh, five years. Even if they die off each year. :rolleyes: And I have never grown, or eaten, borage before but am willing to give it a try. Sounded intriguing; stalks and leaves taste like cucumber. The flowers are edible. :cool: The plants look like they will be an interesting addition to the gardens, think I'll put them in out front by the rockwall with the garlics and irises, as they can tolerate partial to full sun.

Plenty of seeds to grow for cilantro and coriander, and all else I ordered, for two or three years, at least. In fact I think that "generous amounts of seeds" is a fair description; all packs were one dollar each. And I just have to like guys that send you free wildflower seeds. :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

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Perhaps someone can help me with a problem. I planted peas for the first time. Maybe 5-6 weeks ago. Have lucked out on the weather (it's been cool). The plants are growing fine - they're about 2 feet tall now. Only problem is I haven't seen anything that resembles a flower or a pea pod. The package said 70 days to harvest. At this rate - about all that will be ready for harvest is pea leaves. Should I wait some more - or just rip the plants out and try something else? Robyn

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If you planted 5-6 weeks ago, that was only say 40-50 days ago. Sounds like your plants are ready to flower soon and after that the peas start coming pretty quickly.

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

--NeroW

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If you planted 5-6 weeks ago, that was only say 40-50 days ago. Sounds like your plants are ready to flower soon and after that the peas start coming pretty quickly.

Thanks. Fingers crossed. It's a race between the peas and the hot weather. Robyn

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Anyone growing chile petins? chile pequins? Either wild or cultivated on your land? I used to have several plants when living out between Bastrop and Elgin (outside Austin on the east side). They just volunteered wild and I did very little to them, other than harvest the peppers. :cool: Now I have seeds to start some here. Mine grew in a fairly shaded area. These came from neighbors where the plants have volunteered in a somewhat shady area on their property also. I would think that like most chiles they would do even better in full sun. Opinions on this?

I planted three serrano plants, and one mystery pepper, around the westernmost crepe myrtle. The other side of that bed is reserved for basils. Chuck thought he picked up four serranos but one is most definitely not a serrano. :blink::laugh: A whatzat is always interesting. :cool: Definitely have to start with new Tabasco plants, as usual, although one of the hot Thais survived the "winter" we had, snow and all, and is trying its best to leaf out. :biggrin:

Now I'm anxious to get in the chile petins. Should I try to start these directly as seed outside or do they need a pampered pot start first?

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

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I need help, Y'all. First, my hardy rosemary has a funky lookin' fungus? And its starting on the trailing rosemary too. Anyone know what it is and how I get rid of it?

Here are some pictures.

On the trailing

i4831.jpg

On the hardy... its pretty much on every leaf

i4832.jpg

My next question, is: Is this wild onion?

i4833.jpg

This grows rampantly throughout my front and back yard. Smells like onion, tastes like onion..... and the neighbor says that the area used to be an onion field before the 50's when the homes were built. So is it wild onion, and can we eat it?

Its like having a crop of scallions at my immediate disposal, I'm tickled pink.

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Oh yeah... This year I planted morning glory, marigold and geranium seeds. I bought a basil plant, as the SO killed my old basil over the winter. I've got rosemary, lavander, Mexican oregano, lemon balm, thyme, two jasmine plants, and two each of little one inch pepper plants: Habanero, Hot Jalepeno, and Anaheim. Everything but the morning glory, marigold and geraniums are in pots, so I don't know if it qualifies as a garden.... but by gum, if we ever move my herbs move with.

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Anyone growing chile petins? chile pequins?

I have seeds from last year's trading, but i decided to get rid of my purple bell pepper seeds first.

I can't wait to grow them next year though.

Let's see, this year, I'm growing Korean peppers (long green f1), Thai Dragon f1, czech black (heirloom), hungarian wax, ring of fire.

Sweet peppers: Islander (purple bell), corno di toro. I guess I should get some orange bells as well.

I always start inside, in a pot, with a little office lamp aimed directly at the surface of the soil. I usually get around 70-100% germination using this technique. Peppers need a lot of heat to germinate. Once they are big enough, I separate into 6 packs which I then water with Peter's plant food water (about 3/4 tsp to a 33 oz water bottle) I keep them in a sunny window in my office. Once they look like those plants in the nurseries, I start hardening them off in the backyard. Pain in the you know where, but I just can't help myself.

I personally would never start peppers outdoors because it's harder to control the outdoor environment.

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

--NeroW

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This grows rampantly throughout my front and back yard. Smells like onion, tastes like onion..... and the neighbor says that the area used to be an onion field before the 50's when the homes were built. So is it wild onion, and can we eat it?

Its like having a crop of scallions at my immediate disposal, I'm tickled pink.

Yes, indeedy! That is "wild" onion; wild 'cause you didn't have to propogate it. They are delicious! I enjoy mine all spring and into the summer. Up to a certain point the bulb will increase in size the longer it grows, but these are green onions, and I use them for everything I can think of. If you preserve peppers or veg mixes they are very good pickled in those. Cooked, or just pulled with the dirt knocked off, too. :wink: If you pick too many at once to use you can even set them in a basket and they will dry cure just like their big brothers. Enjoy your gift from momma nature. :cool:

Sorry, I can't help you with the fungus on your rosemary; I've never seen anything like that on mine. :crossed fingers here knocking on wood: :blink::shock: My two rosemarys are each as big as a VW bug; that would be a lot of bad stuff!

And yes, nessa, your container plants are a solid down garden. :wink::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

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Thank you lovebenton!

I had read that some things can mimic wild onion that are toxic. However, the notes did say that if there was a "stong" onion smell then it was ok.

Our whole neighborhood smells like onions, thanks to the SO and the lawnmower.

I pulled up a bunch and replanted them in a safe area. I can't believe some folks think they are WEEDS. I think they flower even! You know, if I only had the time, this could totally get me into vegetable gardening. , Having nature's bounty at my finger tips is just heady!

I have rosemary envy. I used to have two HUGE bushes, but couldnt take them with me when I moved. Thats why all my herbs now are in pots. If they get too big, I'll find a bigger pot. I get very emotionally attached to my plants.

I don't know anything about preserving or pickling, but I'd love to.

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Thank you lovebenton!

I had read that some things can mimic wild onion that are toxic. However, the notes did say that if there was a "stong" onion smell then it was ok.

Our whole neighborhood smells like onions, thanks to the SO and the lawnmower.

I pulled up a bunch and replanted them in a safe area. I can't believe some folks think they are WEEDS. I think they flower even! You know, if I only had the time, this could totally get me into vegetable gardening. , Having nature's bounty at my finger tips is just heady!

I have rosemary envy. I used to have two HUGE bushes, but couldnt take them with me when I moved. Thats why all my herbs now are in pots. If they get too big, I'll find a bigger pot. I get very emotionally attached to my plants.

I don't know anything about preserving or pickling, but I'd love to.

I know what you mean about becoming emotionally attached. I have always been that way, even as a little girl. When we moved from the house we were living in when I was first in TX, at age eight, I stood out in the yard hugging one of the dozen poplar trees we had planted there, tears just streaming down my little face. I'm sure my folks thought I was nuts. :laugh: My husband makes noises about selling this place and moving somewhere else, like closer to the coast, which we both love. But, I can't make myself want to leave the yard and all the plants and trees here. This was such an incredible find; we have added so much to it in the past five years. Hard to visualize a place as "right" as this is.

Preserving/pickling peppers is so easy! And many varieties make wonderful container plants, as do cherry style, and other small tomatoes. As our gardens start to produce I am planning a thread for what we do with all this wonderful bounty. :biggrin: And there are many threads on eG, I'm sure, that deal with different aspects and methods of pickling and preserving.

For hot peppers you can just clean them, slice if you wish, throw them in a canning jar with with some onions (:cool: you have those!) garlic cloves, and even baby carrots. Pour vinegar with some salt, and a touch of sugar if you like, over them and place in a big pot with hot water to cover the top of the jar. If you don't have any little rack to set them on, a dish cloth on the bottom of the pot works great. Cover and boil for 5 minutes, set out to cool, the lids will seal and the peppers are good for about two years this way when remaining sealed. Store in cupboard. You probably won't have to worry about how long they will keep once you open them :laugh: just stick the jar in the fridge after you open it.

You can make a "sprinkle" sauce (hot pepper vinegar) with Tabasco peppers or others small hotties, like chile petins, small Thais, or firecrackers. Place peppers, half or more full in a bottle with vinegar and salt, a touch of sugar, and garlic cloves if you wish. Set on shelf to cure for a couple months then enjoy! As you use the vinegar down, you can add more vinegar to the bottle; your peppers will continue to heat it up for you, for three or more refills. :cool: If you don't want to invest in bottles (I do because I make quite a bit) you can use soy sauce bottles, which have the perfect shaker top insert already there. :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

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