Gardening: What are you growing ?

A place to sit back, relax, get to know each other, and talk about whatever you want to discuss or share with the group.
Forum rules
Please be sure to check the Rules & Guidelines

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on April 21st, 2017, 10:07 am 

Oh yes, gardening is great for gaining an appreciation for farmers.

This might be a good day to buy some lettuce starts and plant it in the box. I think I see sunshine. I have decided to use lettuce starts this year, so I am sure of what is growing. The mixed lettuce seeds give me plants I can't identify and then I don't know if I am growing lettuce or weeds. I have eaten some bitter stuff thinking it was lettuce. And I think I like the idea of using twigs to discourage the cats.

I will look into Scat too. I am not a cat person, so I know nothing about their ways or how to keep them away from my plants. I know our airport uses cougar poop to keep the deer away. Evidently not too far away is a sanctuary for cougars. Isn't it great that a sanctuary can be at least partly funded by what the animals produce.

About soil. Before the community garden plot, I just took good soil for granted. I have lived in places with great soil. The plot has terrible soil. I have used different manures. Hum, this reminds me, it is time to get a bucket full of fish scraps. Where I planted mostly salmon heads and backbones, was the best producing area of my garden. My dog dug up one and for two weeks I worried if he would get sick. Next year I boil the salmon to kill the parasite that can kill a dog. That was a lot of work. I don't have a dog this year, so I can just bury the salmon scraps.

I wish I had a flame thrower to scorch my ground. I have bugs that live in the ground and come out and destroy squash plants. Any idea for that problem?
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on April 21st, 2017, 2:35 pm 

Athena » April 21st, 2017, 9:07 am wrote:Oh yes, gardening is great for gaining an appreciation for farmers.

We try to remember that when stuck on the highway behind a very slow, very ripe fertilizer spreader. In late summer, the harvesters lumber along at a majestic pace. Hay trailers, we stay right away from: I've seen two of those topple over, and the giant bales roll off.

The mixed lettuce seeds give me plants I can't identify and then I don't know if I am growing lettuce or weeds.

I use a mix of seeds, but mix them myself from Romaine, red and green curly, Boston, and oakleaf, maybe some beet. Not a fan of arugula, and mustard outgrows everything and bolts before the other leaves are edible. If I want to eat dandelion, I pick it outside, where we also have a patch of heritage* sorrel.
(* That just means some relative brought the seed from Europe, many years ago. I could get it here now, but wouldn't mix it with other plants, as it's a super hardy perennial.)

Isn't it great that a sanctuary can be at least partly funded by what the animals produce.

Yea! Especially predators - not famous for their productivity.

I wish I had a flame thrower to scorch my ground. I have bugs that live in the ground and come out and destroy squash plants. Any idea for that problem?

Most of the things that live in soil are necessary for growing things. Scorched earth is even less famous for productivity than cougars.
Cutworm? Could be a couple of other things. One remedy is collars on the plants. Cut the lower end off plastic beverage bottles and push the cut edge down into the soil over each seedling. This prevents anything crawling to it over or just below the ground and also keeps it warm and moist - a little individual greenhouse. Twist off the cap for air circulation; put it back on for cold nights.
I've heard diatomacious earth sprinkled over the surface works; wood-ash might. I've had good luck with just the ground cover. Of course, I also plant more squash than I expect to survive. Last three years have been bad for them - not sure why only one in three lived to harvest.
Six nice dwarf cucumber plants are thriving, with tiny fruit on, in the indoor buckets. Containers may be another way to protect them.
If you want to read up on pests, I recommend the Rodale problem solver book - every public library carries that; it's well organized and has a sensible, straight-forward style.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on April 22nd, 2017, 2:38 pm 

I made a note of the book and will check the library.

The squash beetles are not so easily controlled. They crawl and fly and multiple a lot! The first couple of years I ignored them and still had good harvests, but last year I lost all my zucchini. I didn't even think that possible! But I just read mulching can increase the problem, and my garden was well mulched. I will avoid the mulch and police the whole community garden and make sure everyone is well informed.

Besides avoiding squash this year, I will follow this advice, so maybe next year it will be safe to plant squash again and everything I plant this year has some protection.

http://thefreerangelife.com/control-squash-bugs/
You can also help control squash bugs by planting repellent plants with your squashes. Two of the most commonly used companions for squash is nasturtiums and white icicle radishes. Plant them throughout your squash beds for the best results. Other plants such as oregano, marigold, calendula and dill can also provide some protection.


Yesterday my granddaughter and I planted beets and spinach by adding bags of dry soil to the ground. She seems more interested in the garden this year, so I am more willing to invest money into it.

I need to plant the lettuce starts I bought yesterday in the box by the apartments. The peas and tomato I planted are looking good. It would be nice if the lettuce is still growing when the tomatoes ripen. If I ever get a chance to speak with God, I will make the suggestion that lettuce and tomatoes ripen at the same time.

We try to remember that when stuck on the highway behind a very slow, very ripe fertilizer spreader. In late summer, the harvesters lumber along at a majestic pace. Hay trailers, we stay right away from: I've seen two of those topple over, and the giant bales roll off.


Yeah, not fun to be behind those. A good time to pull off the road and have a picnic or stop at a cafe and have ice cream. We came upon a cattle truck that had tipped over, and the cattle was wondering all over the road. I would not want to be that truck driver.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on April 22nd, 2017, 6:00 pm 

I wouldn't want to be those cattle! Or any cattle, really...
I'll try planting more herbs near the squashes this year. Before, I always kept oregano separate, because it tends to invade, basil in pots, so I can bring them inside in late season, and dill has not done well. Nasturtiums are attractive, will grow anywhere, and you can eat the flowers. What's not to like?

It is too bad about most lettuce being cool-weather plants, while tomato is a sun worshipper. Maybe if you start Romain and some variety of head lettuce in a special row, you can leave thhose to develop longer than the green leafies, and let the tomatoes catch up? I've had very poor luck with that. Our summer is just too hot; everything bolts before it heads up properly. We usually make do with staggered plantings, as with peas.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on April 23rd, 2017, 12:38 pm 

Laugh, what's not to like is the taste of flowers. In early spring dandelion flowers can taste good, and they can be good for a person, but you can never be sure a dog didn't pee on them, so I buy dandelion tea, instead of eating the flowers along the bike path. I have eaten other flowers and they can make a salad interesting, but I would not say I enjoy the taste.

Do you use your dill?

My plot had herbs when I first took it over, but I am not a cook and don't know my herbs, and grass was embedded in the herbs. In an effort to get the grass out, I destroyed the herbs. Now I have only two small patches of herbs. I am thinking of buying a large pot with pockets around it and filling the pockets with herbs. Do you think that would work?

I will be sure I have Romain. Also, swiss chard can stand the heat.

I hope to have staggered plantings and to get at least two crops of cool weather produce. The Brussel sprouts do very well in our winter. The first year I planted them near fall and they got covered with bugs so I didn't harvest them. After a freeze, the bugs were gone and the Brussel sprouts were delicious.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on April 23rd, 2017, 5:31 pm 

Athena » April 23rd, 2017, 11:38 am wrote:Laugh, what's not to like is the taste of flowers.

I'm not mad keen on dandelion flowers, either - except in wine. I sometimes use the very youngest leaves sparingly. Eh, pee comes off in the wash and rinse; so long as there's no nuclear fallout or asbestos....
Nasturtium flowers taste peppery; mustard flowers are even spicier; day-lilies and squash blooms are bland, but the one is nice pickled or stir-fried in the bud and other, fried in batter when full grown. Delicate ones like violet and pansy are hardly worth the bother of picking, they've go no meat on 'em, but look nice on cakes.

Do you use your dill?

I've never seen a dill pickle without! In my youth, a favourite dish was vegetable marrow (white summer squash, which is more substantial than the spaghetti type), which my mother always cooked with sour cream and finely chopped dill. Unfortunately, my partner has hated it the same length of time I've liked it, so we compromise with parsley - not as interesting.

Pot with pockets... Do you think that would work?

I got one as a present once. It looked really good, and the young herbs did all right, but the earthenware pot - too large and heavy to bring inside - cracked in the winter. The earth freezes and expands ... unless you maybe let it dry out before hard frost... But that means no perennials, like rosemary and thyme. Thyme is a favourite; very good on mushroom dishes. I don't know how to use hyssop or lavender; don't like chamomile and rosemary is hit or miss, but the common basic herbs: parsley, sage, oregano, basil, dill and thyme have become indispensable in both of our culinary repertoires.

Also, swiss chard can stand the heat.

It can stand anything. It also tastes more like a weed than most weeds.
Naw, I'm just intolerant of strong greens since my taste-buds got zapped.

The Brussel sprouts do very well in our winter.

*Sigh!* I've never had a crop of them - or artichoke or broccoli.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on April 24th, 2017, 12:19 pm 

For sure speaking of what to grow leads to what we enjoy eating and recipes. I am really getting into squashes, but can't do them this year. Gosh, it hurts to really want something I can not have, like plenty of squash growing my own plot. But maybe I could get away with summer squash because the bugs come late?

I think we have the garden pretty full, or will have when our own starts are ready to be transplanted. We will do as many peppers as we can and tomatoes of course. We have determined the stomach pain I had was not an ulcer so I can eat red tomatoes. I already planted a yellow tomato because it is lower in acid.

Why not Brussel sprouts, artichoke or broccoli? I always plant plenty of broccoli and love it raw or cooked. I chopped out my artichoke because it shade my garden too much and I really don't like artichoke that much. I eat maybe one a year when they are in season. I am sad that my asparagus has not returned. I was getting more and more if it every year.

Swiss chard may not be the best flavor but it is great when the spinach and lettuce die in the heat. The swiss chard I have has survived a couple of years and is all volunteer now. Even if a good freeze gets it, it has come back in the spring.

This weekend two sunny days in a row are predicted. Hurray! We will have rain until then and I hope it won't be too much rain. I think a need a week of sunshine to dry out my plot and I am so restless, I may die if I can't in my garden. I may have to just keep buying soil and adding to the top. I wish I had more money. Then I would just call for a truckload of soil and pile it on high.

Any idea for keeping #&((^%%$#@ grass out?! my plot is bordered by the kind of grass that spreads by roots. I have dug it out repeatedly and paid young men to dig it out, and of course, it returns. I am paying to use this plot and think the city should cover the paths to reduce the grass problem. I have covered areas around my plot with bark mulch, and the grass laughs at my efforts to hold it at bay.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on April 24th, 2017, 8:47 pm 

Athena » April 24th, 2017, 11:19 am wrote: I already planted a yellow tomato because it is lower in acid.

Yellows are good. We also find some of the heritage varieties, like Cherokee purple and Brandywine less acidic than the hybrid reds. I particularly like bananlegs for its hardiness and long season. But the best low acid tomato of all is White Beauty, because it has a dense texture and doesn't run down your arm when noshing in the groves.
(I hate juice on my wrist!)

Why not Brussel sprouts, artichoke or broccoli?

I don't know. They fail to thrive, and I've never figured out what goes wrong - besides bugs'n'slugs. I've tried starting them from seed and buying them late in spring - no use. Can't grow cabbage, either, but that doesn't bother me. Maybe our soil is inimical to brassicas.
I don't miss the artichoke, but would dearly love to grow broccoli and Brussels. I may try broccolini this year - shorter growing season. It won't have the nice thick stems, though, which are so good, julianned, in coleslaw, stir-fry and won ton.

Swiss chard may not be the best flavor but it is great when the spinach and lettuce die in the heat.

My fall-back is kale.
I wish I had more money. Then I would just call for a truckload of soil and pile it on high.

If you ever do, be vigilant! We got hosed a few years ago. Paid $145 up front and what they dumped (in the wrong place) turned out to contain a lot of mulched garbage. Since then, for starters, we buy a few bags of soil at Loblaws, then recycle it to the outside garden.

Any idea for keeping #&((^%%$#@ grass out?!

Switch-grass, with rhizomes? No, in 30 years I've never won more than a couple of rounds against that devil. Double-dug the herb bed and inserted that corrugated plastic stuff (Restore $2 a roll) all around. Looked good the first season; all grass by the end of the second. Mostly, I pitchfork an pull, rake and pull, hoe and pull, cultivate and pull.... It comes back.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on May 6th, 2017, 12:52 pm 

Serpent » April 24th, 2017, 6:47 pm wrote: Yellows are good. We also find some of the heritage varieties, like Cherokee purple and Brandywine less acidic than the hybrid reds. I particularly like bananlegs for its hardiness and long season. But the best low acid tomato of all is White Beauty, because it has a dense texture and doesn't run down your arm when noshing in the groves.
(I hate juice on my wrist!)


I have never seen White Beauty tomatoes. Where did you get yours?

I don't know. They fail to thrive, and I've never figured out what goes wrong - besides bugs'n'slugs. I've tried starting them from seed and buying them late in spring - no use. Can't grow cabbage, either, but that doesn't bother me. Maybe our soil is inimical to brassicas.
I don't miss the artichoke, but would dearly love to grow broccoli and Brussels. I may try broccolini this year - shorter growing season. It won't have the nice thick stems, though, which are so good, julianned, in coleslaw, stir-fry and won ton.


For sure vegetables grow differently in different areas. It is amazing how one field can produce an abundance of something, and in another area, the same vegetable just doesn't do well.

Trying to figure out the soil thing is a challenge for me. I bought a kit for testing PH and it didn't work well for me. I couldn't figure it out.

I have been burying compost in my plot and know that depletes nitrogen, so this year I don't think I will do that. I have chicken manure this year. In the past, I lived on farm property and there was a chicken coop full of aged chicken shit. I got very good results with that.

My fall-back is kale.


We are planting kale.

Switch-grass, with rhizomes? No, in 30 years I've never won more than a couple of rounds against that devil. Double-dug the herb bed and inserted that corrugated plastic stuff (Restore $2 a roll) all around. Looked good the first season; all grass by the end of the second. Mostly, I pitchfork an pull, rake and pull, hoe and pull, cultivate and pull.... It comes back.


You know that is not encouraging at all! The folks who have their gardens in boxes seem to do better than mine that is level with the grass, but still, they have grass to deal with. Spending money to keep the grass out and getting grass anyway is discouraging. I guess the pitchfork is the best way to go.

Laugh, gardening can remind a person of the story about being thrown out of the Garden of Eden. There are so many enemies to a good garden. In the beginning, I didn't realize how many things can go wrong. The grass and bugs are the worst! Especially in the herbs and plants like rhubarb and asparagus that should not need replanting. I have destroyed those plants trying to get the grass out.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby vivian maxine on May 6th, 2017, 1:27 pm 

Trees with nests if the new owners of this property will stop cutting them down. :-(
vivian maxine
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2837
Joined: 01 Aug 2014


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on May 6th, 2017, 2:22 pm 

Athena » May 6th, 2017, 11:52 am wrote:I have never seen White Beauty tomatoes. Where did you get yours?

We mail-order most of our seeds from Vesey's https://veseys.com/ca/en/store/vegetables/tomato?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=BSE%20-%20CA%20-%20Generic%20-%20Vegetable%20Seeds&utm_term=%2Btomato%20%2Bseeds&utm_content=BSEGVS%20-%20Tomato%20Seeds
But there are plenty of American nurseries that carry it. Too late for seed this year, of course. Bedding plants are sometimes available at the more comprehensive greenhouses, or maybe farmer's markets at the end of May.

Trying to figure out the soil thing is a challenge for me. I bought a kit for testing PH and it didn't work well for me. I couldn't figure it out.

Pink is for boys, blue is for girls... or... ? Most plants do okay in the yellow-green range; hydrangeas actually reflect the litmus test in their blooms. When you buy seeds or seedlings, the instructions may say whether they like acid or alkaline soil, but don't show you the ideal pH colour.
Rodale may help with that, too, and how to correct the soil acidity.
But there are so many other factors: nutrients, drainage, sand-to-humus ratio, hard or soft pack, minerals, soil flora, temperature, and so on. I'm just guessing most of the time: if it looks and smells good to me, I expect the plants to like it.
PS legumes bind nitrogen. I always plant beans, peas or soy in depleted soil, mulch and dig in the green parts after harvesting.

Laugh, gardening can remind a person of the story about being thrown out of the Garden of Eden.

... cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground

And yet, those of us who live or have lived in cities, where bread and herbs came wrapped in cellophane, yearned for the sun and rain on on our heads, the dirt on our hands, the black-fly bites and piles of composting weed... Hoomons! (as Quark would say)
Last edited by Serpent on May 6th, 2017, 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on May 6th, 2017, 2:39 pm 

vivian maxine » May 6th, 2017, 12:27 pm wrote:Trees with nests if the new owners of this property will stop cutting them down. :-(

Can't you make them hold off?
One time, we had to wait two month before we could tear down an old, rotten structure behind the studio.
A pair of swallows had made their nest in the rafters, and they put up such a valiant defence of their home, it should have converted even a dyed-in-the-wool creationist. No mistaking the emotions or motives or strategy behind the actions of those wee creatures. Anyway, we waited until the baby swallows were fledged - and had the privilege to witness their flight training on our roof.

The last three years, we've had no swallows at all, only two pairs of robins and not many starlings. Full complement of red-winged blackbirds, blue jays and grackles; I'm hoping to see young cardinals again; last year, the resident couple raised two chicks.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby vivian maxine on May 6th, 2017, 2:48 pm 

Athena, many of your garden shops - the truly professional ones who know their business - will test a sample of your soil for you. Also those who sell trees. They are very fussy about where they put their trees. And my father used to get his soil tested at a farmers' group whose name I've long since forgotten. All small towns (farming communiteis, that is) had them. Maybe someone here knows. I only remember that it was three initials. Or, think it was. They sell feed, sometimes branch out to farm supplies, sell chicks in springtime. Just some of the things they do. Try a farming community.

Thinking further, do you have an agricultural college nearby? I don't know that they do such but no harm in asking.
vivian maxine
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2837
Joined: 01 Aug 2014


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby vivian maxine on May 6th, 2017, 2:57 pm 

Serpent, not these people. They just laugh and go on about their business. I won't even start to give you some of the silly reasons they give for cutting them down. You wouldn't believe it. Just one: Along the front of the property, is a highway. Not a huge highway - four lanes and busy. We had a beautiful stand of trees there. One was dead but the others were fine. Tall and stately. They had to come down so drivers will see the complex and know we have apartments for rent. I almost told them about autopilot driving but thought best to keep my mouth shut. Some people you can talk to; some you cannot. Best to learn which early in life?
vivian maxine
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2837
Joined: 01 Aug 2014


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on May 6th, 2017, 6:22 pm 

Gaaaah!
Some people are just total... um... can you use that language here?

Those trees were standing between the tenants' lungs and the highway fumes. As well as generally contributing to air quality, temperature control and erosion.

See why I'm a curmudgeon?
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on May 8th, 2017, 12:50 pm 

vivian maxine » May 6th, 2017, 12:57 pm wrote:Serpent, not these people. They just laugh and go on about their business. I won't even start to give you some of the silly reasons they give for cutting them down. You wouldn't believe it. Just one: Along the front of the property, is a highway. Not a huge highway - four lanes and busy. We had a beautiful stand of trees there. One was dead but the others were fine. Tall and stately. They had to come down so drivers will see the complex and know we have apartments for rent. I almost told them about autopilot driving but thought best to keep my mouth shut. Some people you can talk to; some you cannot. Best to learn which early in life?


That is horrifying! In my community, cutting down a tree is next to murder. The city better have darn good reasons for removing a tree, or protesters will line the street and make life difficult for those attempting to remove trees. We have had pretty intense confrontations between the police and tree lovers.

On the other hand, if you want to cut down a tree on your own property, you better get permission, or you will get a huge fine. I have a friend who lives along a river and he has to be very careful. He has to remove seedlings before they become noticeable trees if he is going to protect his view of the river. Another gentleman who lives on a hill enjoyed his view of the city when he bought his property. He now has no view of the city because the trees are so dense and tall. I think in such cases there needs to be more compromise. I do not like living in apartments so surrounded with trees that my apartment is dark all the time. I moved out of an apartment that never got sunlight, and the pine needles were always getting tracked into my home.

We have been doing more tree removal because we have been experiencing more tree damage. I have never been aware of the tree damage that we have had in recent years. Ice and wind have left my community looking like a battle zone. I fear for the homeless folks who hide in the trees along a river path because so many trees have fallen. One man bragged about having self-pruning trees, after one bout of bad weather.

While we are speaking of trees, I vaguely remember something about them improving soil. Some farmers use trees for soil conservation, but it is more than this, the tree routes can also nourish the soil or something like that.

One more thing, I think every highway should be lined by trees because they make morning and evening driving safer. They prevent us from being blinded by the sun. That protects walking people and children, bicyclist, other drivers.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on May 8th, 2017, 12:58 pm 

vivian maxine » May 6th, 2017, 12:48 pm wrote:Athena, many of your garden shops - the truly professional ones who know their business - will test a sample of your soil for you. Also those who sell trees. They are very fussy about where they put their trees. And my father used to get his soil tested at a farmers' group whose name I've long since forgotten. All small towns (farming communiteis, that is) had them. Maybe someone here knows. I only remember that it was three initials. Or, think it was. They sell feed, sometimes branch out to farm supplies, sell chicks in springtime. Just some of the things they do. Try a farming community.

Thinking further, do you have an agricultural college nearby? I don't know that they do such but no harm in asking.


I live in farm and timber country. Just down the road a high school had a super great farming program and some idiot decided the high school had to be like all the other high schools for technology, and the farming program was dropped. Much further north is a college for agriculture, but I don't want to go that far. However, I think you are right about someone who would help with the soil testing.

Idea! I will communicate this need to the manager of the community gardening program. She is very pro-active and she might find the connection we need to test our soil.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby vivian maxine on May 8th, 2017, 1:00 pm 

The tree roots hold the soil in place. That is probably the other thing you are thinking of. One reason for disastrous mud slides is people clearing land down a hill so they can have a view from up above. Nothing to hold the soil back.

As for here, despite county laws, we are in an unincorporated area with four cities around us. It seems nothing applies to us. We know. We've tried. That highway is a state highway but they skip over us whenever they do repairs. Jump from the city to our west to the city to our east.

Some battles you just can't win and I've grown weary of fighting. Just make the best of things. Guess I'm a quitter.
vivian maxine
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2837
Joined: 01 Aug 2014


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on May 8th, 2017, 1:17 pm 

Serpent » May 6th, 2017, 12:22 pm wrote:
Athena » May 6th, 2017, 11:52 am wrote:I have never seen White Beauty tomatoes. Where did you get yours?

We mail-order most of our seeds from Vesey's https://veseys.com/ca/en/store/vegetables/tomato?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=BSE%20-%20CA%20-%20Generic%20-%20Vegetable%20Seeds&utm_term=%2Btomato%20%2Bseeds&utm_content=BSEGVS%20-%20Tomato%20Seeds
But there are plenty of American nurseries that carry it. Too late for seed this year, of course. Bedding plants are sometimes available at the more comprehensive greenhouses, or maybe farmer's markets at the end of May.

Trying to figure out the soil thing is a challenge for me. I bought a kit for testing PH and it didn't work well for me. I couldn't figure it out.

Pink is for boys, blue is for girls... or... ? Most plants do okay in the yellow-green range; hydrangeas actually reflect the litmus test in their blooms. When you buy seeds or seedlings, the instructions may say whether they like acid or alkaline soil, but don't show you the ideal pH colour.
Rodale may help with that, too, and how to correct the soil acidity.
But there are so many other factors: nutrients, drainage, sand-to-humus ratio, hard or soft pack, minerals, soil flora, temperature, and so on. I'm just guessing most of the time: if it looks and smells good to me, I expect the plants to like it.
PS legumes bind nitrogen. I always plant beans, peas or soy in depleted soil, mulch and dig in the green parts after harvesting.

Laugh, gardening can remind a person of the story about being thrown out of the Garden of Eden.

... cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground

And yet, those of us who live or have lived in cities, where bread and herbs came wrapped in cellophane, yearned for the sun and rain on on our heads, the dirt on our hands, the black-fly bites and piles of composting weed... Hoomons! (as Quark would say)


I love your explanation of our sorrow and how that sorrow turns to joy when we live with an abundance of food in the city and yearn to return to nature. I think the bible tends to be pretty negative about nature and our place in the scheme of things.

I may have to move because the city I live in is growing too much. We are still well connected with nature, but the population density is crowding me. I am a nature and solitude lover. I love walking along the river! I feel so fortunate to have such beautiful nature all around me, but the traffic noise is hard to ignore.

I live off a drainage channel that is alive with critters and the community garden down the road is also right along the channel. We have opossum, raccoons, nutria, a river otter, beaver, ducks, and other birds and butterflies, sometimes deer walk through, and we have had flocks of wild turkeys visit us. The community garden is fenced in, and I doubt we could have gardens without fences.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on June 25th, 2017, 12:47 pm 

It is way too hot for lettuce and broccoli right now. The broccoli might do well in the fall, but I am not expecting much from it in this heat. I am not sure how well the spinach will do. Right now it looks fine and it is well watered. I am starting my days in the garden because it is so hot! By 8 AM I was sweating while gently hoeing around the plants. That is too hot for me, but some of the plants seem to be liking the sun and heat.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Watson on June 25th, 2017, 1:03 pm 

Here it is cooler than normal, and I have the fire on. I think may garden has gone into hibernation. Maybe I need better soil because the crops I plant just don't seem to thrive, weather a side. Time to put on the parka and go out side and inspect the garden.
User avatar
Watson
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4387
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Location: Earth, middle of the top half, but only briefly each 24 hours.


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on June 25th, 2017, 3:17 pm 

We're having thunderstorms about 10 minutes out of every hour (turn off computers, disconnect internet), and it's cold - again. I haven't been able to bring in the new load of firewood because it keeps getting wet. Can't weed, haul ash, patch-paint car, can't repair the garage that scratched up car when a big wind ripped it to shreds; can't do any of the tasks we set for today. Absolutely, positively refuse to make a fire at the end of Juneferkrissake!... unless I'm too miserable to stay up for Brokenwood without one.
No good outside, no good inside. We watched a really dumb episode of Enterprise and I turned a pair of socks with limp elastic and spiderwebby heels into nifty wrist-warmers. Not a very productive day!

On the up-side, I haven't had to water the vegetable patch in weeks. The peas look happy enough; it's time to put in the next two rows. Some green stuff is coming along - lettuce, kale, bok choi. Spinach was piss-poor, both winter and spring.
Half the squashes are up, but very slow; still no ripe strawberries... unless some little marauder gets to them before I do. All the bush beans got chewed up, but I planted lots of runner beans in containers in the unheated greenhouse and they're doing well. So are the tomatoes in there - no aphid infestation so far this year. They're a bit leggy from insufficient sunlight, flowering profusely, not setting enough fruit.

There is an alarming shortage of insects. I've taken down the fake wasp nest I made and put flowering petunias near the door to entice pollinators, without noticeable improvement. All we harvested so far is a handful of yellow cherry tomatoes and one single Cherokee. The pepper plants in containers had a better than usual start but are not thriving, even after we carried them outside to get more sun. Indoor cukes keep yielding steadily since March, in spite of some patchy fungus on the leaves.
Basil in a pot is fine.

I've just decided to appreciate what I get and stop worriting over what I don't.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on June 29th, 2017, 12:49 pm 

I think my strawberry harvest is coming to an end. I am ready for the end, because I have eaten all I want. I think my strawberries did reasonably well.

You know those peas I was worried about? They are doing just fine! I have had just about all of them I want for awhile.

My lettuce started to bolt but we too are back into cool weather, so I am still enjoying my lettuce. I have some spinach to harvest and the kale is doing nicely.

Yes, I have been worried about the lack of pollinators. I saw some big bumble bees on my asparagus and I thanked them for being there.

I think the peppers and tomatoes will do better when we have consistent hot weather? It is a little nerve-wracking isn't it? Right now those plants seem to be undeveloped.

My bush beans are doing fine. What happened to yours? What chewed them up? I was afraid the slugs would ruin everything, but following the heat wave we had, the slugs seem to be gone. If I see any more slug damage I will buy Sluggo. I covered the unused plot next to mine with cardboard and that will probably become a big slug breeding ground.

I would hate to have money in the produce stock market. We have been hit by terrible heat waves and now I am enjoying being cold. I have my windows open to catch the cool breeze and I am wearing warm clothes. I love this, but my neighbors don't. I even turned on a fan last night to catch some of that wintertime cold. But our cool weather may not be as cool as yours? It is 58 degrees now and it is supposed to swing up to 80 degrees. That is quite a swing. Our nights are barely above 50. I have a beautiful outfit picked out for today, but it will be quite late in the day when it is warm enough to be sleeveless. I better go pick out another outfit for when I do the workshop. Yeah, it is almost July and I need to consider dressing warm, but be ready to peel clothes off when it gets hot. I wonder if fall will come early too? It has come early for a few years. At least not being sure how warmly to dress is not as bad as investing in produce and not knowing if the unpredicatable weather will mean a good crop or a bad one.
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on June 29th, 2017, 2:24 pm 

Athena » June 29th, 2017, 11:49 am wrote:Yes, I have been worried about the lack of pollinators. I saw some big bumble bees on my asparagus and I thanked them for being there.

We've seen a few bumbles, but nothing like a decade ago, when i was having to rescue one from the back porch every couple of hours - even though we tack curtain on the doors (sheer ones that we pick up at the fire-fighters' rummage sale every spring) to keep them out. Hardly any butterflies, no wild bees.
The best thing I know of to attract them is the cultivated borage I sometimes find at the end of garden-center season; Russian sage is not bad.

The thing that worries me most about the lack of insects is the long-term effect on songbirds.

I think the peppers and tomatoes will do better when we have consistent hot weather? It is a little nerve-wracking isn't it? Right now those plants seem to be undeveloped.

Ours, too. Well, strictly speaking, peppers and tomatoes are not my department, but I sympathize.
Even more now: after moving all the peppers outside for the sunlight, we got a hail-storm three days ago. Pounded my peas and young lettuce pretty badly, too. Just as well neither of us bothers with ornamental flowers anymore.

My bush beans are doing fine. What happened to yours? What chewed them up? I was afraid the slugs would ruin everything, but following the heat wave we had, the slugs seem to be gone.

I never saw the culprit. Slugs are a prime suspect: it's been wet and cool, wet and cold. Whoever it was got most of the outdoor squashed, pretty much the minute they poked their first leaves up. No replacement at the Home Depot; all they have is cucumber plants.

I covered the unused plot next to mine with cardboard and that will probably become a big slug breeding ground.

Unless a friendly garter snake or two move in.

I would hate to have money in the produce stock market.

Or depend on a small family farm!
We've known climate change was coming; we've known it would mean having to adapt and be insecure - we just kept hoping it would affect other people - not us!!
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on June 30th, 2017, 12:46 pm 

Yeah, the tomatoes and peppers are an adaptation to a community garden full of harmful insects. I probably should have bought netting for my cucumbers because as soon as they flower a little beetle flies in and destroys the plants, unless they are covered. Covering plants does no good for squash as those beetles live in the ground and once the ground is infested it takes a couple of years to starve them out. So far tomatoes and peppers and green beans are the surest things to survive the pest.

I would love it if garter snakes thought the covered plot was a good home. One year I found a garter snake and tried to make it happy by covering a low spot with a board, but it didn't stay. Personally, I love snakes, but boy can they stink during the breeding period! And the stink sticks to our hands if we pick them up.

I am so sorry about your hail storm! Maybe you can prepare for the next one with poles and a tarp that directs the hail balls away from the plants? Laugh, I know I didn't think gardening would be so challenging when I began several years ago. In the past, I lived in places with better soil and of course, our weather wasn't so bad. But in the community garden! That is pest heaven and our hell, and my soil is still terrible despite years of mulching. Between the bugs and weather, it is hard to imagine a loving God is taken care of us, and easy to imagine mother nature is experiencing menopause and in a bad mood most the time.

You aren't doing so many flowers and have fewer pollenators? Is there a possible connection? Have you thought of having a bee hive?
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on June 30th, 2017, 4:05 pm 

Athena » June 30th, 2017, 11:46 am wrote: Between the bugs and weather, it is hard to imagine a loving God is taken care of us, and easy to imagine mother nature is experiencing menopause and in a bad mood most the time.

This may explain why the earlier religions didn't come up with the notion of benevolent deities; the most an ancient god was expected to do was give with one hand and take away with the other - more complicated for the six- or eight-armed ones.

You aren't doing so many flowers and have fewer pollenators? Is there a possible connection? Have you thought of having a bee hive?

We don't bother cultivating ornamental flowers. We also don't remove the natural ones.
No grass gets cut until the dandelions are spent; no patch of phlox, daisies, bluebells, Alexanders, wild oregano or mallow gets chopped down, and milkweed has been carefully preserved, even back when it was officially listed a noxious weed... and even so, I haven't seen a Monarch in three years.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Watson on June 30th, 2017, 4:47 pm 

I have a patch of Daisy's for the first time. I had been trying to encourage it the last few years but it always looked like a few sprout by accident. This year it looks like a deliberate gardening effort. Same with the milk weed. Not in the garden area I'm trying to grow it, but it sprouts a few feet away in the lawn. Last week I transplanted several plants from the ditch to a little patch in the yard. They have survived the move, and there are enough of them, the patch should survive and grow.
As for the rest of the garden weeds are doing the best so I am letting them mature to see what they turn into. Some seem to be nice flowering plants that I can gather together. One is a tall plant that falls over from the weight of the flowering top. I suppose mother natures way of seeding more a few feet away. It has a nice red daisy like flower. We also have a wild rose variety growing in the ditches that I'm trying to grow in the yard but the specimens wilted look quite sad. I'm hoping it will regenerate. If not I'll have to bring more of the roots, next time.
User avatar
Watson
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4387
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Location: Earth, middle of the top half, but only briefly each 24 hours.


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Athena on June 30th, 2017, 6:29 pm 

Serpent and Watson, sounds like you share a love of gardens done by nature. Laugh, you also remind me of my strawberries that love to spread and seem to die off in the area where I want them to grow. I have maintained a patch of strawberries for years, but I think they are in charge of where they will grow not me.

My spinach looks awful! It has gone to seed and only a few of the plants got big enough to be worth the space given to them. Any idea what I should plant in the space where the spinach is? I hate for that space to be left empty, but don't think Brussel sprouts would do well until the heat of summer passes? I keep missing out on my fall crop because I am not sure when to plant them. I could fill the empty space with compost and manure and give it time to rest before filling it with something that likes cool weather. Or is there a fast growing summer vegetable I should put in there?
Athena
Banned User
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Serpent on June 30th, 2017, 6:50 pm 

Watson » June 30th, 2017, 3:47 pm wrote: We also have a wild rose variety growing in the ditches that I'm trying to grow in the yard but the specimens wilted look quite sad. I'm hoping it will regenerate. If not I'll have to bring more of the roots, next time.

I tried for years to transplant wild roses where I wanted them, with no luck at all. Suddenly, this year, I have four big shrubs flowering like mad, exactly where I would like to keep a clear path to the waste ground outside our fence-line where I carry the used cat litter.

My hothouse spinach that only grew to a few inches tall before bolting left behind enough seeds to start a whole new generation. Another flat of greens that did poorly is serendipituously producing the bok choi that refused to germinate in March. I'll leave them all alone - they can't do any worse on their own than they did under my care.

Plants are almost as contrary as insects.

Latest project: oyster mushrooms. I've been saving coffee grounds for a couple of months and watching You Tube*; today I bleached out a little cabinet and lined it with plastic sheet, scalded some cardboard to start mycelia... ready as I'll ever be.

* I never cease to be amazed at how many people are eager to share their hard-won expertise.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

Postby Watson on June 30th, 2017, 7:31 pm 

We have an oyster type shroom that grows on the ash trees. Seems very uncertain about the why and when they grow. It is just out in the open at the lower trunk from want I've noticed, but very infrequent. They are delicious. I also find a large firm texture one that grow on the railway tracks. I found one yesterday that is a bit beaten up looking. I thought I would chop it up fine and mix with dirt and wood compost to see if I can grow some of my own.
Since you mentioned mushroom?
User avatar
Watson
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4387
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Location: Earth, middle of the top half, but only briefly each 24 hours.


PreviousNext

Return to Lounge Area

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests