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Thread: The 2011 Garden Thread

  1. #76
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Where does one find sensimilla seeds?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  2. #77
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    The tomatoes I though got decimated by the freeze last week are showing some signs of life - little tiny leaves emerging in the nodes of the dead branches. So, I'm hopeful they will make a comeback. Still, I planted 8 more tomato seedlings this weekend along with some cilantro and bok choy. We'll see how the bok choy does. I chose a place that gets shade for part of the day and am hooping it will resist bolting long enough to get something from it. Bok choy is fickle, because if its too hot, it will bolt, and if it gets a freeze or cold snap, it will also bolt early. So, conditions have to be just right.

    I've got quite a bit more room and am wondering what to plant. The spaces are full-sun mostly and a few in a partial-sunned bed. And full-sun here is pretty intense (though I use sun shading to mitigate the heat). What do you grow in the warmest months aside from peppers and tomatoes that you just love?
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  3. #78
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I spent eight hours working in the gardens yesterday, mostly in the rose bed and one of the perennial beds. I did get to the vegetables for a while, and planted cherry tomatoes, ground cherry, tomatillo, green onions, basil, cilantro, fennel, sage, thyme, and radischio, all from seed. I planted two Patriot and one Northland blueberry. I added another ten crowns of asparagus and then harvested the first batch. They were immediately drizzled with olive oil, garlic, onion flakes and pepper, and placed on the grill next to a couple tri-tip cuts, served with a baked potato and avacado slices. Mmmmm....
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  4. #79
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    This weekend was the first one when it was almost dry enough to do some real gardening and warm enough to want to do it! It was drizzly on Saturday morning, but this spring, that qualifies as "dry". I took a Subi full of yard waste to the "brush dump", and then spent the morning de-dandelioning the rose bushes out front while awaiting the arrival of the two yards of mulch I ordered. It arrived promptly at 1 pm as promised, and I rolled out the rider and its wagon to begin the "great mulch/top soil swap" with a neighbor (she bought top soil and I bought mulch and we're sharing). Unfortunately, my yard was too wet to drive the rider on, so a goodly amount of mulch went to her house but no top soil came to mine.

    It was still too wet to mow on Sunday but I did mulch the roses. I did find 2 dandelions still hiding out among the canes. The next order of business is giving them a good shot of Miracle Gro and then laying on the Preen to hopefully keep the worst of the weeds out. It's not supposed to rain until Thursday ... which means I've got just three more afternoons to get things in order! I'm thinking of asking for Wednesday to do more gardening!

  5. #80
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Anyone know of any non-toxic ways to get rid of grubs and slugs?

  6. #81
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Anyone know of any non-toxic ways to get rid of grubs and slugs?
    For slugs, hand-picking will still be your best defense. Put some boards or overturned ceramic pots or things like grapefruit halves (after eating) down and then go out in the AM. Lift up those items and you will find tons of snails. Dump them in a container of water and a little bit of dish soap and they will drown. The carcasses can be dumped right on the compost pile.

    Grubs depend on what they are and what problem they are causing. Most are not an issue, but those of the brown moth are also called "cut worms" because they will eat the stems of young sprouts, topple them, and eat them. They can be pretty devastating. For cut-worms, you can put a little collar of cardboard with about 1.5-2 inches below and also above the ground. The grubs cannot get through the collar and it saves the plants. They cannot bite through plants that are more mature, so you really just need this protection early on. Toilet paper centers, paper towel centers, milk carton material, all work well for this. For the cardboard, I just let it rot on site so as not to disturb any roots.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  7. #82
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Anyone know of any non-toxic ways to get rid of grubs and slugs?
    Dump salt on them.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  8. #83
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I've tried the death-by-beer method on the slugs. It worked last year tho I got in trouble with the Hubby because I used too nice a beer on the sluggos.

  9. #84
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    We've been eating spring salad greens from the garden for 2 weeks. Tomorrow I'm bringing in the first green bell peppers and banana peppers. Yum. It must be time for some caribbean/cajun recipes.

  10. #85
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Images of ZG's ripening tomatoes and bell peppers from last weekend.




  11. #86
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Anyone know of any non-toxic ways to get rid of grubs and slugs?
    Another solution is to grind up some Neem seed and mix it into your soil. We did some research on precisely this method when I was a researcher at the USDA. The Neem stinks, but it works great. Concentrate it in the immediate vicinity of your targeted plants and your slugs and snails will stay away.

    Alternatively, you can place the whole seed (not ground) into your soil. The advantages to not grinding it are that the effects will last longer, however it is not quite as effective. You can also spray the soil or the plant with a Neem oil and water solution, but mixing the seed into your soil works better and lasts longer.

    Just be sure you don't have any standing water in which the runoff from your Neem seed/soil mixture can accumulate. It makes a nice murky runoff that mosquitoes like to lay their offspring in. So if you mix Neem into a potted plant, be sure it drains well.

    Edit: Also, Neem makes for a good mosquito repellent despite the fact that they are attracted to the murky runoff, so using it in garden plots near your deck or windows will have the added bonus of repelling those little vampires from you and your pooches.

  12. #87
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    What is Neem?

  13. #88
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    What is Neem?
    Neem is a tree that grows in India. The oil from the tree is used for all sorts of things, especially skin irritations and is a pretty decent bug repellent. You can buy already ground neem seeds as neem seed meal which is sold through organic gardening vendors but it probably doesn't have much of the neem oil left in it since it's what is left after pressing for oil. There's a newer ready made water soluble product called AzaSol that's probably easier to use for fighting grubs and other insects.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  14. #89
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Yes, KJ nailed it. There are a variety of commercial products that contain Neem these days. Part of the research we were conducting at the USDA was for Neem's commercial viability. Alternatively, if you can find it, you can grind the seeds yourself or place whole seeds in your garden. I can't vouch for how well any of the commercial products work since we didn't test them. We developed our own mixes to test and just reported the findings.

  15. #90
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    Yes, KJ nailed it. There are a variety of commercial products that contain Neem these days. Part of the research we were conducting at the USDA was for Neem's commercial viability. Alternatively, if you can find it, you can grind the seeds yourself or place whole seeds in your garden. I can't vouch for how well any of the commercial products work since we didn't test them. We developed our own mixes to test and just reported the findings.
    I discovered neem when I was in South Asia. Apparently I am super tasty to mosquitoes in that part of the world and nothing i was using was helping until one of the local students gave me a bottle of neem oil. It stopped the mosquito attacks and cleared up a minor rash on my leg. It's an ingredient in one of my favorite soaps (MediMix) that I buy large quantities of when I am over there since it has nothing that I am allergic to and has a coconut oil base rather than animal fat or glycerin.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #91
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    Hope to get caught up during the long weekend on some gardening chores. Get to the weeds before they get unmanageable, transplant the peppers, direct seed the cucumbers, zucchini, and bush beans.

    Plan to harvest some radishes tonight and plant a few more to replace them. Haven't looked at the strawberries in a week and should be getting ready for the first harvest pretty soon...
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  17. #92
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The rain we have had during the past week or so has helped the garden to grow, but it also makes it hard to get in a good time to plant the last few beds. Cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, and ground cherry are all starting to sprout, but I have not put in any Romas. I harvested the last of last year's carrots, but have not put in any new ones, or parsnip. I still need to put in the onions, broccoli, and peppers.

    This year I am moving the squash and melons to another site at the back of the yard, where they will not overgrow the rest of the gaden. I put down four 20' by 25' sheets of plastic and plan to just poke holes through where I want to plant the muck melon, canteloupe, watermelon, gourds, pumpkins, and acorn squash.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  18. #93
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Ninety degrees and humid. Great weather to be toiling in the garden. We nearly ran over a small dinosaur on the road. He made a temporary home in the waterfall I am building near the fire ring, before I relocted him to a nearby pond.



    After that it was time to build another bed. The vegetable garden is in the side yard, just off the driveway. Each bed is 5' x 8'. There are three rows, with a fourth row that is only 5' x 4'. Strawberries, asparagus, and rhubarb are in the beds furthest to the right. Last year I built four beds, and so far this year I have added 4-1/2 more. Still have to plant the parsnip, jalapenos, roma tomatoes, squashes, and melons.



    We have attempted to be sustainable and use materials at hand, so I will be making my tomato supports from some of the branches/trees I cut out of the woodline. We used this same technique with the fence around the patio. Chicken wire keeps the dogs going through. It worked very well when we had two dogs over ten years old. Luke, at 18 months, has learned that he can jump the fence (although so far he will only do it to get to me on the other side).

    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  19. #94
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    OMG that is like TEH MOST TOTALLY AWESOME 10 RAISED BED GARDEN I HAVE SEEN... EVAR!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  20. #95
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I planted a couple rather sickly irises that I bought last year for a measly $1 each on clearance figuring that I could afford to risk it for that price and low and behold about 8 or 9 came up this spring! Most of my hostas seemed to have survived the winter (after an initial scare since I didn't know they die right down to nothing) and have spread a bit and the few snap dragons I planted last spring have multiplied about 10x. I also had planted a few gladiolas last year and they added a couple as well. I would have had even more gladiolas except while cleaning out under some shrubs this weekend I discovered a squirrel or chipmunk must have dug up a couple of bulbs and replanted them in a different spot. They started to sprout and I probably should have just left them where they were for the season, but I got anxious and tried transplanting them in the 90º heat in June after their brothers have already grown about a foot tall. Probably not a good idea (at least for this year) but we shall see.

    All-in-all, my perennials have done so well that I need to make a bit more room in case I want to add any impatients or marigolds or anything like that this year.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  21. #96
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    I am very new to this thread, but its great to be here!

    I bought my first property in August last year and have been slowly working on the garden. The house is a little worse for wear, so i put my effort into making the garden look good.

    My yard has 3-4 very large trees (12m+) mainly gums and 2 jacarandahs, which are beautiful when they flower. I am trying to make sure the backyard is mainly full of natives and the front yard becomes a cottage garden. The back yard has a number of grevilleas that are growing very well and some cameillas, which i am not really a fan of, but they were there before i came along and i dont want to get rid of them for the sake of it. I had a fence line of running bamboo, which i am slowly killing off as it is considered a noxious weed in these parts. I have had a jasmine problem, again its a weed and i am slowly try to get rid of it, its climbed up the gum trees.

    I have planted some proteas along the fence, and most recently a telopea or Waratah- cant wait for that to grown and bloon as they are spectacular.

    I have done quite a bit of work in the front yard, planting lavendar, dianthus, rhondadenron, hydrangea, foxgloves and delphiniums. I have also planted some poppy seeds and many bulbs including tulips, hyainths, jonquils and a few i cant remember!

    I am a little worried because its not even mid winter and some of my bulbs have shot up- is this normal? I am worried i planted them too close to the surface and i should probably re- plant them a bit deeper? any ideas?
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  22. #97
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by natski View post
    I am a little worried because its not even mid winter and some of my bulbs have shot up- is this normal? I am worried i planted them too close to the surface and i should probably re- plant them a bit deeper? any ideas?
    I'd leave the bulbs. If you are concerned about having planted them too shallow, cover them with biodegradable mulch like pine bark which is what is used here in the States.

    When I lived in Albany, NY, I created a garden around my mailbox that was raised up above the surrounding area. It faced due south and was bordered by the asphalt strip that served my suburban neighborhood as sidewalk/bikepath/on-street parking. It was also sheltered by a very large arborvitae. My crocuses and daffodils were always sprouting in late January or early February when the snow melted away. They survived and bloomed just fine, although the tips of the leaves were usually a little bit brown.

    At my current house, the bulbs in my garden along the driveway frequently sprout too early if the snow comes off too soon. Again, it's the combination of raised bed, southern exposure, and the heating of adjacent asphalt that makes this area warmer than it should be in late winter/early spring.

  23. #98
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    We've been harvesting our strawberries the past week and a half. One thing about the Quinault strawberries is that they haven't gotten very large. Most are about a half inch to an inch in diameter. But they are very sweet, very tender and very prone to attack from birds, slugs and other critters!

    I've stopped harvesting the asparagus stalks to give the roots the rest of the season to build up. I staggered the bush bean plantings at one week intervals and about 90% of the first planting has emerged and are already a couple inches high, I expect this weekend the second batch will probably emerge too.

    The sugar snap peas have all formed pods and the first pods should be ready to eat any day now (I've had my hands full keeping Junior from plundering his pea patch prematurely this year).

    We had about 4 really hot days last week and unfortunately about 20% of my spinach decided to bolt. The weather has cooled off a bit and we're continuing to harvest the remaining spinach while we can. It was a short spinach season this year with the weather being what its been.

    Noticed some blossoms on the Early Girl tomatoes and somewhat surprisingly on the Beefsteaks as well. Hopefully that's a sign we're in for a bumper crop this year!

    All four cucumbers emerged and are now about 4 inches high. The leaf lettuce (we grow a mix of Grand Rapids, Green ice, and black seeded Simpson) will be big enough to harvest next week and we can use up some of the radishes and spinach too for summer salads. If I haven't said it before it's really nice to be able to go out in the back yard a couple times a week and assemble fresh dinner salads from whatever ingredients are available in the garden.

    I placed some large mulch rings (they look like commercial buffing machine pads) around the blueberries and it has really helped the bluerries grow, no longer having to compete with surrounding grasses or weeds. No blossoms yet, but I wouldn't expect blossoms for another couple weeks anyways.

    The half dozen green peppers i started from seed all survived transplant, but similar to last year they don't seem to be growing very quickly. I really hope we get some peppers this summer and don't end up like last year pulling a few anemic peppers off the plants in late September! What can I do to make them grow more quickly?

  24. #99
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    I'd leave the bulbs. If you are concerned about having planted them too shallow, cover them with biodegradable mulch like pine bark which is what is used here in the States.

    When I lived in Albany, NY, I created a garden around my mailbox that was raised up above the surrounding area. It faced due south and was bordered by the asphalt strip that served my suburban neighborhood as sidewalk/bikepath/on-street parking. It was also sheltered by a very large arborvitae. My crocuses and daffodils were always sprouting in late January or early February when the snow melted away. They survived and bloomed just fine, although the tips of the leaves were usually a little bit brown.

    At my current house, the bulbs in my garden along the driveway frequently sprout too early if the snow comes off too soon. Again, it's the combination of raised bed, southern exposure, and the heating of adjacent asphalt that makes this area warmer than it should be in late winter/early spring.
    Thanks for your advice!

    I actually have them covered with sugar cane mulch, and they are facing the south, so not a great deal of sun. It must have been that we have had an early cold snap here and the past two weeks has seen a great deal of rain.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  25. #100
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Yesterday I was able to get my first batch of peas out of the garden. This was the first year I've grown peas and they were ready much earlier than I anticipated. I should be able to get some kale this week or next too.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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