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Thread: The 2012 Annual Garden Thread

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    The 2012 Annual Garden Thread

    Do you have a green thumb? A black thumb? No thumbs?

    Pull up a knee pad, dig yourself a hole, and plant your seeds for discussing your 2012 gardening hopes, plans, and dreams.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    My garden did not do so well last year partly because I was not able to watch it to maintain it. And the square-foot technique caused things to get over crowded and it just turned into a big mess. So, this year I am doing something different. I read a story about a guy who integrated his vegetables into his decorative landscape. I have a 5 year plan for my back yard to help separate the driveway from the grass area and will be planting a combination of small berry plants, grapes, and some evergreens in combination with a few tomatoes, corn, and a couple of others.

    Over the past 3 years, the amount of grass has decreased as the gardens have increased. I may even eliminate the garden beds behind the garage and plant hops, grapes, or some other berry bushes. It is a 24-foot by 10 foot wide area with full sun for most of it.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I haven't decided what to plant this year, but thumbing through the catalogues (and I am still receiving a lot of them thanks to Mrs. Maister requesting them from a dozen different outfits a few years ago) I find myself gravitating towards planting more perennial sorts of food. Theres' an overgrown spruce in the front yard that's grown too close to the house that I intend to cut down in spring and I was thinking the soil in that southern-exposed area would be pretty acidic owing to the years worth of dropped needles, and would be ideal for planting additional blueberry bushes. Asparagus is an annual vegetable I've fallen in love with and would like to double the number of crowns we currently have. Those all-male hybrids (e.g. Jersey Knight, Jersey Giant, Jersey King, or Jersey Prince....dang, my appreciation of Rutgers' botanical program has risen almost to the level of Michigan State's) are extremely productive. 10 more crowns of asparagus would be enough to feed a family of three and leave enough surplus to give to neighbors or relatives.

    I intended last year to be all about tomatoes but a blight took care of that ambition, so I think 2012 will be about attempting a more diverse selection of crops. Sure I'll attempt tomatoes again and will stick with the tried and true green beans and peas, but maybe I'll plant more things like rutabegas, brocoli, and cabbage this year. However, I'm still in the dreaming stage and plans are far from concrete at this point.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I Was still harvesting green onions, sage, and parsley from the garden a couple weeks ago. They were no longer growing, but had still not been killed. I am hoping the investment in blueberries, serviceberries, currants, pears, and plums begins to pay off in 2012. I will have to spray the apple tree this year to prevent it from being infested by japanese beatles. I have ten boxes built and should get the last five finished this year, making plating easier, as well as keeping down the weeds.

    I noticed celeriac in the Jung's catalog. I did not see hungarian paprika peppers.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I'm just starting to think about this year's garden. At least the home garden - I also am involved in three community gardens that are at different states of functioning. One thing we are for certain going to try is growing rasberries. He have a good dimensioned planting area adjacent to the driveway that the wife is interested in for establishing rasberries. I wouldn't think this was a good environment for them but a friend's mother runs a local enterprise making awesome jam and other products and cultivate something like 7 acres of rasberries right here in town.

    Other than that, its the standard tomatoes and peppers for sure. Also, spinach, lettuce, cilantro, parsely and other herbs. Beyond that, I really don't know - eggplant? okra? I have a seed catalog at home I am planning to look through the make some decisions.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Truck Farming

    Here's a new take on truck farming.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Here's a new take on truck farming.
    Now that's innovative!

    It's coming down to decision time, do I order the blackberry bushes or the blueberry?
    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

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Here's a new take on truck farming.
    Pretty cool! Here is a link to a place I used to work and an installation art piece employing a similar idea, only it used salvaged vehicles that were put in the art center's front yard, back filled with soil and then planted. We also had these folks called the WHO Farm Bus (White House Organic Farm) come through our town. They drove across country in this crazy school bus that had another bus welded upside down on the first. They then planted a garden in the very top and drove around gathering signatures to petition the White House to install and run an organic garden space on the property. Interesting guys and they stayed in our guesthouse during their time here.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Recommended Reading

    Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, by Douglas Tallamy

    His website
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  10. #10
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    We'll hopefully be into our new house within the next few weeks (fingers crossed). We'll have a more of a yard for flowers/fruits/vegetables. But I'm not certain we'll put anything in this year.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Made two major garden purchases last weekend: one of those rotating composter bins and a small 4' by 8' greenhouse.

    How should I best use the greenhouse? Suggestions?
    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

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Made two major garden purchases last weekend: one of those rotating composter bins and a small 4' by 8' greenhouse.

    How should I best use the greenhouse? Suggestions?
    Make sure it meets zoning regs!!!
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    This may be the last year I attempt any decently-sized vegetable garden in my backyard. Even though we live in the city, deer are a constant nuisance and I don't seem to get much out of the gardens. This year, in addition to the small fence I put up around the garden, I think I'm going to get some netting to loosely drape across everything. The only other option that I haven't tried is to camp out by one of the back windows with a crossbow.

    On the flower front, I've already seen a bunch of crocuses and daffodils poking through. That seems much earlier than I can remember in the past. I know they are relatively hearty plants, but should I be concerned if they get above a certain height too early in the season?
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    On the flower front, I've already seen a bunch of crocuses and daffodils poking through. That seems much earlier than I can remember in the past. I know they are relatively hearty plants, but should I be concerned if they get above a certain height too early in the season?
    I noticed this as well nearly two weeks ago. We normally don't see crocuses around here until late March! I know some of the fruit farmers in the area are absolutely freaking out about the abnormal weather we've been having. The odds of a a premature blossom followed by a killing frost seems almost a certainty this season.
    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

  15. #15
    Its been so warm here in Boston this winter that I was going to ask TerraSapient for advice on what to plant this season!

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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My bulbs started blooming last week. I'm going to need to divide some this year that are currently in pots. And I need to acquire some more to mix in with the paperwhites that RJ got me last year.

    I never have much luck growing flowers from seeds, but the bulbs always do great.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I wasn't sure where this would get the best audience, so I decided to go with this thread.

    Carrots in the car park. Radishes on the roundabout. The deliciously eccentric story of the town growing ALL its own veg

    Pretty cool. And the article uses words like "cheekiest."
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I was taking the garbage out to the curb this morning and saw some of my crocuses already blooming. This might be a new record at my house - granted, this is only my third spring in the house, but still...






    My tulips really grew quite a bit over the last couple of days as well and I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple blooms on them in the next week or so either.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    We got maybe an inch of snow last night - as before, I guess we can't complain considering the season. Anywho I said upthread my greenhouse was 4 x 8 I meant to say 6 x 8. it's supposed to get up to 70 this weekend so I'll set it up this weekend and probably plant peas, radishes, lettuce, spinach, and maybe some other spring veggies from seed. It'll be nice to get off to such an early start. Normally I wouldn't even countenance the thought of planting peas until after St. Patrick's Day (and even that is pushing it), but now I can start my gardening the same time as the folks in places like Georgia or South Carolina do! Heck, with my growing season extended by two months maybe I should grow some peanuts or okra?
    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

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Given our upcoming move in June it is entirely possible that our new residence will have some dirt that I can dig in. While it will be too late for a vegetable garden there will be sufficient time to have a decent flower garden
    "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

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    I was taking the garbage out to the curb this morning and saw some of my crocuses already blooming. This might be a new record at my house - granted, this is only my third spring in the house, but still...


    Love those colors!

    Depending on when our closing is scheduled, I may have to start a garden completely from scratch at the new place. I'll miss all the bulbs and perennials I've planted here over the last 11 years, but if the ground is too frozen, they will have to stay where they are. I hope the new owners enjoy them... though I may ask them to call me if they decide to get rid of anything.

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    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    We got maybe an inch of snow last night - as before, I guess we can't complain considering the season. Anywho I said upthread my greenhouse was 4 x 8 I meant to say 6 x 8. it's supposed to get up to 70 this weekend so I'll set it up this weekend and probably plant peas, radishes, lettuce, spinach, and maybe some other spring veggies from seed. It'll be nice to get off to such an early start. Normally I wouldn't even countenance the thought of planting peas until after St. Patrick's Day (and even that is pushing it), but now I can start my gardening the same time as the folks in places like Georgia or South Carolina do! Heck, with my growing season extended by two months maybe I should grow some peanuts or okra?
    I have my carrots planted and onions. This is the earliest that I remember planting anything; however my grandfather planted peas the Friday after Ash Wednesday so I am sure he planted earlier.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    We got maybe an inch of snow last night - as before, I guess we can't complain considering the season. Anywho I said upthread my greenhouse was 4 x 8 I meant to say 6 x 8. it's supposed to get up to 70 this weekend so I'll set it up this weekend and probably plant peas, radishes, lettuce, spinach, and maybe some other spring veggies from seed. It'll be nice to get off to such an early start. Normally I wouldn't even countenance the thought of planting peas until after St. Patrick's Day (and even that is pushing it), but now I can start my gardening the same time as the folks in places like Georgia or South Carolina do! Heck, with my growing season extended by two months maybe I should grow some peanuts or okra?
    I assume you have one of the plastic ones? How does it stay warm enough at night?

    I went out to the garden for a bit this afternoon. The herbs I was harvesting into December are greening up already. Parsley, sage, rosemary and radischio made it through the winter. I also have some onions poking up out of the ground.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I assume you have one of the plastic ones? How does it stay warm enough at night?

    I went out to the garden for a bit this afternoon. The herbs I was harvesting into December are greening up already. Parsley, sage, rosemary and radischio made it through the winter. I also have some onions poking up out of the ground.
    Yeah it's one of those plastic ones. I've never used one before so I dont know what to expect. I'm going with all spring veggies (not going with maters or peppers yet in the greenhouse) and decided to treat it like an oversized cold frame - at least it'll keep the frost off.
    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

  25. #25
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    With our 66º weather yesterday, it was a great day to get outside and clear out all the old dead flowers leftover in the beds from last year. In some spots, last year's snapdragons were so thick, and the winter never really got that cold this year, that when I cleared them away there were already fresh ones coming up. The snapdragons look nice and add a lot of color to the garden plots but they also seem to be spreading like wild fire and overtaking things. I'm not really complaining though since they require very little maintenance and look good when I clip some for vases and what not.


    I was also playing in the backyard with my daughter yesterday and found a couple crocuses coming up in the middle of the lawn. A squirrel or chipmunk must have dug up a bulb or two and dropped them while trying to get them back to their hiding spot...
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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