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Thread: The 2012 Annual Garden Thread

  1. #26
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    This thread makes me sad that I do not currently have my own patch of dirt for flowers and vegetables.

    However, we were at our rental house in GR yesterday trimming back a butterfly bush that had gotten so big it was leaning over and pulling the roots up.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  2. #27
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    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...
    I cut down the old asparagus canes from last year, pulled grass from around the strawberries, and got one of the raised beds prepared yesterday. The crowning garden achievement yesterday, though, was getting the greenhouse set up. I intend to plant seeds sometime in the next few days.
    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

  3. #28
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    After a crazy week of 70+ temps I decided to plant most of my spring veggies (in the greenhouse). Managed to sow 74 peas, 72 spinach (used a 4 year old spinach seed packet, I'm wondering if maybe I was being penny-wise and pound foolish not spending a buck and buying a new packet), and about 24 (cherry belle) radishes. Tonight I will plant 8 lettuce (4 'Green ice' and 4 'Grand Rapids') and 4 broccoli. I have the feeling this is going to be a bumper year at least for spring veggies
    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

  4. #29
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I missed the umpteenth frost/freeze warning we've had since all the plants started blooming in mid March. I covered the flower beds and fruits probably a dozen times, but failed to do so last night. Naturally, I lost virtually all of our tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth flowers, as well as the blueberry blossoms. I'm most depressed about the blueberries because it looked like we had lots of blossoms and would have had a decent year for fruit. (sigh). Oh well, the bees are still in Florida anyways so I suppose we probably wouldnt have had much pollenation even if the frost hadn't got to 'em.

    Damn this freaky weather.

    On the plus side of things, we enjoyed our third harvest of asparagus for dinner last night and because I have most of my spring veggies protected in the greenhouse this year, the veggie front is still in good shape.
    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

  5. #30
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    This thread makes me sad that I do not currently have my own patch of dirt for flowers and vegetables.

    However, we were at our rental house in GR yesterday trimming back a butterfly bush that had gotten so big it was leaning over and pulling the roots up.
    Bring the family to CW for the weekend and I can keep you guys very busy. Afterwards you will be relieved to not have your own patch of dirt. I come up with a ridiculous amount of projects for the amount of time and manpower (moi!) that I have.

    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I missed the umpteenth frost/freeze warning we've had since all the plants started blooming in mid March. I covered the flower beds and fruits probably a dozen times, but failed to do so last night. Naturally, I lost virtually all of our tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth flowers, as well as the blueberry blossoms.
    I'm all about natural selection and haven't covered crap. Fortunately it appears that most everything has survived. Even the shrubs and perennials I bought on clearance last July and didn't plant for two months.

  6. #31
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post
    I'm all about natural selection and haven't covered crap. Fortunately it appears that most everything has survived. Even the shrubs and perennials I bought on clearance last July and didn't plant for two months.
    When it comes to perrennials I think there is something to be said for abuse. Tough treatment breeds tough plants. You always read about folks feeding their asparagus this or that to increase yields. Me? After the first year, I don't even bother watering them.
    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

  7. #32
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I was complaining the other day about how I didn't think 10 crowns produced enough asparagus for 3 people; I discovered the secret to increasing yields....just leave for the weekend. I harvested last on Thursday and came back a few hours ago. I needed a machete to cut my way through!!
    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

  8. #33
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I don't know why it is, but I'm having a really tough time this year getting interested/fired up about the garden.
    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

  9. #34
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    We should be into our new house within the next few weeks. Not sure if we'll have time to get anything in the ground, but I'm hoping to at least get a few vegetables in pots.

    Is mid-June too late in Michigan to do anything vegetable wise?
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  10. #35
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    We should be into our new house within the next few weeks. Not sure if we'll have time to get anything in the ground, but I'm hoping to at least get a few vegetables in pots.

    Is mid-June too late in Michigan to do anything vegetable wise?
    Sure, you can still plant most veggies in mid-June. Check the growing times on the seed packets and shoot for things that mature in less than 75 days or so. You could even wait until mid-late July and start a 'fall garden' and grow things that mature well in cooler weather like: lettuce, peas, broccoli, turnips, radishes, spinach etc.
    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

  11. #36
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    After three weeks away I am too busy mowing, weeding, cutting up the fallen elm, and transplanting. On top of that I have still not unoacked after five days, have to catch up on work, and do other odd chores. I have not planted a single seed in the vegetable garden. I tell myself it is okay, and that in a typical year I would not be planting until mid-May, but it still feels bad.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  12. #37
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    This morning I was out back at 6:30, digging a "trench" to plant some of the 100 bulbs RJ got me for my b-day. I got 20 in, covered, fertilized, and mulched. Ugh. High humidity. that took 45 min, added to an hour yesterday pulling up grass and weeds to make space. I put a few in a pot by the pool yesterday. Have to figure out where to put 77 more.

  13. #38
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I've got tomatoes, peppers (jalapenos and chiles), basil, strawberries and raspberries (first year trying to establish these) and some herbs in. Nothing ambitious thus far. Summer is shaping up to be a busy one this year, so I probably won't do much more than this.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  14. #39
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have de-weeded one of two formal strawberry beds, finding a single delicious red berry in the process. Five of the beds are planted with three kinds of beans, peas, three kinds of tomatoes. green peppers, jalapenos, onions, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, and several herbs. I am almost half-way to being done.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  15. #40
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Not much pf a gardener, but do plant a tomato plant or 3 each year for Mrs. P to enjoy and the kid to pick. Planted a single tomato plant this year and a banana pepper plant. A little late in doing it, but thats okay too.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  16. #41
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Has anyone else noticed their roses going nuts this year? We only have 18 bushes, but I would guess we have about 500 blooms right now. Some of the bushes are simply covered in red or pink flowers.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  17. #42
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Has anyone else noticed their roses going nuts this year? We only have 18 bushes, but I would guess we have about 500 blooms right now. Some of the bushes are simply covered in red or pink flowers.
    I don't know about 500 blooms but I did have a 'phoenix bush' come back to life this year that had died late last summer.
    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

  18. #43
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    This morning I was out back at 6:30, digging a "trench" to plant some of the 100 bulbs RJ got me for my b-day. I got 20 in, covered, fertilized, and mulched. Ugh. High humidity. that took 45 min, added to an hour yesterday pulling up grass and weeds to make space. I put a few in a pot by the pool yesterday. Have to figure out where to put 77 more.
    Wow, already all the bulbs are coming up at maybe 5-7 inches in 2 weeks. I need to get out there and plant the rest. They are summer bloomers, like the day lilies I've been planting for my 5 yrs here, they are blooming and beautiful.

    We gave up on the lettuce/veggies this year after everything was decimated by white flies last year.

  19. #44
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Finally got all the summer veggies in (except for 8 more green peppers).

    This has been a great year for spinach, today I havested a third big batch in as many weeks. The sugar snap peas will be ready to harvest in a couple more days. I also harvested what is probably the last of the asparagus - it's starting to get a bit spindly and I'm going to let it go for the season - all in all a great asparagus season too.
    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. #45
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Finally got all the summer veggies in (except for 8 more green peppers).

    This has been a great year for spinach, today I havested a third big batch in as many weeks. The sugar snap peas will be ready to harvest in a couple more days. I also harvested what is probably the last of the asparagus - it's starting to get a bit spindly and I'm going to let it go for the season - all in all a great asparagus season too.
    My spinach did awful this year, which is sad because it did really well last year. I am going to turn the soil a bit and add some mulch to my garden plots while I am out there planting my peppers and tomatoes tomorrow so I'm hoping that maybe it's not too late for me to get something from the spinach. I have a lot of sugar snap peas coming too but it will probably be another 7-10 days before anything is ready to eat.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  21. #46
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    This has been an incredible year for strawberries. They are extra sweet and we have more than we can possibly eat.

    I planted late, so Maister may be getting ready to harvest peas while my plants are only four inches long. I still have to plant all of the squash, pumpkins, canteloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, most of the tomatoes, and a handful of other veggies.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  22. #47
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I planted late, so Maister may be getting ready to harvest peas while my plants are only four inches long.
    And you forget...I placed a greenhouse over my spring veggies this year so everything came online a week or two earlier this year than usual.
    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

  23. #48
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    And you forget...I placed a greenhouse over my spring veggies this year so everything came online a week or two earlier this year than usual.
    OK, you are making me feel a lot better.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  24. #49
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Linda's garden report, June, 2012:
    • Well, here in WNY, we paid for our 2-3 weeks of incredibly warm weather back in March and April with some nasty freezes that took out a lot of fruit crops like peaches, cherries, apples and grapes. Then the first part of May was very cold so the bees couldn't pollenate the fruit trees that did survive! We're gonna be eating a lot of NJ fruits this season because we won't have much of our own.
    • The unseasonable warm snap also did a number on some of my flowering trees and shrubs. My little street tree crabapple didn't have a bloom. My usually glorious weeping cherry looked pretty poor -- and it didn't even fully leaf out until almost Memorial Day! The saddest bunch, though, were my lilacs. The small pink one right close to the house did okay, but the purples out back lost every bud. My big dark purple one along the driveway, which has never failed to dazzle the entire neighborhood, had these tiny misshapen purple things instead of real flowers because the top of the buds got frozen just when they were going to open.
    • The good news is that my rhodies out front did just fine and put on their usual show.
    • Then there's the mock orange in the side yard that has gone absolutely berserk in the sunshine now that the neighbor has taken down the spruce trees from hell (which means that I can actually use my sunroom safely even when the wind's blowing!). I will have to take a picture of it and post it. It is absolutely the most spectacular mock orange I've ever seen. The thing is like 8 feet of sweet-smelling white blooms!
    • My "city veggie garden" this year consists of 5 plants of 4 varieties, 3 pepper plants, 1 zucchini, and some radishes and onions. I've got 3 tomatoes in the regular veggie plot, but the peppers, radishes, and lettuce are in a bed that I cleaned out of overgrown stuff by the pond and the other 2 tomatoes are in the other recently refurbished garden space off the back porch. The refurbished beds also contain flowers, so I have "mixed gardens". Last year I had an issue with a woodchuck living under my garage lean-to addition, and he's still there AFAIK, so I didn't plant anything in the back area of the yard. I'm using it for composting lawn clippings.
    • I have high hopes for my "farm veggie garden" which this year consists of 17 tomato plants of 4 varieties, 9 pepper plants, 2 spaghetti squash, and a row of sunflowers and lettuce. I will probably plant some beans this week, and maybe more lettuce. Last year, between deer predation and human vandalism, I only got a limited amount of tomatoes, no peppers, no lettuce, and no beans. My brother, who planted about 2 acres of corn, got nothing because of the deer and raccoons, so this year he put an electrified deer fence designed to keep bambis and other assorted varmits out of the crop plot. My garden is inside the plot, and so far, only a few stupid whitetails have gotten in, and most have promptly departed. Here's a video clip of one that learned the hardway to avoid the fence: Bambi gets zappped!
    • The fence is quite short, the outer wire is only about 10" high, so it works on raccoons, coyotes, and dogs, too. I can get the specs for it from my brother for anybody who's interested. The only problem is that sometimes the deer get in and can't get out.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  25. #50
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    We should be into our new house within the next few weeks. Not sure if we'll have time to get anything in the ground, but I'm hoping to at least get a few vegetables in pots.

    Is mid-June too late in Michigan to do anything vegetable wise?
    Probably not gonna happen this year. Too much to do with the new house, plus the first foot or so of ground around our house is rock hard.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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