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Thread: The 2012 Annual Garden Thread

  1. #51
    Cyburbian michaelskis'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.
    Yep... mine went insane this year.

    The veggie garden is not doing so hot for some reason. I fear it is too much sun and not enough water. On the other hand, mini-skis planted sunflowers this spring and one of the three is already 6 feet tall.

    I have been doing more research in veggiescaping for next year. Sounds like the yield might be less, but the quality will be better.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #52
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    This morning I was returning home after a run and while I was walking around the front yard trying to cool down before going inside I was looking at my flowers. A couple of years ago I planted a bunch of snapdragons and they have come back very thick each year since then. This year, one spot has a bunch of them so thick that they are twisting and turning all over each other trying to find the sun. When they stand up straight, they are about 3' tall but this one spot has them standing up, laying down, spreading out, etc. So I decided to dig up a bunch to thin the spot out and try to transplant them to an area near a rock garden in the backyard. We shall see how well that works. I transplanted some tiger lilies last year and they seem to have come up pretty well in their new homes but I've failed when I've tried to transplant hostas and ferns.

    Anybody have any experience thinning out and transplanting snapdragons?

    My main concern is that they are not known for wintering over consistently in my zone but mine seem to do very well. I think having them right next to the house probably helps. I don't want to cut them back too much or thin them too much and not have them come back at all.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  3. #53
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    This morning I was returning home after a run and while I was walking around the front yard trying to cool down before going inside I was looking at my flowers. A couple of years ago I planted a bunch of snapdragons and they have come back very thick each year since then. This year, one spot has a bunch of them so thick that they are twisting and turning all over each other trying to find the sun. When they stand up straight, they are about 3' tall but this one spot has them standing up, laying down, spreading out, etc. So I decided to dig up a bunch to thin the spot out and try to transplant them to an area near a rock garden in the backyard. We shall see how well that works. I transplanted some tiger lilies last year and they seem to have come up pretty well in their new homes but I've failed when I've tried to transplant hostas and ferns.

    Anybody have any experience thinning out and transplanting snapdragons?

    My main concern is that they are not known for wintering over consistently in my zone but mine seem to do very well. I think having them right next to the house probably helps. I don't want to cut them back too much or thin them too much and not have them come back at all.
    Technically, snaps are annuals. However, they easily reseed, and some will come back, especially when there's a deep snowpack to protect them. If you plant them near your home's foundation or in sunny, sheltered spots, they will likely come back or reseed.
    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

  4. #54
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Most people know the old saying "knee high by the Fourth of July", referring to corn. If mine hits that mark I will be impressed. I just seeded it today. Let's hope for a long growing season.

    Over all I was very slow getting things in the ground, in part because of a three week trip to California in May. The beans, peas, and zucchini are all doing very well. I am just starting to see peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, and a few other plants poking out of the ground. The last two years I have not had much luck with peppers even sprouting, so to even see a half dozen plants is encouraging.

    Because I did not plant the whole garden last year I had a great number of weeds and a couple good plants sprout up in the unplanted sections. This morning I attempted to relocate some milkweed to one of the flower gardens. It is a hard plant to move because it has a deep root. I have my fingers crossed.
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  5. #55
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Anybody have an idea what this plant is? It came up last year, but I don't recall it actually flowering. It is about 5' 6" tall now and it also never got anywhere near this tall last year. It is growing behind some trees near a small rock garden I have. The area has a lot of morning and daytime shade and some intense later afternoon sun, but only for about 45 minutes or an hour. The ground is very well drained with a lot of organic material on the top few inches - mainly many years worth of pine needles. We are a couple inches below our normal rainfall and even when it rains hard for hours, this area has so much thick tree cover that not much water makes it down to this spot.





    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  6. #56
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    PULL IT!!!

    Pull it now!

    It is evil. Mullien is an invasive plant brought over in grain. It will produce tens of thousands of seeds on a single stem.
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  7. #57
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    PULL IT!!!

    Pull it now!

    It is evil. Mullien is an invasive plant brought over in grain. It will produce tens of thousands of seeds on a single stem.
    Well that sounds encouraging! lol

    I did a bit more research and it sounds like mullein likes to suck all the nitrogen out of the surrounding area so I think I probably will indeed pull it out since I just got that little garden going this spring that you can see at the bottom of the first picture (and there are a bunch of lilies that aren't shown all around the tree as well). But I will probably wait until late July or early August to cut it down and dig out the roots because it might be a bit difficult to dig out the roots completely next to that tree and the hot dry weather should hopefully help me out. I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for more of them poking up in the vicinity next spring.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  8. #58
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    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.
    Now seeing volunteer TommyToe tomato (from last year) plants coming up.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  9. #59
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Regarding the mullein plant I have growing... I remembered that we have about 6 master gardeners on our staff (the local MSU Extension hosts the master gardener classes in our office so I think a bunch of our staff decided to take advantage of the proximity) I asked one of them about it and got a nice full response:

    I know this as the Common Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus), and have had it growing off and on in my yard, but it has never been invasive. It has many other common names such as: Aaron’s rod, Adam’s flannel, feltwort, Jacob’s staff, old man’s flannel, blanket leaf, bullock’s lungwort, cow’s lungwort, hare’s beard, lady’s foxglove, ice leaf, Peter’s staff, shepherd’s club, candlewick, flannel leaf, flannel mullein, flannel plant, hedge taper, Indian tobacco, Jupiter’s staff, torch-wort, velvet dock.

    Great mullein is a biennial which reaches a height of 6′ or more in the second year, thoroughly deserving the name, though in the first year it has a totally different form and apparently different leaves, as they are thickly coated in fuzz, rather like lamb’s ears. The pale grey leaves are covered with silver and felt like hairs. The flowers are yellow by nature and occupy approximately half of the stem.

    Mullein flowers from November through March and is considered by many agricultural businesses to be a weed and more of a nuisance than anything. Although unlikely to become invasive except in areas with little competition or after forest fires, it is listed as a noxious weed in Colorado, Hawaii and Victoria, Australia. Because each plant produces a huge number of seeds which can lie dormant for up to 100 years, it is very difficult to eradicate completely.
    The Mullein is native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, and has been introduced medicinally to the Americas and Australia. It has the ability to grow in a vast range of habitats but prefers well lit and disturbed soils, helping to enable its appearance soon after the ground receives light.

    It is the mullein leaves and flowers that are used medicinally but the mullein root is said to aid with bladder incontinence. Fresh mullein leaves are also used for the purpose of making a homoeopathic tincture. Oil is made from the leaves and flower for medical purposes.
    I have included an herbal site that may be of interest to you:

    http://www.herbalmedicinefromyourgar...alth-benefits/
    I think mine is actually the "great mullein" variety since it seems much taller than the common variety and I remember the plant looking like what they describe it as in a non-flowering year (last year).

    Even though they don't give me the same dire warning that Cardinal does, I may still take it out since I am slowly trying to put in a flower garden there and get more grass growing in the rest of the area and mullein doesn't sound like it will be real compatible with those efforts.

    The most astonishing thing about this plant is that about 2 weeks ago it was maybe 3" to 6" tall and then suddenly exploded in height.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  10. #60
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Latest update on the farm garden plot:

    After some really cool nights (upper forties) which stalled the tomatoes and peppers, they are thriving again inside their critter-proof fence! Apparently the bambis and their fellows plant predators (raccoons, rabbits, and woodchucks) have decided that there are other places to feed.

    For the first time ever, I tried Preen weed-preventer in the farm plot because I can only get out there once a week, and sometimes, only every two weeks. It has worked remarkably well. The only weeds that I had to pull were some tough crabgrass and bindweed that sprouted from roots. Annual weeds are largely non-existent.

    WNY has been invaded by army worms this year. There's a serious infestation about 5-7 miles away, but there was nothing in the fenced plot nor in the rented soybean fields, but our fields are pretty isolated from other farms, so they may miss us.
    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

  11. #61
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Regarding the mullein plant I have growing... I remembered that we have about 6 master gardeners on our staff (the local MSU Extension hosts the master gardener classes in our office so I think a bunch of our staff decided to take advantage of the proximity) I asked one of them about it and got a nice full response:



    ... I may still take it out ....
    The plant pulls out of the ground very easily. If I am out hiking and stumble upon one I will simply grab the top as I walk past, give a yank, and pull it up roots and all.
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  12. #62
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    I think mine is actually the "great mullein" variety since it seems much taller than the common variety and I remember the plant looking like what they describe it as in a non-flowering year (last year).

    Even though they don't give me the same dire warning that Cardinal does, I may still take it out since I am slowly trying to put in a flower garden there and get more grass growing in the rest of the area and mullein doesn't sound like it will be real compatible with those efforts.

    The most astonishing thing about this plant is that about 2 weeks ago it was maybe 3" to 6" tall and then suddenly exploded in height.
    There is a guy I went to college with who was a "naturalist" and hated people with nice manicured laws. He would harvest these seeds (along with many other) and make seed bombs in his dorm room as a way to "release vegetative havoc on the pompous population and their chemically induced lawns." Now that I think about it, he only wore sandals. Even in a Yooper Winter...

    My lawn looks like brown steel wool but because of soaker hoses, my garden seems to be doing ok.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  13. #63
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    I harvested my first "fruits" of the new gardening season ... three plump radishes!
    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

  14. #64
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Because Mrs. Maister has been experiencing significant health issues I haven't been able to stay on top of the garden very well this summer. Given the amount of heat and lack of precipitation that has not been good news for the garden. You miss one day watering when it's 99 out and that = plant loss. The tomatoes are okay but we ended up losing about half our flowers. I never got the chance to put netting on the blueberries and critters ate ALL of the berries. cutworms took out a few cucumber plants as well.
    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. #65
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    I have at least 2 really tiny zucchinis starting. I put the zucchini plant right in the middle of my refurbished flower bed because I wanted to keep a close eye on it -- and I was fearful that my resident woodchuck and bunnies would eat it if I put it in the back garden.

    I've been harvesting radishes and mesclun. My last planting of lettuce is looking good. I'm going to plant some okra and green beans out at the farm since I got the seed packets half price.
    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

  16. #66
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    My red raspberries are starting. I got a handful yesterday.

    While most of the tree/vine fruits here abouts (apples, cherries, grapes) suffered from our wacky spring weather, the two choke-cherry trees in my yard are loaded. The fruit just turned red, so it should be fully ripe in a couple of days, and I'll have every catbird, robin, cardinal, chickadee, and who knows what else within a half mile visiting my yard, especially since my pond with waterfall is close to the one tree.
    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

  17. #67
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I just returned from a 11-day trip. The tomatillos (volunteers) are all doing very well. I have eight large zucchini plants ready to start producing. Anybody want some zucchini? Everything else is far behind or almost non-existant. It will be a weak year for the garden.
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  18. #68
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I've begun harvesting some peppers and tomatillos from my garden and I should get my first few tomatoes this week or next.

    This was my first year growing tomatillos and I only put in two plants and now that I know how small they are when they are ready, I wish I would have planted maybe four or six. I should still get enough to make a batch of salsa with them.

    My daughter and I already ate all the peas that it looks like I am going to get for the first part of the year. An early hot spell in May really seemed to limit them. Hopefully I can get a second batch in at the end of the summer once it begins to cool down again.

    I had some lettuce in my garden but I waited too long and it had already begun to bolt. I salvaged what I could and am hoping that I can still get a second batch of it like I had in years past. It's alright if I don't get any more though because my parents seemed to have gotten enough lettuce to feed a small army of vegetarians and provide me with a never ending supply each time I see them.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  19. #69
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    While watering my garden this weekend (no, that is not a euphemism) I found a hole/tunnel inside the garden fence… then I realized one of my pepper plants had totally disappeared! Some evil beastie pulled my poor plant into the depths of its lair! I thought I only had to worry about walking/hopping herbivores… grrr…Is there anything I can do? Other than watch Caddyshack?

  20. #70
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    My parents have been nice enough to let me get some room in their garden this year. I'm growing 3 types of Kale and some Painted Mountain Corn.

    The Kale has already been harvested 2 or 3 times and the corn looks like it'll be harvest ready in 2-4 weeks. I was lucky, despite planting too close together the corn and kale came out strong. I didn't even thin them out. I have 10 stalks of corn growing in a 3 foot wide, 2 foot deep, 6 or 7 foot long rectangle, and 15ish Kale plants in a 3ft wide x 2ft deep x 4ft long area. My parents also have a fig tree, 3 blueberry bushes, 10 tomato plants, 30-40 bean/pea plants, and a beach plum bush.

    We also had potatos by accident. My parents are too lazy to compost but they bury banana peels and coffee grounds. Early this year my dad mixed in a whole bunch of potato skins to decompose and become soil...Well they took root and we had about 30 potatos. All of them really small, but still. Oh and the same thing happened with a onion peels and they have two onions plants ready for harvest.

  21. #71
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ddomin4360 View post
    We also had potatos by accident.
    LOL I've had 'accidental' plants before. I wound up with watermelons one year after a seed spitting contest and I'm still not sure where a mystery pumpkin came from several years ago.


    Man, do I wish I could have saved my sweet corn this season. At the grocery store yesterday there was a smallish display of some fairly anemic sweet corn.... going for $3.50/dozen
    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

  22. #72
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    Here are some pics of my plants-






  23. #73
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    Ahhh....teh Garden Thread...oh how I missed thee.

    My garden is so drought stricken this year it is hardly worth posting. Corn is toast, beans never bloomed because its so hot. I'm getting a few tomatoes to eat but no where near enough to make salsa. And my strawberries are burned up so I may be starting those over next year.

    On the bright side, I haven't mowed the lawn since May

  24. #74
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    We've had cherry tomatoes going on for the last couple weeks and Junior has done an efficient job of plundering them as a snack whenever he's out playing in the back yard (and that's perfectly okay by us). We've only managed to bring maybe a quart of them into the house. The main season tomatoes are about billiard ball sized and appear to be just starting to turn yellow. With the wacky weather we've had this summer (first a drought for seven weeks, then nearly two weeks of ~100 degree temps) I'm just grateful we're going to get anything at all. I managed to keep two cucumber plants alive which have produced a medium-sized cuke a piece so far (and made a yummy cucumber salad). The dozen pepper plants have all blossomed and tiny peppers have just started to form within the last few days - hopefully by mid Sept. we'll have some decent sized green peppers. Two of the four broccoli plants flowered early (probably the heat) and we never got a chance to harvest a decent head.

    MIA this year were the wild dill plants - not sure if it was the early drought or what caused it but no dill made their appearance this season (it's okay, though, we dried enough for several years' worth over the last couple seasons).

    The blueberry bushes have all grown quite a bit this year. I reported earlier that critters ate all of our berries this year, but next year I intend to cover them with protective netting, as I anticipate our harvest should more than double with having two three-year old bushes probably coming on line next season.

    All in all a very disappointing season thus far, but at least some salvage appears feasible as we approach fall.
    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. #75
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Man, do I wish I could have saved my sweet corn this season. At the grocery store yesterday there was a smallish display of some fairly anemic sweet corn.... going for $3.50/dozen
    Update: sweet corn is now going for $3.00/half dozen ears at the grocery store looks like ddomin had the right idea this year!
    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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