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Home stuff 🏡 The 2021 garden thread

Maister

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It's the middle of January and there's 6 inches of snow on the ground. That means its time to start the annual garden thread. I was in a bad place last year but 2021 is looking up so let's post about our gardens this year.

I just ordered a bunch of seeds from Gurney's and they'll be arriving in a week or so. No rush, like I said there's a blanket of snow on the ground.
This year I intend to grow:
bush beans
wax beans
pole beans
spinach
lettuce
tomatoes
rutabegas
peppers

I also ordered two different types of strawberry roots: a June-bearing variety (produces one big crop in June), and an everbearing variety (smaller steady harvest throughout the summer)

I want to get Junior to build me a deluxe raised bed garden for the front yard this year.

Here's the obligatory garden imagery
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Big Owl

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I planted some garlic back in October. It should be ready to harvest late July. It's pretty low maintenance. I just add mulch to suppress the weeds. It's been a while since I have planted any but I typical wind up with enough to last us the better part of the year. I intend to plant some rosemary, basil, oregano, and cilantro this year. I couldn't keep the squirrels away from my tomatoes last year; but I might try again this year.
 

Maister

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I will be starting some of my seeds indoors this week. Most likely tomato, cucumber, and zucchini seeds
 

Faust_Motel

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We planted garlic in the fall and have bought a bunch of kale seeds- I like kale, but we also got chickens last year and they really like kale. Probably won't start anything indoors this year.
 

WSU MUP Student

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I think we might try some container gardening this year and start things indoors in the next week or so and then move them outside to the back patio that gets plenty of sunshine once the time arrives.

More important to me this year is that I've finally decided to bite the bullet and have somebody come in and professionally redesign the flower beds along the front of our house. I should have done it years ago but I just kept muddling along and adding and subtracting and now I've got sort of an ugly mishmash of stuff that is mostly ill placed for the soil and amount of sun and shade the area gets. I'm looking forward to having something a lot more cohesive all the way across.

My plan is something relatively simple to maintain with boxwoods across most of it and maybe some clusters of perennials and then my lawn company can fill in the rest with annuals at the end of each spring.
 

Salmissra

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I have a pot in the backyard that I just planted with daisies. Last year it was wild garlic but it died during/after the snow/ice event.

Some of my front bushes died, others did not. I plan on replacing the dead ones with a combo of the types that survived. The two front pots had rosemary and pansies - most of the pansies survived! However, spring colors are needed and I will be planting new stuff in the pots once I decide what colors to go with.

The guy that did my heavy fall landscape work is giving me an estimate to do the work with the shrubs. Otherwise, I'll be playing in the dirt in a couple of weeks.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

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Small garden at my house and grew up with parents that had a large garden complete with free child-labor. We keep it simple with beans, tomatoes, and zucchini.
 

estromberg

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We are doing our usual size (20'x30') garden this year. Planting toms, beans, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, watermelons, radishes and peas. Debating whether to till up the other area (in the picture) for pumpkins this year.

First order of business this year is fixing my tiller. I've got a small crack in the chaincase to weld. Hopefully this year will be a busy season (I till about 70 gardens with the tractor and tiller in the picture) Last year coincided with working from home 100%, so my schedule was a bit more flexible than this year where I am on a 2 weeks in office, 2 weeks wfh schedule.

Tilling.jpg
 

Maister

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So lots of angst posting on the vegetable gardeners forum I participate on related to frosts/snows striking Michigan in April. This gives me eyerolls.

I am pretty much unconcerned about it. I directly sowed things like carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, peas and spinach almost three weeks ago. For the most part they're doing fine. The thing to remember about the plants I named is that they're frost hardy. They can handle a night or two of freezing temperatures with little stress, because they're designed by nature to grow in environments with variable spring weather. So I doubt I lose a single plant owing to whatever cold comes along.

Now I would be very concerned if I had planted tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, corn, cucumbers, or any other warm weather plants originating in the tropics or semi-tropics. These you start inside and don't plant until danger of frost has passed, which locally is around May 10.
 

Bubba

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Now I would be very concerned if I had planted tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, corn, cucumbers, or any other warm weather plants originating in the tropics or semi-tropics. These you start inside and don't plant until danger of frost has passed, which locally is around May 10.
That's generally April 15 (Tax Day!) around here.

Didn't do much this year - tomatoes, three types of peppers, and some herbs.
 

Planit

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tomato plant for Mrs. P
parsley
basil
peppers

we will have access to MIL's much bigger garden
 

Maister

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I'm staying on top of weeding and watering everything pretty well this year (okay, maybe not the strawberries), and pruning/staking the tomatoes. But by far the biggest success this year have been the beans. I sowed upwards of 250 seeds and got like a 95% germination rate. So far we have canned 11 pints and hopefully will have another 3 or 4 to can by this weekend. Time to sow some lettuce seeds this weekend and harvest a few more cucumbers - I counted two more almost fully mature this a.m. Normally by now my garden would be choked with weeds and I'd find myself tempted to give up, but not this year. The fact that my cucumbers haven't died of powdery mildew already is testament to what a remarkable season it's been.
 

Maister

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2021 harvest update:

Green beans - the biggest success story of the year. I planted a lot, had a very high germination rate and the beans delivered and continue to deliver. We've managed to can about 18 pints of beans. That should see us through the fall and most of the winter.
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Tomatoes - I started 8 Mortgage Lifter tomatoes from seed this spring. All of them survived transplant and all of them have produced tomatoes. One of the problems my raised beds in the back yard face is that trees on surrounding properties (and one unfortunately in my own) have reduced the number of hours of direct sunlight my garden gets from what was 10 hours initially down to a meagre 6. That doesn't qualify as 'full sun' which is what tomatoes require. Even so, we still managed to close to a half bushel so far. That's enough to make spaghetti sauce to see us through to maybe Christmas. Being an indeterminant type of tomato, they will continue to produce fruit until first frost (around these parts traditionally ~ October 10, so it's likely we'll get another dozen or so big ripe tomatoes before we're done.
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Green peppers
I purchased 6 California wonder pepper plants for transplant this spring. I placed them in the front yard garden so they would be sure to get full sun. The problem, however, is that I planted a row of marigolds south of the peppers. I did not realize when I bought them that they were a variety of 'giant' marigolds, and was distressed to see them grow to about knee high. The marigolds look healthy and beautiful but blocked much of the light on five of the six pepper plants. As a result I've barely managed to eke four moderate sized peppers only this year. There are five more peppers slowly developing and I expect they'll make it to harvest, but that will only total 9 peppers for the year. Barely breaking even on the cost of the transplant. Something of a disappointment.

Cucumbers
Those of you who've followed my gardening posts know that I've historically had a terrible time growing cucumbers and typically lose all of my plants to powdery mildew or other disease by mid summer and frequently don't even have a single cucumber to show for it. This year, however, I decided to grow my cucumbers vertically using a tomato cage for them to climb up. Knowing the terrible problems I've had in the past with cucumbers I made the decision early on only to start four cucumber seeds indoors this spring. Of the four sown, only one germinated (not wholly surprised as I used old seeds I had saved from 2015). I hadn't planned on going very big on cukes given past failures and only wanted a handful of plants but I did go so far as to spring for the $1.89 needed to buy a new seed packet. So when I transplanted my one cucumber into the garden two weeks after last frost date I also decided to direct seed one more cucumber hill using the new seeds. Low and behold the new cuke seeds did germinate and I got two nice healthy cucumber plants on top of the one I started indoors. So far I have harvested 8 large cukes from these and have another 4 that will be ready in a week or less. There are several blossoms as well, so there's even a chance we could get more. An unexpected success to be sure!
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zucchini
I bought new seeds which I sowed in addition to the 2017 seeds I had in stock. Good germination rate. I transplanted them into large terra cotta planter pots and they began to grow quickly. Then one morning in late June I discovered critters had devoured the plants. Not losing all hope I decided to direct seed new zucchini where the old ones had been lost. All of the seeds germinated. Three weeks later all the plants died of some disease. A total loss. One phoenix plant has sprung to life and even flowered, but the plant is tiny and I don't think there's enough time to even see a single zucchini come to maturity before frost.

Cabbage
Japanese beetles devoured all four seedlings. I allowed the beans to overrun the area dedicated for cabbage. Too bad.

Carrots
I sprinkled some seeds in a large pot and a bunch of carrots sprouted. I thinned them out so there's maybe a dozen or so. I'm seeing nice tops so it looks like we'll get a modest harvest here as well.
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Planit

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My MIL's garden has been doing great. Mine not so much.

Mine is a single tomato plant this year (I plant it for Mrs. P). I have not had 1 tomato this year. Yesterday I finally saw 2 very small ones trying to grow, so we shall see. I think the early ones got eaten by the many bunnies we had running around. They're not around so much after the hawks showed up. As for the rest of the summer, I guess it was just too hot. Oh well.
 

kjel

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I don't grow food but my container garden thrived. I have mostly native perennials growing in containers both large and small. The bees, butterflies, and birds love everything and it's been a lot of fun watching them over the growing season.
 

dandy_warhol

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We bought Itty Bitty a strawberry plant and tomato plant when we arrived in Germany. She named the strawberry plant, "Linda" and the tomato plant, "Bob."

Poor Linda didn't survive past about 2 weeks.

Bob is still hanging in there but never flowered or produced.

It was funny to hear Itty Bitty talk about going out to see Bob and Linda.
 
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