2012 Gardening Thread (Read 1515 times)


Prince of Fatness

    Spring has arrived and it is time to start thinking about working outside.  I will call this the gardening thread but feel free to discuss vegetable gardens, trees, shrubs, flower gardens, lawn care, etc.  Pretty much anything you have growing in your yard.

     

    It's been warm here in NJ and plants seem to be a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.  Some trees have already dropped their flowers.

     

    As for me, I'll plant potatoes over Easter weekend.  This weekend will be about getting the lawn mower tuned up, the grass already needs to be cut.  I'll also get a head start on some weeding and general cleanup.  In my neck of the woods, frost sensitive plants don't go in until mid May.

    Semi-retired.


    Fat butt on couch

      I dug my 2011 potatoes in 2012 (2 weeks ago) does that count?

       

      They were still edible.  Heh.

       

      I'm ordering some specialty potatoes soon...diversifying from Red Pontiacs for the first time.  I have volunteer lettuce already up.  I already had to tune the lawnmower and mow, the several 80+ degree days we got already had the grass almost ahead of me.  I put doen Roundup Extended today against the thistles in the rock beds around the house, it is CRAZY how early all of this is this year.

       

      3-4 years ago I planted a row of 25 redbuds along the frontage of my property.  Redbuds are one of the things I liked about Indiana, where they are native; we never had them in Michigan where I grew up and I think they are beautiful.  Another year or two and driving into my house for several weeks each spring will look AMAZING.

       

      The grapevines already needed pruning 2 weeks ago.  They are leaving out now.  CRAZY.

       

      I am not sure how far I will go with our gardens...3 of them...this year, with an infant and 2 other young'uns I am concerned about over-committing myself to the effort.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       


      Prince of Fatness

        This weekend will be about getting the lawn mower tuned up, the grass already needs to be cut.  I'll also get a head start on some weeding and general cleanup.

         

        I got the grass cut over the weekend then spread some soybean meal.  This might be the earliest that I have had to cut the grass.  I bought my seed potatoes at the local Agway, and I am waiting for some others that I mail ordered.  They should come in this week.

         

        I trimmed up some bushes, moved some perennials, and cleaned up some small branches that came off of my trees over the winter.  I wanted to spray some weeds but it rained off and on all weekend.  There is still more to do but I got a good jump on things.

        Semi-retired.

          I have a small garden strip about 3 feet by 20. Tomatoes have been lackluster the last 2 years so thinking that I may take a break from tomato growing. Doesn't soil need to "recover" from growing the same thing  lot? I can't really do crop rotation. I'll grow some herbs. Any other suggestions for some other things to grow in place of tomatoes this year? I'm in the Boston 'burbs. Maybe try some root veggies? Potatoes, beets?, maybe some beans? I can still grow some small tomatoes in pots. 

           


          Prince of Fatness

            Doesn't soil need to "recover" from growing the same thing  lot?

             

            I've been growing the same stuff for at least 10 years in my garden with no problems.  With small plots it is easy to replenish the soil nutrients.  I home compost and every fall I spread a couple of yards of it on top of my garden.  I have heard that diseases can manifest them from year to year but I have not seen it in my garden.

             

            As far as what to plant you have lots of options.  There are cold hardy plants that you could probably put in now.  Potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc.  If you wait until after the last frost there are summer squash, melons, peppers, egg plant, beens, peas, cucumber.  If you can't find the plants at a garden center there are more options with seeds.  If you want to occupy some space wait until June and put in some pumpkins.  Lots of options.

            Semi-retired.

              I haven't done anything yet.  I wanted to get a jump on things since it's been so warm, but it looks like I'm not going to get that extra time.

               

              I haven't even started my seeds yet.  So, I'm probably going to have to buy plants.

               

              Question...last year I spread down straw.  So, there's all this stuff in the garden (in addition to the straw) that looks like nice big grean stalks of something shooting up.  I'm assuming this is from the straw.

               

              Do I just pull the things out?  Should I get rid of the straw?  I thought that one of the nice things about straw is that I could just till it under for some nice mulchy-stuff.

              Jeff

                 

                 

                As far as what to plant you have lots of options.    Lots of options.

                 

                 Thanks. I want to try potatoes. Never done it. Had pretty decent luck with eggplant. Although rabbits did a number on my Japanese eggplants last year. They and the squirrels also destroyed a lot of tomatoes. I had actually forgotten about that. The garden recovered a bit after that and Igot a late tomato harvest. I have a dog now, a beagle. Her scent and pee all over the yard may keep them away now. 

                 

                I may throw in some lettuce seeds this weekend. I made a compost bin out of a trash barrel last Fall but didn't have much luck. all the garden plants went in along with a lot of leaves. Don't think I added enough greens to it, though so I have no home compost. 

                 


                Prince of Fatness

                  Question...last year I spread down straw.  So, there's all this stuff in the garden (in addition to the straw) that looks like nice big grean stalks of something shooting up.  I'm assuming this is from the straw.

                   

                  Do I just pull the things out?  Should I get rid of the straw?  I thought that one of the nice things about straw is that I could just till it under for some nice mulchy-stuff.

                   

                  As I recall you should not get much in the way of seeds from straw.  Hay is another story.  I would just yank the plants out then either leave the straw there to use as mulch or till it in.

                   

                  This year I am going to try no till.  I get a lot of weeds and I think that rototilling just kicks up even more seeds.  The soil is workable enough from the years of dumping compost on it, so I can plant without a problem.  I am going to try to keep laying on mulch and see how that works.  I just went out and sprayed the weeds that are there with straight vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of dish soap.  Supposedly that's a non-chemical way to kill weeds.  We'll see.

                  Semi-retired.

                    As I recall you should not get much in the way of seeds from straw.  Hay is another story.  I would just yank the plants out then either leave the straw there to use as mulch or till it in.

                     

                    This year I am going to try no till.  I get a lot of weeds and I think that rototilling just kicks up even more seeds.  The soil is workable enough from the years of dumping compost on it, so I can plant without a problem.  I am going to try to keep laying on mulch and see how that works.  I just went out and sprayed the weeds that are there with straight vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of dish soap.  Supposedly that's a non-chemical way to kill weeds.  We'll see.

                     

                    I'm suspecting the "straw" I bought had more than straw in it.  Strange though, because hay, by virtue of the fact that it actually is a food, would cost more than straw.

                     

                    Anyway, yeah, I'll just pull them out and be prepared to keep on pulling if anythign else pops up.

                    Jeff

                    vegefrog


                      Just picked the last of my spring veggies. Brussel sprouts, bok choy, Kohlrabi and cauliflower weren't quite ready to go but I harvested what was ready and pulled the rest up. I have so much cabbage (green, red and savoy) that I am sending some to work with my husband. I love it, but I just can't eat it all! Broccoli and lettuce are still going strong, but I have to pick the broccoli to make room for summer veggies. I have a raised bed garden, so they all have to take turns Smile

                       

                      Cukes, zukes, squash, watermelons and green beans are all sprouted and looking good. I have most of my tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in already but some of my seedlings got started a little late so they will go in the garden this weekend. I have 2 trellises made out of cattle panels this year that I am planting lettuce under. Hopefully this will allow me to have lettuce all summer long. It will be in the shade from the cucumbers and red spinach that are growing on the trellis. It gets so hot here that my lettuce usually bolts and by the time I have nice veggies to go in a salad, I have no fresh lettuce.  Whereas, all winter I have had romaine and butterhead galore, but nasty grocery store tomatoes and cucumbers to go with it.

                       

                      I was very pleased that all my perennial herbs did great last year (planted from seed) and now I am already dividing and sharing transplants with friends. The sage and thyme surprised me with their spring blooms. They look so beautiful out there with the chives, all such a pretty purple.

                        I'm thinking of planting potatoes this year too.  I've never done that before.  Any tips as far as what I should do to ensure a decent potato harvest?

                         

                        Other items in the garden will include a lot of cherry tomatoes (which rarely make it into the house... The kids just pluck and eat everyday), green/yellow/red/orange peppers, chili peppers, and onions.

                          Here in coastal northern California, we don't get much sun so our yard is mostly low water and/or low maintenance things, including the ornamental banana tree below.  It gets a little battered each winter from the winds but otherwise just minds its own business.  

                           

                          But since last fall, it's been growing the rather large protuberance that you see hanging to the right side below.   Anyone else out there have this happen with an ornamental banana?  I doubt we will be harvesting bananas any time soon but it's fun to speculate about what the heck it's doing.   DH thinks there's a pod person growing inside.

                           


                          Fat butt on couch

                            I haven't done anything yet.  I wanted to get a jump on things since it's been so warm, but it looks like I'm not going to get that extra time.

                             

                            I haven't even started my seeds yet.  So, I'm probably going to have to buy plants.

                             

                            Question...last year I spread down straw.  So, there's all this stuff in the garden (in addition to the straw) that looks like nice big grean stalks of something shooting up.  I'm assuming this is from the straw.

                             

                            Do I just pull the things out?  Should I get rid of the straw?  I thought that one of the nice things about straw is that I could just till it under for some nice mulchy-stuff.

                             

                            Straw is wheat. ThT sounds like wheat coming up. If it was not thrashed efficiently wheat seed gets left in. It is not resilient. Work it under and it will go away, unlike grass which will try to come back. Mta or oats, or barley, but the advice is the same.

                            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                             

                            vegefrog


                              Yikes! Down to 44 tonight! I hope the ground is warm enough to keep my baby veggies warm. Stupid, crazy weather! This is the coldest night we have had since December!!


                              Fat butt on couch

                                Yikes! Down to 44 tonight! I hope the ground is warm enough to keep my baby veggies warm. Stupid, crazy weather! This is the coldest night we have had since December!!

                                 

                                44 is NOTHING.  It was colder last night (I am west of Indy).  We had a nice wind, which helps keep frost crystals from forming.  What you need to be afraid of is sub-36/38 degree temps with no wind in low-lying areas.  I saw no frost this morning.

                                 

                                I have not planted anything yet for this reason.  Grape vines are very sensitive to frost and I see no damage on mine despite two frost warnings in the last couple weeks.

                                 

                                I need to put down ~200 Roundup circles in the grass out back in preparation for tree seedlings I have inbound soon.  I have learned the hard way that thick grass out-competes tree seedlings, so this year I am prepping spots for the 200 trees I have coming in advance (I am trying to seed an ~9 acre forest over a few years).  I got 85 spots done tonight, but the cheap hand sprayer I have is crap and not working anymore so I need another.

                                 

                                This year I am trying something different, with weed/grass issues I am going to Roundup my gardens prior to working them down and planting.  Kill as much as possible, then Preen the hell out of them once stuff comes up.  I don't have time for constant maintenance.  I saved up some leaves last fall to mulch my potatoes when they go in...we will see how far that goes.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand