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#11 Thu 20th May 2010 10:55 am

Arrow
Standing At The Portal
Registered: Sun 21st Sep 2008
Website

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

Here it is late May and no updates on your garden? Things look much greener in your photos than around my place so something must be happening by now.

I am starting a new garden this year, not my first but certainly my first of any size and expectation.

I know its not particularly good to go into these ventures with a lot of expectation but I have been waiting for years for the time to do this and it has finally arrived.

We are doing raised lasagna beds or sheet beds, or mulched beds, they have a lot of different names. Still working on soil prep as no one really plants anything here before June 1st and then you must be prepared to cover it at a moments notice, being that we are at 6000 feet and incased by even much taller mountains.
Lasagna gardening is suppose to be no work gardening, no tilling and no weeding at least. Im excited to get it going.

Before I made this decision I got compost piles started last year and that will be a help too but since then I have found a way to eliminate the compost chore by doing the Japanese methods of composting called Bokashi.  I am in the middle of making my serums right now and have one bucket about ready to bury from using serum impregnated newspaper my neighbor gave me. A few weeks ago I went to visit another neighbor who has just completed her first year cycle of bokoshi composting and with the lasagna method and her beds are light and fluffy, with dark rich soil. It all looks like it came out of a potting soil bag but he created it herself.... I was impressed.

I also purchased heirloom seed and seed that has been developed to grow at very high altitudes, some from Russian stock, places in Canada etc.  So maybe I will get the camera out today and take some photos of whats happening.

Last edited by Arrow (Thu 20th May 2010 10:56 am)


Arrow

And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.

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#12 Thu 27th May 2010 02:28 pm

Valentine
Member
Registered: Mon 11th Feb 2008

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

We're beginning to get the hang of it but need to be planting much more.  My son's g/f is in charge of our garden doings and she also realizes she didn't plant nearly enough.  She's already planning more raised beds for next time plus planting some in the front.  I doubt anyone will recognize our "crops" much less steal them. 

We bought a "Big Boy" tomato plant that has turned into a monster.  We thought "big" referred to the tomatos, lol.  There are lots of tomatoes on the behemoth, and we'll have to see how big they get.  That one tomato plant is crushing a garlic to death and looms over the beets.  The English peas played out already and I forget what she's planted in their place.  Our blackberry bush is loaded with fruit that is ripening every day.  Anxious for the grapes as there are many bunches on the one vine.  We have volunteer squash that sprang up on the site of the old compost pile.  And gawd help us, the watermelon has returned in the bed where one was planted last year.  You wouldn't believe how much their vines spead!  It was absolute hell pulling all of it out after it was done for the season.  Nearby is a lonely green bean plant.  There's a big plastic washtub full of potato plants that look like they're about ready. 

Last year we planted 3 passion flower vines but only 1 survived. Of course, that one is just luscious now and covered with blooms.  We hope it will fruit this year.  For some reason the little miniature rose bush I gave my son's g/f for her birthday 4 years ago looks like it's dying, and I don't know why.  We may move it to a different location.


Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.  Mark Twain

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#13 Fri 28th May 2010 08:24 am

molly
♫♪
From: ∞
Registered: Thu 17th Apr 2008
Website

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

I'm sorry I have not updated, Arrow! It's been so nice out lately, so I've been outdoors more than usual. When I got up this morning though, I took more photos smile

I ended up having to move so much stuff. The big tree near my patio deck by my bedroom window has gotten so lush that it shades too much of the patio to grow things that need more sun. I'm using that patio to just sprout seedlings now, and also keep the herbs and some flowers out there.

Some things are definitely doing way better than others. I've used 3 different kinds of potting mix so far and honestly can't tell the difference between the expensive moisture control mix and the cheap $2/bag timberline stuff hmm EXCEPT, after it's rained a lot, the timberline stuff gets gnats BIG TIME sad So I been cutting up garlic and making peppermint tea to put on the pots that have the cheapo timberline potting mix in them.

This here is a lavender bush I got on sale at Lowes for only $2.50. I grew some lavender already but then found out they don't get flowers until after a couple years, which of course disappointed me because I wanna smell the lavender now, dang it! lol

Anyways, these were on sale because they looked really unhealthy and almost dead. There was literally only like 3 flowered stems barely sticking up and the rest had wilted, some totally brown. But I took a couple home, put them in bigger pots with the moisture control potting mix and watered with fertilizer and in just a couple days they sprang back to life <3

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/10_g.jpg

the cucumbers, yellow bells, and zucchini seem to be growing nicely

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/1_g.jpg

white satin carrots had a major growth spurt recently! I pulled one of them out to see how much root has grown and it looks like it's about half way there. I ate the half grown carrot hehe. It was yummy so I can only assume once they're fully grown they'll rock!

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/2_g.jpg

This squash plant is my favorite. I love the way it grew in this pot, all branched out like it is. The flowers on it are SO PRETTY and smell so good. I should have taken a shot from the other side, you can see the three small squashes growing that way but I did it from the other side...durrr..

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/3_g.jpg

More peppers, an Early Girl tomato plant (I hope she makes it, the top half looks great but there's a few wilting branches on the bottom half. There's flowers on it though, so it SHOULD be okay), and some more cucumbers. I love the way cucumbers "vine" themselves around things, it looks really cool. Pardon how trashy this table looks. I've got no idea why there's been a non~working air conditioner sitting on that picnic table for like 5 years now LOL, but in a way it's actually a good thing, because I can set some plants up higher away from the cucumbers so they don't vine/branch out all over them.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/4_g.jpg

3 more pepper plants I put out by the pool fence because I had some left over and not enough containers. I didn't think they'd do anything but it looks like they'll actually stick around. Whats weird is the third one looks sort of wimpy yet it's in the same ground right next to the other two hmm

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/5_g.jpg

The Purple Cherokee tomato plant ended up getting to big for the container, so I put it in the ground by the pool fence as well. It now has it's first tomato!!!!!!! I can't wait to have first Purple Cherokee tomato sandwich. They are such beautiful tomatoes, the insides look almost psychedelic ^_^

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/6_g.jpg

My Green Zebra also got big and I moved it to the ground but it died sad I started another though and got another bigger container for it since then so I'm going to try it in a big container this time.

The German Johnson, well, it's self explanatory... This thing turned into a gigantic monster, which earns it a place by the pool fence. This thing has a ton of beautiful flowers all over it but no tomatoes yet, which is surprising really, considering it's the first tomato plant I worked with. But I shall be patient ;P
http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/7_g.jpg

Peppers, some baby salad greens, another tomato plant I'm starting (in the white container..I think it's an Aunt Ruby's German Green but I forgot already ha), and a grape cherry tomato plant, which I just now moved over to the garage area to get more sun, however this thing has grown I think about 9 tomatoes on it just sitting on the very shaded patio by my bedroom o_O Crazy...The random pots of marigolds you see every now and then are there to just help keep some bad bugs away...
http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/9_g.jpg
http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg199/fluffygl0wgirl/8_g.jpg

So I ate my first baby greens salad the other day and it was yummy! I've never had fresh~from~the~garden salad before, and to be honest, it tastes completely different from what I've ate in those store bought bags. It was a lot more crunchy and the spinach parts didn't have that almost yucky aftertaste I typically taste in store bought spinach. Also cut off the green shoots of a bunch of garlic and cut it up to use as garlic chives FREAKIN YUMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY hjarta

Yeah Arrow some of the heirloom seeds I got from an Italian gardener out in Northern California ended up not working worth a poo for me. They'd sprout real quick but then go nowhere or completely die sad I guess it is because the seeds are from Northern Cali and not North Carolina lol oh well, lesson learned, and not much money wasted (thankfully).

Valentine, I say have faith in your rose bushes. We have multiple rose bushes here and some years they just play 'possum. Same thing with my grandmother's azalea bushes. Some times they look so great you'd think they were fake, other years it looks like "Oh my goodness WTH happened?!"... but that's just my opinion.

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#14 Fri 28th May 2010 08:37 am

molly
♫♪
From: ∞
Registered: Thu 17th Apr 2008
Website

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

Updated growing list........gonna have to refer to this next year otherwise I'll forget and disappoint myself again tongue

SunGold cherry tomatoes (as of late May, growing fine)
German Pink Tomatoes (as of late May, growing fine)
Aunt Ruby's German Green tomatoes (seedling sprouted well. Hopefully will grow successfully)
Purple Cherokee Tomatoes (as of late May, growing fine)
Green Zebra Tomatoes (first one died, new seedling growing fine. Hopefully will grow successfully)
Yellow Crookneck Squash (as of late May, growing fine)
Some other weird squash I can't remember the name (died)
Round Zucchini (never sprouted)
Raven Zucchini (as of late May, growing fine)
Pink bi~color Eggplant (never sprouted)
Radishes (two kinds, both growing surprisingly slow, but fine)
Carrots (only the white satin seem to be growing, darn it!)
Mesclun (as of late May, growing fine)
Red Cabbage (as of late May, growing fine, albeit slowwwww)
Broccoli (died)
Jalapeńo Peppers (as of late May, growing fine)
Bell Peppers (as of late May, growing fine)
Cucumbers (as of late May, growing fine)
Garlic (I didn't know you are supposed to plant it in the fall..but it's still growing screw it, growing fine)
Bunching onions (sprouted but don't seem to want to grow)
Golden Char (never sprouted)
Thyme (died)
Basil (two kinds, growing great)
Parsley (as of late May, growing fine)
Tarragon (as of late May, growing fine)
Oregano (as of late May, growing fine)
Cilantro (as of late May, growing fine)
Okra (died)
Moon and Stars Watermelons (birds and/or chipmunks got the seeds)
Zebra Watermelons (birds and/or chipmunks got the seeds)
Cantelope/Muskmelons (all died)
Moon Flowers (as of late May, got one to growing fine)
Sun Flowers (died)
Zinnias (never sprouted)
Blue Morning Glory's (boyfriend killed it on accident)
4 O'clocks (never sprouted)

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#15 Fri 28th May 2010 11:34 am

Valentine
Member
Registered: Mon 11th Feb 2008

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

Thanks for the pics.  I really need to learn how to use our camera, lol.  We planted yellow bell peppers that are not yellow but green.  I can't remember if we started them from seed or plants though.  That's the 2nd year I've been disappointed over bell peppers!


Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.  Mark Twain

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#16 Sat 29th May 2010 02:27 am

Arrow
Standing At The Portal
Registered: Sun 21st Sep 2008
Website

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

Hey Valentine, I think your green peppers will turn yellow when they get older.

I am feeling envy right now  as I look at photos here as the wind howls outside my window and days are still too chilly to plant.....like what was I thinking moving to this place?

I went to our local nursery and picked out my plants and they will hold them for me till time comes. they will even take them outside and harden them for me... this high altitude living is really for the birds..

Still planning the pasture. Waiting for it to dry up some before we till and seed.

We have problems with volls around here. they dig under ground and eat plants..like potatoes. I'm wondering if they will eat onions and garlic too? Im going to plant my potatoes above ground...with wire mesh fence underneath them. Its like a raised bed without walls. Layers of staw, alfalfa hay, compost and a little dirt. When you harvest to reach in from the side. No digging and I like that part!

This week the weather is suppose to get better so I will finish up my beds and get to planting.  I really need a gardening book written for Alaskans for Siberians.


Arrow

And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.

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#17 Sun 30th May 2010 09:55 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

Wow those photos are great, thank you Molly. I am in a northern climate too so right now I am focusing on the greens, but not nearly as cold as yours Arrow.

I'll be working outside all day today. It's sunny and supposed to hit 90 today! Yipee! My kids are all going to the beach, hubbie is on a motorcycle ride so it's just me and the doggies and the birds and the bees.

Last year I grew Brandywine tomatoes which are a heirloom variety that I will grow every year. They are huge and so tasty. Old time tomato taste.

This year I am adding the cherokee purple variety and one called old german and oxheart. All heirlooms and for those who don't know means you can save your seeds and regrow next year for free! And not to mention they just taste so good!

Valentine, wow girl you are really amazing me. You have grapes! Oh I am so jealous. I would love to taste a sweet juicy grape fresh from my garden. I will have to see if I can find some room for them.

I have robins nesting in a bush, a house wren who has returned for the third straight year who sings with the voice of an angel, bumblebees all over and it just feels so good in my little piece of heaven.

Oh I almost forgot, plant some borage, the bees absolutely adore it. It has beautiful blue flowers you can add t your salad. And it seems to just help everything else grow.

Anyone else have any info on companion planting? Years ago I planted alfalfa around the perimeter of my garden cause I heard it had deep roots that pulled up minerals from the subsoils. I had a wonderful garden that year with gigantic broccoli plants and just huge everything. I think there is more science to old garden secrets than corporate science (Monsanto) wants us to know.


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#18 Sat 12th Jun 2010 06:15 am

SW
Member
Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

The Real Simple Life
http://www.wimp.com/simplelife/

On less than a 1/5 of acre feed the whole family, everything!

here is their web site

http://urbanhomestead.org/


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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#19 Sat 12th Jun 2010 07:59 am

Valentine
Member
Registered: Mon 11th Feb 2008

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

You were right, Arrow!  They're turning yellow now.


Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.  Mark Twain

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#20 Fri 18th Jun 2010 07:18 pm

lorae
Member
From: San Simon, AZ
Registered: Wed 25th Nov 2009
Website

Re: Anyone Gardening This Spring + Summer?

I'm trying to grow things in the desert.  Like trying to garden on the moon, with high winds and rabbits.  I really don't know why I do this every year, because it's a real struggle.

I've got a HUGE mulberry tree.  It produced like mad this year, but the dang birds ate nearly every single fruit, even while still green.  Lots of VERY hungry critters here.

Peach and apricot trees going great, but we had an early frost, then high winds which blew off what fruit had survived.  I'm left with THREE peaches...   Plum trees, ditto, only no fruit left.  Oh well.  Apple trees too young to produce.  The older tree didn't even bloom this year, what's with that?  It appears to perfectly healthy.

Grapes got burnt to a crisp by that frost.  They were loaded, too.  Just now recovering, I saw a few grape clusters.

Tomatoes do quite well here, don't seem to mind the wind and heat.  I've got some herilooms, volunteers from last year and a couple of plants which I bought, not having much faith.  Now I've absolutely got to give away some plants or just pull them up.

Spinach, kale, chard, radishes and carrots did ok.  Spinach is now bolting, of course.  It's been 103 with lots of wind.  Beans just now coming on, time to re-plant carrots and beans.  I have to mulch everything quite heavily, get it from the stockyards 45 miles from here, haven't been able to find a local farmer to get allalfa bales.  I'm sure corn would do fine here, but it would nead daily water.  I love fresh corn, but...

Elephant garlic now harvested; garlic grows just fine here.  Asperagus done for now.  It's a water and fertilizer hog, but grows well.

It's so dry in this place that I have to water even the prickly pear, mesquite and ocotillo.  The soil is fairly fertile, but it's just sand.  I use LOTS of manure...  My water bill is $200/month.  I know, I'm nuts.  Gotta get out there this evening, stuff is wilting.  Geez, it got plenty of water two days ago.

Lots of flowers, volunteers from last year and some perenials: large marigolds, larkspur, cosmos, orange cosmos (which grows to be rather enormous), giant and regular zinnias.  Echinacia, daisies, chrystanthemums (invasive), Black-Eyed Susans, and many I don't know the names of.

Only ONE hummingbird this year.  I usually have about a dozen; they like the desert willow, Mexican Bird-of-Paradise and
(what is that desert climber with big orange blossoms?)  blooms.  Plus I have three feeders.  But the finches love the feeders, and I've seen two pairs of tanagers at the feeders.   I love my birds, put out 100# of birdfeed/month.  Lots of quail, doves, finches, then in the fall and spring I see exotics passing through.

Strawberries have been in for three years,  but I hardly got to eat any because of birds. Strawberries really don't like the wind.  Or the desert.  Blackberries produced like mad, but no matter how much I watered them, the berries dried out in the wind.  Sigh.
At least I got to eat some early on, and they were quite good.

Rabbits eating my zuchinni blossoms.  I'm going to try chili pepper powder.

And we get rattlesnakes; they come for the water, I guess.  I had to kill three of them last summer with my shovel.  Hate to kill snakes, but can't have these guys about.  Had a huge gopher snake going under the wet sand about a month ago.  Do they kill rattlers?  We get Roadrunners later in the summer, they like to eat snake.

Photos later.

Last edited by lorae (Fri 18th Jun 2010 07:30 pm)

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