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2019 Gardening Thread

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Replies to: 2019 Gardening Thread

  • abasketabasket 19306 replies858 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I've noticed a lot of my small tomato varieties having skin crack. Is that what you mean @lookingforward ? I've been trying to pick them before fully ripe and that has helped some.
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  • mom60mom60 7874 replies505 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I’m so jealous. Years ago H built garden boxes which he lines with chicken wire. Eventually the wire rotted and I think the boxes are just to far from the house and got neglected. We never did all that great as I think I don’t have enough hours of sunshine for most vegetables.
    We just returned from visiting a friend up in the San Juan Islands in Washington. I fell in love with his garden. A huge fenced in area to keep out the deer. Raised beds and also a glass topped box. Lots of vegetables and flowers. Trees full of fruit. It has inspired me to think about starting fresh.
    I’m scoping out areas of my property that get the maximum amount of sunlight but are also close enough to the house that we will remember to water. I want raised beds as our soil is solid clay and I host multiple families of bunnies, moles and gophers. Also would want a closed in fenced area. My H assures me he is capable but I have my doubts.
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  • OnwardOnward 2907 replies79 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Wow. I tried an exotic (for me) bean/gourd thing this year. Chinese Python Snake Bean. The bean grew almost 40 inches long! We had half of it last night in stir fry and liked it a lot. https://www.rareseeds.com/chinese-python-snake-bean-/
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  • abasketabasket 19306 replies858 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @mom60 the glass top box was probably a cold frame? You can use these to start plants earlier before it's warm enough - our community garden has a few and they are super effective and successful!

    I think the key to beautiful gardening (if structure and beauty is as important to you as the bounty) is to start small, tend to it often. Plan a mix of veggies, flowers and herbs for visual variety. Also you can have a couple of different "vessels" for growing - from a raised bed, to a pot, to a window box. And maybe a little garden art! :)
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Since the sun moves position over summer, you can need more than just what looks sunny in August-Sept.

    @abasket it's that the skins are tough. I've heard splitting has to do with rain and it's ok-? But these are tough skins, harder to chew. I think they're "Sweet 100s."
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  • abasketabasket 19306 replies858 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Maybe rain and splitting - they are ok to eat but also can get a little messy if you don't use them right away.... Yes, I know the Sweet 100's - don't know why the skin would be tough!
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  • mom60mom60 7874 replies505 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @abasket could I use a cold frame to generate enough heat to grow herbs such as basil? Or maybe a small greenhouse? My problem isn’t cool nighttime temperatures but that I don’t get enough hours of heat during the day a lot of the year and I don’t get cold enough night temperatures to grow fruit that needs a good chill. I can grow some varieties of cherry tomatoes but larger tomatoes need more heat. I live in a temperate climate which is great but I’m also within 1/2 a mile of the ocean so I’m dealing with a lot of coastal fog. Some days the sun doesn’t shine at my house till 4 pm.
    @lookingforward I think the area I have in mind would have similar exposure year round.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 21
    I think basil needs dry heat, a little shade, and watering from below. I only grow it successfully when I ignore it, except the water. Don't think it needs a cold frame.

    I do use extra tomatoes for ratatouille, which I half cook, then freeze in portions. (But I have a vacuum sealer.)

    My raised bed is on legs. The only real success this year has been green beans, which seem to like being bunched together a la Square Foot Gardening.
    edited August 21
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  • abasketabasket 19306 replies858 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I love the look of a raised bed on legs!
    So this is the purpose of a cold frame:
    "Cold frames protect plants from strong winds and retain heat. Gardeners use cold frames to extend their gardening season—both in the autumn to protect plants for a few more weeks and in the spring to get a jumpstart on sowing seeds. Cold frames are also used to “harden off” seedlings that were started indoors."

    What I would worry about with the conditions you describe @mom60 is if you're getting enough sun (to generate heat in a cold frame or not). Cold frames are definitely good for jump starting a season or extending a season. Some of my fellow gardeners at our community garden use the hula hoop/covering method - sort of a cold frame alternative. In the spring they REALLY get a jump start over those of us without the covering!
    https://www.finegardening.com/article/4-ways-to-use-a-cold-frame

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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7242 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The bed we inherited is on legs too. It does a super job of keeping out the critters but, I find that it drains much too quickly and feel like I'm constantly watering. (Of course that is where my straggly basil is so maybe next year I'll put it in a pot on the sunporch instead).

    I want to experiment with different types of drainage material/soil/compost next year. We have a great local nursery that should be able to give this gardening newbie some good advice.

    Rest of the herbs and roma tomatoes are doing fantastic!

    OH, and apparently the old owners planted mint in one of the flower beds. It came back with a flourish and is absolutely beautiful! DH has been using it for mojitos. I'm thinking I may add some of the perennial herbs to that section of the garden to make more room in the raised planter. At our last house, our sage, chives, and thyme were in a flower bed and did amazing there and none of the critters seemed to go after them. I'm just worried that the neighbor's bush on the other side of the fence may provide too much shade but the mint is growing like gangbusters.
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  • 4kids4us4kids4us 640 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    Grrr, another year with no zucchini! It looked promising this year - we had two plants in different areas of the yard. One was very healthy at the beginning of the summer and started to produce. We had a torrential rain storm and a day or two later I noticed the plant had basically up and died! Then a couple of weeks ago, Dh said the other plant, which he had been babying, had some zucchini growing. We were gone for two days, came back and the zucchini had died. My neighbor, who is a fantastic and knowledgeable gardener (he used to work at a huge area garden center) said that he has tried to grow zucchini and not been successful, despite testing his soil, making sure they were pollinating, etc. We do live in a microclimate but it’s odd that one vegetable we can’t seem to grow, even though they are prolific all around us. I will keep trying.

    We have several varieties of tomato plants and they have been fantastic! Oddly though, our basil plants, which normally are huge in our hot and humid summer, are just okay. Enough for me to get one I need, but usually I have so much I’m giving it away, making pesto to freeze, etc.

    We have some jalapeño peppers and a few eggplants. Cucumbers have been ok but don’t seem to have as many this year. I’m using the eggplant tonight for dinner.

    My neighbors have been complaining about deer eating up their gardens. They’ve been jumping into their fenced yards. We have a fenced yard but I guess my dogs being outside at unpredictable times have made my yard uninviting as we don’t seem to have that problem thankfully!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7242 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Our zucchini plants shriveled up and died too. We got three nice zucchini and a lot of fried blossoms earlier in the season but it went kaput earlier this week, also after a few days of heavy rain. Total bummer because it looked like we were going to get a few more zucchini.
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  • abasketabasket 19306 replies858 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My mom's zucchini also yielded very little. Always remember that sometimes a garden fail is just due to weather conditions.

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  • abasketabasket 19306 replies858 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is gardening season starting up or wrapping up for you?

    Today was our community garden potluck - best meal of the year. Highlight of the dishes I tried (the idea is to make something out of an item you grew at the garden or at home): tomato pie, corn fritters, tomato jam (I made that!), shakshuka, poached pears in a wine reduction. Also I enjoy some pumpkin cookies but it's tough to eat dessert after all the other stuff.

    I still have kale, a few pepper plants still producing and the tail end of tomato production. Always SO sad to see the tomatoes end!
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  • momo2x2018momo2x2018 858 replies49 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited September 28
    I came back from dropping my son a school, to find somebody had raided my garden! I was gone six days and approx 30lb of various tomato varieties, beets, cucumbers and yellow squash - all gone! I was so upset.

    Today I purchased seedlings for swiss chard, purple kale, cauliflower, and Chinese cabbage. I'll plant in raised beds tomorrow.

    Does anybody know if flowering kale can be eaten? I received two conflicting answers in the garden center - yes and no! And another thing, why do my carrots gnarl around each other and come out of the ground as a gnarled clump?
    edited September 28
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    .Are you planting carrots separated enough from each other? That's usually what the columns and blogs talk about.

    And, I'm not sure I'll plant veggies next summer. A lot of work and hope for a small yield. I have months to think about it.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7242 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I just pickled the last cucumbers and we still have a few tomatoes but that is it other than the herbs.

    My petunias are dying so I planted asters but some critter ate off all the flowers two days ago :(
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  • abasketabasket 19306 replies858 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @momo2x2018 omg who would pick your garden out like that?!

    I'm unsure about the kale - has it like gone to seed? Is that what you mean?
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 38891 replies468 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @momo2x2018 - I am really mad 😡 at your veggie thieves!!! Terrible.

    I am planning a raised container garden for next spring. The bunnies here are so voracious it is just unbelievable. They even ate my gladioli, flowers and all!!
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 38891 replies468 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 29
    Pest rant coming up!!

    At House1, bunnies were an issue but we managed to keep them out of the garden with the Great Wall of Chickenwire. We did have a deer problem when a mama 🦌 decided that our street would be a good place to raise a family (so did all the humans, 😂!) I have videos of Mr. chasing the deer family out of our backyard. So when we moved, I was thinking that in our new, more urban area we would be able to avoid the garden-eating pests. Nope. The bunnies here are out of this world! Even the resident barred owls do not make a dent in their population. Mr. planted a tiny fig tree only to discover that it was eaten to the ground by next morning. Argh. Now the tree is surrounded by a very expensive metal "fence" made from some mesh used for stucco reinforcement. 😂 By the way, it works great! The tree is sprouting new twigs and leaves. This is the stuff (and it does not look that ugly either):

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/27-in-x-8-ft-Steel-Lath-2-5-METAL-LATH/202093395

    Hence, it will be all in containers next season. Argh.
    edited September 29
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