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2019 Gardening Thread

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Replies to: 2019 Gardening Thread

  • emilybeeemilybee 13142 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My lawn guy came yesterday and did the spring cleanup. If it warms up at all this week. I’m planning on getting into the gardens and doing some spring pruning, now that they’ve been cleaned up, And it looks like one of my new rhodies from last year didn’t survive the winter. I’m sure there are other shrubs that didn’t fair so well, either. Will have to replace once it gets warm enough here to plant.

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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In a last minute decision I decided to make a run to my community garden and plant some spring crops. It was 70 degrees today and it is scheduled to rain 6 out of the next seven days. Hopefully it really won't, but I thought this could be a perfect time to plant seed and let it get a drink for several days - without me having to run over there!

    So it will be sprout or swim for the seeds! :)

    Planted onions, beets, kale, lettuce and radish.
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  • jshainjshain 5751 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I love composting....

    I got a great deal on compost bins last summer from Recycle Smart, a division of Republic Trash (S.F. Bay Area, city of Walnut Creek). They are about 28” X 28” X 28”, with cover, no bottom. They charged $20.00, which included Fed Ex delivery! A few years back I purchased 2 and paid $40.00 each and thought that was a great price. Anyway, last summer I purchased 5 more and now have 7 bins total.
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  • momo2x2018momo2x2018 830 replies49 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited April 17
    @greenwitch Do you pull the fennel bulbs or do you just cut the stalks? My fennel has been in the ground for the past two years (obviously the bulbs are inedible now!) so i cut the stalks and fronds for cooking; I have a few that have self-seeded but they take up som much room, I'm thinking of just pulling the whole lot. What do you suggest?

    I pulled all my kale from last year; it had too many bugs. The cauliflower is going the same way, so that might be a bust this year. Last weekend I planted Japanese long beans, eggplant and rhubarb; I put down beets, celery, various tomatoes, carrots, bok choi and other things I forgotten, a couple of months ago; it's all doing well and growing nicely. Oh! I also have a fig tree I did not plant; it came out of nowhere a few years back, I noticed today that it has a few pounds of fruit, in fact, it's doing better than the tree I have in a pot! The pomegranate tree in looking iffy, the blooms, bloomed and fell and the citrus trees still have fruit and got a second bloom a few weeks back.
    edited April 17
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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^^ I am SO envious of those unique to your area items - figs and pomegranates!!
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 8725 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @momo2x2018 - I've only grown the herbal fennel, not the bulb forming type. Maybe you could pull the older ones and let the new seedlings take off for this year. Sadly, all 15 caterpillars disappeared from my fennel. I thought a fat bird might be the culprit but a friend told me that there is a kind of wasp that eats them. Oh well.....

    I have neither figs nor pomegranates but my neighbor has both and I usually claim the figs that grow on the branch that dips into my yard. They are white figs.
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  • poetsheartpoetsheart 5488 replies103 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 19
    My grandfather was a farmer who grew wonderful fruits and vegetables on 20 acres here in SouthEastern Virginia. His wife (my Granny) cultivated the most wonderful garden flowers in beds and containers, and my Mom (their daughter) was an active flower and vegetable gardener throughout her life, clean up until health issues made it impossible to continue. All during that time, I hadn’t the slightest interest in cultivating plants of any kind.

    But now, suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, I want to grow things. Perhaps I intuit it will help me cope with a sense of lack of control over life in general, and the way this feeling has had a hand in the depression that reared up in late 2017. A sense hopelessness made me shut myself up in my bedroom for days on end, but new antidepressants and active work with a therapist has helped me look outward for the first time in years, and see that nature still offers much beauty, that the planet is not irretrievable, and that it doggedly insists on persisting. Such a relief! On a whim, I went to one of our local garden centers, and while there, began to feel something wake up in me. Now I want to make my yard beautiful, and spend time in it just being.

    I have so much to learn. Please be patient with me as I come to draw on the wisdom of CC’s gardening experts. Today, I brought home a little pot of the most eye-wateringly beautiful hydrangeas (macrophylla), ones that remind me of those in my Grandmother’s yard that use to grow into massive bushes running riot with pink to dark purple blooms. However, I’d like to start out growing mine in containers. I’ve been given to understand this is quite possible. Does anyone here grow them this way? I also bought a beautiful glazed terra-cotta pot about twice as large as the one this little beauty came in that I hope I to use. Will it be big enough for the first year’s growth? I know it needs an acid Ph. to keep its current gorgeous blue/purple color. How do I transfer it from the plastic pot without damaging it or disrupting it’s growth? Can I fill the new pot with MiracleGrow, and just transfer straight it over? What acid inclusions should I use? Should I fertilize it now as well? Should I put a layer of rock/large pebbles in the bottom before adding the soil? (The pot has a hole of about one inch in diameter in the bottom.) How much water will it require per week as a container grown specimen? I’m desperately hoping not to kill or damage it out of ignorance. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.
    edited April 19
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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @poetsheart , since you are a gardening newbie you know what I would do? Call that gardening center you bought the plant at and ask them if they would assist you (teach you) how to transfer and pot the plant. It's not hard, but I think you would benefit from their step by step guidance - just bring the original plant, the new pot and soil (or buy it while there) with you! Also ask them about watering.

    That said, what area of the country to you live? And do you plan to leave it outside?

    My hydrangeas like a mix of sun and shade. If I was transferring to a bigger pot I would make sure the pot had good drainage (a bottom hole(s) and/or a little layer of small rocks/gravel on the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot maybe half way with new soil. By holding the plant by the base of the middle stem, gently wiggle it out of the original pot. Once out, loosen up the dirt around the plant just a little bit if possible - gives the roots some wiggle room to spread out in the new pot. Place in the new pot - make a little scooped well in the new soil to set the plant in. Start adding soil handfuls at a time to make sure the plant roots are covered and the plant is stable - pack the soil around the plant a little bit.
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 8725 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    abasket has good ideas for your transplant. Hydrangeas generally don't like hard sun, or afternoon sun, although there are new varieties that are full sun tolerant.

    I wouldn't use Miracle Grow when you transplant. When a plant is newly transplanted, it loves a few days of shade and ample water to grow its roots and settle in. Miracle Grow, like most fertilizers, focuses on the "jungle growth" of leaves brought on by nitrogen. Wait a couple of months and then you can top dress with Miracle Grow.

    You could wait for the acid top dressing too. You might just use Holly Tone, by Espoma. It's good for all acid loving plants. All the Espoma stuff is organic, so it's hard to use too much.

    I'm terrible about watering containers but I remember to water every Monday, in general. In the heat of summer, something in the sun needs to be watered every day.

    What state are you in? Every state has a cooperative extension and ag center that is part of their land grant university. They will have tons of resources for your area. Here is Virginia's for example: https://ext.vt.edu/
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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Someone I know goes by either "Watering Wednesday" or "Thirsty Thursday" for watering. :) But outside plants may need more than one day. In the heat of the summer if it's really dry my hydrangea leaves will wilt when dry.
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  • jshainjshain 5751 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 19
    I was under the impression that poetsheart was using Miracle Grow potting soil and NOT Miracle Grow fertilizer (24-8-16). I am not a huge fan of their potting mix or fertilizer. You will want a starter fertilizer (4-10-3) and then I would suggest a fertilizer specially formulated for Hydrangea macrophylla. Don’t use the latter too soon. Use once established— after a few or even after 6 months. Be careful not to over fertilize and morning sun is best. I like putting the pot on rollers so you can move it if necessary. A pot with moist soil can get very heavy. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Miracle a Grow All-purpose soil tends to stay wet for too long so be careful when watering. It is not as porous as some soils (excluding Cactus Mix, which is very porous and works best for succulents).They do NOT like to dry out completely between waterings. I use a moisture probe so you don’t have to guess. Good luck!
    edited April 19
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  • poetsheartpoetsheart 5488 replies103 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Wow, such great advice. Thank you all! I’m hoping I’ll be able to pot about 4 hydrangeas and space them along the edge of my front porch, right behind a skirting bed of low maintenance, spreading plants. The location gets good sun from early morning until about noon, when the porch begins to fall into shade. Tomorrow, I’ll count exactly how many hours they’d spend in full sun. By afternoon, the porch is in full shade, so the pots of hydrangeas shouldn’t scorch. I just bought a pretty Azalea plant this afternoon as well. I’ll be growing it in a pretty large terra-cotta pot as the focal point in a bed next to the garage. The garden center guy suggested I fertilize it with HollyTone in a month or two. Mainly, I’m getting the impression that what’s most important about container gardening is maintaining adequate drainage and watering, and proper placement as pertains to sunlight.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10161 replies202 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Spring is definitely here in mountain foothills. Temperatures hit the mid 70s yesterday and I will turning off my heat for the season this week. I just finished getting all my garden in yesterday. I have: onions, snap peas, cherry & regular tomatoes (16 plants/8 varieties--and definitely too many), pole beans, bell peppers, 2 types of chile, cucumbers, lettuce, chard, carrots, bok choi, cauliflower (a disappointment so far), brussel sprouts, potatoes in grow bags (Purple Majesty & Yukon Gold), and this year's experiment--artichokes. The deer fencing is up so now it's matter of time and patience.
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  • Bromfield2Bromfield2 3558 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    H and I are getting excited about our hot peppers. We started them from seed--under lights and with heating pads. Still can't plant outside--we're in New England (Zone 6a). We've got some of the really hots (ghost pepper, scorpion, and Carolina reaper.
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  • sryrstresssryrstress 2515 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I love these threads...although I'm always jealous how early some of you get to start. It's 50, cold, and tons of rain here. It snowed Sunday. Last frost date (supposedly) May 10th. I usually have a good amount planted by then, but won't this year due to moisture and cold soil.

    I think growing in the ground is easier than in pots and requires much less watering, especially if mulched well. I use grass clippings.

    I'm having spinal surgery in a few weeks and whatever is to be planted has to be accomplished by then. Won't be nearly enough and now I need fence as my new area has a lot more "critters".
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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^^^ @sryrstress I hear you - it was 45 here this evening! I put leaf mulch that I put on my raised bed in the winter around my spring seeds/plants to help protect them for those couple of weeks till we should be frost free!

    At home I planted some microgreens about a week before Easter - they have PRODUCED!!! I have so many pea shoots! I usually have just used them like an herb - to top food - any other ideas how to eat pea shoots or use in a recipe??
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 8725 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Bromfield2 - I got some of my pepper plants to over winter. They are in pots, but outside since I'm zone 9 or so. I would have brought them in if we went below freezing, but we didn't last winter.

    Anyway, the lipstick pepper, a small, sweet pepper, did OK, but was never quite vigorous. Still, it's back and producing peppers.

    The hatch pepper did really well! I picked my first one nearly a month ago. But it was always a very vigorous plant, and I don't know if it's a lucky plant or if that variety is like that.

    If I were you, with such a short season, I would try to bring some in in the fall. Or maybe have a few in really big pots all summer so you don't have to dig them up.
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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Bromfield2 what type of pepper would you recommend growing that would have a little bit of a kick but be different than a jalapeno (which I do already grow) - I'll admit in addition to using them to eat, I love the look of a pepper plant full of bright red peppers!
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  • emilybeeemilybee 13142 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Things are popping in my gardens and several of my flowering shrubs are beginning to bloom. If it wasn’t for those things, I’d think it was still March. I even had to turn my heat back on yesterday. :(
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  • emilybeeemilybee 13142 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @sryrstress, fingers crossed you recover quickly from your surgery and are back in your gardens in no time.
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