General chatter - Gardeners unite!

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05-09-2011, 04:45 PM
Hi everybody,

I thought I'd start a gardening thread since a few people here are gardening too.

I just started (Canada -zone 3 especially- is late :-) with some seeds in the kitchen and planted some onions and garlic in the garden.

I mostly grow veggies but also a few flowers. This year I plan to grow tomatoes (4 different kinds), cucumber, eggplants, zucchini, garlic, onion, herbs, carrots, radishes, beets, lettuce (different varieties), ground cherries and I want to try horse radish. We also have Saskatoon berry bushes, red currants, gooseberries and rhubarb.

What zone are you in? What do you plan on growing?

DixC Chix
05-09-2011, 05:38 PM
Good idea!!

I am in zone 7 (1/2 acre in the high desert) but we had a late surprise hard freeze last week. I had to put quilts around my flowers and herbs. I lost my dill and marjorum but otherwise potted flowers on patio all made it.

Herbs: Rosemary, chives, dill, basil, oregano, thyme, and substitued parsely for the dead marjorum.

Patio Flowers: Wallflower, snapdragons, petunias, pincushion, yarrow, dianthus, daylily, pansies, statice, coneflower, johnny-jump-ups, zinnia, sweet william, gaura, verbena, marigold

Flowerbed: Hollyhocks, desert 4 o'clocks, butterfly, phlox, alyssum, lavendar, autumn joy, roses, iris, spring bulb mix, gladiolas, penstemon, vibernum

Fruit/Veggie: peach, apricot, apple x 4, grapes; green beans, zucchini & yellow squash, tomato (sweet 100, roma, beefeater), bell pepper, corn, cucumbers

I am only planting 6 raised beds due to the high cost of water - even on a drip system. I may plant the other 6 beds Jul/Aug with cool weather crops - carrots, peas, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage

05-09-2011, 06:02 PM
Just a quick note re garden zones: They are different in the USA and Canada. For example, I am Zone 5B in Canada but considered Zone 4 in the USA.

Right now our trees are just starting to show green fuzz, daffodils and tulips are in bloom, the rhubarb is sprouting and we are thinking about planting veggie gardens when it warms up a bit. Tomato plants won't go in for another two weeks at least.

05-09-2011, 06:53 PM
I just started (Canada -zone 3 especially- is late :-) with some seeds in the kitchen and planted some onions and garlic in the garden.

If it makes you feel any better, Memorial Day weekend (last days of May) is usually the time everyone around here gets their planting done. Before that, our frost threat is too great.

05-09-2011, 07:19 PM
I'm in whatever zone the SF bay area is.

We have 8 tomato plants, different types, onions, green onions, several different types of peppers, bell and hot, 5 or 6 different thyme types. Some we've let become ground cover, sage, cilantro, chervil, basil, several different chive types, carrots and radishes.

We took out our lawn and put in raised beds. Just about everything we grow is edible.

Lemon, orange and bay trees.

Lemon grass.

Our ginger sprouted, so we planted that. Not sure how to harvest it when it is ready.

My husband is growing all this. I'm the kiss of death for plants.

We have this big ole honkin' Pride of Madera. It is lovely 3 weeks out of the year.

05-09-2011, 09:48 PM
I've been a gardening madwoman the last two weeks - it's been my fun and my exercise. Like today, I took out the grass (by hand) for a 15x5 foot oval flower bed. That took me FIVE hours!!! Before that I planted some anemone bulbs and a couple evening primrose plants in the side yard flower bed.

Two days ago I planted in pots 6 tomato plants and staked them (they are already over 1 foot tall), and I planted three containers of herbs - parsley, cilantro basil, lemon basil and oregano and lemon balm.

I just partially filled an empty 40 by 12 foot flower bed to the side of our house with tons of perennials, I'm about to plant around our rock garden and I planted annuals around the front of our house (36 begonias) and a variety of annuals in 20 glazed clay pots. In other words, I've been very busy.

I'm in Zone 7. And this is the second year in our house. First year we concentrated on the inside. THis year on the outside and it's been LONG neglected as it was an old single lady who lived in this house before us and she did nothing.

05-09-2011, 11:53 PM
I spread composted manure in my garden today and placed plastic mulch around one of my trees.
I am in Zone 5. Still a little too cold at night to plant annuals and some veggies.
But my strawberry plants and fruit trees are blooming and my berries and grapes are budding out.
The gardening takes a lot of my time and I get a lot more exercize with the hobby.

I grow my own fruit and make juice. The juice prevents strokes, heart attacks and dementia. And it gives me a lot of energy and nutrients that sodas just can't deliver.


And I also grow potatoes and other veggies. And I grow Giant Mullein to make a medicinal green tea that knocks out colds and flu. So now I don't get sick anymore.

05-10-2011, 09:10 AM
Zone 5a western Nebraska. planting onions, broc, caul, spinach, several varieties of squash, radish, carrots, tomatoes, several varieties of beans, etc. Sunflowers, cosmos, lillies hollyhocks, marigold, zinnia, 1 rose bush, etc. hopefully will get a strawberry bed built. Chives, sage, mint, cilantro. And probably more.

Love to garden. Can't wait to eat fresh veggies. I ordered a bunch of heirloom seeds and am trying some new varieties of maters, squash and melons.

05-10-2011, 10:11 AM
Just a quick note re garden zones: They are different in the USA and Canada. For example, I am Zone 5B in Canada but considered Zone 4 in the USA.

I didn't know there is a difference. According to USDA we are in 3b. That's the only map I could find that works.

05-10-2011, 10:17 AM
Wow, great! Many gardeners around here.

I forgot to mention my flowers. I started sunflowers, morning glory, black-eyed susans and phlox from seed. I am not very good with flowers but the veggies usually thrive.

We officially start May long weekend (around May 23) if not after the first June weekend. The last few years we had snow on the first June weekend!!

I did my first square foot garden last year and oh boy, is that ever convenient! We had tons of veggies in a 4ft x 4ft beet. Love it!

We also have a little greenhouse where I grow my tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and ground cherries. I didn't have much luck with them outdoors since our summers are soooooo short. And I can't do without my tomatoes!

Yesterday I planted some kohlrabi and leeks in the square foot garden, not much else can go out right now though.

05-10-2011, 10:55 AM
I planted a new azalea, hydrangea, and lilac bush. I moved to the woods and it's been a challenge to find things that grow well in partial to mostly shade..

I have herbs...I LOVE cilantro and basil...did chives and oregano and a red basil... I also have a big pot with spearmint, ginger mint and chocolate mint...I had to google to see how the chocolate mint is used...

In a cleared garden spot that gets more sun...I have sugar snap peas, spinach, green and red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green pepper, cayenne pepper, serrano pepper, jalapeno pepper, trying lima beans and sweet corn for the first time.

oh and sunflowers, we plant and dry them out for the birds..

05-10-2011, 02:57 PM
Dirt Therapy is good for the soul...

05-10-2011, 03:23 PM
Nice, jules!! Sounds like you are in a great gardening zone. Peppers are pretty much impossible up here.
Loved the expression "dirt therapy" :-)

05-10-2011, 04:47 PM
I'm not growing a vegetable garden, mainly because I don't have any sun in my yard (deep, deep shade). But I've been working in my yard whenever it isn't raining...I love it!

05-10-2011, 08:27 PM
Big time gardener here. I'll make it simple and say I grow virtually everything I eat, with the exception of avocados, citrus and bananas. Zone 8. It's been hard to get into the garden this year because the rain simply won't stop -- but this is the week!!

josey... be sure to plant any horseradish in containers. It is terribly invasive and almost impossible to get rid of once it takes hold in your garden. I don't have it (don't like it), but the folks I know who do rue the day. So be careful with it!

Happy gardening!!

05-10-2011, 09:37 PM
Hi raebear! Sounds amazing that you can and do grow everything! I would love that but our season is super short and it is way to cold for a lot of stuff.
Thanks for the comment on horseradish. I think you just convinced me! I definitely will start it in a pot and see how it goes!

DixC Chix
05-10-2011, 09:57 PM
Dirt Therapy - I LOVE it!!!

05-12-2011, 03:41 AM
New gardener here!

I don't know my zone. I live in TN. :)

My husband and I found lots of old lumber in the yard, and used it to construct a veggie planter. We're not done yet. We still have to saw some more wood to make some stubby legs. lol. And we need more nails, to secure the sides better, and maybe make it deeper. We also need to drill some holes in the bottom.

I plan to buy some pots and trays for other things. We're going to grow vegetables on our back porch, since the deer will take anything in the yard. Also, ticks are BAD. You can't even go outside without them getting on you. My back porch is high, so it's not so bad.

I plan to grow:

Cat Nip,
Sugar Snap Peas,
Bell Peppers,
Hot Peppers,
and Radishes.
I would love to grow dragonfruit, but I'm not sure if it would grow out here. I might still give it a shot.

There's a huge amount of blackberry bushes that grow around the fields by my house and parents' house every year. I may venture to harvest them this time, but I don't know. Seed ticks prevented me last time. Maybe I'll just get a good tick spray, and try this time.

05-12-2011, 01:25 PM
I currently have (I believe I'm zone 8...nice, frost-free Sacramento valley. Our last frost date is in late March, so I've had plenty of time with plants in the ground. This is prime tomato-growing country, as evidenced by the commercial tomato fields that SURROUND the city and the tomato processing plant downtown):

8 VERY happy tomato plants in 8 different varieties (Black Plum, Green Zebra, Pixie Stripe, Brandywine, Hawaiian Pineapple, Druizba, Cherokee Purple, and Sungold).

A small pot of strawberries, plus blackberry vines I'm training up my gardening shed.

Two sweet pepper plants and one hot pepper plant (all of them have fruits excited!)

Onions and iceberg lettuces

Two cucumber vines that will hopefully yield me some pickling cucumbers (I've never had a lot of luck with cucumbers, but I try every year!)

A variety of dwarf citrus trees (lemon, key lime, blood orange, and tangelo), plus a gigantic orange tree.

Rosemary, basil, oregano (which is HUGE after overwintering a little too well...anyone need any oregano?), tarragon, chives, and parsley.

We also grow calla lilies to put on our table in Springtime, and some other floral greens for Sarah to bring into work.

05-12-2011, 01:50 PM
I live in a Canadian Zone 6. I also live in an apartment but I have a fair sized balcony where I do a lot of container planting. I grow all types of lettuce on my railing planters mixed with pansies. Right now I have sweet peppers and lettuce started in the house. I will have several herbs, parsley, onions, garlic, lettuce, peppers. Sitting on the deck in the evening with the smell of oregano, sage, rosemary...nothing better.

05-12-2011, 01:58 PM
First off if you dont know your zone check here :)

Secondly im a new gardener myself. Ive lived in my home for 2 years now and only had a small flowerbed that contained mint and hostas that was from the previous owner. I transformed the 1 flowerbed next to my trailer to hold 2 beautiful lilac bushes and a christmas bush of some kind that we transplanted from the back side of the property. And there is another small one by our electric meters that is a beautiful purple honey suckle!

This year i decided i would create a new flower bed. Ive never been one to really do yard work because im allergic to grass ugh. But im taking some otc allergy meds and getting out there and just doing it! I planted a hydrangia bush, 2 hostas, some impatients, some salvia (i love butterflys) and then in a planter in the center i have lavendar and rosemary. Im not sure how well ill do since this is my first time. Not to mention where i live its really sandy (we got lots of garden soil to help).

My mother who is also my neighbor uses the area behind and around my shed to plant veggies. This year shes doing tomatos, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and beans. She has some awesome luck with this stuff even makes her own pickles! mind you she is 5"3'ish and she had tomato plants over her head the first year i moved in! lol

05-13-2011, 12:55 PM
WoW! You people really grow a lot!! My gardening consists of planting things, fighting with burdock that tries to take over and eventually chokes out everthing, then I quit and start again the next year. It's not too bad this year. I have chive growing and mint that has really taken off.

My clematis is growing beautifully. I bought some red trumpet vine looking thing for the other side of my arbor.

I was given a bunch of hyacinth and I slapped them in the ground... we will see if they come back next year. I also planted some rhubarb.

Peonies are awesome b/c they require no maintenance from me.

Then I have shade plants growing in my front. I found some Lamium (dead nettle) at home depot and danced around in excitement. I also have vinca minor I am trying to get to fill in a large area. Hosta, bleeding heart, jack in the pulpit, toad lilies, primrose, astible.

I have herb seeds... but I haven't started them yet. I was just going to do them in pots on the deck.

I also want to grow asparagus...

Oh! And I am Zone 5.

05-13-2011, 02:30 PM
My yard is completly fenced in, so I am planting more grapes all around the yard. I make grape concentrate and juice every fall and freeze it. It can be canned also, but I have a lot of room in my freezers by fall, so I just freeze it all.

I have Concord, Mars, Niagra, Catawba, Moldovian Red, Moldovian White, Canadice, and wild native grapes. As I prune the grapes and blackberries every spring, I root the cuttings and give them away in the fall. It's all a lot of extra work, but I need the exercize. And the flavor of homemade juice is wonderful compared to the watered down and chemically enhanced store brands.. I drink 8 ounces a day. Various fruit juices thin the blood and prevent heart attacks and strokes.

My strawberries are blooming. I have a bumper crop of new plants blooming, so will have to make juice out of my extra strawberries also..and save the mash to mix with my Kefir.

My weight loss is coming along just fine. I lost another pound last week.


DixC Chix
05-14-2011, 12:33 PM
Bad News - :mad::cry::cry:

There is a problem with the spigot in my garden. In checking the drip system, BIL and I discovered there was not enough force in the water to push the water out at a decent rate (1 gal/hr). I have to dig down 4 feet to the junction of the spigot to the main and replace it. This is gonna delay getting the garden planted. Its also gonna be a pain in the...well, every part of my body.

05-14-2011, 01:07 PM
Goodness I am jealous of all gardens you all have. We are just building a new house on a giant sand dune. It has natural grasses all around the property but not very much topsoil. But grasses filled with ticks. Ugh. Anyways. The neighbors have bison manure and we'll get a bunch of topsoil trucked in. I'm also putting in some raised beds and we have about ten planters to fill. Lots of work but we don't generally plant until the end of may. Zone 2 here in Sask.

05-22-2011, 07:46 PM
Phew, I am exhausted. Just came in after a few hours gardening for a little break. It is cloudy but really nice temp out. Light breeze! Perfect for gardening. I am preparing the different beds for flowers, zucchini, square foot garden and containers for peas and beans. I also planted my horseradish in a pot and seeded some lettuce in eavestroughs we installed on one garage wall. I still need to buy some seed potatoes but the tires are out and ready for them.
And I haven't started in the greenhouse yet! Good thing tomorrow is Victoria Day! I just hope the weather holds up. They forecast t-storms. Ugh.

How is everybody doing?

05-22-2011, 08:48 PM
my sugar snap peas are producing...yeah...

Hello Nurse
05-22-2011, 09:20 PM
I think I'm zone 8a (Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area). We have a great long growing season, but I was really late getting stuff in the ground this year so I don't have as much as I'd like. But, I have 5 tomatoes (2 slicing, 2 cherry, one cool zebra striped one, lol); 3 varieties of jalepeno, a red bellpepper, a green bellpepper, 2 slicing cucumbers, 3 pickling cucumbers, 2 squash, 2 zuccini, 2 varieties of pole beans, 2 kinds of mint, and a couple other herbs. Oh, and cantelope and watermelon. Pumpkins will go in later in the summer for a fall harvest. I will also have a pretty big fall garden this year since the spring one was so late.

The stuff I started from seeds are just sprouting and my seedlings are pretty young, so I won't have food for a while. I also have wild muscadine vines all over the property so I plan on making jelly and maybe wine this year.

Next year I want to get asparagus and artichoke (both perennials) in the ground, some blackberries, and some fruit trees.

It's cool to see what everyone is growing :) Anyone do any canning or pickling? I love pickling and making jams. My jalepeno pepper jelly is legendary in my circle! I also got a nice Excalibur dehydrator for my bday so I'm going to try drying some stuff.

05-22-2011, 09:46 PM
I can AND pickle AND dehydrate. We go to an awesome farmer's market that lets us get jam and pickle fodder for cheap (in high summer, we can get bags of peaches enough to can a whole batch of jam for a dollar or two).

My tomato plants are very, very happy and most of them have fruit. Yay!

05-22-2011, 09:48 PM
We can and freeze our tomatoes each year. We only got one canning run last year because of the weird weather last year.

We bought some ginger for a couple of recipes. After using it, we forgot about it and it sprouted. We planted it in a small container. Low and behold, it started growing. It is now in some planters. Does anyone know how to grow and harvest this stuff? It'd be neat if we could just pull what we needed at the time.

05-22-2011, 10:04 PM
Not new to pulling weeds, since my mother made sure I got to be an expert when I was young. But I am totally new to putting in a garden. Not something I really need to do. I live in Zone 9, in Central California. So many vegetables are available here. But there's nothing like home-grown tomatoes, and I have a hard time finding some things in the markets in my small town, like squash blossoms and certain Asian vegetables.

I'm way behind schedule for putting in a vegetable garden, but our growing season lasts a long time. We'll see how much I can accomplish. I have a new rototiller, some organic compost and soil to put in my small space, and a variety of seeds. I'm sure some of them won't be ready to be planted until its cooler, like September or October.

I'll start tomato seeds inside this week, but once I get the ground ready, I'll pick up some plants to put in right away. Also same for eggplant. I may plant some squash in pots, since my garden space isn't that large. I want to plant some black-eyed peas and Blue Lake bush beans. Cucumbers, as mandated by my younger son, and lettuces, which I hope will do well and we can harvest until the temps get too hot and they bolt. I don't recall what else I bought. I just went nuts at Lowe's seed rack!

I think I might attempt flowers for the front yard a little later. I already have a big spread of agapanthus in the front yard, but I want to surround their edge with some color. But first things first...assemble the rototiller!

05-22-2011, 11:11 PM
Another canner/pickler/dehydrator here... I can a minimum of 50 quarts of tomatoes every year, make my own tomato sauce/paste/ketchup/bbq sauce, pickles, including green beans, cucumbers and green tomatoes, plus make jams/syrups/sauces from my berries, apples, pears, plums and rhubarb.

I can what I grow or forage, and that includes some meats. Nothing as nice as home-canned, low-fat chili made with your own home-grown beef, tomatoes, beans, onions, peppers and garlic!

Also handy are dehydrated tomatoes and mushrooms (mushroom hunter, too). You can throw those in anything and add wonderful flavors. I like to dehydrate my apples and pears as well, and of course the plums become prunes.

So far the garden is producing lettuce, beets, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, arugula, asparagus and rhubarb. I've just planted my starts of peppers, pumpkins/squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chard and artichokes. Also just seeded corn, beans, squash, radishes and carrots. Successive plantings to come.

I got my strawberries transplanted (should've done it last fall, but didn't have time) so will have a bumper crop next year, but will have to buy them in this year.

Though I love them, I've learned that eggplants and melons don't do well here so I don't plant those.

For herbs, I keep oregano, sage, marjoram, chives, rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley and cilantro. From the cilantro also comes ground coriander.

That'll do for now. Happy to provide growing/canning tips if able. :)

geoblewis, I haven't cultivated ginger but have heard it's easy. Keep us posted, will you? :)

And you can maybe save yourself the trouble of putting together the rototiller... I have a massive Troy Bilt Horse, but I've come to prefer a no-till approach. I lay down cardboard, then top it with flakes of seed-free straw. To plant, I poke holes or pull a seed row through the straw/cardboard layer. Plant and re-mulch. The straw and cardboard keep moisture near the plants, keeps weeding to a minimum and avoids disturbance of soil structure -- very important! You want your worms and nematodes to do their work, and they leave if the soil is over-tilled.

Happy gardening to all! - Rae

05-23-2011, 03:13 PM
The weather here in Nebraska hasn't been very cooperative, but I did finally set a few things out yesterday. Took Friday off for a long weekend and will finish getting everything in. 19 tomato plants, 20 peppers, a variety of melons and squash. Then there's the seeds, radishes, carrots, a variety (6 i think) of beans, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, spinach, radiccio, cabbage, a sunflower teepee for fun, marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, herbs.

I've moved a huge row of Iris, put in some new lillies, moved the mint. Gotta get the hub in gear on strawberry bed. Planted some raspberry bushes. Gonna build a toad village.

I've got a 100 acres, so I can go crazy! :carrot: