Started onion (Red Wing), shallot (Picador), and leek (King Richard) seeds already, just starting to sprout. Started Space hybrid spinach indoors yesterday. Zone 5 garden season 2013 indoor seed starting has commenced.
Got a few more weeks to go before tomatoes get started here, much less get to that size.
They do look nice!! Stephanie, my cats would have a party with all those plants on the window sill.
Happytail, those seedlings look happy.
Juhur, at least you have those plants, it's so cold up here I have to wait and watch you guys growing wonderful things. I do have those two frozen avocado trees (in the house now) miraculously coming back to life, and some strawberry plants still in their cups, rescued from the great outdoors. Some I put back out so they could get their chill time, but these I'll probably put in the fridge for a while before I plant them in the Dutch buckets. I'm waiting to get vermiculite/perlite to start some seeds for the hydroponics.
Cybrczch, I want to grow onions so bad. I started some last year, and they grew to about five inches, very spindly things, and then died. Maybe too much water, I don't know, but I cook with onions a lot, so it would be so great to have some organic onions stored up or dried in jars. Tonight, I had some french fries and instead of catsup, I mixed chopped green onions and sour cream to dip them in. Oh man, I'll never eat catsup with fries again (probably).
The weather man was right this time.
No planting out my tomatoes on February 15th as I did planned ... oohhhh
My next planting out date will be February 25th ... which it will be the latest I ever transplanted out my tomatoes in the last 4 years.
I am hardening off the plants in the back porch (when the temperature is good ... not today).
The plants are growing really good and they have started to make flowers and suckers - but I am removing them.
The leaves are a bright green color and they are very healthy looking plants.
Those plants are only 6 weeks old.
The tallest variety is CHOCOLATE CHERRY - first year growing this kind.
MY GARDEN UPDATE:
I have collard seedlings coming up, and the Italian Spinach, Gigante D'Inverno? are looking very robust. I took a chance on more cool weather, and, it is right on time! If the nights keep cooling off, I may actually get more greens by April! Still waiting on my mustard seeds to pop. Sowed all these outside in the colorful "drawer" trays and a couple patented EBs pressed into service as seed beds.
I transplanted more beet seedlings into some large planters on the patio, and they are looking great and growing fast, too! The beets in RB #1 have taken off (finally) and, for some reason, the pillbugs aren't bothering them, or the turnip greens, anymore. Could be the last application of Sluggo Plus coupled with the nighttime dips that have them on the run. I'll be able to harvest some "hole free" turnip greens after all!
The long white (Hansel? Gretyl?) eggplants from last spring/summer have started blooming all over again in the eBuckets, so I'm going to lift them out, refresh the soil, and repot them.
My bell pepper seedlings inside under lights have started making blooms!! They are the most robust bell peppers I've started since the Emerald Giants a few seasons ago. Truly deep green and very healthy!
I have a new flat of cabbage seedlings to plant into one of the RBs.
Dug post holes in the opposite end of RB #1 to extend the tomato frame across the entire bed. Trellising them on the guide lines is so EZ, much neater, and takes up very minimal space in the bed. No cages or stakes all over the place. This time though, I'm putting PVC sleeves into the holes, so at the end of the season, I can lift the frame out of that end and cap the sleeves til next time. Didn't think to do this on the original end, which is permanently in place. But, it's still neat, since I painted it to match my fence. Not obtrusive at all.
Attended an Urban Harvest class this past Sunday. Toured a large community garden, and did a walkabout of the instructor's home garden. EVERY square inch of his property (front and back) is filled with edible landscaping! All sorts of citrus trees, fruit trees, veggies, native flora, a chicken coop (4 hens), and a 4x4 compost bin that stands about 6 ft. tall. Three sections filled with leaves/veggie peels, partially decomposed compost, and black gold in the last section.
Scheduled for one more class, this time a "'Hands On', down in the dirt, let's do it," class. I figured I need to take at least ONE local class, seeing as all I know about veggie gardening I've learned from you guys here on Dave's! And, most of you are outside of Houston proper, or in other states! I don't even know the recommended local veggie varieties to grow! Not that I would, of course. Ya'll know I'm an "outside the box," "push the veggie envelope" kinda girl!
P.S. Going to order the Dripworks starter kit for my RBs. The garden industry feels that T-Tape is the wave of the future, and will be sustainable in the long run.
Yes I still have the broc seedlings and theyve been on the back porch for several weeks now so no need to harden off. They are not growing that fast so still small in six packs. I'd love for you to have them. Maybe we could meet in the middle but dont get to close to me. I dont know if Im still contagious.
Rain Rain and more rain with cold cloudy days. I heard March is suppose to be extra cold for a little while too before we start warming up around here.
I have transplanted 98 sprouted spinach seeds and about 72 more tomorrow. I want to can some spinach but have no idea what I am doing. Have never grown spinach before now. Happy I got the seed to germinate. It's gonna be an interesting gardening year all the way around. I am sure I can grow it...my only fear is bugs.
Oh...I was talking to someone about how my grandmother use to rinse tons of turnip green leaves. She rinsed them through the washing machine...just on the gentle rinse cycle twice. Since I am growing lots of green stuff this year for canning, I think I will try it.
Half gallon commercial , no,, were not seeded in those , started in Styrofoam cups, potted up to the larger and they will grow from there to the garden , no more potting up .
This is same plant last week..one of them anyway...
Tomorrow is my day off, so I plan on "up-potting" all my seedlings to 16oz cups. Do you think those will work or should I go for something bigger/deeper? They are currently in 6oz yogurt cups. One thing I've done this year is water them weekly with a weak solution of fish emulsion & seaweed. I've also been watering them from the bottom every 2-3 days.
My peppers that I planted have done absolutely NOTHING in the roaster oven! Tomorrow, I'm going to re-sow those and start them on a heating mat or heating pad elevated over a baking cooling rack. I also need to sow more borage and I have some parsley that's been stratifying in my fridge. I also have some daylily seeds that have been in there for a couple of years. I should probably try to start those, too! LOL
If I'm really feeling good tomorrow, I'll do some winter sowing of my flowers. We'll see if I'm that industrious!
Don't give up on the peppers just yet. They take considerably longer to pop. Just the way they are... Mine started off just a slowly, but they've caught up by leaps and bounds! Some even about to put on blooms, under the fluorescent lights.
16 oz. Solo cups would be fine. That's my method, and they'll make nice, big root balls. Try to find clear cups. For some reason, mine always grow stronger in the clear cups vs. the Red Solo Cups. I think it's because the light reaches them even from the sides, and it seems to make a difference in the growth.
PRAY TELL, which flowers are you going to start winter sowing (when you do...)
Just potting them up ,gives you neater plants , I use those yogurt size cups for my annual flowers , The tomato plants I have there I will put a bamboo stake with them the same as the market does their plants ,
It is that way as months will pass before it is time for them to go to the garden ,like May or June , yours go in next month or a day or two after that? Lots of difference , I too am trying to start some Borage and herbs but room is limited and a dozen tomato plants take up a lot of room . As it warms up I can set plants in the garage and start more, things get less hectic as far as room concerns ,
It is worth it for the choices it allows though , after all ,when was the last time you got an heirloom beefsteak or good large yellow sweet tomato at your local market?
My garden has a lot of structural changes ,that are to be made, Concrete reinforcing wiring wire to grow these plants on ,a few cement poles to wire the fence unto , Blocks to go around, the garden beds , Things that should of been finished years ago but have waited because of other concerns ,
Lot of old ways of doing things I always like growing the tomato plants this way as lettuce or parsley ,or greens of sorts always grow well set in around the tomatoes.
Makes the gardener ,namely me , much more satisfied about it when I get two or three crops from the same space, keeps the motivations a lot happier. You have all mentioned this bunches so this is as to say I agree , something to keep the hopes going... it counts ...
Thanks for the tip about using the yogurt cups! I've got about a BAZILLION of them, already prepped and ready to go.
I have gallon milk jugs to sow seeds in. Is the process the same as for the tomatoes? Once they're up and out and get a couple good leaves, transplant them into individual cups to grow on until they go out into the garden?
Now, I'm REALLY, REALLY, REALLY excited, because I've been wanting flowers on my property since I bought it in 2005, and this will be the first year I could actually have CURB APPEAL!!!!!
Work with me, Steph, every step of the way, ok? I'm here, and I'm listening and learning.
Post plenty pictures, too!
Linda ^^_^^^^_^^^^_^^ (Linda, Steph, and Juhur7 doing the flower dance!)
Then I read a suggestion from someone: for very early Sugar Anne snap peas, start them indoors on paper towel, and transplant as soon as the root tip emerges. He suggested checking the paper towels twice per day, and transplanting before you had many mm of root.
peppers could take up to 12 days to germinate. Don't give up!
If you have a heating mat, set it at 90 F ... they should sprouts in 4-5 days.
I had some problem with a few varieties of peppers and eggplant. I think it was my fault because I removed the humidity dome as soon as 90% of the other varieties did germinate. I did re-seed 2 varieties and the problem was that the seed shell didn't open ... even after soaking the seed before in water.
I did try again and this time I put the little pot inside a plastic bag and secure it with an elastic.
NO PROBLEM - they all germinated in 8 days and the seed shell did fall off.
I got up and about early, it's finally sunny out, dug out some things I don't like, harvested a mess of collards, and put in three kinds of tomato seedlings: Stupice, Cherokee Purple, and who-knows-what kind from a seed exchange.
Sowed in some zinnia, hollyhock, and poppies around the borders, and now have to figure out where to put all these scarlet runner beans that have suddenly sprouted - I swear, I put them in a paper towel yesterday, and they're going like gangbusters.
Lisa, some seeds were saved, some I purchased from Baker Creek and some from Victory. I don't know the exact temp but it's somewhere around 80º. I'm going to try again. I thought about trying to sprout them on a paper towel in a plastic baggie.
Well, it was 48° this morning when I put the tomato seedlings back out...
This'll be the first day they're out in whatever bright sunlight hits them. They've been under the patio cover for about 3 weeks now, so, I don't think the sunshine will hurt them any.
Been doing this nighttime in, morning out, thing all week now. But, "we do what we gotta do!"
My bell peppers inside are GORGEOUS! Better than the GORGEOUS Emerald Giants I grew a couple seasons ago, cause these aren't growing too big, too fast! Collards and spinach are liking the cool nights. I'm wondering, however, if I didn't make a mistake by sowing the eggplant seedlings outside. Don't know what I was thinking. Shoot!
Guess I'll be sowing more seeds inside, just in case those sitting out in the damp Earthbox are rotting away. Shoot.
Your broccoli s looking VERY happy under the lights! Will post some pics on the weekend.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, YA'LL! SENDING MUCH LOVE TO YOU GUYS!
Just watch- you'll be in eggplant heaven come more heat! Happy Valentines to you guys! was down in Linda's neck of the woods-Hobby Airport, but sittin in El Paso this morning. Glorious sunshine. ONE more freeze snap Linda for you- but I doubt you'll get colder than 35* -grits on the other hand isn't to be so lucky, end of Feb before lucky enough to climb as warm as south Houston!!! Enjoy the day guys!
It is warm here again , maybe in a few more weeks it will begin to stay that way. Always waiting and then planting time get here , Wanting that cloudy ,rainy day to plant , and guessing can get kind of tricky , even with Doppler radar forecasts to help..
Annual flowers ,,vegies , the tomatoes , they all like a couple cloudy rainy days , if it can happen
when they get planted . Hope the weather cooperates for you all , (rare these days)
I lose a lot of annual flowers to sun bake , no rain at planting time , and yes, I water them any way but I am not as good as mother nature..
It will begin to warm here next month , likely, I am as excited as a dancing snoopy dog in anticipation ,, some more flower dancing perhaps ?
Nola-don't be surprised if you don't get any poppies or hollyhocks to flower this year. Is this when you usually sow the seeds? Poppies are usually sown in the fall/winter in the south. They don't need the cold to germinate but the plants need time to get established before it gets too hot. What kind did you sow? Hollyhocks are usually biennial meaning they flower the second year but if you sow them In the fall you have a good chance they will flower in the spring.
Stephanie- 80 might be a little too cool, can you get the seeds any warmer?
They look very nice, Stephanie! I can't wait to plant seeds. Can't plant outside until middle of June, so I watch all of this with great anticipation. I plan to start some seeds inside soon, though. Can't wait to grow the yellow heirloom tomato seeds I got this winter.
1lisac wrote:Nola-don't be surprised if you don't get any poppies or hollyhocks to flower this year. Is this when you usually sow the seeds? Poppies are usually sown in the fall/winter in the south. They don't need the cold to germinate but the plants need time to get established before it gets too hot. What kind did you sow? Hollyhocks are usually biennial meaning they flower the second year but if you sow them In the fall you have a good chance they will flower in the spring.
I sowed the first round of poppy seeds on Jan 1, and the seedlings are poking up, but I did cheat and get 3 already-started poppies from Annie's - they look about ready to bloom if it would just keep being sunny for longer than a day.
Any ideas for some shorter-term loveliness to fill in? I've been seeding zinnias every other week or so, and just got a little pack of interesting-looking cosmos. The peas are threatening to overtake a small part of the house right now, but it sure would be nice to have some color!
I've never grown hollyhocks before - I got some in the free seeds for new bees package and figured to just toss 'em in there. My gardening style is "cottage haphazard." I have no earthy idea what will come up next.
How about I start a new thread for the flowers? I have some questions myself about shade gardening, but, I've been following the spring veggie starting discussion here and don't wanna cause a sidetrack?
OK, SPIN-OFF THREAD: "Starting Our Spring FLOWER SEEDS, Pt. 1"
Today I seeded indoor: okra, cucumbers and watermelon.
This year I decided to start those crops earlier than normal because I upgraded to a new growing light and I have more shelf room. The plants will be older and stronger when I will transplant them out ... just an experiment.
Peppers and eggplants growing wonderful. Zucchini already monsters (only 3 weeks old).
Tomorrow I will transplant out the tomatoes.
stephanietx wrote:Have you tried applying beneficial nematodes to help deter those pests?
yes ... pillbugs are just a part of the soil biology in my garden. I have learn to play around them and they are not a big deal at all.
I will not use Sluggo or others chemicals in my garden. I have spent years to create a pure and healthy soil ... I have good bugs taking care of the bad ones ... and tortoises eating the tomato hornworms .. yummy ... lots of worms when I dig ... it is the happy garden !
I didn't get good germination out of the Baker Creek Okra seed either this year. Of the HCR & Stewart's ZB that I sowed the first round, only 2 ZB's germinated. I got 100% germination of the NOID okra we had grown in 2009 or 2010, and saved seed from some pods.
I'm making 1 last attempt with a seed mat this time & just by looking, it's not looking real good at this point. Almost all the other seeds in the flat have at least poked their heads up. If these are duds, I'm going to get rid of all that seed. Also didn't have a lot of success with the Cowhorn 22 Okra seed the first time around, so I'm really watching them, hoping for some better results.
With the early warm season we had last year, plus the predicted one for this spring, I wanted a little earlier jump this year. Once I pot up to the 3 gallon Root Pouches, they will go to a small GH outside and should be warm enough by then. Just looked at Aggie Planting Guide, but it's for Travis County, just north of us, and it says a April set out date. I know I've seen the Hays County guide, but would have to dig to find it.
I agree with you. A lot of the garden centers here in the DFW area say that we are going to be 4F degrees warmer this year and that summer is coming earlier. They even have tomatoes for sale now ... which it is very unusual.
I will keep my okra growing indoor until it is warm outside - no worries.
weeee ... dreaming of fry okra !
I still have my freezer half full of okra.
Last year, the aphids did in the Emerald Green Velvet okra I had, but the Hill Country Red produced like crazy! I still have packages frozen in my freezer from last summer's harvest. I saved seeds from the Hill Country Red if anyone wants some.
Last year I had a banner crop of eggplants and okra. I think I will do a "Little Fingers" eggplant this year, instead of all of it "Black Beauty". I wish I had saved okra seeds, but I already picked up some new ones for this year. "Lee" is supposed to be a shorter variety of okra. Has anyone tried either of these varieties?
Tomato plants are on sale here too. Like the sales person said it almost guarantees 2 sales 1 now and another after the next freeze. Lol. The temps are nice so people think it's going to stay that way.
People are asking for them so they stock them. It was 31 here this AM. I never heard anything about a possible freeze. I was shocked it was so cold. I just don't have the free time to mess with plants any longer then I have to. I want them up and out.
I luv okra I sow seeds when the heat has taken other stuff out. Kevin we can compare our experiences with root pouches but im in Williamson, almost Burnet County.
My sample of the Boxer Brown Root Pouch finally arrived today, and those are going to last a long time, the material is very thick and I think having the sizes I want should make this season go pretty good. The okra I've already started needs to hold off for another week for me to get the pots & the little GH outside set up and then I can take advantage of this warmer weather. If I can get the okra out of the house that will give me enough room for the rest of the veggies. It's nice having 72 cell trays to germinate seed, but then you've got to have a place to keep them going. The only veggies not going into Boxer Browns will be cukes, zucchini, and squash, they have residency in the raised bed. I'm actually going to use the okra in the front of the house to hide the rain totes coming in the next months...
Lisa>> I'm in the northeast corner of Hays county just east of I-35. We're just a stones throw from Hays, Travis, & Caldwell county intersection. As the crow flies we're probably about 60 or 70 miles apart. I figure were on average about 2 or 3 degrees warmer than you, and as far as freeze goes, we were about 35 or 36 this morning. One of the other things I notice is we USUALLY get more rainfall that you do. The last couple storms haven't dropped too much rain on us either. Your comment about people thinking we're safe is what's making me get the little GH, just to be prepared for the worst. If it will hold the 15 or 20 okras, it will be worth it. Momma can use it after that...
drthor>> We had so much zucchini last year it was driving us crazy. I never liked zukes until last year, we had it every way imaginable, grilled, fried, breaded, sauteed, to name a few. We had one plant that sprawled out over 8' and produced right into the start of fall.
stephanie>> Curious as to where you purchased your HCR okra seed, I've had bad luck so far last and again this year, with the Baker Creek seeds. I got some HCR from Seed Saver Exchange and will give them a shot in about 2 weeks, once I can move some other items out to their new homes. My wife & sons really like okra, and I guess this year I may give it a try.
happytail wrote:Last year I had a banner crop of eggplants and okra. I think I will do a "Little Fingers" eggplant this year, instead of all of it "Black Beauty". I wish I had saved okra seeds, but I already picked up some new ones for this year. "Lee" is supposed to be a shorter variety of okra. Has anyone tried either of these varieties?
I like Little Fingers eggplant as I'm the only one that eats eggplant and these are smaller. A few years ago I grew Lee okra and it was good ~ about 3 feet tall and a fair producer. They both worked well in containers or small garden areas. This year, I'm growing White Fingers eggplant and Jambalaya okra ~ both suited to containers.
how is this POSSIBLE?
"We had so much zucchini last year it was driving us crazy. I never liked zukes until last year, we had it every way imaginable, grilled, fried, breaded, sauteed, to name a few. We had one plant that sprawled out over 8' and produced right into the start of fall."
What is your secret? do you use any kind of chemicals? no SVB in Buda?
I am also very disappointed from Baker Seeds, even if I love the company. Their germination rate was 20% of most of the seeds I bought from them. So sad.
Even if it were 31° if there was no moisture to touch into frost the plants ought to be ok. esp since I think it didn't drop that cold til that last hour before dawn. Yup- there will be a few more cold daylites even with Spring sliding in now. Was in the Panhandle yesterday- they are still cold enough and dry enough thatplants are still dormant. Tulsa today for sunrise. brrr. but dry.
My tomatoes are in the ground.
Yesterday was just the perfect day !! Sunny and with no wind !
I went to cooking school in the morning at Le Cordon Bleu. The class was "the art of French bakery".
I did ask the chef to rush because I told him than I needed to transplant my tomatoes from 2 to 5pm because the bio dynamic calendar and the moon told me so. Also ... you should have seen his assistant face when I ask to collect all the egg shells we used so I could put them in my garden to give Calcium to my plants ... they both look at me like I was very "strange" ...
After eating all of that sugar ... yep there were more pastries that are not in the picture below ... I run home and I started at 2pm to transplant all of my tomatoes. I finished at 4.55pm - perfect timing.
The week before I put down coffee grounds and egg shells and 2-3" of compost on top of my bed (there were so many worms already while I was digging)
In the planting hole I used: bat guano, DE, green sand, azomite and mycrorizite.
I did trench the plants. Some of them were 2' tall, which it was perfect !!
I didn't have time to take pictures of the plants ... maybe today.
What you see will be only a couple of leaves, because the rest of the plant is all underground,
I mulched with pine needles.
Cover the hoop with the perforated plastic. On the inside I put a few gallons jugs full of hot water.
Cover everything with blankets .. and took a picture just before the sun went down !!!
I did water just a little bit ... last year I learn that tomatoes don't like to be wet and cold at the same time. This year I will not water until I see the plants drooping down ... I think the moisture in the soil is enough ...
Last night the temperature went down to 37F .. aaaah but on the inside of the hoop house it never went below 48F. I am sure that everything will be ok. Now I can rest and ... eat my sweets !!
Zucchini loves dry air, i usually plant mine on a mound and water inside the mound- and I have to give them huge amounts of room. Use rather a bit higher nitrogen or just plant in green horse manure- which I dont consider rich by any means. I miss my gardens guys. Am not accustomed to okra seeds Ever being less than 100% germination when you sow by June tho.
Drthor- my grandmother Never watered after transplanting. She did add 1cup of water to the hole before setting the transplant in. Then we watered maybe a week later. Your goodies look as if they taste awesome.
Drthor? Everyone detests squash vine borers- but they also battle armies of other bugs that are equally as awful. Wireworms, armyworms, your leaf footed bugs- all of these are worse outside of the cities in the wilds. Minnesota I know hates svb and is constantly searching for ways to fight them
drthor wrote:I have no problem growing beautiful zucchini ... until the squash vine borer comes and kill them all ...
I know that gardeners outside of TX don't understand this ... but this SVB is a monster !!!
Texas is not alone, I have SVB here, too, along with hordes of squash bugs. It's a native plant; there are bound to be plenty of critters that feed on it.
Podster, I have Jambalaya okra seeds for this year too. Maybe we can compare notes at the end of the season.
I'm trying a spaghetti squash this year, that I haven't tried before. Hope it does ok for me. We have a local area that is a community garden, and almost everyone I spoke to last year had squash vine borers. We were at 34 degrees at 6 am this morning. I did cover my little tomato volunteers, and my newly planted Meyer lemon, and my pink jasmine that is beginning to bloom. Tonight will be about the same.
Queryy about the Meyers? Daughter has one in 5gal bucket I was afraid was rootbound its been in there 2 years. Pulled it out, squished 2 or 3 snails. but it has no roots to speak of... Fertilized. new soil. It has leaves in the Spring, but grasshoppers seem to adore it and strip it down to the branches. Why hasn't it got roots?
As usual as soon as I plant out the tomatoes the "windy season" starts in Dallas.
I was so lucky yesterday that it was so good.
Here are the tomatoes under cover in a good start.
The soil temperature inside the hoop today was almost 65F ... so far so good.
Half of the cucumber seeds I started on the 15th germinated already - only two days !!!
Kittriana-does the lemon tree look ok? The reason im asking is bc if it looks ok I'm not messing with it. Lol
I usually see roots growing out the bottom of my potted plants but now you've got me wondering...
Sorry tryin to answer. This poor lemon has had a rough life. Froze back 1.5 yrs ago; i chopped the dead top and used a lower branch to be a main. Had 2 lemons I pulled this past Fall just before another cold spell. The grasshoppers had stripped every bit of leaf off and now the leaves are growing again. There were small roots yellowish, and I shook off soome of the old medium and saw no sturdy roots. I am honestly surprised at how hard it works at living. I just seem to remember another one I grew and it did have a different and decent rootball. What there is looks healthy... not at home right now. Sitting in 34° windy Illinois tonite.
These winds are blowing the winter away, they SHOULD be March winds tho...normally they would pull wet winter moisture out of the ground for planting, but we need what little moisture we have this year...cover your bare earth!
My Weekend Update:
While I hoped to get my tomato seedlings in the ground this weekend, that didn't happen...Kinda glad I didn't, 'cause the wind here has been a kicker this weekend.
►Harvested beet greens and turnip greens. I think they'll stay in about two more weeks, if I can spare the space in RB #1. Seems like it took all day to process these greens for the freezer. How're ya'll processing your greens? I bring them in, agitate them in a sink full of cold, salted water (a mountain of salt), rinse them under running water, quick blanch them in a gumbo pot of boiling water, shock 'em in a cold bath, then rough chop, and into the freezer bags. From garden to freezer takes me approximately 20 minutes. Am I doing this correctly, or causing myself a bunch of unnecessary steps?
►I am still trying to figure out how to sink sleeves for two uprights on the other end of the raised bed, so I can extend my tomato frame without this end being permanently sunk. The opposite end is permanently sunk down 2' into the soil, but, I want the flexibility of removing the uprights on the other end after the season is over...suggestions are WELCOMED
►Attended a local gardening class that told me nothing I didn't already know (which I learned from you guys and others here...). It amazes me that I could be holding these same classes in my own back yard, and collecting the fees for walkabout tours...at the very least, I could do seed-starting 101 classes!
Ended up with two of the class attendees following me home to rescue 16 tomato plants from my collection. At least I know they're going to good homes. My elderly neighbors aren't inclined to wanna be out on freezing nights protecting them this early...soooooooooooooooo, I've got babies to foster out to those willing to do what it takes to keep them alive between now and mid-March!
Was too tired after the class to do anything else...need to feed the worm bin...
Here's an update on the broccoli seedlings. They are growing FAST in Roots Organics. They needed some steroids. I have found that brassicas babies are "hungry hippos!"
I would suggest using conduit brackets to hold the ends of your support. Put two or three vertically on the outside of your raised bed and slip the end of your tomato trellis into the brackets. The local hardware or big box hardware will have several sizes of the brackets. Here's a sample image from a manufacturer's website (http://www.nehrwess.net/).
aaah I found cutworms hanging on my tomatoes babies this morning !
They decapitates my Sapho tomato !!! oohh ...
I killed as many as I could ... squish squish !! sprinkle DE all around and at dusk I will apply BT.
That's a good suggestion, but the uprights will stand 7'. I don't think the brackets will hold the galvanized pole upright. I needs to be sunk down into the ground.
I'm actually creating a "box" frame over the bed, with lines stretched between the uprights on either end. Then, I'll slip tie guide lines around the base of each tomato plant, and throw the excess lines over the lines. As the plants grow, I'll wind them around the lines. I'll train them to only one/two main stems each (a line on each "vee"), and pinch suckers diligently.
I have the two holes dug. Is there such a thing a wrapping the post in some plastic or something, and setting it in quikrete, such that it'll leave the hole impression, but the posts won't be stuck? My posts are standard 6mm galvanized steel fence posts, and I can't find any pvc or conduit that's just big enough to fit around them as sleeves I could sink in the holes...
Linda, would sinking PVC "sockets" in the ground work, and then you could slide your uprights into them? I sink mine into the ground about 18" (which can be really fun with as many rocks as I have.) They are pretty much in the ground for good; very few of the ones I had to remove for the garden reconfiguration survived the extraction process.
LOL, that's exactly what I'm trying to do! Except, I can't find anything to use as a sleeve that will fit over the galvanized post uprights! PVC was my first choice, but it was either too small, or too big. I looked at conduit, too. So, now I'm thinking about how to make a concrete mold I can bury in the ground, like those concrete blocks you set 2x4s for pergola uprights into.
I've never started seeds indoors before. I direct sow. I do want to get an early start this year. For those that use the solo and yogurt cups, do you put holes in the bottom of them? Also, what soil do you use to start them? I saw the picture with the solo cups sitting in the aluminum pan, if the hole is in the cup, do you fill the pan with water?
Sorry for all the questions. I see all the healthy pictures and want to be able to do it as well. Love the pictures! Thanks in advance.
Linda - I'm a big fan of "This Old House" and if I remember correctly, they have said wood should not come into contact with concrete. You have to put a metal thingy between the concrete and the wood. Of course, if it's not a permanent structure, it probably doesn't matter.
Lynda, are you using thin conduit, EMT, fence pipe, or the thick wall galvanized plumbing pipe?? The conduit clamps will work great for what you're doing, and they will be stong enough for the 7' height, but use two clamps, one at top and one on the bottom, to give extra stability. I did a 17' wide arch over the driveway for Christmas light arch using 1 1/2" PVC thick wall pipe for rigidity. The conduit clamps are screwed into the 4X6 timber fence posts... Just looking back at your pics, you would probably want to go into the end with the 4X4 corner posts for extra strength with 3" exterior deck screws.
Jog my memory, how tall is your RB? Isn't it 24"? The one we built was doubled 2X12's correct? If it's 24" deep, you'll have plenty of bed to attach the straps. If it's shorter, you might have to dig a little pier hole. HD & Lowe's have cement tube forms in a lot of different sizes, and a bag or 2 of redi-mix & some agua, if you have to go that route.
Suzie - don't be sorry about asking questions - we DGers LOVE to answer gardening questions.
Personally, I use 3oz plastic Solo cups to start seeds (one seed per cup.) I poke a single hole in the base, several holes around the perimeter of the base, and another set of holes around the cup a third of the way up from the base. This keeps air in the root system. Roots need air just like we do :)
Here's my soil recipe - some of the more obscure items you can eliminate.
1 brick classic coir soaked in 4qts hot water makes a little over one gallon
1 gallon worm castings, keep bag closed after each use to prevent drying
2 gallons coarse perlite
1 gallon vermiculite
2 tablespoons bone meal with iron
¾ teaspoon trace elements
4 tablespoons dolomite lime
¼ cup soil moist
½ cup Numus (optional)
1 cup crab shell
1 tablespoon phosphate
I initially considered the pipe straps, but for the number I would need, the PVC turned out to be a lot cheaper. PVC comes in a huge number of sizes -- 1/2" increments in the large sizes and 1/4" in the smaller sizes, so I'm surprised you didn't find one that worked. The connection doesn't have to be completely snug for it to work. What is the outside diameter of the pipe you are trying to use?
Suzie, yes poke holes in the bottom of the cups and place them on something to catch any water that might seep out when you water. I used 6oz yogurt cups for my starters and filled about 1/2 full with seed starter mix. When the plants were big enough, I planted up into 16 oz SOLO cups. I usually poke 3-4 holes in the bottom of each using an ice pick. If hubby's around, he likes to use his power drill and the smallest bit he can find.
I am using the repurposed 6' galvanized steel posts from my previous fence. They are to be sunk into the ground on the OUTSIDE of the raised bed. I need to make a pier to sink into the two holes that are already dug. Then, I can slip the fence posts down into the pier, and take them out at the end of the season. I can put a stepping stone over the pier holes.
I believe the fence posts are 6 mm diameter (standard 3"). The next largest size PVC pipe available was 4", and would leave too much wobble room if it set the posts down into those sleeves.
So, if I get a 3" tube form, and set it into a 3.5" form, then pour some quickrete between the two forms, when I remove the 3" tube form, I'll have the pier I need to bury in the hole. Then, slip my fence posts into that pier.
Dig a hole, coat your pipe in Vaseline, brace it at the location you want (possibly with a larger, 10-12 cardboard form around everything, then fill with concrete. It will contract slightly when it dries, and should let you pull the pipe out, leaving a sleeve to reinsert the pipe. However, I do think the conduit clamps (at least 2 per pipe) would be strong enough to hold the frame.
DING, DING, DING, DING, DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!
That's EXACTLY the answer I was looking for. Trust me. These frames are holding up a LOT of weight, which is why I need to anchor those uprights into the ground. My yard is on a perpetual crosswind, and when we have blustery, gusting winds, the lines and vines hanging from them may sway, but that frame (holding it all up) should not bend in the wind, or sway more than 1/4-1/2"!
You solved my problem when you said, "coat your pipe in Vaseline". I KNEW there was something involved that would keep the pipe from setting itself when the concrete was poured! My two holes are already dug, 20" down (the first two were a full 24", but, this helper ran outta steam, and quit at 20")...
I can stop by Lowes to pick up two 3.5" tube forms!
THANKS, A BUNCH!
P.S. We're supposed to have a 30% chance of rain sometime Wednesday afternoon, and thunderstorms by Thursday. If I pour the quickrete this evening, will it be ok by Wednesday afternoon? Also, will one bag do it? Can I do like I see on TV and pour the dry quikrete into the hole around the post, then add the water? Or should I mix it first in a bucket and pour it in?
Depends on the rosemary- am not sure my prostrate rosemary will- but its growing gangbusters - my daughter believes rosemary is grown for the blooms- i have fits getting her to keep it trimmed back...pretty little blue blooms.
We had one up by the porch- got to be a bush 4'wide and 3' tall. died back inside before I could talk her into pruning, and then she dug it up and bur.ed it cuz it was dead in the middle, chuckl. She fusses at me everytime I get the scissors after the garlic chives, mother of thyme, basil, etc. 'Mama! They were abiut to bloom!' It wont kill em hon, ...
Rosemary should grow like gangbusters in TX; it's native to the Mediterranean. It doesn't need (or want) much water and hot sun is perfect. If you are watering or fertilizing it or have it in nice soil... stop. :) My old house had rosemary shrubs of unknown variety 5' tall and 10' in diameter! I planted the "Arp Hardy" in the picture last spring and it's a good 2' round now.
They don't burst forth in tons of flowers all at once-- just a couple dozen here and there during the late winter.
I've never had a rosemary bush not bloom, except the 3 "Tuscan Blue" plants I also planted last spring. Lovely dark foliage, but not a trace of bloom this year. I don't know if that's a function of age, size (they are smaller than the other) or if some varieties are more prone to bloom than others.
I've always been told that growing rosemary from seed is very difficult, but I have no problem starting them by tip cuttings. Layering also works -- if you snoop around the bottom the bush sometimes you'll find branches laying on the ground that already have roots.
kittriana wrote:We had one up by the porch- got to be a bush 4'wide and 3' tall. died back inside before I could talk her into pruning, and then she dug it up and bur.ed it cuz it was dead in the middle, chuckl. She fusses at me everytime I get the scissors after the garlic chives, mother of thyme, basil, etc. 'Mama! They were abiut to bloom!' It wont kill em hon, ...
Shame about digging it up and burying it. When I do a big cutting or a removal, any I can't use goes to a local charity garden. They like my extra produce, but fresh herbs in particular are always welcomed.
Start over again. sigh. She was relocati.g the overgrown lorapetalum to a new home and had to move it. I didn't know if I could trim it as much as I needed without killing it. They grow easy here. I have one now that has trebled in size even getting water and fertilizers the rest of my veggies are getti.g. I layered some and knew she wanted starts for her other mother and had them ready, chuckl.
I used to have a very large rosemary bush that bloomed a lot. Then the chickens discovered it. Needless to say, I no longer have it.
I'm waiting for about 2-3 days with no rain so I can dig in some compost & prepare the remainder of my raised beds.I've got a lot of pepper seedlings that need to go out. Plus a few ground cherries I'm trying for the first time this year.
Dan & Linda>> Never heard of using Vaseline to release concrete forms. I drove concrete mixer for close to 10 years, and I saw a lot of things, but never that. Dan's right, if you're expecting that much stress, you need at least 3X the diameter of the pipe for your pier hole. Personally, I think you're over-engineering this a bit, as the weight of the plant is going to be bourne by the bed, and all we're doing is stabilizing it, but I could be wrong.
Linda>> BTW, I think the smallest tube form is about 10 or 12 inches. That's about the standard minimum size for the form. Just checked HD website 8" is the minimum...
Other possibilities are lard, bacon grease, Crisco, auto grease, or motor oil. Don't leave clumps of the release agent, just make sure there is an even coat. Commercial release agents can be sprayed on to the form. Some builders spray diesel on wooden forms. In this case, both the pipe and the cardboard tube are your forms. I would use a thicker release agent, not a spray, on your pipe.
Ok, now I'm getting confused, a bit...information overload...
I bought two 50 lb. bags of fast set Quikrete yesterday, hoping to set the poles, but it had rained. I looked at the cardboard forms, and yes, 8" was the smallest diameter available. But, I think that may be overkill. Also, the holes weren't dug that big around, and I can't do it. The two posts on the other end are sunk directly into the holes, 24" each. No concrete or piers, and they've held up...
So, I was gonna go with David's plan, and just coat the bottom 22" of the post, set it into the hole, level it, pour in the Quikrete, then pour the water in (like on the DIY programs -- no mixing in the wheelbarrow...). Then, I'll stand there like a garden statue, holding the pole upright until the quikrete sets...at some point, when I think the quikrete has set enough, I'll carefully start to wiggle the post out of the hole, and PRAY that the concrete doesn't collapse in on itself...
Am I on track here? I really can't make those holes a full 8" diameter x 2'D to accommodate the cardboard tubes...
Thanks, guys, for working with me on this. And, thanks to those who have been patient with the sidebar (which is directly related to my spring veggie garden preparation)
Ummm. you are better to set a level and build a brace that will hold the posts in the concrete than to hold them yourself. HUMANS tend not to hold posts truly straight, chuckl, and that can lead to frustrations later.
Can't I just stand there with the post leveler a DGer friend so lovingly gifted me with? I'm a pretty patient person...and, I can meditate and pray, and reflect on the error of my ways, while I'm standing, LOL!
The avocado is putting out a ton of new leaves, rainbow chard seems to finally have its footing after being devoured by bugs all winter, lettuces are coming in delightfully well, and while I know it's not a vegetable, caught my first strawberry forming today. Woo!
AND my landlord has been so impressed by my progress with his yard that he's installing a pergola next month and asking me what to put on it. I may try mirlitons and roses together, or runner beans and passionflowers...so excited to have another spot to put all of this stuff. Never enough space!
You COULD mix the quik-crete to a thick consistency and pack it around the pipe but to have a "socket" you will lose your rigidity that you're trying to design into this project. With just dumping the quik crete in and adding water on top I don't think your strength will be the same as it would be wet-mixed.
Ok. I can mix the quikrete in a bucket and pour it in...
Actually, I could do this OUTSIDE the hole first. Find a tall, narrow bucket or whatever, stand the post in that, then pour the quikrete in and let it set. Probably easier to prop the post upright too. Then, when it sets, pull out the post. At least I can see if the quikrete collapses. If it holds, then I could sink the pier in the hole.
You know, I could probably go ahead and buy the 8" cardboard tube, split it on one side, then wind it tight enough to make a smaller form. Hold it together with some good old duck tape and pour the quikrete in. At least I'd have the right diameter pier to set down into the hole...
That is really tuff cardboard. The socket means the hole your post is in if you wish it to be removed from your pier. Umm, sounds so fancy. I would justdig a hole and insert a metal piece of pipe hole into the concrete that would holdmy post and just not worry about removing the metal from the concrete. Better than pvc and can be as deep as the 8" hole. Comes in more sizes than pvc too..
My whole problem was find something with a not-so-big diameter that the post would wobble around in the hole. If I can tape a couple tall narrow cans together (22" tall) and drop them down into the hole, then put the concrete in, that solves my problem in an EZ way.
I couldn't find any kind of pipe that was snug enough around the fence post. The closest pvc pipe was 4". The fence post diameter is only 3". Too much play in the uprights.
Make a sleeve for your pipe by wrapping thin, strong, flexible plastic sheet (think flexible cutting board) around the pipe to make an open ended cylinder. Tape the roll with duct tape then use that plastic when you pour the concrete.
Got me seeing a pic of me on a mission- tape measure in pocket and going shoppin for asparagus for supper, chuckl. Take the bottoms out, but 22"/23" is agood depth for bottom brace, and just shim wedges in beside the posts to holdem tite in the holes. Will make your life easier at breakdown later to simply shim the slack.
If you use asparagus cans as braces against the concrete- yes remove the bottoms. Shims are wedges of wood or brick that are used as a brace to tighten objects in a device. A hammer or axe head when placed on a handle has a small wefge ( shim)that is driven into the hole to tighten the met part down. For your postholes if there is too much slack on the posts- add a wedge that helps tighten the post against wobble- shim the slack. The wedge can be removed later if you want to remove the post.
All of the advice above is good, but do brace the pipe straight before you pour your concrete. No one could hold it that long, and you will be busy doing other things.
Vaseline is good, but ordinary lubricant grease would be better and cheaper.
Be sure to grease the bottom and inside the pipe so no concrete will stick there. Or stuff it tight with rags to keep concrete from getting in.
Have a pipe wrench handy and when concrete is firm, turn pipe slightly occasionally to keep it from sticking where the vaseline might have been rubbed off.
Less than 8 inch tube will not give you enough support.
The tubes need to be cut in order to be to removed, so instead you may want to backfill the hole around the tube, to help hold the tube and the post straight. Then just cut the tube off level with the top of the concrete.
Just a little bit of concrete sticking to the pipe will make it difficult or impossible to pull out.
All of the above will give you a nearly perfect fit, but it is going to be very difficult to get the pipe in and out of a hole that fits perfectly, and you may want to wrap the pipe so you have a half inch clearance and then you can use wedges if necessary to stand it plumb or to correct any tilt in the pipe if the hole is off plumb a bit.
And last but not least, i do believe you can find tubing at a fence supply place that will be the right size to be a sleeve for your post. If you can find that it would be ever so much easier, but then again, it has to be perfectly plumb as your post will follow and tilt the sleeve has.
I am trying old swing set type tubing set first in a soda bottle , then up the pole with cut soda bottles and duct tape . I find heavy cardboard tubing easier to remove only more difficult to work with...
Seems half pipe with fencing type brackets would be reusable and more stable ..a thought ..
That is to say if this about cement poles or stakes , I lost this conversation a while ago .. I don't understand ...
>> Like the sales person said it almost guarantees 2 sales 1 now and another after the next freeze. Lol.
I know what you mean! A few years ago I bought some tomato starts from a nursery, and the lady in charge saw me walk past. I could practically hear her muscles clench to keep from rolling her eyes and keep a straight face. She was thinking "OPTIMIST!" so loudly I didn't need telepathy to hear her.
She was right, and I knew it already. But I had so few plants that I could pot them up big, then trot them indoors every night, and trot them back out every morning. I just didn't expect to do it for six weeks!
>> they both look at me like I was very "strange" ...
Ahhh, everyone looks at gardeners that way. Where do they think food comes from, anyway, magic trucks?
Welcome to indoor seed starting! I love it because I can watch the seedlings emerge and grow face-to-face.
I'm repeating some advice, from the perspective of someone who killed a LOT of seeds, within the last three years, then learned one way to avoid killing so many seeds.
Smart people learn how to avoid overwatering. Instead, I make my seed-starting mix drain faster. You can water from the top or from the bottom, but don't get the mix soggy. Barely moist is OK. It needs as much air in the mix as water.
Always poke, melt or drill drainage holes. They let air in, as well as excess water out. Too much water means not enough air, which means dead, drowned roots.
Try not to overwater - I did a lot of that my first two years starting seeds indoors. Drainage and "perched water" are much bigger issues for containers, especially 2-3 inch deep containers, than they are outdoors.
"They" say the soil-less mix should be no damper than a WRUNG-OUT sponge. Moisten the mix before packing the mix into the cups, then think twice before adding more water before the seedlings are up.
Don't start seeds in garden SOIL or potting SOIL. Buy potting MIX or seed starting MIX. It drains better, holds more air, and lacks all the fungus and mold that outdoor soil has. They call it "sterile", but really it is just clean and pretty pathogen-free.
If you can find a small bag of Sunshine or ProMix potting / starting mix, they are great. Lots of people use "Jiffy-Mix" successfully, but they must really KNOW how to avoid overwatering.
To get better drainage, I would add something coarse to almost any commercial peaty-mix, like coarse Perlite, coarse grit or crushed stone, (like chicken grit #2 - crushed granite, not oyster shells). Sand isn't coarse enough to improve your drainage.
I like to screen bark nuggets to get grains coarser than Perlite: like 2-4 mm grains. But don't get too fancy your first year.
Just ask someone who knows, HOW they manage to keep themselves from over watering! I guess "don't start too wet, and then don't add more water until you need to".
If you cover the tray of Dixie cups with Saran wrap or a dry-cleaning bag until they emerge, they won't need more water until they emerge. But remove it as soon as they emerge! 100% humidity is too much and will encourage damping off. If the soil is damp enough, some fog or mist will probably collect on the plastic film. If big droplets collect, the soil is wetter than ideal, and you could remove the film an d shake the droplets off. . Or maybe even set the cups down on some cotton fabric like a sheet or towel, for an hour or two, to encourage some of the water to wick away. (Or paper towel over the fabric to reduce mud.)
It's not like container plants where you can water until it comes out the bottom, and trust the roots to suck up any excess.
You know the seedlings will need fairly bright light as soon as they emerge, and some flower seeds even need light to germinate? Like 48" shop lights?
If the surface of the mix in the Dixie cups is damp, a fan might help prevent damping off (soil fungus infecting seedling stems right at the soil line). Some people water with chamomile tea to fight that fungus. Or sprinkle cinnamon on the soil. Or water with 3% hydrogen peroxide, DILUTED 30:1 to 10:1, like 1-3 ounces per quart.
Finally got a chance to get some pictures of the tomato seed that was started January 21st. Feeling pretty good about these plants, they have decent stem size. These have been sitting under the T8 lights, so far so good...
What's wrong with sitting around in one's nighty - I do it all the time! Don't own Wellington boots (we British call them Wellies) - but do wear nice warm slippers this time of the year. In the summer, I've been known to walk around in bare feet! (gasp!) (LOL)
My tomato seedlings (now plants) have outgrown their lights! Hubby is going to lower the shelf today so they can have ample space to grow. He's also going to set up the third light we have. (He doesn't know all this yet! LOL)
Should I go ahead and trim off the lower leaves (that are touching the dirt) on the plants?
At this point, I would venture to say it's time to start setting them outside for hardening off. They certainly look hardy enough to go on some field trips! You're going to have some nice days in the next several weeks, and, you can go ahead and start acclimating them.
Mine have been in and out now for the last three weeks. (I brought them into the garage when night temps dipped below 48°). They're getting planted out this weekend.
I wouldn't recommend pulling any leaf off. If it still anchored too much, you run the risk of pulling a strip of the plant stem tissue away -- room for fungus to attack the site. Just let 'em fall off when they're ready to.
OK, it's time for me to jump in- I have been busy adding coffee grounds to my gardens and cleaning all of them in anticipation of planting. I now have peppers up in trays, tomatoes are sprouting, lettuce & cabbage are coming up. Here is a look at my beds all ready-
1-all the tomato cages are ready along with trellises for pole beans & cucumbers
2-my pyramids for growing nice long carrots!
3- my garlic looks really good.
4The brown buckets are for lettuce- the tree shades so much that's all that will grow.
5-looking back at my house and back deck from the corner. I have 3 big tubs made of half 55gallon drums- for potatoes.
I also have a plot in our community garden- I plan to grow corn there since I don't have room in my yard.
I'm trying to think how to imitate you with paving stones, but I just think that concrete is not ideal for the upper stories.
My first several attempts at Daikon radishes were pathetic . Lots of foliage and pods, barely visible roots.
I think that "light, loose" soil doesn't mean what I thought it meant. "Lighter than the awful clay in most of my yard" isn't good enough, even in a raised bed. It was good enough for French Breakfast radishes, but not Daikon. Clay really needs a LOT of compost added, plus more every year.
I finally got one Daikon root 5-6 inches long, far short of their 16" potential. Alas, it was much too hot for me. Now I'll only grow them for the pods, if at all.
The Good Lord KNOWS we need rain down here, and I'm truly grateful for any I get around my cracked foundation.
However, I need to plant my tomato seedlings this weekend WITHOUT FAIL, and my raised beds have just got a good dousing, this morning. I sure hope they'll dry out enough for me to work in them Saturday.
Question: My pln is to top off the RBs with a blend of topsoil (which I never had in the RBs), MG garden soil, and some composted cow manure. The topsoil says it has compost in it, too. I also have about 15 gallons of homemade compost (mostly leaf decomp and veggie peels that have broken down since last spring).
I plan on mixing this up on a tarp outside the bed, and shoveling it in to level off the beds. As I can see, I'll need to add about 3-4" to top the beds. Can I spread this mix right on top of the beds that just got rained on? I wouldn't disturb the soil below at all. The beds will have dried out a bit by Saturday, cause they're already fast draining. Or, do I run the risk of compacting the soil beneath if I add the topsoil blend on top?
I doubt it would compact the old mix you had, but wait to work it around and into the other til the bed has dried some, Are the rains supposed to be done down tbere? You may end up just forking the dirts a bit...
Update on my tomatoes adventure.
I did cover my tomatoes two nights ago with a extra frost cover on top of the perforated plastic.
I did choose to cover them in this way because I saw two days of rain and cold.
Last year I have learn that tomatoes don't like to be cold and wet at the same time during this time the year. The white cover did keep them dry.
I did put a wireless temperature sensor inside the hoop house.
Yesterday it didn't go below 44F and the soil temperature was 50F or higher.
off course I couldn't believe it ... so I took a few pictures under the hoop-cover ...
by 10am the temperature inside the hoop house was 69F !!
Those plants look pretty good to me.
Please ignore anything you see on the leaves ... I did sprinkled DE and some egg shells.
The problem I had this year was with cutworm or armyworm ... some kind of worm ...
It was only in one area and I lost 5 plants (sight ...). While the rest of my tomato bed was emptied out more than one week or so ... in one area I left radishes growing and I did remove them the day before planting out !!
Those worms were eating some of my radishes ... and off course they went for the tender tomatoes ... ahhh
First morning : 2 casualties right away ... I sprayed with BT ... and sprinkled DE.
Second morning: 3 casualties ... but found dead worms ... made paper collars and sprinkled broken eggshells ...
no more casualties ... so far !
Every year is a learning experience. If I can get the plants to survive the next couple of nights I will be seriously rewarded on my harvests.
I think it's still a bit too early to start seeds for the hot weather loving plants. Last year I started early, and they just sat and sulked in cool soil. Then, when the soil finally warmed up, I think many were permanently stunted.
Since I have finally come to believe that we really DO have a LONG, HOT, growing season, I'm not starting seeds for okra, squash, and watermelons until April 1st. That will leave at least FIVE months of Texas Heat for growing.
Any longer, and they'd be in the way of my fall brassica crop!
My beds need refilling too, and I usually add mushroom compost, chicken manure, and cow manure. I can do earthworm castings, but they are expensive, and I throw in a little cottonseed meal and bone and blood meal, but just a little. But I do mix up the bottom layer before I put on the new layer, and then take a pitchfork and toss them together. I guess it depends on how much new soil you are putting in. I started the beds with peat moss and vermiculite, as well as the compost, manure, and castings, but only add the compost items each season, as needed.
No worries. Apart my tomatoes already outside all my other plants will go out at the same time I transplanted last year (which it was just perfect) probably end of March or beginning of April. Okra maybe later ... we will see the weather ...
The only difference this year, is that the plants will be so much bigger already.
Now with three shelf with T5 fixtures I can enjoy growing my veggies inside and control them so much better ... or it is just an excuse to watch them grow ...
I did harvested all my radishes, kale and collards. Broccoli are heavy producer of side shoots.
Lots of green lettuce in the garden and soon my white carrots will be ready.
Kale and Collard were full of aphids ... those plants have been in the garden since August and they are tired now.
My radishes were starting to bolt already ... so time to go !!
Gymgirl - I think you could just add your new soil on top of your old soil. The earthworms will soon mix it all together. It will also avoid disturbing the mycorrhizae beneficial fungus in your old soil.
With the little bit of rain we got here, I thought in Houston it was about the same. We hardly got a couple tenth's of an inch... With that small amount, it would help just add a little moisture to the mix.
Ok Ok, I am going to have to read another thread . I have about 1 1/2" of snow and ice on the ground. It is starting to melt, but it would be nice to be able to plant something instead of reading about it. Fred
Looks like my work is cut out for me in the greenhouse. But I have a new helper, who somehow got in there this winter, and now expects me to feed her. I will grow some extra Cosmos in my sister's honor this year. She passed away yesterday. I posted a song on Facebook in her memory, but didn't notice until I watched the video after posting it, that the artist who did it also died on the same day as my sister. Unbelievable.
I went into the greenhouse the other day to see what all needed to be done, and do some mental wishing for this summer, and found this little gal lying on the table in there, as calm as could be. She rubbed up against me, purring, like a long lost friend. Who knows how long she's been staying in the greenhouse. Yes, I did get her some food, though she must weigh 30 pounds... She stands on the hay bales and stares through the window, hissing at the other cats inside. She's there every morning looking in the window.
BUT not all Rosemary is "culinary". I personally find all the prostrate forms to be a bit too redolent of turpentine for my taste. In fact, I'm pretty sure people who say they don't care for rosemary haven't actually had one of the better culinary varieties. Sellers of "generic" herbs often don't identify the variety they are selling. Yes, another pet peeve...
They are usually in pizza spices , caraway and savory when they are dry mixed as packaged, They have a rather bad effect on me.Something with an ""off cinnamon"" odor or flavor in the pizza mixes does that to me also.