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SPRING GARDENS thread!

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Okay, I'll start.

I spent the day weeding, spreading coffee grounds and other chores while the BF spread pine needles (thanks to our neighbors who conveniently bag them up and leave them on the curb for us) in the landscape beds.

First, I have more cabbage than I thought. I have a LOT of cabbage.
Second, the carrots I thought failed were hiding under the weeds and are giant and contorted, but still taste sweet.

The usual springs weeds are up in full force already, and I have quite a few things starting to come up that shouldn't. Autumn sedum. Asparagus. Even some volunteer snap peas.

For all the popular whining about how it will be a terrible winter, it hasn't dropped belong 20F although we have had more cold weather (and less warm days) than normal. The coldest days are probably ahead of us, but the weeds seem to think spring is coming -- and we sure haven't had any warm spells to fool them. I can hope the weeds are right!

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

I spent yesterday shredding two truck loads of leaves I had picked up the day before. I managed to get up to Lowe's and bought some new seeds and bulbs.
I planted some Dutch Iris and some Hyacinth bulbs. I was pleased to see that when I pulled the mulch back to plant the bulbs some Daffodils were already showing some greenery. I already have a few Dutch Iris up that were planted three years ago, and I noticed two White Iris with buds already on them. I thought that was a little early for Iris, but I can't remember when they normally bloom, but I was thinking more like March.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

No bulbs coming up here yet, although I noticed my loropetalum was blooming, and I wouldn't expect it to do that until March or maybe late February.

I'm set on seeds for next year, but that doesn't stop me from leafing through the catalogs!

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

i am still waiting for indoor seed starting time here, LOL! In the mean time, i am for now just occasionally going out and turning the soil in my growing space a bit, to mix in the compost from my bin that i put in. its the first time that bit of soil has ever really tasted compost, as it was straight up pure red clay last year with a bag of dried manure mixed in, so im sure i will see some of a difference there with the compost added in. If all goes as well as i hope it will, i should have quite a colorful harvest this year

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New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

Quote from Seedfork :
I spent yesterday shredding two truck loads of leaves I had picked up the day before


Like you, I've collected many bags of leaves from the neighborhood. It looked like everyone was tidying up their yards before Christmas, so I collected a lot of bags. We've been slowly shredding them by running the lawnmower over them. I really need to look into getting a small electric leaf shredder, but I can't make up my mind. Seedfork, how do you shred your leaves?

I'm just waiting for the rain to stop! I spread some leaves on 2 beds that will have onions planted in them in a few weeks, and now those beds need to be turned over. But it's been so wet that there's no way the small tiller can go through it. I guess I'll just turn the leaves under by hand with a garden fork. Both beds are 4x12, my largest ones. One bed will be full of Texas Legend and the other bed will have Southern Belle Red, both from Dixondale.

The broccoli and cauliflower have both been doing great, especially since the chickens did not get to them. I'm still eating & canning carrots, and the peas did absolutely nothing - again. I don't know what it is with me & peas, but I just cannot get them to produce. Garlic & shallots are coming along just fine.

Oh, I almost forgot - strawberries!! They are doing great. Starting to produce flowers, and tiny berries. Soon, I'll have to cover them with netting to keep the birds off.

I've just been planning out what & where I'm going to plant come springtime. I do a lot of succession planting, so I've got to keep days to maturity in mind. And I'm always looking for veggies that can take the summer heat.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

My broccoli are starting to develop heads.
During the ice storm of December I covered my veggie garden with the white cloth you see in the picture and blankets.
To my surprised: THEY ALL SURVIVED.
Even the fennel bulbs and the tender lettuce.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I am still harvesting lot of "white icycle" radishes and beets.
I did transplant my Dixondale leeks onions on December 16th.
This year I am earlier than ever. I talked to a guy at a community garden last year and he already had good size onions in January. He told me that he normally plants mid-end November.
So I am following his recommendations.
My onions are growing already. Garlic too.
I started my 30 varieties of tomatoes already.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I am really excited about my ARTICHOKES this year. The plants are finally established and they look really good. Artichokes like 200 hours of cold weather in order to produce good the next year and I think this year they are going to get it.
They don't mind the heat of the summer and the ice of the winter.

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Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

jomoncon,
I pick up truck loads of leaves and grass clippings and I use my lawn mower to shred them.
I have a 22 inch selfpropelled mower. I have owned a gas shredder and it was great for sticks and limbs, but clogged way to often and was much to slow trying to stuff leaves into the chute, the lawn mower is the way to go as far as I am concerned.
I have found the secret is to have the compost or mulch pile down hill of the work area, have a large flat dirt work area for shredding, and then make a couple of passes with the lawn mower on the highest height adjustment level ( that levels the leaves somewhat and helps even them out), then lower the level down to about four or five inches and make the last few passes at that level. My mower allows me to adjust all four wheels at one time with a single lever, that is a huge bonus(Sears Craftsman).I am sure other brands offer that same feature. I end up with some very finely shredded leaves. Now for sure, (especially oak leaves) not every leaf will get shredded. Some how, no matter how many passes I make it seems some leaves will escape being shredded, but I can do it so much faster with the mower than I ever could have hoped to do it with an actual leaf shredder. I can easily do eight to 10 bags at a time, then rake up the shredded leaves(always downhill) and into the pile. If there are no oak leaves in the batch the finished product looks so beautiful, and even with all oak leaves(which I do a ton of every year) they are ready to mulch the beds or add to the compost piles and the worms love them.

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Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Did I say we haven't had any brutal weather yet this winter?

They are forecasting 10F -- with a wind chill of -10F -- next Monday night. I guess I had better harvest the rest of the cabbage!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Since I've completely missed setting anything out for the fall/winter garden (except cauliflowers), I guess I'm way ahead on my Spring garden, LOL!

I have four trays of seedlings hardening off for transplanting Saturday: broccoli, mustards & collards, beets (duh...), turnips (duh...), and TONS of cabbages. They're mostly looking good, although, I know I will lose some.

I think this'll be the last time I do most of the fall/winter sowing indoors. I've been reluctant, but it is just sooooooooo much easier to go throw the seeds out into the raised beds... especially the beets & turnips...

Starting bell pepper and tomato seeds tonight, beginning with Ozark's new "Sweet Ozark Orange" tomato that he's sent out for trialing. I'm hoping to do a pictorial from sowing to picking, to document what his F5 seeds do in my Zone 9a garden. Praying to get a good yield from this new variety, since it will be the majority of the tomatoes I grow this time. I will only have room for 15 tomato plants, and 8 of them will be the SOOs...

Carrots are coming up nicely, and so is the Siberian? Kale.

That's all folks!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

THANKS, NICOLE, LOL!

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

i just dont appreciate u all down south posting how your gardeing is
going.. LOL kidding..
i have a foot of snow on my gardens.. sigh
i probably will start some lettuce/greens inside in feb.. and put out
against house (south facing) once i get them hardened off..
still.. aways off before i even start my tomato seeds.. usually march..
just keep rubbing it in u all.. :)

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Well the forecast for Monday has dropped to 3F. No, I'm not missing a digit there. I pulled cabbage today before the big cold hits, but the heads were part frozen so this may get ugly.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

It's going to be bitterly cold for the next few days. I think I'll start my tomatoes. LOL

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

wow..i know its just a short term freeze for u all..but..wow..its warmer here
in utah than down south..
i hope everyone stays warm..and u keep your loved plants safe too..
this bitter cold thats hitting so much of the country.. brrrr.. reminds me of growing up
in south dakota.. bbbrrr..
i know u all will still get your tomatoes started,planted months before me though..

Warrenton, VA

Two Saturdays ago, I was in my vegetable garden, short sleeves, removing sod and rocks for enlarging the area. Today, I can't even SEE the garden, which is hiding under light, blowy snow and a nice thick layer of ice on top...LOL!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Ordered some seeds and onions today! Woot!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I agree, everybody talking lush gardens while ours will be under snow for at least 3 months.
I am all excited for the coming year. We have 2 or 3 more acres to farm. Will go back to raising winter squash & eggplant that we had to give up because of lack of room.
I've ordered most of my seed. I think I went overboard a little. 32 varieties of tomatoes might be a bit much. I do need 400+ plants for inside high tunnels.

More later.
Pictures;
June 18, Watermelons under row covers.
July 4, Same watermelons.
June 18, Sarah, our number 1 helper working in a high tunnel.
June 18, Onion field.
June 30, Carrots, my son running tiller in background.

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New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

I got an email from Dixondale, saying my onion order is on the way. Should be here on Wednesday. I did have a chance to turn over the beds where the onions will go. Right now, it's 25 degrees & supposed to stay cold for today & tomorrow, but Thursday & Friday are predicted to be in the 50 & 60's with no rain, so I'll have to get the onions in then.

Seedfork, thanks for the info on shredders. I guess I'll stick to running over them with the lawnmower.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Today I started 3 kinds of tomatoes: Pantano Romanesco, Homestead 24, and Lg. Red Cherry. I'm using the rest of last year's seeds, so I hope to have good germination. I did order a new variety of tomato seeds to try this year, but they've not arrived yet.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Dropping in. Just renewed my membership and looking forward to a spring garden.

Nothing to report on that front, except today I hauled some soil mix tubs out by my workbench. Hubby re-stained the patio (and attached workbench) last fall and stowed everything neatly in the shed on the other side of the yard.

I figured out that the reason I have ignored gardening ever since because nothing is where I need it. So my first concrete action is to rebuild my gardening nest, and then let the games begin.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Lise! Welcome back!

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

I received my DD order & got all the onions into the ground yesterday - all 5 bunches, all by hand. I put in 2 full bunches of Red Creole, almost 2 of Texas Legend, and about half of Candy. The Candy is an experiment, since it's an intermediate & I'm definitely in short-day area. I had some extra Candy left over, so I just put them into an extra bed, spaced real close to grow as green onions.
Jo-Ann

This message was edited Jan 10, 2014 7:31 AM

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Jo,
What did you amend your still with?

Mine are going in tomorrow, so we can compare notes! Although, I'm planting in patented Earthboxes...

Candy, Texas Super Sweet 1015Y, and Red Creole.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I ordered my onions and they should ship next week. I'm growing Texas Legend and Texas Early White. These were the ones that performed best in my garden last year.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

Linda, The beds where I'm planting the onions had field peas in them last year. I cut the peas off at ground level & left everything in the beds to rot. Sometime in mid-December, I took out the stems that hadn't decomposed & turned everything over with a fork. Then I covered everything with leaves. About a week before planting, I added some 13-13-13 & super phosphate to the beds & turned it all over with a fork & smoothed it out.

I sort of followed the DD instructions for planting & fertilizing the onions, but my rows are a little closer than theirs. I also added some super phosphate a few inches below the onion transplants. I'm hoping for some gorgeous onions this year! This is only my 2nd year growing onions & they did quite well last year. Next year, I'll be growing more from seeds.
Jo-Ann

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Jo!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I finally got the onions planted...and, I live to tell about it. I ended up putting 17 plants in 7 patented earthboxes, for a total of 119 onions. I planted Texas Super Sweets (1015Y), Red Creole and the Intermediate Day Sampler (which included Candy, but couldn't tell which was which...seemed to be 3 different varieties in the sampler -- thought they were all Candies...)

After being sick, off and on, since Thanksgiving, yesterday was the drop dead deadline for me to get my plants in. I lost the first onion order that arrived in early November -- they dried up...so, now, the deed is done.

I dumped all the old EB mix onto a tarp, and reconstructed it for this transplanting. We'll see how things turn out with my bootlegged container mix recipe:

POTTING MIX FOR ONIONS
10 parts old potting mix (MG, pine bark fines, perlite)
7 parts new Miracle Grow potting mix
1 part Moo Nure compost
2 cups Dolomite Lime
2 oz. Mittleider Pre-Plant Formula
1 oz. Mittleider Weekly Feed

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

We are in the deep freeze here with a foot of snow on the ground. Too early to do anything, even too early for starting seed indoors.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Its not much better here, Rita. Single digits again. But I will start succession sowing radishes and peas soon if it looks like we will stay above 20.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

I'm starting starting my seeds today. It's a little early, but I am rooting for an early spring.

So far:
Artichoke, Imperial Star
Tomato, my own "Recession Gold"
Pepper, Fish (thanks to JoParrot)
Pepper, Hungarian Black
Pepper, Islander

Still to do:
Pepper, Gemini
Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora 'Albahaca tailandesa')
Holy Basil (Oscimum sanctum)
Sweet Genovese Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

I sowed Roma ,on the Vine , beef steak, bush and grape tomatoes ,grand bell mix , maya ,pimento and ornamental peppers and eggplants. I might be a little early but my plants will be a good size when planting time arrives.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

It's been soooo cold here I haven't sowed my seeds yet. I have a heat mat but every room in this house is a different temp. The room that I start my seeds in stays cold if it's cold outside. This has been the first winter where it's stayed cold for so long that the house has never had time to warm up. They say maybe this weekend....

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

My tomato seedlings are up and looking pretty good so far. All but three varieties are seeds from last year's or previous year's orders, so I'm pretty pleased that I've gotten such good germination. I have two beds tilled in with goat bedding/pooh compost mix and ready to go. I got started planting out my Dixondale onion starts three weeks ago but got driven back inside by freezing rains. I have the extra, unplanted starts heeled in until the bed dries out a bit and the weather clears up. The weather hawkers in Tyler claim it will start warming up Thursday, we shall see! I will be starting my pepper and eggplant seeds this coming weekend.

My garlic is looking good and I just got some more that was on back order from Seeds from Italy. I had forgotten about that, so receiving that package was a pleasant surprise. As soon as I can get a dry enough bed I will have that planted out.

I've received all the veg and flower seeds I have ordered for this year. So all I need now is good weather and I can get going with this season's garden. Anything I order from now on will be pure impulse buys.

Thank you, CountryGardens and drthor, for posting the photos. Yes, I am whining, LOL! It is cold here this morning and I sure do appreciate seeing some green right now!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

As usual, I'm bringing up the rear...

The last city surveyor just left my yard, and, I'm good to go on trenching! Closer to putting in a PVC drip irrigation system to ALL my raised beds -- on a timer.

Hoping to do this within the next 3 weeks or so. I just don't see another summer of hand watering the 3 existing beds, and the additional 4 I intend to put in.

On another note, I'm seriously considering having a landscape designer come in and just raze the yard and redo the whole thing once and for all.

Create some curb appeal for the squirrels and birds, LOL!

Is it too late to plant garlic? I have a bowl full of cloves with little green sprouts poking out, just begging me to break them apart and sink them into some dirt...

My tomato seedlings went out for hardening off Sunday morning, and back in all day yesterday and today. Back out tomorrow morning, and planting out either Saturday or Monday.

I'm researching starting a closed hydroponic system for cucumbers and squash in 32 gallon trash cans with wire cage trellises around them. I think I can have good success. And, the more I explore it, the more appealing growing in water becomes. After the next four raised beds, I'll have run out of planting real estate.

Yep. I need to call that landscaper....
#1 Cauliflower curd peeping
#2 Cauliflowers in front; broccoli, turnips, spinach, beets behind
#3 Rear shot of Pic #2 turnips, brocs, beets, spinach in a recently cleaned bed
#4 Sweet Ozark Orange F5 trial tomatoes to be hardened off
#5 Turnip plant in cleaned bed

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

P.S.
I cleared out the RB in Pic #2 above, and had a bunch of HUGE, perfectly good cauliflower leaves that I trimmed off the sides and the soil.

I used them to make Green Smoothies this week. So far, I've made enough for 7 meals, and they are delicious!

I was using kale before, but ldsprepper on YouTube posted a video using his Vitamix and the cauliflower leaves, just before I cleaned my bed -- so, I tried it, and much prefer the cauli leaves to the kale.

Who knew! Nutritious and delicious! Clean that veggie bed and eat it, too!

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I transplanted my tomato plants into larger cups today. I'm a little late in doing so, so I hope they do okay. I have 24 transplants! Yikes! I actually have 3 more varieties I could sow, but I think I'm going to hold off. My peppers have kinda stalled in their growth. They got their heads out and are now just sitting there. I think they were too cold. So, I moved them closer to the heat source and adjusted the temp, so maybe that will help them.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Steph,
Which tomato varieties are you growing?

I only have the Sweet Ozark Orange trial tomatoes, and a BUNCH of what I think are "Beauty" tomatoes...

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Homestead 24 and Pantano Romanesco which did great last year. Also trying Marmande.

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