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!
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.
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
Seedfork wrote: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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.. :)
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..
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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...
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!
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
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!
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.
Gymgirl wrote: 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...
We sound so alike! Yesterday, DH told me I really had a green thumb, & pointed to the bowl of garlic with green sprouts all over!
I planted a small bed of garlic last fall - I think November. But I'm still going to plant these sprouting cloves for "green garlic" - just like you'd use green onions! While it may be too late to get garlic cloves, you can certainly use the sprouted garlic.
Then I'll go ahead and plant my garlic sprouts, too, this weekend. We're supposed to have spectacular weather!
I need good weather cause I have a list of yard chores:
►Put together a new raised bed for more planting space,
►Clear a side yard of year old leaves that have burst from their garbage bags, and
►Construct a Mittleider T-Frame over my tomato bed before next weekend.
Onions, garlic and broccoli and looking good. Need to thin out the radishes and plant more lettuce. The tomato seedlings are ready to plant up into red Dixie cups and then spend some time on the back porch before they get planted out. Won't be long now LOL.
Hopefully this isn't too far off topic for this thread... when you grow those cucumbers in your spring garden, try this. It's the jar on the left. I've also used this recipe for straightneck yellow squash. Pick them small and tender.
Mama’s Bread & Butter Pickles
4-5 quarts medium cucumbers, sliced ¼-3/8” thick
8 small white onions sliced (or 4 medium)
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 sweet red bell pepper, sliced
½ cup coarse salt
Cracked ice/water to cover
Mix above ingredients thoroughly and let stand 2-3 hours
Drain and place in non-reactive pot.
I'm happy to see the spring thread going- We had a preview yesterday- 1st sunny day in ages, and best of all the persistent wind is gone for now. I dragged my garden hose out and watered everything- We haven't had snow, and things are dry. I also cleaned up my back yard and organized my bags of soils- I have a bale of ProMix which is very dry, so I watered and mixed it up. Then last night I prepared my labels & cups- today I sowed my Tomatoes-10 varieties- 3 cups of 2 seeds of each. They are on a heating mat in my sewing room where I can monitor them. That is my start on Spring--
Oh, I wanted to ask- how soon can I plant some potatoes in a half barrel? The soil looks good and is not frozen-- I have some Yukon Gold that are sprouting-and, yes, I know some people say NO to that, but I have done it for years and got great harvests.
Planted my Sugar Ann peas yesterday. Weeded the squash bed and the eggplant bed and added compost. They are ready for planting when Spring finally gets to town. Filled the wooden raised bed with rotted hay and compost. Lettuce will go in first followed by peppers and cauliflower. Put down a new layer of wood chips in the walkway and started "paving" it by laying flat stones over the chips to discourage the cat from using it as a toilet. I have seeds under the grow lights in the small greenhouse inside. I have tomatoes, sweet peppers, herbs, okra, eggplant, spinach and cauliflower. The spinach and cauliflower are sprouting. Chances are they will outgrow the small greenhouse before they can be planted out but I have a larger greenhouse on the porch they will be moved into.
All my garlic was planted in November, for May/early June harvesting. It all got knocked down a bit with all our unusually cold weather, but we had a mild week last week and it all popped right back up. I have well over 300 cloves planted. This week we will have three more mornings with below freezing temperatures, and tomorrow and Friday it is predicted to get down to 22 F and 24 F. We warm up above freezing then. I planted 50 onions in the raised garden last week and put a handful of Irish potatoes in three "potato bags" last week as well. My broccoli really got pounded during the winter but again, with the mild week, it is looking good again. I guess those 20's will knock it back again. I had several lettuce survive the cold and look good. It is all purple or green leaf lettuce. I have lots of seedlings in the greenhouse, started in 72 pc. trays and sitting on a large heating pad. I am also rooting numerous sweet potatoes, very small ones that were not large enough to use, that were harvested in November and dry-stored since.
Guess you are a bit warmer than us, Ken -- I didn't have anything survive except the garlic, and it looked pretty bad until recently. Now it's growing well. Hopefully temps in the teens and a wind chill near zero won't set it back again, but it's survived worse this winter.
I have two more beds rototilled so time to plot them out--only because I can't wait for this weather to finally blow through and let spring begin. I've had Bianco Spagnolo and Viola Francese planted out since October and one took the weather well. The other not so well but appears to be bouncing back fine. I won't know which they are since the tags blew away sometime in January LOL! Guess I'll find out when I harvest. I also planted out more garlic this spring as I got a box that must have been on back order. I figured I might as well plant it and see what happens and it is coming up too.
My onions or onioning along and the broc is starting to look pretty good if I do say so myself. Each year I plant out three or four varieties of onion trying to figure out which one I want pick as my main variety. And each year a different variety does better than the rest, but never the same variety. So far White Bermuda is looking best with the most green leaves (are they called leaves or something else?). I think the more leaves the bigger the final onion, right? But the race isn't half over yet, so we'll see.
Should be getting more lettuce into the ground this weekend. I had to pull my tomato seedlings off the back porch as it was supposed to get down to the 20's last night and again tonight. I know some of you already have tomatoes planted out, but I'm just not there yet. I still think I'll get enough tomatoes to make so sauce, etc. I didn't get my eggplants and peppers seed planted last weekend, so this weekend will be e & p - appaloosa.
And I've been staring at the area I want to get ready for watermelon and melons. I just ordered my sweet corn seeds. I've got spring fever baddddd! Those goats are down in their pens making lots of goat poo for me so the more beds the merrier!
OK, good. Those are two varieties I have never grown.
P. S. I hope that the 22 F tonight/morning does not damage my garlic. They are just starting to perk up with nice erect, green top-growth. When it gets into the mid to lower teens, I partially cover them all with oak leaves, but I am now leaving them to the elements, sink or swim.
Terri, I hear ya on the goat poo. I don't have my goats anymore but I am availing myself of the muck pile out behind the barn. I am delving into the oldest area and it is black gold. Been there for years and I am filling my raised beds with it.
CajuninKy, I bet you get some whopper tomatoes from those beds.
NicoleC, so are mine!!!! Don't know what will happen to them today as the winds are truly wicked out at my place, but spring can't be far behind ☺. This is a first year bed for me, so I don't think I will harvest but one or two stalks. Just so I can show DH that we do have asparagus going. Very exciting to get a new bed of asparagus going, isn't it?
I've got peas!! The bluejays have already discovered the seedlings, too. Bad birds! We'll have to put some kind of screen mesh over them to protect them from the birds apparently.
My onions have finally rooted and are turning more green with the leaves growing. We got more than an inch of rain last week, which I'm sure has helped them. When we planted them, we put out high nitrogen fertilizer and will fertilize every 2 weeks with the fertilizer from Dixondale. On the off weeks, I'll probably put down blood meal. This week, I'll also put down some mulch on the garden. Have to get hubby to mow over the leaves on the side yard and then put them down in the garden.
This is my husband's "onion nursery". He planted all the onions that he thought might make it in this little plot and started watering them. Now it's time to transplant them into the rows with the rest of the onions.
My peas are sprouting too. I added about another inch or so of compost on top of them. Going to get really cold here for a few nights so it won't hurt to have them protected.
I planted two lettuce beds I made from plastic bread trays lined with cardboard and filled with compost. I planted Buttercrunch and Bibb. I watered them in and then covered it all with plastic.
I got the last of the compost put into my big wooden planting box. I planted spinach, carrots and chard in it, covered it with bird netting and plastic after watering everything in. It has hoops over it.
Stephanie, your onions look about like mine. I had to replant a few (the Red Candy just couldn't take the cold). Luckily one of the local nurseries carries Dixondale onion sets. I have the fertilizer from Dixondale, too, so I will just have to take special care of the onions this year and be happy with whatever size I get.
I have radishes looking pretty good and mustard greens coming on. I had four blueberry bushes and a couple of peach trees in bloom when the freeze hit. Lost all the blooms but the trees/bushes look OK so we will just move on and see what happens.
Still holding back on planting out the tomatoes as the soil is still pretty cold, but I got lots of roses planted out this weekend so I feel like I've accomplished something!
I have bought onion sets I need to get planted. I was hoping to get that done today. I will try to get to it if it warms up enough. Low twenties right now. I always plant sweet yellow onions. One year I grew red onions and they did okay but they were strong tasting. I have tried white onions also but they did not do well.
The thermometer in my truck said 33* and "ice" and 7:30 this am. Hope the low temps didn't hurt anything, they were completely unexpected. It's doing to be a while before I get brave enough to plant my warm weather veggies, since I'm not getting any warning that temps are supposed to be so low. Lol Even if it warms up during the day the soil is still too cold.
Warming but spitting rain here. I broad cast the last of my 50 lb bag of purple top turnip seed across two of the goat pastures last evening. I've had fairly good luck with my winter forage project/learning adventure this past winter despite the heavy weather. DH thought I was over reaching when I started attending the farmer's co-op lectures on winter forage. But now he is encouraging me to attend the meetings on spring and summer forage. It really does save on hay costs. For us anyway.
I have more radishes coming on in the veg garden as well as more mustard greens. So some progress towards spring!
Also, I had a very close look and the blueberry bushes I mentioned before--the ones that lost all their blossoms in the snow/sleet/hail storm we had recently. There are signs of green leaves poking their noses towards daylight. So, as I hoped, I will lose berry production but not the plant itself...knock wood!
Oh, and my purple martin population is back as well as the house swallows. Goldfinches and red winged blackbirds are working the birdfeeders. I think the beginings of spring is here!
I'm installing my blackberry trellis system, planting out the last of the new replacement blueberries, and planting out and installing trellis for raspberries said to do well in hot humid Texas (well see). I have a lot of various seedlings waiting to be planted out and this weekend is supposed to be good so lots of planting to do.
DH says he will rototill a couple more beds for me on Sunday then he will brush hog the front pasture--my first experiment with winter goat pasture/forage and a surprising success. Now we need to make room for the summer forage experiment.
Someone is supposed to come out on Saturday and look at quoting new fencing for the front pasture. If he shows up. Again, we'll see.
I have a bunch of 2x2s, and 1x2s that I'm going to make a trellis with for the Kentucky Wonder and Asian Yard Long Beans.
Just a simple frame like the one in this video. He ripped cedar fence pickets. I have some lying around (FREE), and can get more, so I may use those instead of the 2xs. Mine are less than perfect pickets, though, so I'd have to piece them together. Still, the nails would hold the sections together. I might need to get creative...
I hope to finish my hanging strawberry garden project. I seem to have pinched a nerve in my lower back so we will see. I can't plant any seedlings out yet. I have a few sprouts in my lettuce beds. They are covered with plastic.
My squash/zucchini this year have a place in my better vegetable garden and they will be growing under the Agribon cover (95% light going through) until they will be too big to fit.
I hope to win the fight with the SVB like I did last year with this method.
My tomato plants are growing fantastic and they are rewarding me for taking care of them during the very very cold months.
They survived the 15F degrees weather and now they have a stem that is 1" thick and all of them have flowers and now I start to see the first green tomatoes (so exciting).
So far these are the varieties that have fruit: Super Sweet 100, Gold Nugget, Sweet Millions, Nineven, Peacevine Cherry
We had a hard freeze the other night, 24F plus it tends to be lower at my house than the official temp. I covered the lettuce but ran out of rowcover 80% through the peas. Hydrangeas that had died back to the ground this winter got a pile of leaves over the crown where new shoots were coming up.
Everything came through swimmingly except the hydragea farthest from the house, and I don't think it's terminal. Some shoots were mush but some looked okay.
It was so warm last night, my seedlings stayed outside. After a cold front passes Sunday night, we'll have some warm days and hopefully one of two pea blooms!
Nicole, this crazy weather has to stop at some point...doesn't it? On Tuesday AM when to I my son to school it wax 33* at my place, 46* in town, and when I got back to the house it was 34*. That's a big difference for only 5 miles and it is making me crazy.
David, I know realize that is why my veggies produce all summer. That extreme difference is only at night. During the day it gets just as warm...at least during the summer. So glad your surgery went well.
Gymgirl, I use this trellising system for my pole beans and cuqs. Works real well and is easy for me to set up and remove by myself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBeQT6kVR_w
The system you have picked our looks really good, too!
Also, I use the T-PUPS trellis system for my blackberries, etc. Once again, easy for me to set up by myself and I love to prune so this system is right up my alley.
Lots of wind and more wind over the weekend, but was able to get to most of what I wanted done. So sunny and up into the high 70's! My garden is actually starting to look like a garden. I told myself I wasn't going to do it...but I found some Dixondale onion starts for 4 bundles for a $1.00 at one of the local nurseries. So I bought some and planted out and fertilized. I know I won't get as big of onions from them but we'll see what happens. They already had two or three leaves on most of them. Mid-sized onions would be fine.
My garlic, on the other hand is looking real fine as well as all of the mustard and other greens and the radishes are really coming on.
My blueberry bushes which were damaged by the winter storm and all showing leaf buds and or baby leaves. With the new bushes I just received from Berries Unlimited I know have a 100' row of blueberry bushes and the drip irrigation and mulch will go in next weekend or maybe even this week if the weather holds. Also will be working on planting out the final bunch of roses and cannas this week.
Love the bean support video. Thanks so much.
The wind is blowing like crazy and my seedling are dancing out there.
The strawberries are in bloom, I am harvesting zucchini flowers for my salads (only the male ones).
Tomatoes are making more green fruits, the one in the picture #4 is Corinto, which is one of my best performer .. even if the seeds are expensive (it is a parthenocarpic variety) ... but first to produce and tons of cucumbers.
Garlic is starting to make flowers, so I removed them.
Sooo windy ...
My garlic is out in the open, too. Some of it was killed back to the ground from the storm, but is now coming back. The rest is very green and has more leaves coming on. I think this may be due to the composted goat bedding rototilled into that bed in the fall. No flower stalks, I pulled the frost-bit leaves off so the new green leaves could take over.
One garlic related question...Is the number of leaves on garlic related to the size and number of cloves as with the number leaves on onions related to the size of the onion?
My garlic was planted mid October.
My onions and garlic have been outside all winter ... or shall I say "that crazy winter".
I followed the suggestion of a guy at the community garden to plant by onions in December, so I did.
Dixondale sent me their sets on the first date available on December 9th ... and I planted them.
Well ... my onions did seat there all December and January, under the ice and cold ... and I thought I did make a mistake ... but now they are growing so good ... maybe he was right, but it is too early yet.
I still have the little blisters on my hands from covering those tomatoes ... with 6 layers ... but 95% of them survived.
I cannot wait to taste some of the new varieties.
So far I am very impressed with 2 new varieties that Baker Creek recommended for hot weather (remember there was an article on their page regarding some new varieties from Iraq that could stand very high temperatures) ... http://www.rareseeds.com/abu-rawan-tomato/?F_Keyword=abu http://www.rareseeds.com/nineveh-tomato/
Growing from seeds I noticed how thick these two plants were.
When I was transplanting out Abu-Rawan, I did SNAP its stem (trying to trench it) ... Then I did tape around the wound and this plant is alive and strong and yes it survived the 15F degrees weather and now they have both green tomatoes.
They look short and thick ... I truly hope they are good ones.
My favorite tomato to grow is Gold Nugget because it is short (3'), compact and my best producer ...
I will keep you posted on these two varieties.
drthor, I also plant out some onions in October and others on New Years' Day. They've always worked out before. Just this year I lost some to the winter storm (garden was under several inches of solid ice plus snow on top of that--I think the ice is what did it) so I re-planted just to see what will happen--and, of course, who could pass up four bundles of Dixondale onion sets for a $1! This summer I am going to try growing my own onion sets from seed. I've already bough the seeds. I think the only thing I will change is to top dress the onion sets with composted goat bedding come December or January. When I lived up north I always top dressed my onions and garlic with straw on Thanksgiving day and that carried them over into spring. I just didn't think I would need to do that down here in Texas. But I will still plant out the sets as I have been in October and on New Years' Day.
Composed a message earlier that seems to have disappeared in posting. I found several sources, including Totally Tomatoes, Tomatofest, and others that show Gold Nugget as open pollinated. Plant Files here on DG lists it as OP. I did find a few places that list Gold Nugget as F1 or hybrid, though. I think you would be safe saving seeds and growing.
Hi Gymgirl, I am right inside 610 near Reliant Center. I posted my fall garden, last year. I am terrible at staggering my planting, I clear it out, over plant then watch it develop.
I appreciate the comments on my fence. The fence is to keep my dogs out of the garden. Everyone loves that fence.
all this talk from u all down south..rub it in..LOL :)
up here in the frozen tundra..not quite..:)
ive been picking lettuce for a couple weeks now..yea!!!!!
my raddichio is doing great.. swiss chard,and beets are just poppin
up.. YEA !!
tomato seedlings are starting 3rd true leaves now.. ive put them outside last few days..
during the day.. free light!! :) theyre lookin good
still to early for me to start winter squash seed..but next couple weeks..
sigh.. finally.. spring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tropicalnut, it was 37* at my house yesterday morning. In town it was 46 *, that's only 5 miles away. Even tho I'm "down south" it's still pretty cool. It will be warm until this weekend then it supposed to be 60's and 40's, again. I did sow some seeds but the soil may not be warm enough for them to germinate. We shall see.
Ditto here (awesome weather and then chilly). The cool weather stuff is still in the ground and doing well but the soil temps just get up to where I want them so I can start the warm weather stuff and down go the temps, rain rain rain (not that I'm complaining about rain), and once I get back out there the soil temps have dropped again. Very windy here again today. My little weather station says 25 mph gusts (although the online weather service says we are only have 18 mph gusts). Don't know who is right, but stuff is blowing all over out here!
Anyway, due to all the rain and cooler temps, by new blueberry and blackberry bushes are coming on nicely. So there's a plus.
84 F degrees here.
At night is not going below 60F ... I guess I am lucky !
Tomatoes are at least 3' tall and almost all of them have green fruits.
Peppers have 2-3" fruits.
Zucchini are growing well and making males flowers everyday ... I hope the females will arrive soon.
Watermelon, melon and cucumbers are making flowers and some have small fruits.
Eggplants are 1' tall.
I am going to have a fantastic garlic season, and onions too (even if they had a slow start).
Yesterday I did harvest ton of lettuce of all colors, arugula, green onions and delicious cardoon leaves.
The only problem here is the wind !! maybe 100 mph. I am glad that I did take time last week to make cages for all my veggies.
I don't mind being in a microclimate with cooler temps. I may have to wait a little while but I rarely ever have to protect my plants, I just wait for the weather to stabilize and the soil to warm up. Then just plant and water, so no extra work. My plants produce all summer long. It's only taken me 20 yrs and 2 observant DGers to figure out why. Lol
It did surprise me that the temp difference between my house and the hwy was so much. I thought by the time I got home the temps would have gone up but they were the same. I don't really care if my plants produce first I just want fresh veggies all summer long.
Glad to hear your garden is going well, drthor. I do love your photos!
I have to say that of all things my garlic will be pretty good if all continues well. The garlic and radish patches are loving this weather.
I couldn't really work on the drip irrigation this past weekend as intended as the weather was doing all the dripping. Most of the drip lines are laid by not connected. So this weekend I will be planting what I can and connecting all the lines. I'm still waiting on my timer I bought from DripWorks, if it comes today I'll play with that too. But if not no worries. I just need it before I go on vacation.
Like you, lisa, I don't mind waiting to plant out for the weather and the wind to settle a bit in my neck of the woods. I just grow what I can in the spring. I'm learning about new things I can grow through the heat of summer--so that will be some good experimenting for me. And then plant the big crop in the fall. I must be starting to adapt to my new growing zone ☺.
I found out last year that for garlic to really fill out, it needs relatively dry conditions the last month or so. Last year we had a cool, wet spring and my garden never dried out. I estimated that my garlic weight came in at 60% of what I expected. I was badly oversold, not knowing the bulbs would be so small. Normally the bulb size of the gourmet garlic I grow might average almost 1/4 lb. each!
I'm not sure, due to this unusual spring, when my garlic will mature. But thanks for the tip as I will cut off the irrigation to that bed. I knew you had to stop watering and fertilizing the onions once they started showing signs that the leaves were going to brown. But I didn't know that about garlic. Makes sense, though.
I watch the tops. When the lower third of the leaves have browned, that is when the garlic should be at their peak and that's when I harvest it. Not all the varieties will be on the exact same schedule (hard neck, soft neck, and sometimes Creole will mature differently), but I don't really take the time to harvest them according to the variety. When the vast majority show this 1/3 browning, they all come up. Then they are all hung in my greenhouse, tied according to variety. They will remain for 2-3 weeks to "cure". The greenhouse has 75% shade cloth and will have three fans going to give the plants plenty of warmth along with plenty of air movement. Then they are either put away in my pantry (some will easily hold up for a year!) or sold.
Eggplants are blooming.
I am harvesting male zucchini flowers every day now for my salad.
Tomatoes will be ready soon.
I think I will love the NINEVEH tomato from Baker Creek (already 3" size tomato !!) - first picture !
I am very excited about this NINEVEH tomato. I hope to taste them soon.
I am harvesting tons of lettuce right now and green onions.
In the second picture is a basket of Cardoon leaves.
I absolutely love them. I remove the leafy part and dice the stems and boil the for at least 1 hour in salted water with some lemon. They are so good and they taste just like artichokes.
I love this time of the year !
kirkkr--What varieties of garlic do you grow? Any that have large, easy-to-peel cloves? The best I've found so far is a hardneck called German Extra Hardy from Seed Savers. From my perspective, the drawback to hardnecks is their shelf life, tho putting them in the fridge does help a lot.
I love growing garlic--it's so easy and--knock on wood--no pests bother it.
Willy, last fall I planted 12 varieties, 5 varieties of Creole, 3 varieties of Turban (hard neck), and 4 varieties of Artichoke (soft neck). Yes, the hard necks will not store as long but they can often be harvested 2-4 week before the others, thus being available before all others.
Creole garlic are considered by most to be the "King" of the gourmet garlic, having good pungency, garlickiness, and keeping its flavor when cooked. They are also often extremely rare to find (and sometimes impossible to find) and are the most expensive (per pound) of all the garlics. I recently visited the site of the garlic farm I purchase my bulbs from, and of the five varieties I have, three were "Not Available" and the other two could be ordered in limited supply (one @ 1/4 lb. maximum and the other @ 1/2 lb. maximum)! Creole garlic can easily be used well into the spring, a year after harvesting, and from my experience, they retain almost all their great taste even a year later.
Weather is the main determinant when growing/harvesting garlic. Garlic do best when the ground is relatively dry the last month before harvesting. That's when they really put on size/weight. Last year, here in NE Mississippi, even though we had a mild winter (certainly compared to this year's horribly cold weather), our spring was cool and wet. My raised garden never dried out. My garlic came in approximately 40% less size/weight than the previous year. I had to refund or limit lots of orders simply because I did not have the garlic to fill the orders. A bummer! I pre-sold all my (expected) garlic last spring, but will not post anything so early this year. I am going to wait and see what the probable harvest will be.
Some people like to braid their garlic, and that's the main reason I grow the soft necks. Generally speaking, the Turbans have the largest, fewest, and easiest to peel cloves. The Creoles come in a close second, and then the Artichokes.
I haven't posted any of my garlic for sell (pre-sale). Contact me via D-Mail if interested in purchasing some. I will be glad to tell you the varieties I have, and any information you want about the specific varieties if you wish. Just let me know.
Well, we're supposed to have a freeze on Monday night. ugh!! This follows some rain and the prediction of hail and serious thunderstorms. My husband just planted a few tomatoes out this past week. Thankfully, all of the ones I really wanted to grow are still in my sunroom.
The onions are growing like crazy. It's time to feed them again.
I have 3 varieties of peas this year, Alaska, Wando, and Little Marvel. The Alaska peas were over 2 years old and I'm surprised any of them germinated! They were a bit slower to germinate than the other two varieties, but they did and they're now growing like crazy. We put up the trellises yesterday for them.
Kiowa blackberries have taken over and extended their bed. I've been digging up volunteers that have sprouted outside the boundary line and given some away. I've potted some up to give away at a RU coming to my area soon.
Wow you guys have so much growing! I still have everything waiting to be PLANTED! Ugh! Stephanie have you ever grown the little marvel pea before? Is it too late for me to plant them now? I still have some seeds leftover from last year, which btw didn't grow for me because I waited til June to sow them! Rookie move LOL
Lisa, this weather is crazy right?? 90s last week, freezing this week!! You know what they say here, "If you don't like the weather, give it a few hours!"
We're at 70° right now. It will be in the mid-50s° by 3 p.m. today with wind gusts up to 35 mph...which will make it feel like it's in the mid-40s°.
I still have everything waiting to be PLANTED, too! I've resigned to missing the spring planting season, and am making strides toward the summer garden. I also have Wando pea seeds, and sure would like to grow some green peas.
I have four purchased (aaarrrrggggghhhh) bell pepper plants inside under lights, and saw at least one bloom this morning. But, they have some aphids, so they're getting a good soap sudsy bath in a few...
I'm currently assessing my seed stock, repackaging and relabeling, and lining up what I want to plant in the next two weeks. I want to grow cukes, Kentucky Wonder Green Beans, and cowpeas. That'll be it for the summer stuff, cuz those are the next veggies I want to practice canning. I still have beets and cabbages growing, and this cool front is right on time!
The cabbages will be coming out by the weekend, to make room for the cowpeas. I didn't get ANY of my tomato seedlings in the ground, so that's a bust. But, I'll be starting brassica seedlings and new tomato seedlings by mid-June for a fall crop.
Good thing about veggie gardening is that, if you miss a season, the next one's right around the corner, LOL!
Part of my next season project is building more cabinet shelving and organizing my garage, so I can find all the gardening stuff.
So, I spent the better part of ALL DAY Saturday, working on 2' x 6' shelving units to hang on French Cleats.
I was tacking them together with the nail gun --- which stopped working when I must've set it down too hard and a couple screws fell off.
So, I sat there on the garage floor trying to fix it, & it just wasn't happening. Then, I remembered the brand NEW nail gun I had just bought, cuz a girl can never, ever, have too many nail guns. So, I compared them side by side and figured it out.
And, it really didn't hurt all that much, when, at the exact moment I got it to work, my finger was over the stapler end, and I shot a nail clean through my left index finger!
I was more shocked than hurt, LOL, 'cuz it happened so fast I couldn't believe I had been hit! My brain kept saying, "You shot yourself in the finger!" And, I kept denying it. Then, I felt some pain in my finger, and my eyes said, "You've been hit -- see, there's blood!"
And, I actually laughed out loud it was so funny, LOL!
Well, I JUST renewed my Tetanus booster, and the hole was thru and thru, so after some Triple Antibiotic, a waterproof band-aid, and a rubber glove, I got right back on the horse and finished my cabinet(s).
My finger was bruised and throbbed a little bit all night long, but I live to tell the story. Just glad the nail didn't go thru my fingernail. I'd probably lose it...
Anyway, no ANIMALS were hurt in the making of the cabinet(s), and, I won't be shooting any more body parts, LOL!
Happy Monday, Everyone!
^^_^^ Linda, doing the happy dance, cause her finger is feeling MUCH better!
Wait, so the tomatoes are a bust? I have a ton of them (not quite as big as the ones in the stores atm), but after potting them up, and very deeply I might add, hitting them with some superthrive and fish emulsion, they seem mighty ready to go in the ground. They might be small but I figure the quicker I can get them planted at this point, the better established they'll be before the heat kicks in right? Most are indeterminate cherry and dwarf type plants. Anyway I'll try it, and if they don't make it, I'll plant that row of cattle panel fence with melon and yardlong bean vines.
Linda, wow that sucks about your finger, but I'm glad it's feeling better :)
Your cherries and dwarves should make it before the heat sets in. I grow long-season beefsteak heirlooms, averaging 80-120 dtms. Not at all sure I'll beat the heat.
I have a couple that are 78 dtm, and the hybridizer advised that they might make it before our real heat sets in by the end of June. So, I'm gonna go ahead and set those in this week (they were supposed to go in this Saturday, but, I was busy shooting myself in the finger, LOL).
Well, of course we are having frost tonight! I just planted out a 65 ft row of sweet potatoes. I figured I was safe as our average last frost date for this county is the 15th. March 15th that is. And a number of the farmers in the area were planting out their sweet potatoes this past week. Fields and fields of them. I have jugs and soda bottles full of water around the little slips, but I'm not optimistic after this crazy winter. Just planted out all my tomatoes, too.
I'm going on vacation in a week and my drip irrigation timer is on back order. So if the frost gets these new plantings I'm waiting until after we get back and starting in the summer stuff like peanuts and okra, etc. and then I'll start my seeds for fall. I can probably re-plant some sweet potato slips once I get back if I can find any available. LOL! I've already got a plant nursery lined up to visit on vacation (DH can't believe that--"You don't want to go to Disney, you want to go where???"). But he'll go to the nursery with me, I know. Can't wait to see his face if I find sweet potato slips to take home with me.
Hope everyone's plants are okay tonight! I just got done lugging all my flats back inside and covering some WS jugs with a quilt.. Never thought I'd be relieved about being a month behind on planting, but I am!
Many locals have succumbed to the temptations of spring and planted stuff. Well, they'll be planting again.
There's a freeze warning tonight, which is rather late for us for a freeze but borderline for a frost. It looks clear after Wednesday night for planting and the soil is warm enough, so that's my plan. Some of my tomatoes and peppers have very much outgrown their pots and the peppers even have buds. Meanwhile I'll keep dragging the plants in and out -- I have quite a collection of annuals and ferns that need protection for now, too!
Well... I didn't anything.
Everything in my vegetable garden is just too big to be covered and the wind we had yesterday will just hit the plastic and do more damages to the plants.
The wind was so strong yesterday.
I did see some broken leaves ... but that's it ...even the cukes are ok !
Great looking garden, drthor. Your last photo shows a bunch of "circle" wire vegetable supports, that are upsidedown. You are actually using two of them in each space, one inside the other, I guess so that you have more wire for the plants to attach too. One end of these wire supports is a flat circle and the other end are 18"-24" wire prongs. Those prongs are meant to insert into the ground but you have them sticking up into the air. Just wondered why.
I hope I have explained myself enough so that you understand what I am referring to.
The wire you are looking on the 5th picture it is a trellis, not the tomato wire circles you are thinking about.
It is close on the top and it has a little bird.
I did buy these supports years ago to use in my regular flower garden.
I thought I could use them for my eggplants and to run twine around them as support.
This is a new garden area ... I know I squeeze everything ... and I hope the cucumbers in the back will grow faster than the eggplants in the front ... so far so good !
You can see the top of that trellis in this picture, between the irises.
Ah, ha. Now I see what they are. I use a tomato/vegetable cage that is exactly like that trellis, but the top wire ends are not bound and thus are driven into the soil. The circle hoops are gradually larger as your go up the cage. I have cages these cages that are 2', 3' and 4' tall.
We too in NE Mississippi. I am sick of the cold (and we got approximately 6" of rain from those two fronts that came through last week). I had to move about 3 dozen plumeria, 4 dozen tomato and pepper plants into my porch yesterday and about 100 (total) bromeliad, fiddle leaf ficus, and staghorn ferns back into their greenhouse. I will rest up today, it is still going to be pretty cold here, but tomorrow I will begin the chore of (really) putting my tropical plants and vegetables out. I will end up with approximately 150 bromeliad, 75 fiddle leaf ficus, 100 staghorn ferns, and at least 100 orchids outside, under oak/cedar trees. That's where they will all stay until October. The plumeria will either go into the landscape or into large pots.
Well, it froze here this morning and yesterday morning...just enough to kill my friends' gardens, they didnt realize how cold it was supposed to get. I have sowed some seeds and they are bringing to germinate but my tomato and pepper plants are still waiting to go out. It's too windy to cover them, if there is a freeze. I planted out later then this last yr and it was one of the best seasons I've had in the 20 yrs I've lived here. I'm wondering if this is the last freeze of the season?
We froze two nights in a row. I did cover the sweet potatoes but they didn't make it anyway. I'll leave them in the ground just in case they come back but not much hope on my part really. I drive past several fields of sweet potatoes on my way to work. They were all at least partly planted out and they lost whatever was planted from the looks of it. These guys are commercial growers with specialized equipment and all. I don't know if the long term weather forecast was off or if they had crews scheduled in and decided to take a chance or what. I based my decision to plant the sweet potatoes based on watching their crews plant out that whole week driving into work. I figured they knew more than I do. I'll just replant when we get back from vacation.
My cannas look pretty sad and the figs got frosted back but I think they will come back fine. All the roses look fine, they love this kind of stuff. And the radishes are really tasting great after this latest frost cycle.
Kind of worried about my two desert willows. They were just budding out and the frost just killed back those leaflets. Gosh, I like those trees. Hope they are OK.
Well, today I start putting my tropical plants out (again!). I am just glad that I previously only put about 1/4 of what normally goes out. That was plenty to bring back in. I will again start with the more cold-hardy of the tropical plants, the plumeria, staghorn ferns, ficus, rubber trees, tillandsia, and bromeliads. Of course the vegetable will all go out. My chives and onions all stayed out and they look fine. They thrive in cold/cool weather though. My orchids will be the last to go out and I will put some 200 out (everything except my "baby" ones). Other than the vegetables and plumeria, all the other plants will go under/in my oak and cedar trees.
What's a desert willow, Terri? Post a picture if you have one. My canna and ginger had just started coming up and they look fine. In fact, I just mailed out 6 rhizomes of the "White Butterfly' ginger, and those rhizomes looked plump and healthy. I think my Irish and sweet potatoes came through OK. The garlic, like the onions, look great. My asparagus looks unfazed as well. All those vegetables are in my raised garden.
Names can really fool you. The desert willow is not a willow, not even similar to a willow. It only has willow-like leaves. The shrub/tree is related to the Begonia genera. I saw that there are several of these Chilopsis varieties. When your plant matures, I bet those flowers will be gorgeous!
I need a comparison between the onions I am growing this year and somebody else onions in my area.
This year I follow the suggestion of a friend and I transplanted the Dixondale onions in mid December, which is at least one month earlier that I normally do.
At the beginning I thought I did a mistake, because they onions just seat there under ice, snow and cold.
But lately they have started to make huge bulbs.
Can anybody compare their onions to mine?
Are they big or it is just my imagination?
They are much bigger than the ones I planted in the past 2 years ... but I am not an onion expert !
Terri - those desert willow are pretty, aren't they? They're used a lot in the landscaping around here.. I'll snag some seeds eventually :)
Glad to hear that for the most part, everyone's gardens are still okay despite the late frost! I was so depressed I hadn't planted my tomatoes out yet, then the cold weather came and I was so relieved I hadn't! Gardening is NOT for the faint of heart! Lol! Any who, got all 32 of them out, and they are still so small, but I planted them right up to their chinny chin chins and hopefully they'll be happy and grow for mama! My Captain Lucky and Oxheart Pineapple seedlings didn't look so good, so I decided not to use them and ended up planting 19 varieties instead of the 21 I had planned on. Next question is, does anyone grow any quick to harvest crops between their tomato plants while waiting for the tomatoes to get bigger? I was considering soybeans but figured I'd ask around a bit first :)
My tomatoes, chili, cukes and guardian flowers (marigold) are all still indoors. The seed warming boxes and grow lights we built have worked really well. Direct sown lettuces, spinach and peas are up outside. I really need to construct the boxes for my raised beds pretty soon! That, and I think I'm going to sew some bags for my potatoes.
This is my first year starting my tomatoes from seed, so it's my first year growing 13 varieties, 'though two haven't declared yet. I'm really looking forward to this year.
13Turtles - how hot do your summers get? I ask this because I feel I'm so behind compared to lots of folks in Texas. But I see you're in just the next zone above me (I'm 7b and you're 8a) and looking at what you're doing, I'm right on track. I just direct seeded all my corn, squash, and transplanted my tomatoes. But indoors, I'm still nursing along some various peppers and herbs under lights. I need to get them outside to harden off, keep forgetting!
Drthor, sorry I can't help you out on the onions. If you ask me, they look wonderful! I don't grow them though..
Nicole, your pics are motivating! I can't wait til all my beds are planted and I have little veggies growing!
Hi Becky ~ our summers get to or into the 90s for about one week of the summer; for the other two months it's more like mid 80s, which to me is perfection. You might not want to judge by me though because I am new to this zone and hadn't gardened for 15 years prior to moving here from Boston. But where you are does sound right on to me.
My tomato-ettes are just starting to get true leaves, nowhere near planting out yet. And we have not been getting the freezes you-all have been. Go figure, lol.
But speaking of hardening off, which I just started with some things today -- I thought tomatoes were not supposed to be hardened off??
Wow Turtle, your weather sounds like perfection to me also! Lol! Everything here just dies or lies in wait until the triple digits are gone. Usually we have 90-100 high temps for the entire months of July and August. Sometimes June will kick it off, hope not this year, like I said, everything I planted are still wee little things. It would be nice to have milder weather to help them get established, then I'll nurse them through the summer for a bountiful fall harvest! I hope, anyway! Yes, tomatoes need to be hardened off just like any other seedling raised indoors, to help them acclimate to the great outdoors.
Jo - good call! And thanks again for those fish pepper seeds, I have 6 I need to repot soon. You have any experience growing them in containers? I think it would be pretty to pop one in a mixed planter :)
Becky, I have one in a pot that I started mid winter- it's slow since it has been so cold, but according to what I have read, they do very well in containers. I think if they were always inside they would become acclimated to it and make pretty houseplants-(of course watch out for aphids & spider mites!) Let me know how they do if you try them. I'm not sure if you would get the vivid white/green variegation in lower light-
Jo - I think you're right about the variegation.. I'll try only one, the rest are getting split between my veggie garden and flowerbeds. I love well rounded plants that serve both edible AND ornamental purposes :)
That makes sense to me about the tomatoes. I was surprised when I read a couple of times not to harden them off. Oh, and thanks for the tip on the chives Ken.
I do know what you all are talking about with the heat. I grew up mostly in southern Arizona; they've already been in the 90s for over a month -- and then I went to Boston MA for 20 years! Pacific Northwest >really< feels like paradise. Although, I have seen the cold rain last until July 2nd here, which makes for a short growing season. But even here we are short on precipitation this year; which means I'm gardening much earlier but have already had to water.
Hmm, I just got an image of us humans trying to practice agriculture. We keep thinking we've got something pinned down, like weather, then whoops. I think of a cat chasing a light beam or crystal reflection...pounce/whoops...
Hmm, I just got an image of us humans trying to practice agriculture. We keep thinking we've got something pinned down, like weather, then whoops. I think of a cat chasing a light beam or crystal reflection...pounce/whoops...
drthor, I did not plant any onions this year. But I just walked about a mile from my house and there is a field of onions, I would guess 20 acres of onions and they look just the same size as the ones your are growing. Enjoy your hard labor.
13Turtles wrote:The reflected light is the deception, or I am employing a PTD here?
probably more like the great Khans Eunuch creators of the first light bulb , One mouse turning a fireworks relay , running sparks rubbing a ring , hard carbon thread with spoiled metal from weapons making , Run under a amethyst globe ,, the khans bed chamber ,
Kublai Khan and the mouse , the city of light ,
Greatest kept deception of all time ,, So is the weather .. anyone's guess
Excuse forgetfulness ,, More like Ancient Chinese .. It all makes History ! lol
Stillplayswdirt- all the USDA zones indicate is how cold it gets not how hot. I have a DG friend that lives near the coast in SoCal zone 10, the temps rarely get above 80 but they don't freeze either. He can grow pretty much all yr round. It's taken me 20 yrs of living here ( after living and gardening in So Cal, where it gets 105 during the day), to understand that the reason my plants set during the summer is that we normally drop below 70 at night. Ok, I'm a slow learner...lol. The zones are not an indication of how hot it gets but how cold it gets.
One way to get more information on summertime heat is the American Horticultural Society heat zone map. It shows the average number of days above 86F/30C per year. It still doesn't capture micro-climate, where some variant of terrain, ground cover, water, or other feature that affects the specific temperatures at your location. As Lisa said, the night time temperatures are important for tomato production.
All I am sure of , besides cold weather greens , night temperatures here make gardening darn near impossible until June ,,
Then poof .. it is almost to hot to garden , good for most plants , not good on the old cooling system ..
Got to fast sometimes to keep up . I am not always good at that ..
It went from 80 to 36 one night a few nights ago .. impossible situation .. That kills plants here ..
David- you are the DGer that pointed this out to me,just a few weeks ago. That's why I'm a slow learner, but I get it now. Lol. It's supposed to be in the 90s in Llano this week strange that it's so much warmer there.
Juhur-I remember being in your area a few yrs ago. It was so hot and HUMID I thought I was going to die. I couldn't even breath. But everybody's garden looked great,
Lisa, thank's for the zone info.. I had no idea.. I mean, I figured there were multiple factors taken into consideration when designating zones, but never really knew :)
David, I clicked that link too, checking it out as soon as I can! Last summer I had a dozen kentucky wonder pole bean vines that took forever to get full size. I nursed them through the summer because I had heard they'd produce as soon as night temps were below 70 and voila! I got 2 gallon bags full, not bad considering me and my kids snapped and ate them right off the vine most of the time. Oh and the squash blossoms.. I can't wait for my veggie garden to take off!
GG, call me stubborn, but I'm still gonna plant my beans this week! LOL I'm still hung up on that 3 sisters garden and they are going in whether Ma Nature likes it or not! Still debating if I should plant soybeans between my immature tomato transplants.. Now would be the time to do it
I have tons of green peppers
The tomato on the picture #3 is NINEVEH from Baker Creek.
It is very short and loaded with fruits, at least 10 of them. Each is already 3" large !
Onions are making large bulbs and the squash are happy to grow "under cover"
Squash all squeezed under the cover
Eggplants and cucumber are just seating there waiting for something ...
Amazing lettuce. A few Arugula are bolting already.
Strawberries are forming, I also have tons of blackberries this year.
harvesting lettuce, green onions, zucchini flowers and cardoons.
I just sowed my KW Beans a week or so ago. Same time I always do. I soaked the seeds but it still took them a long time to germinate due to the cool temps. In the heat of the summer I have better luck with yard long beans, but KW always seem to do fine.
I always direct sow beans...never even thought of starting them inside.
Gardening going great guns.
Yesterday, went to the neighbor's farm, that we are renting, disked the whole thing.
Brought disk back, went back with sprayer.
Home with sprayer, back there with digger.
Home with digger, back there with corn planter.
Meanwhile DS went with tiller.
By nightfall, we have peas & seeded onions done.
Today we will be setting onion plants.
Around May 1 we will plant beans.
Well darn! We got 3/4" of rain last night and it's now too wet to be out moving dirt! Never thought I'd be frustrated by the rain. Why can't it rain on days when I'm working and can't be out in the garden??
The blackberries have gotten out of hand and are in full bloom. Lots of bees on them yesterday!
The grapes are getting ready to flower. Maybe this year we'll actually get some grapes for our table.
Alaska peas are starting to bloom, so we should be getting pea pods in the next week or so. So exciting! I love peas fresh from the garden.
I am new here and this is my first post. I am in Zone 6a, so it is still a bit early to plant...I'm waiting until May 1st. Today I began to prepare my two raised squares that my husband built last year. We live in a small town in a rural county, but have 2/3 of an acre, so if I do well with my two raised beds...I want to locate more in the future. I have purchased heirloom seeds for spinach, Red Romaine and Bibb lettuce, and peas to start this project. This will be my first attempt at growing vegetables, so I have much to learn! I am so pleased to have found Dave's Garden website and am excited to meet seasoned gardeners as well as other beginners like myself.
Welcome to DG, Christine. The great thing abt DG is that if you run into problems you will get an answer, quickly...a lot less frustrating. You can also add your zone to your info on the left so others will know in the future. Happy Gardening!
►Click on PREFERENCES at the very top right of a page
►Click on LOCATION in the "My Preferences" box to the extreme left of the Preferences page
►Scroll down to "Please select the USDA Zone that most closely represents your winter climate: (Look it up here)"
►CLICK on the drop down box arrow and select your growing Zone
►CLICK on "Update the Preferences"
►Go to any thread (preferably this one) where you made a post, and CHECK under your Avatar. Your Zone should now be visible.