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2/4/08 2:10 P

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Wow, Jelaine, you are one busy farmer!

When we sold red carrots at the farmers market here in Texas, they were a huge hit. Our purple beans always sell well, too. People like the odd colors, just for something different.

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2/4/08 12:57 P

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goodness,I noticed I haven't been on here since August..where has the time gone? My fall/winter garden is doing great...I have heavy mulches over everything out there and they survived the winter...we had temps down to 2 degrees, and don't hink I lost even one plant. My greenhouses are all sanitized, and have been working hard since Feb. l, planting the beds in them. It's lambing time here on the farm, so i'm practically wearing out a path between the lambing sheds and the house and the greenhouses. I have several alpacas due within the next couple of wks, too. My order arrived Saturday of 50 Rhode Island red chicks and have another order of 35 white leghorn chicks coming on Friday...Spring is almost here and it's very busy here. I planted 200 Turkish firs in January...had to mud them in, since it was pouring when they arrived...they are a new (to me, at least) type of Christmas tree, and want to see how they grow here. they look like spruce, but have flat needles like firs, and they grow fast. If they do well here, will plant more. Am anxious to plant some of the many new varieties of veggies coming out this year in my experimental garden. I hope the blood red carrots will sell well at farmer's market, and I can't wait to see pink bell peppers. More and more corn farmers are selling their crops to be used for fuel, so I am planting 4 more acres in corn this year..figure I won't have any problem selling it at local stores and farmer's market. Recently repotted all my house plants. I am very particular about my ptting soil and make my own and make different kinds for houseplants than for veggies or planting bushes,berries, etc..Oh, I almost forgot...this winter, I got kids and grandkids to help, and we cleared off an area for an experimental berry patch. Going to be working with the county extension office, to try out new types of berries for the Northwest. We are all excited to do this. We will be working in conjunction with Oregon State University. Need to go back outside...happy gardening from Oregon

 
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2/2/08 8:30 A

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Harvesting - beets, swiss chard, broccoli, tomatoes & lettuce. About time to plant peppers since we seldom have any frost at all, but we did have a freeze in January. Almost lost our tomato plants even though we covered them. We just trimmed them back and they dropped most of the tomatoes that were getting ready to turn red. Some of them stayed on and they are delicious. We harvested all of our first crop of carrots about 3 weeks ago. Our second crop will be ready in a couple of weeks.

 
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1/23/08 8:33 A

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Spring is on the way. Every day is just a tiny bit longer.

We planted 8 fruit trees earlier this month. In a couple of years, we'll have bunches of apples, peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums.

We are harvesting lots of Asian greens, carrots that are unbelieveably sweet, beets, lettuce, green onions, and broccoli. We have tomatoes in the cold frame, but it will be March before we harvest any.

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CILLALILLY's Photo CILLALILLY Posts: 103,625
1/22/08 11:40 P

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Frozen. emoticon emoticon

Romans 10:9-10 ... if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved...
My blog- doablesurvival.blogspot.com
The early bird gets the worm, but the 2nd mouse gets the cheese!

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11/10/07 3:40 P

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We have a guy that sprays for weeds in the alley (no kidding). Because it matters if the rocks have weeds??? Anyhow, last year he offered to spray a patch of rock we have for parking a little trailer. DH told him no since I had started my garden (2 tomato plants). We are planning on expanding the garden next year, any way to protect the garden from spray wandering our way? (We do have 2 other neighbors that have organic gardens next to the alley & don't seem to have problems).

My concern is not that you have failed, but that you are content in your failure. -Abe Lincoln

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BODYNSOIL's Photo BODYNSOIL Posts: 2,110
11/5/07 9:19 A

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Our neighbors comment on our lawn too and I am glad the man in the green truck is gone. We mulch the leaves into the grass in the fall. In the spring we use corn gluten which kills preemergent weeds first then breaks down into nitrogen.. Finally the lawn is lush enough to start a milkyspore program. Our soil is very very sandy but I think we have turned the corner, woohoo!! Oh and after My 90 year old neighbor had the chemical man in her yard for her lawn, she liked ours and I switched her over to our program. Of course we did it for her but she loved it. At 90 she gave up tilling her own garden and mowing her own lawn.. Testament to healthy living..

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Seuss

"Health Lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil." -Wendell Phillips

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LOVEROFANIMALS's Photo LOVEROFANIMALS SparkPoints: (27,974)
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11/5/07 6:58 A

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That's awful. I have been outside when neighbors lawns have been treated...to make sure they don't touch mine..but how can you stop it? When it rains, the run off goes everywhere. And here's the kicker..our lawn is the greenest in the neighborhood! Some who use chemicals have even commented on it...I just tell them it's because we don't use chemicals. Some have stopped over the last few years.

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BODYNSOIL's Photo BODYNSOIL Posts: 2,110
11/3/07 7:23 A

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How dare that chemical sprayer just assume he has the right to spray your yard, he should have known better. Imagine if you hadn't seen him..ergg..
My DH had a "buddy" do our yard once long ago without telling me and I can tell you he and I had words... The "buddy" is gone but I know I have to wait 3 years to clear the chemical out..

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Seuss

"Health Lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil." -Wendell Phillips

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SUN_CLAY's Photo SUN_CLAY Posts: 16,255
11/3/07 1:25 A

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OH WOW, You would think your neighbor would know you are an organic gardener. I am glad you caught the pest guy in time!

My neighbor closest to the garden, throws their scraps in my compost and owner of the that house is very conscious of my garden.....because I give them veggies too. I also gave his wife morning glory seeds because she loves them so. They live several blocks from here.

~melissa

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

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THINLAS Posts: 76
11/3/07 1:12 A

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I almost hurt someone badly today...
I was washing dishes and looking out my kitchen window at my cute tendril-covered sugar snap peas. They are just flowering now. My chard is finally got palm-sized leaves-what should I do with it first?, I was thinking...
All of a sudden from over the fence in my neighbor's yard appears a wand--her pest person was about to squirt my yard!
I screamed through the window, "STOP! What the h#@l are you doing?"
Luckily, I shocked him and he pulled the wand back over the fence before anything was discharged. I ran out to "not be very nice"; he claims that he was trying to keep spiders out of my neighbor's yard by spraying the back side of her fence!
I have been an organic gardener for over 25 years--snail bait pisses me off! I asked if he had sprayed my yard before. He said no that this was his first application--the first time he was ever there.
I don't like to be the person who ruins one's day; however, I had to be very honest and tell him if he ever sprays anything in my yard that I will sue him and his company.
Now, I am afraid he will be a jerk and poison my yard out of spite! I spoke with my neighbor, to whom I give plenty of veg, and she was apologetic. Hopefully, she will make sure it doesn't happen.
I think it scared a week off of my life! -Lisa emoticon

 
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SWIFT_OSPREY Posts: 170
11/2/07 8:14 P

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Ah yes. I did mean Ontario, Canada. I always forget about the one's in the states. Lol.


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THINLAS Posts: 76
10/31/07 12:51 A

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I'm assuming Ontario Canada, not Ontario, Oregon or Ontario California...
Wish I knew about cold climates. I would love to get a tree for a gift! I always ask for outside plants/flowers/vegies.
In the USA we have Ag Extension Services from the universities. Google a search like that for your area. We also have a program called "Master Gardeners." Maybe Google that.
As for my garden, I moved my slug-chewed chard away from the sweet potato. I could not catch them and the other 4 chard plants are nearly a foot high with lovely green, glossy, un-nibbled, leaves. Snap peas are blooming. I think they grew 4" one day... We had rain yesterday that helped everything. I esp. like all the dust off the trees. Pulled some fall leaves down--an excuse to get out the leaf rake! The green waste bin won't be lonely filled with leaves and spent jack-o-lanterns.
Have a good week all-Lisa in No. CA emoticon

 
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SWIFT_OSPREY Posts: 170
10/29/07 10:45 P

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I was given a Blue Spruce sapling as a favour at my friends wedding two nights ago. Does anyone know the details on planting it? Soil type? Location? etc. I live in central Ontario (winter is coming pretty quickly). Should I plant it outside or pot it inside for the winter?


"Money will buy me a house, but not a home, a bed, but not a good night's sleep."
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BODYNSOIL's Photo BODYNSOIL Posts: 2,110
10/29/07 11:14 A

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Melissa, I know how you are feeling about the garden. Mine is all picked up and due to the amt of leaves falling on it practically buried in fall color..

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Seuss

"Health Lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil." -Wendell Phillips

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SUN_CLAY's Photo SUN_CLAY Posts: 16,255
10/29/07 9:24 A

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Yeah, we had our first freeze on sat night. We spent time out there on saturday picking all the green tomatoes. I will get them wrapped in newspaper this week. The garden looked sad on sunday. I am sad to see the garden year end.

~melissa

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. - Emily Kimbrough

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen
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10/29/07 9:04 A

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Killer frost last night...darn...I picked all my zinnia's last night and they are a few vases around the house...I love those. I'm glad I did it, too, because the rest are out there dying this morning.

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BODYNSOIL's Photo BODYNSOIL Posts: 2,110
10/27/07 8:20 A

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That is a great idea with the tires. This year for the first time I used a raised potato system but it was a round bin 4'high and 5' across that was set up the same way. We gathered 20lb of good sized tubers out of the bin and were pleased with the results. After planting in soil we added compost, straw and the like as well all summer long too!! The tires however may be added next year as they sound interesting, maybe a side by side test...LOL

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Seuss

"Health Lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil." -Wendell Phillips

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SUNPANTHER's Photo SUNPANTHER Posts: 2,593
10/27/07 7:31 A

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Sorry, credit where credit is due: I got that from a gardening forum on ThriftyFun.com

Jenny

Jenny (SUNPANTHER) (AUSTRALIA)

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SUNPANTHER's Photo SUNPANTHER Posts: 2,593
10/27/07 7:28 A

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HERE IS AN EXERT FROM SOMEONE'S EXPERIENCE WITH POTATOES IN TYRES...JUST SO YOU KNOW WHAT I HAVE DONE. tHIS PERSON WROTE ABOUT IT SO MUCH BETTER THAN i COULD. yOU DONT HAVE TO USE DIRT - CAN BE MULCH ETC. aPPARENTLY THE YIELD CAN BE REALLY GOOD! WE ARE DOING A FIVE STACK TIMES BY 3. WE JUST WENT DOWN TO THE LOCAL TYRE PLACE AND ASKED THEM FOR SOME USED TYRES, WHICH THEY GAVE TO US FOR FREE.


"""AS we have to garden in raised beds here in AK growing potatoes seemed out of the question due to space limitations, until someone gave us this tire idea.

You begin with one tire and fill it with soil. I planted about 4 "eyes" per tire. Be sure you fill in the "cavity" of the tire as well. When the plants get about 8 inches tall....add another tire then fill it with soil as well almost to the top of the plant. I just leave about 3 inches sticking out. Be SURE to fill the inner tube fully and not leave air pockets. You can add one or two more tires if desired. I would suggest a three stack.

When the plant is forced upward it is creating a longer tap root thus putting out more little taters. The tires create a heat "sink" which is a warm moist environment for growth and they have a lot more room to grow insided the tires than planted in the ground.

When it comes time to harvest you can remove one tire level at a time.....with the other tires creating an insulated "keeper" until you need them. Of course HERE I may have to harvest them earlier because of the cold but in the lower 48 or most places at least they should keep a long time without being disturbed. """


Jenny (SUNPANTHER) (AUSTRALIA)

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BODYNSOIL's Photo BODYNSOIL Posts: 2,110
10/26/07 8:22 P

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No I hadn't heard of tires, very interesting indeed. Let me know how that goes..

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Seuss

"Health Lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil." -Wendell Phillips

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PARROTWOMAN's Photo PARROTWOMAN SparkPoints: (0)
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10/26/07 4:42 P

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I have heard of planting potatoes in old tires but I've never tried it. What are you using for mulch? I'm very interested in learning how this works for you!

Debbie
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SUNPANTHER's Photo SUNPANTHER Posts: 2,593
10/26/07 3:36 P

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Have potato shoots come up in my tyres so HOPING to get to it today to add another tyre and mulch on top. Anyone else had luck using the tyre methos to grow their potatoes?

Jen

Jenny (SUNPANTHER) (AUSTRALIA)

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10/26/07 1:00 P

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I went out this morning and the bunnies ate all the peas. There are only the tiny green stems sticking out of the ground about 2 inches high. At least the bunnies enjoyed them :}, But my lettuce is still going strong even with the frost we had the other night.

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PEPPERMINT06's Photo PEPPERMINT06 Posts: 2,497
10/26/07 8:44 A

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Hi everyone - happy Friday. It's starting to cool down quite a bit here in IL. I'm still adding stuff to my lasagna bed and now that the leaves are dropping, I'll be able to mulch them and add them to the bed as well. Really hoping this turns out well for planting next spring!

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10/24/07 12:45 P

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Frost night before last. Everything was covered, but even so we lost the "tender" stuff-peppers, tomatoes, lettuce. But there's still lots of hardy things left!

Debbie
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BODYNSOIL's Photo BODYNSOIL Posts: 2,110
10/24/07 11:24 A

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I have only tried artichokes this year, I think it is a bi-annual so it will covered until next year. After the snow melts we will see what we have left, if anything.. I have a bunny too, I don't mind sharing a little lettuce with him but my dog eats the peas, plants and all!!

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Seuss

"Health Lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil." -Wendell Phillips

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SUNPANTHER's Photo SUNPANTHER Posts: 2,593
10/23/07 5:23 P

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Great to see you here Lisa! I am relatively only starting out on my organic gardening journey. I am glad for everyone here gives great advice and ideas!

Jenny

Jenny (SUNPANTHER) (AUSTRALIA)

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If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
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THINLAS Posts: 76
10/23/07 1:33 P

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I live in No. CA, moved 2 times in last 2 years so can't remember zone.
Intros: Thanks sunpanther (?) for the team recommend. I am an organic gardener for over 20 years. My dad was an ag specialist, introd avocados, kiwis, & asian pears to market, helped Chile est. market with CA. So...I grew up with my hands in the soil.
I do garden all year long, my garden does get row covers in Jan and Feb--even an old sleeping bag sometimes! I am renting this year and moving to Portland area in spring so my fall garden is bare bones.
For veg I have 10" multi-colored chard (happy with cooler nights) and sugar snap peas about 12" tall and winding on their trellis. I am lucky my landlord was a gardener too and put in 4 separate 12' long raised beds that are 3' wide and 3' deep. The soil I had to do my "magic" on. My chinchilla's bedding and "offerings" started things off. Next added soil microorganisms and gentle fertilizer, then picked up and added all the worms I could find crawling out of my neighbors over-watered lawns, finally adding better soil that wasn't so light-no good in hot CA summer for water retention.
Last winter I grew the best yellow onions (softball size), garlic, red lettuce, and broccoli ever! Summer was grape tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, basil (still growing), black table tomatoes,and short sunflowers for flowers and bird seed.
Will keep all posted!
-Lisa emoticon

 
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10/23/07 11:38 A

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We just had a layer of frost on some of the open fields last night and I have to say that it is much later than it was last year. Last year it happened in early September! I planted some lettuce, spinach and peas (the bunnies have ate all the peas:(). Everyone thought I was wasting my time because it would get too cold too soon, but that wasn't the case. I have had several salads the past 3 weeks from my tiny plot out back. Unfortunatly not peas because we have a bunny family living next door. Although I have always thought I was in Zone 5, I think I am in Zone 7 this year. Crazy Global Warming! It makes me wonder also, what kind of winter we are going to have.

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LOVEROFANIMALS's Photo LOVEROFANIMALS SparkPoints: (27,974)
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10/23/07 7:41 A

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I wish we could grow artichoke...not a long enough season for those. Ah well....

If this lovely weather continues, I could start planting again! lol...I can only wish. The way the animals have been acting this year (eating things they don't normally touch), we are wondering if we will have a very snowy winter this year.

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BODYNSOIL's Photo BODYNSOIL Posts: 2,110
10/23/07 6:08 A

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Someday I want to live where I can garden all year long!! For now the garden is mostly tucked in for winter.. Garlic is planted artichoke (first attempt) still growing, onions, lettuce, and chard.. 5 months and counting til spring.. woohoo

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Seuss

"Health Lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil." -Wendell Phillips

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SUNPANTHER's Photo SUNPANTHER Posts: 2,593
10/18/07 10:25 A

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Close - Australia!
I have an old shed. Shall have a think about converting it. Thanks for the idea!

Yep. It's starting to warm up now - we are in for an early and long summer. Sigh.

Jenny (SUNPANTHER) (AUSTRALIA)

BLC25 - AMBER AMAZON WARRIORS


If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
- John Irving

DON'T WISH FOR IT, WORK FOR IT.


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10/18/07 9:41 A

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Sunpanther--as I remember, you are in New Zealand? Is that correct? Anyway, I enjoy reading about your spring garden as we move into our fall garden. And I love the work chook.

We have guinea fowl, and we converted a shed to a coop so that they would be safe at night. We have to herd them in each evening, which is always fun.

Debbie
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SUNPANTHER's Photo SUNPANTHER Posts: 2,593
10/18/07 9:27 A

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I now have loads of tomatoes, corn, pumpkin, yellow squash, potatoes, brussell sprouts, strawberries, silverbeet, basil, parsley, and sage all in. tomorrow I am putting in the zucchini. The compost i got in from the council is doing great as a soil so far, and we will be getting some more in the next few weeks.

We are into stage 3a water restrictions, so i can only water 2 set days a week, from 6am to 8am, and only from a bucket, a soaker hose(I have one made from recycled tyre rubber) or a hose fitted with a trigger spray. The rest of the week if needed I am using grey water. It's going to be another hot summer, and if stage 4 restrictions come in (and they will), I won't be able to water from the mains water at all - only grey water. I think I shall try to rig a temporary rain barrel under the downpipe to catch water. I miss my rain tanks!

Yesterday a guy I hardly know dropped by with half a trailer load of chook poo, and a couple of bails of hay. He was so kind, and wanted nothing in return. It was a fantastic gift. He also helped me clear some of the rubbish (left by previous tenants) out of the yard and garage.

The rest of the corn, beetroot, pea, capsicum and carrot seedlings are not ready to be planted out yet - good because i haven't had time to build up garden beds for them!

I havent decided about building a chook dome. I may not end up with enough room, and i dont have fencing to protect them from dogs and cats and foxes. Snakes would be a problem too, in the summer. I dont want to do anything to attract them as I want Crusoe to be able to enjoy the garden as much as possible.

Jenny

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10/18/07 8:10 A

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Hey LoverofAnimals - small world!!!!

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Melissa....I just don't have room to bring them in..that's the bottom line. So..I plant new ones each year. And use what I freeze over the winter. But as long as it's staying so mild, they are doing beautiful!! Even the basil is still going strong.

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Hey, PEPPERMINT!!! Nice to see another familiar Sparkface here!

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Hello all - new member here - glad to have found this team!

Looking forward to going back through some of the older posts here and getting some tips and tricks.

I started my first lasagna bed last weekend....and already have plenty of lessons learned for the next one emoticon


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SUN_CLAY's Photo SUN_CLAY Posts: 16,255
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If they are potted, why don't you bring them in your house, into a sunny spot?

~melissa

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"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. - Emily Kimbrough

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen
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You're lucky, SUN! I only have swiss chard now..and as long as it doesn't get TOO cold, they will stay good for a long time (I don't cover them...I should, but I don't). My flower gardens are still blooming! I've been bringing my potted herbs (basil and parsley) in the garage at night..I'll cut them soon and put them in the freezer..when I have a free moment, that is.

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Wow, My garden is still producing a lot. I am in MN. by this time last year, my garden was done. I am still getting a couple tomatoes a week....plus lots of cherry tomatoes. Still lots of zucchini, cukes, a few green beans, and herbs.

I actually potted up a few of my herbs to see if I could bring them inside. I did this last year with my oregano and it is still alive and growing! I did replant it outside this year, but I may not do that next year. Has anyone else ever done this?

I hope everyone is doing well.

~melissa

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. - Emily Kimbrough

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen
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my gardens are all doing great here in Oregon. Temps in the low to mid 80's most days, expecting a little rain next wkend. i sold out in just a few hours yesterday at the farmer's market and I'm taking about 3 times as much produce as I did just 3 years ago...more and more people are shopping at farmer's markets for organic produce. I go to the other farmer's market on Saturday. My organic produce is selling at 4 stores in the area and I am busy going back and forth because sales are way up. Am so glad people are more and more seeing that organic produce is well worth the additional cost. My peaches and pears are in full swing...My Italian prunes are turning, and will soon be ripe, and it's going to be a great year for my fuji apples, but the gravensteins and a few other varieties were very few and far between. It's a busy time here, for sure! I've planned my fall gardens and have already tilled one section up to start planting. Brought in 4 more loads of mushroom compost yesterday and will soon get that put in the ground...do any of you compost? I emptied one of the piles today and hoed it in around my winter squash and pumpkins...I keep several compost piles going, and am particular about the browns versus the amount of greens, and the activars I put in between...i get rich almost black compost when it's through cooking...have a great day....

 
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Thanks for the tips - I'm really intrigued by the lasagna gardening concept! I'll let you know how it goes...

be the change you wish to see in the world... - Gandhi


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Mandy, I would also suggest just keeping your eyes open for ideas. I walk with someone who is employed full time as a master gardener. she takes care of the garden for one of the mansions around here. stunning yard. We love to look at other peoples gardens.

~melissa

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. - Emily Kimbrough

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen
MOMGOOSE's Photo MOMGOOSE Posts: 3,267
8/9/07 7:08 P

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Hi Mandy
You could check out lasagna gardening and squarefoot gardens. They will give you some good ideas on getting started. www.lasagnagardening.com and
www.squarfootgardening.com
Joan

Edited by: MOMGOOSE at: 8/10/2007 (01:08)
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Ugh! August is just a hard month for anything outside here in the Midwest. We finally got a heavy thunderstorm last night that dropped a couple of inches - but it's been weeks without rain and my rain barrel was completely empty! At least it's refilled now and the garden got good water in the storm - just battered a couple of the plants but I think they'll spring back.

I'm about to move to a new house (we're buying one after renting this one the last couple of years), which means estalishing a new garden. Anyone have advice on where I should start?? We move in over Labor Day weekend (assuming closing goes as scheduled), and there are some established garden patches marked with brick or timber borders, but everything's overgrown and in shady areas. I've totally just been playing around, not really knowing what I'm doing, but I really want to continue with the vegetable garden (tomatoes for sure, and I think I want to grow corn, squash and eggplant). I'll go check out the resources thread too. Thanks!

Edited by: KCMANDY at: 8/9/2007 (15:42)
be the change you wish to see in the world... - Gandhi


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We just had our county fair and as usual, it was a great success. I worked in a booth dealing with utilizing your property.. which animals to raise for meat, we passed out literature about the benefits of organic gardening, experimental gardening, the importance of planting trees, etc.
My experimental garden is fluorishing, which is amazing, because I am always experimenting there...some plants aren't getting any water for example...just mulching with 6 different kinds of mulch being used; the corn planted there is being planted the way pioneers in Oregon planted their corn...in hills, with fish and pole beans with the corn seed in each hill and winter squash inbetween the hills...I spend way too much time out there in that garden. I'm endlessly curious about different methods of growing, and every year, I have successes but also complete failures out there. I planted watercress in my creek 4 different years and on the 4th try, it finally took hold...now, I have fresh watercress for salads and sandwiches regularly. Hope to increase it and see if I can find a market for the watercress locally. I have green beans, lettuce, and pickling cukes in 4 supermarkets. Will have more produce in the stores soon. Busy here as you can see, but did find time to take grandkids camping for 4 days last week. We did lots of hiking, swimming, and eating....wonder why I get so hungry whenever I'm camping...

 
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That is funny about the Japanese Beetles! It's also a great idea. The guinea fowl are great. They eat enormous quantities of grasshoppers. In the evening, at dusk, the go right back into their little coop and all we have to do is close the door. I'm so glad we got them!

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8/2/07 10:00 A

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Your grasshopper story was funny! I can just see it! We knew some people who had trouble with Jap.Bet, and got the bag-traps, but cut the bottom of the bag and put a pie tin under. Thier chickens come running now any time they hear a "ping!"

~Martha

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JELAINEB - I live on the Big Island.

My co-worker grows roses and is always bringing in fresh cuttings. One time when I was asking her about their roses, she told me that elevation really has an impact on them. If your daughter lives close to sea-level, then it gets pretty toasty - roses like it kind of cool. My co-worker and I live at around 800 feet, so that's a good elevation for roses (according to my co-worker with the beautiful roses).

My herbs are coming a long nicely. I'm starting to see the frilly leaves develop on my cilantro. I suspect it'll still be a few more weeks until it's established enough to handle being trimmed. My sage is dying, though - seems that all the herbs that I bought that were already established just didn't handle being planted very well. I'm probably going to pull it out and then plant something else, like oregano, maybe. I don't use sage very often.

There's another herb that I planted from seed that has yet to sprout, too... I wish I'd labeled which little "lip" I'd planted which herb in so I knew which ones might be having problems.

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7/30/07 12:56 A

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Jeff...sounds like you are having a great growing season...where are you located? I experimented with raised beds, but I have lots of room, so just have my herbs in 4 raised beds. I agree, with limited space, it's the way to go, and saves your back, too!!! My main garden is a half acre this year, but have 2 smaller gardens, too, plus a 1/4 acre in wheat for my own use. My wheat is ripening...yahoo...hope the rain holds off....and, don't want any hail, either...what kind of pumpkin did you plant? Happy gardening.

 
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7/29/07 7:43 P

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me and my wife have two raised beds made of timbers they are like 2.25 each at any lumber store anyways I made them 4x8 each bed giving us 32 sq ft of space I filled them with top soil and this year we planted 7 peeper plants "sweet bell" 3 tomato plants 3 cucumber plants 3 zuchini 1 pumpkin and asparagus with the asparagus you must wait a year before harvesting but it will be well worth the wait this year I have had produce out my ears and have had PLENTY to share with friends and family so if any one is tight on space try this next year or this fall because after august you can grow spinach or lettuce in the beds until the first frost normally november here

 
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7/29/07 1:39 P

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Well, I grew up in suburban New Jersey, and if I could travel back in time and tell teenager me that when I was 52, the highlight of my weekend would be watching the guinea fowl forage through the zucchini plants, she wouldn't believe it.

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7/29/07 1:09 A

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Guess you can tell I've always lived in the city. I was a kid when victory gardens were the thing, so I learned a bit about vegetable gardens from my dad.

Picking beans is a tough job. Sometimes I think pole beans would be easier. Might try that next year.
Joan

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7/29/07 12:50 A

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on my inlaws farm in Nebraska, they always kept guineas and peahens near the house to kill the baby rattlesnakes...
I've never had a grasshopper problem...have very few of them. They make good bait for trout, though.
Joan, sounds like your garden is doing great. Mine is, too...no weeds, thanks to the mulching. I will do very little watering the rest of the summer. Am already planning in my garden journal, my fall/winter garden. Froze 16 quarts of Swiss chard today and canned 21 quarts of green beans. Am sure sick and tired of picking beans...they've been selling good at the farmers' markets, though, so need to learn to be happy when picking them...yeah, that'll be the day!!!

 
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7/28/07 5:35 P

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That's a new kind of pet! But what a nice solution to the grasshopper problem.

I just came in from the garden and was able to pick lots of things - tomatoes, cucs, green beans, kale, radishes, zucchini, yellow ball squash, spinach. Peas are almost ready. Eggplant, green peppers and okra are forming. And I need to harvest some more basil and parsley. I also have borage blooming and nasturtiums, too. Also found 2 strawberries (they are starting up again) and a handful of raspberries.

I have so many beans that I will have to freeze some I think. I have too much kale for myself, so I just made a batch of kale chips.

Joan

Edited by: MOMGOOSE at: 7/28/2007 (17:35)
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The man at the feed store told us that if we feed them scratch through the winter, they'll stick around. So we hope to have a permanent flock.

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7/28/07 11:10 A

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How great is that! WHat are you going to do with the hens after summer? Guinea hens have pretty feathers. My one and only contact with one outside of State Fair was in 1952 when on a Greyhound bus trip to Texas, one flew through the windshield of the bus. Feathers and glass everywhere. Poor hen!
Joan

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We have had a terrible time with grasshoppers this summer. About a month ago, we bought 8 guinea fowl to help with the problem. They were babies, so for the last month we kept them confined to their coop and a run in the garden to protect them from predators.

Well, this morning we gave the guinea fowl the run of the garden. Their coop is right next to the garden, and we moved the fence so that the coop door opens directly into the garden. This morning we propped open the door and then stood back to watch.

At first, nothing. Then a little white head pokes out of the door and then shoots back in. A few seconds later, 3 heads poke out the door and shoot back in. We here a lot of clucking and motion, and all of a sudden 1 brave guinea fowl flies out the door, banks and lands on the roof! Oh, no, he's separated from the flock and frantic! It's the end of the world! Wait, no, here comes his companions. Phew, he can see them and rejoins the flock. All is well. And look at all those grasshoppers!

For the last 2 hours, the flock has been eating grasshoppers in the garden non-stop. I think we've solved the grasshopper problem (and entertained ourselves in the process!)

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7/27/07 10:34 P

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Kelly....I have a daughter living in Kailua. She's having a lot of trouble raising roses. Do you have any roses in your yard? Are you on Oahu?

 
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I'm actually not planning on drying any of my herbs just yet (I still have a huge shelf-full of dried herbs that I've purchased). I'm actually doing the herb garden so I start using fresh ingredients more often than dried. Since I live in Hawaii, I don't have to worry about pulling them indoors or harvesting and drying them for cold weather because it just doesn't get that cold here (at least at my elevation).

This is all good info, though, for whenever it is my dried herbs run out and I want to experiment with drying my own herbs for later use. - Thank you!

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7/26/07 1:47 P

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I know the microwaved herbs have better color than air dried. It will be interesting to hear the results.
Joan

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I dry my herbs by hanging them upside down, too. I never knew about the microwave process. I hope your students and you would be willing to share the results here, JELAINEB. I'd be interested to know what they find.

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I was at a junior college's hulticulture symposium today and was so impressed by what the college students are raising there...of course, the plants weren't grown organically, but I learned about new kinds of drip irrigating, using solar panels over a section of the garden on cloudy days, different ways of mulching, and they had an experiment going on with different ways of drying herbs...I dry herbs by tying them upside down and hanging them from rafters in one of my sheds....they were doing this at the college, plus had dried some in microwaves, by laying them out in the sun, and about 4 other ways....they are now testing to see the moisture content, the nutrition value, etc...I am anxious to get the results. They promised to send me a report.

 
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7/24/07 11:12 A

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Good thought, Melissa! You are right.
Joan

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7/24/07 10:59 A

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I personally would either put it in a dehydrator or dry it in the sun. I don't like microwaving if I don't have to. I have heard that Microwaving takes a way a lot of nutritional value. So i use it sparingly.

~melissa

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. - Emily Kimbrough

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen
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7/24/07 10:47 A

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You can air dry most herbs or do it in the microwave. Basil gets very dark when dried. You can blend the fresh leaves into a pesto and then freeze it in ice cube trays. Then bag them up and store in the freezer until you need some. To microwave dry, put the clean herbs on a paper towel and heat for one minute at a time until dry. Change the paper towel if and when it gets moist.
Joan

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7/24/07 8:16 A

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Kellyro..the herbs I'm familiar with are basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, catnip and this year I added mint (for my husband to make us some mojitos!!). I try to catch them before they flower and go to seed. I take the flowers off the basil and oregano during the growing season and let it grow some more. My father-in-law taught me this, but I think you can also let it flower. I usually harvest it later in the summer..August I start. I put the leaves (whole) in a freezer bag to use all winter. I use it fresh, too, along the way. Oregano..same thing as basil, but I dry it instead of freeze it. I also dry thyme and catnip. This is the first time I've grown mint ... it's in a pot because I heard it is also very invasive. I also freeze parsley...usually later in the summer as well.

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KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 2,858
7/23/07 5:56 P

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I wish I had the land available to grow my own garden. Renting is just so impractical on so many levels. :/

On a different note, though - my other herbs have started to sprout now, too. So I'm excited about that. I can't wait until they start getting big enough to eat. I pinched the tip of one of my cilantro sprouts, and it smelled so wonderful!

I had to discard my basil - it died. So I planted some seeds instead for that, too.


For those of you familiar with herbs, how long does it take for them to grow to a point where they're harvest-able for consumption?

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This is the best garden I've had in a long time. I think the cooler nights and very periodic rain is a good thing for it. My flowers seem so colorful this year..much more than in recent years. And I am going to be making a lot of tomato sauce..which is NOT a chore for me! Green beans are just starting to show up and I've picked one "batch" of swiss chard and am just waiting for more to get a little larger.

Yup...great garden year for me this time.


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KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 2,858
7/20/07 2:56 P

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My cilantro's started to sprout! Yay!

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JELAINEB SparkPoints: (0)
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7/20/07 12:01 A

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My gardens are doing fine...am a little concerned about my wheat and barley. Not going to be as big a harvest as I expected. I'm getting a lot of produce now to freeze, can and dry. I have 2 freezers besides the side by side fridge/freezer and just cleaned them all out this wk. I cleaned out my pantry and have all my canning, freezing and drying supplies handy....ready for the coming busy season. My berries are just about through, except for the wild Himalaya blackberries that are just starting. As usual, in the orchard, some trees are loaded, some of them aren't...that's normal. I'm going to have lots of Italian prunes this year...perhaps more than I ever have had. I'm seeing fewer honey bees every year and it has all of us orchardists very concerned out here.
someone mentioned Japanese beetles...I have them for about 6 wks each year. I go out and shake them into soapy water and they drown, and I hand pick them off the plants whenever I see them. Happy Gardening!!!

 
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KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 2,858
7/18/07 10:09 P

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My strawberry pot herb garden seems to be doing okay. It hasn't yet been a week since I planted it, though - I'm still eagerly awaiting the seeds I planted to start sprouting. All the packets say 7 to 10 days or so. My seeds might be slower, though, because ever since I planted the garden, it's been cloudy and rainy, so not much sunlight. Only yesterday and today has the pot actually received any direct sunlight.

The live herbs I planted seem to be doing okay. The basil is in shock, but I know to just give it some time and it'll bounce back. (I wasn't exactly gentle with it when I planted it, LOL).

The hardest thing for me right now is to try to take on an attitude of neglect with the herbs. I keep wanting to water them all the time but from all I've read, they prefer dry soil.

I can't wait for them to start growing, though. I'm looking forward to using them when I'm cooking.

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SUN_CLAY's Photo SUN_CLAY Posts: 16,255
7/18/07 3:13 P

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Joan, Most starbucks have a basket near the front or in the entrance with bags of used coffee beans. If the basket is out, just ask at the counter. Most of them are more than willing to give it to you. Otherwise, I am sure if you worked out a deal with a local, non chain, coffee shop, they would be more than happy to save some for you. For that, just call.

~melissa

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. - Emily Kimbrough

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen
MOMGOOSE's Photo MOMGOOSE Posts: 3,267
7/18/07 1:42 P

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Thamks Melissa - I didn't know Starbucks did that. Do you just go in and ask or call?

I am in a warmer place than you, but we usually don't plant until after Memorial Day. Some will take a chance and plant the end of April. Most of the time I'm behind schedule and am still planting into June. Did you try cutting back your basil? I think it will come again and still be usable. I try to keep the flowers cut off, but don't always manage that.

I've had one yellow ball squash - much like zucchini, basil and purslane so far. The tomatoes are green and quite a few have formed. Kale is doing well and sugar snap peas, bush beans, cucs, eggplant, and okra are looking good, but nothing to pick yet. Spinach, beets and lettuce are slow, but coming- planted late.

I set a trap for the Japanese Beetles yesterday according to a suggestion on a website. Haven't been out to check to see if it's working. I think I may have to resort to a bug spray. They are really destroying the plants.
Joan

Joan in Wisconsin

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ROGUEPRINCESS's Photo ROGUEPRINCESS SparkPoints: (12,544)
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7/18/07 12:47 P

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Hi! his is my first garden ever-and they are all container based. The herbs have kinda gone out of controll (I've let the basil flower unfortunately)...but I harvested my first (so far only) cucumber and it was very bitter... :(

My tomato plants are fairly large with lots of blossoms but only a few actual tomatoes are growing... I'm looking forward to learning more about my own and watching yours grow!

Blessings towards all our journeys.


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SUN_CLAY's Photo SUN_CLAY Posts: 16,255
7/18/07 12:29 P

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Joan, I am not too particular about tomatoes. Yes, I love the sweet 100's and pear tomatoes. Other than that, I am not particular. I just love tomatoes....any type!

Almost harvested???? I suppose you are a little south of us, but not much. I am in Saint Paul. Planting is usually a week after mothers day! I pulled my garlic and we have had peas and lettuce. Oh, and one Zucchini. I always pick them when they are about 6-8 inches. I love the small ones.

Eris, I don't know if you know this or not, but used coffee grounds from Starbucks are wonderful for clay soil. Well, any coffee shop will work, but starbucks will bag it up for you. They have a basket by the door, so you can just stop and pick it up without bothering the folks. I use it in my compost, as a mulch, and a fertilizer. The reason I mention this, I read an article about a gal in Arizona(i think) who loved gardening, but the soil there is very clay like. She would go into her local coffee shop and bring home their coffee grounds each day and spread over her lawn. Within a few months she had a wonderful rich soil. Coffee composts really fast...something like 2-3 weeks. Here is the starbucks article about using Used coffee grounds, but also do a search. there is a lot of info about it out there.

http://tinyurl.com/yo7xpf

~melissa



Edited by: SUN_CLAY at: 7/18/2007 (12:30)
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. - Emily Kimbrough

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen
MOMGOOSE's Photo MOMGOOSE Posts: 3,267
7/18/07 11:28 A

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My garden is doing ok except for the invasion of box elder bugs ( they are now mostly gone -used soap/water spray) and now Japanese beetles chewing up the raspberry plants. Anyone know how to get rid of them?

Those tomato plants that have sprung up may not turn out to be the same type as you had before, but still good. They come from last year's tomatoes that probably have fallen. I pulled tons of those rouges this spring and am still finding a few popping up. Most of my garden is on the verge of being harvested, but everything is in the green stage right now. My peppers aren't doing that well either and are in full sun. I'm in the Milwaukee WI area. Perhaps it might be lack of water. We're short on rain fall too.
Joan

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PARROTWOMAN's Photo PARROTWOMAN SparkPoints: (0)
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7/18/07 11:25 A

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Struggling. We were just starting to get zucchini, green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes in June when we had a bad hailstorm. It flattened the garden. We cleaned up, replanted some things and figured other stuff would recover on its own. Now we're battling a grasshopper plague of biblical proportions. We're using nolo bait and we purchased 8 guinea fowl. That's helping, but the bugs are bad this year.

One thing we learned--the plants that were damaged by the hail are recovering, but they are more susceptible to the grasshoppers than the replacement plantings. If we get hail again, I think we'll pull the damaged plants and start fresh. We're thinking that next year, when we plant out, we'll start seedlings in the house as sort of hail insurance. We have a very long growing season, so we can do that.

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O_DEANNA's Photo O_DEANNA SparkPoints: (4,066)
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7/18/07 11:21 A

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This is my first REAL (not-in-containers) vegetable garden so I'm really excited!

My tomatos have lots of green fruit, my zucchini and yellow squash are cranking out MONSTER-sized fruit, tons of blackberries, chard is going crazy... but my eggplant isn't doing anything. :( Lots of flowers... nothing. I don't seem to remember waiting so long for it last year. Any insights?

Happy gardening!
Deanna

Largeness should not exclude you from loving, eating, dancing, swimming, running or involving yourself in the millions of activities you have put on the back burner until the slim you arrives. Life doesn't start with slimness or stop at anything larger. Life is for living with as few personal impediments as possible.
ERIS23's Photo ERIS23 Posts: 516
7/18/07 11:10 A

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Thanks the the contributions of our chickens, all is going very well... tomatos are huge (5+ feet) with tons of green tomatoes. Too much zucchini and starburst squash to eat, tons of peas, potatos and the onions are coming along nicely too. Having chickens has made a world of difference to our nasty clay soil.

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SUN_CLAY's Photo SUN_CLAY Posts: 16,255
7/18/07 11:04 A

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Good morning, My garden is struggling this year. last year it was planted, I watered and weeded and watched it grow. This year, I am doing those things, but I have had rabbits and such. My tomato plants are still small. My peppers are going to get moved this week because I don't think they are getting enough sun. I hope that is ok to move them, but If I want produce, I don't think I have a choice. There are not much bigger than when I planted them 2 months ago.

Something funny happened a couple weeks ago though, I have all these 8" tomato plants that popped out of no where. I think they are all where I had plants last year. Whooops. I guess we didn't get the garden as cleaned up as we thought we did. Anyway, now that the garlic is out, we are going to move them to where that was. we worked the soil there last week and will transplant my rogue tomatoes there.

I may end up with more than I bargained for!

~melissa

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

"Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise." -Professional Volleyball Player Gabrielle Reece

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. - Emily Kimbrough

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen
BLACKDOGINN's Photo BLACKDOGINN Posts: 132
7/18/07 10:57 A

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After a very dry spell (this area is behind 7.39" of rainfall from where it should be this time of year) I've finally gotten some rain yesterday. Just in time because the tomatoes are really starting to turn red, the peppers are producing, the zucchini is going wild, and I have lots of squash and melon that are looking good to be picked later in the summer. How's things in your neck of the woods?

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