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Thread: Official (ongoing) Gardening Thread

  1. #1
    Slow puddleduck's Avatar
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    Official (ongoing) Gardening Thread

    *MOD NOTE: MULTIPLE ANNUAL GARDENING THREADS HAVE BEEN COMBINED INTO ONE MASTER THREAD TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR ANYONE SEEKING ADVICE OR INFORMATION. THIS WAY, EVERYTHING'S IN ONE PLACE.


    Does anybody here garden? I've seen a number of news articles in the past few months about a new enthusiam for gardening in the US, culminating, it seems, with a garden at the White House.

    I never thought I would be interested in it, but now I'm disappointed that I live in a condo and am restricted to pots. Does anybody else enjoy growing stuff?
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  2. #2
    Brassy Baroness
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    With no lawn to call my own, I have a small urban garden made up of a few house plants.

    I have a dwarf date palm, two aloe plants, two pythos, and strawberries.
    I want to grow basil but there is not enough light here in the office and my apartment is too shady.
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    Drunken Robot HORDE TROOPER's Avatar
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    i enjoy keg parties in gardens.

  4. #4
    Established 1981 nutnog's Avatar
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    I love gardening and just put in two raised beds ready for spring planting. I do canning as well so its nice to have the ability to just grow your veggies in the backyard.

    Here are the new beds:





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    Last edited by nutnog; April 17, 2009 at 10:06pm.

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior Darkness's Avatar
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    I live in an apartment so gardening is difficult. My dad used to garden and I've always wanted to so I tried to plant a small indoor garden. My problem was that I didn't want to use seedlings like my dad used to, I wanted to start from seeds. I planted three cucumber seeds and was thrilled when three small plants sprouted about a week later. I watered them and put them in the window for sun, unfortunately they slowly withered and died.

    I'm not too sure why my small cucumbers died but my guess is that they didn't receive the proper amount of sun. Apparently, sitting in the window isn't the optimal way to give sunlight to your seedlings, they tend to absorb more heat than light so they die. I planned on getting a grow light, which was recommended but I didn't have the money so I went with the window. Alas, it didn't work so I'm going to grab a grow light when I'm able to afford it.

    I'm assuming that was the problem, if my plants die again then I must just be a bad gardener.

  6. #6
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    Of course a country gal like me has one There's nothing better than going out in your garden grabbing some tomatoes and having a nice tomato salad.

    My pumpkins never turn out as well as I hope. Though this year I'll give it another go. Last year I got 6, which isnt terribly bad since the year before I had none
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  7. #7
    Slow puddleduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divia View Post
    Of course a country gal like me has one There's nothing better than going out in your garden grabbing some tomatoes and having a nice tomato salad.

    My pumpkins never turn out as well as I hope. Though this year I'll give it another go. Last year I got 6, which isnt terribly bad since the year before I had none
    Indeed, the Great Pumpkin probably won't stop by if you have only half a dozen.

    Besides tomatoes and pumpkins, are you growing anything else? Gladiolas?

    Nice work nutnog. I miss Vancouver, spring is so much better there.

    I have been growing chiefly basil, because I have developed a serious passion for pasta with pesto genovese.
    "Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave."
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  8. #8
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    I just received an order of glad bulbs (50) that I will plant.

    I also plant the following
    Beans, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, and cucumbers
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  9. #9
    Brassy Baroness
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    Question to all you seasoned gardeners.
    I saw huge garden troughs for patio plants. Off hand I would say it's 2'x3/4' and 1'+ deep.

    Do you think I could plant a cherry tomato plant, basil, and parsley in there?
    Would I need to stake the cherry tomato plant?
    I'm on the second floor and have no yard to call my own, but I do have a sunny spot on the walkway that get the rainwater too.
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  10. #10
    Established 1981 nutnog's Avatar
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    For the tomato plant, I would use big buckets like you see in my pictures. They are ugly, but with holes made in the bottom for drainage, they really work well and require little space. I don't think the trough is going to cut it with tomato but the other plants would be fine because their roots are pretty shallow. Also I thought basil had to be in constant heat (mostly inside). Does anyone else know much about basil?

  11. #11
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Hey... I just found this really cool article about with gardening tips during this recession: http://features.bhg.com/ways-gardeni...recession.html
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  12. #12
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    I too would use pots. They are just better. One time I got a trough with horrible results.

    I bought a basil plant from teh farmers market last year, (during the summer) stuck it in a pot and watched the thing grow. It seemed fine. And NY summers arent really the hottest. Damn things die whenever I bring them inside. I guess light is key?

    I want to can, but I'm not sure what I would can. My mother/grandmother did it when I was a child. Istill remember the big clunky thing they had on the table.
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  13. #13
    Brassy Baroness
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    Pot/bucket it is! Thanks!

    Which do you all feel are better performers especially for a novice with tomatoes, Roma or Cherry tomatoes?
    Last edited by Judith; April 20, 2009 at 06:21pm.
    Trust me, trust me, be a'right,
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  14. #14
    Court Magician
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    I am SUCH an amateur! I once took an online course from Edward Smith. He has 2 books out that were inexpensive, called "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" and "Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers."
    I love these books! They tell you all about how you can combine herbs and vegetables (or not to combine certain ones). Tomatoes and basil should be in separate pots, because the tomatoes take so much and the basil will languish. I also bought several self-watering containers. Basically, they have trays at the bottom of the pots and you put the water there. Then the plant can take up the water at its own rate and in its own time. I got the best yield of tomatoes and peppers from these things!
    For tomatoes, make sure you have a container that is deep. They have a very long root system. Yup, stakes are good too. I love the cherry tomatoes to eat, but I love the romas too. They have such a good taste. If you go to a gardening supply store (one that specializes in seeds and such), you should
    find a large number of vegetables that work great for container growing. Good Luck!

  15. #15
    Established 1981 nutnog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Pot/bucket it is! Thanks!

    Which do you all feel are better performers especially for a novice with tomatoes, Roma or Cherry tomatoes?
    I would stick with a cherry. They have those small little yellow ones (I forget the name) which I think are actually sweeter than a standard Sweet 1000 cherry tomato. I always grow Early Girl tomatoes because they seem to do well in my area but you could always try a couple and see what works well for next year.

    Tomatos do really well in buckets with holes drilled through the bottom for drainage BUT they dry out faster so make sure to water them more than you would tomatoes in the ground.
    Last edited by nutnog; April 21, 2009 at 12:44am.

  16. #16
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    I dislike cherry. Romas are OK, but I think its all personal preference. I got to my local farmers market and pick up a flat or two. They always have different varieties.
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  17. #17
    Brassy Baroness
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    I could not find cherry tomatoes but I saw a million grape tomato plants so I figured why not. I used a white bucket and the transplant is covered a little over the root line.

    How high up should I cover the transplant? For strawberries you have to be careful not to cover it too much up. I read somewhere that I should cover the tomato transplant 75%? Does this sound right?

    I have it next to the railing. Do you think I could "stake" it to the railing and grow is horizontally instead of vertically?
    Trust me, trust me, be a'right,
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  18. #18
    Established 1981 nutnog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post

    How high up should I cover the transplant? For strawberries you have to be careful not to cover it too much up. I read somewhere that I should cover the tomato transplant 75%? Does this sound right?

    I have it next to the railing. Do you think I could "stake" it to the railing and grow is horizontally instead of vertically?

    I don't know how to cover it. I've heard you can cover it 100% but I don't know for sure I just plant it in the buckets and see if it takes off. I haven't had any problems but my state has pretty mild weather.

    I bet you could stake it with some ties but I've never done that before. I wish I could give you better insight Judith.

  19. #19
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    Like nutnog I just put mine in the ground and see which ones live. To be honest I cannot think of one plant that has never lived. I think tomatoes are hearty.

    Idont see why you cant do it vertically as long as the railing is a sturdy one. I saw somewhere that some people grow theirs upside down. So I dont think it will hurt em.
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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior mkpat's Avatar
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    To all you Lawn and Gardeners

    Two questions:

    What can you recommend to kill insects in the yard and/or in the house? What works well for you guys? I have ant colonies in my yard and I have seen one or two in the house from time to time, and I don't want them to start coming in for free room and board.

    Also, what is a good weed killer other than roundup that is potent and lasts a good while? Dandelions are getting on my nerves!!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    My post count just got bigger.

  21. #21
    Brassy Baroness
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    I guess you can say I joined the Green Revolution that spreading across the US. With the economy still depressed and the seemingly ceaseless flow of food recalls, I have become an urban farmer of sorts. I doubt I will be able to sustain completely on my little garden, but I hope to reap it's benefits.

    With no yard to call my own, I have taken over my front walkway balcony. So far I have already harvest cooking herbs but already the spinach is opening and will probably bolt by mid June.

    How did I pick the plants I'm growing? I listen to my wallet. No non-producers in this garden, and only growing heavily used vegetables that usually also carry a heft price tag.

    Currently I made room for the following plants:
    1 Brandywine Tomato ($5.99/lb!!)
    1 Grape Tomato
    9 Asparagus Beans ($4.99/lb!)
    6 Kale
    9 Spinach
    1 Zucchini
    2 Yellow Zucchini Squash
    1 Red Bell Pepper ($1.99 each my butt!)
    1 Yellow Bell Pepper (ditto)
    Thyme
    Basil
    Parsley
    Oregano

    So far I have invested $200 in pots, plants, seeds, soil, and metal rack to terrace and get more light per inch. But removing the one-time start-up investment and looking at only the cost of soil, plants, and seeds I invested in $42.

    Anyone else pursuing this organic stimulus package?
    Last edited by Judith; May 15, 2009 at 10:27pm.
    Trust me, trust me, be a'right,
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    Court Magician Mod-Bot's Avatar
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    Organics do not compute.

  23. #23
    Established 1981 nutnog's Avatar
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    Updated Pictures

    Judith,

    I am excited to see how your balcony turns out. My garden is really taking off. So far I have planted:

    • Cauliflower
    • Rhubarb
    • Snap Peas
    • Bush Beans
    • Onions
    • Dill
    • Rainbow Swiss Chard
    • Elephant Garlic
    • Tomatoes



    Can you keep us posted on your progress? I attached few pictures the progress of my garden so far. Sadly, the roses are not really out in the front or the back:









    Last edited by nutnog; May 16, 2009 at 05:26pm.

  24. #24
    Brassy Baroness
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    Oh WOW! You're stuff is taking off!

    I can't get a decent day of sun here so mines is not nearly as far along as your beds are.
    Trust me, trust me, be a'right,
    Drink a little poison 'for you die,
    Sign' blood or fool night,
    Drink a little poison 'for you die.

  25. #25
    Brassy Baroness
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    Should I move the garden?

    I have a little garden. More about that here.

    It is currently located on my balcony. I live in an apartment on the second floor just outside downtown with no legitimate yard to call my own. Photos below.




    It gets about four hours good light and eight hours florescent light (I have no control over the porch light). I do have some flowers forming so it's going okay here, but the lack of light will reduce my crop of tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. I was thinking of moving it to here.


    However, it's next to two major intersections. I am still in an urban environment. Like I have found bums asleep next to the apartment's mailboxes twice and there was a summer where someone gave a key to the laundry facility to a bum and he was using it to wash his stuff. (Very scary when I found him in there while collecting my stuff.)

    The plants would be out of sight of pass-by pedestrians if on the balcony. However, I would get a much better crop if I place it next the street where the area is not gated (there is a huge walkway just to the left so the fence is ornamental only) meaning anyone could walk up to it and pick them.

    Should I worry about my tomatoes experiencing manifest destiny if I move them from my balcony?
    Trust me, trust me, be a'right,
    Drink a little poison 'for you die,
    Sign' blood or fool night,
    Drink a little poison 'for you die.

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