The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

The community lounge for non-Narnian discussions.

Moderators: stargazer, johobbit

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby fantasia » Mar 15, 2011 9:46 am

It's kind of funny how much gardening stuff is going on in my little world when gardening season hasn't started yet for most people around here.

Good stuff: The peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, celery, and watermelons look awesome!! I need to go take some more pictures to update on here.
All but one of my tomatoes is up now, and I'm hoping within the next couple days the last one I'm waiting on will be up as well.
Also my tomatillos that I had to replant are all up now as well. Yay!
My sister helped me replant the last of the peppers that weren't up yesterday so I'm hoping in the next two weeks those will all be up as well.

Annoying stuff: My pepper plants from last year are still packed full of ants. The Borax sugar solution didn't seem to work too well as it gelled when I put it out in my greenhouse and the ants either didn't seem interested, or got glued to it. So now I've put out a mixture of peanut butter and borax, that seems to be working a lot better. I've found several ants on it and around it.
The other annoying thing is that I'm just having rotten luck with my broccoli and cauliflower. They're all still alive, but I wouldn't say doing well. They just look sick. My sister thought that they're not getting enough sun, but I think they're getting too hot when I do put them out in the sun. At any rate, I'm going to be replanting some in a couple weeks straight outdoors. I figured it's no big deal if we end up with too much broccoli. :P If it all dies, oh well. :P

Kat wrote:My seeds arrived in the mail today!
Hooray!! I'm still waiting on Burpee to send me my onion sets. I'm expecting them any day as they could probably go in the ground now.

Here in two weeks, I'm going to start planting. I've got my potatoes ready to go (we got Yukon Gold, Russets, and a new one, Red La Soda) and I also plant to plant garlic, onions, leafy greens, and brussel sprouts (and probably broccoli and cauliflower again as well :P ). That's all going to be out on the in-law's farm. In my backyard, I think I'll just be planting the leafy greens and onions. :)

Oh, and one last thing, my herb garden is coming back to life. The chives and garlic are up, underneath the straw the oregano and thyme look awesome. Peppermint's coming up, sage is turning green again, and I've got a billion little cilantro coming up as well. Haven't seen any dill yet, but that's sure to be close behind. Also my rhubarb and strawberries are poking up as well.

Spring is here!! I'm so excited!! :D :D :D
User avatar
fantasia
Site Admin
The Watchful Admin
 
Posts: 18760
Joined: Feb 06, 2004
Location: Kansas
Gender: Female

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby fantasia » Mar 21, 2011 8:55 am

Yesterday was the first official day of Spring I believe. Though it almost felt more like summer. ;))

Over the weekend we tilled part of the garden and we'll till more later on, but there's a lovely infestation of quack grass I'm going to be going to war with as soon as it starts greens up. Then I'll finish tilling. :)

We unburied the herbs. They look great. My rhubarb is going bonkers and so are the strawberries.

Of course, this leads to my big concern.... we're still a month out from our last frost date. I'm worried at (as always) we're gonna get hit with a hard frost between now and mid-April and everything will die back off again. :( Most of my stuff will be fine (I can just cover it back up) but the local fruit trees and farmers always get hit hard.
User avatar
fantasia
Site Admin
The Watchful Admin
 
Posts: 18760
Joined: Feb 06, 2004
Location: Kansas
Gender: Female

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Mar 28, 2011 8:53 am

I have a few questions for the gardening experts. I'm trying to decide if I should do a container garden this year. I usually do peppers, tomatoes (I can't remember exactly which kind. I think they have "Girl" or "Boy" in their name), cherry tomatoes (when the plants labeled cherry tomatoes actually produce cherry tomatoes instead of some other kind), and cucumbers. My stuff never grows as big as the labels say they should. The regular tomatoes always end up very small and often have bad spots. The cucumbers are always small and usually bitter (I think I pick them too late). I don't start my own plants; I buy them already started. I live in an apartment building. I have a balcony that gets the morning sun. Several people in my building use their balconies as a place to smoke so during the warmer months the back of the building smells of smoke. So my questions are:
1. Should I even bother with trying to grow things?
2. Any suggestions for me if I do continue to try to grow things?
3. Is there something that it is easier to grow well?
4. Will it hurt the plants to be exposed to cigarette smoke?
Image
Silver Chair Reading Group
NW sister to Movie Aristotle & daughter of the King
User avatar
Pattertwigs Pal
Moderator
Cookie Queen of NarniaWeb
 
Posts: 5212
Joined: May 16, 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Gender: Female

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby stargazer » Mar 28, 2011 9:24 am

Amazing to read of all this green stuff growing when there's still 6 inches of snow outside and more is on the way. ;))

A couple thoughts, Pattertwigs Pal, though they're pretty generic... Tomatoes especially are heat-loving plants, so a western or southern exposure would probably be better for them (though I'm speaking as someone from a cool climate; if you live in the deep South with hot summers, it's probably warm enough). But they love the sunshine, so it's possible they're not getting enough with an eastern exposure. And in my experience, cherry tomatoes might be easier to grow than the regular ones, under these conditions.

Tomatoes also seem to be sensitive to how they're watered...a hot dry spell can make the fruit split open, but too much water isn't good either.

I'm not sure about how harmful the cigarette smoke might be; while it's not good for the plants, the fact that they're outside means a light breeze may help reduce the effect.

Our more-experienced gardeners may have some more-helpful info.
But all night, Aslan and the Moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.
User avatar
stargazer
Moderator
 
Posts: 21938
Joined: Mar 28, 2004
Location: by a campfire

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby fantasia » Mar 30, 2011 7:40 am

@Pattertwigs Pal, Interesting that a lot of the stuff you grow I don't think of as good container gardening plants. ;)) But that's not to say you can't do that. I'd start researching determinate tomato plants. (All that means is that they grow to a certain size, produce once, and then they're usually done. Indeterminate continue to grow and produce until a hard freeze, which is great, but maybe not for a balcony.) Here's an example.

Peppers would be fine in containers.

Cucumbers are another plant that in my experience like to vine and grow all over the place so I'm not sure those are best suited to a balcony either. Maybe they also come in bush form? I'm not sure.

I have a cousin that lives in New York City and she grows leafy greens and some kind of root vegetable in containers (I want to say carrots or beets) and they do very well there.

And as to your last question, here's an article I found on cigarette smoke affecting plants...
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4937678_cigarette-smoke-affect-growth-plants.html

Stargazer wrote:Tomatoes also seem to be sensitive to how they're watered...a hot dry spell can make the fruit split open, but too much water isn't good either.

This is probably what you meant, but usually what happens is it'll be dry, and then we'll get a rain, the plants pull in all that water and the tomatoes burst open. I've been known to run out and pick tomatoes in a rain storm because of this. ;))

So lets see, last weekend I got garlic and 2/3 of my potatoes planted out at the farm (the Russets and Red La Soda) but then a massive cold front rolled in and it was raining ice, so we decided to hold off on getting the Yukons in the ground. :P

I made the mistake of visiting a greenhouse and ended up buy a ton of herbs (I was gonna get those anyways) and a couple Raspberry plants (which I didn't need :P ) because we just haven't had the best luck with fruit and we're trying again.

Aravanna got a job at a greenhouse/nursery and she's currently living with us... she came home with some weird kind of plant water that I guess has bacteria and organisms in it that are supposed to thrive in compost? So all of my plants have been bacteriafied and are supposedly doing even better than they were before.... yeah. ;))

I started the long process of repotting my tomato plants yesterday. @-) I finished 22 of them before I ran out of potting soil. Then I realized I also didn't have enough pots even if I did have more soil. ;)) So there was a trip to Wal-Mart last night to buy a HUGE bag of potting soil and some more pots. ;)) I'm hoping to finish repotting today. :)

Oh, and uh.... my peppers are getting ready to bloom. :-o It's still March..... and literally outside right now it's 36F..... I love my greenhouse. ;))
User avatar
fantasia
Site Admin
The Watchful Admin
 
Posts: 18760
Joined: Feb 06, 2004
Location: Kansas
Gender: Female

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Mar 30, 2011 10:09 am

PP, I know that Burpee sells cucumber bushes, but if you're planting cucumber plants, then you will not have any luck at all. My cucumbers usually start out as seeds, and within five weeks they are ten foot vines. Cucumbers grow FAST!

How big are the pots in which you are planting your tomatoes? A cherry tomato plant will do quite well in a fifty gallon barrel, but could probably get by in a slightly smaller barrel. But tomatoes need a lot of sunlight, so if you're not in a place where they can get a siginificant amount per day (at least seven hours or so), then you're not going to have much luck with them.

One thing that I've heard of appartment dwellers doing, is to get a trellis and put it on one side of their balcony. At the bottom of the trellis, they plant peas, and the peas climb up the trelis. It actually works quite well, because peas don't need quite as much sunlight (and a good dose of heat has always killed mine). So that's an option. Another option is peppers; however, large peppers (like bell peppers) really don't do well in pots. Instead go with smaller peppers, or longer peppers. Hungarian Wax, Banana, Jalapeno: All of these should do well in two-gallon pots.

FK, it looks like you're going to have to self-polinate, as I highly doubt there will be any hymenopteran activity any time soon :P
Member of Ye Olde NarniaWeb
WC: Old Forum: 1024 New Forum: 238
User avatar
DiGoRyKiRkE
Moderator
The Logical Ornithological Mod
 
Posts: 23192
Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Location: Ohio: The Buckeye State
Gender: Male

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby stargazer » Mar 30, 2011 12:02 pm

This is probably what you meant, but usually what happens is it'll be dry, and then we'll get a rain, the plants pull in all that water and the tomatoes burst open. I've been known to run out and pick tomatoes in a rain storm because of this.


Aye, that's the ticket. We also discovered that same effect if they're over-watered 'artificially' during a hot, dry spell.

Several people I know tried those topsy-turvy hanging tomato plants you may have seen advertised, with mixed results. One offered few tomatoes, but the plants were in a place with too much shade. Another had pretty good luck with them. Those might be another option if your space is limited.

Other options might be to try growing carrots or herbs.
But all night, Aslan and the Moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.
User avatar
stargazer
Moderator
 
Posts: 21938
Joined: Mar 28, 2004
Location: by a campfire

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby fantasia » Apr 04, 2011 6:07 am

Wooooo.... got a TON of stuff done this weekend.

At my house I got my brand new Montmorency Cherry Tree planted along with my three new Nanking Cherry Bushes. :)

I'm on hold doing anything in the garden until the evil Quack Grass of doom (knoxious weed) wakes up enough to where I can really hit it hard with some Round up and kill it off. It's literally choking out my entire backyard. No point in planting stuff until it's gone.

But the vast majority of stuff took place out at my in-law's farm this weekend. Here's what we got done.

~All of the potatoes are planted.
~Green onions are planted.
~My dad had some leftover sweet red onions that we planted out there.
~Spring Turnips planted.
~Radishes are planted.
~Loose leaf lettuce is planted.
~Spinach is planted.
~The existing fruit trees out at the farm had gone wild with no pruning whatsoever. We pruned them back as much as we felt comfortable doing in the spring. This fall, we're going to hit them hard.
~Same with the existing grape vines.
~Planted the other Montmorency cherry tree as well as two Liberty apple trees.

I do have to say I am a teeny tiny bit worried about the trees and whatnot around here. Yesterday afternoon we set a new record high of 94F and then a massive cold front came through (complete with crazy storms and 40+mph wind gusts) and it's supposed to hit freezing tonight. Spring in Kansas is something else.
User avatar
fantasia
Site Admin
The Watchful Admin
 
Posts: 18760
Joined: Feb 06, 2004
Location: Kansas
Gender: Female

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby fantasia » Apr 18, 2011 10:48 am

Ok, gardening updates. I had a little aphid problem in my greenhouse. I bought a bag of 2000 ladybugs and released them inside.

Image

Aphid extermination took place shortly thereafter. Seriously, I'm not finding very many now whereas before there were colonies of them on my peppers. :D I'm really excited about how well that worked. I'm definitely going to keep it in mind for the future.

My herb garden looks great (I don't have a picture right now). The oregano, thyme, and tarragon have really taken off. I got my two parsley plants in the ground. My rosemary (which I've always had horrid luck with) has been moved to a pot so we'll see if it can thrive a little more this year. The only thing left to do now in that area is plant the basil, but I haven't decided quite where I want it yet.

I got my onions in the ground. Hopefully they're doing well.

My broccoli and cauliflower finally ate it so I've put them out of their misery. I'll buy some healthy stalks from greenhouses from now on since I sure can't seem to get them going from seed. On the other hand, now I've put the celery in the greenhouse and it looks really good. :)

Nearly all of my peppers and tomatoes are blooming. ;)) Two of my pepper plants from last year that I wintered over are already growing new peppers.

Oh, we discovered that two of the blueberry plants from last year had survived much to our surprise so I dug those up and potted them as well. :)

The only really bad thing going on right now is that we're having a drought. Need some serious spring thunderstorms to come rolling through!
User avatar
fantasia
Site Admin
The Watchful Admin
 
Posts: 18760
Joined: Feb 06, 2004
Location: Kansas
Gender: Female

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby starkat » Apr 26, 2011 11:40 am

I need to take more pics, but I repotted my roma tomato plants today and went ahead and added a stake. They are a good 12+ inches tall now. My heirloom plant had a mishap yesterday and I went out to find it with the stalk severed. I put it in water over night and tried potting it today. We'll see what happens to it. The stalk didn't wither overnight and the lower leaves looked a bit perkier. It has a couple of small roots still attached. It was close to 14 inches before it wilted on top.

I replanted my third pot and have some cherry tomato plants started. I'll replant one of those and another heirloom plant when they get a little bigger.
User avatar
starkat
Moderator
 
Posts: 18788
Joined: Feb 26, 2004

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Apr 26, 2011 2:07 pm

Sounds like everything is going great there, FK! If it ever stops raining, I might be able to get things into our rather muddy garden 8-|

Aphids can be a pain. Did you know that female aphids are born pregnant?!?! That's why they reproduce so quickly (or rather is a contributing factor ;)) )
Member of Ye Olde NarniaWeb
WC: Old Forum: 1024 New Forum: 238
User avatar
DiGoRyKiRkE
Moderator
The Logical Ornithological Mod
 
Posts: 23192
Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Location: Ohio: The Buckeye State
Gender: Male

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby starkat » Apr 30, 2011 7:25 pm

Here are a couple of pics from my tomato plants. The one with limited leaves is the one that got damaged a week ago or so.

Image
Image


I don't have a clue what's wrong with this plant. I'm thinking that I may have overwatered. I watered yesterday and I'm waiting until tomorrow to water again. With the repotting, I wasn't sure how much to water and for how long. If there's something else wrong, could you let me know and what to do to try to fix it?

Image
User avatar
starkat
Moderator
 
Posts: 18788
Joined: Feb 26, 2004

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 01, 2011 5:29 pm

It looks like that one mich have a leaf blight. Mine get this on occasion. That branch looks like it's going to be a sucker branch any ways, and so I don't think it would be terrible if you broke it off. If this blight is on the entire plant, then you obviously cannot do this.

I don't know. . . I don't have a ton of experience with plant sickness ;))
Member of Ye Olde NarniaWeb
WC: Old Forum: 1024 New Forum: 238
User avatar
DiGoRyKiRkE
Moderator
The Logical Ornithological Mod
 
Posts: 23192
Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Location: Ohio: The Buckeye State
Gender: Male

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby starkat » May 01, 2011 7:28 pm

So maybe some fertilizer and some bug spray? *forgot the appropriate name for that stuff* I was thinking aiming the bug spray at the dirt and not the leaves. Could it be a symptom of the transplanting? Shock or something?
User avatar
starkat
Moderator
 
Posts: 18788
Joined: Feb 26, 2004

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby Aslanisthebest » May 01, 2011 8:38 pm

I was wondering and wanted to ask y'all, how reliable are those Buzzy Seeds instant-plant things, with the dried dirt and everything in the pot, for flowers? For vegetables, so far my experience with them has been on the more negative sides, but I noticed they have Marigolds, Sunflowers, and those other pink flowers whose name I can't recall presently... Help would be appreciated! (and tips on planting and keeping flowers, since my method has been plant, water, watch grow... :P )
Image
RL Sibling: CSLewisNarnia
User avatar
Aslanisthebest
Moderator Emeritus
 
Posts: 5623
Joined: May 18, 2008
Location: Here

Re: The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 02, 2011 5:01 am

Kat, that sounds like as good a plan as any.

AITB: I wouldn't give them much of a chance. Some of the flowers will come up from those things, but it will take a lot of time, and the results won't be spectacular. You'd be much better to buy some annuals from your local garden store. ;)
Member of Ye Olde NarniaWeb
WC: Old Forum: 1024 New Forum: 238
User avatar
DiGoRyKiRkE
Moderator
The Logical Ornithological Mod
 
Posts: 23192
Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Location: Ohio: The Buckeye State
Gender: Male

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron