1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Official TEG Poll: What is your garden style?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Canning Question - Featured Thread
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  4. TEG Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice

Chronicles of a Noob Garden and Gardener

Discussion in 'About Me & My Garden' started by Ben E Lou, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Feb 17, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    5,668
    Likes Received:
    2,960
    Trophy Points:
    367
    Location:
    East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
    I have a metal shelf unit in my basement with grow lights and right now, Two heat mats. I am a cheapskate and will wait until they clearance heat mats to buy any more. They seem to be safe this growing season from the "giant kittens who trash the house."
    I think we need to study up on the climates where our vegetables grow naturally. You know that tomatoes are from Central America. The tomato seeds are just so hardy that it seems like every one of them germinates if you buy good seed. In the north I always get volunteers, but they are definitely NOT perennials! I also am racing for that possible June fruit...we will see and I will celebrate and report if THAT happens!!!
    As you know I have sown sugar snap peas, lettuce (with the marigolds that will be put out in the bed with them), spinach and onions are ALL on my cold, unheated but glassed in and east facing porch. I check every few days to make sure that the packaging (since I am repurposing food clam shells, etc.) to grow them in, so that they don't dry out or rot the seeds. I have a thermometer on the wall and it is always 10 degrees warmer than outside AND they sit on a south sill in full sun/light. At some point it should be warm enough for sprouting and I didn't have to work the soil and then wonder if I was freezing them out.
    NOTE: I put the seeds in the starter soil and then Directly out on the porch.
    I started some parsley inside, put it on the porch during a warm spell, then brought them into the kitchen windowsill when it was dipping down to 10 degrees F outside. They are doing great on the kitchen windowsill, but you should realize that they will sprout/grow with the cool weather vegetables.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
    flowerbug likes this.
  2. Feb 17, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    5,668
    Likes Received:
    2,960
    Trophy Points:
    367
    Location:
    East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
    I have had little success starting ANYTHING on top of my fridge, so I transplanted two babies from my old aloe plant there instead. I also had success starting some crocus--funny, I had them in a pot that totally dried out in a bedroom. When I was running my hands through the soil I found about 7 bulbs, big and baby sized, and they All sprouted on top of the fridge. They were in a pretty pot, so I gave them to my DD to add to her north facing window ledge in her office. She will have blooms a month early than any outside, so it was worth it, since we KNOW that they will reproduce.
    The purchased rosemary plant is upstairs with the bargain mums in my office. My old house 2nd floor is downright cold, but it ISN'T frozen, and the rosemary can sit in it's pot until May, when I transplant it.
    With plants (and animals) that advice on what "they will TOLERATE" shouldn't really be followed bc it limits out success.
    Just some of my thoughts...and the 2 cents that they are worth.
     
    flowerbug likes this.
  3. Feb 18, 2019
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Messages:
    19,130
    Likes Received:
    8,305
    Trophy Points:
    457
    Location:
    border, ID/WA(!)
    That might have been me. Once the seedlings are out in that sunny South Window of the greenhouse, and if several weeks have passed and their water need has increased, I can respond with less than the attention required.

    Leggy tomatoes on a warm spring day can get in trouble. digitS', their nursemaid, may shed tears of guilt and future generations may benefit but they needed fresh water, hours earlier.

    Different species have, somewhat, different needs. Usually, it's a long run situation for any apparent differences between varieties. Bullet-proof can't be an adjective for the young of anything I can think of.

    Steve
     
    ducks4you likes this.
  4. Mar 24, 2019
    Ben E Lou

    Ben E Lou Garden Ornament

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    381
    Trophy Points:
    97
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC (7b)
    It has been a while since I've posted, but that's not for lack of gardening activity. To the contrary, the issue has been that much of my free time has been taken up by doing actual gardening stuff. The highlights from the last month-ish. (Pics in the next post).
    • The tomatoes have germinated and grown so well to date that I needed to thin many of the peat cells. I gave away 16-20 seedlings to friends/neighbors. I wish I could have given away more, but the rest were in cells so close together that I was afraid to try to pull hem apart. I'm now left with 32. (Yeah, too many!) I have 10 different varieties, so I chose the healthiest-looking one from each variety yesterday and moved those into large (4 and 5 inch) peat pots to eventually be placed in my garden. I intend to grow 3 chandlers, and then 1 each of the others, so I still need to pick out two more chandlers. Unless something goes badly with the ones in the peat pots, the ones remaining in the cells will be given away or maybe even sold.
    • The sweet basil---from the 2018 seed packets I bought for 25 cents each--is also going gangbusters. I need a lot of it--some for my wife's herb garden, and some as companions in the main garden.
    • Marigolds are looking strong as well.
    • I'm out of space in my little greenhouse! For example, I have a 36-cell Jiffy tray with the large peat pellets in it housing 20 marigolds and 16 bell peppers. I'm doubting I can keep them in such small cells for another 2-3 weeks until our last frost. (Avg = 4/15.) If I get lucky, it's possible that it could be this coming Wednesday, though, more later. But if I need to keep them away from outside until mid-April, I hope the roots have enough room. The greenhouse has four shelves, each the size to hold two seed trays, but one slot on the bottom is taken by the space heater. One option, since it's not looking like we're going to get below 30ish outside, would be to remove the space heater and free up another space, but I'm leaning more toward just bringing the tomatoes inside at night, since they wouldn't like the non-heated greenhouse, which I'd think would fall to 40ish degrees on our colder nights.
    • I think I over-watered my viola seedlings. Most of them are dead. :( I got some more and intend to start those soon, but again, no room in the greenhouse!
    • Speaking of viola and other cool-season stuff planted early, much of it hasn't done all that well, and I strongly suspect that it's from a combination of over-watering and exposing them to too much cold too early. I assumed that since they were cool-season, I could just leave the seedlings outside as long as they didn't freeze. The good news is that it has been a learning experience, and the second round of planting the cool-season veggies went MUCH better. Prior to this season, I'd never done the seedlings/transplant thing, and had never planted anything before the last frost. What little gardening I'd done had been seeds or store-bought transplants put in the ground after the threat of frost was over. The struggles with the cool-season stuff taught me a lot, and I strongly suspect helped set me up for success with the tomatoes, marigolds, bell peppers, basil, and future-planted stuff.
    • I bought this raised bed kit, and intend to use it primarily for strawberries. I tilled the ground under it, laid down cardboard boxes, wet them thoroughly, and filled it with a combination of cheap topsoil, miracle gro all-purpose, and Member's Mark potting soil.
    • Not surprisingly, when you think about it, the cool-season stuff in my kids' gardens is outperforming the same stuff in the main one. The main area is a combination of crappy native soil, my homemade compost, and the amendments I added last year. Their raised beds are 100% store-bought good stuff--a combination of Miracle Gro all-purpose, Miracle Gro raised bed soil, black kow compost, and mushroom compost. And underneath that, I tilled and they put down newspaper, so I'm sure the worms have come out to play down there. The broccoli in my youngest's garden, for example, was transplanted to both places on the same day, from seedlings that had germinated on the same day. Hers is now close to 1.5 times the size of that in the main garden.
     
  5. Mar 24, 2019
    Ben E Lou

    Ben E Lou Garden Ornament

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    381
    Trophy Points:
    97
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC (7b)
    7F43A542-F401-4134-86EA-6355C8941D5E.jpeg
    My eldest (age 9) transplanting spinach into her garden. She LOVES lightly
    sauteed spinach.


    9DDE31A5-E14B-4C98-8E0B-F2BFE69887C1.jpeg The tomatoes before thinning/transplanting.


    62F152E3-7DDD-4F1A-8AE0-4A981E57335A.jpeg Tomatoes and basil enjoying a 65 degree afternoon. I've been doing a slow hardening off. (Not sure it's necessary with them being in the greenhouse, but why not?) It has been 55 or higher just about every day for a week or two here, so I have been increasing their direct sun exposure by 30 minutes a day. They were outside for four hours yesterday.

    A140DBF5-F6FC-4FFA-A7E5-C42C32516D77.jpeg Before doing the work on the strawberry raised bed.


    6CAFA763-6C48-4DB0-9CB7-FF433C9C079C.jpeg The 10 best tomatoes yesterday, immediately after transplanting.

    230E7E9F-CECB-4969-96EF-4CD125AB801D.jpeg Finished product of strawberry raised bed, yesterday evening, pic taken from the deck.

    18AAAB82-D569-4549-88F8-A1888F9EBC19.jpeg Strawberry raised bed, taken from the yard, this morning with frost on it. I'll probably put the strawberries in the ground later this week, as it looks like we're about to have at least 7-10 consecutive frost-free days after Wednesday morning.

    32560432-B629-49FA-BFE1-CCCBBB8AB375.jpeg Broccoli growing in my youngest's garden.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  6. Mar 24, 2019
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    7,791
    Likes Received:
    5,783
    Trophy Points:
    397
    Location:
    NE IN
    Great job. Want to start my plants? Are your assistants for hire?
     
    ducks4you, flowerbug and so lucky like this.
  7. Mar 24, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,862
    Likes Received:
    15,525
    Trophy Points:
    437
    Location:
    North Idaho 48th parallel
    It's great to see your kids interest in growing, these are going to be the sweetest memories.

    Frost cloth can extend your early start season, and also the later stuff that's still growing when frost threatens in the fall. I use it to get a jump start in the spring when our temps are still too cool for warmer season plants to put out much growth. It's fairly inexpensive and can be used for several seasons.
     
    ducks4you and flowerbug like this.
  8. Mar 24, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    13,265
    Likes Received:
    15,113
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    Southeast Texas
    Your kids will be so excited to pick and eat garden goodies. Especially their own from their garden!

    Everything is looking good. I bet you can't wait to bite into that first ripe tomato! It will ruin you for ever buying a "store bought" tomato again.
     
    ducks4you, flowerbug and Rhodie Ranch like this.
  9. Mar 24, 2019
    AMKuska

    AMKuska Garden Addicted

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Location:
    Washington
    Wonderful to hear from you. It looks like everything is going great!
     
    ducks4you and flowerbug like this.
  10. Mar 25, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    5,147
    Likes Received:
    3,971
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Location:
    mid-Michigan, USoA
    looks good to me! i would not be surprised by sandy soil or lawn converted to gardens being poor for a few years until you get it amended and the soil critters settle in and get used to the new conditions.

    in the gardens here the trend can be slow but it is in the right direction - i have to pick which gardens get the most amending each spring and then they won't get any more for a few years other than whatever odd bits of organic materials i can scrounge up or harvest. this is ok as you can rotate plant through an amended space for a few years and be ok. not all plant families need a high input to begin with.
     
    ducks4you likes this.

Share This Page