Gardening 2012

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washington state, zone 8, where the blackberries will someday rule when us pesky humans are gone

i'm trying salmonberries alongside my raspberries this year

toandos, Sunday, 25 March 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

We (and by "we" I mean Mr. Jaq) spent several hours today ripping out the blackberries that were taking over the side of the house. They're definitely pernicious - come up out of nowhere in the middle of the yard, drill into the concrete blocks of the foundation, wedge their way into the siding of the house. I do keep thinking about planting raspberries and marionberries along the back fence though.

Jaq, Sunday, 25 March 2012 23:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Time to think about some autumn/winter planting here! Rocket, spinach, and bok choy are up for starters.

zooey bechamel (Trayce), Monday, 26 March 2012 00:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

I also spent a chunk of today digging up brambles (that predate our moving-in) and can't imagine ever intentionally inviting them into the garden.

James Bond Jor (seandalai), Monday, 26 March 2012 00:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

I've tried growing dill a few times in past years and gotten nowhere, but my daughter is in charge of the garden this year and the dill she planted looks great. Anybody have any tips on how to keep it productively producing leaves/fronds and not bolting? Just pinch the blooms out, as with basil?

Biff Wellington (WmC), Tuesday, 12 June 2012 17:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

so lately my dad has taken to saving all our dishwater for watering our vegetable garden with.

my concern: all the fat, oil, sugar, salt, etc. will have bad effects on the plants

yay? nay?

Faith in Humanity: Restored (dayo), Sunday, 24 June 2012 19:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

WmC: I have read you're supposed to keep the plants small, mine usually end up running to seed when I go off dill for a few weeks.
dayo: as long as it's not too soapy or too salty it might be ok. Maybe the water contains lots of nutrients from the food?

recordbreaking transfer to Lucknow FC (seandalai), Sunday, 24 June 2012 19:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

The salt can, and oil if there's a whole lot of it, but the rest won't really. What it can do is attract lots of things you don't want in your garden, especially if the fat and oil go rancid and start to stink.

Jaq, Sunday, 24 June 2012 19:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd say nay, but the rinse water would be OK.

nickn, Sunday, 24 June 2012 20:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

I have fungus gnats on my herb plants. FUNGUS GNATS! Gross. What do I do?

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Burn them down and salt the earth.

check the name, no caps, boom, i'm (Laurel), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hard to get rid of them once you get them tbh. I take it your herbs are indoors? They don't do any harm, but it's not great having a room full of flies. I always start off my seeds by the window in the bedroom and inevitably these guys show up and I get into trouble for bringing down pestilence upon the house.

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

More seriously...spray them with vinegar? Will that hurt the plants? I don't know. :(

check the name, no caps, boom, i'm (Laurel), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

:(

Yeah, they're indoors. I was perplexed by the fruitflies that seemed to come out of nowhere until I googled it and realized they aren't fruitflies at all. I'm sad because the herbs are doing really well but, like you said, it's not great having a bunch of flies hanging around. I just read something about putting a thin layer of sand on top of the soil to discourage them from breeding in the soil (again, gross) and I happen to have some sand at home from something else so I may try that. It sucks though.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hmmm vinegar? I'm gonna do some more googling. I love the fresh herbs so much but these pesky flies are bumming me out.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Apple cider vin will actually attract the files, maybe no dice. But there must be something that will make them not like it there.

check the name, no caps, boom, i'm (Laurel), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nooooooooo on the vinegar! Neem oil may do the trick, but not good if you're going to be eating the herbs :(

quincie, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

"To make FG larvae go away pour a generous layer of sand on top of the soil and cover with cedar mulch. FGs are attracted to the top layer of wet soil. Because sand drains quickly, adults are confused by the new dry top layer of soil, even though your plant is good watered. The cedar mulch is ornamental and most insects hate the smell."

I don't have any cedar mulch but I'm going to see what the sand accomplishes.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

I tried putting sand over the soil last year and it didn't really help much at all :(

Think you'll probably have to throw out the pots and start again if you really want to get rid of them. Or put the pots outside if you're able where the flies won't be a problem. I *think* that what encourages them in the first place is if you keep the soil too wet cos they really seem to love those moist conditions.

xps

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

I tried putting sand over the soil last year and it didn't really help much at all

Maybe I was doing it wrong though, so might be worth a shot.

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh, bummer. We'll see. If it doesn't work I may just put them outside and see how they fare there. Starting all over again wouldn't be the end of the world, just a bit sad.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

Putting them outside means natural predators should keep them in check!

quincie, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

Terrible year, crop-wise. Even the runner bean plants - only planted because they always grow well, rather than particularly liking them - have been demolished by slugs. Was going to buy some Nemaslug but notice it has sold out everywhere ...

djh, Sunday, 5 August 2012 16:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

Did one dose of Nemaslug a few weeks ago but the bastards are still around.

Peas have worked ok, beans under combined slug/earwig attack and still not flowering, courgettes starting to crop, potatoes not all dead, beetroot and salady stuff more or less ok, tomato plants coming along slowly but surely (I hope).

recordbreaking transfer to Lucknow FC (seandalai), Sunday, 5 August 2012 17:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

I gave up on the watering early on, thus bad year for my veggie patch as well. I did pick a few carrots today.

quincie, Sunday, 5 August 2012 17:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

my french beans were looking great, then we had all that rain and they just totally vanished. three whole wigwams worth! thank you sluggy dudes. they've been so prolific that they ate all the foliage of my new potatoes. when i got round to digging them up, i ended up with fewer spuds than i originally planted. this is unheard of cos normally i get buckets full of the things. my maincrop are still hanging in there though, so all is not lost.

what has been thriving in the wet are salad leaves. mostly grow these under nets which exclude most of our gastropod friends, so have been getting bags of rocket, mizuna, lettuce, chard etc. have been picking loads of raspberries for weeks too, but have to go for these every other evening or else the snails find them or they start going mildewy in the humid conditions. just started getting blackberries from the hedges round the site and it looks like anaazing yer for them. on the other hand strawberries, cherries, plums, apples and pears have all been. complete wash out - i think the problem was either bumper crops last year sapping their energy or all that shitty weather kicking in round about pollination time.

anyhow, goes to show how important a diversity of crops is, seriously don't know how farmers relying on just a few different maincrops are surviving this year

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Sunday, 5 August 2012 17:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

ipad fucking with my sentence construction there

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Sunday, 5 August 2012 17:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

Don't think the blackberries are there yet around our way but I'll have a look this evening. Meant to do something with elderflowers when they were out but in the end we were too lazy/distracted - bring on the elderberries.

recordbreaking transfer to Lucknow FC (seandalai), Sunday, 5 August 2012 17:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

we're probably a bir earlier than most of the country here, but def worth a check. getting fat on blackberry crumble already

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Sunday, 5 August 2012 17:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, actually rocket and raspberries are fine although even the latter are attracting snails. Have managed to grow two courgettes (protected by copper tape).

djh, Sunday, 5 August 2012 19:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

bravo! don't eat them all at once. have only just got around to planting mine out, fingers crossed they're still there

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Sunday, 5 August 2012 19:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

i must confess, i *will* feel under pressure to enjoy them, the effort that has gone into growing them (and the frustration at all the plants that have been eaten this year).

i'd managed to keep the raised beds relatively slug free (with copper tape all the way round) but i've been a bit half-hearted this year and didn't repair the gaps/torn pieces.

djh, Monday, 6 August 2012 18:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

The heat got to most of our stuff except for the cherry tomatoes...we have cherry tomatoes overrunning the kitchen. Running the cucumbers up trellises instead of on the ground was a big success.

I focus on vegetables mostly but I do want to say how beautiful our hibiscuses have been. They're really enjoying the heat and humidity after a bit of transplant shock. Huge yellow blooms with crimson centers, and lately there have been 5-6 new flowers per day on each plant. I may plant more than 2 next spring, because they are a color riot all summer long.

Your sweet bippy is going to hell (WmC), Tuesday, 7 August 2012 02:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

Have never had any success at growing cucumbers outdoors...been thinking I won't bother next year.

Cong rat ululations (seandalai), Tuesday, 7 August 2012 02:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Our compost bin is nasty due to a lack of regular turning and lack of leaves and lawn clippings, so I'm going to take a different tack: vermiculture. Bins have been acquired, just need to find a bait shop that sells Red Wigglers. (Or mail-order a pound.)

How's My Modding? Call 1-800-SBU-RSELF (WmC), Monday, 3 September 2012 20:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

I've had excellent luck buying them online. You can even buy them from Amazon now.

Jaq, Monday, 3 September 2012 20:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

In totally neglected garden news - I spotted a very large tarragon plant in the weedhaven of my sadly abandoned hay bale garden. Also, 2 chard plants.

Jaq, Monday, 3 September 2012 21:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

The first time I tried to grow cukes: great success under seemingly unpromising conditions. When I tried to grow cukes under seemingly promising conditions: great failure.

See also: eggplant

quincie, Tuesday, 4 September 2012 01:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm about to pull up my bolted winter crops and start some seedling pots for spring/summer. now, how do I prep/treat the strip of soil meantime to kill the damn weeds?its like the whole soil patch is full of weedseed. sick of pulling em up!!!

frances boredom coconut (Trayce), Tuesday, 4 September 2012 02:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hand weed and heavily mulch is what I do. There are chemical options, but they only kill exiting weeds and won't prevent new ones from springing up. If you mulch heavily enough, any weeds that make it through will be easy to pull out. Some people do the black plastic, heat-the-hell-out-the-soil method, but I think that is too disruptive to a good soil ecosystem.

quincie, Tuesday, 4 September 2012 14:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

USS Shitpile* has been christened and launched...I think the main learning curve is keeping the moisture levels right -- not too soupy, not too dry. It looked right this morning, but I noticed there hasn't been any "worm tea" runoff in the lower bin, so got my hands into the pile up to my forearms and realized there were pockets of dry grass clippings, so I've added water and tried to mix it all up better. The worms seem happy and active enough.

*No actual manure, I just liked the name.

Irwin Dante's Towering Inferno (WmC), Sunday, 16 September 2012 17:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

I use a short pitchforky thing to stir mine up, no way do I stick my arms in there! If mine gets too wet, all the worms decide to leave en-mass. Which was freaky when we had the bin inside the apartment! I mix in some aspen shavings every so often in addition to newspaper (as little color ink as possible, no shiny coated magazines). Egg shells are also U&K to keep things from getting too acid.

Jaq, Sunday, 16 September 2012 17:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

What's worth putting in a garden/raised beds at the moment? (UK)

djh, Sunday, 16 September 2012 20:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Cabbages and their cousins? I wonder if it would be possible to get mustard, collard and turnip green seeds over there. Mustard greens are the best and would surprise the hell out of any UK palate.

Irwin Dante's Towering Inferno (WmC), Sunday, 16 September 2012 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, now is a great time to sow lots of winter salads like rocket, red mustard, mizuna and other oriental greens, kale, winter spinach, swiss chard. I always do this under a net to keep the frost and the pigeons off. Might be slow in getting going and when the weather cools right off, but they'll all grow like crazy when spring comes round.

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Sunday, 16 September 2012 23:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Also you can start sowing broad beans in a couple of months.

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Sunday, 16 September 2012 23:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

Looks like I added a little too much water to the worm bin -- some of them, not all of them, are climbing the sides of the bin. Jaq, should I add some dry stuff, or just leave them alone and let the bin dry out on its own?

Irwin Dante's Towering Inferno (WmC), Sunday, 16 September 2012 23:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

They like a damp sponge level of wet - you might toss some grass clippings or shredded paper in there to soak up some of the extra. I just shred paper in a layer on top - a couple of inches deep - then lay a full sheet of newsprint over that before I put the lid on.

Jaq, Sunday, 16 September 2012 23:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

These little dudes are loving their new home. The ones I bought must have been weanlings, because they've gotten a lot bigger in the last eight days. By next spring, I'm going to have buckets full of castings and such for the raised beds.

The Jesus and Mary Lizard (WmC), Tuesday, 25 September 2012 03:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

Gutted about this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/allotment/2012/oct/05/allotments-gardens
"After five years, Allan Jenkins and Howard Sooley bring the Observer Organic Allotment Blog to a gentle close ..." My main source of gardening information.

djh, Saturday, 6 October 2012 10:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

Worm bin is smelling a bit fecal, and it's still too wet, but there are a lot of healthy active wigglers in there. When I mix the pile, I usually find them paired off, giving each other special adult hugs.

WmC, Tuesday, 9 October 2012 21:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

I'd go for the second one because sweet peas and iceland poppies. Don't know if those are worth the extra price though!

Jaq, Wednesday, 16 January 2013 22:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

Does anyone want to get any seeds from Tomatofest? I want to get some Boxcar Willie seeds, but that's only $3 and they have a $15 minimum order. I can place the order and send the seeds along, you can Paypal me your part of the cost.

Thought about starting a 2013 thread the other day, but I didn't have any updates other than "my worms are happy."

Jah Creature (WilliamC), Thursday, 17 January 2013 00:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

PS, Tomatofest has extended their annual seed sale until the 21st.

Jah Creature (WilliamC), Thursday, 17 January 2013 00:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

I'd probably be interested

乒乓, Thursday, 17 January 2013 00:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

I'm super bummed that I will not have a real gardening season this year due to decamping to the Mexican desert--I won't even have time to get a crop of greens or peas or radishes to harvest before leaving :(

I have no idea what, if any, garden setup I'll have south of the border, but I figure at the very least I can try my hand with container-grown stuff. And hey, cactus.

quincie, Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

Bump for tomato seeds -- anyone else want to go in on an order?

Jah Creature (WilliamC), Friday, 18 January 2013 14:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

(multiple x-post)

No, Jaq, I don't really think I can bring myself to spend that much ... Usually just grow veg but the garden could do with a bit of a lift.

djh, Saturday, 19 January 2013 19:58 (1 year ago) Permalink


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