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~* April 2011 Food Growing Mamas*~ - Page 2

post #21 of 76
I am in the deep South, so on a way different schedule than most. Right now I have tomatoes, beans, and peppers just starting to fruit, potatoes in full leaf, and my first summer squash almost ready. I still have some kale hanging on from winter. At this time of year it doesn't rain much here, and I have to water daily. It can already get quite hot. Spring is high-maintenance here, but if we're lucky we'll get some good veg in before the summer just gets too hot and buggy. By August I am usually just growing black-eyed peas and maybe some straggling tomatoes and peppers.
post #22 of 76
Quote:
I have not put in a pile because I don't want to attract any more rattus rattus than I already have, but for all I know they're not even interested in compost. Any idea?

Oh no--they like compost, sad to say. Ask me how I know. wink1.gif You need a tumbler or something with a closed bottom.

Speaking of compost, I bought a compost aerator from Gardener's Supply Co and I am SO geeked out on it. We have always had issues with our compost taking forever to rot and being stinky. Upping the brown matter helped some, but not enough. The aerator is making a HUGE difference. The composts actually steams when I turn it with it. I can tell it's breaking down MUCH faster,
post #23 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post

Quote:
I have not put in a pile because I don't want to attract any more rattus rattus than I already have, but for all I know they're not even interested in compost. Any idea?

Oh no--they like compost, sad to say. Ask me how I know. wink1.gif You need a tumbler or something with a closed bottom.

Speaking of compost, I bought a compost aerator from Gardener's Supply Co and I am SO geeked out on it. We have always had issues with our compost taking forever to rot and being stinky. Upping the brown matter helped some, but not enough. The aerator is making a HUGE difference. The composts actually steams when I turn it with it. I can tell it's breaking down MUCH faster,

Haha, do I really want to know how you know? We did go with a tumbler composter and put it together today. It took forever to assemble (and required a drill...which we did not possess..but we do now!) and now its in place a ready to fill. I love the fact that I can now look out the kitchen window and see our cool new garden toy.

I also repotted all the baby tomatoes into dixie cups and planted the best looking of 'em into the ground. Those snails better leave them alone or I'll have a fit! So its officially garden season here...the-tomatoes-have-been-planted! But I have soooooooo many extras. So many lol.gif. Any local folks need some nice heirloom tomatoes??

And of course a fitting end to the day...my cat leaping the back fence with a mouth full of live mouse. Ugggg...stay out of my composter mouse. And don't tell your rat friends about it either!
post #24 of 76
Question for someone with chives experience. I have had chives come in a couple years now, and I never let them flower (I chop and eat everything that comes up!). If I let it flower, will it grow as vigorously this season? Or more? I'm clueless.
post #25 of 76

RosieL, the flowers won't hurt your plants. And you can eat them! Your chives will self seed if you let the flowers mature. I usually let them mature and pick the flower heads off before they drop seed so I can save the seed and give it away or plant it exactly where I want it to grow.

post #26 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieL View Post

Question for someone with chives experience. I have had chives come in a couple years now, and I never let them flower (I chop and eat everything that comes up!). If I let it flower, will it grow as vigorously this season? Or more? I'm clueless.

If you let them flower and dry up, you'll have chive seeds for years.  Which isn't a bad thing.  Or if you accidentally knock over a seed head, you'll have chives coming out of your ears nearby there.  I probably had several hundred little chive seedlings last year that I thought were grass until I took a closer look.  Heh.  Anyway, when they set seed they concentrate on that so you won't be getting as many fresh cuttings, but even here in my chilly zone 5 my chives start sending up new shoots by the end of the season so I can start grabbing little cuttings when I want.  My chives have always grown vigorously - they don't know any different.  I've hacked them up and dug them up to transplant or divide and give to folks, and oof.  I started off with one little 4" pot, and now have at least a dozen plants almost a square foot big scattered around the yard.  I like hard-to-kill plants.  :D

post #27 of 76

Thanks shaywyn and lmonter! I appreciate the advice. I will collect seeds this year I think. I was scared to reduce production in my little herb barrel right outside my kitchen. 

post #28 of 76
Thread Starter 

I've been planting away, tomatoes, basil and onions are coming up so far.  I just was in the garden thinning my cold crops and I'm going to seed some more this afternoon, everything is coming up, though I'm sad only 2 or 3 snap peas have come up, I think the birds had something to do with that.  So nice to be outside.

post #29 of 76
I planted my basil and tomato starts this week, and the garden is starting to actually look like a garden. The sunflowers are also starting to come up and have not yet been discovered by the snails (dare I hope they won't be?). We had lovely sunflowers last year, and I used seeds I saved from those guys so I am glad to see them starting to sprout.

On the down side I just got notice from my landlord that they are planning to spray insecticide all over my yard. Basically on everything green. I'm so mad right now I'm shaking.
post #30 of 76
Jumping in to gardening via containers... Hoping we can get some good results despite what's likely a late start (we're near Houston, so it's already in the 80s during the day). I need to go get more pots to get going. So far, strawberries are potted and everything else (all starts) is waiting for their permanent homes. I really hope this is a successful venture! fingersx.gif
post #31 of 76

That's a bummer, Chamomile.  I kind of know how you feel.  Today I noticed that the farmer was spraying his crops behind my new house.  It wouldn't have been such a big deal, but it is *really* windy today.  I rushed DS and the dog back into the house.  I'm glad we have some trees and brush between the crops and our property so it's not so bad. 

 

I knocked a couple of my plants off the table this week because I have terrible depth perception with this giant pregnant belly.  I didn't manage to kill anything though.  Yay!  I just made a big mess all over the floor.  Oops. 

 

My old neighbor is borrowing my tiller for the next two weeks or so.  I wish I would have told her to get it back to me sooner.  Our dirt here is so compact that even after the first tilling it won't work well.  We have to add in last year's compost (after we haul it from the old house- fun!) and till it again soon.  I have broccoli and peas that need to go out...stat!

post #32 of 76
Quote:
The sunflowers are also starting to come up and have not yet been discovered by the snails (dare I hope they won't be?). We had lovely sunflowers last year, and I used seeds I saved from those guys so I am glad to see them starting to sprout.

 

What are the odds of sunflowers coming up if planted amongst grass? I have some seeds, but no where to put them. DH says no more new bed digging this year (one huge new bed a year is all he's up for!) I'd love to line a wall (facing south) with them if there was any chance they'd come up. 

post #33 of 76

I sort of scattered my sunflower seeds along the back fence of my garden and they didn't grow. I don't know if they were eaten, taken over by weeds, accidentally weeded out or what. I'm thinking of starting some inside this year then planting them out once they've had a head start.  

post #34 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieL View Post



 

What are the odds of sunflowers coming up if planted amongst grass? I have some seeds, but no where to put them. DH says no more new bed digging this year (one huge new bed a year is all he's up for!) I'd love to line a wall (facing south) with them if there was any chance they'd come up. 


Mine all came up.  I scattered them around hoping that squirrels would eat them or something.  Instead they started growing.  They didn't get very tall though because there was no sun in this area and DH mowed them down with the lawnmower eventually.

 

post #35 of 76
Well, I've now gotten everything in the "ground" (pots), except for my zucchini. They're faring well in the mini pots, still, whereas the cucumbers and watermelon were NOT. I think I lost at least half the starts of each. Now I see why they sent 6 packs! I ended up planting the remaining cukes and watermelons all together in a 20" pot, but I'm pretty sure I'll be moving them at some point. I'm thinking I'll wait and see which ones actually grow and then move them as necessary.

I've got everything on the patio right outside our living room windows, so I keep finding myself "checking in" on everything. lol.gif I did find that the flower petals for all of our strawberries disappeared (well, they were in the soil) in the time it took us to run some errands. irked.gif I'm guessing birds? New flowers are coming out, so I'm hoping they'll fare better. I'm glad to have at least some plants that will show some distinct changes already, as the boys and I keep our noses glued to the window. orngbiggrin.gif
post #36 of 76

Thanks for the replies re:sunflowers. I've ordered some seeds and I'll probably loosen up the grass a bit and poke them in. Seems like a compromise between digging beds for them and scattering, leaving them open for the birds. 

 

DH, a friend and I put in seeds yesterday. It's a little bit of a gamble, but the forecast says that the soil should be about 55 from here on. I need a soil thermometer! It's raining heavy today in spurts, perfect for starting my little seeds. I'm so excited. 

 

 

Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Dill, Green beans, Kale, Melons, Spring Onions, Bulb Onions (from seed, we shall see!), Parsley, Pumpkins, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Beans
 
Most veggies I planted two to three varieties. I am trying pretty dense melons, pumpkins, cucs, and squash this year, planning to train them to spill over the beds into a grassy area overlaid with straw. I am probably testin the limits of what I can fit this year...and I'm excited about it! Each year I do a little more, including for prep and tracking. I bought a scale last year for larger stuff, so I'll weigh our yields and see how things go. 
 
We pulled the over-wintered kale to make room, they were starting to bolt anyway. I pulled about 6lbs of edible bits (not bad for these, since I planted them on a lark late last summer). They're vacuum sealed and in the freezer. We didn't freeze much last year, since we didn't have a vacuum sealer and also not much freezer room. We gave away a lot of produce. Now we have the vacuum sealer, and we learned how to can last year. Pickling was extremely satisfying as well. Yay! 
post #37 of 76

I have to share my excitement. It's POURING rain here, so far about .6inch. I planted seeds yesterday despite warnings that the pooling of the water might move them around or wash them away. I was confident in the bed's drainage, so I went ahead. Despite pooling puddles everywhere there's a divet in the lawn, my beds are draining wonderfully! biggrinbounce.gif It's funny how pepped I get at the littlest gardening victories. Hehee, I feel like such a newbie, but I'm cool with that!

post #38 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherB View Post

Jumping in to gardening via containers... Hoping we can get some good results despite what's likely a late start (we're near Houston, so it's already in the 80s during the day). I need to go get more pots to get going. So far, strawberries are potted and everything else (all starts) is waiting for their permanent homes. I really hope this is a successful venture! fingersx.gif

Me too! I just got some containers started today, but it's not quite that warm here yet. I'm in Arkansas, so it is generally warm already though. So far I have tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, strawberries, lavender, cilantro, rosemary, chives, and parsley. This is my first time with gardening for myself (always helped my mom as a child), and I'm hoping it turns out well!
post #39 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieL View Post

I have to share my excitement. It's POURING rain here, so far about .6inch. I planted seeds yesterday despite warnings that the pooling of the water might move them around or wash them away. I was confident in the bed's drainage, so I went ahead. Despite pooling puddles everywhere there's a divet in the lawn, my beds are draining wonderfully! biggrinbounce.gif It's funny how pepped I get at the littlest gardening victories. Hehee, I feel like such a newbie, but I'm cool with that!


That's great!  You're lucky!  I've had them scatter before and it was like Where's Waldo in my garden.  lol.gif

 

post #40 of 76
We have managed to do a few things in between vacations. We've been gone Thursday through Sunday for the last 2 weeks and we'll be gone Thursday through Monday this week as well. I love vacations but they really interfere with getting work done around here.

I'm on schedule with starting seeds indoors. I have 5 flats of seedlings growing and looking good right now. DH got the tiller on the tractor and tilled the garden as well as a new spot where I hope to plant lots of sweetcorn this year. The new bed is about 40' by 100'. I have no idea how much corn I can get in there but it won't be enough.redface.gif

I am really behind on getting the potatoes and peas into the ground. I hope to find a few rain-free hours before we leave on Thursday to get those in. Wish me luck ...thumb.gif
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