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The 2014 Garden Thread

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posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by spooky24
 


Good point, you would need to have some of the panes hinged, and treat it like a normal greenhouse.
As long as you're digging the ground, and keeping the air moving it would be fine. Keeping the wind out would be more of a problem to me, I think!




posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by Cinrad
 


That sounds like a heartbreaker.
What about making a frame, sort of like this, and putting the shade cloth, or net curtains (or whatever) over that?
You could use canes, or wood. Or the frame of a children's tent. It might be worth spending the money if this is likely to happen regularly?




posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 06:28 AM
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reply to post by Cinrad
 





covered by shadecloth


Here they are called 'floating row covers' that are inexpensive (well sort of) and what I like about them is you can get biodegradable covers that dissolve into the ground when you are done.

You most likely already know this but if you could move the air around somehow that would help.



posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by Cinrad
 


A few times few years back, spring was dry as my bank account at the end of the month. My parents own a piece of land where they keep a English garden and I saw them work their asses off trying to save all the seedlings. I've helped them out with some cannisters and decided it was the last time I would do that. It was a no workable situation.

The same year I've installed a pump house. After I've successfully tested my project the weather turned and the pump wasn't really needed for the next couple of years. Every time I watered down the garden it rained within 24 hours, but sometimes the ducebag in the sky couldn't wait until I was finished to show me what an amateur I was. Until past summer. It was again pretty dry and since my father past away the year before, mum is running the show more or less on her own. I have spent many enjoyable evenings creating my own personal rainbows, sticking it to the man.

Last November some poor bum (I guess) broke into the garden house and stole the generator I run the pump on. It was the second generator, the first one didn't survive the winter and this year I am going solar. Thus completing a long term to-do-list to get running water and power to that spot in the middle of nowhere so mum can keep her Garden of Eden as long as she can get there.

She thinks I'm nuts but I'm no gardener and when she can't do the work no more I will need power tools to do the work she enjoys so much doing. And beer, I need cold beer!

I know it sounds extreme and expensive to go this length, but spread out over 20+ years it's peanuts and it will ensure that my dear mother can enjoy the place where she was happy for 30+ years with the love of her live having real food long after she is capable to do the hard work growing it. It might make me a real gardener some day too, but that is the collateral damage I have to live with..

Here's why:




I'll visit this thread for tips and tricks. I've seen some good ones already.

Thanx.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:46 AM
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It was the second generator, the first one didn't survive the winter and this year I am going solar.


I am not aware of any solar system that can run a water pump on demand. The array I have now could store enough power to run it a few minutes. That is after spending thousands on more storage cells. Solar cells are cheap-storage cells are far to expensive to make any kind of system profitable. That is what is killing the business along with the fact that people don't understand that without taxpayer support all these companies would go bankrupt in 30 days. However the biggest reason is simply that the sun doesn't shine all the time-can't do much about that.

I have over 20 years experience in solar arrays and unfortunately the technology is still decades away. Battery technology has gone as far as it can go for the time being.

My suggestion would be a propane generator and a big dog.

By the way a lovely garden-looks like a lot of work goes into it-and something to be very proud of.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 06:22 AM
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reply to post by D.Wolf
 


Absolutely gorgeous! Nothing like that around here. Very dry and hungry soil here, but it also has its own beauty sometimes. Heat wave is over, it went from 40 something down to 20 a couple of hours ago as a cold front from the southern ocean finally pushed its way in. Down to 11 tonight, ha!


The shade frames is the way to go I think, this happens a lot around here. The ground water is too saline here for using on the garden so there is no use. When I get enough rainwater storage I might rig up a little misting system for the super hot, dry days.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 07:47 PM
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reply to post by spooky24
 


The array will only need to run the pump (just 600 watts, about 50Ah.) for a few hours a week at first. I am thinking off using two 85 Wp panels feeding a 200+Ah AMG accu (deep cycle) using a battery charger with an option for a second accu. Dry weather is usually sunny around here so I am pretty confident I can manage my few hours a week with this "low cost" setup. With this basic installation in place it will be easy to update if needed.

I am not seeking to have constant power. Just enough to keep a 150 gallon barrel with hand crank filled and left over power for them few hours off rainbow creation a week. I am aiming to fully automate the watering system though, but that is a long term project that will grow upon the base I am setting up this spring.

First investment estimated between $1500 - $2000. I've not done the final calculations yet, just probing the market so I might still decide on other or more panels accus Ah's etc, but it will eventually work as projected above and more later. When it comes to mum and her garden, money isn't an issue.

If I had less money to burn I would just try a solar watercourse pump to fill up a few linked barrels to have the water ready around the garden when needed. I've found one that can pump 2000+ litre an hour to a max hight of 2 meter on a 25W panel for just $250.


But that wont give me cold beer one day in the far future
I have made a potinapot fridge last summer. Works pretty well for a no power solution, but unfortunately it wont reach beer-cold. Still mum was, to her surprise, able to get a garden cooled yoghurt drink that didn't try to boil away. Priceless. It'll do for the next couple off years.

Thanx for the compliment, I'll tell mum.



posted on Feb, 15 2014 @ 04:09 PM
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It is unfortunately snowing today here in the Rockies, so unfortunately I haven't been able to be out in the yard much. But still I am busy preparing for the season at hand. I started quite the number of cherokee heirloom tomatoes, habaneros, and eggplant a week ago. I have 5 habaneros now that have spread out their little arms to gather as much of the poor sunlight we have had the past several days.

My other seeds are in the mail and should be here Monday or Tuesday. Included in my lovely care package are:
Basil (italian)
Chives
Parsley
Cilantro
Dill
Thyme
Oregano
4 kinds of sprouts (alfalfa, broccoli, mung bean, watercress)
Holy Basil (Thai basil)
Dwarf snow peas
Strawberry Spinach
Zucchini
Summer Squash
Chinese Cabbage
More spinach
several types of lettuces, both wild and cultivated arugula varieties, and up to 4 types of mustard greens
A pollinator herb mix (borage, chives, sage, basil, lemon mint, catnip, sweet marjoram, oregano, and creeping thyme)
and of course a variety of hot peppers


The wait has me quite impatient. In the mean time I will be planting my germinated red sweet peppers, jalepenos, and serranos. It is unfortunate this year that I am having to do mostly container gardening, as I am moving and don't want to tear up the yard and piss off my landlord. But I am coping. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on a relatively cheap lightbulb that I could use on all of my plants for while they are inside? I do not have much of the selection in town so I will probably be forced to order off of the internet. Thanks for the help!

Also: does anyone have any tips for growing garlic? I definitely need to get some of that going (as well as other root veggies)



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 12:27 AM
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I started my early seedlings last week: broccoli (three kinds), cauliflower, onions, leeks, scallions, brussel sprouts. My broccoli is raring to go, the brussel sprouts and cauliflower just started, as did the leeks and scallions. But no signs of the onions yet. IWas I supposed to freeze the seeds before I planted them? I know strawberries are like this.

I'm in Zone 5/6 central-Massachusetts and really want to take advantage of seasonal planting strategies. I started my cold weather plants early with this in mind. My transplant date for my broccoli etc. is around March 29 so I'll probably sow my peas at that time (or maybe a week earlier, depending). Peas are my babies (if my pic didn't give that away). I figure as soon as my lettuce patches start coming up it's time.

Question: I can never grow spinach well - does anyone have tricks? I know they love the cooler weather but damned if I can ever make that work.

The 2013 Gardening Thread is a good cross-reference.
edit on 22-2-2014 by otherpotato because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:49 AM
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reply to post by otherpotato
 


No tricks, sorry. I can't grow spinach at all, my ground is far too acidic. I could do them in pots, I suppose - I might try that! I know they don't like being dry, or they bolt (start to flower) and they like lots of space between them, but other than that - sorry.
I'm desperate to go out and start gardening - our snowdrops are just coming up, but I know it's still too early!

As for garlic nomoregmo, I just shove it in the ground, and it grows! Sorry (again). I don't know of any special tips, but according to one of my favourite books 'plant each clove 6 inches apart, in Spring, with their tops 2 inches below ground level, in a sunny spot. Lift when the leaves start to yellow and dry the whole thing for a couple of weeks'.

That seems a bit precise, but worth a try. Good luck!



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 04:26 AM
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beansidhe
reply to post by otherpotato
 


No tricks, sorry. I can't grow spinach at all, my ground is far too acidic. I could do them in pots, I suppose - I might try that! I know they don't like being dry, or they bolt (start to flower) and they like lots of space between them, but other than that - sorry.
I'm desperate to go out and start gardening - our snowdrops are just coming up, but I know it's still too early!

As for garlic nomoregmo, I just shove it in the ground, and it grows! Sorry (again). I don't know of any special tips, but according to one of my favourite books 'plant each clove 6 inches apart, in Spring, with their tops 2 inches below ground level, in a sunny spot. Lift when the leaves start to yellow and dry the whole thing for a couple of weeks'.

That seems a bit precise, but worth a try. Good luck!


I have grown 5 or six spinach plants in a pot. I just cut the leaves when they look ready and they keep putting more leaves on! Spinach magic! In fact I need to cut them again tomorrow! It's getting warm enough here ( I know, sorry all you snow bound Easterners) that I will be moving them into the shade tomorrow as well.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 04:31 AM
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Just wanted to let you know that my tomatoes have responded to more frequent feedings and egg shells. In fact I'm getting some tomatoes! the seedlings have started growing again and are about ready to separate into their own pots. I planted a mix of seeds in my wine barrels in a cool shady spot. The mix was lettuce, carrots and I don't remember what else. More carrots I think. Anyway they are coming up. My apple tree and the nectarine tree which started blooming last month were moved to the green house where they are bursting as if it was spring and I actually have some baby apples already! Keeping a close watch on night time temps before I move them out side. My garlic is nearly ready. My mints are needy poor things.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 04:51 AM
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reply to post by missvicky
 


Oh yay! Good news about the tomatoes! Brilliant!
I can't believe they're starting to fruit already, that seems so early. Thank goodness they made it, though.

Spinach in pots (especially magic spinach) sounds like a plan - I'm definitely going to give that a go. All four of my children are looking at me in horror now - ha ha ha, no excuse not to eat your spinach now!



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 04:52 AM
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Looking like could be an interesting year again with all the weather we've already had. here in the UK been wettest in 250yrs and very mild too.

Started cleaning up the green house yesterday and looking to build a few cold frames/mini greenhouses or whatever i can bodge together basically


The vege patch still sprouts 'volunteer' potatoes all over the place but will try and do a more thorough dig over and remove them (don't want club root.

Will be planting the usual under glass/plastic:

1. Tomatoes - main crop, some plum and cherry too as they are so tasty to just pick and eat as they ripen - the taste of a tomato still warm/hot from the sun is magical.

2. Peppers - a mix of all sorts

3. A mix of chillies to up to Habenero

4. Cucumbers

5. Probably some strawberries to squeezed in somewhere as they are sooooo sweet if under glass.

Outside:

Turnip, Swede, Potatoes, Broccoli, Leeks, Onions, Beetroot, radish, Runner beans, Peas, Kale, Brussel sprouts, Carrots, Cauliflower not that i'll succeed with all of it. Already have strawberries scattered around garden -the tiny woodland/mountain varieties which spread everywhere and means wherever you are in the garden in summer there's a strawberry within nibbling distance


Also have apple tree (cooker) old now so has lots of rot and disease but have started hard pruning it out. Have a plum tree in a pot that is big enough to plant out now(victoria -i think it was grown from stone) Probably getting some raspberries and possibly a blueberry or gooseberry bush too.

Herbs - Mint, parsley, rosemary, basil, chives as a minimum -tried celery last year and have lots left still growing in greenhouse (potted)

I moved where i am now about 3 years ago now and my vege patch is probably in the worst spot of the garden - too much shade and the greenhouse is in a similar position - not ideal but better than nothing.

My location is Wiltshire these days and will be starting to seed some things this weekend. I may even use the 4 tea lights and 2 flower pots method of heating overnight to keep any frosts off (had managed to keep 2 pepper plants going till a week or so ago out there - you can cut back chilli and pepper plants in Autumn to the main stem leave them in pot and bring them inside if you want them to survive the winter -gives you a massive head start the following year)

So now i've posted this it will hopefully act as a kick up the ass for me to do more and get it organised and i hope it encourages at least one more person to grow some of their own food.

If you have small children they absolutely love helping too, especially once they start to eat it


Hope to hear others plans and progress on their projects - always wondered about a big poly tunnel, dome .....



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 09:05 AM
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Hey all, I hope someone is still reading this thread, I'd like to get some advice! Here in Southern California it's been pretty dry. This past weekend I planted a 2 foot by 4 foot garden box with some herbs and 2 heirloom tomato transplants. I had been watering them in a little each day, and everything looks like it's taking root well.

Now, the RAIN has started! It's supposed to rain through Saturday. My garden box looks nice and wet, but I'm worried it's going to get TOO wet. It's too heavy to move out of the rain, so I was thinking about just stapling a couple of garbage bags across the top to keep it from getting too wet. But I'm unsure if thats a good idea or not, it seems like that would trap the moisture inside maybe causing mold or mildew to grow? Should I prop the sides up or leave them open somehow so air can still get in? There are drainage holes in the bottom, but I'm just worried since the plants may not be completely well established yet since I just put them in a few days ago.

I've never grown anything like this before. I've always done a single tomato in a pot, which I've been able to easily move out of the rain when it gets too wet. This big box thing, I just can't move.

I'd really appreciate any advice!

Edit to add: Also, the temperature has dropped. Yesterday was a nice day with tank tops and flip flops... today is bundle up in a hoodie weather!
This morning a couple of my herbs are already looking very droopy.
Think I'm going to go ahead with covering them.
edit on 27-2-2014 by MojaveBurning because: added info



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 11:55 PM
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reply to post by MojaveBurning
 


As long as the temperature remains under 10 C it should be okay. Covering it will create a warm humid atmosphere that will encourage fungus to grow, I suggest covering it with garbage bags like you said but taking it off for an hour a day till the rain stops.



posted on Mar, 2 2014 @ 04:40 AM
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beansidhe
reply to post by missvicky
 


Oh yay! Good news about the tomatoes! Brilliant!
I can't believe they're starting to fruit already, that seems so early. Thank goodness they made it, though.

Spinach in pots (especially magic spinach) sounds like a plan - I'm definitely going to give that a go. All four of my children are looking at me in horror now - ha ha ha, no excuse not to eat your spinach now!


I planted them low in the pot. So low that when they grew they still didn't reach the rim of the pot. So what happened was the pot actually shaded them during our freak summer-in- January weather and they have done really well! (It's not like I planned it...I ran out of potting soil...and the spinach starts needed to get out of their little pots...)

The tomatoes are in my greenhouse but yeah, I'm pretty amazed.
edit on 2-3-2014 by missvicky because: to add



posted on Mar, 2 2014 @ 04:44 AM
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reply to post by MojaveBurning
 


How have your plants fared? I think my recently planted seeds might have drowned in all this rain.



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 11:30 AM
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When I moved in to my place about 8 years ago, the former owners had a rather large compost heap in the corner of the yard. A couple of years after settling in, I decided to grow a little garden and thought " That old compost heap would be a great place". I tilled and tilled the ground, added some potting soil, and tilled that in as well. Here are some of my findings....

Tomatoes grew HUGE!! So did my cabbage. Peppers weren't that great. I had better luck actually growing them in the flower garden beside my front porch in the mulch. Sweet corn didn't like it either.

I scooped some of this dirt into some half-barrels and grew onions and raddishes of decent size.

I'm going to just try local "conventional" methods and try to keep the rabbits at bay this year.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by missvicky
 


They survived and are doing well, thanks for asking! I ended up covering them with a sheet of clear plastic to make it sort of like a mini greenhouse I guess. Whenever we had breaks in the rain I folded it back so they could get some air, that seemed to help keep them from molding or anything like that.



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