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Thread: 2017 gardens

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    2017 gardens

    We've had so much rain, I haven't even thought about planting in the ground yet. Fortunately, I have those 9 raised stock tank beds and I've been able to get started in those. I've planted broccoli, spinach, swiss chard and a few other lettuces. I've also planted Rutger and roma tomatoes, and several cherry tomatoes. I've also planted about 6 assorted peppers. I still have a stocktank open for bush romano beans. The ground stuff will be pole beans, winter squash and cucumbers. Only 2 of the snow peas grew......but then I remembered that I have to pre-sprout them or the mice eat them. My memory is getting so bad!

    Everything was so close together last year, so DH and I added on to our fenced-in garden area and moved 2 of the stock tanks and one of the pole bean trellises around. Unfortunately, I think the moles made tunnels under the 2 stocktanks on that end and they are leaning pretty badly. So we have to figure out how to set them right. It will involve a jack/wood/large cement pavers. But dang.....those 70 gallon stock tanks full of soil are heavy puppies!! I hope it works. I had a terrible time last year with blight on my tomatoes. I haven't planted things so close this year, so hopefully they'll have been ventilation.

    I've also planted a few clematis and salvia. I want to plant some cleome, since the butterfly moths like them so much.

    My water lilies from last year aren't growing yet. This is hard to believe, but I lost a couple of them in storage in the back yard. I can't remember where I dug them into. hahaha Maybe some day they'll show up again.
    I have green frogs in my little water gardens..........but today I heard a bull frog!! Yahooo! I love hearing them croak. But.......I could see they were, uh........having some afternoon delight.........and I don't want too many bullfrogs.
    Did you know they eat birds??!

    So be careful what you wish for. haha

    So glad to finally have some sun and warmer temps. We had about 10" of rain this spring in about 2-3 weeks. Thankfully, I have those raised stock tanks.
    Oh.....one really neat thing is that we found a jack-in-the-pulpit growing in the back yard! Those plants are so cool!

    What is happening in your garden?

  2. #2
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Our garden is down at my mother's house - it's a nice spot, lots of raised beds built from stone, fruit trees, and a good sized greenhouse. My mother and daughter are the green thumbs in the family, and they usually produce an incredible amount of food from the spot.

    However, my daughter has been away at college for several years, and my mother has had some distractions in her life, so the garden hasn't been used much for ~3 years now.

    Until this year - I have some nice new neighbors from Serbia, who are really really insane gardeners, and when they mentioned they were sad that they couldn't garden at their home (we have almost no soil up here, but several thousand feet of granite), I offered them the use of Mom's spot. They jumped at it, and have being going crazy bringing it back to life.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    That's really cool, bae! I'm sure they really appreciate it.........and I imagine they will do some sharing of the produce with you!

  4. #4
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    Our garden is down at my mother's house - it's a nice spot, lots of raised beds built from stone, fruit trees, and a good sized greenhouse. My mother and daughter are the green thumbs in the family, and they usually produce an incredible amount of food from the spot.

    However, my daughter has been away at college for several years, and my mother has had some distractions in her life, so the garden hasn't been used much for ~3 years now.

    Until this year - I have some nice new neighbors from Serbia, who are really really insane gardeners, and when they mentioned they were sad that they couldn't garden at their home (we have almost no soil up here, but several thousand feet of granite), I offered them the use of Mom's spot. They jumped at it, and have being going crazy bringing it back to life.
    What a great win-win situation!

    This week I have a lull in workflow so I'm buying seedlings tomorrow at the annual Rutgers Mothers Day plant sale, and then DH is going to set up the ScareCrow and we'll finally get around to planting our raised beds. We're a bit skittish about doing it without building a fence, but hoping the ScareCrow will do its job.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Crazy rain here, too. Record rainfall. I marked on my calendar that my shelling peas were to be ready by Mother's Day, tomorrow. They are about 6 inches tall.

    Tomatoes still in greenhouse. Garlic is waist high. All my herbs survived winter and I have already dried some. Nothing else yet.

  6. #6
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    I haven't wanted to read this thread because I am struggling so much with my garden this year.

    i got overwhelmed and let it go completely fallow last year, which means I now have to reclaim it, not just from grass and creeping Charley and dandelions, but also from poison ivy and blackberry canes. I hope to have half of it back in shape by fall.

    it sounds like a lot of us are not having our best year though.

    i have been eating lettuce from it all week, my spinach is ready, and I had my first radish last night.

    today I am going to pick strawberries at the u-pick. I can't even see my strawberry beds.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I had the worst iris season ever, due to weedy beds last year, torrents of rain ths year, and a heavy dividing of cumps last year. But that is ok, next year will be better.

    We have been eating spinach, greens, radishes, green onions for weeks/months. This week the snow peas starting coming into the house.

  8. #8
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    Spent last two weeks traveling to family in Indiana, Virginia, and Maine, so we went from spring to super-spring and then back to spring in Maine and now back to early early spring here, too early to plant, really. I took my seedling tomatoes and planted them at Mom's house, along with some flowers for her.

    Temps in New England ranged from 38 to 96. I am not kidding. 96 in the mountains of Vermont in May. What the heck.

    Back to cold Michigan, where things slowly coming up--we must have had a hard frost here which damaged some of my rosebushes and new growth to perennials. Oh well.

    Plan to start a bunch of seeds in the coldframe my husband built last year. Am putting jarrahdale pumpkins with love lies bleeding, zinnias, and dill, because it will look pretty--am going to start the seeds now, fingers crossed.

  9. #9
    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    DH and our friend Sue made this bee house this morning:

    IMG_0572.jpg

  10. #10
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    That's cool, IL. Is that a mason bee house, with tubes in it?

    We finally got some rain yesterday............3/4". Everything was getting horribly dried out. I had to water about every other day. We planted several new Black Hills Spruce trees and I've had to water them a lot. I drive out to the field in my cart and carry water-filled jugs to water them. I'm sure it's not enough to really, really help, but it might give them a little hope. I was so glad they got some "real" water yesterday. We're supposed to get more this week. Hopefully, it will know when to stop. The weather has become very bi-polar! It's amazing........I can keep my garden alive with ground water, but the plants definitely know the difference between that and rain water!

    My raised stock-tank gardens are doing well. I planted way too much lettuce and it's coming out my wazoo. Wait......that doesn't sound right.......even though, it does eventually come out my wazoo.

    It grew so fast and it got so hot that I had to cover it with shade cloth, but it was still bitter. I read up on it and one place said to wash it and keep it in the fridge a couple days........and sure enough.......it wasn't as bitter after that time.
    My spinach bolted very quickly (went to seed), so I really didn't get any of that. It will do better in the Fall.

    Everything else is doing fine. I learned my lesson to not plant the tomatoes too closely in the stocktanks, so hopefully they won't get blight as easily......since it was horrible last year. Planting too close decreased ventilation, which promotes the blight.

    I planted pole beans, cucs and winter squash in the ground and they're finally starting to grow.

    My snow peas .......well, I guess I should refer to it as my 'snow pea', since only one plant grew and is making 1 snow pea. DH and I are looking forward to sharing it. haha I had totally forgotten that I needed to presprout the snow peas, or the mice eat the seeds. I ran out of steam and didn't replant them.

    I love having these raised stock tanks, but I still have to lean over in a funky position, so I need to get a stool or a small, portable bench.
    Can't wait to have marinated cucumber and tomato salads again!

    As far as my water-gardens........I actually had a couple bull frogs for awhile, in addition to various green frogs. I was excited. I love hearing them croak on hot summer nights. But alas......they left for greener waters....... Actually, I was a little nervous having them since I've heard they eat birds and small children. The tree frogs aren't as active so far. I love those little guys. My 10 year old water lily croaked for some reason. I think it had just lived all the life it had and went to that great pond in the sky. So I bought another one. I've bought marginal and floating plants to fill up my various small ponds. My lotus bog is slow. I think the trees are shading it too much. Last year I bought a miniature lotus and it's doing great.
    Here's a pic of a little tree frog. It can change color from gray to green. They make quite a ruckus, singing at night, but I love it and consider it a lullaby, putting me to sleep. This tree frog is in a PVC pipe that I use to put big fertilizer spikes into the lotus bog. I've learned to look down in them, before I use them.

    Treefrog in PVC pipe.jpg

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