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Gardening thread

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Tred ( member #34086) posted at 9:32 PM on Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

Superesse,

I get you. Glyposphates can hang around for a while. What I do for weed suppression is I use a flame thrower in the garden. It's basically a high BTU torch that connects to a 20 lb. propane tank and in the spring I go around the fence line and burn it all. It doesn't take much to have a pretty weed free garden. Granted, mine is only 50x25 but it doesn't take that long and the maintenance after that is fairly easy. Once I do that, I'm going to put down a heavy layer of wood chips on the ground between the raised beds to help with weeds. It makes the weeding easier without having to resort to any chemicals. And I just strap the propane tank on a furniture dolly to roll it around so I don't have to lug it around. Note I can do this because the bottom of my fence around the garden is 3' chicken wire with about a 6" overlap staked to the ground to keep the rabbits out and it seems to take the heat fairly well. The deer fencing at the top is nylon and wouldn't allow this method.

Since you've already sprayed or applied the glyphosphate, I'd say go ahead and experiment. It's a broad spectrum herbicide, but mainly works through foliage on growing plants and only minimally through the roots. It's not a good pre-emergent so I'd say as long as you don't mind risking some plants this year go for it!

Married: 27 years (14 @JFO) D-Day: 11/09/11"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

posts: 5878   ·   registered: Dec. 2nd, 2011
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 10:32 PM on Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

Thank you Tred, I've heard of that method, and even had a metal handled tool to burn through weed block fabric. But was too scared of the possibility of a grass fire out here in this pastureland between two mountain ridges, with an old wood-sided house and barn. Our neighbor's barn burned a few years ago and the soot from the fire carried 1000 feet over the snow through my field. Once you see something like that....we have this one hill nearby that seems to "snag" all the high altitude winds and send them down, and my flower garden is in a real frost pocket.

So once the weeds are gone you find mulch helps keep them from coming back? I sure hope so! I just invested in some cypress mulch around the flowers because there is this little innocent looking clover-like weed that pops up just everywhere. I think birds spread it. Even in the mulch I see a few (oxalis). You pull it but if you leave anything in the ground, it's shows back up in the same general area. Just a little hassle...but for so big of an area and you can't spray around perennials.

I'm not going to use Glyphosate too much near the marked rows for my veggies that haven't yet been planted. I know it goes away they say, but nobody seems to know how long it takes to break down.

Happy Gardening!!!

posts: 2073   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8838173
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:21 PM on Thursday, May 30th, 2024

Hello fellow gardeners. I have thrown myself fully into growing anything I can get to grow in this climate. My H built me a raised bed garden, then added another, then a dome greenhouse, followed by multiple in ground beds, and we just tilled a 25 square foot bed for corn edged in sunflowers. We have been growing lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and so much more, with mixed results in our third year. Some crop types, like squashes and melons are not doing well, but peppers and potatoes love it here. We discovered some new veggies that are easy to grow, like Tat Soi and Pak choi, relatives to Bak choi and are cooking new dishes and expanding our palates in the process. We are zone 7b so it gets hot fast, but the growing season is very long. We have hard clay soil that has been a pain to work with, especially the weed seeds that will not stop germinating.

We used Hügelkultur to fill the beds and started making our own soil last year. We found the book Square Foot Gardening and have used his soil mix recipe since: Equal parts peat moss, vermiculite and compost, with a little lime added to offset the acidity in the peat moss. Everything loves it and no more weeds.

Year three, I am more interested in cut flowers and a native pollinator garden than the veggies, so he focuses on the food and I focus on the flowers. I am growing all kinds of perennial and annuals and have a garden filled with butterflies and bees. I have bluebird houses filled with babies and everything is starting to pop. I added dahlias and Mexican sunflowers to my beds this year and they are doing great. The garden is my very happy place.

About the sunflowers: I grew 20-30 mixed giant and multiple flowering types last year and they generated hundreds of seeds. This year I have tripled my planting. My sets started indoors were tall and thin and although they lived, the flowers are small. The most vigorous plants were the volunteer seeds left in the ground, and many are over 6 feet tall already. I am continuing to seed throughout the summer so I have blooms in to the fall. I expect to have way too many seeds next year, but that is next year's problem. I am enjoying seeing what types of hybrids grow from the seeds, and am hoping to transform my few acres before I am done. Superesse, I recommend that you plant some seeds between your starts along the fence and see who fares better.

Regarding pests, this year we are infested with fire ants, the worst, because they farm aphids, followed by cabbage worms, snails and slugs. It is a battle. When the tomatoes come in, we will be battling the crows that eat everything that is ripe. Last year was our first attempt at corn, which was delicious, but we only got to eat a few ears because a horde of racoons came and cleaned us out. This year we have planted enough for all, and added fencing to make them work for their meal!

My H is a better living through chemistry guy and loves to spray roundup everywhere. I am a nature nut and hate the chemicals and am failing to control weeds and pests with gentler methods. It is a challenge and a calling, but so rewarding. The trickle down benefits to our health from the hard work and the diet with the fresh and interesting foods is a perk we didn't really see coming, but we are very grateful for the results. Good luck with your gardens. Looking forward to hearing what everyone grows.

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 570   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8838200
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:29 PM on Thursday, May 30th, 2024

Superesse, the Glyposphates can take days or months to break down depending on the climate, soil type and micro-organism content of your soil. The average is around 2 months based on what I read. Do you have a local farmer's co-op or university agriculture extension office that may have info for your soil type and area? Or a local master gardener? They are all great resources.

A gentler method we have used to reclaim soil from the grass and weeds is to layer cardboard or landscaping fabric covered with mulch and leave it a season, next year we till and plant. I need to remember to try a pre-emergent to kill the weed seeds though!

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 570   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8838201
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 4:32 PM on Thursday, May 30th, 2024

Well that does it, whatisloveanyway, I got a flat full of 3 inch spindly sunflower starts here, yes indeed. As I read your sunflower story I flinched, worrying. Then you gave me a suggestion which I will follow up on: plant some direct, as a comparison. Yesterday at the hardware store, I saw another pack of mixed heirloom sunflowers, lower growing types like I want which are hard to find. I didn't spring for it but now, I have your permission!

Just bought more cypress mulch and more wire plant supports, after transplanting 15 tall phlox in red and white. Maybe pink and white, you never know when you buy them bare root. I started 20 of them in pots for a couple months since they arrived. 5 were duds. Last year in the drought, all but a few phlox would not grow, even with daily watering. But I didn't mulch. Lesson learned. Also when you order plants from Holland, you get one healthy root and several puny ones. I had to learn to order more than what I wanted to plant, as I've discovered some aren't going to make it.

Whatisloveanyway, what do you do with all the flowers you are growing? I used to sell my excess cut flowers at 2 local farm markets, but found it wasn't worth the hours of time I'd spend sitting in the hot sun, since most shoppers just admired them or only bought a few on impulse. I don't claim to do flower arranging, but was told that people will buy a jar or bunch of mixed flowers fast, if they are already arranged. Humph...I thought the fun was to select your own colors, but what do I know...

How about dwarf marigolds at the end of each row in the veggie garden? Sounds fancy, but if we're going to work out there for hours in the hot summer sun, shouldn't we at least have something pretty to see? They are supposed to be bug repellant. Sorry but raccoons will disregard everything once they smell that ripening corn!

posts: 2073   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8838210
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 11:54 PM on Thursday, May 30th, 2024

Wish there was a way to love these posts!!

For now I do not have a place for a vegetable garden. But I do miss it so much and I am enjoying reading the tips and tricks posted here. I like this one!

"I'd grow the cucumbers and squash in separate containers, like a 7 gallon grow bag or large pot as they tend to dominate in square foot gardening. A mature zucchini can easily cover 3 or 4 square feet. If you do grow them, put them in corners where they can grow over the bed and out, or trellis them. The rest are fine - I'd add some companion plants like basil, marigold"

The corner idea is great!!

[This message edited by Shehawk at 11:55 PM, Thursday, May 30th]

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1678   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:07 AM on Friday, May 31st, 2024

Lol, I did marigolds at the end of the raised beds last year and have their seeds planted everywhere! We also discovered nasturtiums which are lovely and fragrant and attract pests away from the veggies. They make seeds like crazy too. I am trying Pythrethrum Daisies this year, which are also supposed to repel pests. Seedlings are starting slowly, but I have high hopes. They are lovely shades of pink.

What I do with the flowers is let the pollinators have them, and rotate arrangements in my vase collection. My real goal is to rear butterflies and moths, and the flowers I have are chosen mostly to attract butterflies. I will never have lovely cutting beds worthy of the farmer's market, but plenty to make me happy. I bought random seeds at Walmart, anything that caught my eye, and am growing lots of new things. My favorite newbies are calendula and mexican sunflower. I love to collect seeds and propagate, so we will see where this ends up in a year or two!

My H is enamored with tomatoes and potatoes in buckets, and his crops are coming along nicely. Will update with successes and failures! Happy Gardening.

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 570   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8838247
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 3:03 AM on Friday, May 31st, 2024

Ah, Pyrethrum Daisies, love them! I bought a packet of Robinson's Red Pyrethrum Daisies in 2015, and they were very slow to start. I wanted the deeper reds the packet showed. Well, some bloomed burgundy red with yellow centers, several were a pale lavender, and one is a bubble gum pinkish raspberry that looks unreal out there, has almost a technicolor glow to it! Fair warning: they don't really like heat and heavy clay, maybe they like a little afternoon shade, as mine suffered in full sun. But once they finally got established (year 3) they have been such a pretty plant, with a big rounded mound of lacy foliage that looks like something from an English garden. I transplanted them to a huge, empty bed and spaced them out 8 feet apart and was amazed how they carried the whole bed with their early and elegant blooms. You can even make bug spray from the flowers.

posts: 2073   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8838252
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 number4 (original poster member #62204) posted at 3:08 AM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Hey everyone,

I got my raised bed garden planted a couple of weeks ago. Since our landscaper was here finishing up our project, he delivered and filled up the beds, so that was a piece of cake. Our neighbor recommended a wonderful nursery that was a half-hour drive to get to, but the staff was so incredibly helpful and nice!! I ended up with three tomato plants (two cherry since my grandson loves cherry tomatoes), some Bibb lettuce (I thought it was too far into the summer to grow lettuce, but the helper told me to plant it under the large tomato plant, which will provide some shade, and it's actually doing really well), a zucchini plant, some basil and cilantro (all this was in one bed). In my second bed, I planted a variety of color of bell peppers, a couple of cucumber plants, and three strawberry plants. I also planted four marigold plants in each bed, at the four corners.

I already have some tiny red strawberries I can pick, my peppers are growing, the zucchini has large blossoms on it, and I have some green tomatoes.

My grandson loves going back there when he's over, and today he almost picked a pepper, but we told him it had to grow some more. I'm surprised he didn't try to pick the strawberries because we just took him to a strawberry picking farm on Friday (THAT was interesting!).

My netting hasn't arrived yet, but so far, no critters are getting anything. I'm sure once the tomatoes start ripening, that'll be the first thing the birds go for.

I just might get something to eat from the garden this year!!

Me: BWHim: WHMarried - 30+ yearsTwo adult daughters1st affair: 2005-20072nd-4th affairs: 2016-2017Many assessments/polygraph: no sex addictionStatus: R

posts: 1333   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2018   ·   location: New England
id 8840750
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Tred ( member #34086) posted at 8:54 PM on Monday, July 1st, 2024

The garden is coming along in my transition over to raised beds. I was originally going to do all 4x8 beds, but that seemed too boring. So I'm trying to see how creative I can get with the trellising. Still have 4 more beds to get settled in and filled, but it's getting there.

Married: 27 years (14 @JFO) D-Day: 11/09/11"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

posts: 5878   ·   registered: Dec. 2nd, 2011
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 number4 (original poster member #62204) posted at 10:05 PM on Wednesday, July 10th, 2024

That garden is SOOO overwhelming to me, Tred!! I'm learning a LOT of lessons already with just my two small 4'x8' raised beds!

But... (drum roll please) - I picked my first zucchini yesterday!!! 🥒 Other than the basil and cilantro, it's the first thing I've harvested! And damn did it sneak up on me. I had no idea it was in there at all! Since we sodded our backyard a month ago, we've been discouraged from walking on it too much, and today is actually the first day they're mowing, so the grass has been like a jungle back there - I haven't been motivated to check on things on a regular basis. But I'm checking now; there are two more growing with lots of blossoms on the vine. I should be able to pick some bell peppers within the week (they are easier to see!). And there are a lot of tomatoes, both cherry and full-sized.

Me: BWHim: WHMarried - 30+ yearsTwo adult daughters1st affair: 2005-20072nd-4th affairs: 2016-2017Many assessments/polygraph: no sex addictionStatus: R

posts: 1333   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2018   ·   location: New England
id 8842113
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 4:23 PM on Friday, July 12th, 2024

Wife didn't like the raised beds so much. The last couple of years she's been using the 8 5-gallon buckets which seems to work better. With the holes in the bottom and drip irrigation it's a breeze to keep everything watered. I have a 2x2 stand for 4 of them and the remaining site on the wall bordering the patio. We have rosemary, a few tomatoes, jalapenos, basil, cucumbers going. I've also added a 2x2 potato box to see how that works.

posts: 1605   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 5:59 PM on Friday, July 12th, 2024

By March last year, I knew not to try for a vegetable garden across the road because we have to haul water to that garden and we'd never gotten any snow through the winter. This year, still no snow during March but then we had a nice, wet spring. In fact, it took weeks for the ground to dry out enough to work up a garden. So we decided to till the big clay and rock garden and planted three 50 foot rows of potatoes, one 50 foot row of onions and another 50 foot row of scallions. Also dug 10 hills for pie pumpkins at the lower end of the garden, figuring they'd get most moisture from any rain.

Except we haven't had any rain since basically the end of May! But now we are committed to the struggle to keep it all alive. We bought 4 bales of straw from our farmer, broke them up into their sections or flakes, and tucked a 3 inch thick compressed flake of straw around each potato plant. Still, no rain. So had to use a 35 gallon truck-mounted poly tank and hose to give each potato plant a drink every so many days. The tops seem ok, still green, but I can't imagine we'll have actual potatoes. Maybe mini potatoes?

The pumpkins are doing fine, many have reached their full-size 6-8 inch diameter. We hand-water the 8 gherkin cucumber plants every evening and they appreciate that. For the cukes and pumpkins, I'd mixed in some cow manure mulch in each planting hole which has helped. The onions and scallions are hanging in and may or may not get much more size. Even the 2 cherry tomato plants in my irrigated flower bed have only marble sized fruits. It's still early, we pray every day for a little rain. Our farmer's corn will not make ears now, and will need to be chopped for silage. It was off to a great start, too, but corn will not pollinate over 94 degrees in drought. We've been at those temps for weeks now. 😕😢

Glad some of you all are succeeding.

posts: 2073   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
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 number4 (original poster member #62204) posted at 6:24 PM on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

Well, my experiment has taken off more than I could have imagined. On Friday, my D came over to let our dog out while we were gone all day, and while in the backyard, took a picture of something really large... I assumed a zucchini because I knew one or two had been growing. On Saturday when I looked, ends up it was in the cucumber bed. I picked it, thinking it was way too large to taste any good but surprisingly it was good. But... then I really started looking under the vines, and found FIVE more that were ready to pick!! And I did find a zucchini, too, that hadn't gotten too large yet.

Then I realized I needed to trim back some stuff and stake a couple of my tomato plants. Well, then, hidden way inside the tomato plant were three red tomatoes! I have LOTS of green tomatoes, but I had no idea three were ripening! So D picked up some fresh mozzarella last night, and we picked some basil and will have caprese tonight.

My bell peppers are small - it may just be the variety. But I've picked two.

And I trimmed back my cucumbers because I literally have dozens of blooms on each plant and there's no way we'll be able to eat all of those (although H was really excited to fix a cucumber and onion sandwich today for lunch). Good thing grandson likes cucumbers and tomatoes, because he's going to be getting a lot of those. Next year? One cucumber plant!

Question for you all, what do you wear when you're picking zucchini and cucumbers? As I was maneuvering my hand into the vines to pick the produce, my forearms got sort of scratched up, then really started itching - it got better when I came inside and scrubbed them good with soap and water, but I feel like I need something to wear. I know the obvious is, wear a long-sleeve shirt with gloves, but I'm wondering if there are some sort of long gardening gloves I can slip on?

Me: BWHim: WHMarried - 30+ yearsTwo adult daughters1st affair: 2005-20072nd-4th affairs: 2016-2017Many assessments/polygraph: no sex addictionStatus: R

posts: 1333   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2018   ·   location: New England
id 8843224
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 6:45 PM on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

There are sleeves you can get to protect your arms. I got a set off Amazon for my sister. They protect her arms from scratches and poison ivy when she's doing yard work. She loves them. I think they're called gardening sleeves.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 3605   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8843227
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 number4 (original poster member #62204) posted at 4:11 PM on Wednesday, July 24th, 2024

Thanks! Will look for them on Amazon, Gardening sleeves perfectly describes what I'm looking for, but I didn't know that was a term.

Me: BWHim: WHMarried - 30+ yearsTwo adult daughters1st affair: 2005-20072nd-4th affairs: 2016-2017Many assessments/polygraph: no sex addictionStatus: R

posts: 1333   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2018   ·   location: New England
id 8843286
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