Garden 2024

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@caseydog We eat a lot (HUGE AMOUNT) of red and yellow and orange peppers, so we always grow them (dehydrate or freeze) but the serranos and hatch we only grow every other year or so. Last year I grew the serranos and now I have dried serranos for making hot sauce or whatever we need hot. Thanks for reminding me, I do need to start fermenting some hot sauce for myself. Mr bliss doesn't care for hot.

Reminds me, @pepperhead212 there's a 'not hot' pepper that you grow, that you've talked about. You've said how much you like it and it has a 'good flavor'. Any chance we could do a trade of seeds (just 12 seeds would do) or I can send you $2/for the trouble. I have many types of tomatoes or bell peppers (red yellow orange), or parsley? PM me if you feel like it.

@rodentraiser We have deer here but so many homes and landscaping they mostly have eaten the apples. We run them off if we see them. The garlic and onions seem to repel them, they don't care for either one. We plant them in rows where we want to interrupt the deer from going into the more juicy plants. If they always come to the garden from one direction, then plant onions there. Even if you just plant flowers, the onions are hardly noticeable.
andrewfawns.jpg

One year we trapped 13 raccoons, that was worse!
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We have also had skunks, possums, and fox. Of course, there are the bunnies and squirrels too!

I mostly grew jalapeños, cayenne peppers and sometimes poblanos. I never grew bell peppers because they are so cheap to buy in the grocery stores, and the store bought ones were fine.

Here in Texas, I can buy good chili peppers for cheap, so I have to have a good reason to go to the trouble of growing my own.

Fresh herbs are a different thing. I can't get decent fresh herbs at any store. By "decent," I mean anything close to herbs I snip from my garden just minutes before I use them. That is worth my time and efforts to grow.

As for critters, that's not an issue on my suburban property. When I had a lake house in the Davy Crocket National Forrest, deer were a big problem for gardeners. I didn't grow much there, since I didn't live there full time. I did have a fantastic fig tree that none of the wildlife messed with, for some reason. I had a peach tree at my last house up here in North Texas, and my only enemy was birds. I had to wrap my tree with bird netting. That, and I had about 300 peaches get ripe within three weeks, and had to find something to do with them all.

CD
 
@taxlady yep, every year. It keeps us more active in winter which can be hard to do in WI with the cold, snow, ice, wind. We've had a mild winter but it's good to get the winter sowing done so that we can work on other things for a couple months. We've been making hives and shallows and supers and we'll have 8 hives + 2 hives a neighbor is putting in. Then Mr bliss works at the bee company part time for 3 months....so things get very busy right up to planting at the end of May.
 
The flood of peaches reminded me of my childhood home. We had a couple of peach trees, a lemon tree that gave lemons year 'round, a guava bush, and cherry tree that gave us three cherries one generous year. The overwhelming amount of peaches was a blessing and a curse. Eating peaches fresh off the tree that are still warm from the sun is incomparable. But, so many peaches that friends are getting tired of getting them is a PITA. I just wish my mother had found another way to preserve peaches than peach jam. It was good enough jam, but OMG, there was so much of it and she wouldn't let us have other kinds of jam if we hadn't had enough peach jam in the previous days.
 
The flood of peaches reminded me of my childhood home. We had a couple of peach trees, a lemon tree that gave lemons year 'round, a guava bush, and cherry tree that gave us three cherries one generous year. The overwhelming amount of peaches was a blessing and a curse. Eating peaches fresh off the tree that are still warm from the sun is incomparable. But, so many peaches that friends are getting tired of getting them is a PITA. I just wish my mother had found another way to preserve peaches than peach jam. It was good enough jam, but OMG, there was so much of it and she wouldn't let us have other kinds of jam if we hadn't had enough peach jam in the previous days.

Yeah, my annual peach bonanza left me scrambling for things to do with them, and people to give them to.

One year, one of my customers was the company that did the Barney TV Show. The Barney jokes there were hilarious. I got to know the people there, and one of them was a woman in her 50s (?), and she was a great baker. I told her about my peaches problem, and she told me bring her a bunch of them, and she'd bake pies for everyone. So I brought her a huge basket of them the next day, and she baked at least a dozen pies and passed them out to her co-workers, and give a couple to me. OMG, they were amazing!

I brought her more peaches, and she baked another bunch of pies for a charity bake sale. She raised a good amount of money for the charity from those pies.

The people who bought that house from me didn't do squat to take care of the tree, even though I gave them very specific written instructions. The tree died from neglect. The whole yard looks like crap now. Some people should rent apartments, or buy a condo. They don't want to do the basic work of maintaining a yard. It's like buying a car, and never changing the oil.

CD
 
Yeah, my annual peach bonanza left me scrambling for things to do with them, and people to give them to.

One year, one of my customers was the company that did the Barney TV Show. The Barney jokes there were hilarious. I got to know the people there, and one of them was a woman in her 50s (?), and she was a great baker. I told her about my peaches problem, and she told me bring her a bunch of them, and she'd bake pies for everyone. So I brought her a huge basket of them the next day, and she baked at least a dozen pies and passed them out to her co-workers, and give a couple to me. OMG, they were amazing!

I brought her more peaches, and she baked another bunch of pies for a charity bake sale. She raised a good amount of money for the charity from those pies.

The people who bought that house from me didn't do squat to take care of the tree, even though I gave them very specific written instructions. The tree died from neglect. The whole yard looks like crap now. Some people should rent apartments, or buy a condo. They don't want to do the basic work of maintaining a yard. It's like buying a car, and never changing the oil.

CD
Yes. I have looked (with Google maps) at the two houses I grew up in and shake my head. The home with the peach trees has no trees now. None. Nada. There were other trees and they seem to have torn out all the landscaping, flower beds, etc. They have done other things I don't understand. It seems sad to me. I have seen photos of the inside and I want to scream when I see all the stuff they tore out.
 
bliss, is it viable to keep just one hive?
Absolutely yes. A couple of my friends are talking about getting a flow hive as an option. The bees need to be ordered around now and March to be picked up April-May, the hives need to be in place mid-April. It's a lot of fun. The start up equipment can be a little pricy but second hand stuff is a good idea if you can find it. Bee clubs all over the US and Canada have lots of people that can be helpful at all stages.
If you think you'd like to harvest some honey.
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Give the bees houses.
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Buy yourself an outfit.
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Get up close and personal.
hivecheck51323-007queen.jpg

Then do it!
 
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@rodentraiser, We have deer here but so many homes and landscaping they mostly have eaten the apples. We run them off if we see them. The garlic and onions seem to repel them, they don't care for either one. We plant them in rows where we want to interrupt the deer from going into the more juicy plants. If they always come to the garden from one direction, then plant onions there. Even if you just plant flowers, the onions are hardly noticeable.
It wouldn't be so bad if people up here didn't feed them. I can walk right up to them and they don't move until I'm about two feet away. Yesterday I was running at them shaking a dish towel and they pranced about ten feet away, stopped, waited till I went inside, then came back. When I snapped the dish towel at them again, they didn't even blink.

I need my little red squirrel back. He used to chase everything out of the yard and as I recall, he tried chasing a deer out once, too. But of course, then he used my flower beds to bury sunflower seeds in. *sigh*

But I'll try the onions. I'll try anything!
 
It wouldn't be so bad if people up here didn't feed them. I can walk right up to them and they don't move until I'm about two feet away. Yesterday I was running at them shaking a dish towel and they pranced about ten feet away, stopped, waited till I went inside, then came back. When I snapped the dish towel at them again, they didn't even blink.

I need my little red squirrel back. He used to chase everything out of the yard and as I recall, he tried chasing a deer out once, too. But of course, then he used my flower beds to bury sunflower seeds in. *sigh*

But I'll try the onions. I'll try anything!

We used to have a lakehouse in a National Forest in East Texas. Feeding the deer was illegal, and the fines were pretty stiff. People think they are doing something nice for the deer, but they are actually hurting them, by changing their natural reproductive instincts. They overpopulate, and diseases set in, and deer die by the thousands from disease.

People need to let Mother Nature take care of the wildlife around them as much as possible. Sometimes humans need to intervene to preserve the natural eco-system, but that should be planned and managed by scientists.

CD
 
Indoor seedlings, we start with onions, move on to peppers and tomatoes.
Here's the crazy amount of onion seedlings we've started. All keepers over winter, generally a yellow onion, and I'm going to try to grow some Alisa Craig onions (in the two trays that haven't sprouted yet).
figbarsonions-010.jpg


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figbarsonions-012.jpg
 
I'd like to plant my herb garden this weekend. I'll have to see what I can find tomorrow. The garden centers will be crazy on Saturday. There may not be anything good left by Sunday.

Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and maybe sage right now. I may wait a few weeks to plant basil.

CD
 
I keep talking about the alisa craig onions. They are actually spelled AILSA Craig. Have you seen them? Have you grown them? I've always wanted to. They are crazy big (given good enough soil, nitrogen, and no competition from weeds). Dixondale says they have the potential of being 8 inches across and 6 lbs.
The biggest onions we've grown were keepers, candy, and walla walla, some as big a 1 lb or 1.25 lbs. If they get crazy big I'll chop and freeze them and give them away to every neighbor and friend we can find.

Since our onions don't get that big and we grow them in holes in the landscape fabric, these will have to go in on an edge of the garden without landscape fabric, or they'd tear up the landscape fabric or get strangled by it.

(dixondale picture)
Ailsa-Craig-Joseph-Gore-Hayden-ID211773-600x450.jpg


I think it would be so fun to have a lot of these big onions.
 
I keep talking about the alisa craig onions. They are actually spelled AILSA Craig. Have you seen them? Have you grown them? I've always wanted to. They are crazy big (given good enough soil, nitrogen, and no competition from weeds). Dixondale says they have the potential of being 8 inches across and 6 lbs.
The biggest onions we've grown were keepers, candy, and walla walla, some as big a 1 lb or 1.25 lbs. If they get crazy big I'll chop and freeze them and give them away to every neighbor and friend we can find.

Since our onions don't get that big and we grow them in holes in the landscape fabric, these will have to go in on an edge of the garden without landscape fabric, or they'd tear up the landscape fabric or get strangled by it.

(dixondale picture)
Ailsa-Craig-Joseph-Gore-Hayden-ID211773-600x450.jpg


I think it would be so fun to have a lot of these big onions.
I have tried the in the past, but never quite the size as I would have hoped. To the onions defense, they are not in the best spot of the gardens that might have been what kept it from thriving. That being said, my onions have been getting better and better over the past few years , so maybe it's time for me to give it another try. I mostly grow paterson, for storage purposes, with a few whites and reds thrown in. Last year ( and again this year ) Im growing " red Torpedo Tropea Onions". I think I saw it on an episode with Stanley Tucci in Italy. I was interested and coincidentally they were in one of the catalogues I order from. I like them more because of the shape than anything else.
 

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Mostly cleanup today, due to the nice weather, but no planting yet. I also put those two supports for the Jr Earthbox windowsill boxes, that got broken from fallen limbs, in those storms. I fixed them, way back, and had to re-install them with the lag screws.

I trimmed all the dead branches off my sage plants - the large one already has new growth on it, and they always start growing back soon. I also uncovered the fig tree I have out there - it was covered with some dry leaves, and shoved into an inverted trash can, then two 12" concrete squares on top, which never blew over, in those 2 really bad storms we had this winter. I'll see how the tree does now. The one I got is Chicago Hardy, which was supposedly the most cold hardy of the ones available.
 
I bought my herbs, but haven't planted them. I'm keeping them moist on the patio in their containers.

I spent the day on a reconstruction project on the garage. The 2X8 boards surrounding the garage door had rotted at the bottom, so I had to pry them off, and replace them.

It took longer than I expected, partially because Murphy's Law, which says that you can never complete a project with just ONE trip to the home improvement store. No matter how carefully you plan, there will be at least one thing you didn't buy on the first trip.

CD
 
I also uncovered the fig tree I have out there - it was covered with some dry leaves, and shoved into an inverted trash can, then two 12" concrete squares on top, which never blew over, in those 2 really bad storms we had this winter. I'll see how the tree does now. The one I got is Chicago Hardy, which was supposedly the most cold hardy of the ones available.
I've recently ( over the past few years) gotten more into growing figs. I belong to a local group which helps me with the timing of when to prune, wrap up and unwrap around here. I have In-ground figs that are uncovered, some that are covered , some potted figs that overwintered in my garage, and others that overwintered in the shed.

Today, I transferred the ones from the shed into a make shift greenhouse, heated with Christmas lites. I left the garage open during the day for the ones that were in the garage, since it was 60 + today. ( my garage never goes below 50.

Also have a bunch of cuttings that I rooted over the winter. They have leaves, so I will have to wait another month or so before I begin to harden them to goo outside .

I rarely get figs from my in-ground trees. The season is just not long enough for them to ripen, without season extending measures . I do have a few Chicago hardy varieties in the ground. Also some unknown varies in the ground. Everything else is in pots . Desert King,Chicago Hardy, Little Miss Figgy, Faja de Ovelha, Smith, Olympian. I'll also be picking up a Ronde de Bordeaux, Brooklyn White and I - 258 in a few weeks from a reputable guy in my fig group. In addition, I have a few unknown varieties I got from friends at work ( cuttings that I rooted ), they dont do anything do them ( no wrapping, no pruning, no fertilizer ...) and get hundreds of figs a year from their trees. Likely they have some kind of micro climate that works for them, but there's a chance hit just might be a variety that does well here ( they live less than 30 miles from me ) or a good gene pool, so I have nothing to lose.

Ive been rooting cuttings the past few years cause its relatively easy and fun, butt have now accumulated so many fig trees, I dont know what to do with them .

Anyway, Hopefully this is a good fig year for me.
 
We are 4 days into autumn/ fall so bit quiet for me although I think the boss wants brassicas planted put for winter crops. The garden has been generous to us this season. 4 lots raspberry jam/jelly
Strawberry jam peas and beans.
My wifes a great gardener.
We are still picking atm.

Russ
 
I've recently ( over the past few years) gotten more into growing figs. I belong to a local group which helps me with the timing of when to prune, wrap up and unwrap around here. I have In-ground figs that are uncovered, some that are covered , some potted figs that overwintered in my garage, and others that overwintered in the shed.

Today, I transferred the ones from the shed into a make shift greenhouse, heated with Christmas lites. I left the garage open during the day for the ones that were in the garage, since it was 60 + today. ( my garage never goes below 50.

Also have a bunch of cuttings that I rooted over the winter. They have leaves, so I will have to wait another month or so before I begin to harden them to goo outside .

I rarely get figs from my in-ground trees. The season is just not long enough for them to ripen, without season extending measures . I do have a few Chicago hardy varieties in the ground. Also some unknown varies in the ground. Everything else is in pots . Desert King,Chicago Hardy, Little Miss Figgy, Faja de Ovelha, Smith, Olympian. I'll also be picking up a Ronde de Bordeaux, Brooklyn White and I - 258 in a few weeks from a reputable guy in my fig group. In addition, I have a few unknown varieties I got from friends at work ( cuttings that I rooted ), they dont do anything do them ( no wrapping, no pruning, no fertilizer ...) and get hundreds of figs a year from their trees. Likely they have some kind of micro climate that works for them, but there's a chance hit just might be a variety that does well here ( they live less than 30 miles from me ) or a good gene pool, so I have nothing to lose.

Ive been rooting cuttings the past few years cause its relatively easy and fun, butt have now accumulated so many fig trees, I dont know what to do with them .

Anyway, Hopefully this is a good fig year for me.

We had a fantastic fig tree at our lake house in East Texas. Surprisingly, the deer never bothered it. My ex wife baked some amazing desserts with those figs. I put almost zero effort into that tree -- my peach tree was the complete opposite. It was nice to have such a productive fruit tree with minimal effort.

I don't know if that fig tree is still around, especially after the "Big Freeze" of 2021.

CD
 
We had a fantastic fig tree at our lake house in East Texas. Surprisingly, the deer never bothered it. My ex wife baked some amazing desserts with those figs. I put almost zero effort into that tree -- my peach tree was the complete opposite. It was nice to have such a productive fruit tree with minimal effort.

I don't know if that fig tree is still around, especially after the "Big Freeze" of 2021.

CD
Yeah, up here, having a fig tree( in most cases) takes a lot of thought and work.
Need a variety that can handle cold, and a varieties that produces and early crop.
I have ad fig trees that have produced, but needed another 2 weeks in the season to fully ripen. Unfortunately, figs font ripen off the tree.

Some people have certain micro-climates in their yard, whether its an area close to the house to break the wind, or up against a souther facing wall for that little bit of extra heat it needs. Some people just get lucky. unfortunately, Im not one of the lucky ones, I have to put a lot of effort. Wrapping trees, keeping them in pots. Keeping them in the garage, shed... Waking them up a few weeks early in a controlled environment to squeak out those few extra weeks needed to fully ripen. My dad had a tree that died down to the roots every year. Always came back year after year, but by the time it produced, it was too late. I think of its as a challenge. I had one potted tree give me about 40 figs last year. I had bought it from someone who knew what they were doing. This year will show weather I know what Im doing or not ( depending on If it produces or not).
 

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