Garden 2024

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I went out today to check the 8 "empty" spots in the garlic rows, and every one had a clove still there, with no growth started. So I planted some purple onion sets in those spots - I figured that would make it easier to ID from the garlic.

Besides this, I got some more on my deck stained, using a brush, in this case - 2 more of the racks the Jr Earthboxes set in, with one more left. I would have done that, but that is the S side, and the sun was setting over there, and it was getting much windier, so I cleaned up, and I might start again tomorrow, depending on how windy it is. Otherwise, I might have to wait until next weekend, as the temps are dropping for several days. Meanwhile, it's almost time to start getting the trays ready for the inside seed starting.
 
I got my rosemary, oregano, and thyme planted. My basil is in a big pot outside, that can be moved as needed as the summer heat gets more intense.

I also tilled the small area of lawn that I have, and put new seed down. Tall Fescue in the backyard due to the shade. Bermudagrass in a sunny area of the front yard.

I'll try to snap some pictures over the weekend.

CD

It rained all day today. Good for the garden.

The newly seeded lawn patch turned to a mud pit, which won't hurt the grass, but my mom's stupid dog, that normally doesn't like to walk in wet grass, made a beeline for the mud when I put her out when the rain was very light.

I went to the laundry room to get a towel to wipe her feet, and went to the back door. Then I opened the door, and didn't know she was right at the door. She launched herself into the house, and went straight to the living room carpet. Not the hard floor in the kitchen, no, she went for the expensive wool berber carpet.

I spent the next fifteen minutes on my hands and knees cleaning muddy paw prints off the carpet.

CD
 
im a little annoyed , cause I had planned to plant some radishes, lettuce and arugula in the garden this weekend. The tree guy was supposed to come last Friday to take down a few diseased cherry trees, along with a self planted maple tree which is shading the garden (using the maple logs for future mushroom logs, so Im kind of excited about that). But the tree guys postponed it until sometime this week. Problem is, the maple is so close to the garden, that there is a good chance they need to use the garden to access and cut down the tree. I don want to plant something just for it to get trampled or have branches come down on it. So now I have to wait until next week some time.

On a happy note, my Rhubarb has popped up about a week ahead of schedule. Ill be pre fertilizing the onion and potato beds. Potatoes are currently ' chitting' (have to make sure I get the spelling right on this one) in the garage . The strawberries are poking through too. I'll probably transplant them to a new bed, since they did crappy last year. Figs trees ( potted indoor ones) are waking up, some show evidence of Figlets forming. Fig trees can be unpredictable, so just seeing some early figs at this point is a good sign.

Ive also been scouring the internet and catalogues for inspiration for my flower pots and landscape this year. I like to mix things up a bit each year.
 

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It rained all day today. Good for the garden.

, she went for the expensive wool berber carpet.

I spent the next fifteen minutes on my hands and knees cleaning muddy paw prints off the carpet.

CD
Don't know whether to laugh, cry or give you a hug. Been there - done that. Know exactly what it's like.
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I used some rebar stakes from the garage, and bought some cheap screening, to keep mom's dog out of the mud. Hopefully the new grass seed with germinate soon.

Behind the mud/grass is a fence I need to clean up and stain to match my other, newer fences.

To the right of that is my newly planted herbs.

Oh, and that area beyond the brick row is decomposed granite. That is a hardscape that still allows water to flow through. I have a fire-pit farther to the right, and a huge live oak tree.

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CD
 
That fencing should work. Looks like what people have to put around their swimming pools when not in use. LOL.
Love the brick.
 
That fencing should work. Looks like what people have to put around their swimming pools when not in use. LOL.
Love the brick.

It is too short for kids, but tall enough for short, fat poodle.

When my house was built, they didn't buy enough brick, by just a little bit. The builder had to buy more. They had to buy a whole palate. They only need about ten percent of that. I ended up with almost a palate of bricks. I'm still looking for some way to use it all.

CD
 
It was too cool to do any more of the staining of the deck, and the only thing I got done was mixing up the seedling mix. I was glad I do this, partly because I'm a cheapskate, and the plants do so well in it, but also because I've been hearing all these horrible tales about people having problems with herbicides in their potting mixes, sometimes "organic" ones of major brands. I just mix some peat, with some dry coir I had left from the hydroponics, and about 20% perlite, with a little granulated diatomaceous earth, for drainage, and about 10% worm castings - the only fertilizer I add to it. It was sort of good that it was so windy - it blew the dust away, as I mixed it up, as long as I stood on the right side!
Worm castings added to the seedling mix - peat, a little coir, and the perlite, with a little granulated diatomaceous earth. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Finished seedling mix. Extra will be used for topping off SIPs. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Before using it, I'll sterilize it, by a low cook (about 200°) let it cool, then add some Bt israelensis to it, to prevent the fungus gnats.

I also re-covered my fig tree today, since we are forecast to get some below freezing temps this week, after those temps in the 70s last week! So much for the first day of spring!
 
About a week ago I started some beet and carrot seeds indoors in cells. Usually I start them directly in the ground, but still waiting for the tree guys to come , and I dont want them to get trampled. Normally I wouldn't start them in cells due to the risk of distorted roots, but I know a few people who do it successfully, and all I have to lose is a few seeds. They are normally not my most successful crops anyway, so another year of disappointment is almost expected.

Yesterday, I started some lettuce arugula, radishes and dill ( also indoors in cells for the same reasons).

The first week in March, I planted all the scallion root tips I've been saving for the past few months in the fridge. They have since grown several inches.

Potatoes are chitting in the garage, likely will get them in the ground in about 1 1/2 - 2 weeks

Transplanted some strawberries too a more desirable place in the yard, hoping they will do better.

Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage pots ready and waiting . Last year it twist until the first week in April before the seedlings became available

So basically the next 2 weeks is primarily prep work and clean up until potatoes, onions, leeks, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower go in.
 

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I "weighed out" the soil mix for my tomato and pepper seeds (yes, I did say that!), to sterilize it, before getting it ready to plant. I took out my smaller scale from the kitchen, and packed the mix into one of the 6-packs of planters, that 6 go into each tray (thus 36 plants), and 11 oz of the mix goes in each 6 pack, so 66 oz goes in each tray (very little moisture yet!), and it fills a fairly deep foil lasagna pan, that fits almost perfectly in half my grill. I just heat it to about 200° (the inside temp got to 194°, which was enough, I figured), then let it cool, uncovered. I only weighed it to make sure I get enough sterilized - I'll have a bunch of extra of the second batch, since I won't be planting as many peppers (yes, I said that, too!).

Oh yeah - I saw my first spearmint coming up today! Turns out it was the same date as last year! Peppermint has been up for a while, but it won't grow as fast as the spearmint, which will fill in the bed in less than 2 months.
The first spearmint peaking through, 3-20 - same date as last year! by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 
We just planted peas and radishes. Lettuce and arugula this weekend.

We’ll have those plus green beans, yellow beans, spinach, zucchini and yellow squash, tomatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, garlic, asparagus and potatoes.

Also the usual herbs. We have a blanket of mint in a raised bed inhabited by a huge black snake. We’ve named him Ebony.

And rhubarb that I need to be more creative about.
 
Yesterday onions (Patterson, Walla Walla, and some Red Italian Torpedo shaped variety) went in ( about 75) along with leeks ( Lancelot) about 40ish.

Over the weekend I've picked up 3 carloads of Aged Horse Manure from a local stable to supliiment my soil ( for free). Any leftovers I just incorporated it into my compost pile. Tempted to make one more horse crap run before it's all gone.

thought it was supposed to rain today, but the storm just missed us, which Im glad. I chitted my potatoes, cut them a few days ago and left them to scab over a bit before planting. It's supposed to rain all week, so Im glad today started late. I got 190 potatoes in the ground . Russet, Yukon Gold and Red Norland. I buy the seed potatoes already bagged, so you dont know how many you're going to get or what size they are. They're sold by the pound. Ive kept track over the years the average amount of potatoes per variety, per bag so I can get a sense of how many to buy. Some can be cut up to get multiple plantings per potato. Others are small enough they can be planted whole. I always wind up with too many ( better too many than too few). So I plant any extras in large pots. And I dump a pot of week starting mid June , which supplies me all summer with potatoes. Then in September, II harvest the actual beds and use/ store those. Last year I cleared out a section on the side of my yard to plant the excess potatoes so I wouldn't have 20 pots of potatoes on my stone wall ( kinda looks ugly). Well, now I filed the over flow potato garden up and still have left overs. Luckily its only 14 pots.

Probably going to start tomatoes, chard, sunflowers inside later on this week.

Also have been planning out which varieties of tomatoes Im going to grow, and how many of each.

Got some ginger and lemon grass that I need to pot up.

Already in the ground are the garlic planted last fall, the lettuce, kale , arugula and parsley which are from last year and survived the winter ( the arugula is starting to go to seed).

Peas, lettuce, arugula, carrots and dill have been directly planted. Ill probably get coriander in the garden or pot some time this week, weather dependent.

Rubarb, chives and Ramps are coming up.

My scallion ends that I saved and planted a few weeks ago are at least 8 inches high.

Also picked a few shiitake from last years inoculated logs ( only a few).

Just recently had a maple tree , which was shading the garden, taken down. I will inoculate the logs with more shiitake spawn. In addition, also ordered more wine cap mushroom spawn to replenish my current mushroom gardens , and inoculate the new one I just put together.
 
@larry_stewart I remember your post from last year or the year before picking up manure in your car/truck. It does make such a difference.
You've been busy! We are behind you a week or two at least.
I put fans on my onion sprouts and the tomato and pepper sprouts, to strengthen the stems.
 
I ordered a ton of stuff. The three blue mist plants I ordered last year came in today and have to be planted. Then I got on the website of my favorite nursery a couple weeks ago only to find out they're sold out of everything, so I got the dregs again. I ordered 25 strawberry plants, then saw that Publisher's Clearing House had the strawberries I wanted, so I order 12 of those plants. One way or the other, it looks like I'm having strawberries. I also ordered two blueberry plants and a wintergreen plant.

I'm sure hoping nothing else comes in soon, though. My sciatica is back big time and I can barely hobble around the trailer. Naturally, during this time the electric went out on one side of the trailer (I paid $100 to an electrician to fix that) and my black tank backed up and it will cost $236 to have that pumped. And of course, the car is going in on Friday. It needs an oil change and the engine light and airbag light are going on. Seriously, all I want is a car with a dashboard that does not look like a pinball game.

I still have bags of dirt I need to open and spread, bags of bark I need to open and spread, weeds galore that I need to remove, the blue mist and the iris bulbs still to plant (maybe this fall? Will the iris bulbs last that long?) and all the plants in my planters and barrels need to be moved around to make room for the strawberries and the blueberries. And here I sit, swearing like a sailor every time I have to get up and walk somewhere. And because of the foul up with Wellcare, I don't even have a doctor I can see for pain meds.

Yeah, this is gonna be a fun spring. LOL

Edited to add: I think my pampas plant died. The leaves turned yellow and I don't see any new growth on it. I suspect my azaleas in the front died as well. I'll be checking those out tomorrow. But the climbing rose is going great guns, the Shasta daisies are still green, and the tulips I don't like and didn't want are almost ready to bloom. It's amazing to me what lives through the winter and what doesn't. Oh, and my little willow tree has buds on it!
 
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@larry_stewart I remember your post from last year or the year before picking up manure in your car/truck. It does make such a difference.
You've been busy! We are behind you a week or two at least.
I put fans on my onion sprouts and the tomato and pepper sprouts, to strengthen the stems.
The first place was about half an hour away. Luckily, there is a stable much closer ( maybe 10 minutes away) that is offering the free manure. The other day I made two trips in one day since it is so close. I now have a surplus which will definitely carry me out for the season.
 
I'm way behind, as far as outdoor planting, due to the excessive rain I've had in the last several months. It is still raining (over 3" forecast for this week, until Friday), and it is much cooler than it normally is at this time, after the 70+ days I had a couple of weeks ago. During that time, when I had some decent weather, I pressure washed my deck, and a bunch of other things, and stained the deck up to about 90% of it; rain and cold weather forecast, until about 3 weeks later, so I'll finish it then, or after I finish planting.

Since my friends that I was going to have Easter dinner with got sick, I started doing some other things, though I didn't have much to do in the garden. The weather was nice out Friday, except for the fact that it was VERY windy, so I couldn't really do the stuff I was hoping to. So instead, I did some cleaning up on the back porch, then later I went down in my workshop, and made 2 more of those SIPs, using those inexpensive 18 gal tubs I got at Ollie's. I made 2 of them last year, but still had one I hadn't started using, because one of the old and cracking SIPs made it through one more season. I used that as the pattern, and it only took about 3 hours to make 2 of those, though I already had the columns from two that I took apart, before throwing away cracked containers. Those re-used support and wicking columns save a lot of time, and I still have enough of those for 2 more SIPs.
Made 2 more Sub-irrigated planters, using the bottom one I made a while ago as the pattern. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Almost finished SIP, just needing the screens cut. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Finished SIP, with the screens in place. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Saturday, the weather got a little better, at least not too windy early on, and no rain (fortunately, it didn't rain until late), so I did something today that I was going to to Friday, that I put off to Saturday, because of that wind - re-potted my curry tree, which was starting to get some bad branches, plus that stickiness on some of the leaves, otherwise, I would have waited until May, when I could leave it out, once re-potted (has to stay over 50°). The bay laurel seems to get that at this time of year, maybe because of the increased daylight? Whatever it is, I just took it out and rinsed the leaves off, and let it dry, then started re-potting. I got a laugh out of a neighbor, who was watching me when I was starting out, and later she came over and said she "had to ask" why I was beating the pot the plant was in. I explained to her that the pot was fiber, and the root ball was almost solid roots, which is why I was re-potting it, and I had to remove the "pot". This was really the only way to do it - after a few times, I'll just cut it off, but this pot is relatively new, and I'm relatively cheap! And the plant must enjoy this, as I think it's at least 13 years old now. :LOL:

I cut most of the root ball off, leaving about a 3 qt sized ball left, and that is a 12 gallon pot it's in, so at least 10 gallons of soil! I made it almost like I make seedling mix, but added some organic potting soil I got cheap, that has some worm castings in it, and added a bunch of perlite and granular DE, and a little of that micorrhyzae, and watered the top with some Bt israelensis, like I always do. I also "painted" the cut stems, and the large cut roots with that "liquid electric tape" I get at Harbor Freight - faster drying, and longer lasting, in my experience, than the stuff made for plants, which separates, and doesn't work as well. Amazingly, that plant has several areas of new growth when I looked at it around 3 pm Monday.

Something I'm doing this year with pepper seeds, to see how it works out, as well as save myself some time and energy, is something I did a few years ago with eggplant seeds, after which they grew so fast that they were ready to go out before the weather was ready! I have to re-pot them in larger pots, but time will tell if the peppers grow too fast. But I used to start all the seeds in that strip tray of vermiculite, and, while they started quickly, I had to transfer every one of them to the pots, and this was good, when growing as many peppers as I used to, as I had no other way to keep seeds for so many varieties warm! I "only" have 12 varieties this year, and with the eggplants growing so well the last several years in those Jiffy pellets, and I can fit them all in one tray, I figured that I'd try this. I have a heat mat, that 2 trays fit on, but I'll start them in my kitchen (on 4-1, after overnight soaking in KNO3 solution), in the same spot - on that warm griddle, with the pilot lights under it, keeping it warm all the time. I'll test the temp beforehand, as always, and tweak the temp, to get the tray ready for the seeds. When they start appearing, I'll move it to the heatmat in the plant room, under the lights.
Trays with Jiffy pellets, for planting eggplant and pepper seeds in. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

That tray with the space for the 18 pellets, is a tray I bought chicken thighs in! lol I knew it would be good for some gardening job! This year I'll be planting the eggplant seeds even a little later - the first year, starting in the pellets to save space, the plants were ready much earlier than the weather was, and each season I've been planting them a few days later, and last season, on 4-1, they were still slightly too early, so I'll try 4-3 this year. And same with my tomatoes, planting on 4-6, as they have also been almost too large too soon, since the early May has been quite cool the last few years, after hot Aprils! Better to be slightly too small, than to be ready too soon, and flowering.

I soaked the pepper seeds Sunday night, then planted them today in these pellets. Tomorrow night eggplant seeds get soaked, then planted Wednesday, and Friday night tomato seeds (22 varieties this year) get soaked, and planted Saturday. It's that time again!
 
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I planted the eggplant seeds this morning, after soaking overnight. Asian Delight, Long Purple, Ichiban, and Matrosik, the last one a larger type, I got from someone in Florida, who says it grows well in the heat and humidity there, so it should do well here! So many seem to stop flowering when it gets hot, like tomatoes. Ichiban does this, but is always the earliest, which is why I still grow it. More than half I'll give to a friend (assuming they all survive - the reason I grow twice what I need of most of the seedlings).
 
My first pepper seed sprouted today, after just 4 days! It is one of the Thai Dragon seeds. I moved the tray upstairs, to under the light, and I'll have to adjust that heat mat to keep them around 85°, like when they were over the pilot lights.

This evening I got the seeds for my tomatoes and one tomatillo variety soaking, and those will all get planted tomorrow.
21 tomato varieties, and one tomatillo, set to soak overnight. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 
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