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What's Going In Your Garden Now?

The weather is starting to warm up here in NE NC so this weekend, we mowed the lawn, weed eated and tilled the garden. I still had kale, collards and other mixed greens which had to come up first. I'd already planted green peas a week ago & over the past few days, I added more peas, onion sets, butter lettuce, and broccoli and I've started poblano & bell peppers and tomatoes in containers for later transplant. I have a space approximately 26 x 12 ft which will end up being about 8 rows give or take. This year, we've decided to make a separate plot for the melons, which frees up space for something else in the main garden. Working on my gardening chart so that I know what to put out when something gets harvested; it's mild here most of the year so I can get two planting seasons if I time it right. Over the next couple of days, I plan to add cabbage & cauliflower. What;s going in your garden now?

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  1. West Central GA here. We seem to have skipped spring (and mostly winter) here an moved straight to summer.

    This past weekend, planted potatoes and peas and set out cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants. Have lettuce and onions growing in containers on the deck.

    1. At the end of May I'll be planting the garden as our winters are very long. It is snowing like mad at this very moment! So for now I will be content to salivate over my gardening catalogues. I live in northern Alberta.

      1. I'm in central NC, but working with containers on my balcony so I have a little leeway with temperatures. I took a chance and planted seeds in mid-February. So far, so good, but I am worried it is going to get too hot for the usual spring vegetables. I have lettuce (romaine, will cut leaves for baby lettuce), turnips, beets, radishes, carrots, peas, and broccoli. Everything sprouted and is growing nicely. I'm planning to build a few small earthbox knock offs and plant peppers (1 hot, 2 sweet), tomatoes, and eggplant in late spring/early summer. I'm hoping to squeeze in a third planting in late summer/early fall with more lettuce and broccoli.

        1. Here in coastal MA spring has truly sprung... garlic shoots are a good 5-6 inches high, rhubarb is peeking out of the soil (I just applied a good bit of composted manure to each for a little boost), over-wintered kale is starting to send out tiny shoots, and perennial herbs are sprouting, including chives, oregano, thyme, and tarragon.

          For the first time I can remember we actually planted peas (English, snow, and snap) on St. Patrick's Day (the traditional time for around here – what's not usual was that it was upwards of 70 degrees), along with radishes, Pak Choi, and Arugula.

          Will be planting onions soon, and a pot of peas just for pea shoots.

          1 Reply
          1. re: GardenFresh

            Just north of Boston...I went crazy last month and planted radishes, peas and lettuces in mid-February during a warm spell. All but the peas are sprouting up. Sorrel is almost big enough to pick for a salad; rhubarb, chives and garlic are about where yours are. Thyme is rampant. I have a rosemary shrub in a pot that survived the winter, in a sheltered spot outside my back door.

            My new apricot tree and (relative to the apricot) old peach tree look almost ready to bloom. No movement on the new plum tree yet. Buds on blueberry bushes are swelling.

            I am poring over my seed packets, thinking about what I can risk putting in next! It's a crazy year.

            1. re: wyogal

              Us too. I'm guessing from your name you live in Wyoming? I'm about an hour from Evanston, WY in NE Utah.

              1. re: UTgal

                Yep. We lived in the Bridger Valley when we were first married, way back in '81. First two kids born in SLC. We were 2 hours from our house to the Marie Callender's (I think on Foothills).
                We've had a freakish spring, 60's, 70's, then snow (which is normal), back to high 50's today, maybe a bit of snow, and then more warm temps coming up.

              2. Southern Indiana here. I have about 50 varieties of pepper seedlings still indoors, mostly ranging from hot to extremely hot, and 12 overwintered peppers from last year in one gallon pots outside. Some dwarf fruit trees (meyer lemon, kumquat, kaffir lime, and limequat), fig and pawpaw trees, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries, aronia, black currant, white currant, red currant, blueberries, and a miracle berry tree. I have a few passion fruit seedlings too.

                For herbs I have oregano, cilantro, culantro, chives, garlic chives, epazote, hoja santa, Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens), basil, thyme.

                I'm starting tomatoes (jersey devil, kosovo, Paul Robeson, opalka, and brandywine), tomatillos (cicernos, purple tomatillos, and a miltomate/wild kind), and watermelon (moon and stars and an orange flesh variety) tomorrow. Probably should have started them a bit earlier but I've been procrastinating.

                3 Replies
                1. re: StringerBell

                  Well I got the bug today and started a bunch more, thai basil, fennel, tarragon, leeks, marjoram, mammoth dill, romanesco broccoli, swiss chard, eggplant, and some lettuces. Looking at ordering some more dwarf trees, probably starfruit and bhudda's hand citron.

                  1. re: StringerBell

                    I'm so envious of your fruit trees...sigh...maybe next year. It's been raining just about every day since my initial post so have been unable to do anything in the garden. I did plant romaine lettuce in a pot and also a few butternut squash seeds in a container both for later transplant. It's been warm enough to keep my potted plants on the porch outside but temps are to take a dip in the 40's for the next three nights so they have to come inside. Was unable to plan the cauliflower/cabbage when originally planned so I threw some cauliflower seeds and cabbage seeds in a patch of the garden I could get to and if they do anything, I'll dig up the plants and move them later. Also, I noticed my tomato seedlings have sprouted. Garden has water between the rows and supposed to rain again today so who knows when I'll be able to add anything else. For now, I pray for an abundance of sunshine and no more rain right now!

                    1. re: Cherylptw

                      The fruit trees are great! I just wish I had a lot more of them. The citrus trees are extremely easy to grow, very drought tolerant and extreme heat and intense sun don't phase them at all, no pests, not finicky at all. They do well indoors in the winter without much light and are really productive for dwarf trees, especially the kumquat. The fig trees already have some figs growing on them in early April, surprisingly. The kaffir lime tree's leaves are great for cooking Unfortunately the paw paw trees are several years away from fruiting. Hopefully soon I will have a lot more space to work with.

                  2. Eating lots of sugar snap peas. Tiny figs on the trees. Apricot, pluot, nectarine and grape leafing out. Garlic and "giant" garlic ? (it was in a collection) about 12 inches tall. Favas are in full flower...a dead mole lies nearby. I am hoping some slightly larger creature will come and get it in the night. No, I did not put out poison. Collards and kale seem to be going to seed.


                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                      If it's not too late, harvest the seeds of the collards & kale and replant in the fall for a winter garden.

                      1. re: Cherylptw

                        How do I know if it's too late? How do I harvest and save the seeds? I've planted things (lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, peas, onions) from seed, but never collards and kale.

                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                          Once the collards and kale has grown it's course, they'll start to grow up and produce flowers at the top of the stalk. Prior to the flower taking shape, you should be able to see seeds growing where the flowers will be later. Take those off, dry them and save until the next planting. You can do this with broccoli & cauliflower as well. I save the seeds from overgrown zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes (take them out and dry, remove as much of the pulp as possible from tomatoes & place on a piece of parchment or plastic wrap until dry) I also allow some of my okra pods to dry on the stalk then take the seeds out and use to plant. Other obvious saves are the seeds from winter squashes and fresh peppers. All these need to be well dried before planting.

                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                              By the way, my neighbor gave me a bag full of mustard green seeds she harvested from her plants today and I have broccoli seeds and hanover greens seeds, both from already established plants. Most of my bell pepper plants in the garden are from seeds I got from peppers I got from the grocery store. I 'm also drying out some corn kernels; I'm going to see if they grow anything.

                              Also, I originally told you that you should dry out your seeds before using but I have to tell you I cut open an acorn squash and planted the seed without drying them and now I have a beautiful plant with tiny squashes on them coming up so this method may or may not work with other seeds FYI

                            2. re: Cherylptw

                              you're brill cherylptw....great explanation

                              my garden is really rather sad this year so far.
                              our winter was, well, what winter? so
                              the usuals didn't pop up when they should have and altho I'm finally seeing basil from seeds (how many packs of burpees do you have to plant in soil to get plants...sheeesh)
                              but the onions and shallots are withered with brown stems so I should dig 'em up and see if anything grew. I always get my parsley and cilantro (albeit a short growing season for cilantro).
                              the wind has played havoc with tender young growth and all but killed it all. I'd love tomatoes and think I'll go to the nursery and buy established plants like maybe some heirlooms.

                              1. re: iL Divo

                                Mine is getting sad too unfortunately...first let me say that the storm last Friday is making me think I might not do much this summer with the garden...prior to that storm, it also rained a few days before that and both times, the garden was flooded. Started with 20 tomato plants, now down to 15. My onions didn't grow like they should have because they were sitting in water a few times this spring as were my lettuce, which by the way, didn't originally do anything but was finally at the point for picking after having been planted three times in three months. But the storm took care of that so it's a bust. Lettuce, onions and the remainder of my green peas need to be pulled up as soon as the dirt dries out enough to get in there. Cabbage transplants are not growing so they'll be pulled up; broccoli transplants were dug up a week ago. They'll be replanted at the end of the summer.

                                My transplanted corn and the freshly planted corn (last week) is ok so far. I transplanted my second try of cauliflower a couple days prior to the storm; lost a few but enough remaining to be hopeful. Plenty of tiny butternut & acorn squashes on those plants but the zucchini plant leaves seem to be drying out after all the rain. Second time planting those, bummer!. Same with my cukes. I planted. I started yellow squash in a container since my original planting never came up; will transplant if it does anything. Bell plants are doing fine, so far and I have planted some aneheim & poblano seeds so waiting to see if they take. Kolhrabi seeds were planted last week. Okra growing okay (it's kind of hard to mess that up). Potato plants are dying back as supposed to so I'm assuming they are on schedule (hopeful with these)

                                So my green beans & yellow wax beans are almost ready to be picked...with all the water, the plants never really got off to a great start, they kind of stayed pale green and some look stunted and the bugs are trying to eat them up (dusted twice so far) but there are some beans on them; hopefully will pick this week when the garden dries out enough for me to get to them.

                                My herb garden was planted more than two months ago; the only thing I see is dill and tiny basil leaves trying to come up. I'm going to do a container garden for the herbs. It's been a bad spring for garden in my area.

                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  I'd forgotten to mention my pomegranate tree. second year planted first year lies of flowers so potential fruit that I assume get consumed by varmints so not a fruit grew.
                                  this year same thing-bigger tree of course all flowers eaten....

                        2. I planted French breakfast radishes, arugula and basil last week.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: prima

                            Just started enjoying the French breakfast radishes, arugula and basil I planted in mid-March.

                          2. Gardening here in the central part of the island of Oahu.

                            In the garden are radishes, different varieties of daikon, red beets, golden beets, kale (toscano and ripbor), swiss chard, mustard cabbage, choy sum, pole beans, kabocha, chives and cilantro. Romaine and butter lettuce in pots on the cooler side of the yard. In starter pots are tomatoes (san marzano, momotaro), japanese eggplant, red and green shiso, sweet peppers and cucumbers. Basils didn't sprout so I'll probably buy some plants to get in the ground this weekend.
                            Space permitting, zucchini, more varieties of eggplant and peppers and tomatoes will go in the garden in a few weeks. Love springtime to garden!

                            1. Recently planted lime, lemon and pomegrantes dwarfs trees are doing great. Worried about the new apricot tree--no leafing at all yet. Dill and chives are growing crazy. Long established citrus (more lemon, satsuma and orange) are in full bloom, as are 2 dwarf peach trees. Sugar snap peas are about 4" high. Will start tomato plants and Japanese eggplant this week. In southern CA here.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: pine time

                                That's interesting! My apricot, nectarines, and peach leafed out, but not the pluot, although it had lots more blossoms. I'd wondered if I had somehow killed it.

                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                  How's that pluot doing? We've considered it, but heard they're picky trees. Our new apricot is finally leafing. Have marble-sized tomatoes, green beans are up, but the eggplant is just sitting there, sulking (planted too early).

                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                    Does your apricot tree bear fruit every year?

                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                      Hardly ever.....its still pretty small, and growing in a bad spot, overgrown with cotoneaster. I would give up on it if it demanded any attention. Any thoughts?

                                      1. re: Shrinkrap

                                        I saw an article a few weeks ago about Apricots not bearing fruit every year. I was relieved because ours has been very leafy but bore only a few fruits the last two years. I was wondering what others found. Ours is a Puget Gold self pollenator. It is about 5 YO in the maritime PNW. No fruit for two years then the third year we had hundreds of apricots then anemia set in. I am seriously worried that the trend has set in. I looked on garden web and saw a mixed bad.

                                        About yours. Trim back the cotoneaster - and as long as it is getting some sun and not sitting in water you are prob good eh? You will need to trim it all back to get to your fruit anyway! Good luck trying to pull it out (smirk).

                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                          Shoot--I was hoping for good fruiting on our apricot this year. Planted it late spring last year, so didn't expect anything last summer. It's in a good spot and is budding already (we're in So. Cal).

                                2. After a week of unusually high temps, 70's, we have snow once again.

                                  1. Loquats, key limes and lemons growing, might put in a guava tree still thinking about it, neighbors have gazillions of mangos and avocados growing so a glut of those are coming in summer, I have herbs in pots. Just moved so too late to do winter tomatoes etc but will next year. South Florida gardening is a bit baffling to this Brit.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: smartie

                                      boy am I ever envious.
                                      good for you, love loquats.

                                    2. Update on the garden: after planting my sweet peas, red & yellow onions and butter lettuce about six weeks ago, we had rain for two weeks off & on so the garden flooded. The lettuce didn't do much and I had to replant it last week, along with the broccoli & cabbage seeds. Peas are getting blooms on them so it won't be long and the onions are doing well. Tomato and bell pepper seedlings have been transplanted in the garden so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

                                      I put some butternut squash seeds in a container about a month ago and transplanted the seedlings into the garden two weeks ago; they're doing well. My green beans and yellow wax beans have sprouted as have my spinach. I also have spinach growing in a pot on my back steps. Cauliflower didnt do well in the flood so decided to scrap that until the fall. I planted some acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, armenian cukes and regular cukes in the last week or so. Oh, and I planted my herb garden with basil, dill, oregano, thyme, cilantro, parsley and chives.

                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                          That sounds wonderful! Another week or so and I'll be eating my first green sweet peas, I can't wait. Also going on in the garden this week: the potatoes are coming along, the green heads are sticking out of the dirt. Cukes I planted last week are beginning to show but the armenian cukes and yellow & zucchini squashes planted three weeks ago have not sprouted so they'll probably need a replant. The weather here has been raining a lot since my original post and temps have gone from 85 to 45 so that has a lot to do with the growing process.

                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                            I am ALMOST, but not quite, sick of sugar snap peas. I started a second planting abut six weeks ago, the ones I started in Novemeber are almost done, and I m off cooking peas for a bit.

                                            Tonight I am making the favas with garlic scapes.

                                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                                              Planted my sugar snaps late, so they're just flowering now. Hope we don't get too hot & kill 'em off before we get peas. What's your favorite use for them, and do you use the tendrils in salads?

                                              1. re: pine time

                                                Those that make it in from the garden are boiled briefly, then a little butter and salt. last night I had some slice and sautéed with corn kernels at Ad Hoc in Napa. Yum. my
                                                My guinea pig gets the tendrils, which seem a little tough to me.

                                        2. Planted some tall grasses last week, they look pretty awful after a couple of days of 30+mph constant winds. Now more snow. Tulips are up, daffodils been and gone, oregano, chives, lemon balm, and sage making their way out of winter slumber.

                                          1. We awoke to more snow today. We usually are unable to plant anything until the end of May.

                                            1. We have been enjoying a bounty of lettuce and green onion the past few weeks. Should have peas in a week or two. Probably some new potatoes ready to steal away now. Broccoli has small heads, cabbage just starting to head. We had a little bit of cooler weather that helped the cool weather crops but it is turning back hot, and dry. Was way too late getting the early stuff planted because the ground was too wet to work.

                                              Corn, beans, squash and tomatoes are up and away.

                                              It's looking like we may have a miserable summer. We average four inches of rain in April, this year we are at a quarter inch.

                                              1. I just counted more than a dozen artichokes on two plants. The potatoes are growing like mad. A two day heat spell caused the lovely big lettuces to start to bolt. I'm sad about that, but everything else is good. I dumped lots of compost on the raspberries last fall and they are now covered with buds. A hummingbird has built a nest in the pear tree so I can't thin the fruits. Whenever I go near the tree it buzzes angrily in my face. Springtime....

                                                1. Potatoes are looking great. Maybe another month or so before harvesting.
                                                  About a 3rd of my lettuce patch was taken out by heavy rain and winds last week. There was a row of flowering arugula that toppled over them in the wind. But I still salvaged some.

                                                  My zucchini plants are blooming like mad.
                                                  Onions and garlic have gone completely crazy, can't wait to pull them.
                                                  Collard greens, spinach, swiss chard and carrots are overflowing my boxes. Some leaves are as large as my torso! Pulled up a carrot on Saturday about 7" long. Super sweet.
                                                  Pole beans are looking good.
                                                  One of my artichoke plants got stressed with the constant weather changes recently, so the flowers are almost opening as soon as the come up. They look pretty and I get tons of compliments, but aren't going to be ready to eat.
                                                  Set out my peppers last weekend.
                                                  Tomatoes and cukes coming along....slowly, but they're getting there.
                                                  Native wild flowers, sage, thyme, parsley, and marjorum are flowering like there's no tomorrow. Yesterday I walked through and was surrounded by tons of butterflies, bees, and wasps. After I left the humming birds moved in. That's a good sign.

                                                  I've still got a lot more peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, greens, beans, artichokes and flowers to set out. I figure I'll set those out once I pull up all the early spring/winter greens, potatoes, and onions.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Novelli

                                                    Wow! Where do you garden? Zucchini is blooming already? Wait....artichokes, garlic......must be NorCal or or Central Cal coast? I LOVE your pictures!

                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                      I'm in SoCal, San Pedro/RPV area. I live in a house with very small front and backyards, so I do everything I can to utilize every inch of space. Front of house is in ground, back of house is a combo of in-ground and raised beds, and down both sides of the house I have stuff in containers and large tote bins.
                                                      Been having some interesting weather lately. Some really nice sun with decent weekly showers. Funny, I haven't watered anything since November.

                                                      1. re: Novelli

                                                        Just beautiful! And I'm jealous that you can grow all that at this time of the year!

                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                          Me too. Buckets of tears too salty to water plants with.

                                                  2. Here in Ohio, the garden stores keep tempting me with beautiful herbs and tomatoes. But I will hold out until Memorial day weekend... or just before.

                                                    I currently have my early spring garden in with: Rainbow Swiss Chard, Tuscan Kale, Pak Choi, Collards, Spinach, Rainbow Carrots, and French Breakfast Radishes. My strawberries and rhubarb is also awake from it's winter slumber.

                                                    1. My container herb garden has been growing-
                                                      I just ordered from cooks garden 3 tpes of small tomatoes
                                                      I also have variety of basils-savory, pineapple sage, thyme,lemon verbena, nasturiums

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                        i also ordered today from
                                                        2 scented geraniums-i peppermint 1 rose
                                                        1 rose thyme
                                                        vietnamese mint
                                                        clove pinks

                                                      2. Did a little weeding and hilled the corn this morning. I'm afraid the cabbage and cauliflower isn't going to make, have broccoli almost ready to cut.

                                                        1. Here near Winchester, in Shenandoah County, Virginia are two pictures of how it is going this morning.
                                                          A pic of 4 garden plants 5-5-12
                                                          A pic of 4 garden plants 5-6-12

                                                          Not a pretty site.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Rella

                                                            Raccoons? Possum? Bears? I have to cage mine to try to keep critters and varmints out the first week or so. I guess they are looking for grubs or something?

                                                            Are those earth boxes? I just bought two of those. Have you used them before? How did it go?

                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                              If you had bears it seems like you would know it. I think they generally tear up more than they eat. Never heard of possums in a garden. Raccoons like to get corn...

                                                              Maybe it's rabbits? Or rats.

                                                              1. re: kengk

                                                                I have had possums sit on my back fence in the night.I have also had foxes back there. Don't know if they dig up the garden. I usually blame racoons I see there tracks. I once saw their tracks on the glass of my bedroom door. At least I THINK they were raccoon tracks. I thought they were looking for bugs in the soil. Could be that damn "coon" cat. That thing is HUGE!

                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                  We've even had a bear in our yard a couple of years ago. Of the critters in our yard, often deer, wild turkey, no racoons, but we certainly do get ground hogs in our yard, possums on the road below; rabbits and many squirrels.

                                                                  We blamed it on the squirrels, but GUESS WHAT! Tonight we saw a SKUNK late this afternoon, which we have not seen in our 20 years here.

                                                              2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                Spouse was able to put back the battered plants into the soil, so he thinks it is a squirrel; they dig all over our containers.
                                                                We have never planted in this box previously,. I am attaching scanned snapshots of the packaging - we save everything :-))
                                                                Bought at Home Depot, I believe, last year on their sale table.

                                                            2. Latest update: we're still having rain here so my garden is not doing like it should. I've planted lettuce twice and still yet to eat. I dug up the spinach, it didn't do anything; I'll try again in August. My broccoli may be a wrap also. The thing is, my garden is in low lying land and we get rain periods where the water sometimes sit for days at a time.

                                                              On the upside (is there one at this point, I ask myself) I picked green peas yesterday, I'll pull up the plants this weekend...we wont get many more since it's almost too hot for it. I planted corn last week and it's coming up and I'll plant more in the spot where those pea vines are. I transplanted my cabbage to their final home yesterday; hope it does something. The butternut and acorn squashes coming along but the zucchini & yellow squash had to be replanted. My cuke plants are growing on schedule but my Armenian cuke plant is a little sluggish so I'm hoping. I planted red potatoes and russets in the same row; reds plants are just as pretty as can be but the russets are a little slower coming up. To be fair, the reds had a lot of sprouts when I put them into the ground than the russets so I guess thats common. Onions are growing but they're not getting as big as I'd hoped. I've got some seeds that I'll plant in August as a back up. I have 20 tomato plants...I transplanted 18 of them to their final homes yesterday, again, my fingers are crossed. Bells and okra have sprouted. Leek seeds were planted a month ago but they take five months so I'm waiting to see the first signs. My herbs are a big bust. I'm going to have to replant, which is disappointing. I see some dill trying to come up but not much else.

                                                              On the agenda for this week, digging up those peas and planting more corn. Planting kholrabi, which is something I've never tried to grow or have eaten. Every year I like to plant something I never planted before. Planting more bells and poblano chilis, jalapenos, cayenne, cauliflower. More lettuce! Possibly planting watermelons & canteloupes this week.

                                                              1. Here on the 7/8 border, my spring bed is under the shade cloth. I may try to sow another row of arugula before giving up on greens completely. Arugula, spinach and romaine has been wildly prolific, this year. I have a couple cauliflower plants left over from a seeding failure and they are enormous, but without a single sign of a flower. The carrots and beets look good and I just seeded cucs, yellow squash and melons in the bare spots showing up. I'm going to start a few in trays in cases the seeded ones aren't happy under the shade cloth.

                                                                I picked my first cherry tomato two days ago and should get a real tomato in another week. They will be my earliest ever. The peppers have peppers and the potatoes are huge. The eggplant is being blase`.

                                                                I am trying a three sisters bed this year and just planted the corn. A bit later than I had anticipated, but wanted to make sure I was home from vacation before it started coming in. Has anyone else done it and was it a success?

                                                                1. You can get your corn seedlings here! Check out the price on a corn or a sweet pea plant!

                                                                  $16 for ONE seedling!


                                                                  But it's organic, so........there's that.....

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                    My goodness. Those prices are outrageous.

                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                      LOL that seedling alone costs more than what you would spend on corn in a year!

                                                                    2. This morning's harvest.
                                                                      Got some cavolo nero (black kale), carrots, a head of lettuce, a nice sized zucchini, and some swiss chard. Should be some good eating this week!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Novelli

                                                                        Where do you live!?! Here in Ohio, that's just a distance dream. :(

                                                                      2. Planted my bintje potatoes, banana potatoes, peas, carrots, beets, endive, spinach, red peppers, sage, radishes, okra and zucchini this weekend.

                                                                        1. I harvested out my onions today. Not a bad haul. About 30 each of yellow granex, white spanish, and some sweet reds. I'm letting them sit for a day or 2, then will cut the tops and cure for a couple weeks. Then into panty hose they go! Except I think I'll braid the red ones. They didn't get too big, but should taste great. Should last me the rest of the year.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Novelli

                                                                            Nice! Are you in the south? When did you put them in the ground? As seedlings or sets?

                                                                            I harvested a few of my garlic.

                                                                          2. Going to be pulling potatoes next week.
                                                                            Green beans are on like gangbusters. Tons of them are about pinky sized. Should be good within the week for plucking and fresh eating.
                                                                            All 15 San Marzano plants are doing excellent. Very bushy. About 4ft tall and throwing out an incredible amount of blossoms. Even found a few thumb sized fruits growing on them. Had to tie them off to the trellis.
                                                                            Cucumbers are putting on a lot of blossoms. I saw a few tiny ones peeking out that I tried to hand pollinate. We'll see what happens there.

                                                                            This morning I pulled out my carrots. Beautifully sweet. I'd say about 18 lbs total (give or take). I planted them pretty close and didn't thin them at all, hence the number of baby carrots...but they're still good eating. I'll be a pickling fool this week!
                                                                            I also grabbed a couple very large zucchini that were just reaching out for me!

                                                                            Now that the 8x6 box is empty of spinach, chard, collards, and carrots- I'll be looking at throwing in some more eggplant and pepper transplants.

                                                                            1. I've been reading a few of the posts. However, it is worthless information when I have no idea where people are gardening. Many times, you can look at their profile, but so many people on chowhound never even give that information.

                                                                              Sometimes you can go up the thread and find out where they live - but at that point, ....

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                                I am in Northern California. 14/15 if you do the sunset thing. Harvesting garlic and shallots, pulling up sugar snap peas and planting green beans.

                                                                              2. What lovely photos folks are posting! I just planted my vegetables YESTERDAY and my herbs transplants today so cannot even fathom having anything on the table, let alone blooming, or even growing! I live in Alberta with extremely short summers and long winters.

                                                                                1. Harvested the first blueberries last Thursday 31 May. I'm just south of Atlanta, GA.

                                                                                  Harvested my first peaches Redskin and Red Haven) ever early last month on 7 May. I was so excited! It was so exciting to plant them as a whip, watch the tree grow, then flower, then put on fruit, and, finally, watch that fruit grow to full size and beautiful color. They tasted simply perfect. No question my favorite fruit.

                                                                                  Also, yesterday harvested no less than $100 worth of fresh herbs: tarragon, mint, chives, marjoram, lemon thyme, German thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, sage, and rosemary. Have them all in the kitchen drying now.

                                                                                  Tomatoes (Celebrity Supreme and Celebrity) are full size, just waiting for them to turn red now.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                    mmmmmmmmmm, fresh peaches and blueberries! Excellent! Sounds like you may have some pie/cobbler making in your future!

                                                                                    Wow, that's a lot of herbs! Do you market/sell them? or keep them for personal use at home?

                                                                                    1. re: Novelli

                                                                                      I grow them for personal use and to give to family and friends, but I'm starting to think I should sell them! I am, after all, a dyed-in-the-wool entrepreneur.

                                                                                      1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                        There you go!
                                                                                        Come up with your own special seasoning blend and sell it!
                                                                                        Make a couple bucks and have a good time doing it!

                                                                                        A few tied branches of good dried oregano or marjorum in a cellophane sleeve...almost pure profit right there with minimal labor!

                                                                                        1. re: Novelli

                                                                                          Yeah! Our city has a weekly farmer's market. I've thought about selling in it. I might consider applying for it next year. Honestly, it would be more for fun than for money. Either way, I'll give it some thought!

                                                                                  2. I am happy with my container gardening so far this season-
                                                                                    the herbs r doing well as well as the bush beans and tomatoes

                                                                                    I have also introduced many of my neighbors to herbs-most have never used them in cooking or for tea

                                                                                    1. Picked the first tomato (Celebrity; the Celebrity Supremes are staggered about a month behind the Celebrities) of the year today!

                                                                                      1. I planted an edible passionflower plant a couple months ago and that is starting to flower and fruit - it's also taking over at the back fence which is fine. Lemon tree blooming nicely, key lime tree has about 30 limes growing but I am concerned about the amount of rain we've had as the leaves are not as green as they ought to be. South Florida.

                                                                                        1. We should have a new "what's coming out of your garden" thread.

                                                                                          We have been eating squash and beans til we are sick of them. Canned 8 pints of beans last Sunday and will do 8 more tomorrow. The Silver Queen corn has just started to tassle. Should have the first ripe tomato in a week or so.

                                                                                          1Point, we went to a farmers market in Columbus last weekend and I was thinking I would like to take stuff to sell when I retire in the next year or two. It's only $50 for the whole season, lasts from 8-noon on Saturday. I figure I could take garden produce, eggs and maybe a few loaves of bread.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                                                            Wow, that's a really good price. Ours is $15 per day for a single booth.

                                                                                            1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                              All you get for your fee is 10' of sidewalk. I think the primary goal is to get folks to come down town on Saturday morning. I would imagine the City or Chamber is subsidizing it.

                                                                                              There were several people offering (and appeared to be selling) their eggs for $5/dozen. I struggle to sell my extra 3 dozen a week for $2.

                                                                                              Check it out some Saturday morning when you are up for a road trip. Ever eat at Country's BBQ? It's not bad.

                                                                                              1. re: kengk

                                                                                                Which city is it again? I think I remember you mentioning it once, but, I'm sorry, I don't remember which city it is. I'm thinking you said Columbus, but I'm not sure.

                                                                                                I have not eaten at Country's BBQ. I will certainly keep that in mind the next time I pass by there.

                                                                                                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                  Columbus, GA. The 1000 block of Broadway. Saturday mornings 8-noon.

                                                                                          2. As our climate does not permit us to plant until late May, I certainly am not harvesting anything! However, the following have just poked up this week:

                                                                                            - arugula

                                                                                            - peppergrass

                                                                                            - mizuna

                                                                                            - green beans

                                                                                            - radishes

                                                                                            - microgreens

                                                                                            - Swiss chard

                                                                                            Still waiting on mesclun, butterhead lettuce and carrots to poke up through the ground. All my herb and tomato transplants are doing nicely.

                                                                                            1. Didn't get an early planting of bush beans in before I was away for 2 weeks. The row I was finally able to plant is only just barely up. No sign of parsnips yet. Sugar snaps are beginning to blossom. Over-wintered spinach has been a delight but it is now bolting. April plantings weren't watered enough so germination has been extremely poor. Well, at least I don't have to thin. Self-seeded dill is all over the place which is nice to have in addition to a huge amount of perennial herbs in the porch garden. Just planted winter squash yesterday. New spinach is ready to start eating as well as lettuce mix. I'm going to let beets get bigger and let the chard grow another week before cookingup. Looks like only one meals worth in my short, skimpy row. Garlic is just beginning to put out scapes. Should have a nice stir fry this week.

                                                                                              1. Last week I started picking the regular sized tomatoes but the cherries have been edible for a few weeks now. This week the heirlooms will be ready to pick.

                                                                                                Lots of green/ yelllow squash for a few weeks too and also Japanese cucumbers.
                                                                                                The only plant late to the party is our eggplant.

                                                                                                1. I'm still waiting for anything that I've seeded to make anything we can consume.
                                                                                                  not yet though, antsy pants here.

                                                                                                  1. Here is what I got today from my garden plot, first okra of the season. Also, lots of basil from my deck farm. I'm in Alexandria, VA, near DC. We had a wicked storm last night and I half expected to find nothing but carnage in the plot, rather than this bounty.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                      Beautiful squash blossoms.

                                                                                                      How do you like them: stuffed, battered, and deep fried?

                                                                                                      1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                        Tonight was my first time cooking with them! I stuffed them with a mixture of mozzarella cheese, shallots, basil, S&P, then dipped in egg, flour, and fried until golden brown. I also made basil pesto into which the fried blossoms were dipped. Really good although in all honestly, not sure what percentage of the taste is attributable to the blossoms themselves!

                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                          Very true, there's not much flavor going on. They do, however, offer a delicate means to wrap other ingredients that can then be battered and deep fried. I think they're also pretty once they've been deep fried if they batter is thin enough to see through.

                                                                                                    2. I have a 2nd story deck that runs the length of my house so my Deck Garden is now sporting big rolling pots full of suplice/romano/beefsteak tomatoes, kung pao/italian roaster/jalapeno peppers, basil, rosemary, oregano, dill, italian parsley, cilantro, lavender, garlic chives, mint, citronella and strawberries here in the Metro Portland area.

                                                                                                      1. The first sungold cherry tomato is starting to color. We've been eating beets, zucchini, cukes, sugar snaps, etc. Managed to outwit most of the striped cucumber beetles this year but the squash beetles have arrived. Rain this morning and I haven't been out squishin eggs off the squash leaves for several days but did kill a beetle yesterday. Too busy weeding and seeding some fall crops. We protected the summer squash/zukes by using a low tunnel (it's about 10-12 feet long on a wood base. Hoops are covered with agribon.) Winter squash was planted late and seem to be doing ok. Last year lost most of my plants to bugs than the squash that survived got chewed on by critters.

                                                                                                        My husband built a high tunnel type structure this year and we're still working on building lasagna beds. Time's running out! Hope to have green beans until Thanksgiving here in NH and spinach/greens all winter but I have a lot to learn.

                                                                                                        1. The seed catalogues are here! I've been browsing seed sites for the last couple of days and there are just so many vegetables I'd like to try; every year, I like to add something different to my garden. I've already ordered NuMex chile peppers, Toyoko bunching onions, Chinese yard long beans, and culantro (not cilantro) seeds. I have a lot of seeds left from last year so I have to go through my stash and see what I need to re-up on.

                                                                                                          Right now I have a ton of mixed greens or what we Southerners call "salad" or hanover greens (mix of kale, mustards, turnips, and winter rape) in my garden. I also have collards, broccoli, kholrabi, rapini and a bit of spinach. Even so, when those catalogues started coming, I started thinking ahead to when I can turn my dirt over and look forward to Spring planting. What's going on in your garden now?

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                            Dream on!

                                                                                                            Sorrel, chard and mustard greens in a pot, collards and kale in the ground, garlic and favas coming up. Onions from seed in the garage.

                                                                                                          2. Right now in SoCal coastal (LA area) I've got rcima di rapa (broccoli rabe), swiss chard, spinach, collard/mustard greens, cabbage, broccoli, arugula, bok choy, cavolo nero (black kale), and mesculin lettuce mixes transplanted seedings in the ground everywhere.

                                                                                                            I've trimmed back my artichoke, sage, and thyme plants in preperation for the coming Spring warmth. Rosemary is HUGE!

                                                                                                            I've transplanted 60 sprouting garlic cloves for late spring/early summer harvesting (still have 11 cloves from last year in storage).

                                                                                                            Sprouted Tropea onions are still growing/sprouting and awaiting early Feb transplanting.

                                                                                                            I'll be sowing danver carrots in a week or so for spring harvesting.

                                                                                                            Spent the weekend tilling and prepping for Spring and broadcasted some native wildflowers around the garden borders to bring in some butterflies and bees.

                                                                                                            I believe since we're having a pretty decently cold winter here in California, there should be a lot less bug infestations this Spring/Summer. Fingers crossed.

                                                                                                            I'll be starting spring transplants later this month (tomato, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, peas, and favas)

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                              "Sprouted Tropea onions are still growing/sprouting and awaiting early Feb transplanting."

                                                                                                              Keep us updated! Your pictures last year inspired me to try this year.

                                                                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                Most of the onion seed I sprouted in November didn't make it. They looked great for about 8 weeks.....then I bottom fed them with dilute kelp I believe, they flopped, then the started dying, and hung on but never fully recovered.

                                                                                                              2. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                We haven't had a decent cold spell here so I'm a little concerned the bugs are going to have a field day come spring! I'm in zone 8 which says the last frost date is in the middle of March; I'll be starting spring transplants about the end of this month or so for cabbage, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower.

                                                                                                                1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                  Also in So. Cal. here (San Diego county). Have never done a winter garden before (lazy, I guess). BUT, we were Home Depot yesterday for other boring stuff, and I was already tempted by the summer plants. Held off, though--earliest I usually plant tomatoes is Mid-March. We're going back to doing corn in our back yard this year--can't wait. Plus, have our eyes on another dwarf Satsuma--they were delicious this year, over 2 dozen from a 3' dwarf tree!

                                                                                                                2. My. That is impressive and jealousy inducing. We do not start tomatoes until June ish here in W WA.

                                                                                                                  My garden (sigh): I had beautiful chard and it got eaten to the nubs by deer. I have one sad cabbage that they have only nibbled on the top. Compost is being rained in. This week we are measuring to make a deer fence. Every year I net and it is troublesome and the deer sometimes get caught up in it and trouble ensues. At least there are no voles or moles. I would not want to have to build a subterranean fence.
                                                                                                                  Last week I bought seeds to do starts in our basement! Hope they do well.

                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                    Sorry you've had such a hard time with the wildlife...I've been lucky so far in that I don't have problems with deer but the bugs have a field day so I'm always putting something out there. I'm over a week late with those seeds I wanted to start....I did get the broccoli/cauliflower and cabbage seeds in the dirt yesterday to transplant later. I went through my seeds last week and discovered I had about 52 or more different seeds. You'd think I would be satisfied with what I have, but no...there are a few more I need to get.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                      I saw you had no cold snap. I BET you are worried about the bugs. We have not been terribly cold here either and I am an 8B. I live along the Strait of Juan De Fuca.

                                                                                                                      I did a seed inspection today. Turns out I like to buy and not use pole beans every year. Every year I try a few new things and the aphids do too. Last year - brussels sprouts. and kholrabi. This year romanesco broccoli and some guaranteed success in french breakfast radishes instead of my same olds. I am so glad to hear someone has more seeds than I do.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                        Last year kohlrabi was one of my newbies; this year, I'm going with the brussels sprouts, romanesco, chinese long beans and I bought some pole beans by acccident...I normally go with the bush beans so there will have to be some trellising which I'm not looking forward to. I picked up spinach and beet seeds (which I am not a fan of but thought if I grew them I might get to like them) today. Next up, I'm looking for parsnips and blue dragon carrots....

                                                                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                          We put up a fence for sugar snap peas etc. It's made of concrete reinforcing mesh (squares are about 5" so plenty of room to reach thru) held in place with steel posts. We just leave it up until the metal triangle holding the posts upright in the ground rust off.

                                                                                                                          Have you cooked Chinese long beans? I haven't found a recipe we like yet. Problem was I expected them to taste like green beans and they don't. Different kind of vegetable. Beets and their greens (as well as other greens) taste sweeter in cold weather. I have spinach under straw still doing fine here in NH this winter.

                                                                                                                          1. re: dfrostnh

                                                                                                                            I dry fry long beans with hot peppers in oil, ginger and garlic. Then right at the last give a douse of soy sauce. But if you don't do heat - a little fry up then some hoisin or oyster sauce with ginger is nice. I think they taste sorta like asparagus, but I have a weird sense of taste.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                            I tried long beans a few years back and they never produced. Must be too cold or not enough sun hours here. Watch the aphids on the sprouts. I let my eye wander towards the end of the season and the next thing I knew it was a sea of fat grey aphids. Yay for fun romanesco!

                                                                                                                            We did mustard spinach last year and MAN was it prolific and long lasting. If you go for mustard it is a nice option - softer leaf and slightly less pungent. NEXT year!

                                                                                                                            When do you put parsnips in and how long to maturity? I wonder if you live near me in the PNW. I am going to go look at blue dragon carrots! I am intrigued.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                              Here in NH, parsnips are planted in June and left in the ground over winter to sweeten up. They can be harvested in the fall but we never dig ours until spring. They are a special treat, garden fresh, as soon as the ground can be dug. I have to learn to do a better job of thinning. Parsnips have to be thinned to the proper spacing.

                                                                                                                              Thanks for the long bean cooking info.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                Here in NC, parsnips are a fall veggie so I'll start seeds in August for the fall, probably harvest in November

                                                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                  Check days to maturity on parsnips. The day length gets shorter by August so I think they may need more time than the package states.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: dfrostnh

                                                                                                                                    you may be right, might need to start in July...thanks for the tip...so, my broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi and cabbage seeds have started to sprout. I thought I'd lost them as I left them outside overnight by accident one day in my attempt to give them sunlight...I was surprised to see them survive but they were in plastic egg crates and salad containers which acted like greenhouses....

                                                                                                                      2. I have the worst shriveled outdoor thumb ever. But I still keep trying, bless my fuzzy, moldy little heart. ;)

                                                                                                                        Went and dug out the two Earthboxes yesterday, pulled weeds, inspected, watered. Then just because they were available, dumped in two rows each of green peas (I had the bag out since I was sprouting for sprouted pea/bean salad mix indoors). Will probably hope for a couple/three inches and harvest for pea shoots, then re-seed with lettuce. (North TX, for reference.)

                                                                                                                        Best part: found one 3" parsley shoot, and a 2" red leaf lettuce, and two 1" green leaf lettuce shoots, all newly struggling up from last year's seeds. Pulled them all and presented a Barbie-sized salad to the Duke. He was semi-royally amused.

                                                                                                                        1. Enough oranges and lemons to feed an army.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                            You know people to your N are not liking you right now Latindancer.

                                                                                                                          2. nothing. the last couple of months of freezes have killed all of my jade plants and rubber trees and the Myer lemon that I'd been nursing for years. it's supposed to snow tomorrow, tomorrow night, and Saturday too so nope, seeds are waiting for some warmth.

                                                                                                                            1. I am getting ready for spring out here on the Cal.. coast. I am ordering some cardoon seeds.

                                                                                                                              1. I ordered herb plants for my container garden. These will arrive in April.
                                                                                                                                I also ordered herb seeds for my aero garden which will transplanted into containers.

                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                  Some of my herb plants have arrived. I am hardening them off b4 planting them in herb box

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                    the last of plants arrived and they r doing well-

                                                                                                                                    i have not transplanted them yet-

                                                                                                                                    pineapple sage
                                                                                                                                    3 different scented geraniums-lady plymouth,attar of roses,bitter lemon
                                                                                                                                    vietnamese mint
                                                                                                                                    lemon verbena
                                                                                                                                    thai basil
                                                                                                                                    lemon thyme
                                                                                                                                    orange thyme
                                                                                                                                    summer savory
                                                                                                                                    mexican tarrgon

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                      jpr - why did you choose costmary? I used to grow it but ended up tearing it out of the garden (it was spreading). Like your choises of scented geraniums. I usually try to find Rober's Lemon Rose. I was able to overwinter lemon verbena for a few years indoors in our semi-heated garage. Don't know your planting zone but it goes dormant in the winter and sheds all its leaves. I would consider it a lucky year if pineapple sage bloomed which it usually didn't in my NH garden.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: dfrostnh

                                                                                                                                        i enjoy growing unusual herbs-I give leaves of the bible leaf as presents during the year.
                                                                                                                                        I also like the scented geraniums for making jelly,scented sugar and potpourri.

                                                                                                                                        I live in Florida zone 10
                                                                                                                                        and i container garden bcz i don't have a yard.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                        can you please toss me some seeds for mint? :)
                                                                                                                                        gotta buy chocolates mint seeds today and any other mint seed I find but I will contain them.

                                                                                                                                  2. Sugar snap peas and fava beans are flowering!

                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                      On Monday, another gardener mentioned that last year at this time, she planted her peas, etc. Here in NH I remember that last winter we didn't have much snow at all. I picked spinach very early that had wintered over, surprised that it had survived without snowcover (poor man's insulation). Well, this year looks like the muddiest mud season in years and we still have about 6-8" of snow covering the garden. So at this time of year, I envy Shrinkrap and other gardeners in warmer climates.
                                                                                                                                      The good news is I've been able to pick spinach and beet greens all winter in our new high tunnel. I should have been able to pick other things like carrots if I had been smart enough to plant them in the high tunnel. I have a half a short row under straw (and snow) outside. As soon as we can, we'll dig some parsnips. Best early spring treat from the garden!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: dfrostnh

                                                                                                                                        Congrats on the new high tunnel!

                                                                                                                                        I might be envying you by May, when it often starts to hit 100, and doesn't let up much until November!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: dfrostnh

                                                                                                                                          Did you design the high tunnel yourself? Or order one pre-designed? How has it worked with the snow load? My partner's only interested in the engineering aspects of gardening (other than the eating) and has been looking at various cold frames / tunnels, etc. to supplant our very basic cold frame.

                                                                                                                                          And in answer to the OP's question: snow. It's supposed to rain off and on and be relatively warm this coming week so I might move onto to mud. :)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: veggiegardener

                                                                                                                                            My husband decided it was cheaper for him to build a wooden frame with a peaked roof. He tried to do a roof-line recommended by a Maine gardener but the arch was too difficult. We didn't have any trouble this winter. Usually the snow has slid off on its own and although there is a pile of snow on the north side, it's not putting pressure against the plastic. I think it melts on warm days due to how warm it gets inside. I've had to open it during the day lately since it got up to 100 deg when I wasn't paying attention. We may have to start rolling the sides up soon.

                                                                                                                                            This photo was taken before winter. You can see where the plastic has gapped open in the corner. Corner boards were tacked into place for the winter to prevent this. On the ground in that corner you can see an L-shaped piece of aluminum tube. This is the handle to roll up the sides. The ropes along the sides follow the recommended method of keeping the sides/roll-up working. One person can easily roll up each side. We use the stretchy cord with hooks to hold the roll up (bungee cord?). Once or twice we decided the roof needed to be brushed off but usually it just slides off.

                                                                                                                                            The hose reel is set up to make it easier for me to water the outside garden. The water line is in a trench below frost level and connects with a yard hydrant inside the high tunnel. I have not had to water this winter but right now the soil feels pretty dry. Outside the ground is still partially frozen and it's very waterlogged.

                                                                                                                                            I thought the gutters might cause the snow to back up on the roof but they haven't. They are supposed to fill the rain barrels which are connected to some drip hose but that doesn't seem to be working well yet. This was our first winter. The high tunnel is large enough for three beds/ 2 walkways. Note that the door is wide enough to allow the tractor bucket to get inside the building. Rubber flaps at the bottom help keep warm air in. Note the bent rebar to lock doors closed. There are two pipes in the ground that the rebar drops into to hold the doors closed. Once they froze in place because of ice but I was able to get them loose.

                                                                                                                                            It's really hard to believe that the ground inside doesn't freeze because at night it gets as cold as outside. We have a thermometer connected so I can see the temperature without leaving my kitchen.

                                                                                                                                            Plenty of spinach to pick. A lot of die back on beet greens when it was very cold but some are starting to grow again. Inside planted beds are covered with one layer of Agribon. Since I bought fresh lettuce at the farmers market last week, I know that if I had planted hardier varieties of lettuce, I might be picking it now, too. Outside, I was able to dig/pry some parsnips for the first time. They are starting to sprout leaves. I haven't looked to see if the spinach under hay has survived. It did for a long time last winter but it might be too wet now and drowingin. Ditto for carrots under hay. Next winter I'll have some plantd inside the tunnel.

                                                                                                                                            My husband has been in residential construction his whole life and also learned how to do things with scrounged materials so designing this was easy for him. Size is based on the size of the greenhouse plastic width.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: dfrostnh

                                                                                                                                              Wow! Thanks for the incredibly detailed reply! I *really* appreciate the time you took to type that all out.

                                                                                                                                      2. Last fall, I planted some rhubarb I got from Burpee; I'm not sure how long til I can actually use it though. I thought I heard a few years? But I love it enough that I'm willing to wait. I had planted a few that I got at Agway years ago, but didn't have a dedicated garden then and stuck them in one of the crazy flower beds I have up front, sadly they got smaller and smaller and then they just disappeared. Everyone tells me they are so prolific, I sure hope I have better luck this time. I dedicated an entire bed to the six or eight that I got.

                                                                                                                                        Also picked up some basil seeds, a Genovese and also a lemon scented. We just finished off the pesto from last summer, I had casually tossed seeds in the soil and got 5 or 6 tall, bushy plants. Bought pea seeds too, last year I did string beans and they did so well that I got tired of them! Peas I figure will freeze well if overabundant. I also decided to just buy the tomato plants from a greenhouse, I didn't get any of my Big Daddies until September last summer, what a bummer. This year, Early Girls and the like will be in the mix!

                                                                                                                                        I saved the eggplant and cubanelle peppers seeds, they were perfection, both in their beauty and in the amount that I harvested.

                                                                                                                                        St Paddys Day is always my traditional time to start the indoor seeds here on Long Island. I am also going to try some of the local farmers seeds I saved, like melons, hoping they're the old fashioned kind. Last year my indoor seeds started out so gorgeous that I was posting photos on Facebook, but a week or two before I wanted to put them out, they got sort of sickly. One thing I learned from that is to aggressively thin them out, maybe that will help this time around! For the two of us, I really only need 4 or 5 of each plant. That should be enough to eat, to save AND to share with the neighbors!

                                                                                                                                        1. Ok, so the broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower seeds I started in January just grew too quickly and was spindly so they died off. A few days ago, I dug up half a row in the garden and planted beets, purple dragon carrots, danvers carrots, icicile radishes, gourmet (multicolor) radishes and five heads of iceberg lettuce. I also dug up a couple spots and threw out two types of cabbage seeds; if they come up, I'll dig them up and transplant them later.

                                                                                                                                          In containers, I planted brussels sprouts, broccoli and bok choy seeds. Sunday, I pulled up most of my overwintering greens plants so pretty much I have to cut down some of the grass and then it's time to till. Tomorrow, it's my intent to dig up the second half of the first row with the other veggies to put out spinach, bibb and leaf lettuces. I'll also start some kholrabi, cauliflower and broccoli raab in pots.

                                                                                                                                          I can't wait until I can get the rest of the garden tilled...I told the BF today that he's going to have to make me a trellis for the yard long beans I'm going to plant..anyone have any experiences with these beans?

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                            I found yard long beans easy to grow. One variety is red noodle beans. But, I expected them to taste like green beans and they don't. I think I let them get to big before picking. I may grow them again but jus enough for recipe testing.

                                                                                                                                            We use secions of concrete reinforcing mesh left over from a construction job, as a trellis. It is held up by steel posts so with luck, it stays in place several seasons. Sugar snaps are grown first and then I followed one section with the yard long beans. We're a two person family so a 4' section was plenty. Maybe if I found the right recipe I would need to plant more.

                                                                                                                                            What zone are you in? Starting plants in January is too soon for us but I'm in NH zone 5. Yesterday, I did a terrible job of transplanting tomato seedlings started on 3/2 to small pots. They look awful. I must have damaged the roots too much.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: dfrostnh

                                                                                                                                              I'm in zone 8 (NE NC) Thanks for the bean info; the BF has decided to use posts on either side of the row, wire and twine to reinforce...we will probably only use it this spring and fall then move it next spring as we usually don't like to plant in the same spot for more than a year...Tuesday & Wednesday we planted 2/3 row of sweet corn, 1/2 row sweet onions, several more heads of iceberg and a few heads each of romaine and bibb lettuces; half row each of broccoli and cauliflower. 1/3 row Spinach has also made it into the ground.(I'll do several plantings of this). Starting tomato seedlings and cabbage (cause the BF tilled up the seeds I started a few days ago by accident) tomorrow

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                Planted some of my herbs in containers yesterday to start: rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, dill, and sage; also planted tomatoes in containers: big boy, cherry, yellow jubilee and kumato (kumato from seeds harvested last summer, keeping my fingers crossed with these) as well as romanesco and purple tomatillos. I had a horrible time last summer with my herbs so I decided to transplant the herbs later into a small kiddie pool so I can regulate the conditions.

                                                                                                                                                I picked and cooked the last of the collards that over wintered today; still tasty! Next up to start seedlings will be peppers, which I read will germinate faster if I soak the seeds a few hours to overnight before planting. I was hoping to erect the trellis for the long beans this coming weekend but we're forecasted rain 70% on Friday and if that happens, it'll be a wrap.

                                                                                                                                                Last year's garlic has been up for the past couple of weeks. I can see my radishes, onions and beets peaking out; carrots should have done so also by now but if they have not by the end of next week, may have to replant. Hopefully the rain will help!

                                                                                                                                          2. Eating sugar snaps. Pinky sized favas. A few "breba" figs. Some garlic looks great, some "meh", and some rotted. Grapes leafing out. Shallot greens (is that a thing?) about 12 inches. Little nectarines the size of peas.

                                                                                                                                            And first sweet pea bloomed, but you can't eat it.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                              very jealous. I planted my sugarsnaps yesterday. We can dig parsnips. The last of over-wintered carrots were dug up. The herb garden is coming back to life. Chives up about 5 inches. Some sorrel leaves. Garlic has just poked thru the ground.

                                                                                                                                            2. Lets if I can do this.Sweet peas....

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                Wow, those look really good Shrinkrap.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                  Thank you!...and I meant sugar snaps.

                                                                                                                                                2. The garden is tilled, rowed, fertilized, and limed. The drip tape and plastic are down and now I'm just waiting for the last average day of frost (15 April where I am) to roll around. (Actually all of this has been in place for some time now, I'm just really late posting this because I'm pretty good at procrastination.)

                                                                                                                                                  I think I'll get some red and Irish potatoes in the ground this weekend. The rest of the fruits and vegetables will go in after 15 April.

                                                                                                                                                  The peach trees were pruned and both the blueberry bushes and peach trees were fertilized a couple of weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                                  The blueberry bushes are putting on buds. It shouldn't be long before we're picking blueberries.

                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                    I'm planting potatoes, cabbage and peas today. I hate starting so late but the garden has been to wet to work. Like you I will plant the warm weather stuff about the 15th.

                                                                                                                                                    I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those years in Georgia where the hot weather comes very quickly.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I'm late with the potatoes too. I'll just see how they do.

                                                                                                                                                      I'll be interested to see how your cabbage does. I was going to plant that too, but decided against it because I thought it was too late. I've never grown it before so I don't have any experience with it. Have you had success with planting it about this time of year?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                        I plant cabbage every spring and fall and have never not made some cabbage. The fall planting generally does better. Plus, you can bury them under a pile of straw before the first hard freeze and keep them all winter.

                                                                                                                                                        I'm about two weeks later than normal but I feel like they will make smallish heads before the heat makes them bolt.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                          April 3 - May 27, so 54 days for the first small but usable cabbage. The way this heat is coming on I think I probably need to use them sooner rather than later.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                            I just "harvested" (I always laugh when I write that) my first tomato and first of the corn.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                I refuse to be jealous. I want to know what you did with it.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                                I think the cabbages are at 70 days now and are pretty much full size. This is the problem with planting cabbage in this area in the Spring; I only set out nine plants, and I have four or five left that need to be used now. They will not last much longer in the garden with this heat and only so much room in the refrigerator.

                                                                                                                                                                Going to make a few jars of kraut this morning and this one is going to a friend.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Central Florida (Gulf Coast) here. We usually have an odd growing season down here (maybe three sometimes four). You have to be careful that your crops don't burn up during the summer season...

                                                                                                                                                            We have from Southeast to Northwest
                                                                                                                                                            1. Watermelons
                                                                                                                                                            2. Cantaloupes
                                                                                                                                                            3. Zucchini/Summer Squash
                                                                                                                                                            4. Garlic
                                                                                                                                                            5. Vidalias
                                                                                                                                                            6. Carrots
                                                                                                                                                            7. Plum Tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                            8. Snap Peas
                                                                                                                                                            9. Mustard Greens
                                                                                                                                                            10 Collard Greens
                                                                                                                                                            11. Cabbage
                                                                                                                                                            12. Bicolor sweet corn
                                                                                                                                                            13. Okra

                                                                                                                                                            In my growboxes I have potatoes and several different hot peppers, and along the back fence I have blackberries and mirlitons (the goats keep both vines in check).

                                                                                                                                                            Also I'm not counting my three orange trees, mango tree, and my spliced lemon/ruby grapefruit tree.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Perennials are popping up in the garden, we've had very little snow cover this winter. I don't have any food crops (except for 4 stalks of asparagus that I grow just for the lovely foliage later), that just didn't work much in this location, our needs, etc. I do have pots that are ready for annuals, but I was thinking about putting in spinach or lettuce in the meantime. I think we are in for an early spring, and a dry summer. Fire was bad last year, it was quite hot and smoky. I am hoping that it is better this summer, but I'm afraid it might not.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Still snow and ice on the ground here in the frozen tundra of Minneapolis. Probably can't do ANYTHING until 3rd week of the month, except for aerate/till and perhaps do some weed killer once the snow is all gone. I plan to turn my entire backyard into a huge garden (leaving a little space for the fire pit, though, LOL!)

                                                                                                                                                                However, I can start some veggies in pots, like tomatoes, and I'm going to do the potatoes in pots thing as shown on H&G TV. Should be an interesting experiment.

                                                                                                                                                                I'm also going to grow some corn stalks specifically the kind from which you can make popcorn.

                                                                                                                                                                The squirrels and wascally wabbits will be suitably "removed."

                                                                                                                                                                1. Tomatoes have their 1st flowers--yea! Corn is nearly a foot high--had to replace 2 'cause the bunnies found them. Onion sets are all in, blackberries have beginnings of flowers, eggplant looks like flowers will bud. Great times!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Good thing I left the dry leaf mulch on top of the plants. We are having a blizzard, expect a foot or more of snow over the next few days. Yuck.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Eastern shore of MD at the beach.......amazing warm spring weather. In raised beds:

                                                                                                                                                                      7 varities of Tomato
                                                                                                                                                                      2 types of Cucumbers
                                                                                                                                                                      Yellow Squash
                                                                                                                                                                      5 varities of Lettuce
                                                                                                                                                                      6 types of Peppers
                                                                                                                                                                      Radishs are up & thinned out
                                                                                                                                                                      Greek & Italian Oregano
                                                                                                                                                                      Smooth & Curly Parsley
                                                                                                                                                                      Blueberry bushes are budding
                                                                                                                                                                      .....Now, if I can just keep the deer out!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I just ordered some peppadew seeds along with some pepperoncini seeds. I'm excited about the peppadews as I've never grown them before. I ate them recently at a restaurant called Cobalt's in Orange Beach, AL and they were AMAZING. The plants and seeds are VERY hard to find. So, I was excited when I was able to find the seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                        Does anybody have any experience with growing peppadews?

                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                                          Are they peppers?

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Peppadew-Pepper.... A trademarked variant or marinated version of this one? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum.... I havce grown aji amarillo, which the mention in the wikipedia entry.
                                                                                                                                                                          loved them

                                                                                                                                                                          I have not, but it would be late around here to start pepper plants from seed. I just bought shiishito plants which I think I've read about here, and of course fresno peppers which I love. Also corno di toro, and a few hybrid determinate tomatoes for my earth boxes. I used earthboxes last summer and they worked out great.


                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                            Well, technically they're chiles, but no big deal.

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks a lot for your post. That helped answer one of the big questions I had: whether or not the chiles I had at the restaurant were raw or pickled and, according to one of the links you posted, it seems like they were pickled.

                                                                                                                                                                            Anybody here know how to convert a regular pickling recipe to a version I can use to can (preserve) the chiles?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the link. I've looked through there before and didn't find anything on how to convert a non-preservation recipe to a preservation-safe recipe, but I'll look through it again. Thanks again for your help.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                                            I love peppadews and never thought about growing them though; I saw Amazon had them....is this where you purchased yours?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                              I got mine from ebay.

                                                                                                                                                                              I just planted a few seeds today along with a few pepperoncini seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. Update on the garden: I planted five tomato plants and 9 bell pepper plants a few days ago...these were brought home by the bf and I was not expecting them as I have 12 tomato seedlings doing their thing in planters...only a few corn stalks has sprouted so today, I replanted those... Herbs are still coming slow but steady...tomatillos, and all other veggies I started on the 9th are coming right along....

                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                              Can you tell me about growing tomatillos? Never planted them--are their growing habits akin to tomatoes (I know they're not related)? Just saw 2 rabbits nibbling away in our garden this morning. Corn is nearing 3 feet tall, tomatoes all in flower, onions are booming, herbs are pick-able already. Love growing season!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                Tomatillos grow similarly to tomatoes; they grow tall and need to be staked or otherwise contained with a basket or other device.

                                                                                                                                                                                So the temp went down a few days ago and we had to cover up the tomatoes and bell peppers; took off the covering after two days and hope that they don't take a turn for the worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tomatillos are easier to grow than tomatoes, where I live. I've grown them from store-bought tomatillos, from seed, ad from seedlings from a nursery. I've never run into any diseases, and Ontario, Canada insects and slugs seem disinterested in tomatillos, whereas I seem to run into some sort of plant health issue with at least one of my tomato varieties each summer. They also seem to be a little tougher than tomatoes in Sept and Oct, when we sometimes have a frost. Occasionally, there's some sort of insect that bores its way into the tomatillos, so I usually cut them in half before freezing or roasting, to make sure they're insect-free.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tomatillos are related to tomatoes. They're both nightshade (Solanaceae) family.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                                                                  What's that? I'll stop being a smart aleck now.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. bought a couple of bags of shallots at 99¢ store yesterday.
                                                                                                                                                                                  there are about 6-8 per bag for a buck each.
                                                                                                                                                                                  brought them home and stuck them in dirt/compost in a 2 or 3 gallon pot. that'll mean I have shallots all year long and when ever I need/want them, love the things.

                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                    I planted some shallots yesterday. This is really my first time growing them. Hope for a bounty since they are so expensive in the store and what I see are usually scrawny little things. Saw some on Friday at an Italian grocery that were quite large. Almost the size of lemons.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I have fingerling potatoes to grow for my first time but the ground still seems too cold for planting here in NH. My sugar snap peas FINALLY germinated after 3 weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dfrostnh

                                                                                                                                                                                      I adore that you can grow sugar snap peas in your area. I don't think I can here in HOT California. love those little gems.
                                                                                                                                                                                      growing your shallots is so easy.
                                                                                                                                                                                      3 things:
                                                                                                                                                                                      they love water
                                                                                                                                                                                      they love some sun&some shade
                                                                                                                                                                                      they love food, I put miracle grow in the watering can

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                        il Divo--where in CA are you? It's too late here (San Diego co.) for sugar snaps, but I grow them in early March every year, with no problems. And, I'm inland, so not at the cool, cloudy coast.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                          3200" desert
                                                                                                                                                                                          we get snow
                                                                                                                                                                                          we get HEAT
                                                                                                                                                                                          we have elevation
                                                                                                                                                                                          we have hard soil

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                          Shallots don't respond like onions or garlic?

                                                                                                                                                                                          I would think that after a shallot bulb that has already been grown and harvested, would only produce more green sprouts and eventually a flower stalk through the center of the bulb, if replanted.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought to get a true shallot, you have to start shallot seeds or seed bulbs, planted in late autumn, to overwinter, grow, which then splits them into multiples, to be harvested in late spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Correct me if I'm wrong?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                                            oh I wouldn't correct you in any case, I'm only going from how I've done this for years.
                                                                                                                                                                                            I use them most of the year from just going and picking them out of dirt/soil/compost mixture, whatever I've stuck them in. I don't get gigundo bulbs, sometimes they're a little small other times they're golf ball size.
                                                                                                                                                                                            believe me, I have no secret as I also DO NOT have a green thumb :(

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                                              Have grown shallots for a few years now. I usually start with seed, and get small to medium sized bulbs at the end of the growing season. I replant some of the bulbs (fall when I remember, the following spring when I don't), and from them I get a flower spike (I pull it off), but they also produce offshoot bulbs which are medium to large sized. I usually can't resist using them so haven't carried over to a 3rd year yet... LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. today in a few pots went seeds for basil dill parsley scallions cilantro lavender lettuce. we'll see how lucky I am @ getting anything to sprout.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I am near Sacramento, and put them out with the first rain in Nov ( and with the sweet peas, fava beans, garlic, and smallest shallot bulbs). I have been eating sugar snaps and favas for several weeks, but it will soon be too hot and I will yank them.

                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                            when we lived in Granite Bay we had no problem on 4 acres growing vegs. the rain was something we had naturally whereas now rain is not common.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                are you up there in Sacto Shrinkrap?
                                                                                                                                                                                                last 3 days here caused hubby and I to question whether summer is actually a good thing anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                tomatoes I just bought are turning south so today they'll go into a large pot with compost then I'll pray they take after a good dose of MG.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I guess you're not talking about Calgary, if it's 90+ in your Cowtown today!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. We bought new basil, oregano and thyme plants a couple of weeks ago which grow in containers on the deck.

                                                                                                                                                                                              They didn't have regular thyme so I bought a lemon thyme plant. Smells exactly like furniture polish. To be fair it tastes ok. I've got some cuttings from the old discarded one rooting.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Should have enough lettuce for a salad by the end of the week and have real pretty green onions. All that is also in deck containers.

                                                                                                                                                                                              In the main garden the cabbage and potatoes are doing well, corn is about 6" tall, green beans and yellow squash are coming on good, tomato plants need to be staked this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ironically enough, I cooked with our lemon thyme yesterday. I've grown it and used it for years, but never thought it smelled like Pledge. I can see why you say that though. I think it smells and tastes wonderful. It makes a great tea and I don't even really drink tea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I grow lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon basil, lemon sage and on and on. So great in marinades for the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Coastal MD has been wet & sunny. Daytime temps approaching 70's. Picking 4 types of lettuce, thinning radishes, cucumbers & squash are growing; as are the peppers. 2 varieties of tomatoes have blossoms

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ocpitmaster

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I bet that is a lot of fun working in your garden with the toy truck and tractor. I got to try that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Are those hoops store bought or did you make them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I planted some more radishes today, as well as some Dutch baby ball beets, carrots, peas, and an Ultra Girl Tomato plant. It's a little earlier to plant a tomato plant where I live, but I figured it's worth the $2.25 gamble if I end up with more than 2 lbs of my own tomatoes in June!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not familar with the Ultra Girl--related to Early Girl? (I'll look it up.) Woohoo--found my 1st tomato on the plant today--still hard and green and a little smaller than a tennis ball, but I'm excited anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't grown Ultra Girls before. It's a 62 day early staking hybrid. It's not quite as early as the Early Girl (50 days). The plant I bought is flowering so I'm hoping that will mean tomatoes by July 1st.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Check out this list of tomato varieties!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really liked the Czech Stupice tomato, which is another early tomato, that I planted a few years ago, but I haven't been able to find it any of my local nurseries over the last 2 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I got the tomatoes caged today, improved my mulching of everything that needed it and picked a mess of baby collard leaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shrimp and grits and collard greens for supper. Life is good, living off the fat of the land. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. What's going in my garden today? The snow I shoveled off the patio - first May snow in over 45 years. At least I was so late in starting the tomatoes and peppers that they are still nice and cozy in the basement.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      This April has been mean to gardeners, nice and warm on the weekends, then a cold snap during the middle of the week to wipe out anything you might have planted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Unfortunately some kind of mammalian night diggers. Maybe because of my homemade compost? I have to try my local farmer's trick, set up a radio on an AM talk channel and see it that scares them away. He claims it's the only thing that works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I am hoping someone can help.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I grow mint in a large pot on the deck and have had it for years - in fact, it grows more than I can use. Use nothing but regular soil, no mulch, no manure, etc.. and weekly/bi-weekly watering... However, I've tried many times to grow basil and it dies on me each time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Could someone tell me step by step the best way to grow basil? Should I buy an already semi-grown plant instead of seeds?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have found that starting seeds in aero garden works best.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            i have tried from seeds in containers with some success.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            There is nothing wrong with purchasing plants from nurseries
                                                                                                                                                                                                            or online.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I buy mine from

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll try looking at their site... and I'll read up on the aero garden. Thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would buy some basil plants. They aren't that expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now as to why your basil dies... What size container are you using and at what point have the plants died?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              They have always been very easy for us. They need plenty of sunshine, moderate but not excessive water. Keep them pruned back when they try to bloom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I bought seeds - they didn't even sprout. It was summer and it was warm and I didn't over water it (both things I've read online). Then I bought an already sprouted plant - that seemed to have roots and planted it in a pot (about 20" diameter) and put it outside where there is plenty of sun - again, kept it moist, but not too much and it died after a few days.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will buy a plant from where jpr54_1 suggested and see how that works, but ANY suggestions as to what I am doing wrong would be greatly appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Basil seeds need light and warmth to sprout. The seeds should be barely covered, say 1/16 inch deep, so light can penetrate the potting mix. Another method is to sprinkle seeds on the surface and then spray gently with water to settle the seeds in. Covering the pots with clear plastic helps stabilize moisture. Start the pots where there will be bright light but not intense direct sun for best results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eldon Kreider

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looking back, I don't think I did any of the things you mentioned. Just planted them with the mint and one was a success the other a failure - I'll try again the way you suggested. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do basil from pots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                moderate sun; tender leaves will burn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                moist, not wet soil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                pinch back blooms to encourage growth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ocpitmaster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They were in pots, moist, not wet soil, however, I put them in direct sunlight - maybe THAT'S my problem. I will try to purchase a plant.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry for my ignorance, but moderate sun - do you mean a place on the deck that has sun/shade or inside next to a window or have them sit outside in the sun for just a certain period of time (and what period of time is that?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, sorry again, what does pinching back the blooms mean?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tried starting basil plants from seeds I had saved one time and had zero germination. They may need some kind of scarification or something, didn't research it further.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sometimes when you buy plants they are very tender. You can "harden" them off by keeping them in the containers they came in for a few days, giving them a little more sun every day and letting the breeze move them around a little.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Transplanting can cause shock/damage to plants. Keep them in a shadier spot until they have a chance to recover. Use a good quality potting soil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I assume you have had success transplanting other things and generally know how to do it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mint is not a very good test of your green thumb. You could throw it out of your car window at 70 mph and it would probably take root where it landed. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No experience with herbs or gardening... not yet anyway. I was never interested and never had the time. Now I want to start... and I agree with the Mint - in fact, it grows so much that I have to try to kill it before it overtakes my porch and eats me alive!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will try what you suggested and I thank you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, if you have any beginner internet sites, it would be greatly appreciated... some of the gardening sites use jargon I am not familiar with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Check out gardenweb. Lots of great info and forums particular to each state and to plant types.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Harvesting 4 types of lettuce daily & spinach
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tomatoes has blossoms, cabbage, squash, zuchinni & peppers are growing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                So far, the deer & rabbits have only nibbled slightly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Seemed like the cool and rainy spring would never end here but it has got warm and the garden is taking off. I love this time of year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your garden looks great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Do you see how the height of the corn tapers off at the end of the row? Any idea as to why it does that, even with professional corn fields?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That end of the garden gets early morning shade, especially in winter through early spring. I expect you would find a meaningful difference in soil temperature in mid April. I'm going to sell timber in the next year or two and plan on getting some of those trees cut even if I have to hire a tree surgeon to put them on the ground.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Probably would also find factors like that in big fields. Some shade from fence rows or along a roadside. Maybe not getting tilled or cultivated as well at the ends of rows if they have to stop and get a big tractor turned around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BTW, the cabbages have fist size heads now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh isn't your garden orderly and beautiful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We put a fence around our garden this year to keep the deer out. Last year they are every bit of my chard and the greens from ALL the beets. Later they came for the mustard greens which made me think they must be desperate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I cannot deny that I often picture them wrapped up in my chest freezer or lolling around in my dutch oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I put the tasty deer in my dutch oven. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They are so bad here that I quit gardening for several years. Those chain link panels in my picture are tied to steel posts with baling twine. Quick and easy to move out of the way. So far they have kept the deer out. I think since the garden is relatively small it feels like a trap to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The first week we put up the fence we found two very deep hoof prints next to the fence and the fence slightly dented in We think a deer considered jumping it and thought better of it (Yay!) Instead they have eaten every rose that is not a rambler in our neighborhood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I shot one with a water cannon last night and chased it. They are absolutely unafraid of me. My husband - they run after he gets serious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here they can jump 6 foot fences no problem. and fear no enclosures - except mine - so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No sense in getting all cocky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Ridiculously late this year with the garden so I had to buy plants for some stuff. Bought tomatoes (early girl, beefsteak, grape, and Roma), pepper plants, squash, zucchini, cucumber, and eggplant. Also planted scallions and pole beans from seed. Put basil, cilantro, thyme, sage, dill, parsley, and tarragon in pots. My oregano, chives, and mint survived the winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Picked the first mess o' green beans today. Should have enough to can when I pick them again in a few days. Been eating potatoes, cabbage, onions, and squash every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Corns starting to tassel and the crowder peas are coming on, have golf ball size green tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We've had our 1st tomatoes and 1st corn. So nice to have vegetables that actually have flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sadly, the 1st green beans died, so we're behind the times with the re-planted crop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cucumbers and eggplants are mini-sized, so they'll take a while more. Harvested tons of basil already. Peaches are getting blushy. Citrus is coming along nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Love growing stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Figured I'd pop in and give a quick update for my garden (SoCal zone 10).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've got collards and mustard greens galore, cavolo nero, broccoli, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers all taking off in my front yard. In addition to a bounty of herbs: rosemary, parsley, sage, marjorum, chives, basil, oregano, and thyme.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've really gotten into bio-intensive gardening, planting close together, and creating a cooler micro-climates under the canopies of the plants. It helps keep the roots and ground cooler while retaining moisture better under the mulch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I pulled my onions a couple weeks ago. 120 of them. 4 each of yellow granex, Spanish white, and red Tropea. Not a bad haul.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My potatoes were a failure this year. Produced a lot of golfball sized tubers, but not much bigger than that, unfortunately.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          San Marzanos are doing well. About 2-3 ft high and blooming.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Harvested the remainder of my broccoli rabe and bok choy in the backyard. Still have spinach and swiss chard growing back there. And I replanted more carrots, radish, bok choy, and broccoli rabe in the spot where I pulled the onions. We'll see how that goes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's a couple pics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also in SoCal, and I so appreciated reading about your onions. Mine are ready to pull, and it's much earlier in the season than the last 2 years production. I thought I had quite the good variety for a small yard, but yours is magnificent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 108 degrees here yesterday, and we lost power for 12 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But it's a dry heat.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Peppers (shishito , Jimmy nardello, Fresno, gypsy, corno di toro, Serrano, and ????? In earthboxes are looking good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Just took eleven pints of green beans out of the canner. Yay!