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Walden Ponderer

2020 Gardening: digging up some new dirt on an old hobby

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That is a sweet setup.

What herbs are you going to grow? I've grown dill, parsley, sage (that one I didn't do so well but at least it lasted until the Thanksgiving dressing), and basil. Are there other ones good for central Texas that I should try?

Cilantro, Rose Mary, Chives, Basil, Parsley, Finnel, Dill and Chocolate Mint. I've also planted some Romaine in there too, plus a patio tomato plant.

A few carrots seeds just because I've never grown carrots.

 

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9 hours ago, miguelito said:

Basil grows easy.  You could try different kinds of it, like lemon basil.  I like to let it go to seed and store them for next season.

Onion and garlic chives, mint (keep mint in a separate container, it spreads).  Oregano does well.

If I were a better chef I'd probably grow more herbs than that.

Thank you for the suggestions. I may try the oregano and another type of basil. The one I have is a sweet basil and I take from it quite a bit.

8 hours ago, Both Tacos said:

Cilantro, Rose Mary, Chives, Basil, Parsley, Finnel, Dill and Chocolate Mint. I've also planted some Romaine in there too, plus a patio tomato plant.

A few carrots seeds just because I've never grown carrots.

 

I have seen chocolate mint at one of the growers but I've never tried it.

Good luck with your new plantings! Being off of the ground should help with some of the critters.

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My corn has the sads. I think when I fertilized it I may have burned it. The leaves are scorched around the edges after looking so lovely a green when it sprouted. But I gave it some Miracle Grow this weekend and I may not have diluted it enough. Will plant a few more seeds just in case.

 

How is everyone else's garden doing? I have tomatoes growing just wonderfully right now.

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Posted (edited)

My big Tomato is starting to wilt a little and get yellow leaves at the base. I've been watering almost every day except the days it's rained. Wondering if I'm watering too much or if it's not draining enough. I can't imagine that I'm not watering enough. Not sure. 

 

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Here's a more hi res pic https://i.imgur.com/MNeYDK8.jpg

Edited by NorthLoop

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I'm still having to get used to a whole new schedule. I just put in a bunch of tomatoes and herbs in my wife's kitchen garden, but I drive past a bunch of local farms every time I go out (once or twice a week at the most) just to see what's what, and they are still harvesting winter hay. None of the corn farmers have done much more than till a couple of fields -- nothing planted at all, yet, seemingly.

Meanwhile, wild strawberries and blackberries are all over the place. In Texas, we used to start harvesting Brison blackberries right about now; here, they've just started to bloom. And these little beauties are all over the place -- about an acre of fallow ground is teeming with 'em. 

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18 hours ago, NorthLoop said:

My big Tomato is starting to wilt a little and get yellow leaves at the base. I've been watering almost every day except the days it's rained. Wondering if I'm watering too much or if it's not draining enough. I can't imagine that I'm not watering enough. Not sure. 

 

spacer.png

 

Here's a more hi res pic https://i.imgur.com/MNeYDK8.jpg

I'm not great with tomatoes, but I don't see any spots on the leaves and that's a good sign. How's your nutrient treatment? Have you tried gently sticking your finger in the soil to see how damp it is? My drainage holes are cut out on the bottom and a little on the sides so I can see if it is draining on the bottom.

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My big Tomato is starting to wilt a little and get yellow leaves at the base. I've been watering almost every day except the days it's rained. Wondering if I'm watering too much or if it's not draining enough. I can't imagine that I'm not watering enough. Not sure. 
 
MNeYDK8.jpg
 
Here's a more hi res pic https://i.imgur.com/MNeYDK8.jpg
1. Probably too much water.
2. You suck for having good size tomatoes already. My tomato plants are just getting 1' to 2' high.

As said above, stick your finger into the soil to see how wet it is. Should just be damp about an inch down.

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So the soil is a little damp but not too wet. When I picked it up to move it it actually felt a little light. So shit maybe I'm not watering enough. 

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I built a raised garden for the kids during the quarantine and now we have stuff actually growing. Bell peppers seem to attract ants. What’s the best way to handle this? Online is see cinnamon or red pepper. Any ideas welcome.

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I built a raised garden for the kids during the quarantine and now we have stuff actually growing. Bell peppers seem to attract ants. What’s the best way to handle this? Online is see cinnamon or red pepper. Any ideas welcome.
You could try ant killer. Seems to work for me.

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23 minutes ago, kmac30 said:

I built a raised garden for the kids during the quarantine and now we have stuff actually growing. Bell peppers seem to attract ants. What’s the best way to handle this? Online is see cinnamon or red pepper. Any ideas welcome.

Ants bring Aphids as well I think. I never saw many ants but my bell peppers were eaten down to nothing recently. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, ZB'Tejas said:

Ants bring Aphids as well I think. I never saw many ants but my bell peppers were eaten down to nothing recently. 

 

Edited by Both Tacos

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Frost warning in May? WTF?

Oh, well. I watered deeply and everything made it through, even a couple of tomato seedlings that I was pretty sure would have been toast. Bees are still a little sluggish at lunchtime here, but they don't get full sun for another hour or so. Evidently, now that I've moved, May is the new March.

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19 hours ago, Walden Ponderer said:

Frost warning in May? WTF?

Oh, well. I watered deeply and everything made it through, even a couple of tomato seedlings that I was pretty sure would have been toast. Bees are still a little sluggish at lunchtime here, but they don't get full sun for another hour or so. Evidently, now that I've moved, May is the new March.

Yes, not all that unusual. When we lived up north, it snowed in April. As we began moving south, finally ending up in Texas the adjustment to 'seasons' for gardening took awhile. Tornado season was earlier than what I grew up with for the midwest and the heat set in a lot earlier. I kept killing plants until I learned about the fall planting season for pansies and snapdragons and spinach, lettuces, etc.

That was when I began investing in seeds more than buying transplants as the cost to experiment was not so large.

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Any ideas of what is happening to my zucchini plants?3a2a3f4bde69e7ff9fe9d3849fd41e57.jpg9ca6c433c97220e4559806e7aad7e703.jpga750bbcdb10a8498624ee1052492ee94.jpg6e6ba4e6ae23da1d0b8acf52b4abe9b5.jpg911bb36f6ba019100a028eddc58c40ec.jpg
Expert up at Covington's Nursery says that's squash bug damage. I've been seeing some here and there, killing them along the way but no eggs found so I thought I had them under control.
The wilted leaves he thinks was some lawn treatment overspray that barely got to it.
Time to go full nuke on squash bugs.

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Japs are getting plump but getting black streaks. Never seen this before. I'm guessing it's time to pick these guys?

20200511-155041.jpg

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Figured I'd post this too. Daughter started this avocado tree from seed about 2.5 years ago. I try to protect it but it has weathered a few unexpected freezes pretty well. They say it takes a minimum of 5 years for one to bear fruit, and likely longer than that (especially with it being a potted plant). This year it's really started taking off and growing branches. I've come this far with it so I'll be damned if I let it die now. 

JJdj1bM.jpg

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I don't even have shit in the ground yet.  Partly me, partly weather.  Jealous.  Those Brison blackberries?  look like coronavirus, you better be careful.  The watered/underdwatered tomato plant, I'd prune the bottom part of that, looks like that's where the issue is.  Force the energy up into the fruit instead of growing new branches out of the bottom, those will be the ones that get diseased from the water due to proximity to the wet soil.  JMO

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Xeriscape in front:

9ace5ba06a1d92e7f51922dc91036585.jpg

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eb0ee9467e99f697f96caa36d668bdbb.jpg

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Compost from the county ( what’s left after filling the raised bed):

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I love the frame over your raised bed. That is a nice set up.

Your front bed, that is a blanketflower ( Gaillardia) I think I see? I have those, and the coreopsis I have nearby pairs nicely with them. I can't recall the variety I have, I think it is tequilla sunrise, but I'm not positive. It looks like this but perhaps with just a little less red in the middle.

How to Grow and Care for Coreopsis | World of Flowering Plants

I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it has been to care for and still be covered in blooms.

That has been the goal each year  to slowly incorporate more and more perennials well suited for the conditions in our yard. As we age and our children have grown, it has been a pleasant way to spend time as a family, but we know eventually it will become difficult so the annuals and 'experiment' areas are decreasing a little bit at a time and the long lived perennials are growing and filling out and looking quite natural.

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Now that is beautiful. I am envious, but in a good way. Keeps the critters off too.

I committed murder yesterday and felt a little guilty. Was out tidying things before what the local meteorologist was calling "a rain event" was due. Like using the word, 'gift' as a verb (gifted), I'm not sure I approve of the changes of late to the English language, but anyway. I spotted a caterpillar chomping away on a leaf. Now I am live and let live in the garden depending upon the plant and the loathsomeness of the species but this fine fellow was on the hops I have growing over the patio. He had the most ferocious looking spines on his back and I was a little concerned it was one of those stinging caterpillars. Normally I would research before committing caterpillarcide but in a time crunch I scooped him into an empty container and deposited him to certain death. Alas, after supper I looked into it online and I had killed a polygonia interrogationis caterpillar aka the Question Mark butterfly. I am remorseful. Apparently they enjoy dining on hops. Lesson learned.

These are not my images, but what a beautiful specimen:

Polygonia interrogationis (Question mark)

The ugly duckling:

Polygonia interrogationis (immatures)

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First batch of blueberries started coming in this week. Harvesting 10 to 15 a day.

The earliest blackberries came in...all 2 of them. The canes are loaded with hundreds more so I am excited about that.

First small grape Tomatoes are ripe. Harvesting a couple a day.

Tore out all the kale and spinach remnants last week. Bugs were getting them and I wanted to make space. Planted some bush beans in their place.

Watermelon and cantaloupe vines are really starting to sprawl, and I have flower blooms, but no signs of germinating fruit yet.

Meyer lemon tree is loaded with tiny fruit...it continues to self prune and drops a couple of tiny fruit every couple days. Miho satsuma did not bloom this year...so on track for no mandarins.

I am on track to get zero peaches, plums, or pluots this year. I blame it on the lack of chilling hours in Austin this year, though I haven’t checked the actual count for this last winter.

I had pomegranate blooms and small fruit budding but I changed some plans and dig up both my pomegranate trees. They are young and I decided they needed a different spot in the landscape with more space. So I chopped back the trees, dug them up, and replanted them. So assuming they survive the transplant maybe I will get pomegranates in another 2 years.

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18 minutes ago, swraith said:

am on track to get zero peaches, plums, or pluots this year. I blame it on the lack of chilling hours in Austin this year, though I haven’t checked the actual count for this last winter.

Can't stress enough to plant what will grow where you live or bear with the random harvest. There is a wide fucking range of required vernalization. I'd bet Austin doesn't average over 500 hrs of 40 or below. You can grow citrus. That means on most years you don't crack 25. Anything below that and it is all bets off. McFarland signature yo.

God, I love it. 

May you have much cobbler 

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We're they digging? The squirrels in our neighborhood come into our yard and dig in the nice friable soil as if it was put there just for them. Or they dig up a bulb to see if it is tasty. Nothing more frustrating than to discover they've dug up a plant and the roots are dried out. I've booby trapped certain pots with plastic forks (upside down) and chop sticks and pieces of rose stems to protect the plants. When I planted the corn I clothespinned bird netting around it until it sprouted and usually do likewise with sunflower seeds. It can really bring out the Elmer Fudd and Mr. MacGregor when one has critters messing with the crops.

Your fence looks like it will keep them away.

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10 hours ago, Both Tacos said:
15 hours ago, jw4381 said:
Fuckin squirrels forced us to put up a cheap fence. Bastards.

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Does that have a top to it?

Not yet.

It will though. I sprayed some natural squirrel repellent all around the edges. Hope that works for now until I can get it enclosed.

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On 5/18/2020 at 6:00 AM, jw4381 said:

Not yet.

It will though. I sprayed some natural squirrel repellent all around the edges. Hope that works for now until I can get it enclosed.

Cougar piss?

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That's not a bad idea...

Incredulously, there was a bobcat yesterday afternoon not more than 25 yards to the west of our garden. The crows were going berserk. And in broad daylight, too.

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Howdy. So today is finally the last freeze day and we finally get to move some plants outside. Built the raised beds on Friday and filled them today. Planting tomorrow once it warms up (overnight low of 38). 
the things in the grow boxes are from seed, the ones in the modular trays we picked up yesterday from the nearby farm. 
 

things should be farther along by this time next year, as I didn’t get the greenhouse assembled until a month or so ago. 

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2 hours ago, mulletpelini said:

Damn, how much did you spend on soil?

Bout 250. The bottom is 6” or so of dead grass and old mulch. Bought 75 cf combined of top soil and hummus. Our soil is shit, and I want deep beds for carrots and parsnips and potatoes. 

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Posted (edited)

72b1144e19d566a6dc091616ae2919b2.jpg

Finally got these into the ground this weekend. 8x4, 14” deep.

I’ve never done any gardening before, so who knows how the fuck this will go. No clue what I’m doing other that what I’ve read over the couple months.

Filled with 37% screened topsoil, 37% compost, 10% coconut coir, 8% peat, 8% vermiculite.

The bottoms are 1/2” hardware cloth.

Next step is to build some hinged cages for the top to keep the wildlife out.

Planted tomatoes, carrots, radishes, peppers, snap peas, thyme, basil, strawberries, celery, lettuce, dill

Edited by heso

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