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Gardening 2021


Mrs Whiggins
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The 2020 thread went into February of this year but since nature decided to spring a late frost surprise today, here's a new thread.

I didn't cover the spinach or most of the plants but I did baby the tomatoes and eggplant since they have some blooms and I don't want them to drop. I'm hoping they did all right with the light covers.

 

The snapdragons are loving the cool weather however.

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I've planted San Marzano, Celebrity, and I haven't put out the bush hybrid cherry yet because it does fine with the heat and I'm attempting a later harvest. Here's a pic from last week below. The tomatoes put on a big growth from when this was taken and are twice as tall now.

 

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I'm late with some of my seeds, but we had a lot going on so I may need to use transplants this year for some species.

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Good start to the thread!  I'm pretty much done planting for the spring.  I'll do a late round of maters around May 1.  I'll plant okra, eggplant and melons around that time too.  This spring, we have tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers and green beans.  Believe it or not, my garlic, onions and strawberries survived "snowpocalypse".  Garlic and onions are doing great and should be ready for harvest in about 30 days, but strawberries appear to be stunted somewhat.  

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I'm doing a small (4) batch potted plants this year because we're moving into a new house in 2 weeks.  By the time I'll have time to get shit going it'll be May. That being said here we go.. 

 

 

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That's 2 japs, 1 bell, and 1 "salsa" tomato. 

Edited by NorthLoop
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Thanks for starting the thread, Mrs. Whiggins.  I've got 10 tomato plants, 7 mostly hot peppers, beans, basil, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, an eggplant, supporting plants like marigold, sunflowers, and amaranth all going in north Austin.  I'm hoping that this morning is my last possibility of frost.  I've got all the vulnerable plants covered.  I'll be planting okra and bitter melon soon.  Good luck to everyone this year.  

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1 minute ago, mr. sunshine said:

I’d been holding off on planting until someone started a Gardening 2021 thread 

I followed this rule a couple of years ago.  Someone started the thread in January and I planted everything.  It was a disaster.  

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7 hours ago, Bojack said:

I followed this rule a couple of years ago.  Someone started the thread in January and I planted everything.  It was a disaster.  

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I lost 6 or 7 thriving tomato plants to the frost last April. I forgot to pick up a Farmers Almanac and was just winging it 

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Pretty much anything that I had already planted to try and get a jump on things a couple of frosts got them.
However, I'm expanding my garden again this year and had 14 yards of garden soil delivered. Got most of it spread this evening and will finish up tomorrow. Spent $125 on transplants today at Covington's nursery and hope to have everything planted by tomorrow evening.bff885d95361e503da9bc86114957867.jpge464ed5e44b84c0aa85caa1f20b71706.jpg1c038659d5491e82a27e53c069a5e32a.jpg

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Here is a more recent tomato photo. The San Marzano variety. I have four, plus the four Celebrities, plus the cherry bush hybrid. Some of the plants have lots of flowers, but no little 'maters yet. The cooler weather is slowing growth. I sprayed them with hormone this weekend so we'll see what that does.

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The rose (Ducher) has buds all over it and it's going to be beautiful. I mulched it heavily and covered it during the freeze and snow and then trimmed it back as soon as the covers were off.

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The little limes are starting. I have plans for these limes when they are ready. I need to transplant the lime tree to a bigger pot but we're working on making a trolley for it to make it so my husband doesn't have to always be the one who moves it. I can lift it now, but a larger pot is going to make that harder. He doesn't complain about moving it, but I would like to spare his back as much as possible.

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One reason I wanted to expand our garden was to put in asparagus plants. I got 24 crowns in the ground. Won't be able to harvest for a few years but they will produce over the next 20+ years.
I do have 4 plants I put in two years ago that I'll be able to start harvesting off of next year. 60ab9eb05f2bc082ccec082a0c643b73.jpg

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Amazing. I thought asparagus took closer to seven years, but perhaps that's my faulty memory. My inlaws grew it but they were further north where the winters are longer. My late FIL was a MG and former farmer and he grew all sorts of plants. My favorite were his rows and rows of raspberry bushes and blueberries. My word, being able to go outside and pick them straight off the bush was glorious.

We live a little too far to go to Covington's, but that place looks wonderful. Next time I'm traveling north, I may stop in just to gawk.

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First year.

I've got six 8x4 beds with maters, peppers, strawberries, watermelons and cucumbers.

I've got two beds for just native wildflowers and sunflowers for the bees, and butterflies.

Got my worm bin up and going in December.  I've interrupted multiple worm orgies.  I'm a worm rancher.

 

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1 hour ago, Post Oak said:

Ok I've just noticed a rabbit has been nibbling on my plants. I don't want to shoot the bunny.

What are my options, I'm thinking about some sort of pepper spray? Any recs?  

Fake snek or a fake owl?

 

I used a fake owl last year for the mockingbirds that were eating my tomatoes and it was about 80% effective. 

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I saw a video where someone took old irrigation (1/2 inch maybe?) tubing, the flexible kind and placed it over short pieces of rebar that they had driven into the corners of their raised bed. Then placed it in a crosswise pattern to form a domed 'X' then spread bird netting over the top. It kept out both the birds and the critters that nibble. Your beds are longer, so it would perhaps be easier to just arch it over like a tunnel if you did that. The idea was that by weighing the netting down on the sides or putting cup hooks on the wood to secure the netting, the gardener just lifted up one side to harvest, etc. It seemed like some work on the install, but not too much different than what I did over our tomatoes last year. I drove some tall green tomato stakes in the ground around the garden and then stuck a slit tennis ball on each stake then put the netting over the top down to the ground. The only thing it didn't keep out were insects and it nicely stymied the mockingbirds who love to peck at the tomatoes.

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Potatoes are out of control. I chatted then first I think it really made a difference. 
 

Last of the broccoli and cauliflower with a few more potatoes mixed in. And blackberries. 
 

Tomatoes. Lots of Purple Cherokee. Spinach patches are amazing. Last row of lettuce. And radishes  I pulled them up yesterday and planted some cucumbers I started from seed 

 

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I need to snap a pic of our spinach; like yours @4th and 5, it's been growing wonderfully. The eggplant is over a foot and a half tall now but no blooms yet. The tomatoes have lots of blooms and I've seen bees around so hopefully I'll have a tomato show soon.

Some of our perennial species made it through the freeze quite easily and were some of the first to bloom aside from the snapdragons I posted earlier as well as several dianthus varieties.

Two colors of verbena; hadn't gone through and tidied the bed yet so there are few spots here and there that need trimming:

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I have several of these scabiosa (pincushion plant) and I really enjoy them. They are planted near some society garlic and some purple iris plants. Unfortunately, I don't think the iris will bloom this year although it made it through the cold. The leaves got a shock and it hasn't sent up a bloom stalk. The leaves are okay, so hopefully the bulb isn't slowly rotting underneath the soil but I'm a little wary to dig it up right now.

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What area are you in and how much did this cost?  Love this.  
I'm out by Rockwall. Didn't cost anything. He needed a place to put bees that has access to water and open fields. I needed bees to start my ag exempt.
Some guys that know you are trying to get the ag exempt will charge but if they get all the honey and bee production, then it should be an even exchange.
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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, texasdago said:

Any suggestions for dealing with four line bugs?  Some are having a field day on my rosemary.

They typically only cause cosmetic damage that you can just pinch off. But if they're worse than usual, insecticidal soap is probably your best bet.

 

Meanwhile, I'm looking at today and tomorrow on the forecast and cursing fate. Decent chance of a frost here, so I'm gonna have to deep-water my tomatoes and hope for the best. My body clock is still on the Texas calendar, so the idea that it's late April, and I still have to think about shit like that really blows. On the other hand, I don't have the July "dead period" any more -- can pretty much plant most anything I want from now until September, before I have to start thinking about temperature again.

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While I'm waiting for the veggies to look worth posting about, here's some of what Springtime in the Carolina Piedmont looks like:

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There's also a ton of Carolina blue hydrangeas around, but just because I've got Tarheel colors growing out back doesn't mean I have to advertise them. I'm planting some burnt orange amaranth this summer; those I'll post pictures of.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Harvested my last batch of sugar snap peas. Making room for some Thai basil plants.

My first sun gold tomatoes are ripening. Also growing some black cherry tomatoes.

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Blackberry crop looks really good this year. Berries coming along nicely. Getting my first ripe mulberries as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

First year gardener.  Having some success so far.  Pretty easy with all this rain.

Planted 6 beds with tomato, basil, peppers, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, squash, watermelon and strawberries.  Not much luck on the strawberries and watermelon yet.  Planted 2 of the 6 beds with a pollinator wild flower mix.

 

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On 5/31/2021 at 12:59 PM, kegman said:

After this morning’s haul, the Squash  is starting to overwhelm us.  Anybody know any good recipes? 

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Slice on the long bias into about 1/4" thickness.  Marinate in this in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours:

Juice of 1 lemon

2TBS agave syrup

3TBS olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook on a hot grill until just past al dente.  You can season with more s&p, seasoned salt, Tony Chachere's, etc. while on the grill if you want more of a kick.

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On 4/3/2021 at 11:02 PM, Both Tacos said:

One reason I wanted to expand our garden was to put in asparagus plants. I got 24 crowns in the ground. Won't be able to harvest for a few years but they will produce over the next 20+ years.
I do have 4 plants I put in two years ago that I'll be able to start harvesting off of next year. 60ab9eb05f2bc082ccec082a0c643b73.jpg

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Production in my garden is hitting on almost all cylinders.  We're canning and pickling multiple times per week and still giving tons away to family, friends and neighbors.  Tomatoes and melons are lagging behind this year.  I'm just now picking tomatoes.  I have to get 'em early because we have a serious raccoon problem, and as soon as they're ripe on the vine, they're toast.  This was tonight's haul.  I'm getting about the same amount as shown every other night or so.  Pretty much this amount of blackberries every day over the last few weeks.  Love it!

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Edited by Spaulding Smails
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Finally remembered to take a few pics. Been busy doing clean up plus the mockingbirds have babies (you can hear them constantly cheeping) and are after the tomatoes.

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These are the remainder after I made a quart of sauce.

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Sauce. I peeled the tomatoes but was casual about removing seeds. We had pasta with homemade meatballs a day or two later and it was gooood.

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The lilies have been putting on a show. They're in front of an almond verbena that froze back to the ground and it was a race between the two to see who would bloom first. The verbena has white spiky blossoms that are scented.

 

The rest of the vegetables are doing fine, and I've been thankful that the rain has been just enough that even the zucchini didn't suffer from the damp. In a startling (for me) amount of luck, I happened to spray them with a fungicide awhile back before all the rain hit and it must have done a good job as we only had one zucchini spoil and only two tomato fruit with some rot on the end. It's mostly been the birds--they've figured out how to combat the netting.

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Mockingbirds fucking suck. I didn't wanna deal with netting last year so I used a big fake owl. That worked about 80% of the time. Ultimately I just had to pick the maters when they were getting yellow and let them ripen on the windowsill. 

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20 minutes ago, miguelito said:

Almond verbena is one of my favorite scents.  I have a couple of small ones that bloomed a few months ago, but are looking bad now.  Too much rain maybe?

It could be. I haven't noticed it with ours but we planted them in somewhat mounded beds so that may be helping. They've been pretty carefree after the first year. I planted in that fall, and then covered them that winter because we're in the tweener zone for them. I mulch them year round but toss a little extra in the winter to give the roots protection. This was the first year they died back completely due to the long deep freeze and I was thinking that might be it for them but they sprouted up so I trimmed out the dead wood and they are taller than the six foot fence now. When the lilies popped up, for awhile both were at about three feet.

I do love the scent and what we plant tends to be scented; lavender, roses, moonflower, jasmine, herbs, and such.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Production in my garden is hitting on almost all cylinders.  We're canning and pickling multiple times per week and still giving tons away to family, friends and neighbors.  Tomatoes and melons are lagging behind this year.  I'm just now picking tomatoes.  I have to get 'em early because we have a serious raccoon problem, and as soon as they're ripe on the vine, they're toast.  This was tonight's haul.  I'm getting about the same amount as shown every other night or so.  Pretty much this amount of blackberries every day over the last few weeks.  Love it!
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Nice haul on the blackberries. I only have 1 bush, in its second year, so we ate getting handfuls each day now. I added 2 more this season so next year should be pretty good.
Squash and tomatoes are starting to take off. Have cucumbers that need to start pickling and giving grocery bags full away at work.075ab7d59f5c3c9046bc7f4f9bcc7778.jpg901ef72be07cb2f20502e2a2f85e7188.jpgf04e4229f0fec30cc578d55ad6c5a802.jpg608a2b9b60d50bf1eab1177739ea6e2f.jpgbe406abab0b33130e01cfc43c4093001.jpga721261be51babdf68064b9bdf7e69b6.jpg

Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk

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Talk to me about fall vegetables in CTX.  What do you plant and when do you plant it?

We are covered up with tomatoes and my wife has made plenty of bread and butter pickles.  Squash has been good, basil is thriving.  Not much luck with strawberries or watermelons yet.  

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I'm gonna do my first try at a fall garden, but that's all I got for ya. Not sure what all I'm gonna plant yet. My guess is that it will be too hot to get anything outside until late September. I was thinking some Romaine, Squash, and few other things. 

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