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Gardens this year?

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:16 pm
by jdroth
Anyone planning to start a garden this year? We've pruned our fruit trees (apple, pear, prune) and tied up our berries (black-, rasp-, grape). The strawberries are just beginning to get leafy and green. My wife has her tomatoes under grow lights (and I have a single watermelon, though I don't think it'll transplant well). My peas are coming up. The turnips are up. The blueberries have blossomed and are forming leaves.

Spring is awesome!

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:03 pm
by nickel
Our gardening is really more landscaping -- perennial flower and shrubs, trees, etc. But we've already done a lot this year, and have a good bit more to do.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:55 pm
by JerichoHill
We had tomatoes and blackberry bushes last year. With the home addition, probably no garden this year, but it will come back in a fury next year

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:03 pm
by mbhunter
My wife does a little container gardening. Maybe things will get a little easier when our 2-year-old grows up a little bit but for now it's hectic. ;)

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:57 pm
by prlinkbiz
Dirt grows real well in my backyard- how are you going to mess with perfection?

Seriously though, I would like to get some landscaping for my backyard. I did try to grow some grass last year. It was a DIY gone horribly wrong.

I got ant-b-gone stuff, and grass seed the same day. Ant-b-gone went on the side of the house, where the ants were plotting to take over my kitchen The grass seed we spread all over th backyard, and watered liberaly.

The next week- the ants were gone...and strangely, we had a lovely patch of grass where they used to be. In the abck, where we expected more lovely grass, were tumble weeds taking over!

I had to pick all the tumble weeds and then I had to pay to remove the grass (HOA)!! Go figure.

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:31 pm
by probargainhunter
Very tempting. Although after 3 years of planting tomatoes and cucumbers around our new home I feel a little tired.

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:33 am
by Angie
JD, we're right with you on starting a garden this year. Like, we're totally starting from scratch, though I remember from your midwinter post on your garden that you had some plots established last year. (Yeah, I remember--the telephone poles holding up the raspberry wires!)

I'm rooting for your watermelon, JD. Tough to do in the PNW! Is it a Territorial variety? Are you going to cloche it? We're going to try a melon this year, too, but it's a total longshot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Our garden story:

We moved into this house last April 1, that is, a bit over a year ago. One of the things that made us buy this funky fixer was the big backyard. Well, big for the city--we went from a 25 x 15 foot backyard to about 3000 sf, with several mature fruit trees and space near the very back fence for a veggie garden.

The space that we slated for the veggie garden was waist-high weeds as recently as mid-May. So, we whacked the weeds, covered the whole area (maybe 20 x 30 feet) with a few layers of cardboard to smother the greenery, and let it rot for the rest of the year. Midwinter we marked out where the beds and the paths would be and laid down compost and weedcloth, or bark chips, respectively. The cardboard is just about rotted out, and the weeds have been punched down to a reasonable amount...but the damnable horsetail is going to be challenge for some time to come.

We've got snow peas and rhubarb in the ground already. There are dahlias in pots on the deck, out of range of the slugs until they are robust enough to hold their own. We'll be transplanting blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry from the old house's yard, maybe even this afternoon. And this morning the kids and I planted flower and veggie seeds in peat pots that'll get started in the windowsill for the next few weeks.

Here's to a tasty and flower-bedecked August!

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:04 pm
by Dylan
I’m a huge fan of the “square-foot gardening” method, but I haven’t started seeds for this year (9 month old twins take up a fair amount of space and time). I’m counting on some of my friends and neighbors having started extras plus visits to the garden centers to get my gardens planted this year.

I’m curious if anyone participates in seed exchanges. An old collogue mentioned it to me but I never followed up with him. I’m interested in learning more about them.

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:41 pm
by jdroth
Dylan, when we had a smaller yard, we used square-foot gardening, too. It worked well. We have some friends who are just gardening for the first time, and they just build their first raised bed and intend to use square-foot gardening. In fact, I'm probably going to write about it in the next week or two, because I think it's an excellent method to get productivity out of a small space.

Kris does seed exchanges with some friends. They're all tomato fiends, so they place an order every January for rare varieties. They have some old favorites, but they also try new ones. When the seeds come, they divide them.

Kris usually starts more tomatoes than she can plant. She gives the seedlings to friends. During the first week of May every year, the local Master Gardeners hold a plant sale. This is like a dream come true for Kris. She buys a ton. This year we're borrowing a van because she wants to get so much stuff. (Though she loves these trips, I find them a little tedious. This year I'm taking my iPod and a good audiobook. I'll sit in the food area and sip a lemonade while I wait...)

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:43 pm
by SoldierGrrrl

I planted some beans (Contender and Derby, both bush varieties) and some herbs for my husband's cooking. The seed packets all said "7-21" days to germination, but they LIE! I have three inch beans already! Needless to say, I'm heading down to the good old HD for potting soil and containers. I'm learning to can/jar this summer, lemme tell you! I'm so excited. I've got beans and tomatoes for sure, and hopefully some herbs to dry too.

I feel pretty kick-ass.

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:23 pm
by Angie
Kick it, SoldierGrrrl!

We've got a ton of flower and veggie seeds sitting on the window ledge, newly sprouted. Today was warmish and sunny so I took 'em outside for a full dose of sunshine. Feels like spring, yes indeed!

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:22 am
by SoldierGrrrl
Angie wrote:Kick it, SoldierGrrrl!

We've got a ton of flower and veggie seeds sitting on the window ledge, newly sprouted. Today was warmish and sunny so I took 'em outside for a full dose of sunshine. Feels like spring, yes indeed!

Thanks, Angie. I'm just amazed. I'd sprouted some sweetpeas, but I'm an airhead and didn't look at the back of the package. Yeah..um...12'? Uh-oh. Needless to say, I'm getting some bamboo poles and some twine to make a trellis for the little suckers. Eeep!

Wish me luck and that the plants don't eat me!