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Backyard Gardens: Time to get busy.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin wrote:
I have my seedlings going like gangbusters ... I am so excited, I just may do a little dance.


I know what you mean. Something wholesome, good, and spiritually pleasing about growing your own food. Is it innate in humans? Evolution? From the old movies? Nostalgia? Or something romantic about farming or farm life?

Rainey, I do pick the dandelions for cooking into vegetable soup. They grow 5-feet tall down here. Shocked Not joking. The stems get to be an inch in diameter. The wild onions are out now in full force. They are everywhere. Do you get them in SoCal? I don't remember them in Ohio. I think they may be unique to the south.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well we still have a fair whack of snow on the ground but the temp is actually rising towards the freezing mark the last few days and the strength of the sun is definitely improving so we know spring is on her way!

I wasn't planning to do any sprouting on my own this year but an excellent young woman in these forums offered me some heirloom tomato seeds and i couldn't say no! Looking forward to getting those little babies going.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape wrote:
The wild onions are out now in full force. They are everywhere. Do you get them in SoCal? I don't remember them in Ohio. I think they may be unique to the south.


I'm not aware of wild onions but we do have wild mustard. Domesticated onions do very well here. I have green onions, shallots, a red onion and a Granex-type already growing in my garden. I was a fool and forgot to put in garlic last Fall or I'd have some this Spring.

And, David, I chuckled to see you can tell the approach of Spring by the thermometer heading upward to mere freezing! Mabbee it's not so amusing there. But take heart!
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ejm



Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 51
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey wrote:

And, David, I chuckled to see you can tell the approach of Spring by the thermometer heading upward to mere freezing! Mabbee it's not so amusing there.


*cough* perhaps not so amusing... Wink especially after reading that the onions are up in your garden Smile

It is actually just a little above freezing today and sunny. And I even managed to ride my bike to the grocery store yesterday. (But the back lanes are still covered in ice)

David, I'm glad you think that spring will arrive after all. My husband says that we aren't going to get spring this year but will just go directly from winter to autumn. Shocked

(new growth on bay tree in basement - longer days must be tricking it into thinking that summer is on the way)
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm convinced ejm, that this slow melting will result in a truly lovely Apriil followed by a brilliant long summer such as we haven't seen in some time-or is that just wishful thinking? Sincerely hope your husband is wrong!

Congrats on the bay tree!
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cynthiaLW



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like someone in the PNW should get involved in this discussion. We normally have mild winters here, but this year really has had a short winter. I have a woodland garden around my home, as I have 15 fir trees. All the wildflowers are in riotous bloom now- Trillium, Lamb's tongue, Sorrel, violets, bluebells, spring beauties,... So it is my favorite time of year in the garden. But concerning vegies, last year I tried an experiment. Since I have very little sun or space left in my garden, I planted beets in a big pot that I set in the middle of the pathway which gets midafternoon sun. These weren't just any old beets. I had discovered Chioggia beets, and wanted to give them a try. By fall, they were still very small, and I did not pull them. Now that spring is here, I notice that the leaves seem to have taken on new life so I'm hoping that maybe I'll get some decent sized Chioggia beets eventually. I have an herbpot next to it that I've been able to cut thyme and savory out of all winter for cooking. I grew up in a colder climate with snowy winters, so I love living in the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cynthia- For dinner we had roasted beets that I planted last Fall! I put in a whole wad planted very close because I intended to use them for the greens. But as I pulled greens I left widely spaced plants that grew on (for 3 months or more!) to swollen roots.

I half expected them to be woody even if they were small. On the contrary, they were tender and yummy.

I think we've switched our climates. My friends in BC are having milder Winters and less rain while we're having far colder dips and longer Winters and I haven't seen a year for rain like we've had in SoCal! Shocked

Glad you have you join us to discuss cooking and kitchen gardens!
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cynthia,
Oh you are a lucky person! My mom lives in Washington and she said it is the earliest spring she has ever seen. I was just out visiting the Willamette Valley recently, it really is the most beautiful place. It is where I was born so I am a little biased.
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
Well we still have a fair whack of snow on the ground but the temp is actually rising toward the freezing mark the last few days and the strength of the sun is definitely improving so we know spring is on her way!


Ah, only a person even further North than Michigan can appreciate that you measure Spring by the inches of snow left on the ground. Crying or Very sad

I've avoided this thread, so far, because the Winter has been too depressing for me. I came across some photos I took last year, of my clients gardens, and by May 16th, less than 6 weeks from now, 100% of my clients gardens were in full bloom and all the annuals were bedded out.

Not this year. We're currently at 28 degrees, waking up to snow on the ground from a fresh storm and snow showers and hail for the rest of Good Friday.

I guess it was this collection of depressing events that led me to binge on seeds this year, like never before! I was at Osco, in Chicago, picking up the last bits of Easter candy for friends, when I was that they had Northrup King and Fredonia seed packs on sale for FIFTY CENTS APIECE, vs. the usual $2-$3 per pack!!!

So, I grabbed things I haven't seen growing in gardens since my childhood on the farm:

Bachelor Buttons
Moonflowers
Morning Glories
Nigella or Love in a Mist
Bells of Ireland
Hollyhocks
Sweet Peas
Larkspur
Four O'Clocks
Moss Roses

I can place each and every plant in someone's kitchen garden from the past, so there must have been a pretty big need in my heart to revisit those times.

Instead of planting them in the garden, I'm planting ALL of them in giant pots outside my kitchen door, where they'll be huge bouquets of flowers by July. By also planting them in pots, I can arrange them at will, depending on they are doing.

We all joke here, in the frozen Midwest, that Spring will happen. But the punchline is that it will be seen in July, for a week or two, and then we'll go back to Winter coats. Ugh!
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Cupcake Carrie



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Nebraska, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dairy_Queen wrote:
We all joke here, in the frozen Midwest, that Spring will happen. But the punchline is that it will be seen in July, for a week or two, and then we'll go back to Winter coats. Ugh!


Oh, I totally understand! I am in Lincoln, Nebraska and we actually had snowflakes in the air this morning! *sigh* Too depressing. I have a really bad case of spring fever. I'm just itching to get out into my perennial gardens, and I am jealous of all the fabulous seeds you bought! Such a deal! Smile
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's still snowing here, too, the day before Easter. You watch the Weather Channel and the U.S. is divided in half: 32 degrees vs. 80's.

I'm planning on buying some more seeds today, since they were only .50 cents. I'd like to have some zinnias and more moss roses in pots, so when I bundle up with my Winter gear to get those last Easter basket touches, I'll add those to my collection.

Just having the seed packages in my hands makes me feel better.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spring is arriving here slowly but surely! The snow is receding and the bulbs planted by our south facing stone wall (ours is a 150+ year old stone house) have already poked their heads out of the soil. Mind you six inches away the snow is still 6 inches deep. There is no snow on our roof and the fields are half water and half snow and all the highs for the forseeable future are above freezing!! That awful storm you got in the mid-west U.S. stayed south of the border. It's coming, it's coming--it's really coming! So don't give up hope my friends Very Happy
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cynthiaLW



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 7:46 pm    Post subject: Spring vs. Winter Reply with quote

Ah, how pleasant it is to read your northern midwest comments! You may think me silly, but the sounds of Hope are beautiful. I'm really a philosopher at heart and sometimes I get to wallowing around in the basement of wonder, as I work as a nurse with the sickest of people daily. My green garden here sustains me emotionally. My first fragrant blossoms that always start practically in the middle of winter are Daphne odora, and I'm wondering when this shrub can begin blooming in the midwest- like on a level with Des Moines? Today is a day of rest for me, and I think I'll go out and pick a sprig of Rosemary ( that's fresh all winter here) and make a batch of Pear and Rosemary Butter. It's a recipe I discovered at epicurious.com this winter and I just love it. I also have a pot of thyme and savory by my back door, and I think I'll pick some for a pot of soup with root vegies. It's raining non-stop here today.
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ejm



Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 51
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
Spring is arriving here slowly but surely!


I think you may be right, David. In spite of the snowfall on Thursday, almost all had melted from the roads by Saturday. The small patch of bare soil right by the house is slowly growing and I too saw tips of tulip and daffodil leaves peeking out from that area. And the day lilies are starting to emerge from behind the garage. Naturally, they are coming up where they shouldn't but I just couldn't bear to uproot the strays quite yet.

But I haven't dared to look closely at the sage that is still half submerged in snow. I'm hoping it has survived the winter....

And yesterday I heard the cheery voice of a cardinal staking out his claim in a treetop across the lane.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well ejm you will be pleased to know I saw 4 cardinal signs of spring over the weekend:

1. Canada Geese

2. Robin

3. Groundhog

4. Roadkill
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