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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: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject: Backyard Gardens: Time to get busy. Reply with quote

For those up in Northern latitudes it is getting to be planting season. Now is a good time to list your plans for the garden. I planted on Sunday.

My garden is 18' by 13'.

Here's what I planted (all seeds):

tomatoes
yellow squash
cucumbers
okra (this is Dixie)
carrots
lettuce
kale
green peppers
banana peppers
onions

Next month I'll plant:

sweet corn
cantelope
pumpkin
tomatoe (version II)
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Tammy



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can start planting already?!!

I'm a neophite to gardening and actually don't have the space right now but I want to start with some window box planters with fresh herbs. I live in a rather cold climate and my backyard is covered with piles and piles of snow. It's snowing as I write. When can I put those boxes out and any suggestions on what to plant? Any special soil needed for herbs?
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with ya, Sarape. I've got a couple things cold weather things coming up already (a tomato, an artichoke and some beans that volunteered and peas and carrots that I planted at the beginning of Feb.). But a few things got destroyed by all of our rains and I'll have to replant.

I grow tomatos, a couple colors of peppers, artichokes, peas, several colors of pole beans, carrots, beets, onions (including shallots), potatoes, zucchini & yellow summer squash. I usually grow garlic but I forgot to put it in last fall.

Dairy_Queen encouraged me to put in a strawberry patch so I pulled up a not inspiring section of flower bed and amended the soil and piled up a mound and now I've got me a strawberry patch to look forward to.

Tammy, Sarape & I are well south of you in Los Angeles and Alabama. I think it will be a while before anyone's planting in your area. But if you have well-lit spot you could start some herbs. I'm growing basil under lights right now myself.

Herbs are very hearty plants. Mine grow in heavy clay soil. So I wouldn't get them anything special. Good luck with it. You'll love just snipping a bit of whatever you need without running to the store or having to make due with something that hasn't held on well from the last trip. Wink
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ejm



Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 51
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape wrote:
For those up in Northern latitudes it is getting to be planting season.


Shocked Are you mad? Wink Very Happy

Suggested rephrase: For those up in deep-southern Northern latitudes, it is getting to be planting season.

I'm beginning to think that it's NEVER going to be planting season! (Just had about 15cm of snow fall over the past two days. The whole garden is completely draped in thick white blanket) I don't usually get to plant anything until May. I do garden clean up in April usually.

Tammy, you are probably pretty much in the same boat. The general rule of thumb is to plant when the ground has thawed and there is no risk of overnight frost. For most bedding plants, the night temperatures shouldn't drop much below 10C (50F).

I saw (sorry don't remember where) and interesting experiment done by a fellow. He preplanted half his vegetables indoors and the other half directly in the ground when he transplanted the shoots. By July, the preplanted ones were MUCH bigger than the ones planted directly in the ground. But by August, all plants were at the same stage.

For window boxes, you can just use any old garden soil (usually the garden centers sell bags of garden soil that contain topsoil, compost and sand or vermiculite or perlite) Most herbs like to be in not very rich soil and don't usually require much fertilizer. The only thing you have to watch for is whether they need water. The soil tends to dry out faster in containers.

These are the herbs I grow. Most are in containers.
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David



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

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ejm--I'm with you! windchill of -26 this morning, gardening is not on my mind. I used to start tomatoes inside just to get a sense of spring but because we have such little light yet they tended to be somewhat weak and stringy (the plants I mean) so I now buy them and plant them when the season permits, usually mid-May.
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Tammy



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ejm. I don't want to start growing indoors. When should I put out the window boxes? (Which by the way, are actually going on my back railing.)
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annadev



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 1
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:14 am    Post subject: Northern Climes??? Reply with quote

Looks like lots of Canadians are reading these entries... Wonder why? Wink
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Ana



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:47 am    Post subject: Northern Climates!!! Reply with quote

Well I'm also a rookie gardener but I can't wait for Victoria Day, when we officially start our gardens. I am going to try some herbs (basil, oregano) and specially cilantro. In Portugal we use cilatro a bit and I find the cilatro here does not seem to have a lot of perfume. I asked my Portuguese grocery store to get me some seeds from Portugal.

I will also try some hardy plants (zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, and pumpkin). If I do well, I'll be a little more adventurous next year.
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ejm



Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 51
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tammy, your window boxes can go out when there is no more danger of night frost and the night temperatures aren't going much below 10C (50F). As Ana said, the magic date here in Canada is usually Victoria Day (24 May long weekend). Sometimes it's earlier; sometimes it's later. One year, I planted everything in early May. But last year, it was so cold that I didn't bring my tender perennial herbs outside til mid-June!

Ana, you'll notice that your coriander leaves bolt quite quickly this far north. Plant the seeds in succession (every two weeks or so) You can let one of the plants go to seed and use the new seeds if you run out of storebought coriander seeds.

We usually buy bunches of cilantro in Indiatown or Chinatown in Toronto. It is much better quality AND price than at the supermarket. Do you have something like that in Ottawa? Perhaps you can get some decent cilantro before June rolls around.

----------------
herbs I grow:
http://etherwork.net/recipes/aboutherbs.html
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Ana



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:45 pm    Post subject: Gardening in Northern climates Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips ejm. We do have here a sizeable Chinatown and some Indian stores are in there too. I'll look for coriander there.

I'm also glad you mention the planting schedule. Unless they say something in the package I was thinking of planting the whole thing in one shot. This tells you how much of a beginner I am. Duh!
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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: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is snow on the ground but I can't wait. I have started my seeds and they are doing well. I am plannng to start half indoors and half out so I can have different harvest times. The one thing I am dying for is the fennel I think it should do well my soil is very sandy. Well actually it is all sandy, I have to bring in soil slow down the drainage a bit.
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin- Do you compost? You could be making lovely organic soil to add some texture to your sandy soil.

I have serious clay -- completely the opposite problem. I've been composting for 7 or 8 years and there are areas of my garden that are so completely different I can't even tell you how improved they are!
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Sarape



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like Rainey and I are the only ones in far enough south to have already planted our outdoor gardens. I am planting all of my seeds directly in the outside soil and not doing any pre-growing indoors. I think this is a risk, but our growing season in Alabama is about 10 months, so if I don't get good yield with this first attempt at planting, I'll have a few more chances to plant during the year.

I planted turnips last August, and I was still harvesting them last Saturday, the day I turned the soil for the new round of planting.

Here is a link to an article from the NY Times about soil. You need to be a registered NYTimes reader to see the article. I am not using any fertilizer. Again, this is an experiment, and I may find that I need compost or fertilizer. The article does recommend a compost pile as a permanent part of your yard.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/03/garden/03cutt.html
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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: Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape, 10 months!! Lucky. I do cherish the time I have.

Rainey, I have never composted. I really don't know how to go about it. What do you toss into the mix? Does it attract bugs? Bugs freak me out and we have a ton of them here. The PNW had bugs but they kept their distance.
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, personally, put everything in mine. At the moment my latest pile is sporting some funky beach towels that the kids left out all winter and a cotton bath mat that our 4mo cats decided to disassemble along with the kitchen scraps and garden debris.

Yup! My pile attracts everything I don't put on it. I don't see flying insects but I find grubs all the time and you don't forget the first time you see a grub! Shocked It's all part of nature so I accept it now that I've found out that the grubs I have hatch a harmless moth.
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