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Old 2008-03-27, 01:26   #1
Fusion_power
 
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Default Springtime and Gardening

I am an ardent gardener growing mainly fruits and veggies. I have a decent sized greenhouse with about 20,000 tomato plants growing at present. I'm curious how many of the eccentric personalities here also enjoy gardening.


http://www.selectedplants.com/garden...seedlings1.jpg
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http://www.selectedplants.com/garden...seedlings3.jpg


DarJones
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Old 2008-03-27, 04:39   #2
bsquared
 
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I keep a garden along with my father-in-law, but at not nearly the scale as your greenhouse. First planting is still a month away here in MN, right about the same time as our rhubarb will be ready to harvest (we have several large plants). We typically grow veggies: carrots, beans, pea pods, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, peppers and beets. And there are some raspberry bushes too - my favorite!
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Old 2008-03-27, 08:07   #3
xilman
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I don't grow particularly much edible vegetation, apart from an extensive herb bed and one each of a damson, cherry, apple and hazlenut tree. I specialize in bamboos, grasses and related plants (sedges, reeds, rushes, etc). There's a moderate fern bed down the bottom of the garden.

Quite a lot of my plants live indoors over winter --- aloes, agave (apart from the Agave americana which is tough enough to survive the weather), a few cacti, and sundry other semi-tender plants.


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Old 2008-03-28, 03:18   #4
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I am also in Minnesota, and the gardens are family projects with me, my wife and as many of our five children as want to get involved - usually about three of them, actively. Vegetables typically raised are radishes, leaf lettuce, spinach, carrots, peas, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, Buttercup squash zucchini squash and sunflowers. OK, so sunflowers aren't really vegetables, but they are in our vegetable garden area. We've succeeded with Indian corn and okra, too, in years past. We've got an enlarging mint patch (spearmint & peppermint) and chives and oregano. Plus rhubarb which is such a refreshing reminder that spring is truly here, that the seasons really have turned. We have a rapidly expanding chokecherry thicket, and two apple trees as well. We're starting a honeybee colony in a few weeks; we are eager to witness the effect of having that many honeybees in such close proximity to our (and our neighbor's) gardens.

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Old 2008-03-28, 06:17   #5
ixfd64
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My mother grows organic vegetables in her garden! Unfortunately, the squirrels love to dig her garden up. :(
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Old 2008-03-28, 12:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfd64 View Post
My mother grows organic vegetables in her garden! Unfortunately, the squirrels love to dig her garden up. :(
For us, deer are the most damaging. Everything but the rhubarb is inside a 8' fence, so they aren't really a problem, but they can be a real nuisance if gardens aren't protected this way.

I forgot to list one of my favorite veggies, asparagas. We've also grown squash and cucumbers in the past, but these tend to take up so much area that we don't grow them often anymore.
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Old 2021-05-17, 14:58   #7
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Yes, there is an existing thread on gardening! Good grief, the last post to it was 13 years ago! High time to revive it. I will expound on the subject of weeds, which are plants growing where the landowner doesn't want them to grow.

I've taken up gardening in recent years, and have found that the most work is in controlling weeds. Annual weeds are a perennial challenge. There's an old saying, "One year's seeding makes seven years weeding." Annual weeds only reappear in subsequent years because of seeds in the ground, but it may take many years to draw down the "seed bank" left by a stand of annual weeds allowed to go to seed, especially if it has occurred in a given spot for more than one year. In controlling annual weeds, thoroughness in weeding is the whole ball game. I may not take a lot of years to being a given species under control to the extent where you spend more time looking for it than removing it. Unfortunately, some annual weeds have seeds remain viable for decades.

Then there are perennial weeds. These may be either herbaceous or woody. Both types have some really tough customers. One of the toughest herbaceous perennial weeds I've dealt with is "field bindweed," Convolvulus arvensis. It spreads by underground runners, and its roots can go very deep. As with any green plant, persistently and frequently removing any part above ground (with as much root as you can get out) will eventually kill it, but with this plant this method can take years. I have exterminated small stands by unwinding the stuff from whatever desirable plants it's climbing on, putting plastic under it, temporarily protecting the desirable plants with plastic, thoroughly painting the bindweed with Roundup, mixed at double the recommended strength, waiting for it to dry, then taking away the plastic.

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is troublesome because it is spiny and spreads into colonies with underground runners, but is much less hard to kill.

Woody plants which have become impossible to pull or impractical to dig out can be sawed or lopped to a short stump. Thoroughly painting the stump with concentrated brush killer (>= 8% triclopyr) or 50% glyphosate, and covering it with plastic (I use pieces of used grocery store plastic bags secured with thin string like sausage twine) to protect curious animals (brush killer is nasty stuff) and prevent the poison from being washed off by rain before it can do its healing work is usually quite effective. So far, the most persistent adversary I have faced (and am still battling) is trumpetcreeper, Campsis radicans. I am in the third year of battling stands of this plant at my sister's place, using the cut-and-poison method. I have had some success - some stands seem to have been exterminated - but not all. This year, when new shoots have appeared, I have dug around them. I was appalled to find living underground stumps and rootstock much thicker than the above-ground stumps I had cut and poisoned in previous years, and which had died. I dug down 6 inches (these things are in tight quarters, hemmed in by desirable plants), thoroughly painted what I had exposed with concentrated brush killer, covered it with plastic, and reburied it. And so far, this is the toughest weed I have battled.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2021-05-17 at 15:02 Reason: xingif posty
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Old 2021-05-17, 17:39   #8
kriesel
 
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For difficult weeds, such as large thistles, an uncle used to go further, and INJECT herbicide with a syringe into the pith of the stalk.
Rhizomes or root-propagating species seem to be the worst to eradicate. Some grow in tall groves, such as sumac or stinging nettles, shading out the previous competition.
Others are trees, such as locust, which is also a legume, fixing nitrogen by aid of bacteria, so prospering where other plants lack nitrogen.
Black locust are particularly bad, since they're somewhat toxic to humans and ungulants (horses, domesticated cattle, some wildlife).
And some honey locust varieties that grow wild produce specialized branches with side "twigs" of up to 4" oriented-fiber sharp thorns. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_...ocustThorn.JPG (allegedly evolved as a defense against Pleistocene megafauna.) Repeated application of chain saws, brush mowers, and herbicides may work.
Herbicides diluted per package instructions may produce a reaction similar to irrigating with water.
Some farmers recommend making multiple axe-cuts in the top stump face to promote soaking-in of undiluted herbicide.
Lengthy soaking a stump in diesel fuel or furnace oil followed by ignition is said to work well too. (Although not to be considered during droughts;
underground roots may burn for days in dry sandy soil, and ignite nearby structures.)
Locust makes excellent firewood, better than oak. The wikipedia article claims use of the thorns as NAILS.

Walnut is known for emitting juglone from its roots, even after it's killed.
It makes an area unfit for juglone-sensitive species continuing for several years after removal of the walnut tree. (Raspberries as I recall are sensitive.)
Walnut saplings are very hardy, and the saw or lopper will need to make regular visits. If they're small enough, removal whole is best.
Walnuts are enthusiastically spread by squirrels planting nuts in the shell, taken from on or beneath existing walnut trees in the neighborhood.

For the more common and easily controlled garden weeds, a neighbor recommends smothering weeds from the start by newspaper weighted with compost.
This would not work so well on some I see in my walks around the neighborhood. Don't know the species, but it sends up shoots through the asphalt paved town road surface, pushing up small chunks of asphalt out of its way or breaking the pavement near its edge. The road crew retaliates by mowing the roadside wider.

Long ago, I had a home in Madison WI, and along the back fence raspberries grew. Adjacent neighbors also had them. After several years, the neighbors on the other side of the fence gave up on their back-fence flower garden that was constantly being invaded by raspberries both above ground and below, from 3 adjacent lots.
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Old 2021-05-17, 19:26   #9
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
For difficult weeds, such as large thistles, an uncle used to go further, and INJECT herbicide with a syringe into the pith of the stalk.
<snip>
Injecting herbicide is a useful method. It reduces the risk to other plants, especially with glyphosate, which is effectively sequestered by clay particles in soil.

Concentrated brush killer takes care of most small woody stumps. Having fresh cuts to absorb it does help. One exception is Asiatic Bush Honeysuckle. Patients of this species with stumps less than an inch or so in diameter show alarming signs of recovery after treatment with brush killer, and need additional sedation. Glyphosate 50% concentrate works better on those. Brush killer works fine on larger Asiatic Bush Honeysuckle stumps.

Quote:
Walnut is known for emitting juglone from its roots, even after it's killed.
It makes an area unfit for juglone-sensitive species continuing for several years after removal of the walnut tree. (Raspberries as I recall are sensitive.)
Walnut saplings are very hardy, and the saw or lopper will need to make regular visits. If they're small enough, removal whole is best.
Walnuts are enthusiastically spread by squirrels planting nuts in the shell, taken from on or beneath existing walnut trees in the neighborhood.
Juglone is indeed toxic to some plants. Root contact is the principal means of poisoning. And black walnut roots spread far and wide. Juglone can also be leached into the soil from fallen leaves or other litter. It does break down in soil, but it takes months even in good soil with lots of organic matter.

Anything black walnut will kill tomato plants dead. It affects other plants in the nightshade family (including potatoes, peppers, and eggplants), asparagus, rhubarb, and many ornamentals. I've read it also affects apples. This time of year I have to patrol my gardens for black walnuts sprouting from nuts buried by squirrels. New plants can be completely dug out fairly easily. Larger saplings should be dug out to a foot or 18 inches down.

Quote:
For the more common and easily controlled garden weeds, a neighbor recommends smothering weeds from the start by newspaper weighted with compost.
Covering is a good way to kill low-growing (or mowed or scraped) weeds in open areas. In gardens, mulching the beds discourages many weeds, as well as moderating soil temperature and conserving moisture.
Quote:
This would not work so well on some I see in my walks around the neighborhood. Don't know the species, but it sends up shoots through the asphalt paved town road surface, pushing up small chunks of asphalt out of its way or breaking the pavement near its edge. The road crew retaliates by mowing the roadside wider.
If you can describe the plant, I might take a stab at identifying it.
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Old 2021-05-18, 19:01   #10
xilman
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As reported in another thread, one of my decorative plants is now to be grown at least in part as food.

Like asparagus, home-grown P. violascens is a rare spring delicacy.
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Old 2021-05-19, 05:11   #11
MooMoo2
 
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Sometimes (maybe more often than not?) cost != quality.

Out of all the plants that my mom and I bought over the years, the ones that did the best were the ones that we acquired cheaply and had low expectations for.

- We bought a $10 orchid from Whole Foods, which had 7 flowers and one bud at the time of purchase. It had 9 flowers the following year, then 17 the year after that, and finally 22 flowers the next year.
- We bought an $11-$12 tree rose in ~2007 from Wal-Mart, which looked like a stick that was attached to a ball of roots. I thought that it wouldn't survive, but it ended up growing to be quite large and currently has a whole bunch of big roses on it.
- We bought maybe five or so ~$4-$5 geraniums from Home Depot, which came in small pots. They ended up spreading out and covering a large portion of the garden.
- We ordered a ~$4 blue moon rose online in ~2007. When it arrived in the mail, it looked like a small assortment of sharp twigs with no leaves and barely any roots. Like the tree rose, I didn't think that it would survive. It's still alive today and has some nice flowers, though none of them are blue.
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