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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:50 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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i am almost maybe 70% done! SO SORE!!!!!
i found some great starts to put in- jolokia and chocolate habaneros, plus the usual eggplant, thai eggplant, lettuce, scallions, green peppers, aussie spinach... planted pole beans and snow peas too. I have a huge brush pile that needs to be torched, but it's too wet. so an entire corner of the garden is just this slag pile.

also had to spray my passionfruit with bacterial spores because of tent caterpillars. i checked the vine yesterday for stragglers and what was on there but a monarch caterpillar. i hope he will be okay. i took him off and he's on my porch for the time being.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:36 am 
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the monarch just pupated (? chrysalized?). so i guess he was okay.
i am going to have huge forking muscles from turning over this dirt. and some of my ancient seeds are coming up (kale, chard, from like 5 years ago)! yay!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:20 pm 
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How're everyone's gardens doing??? I just came inside from surveying my babies and they're doing great! The hummingbirds are loving all the native sages I've planted.

Dude, the weather this year is SO WEIRD. It's like spring here. And no rain. :( All my plants are flowering already and my leafy plants are growing like mad. I wonder if I can start my garden early this year? I think I want to try those hanging tomatoes and peppers.

My newest project is a little orchard on my balcony--Meyer lemon, bearss lime, arbequina olive, and crab apple. I got the lime and apple discounted from $60 to $10 because they were sickly; I nursed them back and they're totally fine now. Best $20 I've spent in a while. The olive came from the grocery store, marked down to $7; in only a few months it's grown at least 6 inches because of this bizarro weather. Also, I now have eight (eight!!!) avocado trees I've grown from pits, half of which will be ready to graft in the summer. I found a nursery where they will give me free cuttings of loads of different avocados and will talk me through the process since I've never done it before. I have to remember to post some pics soon. I'm so proud of my little tree children.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:41 am 
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Anyone got tricks for keeping kitties from nibbling on plants? All I've got right now is basil, bamboo and tulips...and every time I turn my back my (much loves but super aggravating!) cat is gnawing on one of them. I want to plant more but I'm scared it'll just end up being a snack for her!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:29 am 
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jerusalemboheme6 wrote:
Anyone got tricks for keeping kitties from nibbling on plants? All I've got right now is basil, bamboo and tulips...and every time I turn my back my (much loves but super aggravating!) cat is gnawing on one of them. I want to plant more but I'm scared it'll just end up being a snack for her!

Grrr my pup did this and killed a bunch of my avocado seedlings! I bought a spray called bitter apple and spritzed the sensitive plants. Maybe it works for kitties too?

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:44 am 
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I know I'm monopolizing this thread but I just found a bag of baby carrots in the back of my fridge that have sprouted like woah.

SHOULD I PLANT THEM?!?

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:50 am 
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I can't think of how that would be useful, unless you just want them for the green tops. Sounds like if they're a bag of carrots already then that means they're already at pick-size or probably even past. Won't make more carrots.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:20 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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juice em?

i spent money on cucumber starts only to have cucumbers sprout from my compost bucket! i've had squash sprout, but never cucumbers. they're not even dry seeds! will leave a few and see what happens.

other than that, sooooooo hot that everything is looking sad.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:06 am 
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Yeah, I don't want greens, but I thought they might be like potatoes? Plant a little chunk and it'll grow into a full sized root...but I don't know how carrots grow!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:20 am 
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couroupita wrote:
I have to remember to post some pics soon. I'm so proud of my little tree children.

Yes I demand more pics of ppkers gardens! I want to get some citrus going in pots too (mmm limes), and a curry tree, and maybe bay? I don't know anything about any of them though so I should probs look into that.

Oh and yeah, I think carrots are the tap root, so they won't grow another one.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:58 am 
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you can try and experiment, but baby carrots have all the outer membrane cut off, so i wouldn't think it'd be a very healthy re-grow. but plants can do some amazing things.

what i would do is plant some entire ones just to see, but i would take the ones that have the healthiest tops and cut them to maybe 1/2 inch of root and put them in a dish of water, and then if they show an inkling of little side roots, that's when i'd put them in the ground, careful not to damage the little roots. (theoretically the little side roots could grow into new carrots.) please report back. i'm fascinated!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Got some pics this morning! The first pic--sorry it's kinda dark--- has the lime, avocado, and dormant ginkgo trees on the left and the apple tree is on the right but I couldn't fit it in the picture. It's dormant anyway. There's also a blueberry bush on the right and it's actually producing right now!
Image

Blueberries
Image

And here's my herb garden with bonus emo puppy.
Image

The other balcony, with lemon tree, avocado seedlings, kale, chard, flowering lettuces, snow peas, and bonus wild birds! That's a chickadee on the water feeder and goldfinches on the black feeder in the back. Cute!
Image

Oh and I found these ladybug nymphs on my lettuces.
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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:54 pm 
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blueberries! we got two bushes as a housewarming gift and as we've not been in the house for a full year, we planted them where we *think* they'll get the most sun come spring. here's hoping - i've wanted blueberry bushes forever.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:15 pm 
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some shade should be good for blueberries though. (they can easily get scorched.)

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:04 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
some shade should be good for blueberries though. (they can easily get scorched.)

I think that's why my blueberry has brown leaves. It was on the other patio in the summer and got really intense sun. But the tag on the plant said full sun, so.....? I really have no idea how to grow blueberries in California.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:17 pm 
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in full sun, they definitely need steady water. full sun in cold regions isn't as bad as in california. in my jersey yard, i had some in a line on the edge of my neighbor's driveway, and the ones that were shaded by their garage did better than the ones that weren't shaded. there are some cultivars that do better in sun than others, but in general, they like a little shade.

being in a pot in full sun in california is definitely no good. probably even for the tough cultivars. that's some intense digs there.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:01 pm 
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I'm so jealous of those of you who have weather that things will grow in right now! I'm currently sitting, listening to the rain and daydreaming about summer. Couroupita-your balcony gardens are so beautiful!

I had an idea earlier about growing a sort of strawberry lawn. I currently have a patch of garden planted with dwarf fruit trees, there's just empty ground around the trees. I was wondering if it would work just to plant strawberry plants aroundthe trees and to just let them send out runners to create a covering of strawberry plants on the ground. or does that sound like a bad idea? I just really hate the way the bare earth looks.


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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:11 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
(theoretically the little side roots could grow into new carrots.)

I'm curious as to the 'theoretically' of this, like Caterpillar said they are tap root, which to me has always meant one seed = one root. I'm pretty skeptical of this!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:04 pm 
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ok, so the carrot plant always wants to grow a tap root. if the main root is destroyed, the side roots will take over. have you ever seen carrots with 2 legs? somewhere in the early development, the root tip was destroyed, and 2 equally strong side roots ended up taking the reigns. here, if some side roots are grown from the severely damaged main root, and allowed to continue to grow, you could very well get like 6 carrots from the one plant. (it'll still have 1 shoot, but then it'll have a bunch of roots surrounding the missing main root. which could very well grow to a reasonable size if allowed to keep growing.)

similar with evergreen trees and the main leader (which might be easier to explain since it's above ground). if the central leader is cut very close to the tip, one of the side shoots will take over. if it's cut farther down, it's very possible that a bunch of them would take over. it's actually a technique for puffing up a hedgerow. they'd still grow vertically though, since that's just what they're programmed to do.)

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:28 pm 
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Ah interesting! I do know this about evergreens so yeah, it's a good comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:04 am 
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Eryn, thanks! I love the idea of a strawberry lawn. I've never grown any though except in a pot. I've read that they don't produce well after three years, so there's that to consider, though I don't know if that means runners as well. Where do you live? You could look into native ground covers, like milkweed, and attract all the monarchs! Not as exciting as strawberries though!

I planted some of the rootiest carrots, about 15, so we'll see how it goes! I'm super curious. Now, when do I check on them?

I also planted a celery stump, ginger, some garlic cloves, and some more green onions. I know those will work. I might be a little carried away.

Hey, is there a thread about hanging planters for tomatoes? I searched and saw them mentioned a few times but I swear I remember a more in depth conversation. Am I wrong?

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:07 am 
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Strawberries are complex- you could probably have a lawn made of strawberries but thinking about the maintenance makes me cringe. I nurtured a berry patch for about 3 years, growing it from 3 plants to about 25, and i think i got 3 berries the whole time. They do want open earth, so you'd have to take the grass out. Having just done that in both my front and back yard, I can tell you it's a great way to get awesome biceps.

So, I finally got rid of the caterpillars killing my passionfruit vines, it's been almost a month since the bacterial application and I only saw the first caterpillar yesterday (the pro told me it would take 4 applications to really get rid of all of them forever). The vines look AMAZING, they were sort of bedraggled before and now they are full of new growth, and I'm starting to think about how to train them.

I also opened up more beds, and soon will have to plant the new sprouts I started (portuguese kale, and some chard). I have space to turn over one more bed, but I have a huge brush pile from all the cleanup that I have to torch and I just can't stand the idea of torching yard waste and bothering my neighbors. However, we really don't have any other option for it (compost pile is gone, and this stuff is a lot of branches).

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:31 am 
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i'd give the carrots at least 2 months. stick your finger in the dirt around the shoulders and pull some soil away to check. if they still seem scrawny, cover them back up and wait some more.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:18 am 
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Our weather has been so bizarre here that I feel like I'm SUPER LATE to be starting my garden even though it's the end of January. I re-dug my beds the other day and planted a bunch of things in little containers to get started. (Thank goodness I didn't chuck the yogurt containers I used last year since WholeSoy isn't a thing now.) And direct seeded some lettuce seeds I wasn't planning on planting yet but which got wet.

As for actual plants out there, my hyssop is making a comeback. I've got a fair amount of volunteer lettuce and a volunteer tomato plant (that came from the other side of the fence, from my landlord's garden). There's also a mystery plant that I think may be a cucumber but I'm not really sure. It's not anywhere near where I planted cucumbers last year... it's actually in a spot where I've had no success growing anything. So I'm really curious to know what the hell it is. Maybe I'll take a picture.

Oh, ha ha, I also have a baby fir tree in a pot now from Christmas. It is growing like crazy and needs to be transplanted into a bigger container... I'd plant it in the ground but I think my landlords would be a little pissed.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:18 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Our weather has been so bizarre here that I feel like I'm SUPER LATE to be starting my garden even though it's the end of January.

I know, right? I'm all antsy to start my summer garden but the tomato sales aren't until April! I don't know what to do with myself.

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