Gardening 2021

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Location: Erie, PA

Re: Gardening 2021

Post by Elsebet »

We've been busy this year in our new home.

Built 9 raised bed boxes out of pallets that my husband brought home from the trash pile at work.
Purchased truckloads of screened dirt + compost from the local city recycling center for those boxes
Planted 24 spruce trees around the property to fill in gaps
Planted 1 honeycrisp apple and 1 plum tree and fenced both since the deer browsed them already
Planted 5 red oak trees for wildlife, used tree tubes for the first time on those since deer are a major issue here in PA
Built a 3 stall composter for the fall leaf bounty, again out of discarded pallets; hoping to make leaf compost for next year
The previous owner left two nice 10 ft poles so we built and put in clothesline pole next to the garden boxes so I can hang laundry and garden

In the raised beds we have:

1 full of 10 asparagus crowns that will take a few years to produce
2 with my tomato seedlings mixed with green/jalapeno peppers, one of those also has 2 zucchini
1 with cucumbers and sugar pumpkins with a trellis
1 with 6 sungold cherry tomato plants I had to buy at a nearby nursery since my cherry tomato seedlings did not sprout
4 are empty for this year since we built/filled them late - I may try some lettuce in the fall

I'm always filled with a sense of wonder at how the little tiny seed I started so long ago in the dreary short March days are now huge plants enjoying the summer sun.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by an_asker »

peppers wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:48 am It's time

Started my pepper plants inside with 3 trays of Italian and Jalapeno pepper seeds. The plants are roughly 2" in height. Planning out where to put them when the weather breaks to the upside.

Gardeners, feel free to jump in.
This topic is too advanced for me. I'm Mr. Brown Thumbs. I need Gardening 101!!
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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by Barkingsparrow »

Built our first raised bed using 'lego' bricks which made it a snap: ... arden-bed/

Planting tomato, pickling cucumber, and herbs - with marigolds bordering on the inside and across the middle of the raised bed to hopefully divert wayward pests.
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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by MP173 »

Our three gardens are in full throttle mode at this time.

Location: NW Indiana - Zone 5

We have been eating spinach and lettuce for 6 weeks. Some of which was over-winter. Other was planted in a box with a window in March (my version of a "hot box"). Also eating asparagus and radishes. The first sugar snap peas were harvested yesterday and used in mushroom risotto for dinner.

Planted and growing quite well:
Leeks, yellow, white, and red storage onions; shallots, carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower (first small head about size of a quarter was noticed today), broccoli, potato (reds, russets, and Yukon Golds), sweet potato, popcorn, pole beans, bell and lunchbox peppers, banana peppers, garlic (starting to bloom), spaghetti squash, cucumbers, pole beans, Roma tomato (from seed this winter), Hybred slicing tomato (also from seed).

Plenty of herbs, both planted and also repeating.

It should be a good year. The weather has been cooperative except it is dry. Watering about 3x week. This week it is forecast to rain several days in a row.

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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by Somethingwitty92912 »

No gardening this year, living vicariously through you all and my grand parents, on the account of my move getting delayed. I wish you large yields, and good luck. 👍
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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by Somethingwitty92912 »

Bonanza77 wrote: Sun Apr 25, 2021 2:46 pm I decided to start a vegetable garden for the first time this year. I have four young kids and figured it would be a good project for all of us to spend time outside together. I read a bunch of books on related topics. A couple of days ago, I installed six 4' x 4' cypress wood raised beds, 16" deep, and had the soil/compost/manure mixture that I settled on delivered and placed in the beds. All of the materials arrived later than I wanted, so we're not getting to plant as early as hoped...nevertheless, everything seemed to be in order. Now, I'm afraid the project is completely ruined.

In my zeal to have the already-rot-resistant cypress wood last even longer, I decided to seal it. Some brief googling revealed linseed oil to be a safe, non-toxic alternative. I go to Home Depot. I search for linseed oil. I find it. I buy it. It took 6-7 hours to stain all the wood.

Today, I found out that the "boiled linseed oil" product I purchased is not just linseed oil that's been heated--it's linseed oil adulterated with certain chemicals to help speed the drying process. The specific drying agent in the product I used is "cobalt manganese salt." Cobalt manganese salt is not safe and harmless, but I can't find a good answer on whether or not this is going to be a problem. I can't determine if there is a risk of this product leeching from the wood to the soil to the vegetables and, if so, if the concentrations would be high enough to be concerning. If this situation is concerning, can I get the soil tested periodically to check for safety and, if so, what should I test it for? Cobalt and manganese, individually, or the cobalt manganese salt, specifically? This project has taken so much time, effort, and money--I am beyond irritated with myself that I may have ruined it completely by using the wrong product.

Any advice would be appreciated. I don't really even know what kind of professional would know the answer to this.
Hey! My pap is a carpenter/gardener his whole life. He said there is a preservative on the market that does what you were looking for without damaging the crops, he didn’t know the name off hand.

As for your situation best not to risk contamination. If you wanted to, you could line the inside of the boxes with barrier between the soil and the wood. I think we use landscaping black plastic, however it would need replaced every year, and you don’t want it exposed to the sun at all. It also will need good drainage at the bottom (drill a few holes.) Just check the label to make sure you can use it with veggies, or consult someone working at the store to double check.
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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by HomeStretch »

LadyGeek wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:03 am … I also have a section where chives are continuing from last year. …
If the chives are in the ground (versus a pot), be careful the flowers don’t go to seed causing the chives to overtake your garden. You may already be aware of this but thought I’d mention it as I have been spending a lot of time digging out chive seedlings (and putting newspaper under the mulch to choke the seedlings I miss) from my garden this spring!
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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by LadyGeek »

Actually, they've already taken over a section of the garden. I like the purple flowers.

I did harvest a few leaves for cooking.
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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by eob616 »

Zone 7a. New raised garden beds were all filled and look awesome, but my spring crops were mostly a letdown. The peas seemed to get hit by wilt. I also took some cheap soil tests via a home kit (the kind you buy with the capsules and match colors to a rough scale) and it looked like my soil was very nitrogen deficient. I'm not sure that makes much sense, given the materials I used to fill the beds, but I've dutifully amended with blood meal and more compost/manure for the summer. I'm also experimenting with a root soak treatment to combat wilt.

Now: tomatoes and eggplants are doing...okayish. I was late getting them in and my seedlings didn't get very strong indoors. I'm going to try trellising up the tomatoes this year onto bamboo stakes, versus the flimsy cages.

Also have planted peppers, cucumbers, swiss chard, butternut squash, zucchini, herbs, and will keep filling in with bush beans, greens, etc., as I keep sowing. The annual and perennial flowers that I tried to start indoors also kind of plateaued growth at some point, and I'm not sure they'll survive having been transplanted, so I need to throw in some more seeds this weekend.

This is my first year using a bale of alfalfa hay as mulch and I'm very pleased. No problems with weed seeds.

I'm throwing the kitchen sink at the squash and zucchini this year to try to fight off squash vine borers: companion planting with marigold, nasturtium, radish and cilantro that I'll let go to seed, AND a bit of cedar shaving mulch around the perimeter of just those plants. May try foil collars, too, but they didn't do much last year. Any other suggestions would be welcome.
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Re: Gardening 2021

Post by InMyDreams »

Last year I had a (pandemic) focus on my backyard. This year, I'm trying to maintain the garden that I achieved last year while upgrading the front yard.

I bought two Miracle Gro raised cedar boxes, that are easy to put together in whatever shape you want so long as it uses straight lines or right angles. Voila, I have terraced my short hill in the front yard. Then I bought soaker hoses. The old ones that I used to buy were reliable, but the ones I bought last year have miniature fountains and leaky connections. I'm trying a different variety - "flat" soaker hoses that are some sort of fabric - with better but not perfect results.

New perennials in the front yard that seem to be settling in. Gallardia, Ice Plants and Agastache, with dahlias (won't survive our winter).

Drought conditions - the sun-exposed grass in the backyard is getting brown.

Tomatoes are doing quite well, except the one that got a whiff of WeedBGone. Oops. I've had a good crop of snow peas, but the heat is getting them. I've had lettuce that I started indoors - doing well, but the heat is putting an end to that too. Trying beets for the first time. A raised flower bed behind the garage now has onions and potatoes growing in it.

Squirrels have planted the peanuts that my neighbor feeds them. I can now recognize a peanut plant. Grr. Thought I had a gopher earlier this year. Grrrr.
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