2021 Garden Thread

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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
First harvest of the new year today and my first cauliflower ever, I believe. It's roasting in the oven now with an olive oil/garlic/pecorino Romano sauce. I have two more in the garden that are forming heads.

1FE5392F-1ED2-40B9-AB06-3BAC0BD5EBF5.jpeg

Here's a shot of the daikon radish I planted as a cover crop of sorts, though I put a fair amount of space between the plants. I'm not sure that they will be winter killed in our climate, though. My husband pulled up a large one a couple of weeks ago to kill it and then put it back in the soil. The greens are dying, but the root is still pretty solid. We want them to decompose in the garden beds.

2E0D1210-1C11-41C3-88FB-E9539B020EE9.jpeg
 

WoodBurnerInWI

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2020
275
Madison, WI
We garden using several raised garden beds and a decent patch of our yard turned into a squash and pumpkin patch. I expanded the dirt patch to double it in size a few weeks before Christmas and for this year we plan on expanding squash and pumpkin varieties to grow. We'd also like to add two more raised garden beds. Not 100% sure at the moment what we will grow in the garden beds this year. Last year it was green bell and red bell peppers, a billion or so tons of tomatoes, green beans, sugar snap peas, onions, kale, zucchini, kohlrabi, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, New England pie pumpkins, big max pumpkins, Connecticut Field pumpkin, and Long Island cheese wheel pumpkins.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I went looking for hanging pots today. My wife wants to grow herbs in the kitchen. The local nurseries didn't have anything so we'll probably have to do Amazon.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
@WoodBurnerInWI, that sounds lovely. We garden almost entirely in raised beds and large containers. I have a section of yard I'd love to give over to squash and pumpkins and other ramblers, but we live in an area of the country with the highest population of whitetail deer per acre, and it shows. We've fenced off our garden area quite well, and right now that's about all that I can care for in the summers. We'll see about years to come. Do you have pictures of your garden to share?

I'm very pleased that my older daughter made me up a template of our raised beds for my garden planning. The top bed is all asparagus, and the long one of the left has onions in it this season. We have daikon radishes planted in some as a cover crop, and in one of the square bed, lettuce has volunteered.

08796005-9C03-48D9-BC19-C2E8AD1907EC.png

@EatenByLimestone, as a wife who has grown herbs inside years ago, may I suggest that you look specifically for hanging baskets designated as "self-watering"? They'll probably cost more but will be easier to maintain and run less risk of overfilling and spilling water on the floor if you're keeping them inside. We used some in a carpeted living room in a rental townhouse, and they were great. When we bought our own house, we used them outside, and eventually the UV light broke them down.
 

WoodBurnerInWI

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2020
275
Madison, WI
@DuaeGuttae Here are some photos of the garden from last summer, probably around early or mid July:

20200701_191926.jpg 20200701_191939.jpg 20200701_191942.jpg 20200701_191949.jpg 20200701_192005.jpg 20200701_192042.jpg

Forgot we also grew red potatoes lol!!

The squash/pumpkin patch is now doubled in size and hopefully this year (if Menards still sells them) we will add more raised garden beds.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Looked at 2 more nurseries today. One gave me an old hanging pot that was used. The wife likes free better than buying something so we'll try that. Planted most of it with basil, but threw a bit of cilantro and parsely in on the sides.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
@WoodBurnerInWI, thanks for the photos. Everything looks beautiful, including those stack of wood! We moved from Virginia (lush and green) to the edge of Texas Hill Country a few years back. It's a much more arid climate here, and now I find myself surprised to see so much green in photos of other places. It's beautiful, though.

@EatenByLimestone, we always prefer free over purchased as well. Congratulations.

I have one tiny cilantro plant sprouted inside right now. We've never grown it before because my kids don't care for it in abundance. They do agree that it's helpful in small amounts, though. We've got lots of parsley in the garden, but I plan to start more soon.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
I spent several hours working in the garden today. I have enough plants growing that I still need to keep my ollas filled, though it's a lot less frequent than in the summer, which is a blessing. We may even get some rain tonight and tomorrow, so I also mixed some blood meal, bone meal, and neem meal into my onion bed and put on more mulched leaves and watered them down.

Before we expanded our garden, our exterior fencing was only what we had scavenged from our property, and the garden was trapezoidal because the back panel was much longer than the gate. When we expanded the garden, we made it much more rectangular. All the long beds looked pretty reasonable, but the squares in the interior looked rather wonky because of the way they had been built to accommodate the original trapezoid. Today I removed tall trellises, moved some ollas, dug up lots of soil, raked away mulch from the exterior, and managed (with the help of my husband) to make the inner four squares much more square. Then I put all the soil back in and mulch back around. It was tiring, but it's very satisfying to have it done. Now it looks much more like the template I posted above.

Now I'm going to go make pizza with the last of the sauce I made and froze from our garden tomatoes.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
We just harvested the last of the tomatoes from the greenhouse. That Early Girl plant went in last April, though started in February. Surprisingly, the last tomatoes we have been getting for the past month have been smaller, but extra sweet and tasty. Outside we are still getting nice harvests of broccoli sprouts every couple weeks, plus chard and kale. And there are some fall lettuce starts that are getting close to be ready for their first picking. I have them under remay fabric to reduce the pounding from the rain. It seems to help.

Spring is definitely coming. Signs are starting to show.
IMG_1267.jpg
 

Riff

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2015
127
Virginia
All of our seed orders have been filled. Started ordering in November as seeds for 2021 became available. Baker Creek seeds is reporting they have 5x the business this January over last January and at one point they shutdown to be able to catch up. Point being it might be a good idea to place your orders sooner rather than later if you haven't already.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Lol. I got basil to germinate in my kitchen window. Probably wouldn't care for all the snow that fell today.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
A good day of work that will pay off for years!

That's what I was telling myself when I was spending time protecting our young citrus (five trees of various sorts) and young olives (three trees) when we had a hard freeze predicted. We're right on the line for hardiness for these, but we figure that if we can get them through their young and tender years, they'll have a better chance of survival (and they'll be too big for us to protect anyway). We have hope because of the large, established mandarin that came with our house. There was thick frost on the coverings the next morning, but the plants looked good when I uncovered them a day later.

@Eureka, I love that picture of your garden. I envy your nice fence and your snow.

@Riff, that was a good heads up about seeds. I had ordered most of mine in November as well, but some things I wanted just weren't available at that time, so it was a good reminder to get those last items taken care of. I actually just this week started seeds inside for things like broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, and Swiss chard. I need to get a couple rounds of cool-weather crops in so that I can free up my lights for the heat lovers later on.

@begreen, how tall did that Early Girl end up growing? How many tomatoes do you suppose you got over the season? It sounds quite impressive.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
begreen what kind of lettuce are you growing? any pics
Green and red salad bowl and a mix that we have been growing for the past couple years.

IMG_1272.jpg

It's time to start another row.

The January King cabbage is getting ready to pick too!

winter-cabbage.jpg
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
We had a damp but warm weekend. We occasionally get something that isn't exactly rain, more like cloudy days with heavy mist, and this weekend it was enough to give us almost eighth of an inch of moisture. My garden seems to have enjoyed it, and I even found mystery sprouts under some Daikon leaves. It's possible that it's rhubarb that I seeded at the very end of August in the hopes of growing it as a winter annual. Those seeds never germinated, but the spacing looks about right for something intentionally planted. I have put other seeds in that bed at times that likewise didn't germinate, and I allowed some flowers to go to seed, and there's always the possibility of weeds. I'm hoping for rhubarb, though, except that it's really the wrong time of year to start it around here. I'll be watching to see what it looks like in coming days.

I also did some soil work in the trough where I plan to plant out Swiss chard, perhaps some as early as this weekend. @begreen, what spacing do you recommend for chard? I'm going to start with an oval planter that's three feet long and 1 and a half feet wide and has two ollas in it for moisture, so those take up some space.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
We had a damp but warm weekend. We occasionally get something that isn't exactly rain, more like cloudy days with heavy mist, and this weekend it was enough to give us almost eighth of an inch of moisture. My garden seems to have enjoyed it, and I even found mystery sprouts under some Daikon leaves. It's possible that it's rhubarb that I seeded at the very end of August in the hopes of growing it as a winter annual. Those seeds never germinated, but the spacing looks about right for something intentionally planted. I have put other seeds in that bed at times that likewise didn't germinate, and I allowed some flowers to go to seed, and there's always the possibility of weeds. I'm hoping for rhubarb, though, except that it's really the wrong time of year to start it around here. I'll be watching to see what it looks like in coming days.

I also did some soil work in the trough where I plan to plant out Swiss chard, perhaps some as early as this weekend. @begreen, what spacing do you recommend for chard? I'm going to start with an oval planter that's three feet long and 1 and a half feet wide and has two ollas in it for moisture, so those take up some space.
A healthy chard plant gets huge. Often there are a few plants, not just one. I usually leave at least 2 ft. spacing
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
A healthy chard plant gets huge. Often there are a few plants, not just one. I usually leave at least 2 ft. spacing

Thanks, Begreen. I have my doubts that I could grow a chard plant as healthy and strong as you can (especially once the Texas heat kicks in), but I'm going to give it a go. I have six starts from seed hardening off right now. There are a couple of clusters, but I had planned to thin to just one and plant them in an oval around my ollas. Do you not thin your clumps?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks, Begreen. I have my doubts that I could grow a chard plant as healthy and strong as you can (especially once the Texas heat kicks in), but I'm going to give it a go. I have six starts from seed hardening off right now. There are a couple of clusters, but I had planned to thin to just one and plant them in an oval around my ollas. Do you not thin your clumps?
I'm a chump, I usually plant the clumps.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Well, this was a pleasant surprise. Final harvest before I take down the huge greenhouse tomato plant. I love early girls. The final tomatoes were about half the size of summer early girl tomatoes from the same plant, but the taste seems to be concentrated. They are exceptionally good.

tomatoes-last-harvest.jpg
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Nice! I'm jealous. Itll be 6 months before I see a tomatoe from the garden again.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
I'm a chump, I usually plant the clumps.

I planted the clumps, too, on Friday. So far they look to be enjoying the weather.

I also transplanted some broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, and dill. It seems bizarre to me in January, but I'm trying to learn to take advantage of the cooler seasons here. I have other things like Chinese cabbage potted up inside.

I did start tomato seeds this weekend. With more space this year outside, I have more seeds started inside. We'll see how that goes when I start potting them up.

@begreen, that was an amazing final crop for that Early Girl. Congratulations! Do you have pictures of the actual plant? Do you prune throughout the season?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
I planted the clumps, too, on Friday. So far they look to be enjoying the weather.

I also transplanted some broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, and dill. It seems bizarre to me in January, but I'm trying to learn to take advantage of the cooler seasons here. I have other things like Chinese cabbage potted up inside.

I did start tomato seeds this weekend. With more space this year outside, I have more seeds started inside. We'll see how that goes when I start potting them up.

@begreen, that was an amazing final crop for that Early Girl. Congratulations! Do you have pictures of the actual plant? Do you prune throughout the season?
Prune no. Hack back, yes. It was a really big plant. This is not a great shot, but it's what the plant looked like in November.
eg-tomato.jpg