2021 Garden Thread

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,723
South Puget Sound, WA
wow that is a tomato tree
It's actually much larger and extends to the left and right quite a bit. I had just pruned it back heavily before this picture.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,723
South Puget Sound, WA
New harvest. This is a January King cabbage. It's the first year that we have grown them and they seem to love our winter weather.
January-King-cabbage.jpg
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
New harvest. This is a January King cabbage. It's the first year that we have grown them and they seem to love our winter weather.
View attachment 273690
Beautiful, Begreen, as was your tomato hedge! Thanks for posting pictures.I had never heard of January King cabbage before you posted your earlier shot, and now I've read about it in at least two articles as I've been reading about cold and heat tolerance in vegetables.

Today I dug out my old heat mat from when I used to start seeds under lights in a cool unfinished basement room. I had been keeping a few pepper seeds on our mantel, but we let the stove go out a day or so ago, and I was starting a bunch more today and wanted to get them a bit of bottom heat. Our weather is bouncing around like crazy. It was over 80 today, but an updated forecast for next week just showed me a possible low of 19. I'll be watching closely, but I'm not sure I can protect everything that will need protecting if we have temps like that. Our cherry is in full bloom, the peach not far behind, and the blueberry buds are getting full.

Here's my glamor shot for the day, a camellia that we've recently acquired thanks to the generosity of our next door neighbors (we also have one that should bloom red later in the season). They need to be grown in pots due to our alkaline soil, and they need shelter from the hot sun (and deer), so we have put a gate on our front porch, and they are growing by our front door. I have wanted to grow Camellias for over 25 years now, but these are the first I've ever had. I'm thrilled.

387B8C0D-3DD5-40E8-BBA6-05112BA8B841.jpeg
 
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mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
425
California redwood coast
Saw my first daffodils of spring in bloom this weekend. I think that's a bit earlier that normal. Time to start looking for my first trillium in the forest, which would also be early if found within the next two weeks.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
Is anyone else worried about any outdoor plants during this cold spell? We moved our blueberries to our garage once again in order to protect the buds, and I've covered the young citrus trees with frost cloth. This weekend is when the temperatures are really supposed to plummet, and even frost cloth won't get close to enough protection. We're going to put brooder lamps with incandescent bulbs under some of the covering, gallons or pails of water under the others, but I'm really not sure that there's much we can do. The current forecast has us getting down to single digits.

We have a huge satsuma mandarin that lived through teens when we first moved here and didn't even know what the tree was, but single digits could definitely harm it, and that would be a shame. I'm not sure that we have enough frost cloth to cover it, but we're going to try something, even if it's just draping all my shade cloth. I'll need to cover the olives soon as well, and I think I may even need to cover my young bay tree and pomegranates. It has been such a warm winter that everything was already breaking dormancy and growing new shoots.

I have a bed of onions I'd like to save, but I figure the first priority needs to be the trees and shrubs rather than the garden annuals. I've got broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, sugar snap peas, and a few herbs all doing nicely at the moment. I know they can take some cold, but I figure single digits is pushing it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,723
South Puget Sound, WA
I get concerned if the temps drop into the 20s. This would threaten a lemon and olive bush in the greenhouse. I would either need to put in an electric heater or fire up the Jotul. The forecast for nighttime low temps at the beginning of the week looked serious. I shut off the greenhouse water 3 days ago. But the reality is that the cold appears to be mostly staying east of the Cascades so far, which is a blessing. We've had a mild winter so far and many of our flowering plants are still doing well so far. We'll see what transpires in the next few days.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
I get concerned if the temps drop into the 20s. This would threaten a lemon and olive bush in the greenhouse. I would either need to put in an electric heater or fire up the Jotul. The forecast for nighttime low temps at the beginning of the week looked serious. I shut off the greenhouse water 3 days ago. But the reality is that the cold appears to be mostly staying east of the Cascades so far, which is a blessing. We've had a mild winter so far and many of our flowering plants are still doing well so far. We'll see what transpires in the next few days.
Glad you've been spared so far, but I know that more is coming. I think I remember that you lost an olive at some point to cold. I covered my olives yesterday, and I'm glad I did. This morning the garlic chives that grow right by the house were lying down. I've not seen that before. I also covered our pomegranates this morning, though they are pretty hardy.

I also have been running extension cords and putting up brooder lights near our larger citrus. I'll need my husbands help (and ladders) this afternoon to see if we can wrap the large Satsuma. It has done well in cold previously, but I don't think it's ever seen cold like this (given the age of our house and the weather history of the area). We're in the 20's now and not liable to get out of them till next Wednesday. Lows will be single digits for a couple of nights. Unfortunately houses down here just weren't built for that. We have pipes in external walls, and there isn't even a way to shut off water to external hose bibs in the winter. We have just made a point of not using them at all.

My garden looks pretty beaten down. I did cover my onions with shade cloth and an old shower curtain. It's not the best, but I need to save the frost cloth for the more valuable plants. It really makes me feel for the local farmers and people who depend on agriculture for their livelihood. I understand that the last time cold like this came through (about 25 years ago), it really struck at blow at the citrus industry.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,723
South Puget Sound, WA
Well that wish has left the barn. We're at 10" and it's still coming down.

IMG_1314.jpg
 

Attachments

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
Well that wish has left the barn. We're at 10" and it's still coming down.

IMG_1314.jpg
It has indeed, I see. Beautiful photo. I hope it at least provides some insulation for you in the greenhouse. Do you have your Jotul fired up?

I'm inside thawing out my fingers and toes. It took the whole afternoon and even some work after dark (because we needed a trip to the store for more effective fasteners) to get the Satsuma covered. It's done. Now we'll see whether it will be enough.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,723
South Puget Sound, WA
I fired up the Jotul one day last week when it was in the 20s. Fortunately, that was the low and the following days' lows were near freezing so the stove was not needed. Looks like the lemon and olive tree are still happy and the lettuce outside is recovering nicely now. Yesterday hit 52º here!

Brassicas and onions are pretty resilient. Have you lost power?
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
I fired up the Jotul one day last week when it was in the 20s. Fortunately, that was the low and the following days' lows were near freezing so the stove was not needed. Looks like the lemon and olive tree are still happy and the lettuce outside is recovering nicely now. Yesterday hit 52º here!

Brassicas and onions are pretty resilient. Have you lost power?
Before everything went really cold, I did harvest some lettuce, kale, a small head of cabbage, and one stalk of Brussels sprouts. I buried some of the small transplants with shredded leaves, and they subsequently got buried with five inches of snow and ice. (My covering for the bulbing onions collapsed a bit.) The temperatures got down to single digits for a couple of nights, so I figure that's no good for raised beds. It's snowing again at a good clip right now with freezing temperatures all day. It's still warmer than it was, though, and Saturday looks like the end. If anything survives, it'll be a pleasant surprise.

We had power flickers and surges, and it fried a modem that had somehow been plugged in not through a surge protector. One pipe got frozen, but it didn't burst. Otherwise, we have kept power and water. We believe that the transmission lines that run through our property feed a county fire station down the hill, so that is perhaps why we are spared the rolling blackouts. The pump station for our community well is located down the other side of our hill, and it is enclosed in a building. We are well provided for at home and are just staying hunkered down in the main living area where the woodstove is cranking. We're being warned that the storm today might bring down lines in our area.

I needed to pot up some tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants yesterday. It seemed strange to me to work inside my house with snow all over the ground outside, but it's only a month away from the last frost date here (though I'll probably wait more). I also have seed potatoes waiting to be planted. I had planned to have them in by now, but obviously the weather has changed those plans.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
I uncovered everything in the garden today since it's supposed to stay above freezing tonight. It wasn't an encouraging sight, but it's possible that some plants (kale, lettuce, some onions) may make it if they didn't freeze all the way through. The Swiss Chard, broccoli, and cauliflower are gone. I have a few more that I just started hardening off today but not as many as I lost.

The trees were a mixture of looking okay and looking pretty bad. We'll need to give it some time to see what transpires. Even if we lose some branches, it will be great if we saved the trunks.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,723
South Puget Sound, WA
I'm glad you were prepared and it wasn't worse for your family. Watch the chard for new growth sprouting from the root stalk. They are pretty tough.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
I'm glad you were prepared and it wasn't worse for your family. Watch the chard for new growth sprouting from the root stalk. They are pretty tough.
Thanks, Begreen. I think the chard didn’t make it. It was in an old metal water trough, so it probably froze pretty thoroughly. There is one cauliflower showing tiny signs of life, so I’ll be watching it. I spent time on Thursday doing lots of transplanting (Swiss Chard, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, green onions). For some of those it was just one or two replacement plants I had been growing, so I’m starting some more chard, beets, and broccoli inside now.

The onions are perking back up even though they looked pretty awful last week. It’s getting better and better each day. There’s damage certainly, but there’s also hope for a good portion. It’s lovely to see when so much else in the landscape is looking pretty bad right now. Here’s a portion of that bed as well as a shot of my lone cilantro plant. I only had one, and I was amazed at how cold hardy it was. It really didn’t seem phased, though perhaps it was just well insulated by snow. I also have some young dill that is growing back from the centers.
A6C8F589-340E-4CA2-BC93-FDFBEED6E539.jpeg F06835D7-00C3-4DE0-BE62-886552CBF982.jpeg

The next picture is a shot of our large Satsuma Mandarin. We have hopes that we were able to keep the trunk and branches in fairly good shape, but it’s so sad to look at. We have two others, one which came through fine, the other which we really don’t know if it will survive at all. There’s nothing we can do but wait and see at this point.

CE30C065-BA6E-451D-BE93-06888D66BF5C.jpeg

On a happier note, we also had the delightful surprise yesterday of finding some asparagus spears poking up. We counted seven today. They‘re pretty hard to spot, not just in the photo but in real life, too, so it’s fun to hunt.
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It’s actually a little late for planting potatoes down here from what I read (I’ve never tried it in this climate), but I already was sprouting my seed potatoes before that huge storm was forecast, so they went into the ground today. It will be an interesting experiment.

It’s so encouraging to see all these little signs of life and health showing up again when so much else that is usually green (palm trees, rosemary, and other perennials) are brown all over.
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
I do not know much about gardening but that cabbage is amazing and that rose (I think that's what it is) is just beautiful and could win a rose contest..Enjoyed the pictures and I just bet that everything comes in just fine for I saw a growth of some kind starting to sprout..
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,780
Woolwich nj
I am late this year. I started my seedings early February only to find out my son left the potting mix bag open and it got contaminated with seed. My pots were sprouting all kinds of stuff. I got a fresh bag and started seeding a couple weekends ah
go and did some.e more seeding today.. Some of my stuff will start to go In the greenhouse next weekend...
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
I am late this year. I started my seedings early February only to find out my son left the potting mix bag open and it got contaminated with seed. My pots were sprouting all kinds of stuff. I got a fresh bag and started seeding a couple weekends ah
go and did some.e more seeding today.. Some of my stuff will start to go In the greenhouse next weekend...
Great to have you join us, Woodsplitter67. I’ve been doing more seed starting, a couple of later starts on tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, as well as starting some herbs and flowers. I have so much trouble germinating in the soil here in Texas (it’s hard to keep the top layer moist) that I’ve decided to start more things inside this year. My first round of plants is actually having a big week this week. They’ve been spending longer and longer days outside, but I’m planning to leave them out nights this week as long as the forecast doesn’t change. It will get cooler on Saturday, so they’ll come back in, but I like to give them outside time when they can get it. (I also like not having to move them in and out.)

B2086FCE-83A0-48FF-A41F-2E68E8164FAA.jpeg



Are there any folks here who would be interested in trying a new variety of tomato? I was recently given a packet of 100 seeds of a hybrid variety called Agi Red. I think it was developed in the last several years on a small farm in California. I’ve not grown it before, but I’ve started some, and even if I like it, I won’t use 100 seeds in the next ten years in my small garden. My gardening neighbors buy transplants rather than starting seeds, so I’d be willing to send a few seeds out to fellow Hearth.com gardeners if anyone is interested. Here’s a link from the farm that hybridized it.


If any one is interested, send me a PM with a name and address, and I’ll send some seeds out.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
I am not a gardener but you sure do have some nice looking little plants in your picture and what a good idea to put them in a plastic bag for awhile. I have enough to do this year but maybe next year I will plant one or two or maybe three just to see how it does...Thanks for sharing and being generous with you seeds as well..clancey
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
Yesterday morning I found that cutworms (or something like it) had been at work in my new lettuce patch. A good number of the plants had been taken down. In a moment of frustration, I asked aloud, “Why do I even try to garden?”

I heaved a big sigh, turned around, and was greeted by the unexpected sight of eight or nine baby potato sprouts making their first appearance. I thought that was a pretty good answer to my question. I love seeing plants grow.

7DB3F8A7-984B-43C4-84A6-C7BA4CD693AA.jpeg

I did go out later in the afternoon and harvest a bunch of more established lettuce that survived the big freeze. We enjoyed it for lunch with a couple of green onions from the garden as well..

7AB0EDFA-DFC1-44DA-B021-2492A25E0DAD.jpeg
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
That lettuce looks really good---good to eat...I love to see the small little plants in the full of the moon because at that time they look real strong and healthy looking kind of crispy looking I would describe...Glad you enjoy gardening even though at times it gets frustrating..Right now I have snow about two or three feet deep in my yard and I have to shovel out just to open the gates---pretty but.....Thanks for the pictures and update...clancey.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
That lettuce looks really good---good to eat...I love to see the small little plants in the full of the moon because at that time they look real strong and healthy looking kind of crispy looking I would describe...Glad you enjoy gardening even though at times it gets frustrating..Right now I have snow about two or three feet deep in my yard and I have to shovel out just to open the gates---pretty but.....Thanks for the pictures and update...clancey.
Thanks for the kind words, Mrs. Clancey. I’ve been seeing headlines about snowfall in Colorado. Stay safe. At least you folks up there are prepared for this kind of thing.

We’re way south of you, but apparently some gusty winds and cooler temperatures have headed our way from the outskirts of your storm. I moved my seedlings back inside last night because of the winds. They’re back out soaking up the 74 degree sunshine right now, but they’ll be coming in several nights this week because the temperatures are dropping into the forties. I had planned to plant some out the last weekend in March, but looking at the extended forecast at this point, I think it might be April.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Yea it might be coming your way if it drops and swirls around--wind pretty bad but calming now. I think you should make little blankets and wrap your babies up even if you move them insides which your going to do----heck with this storm we are inside anyway so start making those baby seedling blankets--now each one wants one---kidding--keep safe and warm and be extra careful so as not to fall because this stuff is wet heavy and slippery with the cold...Enjoy..Mrs. Clancey
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
888
Texas
Yea it might be coming your way if it drops and swirls around--wind pretty bad but calming now. I think you should make little blankets and wrap your babies up even if you move them insides which your going to do----heck with this storm we are inside anyway so start making those baby seedling blankets--now each one wants one---kidding--keep safe and warm and be extra careful so as not to fall because this stuff is wet heavy and slippery with the cold...Enjoy..Mrs. Clancey
I really just mean the very edges of the weather system. We’re not expecting any storm (definitely not snow or ice). We’ll have no problem keeping warm. It’s 77 in the house right now because of late afternoon sunshine and baking a pie for dinner. It will be nice for the temperature to drop a bit. The plants have been brought inside already, though.

Stay safe.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Its back to 16 here this morning. Colder up north. I'm done with winter. I was looking at the beds yesterday planning my work for this spring.

Good thing is we had our first kitchen basil harvest from the hanging pot i seeded a bit ago.