2021 Garden Thread

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,301
South Puget Sound, WA
We are starting to wind down here. We just finished picking the last of the cucumbers in the greenhouse. It looks like we will have tomatoes to the first of the new year. The extended warm weather this November has kept us with a good supply of lettuce for daily salads along with chard, kale, beets, potatoes, a little broccoli and lots of carrots. We have 4 January King cabbage that are coming along, but they would appreciate some colder weather to keep the slugs down.

How warm has it been? Well besides breaking the all-time rainfall record for the area, we have stuff coming up too early. The garlic is already 4" tall and we have some daffodils that are 8" tall. Crazy weather for sure.

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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
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We may have our first freeze of the season (it’s late, even for this far south), so I spent some time in the garden harvesting everything that was mature enough and would be damaged by freeze: tomatillos, shishito peppers, a few potatoes, mini sweet peppers, hot banana peppers, Seminole pumpkins, fish peppers, and cowpeas. The pepper plants still have small peppers on them, so I left them in the ground in case it doesn’t freeze.

We’ll eat the shishitos for dinner, and I think I’ll dry the fish peppers for powder and pickle the banana peppers in slices.

Our garlic is just shooting up. I need to order some onions from Dixondale and get them in the ground where we took out the cowpea and pumpkin vines. We need to add more compost to those beds first, though.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,030
Colorado
Those colored beans look so pretty and why rush to plant onions at this time of year and I heard fertilizer is scare or will get scarce--I think...I am going to try to do potatoes this year with one tomato plant and some mild peppers green for seasoning...just a few..Lots of work this gardening and its kind of full filling . My neighbors were happy with all the extra tomato's as well..Pretty picture of of your garden food. Thanks for sharing...clancey
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Mrs. Clancy, don't get caught up with the fertilizer hype. Most soils have plenty of nutrients in them for plants. These nutrients can be used by the plants easiest if the ph is neutral.
All I add to my garden is compost, and that mostly comes from the leaves that fall into my yard every fall. The leaves rot down into the soil and re lease their nutrients. They also, more importantly, add organic matter which helps to hold water.

Mother Nature builds the best soils. If we try to mimic what she does, we leave the soil better than when we found it!
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,030
Colorado
Your right there for my one plant last year had plenty of natural soil stuff..It put out so many tomatoes that I fed all my neighbors red and green tomatoes...forever-----clancey
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
It still hasn’t frozen down here yet, and I just noticed a couple of days ago that a couple of my blueberry bushes have flowers on them. I think that will not be good in the long run.

Our garlic has grown by leaps and bounds since we put it in about a month ago. I’m hoping to get leaf mulch on it today. We had thunderstorms Saturday morning, so we couldn’t do it then. I was very happy for a little rain, though.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
Those colored beans look so pretty and why rush to plant onions at this time of year and I heard fertilizer is scare or will get scarce--I think...I am going to try to do potatoes this year with one tomato plant and some mild peppers green for seasoning...just a few..Lots of work this gardening and its kind of full filling . My neighbors were happy with all the extra tomato's as well..Pretty picture of of your garden food. Thanks for sharing...clancey

Winter is the proper time to plant onions in our part of Texas, so it’s not a rush. It’s just a matter of giving each type of plant what it needs to flourish. Last year I put them in in the second week of December. This year has been milder, and so I won’t do it until January, but we need to grow what’s known as short-day onions down here, and we need to let them have a chance to grow good tops before the days get long enough to start the bulbing process. Starting them late would lead to poor results.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
I did manage to add some leaf mulch (with a few lawn clippings) to the garlic beds this afternoon. It’s not as thick as I would like, but I also needed to water, and that took time. I also mulched the large asparagus bed. I’m very pleased with how the garlic is doing so far.

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I tried starting some artichokes outside the garden early this year. It was my hope that since the deer don’t eat our thistles that they would leave the artichokes alone. Alas it was a vain hope. I started a few more this fall and put them in the garden. This one is the planter is doing well, but I wonder how large it’s going to get. I’m hoping that the deer will leave bigger ones outside the garden, but I’m not sure.

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This last picture is a very large pot that used to have a tomatillo in it (the dead stalk in the middle). I had put fresh compost around it at the same time that I topped off the garlic beds. Obviously someone (perhaps even me) had added fresh tomato seeds to what was supposed to be the finished bin. My garlic beds were covered with tomato seedlings, and I had to hoe them twice before we planted, and I’ve done a little hand weeding since. Since I’m not growing any crop in this pot right now, I’m letting these go just to see how long tomatoes will survive this unusually warm winter. I figure it will be good for the soil once they winter kill as well.

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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
It’s Christmas Day, the temperature hit 79 briefly outside, and we had bright sunshine. I moved one container of ginger inside weeks ago to protect it. I left a large pot outside in part because I want to overwinter only one, in part to see just how long it might last. It is protected insofar as it is directly next to our house on a western exposure, but I’ve never covered it or taken other measures. So far it’s still alive and not looking any worse than the ginger inside, and I even harvested from it today for our Christmas dinner. It has really been an usually warm December.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
I still have lettuce still growing in the garden.. its seed that came up from one that went to seed over the summer
I love volunteer lettuce. I mulch so heavily down here that it can be hard for it to get a good start as the seeds end up getting buried too deeply. I planted some fall romaine lettuce, and several heads have started to bolt. It’s just been too warm a fall and winter. I’m hoping to put some compost down in that bed and get some to seed in the spring from the bolted heads.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
I used to grow in my greenhouse all winter, but the heating bill was ridiculous! This year I decided to grow lettuce hydroponically in my unfinished cellar. It does well, but it is too cold for tomatoes, so I grow them upstairs in my den.

Those are some great looking plants. I’m glad you’ve joined us over here in the garden thread.

I think if I hadn’t pulled my cherry tomato plants in November they would actually still be producing in my garden right now. I wasn’t expecting this warm fall/winter. I’ve got containers of frozen ones, but you’re making me miss fresh tomatoes on a salad.

@begreen, how are you (and your plants and pipes) holding up with your cold temperatures?
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,030
Colorado
i love basil and I usually buy maybe a plant to keep on my window in the spring and summer--never tried to move it outside and plant it in the soil--maybe I will this year...I use basil for my spag. seasoning just a few little leaves..and chicken too if I have enough..clancey
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
We use a lot of it. Everything from pesto, which can strip multiple plants of leaves, to salads and Vietnamese food.
 
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Dan Freeman

Member
Dec 3, 2021
106
NE PA
rumble.com
I went looking for basil seeds yesterday and nobody had seeds out.
Around here you can get seeds right after the 1st of the new year. I already have most of my seeds for the upcoming season from the ones I saved from this past season and the ones I bought online a couple of months back. I'll still check out the local stores for anything that catches my eye. I grow a lot of basil so we have it fresh in season, and I dehydrate a lot so we have it off season.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I was hoping to have some volunteer plants in my hanging pot. I let it go to seed in there. I got 2 sprouts out of it, lol.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
I was hoping to have some volunteer plants in my hanging pot. I let it go to seed in there. I got 2 sprouts out of it, lol.

I have an assortment of basil still in my garden that I’m letting go to seed, but I should probably go out and get some cuttings to root in water while I still have the chance.

@EatenByLimestone, if you’re not opposed to ordering seeds online, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has a good selection of basil in stock, and their free shipping makes ordering just a couple of seed packets a pretty good deal. It’s still more expensive than off the shelf, but sometimes (most of the time) I can’t get what I want in stores down here. (Baker Creek used to have a $5.00 minimum order. I don’t know if that has gone up to $10.00, as that is their new requirement for a free seed packet.)


I meant to post a picture yesterday of my surprise harvest of shishito peppers. I had harvested most of the peppers a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of a freeze that never came. I left the small ones just in case. We’re having a warm spell again, and those plants just keep on producing. I have three plants, two in containers on the deck which are getting very little sunlight and one in the garden. The deck peppers are small, but I was surprised to find lots of red ones yesterday. It was like a post-Christmas Christmas present. We had this batch fried for dinner yesterday, and the red ones had a higher percentage of heat. Most of the family really enjoyed that. I definitely plan to grow more of these next year.
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,030
Colorado
All those food items from all of you are just so so beautiful and it is making me hungry just to look at them all--lol ..Just wonderful and good for you...Happy New Year...old clancey
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,041
Texas
Beautiful peppers, @Dan Freeman . This was my first year growing shishitos on a recommendation from a friend, but they will be a staple for us, I think. We also fry them up, usually in oil, though last night I had a pan already coated with garlic butter that I had made for fish and toast, so in they went. (Sadly, I had actually intended to cut a couple open to save seeds, but I completely forgot about it in the midst of cooking. I still have my original seed pack and did save some earlier in the summer, though.) Do you ever let the shishitos ripen to red for eating? We really like their flavor last night.

What are the other varieties of pepper in your photo?

@clancey, maybe you should consider growing a shishito pepper if you can find a starter plant in the spring. They’re good, without too much heat, even in the occasional spicy one. We have more success with them than with a traditional bell pepper, so we used sliced shishitos this summer for pepper steak and fajitas, too.
 
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