So...gardens..

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eclecticcottage

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2011
1,803
WNY
Ever since our offer was accepted on the Cottage I've been plotting a garden (or rather, gardens). I envision a butterfly/hummingbird/finch (small seeds) garden, a food garden and a hedgerow of berry shrubs. I'd like to work in some sunflowers for the larger seed eaters too at some point. I figured it would be several years of building. I've got some shrubs on order (butterfly bushes, service berry, american cranberry). I think we're going to need to take down a tree or two to put in some fruit trees, but we can always use more firewood :D . I "just for fun" added to my cart the bulbs, seeds and fruit and berry trees/bushes to my carts...and it's like $300! Shesh. But I'm looking at 90% perennial and shrub, so it's a one shot deal (until I add my spring flowering/fall planting bulbs, and berry plants, lol). The flower garden portion will be wildflowers and naturalizing bulbs like tulips, lilies and narcissis (sp). Fruit trees will be pear and peach, with blueberry and the afore mentioned cranberry and serviceberry (june berry), with strawberry and maybe blackberry to follow.

I don't really have a point to this except I want to talk about gardens.
 

potter

Feeling the Heat
Aug 8, 2008
308
western NY
Don't know exactly where you are, but if the soil around you is like ours than amending it would be the first thing on the list. We live in clay land. Good for pottery and ceramics, harder for gardens.
 

lukem

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2010
3,668
Indiana
I ready to shift my attention from wood burning to growing some stuff.

I have my peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes started. Won't be long and we'll be planting:

Lettuce
Spinach
Carrots
Radishes
Onions
Potatoes
Tomatoes
Okra
Butternut Squash
Summer Squash
Zuccini
All kinds of peppers
Snow Peas
Cucumbers
Herbs
Green Beans
Other stuff I can't think of

We also have the perennial stuff:
Apples
Cherries
Raspberries
Grapes
Strawberries
Blueberries

Freezer is getting pretty empty, so I need to get growing...
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,811
Michigan
We plan on adding some apple and peach trees this year. Perhaps 2 or 3 cherry too. Vegetable garden won't be much except for the sweet corn and peas. There will also be pumpkins and mammoth grey stripe sunflowers mixed into the corn patch which will be rather large compared to most folks. Shoot, I haven't yet done this year's pruning but now will wait for the snow to melt before getting to that task.
 

eclecticcottage

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2011
1,803
WNY
potter said:
Don't know exactly where you are, but if the soil around you is like ours than amending it would be the first thing on the list. We live in clay land. Good for pottery and ceramics, harder for gardens.

We've got clay, but it's down a few feet. We should be good :)

I hope, lol.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,473
South Puget Sound, WA
Still, it's good advice to prep the soil to give your new perennials the best advantage. Be sure to understand the plant needs too, especially those that prefer a more acid soil vs a neutral one.
 

SolarAndWood

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2008
6,788
Syracuse NY
BeGreen said:
Still, it's good advice to prep the soil to give your new perennials the best advantage.

I completely agree. I added 20 yards of compost last year to our clay/glacial till soil and the difference was amazing.
 

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eclecticcottage

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2011
1,803
WNY
I'm not sure I'll be able to amend the soil for our perennials, since it's going to cover a few thousand sq ft. Maybe I could get the farm down the road to make a pit stop with thier honey wagon on the way past the Cottage, lol. I'm using (well, hoping to use) a mix of mixes (butterfly/hummingbird, cut flower, northeastern, firecracker, poppies and individual extra yarrow, butterfly weed and sunflower)from Wildseed Farms and some bare root starts from the county. I want annuals and perennials especially at first, so the annuals can fill in while the perennials "settle in". I do plan to remove the grass, till, and cover with a tarp for a few weeks prior (to help kill any little scragglers). We also sowed some milkweed seeds in a different area, we'll see if they start.
 

Cascade Failure

Feeling the Heat
Sep 18, 2010
258
SE CT
lukem said:
I ready to shift my attention from wood burning to growing some stuff.

I have my peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes started. Won't be long and we'll be planting:

Lettuce
Spinach
Carrots
Radishes
Onions
Potatoes
Tomatoes
Okra
Butternut Squash
Summer Squash
Zuccini
All kinds of peppers
Snow Peas
Cucumbers
Herbs
Green Beans
Other stuff I can't think of

We also have the perennial stuff:
Apples
Cherries
Raspberries
Grapes
Strawberries
Blueberries

Freezer is getting pretty empty, so I need to get growing...

I'm ready to shift gears too.

The rhubarb is popping up, sweet potatoes are started indoors, and the pile of rabbit poop is ready to be turned under. Gonna work on setting up a small orchard/berry patch not far from the hives this year. Can't wait to get dirty.
 

blacktail

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2011
1,419
Western WA
First year in my house and the previous owners had raised beds. I've turned in compost a few times as it became ready and fenced it off to keep the deer out. After my grandmother passed away in October we all took some of her famous blueberry plants and mine are planted around my garden. The local hardware store had a good sale on seeds last month so I'm ready. 3" of snow yesterday so it might be awhile still.
 

basod

Minister of Fire
Sep 11, 2009
937
Mount Cheaha Alabama
I'm with everyone about getting gardening.

It's been so warm here, but I know from past experience if I plant now there will a be frost around the 1st of April >:-(

Have you looked online for rooted perrenials? If wanting well established plants for the immediate rewards I understand.

Butterfly bush is fairly easy to propagate yourself from cuttings same thing with roses. I just take the best looking cuts and stick them in a 1/2gal pot of garden soil nothing special, if they root they root, if not oh well.

Word of warning on getting manure from a local farm, check out thier fields, if you see any pigweed or other non-desirable invasive species stay away.

You'll have these seeds popping up all over the place.
 

eclecticcottage

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2011
1,803
WNY
Bare root perennials are a bit on the high side for us, with the number we'd need. The bare roots I'm getting are shrubs. They look like dead sticks when you pick them up, lol, but we've had good luck with them from previous years at the Old House. Butterfly bush, serviceberry and american cranberry. I had reasonable luck last year on CL getting splits from gardeners looking to thin out the more aggressive stuff like coneflower, daisy and black eyed susan. Since I don't want a really "cultivated" garden, I'm happy to take them.

Blacktail, that's great that you got some of the blueberry bushes! My Gram just passed away a few weeks ago, and that's part of what's got me on a gardening tear. She loved her flowers (so did my Grandpa to be honest). Their house was a floral showplace in the spring. I want the Cottage to be the same, kind of my way of keeping that spirit alive. Their house was sold a few years back-I tried rooting a cutting from a rhododendrun there but it didn't take. I've been pondering contacting the new owners to see if I could try again, but it's a 3 hour drive one way from us and I'd feel bad if they didn't take again after driving that far. I wish our old house had been more "garden ready" when they were still living there, my grandpa would have rooted some for us then. I just didn't know what to do with them at that time.
 
How was growing cranberry? I'm interested.

I need to do a total garden re-work, moving things, redoing fencing, taking down trees around the yard that provide more shade every year.

I have asparagus as a perrenial, and garlic is in of course. Can't start other stuff for a while now.

I can keep groundhogs out of the garden with chickenwire along the ground, but need long-term fencing options for the higher fence. Any suggestions?

This year I might finally build my wood fired pizza oven out by the garden and maybe some larger dogu as garden sculpture.
 

eclecticcottage

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2011
1,803
WNY
We haven't done the American Cranberry yet, that and the Serviceberry will be firsts for us (we already have about 15 butterfly bushes). Previously we've bought lilac, rose of sharon and black locust from them. We didn't lose any, and they are all doing very well. I think the lilacs were $10 for 10. I've found most counties do the bare root sales, try searching for your county soil and water conservation district and check to see if they have a bare root or spring plant sale. The prices are super if you have room for multiple plants or can share a lot with others.
 
I did that when I bought my house 10 yrs ago- I got a variety of native perennials from the state. They did very well and I didn't lose any of them. I've planted maybe 35-40 perennials here and can't think of any that I've lost so I'm confident in my methods now.
 

Butcher

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2011
530
N. central Ia.
Lookin forward to gettin in the garden here too. We have around 6000 square feet of garden so it is almost a second job for us but we dont go the the grocery store much.
 

Butcher

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2011
530
N. central Ia.
Jags said:
Butcher - I think gardening with an Oliver is considered "farming". :lol:

Only without the subsities.
 

eclecticcottage

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2011
1,803
WNY
Ooooo...Oliver...I like tractors!!

I'm having a hard time deciding where to put the veggie garden. Can't be up front in the shade or by the road in the sun (ick). Don't want it in the direct line of sight to the lake (at least the taller stuff) to block out view. Don't want it where the dog run is. Can't go where the shade from the big maple or pines are...shesh. We've got about 1/2 an acre and I still can't find the right spot, lol.
 

gyrfalcon

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2007
1,837
Champlain Valley, Vermont
eclecticcottage said:
We haven't done the American Cranberry yet, that and the Serviceberry will be firsts for us (we already have about 15 butterfly bushes). Previously we've bought lilac, rose of sharon and black locust from them. We didn't lose any, and they are all doing very well. I think the lilacs were $10 for 10. I've found most counties do the bare root sales, try searching for your county soil and water conservation district and check to see if they have a bare root or spring plant sale. The prices are super if you have room for multiple plants or can share a lot with others.

Don't know what your climate there is like, but go easy on the butterfly bushes until you know whether they'll survive the winter, or contrary, are invasive as they are in southern areas. There's a fairly narrow zone where they both survive and behave themselves. I really like them, but where I am, they don't overwinter. On the other hand, Japanese honeysuckle does very well, but not well enough to spread, so I'm in that "sweet spot" for that.
 

eclecticcottage

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2011
1,803
WNY
They are pretty happy here. We have some neighbors with them. They don't go where they aren't supposed to as far as I can tell. We're in the "banana belt" of NY, the lake creates a miniclimate that makes us like a bit different than surrounding areas. It's a good growing area. It's been a different winter, but ours haven't even died back this year, the leaves are still green!
 

gyrfalcon

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2007
1,837
Champlain Valley, Vermont
Oh, heck, you should be able to grow just about anything there. (Do get your soil tested, though, so you know what you're dealing with.)

I'm only a few miles from the lower end of Lake Champlain, so while not quite the "banana belt," it is a less harsh winter here and a longer growing season than most of the rest of the state. I'm halfway up the SE side of a low, glacial ridge, so my soil ranges unpredictably from strong clay to pretty decent loam in spots to other spots where there's no more than 3 or 4 inches before you hit dense, impenetrable broken shale, depending on what the long-ago glacier left behind.

And you're right, by the way, that as long as the top 6 or 8 inches aren't super-heavy clay, perennials will do fine without a lot of fussing and amending as long as they've got sufficient water and sun-- especially if you do "cottage garden" style and stick to stuff that belongs in your climate. (I've long wished somebody would write a book along the lines of "Good Enough Gardening"!)
 

cricketfarmer

New Member
Jan 12, 2012
32
central illinois
I've also been getting the gardening bug. The wife and I are going to a home and garden show this weekend to start getting ideas for this spring. Fortunately, living in the heart of farm country, I have beautiful rich topsoil that goes down 4 feet or so. Unfortunately, living in the heart of farm country, all I see is topsoil leading off to the horizon in all directions. I'd be willing to trade some soil for maybe a small mountain, or maybe a lake view.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,302
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Don't forget about pumpkins. We get about 80 pumpkins a year.

I'm a big fan of green beans and I like the pole beans vs. bush beans so that they are out of the dirt.
 
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