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 Message Boards » » *°*° OFFICIAL 2017 Plant & Gardening Thread °*°* Page [1]  
kdogg(c)
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Didn't see one for this year.

I live in the greater Miami area (Miramar), which is Zone 10. I've got a raised 4x4 bed on the screened porch that I've split into 1' squares and have jalapeño, serrano, bell peppers, tomatoes, rosemary, pineapple, and date plams growing.

In addition, I've got a fig tree in the back and have picked a few figs off of it, as well as propagated two starter plants.

I've also got a horribly overgrown key lime tree and i've started to propagate from a cutting (hoping to get this going and keep it small...for indoors).

I've also got a compost bin I started this week (from an old kitchen trash can with holes drilled in for aeration).

The main place I go for knowledge is John Kohler (https://www.youtube.com/user/growingyourgreens).

He pushes rock dust a lot, which I haven't tried (or found), so I think I'm going to skip it...but I'm definitely looking forward to the compost!

3/5/2017 4:24:39 PM

panthersny
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Jealous of your key lime tree. Would love to grow one inside my house.

Here is my setup...mixing up the rows this year.

3/7/2017 8:02:42 AM

kdogg(c)
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I think your swing set has more square footage than my back yard!!! JEAAAAALOUS!!!

The tree itself has been neglected, and it's right on the corner fence, overhanging both neighbors, which means I need to cut it (and the branches are super spiky! ).

Looking at making another raised bed. I am pretty sure I did the first one wrong, in that I have too much dense soil (compost, soil) and not enough (any) vermiculite.

I know it has worms, which I like.

3/7/2017 10:34:53 PM

GREEN JAY
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I may not do much at all with our garden this year except dump some annuals around. We are thinking of moving to a place that is zone 3

3/12/2017 8:55:54 PM

Netstorm
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I didn't do a garden last year, so feel like I need to this year. But my backyard space is limited (rental). I have a big deck though--considering large container garden setup or something on the deck. I always target vegetables... big ones I care about are tomatoes, squash/zucchini, cukes, chilis.

The actual yard space is odd and sloped--and I'm not sure how mounding vegetables like zucchinis are on sloped areas. I suppose I could create a raised bed that somehow account for the slope.

3/13/2017 1:37:45 PM

GREEN JAY
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GIS terraced raised bed should give you plenty of ideas. As for containers, make sure to look into some high-quality self-watering containers that also include an overflow mechanism. I have been using these for a few years now, definitely worth the investment.

3/13/2017 1:54:14 PM

umop-apisdn
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I'm back in NC for the first time in forever, and it looks like this could last a while. South Florida wasn't much fun, other than the fact my peppers weren't ever gonna die.

I have to find out if I can dig up my yard and plant some veggies. I had left my carnivorous plants under my mother's care last year, and I regret it. Lost about a third of my plants and none of the seedlings look like they took. A critically endangered flower I got from SC Botanical Garden doesn't look like it's in good shape, but I'll have a chance to tend to it this year. Lost a lot of Sarracenia, which really sucks because I had gotten a good collection going. I have no idea yet if I lost any of my grass pinks, but it at least looks like my pine lilies survived. I might drop a big big tray in the ground if I can get approval for it at my new place. The other down side of leaving my carnivores in the care of my mother is that they weren't tended very well, and now I have sphagnum growing out of control and threatening to smother some of the smaller plants/seedlings.

The pitcher plants that survived are putting up their flowers, but I'm worried the cold is gonna kill those back.

3/13/2017 2:54:49 PM

synapse
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I have 4 raised beds and a *lot* of containers that have been sitting dormant since last season. Pretty much all of them were used for tomatoes, with a few peppers and cucumbers. I know you’re not supposed to reuse them for nightshades year after year but I don’t have room for crop rotations.

So the current question is what to do to revitalize my old soil, much of which has weeds growing on top for months.

Current plans:

Raised Beds – Mix existing soil with compost, and perhaps some “raised bed plant food” (10-2-8)
Compost: http://www.naturescare.com/smg/goprod/natures-care-really-good-compost/prod11340020
Fertilizer: http://www.naturescare.com/smg/goprod/organic-raised-bed-plant-food/prod11860021

Containers – Mix existing soil with fresh potting soil, compost, and perhaps some “organic and natural vegetable, fruit and flower food” (
Compost: http://www.naturescare.com/smg/goprod/natures-care-really-good-compost/prod11340020
Fertilizer: http://www.naturescare.com/smg/goprod/natures-care-organic-and-natural-vegetable-fruit-flower-food/prod11050012 (3-4-2)

Also of note is when I transplant the little plants into the containers and beds I usually use some Espoma “Bio-tone Starter-Plus plant food” http://www.espoma.com/product/bio-tone-starter-plus (4-3-3)

So I don’t want to over fertilize, but I also want to ensure my soil is as best prepared as I can make it at this point. Another option is I can get some compost by the yard from my local garden center by the yard, but I’m not sure how much better that is than the bagged stuff, but it sure is cheaper. I bought 10 bags of the stuff above, but I’m not sure if it’s gonna be enough.

What say you TWW?

4/3/2017 8:40:06 PM

Doss2k
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I have never really gardened before but I am debating trying out some 5 gallon bucket plants this year to see how those go. Not really interested in digging up my yard or anything so seems like a good option.

4/4/2017 8:28:06 AM

robster
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synapse, try mixing in some manure compost, and get some powdered lime and some baitfish (or catch some brim at a local pond).

throw a fish or a half a fish in the hole, cover with lime, cover with dirt, put plant over top.

Your holes have to be a bit deeper, but you should get most everything you need with that combination.

I am trying a couple new things this year. New raised bed with cattle panel on one side for cuc's to grow up on, and 4 other new raised beds for strawberries, lettuce, greens. Cattle panel for cantelope too. Also trying 2 rows of "back to eden" woodchip garden, where I had nothing but weeds invading the garden in the past. Covered them up with chicken compost (plenty of that at my house) then a layer of clean cardboard boxes, and then free hardwood woodchips.

Can't go any worse than my weed invested green bean row last year

4/4/2017 2:37:32 PM

GREEN JAY
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Overfertilization is unlikely to be an issue due to the amount of organic material you are adding.

That said, I recommend using a combination of topdressing with osmocote-type time-release granules at planting and then foliar fertilizer like miracle grow, rather than mixing granules into the soil. At worst there could be pockets of salt that would harm individual plants. Even more likely, whatever you incorporate pre-planting will be below the level early roots can reach, and you'd essentially waste a large portion of it.

Renewing soil in raised beds is usually the only practical solution, but it is strongly preferred to start with fresh sterile medium in any containers, especially after multiple years of use/laying fallow. The reasons why are multiple. Old roots and compaction will inhibit the growth of new transplants, you said yourself that the existing soil is full of weed seeds, and there is a lack of airspace due to the breakdown of organic material and settling (the aforementioned compaction).

If you absolutely must re-use soil, you need to dump it all out, break it down manually, remove any large debris or compacted clumps, thoroughly mix with your amendments, and then heat treat it by covering with black plastic for a couple of weeks at least. When I compare the cost and effort of that versus buying some fresh moisture-control potting medium, I am going to just buy new and be done with it.

[Edited on April 4, 2017 at 2:54 PM. Reason : ]

4/4/2017 2:52:18 PM

synapse
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Quote :
"If you absolutely must re-use soil, you need to dump it all out, break it down manually, remove any large debris or compacted clumps, thoroughly mix with your amendments"


That's what I've started doing. Last years soil was "new" from Norwood nursery, their 50% soil/50% compost mix. In the larger containers though some of it is water logged after sitting around this long, despite me putting down pine bark chips in the bottom of the containers. I'm thinking that soil mix wasn't as well suited for containers that they told me.

So I just started yesterday, and I've been dumping 60%-70% of the container soil out back, and reusing 30%-40% of the old soil. To that, I add a bunch of soil conditioner (small pine bark chips), new potting soil (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Miracle-Gro-Nature-s-Care-32-qt-Organic-Potting-Mix-71683120/204698486), and bagged compost. Seems like a fairly light mix, but that's always the case without water : /

Quote :
"versus buying some fresh moisture-control potting medium, I am going to just buy new and be done with it."


Why do you buy yours? What ingredients do you look for? This $6/bag stuff I bought above seems pretty heavy with the peat moss.

Quote :
"throw a fish or a half a fish in the hole, cover with lime, cover with dirt, put plant over top."


I like that idea...might have to try it. What's the lime for?

Quote :
"New raised bed with cattle panel on one side for cuc's to grow up on,"


I'm planning on doing the same...I'm wondering if cucumber plants can grow in 20 gallon containers though. What do you all think?

4/5/2017 2:50:24 PM

GREEN JAY
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Cucs do well in containers on trellis. Soil pH is something they are particular about, so careful with that lime.

Here is an example of a product I buy. This is a very large volume of medium, but it is very compressed. Landscape supplier places would have this volume of product
available.

https://www.lowes.ca/products/view.aspx?family=2462854

The ingredients are what you would expect- sphagnum, perlite, vermiculite, absorbent polymers, and beneficial mycorrhixae. And some lime to adjust the pH. (And that is calibrated much more closely and distributed more evenly than we can hope to achieve at home.)

There is a similar product that I sonetimes buy that includes some 'black earth' organic soil, but it is more porous and I like the other product better because of the moisture retention properties.

The main difference between the cheap stuff and this is that cheaper mixes will include lower grades of the good stuff with smaller, more compactable particles, and will include undesirable stuff like sand and clay in place of the more expensive polymers and additives.

The difference between this is what you make at home is the consistency... and I don't mean just the texture. Lime is very problematic in small amounts of soil, because you aren't testing the pH beforehand to calibrate it, and lime will not leach out like an excess of other salts. Peat moss is acidic, much like many native soils, so it does need balancing. But neither lime or straight peat moss are recommended for containers or small beds because you will create pockets of high and low pH.

Soil is an investment whether you buy very basic entrants or start with a formulated product. So I invest in the potting medium and mix it in to the beds the year after, because the pH stays balanced and I only have to focus on fertilizer.

The biggest issue with the promix is working the compressed product adequately to get the maximum volume, which is just the start of managing the details to consistently create batch after batch of the perfect mix from scratch.

[Edited on April 5, 2017 at 4:05 PM. Reason : ]

4/5/2017 3:49:17 PM

umop-apisdn
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UNCC plant sale is next weekend. I'll be spending more money that I should, once again. If I'm not into the pitcher plants they put up for sale, I'm gonna go for mostly orchids and lilies.

I clipped back a lot of the dormant growth and repotted a bit last weekend. That helped invigorate growth a bit, so I'm eager to see what survived from last year's neglect. It looks like I might not have lost as much as I originally thought, but it's really hard to identify the weeds since there's so much diversity in the pots now.

I'll have to take a picture once pitchers and flowers start opening.

4/8/2017 10:23:02 AM

synapse
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^^ awesome thx for the info

4/8/2017 10:59:21 AM

dmspack
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got a big day planned tomorrow. got some landscape work i need to do in a couple beds around my house. and wanna get a few vegetables planted in our raised beds too. hope i can get to it all tomorrow.

4/22/2017 12:39:48 PM

dmspack
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got a few seeds in the ground this weekend....started a few things in a greenhouse too, including tomatillos. girlfriend wanted to try those this year and i have no experience with those. any advice or anything specific we should know about tomatillos?

also, got my front yard looking much better with some much needed landscaping.

4/25/2017 7:08:45 AM

GREEN JAY
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get ready for potato bugs is what you need to know for tomatillos.

4/28/2017 2:13:08 PM

shoot
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Quote :
"also, got my front yard looking much better with some much needed landscaping.

"


Yeah. Me too.

4/28/2017 2:56:12 PM

modlin
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I did tomatillos a few years ago a nd got a ton, the plants really took off, and the wildlife mostly left them alone.

5/1/2017 2:48:14 PM

dmspack
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i don't even know what we're gonna do with the tomatillos...make salsa i guess. we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, i reckon.

5/1/2017 4:41:16 PM

richthofen
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Been planting a bunch of small stuff--3 little azaleas, 3 rose bushes, lily bulbs, nothing major. I want to do a raised bed vegetable garden but the potential spot I used last year (containers at the approximate place) the plants did not seem overly fond of, so I may be moving them around the back yard until I find a place agreeable to me and to the plants.

I'm also finding hydrangeas to be surprisingly persnickety. We've got 6 of various varieties, and three seem to be thriving while the other three have fallen victim to a late frost, or bugs, or...something. They're alive, but all the leaves are at the bottom and nothing on the upper part of last year's wood. Considering at least one of them only blooms on old wood, probably no flowers on that guy this year. Frustrating--I checked on them before the last frost I'm aware of and saw no leaf buds so I thought I was OK.

Front lawn is already a lost cause. Mostly green but probably >50% weeds. Looks like that will have to wait until the fall and then kill weeds/aerate/overseed properly in preparation for next spring.

5/2/2017 1:33:43 AM

dmspack
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never had much issue with insects on hydrangeas other than the paniculatas (flea beetles love 'em)...but yeah, the late freeze knocked back a lotta things this year. hydrangeas, in my experience, aren't too difficult...but the warm feb/march we had right before the ~ 5 nights with lows in the low 20s is gonna hurt a lotta stuff.

5/2/2017 7:02:09 AM

robster
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My cuc's are planted in a "back to eden" style row... Drip line underneath, covered with a layer of cardboard, covered by compost and then covered by wood chips.

Of the 10 planted, only 5 are left. They are getting eaten by something, and I see little areas on the stem where bites have been taken out...

Under the mulch, I see a shit ton of rolypolies. Are these things eating my cucs'? Any remedies without nuking the whole damn garden?

5/2/2017 12:04:22 PM

synapse
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For those who container garden, do you use mulch on top of your container soil? I'd like to mulch to slow evaporative moisture loss, but I think the plant cools by doing that, so I don't think I want to pay the price of a hotter soil. Any thoughts?

What about mulch in your raised beds? I feel like temperature isn't as big of a concern there...

5/20/2017 4:27:02 PM

kdogg(c)
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I use mulch in both. Eucalyptus in them, but if I had to do it again I would use leaf mulch (from the lawn).

5/21/2017 9:23:24 PM

synapse
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How big are your containers?

Why eucalyptus mulch?

Next time you'll use ground up leaves??


On the compost front I've been taking wheelbarrow loads of coffee grounds and filters from a local cafe and corn husks from Harris Teeter to combine with my kitchen waste. Builds up pretty quick.

[Edited on May 21, 2017 at 11:58 PM. Reason : ]

5/21/2017 11:55:00 PM

Netstorm
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Real talk: is it too late to get some grown-ass tomato saplings and get them up in containers?

5/24/2017 2:09:28 PM

synapse
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No. On average they reach maturity in 3 months or just under...so you might not get as much production but at least you'll have some homegrown maters

Maybe concentrate on these varieties, especially the determinate ones since you're doing containers: http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/vegetables/short-season-tomato-varieties-pictures
http://www.harvesttotable.com/2012/04/growing-early-season-tomatoes-for-great-taste/
http://theselfsufficientliving.com/top-10-varieties-of-tomato-for-short-and-long-growing-seasons/

5/24/2017 2:18:31 PM

dmspack
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yup...definitely not too late for tomatoes.

5/24/2017 5:05:03 PM

kdogg(c)
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Quote :
"How big are your containers?

Why eucalyptus mulch?

Next time you'll use ground up leaves??

On the compost front I've been taking wheelbarrow loads of coffee grounds and filters from a local cafe and corn husks from Harris Teeter to combine with my kitchen waste. Builds up pretty quick.
"


I've got some felt-bags that are 10-20 Gallon; 12 gal plastic ones, and some 20 gal plastic ones.

The eucalyptus mulch was the only natural mulch being sold at HD when I bought it.

I would go with leaves because they are free, not bulky like pieces of mulch, and they will eventually compost themselves.

Additionally, I have four 4x4 SFGs where I have most of my stuff, but I mulch everything.

[Edited on May 24, 2017 at 8:37 PM. Reason : going to put some photos here eventually]

5/24/2017 8:36:07 PM

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