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Old 01-24-2009, 06:40 AM   #1
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Who gardens?

So who gardens, got pictures?
With all the different zones, we all garden at different times.

Have you called digger's hotline to make sure you can safely rototill your land for your garden? (just a safety tip)

I don't garden until June, but start seeds much earlier in the house. Anyone have a green house solution that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

With the economy, I'm doubling my garden again this year. So it's time to get seeds ( loved the seed catalog thread). I collect heirloom seeds too, anyone else do that?

Do you have fruit trees and bushes and asparagus gardens? Any tips on pruning those fruit trees? When and how?

Will you be putting in a set of bees for honey and pollination?
Are you adding manure to the soil? Compost? Layering with paper (wood pulp). Mulching? Raised gardens?

This year, I'm thinking that I need to put away tomatoes, beans, corn, and zuchinni and squash. The garden wouldn't be complete without a dozen other interesting new things to can/freeze/dehydrate for the next year.

Happy gardening. ~Bliss
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:21 AM   #2
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Bliss,

You unearthed a gardener/foodie here! Trees are my business, gardening one of my passions. We relocated several years ago from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest so I am learning to garden all over again.
A few replies to your questions:
Now is a good time to prune fruit trees (sort of). Here's a good site to get you familiar with the reasons to prune: How to Prune Fruit Trees --Home Orchard Society also check out Dave Wilson Nursery in CA. They are one of the larger fruit tree producers in the country and have an excellent home orchard site. WI extension should have some great info as well.
If heirloom seeds are of interest, look into Seed Savers in Decorah, IA. The co-op listed 100 pages of tomato varieties alone. Also, I have some delicata squash seed set aside if you are interested. It is a variety that was popular in the early 1900's but got nudged out by commercials like acorn and butternut. It is a semi bush type that is a prolific bearer for limited spaces
Last week, I just "christened" a compost tumbler made out of a 55 gallon vinegar drum. This will be a learning process I am sure getting the C/N ratio and moisture right to keep all the bacterium happy.

Port
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post


With the economy, I'm doubling my garden again this year. So it's time to get seeds ( loved the seed catalog thread). I collect heirloom seeds too, anyone else do that?

Do you have fruit trees and bushes and asparagus gardens? Any tips on pruning those fruit trees? When and how?

Will you be putting in a set of bees for honey and pollination?
Are you adding manure to the soil? Compost? Layering with paper (wood pulp). Mulching? Raised gardens?

This year, I'm thinking that I need to put away tomatoes, beans, corn, and zuchinni and squash. The garden wouldn't be complete without a dozen other interesting new things to can/freeze/dehydrate for the next year.

Happy gardening. ~Bliss

yep, I garden...good idea on expanding the garden this year!

We have about 17 apple trees, transplanted wild black raspberries, hazelnut bushes too young to bear yet, and a NEW asparagus bed!
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:07 PM   #4
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I like gardening. Unfortunately, we have nowhere to put one where we are living. So, this year, I'll try container gardening. There is a local seed company that has great heirloom seeds. I think I'll stick to greens, tomatoes and herbs.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:16 PM   #5
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I try to garden a bit.... my dogs apparently dont like this and try to destroy all plantings. I'm a city dweller so I don't have much space... a small patch out front and a small concrete back yard.

This year I am going to cut away some of the concrete so I can plant a Quince tree I have been cultivating in a pot and some grape vines... otherwise I will do containers some ornamental which I planted in the fall and hopefully survive and some herbs and veggies. Took on a bit too much last year though so I will cut back.

My front is north so it has been a challenge... also it is basically a dog pen I we'll see what comes back this year.

I may try to throw a few tomato plants in one of the community gardens but last year that did not work out so well as I got sort of distracted and neglected my poor plants after awhile.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:20 PM   #6
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I'm afraid last year was the final time for gardening for me. The trees have grown way too much for almost anything. Too, too much shade. Boo hiss! I really enjoyed it.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
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Katie, maybe you need to ask for a chainsaw for your birthday!!
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:39 PM   #8
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Katie, maybe you need to ask for a chainsaw for your birthday!!
Good idea for the garden, not such a good idea for shading the house. Most of the trees are 100-years-old or thereabouts. Plus, the house isn't air-conditioned, so the trees help to keep things cool when it gets blistering here during the summer.

P. S. I have a Stihl saw. Great tool.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:51 PM   #9
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Nine years ago when we moved here and spent a fortune re-landscaping the yard (and they didn't do a very good job, either) I had two raised beds put in for vegetables. They filled them with some sort of good veggie dirt but the veggies didn't do squat, however the nastursium seeds I threw in about the edges took off like crazy. Those flowers do best in a nutrient poor soil....lesson learned.

The next year I poured big bags of Chicken Manure on the beds...smelled like - well - manure for weeks but boy did the veggies grow! Unfortunately for me my most important crop, tomatoes, grew huge but failed to produce until very late...just a few ripe ones - lots of green little hard golf-ball tomatoes but lots and lots of green.

Ok - less nitrogen I was told. The next year I did the "wall of water" things and we had better success.

Finally my very "green" vegetarian neighbor told me the altitude here is just to high for tomatoes to do really well. She has them, of course, but she has these unbelievable beds lined with straw so she can start them early and they produce like mad for her!

My Zucchinni have failed me almost every year. I've never not been able to grow those - to the point that I was foisting them off on everyone I met!

This year I'm gonna try again. Not sure quite what I'm going to do differently but research is in the mix. I live in Portland, Or and our altitude is about 900 feet.

I planted a Service Berry tree about 7 years ago and it's doing well but the birds are the only ones who have benefited from it so far! When do you start harvesting those things anyway?

Our Blizzard last month has killed the Escalonia and severely damaged my Daphne.

So I am a very frustrated gardner!
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:10 AM   #10
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So much good information here!
I have some currant bushes, they used to do okay but they are in too much shade now, so I will move them to a more sunny spot.
I bought some heirloom seeds from Renee's Garden online and I was very pleased with the varieties.
What about container gardening for some things? I usually have a dozen big pots on the deck for some things like tomatoes, and my chives do Great in pots on the deck.
One of the toughest things is trying to fit a vacation in for my child on their summer vacation but now that all of them are through high school this year, I can take vacation when I want instead and then I won't have a week in the summer where nothing is harvested and nothing gets watered......I lose a lot that way. This will be the first summer in 25 years that I won't have that problem because I won't leave during the summer.

I'm so glad to hear about all your experiences. ~Bliss
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