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Old 03-03-2006, 11:34 AM   #11
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The weather's been in the mid 80s here so gardens and lawns are beginning to look beautiful around the area. My dianthus and geraniums are beautiful but have yet to see my hibiscus bloom. My DH was spraying weed killer the other day and decided my baby sprouts of sweet basil were weeds. Bummer! I have to plant these all over again.
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Old 03-03-2006, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
Grumblebee, I seriously considered you Northerners before I posted; didn't want to dangle our warm weather in front of anyone! You can certainly start your wish list with catalogs now, tho! :)
True enough. Actually, I've been thinking of starting a mini-indoor herb garden. I've always wanted to grow some herbs for myself but have never tried before! I want to plant things that will grow EASILY in a small window box. Mint? Dill? Thyme? I havent decided yet...
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Old 03-03-2006, 02:18 PM   #13
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My fingers are itching too. We've been having really mild weather here in Little Rock too and I'm so tempted to start hardening my tomato plants off but I know if I do it too early I'll have to move them all indoors again LOL!


Tomatoes watching TV during an unexpected cold-snap 2005

I have several bags of Peat Moss and well rotted cow manure stacked on the front porch waiting to be mixed. I almost went out yesterday and started mixing them but I don't want the peat to start breaking down a full month before the real time to plant so I'm just on hold

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Old 03-04-2006, 05:43 AM   #14
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For those of us in the South, I think it's fine to put out the 'cool weather' veggies now; from what I've gleaned from the old-timers here in Charleston, these are already in the ground or should be in the next week or so; collards/mustard/kale; lettuces; cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower; peas.

We're putting up the garden fence today, and will build the beds tomorrow, so I can plant this week. I've started eggplant, squash, melon, cukes in peat starters - Lowe's has really neat little peat pot starter containers, complete with a top. Lol, I feel like the little kid in the Disney commercial - "I'm too excited to sleep!"

Driving around yesterday, the azaleas are popping already (so much for the Azalea Festival in April!), Bradford Pears are starting to bloom, dogwoods are budding out. All of the hibiscus and flowering maples (?aubutilon - can't spell) are coming back from last year, as well as the Angel Trumpet.

And the best thing about being outside right now is - NO BUGS!!!
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Old 03-04-2006, 07:57 AM   #15
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I have the book on square foot gardening started years ago by Mel Bartholomew (sp). For quite a while he had a gardening show on tv (pbs,I think). It was always amazing to see what was coming in and going out in his garden at each season. I've used a few of his techniques, but never made the gardens like his. I use my flower beds mostly so I can watch them better. I stopped Friday and picked up several herbs to put in this week. I will hold off on the basil since I've already lost one pot trying to be an "early bird". My grandfather always prided himself on having the "first" of the season and the best garden around. I can't live up to that.
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Old 03-04-2006, 11:16 AM   #16
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I know, Licia, my grandfather was the same way; but I absolutely know where I got my love of gardening!

I'm not following Mel's instructions to the 'T', modifying them just a little to fit our budget, lol; all that peat and vermiculate runs into bucks!

I'm a big fan of companion plantings, and raised bed gardening; you can pack so much more into a little space that way!
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Old 03-04-2006, 11:20 AM   #17
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companion plantings are a great way to garden, saving space. the best one that i know of is to grow corn or sunflowers, and plant beans next to them shortly thereafter. the beans will use sunflower or corn stalk as it's trellis.
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Old 03-04-2006, 12:08 PM   #18
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It's fun to plant running beans at the base of a makeshift trellis made of 3 long sticks (can be limbs trimmed in the yard) with the tops tied into a point. The beans grow up the sticks or limbs and form a tower or tent like structure. Kids like to play under them and eat the beans they pick.
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:49 AM   #19
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OK, you serious gardeners:

I've got an unopened bag of potting soil that has been sitting on the porch, and then the deck, in a covered location for at least a year.

Should I toss it, use it to repot inside plants, or throw it on one of the beds I'm gonna replant outside this year?
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Old 03-05-2006, 01:18 PM   #20
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Mudbug, as long as the bag is still sealed, it should be fine for what ever purpose that you want. It is dirt, It doesn't really have a shelflife.

Marmalady,
Another name for the gardening that you are discussing is Raised Beds. I would suggest that you make them with 2"x8" 2x10 or 12 lumber in my opinion is better. Also you might want to line the bottom first with the black landscape clothe, On top of that a Hardware Clothe,(not really clothe at all but metal screan that has about 1/2" openings.) On top of that goes pea gravel. Then fill with your soil, vermiculite and mulch mix.
Doing this will protect your boxes from being invaded from below by moles/gophers. Also they will be assured a good drainage so that the soil doesn't retain too much moisture.
If you plan on planting tomatoes in a specific box you might want to make sure you add additional Calcium Carbonate to the soil in that box. Tomatoes are known for getting Blossom End Rot, I had that happen this past summer. Cal Car will help prevent the BER.
Make sure that you add some kind of materail to your soil to help with airating the soil. This is the reason behind the Vermiculite. Perilite will work just as well. If you are going to fill the beds with baged soil I would suggest about 30% perilite be mixed in. This gives your soil less room to compact and more placeds for disolved O2 to be found in the soil. Plant roots like O2 and will search it out.

Good luck. I've done a little research on growing plants, so I guess I will try to help where I can. I don't have space for a garden this year, but I had a great time doing it last year.
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