Garden 2023

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I was just outside, getting some things done today, since it got to 71° out there today! I direct seeded some brassicas, and some other things, just to see how they work out, but if they don't work out, I'll start some inside in a month or so, like I usually do. The only things flowering now are some tulips, that just started. It's been a very warm winter!
Tulips beginning to open, 2-23-23 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Got a few things going on indoors in my " Plant " room.
Ginger is up ( its and offspring from the ginger I harvested last year ). I started it a month earlier than I did last year , hoping for a longer growing season and bigger harvest. Planted it about 1 month ago.

Gott some scallions I started a few weeks ago. When I get scallions from the store, I use all but the bottom 2 inches. I put them in water, they root in a few weeks, then plant in the garden. They ultimately flowered , I collect the seeds and now planted them. Will transfer them to the garden in April / May.

My coffee tree flowered. 2 years ago, I harvested about tea dozen beans. Last year nothing. This year, looks like there will be a bunch of flowers . No bees, so Ill have to hand pollinate.

Many fig trees I rooted from all the branches I pruned off in the fall. More of an experiment than anything else. Ive only got maybe 5 figs from these trees, so not worth taking cuttings, but its fun and gives me something to do over the winter/


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Those look a little like daffodils to me.
I sit corrected, from a couple of others, too, on a gardening forum! As I told them, I've been calling them tulips since '84, when I first saw them in my yard - someone must have told me they were tulips, because I know absolutely nothing about flowers, since most are not edible! :LOL: And I do nothing with them - they just come up along the fence every year, in 5 clusters, first flowers every season. The flowers are gone, early on, and don't come back all season, unlike the ones I grow for pollinators.
I sit corrected, from a couple of others, too, on a gardening forum! As I told them, I've been calling them tulips since '84, when I first saw them in my yard - someone must have told me they were tulips, because I know absolutely nothing about flowers, since most are not edible! :LOL: And I do nothing with them - they just come up along the fence every year, in 5 clusters, first flowers every season. The flowers are gone, early on, and don't come back all season, unlike the ones I grow for pollinators.
I hear ya! Only until recently, if I cant eat it, I didnt grow it. lately I've been putting more effort into flowers. Up until recently, Ive been going annual to the Philly Flower Show to get ideas. Haven't been there since Covid. Hopefully get back there for next years show.
@larry_stewart Many years ago, I used to go to the flower show, always the last day, as they were always almost giving away plants in the sales room, and I bought many of my herbs there. That was before I started everything I could from seed!
We always loved the flower show. I love seeing all the different landscapes, shopping for garden stuff I dont need and also taking lectures, I took a great lecture on Tomatoes, Water conservation, Honey bees ... I lived in Philly for 4 years, so we always try to go back a few times a year to visit my old stomping grounds. We usually hit the flower show, and also sometime around July 4th. Since covid we haven't been there. Were going to stop by aa few weeks ago, on our way back from visiting our daughter ( Baltimore) but didnt work out.
Here's my list for the tomatoes I'll be trying this year. If any of the old seeds I'm testing don't germinate, I'll probably just fill them in with other favs. I've usually had good luck with old tomato seeds, but you never know. The ones I tested I marked with *.

I'll be starting them around April 7th, or maybe a couple days later. 4-3 was even a little too early last year, since I've been getting unusually cool early parts of May, after very warm Aprils, the last few years.

Cherry, and other smallish types:

Old favs:

Bumblebee Purple
Green Zebra Cherry
Sprite Grape *
Sunsugar F1 (really the only of these cherries I've grown recently, though I've grown the other 3 previously)


Ambrosia Red Cherry *
Brandywine Cherry *
Matt's Hornet
Pearly Pink Cherry *
Piglet Willie Black
Prune Verte Green Plum


Old Favs:

Amish Gold Slicer *
Brandyboy F1
Oaxacan Jewel (last year's best keeper)


Aunt Gert's Gold *
Aunt Lou's Pink *
Calli Orange
Dragon's Eye *
Grub's Mystery Green
Hippie Zebra
Juliet F3
Pink Boar Salad *

Here is my final pepper list for 2023. As usual, my old favorites list is longer than the new ones, unlike my tomatoes, where there are few perfect ones, for this weather.

Old favs:

Aji Dulce
Chocolate Habanero
Hanoi Market
Jalapeño M
Maui Purple (new source, but listed as milder than my old ones)
Thai Dragon (I'll see how this compares to others I've grown in the past with this name)
Thai Vesuvius

New (mostly)

Big Mic
Datil (very late ages ago, but hopefully they have improved it, like many chinense varieties)
Hawaian frutescens
Japanese Yatsufusa
Joe Parker
Pimienda de Pedron
Pumpkin Pie Spice NuMex/Jalapeño
Wartryx (only superhot this year)

Most of those new varieties will need covered, along with the Jalapeños and Hanoi Market, as they are the types prone to pepper maggot flies.

The chinense varieties I'll start in mid-March, but everything else on April 1st. At first, it seems like that is too late, but at the end of April, they take off, and if I planted them any earlier, I'd have to transplant them to larger pots for a week or two before putting them out.

And here are the eggplants I'll be growing. I have 3 green varieties - still trying to find a replacement for the Hari variety I got from years ago, but it eventually changed (still the same name, but flowers changed color, and much smaller fruit), and it was definitely a hybrid, so I'll see if I can find an OP variety that's similar. The String from last year, and Ichiban are the only oldies - everything else is new.

These I'll start in Jiffy Pellets - last year they grew faster than I ever had any EPs grow, and I transplanted them to the larger pots - 18/tray. I'll start them on 4-1, as the usual start about a week earlier got them too large too fast!

Chinese String

Choryoku Green
LA Long Green (grew years ago)
UH Long Green
Pepper, I stopped counting at 21 plants and even then I'm assuming you'll be doing more than one plant per variety.

Dat's a LLLLOTTTTTa tomats! :shock::shock::shock:
@dragnlaw That's why I always say I almost get "tomatoed out" by the end of the season, and I almost never buy fresh tomatoes in the off-season.

Actually, with new varieties I usually only plant one of each plant - no sense wasting the space, if it's something that doesn't work out. I'll have 29 or 30 plants total, with 2 of some of the old favs. Some new things I grow more of, like beans (4 new types) and okra (3 new types), since they are close together. I start 1 extra of almost all of the tomatoes and peppers, then share them with a friend, that last year ended up with a larger garden than mine! They just bought their property last year, and this year it will probably be getting larger.
Im actually thinking of. cutting back on tomatoes due to the over abundance last year and the less mouths to feed. My problem is, I always plant more seeds than I need in fear of failure, and wind up with twice as many as I need. I then have to scramble to find space for them. I usually do try a new variety or two each year to see if there are any I can add to or replace with. Usually I start by seed early April, so I still have time.

MY kale overwintered really nicely. Lettuce , we finally picked the last of it last week. Probably throw some lettuce seed, arugula, radishes and peas in the ground later this month under some protection.

Ill also start looking for seed potatoes at local garden stores so I can chit them a few weeks early.

Did most of my planning over the winter, so really just a waiting game
I was originally thinking of planting less tomatoes - through the years, I have also had less people to share them with, and last year, with those friends I used to share a lot with getting their garden going big time! However, a while back, a fellow on one of the gardening forums posted an offer, after cleaning out his seed collection, and I got 7 new (to me) varieties, so I have more tomato varieties than ever! As I noted above, I plant one extra seedling of all, but then give the extra away, as they almost always live.
I love trying new varieties ( of everything). I kinda feel like Im missing out if I dont try something new. The only thing that limits me is space. I always try to keep few plants of predictable varieties that have proven themselves year after some, so I dont wind up with a disappointing year ( assuming Mother Nature cooperates).

Last year I had almost total pepper crop failure. First time in 30 years. Didnt do anything different, and used some predictable ( at least for me) varieties. Hopefully I rebound this year.
I hope your peppers do better this year, Larry! You never figured out what the problem(s) was?

Those "test" tomato seeds I started on 3-4 had 5 of the 9 varieties sprout, but the Aunt Lou Pink, Brandywine Cherry, Pearly Pink Cherry, and Ambrosia Red Cherry are the ones that didn't have any sprout. I'll still try them, but I'll figure out something to fill both the pots in the trays, plus the outside spots, if they still don't germinate.

Yesterday I mixed up some fresh seed starting mix (some peat, coir, a little vermiculite and worm castings, and about 20% perlite), and added it to the leftover from last year, then "cooked" some of it, heating it to 200° in the oven in some foil pans, then cooled them overnight. Today I mixed some micorrhyzae with it, and moistened it with some Bt israelensis, to prevent fungus gnats.

Today I started a bunch of brassicas, and tomorrow I'll start my chinense peppers - the slowest starters. I have a half tray with just two "feta pots", holding 4 and 5 Jiffy Pellets, for those peppers, and I have it on my griddle (with the pilot lights under it, serving as a heat mat), and a thermometer in one of those pots with the Jiffy Pellets, and I'll have to finagle with the heat, before planting the seeds.

Here are the brassica seeds I just planted: 3 kohlrabi varieties; Winner and White Stem bok choy; Merlot Napa; Big Head Stem Mustard; Mizuna, Green and Beni Houshi; Misome; Chijimisai; Senposai; Green Boy Komatsuna; Wasabina Mustard Greens; and Red Russian Kale. Kohlrabis I planted the most of - the rest are all cut and come again, so for just me, 2 or 3 of each is way more than I can use!
I hope your peppers do better this year, Larry! You never figured out what the problem(s) was?
You and me both!!
Never quite figured it out. The only possible thing I can think of is I let a volunteer cucumber get out of hand (like I need any more cucumbers, I made like 50 quarts of pickles last year) and it may have shaded out the pepper plants. Anyway, changed their location in the garden and taking a little more control of their soil and we'll see whaat happens

Looks like you're off to a good start!
II did a little seed planting more as a test than anything else, cause they are first timers for me (Sesame, Achocha, Jicama, Chinese string eggplants). The sesame and achocha came up in 3 days (which I was surprised about). Also started some dill and cilantro. I like planting the dill early on when it's still cool. In the summer, the butterflies get to them, so I usually plant a to early, then late, harvest and freeze.

This will be my first big garden week. Preparing Potato , onion and pea beds, pots for the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, a more major clean up than the selective cleanups I've been doing so far. Last year, the town had compost and wood chips available at this time, so may do a drive buy to see if its there. If so, will start getting some and placing t where need it . Probably making a new strawberry bed too. Going to make a raised bed to keep them a little neater looking and under control. My back is already hurting just looking at all the things I got to get done in 2 days.
Today was my first real day outside win the garden. Did quite a bit. Built a new raised bed for strawberries, Prepared my pots for cauliflower, broccoli , cabbage and my excess potatoes ( I always have too many so I plant the rest in pots). Buried some aged straw in between the tomatoes ( theoretically hydrates , holds the water and kinda acts as a wick to provide constant moisture to the plants. Not sure if it's true or not, but have done It the past few years and had good tomato years). Planted Lettuce, radishes, arugula , dill, cilantro and carrots all outdoors. Everything in a cold frame - like set up except the carrots, which I watered then laid boards over them to keep them moist until they germinate ( saw it online somewhere and has worked for me. Used to use damp burlap, but when I lifted it up, it pulled out half my plants. Also tried straw, but wound up planting straw in my carrot beds ). Moved my mushroom logs and stacked them so the gardeners dont think they are trash and take them ( spring clean up sometime this week). Sprayed fruit trees with horticultural oil and Anti fungal stuff ( never did it before, but last year my peach , pear and cherry trees looked kinda funky ( bark and leaves) so trying to take the offense on this one. First time out so probably feel it tomorrow in my back and legs. Fertilized garlic ( they are at about 6 inches high) and prepared onion and leek beds. They should be arriving in 2 weeks.
Sometimes this week or weekend will get peas in the ground and prepare my potato beds. Already bought my seed potatoes and have them Chitting by a window. Rhubarb popping up literally 1 day later than it did last year. It amazes me how precise Mother Nature is. I kept a weekly 'garden Diary' last year, and so far everything is punctually right on time, even with the significantly warmer winter than previous years).


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Hi - my name is Janet and I hate gardening. it's been 2 years since I last weeded my garden and it refuses to die. This year I'm going to try to do better.

Typically all I plant is herbs and even then, only those slugs that don't eat. I have a nice stand of rhubarb as well. This year I'm adding tomatoes after planting a few plants last year and discovering that slugs don't like them.
Our herb starts are on the patio during the day, but come in at night because the temps go way down. We will be planting them in a week or two, depending on the weather.
We also have tomato starts and bell pepper starts, that will go into the gardens in about three weeks. Right now I'm just hovering over the baby plants like a helicopter parent!

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