Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«361 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

With the world going to hell in a hand basket now is a good time to start a victory garden. For most of North America it's the time of year to start planning your garden and if you grow from seeds that require you starting your plants indoors, it's time to start the germination process. So, let's start talking about what everyone is going to do this year and help some people start their first gardens or expand their current one.

Some beginner tips for starting a garden:
Most areas have a gardeners club or helpline that can give you specific advice about what works well in your area. If not, seek advice from a local nursery or in this thread and we can try to help make sure you don't end up wasting your money.

Be careful and selective about the potting soil you use for your seeds. Many potting soils come premixed with fairly harsh fertilizers that will burn small plant's roots. Do your research so you don't sit staring day after day at a pot of dirt wondering why nothing will grow.

If you have never had a garden before, consider starter plants. While they are more expensive, a single plant can cost more then an entire package of seeds which could produce 20-50 plants in some cases, they are much less fuss and as long as you water properly and watch out for early freeze risks they can pay for themselves several times over with high quality and very tasty fruit and veggies.

Weeding
Weeding is the biggest time consumer with most gardens. Especially if the garden was previously an area with grass or weeds in it. There are several ways to combat weeds, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

Black weed block - It can be used to effectively eliminate weeds, but it can also raise soil temperatures which could kill your plants or lower their fruit/vegetable production. If you have wide rows or plants that don't mind slightly higher soil temperatures, using a weed block along with mulch between rows can reduce your workload a ton.

Mulch - Likely to be the most recommended, mulch can be an effective method of keeping of weeds from popping up, but if you don't have your own compost pile it can end up getting expensive for larger gardens and can potentially change the PH levels of your soil if bark or wood chips are used. This can have a dramatic effect on PH sensitive plants, like blueberries. In these cases, straw or newspaper mulch can be used. You will, however, still have to do plenty of hand weeding.

Spray Chemicals - While there are plenty of spray chemicals on the market and some even claiming to be approved for vegetable gardens I personally don't know of any that I would be comfortable using in my garden. While you may not care about keeping a perfectly organic garden you should seriously consider the risks and rewards before using any kind of chemical weed control in or around your garden and you should certainly not use any during or after your plants begin to bloom.

Raised Gardens/Potted Gardens - Studies have shown that raised gardens are much less susceptible to weeds. While raised and potted gardens do limit a garden's size, you will not have many of the weed issues that ground level gardens have.

Hoe and hand - No matter if you attempt any of the above methods at some point your going to end up here. If you have a garden of any decent size, buying a decent quality sharp hoe and a set of knee pads will be your best garden tool investment. You didn't have anything better to do on Saturday mornings, anyway.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

A bit about my own garden:
I currently have a 200 square foot garden in my back yard that I spent re-edging with brick. The previous wood edging was rotting away and for pretty much the same price, though more work on the front end, I set down a border that should hold up much longer.

My garden currently has about 30 strawberry plants of across three varieties, which I planted last year and should be ready to produce a decent crop. I attempted to take clippings of some runners and grow some inside over the winter but that failed horribly, the potting soil I used is the main suspect for the failure. This year I'm attempting to grow Tendergreen Improved Bush Beans (green beans), California Wonder Peppers (Green/Red), Big Beef Hybrid tomatoes, Roma tomatoes and I'll likely purchase a couple Early Girl tomato plants since they did so well for me last year. I'm also going to attempt some containers of baby spinach and catnip, mainly as a test run for future years. I'm also planting a couple thorny blackberry bushes as a test, they will take a year before they start producing.

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Ah, last year I tried to grow vegetables, so I will toot my successes and failures here.

SUCCESS
-Courgettes (zucchinis) are surprisingly easy to container grow. I had two plants in large cheap 1 store pots with no real specialist compost in them. Each plant produced roughly 6 courgettes I believe, with no feeding, little watering, and another English "summer" (crap weather). Growing them in pots made it easy to keep the slugs off, and they were very delicious. I recommend picking them when small and tender rather than letting them swell and get watery.

FAILURES
-Tomatoes. Last year was a terrible outdoor season in England for them, mine got blossom end rot and had lots of other problems, despite feeding and watering. I grew them in grow bags. I don't think they got enough sun, and there were no real fruits I would've liked to have eaten.

-Sweetcorn. Complete disaster. Got battered over by the wind, died easily, again didn't get enough sun, not enough plants to self pollinate. No edible cobs.

-Turnips. Slugged to death. No seedlings survived.
-Carrots. Tried growing in containers (I have heavy clay soil). The containers flooded, carrots rotted and slugs got to them too.

UNKNOWN
-Leeks. I grew from seed and many got eaten by the slugs, but a few plants survived. I haven't got round to harvesting them, and they haven't bolted so I'm going to harvest them this weekend I think.

I had a patch of about 1m by 1m (we have a big garden but its VERY wild), shaded by an apple tree and defined by wood, but not in raised beds. The biggest problem in my garden is the slugs, the bindweed and the brambles. gently caress all of those. Pains in the arse. The slugs in my garden are so big I had to fill ice cream tub with beer daily. Beer was probably my biggest expense.

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

Have you considered copper edging to keep the slugs out? Any of them currently in the garden will be trapped in there but if you continue the beer traps, eventually you will get rid of them all and the copper should keep any new ones from getting in. Mulching with oak leaves also can supposedly help.

At the very least some copper tape for your containers would protect them, though from the sounds of it the weather was a bigger enemy then the slugs.

NosmoKing
Nov 12, 2004

I have a rifle and a frying pan and I know how to use them

Slugs: Bury a cheap-rear end aluminum pie pan flush with the rim in the dirt. Fill with one can of cheap beer. In the AM, you'll have a nice tin of dead drunk slugs.

Copper works too.

I've been a container gardener as well as a permanent herb gardener for several years now. Back in the olden days, I grew a HUGE garden with my parents (like 1 acre).

This year, I plan on building a raised bed "square foot" garden. I have a grand plan, but I may start with four 4'X4' planting sections. Gotta dig out the canning gear this year so I can play PRESERVING GUY this year.

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Anubis posted:

Mulching with oak leaves also can supposedly help.

I know for a fact that this does not work because there's an oak tree just to the left of my veggie patch. Holly leaves (supposedly spike them) also had limited success. Eggshells are a traditional method, but I didn't try them. I think one of the problems was that my mum feeds the birds too much, so they don't want to eat our slugs! We had frogs and toads at one point due to the small wildlife pond, but their numbers have dramatically decreased in recent years.

This year I'm really going to try again and clear the patch properly, raise it with more wood to make a sort of raised bed and sort out the ground. There's grassy tussocks all over the place and I have no idea why . Seriously, they look just like the weeds in Harvest Moon.

In terms of herbs, we've got a rosemary bush, but that's it. The chives died

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

I started an allotment last year and after a month of backbreaking work clearing the overgrown plot (beer cans and nettles and brambles, oh my) and getting the soil cultivated, the slugs and snails decimated both my courgettes and my french beans (I started them in my mother in laws greenhouse) within a single weekend. I caught my robin buddy trying to eat slug pellets and decided to try going organic and it seems saucers of beer just didn't cut it.

I did have a lot of success with my runner beans (I think they are indestructable). Tomatoes were mediocre-- I was in England last year too and did have a real problem getting them to ripen. There just wasn't enough sun. I had no yield until late August, they all just came in at once.

I am back living in the US now and can't wait to dig in something that isn't London clay! Unfortunately the move was last minute so I wasn't able to plan ahead and have the soil prepared in the Autumn. I had wanted to experiment a bit more with green manure. I think I am just doing courgette, tomatoes, and bell peppers, given my space restrictions.

My favorite little trick is making seed pots out of newspaper like this :http://www.ehow.com/video_1745_crea...-starting.html. Then you can just plant the whole thing.

Also, prune your drat tomatoes. I hate seeing messy plants with lower leaves dragging on moist ground, and lots of barely-producing offshoots wasting energy.

mcsuede
Dec 30, 2003

Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.
-Greta Garbo

I have a raised herb bed as well as additional pots of herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil); I also grow cherry tomatos, a variety of peppers, and chives which are actually wild and just happen to spring up all over the place.

I don't really know any tricks I just planted everything in good soil and waited, throwing some water at them whenever I felt like walking around the yard. ^^ Only problem I had was having way too much oregano, I have to be better about drying what I haven't used next fall.

Sure saved me a ton of money though--maybe $30 in plants and I harvested easily several hundred dollars worth of herbs at grocery store prices. Zone 5 for the curious.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


Here's some gardening tips:

Most herbs are annuals. Some of those will need to be replanted every season, others will reseed themselves. A handful are perennials and will come back every year, like oregano and chives.

Most fruits are perennials, the only exceptions I can think of are the wild and older varieties of blackberries and raspberries, where each branch is a biannual. Even then, different branches from the same plant clump can produce during different years.

Nearly all veggies are annuals. I can only think of onions and garlic coming back year after year, and that's only if you don't harvest them.

Some herbs are super invasive and will take over your entire plot. Plants in the mint family are notorious for this around here. If you must plant these, keep them in a pot!

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


kid sinister posted:

Some herbs are super invasive and will take over your entire plot. Plants in the mint family are notorious for this around here. If you must plant these, keep them in a pot!
Seconding this - we had a mint plant in our garden that quickly grew into a mint grove. It's nice smelling if you need a good ground cover, though!

fist4jesus
Nov 24, 2002


fuckups

Carrots.
- Planted too many seeds and anded up with a bunch too close together. Ate the babies.

Potatoes.
- Planted on pots, recovered until out of space, let them die off. Harvested a poo poo load of roots. Failed.

Success.

tomatoes.
- circled a planter bed with sharp window mesh, birds cant land cats learned to leave it alone.

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Unless you're growing rare heritage varieties, there is little to no point growing potatoes in England because they're so cheap in the shops. The last few years have been terrible for blight. As tomatoes and potatoes are the same family, they both get them and you just end up with a huge gooey mess.

Every piece of compost in our garden seems to have mini potatoes in too...

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

Mother Nature is mocking me, it's 67* out right now and all I want to do is go plant. Last frost date isn't till April 15th though.

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

madlilnerd posted:

Every piece of compost in our garden seems to have mini potatoes in too...

My allottment plot had random potatoes everywhere--I mean everywhere. It hadn't been touched for like 8 years and I know nothing about potato reproductive habits but it was a nightmare to get rid of.

Does anyone know of any easy edible flowers for my borders? Last year I did Pansies and nasturtiums (pansies are fresh and minty and nasturtiums are peppery) but I was hoping for some new ideas, other than lavender or rose, looking for something savory.

Anyone who is new to it, flowers attract bees and butterflies to pollinate your veg, so it helps to plant some, even if it just quick and dirty. Dill and umbrella shaped flowers attract ladybugs.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


HeatherChandler posted:

Does anyone know of any easy edible flowers for my borders? Last year I did Pansies and nasturtiums (pansies are fresh and minty and nasturtiums are peppery) but I was hoping for some new ideas, other than lavender or rose, looking for something savory.

How about poppies?

You can eat the flowers of anything in the Allium family (onions, garlic, leeks, chives), there are a few varieties of these that are even ornamental. Since I'm mentioning veggies, I suppose broccoli would count too, since you do eat the buds from those. Nearly every herb would count too, as their typical herb pungency extends into their flowers.

If you're talking strictly ornamental, how about Carnations, Lilac or Beebalm? You can eat Honeysuckle too, but they kinda grow out of control, at least around here.

If you're into eating weeds, how about dandelions?

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

kid sinister posted:

How about poppies?

You can eat the flowers of anything in the Allium family (onions, garlic, leeks, chives), there are a few varieties of these that are even ornamental. Since I'm mentioning veggies, I suppose broccoli would count too, since you do eat the buds from those. Nearly every herb would count too, as their typical herb pungency extends into their flowers.

If you're talking strictly ornamental, how about Carnations, Lilac or Beebalm? You can eat Honeysuckle too, but they kinda grow out of control, at least around here.

If you're into eating weeds, how about dandelions?

Actually, a gardening book I had a while back talked about a specific type of dandelion that you can grow just for eating, it is supposed to be more tender than the normal weed kind, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was, and I don't have the book.

I didn't know you could eat carnations. I like ornamental flowers you can eat because I just love the way they look in a salad. Chive flowers are good that way. On the subject, anyone growing courgette/zucchini for the first time, don't forget you can eat those flowers too.

Beebalm is the best idea, thanks! Not only is it gorgeous, supposedly tastes like mint/spearmint/oregano, but wiki says this:

'Companion plant
Bee balm is considered a good plant to grow with tomatoes, ostensibly improving both health and flavor. It also is a good companion plant in general, attracting pollinators and some predatory/parasitic insects that hunt garden pests.'

I know not everyone buys into companion planting, but I like to play around a bit and try to stay organic, at least when it's in my own yard and doesn't cost more.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


HeatherChandler posted:

Beebalm is the best idea, thanks! Not only is it gorgeous, supposedly tastes like mint/spearmint/oregano, but wiki says this:

'Companion plant
Bee balm is considered a good plant to grow with tomatoes, ostensibly improving both health and flavor. It also is a good companion plant in general, attracting pollinators and some predatory/parasitic insects that hunt garden pests.'

I know not everyone buys into companion planting, but I like to play around a bit and try to stay organic, at least when it's in my own yard and doesn't cost more.

You'll like beebalm, it's a very beautiful and interesting flower. It's native here in the US and reseeds itself like clockwork. Here are my 2 favorite varieties:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/799/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/301/

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

I forgot to post this yesterday, but the blog I read about personal finace has a page on their vegetable garden's triumphs and failures over 2008. They live in Portland, OR, and have a fairly large plot (2/3 of an acre) with fruit trees.

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2...osers-for-2008/

They also have a post on 7 tips for starting a vegetable garden.

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2...getable-garden/

And forget eating dandelions- go for nettles instead! The young tips can be cooked just like spinach. Of course, they're also an excellent indicator of good soil quality too.

Onta vasa
Oct 15, 2004

Look what I made

My father works for a seed company, and has a degree in something like ....forestry?. We've had a large garden every year since I've been born (I'm 19). Located in central Pennsylvania between fields, a tree nursery and state game lands we have 8 acres of wonderful soil which was mainly used horse pastures until we sold the horses. Our gardens remain less then an acre but have given us copious amounts of food over the years.

Some of the things we grow or have grown over the years are (in no particular order)... corn, green beans, sugar & nap peas, limabeans, e:spinach, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, watermelon, squash pumpkins, horse radish, asparagus, a variety of peppers, red & white grapes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, over 8 species of apples & a variety of pears, peaches, plums, cherries and nuts and a bunch of herbs (my mom takes care of the herbs and flowers)... I'm sure I'm leaving a few things out...

Blueberries don't really like our soil...
If you want to see cherries you have to net the trees off from birds...
Watermelons are hit-or-miss year-to-year...
Squirrels eat the walnuts if you don't get them first (but the filberts are tastier)...

Other then that I can't think of any failures...
I'll post pics this season if I remember (someones welcome to PM and remind me)

e:remembered some stuff

Onta vasa fucked around with this message at 19:54 on Feb 26, 2009

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

Woke up this morning to about half a planter of spinach sprouts. The green beans also seem to have sprouted, though they haven't broken the surface of the soil quite yet.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


Onta vasa posted:

Blueberries don't really like our soil...

Blueberries have slightly different needs than all those other crops. They like a low soil pH, as low as 4.5. It depends on where you live, but soil in most areas is between 6 and 8 pH. You can test your soil pH to find out where it is. To test it they make soil testing kits similar to the ones for swimming pools, but I find these a pain in the rear end to use. I use an electronic probe instead, where you just stick the metal end in the dirt for a minute or so and it tells you the pH.

Of course you can improve the soil to lower its pH, it's best to do this 1 or 2 years before you even plant the blueberries in that spot. It can be done after planting, but it will be harder since you have to worry about not damaging the plants or their roots. You most commonly lower soil pH by adding some form of sulfur, whether in its elemental form or in some type of sulfate, usually aluminum or ammonium. How much to add depends on the form you use and how much you need to lower pH. Amounts being equal, elemental sulfur lowers pH more but is much slower acting and takes longer, sulfates lower faster but do not lower pH as much. If possible mix it into the soil instead of leaving it on the surface, then give everything a nice watering to help it spread.

Onta vasa posted:

If you want to see cherries you have to net the trees off from birds...
Have you tried putting up fake predatory birds in the open amongst your cherry trees? A big plastic owl or hawk might be enough to convince birds that coming close is a bad idea.

Onta vasa
Oct 15, 2004

Look what I made

^^^^
Thanks, we've done ph tests and whatnot but I don't think my dad likes them enough to care and I'm off at college.

And for foe birds, I think we may have at one point, but we just always had cherry tree nets, so it was simple enough.

My dad like growing and taking care of stuff more then picking and using it... It might be a shame how much we lose, but it doesn't go to waste. We feed deer and all sorts of other animals.

Going up in the country, I guess... I've always just taking it all for granted.

Videodrome
Apr 5, 2003

All hail the new flesh!

One of my new years resolutions was to start growing some poo poo in my currently completely unused backyard. I just happened to wander into DIY and see this thread.

I'm starting simple with something that should do well in hot central Texas: Chili peppers.

At the moment I am germinating the following:

Jalapeno
Cayenne
Serrano
Cubanelle
Sweet Banana
California Wonder



I'll be potting all of these for now.

I've also had success with the idiot-proof AeroGarden I got for Christmas. Unfortunately the starter herbs (mint, basil, thyme, chives, parsley, and dill) are mostly useless for anything I would be cooking.

Windy
Feb 8, 2004





edit: I got a SpaceSaver 6 for Christmas. Everything started out fine until the third week. Then everything started to die off but the Oregano and Basil. Your Aerogarden looks so nice compared to mine

What are the opinions on seed starting kits such as this one that uses spongy bits versus a soil mix? I'm planning a seed order this week with my mother, and we have a garden spot roughly 25'x12' but there is plenty of room to go larger. We plan on growing the standard fare along with a few new items. To save money(in the long run) I'd like to start from seed, but I didn't have a lot of luck last year using those Jiffy pellet things. I relied on light from my window which was probably 80% of my problem. This weekend I'm going to look up plans for an inexpensive adjustable light stand and see if that will help.

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Oh, you guys have aerogardens!! I saw the informercial for that and really really want one, in fact I'd like to get into aero/hydroponics properly, but I've no idea where to start. :? If you mention hydroponics people tend to automatically think of drug growing, but I like to imagine a beautiful future where hydroponic farms are elegant skyscrapers in the city... Where do I begin? I'd love a degree in horticulture (I'm too thick for botany).

In an update on my garden exploits... the cress on my windowsill has failed to sprout.

Zuph
Jul 24, 2003
Zupht0r 6000 Turbo Type-R



My goal is to make my neighbors think I'm growing something other than tomatoes.

The peppers and tomatoes still have 6 more weeks to grow before they'll be safe outside, so I'm hoping this will sate them until then.

Videodrome
Apr 5, 2003

All hail the new flesh!

madlilnerd posted:

Oh, you guys have aerogardens!... Where do I begin?

Really the Aerogarden is idiot proof (I should know).

1. Buy Aerogarden (I got mine from these guys: http://www.hydroponic-home-garden.com/)
2. Assemble Aerogarden (takes about 5 minutes)
3. Fill basin with water (there is a little pole in the basin that says "fill to here")
4. Drop in the little tablets that say "starter tablets".
5. Stick the seed pods into the holes on the planter (the seed pod package will tell you where to put them).
6. Put the little domes on the seed pods.
7. Plug in the power cord.
8. Push the "Select" button until the type of plant you want to grow is lit.
9. Walk away.
10. Every 2 weeks you put in another set of nutrient tablets and add water.
11. Become so sick of eating fresh basil every meal that you can't stand the smell of basil anymore. You have to pick the basil every couple of days because it grows so drat fast and crowds out everything else. The basil you see in my photo has just had about 4 inches cut off and is still taller than everything else. I've just started bringing baggies full of basil to work for anyone who wants it.

It's really not "gardening" because the computer controls everything. It knows when to pump water through the roots, when to turn the light on and off, and when to ask for more nutrients and water. If you actually want to learn something the Aerogarden is not the route to go.

Windy posted:

edit: I got a SpaceSaver 6 for Christmas. Everything started out fine until the third week. Then everything started to die off but the Oregano and Basil. Your Aerogarden looks so nice compared to mine

The basil probably killed everything else.

Zuph posted:


My goal is to make my neighbors think I'm growing something other than tomatoes.

Your setup looks just like my college apartment when I was growing something other than tomatoes. Those lights aren't going to cut it, especially for tomatoes.

Videodrome fucked around with this message at 22:29 on Feb 26, 2009

Videodrome
Apr 5, 2003

All hail the new flesh!

quote not edit

Mnemosyne
Jun 11, 2002

There's no safe way to put a cat in a paper bag!!

I would love to have a windowsill herb garden (indoors), but my attempts last summer failed. I bought two types of basil, which I read was a pretty hardy plant, and both of them died within 2 weeks of my getting them. I pinched off the buds like the internet told me to do, didn't water them too much, and didn't repot them or anything.

The only thing I can assume it was was that they weren't getting enough light maybe? They were on the windowsill, so they definitely got light, but maybe it wasn't enough? Does basil need direct sunlight all day long to grow? Is there anything else that could have killed off my plants?

Zuph
Jul 24, 2003
Zupht0r 6000 Turbo Type-R

Videodrome posted:

Your setup looks just like my college apartment when I was growing something other than tomatoes. Those lights aren't going to cut it, especially for tomatoes.

It just has to keep seedlings *not dead* for 6 weeks. Keep in mind, the window does provide supplemental light during the day. I don't plan on keeping tomatoes happy and bearing fruit with that sort of light.

Videodrome
Apr 5, 2003

All hail the new flesh!

Mnemosyne posted:

The only thing I can assume it was was that they weren't getting enough light maybe? They were on the windowsill, so they definitely got light, but maybe it wasn't enough? Does basil need direct sunlight all day long to grow? Is there anything else that could have killed off my plants?

What direct did the window face? If it wasn't facing south (assuming you are in the northern hemisphere) it probably wasn't getting enough light.

Mnemosyne
Jun 11, 2002

There's no safe way to put a cat in a paper bag!!

Videodrome posted:

What direct did the window face? If it wasn't facing south (assuming you are in the northern hemisphere) it probably wasn't getting enough light.

My only south-facing window is in my bathroom. I've got both a north-facing window and an east-facing window in my kitchen. Should I give up my dreams of growing herbs on my windowsill?

Videodrome
Apr 5, 2003

All hail the new flesh!

Mnemosyne posted:

My only south-facing window is in my bathroom. I've got both a north-facing window and an east-facing window in my kitchen. Should I give up my dreams of growing herbs on my windowsill?

I don't see why you can't grow in the bathroom.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


Mnemosyne posted:

My only south-facing window is in my bathroom. I've got both a north-facing window and an east-facing window in my kitchen. Should I give up my dreams of growing herbs on my windowsill?

Go with the east-facing window. That way your herbs should at least get sunlight from sunrise until noon.

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Videodrome posted:

It's really not "gardening" because the computer controls everything. It knows when to pump water through the roots, when to turn the light on and off, and when to ask for more nutrients and water. If you actually want to learn something the Aerogarden is not the route to go.

Yeah, I'd really like a proper hydroponic set up to play with- ebb and flow, liquid nutrients, bigass grow-lights etc. I have a feeling my stoner brother would hijack it though, or my parents wouldn't be happy with the electricity bill. My plan is to learn to grow hydroponically in a storage container, and then join the BAS (british antarctic survey) and go grow them some courgettes at the bottom of the earth. The Australian base has hydroponics, we should have them too! ...oooh, how cool would a hydroponic farm supplying all the bases on the Antarctic continent be... (yes, I know, I'm getting carried away.)

Anyway, this weekend is weed weekend, so I'm going to be ouside the whole time finally ruining my lovely receptionist's manicure.
It's also time chose and plan what I'm going to grow this year. Courgettes are a definate yes. I think I'll also try my hand at pumpkin and squash too.

What's everyone else growing?

MarshallX
Apr 13, 2004


I built a full garden last summer and wasn't happy enough with the yield I got. Honestly I don't feel it was worth it and probably won't again this year.

It was 8x10 with a path through the middle, watering system and 8 rows.

Onions - never really grew past an inch or so in circumference and they were in the ground for 6 monthes.
Tomatoes - turned out great.
Peppers - were great.
Cabbage - never fully grew and was getting dominated by caterpillars.
Jalapenos - Didn't use enough of them to warrant 4 plants.
Iceburg Lettuce - Rotted too fast for us to get a good yield.We used 2 plants and by that time the others were mucky.
Romaine Lettuce - Almost grew TOO fast for us, we should have just cut off at the root instead of pulling off leaves.
Peas - Didn't see a single sprout, too much watering maybe.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


MarshallX posted:

Onions - never really grew past an inch or so in circumference and they were in the ground for 6 monthes.

Onions take at least a year to grow to harvesting size. They're also typically planted and harvested in the fall.

Mnemosyne
Jun 11, 2002

There's no safe way to put a cat in a paper bag!!

Videodrome posted:

I don't see why you can't grow in the bathroom.

Food items in the bathroom grosses me out.

HeatherChandler
Jun 21, 2007

Is this turnout weak or what? I had at least 70 more people at my funeral.

MarshallX posted:

Iceburg Lettuce - Rotted too fast for us to get a good yield.We used 2 plants and by that time the others were mucky.
Romaine Lettuce - Almost grew TOO fast for us, we should have just cut off at the root instead of pulling off leaves.

The trick with lettuce is to sow seeds every week or every other week, so that you avoid a glut and have a steady supply. Loose-leaf lettuce in particular matures very quickly. As far as problems with rotting or disease, lettuce should be watered in the morning. I've always watered in the evening to avoid scorching and evaporation, so it kind of goes against my intution, but it isn't something you can let get too wet (unlike tomatoes and peppers that seem to love a soaking--I water tomatoes twice a day when it is sunny)

Because it doesn't like to be too wet (edit: I don't mean it doesn't like to be moist, it does, I mean it can't be sopping wet, it needs to be more consistent.), lettuce does really well in grow-bags. It reduces slug damage, and you can move them around depending on weather. When it is too hot they stop producing and start to seed, so you can move into a more shaded area. Another option is to plant alongside tomatoes or corn in a way that by hottest point in summer they are shaded by these taller crops.

MarshallX posted:

Peas - Didn't see a single sprout, too much watering maybe.

I don't know where in Canada you are, but peas don't sprout at temperatures above 75f-ish. They did lovely when I was living in England, but I am totally scrapping them where I am now because I just won't be ready in time. They need to go out early, a few weeks before the last frost even.

HeatherChandler fucked around with this message at 06:02 on Feb 28, 2009

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

I finally dug out those pesky leeks today because I saw a few brambles starting to seed in my plot and I wanted to get it dug over and in a state of readiness. They smell so strong- I have never smelt such pungent oniony leeks. Good value for money though, the 1 pack of seeds from Wilkinsons wielded around 2-3 of leeks (organic leeks are very expensive I find). Of course, that doesn't include the many four-packs of beer I used in my slug annihilation, but I'm definitely going to go for leeks again this year.

So the plan for this year is 2 vegetable beds and a no-fuss flower bed up against the fence to provide habitat for pollinating insects. It's going to be a lot of hard work- I got my bed from last year dug over and started on the second vegetable one, but man is that heavy clay murder! I swear you could make pots out of my "soil".

In terms of plants, so far it looks like leeks and peas or French beans and courgettes are my definites for this year, with sunflowers in my flowerbed because they make me happy

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«361 »