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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2013 :  06:02:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
McBarb--that post was in Recipes and Food Ideas>Looking for Salsa Recipes. Sandier soil makes for hotter peppers. Rich, loamy soil generally produces a milder pepper. You can try it out by purchasing a 4-pack of peppers, planting two in the garden with all the compost and fertilizer and two in pots with a sandier mix of soil, then compare the results. Could make for a good mix of temps for cooking later on in the season.

Jnanne
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1666 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2013 :  3:29:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I will try this next year. I love to grow peppers as you do!! We have a short growing season here and I want to make the best of it.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1666 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2014 :  09:27:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
We do have a short growing season here so I started early (2/10)! So far I have scallions, 2 moonflowers, 1 tall nasturtium (8' - 10'), 1 marglobe tomato, 3 yellow jubilee tomatoes, 3 jalapeno pepps, 5 zinnias, 2 sweet pepps, 4 bambino eggplant, 3 salsa tomatoes,
2 evening sun sunflowers, 4 outhouse hollyhocks, 4 border mix geraniums and 1 Mexican sunflower.

How about you?
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2014 :  3:40:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
We enjoyed snow peas, Swiss chard, and broccoli November-February. The chard is still going strong and the Brussel sprouts are finally making sprouts. They were all planted in October. Carrots are several inches tall, onions are doing great. Potatoes should be ready to harvest on Memorial Day weekend.

We are getting ready to plant several varieties of tomato, bell peppers, jalapenos, oregano, sage, basil, cilantro, cukes, zucchini, yellow squash, and okra. The parsley and some of the basil from last year are looking nice. Guess no one ever told them they are supposed to be annuals!

The daffodils are blooming--kind of late. All the neighbors had them blooming in January, so I must have a different variety. The iris, day lilies, and Easter lilies are coming up.

The grass we planted last fall must have blown into one of the flower beds. It is coming in thick and green and I am pulling it out and transplanting it to where it was supposed to root. Sure hope that works. It is choking out the violets and shamrocks that I so carefully moved from the middle of the yard last summer. Of course, there will always be more that I can move! Most people call them weeds. I call them beautiful wild flowers that make gorgeous borders under the shrubs and against the fence.

I just love digging in the dirt!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2014 :  10:29:07 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Here in WI were sitting on about 20" of SNOW yet! It is so funny to read you are harvesting vegetables, or getting ready to when weve got the white stuff and cold weather. We just started our seedlings in the basement with grow lights a couple of weeks ago. I am so sick of winter, spring cant come fast enough. My son is going to plow up his Gramma's unused garden on the farm and plant vegetables there that wont require much care. This should give us MORE things to can up this fall, and more room for me in my small garden at the house. Ive got a cement planter that borders our patio that runs a good 20' in two directions, which is presently housing river rock, as it gets sun all day, and gets too hot for flowers. Were going to empty the rock out and plant string beans in the space, where we can sit in a chair and harvest them, and eliminate of all the back bending aches and pains. I envy you Jnanne. Honestly.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1666 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2014 :  06:00:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy, so what did you plant?
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2014 :  07:18:24 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
We planted 18 Roma, and Big Boy tomato plants, also 18 Jalapeno plants. Theyre already a little over an inch high tall. He will also plant Dill for the pickles he wants to try out his friend gave him a recipe for. Well be starting squash, cauliflower, and melons in the next week, or two.These are items that don't ever seem to produce great because of our short growing season, so we want the plants to be more mature before setting outside. There also will be potatoes and onions planted directly into the garden by Memorial Day, once the chance of frost has ended. At home, we plan to plant 6 Roma,6 Big Boys, several rows of string beans and carrots. Im going to build my own tomato cages that will stand 7 feet high, as my plants last season grew above the 6 foot cages, and produced like crazy, and were easy to harvest. Nota single branch rested on the ground. As long as my son helped prepare some of the veggies last year for canning,Im hoping to keep all three pressure cookers and the water bath BUSY this year. He purchased a gas turkey fryer last fall that I used for my half gallon, and gallon jars of concord grape juice. That worked fantastic as a water bath.( We had no intention of using it to deep fry a turkey.) I can place two layers of smaller jars in it to shorten the canning process also, which really helped. Luckily the older home I purchased 25 plus years ago, has a canning room 8' x 12' with shelves along both long sides, for storing the goods. Ive even overflowed into part of the workshop by placing shelving racks to store the excess. This next season, I know Ill have to add more because Ive got almost all of last years pears, pear sauce, applesauce, and quite a few jars of other stuff left. But, as we all knows, prices have dramatically gone up in the stores, so whatever is on the shelf, will last for years without spoiling long after Im no longer alive. Since my daughter and her family moved back to AZ this past fall, a LOT of the goods didn't go with her due to not wanting to haul it in the moving van. My next to the oldest son, will be heading back to AZ soon, so Ill send several boxes back with him for her.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2014 :  6:27:16 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, Judy, I don't miss the northern winters. I grew up in IL and then returned there after college in the eastern TN mountains--and stayed for 23 years. The weather down here is so much more my style.

I'm surprised you are waiting until after the last frost to put out the onions. They usually do fine with the last of the winter cold--unless it is just more convenient to put them out when you are planting all the other spring veggies.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1666 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2014 :  06:21:15 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Update... my zinnia seeds came up.. I have a swirl mix and regular zinnias. I love zinnias and coleus is doing well. I have to repot coleus soon.

I want to plant a lot of morning glories, more sunflowers and loads of nasturitums...red and jewel mix.
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2014 :  09:42:38 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanne,my son is planting the larger yellow onions out in the farm garden as they wont need a lot of attention, while at the house Ill be planting just the small onions for eating that have the long green tops, then dehydrate the tops for other uses. The way this winter has gone, it might be AFTER Memorial Day due to the slow warming this year. Weve still got better than 2' of snow on the ground,with areas with much more piled high in the yard. Once the ground warms, then Ill plant whether theres a chance of frost or not, and then cover the fragile plants, like I did last year just on the nights frost is expected. Since you grow potatoes, do you keep the little fingerlings? If you haven't had those little ones sautéed, youre missing delicious! Theyre very expensive here at the farmers markets.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1666 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2014 :  2:14:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Doesn't anyone plant flower seeds? I am addicted to buying seeds now. Help somebody stop me!!LOL..
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  09:10:38 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Fingerlings is just a fancy word for what my grandmother always called, "new potatoes." My favorite way to cook them is in a cream sauce with peas. They are also great baked with a pot roast or fried up with bacon and onions.

And yes, I plant flowers, but I prefer bulbs to seeds. I just seem to have better luck with them. And all flowers must go outside the privacy fence or the dogs will either trample them or eat them. The vegetables are in raised beds inside their own fenced area or in pots that are high off the ground so the dogs stay out.

I learned a long time ago that I will take better care of the plants that are easy to water and tend, so veggies are in the back yard close to the water source. Perennials are outside the fence and pretty much must be able to fend for themselves. I moved lots of violets and shamrocks to border beds because they'll live through just about anything. I have mums, many varieties of flowering trees and shrubs, and many, many, bulbs. I figure if I keep putting something new in each year in about 10 years this property will be a showplace. We've been here two years, so I have 8 to go to meet my goal!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  4:36:16 PM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Oh my gosh Jnanne, it sounds as though you have a lot on your plate to take care of. Ill bet it is very pretty when everything is in bloom. I gave up growing flowers because the sun hits the backyard all day long, and killed them. I love the raised gardens, although I dot have one. Other than what I put in large planters on each side of the deck, I got into veggies that do very well with the sun. I envy you having the ambition to do all the work to keep them weed free.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2014 :  07:30:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My biggest bed is no maintenance. Sink or swim is the policy for the stuff I plant, which is why most of it is bulbs, monkey grass, or local wild flowers. Anywhere the monkey grass leaves a bare spot I plant bulbs. I put the shamrocks and violets under the oak tree so I don't have to mow around the massive roots.

There's another huge bed that is roses, flowering shrubs, and something that looks vaguely like a pineapple. I think I'm going to transplant the prickly pears from the pots into that bed. They really are too big for the pots and have been for a long time, but I may need to wear a full-leather outfit to safely transplant them. The spines are so plentiful and hard to see to pull out of your skin. Maybe I should just move the pots, pour soil around them, and then smash them to let the roots out?

That bed is covered in mulch so it needs very little weeding--just fresh mulch every couple of years.

And there are currently four adults in the house, three of whom like to garden, so the work is shared. I'm still holding out hope that my 12-year-old will develop a love for growing plants.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2014 :  08:53:52 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanne, you mentioned prickly pears, do you also make the jam from these? When I was in AZ my daughter gave me a jar that a neighbor had given her, to use on toast. It wasn't overly sweet, and tasted fantastic. Why she wouldn't eat it is beyond me. I have access to the cacti, but have never made the jam/jelly Do you have a favorite that you make? It's funny that most kids hate to do garden chores when theyre young, but as they mature, they want a garden for their families. All three of my sons love to grow vegetable gardens, their wives have flower beds, and together they share the chore of making various items to be canned up using some of the produce.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1666 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  05:47:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am new at planting bulbs so do not know how to care for them. I grew butterfly gladiolas last year and they were gorgeous. I put the bulbs in a pot with potting soil and watered them. I found a forum for gardening. You can post pics, there are exchanges etc. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  08:06:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bulbs require very little care. Many will bloom in the spring of the year after they are planted if you get them in the ground May-November. There are some that take longer to establish roots and don't bloom for two years. They are generally available commercially in the fall, but if you have some you want to plant in the spring or summer it doesn't hurt them to plant early. Just don't expect a summer or fall bloom the year they are planted. They may send up shoots, but are not likely to have a root system to support blooming, yet.

Some varieties bloom multiple times during a season or bloom in the spring and again in the fall. Most only bloom once per year.

Generally, plant them twice the depth of the bulb. If it is one-inch tall, dig a two-inch hole so there is one inch of dirt above it. If it is only 1/4-inch tall, it needs to be only 1/2-inch hole. Water once it is in the ground to settle the dirt around it.

If you have a drought, you may need to water them after they start to come up and even through the blooming. However, under normal rain conditions, you shouldn't need to water at all. If you are transplanting already-blooming plants, such as potted Easter lilies after the church has used them, water every other day for several weeks to give the roots time to establish.

Don't cut back the foliage until it has browned and withered, as the roots will reabsorb the nutrients from the leaves, making for a stronger bulb the following year. If you don't like the way they look, tie them together (like a pony tail) to get them out of the way and plant something around them to take up the space and draw the eye to a living plant.

Every few years they will need to be dug up and separated, as they reproduce by making new bulbs attached to the old bulbs. Just pull them apart and re-plant, either making the bed larger or moving some of them to a new bed--or giving them to friends. You'll know it is time when the plants are coming up on top of each other or if the bulbs are visible above the surface of the soil.

If you are patient and don't require a showy bed the first year or two, plant a few (5-10) together, within a two-foot space, and watch the beds grow bigger over time. If you are less patient and want absolutely full-color gorgeous at once, plant them in larger quantities closer together and enjoy the show--but expect to dig them up and move them much sooner, as they will over-crowd quickly.

Jnanne
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1666 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  5:56:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks very much for that info. I loved the glads I had last summer. They were so pretty. I placed the gladiola bulbs in a pot, then placed the pots into the raised garden I made to hold up the tomatoes I had growing. When I was working outside, the neighbors would drive by and tell me how much they loved my gardens. It made me so happy!!

I also love to plant seeds and watch them grow. They are so cute to watch. Sometimes they die, but most of the seeds grow into beautiful plants. I have been placing flowers in with the vegetable plants. I had morning glories growing with my pole beans and it looked awesome!!
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2014 :  09:55:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Marigolds and mums are the source of pyrethrins, the most common household pesticide on the market. If you plant them around your garden it will decrease the number of insect pests you have to deal with.

Plant carrots around your tomatoes. They are symbiotic, each putting into the soil the nutrients the other needs to be healthy. And even if you don't want to harvest the carrots, the tops are pretty.

My grandmother always had glads in her garden. I don't grow them because they don't tolerate cold well and had to be dug up every fall and stored until spring. That is too much work for my sink-or-swim policy! I've discovered that folk down here leave glads, calla lilies, and canna in the ground year-round with few problems from the cold. Maybe I'll give them a try!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1666 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2014 :  05:58:39 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I left my bulbs outside all winter .. they are still in the same pots. I hope they come back this year. I had no ideas I had to take them out!! I bought more bulbs during mystery shops. I will definitely keep my fingers crossed!! I just bought purple dahlia and 3 boxes of Butterfly glads.

Are zinnia and marigolds in the same family?
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