View Full Version : It's freezing out but I'll be gardening today. Anyone else four season garden??

12-25-2011, 05:53 PM
For xmas, my little basil decided to finally sprout. I have it in the warmer bird room. I'm going to move it soon to a shelf by an east window and also set up a plant light to give it a few hours of afternoon light.

I already have a pot of parsley on said shelf from the summer that is enjoying the indoor warmth, and a large cilantro plant that never went to seed but is finally gearing up for it since I brought it inside earlier this month.

My other potted herbs look rough, so I'm just letting them go dormant in he cooler sunroom.

Outside I have lots of parsley under a bit of plastic that has been doing well and not bolting. All this parsley is for my budgie who loves to 'shower' under it and nibble on the stems. It's nice to provide fresh greens for him year round rather than buying at the store.

So, anyone else gardening?? Anyone down under who wants to brag about the weather is welcome too ;)

Cliff Face
12-26-2011, 03:43 AM
LOL, you must've seen me coming, Fenika! :tongue

I'm Down Under, and the weather here is a far cry from snow... But I'm not bragging. I'd actually prefer a little snow - it's too hot here. I'm in Adelaide though, where we get massive heatwaves in summer.

As for gardening... I don't really garden much myself, but down here most people do a little bit in each season. Like, because we don't get below 0 degrees Celsius (freezing point) very often, the plants don't really hibernate much in winter.

So it's general clean up in winter, clean trim and water in autumn and spring, and water in summer. That's the "basic" amount that needs to be done here, it seems.

Oh, and pulling out weeds all year round. *headdesk*

12-26-2011, 04:04 AM
I'm still jealous! ;)

I found aphids 'hibernating' on my peppermints. I trimmed the worse branches and like an idiot, threw them in the compost, thinking its cold out and forgetting compost heaps get warm inside. Doh. On the bright side, this isnt the compost I'm spreading in the spring or early summer.

I also planted lettuce seeds today, to add to my window shelf and plant light rotation.

And I'm pretty sure I have majoram growing uncovered in my raised bed. That's one hardy herb. It's going to get colder- maybe I should harvest it. Or pot it and gradually bring it in...

Cliff Face
12-26-2011, 10:24 AM
Just don't grow too many poppies, or the fuzz might need a word with you. ;)

12-26-2011, 03:03 PM
I love gardening - any time of the year. Of course, it's summer here now and everything is burgeoning so it means doing a lot of weeding, planting annuals, dead-heading roses and mowing the lawn. I have several very big trees on the property so I've cultivated a shade-garden. For the first time ever the zantedeschias are in full flower and looking super.

With the exception of a geranium, I've had no luck with herbs. I plant them with such hope. They grow for a while and then just keel over. :( Can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Maybe the ph of the soil is wrong for them. But even the ones I put on the windowsill in the kitchen just died. There must be a knack to this that I don't know.

12-26-2011, 04:16 PM
I've had no luck with beets and I haven't figured out why. Many herbs are not fussy in some ways but fussy in others. Do a soil ph test- you can buy a reader for a few bucks, and see what you have. Then find a good reference book that tells you what the plant wants by way of temp, ph, soil nutrients, etc.

If you are using chemical fertilizer or fresh compost, then stop b/c you are burning your plants. Natural compost is easier and easier to get in the US at least, if you dont make your own. Mix it with your soil before planting And use it as a top dressing for plants that need more nutrients over time.

What kind of soil are you using in your windowsill pots?

12-26-2011, 04:18 PM
Ps- are you growing the herbs in the shade? Is the window south facing?

12-26-2011, 08:50 PM
I'm a firm believer in organic compost. My hubby and I make some of it ourselves and some we buy from the plant nursery. Also, my daughter started a little worm farm in her backyard - to get my grandson interested in the process - and now I have 'vermypost' (not sure of spelling, sorry) and also 'worm tea', which I believe is fantastic for plants. I plan to start using that tomorrow when, hopefully, the rain eases up. :)

Being in the southern hemisphere (and with a north-facing house) the north side gets no sun in summer but lots of sun in winter. Great for sweet peas, iceland poppies and pansies etc.

I think I'll have to make a closer study of each individual herb and plant them where they'd do best. The soil around my place is very clayey as we're on what was a riverbed. The roses love it, though. :)

ETA. Oh, my kitchen window is north facing. So it will start getting sun around the middle of March.

12-26-2011, 10:25 PM
Oh, that sounds loffly. You wouldn't want to take pity on us North Hemi folks and post some pics? ;)

12-27-2011, 03:06 AM
I'm lucky - we don't get snow, though we get some frost.

We try to eat mostly out of our backyard, so yep, still gardening! We've got spinach, beets, swiss chard, peas, sugar snap peas, snow peas, broccoli, mustard greens, cabbage, chinese cabbage, collard greens, lettuces, arugula, carrots, kohl rabi, bok choy, broccoli raab, brussel sprouts, and leeks.

I'm trying to grow tomatoes indoors. They're flowering right now, but I think I started them too late. Lettuce is difficult to grow here in the summer, so it's tough to get tomatoes in my salads :(

GaliD - I've found that clay means death to a lot of plants. Lavender and garlic will do fine in it, though, as well as chives - if you're looking for something you can put straight into the ground. We live on a bunch of clay as well. We've had to do raised garden beds and buy a soil/compost mix in bulk. Now we just amend that soil every six months with compost and rabbit poop.

12-27-2011, 03:02 PM
You wouldn't want to take pity on us North Hemi folks and post some pics? ;)

It is my before-2012- resolution (no pun intended) to get myself a flickr account and figure out how to get pics from my pc to here. I'm on it.

Chives!!! Yes. Why didn't I think of that? I've got lavender and wild garlic so, of course, chives would do well too. I love chives.

Andrea, I thoroughly enjoyed your suburbansustainability site. My garden challenges are partly the clay soil but also the amount of shade. But if it grows in shady conditions, I'll plant it. :) I would keep chickens too, if we were allowed to.

PS I have one corner where I think I could plant tomatoes in a container. Yep. That's what I'll do. You inspired me.:D

12-27-2011, 10:46 PM
You should totally plant tomatoes, Gail! I think in terms of return on investment, tomatoes are the best. They taste so much better than store-bought and are fairly easy to grow. I pop 'em like candy in the summer.

And...we're actually not allowed to have chickens either. Shh! Don't tell the neighbors!

12-28-2011, 12:00 AM
www.backyardchickens.com can help you with changing your local ordinances. Not sure if they have SA info.

It is raining and I was going to set up my plant light for afternoon light, but it can wait one more day (I'll assemble tonight and start running it tomorrow)