Gardeners of AW, unite

mrsmig

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I watch Alone, too, although in its earlier seasons it was more primitive skilz-oriented, which I liked learning about.

My bush beans are only just getting going - I get a small handful every couple of days. The pole bean vines have yet to blossom, so I don't know what's up with that. Tiny cukes and squash are just forming; I've got bell peppers I could harvest now, but I want them to turn red, so I'm waiting. And I've got lots and lots of tomatoes - but they haven't begun to ripen yet. I think I'm going to be inundated in a month or so (let it be so please please please).
 

Chris P

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Mostly I'm excited to try to find a work-around to the lawn-watering restrictions here in soCal. We have a runnel of water down the street, it never stops, comes from a spring or something, and separately I thought I might spread compost on the brown patches in the lawn to hold in more moisture. Then it occurred to me to soak the compost in the runnel before spreading it. Ta-da! I have not yet implemented this stroke of genius idea, but I have started sifting compost, which is a two-day affair.
I'm already in my head engineering how you could dam up the trickle, and start collecting the water.
 

Alessandra Kelley

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In our little tiny urban front yard the milkweed and beebalm are blooming, as well as the butterfly weed, spiderwort and (cough, invasive but the bees and bunnies love it) arugula, which don't show up in this photo. The center of the yard/image is goldenrod and a bit of New England aster, neither of which will bloom until next month.

 

mrsmig

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Fine in my part of NoVa. You talking about the storms last night? I think Maryland had it worse.
 
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Unimportant

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Wind and rain has abated, so I checked the garden.

After 5 inches of rain in a week, and howling winds, several of my biggest broccoli plants were lying flat. I've staked them and tied them upright. Two of my cauliflowers have purely rotted away from the wet: they're just brown and squooshy and yick (and sadly at the mo I've no cattle to feed them to). The peas got pretty much munted. Radishes and carrots are still happy; a bit waterlogged, but happily we have quite free-draining soil.

A whole lotta oranges and limes got blown off the trees, so I've squeezed a liter of tart but delicious orange juice, and will do....dunno, something? with the limes. Is lime meringue pie as good as lemon meringue pie?
 
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Alessandra Kelley

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Wind and rain has abated, so I checked the garden.

After 5 inches of rain in a week, and howling winds, several of my biggest broccoli plants were lying flat. I've staked them and tied them upright. Two of my cauliflowers have purely rotted away from the wet: they're just brown and squooshy and yick (and sadly at the mo I've no cattle to feed them to). The peas got pretty much munted. Radishes and carrots are still happy; a bit waterlogged, but happily we have quite free-draining soil.

A whole lotta oranges and limes got blown off the trees, so I've squeezed a liter of tart but delicious orange juice, and will do....dunno, something? with the limes. Is lime meringue pie as good as lemon meringue pie?
So I have heard. And of course, key lime pie (which you can make with regular limes) is amazing.
 

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Two of my hens are finally on the lay again, after us having 3+ months with no eggs, so maybe lime curd will be a possibility. (Noting that we have like 40 hens, so this whole no eggs all autumn/winter thing is Totally Unacceptable)
 

Brigid Barry

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I have six spaghetti squash growing from my backyard volunteers.

Of my peepytons, one is a rooster and three are pullets. A friend of mine might take the rooster, otherwise we might have to send him to freezer camp. I don't have room for multiple roosters.
 

mrsmig

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Hooray for the Monarch, Allesandra Kelley! Brigid Barry, I hope you get some lovely edibles from your squash seedlings. I tried spaghetti squash last year or the year before, and it was a dead failure.

Harvested the first of my tomatoes today: three round and pert Heinz, two Amish Paste, and one German Johnson that was about half-ripe. It was still attached to the plant as of yesterday afternoon. This particular plant has some very low-hanging fruit, and it's the second one I've found on the ground (first one was still green). I don't know whether to blame my local squirrel/chipmunk population, or wonder if it's connected to my annual bout with tomato blight, which right now has affected about half my plants. I've been cutting back the yellowed/spotted growth, and am currently waiting on delivery of a quart container of some magic probiotic concoction that's supposed to help combat the problem. Still, it's disappointing.

And I'm pretty sure I have Asian jumping worms. I noticed some very large and way-too-vigorous crawlies when I shifted some of my grow-bags around a few days ago, and a closer look at one revealed a suspiciously pale clitellum. I haven't done a mustard drench to force my worms to the surface so I can hand-pick the baddies and destroy them; to be honest, I'm dreading it. I'm not squeamish about handling the things, but the idea that I've got blight AND jumping worms is just too discouraging to address right now. So I'm going to stay inside today, croon over my cabbage and broccoli seedlings and think about fall.
 
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Brigid Barry

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For anyone who hasn't heard of it, there's a great companion planting book called Carrots Love Tomatoes that's supposed to make all your plants do really well. They make friends?

The spaghetti squash that was planted on purpose is doing terribly, but the volunteers (dumped on the compost pile when I cracked open a squash past it's prime and the seeds inside were all sprouting) are taking over everything. I think FH is getting more excited about it than anyone.

He also treats the gardens like people usually treat their dogs. He's the bug unaliver because I can't deal with creepy crawlies.
 

SWest

That's interesting...
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So. New (and Last) House's Hosta extravaganza is now completed. *phew* Twenty-seven varieties installed and so-far-so-good.

Waiting on an estimate to remove the 20-odd feet of pine tree the electric company killed and left...who decided they could have the right to top trees until they die, but not remove the entire mess?

The experimental Creeping Phlox in the front patch of scrub grass are holding on with the scorching heat, so I have hope that that will solve the front yard situation in time.

I think one of the trees in the back yard is an ornamental crabapple...it's very tall, but the bark, leaves and flowers look right. Now wee green fruits are coming on. I can't remember if any were left when we moved in in February...even if they're tiny, I'm game to gather and try some freezer crabapple butter this fall. (*note to self: need new ricer w small sieve*)
 

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We've now got a rabbit and I will need to trap it. But because of that critter threatening my veggies, and because of the ongoing raccoon incursions threatening my veggies, and because of the fact that I had a hot oven a couple days ago, I harvested a pumpkin to roast. The pumpkin was not 100% ripe but it was close.

We plan to make a pie today. My daughter asked for a pumpkin pie.

There's also enough basil to make pesto batch #4, but that might happen later in the week.

The bean sprouts are beginning to twine. The new pumpkin sprouts are looking good. Not much else to report.
 

SWest

That's interesting...
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@SWest what is your front yard situation? I have one of my own
lol

Like 10 different species of grass (out of place with everyone else's uni-sod), thick and thin plantain and dandelion (all welcome to stay). Squat maple tree (from the semi-annual topping), other Mystery tree (some kind of large-leaf dogwood?), dead pine tree mega-stump (baby pines all over). The grass has overgrown the walk and curb for so long it may take me years to chip it out with the string trimmer.

Great little space, but in sore need of interest. Mostly shade (which keeps the porch very cool), so my Hosta obsession could really run amok. A few Heuchera thrown in for change of pace. The Maple overhangs in the front, so you come up the walk and into a natal fairy garden.

The sun patch is really the worst, appearance-wise. I'd love to see it transplanted entirely with Phlox to complement the clover and Creeping Charlie running down the side of the neighbor's driveway and the one side of New House. Best case scenario: front yard becomes a mow-free zone.
 

Brigid Barry

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My front yard is dust. I liken it to the prairie during the dust bowl. It takes forever for anything to grow and if it's disturbed, the dust patch/crater spreads and dies. It's part of the reason why our front yard is basically allowed to run amok and go unmown. If we mow it and we disturb the top layer bad things happen.

Glad to see that you have an opposite problem! (even though pines destroy everything)
 

SWest

That's interesting...
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Is there a university extension that could analyze your soil quality? Suggest amendments? Sounds like the ground is unhealthy.

Or just try mulching leaves in the fall and spreading them over the bare patches to get some nutrition in place. After a number of years, return to planting or seeding. Whole leaves take too long to break down, but a good mulching mower and collection bag might make all the difference.

You can mulch with mown grass as well, but it has to be spread very thinly so that it dries quickly and doesn't ferment (so adds nutrition, not disease). The field grass in our back yard is making a useful mulch around the Hostas and odd spots I don't want to weed. Once last week's sprinkle is dry and breaking down, it's time for this week's harvest!
 
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Brigid Barry

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The cost for a soil test when we have no intention of spending $$$ fixing it isn't worth it to us. For now we just let it grow and in the fall when everything is pretty much dead we raise the mower deck and mulch everything with the mower and leave it until next year. This also chops the fall leaves into more manageable pieces.

The entire town is sand, to get a decent lawn you have to truck in loam. The only decent lots are the old farm and hay fields.
 

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You aren't asking for solutions, and I'm not trying to fix a problem, but I do wonder what I'd do with sandy soil. I think I'd build a raised bed.

We have alkaline clay. Hard soil, high pH. I build raised beds, heh. I build lasagna gardens in them. A layer of cardboard, a layer of orange peels from Jamba Juice, a layer of leaves, a layer of coffee grounds from Starbucks, a layer of this, a layer of that, a layer of grass clippings, a layer of manure, another layer of leaves, and let it age over the winter. Come spring the worms are going crazy.

And it's still a challenge though, because I'm not fooling those plants. they hit the clay and they curl up and die.

Some days I yearn for sandy soil, thought in your shoes I'd crave clay.
 
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SWest

That's interesting...
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...The entire town is sand...
Here between the ocean and the river, we're all sand-based as well.

The original landscaping (1950s) in the front seemed to have been painted stone (dig 40+ holes, you find things :ROFL: ). Sod was rolled out right over top. In its heyday (1970s), I'm guessing the neighborhood residents spent $$$$ on fertilizer, aerating, and watering to get the sod lawns to take.

I'm guessing standard large containers freeze too thoroughly up your way for the plants to last year-to-year.
 
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Brigid Barry

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At some point someone spent some serious money pouring dirt into the back yard, which is nicely landscaped. Last year I had a bunch of pig weed (which I'd never seen before) and this year I have a carpet of wildflowers and daisies. I'm trying to plant buck plot and other covers that will do well in poor but well drained soil. We have a lot of pollinators and song birds, and bonus, I don't have to mow the lawn. 🤣