Open Thread - How Does Your Garden Grow?

I will be a bit absent today while I finish putting in my garden. I'm not complaining about the rain, but it has made it difficult to finish putting in my veggies. This year I'm putting in strawberries, sweet onions, pickling cucumbers, slicing cucumbers, black beans, bush beans (green), pole beans(green), limas, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, peas, broccoli, squash - yellow and butternut, zucchini, cantaloupe, herbs (annuals and perennials), okra, carrots, radishes, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce and mesclun. My garden is about 1500 square feet. In other areas of the yard I will have birdhouse gourds, pumpkins and watermelons.

I have put in apple trees (Staymen Winesap, Granny Smith and Fuji), plums, peaches, black cherries and pears. I have 3 varieties of blueberries and two red seedless grape plants that will take years to produce any fruit. Also, blackberries and persimmons grow wild and are in abundance in my yard.

Next on my tree list are pecan, nectarine and another peach variety and I'm looking for pomegranates.

What's in your garden?

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My scarecrow is a ScareSarah

I put my Sarah Palin Halloween mask on her. She isn't doing a very good job.



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I bet you won't have any problem

with wolves, though. Or moose. Mooses. Meece. Whatever.

Our gardens

are mostly flowers. Just a small plot for lettuce, basil, parsley, a few carrots and cherry tomatoes. Otherwise it's all bee balm, daisies, cone flowers, sage, peonies, begonias ... with geraniums, impatients and coleus yet to come.

Bee balm

There's supposed to be a frost on Tues into Wed, Betsy..

so you might want to wait a couple more days on some stuff. I do have asparagus, onions, leeks and shallots in the ground, but they can handle the frosty nights. I'll wait until Wed to put in my beets, swiss chard and celery roots. Then I have a whole batch of peppers, tomatoes, flowers, etc. that I'll plant around May first and beyond. A little cooler here in the foothills. Let me know how your jalapenoes do. I'm growing three other varieties of hot peppers in my search for the perfect bbq pepper. I'm growing a 'crimson sweet' variety watermelon, which I usually plant in the same row with squash varieties, then just snake the vines along the rows as they grow. Yeah, so far the precipitation is doing ok by me, so looking for a good season, hopefully.

I have saved every sheet I could. I actually can cover it all

I had to pull them out last year. Thanks for the warning, though. I honestly haven't been paying attention this weekend to next week's weather.

I decided to move the melons and gourds because I was cramming so much into my garden this year. Last year my rows were by-the-book and this year I'm moving them a tad closer together. I lost all my watermelons in a hail storm at the end of the summer, so figured I would put them in a sunny place at the edge of a bunch of trees. Hopefully if we get hail again, the melons will be protected. The vines can go crazy for all I care and it is a very moist area. I'll have to lift my melons off the ground, but I can handle that.

I'll have to send you my recipe for jalapeno relish. I used just a touch of habanero peppers in the mix as well as cayenne peppers. I hope my soil will produce hotter jalapeno peps as my hubby likes the heat.

Back to the tiller.



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I'm putting in a few bulb beds this year

but my large cut flower beds will have to wait until next year for flowers. We're tilling and building them over the summer so they will be ready for next spring. I can hopefully get bulbs in them in the fall.



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If I can afford the bulbs :)

little by little, bit by bit



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Save money for bulbs

by not planting those Lima beans. Yuck!

This year it is just tomatoes and peppers here at Chez funluvn

Since moving from GSO over to Fuquay Varina last July, we have done a lot of work with our backyard including sod and cutting in natural areas. This year we decided that we live close enough to the State Farmers Market to just grow cherry tomatoes, German Johnson tomatoes (oh my on the scale of OH MY for 'mater sammichs) and some bell and hot banana peppers.

Next year, some of that natural area is gonna be taken over by the State for use in agriculture excitement. Well, if my wife sez OK....

;-)

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

We have a community garden area (with raised beds) in our

neighborhood and I've used one of the beds for several years. The problem is that tomatoes and cucumbers and such don't like to be planted in the same soil every year and so I've been having diminishing returns. Tried to get the HOA to tear out the boxes and till the whole area and really have a "community" garden but no luck.

So. this year we're going to do big containers in our yard with tomatoes and okra and cuc's. If you want a really great watermelon grow black diamond. I have some swiss chard and garlic growing now. They both over-winter well. I've planted some raspberries...Heritage (red) and Anne (yellow) and I'm hoping they do well.

Your garden sounds great. Lots of work!!

Stan Bozarth

Stan...have a friend who grew corn in containers last year

I laughed my fanny off, but it worked. I save all my large multi-gallon containers from my tree purchases so I can put things under the deck (like my strawberries) in winter. It worked this year. I went from 7 or 8 strawberries to around 27 plants this year without buying more. I think I will start my broccoli and other winter plants this way next year. I get such a late start otherwise. I have a friend who keeps lettuce going year round.

It is a lot of work, but worth every minute of it. I rotated everything this year and have moved some things out to other areas. This fall I have arranged to have a large shipment of chicken poo delivered from a friend's farm. Should help out next year.



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My Thumb Ain't Green

but my wife's is. She put Indian corn, potatoes, and red onions in the ground already. We will also have green beans, tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, collard and mustard greens, chives, cucumbers, iceberg and romaine lettuce.

She usually puts out Jalapeno and banana peppers, but a friend is growing a big batch of them we can share in and we really never eat enough to justify growing them.

Also, we have made a decision this year that we havn't held fast to previously: we purchase nothing from the store that can be reasonably grown in the garden.

Sounds like we grow much the same

I didn't bother with corn this year. The raccoons feasted last year and I didn't get a thing. I also have a hard time getting corn enough water. I'll have to take pictures of my fancy milk jug irrigation system.



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I've done corn the past two years

and it's the deer that have the feast. They go after everything else too.

Found a foul smelling spray that seems to work but it's way expensive and there's a formula for it somewhere on the web...rotten eggs involved!

Stan Bozarth

I just bought that!

It has putrescent egg solids and garlic in it. I was saving it until everything comes in. The deer and rabbits are eating my lettuce before it can do anything. I'm doing a temporary fence around the back rows which are all the things the deer and rabbits love - lettuce, strawberries, carrots, etc.



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Good Agricultural Practices for Fresh Produce Safety Workshop

April 21, 2009: Good Agricultural Practices for Fresh Produce Safety Workshop

7:00-9:00 pm

Agriculture Building Auditorium

Pittsboro, NC

I know farmers will soon be getting ready to enter the busy summer planting season, but I wanted to slip these two workshops in before it got too crazy because I think they are important.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Good Agricultural Practices for Fresh Produce Safety as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Tuesday, April 21, from 7:00-9:00 pm in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro.

A 2008 survey showed that 76 percent of consumers are more concerned about the food they eat than they were five years ago. In recent years an increasing number of reports in the media focused on contaminated produce and other food products. I know some of our local farmers' market boards are discussing produce safety and training for farmers. Here is your chance!

We have organized a workshop to address Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to reduce the risks of microbial contamination of fruits and vegetables.

Many farmers have never heard of GAPs. Others have learned that in order to access certain markets, their farm must be GAP-certified. The consensus in the small farm community seems to be that some type of produce safety regulation is coming. It is important that farmers are aware of these issues and how they may affect their farm. It is also important that farmers are knowledgeable about how to reduce the risk of contamination on their farm. Learning more about GAPs can also prepare farmers to answer questions from customers at farmers' markets, CSAs, etc. if/when we get another outbreak of foodborne illness.

There has been alot of "chatter" on the listservs lately about impending food safety legislation such as H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act. Learn the facts about this and other proposed legislation at the workshop.

The April 21 workshop will be followed by an On-farm Good Agricultural Practices Audit on May 4 from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Land Lab Teaching Farm at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) in Pittsboro. Each workshop is "stand-alone", meaning you don't have to attend both.

Complete details of both of these workshops are available on Cooperative Extension's Growing Small Farms website at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/workshops.html

Debbie

Debbie Roos

Agricultural Extension Agent

Chatham County Center

North Carolina Cooperative Extension

919.542.8202

debbie_roos@ncsu.edu

www.growingsmallfarms.org

Green with envy

Because we're still waiting for the snow to melt off and the frost to come outta the ground.

Lucky lucky people who get to garden in April :D

When our last frost is past in early June we'll plant the whole back yard in a garden this year as it transitions from grass to a more environmentally friendly landscape for the desert. Trees, and lots of veggies and some flowers this year. All for zone 3 and short season, we love a challenge. :D I'll be looking here for pics in the fall.

I'll take pics as soon as I get everything in

We just had a shower this morning and my garden will be too muddy to work today, but hopefully will have everything in by the end of the week. Will do early, mid season and late pictures.



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Where do you freeze. er. live?

Well, I guess you can grow some things we can't...like rhubarb and lilacs and other things that require a cold spell.

Stan Bozarth

West and up

We're in a mountain valley in south central Colorado. 7600' up and ringed by 13,000' peaks. I read here because we seem to have similar issues (and I know James). And yep, in our gardens we grow rhubarb, and the lilacs do well here. The farmers do hay and potatoes. We actually grow more than Idaho.

I'm still envious. :D My folks live in Delaware and I got people in Florida. Sometimes they send me stuff. It's nice.

And we don't freeze. In the last 14 years here it's only gotten to -40 ground temperature once!

I miss lilacs.

I had no idea we didn't have them here because of the lack of a real winter. Learn something every day.

My girlfriend from Michigan

has a lilac and it is blooming this year. We live in the same neighborhood and I'm further south than you are. (Not that it means much. heh) Maybe you can get one too. Hers is a cutting from one in her grandmother's yard in Michigan.



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Deer Problem

I can't remember where I heard it, but I've heard that if you spread human hair around the edge of your garden, it will keep the deer away. Don't want to pull your hair out for that? Just call your hairdresser and ask her/him to save the hair they cut for a day or two.

Sweet Union Dem

I've been trying that

I keep spraying my scarecrow with hairspray and putting soap in her pockets to try and make her smell "human."



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Dog hair works as well.

If you need some, I general sweep up enough in a day to create another entire dog, so let me know.

Sweep?

Good heavens, how do you do that? :D

I could empty my vacuum around my garden. I'll try that. It's mostly dog hair.



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