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SPierce
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Here we go - let my 2012 season begin!

I originally thought i wasn't going to be able to garden this year, as I was supposed to be moving, but alas- as it turns out things didn't turn out the way I expected, so I'm still at my roommates that had a bit of issues with my gardening last year... but I'm taking over anyway!

Last year i realized i was too impatient, and the hay that I laid down as a mulch (with the best intentions) actually hurt me more than helped. I also didn't realize that my pumpkins and giant zucchini got nailed by the SVBs. This year I'm starting earlier in hopes that they can get strong enough to keep going before they hit!

I have a mix of in ground and containers... last year the containers did better than the in ground, so i'll be planting my zucchini and butternut squashes, along with the Brussels sprouts and peppers in the 20gallon containers i've got, along with some potatoes and some onions. I know this normally isn't a very good idea, but it worked REALLY well last year, so I'm trying that again this year.

Due to a terrible snow storm last October, we lost a lot of branches and trees in our backyard; I'm hoping due to that we'll have more sunlight - the lack of light last year probably really didn't help me.

Just started seeds today- the "elementary school" way I suppose- a paper towel and a plastic bag. Pumpkins, watermelons, zucchini, lima beans, butternut squash, banana peppers, brussells sprouts, bell peppers and a fancy gourd. I'll eventually move them over to a table in the basement with some sun lamps in hopes that they can make it through the next few months to where I can plant them outside. I alternate between starting too late and starting too early- so I'm just going to go for it and start everything now. If all else fails, i'll just plant something else in it's place. I'm thinking of starting another baggy and trying to start some corn and green beans to go with the lima beans, but i've probably bitten off too much already. I also don't know whether or not i should do tomatoes again this year. Last year I did the yellow pear - and while I loved them, i didn't eat nearly as many as I should have. I just always feel like a tomato is a staple that should always been planted. Maybe i'll try an orange one this year.

Last year i cleared out my strawberry box to plant some flowers... i definitely need more bees, marigolds didn't work very well though. Any good flower suggestions to plant in with everything else?

And, bleh, thanks for reading my rant this far :D I figure i'll just keep everything to one thread instead of posting multiples like i did last year. Because i keep talking about my monster pepper plant (of which I'm very proud of) i finally took a few shots of it today, as it's putting out another crop of peppers! There are 5 little batches of flowers and baby peppers on it at the moment. I can't wait to get more off it-- and I hope it transitions okay back outside!

[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-6-4.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-30.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-3-5.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-2-6.jpg[/img]

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vebyrd36
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You keep rocking on with ur nice plants, Never can have to many. :D
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SPierce
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vebyrd36 wrote:You keep rocking on with ur nice plants, Never can have to many. :D
Isn't that the truth :D I'll just buy more containers if i need too --- i had WAY too much open dirt space in my garden last year! way! I guess i just figured i should stop being cautious, and just go for it. It's all about the learning experiences anyway!

cynthia_h
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The more you have in containers, the more you can move with you *when* (not if) you move. :) I remember the strife/stresses you were put through last season. :(

But I'd wait on tomatoes until the weather is warmer. I know that the up-north gardeners start seedlings early on so they'll have transplants, but there comes a crunch time when the seedlings *need* to be planted out and the weather isn't warm enough yet. Maybe give it two or three weeks and avoid the crunch time?

Northern gardeners, what's your best approximation for 2nd-year gardener SPierce on when to start those tomato seedlings?

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah, not sure, but I still haven't planted tomato seeds yet and I'm in Ohio and notorious for starting things earlier than most people. I'm starting mine this coming weekend, but in Mass, I'd wait another couple weeks after that.

Re: "Pumpkins, watermelons, zucchini, lima beans, butternut squash, banana peppers, brussells sprouts, bell peppers and a fancy gourd. I'll eventually move them over to a table in the basement with some sun lamps..... I'm thinking of starting another baggy and trying to start some corn and green beans to go with the lima beans"

If it's too early for tomatoes, then it's way too early for cucurbits - pumpkins, melons, squash, gourds. They are the warmest of warm weather crops and need the soil well warmed up. I hear what you said about trying to beat the SVB's (which I also battle) by getting them out early. But you just can't put them out very early, they don't tolerate cold soil. And they sprout and grow FAST. In my experience, it helps to have big, healthy transplants, but put them out later. The SVB's swarm around early June (here). If you wait (or keep them under row cover the whole time) until after that, you can miss the worst of it. However, I have to say that has so far only meant that I keep them alive LONGER, not that they make it through a growing season.

Beans and corn are usually planted directly in the ground once the soil temp is up to 50 degrees for corn 65 -70 for beans. One advantage to containers is the soil warms up faster.

But now is good time for peppers, because they are so slooooww!

Don't sun lamps give off a lot of heat? I use regular fluorescent tubes.

Good luck with it all! I see you've been bitten by the gardening bug! :)
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SPierce
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Thank you Cynthia & RG! I know i should wait longer, but i want sooo badly to get everything started and sprouted! Last year I felt like i was too late.. and everything took so long to sprout in the first place. Especially since it's hovering between 40 and 50 here during the day, I'm just chomping at the bit, so to speak!

Thanks also for the heads up on the sunlamps... i haven't bought the set up yet, so will avoid the sunlamps and go for the florescents instead !

I am stilll job hunting, so hopefully will find something a bit more local that pays more so I can move out and get a little field of my own going ;D

Between last night and this morning, one of my pepper seeds have managed to put out a little sprout/root, SO happy. Thats the only plant i've had trouble with non stop- they either don't grow at all, or they grow really tiny peppers but never gain any height or berth. This one plant seems to be doing well, though, and it's seeds seem fairly happy too!

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rainbowgardener
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If you want to be planting, there are plenty of things you could be planting. You could already have planted (indoors) brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts), slow germinating stuff like parsley, dill, fennel, lavender, rosemary, any cold hardy perennials you start from seed, slower growing things like geraniums, thyme, and so on.

It's just important to pay attention to the timing, so you get the right conditions for your plants!
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SPierce
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rainbowgardener wrote:If you want to be planting, there are plenty of things you could be planting. You could already have planted (indoors) brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts), slow germinating stuff like parsley, dill, fennel, lavender, rosemary, any cold hardy perennials you start from seed, slower growing things like geraniums, thyme, and so on.

It's just important to pay attention to the timing, so you get the right conditions for your plants!
I understand; i just get overly excited. None of the warmer weather stuff is sprouting anyway (in terms of the pumpkins, gourds, watermelons, etc). but as of this morning I have 2 sprouted peppers and 4 sprouted brussells sprouts soon to go in dirt/pots! Once the brussels sprouts get a bit bigger, i'll start getting them used to outdoor conditions and put them out.

timing seems to be my biggest problem; in the past, i've always been too late so none of the plants really do anything. Hence why i ended up too early this year- all this springy/warm weather (flowers in the back yard are blooming) as thrown me off a bit! If we were covered in snow, i wouldn't even be considering anything. :shock:

Although, on that note, i've got some sprouting potatoes left over from last year. I know onions are OK for this early, but is it OK to start the potatoes too ? They've got these 2 feet long white roots growing out of them and they're taking over the pantry!

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Bees?

Last year i cleared out my strawberry box to plant some flowers... i definitely need more bees, marigolds didn't work very well though. Any good flower suggestions to plant in with everything else?
I find that bachelors buttons attract a lot of bees. Also any of the mint family.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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SPierce
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Re: Bees?

jal_ut wrote:
Last year i cleared out my strawberry box to plant some flowers... i definitely need more bees, marigolds didn't work very well though. Any good flower suggestions to plant in with everything else?
I find that bachelors buttons attract a lot of bees. Also any of the mint family.
Thank you :D Just googled; They're very pretty and right my alley; determined to start it right this year. I'll google round and see what I can find re: planting times, seeds, etc. I'm afraid to plant anything from the mint family, as don't they all tend to take over and spread a lot?

stryper
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googled it to. It's an Aster family flower. So the same family as many other beneficial flowers. (daisy, pansy, Sunflower, and Tansy)

Anything to attract bee and other insects.
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SPierce
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stryper wrote:googled it to. It's an Aster family flower. So the same family as many other beneficial flowers. (daisy, pansy, Sunflower, and Tansy)

Anything to attract bee and other insects.

We have a major lack of bees in our backyard proper, really. Weve got TONS on our side and front flower beds, but no one ever seems to migrate over to the back. With more sun from lack of trees/high tree branches, and the flowers i'll be having out back, hopefully a few of them can manage to migrate to my garden:)

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I usually grow sunflowers just to attract the bees, but I wonder if they are spending so much time on the flowers that they ignore the stuff I need them for. I quit using chemicals on my lawn years ago, so I have oodles of white clovers. The honeybees spend most of their time with those. Grow clovers around the garden and you'll definitely have bees.

My son discovered a bee hive in a tree last winter and began digging honeycombs out before I found out and stopped him. It's a little more than a football field away from my garden but I think that's close enough to benefit me. There are all kinds of kits on the market to attract bees and encourage them to make nests where you want them.

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Bees easily travel 2-3 miles to forage and can go 6 miles if they have to. I live half mile from my Quaker Meeting (church). When the church put in a bee hive, I suddenly had tons more bees in my yard, so I figure they have to be the church bees.
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SPierce
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Well, at least the local stores are preventing me from doing too much too early-- no one has any seeds yet! I tried to go out and do some shopping during lunch today!@

Oh a fun note, my roommate finally gave in to giving me more room- i get to steal away one of our side flower beds around the back of the house! So far my crawly plants (pumpkins, gourds, watermelon) along with a bed of strawberries are going in there so i don't have to worry about room in my little 8x8 ft garden!

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SPierce
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just geeking out. My seeds are all sprouting; the brussels sprouts seem a bit leggy, but i can't tell. they're so thin. I also moved all my containers down into the garden to dump all the soil out from last year. Now, not only are my garden boxes finally full, the dirt looked so rich too <3 nice and black. So excited! In a month or so the local farm is going to put out free compost, and my in ground'll be ready to go! adding 3 more containers to get enough room for all the stuff i want to plant and off i go! woo hoo!

now, it hit 60 today.. if only things would manage not to freeze....

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klevelyn
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Stared my cabbage etc.

I too have started my cabbage, broccoli and even some Brussels sprouts. I have not been able to get Brussels sprouts to head up in my area. I will try this spring and again in the fall. I hope to plant them in April with a little cover to protect them from frost.

I put up a hoop house last fall to try to extend the season. I'll let you know how it works. Any good advice about growing Brussels Sprouts?
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SPierce
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Re: Stared my cabbage etc.

klevelyn wrote:I too have started my cabbage, broccoli and even some Brussels sprouts. I have not been able to get Brussels sprouts to head up in my area. I will try this spring and again in the fall. I hope to plant them in April with a little cover to protect them from frost.

I put up a hoop house last fall to try to extend the season. I'll let you know how it works. Any good advice about growing Brussels Sprouts?
I wish I had some re: the Brussels; I tried them my first year from starter plants, and they were epic fail also. By time the winter rolled around they were just getting small thumbnail sized sprouts on them, and then they bolted. I know planting time was definitely an issue, which is why I'm hoping to get an earlier start this year! I could be wrong, but (i think) they can take a bit of colder weather, so was hoping to get mine out in march. I think i'll find out one way or another! My seedlings look a bit leggy to me, but it's so hard to tell as they just literally sprouted a few days ago.

if you don't mind, please let me know how your plants do ;D I have trouble with them, too, and any advice is more than helpful.

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Yep, winter is in decline, so it's nice to think about the upcoming gardening season! Good luck!

I live in an apartment complex, so one can imagine how few bees we have here. Despite that, they'll make the flight over to any balcony with flowers on it, so the little fellas do get around.

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SPierce
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Well.. here's my well deserved wake up call I suppose! It's now snowing, we've got a 1/2 inch on the ground and it's set to snow all today through tomororw evening. Makes me want to cry! :(

As such, none of my plants are big enough to put out yet, but I have a watermelon that sprouted, a potential pumpkin (it's a LOT bigger than my other plants so I'm guessing thats what it is- i just pulled the seeds from the bottom of the bag; they all spilled out and combined!) and some squash. My leggy plants are now starting to fall over, so I know they're going to need to go. Not sure what to do wish a really leggy squash, though, that's still standing and is starting to grow it's first set of leaves. Any suggestions??

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I think you just started the squash too early. I haven't planted mine yet and my season starts earlier than yours. By the time you could possibly plant it outdoors, it would be (if you could keep it healthy), HUGE. Where are you going to keep that, indoors? To start squash indoors, I generally plant the seed at my average last frost date or few days later. That leaves a little time for the soil to warm up, before the squash is transplant size and hardened off. My average last frost date is still 6 weeks away (hard to believe since the temp is in the 60's, I think our season is being speeded up this year), so yours is probably longer.
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SPierce
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rainbowgardener wrote:I think you just started the squash too early. I haven't planted mine yet and my season starts earlier than yours. By the time you could possibly plant it outdoors, it would be (if you could keep it healthy), HUGE. Where are you going to keep that, indoors? To start squash indoors, I generally plant the seed at my average last frost date or few days later. That leaves a little time for the soil to warm up, before the squash is transplant size and hardened off. My average last frost date is still 6 weeks away (hard to believe since the temp is in the 60's, I think our season is being speeded up this year), so yours is probably longer.
Oh I know; i had already had them sprouted by time I posted the thread in here, and since they seem to be healthy i don't really want to throw them out since they seem to be strong. Most of the squash plants are going to end up in containers anyway, so if i need to i'll do with them what I did with my pepper, bring the container into the kitchen!

I just wish it wasn't snowing. Is supposed to go back to 60 degrees on saturday! How strange

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I'm afraid to plant anything from the mint family, as don't they all tend to take over and spread a lot?
The mint family includes: catnip, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, thyme, and lavender to name some.

I know peppermint is a bad weed since it sends out rhizome roots. I have grown catnip, sage, savory, marjoram and oregano with no problems with them spreading.
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James, you have a cat?
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jal_ut
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I have four cats running around the yard. Why do you ask?
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SPierce
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Okay, I admit, I'm sad that it's snowing- but wow it's beautiful! I almost wish that it'd stick around a bit longer. I'm very sad that all the flowers, etc. they were starting to come up are now frozen, though :(

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jal_ut
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We are getting snow too. About 6 inches in the past 3 days. It is snowing right now, though not real hard. I am encouraged though, usually I can start planting in April so its getting closer. I don't expect this snow to last long. As soon as the storm gets out of here it will warm up.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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SPierce
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jal_ut wrote:We are getting snow too. About 6 inches in the past 3 days. It is snowing right now, though not real hard. I am encouraged though, usually I can start planting in April so its getting closer. I don't expect this snow to last long. As soon as the storm gets out of here it will warm up.
Glad I'm not alone over here! Yeah, it's going to warm up real quick and all the snows going to go away; i hope it sticks around long enough on saturday, though, for me to take a few photos! We're going back to 55/60 on Saturday. You do take the most beautiful snow photos though!

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SPierce
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I bought the last of my seeds today :D PLan on getting them started tomorrow, now that it's March.

Here's how my "I started these too early but I'm going to try them out anyway!" seedlings are doing:

The Squashes: I think i have one zucchini, one regular sized pumpkin and a butternut squash in here? All the seeds spilled out to the bottom of the bag, so it'll be a surprise :D

[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-32.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-4-6.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-2-7.jpg[/img]

A watermelon:
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-5-3.jpg[/img]

I also (happily) have another one that recently sprouted, so soon to be 2 provided I don't kill one while I'm uppotting!

Brussels Sprouts:
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-10-6.jpg[/img]

Lettuce seedlings; they were kinda leggy, but i uppotted them today and buried the stems in hope that it'll help steady them a bit

[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-6-5.jpg[/img]

Banana peppers: I had a bell pepper, too, but i accidentally managed to knock off the top part of the sprout with the seed still on it, so RIP that plant! :(

[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-9-3.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-7-2.jpg[/img]

Onions, i bought scissors this afternoon so i can trim them tonight
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-8-4.jpg[/img]

An big max giant pumpkin seed:
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-11-4.jpg[/img]

Not sure if i should be concerned about the first true leaf showing already when it hasn't even emerged from the soil completely though??

and my pride and joy; we've almost made it through till spring!
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-17-2.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-14-4.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-15-4.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-12-3.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-13-4.jpg[/img]

If anyone has any possible nutrient deficiency suggestions in regards to the leaves, please let me know. I took a photo in to the local nursery and they told me there was nothing I could do, that it was just near the end of it's life cycle, but it's putting out new growth, new flowers, etc? I've recently started adding fish emulsion to it's water, but am also very careful to make sure i only water when it's needed. The leaves look a bit bumpy, though?

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rainbowgardener
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Your over-wintered pepper is looking better than my over-wintered pepper, which does not have flowers or fruit and the leaves are pretty droopy. But, I'm within a month of when I could put it out. (Actually, I could put it out today, if I didn't mind dragging it in and out for awhile... have to think about that). I'm assuming that it will make it and then look better once it is out in the sun again.
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SPierce
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rainbowgardener wrote:Your over-wintered pepper is looking better than my over-wintered pepper, which does not have flowers or fruit and the leaves are pretty droopy. But, I'm within a month of when I could put it out. (Actually, I could put it out today, if I didn't mind dragging it in and out for awhile... have to think about that). I'm assuming that it will make it and then look better once it is out in the sun again.
Ahh, okay. Thank you :D I'm just so worried about it. The new fruits and flowers started again a few weeks ago. It's actually looking a bit better than it was, but it is sadly too cold to be moving it in and out from outdoors (it's right by the kitchen door so I can move it out to the porch, it's perm summer spot, even it's needed! Hope your pepper turns out ok also :D

Also need to figure out a new support system for it. It's outgrowing the tomato cage I put over it

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Ruffsta
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vebyrd36 wrote:Never can have to many
my wife says otherwise... lol
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SPierce
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Ruffsta wrote:
vebyrd36 wrote:Never can have to many
my wife says otherwise... lol
my roommates parents and my roommate would probably agree with your wife... but hey, as long as we get out plants, what does it matter? :D

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