imafan26
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I do not have a greenhouse or a heating mat so I germinate everything outside on my nursery bench. When the temperature drops below 68 degrees peppers do not germinate very well or very fast. February has been in the low 60's to high 50's at night. That is enough to slow every thing down. Day temps are in the 70's. Great for the cool season crops but it was warm enough in January for the eggplant to flower, but the fruit now is taking an eternity to grow. When it is warmer, I will get 8-10 eggplant in as many days. I don't have to worry about freezes, but it can still get cold enough to keep things from growing normally.

I plant my corn closer than 30 inches, more like 18 inches and I get 1 or 2 ears per plant. I get more if I bag the tassels and hand pollinate them. I have not experienced no ears on the inside corn very much except when I left 2 cornstalks in the same hole. I usually have at least one or two ears that can't decide to be cobs or tassels though and that happens all of the time. I don't have as much space and I only have room now for about 39 plants. In a bad year I got only 20 ears but usually I get about 40-50 but they won't all be big or full. When I had my whole half garden I consistently would plant 47 plants and get 67 ears. Not anymore though, the aloe and jamaican oregano have taken over 1/3 of the space. I am going to have to move them somewhere else someday.
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MockY
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I started my Tomatoes and Peppers the 21st of December. The tomatoes have now totally outgrown my growroom (I need to start by the end of January next year - you live and learn) and badly need to be planted into the garden. The peppers I've cut back to make them branch out, so they are still not too tall. Problem is, it's a tad too cold still (40 at night and 72 during the day) and the garden currently is producing an abundance of food. I need to sacrifice some of it unfortunately. Spinach is so prolific that eating it and making smoothies every day does not make a big enough dent to keep up with the growth, so I'm thinking I will remove half of it in order to make room for some of the tomatoes.
Some of the brassicas won't have enough time to produce, so I'm probably going to juice the leaves. I'll find a way somehow...it's just hard to remove perfectly good crops. I need more beds....

I took a picture from my roof of the garden little over 2 weeks ago. It has grown much more since then due to more sun and heat, especially the different lettuces in the keyhole bed (it's amazing how big they get in just 2 weeks) and beans and carrots have germinated and started to fill in the voids.
bed.jpg
2016-02-20 12.03.07.jpg
Some of the tomatoes bathing in the sun. Obviously, 2 weeks ago is a long time, so they are inconveniently larger now.

imafan26
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I just got my order from Johnny's Seeds today. I called it in only a few days ago, this was really fast. Especially when you consider in Hawaii there is no such thing as express mail. Two days is the best I can get.

I ordered
Parthenon zucchini-I am trying it to see if I get a better yield with a zucchini that does not require pollination
Tigress zucchini is supposed to do better in the south. I am in the south and way west.
Carmen peppers- They did really well last year and they are a good frying and stuffing pepper.
Mellow Star- Shishito pepper.

Of course they sent this beautiful catalog with it and now I want more.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

MockY wrote:I started my Tomatoes and Peppers the 21st of December. The tomatoes have now totally outgrown my growroom (I need to start by the end of January next year - you live and learn) and badly need to be planted into the garden. The peppers I've cut back to make them branch out, so they are still not too tall.
HURRY UP Springtime!!!

I am with you MockY. I started some tomatoes mid December and now have some beautiful plants. Of course, I have started more every 1st and 15th of the month since, so I will have all shapes and sizes. The earliest ones are in great shape and probably will be up-potted in the greenhouse. Today, working around them it was such a pleasant odor when I rubbed against the tomato leaves.

Here are my earliest tomatoes

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I am glad to have started peppers early. Always hard to get them going but this year I have some Bell, multi colored Bell, Banana and Jalapeno coming along nicely. Here are some of the smaller peppers and tomatoes.

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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Man vs Raccoon --- Phase I

This year I hope that the raccoons and squirrels will share some of the fresh corn with me. I have installed some slippery tin around the small pier to give them a challenge. I know they are resourceful and will find the weak point, but maybe it will take a little time.

Image

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At the very least I want the old timer raccoons to tell their grandkids "What do you mean you cannot get into that corn patch? Why, let me tell you what I had to traverse back in 2016"
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SPierce
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Well, I left on vacation (7 days ago) and when I left, only a few broccoli and brussels sprouts had come up - maybe 5 total?

Well, I came back and EVERY seed that I had planted sprouted, so I now have roughly 15-17 Brussels Sprouts plants, 7 sweet bell peppers of random varities and 6 Broccoli's. I have no idea what to do with them or where to put them - I had them started in my bedroom window in little pots of soil. Guess I have my work cut out for me though and have to buy new containers to plant them in outside :D I do hope all do well enough to produce at least a little unlike last year. I also better be more careful when I go to start my non cold weather/more quickly growing plants so I don't end up with an excess

imafan26
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

One of my broccoli is making a flower. It is about 2 inches now. DeCicco does not make a large head but it does put out side shoots of mini broccoli.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

MockY wrote:
2016-02-20 12.03.07.jpg
Some of the tomatoes bathing in the sun. Obviously, 2 weeks ago is a long time, so they are inconveniently larger now.
MockY, how are those large tomatoes doing? I could not stand it and had to put some of these in the ground last week. The stems were very sturdy and healthy, but I planted them horizontal because they were so long, and that would give them more warmth in these spring days.

Image

I planted them on my small pier, where I get the most sun this time of the year

Image
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

SPierce wrote:Well, I left on vacation (7 days ago) and when I left, only a few broccoli and brussels sprouts had come up - maybe 5 total?

Well, I came back and EVERY seed that I had planted sprouted, so I now have roughly 15-17 Brussels Sprouts plants, 7 sweet bell peppers of random varities and 6 Broccoli's.
Sounds like your "green thumb" is working. Good luck with them
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

imafan26 wrote:One of my broccoli is making a flower. It is about 2 inches now. DeCicco does not make a large head but it does put out side shoots of mini broccoli.
Always good when a plan comes together.
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Greywolf
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From Memphis Tennessee

An update on how things are going....



PS: lakngulf - You are quoting Hannibal Smith, I believe

The grand total at this point is about 28 tomato plants, 24 Poblano peppers - though some have not come up yet, 25 or so Cascabella (semi mild yellow, think "Garden Gem"), about 32 Cascabel, 5 lettuce plants, two spinach plants, and a pair of Giant Thai Elephant Ear plants all indoors

Or around 125 houseplants right now... :mrgreen:
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SPierce
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

lakngulf wrote:
SPierce wrote:Well, I left on vacation (7 days ago) and when I left, only a few broccoli and brussels sprouts had come up - maybe 5 total?

Well, I came back and EVERY seed that I had planted sprouted, so I now have roughly 15-17 Brussels Sprouts plants, 7 sweet bell peppers of random varities and 6 Broccoli's.
Sounds like your "green thumb" is working. Good luck with them
Thanks! I've been told by all my family (I'm the only one that still gardens, gets plants, etc regularly) that I take after my Grandmother, Grandfather and Grandfather (farmers and gardeners). I do admit I tend to have a bit of a green thumb :mrgreen:

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Something someone said at a different website set me off. I told them not to grow different kinds of tomato plants close enough together to cross-pollinate. They shot back a lot of stuff about how it only changes the seeds - and I said:

"Alright, but that doesn't explain the two years I grew zucchini and crookneck summer squash together and wound up with GIGANTIC YELLOW CROOK NECK SUMMER SQUASH..."

And they shot back a lot of more stuff.....

SO what I have just done is this: I sent for two packs each of HEIRLOOM crookneck and zucchini seeds from this website:
https://heirloomseeds.com/


I intend to grow them "ONE PLANT THIS, THE NEXT PLANT THAT, ETC..." so that they are fully mixed together as far as pollination. O:)

I'll be taking pictures/videos of the whole thing :mrgreen:


~Just to prove the point.


What do you think is going to happen? Place your bets!
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Greywolf wrote:Just to prove the point.

What do you think is going to happen? Place your bets!
I plant yellow straight neck and green zucchini side by side and wide up with green/yellow striped zucchini. I like it!
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jal_ut
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

"What do you think is going to happen? Place your bets!"

The HEIRLOOM Crookneck will produce crookneck squash.

The Zucchini will produce zucchini.

The pollen falling on the flowers does not change the fruit characteristics this season!
Now if you same some seeds from this planting for next year............... You will get some interesting mixes.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Sometimes the companies send the wrong seeds too, but that is rare. I ordered Yellow brandywine and got a red tomato. The company replaced the seeds. They did not know what they were either but agreed it was not as advertised.
I agree with James that it should not change the characteristics this season, unless you are consuming the seeds. Crossing different kinds of corn and hot peppers with sweet peppers can make a difference. I don't know if cross polination will cause stripes, but hey you can make a lot of money if you can get it to make pink polka dots.
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lakngulf
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Re: From Memphis Tennessee

Greywolf wrote:PS: lakngulf - You are quoting Hannibal Smith, I believe
Indeed. As I am flipping channels late night I see him, Mr. T and others and HAVE to stop and watch their plan!
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applestar
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Haha haven't seen that show is ages! :D
Things are looking good :wink:
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I have been away for a few days at the beach, came home and found my greenhouse looking like this:

Image

Several items that need to find some soil in the garden soon = rattlesnake beans, yellow and zuchinni squash, silver queen corn, and lots of tomatoes. Some tomatoes are so large that they may have to be discarded in favor of the newer group coming along. I like the color of healthy green!

Image

The 10 day forecast calls for some cold nights for Sunday and Monday, so I will nurse everything along and transplant after that. Here are the tomatoes I put in the ground before the trip. They really enjoyed the warm temps and living on the small pier. Will have to cover them during the cold nights.

Image

And WHAT???? A bloom???

Image
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imafan26
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

See what can happen in ajust a few days.
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applestar
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Not long now! I love the way everything in your greenhouse is eagerly growing :-()
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Tomato plants were big enough to plant, lowest temp forecasted is 44 degrees on April 3, so some tomatoes have been put in the ground. Blooms still look good on the early ones I had to cover a couple of nights. But there are too many out to cover now so here's hoping.

Here are the next tomatoes getting ready:

Image

Several folks that have gotten some plants from me in the past have asked about the crop this year. They should enjoy the bunch above.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

The early tomatoes seem to have weathered the weather OK. Maybe night temps now will stay in the fifties.

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Many of the larger ones still have blossoms but I don't know what the cool temps have done to them. Maybe!

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These were planted a little later, and still look good after the last two nights in low forties.

Image

And lots more that need to go somewhere.

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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Word to the Wise.

Check the forecast before you put little plants out in the sun and leave home for a day. I knew rain was coming in but thought it was supposed to be last night and today. It came early afternoon and my little plants took a beating.

Got them inside as soon as I could and they show good recovery this morning.
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applestar
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Good to hear they are recovering. The little ones are weak from indoor conditions and you have to watch out for every little thing. :|

My main concern right now is peering up at the lights to make sure none of them are touching or nearly touching the bulbs. But I did take the biggest ones outside for a day (inside of a translucent storage tub and loosely covered with a white trash bag to shade them from the sun) yesterday. It was in the 50's last night and theoretically possible for them to have stayed out, but I gave in to bringing them back inside. It was raining this morning. 30's tonight, so still a few weeks away from fully hardening off or planting.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Breaking News....Breaking News.....

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The first little tomato of 2016, showed up about April 10. Plants look healthy after a couple of cold spells. Should be ready to take off when we have 80 degrees on Monday.

And here is Man Vs. Raccoon, Phase II

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A little bit overwhelming at first but I think once there are lots of plants inside then it will tone down a bit. I will probably still put at least one strand of electric fence around the top, and will have to watch for the spots the squirrels can jump from limb to post.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I have been away from home for 10 days and came back to see that my tomato plants did not miss me!

Image

Lots of growth, many blooms and little tomatoes
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applestar
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Everything looks fantastic! :-()

...still a little ways from planting maters here -- it's been a bit too chilly. My seedlings are getting stressed in their too small pots and having to spend days in the house with inadequate lighting. Looks like they could go out today, but am feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of hauling ALL of them out, then bringing them back in again tonight.... And those are the ones that outgrew the lights.... :roll:

Not quite sure what you are doing with your raccoon barricades, but am following with interest. 8)
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jasonvanorder
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Planted 2.5 rows of potatoes yesterday and a row of carrots. Pepper plants are doing ok. Could be better but like applestars maters they could probably use some more room in the pots. Other than that still too early for most things around here

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KitchenGardener
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

So impressed with the scale with which you all grow. I have 4 tomato plants, and for me, that's a lot! rows of potatoes? That is just awesome - do you all can and/or cold store your vegies? I'd love to be more self-reliant food-wise, but I don't really have the space. Maybe some day. :)

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Freakin gorgeous!! As always! :wink:
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

applestar wrote:Not quite sure what you are doing with your raccoon barricades, but am following with interest. 8)
Here is a shot of the "Pier Veggies" from another angle, and you can see the corn at the front. Any year that I have grown corn the raccoons, and squirrels to a lesser extent, have helped themselves just as the corn gets ready. My thought with the tin is that it will be slick enough, and high enough, that the raccoons and squirrels cannot climb it. At this point an entire section of the garden, including the pier, is completely enclosed in the wall of tin. Everywhere except on the pier I plan to have two strands of electric fence above the tin, to keep the squirrels from jumping from post to post.

Here's hoping.

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imafan26
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Looking good. You should leave home more often the tomatoes grew so fast. You must have longer days than mine. It does make a difference.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

imafan26 wrote:Looking good. You should leave home more often the tomatoes grew so fast. You must have longer days than mine. It does make a difference.
I agree. Hours in the springtime sun makes a world of difference. This spring has been very conducive to good growth, but the last two nights we have hit the high 40's. Brrrr that feels cold when the previous two weeks were so warm.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Man vs Raccoon, Part III

I am continuing to build my fortress against the neighborhood squirrels and raccoons. The inner part of the garden is completely enclosed in the 32 inch tin, and now I have two strands of electric fence on top.

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For safety reasons I am not running the hot wire around the pier garden, but I am hoping the tin will keep the critters from climbing in. A couple of spots have some tall posts near some large plants. I plan to either trim the plants and/or have some hot wire to the top of the posts. My plan is that my wife and I enjoy the sweet corn this year, and that the squirrels get fewer of the tomatoes.

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KitchenGardener
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Now THAT is diligence and commitment! I am rooting for you on this one. While I know how devilishly smart raccoons and squirrels can be (I stopped growing corn because they would not even leave one ear for me), you absolutely deserve to prevail! And pretty ingenious to have a garden on a pier and over water - love it!

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I went grocery shopping yesterday to pick up a few bags of potatoes to grill/boil with my steak. Bought two, brought them home, only to realize that all of them have little sprouts on them! I also have a quite a few onions that have sprouted while hanging out in the fridge

So, I'm now for new containers so I can plant all these little potatoes for harvesting later and am going to attempt to plant the onions... if only I could get the red potatoes from the same place (which I absolutely love) to sprout I would be so, so happy!

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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

SPierce wrote:I went grocery shopping yesterday to pick up a few bags of potatoes to grill/boil with my steak. Bought two, brought them home, only to realize that all of them have little sprouts on them! I also have a quite a few onions that have sprouted while hanging out in the fridge

So, I'm now for new containers so I can plant all these little potatoes for harvesting later and am going to attempt to plant the onions... if only I could get the red potatoes from the same place (which I absolutely love) to sprout I would be so, so happy!
I am trying sweet potatoes this year for the first time ever. My cousin has raised them for years, and grows her own slips from potatoes that are heirs to potatoes her father planted in the thirties. Want to keep them going. I have some good slips in potting soil now and will plant in late May
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PinkPetalPolygon
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I'm happy to hear you are cherishing those sweet potatoes! :D

I went to war with the... ooh, let's foreshadow!

Oooooh okay fancy story time.

Once upon a time, before my mother in law lived in her house which we now have a nice vegetable garden & where a ton of our potted plants live, the very nice neighbor lady who lived next door to the old man who used to live there was very sad.

The very nice neighbor lady was very sad because the old man who lived next to her didn't have any plants or flowers in his backyard. She thought that was boring, and thought she knew what she could do to spice things up for the old man.

So she unleashed a pretty plague over the fence into the old man's yard in an attempt to entertain herself and the people around her???

That pretty plague was called morning glories.

When I met my mother in law and her morning glories, because she... trellised them, watered them, and allowed them to crawl over every surface and everything she owned... because of how my mother in law treated the morning glories I thought she had chosen the flowers on purpose? And I liked it. I really liked it when I thought it was how she wanted her outdoor area......!?!?!?!

But after seeing uhm...

Oh my gosh. There is an area that gets fed clean water from our garden sink??? I had no idea the water drained behind the sink. I just learned this like yesterday, hah. So..

The water drained behind the sink onto the ground which is dirt between the fence and the sink structure, which was next to the gazebo which is a big metal structure with a cover over it... which was where the nice neighbor lady threw the morning glories originally...

I had no idea that the sink had been feeding the morning glories!!!!

When I told my boyfriend that his mother's garden sink drained onto the ground behind the sink his eyes bugged out!!! "We've been wasting water all this time???"

The upside to this is that *directly* next to the garden sink in its shade we have a looooooovely chocolate mint patch that has also been fed from the sink. (Sue has known for the last few years that her sink drained into the garden so she hasn't been using any yucky stuff down the drain, and I don't use any yucky stuff, and I made an assumption without asking where it drained, so no harm I guess!)

But I wasted so much water watering a plague of morning glories and weeds last year I can't believe it. :shock:

I always neglected weeding that part of the garden, like, no big deal, it'll be there when I get there
I had no idea it was being fed all the water in the world. (Not that we excessively waste water but hey we could have used it to grow stuff had I known it was not going down a drain to a sewer or whatever.)

My final straw in declaring war was uhm, Sue isn't currently well enough to get rid of the morning glory corpse onslaught every year. They make such a mess and crawl over everywhere then die and crumble and seed a big mess and a bigger mess for next year, it's a terrible ordeal if you aren't entirely well. :(

Last year she made a trellis for them to grow onto the gazebo... and they did... we ended up with like 3 feet thick of morning glories over everything.

If I had known that this hadn't been her grand vision she orchestrated on purpose at the time, I would have 100% saved the plants in the gazebo before they got buried?

There was this one succulent plant in the corner last year... thank goodness some of those succulents are so hardy they can survive most things???? This plant was beneath morning glories for at least 5 months, like in a black out...

When I cut the morning glories away from it, the parts of the leaves that were supposed to be black colored from direct sunlight were anemic green from lack of sunlight and it looked a mess. It fully recovered, and while rescuing it from the morning horror glories I accidentally broke quite a few branches off into new plants... then got a succulent cutting starting mania fever and probably made uhm at least 20 new plants from that big one. We gave like 8 away to friends at a party, yay! :lol:

Anyway, my final straw was... in November/the fall...

I cut away at least 60 pounds of morning glory vines from that gazebo. No joke. It took hours.

And when I learned that wasn't even the owner of the backyard's choice to plant them, I say: no more indulging trellises. Heck NO more being irrigated by the sink!!!

I used some plastic to cover the strip of dirt between the fence, and then put some weed control fabric over it. I felt all fancy doing like official landscaping work. It was my first time laying down a liner and I kind of felt like I was making a pond

Oooh I just remembered watching my dad make a foutain with a liner in it. Haha. So that's what it felt like. I shoula taken a before and after. I always say that. I'm kicking myself mentally, like

If I were as disciplined as I should be I could have a Gardener portfolio already.

The before & after on my MIL's yard was pretty impressive. Next year/next project = I'll force myself to do before and afters.

I put some potted plants where the dirt with the weeds and morning glories were. :)

I look forward to doing this really great thing that I read about on HG forum to get rid of weeds/unwanted plants... where you sprout the weeds, then cover them with cardboard/an old carpet/a big board/something to block out all the sunlight, then wait until the sprouted weeds die under the cover, then lift the cover, water the ground under the weeds sprout, then cover the all again to kill them in the dark...

Yeah... that's what I really want to do. But this year, I'll settle for one round of black out and the seeds can just stay under that.

I'm all slightly paranoid they'd grow through my blockade (I know they'll grow around it through the fence and such)
Then I remember I also put plastic down

Morning glories can't grow through plastic
Morning glories can't grow through plastic

Mommy make the morning glories stop! :'(

(Haha, I'm joking, it's fine. Step one is officially just to stop indulging them. :lol: )

And to utilize all that perfectly fine water being dumped on the ground, yes yes!

I am not sure I have the will to actually eliminate the morning glories (if only because they spread to the front yard and everywhere. Last fall there were seeds all over the ground. :shock:)

But what I am confident I can do is prevent the morning glories from traumatizing our chosen plants too terribly! <3

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SPierce
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

lakngulf wrote:
SPierce wrote:I went grocery shopping yesterday to pick up a few bags of potatoes to grill/boil with my steak. Bought two, brought them home, only to realize that all of them have little sprouts on them! I also have a quite a few onions that have sprouted while hanging out in the fridge

So, I'm now for new containers so I can plant all these little potatoes for harvesting later and am going to attempt to plant the onions... if only I could get the red potatoes from the same place (which I absolutely love) to sprout I would be so, so happy!
I am trying sweet potatoes this year for the first time ever. My cousin has raised them for years, and grows her own slips from potatoes that are heirs to potatoes her father planted in the thirties. Want to keep them going. I have some good slips in potting soil now and will plant in late May
Awesome! I will eventually get into Sweet Potatoes - they are good for baking/frying, it's on my to-do list of things to get to!

Currently I'm tight on cash, so while I got the pumpkins & brussels sprouts/brocolli planted out, I have to wait to plant the tomatoes, peppers because I need to pick up some extra pots and also some new soil for them. So they'll be hanging out in their starter pots for a few more weeks until I get paid, then I can put them out. Thankfully they're all still fairly tiny for the time being, only on their first sets of leaves, so it isn't going to affect them too much.

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