SQWIB
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SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

I am back for another year of seed starting, hopefully this year will be as good or better than last year, I have gained a little bit of experience since last years seed starting journey.

This year I'm going to do things a little differently, for one, I will be planting later so the seedlings only need to be transplanted once into the solo cups, potting up into 1 gallon planters sucks!

Secondly, I will be planting some of my own harvested seeds.

Thirdly, I will not be using "rock wool" or any other growing material other than potting soil, everything will be germinated then transferred to the larger solo cups, I will be "broadcast" planting some things as well, this worked out well for the Leeks and peppers last year.


Here is my Grow area I made last year.
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Here is my lineup so far.
  • Herb, Rosemary
  • Pepper Sweet, California Wonder HEIRLOOM
  • Pepper Sweet, Corno di Toro Giallo Pepper HEIRLOOM
  • Pepper Sweet, Ruby King
  • Pepper Hot, Tabasco HEIRLOOM
  • Pepper Hot, Jalapeno HYBRID
  • Pepper Hot, Ghost chili HEIRLOOM
  • Leeks, American Flag
  • Leeks, Dawn Giant
  • Herb, Parsley
  • Herb, Basil
  • Tomato, Brandywine Red (Potato Leaf) HEIRLOOM
  • Tomato, Matt's wild cherry
  • Tomato, Celebrity - HYBRID
  • Tomato, Cherokee Purple - HEIRLOOM
  • Tomato, Patio Princess - HYBRID
  • Eggplant, Black Beauty - HEIRLOOM
  • Eggplant, Unknown Chinese eggplant
  • Zuchinni
  • Watermelon, All Sweet ??/
  • Watermelon, Bush Sugar Baby ??
  • Tomato, Sweet 100 (From Feeney's) - HYBRID

Cold crops to plant wherever
  • Lettuce, Black seeded Simpson - HEIRLOOM
  • Lettuce, Red Russian Kale - HEIRLOOM
  • Lettuce, Paris Island Romaine - HEIRLOOM
  • Spinach - Long Standing - HEIRLOOM
  • Radishes - HEIRLOOM
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Swenson Swedish, Snow Pea - (Vine) HEIRLOOM
  • Mammoth Melting Sugar, Snow Pea - (Vine) HEIRLOOM



January 8, 2017

Although it is still early, and will be starting my seedlings in a few months, I have been gathering supplies and getting ready. I love the winter but I am also pretty excited about getting out in the garden.

I had my son shovel the walk :D
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January 28, 2017


Finished building another hugelkultur bed, just need to put on the uprights and a few cap pieces, I have this build posted under raised bed gardening, "Raised Hugelkultur Beds", and will continue to update that as well.

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February 12th, 2017.
The grow area is setup and reorganized as well as my seed starting tool box. I noticed that my one year old 1020 trays were split at the bottom, I decided to order sturdier ones for this season.

Rosemary seeds are started, I started another 10 seeds a few days later after reading up on the Rosemary Germination percentages..


February 16th, 2017.
These are Permanest Tray and domes that just came in from Indoor Garden Supplies. (lights are on just for the picture, there is no germination as of yet)

Tray# GS2211 and the dome is a V2211.

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So far I am very impressed with these trays and domes, extremely durable.


I have a lot of other stuff going on I have to remove a stump and replant that area, I plan on moving all of my tiger lilies from the front herb garden and place on the hill, in its place I will be planting milkweed.
I need to bild a retaining wall in the back after I remove two more stumps, then I will be planting a row of tiger lilies along the back, this will most likely happen in the fall.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

February 17th, 2017

Finished Mom & Dads Hugelkultur bed, topped with some compost, potting soil, peat moss and manure, planted some Radishes, beets, Romaine, Spinach and Black Seeded Simpson. In the very back they have a small bed they use for Cucumbers, I tossed in some Sugar Snap peas. Falls project will be to make that corner a raised bed.

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February 18th, 2017


Figured I would get some of my gardening done this weekend, it's gonna be near 60°F today and even higher tomorrow.

The back pond is looking a little dirty, fired up the pumps and filters.

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Finished the uprights on the new Hugelkultur bed, Cleaned out the fire pit and spread the ashes and bits of wood on the beds.

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Stained the Asparagus bed and added some composted manure. I spent a lot of the day working on the stump out front.

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February 19th, 2017


I had the family help out today, It got near 70°F today and was just a beautiful day to spend outside with the family, all my plants are coming up already.

In the hugelkultur beds I planted two types of spinach, Kale, Romaine Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson, Broccoli, Bush Beans and Mammoth Melting Snow Peas.

Mammoth Melting Snow Peas by the trellis.

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We trimmed the tree and pulled up all of the Tiger Lilies from around the butterfly house to make room for the Milkweed Plants Coming.

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The Red Maple trimmings will all be cut up, some will go in a wood pile for the chiminea on the side patio, smaller pieces will be composted and some will be chopped up for the smoker.

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Playing around with the herb garden to see how invasive my chocolate mint plant was, I stumbled across this little guy.

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We dug out quite a bit of soil and transplanted the Tiger Lilies. It will look a lot nicer when it grows in, I swear!

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I will be irrigating the stump all week because I will try pulling it out this weekend, I told my neighbor to come over and record the event as it may be "youtube' worthy lol. The front of the house is such a mess right now, so I'm amped up to get this stump out and get everything cleaned up

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

February 22nd, 2017

The weather has been very accommodating, last night I planted 16' of Swenson Swedish Snow Peas. The Parsley is still hanging in there. It's rained several times this week so keeping the soil moist has been easy.

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Taiji
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

That's really nice. A great example of what one can do even in an urban environment. Great example for those who are maybe waiting for that day when they can finally get out into the country to garden. Shows that someone with gardening in their genes can do it anywhere. Impressive.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

I am excited for you. I can't wait to see it all growing and green.

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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Looking good! Now I REALLY feel like I should be doing something, too.... :bouncey:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

February 24th, 2017

Got some time to work on my stump this weekend, this was a fail!

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February 25th, 2017

Spent most of the day working on the irrigation. Last year I had a bunch of emitters for the air pots so I decided to just run a double loop drip line 40' and plug up all the holes in the main line with Goof Plugs, WRONG! Those goof plugs suck, they were leaking all over so I decided to cut out the line with all the holes and install a new piece of the 1/2" main hose. A bunch of the "T"s got busted during the winter so they had to be replaced. I fiddled with the inline filter for over an hour and eventually gave up and removed it. Installed my Timer and hose connections.



February 26th, 2017


This years Spring and Fall project will be this back hill. I started by taking out the Arborvitaes, and need to start pulling out the ivy.

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My only concerns are digging out the two Bradford Pear stumps. Hopefully I can cut enough of the stump out to fit in the retaining wall behind the stumps, Gawd I hate these roots.

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After the hill is cleaned up and the ivy is out, I will try digging out a bit, for the retaining wall. I have buckets and crates of rock that I will be taking to my brothers. I'll burn a lot of the red maple and arborvitae for the compost bin. Some will be partially burnt for Bio-Char. The thicker pieces of the Arborvitaes are cut for the chiminea as well as the larger cuts of the red maple. Some of the maple will be recycled into my Pots that I will be converting into Hugelkultur pots. I'm gonna trash all my 5 gallon buckets and stick with just the homer buckets, I'm sick and tired of mismatched buckets getting stuck together. I still have some hydroponic stuff to ditch and sort, a bunch of cap stones from the steps that were removed when building the upper hugelkultur beds, a bunch of lumber, PVC Pipe, firewood in recycle buckets for the smoker/pit, milk crates, a few 55 gallon drums and tarps that all need to be sorted out and/or trashed. I really need to de-clutter

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The plan is to plant 6 or so Laurel Shrubs in the spring, start digging out to get ready for the retaining wall and build a retaining wall up on the hill in front of the existing retaining wall and plant some Laurel 30' wide as a back drop, the Arborvitaes were getting too sparse at the bottom and looked horrible. The space between the two retaining walls will be planted with Tiger Lilies.

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Got all of my pepper seeds planted, then realized I will be out of room once I start the Tomatoes and Eggplants. I promised Mom and my brother some plants and it looks like its gonna be tight. I broadcast seeded and will transplant and thin into solo cups, Ill probably double up on the pepper plants in the solo cups to save room. After I got all cleaned up and went upstairs to chill a bit, I was looking over my notes and realized, Shoot! I forgot to plant the Corno Di Toro Giallo peppers!
  • California Wonder
  • Anaheim
  • Corno Di Toro Giallo
  • Jalapeno
  • Ruby King
  • Tabasco
  • Poblano
  • Ghost Chili
  • Datil
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

February 28th, 2017

I dug out all the Chocolate Mint and put in a three gallon pot to try and keep the mint at bay. I'll probably do the same with the spearmint.

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Loaded up the truck with the stones from the back hill, I'll be taking these to my brothers house for his landscaping.

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March 1st, 2017


I dropped off the rock at my brothers house and was checking out his hugelkultur bed that he put in late summer, after seeing mine he decided that the raised hugelkultur beds would look nicer than a fence between the two properties. When he moved here a few years back the fence was in bad shape and he decided to remove it. The beds give a good property line but keep the area open. He wants to see how well the bed does before committing to any more beds along the property line, I said, "just go for it"!

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I have been slacking with my seedlings, checked them after dinner and the Rosemary had sprouted and were very leggy, I quickly got them under light, light timer is set for 19 hours. The fan is not set up on auto yet, I am still waiting for a timer from Amazon.



March 1st, 2017

Well it was inevitable and expected, the temp is dropping down to 20°F Friday and Saturday night, I'll be disconnecting the irrigation line, draining and bring in the timer. 70°F yesterday. This weekend I'll be planting some seeds and cleaning the back hill a bit so it won't be a total loss. It's really gonna piss me off if I loose my Rosemary after it lasted this long!

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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Yeah, forecast is 18° F here so it could potentially go down to 15° F in my garden -- crazy weather! :shock:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

March 2nd, 2017

Poor Rosemary

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March 3rd, 2017


The Datil, Jalapeno and Ruby King peppers had begun sprouting, I'm impressed, it has only been 4 days. I'll give them another day or two before I move them out of the germination tray.

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The Tiger Lilies seem to like their new spot, there are a few stragglers in various parts of the front yard, I'll be digging them up and transplanting them with these guys. I may tear out the Azalea plant.

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

March 4th 2017

My timer came in so I hooked up the oscillating fan to the timer, the timer is set to turn on for twenty minutes, three times a day. OK now onto more pressing problems, the temperature is supposed to go down in the low teens and I needed to come up with a way to keep my Rosemary alive. I figured I would try this fluorescent light, it puts out a little bit of heat. We will see what happens. I cover the Rosemary at night and uncover during the day.

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March 5th, 2017


I guess the warm snap we had in February got these guys going, this is my first year with Asparagus (first Harvest year), and I'm a bit worried about then coming up too soon, this weekend was down to about 15°F and next week it's supposed to get in the teens again.

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All the peppers pretty much sprouted with the exception of the Ghost Chili.
The Corno Di Torro Giallo, California Wonder and the Poblano took a full week to germinate. The Datil, Tobasco, Jalapeno, Anaheim and Ruby King were 4-5 days to germinate. These guys were removed from the Heated, domed germination tray and placed in a tray closer to the light. The light is set to 18 hours and the fan is set to go on for twenty minutes, three times a day.

Anaheim

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Ruby King

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Jalapeno

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Datil

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Tabasco

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Planted , Amandas Unknown Farm Eggplant, Basil, Black Beauty Eggplant, Black Vernissage Tomato, Brandywine Red Tomato, Celebrity Tomato, Cherokee Purple Tomato, Fengyuan Eggplant, Indigo Blue Berries Tomato, Matts Wild Cherry Tomato, Parsley, Patio Princess Tomato Determinate, Rosemary and Sprite Tomato Determinate. A mix of potting soil and perlite is used for the potting mix. The potting mix is packed in the planters then tamped down lightly and watered until water comes out of the bottom. Seeds are planted 3 to a cell, then topped with a thin layer of potting soil and misted with a spray bottle. Heat mat is set to 80°F, and the dome installed. These will be watered from the bottom.

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The broccoli started to come up, hopefully the low temps wont kill the seedlings.

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

March 7th, 2017

Still working on clearing out the back for the new fence, I need to dig in 6 posts and every other hole location is where an Arborvitae was planted, so Ill be busting my stones digging out more roots. I plan on saving a lot of the top soil for when I build the retaining wall in front, the soil looks pretty healthy!
What a mess!!

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March 8th, 2017 am

I cant believe the Marigolds came up already, these were planted Sunday night, its been less than three days. I'll probably be dividing them this weekend.


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Clearing out my Spam folder this morning I noticed an e-mail from Spring Hill Nurseries confirming that my Japanese Stewartia will be delivered March 9th-11th, that means that I will be working on the stump the rest of the week and the back hill will have to wait.

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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Wow you are in full gear! I feel like I'm really being slow at the starting line. I'm sharing your excitement and enthusiasm. :-()

...BTW I have an idea for the asparagus that might be growing too early -- why not put something like a bottomless milk carton over them and fill with mulch (maybe sawdust or peat/coir?) or sand, maybe -- I'm thinking you might be able to grow some white asparagus. ...maybe all you need to do is put a black nursery pot over them with a rock or brick to keep them in place.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

March 8th, 2017

Well when I got home today, the tree was here, I think they shipped too soon, Looks like I will be doing the front yard tomorrow.




March 9th, 2017


With the early arrival of the tree, I had to knock this out ASAP, thank goodness the weather was nice. I didn't get the whole stump out but got a good bit of it out to plant the new tree. I actually would have kept going if I didn't have a slight mishap with the Sawzall, after I got hurt I said Bull$hit, if the tree dies it dies, at this point I was beyond frustrated!

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I am still pulling crap from the hill, I removed a bunch of ivy and will need to spray it real good to knock it down a bit. I'm gonna try vinegar as a weed killer and only use weed and grass killer as a last resort. Most of the bits and pieces of wood will be burnt and the ashes used for compost, The thicker stuff is cut up and will be used in the chiminea. All the pressure treated wood will be burnt separately and the ashes discarded.

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Started the fence today, picked up six 8' - 4"x4" PT posts earlier this week. The bottoms are coated with roofing muck.

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I got 4 of the posts in today. A few of the post holes were exactly where the arborvitae stumps were so I had to dig them out, I used a sawzall to help remove the stumps. Each hole was dug a bit deeper than 24" then the post were set in place and temporarily secured to the fence using copper wire. The holes were then filled with Marble Chips and topped with a bit of soil, then adjusted.

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Removing the stumps wasn't too bad, and once I got down about 10" or so I was past the roots and although the soil was pretty much clay, digging with a shovel, a post hole digger and a bum hand wasn't too bad. OH! I didn't mention the hand incident, well I had a little accident with the Sawzall removing the stump out front. After a bit of tape and a rag and 4 advil, I was back in action.

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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

I can't watch horror flicks or read scary novels because I have a too active/vivid imagination. You are scaring me..... :eek:

I really hope it wasn't serious and you heal up soon. :|

...did you not get much snow? It was way cold last night, too.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

applestar wrote:Wow you are in full gear! I feel like I'm really being slow at the starting line. I'm sharing your excitement and enthusiasm. :-()

...BTW I have an idea for the asparagus that might be growing too early -- why not put something like a bottomless milk carton over them and fill with mulch (maybe sawdust or peat/coir?) or sand, maybe -- I'm thinking you might be able to grow some white asparagus. ...maybe all you need to do is put a black nursery pot over them with a rock or brick to keep them in place.
That is interesting, alas the shoot got soft and died, but on a positive note, it was the only shoot. I guess he was taking point!

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

applestar wrote:I can't watch horror flicks or read scary novels because I have a too active/vivid imagination. You are scaring me..... :eek:

I really hope it wasn't serious and you heal up soon. :|

...did you not get much snow? It was way cold last night, too.
Finger is healing but swollen and sore, I think its broken, wife (nurse) thinks its soft tissue damage.
were expecting 18-24" depending on who you listen to :D

this weekend
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

March 11th-12th, 2017

Well, this weekend was shot so I played in my workshop.

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The plants are all doing well, I had more rosemary pop, a Fengyuan Eggplant sprout, the parsley came up and a couple more ghost chili's The only thing I have been having trouble with are my California wonder seeds, nothing has germinated yet. Nothing from the Gerbera Daisy yet either.
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I expanded my growing space a bit. By topping off the solo cups I can get 18 per tray comfortably so I went from 60 to 72 on the grow table.
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Then looking around the workshop I found another spot to expand to another 36. Armed with a plan, it was off to Home Depot.

I need to stay out of Home Depot or more specifically the seed area, I stopped over HD to pick up a few timers for my expanded grow area and picked up a packet of Box Car Willie Tomato Seeds and Abe Lincoln Tomato Seeds.

When I got home, I hooked these shop lights up to a timer, set for 18 hours and put a fan on the work bench that is set to go on for twenty minutes three times a day. I grabbed a board I had laying around, put in some eye bolts, popped 4 anchors in the ceiling and popped in some eye bolts and used Heavy Gauge copper wire for the supports, I'll change these out with light duty chain when I get a chance, but for now it was what I had and I wasn't going back out again.
These are 6000k LED light that I originally bought for the grow table but due to the type of bulb, I couldn't use them on the grow table, electrical stuff I wont go into right now.

This works out great, it is just the right height to work under it without bumping my head, it does block a little light from the work shop table but not too much.
Right now I have a few Jalapeno, Poblano and Marigold plants up there as a control, I will be checking them every day to see if the lights and area are adequate.
This brings me from 60 plants to 108 plants.

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017


March 16th, 2017


It has been 5 days and the 36+ plants are doing well under the new grow area, so I think it is safe to say that the heat, air flow and and lighting under these lights are adequate.

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The Abe Lincolns (first) and Boxcar Willies (next) exploded after less than three days.

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I started the hardest part of my growing season, thinning, but this year I have been saving them.
The plants are divided and re-potted. Some will go to my brother others will go to a friend that once said, "don't kill the babies I'll take them". I started thinning early, because frankly I need the room.
I doubled up in some of the containers and they can be divided or thinned later.

I am also growing about 10 plants for my Parents Hugel Bed but I will harden them off and be planting myself.
Everything has been doing pretty good, I had more Rosemary pop up, a few more Ghost Chili's and 1 California Wonder. The California wonders were broadcast seeded into two groups, one was my harvested seeds, the other was from the 2016 season packet, out of 40 or more seeds on both I only had one germinate and that was from the packet.

I done the same with my Black Beauty eggplants the ones from the packet were slow to germinate and the seeds I harvested not one germinated. All of the eggplants were seeded at least three to a cell, I eventually dumped all the remaining harvested seeds into two more pots and time will tell.
The unidentified eggplant from my Daughter has not germinated, and only one Fengyuan Eggplant seed has germinated.

Here is a quick recap (in red has not germinated)

Herb, Rosemary
Pepper Sweet, California Wonder HEIRLOOM (only one seed germinated)
Pepper Sweet, Corno di Toro Giallo Pepper HEIRLOOM
Pepper Sweet, Ruby King HEIRLOOM
Pepper Hot, Tabasco HEIRLOOM
Pepper Hot, Jalapeno  HEIRLOOM
Pepper, Anaheim  HEIRLOOM
Pepper Hot, Ghost chili HEIRLOOM
Pepper Hot, Poblano HEIRLOOM
Herb, Parsley
Herb, Basil
Tomato, Brandywine Red (Potato Leaf) HEIRLOOM
Tomato, Matt's wild cherry (only one seed germinated)
Tomato, Celebrity  - HYBRID
Tomato, Black Vernissage  - HEIRLOOM
Tomato, Cherokee Purple  - HEIRLOOM
Tomato, Patio Princess  (Determinate) - HYBRID
Tomato, Indigo Blue Berries  - HEIRLOOM
Tomato, Sprite  (Determinate) - HEIRLOOM
Eggplant, Black Beauty - HEIRLOOM
Eggplant, Unknown Chinese Eggplant
Eggplant, Fengyuan Purple Eggplant - HEIRLOOM (only one seed germinated)
Flower, Marigold
Flower, Gerbera Daisy

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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Oooh you got some varieties I don't have and some that I hadn't heard of. Looking forward to hearing how they turn out. :D

Eggplants are difficult to save seeds for because we eat immature eggplants, and to harvest seeds, you have to let them mature completely. So far, only ways I have been able to carry eggplant fruits to maturity have been to allow first or early fruit to mature on one plant, sacrificing production, or to grow or dig up in a pot before first frost and keep the fruiting plant going in the house. Even after harvesting the hard-shelled fruit, I keep the fruit in the kitchen in warm/dry condition until the fruit starts to shrivel, then scrape out the seeds from the barely damp spongy flesh. Quick sinker vs floater test as with tomato seeds, then dry thoroughly before storing.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

I'm gonna try that thanks, so if I leave one fruit , specifically the first one, on the plant the entire season, the seeds will be mature?

What do you think about the California Wonders? I never have problems with pepper seeds, well with the exception of long germination time for Ghost Chili's, but that is to be expected.
Some of the stuff I am growing is just to harvest seeds.

My Red Ruby King pepper seeds all germinated in less than a week.

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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

March 17th-19th, 2017

This week was a bust and I'm pretty sure I lost all my seedlings in the Hugel Beds, I may replant this week.
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I'm still trying to save my Rosemary plant, I started this from seed last year.
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And if the weather wasn't enough for me to worry about, now I have this to worry about!
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He's after my KOI.
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Started thinning and dividing the plants.
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The plants in the Blue Solo Cups will go to a fellow garden enthusiast, the Yellow solo cups go to my brother and the rest are mine. 50% or less will be used in my garden, some will go in my parents garden and the remainder will either find a new home, find a nook in my yard or be tossed.
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I started fertilizing the plants this week and they seem to be doing OK. I still have some Abe Lincoln Tomato seedlings and Boxcar Willie Tomato Seedlings that need to be re-potted next week, they wee a tad too small to be messing with.
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The fan and lighting seem to be adequate. I have been keeping the garage at about 78°F.



I usually don't recycle my potting mix but was running low so I sterilized some potting mix for my Marigold plants.
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I have been putting these Marigolds everywhere, here are a few on a morning sun windowsill in the basement bathroom, hopefully it will be enough light and not too drafty. Now I just have to figure out how to keep the wife from dropping and closing the blinds!
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Today was a melancholy day, I retired my old faithful Remington saw and replaced with a new Makita, the Remington has been a great saw and don't owe me anything after 10 years of service, I feel like I lost an old friend!
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

March 21st, 2017

How do you know you have a gardening problem? When your running late for work and decide to do some gardening!

The snow and ice is almost gone so I checked my beds, all the peas that sprouted have rotted, same with the broccoli, no sign of the spinach, bush beans and lettuces. I replanted the peas and the broccoli. This weekend is shot, I will be on a canoe camping trip on the Delaware river, we will be heading out very early Friday morning but I will be home fairly early Sunday so I may be able to do some planting then.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Yup, it's always something. I planted sprouted potatoes when phenology would tell me: when the forsythia blooms. But we had such a weird season so far. February was near-record hot almost the whole month and the forsythia bloomed very early, around mid Feb. The potatoes grew into pretty little 3-4" high plants. Then a week ago we had three days running of near record cold, 24 degree nights, which is colder than it almost ever gets around here. All the potato plants bit the dust. :( I guess I should stick with the old tradition of plant potatoes at St Paddy's day.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

rainbowgardener wrote:Yup, it's always something. I planted sprouted potatoes when phenology would tell me: when the forsythia blooms. But we had such a weird season so far. February was near-record hot almost the whole month and the forsythia bloomed very early, around mid Feb. The potatoes grew into pretty little 3-4" high plants. Then a week ago we had three days running of near record cold, 24 degree nights, which is colder than it almost ever gets around here. All the potato plants bit the dust. :( I guess I should stick with the old tradition of plant potatoes at St Paddy's day.
Man, thats a shame, seems like most folks are in the same boat.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

My new cups came in and I have been transplanting into the new cups. These cups are awesome, nice and sturdy and can be run through the dishwasher. The taller ones are 20 oz. cups and fit 18 to a tray and the smaller ones are 10 oz. cups and fit 21 to a tray, I am still debating on getting all 20 oz. cups. I like that they are taller and slightly narrower than the red solo cups.

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If I get more 20 oz. cups, I'll probably use the 10 oz cups for my pepper starts then pot up to 20 oz.

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017


March 23rd, 2017


Replanted some Bush Beans,
,this morning before work,

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no, no, not those Bush Beans.


After work I planted a row of the sugar snap peas in the Hugel bed.




March 24th - 26th, 2017


Canoeing the Delaware River, see ya in a couple days.



I survived!!


March 27th, 2016

I was re-potting some plants today and had a little mishap, I was adjusting the height of the shelf and spilled a whole tray of plants, there were some casualties but I managed to save most of them but time will tell. I really need to be more careful. The trays should be removed before adjusting, not sure what the hell I was thinking. I will be stopping at Home Depot tomorrow to pick up some supplies to install a more secure system.




March 28th, 2016


These tomato plants still have about three weeks to go before planting, they literally exploded in a week, I started my plants several weeks later this year but may need to start another week or two later.

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The eggplants and some of the peppers are spot on for timing but I may plant them a week later as well.

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A few of the tomato plants have what appears to be "sun scald", these plants were touching the light. I'll be hardening these off in a week or two so I turned off the heat in the garage so the garage is a bit cooler and cut back on the fertilizer and watering.

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I setup a more secure adjustable/hanging system

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017


March 28th, 2017


Earlier in the week I picked up 10, twelve foot 5/4 decking planks.



March 30th, 2017


Today I picked up another 10, twelve foot 5/4 decking planks.


March 31st, 2017


I ordered my "5 for 10" mulch at Home Depot but it was raining too bad to even attempt picking up the bags of mulch, Friday it rained about 12 hours non stop


April 1st, 2017

It was too wet to really do anything so I got all of my tools ready and cleaned up the yard (swamp) a bit.




April 2nd, 2017

Woohoo, its finally dry enough to get moving on the fence.
I had the Stephen stack my mulch. Afterwards I realized that I got the wrong mulch, I don't care for the Viigoro its too red, I prefer the Earthgrow, however its not too big of a deal because the color fades out by the end of the season. The reason I get the colored mulches is they seem to turn a nice rich black color after about a year, more so than the other mulches. I have no clue as to why this is and maybe I'm crazy but hey, it works for me.

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Dug in the last post and started leveling. I put eyebolts in the posts and secured to the fence once level using romex. I done all the posts but one, (More on that later).

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Sam wanted to help so I had her dig around the arborvitae stumps as I worked on the supports.

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Maggie decides to help.




After all the posts were leveled and secured I noticed the one post set back about 10" further than the other ones, this is because my back yard butts up against two neighbors back yards and its not straight. I decided to leave it as is
Remember the ONE POST I DID NOT SECURE, well, I got all my supports in and noticed the one post I did not secure had shifted about 3 inches to the right on an angle, I decide to leave that as well and try to place the fence slats straight in an effort to make it less noticeable, we will see!

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April 3rd, 2017


Today after work, I cut the remainder of the planks and installed all but 5 of the planks. You can see the post to the left how it shifted, when I start adding planks to the left, I'll try to run them straight instead of spacing evenly. Its bad but looks even worse than it is due to the camera angle.

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April 3rd, 2016


Some of the plants just exploded, hopefully this weekend I can start hardening them off.

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April 4th, 2017


This morning I planted some Zucchini seeds.

Well its supposed to rain every day this week but Wednesday, I ordered 10 more decking planks and will cut and install them Wednesday after work hopefully.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

April 4th, 2017

I ordered 10 more decking planks and it's supposed to rain every day this week but Wednesday, so I will be working against Mother Nature again.

After work. I picked up the decking wood and surprisingly, since the weather was nice, I cut the pieces, removed another arborvitae stump and finished another panel.


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After work I was checking the plants and decided it was time for them to sink or swim, they will be put out in the morning.

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April 5th, 2017

Sink or Swim dammit, these guys will get late afternoon sun.

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The little guy didn't make it, but we do have a few new Gus's poking their heads through. Now I just have to keep the dogs out of Asparagus bed.

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wisconsindead
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Looking good! Jealous of your asparagus. I need to start growing that.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

April 5th-12th, 2017

I installed a new Pond filter and UV about 4 days ago, and it is now just starting to clear up, I ordered another filter that I will be installing this weekend. Now I need to do something with those wires!

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I started work on the Koi pond, cleaned the filters, skimmed the bottom, fired up the Wendy Filter, had to do a quick repair job on the upper veggie filter, as it was leaking pretty good. Got the other veggie filter going and put in the Terracotta pots for my peppers.
I am still digging out the back hill. I have been digging out this hill for the last few weeks and taking the dirt to my Brothers house, he has a low spot in his yard that pools pretty good after a heavy rain so we have been dumping it in the low spot.


After work I decided to stop by Home Depot and pick up some 6x6x10 footers, lets just say that I wont do that again!

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Woohoo! the fence is finished, now it's time to concentrate on the retaining wall.

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Today I Planted most of my veggies. (L-R)
 Matts Wild Cherry
 Ruby King
 Corno Di Toro Giallo
 Anaheim
 Poblano
 Black Beauty

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This year I planted the Eggplants and peppers on a slight angle and spread them out a bit more.


Left Bed (L-R)
California Wonder - California Wonder
Black Beauty Eggplant - Black Beauty Eggplant
Black Beauty Eggplant - Black Beauty Eggplant
Brandywine Red
Abe Lincoln

Right Bed (L-R)
6 plants across may be a bit tight, we will see!
Ruby King Red Pepper - Ruby King Red Pepper
Cherokee Purple
Cherokee Purple
Brandywine Red
Black Vernissage
Black Vernissage

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Long Hugelkultur bed (L-R)
 Indigo Blue Berries Tomato 24"
 Abe Lincoln 24"
 Abe Lincoln 24"
 Corno Di Toro Giallo 18"
 Corno Di Toro Giallo 18"
 Cherokee purple 24"
 California Wonder 18"
 Anaheim 18"
 Black Beauty 20"
 Black Beauty 20"
 Jalapeno 18"
 Jalapeno 18"
 Poblano 18"
 Poblano 18"
 Box Car Willie 24"
 Box Car Willie 24"
 Brandywine red 24"
 Brandywine red 24"
 Ruby King 18"
 Ruby King 18"
 Oregano Cover crop
 Basil
 Parsley
 Marigold

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Patio Princess

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Sprite determinate. Old filter earmarked for the trash, I'm just waiting a week or two to make sure my new filter doesn't suck!

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Jalapeno in the larger Vertical Tower (Top). I had strawberries in this vertical tower last year and was half hoping they would not winter over and I would plant other things in them, oh well, all the strawberries came back.

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Tabasco in the smaller Vertical Tower (Top), gotta have Tabasco for my hot sauce!!! I'll be dumping miscellaneous herbs and pepper plants in here.

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I just can't wait until all the veggie plants are in, my wildflowers arrive and are planted, everything is mulched, the retaining wall and fence are done, all the digging and dirt hauling is done, the ponds are finished, then I can put all my tools away, cleanup and enjoy the gardening. I took on a lot this year but I'm hoping it all pays off and I don't burn out by July!!

My Peas are starting to come up.

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Last year I transplanted some Phlox and it has done really well. All this Phlox came from one small plant by the Koi Pond. It just blows my mind that one of the plants is white and they all came from the same plant.

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Donor plant

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My artistic Daughter is making me some Rock Labels for my Herb Garden.

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My one Raspberry plant is doing well and for some odd reason, my shepherd loves eating this plant. Note the Dumb Ass turtle to the left, God knows how long he's been stuck there. I still need to childproof the yard a little better.

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This morning I got up early and put in some Marigolds, checked on the plants and pond and YES, done some more digging!!!

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After work I picked up some 4x4's for the supports, 4 foot rebar, stone (chipped marble), for the posts and 10" Timberlock screws. I laid the first three pieces of the retaining wall. I used my new AWESOME chainsaw to make the cut. The first row needs to be leveled but I will wait till Saturday after we pick up the remaining 6x6s, this way my brother can help me.

I got some more digging to do and I gave up on removing the stumps, natures gonna have to take care of them.




April 13th-16th, 2017

Today the other pond filter came in and I got that installed, I just didn't plug in the UV so it's just a canister filter at the moment.

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I ran a 1/2" irrigation line from the raised bed under the retaining wall. I plan on running an emitter line to water the plants in front of the fence, I just need to order as few more parts.
I dug the hose in a good bit and covered the hose with some pavers, just in case I'm digging around and forgot about the line being there, Yeah, I sometimes do that! And yes, I did some more digging.

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I called my brother for assistance on the rest of the project, The game plan was to meet at Home Depot at 8 am, pick up the wood and install the retaining wall. We got the wood home safely and moved it into the back yard, boy was it heavy.


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After the four posts were in we tamped everything real good secured to the fence and removed the support that was kicking the wall back.

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Laura was painting the playhouse, when she finished, she ran out and grabbed a few hoagies and we stopped for lunch.

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I tweaked my Compost bin, It was undersized, last years garden waste filled it up and then some.

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Mulched the back and put in some plants.

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All the turtles are up and about.

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I am having issues with the newest rescue, I keep separating them, he may have to go!

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Finally a chance to relax.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Wow, what a lot of work!!! Sometimes people think us gardeners are a bit crazy working so hard on our yards, but it is immensely satisfying, both the work itself and the results.

Your daughter's rock labels are lovely; she is indeed very artistic.

Sounds like you do put a LOT of veggies in a bed...

I hope you aren't kidding yourself about the time when you can just sit back and relax... :) I have been in my new location a yer and a half now and I'm still waiting for that time to come.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Yes daughter is talented and a hard worker.
Thank you
The Hugel beds get planted a tad tighter because I grow more or less vertically in those beds.
I hear you on the relaxing.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

April 18th-21st, 2017

This was my first years harvest for my asparagus (2nd season). I harvested very conservatively and I am letting the rest go to fern to strengthen the roots.
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Today I added the top pieces on the retaining wall and finished back filling the other two posts with stone, dirt then mulch. The top pieces for the retaining wall and fence are not screwed in yet, just like the top pieces on the fence, they will season until the fall then both sides will be stained before securing, hopefully this will eliminate or at least reduce the wood twisting or curling out of whack. I also picked up 6 cages to try for some of my peppers and eggplant, I don't like cages but these seemed fairly heavy duty, so I will be giving them a shot.


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My brother and Sister in Law picked up these plants to give everyone for Easter, I put mine in by the back pond.

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April 22nd-27th, 2017

Saturday morning... I hop out of bed all excited to start off my day gardening. First thing on the list, I put up my "Tree of Life", I really love this thing.

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2nd thing on my list... irrigation line, so I moved to the front yard, I started digging out the front for the irrigation and it started to rain, after my happy moment subsided, I realized I am gonna get wet today. It rained the rest of the day but I wanted to get my front irrigation line dug in.
I Removed the pavers then dug in the 1/2 inch line, each section has a tee and shutoff, there are three sections.

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I still need to replace the leaky hose bib, (note the crack in the body), before I can tie everything in.

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As I was working on the irrigation, my plants came in so I decided to get them in while it was raining, I also used the rain to my advantage and done a bit of weeding. I got to tell you, I am completely dissatisfied with American Meadows, it's a disgrace how they ship their plants. This is the second shipment that was destroyed.


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This was my first shipment.

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Yes that's a plant, my Common Milkweed.
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The rest of the day was pretty much shot, so I cleaned the basement and the workshop and put away most of my garden supplies.
Anyhow, here is what I planted this weekend,
  • Swamp Milkweed Cinderella
  • Bee Balm
  • Gaillardia Goblin
  • Butterfly Milkweed
  • Basil
  • Sunflowers
  • More Marigolds
  • Leeks
Sunday was much nicer. I cleaned up the back hill, de-cluttered a bit more, planted some more Marigolds and Basil, planted most of my Leeks and finished the compost bin. It's not real pretty but I need this area for my wood and garden supplies.

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I changed the watering tube on the vertical tower to a much smaller diameter and tied in to the irrigation line.

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I had a few pepper plants left over so I tossed a couple by the back pond and a few up on both ends of the retaining wall. I then made a turtle step,

this is where I access the hill and I was inadvertently compacting the soil every time I stepped off the hill. One of the turtles hibernates in this corner, so I dug it up and tossed in some mulch and sawdust. I'll loosen it up again in the fall before the turtles start hibernating.

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I separated and dug out an area in the front lower yard for the leeks, filled with composted manure potting soil and planted the Leeks.

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The Herb garden is coming along nicely, the Mints started to pick up, the Rosemary Survived the winter, The Horseradish is starting to flower, the Chives are budding and the Sage is looking lush.


Rosemary

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Sage


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Horseradish

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Chocolate Mint

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Chocolate Mint a few days later.

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Chives

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Spearmint

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Later in the day I started working on the landscape lighting, but it's gonna be a major overhaul, most of the lights aren't working due to faulty connections.

Today I replaced the Hose Bib, of course it was not the same dimensions as the one being replaced, anyhow I got it together with no leaks, looks like $HIT but it works! My brother is gonna take a look at it and decide if we should redo it or put on a sleeve, to be honest, you won't see it once the hose holder is installed but its annoying just knowing it looks like that. I call crap like this "Easter Eggs", every time I build something, there is just one thing that peeves me and ask folks to find the hidden "Easter Egg".




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It's been raining most of the week, so I've just been pulling weeds but not doing much anything else.

I did plant a bunch of Sunflower seedlings all over the place.

The tiger lilies bounced back pretty good.
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Japanese Stewartia

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Celebrity

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Patio Princess

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Sprite

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Zucchini

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Raspberry

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Aquaponic peppers

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Asparagus

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Peppers, Tomatoes, Basil, Parsley, Snow Peas, Oregano, lettuce.

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Peppers, Tomatoes, Basil, Snow Peas, Oregano, lettuce, Chives, Parsley, Bush Beans, Broccoli, Eggplant, Marigolds, Strawberries.

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

April 28th – May 6th 2017

I got a lot done this weekend but not much from my list.

Friday after work I installed the hose hanger out front.
Saturday we stopped at a few local nurseries to get some flowers, we picked up some herbs as well, planted some Dill, Stevia, Lavender, Daisies and Sun-patients. I also picked up a few Water Hyacinths for the Koi Pond.

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We cleaned up the patio, removed the rug, scrubbed with 409, sprayed down the patio and tidied up a bit. The rug cleaned up nicely.

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I ripped out the landscape lighting around the back pond, it needs a complete redo, so I figured I would tear it out and start from scratch.
Reworked the Planter on the deck and planted some Daisies, the daisies that were in there died because the planter was holding water and froze after they started coming back. I emptied out the planter, enlarged the drain holes and put everything back.

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Installed some foam on the fence to keep the dog and turtles from Squeezing out.

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Installed the new inline filter and ran a 30' drip line on the retaining wall. The red tape isn't pretty but it sure does hold well!

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A buddy called me up to help him remove some of his Magnolia tree, that took up most of Saturday and we almost ended up in the ER, My buddy fell out of the tree, well he more or less was shot out, when the limb he cut slapped him upside his head, no broken bones or lacerations but he was banged up pretty good.
He was going to toss the wood and I said, "No Way, let's put it in the back of my truck"!

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Fresh wood has a lot of moisture, I guess I should have cracked the windows in the truck.

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I installed the EMT Conduit vertical tomato supports on one side of the raised beds, and on the other side, I'm going to try a Florida Weave between two posts.

Started the vertical support lines on the hugelkultur beds. For the vertical supports I'm using wire leaders and Jute twine. This is my first year using this system but have had success with vertical supports using EMT. My main concern is the weight of the plants spanned across 36' of cable. My back up plan is a center support if the cable sags too much.

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At the end of the season, the twine will be cut and composted, then the fishing line leader will be slid to one end.
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After work today I picked up my Lights and some other supplies. I removed the hose from the pond area and had Stephen help me reroute it to the back of the playhouse, installed a hose hanger, hose and spray nozzle.

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Now onto the fun stuff, today I Installed the lights by the back fence, I'm still playing with different patterns and will need to readjust when the plants grow in. I ordered another set of 4 and will accent the pond, the tree of life, and the front gardens.

Photo#1 - Lights spaced 18" apart up against retaining wall.
Photo#2 - Lights back to back up against retaining wall
Photo#3 - Lights at each post up against the fence.
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Installed the backyard pond lights, I may look into a lower wattage flood light for the wall but will most likely keep the 40 watt on the waterfall.

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Replaced all the incandescent Low Voltage bulbs with LED's

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Finished the irrigation out front but may still run a 1/4" line to the pond and planters, but I need to cut a bit of concrete, maybe one day when I'm bored.

wisconsindead
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Very nice garden!

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

wisconsindead wrote:Very nice garden!
Thank you

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

May 7th - May 17th, 2017

I got a lot done this weekend but NOTHING from my list.
Installed some underdecking but still needs tweaks, this is definitely a case of "Functionality vs. Aesthetics in Design".

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After I installed the extension I called up the Mrs. and asked her to grab me something for the Pit to do a test run.

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OK The pit seems to be unaffected by the extension.


Started transplanting Chocolate mint to the curbside. The mint was doing well till the neighbors grandson ran it over with the lawnmower, but thats fine its just for a ground-cover, because crap grows here all the time.

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The front gardens are doing real well.
Lavender, Calla Lilies, Oregano, Thyme, Stevia, Marigolds, Parsley, Dill, Gaillardia Goblin, Rogue Tiger Lily that I will dig out, I also planted some Swamp Milkweed and Butterfly Milkweed, but they didn't make it.

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Herb Garden, Chocolate mint, Spearmint, Chives, Sage, Horseradish, Phlox, Tiger Lily, Day Lilies, Rosemary, Marigolds and some Rogue squash type plant I may let go for fun.

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Sunpatients, Crocus, Lilies, Japanese Andromeda Pieris Japonica "Bonfire", Jack Frost Heartleaf Brunnera, Marigolds.

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Irrigation for the front lower garden, I still need to do a few tweaks, mulch the rest of the gardens and hide the irrigation lines, replace the Y with my new Ball Valve Y, possibly run a line to the pond for Auto Fill?

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Leeks, Vinca Minor Periwinkle, Japanese Stewartia that replaced my Beautiful Red Maple, and a three a 3 year old Rogue maple plant in there that I have been keeping for my neighbor.

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Sprite Tomato, Basil, Parsley, Marigold?

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Tiger lilies from the lower garden and a Dwarf Azalea that needs a new home.

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Patio Princess Tomato, Strawberries, Parsley?, Basil, Marigold, Sunpatients. Leeks in the white planter in the back.

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The pond - Yellow Iris Pseudacorus, Black Gamecock Iris.

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Veggie filters for pond.

Top - Sunpatients
Lower - California Wonder, Ruby King, Poblano, Poblano, Corno Di Toro Giallo, Corno Di Toro Giallo. The Phlox is in the soil not the veggie filter.

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Side patio - Celebrity Tomato, Basil, Parsley, Marigold, Lilly's

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Side yard Hugel Bed - Matts Wild Cherry by fence, Ruby King, Corno Di Toro Giallo, Anaheim, Poblano, Black Beauty, Sunflower, Basil, Parsley, Marigold, Spinach, Swenson Snow Peas.

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Asparagus

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Raspberry

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Mammoth Snow Peas
Black Seeded Simpson
Indigo Blue Berries Tomato
Abe Lincoln
Abe Lincoln
Corno Di Toro Giallo
CornoDi Toro Giallo
Cherokee purple
California Wonder
Anaheim
Black Beauty
Black Beauty
Jalapeno
Jalapeno
Poblano
Poblano
Box Car Willie
Box Car Willie
Brandywine red
Brandywine red
Ruby King
Oregano
Chives
Thyme
Black Seeded Simpson
Basil
Broccoli
Bush Beans
Parsley
Marigold
sunflower

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Raised Beds
California Wonder
Black Beauty Eggplant
Brandywine Red Tomato
Abe Lincoln Tomato
Leeks
Oregano
Basil
Parsley
Cherokee Purple Tomato
Black Vernissage Tomato

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Fence in the back, I don't think any of the Milkweed Plants made it

Elaeagnus ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’
Corno Di Toro Giallo
California Wonder
Swamp Milkweed Cinderella
Bee Balm
Gaillardia Goblin
Tiger Lilies
Jalapeno
Butterfly Milkweed
Anaheim
Marigolds
Sunflowers



Trellis - Swenson Swedish Snow Pea, Marigold

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Back Pond

Yellow Iris pseudacorus
Garden Pink
Camellia, April Remembered
Bee Balm
Ghost pepper
Tabasco
Chives
Oregano
Rosemary

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Shasta Daisy and Marigolds on the deck.

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I wonder what this is?

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Woohoo! my sun came in.

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I'm just worried that it will blend too much with the fence once I stain the fence, I may have to throw some light at it if it blends in too much.

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Swapped out the 40 watt flood light with a 20 watt spotlight.

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wisconsindead
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Lots going on in that yard!

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

May 18th - May 25th, 2017

I got a few things done this week and some were actually from my list this time, Yay!
  • Wired in the new Hugelkultur bed lights, they're not secured yet, I will secure them after the bed is stained.
  • Installed New Y valve
  • Ran some vertical support lines for the maters on the hill.
  • Mulched the front garden and in front of the new Hugelkultur Bed
  • Fixed some leaks on the under-decking still nee to fix a few more leaks
  • Installed a light for the cooking area.
  • Took off the storm door and reinstalled, it was hitting the bottom concrete pad and wouldn't close properly or latch properly.
  • Laura painted the back wall.
  • Scrubbed the patio, coolers and bench seat
  • Repainted the patio table.
  • Added composted manure to the Aquaponic peppers.
  • Lifted a bunch of pavers and added paver base to level the pavers better.
  • Fed all the flowers, veggies, herbs and shrubs.
  • Installed the new ceiling fan
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Black Swallowtail caterpillars.

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A few nights ago I inspected the garden with a flashlight to see what critters are decimating my plants. I found the culprits, Slugs, tons of them, real tiny guys. Whats odd is the infestation is only one half of the bed. I did dump some ash in the bed to the left so that may have helped.

So I decided to make some slug traps but first I needed a little bit of beer.

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First I sprayed all the plants with Neem Oil, then laid out my Slug Traps.

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Note the marigold plant bottom right. The sacrificial Marigolds are sort of working but I don't want to loose them either.


I put four slug traps in the 10' bed. After I set up the slug traps I sprayed all the plants with Neem Oil.

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Trimmed the tomato plants to one stem.

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I checked the beds last night and the slugs seemed to have disappeared. I did see a few slugs in one of the traps in the morning.



Maybe as a treat I'll feed the Beer soaked slugs to reds.

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Installed the new ceiling fan.

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