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aggiemae

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Does anyone else here grow their own food?  

This is the first year I will grow everything from seed and  just started planting seeds on heated mats and will put them out into the greenhouse under lights, hopefully in 6-8 weeks. So far just eggplant and a cold tolerate tomato ( the seeds are from Russia) that I can plant out mid April.  I have big plans for the greenhouse. 

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I usually do but I moved house late last summer and still haven't got round to sorting the new garden out ready for planting.  The weather has been so funny here this year which hasn't helped either.  We had a very mild winter and a lot of the spring flowers started early but now the temperature has dropped and it snowed overnight so the plants don't know what is happening! 

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When we first came to look at our house we met the neighbors across the street and the man of the house asked me if we planned to have a veggie garden, and I aid it would be nice if we didn't have the problem with rabbits and raccoons eating everything as it came up, like we did in Havana (FL).  He said he didn't know about the rabbits here, but the deer had eaten out his garden two years in a row and he had given up, so I decided to wit & see.  I did start a compost heap over by the woods, and when I noticed some seeds Id tossed appeared to be sprouting I thought, Aha!  I'll plant the sprouts when they get big enough.  Next AM they were gone.  Moving along a couple of years, until we got our back porch built and ate our first breakfast out there, and watched the herd of deer come wandering into our yard and graze their way through our yard and the net door neighbors' before moving on throughout the neighborhood.

This past year we put a jalapeno pepper and a tomato in pots on the porch, but they couldn't get enough sun to do much.  The tomato died but the pepper produced five peppers at different times, so we moved it outside into the ground next to the porch, where it has begun to thrive; I'll be interested to see if the deer get brave enough to approach close enough to the house to graze on it!

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I gave up my lovely garden when we moved to New Orleans permanently. Gardening in containers doesn't interest me as much as I'd hoped, but maybe I'll get the hang of it the longer we're here.

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We grow and preserve almost all of our produce. We bought an Excalibur dehydrator and it's marvelous for drying tomatoes, peppers and just about everything else. :) 

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I had my own garden for a couple years when I lived in San Jose. I can't have one now because I'm in the middle of the city with no place to even put containers. I miss having a garden so much, though

My little yard in San Jose was all clay. The only time you could go out and dig in it was when it was raining because the ground was so hard when it was dry. Summer waterings took about 2 hours a day, but about the only thing I planted that didn't grow well was impatiens, and that was because I planted them in full sun. Otherwise I bought a few plants and a friend of mine who was a gardener, would bring me plants that people were throwing away.

I had a clump bamboo and some white roses and some canna plants that another friend assured me would only grow a couple feet. They ended up growing 6 feet high because she never watered hers! I planted wisteria and corn and strawberries and celery and peas and cherry tomatoes. OMG, those cherry tomatoes. I took about a 10 x 10 space and planted one spindly plant on each of the four corners and I had cherry tomatoes coming out my ears (I didn't know they needed to have a tomato stand on them).

The strawberries went berserk and I had strawberries all summer long, too. I went out in the pasture and pulled up a couple California poppies and transplanted them by my walkway. After a year or two it was like fighting a jungle of poppies. Same with the marigolds. I had some shallow soil over cement, about a 3 x 4 empty space, and decided to throw some seed out there. I quit counting at 200 marigolds. I also had snap dragons and a grape vine that was just starting to give me grapes when I had to move.

None of this was because of me, because I swear, I can kill a plant just by looking at it. I think it was the great clay soil I had. I'd give anything if I could have a garden again but if I do, it probably won't be as good as my first one.

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We tried to grow tomatoes, but they were few and awful!  We have a small yard, mostly shaded.  I have three citrus trees growing in containers, so we have lemons, key limes and tangerines that all turn out well.  And, I finally found a spot for a lovely container of rosemary to flourish.  That's just about all the edibles I can claim.  The rest is dedicated to flowering bushes, trees and (gulp) vines.  The vines are testing my patience at the moment because they require so much trimming, especially after the mild winter we had this year in Houston.  But, my azaleas, begonias and geraniums are starting to bloom, my roses are putting out buds, and the Carolina jasmine and all three citrus trees are keeping the bees very happy and healthy right now.

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Big gardener and preserver here!! Food and flora. Necessary for our budget, for health reasons we like to be in control of where our food comes from and what's in it (as best as you can) and it's good exercise and responsibility training for all family members. Too cold here, as of now, for planting outdoors but my bulbs are starting to pop up a bit (for the fourth time - weird, weird winter)

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We had a pretty flower garden and grew vegetables when we lived in Pennsylvania, but gardening in Maine just became another chore.I tried growing tomatoes a few times here, but the ugly tomato worms kept chewing them up, and since we didn't get ripe tomatoes till the end of August anyway, and they quit in mid September I gave up on them. Constant spraying was such a pain. Then there were the strawberries. I had always wanted to grow strawberries, but the squirrels ate them. Netting didn't work, I'd have needed to build a cage around my strawberry plants. Then there were the raspberries. Tiny little worms showed up and ate them. I hardly got any for myself. My cucumbers wouldn't thrive either. I tried sunflowers, but as soon as they got to be about 3 feet tall, with nice flower buds, something ate off the tops. I came out one morning and the tops of each plant had been bitten right off. Someone gave me some gorgeous phlox, but every year the deer would eat them. After I realized I was spending over $20 every summer on deer repellent to save my phlox I decided I'd have enough. I used to have scads of houseplants before we moved up here, but since living here, all kinds of little bugs would show up in my house to dine on the leaves of my plants. I found myself having to spray my houseplants constantly with bug sprays, etc to keep them alive. One day I gave up and tossed every houseplant that kept struggling to survive. No plants - no little bugs. The only plants that thrive in my house are my Jade plants, my dracena, the golden pothos and the aspidistras. They were all started from cuttings from my mom's houseplants, one's she'd had since the 50's.

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The freezer is always too full so now we have a dehydrator and a vacuum sealer. We are down to just on kid living at home so probably will not need the second freezer soon. 

Weather is crazy here too. Nectarines started blooming 2 weeks ago, hopefully the wind will pollinate them.  I am not sure we go in enough cold days for our apples. The first asparagus is coming up almost 3 weeks eariler than last spring.  I wonder where people who "don't believe in" global warming are going to get their food?

It wasn't raining much so I planted the first uncovered bed on Sunday, leaf lettuce mix, cress, spinach, snow peas and soft neck garlic. Put out some broccoli start too, it's a bit early but I have a whole flat.Hopefully the snails will leave us some.

I planted more seedlings today and moved the ones that outgrew the little plastic hot box, Mostly heirloom tomatoes under grow lights. I will transplant them into individual pots and put them into the greenhouse when they have two true leaves.

 

Our veggie garden is in front of the house since the pool takes up the sunnest part of the back yard.  I like to say that my backyard is" in the works" but really it is a major disaster area. No end in sight.

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4 hours ago, aggiemae said:

 

It wasn't raining much so I planted the first uncovered bed on Sunday, leaf lettuce mix, cress, spinach, snow peas and soft neck garlic. Put out some broccoli start too, it's a bit early but I have a whole flat.Hopefully the snails will leave us some.

 

A great tip for dealing with snails and slugs if you don't do it already is to sprinkle crushed egg shells around the base of your plants.  They don't like sliding over the sharp edges so they avoid them.

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I put down eggshells and coffee grounds. Snails seem to have a special affinity to broccoli... I has been raining here for most of the past five days.

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Still raining and now it's cold too. OK...maybe 44 degrees isn't considered cold in Minnesota, but I had to fire up the heater in the greenhouse for my citrus trees

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Picked the first batch of asparagus today. The peas are coming up but it's just a bit cold for the rest of the spring crops. My tomato seedling are pokey this year, I might plant another batch. The eggplant and peppers are coming right along. Plan on planting basil this coming week.

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Picked the last of the asparagus and the first strawberries today. Kiwi is flowering. Planted the first five tomato plants. Ground is still to cool for peppers but planted up 12 mini multi color bell peppers for the greenhouse. Beans, chard and collards tomorrow. Cantaloupe and watermelon for the greenhouse the day after....

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