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The Gardening Thread



  • Way behind schedule with my garden plans this year due to alternating excessive rains and excessive heat. But did install most of a critter-proof garden area 35x40. Beds installed, as well as tight fence, t-posts and the arbor part of an arbor gateway. It will have aviary net and a secure gate. Should keep out everything larger than pollinators when I'm done. It's an experiment, so I'm expecting possible breaches/ failures. The next layer of security will be sparrows and robins equipped with military-grade lasers. ;)

  • @nicmizer, turn the damaged leaves over to look at the back sides.  That's where the little buggers hide and is most likely horn-worms.  If you don't find any ... it could be small grasshoppers. 

    Here is a recent pic of my Semois tobacco plants and the small holes were caused by baby grasshoppers:

  • My tobacco is going good, all the heat this year is really making it pack on weight. Tomatoes good too.

    Greens are all the wonderful weeds-lambs quarters, amaranth, plantain, etc

    No traditional vegetables being grown this year.
  • edited July 2016 PM
    @nicmizer I dust all my plants with food grade diatomaceous earth .

    Bad year for gardening .Lost all  my seedling I had growing early because of freezing . then finally got some plants to grow. I have a few jalapenos on one plant. the rest of my peppers are just starting to flower. still waiting on my tomatoes to flower all my plants are dwarfs compared to last year. been eating the red beet tops every two weeks but the beets themselves are stagnate. Strange weather patterns have my plants all confused. no cherries this year and even the mulberries were far and few. The apples & pears seem to been unaffected  
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Same here. Pears and apples, but no cherries or peaches (a couple pears blossomed early and got hit with frost, so only 2 out of 5 are fruiting, but doing well). Tomatoes and tobacco are rather stunted, and the jury's out on mulberries. Grapes seem okay, but poison ivy seems to keep trying to take over the grapes, so I may need to use caution harvesting them. Herb-wise, what's really going nuts is catnip and mint. Oregano is stunted, Thyme is stunted, Nasturtium is stunted. Getting a rather generous harvest of turnips though. Not my favorite, but we didn't plant potatoes this year.

    Building an entirely new garden area, deer/rabbit/bear/pterodactyl-proof, maximum security, but it won't get up to speed until next year. Maybe next year add on a high tunnel greenhouse (or sunken geodesic if we can afford it).

  • MouseMouse Member
    no plums or peaches, and just one Asian pear on our young tree--last year we harvested 14. I think the winter moths got to the buds before I had a chance to spray them with spinosad. Lousy apple set, but like cpmcdill the grapes look good.
  • Hi there,
    Really interesting reading what everyone is doing with their plots

    Being a keen gardener I like doing things in the garden but this is my first year growing tobacco which seem to be doing well but I have had some bother from slugs. This has been helped by placing wee tubs of beer around the plants, I'm pretty sure there is something else at them though as I'm getting a lot of small holes in them?

    I've found the odd very small dark coloured fly on the underside of some leaves, about the size of a small green-fly but very dark to black in colour.

    What I'm still going to have to fathom out is curing them properly without them drying too quickly. It's not the process that eludes me but having never done it yet, I've yet to build a curing kiln that I know works etc,

    My varieties are Virginia, Burley, Maryland & one that was labelled as Latakia, so I'm unsure if this is "Lattique" or what..the seeds were bought from eBay
    Either way, it's going to be good fun when it comes to harvesting & processing them, hopefully with a good few oz of tobacco to be getting on with :ar!
  • Slugs and snails probably, they do the most damage to the young plants, but none at all to adults. As that is the case don't feel bad about using sevin on the babies and slug bait all around the patch. By the time you are harvesting it won't even be the same plant practically speaking as the one you used pesticide on.

    I don't mess around with slugs, they can defoliate a baby plant overnight.
  • @Andy_B - I've not had any trouble from slugs, but I did lose a lot of plants to aphids the past couple years. Tried brushing them off, spraying them with "organic" pesticides etc. But once the get a taste for the plant I guess they keep coming back.

    If you got seeds for a "Latakia" variety it is probably better classified as an oriental. After harvest, if you don't smoke cure it with resinous woods, it will just add the generic "oriental/Turkish" flavor to blends. Which is a good thing if that's a note you want. I love oriental blends.

    As for curing, the best success I've had in small scale harvesting curing of Virginia (which also applies to Maryland) is to hang hands of tobacco upside down in a shed, attic or basement until they are nearly dry but still a bit flexible, then make twists (look for "tobacco twists" on Youtube) and store them in quart mason jars for a year or so. By then the ammonia has gone away and that wonderful sweet tobacco note kicks in. You could even make pre-blended twists of all your tobaccos, so that when it's ready you can just slice off what you need to stuff in your pipe.

  • After 6 months of good rainy wetness, all kinds of storms have been visiting the area and missing my place by mere miles. Nothing in 2 weeks but high temps and dryness, and I have to go around individually watering the many dozens of trees and other things I've recently planted over almost 2 acres. forecast for the next couple weeks shows little hope for precipitation. Maybe there are some tutorials on how to do a proper rain dance on Youtube.

  • No apples on either tree, no cherries, no medlar, no mirabelle, no fig, no mini kiwi, no quince. Blueberry bushes, checkerberry, fuschia and peach tree died. Strawberries taste sour. Oregano and rosemary look sick. No chinese artichokes.

    Dreadful year!

    All I've had is daylillies (flowers and buds), jostaberry, blackberry, and raspberries, lemonbalm, and wild garlic (ramsons). Looks like I might get a few blackberries, but not many.
  • Andy_BAndy_B Member
    edited July 2016 PM
    @cpmcdill - Hi and thanks a lot for the advice, good advice is always welcome & always appreciated ;-)
    The "Latakia" are looking decidedly smaller than the Va & Maryland for sure so I think you are spot on with it being an oriental. That's excellent news to me as it goes as when I bought the seed I think I was so caught up with making sure I had plenty Va & Burley I neglected orientals!

    It will hopefully add something different to the mix. On the processing, I have a garage for hanging the leaf in which I hope will be a suitable environment for it, wood smoking it would be great also as I don;t mind a Latakia blend at all
    Mixing it in the hands isn't something I'd thought about, they must 'marry' to an extent while in jars.

    Most of my favourite tobaccos are Twists, Plugs & Flakes, I've tried making my own plug before from bulk tobaccos I'd bought by crude pressing though it turned out more of a cake but still enjoyable

    I shall take a few pics of my oriental plants to show you guys
  • IMG_20160728_185653

    My babies this season. Rustica Aztec, Mohawk and Ancient. All are doing so much better than the last two years!
  • Cross breed? I'm calling it a habanpeno if it's heat level is high and if it's low Jalanero. This is a happy mistake, I am waiting for one to get ripe to try. I am hoping it taste like a Habanero with the heat and flesh of a jalapeno. It will be real interesting what color it finishes out to be. I know from experience the smaller fruits have more heat. Still waiting on my super hots to start fruiting . It was a bad start this year.all my seedling got frost bite and I had to start seeds in the ground. So what ever comes up I have no clue until the pods ripen.  20160811_131350
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Had to trash my entire tobacco patch this year. Got busy with various responsibilities, so I wasn't closely attending them, and checking on them a couple weeks later they were literally teeming with aphids, ants, hornworms, and a variety of other pests. Lovely 8' tall Virginia brights with huge leaves, just about ready to harvest. Too late to try remedial action, so they had to go, lest the blight spread to other plants in the garden.

  • @cpmcdill So sorry to hear that. Organic garden can be a challenge. I had dusted my garden with diatomaceous earth early but with that heatwave called august I didn't keep up with much. I did get one or two horn worms daily.  and only caught one that was under 3 inches. They sure do plenty of damage over night.  Next year I going to try plastic over the earth and just cut holes where I want plants. Also I read you should rototill several times to grind up the hornworms since they borough into the ground before they turn into moths. At the beginning and end of each season also you should plant dill, marigolds and basil along side your plants to deter the buggers.       
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Pretty much the best performers in the garden this year have been hot peppers and cherry tomatoes. Most of the fruit trees bore no fruit this year due to a late freeze just as they were blossoming.

  • Semois plants ... almost time to cut them down:


  • Aztec Rustic, Ancient Rustica, Mohawk Rustica, Paponte and Semois plants are all growing well except the Paponte that is stubborn to start and have only a few per season that make it to maturity.
    Sowed down some Burley,Virginia and Mammoth today. Should see life in 7-20 days.
    Have more varieties to sow down so need to source more pots to do so.
    Have tons of Rustica seeds to offer up. Now is the time to grow Tobacco!!
  • Garden's off to a good start this year. Many things started indoors, including tobacco plants. Today I planted a hedge row of hybrid willows, and soon I'll be constructing a grape arbor, with some healthy looking grape plants standing by to go in the ground.

  • I must say, this entire thread was an absolute joy to read! I've only just tried my hand at growing anything. I am attempting to grow apple trees from seeds. I've planted a few about a week ago and wait patiently.

    I am the furthest from being even a "newb" at gardening, but I figured why not. I've always envisioned having a small kitchen garden and I know one day I'll get there. Baby steps. On the bright side, my petunias are coming along just fine!
  • @Mr_Monk - If you are growing apples from seeds, I hope you are prepared to be very patient with them. Apples are kind of a slow growing tree, and it may be years before you see a few fruits hanging from the little guys. Nonetheless, it may be very rewarding to do it this way, as you can say, "I grew these from seeds" which is a pretty awesome accomplishment.

    I'm a more impatient sort. I like to buy 4-5' fruit trees from a plant nursery. Even then it's still a couple years before bearing fruit, much of the time. Important to have multiples for cross-pollination purposes, and in the case of some species like pears, one needs more than one variety for optimal pollination.

    Funny thing, I love planting and growing fruit trees, and I'm not really much of a fruit eater.

  • @cpmcdill I've definitely had that conversation with myself before planting those seeds. "Now self.." "yea boss?" "It's gonna before YEARS before you see fruit. You sure you want to do this?"

    I'm a very, VERY patient person. I seriously enjoy watching things grow and start from nothing and move to something awesome. I figure if my son survived me, a few lil' ol trees can thrive! Either way, if I see sprouts, I'll dance a jig.
  • haemonyhaemony Member
    edited April 2017 PM
    I grow all of my garden plants from seed but I need a good size sapling for a tree. I am old now and have no kids. Ain't nobody got time for that.

    Right now I have a problem with ants. Millions of tiny evil little ants have invaded my veggie garden. I can't put a spade in earth anywhere without being swarmed. I used diatomaceous earth and tried the borax and powdered sugar trick but they are ubiquitous.
  • @haemony Suppose to rain for a few days that may help relocate them until the soil is turned. Powered hot pepper will keep most varmints away but you need plenty. The rain won't effect the results unlike DE or Borax. 

    I need to separate my spring bulbs. I always put grown hot pepper around the bulbs. Keeps all buggers from eating them, squirrels, moles, grubs and others.    
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Thank you. I will try the hot pepper. I have plenty of it!
  • So, I have a baby apple tree! I did start to worry, but I know, gardening is patience. It was such a lovely surprise too. I just got home from work and checked in on my pots and watered a bit and bam, there it was a little sprout! I wish I could figure out the photo, because I'm proud of such a little accomplishment. \:D/
  • Harvest today Royal Burgandy bush beans and a ugly tomato 20170707_135038
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • haemonyhaemony Member
    edited July 2017 PM
    Nice looking beans. The tomato looks good to me. It's red and has no bites taken out.

    I tried the hot pepper trick and mixed in some cinnamon. It seems to have worked because the ants have moved to the compost bins. They are no longer in my garden beds. I wish chickens would eat ants.
  • I always do green beans, carrots, and some kind of hot pepper. I put those away via pressure canning and pickling (which we store in an extra fridge) or drying with certain peppers. I usually do a few okra plants and summer squash. Alternate beets and cucumbers every other year (I can get almost 50 pints of beets and beet greens out of our 2 x 8 raised bed). We always do southern mustard for spring and mizuna mustard and kale for winter. We always keep garlic and onions planted throughout the year. Every couple of years, we'll do butternut squash to can for pie and holiday bread as pumpkins here are quickly decimated by vine borers. We cover crop with winter wheat and harvest and mill part of it in the spring. Tried my hand at cabbage to make sauerkraut this year but planted too late. We also have the Scarborough Fair as well as dill and a few other herbs. I'd love to grow corn, but have had terrible luck with it three years in a row.

    Glad to see a gardening thread on here. It's something I never am unable to talk about.
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