gardengirl13's rantings

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gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » Apr 27, 2010 9:53 am

OK even being fairly new here I thought I'd start my garden journal. I've kept a messy never really that accurate journal at home, but here at least I can get some feedback/suggestions/etc about what I'm doing or wrong!

I'll start this journal with a bit about me. My parents are hippies (still are, they never succumbed to the money/consumption of the '80's) so i grew up with gardens even though they never owned a house until my sister and I left home. When i was real little we even had chickens in our yard and garden. The gardens were always at least 20'x20' and full of veggies. What we didn't grow we bought from farm stands and froze and canned.

Since leaving home i've always had a little something growing, even in an apt we had a little cherry tomato plant. many early gardens were experiments and/or failures but we started getting better.

Now we rent our house and our landlord is great. He's told us to just make it our own and do what we want. He owns an egg farm, so we get lots of "chicken litter" from him every year, which is basically composted chicken poop and a few other tidbits.

We started with raised beds since with my health problems it's hard to get down on the ground to weed. We have the bed 4'x4' square so we can reach the middle from any side. The boards are also 12" high so they're nice and deep since we live on a ridge and there are lots of rocks underneath.

We've never had success growing tomatoes. Every year I try and something always gets them, too much rain one year, blossom end rot another year etc... But our cherry tomatoes always grow too much, if there is such a thing! We have so many we have to give them away! This year I'm thinking of selling them at a farm stand I get so many.

We've gotten into raspberries, which are just getting going. Last year we'd only have a handful each every day, this year we hope to get more.

We've always had tons of other veggies, but sometimes I'm not doing well so I've been getting into flowers, thinking if something gets them I'll be upset, but won't have to worry about losing food. We still have the veggie beds going and love them, but I've really been having fun with the flowers. We've always had tons of flowers, but now they've taken on a new meaning of fun. Planning differently, arranging them better etc...

I've really been having problems with the sun, so I've gotten into shade gardening in the last couple years. Hostas being a huge favorite! We've already expanded our shade garden from one the year we moved in years ago, and every year we've expanded it more and are up to three different beds. With plans to expand more!

I'm not 100% sure which hostas I have, which is sad but normal for me. I know a few names, but not all since some were given to me and some bought at plant sales without tags. I bought one this weekend which was labeled June, but i know it's not June so the tags is wrong and I'll have to photograph it to see if someone can help me figure it out.

Along with gardens I'm somewhat of a photographer. I normally shoot my gardens and local gardens as well. I love shooting nature too. To see some of my photographs please feel free to visit my page at www.pbase.com/gardengirl13
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gardengirl13's rantings

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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » Apr 27, 2010 9:56 am

Oh I forgot to add my running dream list of hostas

athena
hanky panky
little jay
loyalist
night before christmas (got in the hosta exchange from John 6-2-10)
raspberry sorbet (got in the hosta exchange from John 6-2-10)
stitch in time
sugar and spice
tropical storm

I'm a little nervous about getting into some of the harder to grow varieties, so any suggestions on those would be great!

edit to add:
deja blu
english sunrise
grey ghost
kiwi gold rush
liberty pp#12531
pandora's box
strip tease
twist of lime (got in the hosta exchange from John 6-2-10)
Last edited by gardengirl13 on Jun 08, 2010 7:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby BackerBunch » Apr 28, 2010 9:31 am

Welcome, gardengirl13! I'm new here too. This board is very nice and a wealth of info.
Brenda

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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » Apr 29, 2010 8:27 am

Hi Brenda!


Well with this crazy weather I'm surly getting some exercise just covering and uncovering my gardens every day! Knock on wood no frosts though even though we are in warnings constantly.

i took some photos of my hostas and will post them, for help with identifying them and just to show what I have. The new garden is settling in well with all this rain. And tomorrow it should warm up a bunch so I'm hoping everyone will be happy in their new homes!
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby BackerBunch » May 01, 2010 1:09 am

I totally understand about the weather. It got down into the 30's here night before last. Doesn't look like we lost anything though.

Looking forward to seeing your pictures!
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » May 03, 2010 8:06 am

In upstate NY watch what you wish for when it comes to weather! I wanted it to stop getting close to frost and what do I get? two days of 90+ heat and very high humidity! Oh well, the joys of weather will never end!

So here are some garden photos I'll split them up since I'm not sure of the rules for one post and how many photos you can post.

These are my hostas

June:
Image

hadspen blue:
Image

and these I'm not sure of. I think when I raked the leaves off them I ripped the tags out and lost them But these are two of my favorites that I bought last year.

El Nino
Image

Sagae
Image

And these are older hostas that were either bought at plant sales (the local one in town most of the plants are donated by people and are not labeled) or were given to me.

Undulata Albomarginata
Image

Undulata
Image

#5
Image

If anyone can help identify them I'd really appreciate it! I have more at home, but with the weather I haven't gotten out to photograph them yet. I plan on doing that this week.

Also in our new hosta bed we planted ferns, and astilbe yesterday. I'll have to photograph them now and once everything is up and looking nice.
Last edited by gardengirl13 on Jun 08, 2010 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » May 03, 2010 8:12 am

#4 above was buried in a pile of leaves when we moved into this house. The lady who rented it two tenants before us did some gardening. We've been here five years and we've divided this plant each year and every summer it grows like a weed!

Now here are some other shots from the last week or two

a few of our veggie boxes:
Image

grape hyacinths:
Image

tulips:
Image

Image

Image

forsythia
Image

hyacinth (I need more of this color, it's beautiful!)
Image

squill
Image

too see more check out my pbase page
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » May 13, 2010 11:54 am

After those few days of 90+ it went right back to frost again! Although it stayed a "warm" 35 we still got hit. Everything was covered and seems ok now. But I'm so tired of this up and down weather!

The plants are all growing well, the tomatoes and peppers are anxious to get outside into the raised beds. I don't think they're happy being stuck inside all day and night now. I thought today was supposed to be chilly so I left everyone inside, but it's not bad, I guess they should have gone out for the day.

We've been eating salads like crazy with the greens. The garlic looks as though it might be ready quite early this year (as everything else seems to also be about 4 weeks ahead of where it should be.) of course this last week has slowed things back down a bit, so it's probably more like 3 weeks instead of 4.

My MIL is coming on Saturday to go to the local garden center. Can't wait since two of the three local centers I go to have great shade plants! I'm hoping their hostas are up more this time so I can what they have better. They're quite expensive (a June from them is $18 and a June from the local Home Depot was $2) But they have some rarer hostas that the bigboxes never have. The good thing is they're back to doing their sales, which depends on how much you spend from April 1st to June 30th. With my sales and my MILs I'm assuming it'll be about $300 (she goes nuts when she shops here and I've already been there three times this year!) so that'll save me 30% off when I go to their sale in July!
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » May 17, 2010 12:58 pm

Well it's way too early but I don't care, I planted my tomatoes this weekend. They're outside all day and most nights so I figured I'll put them out since we used the last of the lettuce and arugula in the one box.

Here are the gardens as of this morning:
Image

from left to right it's the herb box, #2 is radishes and tomatoes, #3 is garlic, #4 is cabbage and peas and #5 is broccoli and lettuce and arugula

on the other side of the yard we have two other boxes, one more with garlic and one with pole beans and lemon cucumbers.

I'm thinking of putting some peppers into pots since I'm running out of room in the boxes. I have to plant cucumbers too which will need support. Next year we're only doing one bed of garlic!
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » May 18, 2010 9:14 am

Getting tired of NYS. They are expecting school taxes to go up 25% or more this year in some areas. Yes we need money for our schools since they keep taking funding away and we lost $700mil from the feds, but many people can't afford an increase in taxes, especially since property taxes keep going up too. And now there is no STAR exemption. Luckily we rent right now, but I don't think we'll ever be able to afford our own house around here. My husband is going back to school (for his second Masters) and once he graduates I'm not sure what we'll do? I'd love to stay were we are, but I don't think that's realistic. We're so settled into this house and doing stuff with the gardens. Yes we tend to plant things that can be moved, but I still worry if we wind up going across the country, or anywhere father away. I guess I can look at it with the idea that it would be fun to start from scratch, but some plants are so fun I would have to take them with me. But that's still 2 years off. I can still enjoy everything we have now.
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby steg » May 19, 2010 8:10 am

Great pics! Some of those bird shots are fantastic. There are a few people who post pics in the Wildlife Forum, I know they'd enjoy seeing some of yours.
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » May 25, 2010 8:26 am

Thanks! I'll look around that forum.

The gardens are doing well. Having to water a lot due to the really hot weather this week. But the potted tomatoes and peppers are doing very well, the ones in the boxes aren't doing as well, but still doing ok so far. This weekend we have a BBQ with my husband's band and the drummers wife and plan on using up all the lettuces and arugula and radishes, so that space will be available for the peppers and carrots. I have all next week off so I'll have time to plant and weed everything.

Here are some photos from this weekend

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby Linda P » May 26, 2010 9:34 am

gardengirl,
Finally had a few minutes to look through some of the forums here and read your journal for the first time.
I love your photography..some of those tulip shots are just yummy, and I really like your raised beds a lot.
I have some suggestions for your unknown hostas:
1) looks like it could be El Nino. Does that name ring any bells?
2) Sagae, 99% positive on that one.
3) Undulata Albomarginata, also darn sure on that one.
4) Undulata...a good old plant that is impossible to kill.
5) Don't know, but could be Halcyon. That one I'd have to see again in a few years.

Check out the Hosta Library, http://www.hostalibrary.org/index.html, for pictures of these and see if you think they might match up.

Linda P
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And frosts are slain and flowers begotten.....
Algernon Charles Swinburne

Latitude: 41° 51' 12.1572"


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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » May 27, 2010 7:14 am

Thanks for the photo comments! If you want to see more check out my pbase page.

I've had a couple people tell me (and agree with you) on the first two. I'll have to look up that link you gave me on a couple others I have at home. I have one real plain medium green, that no matter what I do it keeps on living and spreading, I divided it into 5 different plants last year and this year divided each one again and all the pieces are going nuts! Too bad it's one I don't really like that much. :lol:



So as of yesterday the wild roses are in bloom. Their heady scent is making me dizzy! They have spread so much and their blooms are so plentiful. I know I shouldn't complain, but my allergies are killing me!

The tomatoes on the deck are doing great, even not being patio varieties, the same ones in the raised beds still aren't doing so well???? The other tomato in the bed is doing great though? The pickling cucumbers are up already in their box on the deck. I'm trying something new this year since I ran out of room. I planted them in a long pot with a homemade trellis and we'll see what happens with them. With this horrible heat (it was 96 on the deck yesterday!!) the peppers are going well still in their pots. I'm still hoping the lettuce in the garden will wait until Monday, but we already had to harvest the arugula since it was getting too big and bitter. The radishes started to bolt yesterday and I'm afraid they won't wait until monday. But yesterday they tasted great! Spicy and sweet all at once.

Well the medication I'm on stopped working. So I'm a bit worried about the gardening. My husband is very helpful and does all the heavy lifting, but my hands are getting bad again and he's having to do a lot more. He's horribly worried about me. I go to the dr today to see if I should try one of the medications a second time to see if they'd work again, so just do pain management. I really want to try something since pain management only will not help me if this disease progresses.
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby thy » Jun 01, 2010 7:12 pm

Hej

Your photos are great and the first of the tulips is stunning

Agree with Linda P ....and think it is June , just a young h.June planted in sun...

Most of the hostas on your wish list are easy to grow

deja blu... easy but do not expect it to look like the pic of the one leaf..we all wanted it and got something looking like Bolt out of the Blue
english sunris..do not have it
Grey ghost..easy, interesting in the spring
kiwi gold rush..do not have it
liberty pp#12531, easy, but can be slow
pandora's box,,, difficult, but plant it in a lot of chickengrit
strip tease..easy and fast grower
twist
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » Jun 08, 2010 7:38 am

Thanks thy!



Well I'm so glad I'm posting photos in my journal! Looking back everything looks so tiny!! The past few weeks have been hot hot hot! And humid. We've had to water every night!!!! It's crazy how dry it is. But the tomatoes in the beds are doing much better! We gave them a drink of fish emulsion and a few days later they looked much better again! 5 out of the six plants have little tomatoes and the 6th has weird looking flowers? I've never seen flowers like them, they're double flowers??? It's an organic yellow cherry tomato, I'll have to take a few photos and post them. I cut the scapes off the garlic last week. We're harvesting our second round of arugula and spinach (planted under the pole beans and cucumbers to keep them cool. We've harvested all our broccoli. We've started on the peas. The peppers on the deck are doing very well. Again the ones in the beds aren't doing so hot. Not sure why the potted veggies are doing so much better??? The cucumbers are the same? The deck produces an amazing amount of heat (normally the thermometer on the deck reads about 10 degrees warmer then the heat elsewhere in the yard. Maybe that's doing it. Or maybe it's the soil I used, I sprung for some expensive organic potting soil. But the stuff in the beds has been getting fish emulsion, tomato tone and other amendments as needed. Plus it's been in the high 80's for a month now.

Next year we're going to replace a garlic bed with corn. We normally plant 2 beds of garlic, but we're out of room to add much more and we need the space. I'd love to try corn again. We used to grow it all the time when I was a kid.
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » Jun 08, 2010 8:24 am

Getting my hostas from John last week has inspired me to make a new shade garden. It's theme will be food. I even have my husband excited about it! We're going to add hostas with food names like the few John gave me, twist of lime, crepe soul, purple lady fingers and a few others that I want like key lime pie, corn muffins, guacamole, kiwi gold rush pineapple upside down cake and sugar and spice to name a few as well as astilbe lollipop and Pulmonaria 'Bubble Gum' PP#14086. now my job is too research all the fun food names for shade plants and maybe find some quirky garden ornaments to add!
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby Ginger » Jun 08, 2010 9:53 am

Wow, you are a busy girl! Are your peppers in the garden getting plenty of sun? It could be the heat and soil difference between the deck and the ground. I love the idea of a food themed shade garden! What fun!

Ginger
Did I mention I grow my Hosta in pots?
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » Sep 20, 2010 8:23 am

Wow it's been a while since I posted to this journal. Partly I think cause this summer stunk!!!

From June through July I think it was under 90 maybe 10 days. And never under 85 until August. In August we had some more hot days, but some 70
's thrown in so people won't start killing each other I think! :lol: My electric usage went up almost 200kWh for July compared to last year!!!!! Darn heat and needing AC!

Well we got some peppers. The tomatoes didn't do well as usual. But we had so many cherry tomatoes we were again giving them away. My lemon cucumbers didn't do well and I think prevented the regular cucumbers from doing anything! Darn little things! The garlic did awesome as usual!! I wish there was a way to sell it. But I'd have to charge about $1.50 a head to break even with time and costs figured in. I personally think it's too much money to charge. If I could do say an acre of garlic then my time and costs would be better and I could charge less, but I don't have that much space.

This last weekend we were very busy. The weeds in our foundations beds are too out of control. This spring we even dug out a bed and put bought soil in and all new plants and it's still too much to care for. So everything came out and we planted some holly, rhod and azalea. And on the side of the house put in a new rose, and moved one from a spot it didn't seem to like, in the hopes it'll do ok there. Luckily one shrub and rose were half off and the other was full price, but worth it since we both love holly. The rhod we moved since the deer feasted on the poor thing last year, and it came back very nicely, so we hope being by the house it'll help a bit. In place of the big beds we're going to do containers next year. That way we can control water, animals and weeds much easier. Plus we can move things around a bit more if needed.

My hostas are doing very well. One is dead to the ground already, so I'm a bit worried about it, but the others are starting to die back too. I just hope the one over-winters well and comes back nice and strong. I'm not sure about what to do next year. I know three that need to be moved as they are crowding two smaller ones. I have an area that I can rip the sod (well it's not nice sod so that should be easy) and can start a new bed, but I worry about how I want to do it, since I've also thought of a woodland type garden with a path and a bench and maybe some low ground covers. We'll see. My husband plans on starting grad school next fall so I know we'll be in this house for two more years. But after that I'm not sure. If our boss can promote him he may stay depends on how things are going here. So I don't want to invest so much that it takes me months to move all my plants. I already told him we can only move in summer months!

This weekend I also planted about 200 bulbs, crocuses and squill mostly since they're nice and early and can be mowed over once they die back. I wanted lots of tulips too, but the prices around here have really gone up! to get the individual ones they're $.70 each! I was hoping to fill a bed with them, but that would cost me about $50! I'll check online to see if I can do better.

Otherwise we moved the perennials from the beds to a raised bed. If we lost anything in the move we'll buy something new next year. My husband wants to add another 3 raised beds since I lost the foundaitons beds. We plan on doing veggies and more flowers for next year. One or more will be for cut flowers since he says he'd rather buy me bulbs/tubers/plants then a bouquet from a florist that will die shortly after getting it home. I jokingly tell him he's cheaping out on me, but love it when I get to pick out new plants!

We'll be planting garlic soon. And covering the beds in a month or so for winter. It's sad, but I still love this time of year!
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Re: gardengirl13's rantings

Postby gardengirl13 » Sep 20, 2010 8:25 am

Oh I forgot (how could I?) this summer was also really REALLY dry. I think we maybe got 4' of rain since May. We had to water three times a week most weeks. Even then everything was super dry all summer long. Maybe that's why this fall isn't really bittersweet. Maybe I'm happy to see this summer go with the hopes of the next one being that much better!
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