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Frumpalicious

We picked up 2 rolls at Home Depot for like $8 each!

However, I like your creative solution too!!!!

Seriously??? They wanted $30 a roll here!

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I don't know how it happened, but the cucumber seeds sprouted tall, stringy, white mushrooms. I chucked them after the amusement wore off.

Whoa- that would be amusement.

Seed starting mix (the local place calls it "quickroot") in jiffy pots, in a plastic mini greenhouse is how I start them. I've had some seeds come up as the wrong varieties, but never as mushrooms!

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I had a good day in the garden, except for the perpetual horsetail eradication, but thats just a long haul project. I planted some hanging planters with red and white wave petunias and some moon flowers. I hope the hummers and Polyphemus moths enjoy them.

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My tomato plants are looking awesome. The family that owned our house before us added a little quasi greenhouse to the side of the garage. They put in florescent light fixtures, and even has a gas powered heater. Not that I'd ever turn that thing on - it looks like it might kill us all. But, with aluminum foil around the light fixture and a heating pad, I can keep the night time temps up in the high 40s/low 50s. So, I have these gorgeous thick stemmed tomatoes.

I read to not pinch basil until you have a full two leaves below where you are going to pinch. Then they'll start to branch off from the sides of the two leaves.

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Frumpalicious

Whoa- that would be amusement.

Seed starting mix (the local place calls it "quickroot") in jiffy pots, in a plastic mini greenhouse is how I start them. I've had some seeds come up as the wrong varieties, but never as mushrooms!

Yeah, I think it's because I forgot to close the soil bag a few nights before I planted the cucumber seeds. Something may have gotten into it. But I haven't seen any mushrooms, so I think it's safe to use the soil.

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ilovetchotchkes

Fabulous FJ gardeners- Aldi (at least the ones by me) has that landscaping fabric for like $3 a roll!!!!! I went in to buy myself a garden wagon thingy and found that stuff too! so if you wanna get lazy about making your raised beds and not pull the grass up (like me) before you do it.... :D

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  • 10 months later...
DarkAnts

I am trying to use cardboard for weed block this season. We have an annoying brush weed that I want to keep out of my garden. The roots on that thing are long. It laughs at roundup and is invading the entire yard. I put the cardboard down with 6 inches overlapping between pieces. I then put down an inch of compost over it. I hope thats enough to keep everything from flying when we have a nasty wind storm. The cardboard is also suppose to be good for water conservation. I live in a desert so thats important. I need to get some worms.

I dont have anything planted yet. I have started leeks and cabbage inside. I will plant them in a few weeks when it warms up some more. I have also started some herbs in egg cartons. We got a bunch from a friend. Most are going to people with chickens but I am keeping the ones that dont have lids to use to start seeds.

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I am trying to use cardboard for weed block this season. We have an annoying brush weed that I want to keep out of my garden. The roots on that thing are long. It laughs at roundup and is invading the entire yard. I put the cardboard down with 6 inches overlapping between pieces. I then put down an inch of compost over it. I hope thats enough to keep everything from flying when we have a nasty wind storm. The cardboard is also suppose to be good for water conservation. I live in a desert so thats important. I need to get some worms.

We've had really good luck using cardboard for weed block. We line the bottoms of all our raised beds with it and it's worked great for the past 5 seasons. I hope it works as well for you.

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greentree31

Last year I did container gardening with bush cucumbers and sweet 100 tomatoes. Mr. Tree was impressed with my success and let me kill some of his beloved lawn so that I could have a real garden this year. Planting time is around the corner and I don't have a clue as to how to begin. The soil is acidic and sandy, but I don't know what to do to make more fertile and ready for planting. Any suggestions?

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constantgardener
Last year I did container gardening with bush cucumbers and sweet 100 tomatoes. Mr. Tree was impressed with my success and let me kill some of his beloved lawn so that I could have a real garden this year. Planting time is around the corner and I don't have a clue as to how to begin. The soil is acidic and sandy, but I don't know what to do to make more fertile and ready for planting. Any suggestions?

You need compost! All soil can be improved over time. If the soil is sandy it will lose nutrients easily because water drains through it quickly. Digging in lots of compost or rotted manure (or if your soil is acid, spent mushrooom compost is good if you can hold of it, as it's alkaline) will improve the structure and add nutrients. You can obviously buy bagged compost but if you are going to garden seriously I would start a compost heap or bin for next year. When you've dug it in, break down big clods of earth and rake the surface until it is nice and crumbly.

Also, make sure you get all perennial weeds out (dandelions etc.) before you start planting - it's much easier to do it then than have them coming up through your crops. What are you planning to grow?

ETA - welcome to Free Jinger!

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Buzzard

You need compost! All soil can be improved over time. If the soil is sandy it will lose nutrients easily because water drains through it quickly. Digging in lots of compost or rotted manure (or if your soil is acid, spent mushrooom compost is good if you can hold of it, as it's alkaline) will improve the structure and add nutrients. You can obviously buy bagged compost but if you are going to garden seriously I would start a compost heap or bin for next year. When you've dug it in, break down big clods of earth and rake the surface until it is nice and crumbly.

Also, make sure you get all perennial weeds out (dandelions etc.) before you start planting - it's much easier to do it then than have them coming up through your crops. What are you planning to grow?

ETA - welcome to Free Jinger!

So I ignored the weatherman and all his "dont plant your garden yet" shit and planted a bunch of stuff I bought at homedepot and costco on Saturday. I also dumped (literally) some seeds in the ground, we'll see what takes! Oh, and theres a freeze warning for tonight... damn weatherman...

Compost... I cant do that because I'd totally fuck it up BUT I do dump the bucket from my juicer in the garden when its done. That counts for something, right? I'm in Georgia and our soil is pretty much clay. I dug down about a foot and replaced it with organic garden soil about 5 years ago and add a bag every year. Cant wait for cucumbers!

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LillyCat

I had carefully started nearly 100 baby veggies under grow lights about 4 weeks ago. They were all doing great, but then the dreaded damping off attacked :( I lost nearly all of them. I have 2 tomato seedlings, 3 winter squash, 1 watermelon, 2 cucumber, and 1 cilantro that seem to be ok still. Guess I will have to resort to direct seeding for the warmer weather stuff. I was SOOO looking forward to having a head start on an early harvest.

I will spend my spring break weekend direct seeding all the cool weather spring crops- lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, snap peas, carrots, and sweet pea flowers. I love garden season!!!!! In a few weeks I will get to once again go "grocery shopping" in the backyard :)

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I finally got my tomato seeds started. I do it by putting them in wet paper towels and then in zip locks. Once they sprout I put them in potting mix and under lights. It worked well last year.

Outside its still below freezing.

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LillyCat

polabear- i think i'm going to try your method tomorrow as i want to try again with having a head start on tomatoes and eggplant. the grow lights are still hooked up for the few survivors, so why not venture forward with round 2 of seedlings. it should only be a few weeks before i could get the tomatoes outside, especially if i try some season extender tricks like row covers or domes. i need to be careful though- the whole point of gardening is to save money on our produce bill. i know if i get to carried away with the excitement of gardening, i'll be lucky just to break even at the end of the season :)

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Spinach! Damn, I knew I forgot something. Sigh, I can pick up seeds tomorrow or the next day.

Compost... I cant do that because I'd totally fuck it up BUT I do dump the bucket from my juicer in the garden when its done. That counts for something, right? I'm in Georgia and our soil is pretty much clay. I dug down about a foot and replaced it with organic garden soil about 5 years ago and add a bag every year. Cant wait for cucumbers!

You can't fuck up compost. Seriously, it is idiot proof. Take plant based organic material (so everything from your kitchen except bones, cheese, and meat), toss it into the compost bin. You can also add crushed eggshells and hair clippings. If you wait long enough, it will become dirt.

It is *better* if you can toss in dried leaves, onion skins, or other "brown" materials alternating with your kitchen scraps (decomposes faster and is less likely to attract bugs), but it won't explode if you fail to do this. In a pinch, you can even toss in shredded paper (like your credit card statement once its been read, or that embarrassing love note from the tenth grade you kept lest people find out), drier lint if it's mostly cotton and wool, or pencil shavings of the sort that don't have paint.

There is no way to mess this up. You could sooner ruin breathing!

If you really are unwilling to do your own compost, you can buy compost and composted manure online or at most garden stores. Good organic material is what every garden needs.

If your soil is that bad, you might want to look into raised beds, which is what I'm trying to do over the next few years. First put in the beds, then every year raise them a little bit higher until they're pretty tall. Even if you've replaced your soil, the drainage is supposed to be better with raised beds. I certainly hope so after all this effort!

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Buzzard

I strongly dislike bugs of all kinds and here in the south, brown recluse spiders... I'm convinced that ANY bin of any sort will become an arachnophobia type den of spidery monstrocities. So... no compost bins for me! My tomato plants get about 9 feet tall each year (dont ask... I get bored around july and let them go rogue) so I think my soil is OK. We just need to work on my follow through!

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I strongly dislike bugs of all kinds and here in the south, brown recluse spiders... I'm convinced that ANY bin of any sort will become an arachnophobia type den of spidery monstrocities. So... no compost bins for me! My tomato plants get about 9 feet tall each year (dont ask... I get bored around july and let them go rogue) so I think my soil is OK. We just need to work on my follow through!

Oh, that's not what I thought you meant at all! Theoretically a "hot" compost will be free of bugs and spiders, but I've never managed that either. There IS sheet composting, aka "lasagna gardening" for the so inclined. I'm doing that this year, so I don't know the bug risk.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Arete

I do my food gardening in containers, but I do keep a small area of spring bulbs and summer flowers. First year the soil was compacted clay, complete with brick pieces from the original building. I bought a huge bag of soil conditioner and worked it in. All egg shells, coffee grounds, onion skins and tea bags get buried periodically in small patches throughout the growing season. I don't put any other food scraps down there because we have critters, mostly squirrels and rabbits. They don't seem to care for tea and egg shells. Neither do bugs.

In the fall I put down a layer of shredded leaves, water, another layer of leaves, water, until I get sick of it. After Christmas I strip the tree of it's needles and throw it on top. When the summer plants come up on goes the mulch. I have never put any type of fertilizer and the plants are beautiful every year, and the soil has become wonderfully rich.

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  • 2 weeks later...
DrPusey

So it looks like the bunnies have eaten off one of my broccoli plants to the ground and another one is on its death bed. Curses, Peter Rabbit! I figured this would happen but fell prey to temptation at the farmers' market and bought the plants anyway. I do have broccoli started from seed too, so hopefully by the time those seedlings are bigger, there will be other and more enticing things around for the bunnies to eat.

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  • 1 month later...
Freebird

I LOVE to Garden! Right now, I have Tomatoes - 7 I think? - Cilantro, Mint, Eggplants, and Zucchini, but I am planning on getting some Poblano plants, as well as some Lettuce, and more herbs.

Since I'm still a newbie, I can't start a new topic but.....

Does anyone have any advice on growing Eggplants? The rest of my Garden is thriving, but the Eggplants look pitiful. :(

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nokidsmom

Am in year number 5 of gardening. We rent a plot in our local community garden and grow mainly vegetables, herbs and some flowers. Just finished planting all the veggies and I have one last area against the fence that is going to be planted with flowers today.

Veggies are 15 tomato plants, sweet peppers, hot peppers (habanero and Carribean red hot), zucchini, pumpkins, potatoes, butternut squash, lettuce, cucumbers and herbs of various kinds.

I have a fence to keep out the bunnies, raccoons, skunks but there's one thing I can't keep out: chipmunks. They started showing up last year.

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LillyCat
I LOVE to Garden! Right now, I have Tomatoes - 7 I think? - Cilantro, Mint, Eggplants, and Zucchini, but I am planning on getting some Poblano plants, as well as some Lettuce, and more herbs.

Since I'm still a newbie, I can't start a new topic but.....

Does anyone have any advice on growing Eggplants? The rest of my Garden is thriving, but the Eggplants look pitiful. :(

Could be transplant shock- eggplants can be a bit fussy with transplanting. You can place a laundry basket over the plants to lessen to impact of the sun for a few days. Verticillium or bacterial wilt are also possible with eggplant.

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I have 3 tiny tomatoes! I think they are cherry tomatoes. (I planted two tomato plants in 1 topsy turvy, I'm not 100% sure both are growing).

We also planted some flowers in containers last weekend, they look good so far, but it has only been 4 days. :roll:

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  • 2 weeks later...
AuntCloud

Hello gardeners! Reporting from zone 3b here. I'm new-ish to gardening: have been living in apartments or rental homes until three summers ago. Now I have a small patio and the journey towards the garden of my dreams is even more enjoyable than I imagined. I learn as I go, by trial and a lot of errors and with the advice and plants of gardening friends. I'll read the entire thread, I promise, but have to ask a nagging question:

There is a big spruce just outside my patio fence. I tried planting several plants along that fence: none did well. Now I have tulips and Asiatic poppies in that spot, the poppies are doing ok but not flowering much, the tulips look absolutely miserable. This is the southern fence of the patio, so the plants are on the north side of the fence. I guess my lesson is shade + being too close to a large conifer is not good for tulips.

What can I plant in that area? Do I need to build a container and fill it with hostas/coral bells/ferns? Can I plant these directly in the ground? I also have a honeysuckle in that bed which is doing well and is about to flower for the first time since I planted it 2 years ago. Are there any tall plants I can plant against the fence?

Thanks :obscene-smokingweed: (it's a plant.)

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Bethella
Hello gardeners! Reporting from zone 3b here. I'm new-ish to gardening: have been living in apartments or rental homes until three summers ago. Now I have a small patio and the journey towards the garden of my dreams is even more enjoyable than I imagined. I learn as I go, by trial and a lot of errors and with the advice and plants of gardening friends. I'll read the entire thread, I promise, but have to ask a nagging question:

There is a big spruce just outside my patio fence. I tried planting several plants along that fence: none did well. Now I have tulips and Asiatic poppies in that spot, the poppies are doing ok but not flowering much, the tulips look absolutely miserable. This is the southern fence of the patio, so the plants are on the north side of the fence. I guess my lesson is shade + being too close to a large conifer is not good for tulips.

What can I plant in that area? Do I need to build a container and fill it with hostas/coral bells/ferns? Can I plant these directly in the ground? I also have a honeysuckle in that bed which is doing well and is about to flower for the first time since I planted it 2 years ago. Are there any tall plants I can plant against the fence?

Thanks :obscene-smokingweed: (it's a plant.)

You might want to check the pH of the soil (evergreens can make the soil acidic) and see if you can find a soil additive, like lime, to help neutralize the soil or bring in some garden soil. Going with shade plants probably won't hurt either.

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