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2016 Gardens

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by Rupestris, Feb 23, 2016.

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  1. Rupestris

    Rupestris Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    Normally, thinking about the garden this early would simply be day dreaming. We've had a rather mild winter here in Chicagoland and a few unseasonably warm days this month but I'm not kidding myself. I know winter could rear its ugly head at any minute and might decide to stay until May.

    The reason I'm posting this early is, the wife and I went for a walk this afternoon and noticed daffodils poking out of the ground along the trail. We got home and I thought I'd check the daylilies. Sure enough, they're up early too.

    [​IMG]

    I do hope for an early Spring and I know some of you are already on the cusp of it south of here. I really enjoyed the 2015 thread and look forward to this years posts.

    CS
     
  2. taldesta

    taldesta Spaniel Crossing Platinum Member

    831
    Jan 24, 2013
    Well, Rupestris, you've brought the promise of spring in this thread! :thumbup:


    I am now wondering if eisman got out to his local native plant sale ... and if so what did he come home with?


    For my part, I can report on the crops here. While the snow swirls on the wind outside, the lettuce harvest is going well - no need to bale it in quantity, but enough.

    [​IMG]


    The futon is pulled away from the south facing living room window to make room for a long table in the sunshine. Mostly overwintered and seedling geraniums ... but at the front is the begonia corm from last year come to life and in leaf. These grow into tall, thick stocked plants with huge blooms. Two other corms are sprouting as well.

    [​IMG]


    These little guys were planted on Feb 18th. Livingstone Daisies. An experiment for me. "Succulent groundcover, brightly coloured, heat loving and perfect for the hottest and driest of spots." Boy, do I have a spot for them! And high hopes ...

    [​IMG]


    Stem propagation seems to be taking. Old fashioned plants from plants.

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    This lonesome little sprout ... also planted on Feb 18th - Purple Wave Petunia ... is just one of 3 colours started so far. The Blue Wave Petunia makes a royal dark backdrop for the red geraniums. Again, simple plantings with huge visual impact right up to killing frost, or so I find it. That is my hope.

    [​IMG]


    My next container of seed envelopes is marked Plant Mar 1. Yikes. Then, if it is warmer, the bigger plants will have to go to the south facing window in the basement and this space upstairs will be filled with new plantings. Come on spring! I want these suckers out of the house. The pups want their futon back in the sunshine :) for afternoon naps, too.
     
  3. mqqn

    mqqn Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Hi Chris -

    I have some Catnip started, and will start peppers and tomatoes later this week.

    I have my roto tiller out of the shed and in the garage for spring maintenance, so I am getting set.

    I did notice I had catnip sprouting out by the compost pile a few weeks ago when it was warm for a week....we'll have a lot of bugs this year but the warm winter has been a blessing so far.

    best

    mqqn
     
  4. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Well the crocus and tulips are starting to pop up and my plum tree just went pink this weekend (in the rain). I just planted some red oser dogwood along the fenceline. We had the local county native plant sale and I forgot to pre-order. Went with my neighbor and they were sold out of everything in 10 minutes. I'm still in pruning mode, but it's been raining too much to get what needed to be done completed. My roses are going to suck this year since I didn't get to them.
     
  5. taldesta

    taldesta Spaniel Crossing Platinum Member

    831
    Jan 24, 2013
    Do I dare say it? "Spring has sprung ..." We have warm temps, singing birds and the geese flying overhead in V's made the evening tv news. And even more harbingers of spring ... the turtle crossings are opening up. Proof right there ;)

    [​IMG]


    Red streaks are just smokin' the tree bark

    [​IMG]


    All the hardiest plants were moved to the cooler basement south-facing window to make room upstairs for the new seed plantings, which like more warmth.

    [​IMG]


    Bleeding heart started from root is already putting up arches of little dangling heart buds this morning (not shown in this pic of a few days ago). Begonias from overwintered corms and peonies from root stock are coming along very well. What an economy.

    [​IMG]


    I had made all the extra space in the sunshine upstairs for new seed plantings for summer blooms - then - unplanned, things went colourfully sideways ... :eek: While picking up supplies in town, I passed by the store's gardening department. There I was appalled to see 5 tiers of perennials - tulips, hyacinths and daffodils - unwatered and failing. I recognized that they were going to have to trash all these plants because no one would buy them in that shape, offered them a pittance for the lot and came home with three big boxes, 67 pots full of perennial bulbs. I put them under the shower immediately (3 tub loads), deadhheaded the old blooms and wilt - and voila! The living room is perfumed like a flower shop; there are beautiful blooms for friends and all these bulbs for future planting. I'll just keep them dead headed and happy until their foliage is spent and plant them outside.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Pots and pots of daffodils now with the geraniums downstairs.

    [​IMG]


    Hope everyone is enjoying the last of winter :)
     
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire

    Nov 20, 2005
    The daffodils have been bloom here for about a week now, not abundantly. There are some large plantings along the interstate highway that are in full bloom. The Red Bud has started to bloom also. Love this time of the year!!! My daffodils are probably 4-6" tall right now and just beginning to send up the bloom shoots. But I have a late variety as I can enjoy everyone else's too.

    My lawn (fescue) has started to actively grow and I did the first cleanup mowing last weekend. Will probably be mowing again this Sunday or Monday depending on the weather. I assume this will be a weekly process as usual. But the yard looks real good since I aerated and over seeded last fall (September). Looks almost like a golf course it is so green.

    Tilled up my little garden on Friday (3/11). I use one of those little Troybilt lightweight (like 28 lbs) tillers. Takes a bit longer, but the garden isn't big. The little tiller is handy for large flower beds and getting into smaller places. Anyway, the garden space looks nice and clean now. I still want to pick up some mushroom compost to till into the soil, but it is basically ready for gardening right now.

    As mentioned in last year's garden thread about planning, I picked up two large tomato plants (one very large and one medium large... the expensive kind), variety Better Boy. The largest one is blossoming now. The smaller one just about ready to start blossoming. These are in fairly large nursery pots. The plan is to not plant them (in the garden soil) for at least a week, possibly two, and get them growing outside. Since they are potted, for the time being, I can bring them indoors if we have a cold spell. The idea is to to spread out the ripening season or period as all the tomatoes pretty much hit during the same time. Hopefully, these will be a couple weeks early and the reason I paid the premium price for these two plants. Will plant the other tomato plants (regular size) in early April as per normal for me here.

    Planted a couple short rows of sweet onions too along the garden edges. The plan is still to get the compost and blend it into the soil, before filling up the available space.

    Taldesta, looking good!! Those tulips certainly bring some "spring shine" to your house.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  7. Brad "the butcher"

    Brad "the butcher"

    Dec 15, 2008
    I live in a south facing ground level condo with a 22 x 11ft deck in Vancouver suburbs

    I built a 3 x 10 and a 2x3ft cedar planter boxes and an 18in square. About 20 inch in height.

    Square foot gardening has done really well for me. My kale grew all winter and the 10 plants are still producing like crazy although they look like palm trees with all the harvesting from bottom. Some are close to 3 ft tall!!

    Cherries and tulip trees have been in full bloom for close to 2 weeks already and bulbs/flowers everywhere starting.....I love our winters!!
    If I want snow the local mountains are an hour away!

    Chives, green onions and all my herbs are in full swing already. Going to start my spagetti squash and a few other hardy early starters next weekend.

    It is amazing how much produce with very little weeding I am getting.
     
  8. taldesta

    taldesta Spaniel Crossing Platinum Member

    831
    Jan 24, 2013
    I remember your plan to stage tomatoes and I think I will do the same to enjoy the crop for longer. We shouldn't plant here until after the 24th of May ... well, not without watching the thermometer and having a plan B for frost protection.


    My favourite squash to grow! Will you have a problem with powdery mildew in your climate or is there a variety that is resistant?

    _______________________________


    To you mowers of grass and harvesters of kale - :p


    So, it's spring in Ontario ...


    On the 20th ... fresh snow on the garden. Since then we have had snow and rain and freezing rain, but not a lot of accumulation - perhaps 8 inches or so. Rain took a lot of what otherwise would have been deep. We are lucky with the latest storm front, not too much ice, but south of us there are still 100,000 homes without hydro and warnings that laden trees will be taking out more lines. The snowblower, today hunkering under an icy sheet of tarp, is not being put away just yet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Before this past week of winter weather, the spring melt washing through an ancient culvert out near the roadway opened up a sinkhole in the lane. The contractor filled it in as a temporary fix and I am taking my chance on it, getting out and back in for now. Dez is always nearby to lend perspective ... :thumbup:

    [​IMG]

    BUT ...

    Robins have arrived. There is a lone, shy woodcock hanging in the woods close to the house ... which is great because this is one fascintating bird to watch. Too shy for pics so far.

    Here, March can be spring or winter, but mostly both. Optimistically I prep for yard work even while keeping the snow removal equipment at hand. On March 17th, the river ice went out (about three weeks earlier than usual), the hillsides and laneway exposed to the South were almost bare but still frozen solid and most other areas remained snow covered.

    [​IMG]


    So, while in between seasons, I have snowshoes about to be hung on the wall inside, snow shovels to the left soon to be put away ... and stakes ready to go into a garden fencing project as soon as the ground thaws. That's optimism.

    [​IMG]

    During the sunny break before the storms, I pulled the burlap from the evergreens, yews and some perennials. I left the roses ... and young maple and locust tree trunks covered against sun scald for now. You can see the space in the lavender where one very tidy mouse made a snug nest again this year. I took it for my 'bug art' collection in the porch. This years mouse nest on left, last years (not so tidy) on right. I find amazing beauty in nests and plant tufts and insect under-bark trails.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Inside, spring is definitely underway in the south facing windows ... going for colour in the landscaping and wanting it in bloom early.

    Bleeding heart from root.

    [​IMG]

    Seedlings started ... shasta daisies, amaranth, snapdragons, salvia, marigold, portulaca, pansy, thunbergia, double petunia, astilbe and 5 types of nasturtiums. Heirloom tomato Bonny Best and hybrid Super Sweet 100.

    Last years garden thread showed some wonderful, fluffy ornamental grass so I have started a bunch of it as well. Sweet basil and wild (from gathered seed) and hybrid columbine.

    [​IMG]


    In a huge tree pot, I have planted morning glory that will climb 8 ft high to wrap the porch column in giant leaves and blooms. At the base of the morning glory, the crystal palace lobelia will arch out covered in in hundreds of stunning blue flowers. You can tell I dream in technicolour.

    Morning glory planted Mar 14, sprouts on 17th, tall with lobelia seedlings 25th.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    As soon as the weather is warm enough, all these plants plus all the overwintered geraniums will go into my trailer so that they can soak up the sunshine during the day and be rolled back into the shop overnight. That's when I get my house back.

    BTW, the sun shines here as I write :cool:
     
  9. Rupestris

    Rupestris Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    Fantastic post as usual.:thumbup:

    My green onions and chives are sprouting here in the house. I'll be out weeding and removing the dead stuff today and will get more pictures throughout the day.

    The weather reports are showing a cold spell moving through during the first week of April. They've been known to be wrong but I'll keep an eye on it just the same. I've said for years that I won't count winter out until after the Detroit Tigers home opener (4/8 this year) because there is always snows/sleet/freezing rain/tornado/earthquake/typhoon/volcanic eruption/alien invasion/etc. on that day.

    They could move the home opener to August 15th and they'd get 24" of snow on that day. I'd bet my life on it.:p
     
  10. Rupestris

    Rupestris Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    The chives that my wife started from seed earlier this week:

    [​IMG]

    The little flower garden in the front of the house. Before cleaning out:

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    Some of the Hosta and Mums are getting anxious.

    [​IMG]

    In the back yard there isn't much to do yet. Still a bit cold for outdoor planting but, the Magnolia tree, the Lilac and (I think) the bleeding hearts are budding and growing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And an update on those ever reproducing and spreading Day Lilies:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire

    Nov 20, 2005
    The Day Lilies are looking great. Mine don't spread so easily or apparently so aggressively.

    Spring is upon us here in East Tennessee. The dogwoods are going into bloom now. Red bud is looking good.

    I put out my hummingbird feeder as the azealas are going into bloom and that seems to be about the time the first hummers show up. Now I will start to watch the hummingbird sighting web site(s), but someone claims to have already seen one in the area in the last week.

    Noticed in the paper that there is a nesting pair of Bald Eagles at the one state park near here. Got to head over there when I have time and talk to a ranger to find the nesting tree. Hopefully, I will get some photos. The chicks are hatched. They have placed cameras. So.... here's a link. http://harrisonbayeaglecam.org/

    My lettuce is up and I still have not planted the two tomato plants. Got cold last weekend or right at freezing. Brought them into the house for a couple days.
     
  12. Rupestris

    Rupestris Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    Thanks for the reminder 22. I picked up a hummingbird feeder on clearance last fall. I forgot about it.

    There are Bald Eagles that nest along the Fox river here. Not seen often around the town I'm in but occasionally. If I really want to see 'em I have to go to Starved Rock.

    http://www.starvedrockstatepark.org/activity/eagle-watching/

    It's just under an hour drive.
     
  13. Rupestris

    Rupestris Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    This is Mr. Nibbles.

    [​IMG]

    He lives under my deck. My daughter named him for his incessant nibbling on my lawn. I've thrown veggies out for him but he ignores them. He's a little camera shy and I don't have a good camera with a zoom so this was as close as I could get tonight.
     
  14. taldesta

    taldesta Spaniel Crossing Platinum Member

    831
    Jan 24, 2013
    Good stuff! Crops and livestock ... :D
     
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire

    Nov 20, 2005
    Another burst of winter heading your way Taldesta. Somebody tell Old Man Winter that it's spring now.
     
  16. Rupestris

    Rupestris Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    Agreed.

    We had a little bit of rain mixed with sleet today. Tomorrow's forecast is 41°F/26°F.
     
  17. mewolf1

    mewolf1 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Rupe, your Bleeding Heart looks like Colombine.
     
  18. Rupestris

    Rupestris Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    You are absolutely right Mewolf. My mistake. My brain hadn't completely thawed yet and I forgot what was there. ;):D
     
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire

    Nov 20, 2005
    I have colombine. It re-seeds itself and you have plants growing all over the place. If you like it, you have to be able to recognize the leaves and then decide if you want to keep it. It is just about ready to bloom.
     
  20. mewolf1

    mewolf1 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    The baby Slug tracks help give it away.:D
     
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