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Gardeners...how was your 2008 season?

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1 Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:13 pm

cwhit590

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
So how did things go this past year for you?

As far as annuals and perennials go, everything did pretty well here for us in SW Michigan. Though it got pretty dry by the end of this summer!

As far as veggies go...I have limited space so I have to either do containers or shove veggies in between the plants around the house! I did a lot of snap peas, green beans, and squash. The snap peas (dwarf variety) surprised me by doing well and giving a nice crop (I thought I planted them too late in the season...guess not!). I want to try the snap peas in a container this year and see how that goes. I planted the green beans (bush variety) in containers and in the ground...the ones in the containers did REALLY well and produced for a long time. Squash did ok, but they were kinda squished together in the beds...need more room to do those. I tried lettuce and mesclun in containers...ehh, it was ok for baby lettuce, but they got buggy quick. We always do a cherry tomato in a big container, and of course that did great. I tried ground cherries too...cool plants and tasty fruits, but mine took FOREVER to get going this year and I only got a few good fruits before the frost hit...I'm not giving up on them yet, so we'll see what they do this year.

For those of you who don't have much space I highly recommend growing veggies in containers! So far, tomatoes, bush green beans, herbs, and peppers have done very well for me in pots. The yields seem to be higher and the plants seem to mature earlier than plants in the ground. You can move them around to get maximum light or move them to places (ex. a deck) where critters are less likely to get them. Harvesting is a cinch too!

Things I am going to try this coming year:
Carrots (in containers)
Swiss Chard
Breadseed Poppies
Ground Cherries (again)
Lemon Cucumbers (hopefully!)

What worked for you this year and what are you going to change/try out for the '09 season?

Caleb

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2 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:07 pm

Cottage Rose

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Will elaborate more later when I have more time later.
I will say this...I have hoards of Japanese Beetles that drive me INSANE! Mad
I put down Milky Spore last summer.
Can't wait for it to kick in.

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3 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:40 pm

cwhit590

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Oh yeah...you have lots of roses. Is that what the beetles eat up?

I don't seem to have too much of a problem with them...only on our crabapple, the burning bushes, and the hollyhocks.

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4 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:21 pm

Cottage Rose

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Yes they LOVE roses and destroy them. Crying or Very sad
They also seems to really like my Hollyhocks and Virginia Creeper Vine.
We have sandy soil and they like to lay their eggs in light soil.

Our garden has grown considerably smaller since all our kids grew up and left home but each year I grow a few heirloom variety of tomatoes. Our favorites are Cherokee Purple and Pineapple. I usually grow enough green beans to go on one tripod and one zucchini or summer squash plant. The last few years I've grown "Bright Lights" Swiss chard just because the stalks are so pretty. (Orange, red and pink). This year I grew eggplants and every year I plant basil to make pesto with. Remind me to post my tomato pie recipe sometime.
Its SOOO good! cyclops
I also grow sunflowers and a ton of annuals, perennials and herbs. I LOVE Lavender and thyme and have quite a few of them.

Anyhoo...next growing season we plan to have a larger family garden so we can do more canning due to the high price of groceries. My daughter and daughter-in-law are going to help me weed and can.



Last edited by Cottage Rose on Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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5 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:35 pm

Cottage Rose

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PS...I'm obsessed with containers and have several each growing season...mostly with flowering annuals and herbs.

I'll go create a link to some of my flower pics...
garden pics

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6 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:00 pm

cwhit590

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Oooh! Nice plants! Love the gardens and the containers.

I'm excited about the Swiss chard...I saw some growing this fall at a local nursery and picked up a few discounted packets of seed that were leftover from 08. It is very decorative...do you eat yours or just have it for looks? Sounds like a pretty cool 'dual-purpose' veggie!

Tomato pie!!! Suspect I dunno...sounds kinda crazy to me Vicky....lol...just kidding! Does it taste like pizza? You'll have to post the recipe in the recipe area (if there is one on here?).

I do a lot with perennials and annuals. My favorite perennials would have to be a lot of the native varieties (Purple Coneflower, Coreopsis, Black-Eyed Susans, Butterfly weed, Cardinal Flower, Liatris, Gaillardia, etc). They are just so easy to grow and propagate, they attract wildlife, and they're beautiful! Another category of plants that I LOVE are reseeding annuals (Catchfly, Shirley poppies, Black-Eyed Susans, California poppies, Love-in-a-Mist, Portulaca, etc). These low-maintenance plants put on quite a show, and then they die...but their seeds sprout and seedlings overwinter to bring a great show the next year!

Here are some pics:

The rock wall in early summer with Salvia, Siberian Irises and groundcovers blooming:
[img][/img]

The yard in early summer with Salvia, Coreopsis, Catchfly, Poppies, and Knockout Roses:
[img][/img]

And some of the native perennials in late summer:
[img][/img]

[img][/img]

Caleb

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7 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:31 pm

Cottage Rose

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VERY PRETTY! flower
Very nice job on landscaping!
I have Gaillardia thats grows in our gravel driveway!
They're so drought proof. Love them.
I have Shirley Poppies too that pop up all over.
I love all the new varieties of Coneflowers and Salvia.
What is that red flower in the last pic?

You gotta try Tomato Pie next summer!
I'm not sure it will taste as good using green house tomatoes.

Fresh Tomato Pie

This savory layered pie is a great luncheon or supper treat. Pile slices of onion and tomato into a pre-baked pie crust. Spread with a mixture of mayonnaise, and Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, and then bake in the oven until golden brown. Serve with sour cream and fresh herbs.

INGREDIENTS:

1 (9 inch) deep dish pie shell

7 ripe tomatoes, sliced, gentley squeeze
out seeds and juice.
(I used 3 large beefsteak tomatoes)

1/2 large chopped sweet onion

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

ground black pepper to taste

Optional
2 teaspoons fresh basil (I used more)

DIRECTIONS:

1.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2.
Bake the pastry shell for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned.

3.
Place onions in the bottom of pastry shell.
Slice tomatoes and arrange over onions. Add black pepper to taste. Optional, add fresh basil.

4.
In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, Parmesan and mayonnaise.
Spread this mixture evenly over tomatoes.

5.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

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8 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:56 pm

cwhit590

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Mmmm...ok, the pie sounds good!!!! I will have to try it this summer. Very Happy

Thank you for sharing the recipe and the compliments!

Yeah, I have the low-growing 'Goblin' Gaillardia and it reseeds all over...good for filling in gaps! And I love Shirley poppies. I think they are my fav. flower...it took me a little while though to figure out that you get the best plants when you start them in the fall. Once you get them going though, you have them for a long time! (Now if I can just get the Breadseed and Peony-flowered Poppies going....) Have you tried Catchfly before? That is an awesome plant with pink blooms that reseeds like the poppies.

The red flower in the last pic is perennial Lobelia (also known as Cardinal Flower). They are great, versatile plants! They bloom in late summer...end of August/September and give a lot of color when everything else is petering out. And the hummingbirds go CRAZY over them! They are very easy to divide (they need it every few years), but they are not drought tolerant. They can take full sun to shade as long as they have enough moisture. In fact, the native Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is often found growing along streams and moist areas...so they even make good plants for pond edges and water gardens! My plants do great in full sun and they just get hit by the sprinkler. I think the variety I have pictured is Lobelia 'Fan Burgundy' or 'Fan Deep Red'....not sure, but I know it is something in the 'Fan' series! I ought to divide them this year...you want some??? Very Happy

Caleb

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9 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:47 pm

Cottage Rose

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Oh yah, I'd love some! Smile
Now that you mention what they are, they do look like the smaller purple and blue annual Lobelias I grow in pots.
I have plenty of perennials to share too.
Never heard of Breadseed or Peony-flowered Poppies.
I'll have to google them.

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10 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:19 pm

Birch Run Farm


A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
It was too cold and wet for good veggies this past growing season here in Vermont. I did get some real nice raised beds built and filled with a good soil and composted manure mix.

My purple potatoes and girasol did well. Bush beans did ok but my squash, cukes and tomatoes were dismal.

I planted a strawberry patch and hope they produce well in their second season. With the wet climate slugs are a huge problem. I wasted a 30 pack of Miller trapping them! But it works.

My beautiful red clover game food plot was buried in a flood in August. The flood washed away a big part of my driveway and I could not get to the house with a car.

I have not been on my property very long and have a long way to go to get my perennials in order. I still need to do a lot of logging to get some sun and air in this valley I live in.

I will be putting in some of those red cardinal lobelia. I had the wild blue ones on my place in Michigan, wish I had them here!

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11 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:43 pm

cwhit590

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Thanks for sharing Birch Run...sorry this season didn't go so well for you. No

What is girasol? Haven't heard of it before.

I have some of the blue Lobelia in my beds too, but it's kinda been fading out (you can see some in the 3rd pic). They never seem to get very big and they don't seem to be as vigorous as the red ones. I think they might like a site with more moisture. Sounds like the Lobelia would like it where you live now! Very Happy What is your soil like?

What part of MI were you from? Hope all goes well with the new homestead in VT!

Caleb

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12 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:53 pm

Birch Run Farm


A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Girasol is actually Helianthus, aka jerusalem artichokes, cept they aren't 'chokes. It is a wild flower, a plant from the sunflower family. It makes tubers sort of like potatos but are low in sugar starches. You can cook them the same as any method to do potatos and eat them raw too. They have a mild flavor somewhat like spaghetti squash, kind of mellow sweet.

I study and utilize wild plants as much as possible. Goes in hand with regular veggie gardening. The soil is acid here due to the wet climate. I use a lot of lime.

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13 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:54 pm

Birch Run Farm


A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
BTW Caleb, if your blue lobelia makes seeds send me some!

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14 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:34 pm

cwhit590

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Oh, cool! I've heard of Jerusalem Artichokes...just hadn't heard them called girasol before. From what I hear the plants spread like crazy and they're perennial...sounds like a perfect veggie for a lazy gardener like me! Laughing I was wondering what they tasted like, so thanks for describing it! What dish do you like them in the best?

That's awesome that you are trying to use wild plants! I would like to do more of that too...I have the Peterson Guide to Edible Wild Plants.... I haven't been too adventurous yet, but I want to up my usage of wild foods in the future. Here in MI, we have wild strawberries and TONS of wild blueberry bushes around our lake, so I like to go out and collect those. My friends got me hooked on the addictive sport of morel mushroom hunting, so we try to do that every spring now! I've tried wild greenbrier shoots when I was down south and those are pretty good too....lots of other things I ought to try! What are your favs?

As far as the blue lobelia goes...I've never collected the seed on those since I usually deadhead them after they bloom. And by now, it's gotten to the point where the other plants are starting to crowd them out, since they just aren't very vigorous where they are. I think the tag said it was "Great Blue Lobelia" or some big-sounding name like that, but some years they'll hardly grow a foot tall! They would probably grow nice and big right next to a pond or stream. If you were closer I would just let you take what I had left of those! Rolling Eyes

Caleb

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15 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:43 am

judithkorff

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
I'm SO envious! You have "finished" landscaping! I just built my cottage a couple of years ago and landscaping is just one of the things I ran out of money before I was able to accomplish. I spent some time last summer building a cattle-panel fence around my house (mostly to keep the geese from sitting on my front step and leaving a mess behind), and then starting a 3' deep perennial bed on the inside of the fence. Last year was also my first attempt at a garden on the new site, and while it started out well, guess who ate everything that came up? Sad Yep, the geese! In the fall I built another cattle-panel fence around the garden area, and in the spring I'll run chicken wire around the inside at the lower level to try to keep their little heads out! I'm going to try a no-dig garden this year, using bags of topsoil with holes in the top (and drainage holes on the bottom). I saw a photo of this system in one of the organic gardening pubs I get (I forget which), and it looks as though it would be very simple. Each year you plant what you want in the bags, and after harvest you just amend the soil in the bag with compost or other amendments depending on what you plan to grow in it the next year and voila! you're ready for spring planting. According to the article, it's possible to get years of productive gardening out of these little beds because you're doing very intense planting in small but well-prepared areas. As a second barrier against poultry intrusion through the fence, I thought I'd plant brambles on the interior edges - raspberries, etc. -- which will keep the little invaders busy and also provide some safe nesting space for wild birds (along with my flowering quince shrubs that I planted this summer). I'll post a photo when I finish it.

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16 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:54 am

Cottage Rose

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Judith I use those 2 ft. high green vinyl coated garden/rabbit guard rolled fencing to keep my geese where I want them. They are short enough for you do step over and enough to discourage the geese from going where I don;t want them. They are easy to erect with short t-posts made for them or electric fencing rods...but the later I consider dangerous since if anybody fell on one you could get impaled but I still use them. Will see if I have any pictures thats show the fence. Much cheaper than cattle panels. Also Premier Fencing has some nifty poultry electric netting that is easy to install as well.

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17 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:02 am

Cottage Rose

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I couldn't find any pics so I will take a pic and post it later.
I also use this type of fencing to make temporary pens for ducklings and goslings.

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18 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:23 pm

cwhit590

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Thanks Judith! Lol...I guess it is 'finished'...sure doesn't feel like it though! Landscaping/gardening is a never-ending work in progress!

Cool idea with the topsoil bag garden...let us know how that works out! I would just make sure there are plenty of holes in the bottom so the roots have the option of getting down into the cooler ground. And invest in a good soil....I've found out the hard way that all topsoils and potting soils are not created equal!!! Usually the cheaper they are the lower the quality... Crying or Very sad

If you are still working on finishing your perennial beds, there are a lot of ways to save money! I got a lot of my perennials as little 'starter perennials' from a local greenhouse for $1.25 each. They don't look like much the first year, but after that they take off and you can start dividing them and moving them to other areas (that's what I did with that red lobelia in my pics - my beds are FULL of them now!). A lot of our native perennials are great at reseeding themselves - coneflowers, liatris, coreopsis, gaillardia, to name a few. Just plant a few of those, let them go to seed, and you will have them filling in all over the place! Other plants like daylilies, sedum, irises, black-eyed susans, lamb's ear, etc. are very easy to divide and move to fill in open spots. A lot of people just want instant color and they want to fill up their beds at once - when they could save A LOT more money and get the same effect in a couple years with fewer plants!

Anyways...sorry this is so long...just trying to be of help. Hope this season goes well for you Judith and keep us posted on how things go! Keep those gooses in line! Very Happy

Caleb

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19 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:17 pm

Birch Run Farm


A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Also, hit the garden centers at the end of the season. Lots of deals on plants then! sunny

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20 Re: Gardeners...how was your 2008 season? on Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:44 am

judithkorff

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Thanks all! I admit I did use lots of coneflowers, digitalis, delphiniums and others that will self-seed and spread, and I have hollyhocks everywhere since they're cheap and beautiful. I also brought up from the edge of the woods some 6-8' helios that weren't very happy at being transplanted, but I hope will take off next year. They'll emphasize the back and corners of the beds. I like the cattle panel background because it makes a great hardscape for some of the climbers to ramble up and across. I have clematis and roses running up and over the panel I bent over to make an archway entry, and they looked really neat last year. I put in some baptisia this fall which I hope takes well in my area, and on the outside of the panels I planted a few variegated mugworts. They're supposed to spread like crazy and should make a short barricade against the front of the panels to keep the geese from reaching through and picking the flowers! They don't particularly like the taste of mugwort, because they tried it a couple of times and then left it alone.

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