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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867

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    I put cayenne pepper on the soil around my house plants to keep the cats out. Maybe that would work in your garden?

    I'm also using up the last of a roll of farm fencing curved over some boxes to keep the animals out (mostly my hypertufa flower boxes in the front of the house until the caladiums come up).

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,516
    You shoud be okay at 37 - it gets down to 38-39 almost every night at my house this time of year and mostly everything does okay. But, it is a challenge here

    Quote Originally Posted by BleeckerSt_Girl View Post
    My little garden is doing well still- lots of new lettuce, radishes and scallions planted, and the tomato plants are growing fast.
    I'm a bit nervous because the weather forecast says it's going down to 37F degrees tonight. Typical night temps for this time of year are in the 50's. Still, 37 is not a frost, so I'm hoping for the best. Everything is on the side of the shed, where it is a tiny bit more protected I suppose.

    The plans for my bigger veggie garden are slowly taking shape, but I have to do some coordinating between the excavator and get some fence quotes....lots of planning still ahead.

    Yeah, why can't the mice and deer just be happy eating all the abundant lush grass and weeds growing everywhere?

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,516
    Quote Originally Posted by GLC1968 View Post
    Yes, we do have destruction, but so far, nothing irreplaceable. I cannot believe that they haven't knawed their way into things like oats and crackers stored in cardboard in the basement! But, so far, so good.

    I did find the entire bottom of the bag holding my wedding dress chewed to shreds...but they didn't touch the dress, thank goodness. They have eaten the random blanket or cardboard box, too... If they touch my books I'm gong postal on them. I am now making a mental note to store all our winter clothing in rubbermaid tubs this year. Thanks for the idea!

    We do have another annoying garden issue. Pets. Our cat and the neighbors cats and the neighbor's dogs seem to like to walk in our boxes and in the case of the cats - deposit extra fertilizer. They've messed up planted seeds too many times to count! Luckily, we've trained our dogs to stay out, but it's awfully hard to train someone else's dogs and the cats are a pain. I've discovered that coffee grounds sprinkled on the surface will keep the cats away if I keep them fresh...but it does nothing for the dogs. I'm starting to get annoyed by it, actually. As the chance for starting seed passes me by, I get more pissed off when they disturbed before they sprout.
    Little spikes that stick up - like a stick with small tacs in it will keep the dogs out. They only have to step on them once.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Well tonight we had our second salad for dinner this week using our very own garden lettuce!

    All the leaf lettuce from seed that I planted about three weeks ago is doing well and is about 1 1/2" tall and frilly, too small to eat leaves from yet....but I had planted about a dozen little leaf lettuce babies at the same time to get a jump start, and those plants have tripled in size and I can now get a couple of nice young 4" leaves off each one every few days.
    This gave enough for our first two nights of fresh green salads! I added a few young tender leaves from my Swiss chard as well- they were rather spinach like. To round out the salad, a few red radishes, sliced cucumber, and baby white turnips from our local organic farming family operation (they built some greenhouses last year to extend their season).
    The salad was our whole dinner with a big glass of local milk (delivered to our back porch in glass bottles, from a local family run dairy).
    The salad dressing was not local though- they just don't make olive oil around here in the northeast!
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    steuben county new york
    Posts
    626
    Last year I planted 2 batches of basil (one early, one later), so there would be plenty to use fresh and make into pesto. I learned that the best way to keep pesto was to put it into the ice cube trays, freeze it, and then store it in a freezer bag and use it when ever. I ran out of homemade pesto last week, and had to buy a jar to make our dinner. I used to enjoy store bought pesto, until you learn how simple it is to make and how much better fresh is. Boy, going to that store bought pesto was such a let down. One doesn't realize how much better homegrown/homemade stuff is until you don't have it. I think my basil patch will increase in size this year...
    Oh Bleeker, real milk? OH take me back to my childhood. My dad's cousin had a dairy farm, we were always shipped there to learn work before the age of working permits. I spent a good share of my summers there with my "cousin". Granted it was 1 mile as the crow flys, so its not like I lived there to get out of the city life. But every night, we had fresh milk from the parlor, as soon as it was cooled it went into a glass jug and home for dinner.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501

    I hate thinning!

    Does it seem wasteful, even cruel, to anyone else?

    It's like, I made a promise to those seeds when I put them in the ground, and now I have to kill some of them because too many of them did the job I asked them to do.

    Okay, I'm nuts.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #67
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Does it seem wasteful, even cruel, to anyone else?

    It's like, I made a promise to those seeds when I put them in the ground, and now I have to kill some of them because too many of them did the job I asked them to do.

    Okay, I'm nuts.
    OMG, yes. I hate it! I hate ending the lives of those little baby plants!

    That's why I like SFG - I don't have to thin much at all. You plant based on final spacing, so there is less to 'kill'.

    I also used TP to create carrot 'tapes' where the seeds are spaced out in neat little rows before they go into the ground. I hope it means that I won't have to thin very much. Pulling out tiny carrots gets to me more than any other veggie!
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Quote Originally Posted by shellyj View Post
    Last year I planted 2 batches of basil (one early, one later), so there would be plenty to use fresh and make into pesto. I learned that the best way to keep pesto was to put it into the ice cube trays, freeze it, and then store it in a freezer bag and use it when ever. I ran out of homemade pesto last week, and had to buy a jar to make our dinner. I used to enjoy store bought pesto, until you learn how simple it is to make and how much better fresh is. Boy, going to that store bought pesto was such a let down. One doesn't realize how much better homegrown/homemade stuff is until you don't have it. I think my basil patch will increase in size this year...
    Would you mind sharing how you make your pesto (I'm gardening for the first year this year, and have a LOT to learn).

    I'll try to share pictures of my beds soon - we have a dry stack raised herb garden in the front, and 6 raised beds from gardener's supply in the back. Lots of yummy veggies coming up. And our tomatoes are actually starting to ripen. Yay!!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Quote Originally Posted by CA_in_NC View Post
    I'll try to share pictures of my beds soon - we have a dry stack raised herb garden in the front, and 6 raised beds from gardener's supply in the back. Lots of yummy veggies coming up. And our tomatoes are actually starting to ripen. Yay!!
    Holy cow!!! All I have yet is lots of tomato flowers....and even that is from planting pre-started tomato plants already 8" tall!!

    Am talking with a couple of different fence company guys now about options for our new large veggie garden fence (40' x 18'). All of the esthetically lovely fencing options are simply way too expensive for us.
    So we're trying to choose options that will be sturdy, practical, minimal, yet still not the ugliest fence in existence. If it weren't for the damned deer, everything could be beautiful and way cheaper.

    I'm excited though, to be starting the process of actually making it happen.

    Meanwhile, my tiny garden is looking very pretty with its little rows of frilly green lettuce and radishes. It's completely crammed with stuff now. Satisfying.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Ha, well at least I've given you a standard for the ugliest fence in existence!

    I've got a few 2 mm tomatoes. I don't even really count them, since I bought the plants. One of these years I'm going to start some seeds and make sure there's enough room in the car to bring the flats north...

    I did direct seed a few tomatoes just for the heck of it. My volunteer tomatoes have produced in past years, so obviously there's plenty of growing season. I've got the "boughten" plants for early tomatoes.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Ha, well at least I've given you a standard for the ugliest fence in existence!
    Hey I have one of those too, in my tiny garden patch!


    I've got a few 2 mm tomatoes. I don't even really count them, since I bought the plants. One of these years I'm going to start some seeds and make sure there's enough room in the car to bring the flats north...
    I did direct seed a few tomatoes just for the heck of it. My volunteer tomatoes have produced in past years, so obviously there's plenty of growing season. I've got the "boughten" plants for early tomatoes.
    Our season is SO short, I'd have to start tomato seeds under lights in the house- just not into building tables or shelves and lighting for all that fussing- we don't have a lot of extra space in the basement. So I buy my tomato plants already started- I buy from a farmer's market locally that offers some nice heirloom varieties locally grown, in wonderful varieties, so I don't mind at all not starting the tomatoes from seed.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    We have a hugely long growing season (I've picked tomatoes in October!), and no one I know starts tomatoes from seeds. Plants are just easier.

    Lisa, you could build an ugly fence, and then landscape around it to make it pretty. Think of the vines you could grow on an 8.5 foot fence!

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    I started my tomatoes from seed, and they're still so small. I'm going out to get some plants!

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Tomatoes need to be started 6-8 weeks before the transplant date, peppers 8-10 weeks.

    It sure is simpler to buy plants, but not nearly as satisfying, and of course you're much more limited in varieties. We're lucky that we now have a local greenhouse that has dozens of heirloom tomatoes, but varieties of peppers are still pretty limited.

    Plus I really want to start saving more seeds. I used to start everything from seed, but that all went by the wayside when we became snowbirds.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    I started my seeds in March. They are just small and slow. They seem to have hit a plateau. I water them with compost tea and everything. Oh well, I'll just put them in the ground and see what happens. And I'll go buy a big honking tomato plant for good measure.

 

 

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