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Gardening

newboots

Angel Diva
For us (NY State, Zone 5) the cherry tomatoes are coming in fast now, but the larger tomatoes won't be ripe for awhile.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
I guess since I've been getting ripe tomatoes for about a month I was hoping for more of them to be getting ripe now? Maybe I am just being impatient. Last year my seeds arrived months after ordering so I only got a couple tomatoes before the first frost. So my memory of what I usually get is all over the place.

If you can plant tomatoes by seed you are in a whole different world than us. :smile:
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
If you can plant tomatoes by seed you are in a whole different world than us. :smile:
I grew them from seed but started indoors. But last year my seeds showed up in like June so it was kind of a hopeless endeavor. This year I had nice full sized plants that I grew indoors from seed to plant outside when the weather was ready so they are WAY ahead this year.

But I mean, technically you CAN do that here. Last year I got the seeds in the mail right around when I would have planted tomatoes outdoors and still got a handful of ripe ones just before the first frost. But... not recommended.

I guess I'm just being paranoid that I have thousands of blossoms but am not seeing that many tomatoes yet and am worried the heat is limiting the actual tomato production, but... I should probably just be more patient and see what happens later in the summer. :smile: Though it's not that they're falling off like I've seen when they don't set - it's more that most of them seem agonizingly slow. But I have been reading in our local forums that it wouldn't be uncommon to have problems when temps are over 90, and we had a lot of very early 100+ days. Hah, I actually attached a big golf umbrella onto our deck railing to give them some extra shade and try and keep the temperatures down in the afternoons....
 
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altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
Well, the picture rotated a little oddly... but here's my project for the past 2 weeks. I've been ripping out our half dead grass in the parkstrip to xeriscape (or "localscape" or whatever the correct term is...) but put in plants that will need almost no water. (It's actually looking pretty green now since we had a few days of rain over the past week... go figure.) There's a soaker hose underneath for the tree roots that are in this area - it's just shocking how much more efficient that is, honestly. No more watering the sidewalk no matter how much time and effort you put into adjusting sprinklers.... I still have a few plants to add, but this was today's stopping point. Next step is putting in a nice mailbox... and then on to the other 2/3's of the grass park strip!

We'll see how it holds up, but I made sure the stones are in there lower than the sidewalk and curb so the water will drain into the wood chips and dirt and not run off into the street. That makes sense in my head... I guess we'll see how it works in real life. :smile:

20210803_195056.jpg
 
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vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Ooooh, that looks nice!

I de-grassed and planted my hellstrip in Portland. Alternated sections of rock with sections of low-growing, spreading water-wise plants in most of it, then relocated strawberry plants to another area. As time went on, I realized I should have spread the strawberry plants out in the entire hellstrip and let them take over. They grew and spread like crazy. It was a fairly busy street so probably plenty of pollution in the fruit. Plus they got watered by passing dogs. I wouldn't eat the berries but my neighbors would.

Here in Colorado I stick with common and drought-resistant plants. And have no hellstrip (yay!)
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
Ooooh, that looks nice!

I de-grassed and planted my hellstrip in Portland. Alternated sections of rock with sections of low-growing, spreading water-wise plants in most of it, then relocated strawberry plants to another area. As time went on, I realized I should have spread the strawberry plants out in the entire hellstrip and let them take over. They grew and spread like crazy. It was a fairly busy street so probably plenty of pollution in the fruit. Plus they got watered by passing dogs. I wouldn't eat the berries but my neighbors would.

Here in Colorado I stick with common and drought-resistant plants. And have no hellstrip (yay!)
Thanks! I'm excited to see how the plants fill out. Not a lot of selection this time of year, but still fun to plant-shop. I hit up a few nurseries and just looked for things that are drought tolerant, ideally salt tolerant for winter and good for pollinators. DH wanted the fountain grass because our neighbors have it and he really liked that, so I added that in. We have a big pine tree that overhangs this section and it's east facing so it's not as bad as it could be for our climate.

I do have strawberries that I had in a separate pot - they escaped and are now growing in my perennial shade garden, the lawn.... anywhere they can reach. I have a lot of arugula growing in my lawn in the backyard too.
 

vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
The strawberries in Portland were planted near the fence in a shaded area. They were barely getting by. The hellstrip faced west so they got tons of sun -- ok, tons of sun for Portland! -- and they took off.

I thought about using them as groundcover on the side yard here but was afraid they'd need more water than I wanted to give them since they'd be facing west. I put in Korean lilac instead. Which reminds me ... I never posted a photo of them.
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
The strawberries in Portland were planted near the fence in a shaded area. They were barely getting by. The hellstrip faced west so they got tons of sun -- ok, tons of sun for Portland! -- and they took off.

I thought about using them as groundcover on the side yard here but was afraid they'd need more water than I wanted to give them since they'd be facing west. I put in Korean lilac instead. Which reminds me ... I never posted a photo of them.
It's funny - here my strawberries thrive in almost full shade. But in local gardening forums that seems to be a general rule. If the tag says full sun it means Utah part to even mostly shade. Anything you want to plant in full sun needs to be be basically xeric. And part shade means full shade. We just have to translate the tags to account for intense sun and heat. The local gardening forums are filled with pics of crispy dead plants that someone is asking what is wrong - the tag says full sun???
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
So last Friday I picked my first Ichiban eggplant and Sunday another was ready. I wanted to use them up since the rest on the plant were too far behind to accumulate more. Decided to try a simple recipe for garlic roasted Japanese eggplant that I found online, it was soooooooooooo yummy! I'll definitely be making this again.

 

Christy

Angel Diva
Lol @vickie I've never heard "hellstrip." We just call them parking strips. I always appreciate people that garden on theirs. A lot of us just have street trees; the grass around the trees dies back in summer but greens up again in mid-September when it starts raining.

We had our first precip yesterday in 49 days. I'm not sure it was measurable though so maybe it doesn't count. It just sprinkled big ploppy drops briefly but pretty hard, on block party night, and everyone thought it was glorious. All the chips and other food got rained on and no one cared.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Lol @vickie I've never heard "hellstrip." We just call them parking strips. I always appreciate people that garden on theirs. A lot of us just have street trees; the grass around the trees dies back in summer but greens up again in mid-September when it starts raining.

We had our first precip yesterday in 49 days. I'm not sure it was measurable though so maybe it doesn't count. It just sprinkled big ploppy drops briefly but pretty hard, on block party night, and everyone thought it was glorious. All the chips and other food got rained on and no one cared.

49 days?!?!?! WOW!

On the other extreme.. I was just looking and Weather Underground says it rained 21 days in July for a total of just about 14 inches in central MA. This is the rainiest July I can remember, it was horrible if you wanted to be outside like I did.. I'm hoping August turns out drier so we can do more outside before summer is gone.
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
Lol @vickie I've never heard "hellstrip." We just call them parking strips. I always appreciate people that garden on theirs. A lot of us just have street trees; the grass around the trees dies back in summer but greens up again in mid-September when it starts raining.

We had our first precip yesterday in 49 days. I'm not sure it was measurable though so maybe it doesn't count. It just sprinkled big ploppy drops briefly but pretty hard, on block party night, and everyone thought it was glorious. All the chips and other food got rained on and no one cared.
Ha ha - figures it would rain on party day!
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Squirrels stole many of my tomatoes even though I had a mesh around the pot---they found a spot they could get in. I did get some tomatoes before the squirrels got them and now have one left that they haven't taken (yet).
My cucumber was doing really well and yielding lots of cucumbers but it ran dry one day and withered up----still getting lots of cucumbers off of it but I think it will be winding down.
Tomatoes and cucumber is all I grow for vegetables--I'm mostly a flower person. The Zinnias are just starting to come out. Here is one of my favorite day lilies--"Persian Market" that blooms for most of the month of July.
P1160099.jpeg
 

newboots

Angel Diva
So last Friday I picked my first Ichiban eggplant and Sunday another was ready. I wanted to use them up since the rest on the plant were too far behind to accumulate more. Decided to try a simple recipe for garlic roasted Japanese eggplant that I found online, it was soooooooooooo yummy! I'll definitely be making this again.


Oooh! I make eggplant this way, with parmesan sprinkled on top. Also zucchini strips! I can't stop eating them SO good!
 

Lmk92

Angel Diva
Does anyone have experience with straw bale gardening? I tried it for the first time this year, and while it has definitely been successful, I do have a LOT to learn. My straw bales have pretty much completely collapsed. I suspect I was too generous with the fertilizer during the conditioning phase.

My question is about the number of peppers to plant per bale. I have planted two, but I've seen recommendations for 4, and even one guy says he plants 6! (way too many, I think). I may just be safe and go with 3 next year.
 

newboots

Angel Diva
I think they generally collapse at the end of the season. If your plants produced fruit, you probably fertilized just right!

My attempts at straw bale gardening didn’t do very well, but they were too far from the water! Lesson learned. There’s good “ventilation” so mine likely needed much more water than I carried over there.
 

Lmk92

Angel Diva
I think they generally collapse at the end of the season. If your plants produced fruit, you probably fertilized just right!

My attempts at straw bale gardening didn’t do very well, but they were too far from the water! Lesson learned. There’s good “ventilation” so mine likely needed much more water than I carried over there.
While we had plenty of rain this summer, there were times I had to water. I could not have carried water - I'm thankful my hose was long enough! (Incidentally, after I posted this, I joined a square foot gardening forum, and someone there had the same problem. The guy who wrote the book on straw bale gardening told her she likely watered it too much during conditioning. That, along with the very wet summer we've had contributed to the demise)
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
78FF76A9-7768-417E-A10D-812F0ED8EB80.jpeg
I’m proud I grew these dahlias! I’ve only just started adding landscaping to the house this season; I let last summer go by without trying to grow anything in order to see what already existed on the property.

Turns out that there were just some hydrangea bushes, roses in need of rescue and a rhododendron… as well as an abundance of wildflowers and wild blackberry bushes.

These flowers were some of my first I’ve successfully grown from tuber stage; hoping I can store them properly over the winter and grow more next year!
 

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