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Topic: Has the madness started for anyone else?

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Subject: Has the madness started for anyone else?
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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The past two weeks have been absolutely beautiful here, and I broke down and started seeds. There are a couple of nights predicted to be in the low 30s, but I couldn't resist! This year, we'll have access to a piece of land (1.5 acres) with excellent light, so I have a LOT more space to fill in. DHs mom and grandpa are psyched, so I'll even have help.

I've yet to start my millions of tomatoes, but I've gone wild with flowers, herbs. I've got my lists ready for next week when the veggie madness starts!

Anyone else starting things yet?

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2008
Posts: 1,302
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I started seeds indoors last Sunday.  I have two little marigold sprouts coming up!  Three weeks ago I planted seeds in my aerogarden seed starter and I have tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, summer savory coming up right now.  They should be ready for planting early March.  I can't wait for Spring and Summer fruits!  My tomato plants in the ground have come back to life already and are flowering, but I'm not sure that will last b/c it was 33 degrees yesterday at 6am!  I live in Southern California by the way...I'm spoiled with warm weather, so almost freezing is unusual!  Tomorrow (the 13th) is our last average frost date for my zip code though.  So that's reassuring!  What seeds did you start Stacy? 

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 52
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We garden pretty much year-round with summer being the time we can't really grow much.  There's currently broccoli, lettuce, carrots, garlic, spinach, Italian parsley, dill, cilantro, blackberries, and a few brandywine tomatoes in the garden.  It's time to sow things now like squash and zucchini, watermelon, and so on but I haven't even sat down to figure out what to put where.  I really need to sow some basil soon.  We lost all of ours a couple of weeks ago in a cold front that brought unusual freezing temps.  Actually I need to get San Marzano tomatoes and brandywine tomatoes going too - the majority of those were lost in the freeze as well.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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You two are so lucky! We can grow greens, here, over the winter, but most of the gardening I do is indoors during that time.

Kim, I love both of those tomatoes and plant them both every year! I can't wait for fresh tomato sauce.

Sarah, so far I've started a couple of types of flowering tobacco, a couple cucumber varieties, two tomatillo varities, six or seven different sunflowers, savory, chervil, lovage, basil, parsley, a couple of different types of peppers, and a general 'destash' of my flower seed collection. I hope to get my squashes, melons, and tomatoes going next week.

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 12:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2008
Posts: 1,302
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Stacy, what region are you in?  I just planted some Brandywines as well.  Never tried them before, but I heard about them in The $64 Tomato : How One Man Nearly Lost his Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden.  I ordered some seeds from burpee.  I also bought a bunch of heirloom tomatoes last fall and processed the seeds.  I've never done that before, but luckily I noticed some sprouting this morning so I know I did something right.  I know they won't turn out to be the exact match, but I'm looking forward to see what they produce.  I love tomatillos!  I'm sort of new to gardening, but I had a pretty healthy plant last summer.  Right about the time I was ready to pick the tomatillos, the plant was taken over by powdery mildew, then all the leaves and fruits dropped.  I was devastated.  I bought that one from a nursery, but I am sprouting extra plants this year to make up for any potential disasters.

I am waiting until March to plant the rest of my seeds: zucchini, sunflowers, watermelon, etc.  This weather we are having has been so random lately.  Plus I have a lot more soil prep to do.  Kim, what are San Marzanos like??

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 52
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We haven't tried the San Marzanos yet.  I just found the seeds for the first time last year.  We have a small batch in the freezer to use for juice/sauce.  The plants we lost in the freeze were just starting to flower.  Ugh!

I've read The $64 Tomato and enjoyed it.  One I liked even better is www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9781569243305-Its+a+Long+Road+to+a+Tomato+Tales+of+an+Organic+Farmer+Who+Quit+the+Big+City+for+the+Not+So+Simple+Life (It's a Long Road to a Tomato). 



Last Edited on: 2/13/09 10:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/13/2009 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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I'm in Georgia. I'm a chronic seed saver, and I still get bit of a rush every time some I've collected start germinating. It's such a great way to preserve 'our vegetable heritage', and I love all of the unusual shapes, colors, and sizes that you can get with those heirlooms.

The San Marzanos are an amazing sauce tomato. They're really meaty and have a great 'real tomato' taste. One of my favorites and a must every summer for us. I think you'll love the Brandywine! They have so few seeds, it's really amazing. Mmm!

I'll have to check out the $64 Tomato and the other suggested.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 3
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I'm in Michigan and begging for it to be warm enough to rake the yard, let alone begin seeding! It was 0 degrees this morning and the high was 22 degrees.  The forecast for the end of the week is highs in the 40s.

It is so wonderful you all can feel and plant the earth - i'm jealous :)

Burpee's website is great and discovered that if you are looking into "Onions" down toward the bottom of the page they have great information that tells you all about "Onions" how to grow them, etc.

I started researching what to grow and anticipate planting onions, garlic, carrots, pablano & jalepeno peppers, pole beans (with a nice big tripod like my dad makes), tomatoes, pumpkins, and sunflowers...i'm so excited.

Anna

Date Posted: 3/8/2009 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 27
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We had 70 degree weather here today.  I really want to try some different tomatoes.  it is always good to get your hands in the dirt.

wandarose

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I just started accumulating plants to set out over this next weekend.  And I broke down and ordered a tomato tree (As seen on TV!) so we'll have to see how that goes, since N. Texas weather is notoriously hard on tomatoes. 

My yard tends to be really shady except for a spot in the side yard, but this last fall my neighbor took out a couple of large trees that shaded my yard, so I'm hopeful I can get some more growth out of the garden!

Date Posted: 3/21/2009 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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Michigan gardener here, too!  I just started Tomato, Basil, Green Pepper, and Yellow Pear Tomato seeds today!  Yay!  I'm doing Cubed Foot Gardening this year and I'm excited. 

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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I started some tomato seeds about 2 weeks ago inside.  They are coming along nicely.  Last week I looked out into the garden and "found" the garlic that I had planted last spring and thought I "lost", nice suprise.  Today a friend brought over a trailer full of composted maunure that he had been curing all winter, and in about another week or so he will bring he roto-tiller over to turn it in from me. 

And then I will start the peas, lettuce, and spinach.

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I am trying to get seeds started.  I was late ordering and then I took a walk around the house and decided that I hadn't been able to take care of things last year so this year certainly wasn't going to be better.  I put away a couple of seed packets and decided to concentrate on a few containers.

If only I could count on finding some things at the greenhouse, I wouldn't even even try some of this.  Last year I impulsively ordered blue Salpiglossis (Painted Tongue) from Thompson & Morgan and they sent them much too late to plant them.  They were expensive so I thought I might as well try a mix too.  They are pretty but rather "iffy" here and the greenhouse had them until last year.

I had also counted on getting my tall, single striped marigolds from T&M and then they were out of them.  I had saved seed (first time) so I am trying that.  I had this bag of mess which I'd expected to sow outside but now it's in a big flat and there are quite a few germinating, which  I hope are striped.  I am trying a bunch of coleus seed (no clue if that will work) and still have a ton of nicotiana to plant since I want smaller ones for the planters and ordered seperate colors.  I also need to plant alyssum for the cemetery and the rest of my marigolds.  I got the zinnias (cemetery) planted yesterday.  I have heliotrope (first time to plant), portulaca which I hope blooms so I can pick out the colors, ornamental millet and purple ruffles basil yet to plant. 

I planted 6 tomatoes, lol (Sweet Million).  I am sick of everything but my african violets need attention next.

I need something to go with orange Profusion zinnias on a grave, BTW.  It is a hard place to get things to grow.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 3:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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My DH calls the seed catalogs my garden porn.  How true.  I look and look.  Thank goodness my neighbor runs a greenhouse of herbs and exotics and gives me exciting seedlings.  Her chickens are well fed with my wormy apples in exchange.  (We have golden delicious and they do not keep well.  There are only so many apple pies that one can eat.)

I started alyssum in the lawn.  It seems fine with getting mowed.  And it looks wonderful with the grass. 

I now have a whole bed of wildflowers.  Scarlet flax, nigella, and poppies mainly.  Looks great when blooming and great when dead.  All those seed pods.  The birds and bees think I'm great.  And I like not having to fuss with it.  More time to fuss with the veggies in back.  Had blue flax, but it was too tall and kept falling over on the rest.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I'm in Pennsylvania and, even in summer, it can't decide if it's summer or winter most of the time.  If you think it will be dry, it's wet or vice versa. 

I bought some barberries from a company that specializes in (can't remember the word xeri-something) and it has the most gorgeous thyme lawn.  Of course my thyme attracts a lot of bees so I don't know about that anyway but it sure is a pretty photography.  Their stuff is for high altitude and drier areas but it looks like my barberries made the winter.

I'm still planting stupid seeds.  Or stupid me is still planting seeds :)

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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We're sitting in standing water, right now, but I've got about 50 varieties of tomatoes up and rolling, right now. (I have a serious, tomato bourne illness.) I've also got a bunch of flowers going wild that really, really want to get in the ground.

Sharon, I'll be interested to hear how your tomato tree does! I've got an Italian Tree heirloom variety, but I don't think they're the same thing.

Diana, what about miniature sunflowers or yellow cosmos to go with the orange zinnias? I'd love to have your greenhouse, but I'm afraid things would get crazier than they are here! :D

Emily, garden porn is right! I give myself until June for the catalogs and then get rid of them. It's either that or I buy, buy, buy all summer long. Your wildflower bed sounds absolutely lovely. I can't get poppies to grow here for anything but I absolutely love them.

Last Edited on: 3/28/09 10:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
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I'm terrible with tomatoes but it doesn't stop me from buying new seed and trying to grow a couple of containers every year--sweet peppers too.  I'm much better with flowers:lol:   All of my co-op plant and bulb orders are starting to roll in.   Those orders sure don't seem real while I'm tapping away on the computer--then all of a sudden the boxes start turning up demanding care.   Just got 12 lily bulbs that are starting to grow so I've got to get them potted up this weekend.  The rain here is making it practically impossible to actually work in the outside containers and beds.  We need the rain as our state is still beneath the average rainfall due to a few years of draught. 

I'm eyeballing the TB iris catalogs now--have to snatch them up early as the choices are a bit picked over by the time you think about planting them in late summer/early fall.