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I started a thread at the temporary digs, so I am continuing it here.

I pulled my first vegetables from my garden today - Helios radishes, named after the sun because of their color:

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Grown 100% organic with organic fertilizer and marigolds for a pest deterrent.

They are sweet with a bit of a peppery bite at the end.
Congratulations on those radishes Sarafina! Never come across that variety in UK, the varieties we get here are either hot or mild, but never really sweet.
My broad beans ( vicia faba, fava beans?) are just coming up. Soil temp is about 9C.
All the volcanic ash hasn't affected the weather, not even a strange sunset!
I'm about to get some orgonite plugs for the garden. Anybody tried it?
A few years ago I grew some sunflowers.
After they grew some really big flower tops I began to see a few missing......
One morning I was on the porch Popcorn
Little shithead! That's more than he would have weighed!
I once had one register it's disapproval of my new squirrel proof bird feeder by pelting my window with stones and twigs, chattering furiously .
The phrase 'punching above their weight' springs to mind!
There has been quite a shift in hardiness zones. They were updated in 2006. We are now in zone 6, and this is a cool animation of how they have changed since 1990.
Everything that's growing is so much fuller, than previous years. It's been our warmest April on record.
I have early summer and late fall raspberries now,
two separate strains,
and the Russian Kale is throwing it's own seed.
just getting started really.
So far, so good. We're doing much better this year; think we're finally getting the hang of it all. I'm short on pics but here's a couple.
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Last time we put a livestock fence around our raised bed, but this year we straightened out that fence and split the yard into two sections to keep the dogs away altogether. (They love eating compost and potting soil.) We have the raised bed, blackberry bramble, grape vine, container plantings, and compost tumbler in there. We bought the grape last year and it only produced one tiny cluster, but this year it's loaded with fruit. We started most things from seed this year, too.

Really, I've lost track of what all we've planted since my son's g/f has done 90% of it and still in progress. We're going to go year round from this point forward.
We've found lint rollers are good for getting aphids off but not so good on the eggs. She got the idea watching a gardening show where the guy was using tape. She went in to get the tape and saw the lint roller first.

I have joined this outfit because you get to try stuff for free, you get a $5 quarterly gas rebate, a $100 grocery card, a pruner, and a kneeling pad. And a magazine.

I also have a subscription to which we really look forward to because there's always some good information.
Beautiful green beans, Valentine!

Mine are coming along, but not that long yet.

Here are a couple of my tomatoes - Creole, a heat-loving variety that should do well here:

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And one that will probably struggle, but Oscen wanted to try it anyway.... a black variety tomato called Black Prince that is from Siberia Rofl

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I love the deep green color of the fruit and can't wait to see hard dark they are when they ripen.
Quote:I'm about to get some orgonite plugs for the garden. Anybody tried it?

I have orgonite just about everywhere - office, under the seats of both cars, under the yurt in Arkansas, but not in my garden at work yet. I need to make some more as I left a bunch buried at the last place I lived. We went digging for our own crystals in Mt. Ida, Arkansas a few years back so I have plenty of pieces and points to make some more - just need to find my copper wire and buy some resin. I made some in a muffin tin and also used a pyramid-shaped candle mold to make some.

Trying it out under my bed made a believer out of me that the stuff works. I didn't sleep a wink all night <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cow.gif" alt="Cow" title="cow" /> ...... just drifted in and out of a very light twilight sleep.
Sarafina, thank you for the orgonite tip. I was intent on trying it in the garden but only thinking about using it indoors, and I'm something of an insomniac as it is so definitely nowhere near the bed!
I've grown those black Russian tomatoes before: very solid and fleshy, green and purple inside, good taste. OK yield for outdoors in Yorkshire so should do well for you further south. <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cheers.gif" alt="Cheers" title="cheers" />
How do you make the orgonite thingies?
Quote:How do you make the orgonite thingies?

This was how I made mine. For the metal shavings, I bought some of the copper "scrubbies" at the grocery store and some steel wool pads at Home Depot. Got the resin at Home Depot, too I think. The links for the crystals are from a crystal mine in Arkansas not too far from where we dug our own.

I didn't see where this article talked about the length of copper wire (I got mine at a craft store in the jewelry making section). Seems like I remember measuring mine out to some sacred geometry length.
Quote:3. Coils)
When you cut a piece of wire to a specific length known as the "cubit" length, that wire will resonate or act as a transformer to special cosmic energies and draw that energy into the wire. There are many different "cubit' lengths used by advanced civilations down through the ages. In a phone conversation with Slim Spurling in February of 2005, Slim mentioned that he found that the ancient Egyptian Royal cubit (524mm +/- 2mm) to be more useful for bio-physical energies and Hans Becker's "Lost" cubit (596.6714mm or 23.491") more useful for emotional and mental energies. Since I'm adding at least two coils to the larger orgone generators, I've decided to make one coil based on the Royal cubit length and the second coil based on Hans Becker's Lost cubit length. I designate a multible of the original cubit unit by use of the letter "X". For example, a 3X Lost Cubit coil equals 3 x 596.6714mm or 1790.01mm. Any multible length of the cubit unit will produce the desired results. You can also use a 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 fraction of the cubit length to give you a similar resonant effect, but usually not as stong as the whole cubit unit length. Depending on the gauge of the wire used, I can usually fit a double or triple multible cubit into the TB or HHg. When you coil the wire, you force the orgone energy into a spiral movement. If the coil is laid out in a flat plane, the energy will spread both laterally and vertically. If you stretch the coil into the vertical plane, you have a vertical cone shaped spiral which drives the energy towards the tip of the spiral in a vortex fashion. For the HHg's, I add both a wide cone-shaped spiral coil that encloses the 5 crystals as well as a flat plane coil (sometimes called a 'pancake' coil) placed at the bottom of the HHg. For TB's, I add a single flat coil at the bottom. The two coils shown on the right are wrapped in a configuration known as a SBB coil, or Saint Buster's Button coil , a name coined by Don Croft

I think I used the second measurement for my copper coil - 23.491". Of course you can't cut copper wire to 3 decimal places, so I just got as close as possible.

I held a pendulum over mine and it started swinging pretty wildly, which I figured was a good thing since I was hoping I had made mine correctly LOL.
Thanks, I'll have to see if I can do it. <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cheers.gif" alt="Cheers" title="cheers" />
finally I read this thread! and I've been totally obsessed with orgone lately too! thanks for the recipe and I will be making some of my own asap... it works.

I've met a family who have got a worm casting business nearby... the young man came by my place the other day to 'see what you're doing... ' hahahaha and he and I determined a good spot for a raised bed and he priced out the costs of his peat moss, worm casting, soil mixture he sells my the big quantities... he's coming back this week to help me do my construction of the beds... one out of the Temple build timber they were tossing a few years ago that I salvaged and one out of 'regular' timbers... we're going to be doing experiments with them... see the differences between his soil and regular ways but all will be organic... we have problems with the greedy birds---I let them have most of what they want already...

I saw a honeybee collecting pollen on a dandelion yesterday. :) that made me so happy.

we're doing such a big cleanup around here... it is all good.
I have never grown corn before and have thoroughly enjoyed watching my non-hybrid, heirloom seed corn grow this year. The tassels emerged about 10 days ago and a few of them had a lot of bugs on them. I didn't spray anything as this is an organic garden and just decided to watch and see. A few days later they were covered in lady bugs so I think they will be fine.

Today I saw the first silks on them Drool

I have been working crazy long hours at work and haven't had time to weed so a couple of the ladies at work pitched in and did some weeding for me and said they would "weed for food" LOL. I told them to help themselves to whatever they wanted. ... ef=general

Growing Vegetables Upside Down
Stuart Isett for The New York Times

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Shawn Verrall waters his upside-down tomato plants with his daughter, Megan, in their Redmond, Wash., garden. {{{painted liter pop bottles-hung with twine}}}
Published: May 19, 2010

IF pests and blight are wrecking your plants, it might be time to turn your garden on its head.

Erich Schlegel for The New York Times

Donald Rutledge, in New Braunfels, Tex., put his buckets on pulleys to protect his plants from deer.
Enlarge This Image

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The Topsy Turvy.

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Mark McAlpine made his own containers for his Ontario garden. {{{5 gallon buckets}}}}

Growing crops that dangle upside down from homemade or commercially available planters is growing more popular, and its adherents swear they’ll never come back down to earth.

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“I’m totally converted,” said Mark McAlpine, a body piercer in Guelph, Ontario, who began growing tomatoes upside down two years ago because cutworms were ravaging the ones he planted in the ground. He made six planters out of five-gallon plastic buckets, some bought at the Home Depot and some salvaged from the trash of a local winemaker. He cut a two-inch hole in the bottom of each bucket and threaded a tomato seedling down through the opening, packing strips of newspaper around the root ball to keep it in place and to prevent dirt from falling out.

He then filled the buckets with soil mixed with compost and hung them on sturdy steel hooks bolted to the railing of his backyard deck. “Last summer was really hot so it wasn’t the best crop, but I still was able to jar enough whole tomatoes, half tomatoes, salsa and tomato sauce to last me through the winter,” said Mr. McAlpine, who plans an additional six upside-down planters this year.

Upside-down gardening, primarily of leggy crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, is more common partly because of the ubiquity of Topsy Turvy planters, which are breathlessly advertised on television and have prominent placement at retailers like Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Bed Bath & Beyond. According to the company that licenses the product, Allstar Products Group in Hawthorne, N.Y., sales this year are twice last year’s, with 20 million sold since the planter’s invention in 2005. Not to be outdone, Gardener’s Supply and Plow & Hearth recently began selling rival upside-down planters. “Upside-down gardening is definitely a phenomenon,” said Steve Wagner, senior product manager for Plow & Hearth.

The advantages of upside-down gardening are many: it saves space; there is no need for stakes or cages; it foils pests and fungus; there are fewer, if any, weeds; there is efficient delivery of water and nutrients thanks to gravity; and it allows for greater air circulation and sunlight exposure.

While there are skeptics, proponents say the proof is in the produce.

Tomato and jalapeño seedlings sprout from upside-down planters fashioned out of milk jugs and soda bottles that hang from the fence surrounding the Redmond, Wash., yard of Shawn Verrall, a Microsoft software tester who blogs about gardening at Mr. Verrall turned to upside-down gardening last summer as an experiment.

“I put one tomato plant in the ground and one upside down, and the one in the ground died,” he said. The other tomato did so well, he planted a jalapeño upside down, too, and it was more prolific than the one he had in the ground. “The plants seem to stay healthier upside down if you water them enough, and it’s a great way to go if you have limited space,” he said.

While horticulturists, agronomists and plant scientists agree that pests and blight are less likely to damage crops suspended in the air, they said they are unsure whether growing them upside down rather than right-side up will yield better results.

“Growing things upside down seems like a fad to me, but I’m glad people are fooling around with it and hope they will let us traditionalist gardening snobs know what we’ve been missing,” said Hans Christian Wien, a horticulture professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Judging from gardening blogs and Web sites, those fooling around with upside-down gardening are generally enthusiastic, particularly if they have planted smaller varieties of tomatoes.

“Bigger tomatoes are too heavy and put too much stress on the vine, causing it to twist and break,” said Michael Nolan, an avid gardener in Atlanta and a writer for, who has four upside-down planters also made out of five-gallon buckets in which he grows bushels of cherry and patio varieties of tomatoes as well as small pickling cucumbers.

Tomato varieties are labeled as either indeterminate or determinate, and horticulture experts recommend choosing indeterminate ones for upside-down gardens. Determinate tomato plants are stubbier, with somewhat rigid stalks that issue all their fruit at once, which could weigh down and break the stems if hanging upside down. Indeterminate types, by contrast, have more flexible, sprawling stems that produce fruit throughout the season and are less likely to be harmed by gravity.

When Mr. Nolan first tried upside-down gardening, he used the Topsy Turvy planters, which are made of polyethylene bags and look like Chinese lanterns gone wrong. But he was disappointed in the yield. “I far prefer using buckets,” he said, which hang from tall metal shepherd hooks bolted to the posts supporting his backyard deck. He paints his buckets bright colors, and plants herbs and marigolds in the top to help retain moisture.

Another, less decorative solution for preventing evaporation is to top the planters with mulch or simply cover them with a lid. Regardless, Mr. Nolan said, “The upside-down planters tend to dry out really fast, so I have to water a lot — probably once a day in the heat of the summer.”

Many gardeners reported that the thinner, breathable plastic Topsy Turvy planters ($9.99) dried out so quickly that watering even once a day was not enough to prevent desiccated plants. There were similar comments about the Plow & Hearth version ($12.95) and while the Gardener’s Supply upside-down planter ($19.95) has a built-in watering system, online reviewers said it is difficult to assemble.

In addition to plastic soda bottles, milk jugs and five-gallon buckets, upside-down planters can be made out of thick heavy-duty plastic trash bags, plastic reusable shopping totes, kitty litter containers, laundry hampers and even used tires. Web sites like and show how it can be done, and YouTube has several how-to videos. Variations include building a water reservoir either at the top or bottom of planters for irrigation, cutting several openings in the bottom and sides for planting several seedlings and lining the interior with landscape fabric or coconut fiber to help retain moisture.

Donald Rutledge, a construction project designer and manager in New Braunfels, Tex., devised a triple-pulley system so he could easily hoist his nine upside-down planters 16 feet above the ground, away from ravenous deer. He made his planters out of five-gallon buckets four years ago, following instructions on the Internet. “The tomatoes and basil worked real well upside down, but the lettuce, peas and carrots weren’t so successful,” he said. “It’s been trial and error.”

This year, he put his plantings right-side up in the buckets to see if it makes any difference. He said his suspended garden started as an entertaining summer project for him and his three children but has become more of a scientific pursuit: “Is upside down better than right-side up? I’m guess I’m going to find out.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 21, 2010

A previous version of this article misstated the price of the Topsy Turvey planter as $19.98.
A version of this article appeared in print on May 20, 2010, on page D1 of the New York edition.
I have yet to talk to anyone who has tried the topsy-turvy tomatoes that got a decent yield from them but they were people at work who had never had a garden so maybe they didn't water and feed them enough. I'd love to hear from someone who had success with them because it sounds like a great idea.

My branches are so heavy now with all the tomatoes on them that I am constantly propping them up and tying them to the cages. I never seem to have any twine so I just grab what I have handy - yarn LOL.

I had to stake my corn the other day! We had 20-25 mph winds after a heavy rain and blew a bunch of the stalks over so bad they were laying on the ground. I brought some more soil to put around the bottom and some stakes and they are fine now. I planted them according to the directions on the seed packet and I noticed in all the pictures on the internet of corn growing they are much closer together. I am going to space mine closer next year so they can prop each other up when we get those high winds - assuming I get enough corn to make it worth my while to grow it.
very exciting to watch their progress-like the making of the silk... I saw the gooseberries have set their fruit under the little caps... the bees were working that pollen off the cherry bushes-back legs so loaded down with pollen. Then we got the 30mph winds. My apples are showing their bloom bud color-such an intense salmon color pink. My weird little stand of plum trees are the healthiest they've been in the 5 seasons of my care this season-I took out a lot of dead wood the past few years and we got so much rain last year that this year is going to be a bumper crop. If nothing bothers them weather wise.

the potato farmers are just getting their crops in right now. We have had a few cold lows for them to work with along with the big winds.

I have a worm composting company here that swear by their worm compost tea they use to water with. Told me they've experimented with it and the yield is at least twice with the worm tea than without, regardless of what planting soil they've used.

I saw some 'topsy turvy' plant bags hanging around with tomatoes in them last year-they had tomatoes on them but not a lot-nor were they huge plants. But the people had them on the West sides of their houses for some reason.

I liked the one guy's 5 gallon buckets on his pulley method to keep them away from the deer-though that would be a good way to have a herd of deer on your deck. lol

We saw a lot of bear poop out back this spring when we first got out there after the snow. 'a small black bear' was one expert's opinion. Red with berries and some of my neighbor's organic barley he raises in it. He was there for a while. Glad I don't let my dogs just run wild... always something after the easy pickings.
Orgone; does that actually WORK? You guys are serious, right? Will check it out, and mayhap try. Can't hurt, right?

Redshift said: "Everything that's growing is so much fuller, than previous years. It's been our warmest April on record."

Well, great; observations like that almost make me wish I lived elsewhere ... almost. As for us, this year's like any other. Overcast and cool. Anyway, I envy you. All I've got going now are the perennials, some sub-arctic tomatoes (half may survive), and a bunch of starts I've yet to plant. Potatoes will go in the ground by the end of the week, weather permitting.

Well, have ordered a wind generator and will try for a greenhouse on the south side this year. We'll see.

Good luck with your gardens, folks. As for me, I'm grateful if ANYTHING grows. Even dandelions, the flowers of which make great tea. I mean truly delicious.
Quote:Orgone; does that actually WORK? You guys are serious, right? Will check it out, and mayhap try. Can't hurt, right?

Redshift said: "Everything that's growing is so much fuller, than previous years. It's been our warmest April on record."

Well, great; observations like that almost make me wish I lived elsewhere ... almost. As for us, this year's like any other. Overcast and cool. Anyway, I envy you. All I've got going now are the perennials, some sub-arctic tomatoes (half may survive), and a bunch of starts I've yet to plant. Potatoes will go in the ground by the end of the week, weather permitting.

Well, have ordered a wind generator and will try for a greenhouse on the south side this year. We'll see.

Good luck with your gardens, folks. As for me, I'm grateful if ANYTHING grows. Even dandelions, the flowers of which make great tea. I mean truly delicious.

how do you make the tea from them? I've got some gorgeous organic ones... it was so cute <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/wub.gif" alt="Wub" title="wub" /> the other day a huge flock of tiny finches landed on the ground right in front of me behind my window plucking the seeds from the spent dandelions-looking like teeny chickens scratching around for the seeds. :)

EVERYBODY is feeding our wild bird population this spring-we've got chickadees, finches, wrens, these really pretty rose faced small birds with an iridescent red streak on top of their head-I've been feeding them black sunflower seeds and finally did two big trays of peat starters... we've had the most primordial May and June-atmosphere so weird and freeky! looks and sounds like Jurassic park around here all the time-misty, rainy-all these strange colors in the atmosphere... ooohhhh

Today it looked like a whirlwind of leaves tripping around in the wind but it was the huge flock of finches... they did this a few times today... I've never noticed them doing this ever before... something is very very different energy wise.

I started a flat of sunflowers so the birds can have their hearts' desires when they ripen. And I've got a big bag of organic wheat seed that I'm going to sow all over and in a big container in my house. I like wheat berries and wheat grass.
We finally got our garden in, well, as much as we're going to do this year anyways. It's a mixture of flowers, berries, herbs and vegetables.

I live in a 3 story, walk-up, apartment complex, owned by the city of Calgary, utilized as subsidized housing and managed by Calgary Housing. A few months ago, my lady friend and I had asked Calgary Housing management if we could put in a community garden - we were told no. Naturally we said "fuck that - we're putting one in anyways" and we did, well, a small strip, which is shown below. Additionally, I cleaned out an old garden at the front of the building that was over-run with weeds and I don't know what else. I also removed a row of bushes (lilacs) in the back of the building that blocked the view of the building and it also provided cover for drug dealing and partying. Apparently a few of the tenants phoned in and praised our efforts and Calgary Housing eventually changed their tune.

On June 7, Calgary Housing held a garden planting party for the building - they supplied dirt, bedding plants, tools and plenty of pizza, pop and chips for all. About 10 showed up for the pizza, but only 5 stayed to help with the garden, which was more than enough people.

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This is me being told by my lady friend of the work that we (I) have to do over the next few weeks. I remember thinking that I really don't really don't have to do this to know that I ain't gonna like it - it was gonna hurt. We were on our way to buy gardening stuff. This was shortly after I cut down all those bushes and was still sore from that chore.

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This is the garden strip that we originally dug up, which was all I really wanted to do - as per usual, I failed to take into account what she wanted to do. I don't remember the name of this rose bush; however, it's suppose to produce large yellow roses. As you can tell, it probably won't produce anything. We're going to continue caring for it to see if we can nurture it back to health, which, I think, is not going to happen. We call it our "Stick Plant." If nothing else, I'd imagine we're going to get a nice crop of sticks from it in the fall time. As for the rest of the flowers coming up, neither I nor her remember what she planted there. Suppose we'll find out soon enough.

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The above 2 rose bushes in the original garden were planted at the same time as the "Stick Plant." When we first planted them, they had lots of leaves on them and even had a few buds coming out. One night, later in the evening, I was looking out my balcony window and saw 2 domestic rabbits munching away on them. Bastards! I went out and put the run on them. They weren't overly concerned about me as it's quite apparent that I can't run fast - they just gleefully hopped away. All I could do was scream and holler and shake my cane at them. Later that week, we spotted the "Banditto Bunnies" just up the ally from us. There's a couple of hawks in the neighbourhood with a nest near by - chances are those 2 aren't going to be around for too much longer. Either that or the coyotes will get them.

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This is the end of the garden where she planted some more of the "Can't Remember" flowers. The landscape company that Calgary Housing hired came by one night and decided to weed the garden. They destroyed the last 2 feet of the seedlings before I could stop them. You probably noticed that their are seed packages stuck on sticks and placed abundantly throughout the garden. They were placed there not to show what was planted in that spot, but rather, to show that something was planted there. We're hoping it's enough to deter people from pulling up the flowers along with the weeds.

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This is the old garden at the front of the building after I weeded it, thinned some flowers, turned the soil and planted the rose bush, which is now producing beautiful big yellow roses. I tried to save as many plants as I could, but was unsuccessful at it as they were just too chocked.

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This is after our flower planting event. The bedding plants that were donated were in pretty bad shape - we picked the best of the batch out and hopefully, they'll take. I left the bush/tree there to fill in the corner, but most importantly, I wasn't overly thrilled expending the necessary energy to dig it out. Gardening is suppose to be relaxing, not brutal. I may have to dig it out next year though - we'll wait and see.

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This is the other end of the old garden. I tell everyone I left the plants on the left because they look nice, but the truth is I was getting sore by this time and like the bush/tree, I wasn't overly thrilled expending the necessary energy to dig it out. I left the 2 flowering plants there because I knew were flowering plants because they were already flowering. Smart, Brains! The plant closest to the corner is another rose bush. I think I may have planted it too close to the wall though.

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This is the other end of the old garden after planting.

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This is the garden that was prepared for the garden planting party. The original garden was the area around the trees/bushes and like the front garden, was over-grown with plants of all sorts. One of the tenants had even placed an old kitchen chair in the middle of it in case someone wanted to sit there (don't ask cause I don't know either). I took almost everything out of there (including the kitchen chair), turned the soil and pruned the trees/bushes. The two plants sitting by themselves are, you guessed it, rose bushes. The reason we planted rose bushes was to have one for every tenant who has died in the building over the last 5 or 6 years, except for that miserable prick who use to live across the hall from me.

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The above 4 pictures show a mixture of everything and anything. The garden had to be lengthened to include all of the plants that were donated to our project - you can see it in the last 2 of the above 4 pictures. This time we got smart and put the plant's label with the plant when we put them into the garden. Somewhere in all of that jungle is a watermelon plant, a zucchini plant, some cabbages, onions, brussel sprouts (yech), basil, dill and sage. The brussel sprouts are in the 4th picture of the above 4 and of all the plants, those are the ones that I hope don't make it. It's beyond me how anybody can claim those things as 'good eating.'

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This is my friend's tomato pot. It also has herbs planted in it, but neither one of us can remember exactly which ones. Oh well, we'll just group them with the other "Can't Remember" plants that we have around the place.

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Another 'same thing as above' type of deal, but only larger. No doubt it's got some "Can't Remember" plants in it as well.

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This is 1 of 2 pots with a strawberry plant in it. I was distinctly told that if I value my balls, I would not touch the strawberries when they ripen. Being a man who values his balls and one who wishes to use them at least once or twice more in his lifetime, I fully intend to heed her warning. Wait a minute, I could always blame it on the neighbour's kid. No, better not - sanity triumphs again.

<img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/applause.gif" alt="Applause" title="applause" /> Oh God Steve, you are so funny!~ And definitely no Ken doll... so when did you start the planting? The yellow roses are beautiful and they always look like that... bare root and all...
You need have no fear of a glut of Brussels sprouts Steve, they are far too close together to ever reach full size. Added to which you have to stamp the soil around them down to minimize wind-rock, or they won't form tight sprouts - the 'buds' just open out in to new leaves straight after emerging from the main stem.

Looks like you've got the same heavy, ceramics-applications -only soil I've found in so many gardens over here! An easy way to deal with that could be a thick sowing of field beans, vicia faba, in autumn. They break the soil down, add nitrogen in the root nodules, and best of all drink loads of water out of it, so making the spring digging much easier.
Quote:so when did you start the planting?

I can't remember exactly what day it was when we began the project, but the whole thing was done in stages. The last stage, the pizza party/flower planting episode was started around 7:30 PM, June 7 and finished around 10:00 PM that same night. My lady friend and I are soon going out and to remove the dead plants - we just went through a 5 day wet and cold snap and that killed some of the plants off, but unfortunately, not the brussel sprouts.

Quote:You need have no fear of a glut of Brussels sprouts Steve, they are far too close together to ever reach full size.

Oh thank God!

Quote:Added to which you have to stamp the soil around them down to minimize wind-rock, or they won't form tight sprouts - the 'buds' just open out in to new leaves straight after emerging from the main stem.

Let's just keep this our little secret.

Steve's earlier post images are probably down temporarily due to problems in the HMJ.

The great thing about gardens is that you don't just have to grow food,
you can create art within your garden of course!

I have a big....BIG...selection of rocks for the rock garden - food garden.
out on the beaches there just is a ton of stuff to collect from abalone shells to driftwood.
the idea is to accumulate the unusual items and then adapt into the Garden of Eden.

So I was out two days ago on the north beaches here and found a dynamite piece of driftwood for the garden.
This one has an Indian Shaman look to it's form,
and I call it Tlingit Shaman Totem,
as the Tlingit's are a famous tribe north of here famed with antique fabulous baskets
and wonderful wood and ivory carvings.

Garden's need Ornamentations to make the artistic statement.
This ought to look quite cool in the future garden.

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This is a Tigger Melon. Originated from Africa and Oscen found the seeds online for me to try. It starts out dark green with pale green jagged stripes and turns a beautiful orange when it is ripe.

We had 6" of rain last week over 2 days and flooded real bad at work where my garden is (ok at home) and it was just starting to ripen, so I was afraid it wouldn't be any good. The beds are raised and it drains ok so everything was fine. I picked it this morning and it only has a slight split on one side - just enough for the wonderful smell to seep out! Drool

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I'm still working on growing kids - haven't graduated to food yet....
Working on it, number one reason I'm scare around here lately. Ended up buying a lot of plants, got Marjoram and Summer Savory from the farmer's market and a lot of Carnations of different types, some with the big central cluster. Snagged a couple of Japanese Maples for ten bucks each, also a Tricolor Willow and a Corkscrew Willow from the farmer's market in Eugene awhile back. Not sure the willows had been hardened off to sun, I planted the Tricolor in the yard weeks ago and its still burning at the tips. Our farmer's market had a couple of "Strawberry Spinach" so I got a couple of those - it's a species of Lambsquarter that actually gets a bunch of little berries. I've grown it before but I didn't get around to finding out if it was good for anything, but it's an interesting novelty if nothing else.

Added a Roman Chamomile that's gotten really nice, never seen it get that big before. Have a pot of Scullcap and one of the Gotu Kola plants I bought last year in a pot next to it. I have a weird relationship with Gotu Kola, I can take it a few days and think it's clearing up the brain and then I think it starts making me foggy. But it's turned out to be easy and it would make a great houseplant if I hadn't accidentally taken all my starts outside. Haven't killed the nettles yet but they really do need THICK gloves when they get bigger so they go out quickly or I'll have to get a pair of gloves devoted to indoors specifically because the ones I wear outdoors probably have mites on them.

Bought a huge plastic pot and put our Ginko in it along with some Pineapple Sage, Bee Balm and Corsican Mint that we got at the local Garden Club's plant sale. A few Heucheras here and there but I don't get too attached, no idea what they're good for and a few years back I had a small bunch of really nice ones with a nice assorment of leaf colors and they all disappeared rather suddenly. I guess the big score at the Garden Club sale was a pair of the pink Chinese Foxgloves since I dropped the ball on starting them from seed. The second just stated flowering and the first has a whole stalk full of whopping big pink flowers on it.

One of the Chinese Foxgloves' neighbors is a couple of types of Caladiums just poking out of the ground in their pots - that is a sight I have never seen before, the bulbs I've bought at stores year after year have turned out to be rotten by the time I get them but there's nothing like buying them and sticking them in dirt to find out for sure.

Have ten strawberry plants on a mound that are doing nice and just built a small mound yesterday for five more of a different variety, "Bunches of Berries" or something like that.

Have a few of my Eclipta seedlings out in the ground now, more on the way. Ordered a couple more Fo Ti plants for five bucks each along with a Himalayan Silver Mint and a Banana Mint - I'm surprised how much like bananas the Banana Mint actually smells. I'll try not to kill them this time - that surprises people but mints will perish if they put up with too much adversity, even if they get plenty of precipitation. Just repotted them so hopefully I'll have about 8 of each mint if the kittens don't dig them up, they seem to be attracted to the Banana Mint and I haven't a clue why, just caught them in it again. Also snagged a little Wintergreen since the one little seedling I started dried out when I wasn't looking. Putting out some of the Ashwaganda plants that I started from seed, might have gotten too shady a spot but hopefully they'll at least keep me in seeds while I try to reclaim more garden space.

Rounded up a bunch of Sweet Violets that volunteered here and there and put a bunch in the lastest raised bed to get finished. Found bits of an old aluminum barrier in that spot that someone put in to retain the bamboo that was just crumbling to powder so I'm only putting ornamentals in that area - I'd pictured populating it with basils but it's ended up with a couple of lilacs that came off the one the neighbors killed, and some odds and ends. Put in a couple extra yarrows I'd started from seed so I can have more seed, I have more of the yarrow starts here and there elsewhere if I actually want to use it medicinally for anything. Also dividing up another Yarrow, don't know the common name but it's Achillea nobilis - sort of Chamomile-looking - bits of it here and there, and then I got what is labelled as the wooly form of common Yarrow except I've never seen one so wooly, it might actually be a different species. Also have a Big-Leafed Yarrow that I still haven't killed, but I had to move it back a few feet out of the path. Dunno what any of them are good for but they're fun and it's trippy to see the old familiar Yarrow flowers pop out of all these diverse-looking plants.

Lot of weeds coming back and that's taking time to keep them down, too - the Hedge Bindweed comes back no matter how carefully I sift through the soil looking for root bits but we're really trying to make the commitment not to let it photosynthesize and fatten those nasty roots with more starch, so when we see it peek out, we whack it. Also the invasive Crowsfoot made seeds at some point even though I've tried to whack the flowers off so it couldn't, so I'm also on patrol for those little bastards, but they're trying to sneak in under the California Poppies that came from nowhere that I decided to keep. We haven't had them growing here since we wiped them out about 8 years ago, and that always pisses me off that stuff can keep that long in the ground when it dies on the shelf in 4 years.

There was some poppy or other that wasn't thought to exist in its area anymore and it started popping up around an archaeological dig, I'd really like to know what the ground does right that people don't because I've had a lot of seed apparently perish in storage and that's always something they tell me is to keep them away from humidity, and yet stuff survives in the ground through one year of downpour after another. At least I pumped money into small seed sellers which makes me proud to have flipped the bird at Monsatano that way, but it's still a shame to lose so much stuff. Not much I find that gets past the 4 year shelf storage limit, stuff in the same genus with Catnip mostly.

Nice mix of herbs and ornamentals I think, maybe it will be easier to deal with than previous years when you'd have thought I was getting a botanical garden ready for Noah or space aliens to come by and pick up a sample of every plant in creation. So I spent my fireworks money on bedding plants and the colors last a little longer. No veggies whatsoever, though. :-)

Really like to get caught up, soak my feet, and catch up on the last year in aging and antioxidant research, though. Still not taking enough junk to preserve myself as well as I'd like. I think I've taken the edge off the gray but I'm still a long way from realizing all the glorious claims that are out there. Of course, I've still never been clear on how to use some of it, I think more and more that maybe a "100 year old knotweed root" that "sends you to the island of immortals" may have more to do with quantity than quality, which may mean I'm only really taking a drop in the bucket?
Well Sarafina, how was the Tigger melon?

LT, that is quite an amazing amount of work you are doing there with that garden, and the awesome variety of plants.
Are you basically your own full time garden botanist with all the different projects?
I am slowly but surely getting going.
My first bundle of Russian Kale seed pods from a dynamite healthy plant are ready to be picked
and the large planter box needs to be made soon.
I am also getting a high yield red kale of some sort soon.]

The red raspberry starts I planted last year took and are producing a few pretty berries, and new shoots are coming up.
This is a summer raspberry that fruits right now.
I will have both, fall and summer raspberries.
I already have the apple and plum tree, but the crows decimate the black cherries!
And they steal my cats food.
And they shit on my rocks that are out on pedestals and such.
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But here are the raspberries, and of course this years shitakes,
of which the oak log did best this year on it's second year of output.....we had a late long wet spring.
Also on the ornamentation side,
that is a really nice large heavy made ice proof thick Italian terracotta pot on the cement pedestal,
and I picked up 13 of them for 35$ a piece at a going out of business sale.....8 of these and 5 super large ones.
So you can see that these large pots will eventually be in a geometric garden configuration.

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