Open Thread: Sunday Morning Garden Chat

From commentor Scout211, in Calaveras County, CA:

Here is a pic of the beginnings of my garden for this year. (You did send out the call for pics. I thought a before and after might be good. Here is the before pic).

You can see that my rhubarb is up and thriving already but most of the plants are still seedlings and many boxes aren’t planted yet (the nights are still a bit too cold for the plants I will start from seeds).

This is a good pic of the boxes I use–made by Frame-it-all and sold by many outlets, including Raised bed gardening was discussed in another thread a few weeks ago and I mentioned the kits that I used.

I thought I would include a pic of our daily visitors. We have many wild turkeys that visit our bird feeding area. They eat up the cracked corn that is designated for the doves. Hubby loves the turkeys. Me, not so much. They dig all over and mess up our porch and breezeway. Oh well, country living is still the best.

My garden-related accomplishment for this past week was unearthing the electric mower and giving the front yard its first haircut of the season. Unless you count failing to plant out the pansies and allysum from this year’s first (of many) trips to our favorite local garden center….

How are things in your gardens, this week?

35 replies
  1. 1
    twiffer says:

    planted strawberrys in a whiskey barrel. made me feel somewhat accomplished. lots of work to do, but getting it done is hampered by a 4.5 yr old who wants to help daddy. lovely in theory, hinderance in practice. was going to try and get some sunday work in, but the joys of on call responsibilities, and having been working for 7 (instead of sleeping) has surely fucked those plans.

  2. 2
    Raven says:

    The flowers are doing well and the roses have about peaked. It’s really dry and my permit to water our new 8,000 sq foot kudzu eradication project has expired so we will just have to see.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @Raven: The roses are beautiful. The picture labeled flowers is unavailable for some reason.

  5. 5
  6. 6

    Yes, OT:

    For folks like me who get to everything late, the Prez’s remarks last night.

  7. 7


    This week, the kale I planted last Labor Day bolted. Really all at once. Maybe 8 months is a lifetime for those plants.

    Spinach is still going, though.

  8. 8
    Linda says:

    I have 5 tomato seedlings (Arkansas Travelers) that I grew from some year-old seed swap seeds. They need to be taken in each night, since northern Ohio is still too cold for them to be outside permanently, but they are hardening off nicely, and should go in the ground next week. I need to get off my butt and buy basil seeds to start indoors.

  9. 9
    RossInDetroit says:

    How are things in your gardens, this week?

    I bought a chain saw. We’ll see how that goes. Mulberry trees are proof that God has a sense of humor.

  10. 10
    Birthmarker says:

    Great pics Scout!

  11. 11
    Cathy W says:

    I finally own the place my garden will be! The previous homeowner left me a 4′ square box of strawberries that are making a break for it into the next box over, plus either onions or garlic (I haven’t checked yet) and chives, and a lot of blank space currently being colonized by a maple tree. If it’s nice this afternoon (and it’s supposed to be) I can take care of that, at least. (Plus, I now have a whole lot of perennials that I need to identify – hostas, I know on sight by the foliage, the rest, not so much.)

    I think my tomatoes are still a little too tender to put out to harden off – and now we’re getting freeze warnings every night, so planting them is right out of the question! I’d figured May 19 or 26. Out of what I planted, I got 20 Amish Paste, 10 Orange Persimmon, 3 (or 4 if the last one makes it) Blondkopfchen, and 1 lonely Mortgage Lifter – needless to say most of them will be given away to friends and family. They will, if all goes well, be joined by cilantro, basil, and hot peppers – Apache if I can find them this year.

    Onions and garlic are ready when the tops turn brown and wilt, yes? I’ve never grown either successfully, but whichever one is in my box is growing nicely.

  12. 12

    My garden, such as it is, is soggy. We’ve been having a lot of rain here in South Florida…but only on weekends. My orchids are doing okay, my philodendrons are perking up (including the one I got in 1982), and the Miami Friends Meeting gave me a basil plant as a welcoming present.

    I am one of those people who can kill a geranium, so I’m letting nature take its course.

  13. 13
    Rosalita says:

    I’m anxious to plant more but we’re still getting some frost warnings. It’s crazy that the trees have their leaves this early. I have zinnias getting started in the kitchen and I’m planning to go look at some herbs today. My peonies are covered in buds, I can’t wait to post of picture when they break loose.

  14. 14
    Svensker says:

    I’ve seriously thought about going to buy some dirt and some flowers for the bed out front. Seriously.

    Was hoping the alyssum I planted last year and the rudbeckia would seed themselves/come back but apparently they’re not going to. The raccoons probably destroyed their will to live.

  15. 15
    Linda M says:

    Just learning to copy a link, so sorry if this is wrong:

  16. 16
    Mino says:

    The green/red peppers from last summer overwintered so I now have fruit 5 feet in the air. Not complaining, however. First eggplant went into a ragu this week. Yum. I’m giving up on squash, though. The borers are sitting ringside just waiting for me to get back from the nursery.

    The new itertion of the cherry tomatoes that were so spectacular last summer are full of green fruit and 3 feet tall. They are planted in pure compost in piggy feed troughs.

    The Celebrity are showing mixed success.

    Had a small crop of sugar snaps. Not worth the trouble. Maybe next winter to avoid all the caterpillars.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Thanks for reminding me. I just watered the philodendron that constitutes my garden.

  18. 18
    Linda M says:

    Evidently, I did a bad. No linky to pics. Help anybody?

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    Since this is an open thread, I reposting this gem from TPM
    In defense of Romney Boehner said…

    “Listen, the American people don’t want to vote for a loser,” Boehner said. ”They don’t want to vote for someone that hasn’t been successful.”

    My first thought was guess Boehner is gonna lose his own election, then.

  20. 20
    Scout211 says:

    So I planted my cucumbers, cantaloupe seeds and bush bean seeds yesterday. I will wait a few weeks to plant the corn seeds.

    Way in the back of my garden enclosure I have five blueberry bushes planted in pots. They are all full of berries already (still green). In front, to the right are my table grape vines. I have four but you can only see one in the picture. That one (the oldest of the four) is full of green grapes.

    In the picture are tomatoes (Ace, my favorite), green peppers, one jalapeño pepper, yellow crookneck, zucchini and rhubarb. Also, I have a tiny little raised bed for herbs. Right now it is just parsley and basil.

    One interesting tip: My neighbor was over talking garden tips with me yesterday and gave me a tip for preventing voles. (My deer/rabbit fencing doesn’t keep out the voles and they are mighty hungry around here). He said to use diluted cheap men’s aftershave and spray it around the fences. He claims it worked for him last year so I am planning to try it this year.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    gelfling545 says:

    Today is my garden party. This means that I cook tons of good food and invite all the able-bodied (and especially young) people I know to come over & help get the garden in shape. I started doing this a few years ago when I realized that in one’s 6th decade certain garden chores are not only much harder to do but can now take days instead of hours. I really need the help this year because of an ongoing problem with vertigo that lands me on my face when I bend to pick something up so I am grateful to the young people and to my sister who will help supervise the activities.

  23. 23

    Northern Ohio has been enjoying a rather vertically fornicated season thus far. The hot blast in March was followed by wave after wave of frost warnings, and the plants are completely confused. Yesterday we tilled out the front beds and put down organic weed and feed on the lawn just in time for a wave of badly needed rain. Today we finish tilling, plantings to follow over the next few weeks. Not sure what is in store just yet, the chief horticulturist (MrsFromOhio) has not yet concluded her planning.

    I’ve acquired a piece of live lilac root that I immersed in water, now its shooting out green twigs in an effort to reassert its longevity. I’ve observed that lilacs are hard to kill, and this one is bearing that out. Not sure what to do with it yet, the deer ate the blooms and some of the leaves off the little one in the garden, and I’m concerned with leaving it unattended or uncaged. I suggested a pot to get it started, though MrsFromOhio objected.

    @Scout211: We used castor oil, seemed to have a warding-off effect. No more critters thus far.

  24. 24
    keestadoll says:

    Hi all! Yesterday, I prepped the tomato section of my raised beds by digging way down and throwing in some crushed oyster shells (a renowned local gardening sage advised me to do this in advance of tomato planting). I also put garlic and chives in that area for their insect repellant qualities. I love the concept and proven effectiveness of companion planting!

  25. 25
    Svensker says:


    Vertigo is awful. Have you tried the Heel vertigo tabs? I think they’re marketed as Vertigoheel. It’s homeopathic but I swear it works. And instantly. Worth a try.

  26. 26
    Mino says:

    @keestadoll: Calcium for blossom-end rot I suspect.

  27. 27
    Kristine says:

    Love the photos. I envy folks with big backyards and lotsa sun.

    Basil and tomato plants doing well indoors. Still too cold here in far NE Illinois to plant them outside–woke up to frost on rooftops a few mornings this week–but a major warm-up is expected in the next week, which I hope marks the end of the cold. I still may wait until mid-May before I risk it.

    A couple of the crabapples have shed their blooms, but the prairie-fire is still going strong. Bright magenta flowers. I love that tree.

    The miniature rose bushes by the back door have been loaded with buds for weeks, and are just now starting to open.

  28. 28
    gelfling545 says:

    @Svensker: Thanks. I will certainly try them. I’ve been taking Meclizine (which for some reason I keep calling Mescaline) with very minor improvement. I had tests done last week that seemed like a variation of astronaut training and the doctors are still saying hmmmm.

  29. 29
    SBJules says:

    Great to see Calaveras County! My oldest sister lives in Jamestown in a retirement place. I’m looking forward to a visit there in a month or so.

  30. 30
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    Yesterday I got a couple of boxes of fiberglass window screen and covered the rainwater barrels, anchored with bungee cords. Hopefully this will keep out the mosquitoes.

    Also had to fix a downspout that came lose in last week’s wind. I’ve never seen an aluminum downspout strap snap before.

  31. 31
    Scout211 says:


    Thank you for the castor oil tip. I will definitely try it.

  32. 32
    tesslibrarian says:

    Finally planted the last tomato (Arkansas Traveler) once it became available through the co-op AND we’d be home to pick it up. After a terrible tomato year last season (it was just too hot–even good gardeners I know had poor yields), I only have 3 planted, and have given over the raised beds mostly to herbs.

    In the bed that now gets too much sun for my vegetables to survive, I planted several varieties of lavender mixed with thymes, African basil (with pink flowers and a purplish hue to the leaves), and some parsleys. Always have to plant several parsleys so the butterfly larvae and I can share the bounty.

    My oregano, thyme, and savory survived the winter well, and I have thick, lush patches of it in my beds. This may be the spring I develop an oregano pesto recipe (I’m thinking with some asiago, lemon zest, and black pepper). I planted my arugula late, but put it in a semi-shady place, so still have enough for sandwiches for now.

    However, this morning was spent making the beds less appealing to neighborhood cats as litter boxes. I wish they’d go back to using the hydrangea beds in the front–we don’t want to eat those.

  33. 33
    muddy says:

    @gelfling545: I was having tremendous vertigo recently, it was so strong it felt like someone had messed with the gravity generator, once it even pulled me out of my chair, and the only reason I didn’t go down the cellar stairs was that I spun in the direction of the doorframe. I tried the meclizine, which worked but not for long. I’d have to wait a half hour for it to take effect, and 2 hours later the effect was gone.

    I was at the ENT doc, and he did the Epley Maneuver, it was amazing. The first time they said to remain upright over night, and the vertigo came back after a few weeks. This last time I kept myself sitting upright in bed for several days after’t remember it might have been a week, and it has lasted.

    It’s so rare that you go to a doctor and they just fix what ails you in 5 minutes, no cuts no pills no waiting. I don’t know if this maneuver is what you mean by astronaut training.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne (iTouch) says:

    Any container gardeners? I want to attract hummingbirds, but just giving them nectar is apparently like running a hummingbird Carl’s Jr (plus I’ll forget to clean the feeder and end up with a bunch of fungus-poisoned birds).

    Any tips for a shady balcony in the Los Angeles area? I was looking at salvia (aka Mexican lavender) but I’m not sure what else will work.

  35. 35
    sub says:


    […]Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Open Thread: Sunday Morning Garden Chat[…]…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. sub says:


    […]Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Open Thread: Sunday Morning Garden Chat[…]…

Comments are closed.