General Question

laureth's avatar

Are you thinking about what to plant in your garden yet?

Asked by laureth (27091 points ) February 7th, 2009

This is the time of year in my area when the seed catalogs are whispering sweet nothings in my ear, about juicy tomatoes and fresh peas and crisp cucumbers. It’s a time when zucchini still sounds like a good idea and when everything seems like a beautiful possibility. What are you putting in this year?

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52 Answers

Darwin's avatar

Absolutely. I have too much shade now for most vegetables thanks to my neighbor’s overgrown oak trees, but I always squeeze in some basil and I will plant various wild flowers including bluebonnets and rain lillies.

Unfortunately my garden is at that awkward age, where the starter trees need to be cut down but the long-term trees haven’t quite taken their place, so this year will involve more chain sawing than planting.

melanie81's avatar

omg, amazing you ask. I know this doesn’t really count b/c they aren’t seeds nor yummy vegetables, but I transplanted about 5 succulents a few minutes ago! I really did not want to let them out of their pots, b/c I love seeing them around the house. But they were just getting too big and looked weak. I know they’ll be better this way, and I can’t wait to see them get strong like the first one I transplanted a couple weeks ago!

Allie's avatar

I’m not a fan of yard work, so I won’t have a garden.

arnbev959's avatar

Oh, yes. I have a big stack of seed catalogs already. I can’ wait for spring.

My grandpa has a large field that isn’t being used for anything, so I’m going to plow up an acre and plant a bunch of corn and potatoes, and I’m going to try to grow gigantic pumpkins. And sunflowers along the road.

At home I’m going to have tomatoes and whatever else I think of. Maybe some carrots, or cucumbers. And lots of flowers in the front yard.

gailcalled's avatar

I am dreaming of peonies and already trying to think of more and original ways to outwit the Japanese beetles that destroy my roses.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I have a big herb garden in my front yard, but can’t really get too enthused since I won’t be here to see it. But I did look at containers at the hardware store today…

laureth's avatar

@petethepothead – I have to admit, when I saw you answering, I thought you’d be growing some other crop… ;)

@gailcalled – Oh, those stinkin’ beetles! Every day in the high summer I go around with a jar of “soapy death,” knocking them off of the roses, strawberries and basil!

jonsblond's avatar

The past few years we have probably spent about $1000 on perennials, but I can always find a new spot for something. We still have junipers to plant for privacy and our vegetable garden to prepare for.

We reached a record high of 64 today and I spent a lot of time in our backyard, thinking of all that needs to be done. Our vegetable garden will consist of tomatoes (heirloom, grape and cherry), bell peppers (red, green, chocolate and purple), chives, jalapeño peppers, habaneros, strawberries, oregano, basil and cilantro.

I planted several hydrangeas last year and can’t wait to see how they turn out this season. :)
@laureth lurve, I was wondering when I would see the first garden question.

gailcalled's avatar

@petethepothead: The deer will eat the sunflowers when they are young sprouts unless you net or fence them.

@laureth; The odds are so awful, though. One of me and millions of them. June roses escape but on July 1, here they come. I am hoping that Milo will develop a taste. He does enjoy a small moth, spider or clusterfly as a bedtime snack, but they have to be living.

@jonsblond; the deer eat the junipers here also. It must be like swallowing steel wool.
And how do you keep the birds away from the strawberries?

jonsblond's avatar

@gailcalled We really don’t have that big of a problem with birds. Deer are a different story! Up until the past couple of years, we had a pretty bad drought. The deer got everything that we planted. The past two years we have had a surplus of rain, along with a new fence and two dogs, so the plants are finally flourishing.

Our junipers are fine, I don’t see how they could eat those myself!

Schenectandy's avatar

With all the branches that got knocked down in the ice storm, I might actually have sunlight to grow some flowers this year!

gailcalled's avatar

@Schenectandy: After the costs of clean-up and plowing, can you afford flowers? Things are still a mess along parts of the thruway and the Taconic.

Schenectandy's avatar

@gailcalled: I know, right? But, a poor Japanese maple broke the fall of the half-a-tree that crashed down, so at least there wasn’t property damage. Okay, well, all the food that spoiled from 2.5 days without power.. but I consider all that subsidized by all the ‘free’ firewood.

gailcalled's avatar

@Schenectandy: 2.5 days. What a sissy!

greylady's avatar

I have to read the seed catalogs very carefully because anything I buy has to be 70 days or less. (zone 3, but really, should be called 2 1/2). My brother has a farm, so we make a big garden there. 2 kinds of sweet corn, Double Delicious and Northern x-sweet. 100 feet of green beans because we can lots of them. Derby is the best, but I pick one other kind to experiment with. NO blue lake- too grassy flavored. Also some parsnips, rutabagas, cabbage (for sauerkraut) and we like the Stonehead type, tomatoes- mostly Roma and Early Girl, and a few eggplant- which often don’t mature before frost.
I am finalizing my order today!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i’ve been planning on learning how to garden. i don’t think i’ll do it this year because there’s a bit too much on my plate i’m a lazy bum, but i want to grow vegetables and fruit and maybe some flowers one day…

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Well, after perusing the many garden catalogs I’ve already received, it looks like my fornt yard is getting an influx of about seven new varieties of hostas, and I am looking at using some topsy turvy pots to grow tomatoes out back. My back yard is much too small for a real garden, so I have to make do. My front yard is too heavily shaded for a garden, and the Black Walnut tree in the middle of it makes the soil too acidic for growing anything that prefers alkaline soil.

gailcalled's avatar

@Zebra: There are wonderful acid and shade-loving spring plantings; lily-of-the-valley, various bleeding hearts, violets, brunnera, Jacob’s Ladder, VA. harebells, primroses, Canada wild columbines, blood root, marsh marigolds (roots love mush), squill and baby daffodils, snow drops. My shaded spring garden is my favorite. Two aromatic shrubs are February Daphne and Vibernum Carlesii.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@gailcalled I know all about shade gardening, I’ve been doing it for almost twenty years. I have an undying fascination with all things hosta. I have nineteen distinct varieties in my yard now, as well as the daylily bed that is threatening to take over my yard, and our beloved Viburnum bush. The pride of my yard is the Swamp Cypress that shades the house. I love my hostas so much I named my biggest one after a very good friend. I figure in a few years, I won’t need to mow anymore because there will be more hostas than grass. Thanks for the suggestions though, I’ll look into those flowering plants this year.

gailcalled's avatar

Where do you live? Here the deer love hosta and consider day lily buds as caviar. And re: mowing, don’t forget the nice ground cover that behaves itself, like myrtle and lamium, and those that don’t, like creeping jenny.

laureth's avatar

Speaking of shade-loving groundcover, we have sweet woodruff in a tiny patch of shade. It’s attractive; plus, it’s tasty in May Wine.

gailcalled's avatar

@laureth: I forgot that one, which I love. I transplant it all over my woods to keep down the nasty stuff. Usually I rip up some with roots, dig a hole with the heel of my sneaker, stuff root system in and jump up and down to eliminate air pockets.

Do you ever actually make May Wine?

laureth's avatar

Yes, every year. Husband’s a homebrewer. :) But May Wine is much easier than actually brewing. Just soaking some of the [edit] dried leaves [/edit] overnight or for a week or so (the taste gets stronger the longer it’s steeped) makes a tasty drink, with a distinct aroma.

gailcalled's avatar

Really? Who would have thunk it? Do you try to ferment the fluid?

And do you soak the greens during or after the flowerlet blooms?

I just found this here “However, it is recommended very cautiously for internal use today. The Food and Drug Administration considers it only safe when taken in an alcoholic beverage, so its traditional use as an herb in May Wine is still okay. Many people flavor a bottle of white Rhine wine with a few of the crushed leaves overnight for a spring treat.”

laureth's avatar

Nono, the wine is already fermented. You just open a bottle of Rhine, and put in the dried woodruff leaves. (We dry them the autumn before.) Then, after a few days or however long, strain them out.

It’s a little bit like making tea, only with wine instead of water, and no heat necessary.

gailcalled's avatar

Aha. I am getting lazier every day but think I could manage to dry the leaves. Thanks.

gooch's avatar

Yes I can’t wait. The quailty of food that comes from the garden is so superior to what we have to buy.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@gailcalled The deer aren’t a problem here in town. The squirrels on the other hand are notorious for digging up new plantings. But since I have a walnut tree, squirrels come with the territory. I hate them, they are just rats with good PR.

gailcalled's avatar

@evelyns pet zebra: As a small hobby, buy a Havahart, glue peanut butter to tray with a trisket, and enter the Squirrel Relocation Program, at least 5 miles from your house).

We do it here for squirrels, chipmunks, red squirrels,mice, voles, etc. My friend drops them off at houses where the owners have yelled at my friend’s three springer spaniels.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@gailcalled you don’t understand, I have been warring with the local squirrels for almost two decades. They have learned how to outmaneuver any sort of live trap (sounds impossible if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes), and relocation programs don’t work. When you figure a mosquito will fly 40 miles in search of a meal (proven fact, found on a science website), how far do you think a squirrel will travel to get back to the banquet of free walnuts in my yard?

I have done things to squirrels (short of crucifying them to a tree) that would give you nightmares. The war continues, I just need to find a sure-fire way to mark them so when I do relocate them, I can tell them apart. I’m thinking of buying a paintball gun. I have it on good authority that it works rather well. I wonder if a peanut butter ball laced with Ex-Lax would give them a reason to leave my plants alone?

Yes, it has gotten THAT serious. I have read every book ever written on outwitting squirrels, and short of a tactical nuke, nothing suggested in them has worked well enough to solve the problem. I should write my own book, and prove all those idiots wrong. My squirrels have begun to resort to terrorist tactics. I call them Al Squirrelda.

gailcalled's avatar

Oh, dear. I do feel your pain. You could paint one tiny rodent nail with red polish – more permanent than paint – to see whether it returns.

(Or, perhaps squirrel en brochette?)

Darwin's avatar

Cement. That’s the only thing that will make them leave your yard alone. 100% cement. It’s low maintenance, too, and you can always color it to brighten up the yard.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Darwin don’t think I haven’t considered it. Kind of hard to garden through concrete, though.

Darwin's avatar

Who said you had to garden? Besides, there’s always house plants (as long as the squirrels don’t chew a way into the house).

gailcalled's avatar

@darwin; ^^ The same people who told us it was important to breathe. Gardening, on whatever scale, is magical. You throw a rotted cherry tomato into a pot and voilà; in 60 days you have a tomato plant. I have had canteloupes and onions growing out of my compost heap.

It is similar to meditating, slows the heart beat, lowers the b/p, and and the correlation of amount of dirt under fingernails to happiness is well-documented.

Darwin's avatar

But if squirrels raise your blood pressure to a point that you stroke out, where are the benefits?

I know the benefits of gardening very well – I love to garden. And although I dislike squirrels, it’s possums I really hate, because they take exactly one bite out of each tomato and each peach, and then move on to the next. And they do it at night when I can’t see them and the dogs would rather sleep than chase them.

The fact is there really isn’t much you can do about squirrels, especially if you have a nut tree in the middle of your yard. Thus, cement, in order to obtain a squirrel-free existence.

In other words, “It’s a joke, son!”

gailcalled's avatar

@Darwin:I know. Nature red in tooth and claw; what about slugs, snails, aphids, tomato worms, Japanese beetles and the like? I have gradually found things that they hate. And I either steal my fruits and veggies from my sister’s garden or buy at the local farm stand, except for tomatoes and basil that I grow in pots on the deck.

Are you old enough to know the source of that line? How comforting. I used to listen to the Fred Allen show on the Sunday night radio line-up. Times have changed, haven’t they?

Darwin's avatar

@gailcalled – yes, I am old enough, which is why I have time to garden, although my back and knees aren’t what they once were. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

@Darwin; Tell me about it. I haven’t bent from the waist in order to yank a weed in 30 years.

Darwin's avatar

@gailcalled – those aren’t “weeds.” They’re “wildflowers.” Hence, no pulling needed.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I figured out a way to keep the squirrels out of my garden. I built a framework over the garden (a shed without walls) and covered the whole thing with chickenwire. As for slugs, well they aren’t a problem, you just feed them the canned swill that most people drink when they sit around and watch sports. Slugs love beer, and the cheap stuff especially. They smell it, climb into the shallow pan and drown. Sort of like your typical alcoholic. As for aphids, tomato worms and other undesirable critters, I have a secret ingredient, it’s called garlic oil infused with hot pepper juice.

Also, dried crushed habanero peppers will keep the squirrels out of your birdfeeders. The birds don’t care, they can’t taste capsaicin, and the vitamin A content in the pepper seeds actually helps the birds.

Coloma's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra

Yes, the peppers work well..for deer too! I grew a bunch of various hot peppers and strung them one year around my garden fenceline. The deer would approach, take a little nibble and spit them out and leave! lol

I used to do big veggie gardens for years but now too many deer around and not interested in fencing off a garden spot. I just planted a bunch of flower seeds on my deck and patio morning glories, spanish flag vines, cosmos, a butterfly mix, and soon nastursiums ) and have huge urns with bamboos and myscanthus and zebra grasses surrounding my hot tub. It’s my mini jungle and the effect is quite cool. I might grow a sungold cheerry tomato in a pot…had one last year and it was an amazing producer.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

Well I have wanted to start some cilantro and basil, but the laundry and the baby are priority right now. Darn maybe I can sqeeze in some planting in between naps? I love all the suggestions that you all have shared.

jazmina88's avatar

my rosemary and sage have not made it…..redo….and the watermelons I started have disappeared…silly rabbits.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

Maybe it would be helpful to set up a protective barrier around your plants so that those silly bunnies cannot get near them. Or you can start a above ground garden with a protective barrier.

jazmina88's avatar

i do alot of container gardening….and have plans for a raised bed soon.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

I understand that to get the most of a raised bed is to have prepared one in early January, but it certainly is never too late to start…

gailcalled's avatar

@SmoothEmeraldOasis: January? We have 6’ of snow then and deep frost. I can’t even get a spade into the soil until mid-April. I planted tomatoes outside two days ago.

Where do you live?

Coloma's avatar

I have never followed any real gardening protocol, just toss out a bunch of fun stuff and let nature takes it’s course. Aside from making sure I allow adequate space for certain plants.

Raised beds can be done in an hour, just mix up a few bags of good quality soil and a boatload of steer manure. Pumpkins and tomatos go crazy in steer manure, you can’t overdo the poo with these guys. lol

I use a big wheelbarrow and layer in the soil & manure, then just shovel it in the beds or otherwise prepped ground and viola…instant garden!

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma: Obviously #1) you have steers hanging around and #2) you still have a strong back. I do have accidental melons and tomatoes that grow in my compost heap.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled

Haha…actually no steers, the steer manure is courtesy of home depot garden zone.
I havn’t planted a big veggie garden for a few years now, hardcore digging is too much for me too these days.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

This week I have not done anything, not even watered any plant, no wonder they all die on me. but my mother is a wonderful at taking care of the plants. If I have enough time tommorow, after all the laundry, mopping and ironing of clothes then I will take a 30 minute break and go meditate in the garden. Wish me luck! ;-)

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