Gardeners' Corner

Signs point to another good blueberry season for me.


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Bought my tomato plant!

It’s a Celebrity (thank you, @AdamSmith, for the recommendation). It won’t get planted in the container until after Mother’s Day, but today was a nice day to go to the nursery, and it will have plenty of time to harden off.

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Yay! Hope you get lots of tomatoes.

I planted my potatoes this afternoon and got beds ready for my tomatoes, which are just tiny seedlings at the moment. But the spring veggies are all looking good — greens, carrots and radishes are sprouting, peas and onions are coming along nicely, and the garlic is starting to get big.

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Soon.

(lilac buds. One of the only happy/healthy plants I can point to in my yard.

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There’s a hardening process to get the plants ready for dirt, but it’s mostly just removing the plants from the water supply for a while several times before you plant. There are instructions for how to do it.

We didn’t do it very rigorously and we were able to start seeds and then plant them with mixed success. That reminds me, Aerogarden makes seed starter trays so you’re starting your own seeds - lots of them - instead of growing plants from the little K-cup looking pods.

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I planted some herbs in pots outdoors yesterday, and just now saw a squirrel trying to get at them. I have little to no experience with gardening; anyone have suggestions on how to keep squirrels away from seeds?

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Ugh, squirrels! Those lil’ jerks are always digging in my garden beds. I don’t know of any way to truly keep them out of your garden, but if you’re just trying to protect seeds until they sprout, one option is to put some hardware cloth over the area where you’ve planted until the sprouts show up.

I have heard that sprinkling blood meal fertilizer over a bed repels squirrels, but I can’t verify that from experience. It’s probably worth trying on your herbs, though, because it’s relatively cheap (you can get a 3-pound bag on Amazon for $7) and it’s a high-nitrogen fertilizer, which will be particularly good for herbs since nitrogen supports leaf growth.

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We’ve been using Rabbit Scram for years. It works for rabbits and squirrels. It doesn’t harm them at all they just don’t like the smell, but it’s not a strong smell unless you put your nose right in the bag. Just remember to re- apply if you have heavy rain.

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So it’s been about a month, here’s where we are with the aerogarden:

The two basil plants are doing well. That one in the middle is thyme and the one in front is mint.

The rosemary and sage never sprouted, but, all I had to do was contact the company and they sent replacements. Those were 'planted" today, so we’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

I’m going to have to figure out how to harvest basil soon, I think. I’m not sure how far along the plant needs to be before we start using the leaves.

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You could start taking a few leaves off the big basil plant now. With basil, you want to always pinch off the top pair of leaves. Then you should see some smaller pairs beneath, and those will branch off into two new shoots, making your plant bushier and ultimately giving you more basil. If you see the long flower stalks start to form, pinch those off right away so the plant will keep producing leaves and won’t just go to seed and quit growing for the season.

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Yeah, you will want to start pruning the bigger basil. It will crowd out it’s slower neighbors otherwise.

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Well lucky for me I just bought some tomatoes and mozzarella. :slight_smile:

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Today was one of those perfect gardening days. All the young greens are looking healthy, the peas are starting to climb their trellises, the strawberries and blueberry bushes are covered with blossoms, the potato plants are just peeking up from the soil, the garlic plants are getting huge, and the first flower opened on my raspberries. I planted more carrots, radishes, lettuce and arugula, put some nasturtiums in their home for the season, potted up my tomatoes and some basil, and started preparing extra pepper seedlings to give to the neighbors. The azalea is blooming, the irises, peonies and columbine are all sending up their blossom stalks, and the yard is full of wild violets. There could never be enough days like this in one lifetime.

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Harvested four large leaves off the bigger basil plant for dinner tonight. Oh so good.

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Me: After two very expensive and fruitless years, no balcony garden this year.

Also me: I adopted two ferns.

Their names are Tufty and Jazzy.

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I got a peppermint plant from a store selling live plants, and it smells right but it doesn’t look like any peppermint I’ve seen, or could find when I google searched it. It’s smooth and has some purple-ish veins in it. Are there more varieties of peppermint than I am aware of? Is this just a weird plant?

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That looks a lot like the mint that grows in the flowerbed in front of my house. I have no idea what kind it is — I only know that I’ll never be completely rid of it. Thanks, previous homeowners!

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I am not a plant expert, but that does look like peppermint to me.

Here’s an article talking about 10 different varieties.

Yours looks like Chocolate Mint to me (from the article - again, not an expert), but there are probably many varieties and it might be a different one.

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I think you’re right about what kind of mint it is! Thanks to your help, I was able to look up recipes and make cookies with fresh mint!

And thus begins my attempt to eat as many things out of the yard as I can! Someday, I’ll be a real gardener, and am currently reading a book on how to start a garden, but in the mean time I can find edible things that are already there. Next week I’m planning on making dandelion muffins and honeysuckle tea, since those are in bloom now.

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The storms this past week have done a number on a bunch of plants…

Avocado trees in the BIG pot blew over and landed on the potted tomatoes and crushed the cage…

The other pot of tomatoes just blew themselves sideways and bent a few plants too far…

The peppers on the hot pepper plants apparently absorbed a lot of the rain water and are now bending the pepper plants over…

And still more rain on the way!

Plan is to build an extra square of raised bed and put the tomato pots in it and use bamboo stakes to build a bigger cage around them all… Hopefully the weather cooperates and gives me time to get that done soon.

Photos at some point soon?

Need to go to client/customer w/ printer problems now…

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