Author Topic: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites  (Read 1170 times)  

Offline Annalog

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Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
« on: January 29, 2020, 06:06:57 pm »
Anyone else getting ready for a new year of gardening? Anyone harvesting food or flowers from their garden? Are you gardening inside or outside? At home or in a community garden? A fan of annuals, perennials, or both? What do you love about gardening? Why do you garden?

DH and I have been spending this past week getting our vegetable garden ready for what might be our last year gardening here before we move. It has been wonderful seeing the years of work nearly complete and it will be sad to leave it. However, I am hoping that seeing a flourishing garden when we finally put our house on the market will attract the type of buyers that will keep it going. I love gardening, especially edible gardening, and will be gardening at our next home as well.

Over the course of the week DH and I unfortunately disturbed some creatures who moved into the garden after we stopped gardening a couple years ago when life got a bit crazy. Some of the creatures we really do not want living in our garden so we relocated them. These included five tarantulas and one centipede. A mouse and a couple lizards did not appreciate our activities and left on their own.

Years ago I created this plan for the garden I wanted to complete. We made a few changes over the years but the current garden looks a lot like the original plan. We no longer have chickens as we  found homes for them after we learned that we will be moving.


I will be rereading the thread Why not raising Veges and Fruits? to see if I should reference any of my posts from years ago.

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    Offline NapCat (retired)

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #1 on: January 30, 2020, 08:24:28 am »
    What a wonderful thread topic, Anna.  May it take root and flourish !!

    The Lighthouse Ranch located in Nevada, overlooking Death Valley, would seem an odd place for gardening, but in fact an amazing array of flora (indigenous and domestic) does well here.

    I am off to prune roses....more later !

    'da NapCat

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 03:15:43 pm »
    I got all the main vegetable beds ready to plant, including about a gallon of compost from our compst beds for every square foot of growing space. I was transporting the compost in 5 gallon buckets as DH was using the wheelbarrow for other tasks. The garden cart can transport 4 buckets at a time. I emptied the first compost bed and started on the second. In the past few days, in between wind and rain, I planted the east 4'x8' garden bed and the south half of the center 4'x4' bed. All of the seeds are at least 4 years old and as ome were from the early 90s. They have been stored in sealed containers in the fridge. Hopefully most of them will grow. We are still expecting some freezing nights so I planted peas, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots.

    Offline NapCat (retired)

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 08:48:11 am »
    Our desert "Pre-Spring" weather is here ! 30s at night/sunny 70s in the afternoon. 

    Domestic: Spring  bulbs (Iris, Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinth, etc) are coming up, Ash Trees are starting to show small buds.  New roses and bedding plants are being planted.....

    Indoors:  my Christmas Cactus (several) have gone crazy with perfect lighting...must be a thousand blooms !

    Native:  Wildflowers are starting to show green shoots

    This is a delightful time of the year !
    'da NapCat

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 12:48:47 pm »
    I am going to juggle two vegetable gardens this year, one at my place in Benson and the other at my daughter's in Gilbert a few hours drive away. I got the soil in her raised bed turned and piled in the southern half of her U shaped raised bed. Since it is on the north side of her back wall, that half is not getting much sun yet. I took some of my compost there this past weekend and will be taking as much as will fit in covered 5 gallon buckets, and possibly some bags, in the back of my Prius. This will be mixed with the existing soil and moved to the sunnier half of the U. I will then plant seeds and set up a drip watering system on a timer. Hopefully I will be there most weekends.

    I agree NapCat, this is a wonderful time of year in the desert!

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #5 on: February 19, 2020, 07:45:48 pm »
    For some reason I missed this thread. Annalog, I love the drawing of the garden plan.

    I grew up in the boonies so we lived of gardening then. But I always lived in apartments as an adult. I did the balcony earthbox gardening for almost 20 years. Mostly peppers and also herbs. Did tomato for a while, but its messy for the neighbor below.  :P

    I finally got to live in my very first home and the house came with a yard full of plants already. It took me a year to figure out what is what. Mostly it just became a game of, can I keep this alive.  :o ;D

    So I have a grapefruit tree, a satsuma orange, loquats. There was already a raised bed in place near the back door, but nothing was in it. It now a full bed of herbs and chards. There are oodles of bushes and flowering bushes and things like that. Vines. And I have lots of lizards.

    I am pretty in awe of the stuff you can apparently grow in Arizona. I can't get most things to live through my hot summers here. Only salad type thing that lives is chard.

    I still have my fleet of earthboxes that are growing peppers in the back end of the yard behind the shed. Its hottest there and since the electric lines are under the soil, I am not allowed to put anything down deep there anyway for like 10 feet in from the fence. So earthboxes are perfect there.

    I got my pepper seedlings already going, putting them into small containers coming weekend. Then they'll go in my small greenhouse I lean against the house. I am growing some small container tomatos and I am planning more raised gardens in the back. But there are lots of cacti now and those are a pain to keep under control.

    I have a front yard too that is heavily landscaped. Wild, not very organized. I like it like that. Again, most was already there. i am refreshing the flower beds up front, replacing some trees with native and such things. I love digging my hands in the dirt. And for some reason I love weeding. When I get going weeding, I forget time and just keep going.  ;D

    I am so happy to finally have a garden. I really always wanted one.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #6 on: February 20, 2020, 06:54:02 am »
    Atunah, I am happy that you are now where you can garden in the dirt, as well as in your Earthboxes. That is a great idea to use them where you can't dig or need to limit digging.

    I can only grow certain things here during the winter due to the summer heat. I also learned to grow plants like lettuce in the shade of summer plants like cherry tomatoes.

    Glad you found this thread!

    Offline Amyshojai

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #7 on: February 27, 2020, 07:20:44 am »
    How timely, indeed! At one time, we had over 700 roses surrounding our house. Over the years, varmints and more recently rose rosetta disease took their toll. So this year, I decided to redesign and (hopefully) give new life to the front of the house area.

    I had to buy a special tool to remove the 20+ year old rose roots in the biggest (center of the circle drive) area. That originally held more than 70 roses, but the re-do plan calls for 40. Less is more, and all that! And on each side of the circle drive, I've ordered root stock for "burning bush" hedge, and some hybrid deep purple catnip for butterflies. Oh, and some smaller area gardens with tulips, daffodils and crocus.

    Paws crossed this hard work pays off!

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #8 on: February 27, 2020, 10:54:58 am »
    My roses look like garbage. I mean they were already there when I moved in. I did some pruning, but they are growing some weird thick stems here and there. I sprayed some fungal stuff. I just don't think they were planted in the right place. One was so horrible looking I took it out. OMG  :o I had no idea those roots are that deep and long. My soil is either thick wet cement clay mud when its moist, or solid dry hard cement with a just layer when its not raining. So it took me a good afternoon to dig that sucker out. Me and a shovel and a lot of lovely curse words.  8)

    Honestly, I don't like roses. I am tired of getting poked anytime I get near them. They aren't large, well I need to trim again. The branches are spindely. I don't even know if they are real roses or bushes or whatever. I don't really know anything about roses. But the lady that owned the house thought it was a good idea to place what I assume were cuttings all over the yard and it unsuspecting places. SO when I did my initial weeding and cutting stuff back, I kept getting scratched because there was a skimpy strand or rose poking out.

    And yesterday I was fighting with my grapefruit tree and lost. My arm is all scratched from some of the spines they have. We had a freeze so I tried to hang some sheets I put on branches with clips. The tree is up to the 2nd story, so there is little I can do really. I lost most of my new growth that just came out because we had springlike weather in the 70's. The tree is full of blooms and I don't know yet how many I lost of those. Its all too early and if they all freeze off I wont have any grapefruits end of year. I am still eating this seasons off.

    I lost a lot of stuff now with that freeze that was either still sticking around or had already grown buds and such. This weather is murder on my stuff.  :( 70's and happy growing and then bam, freeze.

    To be fair though, Winter 2018/2019 killed everything right away in November it got do cold so when i moved in, there wasn't much alive. And nobody was there to protect the grapefruit tree at the time. Its big enough that its not gonna kill it, but leaves usually die on the outside. Poor tree is growing slow. Either the growth freezes off in winter after a growth spurt, or in spring summer when there is another new leaf growth the leafminers go to town. That is what I had last year.

    Of course here as soon as it gets nice for a short while, we go straight into hot as hell summer months. We had like 90 days at 100 or above degrees last year. Started in June and didn't let up. And some plants don't like that either.

    I am pretty amazed actually that I managed to keep as much alive as I did.  ;D. I do need some new flowery things out front as some didn't survive the heat. I am still learning what works best here and what doesn't. As much as I like flowers, very little can live here in this weather.

    Now I got to tend to my wounds again. I hate anything with spines. Ugh.
    « Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 10:56:45 am by Atunah »

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #9 on: February 27, 2020, 07:08:42 pm »
    Welcome, Amyshojai and hope the rose redo goes well.

    Atunah, it sounds like your battle with roses are similar to my battles with the mesquite seedlings that sprout everywhere here. Pruning the adult trees nearly requires wearing armour since the spines are so long.

    I saw sprouts in the garden today: 14 peas and 2 cauliflower. I am hoping that more sprout and that the sprouted ones don't freeze.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #10 on: March 11, 2020, 12:30:54 pm »
    Some asparagus sprouts are up in my garden!  ;D

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #11 on: March 11, 2020, 01:04:32 pm »
    It never gets old. Love seeing sprouts each spring. My stuff is trying to go, its in the 80's here. Lost of my flowers are blooming already. Love the color.

    Offline Andra

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #12 on: March 11, 2020, 01:07:14 pm »
    We are starting to see wild flowers in the medians and alongside the roads in Central Texas.  Seeing the bluebonnets and paintbrush just make me smile.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #13 on: March 11, 2020, 01:53:39 pm »
    Just bought a couple of bluebonnet plants from HEB. I want my own little patch. I have a corner in the front yard were there is lots of sunshine and usually just weeds.  ;D

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #14 on: March 17, 2020, 04:57:44 pm »
    Planted the Bluebonnets today. I can see them from my kitchen window. Not sure if thats enough sun for them, but I'll see. It takes a bit work to get them to take. Go figure, they grow wild everywhere here.

    Funny thing is I couldn't get much of the grocery I needed from the store today with curbside pickup, but they sure had enough soil. So I had the soil, but I have no stinking eggs.  :(

    Only one is blooming right now. I'll try to keep some of the seeds to spread them to other areas. They only bloom now to May. And that plant is just starting.
    Try to overlook all the weeds and overgrow I still have to take care off. I did a lot of pruning today and leaf removal. OMG those leaves, everywhere. Nice oak tree. Gives me darn allergies, but pretty. But the leaves.  :-X


    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #15 on: April 14, 2020, 04:24:56 pm »
    I don't know what happened. I said my roses looked like garbage and they did. I really don't have much of a clue about them and what I am suppose to do. So I basically went google fo to see how to trim those things and this winter I cut them totally down. Slanted cut as told and they say a "vase" shape. I am like huh? I just took out those skinny spindely things and cut down to the thicker stems. Sprayed some fungal stuff and then in February, I think it was february I went to town with slow release miracle grow for roses and blooms. I shook that stuff on anything and everything that might get flowers this century. So now I am like OMG  :o :o :o :o :o :o

    This is what happened. I have no clue if the shape is right or if they are even real roses, or a bush or whatever they are, but holy moly those blooms.



    Besides this miracle, I been toiling in the garden, weeding, trimming here and there. Got cold here so I am taking advantage. Upper 40's at night and upper 60's day. That's cold for us. Considering we were already up in the 90's.

    Offline MichelleB675

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #16 on: May 25, 2020, 08:42:37 am »
    Since we moved in the fall, this spring I've been obsessed with plants. We couldn't really enjoy them at the old house, it was too close to the road and the coal trucks kept muck splashed all over them. So far this year I've got the back porch covered in hanging baskets and chimes. Some huge pots of lavender and stargazers, a gardenia tree,  begonia, peonies, lilacs and have started a rose garden. I have another rose garden for the front corner of the house for next year, I'm planning that one to be purple-ish. The back rose garden will be multi colored yellow/orange/pink/red. So far I have the Disneyland Floribunda, Malibu Hybrid Tea, Mardi Gras Floribunda, Tournament of Roses Grandiflora. I have Hot Cocoa Floribunda and Strike it Rich Grandiflora on the way.  Malibu, Mardi Gras and Disneyland have been in the ground for about 1 1/2-2 months and have been growing nicely, they started out bareroot, no buds yet, I think we have a few weeks to go for that. Tournament of Roses has only been planted for a few days, also bareroot so it has some catching up to do. The other 2 will arrive in 1 gallon containers so hopefully it won't take them long to get started. I really hope I get to see some roses bloom this year because the lilacs didn't do anything, they are still alive but haven't grown a bit.


    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #17 on: May 25, 2020, 12:53:55 pm »
    I am happy to see other people enjoying their gardens! Other than remembering to turn on and off the water for the planted sections most days and taking stuff to the compost beds, I have been ignoring my garden due to spending nearly all of my time making masks for donation. This resulted in the garden paths and most of the garden beds growing an incredible amount of tumbleweeds and other native plants, including Desert Nightshade. The inability to see where we are walking is a significant hazard during rattlesnake season so the other day DH and I spent a couple hours of intense weeding. I harvested enough peas from the old seeds that I planted for more than six servings. The carrots I pulled accidentally while pulling weeds were sweet and yummy. Old potatoes grew in the compost bed and are now beautiful plants. I definitely need to spend more time in my garden!

    Offline NapCat (retired)

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #18 on: May 27, 2020, 06:10:39 am »



    We have had a wonderfully long and cool Spring in the Mojave Desert with the most spectacular wildflower display seen in years. I have been traveling for work for the past 12 years, so my domestic plantings have been neglected and stressed, however I retired a little over a year ago and caught up on TLC. I have been richly rewarded for my efforts.

    Desert gardening is out of sync with the rest of the country, so while it is planting season across most of the U.S., we start having high triple digit temperatures and wind making growing conditions much like a blow torch !!  So this is the time of year that we mulch things over and put the pruning shears away.  However, about the time that the rest of you folks are preparing for snow, we have a second growing season in a long, delightful "Indian Summer".

    Enjoy Summer All....I look forward to seeing you photos.

    'da NapCat
    « Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 06:15:40 am by NapCat (retired) »
    'da NapCat

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    Offline MichelleB675

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #19 on: June 13, 2020, 07:19:02 pm »
    Mardi Gras is blooming! Malibu and Disneyland should be opening in the next few days. I can't wait.

    « Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 07:22:26 pm by MichelleB675 »

    Offline MichelleB675

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    Re: Gardening: Food, Flowers, and other Favorites
    « Reply #20 on: June 30, 2020, 10:33:07 am »
    So now I have 7 rose bushes. 4 are blooming and the other 3 were just planted and will be a while before blooming. The Japanese beetles arrived yesterday. I sprayed with neem oil last night.

    2 of the roses were not what I ordered, but they are still pretty.

    pics.. https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/yMM7OnBBQIW76ozV2SdzxQ.PxK1Ptj2coIKn4XMnZ3_DU

    the garden has changed a bit since the picture because there are 3 more roses and another kitty statue. I plant to buy some stones to put around the garden this weekend.

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