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SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016

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ralitaco
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Post  Windmere 2/11/2016, 2:01 pm

Well, it seems I've finally emerged from hibernation.  I have yet to see my shadow, so perhaps I will have an early spring here in my garden.  Wink

Planting tomatoes is always my first step toward truly getting my garden going.  I have all my ducks in a row now.  I've planted 11 varieties:

Sungold
Lizzano
Dolce Vita
Ace 55
Mountain Gold
Mountain Magic
Green Zebra
Yellow Pear
Tigerella
Kumato
Gilbertie

I'm looking forward to "getting back in the game."  I hope to have a lot more input here... but I know I'll have more questions than experience to share.  These were planted last night:

SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7010
Windmere
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Post  trolleydriver 2/11/2016, 2:07 pm

Looking great Windmere. Nice variety. Are they indoors? Under a grow light? In a window? etc.
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Post  Windmere 2/11/2016, 2:15 pm

trolleydriver wrote:Looking great Windmere. Nice variety. Are they indoors? Under a grow light? In a window? etc.
Thank you trolleydriver.  Yep, they are indoors and presently on top of our refrigerator.  After they come up, they will spend most of their time in the kitchen window box.  However, when weather is warm enough, they will also go outside for day trips.  This has been my custom for the last three seasons, and doing this has served me well.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 2/11/2016, 4:58 pm

Windmere!! Where ya been?? Missed seeing your input here... Glad to see you're awake again, lol!

Hugs!!
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Post  yolos 2/11/2016, 7:25 pm

Hey, hey Windmere, you are ahead of me this year.  I got called back into work to fill in while they look for someone else to hire.  I have been working nights, days and weekends.  Making a pile of money but not a bit of gardening.  Hopefully it will end soon.  Glad to see you back online again.
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Post  CNida89 2/11/2016, 7:30 pm

Hello there. I'm new here, so I don't know you, but welcome back, anyway!

Question about tomatoes!

Are there any varieties that can be started, from seed, outside?

I was thinking about growing some Romas and maybe some big ones like the Bloody Butchers. Is a regular tomato cage sufficient for these, and can they be grown from seed outside relatively easy?
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Post  Scorpio Rising 2/11/2016, 8:05 pm

CNida89 wrote:Hello there. I'm new here, so I don't know you, but welcome back, anyway!

Question about tomatoes!

Are there any varieties that can be started, from seed, outside?

I was thinking about growing some Romas and maybe some big ones like the Bloody Butchers. Is a regular tomato cage sufficient for these, and can they be grown from seed outside relatively easy?

I would say no, go with transplants. From nursery or Big box. Or start your own! Next year lol, too short of season to go from seed to tomato. At least in my parts.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 2/11/2016, 8:06 pm

Windmere, missed you! Glad you are back in the game! cheers
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Post  Windmere 2/13/2016, 6:18 pm

Thanks for the greetings everyone.  It's nice to see everyone is still contributing here.  CNida, I'd be careful about starting seeds outside.  I agree that you might want to consider transplants.

Yolos... oh no!  Back to work again?  Well, look at it this way, with all that dough, you'll be able to buy vermiculite with wild abandon...  (not that you probably don't already... Wink )

Today I weeded my garlic and kale patches.  I'm really embarrassed about how bad the weeds were.  My garlic this time last year was much larger than what I have now.  On the half full side of it though, when we had the horrible rains day after day, my boxes did not puddle because of all the vegetation.
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Post  Windmere 3/17/2016, 2:23 pm

Ok, I realize that my tomato picture is a double post (posted also in Tomato Tuesday 2016), but I don't have much to show for my work but these tomatoes, some kale and some garlic.  You can see garlic in the background.

TOMATOES:
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7011

KALE, ONIONS AND CHIVES
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7012

GARLIC
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7013

SOME OF THIS YEAR'S FLOWERS
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7014

We also have a strawberry 4x4 (my daughter's patch)

It's been crazy folks.  An aunt here went through last stages of liver cancer, so needed 24 care to administer morphine till she passed.  Our septic drain fills have failed, so raw sewage currently in tubs.  We need new drain fields.  And...  my lawnmower burned out.  I'm sure there's light at the end of the tunnel somewhere... but haven't found it yet.  Gotta just laugh at the last two things... Rolling Eyes
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Post  AtlantaMarie 3/17/2016, 6:12 pm

Oh, goodness, Windmere... I'm so sorry!
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Post  Windmere 3/17/2016, 7:28 pm

Thanks Marie.  Things will get better.   Smile
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Post  Scorpio Rising 3/17/2016, 8:18 pm

(((((((Strength vibes))))))) coming your way, Windmere....sometimes you do just have to laugh at the absurdity of the timing of everything. Rolling Eyes
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Post  sanderson 3/18/2016, 3:46 am

Windmere, You've had your share, now time for you to get some good things. At least all of your seeding are looking great.

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Post  Windmere 4/24/2016, 8:48 pm

Well, I'm again beginning to move forward with this year's garden.   I found that my EarthBoxes needed complete overhauls.  Sludge collected in the self watering reservoirs.  Also, the MM was very sandy, so the boxes needed more peat moss and freshening up of compost.

Yesterday I got 10 tomatoes planted because I was able to get five boxes done.  One of the boxes I bought new when EarthBox had a big sale on leap year day.

So, here's what I did yesterday:

SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7017

It doesn't really look like much, I know, but I'm very slow... so for me it was good.

Today, all I could do was fluff 4 cu ft of peat moss... it will be ready for me to work with tomorrow.  I have seven tomato plants left.  I will probably buy some peppers and eggplants.  My wife learned a great recipe for humus, so I hopefully I can get that going.

And then there's the garlic.   Sad   Sigh, it's pitiful folks.  Yesterday, I released a bunch of ladybugs at dusk.  This morning, there were quite a few chomping away and mating.  There seemed to be significantly fewer aphids (but it was still bad).

Tonight, my daughter released the ones I saved for her to let go.  We tapped a blade of garlic above them, and it was like shaking pepper on them.  What was interesting is that as soon as the aphids landed on them, they STOPPED in their tracks and began to feed.

This is a shot of the lid of the ladybug tub.  Those little black dots are the aphids.

SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7018

We'll see what happens.   Rolling Eyes
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Post  ralitaco 4/24/2016, 8:53 pm

Looking good Windmere!
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Post  yolos 4/24/2016, 9:33 pm

Glad to see you got some tomatoes growing out.  Hope those lady bugs work.  I ended up getting some on some peppers I purchased from HomeDepot or Lowes.  I just turned the plants upside down and sprayed with water while rubbing my fingers over the leaves and stems.  After I finished I wondered it it would have been better just to tip the plants upside down in a five gallon bucket of water and swish them around while holding the pot high enough to stay out of the water.  Will they drown.
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SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Empty The Asparagus Experiment - Don't use and EarthBox!

Post  Windmere 4/25/2016, 11:24 pm

Yolos, from your post above, about the aphids drowning... I don't know if they would.  I'm sure they would rinse off well though.

So today ... number of EarthBoxes overhauled...  1 1/2.

Today was similar to a day like when a construction contractor expects to accomplish a lot, but then suddenly finds a big labor intensive problem (like termite damage for example) that needs to be attended to immediately.

In fall 2014, I planted some two year old Martha Washington crowns in one of my EarthBoxes.  I think they were two year old crowns.

Today, I finally took a look at what happened in the last year and a half.  I knew something was up because the box wasn't filling properly.  Despite what EarthBox personnel told me, I'm going to say, "DON'T EVER PLANT ASPARAGUS IN AN EARTHBOX!"

Here's some photos:

A shot of what it looks like above ground:
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7019

Uh oh, this can't be good:
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7020

The roots have grown through the grill above the basin for self watering (that's why it wouldn't fill):
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7110

My daughter and I pressure wash the roots using the jet setting on watering wand and we gently tease the roots apart:
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7111

We finally get one free:
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7112

You don't want to know how much time we spent, but we got them all free:
SFG Garden - Fayetteville GA, 2016 Dscf7113

These "crowns" got transplanted to a patch where I excavated Georgia clay and replaced it with MM.  I'm really tired!


Last edited by Windmere on 4/25/2016, 11:30 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 4/25/2016, 11:39 pm

Wow! Shocked  Thanks for the warning. I'm renting, so I might have decided to try to grow asparagus in an Earthbox so I could take it with me whenever we move... now I know better!
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Post  yolos 4/26/2016, 4:35 am

Oh no.  What a mess of tangled roots.  Hopefully they will regrow into tasty veggies in the future.
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Post  CapeCoddess 4/26/2016, 1:32 pm

affraid  Wow!  Great photos!  Thanks for sharing this info so beautifully, Windmere. 

CC
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Post  landarch 4/26/2016, 1:48 pm

those are some really cool shots...an asparagus patch is just a wad of underground roots.

I wish I knew more about growing asparagus.  Last year I bought 1 year old crowns and grew them in a large container.  Lots of new shoots through the year.  I transplanted into a garden plot last fall and I'm only getting about 1 shoot per crown this year.
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Post  Windmere 4/26/2016, 2:09 pm

1:  Beetles:  I wish I had known better, so I am happy to share my experience.  Don't get me wrong though, this incident is an exception to the rule.  I have found EarthBoxes to be wonderful when they are set up correctly.

2. Yolos:  Me too!  I figure with such mature and well developed roots, we might get a nice crop?  We'll see.

3.  CC:  With all that work that my daughter and I did, I HAD to document it.  I really never had any idea just how big their roots could get.

4.  Landarch:  Thank you for your kind words.  I certainly had no idea what I was in for.  Those roots are enormous!  I really don't know anything about growing asparagus either, so I'm flying by the seat of my pants!
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 4/26/2016, 2:39 pm

Windmere wrote:1:  Beetles:  I wish I had known better, so I am happy to share my experience.  Don't get me wrong though, this incident is an exception to the rule.  I have found EarthBoxes to be wonderful when they are set up correctly.
I've scavenged one earthbox and one city picker planter (same thing, different shape.) I replaced the missing wheels, and followed the PDF instructions online for filling them. I also figure I need to get real fill tubes -- the tube was missing on both (I've got cardboard tubes acting as placeholders.) The covers are gone, too, of course. I'll probably ping you cyclops once I get to planting them so you can share more of your earthbox growing experience.
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Post  Windmere 4/26/2016, 10:39 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
Windmere wrote:1:  Beetles:  I wish I had known better, so I am happy to share my experience.  Don't get me wrong though, this incident is an exception to the rule.  I have found EarthBoxes to be wonderful when they are set up correctly.
I've scavenged one earthbox and one city picker planter (same thing, different shape.) I replaced the missing wheels, and followed the PDF instructions online for filling them. I also figure I need to get real fill tubes -- the tube was missing on both (I've got cardboard tubes acting as placeholders.) The covers are gone, too, of course. I'll probably ping you cyclops once I get to planting them so you can share more of your earthbox growing experience.
Hi Beetles.  It would be my pleasure to help you.  I think the best advice I can give is to say that it is very important to adequately prepare a wick of peat moss in the corners that are there to hold it.

Also, after three years of personal experience, I've found that the MM needs a little more concentration of peat moss than the 1/3 ratio.  My best successes occurred when I used a bit extra (due to the self watering nature of the EarthBox and how that dynamic works).

One last thing.  I did not know, until a couple days ago, that tomatoes should be planted right next to the peat moss "wicks" in the corners (two tomatoes per box).  I'll be curious to see how my tomatoes do this year now that I've begun to follow this instruction.
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