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Topic: FAQ Gardening Tips  (Read 5020 times)
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retroeva
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« on: January 08, 2006 10:11:41 PM »

Howdy hey ladies (and gents). Seeing as I am half way out of winter and the weather here keeps teasing me with weather in the 50-60's on some days (not to mention all of these lovely seed catalouges coming in the mail) I decided to work myself up for this upcoming springs gardening season. Here is a useful compilation of gardening tips that I have had to look the anwsers up to at some point or the other. For your convienece, I am seperating it up into four sections: Spring, Summer, Autumn/Fall, and Winter.
Enjoy!
Eva

Spring:
Ah yes. Open up your windows and feel that warm sunshine and cool breeze. Winter is finally drifting away. Grab your trowel, find your zone, pick your crops, and get dirty.
If you look at the back of your packet of seeds you are usually going to find something about a "zone" which may or may not be accompanied by this map:

This map is climaticaly seperated into regions that are similar in weather patterns that includes tempature averages and percipitation (see the Autumn/Fall section for frost). It is very important to plant in the time frame of your zone in order for your plants to grow to their full potential. I live in middle Tennessee which puts me smack dab in the middle of zone 7. You may also see that some plants are zone specific which means that the plant needs a very specific environment to grow in. It is very hard for me to grow English Lavander where I live due to my hot summers, so all of the lavender that I grow is a hybrid that has been genetically modified to thrive in my region.
The seed packet will also tell you when to plant. Some seeds need to be planted immeaditely after the last frost of the season while others can be planted at a more lesiurely pace. It is also VERY important to note what type of sun and soil you are planting in. I used to live in a town house that had excelent soil and full shade in the front while it had full sun and clay-rich soil in the back. In the front I had no problem planting my pansys and impatients. In the back after many blisters from ariating the soil and mixing in a more sand rich soil, my zenias and snapdragons flourished. You can track what kind of light you have in your lot by checking where the sun is in the morning, at lunch time, and at sunset. Look for spots where the sun allways is or never is and plant accordingly.
If you planted bulbs in the fall, something should be blooming or emmerging from the soil around March.

Summer:
The sun is going to be your friend and enemy so be sure to water, water, water!!!! Make sure that your soil has proper drainage or you will get "root rot". Last summer I had some beautiful heirloom tomatoes in a plastic contanier that took over 3 bags of top soil to fill.... and my tomatoes were only mediocre at best. Instead of filling it all with soil, I should have filled the bottom half with rocks or recycled packing peanuts to allow for drainage.

Another enemy will be unwantes pests. For me hands down it is slugs. My mother swears by setting out jar lids of beer. It attracts them and then... dehydrates...them. Not really humane, but what a way to go!!! Wink
After talking to some of you lovely ladies, animals are an issue for many "inground" gardens. Apparently castor plants were supposed to do the trick for moles but it hasnt worked too well. We are still at the drawing boards trying to figure out a mole repelant, any ideas are appericated. If you live a little further out of urban aeras deer, rabbits, and other four legged friends like to eat plants like hostas. Some tricks to try are putting a thin netting over your bushy plants or sprinkling hair from your last trim or hair cut on the soil around the plant.

Dead-heading is a really important trick to keep your flowers flourishing. When a bloom dies it is still consuming a portion of the plants energy supply. If you pinch the bloom off richt at its base or where the first set of leaves split, then your plant will grow far more efficentaly.

Autumn/Fall:
After this incredibally busy season it is time to harvest everything in and prepare for NEXT spring. If you had a contanier garden, hose out all of your pots and use your old soil as a base for compost to help for next season. Store them out of the way of harsh oncoming winter weather so they dont crack and break. Now it is time to go bulb shopping and plan for early spring. Some popular bulbs to plant before the first frost but after the weather drops below 70 are hyacinths, daffidols, and tulips. Here is a list of average frost dates:
United States Average Zone Frost Dates
Zone 1
Average dates the last frost - 1 Jun / 30 Jun
Average date of the first frost - 1 Jul to 31 Jul
vulnerable to frost 365 days per year
Zone 2
Average dates the last frost - 1 May to 31 May
Average dates first frost - 1 August to 31 August
Zone 3
Average dates the last frost - 1 May to 31 May
Average dates first frost - 1 September to 30 September
Zone 4
Average dates the last frost - 1 May to 30 May
Average dates the first frost - 1 September to 30 September
Zone 5
Average dates the last frost - 30 March to 30 April
Average dates the first frost - 30 September to 30 October
Zone 6
Average dates the last frost - 30 March to 30 April
Average dates the first frost - 30 September to 30 October
Zone 7
Average dates the last frost - 30 March to 30 April
Average dates the first frost - 30 September to 30 October
Zone 8
Average dates the last frost - 28 February to 30 March
Average dates the first frost - 30 October to 30 November
Zone 9
Average dates the last frost - 30 January to 28 February
Average dates the first frost - 30 November to 30 December
Zone 10
Average dates the last frost - 30 January or before
Average dates the first frost - 30 November to 30 December
Zone 11
Free of Frost throughout the year.
If you are into seed collecting (I havent done this yet) this is the time to do so.

Winter:
My best and only suggestion I can say to get you through this long season is to order many seed catalouges and work on some indoor plants. I have a prayer plant that has lasted forever and my mom has african violets, spider plants, jade, and wandering jews that grow year round. In December Christmas Cacti are in full bloom and paper white bulbs can be found in your local garden store. Paper whites grow super fast and are very fragrant. I think they smell like childrens benedryl and cant stand the smell, but then again, I have a sensitive nose.

Hope this anwsered some of your questions and feel free to add anything below!
Happy planting,
Eva
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006 10:21:46 PM by retroeva » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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hot_toddygal
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2007 09:26:51 AM »

May I suggest a really, really good website?

www.yougrowgirl.com  (pretty darn sure there are lots of members of both sites here- me included!)

Edit- have lots of pepper & tomatoe babies at the moment!
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retroeva
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007 10:19:33 AM »

I adore yougrowgirl.com! I swear they are the craftster of gardening Smiley
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Blog of domestic goodness:
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Craftsman/Victorian Home Swap anyone?
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=309948.0
marleah
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2007 11:51:14 AM »

What a great idea for a thread ... My husband and I are going to be moving to a different house soon - we haven't even done the financing papers or anything yet, but I am already planning what flowers and things I am going to plant in the yard. I will be sure to refer to this when I can actually get started!
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stufie
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009 07:44:39 PM »

Another enemy will be unwantes pests. For me hands down it is slugs. My mother swears by setting out jar lids of beer. It attracts them and then... dehydrates...them.

There are also products you can buy that do the same thing...I have also heard of people putting crushed up eggshells on the affected areas, they are sharp and it ends up killing the slugs.


I have worked in a greenhouse for 4 summers now, so if anyone has any questions I can try to answer them! I just discovered this forum, so I am kind of excited to read it while I am busy planning landscaping ideas for my new house this spring!
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Jennabutala
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2009 04:42:37 AM »

Really good article and i must say your site is very fine
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Roddick
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2009 10:50:46 PM »

The monsoon is a good time for garden and landscape planting. With the higher humidity, cloud cover and rainfall, plants have an easier time getting established after planting. All sizes of trees and shrubs can be planted during the rainy season if you give careful attention to watering. To be sure water will penetrate the root ball, thoroughly hydrate the roots. Just prior to planting, water the pot until water runs out the drainage holes. Herbs can be planted in the garden during the rainy season but will do best with some afternoon shade.
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great123
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2009 01:02:41 AM »

Very useful tips. Thanks for sharing...
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