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Eskimo Joe

2017 Lawn, Garden and Pool Thread

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I've been bitten by the gardening bug more and more every year.  Living in PA and working in DC was especially torturous this time of year when the cherry blossoms and beets would be coming up, but we still were snowy and muddy in PA.  Since moving to Baltimore County last August I've been giddy at the prospect of turning our house into a gardeners dream.  Last year we put in 60 soft and hard neck garlic plants and had a 95% success rate....only a few more months until harvest!

Our vegetable garden this year:

  • Lilac Bell Pepper
  • Pink Berkeley Tie Dye Tomato
  • Black Beauty Tomato
  • Rutgers Tomato
  • Dill
  • Ace - Ukranian Cucumbers
  • Brad's Atomic Grape Tomato
  • Tomato, Cherokee Purple
  • Tomato, Amish Paste
  • Squash, Long Island Cheese
  • Squash, Waltham Butternut
  • Tomatillo, Purple
  • Radish, French Breakfast
  • Pepper, Jalapeno Traveler Strain
  • Eggplant, Listada de Gandia
  • Eggplant, Diamond
  • Cucumber, Early Fortune
  • Beet, Burpee's Golden
  • Beet, Bull's Blood
  • Assorted Sunflowers
  • Assorted Poppies
  • Moon & Stars Watermelons

 

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We had our front walk ripped out last year and reconfigured, so late in the season I scrambled to try to get some grass seed established.  It went ok, but I was stunned at the amount of crab grass that managed to work its way in between then and now.  I actually went and hand-picked it all out since I didn't want to put down any chemical or pre-emergent.  Threw down some seed last weekend so I hope we don't torch too early so it gets a chance to establish itself.

 

All I know on the garden beds this year is that I am netting the cucumbers immediately so the deer don't get to them.  My 2 year old's favorite saying from last summer was "naughty deer eat cucumbers". 

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Beets and radishes went in today.  Garlic is coming along nicely...probably going to be a bumper crop.

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I was so optimistic when I first started gardening four years ago. But then I learned growing produce in my area is an utter waste of time. I got tired of literally everything getting eaten by squash bugs, squash vine borers, aphids, geometer moths, stink bugs, Japanese Beetles and all sorts of rodents, not to mention the neverending fungal diseases since this region just loves to do overnight drizzles with dewpoints of approximately 5,000. Growing good grass is impossible too so I just let the crabgrass take over rather than fight it- it actually looks nicer that way now.


 

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Aside from a decent section that I seeded heavily after removing the old deck last fall, my back lawn looks like crap. It might take a couple years to make it acceptable. For some reason, the last two years have really done a number on it, and I can't figure out why. Lots of bare patches, with moss taking hold in the less-sunny sections.

I've got 30 Music garlic plants coming up strong right now. It's the third year in a row that I've planted my own harvested garlic, so I'm hoping to start seeing the benefits of these "families" getting used to my soil. Beets, carrots, and probably spinach will go in this weekend. Tomatoes are arriving in a couple weeks - I'll harden them for 7-10 days and then plant. We'll be out of town in early May, so I'm hoping it 1) doesn't torch and/or 2) we get nice steady rains while we're gone so they don't crap out. I'll probably plant some peppers in pots around then, too.

I'll throw down the cucumber seeds before we leave, with green beans going in after we get back.

I just wish i had more land...

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I have a small yard with the back property line like 25 feet from the house, but I still got the gardening bug.  I hope to have a bigger yard some day with woods behind instead of a wall of houses.  Anyway...

I garden for butterflies and hummingbirds, and have butterfly bushes, coneflowers, black-eyed susans, etc.  I also grow tropical milkweeds and other annuals under lights indoors to plant when safe from freezes.  This year, instead of starting milkweed from seed, I took cuttings from last year and now have 25 plants that are 12-18" tall and ready to go.  I get lots of monarchs on those milkweeds, and bring some caterpillars in to watch them make their chrysalises and hatch.  One year I did over a hundred.

This spring I want to add more perennials such as Bee Balm, etc. and get some lantana in early so they can get as big as possible before the season is over.  The hummingbird feeders are already out as they are in NC and will arrive soon.  We had a nest in one of the maples last year and hope we have another one this year.

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3 hours ago, BlizzardNole said:

I have a small yard with the back property line like 25 feet from the house, but I still got the gardening bug.  I hope to have a bigger yard some day with woods behind instead of a wall of houses.  Anyway...

I garden for butterflies and hummingbirds, and have butterfly bushes, coneflowers, black-eyed susans, etc.  I also grow tropical milkweeds and other annuals under lights indoors to plant when safe from freezes.  This year, instead of starting milkweed from seed, I took cuttings from last year and now have 25 plants that are 12-18" tall and ready to go.  I get lots of monarchs on those milkweeds, and bring some caterpillars in to watch them make their chrysalises and hatch.  One year I did over a hundred.

This spring I want to add more perennials such as Bee Balm, etc. and get some lantana in early so they can get as big as possible before the season is over.  The hummingbird feeders are already out as they are in NC and will arrive soon.  We had a nest in one of the maples last year and hope we have another one this year.

We are starting 6 milkweed plants from seed this year.  Hoping to get a pollinator section started as well.  

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10 hours ago, mattie g said:

Aside from a decent section that I seeded heavily after removing the old deck last fall, my back lawn looks like crap. It might take a couple years to make it acceptable. For some reason, the last two years have really done a number on it, and I can't figure out why. Lots of bare patches, with moss taking hold in the less-sunny sections.

I've got 30 Music garlic plants coming up strong right now. It's the third year in a row that I've planted my own harvested garlic, so I'm hoping to start seeing the benefits of these "families" getting used to my soil. Beets, carrots, and probably spinach will go in this weekend. Tomatoes are arriving in a couple weeks - I'll harden them for 7-10 days and then plant. We'll be out of town in early May, so I'm hoping it 1) doesn't torch and/or 2) we get nice steady rains while we're gone so they don't crap out. I'll probably plant some peppers in pots around then, too.

I'll throw down the cucumber seeds before we leave, with green beans going in after we get back.

I just wish i had more land...

Sounds like my yard. I have many factors going against sustaining a nice lawn long term. Middle of the woods, very well drained soil, and lots of moles. Thus I have embraced the moss. It is slowly taking over and does surprisingly well in as it creeps out into the sun exposed areas. it goes dormant in the midsummer heat and direct sun, but comes back strong, unlike my damn grass.

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13 hours ago, C.A.P.E. said:

Sounds like my yard. I have many factors going against sustaining a nice lawn long term. Middle of the woods, very well drained soil, and lots of moles. Thus I have embraced the moss. It is slowly taking over and does surprisingly well in as it creeps out into the sun exposed areas. it goes dormant in the midsummer heat and direct sun, but comes back strong, unlike my damn grass.

At least you have an excuse, being in the woods. Me...I'm just crap at keeping up with my lawn! :lol:

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I have been pretty much housebound since last fall so I decided to do some indoor gardening under a heat lamp. I probably should add a second heat lamp. A couple weeks ago, I planted Basil, Oregano , Lettuce, Spinach, Spring Onions, Cilantro, and Parsley. I will probably do a couple different peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers outside. I will do some transplanting of the herbs outside also. 

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This recent stretch of weather has been great for the garden.  New grass seed is just starting to come up, beets and radishes are up and the onions look to burst through in the next couple of days.

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On 4/13/2017 at 9:54 AM, Eskimo Joe said:

This recent stretch of weather has been great for the garden.  New grass seed is just starting to come up, beets and radishes are up and the onions look to burst through in the next couple of days.

My onions are 4-5" tall and loving this weather. My two 60' rows of potatoes are really coming up fast. I've got a 60×50' garden this year. Growing lots of goodies. 

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1 hour ago, dailylurker said:

My onions are 4-5" tall and loving this weather. My two 60' rows of potatoes are really coming up fast. I've got a 60×50' garden this year. Growing lots of goodies. 

That's a lot of veggies!  How do you manage the weeds? 

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On 4/17/2017 at 1:23 PM, MN Transplant said:

I am fairly certain that I have at least a dozen different types of weeds in my backyard.  Brutal.

Thanks to the MD extension site, I'm pretty sure that I have:

chickweed

hairy bittercress

prostrate spurge

dandelion

white clover

wild garlic

annual bluegrass

dallisgrass

quackgrass

nimbleweed

orchardgrass

crabgrass

goosegrass

orchardgrass

yellow nutsedge

 

Most of them aren't bad or are treatable, but the dallisgrass and quackgrass seem like they are going to be a pain.  Explains now why either pulling or treating them hasn't worked yet.  May have to go scorched earth in some areas.

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On 4/19/2017 at 0:50 PM, nw baltimore wx said:

That's a lot of veggies!  How do you manage the weeds? 

I've got a big ole tiller. I plant my plants as close together as possible. That tends to choke out the weeds somewhat in the rows. You still gotta get in there with some elbo grease. 

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We almost opened our pool up after the recent heat.  Tomatoes and other plants also almost went in the ground.  Glad we got lazy and opted for none of those things.  

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3 hours ago, Eskimo Joe said:

We almost opened our pool up after the recent heat.  Tomatoes and other plants also almost went in the ground.  Glad we got lazy and opted for none of those things.  

We are downsizing our garden this year from recent years do to my father's medical issues and we still love to garden but don't have as much time. We are doing buckets/planters this year and had just planted our Tomatoes, Peppers, and herbs but luckily they are in the buckets so I was able to bring them in on our porch during these cold nights. Hopefully it stays warm so I can bring them back out. 

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32 minutes ago, ThePhotoGuy said:

We are downsizing our garden this year from recent years do to my father's medical issues and we still love to garden but don't have as much time. We are doing buckets/planters this year and had just planted our Tomatoes, Peppers, and herbs but luckily they are in the buckets so I was able to bring them in on our porch during these cold nights. Hopefully it stays warm so I can bring them back out. 

Sorry to hear about your dad. Hopefully he gets well soon.

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8 minutes ago, WxWatcher007 said:

Sorry to hear about your dad. Hopefully he gets well soon.

Thanks... He has Alzheimers at 65. Its been hard on him. We do our best everyday to help him out as much as we can and make things "happy" for him. He has really declined since last fall. 

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What would kill half of a holly tree?  Just realized today that half the thing is dead.  Never had any issues with it in the past.

Also beginning to come to terms that a weeping willow has finally taken its last breath after getting attacked by some boring beetle a few years ago.  That beetle took out two smaller willows.

 

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On 3/30/2017 at 8:42 AM, mattie g said:

Aside from a decent section that I seeded heavily after removing the old deck last fall, my back lawn looks like crap. It might take a couple years to make it acceptable. For some reason, the last two years have really done a number on it, and I can't figure out why. Lots of bare patches, with moss taking hold in the less-sunny sections.

I've got 30 Music garlic plants coming up strong right now. It's the third year in a row that I've planted my own harvested garlic, so I'm hoping to start seeing the benefits of these "families" getting used to my soil. Beets, carrots, and probably spinach will go in this weekend. Tomatoes are arriving in a couple weeks - I'll harden them for 7-10 days and then plant. We'll be out of town in early May, so I'm hoping it 1) doesn't torch and/or 2) we get nice steady rains while we're gone so they don't crap out. I'll probably plant some peppers in pots around then, too.

I'll throw down the cucumber seeds before we leave, with green beans going in after we get back.

I just wish i had more land...

Tomatoes and peppers went in the last week of April; when we came back from SC the tomatoes were going strong, though the peppers had unsurprisingly not grown much at all. Basil is much the same. Cool-weather crops were doing great. Scapes are coming out on the garlic, too. Love those things!

Main issue I've had is that one of the Amish Paste had its top lopped off by a branch that fell from a neighbor's tree. It still has one leaf, so it'll probably come back if I give it enough time, but I may just replace it with a Roma.

Cucumbers will be seeded this weekend.

Lawn? I need to bring in the pros to get rid of all the clover - and particularly the wild violet - in the front. Looks white-trash.

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Finally got the pool opened after so many rainy weekends. It's cold, but at least it's opened. Once this damp cooler than normal period ends, let the heat begin. Pool will warm up nicely. 

Beets are doing really well in this weather, some that I planted are better than others, but should be a good first harvest. Then will get new seeds back in the ground late summer. 

Transplanted the cucumbers this weekend. First night the rabbits got to them. Didn't have anything but burlap on hand to cover, so used that in a pinch for two nights, taking the burlap off during the day. Picked up some of that green garden netting, put that in yesterday, draping it enough over the trellis that I have so the plants can grow some more, while staking it down all around. So far so good. Have a few flowers on the plants, so really hoping we can get out of this wet period sooner rather than later and the bees come back. REALLY want cucumbers this year. 

My kiddo gave me a bean plant, and my mom a tomato plant, for mothers day. They are in pots. Doing well. 

We've got milkweed popping up all over, mainly under the spruces and some corners of the yard. I keep telling Mr. Map to leave them be, that they will bring the butterflies, but he hates them. Soon enough our bee balm will be taking over our back garden area (right next to where I plant the veggies), so that will help for sure. Love that plant. 

Day lilies are coming up nicely in the front, they don't get full sun, like the neighbors who already have flowers, but another month and they should be flowered and beautiful. 

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1 hour ago, smokeybandit said:

We're hoping to finally get some edible peaches off our peach tree this year.

Ahem:

Quote

Peaches come from a can,
They were put there by a man
In a factory downtown
If I had my little way,
I'd eat peaches every day
Sun-soakin' bulges in the shade

 

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