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2021 Mid-Atlantic Garden, Lawn, and Other Green Stuff Thread


mattie g
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Since this winter is done, we might as well start talking about this year's gardens and lawns.

I'm getting a good start on the garden since this winter has been so lame. In-ground parsley from last year is still alive. Overwintered spinach is still dormant, but I suspect it'll begin growing in the next month or so. Garlic is much the same, but should start taking off before too long.

Thinking about the build for my next raised bed - likely to be where my climbing plants will go (cucumbers, cantaloupes, etc.). All my seeds are on order, and I'll get them started indoors in the next few weeks.

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Got a few snowdrops up.  My main goal for this year is to do a better job spacing my tomatoes.  It got to a point last year where there were so many vines you couldn't easily find the fruits.  

The big story this year will be the cicadas.  I arrived in DC just after 2004 brood, so this'll be interesting.  I've heard varied things about what they do to plants/trees.

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15 hours ago, MN Transplant said:

Got a few snowdrops up.  My main goal for this year is to do a better job spacing my tomatoes.  It got to a point last year where there were so many vines you couldn't easily find the fruits.  

The big story this year will be the cicadas.  I arrived in DC just after 2004 brood, so this'll be interesting.  I've heard varied things about what they do to plants/trees.

Sounds like you at least have success with the tomatoes, so spacing them out a bit is the easy part!

I plant eight tomato plants in one of my 16' x 6' raised beds* each year, along with companion plants like marigold, basil. Plenty of room to grow to upwards of 12' tall and quite wide once I stop pruning the suckers. I want to get back to weighing my harvest this year - I'm really interested to know exactly how many lbs of fruits each plant/type produces.

This year will be quite different though, in that I'll be starting indoors from seed. I've always ordered my tomato and pepper plants from Lazy Ox Farm (a plug for them if anyone is interested), but decided to go it on my own this year since I have a decent LED grow setup. Fingers crossed on that...

* I need to double-check those dimensions

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I'm an outlier, as I have no interest in vegetable gardening, but plant for flowers.

Crocus shoots, daffodils and paperwhites have been up since December. Snowdrop shoots this month, though they always flower first.

The warm winter has led to good budgrowth on the azaleas, but the same happened last year and the nasty cold at the end of February killed a lot of them and I had a poor azalea display later.

Looking forward, also, to a lot of butterflies on the flowers on the sunny side of the house.

10 miles south of DC in Fairfax County.

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24 minutes ago, mattie g said:

There's a house around the corner from me whose daffodils start poking through the ground by Christmas...EVERY YEAR.

That's my corner in the backyard that gets all day sun.  It's also the same spot where a family of mom and her kittens have taken up residence the past two weeks.  I can't find anyone to come out and catch them!  Three kittens on the right and lots of daffodils to the left under the Hawthorn tree.

image.png.0db8e5d370ac8a62516ac7402e0a5cad.png

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Now here's a thread I can get into!  Winter is so terrible here -- months of bare trees and chilly dreariness with no snow, but we have gardening to look forward to.  I'm a flower gardener with emphasis on butterflies and hummingbirds.  My hummingbirds arrive the third week of April - just three more months!

In the next few weeks I will get my tropical milkweed seeds going for my monarch crop.

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On 1/18/2021 at 4:02 PM, MN Transplant said:

Got a few snowdrops up.  My main goal for this year is to do a better job spacing my tomatoes.  It got to a point last year where there were so many vines you couldn't easily find the fruits.  

The big story this year will be the cicadas.  I arrived in DC just after 2004 brood, so this'll be interesting.  I've heard varied things about what they do to plants/trees.

Oh yeah, man that brood was ridiculous. I was working in Rockville and they were insane there were so many of them everywhere and it was loud!! Those things have no fear either they just get up in your grill and say sup yo....fortunately out here in the burg it wasn't so bad and oh 17 years already :axe:

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Just now, leesburg 04 said:

Oh yeah, man that brood was ridiculous. I was working in Rockville and they were insane there were so many of them everywhere and it was loud!! Those things have no fear either they just get up in your grill and say sup yo....fortunately out here in the burg it wasn't so bad and oh 17 years already :axe:

I remember all the 17 year cicadas starting with the one in 1970.  I was only a kid but I did the math and hoped that I'd see them six times in my lifetime.  This will be number 4 already.  Ugh!

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17 hours ago, BlizzardNole said:

Can't believe it's 17-year cicada time again.  I remember telling my wife in 2004 that the next time our little kids would be 21 and 19.  It sounded unthinkable at the time but here we are!

It’s pretty crazy how fast time passes. Back in 1970, our hood didn’t have them real bad maybe because the development had only been built a few years before, but the woods down by the lagoons were full of them. I also clearly remember them at Holy Family church. There were deep piles of them in the doorways and the old working water pump was covered with their carcasses. Maybe you had a lot of them from the farm and field next door to your house, but up the street from you was pretty tame.

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Ah, cicadas!

I'm an old man, and I can remember when I was a kid (1953??) Northern VA was almost all rural, unlike the present when almost everything has been paved over with houses, roads and parking lots. There are a lot fewer now than then.

My main memory from that time was visiting an old man (my current age?) who would sit on his patio and just pluck them out of the air, dropping them into a large glass jar. They were dense! Now, there's just a lot of them around, but you can still see the sun!

 

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4 minutes ago, mattie g said:

Decided to drop a few basil, cilantro, and parsley seeds into seed cells and throw them under the grow light a few days ago. Couldn't help myself - I'm already itching to get things started.

Did the same thing yesterday with basil, cilantro, parsley, garlic chives and oregano.

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20 minutes ago, mattie g said:

Decided to drop a few basil, cilantro, and parsley seeds into seed cells and throw them under the grow light a few days ago. Couldn't help myself - I'm already itching to get things started.

I have 24 acorns in small pots trying to grow. Finally have my first sprout after about 8 weeks. Hopefully they all will grow eventually...

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15 hours ago, WVclimo said:

Did the same thing yesterday with basil, cilantro, parsley, garlic chives and oregano.

Nice. Are you planning to replant them outdoors or just leave them under the lights?

Last year was the first year that I grew anything under lights, but I found that the cilantro and parsley took FOREVER to recover after I replanted them in the garden. Basil was fine.

I have a potted oregano plant (from seed) that I decided to bring indoors for the winter - still doing pretty well by a SW-facing window.

15 hours ago, WxUSAF said:

I have 24 acorns in small pots trying to grow. Finally have my first sprout after about 8 weeks. Hopefully they all will grow eventually...

Are you going to put them in your yard or replant somewhere else?

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First winter with trying out the hoop house method.  Results have been much better than expected....although, the mildish winter has helped.  

Been able to harvest all fall/winter.  Spinach, kale, arugula, cilantro, parsley and some asian greens.  Thai basil didnt make it after one of our colder nights back in Dec.

Im still snow hunting but the spring juices are starting flow... Took this pic a few days ago.

NjYBnkT.jpg

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10 minutes ago, mattie g said:

Nice. Are you planning to replant them outdoors or just leave them under the lights?

Last year was the first year that I grew anything under lights, but I found that the cilantro and parsley took FOREVER to recover after I replanted them in the garden. Basil was fine.

I have a potted oregano plant (from seed) that I decided to bring indoors for the winter - still doing pretty well by a SW-facing window.

Are you going to put them in your yard or replant somewhere else?

I'm not planning to plant these in the ground.  Once they grow, I will move them into planters and pots that I can take outside when the weather warms up.  Until then they can provide some fragrance indoors.

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3 minutes ago, poolz1 said:

First winter with trying out the hoop house method.  Results have been much better than expected....although, the mildish winter has helped.  

Been able to harvest all fall/winter.  Spinach, kale, arugula, cilantro, parsley and some asian greens.  Thai basil didnt make it after one of our colder nights back in Dec.

Im still snow hunting but the spring juices are starting flow... Took this pic a few days ago.

Nice setup - I'm impressed at the effort you put into keeping things going all winter. It does make sense that those cool-weather crops would be doing OK though, given the mild nighttime temps this winter.

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Just now, mattie g said:

Nice setup - I'm impressed at the effort you put into keeping things going all winter. It does make sense that those cool-weather crops would be doing OK though, given the mild nighttime temps this winter.

Thanks, much appreciated. It really was experimental but I like to build stuff....  Honestly, I think if we have a night in the low teens/single digits that may be all she wrote.

It has maintained a soil temp conducive for sprouting seeds which surprised me.  I planted some more arugula, cilantro, spinach and corn salad greens just before xmas....direct seed.  They have all sprouted and are growing.  Certainly slower than normal but almost ready to start harvesting young arugula and spinach leaves.

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