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elizabeth [userpic]
Merry Meet!
by elizabeth (elizabeth_rv)
at June 14th, 2007 (05:57 pm)

Hi, I'd love to hear what's in your garden, and look at any garden pics you post. I've got a few pics up at my lj as well as my "planted today" lists.. which if you check out you might notice some of which are daringly late this year, as I didn't start seeds under lights this early spring (I was growing wheat grass for my cats) :D I'm in Massachusetts where the growing season kinda doesn't start until the end of May anyway, lots of short season crops for me, especially this year. How about you? Where do you garden?

I've been into permaculture, organic gardening, heirloom seed, biodiversity, herbs, and companion planting for 4 or 5 years now, before that I lived in an apartment with no patio, so my living room had big tables full of herb plants up against every window. Man is it awesome to be able to get to know how to garden on the land! I love it.

So, what's in your garden this year, what are your favorites to grow, are you trying any new things this year, what are some of your uses for what you grow? Whatever you want to tell me about is fun.


Posted by: arielmn (arielmn)
Posted at: June 15th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)

I have mostly herbs in my yard right now. Not cooking herbs, but things that have had a reputation as being medicinal herbs.

I have comfrey, elecampane, witch hazel, Joe Pye weed, etc. I have rosemary that over winters in the house and datura because it's pretty. I haven't done much with them, but I like the idea of have herbal cures that look nice around the house.

Posted by: elizabeth (elizabeth_rv)
Posted at: June 16th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)

Good for you that you're able to successfully overwinter your rosemary in the house - I haven't pulled that one off yet - this time I'm going to try keeping it in a big pot and not putting it in the ground at all for the summer, as I saw a friend do that. Do you think that will work, or do you have any other tips?

I looove the comfrey, I've got lots of it, and make a salve of it and plantain yearly. I also usually wind up doing at least one poultice of comfrey every summer, one year it cured my boyfriend's shin splints in one 10-minute application! I just whirl it in the cuisinart with a touch of water, olive oil, and honey, to make a nice goo, apply thickly, and cover/wrap lightly with cheesecloth. (It's still so messy you kinda have to sit still when it's on anyway) :)

Posted by: arielmn (arielmn)
Posted at: June 16th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)

My success with rosemary came when I got a grow light for winter.

I give it about 8 good hours of sunlight, mist it occasionally and it looks ok. I set it outside as soon as weather permits and then it takes off.

Posted by: elizabeth (elizabeth_rv)
Posted at: June 16th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
upside down it looks like the flowers

Thanks for this, I'm going to try it - I have the grow light, just never used it for rosemary before, and I feel like that will be the thing that finally helps me stop murdering rosemaries. :)

Posted by: Cat's place (enchantedpagan)
Posted at: June 16th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)

I finally got my garden in yesterday!! I planted carrots, lettuce, radishes, pumpkins, grouds, poppies, peppers and wildflowers. I also have herbs in pots all around the yard, a friend of mine sidhefire gave me some thimble berry plants that I have yet to plant...I am kind of waiting for it to get bigger.

I just this year started a compost pile and am excited to use it next year in my soil.....

I know it seems late for me to start a garden but the weather has been down right wet and chilly here in Washington state for the most part so I have high hopes for my little salad garden....

Posted by: elizabeth (elizabeth_rv)
Posted at: June 17th, 2007 11:03 am (UTC)
wave of the sea

Your garden sounds wonderful, I love the combination of veggies, flowers & herbs growing together: it's a cottage garden... and oh I'm way late on a lot of things this year, but hey, salad things are very fast!

You're the first person I've talked with who's growing gourds, what do you plan to do with them? Samhain decor, or crafts? I'd never heard of thimble berries, and looked them up, it says they make wonderful jam. Do they taste the same as raspberry, or do they have a different flavor?

Congrats on your compost pile! If this is your first one, maybe I can pass along something I learned just recently: to avoid adding evergreens/pine/conifer to it, or it will have trouble decaying properly and will take a much longer time... I lucked out that I never added those, but I know my neighbors did, and sure enough, their compost has never been ready to use.

But compost really gets going from adding occasional weedy-herb teas and daily coffee grounds! I use whatever nutritious weedy-herbs are growing wild & really abundantly around me, like comfrey, some mallow, cleavers, cinquefoil, stuff like that (if I had a lot of nettle, I'd use some for that). Doing that and turning it a lot, you might have compost ready for top-dressing this year too :D

Posted by: Cat's place (enchantedpagan)
Posted at: June 17th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)

O thanks for the information on the compost pile!! I am exdcited about it! Since this is my/our first year gardening, I can use all the information I can get!!!!!
I have never tasted the thinmbleberries and I also did not know what they were until sidhefire offered them at Beltaine....I am just kind of babying them right now as they are still babies.....
The gourds I was thinking of drying out and using as marakahs (sp?) I found some information on drying them out and things you can use them for. I would also like to make a bird house from them....
I am also adding some violas to the mix, because they are wild and will come back again and again.....
I love to work with our earth, it is so grounding and feels so good!

Posted by: Cat's place (enchantedpagan)
Posted at: June 18th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)

I added you to my friends list, hope that is okay....
Have you thought about starting a community for permaculture?
I would so love to take classes in permaculture, but I would have to do it at night and after working all day I am pretty much shot...
Anyway be my friend?

Posted by: oklahomarose (oklahomarose)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2007 11:43 am (UTC)

Hi! I live in East Tennessee, and I've always loved gardening. As the years pass, I'm finally getting most of the plants that I want. I'm partial to perennials, but some annuals are okay too.

Plants I have in my garden (not all in the same bed of course):
Passion Flower
Silver Thyme (smells great!)
Garlic (and tons of it!)
Spearmint (ditto)
Lemon Balm (does anyone know a use for it?)
Plus a lot of purely ornamental plants:
Roses, Monkey Grass, Lilies, Astilbe, Daffodils, Tulips, Climatis, Jasmine, Coleus...
And what I think is a wild grape vine starting up a tree...

On compost: My husband built a composter for me out of a 50 gallon drum turned on its side (complete with a wooden frame and handles for turning). In it we use the litter from the rabbits that we raise as well as shredded paper, coffee grounds, veggie scraps, and most of the weeds we pull out of the garden. It works wonders!

Posted by: elizabeth (elizabeth_rv)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)

Ooh, lots of wonderful plants...I'm partial to perennials too, they make a real cottage garden... and what an amazing composter story, wow, that's so cool!

There are tons of uses for lemon balm, you can use it in cleaning, homemade cosmetics, tea, strewing, you'll have many to choose from.

How do you find growing cabbage in terms of organic pest control? I was reading about all these insects that bother cabbage and cabbage-family plants, and a couple of my kale plants (also cabbage family) have suspicious holes in the leaves this year... I never see the culprits... I plan on spraying a cayenne/garlic tea. What do you do?

Posted by: oklahomarose (oklahomarose)
Posted at: June 25th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)

Every time I try to grow cabbage (including this time), I've had problems with cabbage worms. I've found that cayenne-based mixtures do work better than any other organic deterrant, but even when I reapply the stuff after a rain the worms just keep coming back. If I can't get a handle on it this year, I probably won't grow cabbages again because I have yet to be able to actually eat any of them that I've grown! I haven't tried the cayenne/garlic tea, so I'll try it and hopefully that will be the answer!

Posted by: elizabeth (elizabeth_rv)
Posted at: June 25th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
upside down it looks like the flowers

Hey, check out what happens to be today's Daily Action over at Care2: a recipe for a garden spray that uses Dr. Bronner's soap and garlic:

I happened to be reading that right before I read your message :) (Care2 is an environmental activism site, they have a neat arrangement where all you have to do is click on issues you like, and their sponsors make *donations* for those causes, totally free. I also like their "green kitchen" area, you might like it too.) Anyway, I'm going to try that spray, maybe with some cayenne in there too...I've heard of sprays with garlic and vegetable oil, but I don't want oil residue on my plants. I think a little Bronner's would be ok though.

Last night I was thumbing through a copy of "The Findhorn Garden," and the gardeners were saying the plants told them to imagine (the plant's) healthy life force as very strong, and send this to the plant, and then it can fend off bugs better. I do some of that but I could always do more & see what happens.

Posted by: oklahomarose (oklahomarose)
Posted at: June 26th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC)

Thanks for sharing this link, it's right up my alley!!!
I've printed the recipe, but I didn't see where it said to use a specific type of soap (other than to make sure it's liquid). I wonder if other soaps would work...

I have a book that's been a wonderful resource to me: Jerry Baker's Backyard Problem Solver. Here are two recipes from the book (I use the cabbage worm recipe only because it's a bit easier):

Knock 'em Dead Insect Spray:
6 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1 finely chopped small onion, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon liquid dishsoap. Mix with 1 quart warm water and let sit overnight. Strain, pour it into a spray bottle, and go!

Cabbage Worm Wipeout:
1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper. Mix and sprinkle onto cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower (coat them well). The flour makes the worms swell and kills them, the cayenne keeps other bugs away!

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