2013 gardening attempts

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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:28 pm

Well... The tomatoes are officially done. I miss them already. Still not ready to harvest sweet potatoes. I did learn that you harvest and let them sit for a couple weeks to sweeten them up.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by BobCat on Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:27 am

Mine are just ripening now!
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by fiffur on Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:39 pm

My sisters' cherry tomato plants are going crazy! Loads and loads of little tomatoes all ready at the same time. I picked 4 corelle cereal bowls worth yesterday and there were still more to be picked! So I got one bowls' worth, mom got another, my sis the third, and a neighbor the forth. She was going to make my niece pick her own.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:47 pm

Mine were like that a couple weeks ago. I think it was their last hurrah. But, now the sweet potato vines are really taking off. Should be a good harvest.

I need to pick the basil and freeze it for winter cooking. I have a couple huge plants, and they're starting to flower. Time to get the leaves.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by fiffur on Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:00 pm

If you have some nice sized plant pots you can grow basil in the house during the winter, my sis does. Just gotta keep curious kitties out of the pots.
I think the tomatoes here have a couple weeks left in them, hopefully more. It was 48 this morning but warming up again into the lower 80's by next weekend.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:48 pm

I've grown basil in the windowsills in past winters. I do freeze the outside stuff too. It's really good for spaghetti sauce, which I make/eat a lot of in winter.

The cool nights will definitely slow down the tomatoes. They love hot days and warm nights. I think our cool nights are what pushed mine over the edge. I found 2 cherry tomatoes and then some sprouts with flowers today. I wonder if the sprouts will make any fruits.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by fiffur on Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:19 pm

If you have some old windows around the place, you could make a cold frame around those tomato plants to let those sprouts make fruit before the plant dies out. Cold Frames hold the suns' heat in and keeps them warm. I've seen folks have plants still going after the snow flies, as long as the temps don't drop too low inside the frame.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by Sue Short on Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:41 pm



That's a clever idea.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:01 pm

I actually can get some old windows to make one. We'll see if I can get one built.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by fiffur on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:02 pm

Just have to screw or nail the frames together to fit over the plant down to the ground on all sides and covering the top. Think "glass box". Most folks leave one hinged so you can open it a little or a lot to regulate the heat inside on warmer days. Just put a thermometer in there somewhere under the plant out of the sun so you know the temps in there. Plants might slow down at lower temps but they still keep going as long as there isn't any frost.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by gbste on Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:45 pm

The problem with using old windows is that the little greenhouse is HEAVY. I have made them in the past, but they are very difficult to move around, and I ended up breaking some glass.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:18 pm

Hmmm... I think there's a water company on my way home. They might have some old 5 gallon jugs that I could modify. If I cut the narrow end off, each would be a lightweight little greenhouse. I'll call them and see if I can relieve them of stuff they probably have to pay to get rid of.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by fiffur on Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:50 pm

Now there's an option, as long as your plant will fit under those.
Makes me wonder.....do screen door storm windows have plastic for the window part? Those would be lighter weight and probably work just as well.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:54 pm

Oh! I think screen doors would be dangerous. They can be sharp and too tall to be stable. Most winter plants are smaller anyway, so the jars should work. I'm going to grow an indoor tomato in a pot. I'll get a grow light and keep the plant in the bathroom for the right humidity. It might work or it might just be a pot of dirt for the winter.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by BobCat on Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:19 am

I'm wondering about something similar myself. We bought a "Chicago Fig" earlier this year, and put it in a good-sized outdoor pot. It actually has 3-4 figs on it right now, which was unexpected. I didn't think it would set fruit this year. We're going to try to bring the pot indoors for the winter - either that or we'll have to put it into the ground quick. Potted plants will freeze solid in our climate, so you can't expect something in a pot to survive outdoors in the winter.

Boy, I hope our trip to Arizona in November works out well - I'd love for this to be our last Illinois winter!
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:44 pm

I've thought about planting a fig tree. I thought I didn't like figs until a friend gave me some from her tree. Yummy! I hope your little tree does well through the winter BC. It would be really cool if you had some from an indoor tree during the winter.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by fiffur on Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:13 pm

bpaquet wrote:Oh! I think screen doors would be dangerous. They can be sharp and too tall to be stable. .
I wasn't thinking of the entire door, just the insert you put in for the winter to keep the snow off the door.
As for the fig tree: as long as you keep it out of cold drafts and it gets plenty of sunlight it should do fine. Just remember it might need watered more often since heated indoor air is drier. And turn the pot a half turn twice a week to keep it growing nice and straight.
The furkids won't bother it if it's inside, will they?
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by BobCat on Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:19 pm

fiffur wrote:The furkids won't bother it if it's inside, will they?
Nah, we have loads of plants in the house. They don't bother any of them.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by fiffur on Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:22 pm

That's good.....I hope that little tree gives you those figs and a few more besides this winter.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:53 pm

My kitties munch the spider plant, but nothing else. It doesn't care. It just grows more leaves and baby plants.

I recommend keeping things like the fig tree in the bathroom (if you have a window for some natural light). The humidity is better in there. My plants that love warm summer weather do great in my bathroom. Of course, mine has 4 windows that face north, south, and west. The benefit of an old house. Smile
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by BobCat on Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:19 pm

Mine have zero windows... But that is an excellent idea if a person had bathroom windows.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by Sue Short on Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:33 pm



Could put a grow light up?
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by BobCat on Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:27 am

I'm really thinking about a grow light. I'm also taking a stab at getting my little poinsettia to rebloom, so beginning last night, I will cover it beginning at 4 PM and take the cover off at 6 AM until a week or two before Thanksgiving. Hopefully it will bloom!
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Grow lights are wonderful. If you want really good ones, check out AeroGarden. The lights are made to go in their systems (which are completely awesome), but they can work in lights that take the same attachment design. The lights that take those "tube" bulbs should work.
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Re: 2013 gardening attempts

Post by bpaquet on Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:45 pm

I put the winter tomatoes in the ground today. They were really dry, but I think they'll be ok. They have some baby fruits on them.

I also dug up a couple sweet potatoes. They need a couple more weeks because they're still kind of small.
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