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  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,426 Member
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    kshama2001 wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    I don't have a garden but only a tiny balcony. For some reason I just bought three berry shrubs: gooseberry, red currant and honeyberry. I have no idea whether I'll be able to grow them on my tiny space, and whether I'll keep up with watering them, but it's worth a try.

    When I had an apartment in Florida I had good luck with herbs on my balcony. I did have to make sure I kept up with watering.

    My concern with your shrubs is that they won't have enough soil in the pots they came in so perhaps research that and consider bigger pots.

    Oh yes, i'll buy big pots and hope they'll be big enough. I tried herbs, but the weather here is not really made for herbs. Generally too cold and windy. Everything small just gets blown away :D
  • icemom011
    icemom011 Posts: 999 Member
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    yirara wrote: »
    I don't have a garden but only a tiny balcony. For some reason I just bought three berry shrubs: gooseberry, red currant and honeyberry. I have no idea whether I'll be able to grow them on my tiny space, and whether I'll keep up with watering them, but it's worth a try.

    I remember eating red currants and gooseberry when I was growing up, preserves and jams with them are good. Also black currants, I haven't had that in years. Good luck with your shrubs, hope you get nice amount of berries from them!
    A big project was accomplished today, the netting of my favorite fruit tree. I net it to catch the ripe fruit so it doesn't fall into contact with the ground. The bugs immediately attack when on the ground (but cause no problem while on the tree). The solution... net the tree so the fruit stays above ground level. It took 3 of us about 2 hours, but will be worth it soon when the fruit is ripe.

    @southkonahi , what kind of tree are you netting? That's a very interesting concept, I have a big mango tree that I can probably try this on, except this year my tree keeps on dropping fruit, there's next to nothing left. I'm not sure what is going on, I feel it could be fungal infection of some kind, it's been having problems for last few years, but nothing like that. We always had so much and shared with all our neighbors.

  • southkonahi
    southkonahi Posts: 137 Member
    edited May 2021
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    "icemom011 wrote:
    @southkonahi , what kind of tree are you netting? That's a very interesting concept, I have a big mango tree that I can probably try this on, except this year my tree keeps on dropping fruit, there's next to nothing left. I'm not sure what is going on, I feel it could be fungal infection of some kind, it's been having problems for last few years, but nothing like that. We always had so much and shared with all our neighbors.
    Mango. I used "deer net" from Amazon, I hope it doesn't stretch too much when heavy fruit lands on it. My neighbor uses a different type of net, maybe volleyball net? I'm going to try that next year. My mango tree is behaving weirdly this year, it has been in bloom since probably about February! So now I have softball size mangos and also mango blossoms, at the same time. It will be interesting to see if the current blossoms result in fruit that doesn't fall off when tiny.

  • southkonahi
    southkonahi Posts: 137 Member
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    mtaratoot wrote: »
    We have a "new" (last several years) invasive fruit fly called the spotted wing drosophila. Instead of attacking over-ripe fruit, this little pest attacks fruit that isn't even quite ripe. I am likely to have a HUGE abundance of cherries this year based on what seems to be setting on the tree. The birds get some; in most years I can get a bunch. But with this new pest, they all have little holes in them and rot within two days of being picked. One of my favorite things is to rinse them, dry them (stem and seed still in) and soak in brandy for six months, then drain, dry, and dip in chocolate. I haven't been able to do that for years.
    Fruit flies are a pest here too, but I have been very lucky to not have them go after my mango tree. But it is impossible for me to grow tomatoes. And, I've have trouble with fruit flies attacking papaya in the past. Especially the years when neighbors allowed their papayas to rot, and thus were breeding habitat for fruit flies. My mango tree is in a center area of yard, and I'm super careful to not allow anything to grow near it that would attract fruit flies.

    Would brandy kill off the fruit flies in cherries due to the alcohol content? Like the "worm" in Mezcal .... you could have an exotic type of brandied cherries. :)

  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 452 Member
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    I planted the baby strawberries the other day, but yesterday when I was mowing I discovered an ant hill close by. Obviously that has to go before the tender roots get munched down, so I'll be picking up some diatomaceous earth today.

    The others are looking fabulous. I did have to figure out how to bring them inside for a couple of nights without the cats either munching on them or knocking them over, but I managed. We'll see if this luck holds or if I'm crazy trying to grow eggplant in zone 3 😅
  • icemom011
    icemom011 Posts: 999 Member
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    "icemom011 wrote:
    @southkonahi , what kind of tree are you netting? That's a very interesting concept, I have a big mango tree that I can probably try this on, except this year my tree keeps on dropping fruit, there's next to nothing left. I'm not sure what is going on, I feel it could be fungal infection of some kind, it's been having problems for last few years, but nothing like that. We always had so much and shared with all our neighbors.
    Mango. I used "deer net" from Amazon, I hope it doesn't stretch too much when heavy fruit lands on it. My neighbor uses a different type of net, maybe volleyball net? I'm going to try that next year. My mango tree is behaving weirdly this year, it has been in bloom since probably about February! So now I have softball size mangos and also mango blossoms, at the same time. It will be interesting to see if the current blossoms result in fruit that doesn't fall off when tiny.

    Can you please post pictures of your net setup? Lots of my mango falls from high brunches that I can't reach with picker and getting smashed, plus bugs of course, so I'm really interested. No one here uses net, as far as I know, it would be helpful to see how you do it. My tree is showing a few new blooms and new leaves growth, so hopefully maybe it will have more mango. I see neighbor's tree in second bloom, so super weird year. Good luck with your tree and the net!
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,950 Member
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    yirara wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    I don't have a garden but only a tiny balcony. For some reason I just bought three berry shrubs: gooseberry, red currant and honeyberry. I have no idea whether I'll be able to grow them on my tiny space, and whether I'll keep up with watering them, but it's worth a try.

    When I had an apartment in Florida I had good luck with herbs on my balcony. I did have to make sure I kept up with watering.

    My concern with your shrubs is that they won't have enough soil in the pots they came in so perhaps research that and consider bigger pots.

    Oh yes, i'll buy big pots and hope they'll be big enough. I tried herbs, but the weather here is not really made for herbs. Generally too cold and windy. Everything small just gets blown away :D

    Sure, not ideal for basil but you could try cold-tolerant herbs like parsley, chives, and green onions (the last two are perennials) in a window box-sized tray, which should be heavy enough.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,370 Member
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    kshama2001 wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    I don't have a garden but only a tiny balcony. For some reason I just bought three berry shrubs: gooseberry, red currant and honeyberry. I have no idea whether I'll be able to grow them on my tiny space, and whether I'll keep up with watering them, but it's worth a try.

    When I had an apartment in Florida I had good luck with herbs on my balcony. I did have to make sure I kept up with watering.

    My concern with your shrubs is that they won't have enough soil in the pots they came in so perhaps research that and consider bigger pots.

    Oh yes, i'll buy big pots and hope they'll be big enough. I tried herbs, but the weather here is not really made for herbs. Generally too cold and windy. Everything small just gets blown away :D

    Sure, not ideal for basil but you could try cold-tolerant herbs like parsley, chives, and green onions (the last two are perennials) in a window box-sized tray, which should be heavy enough.

    Sage, thyme, and oregano are pretty tough, too. They're hardy perennials, but will lose leaves and be dormant here in true Winter (gets down way below freezing, occasionally to -20F/-29C). They do fine Spring through Fall here (temperatures down to freezing and below often at night - still have good leaves to harvest, and keep growing when it warms during the day - and are physically tough (wind-wise). Decent sized pot, cylindrical or close (vs. tapered), rocks in the bottom, can help with tipping.

    For these, you would want to get plants from a garden center/nursery, though, especially if planning to start in Spring and throw away in Fall. They grow more slowly (so too slow from seed for reasonable production from one season's growth), and the flavor/intensity can vary *lots* from plant to plant from seed (especially oregano), even beyond cultivar. If you buy a plant, you can sniff the leaves, get an idea what you're getting. One plant will yield quite a lot. The oregano I have (growing in the ground) is thuggy - pretty sure it would be bounteous in a large-ish pot, too.

    I grow rosemary as a houseplant, too, and put the pot outdoors in summer. Tough as to wind risk (woody stems), but not as cold hardy.
  • girlwithcurls2
    girlwithcurls2 Posts: 2,264 Member
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    I sent my daughter back home with a huge bunch of asparagus, some lettuce heads that still had a lot of soil on them in case she wants to put them in pots, and of course... chard. We planted some tomatoes, beans, beets and got more tomato beds ready, and anything else that needs a sunny warm spot. I always look at my garden and think I have so much room. Then I bring all of my plants and seeds and wonder where in the world I will fit everything!
  • southkonahi
    southkonahi Posts: 137 Member
    edited May 2021
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    icemom011 wrote: »
    Can you please post pictures of your net setup? Lots of my mango falls from high brunches that I can't reach with picker and getting smashed, plus bugs of course, so I'm really interested. No one here uses net, as far as I know, it would be helpful to see how you do it.
    I'll post some photos I found online that give different ideas. For me, I need to spread out the net and then "elevate" it above the ground with tall stakes. Because my goal is to keep the fallen fruit from touching the ground were the will bugs attack. One photo I'm posting just has a net on the ground, before it has been attached to stakes, but the photo shows how to go about opening the net in order to stake it. You might already have some netting or tarps that would work for you. I like netting so that if it rains, the tree will get watered.

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  • southkonahi
    southkonahi Posts: 137 Member
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  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,724 Member
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    Does anyone use black plastic in their gardens? I was looking up growing sweet potatoes and it recommended using black plastic to keep the warmth in. Someone I used to know used it in their whole garden and he said it turned out to be the best garden yield he ever had. I'd most likely just do the potatoes but was curious if others have done it.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,370 Member
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    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    Does anyone use black plastic in their gardens? I was looking up growing sweet potatoes and it recommended using black plastic to keep the warmth in. Someone I used to know used it in their whole garden and he said it turned out to be the best garden yield he ever had. I'd most likely just do the potatoes but was curious if others have done it.

    I did, some. If you use it, think through your irrigation strategy. If water gets under the plastic, it will hang around longer (less evaporation), which may not be a great thing for root crops in heavy (clay-type) soil, but can be fine in a lighter (sandy/loam) soil that tends to dry out or drain faster. On the flip side, if water doesn't have a way to get to the plants enough at all, that's obviously an issue. This is not some giant obstacle, just something to think about.

    Eventually, I switched to special black paper, or just newsprint for mulch (latter doesn't keep the heat in, but does other mulch-like things; back in the day one wanted to make sure the paper used nontoxic inks (i.e., non-toxic to plants or for human consumption), but I think now more of them use soy inks in general; it's also ugly).
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,426 Member
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    Yay, my berry shrubs arrive tomorrow! Meh, I won't be in tomorrow. But I'm sure my neighbours will accept the delivery <3
  • icemom011
    icemom011 Posts: 999 Member
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    icemom011 wrote: »
    Can you please post pictures of your net setup? Lots of my mango falls from high brunches that I can't reach with picker and getting smashed, plus bugs of course, so I'm really interested. No one here uses net, as far as I know, it would be helpful to see how you do it.
    I'll post some photos I found online that give different ideas. For me, I need to spread out the net and then "elevate" it above the ground with tall stakes. Because my goal is to keep the fallen fruit from touching the ground were the will bugs attack. One photo I'm posting just has a net on the ground, before it has been attached to stakes, but the photo shows how to go about opening the net in order to stake it. You might already have some netting or tarps that would work for you. I like netting so that if it rains, the tree will get watered.

    ajrv99rrli6u.pngl09a7tfglw92.png




    ccm3ioov762u.png
    7wva3fj3d6tt.png

    Thank you very much, such great idea. My tree is very big (probably can use good and proper pruning), but fruit gets damaged when hits the ground, and also same problem, like yours, bugs get right into it. This year is awful, all my mango keeps on falling. Very few left, but maybe next year will be a better one .
  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 452 Member
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    I got the zucchini, tomato and eggplant into the big pots yesterday, cages around the tomato and eggplant, and used an empty potting soil bag to cover the soil around the eggplant. I'm well aware that they're not designed to grow here and several sources when I was looking for tips said they do better with a layer of black plastic over the soil. I popped the tips of the cage through the plastic to hold it down and the cut I made is held together with binder clips so I can easily open it to water.

    I have almost all the veggie seeds I want, just missing a pack of kale seeds, and I want to put a single clump of pampas grass in the front flower bed now that I've evicted the ants. It's not hardy here so if I buy a pack of seeds and plant 1 seed per year, or 2 in case it dies, it'll last me awhile.

    Also scored some massive landscape timbers for free when we were picking up fence posts. I want to sink them into the ground as a border around the veggie bed, but that'll be a fall project. Veggies are going in this weekend.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,332 Member
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    I remember this winter watching a cooking show on public TV that included harvesting olives for oil. The families spread nets all over the ground, then shook the trees to collect the olives. I love olives.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,332 Member
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    Maybe I'll take a few pictures today. I spent a few hours trying to make my back sore yesterday. I did lots of weeding... weeded the beets, weeded some of the artichokes, weeded the blueberries, weeded the spinach, weeded the garlic, weeded the rose that's out near one of the lavender plants and a rosemary. I think I weeded some other stuff too. I also ran the string trimmer and added in a few plants. I cut back a few plants I call "Perennial Chard." These plants are several years old. Last year I thinned them and pulled out all the older growth. This year they decided to bolt and start to flower. I cut them way back. I'll check on them again, and maybe I'll do some more work on them. They are in the garlic bed.

    I inherited some starts, so in they went. Parsley, kale, a couple tiny basil plants that will probably end up as slug food, and some San Marzano tomatoes. I have one more tomato I may leave in a pot. There are also two very small tomato plants that I don't have any idea what they even are. I'm tempted to not even plant them. Maybe I should plant them at work....

    I ran the string trimmer for a while to trim around the fence line, around the deck, and behind the grapes as well as some areas I can't really access with a mower. I trimmed most of the orchard; I left the patch with the camas plants and the pink clover. I like to harvest the camas seeds and spread them in the fall to make more camas. They take a few years before they bloom. The first years, the little bulb grows roots that slowly pull the bulb down into the ground to the perfect depth. I've noticed a lot of new plants the last couple years, and each year there's more that bloom. I sure like that. I'm rethinking the idea of a greenhouse. The place it would go is a really nice place to sit on fall afternoons when it's warm enough in the sun but too cold in the shade.

    The raspberries could use some weeding. So could the Marion berries. So could the main bed of artichokes. I inherited a coupe torch lilies (red hot poker), so I'd like to find a place to plant at least one of them. I have an idea. I could cut back the greens from the wood hyacinth. I could plant another round of beets, then two more plantings in June and July.

    Or maybe I should just go fishing.

    I have been eating lots of artichokes and giving some away. It's that time of year. They are pretty big, and they are really tasty.
  • Katmary71
    Katmary71 Posts: 6,612 Member
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    I love reading what everyone is doing. My garden is really big, I've been under a lot of stress and it's my happy place but I made it three times bigger than normal so there's a lot to do and that stresses me out! I still need to make trellises for the cucumbers, zucchini, luffa, and squash and I'm already getting my first zucchini. Meanwhile I'm still helping at the food bank farm, I'm watering everything twice a day two days a week and there's two volunteer days but since I'm disabled I can't stick around for too long on those days. Someone let me use her garden stool with handles, in one direction it's for kneeling and the other it's a high stool for sitting, it's real sturdy and I used it cleaning up vegetables for produce boxes and for the food bank. I'm planning to go get one but I need to wear blinders because it's at a nursery! I'm waiting to hear what the watering restrictions will be, I would prefer to let the lawn and flowers die over food but I don't own the house so I'm stuck. I mulched everything with leftover straw from the feral cat home I made so it's helping keep moisture in the grow bags longer.