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Old 05-26-2015, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,991 posts, read 47,321,826 times
Reputation: 10512

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
I used to have a garden with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, etc. I spent a fortune and a lot of time tending it.

The killer was that I found that when you figured what it cost to have the garden, it was cheaper to just go around the corner to the farm stand and buy it directly.
Yeah, definitely have to have a family or neighbor come by and water it especially in the summer if you go away. Or they sell timers to turn sprinklers on but that's adding to costs which is another reason most don't have gardens. They feel its cheaper to just buy it. Most cases yes, not in mine.

But even if it was, I wouldn't stop. You don't get the taste of fresh produce when you buy it (including the farmers market) and you have no idea what that farm put in the soil and what pesticides they use. And there's a reason why produce lasts longer in the stores, preservatives.

The other thing is, its so convenient to step outside and pick.

Having my own compost pile helps cut costs, no more soil buying. Packet of seeds are $1.50 and you get more then enough for each veggie for a backyard.

Save seeds from the plants another way to cut costs.

Start from seeds, do not buy the plants, that will kill it and pointless for me.

Here's what I do with the extra cucumbers. Had them all Fall and Winter and gave some away.



And here's one of my harvests last year...





And what I do with the extra tomatoes. Well worth the investment to have a garden. Much cheaper than buying stuff at the store or farm

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Old 05-26-2015, 07:52 PM
 
10,396 posts, read 7,478,326 times
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WONDERFUL pictures, Cambian! I'm making mental lists now. The herbs sound great. We cook a lot and I never thought about bees liking herbs! I hope to do some canning, too. And composting. Thanks for the replies from everyone!
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:00 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,623,814 times
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Perennial herbs are SO easy. Here's what you do, if you use the herbs I mentioned (other than the dill and the thyme, that's an experiment in process so I can't offer advice on those yet):

1. Find a spot that gets a lot of sun in the morning, but is mostly shade the rest of the day.
2. Make sure the soil is REALLY BAD. We're talking rusty nails, old broken pieces of clay pots, an abandoned wasp nest, rotting 2x4's, railroad ties, and broken up bits of driveway under miscellaneous gravel and rocks, covered with a 2-inch layer of sand, and topped off with 2-3 inches of generic top-soil from whatever the cheapest place you can find it.
3. Go to Agway and buy the herbs already growing in pint-sized pots.
4. Dig holes in the crappy soil, put the potted plants in, but take them out of the pots first Make sure to keep the oregano on one side of the garden, and the mints on the other side. Make doubly sure to have a bunch of stuff separating the mint and oregano or you'll end up with a huge mix and never be able to make Grandma Celetina's Cecilian gravy
5. Water the whole thing.
6. Ignore it til you notice things are actually growing. Weed it, and ignore it again til there's enough to cut and dry in the kitchen.

at the end of the growing season - ignore it again. Don't cut it down, don't weed it, don't do a damned thing. Just let winter kill everything growing, and it'll all come right back again next spring.

Next year: You'll probably want to rip out at least half of the oregano and most of the mint. It'll quadruple in density, exponentially, every year if you don't.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,991 posts, read 47,321,826 times
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As for herbs.. Here's what I got..

Winter thyme
Basil
Cinnamon Basil
Tarragon
Parsely
Oregano
Cilantro
Sage
Dill
Anise
Lemon Balm

I grow them in pots and leave on deck


Last edited by Cambium; 05-27-2015 at 05:00 AM..
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:08 AM
 
10,396 posts, read 7,478,326 times
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AnonChick and Cambium I can't rep you again but thanks. Great stuff.

Do the mint and oregano just find each other irresistible?

And Cinnamon Basil? Sounds divine.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:28 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,623,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
AnonChick and Cambium I can't rep you again but thanks. Great stuff.

Do the mint and oregano just find each other irresistible?

And Cinnamon Basil? Sounds divine.
Both mint and oregano are, for all intents and purposes, weeds. So is bee balm (melissa). They will grow in almost any condition but prefer *bad* soil, they have incredibly complex root systems that can extend well beyond the garden. I planted only three plants of oregano. Three little pint-sized pots. The only reason it takes up half my garden now, is that I have to forcibly destroy a sizeable portion of them after the first thaw of the year. Otherwise it would choke all the other plants and spread to the other side of the garden.

For reference: the garden is just a 4-foot wide patch I created that runs almost the full length of the garage.


Far left is the spike lavender; the echinacea is behind it, so far around 4" high (it'll get over 2 feet high when it's in bloom). The big huge "forest" of ground cover next to it, extending more than halfway through the garden, is the oregano. In the forefront next to that, is the winter savory bush. It's just starting to fill, it'll be covered with tiny white flowers in around a week. Behind that, a dead-looking patch with spikes of green thrust up out of it, is the english lavender. The purple tips show up in around two weeks. The other big patch near the far end of the garden is (from back to front): wild mint, spearmint, black-leaf peppermint, catnip. In the back behind the english lavender, you might see three or four thicker stalks; those are daylilies. I think I put them there maybe 8 years ago hoping to get SOMETHING to grow because I kept killing the rosemary. The lillies lived, I stopped planting rosemary

Edited to note: All of these plants, except the lilies and the echinacea, will outgrow the garden if I don't cut it back either at the end of the season, or after the first thaw of the season. You can see the spike lavender already starting to fall over the retaining wall I built for it. The winter savory always looks like half of it's dead; I do cut the dead stalks once a year, eventually, but it's just a very ugly looking bush. The english lavender is delicate - I'm afraid to cut the dead stalks back because it might cut into the live core, and then it'd kill the plant. It's taken 4 years to grow at all so I'm sort of just leaving it be a big mess for now. The pots contain Greek Oregano; the ground-cover oregano is mostly Italian oregano. Greek oregano has more delicate leaves, Italian is more hardy.

Edited to add: Oh yeah I just noticed - there's a "brighter" green between the spike lavender and the oregano forest - I believe that's my bee balm. The lemon balm was introduced to the garden by some enterprising squirrels, along with a maple sapling. Not wanting to hurt their feelings, I uprooted the maple, but left the balm as a tribute to their hard work. I pulled up a lot of it, and tossed it in a woodpile on the other side of the back yard, and now it's growing there too. Note to growers: Never try to grow bee balm anywhere outside a container. Ever.

Last edited by AnonChick; 05-27-2015 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:32 AM
 
2,321 posts, read 2,681,566 times
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This will be our first year with a garden in the new home and our first time trying out canning. I used to have a garden in East Haven that was loaded with green peppers, hot cherry, lettuce, sunflowers, etc. It did well for two years before we moved. The first year we did corn and lettuce and the second I made the area larger for more veggies.







In our new home we live backed up to woods so I was a little more paranoid about the animals. We have deer, rabbits, moles, etc. so it took a bit of work to get it all together. I got rid of the moles with the Holey Moley fertilizer granules than removed the insects and grubs that may be present (remove the food source). I then picked up a bunch of fir lumber and went to work. Most seeds were started indoors with a grow light.





Took about 2 full days spread out of work to get it built but it will last and is a little over 10x20. I have san marzano, marilyn plum, and grape tomatoes. Leaf and romaine lettuce, red bell peppers, string beans, basil, cucumbers, and zucchini. Next year I will expand the offerings but this year I just wanted to get something started. I'm currently dealing with a little under-watering as they have started to yellow a bit but a heavy watering last night brought back some, then I did the same this morning and will again after work. It's been very dry as most everyone knows.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:20 AM
 
10,396 posts, read 7,478,326 times
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*adds sunflowers to my list*
I hope I have some good sun. AnonChick that's awesome! I'm thinking I might segregate into smaller patches of single types of herbs. Your picture reminded me of a small container herb garden I planted when I was living in Branford. Actually it was before I moved there. I planted oregano and it didn't seem to thrive. By winter the little container had gone 'dead' but come springtime the oregano was back with a vengance!
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:57 PM
 
10,396 posts, read 7,478,326 times
Reputation: 18316
My Master-Gardener (in his own mind) is tired of my bragging over your ideas and pictures. I'm going to keep my enthusiasm on the down low.
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Old 05-28-2015, 06:55 PM
 
Location: New Canaan, CT
854 posts, read 896,160 times
Reputation: 352
Where can we get some good rosemary in Stamford/Norwalk area?
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