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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 2:43 pm 
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CooknThyme, thanks so much for the seed advice!
Yeah, we're planning on doing mostly raised beds, at least to start off with. Our soil is pretty dark, with not too much granite in it, so I'm hoping it'll be good, but I'm still planning on adding in more soil!- I'll have to post a picture when I get one! Thanks for the tip on Hardware cloth! As for hail, I know we'll get some of that - I'm thinking of having PVC loops over the raised beds, with plastic for cold nights, and some kind of mesh all the time for hail (and even a little bit of shade wouldn't hurt with our sun!). The trick for where I live will be getting that mesh and plastic to stay put, because it gets very windy!

Looking forward to gardening this year! I'm thinking lettuce, asparagus, and tomatoes for a garden, and sunflowers and lavender for flowers :)


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 3:08 pm 
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This will be my 3rd year gardening up here. I have an all container garden with a DIY green house (conduit and plastic) on our patio. The first year was 4'x6' and last year expanded to 10'x10'. This year I'm going to move some of the cold tolerant stuff (lettuce, greens, radishes) out of the greenhouse and up on the deck to make more room for tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse. Everything came in amazing last year except for my cucumbers and squash - always have issues with pollinating. I start from seed too and have really liked www.westcoastseeds.com - they are in BC and I have found their varieties work well for our climate. I also like www.rareseeds.com. I can't wait to get things growing this year and having more great vegies. I'm really expanding the variety this year too - getting a little more brave, lol.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 3:16 pm 
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CooknThyme wrote:
Successful gardening anywhere is first and foremost about the soil.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. I have a south sloping meadow where I put my vegi garden. The soil seemed to be black and fertile. When I had the soil tested, I was surprised there was no organic matter in the soil and very little nutrients. Later I learned the sun is so strong here that organic matter just decayed into nothing quickly.


Thank for that tidbit! Our soil is also very dark, so I thought it would be at least OK, but I think I'll go ahead and get it tested! - Do you know where I can send it off to get tested?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 3:48 pm 
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SamanthaPittman wrote:
The trick for where I live will be getting that mesh and plastic to stay put, because it gets very windy!

Yep, I have the same problem. I swear I have the most windy property in all of Bailey :thud:

Soil testing info: http://www.soiltestinglab.colostate.edu/


tickledpink-
Unless your cucumbers and squash are parthenocarpic (sp?) varieties you'll need to hand pollinate them, especially if grown in a greenhouse. Tomatoes blossoms more easily attract our local pollinators, but not so much the cukes and squash.

I hand pollinate every veggie that needs pollinators: tomatoes, squash, cukes, peppers, eggplant and corn.
I do this both inside and outside of the greenhouse, even though I seem to have more and more bees each year (thanks to a neighbor bee-keeper and me planting more flowers for them).

So here's how I do it:
I use kids paint brushes. I write the type of plant on the side of the brush. For many plants in our environment, the male flowers form significantly before the female flowers. So I carefully collect the pollen on the paint brushes and then store them (bristle end up) in a jar waiting for the female flowers to form.

After I showed netuser99 this trick of saving pollen, she named her pollen jar, "The Sperm Bank"! :rof laughing:

I hand pollinate ~weekly and never wash the brushes until the end of the season.
Don't worry if you can't see the pollen on the bristles, they are there.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 6:47 pm 
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CooknThyme wrote:
So here's how I do it:
I use kids paint brushes. I write the type of plant on the side of the brush. For many plants in our environment, the male flowers form significantly before the female flowers. So I carefully collect the pollen on the paint brushes and then store them (bristle end up) in a jar waiting for the female flowers to form.

After I showed netuser99 this trick of saving pollen, she named her pollen jar, "The Sperm Bank"! :rof laughing:


I too hand pollinate all the veggies that need pollinating. Most the time I use a small paint brush, but on the squash blossoms, I take off the male blossom and bend back the flower petals and touch inside the female blossom. It seems to work pretty well. The flowers on the rest of the veggies are too small, so a small paint brush works well. But, I love your idea of leaving the pollen on the brush until there is a female blossom available to pollinate. There are definitely more male blossoms than female.

What a wonderful name for the pollen jar, I'm making a "Sperm Bank" label for my jar this year.

I wish we had more bees over my way. I will need to make an effort to plant more flowers this year that I know they love.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 7:53 pm 
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I'm lucky to have some honey bees that visit my garden. But I think my best pollinators are the mason bees.

Here's a website with lots of info on our native bees.
http://dakotabees.com/Colorado_Orchard_Bees.html


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2018 2:42 pm 
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CooknThyme; I'm hoping to have bees on my property one day, because they are awesome for your garden. And I also like honey :)
I may have to get a kit from Debeeze Honey in Bailey!


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