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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 3:43 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 4:08 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 4:16 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 4:48 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 7:47 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 8:53 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 3:42 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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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 27, 2018 9:51 pm 
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I'm planting my second annual garden up here in Conifer! Been loving reading all the great gardening advice here...lots of contradictions with my seed packets of course, lol

I started late last year and got by on beginner's luck and lots of manure compost. Trying to make a solid starting/planting schedule for this year so I actually know what's going on...I got great green beans last year but I can't remember when I sowed them. How early do you all start your beans? I want to start as early as possible! (Got blue lake pole and purple peacock pole this year)

Same with lettuce...


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 28, 2018 10:13 am 
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Welcome!

Someone else will need to help you with green beans. I am allergic so I don't grow them.

As for lettuce, I typically start some seeds indoors in mid April to be transplanted mid to late May. Then I direct seed a few rows at the same time I transplant and then plant another few rows of seeds ~2-3 weeks later. I cover my lettuce (with Agribon) until early June. This planting method typically provides me with lettuce well into Sept.

Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Feb 28, 2018 1:30 pm 
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Thank you CooknThyme! Good lettuce tips :multi:


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Mar 1, 2018 2:25 pm 
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prettypleasant wrote:
I got great green beans last year but I can't remember when I sowed them. How early do you all start your beans? I want to start as early as possible! (Got blue lake pole and purple peacock pole this year)

I grow green beans and wax beans, here's a picking one year:

Image

When I plant beans, I always get several pickings and enough to can.

I plant the seed out in the second week of June in a long double row, about an inch apart for the seeds and 10 inches apart for the rows. I use buried leaky hoses for watering.

The ground has to be warm enough for the seeds to germinate. Green beans and wax beans are very susceptible to even a light frost. I've had the top leaves blackened by frost but as long as the center of the plants are not harmed, they will continue to produce, albeit with a lot less blossoms.

You might also want to consider Oregon Sugar Pod peas. These grow great up here and are so sweet I go out in the morning and eat a bunch for breakfast. I can these also.

I have grown pole beans within a corn stand and this worked well. I think this year I am going to try growing pole beans on the same fence as my Oregon Sugar Pod peas. The peas don't get as high as the top of the fence so I'll train the pole beans along the top.

My biggest problem with peas are the pocket gophers. The will eat an entire row of peas in a week. They will also eat bean plants but seem to prefer coming above the ground and eating the almost ready to pick green beans. Nothing like going to pick the beans and having only the top tips left...


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Mar 1, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Hi!

So I am a pinecam voyeur, and will do PMs, but this is only the sixth time I have ever "posted", but I finally had to post about gardening, which I love to do and have learned so much in the last ten or so years, but I am definitely still learning. I love the gardening section and have learned so much from all of you!

Where to begin. We live at about 8700 (on 126, right after turn from 285). When we (my husband and I) first started just flower gardens, we learned we need to buy dirt. I am originally from Western PA, and never heard of such a thing -- "buying dirt!" Who the hell does that? People who want to garden in Colorado, that's who! We have spent more than I will admit just on dirt. When we moved to the vegetable garden, we started small; and I can't remember where we got the dirt from, but it still rocks. We do add to it each year. When we added a much larger box, we got dirt from Elk Creek Sand and Gravel. Love the folks, have gotten tons of rocks, literally, from there . . . but, the dirt was horrible. That was probably four or five years ago, and we are still amending it. We add llama poop each year, coffee grounds from Starbucks and even tried gypsum. It it getting better. It is just very "hard". The first year I planted carrots in it, they grew crazy, crooked!!! It was pretty funny. Aside for potatoes, we keep the root veggies in the smaller box. We also use lots of fish emulsion! It is the only fertilizer we use. We have deer netting all around. It is framed in with railroad ties. We have the smallest wiring under the dirt, but we get a gopher every few years. They push it away from the railroad ties. And I swear they eat through the wire! And we have a small greenhouse.

So this is what we basically do: the first or second weekend in February, we start plants in doors. This year, it was the first weekend. Broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes. This year I am trying eggplant and cauliflower. We tried cauliflower the first year and it never produced anything but bugs! We use organic dirt with fish emulsion in it. Plant in "poo" pots, as I call them and just stick 'em the ground, when it is time. We have tried starting cukes and squash indoors, but they always died when we planted them and would have to start from seed. Almost everything came up in one week! The eggplant and tomatoes took two weeks.

We will plant everything in mid-late April -- yep, that early! And cover with Argbon. The dirt is about six inches lower from the top of the ties, so the ties protect it from the weather, also. We have deer netting completely around it. At this time we plant from seed: lettuces, spinach, arugula, beets, carrots, peas. I have onion starters and left over potatoes from last year that we will plant later. Garlic has been in since fall. I am trying beans, again. I tried a few years ago, and they just wouldn't grow -- yet my friend 500 feet away can grow killer beans!!! We gave up on the squash. I have always planted autumn squash and the frost kills them before the can produce -- except the spaghetti, but I have to keep it covered. Too much work. And I can get Zucchuni and yellow squash (not a big fan of these squashes) from my friends. I can't get any type of peppers to grow either. Not even in greenhouse. The tomatoes will go into the green house in early May. Maybe late April, with heater. Will start cukes in the greenhouse. Have Herbs started too, which will stay in house or on deck.

Last year we had an incredible crop. Took lots to Resource center. Hail of course, is always a problem . . . but I was actually home for one of worse storms and, like a crazy woman, was outside in the horrible hail storm, covering everything! I succeeded! I probably got a mild concussion from it!!! I was frozen, by the time I was done, but my plants were saved!

Had to get use to watering, too! Like every night, in the depths of summer and drought.

I guess we will see what this season brings!

Happy gardening and best of luck to all! Yay!


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