The Gardening Thread

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by jbcarioca, Jul 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Several of us are going seriously off-topic in other threads discussing gardening issues. This thread is for showing photos, asking gardening questions, helping other people with gardening issues and whatever else we feel like.
     
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  2. LizzyDragon84
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    Thank you so much. I've been having issues with a basil plant, so I'll post a pic of it later today so all you green thumb folks can take a look at it.
     
  3. jbcarioca
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    Because this thread began from the SMD3 thread, and because Gaucho wanted a better avatar, here is an excellent and healthy bunch of Malbec grapes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Malbec is very susceptible to various grape diseases and viticultural hazards-most notably frost, coulure, downey mildew and rot but the development of newclones and vineyard management techniques have helped control some of these potential problems.[2] When it is not afflicted with these various ailments, particularly coulure, it does have the potential to produce high yields.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malbec
     
  4. Randy Petersen
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    I used to have problems w/ Basil just as i had problems w/ Cilantro. All were solved (assuming proper sunlight) with a dose of Miracle-Gro once a week and more importantly—pinching back the plants weekly, never letting them flower. However, I also found over the years that Basil loves compost, so i plant it in about 3-4 inches of compost, eschewing the idea that dirt is dirt.

    So, compost and pinching will do wonders.
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    I use compost for all my herbs, but usually don not need to pinch them because we harvest so regularly. Good pointers! Thanks!
     
  6. LizzyDragon84
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    Good to know. I think my basil plant is a goner, but I think I'll get another one later this week and try again.
     
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  7. LizzyDragon84
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    Okay, here's my rather sickly-looking basil plant. I'm thinking it's time to go ahead and salvage whatever leaves are left to use in a basil pesto and start afresh with a new plant.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. jbcarioca
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    Don't panic Lizzy! harvest aggressively, prune back and stop watering so much. It may recover. if not, then buy another one.
     
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  9. sc801
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    Yes - it definitely looks over-watered..... You can also take the leaves and freeze them and use them later for sauces. No special prep.... they may not look 'green' when you take them out to use, but the flavor is retained. They will keep for several months.
     
  10. LizzyDragon84
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    I'm not panicking. I'm just trying to figure out how to not kill plants so quickly. I'll follow your advice and see what happens. There are some small shoots that look better then the larger stems, so they might make it.
     
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  11. LizzyDragon84
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    I love the freezing idea! I do want to use them in the near future, but not today, so that's a good idea.
     
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  12. ShopAround
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    I was wondering if I could grow basil indoors. I live in a Manhattan apartment, so I'm limited to what I can grow indoors on a window sill with a moderate amount of light (I get morning sunlight but shade by afternoon). What do the gardening experts here think?
     
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  13. Randy Petersen
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    Certainly, used to do it myself in the apt. days. Here's what I learned:
    - based on what you've said about light, it will not be enough. However, you can add light to the day by keeping a fluorescent light on it. About two hours of this type of light (about 6 inches from the plant) equal an hour of regular daylight. You could also think of a plant grow light but since many regular lightbulbs now come in fluorescent you don't have to think of the typical office style fluorescent lights. Keep turning the plant as it will tend to grow toward any light source. So maybe leave it in the sun for the morning and then when you are at home i nthe evening give it the fluorescent treatment for about 6 hours.
    - never let it dry out. I found that the stress seemed to take forever to get it back to normal. and i misted it once of twice a week.
    - there is no real substitute for Mother Nature so you'll need to keep feeding it about every two weeks. I used just good old Miracle Grow though others may have some better advice there.
    - And finally, I altered the dirt. I added some sand to the potting soil (2 soil/1 sand) to keep the soil loose for roots to grow easily in its adaptive stage.

    I know this sounds like a lot but once you have it going, it's just part of a routine and while it might be easier to simply visit Whole Foods for fresh Basil, I found in my apt. days that the therapy of these and similar plants was a positive part of my day.

    That's my story and yes, I'm sticking to it.
     
  14. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I agree with Randy, on all his points. I used a plant light in my NYC apartment, but I also grew lots of herbs, tomatoes, ginger and turmeric, among other things. There are a few apartment gardening help sites, and looking there might help. The NYC Home Depot gardening sections have all the gear and seeds, bulbs, etc that your heart might desire, plus helpful guides. Morning light will help but Randy's hint about soil management is crucial for apartment gardening because you will not have worms and otehr small creatures to aerate the soil for you, so you need to do their work. The initial setup is a bit of work and you'll probably be nervous for a few weeks but you'll soon get the hang of it. After that it becomes therapeutic, if you are anything like my spouse and myself.
     
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  15. LizzyDragon84
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    Okay, another basil plant update. The basil plant at this point is pretty much dead after being pruned, which I think was due to overwatering. But I did manage to make a decent pesto from what I pruned off of it.

    So I'm trying one more time with Basil 2.0. Bigger plant, bigger pot and I'm going to try keeping it outside and see how it does.
     
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  16. ShopAround
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    Thank you for the advice! :)

    Trying to grow my own sounds way too labor-intensive for someone that travels. I'd either have to find someone to care for it while I'm away or come home to a dying plant. I think I will stick to buying basil at the Greenmarket.
     
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  17. jbcarioca
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    Sadly that is probably true. Plants do require constant attention. In both your primary locations the greenmarkets are plentiful and herbs are cheap. I have tried growing things without anybody to take care while I am gone. It does not work!
     
  18. SC Flier
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    We have an Aerogarden that we can typically leave for up to a week. (Up to a couple weeks if the plants are young and consuming less water.)

    We have grown a variety of herbs and lettuces in it.
     
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  19. jbcarioca
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    I had never heard of an Aerograden. Now I have a new thing to investigate. Thanks!
     
  20. SC Flier
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    Some plants grow better than others. Right now, ours has basil and arugula in it. We've never gotten dill plants to produce enough to make it worthwhile. We used to buy their seed kits, but now we refill the pods with new foam (eBay) and whatever seeds we buy in packets. New lightbulbs every 6 months or so helps. We bought a container of fertilizer for hydroponic gardening, and that will last for years. We feed it about every 2 weeks.

    It's not a revolutionary item. Just a good design. The lights stay on for most of the day.

    We'll often start a new garden shortly before leaving for a trip.
     
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  21. jbcarioca
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    Pony Tail velho casa.jpg One of my favorite indoor plants is the ponytail palm. Mrs. jb and I bought one in 1984 at a now-defunct nursery under the Queensboro bridge approach. That ponytail stayed with us through moves to California and then to Florida, surviving the long moves with only temporary discomfort. They require watering only after they become bone-dry at the top of the soil (they are originally from southern Mexico desert areas) but do need some light. They are comfortable in the tropics but can withstand light frost.

    The one here is on our veranda in Rio de Janeiro and is about forty years old.
     
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  22. jbcarioca
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    The photo here is of a joboticaba, a tree native to northern Brazil. The name is from the Tupi language and is the same in Portuguese and English. The fruit is fairly bitter but is addictive to many people. Ice cream and otehr sweets are often made of it. It is unusual because, as you see here, the fruit grows directly from the trunk of the tree. This tree is in our yard, next to a brook, and is about four years old, having it's first fruiting season now. The fruit sets in mid-winter, now, and ripens in the spring. It is very, very thirsty, so grows only by riverbanks or other very moist places. The fruit is reddish when mature. jaboticaba.jpg
     
  23. jbcarioca
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    Staghorn ferns are another favorite of mine. In the wild they almost always grow as parasites on tree trunks or, as is common in southern Brazil, in cracks or holes in rock faces. They are very long lived, and require little care other than an occasional banana peel to act as fertilizer and regular watering. There are many species, but most of them like shade. These two are on my veranda. I acquired them a few tears ago from a very old man who was retiring from his nursery business where he had had these for some years. chiffre de viado.jpg
     
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  24. jbcarioca
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    Clerodendrum bushes are blooming now in our back yard. This one is just outside the master bedroom veranda.
    clerodendrum.jpg
     
  25. LizzyDragon84
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    My parents and my grandparents on both sides of the family all have staghorns. They can get very large and heavy- my grandparents had to move them off their tree perch since it would eventually snap the branch off. They do seem to thrive throughout the southeastern part of the US.
     

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