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Old 12-17-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
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***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January

Did I really forget to do this!? LOL Here it is ladies, whatcha up to? I know some of us have crops outside still, many have some potted plants indoors and most of us have started getting those glossy catalogs to drool over in the mail. I think I've shown my herb planter a few times, it's doing well. My purple basil is finally big enough that I nipped the top out so that it will fill in. My green basil I've already taken 2 harvests from (mmmm...basil pesto in the winter what a treat!) I put some of my chives on our potatoes for dinner last night and my tomato... you've got to see this! It's hit it's grow like crazy point. I repotted it yesterday, this is a 12" pot and it has two flower clusters coming in already. It's a yellow plum type, early ssbbacus aliana from winter sown.



can't wait to have real tomatoes again, you don't appreciate it until you've bought a few of those greenhouse tomatoes in the grocery store.

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Old 12-17-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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I don't have anything going right now (zone 4) other than my rosemary and basil.

i want to get some more herbs going...maybe some sprouts.

I was reading up on a Meyer lemon tree though. Was thinking about having it in a pot outside and bringing it inside near a south facing window during winter months. Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:51 PM   #3
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Re: ***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January

My container pot brocolli is just about to sprout flower buds. Yippee! A couple Thai basils from the summer are surviving pretty far into winter. I've got lots onions right now. Beets, carrots, and spinach are a bust this year. The snails decimated them as soon as they sprouted. I blame the condo landscapers who weed whacked all the periwinkle ground cover outside my patio. The snails had no place to hide and wound up in my containers. Grrr!

I've grown a Meyer lemon tree in a container pot for over 10 years now. It's in a huge stryrofoam/plastic pot that I got from Costco. It does great outside, but I have no idea how it would do indoors during the winter. I'm not sure if a sunny window would be enough. You may need to supplement with a grow lamp. An ocassional outdoor sunning on a warm winter day may help too.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: ***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January



http://www.weeatreal.com/2008/10/mey...ctober-in.html

The only problem with dwarf trees as I understand it is that even a dwarf tree can get up to 10-15' tall, you just have to be very careful who you order from. Don't just pick one up from the garden center. With that said, Meyer lemons are just amazing. My grandma has a dwarf tree in her yard. Her gardeners keep it trimmed like a bush but it's about 5" tall and gives bags upon bags of lemons every year. My bil also keeps many varieties of dwarf fruit trees in pots with no issues. Get one!
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:06 PM   #5
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Re: ***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January

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Originally Posted by Shimpie View Post
My container pot brocolli is just about to sprout flower buds. Yippee! A couple Thai basils from the summer are surviving pretty far into winter. I've got lots onions right now. Beets, carrots, and spinach are a bust this year. The snails decimated them as soon as they sprouted. I blame the condo landscapers who weed whacked all the periwinkle ground cover outside my patio. The snails had no place to hide and wound up in my containers. Grrr!

I've grown a Meyer lemon tree in a container pot for over 10 years now. It's in a huge stryrofoam/plastic pot that I got from Costco. It does great outside, but I have no idea how it would do indoors during the winter. I'm not sure if a sunny window would be enough. You may need to supplement with a grow lamp. An ocassional outdoor sunning on a warm winter day may help too.
eew snails. Kinda glad we don't have the moisture for them here. If you think the basil might eventually die off you can bring it inside. That's where mine is right now. My broccoli hasn't shown a crown yet. I'm getting anxious! I've been pretty shocked my onions and garlic haven't died back.

I'd love to hear methods from somebody who HAS had great success with spinach. How the heck do the commercial growers get those lovely rows? I've had the worst sprouting from it. I read on a gardening forum that some have had better success putting the seed in damp paper towels and then into the fridge if they're slow. Then direct sow the sprouts outside. I think I'm going to try that this year. We love spinach, just can't get it to GO!
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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Re: ***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January

I've had great luck with spinach, just not in a pretty row. Next to broccoli, it's my second worry-free crop. It's never been an issue until this year with the snails. I've never had luck transplanting spinach, though. My best spinach crops were always direct sow. I soak the seeds in water overnight and then place them straight in the ground. The tricky part is finding the right timing. Spinach is finicky with temperatures. It doesn't like warm weather and it doesn't like freezing temps. Also, buy new seed and use up all your seed. I find that using seed that I saved the previous season gives me a much smaller yield. Maybe old seeds don't keep well?
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:34 PM   #7
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Re: ***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January

they must not. I'm going to order mine from seed savers exchange, I never have an issue with their seed. If I don't get good results from their seed I'll know it's either me or my weather.

Hey I found an article on growing carrots that was very good if anyone is interested. Lots of good commentary too.

http://chiotsrun.com/2011/10/04/tips...great-carrots/

OH and I did go out and push the leaves away to see if my broccoli was getting close and they do have a crown starting! Only about the size of a quarter but

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Old 12-17-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Re: ***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January

Ihave broccoli , cauliflower, red and green cabbage, kale and brusselsprouts growing inthe garden ...will try and remeber to get a pick . I think when I first planted them I watered them twice ...then the rains started off and on and I haven't touched them since ....just peek at them . lol we'll see how they do
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:41 PM   #9
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Re: ***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January

lol. i was just about to go bump the old thread up from the depths cause i had a question. yea! anyone have any idea why radishes might not be bulbing (for lack of a better word?). i have them in a deep pot indoors, good potting soil, plenty of water, under grow lights. and i get quick germination and good looking plants, until i pull them and i get the smallest little bulb, if anything at all. a lot of them were just straight roots. they were quite long, so i know they have room lengthwise, and they weren't super close together in the pot, so they should have had some room to grow widthwise too. but...nothing. my theory is, maybe not enough light? is that a factor? they're under grow lights, but they get no actual sunlight since they're in my basement and it's too cold for them to go outside ever. the ones that do create small bulbs seem to almost sit on top of the soil instead of down in it. why? it seems like this could affect growth too.

other than that, i've got nothing going outside right now (zone 5) but i've got stuff going inside. i just made my first salad from my indoor lettuce the other day, and i've been having some good success growing sprouts! which is so much fun and interesting. between the 2 we should have fresh salads a good chunk of the winter. although we're just about to go out of town for 10 days and i'm a little worried, but i'm just going to soak the lettuce before we leave and hope for the best. i just got back after a week long business trip, and they hadn't been watered because i didn't want to bother dh with it while he was alone with the kids. they were a little droopy, but a good watering perked them up. i think we'll be ok. spinach is a bust here too. i dunno, i also can never seem to get spinach to grow. i planted it in several different successions this last summer, including this last one in pots indoors. i haven't gotten a single leaf to eat. they either never come, die still small, or bolt immediately. i dunno. i'll keep trying cause i love spinach, but it's not my friend right now. the only other thing i was trying to grow is some cilantro. i'm thinking this is kind of a slow grower? it took forever to germinate and is still just this itty bitty little seedling. i don't know that it will make it during our trip. but, well, i'll soak it too, hope for the best, and then probably re-plant when we get back. anyone know if cilantro is supposed to be this slow. i planted it back in Oct sometime. it should be getting close to mature according to the seed packet, but it still only has 1 set of "true" leaves on it.

Last edited by Liadan23; 12-19-2012 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:30 AM   #10
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Re: ***Winter gardening chat! *** December~January

If you're unable to water container plants for an extended amount of time, you can use 2 liter soda or big water bottles for drip irrigation. Here's a Youtube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRFuf7jsxME
It works great, but you have to fiddle around with the number of holes and the size of the holes. I used to do this in college when I went home on Christmas break.

Sorry, no advice for your radishes, cilantro and spinach. I've never grown plants in a basement before. I do know that those grow lamps need to be really close to the plant to be effective.
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