The 2022 Gardening Thread

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,594
Purraise
4,105
I’m seeing monarch caterpillars on a local page now so we are at that stage here.

Some of my sunflowers are blooming but none are as tall as they were supposed to be. The “Mammoth Russian” are maybe 3’ tall with smaller heads. The ones that should have been about 4’ are half that too. My cosmos are actually taller.
My mammoth ones are not super tall this year either, I also plant the autumn mix sunflowers and they are at least 6 ft
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
21,951
Purraise
52,299
Location
Canada
My milkweed that I planted in May is still pretty small, so won't flower this year. However, I read that monarch caterpillars can still eat the leaves of non flowering milkweed, so I'm going to keep an eye out, in case mama monarch decides to lay eggs there.

Meanwhile, my neighbour's milkweed is getting visitors. :butterfly:
1659350524808.png
 

Winchester

In the kitchen with my cookies
Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Messages
27,981
Purraise
21,352
Location
In the kitchen
Did my first quart of roasted tomatoes. This morning, I'm freezing a few peppers. Rick brought these down the other morning. We're losing tons of tomatoes and peppers to rot. He takes them as soon as they start to turn color and brings them into the kitchen to continue to ripen. We're just not getting any rain at all. A couple spritzes here and there don't cut it. He continues to water.

PeppersTwo.jpg
 

Margot Lane

Kitten at heart, not a Top Cat
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
1,762
Purraise
3,108
My milkweed that I planted in May is still pretty small, so won't flower this year. However, I read that monarch caterpillars can still eat the leaves of non flowering milkweed, so I'm going to keep an eye out, in case mama monarch decides to lay eggs there.

Meanwhile, my neighbour's milkweed is getting visitors. :butterfly:
View attachment 428089
SO excited for you…am growing my first plant, which I haven’t killed, but, it hasn’t bloomed either. your photos give me hope!
 

Margot Lane

Kitten at heart, not a Top Cat
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
1,762
Purraise
3,108
After 15 days of not being home I had a bean and squash explosion on my hands. Took the lot to my local food bank and it’s a really joyful ritual: to hand off a bag of fresh greens and see it picked up by someone, 5 seconds later!
 

Margot Lane

Kitten at heart, not a Top Cat
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
1,762
Purraise
3,108
I have seen people posting caterpillar pictures on a local nature and wildlife page. I haven’t been looking for them in my own yard. I have had butterflies visiting so they are probably there.

This was taken in my driveway a few weeks ago.

View attachment 426982
My picture insect app says that’s a “red spotted purple.”
 

MoochNNoodles

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
34,902
Purraise
18,444
Location
Where my cats are
My picture insect app says that’s a “red spotted purple.”
I should probably get something like that to save me from googling things like “giant red ant.” (It was a red velvet ant.) :lol: That sucker was fast and I wanted to know if we needed to watch for them. It was kind of pretty for a wasp.:rolleyes2:

I’m noticing less blossoms on my tomatoes and pepper plants. I read something about night time temperatures slowing them if its too warm. So maybe that’s all that’s going on. But they were due a fertilizing so I did that last night. Hopefully more will be there soon.

DH spent a while pulling virgina creeper vines from the back privet hedge last night. It had grown up and back down theI mulberry and dogwood. I had asked him to pull where it was sprouting in my shade garden and he just worked his way down and around to technically the neighbors driveway. He said they just waved and drove past.:lol: At one point it looked like he was up in the tree with the way it was moving while he yanked vines. He said he’d pull on one and more would come down. And apparently theres a pile taller than me behind the shed. 😫
 

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,594
Purraise
4,105
We are not getting a great yield of our tomatoes. The first ones apparently had a fungus (probably from me watering at night) There are several new blooms on the plants, but I'm seeing less and less bees. Still waiting to see if our green pepper plant is going to give us anything.
 

Winchester

In the kitchen with my cookies
Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Messages
27,981
Purraise
21,352
Location
In the kitchen
Norachan Norachan That pepper plant is lovely!

Rick brought down more tomatoes last night and a few peppers. He spread GardenTone around the tomatoes and peppers, followed by a good watering through the soaker hoses.

BTW, have any of you heard of Garden Mats Landscape Fabric Weed Barrier | The Weed-Free Garden Solution ? Our pharmacist at CVS/Target highly recommends them. She has a huge garden and says she wouldn't have the garden if not for these mats; she doesn't have time to do all the weeding. They're sturdier than other mats and they really do a great job of cutting down on weeding and helping to keep the soil moist. She's had hers now for going on 9 years and they're still in excellent shape. We're thinking of putting them in our raised beds for now....buy them this year to start using next year. They come in a lot of sizes for different vegetables. She loves them.
 

NY cat man

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
6,396
Purraise
18,327
The tomatoes here are doing well, although as dry as it has been, I have had to water every other day, putting a half-gallon of water directly on the roots of each plant, plus the straw mulch to hold the moisture in.
IMG_2167.jpg

The other 6 plants are much the same
The milkweed is about 18" tall now, and while I have seen butterflies around, no caterpillars yet.
IMG_2168.JPG

And the first butterfly weed to blossom is done, leaving just seed pods; at least, I think that's what they are.
IMG_2169.jpg
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
21,951
Purraise
52,299
Location
Canada
I've never heard of those garden mats, but in general I've only heard negative things about landscape fabric. Those mats, though, could be different.

The milkweed is about 18" tall now, and while I have seen butterflies around, no caterpillars yet.
Did you just plant the seeds this year? Mine is still quite short (about 5 inches) and I realize too flimsy to support the weight of a monarch caterpillar. I wonder if even though yours is taller, if the stems aren't sturdy enough yet for mama monarch to land on and lay her eggs, or enough leaves to feed the larvae till it's time to form the chrysalis. Interestingly, though I read it's the leave the caterpillars eat, the ones on my neighbour's milkweed seemed to be nibbling on the flowers.
 

NY cat man

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
6,396
Purraise
18,327
I've never heard of those garden mats, but in general I've only heard negative things about landscape fabric. Those mats, though, could be different.



Did you just plant the seeds this year? Mine is still quite short (about 5 inches) and I realize too flimsy to support the weight of a monarch caterpillar. I wonder if even though yours is taller, if the stems aren't sturdy enough yet for mama monarch to land on and lay her eggs, or enough leaves to feed the larvae till it's time to form the chrysalis. Interestingly, though I read it's the leave the caterpillars eat, the ones on my neighbour's milkweed seemed to be nibbling on the flowers.
Yes, they were started from seed, and what a PITA it was to do so. Four weeks in the refrigerator, folded into a damp paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag, then potting them under a grow light where the cats couldn't get them. Out of 24 I started, only 4 ever sprouted, but those survivors are doing well now.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
21,951
Purraise
52,299
Location
Canada
Yes, they were started from seed, and what a PITA it was to do so. Four weeks in the refrigerator, folded into a damp paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag, then potting them under a grow light where the cats couldn't get them. Out of 24 I started, only 4 ever sprouted, but those survivors are doing well now.
I've heard of having to go through that process. I, on the other hand, just threw some seeds in the garden in late May, and covered them with soil, and watered them occasionally. I honestly didn't expect anything to happen with them, but a bunch of them sprouted. They're probably too close together, but not sure if I should thin them out or not. They're about 5 inches high.

1659561534263.png
 

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,594
Purraise
4,105
The tomatoes here are doing well, although as dry as it has been, I have had to water every other day, putting a half-gallon of water directly on the roots of each plant, plus the straw mulch to hold the moisture in.View attachment 428285
The other 6 plants are much the same
The milkweed is about 18" tall now, and while I have seen butterflies around, no caterpillars yet.View attachment 428286
And the first butterfly weed to blossom is done, leaving just seed pods; at least, I think that's what they are.View attachment 428287
That's a lot of seed pods
 

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,594
Purraise
4,105
Well here in So. IL I'm already pruning my coneflowers and harvesting seeds, should have more blooms before fall. I just pruned my blue sea holly and maybe I'll try those from seed. I have a beautiful red crepe myrtle and just read how and when to harvest those seeds and/or propagate from stem cuttings. I would love to have more crepe myrtles even if it takes 5 years. I also need to start my ajuga seeds as these plants are doing the job of great fast spreading ground cover for in front of my home. I still haven't posted pics yet of my flowers, but will get to it eventually as life gets busy.
 

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,594
Purraise
4,105
I've heard of having to go through that process. I, on the other hand, just threw some seeds in the garden in late May, and covered them with soil, and watered them occasionally. I honestly didn't expect anything to happen with them, but a bunch of them sprouted. They're probably too close together, but not sure if I should thin them out or not. They're about 5 inches high.

View attachment 428313
I tried both methods and actually had success. I still think I will cold stratify in the future.
 
Top