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2020 Gardening Info

2020 Gardening Info
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  • 2020 Gardening Info

    Post #1 - April 24th, 2020, 11:28 am
    Post #1 - April 24th, 2020, 11:28 am Post #1 - April 24th, 2020, 11:28 am
    Just thought it might be helpful to start a thread on gardening info (supplies, seeds, general thoughts and plans, etc.) since by all accounts, it's going to be a big year for home gardeners.

    I'll start it off with a plug for the seedling sale at The Talking Farm (full disclosure, it's a 501(c)3 for which I'm a board member). Prior to joining their board, I purchased a lot of my seedlings from them over the past 3 years. They offer a compact selection but their plants do very well and are propagated by the organization themselves, via an education partnership with Skovanston area high schools (the partnership/education aspect of this was, of course, abridged this year for obvious, unfortunate reasons).

    The sale is up as of today, so if anyone is looking for seedlings in support of a great organization, here is the link for the order process (contactless pick up will be available on a variety of dates in mid-late May).

    https://the-talking-farm.myshopify.com/collections/organic-seedlings/seedlings?page=1&emci=7f6a38bf-e585-ea11-a94c-00155d03b1e8&emdi=833b329a-4d86-ea11-a94c-00155d03b1e8&ceid=611920

    Happy planting!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #2 - April 26th, 2020, 8:16 pm
    Post #2 - April 26th, 2020, 8:16 pm Post #2 - April 26th, 2020, 8:16 pm
    Are any of the community gardens open yet? I have a garden across from the Ecology center in Evanston at Mcormick, and the gardens are still closed. I wanted to order some plants from Teresa Brockman who comes to the Evanston market, but I wanted to make sure that the community gardens are going to be open eventually. I emailed our gardening coordinator, and gave her the link to Teresa's plant sale, and it took her two days to get back to me, and it sounds like the gardens will open up eventually, but she does not know when. They are still trying to figure out how to make it safe.

    I then decided to order some plants from Teresa, and I was going to order them today, and I got a plant sales are (temporarily?) suspended. They may open back up again in a few days. She has been selling a lot more plants this year to people local to her, and so she warned people to order ASAP. I should have ordered as soon as I got her email a week ago. If I can't order from her I might order from the Talking Farm. She has a lot more plants to choose from though.
  • Post #3 - April 27th, 2020, 9:50 am
    Post #3 - April 27th, 2020, 9:50 am Post #3 - April 27th, 2020, 9:50 am
    Well I have good and bad news. I just found out that the community gardens in Evanston are going to open up on 5/2. We are going to work alternate days. The people with the even numbered gardens are going to be allowed to garden on the even days. We will all have to wear masks. The bad news is that a bunch of employees have been laid off by the city of Evanston, including the gardening coordinator. The person that runs the ecology center will be managing the gardens. Now if Teresa would open up her plant sales again I would be happy.

    It was driving me crazy being cooped up in my condo, and now I will be able to get outside to relieve my stress.
  • Post #4 - May 6th, 2020, 9:54 am
    Post #4 - May 6th, 2020, 9:54 am Post #4 - May 6th, 2020, 9:54 am
    I guess gardens are the new sourdough. I was happy to see two of these pop up between the asparagus and rhubarb. Just enough for a small morel and asparagus pizza. Now, if I could just get a few pounds more...
    IMG_2735 (1).jpg Lucky find!
  • Post #5 - May 8th, 2020, 1:07 pm
    Post #5 - May 8th, 2020, 1:07 pm Post #5 - May 8th, 2020, 1:07 pm
    Found a new seed company, Kitazawa, with quick turnaround and a terrific supply of interesting Asian herbs and veg. Very excited to get them into the ground.

    979DB4F3-0DD9-4207-8336-ABAC11C0E31A.jpeg
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #6 - May 12th, 2020, 3:19 pm
    Post #6 - May 12th, 2020, 3:19 pm Post #6 - May 12th, 2020, 3:19 pm
    Seedlings are selling like hotcakes! The Talking Farm's annual sale has been a combo of pre-order and onsite --this year, due to you-know-what, it will be on-line only, with curbside pickup. And at the rate it's going, it's going to sell out which has never happened.

    Here's the info on what's left in case anyone is interested.

    https://the-talking-farm.myshopify.com/collections/organic-seedlings/seedlings
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #7 - May 12th, 2020, 8:12 pm
    Post #7 - May 12th, 2020, 8:12 pm Post #7 - May 12th, 2020, 8:12 pm
    This is my first year in a house! I had grand plans for researching heirloom seeds, creating charts comparing the attributes of various tomato varieties, wandering the aisles of Gesthemane discussing options with the gardener-employees, you name it! Then the pandemic arrived, followed not long after by what I knew would be my last trip to Home Depot for a while. We were in the door at about 8 am and were on a mission -- grab and buy. So I did. It was cold and rainy, and I was standing outside picking over their meager herb selection. I grabbed soil and pots and the first seed packets I saw, and as I headed to the check out I saw a cart fully of scraggly tomato plants and I grabbed the first four varieties I saw. Determinate? Indeterminate? Size? Color? Time to harvest? Ha. All of that research went out the window. It was early April and I had no idea when nurseries would open or I'd next step foot in Home Depot.

    Fast forward 6 weeks.

    I cannot count how many times I've dragged (and wheeled -- I've since bought a dolly) pots into and out of the garage because of an impending freeze or snow. Hopefully this was the last week of that!

    My tomatoes -- all indeterminate in pots, 3 large, 1 cherry -- are doing OK. I now have 3 or 4 mixed pots of herbs, but my poor basil is about to be replaced for the 3rd (and final, I hope) time. (Note to self: Don't expect basil to survive before mid-May.) I didn't know what to expect, but of the herbs the prior owner left me, the chives returned in March and the mint appeared in early April (not long after I planted replacement mint). It may be worth investing in indoor grow lights next winter to now that our herb stock (other than basil) is well established in pots.

    My radishes, carrots, spinach (Bloomsdale -- the one variety of seed I knew I wanted all along!), scallions, kale and lettuce are all doing well after planting on April 3-6. Just last weekend I planted cilantro, tarragon, cucumber and zucchini seeds, but nothing has sprouted yet.
  • Post #8 - May 12th, 2020, 8:52 pm
    Post #8 - May 12th, 2020, 8:52 pm Post #8 - May 12th, 2020, 8:52 pm
    chgoeditor wrote:This is my first year in a house! I had grand plans for researching heirloom seeds, creating charts comparing the attributes of various tomato varieties, wandering the aisles of Gesthemane discussing options with the gardener-employees, you name it! Then the pandemic arrived, followed not long after by what I knew would be my last trip to Home Depot for a while. We were in the door at about 8 am and were on a mission -- grab and buy. So I did. It was cold and rainy, and I was standing outside picking over their meager herb selection. I grabbed soil and pots and the first seed packets I saw, and as I headed to the check out I saw a cart fully of scraggly tomato plants and I grabbed the first four varieties I saw. Determinate? Indeterminate? Size? Color? Time to harvest? Ha. All of that research went out the window. It was early April and I had no idea when nurseries would open or I'd next step foot in Home Depot.

    Fast forward 6 weeks.

    I cannot count how many times I've dragged (and wheeled -- I've since bought a dolly) pots into and out of the garage because of an impending freeze or snow. Hopefully this was the last week of that!

    My tomatoes -- all indeterminate in pots, 3 large, 1 cherry -- are doing OK. I now have 3 or 4 mixed pots of herbs, but my poor basil is about to be replaced for the 3rd (and final, I hope) time. (Note to self: Don't expect basil to survive before mid-May.) I didn't know what to expect, but of the herbs the prior owner left me, the chives returned in March and the mint appeared in early April (not long after I planted replacement mint). It may be worth investing in indoor grow lights next winter to now that our herb stock (other than basil) is well established in pots.

    My radishes, carrots, spinach (Bloomsdale -- the one variety of seed I knew I wanted all along!), scallions, kale and lettuce are all doing well after planting on April 3-6. Just last weekend I planted cilantro, tarragon, cucumber and zucchini seeds, but nothing has sprouted yet.


    Congratulations and condolences :) Welcome to the prettiest and most delicious (hopefully!) of all addictions.

    Gardening in Chiberia is frustrating in that our season does NOT start when the commercials do. Unless you have a serious indoor grow light set up, it’s really tough to grow from seed before late April and even then, it’s challenging. And I’ve learned not to plant anything outside—in ground or containers—even the stuff they say is cool weather friendly—until early May. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc, really can’t be planted here until after Mother’s Day. But the good news is, unless we’re super unlucky (hasn’t happened in many years), we can grow almost everything until end of October. so it kind of works out.

    Garden stores are open—many with on-line ordering and contact-free pick up. The challenging part is finding veggie inventory. But I’ve planted seeds for most things this late and still gotten fruit. It doesn’t hurt to try. Just don’t take any hot weather seedlings outside unless it’s sunny and over 70 degrees since it will just stress them out. And it’s the perfect time to plant greens, herbs (except basil), peas/beans/root veg/corn in ground.

    Most of all, plant flowers (the veggies need them) and enjoy the view. There’s nothing better for relieving stress with everything we have going on right now. Have fun and keep us posted!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #9 - February 28th, 2021, 1:37 am
    Post #9 - February 28th, 2021, 1:37 am Post #9 - February 28th, 2021, 1:37 am
    I know this is 2021, butI got an email from Teresa Brockman almost a month ago with a link to her new website where you can order her wonderful plant starts. She still has plenty of plant starts available. I think she has 85 different varieties of tomatoes available. All of her plants are wonderful, and they do really well in my garden. They are all really hardy, and she does not plant them in plastic pots. She uses either peat or coconut coir pots. They are $5 per pot, but if you purchase 10-29 pots you save 10%, and if you purchase 30 or more plants, you save 20%. You order them and pay for them online, and then you pick them up at the Evanston farmer's market in May. She is going to bring the cool weather plants on May 8th, and the warm weather plants such as tomatoes and peppers on May 20th. When you do your order online, you will get charged for sales tax. I ordered 30 plants from her, and I got charged $9.90 in Illinois sales tax. Here is the link to her website.
    https://www.teresasunnylanefarm.com/pla ... t-overview

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