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 Post subject: Gardening?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:56 pm 
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Formerly Wilma
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I was thinking about taking up the hobby of gardening, and since spring is starting, I was thinking about taking a look at some starter ideas. I tried a to read a gardening magazine but it was too advanced. So I thought I would post here and see if you guys have any advice. I live in an appartment so any garden I have would have to be potted plants. Also I can't start until May because right now I am too broke to buy seeds.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:14 pm 
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Hi, Wilma! :hug:

1. Do you have any outdoor space where you can put pots?

2. If not, do you have a really sunny window with a sill where you can put pots right next to the glass?

If either one is true, you can have an herb garden. Herbs are pretty, dead easy to grow, smell nice, and you can use them in cooking.

Flowers are harder indoors but not impossible if you pick the right plants and can give them the light they need (some can't stand direct sunlight, some require it).

I'd suggest checking the library for books on "container gardening" or, if you have no outdoor space, "house plants."

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:56 pm 
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That sounds useful, I;ve been planning to do the same for years, but haven't managed. I bought a small flowering pot a month ago and have managed to kill all the flowers. :cry:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:26 pm 
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Formerly Wilma
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I have a balcony. Also I wanted to plant a couple of things for my mother's grave site but there are limits on the plants I can use. I'll have to go get the list.

Prim that is a great idea checking out the library for books. I'll do that on my next trip there!!

Mahima :hug: for you and your flowers.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:32 pm 
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I was going to suggest a herb garden too. That's what we have out on our balcony thingy. Yum herbs :)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:04 pm 
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And some come back year after year, like thyme and tarragon and sage.

Basil can be mashed or minced and then frozen, and then you get fresh-tasting basil all year (toss it into vegetable dishes or tomato sauces at the last minute).

Wilma, I think container gardening is a great idea. Taking care of plants is relaxing and rewarding.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:58 pm 
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When we still living in an apartment Princess had violets that bloom all year round. Some people say it is difficult to take care of them but we managed to have it blooming and not die after it leaves the store.
I would also suggest Jade plants which is easy to take care of cause you don't need to water them everyday. They like it dry. We have cactus, too. Our apartment was a "mini" nursery, Princess always manages to buy the plants on sale or if they have a dying plant at the store she asks the owner if she can have it, luckily under her care it comes back to life again. :)

A colleague at the office has given some people at the office daisies as an easter gift and a few of our friends have "killed" it after a day or so but ours is still alive. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:18 pm 
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Christmas cactus is also good, if it can sit or hang in a window where it gets direct sun for part of the day. I had one that never grew or bloomed (I had to dust it regularly) until I read a book about house plants and realized that the indirect light I was giving it wasn't enough. It's now five times the size and blooms several times a year. It's a euphorb, not a true cactus, and does need water and fertilizer.

My experience with true cacti was that they are too tricky and delicate. I think being in Oregon gives them mold. :(

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:25 pm 
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Starting something from seeds when it's already May may be a little late (though some herbs and late flowers would still work). If you want flowers from seeds, you should start as soon as possible, I think.
Once the year is as far advanced as that, it might be better to get little plants.
Many plants also grow from clippings.

If you can't spend much on plants, mostly you don't have to. Do you know anyone with plants or a garden? Most people are happy to give you seeds or clippings for free.
Maybe you'll even find that in gardening magazines or gardening web forums (I know that you do over here) - there are swapping forums/sections in magazines where people offer free seeds or clippings, you'll only have to send a postage paid envelope.
Maybe there's even a local gardening group where people meet to swap seeds and surplus plants - if you don't have anything to swap they often ask for a donation, but basically, people are happy to get rid of their surplus plants (without having to throw them away).

Any money saved that way can be invested in pots and soil and fertiliser etc. :D

One thing you might want to think about is whether you want plants that survive winter - and what the conditions in your area are to help them do this. Does it get very cold for long periods in winter? If so, do you have room to store plants inside in case it gets too cold for them outside?
If you don't want to take any plants inside, choosing only hardy ones (most are hardier than the books say ;) ) and giving them a good cover-up in winter would work.
Many people here change their pots each season, throw out the old plants and get new ones. That way you always have everything in top shape and you don't have to bother about bringing plants through winter. But that's not just a bit expensive, but also, personally, I can't bring myself to do that, and I like having things come back the next year.

Other things to think about before starting on the balcony:
- what direction does it face? (north, east, south, west)
- how much sun does it get on a clear day?
- is it wind-exposed?

Most plants get killed by over-watering, but pot-plants on a south-facing, wind-exposed spot will probably need to be watered every day (or, if you have bigger pots, each two or three days) in summer.

Well, enough from me for now - I'm afraid this is one of the topics I could go on forever about. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:27 pm 
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We have Christmas cactus, as well, we thought it just bloom during the winter time but ours bloom at weird times of the year like summer time. We have a white and a pink one.

We also have a spider plant which I managed to kill when we moved. Princess was so upset with me cause it has been her first apartment plant since she moved from PEI and before we even dated, so you can just imagine how upset she was with me.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:59 pm 
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I'm proud to say that we have three plants in our house that were in a cute little pot with six tiny plants that Mr. Prim gave me on the first Valentine's day after we were married. (That was, err, 26 years ago . . . :scarey: ) One of them is a spider plant that must have nine lives; we once moved it into the garage for winter and forgot it for an entire year, and it lived.

There's a fourth plant that got too big for the house and now lives in the atrium jungle in the main building at Mr. Prim's place of work. Thing is ten feet tall and ten feet wide.

The main thing, with house plants, is to follow the watering instructions from a good reference book, and to give them the kind of light they need, no more, no less. I've had better luck with plants since I started researching what would grow in the available spots, rather than buying something pretty and killing it.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:32 pm 
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Makes sense.... and I think I should buy a spider plant

The leaves on my flowepot are flourishing, though.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:50 am 
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I'm a spider plant killer. :oops: :P

Princess won't let me near her new spider plant. Honest!!! Well, I accidentally killed it when I left it in the car (under the heat of the sun) when we moved to our new apartment after we got married. I just remembered I left it in the car the whole time when Princess asked "Where's Spidey?" Uhmm...it's in the trunk of my car. :blackeye:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:34 pm 
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Killing spider plants? That's hard to do.

I would ove the have a small seasonal garden. I am helping a freind of mine plan his. There is nothing like fresh basil and veggies stir-fried right off the vine...

The smell of fresh tomatoes is intoxicating. How hard would it be to grow tomatoes indoors?

I had a dream the other night. I was married, had a wonderfully cozy house far away from anything and I was planting the beautiful flower garden with tiger-lillys and roses and wildflowers... Is this a sign of my biological clock ticking, latent homosexuality, or just a love for the miracle of nature?

Who knows... I wish I had enough acreage and time to have gardening as a hobby. I do enjoy digging holes and getting dirty.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:54 pm 
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I wish tomatoes could grow indoors! But they need more sun than most people can provide inside, unless they have all-glass conservatories attached to their houses.

And, while the fresh tomatoes do smell great, I've always thought the plants had kind of a musty odor. :P I like it, because it says "garden" and it says "you're going to eat a fresh tomato soon," but I don't know if I'd want it permeating my house.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:50 pm 
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I'm doing container tomatoes on my patio this year, as well as strawberries. First time for me, although my father-in-law has grown tomatoes in buckets for years. So far they all have flowers and a few are starting to have teeny tomatoes! :woohoo:

My indoor success is the Pothos (devil's ivy). It's very forgiving and easy to reproduce. I don't think I've ever killed one, although I have been known to let the poor things curl with thirst. :oops: I am also doing pretty good with my aloe plants, two mother-in-law's tongues (i think that's what they're called) and (amazingly) an ivy. I tried boston ferns a couple times, but they always die. They're not the camels that the pathos are. :tumbleweed: Once I had an african violet that was doing magnificently until my cat knocked it on the floor. :doh: :kitty:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:09 pm 
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Container tomatoes work great! And they're so much better than the store tomatoes that they're worth the space and trouble, if you've got an outdoor spot for them. Some of the little cherry or grape varieties are fun that way (Sweet 100, Sweet Million), because you can just go get a handful to toss on a salad or eat for a snack.

I have this dream that Mr. Prim is going to build me raised beds out in our one sunny patch of yard, but I'm not holding my breath at this point, given that I haven't finished the bathroom painting project I started in the summer of 2005. :P

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:20 pm 
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You have an excuse, Prim. You have a novel to finish. :)

It's time for me to get tomato plants for my patio, too. I adore the smell of fresh tomatoes. Last year we tried strawberries, but it was not really worth the trouble. Not enough sun, I suppose - all we got were a few mediocre berries. Marigolds and tomatoes, that's the order.

Oh, and my rhododendron lives, apparently. It's a pitiful, leggy creature, but it's in great bloom this year. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:48 pm 
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Prim, we have Sweet 100's, Better Boy (I think that's the name) and Roma...two plants each. It won't be long for the cherries, there are already little green ones growing!! :happydance:

Frelga, I'd send some of our sun to you if I could, we have an over abundance...still under drought conditions. :roll::P

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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:23 pm 
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My cherry tomatoes are ripening!!! :woohoo:

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