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New photos

I've just uploaded some more recent photos of my plants. The parsley is still going strong, having seeded itself in a second spot along the box. One patch has died back a bit - I clearly need to pick it and use it more often. The chives have also died back a bit, again probably because I wasn't harvesting enough. The aloe vera has tripled in size - if anyone in the area wants some, there's plenty. Along with a ton of geraniums, which apparently love my dry soil whenever I forget to water.

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New maintainers for Growstuff

Hi all,

You may have noticed that things have been very quiet with Growstuff for the last year or so. This is primarily because I have been dealing with some serious health issues that left me unable to manage Growstuff, or even to spend much time online, since early 2015. Things are looking somewhat better these days, but I’ve realised that I’m not going to be able to give Growstuff the attention it deserves. The time has come to step back officially and put the project in the hands of people who can take better care of it than I currently can.

Miles, Cesy, and Maco, three of the developers on the Growstuff project, will be taking it over from here on out. All three are experienced open source contributors, and Miles and Cesy were two of the very first coders to join Growstuff in 2012. I will be shutting down Growstuff-the-business (which was founded in the hope of being able to pay people to work on the project, but sadly didn’t pan out) and the open source project will become a community-run one. I know that Miles, Cesy, and Maco will do a brilliant job, continuing to build the Growstuff platform as well as maintaining Growstuff’s traditions as a supportive and welcoming open source community. I wish them all the best.

For any future enquiries about Growstuff, please contact them at

Thank you for supporting Growstuff.


Alex Bayley

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New website features and bug fixes (Release 11)

Our next release has just gone live. Let us know if you spot any issues. Emails from comment replies still aren't working on the main site, but is working fine, or find us on Github, Gitter or IRC.

New features

  • Crop approval flash alert for wranglers upon sign in
  • Added Bootstrap accessibility plugin

Technical improvements

  • Removed redundant code from our crowdfunder last year
  • Remove warnings and debugging puts from rspec output
  • Add capybara-screenshot to assist with feature testing
  • Use standardized & translateable strings for the photo show page
  • Stop hard-coding strings for pagination
  • Refactor photo controller create for readability
  • Updated Gemfile.lock for Code Climate inclusion
  • Add code climate to README
  • Add config/factory_girl.rb so that rspec doesn't fail with a confusnig 'Could not find mapping for #
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Peach blossoms! (photo inside)

Ok, I'm late on posting this because I didn't think about it at the time, but remember how I planted 4 fruit trees and a nut tree in fall 2014? Well, they're not supposed to bear fruit for 2-4 years depending on variety. So I was surprised to see that this year, the peach actually blossomed!

peach blossoms peach

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New website features (Release 9)

We've just pushed a load of new features and bugfixes to the site, thanks to @pozorvlak for deploying, as well as all our coders - we had several new contributors this time.

New Features

  • Thumbnails of crops should now show on a post where you reference a crop
  • You should be able to unsubscribe from notification or community emails with one click
  • When posting, the focus (where your cursor is) should automatically move to the subject field. If the post is a reply or a comment, it should go straight to the main content.
  • When you delete a photo, you should now get a message flash up, instead of not knowing whether it had succeeded or not
  • When replying to a private message, you now see the message you're replying to for handy reference
  • You can now search from the places index page
  • We're now starting to track how long a seed takes to grow to a mature plant. This is in the early stages of collecting data at the moment - eventually you'll be able to see a prediction based on other people's experience with that crop. For now, there's a pretty progress bar.
  • Posts and comments now show when they were edited, if they're edited
  • Member profile page now shows date of last login
  • Add placeholder to harvest screen's plant part select box
  • Display available seed count on crop pages
  • Redesigned navbar
  • Sunniness icons on planting pages, for partial shade, sun, etc.
  • Places pages show nearby seeds and plantings, not just members
  • Added link to owner's profile from seeds', plantings', and harvests' index page
  • Harvests, seeds and gardens have a new card-based design

Bug Fixes

  • Limit the vertical space taken by crop varieties in sidebar
  • Display only the active plantings on the garden page, where finished plantings aren't helpful
  • Photo view page now links back to the harvest or garden it is a photo of
  • Thumbnails now have a background so we don't get odd effects with transparency
  • When signing out, you get redirected to the last page you were on, if it's something public, rather than always to the homepage
  • We've supported alternative and scientific names for a while, but you had to add them after creating a crop, not at the same time. Now you can do it all in one go.
  • Make it clearer which fields are required and which are optional when filling in various forms
  • The members page didn't flow very well on different sizes of screen - it now does so better
  • A link to Open Service has been added to the footer
  • Notifications are now paginated, using our new trial pagination gem
  • Posts at the bottom of the homepage were all saying they were "1 minute ago", because they got cached straight after posting. They now say the right date.
  • We added tracking seeds as organic, heirloom or GMO in the last release. Now this information is added to the CSV and RSS output, so other apps can use it.

Technical Improvements

  • Automated testing improved with poltergeist
  • Robots are now discouraged from visiting our staging site
  • Switching to a new way of handling secret keys that makes it easier to progress from dev to staging to live
  • More automated tests added
  • Our test data (database seeding) is now improved, so our testing will be more realistic
  • Maco is now a committer! Update the docs accordingly
  • Performance improvements of some database calls
  • Developer improvements (tweaks to .gitignore)
  • Refactored some automated tests to make them faster
  • New versions of various gems and other upgrades

Let us know of any issues you find! We hope to make releases a bit more frequent in the future. Search is also now working much better, with Elasticsearch turned on.

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Gardening: from a hobby to a business?

Hey everyone, I'm very excited to join the community at Grow Stuff.

I'm a twenty-something gardening enthusiast from Melbourne. I have a couple of years of experience in the field and huge desire to learn and develop in this sector. I'm interested in herbs and I grow my very own vegetable garden in my 10 000 square ft yard.

Recently, I decided to turn my hobby into a business. I started researching different ways to get into the gardening business. Since I haven't worked in management before I'm more inclined to settle for a franchise business than start everything from scratch. I have extensive knowledge in the landscaping sector as I worked several years in garden design and landscaping.

I'm open for any suggestions and advice on starting my new landscaping franchise.

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Tiny house + house plants?

I have an itty bitty house. It's about 650 square feet, and equator-facing windows are:

  1. over my bed
  2. inside my shower
  3. actually double-doors that open inward into the kitchen and anyway anything in front of them would block the fridge and the dishwasher

There are two sunset-facing windows:

  1. over the kitchen sink
  2. over the couch / anything on the floor there would block the basement stairs

There are no window sills.

I intend to put a shelf over the sink for some herbs, but it'd be really nice to be able to have bunching onions, shallots, and garlic in the house. Any ideas for getting away with trying to grow these in the house? The bunching onions probably don't need much sun, but anything making bulb needs some. Would "well, it's in the house, and some sun comes through the windows" be enough?

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Germinating some cosmos, marigold, rajma beans and eggplant seeds in the paper towel method, how long does it take?

Started germinating day before morning still no signs of sprouts. Does the paper towel method take this long, especially for marigolds and cosmos?

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Nashi Pear

Hello Melbourne Gardeners,

I accidentally bought a full sized Nashi Pear last month from Mount Taloepia Nursery instead of a dwarf.

Does anyone in the vicinity want to swap? I'd love a dwarf nashi but would consider a nectarine or anything else, really.



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A long and garden free winter

It's hot this weekend - after a brief first Spring we are skipping second Spring and going straight to Summer. It's beautiful, blue and hot and today, at least, the poison wind seems to have died down. I've spent the morning ripping up all the weeds that appear to have exploded in the last week. I swear it was a bleak barren wintry courtyard last weekend. I've sorted through what has survived my callous indifference: the rugged sorrel, mint, lemon balm, more self-seeded parsley than I would have thought possible under the instant grass and thistle, the garlic and one hydrangea. Good work, little plants.

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Banana s have taken off. Both doing well. They only have about a month before the weather starts getting a bit cold, nights are already getting down to 50F some nights. Will have to think about frost protection soon.

Grapes that survived are doing well. The one I had to cut back, while it's still weaker than the others, has recovered significantly and no longer looks to be at the end of its rope.

Fig is fruiting and has 13 unripe figs on it. I hope they will ripen within the next 3 weeks because the weather will begin to cool down in October. I can't believe the fig is fruiting so well the same year I planted it! Next year I am gonna plant a tiger fig. Always assuming the Kadota fig does not die right after leafing out the way the bareroot figs I planted did. I have to say the trees I planted this year are doing so well I am going to try to mostly plant trees in may from now on instead of bareroot trees.

Suebelle white sapote is doing all right but its growth has slowed down a lot. I think that the white sapotes are not too fond of the HOT weather. The new bigger white sapote, which the nursery has identified as McDill, has been drooping on hot afternoons. I may move it to the part shade on the south side of the house, which has cooler afternoons and warmer nights. It set one fruit so far (still flowering, plenty more chances) but that fruit turned black on one side and I think it will die.

Some of the seeds I saved from the festival of fruit are sprouting! I didn't label them well (honestly didn't expect them to sprout and I didn't have any labels handy and I just wanted to get everything planted) but I believe that I have either two lychees or a lychee and a rambutan, some ground cherry (which will probably not live, but I saved more seeds to plant when it is actually spring), a jackfruit, two of something puzzling (small sprouts that aren't lychees, puzzling because I didn't plant two pots of any one thing that should have such small sprouts), and one pot with two of something I'm pretty sure is the pineapple guava sprouting in it.

I don't expect the lychees to do well because it's really too cold for them here and I think they're pretty sensitive to salts and won't like our soil or our water. But it's fun to sprout them anyway. They have already reached the bottim of their peat pots and need deeper pots to grow in.

Oh and I have a random seedling growing in the compost planter. See I have this one huge planter that I got for $10 for planting root vegetables that need space but won't survive the predations of critters if I try to grow them in ground. I grow sweet potatoes in it some years. What I do is, every fall I empty it out into buckets and fill it with all the partially finished compost I have in order to make space in the compost bins. Then I add as much of the remaining soil as I can fit on top, and use the rest to enrich the other beds. In the fall I plant alliums in the layer of soil. They don't grow down into the unfinished compost too much, and the compost gets plenty of water and stuff and finishes over the winter and the spring. Usually the alliums die abut the time to plant sweet potatoes, but this year in early spring I planted parsnips and stuff that would be done around the same time as the alliums. But a kadota squash vine volunteered from the compost, and I decided to grow it instead of sweet potatoes. Now in addition to that I have one small piece of sweet potato that grew randomly, and a parsnip that I left to get really big, and what looks like a peach seedling.

I might just let that seedling grow in the compost planter and buy a new planter to be the new compost planter.

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Arkansas Traveler is fruiting heavily now. The flavor is excellent. Got about 8 lbs of fruit this weekend, gave most of them to my landlady and her other boarder who lives in the big house with her. Unfortunately his dog got into them and ate them (yes, all of them. No, they did not stay down). That was the main crop from the plant, too, alas. I expect to get another 5 lbs over the course of the next month or so, though. It's worth noting that Arkansas Traveler kinda comes ripe all at once. Or at least this one did.

Many fruits on the beefsteak tomato are bright red now but the stems aren't loose. I picked a couple and they weren't that sweet. I don't know if they'll get sweeter or if this is just fundamentally a boring commercial style tomato. I'm not all that impressed.

Of this year's tomatoes I'd grow San M and Arkansas Traveler again, but I don't think I'd grow San M if I didn't plan to do a lot of cooking and maybe some canning. This summer I haven't had a lot of energy for cooking (been doing other things with my time and energy, useful things, but not cooking).

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Biodynamic tree paste

Our lemon tree is well invested with Gall Wasp so is going to need a very hard prune to get rid of it all.

I recently heard that Biodynamic Paste (aka Tree Paste) is excellent to paste only heavily pruned trees to promote wound healing.

I believe it is made of poo from a lactating cow, clay, lime, and a few other ingredients that I can't remember.

Does anyone anywhere near Fitzroy in Melbourne have any of this? I can buy it only in vast amounts online, and plan to prune this weekend......


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Harvests and fruit trees

I got nearly 10 lbs of fruit from my San Marzano tomato last week, and the first three Arkansas Traveler fruit came ripe this weekend. Beefmaster is still thinking about it; I fear I'll receive a late glut of Beefmaster all at once. The yard long beans are doing great and I just picked my third bunch.

Three of the four surviving grapes are doing great. I think a gopher may have eaten the roots of the fourth though, or else it REALLY can't handle hot weather. Two days ago, I noticed that the tip of the leader was a little floppy; today every leaf on the entire vine looks like somebody cut the stem and left it in the sun to wilt. I gave all the vines extra water today, especially since I didn't water yesterday. I don't think it'll make it, though. I strongly suspect gophers because the wilting was just so sudden and complete. I could cut it back to just a few leaves in the hopes that it'll re-root, I suppose.

A couple days ago I noticed a tiny fig on the Kadota fig tree I planted three months ago. Young fruit trees often have a fruit or two set on them at the nursery, perhaps partly due to stress from outgrowing their pots, so I figured it was probably one of those and it might be a good sign for the tree being old enough to bear next year but it didn't necessarily mean anything.

Today I went out to check on the orchard and there were several more. Enough that this looks like an ACTUAL CROP. I'm having a hard time believing this tree is going to fruit, for reals, the same year I planted it, but that seems to be the case.

The other trees are doing well. I thinned the new branches on the Suebelle white sapote down to my favorite three.

At the CA festival of fruit, I purchased a big (15gal? 30gal? Freakin' huge) white sapote from Bonita Creek Nursery. The guys there didn't speak much english (according to them... I thought their english was great and a hell of a lot better than my spanish, which is basically non-existent despite repeated efforts), and they also couldn't remember what cultivar it was except it was "not Suebelle" (confirmed by lack of fuzz on the leaves) and they told me it was "very sweet" and "good fruit." It had 2 fruit nearly ripe when I got it and lots of unopened blossoms.

One of the fruit fell off during the drive and ripened off the tree this weekend. It was a good sized fruit, a little bigger than the ones usually at the farmer's market, and green skinned with just a hint of yellow blush. The skin was very thin, no unpleasant bitterness to either skin or fruit (even the part where the fruit bruised a bit), and with a stronger burnt-caramel flavor than the farmer's market fruits. I'm quite satisfied with my purchase; many cultivars' fruit won't ripen off the tree. That and the other characteristics should at least be able to narrow the cultivar down.

Anyway the second fruit, still on the tree, is becoming soft to the touch. I believe I will pick and eat it tonight or tomorrow. As if they were only waiting for the last fruit to ripen, the flower buds on the tree have opened, so I may get a winter crop as well, if I can keep the tree happy.

This spring it will be time to decide whether to plant it or keep it in the big pot it's in. I know white sapote do better in the ground, but it's such a huge tree it'd be a pita to plant, and if it's flowering and fruiting in its pot, it might be better not to mess with what works.

I also planted two bananas - Raja puri (bareroot) and blue java (potted) - for the greywater system. Right now they're on drip irrigation while they're getting established, but eventually they'll be hopefully getting 100% of their water from greywater. Raja puri, of course, is doing nothing - bareroot bananas can take a bit to stop sulking - but blue java was already putting out a new leaf before I transplanted it, so I'm hopeful that it will establish quickly. I hope raja puri does come out of its bareroot sulk and root, though, because I hear it's a great cultivar.

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New website features (Release 8)

We've just pushed a load of new features and bugfixes to the site, thanks to @pozorvlak for kicking it off and @maco for supporting, as well as all our coders and testers.

New Features

  • New crop request form! This makes the approval process easier on the crop wranglers.
  • Search now checks alternate names (such as coriander and cilantro) and scientific names (not yet available - see below)
  • Seeds have organic, GMO, and heirloom options, along with and how many days until maturity
  • You can now attach photos to your garden
  • On the member page, members can be sorted by name or by how recently they joined
  • When logged out, visitors will see a note at the top of post pages, so first-time visitors can see what Growstuff is all about
  • Wranglers now see a "wrangle crops" button on the crop listing page

Bug Fixes

  • You can no longer claim to have fewer than 0 seeds.
  • The page footer height has been tweaked.
  • You can no longer follow yourself.
  • Crop wranglers will no longer see an error page if they leave out the Wikipedia link when adding a new crop.
  • Some formatting bugs with the homepage and browse crops have been fixed.
  • Sometimes users would see an error page when they tried to follow other users: this should no longer happen.
  • Users should no longer receive an error when trying to download harvest data.
  • Harvest photos should now provide a link back to their harvest after attaching the photo.

Technical Improvements

  • Static content like the page footer is now stored in a CMS, for easier maintenance.
  • We're now storing all harvest weights as kilograms in addition to whatever unit you put in, with conversion handled by ruby-units. This will let us give harvest totals more easily in the future.
  • Users can now search by alternate names, scientific names, and partial names, with the matching handled by ElasticSearch (not yet available - see below)
  • Travis CI now pushes successful builds on the dev branch to the staging site on Heroku, so merging a pull request to dev automatically deploys it to staging.
  • Lots more features are now covered by automated tests.

Sadly, it looks like the search features will have to wait a while until we can work out how to install ElasticSearch in our production environment, but we've written the search code in such a way that it can be turned on later with a configuration switch.

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Change of plans..

Hi there,

so like many gardeners in the northern half of France, I've been falling from grace these past few weeks due to the slug epidemic. I kid you not. There is not enough ferramol, beer traps, sawdust filled trenches or mulch sheeting to keep them off of my crops. Since the end of the month of April they have ravaged my eggplant, bell pepper, zucchinis, kuri squash, sunflowers, radishes and multiple melon seedlings (arguably the most frustrating considering how tough these can be to grow north of the Loire).

Having tried multiple combined methods to thwart their hunger, and failing every time. I have invested in planters and pots. From 0,5L for the aromatic herbs to 10L for tomatoes, squash and nutrient and space demanding species. I set them out first thing in the morning when I get up and bring them back in the safety of the shed sometime after sunset. And it is working : squash, zucchini and melon are growing tall enough to bear their first fruit and flowers. I'll have to wait a few extra weeks to know for the butternuts and round zucchinis.

I have basil, coriander, parsley, strawberry spinach and radishes in half liter pots and thriving. Round carrots do quite well in 1L pots for now and my tomatoes are in 5L.

It is certainly an adjustment to my original plans but I refuse to give up growing in the first year, though I'm not pig-headed enough to keep doing the same thing and wonder why nothing works.

The slugs have even climbed my baby goji bushes and eaten off the leaves. it is the only bush out of a dozen varieties that I grow that they have assaulted. The only thing they seem to leave alone are the peas. I have put absolutely no protection around them but they are still unscathed. mystery mystery.

Other than that I'm currently harvesting flowers, I'm working my way through the fragrant sage flowers and soft rosa caninas. I'm sensing a princess bath and maybe even a good herbal tea blend in the future.

have a great one. Love and meows.


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Sunflowers & Lavendar together?

Hello, I am new here so haven't seen many posts yet. I want to plant Sunflowers in large pots along with my Lavender plants. Has anyone done this successfully? Vj

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Stinging Nettles

Getting ready to plant some starts in a spot. Want to get a patch going as a medicine.Also, has anyone ever eaten horseradish leaf?

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Arugula or Rocket

I only just realised that Rocket is probably not on the list because someone has posted Arugula, (I recently posted a request for Rocket to be added to the list).

Having both Rocket and Arugula on the list even though they are the same vegetable could possibly be confusing, however I think that not to have rocket on the list may confuse a significant number of people as rocket is the much more common name for this salad vegetable, at least here in Australia. Most seed companies selling seeds in Australia label their packets of seeds of it as Rocket, plus as far as I am aware most Australian veggie gardeners know what rocket is but many are not familiar with the word Arugula.

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new vegetable - broad bean

Request for broad bean to be put on the list of vegetables

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New vegetable

Can you add Rocket to the list please, surprised it's not there already, very common greens crop.

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seed starting

3/22 -- Started peppers:
- fish
- big Jim
- hinkelhotz
& basil (genovese)

3/25 -- direct-sowed outside:
- peas
- lettuce
- lettuce

3/29 -- Started tomatoes:
- hahms gelbe
- ditmarsher
- whippersnapper
- goldilox
- rose quartz multiflora

Made a mistake with the last 3 and need to start some more seeds [sigh].

- rose quarter multiflora

- whippersnapper
- goldilox
- basil (genovese)
- spinach (strawberry)

5/5: - big Jim (having a hard time getting these seeds going this year)

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Planting outdoors & fruit trees

Today I transplanted the cabbage and onion seedlings outside and planted seeds for: arugula, garlic (well, cloves, not seeds--forced in the fridge), mesclun salad mix, kale, cauliflower, and beets. Some of these (cauliflower, beets, mesclun) will have later succession plantings.


You can just slightly see the cabbage seedlings at the far end of the left bed and the onions in the middle of the edge of the far right bed.

Also, I checked on the fruit trees. The apple trees are starting to wake up! They have little green shoots starting at their bud points.


The cherry are getting ready to blossom. Well, the ornamental already has, but the fruiting cherries haven't yet.


We were really worried that the peach tree might not have survived the winter due to a rabbit gnawing on it, but I did a little scratch test toward the top of the trunk, and it's green in there! (That means it's still alive) Since peach and almond (and plum? not sure) have a warmer range than apples do, I'm not concerned that they're not putting out new shoots yet.

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Do the best with what you have..

It is only the beginning of my gardening adventure, and there are ups and downs but overall, I'm already finding it fulfilling. The honeyberries (ordered from a farm, about 25cm in height) are already flowering and greatly enjoing the transition. From that farm I had also ordered goji, amelanchiers and blueberries, some do better than others but then again it is the very beginning and nature takes it's time to work it's magic.

  • Being in a fairly moist climate (a 100km from the coast and on the edge of a large regional national park), we have heaps of peat moss growing over various areas of the garden, which is what i mainly use for mulch, it's free and does a hell of a job keeping my soil moist. My real gold is the partly composted peat moss that lives under our very large pine tree, that is riddled with fallen needles and has the consistency of a sponge. I sample sparingly so as to not deplete this valuable ressource, but it has done wonders around the roots of my berry shrubs.

  • It is the first time that I plant so much from seed and it's a little nerve wracking, the waiting I mean. I do a happy dance every time a seedling sprouts. So far, my first sproutees include, coriander, red kuri squash, basil, parsley, coriander, arugula and radishes. I hope the others follow suit soon, or I'll plant a second round.

  • I use a broken (there's a hole in the hull) cake-storage tupperware as a makeshift greenhouse. It's working so far. I'm also big on repurposing items. Cut milk bottles as little pots, fruit trays from the store and the like either as containers or upside-down as tiny green houses. They do need to be weighed down with a stone though.

  • My cats are defecating in my planting beds and it's quite frustrating but I don't quite know what to do about it.

  • Large portions of the garden are overrun with ivy, some of my trees and ground cover. I'm not too sure how to get rid of all of it without resorting of a chemical method. I tried clearing a patch yesterday, I was at it for over an hour, but i barely removed half a square metre. it is sometimes 5-10cm deep. HELP.

I have more hazel trees than I know what to do with, but the upside is that the soil around them is fantastic. my artichokes love it.

In conclusion,

Wait and hope.

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Seedlings, bed prep, pink blueberries

Most of the seeds I started a couple weeks ago have sprouted and gotten going. It looks like I will need to pick up one black beauty eggplant, one butternut squash, and one basil plant. And maybe oregano if I still don't get around to starting those (I didn't have the seeds on hand like I thought I did).

As of two days ago, the seedlings were looking like this!

Baby plants

As of this morning, the squash (the things with huge cotyledons in front) have started putting on true leaves too.

Also this weekend, in my backyard beds I prepared the bed I built last fall for planting. I dug it up and broke up the clay and mixed some leaf mulch I had leftover in, and some coir I had left from the seed starting, and the leftovers from seed starting mix (it was coir, compost, and perlite) into the clay as I did so. Then I added two bags of garden soil. Then I dug some of the more broken-down compost out of the compost heap and spread that around. It was still chunky, but some matted grass bits and still-solid leaf bits won't hurt anything. They'll just break down in the ground. Then I put two more bags of garden soil on top of that. I'm going to grab some more garden soil and try to dig more of the done-ish (it spent enough time at temperature, it just isn't "finished" in that the worms haven't finished their cold process afterward yet) compost out of the heap to fill up the other two beds better. They're low because they originally were just a couple inches of dirt on top of the ground with no frames, then I added 6 inch frames around them.

But anyway, here's how the new bed looks

Filled garden bed

I also stopped by the garden center on Sunday and picked up 4 more bushes. Two are for my front garden landscaping project (another Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxterbloom azalea) and another Viburnum dentatum (arrowwod viburnum--already had a "Chicago lustre" variety, this is a "blue muffin") and two are blueberries for the food forest. I picked up one lowbush blueberry and one pink lemonade blueberry which is a variety of rabbiteye blueberry.

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Starting my peppers from seed.

I just started some Cayenne (one labeled 'cayenne blend' and the other 'long thin'), White Habanero, Jimmy Nardello, Sweet Cubanelle, Sweet Banana, Big Thai Hybrid, and Spicy Fiesta Hybrid. I might start my tomatoes later this week or wait for the weekend. Kinda wish there was a way to keep track of my seedlings and transfer them to a garden in the planner. Some day I will figure out how to make a feature request and submit it.

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Coming together

This weekend I had two full days to really focus on the yard, and I made the most of it. With the intermittent help of several others over the course of the weekend, I got both easement planter boxes filled with compost and soil, cleaned up and weeded the alley, got the stump pulled from the conifer thing we took out last year, finished leveling the railroad ties for the terraced area of the yard, and got most of the front yard backfilled.

Tina's grabbing another load of compost on Tuesday, so we should be able to get the third planter bed in the alley filled before the last frost date. I still have to clean up and mow the backyard, get and spread wood chips, and figure out what we're planting in the front yard, but it's really starting to come together. It's hard to believe that this time last year, I didn't feel like I had a clue what I was doing growing plants, and our yard was ugly as all get out. Now we have a retaining wall and terrace and three planter boxes we built ourselves. I'm making a big effort to grow a significant amount of vegetables this year.

Last year, really the only food crops I grew were some tomatoes and broccoli. This year, we've already have lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, sunflower, dill, red onion and beet in the ground, and tomato, fenugreek, bell pepper, okra, artichoke, pot marigold, mint, lavender, spinach, basil, thyme, and parsley sprouting for when it gets a bit warmer. That's not taking into account the summer squash, zucchini, and peas we have waiting to plant directly in the bed once we're past final frost date.

In addition to the edibles, we got a black cherry fuschia and a (I think?) night owl climbing rose. I also repotted the ficus and one of the tropical plants Rachel gave me last year that I've forgotten the name of. Oh, and I finally planted some of the spaces in the retaining wall! I put in some rockfoil, creeping red thyme, sedum, and Scottish moss. The Scottish moss looks especially nice, with it's bright lime green against the red lava rocks. I really hope they take and start to fill in this season!

Whew! Writing it all down, this was quite the weekend! I'm so glad I got a chance to do this! I'll have to take some pictures in the next few days to really capture where it is now.

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Some Quick Suggestions

Glad to see this up and running. Some quick suggestions from my initial pass at adding crops:

After I add a crop, there should be a button to add another on the confirmation page. I rarely plant one thing.

When I type in the full name of a crop (e.g., "cinnamon basil") I get an error about the crop needing to be present in the database, even though it is. It only works if I select it from the drop-down with a mouse click.

The sun or shade field for plant something doesn't have an option for hydroponics systems that use grow lights. Any reason not to include that?

Thanks and keep up the great work!

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Seeds started!

Today I started seeds for the backyard beds

Seed starting

The onions are started in peat pellets, and I did that two weeks ago. I had the peat pellets left over from before I learned that peat is not a renewable resource.

The rest are done using home-made seed starting mix in cow pots. At the recommendation of an employee at my local nursery who has tried it and had success, I used:

  • 2/3 coir (rehydrated and squeezed out)
  • 1/3 perlite
  • big handful of compost (I held both hands together around it)

I used Leafgro, a bagged compost made locally here in Maryland from municipally collected leaves. I was using a 4-cup measuring cup to scoop, so that tells you how much of the other stuff there was to the compost.

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New plantings

Planted two Pear, three Pecan and three Mulberry trees. Also got the Tomatoes into their straw bale bed.

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