Are you starting any autumn seeds yet?

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)September 3, 2009

Hi everyone,

Every single week of the year I've got some seeds newly planted indoors or out, but I'm starting to shift my focus to autumn plants right now. Are you? I'm starting some fun petunia seed from a really neat mutant plant I found at a planting near work (sort of tie-dyed, splattered blooms), plus some heirloom petunia seed as well, violas (I know, I can just buy them in a bit, but I like doing some from seed, especially types not available as plants usually), plus a few other things. I'm also starting some lettuce and Swiss chard seeds (indoors) for winter greens.

What about you? Are you starting any seeds with autumn or winter in mind?

Besides the above, I've got a lot of aloe seedlings, cacti seedlings, amaryllis seedlings (Hippeastrum), Caesalpinia seedlings, and more. What about you?

Take care and happy seed starting!

Grant

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lazy_gardens

I'm going to be planting veggies like kale and spinach. I'll be using those peat pellets so I can get them big enough to withstand a few quail bites.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 4:37PM
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calb_gardner

I have shown great self control so far...
I have been preparing my raised beds/repairing soaker hoses
truning compost piles...My "let me loose at Bakers Day" is slotted for sept 12th!!! they will have a great selection of still healthy veggies. oohhh can't wait!!!
CB

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 7:30PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great, keep us posted on how everything does. I've been using those peat pots lately, even for some cacti and succulents and they have worked out well. One of the many fun things about our climate is that if we get next year's (2010 versions) of our favorite seed catalogs early, we can test-drive some new things while our cold-winter friends need to wait until their spring. I often have plants from newly released seed varieties six, seven or eight months before they can.

I definitely need to do more leafy greens this year. Keep the updates coming.

Take care,
Grant

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 12:27AM
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lazy_gardens

Grant -
I finally got a blog http://lazygardens.blogspot.com/

and a Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38617480@N07/

Right now I'm obsessing over the Great Buffalo Grass Experiment, but we've also been supplying most of the housemate's co-workers with okra, eggplants and chilis all summer.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 2:48PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hiya Lazy and all,

GREAT. I'll check out your blog and pics. Thanks for sharing them.

I have a little garden blog too where I post plant-only stuff a couple of times a month (always with a pic too), and I'm on twitter (again, only plant stuff and not too often--I've subscribed to some twitter accounts that post every ten minutes--TOO MUCH, lol).

Keep the updates coming. I'm a huge okra fan--I should be whipped for not growing any myself.

Take care,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Grant's plant blog

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 1:19PM
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lazy_gardens

Grant - I linked to your blog from mine. You seem to be growing more ornamentals than me.

Yes ... grow okra! It's easy, has real pretty flowers, loves our heat, provides a great shady lounging place for the quail hordes, and it's not nearly as slimy and disgusting cooked fresh as I remember the canned stuff being when I was a kid.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 11:34AM
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sownsow(9b az)

I have healthy okra and distressed tomato vines from last summer. The okra is thriving and the tomatoes are actually showing new flowers.
Inside, I've started yellow and red grape tomato seeds.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 10:08AM
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lazy_gardens

I planted a 6-pack of Early Girl to try to get a second crop of tomatoes before Christmas.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 12:04PM
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k_fitz(ivillage tells me I’m zone 8)

Hi I live in Gilbert. I have never gardened before, but I have two small planters (maybe 2ftx4ft each) that I have accidentally grown watermelons in before after spitting seeds into them. I would really love to try and grow other things and am really interested in growing strawberries this fall. I have done a little bit of research, but I'm not sure what type of plants I should purchase. Could someone either reply here or through email and help me out?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 4:10PM
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grrlscout(9)

I just put a few pak choy seeds in the ground. In a couple weeks, I'll start fennel, garlic, leaf lettuce, onions, green onions, and swiss chard.

I'm also trying a late Summer harvest, and have some tomatoes and tomatillos that I started from seed, that are about 2' tall now. Still harvesting many charentais melons and a few peppers.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 4:07PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

These updates are fun! Keep them coming. I'm getting ready to start some more lettuce and swiss chard seeds indoors to plant outside in a couple of weeks. I love this time of year. It's our "spring" really.

K Fitz, there are several really good gardening books for this climate, both ornamental and edible. I'm adding a link to one of the more popular ones for fruit/veggie gardens ("Extreme Gardening: How to Grow Organic in the hostile deserts"). You can find it online or at almost any large local bookstore. Let us know what you plant and how it does.

Take care all,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Extreme Gardening book for the deserts

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:05PM
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mister_gin(z9 AZ)

Direct sowed some broccoli and cauliflower seeds yesterday. Will be sowing some carrot, lettuce, onion and turnip seeds within a day or two. Spinach and radishes in a couple of weeks.

My spring planted okra is branching like crazy and pumping out some nice pods. This was my first year nursing my bell pepper plants thru the summer. They're starting to flower nicely now and are putting on some new dark green growth. My first attempt at growing corn is doing nicely as well.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 4:41PM
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lazy_gardens

K_Fitz -
YOu need the Mary Irish book, "Gardening in the Desert Southwest". She goes month by month for flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables.

The "Extreme Gardening" guy uses way too many products that aren't needed.

Start with dirt, seeds and water ... then decide if you need anything.

Here is a link that might be useful: My garden pics

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 8:15PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Lazy - I just love the tomatoes growing in your compost pile. Very clever. I'll have to copy that idea. How recent are those pics?

Anyone know if dill grows here in winter? Can't remember.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 5:07PM
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lazy_gardens

Those pics are from early summer. It solves the "cheap but ugly and takes up a lot of room" wire bin problem. There is a shallow layer of dirt and loop of dripper tube inside the bin.

The tomatoes (five plants) turned into a jungle! About a month ago I whacked them back, pulled out the White Currant and left some stubs of Matt's Wild Cherry. It's growing back, has blossoms and is ready to repeat the performance.

I made a new heap that has summer squash and a tomato from India growing in it (I'll be saving seeds).

Next year I'll have a couple of new bins filled and ready to go really early - the slight heat of the compost that activates when the bin gets wet should protect against frost.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 1:06PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Very clever. Good job Lazy - I'm going to try to replicate your process. I have plenty of compost. I hope you won't mind if I pass along the pictures to a couple of my composting buddies who do not visit this forum.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 5:28PM
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lazy_gardens

Mary -
Definitely share the pictures.

The bins are just piled full of "raw" materials, usually pretty dry ones. When I have a bin full, I soak it and start the composting process, maybe adding more material if it shrinks a lot in the first few weeks.

"Turning" only happens when I break down a pile because I need compost. The outer parts get turned into a new pile, and the inside is finished compost to use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cheap Wire Compost Bin How-To

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 10:18AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

These are really fun updates everyone, keep them coming. This is the weekend when I'm moving nearly all of my autumn-through-winter seedlings and plants outdoors full time.

Great pics as always, Lazy, I also love those tomatoes in the compost pile, and the pics of your white roma-style tomato. Is that one self-sown? It's neat! And you're right, you can't go wrong with any of Mary Irish's books.

Take care and keep the updates coming,
Grant

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 1:57PM
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bethany_gardener

I recently planted some cucumbers and had sprouts in just a few days. This past summer I tried to grow them but the heat was just too much. I found this odd because my boyfriend's mom had a squash plant that literally tried to take over the yard.
I also planted sunflowers in the front bed where I tried to plant an herb garden but all the seeds died :( I don't think I've ever had sunflowers grow so slowly. Must be the cooler nights.
I'm also planted some purple coneflowers but they too seem to be resentful of coming out of the seedling stage. I'm worried that the first frost will kill them off now.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 1:33AM
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lazy_gardens

Bethany:
Cucumbers thrive in England. Squash are far more heat tolerant than cukes.

Stop throwing seeds at the ground and read some books on gardening in the desert. It's really different techniques and planting times.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 9:58PM
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tracydr(9b)

For anyone in the East Valley area, I have about 40 tons of gravel to move so that I can finally start my full size garden. If you need gravel for your yard or if you're a landscaper this could be a great find. It's free for the moving!
PS-anyone know if I can start some Basil this late and baby it through the winter. Also, how about starting a cherry tomato to get some really early spring plants, just protect from frost? Has anyone ever done that here?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 3:17PM
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