Garden chat & photos for torts and people ♫ ♫

Prairie Mom

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Sep 13, 2014
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Hi guys,
I'm relatively new to gardening and absolutely love it. I love providing food for my family, and growing food for my tortoise to enjoy is one of the highlights of keeping these amazing animals.

@Blake m and I were chatting about gardens and wanted to share pictures. I found a few garden threads, but wasn't sure if they were still being actively used. I also didn't want to take over:), so I thought I'd go ahead and post some of my gardening exploits and INVITE ANYONE AND EVERYONE TO DO THE SAME!

I love gardens and am interested in anything from balcony pots, great looking shrubs, and beautiful fields. Feel free to take over this thread and remember to share some of your goodies on @littleginsu 's trading goodies thread: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/trading-goodies.87084/

Happy Growing!
 

Prairie Mom

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I live in a cold Northern perennial zone 4. My growing season is very short and most people use greenhouses as season extenders, rather than keeping them growing through the cold months. I don't have a greenhouse, but have been experimenting with starting seeds under grow lights more and more. We hope to expand our light set up this winter and want to experiment with growing a few full grown vegetables indoors.

Here's a photo I took last Spring. I'm hardening off my first batch of seedlings to head to the garden.
DSCN5641.JPG
 

Tyanna

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Wisconsin
I don't have any photos of mine ATM, but I had a small 4x4 raised garden bed with lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. It was my first season growing!

Can't wait until summer comes again, then I can grow tons of stuff for my tortoise, since I didn't have him in time to grow stuff for him last summer.

I am growing seed mixes and pansies (soon) in my enclosure.

@Prairie Mom I LOVE your little garden. Growing indoors is pretty fun!
 

Blakem

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I'm so lucky to have weather that I can grow my plants. Nice makeshift area, considering your limitations.

My girlfriend's mother is my gardening guru, she produces quite the garden every year. I'm still figuring out what works best with my soil and, so far, these ingredients have worked well this time! I churned my dirt with steer manure and mulch about 4 weeks before I planted my seeds and plants. I watered the dirt a few times. My area gets only 4-6 hours of California Sun daily, and gets watered by the neighbors watering system daily. My guru mixes chicken poop with her dirt as well, but it would be too much nitrogen for my crop.

Anyways, the plants that were already pregrown, are the dinosaur kale, 2 chard plants, 1 broccoli, 1 red/green leaf lettuce, 1 mustard green, and 1 cauliflower. My seeds are a patch of grass with clover, dandelion, and grazing tortoise mix, chard, broccoli, baby leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cabbage.
 

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Prairie Mom

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Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
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I don't have any photos of mine ATM, but I had a small 4x4 raised garden bed with lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. It was my first season growing!

Can't wait until summer comes again, then I can grow tons of stuff for my tortoise, since I didn't have him in time to grow stuff for him last summer.

I am growing seed mixes and pansies (soon) in my enclosure.

@Prairie Mom I LOVE your little garden. Growing indoors is pretty fun!
That's awesome, Tyanna! Tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are the best part of the garden:) I could give up a lot of foods, but NOT tomatoes. Keep us posted on the plants for your enclosure. I remember you mentioned violas. I need to start my indoor garden lights soon and when I get some edible flowers going, I will totally send you some;)
 

Prairie Mom

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I'm so lucky to have weather that I can grow my plants. Nice makeshift area, considering your limitations.

My girlfriend's mother is my gardening guru, she produces quite the garden every year. I'm still figuring out what works best with my soil and, so far, these ingredients have worked well this time! I churned my dirt with steer manure and mulch about 4 weeks before I planted my seeds and plants. I watered the dirt a few times. My area gets only 4-6 hours of California Sun daily, and gets watered by the neighbors watering system daily. My guru mixes chicken poop with her dirt as well, but it would be too much nitrogen for my crop.

Anyways, the plants that were already pregrown, are the dinosaur kale, 2 chard plants, 1 broccoli, 1 red/green leaf lettuce, 1 mustard green, and 1 cauliflower. My seeds are a patch of grass with clover, dandelion, and grazing tortoise mix, chard, broccoli, baby leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cabbage.
Blake, your garden space looks GREAT! I love how it is so neat and organized, mine is always squished and overgrown. I'm a big fan of manure as well:) I've heard that chicken poop can burn gardens easily, but never used it. A friend of ours owns a huge cattle ranch outside of our town. They are real honest to goodness cowboys like in the movies. The past couple of years, I've loaded up giant Tupperware and headed over to their house in the minivan with the kids, and we all spent the afternoon scooping poop. On our last visit, my voice could be heard yelling across a field: "KIDS, DON'T YOU REALIZE YOU'RE THROWING COW POOP AT EACH OTHER!!! YES, THAT IS POOP FROM COW BOTTOMS!!!"
 

Prairie Mom

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Here are some favorite photos of "manure day" at our friends' ranch. Shortly after these photos were taken, I would be seen holding a shovel and yelling..."KIDS, DON'T YOU REALIZE YOU'RE THROWING COW POOP AT EACH OTHER!?!?!?"

What??? Ranches have manure and I use manure from this ranch in my GARDEN---SEE...It totally works on a garden thread..
<.er hum!>
small saddles.jpg

small ben fence.jpg
My sweet husband and son

small horse g & a.jpg
oldest and youngest daughter

small barn.jpg
My third daughter is in red -------------------The poop yelling took place shortly after this butterfly barn photo:)
 

Prairie Mom

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Just to clarify, my first garden photo is of a batch of young plants that I grew from seed and was preparing to plant in my garden. It takes a bit of time to get the plants used to being outside in the wind and sun. They would just die if I took them straight from my basement grow lights and put them in the garden.

Also, I nearly killed the tomato plants in the soda bottles TWICE because I didn't put enough holes for drainage and over watered. I'll give the tomatoes waaaay more drainage next Spring.
 

bouaboua

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Let me show you what my Mother in-law did for our garden. She been a farmer all her life in China, She is now live with us. She used every inch of our very small back yard and grow all kind of thing through out the different seasons. She provided fresh vegetables for us and for our torts.

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She is hard at work.......................

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Yvonne G

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Steven: All I can say is, "Wow!"

I'm lucky enough to have a nice space outside for a garden. I've grown it for the past three years now. The first year I had egg plant, tomatoes, different squash, turnips and different lettuces. That garden taught me that lettuce turns bitter once the hot weather sets in. Also, no one ate the egg plant and the tomatoes turned into a wild, overgrown caterpillar patch. So I pulled it all out, tilled the soil and only planted one row of different lettuces and one row of turnips. That was last fall/winter. I harvested greens from those two rows all winter long. In the a.m. I'd go out and the lettuce would be frozen, but once the sun shone on it and it defrosted, it was as good as new. I finally pulled it all out and tilled the soil in April (I think).

So two weeks ago, I bought some gypsum and fertilizer and dug up the dirt in the garden patch...watered it well then yesterday I planted a row of different lettuces and greens that I bought online. I haven't been able to find turnip seeds yet, but when I do, I'll plant a row of turnips too.
 

bouaboua

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You can see my torts are enjoying the sun bath next to the garden that she planted some yams.........with every opportunity, they will try to have few bite of them.......

All the credit to my Mother in-law! ! ! ! ! !

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Prairie Mom

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Here are some shots of my garden this year. One or two photos were taken because a little one said "Mommy, take a picture of me" and I noticed it was a great shot of the garden in the background :)

smaller pumpkin garden.jpg
We don't have a lot of full sun and squeeze in garden beds wherever we can. My kids are
great with the gardens and do their best to keep them from being destroyed.

smaller slide garden.jpg
We've named a lot of our little garden plots. This garden next to the slide
is called "the kid garden," because the parents had to promise not to eat a single cherry tomato,
so the kids could have them all to themselves. The parents broke this promise many times;)

smaller litter snap peas.jpg
This photo is blurry, but the red buckets on the side of the swing set are spray painted litter containers. I have a house full of cats and other animals and litter is something I am never short on. Those are sugar snap peas growing up a plastic fake chicken wire on the swing set. I love sugar snap peas because they are YUMMY, can grow in Part sun, and do fabulous in pots. (I'm currently in the process of painting the playhouse in the back corner.)

smaller garden plot.jpg

Here is some of our main garden plot behind our garage. We will put treats down the garden paths and let the tort likes to wander around like a rat in a maze:) We have a few other small garden patches that I don't have photos of. The cheap pound in fencing is there to keep our beloved dog out. It's made of more of that cheap-o fake plastic chicken wire, spare cut 2X4s, and even old crib parts--hate to waste.Next year, we have to make a cage for the corn. We lost a lot to the squirrels. For the record, I love our squirrels and birds dearly and plan to share a little of my crop with them. BUT I don't want them taking random bites from all my corn!
 

Prairie Mom

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Let me show you what my Mother in-law did for our garden. She been a farmer all her life in China, She is now live with us. She used every inch of our very small back yard and grow all kind of thing through out the different seasons. She provided fresh vegetables for us and for our torts.

View attachment 101701 View attachment 101702 View attachment 101703 View attachment 101704

She is hard at work.......................

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I'm with Yvonne!!! WOW! I'm wiping drool off my chin. Your mother-in-law rules! :D
 

Prairie Mom

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Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
4,414
Let me show you what my Mother in-law did for our garden. She been a farmer all her life in China, She is now live with us. She used every inch of our very small back yard and grow all kind of thing through out the different seasons. She provided fresh vegetables for us and for our torts.

View attachment 101701 View attachment 101702 View attachment 101703 View attachment 101704

She is hard at work.......................

View attachment 101705 View attachment 101706 View attachment 101707
I keep looking at your photos:) I love the bamboo teepees!
 

Prairie Mom

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Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
4,414
Steven: All I can say is, "Wow!"

I'm lucky enough to have a nice space outside for a garden. I've grown it for the past three years now. The first year I had egg plant, tomatoes, different squash, turnips and different lettuces. That garden taught me that lettuce turns bitter once the hot weather sets in. Also, no one ate the egg plant and the tomatoes turned into a wild, overgrown caterpillar patch. So I pulled it all out, tilled the soil and only planted one row of different lettuces and one row of turnips. That was last fall/winter. I harvested greens from those two rows all winter long. In the a.m. I'd go out and the lettuce would be frozen, but once the sun shone on it and it defrosted, it was as good as new. I finally pulled it all out and tilled the soil in April (I think).

So two weeks ago, I bought some gypsum and fertilizer and dug up the dirt in the garden patch...watered it well then yesterday I planted a row of different lettuces and greens that I bought online. I haven't been able to find turnip seeds yet, but when I do, I'll plant a row of turnips too.
I had a ton of caterpillars this year myself. Nothing like going out into the garden with a flashlight to pick bugs--ICK! I love that you were able to enjoy your frozen lettuce!--who would have thought they would thaw out and be great!? This year, we will be attempting to overwinter carrots and parsnips for the first time. I'm curious if I'll actually be able to harvest through the mulch and snow this winter or if we'll see how they thaw out in the Spring. I'll do a very careful and slow happy dance with beefstew if it works :)
 

Prairie Mom

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Messages
4,414
You can see my torts are enjoying the sun bath next to the garden that she planted some yams.........with every opportunity, they will try to have few bite of them.......

All the credit to my Mother in-law! ! ! ! ! !

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There is NOTHING better than a tort enjoying garden! Those are awesome photos! The tortoise climbing the garden wall makes me laugh:)
 

Tyanna

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Jul 28, 2014
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Wisconsin
I'm so jealous of all these wonderful gardens. Hopefully in summer I can add a few more 4x4 raised beds. I'm SOOO jealous of all of everyone's garden spaces!
 

Blakem

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Jan 17, 2012
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Just to clarify, my first garden photo is of a batch of young plants that I grew from seed and was preparing to plant in my garden. It takes a bit of time to get the plants used to being outside in the wind and sun. They would just die if I took them straight from my basement grow lights and put them in the garden.

Also, I nearly killed the tomato plants in the soda bottles TWICE because I didn't put enough holes for drainage and over watered. I'll give the tomatoes waaaay more drainage next Spring.
What a wonderful looking family! I bet you're busy. Your garden looks great! I'm looking forward to having more space, but I'm thankful for what I have at my grandmas.
 

Blakem

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
2,386
Location (City and/or State)
California
You can see my torts are enjoying the sun bath next to the garden that she planted some yams.........with every opportunity, they will try to have few bite of them.......

All the credit to my Mother in-law! ! ! ! ! !

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Holy little smokies! You're one lucky guy. You hVe unlimited amounts of tortoise/turtle food. That's so much upkeep I'd imagine. Your mother in law is a special and talented woman.
 

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