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  #2001  
Old 08.05.2020, 14:20
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

And finally, after years of experimentation, I've beaten the slugs! This year I put most of my lettuce seedlings into hanging baskets. They're growing fast and healthy. The few that I chanced in the ground - struggling despite my daily slug inspection and cull. And the remaining few that went into planter boxes - also struggling, thanks to the wretched little slimy pests.
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  #2002  
Old 08.05.2020, 15:04
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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And finally, after years of experimentation, I've beaten the slugs! This year I put most of my lettuce seedlings into hanging baskets. They're growing fast and healthy. The few that I chanced in the ground - struggling despite my daily slug inspection and cull. And the remaining few that went into planter boxes - also struggling, thanks to the wretched little slimy pests.
Brilliant!

Mine were growing wonderfully under glass mason jars, a hack against the last cold snap. Then the sun came out, I pulled the jars... slug buffet.

At least they left me the rucola.

As to your rhubarb question:

My MIL used to make mighty fine old-timey rhubarb refridgerator pickles. Her recipe has been lost to the mists of time and transcontinental moves, but I googled around and this looks pretty close, the pickling directions are at the end:
https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/f...-rhubarb-salad

I found lots of different rhubarb pickle recipes, some more adventurous, adding spices like mustard seed, chilis, ginger, or star anis that sound worth trying.

Also while googling, I came across a number of savory rhubarb recipes, things I had not thought of using it in such as a spring soup or as a stuffing for chicken, to the more usual suggestions of making rhubarb salsas, BBQ sauce, and marinade. IMO rhubarb salsa is particularly tasty and versatile - and can be canned for an easy way to preserve it.

Some savory rhubarb ideas:

https://www.epicurious.com/ingredien...ecipes-gallery (Scroll through, this list is both sweet and savory)
https://www.tasteofhome.com/collecti...ubarb-recipes/


I think I might try this simple chicken baked with rhubarb soon:
http://cooking-books.blogspot.com/20...d-rhubarb.html

Too late for this year, but you've got me wishing I had a rhubarb patch...
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  #2003  
Old 08.05.2020, 15:09
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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Too late for this year, but you've got me wishing I had a rhubarb patch...
Huge thanks, you were clearly more patient with google than I was. Let the experimentation begin!

If you want to stop by the mountain and pick yourself a barrow-full of rhubarb, you're welcome to it, just PM me for details.
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  #2004  
Old 08.05.2020, 15:11
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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Any tips for using up rhubarb please. We're drowning in jam, compote, and I've just started my first ever batch of booze (vodka, grand marnier, rhubarb) which has to stew away for about a month....AND my neighbours have refused any further donations as they tired of eating pies and crumble!

Still have insane quantities of it ready for picking though - would like ideas that preserve it somehow, as we are not dessert eaters.

Deep freezer already overfilled with remnants of last years crop!
https://andhereweare.net/make-rhubarb-wine/

I'll swop you some rhubarb for some wine making equipment
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  #2005  
Old 08.05.2020, 15:14
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

And a queston for the kiwi experts:

I have an Issai kiwi that is supposed to be self-fertile. It's at least five years old, maybe older. The plant is quite healthy, judging by the leaf condition. Last year we had a few flowers for the first time but no fruit. This year lots of flowers - but who knows if it will fruit or not.

I've googled around, and some gardeners suggest planting a male kiwi even though the Issai is supposedly self-fertile.

I'm thinking of trying that - have any of you done so, and what were your results?

Many thanks.
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  #2006  
Old 08.05.2020, 15:20
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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https://andhereweare.net/make-rhubarb-wine/

I'll swop you some rhubarb for some wine making equipment
You take the rhubarb, you make the wine, I get a couple of bottles of the results? SOLD!
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  #2007  
Old 08.05.2020, 18:37
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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You take the rhubarb, you make the wine, I get a couple of bottles of the results? SOLD!
Deal I'll send a PM
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  #2008  
Old 08.05.2020, 18:49
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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And a queston for the kiwi experts:

I have an Issai kiwi that is supposed to be self-fertile. It's at least five years old, maybe older. The plant is quite healthy, judging by the leaf condition. Last year we had a few flowers for the first time but no fruit. This year lots of flowers - but who knows if it will fruit or not.

I've googled around, and some gardeners suggest planting a male kiwi even though the Issai is supposedly self-fertile.

I'm thinking of trying that - have any of you done so, and what were your results?

Many thanks.
We had mini kiwifruit at our last place, maybe not Issais, as we deliberately bought a male to keep the the females happy Variable harvests -some years the late frosts seemed to be a killer (cover them) and they need plenty of water.
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  #2009  
Old 08.05.2020, 19:05
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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And a queston for the kiwi experts:

I have an Issai kiwi that is supposed to be self-fertile. It's at least five years old, maybe older. The plant is quite healthy, judging by the leaf condition. Last year we had a few flowers for the first time but no fruit. This year lots of flowers - but who knows if it will fruit or not.

I've googled around, and some gardeners suggest planting a male kiwi even though the Issai is supposedly self-fertile.

I'm thinking of trying that - have any of you done so, and what were your results?

Many thanks.
We have an Issai kiwi also, growing in a barrel on the balcony. It acted like yours is doing and now produces well. From my limited experience you should be fine without a male.

We've had a 'Ken's Red' female and a 'Nostino' male planted in the garden for a few years now, growing well, and i'm hoping that it/they start to produce fruit this year.
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  #2010  
Old 09.05.2020, 11:02
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

Kiwi:
We've a nig Kiwi pergola here, a male and a female....yield of berries varies from year to year. I think it is more the weather conditions and such like influences that destine the outcome of the yield..... last year because of the super late Frost in May.... all blossoms were dead and we harvested the princely amount of 5!!! mini berries!
I give them every two weeks regular plant food in April, May and early June.


Rhubarb:
I love the combo of rhubarb & strawberry and rhubarb & apple jam, Rhubarb gelee would be a further option. You can also make relishes and vinaigrette to go with cold meat and, I for one, like rhubarb sauce with lamb.

I've quite good cookbook, in German, which is a bit of my go-to during the season in my collection
Author: Beatrice Aepli
Rhabarber, Kreative Saisonküche, ISBN 3-907-108-63-9 FONA Verlag

And last but not least, rhubarb syrup.... for one you can make a cocktail with Gin using equal parts rhubarb syrup, gin and mineral water, served on ice.... yummmyyyy!!
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  #2011  
Old 09.05.2020, 15:00
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

DIY Jumbo Size Sub-Irrigated Window Planter Boxes

Do you have a black thumb? Struggle to keep your flowers alive in the summer? Worry about the staring and snickering neighbors when your window planters look like they've been through a nuclear holocaust?

The first year trying to grow petunias in the windows for us was a disaster, such shame! Nobody was ever around to water enough.

The next year, instead of using the cast cement hanging window planters that came with the apartment, we switched to this type of sub-irrigated planter, out of plastic:

https://www.landi.ch/shop/pflanzgefa...ta-60-cm_49927

They have a reservoir beneath the soil that supplies moisture to the plants at their own discretion, and only needs to be filled every few days usually (instead of twice a day watering in summer heat). There is no way to overwater.

Here's a pic (plastic planters on bottom, cement planters of neighbors above):

https://imgur.com/a/y93eaW6

They are an excellent idea but do have several faults:

Besides the plastic not looking very nice, it gets a bit deformed from the weight of the soil bulging and gets hit with UV. The planter box still gets pretty hot in the sun, which is no good for plant roots on the other side of the thin plastic. And the planter itself, after taking into account the space for the water reservoir, does not hold much soil.

The 3rd year I gave it some thought and built these boxes for my windows:

https://imgur.com/a/2TbA1Fh

They hold about 3x the soil of the plastic planters, insulate the soil/water from overheating in the sun, look quite a bit nicer, and were not very expensive or too much trouble to build, if you like a good project.

What you'll need:

-A sub-irrigated plastic planter box from Landi, Hornbach, etc. For my long planter box, I used two medium length plastic planters. For the smaller window it was one of the longest size planters.
-A way to saw wood.
-Wood, like this Tongue&groove
along with some of this
-Wood glue and screws
-Drill
-Some thick plastic sheeting. If you don't have any scrap of thick plastic around, you could just cut a trash bag and double it up.
-A length of plastic pipe, like this
-Staple gun
-A finish for the wood to protect it from the elements. I use this stuff. It's remarkably cheap and holds up well.



Its a pretty simple project and a picture would tell 1000 words but i don't have a pic of the inside and now they're full of plants, so-

A General Guide:

It's a wooden box, with no top or bottom. A sub-irrigated plastic planter sits inside, with plastic sheeting from the inside bottom of the planter to the top inside edge of the wooden box. A scrap of plastic piping extends the filling funnel of the plastic planter to up above the top of the wooden box. The sides are made from the T&G, and are attached to dachlatte running vertically in each corner, with a diagonal brace on each end. A strip of dachlatte runs horizontally around the inside as well, and the rim of the plastic planter box rests on these strips. Several small pieces span the bottom, to support some of the weight and for a bit of redundancy should the box start to fail.

The longer box in the photo above contains 2 plastic planters with a boxed in diagonal support in the middle.

Do not skimp on glue and screws. These things are very heavy when finished, even without soil, plants, and water. You do not want it to fail for any reason, ever.

Here goes:

Cut 6 pieces of the tongue and groove wood at the same width as the planter box, 3 for each of the end panels. Lay 3 of them on a flat surface, and glue them together into a panel (glue in grooves). Place the 'show' side down and glue a piece of dachlatte vertically on each side, lined up with the edges. Then cut another piece of dachlatte to fit as a diagonal support, running from one corner to the other. (Picture a barn door) When assembling the second end panel, run the diagonal piece in the opposite direction (when assembled they will now be symmetrical). Flip them over and screw them together, from the show side through the T&G and into your Dachlatte bits. (be sure to pre-drill your holes to avoid splitting)


Cut 6 pieces of the T&G at the length of the plastic planter box plus 2x the thickness of the Dachlatte, plus a cm or two. 3 pieces stacked together will form each of the long sides of the box. Glue these together to form a long panel, then glue and screw these two panels to the end panels. (screwing into the narrower side of the vertical dachlatte pieces on each end piece.)

Now you've got a box with no top or bottom. Take several short pieces of dachlatte, the width of the planter box, and space them evenly along the bottom of the box, across the span from one long side to another. (The plastic planter bottom will sit on these) Glue and screw them into place (drill and screw into endgrain) Set your plastic planter inside the box, resting on the dachlatte bits you just screwed in. Turn your box on it's side, and reach in the bottom (with the plastic planter still in there), and now mark a line inside your box at the height of the bottom of the rim of the plastic planter. Now add some strips of dachlatte (glued and screw on the inside of each panel at this height).

If you're making a 'double length' planter box, now's the time add a boxed in diagonal support in the middle. Without it, the finished weight will be too much for your box.

When all the gluing and screwing is over with let then glue dry and then apply a liberal amount of Zaunlaser or your finish of choice, inside and out. Several coats recommended.


Take a measurement of just how deep the water reservoir is in your plastic planter, and cut 4 or 5 pieces of the plastic pipe at that length. You will be using more weight of soil in your box than the flimsy plastic planter tray is designed for, and these will reinforce the reservoir so that the plastic tray does not collapse. Remove the liner tray from the planter, space the pipe bits around evenly, and replace the tray.

If you really want to get nerdy like me, you could take your drill and drill about 1000 more holes in your tray, so that the roots of your plants will be able to get more oxygen. If you do this, add a scrap of landscape cloth on top of the tray when filling with soil so that the soil cannot fall into the reservoir below.

Now place the plastic planter into your wooden box. The sides of the box will be roughly twice the height of the plastic planter box inside.

Take the rest of the piece of plastic pipe and cut it to length, so that it sits in the original reservoir-filling spout of the plastic planter/tray and extends vertically until 10cm above the height of the box. (This is where you'll be filling the reservoir) Cut a long strip of plastic sheeting and staple it all along the inside perimeter of the box, stapling along the inside rim, with the lower edge of the plastic sheeting just draping down into the plastic planter. When you get to the corner of the box where the filling spout/pipe is located, use the plastic and staples to secure the pipe to the inside corner of the box.

To hang your box:

My apartment came with the cement planter boxes, which hang on metal hangars which attach to small metal brackets which are mounted on the underside of the windowsill. Looking around hornbach I found some pre-painted steel U channel with lots of holes already in it (in the aisle with rebar and screws and stuff), cut it to length with a jigsaw, enlarged a few holes on it, and mounted these to the back (house) side of each planter box (use lots of screws!) to line up with the original brackets on the house. A small block of wood was also attached to the back bottom corner of each box,as a standoff from the house (so that they hang vertically, and do not damage the house at all). The longer box is mounted in all four original brackets, and not just two.

YMMV

After you hang it, you can fill it with soil. A good potting mix is recommended, though be sure to add some extra perlite to the mix for airflow and drainage. These planter boxes hold at least 3x the soil as the original cement boxes and the plastic sub-irrigated boxes do, so do not fill it before hanging - it will be very heavy and unwieldy to hang. The weight of the long box (empty) almost flipped me out of the window - be careful

Plant your flowers and water from above, as usual, for a week or two until the plants are established, before starting to water by filling the reservoir.


It took about 2 full days to build, stain, and plant out 6 boxes. Maybe it sounds like a lot of work, but it is really worth it. They've been in use for 5 years now, are holding up great, and i've probably saved that much time and hassle with watering. The flowers are happy and look it, all the time, all summer long, even if we go a week in between filling the reservoir. Maybe the best part is that watering takes just a few minutes (in total, for all of the planter boxes), and is fool proof - just stick a hose or watering can spout in the fill tube until water comes out of the overflow. It also does not matter what time of day you water. When we go on vacation we ask the neighbor's daughter to come and fill the reservoirs once or twice. Even if she were to forget, i'm sure everything would be fine..

Our neighbors, who have been gardening here for 40+ years, told us not to bother trying to grow much on our South-facing balcony because it sits in the shade all morning and then gets hammered by the mid day sun. With these super-sized sub-irrigated planter boxes, we grow a steady crop of strawberries all season long with almost no effort, and the plants are thriving. They allow for growing things that would otherwise not be possible in a full sun location.

Happy gardening!
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Last edited by pilatus1; 09.05.2020 at 16:13.
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  #2012  
Old 09.05.2020, 15:50
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

I am trying perlite this year to aerate/control the water supply -a base of perlite (10 liter bag from Landi for about 10 Fr) to soak up excess water and roughly 30% perlite added to the soil. This is cheaper than mixing in the seramis granules. Ground up hydroculture balls should also do the trick
Am looking for a chap source of vermiculite which is said to serve as a better water reservoir. All could be combined with the system above.
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  #2013  
Old 11.05.2020, 12:47
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

How does one lift a layer of grass / dirt easily?

I have a corner of the garden where I plan to sit the hottub, it's just a big inflatable one but we'll leave it up.. The grass there is really poor there it's mostly flat leaf plant instead of grass and pretty hard soil.. So I decided to replace it with fake grass..

For various reasons, including cost, effort and having to return it to grass at some point in years to come, I plan to not do it properly, as in dig down 100mm and fill with hardcore and sand. I just want to remove the top 30mm and put a weed mat and then the fake grass..I think it'll actually blend in better that way too, it's not just a pure green mat, it looks quite real with bit of dead grass etc built in ..

But I'm struggling to get my head around how to remove that top 30mm layer.. Ideas? Just a spade? Special tool? We're talking 9sqm.


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  #2014  
Old 11.05.2020, 13:32
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

Why not cut it really short and the just put the weed mat on top of the existing grass. The grass will die off, but not be as muddy as when you skim 30mm off with a spade - and you do not have to put anything back when you re-establish the lawn
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Old 11.05.2020, 13:37
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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How does one lift a layer of grass / dirt easily?

I have a corner of the garden where I plan to sit the hottub, it's just a big inflatable one but we'll leave it up.. The grass there is really poor there it's mostly flat leaf plant instead of grass and pretty hard soil.. So I decided to replace it with fake grass..
How about just placing one of those sturdy plastic mats underneath the pool, and covering any protruding corners with the fake grass. All the weed/brown grass under that plastic will die off. When the day comes and you move house, you will just have to rake off the dead stuff, perhapsscatter some more soil and sow grass.
Wouldn't that be a simpler solution?
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  #2016  
Old 11.05.2020, 13:59
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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Why not cut it really short and the just put the weed mat on top of the existing grass. The grass will die off, but not be as muddy as when you skim 30mm off with a spade - and you do not have to put anything back when you re-establish the lawn
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How about just placing one of those sturdy plastic mats underneath the pool, and covering any protruding corners with the fake grass. All the weed/brown grass under that plastic will die off. When the day comes and you move house, you will just have to rake off the dead stuff, perhapsscatter some more soil and sow grass.
Wouldn't that be a simpler solution?
Well.. I already Impulse bought the fake grass :-)

We would quite like that whole area between the garage and the patio to be nice underfoot, going to and from the hot-tub to patio to the pool. Maybe even a strip going from the patio to the door on the right of the photo, that's the bar

Right now there are 4 big uneven concrete slabs in the corner which need to go anyways, that's where the tub will sit, they'd burst it.. So I'm going to have a 40mm deep hole there.

I could just throw the grass down like a big rug I suppose.!


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Old 11.05.2020, 14:04
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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How does one lift a layer of grass / dirt easily?
Sod lifting tool:

Tom
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  #2018  
Old 11.05.2020, 14:14
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

Grrrr to the weather gods. I should have known better. My first spring here, after a long hard winter, I excitedly planted new crops like crazy, only to lose everything to 1. extended rains falling day after day after day for weeks and then 2. the "surprise" late spring snow.

2nd year, a little more wary, but fooled again by weeks of gorgeous sunny days in May, and my crops were wiped out - same reasons above.

Year 3 and I realised that once the mountain farmers put their geraniums into their window boxes, we had no further snow or long bouts of rain. Eureka! So, years 3-8, I planted nothing until after the clever farmers put their blooms on display. Happy days.

But this, year 9, I've messed up. Lured into a false sense of security/"know it all" arrogance, I ignored the geranium status (thinking that farmers were just too busy with other spring priorities this year), and went nuts in the last 2 weeks planting veg and flower seedlings. Having seen the weather forecast for tonight and this coming week, I've now just spent 2 hours digging up all my seedlings, re-potting the lot and dragging them indoors. Silly, silly, silly me!
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Old 11.05.2020, 14:44
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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Grrrr to the weather gods. I should have known better. My first spring here, after a long hard winter, I excitedly planted new crops like crazy, only to lose everything to 1. extended rains falling day after day after day for weeks and then 2. the "surprise" late spring snow.

2nd year, a little more wary, but fooled again by weeks of gorgeous sunny days in May, and my crops were wiped out - same reasons above.

Year 3 and I realised that once the mountain farmers put their geraniums into their window boxes, we had no further snow or long bouts of rain. Eureka! So, years 3-8, I planted nothing until after the clever farmers put their blooms on display. Happy days.

But this, year 9, I've messed up. Lured into a false sense of security/"know it all" arrogance, I ignored the geranium status (thinking that farmers were just too busy with other spring priorities this year), and went nuts in the last 2 weeks planting veg and flower seedlings. Having seen the weather forecast for tonight and this coming week, I've now just spent 2 hours digging up all my seedlings, re-potting the lot and dragging them indoors. Silly, silly, silly me!
Awwwww, I feel your frustration. This kind of early planting only works with hotbeds or high rise beds and tunnel foil to protect the seedlings.

The general rule of thumb is to wait for the so called EISHEILIGE (May 11th to 15th), which actually will come to pass this week, starting today with Pankraz, followed by Bonifaz and Servaz and finishing with Kalte Sophe

It is generally deemed safe to plant the seedlings out after the 'Eisheilige'. I hope your seedlings weill recover and you'll have a good yield all the same at the end of the garden year!!
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Old 11.05.2020, 21:46
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

I planted my tomatoes today. On the first day of "Eisheilige".
My friend who shared her tomato-order with me (as by the time I went on that site they were out) and is a successful gardener, claimed that according to some moon-thingy it should be today.
I'll see how that goes. But they were here and outside already anyway, guess whether in a tiny pot or in the earth won't make a difference really. Or in the earth might even be better.
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