Lisa & Srini's OH Garden

Zoom Check-In call

Some recommendation for fruit trees:
Pawpaw - is a tropical fruit tree that acclimatized to America after the Ice age is related to "custard apple." It thrives in the shade!

For your children,
Start with Sprouting is a great course to start with especially with the kids!
And then when you are ready, follow it up with the "Design Course" and show us a submit a sketch of your design next month!

This was the photo you submitted:

If you have any more, please post here.

Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!!



  • @Lisa Surendranath

    Regarding your onions and garlic, most alliums, need a lot of phosphorous to grow the bulbs, which you can add to the soil via bone meal. Although a word of caution on doing that: Bone Meal (lowers pH making it more acidic) high in Phosphorous

    More on soil amendments on this post.

    Thanks for keeping me updated, our Asst. Gardener, Christayla is helping me gather emailed notes into one place, here.

  • Lisa's email

    June 30, 2021

    Summer has gotten very busy here - much busier than I prefer! We’ve been eating greens, but no other produce yet. My shishito peppers are finally coming on, and I have some grape tomatoes, but not much. Cucumbers look good & potatoes are growing like crazy (hopefully that will result in potatoes, too!). I’ll harvest my garlic soon. Not sure what’s going on w my onions - they’ve grown tall, but I’m not sure about the growth of the bulb. Peas, fennel, broccoli & green beans have all gone to those rotten rabbits (they chewed through my hard plastic fence, too!)

    My new garden area was is a good one for certain crops, but I need to make some changes this fall & get a better fence. 

    I think next year I’m going to have to try tomatoes in containers on my deck. Even though it doesn’t get full sun, it does reflect the heat & light.

    Nicky Schauder
  • @Lisa Surendranath shishito peppers do really well in pots. Most crops, I always like to put in-ground but that particular variety, we were harvesting from that pot forever. So you can confidently transplant!

    I like your rabbit solution. It looks good!!

    Your salad garden is popping! You are going to have so much lettuce in two weeks if not before then!

  • Those crop coops look great, but I’m not sure if I want to invest the money in them yet. This garden location is experimental, in my mind, so I’ll probably wait a year before I do that. I have already put a plastic fence around it, so I guess I’ll see what other animals I feed...

    i have lots of babies growing in my small raised bed. I’m thinking of it as my salad garden 😁

    last question... what are your thoughts about transplanting the shishito peppers to a large pot? I asked the question in my zoom call prep

  • I am so sorry @Lisa Surendranath !

    OK, I think your rabbit is the culprit right? Was it rabbit or squirrels? Do you know what it is?

    Second, can you get these kinds of cloches or some sort of netting. @Taunisha McShan used these HERE.

    THESE are a little pricier. I have seen landscapers just sort of drape netting and fasten it into the ground using wire stakes as well.

    My only tip is we have tried plastic netting and they are not as good as the chicken wire or metal netting. And the metal has a cleaner look to it as well.

    Aaaah! I feel for you!

  • Ugh! I’m so disappointed! Something has eaten all my beets down to the soil, and my happy broccoli plants have also gotten eaten. Also, we had a heavy rain come through on the 2nd day after I planted some baby plants in the garden & they got pummeled.

    I bought & put up a garden fence today that will keep the rabbits out, and I’m just going to go buy some plants tomorrow.

    I also assume I need to transplant my shishito pepper plants into a deeper container - would like it to be the one they grow in for the whole summer. Should I plant only 1 per 1-gallon container?

  • Hi, @Lisa Surendranath thanks so much for posting these pics.

    I'm so sorry about the rabbits. @Taunisha McShan is also dealing with them and has put cloches up (See HERE) to protect her garden,

    I would like to ask you to transplant some of the garlic in that red pot somewhere in-ground. They are great pest confusers because they're aromatic. But also they are spaced too closely in that red pot for the number of garlic that you have. Think about how big you'd like your garlic to be and imagine how many big garlic heads would fit in that pot at the end of the season. That evaluation determines how much you transplant out. From what I see, you may only need to transplant maybe 3 out?

    I hope that helps! And great job documenting!

  • This is a shot of my little garden bed. Onions on the right, garlic on the left. I also have broccoli, peas, beets (but I thin rabbits ate them), and potatoes planted.

  • well, Here is a picture of some of the garlic that I planted last fall. Is doing great. I have a video of my other garden bed, but the website is not allowing me to post it.

  • I have to ask Dave the variety but likely sambucus nigra

  • No need for the second elderberry. They are prolific and they need very little maintenance in a shady backyard. Good question!

  • Also re: elderberry... do I need a second one for production of fruit?

  • Kierin and I got the elderberry & fig tree rooted today :)

    What variety of elderberry did you send to me? I'm trying to figure out where to plant it eventually.

  • edited January 8

    Zoom Check-IN



    Rooting Elderberries

    Cuttings Video

    Use it as edging as an understory bush somewhere in your backyard because it doesn't mind some shade. You wouldn't need to put it where it has the most sun. And it would provide a good border.

    The fig you can grow successfully in a big pot You can put it in front of your house by the front door.

    • Peppers - start them in two weeks
    • Grow varieties that are smaller like the Shishito peppers (like growing cherry tomatoes) not as particular about having a lot of heat and sun.
    • Start them as soon as you get them
    • Peas - late Feb
    • Cabbage - start earlier than Feb indoors, Broccoli + Cauliflower after cabbage
    • Potatoes - late Feb
    • Carrots - direct sow now but varieties are important. We have Chantenay Carrots. They grow big. If you would like to try them out, redeem your seeds via the Store in the Core Course.

    Spring + Fall seasons would be generally more productive.

    Goal: Starting Seeds

  • Great! What would you suggest for something tall & aromatic? Can’t require too much sun...

  • @Lisa Surendranath I am seriously impressed! So detailed. So clear and so simple. Go for it! I don't have any edits except for put something tall or aromatic in between the potatoes to confuse any potato beetles. But aside from that, carry this out as planned! Well done, Lisa!!!!

  • Hi Dave & Nicky! I hope you've had a wonderful & healthy Christmas! While my kids are on break, I've taken some time to pour over a lot of my gardening stuff & am thinking about the things I need to do in a few months. I've attached photos for you - please tell me if I'm crazy. I think it's mostly in line with your notes from our last Zoom, and I probably will turn that large raised bed into an Asparagus bed (Kierin will be so happy!) I am also contemplating reworking those cinderblock beds, making them bigger & also deeper. Here are photos of my notes & plan for the new bed - I look forward to hearing your thoughts about it!

  • edited December 2020

    Oh my! This picture is worth a thousand words!!!

    I think that the carrots may have been pulled up a little too early, but it doesn't matter because that smile is so priceless. And we pull up baby carrots too, every year. Sometimes on purpose, just to see root development. Congratulations!!!

    Wishing you the best road trip ever!

  • Design Clinic:

    Standing Bed on the Deck


    Jan - Feb - start the seeds for the following

    • Butter Lettuce
    • Swiss Chard
    • Bok Choi
    • Just add some sprouting microgreens as well to fill in the gaps)


    • Herbs - Basil (Genovese or Emily)
    • New Zealand Spinach - a summer leafy green
    • Shishito Pepper - small peppers (mild)
    • Nasturtium - flowers, marigolds, calendula


    • Swiss Chard
    • Lettuce - a different variety
    • microgreens

    Newest Raised Bed


    • radishes
    • Peas
    • Carrots
    • Perennial Onions


    • Tomatoes
    • Peppers
    • Cucumbers


    Raised Bed by Arborvitae

    • Put Asparagus here and make this the dedicated Asparagus bed
    • Turkish Rocket also grows well
    • Strawberries

    2 Cinder Blocks

    • More strawberries in here

  • My blank garden layout. Didn't work on designing what goes where until I discuss with you...

  • Nicky's Notes Preparing for Design Clinic

    List of Plants


    • Asparagus
    • Strawberries
    • Comfrey


    • Potatoes
    • Peas
    • Lettuce - needs light to germinate
    • Carrots
    • Cucumbers
    • Broccoli
    • Cabbage
    • Leeks
    • Onions
    • Swiss Chard
    • Sweet Potato - needs the most sun/heat
    1. What are the cool-weather crops from among your list?
    2. Are you growing any tomatoes or peppers this year?

    December - Cover Crops!

    January -












  • Lisa, regarding your squirrel and cat. Here's a post on what another GIY-er did.

  • This is all awesome work, Lisa!

    And yes, I can get sidetracked with the groceries too. For me, it's me wanting to make sure that I put it away the right way and I can make my pantry look very neat and tidy and if others put it away before me, I'm not quite sure where what I bought went to.

    Yes, this is all good work, and you are right about the comfrey. It is going to do well wherever you plant it.

    So sorry about the squirrels and cat. You may need to put a sort of netting around it? There are some that won't look bad.

    Here are some options you might want to explore.

    Very expensive (but super cute and modular, protects from deer too!)

    Moderately priced netted cloche

  • Oh, and I bought a fork & forked all my beds, too! Anticipating a better year next year!

  • Oh my goodness! I'm SO SORRY I missed my Zoom call! I got totally sidetracked with grocery shopping & hauling it all in & getting things put away...

    To answer your questions, YES, I have finished building up & amending my garden beds with compost, aged manure, rotting pumpkins and also cover crop seeds. We've had plenty of rain, so I guess now I just wait for nature to do its thing. I also got all the garlic planted, but think it mostly went to squirrel feed (those naughty squirrels!). The neighborhood cat has also been laying on my baby chards that are in my little raised bed that I moved up onto the deck, but he missed the spinach & they are doing great for now.

    And YES, I would love to discuss how to rotate/plan my garden better for next year. Now that the leaves are gone, the location of my gardens is quite good and get sun all day long. So early spring will be good until the walnut trees get their leaves.

    Also, it sounds like you think I can plant Comfrey next to the walnut & not worry about it mining the harmful walnut toxin?

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