Author Topic: Mustachian gardening  (Read 2137 times)

Poundwise

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Mustachian gardening
« on: January 25, 2017, 07:45:30 PM »
A discussion of onion ends in this thread made me think of the following topic... saving money in the garden by planting leftover vegetable scraps!

For instance you can plant leftover root ends of the onion family (scallions, onions, chives, leeks, and such) to get entirely new plants!  I do this fairly often with scallions, and I've also had success with planting spare shallot cloves.

Also I hear that you can root and plant the bottoms of lettuce plants, bunches of celery, carrots, and ginger, though I have never tried it.

One last thing that can be grown from grocery store leftovers are herbs!  I have had fantastic success especially with some rosemary sprigs from Stop 'n Shop that had a little bit of root left... I grew four hardy plants that have survived 5 years and are now bushy plants a foot high!

Any other tips for growing a garden on a budget?

With This Herring

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 12:59:53 AM »
Posting to follow!

There are all sorts of Pinterest things that say "Take those green onions/spring onions/scallions ends and stick them in a cup of water in the sun!  Free new scallions!" but that has the issue of only giving you maybe one more cutting of scallions and they go moldy quickly.  Planting them in dirt works much better.  Apparently plants like nutrients.  Who woulda thunk.

My scallions also seem to regrow more quickly if I leave around two inches of green instead of cutting them down to the white as other Pinterest-type posts seem to recommend.
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The Guru

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2017, 07:09:07 PM »
Best way I know to save both money and time is through what I call "natural gardening"- not to be confused w/ organic gardening, though they have much in common. Natural gardening takes its cues from nature and tries to imitate what Ma Nature does. Example: watering. Nature supplies most of what the time garden needs* and does it in a way that's far superior to what the typical gardener does. That is, nature applies water infrequently and heavily, over a relatively long period of time. Compare this to the daily "sprinklings" most of us do- sprinklings which don't do down to the root ball but do wet the foliage and risk fungal disease. IMO if you're dragging a hose you're wasting your time. Better to hook up a sprinkler, let it run while you do something else. that is IF it hasn't rained in the last week. If so, your work is covered.

*This of course depends on where you live, on amount of precip and on soil type. Where I live I get away w/ watering 2-3X per season. YMMV.

Fertilizer: Look at the great forests, or at large public parks. Who fertilizes them? No  one. If you're a spiritual person you might say God but even then you'd have to admit that He's not up in His heaven with a big vat of Miracle-Gro; that's not why they call it that ;-) Their nutrients are recycled back into the soil constantly. Composting accomplishes the same thing for the gardener- no charge!

Organic mulch - shredded leaves, grass clippings- accomplishes the same thing although less efficiently, while further minimizing the need to water or weed.

Garden organically. The beauty of growing vs. buying organically is that growing organically is actually cheaper than conventionally due to not paying for synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

Wide rows. My veg garden is 33' X 13' with 3- 36" wide rows. Plants get planted as tight as possible; tall growers in the center, low growers along the edges. Way more production from the same amount of space!

FerrumB5

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2017, 07:16:22 PM »
Posting to follow!

There are all sorts of Pinterest things that say "Take those green onions/spring onions/scallions ends and stick them in a cup of water in the sun!  Free new scallions!" but that has the issue of only giving you maybe one more cutting of scallions and they go moldy quickly.  Planting them in dirt works much better.  Apparently plants like nutrients.  Who woulda thunk.

My scallions also seem to regrow more quickly if I leave around two inches of green instead of cutting them down to the white as other Pinterest-type posts seem to recommend.

I had the very opposite experience with scallions. Planted 8 of those in late April (Chicago area), never had to buy any - they just grow in soil as crazy. Bigger than any that I saw in stores. In fact, I still have them in 3-season porch still green in January!

With This Herring

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 11:33:23 AM »
Posting to follow!

There are all sorts of Pinterest things that say "Take those green onions/spring onions/scallions ends and stick them in a cup of water in the sun!  Free new scallions!" but that has the issue of only giving you maybe one more cutting of scallions and they go moldy quickly.  Planting them in dirt works much better.  Apparently plants like nutrients.  Who woulda thunk.

My scallions also seem to regrow more quickly if I leave around two inches of green instead of cutting them down to the white as other Pinterest-type posts seem to recommend.

I had the very opposite experience with scallions. Planted 8 of those in late April (Chicago area), never had to buy any - they just grow in soil as crazy. Bigger than any that I saw in stores. In fact, I still have them in 3-season porch still green in January!

Wait, which part is opposite?  I agree that dirt is best for them.  My cuttings-to-dirt scallions are huge now, and my I-accidentally-let-an-overgrown-cutting-flower-and-make-tiny-bulbs bit that I stuck in dirt is growing pretty well, too.  :)
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Poundwise

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 07:57:50 AM »
The weather here is so springlike that I'm tempted to start some seedlings. I'm going to do my usual thing of putting a damp paper towel in a ziplock baggie, then dropping in some seeds. This is a great way to quick-start seeds a few at a time.

Last year I got lovely basil, tomato, and pepper seedlings started that way, transferred them to pots, then when the weather was warm enough put the seedlings out to harden.  Transplanted to the ground and then within three days the $%*&^* squirrels had destroyed half of them. Then over the summer the squirrels gradually destroyed the rest of the plants. 

Maybe this year I'm getting BB guns for the boys (joke, squirrel lovers!)

Fishindude

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 08:01:02 AM »
I know several folks that save seeds from their veggies, dry them out, then start plants for the following year.
Saves buying seed or starter plants.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 08:09:05 AM »
Good idea, this thread. I suppose everyone here (who owns a garden) has a composting bin? If not, it is a good idea to get one. It produces nice soil.

I will definitively try to plant some of the vegetable leftover, but I'll have to wait until spring or otherwise do it indoors.

When you have a grape bush, you should be able to make new grape bushes by potting the cut offs. At least, that's what my husband is trying to do in our house.

Hotstreak

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 02:42:41 PM »
I always love these gardening threads!  Here are some "big picture" ideas to save money:
- Only plant things you like to eat
- Focus on planting things that are expensive to buy in the store, and don't plant things you can buy very cheaply (like onions, potatoes)
- Perennials are less work and cheaper over the long run.  Learn to love them (berries! asparagus! fruit trees!)
- Water efficiently at the base of the plant, either by hand or on a timer.  Do it in the middle of the night or early morning, when the soil is cool.
- As much as possible, start from seed
- Preserve extra harvest, don't let anything go to waste
- Use compost from home or shop around for cheap stuff, never buy anything in a bag
- Those squirrels that are destroying your garden are actually quite tasty, so are the rabbits! :)

Fire2025

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2017, 05:15:50 PM »
Just wanted to add that I get shredded paper from work for my compost and worm bins.  The worms love, love, love shredded paper and the paper really super charges my compost.  It can get a little stinky if you layer it to thickly. 

Beardog

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 06:19:21 PM »
I recently went to an all-day organic farming conference and one of the programs involved planting a 5x3 inch tin with dried peas to grow for their greens.  The peas sprouted and I cut off the sprouts and added them to something I was cooking and they were quite tasty.  Then I decided to see what would happen if I continued to water the seeds and keep them in the sunshine (rather than throw the whole thing away which is what the conference instructors do).  Well, the peas are sprouting again rather quickly, even though I lopped them off to about a half inch of stem.

With this experience, I'm wondering whether the peas can provide an infinite supply of pea shoots.  In my area, pea shoots are a trendy and popular (and modestly expensive) item sold in farmer's markets.  This could be a frugal gardening option if the peas continue to produce greens for a long period of time.  Anyone have any experience with this?

Poundwise

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 06:32:09 PM »
No, but that's a fascinating idea!  I am going to try it!

One thing I used to do is sprout broccoli seeds and mung beans in an old mayonnaise jar, so that I could make pad thai.  But I don't know if that counts as gardening.

Meadow Lark

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 07:09:03 PM »
I sprout broccoli, Alfalfa, red clover, and I am currently trying sunflower seeds.  Sprouting usually refers to just sprouting the seeds by soaking then rinsing in water twice a day and letting dry in between.  If you grow them in a medium and cut the shoots they are called micro greens.  I have thought about trying that, but we are moving into an RV soon so I don't think I will have the space.  But I need to look into sprouting peas -!I bet they are delicious!
  Where do you get your peas?  There is an Indian market near my house that might have a good price on them that I may try out.  Got my broccoli seeds from Amazon (best price by a mile).  My sunflower seeds I got from the birdseed aisle at Walmart.  My Alfalfa and Clover I bought in a healthfood store.  I may end up buying them from Amazon, also.  You can sprout a lot of beans, I know, but I have avoided them because most beans can't be eaten raw.  I really should try mung beans though.

frugalfinancehippy

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 09:37:17 PM »
This has me excited for spring! (We just had an unusual dump of snow in BC today and I can't wait for the sunshine to come out)

We just have a patio but definitely everything we plant the squirrels get into eventually. Is there any trick for that? I was thinking some hanging baskets but they'll probably be able to get into those from the real lace as well. We grew a few things on the window sill but it'd be much better on the Patio.

We usually do tomatoes, lettuce, basil, peas, and carrots. What else would you say is easy to grow?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 12:17:20 AM »
Something else I am thinking of today, is shaking out edible mushrooms. I have heard of people who have shaken spores out of cantharellus in their garden and the cantharellus started to grow there.
I know quite a few edible mushrooms that grow close by in the forest. My piece of land has the same vegetation as the forest. So I should try to shake some of the goodees. You'll need to use mature mushrooms for this action.

The spores that are shaken out might not be very visible to the naked eye, but if you put your mushroom hat on a piece of paper over night, you will find spores under it the next morning.

What I don't know is whether you need to shake multiple mushrooms of the same kind in case the spores are wither male or female. I'll read up on it sometime.

Poundwise

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2017, 06:29:00 AM »
I sprout broccoli, Alfalfa, red clover, and I am currently trying sunflower seeds.  Sprouting usually refers to just sprouting the seeds by soaking then rinsing in water twice a day and letting dry in between.  If you grow them in a medium and cut the shoots they are called micro greens.  I have thought about trying that, but we are moving into an RV soon so I don't think I will have the space.  But I need to look into sprouting peas -!I bet they are delicious!
  Where do you get your peas?  There is an Indian market near my house that might have a good price on them that I may try out.  Got my broccoli seeds from Amazon (best price by a mile).  My sunflower seeds I got from the birdseed aisle at Walmart.  My Alfalfa and Clover I bought in a healthfood store.  I may end up buying them from Amazon, also.  You can sprout a lot of beans, I know, but I have avoided them because most beans can't be eaten raw.  I really should try mung beans though.

I was going to use a packet of garden pea seeds, but as I think about it that's not a good idea since the seeds I have are bred specially to give nice pods, whereas if I just want peas for greens, any old dried peas will do. Maybe I should wait till this year's garden peas grow up, then save seeds for greens.

I think I got my  mung beans from the Asian market, and I sometimes get other sprouting greens from http://sprouthouse.com/ though their prices may not be Mustachian. 

Jmoody10

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2017, 07:12:56 AM »
A few other tips that work well in our zone (8B/9A)

Save the tops of pineapples and plant them. They will produce 2/3 pups that can be divided out - 2 years later, you have a pineapple per pup.

Plant ginger that is turning green - it will put up growth and start spreading underground

Ask for cuttings from fruit trees in your area - put a bit of root grow on them and hope for the best. After a few years, you will have productive and free fruit trees.

Hotstreak

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2017, 08:58:02 AM »
This has me excited for spring! (We just had an unusual dump of snow in BC today and I can't wait for the sunshine to come out)

We just have a patio but definitely everything we plant the squirrels get into eventually. Is there any trick for that? I was thinking some hanging baskets but they'll probably be able to get into those from the real lace as well. We grew a few things on the window sill but it'd be much better on the Patio.

We usually do tomatoes, lettuce, basil, peas, and carrots. What else would you say is easy to grow?

Based on those things growing well, I'd say you would have success with spinach, kale, chard, or other greens, based on success with lettuce, basil, and peas.  Also radish & beets,  based on your success with carrots.  First I would ask myself "what would I really like to eat" then check with local resources to find varieties of that plant that will grow well in your climate.  In BC I would assume short season or cold tolerant plants will do better.


DK

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2017, 09:11:11 AM »
That sprouting talk reminded me of something I read awhile back:

http://www.survivalplus.com/foods/The-Perfect-3.3-Cent-Breakfast.htm

Anyone ever try this? I had forgotten about it, but might give it a try. Or there might be better ways to do it now.

Beardog

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2017, 04:08:42 PM »
...
  Where do you get your peas?  ...

The peas were supplied by the person who was teaching the class.  I think he said these pea shoots, which he had us grow in a commercial soil mix on top of some compost, were grown to a size bigger than micro greens.  The peas just looked like whole peas that you could buy in a plastic bag from Goya!  That's what I was intending to try for my next step.

Beardog

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2017, 04:18:33 PM »
That sprouting talk reminded me of something I read awhile back:

http://www.survivalplus.com/foods/The-Perfect-3.3-Cent-Breakfast.htm

Anyone ever try this? I had forgotten about it, but might give it a try. Or there might be better ways to do it now.

This link is very interesting.  I remember noticing that some seeds sold at a local Agway store were labeled for animal consumption only.  I can't remember exactly what they were, but the price caught my attention because they were something that I like to eat!

This link states "First, look up your local feed and seed store, even in a city, and call them. Ask if they have, or can order, 50 to 60 pounds of hard red winter wheat, untreated (treated seed is strictly for planting)."  I'd want to make sure that the seeds were fit for human consumption.  From what I understand, food products for animals may be handled very differently than food products for homo sapiens.  Thank you for sharing the article - it's a very interesting idea - and I'd love to hear from folks who know more about this than I do.

Kaybee

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2017, 09:35:11 PM »
I actually *really* attempted gardening for the first time this past summer (it figures, I sell my house with a backyard and move into a condo and THAT'S when I become interested in growing edibles).  The container garden (tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, strawberries) was a pretty terrible failure but not really within my control.  We had 3 hail storms, each spaced out well enough that *just* as my plants were starting to recover and grow again, they'd be knocked down/shredded by the next storm.  It was so disappointing to stand inside and watch my plants get destroyed but at least I knew I had the money and ability to buy food.  I can't imagine the heartbreak for farmers or homesteaders who *need* their plants to produce.

The tomatoes, peppers and strawberries never managed to do anything (the tomatoes got close but then our growing season ended) and although the spinach never took, my lettuce was super abundant.  Lol, I may have overplanted since I wasn't sure what would work.

Its still a bit early for me to get anything started (not much room in my condo and there are 2 cats who think anything green is meant to be eaten) but I've started thinking about what this year's container garden will look like.

I'm thinking:
-tomatoes (probably a cherry or grape variety...not the big sized ones I tried last year as I was given free starter plants)
-lettuce (since it does well and I have no problems eating greens)
-spinach (my *preferred* green)
-some kind of berry (recommendations??)

I'm sure I'll squeeze more on my balcony but am not sure what else to try.  If anyone has any suggestions for zone 4a, I'd love to hear them.  And I'm vegetarian so there are very few vegetables that I *don't* like. :)

Edited to add:  I also joined my neighbourhood community association so I could list myself for one of their garden plots.  There's a waitlist this summer but hopefully I'll get a plot next year!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 09:38:43 PM by Kaybee »
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The Guru

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2017, 04:16:39 PM »
Another thought on the "what to grow?" dilemma: Many people would like to eat more organic produce, but find the cost prohibitive. With this in mind, the Environmental Working Group came up with what they dubbed the "Dirty Dozen"- the crops most likely to contain, or which had the highest levels of, pesticide residues. This was paired with the "Clean Fifteen"- crops with the lowest levels of pesticides. The idea was aimed at consumers, but, no reason why gardeners can't utilize it as well.

Poundwise

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2017, 04:43:42 PM »
I actually *really* attempted gardening for the first time this past summer (it figures, I sell my house with a backyard and move into a condo and THAT'S when I become interested in growing edibles).  The container garden (tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, strawberries) was a pretty terrible failure but not really within my control.  We had 3 hail storms, each spaced out well enough that *just* as my plants were starting to recover and grow again, they'd be knocked down/shredded by the next storm.  It was so disappointing to stand inside and watch my plants get destroyed but at least I knew I had the money and ability to buy food.  I can't imagine the heartbreak for farmers or homesteaders who *need* their plants to produce.

Can you move the pots inside when a storm is expected? I have a great picture from Hurricane Sandy... I had a big melon growing on a vine on my balcony... because I couldn't untangle the vine from the railing, I pulled the pot inside and left the vine sticking out from under the door, kind of like an extension cord. Maybe you could put some of the pots on wheels before you plant them this year, so it's easier to move them to shelter?

The Guru

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2017, 05:31:17 PM »

Its still a bit early for me to get anything started (not much room in my condo and there are 2 cats who think anything green is meant to be eaten) but I've started thinking about what this year's container garden will look like.

I'm thinking:
-tomatoes (probably a cherry or grape variety...not the big sized ones I tried last year as I was given free starter plants)
-lettuce (since it does well and I have no problems eating greens)
-spinach (my *preferred* green)
-some kind of berry (recommendations??)

I'm sure I'll squeeze more on my balcony but am not sure what else to try.  If anyone has any suggestions for zone 4a, I'd love to hear them.  And I'm vegetarian so there are very few vegetables that I *don't* like. :)



Maybe....
- peppers- sweet or hot. Compact plants; might have to start indoors or from transplants if you have a short season
- broccoli, Brussels sprouts. Again compact enough for pots; plus you can harvest side shots after the main head is gone.
  Bonus- they like it cool!
- cucumbers. Grow on a small trellis OR look for BUSH cukes
- berries: try strawberries or blueberries

BTW= re: tomatoes- cherry types tend to be HUGE growers- larger than regular tomatoes! Just cause they are small fruited doesn't mean the plants are small! For containers look for bush varieties or those labeled Determinate which tend to be more compact (note- they also tend to produce over a shorter time period) as opposed to Indetereminate, which grow larger.







horsepoor

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2017, 05:50:30 PM »
Start sweet potato plants from an organic grocery store potato.  One potato/yam will make several plants. There are tutorials online, but I just slice one into 6 or so pieces and put them in small pots of soil in the spring.  Last year I tried 2 varieties, and one had 100% success, and 100% of the other variety rotted without sprouting, so it's good to diversify.

I've also planted garlic and regular potatoes from the grocery store successfully.  Potatoes are often cited as a dumb thing to grow because they're cheap, but IME, once they're planted, they just keep giving because a couple are usually missed at harvest, and will give you new plants with zero effort the next year.  Also, you can grow all the fancy colored and fingerling varieties that are $$ in the store.

Shallots are another good one.  I haven't tried starting them from grocery store shallots, but once you plant them, they just keep giving. They'll divide, you harvest and put a % back in the ground and enjoy the rest.

Leeks are also kind of pricey in the store, but they've kind of naturalized in my yard. Let some go to seed and you'll have tons of little leeklets the next spring.  Since they're tall and skinny, it's easy to grow other crops amongst the volunteer leeks.

Seeds:  yes, save them.  Also, most seed packets are good for several years, so no need to buy all new seeds each year.


SimpleCycle

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2017, 12:53:58 PM »
We are thinking about getting a community garden plot this year, but I am thinking very hard about if it would be economical enough to be worth it.  I suspect the best I can hope for is it paying for itself and providing us with a bunch of entertainment over the summer, but only if I'm careful about costs.

I am hoping to get some seeds from a local seed swap - unfortunately I have nothing to contribute this year as we didn't garden last year.  I also need to find out if there's a good place to get tomato seedlings around here - I generally don't plant them from seed because I want multiple varieties.  I can order from Burpee, but that's $20 for four plants - hardly a deal!  Maybe I'll try starting indoors from seed.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2017, 02:14:51 PM »
<...> I am currently trying sunflower seeds.
<...>

We did that, too, last summer. Just any sunflower seeds from a pack of bird food would grow.
We hang up the sunflowers for this birds and they appreciated it. They only eat so many seeds that we can't grow enough and need to buy extra.

MishMash

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2017, 03:25:24 PM »
Something else I am thinking of today, is shaking out edible mushrooms. I have heard of people who have shaken spores out of cantharellus in their garden and the cantharellus started to grow there.
I know quite a few edible mushrooms that grow close by in the forest. My piece of land has the same vegetation as the forest. So I should try to shake some of the goodees. You'll need to use mature mushrooms for this action.

The spores that are shaken out might not be very visible to the naked eye, but if you put your mushroom hat on a piece of paper over night, you will find spores under it the next morning.

What I don't know is whether you need to shake multiple mushrooms of the same kind in case the spores are wither male or female. I'll read up on it sometime.

You will be hard pressed for this to succeed with chanterelles, no one is "quite" sure what the symbiotic relationship is in the root structure of trees that causes them to grow in some areas and not others.  I've been tossing left over soaking water from cantharellus and too wormy shrooms into the garden and compost pile for years, not so much as a glimmer of one.  If you want one that's good in the garden look at a King Strophia, they seem to grow quite well under my tomato plants.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Mustachian gardening
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2017, 02:13:28 AM »
You will be hard pressed for this to succeed with chanterelles, no one is "quite" sure what the symbiotic relationship is in the root structure of trees that causes them to grow in some areas and not others.  I've been tossing left over soaking water from cantharellus and too wormy shrooms into the garden and compost pile for years, not so much as a glimmer of one.  If you want one that's good in the garden look at a King Strophia, they seem to grow quite well under my tomato plants.

Thanks for the tip. I should investigate if I am allowed to import and plant them, as it is an unfamiliar species.

Last year I found Morchella elata, Xerocomus Badius, various Russulas and Laccaria Laccata in the garden. I could start by shaking out the first 2. An further all the edibles I find in the nearby forest. My garden is not like a garden for tomato plants. It has the same trees and undergrowth as the forest.