Author Topic: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020  (Read 24575 times)

trashtalk

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #200 on: March 23, 2020, 03:12:50 PM »
I put some cupboard-sprouted potatoes in a huge pot and the green leaves emerged today so we should have a potato tower to make us new potatoes.

The asparagus is up but it's too young to harvest. See you in 2022 for that.

A neighbor relocated her strawberry beds and shared extra strawberry plants with the rest of us. I dearly hope they survive!

I should be starting more seeds everyday but I think I need to relocate my potting bench so I can have more space.

I am still harvesting my usual small quantities of citrus and peppers, which is always heartening even if it wouldn't be enough to keep us alive during a real food shortage.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #201 on: March 23, 2020, 09:12:15 PM »
Did a good yard cleanup session yesterday.  It was a beautiful day and really what I needed mentally.  There will probably be a lot of immaculate yards and gardens around this year!  I got my three metal-sided beds and one other bed prepared and planted beets, carrots, lettuce, mesclun mix, kale, chard and collards.  Now we are getting a bit of rain, so that should give them a good start.  Tonight I transplanted about 45 tomatoes into bigger cups along with 18 cauliflowers, some cabbages and broccolis.  My special strain of green chiles germinated almost perfectly, so it looks like I'll have 60+ plants if I can find room for them all.  OTOH, I got zero germination on my eggplants, so I'm hoping I'll be able to procure some plants in another month or so.

With work travel being cancelled, this might be the year that I finally get the native garden planted in our side yard, which has been an unsightly mess most of the time we've lived here, though I've been chipping away at it little by little

Money Badger

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #202 on: March 23, 2020, 09:33:35 PM »
Hi green peeps!   Been using the extra home time to get the garden expansion, compost bins improved and really organized on growing from seeds for tomatoes and basil to get early starts (Georgia Zone 7 to 8).   The biggest score was asparagus bed is now planted (young plants so 2 years to wait... Sigh)!    The other major addition was a roto tiller to do the garden expansion soil prep and a plot of sunflowers is on my list...    And oh yeah, get the drip irrigation setup to the expansion bed.   Sorry, too much to do... gotta go!  ;)

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #203 on: March 24, 2020, 07:14:38 AM »
Convinced my bf to let me put in 2 raised beds in his yard for square foot gardening.  I've always wanted to try this but didn't have the space.  Resigned myself that I'm probably going to end up moving there with all the financial nonsense (he said it would be rent free for me, but it's $1000/mo mortgage in case things are really bad- he quit his job last month and then hasn't been able to find a job with all the coronavirus going on).  Definitely need a garden in any place I live and this should be an investment for easy veggies over the long run.

Zone 7a, hoping it's not too late to put in greens.  We didn't get it done with all the rain yesterday and now I"m back in the city until Friday, when it's supposed to rain for 3 days straight :(  Started too late for seedlings but really happy we got the beds done at least and bought the mix for the "soil"

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #204 on: March 24, 2020, 09:57:17 AM »
Do you know of any sweet cherries that grow in Florida? seems they are all tangy, nothing like the sweet dark cherries I love.

Only one I've heard that is supposed to be similar to a sweet cherry is Cherry of the Rio Grande, which can suffer from "sudden die back" here in FL and why I've not tried growing it. Those red fruits might be Surinam cherry (related to pitangatuba, which has larger yellow fruit). There's a dark red/black variety Zells Surinam cherry that's supposed to be sweeter. I grow Jamaican cherry (tastes like cotton candy) and Barbados cherry (fairly tart, full of vit C).

I've heard about Australian beach cherry, but unsure about flavor profile (this place and another one say they taste like sweet cherries, with a hint of grape). There's Brazilian cherry/grumichama, but it's supposed to taste a bit more grape-like too.

UF might be working on a sweet cherry, but most need more chill hours. If anyone knows of any subtropical sweet cherries, would love to know!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 02:25:01 PM by Roots&Wings »

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #205 on: March 26, 2020, 07:24:12 AM »
I placed an order for seeds online.  I was going to pop over to their retail store and pick my own order when I got back from my vacation.  Well, vacation was cut short but I am in 14-day isolation.  Province declared a shut down so most retail is now closed.  The seed supplier is operating as totally online and shipping is going to be 3-4 weeks.  I will start the peppers and tomatoes that I have already.  Hopefully they were under promising and will over deliver.

I need potting soil - my stock was about a quarter of what I thought it was.  Need to call a friend and see if I can buy some off them and pick it up from their gate.

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #206 on: March 26, 2020, 05:08:27 PM »
Thanks for the link @Indio!  I just checked it out -- great video.  My main takeaway is that I need to learn more.  I've read such conflicting things about biochar -- what it does, how it does it, how to make it -- that I'm confused.  How do you make yours?  Or do you get it somewhere?  What do you add to it before you put it into the soil?

Allright - I'm dragging up an old topic because I haven't been keeping up with this thread, and I've been making biochar in decent volume for close to a year.

I agree - lots of information online for making your own biochar (charcoal)  is confusing, over-engineered or just plain old too much WORK!

Fair warning, I'm stuck at home (PANDEMIC!) and have started in on the whiskey.

So, the basics:

Think of biochar as a rigid, lightweight, extremely porous sponge. When it's produced, it's a totally empty carbon matrix. Everything else was burned out. If you put it in the soil as-produced, it will suck up nutrients and water for a little while (year-ish? Depends on conditions) then after will be a net help to the garden. If you pre-treat your biochar with nutrients, it will be helpful to most gardens immediately.

So, what do you need to efficiently make biochar at home the lazy way?

Dry biological material. If it's wood - mostly not too thick. You can use corn stover, rice hulls, old fence pickets, pallet wood, almost anything - just make sure it's really dry and not too thick.
A container for your fire which will limit oxygen, but let you keep the burn going. Wider than it is tall, preferably with outward-sloping sides
A safe place to have your fire (note: If you're doing it right, there will be very little smoke after you get it going)
A method to quench the fire (I just use water from the hose - but in areas where water is limited, you can smother with wet cloth for less net water usage)
A method to break down the biochar, likely below half an inch ( ~1 cm) pieces

Now, onto some details:

I dug through all sorts of reports/sites/whatnot on biochar, and by far the simplest, most straightforward approach I found was the "flame capped kiln" - basically a container where you can have your fire, but limit oxygen from the bottom and sides. 

Example: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=2ahUKEwj_nda5mrnoAhUBOKwKHdvSCX0QFjAGegQIBRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fforestry.usu.edu%2Ffiles%2Futah-forest-facts%2Fhazardous-fuels-reduction-using-flame-cap-biochar-kilns.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2yALqjhCh2KX76RDuVS2Mz

Unfortunately, the described version is too big and heavy for the usual home gardener - and likely too expensive as well!

I experimented with a variety of easy/cheap approaches. It really is critical to have it wider, preferably with outward-sloping sides. A metal 5-gallon bucket is quite finicky and problematic - too tall, meaning not enough air/oxygen. The best cheap solution I found was a steel washtub. Modern example linked below, though a more old-fashioned heavy galvanized (instead of electroplate) version would be better.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/behrens-17-gal-galvanized-sheet-steel-utility-tub

The whole idea is to get a good fire going, burn off the volatile resins from the wood, but leave a pure carbon matrix behind. Enough oxygen to burn the volatiles (make visible flames) but not enough to ash much of the charcoal/carbon matrix. The quickest production is from smaller sticks/twigs, under 1" (2cm) and cut to fit inside the kiln/tub. Of course, I also have larger wood that needs to be processed, but I limit it to 4 pieces of 2-4" (4-9cm) diameter. These larger pieces are used at the very beginning when making a "log cabin" style fire in the washtub to give them the longest possible burning time. I use small pieces between and around them, and periodically lever up the larger diameter pieces to the top of the fire. They also periodically get smacked with the poking stick to break off charcoal and expose the innards to the heat. Too many thick pieces? Split them before you get started!

So, key item: When to add fuel? Ideally, you are adding fuel when the existing burning sticks have blackened and are just starting to show ash. Ash is the carbon matrix burning away, so if you have ash starting - you've gotten most of the volatile components burned off. Add some more fuel so that it sucks up the oxygen and also provides heat to your semi-burnt pieces, driving off the rest of the volatiles.

I reserve some really small diameter twigs/brush/straw for the very end of the burn, because there are invariably a few larger chunks which haven't finished burning, but the rest of the washtub full of coals is going to start ashing away. The little twigs burn fast, using up the oxygen that would otherwise let your precious charcoal turn to ash.

At the point where you have a nice, even bed of coals filling your washtub most of the way and very little to zero flame - quench. Stir your nice charcoal and find the hot spots. Quench again.

After everything has cooled, I use a 1/2" mesh screen  to screen out the large pieces, break them up, then rescreen. If a piece is still too big - it probably wasn't cooked enough. I set aside any material which doesn't make it through the second attempt at screening, get it dried thoroughly - and put it in the bottom of the washbasin for the next run.

Post-treatment: Critical item if you want to use this beneficially in the garden in a short timeframe. You need to get nutrients into that barren carbon matrix. You could use compost, manure, chicken droppings, urine... There was a great little study on capturing nitrogen from cow barns - mixing the cleanouts (of manure/urine/straw) with charcoal was better than straight composting at retaining nitrogen. However, the best approach (highest nitrogen retention) was to simply use the biochar spread in the barn to get that direct contact and absorption.

So, how to do this at home the lazy way? Put your charcoal in a 5 gallon bucket in a discreet area of your garden or porch, and add urine.

Where do you get the urine? Well.... make sure to hydrate well with tea, or beer or whatever while gardening. Spend a long time gardening. You don't need to go back inside. *hint* *hint*

Maybe you chicken folks will let me know if charcoal works well as chicken bedding...
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 05:18:36 PM by TomTX »

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #207 on: March 26, 2020, 05:11:07 PM »
Does anyone grow hazelnuts? I'm planning to start a hazel coppice in the wooded section of my lot. The ground is already clear from deer browsing and I want to bring back some understory. I also really want to have my own supply of bean poles in a couple years. As someone who's moved around a lot and has only owned a home for a little over a year it feels a little odd and wonderful to plan for 7 years down the road when the hazels will be ready to harvest and hopefully we'll finally have fruit from the pear and apple tress I planted last fall.

We had a couple of hazelnut trees when I was growing up - I really enjoyed the nuts, though I think I was about the only one in the family who actually gathered and ate them, as with the gooseberries. OMG fresh gooseberries are the best! I mean, once you get the picking technique down so that you don't get stabbed. Haven't found anything remotely close flavorwise in the grocery store, and I cannot grow them in Austin.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #208 on: March 27, 2020, 04:59:11 AM »
Great post on biochar @TomTX!  Thank you!     

Dumb question.  You mentioned using old fencing.  But you can't used treated lumber for this, can you?

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #209 on: March 27, 2020, 11:58:31 AM »
Great post on biochar @TomTX!  Thank you!     

Dumb question.  You mentioned using old fencing.  But you can't used treated lumber for this, can you?

Happy to help! I'd be thrilled to see more home biochar producers. It's something you can do to lock up carbon and improve soil fertility for thousands of years. Archaeologists frequently will carbon-date a site using the charcoal.

I would not use treated lumber. The process would make it very easy to release the metals used in treatment. Around here it's rare to see treated lumber for fencing, other than the posts in the ground. If you want something better than basic pine people usually either upgrade to cedar or stain/paint the fence.

I scored a pallet from next door this morning, so that's going to be turned into charcoal once I cut it up. If I had a planer I might try to use it for something. Pallets are typically relatively strong hardwood. I still have a bunch of fence pickets, mostly already cut up - plus a lot of sticks from pruning that I've been drying out. When pruning, I just take off all the leaves (dropped in the grass, mowed) and cut the sticks to 8-12" lengths while green, mostly with pruning clippers. Toss 'em in a pile off to the side for initial drying out. I havve a couple of bins in covered areas for final drying (shed, back porch)

I've got a batch from Wednesday which needs to be sieved and put into a 5 gallon bucket.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 12:00:30 PM by TomTX »

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #210 on: March 27, 2020, 08:33:09 PM »
One of the side effects of everyone staying home with social distancing and worrying about the food supply chain, is that more friends are looking at doing veg gardens this year. Two friends approached me about giving them advice. One is a newbie and the other has had a flower garden for years but never any veggies. When they placed their online seed orders, found out that many places were sold out. A phone call to Botanical Interests indicated that they usually had 500 orders a month at the high end and now orders were 3,000 month. I thought it was amazing that BI was even open. Dug into my seed stash and gave them seeds I've been saving over the years, in case their orders don't arrive on time.

Confirming my suspicion that food garden demand has increased, saw this article about Corona victory gardens. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/dining/victory-gardens-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
Now I've started watching old shows about victory gardens on youtube.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #211 on: March 28, 2020, 05:09:56 AM »
That's super interesting @Indio.  I have extra seeds, and will have extra plants too.  I could put an ad on the local 'hour exchange', or maybe Nextdoor and see if anyone needs them? 

Good news y'all.   I called the apiary yesterday and as of now they are still planning to deliver bees in 10 days or so.  Fingers crossed!  My bee yard and hive bodies are all done.  Just waiting for the ladies. 

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #212 on: March 28, 2020, 08:12:30 AM »
For sourcing seeds, I had good luck at the beginning of the week with Etsy (online), Home Depot and Tractor Supply Company (both local) - HD had both Burpee and Ferry Morse seeds, with a small selection from Seed Saver's exchange. I noticed the Ferry Morse packs tended to have noticeably more seed per pack. I went ahead and bought my fall/winter crop seeds (spinach, brassicas, carrots) and a 72-cell seed starter kit.

On the home biochar front: If you want smaller scale easy methods, you can either use a chiminea or fire ring with an approach similar to the washtub, or for really small scale - an old steel 1-gallon paint can.

What's the paint can method? Well, you fill the paint can with small diameter dry material (ie twigs), loosely put the lid on the can and build your fire around the can. Be ready for the edges of the lid to have fire coming out as the volatiles are boiled off from the material in the can.

For those who don't know what a Chiminea is:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/37-in-Clay-KD-Chiminea-with-Iron-Stand-Rope-KD-ROPE/207015023

If you want to combine biochar production with some cooking, a TLUD wood stove is another option. Actually, many options... Still with the theme of "wood fire with limited oxygen." As with the other methods, you need to be sure to quench it when your wood has converted to biochar.  Very scaleable, from 1-gallon paint can size up to 55 gallon steel drum (55 gallon often is run with an upside-down 30 gallon inside, both full of fuel. Outer fuel burning heats the inner fuel, and the volatiles are forced to come up from the bottom of the 55 gallon and burn in the same zone as the outside fuel, again limiting oxygen)

Indio

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coffeefueled

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #214 on: March 28, 2020, 12:32:19 PM »
I hate to think what will happen to all those chicks when life goes back to something more normal in a couple months and people decide they don't want them.

Planted a handful of tomatoes cucumbers and peppers in a seed tray for transplants. Last year I felt like I neglected everything by midsummer so I'm trying to cut way back on what I plant this year.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #215 on: March 28, 2020, 02:09:44 PM »
I hate to think what will happen to all those chicks when life goes back to something more normal in a couple months and people decide they don't want them.

That's a good point.  I was looking at having my usual spring work travel cancelled as an opportunity to raise some replacement pullets.  Then the stay at home order was put in place, so I decided I wouldn't make a special trip to the feed store to buy them (already stocked on critter feed).  There is a good chance that I can buy some hens cheap on Craigslist in a few months and skip the whole messy business of raising chicks.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #216 on: March 28, 2020, 04:49:30 PM »
Funny story from the garden today.  I was shoveling up aged compost from our chicken run to use in the garden, and I saw an egg.  I thought it was one of our ceramic nest eggs, several of which have gone missing.   I bent down, picked it up, and it went BANG! and exploded greenish yellow goo all over my shirt and shorts.  A real egg that's been in the compost heap for 6-12 months.  The smell was beyond horrific . . .something straight out of one of Satan's orifices.  I thought I could keep doing my outdoor work, but I couldn't even breathe through the stench.  It was a hot day, so I went to the hose and soaked myself down, but it didn't help.  So I went into the garage, took my clothes off, and walked them straight to the washing machine.  Family from 15 ft away were like, "WHAT IS THAT SMELL?"  I've since taken a shower and washed my hair, and I can still smell it  :)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 04:58:56 AM by Trifele »

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #217 on: March 28, 2020, 04:58:19 PM »
Funny story from the garden today.  I was shoveling up aged compost from our chicken run to use in the garden, and I saw an egg.  I thought it was one of our ceramic nest eggs, several of which have gone missing.   I bent down, picked it up, and it went BANG! and exploded greenish yellow goo all over my shirt and shorts.  A real egg that's been in the compost heap for 6-12 months.  The smell was beyond horrific . . .something straight out of one of Satan's orifices.  I thought I could keep doing my outdoor work, but I couldn't even breathe through the stench.  It was a hot day, so I went to the hose and soaked myself down, but it didn't help.  So I went into the garage, took my clothes off, and walked them straight to the washing machine.  Family from 15 away were like, "WHAT IS THAT SMELL?"  I've since taken a shower and washed my hair, and I can still smell it  :)

Oh nooooo!  Wow, this is hilarious, but sorry it's hard to get rid of, and sorry for your family that they won't be able to get very far away  during this time.  Hope you have a big house.

Money Badger

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #218 on: March 28, 2020, 06:17:50 PM »
@Trifele,  The chicken egg story was priceless!  Itís a small price to pay in the grander scheme at least.

Today we put quite a few egg shells from our compost bins to use and fenced a new garden expansion area we just planted.   I find that the use of bright lime green compressor sprayed paint and almost neon red paint in the garden cages and fence panels is very therapeutic... Gives veggies a botanical garden vibe that just brings joy... no
matter the weather.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #219 on: March 29, 2020, 05:04:42 AM »
Funny story from the garden today.  I was shoveling up aged compost from our chicken run to use in the garden, and I saw an egg.  I thought it was one of our ceramic nest eggs, several of which have gone missing.   I bent down, picked it up, and it went BANG! and exploded greenish yellow goo all over my shirt and shorts.  A real egg that's been in the compost heap for 6-12 months.  The smell was beyond horrific . . .something straight out of one of Satan's orifices.  I thought I could keep doing my outdoor work, but I couldn't even breathe through the stench.  It was a hot day, so I went to the hose and soaked myself down, but it didn't help.  So I went into the garage, took my clothes off, and walked them straight to the washing machine.  Family from 15 away were like, "WHAT IS THAT SMELL?"  I've since taken a shower and washed my hair, and I can still smell it  :)

Oh nooooo!  Wow, this is hilarious, but sorry it's hard to get rid of, and sorry for your family that they won't be able to get very far away  during this time.  Hope you have a big house.

Haha @sui generis -- husband said I smelled fine after the first shower, so I guess it was my imagination.   :)

chaskavitch

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #220 on: March 29, 2020, 06:46:20 AM »
We just bought some trees yesterday - a juniper, a Russian hawthorn, three Crimson Cloud hawthorn, and an Eastern redbud.  Our backyard has some (unknown) fruit trees on the borders, but our lot is 100' by 450', and the we definitely need some more tall greenery back there.  We're planning to plant on Monday or Tuesday this week when I'm WFH.  We also bought them from a local nursery that is doing pickup/delivery orders.  The man I spoke to when I was making the order ended our call with "and thanks for buying from us right now, we really appreciate it."  I am glad that we're able to support a local business when it means so much to them.

I also threw a bunch of clover seeds out in the back 1/4 acre(ish) in hopes of tying down some more dirt.  The grass out there now is a clumping variety, so over the winter, the wind has blown the dirt away from between the clumps, and now we have a zillion tiny hummocks that I keep tripping over. 

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #221 on: March 29, 2020, 07:35:02 AM »
Is anyone growing Eugenia reinwardtiana (Australian Beach Cherry or Cedar Bay Cherry being common names)?

I've had success with Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra) here in Austin, but I don't really care for the flavor.

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #222 on: March 29, 2020, 10:48:39 PM »
I am trying the winter seed sowing method this year and am starting to see some shoots developing in my containers.  Iím going to sow more this week.

I purchased onion sets and seed potatoes before we were quarantined, so now my taters are in a dark place chitting.

This is my first year in a condo so I have rented a city garden plot.  I need fencing, plant supports and tools, but will wait three weeks and figure out how to procure those items then.  We have an excellent farm supply store here, so Iím fine waiting to go out when the risk is lessened.

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #223 on: March 30, 2020, 09:03:33 AM »
@Trifele You have my sympathies. I know that smell of rotten eggs well.

It was a wet weekend, which made it ideal time for transplanting seedlings into larger containers. I've been saving half gallon milk cartons to put seedlings into. Fortunately, I bought enough sterilized soil in the Fall to get through seedling season without having to go out. All of the garden centers are closed here due to lockdown.

I'm planning a morel, maitake and hen of the woods mushroom patch in a small understory area in the front yard. I'm looking for ways to expand my growing area as much as possible on this 1/4 quarter acre lot.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #224 on: March 30, 2020, 11:37:31 AM »
Funny story from the garden today.  I was shoveling up aged compost from our chicken run to use in the garden, and I saw an egg.  I thought it was one of our ceramic nest eggs, several of which have gone missing.   I bent down, picked it up, and it went BANG! and exploded greenish yellow goo all over my shirt and shorts.  A real egg that's been in the compost heap for 6-12 months.  The smell was beyond horrific . . .something straight out of one of Satan's orifices.  I thought I could keep doing my outdoor work, but I couldn't even breathe through the stench.  It was a hot day, so I went to the hose and soaked myself down, but it didn't help.  So I went into the garage, took my clothes off, and walked them straight to the washing machine.  Family from 15 away were like, "WHAT IS THAT SMELL?"  I've since taken a shower and washed my hair, and I can still smell it  :)

Oh yuck!  I once cracked open an egg that must have been hidden for a long time, and then uncovered, because it was black inside.  It was so nasty I couldn't even look at an egg for a couple weeks.  Can only imagine getting that vileness on yourself and clothing.  Aaacckk!

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #225 on: March 30, 2020, 11:49:53 AM »
Funny story from the garden today.  . . . 

Oh yuck!  I once cracked open an egg that must have been hidden for a long time, and then uncovered, because it was black inside.  It was so nasty I couldn't even look at an egg for a couple weeks. 

Whoa -- Black?  That is beyond nasty.  Ewwwww!

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #226 on: March 30, 2020, 02:01:54 PM »
In happier news, both of my olive trees are flowering like mad. We had a mild winter, so they didn't have any freeze damage (woo!)

Hopefully I'll have fruit this year - anyone have a preferred processing method? I've got plenty of salt for brining. I've just never done it. Looks like the easy method I see is starting with green olives:

Place in quart jars (lid while in storage) - store at 60-80F.
Medium brine for a week (1 cup salt per gallon of water), drain then fill with
Strong brine for 2-3 months (1.5 cups salt per gallon of water)
If less bitter olives are desired, change out the strong brine after a month.

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #227 on: March 30, 2020, 04:31:37 PM »
I'll just leave this here, the link is pretty self-explanatory.

https://insteading.com/blog/human-urine-fertilizer/

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #228 on: March 30, 2020, 05:02:06 PM »
I'll just leave this here, the link is pretty self-explanatory.

https://insteading.com/blog/human-urine-fertilizer/

I think Iíll stick with my seaweed fertilizer technique. 😄

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #229 on: March 30, 2020, 05:27:38 PM »
I'll just leave this here, the link is pretty self-explanatory.

https://insteading.com/blog/human-urine-fertilizer/

I think Iíll stick with my seaweed fertilizer technique. 😄

I'm 150+ miles from the Gulf, and there's very little seaweed to collect anyway.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #230 on: March 30, 2020, 06:41:30 PM »
I  needed some basil for my bolognese sauce and guess what?  I had a bunch of basil seedling needing thinning.  This has to be the earliest I have ever harvested something I grew from seed all by myself.  I am pumped for this season.

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #231 on: March 30, 2020, 11:23:40 PM »
I checked on my winter sowed seedlings today and was encouraged with the progress.  I planted up several trays of cold loving plants to add to the mix.

I spent a small chunk of the day on Facebook crowdsourcing free materials for our allotment.  It seems that peopleísí sheds are overflowing with stuff theyíre happy to part with.  Friends have perused their sheds and left stuff outside for me to pick up.  It works great and we can maintain proper distance. 

Tonight on my walk I saw several tall, sturdy tree branches that Iím going to go back and retrieve tomorrow to make plant supports for my peas.

Avoiding retail for health reasons has worked out splendidly for my pocketbook and the environment.

Any hints on how to make a cheap, functional gate for our allotment?

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #232 on: March 31, 2020, 04:09:31 AM »
@Indio -- you're my hero with the mushrooms.  Please let us know how those go, especially the morels.  I've been meaning to try mushrooms for years and haven't yet done it.


Any hints on how to make a cheap, functional gate for our allotment?

@Trudie -- what's the fence itself like?  That will probably determine some of the properties of the gate.  We have several different homemade gates here, some of them made with scrap materials.  I can take pictures if it's helpful.


coffeefueled

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #233 on: March 31, 2020, 05:53:06 AM »
I was planning to go to the garden center today but my state is officially on lockdown. I guess I have no excuse not to start rearranging the vegetable garden. We put in a fence this spring so I want to move all the raised beds into orderly rows. And build one or two more with some spare lumber we have laying around. It's pressure treated but I can use it for pumpkins since we mostly grow those for Halloween carving. I still waffle back and forth on how concerned to be about pressure treated wood leaching stuff into the soil/plants.

@Trudie as long as you have two hinges gates are pretty easy to build. The typical method I've seen is horizonal top and bottom supports, one diagonal support, and then a bunch of verticals. I've seen some really cute ones online made completely from 2in thick sticks/cut saplings. You can make them without hinges but then they're a bit of a pain to open and close.

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #234 on: March 31, 2020, 09:06:29 AM »
Regarding garden gates ó the fencing already there consists of t-posts and poultry caging, enough to keep out rabbits and small critters, but thatís about it.  There arenít good hinges, I think.  I would be interested in seeing photos of other gates.

My husband is wondering if weíll be able to garden at all as there is talk of restricting things further with even outdoor activities.  This would be devastating to me.

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #235 on: April 01, 2020, 08:19:54 PM »
Iím still trying to source materials without walking into a store.  The problem is, I usually buy tomatoes and certain veg in person.  Any good sources for plants online? 

The seed companies are so swamped right now and out of so many things.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #236 on: April 01, 2020, 09:39:40 PM »
Iím still trying to source materials without walking into a store.  The problem is, I usually buy tomatoes and certain veg in person.  Any good sources for plants online? 

The seed companies are so swamped right now and out of so many things.

Check your local nurseries.  MY former local nursery is now selling all sorts of things online.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #237 on: April 02, 2020, 05:45:08 AM »
Regarding garden gates ó the fencing already there consists of t-posts and poultry caging, enough to keep out rabbits and small critters, but thatís about it.  There arenít good hinges, I think.  I would be interested in seeing photos of other gates.

Hey @Trudie -- the rain stopped so I'll get you some pictures today.  FYI -- our gate posts (where the hinges are attached) are wood, but you can also put hinges straight onto T-posts -- people make those.  Just google "T post hinge kit".  Here's an example:  https://kencove.com/fence/Wedge-Loc+Gate+Hinge+Set_detail_HWG.php 

If you hang your gate from a T-post you just have to build the gate very light, but that should work fine for rabbits. 

asauer

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #238 on: April 02, 2020, 06:35:24 AM »
I was so excited to plant carrots and beets after work yesterday.  Only 2 more weeks until I can plant my tomatoes, melon, peppers, beans and sweet potatoes.  Question for you all: has anyone experienced a crazy amount of wasps this year?  Our area (southeast US) has so many more than usual.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #239 on: April 02, 2020, 07:02:49 AM »
I was so excited to plant carrots and beets after work yesterday.  Only 2 more weeks until I can plant my tomatoes, melon, peppers, beans and sweet potatoes.  Question for you all: has anyone experienced a crazy amount of wasps this year?  Our area (southeast US) has so many more than usual.

Hey @asauer -- no I haven't here at our place, but I saw a couple posts on this on Nextdoor so others have seen it.  Maybe the mild winter? 

Wasps can be a big plus if they prey on the larva that eat vegetables (I'm looking at you cabbage moths)

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #240 on: April 02, 2020, 02:16:30 PM »
Iím still trying to source materials without walking into a store.  The problem is, I usually buy tomatoes and certain veg in person.  Any good sources for plants online? 

The seed companies are so swamped right now and out of so many things.

I had good luck with an Etsy vendor - had a lot of what I wanted in stock.

Some in-person nurseries now let you order/pay in advance, then when you drive up they load into your trunk or whatever. No need to get out of the car, or even roll down the window - just show the receipt.

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #241 on: April 02, 2020, 02:21:30 PM »
Made another batch of biochar (charcoal) this week and thereby used up all my dried trimmings and a good amount of the old fence pickets. I processed about 5 gallons of the biochar through my 3/8" sieve.

Did a whole bunch of shrub and tree trimming to get better light into the garden areas, which means I am refilling my storage areas for trimmings ;) - got some beanpoles made as well with some of the long/straight sticks.


Money Badger

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #242 on: April 02, 2020, 05:43:22 PM »
@asauer,  Yes!  Seems a mild winter may be the reason for so many early bugs, and of course, their main predator the wasp.   Tends to balance out as the migratory birds come through...

As for growing, today was crazy busy.   Had an afternoon with perfect temps in ATL area so planted flat parsley seed (experiment), beans,  arugula, corn and did a ton of other small tasks on irrigation, a fence and several bits of cleanup on the raised beds.   The biggest win of the season so far is asparagus!   I bought roughly 30 crowns at Tractor Supply thinking they would be iffy... NOPE!   Almost every darn one has sprouted in 3 different patches I planted (old school in concave floored trenches with horse manure, compost, a thin layer of soil, the asparagus crown, then more soil, them more compost and top mulch layer.   Darn things are 2 feet high already!   

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #243 on: April 04, 2020, 09:33:12 AM »
Hi @Trudie

Here is the gate to our chicken field.  It's basically a square wooden frame (untreated cedar, because we had it and it was lightweight),, two cross pieces, and covered with 2X4" welded wire.  We used the welded wire because we don't care about rabbits getting in there, just keeping the chickens in.  Our garden fence is similar to this, but has poultry wire instead to keep rabbits out.

DH says that if he needed a quick n easy fence to keep rabbits out he would get a pre-made lattice fence panel, either lightweight wood composit or vinyl (big box stores have them and will cut  them for you) and hang it right from the T posts using a hinge kit.  Just make sure the holes in the lattice are small enough to keep rabbits out.  Rabbits go right through this 2X4" welded wire field fence, so the lattice would have to be smaller than this.  You can order all that stuff online for pickup, or to be delivered.  (At least here you can).                                                     
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 04:02:48 AM by Trifele »

GreenEggs

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #244 on: April 04, 2020, 10:23:59 AM »
We're in NC too.  We were planning a big trip to Europe this Spring, so didn't plan to start a garden this year.  But with the trip cancelled we've decided to start one.  It's a new house & doesn't have a lot of level sunny spots, so I suggested to DW that we go the Square Foot Garden route.  NC is in a lock down, but that hasn't seemed to close much beyond restaurants, bars, and hair & nail salons.  We'll need a truck load of aged manure, which I'm hoping to get from a dairy in Union Grove that sold me some a few years ago.


I just found this thread, so have a few pages to catch up on.  :)

coffeefueled

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #245 on: April 05, 2020, 06:11:41 AM »
It's supposed to be warm today and I can't wait to get outside. Cucumber/tomato/herb seedlings are coming along pretty well under the grow lights. Yesterday, I planted two climbing roses along our privacy fence and a few ferns in the shady spot next to the side door. Today I'm potting a bunch of dalhia bulbs for basal cuttings. I'll also try out our new leaf mulcher on all the leaves we didn't quite get around to raking last fall.

Strawberries I planted last year are already growing crazy with new leaves. Hopefully we'll get a great crop this year.

Does anyone in zone 7 or warmer do spring kale or chard? I'm planning to start some peas and leaf lettuce today, but don't know if it's worth trying for kale or chard with the warm spring we're having. Do you think I'd get enough growth before the hot summer to make it worth trying?

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #246 on: April 05, 2020, 07:25:04 AM »

Does anyone in zone 7 or warmer do spring kale or chard? I'm planning to start some peas and leaf lettuce today, but don't know if it's worth trying for kale or chard with the warm spring we're having. Do you think I'd get enough growth before the hot summer to make it worth trying?

I've had a fall-planted chard survive the following summer in zone 8b. It did get late afternoon shade.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #247 on: April 05, 2020, 07:48:37 AM »
Does anyone in zone 7 or warmer do spring kale or chard? I'm planning to start some peas and leaf lettuce today, but don't know if it's worth trying for kale or chard with the warm spring we're having. Do you think I'd get enough growth before the hot summer to make it worth trying?

Hey @coffeefueled -- yes, I'm in 7a and I plant both kale and chard both spring and fall.  I also keep plants over the winter, to eat in the early spring and also for seed.  I pretty much regard both of them as year-round plants here.

coffeefueled

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #248 on: April 05, 2020, 01:16:59 PM »
A chipmunk (I think) decided to dig his burrow in my strawberry bed. It's uprooted and nibbled 2-3 plants. Is a small 2ft high chickenwire fence with bird netting over the top enough to keep chipmunks and rabbits out in the future? I'll have to trap and remove the one that's in there, but I want to have a good fence up first.

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #249 on: April 05, 2020, 01:59:07 PM »
A chipmunk (I think) decided to dig his burrow in my strawberry bed. It's uprooted and nibbled 2-3 plants. Is a small 2ft high chickenwire fence with bird netting over the top enough to keep chipmunks and rabbits out in the future? I'll have to trap and remove the one that's in there, but I want to have a good fence up first.

Chipmunks are small. Theyíll go right through chicken wire. 1/2Ē hardware cloth would do the trick though. Keep in mind if they decide to climb, they will chew right through the netting.