Author Topic: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017  (Read 70431 times)

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #350 on: June 11, 2017, 05:28:57 AM »
Very envious of everyone already enjoying their produce!

So far, we've harvested a lot of rhubarb (it doesn't stop) and pea shoots. Everything else is coming up very well - tomatoes and tomatillos are flowering too. I'm also attempting a cut flower garden, just a couple of beds, with zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers etc.

I'm getting really tired of weeding the lawn... we're not at the point yet where we can just tear it all out (probably have close to 2000 sq ft of lawn on our property still.) Has anyone had any luck with a clover lawn or any other alternative?

My lawn is a mix of clover, moss, wild strawberry and traditional turf seed.  I just mow frequently and over seed three or four times in the spring to fill in the bare spots and reduce opportunity for dandelions.  I have a very small lawn though.  I have more wild meadow than lawn - mostly asters and goldenrod.  My dad the farmer thinks it is a weedy mess but I love watching the butterflies and goldfinches.  I think it is all about perspective.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #351 on: June 11, 2017, 05:43:48 AM »
I harvested peas - which is phenomenally early for my area.  I planted them in one end of the greenhouse planter. 
Tomatoes that I am growing in the greenhouse are flowering.
Haskaps are sweetening up but still pretty sour.  Do they ever get sweet like blueberries?  This is the first year with netting.  I rescued a chipmunk out of the netting yesterday so re barricaded them with chicken wire at the bottom and netting on the top.  Last year between the birds and the chipmunks, the berries never did fully (I hope) ripen.  Today is going to be hot so I will water in the morning and hopefully enjoy the sweet fruit this evening.
Allotment garden is filling in - I lugged water down from rain barrels and then refilled them in the river and lugged them back up.  Strawberries are covered in fruit but if last years experience is any indicator - water is required or the fruit just falls off.  Peppers are settling in from transplanting.  Basil is looking good, peas are flowering.  Some beets, lettuce, beans are coming up.  No sign of cilantro, carrots or golden beets.
Only two of the three Tayberry canes are leafing out.  All of them looked like dead stick when I planted them.
Black raspberries are covered in blooms.
Saskatoons are coming along.
Lots of flower and herb seedlings are in the ground and coming along.
Squirrels dug out most of the sunflower seedlings.  More chicken wire and trying again.

BTDretire

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #352 on: June 11, 2017, 08:15:35 AM »
My wife is the greenthumb in our household, I'll post her extensive list of plants.
Fruit trees- Lychees, longans, persimmons, Meyer lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, pomelo, sugarapple, starfruit, guava, mango, peach, blueberries, pomagranite, a miracleberry tree. We have a greenhouse frame over some of these that we cover for about 4 months a year.
 Herbs- Green onions, basil, chives, mint, ginger, hot peppers (several varieties), lemongrass, and at least two others I don't know the name of.
 Other- taro root, wintermelon, two types of luffa, bittermelon, sugarcane, and aloe vera.
 I'm sure there's more, but that's most of it.
 People say, you must have a lot of land, no, this is all on less than a 150ft x 150ft lot with a house and two sheds, and still more grass than I want to mow. :-)
 It is kinda fun to run out and cut green onions, basil, or hot peppers at supper time.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #353 on: June 11, 2017, 12:55:43 PM »
We have now a small field of oregano and parsley in the garden, ready for consumption. I just need to get used to using parsley.
Today I used the green of garlic feds in a dish.

totoro

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #354 on: June 11, 2017, 01:09:35 PM »

My neighbours have 4 cats and I have pine cones - thanks for the idea!

No problem.   You need quite a few to make sure there is not space for the cats to dig in between still.  Once the plants grow in this is less of an issue.   We tried cayenne pepper first and that did not work.  Also we used some cut holly leaves when we ran out of pine cones.

CloserToFree

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #355 on: June 11, 2017, 08:34:02 PM »
Reading this thread has been great inspiration for me, a very non-green thumb type who's trying to grow her first veggie and herb garden this year. Here's what I'm attempting:
Tomatoes
Peppers
Zucchini
Summer squash
Edamame

Herbs:
Basil
Mint
Dill
Cilantro
Parsley

So far I haven't killed anything yet, but I'll report back! The herbs have been wonderful​ already-- a ton of dill and moderate amount of everything else.  I'm not expecting much from the tomatoes bc my patch doesn't get quite enough sun, I don't think.  Fingers crossed at least some of the veggies pan out :)

Spruit

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #356 on: June 12, 2017, 01:27:32 AM »
I'd recommend wood ashes: it adds both Kalium and Calcium (raises the pH). Don't overdo it, as a oversupply of K can slow growth of plants by preventing them from taking up enough N to grow. So, sprinkle ashes around in moderation. Ashes are a great addition especially around potatoes, carrots, strawberries, and other fruitbearing/tuberous vegetables that use a lot of K.
Do not add ashes to blue berries, they are not a fan of neutral soils but prefer acidic
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 01:29:47 AM by Spruit »

StarBright

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #357 on: June 12, 2017, 08:34:57 AM »
I almost had strawberries but a few unseasonably warm days might have killed them off before they got big enough. Am keeping my fingers crossed that they will make a comeback as they were one thing my 5 year old planted himself. My cilantro also looks like it is ready to bolt. I may cut it back and dry the rest of it just to get some use out of it. Had a huge salad for dinner last night to use up some greens before the heat gets them too.

On the good news side - this is the first time I've successfully had peas flower! Both sweet and sugar snap - I think I'm about a week and half from harvestable peas and I'm super psyched. I only planted about a square foot of each since they were an experiment this year. But I will definitely plant more next spring.

I totally overplanted tomatoes and peppers but my kids will eat a pint of cherry tomatoes in one sitting, so I don't think any will go to waste.

The rest of my space is filled up with kale, basil, cucumbers, bush and pole beans and I'm trying some cabbage and beets this year too.


SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #358 on: June 14, 2017, 09:17:17 AM »
We started harvesting strawberries this week and my brother and I got to eat the first couple of cherries off the tree I gave my mom about five years ago. (She's out of town or the honor would have been hers.) Most of the cherries are still green so I'm hopeful that they'll stick around until my mom can have some.

One blueberry bush is looking pretty good and the other, right next to it, has plenty of leaves but zero berries. I'm not all that concerned. The plant has looked sickly in the past so the fact that it's leafing out nicely is progress.

My spinach bolted so I'm letting it go to seed for fall. Some of my broccoli has also bolted, so I'm doing the same tactic. (Although, it might not get planted for fall.)

At our new house, I'm still trying to figure out the garden. I pulled out a bunch of stuff that the previous owners had planted that had either bolted or that we didn't want. Now I need to add compost to all of the raised beds and re-plant with what we do want. We'll see if that actually happens, though. It's a busy summer/year.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #359 on: June 14, 2017, 12:07:34 PM »
I finally found some use for the parsley in the garden. On a fish dish.

sol

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #360 on: June 14, 2017, 11:47:03 PM »
Strawberries are fruiting.  About half of my tomatoes are thriving and half in a different part of the yard are pitiful and shriveled.  All but two of my cucumbers died, and those two seem to have stopped growing so they might make one or two veg each.  The sunflowers are chugging along, but much more slowly than in previous years.  The puppy has been chewing on my two year old asparagus bed, but I think they'll all live.  I have one hot pepper plant on the deck that is just now setting flowers.  Most of my basil didn't survive being transplanted, but the oregano is thriving and will hopefully be a permanent fixture.  The blueberries are three years old and finally generating significant amounts of berries.  I'm still waiting for my apple tree to flower. 

It's been a cool, wet spring around here.  Everything is sort of unfolding more slowly than normal.

boarder42

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #361 on: June 15, 2017, 05:48:00 AM »
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?

Poundwise

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #362 on: June 15, 2017, 07:37:06 AM »
Update on my garden:
Cherries on 2 year old cherry tree... had 5 beautiful cherries, which disappeared before they were ripe.

Blueberry bushes: Largest bush set many clusters of berries, which never seem to ripen.  Many fewer berries now than originally set.

Strawberry patch: Over three years, has spread to cover a 3' x 6' area.  Many flowers.  Saw one stunted red berry yesterday, which disappeared by this morning.

Squirrel crop: bumper.  Enough to run an export business!

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #363 on: June 15, 2017, 12:47:49 PM »
I just did some reading on tomatoes last night and it got me to prune my indeterminate tomato plants.  I cut off the lower branches that are within a few inches of the ground.  This helps let air and light closer to the soil to prevent fungus, blight and other diseases.  Seems to make sense.  Also pruned off some 'sucker' branches that were growing in between main branches.  Hopefully the plants will like it.

I have a bunch of flowers on most of my tomato plants that have been developing for a couple of weeks.  I tried gently shaking the plant to encourage pollination.  A couple of the flowers and their stems fell right off.  I guess I was too late as it seems the plant was rejecting those flowers.  Hopefully I see some of these flowers start going to fruit soon.

My peas are about a month old and are growing fast.  No flowers or pods yet - how long do these take to flower?

I am trying to be more vigilant about pruning my indeterminates this year. Last year I ended up with a jungle of vines winding their way in and out of one another's cages. I still got a LOT of tomatoes, but it was a mess to tear down.

I planted my peas (from seed) in late April and just saw a flower on one a couple of days ago. It very suddenly got hot here, and the peas aren't that happy with the heat. I may not get any this year. :(

My one raspberry bush that's already bearing ripe berries is starting to grow right through the netting. Ugh. It was such a PITA to get it put on.

Of my 3 blueberries, one's covered in them, one has a handful, and one has exactly ONE berry forming. The latter 2 are brand new bushes bought this year so I'm happy to be getting anything off of them.

boarder42

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #364 on: June 15, 2017, 02:00:39 PM »
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?

anyone?

G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #365 on: June 15, 2017, 02:11:45 PM »
what is everyone using for worms.  i have worms just destroying my cauliflower leaves.  want a mustachian solution that doesnt involve picking them off.

its our first garden everything looks to be going great except the worms.

i'm told we will get some on our tomatoes soon as well. 

so what you got?

anyone?

These will be larvae of moths or beetles or other insect.  So - you need some sort of insecticide.  Likely eggs laid on or near the plant, hatching out and then snacking on your garden.
If you have an extension office - they could help you identify the most likely pest, and treatment options.  Or google.  Or your local nursery or store that sells garden supplies (TruValue, Ace Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot, or local store). If you can, take pictures of the damage to the plants, and the larvae/catepillar eating on your plant.

We haven't been using any insecticides - so no advice.

sol

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #366 on: June 15, 2017, 02:28:17 PM »
Seeds are cheap.  My advice for dealing with insect damage is to plant more, and accept some losses.

Of course that only works if the bugs are vaguely under control and you don't get wiped out by locusts or something.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #367 on: June 15, 2017, 07:11:19 PM »
1 part soap and 20 parts water.  Spray on all sides of the plants, hose down after 10 minutes. 
Look for the eggs and squash before they become caterpillars? 
Floating row covers to prevent the moth/insect from laying eggs in the first place?

Everything in the cabbage family is highly susceptible to cabbage moths so maybe that is what you have.  Organic farmers use row covers and squashing them....

SAfAmBrit

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #368 on: June 15, 2017, 09:52:20 PM »
I am drowning in tomatoes. I have always planted in pots and got some tomatoes - so this year I put them in the ground and - wow!

KMMK

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #369 on: June 16, 2017, 12:48:53 PM »
I have tiny bell peppers, one tiny hot pepper, and some tiny tomatoes! Pretty good for mid-June in Edmonton.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #370 on: June 16, 2017, 09:37:53 PM »
No cherry crop at all this year, but it's looking like it will be the first real apple harvest from my three small trees this year. 

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.

The tomatoes are nice and bushy, and have even set a few fruit.  The peppers and eggplants are protesting the cool spring and not doing much.

Lots and lots of garlic is on the way, and the potato plants are growing nicely.  It looks like I'll be getting lots of raspberries this year too.

The squash are planted out and a couple melons will go out tomorrow.

After getting bird netting over the lettuces, we are enjoying some salads.

PJC74

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #371 on: June 18, 2017, 10:33:04 PM »
Organic Microgreens! I grow them in planter trays. After 2 weeks cut them ,enjoy, let the roots dry out , and plant more. Super healthy, easy to grow and they don't take up much area

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Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #372 on: June 19, 2017, 04:52:23 AM »

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.


That's interesting Horsepoor -- I've never known anyone to grow them.  Do you homebrew? Use them for something else?

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #373 on: June 19, 2017, 08:48:05 AM »
Gardens are looking really good after a week of heat and some rain and some irrigation.
Harvested one dozen strawberries from plants that I have been coxing along for three years.  I have fenced my allotment garden and that seems to be the magic.  There are more fruit on the plants so hopefully the fencing holds.
Planted more beans, carrots and cilantro in the allotment.  The first outdoor planting of peas are developing pods.  The second are flowering.  The early carrots are MIA, while most of the beans look great.  I also harvested garlic scapes, some onion and accidentally a garlic bulb.  It is pretty big already.

I made a huge salad for Father's day supper with greens, basil, edible flowers and spring onion. All ten adults are big salad eaters so it was all gone even though I started with two salad spinners full of greens.  Simple vinaigrette - black cherry balsamic (that I made last year) olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup (made this spring), basil (thinnings) salt and pepper.

The greenhouse is nearly empty of seedlings - just some lonely mystery tomatoes and a pot of zucchini starts that were slower than the others.  I normally don't start zukes inside but I had nowhere to plant the seeds that I left in my pocket and ran through the washing machine.  Nearly a %100 seed germination with new seed, freshly laundered. The greens are just about finished, peppers are just sitting there, tomatoes and cukes are blooming.  Need to find out if they will set or do I need to assist pollination.

The patch in front of the greenhouse (neighbours property) is coming along except for the sunflowers (gone)  Zinnias, calenduala, sage, rhubarb transplants are looking robust.  The seeds - cukes and watermellon have been spotty.  I only had three watermellon seeds and have two small plants so hopefully this works out.  Only one cuke came up in the hill.  I dumped a bunch of old seed to see if anything else will catch.

Outdoor stuff on the front lawn is coming along.  Potatoes are only sprouting in the top of the tower - so I poked holes in the side.  Gourds are up, tomatoes blooming, haskaps finished by the birds, edible flowers are blooming, sunflowers are gone but marigolds and strawflowers are looking lovely.  Pear trees are looking sad with some pests.  Saskatoons have potential.  Monitoring for asparagus beetles but haven't seen any yet.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #374 on: June 19, 2017, 10:02:46 AM »
Who here has netted their fruit bushes? How do you keep the bush from growing through the netting - do you just remove and re-net with a bigger piece as it gets bigger? Do you cut a hole? That seems counterproductive. Also, how do you secure the netting if the bush is in the ground (or a raised bed)? I have it sort of clamped to the sides of the raised bed, but it is loose on one side and a determined bird or critter could probably still get in there. And one side of the blueberry bush is getting smooshed down by the netting. The netting I bought is such a pain in the ass, so tangly and unwieldy. I really don't want to have to keep re-netting these things as they grow.

Three of my tomato plants are making tiny tomatoes! And I have two pods forming on the snow peas! I was sure that they were going to die in the sudden heat. Unfortunately the sugar snap peas did not make it. :(

One of my peppers appears to be about to burst into flower. Seriously, about 20 buds on it. (It is a mini pepper variety.) The rest of the peppers aren't doing so well. I mean, they look healthy but most are not flowering. A couple have one or two small buds. Most are in my small raised bed at home, and I think they're getting too shaded by the tomatoes. One of which was supposedly a dwarf variety. Which I suspect is false, as this thing is now enormous and very leafy. I may need to prune it so it doesn't take over.... except I thought you weren't supposed to prune determinates? Argh.

Oh well. Now that I see how the sun hits the back yard, I'll be able to better plan next year.

This is my first time growing tomatoes in big containers. I have 3 in containers and the rest are in one or the other of my raised beds. The container plants are already taller than me and have outgrown their cages, In mid-June. Yikes. Is that normal? The ones in the raised bed are about the size I'd expect for this time of year. I guess they must like having some space and depth to spread out. I actually have better soil in the raised bed so it's not that.

I am trying to be better this year about harvesting and drying the herbs that I am not able to use up while fresh. I cut down my "mammoth dill" - aptly named variety, it gets huge - and am drying that, and also some oregano. Waste not want not! Last year I just couldn't use up everything I had.

SAfAmBrit

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #375 on: June 19, 2017, 02:19:39 PM »
Tomatoes have taken over my life - I have 3 kg frozen in the freezer, eat some every meal and given about 3 kg away.  We are now 110 + so the plants are stating to die. I have a lot of thyme so started drying it. 1/4 jar so far!

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #376 on: June 19, 2017, 06:11:17 PM »

The hops have already hit the top of their 16' trellis and are on their way back down.


That's interesting Horsepoor -- I've never known anyone to grow them.  Do you homebrew? Use them for something else?

I haven't in a while, but plan to do a couple batches this fall.  I also use them to flavor kombucha, but mostly they are a Mustachian summer shade for the south wall of our house.  There are some large commercial hop fields within 20 miles of my house, so apparently it's a very favorable climate for them!

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #377 on: June 19, 2017, 06:12:26 PM »
I got to eat strawberries straight from the garden today.  I was weeding, I think the animals missed them because they were hidden in grass (my bad, I'm not weeding enough in the heat wave and he weeds are thriving).

sol

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #378 on: June 19, 2017, 09:21:43 PM »
There are some large commercial hop fields within 20 miles of my house, so apparently it's a very favorable climate for them!

[agricultural tangent]
Hops are a remarkably drought-tolerant crop, except when they're flowering, but for good acid development they like loooong summer sunlight hours coupled with cold nights.  That effectively restricts their zones of commercial development to inland areas of northern latitudes, which is why Washington and Wisconsin and New York are the the big hop growing states.  Oregon grows some, but mostly for local craft breweries who can pay a premium for 100% local ingredients. 

About 70% of the US domestic hops supply comes from one little valley in central Washington, not because they are the best but because there it is cheap to grow the cheapest hops that get added to cheap (mass-produced, oft-maligned) American lagers.  If you only care about the bittering agent, and not the flavor profile, why pay for anything fancy?  Budweiser certainly doesn't.

Germany grows a bunch in Europe, for similar reasons.  High latitude means long days, inland areas mean cold nights, and they have local buyers.

There's actually a thriving body of scientific literature about how our changing climate will slowly and inevitably change the ideal locations to grow specific crops.  Just like we all choose garden plants specific to our local climate, farmers grow for their climate too and they're much more concerned about maximizing exact yields.  For most things it doesn't matter so much, but for flavoring hops and (even more importantly) for specific wine grapes, terroir is everything.  You need that perfect combination of soil and climate and ag methods to generate a uniformly recognizable product, and as things warm up you just can't grow a good Bordeuax in Bordeaux anymore.  But we CAN identify which areas are most susceptible to losing their favorable climate (French wine is going to turn into Australian wine, sadly) and which areas that are currently marginal are going to improve (no surprise, it's the northern and the upper altitude fringes of the current areas).

But to expand that same science, we can also identify which areas appear to be ideally suited to particular crops where they are NOT currently being grown.  For example, large parts of the middle east should be producing the best wines in the world, if they only bothered to make such things there.  Such a loss.

We can do the same thing now for broccoli or onions or pears or corn, but generally speaking no one is interested.  These are commodity crops that will get grown wherever it makes economic sense, not in places that have spent decades and millions of dollars cultivating a public perception of location-specific quality in a particular agricultural product, the way the French have with wines.
[/agricultural tangent]
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 09:23:16 PM by sol »

G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #379 on: June 20, 2017, 06:25:58 AM »
But field corn (and maybe sweet corn) IS adapted for various growing regions by the efforts of breeders (selecting for earlier maturity to enable growing in more northern climes). This is a plant that came from Mexico - and is now grown down into southern Brazil and up into Canada, across Europe, China, Australia.

I planted a bunch of varieties with a big spread of maturity in the middle of the corn belt (central Iowa).  For some varieties from Mexico - the plants were more than 10 ft tall, and finally had ears in September, clearly a MUCH longer maturity!

Now - I don't know how many fruit and vegetable crops this has been done for. But I've bought tomatillo seed adapted for my area. Whatever seed or plant you are buying in your region has likely been adapted for your area (growing zone). That said, you may not get the highest yield (on average) of ANY growing zone, but you should get a good yield for your growing zone.  That said - still not growing bananas or pineapples here (yet).

Sounds like hops has more specific requirement than growing zone per se (cold nights, etc.). that was really interesting - thanks Sol

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #380 on: June 20, 2017, 07:08:43 AM »

Sounds like hops has more specific requirement than growing zone per se (cold nights, etc.). that was really interesting - thanks Sol

Yes, thanks, Sol.  Very interesting about the hops.  And I now recall seeing a couple of commercial hops fields when we lived in Wisconsin.  I only knew what they were because I had seen them grown years ago in Germany. 

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #381 on: June 20, 2017, 08:23:01 AM »
Interesting about the hops! Our local Fancy Garden Center sells them, and had quite a few still when I went last weekend to browse. I've been curious but I have no idea what I'd use them for as I don't brew beer. I'm in Chicago so it sounds like our climate is probably favorable for them.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #382 on: June 21, 2017, 11:11:35 AM »
DH has bought two new grape bushes, this time of best type suited for northern climate, Solaris.

We have eaten the first strawberries, nice and sweet.

StarBright

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #383 on: June 21, 2017, 11:14:46 AM »
I had my first strawberry this morning and picked a ton of snap peas!

My son (who usually hates peas) wants to eat them for dinner so I'm quite excited about our garden's affect on my kids' eating habits :)

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #384 on: June 22, 2017, 04:30:45 AM »
I had my first strawberry this morning and picked a ton of snap peas!

My son (who usually hates peas) wants to eat them for dinner so I'm quite excited about our garden's affect on my kids' eating habits :)

+1. Peas fresh out of the garden are glorious!   One of the very best things about gardening.  Our kids munch those -- and the fresh green beans -- down as well. 
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 05:32:53 AM by Trifele »

pekklemafia

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #385 on: June 22, 2017, 12:23:49 PM »
We've been eating spinach/lettuce/other green thinnings for about a week now! So good.

Tomatoes (mountain princess, determinate) are starting to set fruit. Like the poster above mentioned, I also pruned back my tomatoes - I'm trying to grow them up a string trellis this year, so they need one strong vine. From what I hear, anything foliage that doesn't have tomatoes on it needs to go! This encourages bigger and better fruit.

My pepper plants that are in pots are loaded with flowers... whereas the ones I have in the ground just look yellowish and sad. Won't be doing peppers in the ground after this year.

We've also been snacking on our haskap berries - they're probably 3-4 year old shrubs, and so far providing about a handful of berries each. Quite tasty when they're ripe.


AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #386 on: June 22, 2017, 04:19:20 PM »
I've learned that I'm not very good at growing things, generally. But I can still preserve the harvest when it's in a glut season and down to a buck a kilo. I find that's cheaper for me than spending money on a garden that I still haven't managed to get to be productive! I try a new veg or something every few years, but there are only one or two things I've managed to get the hang of. I'm good at growing peas and beans. Not much else!

jlcnuke

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #387 on: June 22, 2017, 05:53:14 PM »
First full harvest of the main garden for this year today. Also have ~12 cayenne peppers and 10 or so super chili peppers not shown. Not including herbs in pics from the garden.

Beans are growing pretty well now (11 bush bean plants) but they'll be a little while.

I've had a TON of blight on my tomatoes this year, so I don't know how long I'll be able to keep the plants alive, but I'm going to enjoy their fruit until they die...

jlcnuke

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #388 on: June 22, 2017, 05:57:46 PM »
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.

I'm just getting into composting, but from all of my reading you're much better off just composting leaves than trying to compost scraps. A pile is all you really need too. A bin or something similar (preferable with worms or access for worms) will speed up the process though.

G-dog

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #389 on: June 22, 2017, 06:16:31 PM »
First full harvest of the main garden for this year today. Also have ~12 cayenne peppers and 10 or so super chili peppers not shown. Not including herbs in pics from the garden.

Beans are growing pretty well now (11 bush bean plants) but they'll be a little while.

I've had a TON of blight on my tomatoes this year, so I don't know how long I'll be able to keep the plants alive, but I'm going to enjoy their fruit until they die...

Lovely!

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #390 on: June 23, 2017, 03:51:53 AM »
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.

I'm just getting into composting, but from all of my reading you're much better off just composting leaves than trying to compost scraps. A pile is all you really need too. A bin or something similar (preferable with worms or access for worms) will speed up the process though.

Leaves are great, but for balanced composting, you'll want a mix of kitchen scraps plus things like paper, leaves, etc.  Here's a guide: http://ccetompkins.org/resources/compost-home-composting-brochure

You'll want to set your compost pile outside on the ground somewhere.  Many people use a container (drum with no bottom) or else a 3- or 4-sided open top bin made of anything -- hardware cloth, pallets, scrap wood, etc.   @jlcnuke --
 you could use a cardboard box, but it won't last long.  It'll become part of the compost.  :)   You can also just make a pile on the ground if you don't care how it looks or if critters dig in it.   (That doesn't always happen.  It depends on where you live and what mix of wild and domestic critters you have). 

When you've got your location just throw in a mix of "greens" (kitchen scraps) and "browns" (things like leaves, shredded newspaper, used paper towels, etc).  You can stir it/flip it over periodically if you like. It helps it "cook" faster.  You'll know by the smell when the pile is happy and has the right mix of greens and browns.   It will also have a healthy population of bugs and worms in it.  If it stinks in a bad way, your mix may be too "green";  try adding some "browns". 

Pretty much all kitchen scraps are fine to add, though many people don't add bones, meat, or grease because of the unwanted animal attention that draws.  Personally I also don't add citrus fruit peels or pineapple trimmings because they don't break down fast enough for my taste.  Egg shells and coffee grounds are AOK -- pure gold in fact.   Tomatoes and peppers LOVE egg shells in their compost dressing.   

When it is done cooking it will look and smell pretty much like black soil.   Good luck and have fun.   

Roots&Wings

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #391 on: June 23, 2017, 05:38:47 AM »
^ The super easy (or lazy) compost method is to just dig a small hole and bury it. Where I live, it becomes rich soil in about 2 weeks. Citrus peels and avocado can take a bit longer to fully break down. There's an occasional raccoon that visits my fruit/veggie scraps.

ooeei

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own
« Reply #392 on: June 23, 2017, 06:47:45 AM »
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.

If you're just doing veggie scraps, look into starting up a worm bin too.  It's slightly more maintenance than a compost pile, but works better with having lots of "greens" (nitrogen rich) instead of "browns" (carbon rich) in your waste.  For a compost pile to work most efficiently, you need a ratio of about 20 browns to greens (by weight). 

In reality, anything will eventually decompose and be fine. The difference is whether it takes a few weeks or a few months, and whether it's smell free or stinky and attracting pests. The guides for how to do it "right" online generally assume you want it as fast and as smell free as possible.


In garden news, my tomato plants in the earthtainers are ridiculously massive, but due to the Texas heat have stopped putting on fruit.  A few of the cherry varieties still are, but noticeably slower than before.  Guess now I just have to keep them alive until Fall and hope for a better crop then.

I've also had quite a bit of issue with birds destroying tomatoes. I read that putting up a bird bath should help since usually they eat them because they're thirsty, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 06:58:10 AM by ooeei »

mikedom

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #393 on: June 23, 2017, 07:32:18 AM »
Our garden (Zone 5 in Michigan) has already yielded lettuce, spinach, and beets and now I have some open space. What can I direct sow this late in the season? I recently put in some more beet seeds, but am curious about other options.

jlcnuke

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #394 on: June 23, 2017, 08:24:08 AM »
Our garden (Zone 5 in Michigan) has already yielded lettuce, spinach, and beets and now I have some open space. What can I direct sow this late in the season? I recently put in some more beet seeds, but am curious about other options.

The "yellow" zone on this chart is the "sow directly into ground" area for zone 5.


horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #395 on: June 23, 2017, 08:51:04 AM »
I'm going to start composting for next year's garden.  I know almost nothing about composting, but I eat a lot of veggies and I've been saving the peelings.  I think I'm doing it right because I've had them in a paper shopping bag all week inside and it doesn't stink at all. 

I want to start dumping this outside in a pile.  Is it OK to just throw it in a big cardboard box?  Do I need a fancy pants plastic compost bin or ultra fancy composter that rotates?  I'll buy one if it's needed (saw one for around $60 that looks adequate), but if there's a cheap way to do this I'll try it.  How about laying out a tarp or flattening some cardboard boxes to make a base for a pile?  Doesn't sound great - maybe you veteran gardeners have a better idea?  I have all sorts of wild animals in my area, but I'm not sure if they would eat my rotting veggie scraps.

No, you don't need anything fancy.  A cardboard box will disintegrate if the pile is getting adequate moisture though.  My compost bins are made out of 2x4" wire mesh.  Squirrels and birds get in, but I haven't had problems with larger wildlife even though we're on larger lots outside of city limits.

Cardboard can be shredded and go in the pile as a brown.   You'll want to add dried leaves and "browns" along with your veggie scraps, which are a "green" to get proper composting and not just a pile of slime.  Since you don't plan to use the compost until next year, you can employ the same lazy method that I use, which is: 1) put things in a pile 2) wait.  Next spring flip everything over and the bottom will be beautiful, rich compost.

jlcnuke

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #396 on: June 23, 2017, 10:32:22 AM »
This, and other similar papers/discussions from agriculture department personnel, is where I got the info telling me that kitchen scraps etc aren't needed for compost. Just FYI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9OhxKlrWwc

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #397 on: June 23, 2017, 11:50:44 AM »
This, and other similar papers/discussions from agriculture department personnel, is where I got the info telling me that kitchen scraps etc aren't needed for compost. Just FYI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9OhxKlrWwc

Sure, you can just do leaves.  It's just a different thing.  I consider that "mulch" rather than compost.  Shredded leaves are great for the soil, but they don't have the nutritional benefits that compost does.  I have both a leaf bin and a true compost pile.  I use the leaves to mulch around plants, and the compost to feed the plants.  One is mostly a protective barrier/blanket for the plants, and the other is mostly food.  Both good things.     
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 12:06:11 PM by Trifele »

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #398 on: June 23, 2017, 05:44:54 PM »
I tried composting for the first time this spring, just throwing kitchen scraps into a pile. This caused a fly situation that was Out Of Control. As soon as I stopped adding to the pile, the flies were much less, so I assume it was the compost drawing them. Has this happened to anyone else?

I was more concerned about rats, as I'm in the city. Didn't consider Epic Fly Population.

I think the issue may have been not enough brown - but I rent and did not have a source of dried leaves when we moved in this spring. Maybe if I start collecting dried leaves in the fall? We don't have trees in our yard, though.... hmmmm.

My pepper plants that are in pots are loaded with flowers... whereas the ones I have in the ground just look yellowish and sad. Won't be doing peppers in the ground after this year.

I am having the same issue. Well, the ones in the ground aren't yellowish, but they are not growing that much and are not even considering making any flowers. I thought it was because they're not getting enough sun; I planted "dwarf" tomatoes around them that are now enormous. I pruned the tomatoes so that they're not blocking the peppers so maybe that will help - but the peppers definitely like containers better. I have at least 6 peppers starting on my mini yellow bell - that's early, for here.

FerrumB5

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #399 on: June 23, 2017, 09:04:39 PM »
We (Chicago area) seem to have zero to none flying insects to pollinate cucumbers. They look complete shit. They start blooming, growing a bit and die off. I'm trying to hand pollinate them with male flowers but it doesn't  seem to work at all, may be one or two.

Tomatoes are doing OK. Peppers are slow (don't forget to top yours if you haven't done it yet).