Author Topic: Planting / Growing your own 2018  (Read 41281 times)

Sun Hat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 487
  • Location: Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #600 on: August 13, 2018, 08:18:16 AM »
@krmit You could try making apple butter with excess apples. I'll be starting a batch today with a mix of crab apples and regular apples, just as soon as the caffeine from my coffee kicks in to get me up and out the door to pick crab apples.

I'm going to try to make the most of today's reprieve from the heat to fling open all of my windows and do a round of canning and blanching veg to freeze. I have AC, but it seems wrong to use the stove to produce heat, only to have the AC work to remove it.

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9202
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #601 on: August 14, 2018, 06:56:49 AM »
One more question for you -- what do you recommend (if anything) that I plant just for bee feed?  I'd like to get going on that now, as there's a chance I'll start with bees next spring.  Are flowers like monarda the best way to go for that? We have a fair size orchard and garden, and some ornamentals as well -- but I have loads of space to plant more.

Indio has lots of ideas below, but one thing I noticed a few years ago is that the local bees love broccoli flowers.  Some of my fall broccoli had flowered and had lots of visitors.  I let the rest flower and the bees were there every day.  This gave them a post-frost nectar source.

clarkai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #602 on: August 14, 2018, 08:38:02 AM »
For people looking to help bees, particularly native bees, the Xerces Society has a wonderful resource for the U.S.:https://xerces.org/pollinator-resource-center/ It has lots of info about how to help local native species.

If you just want the plant list of what best to plant for native bee species, this page is a good one: https://xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/plant-lists/ It has regional lists with bloom time, water needs, and a lot more.

One thing that was new information for me is that there are two types of bees, to generalize. Generalists, which visit a wide variety of species, and specialists, which might visit a few or even one single species. Honey bees, mason bees, and bumble bees are generalists. There are, however, lots of native bees that are specialists, and they are having a hard time as their plant species die out. If you care about native bees, I'd encourage you to plant plants that are native to your area.

After all, the native bees don't have beekeepers looking after them. They're on their own.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1537
  • Location: US
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #603 on: August 14, 2018, 09:30:13 AM »
Thank you @RetiredAt63 and @clarkai !  Yes -- I'm interested in both the generalists and the native specialists, and I'm lucky to have lots of space, so I'll probably plant many things -- focusing on natives. 


Frugal Lizard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1251
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #604 on: August 14, 2018, 11:12:25 AM »
My garden is now a jungle.  I have planted a great number of species that support various different types of pollinators.  Right now the sneezeweed, cup plant, grey coneflower, purple coneflower, brown-eyed susan and one of the goldenrods are blooming.  The different types of bees and butterflies we are seeing is lovely.  The goldfinches are back eating the cup plant seeds.  They are so joyful with their goldfinch chatter.

While we were away - two of the buckets of oyster mushrooms fruited and are now an ugly mess.  Just before we left I added a third of a bucket of sawdust substrate to all the buckets and moved them outside so they didn't dry out too much.  Guess they liked it.  The straw topping is not colonized but the sawdust is and no evidence of the mushroom flies.  Not sure whether to move them back inside now because they actually look a little too wet.  I think I will put them under the porch if it rains so they don't get wetter but keep watching them for another fruiting.  And starting to prepare more substrate to feed them again.  We are now beyond what I had hoped to harvest when I paid $25 for the spawn. 

I have beans, beets, carrots, cuke, delicata squash, onions, leeks, zukes, peppers, garlic and potatoes in the vegetable patch.  Last night I made a warm potato salad and fried eggs for supper and the only ingredients I had to buy from the store was bacon, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika and vinegar.  It felt so cool to chop up all the veg from the garden and top it with eggs from the neighbours.  Tonight I hope to plant a number of new seeds for fall harvest and some more beans that will be used mainly for green manure if we have early frost. The beans planted before holiday are up but I am not sure we will get a harvest.  The late planted peas in early July are not producing well.  I have lots of old seed so I may try more peas and if it doesn't work out consider them more green manure. I need to get the soil deeper for carrots. And the south end of the garden is really poor soil.  The last two rows are very sad indeed.  We will be cleaning out the hen house onto that end of the garden next week.  I think I should do another truck load of manure this fall as well.

nessness

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #605 on: August 16, 2018, 09:30:09 AM »
My plan for the weekend was to buy two more pullets and sell my rooster and guineas at an auction. My neighbors also had a rooster they wanted to get rid of, so I offered to take their rooster too. I bought the pullets off Craigslist on Saturday. Sunday morning two or the guineas escaped and flew up on the roof while I was attempting to put then in a box, but I decided to take the rest anyway. And...the auction was cancelled. So now instead of getting rid of four unwanted birds, I now have five unwanted birds (since I still have the neighbor's rooster, who is way louder and more annoying then mine). Eating them is looking more appealing by the day.

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9202
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #606 on: August 16, 2018, 10:57:29 AM »
My plan for the weekend was to buy two more pullets and sell my rooster and guineas at an auction. My neighbors also had a rooster they wanted to get rid of, so I offered to take their rooster too. I bought the pullets off Craigslist on Saturday. Sunday morning two or the guineas escaped and flew up on the roof while I was attempting to put then in a box, but I decided to take the rest anyway. And...the auction was cancelled. So now instead of getting rid of four unwanted birds, I now have five unwanted birds (since I still have the neighbor's rooster, who is way louder and more annoying then mine). Eating them is looking more appealing by the day.

Coq au Vin is a recipe for old roosters.  Just saying.   ;-)

Vasilisa

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #607 on: August 16, 2018, 12:18:43 PM »
@Frugal Lizard isn't eating your home-raised food amazing? I have meals like that too where I categorize everything that was grown by me or someone I know!

Picked the first "Wee Be Little" pumpkins last week- darn those things are cute. Will enjoy them for awhile and then make something tasty with the flesh and the seeds. Still getting an amazing amount of pole beans in, but the bush beans petered off- those got ripped out and composted. Planted lettuce and kale and my salad bowl is empty until they get a bit bigger, not much left of tasty greens to eat raw. Still plenty of Malabar spinach, amaranth and arugula for cooking though. Harvesting beautiful basil bunches and enjoying large leaves on sandwiches and chopped up with the few tomatoes that are ripening.

In coastal California I'm starting to think about and plant fall veggies- we have the luxury of gardening year-round here. Where is everyone else growing and any fall tasks on the horizon?

Tris Prior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #608 on: August 16, 2018, 01:01:03 PM »
I didn't check last night because it was storming..... but, pretty sure the first Cherokee Purple of the season is ripe and ready! :D I'll pick it tonight!


clarkai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #609 on: August 16, 2018, 02:01:42 PM »
@Frugal Lizard

In coastal California I'm starting to think about and plant fall veggies- we have the luxury of gardening year-round here. Where is everyone else growing and any fall tasks on the horizon?

I'm on the west side of Washington state, so we don't get active growth year round, but we can have year-round harvests. I've just started some arugula, kale, bok choi, carrots, and spinach. I'm going to sow some more lettuce, probably today when it cools down a bit.

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #610 on: August 16, 2018, 03:32:54 PM »
Year round growing here is only possible in greenhouses or similar protected climates and I just donít have a great spot for one when combined with the rules concerning them. So the only thing I grow in the winter is eggs and rabbits ;)

My main fall tasks are spreading compost and mulching. I may tackle another garden layout change but unsure if I will have the time to do it before winter, or if it will end up being a spring 2019 project.

Frugal Lizard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1251
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #611 on: August 17, 2018, 07:51:58 AM »
I still haven't gotten the seeds planted this week and last night it rained.  But I did work on clearing out the finished plants to prepare an area for solarizing.
Beets that I planted four weeks ago are only sporadically germinating now.  I cut back the beans to see if they will re-flower in the nothing ventured nothing gained....

plainjane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1619
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #612 on: August 17, 2018, 08:51:12 AM »
An insect or something chewed on the base of my zucchini stalk, and the leaves started to yellow/wilt, so I cut it down. There is a second plant, but like the first it is only giving flowers and only of one kind (so I can't hand-polinate).

I feel like a failure, the beginning gardener who kills zucchini and rhubarb and never got a strawberry from the 4 plants purchased this year. My parsley is still happy, but that is it.

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
  • Location: high cost of living area in east coast
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #613 on: August 17, 2018, 09:09:47 AM »
@krmit You could try making apple butter with excess apples. I'll be starting a batch today with a mix of crab apples and regular apples, just as soon as the caffeine from my coffee kicks in to get me up and out the door to pick crab apples.

I'm going to try to make the most of today's reprieve from the heat to fling open all of my windows and do a round of canning and blanching veg to freeze. I have AC, but it seems wrong to use the stove to produce heat, only to have the AC work to remove it.

How about canning apple pie filling and making apple cider vinegar? Vinegar takes a few weeks but it's so easy to do.

Vasilisa

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #614 on: August 17, 2018, 09:14:52 AM »
@Tris Prior yum! 'Cherokee Purple' are some of the best tomatoes! Enjoy!

You guys are inspiring me to start some seeds this week! Definitely want to get some more lettuce going and might try and squeeze in one more round of bush beans too.

@plainjane Bummer! Sometimes plants just don't make it. But YOU are not a failure just 'cause one plant in your care died- all of our annual vegetable plants die, some sooner than others. Sometimes it's just a matter of finding what plants thrive in your unique location. And some years the things you always have success with, don't thrive. Oh the joys and struggles of being a gardener.

Tris Prior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #615 on: August 17, 2018, 09:32:41 AM »
@plainjane I can't grow zucchini either. The plants always make only male flowers and then get powdery mildew and drop dead. I've given up. And critters got all but 4 of my strawberries this year. They're flowering again though so maybe I will have more success.

I also have never had any success whatsoever with fall crops. I've tried fall greens, but they never germinate.

Last night after work I went in the backyard and discovered I'd had a tomato plant avalanche. One plant had busted out of its cage and was leaning against the stakes I'd placed outside the cage so heavily that the plant was nearly horizontal. I swear, I turn my back for a day and everything turns into a tangled jungle. I gave everything a good haircut and now everything's more or less vertical-ish. Some of the tomato vines are nearly snapping in two due to the weight of the tomatoes.

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
  • Location: high cost of living area in east coast
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #616 on: August 17, 2018, 09:35:09 AM »
Here's the update from my 1/4 acre homestead.

This week I've been fighting sneaky little critters off my tomatoes and I'm losing. I cut up leftover mosquito netting into large squares and wrapped it around clusters of toms, all to no avail. Now I'm picking green tomatoes that are ripening indoors, which is better than nothing. They don't seem to prefer the cherry toms so whatever isn't eaten in salsa, grilled, salads, are being dehydrated. I'm going to look into getting a stronger netting, possibly a type of pvc like plastic, that is still a fine mesh for protecting fruit trees and plants.

I'm in full on preservation mode now. Last night, while watching Blacklist on Netflix, I cleaned dill seed heads, cilantro seeds and the dried leaves off of lemon balm stalks. The half gallon canning jars are filling up on the pantry shelves all labeled with mint, tulsi basil and lemon balm.

Made 3 quarts of refrigerator pickles - 2 dill and 1 sesame.  Will make a batch of canned cucumber relish soon since the cucumbers are so abundant. I want to try using a little bit of jalapeno in the recipe to add some zing.

Used a few tablespoons of wax cappings from a recent honey harvest to make 18 tubes of lip balm. Infused olive oil with comfrey, calendula and plantain for healing properties and added peppermint essential oil. Not sure if this will be enough to get us through winter, but the plantain feels good on mosquito bites. Speaking of which, the mosquitoes are horrendous now that we've had a rainy summer.

Have been drying out the dragon tongue beans to shuck in a few weeks and use for winter chili. I know you can buy these in the store cheaply, but the fresher ones are so delicious.

Seed saving for next year is also fully underway. I've been hanging onto large junk mail envelopes, instead of shredding them for the compost pile, they are being repurposed as seed packets.

Zucchini plants are almost finished and in a way I'm relieved. Pulling them out and planting cold crops and fast growing herbs in its place.

Still waiting on sweet and red potatoes.

March chicks have all started laying and the little eggs are always a nice suprise. Added 2 ameracaunas and 2 Buff Orpingtons to the flock this year. They are still in their mini cooper and will need to be moved into the main coop with the big girls soon. Will need to clean out the main coop in September and want to put a new roof on it using metal roof panels instead of plywood.

Happy growing everyone.

Sun Hat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 487
  • Location: Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #617 on: August 17, 2018, 09:54:53 AM »
@plainjane Don't despair, you're not a failure, you're learning how not to grow zucchini! I've learned that I can't get them to produce well in pots. I regularly have things die or just be sickly and not productive, and I've found that the best solution is to have so many things planted that statistically, something is bound to survive.

I'm in Manitoba, Canada, where the frost date is normally mid-September, so there's no fall gardening here. I'll leave my kale in until after the light frosts, but other than that, I'll be winding up in about a month. For me that means mulching perennials, adding leaves to the raised beds and preserving things. 

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #618 on: August 17, 2018, 11:50:51 AM »
An insect or something chewed on the base of my zucchini stalk, and the leaves started to yellow/wilt, so I cut it down. There is a second plant, but like the first it is only giving flowers and only of one kind (so I can't hand-polinate).

I feel like a failure, the beginning gardener who kills zucchini and rhubarb and never got a strawberry from the 4 plants purchased this year. My parsley is still happy, but that is it.

Zucchini - sounds like squash borer, which is a SUPER common pest. And, as others have pointed out, zucchini loves to die for lots of other reasons too. Mine will probably be dead from mildew in next couple weeks.

Rhubarb is hard to kill once established, but often tricky to get established in the first place. I think about half or more of the crown divisions I planted never got established.

Strawberries are tricky to actually get them productive. Iím still figuring them out, will probably rip out the remainder of my current planting and may/may not start over fresh with a new variety next year, or wait another year.

krmit

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Location: Portland
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #619 on: August 17, 2018, 12:17:38 PM »
Preservation results from the epic apple haul:
Canned 6 quarts of slices for baking
Canned or froze 12 quarts applesauce
Dried apple slices 4 gallon bags full
1 and a half gallons apple cider from a community pressing last week. Drinking half a gallon fresh and put the gallon in primary fermentation for hard cider.
Still got a couple pounds in the fridge for fresh eating and baking. 

Spent the week canning almost daily - made 2 half pints of jam from the invasive blackberries reaching into our yard from the neighbors, and picked up some tomato seconds and canned salsa, whole tomatoes, and sauce. Dumped the cooled down canning water on my tomato plants this morning. I'm getting a handful of Romas and cherry tomatoes every day; probably won't ever have enough ready at the same time for more canning, so I'll dry whatever we don't eat fresh.

It feels like fall is coming. I'll be glad when it cools down a bit.

nessness

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #620 on: August 19, 2018, 01:21:52 PM »
I sold my roosters and guineas today! I didn't stay for the auction, so I don't know how much they sold for (they just mail a check after), but I'm just happy to have them out of the coop, and not waking up the whole neighborhood at 5 a.m.

I thought the auction would have mostly roosters, but I saw hens, chicks, pigeons, quail, and rabbits. I'll definitely go back there if I want to add to (or subtract from) my flock in the future.

In plant news, I thought I'd planted mini red bell pepper plants, but the peppers are getting big and showing no signs of turning red yet, so I guess they're full-sized peppers? I'll have to pay more attention to what I'm buying next year lol.

ETA: Got the check. $32 for five birds after the auction house's cut. Not bad, I guess, and it's much more pleasant not to have all that squawking and crowing.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 03:22:00 PM by nessness »

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #621 on: August 22, 2018, 05:20:26 PM »
What do you think a fair price for used canning jars is?

I need to downsize dramatically. Especially quarts. Iím thinking $4 for dozen if theyíre just jars and rings, $5-6 for the cases I have still new in the shrink wrap.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1537
  • Location: US
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #622 on: August 23, 2018, 02:57:28 AM »
Sounds about right to me, @furrychickens.  Just did a quick peek at our local CL and the going rate seems to be $0.40 - $0.50 per quart jar.   

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #623 on: August 23, 2018, 04:39:08 AM »
Sounds about right to me, @furrychickens.  Just did a quick peek at our local CL and the going rate seems to be $0.40 - $0.50 per quart jar.

Already have a buyer lined up, lol. Friend of mine will clean me out of whatever Iím willing to part with.

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9202
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #624 on: August 23, 2018, 07:27:51 AM »
My sweet potatoes have flowers!  This is year 4 of growing them, first time ever for flowers. Very pretty, deep purple throats and palest lilac petals.  If they are happy enough to bloom, I am hoping for a great harvest.

Tomatoes and cucumbers are producing consistently.  Garlic was a bust.

plainjane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1619
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #625 on: August 23, 2018, 08:39:36 AM »
@furrychickens looks like you are right. The second plant is suffering from something else, so I'll put it out of its misery.

My mom says the rhubarb is probably a light issue, which is very probable in our garden. Our parsley is still pretty happy.

Sun Hat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 487
  • Location: Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #626 on: August 23, 2018, 09:37:39 AM »
@plainjane If you find a sunnier spot for your rhubarb, you can try growing it from seed. I haven't had any luck with transplanting mature rhubarb, so when I moved into my new place I grew some from seed with great results. I only mention it because many people I know were surprised to hear that rhubarb seed was even a thing.

Tris Prior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #627 on: August 24, 2018, 07:49:33 AM »
Hmm. Wavering over trying to start some fall plantings. Greens, maybe peas. I have the seeds. But I can never get anything to germinate in the fall. Should I bother? I wonder if cilantro would work? I hate that my cilantro always has already bolted in the heat by the time I'm getting tomatoes (and would like the cilantro for salsa canning).

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #628 on: August 24, 2018, 07:58:49 AM »
Hmm. Wavering over trying to start some fall plantings. Greens, maybe peas. I have the seeds. But I can never get anything to germinate in the fall. Should I bother? I wonder if cilantro would work? I hate that my cilantro always has already bolted in the heat by the time I'm getting tomatoes (and would like the cilantro for salsa canning).

Iíve got snap peas a few inches tall right now :) Thatís about the only fall planting I do.

nessness

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #629 on: August 24, 2018, 09:13:32 AM »
Hmm. Wavering over trying to start some fall plantings. Greens, maybe peas. I have the seeds. But I can never get anything to germinate in the fall. Should I bother? I wonder if cilantro would work? I hate that my cilantro always has already bolted in the heat by the time I'm getting tomatoes (and would like the cilantro for salsa canning).
I've never grown cilantro but supposedly it does better in the fall. I planted carrots, lettuce, and cabbage a couple weeks ago. The lettuce germinated within a few days but I only have one cabbage seedling and no carrots yet. But my carrots took a few weeks to germinate in the spring too.

Livethedream

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 101
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #630 on: August 26, 2018, 10:38:17 AM »
Growing some extra large pumpkins for first time, this one is up to a large watermelon size so far.

Planning on planting a lot more plants next year and doing our own miniature pumpkin patch next year to invite friends and family over to pick and decorate. Figure we can save some seeds from the big pumpkins, and $20 should give us enough for a bunch of average and small size pumpkins, then collect those seeds and continue.

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
  • Location: high cost of living area in east coast
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #631 on: August 26, 2018, 04:04:25 PM »
@Livethedream Nice pumpkin you've got there. I used to grow them but they took up so much space it started climbing up the fenced sides of the garden.

This was a busy animal weekend. I treated all of the beehives with a sugar shake for varroa mites. Don't use chemicals in the hives. Finely ground sugar, that's whipped in the mini chop, is a light coating that gets sprinkled on all of the bees but mostly the drones. This encourages them to groom themselves and the mites get pulled off in the process. Will get some 2nd cut hay bales to put around the hives as a winter break.

Harvested another 12 frames of honey. With all of the rain this August, we haven't really had a pollen/nectar dearth, though the weather pattern can still change. The bees have plenty of food to get thru the winter. Cut up chunks of honey filled comb and put it into wide mouth canning jars for  friends and family holiday gifts. Filled up 36 more 8 and 12 oz bottles. Might try to sell a few bottles at upcoming community events because this is such a huge harvest, that I'm out of bottles.

Cleaned out the chicken coop today. Put all of the used shavings into two garbage cans where it will age. In Oct, I will put it in 2 raised beds where the soil needs supplementing. When it's spread out, it will decompose faster. Will test nitrogen levels in Spring. Still want to rebuild/reinforce chicken run but not sure I will have time this Fall.

Harvested about a gallon of hops.

Zucchinis succumbed to mildew. Was kinda relieved because I was tired of canning.

Still drying lemon balm, tulsi basil and mint for winter teas.

Penn42

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #632 on: August 26, 2018, 05:40:40 PM »
I'm a super inexperienced gardener.  This is my 3rd season with a little plot a tend.  This year I planted carrots, spinach, cabbage, and snow peas in March.  The peas and spinach did great.  The carrots have actually not done well despite doing well my previous two seasons.  This was the earliest I planted them, though the package directions fit the conditions this season.  Oh well.  The cabbages got decimated by something, not sure what ate them.  They didn't do well at all. 

Once it got warmer in May I planted green beans, zucchini, cucumber, and tomatoes.  Last year the green beans did terrible.  This year they're coming in in droves.  Last year the zucchini and cucumber did amazing, this year only a few per plant.  My tomatoes are doing better than my previous two seasons, which is nice.  I actually have some full fist size tomatoes on a couple plants, but there's still not the numbers I think there should be. 

Gardening is proving to be very fickle; I think i need to do some more research.   

Sun Hat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 487
  • Location: Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #633 on: August 26, 2018, 07:04:58 PM »
I just harvested 15 spaghetti squash from just two vines! I also diced and froze several eggplants today, so it's a good day for my savory fruits. Somewhat incredibly, the raspberries that I thought were dead this spring are still producing and have grown into quite a thicket. Tomorrow it's pumpkin picking and blanching beans and kale to freeze.

@Penn42 I tend to blame slugs for cabbage problems, but last year some of mine also got a really gross black fungus. Now I stick to kale.

Edited to add a spaghetti squash that I found hidden behind a shrub this morning. Six very pretty pumpkins are joining them in the basement today.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 09:03:31 AM by Sun Hat »

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9202
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #634 on: August 26, 2018, 07:56:13 PM »
Our last few falls have been so mild that I am taking a chance with a fall garden.  Today I planted 8 short season broccoli plants and 3 rows of snow peas.   If we get an early killing frost at least I will have kept the soil covered and added some organic material to the soil.

Frugal Lizard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1251
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #635 on: August 27, 2018, 08:09:14 AM »
Yesterday was a great day in the garden.
I harvested and prepped for storage a huge number of onions. Anyone made pickled onions?  We had some while on vacation and they were tasty.  And I have a ton of tiny onions that were growing in the very poor part of the garden.
The squirrels are having a field day with the pumpkins and squash.  Very disappointing.
The asparagus roots that I planted in the spring are really going gang busters.
I have never ever grown as many green peppers and the plants are still flowering.  The ones in the greenhouse are developing woody stalks at the base.  I am curious to see if I can keep them going into the fall and for how long.  I was going to do a big clean out of the greenhouse in October so that it was completely ready for startup in February again.  But if it is still full of thriving pepper plants then maybe I should be planting greens in there then for late late fall harvest? 
I fed the over ripe beans to the chickens.  Then I thought I should have kept some of them for seed.  I collected coriander seed for next year.
The tomatoes are still trying to grow and shooting out new growth despite all the death of the more mature stems.  I have got the new soil in bags sitting in the sun cooking for next season.
Another thing I noticed is that the carrots are not growing well.  The soil is not deep enough. 
My plan is to work on really building up the soil with a huge amount more organic matter.  I am going to increase the depth of the wood chip pathways and every leaf I rake is going to go on an enormous compost row where I am currently growing flowers and vines.  Since one end of the garden was so poor, I am going to use it for three potato towers next year.  As I want to have no solanaceae in the actual soil next year, I think I can put a plastic barrier down on the ground and grow the potatoes in cages filled with manure, compost, straw and leaves.  I have to figure out a way to ensure stable moisture in case of a drought.
Once the potatoes are harvested all that organic super soil will go straight onto the beds and that end of the garden should also be ready to have nightshades after a year of rest.  The tomatoes will grow at the opposite end of the garden against the greenhouse in a row of pots.  The middle of the garden will grow a bunch of other stuff. Hopefully, after two complete seasons without solanaceae all the mildews/fungi and such in the soil is gone. 
I am hoping that I can get some manure that came out of the barn in July on all the beds in mid fall so that it can be heating the soil with a little activity and start to work on any leaves I add.  Maybe I should be using the floating row covers to keep it warmer?  Just not sure how to really maximize the productivity of this small space.  I could really use double the space and just plant a green manure cover crop and alternate years growing each part. 
I also planted a bunch of seeds - with the expectation that I may not harvest them - but using old seed so if it germinates poorly - then but for the effort, no loss.  Spinach, arugula, buttercrunch lettuce, mesclun mix, beets, beans, peas, freckles lettuce should take us into the fall.  I might try some more kale and spinach once the rest of the onions finish up.  I was going to plant some more carrots and peas - but was disturbing the roots of the asparagus so that area is now off limits.

After eating delicious steamed carrots, some baby cukes and roasted fingerlings with paprika last night for supper sitting at a table with a bouquet of zinnias- this garden doesn't owe me a thing.

@Penn42 - gardening is fickle.  Some plants are really particular about moisture levels and temperature when they are flowering.  A little bit of drought or too much rain for a pepper will cause it stop flowering.  Carrots are really tricky with germination.  I can use the same package of seeds planting every two weeks and have completely different results.  In my experience, carrots don't do well in seasons that peas and spinach does.  The trick is to have a balance of different crops so if you have a lot of cool nights or really hot days - you still have some success.  I have been gardening for more than 30 years and am still learning.  It is a wonderful pastime IMO.

nessness

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #636 on: August 27, 2018, 03:42:54 PM »
One of neighbors apparently complained to the HOA about my chickens and now we're probably going to have to get rid of them. We knew they're technically banned, but other neighbors have them and the HOA just turns a blind eye. I am so upset right now. I'm sure it was the roosters and guineas that the neighbor was upset about, which we already got rid of last weekend, but because they went straight to the HOA instead of talking to us about it we have to get rid of our hens as well.

ETA: My awesome neighbors (who also own chickens) are going to help me fight the HOA on this. I think we have a pretty solid case.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 09:21:46 PM by nessness »

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #637 on: August 28, 2018, 04:53:07 AM »
One of neighbors apparently complained to the HOA about my chickens and now we're probably going to have to get rid of them. We knew they're technically banned, but other neighbors have them and the HOA just turns a blind eye. I am so upset right now. I'm sure it was the roosters and guineas that the neighbor was upset about, which we already got rid of last weekend, but because they went straight to the HOA instead of talking to us about it we have to get rid of our hens as well.

ETA: My awesome neighbors (who also own chickens) are going to help me fight the HOA on this. I think we have a pretty solid case.

Good luck! Iíve been on the receiving end of numerous anonymous complaints that could have been resolved so much easier if the complainer had just talked with me first.

Frugal Lizard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1251
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #638 on: August 28, 2018, 05:56:29 AM »
@nessness - Hope that this works out.  I love my neighbours chickens, except when they vandalize my garden.

Sun Hat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 487
  • Location: Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #639 on: August 28, 2018, 06:40:37 AM »
Good luck @nessness ! I think of the benefit of urban chickens daily when I'm out picking slugs with no birds to feed them to.

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1299
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #640 on: August 28, 2018, 06:58:09 AM »
The butternut squash suddenly put out another round of female flowers last week, and now we've gone from lots of squash to LOTS of squash.

I need to cut the dill heads and dry them.

Lots of tomatoes, raspberries, basil.

A groundhog and I have waged war over the lettuce all summer, and the groundhog has pretty much won. S/he is a better climber than an I would have guessed!

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9202
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #641 on: August 29, 2018, 07:01:52 AM »
A groundhog and I have waged war over the lettuce all summer, and the groundhog has pretty much won. S/he is a better climber than an I would have guessed!

I used to have a groundhog who sunned herself each day on top of the compost pile.  She stared at the garden while sunning, I am sure she was trying to figure out how to get past the fence and electric wires.   ;-)

Indio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
  • Location: high cost of living area in east coast
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #642 on: August 29, 2018, 09:58:46 AM »
One of neighbors apparently complained to the HOA about my chickens and now we're probably going to have to get rid of them. We knew they're technically banned, but other neighbors have them and the HOA just turns a blind eye. I am so upset right now. I'm sure it was the roosters and guineas that the neighbor was upset about, which we already got rid of last weekend, but because they went straight to the HOA instead of talking to us about it we have to get rid of our hens as well.

ETA: My awesome neighbors (who also own chickens) are going to help me fight the HOA on this. I think we have a pretty solid case.

@nessness I had a fight with my town over my chickens because my neighbors lied about problems. Over 3 years, the town sent over inspectors 4 different times from wetlands, health, environmental, and community. Police came several times too. I let them all inspect and they found no problems, until 1 police officer, trying to advance his career, decided that the chicken coop was too close to an unused well in my backyard so therefore it was a health code violation. I consulted with 3 different attorneys, on free calls, to get info to defend my position that I wasn't breaking any laws. It went to the state level and I fought it myself, without attorneys. It was so ridiculous at the state hearing, there was the judge and stenographer. On the other side of the table, the town had 3 attorneys, 2 experts and loads of photos and evidence from all of the inspections they did over the years that I willingly let them do and at no point did they indicate I was in violation of any ordinances. On my side of the table, it was me and my 2 kids who were both under 8yo. I figure the town was in about $75K in time to fight about a 30 ft surface fed well that is used only to water my gardens and doesn't even access the aquifer. I won the case because the well was grandfathered, which they all knew, because it was in the town records that we all had access to. Then I chastised them for wasting taxpayer money on pursuing a neighbor's vendetta.

Besides reliving this great moment, my advice is to contact local attorney's who specialize in environmental issues and ones that specialize in unreasonable HOA guidelines, and get their input. My chicken meetup group even has an attorney in it, who gives locals advice about town laws.

nessness

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #643 on: August 29, 2018, 10:24:24 AM »
Thanks @Indio. My county allows all types of poultry without a permit on lots over 10,000sf (which mine is), so  no issues there.

My neighbors were able to defend a past complaint about their tree house by insisting that if they enforced that rule, they enforce all the restrictions on backyards, which included bans on fences and pools, which many homes have. The HOA dropped the complaint and subsequently got rid of those rules - now they just say that you have to get fences and pools approved prior to building them. We might use the same tactic with animal-related regulations and say that if they're going to enforce this rule they need to enforce the rule that animals must be under their owner's control at all times and make everyone get rid of their outdoor cats, of which there are many.  I've been mentally composing a list of all the reasons letting cats roam freely is far more problematic than chickens that are confined to my property. We're also going to offer to move the coop closer to the border we share with the awesome neighbors (at their suggestion), where it will not be visible by the neighbors that we assume made the complaint.



Tris Prior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #644 on: September 04, 2018, 10:59:02 AM »
I have two questions about compost:

At what point during the year do you stop putting stuff in your composter because it won't break down before it freezes? Or, do you even stop? Our average first frost is 10/15.

Second: Anyone have a neighbor complain about your composting? My landlord gave us a composter that he found discarded in the alley. It is enclosed - one of those rotating barrels on a stand. We just had a new tenant move into the first floor apartment (two-flat, we're on the top floor) and she's horrified that I am composting. She is certain we're going to have rats.

I told her that our landlord had encouraged me to do so - and that I'd asked him the same question about whether it draws rats and he said he's never had that problem (he lives a block away from us and composts in just a loose uncovered pile). I have seen no rats - and I'd think that, given that I have a vegetable garden right there too, I'd have seen some evidence in the form of nibbled tomatoes and such. But, maybe not. Anyway - any advice on pacifying her? I really don't want to stop composting.

Cgbg

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #645 on: September 04, 2018, 11:45:23 AM »
Iím glad I live in an unincorporated part of the county where I can have all the chickens and roosters I want. I like my neighbors so I donít keep roosters.

On the compost question, I have three round black bins. I lazily add stuff to one bin until itís full. Then it sits until itís ready. Once itís full, I donít turn it or do anything with it for months. Itís been pretty well layered with greens and browns, including a weekly load of shredded paper+chicken poop from the hen house poop board so it tends to break down pretty fast. But I donít keep adding to it even when it clearly reduces in volume.

If my compost smells I donít notice it. Usually that means you donít have a balance of browns and greens. If all you are throwing in is veggie scraps then you need something to layer in that is a brown- leaves or shredded paper. When I dump some veggie waste, I tend to spread it so itís a thin layer in a circle. Then I throw some leaves on - I keep a few open wire bins nearby that I can pull the leaves from as needed ( just a bottomless round of wire that fall leaves go in; when you eventually upend the round youíll find some nice black gold there.)

I live in the maritime PNW so I compost all year round. Since Iím adding chicken poop, I give the bins almost a year to decompose. I donít find it useful to stir my compost- lazy and all that.

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1299
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #646 on: September 04, 2018, 11:47:54 AM »
I'm in NE Ohio, and I compost all winter. It stays hot in there!

Cgbg

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #647 on: September 04, 2018, 11:51:56 AM »
Also an enclosed bin wonít attract a rat, or, at least a rat that stays around. If they canít get to the food source theyíll seek out one that they can get to.

Tris Prior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #648 on: September 04, 2018, 11:56:14 AM »
My compost doesn't smell bad, though I probably am too veggie-heavy with not enough brown. I should be able to remedy that soon enough when the leaves start falling.

Cgbg, that is my theory too. This thing's totally enclosed and on legs. Unless rats start growing opposable thumbs there is no way they can get it open. But she's completely grossed out at the thought of vegetable scraps rotting in the back yard, even in a container, so I'm not sure reasoning is going to work with her. :(

furrychickens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7611
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SE WI
  • Numerophobic Mustachian
Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #649 on: September 04, 2018, 04:22:35 PM »
Composting most definitely can attract rats, though a tumbler style on legs? Not likely. Your landlord with the open pile on the ground would have 5-10 rats a night in my neighborhood unless thereís a healthy population of feral cats, foxes, coyote, etc. The natural predators do a pretty good job here but every so often I need to lend a helping hand with bait and/or traps.

Youíre a bit south of me, but Iíd expect a tumbler unit to freeze solid in the winter. Even my 2 cuyd piles freeze solid in the depth of winter unless the feedstock is something super hot like poultry litter.