Author Topic: Planting / Growing your own 2018  (Read 47732 times)

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #700 on: October 12, 2018, 08:40:29 AM »

If they freeze and thaw they'll rot (long term) and get gross and slimy (short term), so either pick them before first frost or get out there while the frost is still on them and pick for the freezer/ cook immediately.

Right, I know they have to be picked before first frost. But on my local garden groups everyone's freaking out about picking all their tomatoes now now now! And we haven't had frost yet. So I was wondering if I'm missing something.

I haven't even been to the community garden since... Sunday? Monday? I can't remember. The short days make it hard; it's barely light when I leave for work and it's mostly dark when I get home. Hmph.

Rural

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #701 on: October 12, 2018, 10:30:03 AM »

If they freeze and thaw they'll rot (long term) and get gross and slimy (short term), so either pick them before first frost or get out there while the frost is still on them and pick for the freezer/ cook immediately.

Right, I know they have to be picked before first frost. But on my local garden groups everyone's freaking out about picking all their tomatoes now now now! And we haven't had frost yet. So I was wondering if I'm missing something.

I haven't even been to the community garden since... Sunday? Monday? I can't remember. The short days make it hard; it's barely light when I leave for work and it's mostly dark when I get home. Hmph.


As long as you beat any actual freeze or frost, they'll be fine. They won't be growing or ripening hardly at all with the weather you're reporting, though, so at this point you may be best served to pick the first chance you get.


I've waited until the afternoon before the first forecast frost and had no issues, but my tomatoes are right outside my front door so the picking is easy (and for me, that happens in early November or, one memorable year, the first of December...)

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #702 on: October 12, 2018, 02:17:44 PM »
My garden is about done for the year.  The zucchini isn't dead yet, but I expect a frost kill any day now.

I've got a giant box of calico popcorn sitting in my living room drying right now.  I just ordered a "little stripper" for shelling it, as doing it by hand was going to give me blisters. I'm really looking forward to eating homegrown popcorn, and giving gorgeous bags of it away for Christmas.

I also grew some purple cornmeal corn, but it4 grew on really short stalks and something, probably a rabbit, discovered the garden patch and decimated my harvest.  I have about a half bushel that I managed to save.  Next year's cornmeal corn will be taller, so as to avoid this problem.

I have 4 mesh bags of cranberry bean pods drying in the kitchen.  I imagine it won't actually be very many beans once shelled, but I'm looking forward to them.

I also grew my mystery Anasazi ruin beans, except I finally managed to hunt them down!  They are Hopi purple string beans, and I managed to grow two rows of them.  This is enough to replenish my dad's seed stash, my stash, and hopefully have a few pounds left for eating.  I find the story behind these beans fascinating, so I was really happy to get some of my dad's old stock to sprout this spring.  They're still out on the vines drying.  We're supposed to have dry weather for at least the next 10 days.  I'll just be sure to pick them out once there's rain in the forecast again.

There are about a dozen spaghetti squash out on the vine.  Watching for the frost date so I know when to bring those in.  I managed to get one sweet squash.  I don't remember what it is, but it probably won't ripen enough to be food anyway.

Did well with cukes this year, but didn't actually do anything with the picklebush cucumbers.  I'll do better with those next year.

Carrots did well, though for some reason, all the red ones went to seed.  They're still tasty, and I'm saving a ton of seeds.  It was just weird.

I think I'll get a good harvest of parsnips as well.  I've planted them before, but not had much luck with them.  I know those are best harvested after a frost, as they'll be sweeter.  So again... any day now.

I did manage a few cabbages eventually, too.  I'll pick the last of them this weekend.  They didn't do super well because of the neighborhood rabbits.  Although once I caught FLB (furry little bastard), things picked up.

On that note, I learned to butcher a rabbit this year.  I decided when I caught FLB that I'd raise him and see if I could butcher and eat an animal I'd raised.  Turns out I can, and in a year or two when I've got the backyard privacy fenced, I'll look into raising rabbits for food.

Is it too early to start next year's thread?  I bought some seeds already.  Figured I may as well since I was already paying shipping for the corn sheller.  Boyfriend asked if he could pick some things to plant next year, so we got some french heirloom pumpkins, pool ball zucchini, and a couple of other things that looked like fun.  He doesn't really like gardening, but he's willing to help me with it.  Being interested in what we're planting is a good step forward for him. :)

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #703 on: October 13, 2018, 07:11:42 AM »
Love your update @10dollarsatatime -- your roster of veg is very pioneer-like:  beans, corn, squash, carrots, etc.  And cool to hear about the rabbit plans.  I'm sure FurryChickens will have lots of advice for you on that if you pull the trigger. 

Something really weird happened here yesterday, not garden-related but since you are all interested nature observers, I thought I'd share.  We heard a bird hit the window and went to look.  At the same moment we looked out the window a squirrel ran across our deck, grabbed the stunned bird (house sparrow) and started eating it.  The squirrel looked like it knew what it was doing and had done it before . . . plucking out the feathers like an expert.  We opened the door with a half-thought of seeing if the squirrel would drop the bird, but it took off with it in its mouth, ran up a tree, and finished eating it.   

I've read that squirrels eat bird eggs and even baby birds from time to time, but this was really surprising.  I had no idea squirrels could be so . . . carnivorous.  It especially surprised me because this time of the year there's lots of food for them;  we have loads of walnuts and hickory nuts lying around everywhere.  There's no way the squirrel is hungry for calories or protein.  Puzzling and interesting.

Rural

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #704 on: October 13, 2018, 02:41:16 PM »
I didn't know about squirrels eating birds, either, but apparently it's not uncommon:
https://askanaturalist.com/is-eating-dead-birds-normal-for-a-squirrel-or-chipmunk/

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #705 on: October 13, 2018, 05:59:30 PM »
Lots of rodents eat meat.   Mice eat lots of insects.  That squirrel sounds like it has learned window thump = easy meal.    Cats and raccoons will patrol tall buildings at dawn to find bird window strikes.

Back to the garden.  I dug all my sweet potatoes, lots of red skins (white inside) and some purples.  I will use that bed for garlic, I have a bunch of different kinds and will use the biggest cloves for planting.  I'm also moving rhubarb to a better spot, and getting some beds ready for early peas next spring. 

I also bought another blueberry bush.

Blueberries

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #706 on: October 13, 2018, 07:21:59 PM »
One tip is to look into winter sowing.  Another is to shop migardener.com for seeds; they are $1 with reasonable shipping and some unusual varieties.  I used to love Rare Seeds for unusual varieties, but it got too damn expensive. 

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.

I compost with a bin for the most part, but a couple months of the year I will just compost in the ground.  If you have the ground space and the neighbor keeps pushing the compost bin issue, just compost in the ground (10+ inches).  It's simple and effective. 

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #707 on: October 13, 2018, 07:32:05 PM »
Speaking of animals eating other animals, this morning the internal organs of a small mammal were in the middle of my garden path. There were no bones, fur or feathers so I was uncertain which animal it came from or what was the predator. I hate garden mysteries.

The temps finally felt like Fall today. First frost feels much closer now. I installed medium size electrical conduit PVC to make low tunnel hoops over lettuce, kale and peas. Inspected the Agribon frost cloth is standing by to cover herbs.

I've been making biochar in the firepit all summer and will spread that on the beds that are going to rest this winter. I've used biochar in past but only on cold compost piles. Has anyone spread it directly on soil? Would love to hear your experience. Debating if I should put cover crop on top of it or leave it mixed in slightly on top soil layer.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #708 on: October 14, 2018, 06:28:58 AM »
We had a hard frost last night.  I am going to transplant three asparagus plants I missed in the spring.   And clear out all the plants that may hold fungus,  mold, or stuff and put it in the green bin.  I have been stockpiling maple leaves for a booster load of organic material. I am looking forward to getting out for a couple of hours.

Cranky

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #709 on: October 14, 2018, 06:45:26 AM »
Lots of stuff in the garden to clean out now, and Iím housebound. Oh well, Iím looking forward to spring already!

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #710 on: October 14, 2018, 08:54:27 AM »
Speaking of animals eating other animals, this morning the internal organs of a small mammal were in the middle of my garden path.

<snip>

I've been making biochar in the firepit all summer and will spread that on the beds that are going to rest this winter. I've used biochar in past but only on cold compost piles. Has anyone spread it directly on soil?

Re:  the internal organs:  I think that could be the leftovers from a meal enjoyed by a cat or fox.  Or -- I believe some animals also leave dead and sometimes partially eaten animals as a 'sign post' to their presence too, like to mark their territory.  I'm a trail runner, and I frequently see dead shrews and mice dropped on the trail regularly in the same conspicuous spot.  I'm thinking foxes are doing it.  Last year a family of foxes moved into our property and I saw them several times.  Right around the time they moved in, I started finding dead "presents" right smack at the bottom of our driveway.  Same spot every time. Sometimes the animal was in once piece, just bitten to kill it, and sometimes it was half eaten.  The dead animals ranged from mice and shrews up to (once) a half-eaten woodchuck.  The foxes hung around our place a month or so, and then they took off.  And the dead animals stopped appearing.  I was glad they left, and thankful we didn't lose any chickens to them while they were around.  And glad I didn't have to wonder what I was going to find when I walked down to the mailbox each day, lol.  The dead animals were mildly creepy -- kind of like a cosa nostra message or something.

@Indio -- I've never heard of biochar, so thanks for this!  I'll read up on it.     

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #711 on: October 14, 2018, 06:35:47 PM »
I am also going to read up on biochar. 
I worked in the garden all afternoon - the weather was beautiful. I am whupped.

I did so much tidying up and dreaming about next years garden.  There were two tiny zucchini's on the frost killed vines this morning.  Not all the cut flowers got killed.  All the basil not in the greenhouse was mush.  I got a whole area cleared out and took down some of the fencing so that the hens can get in there and clean up up.  Still a bit of harvesting to do - the leeks and kale are coming on.  Planning on where I might put my sweet potatoes (@RetiredAt63 inspired me) and checking out just how well the asparagus plants came along.  I just might be getting some spears next spring. 

I made a whole bunch of food this weekend from my produce and it just feels so amazing.  The second last seeding of greens are at their peak and I have them under floating row covers.  Herbs that self seeded in the greenhouse are coming along as well. The last seeding of greens are only just up and I don't know whether to juggle the floating row covers to try and get them to come along or just give up.  The soil in that part of the garden is just awful so I could just start dumping compost and leaves there now.  My plan is grow potatoes in round elevated wire cribs in this area next spring.  A couple of reasons:  the soil is really crappy, the bins would be completely separated from the soil and any residual fungus/germs/mildews etc that attacked my potato and tomato crop this year wouldn't get into them.  I am going to lay down plastic film over the soil and put the wire cribs on top.  I will plant the potatoes in manure that has a lot of straw.  At the end of the growing season I will spread this out over the whole area and grow tomatoes and potatoes at a different end of the garden the following season.  But voila - fantastic soil for other stuff.

Now I must go and finish my first batch of sauerkraut.  I have been buying tiny jars for $6 at the market.  A lovely cabbage came in my CSA this week and now it is all cut up and salted waiting to be massaged and packed into jars.  Please let this work out. 


Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #712 on: October 14, 2018, 07:10:20 PM »
@Trifele my motion sensitive outdoor light was triggered on a few nights ago by a large fox/coyote. It moved too quickly for me to get a good look at it, but that might be source of the "gift." I guess I won't let the chickens free range till after first snow and I can watch the tracks.

So I went to a bee club meeting today and the two speakers were great, but one blew me away. Ross Conrad, the author of a seminal book on organic beekeeping, spoke first about the dangers of neonics, abbreviated name for the family of chemicals that ends with -cides, used in farming, gardening and landscaping. Ross was the primary reason I attended. He is well known bee advocate in the beekeeping community. The second speaker, Dr. Samuel Ramsey, talked about his PhD thesis on varroa destructor mites. Here's a recent article that summarizes his points: https://www.beeculture.com/downtown-new-hope-fight-varroa/
A version of his talk, for a German audience, is on youtube for anyone who wants to geek out honeybee pests. Wow... it was amazing how he laid out his hypothesis and tested it in the lab. Now Sam is studying a new type of mite that is spreading rapidly in southeast Asia, where varroa originated and spread around the world in two decades. He expects that this smaller, faster and fertile mite will proliferate faster than varroa, which will really suck, if that happens.

Another fantastic aspect of attending this event, were all the sustainable and environmentally minded people I met.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #713 on: October 15, 2018, 05:28:45 AM »
Wow @Indio -- excellent meeting at your beekeeping club!  I will check out those speakers.  @Frugal Lizard -- that's a creative plan for your potatoes -- let us know how it goes! 

It was a gorgeous weekend here -- sunny and cool.  I planted two Lobelias I bought a month ago at the local arboretum plant sale.  This is part of my project to plant-all-the-things-for-bees. :) According to the state extension, Lobelia is in the top 10 native perennials for pollinator value. 

You might recall our winter experiment where we grafted 10 baby apple trees for the first time.  They all survived the grafting and started off well.  Over the summer some of them fell victim to insect attacks.  Now we have six left that look vigorous and have grown well, and four that are basically leafless.  (I don't know if the leafless ones will survive the winter and have the energy to leaf out again.)  So this weekend we started planting them.  The six healthy ones are going into our orchard, and the four sickies are going into a nursery row down in the garden.  I got two of the healthy ones planted yesterday.  Live long and prosper little trees.   

And wow -- am I out of gardening shape. Very sore this morning from digging.  I'm FIREing soon, and looking forward to more hours in the garden and getting stronger again. 

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #714 on: October 15, 2018, 06:44:45 PM »
@Trifele - I have done it four times before in my community garden.  The first year was fantastic because we had a very wet season so the potatoes were very happy to be a little drier.  The last two times I didn't use 100% manure, thinking that it was a moisture issue so I am going back to 100% manure and will have access to water if it is really dry.

It is a space saving strategy and I can't claim credit for it - I think someone on the forum also does this but can't remember who.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #715 on: October 16, 2018, 06:01:55 AM »
The garlic is planted, one row each (7 cloves each) of 8 different varieties.   A grower told me garlic needs to be well mulched in our area to prevent frost heave, so there is a mound of sweet potato vines over the garlic bed.   One more garden chore ticked off the fall prep list.

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #716 on: October 17, 2018, 06:42:30 AM »
What do you compost?

I never seem to have enough high quality loam for my garden so I focus on making as much compost as I can throughout the year. I'm curious to learn what types of items people put into their compost besides the obvious food scraps, garden waste and chicken/rabbit bedding.

I keep a bin in the kitchen and ask the kids to put dirty tissues and paper towels in it. When it gets full, I mix it into the composting system outside or in the worm bin and it's converted to usable soil. I also shred all junk mail. Separating the plastic window from the mailing and return mailing envelopes, and then recycling the plastic is a standard practice. I also go through the coupon mailers and separate the glossy and matte paper. Yup, the matte paper gets shredded and then put into the compost. The dustballs and furballs from the vacuum also go into the compost, though I've found that human hair doesn't break down quickly. Soon I will be picking up the leaf piles, that my neighbors lawn service blows to the curb, putting that through the portable leaf shredder and right into the grow beds.

So, what else does everyone put into their compost piles?

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #717 on: October 21, 2018, 09:23:24 AM »
We've had a frost, so the high mound of sweet potato vines mulching the garlic is now a limp flat blanket.

I'm getting into more perennial crops.  Yesterday I planted 3 hazelbert shrubs (American hazelnut x European filbert), a hardy self-pollinating pear, a black currant bush, and a Korean pine (such a baby) for pine nuts.  I'm looking at a 3-5  year wait for the hazelnuts and longer for the pear and pine.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #718 on: October 22, 2018, 06:58:40 AM »
@Indio I am impressed with the list of materials you compost.  The only thing I compost in addition to your list is tired mushroom substrate.   We have municipal  compost pick up so I only compost the easy stuff at home. 

@RetiredAt63 I am curious about the nut trees.   I probably have too many squirrels to actually harvest any nuts but it would be so fun to try.

Enjoying the late greens harvest.  Have picked about 3lbs.  So totally worth the effort.   It's under a floating row cover so hopefully we can get a little more.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #719 on: October 22, 2018, 08:11:08 AM »
@RetiredAt63 I am curious about the nut trees.   I probably have too many squirrels to actually harvest any nuts but it would be so fun to try.

Well, the Korean pine is a total baby right now, 3 years old and about 8" tall.  They look a lot like a white pine, and need the same conditions, so I am planting it with my white pines.  It will be a long wait, edible pine nuts at the end.

The hazelberts are an American hazelnut x European filbert cross, so nuts more like European filberts with the hardiness of American hazelnuts. Large bushes, I should see a few nuts in 2-4 years.

They have lots of other nut trees and hardy fruit trees.

The nursery is further north than I am by quite a bit, so anything that is hardy there should be fine here.

http://hardyfruittrees.ca/

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #720 on: October 22, 2018, 11:26:32 AM »
Hmph. The forecast didn't call for frost, but it appears we had one, or at least it was close enough to make all the tomato plants look like total shit. Pulled out about half of them yesterday, along with all the peppers (which had some decently sized green ones on them, anyway). Still have some baby greens, which I'm hoping become non-baby greens before the garden closes for the season on the 4th.

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #721 on: October 27, 2018, 09:17:07 AM »
I know a few of you following this thread are beekeepers so I thought I'd share this article. It has all of the highlights - environmentalist, frugal, biking, entrepreneurial, and of course, bees.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/27/story-exchange-minneapolis-beekeeper-is-building-a-thriving-business.html

sparkytheop

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #722 on: October 27, 2018, 09:06:28 PM »
I had feared that I killed my saffron...  The bulbs I gave to my mom did great.  She had forgot to water them all summer, and it worked out quite well for her!  She started giving them just a little bit of water sometime around late August/early September.  Over a few days, several flowers popped up, and we picked the stigmas, put them in an open spice jar left in the car (to cheaply dehydrate them), and now I have a nice little pile.

Mine hadn't bloomed.  Still didn't bloom.  Then a few days ago I got one!  Yea!  I managed to not kill one little bulb :D  I can grow mint and weeds really well, but I kill everything else.  One little bulb was a success.  Then, last night, another bloom.  And tonight when I got home from work, there was one more!  I planted five bulbs, so I've got over a 50% survival rate and am extremely happy about that.

I'll be looking up recipes this weekend to see what I can make with my tiny little harvest.  I don't like seafood, so paella is out...

In other news, my mom came home to four little plum trees dropped off by a coworker (the original tree they volunteered from was planted in the late 1800s.)  My mom only wanted one (she already has another grafted plum tree), so she asked if I wanted one (my tree no longer bares fruit, when the neighbor cut his tree down it lost any cross-pollination.)  So, I took two home and planted them in the front yard.  I like the plums on the back yard tree (big and juicy and perfect, while the new trees are more "prune" type) so I'm really hoping they will provide some cross-pollination so that it can produce again.

Anyway, I'm just thrilled that I got to see something from start (bulb) to harvest all by myself!  Saffron has survived my black thumb of death.  Like the mint, it has earned it's place in front of the house and will hopefully be around for many years to come.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #723 on: November 02, 2018, 07:55:24 AM »
I've been MIA all summer - very busy with horses and work - but managed to have a fairly decent, if scaled down garden.  All that's still in the ground is leeks, chard and collards.

The theme this year was peppers - I ended up growing about 80# of green chile, which is all tucked into freezer bags and canning jars now.  Made cayenne, chile powder and chipotle peppers, hot sauce, and still have more down in the basement waiting to be processed.  We had a nice flow of okra, tomatoes, onions and greens, and this was the first year my raspberries really stepped up and produced.  First year trying to grow dried beans and I managed to produce... almost an entire cup of dried beans, lol.  Thai pumpkin was also a total bust this year - huge, healthy plant that never set a single pumpkin.

Now I'm re-working my garden beds to make things more efficient and hopefully easier to care for.  Will post and update when it's done (hopefully in a couple weeks).  Need to haul in a few truckloads of manure to fill them and top up the old beds.

Also, I built a chicken tractor that just needs a couple finishing touches, and then will go into service for weed control and working fallow beds. 

GardenBaker

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #724 on: November 07, 2018, 02:06:26 PM »
My fall planted seeds are coming along nicely. We have peas, radish, turnips, kale, broccoli, cabbage and carrots emerged. Nothing to harvest yet, maybe in another 30 days or so. I bought two large fall tomato plants which are now blooming; hoping to have some tomatoes in the next month or so too. The garden beds are in full sun, but with the time change we have significantly less daylight.

Raenia

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #725 on: November 08, 2018, 08:48:08 AM »
My sad little potted rosemary is still chugging along, though the oregano finally bit the dust a month or so back.  However, I'm now looking at growing ginger root!  I have a chunk of ginger that I got from the store, and it is attempting to sprout.  A quick google suggests that I should be able to plant that bit and it will start producing new rhizomes (sp?).  We'll see how it does!

krmit

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #726 on: November 08, 2018, 01:43:07 PM »
Tis the season for creating new systems! Mr krmit and I moved last month and in anticipation of our first year of real gardening, we:

- Bought a secondhand push mower and mowed the lawn.
- Disconnected the overflowing rain barrel and diverted the downspout out to the lawn. We'll reconnect in the spring, before the rain stops but hopefully late enough that we don't have to deal with a lot of overflow.
- Received a pile of wood chips and used them and our flattened moving boxes to create new garden beds to compost in place over the winter.  This included shoveling out some old gross red bark mulch and taking up a bunch of landscape fabric where we're going to plant our raspberry patch and herbs.
- Discovered that our patchy front lawn was, in fact, hiding a garden path stepping through the former raised beds! Mr krmit cleared the overgrown grass away and the front yard looks pretty awesome now.
- Starting to plan the garden for next year - it's never too early, right?

Got a few container kale and cabbage that made the move with us, although they look pretty sad. Hoping to do some proper fall/winter gardening next year.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #727 on: November 08, 2018, 08:03:33 PM »
You guys!  I just ate a bowl of popcorn I grew myself!  It's not cured quite enough... it should get fluffier as it ages, but it was so good!  I grew Calico Popcorn this year... 9 rows, 12 plants per row.  I've got SO much popcorn!  40-50 pounds maybe?  And it's delicious... it tastes more, um, corny, I guess, than store-bought popcorn.

I picked up a couple of pots today at the thrift store.  I decided my garden isn't big enough yet, so I'll be planting my butterbush butternuts and some other things in pots along the back of the house.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide how I want to go about some winter gardening.  I have a bunch of old windows... I might try to put together some cold frames and grow some radishes and such. 

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #728 on: November 09, 2018, 04:20:16 AM »
You guys!  I just ate a bowl of popcorn I grew myself! 

Super cool!  Congrats @10dollarsatatime !

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #729 on: November 09, 2018, 05:45:52 AM »
You guys!  I just ate a bowl of popcorn I grew myself! 

Super cool!  Congrats @10dollarsatatime !
  amazing

Blueberries

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #730 on: November 14, 2018, 11:46:05 AM »
I struggle to find joy in the garden during the cooler months and especially as winter approaches. 

I do have some greens planted, along with some garlic and onion, but overall, I don't do a whole lot.  I am going to pull my potatoes soon as the greens died back completely.  Hopefully I have enough for Thanksgiving.

I had feared that I killed my saffron...  The bulbs I gave to my mom did great.  She had forgot to water them all summer, and it worked out quite well for her!  She started giving them just a little bit of water sometime around late August/early September.  Over a few days, several flowers popped up, and we picked the stigmas, put them in an open spice jar left in the car (to cheaply dehydrate them), and now I have a nice little pile.

Mine hadn't bloomed.  Still didn't bloom.  Then a few days ago I got one!  Yea!  I managed to not kill one little bulb :D  I can grow mint and weeds really well, but I kill everything else.  One little bulb was a success.  Then, last night, another bloom.  And tonight when I got home from work, there was one more!  I planted five bulbs, so I've got over a 50% survival rate and am extremely happy about that.

I'll be looking up recipes this weekend to see what I can make with my tiny little harvest.  I don't like seafood, so paella is out...

Anyway, I'm just thrilled that I got to see something from start (bulb) to harvest all by myself!  Saffron has survived my black thumb of death.  Like the mint, it has earned it's place in front of the house and will hopefully be around for many years to come.

I'm envious.  I planted several saffron bulbs from a reputable place and I haven't seen one come up.  Oh well, maybe one will surprise me in the future.

sparkytheop

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #731 on: November 14, 2018, 01:08:46 PM »
I struggle to find joy in the garden during the cooler months and especially as winter approaches. 

I do have some greens planted, along with some garlic and onion, but overall, I don't do a whole lot.  I am going to pull my potatoes soon as the greens died back completely.  Hopefully I have enough for Thanksgiving.

I had feared that I killed my saffron...  The bulbs I gave to my mom did great.  She had forgot to water them all summer, and it worked out quite well for her!  She started giving them just a little bit of water sometime around late August/early September.  Over a few days, several flowers popped up, and we picked the stigmas, put them in an open spice jar left in the car (to cheaply dehydrate them), and now I have a nice little pile.

Mine hadn't bloomed.  Still didn't bloom.  Then a few days ago I got one!  Yea!  I managed to not kill one little bulb :D  I can grow mint and weeds really well, but I kill everything else.  One little bulb was a success.  Then, last night, another bloom.  And tonight when I got home from work, there was one more!  I planted five bulbs, so I've got over a 50% survival rate and am extremely happy about that.

I'll be looking up recipes this weekend to see what I can make with my tiny little harvest.  I don't like seafood, so paella is out...

Anyway, I'm just thrilled that I got to see something from start (bulb) to harvest all by myself!  Saffron has survived my black thumb of death.  Like the mint, it has earned it's place in front of the house and will hopefully be around for many years to come.

I'm envious.  I planted several saffron bulbs from a reputable place and I haven't seen one come up.  Oh well, maybe one will surprise me in the future.

I got mine from Baker Creek... https://www.rareseeds.com/ 

I hope you get to see some, if not this year, then next year!

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #732 on: November 22, 2018, 02:05:36 PM »
Now I'm re-working my garden beds to make things more efficient and hopefully easier to care for.  Will post and update when it's done (hopefully in a couple weeks).  Need to haul in a few truckloads of manure to fill them and top up the old beds.

I  can't believe I actually got this done, but here is the photographic evidence!

I took a 4x12' bed out of the front left and replaced with these 3, 3x5' galvanized side beds.  I should have been more careful with the math and made them a little longer and narrower - there is only 14" between them, but it should be fine.

Towards the back on that side, I took out a trellis structure that was interfering with my cherry tree, and reduced the size of the bed it was in, added 2, 4x12' beds there.  On the right side of the path, I had 4x16' beds, but one half would get watered from overspray from the lawn, so they were difficult to manage.  They are now gone and the beds are reconfigured so the two on the far right will get the lawn overspray, and the two near the paver path will get watered with soaker hoses.

Lastly, I built a little "tool kiosk" mostly with scrap, including 4x4s from the trellis structure I took down.  I still need to add some hooks and things on the inside, but I love this little shed.  Hopefully I'll be much less prone to leaving my tools out in the rain to rust, and my wheelbarrow finally has a home.

Overall, I think this will make everything more productive and easier to manage, so I'm looking forward to the 2019 growing season now!


RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #733 on: November 22, 2018, 06:38:08 PM »
Now I'm re-working my garden beds to make things more efficient and hopefully easier to care for.  Will post and update when it's done (hopefully in a couple weeks).  Need to haul in a few truckloads of manure to fill them and top up the old beds.

I  can't believe I actually got this done, but here is the photographic evidence!

I took a 4x12' bed out of the front left and replaced with these 3, 3x5' galvanized side beds.  I should have been more careful with the math and made them a little longer and narrower - there is only 14" between them, but it should be fine.

Towards the back on that side, I took out a trellis structure that was interfering with my cherry tree, and reduced the size of the bed it was in, added 2, 4x12' beds there.  On the right side of the path, I had 4x16' beds, but one half would get watered from overspray from the lawn, so they were difficult to manage.  They are now gone and the beds are reconfigured so the two on the far right will get the lawn overspray, and the two near the paver path will get watered with soaker hoses.

Lastly, I built a little "tool kiosk" mostly with scrap, including 4x4s from the trellis structure I took down.  I still need to add some hooks and things on the inside, but I love this little shed.  Hopefully I'll be much less prone to leaving my tools out in the rain to rust, and my wheelbarrow finally has a home.

Overall, I think this will make everything more productive and easier to manage, so I'm looking forward to the 2019 growing season now!

PS  Can you give more detail about your bed construction and the galvanized metal sides?*  I have been using spruce and it rots out.  And the beds are low, those look much easier to plant and weed becasue of the added height, and the plant roots have more space too.

*Or a URL or book that explains it, you don't have to type it all out.

That is impressive, looks well organized, next year should be a great gardening year for you.

Can you come visit me next spring?  I have lots of projects to keep you busy/happy.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 06:40:03 PM by RetiredAt63 »

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #734 on: November 23, 2018, 03:21:59 AM »
Wow that looks really great @horsepoor!  Love the tool kiosk.  I have a huge redesign of our garden on tap for the spring -- can you come over and help?  :)   

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #735 on: November 23, 2018, 06:59:14 AM »
Wow that looks really great @horsepoor!  Love the tool kiosk.  I have a huge redesign of our garden on tap for the spring -- can you come over and help?  :)

NO, I asked first!

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #736 on: November 23, 2018, 06:29:42 PM »

PS  Can you give more detail about your bed construction and the galvanized metal sides?*  I have been using spruce and it rots out.  And the beds are low, those look much easier to plant and weed becasue of the added height, and the plant roots have more space too.

Sure, I just made corners by joining 2x4's in an "L" shape by bolting them together with lag bolts.  I used a little Dremel saw to cut the metal, which worked great.  I was nervous about that because my dad helped me with the first ones on the right, and I remember him using a special blade on my circular saw, and LOTS of sparks flying.  The Dremel went through like butter, not too many sparks.  The galvanized panels are about 26" wide, so I just cut them right down the middle to get 13" sides.  I then used lathe screws to attach them to the 4x4 corners.  I cut 2x2's to fit along the top edge of the metal, in between the 2x4 "L" corners, and also attached those with lathe screws.  Next was putting on the top 2x4's, again attached with lag bolts.  Last, I used deck screws to attach the 2x2 reinforcements to the top 2x4's to help stabilize the metal sides.

I think I've been offered a few years' worth of work building and maintaining other people's gardens since I finished this up, so I'll put you on the list.  ;)

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #737 on: November 24, 2018, 07:47:27 AM »

PS  Can you give more detail about your bed construction and the galvanized metal sides?*  I have been using spruce and it rots out.  And the beds are low, those look much easier to plant and weed becasue of the added height, and the plant roots have more space too.

Sure, I just made corners by joining 2x4's in an "L" shape by bolting them together with lag bolts.  I used a little Dremel saw to cut the metal, which worked great.  I was nervous about that because my dad helped me with the first ones on the right, and I remember him using a special blade on my circular saw, and LOTS of sparks flying.  The Dremel went through like butter, not too many sparks.  The galvanized panels are about 26" wide, so I just cut them right down the middle to get 13" sides.  I then used lathe screws to attach them to the 4x4 corners.  I cut 2x2's to fit along the top edge of the metal, in between the 2x4 "L" corners, and also attached those with lathe screws.  Next was putting on the top 2x4's, again attached with lag bolts.  Last, I used deck screws to attach the 2x2 reinforcements to the top 2x4's to help stabilize the metal sides.

I think I've been offered a few years' worth of work building and maintaining other people's gardens since I finished this up, so I'll put you on the list.  ;)

This is really great detail, thanks.  The galvanized panels - what are they sold for/what are they called?  I have to be able to explain at the store what I am looking for  ;-)  And am I shopping in a home hardware store or a farm supply store?  Dremel, which bit?

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #738 on: November 24, 2018, 08:03:25 AM »
They are corrugated roofing panels.  They might have them at a farm store, but any Lowe's or Home Depot will carry them.

The Dremel I have is actually a tiny circular saw, not an attachment to a regular Dremel tool.  If you have a circular saw, you can get a special blade, or you might be able to cut with tin snips, it would just be tedious.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dremel-SawMax-3-3-8-in-6-Amp-Worm-Drive-Corded-Circular-Saw-with-Steel-Shoe/50078404?cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-ToolsAndHardware-_-RotaryAndOscillatingTools-_-50078404:Dremel&CAWELAID=&kpid=50078404&CAGPSPN=pla&store_code=688&k_clickID=go_625706834_53014029837_258132035406_pla-424719174430_c_9029605&gclid=CjwKCAiAiuTfBRAaEiwA4itUqIDED2-aQBsBpVPcckFSViIZ38mZ7gBEIiyJGExKt4x1SZfA26jC9xoCZesQAvD_BwE

Blueberries

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #739 on: December 10, 2018, 03:33:32 PM »
You guys!  I just ate a bowl of popcorn I grew myself!  It's not cured quite enough... it should get fluffier as it ages, but it was so good!  I grew Calico Popcorn this year... 9 rows, 12 plants per row.  I've got SO much popcorn!  40-50 pounds maybe?  And it's delicious... it tastes more, um, corny, I guess, than store-bought popcorn.


We had a tiny harvest and ate our sweet corn raw (I never knew this was a thing); it was delicious.  The rest was Gem corn and we just made some popcorn. 

I'm envious of your harvest.  One day....


I got mine from Baker Creek... https://www.rareseeds.com/ 

I hope you get to see some, if not this year, then next year!

Thanks!  Their catalog is the only one I get and it just arrived.  They announced they now have free shipping within the U.S.  I stopped shopping there for a while, but I might just have to place an order.

lettuceevangelist

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #740 on: December 10, 2018, 06:59:14 PM »
Horsepoor, you have inspired us. We have 12 4x8 raised beds, which we built with untreated wood (because they're for growing food). After 5 years, they have rotted, and will need to be replaced before we do big planting next spring. Corrugated metal looks like just the thing!