Author Topic: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020  (Read 8319 times)

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #50 on: January 02, 2020, 04:50:36 PM »
I confirmed with Mr Pug that we will get ourselves a peach tree this year. Normally we order seeds from Fedco, I've never ordered a tree before and in my quick research I see that I should plant a peach tree in the dead of winter if it is not in a container of soil. Anyone know of a place that ships in containers? I think we will need a little time to get the yard ready for the tree so probably wont get it in the ground during the winter.

My understanding is that bare root peach trees should be planted in the early spring, or at least the ones I've planted were always in the spring. I've had good success with bare root peaches, so I wouldn't bother going potted. If you can put together a larger order (at least 5 trees, 25 preferably), Adams County Nursery has amazingly good stuff (https://www.acnursery.com/).

My understanding is that you plant bare root anything as soon as you get it.  It comes from a cooler and is dormant when the grower ships it and you get it into the ground ASAP. It comes out of dormancy planted.   If you can't get around to planting the day it is delivered, you can hold it in dormancy in a cool dark garage with damp mulch over the roots.  I have kept some plum trees "healed in" in the garage for a week by throwing ice in the garbage can with some mulch over the roots so that the roots still felt like it was winter.  Usually they don't ship stock until you can get it planted. 

My experience with bare root stock is that it grows really well if planted quickly and correctly. 

horsepoor

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2020, 06:18:25 PM »
For the past few years, I've gone all-out on home gardening, but life has gotten so busy with two active kids. Then when it comes time to harvest everything, there's no time to process it. I'm wondering if it's worth it at this point, or if I can somehow adjust to make things more efficient and demands less time.

Perhaps growing easier, less demanding crops is the answer? Only growing high-value produce that I know we'll use? I failed to get garlic in the ground this fall, but that's one of the easiest things I've ever grown, and we mow through a ton of it. What else is super easy? (I never do "easy" so I don't even know.)

Winter squash and root vegetables might work for you.  I love spaghetti squash because I can just pick them and chuck them in a pile in the basement until we're ready to eat them.  No peeling, canning etc.  Beets, carrots and potatoes are a close second since they can be stored whole.  However, they do need a little more prep than squash, and require cold storage if you want them to last a long time.  You might think about how to stretch the season as well, so you don't have a glut of stuff needing to be processed in late summer (ahem, tomatoes).  For instance, I'm going to try to grow a bunch of cauliflower this year and rice it and freeze it by early summer.  Cabbage can be pretty forgiving too, in that you can pick it whenever it forms a head, or leave it to grow until you need it. 

haypug16

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2020, 04:45:09 AM »
Thanks YttriumNitrate and Frugal Lizard for your tips.

I wish I had the space for 5-25 fruit trees maybe some day.

Eowynd

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2020, 11:19:40 AM »
Perhaps growing easier, less demanding crops is the answer? Only growing high-value produce that I know we'll use? I failed to get garlic in the ground this fall, but that's one of the easiest things I've ever grown, and we mow through a ton of it. What else is super easy? (I never do "easy" so I don't even know.)

Garlic is the most easy and high value crop that I've grown!  Radishes are super easy but I don't eat them so there is no point in me growing them.  Sunflowers are gorgeous and totally worth growing IMO but they are not a high value food crop.  Cherry tomatoes are pretty easy too.  Perhaps if you focus on just a couple of plants that you know you and your kids like to eat then it will be easier to get the most out of your garden.

Growing things in potting soil is super easy if you have some large containers and a sunny spot right outside the back door.  It's easier to remember to care for the plants when they are close to the house and you don't have to wrestle with preparing garden beds.  I grew carrots in large containers last year and that was surprisingly easy and the carrots were delicious.  I also grew potatoes this way but the yields were less than stellar.  Definitely look for early varieties of potatoes like "Red Norland" if you want to try this route.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2020, 04:30:32 AM »
For the past few years, I've gone all-out on home gardening, but life has gotten so busy with two active kids. Then when it comes time to harvest everything, there's no time to process it. I'm wondering if it's worth it at this point, or if I can somehow adjust to make things more efficient and demands less time.

Perhaps growing easier, less demanding crops is the answer? Only growing high-value produce that I know we'll use? I failed to get garlic in the ground this fall, but that's one of the easiest things I've ever grown, and we mow through a ton of it. What else is super easy? (I never do "easy" so I don't even know.)

That sounds like a good approach @OmahaSteph -- grow easy, high value things you like.  Great ideas by @horsepoor and @Eowynd below.  I'll add that "value" can be not just what those items cost in the grocery store, but enjoyment as well.  In a busy year, you could also consider the enjoyment factor.  How old are the kids?  Do they help in the garden?

+1 on potatoes.  They are super easy fun to grow.  I think they're often overlooked because they're so cheap in the store.  But -- similar to tomatoes -- homegrown potatoes really do taste better than store-bought ones.  The harvest is a treasure hunt.  "Processing" is very minimal -- just let them sit (with the dirt still on them -- don't wash them) in a dark, dry, room-temperature place for a couple weeks.  Then they go into a box in your basement where they sleep until you pull some out for dinner. 

You can also focus on growing fewer things and just eating them fresh right off the plants.  Think of it as your 'salad' garden?
'Sungold' cherry tomatoes are a great option -- they are mega-delicious and very heavy producers.  They grow well in pots.  Two plants last year provided us with more cherry tomatoes than we could eat -- we were constantly giving them away.   Cucumbers are also easy, and can be grown in pots.  If your family likes fresh green beans, those are also super easy and delish.  Except that rabbits and deer think so too, haha.  But if you have some protection against those guys (or don't have them around) -- beans could work.     

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2020, 08:13:02 AM »
I save seeds year over year to build up the local terroir flavor in the veg, but yesterday decided to add in a little more diversity to the veg this year. I purchased disease resistant seeds from Baker Creek rareseeds.com. Summer squash usually only produces 4-5 veg and then the plant develops mold or a vine borer gets to it. I've tried all sorts of baking soda sprays to reduce the leaf mold and powdery mildew, foil around the plant stalk, switching up plant location to different raised bed but the squash and cucumbers invariably die prematurely. So this year I'm going to see if I can improve my odds with new varieties that are both early producers and disease resistant.

All of the discussion about paw paw trees has inspired me to locate another co-pollinator for my one tree. I had another tree but it died when a neighbors tree came down in my yard and I never replaced it. I don't usually buy saplings because I feel as if I want to enjoy the tree asap and I know they are slow growers.

If anyone has considered growing kiwi vine, I highly recommend it. My male and female vines are about 4 years old and last summer I got the most delicious crop of kiwis. They were a little bigger than grapes but quite sweet and not a lot of work to eat.

I've also been researching rebar and heavy duty fencing because I'd like to build an  8' high archway that I could grow pole green beans on. If anyone has any suggestions, pls share.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2020, 08:44:05 AM »
I have one arctic kiwi - the other one never made it.  I have been wondering why I don't get any fruit - now I know!


MishMash

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2020, 09:02:43 AM »
we just moved into our fl house in June and had to get a fence and lanai installed.  Just ordered raised beds for the side of the house and a few banana trees.  Really trying to figure out what to do in the backyard.  We have a nice lake view that I don't want to interrupt. Going to install a multi grafted citrus in the spring

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #58 on: January 05, 2020, 09:33:51 AM »
If anyone has considered growing kiwi vine, I highly recommend it. My male and female vines are about 4 years old and last summer I got the most delicious crop of kiwis. They were a little bigger than grapes but quite sweet and not a lot of work to eat.

Interesting @Indio!  I've thought about those.  Our local nursery says they need very sturdy support, because of the weight of the vines and fruit.  I haven't quite figured out yet where I could put them!

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2020, 10:16:45 AM »
We had sauteed kale last night for dinner, fresh from the garden moments before. Kale is super high-value in our house.  We had started the kale in late October, then transplanted in late November-ish.  Really should start keeping a garden diary! The kale was delicious and it looks like our older plants from late spring are rebounding, too. I wasn't sure how long they produce, or whether we should pull them out at some point? But definitely not now, with some good leaves emerging.

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2020, 10:23:24 AM »
@MishMash sounds as if you might be in HI with the mention of a lanai. Whenever I go to the farmers markets there, I love the abundance of veg, especially avocadoes that can be grown in that zone. If you like papaya, they don't take a lot of space to grow.

@Trifele I planted the kiwi vine next to a shed that's 18x 8'. The two plants have almost completely covered it and I've encouraged them to grow up over the top by tying the vine down. That shed has southern exposure and used to be brutally hot inside in summer and now it's quite comfortable to go in with all of the shade on it.

DaMa

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2020, 10:50:36 AM »

*snip 

You can also focus on growing fewer things and just eating them fresh right off the plants.  Think of it as your 'salad' garden?
'Sungold' cherry tomatoes are a great option -- they are mega-delicious and very heavy producers.  They grow well in pots.  Two plants last year provided us with more cherry tomatoes than we could eat -- we were constantly giving them away.     

*snip


Hi, Trifele!  What size pots did you use?  Any advice on watering, fertilizing, staking?  I love cherry and grape tomatoes, and my plan was to try them first on the deck.  Greatly appreciate any advice.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #62 on: January 05, 2020, 11:58:48 AM »
As we are now in the new year my mind is increasingly occupied with garden thoughts. Very soon I will get out my grow lights and get some onions starts going. Spinach and lettuce as well, to supplement those I will direct seed...which sometimes suffer some nibbling by insect pests when they are tender seedlings. One of the key things I have learned in these first 5 years as a vegetable gardener is to always have a good supply of starts on hand to provide ďback upĒ for crops that have been directly seeded...because Iíve found that between robins pulling out small seedling by the roots looking for worms and wood bugs (aka wood lice, roly polys) deciding to have a snack....s*it happens.

General garden plans for this year:

-remove cluster of hazelnut trees which are throwing too much shade (cost one corner of garden an hour of sunlight). Also, I suspect the hazelnut shells might have a negative effect on the soil of the beds directly beneath.
-expand one in-ground bed, build one more 8x4 cedar raised bed
-avoid planting ďexperimentalĒ crops/STICK WITH WHAT WORKS
-build self contained potato enclosure to compliment potato grow bags
-find high quality garden soil source and import 5 yards or so
-plant LESS tomatoes (Iím still tying to use up frozen tomatoes from 2 years ago)
-plant LESS cucumbers
-more spacing out of plantings, both in terms of physical proximity....and planting times. Regarding the latter...I tend to get caught up in the exuberance of planting time and max out my garden space too early. As result, so many things are ready to harvest all at once. Iím also thinking of entering some of my crops in a local Harvest Fair in the Fall...so I NEED to force myself to plant later in the season so that I have things ready for the produce competition in September.
-expand our mason bee colony and be more purposeful in attracting pollinators in general.
-cut back blackberry thicket which is steadily encroaching on my garden footprint. And do this soon before it comes out of itís winter dormancy.
-build small greenhouse, mostly to give my peppers a better head start.
-consider using seaweed as a top mulch throughout the growing season.

There is more...but this is a good start I think. ;)


We had sauteed kale last night for dinner, fresh from the garden moments before. Kale is super high-value in our house.

Kale is the gift that keeps on giving! All Winter long!

This monster shows no signs of slowing down. For context, my DW is 5í7Ē


We are harvesting from the shorter plant on the left because we canít bring ourselves to diminish to the majesty of the tall one. ;) What we are really enjoying lately I s putting kale in some hearty soups as its a great way to add great flavour, substance and nutrition. It really maintains itís structure nicely in a soup.


Itís still a bit of a wait until March 1st when my spinach and peas get planted...and then March 15th for my first lettuce....but....

SPRING IS COMING




MishMash

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2020, 04:39:27 PM »
@MishMash sounds as if you might be in HI with the mention of a lanai. Whenever I go to the farmers markets there, I love the abundance of veg, especially avocadoes that can be grown in that zone. If you like papaya, they don't take a lot of space to grow.

@Trifele I planted the kiwi vine next to a shed that's 18x 8'. The two plants have almost completely covered it and I've encouraged them to grow up over the top by tying the vine down. That shed has southern exposure and used to be brutally hot inside in summer and now it's quite comfortable to go in with all of the shade on it.

Tampa FL, just moved here about six months ago.  But I have basil and tomatoes growing in the lanai, in January, and they are going nuts.  I've lived in cold climates my whole life so to me this is just wonderful.  There will be a couple nights it gets into the 40s this week so I just throw an old blanket over them and then remove it in the morning.  Our daytime highs are 70s.  I actually just ordered a dwarf papaya tree last week along with the ice cream banana and passionfruit vines.

Edit, and we dropped some fish off to a friends elderly parents today (he lives out of state so we check in on them) and his mother sent me home with all sorts of plants, galangal, turmeric, keffir leaves, a lemon tree, a papaya and some sort of what she called Thai oregano.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 04:44:14 PM by MishMash »

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #64 on: January 05, 2020, 08:20:45 PM »
Have you guys done a cost breakdown for your garden produce? Things like tomatoes are not worth it for me to grow when I can buy them for $1 a kilo in season. I just buy tons and process them into preserves then. On the other hand, basil for pesto is totally worth me growing. I'm saving a lot of money over buying basil, or pesto for that matter. Berries, also worth it.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #65 on: January 06, 2020, 03:08:29 AM »
*snip 
You can also focus on growing fewer things and just eating them fresh right off the plants.  Think of it as your 'salad' garden?
'Sungold' cherry tomatoes are a great option -- they are mega-delicious and very heavy producers.  They grow well in pots.  Two plants last year provided us with more cherry tomatoes than we could eat -- we were constantly giving them away.     
*snip

Hi, Trifele!  What size pots did you use?  Any advice on watering, fertilizing, staking?  I love cherry and grape tomatoes, and my plan was to try them first on the deck.  Greatly appreciate any advice.

Hi @DaMa  -- they weren't anything special, just some big plastic pots someone gave me.  They were about 20 inches across and 24 inches deep or so.  I used a mixture of garden soil and potting soil, and I otherwise treated them just like tomatoes in the ground.  I fed them some compost mixed into the soil, and mulched the top of the pot with about 4" of leaves (to keep the moisture in and the heat down).

Since tomatoes like humidity, high sun, and moderate heat, I think the big challenge growing in pots is to not let them get too hot or dry.  So site selection is important.  A deck could be a great place.  But if it gets above 90 degrees there on more than a few days,  I'd probably choose somewhere else.  For staking, my plants got too big for cages, so I put three 6' metal garden stakes into the ground in a triangle around the pot, then strung twine in an ascending 'triangle spiral' around the pot.  On a deck -- hmm.  Not sure how I would stake them.  You could try a cage.  Might work, especially if you had a way to affix the cage to something solid, like the deck railing.  Otherwise the plant might get so big or heavy it will topple the cage.  Maybe put a pole of some kind into the pot before you put the dirt in, and then tie the plant to the pole as it grows?  That might be sturdy enough. 

Good luck!  Sounds fun.  I'm just remembering I stayed at a small hotel one time that had tomatoes in pots all over their patio and it was lovely to sit out there with them. 

MoMoneyFewerProblems

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #66 on: January 06, 2020, 07:26:29 AM »
Ordered seeds last night! I will be mostly growing my vegetables and flowers in containers this year, though I am planning to build a few raised beds for corn and pole beans. I'm looking forward to feeding my dog a mix of store-bought food and extra vegetables, should cut down on costs a fair amount for a few months. I was wondering if anyone has advice for using re-purposed deck boards for building raised planters, especially how best to prep the underside of said boards, as they haven't been stained. I was also wondering if anyone could suggest fruits or vegetables to grow on my front porch, it is west facing and doesn't get much direct sunlight. I typically have flowers in hangers that do quite well, but I'd like to have some edible plants out there too.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #67 on: January 06, 2020, 07:32:41 AM »
Have you guys done a cost breakdown for your garden produce? Things like tomatoes are not worth it for me to grow when I can buy them for $1 a kilo in season. I just buy tons and process them into preserves then. On the other hand, basil for pesto is totally worth me growing. I'm saving a lot of money over buying basil, or pesto for that matter. Berries, also worth it.

I usually get to the point where I make a rough estimate of how much time I spent on growing stuff, realize that number multiplied by minimum wage is going to be quite large, and stop the analysis right there.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #68 on: January 06, 2020, 08:22:27 AM »
Since I spent all my free time in my garden -often without really needing to spend that much time - and I can't possibly put a price on the sweetest taste of a freshly picked tomato or peas, or a handful of sun-warmed strawberries, I don't bother with any calculations.  Too many in-quantifiable elements.

Eowynd

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #69 on: January 06, 2020, 10:57:07 AM »
Since I spent all my free time in my garden -often without really needing to spend that much time - and I can't possibly put a price on the sweetest taste of a freshly picked tomato or peas, or a handful of sun-warmed strawberries, I don't bother with any calculations.  Too many in-quantifiable elements.

I agree with this point of view.  Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies and it doesn't cost nearly as much as some other activities that I've tried.  The fact that I can grow food which tastes better than anything in the grocery stores is just an awesome bonus!

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #70 on: January 06, 2020, 12:35:06 PM »
Since I spent all my free time in my garden -often without really needing to spend that much time - and I can't possibly put a price on the sweetest taste of a freshly picked tomato or peas, or a handful of sun-warmed strawberries, I don't bother with any calculations.  Too many in-quantifiable elements.

I agree with this point of view.  Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies and it doesn't cost nearly as much as some other activities that I've tried.  The fact that I can grow food which tastes better than anything in the grocery stores is just an awesome bonus!

Yep.  My husband has for years complained about the tomatoes we find in even the very best of our produce markets, so growing tomatoes is about being able to make dishes where they feature even somewhat prominently. It hasn't yet become a real hobby for me, but I do hope to grow into it and am also getting so picky about the horrible produce I find when I shop that I'm also getting more motivated to do so!

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #71 on: January 07, 2020, 04:05:30 AM »
@Jon_Snow, you naughty man, teasing us with more pictures of your garden paradise. :) That kale plant is incredible!  How old is it?  Good luck with the blackberries.  Man, that can be some thorny work.

 
@Trifele I planted the kiwi vine next to a shed that's 18x 8'. The two plants have almost completely covered it and I've encouraged them to grow up over the top by tying the vine down. That shed has southern exposure and used to be brutally hot inside in summer and now it's quite comfortable to go in with all of the shade on it.

hahaha!  This is awesome.  How do you harvest the fruit?  Get a ladder and climb onto the roof with a bucket?  You're the second person I've heard do something like this -- the kiwis must really like it.  I wish I could do it -- but our shed has a likely future as a tiny house (construction plans in the future), so I'd best not plant such big, long-lived things up and over it.   

OmahaSteph

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2020, 12:02:00 PM »
Thank you for the suggestions, everyone!

Unfortunately, none of us really like root veg, and we tried potatoes in a trash can one year and it was an epic fail. We have clay soil, so everything else is in a raised bed (we have four). I think I'm just tomatoed out. DH makes amazing homemade sauce with them, but he insists on deskinning and hand-milling and if I don't initiate, it doesn't get done. We got more tomatoes out of our volunteers than the ones I was growing on purpose, lol. Yes, cherry tomatoes out the wazoo. I think I will not grow my own from seed this year, and instead buy starts from someone local. Cheaper in the long run and I just don't have the space to start indoors anymore. No more fancy heirlooms that require hand pollination with an electric toothbrush!

I was really pleased with our herbs this year, so I'll repeat that. I put them in containers and then sunk them into the ground. Hoping some of them survive the winter. Like I said, DH likes to cook and the home-grown herbs I dehydrate or freeze are SO stinking good.

I love the idea of turning our entire yard into an edible garden, but I have to be practical. My kids are amazing helpers and that's the only way I've been able to get as much accomplished as I have. DH ... well, he's not much for manual labor. Our deal is that I grow it, and he cooks it. :)

NinetyFour

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #73 on: January 08, 2020, 07:14:28 PM »
Garden plans for this year:

-cut back blackberry thicket


ACK!!!!!  :(
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 07:16:09 PM by NinetyFour »

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2020, 03:30:57 AM »
We had sauteed kale last night for dinner, fresh from the garden moments before. Kale is super high-value in our house. 

I agree @sui generis!  Kale is also one of our staples.  I grow it every year, pretty much year-round now.  Love it.  My go-to variety is Red Russian.  It has flat leaves, quite different than the curly lacinato type.  But both are delish!

It's also pretty easy to save seed and keep the kale love going indefinitely.

Raenia

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #75 on: January 09, 2020, 06:12:10 AM »
My work had a healthy-workforce initiative yesterday that for some reason included planting tiny pots with herb seeds.  So I now have a mini pot (seriously, it's probably 2-in diameter, it's minuscule) of cilantro/coriander seeds sitting in my kitchen window.  Hopefully they germinate!

My garden now consists of two pots of strawberries and a mini cilantro.  I'm a bit concerned that some of the strawberries won't survive the winter, though, they look very unhappy in my kitchen.

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #76 on: January 09, 2020, 07:12:10 AM »
I'm a big fan of the russian kale variety too. It makes delicious kale chips and is easy to coat with olive oil and parmesan.

Occasionally, it has gotten an aphid like pest on it so I rotate it around the garden and cover it with mosquito netting to trick the insects. Brassicas will stunt tomatoes, my favorite veg, so they can't be planted in the same spot the following year or near an existing plant. If I compost a big batch of chicken manure and mix it into the soil, in the same raised bed the kale was growing in the previous season, the tomatoes will thrive. Since I don't like hauling compost around the garden, my preference is to compost in the raised bed by digging a trench, putting food scraps lightly covered with leaves and burying it all by turning over soil shortly before planting season.

I cleaned out the chicken coop yesterday and have two bins of chicken manure that's ready to improve garden soil. Also, took out the bin of shredded paper (mail envelopes with the plastic window removed) to the cold compost pile. I'm already thinking about soil enrichment for this year.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #77 on: January 09, 2020, 07:18:57 AM »
If I compost a big batch of chicken manure and mix it into the soil, in the same raised bed the kale was growing in the previous season, the tomatoes will thrive. Since I don't like hauling compost around the garden, my preference is to compost in the raised bed by digging a trench, putting food scraps lightly covered with leaves and burying it all by turning over soil shortly before planting season.

I cleaned out the chicken coop yesterday and have two bins of chicken manure that's ready to improve garden soil. Also, took out the bin of shredded paper (mail envelopes with the plastic window removed) to the cold compost pile. I'm already thinking about soil enrichment for this year.

I'm doing this too right now!  I have a 'three pile' rotation for the chicken manure -- fresh, medium, and old/ready to go into the garden.  I just put a big batch of the old stuff into one of my raised beds and covered it with leaves.  In the spring I'll add compost and fork it all together gently shortly before planting. 

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #78 on: January 09, 2020, 10:17:08 AM »
We had sauteed kale last night for dinner, fresh from the garden moments before. Kale is super high-value in our house. 

I agree @sui generis!  Kale is also one of our staples.  I grow it every year, pretty much year-round now.  Love it.  My go-to variety is Red Russian.  It has flat leaves, quite different than the curly lacinato type.  But both are delish!

It's also pretty easy to save seed and keep the kale love going indefinitely.

I was wondering about that - well, not seeds exactly, but the longevity question.  Should I just leave my kale plants going as long as they are giving me leaves?  Am I supposed to pull the whole plant at some point?  I've learned a lot from the book I am reading, but it makes some references to pulling up entire plants (in talking about rotation and preparing soil for new planting) but then doesn't ever really give guidance about this topic.  Even in the chapter where it has a couple pages on each crop, it doesn't include "end-of-life care", just how to start them, grow them and then harvest them.  Apparently, for kale, some people do harvest the entire plant (?) but I just pick a few leaves at a time.

Any guidance on when/how to pull plants generally (and kale specifically) is welcome!

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #79 on: January 09, 2020, 11:12:00 AM »
We had sauteed kale last night for dinner, fresh from the garden moments before. Kale is super high-value in our house. 

I agree @sui generis!  Kale is also one of our staples.  I grow it every year, pretty much year-round now.  Love it.  My go-to variety is Red Russian.  It has flat leaves, quite different than the curly lacinato type.  But both are delish!

It's also pretty easy to save seed and keep the kale love going indefinitely.

I was wondering about that - well, not seeds exactly, but the longevity question.  Should I just leave my kale plants going as long as they are giving me leaves?  Am I supposed to pull the whole plant at some point?  I've learned a lot from the book I am reading, but it makes some references to pulling up entire plants (in talking about rotation and preparing soil for new planting) but then doesn't ever really give guidance about this topic.  Even in the chapter where it has a couple pages on each crop, it doesn't include "end-of-life care", just how to start them, grow them and then harvest them.  Apparently, for kale, some people do harvest the entire plant (?) but I just pick a few leaves at a time.

Any guidance on when/how to pull plants generally (and kale specifically) is welcome!

Yes same here -- I usually just take a few leaves at a time.  The only time I usually pull a whole plant out to eat is in the spring, when I'm doing a thinning.  (Sometimes I plant more than I need to, close together.  Then you pick the best plants to keep growing, and harvest all the rest in between, eat them young and tender). 

I keep the plants going until they either aren't giving good tasty leaves any more for some reason, or they go to seed.   The leaves change some in taste as the plant ages, so YMMV on what you consider 'tasty enough.'  Some people don't like the more bitter taste of older leaves.  Kale usually goes to seed in year two in places I've lived.   Do you know what variety of kale you have planted?  If it's a hybrid (labeled as "F1" in seed catalogs), then genetically they don't breed true and most people don't bother to save the seed, if it makes any.  But an open pollinated variety breeds true and you'll get good seed.  If you didn't grow your current plants from seed but you know their name, you can look up the variety online to see if it's a hybrid.  You'll know kale is going to seed when it sends up a huge stalk, and then flowers and makes these skinny little seed pods, and then starts to wither and dry up.  When the plant is all the way done, for whatever reason, I just pull the whole thing out of the ground and put it in one of the compost bins, after thanking it for its service. 

I think kale's natural lifespan is variable, depending on the variety and the climate.  In warmer places -- maybe in California? -- kale can live longer than two years.  @Jon Snow is north of you, but I bet his climate is a lot closer to yours than mine is.  Maybe he can chime in on this.   I remember we were staying at an AirBnB once in Hawaii, and the owner had a ~8 year old big kale plant in the garden -- it was huge, like Jon Snow's -- and she said we were welcome to eat all the leaves we wanted.   I guess it just kept going year after year, and never went to seed. (?)

 

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #80 on: January 09, 2020, 12:03:15 PM »
We had sauteed kale last night for dinner, fresh from the garden moments before. Kale is super high-value in our house. 

I agree @sui generis!  Kale is also one of our staples.  I grow it every year, pretty much year-round now.  Love it.  My go-to variety is Red Russian.  It has flat leaves, quite different than the curly lacinato type.  But both are delish!

It's also pretty easy to save seed and keep the kale love going indefinitely.

I was wondering about that - well, not seeds exactly, but the longevity question.  Should I just leave my kale plants going as long as they are giving me leaves?  Am I supposed to pull the whole plant at some point?  I've learned a lot from the book I am reading, but it makes some references to pulling up entire plants (in talking about rotation and preparing soil for new planting) but then doesn't ever really give guidance about this topic.  Even in the chapter where it has a couple pages on each crop, it doesn't include "end-of-life care", just how to start them, grow them and then harvest them.  Apparently, for kale, some people do harvest the entire plant (?) but I just pick a few leaves at a time.

Any guidance on when/how to pull plants generally (and kale specifically) is welcome!

Yes same here -- I usually just take a few leaves at a time.  The only time I usually pull a whole plant out to eat is in the spring, when I'm doing a thinning.  (Sometimes I plant more than I need to, close together.  Then you pick the best plants to keep growing, and harvest all the rest in between, eat them young and tender). 

I keep the plants going until they either aren't giving good tasty leaves any more for some reason, or they go to seed.   The leaves change some in taste as the plant ages, so YMMV on what you consider 'tasty enough.'  Some people don't like the more bitter taste of older leaves.  Kale usually goes to seed in year two in places I've lived.   Do you know what variety of kale you have planted?  If it's a hybrid (labeled as "F1" in seed catalogs), then genetically they don't breed true and most people don't bother to save the seed, if it makes any.  But an open pollinated variety breeds true and you'll get good seed.  If you didn't grow your current plants from seed but you know their name, you can look up the variety online to see if it's a hybrid.  You'll know kale is going to seed when it sends up a huge stalk, and then flowers and makes these skinny little seed pods, and then starts to wither and dry up.  When the plant is all the way done, for whatever reason, I just pull the whole thing out of the ground and put it in one of the compost bins, after thanking it for its service. 

I think kale's natural lifespan is variable, depending on the variety and the climate.  In warmer places -- maybe in California? -- kale can live longer than two years.  @Jon Snow is north of you, but I bet his climate is a lot closer to yours than mine is.  Maybe he can chime in on this.   I remember we were staying at an AirBnB once in Hawaii, and the owner had a ~8 year old big kale plant in the garden -- it was huge, like Jon Snow's -- and she said we were welcome to eat all the leaves we wanted.   I guess it just kept going year after year, and never went to seed. (?)

 

My neighbour has silverbeet, cabbage and kale plants that have been alive for YEARS. The stalk is basically a trunk and several inches in diameter. She picks leaves off and lets the damn triffid things go to seed every year. The plant doesn't die after seeding.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #81 on: January 09, 2020, 12:36:45 PM »
Zone 9b checking in! Goals for this year are to find and plant:
- longevity spinach
- seminole pumpkin
- blue spur flower / plectranthus barbatus (natural toilet paper!)

The first two are supposed to be good perennial ground cover edibles for dappled shade where sweet potatoes are not growing well for me currently. Haven't been able to find them yet, and I'll need to make an effort to do so.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #82 on: January 09, 2020, 12:54:06 PM »
My neighbour has silverbeet, cabbage and kale plants that have been alive for YEARS. The stalk is basically a trunk and several inches in diameter. She picks leaves off and lets the damn triffid things go to seed every year. The plant doesn't die after seeding.

Whoa!  Interesting and cool!

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #83 on: January 09, 2020, 03:02:37 PM »
Wow, great info and very interesting.

Thanks, @Trifele!  (ETA: I just looked at our seed packet for the kale and it is "premier blend"! LOL)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 04:47:28 PM by sui generis »

Rosy

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2020, 03:11:32 PM »
Zone 9b checking in! Goals for this year are to find and plant:
- longevity spinach
- seminole pumpkin
- blue spur flower / plectranthus barbatus (natural toilet paper!)

The first two are supposed to be good perennial ground cover edibles for dappled shade where sweet potatoes are not growing well for me currently. Haven't been able to find them yet, and I'll need to make an effort to do so.

@Roots&Wings
I know:) where to get several different types of perennial spinach and Seminole pumpkin seeds -
https://www.echobooks.net/bookstore/seeds/

This will be my first year trying a few perennial veggies, my very own first ever permaculture experiment. I'm planting a new area in my garden and since I just planted two apple trees (they are Australian-Pink Lady) and supposed to be able to survive our hot summers - and they have, while living in pots, but now that we've planted them I want to do what I can so they'll stay happy and healthy.
I've been researching apple tree guilds for a hot and humid climate - therefore the interest in Seminole pumpkins. It's supposed to be too hot for Comfrey.

I wanted to grow sweet potatoes as ground cover since they are the easiest thing to grow I've ever come across and we love them - but - in one of my garden books it was advised not to plant potatoes near apples or even store them together - potatoes effect the taste of the apples. 
So I will be planting garlic chives - I have plenty to divide and plant and Dill - grew some from seed which is doing well and definitely Nasturtiums because apparently they protect the apple tree from certain diseases.


@Indio
Quote
I've also been researching rebar and heavy duty fencing because I'd like to build an  8' high archway that I could grow pole green beans on. If anyone has any suggestions, pls share.
The easy answer is cattle panels, cheap and easy to work with and cut - see this video on youtube from Roots and Refuge - good stuff:)
Here is the cattle panel archway projects - lots of good info
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXOX1nzCnaQ

@OmahaSteph
About easy veggies - have you tried celery? I do mine in a big, deep window box and mostly just harvest the leaves for salad and soups/stews for months on end. The young stems are great for munching with dip or peanut butter or melted hot pepper cheese:) ...
So no extra time for harvesting - no drama about "having to harvest" at a certain time - I get about five months worth of harvest. Easy:).

... and yes, you can just dry the leaves too and then keep them in a well sealed container for instant seasoning.
I do it on paper towels and then just crush the leaves by rubbing my hands together in a flat, prayer mode:) - easy:).

If you like spinach - try perennial spinach varieties - see my link for seeds above (to Roots and Wings). You prepare the bed once and then just keep it mulched and fertilized - easy.
I'm trying a couple of different varieties this year - no pressure to harvest - we like that.

I'm with ya on the tomatoes - a) they are the prima donnas of the garden, way too much work and b) I'm OK with one Roma and one cherry or grape tomato.

There is something to be said to stick with tried and true and whatever your favorite veggies might be. I'm still experimenting after decades of gardening, but I do try to keep it real - works well some years. Other years life gets in the way:) or I overestimated the effort required.
Hence my foray into permaculture - it makes sense.

I'm definitely doing way more this year and the past six months of last year then I've tackled in a long time - sometimes you are simply more motivated and excited to garden than other years.
I went from I'm too old for this to OMG I can't wait for my 2020 garden to be fully planted and grown - go figure.:)

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2020, 04:19:41 PM »
Whoa, away from the forum for a week and look at all the kale-talk I missed. Thanks for the heads up @Trifele!

Yes same here -- I usually just take a few leaves at a time.  The only time I usually pull a whole plant out to eat is in the spring, when I'm doing a thinning.  (Sometimes I plant more than I need to, close together.  Then you pick the best plants to keep growing, and harvest all the rest in between, eat them young and tender). 

I keep the plants going until they either aren't giving good tasty leaves any more for some reason, or they go to seed.   The leaves change some in taste as the plant ages, so YMMV on what you consider 'tasty enough.'  Some people don't like the more bitter taste of older leaves.  Kale usually goes to seed in year two in places I've lived.   

All of this has been my previous kale experience as well. Until this year my kale (and ALL my brassicas for that matter) usually goes to seed (in Canada we say it ďboltsĒ, not sure that is used down South). Yet now, for whatever reason, I have this entire kale patch just going crazy into the winter months. Though, as documented in my Journal just moments ago, Iím worried about an usually frigid cold snap about to hit the British Columbia coast.

I think kale's natural lifespan is variable, depending on the variety and the climate.  In warmer places -- maybe in California? -- kale can live longer than two years.  @Jon Snow is north of you, but I bet his climate is a lot closer to yours than mine is.  Maybe he can chime in on this.   I remember we were staying at an AirBnB once in Hawaii, and the owner had a ~8 year old big kale plant in the garden -- it was huge, like Jon Snow's -- and she said we were welcome to eat all the leaves we wanted.   I guess it just kept going year after year, and never went to seed. (?)

Iím in the mildest little climate pocket in the very southwest corner of Canada....zone 9a.

Iím pretty sure the kale patch I have going now was planted last Spring, March I believe...so itís coming up to a year old. The thing is I have NO IDEA why this didnít go to seed like everything else. It is true that the kale is in the shadiest corner of my garden....so could THAT be the reason? I just hope this cold weather doesnít kill it because I LOVE the idea of a multi-year old kale patch. 😄

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2020, 04:43:54 PM »

All of this has been my previous kale experience as well. Until this year my kale (and ALL my brassicas for that matter) usually goes to seed (in Canada we say it ďboltsĒ, not sure that is used down South).

Yes, I have heard the term "bolts" a lot, too.  That's what our broccoli did last summer before anything really came of it...we have some coming up that we planted a couple months ago, so hoping for better luck this time!

This is pretty tangential, but quick story: one of my cats absolutely loves vegetables (so he will be a beneficiary of the brassicas we are growing/attempting to grow).  He will actually abandon his own dish of meaty, yummy (presumably) cat food if he hears us start prepping kale, brussels, broccoli or other veg for our own dinner (he loves a good lettuce rib!).  Apparently prep of those vegetables has a distinctive sound and he runs right over.  I've had cats all my life and never had one who turned away tuna & turkey pate in favor of romaine lettuce!

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #87 on: January 09, 2020, 07:42:13 PM »

All of this has been my previous kale experience as well. Until this year my kale (and ALL my brassicas for that matter) usually goes to seed (in Canada we say it ďboltsĒ, not sure that is used down South).

Yes, I have heard the term "bolts" a lot, too.  That's what our broccoli did last summer before anything really came of it...we have some coming up that we planted a couple months ago, so hoping for better luck this time!

This is pretty tangential, but quick story: one of my cats absolutely loves vegetables (so he will be a beneficiary of the brassicas we are growing/attempting to grow).  He will actually abandon his own dish of meaty, yummy (presumably) cat food if he hears us start prepping kale, brussels, broccoli or other veg for our own dinner (he loves a good lettuce rib!).  Apparently prep of those vegetables has a distinctive sound and he runs right over.  I've had cats all my life and never had one who turned away tuna & turkey pate in favor of romaine lettuce!

That's a very odd cat. He doesn't have the enzymes to digest any of that, so wonder why he likes it? Maybe just the crunchy texture?

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #88 on: January 09, 2020, 08:03:06 PM »

All of this has been my previous kale experience as well. Until this year my kale (and ALL my brassicas for that matter) usually goes to seed (in Canada we say it ďboltsĒ, not sure that is used down South).

Yes, I have heard the term "bolts" a lot, too.  That's what our broccoli did last summer before anything really came of it...we have some coming up that we planted a couple months ago, so hoping for better luck this time!

This is pretty tangential, but quick story: one of my cats absolutely loves vegetables (so he will be a beneficiary of the brassicas we are growing/attempting to grow).  He will actually abandon his own dish of meaty, yummy (presumably) cat food if he hears us start prepping kale, brussels, broccoli or other veg for our own dinner (he loves a good lettuce rib!).  Apparently prep of those vegetables has a distinctive sound and he runs right over.  I've had cats all my life and never had one who turned away tuna & turkey pate in favor of romaine lettuce!

That's a very odd cat. He doesn't have the enzymes to digest any of that, so wonder why he likes it? Maybe just the crunchy texture?

Yep, he's an odd guy.  I do think some of it is the crunchiness (his chewing is actually a big problem), but also he is a bit selective.  Like he doesn't go for cucumber, but he does like a few stray brussels leaves, which aren't as crunchy as kale or lettuce stalks, so [shrug].  Just weird!

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #89 on: January 09, 2020, 09:07:32 PM »

All of this has been my previous kale experience as well. Until this year my kale (and ALL my brassicas for that matter) usually goes to seed (in Canada we say it ďboltsĒ, not sure that is used down South).

Yes, I have heard the term "bolts" a lot, too.  That's what our broccoli did last summer before anything really came of it...we have some coming up that we planted a couple months ago, so hoping for better luck this time!

This is pretty tangential, but quick story: one of my cats absolutely loves vegetables (so he will be a beneficiary of the brassicas we are growing/attempting to grow).  He will actually abandon his own dish of meaty, yummy (presumably) cat food if he hears us start prepping kale, brussels, broccoli or other veg for our own dinner (he loves a good lettuce rib!).  Apparently prep of those vegetables has a distinctive sound and he runs right over.  I've had cats all my life and never had one who turned away tuna & turkey pate in favor of romaine lettuce!

That's a very odd cat. He doesn't have the enzymes to digest any of that, so wonder why he likes it? Maybe just the crunchy texture?

Yep, he's an odd guy.  I do think some of it is the crunchiness (his chewing is actually a big problem), but also he is a bit selective.  Like he doesn't go for cucumber, but he does like a few stray brussels leaves, which aren't as crunchy as kale or lettuce stalks, so [shrug].  Just weird!

My cat has a thing for sesame oil, discovered because he would help himself to veg if there was some oil on them.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #90 on: January 10, 2020, 08:36:08 AM »
Garden plans for this year:

-cut back blackberry thicket


ACK!!!!!  :(

Sorry, but it must be done as Iím steadily losing veggie growing real estate to the blackberries. But rest assured that ample amounts of your precious berries will remain within the garden....not to mention the virtually unlimited supplies outside the deer proof fence. Letís face it...the entire island remains your blackberry oyster. 😊

ETA: And salal. Donít forget the SALAL berries.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #91 on: January 10, 2020, 10:01:00 AM »
starting to think about how to re-jig my seed starting zone.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #92 on: January 10, 2020, 11:57:37 AM »
@Roots&Wings
I know:) where to get several different types of perennial spinach and Seminole pumpkin seeds -
https://www.echobooks.net/bookstore/seeds/

This will be my first year trying a few perennial veggies, my very own first ever permaculture experiment. I'm planting a new area in my garden and since I just planted two apple trees (they are Australian-Pink Lady) and supposed to be able to survive our hot summers - and they have, while living in pots, but now that we've planted them I want to do what I can so they'll stay happy and healthy.
I've been researching apple tree guilds for a hot and humid climate - therefore the interest in Seminole pumpkins. It's supposed to be too hot for Comfrey.

I wanted to grow sweet potatoes as ground cover since they are the easiest thing to grow I've ever come across and we love them - but - in one of my garden books it was advised not to plant potatoes near apples or even store them together - potatoes effect the taste of the apples. 
So I will be planting garlic chives - I have plenty to divide and plant and Dill - grew some from seed which is doing well and definitely Nasturtiums because apparently they protect the apple tree from certain diseases.

ECHO of course! They (and Heart, https://heartvillage.org/village-nursery/) are such wonderful organizations. Thatís where Iíll order seeds if I canít find plants locally, thanks! ECHO would be an amazing field trip. Forgot to include Inca golden berries / cape gooseberries, in my 2020 list (have the seeds, just need to clear a new bed and start the seeds). Such delicious fruit.

Thatís amazing youíre having apple success, hadnít thought to check Australian varieties. Good luck with the guild building, didnít know sweet potatoes are not a good combo with apple trees. Hopefully the Seminole pumpkins and garlic chives will work out.

If you need something more contained than the Seminole pumpkin, Cuban oregano might be another groundcover option (it grows well here, but unsure about the apple guild combo).

Cheers to 2020 permaculture experiments!

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #93 on: January 10, 2020, 09:58:16 PM »
@Rosy Thanks for the link to the vid. I found the cattle panels online at my local tractor store so will go check them out. We are going to have warm weahter this weekend which will be perfect for squeezing in garden clean up and prep.

NinetyFour

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #94 on: January 12, 2020, 09:46:05 AM »
Garden plans for this year:

-cut back blackberry thicket


ACK!!!!!  :(

Sorry, but it must be done as Iím steadily losing veggie growing real estate to the blackberries. But rest assured that ample amounts of your precious berries will remain within the garden....not to mention the virtually unlimited supplies outside the deer proof fence. Letís face it...the entire island remains your blackberry oyster. 😊

ETA: And salal. Donít forget the SALAL berries.

OK--if this is the price I must pay for more kale, taters, parsnips, carrots, beets, squash, peas, beans, etc., so be it.  And yes, it is certainly true that the rest of JSI has enough berries that my blackberry (and salal) cravings *should* be satisfied...

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #95 on: January 12, 2020, 10:21:35 AM »
My dearest bestest Hubs is making a stand for my grow lights so I can have a nice table top and below table set up.  Photos to follow

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #96 on: January 12, 2020, 12:16:03 PM »
I'm thinking of adding one or two camellia sinesis plants to he backyard homestead this year. Curious to hear from those who grew the tea plants last year.
How did your plants do?
Were you able to harvest any leaves?
What would you do differently?
If you pruchased plants online, would you buy them again?

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #97 on: January 12, 2020, 03:50:41 PM »
I'm thinking of adding one or two camellia sinesis plants to he backyard homestead this year. Curious to hear from those who grew the tea plants last year.
How did your plants do?
Were you able to harvest any leaves?
What would you do differently?
If you pruchased plants online, would you buy them again?

I put in two plants last year.  I ordered online from Burpee, and the plants arrived looking good.  They were very small -- about 6" tall.  I planted in the sprint last year, and over the course of the year they grew to about 12" tall.  I'm not sure how fast they are supposed to grow, but they looked happy, so I was satisfied with that.  They were way too small to harvest anything, so I am just nursing them through the winter (I'm actually outside the recommended growing area, which is 8-10), and crossing my fingers for more growth next year.  Too soon to tell whether I'll do it again! 

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #98 on: January 24, 2020, 06:25:51 AM »
It's been a weird week weather wise -- cold snap followed by rain -- but I managed to get some comfrey planted.  I went with the Russian (non-spreading) type, Bocking 4 and Bocking 14.  Very interested to watch those guys grow -- I've read a lot about it over the years. 

And hey y'all!!  I just ordered my bees. :)  After a good five years of thinking about it, I'm finally doing it this spring.  Big thanks to @Indio, @SheWhoWalksAtLunch, and my uphill neighbor for the information and encouragement.  Now we'll see if I can keep those ladies alive, happy, and un-eaten by bears.  So excited!

the_hobbitish

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #99 on: January 24, 2020, 09:15:26 AM »
Wow so excited for you @Trifele Can't wait to hear how it goes. I'd love to raise bees at some point, but it won't happen anytime soon since I'm barely keeping the yard from being a shambles at the moment. I want to do native wood bees for my apple trees next year since those take less care. Wishing you much luck and pollen.