Author Topic: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020  (Read 35694 times)

Roadrunner53

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #600 on: July 14, 2020, 11:16:25 AM »
I have done the bring the stuff in and out thing before and it is a royal pain. This cart has wheels on it but I have a glass patio door and no way to roll the cart over the step.

I have seen three other suggestions:
1. place a pot of boiling water in the unit. I could put it on the bottoms shelf.
2. place milk jugs filled with water and during the day they will absorb the sun's heat and will keep the area warm at night. Painted black is supposed to absorb more heat
3. place a crockpot in the unit filled with water and keep it heated all night.

My Hub is paranoid about electrical stuff being used in a non conventional manner so he would hate the crockpot idea.

I was also thinking if I did the milk jug thing, I could have them in a Styrofoam cooler on the bottom shelf and that might keep the jugs warmer longer.

I was also wondering if I could make bags out of old jeans, fill them with rice (sewn shut) then warmed up in the microwave to keep the jugs warm all night long. So that set up would be the jugs in the Styrofoam cooler then rice bags tossed all around to insulate the jugs.

But, would even eight 1 gallon jugs keep this set up warm enough. I was thinking to maybe using rubbermaid totes like the ones that go under the bed for planters, then I could put the lid on at night (with some holes in the top) to keep the dirt heat in. Another container I considered was the ones you get for Christmas paper storage. I guess I should be concerned with the type of plastic, if it is the type you can store food in. Those Christmas paper ones I doubt the plastic would be for food. Probably not the under bed storage ones either.
 

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #601 on: July 15, 2020, 03:50:47 PM »
@Roadrunner53

Have you considered using the same concept as a cold frame? That traps in enough passive solar to keep the plants from freezing at night. If you put the rack next to the house or a stone wall that should also transfer ambient heat.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #602 on: July 15, 2020, 04:53:19 PM »
Painting the milk jugs black will definitely help them to get warmer. On cold days, I put a black board at the back of my shelf (inside the plastic) and it really captured the heat. To the point that I had to watch the temperature and remove it when it got above 60C.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #603 on: July 15, 2020, 05:15:07 PM »
Garden is doing great here!  We're definitely into the peak of summer, with the temperatures up and the heat-loving plants going wild.  I just harvested my kale seed (it took 2 months for the pods to fully dry). 

This week we're eating:

-The last cabbage
-Loads of cucumbers
-Green beans
-Blackberries
-Kale
-Chard
-Bulb/storage onions
-Sungold cherry tomatoes

By next week we'll have slicer tomatoes and peppers.  Yummm!!!

This week I'm starting some broccoli and cabbage seeds indoors for fall planting.  I'm also going to direct-seed fall plantings of carrots, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce, and peas.  I've never tried peas in the fall but I'm going to give it a go. 

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #604 on: July 15, 2020, 05:39:56 PM »
Nice update, @Trifele

We are on the cusp of peak harvest season here.

Pole green beans tendrils are climbing all over the fencing and guide lines. The abundance of beans is just beginning and almost every meal includes backyard veg now or it is the star of the meal. This morning I ate about a half pound of roasted beans with sesame oil and soy sauce for breakfast. It was heavenly. The other uncooked beans from the same harvest, were put into a leftover jar of pickle juice to absorb pickle flavor. Lunch was a roasted zucchini. Dinner was sauteed tofu with green peppers and fajita seasoning. Yesterday, for lunch I made a turkey bacon half sandwich with avocado and homegrown cucumber and sliced cherry tomatoes. Taste buds are dancing in anticipation of every meal. The goal for this week is to make chamomile and honey flavored ice cream.

Cilantro bolted a few weeks ago so I added more seedlings to the herb bed yesterday. Once the tomatoes start ripening, I will need lots of fresh herbs including cilantro. Second seeding of kale has started to pop out of the earth. Broccoli is a bust this Summer but I've reseeded for Fall. Squirrels have eaten every stone fruit, apple and pear in the garden.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #605 on: July 16, 2020, 03:16:27 AM »
The goal for this week is to make chamomile and honey flavored ice cream.

Wow, this sounds so delightful @Indio !

Roadrunner53

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #606 on: July 16, 2020, 04:32:28 AM »
@Roadrunner53

Have you considered using the same concept as a cold frame? That traps in enough passive solar to keep the plants from freezing at night. If you put the rack next to the house or a stone wall that should also transfer ambient heat.


Yes, my plan it to put the rack right near the sliding glass door next to the house. It gets pretty warm there during the day.

Painting the milk jugs black will definitely help them to get warmer. On cold days, I put a black board at the back of my shelf (inside the plastic) and it really captured the heat. To the point that I had to watch the temperature and remove it when it got above 60C.

Black board is a good idea. I was also thinking about lining 3 sides with cardboard. Maybe at night rigging up a blanket for the clear front draped over the top with velcro to hold it in place.

My hub, whom I thought would be horrified to put anything electric in it, suggested a mechanics under the hood type light and put a 40 watt light bulb in it. We have one in our garage but here is a picture of what I am talking about:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Southwire-Metal-Work-Light-with-Switch/21286769

Also thinking about using rubbermaid containers, #5 food grade, and placing the lids on the plants at night. Maybe putting some holes in the container tops.

On another note, here is a video from youtube of container gardening. This lady is so bubbly and cheerful. She brought a smile to my face and hope she brings one to you too. She has many, many video's.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g61ZzWZ-Wg&t=2s

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #607 on: July 16, 2020, 04:45:48 PM »
Great updates @Trifele and @Indio. Iíve been away from my garden for several days, and in that time temperatures have finally started to get closer to seasonal normals, so Iím hoping to see some significant progress with my tomatoes. I suspect my peas will be on their last legs, but the beans should be picking up the slack now. Hope to see some nice cucumber and squash (esp. spaghtti) development as well.

I harvested about 40 pounds worth of harvest last week and distributed it among 4 grateful households, including my own. It feels great to help out during these challenging times, even in this small way.

One quick note....the carrot crop this year is by far the best I can remember - granted Iíve only been doing this for 6 years. As with many things that happen in the garden, I donít understand the reason for it. 🤷‍♂️

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #608 on: July 17, 2020, 11:11:38 AM »
Note to self : plant garlic in a better drained bed.  Harvest it earlier.

Still have enough for the winter but I think I will buy some seed garlic for this fall.  I know it is not mustachian but I am concerned about some really mushy bulbs.  I am going to construct a special bed closer to the greenhouse this fall that is kind of raised up so that I can keep it all a little drier. 

I am also definitely growing orca beans next year.  They are the most delicious buttery packets of beany deliciousness ever.  I am torn between picking them at peak and eating them right now or just letting them mature on the plants for seed collection.  There are still some flowers on them...but decision time is quickly approaching.

I have way too many of the purple pole bean type.  They are collected seed from friends and gardening acquaintenances so I have no idea what type.  I do need to be a little more rigourous in my methods.  @RetiredAt63 can attest to my naming practices (yellow slicing tomato from Z. garden, sweet)

Any recommendations from the group on the beetle control front?  They are decimating my squash plants at the farm and then a very similar looking striped species is going nuts on the tomatillos.  I have been picking them off the tomatillos every morning but I only get the farm garden once a week. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #609 on: July 17, 2020, 02:13:13 PM »
Note to self : plant garlic in a better drained bed.  Harvest it earlier.

Still have enough for the winter but I think I will buy some seed garlic for this fall.  I know it is not mustachian but I am concerned about some really mushy bulbs.  I am going to construct a special bed closer to the greenhouse this fall that is kind of raised up so that I can keep it all a little drier. 

I am also definitely growing orca beans next year.  They are the most delicious buttery packets of beany deliciousness ever.  I am torn between picking them at peak and eating them right now or just letting them mature on the plants for seed collection.  There are still some flowers on them...but decision time is quickly approaching.

I have way too many of the purple pole bean type.  They are collected seed from friends and gardening acquaintenances so I have no idea what type.  I do need to be a little more rigourous in my methods.  @RetiredAt63 can attest to my naming practices (yellow slicing tomato from Z. garden, sweet)

Any recommendations from the group on the beetle control front?  They are decimating my squash plants at the farm and then a very similar looking striped species is going nuts on the tomatillos.  I have been picking them off the tomatillos every morning but I only get the farm garden once a week.

And it's catching.  I am growing a variety called "red baseball sized slicer from FL".

I'm growing 2 different wax pole beans.  They all just started climbing.  What do the purple ones taste like?

Orca beans - you eat them at the smelly bean stage, like limas?  Or snap beans?

Send bean seeds?

Need2Save

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #610 on: July 18, 2020, 07:49:56 AM »
Been making good use so far of our harvest. We didn't plant many veggies this year, but we have been enjoying fresh cucumbers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Only one larger tomato so far, but many green ones so we should have an abundance soon.  I also only have one green pepper so far. boo.

Sad to report that I found three horn worms on the tomatoes yesterday.  They completely ruined our tomatoes last year and we fought them for about six weeks straight before they finally stopped showing up and then we got tomatoes late for around here at the end of August, September, and early October. I thought we may have made it this summer without them so I was so bummed to find a few. I will have to be diligent to look for them every morning now.

I'm baking zucchini bread right now and also making zucchini meatloaf tonight. Both for the first time. :-)

Will be replanting some Cilantro probably next week to replace the first batch. 

Roadrunner53

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #611 on: July 18, 2020, 08:52:03 AM »
Been making good use so far of our harvest. We didn't plant many veggies this year, but we have been enjoying fresh cucumbers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Only one larger tomato so far, but many green ones so we should have an abundance soon.  I also only have one green pepper so far. boo.

Sad to report that I found three horn worms on the tomatoes yesterday.  They completely ruined our tomatoes last year and we fought them for about six weeks straight before they finally stopped showing up and then we got tomatoes late for around here at the end of August, September, and early October. I thought we may have made it this summer without them so I was so bummed to find a few. I will have to be diligent to look for them every morning now.

I'm baking zucchini bread right now and also making zucchini meatloaf tonight. Both for the first time. :-)

Will be replanting some Cilantro probably next week to replace the first batch.

I had those damn worms towards the end of my tomato growing season last year. I read that there are several natural things you can plant around the tomatoes to ward off the worms. Dill, basil or marigolds. This year I planted marigolds around the tomatoes. I can't say it worked but have not seen any worms yet. It is early yet for us in CT. I have tomatoes on the vine but not abundant yet.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 04:39:55 AM by Roadrunner53 »

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #612 on: July 18, 2020, 04:19:09 PM »
Finally we're starting to get a slow trickle of tomatoes.  Most of the plants have just small green fruits so far, although the plants are big and robust.  Not sure if it was the weather, or too much N in the compost I added to those beds this spring.

However, the eggplants and peppers are taking their sweet time setting fruit as well.

Of course we're bombarded with summer squash.  My spaghetti squash quickly set and sized up fruit, and then promptly died.  I harvested the squash and I'm hoping they're mature enough to keep for a while.  Meanwhile the butternut type growing 5' away looks perfect.  Winter squash always seem to be a crapshoot in that way.

We're getting some hot weather now, and the okra are finally starting to grow and not look like they're at death's door.

Cukes coming in as well, so I'll be starting a pickle ferment soon.

Snap peas are done, and green beans are getting going.

Seeded some beets, and need to try starting some fall cole crops indoors this weekend.  Typically if I can get them out under shade cloth in early August, there's hope for a fall harvest.

Still kicking myself for getting lazy and not putting in leeks.  However, I do have probably 30# of garlic harvested.  Dug up a few blue potatoes last night too (4# or so) and picking a quart of raspberries every couple days.  Apparently giving them some compost and water helped!


Buffaloski Boris

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #613 on: July 18, 2020, 06:37:19 PM »
Been making good use so far of our harvest. We didn't plant many veggies this year, but we have been enjoying fresh cucumbers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Only one larger tomato so far, but many green ones so we should have an abundance soon.  I also only have one green pepper so far. boo.

Sad to report that I found three horn worms on the tomatoes yesterday.  They completely ruined our tomatoes last year and we fought them for about six weeks straight before they finally stopped showing up and then we got tomatoes late for around here at the end of August, September, and early October. I thought we may have made it this summer without them so I was so bummed to find a few. I will have to be diligent to look for them every morning now.

I'm baking zucchini bread right now and also making zucchini meatloaf tonight. Both for the first time. :-)

Will be replanting some Cilantro probably next week to replace the first batch.

Iíve had good success with dipel and diatomaceous earth on horn worms.

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #614 on: July 18, 2020, 07:30:10 PM »
I picked, chopped and dried a batch of hot peppers today. I grew about 8 plants from a packet of "assorted hot peppers" and am not an expert, so I have no idea what varieties they are. Accordingly, I didn't know how to identify when they were ready to pick. However, not knowing the difference means that I'm not fussy, and I can attest that they are certainly hot! I may leave the next batch to mature a little longer to see if they develop beyond green.

My eggplants have yet to flower, so the success that I had with them two years ago on my only other attempt may have been a fluke.

I've begin picking my green beans, which are producing well despite being suspiciously short for a pole variety. Now that I've harvested my cabbage, I'm shifting my de-slugging efforts to the beans. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #615 on: July 18, 2020, 07:50:05 PM »
I'm eating my first summer squash tonight.

The tomatoes are flowering but seem to have stopped setting fruit.  It has been hot and humid but little rain, they are looking healthy, just no baby tomatoes.  There are tomatoes that set a few weeks ago, the race is on between Candyland and Indigo Rose to be ripe first.

Beans are growing well but no flowers yet, peppers have buds but no flowers yet, cucumber and winter squash are male flowers.  I expect to see a big change over the next week or two for them.

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #616 on: July 19, 2020, 03:22:19 PM »
First year gardening in a community plot, close to home.  When not working in my plot I live in a condo in a renovated historic building in the city, close to a university campus.  I am FIREd 2 1/2 years now.

My plot recently doubled in size when my garden neighbor threw in the towel, so now I have 800 square feet to explore and putter in.  So far, so good.  Nearly everything we have grown has turned out well.  The tomatoes are producing like crazy, onions and shallots ready to harvest, and potatoes seem to be growing happily in grow bags.  I also think my plot is beautiful.  Iíve planted generously with edible flowers and am getting pollinator friendly perennials on end of the season sales.  Iíve invested considerable time in trying to make soil improvements, opting for no till and covering large swaths with cardboard and a thick layer of mulch.  Because I donít have access to compost (working on it and wondering if I should buy stuff grown in bags from an adjacent municipality?) I use milorganite (organic slow release fertilizer) and rabbit poo, when I can get it.

I am learning to garden in a slightly warmer zone (5A) and trying to develop ways of extending the season.  Because this was our first year, we didnít get in early to do cool weather crops, and I have missed them.  Cruciferous vegetables are my favorites, so we are preparing to second crop and I will grow things I donít have much experience with.  We also need to get better fencing up on the small inherited plot.  Iím putting up a mini poly tunnel this week.

Iíve always been a massive gardener.  I am a Master Gardener in my state and also volunteer on a few gardening projects.  I just enrolled in an online urban agriculture certificate program, partially to have something to do right now, and particularly because I am absolutely smitten with the process.  I want to learn all I can and continue to develop my space.  I like the idea of taking vacant, disused areas and making them productive and beautiful.  It seems that when Iím not actually gardening Iím either reading about it or watching videos on it.  In my working life I was an accountant and financial manager, and Iíve managed people and projects, so I know I have the skills to build a business with it if I wanted to and Iíve thought about it, but I donít think I want to.  Even though I enjoy garden people a lot.  I think this is because the whole enterprise is basically a creative process for me.  My late working career was all about making difficult people happy at the expense of my own happiness, and now I just want to make myself happy.  Iím not used to doing things for their intrinsic value.


Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #617 on: July 19, 2020, 04:42:20 PM »
Great update @Trudie!  So glad it worked out for your gardening space this year.   

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #618 on: July 19, 2020, 10:16:20 PM »
These are truly the halcyon days for my garden. Once I pick my first cuke in a day or two it will mean that pretty much everything I planted this year will all be harvestable at the same time. Peas are still hanging in there pretty well, the lettuce too. But the writing is on the wall for both as the heat has arrived. Well, what passes for heat in the PNW...ticked 30 Celsius in the shade of my garden today.

Wouldnít know where to begin in describing just how well the garden has been this year....with the exception of tomatoes slower to ripen than normal, this has been my best garden since I started doing this 6 years ago.

Pictures do a better job I think.











Thatís my DW posing with the cauliflower in the last shot there. Had not the local Harvest Festival been cancelled, I do believe that magnificent curd of cauli coulda been a contendah.


Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #619 on: July 20, 2020, 09:43:04 AM »
I love your update @Trudie  - I totally feel the same way about gardening.  I am not FIRE'd or I would be spending more time and growing more food in my garden.

@Jon_Snow - veritable garden porn those photos.

Farm Report
I spent a good chunk of time Sunday morning sweating out at the farm.  I was a weeding machine. (By 11 am, it was 25C but with the humidex, it was 31C)
Everything is coming along nicely.  We got a torrential rain at lunch that was about 1/2 an inch. It was so badly needed.  I was hoeing dust.
I picked my first half -basket of pickling cukes and they are now soaking in brine.  The two larger ones are in a vinaigrette in the fridge to make a quick pickle (or cuke salad).  The balance will become dills.  I am only going to do three bottles of dills in attempt to match storage with consumption.  I am the only dill pickle eater.  I make a nine day sweet gherkin type recipe that the kids love.  It doesn't take much each day to do the step, but there is a step or two every day for nine days.  If I am going to the effort for this, I want to have at least four baskets of cukes (12L in total).  Last year I did 7L of cukes into gherkins and had to ration them.  I paid $27 for the basket.  I spent about $5 on two different types of seed because neither said they were specifically for sweet gherkins.  (Last year I grew one hill and turned them into dills and relish - as I missed picking them small).  There are so many cucumber beetles - but I killed as many as I could by hand but they are certainly going to be a problem.  And I hope the plants will be bountiful all at once!
The black beans are coming along really nicely - I hope they start flowering soon.  I did a good hand weeding.  There is still a lot of twitch grass in the bed.  I am hoping I can keep on top of it and then this fall get it tilled again and pull out the roots. 
The raspberry canes were neglected last year as it was our first year without my Dad cracking the whip on raspberry maintenance.  The crop is going to be way less as a result.  I have been keeping them weeded a lot better this year and have a plan to get them back in top performance.  I think we let them get to thick and did feed well enough.  I am keeping them from suckering and am going to feed them heavy with a thick layer of rotted manure once they are finished picking.  I didn't get to that in the early spring and thought that I shouldn't.  There are large sections of rows that have completely died out.  I plan to do some propagating once I get the weeds under control.  The golden berry canes are almost entirely died out.  I also suspect that we have a pollination problem - this spring the beekeeper moved his four hives off the farm so we didn't have the same number of pollinators. 
The potatoes are all up over a foot high and I did not see a potato beetle.  I have gotten them really well hand weeded.  I need to keep working on the hilling.
Tomatoes are fruiting nicely or have an astonishing number of flowers.  This is good because the plants in my city garden are 50% withering with wilt.  I am coming to the conclusion that the soil in the city garden is contaminated with wilt in the soil and it is going to be 10 years before I should be growing tomatoes there again.  Next spring, I am going to plant 6 plants on my front lawn for day to day eating and go big at the farm with the rest.  I will just have to commit to going to the farm twice a week to pick.  This might also mean that I could grow beets and carrots out at the farm as well.  And reserve my garden in town for peas, herbs, greens and beans.

Another frustration or novice mistake.  I have a huge harvest of basil right now.  But no paste tomatoes for sauce making.  I have all the pesto I need in the freezer. I have dried all the basil I need for the spice cupboard.  I need to get the planting of the basil timed better so that the harvest coincides with canning time.


robartsd

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #620 on: July 20, 2020, 10:12:17 AM »
Thinking about using my chrome cart which has about 5 shelves in April to start growing seeds. The only problem is that it is very cold in CT at nights and I can't figure out how to keep them warm. I can buy a plastic cover that will fit the cart and it has an opening in the front for easy access. It is clear in the front but not sure about the sides or back. I have read that some people put a container of boiling water on a shelf to keep some heat in the 'greenhouse'. I don't think boiling water would last too long in cold weather.
dchild=1&keywords=shelf+cover+30x14x62&qid=1594744102&sr=8-2
Water is the best known substance for retaining heat - water would retain about 3000 times more heat than dry air it displaces (the thermal capacity of the air would increase with humidity, so it might only be 1000 times better than humid air in a greenhouse) - so using water for thermal mass is a great idea. The more thermal mass you add, the more heat can be absorbed during the day and lost at night without changing the temperature too much. I don't know that putting boiling water in in the evening is too great of an idea though - most of the heat would be released quickly, then lost during the earlier night hours - more thermal mass is much better than hotter thermal mass. Fill that bottom shelf with water. Dark containers (or dyed water in clear containers) could help absorb more daylight as heat.

Your husband is right - a light could be a good source of heat and once your seeds sprout, they should have more light than they would get through the cover. Figure out how you will provide right intensity of light without worrying about the energy efficiency since making lighting more energy efficient is all about reducing the heat the light puts off. Run your lighting during the coldest hours to provide extra warmth. I think the types of heat sources your husband would be worried about would be way too intense for such a small space.

The idea of covering at night is great. I'd also pay attention to sheltering it from the wind.

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #621 on: July 22, 2020, 09:45:30 AM »
These are truly the halcyon days for my garden. Once I pick my first cuke in a day or two it will mean that pretty much everything I planted this year will all be harvestable at the same time. Peas are still hanging in there pretty well, the lettuce too. But the writing is on the wall for both as the heat has arrived. Well, what passes for heat in the PNW...ticked 30 Celsius in the shade of my garden today.

Wouldnít know where to begin in describing just how well the garden has been this year....with the exception of tomatoes slower to ripen than normal, this has been my best garden since I started doing this 6 years ago.

Pictures do a better job I think.











Thatís my DW posing with the cauliflower in the last shot there. Had not the local Harvest Festival been cancelled, I do believe that magnificent curd of cauli coulda been a contendah.

@Jon_Snow  that's some fabulous looking veg you've got there. I can't get over that summer squash plant -- so compact with so many veg on it. what seed did you use for it?

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #622 on: July 22, 2020, 12:06:14 PM »
@Jon_Snow  that's some fabulous looking veg you've got there. I can't get over that summer squash plant -- so compact with so many veg on it. what seed did you use for it?

I believe itís the ďGoldyĒ variety of yellow zucchini. Itís been my go to for many years now. Itís prolific-ness is often quite alarming. 😦 And youíd think Iíd learn my lesson and not plant so much of it. There are...several more such plants just like that one scattered about my garden. And thatís just the yellow ones. Then there are the green ones, which are just as prolific. But I know Iím not the only gardener out there drowning in a cascasde of zucchini. But I do like shredding and freezing the excess for use in all sorts of recipes throughout the year.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #623 on: July 23, 2020, 09:16:08 AM »
@Jon_Snow  that's some fabulous looking veg you've got there. I can't get over that summer squash plant -- so compact with so many veg on it. what seed did you use for it?

I believe itís the ďGoldyĒ variety of yellow zucchini. Itís been my go to for many years now. Itís prolific-ness is often quite alarming. 😦 And youíd think Iíd learn my lesson and not plant so much of it. There are...several more such plants just like that one scattered about my garden. And thatís just the yellow ones. Then there are the green ones, which are just as prolific. But I know Iím not the only gardener out there drowning in a cascasde of zucchini. But I do like shredding and freezing the excess for use in all sorts of recipes throughout the year.

I'm quite envious of your zucchini glut! I recently discovered how good they are bbq'd and devoured all that I had. I even resorted to buying zucchini - a thing that I've always known was possible in theory, but hadn't done in recent memory. Normally I gorge myself on them in the summer to the point that I can't bear to look at them for the rest of the year.  After a short break in productivity, my two plants are starting to set fruit again and I'm doing all that I can to avoid hovering over them as I wait for them to bear fruit.

As I wait for zucchini, I've been eating carrots, green beans and cucumbers - this is truly the best time of year!

Need2Save

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #624 on: July 26, 2020, 08:52:14 AM »
Thanks, Boris.  Thankfully we have not spotted any more horn worms.  I'm checking every morning for them.

Yesterday I harvested more of our fresh herbs and dried some, as well as froze some in oil and stock for future use.

Today we made refrigerator pickles and tomorrow we are planning to make fresh pesto and fresh salsa.  While I have the processor out for the pesto, I'm going to shred up some more zucchini and stash in the freezer for another day. We really enjoyed the zucchini bread a week back, but don't want to overdo it and I plan to make another two loaves next week probably.  I'll also freeze a little of the pesto for future use.

I did also replant some cilantro. We'll use the rest of our first harvest in the fresh salsa tomorrow. 

All this at-home time has really allowed us to take better care of our veg and herb plants and make sure none is wasted.  This is a major win for us.

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #625 on: July 26, 2020, 06:14:55 PM »
This week I started second cropping ó beans, peas, beets, carrots, fennel, and brassicas.  We just got our plot this year, and by the time we were able to get in it got hot super fast, so our first cool season crops failed.  I am learning to grow in a warmer zone, in an urban area (heat island effect), and in new soil (sandy loam... good stuff).  So, I figure that some of these failures are learning opportunities in disguise and will help me learn more about succession sowing and season extending.

I also rescued three six foot tall by 18 inches wide wire panels from the trash heap at a local business.  They must have been used as shelves.  Took them right across the street and power washed them and they are perfection for trellises.  They are now firmly affixed to t-posts, awaiting to be used.

I love the whole garden ethos of rescuing other peopleís trash and up cycling it in the garden.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #626 on: July 29, 2020, 04:42:28 PM »
I am getting some beds ready for second crop.

My tomatoes in my town garden are suffering from wilt.  I think I am going to have to just give up.

Pickling cukes are coming along nicely.  I am going to match a batch of bread and butters.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #627 on: July 30, 2020, 05:00:47 AM »
Me too @Frugal Lizard -- I did several hours of bed prep yesterday.  Later today I'll start planting the fall crop of carrots, peas, turnips, cabbage, and broccoli.  The spring cabbage and turnips did fantastic; looking forward to round 2.  I've never done peas in the fall so that is a total experiment.     

Tomatoes are coming along very nicely.  We're getting 3-4 ripe slicers a day plus a couple handfuls of Sungolds.  Once production takes off and we start getting buckets full of big slicers, I'll start canning and/or freezing. 

Pepper crop is pretty sad again this year.  :(   Again it's the one-two punch -- the plants are small and slow growing, then when they finally produce fruit the weevils spoil at least half of them.  It's been four years of this.  I have to either come up with new ideas (test the soil for some deficiency?  covered beds to deal with the weevils?  mini greenhouse?) or just give up on peppers here.  So frustrating! 

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #628 on: July 30, 2020, 10:15:09 AM »
late shelling peas are ready!

And I harvested the fava beans last night.  I had an upset tummy so I just picked them and hope to eat them tonight.  Something had started to eat them so I needed to get them into my fridge.

BTDretire

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #629 on: July 31, 2020, 07:14:39 AM »
My wife has a large garden, even more this year with covid.  We have had a greenhouse for over 20 years, I'm the handy man. I think some may be interested in how we protect our greenhouse plants from frost. We get from zero to 5 or 6 frosts a year, but we have tropical fruit trees and must protect them from the frost. The method I use; I pump water from a shallow well into the greenhouse and spray it out through 3/4" pvc pipe that I have installed misters every 12" along both sides of the green house. I have a thermostat in the greenhouse that controls the pump, it is set at about 36*F.  When the pump starts, it pumps 55*F water into the greenhouse to warm it and prevent any
frost. We only cover the greenhouse with plastic Nov 15 to the end of Feb.
BTW, for years we bought plastic film from Lowes, it only lasted one season. One year we tried the 6mil greenhouse plastic from an online Mega greenhouse store and it's been over 10 years and we are still reusing the same piece.
 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 07:16:33 AM by BTDretire »

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #630 on: July 31, 2020, 10:46:51 AM »
@BTDretire I am definitely interested in how your manage your greenhouse. 
I am hoping to gut the inside of my (neighbour's) greenhouse to make it more functional this fall after I get ready to take a winter break. One of the things I was thinking of doing was making mini hot beds within the house for the winter to further limit how much heat is required.  We get much colder than you but it is usually really sunny during the coldest weather so if I had more thermal mass and a smaller area to keep warm, it might be doable.  The reason is: I long to grow figs. 

BTDretire

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #631 on: August 01, 2020, 05:07:33 PM »
  I don't do much management, I have the water (heat) wired so that just a flip of a switch and rotate a valve or two and it's ready for winter, flip it back and she can water the plants.
 The greenhouse we have is 25ft x 40ft. I have the 3/4" pvc pipe with misters, running the full 40ft length on both sides, set in about 4ft from outside walls
  My wife has sugar apple, starfruit, lychee, longan, and more that I don't know the names of. Plus some herb'y stuff in smaller pots.
 If you want to use heated beds, I have several ideas, but they all seem very involved. Run plastic tube in coils under the beds. Flow pumped water through them. But, pumped water is not really warm, it just prevents our trees from freezing. You could paint several 50 gallon drums black and let them heat by the sun and greenhouse warmth, then have an inline heater to heat the water anytime it is not at the desired temperature to pump to the heated beds. I our greenhouse, the water just falls to the ground, and is absorbed, not sure where your water would go, unless you just have a sealed system heated my solar.
  I'd be happy to help, but not sure what info you need.
 

Linea_Norway

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #632 on: August 02, 2020, 02:43:21 PM »
A challenge with growing stuff, is that you need to be homebound when it needs to be harvested. I still have my squash plant which had one young squash. Then som male flowers appeared open. I collected the spores and waited forcthe female flowers to open before I went on vacation. But no luck, we ate the young vegetable, but I am affraid the female flowers won't be pollinated while I am gone.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #633 on: August 02, 2020, 05:16:04 PM »
Dog days of summer here, and still so few tomatoes.  I found one Kellogg's Breakfast today, and it was less than 1/4 of the average size for this variety.  One partly ripe black krim is about 1/2 the normal size.  My black cherry and other cherry variety have very few fruit, and I've only gotten a handful of the black cherries so far.  Can't figure out what the deal is, but hopefully it will turn around.  At least my canning tomatoes have a pretty decent fruit set on right now, so I should be able to put up some sauce and canned tomatoes in September.

On the upside, getting some okra now, and had a bumper cauliflower harvest.  Now that the cukes have started, they are really cranking.  I found a couple big'uns hiding in the greenery today that I'm thinking I'll hollow out and stuff with tuna salad.


Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #634 on: August 03, 2020, 04:05:42 AM »
That is beautiful @horsepoor!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #635 on: August 03, 2020, 12:41:55 PM »

Roots&Wings

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #636 on: August 04, 2020, 07:41:43 AM »
What a beautiful harvest @horsepoor!

Fresh from the subtropical garden, various greens, pineapple, and monstera deliciosa (the weird prehistoric looking pinecones). Monstera is one of the best fruits I've had, a tropical fruit salad blend of strawberry/pineapple/banana. Best of all, its completely toxic and critter proof until ripe!


Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #637 on: August 04, 2020, 09:30:14 AM »
wow @Roots&Wings

I just love this thread!  I have never heard of so many things.  When I have traveled I have tasted really fresh pineapple....man that is good stuff.

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #638 on: August 04, 2020, 08:56:05 PM »
Tomorrow is a big harvest day.  Itís been in the mid seventies, which is very comfortable for Iowa in August.  Iíve had tons of snacking tomatoes, kale, onions, and herbs.  Other than kale and tomatoes nothing has been producing heavily.  I suspect it has to do with our hot, dry weather.  Since this is our first year on our garden plot, weíve spent a lot of time preparing the site.  Next year we can grow more efficiently and take better advantage of cool season spring weather.

I harvested a few Brussels sprouts today and roasted them.  This is the first time Iíve grown them.  They tasted okay, but Iím wondering if I should wait until cooler temps to harvest them in the hope that they will be sweeter.

Also, my Malabar spinach is doing well?  Any noticeable differences in how it tastes compared to regular spinach?


Sun Hat

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #639 on: August 04, 2020, 09:01:12 PM »
I LOVE the name of your weird pinecones! If I ever take up roller derby or get into Mexican wrestling, I'm taking the name "Monstera Deliciosa"!

My tomatoes and kale have also had a great year, to which I credit the floating row cover I've had over the kale, and my religious watering of the tomatoes every second day to avoid blossom end rot. I think that I'll have enough ripe tomatoes to can a batch of salsa tomorrow.

EDIT: When I went to harvest my ripe tomatoes, I noticed that the fruit from one plant had still developed blossom end rot despite my ministrations. Some grumbling was done.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 09:27:07 AM by Sun Hat »

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #640 on: August 05, 2020, 08:35:01 PM »
This is my favorite time of year when you plan dinner based on what's ripe and abundant in the garden. Cucumbers, toms, zucchini, new potatoes, and lots of basil are in almost every meal. Breakfast was leftover cucumber feta salad, lunch was cucumber mint smoothie with a dash of yogurt and I'm making ice tea with cucumber slices in it. Eggplants will be ready for picking in the next 10 days. Been browsing Italian recipes to figure out how I should cook/prepare the eggplant. Haven't grown it in years so want to make sure that its put to good use. If anyone has receipe suggestions, pls send them over.

Saw an IG challenge to preserve veg from the garden everyday so I've been drying herbs, dehydrating cherry toms and saving seeds.  I've been drying mint, chamomile, lemon balm and tulsi for winter teas. The more I harvest the faster these plants regrow. Infused 1/2 gal of olive oil with fresh calendula, chamomile and comfrey to use in soap. It takes about 6 weeks to be ready but it will very soothing with all the handwashing that's going to be happening in a few weeks.

I hope everyone's gardens are getting the right amount of water to keep them growing away.

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #641 on: August 06, 2020, 09:31:51 AM »
Indio, My favorite way to prepare eggplant (and zucchini) is to coat it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and BBQ it (or broil in an oven). It's fast, easy and delicious! If you have time and are patient, you can slice it ahead of time, sprinkle it with salt, and let rest for an hour before rinsing. I vaguely remember reading that this draws out bitterness, though I can't say that I've noticed eggplant being bitter the many times that I haven't done this.

For another fun way to preserve your mint, I highly recommend freezing mint-cilantro chutney in an ice-cube tray. It's a heavenly Indian condiment that I put on everything other than oatmeal.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #642 on: August 07, 2020, 08:47:35 AM »
For another fun way to preserve your mint, I highly recommend freezing mint-cilantro chutney in an ice-cube tray. It's a heavenly Indian condiment that I put on everything other than oatmeal.

That sounds delicious @Sun Hat!  Care to share the recipe?

Roadrunner53

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #643 on: August 07, 2020, 02:12:59 PM »
Just wondering if anyone has tried this before. I bought store bought scallions and cut the root end off but leaving a little stub of white attached. Then I soak the roots in water till a green sprout appears. Then I plant them in potting mix. I have some giant scallions grown this way. I kept buying store bought ones and kept planting them. They grow so easy and pretty quickly. Love them. You can keep using the same ones over and over! All these years I have been throwing them away!

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #644 on: August 08, 2020, 04:42:06 PM »
Paraphrased from the Ball Book of Canning and Preserving:

In a food processor or blender, add:

1 garlic clove (I used 3 because no one gets to tell me how much garlic is too much)
1 hot green pepper
1 tsp grated ginger

Blend until it's all in really little bits, then add:

1c mint
1c cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin powder (optional)

Blend until smooth. You can add a wee bit of water if necessary. I've also followed a recipe that calls for apple cider vinegar, so if you don't want to literally water down the goodness, add a splash of that. Pour/smear into an ice cube tray. Clean food processor with naan (or your face if you can get it in there - just don't waste the goodness).

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #645 on: August 08, 2020, 05:35:46 PM »
Thanks @Sun Hat!!  What kind of mint works best?  I've got peppermint and spearmint in the garden.  Would either of those work?

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #646 on: August 08, 2020, 07:21:35 PM »
@Sun Hat

Sounds delish will have to try it out. I agree with you about garlic. I always load pesto up with garlic because it tastes better. The spicier the garlic the better.

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #647 on: August 09, 2020, 05:20:38 AM »
Thanks @Sun Hat!!  What kind of mint works best?  I've got peppermint and spearmint in the garden.  Would either of those work?

I'm not sure if one is better than the other. I think that I used peppermint (I planted one of each last year, but only one survived the winter, and I don't know which it is). Since the recipe has enough other spices that the mint isn't solely dominant, I'd bet that either would work.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #648 on: August 09, 2020, 05:28:21 AM »
Would you believe it?  We got four inches of rain last weekend and none since and the soil is drying out again.  (nervous already because I did a whole lot of planting just before the rain and not everything is up yet)

I am feeling pretty chuffed:  I made a traditional cornichon recipe with my own cukes, tarragon and onions.  I probably don't need to harvest another cucumber this season!  Donated another 8 pounds of cukes to the food bank.

Some of the potatoes are now bigger than golf balls.
Tomatoes are starting to ripen.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #649 on: August 09, 2020, 10:00:48 AM »
Thanks for the tip @Sun Hat -- I'll try it with the peppermint!  I actually just picked a bunch this morning.   DD wants to use it to flavor homemade toothpaste, and DH drinks it as tea. 

I'm really enjoying the garden the past couple of weeks.  Grateful to my past self for planting a big variety of things this year.  Just when the kale is finally succumbing to cabbage moths, the chard and the Malabar spinach (which seem to be immune) are looking beautiful.  I just ate a delicious lunch entirely from the garden/chickens -- stir fried French Fingerling potatoes, Malabar spinach, Sungold cherry tomatoes, and eggs.  Yum!   

My fall plantings are doing well so far.  Sugar snap peas are up about two inches, as are the turnips, broccoli and lettuce.  Carrots were a little slower -- they're just peeking above the soil.  Those carrot seeds were old (5 years), so even though they were pokey I was just happy to have germination.