Author Topic: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020  (Read 29425 times)

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #250 on: April 06, 2020, 04:09:29 AM »
Hey welcome back @rabbitarian!  I didn't recognize the new handle at first!  All well up north?  How did it go with your chickens and the city?

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #251 on: April 06, 2020, 05:30:27 AM »
Hey welcome back @rabbitarian!  I didn't recognize the new handle at first!  All well up north?  How did it go with your chickens and the city?

Iíve been back here journaling for a while now but forgot about this thread until yesterday, lol.

Things are okay for the most part. Mental health went to shit for a long while but a medication change and fresh round of therapy has gotten me back to baseline for the most part. Back is not happy with me but usually able to get everything I need to get done.

Down to 4 chickens. If they catch me again Iíll lose my chicken permit altogether, so probably wonít risk it since theyíre so good at turning scraps into compost. One of my projects lately, in fact, has been building a smaller coop for them and dismantling the larger one to free up yard space.

They also passed an ordinance restricting the number of rabbits but so far have not come by to enforce it even though it passed months ago. That one wonít hurt me too much the way they wrote it, but I would lose about 1/3 of my current production potential and it would be trickier to advance my breeding program.

Hereís a few pics of garden projects and that smaller coop. Built it for free with all materials repurposed from other things (mainly wood from al my raised garden beds Iíve decided to move away from. Not quite done yet but good enough that theyíre in there and Iíll finish it once Iíve dismantled the old coop surrounding it so that I have more space and roof panels that are the right dimensions for what I need to make it weatherproof :)

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #252 on: April 06, 2020, 05:48:36 AM »
Hey welcome back @rabbitarian!  I didn't recognize the new handle at first!  All well up north?  How did it go with your chickens and the city?

Iíve been back here journaling for a while now but forgot about this thread until yesterday, lol.


Sorry about the chickens, but hey nice construction projects!  Whatcha got going under the grow lights in that picture?

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #253 on: April 06, 2020, 06:24:37 AM »
Hey welcome back @rabbitarian!  I didn't recognize the new handle at first!  All well up north?  How did it go with your chickens and the city?

Iíve been back here journaling for a while now but forgot about this thread until yesterday, lol.


Sorry about the chickens, but hey nice construction projects!  Whatcha got going under the grow lights in that picture?

Right now peas (will be hardened off today), broccoli, peppers, and just seeded some tomatoes. If the kale I forgot to order shows up soon (didnít place the order until panic buying of seeds had started but at least I got in before my preferred vendor temporarily stopped taking new orders to catch up )  Iíll seed that too but otherwise Iíll wait until closer to last frost and seed some cucurbits and beans to get a head start. Might seed some flowers and herbs too, havenít decided whether to do it now and juggle space under the lights or wait until the veg is all done.

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #254 on: April 06, 2020, 08:56:42 PM »
That's too bad about the chickens. @rabbitarian I was rooting for you. In my neck of the woods, my friendly neighbors are asking me for eggs because the supermarkets can't keep them in stock. Getting more growing space is always a good thing and with all of that chicken compost, I'm sure they will do well in that spot. I see you added a fence with cinderblocks to your front yard. Did you have to keep pests out?

In my little 1/3 of acre, I've done an assessment of laying to non-laying hens and decided that I've got to optimize the flock. The plan is to add more prolific layers and fewer beauty contestants, with the exception of one cream legbar. Will be giving away breeds that don't lay more than 200 eggs a year. Using movable fencing to keep the hens out of my flower and herb beds, I'm letting them free range around the backyard. Because we are in a C-19 hotspot, my goal is not have to go to feed store as often and let the chickens keep the grass mowed.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #255 on: April 06, 2020, 09:26:44 PM »
After getting up early to bike over to a beach for sunrise I put in a full day shift in the garden. It was about 16 Celsius (60-ish Fahrenheit) and sunny...very little wind...an PERFECT day for garden work. Peas, both Snow and Snap, that were planted in the first week of March are doing great and are making their way up my the wire trellis. My kale seedlings are about 8 inches tall now and looking very healthy...though they have a way to go to catch my current overwintered kale monster - measured today at 7.5ft tall. Spinach is very close to being harvestable, and my lettuce isnít too far behind either. Garlic coming along. Horseradish patch is coming to life...and a bit more ominously, so is the encircling blackberry thicket. Iíll have to keep a close eye on that. I keep digging up carrots from last years carrot patch - itís almost like they are multiplying underground.

Things that went in the ground today...about 40 seed potatoes, about 3 dozen onion transplants (red, white and yellow varieties), a bunch of brassica transplants (two varieties of cauliflower, 2 types of broccoli, and 4 types of cabbage, both red and green). Iím a little worried about the cauliflower as the overnight lows are still a bit chilly, but I know in the past that even when the cauliflower seedlings appear to be at deathís door they can, and often do, pull through. I planted more peas, as Iím trying to do every couple of weeks in order to have a steady supply throughout June and July....rather the the pe-avalanche that has occurred in years past. I am incredibly pleased by the quality of my soil. Raking back the seaweed/leaf mulch (mostly leaf now, seaweed has been largely broken down) reveals beautifully black soil and some loosening of the soil with a fork reveals a wondrous amount of earthworms.

Tomorrow I will focus on some root crops....beets, carrots, turnips and parsnips...and maybe some rutabagas - even though my planting guide says to sow these later in the Summer.

I have tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers growing under lights and these will go out into the garden in about a month. My favourite varieties of squash (heavy on the spaghetti types) will be started indoors in a few weeks....cukes too.

For the past 5 years I have usually spent the bulk of April in Mexico - not happening this year for obvious reasons - and this has always been challenging. Basically I plant a bunch of stuff, then leave and hope for the best over a span of weeks. My family has been good about keeping tabs on things while Iíve been absent, but I never expected them to further the gardening process along. The global pandemic situation is awful. But one, minuscule little positive is that by having my travel plans cancelled Iíll be present in my garden for the entirety of the gardening season this year. Iím very interested and excited to see how this might affect the whole operation. One things for sure, I wonít return from Mexico and stare 3 straight days of weeding in the face. 😀

ETA: forgot to add that there is some activity in our mason bee house. 🐝


I love reading about everyoneís plans. Keep it going folks!


Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #256 on: April 07, 2020, 03:00:16 AM »
I've had that thought too, @Jon_Snow, that for many this will be a unique garden year.  Many people now have unprecedented time to devote to their spring gardens.

@Indio we love our cream legbars too.  We have three of them -- so smart and sassy.   

Here's a pic of my overwintered Red Russian kale plant that is flowering.  Perfect timing, as I need to replenish my seed stock.  Such a beauty!  It's not as tall as @Jon_Snow's, more like a huge bush, about 4 feet tall.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 03:04:28 AM by Trifele »

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #257 on: April 07, 2020, 04:58:32 AM »
That's too bad about the chickens. @rabbitarian I was rooting for you. In my neck of the woods, my friendly neighbors are asking me for eggs because the supermarkets can't keep them in stock. Getting more growing space is always a good thing and with all of that chicken compost, I'm sure they will do well in that spot. I see you added a fence with cinderblocks to your front yard. Did you have to keep pests out?

Yeah I definitely feel a bit salty about not having the bigger because I could be giving away or selling at feed cost so many eggs right now. But Iím not keto anymore so a smaller flock actually still meets most of our own needs.

The fence is just for trellising. Works well for snap peas and pole beans. The cinderblock is just a retaining wall so I can raise soil level without it washing away onto the sidewalk. Iím hoping to use the holes as planters too, for small flowers and things like bush beans.

@Jon_Snow that will be a nice silver lining to all this craziness that you get to experience the whole gardening season :)

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #258 on: April 07, 2020, 10:12:23 AM »
Argh. Now I'm again considering chickens. Just saw some laying hens for free on Craigslist.

Except I'm not going to go all the way to the far side of Austin for chickens. OTOH, I guess I could put them in the trunk of the sedan...

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #259 on: April 07, 2020, 10:21:49 AM »
We had salad with our first harvest of arugula last night!  I've been missing arugula and am so pleased it seems to be faring quite well!

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #260 on: April 07, 2020, 10:37:36 AM »
Staying very busy here.  I'm hardening off cucumber, tomato, broccoli, and pak choi seedlings, hoping to plant over the weekend.  I'm digging and potting up several elderberry suckers for my neighbor who wants some.  I'm also giving her extra vegetable plants. 

We're also planting some big things today -- skip laurel, mountain laurel, and a sourwood tree.  Fingers crossed especially for the sourwood.  It's my first time trying those, and I hear they are finicky. 

And hey!  Last but definitely not least my bees are coming the day after tomorrow!  VERY excited. 

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #261 on: April 07, 2020, 11:53:34 AM »
@TomTX I'd be careful about getting free laying hens from craigslist unless you're proficient at determing the age of a bird. Chickens slow down their laying when they are 2-3 years old. So they may be laying today but could slow down in the next couple of months leaving you with hens to feed and no eggs.
You might want to check your local feed supply place. This time of year they usually have chicks and young pullets for sale.

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #262 on: April 07, 2020, 11:55:50 AM »
@TomTX I'd be careful about getting free laying hens from craigslist unless you're proficient at determing the age of a bird. Chickens slow down their laying when they are 2-3 years old. So they may be laying today but could slow down in the next couple of months leaving you with hens to feed and no eggs.

"No pet chickens" was part of the preamble for the family discussion. If they're not laying, they're gonna be food.

Probably more than we should tackle right now anyway.

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #263 on: April 07, 2020, 12:03:28 PM »
Staying very busy here.  I'm hardening off cucumber, tomato, broccoli, and pak choi seedlings, hoping to plant over the weekend.  I'm digging and potting up several elderberry suckers for my neighbor who wants some.  I'm also giving her extra vegetable plants. 

We're also planting some big things today -- skip laurel, mountain laurel, and a sourwood tree.  Fingers crossed especially for the sourwood.  It's my first time trying those, and I hear they are finicky. 

And hey!  Last but definitely not least my bees are coming the day after tomorrow!  VERY excited.

@Trifele I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your bees. Have you figured out how you are going to get them into the hive? If not, let me know. I have a very easy system.

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #264 on: April 07, 2020, 12:09:54 PM »
@TomTX I'd be careful about getting free laying hens from craigslist unless you're proficient at determing the age of a bird. Chickens slow down their laying when they are 2-3 years old. So they may be laying today but could slow down in the next couple of months leaving you with hens to feed and no eggs.

"No pet chickens" was part of the preamble for the family discussion. If they're not laying, they're gonna be food.

Probably more than we should tackle right now anyway.

Free laying chickens if they donít lay become free soup birds or chicken sausage if itís legal (or easy to conceal) processing them yourself but yeah if you donít have a lot of spare time donít stress it :)

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #265 on: April 07, 2020, 12:44:11 PM »
Staying very busy here.  I'm hardening off cucumber, tomato, broccoli, and pak choi seedlings, hoping to plant over the weekend.  I'm digging and potting up several elderberry suckers for my neighbor who wants some.  I'm also giving her extra vegetable plants. 

We're also planting some big things today -- skip laurel, mountain laurel, and a sourwood tree.  Fingers crossed especially for the sourwood.  It's my first time trying those, and I hear they are finicky. 

And hey!  Last but definitely not least my bees are coming the day after tomorrow!  VERY excited.

@Trifele I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your bees. Have you figured out how you are going to get them into the hive? If not, let me know. I have a very easy system.

@Indio -- You mean the ones still in the nuc box after the frames are moved?  I was going to do a gentle 'shake down and pour', but please do let me know your method!

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #266 on: April 07, 2020, 01:42:49 PM »
Some pics from today.  Our current rooster is young, but he's a good guy and is doing a great job so far.  He saved one of the hens from a hawk last week.  He's an Easter Egger, and I have half a mind to let our broodies hatch out some of the fertile eggs being laid by our two Easter Egger hens.  One of them lays green eggs, one blue.  I'm curious what egg color genes the roo carries.  Chicken genetics are complicated and interesting.

In the other pix you can see a Black Aussie hen and a Buckeye.  Both really good layers with nice temperaments.



 

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #267 on: April 07, 2020, 01:46:41 PM »

@Indio -- You mean the ones still in the nuc box after the frames are moved?  I was going to do a gentle 'shake down and pour', but please do let me know your method!
[/quote]

@Trifele Are you getting a nuc with 4-5 frames of built out comb with queen and brood bees or a package with 3lbs of bees in a screened box and the queen in a cage?

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #268 on: April 07, 2020, 01:50:46 PM »
We are pretty much starting with a clean slate, and based on experiences from our last garden we will try to keep it simple and low maintenance. The last few days we've planted three red currant bushes, two blueberries (pink lemonade and patriot) and five raspberries (two yellow, two summer red and a autumn red). The raspberries can climb on the fence towards the road, and be available for kids passing by on the sidewalk. We have also prepared a raised bed for vegetables, and figured out where our potatoes should go. I could only find seed potatoes at the farmers' shop, and their idea of "hobby sized" was 5 kg, or enough for 20 m2. I need to find someone to share with. The neighbour's garage borders our garden, and that wall is rather ugly. We've planted some clematis, and are planning to add some roses and sugar snap peas. Hopefully that will be enough to cover it.

I don't really have the patience for planting seeds, but am giving it a go with tomatoes, peppers, chilli, and a few other things. We'll see if they survive.

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #269 on: April 07, 2020, 02:23:37 PM »
I am growing foods! I am not good at growing things. But I discovered that you can regrow some vegetables from kitchen scraps, and free food soothes my soul. I'm growing celery, onions, green onions, garlic, potatoes, and carrot greens from scraps. Going to try bok choy next. The green onions are the most fun. I can check them approximately 85 million times a day, and they've always grown.

I enjoy it too. The bok choy stub in a jar has grown 4 decent leaves and looks like it is about to bloom. The celery isn't doing much, but it's still alive.

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #270 on: April 07, 2020, 03:27:25 PM »
For those that are successfully growing broccoli...is there a secret you can share?  I'm in zone 9b and tried growing over last summer and this winter and both times we just get little pinky sized stalks of broccoli.  I can't re-check out the Golden Gate Gardening book, since my library has only a hard cover, but I know it recommended planting in November, which we did.  But I don't have any other secrets it might have imparted. For now, we've torn most of it up to make way for more kale, which we can apparently never have enough of.  But still would have loved to have had a pretty head of broccoli to eat someday.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #271 on: April 07, 2020, 04:18:14 PM »

@Indio -- You mean the ones still in the nuc box after the frames are moved?  I was going to do a gentle 'shake down and pour', but please do let me know your method!

@Trifele Are you getting a nuc with 4-5 frames of built out comb with queen and brood bees or a package with 3lbs of bees in a screened box and the queen in a cage?
[/quote]

5 frame nucs with queen, built out comb, and brood

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #272 on: April 07, 2020, 04:57:24 PM »
Nucs are easy to install into the hive. Shouldnít be a problem removing frames from nuc box and transferring to hive body. As long as you find the Queen and there is brood pattern on at least two frames, you should be all set. So excited for you and definitely want to see pictures of your new garden helpers. @Trifele

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #273 on: April 08, 2020, 04:38:55 AM »
For those that are successfully growing broccoli...is there a secret you can share?  I'm in zone 9b and tried growing over last summer and this winter and both times we just get little pinky sized stalks of broccoli. 

Hm.  You're growing conditions are so different, @sui generis, but in general when things don't grow for me I run down my mental list of common causes:  Sunlight sufficient?  (broccoli needs quite a bit)  Water?  (ditto -- it needs at least an inch a week)  Food?  (it's a pretty heavy feeder.  If the soil may be depleted you can try amending with compost, manure, or fertilizer)  Temperature?  (broccoli is a brassica, but because we're trying to get it to flower [the 'head'], I think it's pickier about temperature than other brassicas where we eat the leaves.  If it's really cool or really hot it'll make leaves but not produce heads).   

If the basics are all covered, then I try to think about some of the less common causes:  Are they spaced far enough apart?  (broccoli likes room, and doesn't seem to want to touch other plants)  Is the soil ph ok?  (Broccoli likes it slightly alkaline) Are any sneaky pests getting to them?  Etc.

I'll be troubleshooting broccoli this spring too!  I'm planting broccoli for the first time down south here.  Should be educational, and I'll keep you posted.  Moving here from Wisconsin was like starting over as a beginner gardener with certain plants; I had to learn a whole new way to take care of them because of the different conditions.  Four years in, I've got most things figured out but I'm still struggling with peppers.   They were so easy to grow in Wisconsin, and here it's the opposite.  Soil issues, new pests (pepper weevils), etc.   But because we love to eat peppers I'm giving it a go again this summer. 

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #274 on: April 08, 2020, 05:59:35 AM »
For those that are successfully growing broccoli...is there a secret you can share?  I'm in zone 9b and tried growing over last summer and this winter and both times we just get little pinky sized stalks of broccoli.

Here is a planting guide for the Sacramento area which is 9B. https://ucanr.edu/sites/sacmg/files/117117.pdf

We usually start seeds in July and transplant in September or you can start seeds in December and transplant in February for a spring crop.  Make sure you have enough fertilizer in the soil before you plant.  Vegetables require plenty of nitrogen which is only partially provided with compost in the soil. 

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #275 on: April 08, 2020, 07:18:39 AM »
For those that are successfully growing broccoli...is there a secret you can share?  I'm in zone 9b and tried growing over last summer and this winter and both times we just get little pinky sized stalks of broccoli.

Here is a planting guide for the Sacramento area which is 9B. https://ucanr.edu/sites/sacmg/files/117117.pdf

We usually start seeds in July and transplant in September or you can start seeds in December and transplant in February for a spring crop.  Make sure you have enough fertilizer in the soil before you plant.  Vegetables require plenty of nitrogen which is only partially provided with compost in the soil.

Compost provides plenty of nitrogen for veg. I never use any commercial fertilizer. However, if soils are cold (<55F) a quick release fertilizer can provide an extra boost because the soil biology isnít making enough nutrients available to roots. Not a problem I experience here because I havenít yet started doing season extension and spring/fall transitions are so abrupt where I live that by the time itís safe to plant anything without protection soils are already fairly warm, and in fall we will have had a killing frost before soils cool down.

Worth also nothing that USDA zone is not nearly enough info especially in cases of zones 8+. 9b in CA is so different from 9b in TX and again from 9b in FL.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #276 on: April 08, 2020, 10:04:16 AM »
For those that are successfully growing broccoli...is there a secret you can share?  I'm in zone 9b and tried growing over last summer and this winter and both times we just get little pinky sized stalks of broccoli.

Iím in 9b and have had great success with broccoli...and all of the brassicas. Rabbitarian touched on it when commenting on the variations that exist between identically numbered Zones, but it could be that your 9b probably features much higher Summer temperatures than mine. It is considered to be a cool weather crop, and itís fairly rare that we got temps over 30 Celsius (86F) here (southwest Canada), and I believe this is what helps broccoli thrive right on through the Summer months. Honestly, I think the climate here is just perfect for brassicas. Though what you described with your broccoli is not a ďboltingĒ issue, which happens when things get too hot for broc. @Trifele offers some excellent advice in regards to possible issues, especially regarding soil fertility. Good luck in growing that lovely head of broccoli. It is truly one of the treasures of the home garden. (I tried to find a picture of one of mine from last year, but it proved elusive)

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #277 on: April 08, 2020, 10:53:55 AM »
For those that are successfully growing broccoli...is there a secret you can share?  I'm in zone 9b and tried growing over last summer and this winter and both times we just get little pinky sized stalks of broccoli.

Iím in 9b and have had great success with broccoli...and all of the brassicas. Rabbitarian touched on it when commenting on the variations that exist between identically numbered Zones, but it could be that your 9b probably features much higher Summer temperatures than mine. It is considered to be a cool weather crop, and itís fairly rare that we got temps over 30 Celsius (86F) here (southwest Canada), and I believe this is what helps broccoli thrive right on through the Summer months. Honestly, I think the climate here is just perfect for brassicas. Though what you described with your broccoli is not a ďboltingĒ issue, which happens when things get too hot for broc. @Trifele offers some excellent advice in regards to possible issues, especially regarding soil fertility. Good luck in growing that lovely head of broccoli. It is truly one of the treasures of the home garden. (I tried to find a picture of one of mine from last year, but it proved elusive)

It is so good! Thereís a nice delicate sweetness to truly fresh broccoli

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #278 on: April 08, 2020, 11:27:47 PM »
@Trifele Thanks for the gate photos and suggestions.

Weíre still waiting on the city to till up our garden plot, but I do little jobs each day to keep me going.  Today it was making plant labels.  Tomorrow I will start more from seed.  Iím also trying to safely gather materials to use in the garden.

My friendís next door neighbor raises rabbits and so I have a source of rabbit poo for fertilizer.  How long should I let it rest and dry before tossing it on the garden?

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #279 on: April 09, 2020, 06:02:24 AM »
For those that are successfully growing broccoli...is there a secret you can share?  I'm in zone 9b and tried growing over last summer and this winter and both times we just get little pinky sized stalks of broccoli.

Iím in 9b and have had great success with broccoli...and all of the brassicas. Rabbitarian touched on it when commenting on the variations that exist between identically numbered Zones, but it could be that your 9b probably features much higher Summer temperatures than mine. It is considered to be a cool weather crop, and itís fairly rare that we got temps over 30 Celsius (86F) here (southwest Canada),

Whereas I'm in 9b in Texas and only hitting 30C for a high in the summer would be noteworthy because it is so unusually low. I think we had 60 days over 37C (100F) last year and typical highs would be at least 32C.

TomTX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #280 on: April 09, 2020, 06:04:55 AM »
My friendís next door neighbor raises rabbits and so I have a source of rabbit poo for fertilizer.  How long should I let it rest and dry before tossing it on the garden?

From what I'm reading on multiple sources online, it appears you can just direct apply the rabbit poo to the garden.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #281 on: April 09, 2020, 06:19:46 AM »
My friendís next door neighbor raises rabbits and so I have a source of rabbit poo for fertilizer.  How long should I let it rest and dry before tossing it on the garden?

From what I'm reading on multiple sources online, it appears you can just direct apply the rabbit poo to the garden.
That is my understanding.  @rabbitarian bat signalling subject matter expert

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #282 on: April 09, 2020, 07:33:40 AM »
Yes from a nitrogen ďburningĒ perspective rabbit manure needs no aging whatsoever. Itís also arguably the most balanced vegetable fertilizer out there.

From a food safety perspective it is also very safe (only one zoonotic pathogen shared with humans and that one is quite rare) but I personally avoid applying it closer than 60 days to any crop Iím eating raw.

I have multiple cubic yards of ďbunny berriesĒ to spread in the coming weeks :)

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #283 on: April 09, 2020, 07:39:58 AM »
For those that are successfully growing broccoli...is there a secret you can share?  I'm in zone 9b and tried growing over last summer and this winter and both times we just get little pinky sized stalks of broccoli.

Iím in 9b and have had great success with broccoli...and all of the brassicas. Rabbitarian touched on it when commenting on the variations that exist between identically numbered Zones, but it could be that your 9b probably features much higher Summer temperatures than mine. It is considered to be a cool weather crop, and itís fairly rare that we got temps over 30 Celsius (86F) here (southwest Canada),

Whereas I'm in 9b in Texas and only hitting 30C for a high in the summer would be noteworthy because it is so unusually low. I think we had 60 days over 37C (100F) last year and typical highs would be at least 32C.

Oh wow, yeah that's very different than my 9b. I'm in the Bay area, home of "the coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco" so I really thought broccoli would do ok weather wise. But yes, the soil questions especially I suspect, may be a prime factor.

coffeefueled

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #284 on: April 09, 2020, 08:00:01 AM »
The strawberry fortress is in. DH made me a frame out of scrap wood that I covered with wire mesh. I have some bird netting thrown over the top for now, but plan on putting some wire mesh frames on butterfly hinges on so I can still get in easily to weed. We're pretty pleased with how it turned out. I'll finish weeding and put down a thick layer of leaf mulch/compost in the next day or two depending on the weather. I've also got a humane trap to hopefully evict the current chipmunk resident. To celebrate I ordered 4 new plants.

I also ordered two blackberry bushes even though it's way past the season. Who knows how they'll do planted this late, but we didn't want to wait until the winter/next year to get more fruit going. Seedlings are going great under lights, but it'll be weeks before I catch up to trifele and start hardening off. I think I got a late start on sprouting for my zone (7a).

I have a bunch of general tiding up to do to get rid of weeds and invasives that took over the space last summer. Part of me wants to bulldoze the whole area and start with a level plot so I can add nice walkways and beds in organized pretty grids, but I know I won't ever want to sit out a growing season to actually do it.

What is everyone's preference on walkway surface? Do you keep grass or use mulch or gravel? I tried chipdrop last year but the mulch size was too big to be comfortable on bare feet. I'm considering some kind of green cover crop like clover, but wasn't sure about how it would do with foot traffic or if it would get too tall. I've also thought about crushed stone, but I'm guessing it would be expensive.

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #285 on: April 09, 2020, 09:43:19 AM »
@coffeefueled I do free arborist mulch but I donít garden barefoot. Could try some sort of eco lawn seed mix appropriate for your area depending on how much you want to work to keep it from growing back into the garden beds.

Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #286 on: April 09, 2020, 10:12:36 PM »
Today I just needed to be gardening, so I called my favorite greenhouse and shelled out 45 clams for a flat of pansies.  They look great... just in time for a cold front.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #287 on: April 10, 2020, 04:50:53 AM »
What is everyone's preference on walkway surface? Do you keep grass or use mulch or gravel? I tried chipdrop last year but the mulch size was too big to be comfortable on bare feet. I'm considering some kind of green cover crop like clover, but wasn't sure about how it would do with foot traffic or if it would get too tall. I've also thought about crushed stone, but I'm guessing it would be expensive.

I'm still experimenting on paths.  I have some wood chip ones, and also white clover.  I don't walk on either barefoot.  The wood is poky and the clover is usually full of bees.  I let it grow out to its maximum height (about 8") and flower.  I mow it once in a while between flowerings.

Nice job on the strawberry bed @coffeefueled!  And FWIW I don't think it's too late to put in blackberries.  I bet they'll do fine.

NinetyFour

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #288 on: April 10, 2020, 09:00:09 AM »
Horseradish patch is coming to life...and a bit more ominously, so is the encircling blackberry thicket. Iíll have to keep a close eye on that.

Ack!!  Please don't trim the thicket unless you are supervised (and restrained a bit) by a blackberry jam fanatic!!  My hope is to harvest many many dozens of those delicious orbs later this year...

I planted more peas, as Iím trying to do every couple of weeks in order to have a steady supply throughout June and July....

I wholeheartedly approve of this InfinityPea plan.

Tomorrow I will focus on some root crops....beets, carrots, turnips and parsnips...and maybe some rutabagas - even though my planting guide says to sow these later in the Summer.

My favourite varieties of squash (heavy on the spaghetti types) will be started indoors in a few weeks....cukes too.

Just.......YUM!!    :D

coffeefueled

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #289 on: April 11, 2020, 01:57:21 PM »
Love hearing everyone's updates. Can't wait to hear about your bee arrival @Trifele I hope to do bees one day. If I could work this week on week off schedule forever I'd probably already have broken down and ordered ducks or chickens.

My dining room table is hosting 12 dahlias. I might do some basal cutting if they sprout enough.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #290 on: April 11, 2020, 05:09:12 PM »
Bees!  I brought them home Thursday morning, and put them in the hive bodies.  I checked on them today, and the one on the left was absolutely booming.  It seemed like that one wanted more space so I went ahead and added a second brood box (a deep).  The topmost deeps for both hives contain a feeder, which I think will come off in a week or two.  Both  hives  are totally digging the food, which is a mixture of local honey and Spikenard Farm "bee tea."   They're also foraging their little hearts out.  I see them coming in constantly with bright yellow and orange pollen in their baskets.  Seems like they are finding good stuff somewhere. 

I am totally loving the bees and learning so much.  They're incredibly complex.  I go down there multiple times a day just to sit nearby and watch them.  <3 

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #291 on: April 11, 2020, 06:00:19 PM »
Fascinating!

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #292 on: April 12, 2020, 07:47:46 AM »
Love hearing everyone's updates. Can't wait to hear about your bee arrival @Trifele I hope to do bees one day. If I could work this week on week off schedule forever I'd probably already have broken down and ordered ducks or chickens.

My dining room table is hosting 12 dahlias. I might do some basal cutting if they sprout enough.

Ducks are messy mofos. Cute but super messy. Chickens however are really easy unless you donít have someone to tend them when traveling for 2-3 days or more (pretty simply to setup chickens to go a few days without any attention). 5 minutes once a day even for flocks of 20+ hens plus cleaning out a couple times a year (more frequently if you donít use the deep bedding method, but deep bedding is a fantastic way to do it).

Edit: attaching a pic of my deep bedding run when I had my illegally sized flock of 30+ last year
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 07:49:30 AM by rabbitarian »

rabbitarian

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #293 on: April 12, 2020, 07:53:43 AM »
I mostly worked yesterday on shoveling rabbit manure and spreading it on the garden. Everything under the cages is spread but still have about 2-3cuyd in the compost bin to shovel out, but first Iím going to disassemble enough of my old chicken coop to move the blocks which make up the compost bin to their new spot as part of my overhaul of my animal yard. Started my broccoli too early so I should up-pot them soon. Today is supposed to be rainy so might not be able to do anything but weíll see :)

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #294 on: April 12, 2020, 08:36:31 AM »
Spent a lot of time yesterday mowing and weeding.  Sadly, we had a 30 degree night a couple nights past and my French fingerling potato plants took severe damage.  They may all be goners, we'll see.  I don't have any more FF seed potatoes, but I've got red, russet, and yukon  I can replant with if necessary.  My buckwheat sprouts also look deader than snot from that cold night.  I'll replant that. 

Say garden friends, can you please help me identify this?  It's a shrub about 6 feet high and 6 feet wide that just started flowering.  Is it weigela maybe?


Trudie

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #295 on: April 12, 2020, 09:43:25 PM »
Looks like weigela to me.

happyuk

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #296 on: April 13, 2020, 04:35:44 AM »
My ongoing experiment with seed-saving I'm documenting as a blog post:

https://plot-30.blogspot.com/2020/03/planting-witkiem-broad-beans-march-2020.html

These were 'Witkiem' broad (fava) bean seeds saved from the 2019 crop:

https://plot-30.blogspot.com/2019/09/saving-witkiem-broad-bean-seeds-2019.html

Which in turn I have been saving since 2018 when when dad first gave me these seeds, and from which he has been saving since time immemorial.

https://plot-30.blogspot.com/2018/10/witkiem-broad-bean-planting-october-2018.html

Keeping heirloom seeds seems to have made sense, given this current coronavirus mania seeds of all kinds appear to have become as rare as hen's teeth, or there is outright profiteering (a fiver for about 6 courgette seeds I saw someplace.  come on.)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 04:43:05 AM by happyuk »

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #297 on: April 13, 2020, 04:45:11 AM »

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #298 on: April 13, 2020, 04:56:55 AM »
My ongoing experiment with seed-saving I'm documenting as a blog post:

That is fantastic @happyuk -- they're beautiful!  Are favas easy to grow?  Are many of the varieties open pollinated, or is witkiem unusual? 

happyuk

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #299 on: April 13, 2020, 05:05:19 AM »
My ongoing experiment with seed-saving I'm documenting as a blog post:

That is fantastic @happyuk -- they're beautiful!  Are favas easy to grow?  Are many of the varieties open pollinated, or is witkiem unusual?

Good question Trifele I am assuming they are open-pollinated (eg by birds, bees, other mechanisms) and I have never given this thought much attention given that yes, I find them very easy to grow and prolific as well, provided I can get the mice to leave them alone for a sufficient length of time.  I find Witkiem to be a smaller bean than average but they get much less woody than other types such as Bunyard's Exhibition, Aqua Dulce, Sutton etc.