2021 Garden Thread

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fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,994
Massachusetts
strawberrys ripened on the vine are the best. red all the way through and sweet. not like the junk at the big grocery store.
i had a patch a while back about 10 x 4 foot once a year it would give me 15 pints.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
There are a couple wine grape growers here but the big fruit grower is Applewood Farms, Have huge apple tree orchards just south of me plus a processing plant and oxygen depleted storage. Apples trees do well here, even mine. Where I get my cider apples from (my trees).
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,227
South Puget Sound, WA
strawberrys ripened on the vine are the best. red all the way through and sweet. not like the junk at the big grocery store.
i had a patch a while back about 10 x 4 foot once a year it would give me 15 pints.
Yes, giant store-bought strawberries are often picked before full ripening and are tasteless. Not only that, they have the highest concentration of herbicides and pesticides of any produce unless they are organic.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I'm debating on planting more beans. They're easy to grow and freeze.

Food prices could be through the roof this year if hackers keep taking down parts of our infrastructure, and inflation keeps on its pace.

A package of seeds is a cheap price for peace of mind.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,227
South Puget Sound, WA
I'm debating on planting more beans. They're easy to grow and freeze.

Food prices could be through the roof this year if hackers keep taking down parts of our infrastructure, and inflation keeps on its pace.

A package of seeds is a cheap price for peace of mind.
Last year I started a second crop of beans once the spinach was all harvested. These were in the raised bed so I planted blue lake bush beans. Our main crop is blue lake pole beans. The bush beans came out great and my family really appreciated having the second crop extending the season. This year I think I will plant again them once the garlic is harvested in another raised bed.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Problem with a steady diet of beans is the air they produce....lol
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I hadn't even thought of the garlic beds. I really upped my garlic production this year.

I produce a steady supply of bean air as it is. The dog is worse. It would be awkward in an office, but nobody cares about a guy alone in his truck, lol.
 

kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
274
LI
Make sure the pot has a drain hole at the bottom. Put about 1" of gravel at the bottom to facilitate drainage and to prevent the potting soil from clogging the drain hole.

What type of tomato is this?

Begreen, putting gravel at the bottom doesn't help drainage, it is a old wives tale and actually is detrimental as it just raises the perched water level.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
953
Texas
My husband and I used our very long weekend to work on filling the raised beds with organic matter from our land (dead oleander trimmings that we didn’t want to shred or burn, but apparently it can be safe to compost, rotten wood and accompanying soil from a pile that came with our land, palm leaf mulch from what we had to cut after the big freeze, fresh grass clippings from the little bit of grass we have, other greens like pokeweed and hackberry leaves from our fence line, and a good soaking from a 55-gallon barrel of thistle sludge. (We’d been rotting thistles after removing any seed heads, but it has been so rainy this month that we haven’t needed to dilute the “tea” and use it as fertilizer, so this seemed a good application.). We worked yesterday to chip piles of cedar branches to cover the pathways. We got one pile chipped but ran out of time.

We do have some aged manure compost that we can put on top. If we still have a good long season by the time we’ve fenced, I think I’ll plant some cowpeas as a cover crop. If we happen to get some good eating off of them as well, that will be a bonus.

B89FB37D-2A1A-4C12-A69F-CE9F7CD86DE9.jpeg

Today is a bit rainy, but I went out this morning to do a quick harvest for preservation. I have sliced the zucchini into rounds, blanched it, and it’s in my freezer on my dehydrator trays to freeze before I package it. I’m trying to preserve more this summer instead of eating everything fresh, especially at times when we’ve really got an abundance. My desire to preserve is part of why I’m so excited to be increasing my garden space. I also plan to freeze the Swiss Chard. The cucumbers joined some friends in the fridge to wait for my next pickling batch. (The cherry tomato was a treat for my eight year old.)


3C9D5DE3-D24F-4E83-994B-553AEB5C41F0.jpeg

@EatenByLimestone, I think you should definitely go for more beans, especially if you don’t have other plans for your garlic beds. I think you once made a comment that a package of bean seed would feed a whole street. I was thinking of that when I was harvesting for our first meal the other day. I planted a small package (a 20’ row) of Rattlesnake pole beans. I’m hoping it will at least feed our family this summer and that I’ll be able to save some seeds to plant another round next year.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,227
South Puget Sound, WA
Looks like you are off to a good start with the new beds.

Do you dehydrate the zucchini slices before freezing?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
953
Texas
Looks like you are off to a good start with the new beds.

Do you dehydrate the zucchini slices before freezing?

I did not dehydrate the slices, but laying them out on the trays made me think that I might want to make some zucchini chips for the kids this summer if the Squash Vine Borers don’t do my plants in too soon.

The dehydrator trays just make a convenient way for me to freeze since I don’t own lots of metal cookie trays. I like to lay my slices out so that they don’t freeze together in a clump. (I also like to do that for something like blueberries or sliced okra.). I did blot the pieces dry with a towel after the blanching. I filled three trays with slices. I have an empty tray turned upside down over the bottom layer, then another over the second layer. This keeps the pieces from being smushed but lets me use less space in the freezer since all three trays of slices are stacked. When they’re all frozen, I’ll put them in a freezer bag.

CAFE7AB5-26B4-4F6C-9621-35319F98CB2F.jpeg


We got some good rain already this morning, and I just heard another rumble of thunder. Our drought situation has been downgraded once again only to “abnormally dry.” My garden is loving it.

Edited to add:

Here’s a photo of the ginger I have on my front porch. It doesn’t get a lot of sun, but it’s been warm and humid, and I’m very pleased with how it’s doing. I started a different batch more recently in a planter on my back deck. It’s just starting to get a couple leaves now.
ED7B8902-8535-429C-953A-4090A86ED15B.jpeg
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,227
South Puget Sound, WA
Ah, that is how we freeze berries, veggies too, but on cookie pans. Have not tried this with zucchini, yet.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,018
Colorado
Would not dehydrating them be a better way for storage instead of freezing them or do you eat all these different wonderful things up real fast...lol They would be gone with me---looking good...clancey
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,018
Colorado
With a name like you have I am going to keep the tomatoes (if they come) far far away from you "Eaten".. Here is a picture of the little thing and its still growing...Gave it a little garden plant feed and it might like that and seems like a happy plant and likes the full moon,,clancey
 

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kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
274
LI
With a name like you have I am going to keep the tomatoes (if they come) far far away from you "Eaten".. Here is a picture of the little thing and its still growing...Gave it a little garden plant feed and it might like that and seems like a happy plant and likes the full moon,,clancey
Get a cage on that tomato now so you don't rip through as many roots when you need it later.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,018
Colorado
Not quite sure what you mean--never really grew anything before--never really liked gardening and should I put this plant into the ground maybe and stick one of those cage like things on it? Not a green thumb in my whole family--lol thanks clancey
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
953
Texas
Not quite sure what you mean--never really grew anything before--never really liked gardening and should I put this plant into the ground maybe and stick one of those cage like things on it? Not a green thumb in my whole family--lol thanks clancey
Mrs. Clancey, I'll put in a link to the type of thing that kborndale is suggesting. I just chose something simple from Home Depot since I believe you mentioned getting your supplies from there. Tomatoes can have a tendency to sprawl or flop over without support. The cage is a wire structure that helps keep the plant upright and the fruit off the ground.


There are smaller versions, but you don't want anything shorter than this. Taller is better for a lot of tomatoes, but Celebrity isn't a huge variety, so this is inexpensive as a starter for your purposes.

I also dug up an old picture of a celebrity tomato for you. This one isn't caged, but it's growing up a flat wire trellis. A cage would have worked well on this plant.
IMG_1868.JPG

Edited to add:

I just went out on my deck and took a picture of a potted tomato for you. I was given some seeds this spring for a variety I’ve really longed to try, but my garden space was all taken, so they are in pots. My five year old has adopted this plant as being his, and I bought him this tomato cage at Tractor Supply Company a few weeks ago.
DD12EC2F-9032-48CA-A0BE-7A002A04A26B.jpeg

Here’s a link to my cage in case there’s a Tractor Supply in your area as well.



I hope that helps. You just want to get it over your plant before there is too much growth both under and above ground.
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,018
Colorado
Thanks I am going to get one of these things (tomatoe cages) and I think that I am gong to stick this in the ground when one of my "workmen" appear and have him dig a hole for me so as to plant it secure right in front of the fence with its cage and then I will just watch it and feed it with a special formula that I made up for it..Its a secret--lol...Usually I could dig my own holes but I can't in this moment of time because of being side swiped in the truck..But that's the plan for now..Any kind of special bug repellent that won;t hurt people that I could spray on it in time.. maybe garlic water or something--lol....clancey Thanks everyone...
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
953
Texas
Would not dehydrating them be a better way for storage instead of freezing them or do you eat all these different wonderful things up real fast...lol They would be gone with me---looking good...clancey
Just realized that I forgot to answer this post.

Dehydrating can be a great way to store food, as long as all the moisture is completely removed. If I’m going to store dried food long term, though, I tend to throw it in the freezer anyway just in case of moisture issues. My kids love dried food so much, though, that they tend to eat it up for snacks, and I don’t have to worry about it. If it’s dried first, it does take less space in the freezer. I doubt that I’ll have enough surplus in the garden to make freezer space an issue, though.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,227
South Puget Sound, WA
That's a good video. We watched it last week. Diversity is life.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,227
South Puget Sound, WA
Dehydrating can be a great way to store food, as long as all the moisture is completely removed. If I’m going to store dried food long term, though, I tend to throw it in the freezer anyway just in case of moisture issues. My kids love dried food so much, though, that they tend to eat it up for snacks, and I don’t have to worry about it.
I am going to try making some zucchini chips in the oven just for fun this summer. They will be lightly salted and seasoned.