2021 Garden Thread

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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,240
Colorado
I watched the video and this would be a totally different way of farming and if I must say a better way..Everything could get some benefit including the pretty birdies and the tree people as well as keeping the farming more on the organic side...Thanks for the educational video for I enjoyed it as well as so much more easier to take care of and benefit from the natural growth--wonderful--enjoyed clancey
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
967
Texas
I am going to try making some zucchini chips in the oven just for fun this summer. They will be lightly salted and seasoned.

It’s been a while since I’ve done it, but we used to do a bit of a marinade with olive oil and a little lemon or lime juice mixed with salt and herbs. It’s not much, but it gives a nice flavor.

For the past couple of days I’ve noticed squash vine borers flying in the garden. Strangely enough they’ve been landing on my potatoes, but maybe it’s just that that is the only place that isn’t a jungle, and so I can see them there. My four zucchini plants look good now, but I just put two more seeds on to soak as I have two big pots where I can plant replacements. I figure it’s only a matter of time before these vines succumb. I did bury the bottoms of the stems in more compost a couple of days ago.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
My squash and zucchini are still so small! The tomatoes are too! Really, everything but the broccoli and kale is. It's been so cold. We have this weekend and Monday in the 90s. At least the tomatoes will love it. They'll probably triple in size.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,796
South Puget Sound, WA
The still preview frame for that video is misleading. It is a picture of the Apricot Lane Farm in California.

There is a really good movie about this farm called The Biggest, Little Farm that I recommend watching . The story of the farm is similar to the Wisconsin farm in that they started out with nothing, but even drier. What it changed to is truly remarkable. The film is about these changes with some deeper life lessons. They have accomplished an amazing improvement in not only their land, but also to the community and their lives.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
that chicken egg... the poor hen! I hope it was the size of a golden retriever to push out that egg! Lol
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I have done a little growing around trees and such to take advance of the fungus around the root structures of perennials. The results have been pretty good, but I haven't done it long enough to have long-term results.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,240
Colorado
In regard to The Biggest Little Farm..
Thanks for the effort ...

I know that is a wonderful movie to watch but I cannot watch it for I would really feel bad for the "hardships" that might be involved..even if it ended up wonderful for I would just remember the bad--that's me for now.. I was not like this when I was younger but now that I am getting old I am more sensitive to things so after the preview of it I would not seek it out. Thanks anyway...clancey
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
967
Texas
My squash and zucchini are still so small! The tomatoes are too! Really, everything but the broccoli and kale is. It's been so cold. We have this weekend and Monday in the 90s. At least the tomatoes will love it. They'll probably triple in size.

In a few weeks my garden will probably be on the downward slope, and yours will be surging with new growth. The weather this spring has been good for the garden (cooler and wetter than usual, which is good this far south), but the heat is coming in. I have a hard time knowing that the spring-planted plants won’t make it all summer down here.

Right now my cucumbers are very prolific. My kids ate some form of cucumber salad each day for the last four days, and I started a gallon of pickles yesterday. Thankfully they aren’t sick of them yet, but the slicers I picked this morning I decided to dehydrate (after salting and draining them for a couple of hours). We’ll eat this batch when it’s done, and I’ll decide if it’s worth the effort for the future.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,240
Colorado
How large of a storage unit to you have people to keep your fresh produce in canned or dehydrated? Just curious and it is so nice for you to have this extra protection and you all are working hard for it too...My tomato plant is doing just fine and maybe tomorrow I will have someone put it in the ground for me and i am preparing the soil where it goes with miracle garden soil as well as my secret ingredient. I also have a plastic table I can put over it --if it hails or something. clancey
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,940
central pa
How large of a storage unit to you have people to keep your fresh produce in canned or dehydrated? Just curious and it is so nice for you to have this extra protection and you all are working hard for it too...My tomato plant is doing just fine and maybe tomorrow I will have someone put it in the ground for me and i am preparing the soil where it goes with miracle garden soil as well as my secret ingredient. I also have a plastic table I can put over it --if it hails or something. clancey
Storage unit? I have a chest freezer but that is mainly for meat. I have 2 standard fridges one in the kitchen one in the basement. And a pantry that's all. It doesn't take much space just to store the excess production
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Yeah, fridges and freezers for me. I haven't canned in a few years. I'm contemplating making rhubarb marmalade. I haven't made it in a while and some people love it.

We try to eat as much as possible and give away a lot of it. We blanche and store some stuff in vacuum packed bags in meal sizes. We'll pull from that all winter.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,240
Colorado
Yea maybe a better word would have been pantry. My house was built in 1926 and in my kitchen connected to it was a sort of like a closet where people put all their food items like canning jars and flours and foods of that nature and in this area these were not large but it was the largest "so called food closet in the house"..Mine was about 4x4 that I actually turned into a closet under the attic steps and i was wondering if you people had something similar to store your canned goods or dehydration made products. What are those root cellars about I heard a lot about in the old days..? I guess it is all modern now with electricity and freezers and using up all the foods each year. I remember when I was young people were canning stewed tomato"s and string beans and I believe some kind of fruit cut up and stored these in the pantries for later use..I remember people boiling apples and putting them though some kind of a strainer into jars for later use and they all had these separate little rooms to keep these things in as well as calling them "dry goods" like flour and beans and things of that nature all lined up and dated.. Just wondering if any of you with your wonderful gardens had a room like this just for food storage..But now I guess it is all freezers to where you eat up all the food and get ready for the new growing season..How convenient we have it..Boy limestone if you ever make some rhubarb marmalade I buy a jar or two--yes...I also love those hot different peppered jellies but I like a more sweet taste then a hot tasting one but they are so good. I remember helping out the nuns in their convents and they had very large pantry rooms where they stored all kinds of things--dishes and foods and flours and they were kept beautiful as well.. Thanks clancey
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
We use our basement as a pantry/root cellar, but the canning isn't as important to us. I have made and canned a bunch of pickles too. The hardest thing with canning is the amount of energy you have to put into it. Not so much my energy, but running the boiling baths. Its funny, you mentioned the nuns canning. I picked up my boiler and racks for canning at a priory garage sale. It was big enough that I had to upgrade my stove in order to get the big aluminum pot to boil!

Blanching and freezing is quicker and easier. As I get extra kale, it gets processed and frozen. I dont have all the produce sitting around waiting to get processed. Zucchinis get picked small, any that hide too long go straight into zucchini muffins, etc.

The only things I figure I'll have too much of are tomatoes, kale, and beans, which are staples in my wife's cooking.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,796
South Puget Sound, WA
First harvest of red hardneck garlic. The white softnecks need a few more weeks. And, our first cucumber harvest. These are Pointiente from the greenhouse and are about 12" long. Outdoor cukes are several weeks behind. We were getting warmer, but now a cold front is moving through. The good news is we finally saw a little rain. .20 in so far today.
garlic1.jpg IMG_1657.jpg
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Beans started pushing their tap root out. They were placed in soil this morning!
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,796
South Puget Sound, WA
We finally got rain yesterday. .61" total, yay! But with the rain last night the temperature plummeted to 45º, boo. Our heat lovers are not going to be happy.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
It surprises me that you're so dry. I thought you were in the rainy part of the state.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,796
South Puget Sound, WA
It surprises me that you're so dry. I thought you were in the rainy part of the state.
We're in a micro climate rain shadow. Our area gets half the rainfall that Seattle does. Average about 17" per year as compared to Seattle's 32-34" per year. So when we have a dry summer, it is really dry here. Some of our lawn is already browning out. Though it might green up again with yesterday's rainfall.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I was out watering tonight due to the heat. The zucchini doubled in size and now has flower buds. Probably males, I didn't look closely.

It looks like the sun and heat did the garden good!
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
967
Texas
We're in a micro climate rain shadow. Our area gets half the rainfall that Seattle does. Average about 17" per year as compared to Seattle's 32-34" per year. So when we have a dry summer, it is really dry here. Some of our lawn is already browning out. Though it might green up again with yesterday's rainfall.

Wow! I had no idea you got so little rain. I’m glad you got some yesterday.

Your garlic and cucumbers look great. My garlic failed this year completely. What varieties of cukes do you grow outdoors?

@EatenByLimestone, what kind of beans did you plant?

@clancey, I used fridges and freezers, too, and we have a large pantry. We don’t have any basement, so there isn’t even a cool place for me to store things in the winter, so I need to use a climate controlled environment (fridge or freezer) for most of what I keep. With a family of six and a small garden, though, there isn’t much that doesn’t get eaten up pretty quickly.

Here are a couple photos of my latest preservation efforts. Dehydrated cucumber chips with chili/lime seasoning, and frozen cucumber purée. The chips taste good, but I prefer the moisture of cucumbers. We’ll pop the cubes of purée into freezer bags to store it for a bit and blend it up with limeade or gazpacho this summer when the cucumber vines play out.

EA43B7C4-5668-4252-857C-A7505D3A993E.jpeg BDE4F3C6-590A-4934-82B8-33A70952A4E6.jpeg

My mother grew just about all our food when I was young. She has a large unfinished basement that includes a bomb shelter (Cold War construction, of course). It is a great place for storing food. She cans a lot.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I started planting beans mid April or so with 3 half packets of beans. 2 green and 1 wax. Most of them didn't make it past the cold. I ended up buying 2 more packets of green bush beans. 1 was container planted with some okra and filled in open spots where the beans were first planted. The other was just put in a starter tray this morning. Itll be a lateish start, but there's plenty of time for them to get going strong. I have 45 seeds that went into soil this morning. I imagine I'll be sick of beans by next summer.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
967
Texas
I started planting beans mid April or so with 3 half packets of beans. 2 green and 1 wax. Most of them didn't make it past the cold. I ended up buying 2 more packets of green bush beans. 1 was container planted with some okra and filled in open spots where the beans were first planted. The other was just put in a starter tray this morning. Itll be a lateish start, but there's plenty of time for them to get going strong. I have 45 seeds that went into soil this morning. I imagine I'll be sick of beans by next summer.

Is it really a late start for your area? I thought your last frost date was about Memorial Day?

I planted a packet of beans in mid-May down here last year. That was definitely too late a start for last summer. They hung on all summer but never produced a bean until temperatures cooled in the fall. Then they started producing at the same time as the ones I had planted in August. I would expect that your hottest summer temperatures don’t last long enough to delay production significantly, but who knows with weather, right?

One of my zucchini plants is definitely getting hit by borers. I’ve loved having rain recently, but it means that it’s not much use trying DE or BT or neem. I’m going to try burying more stem if it’s still alive in the morning. It was not looking good tonight.

I was just checking my eggplant. They liked our warm temperatures today. The big one is larger than my fist, and there are a bunch set and more flowers. (I did harvest two small ones last week when I was wanting to add more vegetables to a large pot of pasta sauce.)

A365AA79-8594-4603-8104-44E5D9768D8E.jpeg

These are some clusters of Sweet Millions that I’m watching for color change. It’s our earliest maturing variety, though I did bring one Thessaloniki inside last week to finish ripening on the counter. I didn’t want rain to hurt it.
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I usually take pictures of my garden from the gate, but this morning I wanted to capture a different angle. I’m standing behind the corn, but it’s in very tall pots, so it’s about two feet shorter than it appears. The nearest trellis is for sweet potatoes, but they’re just getting going now. Most of what is in the center is my tomato jungle, though I do have some pumpkins that may well take over soon. Pole beans and cucumbers are on the two edges of the shot (barely visible).

C42D50FA-C404-4D38-B2EF-93612DC837A0.jpeg
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,796
South Puget Sound, WA
My favorite overall cucumber for our area has been Sweet Success, but these new cukes just raised the bar. They are Poiniente and definitely heat lovers. I also have Paraiso growing, but outdoors with just tiny cukes starting so far. For green beans we always grow Blue Lake. I tried soaking the seeds this year to give them a jump start, but they didn't germinate great. I started some in the greenhouse and they took off like crazy so I used those starts to fill in the blanks in the earlier planting. The whole row looks good now and are about 6" high. We are harvesting broccoli and peas now along with lettuce and spinach. The Sugar Snap peas are over 6 ft tall and about to swamp us with fresh peas. No eggplants yet, but the plants are looking good and healthy. The biggest are the Ichibans at about 14" tall.

Our cherry tomatoes are about 3 weeks behind yours if we warm up more. There are a few green ones on the plants. Sweet Millions and Sungolds this year.