2021 Garden Thread

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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
I've got my winter garden started, traditionally LaborDay around here. I planted my Collards a couple weeks before LaborDay (to see if I can get a harvest a little earlier). Seems like I used to have fresh greens with our Thanksgiving dinner several seasons ago but not lately.

We have been dumped on with the rains here. And like mostly, it's 'hurricane rains' with inches at a time. Last couple, were like 4" in 40 minutes type stuff, then none for a time. It's hard to farm around here.
Mmm. I love collards, but I’ve never grown them. I remember coming home from my first semester of college and getting to request the meal: chili, cornbread, and collard greens.

I have some Kale started now as well as a few other brassicas. They’re on my deck under a table just getting used to outside. Just today it has finally cooled off here. A beautiful start to fall in our area.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
We just ate our first garden cantaloupe of the season. Hales Best. Oh my goodness was it ever good! Full sized and extra sweet.

Yum. Home-grown cantaloupe is the only type to have.

We harvested a couple of watermelons this week and ate the smaller one the other night. It was quite tasty.

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I’ve dried a couple batches of fish peppers when I’ve had my dehydrator running for tomatoes, and I ground them to a powder recently. I’ve used it in guacamole, cheese sauce, and an orange chicken crock pot meal for which I also needed to harvest some ginger. That was a root I pulled this afternoon from the planter on the deck. Now that it’s getting cool, I‘ll have to give thought to harvesting or trying to overwinter. I have a large pot and larger planter that are pretty full of sprouts.
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We are trying for a round of potatoes in the fall. We planted some small sprouted potatoes from the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. A few have popped up. I think they’ll like the cool down we’re having this week.
 

RockyMtnGriz

Burning Hunk
Apr 19, 2019
123
SW Montana
Watermelon radishes are the hit this year. Huge and strange, but delicious!
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,628
South Puget Sound, WA
Cool, I've seen them in the catalogs but haven't tried them. Do they taste like radishes, mild or spicy?
 

RockyMtnGriz

Burning Hunk
Apr 19, 2019
123
SW Montana
They taste just like a radish (which they are), and have a bright pink inside The ones I have grown are quite mild, milder than the cherry ones that have seen less warmth, though they might be stronger if grown in a warmer climate, since they take a lot longer to grow than the cherry type. I'm still harvesting them from my 4th of July (first frost free) sowing.

I'm still figuring out what works where in the garden. The ones I planted where they got some afternoon shade have done the best, but I can't plant until July when the sun is intense. Full sun might work if you could grow them in the spring/fall.

I'm thinking maybe radishes are easier if you can grow them outside of summer. Last year, the whole row of watermelon radishes I planted immediately bolted, except for one small radish I got to eat. The cherry ones I planted at the same time did fine. This year, I staggered planting watermelon, and cherry radishes over about a month, the watermelons pretty much behaved, while some of the cherry sowings nearly all bolted, and yet some did fine. There seems to be a time when a warm day or two will set them off, especially without afternoon shade.

It all worked out, I guess, because last year I got almost a lifetime supply of watermelon seeds, and this year I'm going to have a lifetime supply of cherry radish seeds! The seed pods aren't bad eating either.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,736
Colorado
So far my plant has delivered about 148 tomato's plus there are about 52 more ones on the same plant--these are green different sizes...This plant has been productive I think and is this amount normal? I went to wiki and got this address for tomato's.. How are your veg..doing?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
So far my plant has delivered about 148 tomato's plus there are about 52 more ones on the same plant--these are green different sizes...This plant has been productive I think and is this amount normal? I went to wiki and got this address for tomato's.. How are your veg..doing?

Wow, Mrs. Clancey, when you undertake a new task, you really do it! Good job on your tomatoes. When the weather looks like it will finally get cold, bring those green tomatoes inside. They may well ripen on you after a couple of weeks. We harvested a bunch of green tomatoes and peppers last year on Thanksgiving day before a freeze, and I think we had some tomatoes and peppers around Christmas.

I’ve cut down a number of tomato plants, and there are others that I probably should pull out, but I haven’t made the time to do it, and they’re still producing. Some of my plants that were really overgrown and not as healthy as I’d like, I trimmed way back, and they’ve grown up again.

This was my (German) Orange Strawberry tomato plant that had grown so much that the trellis had fallen over, and the foliage was outside the garden fence. I cut it down to two stalks just a couple of feet high, and now it’s over the seven-foot trellis again with several green fruits. I sure hope they have time to mature.
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My cucumbers are all gone from this bed, but the row of peppers are doing well. I just harvested some red banana peppers, but there are a lot more still to come.
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I’m also trying tomatillos for the first time this fall. I had planted one in each of the large pots, but one of them got eaten up just at the time the other was ready to bloom. I had to replant because I think tomatillos need cross pollination, and finally the younger plants are blooming, and there are husks forming on the largest plant. I hope that means it’s setting fruit.
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We are also trying for some fall potatoes this year. I planted two beds of small store potatoes that I had sprouted, and they are slowly coming up. This corner is the farthest along. The back row of foliage is the cowpeas that are still growing on trellises. The potatoes have the middle and front on the bed.

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I still have sweet potatoes that are waiting for harvest, and I’ve transplanted some starts of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, napa cabbage, artichokes, and rhubarb. Most of it looks good, though I am seeing evidence of chewing on some brassicas, and some of the rhubarb looks like it wants it to cool off. We may have a chance for some rain later this week. It’s been pretty dry.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,736
Colorado
You have worked hard and have enough of different plants to feed nations....and for me I think it is just beginners luck here. My carpenter was not optimistic about this tomato plant because it was completely out of the pot with no dirt on the roots when I had the accident plus he thought there are no bee's around to help pollinate the thing---he has been very surprise to say the least and its still going "only green for the moment"..They taste really good too and very juicy as well..Also this soil might be good too for it has never been used for anything except grass maybe that has something to do with it....Was getting a little worried about you because of no contact but I see you are a working little beaver...thanks for the post..clancey
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
Yes, just busy around here. The gardening thread trails off more at this time of year as the stove thread begins to pick up. We’re still in air conditioning weather down here, though the temperatures are much more moderate than the summer.

We may be in for some rain from Tropical Storm Pamela later this evening. I’ve been busy outside in preparation. Yesterday I harvested a bunch of hot banana peppers and shishito peppers to lighten the plants. This morning I picked all sorts of blushing tomatoes and brought them in to finish ripening inside.

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I also noticed that some of my ginger may be getting ready to bloom. I don’t think they have showy flowers on the edible variety, but it’s interesting to me nonetheless. It has been fun to have success with my planting.
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,736
Colorado
They look wonderful and have you checked into the price of ginger at the store--maybe you could sell ginger and make a profit...Ginger is good for people and in the wintertime it gives one a warming feeling...lol Anything to make a buck here...I am worried about my tomato's because it is getting really cold at night time and today the wind was so so bad and my front gates flew open..The large plant has about 36 more tomato's on it and only one is almost nice and red for the rest are green--large some of them but green and I have been waiting for them to turn red maybe if it freezes they will all die...How does one do this fried tomato stuff and can you freeze it?..I am going to give my tomato's more time but the leaves look turned up on the ends and dry looking and I have been watering them and last night threw a plastic table cloth over them...Hope we get some warmer weather with lots of sun so that i can get these pretty things red..clancey...Your a just so talented with your plants so nice to read about as well...Do you have a simple way to cook fried tomato's and do I bread them with maybe some eggs? Can I freeze them after I fry them? clancey
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
If your temperatures are heading toward the 30’s, go ahead and harvest the tomatoes. The ones that are full-sized may well ripen to red in warmer temperatures indoors. Just store them in a single layer in a cardboard box or something.

If they really stay green, you can bread and freeze them and fry them up at your leisure. Here’s a good recipe. It calls for gluten-free flour, but you can just use regular flour if you don’t need to be gluten free.

 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,628
South Puget Sound, WA
We are having record low temps for October and this is on a weekly basis as well as daily. Our garden is shutting down, with only the cold tolerant plants remaining. Lemon trees have been moved into the greenhouse. Time to plant garlic soon.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
We are having record low temps for October and this is on a weekly basis as well as daily. Our garden is shutting down, with only the cold tolerant plants remaining. Lemon trees have been moved into the greenhouse. Time to plant garlic soon.

Begreen, are you expecting any moisture from the storms headed to the Pacific Northwest?

We are definitely having cooler (but not cold) nights, and my surviving heat lovers (tomatoes, peppers, and okra) are slowing down. I’m still getting harvests here and there, though. I just froze a bunch of cherry tomatoes and put a few larger ones through the food mill for sauce.

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I’m thinking that this weekend I’ll try to work some cottonseed meal into the empty parts of beds where I’ll want to plant garlic in a couple of weeks. I may have to pull out a few tomato plants to make room, but I can probably work around them.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,628
South Puget Sound, WA
Begreen, are you expecting any moisture from the storms headed to the Pacific Northwest?
Yes, we are making up for lost moisture, though too late for some plants. This was a hard summer on them.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Trying something new this winter. I just pinched 3 suckers off a tomato plant, dipped them in hormone, and stuck them in my aloe Vera pot. Maybe I'll be able to start all my plants from suckers this spring.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
Yes, we are making up for lost moisture, though too late for some plants. This was a hard summer on them.
How much have you gotten? Is any of the new round headed your way, or is that mostly south of you?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
Trying something new this winter. I just pinched 3 suckers off a tomato plant, dipped them in hormone, and stuck them in my aloe Vera pot. Maybe I'll be able to start all my plants from suckers this spring.

I’ve never tried keeping a tomato going all winter, but I’ve definitely enjoyed creating new plants from suckers. In the absence of foliar diseases, I think that sounds like a great way to get a jump start on your season. What variety is the tomato plant?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,628
South Puget Sound, WA
How much have you gotten? Is any of the new round headed your way, or is that mostly south of you?
Rain started mid Sept for a 2.8" total. well above normal. About .61" today and almost 3" for the month so far.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I’ve never tried keeping a tomato going all winter, but I’ve definitely enjoyed creating new plants from suckers. In the absence of foliar diseases, I think that sounds like a great way to get a jump start on your season. What variety is the tomato plant?
San Marzano. The prospect of being able to start in March with plantlets is intriguing. If the experiment works, future years could have suckers planned to give ripe tomatoes a month or so after it gets warm enough to plant them.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,736
Colorado
I took out my tomato plant today and kind of made me sad..I gave the next door neighbors 28 green tomato's and I cooked up about twenty of them with breading and fried them and been eating them for three days..So many that did not turn red but it was fun in the summer to watch this plant take off...Winter is approaching and now for the serious work of thinking about what type of plant to grow next year. lol clancey
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
San Marzano. The prospect of being able to start in March with plantlets is intriguing. If the experiment works, future years could have suckers planned to give ripe tomatoes a month or so after it gets warm enough to plant them.

I have a type of tomato called Marzano Fire that I’m trying for the first time this fall. I’m hoping it will ripen even though we’re cooling off a bit at night, but the taste might not be as good as it would be if spring planted. No freezes in the forecast for quite a while, though. I want to increase my paste tomatoes next year.

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I harvested our first fall greens the other day in anticipation of some storms and wind moving through (and as a way of removing lots of cabbage looper eggs). It’s young kale and some ”chijimisai” which I received as a free seed packet from Baker Creek. It’s apparently a cross between Komatsuna and Tatsoi, neither of which I have had. The taste reminded me of Napa a bit. I sautéed both the kale and the chijimisai and had the kids taste test. Three of four preferred the kale, but all liked both. We just didn’t have enough, so I need to get some more growth. Not all my chijimisai survived transplanting (it may have been too hot in the metal planter), so I may start some more.
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I also harvested the last of our sweet potatoes. This variety didn’t bulk up as well for me as my others did, but we’ll still get some good meals out of these once they’ve cured.
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@clancey, you did a great job with your tomato. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to get that many tomatoes off of anything that isn’t a cherry variety. Congratulations for giving it a try and for succeeding so well!
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,736
Colorado
Thank you and it was fun really especially to check on them everyday and give the squirrel a dirty look --lol...That squirrel did not seem to like them a whole lot--lol...What do I plant for next year and do you have any ideas just a few things that will be easy..People have called me and told me that they were the best tomato's and they could cut them with a knife and so juicy and by the way thank you for that old suggestion of concrete floor insulation and my stove man said that was a wonderful idea and he will share with people and I shared the name of this website with him too..clancey
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Clancy, grow what you like to eat!

Easy favorites for my family grown from seed are zucchini, beans, okra and kale. I buy broccoli plantlets from the nursery. I like the broccoli leaves more than the heads that you buy from the store!

The main thing is you grow what you like to eat. Otherwise it looks pretty growing, but never gets harvested.