2024 Garden Thread!

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I am blanching and freezing kale today. Going to pull the whole row and use the space for a second planting or carrots. Trimming tomato plants as well.
 
Tomato season is over here. Last haul. We might have a few cherry ones left.
My sister's tomatoes in NC are just kicking in, but she planted in April.
 
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My sister's tomatoes in NC are just kicking in, but she planted in April.
I need to stagger plantings. But it’s hot enough I’m. It getting much fruit setting now. I did switch to drip irrigation the end may but I’m not sure if that effected plants. All the dwarfs are still alive and that can’t be said for others.

A two tomato pies were made this week. And a yellow sauce shakshouka were the most recent hits. Big fan of sauces that use the less acidic tomatoes. They were not sugary sweet so the tomato flavors were different.

We had a yellow pear cherry type that was a good yielding tomato.

 
Do any of you air dry herbs in your kitchen? I have never done it, but I have a good crop of sage and thyme this summer that I'd like to try and preserve for the off season. It sounds pretty straight forward: tied in bunch, hang from the cieling beams, make sure they have good air circulation. Any other tips? Many thank.
 
Big fan of sauces that use the less acidic tomatoes. They were not sugary sweet so the tomato flavors were different.
Likewise. It's why we grow Blue Beech tomatoes. We blend our sauces with the Blue Beech, Pomidoro Squisito as the base and then whatever we have a lot of extras of. Our sauce is roasted first, then blended down instead of the long simmer on the stove.
 
I know that fruits are grafted, but found these sprouted out when I bit into my apple the other day. It seemed too interesting to toss out. I’ll stick them out back somewhere and see. Put one in a tray and one in a small pot for now.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen that!


That apple looks awesome! At the very least you’ll get some extra pollinators for your trees!
 
Sounds perfect for pies, I prefer the more tart apples!
These weren't tart, they were bitter which is something that can't be corrected with more sugar or seasoning.
 
No telling what you’ll get from variety to variety.
If I understand correctly, the seed is a crapshoot. With a grafted tree, the rootstock determines the tree height and structure, and the graft determines the variety of fruit.

Many small dwarf trees are crab apples or some small appleish tree. If you graft a red delicious to the shoot you will have a dwarf red delicious tree. Cut it down and if a new shoot comes up from the roots it will be whatever the rootstock was.

I have a tree out back that was a red delicious before some goats got to it and ate all the bark off it and killed it. It came back as a really knotted up hardly edible apple tree.
 
I have a rootstock, M9 if I remember right, growing in my back yard. The graft died. I left it growing just incase I want to graft other trees on, lol.
 
Apple trees are propogated from cuttings. They are often cloned from the original hybrid.
"The problem with growing apples from seed is that you have no idea what type of tree will grow in your garden. As is the case with cultivars and grafted trees, the genes of one of the parents or grandparents will end up prevailing and shaping the tree and its fruits."
 
Do any of you air dry herbs in your kitchen? I have never done it, but I have a good crop of sage and thyme this summer that I'd like to try and preserve for the off season. It sounds pretty straight forward: tied in bunch, hang from the cieling beams, make sure they have good air circulation. Any other tips? Many thank.
We do it like you say but we like to tie them in a lighter weight brown paper bag. Keeps the dust off.
 
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We used to dry herbs that way but now only use the dehydrator or our oven has a very low dehydrate setting that we sometimes use for large batches. The reason is that by dehydrating we get a better looking herb. It's greener and my wife says it tastes fresher.
 
We used to dry herbs that way but now only use the dehydrator or our oven has a very low dehydrate setting that we sometimes use for large batches. The reason is that by dehydrating we get a better looking herb. It's greener and my wife says it tastes fresher.
Thanks begreen. I've ben thinking about researching dehydraters as I am concerned that we just won't get the quality by hanging; especially this summer in northern NH so far.
 
Thanks begreen. I've ben thinking about researching dehydraters as I am concerned that we just won't get the quality by hanging; especially this summer in northern NH so far.
How low can you set your oven?
 
It has a special dehydrate setting. I think about 125º? With convection it works quite well.
 
This is my self-built dehydrator. It is large enough to dry a gallon or so of mushrooms at a time, which is what I use it for the most. Dehydrating mushrooms is I think the best way to preserve them. You will notice the heat source on the bottom is 4 100 watt lightbulbs, and there is a refrigerator fan there to help move the air flow upwards. There needs to be a screened opening at the bottom and top so the moist heated air can flow in and out, carrying away the moisture. Somewhat similar to a wood solar kiln!

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How low can you set your oven?
I can go to 170* I did use the oven last year to make a batch of tomato paste that worked quite well. That past two weeks, with the swampy weather we have been having the humidity in my kitchen has been spiking to 70% when the windows are open and the AC is off so I am thinking that hanging is not going to work well.
 
Should be able to lay a box fan down on the counter, block the corners up on coffee mugs or something. The fan should be blowing down. Lay herbs on top and let the air moving across them dry them.
 
I can go to 170* I did use the oven last year to make a batch of tomato paste that worked quite well. That past two weeks, with the swampy weather we have been having the humidity in my kitchen has been spiking to 70% when the windows are open and the AC is off so I am thinking that hanging is not going to work well.
I don't think the relative humidity indoors would prevent it from drying.
Just as.wood will dry to 13 percent moisture content at 70 F and 70 percent relative humidity, herbs will dry too. And quickly so of you use a fan as suggested above.
As long as you don't reach deep into the herbs,.I don't think it'll go moldy when using a fan

Wood:
 
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Not sure what autocorrect did there.
As long as you don't reach the dew point the herbs will be fine.