Garden Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

Anyone want some zucchini? Last year we didn't get many so this year is payback I guess. Eating lots of tomatoes, and the beans and peaches are almost ready. The cucumbers are still recovering from Mr. Groundhog.

@ffj--My groundhog is gone along with everyone else who was hanging out in my yard. The yard was always full when I went out to have coffee -- rabbits, birds, and even a deer who would come to eat any fruit that had fallen off the trees. They didn't mind me sitting there and would come right up to me (including the deer). The kids said I looked like an old hungover snow white talking to the critters while I had my coffee every morning. But then the neighbor behind us cut all their trees down last week :evil: and I guess a week of chain saws, front loaders and chippers scared everything off. The neighbor then had the nerve to yoo-hoo me and ask 'when' I was going to rip off the vines that are growing on my fence. Uh ... never? (especially now that I have no privacy) Twice I've caught her pulling at it, but when I went out she scurried off. :roll:

Time to start blasting Marylin Manson while I work in the garden.

cmonkey
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Re: Garden Log

Post by cmonkey »

Does anyone know if late planting winter squash (i.e. now) will help avoid squash bugs? This is the one pest I just can't get a handle on. I got rid of the borers by keeping things covered until after July 4th, but the squash bugs just crawl through the netting.

I just ripped out my entire winter squash bed today along with the mulch. There were hundreds of squash bugs laying thousands of eggs (not exaggerating). Not dealing with that. I'm going to replant and have them grow vertically and see if I have issues.

halfmoon
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Re: Garden Log

Post by halfmoon »

@jennypenny, you need something with great big thorns on that fence! How about blackberries? :twisted: We're too far-flung to have neighbors from hell, but friends of ours in Portland had a neighbor who kept digging up their flower bulbs and replanting them in her own yard. Still: I'd prefer that to someone who cut all their trees down.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

The butterfly bushes are blooming. I hope that encourages the wildlife to return to the yard.

We did the square foot thing with the tomatoes. I don't like it -- too hard to harvest -- but the tomatoes seem happy with it. They've grown as tall as everything else around here ...

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Here are the zucchini. IIRC, these are from the last of the cmonkey seeds we bought from him two years ago. VERY prolific. All we did was stick the seeds in the ground. You can tell from the picture that I haven't even weeded the bed. :lol:

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George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one »

I could swear strawberries here should already be done, but I picked another couple pints today and there are still green ones set on. These are june-bearing, not everbearing plants! Blueberries & greenhouse tomatoes seem to be on a normal-for-us schedule and expect them to start ripening in a week or two. Onions are nicely adding size & I expect we'll have monsters like last year. As expected, peas are going strong and my daily grazing no longer is enough to stem the tide of Oregon giant peapods... guess it's time to make a stir-fry.

Over in the espalier apple orchard, there's been a minimal return of last year's infestation. As soon as I spot an affected leaf, I nip it off and toss it in the trash. One of the Pink Lady trees seems to be fighting something that turns leaves a mottled black and it doesn't appear to be caused by bugs; gratefully its not showing on the other trees.

vexed87
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Re: Garden Log

Post by vexed87 »

Well, we moved in to our new place over the spring, we now have abundant strawberries, cherries and gooseberries courtesy of the previous resident, but the gooseberry bush foliage is being decimated by sawfly. I wonder if it's not very healthy? I think we have some Diatomaceous Earth in the garage, so hopefully I can get that under control.

We weeded and cut back overgrown bushes over the weekend, now I'm just deciding what to do with the unloved lawn, I think we might keep it, but extend the beds into the lawn a few more yards so there's more space for veggies and trees at the perimeter fence and less lawn to cut. I have never cared for a lawn before, it needs a lot of work,it's bumpy, patchy, badly draining in parts and there's huge patches of moss. It also needs de-thatching quite badly. Not sure how long I will be bothered with it given that lawn isn't popular in the permaculture crowd. I'm not feeling inspired, but wouldn't mind a small patch to lie down on on a nice day. DW want's to keep it, and I'm not yet sure what to do with all that otherwise empty space...

We have to maintain the front lawn as a minimum thanks to the street zoning. Definitely considering adding more decorative plants there though so there's more space for veggies in the back and so the pollinators get fed. I'm going to have to get hold of a compost bin, because my traditional simple pile seems to be raided by wildlife constantly and 3 months worth of diligent veg clippings has amounted to nothing but dried out lawn trimmings!

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

It's amazing how big zucchini can get in only a week ...

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We're eating it almost daily. I'll make several batches of zucchini bread and freeze them this week. I'm also quartering and slicing them to freeze. I freeze them on a baking sheet first (so no veggie snowballs) and then I put them into old containers in the freezer. I often slice onions and freeze them along with the zucchini. One year I was really organized and froze them together in meal-sized batches and included a few pats of butter and some herbs so all I had to do was toss them into a pan or small crock pot.

Our peaches and blueberries are ready. I'll pick them later in the week when I have time to freeze some and make other things with them. I'll probably make ice cream with some of the peaches. If I have enough blueberries, I'll make muffins and freeze them.

Most of this stuff is usually gone by Christmas. I'll only have 1 kid home soon so maybe it will last a little longer this year.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one »

So I hadn't been in the garden in the past few days due to travels & fishing & then laziness (I was a total blob on Sunday)... because nothing had been picked recently, that results in me sitting for a half hour eating peas after watering, contemplating the priority of activity in the garden on yet another perfect weather day and listening to the bluejays argue. Decided the volunteer potatoes needed to come out so I could use the space for fall crops. An hour later, I had collected 20 lbs of them!

You can still smell strawberries even though they're pretty much done now. Dear wife made blueberry crisp this morning, but it looks like we still have a couple gallons of berries in the freezer.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

After a lot of baking and taste testing, we've decided this is the best recipe for zucchini bread. It has nutmeg in it which gives it a slight gingerbread taste. Tomorrow we're going to try making her zucchini chowder. I'll swap out the evaporated milk with regular milk and corn starch.

Maybe I should post these in Seppia's recipe thread instead?

The butterflies have finally arrived. I was starting to get nervous that we wouldn't see them this year. We set out some flat rocks near the butterfly bushes and put out some fruit to feed them. Tomorrow we'll set up something they can use as a water source nearby.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

This is what happens when your tomato plants are too close together ... they look like you're storing nuclear waste in your backyard.

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George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one »

Grrr, no ripe tomatoes in the greenhouse yet this year. Hot spell coming this week might ripen the tomatoes, but will likely finish off the peas.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one »

Blueberries are slow to ripen this year, so we've only frozen a gallon so far. Tomatoes have only yielded only 4 ripe ones so far. All this despite perfect gorgeous weather that's not cooking plants in the greenhouse. The tomato plants are chock-full of green ones, tallest plant is about 8' tall now.

On the other hand, I have a very nice watermelon on the VERY sprawling watermelon plant. That plant has just about covered the greenhouse floor!

Just about time to pluck some beets.

FBeyer
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Re: Garden Log

Post by FBeyer »

Broccoli patch looks like a prop from Fallout; New Vegas. Fuck slugs.
Cilantro looks like bamboo sprouting dill.
Carrots look like octopi rather than single-root carrots.

Tell me about a garden that looks like you're storing nuclear waste in it...

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

The garden was completely neglected for 3 weeks while we traveled and got 2 of our kids off to college. We've been trying to clear the weeds as best we can and salvage anything edible. It's so overgrown, it feels more like foraging than gardening. There's not much left. The season is going to end earlier than usual for us. Today I'm planting tons of greens and herbs in our sunroom/family room that also serves as our greenhouse (it's a combo room with a glass roof that also holds my treadmill, exercise bike, and a portable clothes line ... I know, sounds lovely, right? ;) ).

This morning's pickings ...

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I pulled a ham out of the freezer so DH and DS will be eating ham and green beans for the foreseeable future. I started a low carb/vegetarian diet which is why I'm eager to get the greens going.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

My son got the job of cooking the string beans for dinner, only I forgot to mention they were 'string' beans and he didn't take them out before he cooked them. We had to eat them like peel and eat shrimp.

Tomorrow I'm making cobbler with our apples. I don't know how people go their whole lives only shopping in grocery stores or eating prepared foods. I find growing/picking/cooking food so satisfying, and not because I'm a good gardener or cook anything particularly tasty but because it feels ... I dunno ... like how it's supposed to be, I guess.

Oh, and this thing has invaded our neighborhood. They only goes after cicadas, but they're digging giant holes in everyone's lawns. And they are Stephen-King-novel freaky.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one »

Finally, and I mean finally(!), the avalanche of ripe tomatoes has begun!

enigmaT120
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Re: Garden Log

Post by enigmaT120 »

George won't have time to post more any time soon....

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

If you haven't tried micro greens, they are a great introduction to indoor gardening and gardening in general. I'd say they are equivalent to growing sprouts in the amount of food they produce, only much easier. If you grow enough you can make salads out of them. They come in mild and spicy mixes as well as singles (like mustard seed). I like mixing the mild and spicy. I could see combining the mild with a pack of mustard or arugula micro greens if you really like those flavors. You could also combine them with a red or purple variety to add some color. I use them to enhance salads and other dishes (again, just like sprouts).

I threw together the first batch and stuck them in the sunroom. This time of year it's a little too hot and sunny, so they got kind of leggy. This is the first batch at 3 weeks growth ...

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It was cooler by the time I did the second batch. I also made sure they got a little shade in the afternoon. They look much better (at 2 weeks growth) ...

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You can see how I grow them from the picture. I punch holes in the top tray before filling it with dirt. I keep it in a second tray and always water from the bottom by filling the second tray with 1/4" of water and replacing the top tray. The only exception is when I mist the seeds after they are first planted until they sprout (2-3 days). When it's cold, I use a heat mat or move them into a warmer room at night.

They are cut-and-come-again plants like lots of other greens. So easy.


I buy mixes from Johnny's and High Mowing. HM is cheaper but Johnny's mix is a little nicer/more attractive. Johnny's has more varieties if you really get into growing them. I'm cheap, though, and buy most of mine from HM.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one »

Onion harvest last week: 20 lbs Walla Walla and 12 lbs Redwing. Something (raccoon? coyote? bobcat?), at the end of the onion row, went after a mole or mouse, digging down into the tunnel like a dog.

Finished off the beets; should have planted more.

Carrots are sizing up nicely, will begin light harvests.

Tomatoes have not yet forced me to pull the dehydrator out of storage. Maybe next week?

Sweet peppers (green, red, & yellow) are possibly going to break even this year.

One watermelon on the vine filling the greenhouse is very close to being ripe... I consider that a total success since it was a volunteer plant from last year's experiment!

Garlic... I must remember to order garlic because I forgot last year!

enigmaT120
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Re: Garden Log

Post by enigmaT120 »

Have you ever tried drying cherry tomatoes? One bush is putting out way more than I can eat. But it's nice trying.

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