Garden Log

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

Post by mooretrees »

Question for all you experienced gardeners: do people start their winter veggies by direct seed or do they start them in seed trays? I don't know why I'm so hung up on this question, but I really want my winter veggies to do well. I've got a ton of seed and only had a so-so time starting some veggies early this year.

Thinking of building some more raised beds in the backyard just for the winter veggies. Will quickly run out of room with existing beds in front yard with how much I'm hoping to plant.

ertyu
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Re: Garden Log

Post by ertyu »

my grandmother always did a seed tray and then replanted, but I never knew the reason why she didn't just plant seeds directly. I guess a seed tray allowed her to start the plants earlier in the year, at home where it's nice and warm?

jacob
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

One of the rabbits multiplied like a rabbit. It is being trailed around the garden by one baby bunny (maybe the rest died? or maybe they take turns?) that looks maybe two weeks old. We still haven't figured out where the nest is although we have three potential sites. Not gonna go rooting though them though. Also, we have 10x the number of fire flies lighting up in the evenings relative to the neighboring lawn-only backyards. Glad to see some insects again!

Harvest so far: 34.5 lbs (again only edible parts) from 12 different kinds.

reepicheep
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Re: Garden Log

Post by reepicheep »

Could eat rabbit?

Frita
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Frita »

The heavy June snows flattened my garlic, slowed the chive and raspberry growth, but the rhubarb plants are giant. It reminds me of “Jamberry.” https://www.amazon.com/Jamberry-Bruce-D ... 0694006513 Each day I harvest and make some other rhubarb goodie.

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Lemur
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Lemur »

First pumpkin I've ever grown.

Truly a survival crop...just 1 seed. Most pumpkins might have anywhere from 250-300 seeds. One could take 2 pumpkins and have enough seeds to theoretically plant enough to survive for a while....

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George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one »

Raspberries are at peak harvest, which is good because now the blueberries are ripening. Continuing to graze on peas and harvest a tomato or two. Summer finally hit last week... guess I need to water tomorrow.

jacob
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

Cumulative 2020 harvest so far: 95.2 lbs / 19 different vegetables.

As usual, I'm only counting edible parts, but we're learning that lots of parts are edible, e.g. turnip greens, which we used to just throw away.

mooretrees
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Re: Garden Log

Post by mooretrees »

Beans are exploding! Going to pick now and decide between canning them or freezing, I'm leaning towards canning. Onions and beets are getting bigger, but need more time. I hope to get wood for two raised beds cut this weekend. Looking at my space for fall/winter crops I've decided to start some seed in the beds and some in trays until the beans are finished and I can put more plants there. I haven't planned it out completely, but likely I'll do kale and broccoli in the seed trays and a rapini broccoli in the beds. Our first frost date is traditionally around Sept 20, so my planting time for the hardy stuff is approaching.

@Jacob, 19 vegetables! That's great. I'm much less than that, but maybe by spring I'll catch up? Hardy crops going in soon: tatsoi, couple types of kale, two broccoli, mesclun, endive, parsnips, more beets, arugula and more carrots. I much prefer winter crops so I hope I do it right.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny »

DH was out mowing the lawn this weekend and bumped the lawn mower into the side of one of the raised beds. Out of a small hole came a shit ton of wasps and attacked him. I've never heard him screech like that. He ran into the garage and we stripped him down and killed the ones that came in with him. He jumped into the shower hoping the cold water would help but it was clear after a few minutes that his body couldn't handle all of the stings (15-20). He's not allergic to wasps or anything but in the 10 minutes it took to drive to the ER his entire body was covered in a nasty rash and he was so swollen he couldn't hear anything (doc said his inner ears had swollen shut). Anyway, after a few hours he was much better and able to come home (IV steroids are a beautiful thing).

I called an exterminator to deal with it. He said that it's a type of yellow jacket that must have blown in with TS Isaias because he's seen a ton of them over the last two weeks. The ER nurse confirmed the problem and said DH was the second person they'd treated that morning alone. They make their nest underground so you can't see that you have a problem or how big it is. The nest was HUGE -- it was underneath most of the bed. Given the size, the exterminator estimated it had @3000 wasps.:shock:

The bed with the nest and the one next to it were dismantled and sprayed. He suggested harvesting what we could and pulling the rest of our plants since he said they'll keep looking for someplace nearby to nest. He also warned us of some 'pretty' fly that's been attacking all of the fruit trees in the area since the storm and to cull ours if the flies show up.

Gardening is fun.

Alphaville
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Alphaville »

:shock: :shock: :shock:

i was looking at lemur’s pumpkins thinking wow those look great and then i read WASP ATTACK

wow, so sorry about this, but glad also that it wasn’t worse. YIKES.

jacob
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

Cumulative 2020 harvest so far: 193.9 lbs / 21 different vegetables. That was almost 100# for August alone.

As usual, I'm only weighing edible parts after the roots/leaves have been cut off. Third raised/trench has been started. Also, I'm on the [craigslist] hunt for a levelhead rake. Those were [the most] common when I grew up, but now it's all gardening rakes.

We're not sure whether the bunny is still around. However, we have one of these living in the tomato plants now https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argiope_aurantia

Alphaville
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:28 am

We're not sure whether the bunny is still around. However, we have one of these living in the tomato plants now https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argiope_aurantia
good. keep plant predators at bay.

did you decide on a cover crop yet? curious about the result of that discussion.

jacob
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

Russian kale (it survives our winters and regrows in April) and otherwise just covering the beds with leaves holding them down with twigs, etc. Cover crops didn't seem to offer a significant advantage of that system when work is mostly done by hand anyway.

sky
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Re: Garden Log

Post by sky »

Can you give us more detail on how much of which variety?

jacob
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

@sky - I can give you a ton of detail since I record all harvests by month and type in a spreadsheet. I was planning on posting the whole thing after the beds have all been shut down. However, currently zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes are 75% of the harvest by weight. It always seem to be a bumper crop thing with us. Last year, the winners were tomatoes, horseradish leaves(*), cucumber, and swisschard for 60% of the harvest. I don't have records of previous years. I figure the bigger the garden, the higher the chance of multiple bumper crops.

(*) Perennial to the point of being invasive. The leaves come up early but are toxic when raw. They can be made edible (we're not dead yet) if and only if they're boiled until soft. This supposedly removes or neutralizes the toxin (cyano-something) so throw out the water. After boiling, I usually fry them with onions and add black pepper. Works as an input for tortillas and can substitute for e.g. meat, beans, and/or rice. Proceed at your own risk :)

sky
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Re: Garden Log

Post by sky »

Thanks. I am trying to decide if it is worth it to fence in my garden area and cover the plants with insect screen next year. We have built a beautiful garden, but it has attracted nature to it and nature has a feast on anything we consider edible. I may just stick to flowers next year.

jacob
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

@sky - Our strategy is mostly to try to outgrow nature. That said, some areas are fenced in (rabbits, no deer) and we do kill squash bugs. Other insects get to live. Otherwise, the main problem at this level of production (just passed 200#) is keeping up with harvesting so nothing goes to waste. I think losses from that exceed our animal pressure. This means being out there every day checking. It also means that harvests determine what's for dinner. For example, I have to figure out what to do with 7lbs of tomatoes within a few days. DW is WFH due to CV, so she goes consistently now that she has the time/surplus (instead of commuting) and she enjoys it. I don't and mainly serve as "heavy equipment" during the beginning and end of growing.

Timewise, I also consider the trade-off of what else would take up our backyard. Most people here just have a lawn they run a motor clipper over once a week after inspiring/shaming each other. We inherited an overgrown inedible high-maintenance garden with a very uneven lawn that's hellish to mow with a push mower. Part of the motivation is also to avoid having to deal with that by turning everything into growing beds. A "normal person" (around here) would have rented a bobcat to level everything and rolled out some sod.

So far I've resisted cheap crops like potatoes and onions, but next year I think ambitions are higher. I'm now looking at actually feeding ourselves for a good portion of the year. First, to see if it's possible. Second, because food is our biggest non-fixed cost.

Alphaville
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Alphaville »

potato is fairly easy to grow and totally doable but it is demanding on nutrients, so you’ll have to fertilize accordingly or plant after a legume rotation (crop rotation essential to avoid plagues). you can even grow them in a barrel or wire enclosure.

storage is a little tougher unless you have the right root cellar (and keep away from onions). i don’t know how to make potatoes last all winter. andean peoples solved this by freeze-drying the things which basically turns them into a “grain”. see: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuño

a different type of dehydration might be an option: i keep boxes of dehydrated “hash browns” in my pantry, but don’t know what process they require. i see EDIT:SODIUM BISULFITE as a sole preservative which i think is just to preserve color.

basuragomi
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Re: Garden Log

Post by basuragomi »

Potatoes can be canned using a pressure canner. Never did it myself though.

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