Garden Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
guitarplayer
Posts: 635
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Garden Log

Post by guitarplayer »

Do you grow potatoes and broadbeans? I love them, they are so simple to grow and produce plenty. Read somewhere that they are not the best value for money in terms of how much they cost in a shop, but they give me such a morale boost.

mooretrees
Posts: 625
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by mooretrees »

Been harvesting a few small new potatoes for dinner every few nights. Each seed potato I planted has only produced two or three small potatoes, so maybe next time I'll plant the whole potato and not quarter it.

My bush beans are fantastic again. Small and heavy producers of crisp delicious tasting beans. I've pickled and canned 11 pints and 7 quarts of them so far with another picking happening this week. They're good for two harvests and then I pull them. Have started putting in beets for fall and winter. A friend has three large hoop houses and said I could help plant them with winter greens if I wanted. Last year they ate from the hoop houses all winter. I'm still going to plant a few beds with kale and carrots at the house so we can just pop out to the garden as we want.

Polycultural bed planting has been fun and I think sorta a success. The lettuce bolted, but it's going to feed the meat rabbits so not a waste at all, and it is fun to have forgotten what I planted and then root around and find a purple carrot! I think my winter squash hybridized as it doesn't look like either of the squash I planted. I hope it tastes good because we've got a few decent sized ones growing.

@Jennypenny I totally hear you about the food processing is a chore. I keep meaning to can beets or beans in one day but then realize I don't have time and do it over several days. And if I can drag someone into help then all the better.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 14312
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

August harvest update (lbs):
2021: 188.03
2020: 96.62
2019: 17.67

The running 2021 total has now exceeded 2020's total of 339lbs. Also up to 43 different plants.
The freezer is now full and despite DW canning as much as possible, we have to get another freezer and build a RAID array :-P

Salathor
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:49 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Garden Log

Post by Salathor »

jacob wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:30 am
August harvest update (lbs):
2021: 188.03
2020: 96.62
2019: 17.67

The running 2021 total has now exceeded 2020's total of 339lbs. Also up to 43 different plants.
The freezer is now full and despite DW canning as much as possible, we have to get another freezer and build a RAID array :-P
What produces the bulk of the mass/calories of your yield? 339# sounds pretty good for a backyard plot!

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 14312
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

Top 3 in mass is zucchinis, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

This year (and previous years) we have optimized for $$$.
Next year we'll aim for calories.

Salathor
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:49 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Garden Log

Post by Salathor »

Well, I'm with you in going to $$$ rather than calories from a functional perspective. Grains are cheap, and take a lot of land to grow! More efficient to buy those and then grow the (still necessary) nutrient crops. I think our goal is to eventually be able to produce all of our own fruits and veggies (with canning/preservation for off season) and eggs/meat, but I don't see myself ever becoming calorie self-sufficient.

The thing about zuccs is they're so easy to grow, so expensive at the store, and can be good in almost any dish.

guitarplayer
Posts: 635
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Garden Log

Post by guitarplayer »

Some random harvest to please the eye.

Image

This season we planted two varieties of carrots, on the left there is dolciva and on the right charisma (I think).

Image

We have many sunflowers for enjoyment and seeds.

Image

There were lots of poppies this year, some of which we planted and some grew as weed. We researched edibility and turned out that their seeds were edible, so harvested some of the seeds and made a Moroccan style potatoes with poppy seeds. Growing poppies is so easy, they are beautiful also. Has anyone here considered growing poppies to diversify sources of protein? I know it is not the first thing that would spring to mind, but we got quite a lot of seeds from perhaps a dozen pods.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 8015
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

You will definitely fail a drug test if you eat enough poppy seeds to provide measurable share of daily protein requirements!

guitarplayer
Posts: 635
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Garden Log

Post by guitarplayer »

I don't know, in some cuisines poppy seeds are used quite generously, for example this , this or this.

From our casual morrocan poppy seed potatoes experiment, I estimate we had about 2.3g of protein each from poppy seeds alone.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 8015
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Mmmmm, Polish poppy seed pastry. I've definitely consumed fairly large quantities of that! Still, there are plenty of edible, generally health-promoting foods that are toxic if eaten in very large quantities and/or exclusively. For instance, raw greens that are high in oxalic acid or seeds and nuts that contain arsenic or tannins. It took the genius female gardeners of South America a very long time to breed many familiar garden crops into an edible form, and it is still possible to back breed these crops to forms that are toxic without careful processing. For instance, factory fed cows suffer digestive system inflammation (why they are often given pharmaceuticals) from field corn diet, and so will a human.

SavingWithBabies
Posts: 831
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm
Location: Midwest, USA

Re: Garden Log

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Do you let some of your crop go to seed and harvest the seeds for planting next year? We switched spots at our community garden to a bigger one and the prior person abandoned their plot towards the end of the season. We took some of the rotten tomatoes and planted the seeds in soil and grew some tomato plants. The beans were even easier (just popping open the seed pods). If I'm recalling correctly, the plants sat over the winter and we did this early spring although it might have been during the winter (I'll ask my wife). Then there were some other plants that came back up but with the second year growth, they went to seed so we had onions come up with big tall shafts that have flowers (and I'm assuming seeds). We planted some Daikon this year and oddly some of it flowered and went to seed and produced a bean-like pods that we'll try planting too.

I thought about it today while watering the garden. To people who don't do this, it probably looks like we are neglectful/lazy gardeners. For example, we have some green beans that went too far so I left them on the vine to harvest for seeds later. But it's really fun to do. I'm not sure how to do some of the veggies so have to go look that up (like cucumbers -- I know where the seeds are but not sure how to harvest/preserve them to plant again).

User avatar
TheWanderingScholar
Posts: 649
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:04 am

Re: Garden Log

Post by TheWanderingScholar »

SavingWithBabies wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:58 pm
Do you let some of your crop go to seed and harvest the seeds for planting next year? We switched spots at our community garden to a bigger one and the prior person abandoned their plot towards the end of the season. We took some of the rotten tomatoes and planted the seeds in soil and grew some tomato plants. The beans were even easier (just popping open the seed pods). If I'm recalling correctly, the plants sat over the winter and we did this early spring although it might have been during the winter (I'll ask my wife). Then there were some other plants that came back up but with the second year growth, they went to seed so we had onions come up with big tall shafts that have flowers (and I'm assuming seeds). We planted some Daikon this year and oddly some of it flowered and went to seed and produced a bean-like pods that we'll try planting too.

I thought about it today while watering the garden. To people who don't do this, it probably looks like we are neglectful/lazy gardeners. For example, we have some green beans that went too far so I left them on the vine to harvest for seeds later. But it's really fun to do. I'm not sure how to do some of the veggies so have to go look that up (like cucumbers -- I know where the seeds are but not sure how to harvest/preserve them to plant again).

Some of the best tomato plants were grown just rotten tomatoes planted in the ground.

Once I get some of my own land (the place I am moving to does not have any community spaces open), I do plan on having much larger primitive area.

sky
Posts: 1515
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am

Re: Garden Log

Post by sky »

I would like to get my garden and culinary herb sale going again next year. The issue I have is that year after year, my garden is attacked by nature. Raccoons steal all of my grapes, woodchucks, rabbits and white moth worms eat all of my brassicas, and I have some invasive beach grass that takes over as soon as I untarp my garden area. I think I need to fence in an area and build raised beds or something. We have a beautiful ornamental garden which fills our yard, but it attracts so much wildlife that the small edible garden gets destroyed. I hate to spend money on a fence, especially if it ends up not stopping the pests. I need to decide if I will take some action on fencing and otherwise protecting the area or just give up with food gardening.

cmonkey
Posts: 1815
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: Garden Log

Post by cmonkey »

SavingWithBabies wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:58 pm
Do you let some of your crop go to seed and harvest the seeds for planting next year?
Yes we usually do. We also let some plants go to seed and let the seed spread around. Lettuce is really easy to do this with, and then you also get crops as soon as possible because the seeds will start growing very early in spring, likely before you would have planted them.

Stuff like peppers, tomatoes and anything that can cross (we grow different kinds), we usually bag some flowers and save the seed from those.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 14312
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

September harvest update (lbs):
2021: 97.56
2020: 50.57
2019: 25.32

Bare spots beginning to appear as we're winding down ... cumulative 2021 harvest is now 478lbs.

Image

The purple stalky plant in the lower right in the middle of the tall marigolds is amaranth. Not sure what to do with it yet but at least it's possible to grow it.

Salathor
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:49 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Garden Log

Post by Salathor »

@Jacob what would you say are the major changes that have caused you to 4x production in two years? Better weather, more land under cultivation, better techniques, better soil? All of the above?

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 14312
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

Salathor wrote:
Thu Sep 30, 2021 4:47 pm
@Jacob what would you say are the major changes that have caused you to 4x production in two years? Better weather, more land under cultivation, better techniques, better soil? All of the above?
More area between 2021 and 2020 and more attention between 2020 and 2019.

Add: I think the soil has also been improved by tilling in organic material since we started in 2014. It used to be clay and very hard to dig. However, I don't think that accounts for the difference over the past two years. One interesting factor is the nitrogen comes in way low on our soil tests but we haven't done anything [fertilizer] about it other than trying to grow some legumes here or there. Maybe next year.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 14312
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

October harvest update (lbs):
2021: 145.46
2020: 88.96
2019: 20.03

The season is almost over. The garden has been almost completely picked over.
Only frost resistant plants remain.

Image

guitarplayer
Posts: 635
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Garden Log

Post by guitarplayer »

Just though I would share it as it comes across somewhat amusing: I have a cape gooseberry plant, had it for about 2 years. Never gave a fruit. DW recently cut some branches and popped them in a glass of water. The fruit is growing on them.

Cape gooseberries thrive on neglect, indeed.

sky
Posts: 1515
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am

Re: Garden Log

Post by sky »

Here are some useful resources on the Biointensive gardening method.

Series of videos on each of the techniques that make up the method:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 6xHaLCIn3Q

Website: http://www.growbiointensive.org/

Post Reply