Garden Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Lemur
Posts: 1361
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am
Location: USA

Re: Garden Log

Post by Lemur »

Tip you can plant the cores of Bok Choy and it will regrow. I've done this successfully before but for whatever reason this year, they just rot...Not sure why but maybe something to do with my foundation. Years past I just used purchased compost. This year I've planted everything in leaf compost. I've been successful with greens for once. But not Bok Choy.

avalok
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:42 am
Location: West Midlands, UK; Walkscore 73

Re: Garden Log

Post by avalok »

I did not know that about bok choy, I have tried it with cabbage cores and carrots, but never with any success. I kept them both in water to start with and the smell was pretty bad, about what you'd expect from vegetable cores sitting in a pool of water for a couple of weeks. When replanted, they just rotted. Did you keep the bok choy cores in water at all?

Picked our first broccoli of the year today. It's just starting to flower, but completely edible nonetheless (a bit like tenderstem).
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And here's the full harvest from this evening
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Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1867
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:12 am
I'd like to get a drum composter so I can spin the compost instead of turning it. My current set up is a struggle to use.
OK, I've had a drum composter for a year or two so here's my review. I don't like it that much and I'm glad I found it on the curb and didn't pay for it. I'm happy to have the extra capacity so I'm still using it but it hasn't been the solution I thought it would be. If I didn't live in a place where compost attracts rats I'd just have trio of open bins.

Good:
- It does mix the compost well.
- I think it would be hard for rodents to get into it.
- It's easy to move to another location in the yard if you want to move it around.

Bad:
- The door freezes shut easily so it is inaccessible all winter.
- It doesn't hold very much compared to other composters.
- It's very difficult to get the compost out. I thought it would fall out when the drum spins with the door open but it doesn't. I have to scoop the compost out with my hands.
- Any vines or other stringy items can get wrapped around the axle.
- I'm not sure it composts as well as my larger "plastic bin" type composter. I don't know if it is because the drum composter doesn't hold as much or because the compost doesn't touch the ground so worms and microbes can't get in but items don't seem to get converted to compost as fast and the compost itself is less "dirt like".

theanimal
Posts: 2198
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
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Re: Garden Log

Post by theanimal »

Does anyone have experience raising acidity of soil? We did a soil test earlier in the year and ours has/had a pH of 8.6. :( I think it is inhibiting the growth of our plants.

It seems the common solution is to add something like sulphur. But from what I've been reading, it seems like it doesn't have a lasting effect on the soil and necessitates reapplication each year. That is something that I'd like to avoid. Any thoughts?

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1867
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

theanimal wrote:
Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:11 pm
Does anyone have experience raising acidity of soil?
No experience but pine needles are acidic. Possibly available locally for free.

candide
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
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Re: Garden Log

Post by candide »

I pulled up a potato plant today. The harvest would have been a bit disappointing if it were not for a few factors:

1) I had filched some potatoes yesterday from the same plant to make a nice centerpiece to breakfast.
2) The potato in question was a volunteer that got planted by me trench composting on the edge of my garden
3) Me digging up the potato allowed me to put in my next bit of materials to trench compost. The hole I was digging served two purposes at once.

In other words, the potatoes were an incidental yield. And a bonus yield: This is informative for garden design in the future. I'll plant some potatoes by design on the edge so they can be the location of my July trench composting -- holes that serve two purposes and all that.

avalok
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:42 am
Location: West Midlands, UK; Walkscore 73

Re: Garden Log

Post by avalok »

@candide, do you get any issues with rats/foxes etc. when trench composting? I can rarely be bothered to bring plant material back from the allotment to the bin in our garden, so this might be a good way to compost that material.

candide
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
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Re: Garden Log

Post by candide »

I have not personally had those problems, but remember our two environments are very different. As an anglophile, I have most noticed it going the other way -- things that I've seen from the British Isles don't work out as well over here.

To help brainstorm with the idea, though, I'd say try to dig on the deep side -- I'm assuming and hoping you have some of that loam; there is no way you have clay as hard-packed as mine -- or I'm read of people putting twigs or even chicken wire on top.

We'll see if we can make heretic who has no compost pile out of you yet. ;)

avalok
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:42 am
Location: West Midlands, UK; Walkscore 73

Re: Garden Log

Post by avalok »

It seems like the tactics I take from across the Atlantic that work here, or even from the southern hemisphere, are those I never expect to. We have been able to overwinter tomato and squash seeds in our beds despite heavy frosts. This was a bit annoying when copious amounts of tomato seedlings appeared around April and subsequently overtook my hand sown plants. So I'll take tips from a very different environment gladly; you never know.

I think I will definitely need to dig deep. We have a badger set on the allotment site. They are of little nuisance to me, thanks to a cheap tip I learnt for keeping them off the plot(*), but I'm not convinced the temptation of a pile of "food" underground won't be too much.

Our plot is not clay thankfully, though our previous one was heavy clay, so I empathize with you. I could probably cover it heavily with the horse manure we have delivered to the site, in place of twigs. I presume that'd trap any smell, and might help with decomposition.

(*) I asked around the site about this when we joined. Everyone recommended steel fencing, with reinforced concrete slabs sunk into the ground to prevent them digging under the fence! It took me ~two minutes to find above linked tip, and costs me around five minutes once a week.

guitarplayer
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Garden Log

Post by guitarplayer »

Yes, yes, lots of N types on the forum. But just look at those strawberries and tell me that your sensing does not switch on!

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We got about 13lb, many many more to come. Ran out of space in the freezer so dried some of them. There will be raspberries soon as well.

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Other than that, our purple sprouting broccoli keeps on giving (flowering as well, makes salads even more delicious). Heaps of lettuce as well, and we are munching on all those spinach bolts so that spinach keeps on giving.

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theanimal
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
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Re: Garden Log

Post by theanimal »

Harvested 1 of 3 potato beds today, took in about 45 lbs or roughly 1 lb per plant. It is much improved over last year's 0.3 lb per plant. I have my former neighbor's yield of 4-5 lbs per plant as my ultimate target.

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This was the worst looking bed out of the 3. I am conducting a little experiment with each one with the variables being watering and fertilizer location. The bed I picked today was not watered and had fertilizer applied broadly. One of the others had fertilizer applied broadly and wasn't watered and the last had fertilizer placed with each potato and was watered intermittently. Not sure what difference knowing the result will make going forward as we are planning on applying our compost rather than fertilizer from now on.

SouthernAlchemy
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:11 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by SouthernAlchemy »

Does it make me a bad person that I think this little beastie got just what he deserved? I squish a lot of cabbage worms and such myself, but I'm glad a friend showed up to do the dirty work on this guy.

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guitarplayer
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Garden Log

Post by guitarplayer »

theanimal wrote:
Sat Sep 03, 2022 3:52 pm
Harvested 1 of 3 potato beds today
Well done, especially that there are some purple potatoes there amongst them. The darker, the better!

@SouthernAlchemy wow this is an impressive photo, I had to show it to DW.

theanimal
Posts: 2198
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
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Re: Garden Log

Post by theanimal »

Thanks, @guitarplayer. We ended up harvesting about 175 lbs in total. There are potatoes stuffed in just about every nook, cranny and corner in our house now.

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