Skip to comments.WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 17 APRIL 26, 2013
Posted on 04/26/2013 12:37:55 PM PDT by greeneyes
The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.
This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you wont be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isnt asked.
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So I got had some progress on the patio cleanup, but still have one to go. We have 4 patios of 240 sq foot each, which pretty well covers the back, front and northeast side of the house.
I did get the carrots planted and under a row cover for protection from hungry critters and birds. I spent some of the rainy day time making my own seed tape. It made the planting so much easier on my body, that I have decided to do the same with the beets. Cukes will be started indoors this weekend.
I have a pack of cucumber seeds SMR 58 from Ferry Morse that I got for free from a native plant seminar in Cape Girardeau, so I'll use those this year.
I received some of the literature that I ordered from bountiful gardens. I just finished reading a booklet:
FOOD FOR THE FUTURE; NOW A Survival Garden Plan which uses Bioentisive Methods to produce more in less area than Commercial Ag does.
The following will naturalize without being invasive:
Amaranth, Arugula, Chard, Boarage, Nastursium, Basil, Dill, Viola, Sunflowers, Calendula, Purslane, Chia, Mustard, Flax, Perilla.
I have seeds for 7 of those and have decided how to plant the more attractive and showy ones like Amaranth and Calendula. We have a bunch of Stumps left from cutting trees to get more sun. So I am going to lay down a perimeter of edging around the stumps, turn under the grass and cover it with cardboard or newspaper, dump some good soil on it and plant the tall ancient grains around it, and then the edilble flowers at the edge.
It should hide the stumps during the summer, and provide some food this year and going forward with little or no maintenance perhaps.
Anyway, I'll post some more on the booklet for those who might be interested in a little more detail.
Have a great weekend and God Bless.
got had = had
Pinging the List.
To pare back to a more reasonable growth, do I rip the newer growth out? Do I pare back to the original plant? Can I use Roundup, selectively, on the shoots and, if so, how much of the plant will survive?
I'm leaning on the last option because this plant is really, really hearty.
If you are in the Midwest, I suggest cut the “stringy” shoots back to make a hedged bush about 3-4 feet tall and 3 feet around.
So far today I’ve transplanted 40 alpine strawberries i’d started from seed back in January. Transplanted 25 ‘cayenne blend’ peppers from totally tomatoes, planted out 300 rice seeds i’d soaked in warm water for 24hr, planted out 50 okra seeds i’d soaked with 1tsp of bleach.
To go I’ve got 20 ‘Kung Pao’ cayennes to transplant, 150+ other sweet peppers and hopefully start some more Jicama and plant out the 200 asparagus seeds (purple passion, mary washington and jersey knight) i’ve had soaking since yesterday. IF I have time this afternoon/evening I have 300+ tomatoes yet to transplant. This isn’t transplanting into the garden yet, still having lows in the low 40’s right now (very unseasonable, must be global warming/etc). I’m putting stuff into the el cheapo plastic drinking glasses (5oz and 9oz).
This weekend hopefully we can start laying papers and mulch in the garden in preparation for planting (peanuts, beans, cowpeas, corn, sorghum, millet) and transplanting all the stuff in cups right now.
This summer i’m going to be making an herb garden as part of a front yard landscaping bed so I’ll be starting those seeds and cuttings next week sometime.
Then, if I’m not incapacitated on a heating pad, I’ve got to transplant all my citrus into 15gal containers.
We’re going to be trying SRI method of growing the grains and legumes in the garden this year. I’m going to keep track of yield/sqft for the first time to have an idea of how we’re doing productively.
We’ve planted mint around outbuildings. It seems to discourage pests of all sorts. HOWEVER, we did this knowing it was invasive. Hubby keeps it in check with the mower and weed eater. It smells like mint juleps when he mows that part of the yard.
If you want to restart with your mint you could try rooting it from cuttings, once those are established in pots, kill the ‘mother’ plant and then transplant the rooted cuttings only this time keep them IN their pots. And put them someplace you can easily keep them in check with the mower or weed eater.
Just my 0.02.
So here’s some more info on the booklet. They have done a great deal of research to ensure a diet complete in all the nutrients that humans need, and enough compost to replenish your garden beds, and grow some things for a little income.
In addition, they have a 100 sq foot starter garden lay out so that a person can start small, and learn. Then, if needed they can expand that to the size of garden needed for each person. One acre can provide for 5 adults in colder climates. That doesn’t include forage crops, or crops grown as secondary crops, or winter crops.
Since we can grow bush beans for example after a lot of the spring, cool weather crops and can grow winter wheat or winter rye cereal, we could actually provide the space for more people theoretically.
In addition we have the nut trees, fruit trees and bushes, and will be adding the grains that naturalize as I mentioned earlier.
I did learn in my reading that tree collards can provide the calcium etc typically provided by dairy.
So here’s what they are show in their sample garden:
Corn, Sorghum, Winter Grains, Pinto Beans, Fava Beans, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Zucchini Squash, onions, Rutabaga, Winter Squash, Leeks. Extra lettuce and garlic etc. for income.
Of course, this can be changed to suit your own personal taste. It’s just an example.
With the biointensive method, they start the crops in seed flats primarily to save on the water and the space in the garden. Therefore the garden space is more fully utilized for the more mature crops, and less water is needed during the early period of growth, since they are in flats.
They plan for 60% of the garden area to provide compost (food for the soil) as well as food for the family. Hence, the big emphasis on grains, beans, and leeks.
They have several of these sample booklets available, each with slightly different crops, and some even discuss the alterations needed to support a dairy cow for example.
The whole idea is to provide the food needed in the smallest possible area, and be able to avoid depleting your soil, or needing to purchase additives such as fertilizer etc. to provide good soil for crops to be fruitful and nutritious.
I found it to be an interesting and quick read.
Do you have a linky for that?
I try not to use things like round up, because one of the reasons I started growing my own food was to avoid pesticide exposure.
Mint can become invasive, and I usually just grow mine in a pot, or would at least surround it with edging, and pull everything that appears outside the edging.
So it depends on you and your tastes. You could even just dig up the plant and put it in a pot and pull out all the rest of the shoots and plant something else.
I even keep the catnip in planters for that very reason.
Ok, so what does SRI stand for? You’ve been very productive. I am exhausted just thinking about all that effort.
The next booklet I have to read is growing medicinal herbs in as little as 50 sq. feet. I am probably going to limit my herbs to pots again this year, but maybe next year, Hubby will have some time to make me a pyramid herb garden.
west Michigan - cat is already looking for the catnip coming up - every day! My romaine lettuce is coming up nicely in my big pot with the plexiglass lid. Ate some egyptian walking onions off the grill, Picked several big fat ones and sprayed them down with olive oil, salt and pepper. VERY SWEET!! Garden is tilled for the first time, I’ll doing 2X more. Snowflakes yesterday on that nice black soil. Warmup came today, should be no more of that.
Finally drying out a bit. Even able to hang laundry outside for a change.
Rest of our plant materials arrived, and can go in in a couple of days or so: potato sets—German Butterball & Gold Rush; horseradish; black raspberries; Jerusalem artichokes.
Next year, I’ll put some of the Jerusalem artichokes inside the chicken yard. Yes, I know how invasive they are, but by cutting off the flower buds, it stops that avenue of spread, and makes bigger tubers. Tops & tubers are both good chicken & rabbit feed, and that is what I’m looking at: lower feed bills. Same with the planned larger plantings of both grey striped & oil seed sunflowers & corn.
To help protect things, today I dug out & tested my old fence charger. Hadn’t used it for about 30 years, but worked fine after replacing a fuse. I have a god supply of wire & insulators, both new & salvaged, so shouldn’t have to spend anything other than some time. :-)
I lost some peanut starts to ants. Little barstids were eating the peanuts. They got the DE treatment, and that should fix their wagon.
Sunflowers are in. Tomatoes are just starting to flower. Tobacco is doing great/horrible depending on where in the garden it is. Squash are doing well. Herbs are slowly coming along. I mean SLOWLY.
Still eating asparagus and lettuce and spinach out of the garden.
All in all, much better than last Friday when I was a little under the weather.
Thank you all for your suggestions. That hedged bush sounds about right for the space and location.
We have leaf lettuce ready to eat in a few days. Onions are almost ready to pull.
This is their website. They have a lot of books and booklets. One section of their catalog is devoted to Survival and Self Sufficiency reading materials.
Their catalog has a handy chart for cover crops and their benefits along with the planting season for the crop.
I have lots of problems with looking at their publications and seeds. I want them all. LOL Always something interesting and new to read or plant.
Here’s an article that explains the SRI. It’s definitely NOT doable on a huge 1,000 acre scale. BUT for those of us with a fairly large ‘backyard’ and a little free time in the evenings it’s definitely doable. I’m going to try it and see.
And here’s the official page at Cornell:
It’s not just a ‘rice’ specific technique anymore. Some crops don’t do well with transplanting so that’s taken into account for stuff like maize/corn.
One thing I’m not going to do, at least this year, is the ‘aeration tilling’ bit. It’s too iffy for rainfall here in the summer. I hate to have open exposed soil losing all that moisture. And we don’t have any sort of tools to use for that particular task. If you read the SRI materials, they’ve developed specialized mechanical weeders they just roll over the field. BUT, I DO have a whole garden full of soil aerating earth worms. Big giant earth worms and jillions of them so maybe it’ll be a wash for that.
So I’m going to do the early transplanting and spacing for the rice, the spacing bit for the other grains and keep the weeds down with my paper/mulch technique.
I’ve got Hmong Sticky, and Carolina Gold rice started so far. I’ve got blue bonnet ordered and i’m planning on ordering the m-101 rice from southern exposure seed exchange. And, I see Fedco has a short season rice, duborskian, that has grown in maine even. I’m going to have options that will hopefully give me a crop that’s ripe even if we get a september ‘cane. Hopefully if I’m a good girl and we don’t have a very wet wummer I won’t have to worry about disease either with these.
We used JA here for rabbit and chicken feed (and for us) when I was a kid. It didn't get too crazy, and eventually died out.
That's the way to go. I use the 5 oz paper Dixie(tm) cups for some stuff, and the 16 oz plastic Solo(tm) cups for other stuff.
Most of my stuff starts life in an egg carton.
Waste not/want not.
Peppers, tomatoes and everything else in our starter greenhouse will report to the raised beds, @ 7:30 Sunday morning.
Bank on it !
I also use leftover sour cream, cottage cheese and yogurt containers if they’re the right shape. The ones that are smaller at the bottom work best. Also pudding cups and egg cartons too.
Waste not want not indeedy. I resuse them from year to year as long as they’ve still got structural integrity.
I have looked at biointensive, etc, and have rejected it. Yes, one gets more crop from the space, but only in poundage; size suffers considerably. For greens or such for fresh use, that doesn’t really matter; but for anything where size matters, it can be very disappointing.
Example, Jerusalem artichokes: ( http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/jerusart.html)
conventional spacing 36 × 24 lbs/acre: 9791 dry weight/tuber 9.1 grams
close spacing 18 × 12 lbs/acre 16011 dry weight/tuber 5.6 grams 160% higher yield, but 61% smaller tubers.
When things need to be scrubbed and/or peeled, that smaller size is a pain; and it also results in a higher percentage of waste. I’d rather peel & slice one big potato, than 3 or 4 small ones for the same amount on my plate.
You might want to keep an eye on this guy’s tweets. He works with/for Joe Bastardi:
There might be a system with unseasonably cold weather next week with lows in the upper 20’s for your general area next weekend.
And, it’s a model so it might be full of itself too, who knows. I’m keeping a weather eye on it myself though.
Good progress. I am still waiting for the delivery of potatoes that I ordered Feb. 1. I called and talked to a supervisor to ask them to expedite the shipment.
He said they ship according to the climate for our area. I told him that the U.Mo Extension office says to plant potatoes 4/1 to 4/15, and I felt that was probably correct, so perhaps they might want to reconsider their schedule.
IIRC the biointensive stuff is the opposite, sort of, of the SRI stuff.
I overplant greens but not going to do that with anything else this year.
This was the particular tweet that’s giving me pause right now:
Local weather guy says last night’s chill was our last till fall.
Fingers crossed. I have a couple of big plastic drop cloths for painting that would work as a temporary cover.
Really glad you are feeling better. Now you mentioned a foliar spray concoction. Any chance you would share that recipe today? Please?
Also, by reducing the spacing from 36 X 24 to 18 X 12, that is 4 times as much seed planted for less than double the poundage, so it is also actually a huge REDUCTION in production per plant.
It's also starting to get a little hot. The plants are looking a little stressed, so we're starting to put up shade cloths on the ones that are getting full sun all day.
I find the cups on sale at restaurant supply places and buy in bulk, cheap, and reuse the cups as I'm able. Only thing I have to do is cut the drain holes in them.
We got a bargain on 20 ounce Dixie-type cups at a remainders store. They have logos for a place that went out of business, so sold for about 50 cents a tube of 100 of them. They work great.
Good luck with that unknown potato. I love finding volunteers.
Speaking of lettuce. That reminds me. My lettuce and spinach experiment. Little Gem lettuce is growing very well in all three of the soils, maybe a slight edge in the Mushroom Compost.
There is a BIG difference between the Compost and the other beds for Spinach. We’ll see how it goes from here, but it is looking like Spinach of the future will be planted in Mushroom compost.
The black seeded Simpson is slightly better in the Compost, and secondary in the Mel’s Mix plus top soil plus Mushroom compost. Dead last is the top soil.
Conclusion: So far the Little Gem seems to do well in a variety of soils, but Spinach definitely prefers the Mushroom Compost, and the leaf lettuce is inferior to Little Gem at this time of the year, or maybe the seed is just not a good batch?
I also use that mix for seed pre-soak and in my compost pile.
It sped up my compost pile by about 6 times.
Glad to hear that you're doing better this week. We missed your input last Friday.
Thanks for the link. An interesting site. I’ll be exploring more on it later. Ever since I found out that I could grow some rice in Milk jugs, I have been thinking about trying it. We have a lot of Milk jugs and I am always exploring ways to use them.
Planted my Conlon two-row barley in the mud on Moday. On Tuesday, it snowed. It should be fine now that it’s climbing into the ‘70s. Should see a shoot or two maybe even this weekend. All the tomatoes are now being hardened off outside.
The 3/8” rebar pins for anchoring my low-hoop tunnel ribs have been cut and I’ll start the layout of the tunnels this weekend. I hope to have over 200 feet of bed under tunnels this season. The insect-free greenhouse conditions really turn out prime veggies. Also hope to put in some nursery stock in the new orchard wing and more grapes. Cane fruit and strawberries when their new beds are prepared.
Finally, we eskimos can begin to garden.
I figure that I’ll be doing well to get the cool weather crops out this Sunday. Most of my seed starts are not big enough to transplant anyway.
Have you read Steve Solomon’s book ‘Growing Food When it Counts’? He holds that the best way to produce survival quantities of food (like in the old days when they had to) is based on row cropping - not raised beds. Frankly, I have and use both systems, but I think he has a tremendous amount of insight and useful instruction in the book.
Hey /j I bought some molasses after your tip last week and added to seaweed tea. Can I make homemade fish emulsion? I eat sardines and added one to a covered plastic container with water to rot in the sun for awhile. Is it ok to do this then add the stinky brine to the above solution?
Have you ever grown asparagus from seed? I just read that it can take up to 10 weeks for these things to germinate!
Thanks for the info. I use part of the biointensive and not the rest. I did find that the sq. foot method worked pretty well for me, which also uses some close planting, but I am thinking it is not as close as the BI methods.
For example, the corn I grew did very well with 3 or 4 per square foot interspersed with beans and some melons.
Of course, I wasn’t growing potatoes either, so I’ll have to keep in mind what you said. I have never been a big fan of the little potatoes either.
I’ve ground up trout in my food processor before for fertilizer.
Messy! Stinky too.
I have to admit, it does smell better.