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.
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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.