Skip to comments.WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 45 NOVEMBER 8, 2013
Posted on 11/08/2013 12:23:38 PM PST 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. It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread. There is no telling where it will go and... that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!
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The pepper plants left in the garden are still ok, since I covered them at the last frost. I just harvested 5 more lemons yesterday. Then I took the plant outside and treated it with pyola to get rid of aphids, and brought back indoors.
It is blooming and the flowers smell so good, it is very cheery. I won't let any fruit set for a while to give it a rest, and make sure that the aphids are gone.
I have continued to forage for ripe persimmons and hickory nuts. There is nothing like a ripe persimmon straight off the tree. You can pick them early, and let them ripen, but the texture is just not the same.
I have been reading The Survival Garden section on saving seeds. It advises to save seeds from a minimum of 5 plants as a rule of thumb to maintain genetic diversity. Some plants such as corn require more than five.
Hope everyone is doing well. Have a great weekend. God Bless.
Pinging the List.
In the 40’s today here in west Michigan. Nothing left in the garden but a tomatillo plant loaded but they are so small they will never mature. I do have a nice bowl of Sabre Ukranian tomatoes. They mature late and handle cold weather well and the green ones I picked are ripening up one by one. Have never had garden tomatoes so late in the year before. Will definitely grow them next year. I did go through my pictures recently and will post them, I really will, hopefully next week. Covered up my young paw paw trees with cones for the winter. Always sad when the garden is done. I rooted a sprig of basil and just got it in some dirt in a pot yesterday, it had a lot of roots develop quickly.
Looking forward to seeing your pictures. Do you have any of the Paw Paw Tree?
My basil is coming out of the severe cutback I gave it this fall. Little green buds all over the stem. I really thought I had killed it.
I am thinking that I might try one of the tomato plants that are cold resistant next year too.
I’m hoping to find time this weekend to do a bit of cleanup in my garden so I can get the garlic planted. Kale, collards, broccoli and the various root crops are loving the rain and cool weather we’ve been having lately. Tomatoes and peppers not so much. I’m pretty sure they’re all dead. lol
I did not take any pictures of the trees this year, they are still small. Sent you a Freepmal.
LOL. Color me astonished that I still have some peppers clinging to life. I did cover them up when we got the hard freeze.
I haven’t checked the garlic this week. Mostly just doing clean up and foraging. Eating two or three persimmons daily.
I've never heard of these tomatoes but since I didn't know zip until several months ago, that wouldn't be unusual.
You say they mature late and handle cold weather well. Since I want to have tomatoes ripening as many months as possible and the growing season here goes until usually the end of November (I'm guessing based on years of living here), I would think these Sabre tomato would be an excellent one for a fall garden. I'll look them up to see what they look like and/or a description from you would be appreciated.
scroll way down on the page to find the Sabre. I tried several other varieties but this is the one that did the best for me.
My tomatoes were under plastic for about two weeks - I picked the last of them last weekend before the temperature dropped into the twenties - one gorgeous Yellow Brandywine and one Black from Tula for dinner tonight and then we’re done.
There are some itty bitty kales under row cover that probably won’t grow until spring if they survive - should have started them earlier.
Even the farmers from south Jersey were unloading all their tomatoes and other stuff at the farmer’s market before the freeze kill all but the winter crops.
Who knows a good brussels sprout recipe? I got a stalk for a dollar, figured it was worth a try - but really want to avoid that sulfurous cooked cabbage smell.
I just finished raking many, many leaves. I'd like to spread the leaves on my garden as a mulch. Every article that I've read so far says to put raked leaves on a compost pile.
Unfortunately, I don't have room for a compost pile. So it's either spread the leaves on my fenced garden, or set them out for the trash.
I was going to shred the leaves, dump them on the garden, then turn the soil. But I really have no idea if that's a good thing to do. What's your opinion on this?
I truly hate it when the home grown tomatoes are done. Can’t stand the supermarket mush. I have two small tomato plants growing under the grow lights, probably won’t do much this winter though. Maybe they will give me a head start on spring planting.
I don’t know a thing about brussel sprouts, except every time I tried to eat one, no matter the recipe, I don’t like them.LOL
We got a Guerney’s too. It is early. Usually if we get anything it is an end of season sale this time of year. Last year it was really late when we got new catalogs. Guess they are getting a jump on the competition?
That's pretty much what I do with some of the leaves I'll get this fall, except when I put them on the garden, I let them overwinter on top and then turn them under in spring.
I've never had a problem doing that.
I do shred most of mine and dump them in the compost pile.
Here in North Texas still have a serrano and banana pepper plant plus some basil hanging on. Went down to low 40’s this week. Didnt take any chances and covered them up overnight.
Some of the garlic bulbs planted 2 weeks ago have sprouted up. Wasn’t expecting that—will they over-winter for spring if I cut the greens back later this month? First time planting bulbs in the Fall.
Dump the leaves on your garden. I read about a method where the guy does this. He doesn’t even turn the soil. He just keeps throwing on Mulch of leaves or whatever he has handy.
His theory was that no one does anything in the forest, and stuff grows, so why waste all that effort. Anyway, I would not waste the leaves.
When you plant, make sure you go into the soil, and not just into the mulch.
I would also point out that a space in your garden, if not in use during the winter for plants, can be the location of your compost pile and will likely be ready by spring planting.
If you would like to be added to the ping list-let me know.
Mine usually sprout and overwinter quite well. Being of the less effort fan club, I have never clipped them back. LOL
I have a spot in my backyard where I grow pumpkins each year. It is an elevated location retained by a wall, but the past two years my pumpkins have been rather anemic. I think the soil is becoming leached. Any suggestions on what I can do during the off season to improve growth? I used manure last year, but all it did was grow healthy weeds.
great— I’m all for low maintenance gardening, ehehehe. The dang squirrels are digging around back there. I’m gonna go all Marcella on them but probably going to buy a BB/pellet gun and take some target practice at those bushy tailed daytime tree rats. If they didnt dig around back there we could be friends but they gotta go.
I love Brussels Sprouts if property roasted or browned. I won't eat boiled ones as they are disgusting. A month of so ago, I looked for recipes and found these two which are easy, especially the Tuscan one:
TWO RECIPES: Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pistachio and Lemon, and Tuscan Type Recipe
There is no end to recipes claiming to be the one that makes people like Brussels sproutsthe operating assumption here being that most people hate them. With good reason: when made poorlywhich seems to be frequentlythey can be sulfurous, bitter, and vile. Done well, however, they can be sublime.
BAs top Brussels sprouts recipe presents a very good method. But through one twists of fate that only seem to arise when well, when one is cooking Brussels sprouts, I happened on another method less than a week earlier that is equally good.
How to Pick Brussels Sprouts
Whats the secret to coaxing the charm from a brussels sprout? It starts with the sprout itself. They have to be fresh&mdashthats a given. And if you can get them on the stalk, which looks like something a dinosaur would snack on, so much the better (this is a great way to interest otherwise-reluctant kids to approach them; its so cool-looking, it has to be good, right?). If you cant find them on the stalk, youre better off going with the smallest ones you can find. A big sprout is an older sprout, and an older sprout runs the risk of being nasty.
How to Cook Em
Once youve got the ideal sprouts, you can still ruin them (if youre determined) by cooking them the wrong way. Boiling or steaming, while not defective in themselves, risk overcooking and should be avoided. As most of the youre going to love em recipes (including this one) reveal, the surprise is the delicious, nutty flavor the sprouts take on when theyre slightly browned.
The Bon Appetit approach requires you to deconstruct the sprouts to gain as much surface area as possible. If I understood the instructions (and the picture) properly, that means coring each little green guy as if it were a full-sized cabbage, then pulling the unanchored leaves apart and separating them. If you have larger sprouts (which the recipe calls for) youll be working with about a dozen. If you have smaller sprouts (see paragraph two) youre tackling possibly three dozen. Thats a lot of prep work, especially if you have other dishes to work on.
Luckily, its the only prep work required. The leaves (it seems like an awful lot of them at first, but they wilt) are tossed in hot grapeseed oil (in which a little shallot has softened) with shelled pistachio nuts until lightly toasted, and dressed with a few dashes of lemon juice. The result is simple, lovely to look at, and a revelation for anyone who thinks of Brussels sprouts as those evil little grey-green globes.
A note about the pistachios: The recipe calls for unsalted natural pistachios, which is good, since most nuts seem to be a subsidy for the salt industry. But I wonder if this dish could have used the intense saltiness of regular pistachios. As good as it was, that might have brought the flavor into tighter focus. If anyone tries it, please let me know.
As I mentioned, I came across another excellent Brussels sprout recipe less than a week ago. This one is from the estimable food writer John Thorne, (who got it from Janet Ross), and whose collected essays prove that thinking and eating are not mutually exclusive. Its a Tuscan approach, and theres nothing to it: Trim the stems on the sprouts and cut them in half, steam them for about six minutes until theyre bright green and slightly tender, then saute them over medium-high in a generous amount of olive oil (grapeseed would be nice as well) until the cut sides and the rounded sides are lightly browned and fragrant. Lower the heat a little, toss in a handful of freshly toasted breadcrumbs and a handful of Parmesan cheese, stir things around until the cheese is melted, and serve. Mmmmmm. You can never have too many good recipes for brussels sprouts.
Soil is not my specialty, but I would start by planting a winter cover crop or crop mix. Hairy Vetch, Rye, and Red Clover come to mind. That should help to stop the leaching, and will provide some good green manure in spring.
I would also say that a soil test to see what nutrients are needed would be helpful. Then when you plant in the spring, you can incorporate some slow release granules and liquid plant food and/or fertilizer into your gardening plans based on what you really need.
In case you missed my experiment earlier this spring, Mushroom compost won hands down for growing the leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach. Just dumped it on top of the ground and planted the seeds directly in it.
Hope this helps, and hope some other more experienced gardners can help out with additional comments.
PS - forgot to mention, that planting the same veggie in the same place each year will deplete the soil of the nutrietnts that veggie needs, and also helps diseases and pests for that plant to grow better leading to decreased yields.
My Chinese kale, collards and beets have all come up (planted Tuesday before last)! They’re teeny tiny right now, but at least they’ve sprouted .... it’s great to see something growing in the garden. I also have figured out a tarp system so I can cover the garden and keep the frost off of them .... VERY excited about this because I can see (in my mind’s eye) a spring ‘greenhouse’, using the same concept, so I can start some plants early! Now I can’t wait for early spring planting season ..... got a few months to go and the weather guys are throwing the “s” word around .... sneux!
Thanks for the leaf advice. And please add me to the gardening ping list.
We trap them and release them far away. The one’s that don’t get trapped, I just take satisfaction in knowing that they could be part of our food supply, if they become too bothersome.LOL
“Im gonna go all Marcella on them but probably going to buy a BB/pellet gun and take some target practice at those bushy tailed daytime tree rats.”
“all Marcella on them” - if you do that, the freaking squirrels will be conquered one way or another. I simply will not let a freaking animal destroy my food. I’m not playing games in my small garden, I’m “dead” serious about growing food and if that means “dead” squirrels, so be it.
RE: brussels sprouts - check this out:
Also, there are recipes for brussels sprouts, bacon & basamic glaze, just ‘google/bing’ or whatever .... anything is good with bacon!
Squirrel and dumplings with a side of green peas.
Don’t get much better than that.
That’s one of the reasons that I like to plant winter wheat. All winter long the garden is green, and when the sun shines it looks like spring.LOL
Tarps are great. I like the row covers the best. They let in enough sunshine, air, and rain that I don’t have to remove them every day. Course they only give you about 4 extra degrees, so when it gets too cold, I throw some straw, blanket, or plastic on top too.
Getting ready for a mild freeze Wed night, only about 31, but gunna bring in the containers to the back porch to avoid the frost. So that means this weekend I need to hang the grow light fixtures and their timer, and put up the plastic over the openings to winterize the porch. Actually, I shoulda done that today, but I wanted to play in the shop instead. Bringing the plants in is always a big deal because we have 4 containers 24” with 9 or 10ft tall plants, plus many smaller ones 12”-20” I may buy another heater to put out there with them. We added a new patio area this year, so that means a bunch more plants this time. I suspect I will have to buy another fixture and 2 more plants bulbs and put a number of them in my shop.
Still have one(my only) lemon that doesn’t want to ripen. Ghost Peppers are still covered in peppers. I brought them inside a week ago because I didn’t think they would like mid 40’s nightly.
I have 4 patios, but not a single porch, and I really really love porches.
I have come to realize that my garden has spoiled me. Fresh picked food is just so much tastier, I hate having to eat veggies from the grocery store!
The tomatoes I picked before the first frost here in Connecticut are still ripening. Had a few just rot on me, but most of them did well, especially the cherokee purples and little yellow cherry tomatoes. Still have two brown paper bags with ripening tomatoes. Planning on BLT’s tomorrow for lunch for the family. Hubby bought me a dehydrator and I dried a whole bunch. Oh, are they good!! I also frozen a good number of the heirlooms. I just have to figure out the best way to use them. LOL!
Is it my imagination or do Fall carrots taste better?? I planted some back the end of August and they are just so good!! The ones I pick haven’t all made it back to the house. Radishes seem to taste better too.
Same for for my lettuce, but that’s growing on a small popup green house. I started it in several window boxes late summer-early fall and moved them under cover before the first frost. We had a salad last night that was out of this world. Son #3 stopped by (and this is kid who doesn’t notice anything, especially vegetable things) and even he said that the lettuce looked so bright and fresh.
Tonight I picked a big mess of greens, collards, 3 kinds of kale, beet greens, and few mustard greens, and have them simmering with some smoked turkey legs for dinner. Have corn bread and hot sauce to go with them. Life is good.
After the first frost, my Russian kale turned the most wonderful color of purple. I saved some of the kale for chips and they were so good!! Wish I’d picked more.
They’re predicting snow for next Thursday. Do you think I should cover the kale and collards?
Good to see you again, MissMagnolia. My wife, MsMagnolia, roast spouts with something on them like Olive Oil with herbs along with BACON bits on them. Pretty good stuff, but I love sprouts anyway. I can make a meal of steamed sprouts and garlic toast.
Take your Brussels sprouts, trim the ends and cut them in half. Dice up some bacon, throw it in a fry pan over medium heat, and cook it until the fat is mostly rendered. Throw in some onions and cook over low heat till the onion start to caramelize.
Now toss in the sprouts and cook until they just get tender. Then add in a tablespoon of butter. Soon as the butter melts, take them off the heat, season with salt and pepper, and chow down.
I also like to roast sprouts in the oven. 450 degrees, halved, tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and fresh ground nutmeg. Cook until they are just starting to brown.
Most people cook them way to long which is why they start to stink LOL
I’ve heard you can shred them and eat them raw, but I haven’t tried that yet.
I need to make a list of people on the gardening thread because I can’t remember all the names when I post so I leave out people and I don’t mean to do that. “All” just doesn’t do it for me.
MomwithHope: I didn’t know there were that many tomatoes from Russia and those parts of the world. I read about some of them and there is one I might could plant while it is still cold in the south here, I mean really early spring, and have ripe tomatoes earlier than any other kind. Then, before they are over, plant another kind for the hot weather, then plant another kind for the fall/colder weather. I’ll have to think about that and put some plan together.
I’m so proud of my carrot and turnip plants. I did a lousy job when I first transplanted them from under the grow lamp into limp plastic grow bags, then transplanted them into two really good hard plastic containers. If I had been them, I would have died just to show me what a lousy job I did before I got them in good containers. They are growing so fast and fine, I think I will actually have food.
At least one of the two or three Brussels Sprouts plants is really growing tall so it might produce and it’s really healthy looking. If I manage to get a stalk of food off that one, I’ll plant more next year for the fall garden.
All the strawberry plants look fine. If they all produce in the spring, I’ll have to CAN SOME. Can you believe I wrote that? I still don’t have any jars or lids and anything else I would need to put in them to can them. I’ll wait until I see if I really have grown strawberries.
I’m looking forward to starting seeds under the grow lamp for early spring. Did you get that? I can grow seeds - me, the novice, can do that since I really did it.
I may only get one squash off the big squash plant as one is all that has developed so far. There are other blossoms to open but it may be too cool for it now. That one squash tells me I can grow those squash and not lose the plant to months/borers or other deadly creatures in ground dirt. A container works for this plant. The one squash is so long you won’t believe it - haven’t measured it but I know it’s easily over 12 inches long. If every blossom had set a squash as long as they are, one could live completely on this squash and nothing else - what I’m saying is it would provide a huge amount of food and if you leave some of the squash on there, it becomes a winter squash.
The sweet potato plant still has luscious green leaves - doesn’t even suggest the leaves might die and what I read said leave it alone until the leaves die, then dig up the potatoes.
I haven’t found any dead squirrels that committed suicide because they can’t get in the net room. That is the only way I could keep those plants from the squirrels without strangling them or shooting them or catching them. They cannot get my plants.
RE: brussels sprouts - check this out:
Oh my - does that look good!!
I’ve got to try that. Thank you.
This porch has three solid walls and only one 20’ wall with six 32”x58” openings. It was a 20’ x 10’ concrete slab that somebody enclosed into a storage room. It was an eyesore and falling down due to roof leaks. I removed the long wall last year and redid things a little differently, I planned on putting glass in the openings, but Sweetheart wanted to have it open, so that is the way it is. it is built so as to be able to screen it or glass it if we choose to later. I did insulate the ceiling while doing all that remodeling on it.
We had club sandwich several times this week with ham, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Nothing better than a little bacon and home grown tomato on almost anything.LOL
If it were me, I would cover up the veggies whenever there are going to be temps of around 32 degrees or so.
Well the list is on my profile page. I think it is more than 500 people, so you might not want to write the whole thing.LOL
There is a reason that squash is considered one of the “survival” foods. They are prolific, considered kinda easy to grow, and the seeds have more calories per pound than many foods like beans, wheat, corn. Squash is a decent source of magnesium and potassium as well.
I am not a big lover of squash, but I do like summer squash stir fried with other veggies for asian stir fries. I like the winter acorn squash baked - it tastes like baked sweet potatoes.
When my freezer worked, I sometimes just froze the berries until later, so I didn’t heat up the house during the summer. I used the juicer to make a syrup and jelly. Then took the pulp and made fruit leather with the dehydrator. I have tried canned strawberries, but didn’t like the mushiness, but that’s just me.
I sent you a FReepmail for later.
When I was a kid, we had a back porch that Dad enclosed. It had windows on all three sides. My sister and I shared it as a bedroom.
Great memories of taking a nap and soaking up the sfternoon sun in the winter time. It seemed huge to me. After I grew up I would return for a visit, and look at that room, and think how in the world did we ever share such a small room? LOL.
what do your Ukrainian Sabres look like? and taste like? only one seed company appears to offer Uk. Sabres - and enthusiasts on tomato forums debate whether it is a real Uk. variety or just something the company renamed. Some companies offer plain Sabres.
Anyway they appear to have done well for you.
I will be posting pictures soon
Lol! You strike terror in the little-bitty hearts of squirrels everywhere! That’ll fix ‘em for trying to steal food they didn’t plant, the little buggers.
When I ordered the knee saver, there was also a row cover package in the box and I don't remember ordering that but I'm glad it's here as it is a little heavier than the row cover I already have. I'll put this new one over the strawberries.
I just got back from Walgreens across the street to pick up a bunch of refill medicines and as a rejection/rebellion of the fact I have to take all those pills, I bought a box of Queen Anne chocolate covered cherries. I think the cherries will fix what's wrong more than the pills. :o)
I think that cherry filled candy is just the ticket!LOL
So, you live just across the street from Walgreens? I used to love to go to Walgreens, back when I worked in Downtown St. Louis. I would go there during lunch and pick up sales and stuff so I wouldn’t have to shop after work. It was only one and a half blocks away from where I worked.
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