The 2013 Garden Thread

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posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 08:29 PM
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reply to post by tovenar
 





This year I plan to experiment with dehydrating them as ingredients for MRE-style instant meals. My spouse has a friend who sells pre-measured mason jars full of soup ingredients (you just add boiling water), and we'll be studying that style of storage and food prep.


I meant to ask, can you share what you learn from this process? I'd be interested in trying this as well. I try to limit how much I freeze and canning can be so exhausting...




posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 09:06 PM
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I planted a LOT of flowers this year. I can't afford to buy a lot so I just started trays of seeds.

In the past I've mostly concentrated on veggies and herbs, but this year...I want flowers.

They say flowers are food for the soul, and mine needs some. I've got a small walled off area I'm turning into a fairy garden. It's *MINE* and the chickens better leave it alone. lol

I did buy them a 6 pack of begonias. They sure do love to eat begonias. I'll put a pot out at a time so they can eat them and they can recover as I rotate the pots out.

I've got a very cheap mainly PVC greenhouse just covered with plastic. I put down some black mulch and there's a plastic turquoise rug in there. Making it a bit pretty has encouraged me to spend time there.

This year I am supplying several families with vegetables and eggs.

I just bought a new book on small batch canning. There's a website sbcanning.com that I really like too.

I bought a fig tree 2 years ago. First year I had maybe 5 figs. Last year I had maybe 10. Hopefully I will have enough to at least do some small batch preserves with.


The apple trees are blooming away, and I hope to get muscadines started this year.

I planted Rudger's, Roma, Beefsteak, and Jellybean tomatoes.
I'll start some Siberians when these trays get empty.

Last year I had maybe 20 varieties but so many of the heirlooms just didn't do well, and I've narrowed it down this year to what I really, really like.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by SunflowerStar
 


Greasy grit beans....a variety that's new to me, haven't seen the seeds in my local seed and feed or any of my seed catalogs....sounds interesting. I've planted half runners, kentucky wonders, blue lake and my favorite rattlesnake ( see my photo on earlier post) ....all pole beans 'cause that bending over is for kids! I'm trying a Roma type bean this year as a new addition.

Any one have a 'secret' to getting a better butter bean yield? I grow lovely vines, but some years have been low on actual beans...the speckled varieties seem to do better over all, but one year the little green ones filled my freezer, the next almost nothing....used the same fertilizer, one not too high on nitrogen to avoid having overgrowth of vegetation. My mother always said if there was a lot of rain when they were blooming, they wouldn't bear well....which did seem to happen a couple of times....



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 04:35 PM
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If you are getting good plant growth but no beans, you might need to torture your plants a bit.

I uh, have never had to do that, but some plants won't have the urge to reproduce if they are treated too well.
Sounds counter-intuitive. Urban Farm ran an article on that last year, I believe.

Could be a lot of things though - do you rotate them? If you've been planting them in the same place every year, you probably should try a new place.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by frayed1
 


I second some of what Hadriana says - are you rotating? Also too much water can actually stunt the growth of the pods. Check your drainage. And be careful about top watering when they're flowering - this can knock off the flowers and so less pods will form. I prefer hand watering at the root. Takes forever but it's worth it. Plus less weeds.

I too have found that if I make my plants "toughen up" during their baby stage they do much better during the growing season. Just as people who toughen up do better in adverse conditions, so will your plants...



posted on Apr, 20 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by otherpotato
 

reply to post by hadriana
 


Thanks for the input.....We do generally rotate...I'm planning to try using 'new ground', or at least a part of the garden that has lain fallow for a season or two. My rattlesnakes have gone in the same row for a couple of years with no problem, but butter beans seem to be touchy....We water with a soaker hose, one that applies a slow drip to just the base so the blooms and foliage don't get wet....the whole garden is on a slight slope and drainage is no problem, especially on into the summer when we are more likely to be hot and dry.

I will have to check into the 'torture' method...lol!



posted on Apr, 20 2013 @ 02:05 PM
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reply to post by tovenar
 


Personally, I freeze and can a lot at the end of each season.
I also have a cool storage area that I store my potatoes and squash in, they last until spring, usually. There are always a couple of squash that feed the moose during the winter, because they just don't all make it. The potatoes are great, I use them until they start to get a bit soft, then I let them start producing eyes to use them for seed potatoes come planting time.I have not had to buy seed potatoes since the first year.

I also can chicken and broth and other meats as well as my veggies. Then on those busy nights it is easy to open up half a dozen jars of whatever looks good and have a big pot of soup in 30 minutes.



posted on Apr, 20 2013 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by jeramie
 


I wanted to thank you here as well!!
I received a great little treat in the mail the other day! An envelope carrying a bunch of nice amaranth seeds. I can't wait to get them going and see how well they work here.

I only hope you enjoys your goodies as much!



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 12:39 AM
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Some of you have mentioned flowers and I love growing herbs and flowers. Has anyone else noticed this year seems to be a difficult one for pansies and violas? I usually get the 6 packs and put 'em in the dirt and don't worry about it too much, but this year seems like they've had a tough time and I haven't seen so many at the nurseries either.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 03:45 AM
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reply to post by missvicky
 


Colder than usual winter perhaps? Many spring bloomers are utterly dependant on soil temp as to the success of how well they both grow and seed.

Even though I live in a tropical area, it is inland and we do get frosts and very cold nights up here, so much so sometimes the fire is on during winter, even though the days still reach 24-26 degrees C.

It has a marked impact on spring bloomers if you have a very cold snap late before it starts warming up again, as the seeds tend to get lethargic before the soil warms up enough for them to germinate properly. That's just educated guesswork mind you, but if you plant before the soil has a chance to lose that coldness, it definetely has an impact on your seeds and seedlings.
edit on 23/4/2013 by 74Templar because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by 74Templar
reply to post by missvicky
 


Colder than usual winter perhaps? Many spring bloomers are utterly dependant on soil temp as to the success of how well they both grow and seed.

Even though I live in a tropical area, it is inland and we do get frosts and very cold nights up here, so much so sometimes the fire is on during winter, even though the days still reach 24-26 degrees C.

It has a marked impact on spring bloomers if you have a very cold snap late before it starts warming up again, as the seeds tend to get lethargic before the soil warms up enough for them to germinate properly. That's just educated guesswork mind you, but if you plant before the soil has a chance to lose that coldness, it definetely has an impact on your seeds and seedlings.
edit on 23/4/2013 by 74Templar because: (no reason given)


Could be, thanks for that. Usually you see them everywhere but this year no one has any. Nurseries I mean.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by frayed1
 


It's a traditional heirloom. I got mine from an collector who only chooses the older variations. You won't find this in seed catalogs, or very rare if you do. We had a seed trade at our local extention office and she and I are buds and she shared me quite a few. PM me if you are interested.

The strawberry plants are putting on some blooms! We have a freeze coming in the next day or so, so am going to cover the bed with sheets, lol, now that did sound funny.

Set out 9 flat Dutch cabbage, and 9 red cabbage, guess the hubs wants slaw this year. Now get this....I canned slaw mix last fall as a test from a canners website I belong to, still looks great, the sealing process didn't cook the cabbage at all. Did a sweet pickle syrup with celery seed with cabbage and grated carrot and a very little green pepper. And hasn't turned to kraut, lol.

Found heirloom romas and Amish pink tomatoes. This year will be my first time with lemon balm, sampled a tiny leaf when I found it, omg is that just like a lemon candy! Hubs Also started cuke seed, we ran completely out of bread and butter pickles this winter, who'da thunk, So more pickles for me to do.

I dehydrate carrots and greenbeans aka leather britches, tomatoes and fruits in bulk. I can't trust my freezer cause in the winter our power goes out. So canning and dehydrating with minimal freezer use for us.
Cheers, will let you know if the strawberry blooms freeze...
edit on 23-4-2013 by SunflowerStar because: too many s's
edit on 23-4-2013 by SunflowerStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 12:00 AM
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reply to post by SunflowerStar
 

If you grow Lemon Balm just watch out for cats(my cat hit the Lemon Balm like a swarm of locusts). It does make awesome tea though so I tend to grow a fair bit every year.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 05:54 PM
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I just now read this thread and had to share it here.
EU proposal to ban unregistered seeds

How assbackwards is this mentality? How do they justify the idea that all seeds must be registered or be illegal?
I cannot even play devil's advocate and come up with a counter argument. I am seriously vexed here. Can you imagine going to court to answer for growing a vegetable in your yard? I'd hope it'd be laughed out and dismissed.

Can someone make sense of this proposal?



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by shadow watcher
 


Yeah no. That's what I think. When things stop making sense so do my sentences.

As a matter of fact, I tried saving seed last year just to see what would happen. Most of what I planted last year was from Burpee, with a few Guerney's and misc. Lowes plants (from my stepfather) mixed in. I pretty much figured there was no way I would get any new plants started from what I saved.

Surprise surprise almost every pea seed I saved took. I have new growth - all but a few are growing (and those ones I knew weren't viable). I also had all of my lettuce reseed itself everywhere. I doubt I will ever plant lettuce again - just let it blow all over and you will be all set year after year. What didn't make it was any of the pepper seed I saved. But I am not surprised because the plants themselves were weak. So I have hope that it is in fact possible to save seed from commercially produced seed growers.

Waiting for the men in black to come bang on my door for copyright violations. And I appreciate these are not "pure seeds" but a person has to start somewhere no?



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 08:27 PM
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If anyone is monitoring this thread I have a question:

I've heard you need two weeks to harden off seedlings before planting them outdoors. How flexible is this "rule"? I can appreciate that seedlings need an adjustment period before being thrown on the mercy of the elements, but can this timeframe be shortened?

My broccoli seedling are ready to go but they've only been outside twice for about three hours at a time two days apart. I feel they should go in the ground by sunday and that's less than a week of hardening off. They're a cool weather plant but since they were started indoors they're "weak".

Appreciate any advice.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 09:21 PM
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reply to post by otherpotato
 


Put a small fan close for a few hours a day so they get a bit of a breeze, this will toughen them up.Make sure they are well watered as they will dry out faster this way. Also when you plant on Sunday, put up a sheet (or something) to shelter them from the sun. Good luck!



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by lightmere
 


I like the fan idea. But I will definitely not do the sheet. I've been giving them as much real sun as possible (that's all they get on my windowsills in fact) but I refuse to baby my seedlings. So I better wait until they are tough enough to go outside.

Another thing I do is brush my hand over each seedling every day when I check on/water them. I swear the more you physically touch your plants the better they do.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 11:39 PM
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reply to post by frayed1
 


I pretty much hate any automatic watering system. I prefer hand watering as much as possible. I've been over-ruled on this point but I firmly believe that hand watering forces you to pay more attention to the overall health of each plant. Just my experience.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 10:02 AM
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reply to post by otherpotato
 


How did you extract the peppers seeds in order to save them?

I ask because I used to scrape seeds out of the peppers and had a horrible time. An old farmer friend of mine said he puts the last two or three fruits through a blender - the seeds that rise to the top of the blended gunk are viable and those that stay at the bottom are bad for whatever reason. I did this last year and I have so many pepper seedlings this year!

Also: I don't have the patience to harden off for the proper two weeks. I start my most robust plants - cold weather tomatoes, peas, squash, broccoli - by putting them out for 1 hour on a day when the temps here are above 55 and hopefully there's a light breeze, then 2 hours the next day, then 4 hours the day after, etc. If any of the individual plants don't do well after setting out I might keep them in or repeat the shorter duration.

And another thing: Star for your watering by hand comment! I also water by hand and touch my plants while watering them because it gives me time to really examine the plants for pests or weeds. You said that very well.





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