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Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by RustyStuff, May 31, 2015.
Hmm, thanks for the picture - that looks just like them!
Glad I stumbled across this thread. I look forward to contributing a few pics over the next couple weeks. I've dug maybe 100lbs of potatoes, which I think is roughly 30 to 40% of what I'll get total.
Have a 40' row of carrots to dig. I freakin love steamed carrots...
Buttercup squash are nearly ready.
My garden is a wasteland of neglect and weeds. It started going well last year, then two trips to Mexico left it prettymuch overgrown and dying. This year attention went towards a shaky relationship, a trip to Iceland, and the house itself needing a ton of work. I haven't even looked at the garden in months. We're talking about *possibly* selling the house and moving to the other side of the world... if that happens, we can start a whole new garden to fail with
Gardening is a bunch of extra work during an already busy time of year. You won't be getting any sh#t from me.
As a rule, if I can buy a tasty vegetable for reasonable money, I don't bother growing it.
I can't buy potatoes, carrots or squash that even come close to the quality I can grow myself. Saving some cash and getting some more exercise is a good side bonus.
There are ways and means. If you use thick enough mulch, the soil borne seeds wont get the light to germinate and the air bourne seeds don't get the moisture.
The mulch can be anything. Woodchips work well, decompose slowly and help build soil by encouraging a good strong bacterial and fungal network. Lots of utubes on woodchips and the "back to eden" thing.
If you have really bad weeds, then a layer of cardboard from the supermarket works as well as anything. Start of this year I made a new raised bed over the grass. Very few annual weeds appeared - a couple of nettles, a stinger or two and a few tufts of grass.
I tipped in a load of grass clippings, a couple of inches of mole soil then about 4 inches of my compost. We have had a great crop of tomatoes. Now the bed has settled to about half, this winter, once cleared, I'll top it up ready for next year.
Choosing what to grow depends on what you like to eat, but if you are going to be away lots then some crops are no no's.
A few fruit trees maybe. They need attention ie watering and weeding in the first year and care with planting, but once established can give results for generations.
It has been a good plum year here. The apples seem to have had two early drops, sort of self thinning, but the fruit still on the trees looks healthy and tasty.
Round here, most people have several apples, a cooker - either Howgate Wonder or Bramley Seedling which I prefer as it stores better. Fruits picked in a fortnight or so will last until spring.
My eating apple preference is a Cox's Orange Pippin. Out conditions here are ideal for it, and it goes all temperamental if they are not to it's liking. But there are thousands of varieties, covering just about all tastes and very early to very late. Eat off the tree or put into storage. Some will still be good into new year.
We have frozen raw chunks, cooked puree, and dried slices for snacking. Apple jelly, especially with chilli is a great addition to cold or hot meats.
Pears and quince, very nice. The range of sweet stone fruit - peaches and apricots - we have slight problems with. The winter rains bring silverleaf curl, so need winter protection, but other climates can produce excellent fruits.
"Common" veg, like main crop potatoes and onions are just too plentiful and cheap round here in deepest agroville to be bothered growing. We grow new potatoes and still have a few left. But the main crop, I can buy a 50lbs bag for less than a 5lbs bag of seed potatoes. It's the cultivation space I lack, if I had more then maybe.
Onions it's hard for us to get dry enough to store. We grow lots of shallots, but this year it went all damp and windy just at the time when dry was required and they blew over and stopped growing. Such is life.
We grow lots of kale and leeks for through the winter. We love beans, but for eating fresh, they do need regular picking or they stop producing. Borloti and butter beans and various haricots can just be left to dry on the vine, as can soup peas.
Asparagus needs effort to set up, but once established provide an easy spring time treat.
I have 3 apple trees, but they predate me. It's nice to grab a couple on the way by with the tractor and snack while I mow. Insects take a toll on the fruit quickly here in Minnesota. I need to spend some time researching methods of controlling the bugs without using chemicals. I just can't bring myself to spray pesticides on the food I grow here on the farm.
Sounds good! Gardens, like bikes, sometimes take a backseat to life.
My simple, but tasty supper:
Potatoes and carrots cooked in foil and a rib steak. I raised the beef, too.
Dang. This would be fantastic. I hope to get there one day. The images I found once from growbiointensive.com demonstrated some real fantastic differences between home-grown and store bought produce that would be great to replicate.
I think it has more to do with the soil and weather here than anything I do.
I live in an area that was once almost all fruit, there are still the remnants of many orchards, most now never picked. My house is built on part of what was a strawberry farm.
There are simple solutions for quite a few of the common pests of fruit trees, although you may have different ones too.
Grease bands, a physical barrier round the trunk, stop certain bugs climbing up to infest the fruit. There used to be a paste to smear on, but I haven't seen that for a while.
Pheromone traps, again a sticky trap which hangs from the branches and certain moths are sexually attracted there instead of laying their eggs on blossom/fruit.
Also the usual thing of encouraging the beneficial insects and pest predators, like having dedicated boxes for insectivourous bird or bug hotels to support the good insects to be around your trees.
I do all the prep work for my Dad and step brother, my Dad does a 100ft by 150ft garden that has been a garden for 80 years, this year he put out green beans and 35 tomato plants, he put up 175 qts.
My step brother has a full acre of potatoes , tomatoes, green beans, and sweet corn, and some other corn he makes hominy out of, along with herbs and onions.
We have 4- 300lb hogs to butcher as soon as the temps drop, there will be lots of lard and cracklins.....yum yum yum
One of our biggest problems is what to do with stuff once it starts coming in. We are still getting a dozen or more cucumbers a week, endless courgettes, kgs of tomatoes etc etc.
Freezer full, neighbours sated, bins in the root store loaded.
We looked at donating to shelters in the area, but tins only...
We've got a few things growing on our suburban property. The dwarf peach tree we planted last summer fruited this season, the dwarf cherries have yet to do anything. A little from the gooseberry and currants, nothing yet from the blackberry or grape vines. The fig bush is producing, hope to have some ripe before the season ends.
Small garden did OK with San Marzano tomatoes, hot peppers, sugar snap peas, cukes, and 8 ball zucchini. Corn was planted late, so not sure they'll ripen in time.
All trees and bushes were planted since we moved in two years ago, so hoping to provide something for the future.
Garden-y, but not edible...
New growth on the first citronella plant I'm propagating!...
We don't grow a single thing on our property that can't be used for food in some way. My wife grew up in postwar Korea, when starvation was a very real thing. We have about 6 acres here, and over the years, have turned it into a sort of Korean farm. We have almost 100 Korean pear trees, a few apple trees, a couple of persimmon trees, and some Chestnut trees,too. In the garden, we mainly grow garlic, hot peppers, and radishes. We have travelled all over Michigan finding wild plants that Koreans eat, and have brought them back to plant here. In the spring, Koreans come from all over to cut these plants, which have thrived and spread all over. Starting Sunday, people will be coming to pick our pears-our "October friends", as I call them, who only show up when there are ripe pears to be had.
We have spent the last week over in the north east of the county. Crab and lobster, fish and chips and all the fruits of the sea. We visited a couple of "stately homes" Fekbrigg, where we stayed and Blickling, about 10 miles away. The walled produce gardens are being restored to their former glory. Very inspiring. We both wish we lived nearer so we could volunteer, to learn a few tricks from the professionals.
Arriving home today, we still have some of the tomatoes, the others have succumbed to blight, always sad to see the efforts of the summer come to naught, but we have had a good year and longer season than usual. Tomorrow, if not too cold and wet starts, with the removal of the blighted plants, seeing what can be rescued and starting to plant out the spring garlic and shallots. We can sow hardy broad beans now for an early crop and hopefully avoid the black fly too. We are trying Wizard field beans this years instead of the usual Aquadulce Claudia. We could also sow De Monica, but they are reputed to almost as early from a February sowing.
We have already planted enough kale, cabbage and leeks.
Due to family problems, sowing the September seeds for winter salads passed without happening this year. Winter purslane, bulls blood beets, real spinach, lambs lettuce and mache were all planned, but not done.
In our climate, in most years, they should be fine. 95% of the rest, a fleece should be sufficient.
Not sure, but there is usually some ever reliable Reine de Glace and endive winter leaves/lettuce around somewhere.
As Nick said, " predator insects" are the bomb. First thing you need to do though is know what type of pest you have. Most counties have an ag department that can help with that. Here you take few affected leaves in in a Ziploc and a few days later you know what you are dealing with. A free service
Then try this place http://rinconvitova.com/ Seems weird importing bugs to your garden, but they really do work. Lacewings are my favorite. They have all but eliminated pest problems on my chilies
Here, bug hotels of different types are encouraged and sold at any garden centre. More specialist are various nematodes which usually attack just one type of pest - in our cold and wet, we get to see lots of slugs.
Encouraging insect eating birds by the usual methods - right sort of nesting boxes of nesting boxes or sites they can use, water bowls and of course no toxic sprays. Like most draconian methods, they are great the first year, then gradually loose effectiveness.
There are specialist vendors of early season ladybirds and hoverflies - both very good for controlling aphids.
Regular wasps are useful early in the year collecting other fruit damaging pests - it's only later year when queenie throws them out and they get drunk on the alcohol in rotting fruit they get testy.
Disposed of most of the tomatoes this morning, must say we did have a good season. And still managed to collect a few kgs of fruit.
We don't have anywhere really suitable, but our neighbour are teetering on the brink of being a volunteer bee foster home. Quite a few beekeepers need more space for their hives, and will do the work, but just need a plot to keep the hives. I think they get a honey kickback.
I appreciate the suggestions in regards to bug control, fellas. I look forward to researching the subject during the depths of winter.
Brought up the last of the potatoes, a handful of carrots and a few squash this afternoon.
I'd really prefer to leave my carrots in until they get a good frost on them. Not sure mother nature is going to cooperate, though.
The squash harvest is going to be exceptional. I'll bake and freeze as many as I can manage. Nothing better in the middle of winter, IMO.