The FALL/WINTER VEGGIE growing season is just about underway!
Some of us have already direct sowed seeds and/or have started seedlings for our veggie gardens! We're fine-tuning our lists and deciding what will go where! So, jump on in to give us an update on the progress of YOUR fall/winter 2012-2013 veggie garden. Posting the veggie variety lists you're growing is a good place to start!
Here's what I accomplished over the long weekend:
►Repotted 45 more seedlings (cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers)
►Unloaded 2 yards of garden soil and finished filling RB #2
►Began building RB #3, cause I filled all the available containers I had with the extra garden soil, and still have 1/2 yard left on the trailer!
►Scored enough FREE cedar pickets to face the outsides of RBs #3 & #4, so all RBs will match the fence
►Cut up the pieces to build RB #4 next week
►Went on a mission to find and relocate one HUGE Harry Hornworm. If he makes it back to the veggie patch, he deserves to live...
►Fed all the plants with Mary Demeny's fertilizer recipe:
2 cups alfalfa pellets
2 cups Epsom salt
1 cup fish emulsion
1 cup Hasta Gro (lawn food fertilizer; Google it)
20 drops SuperThrive
Fill a 20-gallon garbage can with water and add all ingredients above. Mix with a shovel to keep the alfalfa pellets from settling on the bottom. Use rubber gloves to avoid skin contact. Use a watering can with the sprinkler removed to apply to the base of plants. Amount to apply: Pour for 3 to 5 seconds for large plants, less for smaller plants.
Most importantly, I managed NOT to hurt myself in the process, although I was dog tired every night!
I actually feel quite good today!
#1 is RB #3 in progress
#2 Harry Hornworm
#3 Pot Black Eggplant
#4 RB #1 still cranking out bell peppers, eggplants and okra
mostly I am just struggling with just trying to keep everything alive during this round of 3x digits everything I have is direct sown right where it is going grow if I can only keep it alive>>winter radish>aragula >kale >collards>turnips>mustard>Chard>carrots>lettuce and some fall Romas and Alaskan peas have to really keep a close eye on it But it is too hot do do anything else
I shoveled garden soil off that trailer Friday from 10am until 7pm. The heat index at high noon had to be over a 100 degrees . I took many water breaks inside to cool off. Didn't have any help, but I got it done.
I'm not going out there to water seeds this go round. Probably start hardening off this batch on the weekend, and start another batch. It feels soooo good to look over at RB #2, filled, and ready for seedlings!
When should I pull the stuff outta RB #1? The veggies are still producing.
Wow, Gymgirl, I wish I had half your energy. I barely got one bed made and transplants in. The corn's 2" tall already. We usually get first frost the second week of September, so gotta move faster. What accomplishments you are making! That's encouraging to others. Thank you for the great pictures and the info.
SCORED at the lumber yard!!!! They give away the unusable lumber, and guess who showed up at lunchtime yesterday for the whole pile of cedar pickets? I got enough usable pieces to face the outside of RB #3 AND #4!
I have a wonderful teacher named BUBBA, who taught me to "save every piece of your lumber," cause you'll never know when you might need a piece here and there. It was because of him that I saved the leftover cedar fence pickets in the first place. Then I saw how I could use them to face the pine boxes so they'd match the fence!
THANKS, BUBBA! (I know you're lurking...)
P.S. My dear neighbor is gonna offload the remaining garden soil for me, today!
I took the day off and picked up a few things for my landscaping. I'd plant them, but it's like a sauna out there. It's supposed to cool down this weekend, so maybe them. I'm not supposed to be doing anything physical right now anyway.
The BF forked dirt, hauled mushroom compost from where the delivery truck left it and mixed everything up in most of my new raised beds this weekend. There's 2 left to do, and then I'll have leftover compost to top off beds and side dress my existing beds. It's starting to look like a garden out there. Then we'll drive the hoop sockets in the ground and I'll do as much of the walkways as I can. Finally, move one of the existing beds to a new spot. The fencing and edging will have to wait until after frost. (I fetched iced lemonade and supervised.)
We also grabbed a load of city compost this weekend and he hauled and shoveled while I spread it under the plants in front and berries.
My luffa gourd has a very large fruit and they may even ripen before frost. Between it and the runner beans, the sunflowers they were growing on finally collapsed under the weight, but the vines seen unfazed.
My late set of tomatoes are starting to produce, but they don't taste very good.
Peppers are still going like crazy. I took 5 pounds of just banana peppers to the community garden that takes food to homebound seniors this past weekend.
I'm harvesting turnips and radishes should be ready soon.
My regrowing celery from a stump experiment is going very well.
I find myself looking forward to winter's arrival this year, which is odd because I hate cold weather. Perhaps it's only that spring arrived so early that I think it's "time."
What're you doing to your walkways? I don't have any yet. Been thinking about laying down some flagstone pavers. My yard won't require a whole lot of them. Slowly shrinking the lawn with raised beds and pathways.
I'm using heavy duty nursery fabric. The mulch I was using before was just helping the weeds, not hurting them. The fabric is breathable and porous, so I'm not killing the dirt under it, but the weeds can't come up through it except around the edges. Some of the tougher weeds -- like creeping charlie -- do a pretty good job of that! I don't think it would conquer bermuda grass, but I have edges around the outside fence where there's a possibility of bermuda that are 2' deep. One side has perennial herbs and the other is still whatever suits me, although eventually herbs will probably get put there as well. Right now potato cages (which are doing awful) and marigolds and next spring I'm doing 2' tall sunflowers there. Anyway, it gives me a demilitarized zone to fight back the weeds.
I have pavers at the garden entryway and in some other spots -- plus heavy use to create mowing edges. I didn't mortar then, I just put down sand, and yet I don't have weeds coming up under them. I thought I wanted pavers in my walkways, too, but now I am thinking the pavers may cook the ground too much in my sun. I'd rather have extra healthy root space for plants that can handle it.
This is the final design I'm working on. Under the apple trees (the blue part) at top I'm either doing mulch or some kind of groundcover; I haven't decided which. It's already mulched in the shady spot behind the shed and that's where I keep my cages and trellis' and such when not in use. To the right is a chain link fence with the pasture/orchard on the other side. To the bottom I'm eventually putting in a creekbed/walkway. To the left is lawn (and septic lines.)
Gotta get back in the game. You guys are having too much fun. Hello, Linda! And everyone else!
After hiding in the house away from the summer heat, I am getting excited for a fall garden, and starting to do a few things.
DH is putting in 3 skinny raised boxes (frames) for me at the bottom of our side yard fence. He made one this morning, and 2 to go. I already have wire grid fencing affixed to the wooden fence from when I grew cukes and watermelon there last year. It was a struggle to keep the dirt hilled up, though and weeds were a problem, so I'm looking forward to having dedicated RBs to work with, and I will be mulching/weed blocking all around the boxes.
In other parts of the yard, I have some tomatoes, squash and cukes planted -- hope I have time between scorching hot and freeze weather to get some nice fall veggies. Also planted a row of beans, and started a flat of herbs to go in my line of cinder blocks (64 little holes to fill).
I guess I should read the preceding parts of this thread to see what else I should be doing (or should already have done!).
Nicole, I hear you about the taste of those late summer tomatoes -- blech! Ours were terrible. I pulled my plants just to be done with it. I guess there is an argument to be made for keeping the vine varieties around until cooler temps, but mine were getting rangy and buggy and I was just "done" with them.
Linda -- beautiful eggplants -- both types! I have yet to grow any but it's on my list. (Ditto okra). You are an inspiration with all your hard work, and so much to show for it.
Been missing you, girl! Glad to see you're back.
Don't let the pics fool you. That's just a snapshot of a VERY small growing area in the yard. Most of my RB veggie garden is in its first season -- THIS season, since most everything I grew before was in buckets/ebuckets.
I have flats of cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli seedlings growing inside. They'll go out for hardening off this weekend. Almost finished constructing RB #3, a 3x10 -- need to face, place, and fill. RB #2 is sitting empty, just taunting me to put those seedlings in! But, I'm not gonna jump the gun on the cool weather the cole crops need, cause I'm NOT going in for constant watering just yet, and the RB irrigation systems are NOT in place yet!
Peaceful Valley farm is having a 50% off seed sale online. I was only supposed to be looking at their Garlic bulbs, but I got sucked into buying other things. The thing that really got me was the "Siberia" tomatoes claim it can set fruit at 38 degrees. Visions of Tomatoes in January. I thought I was done sowing Tomatoes until December, now it looks like I will be planting a few next week. Can't resist the urge to experiment. Has anyone else grown this variety?
Also I have never grown garlic before. Any one want to recommend a favorite variety? Music seems to be popular. Everything I read says it is a cold hardy variety. I wonder if Las Vegas would provide it with enough "chill" hours.
Recently I have planted corn, broccoli, parsnips, and chard.
Planning on sewing lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and radishes soon. I love fall!
There are two similar in that they produce early and in the cold tomatoes varieties that I know of. SIBERIA and SIBERIAN. I am not sure which of these my local nursery carries but I have bought plants. Usually put my tomatoes out around May 8th. Have set these out mid April. They do fine and I have tomatoes by early to mid June. They do set in the cold very well. But they stop producing and die out as soon as the weather turns hot.
stephanietx wrote:I grow elephant garlic. We don't get a lot of cold here and it performs beautifully.
I'm not trying to cause trouble, honest, but I feel I must again point out that botanically-speaking, "Elephant Garlic" is not a variety of "Garlic", it's an entirely different species. It just happens to superficially resemble Garlic, and some people imagine it smells a bit like garlic (as do other species of the genus Allium).
Few days late with comment on walkways, but I am really likeing some pathways i built a few months ago. First one I put a couple of inches of sand down on top of garden level, to keep water from carrying dirt on to the walk, Then i folded some Weed Barrier length wise and stapled it down with the wire hairpins they use to hold drip tube in place. Then when i built the second one, i used heavy mulch to get the height, and then covered the same way. Very neat and clean and will be easy to move as the gardening requires it.
grits74571 wrote:Just go to the grocery store and buy yourself a pound of garlic stick it in the frig until you are ready to plant Works for me just call me cheap..
Only two problems I can think of with this approach:
1) Not all varieties of garlic are adapted to all growing regions. Garlic at the grocery store comes from wherever it is currently available at the lowest price, generally somewhere with a warm, dry growing season (like Gilroy). That doesn't mean it is the best for your region (in fact it's unlikely), and since cost is related to volume it may not even be a particularly flavorful garlic. I've gotten store-bought garlic that had more of an earthy flavor than a garlicky one.
2) There is no way to know what diseases the garlic may bring into your garden. Garlic can be infected with viruses that are not visible but which affect future crops. Or they may have fungi or bacteria already in the cloves - who hasn't bought garlic with rotten cloves? Depending on the disease, it may end up being a permanent feature of your garden.
I believe the majority of grocery store garlic is now produced in China, so heaven knows what growing conditions the garlic is from; China is a big place. If it's still got the roots on it, it should be US grown garlic since the roots are (supposed to be) removed before import to reduce the chances of bringing in a disease or pest. Chinese garlic also generally drier and less flavorful. I don't know if they harvest soon, somehow grow it faster, or use shorter season varieties, but it doesn't give the garlic time to really develop flavor.
I ordered my seed garlic from Seeds Savers Exchange. $21 for 4 (huge) hardneck bulbs plus shipping seems expensive until next spring when you have a whole pile of garlic! No spraying, no fungicides; I just stuck them in the ground and watched the rabbits act like it was an electric fence.
Unfortunately, my dog discovered you can eat your garlic shoots. Talk about stinky dog breath!
Since it's my first time, I think I'm gonna go with a bag of garlic from Sam's Club, just to see if I can even grow it.
Does it require full on sun for 6-8 hours? I have several planting zones in my yard, each with its respective light challenges. The southwest side gets bright morning sun; the west and north fences get the most sun, the most hours of the day. The northeast is bright, but not full on sun, except a small NE corner which gets much brighter after noon.
Ok. I have a line for full sun. 6" apart on the cloves, right?
I have patented Earthboxes on the sunny north fence line, and was going to use them again for bulb onions. But, if I build another RB, I can put the onions in there, and the garlic in the EBs. Or, would they play well together in the same RB? Two birds, one RB?
I'd go more like 8" to give them a little more space. Some of my bulbs were 4" across this year and it was the first time I'd spaced them a bit wider. I got a lot more usable garlic once you take off the paper shell. (But also different varieties so it may not have been the spacing.)
I can't help you with the onion question; I don't grow them. (Allergic.) But offhand I can't think of any issues with them growing together unless you are replanting alliums in the same spot as last year.
►I noticed that the cut stems of all the okras growing in the buckets have sprouted again along the stems!
►I learned how to use a PIPE CLAMP to pull the bowed out corners of my 3x10' box together. Cut cedar fence pickets, and started facing the outside.
►I separated more seedlings (mostly cabbages) into individual vessels (4" nursery pots). The Early Jersey Wakefields are totally beautiful, even as seedlings. They look like miniature, full grown cabbages!
►I set broccoli and cauliflower seedlings out for hardening off. They look amazing, too!
►Picked all the remaining eggplants (a LARGE aluminum pan full), and did a parmigiana for dinner - a totally delicious, "make-it-up-as-you-go" recipe.
►Last weekend I trimmed all the BP plants back to about 18". This weekend, I noticed that the 2nd wave of miniature bell pepper that is maturing seems to be growing a bit larger than the first. Maybe it just takes longer for them to get bigger, and definitely more watering...
►Another batch of seedlings will be going out for hardening off, as they have outgrown the height of my light stand, and I'm getting weary of adding blocks to lift it higher for them...
I've come a very long way from when I was a beginner gardener. I babied seedlings because I was scared of them. Now, they cringe when I enter the growing room. When I potted up the broccolis and cauliflowers into drinking water bottles last week, I was none to gentle, since I had to fairly rip apart the roots. They looked absolutely pitiful when I was done, practically laying over on the bottles. Lots of leaves started turning brown and drying up...miserable.
Today, all those transplants have thrown brand new leaves, and you'd think they started out in those water bottles.
Ditto LisaP, and I love growing seedlings, too. It's so rewarding to see a plant grow from seed. I'm hooked and will never be the get-plants-at-the-local-greenhouse-in-spring gardener, again. When I was a kid, everything was grown from seed. I think society is moving back to the old ways...very slowly...but it's started, I think. I found out that the local greenhouse doesn't even start most of their plants from seed- they BUY seedlings from some big city seedling wholesaler!
You're not late! You're right ON TIME! Girl, that's what's so good about this fall/winter gardening. We have a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG SEASON! Yay!
Before I knew anything at all, I used to sweat, sweat, sweat, and agonize, about getting stuff in the ground on time. Since I've discovered fall/winter, my goal this year is to put something in the ground every few weeks up until December 20th, when I start the tomato seeds.
I have an initial batch of cole crop seedlings ready for transplanting this weekend. The pics I post later will be of this 1st batch. I'll start a second batch indoors, soon, and hope to direct sow some seeds beginning in the 1st of October.
If all goes according to schedule, something should be either growing up, or coming up, in all available sites, from this weekend until December 20th. Then, I should be able to harvest veggies from late November until next March.
On December 20th, I go back inside and watch the cole crops from the windows, while I play with tomatoes and bell peppers inside!
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to be on some kinda track this year!
Yes, but mostly I just roll with the seasons, particularly fall. Average first frost is only about 6 weeks out, hard freeze in 8, but a frost won't bother my fall crops anyway and the final round of garden turnips and radishes I planted last week will be in by then.
I should have the first fall peas soon. Maybe today -- I didn't check the garden this AM. I was NOT going out there in shorts and a tank top!
I purchased mine by the scoop at a local nursery, so I'm no help. I think I ended up with about a pound of seeds 3 years ago! LOL I have purchased other seeds from Baker Creek (www.rareseeds.com) and Sustainable Seeds (http://sustainableseedco.com/).
Pink eye purple hull flower this morning. Love the light purple color!
Today's harvest: purple hulls, jalapenos, and okra pods (for seeds)
I finished as much of the garden extension as I can do before frost. I've planted all the last seeds I can for fall and I'm not starting any new landscaping beds this fall... so other than harvest and eat my season is finished. In another month or so, it'll be time to plant garlic and do the winter chores.
Peas are coming in. The cold weather has made them small, but very sweet. Ironically, the radishes are really, really spicy. I finally planted enough to keep the boyfriend happy. He can't keep up with the harvest and he's gonna be sick of them by the time they are done. :)
The only things still going here are my tomatoes, which surprizingly still produce some and my Fall Pea crops which have been producing steadily. I have already pulled out all my summer cucumbers and beans.
So far, I'll be able to set out the cauliflowers, broccoli and cabbages this weekend and next, in RB #2. If I get RB #1 cleaned out, and RB #3 faced, I can sow turnip, beet, and carrot seeds in one bed, and lettuce and spinach in the other bed.
I'm still a bit up in the air about where to place which veggies, though. From experience, my cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers will do fine in bright light. I've read the root crops, garlic and onions need the most direct sunlight, so I'm rethinking those placements.
P.S. Lemme know when you're sowing your snow peas, wandos, and the other variety you did last year!
The rate we're going we won't get anything else sown! I still have a few days left for peas and hope to get those in tomorrow. I'd really like to get some lettuce in, but I think it's too late for that.
Not too late for lettuce. IMHO. I don't sow mine until well into Oct. It's been too hot. Some types of lettuce, like spinach won't germinate if its too hot. I'm referring to leaf lettuce. I just cut it and it grows back. I mix lettuce seeds with potting soil and toss them. Our weather is so crazy I'm not sure if there really is a right or wrong time. My tomatoes are setting like crazy, so are the peppers and my long beans. I tossed some Swiss Chard seeds in a container and they are starting to come up. Still have cucumbers setting on some plants in a container.
I don't really know. My little chart says in your area to sow around Nov 1st, but I don't know about that type in particular. The winter of 2009-2010 I sowed way too much lettuce. It was my first year and I didn't know what to expect. I sowed 3 wide rows that were 25' long each. It lasted all winter. I never covered it. That was one of our coldest winters it got snowed on and it did freeze. I sowed it so thick that the freezing temps did burn some of It but it came right back. I used blends from Baker Creek so I have no idea what germinated or when, but i did have a lot of lettuce that tasted great.
I think I'll wait a bit. I'm feeling like I have about 70 days before our first frost, so, I might start sowing lettuce and spinach seeds next weekend.
I sowed onion seeds in the painted drawer seed trays this past weekend. Hoping to score some more cedar to build a smaller RB dedicated to garlic. That, or grow them in two 20-gallon SmartPots I have available. But, they're deeper than garlic needs and I would rather dedicate them to something with longer roots.
Okay, so I slept in this morning and didn't have as much time in the garden as I wanted, but my hip thanks me for not trying to do more. I spent about an hour weeding and pulling out grass of one area of the garden. This is where my peas are going to go. I also discovered some ants, so I treated the area with dry molasses. This evening, if it doesn't rain, I'll get out there and plant my peas. I will plant two trellises of peas and then plant spinach and lettuce in the rest of the space. I need to pull out my okra plants and then I think I'll put carrots in their place.
I also picked more purple hulls. My sheller is currently shelling them. :)
Except, they're really not like the dried peas, are they? The flavor and especially the texture of fresh-frozen beans and Southern peas - even fully ripe ones - is very different from that of the same dried. Here I can buy them both ways at the grocers, and it seems to me the dried ones are always tougher, starchier and more grainy than the fresh frozen.
Been a very busy few months but I'm excited to see how things turn out for fall/winter. I've never done anything other than tomatoes/cukes for fall so I can't wait to see how things go. I've planted/transplanted
Tomatoes (18 varieties now to find the planting chart to see what is what)
cabbage (3 varieties)
turnips (2 varieties)
lettuce (4 varieties)
spinach (2 varieties)
Will spend the weekend working on the fennel, carrots, parsnips, radishes and garlic raised bed
Hey there araness. So you will be sowing carrots this weekend? I was wondering when I should be doing the same...I had a trusty Harris County vegetable planner that would guide me (although I'm in Galveston County...close enough) but I can't find it.
Anyway, what kind of carrots are you growing? Maybe I'll sow carrots this weekend as well!
A few tips:
►stake the broccoli (Hungry HIPPO, Water HOGS) and brussels sprouts EARLY
►don't feed the beets and turnips too much nitrogen, or you'll end up with all leaves and tiny roots
►harvest the outter leaves of the mustards and collards every 4-6 weeks, and they'll keep going until the heat or the aphid/loopers get em in the springtime...
GG, I'm doing 90% in the EB's and since I don't do organic I just follow their guidelines...do I need to do extra? I got my tomatoes in late so don't have hopes for a great crop, I already have green tomatoes but they aren't as far along as I'd like. Real life gets in the way so not much I can do but try and roll with it. I didn't get the cukes in and I know I'll miss those as well as okra (i've about finished off the pickled okra I did early spring and I want MORE!)
No pictures as of yet, when he cleans the place up a bit I'll take some.
John I have that book also but I used this as a guideline this year. It's an article from the HC I'll plant the radishes now and then the carrot/parsnip/fennel in two weeks
Fall vegetable planting guide
By Kathy Huber | Friday, August 14, 2009
Fall's milder temperatures bring out the best flavors in home vegetable gardens. Insects and disease are less bothersome. And we can grow warm- and cool-season crops.
Warm-season vegetables are frost-susceptible types such as beans, cucumbers and summer squash that can't take cold. They should go into your garden soon, joining newly planted tomatoes.
Frost-tolerant crops that need cooler conditions include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, spinach and turnips.
• Plant crops where they will receive at least six hours of direct sun daily. Root crops (such as turnips) and leafy vegetables (like lettuce) tolerate some shade, but fruiting types (such as tomatoes and squash) need sun. A south or southeastern exposure is best, and when possible, plant rows or raised beds east-west. A garden that catches the early morning sun will dry more quickly, reducing the chance that harmful fungi or bacteria will develop.
• Good air circulation and easy access to a water source are important.
• Success lies in an organically enriched, loose and well-draining soil.
• Mulch to conserve soil moisture, moderate soil temperatures and discourage weeds.
Beans, bush, seed: September
Beets, seed: September-mid-October
Broccoli, transplant: September-January
Brussels sprouts, transplant: September-January
Cabbage, seed: August-November
Cabbage, transplant: September-November
Carrots, seed: mid-October-November
Cauliflower, transplant: September-January
Collards, seed: September-December 1
Collards, transplant: September-January
Cucumber, seed: August
Garlic, clove: late-September-mid-November
Kohlrabi, transplant: mid-September-November
Lettuce, leaf, seed and transplant: late-September-December
Mustard, seed: September-November
Mustard, transplant: September-January
Onion, transplant: mid-October-November, January
Peas, snap, seed: late-September-October/January-early February
That enriched, loose soil recommendation works for everything EXCEPT Brussels Sprouts. I had a whole crop of "blown" sprouts that wouldn't stay tight. The research I did said my soil was TOO lose. BS likes to grow in relatively generic soil that is hard as CONCRETE.
I have had great, great success growing cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower in bright light . They only got about 2-4 hours of almost direct sunlight daily. It's all I had access to, and I made it work!
I've been told the root crops, onions, & the garlic need more direct sunlight, so I've made arrangements to have the sun shine where I need it for my first root crops in raised beds.
lol don't think the BS are gonna make it since I direct sowed and didn't transplant...but ya know my butt was already crawlin around planting the seeds and I figured "What the heck". As you saw most of my backyard gets sun for 80% of the day so I think everyone should be ok. I want to find some garlic to toss in the raised bed, last time I tried it in a small pot and it didn't work out so I thought I'd see if SWF or the organic plant place here in Pearland had any to plant. I've never seen it at a DIY store.
My main focus is always the tomatoes but I'd love to taste beets & turnips. Since I've started on the canning and dehydration kick I don't have to worry so much about the excess so I planted way more spinach & greens that I'd knew we'd eat.
We're getting rain too...I just had the soil put in for my two new raised beds on Tuesday and was looking forward to working in the garden this weekend. Then the weather guy said that we should expect rain this weekend and of course this was the time he was right. It was really nice during the work week mind you, lol. I'm still going out there though!!!! @$@% rain!!!! I don't really have a choice :) Well, I could wait till tomorrow...
I got my collards and chard seedlings set in before the rain, and brought in some seedling starter mix for the kiddos and I to play around with while it's nasty out.
Someone mentioned Lady Cream Peas...wonder where I could get some of these to get started, does anyone know? The pigeon peas, scarlet runners, etc are all going like gangbusters for a few weeks now. :)
I bought some 6" broccoli transplants recently, and I got two - three plants per 4" nursery pot. I separated two plants just now and their respective root systems seemed to be quite intertwined. I'm wondering...was that wise to do? Will the plants be too traumatized now or are they more resilient than I am giving them credit for? I planted them nonetheless so time will tell, but I thought I'd ask to get some other thoughts or experiences.
I ripped apart about 25-30 broccoli seedlings for potting up a few weeks ago. They looked like death hanging over the sides of the drinking water bottles after, but you should see em today. Didn't lose a single one. Just keep em off to the side in some shade to let them recover before you put em out in full sun.
Gymgirl, thanks for the encouragement (Sept 18). I've been busy out in the backyard, just have been terrible about getting back to the site to report in.
Anyway, my tomatoes are going like crazy, I think I could sit there and watch them grow on the day after a rain. Crazy. So I'm really pleased with those and they are set up in my RBs that have hoops over them, so I should be able to baby them to a harvest, even if we get some cold weather before I'd like.
Broccoli are total wimps. I think my seedlings got too hot and stressed. But I'll just start some more, and a couple hardy ones have held on and may catch up. Ditto cauls -- replanted seeds yesterday.
Beans are going well, a couple of cukes are starting to climb. I have just 2 or 3 squash planted going great too -- I did not try to do any SVB prevention, hoping that the late season would have taken care of most of that problem. I may be sorry later.
I put some icicle radish and carrot seed in with the tomatoes -- will probably be all right with the radishes, as they should be ready before they get shaded out. Probably a mistake with the carrots, but I planted a few of those elsewhere as well.
In my 2 RBs that get a little bit less sun, I planted lettuce, romaine, spinach and beets (1/2 my beets, will plant the other half next week). The leaves are coming off the tree overhead, so those beds should move from dappled to pretty much full sun before long.
I've still got more than half the cinder block holes to plant -- have a bunch of basil seedlings that could go in there, and there's already some rosemary and oregano thriving there, but am at a little bit of a loss as to what else to plant there. I need to go review what I put in there last year and what worked and what didn't. I do remember having a lot of garlic -- it grew fine but didn't get very big and I'm thinking the season's wrong for it right now.
Planted bok choi in my hanging baskets around chrysanthemum. They did well there last year.
Threw down sunflower in an unused corner of the yard. They attracted nasty bugs last year, and apparently sunflowers are not good to plant around anything else, but they are so pretty, I figure I'll just toss them out on the far side and see what happens. Maybe it will keep some of the bugs away from my veggie garden.
Well, RB #3 is FINALLY finished (late yesterday evening). I went dumpster diving at lunchtime today, and scored some really, really thick cardboard sheets to put down on the grass before we set and fill the bed this evening.
My broccs, caulis, cabbages, and Chinese Cabbages still under lights inside are averaging 7-8" tall in the drinking water bottles. There's about 5-6" of root ball down in the bottles. Everything is rotating out today!
I've been making flow charts for where and how much to plant, and this is never gonna work for me! I'm just gonna have to put it all SOMEWHERE, and observe what it does, or else I'll think them all into shriveled up remnants of seedlings!
So, once RB #3 is set this evening, I'm gonna start filling up empty RB #2 with the caulis and broccs. At 1/sqft, I'm hoping to get at least 14 of each in my 4x8' RB. The charts say I can grow 32, but, I don't buy 1/sq. ft, cause those broad leaves start to crowd each other out. Especially, the Arcadia broccs. The leaf spread is impressive, and beautiful.
Question: I filled RB #2 with a layer of coffee grinds and shredder paper on the bottom, pine bark fines, vermiculite, sharp sand and old MG potting mix above that on the bottom half, and a layer of garden soil and composted manure above that, with about 4" to spare. The broccs and caulis are heavy feeders, and I have bags of cotton burr compost left.
If I spread a 4" layer of the cotton burr compost now, can I go ahead and plant the seedlings immediately into that? It's well aged already, and shouldn't burn anything.
Wow, even during the week you are doing major gardening stuff (like filling RBs with soil)! I hear what you are saying about spacing brassicas in the sq/ ft method. But, I am going to stick to the "1 per sq/ ft" guideline and just prune (harvest) the leaves a bit here and there if things get too tight. I can always cook the leaves as well so it will all work out. I am not familiar with Arcadia broccoli though.
It's been two years since I did a fall crop of brassicas using the square foot method and if I recall, it was the cabbages that got *humungous* and became space hogs. We'll see this year, I'm gonna pack 'em in...
My mind is always thinking about growing stuff, even when I'm working on work work!
The nature of the brassicas is they really are HUNGRY HIPPOS, and WATER HOGS, so some of that spacing issue (for me) has to do with keeping them fed and watered enough. I'm trying to build the richest organic soil I can beforehand, but I've learned from experience, that about halfway through the growing season, I'll probably end up dumping more bags of composted manure over the whole bed.
Please tell me about the irrigation system you mentioned. I still need to put mine in place before I put a single plant in those beds!!!! Else, I'll be outside all bundled up trying to keep em watered in the middle of winter!!!
The Drip Store has some good kits that I like. I did a quick search online and it turns out that this company is also rated in the DG vendor files and they have a good rep. Fast shipping and good customer service. Anyway, this is where I'm leaning. They have this one kit that includes some micro-sprinklers which will help me out with my beds in the front yard. I don't want to go another season without a drip system!!! The only other thing I'll need is a timer...
I think I'll get the timer from Amazon. The timers at the Drip Store didn't seem that good and there was not much of a selection. The battery-operated units were not weather proof and were very prone to water leakage into the battery compartment, causing corrosion and failure according to some reviews I'd read. That said, I find it hard to believe that water does not inevitably work its way around no matter what.
RB #3 is FINISHED, in place, and half planted as of yesterday evening!
Pic #1 Seventeen Cauliflowers set in 1/2 of the 3.5' x 10' bed.
Pic #2 Next batch of seedlings hardening off.
We FINALLY got a cool snap last night, so timing was perfect on the plant out! Got down to 55°. Will be in that range all this week, so the hardening off will go nice and smooth, with no swooning cole crop plants (prayerfully)!
Your RB's look nice, & sturdy. Bonus points for the decorative pumpkins!
That's a lot of cauliflower, do you end up freezing some of it? I should stop goofing around and start planting MORE!!!
Over the weekend, I planted 4 brussel sprouts, 3 chinese cabbages and 3 Joi Choy plants. My supplier at the local FM didn't have any cauliflower so I'll check with her next weekend. I did manage to score some bunching onions, which I will mix in the RB's here and there to maximize space. Maybe even some carrots too, right?
Thanks for the bonus points! The pumpkins on the soil fill in the spots the neighborhood cat might consider for his business!
I've been thinking about sinking the pvc pipe sleeves into the ground on both long sides of the bed, and constructing a shorter hoop (~3'), so I can drape the floating row cover over it to keep the moths from laying eggs on the caulis and broccs for awhile. I think the cool snap is gives me a short window, but soon as it warms up again next week, they'll be flitting around again.
My regular hoop stands about 4.5' tall.
I planted those caulis on 12" centers (regular spacing is on 18"), but I didn't wanna devote that much real estate. Even so, I keep looking at the space between them, and considered sprinkling some carrot or beet seeds there. Just enough to fill in, and not so much I'd end up having to thin ridiculously (I hate wasting seeds!!!!)
One issue I ran into as I was planting, though. The bed was set in place right on top of the grass. I put down a layer of excelsior and coffee grinds, then a thick (3 sheet) layer of heavy cardboard, all wet down, then filled the remainder of the bed with a garden soil composted manure blend. Actually, my handiman helper did the layering.
What he didn't do was to pull the packing tape off the cardboard!!! I hit it several times as I dug holes to set the cauliflowers. I had to chop it open so the plant roots could break through to the soil below.
Don't think I'm gonna be able to plant any carrots in this bed! The beets will be fine...
Other than carrots, parsnip, leeks and fennel I'm all in.
I've added (to my original list) bubbles Brussel Sprouts, Red Cabbage, Georgia Collards and ahem...I can't remember. I had some seedling casualties due to spousal seedling abuse (he full force hosed the poor babies!)
Cabbage (green & red and something GG gave me that is like bok choy)
Tomatoes (we have tomatoes but not going to be a huge hall)
In the ground from strong seedlings (knock wood) this morning:
Georgia collards, a second set, since my FIL likes them so
A few sad-looking gardenias I picked up for $1
Radishes (more than I can count)
Pickle cukes that got from my gran
A lot of these are rescues from my in-laws, I put in a bunch of seeds while we were evac'ed there for Isaac, and I wasn't sure any of them would grow. I'm still not! But they're all healthy so far, and the weather has been dreamy. Sunny, warm, just a bit breezy. I think being right next to the bayou makes it hotter here!
Into the seed tray with some delicious-smelling salvia seeds from another family member. Not a clue what they could be, though I have my suspicions, so I'm naming them "Free Bird". ;)
So far, the first set of collards I put in a few weeks back have quadrupled in size, the rainbow chard is trying to fight the snails quite valiantly, and the best treat has been my bay leaf tree, which is scrawny and leaning oddly, but put out seven new leaves since 2 weeks ago.
Scarlet runners are running up the cast-iron balcony from a container, they've made it through since a few weeks before the storm. Their leaves are rather pale, but vigorous. Grow, babies, grow!
And watercress that I knocked into the rosemary pot by accident (them seeds are weensy!) are putting out new leaves almost as fast as I can eat 'em.
Now the choice is: repot a 2-year-old avocado for a houseplant, or make my landlord nuts by sticking it in the ground? It will likely never fruit (grew it from a pit) but the leaves sure are pretty. Since it's been on "vacation" outside while we unpacked, it's suddenly four feet tall. This after the puppy gnawed it to the nub in April.
Tomorrow is my day! I have a gazillion plants that have been hardening off, and, when I checked on them last night, I tell you, they look like they're growing on steroids!!!
Here's my weekend plan:
►The cauliflowers I transplanted Sunday have taken to RB #3, and they look happy there. I'm thinking I'll mix it up a bit, and not plant a whole bed of caulis in one place. Instead, I'll put broccoli in the northern half of the bed since they grow taller, and plant RB #2 half-and-half as well. It'll make for a nice comparison on the light needs as well as the planting medium which is a bit different in each bed.
►Sprinkle beet, carrot, and turnip seeds on RB #1
►Build the small bed for the garlic/onions
►Seed the EBs with mustards and collards, and lettuce and spinach
►Throw some sugar snap seeds out
►Decide what can go into the deep, 25 gallon molasses tubs...maybe the excess caulis and broccs, or do the carrots in those...
And, I see that I've already run out of room for all those cabbages...shoot!
It wasn't on the schedule, but I ended up playing with the compost bins and harvested enough finished leaf mold, grass, and food scraps to fill one 25 gallon cattle molasses tub, and one five gallon bucket full!
Now. How do I use it?
I'm thinking to mix it into the garlic and onion bed with the MG garden soil and some composted manure. Yes? No?
On break for a few minutes. Building a compost bin in the greenhouse. I think I'll survive it, but don't know how...
Layers of sandy soil, chicken manure/wood shavings mix, and fallen leaves. Added some Epsom Salts, molasses, and Vitamin B complex for good measure (yeah...I know they say it doesn't make any difference, but it sure did on the outside bed, so. So does aspirin water when transplanting.) Then wetting the pile down... It's a chore, but it's like gold when the compost is ready to use, isn't it? Have more layers to go and need higher sides to hold it in. Ran out of blocks and manure. May have to go fight some roosters for more. Aargh.
I've been diagnosed with Acid Reflux, which is why I've felt so crappy lately, and particularly over this past weekend. Stayed home yesterday, and the most I did was walk out into the garden and stand and look around -- an indicator that I was, most DEFINITELY, sick!
Saturday, I used every ounce of energy and will power I had to fill in the north half of RB #3 with broccoli, and start filling in RB #2. To my extreme horror, I have exactly THREE Arcadia Broccoli plants for myself. Don't know what happened in the distribution, but I managed to keep a gazillion Green Magic Broccoli plants (totally unfamiliar to me, but recommended by a market grower).
So, RB #2 is half filled with the GM broccoli and the remaining cauliflowers on the west end, and three lone cabbages (so far) on the east end. I'm gonna have to reseed some Arcadias and more cabbages.
I have a bunch of Soloist (a beautiful Napa type) cabbages hardening off, and may put them into one of the EBs. They're a cut-and-come again type, and will keep growing till the worms move in or they bolt. They also don't need the depth of a raised bed.
Didn't do another thing past Saturday, except hold the hose on Sunday. No building, no planting, no seeding. Nothing. Nada. Nunca. Niet.
Oh. On the way from the doctor, I stopped at Whole Foods Market and bought 12 garlic cloves for the raised bed I haven't built yet. They're in the fridge until I do.
Linda, I have had acid reflux (GERD) for years, along with a hiatal hernia. It is very important to get it under control- the possibility of esophageal cancer is there if you develop lesions and don't get them healed.I used to take Prilosec until it was made over the counter, then changed to Nexium. I have to take 2 every day. Be sure to do what you are told by your doctor! With the medication I can eat pretty much what I want. I also chew 2 Tums at bedtime- and I had to get an adjustable bed, which I love- $3,000, but a necessity. I couldn't ever sleep flat at night anymore. Good luck! Hugs-Jo
Oooohhhh acid reflux, yikes. Sorry to hear that. Remember, your plants need you :)
I should consider growing broccoli from seed...maybe I'll sow a few seeds tonight (I think I have a package of Goliath seeds somewhere.)
I need to add more cabbage to my garden, I only have two 8" plants right now. Maybe some red cabbage, too. Anyone ever make their own saurkraut? I just read an article on Rodale that mentioned it, so I thought I would try that recipe when I harvest.
I'm praying to race home and drop a few seeds into RB #1. Any tips on seeding the 4x8 bed with beet and turnip seeds would be appreciated. I'd like to get the seed spacing right. I absolutely HATE wasting a seed or a seedling, so my goal is to keep thinning to an absolute minimum.
P.S. I've decided to use two 25-gallon molasses tubs to grow the carrots in, rather than in RB#1. The depth is there, and I can do standard length carrots in one, and shorties in the other.
John, if you've never tried fermented sauerkraut it's quite different than the vinegar version. There are a few canned brands that are actually lactofermented, and I'd suggest trying one of those before embarking in a home fermenting project just to be sure a) you like it and b) so you get an idea of what direction you are going in.
If you have tried it, nevermind, :)
For those who are fermented food fans, Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions" has a lot of recipes for lactofermentation.
Good points, Nicole. I did not consider how the taste varied between fermented and vinegar-based sauerkraut so, yes, I should sample the fermented variety first. I do enjoy the vinegar version so that will be something I will look into for sure.
Well, the rest of my fall garden is a bust. Both Mark & I have been feeling less than wonderful with sinus crap. This has caused Mark's asthma to flare up so it's a struggle for him to breathe much less do anything requiring much physical exertion. One of these years, I'll get it together enough to have a full fall garden.
We got good rain here, too. All the transplants are standing at attention! Great!
Still no energy to go out and build the frame for the garlic...or throw seeds in a cup...
Question: I planted the broccoli and cauliflowers on 12" centers, and, there's a nice patch of space between each plant. Could I possible be successful with sprinkling some spinach or lettuce seeds down there? The tall plants would shade them. Maybe two plants in between each? Nothing too crowded.
I went ahead and planted spinach in a narrow strip at one end of the brassica bed. I covered the seeds with vermiculite, then laid a strip of damp burlap over the site, to keep it moist until germination, and to avoid rainwater runoff.
I can transplant the seedlings to other available spaces once they're up.
Planted garlic, cilantro, and spinach today. The broc plants are getting eaten alive by the cabbage worms. Will need to get spraying to deter them. I have one red bell pepper plant that's just loaded with peppers, too! I planted the garlic in the space to the right of the broccoli you see in the second picture.
Might get some rain tomorrow as a cold front is supposed to move through. This is great because I got summoned for jury duty tomorrow and will have to walk a few blocks to the courthouse once the bus lets me off. :(
Mostly a "working" weekend here: reworked the soil in the back garden, adding a huge amount of compost, soil, and mulch over what I haven't been able to get turned over yet. Hoping by spring, it'll be a bit more workable. Planted some malabar spinach seeds, and I've got a few left if anyone else wants to try them!
The cherry tomatoes all got repotted in something a bit bigger and more heat-insulating, side dressed the strawberries, collards and chard, and buried the garlic a bit deeper hoping that I didn't, in fact, plant it too early.
Also, picked up a brand-new Aerogarden for almost nothing in Baton Rouge, trying to think of what to start in it! Maybe the carrot seeds, as there's still time to set them outside?
This weekend, I planted 5 varieties of carrots in two 20-gallon SmartPots. Two long varieties in one, and three shortie varieties in the other. Different planting mediums in each container, so will be watching carefully.
Also planted three different types of beets. Did anyone else sow beet seeds? I soaked them for 5 hours beforehand, in some water with a capful of H2O2. At first, it was a true pain placing each of those seeds in the shallow trench I made. Then, I dried them off some, and it got easier. I'm trying to control the spacing so I don't lose so many seeds to thinning. Otherwise, I'd have just thrown them out. I think the soaking will speed up the germination.
I checked under the burlap, and 1/2 the spinach seeds have germinated (the Space variety). The Bloomingdale Longstanding aren't up yet.
I spent Friday night organizing the garage until almost midnight. But, I was ready to rock and roll Saturday mor...er...when I got up...
I was too pooped to tackle emptying and refreshing 5 EBs to plant greens. I've got lots of time for them since they grow so fast. Besides, I think my lettuce would have bolted by now. We're heading back into the high 80°s all this week.
Gotta remember to document where everything is planted, so I'll know the rotation for next season!
Y'all are killing me with all the progress on the fall garden! I was set to start prepping the garden for planting the first week of September. Then somehow, I managed to get hospitalized with a septicemia/blood infection that was causing a 103+ degree fever on the Friday before Labor day. IV antibiotics started the cure, then I was hit was some other viral infection that put me back in the hospital. Seems like I had every test and lab known to man and the doctors were unable to identify the culprit. To make a very long story short, I left the hospital the second time on September 11th, stick sick with the virus. I finally got over the virus after about three weeks at home. By the end of the second week of October I finally felt like doing something. Last week I ACTUALLY did chores around the house and went to follow-up doctor appointments (I have at least four different doctors, now).
This week I am working in the garden. I figure that since we rarely have much cold, that I can grow the cool-season vegetables even if I am really late starting. I will get some reemay and make PVC arches if it looks like we are going to have a short freeze later in the year.
Now, actually to the garden...
Today I hope to till in a layer of compost for the area that I'll be growing fall stuff. I bought it in bags for ease of handling and since I still can manage getting the front-end loader on our baby Kubota tractor. The bags only weigh about 20 pounds each, so I manage that much. I have all the bags laid out already. I just need to open them and spread everything a little bit. I hope that a two-inch layer, tilled in, will lighten up the soil some for the root crops.
I have two different broccoli that I'm trying: Bonanza and Green Magic. I planted in Jiffy pellets on last Thursday and about 75% of the seeds are already up. The Green Magic is fully up, and about half the Green Magic are peeking through. I'm going to harden them off as soon as they have a few true leaves.
Sugar Snap peas; Spanish Roja and Chinese Pink garlic; Black-seeded Simpson, Buttercrunch, and Flying Saucer Red lettuce; Bloomsdale Longstanding and Melody spinach; Detroit Dark Red and Chioggia beets; Tokyo Cross turnip, Danvers Half Long carrot; and Cherry Belle radish.
I'm also trying celery this year, Tall Utah 52-70R Improved. The seeds haven't started germinating, but they were only planted last Thursday. I think I will actually put the celery in E-buckets on the back porch. That should help me keep them uniformly watered, since they are heavy drinkers. It will also make it very convenient to pull a few stalks from a plant when cooking. It seems like almost anything I cook uses celery. Also, if the celery is in e-buckets, then I can easily pull it inside if there is going to be a longer freeze.
Since I'm starting late, does anyone have any other suggestions for vegetables that I can direct seed for my winter garden? I haven't planted anything, so new items wouldn't be any later than the ones I have planned.
Sorry to hear about your health issues, but glad you're on the mend!
You can set onion transplants in late-November, mid-December, and mid-January (order them from Dixondale Farms). Also, cauliflowers can be started, and mustard and collard greens seeds thrown about.
You can keep transplanting seedlings right up until around mid-December, so keep starting seeds inside in the cool. I'd like to start a 2nd batch of cabbage seeds this week for transplanting out in early December. I'd keep sowing, too, if I had another RB in place. That might still happen!
I've got floating row cover (FRC) and perforated plastic protection ready for my hoops, in case of any dips. I should put the FRC on now to keep the cabbage moths off my brassicas, so they can't lay eggs now. Fewer worms hatching in the springtime.
Also, if you start more seeds inside later (after the winter Solstice), you'll have transplants ready for early spring!
I'm learning we really do have a long fall/winter season here. I'm starting the tomato seeds on or near the Winter Solstice (December 20th or so), for transplanting out in mid-February, with all sorts of frost protection.
I can NOT imagine you being jealous of anything I do!!! Before I know it, you'll be harvesting veggies while I'm trying to figure out what happened!!!
One note: I sprinkled the seeds, and then covered them with VERMICULITE. Then, I laid cut up burlap sacks over the planting site. I wet the burlap down every day after sowing, and checked every day for the first sign of germination, then removed the sacks.
I think keeping the seeds moist helped with the fast germination, cause last year my carrot seeds took all of 21 days to germinate! This is a record for me!
Thinned my broccoli seedlings today. I had almost 100% germination, so I had to thin about 50% of the seedlings. I planted two seeds per Jiffy pellet, to allow for poor germination. It was sad to kill 70 baby broccoli! Also, I am starting to see emerging celery seedlings in the starter tray. I've never grown celery before, but thought that fall and central Texas winter might have reasonable temperatures. The plants are tiny, hair-fine shoots. I planted an entire seed packet in one standard flat, so I may have really thick seedlings.
I was stuck, literally. The seedlings were in Jiffy pellets, and they are too tightly packed to uproot one of the seedlings without uprooting both. I like starting in pellets, since that eliminates the first transplant. It does mean that I have to thin seedlings, though. : ( [ I was just practicing for the beets in the garden. Each one of those seed bodies is actually multiple seeds, it's impossible to grow beets without thinning.]
#1 Sweeties starting to fade
#2 Caladiums still going strong
#3 Beets are up! Three days under burlap bag.
#4 Space Spinach is up! Five days under burlap bag
#5 Long Carrot is up! Three days under burlap bag
Linda- my wife and my Sis were both telling me that the wind knocked over all three of my eBuckets this afternoon!! Two Cherokee Purple plants and one cherry tomato plant. Can you believe that? I watered yesterday evening so I thought that would have weighed them down enough but I guess not. Now I have several 2"-3" green tomatoes since lots of them fell off... :/
I was wondering earlier if I should cover my Toms but you have answered that question- thanks!
On a side not, something is chomping at the leaves of one of my cabbage plants again. I have not had the time to spray this week due to work, arrgghh! Maybe I can find the culprit tonight if I can catch it in the act...then bushwhack it!!! Hopefully...where do these things hide during the day??
I've learned that our Texas wind does far more harm to the plants that the falling temps. I put a temporary plastic tarp over the beets when got home, cuz the wind was whipping up on them! Everything else will have to tough it out til morning.
Unfortunately, tomatoes in an eBucket become quite top- heavy, and the wind fills the foliage like they were windsails. Anchor them as best you can.
had frost the last 2 nights here in SE Oklahoma It was 27° last night would like to see a few more cold nights but looks like we are in a warming trend ..I have two beds at some city owned property that I would like to get cleaned out and started on fall plantings ..So far our main target is a couple of south facing roadside slopes that are scheduled for Crimson Clover the city sprang for 50lbs of seed so if we get any decent rain we should have a nice welcome sight for folks traveling thru...
We've been collecting leaves and such. My neighbors probably think I'm a little nuts... well more nuts than they already thought I was. I think they are nuts for putting all those lovely leave and pine needles in plastic trash bags.
Over the past few weekends, we got a load of city mulch/compost and spread it under some apple trees where I plan to keep the grass killed back and filled in with pine needles when we ran out of mulch. I spread oak leaves around the shed and such where I don't mind if it forms a mat and blocks the rain and trimmed back some low hanging branches that were annoying me. I distributed the coffee grounds I had sitting around (5 trash bags full) and the BF is now routinely checking behind the coffee shop for me when he passes by. :) And I still have a few bags full of oak leaves.
This weekend, I pulled the last of the radishes and look the excess to a local charity garden. I still have luffa gourds out and some turnips and radishes which aren't forming roots, plus the winter stuff (kohlrabi, cabbage). I have some celery in a pot still that's not quite ready for harvest, and I *still* have bell peppers coming. The garlic is planted and sprouted almost immediately
No frost yet but wind chills in the 20's. Once we do get a frost I can start my winter projects in earnest. A nearby city is outside right now doing a drainage project on my land, which is strange because I don't live in the city. My land slopes into a drainage area and I mow up to the ditch and leave the other side to go wild. Normally once we get a freeze I get out there and weedwhack all the dead giant ragweed and privet and such in the drainage ditch. Well, they not only cleared the ditch but all around my black walnut tree on the other side and all the way down the ditch for the length of my property back my about 12'. So much for the useful young trees I was trying to get started naturally with seeds, like persimmons and sassafras. :-/
Right now they are laying rip-rap in the ditch on the other side of the road. Wonder if I'm getting some in my ditch? Anyway, once they finish up I'll have to decide what to do. I may have a new project. Now that it's all clear I'd love to do wildflowers over there, although I suspect the privet, poison ivy and giant ragweed will just come back in the spring. I can't get my mower over there to keep it mowed unless I build a bridge. Hmmm...
My car was towed to the mechanic yesterday morning after stalling out on me in the Home Depot parking lot Sunday night. My DIY self was buying a replacement bulb for the dusk to dawn light over the driveway...so, yesterday was a "get out of jail FREE" card!
Seems I worked outside all day long, and got lots done. It just seems like not a lot 'cuz of the labor involved. Here's what I did over the long weekend:
►Sowed 3 varieties of turnip seeds in 1/2 of RB #1 (7 Top, Purple Top, Golden Globe)
►Transplanted Soloist cabbages into empty spaces in RB #2
►Fed all the veggies with Mary Hemeny's recipe
►Checked all the brassicas for worms (they're lurking...)
►Emptied and rebuilt potting mix for 4 of 5 Earthboxes.
►Transplanted the remaining Soloist cabbages into two EBs
►Sowed mustard and collard seeds in two EBs
►Replanted some tiny, sprouting onion bulbs that were hanging on from January (I figured they'd make interesting, individual potted plants)
It was refreshing/rebuilding the EB potting mix that took most of the time and labor. I was working with sphagnum peat, pine bark fines, and old MG potting mix. It takes forever to wet the peat, and then it gets heavy!
All in all, everything is looking good, and I'm enjoying the fall/winter garden more and more, since I get to step outside and just watch stuff grow!
I haven't inspected my plants in about 2 days but I am anxious to see how they are doing. It gets dark by the time I get home and my son misplaced my flashlight over the weekend. Hopefully I'll find it tonight. Anyway, I basically took a 3-gallon diluted mixture of Bt and sprayed (soaked) all of my plants, underneath the hard to reach areas and underneath the foliage...got tired of them eating my cabbage so hopefully that will stop them for a while.
My bed is in progress...this weekend though I should have it ready for garlic and onions and some greens as well. The cold front knocked my tomatoes down a few times and most of the fruit fell off. I think they're done :( they're too banged up. Lesson learned on the anchoring part...
A little bit of frost this morning. The basil and luffa gourds already look burned. Time to start winter projects!
Funny thing, the cardinals showed up again this year just a couple of days before frost and they usually hang out all winter at my place. The rest of the year I see them around, just not in my yard. They are combing the garden now -- for weed seeds, I hope!
I'm growing sweeties in a Rubbermaid tub. Should I wait right until the frost actually starts to kill them back, or rip 'em now? The leaves started turning a bit yellow, but they are still mostly green, especially when our roller coaster temps go back up. Like all this week in the 80s, again...
My neighbor ripped his a month ago, and they were still skinny. I'm trying to take mine right up to the wire, I guess.
Linda, I have carrots in the garden finally. Still having trouble with bunching onions. The weather here is crazy, down into the low 60's then right back to the upper 80's low 90's. Seems like every time I put beet seeds in the ground we get a pounding rain! It's a challenge to grow this year.
I've been adding vermiculite lately, Bud finally reminded me I used to add it and asked why I stopped!
Transplanted 100 tomatoes yesterday. Need to order the greenhouse supports today, before the tomatoes are too big to tie up. I'mm trying 2 heirloom, 4 greenhouse varieties and 4 hybrid indeterminate varieties which all need support. I still have 150 tomato transplants to go in that gh plus bell peppers and cucumbers. Haven't even started on the other greenhouse. That house gets determinate tomatoes, squash, hot peppers and okra (already growing) along with eggplants.
Something ate a 90 ft row of japanese sweet potatoes, 8 rows of squash seed and 1 row of cucumber seed. I am having trouble getting rat bait shipped to TX that doesn't cause secondary kill (if my cat or the local owl eats a mouse that ate the poison it won't hurt it), Texas doesn't allow that kind of rat bait, but will allow the deadly poison one! Finally left one of the cats out and he killed 3 palm rats.
My beets were up in three days from seeding, under burlap cover. Speaking of Vermiculite, I covered all my seeds with either that, or the dust sifted from my pine bark fines. Leaves a nice, distinct line where the seeds are sown!
Turnips are also up, after 4 days under burlap.
Spraying Caulis and Broccs with Bt tomorrow for the cutworms and cabbage loopers that are making holes
Wow Calalilly, good luck. Never a dull moment on a farm, huh?
I need more Bt for the cabbage loopers and such. Aside from that, things are well. My Joi Choy/ Chinese cabbage are looking great and I am itching to harvest. However, they all look like Joi Choy even though I bought some Chinese cabbage as well (at least the vendor had them labeled as such). What say you? Here are 5 of the 6 plants I have. Got side-tracked so didn't take a pic of the last plant.
Also, I thought you were to harvest the whole plant but can you just pick leaves instead? I have some low-hanging leaves that would be better off sauteed or something.
Any suggestions on how long broccoli seedlings need before they can be transplanted into the garden? The 72-pellet tray I planted is beginning to get crowded! All of the seedlings have the first pair of true leaves, but the seed leaves are still very prominent. I know they will need to be hardened off. I expect that to take up to a week. Thoughts? Opinions?
This is my second go-round with broccoli. My seedlings had about 5-6 leaves, each bigger than silver dollars, before I hardened them off. I'm glad I kept them inside in the cool that long because the heat (and the subsequent worms) would have done them a job.
Here's what my broccoli seedlings looked like before I hardened them off and transplanted them out, and what they look like as of the last picture I took (give or take a week more of growth). They have caught on and are filling in like crazy. Just wish it would get cold and stay cold. They really take off in the cold, and love it!
I don't worry about anything but our blustery winds. WIND will do more damage than cold here, so I install my hoops simply to provide a windbreak for the veggies in my yard.
#1 Cauliflower seedlings
#2 Broccoli Seedlings after potting up to drinking water bottles
#3 Broccolis from a top shot looking down
#4 RB #3 planted 1/2 with cauliflowrs on the left, 1/2 broccolis on the right
#5 RB #3 close up of broccolis only, about 1 week ago. They are MUCH larger today.
I read somewhere online that the trick to a successful brassica crop is having your seedlings big enough at plant out so they keep growing right into the cool (which is why I'm praying for cool!!!).
If you could lift them from the cells and space them out a bit that would help. The leaves need to be exposed to the light, or the wee plants being covered up on the bottom will begin to languish. You don't want to break their growing cycle with too many obstacles.
I sprinkled some spinach seeds on the end of the brassica RB, and . they're looking a bit pale. Any suggestions for a high nitrogen feet? I bought some fish and seaweed emulsions today. Both? Haven't fed them with anything yet.
John, bok choy is called chinese cabbage (brassica rapa chinensis). I have New Nabai chinese cabbage which is a little bok choi (like toy choy). If you want the one that makes a head, be sure to get napa cabbage or brassica rapa pekinensis. hope that helps.
I've got a bunch of Soloist (Chinese, Napa-type) cabbages growing. They look like green velvet. At first, I grew them just cuz they're pretty. Now I grow them cuz they're pretty AND the make a mmmean stir fry. I harvest the outter leaves, and they keep on growing.
About to go feed the beet and spinach seedlings with a light mix of fish and seaweed emulsion. Turnips and mustard greens are also up. The Collards are slower than the mustards, as usual ...
Finally gave up on getting my old tiller repaired. Three-hundred dollars later and the tines still won't stay in gear. I may send it back to the shop if they won't keep charging, but I can't keep waiting on the shop to do any fall gardening. My wife bought me a Cub Cadet RT 45, 18"-wide rear tine tiller as a combined birthday and Christmas present! Tractor Supply has it on sale.
I used it earlier to turn 2" of compost into my 20' x 25' winter garden area. I will rake up rows and seed beds tomorrow. I am FINALLY ready to plant garlic and some of the winter veggies! Next week I will do a quick till over the rest of the garden for weed control. I'm thinking of annual ryegrass as a cover crop for the rest of the garden.
I meant to take a picture of the tiller out in the garden. I forgot and got inside and took my shoes off before taking a picture. Here's a picture from the Cub Cadet brochure instead.
I have a Cub Cadet, hardly ever use it! Watch the counterweight on the front, that's the only thing we've ever had trouble with.
Finally yesterday I planted golden beets, purple carrots, cheddar cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. I am using red and silver plastic this year. I will plant my squash and cucumber pre germinated this time. I let the cats out and Lucky killed a mouse and Harley killed 4 palm rats down in the corner of the north greenhouse. Boo climbed a tree, got stuck and needed rescued. She is definitely not a hunter!
I borrowed my Mom's tiller this fall for my garden extension project and my dirt broke it. Rocks bent it all to heck. Since I've converted her to large containers to help with her dog problem and to make it easier on her back, she doesn't really care and doesn't want it back.
So I have a very nice, expensive rear tine tiller in my shed that looks somewhat like someone stepped on it. I don't know if I should sell it as-is, get it repaired and try to sell it or what. Getting it repaired would probably be painfully expensive.
If the tines are the only problem, they aren't that expensive.You could probably order online and change them yourself. If it is repaired, then it will bring a better sales price, or with new tines you could try using it again.
Calalily-- If I was growing as much as you do, I wouldn't use the tiller either. I would have attachments for my Kubota and organize everything so that most of the work could be done with tractor implements. That and lots of mulch sheeting. I'm always impressed by the pictures you post of your growing beds and your produce.
Planting garlic, beets, turnips, spinach, carrots, and lettuce today! Or at least as much of it as I can before I'm exhausted. The soil really looks nice after the amendment with compost. Hopefully the soil is light enough now that it won't form a crust to keep seeds from sprouting.
It's not the tines, David; those are fine. It the body that's mangled a bit and also there's an internal brace for the body missing that I don't even see on the exploded diagram as a part. So the wheels won't turn because the body is jammed up against it. I pulled it apart just enough to roll it into the shed but there's not enough leverage to bend the body back in place without significantly dismantling it, I think.
I don't use a tiller typically, so I have no need to keep it. We were mostly done at that point so I finished up with a shovel and a digging fork.
Anybody here ever grew Komatsuna - Tendergreen Mustard Spinach? I was handed a handful of seeds. My concern is I was in a discussion about some other type of Mustard Spinach that had a slimy, gelatinous consistency to the thick leaves, and I'm not at all interested in that taste in my mouth. So, before I throw these seeds out, are they one and the same, or two different plants I'm describing?
I found the post below at a site discussing Komatsuna:
July 3, 2011 at 9:29 am
Plant in full Sun to light shade. pH 6.6 – 7.8. Approximate germination time 2 – 10 days. Quick Growing! Heat and cold tolerant, leaves have a mild taste like a cross between cabbage and mustard greens. Pre-plant with plenty of compost and manure, Blood meal, Bone meal and Pot Ash, ensuring the bed contains ample nitrogen to promoting fast, healthy leaf growth (alfalfa meal, soybean meal, cottonseed meal, feather meal, blood meal, or fish meal). Prefers moisture-retentive, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Mild flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked. Will bolt becoming bitter in hot weather.
Start harvesting individual outer leaves from each plant as soon as you see many new leaves pushing out from the center of the plant. Once you have started harvesting from a plant, trim any unusable outer leaves that have become tough, weather beaten, or bug eaten, promoting rapid growth of new leaves from the center. When plants start to bolt, pull up completely, unless you want to collect the seeds for subsequent planting DANGER SEED POISONOUS!!. High in vitamins A, K, & C.
Cabbage moth aka cabbage butterfly is a significant pest of this plant, covering the plant in fine netting works best. Alternaria mildew may become a problem. It helps to practice crop rotation, plant certified or treated seeds, use an anti-fungal spray such as baking soda or Neem oil, keep garden clear of host weeds such as wild legumes – yellow clover, etc. Deer resistant!
Looks like I'm going to have to seriously install the hoops this weekend. Had to cover all the RBs this morning, cause we're due for severe thunderstorms by noon. And, the sun is beaming out right now...
Sure hope I vented the plastic sheeting enough to not fry the seedlings before the rain comes...this off and on is a killer.
The good part is, I purchased perforated plastic sheeting from Territorial Seed Company, so once I put the hoops up, no more off and on for the remainder of the growing season!
I fertilized the seedlings with seaweed emulsion this weekend. That's about all I did. I was at a total loss, cause seedlings are growing everywhere, and there was nothing to be done outside except feed or water.
I was absolutely FORCED to go inside and do housework...shoot!
Guess I'll start building frames for the garlic and onions...
Didn't get nearly as far as I planned yesterday. I did get all the tilling done, but none of the planting. Today, I spent more time prepping the growing area. With my two dogs I have to put a little bit of fence around the area that I have planted. That keeps them from wandering into the area and digging, or just accidentally stepping on baby plants. The fencing makes it a little more difficult for rabbits to have free run of the baby plants, too.
This summer my fence was a horrible problem with weeds. I had too much to weed the fence by hand, and I didn't want to use a herbicide. As a result, everything grew up into and through the fence. My solution this time is to put a strip of weed-block/landscape cloth under the fence and mulch on both sides of the fence. Today I was able to stretch out the weed block, pin it down, and stretch the plastic garden fence. You can see how it looks, before the mulch, in the pictures below. The entire area is only 18' x 25' or 450 square feet.
Tomorrow I hope to get the fence mulched, rake rows for my garlic, and some of the seeds, and do some planting. Based on the amount of work completed today... I hope to at least get the garlic in the ground.
Linda, I've grown Komatsuna. It gets huge. I mix it with other Asian greens and saute or stir fry. It is great cooked with onions, garlic, coconut milk and lime.
David, we have a big tractor with a big tiller plus a bobcat with lots of attachments which we do use! We also use red, green, silver or black plastic film depending on the crop. This is our first year with the plastic film and I love it! No weeds!
Update on the seed and sweet potato eating critter: I let the cats out to hunt and Harley caught 5 palm rats, Lucky almost caught one mouse, caught one caterpillar and 3 crickets and Boo spent the day stuck in a tree requiring Bud to be lifted up in the bobcat bucket to retrieve her.
Yesterday we spent most of the day taking equipment in for warranty work, but I did manage to get 360 yellow squash seeds in the ground. I pre-germed them hoping to keep the mice/rats from eating them.
I have a Troy bilt weed eater (4 stroke) that uses a lot of seperate attatchments so I added a small tiller att. from sears which fits ..This thing is light easy to start and works great even has an electric start option ..Just thought I would mention this as an alternative to big hevy tillers..Works inside the raised beds too..
Thanks for the heads up, Lily! I love quick and EZ stir fry recipes! I went to the store where the seeds were purchased and, sure enough, the sign there say, "Tendergreen Mustard Spinach". But, it doesn't list which variety of tendergreen it is. My guess is still Komatsuna.
Where're the walkway(s) for you to work in that beautiful patch of land, without walking on and compressing your soil?
One thing I discovered when I made my RBs is that narrower is better for reaching into the center. RB #1 is a full 4' wide, and very, very challenging. I make use of several pieces of lumber stretched across the width, so I can stretch inside without biting the dirt!
RB #2 is 3.5' wide, and RB #3 is 3' wide. Much easier to stretch across without falling in!
Linda after 10 years of doing raised beds i am now of the opinion that 2' is wide as I want to reach across But that said i do make some that are 3'x7' made from 10' pieces which is for me the cheapest way to go I use 2"x8"x10' mitre the corners and if i want them deeper add another layer using the apprapo width the reasoning behind this is the 10 footers are usually about the same price as 8' just me being cheap
Pick your greens whenever you are hungry for greens! You can always trim the outside leaves for eating, and leave the inside growth to develop for later. For some greens, smaller is better for tenderness and flavor. Given that, you have to decide how big gives you the taste you prefer.
Linda- I rake very small raised beds (wide rows) up and walk between them. I use a small 2-cycle tiller or my Earthway high-wheel push plow to cultivate between the rows and reduce the compacted soil. At the end of the year, I knock the rows down and till everything as deeply as possible. I am thinking of getting a 3-point subsoiler, to pull through with the tractor to break up any hard-pan that has developed after the past several years of tilling.
Working in the dirt today. Pictures to follow tonight.
The Cosmos growing in cement block holes with the corn, okra, tomatoes, and squash in the greenhouse raised bed surprised me this morning - with a white one! The forecast is looking pretty grim for these parts for the next few days...I'm praying everything stays warm enough in the GH. I plan to add a thick layer of wood shavings on the ground in there, before the weekend. Still, 2 degrees is a sure test of the new GH. I pray what we do will be adequate for keeping everything going this winter. Pics, below.
1. White Cosmos
2. Strawberries about to bloom
3. 7-day doomcast...uh, forecast
4. Lettuce beside new brussel sprouts starts
5. Corn tops among Cosmos
I can't imagine that kind of forecast Solace, lol. Hope your plants stay warm. Your greenhouse looks great, btw!
Nice garden you have there David, the soil looks especially nice.
Well, let's see: I planted about 20 cloves of garlic this past Sunday along with six Romaine lettuce transplants and a bunch of lettuce & carrot seed. I also harvested some Toy Choy, Swiss Chard and lettuce. The Choy and Chard was excellend sauteed.
I managed to get a bit of work done today. Raked up the rows and planted a bunch of seeds-- finally! Also planted about 100 cloves of garlic. I bought two types, Chinese pink and Spanish roja. I saved space for broccol, but otherwise got everything in the ground. I started hardening the broccoli off this morning.
This photo shows how I rake up the rows. Most rows are double planted, conserving space. I still have to haul more mulch to finish the fence line.
Couldn't get the file to load-- I'll try later. (Looks like it did load... twice)
i start picking mine as soon as they are big enough to make a good mess of greens last week I picked a bunch but wound up with a mixture of all that are growing IE: mustard turnip collards kale it was very good ..Since I have been doing a fall/winter garden we have made a vow to eat a green leafy veggy everyday..So far so good today was salad all from the garden
I'm jealous! I have some healthy broccoli with big leaves but no heads have developed! I missed a week of feeding with fish emulsion...or maybe they aren't getting enough water. Or maybe it is just not time yet...Nice job, though.
How many days since transplant out, and how many leaves does it have so far? I've been wondering if leaf production has anything to do with when a broccoli starts developing a head, so I've been counting my leaves. I have 8 so far, and my broccs are about 20" tall.
I finally dug up the Sweeties last night, from the 18-gallon Rubbermaid tub, and two smaller planters. Got a few nice sized ones, plus a bunch of long skinnies.
There's a video on the Engineeredgardener website, showing him harvesting Sweeties from 3 Rubbermaid-type containers. His were a lot bigger, and I'm wondering why I didn't get a better yield. He got 13.6 lbs. from two containers.
Linda, no matter the poundage, those are some good-sized sweet 'taters. I have some slips ready to go, want to plant them in the greenhouse. This will be my first time growing sweet potatoes, and I hope mine turn out as nice as yours did.
I'll stop sweating it, then. Will definitely do this again in the springtime. No fuss, no muss! Did you see all the vines he had piled on top of his tubs, on the YouTube video? I guess I had about that same amount, except mine went trailing down the fence line. Made for nice visual interest through the summer.
I have something heading! Since I lost the list and have no idea what anything is it could be one of several. Also have mystery greens and some sort of cabbages..a few tomatoes. Beets and turnips both have bulbs...I'm itchin to pull up one!
Pic #1 Turnips. Best picked before 4" dia. or they get woody. Cook the green tops...
Pic #2 Green Head = Broccoli...
Pics #3 & #4
►Mustard Greens. Most people pick em young and do the saute'. I pick 'em at that size and larger, and cook 'em in the slow cooker overnight. "Lilly Mae's Greens" Recipe in the tags...
►Looks like Purple Cabbages front & rear. Purple Veins & Stems = Purple heading cabbages (see pic below).
►At least one other type cabbage in the middle...
►Possibly some Brussels Sprouts growing in the middle, too (bowl-shaped, long, floppy leaves)
►If those are baby turnips, you should be able to feel under the soil at the base for swelling bottoms. Looks more like baby mustards or collards, all bunched up.
Those look gorgeous, Steph. Mine aren't tall as yours. I think I'm having a drainage issue under my raised bed. The lower leaves keep turning yellow. it's either drainage or nutrients. I'll feed 'em this weekend.