I am passionate about growing vegetables in my yard and had a very hard time learning what would grow and what wouldn't. I love cooking with truly fresh herbs and veggies. I now am able to grow eggplant and tomatoes but so far have not succeeded with okra, though farmers in the Rio Grande Valley about 1000 ft. below us do grow it. I buy it at the farmers' market.
But I have found my area really great for lettuce, chard, spinach, kale, carrots and many other cool season crops. I do well with herbs as well.
Here is a picture of my raised bed veggie garden. I also included the pictures of all my squashes somewhere in this forum. . I get great butternut squash, zucchini and vitually any summer squash. I am trying some more exotic squashes this year from Amy Goldmans, The Complete Squash. The bushes are looking great. Here's hoping I get squashes from them.
Mind you, I haven't mowed the weeds around the raised beds so pretend they aren't there.
I don't know about passionate.. at least not this year. I kind of let things slip a bit. I do enjoy my fresh vegetables and miss them dearly during the non-growing season. I haven't tried Okra, but that's cause I don't know how to cook it. I guess I'll have to check out the cooking/recipes forum(s) here at DG's. I bet there are some great recipes that'll have me enticed into growing new veggies next year. I didn't grow eggplants or any winter squash like I do most years. But I've got lots brocolli, green beans, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. My veggie garden is starting to look more like a flower garden. I keep putting pieces of plants in the bare spots back here and it seems that the flowers are taking over. As you can see I also love sunflowers. I've thinned them out considerably and need to cut down more. I enjoy the cheery blooms and the finchs that they bring into the garden.
Your garden is beautiful! I love the way you have organized it into squares. I also really like flowers popping up all over. Actually brocolli, green beans, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes, constitute a pretty good veggie garden. I have some Irises in the middle of mine. Why? Seemed like a good idea at the time.
What is your altitude and what are your growing conditions like?
Beautiful garden Ally and pajar, well... nice veggies and great future compost in between the beds. LOL
I am so busy with my perenials and building beds in the spring I haven't focused on the veg garden. But we grow Bok Choy, aspargas, squash, pumpkins, cukes, peas, beans, and lots of wonderful tomatoes. I have tried many radishes but all too bitter. Even the Daikons I planted this year.
Cabbage does well but I don't plant much. I use a raised bed type and it is about 2500 sq ft and I am constantly changing it because that is where I compost straw, wood chips, and sawdust to make soil for the next year when the garden is inactive in the fall winter and spring. I plant a cover crop (Peas) to feed the nitrogen in the spring.
This is my first season veggie gardening in this kind of climate. Here are a few observations of mine...in no particular order.
Now that we are climbing down out of the tripple digits, I'm hoping my toms will set some fruit and that the fruit won't cook on the vine. That 30-40 degree swing in temps between night and day seem to stress out the toms, somewhat, too. With the 50 MPH gusty winds that we get every few weeks (sometimes for days on end), standard tomato cages are useless. You have to cross tie and stake them down like trees. Next year I'm going to have DH build something sunk deep into the ground and sturdy.
I found that the one thing that almost instantly improved the health of the vegies was to mulch them. Insulates the roots from the heat, I'm guessing, and maybe moderates the ground temps when the air temps are swinging between night and day.
Basil is growing like a weed. I've let one large leafed, ruffled kind bloom, and have been pinching the other plants back. Smells soooo good. I think the intense heat makes the aroma come out.
DH built my raised bed (only one this year, but a few more for next) about 2 1/2 ft high. I didn't have enough dirt to put in it, so I only filled it up about 1/2 way. Turns out that was a good thing. My "farm" area is outside of the wind-blocking back yard, so the high walls seemed to really help. The additional height in the sides protected young plants during spring and summer winds and also provided a little bit of shade to young plants. As the plants got bigger and grew together, they helped shade themselves and the ground. At 4200 ft, the sun is pretty intense, and every thing seems to benefit from a bit of shade, especially in the late afternoon. This fall, I'm going to turn them into cold frames by puting thick clear plastic over them. We'll see how that goes. Day temps stay warm for quite a while, so maybe I'll just need to cover them with blankets at night. We'll see.
Bell peppers seem to really like all this heat and sun, even after being abused and started way too early before the last frost. They hung around stunted and half dead for a few months, but when the digits hit the tripple digits, they all got excited and grew some big leaves and started flowering. I've got some adorable 2" babies now.
Watering at night has not seemed to produce the fungii that people always warn about. Maybe because we don't have that much organic matter yet, the sand is very well draining, and the summer humidity barely gets to 10%. Due to my job, the heat, and other circumstances, I find myself watering at night at least a few days out of the week.
Drip irrigation comes to the garden next year. It has already proven to be a joy to the trees that are now under drip care. The veggies and other trees are begging. I'm hoping all that stuff will go on sale pretty soon as the season ends. Drip systems on timers - ah, pure heaven! (Thank goodness we have a wonderful well that has a 14 mile lake and the carson river to charge its aquifer!!!)
Good thing about gardening in sand: weeds come out easy, no "wet feet", when mixed with real dirt it can be beautiful, and no slugs. Bad thing about gardening in sand: it blows all over the place and covers up your mulch, your stepping stones, your porch and will even fill up the insides of your house, if you let it.
Next year I am hoping to grow pumpkin and let the vines run all over some exposed sand. I figure the kangaroo-looking mice will get most of them, and the chickens the rest of it. But if it will help keep the sand from blowing around, then the real benefit will be had. Also, I can compost all those giant leaves later.
Soferdig, what kind of peas do you cover crop with? I am going to cover crop with winter rye on what will some day be a pasture, but I'm not sure what to cover crop the raised beds of the veggie garden with.
The pics are great, folks - very encouraging that with a little experience here, I might have something so bountiful and lush and GREEN looking in this desert tan some day!
I started planting Memorial Day weekend, and it immediately got too hot for some of the plants. The carrots, herbs, lettuce, and broccoli all flopped over and died. The potatoes and zucchini seem to love this heat, though. Perhaps the other crops will do better when I start them in early spring.
I also water in the evening, sometimes late at night. Everyone has been warning me about all the mold I'm encouraging, but I haven't seen it. When I water in the evening, the water has a chance to soak down into the roots before the sun comes up and boils it. And there's no way I can get it together in the morning to spend half an hour watering my plants. Sometimes I have to grab a toothbrush and rush out the door because I wake up and have four minutes to get to the bus. Morning watering is for larks.
My soil is very poor, mainly sand and dust. Dustbowl stuff. During the year or so that this house lay empty, a lot of the grass died. And the wind blew away the dust/sand except for the few remaining grass clumps. So it's a rather uneven, lumpy dust-choked weed patch.
This garden is going to be a challenge. But I'm determined to get fresh vegetables.
I think because of very low humidity factor that we in this area have don't have to worry so much about watering at night. When i feel I have enough water I often let sprinklers run at night and soaker hoses also.
I have always had a vegetable garden. I love my tomatoes, cukes , corn and all the others. Hopefully our triple digit temps are pretty much over for this summer. Actually it is pretty cool outside right now at just after 4:30 am, 50 degrees is all and will drop another degree or so. the moon is full and no smoke right now so very nice.
We are in the rocky mountain forum and watering at night has never cause any mold, fungus or other moisture problems. Except one, my quaking aspen cannot have water on them or they will drop leaves early and I loose that beautiful color. Please note I do not grow roses but a few and never water them on the leaves. IE soaker hoses.
Were your radishes to bitter or too spicy. I can't recall having bitter radishes but I sure have had a lot of spicy ones. Have you tried cherry belle and French breakfast? Those come out nice for me. I found the Daikon type very spicy. I can't figure out how they grow those big sweet ones in the store. Your veggie garden sounds huge to me!
I agree that our dry air keeps us from having to worry about watering at night. In fact, the county of Los Alamos has asked us not to water between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. I have only had mildew on roses and those were somewhat shaded -- not an ideal spot. Your vegetable patch sounds as nice as the rest of the garden. Asparagus, yum. I just can't imagine digging the two foot hole for it in my yard. It would take dynamite to break up that much rock.
You may be lucky that your grass died. Now you don't have to dig it out in order to get your veggies going. Your lettuce and carrots could have succombed to a lot of different things. Carrots are difficult to germinate, like to be watered once or twice per day until they germinate -- about 10 days. Also, earwigs and other critters do mow things off at the ground level especially in the early spring when there isn't much else to eat. Things like potatoes and squash are large to begin with and don't come along until later. I have never had earwigs bother them. Another thing that bothers lettuce, carrots and other small seedlings is cutworms. They tend to live just under the soil wherever they are eating. I have been known to dig them out and smoosh them. You can also put BT on anything that is endangered by caterpillers. It is a bacterial insecticide and doesn't hurt anything but caterpillers. Not people, cats, dogs or birds.
Once thing that works for me is growing lettuce in small flowerpots or cells that are left over from nursery plants, or yougurt cups, or even egg cartons. You could plant them indoors on a window sill, under a growlight, or outdoors on a table. Then once they have more than the two seed leaves, plant them in the soil of your garden. This is often enough to enable them to survive earwigs. This doesn't work so well with carrots though because it is tough to get their roots in the hole straight when they are transplanted.
Watering at night shouldn't be a problem in Denver except for on roses which are very prone to mildew. Watering at night actually saves water because it doesn't evaporate as much as in the heat of the day. If you barely have time to water in the morning, consider putting a timer on your hose that will go off at whatever time you want and for how long you want. Timers work fine on hoses, not just drip irrigation systems.
Anyhow, as you learn more and as your soil improves all of this will get easier.
My radishes have been bitter (hot) and not very tasty. I have related it to all of the mushroom compost I put in to fill the raised bed. My daikons were about 6 to 8" but tasted like crap. I will have to buy the lovely ones at the store. Bok Choy went to seed quite quickly so I am planting earlier next year. Squash is always a bumper delicious crop. Tomatoes are also most delicious. We remove all of the non fruiting branches to get max light on the fruit. Speeds up maturation big time. We have tommies from end of July till frost and haul in the dead vines and mature the greenies in the house in the sun.
Sounds wonderful. I grow bok choy too. It does go to seed fast. It is just kind of like mustard and lettuce and lots of greens that put out leaves then go to flower and seed. I have Korean neighbors so when mine starts to get ahead of me, I give it to them. They use it to make Kim Chee. They also enjoy any extra onions. They eat a lot of veggies and are always happy to get some more. They often repay me with homemade dumplings. Yum!
pajar, okra neat heat, and plenty of it. they will stop growing if they don't get enough consistent heat. when you say you have not succeeded with them in the past, what happened with your okra plants?
Nothing happened with my plants. They stayed alive but did not grow and produced one or two flowers if I was lucky. Basically I got 10 pods out of an entire row if I was lucky. I imagine all those little okra plants standing there shivering. But my previous gardening spot was windy and many things didn't do well. I have a less windy spot now and will have to see if okra can make it in a not too windy spot.
I don't have my sprinkler system set up, so I can't exactly use that overnight.
I am becoming more and more convinced that earwigs did in a lot of my plants, especially the ones that I planted near the house. I know the house was heavily infested with them, and I've read that they don't tend to come into the house much unless there's a heavy infestation outside. I certainly grew a bumper crop of bugs this year, if nothing else.
My yard is actually a pretty good size, but it's an odd shape. A lot of it is bare. What isn't bare is overgrown with weeds or shrubby type growth. I'm going to try different places to plant things around the yard. I planted in the raised beds I did because they just happened to be there, and they were the easiest to get ready.
I kind of do a translation in my mind of what people mean when they say full sun, partial sun. I have a place to put raised beds that's nice and clear and gets full sun. But in high summer, full sun means 10 hours of sun and 90-100 degree heat. I've also read instructions that say not to water more than once or twice a week. When I do that, plants dry up and blow away in the wind. Every 1-2 days is more like it around here. When the temperatures got into the 100s, I watered every evening, and it was still dry by the next evening.
soferdig, Have you ever planted Champion radishes. I have the best luck with them and using lots of water. I can't see how the mushroom compost would have been bad for growing radishes. I plant radish seed mixed with lettuce seed in one of my 4 x 4 raised beds and covered loosely with Reemay, or a similiar ground cover. As soon as our weather cools a little more I will plant lettuce for fall crop. Cool enough this morning, it was 45 degrees.
When the temps hit the mid-90's here and continue up to around 107 or so, and when the nights stay up around the high 80's, with our sandy soil (even amended beds) and 7-9% humidity, it takes a daily watering to keep things from drying out. Now that the nights are in the high 50's (even though the days are still in the 90s), I find that every other day is ok... mulch, mulch, mulch...my new (since I've moved to the High Desert last year) meditation mantra: mulch, mulch, mulch...
My meditation mantra is more like organic matter, organic matter, organic matter, but it doesn't have the ring of mulch, mulch mulch. Actually mulch is very often organic matter so they are almost the same -- but yours has a better ring. I, usually water 3 times of week with a drip irrigation system, but in the height of summer that isn't enough in my raised beds. Then I give extra water when the plants look like they need it. Right now my watering system is off. We are having one of those rare but wonderful spells of rains every so often.
I am glad to hear of those who have not soured too bitterly to growing veg.
Like said above, Earwigs and drought moxed all but two individuals (out of hundreds) of my favorite veg- carrots. The weedeier flowers whose seeds came in the compost (ipomoea, Ricinus and Datura) are taking over my unkempt veg garden. Pumpkins and spaghetti squah are virus via squahbug fodder. I think from now on, I will mix veg with flowers and not get upset when about half of the things fail for one reason or another. What is doing well is the few corn (2-3) that survived the heat (I was gone for two weeks then- no water) and the watermelons. Actually, that is failure with more than half, but that is OK. One kind of food out of all that isn't bad.
The soil is extremely good- I removed half of it and replaced that with compost.
I think we all have proof that humidity and poor air circulation are not really factors for powdery mildew!
Here-here to "Mulch mulch mulch." I'm using small-chipped wood-chips. What do you use?
Take heart! I am now picking zucchini and sunburst scallop and yellow crookneck squash. Today I picked my first 3 cucumbers. But, I have been here watering the whole time. I still recommend the sprinkler on a timer if you can't manage drip irrigation. Or hire a neighborhood kid to water if you can't organize the timer/hose/sprinkler number.
Mulch as well, but I am not so sure about wood chips. Wood chips are okay where you have large trees and bushes but I think they aren't so hot on vegetables. They need to be rotted a bit so they don't steal nitrogen from the soil. Actually quite a bit. Go for straw, grass clippings and tacky though it may seem, manure.
Squash bugs are the pits. I am very lucky not to have them here. It is just a little too cold. I understand that row covers will keep the squash bugs out, though I haven't tried it.
Now is the time to plant fall lettuce and spinach. You can get a crop before first frost easy. Also cool things like arugula. Later you can plant radishes. James, you seem to know a lot about plants and soil. Are you sure about uncomposted wood chips? Last time I used them, I killed my entire potato crop.
Will send pictures after my camera battery recharges.
I mulch the trees and bushes with compost with fair sized wood chips on top to keep the good stuff from blowing away. The wind usually adds sand as another layer of inorganic mulch to the top of that. Veggies get mulched with compost, and since the raised bed walls are almost a foot tall above the dirt, and the compost stays somewhat damp, the sand does not tend to invade quite as much. I didn't mulch my first set of baby trees (black austrian pine) initially (for about 3 weeks), and they were looking poorly - and litterally within days of puting a goodly layer of mulch, they were much happier looking. Didn't change watering schedule, didn't feed them - just added a nice, thick layer of wood chips. Subsequent babies got the mulch treatment from day one. The wind does tend to blow everything away - mulch, empty buckets, chairs, small tables, small children, large dogs. If I'm missing anything, I just go to the chainlink along the eastern border of the property - everything is all plastered there against the fence :-) DH hates the wind, but the wind and I have come to an understanding - the wind will blow whenever she darn well pleases, and I will graciously allow her to. And between her bouts of fury, I just keep adding more mulch, mulch, mulch :-)
By the way, since I never had a green thumb, any way (I can't take credit for anything that grew in GA - our garden was on a piece of old, well composted cow pasture, and it rained about an inch every week, so the plants just do what plants do - my only contribution was to stick the seeds in the dirt and occationally pull weeds), my gardening expectations are very low. If I can get 5 ripe tomatoes, 2 ripe peppers and a hand full of basil leaves and a few jasmine blooms, I am a happy camper. Shoot, if the tomatoes cook on the vine, but the vine stays GREEN all summer, I am a happy camper. It helps me to understand that I am a lousy gardener trying to garden where really only sand and sage should exist. So even if the beans germinated and then promptly cooked and died - well, I held my ground against Mother Nature for 3 whole days! I know she will win the war, so I don't worry about that. I just enjoy the small (sometimes very small) victories that are alotted me during my short stay on this earth. Saves me a lot of stress :-) And when I feel stressed, I go out at sun set to spread some mulch, sprinkle some water, inhale the smell of basil and/or sage, and watch the most glorious sunsets I've ever seen - and I'm happy. I could wish for fireflies, but I am happy with the late flying dragon flies.
Besides, there is always next year :-) Gardeners, the original eternal optimists!
I would say, couldn't hurt. Keep away from the actual stems if possible. Lilacs are normally pretty tough.
Bearded Irises don't like damp against their tubers. I've never mulched mine in the past... but I haven't tried then in the desert, yet, either. Maybe something fast draining like sand? Some are growing down the road from me in what looks like pure sand. I've always planted my tubers "mostly above ground" because we had clay, but these look like they are planted in the sand right up to where the stem comes up. The clumps look fair sized, so they have probably been there a while. I noticed, they are staked - gotta love that wind! I've never seen staked irises before!
Mulch your lilacs but don't mulch your irises. They like their rhizomes, just below the soil, I mean barely, or with the top of the rhizome sticking out. They are the most forgiving plant I grow other than weeds. They need a bit of water, but not a whole lot, or they will rot. They need dry weather and they are completely happy with lousy soil. Is it any wonder I have maybe 30 varieties all over my yard -- actually probably more.
Let your irises just sit and mulch other things. I don't think you will need to worry much about them, but do understand that it may be 2 to 3 years before they bloom. Not your fault. Just the way things are.
What I have seen with wood chips is that they hold moisture for a long time and when in contact with the soil will feed the plants a year or so later. Please not that I always incorporate manure with my wood chips. You must know that in my wet winters and falls and springs they are soaked and the worms love living next to them and are very effective in distributing their waste deep into the soil. Therefore wood chips by themselves are used in deep amounts to kill and eat up unwanted plants. But with manure they feed for years and supply their water for months to my thirsty plants.
pajar, if your really want to grow okra and are willing to babysit them, try putting a cover on the okra bed. You can use pvc pipe to build a frame and then cover with floating row cover or greenhouse type plastic film to keep them warm and moist. You may want to use a double cover for extra heat retention.
I'd start them indoors with a heating pad under the seed flat and a plastic bag around them. When you transplant, you can either put individual cloches over them until the weather warms up, or just cover the whole bed. Keep them covered to retain heat anytime the weather gets below 75 degrees. You can open the leeward (downwind) side of the cover to let the pollinators in during the day. Just be sure to tuck them in again before it gets cool in the evening.
Water them with warm water to keep their feet warm. Weather permitting, you can set a bucket of water in the sun to heat up, or if your weather isn't hot enough, mix some water from the tea kettle so that the contents of your watering can is warm (not hot!!!).
Keep them warm and they'll produce quite a bit. Let them get chilled and they'll just stop in their tracks.
I believe your method would grow okra even here. The one and only problem is heat. Our nights are only above 75 for about a month ( between late June and late July.) Our low tonight is predicted to be 56 degrees F. Row covers, warm water etc. would probably be the trick to make okra produce here. Perhaps by next year I will be able to baby them like that.
Soferdig, you've clearly been deprived of some properly prepared okra dishes!
Okra is a staple dish in many cultures...and it does not need to be slimy!
We make a few variations of "masala bhindi", which for us is basically a pan fried/sauteed okra with a coating of ground spices and or coconut.
I also like to stuff them and pan fry them.
I've even been known to throw okra into Hoppin' John, although on new years day, we have to use frozen okra.
Not sure why the dish based on black eyed peas and rice with some hot pepper is called Hoppin' John. Tradition holds that if you are humble enough to eat beans and rice on new year's day, you will have prosperity through the year.
We cook the okra whole. I pop black mustard seed in some coconut oil, olive oil or ghee, saute the okra until tender, then add ground coriander, garam masala, a little salt, tumeric and sometimes a handful of dried shredded coconut or ground almonds. I'll stir the spices and coconut/alomnd meal with the okra while over the heat for a moment or two and then serve. The spices absorb any excess moisture that might make it slimy.
I want to move back to Georgia! (You will hear me say this more and more as the temperature drops, but I don't know if I really mean it... Nevada is kinda getting under my skin and into my blood... besides, I have also conveniently forgotten about the HUGE bugs down in the south and the suffocating humidity)
My oldest son lives and has for 25 years, in Baton Rouge. I have been to visit them a few times, trying not to go there when weather is hottest. Can't stand the heat and humidity. Do love the food tho.
I have lived my whole life there in this area, 80 years, have been to all but three of the states and still prefer to live here in my more sparsely populated area. My little town, 4 miles away, is 1000. There is a Super Wal Mart and now being built a Home Depot, in Omak 25 miles away. Thie area is growing population wise, When I moved here some 10 years ago from my other place where I lived 50 years, there were less than 10 homes in view from my house on the hill, Now there are at least 25, and more being built. But not many MacMansions. There are also 5 for sale within a couple of miles, ranging in price from $350,000.00 down to 150,000.00.
We'd move away from the crowded SF Bay Area too, if we could figure out where to go. Somewhere with a yard big enough to grow our fruit trees and vegetables, without "MacMansions" as you call them (we call them "monuments to the delusion of net worth") and a decent yarn shop so I don't run out of knitting. My husband doesn't want "too small" of a town. He had some bad small town experiences when his dad moved the family from here to New England during his high school years. Also explains why he won't live in snow country. We mermaids need to live within an hour's drive of a large body of water or our souls wither away and die. Maybe one day we'll find a place. *sigh*
I can see why you like it there. Spacious views, light population and the ability to grow a lot of things. You do have everything a gardener could dream of there.
To completely change the subject, I will show you one of my favorite edible plants, one that is sadly overlooked in western ( like opposite of Asian ) cooking. It is the oriental garlic chive, often referred to as Nira by Asians. These are chives but are used in many more ways than we use chives. They can be chopped in small pieces and sprinkled over potato and cheese and many other dishes as we do in western cooking. The do have a mild onion/garlic flavor -- not anywhere near as strong as onions or garlic. They can also be stir fried with meat in quantity. Craig Claiborne's Chinese cookbook has a recipe for 3 cups of chopped chives stir fried with the meat from 1/2 of a cooked duck. Yum.. I have also cooked them with clams. Yummy. Asians cook the buds. Though I have often seen bunches of buds for sale in the Chinese grocery, but I have never found a recipe for them.
They also have very nice flowers, like many aliums and the individual flowers can be cut off and sprinkled on top of a salad or probably a lot of other dishes for a nice pervasive alium flavor.
I undersand that Asians use them medicially but I don't know much about that.
These chives spread like western chives and are easy and attractive to go. I have a large number of them in my lily bed -- yes it is wierd, but my lily bed contains many herbs as well as lilies.
I include a picture so you can get the feeling. Looking for something pretty, easy to grow and edible? Try oriental garlic chives. They have a flat leaf instead of a round one like western chives.
People who haven't lived in hot climates rarely appreciate okra but it is extremely nutritious and bears in the hottest time of the year when even tomatoes give up. Not a problem in Montana!
The two okra dishes I grew up on were fried okra and okra and tomatoes. Both are soul food for me and many southerners. And I don't recall a lot of bug problems with okra, but it has been a while.
This spring I went to Turkey. Though we didn't have any then because it was out of season, I discovered that they eat quite a few okra dishes in the summer. I bought a cookbook and will probably try some of the Turkish dishes when I can get okra -- which isn't very often. I buy it at the farmers market or the Chinese grocery or frozen. The okra that comes to the regular grocery store always looks like it fell of a truck.
Also okra is a standard thickening agent for gumbo another soul food for me. It doesn't have to be seafood gumbo. It can be chicken and/or sausage gumbo. Yum!
Yes, gumbo, that is one of the foods I said I liked in the South. I grew some Okra a few years ago, didn't have very many recipes but tried it a few times and I do like fresh home grown okra.
Never saw or heard of the kind of garlic chives you are taking about and showing us the really pretty picture of it growing in your yard. i have lots of common chives, because once you have it started it is like dill, comes up all over the place.''
Thanks for the nice comments, yes I do have great views of the area, from the yard and any room in my house.
Garden_Mermaid, one of the reasons we ended up 60 miles E of Reno is... The City is an hour away, a grocery store 1/2 hour away - but the launch to the 16 mile long lake is 7 minutes away. There is very little snow, although we are frozen most of the winter. Not good for insulating plants, and we have to water trees in the dead of winter, go figure, but it makes driving and such not too bad. If you can keep them hydrated and give them some shade cloth, looks like most any veggies you want will grow around here,too. (Oh, you have to give them soil, too). People are nice, although there are several bumperstickers arround that say, "We don't care how you did it in California." I laugh when they say there is a traffic jam - that usually means we have to slow down to the speed limit! Nothing like 101 on a Friday afternoon!
Speaking of chives, I planted a few cloves of store-bought garlic and put it in a pot in the kitchen window this summer and clipped them to use like chives. I'd never done that before, and found they were very yummy. By the way, I've never really gotten in to cooking. Most of the veggies I've grown in the past were snack food right off the vine, never making it near a kitchen counter. But I've not had room for more than just "snack food" in a long time, and I've found that I am suddenly interested in cooking and preserving (I have ALWAYS been interested in EATING :-) Pretty, tasty and easy to grow - sounds like my kinda plant!
I've just placed my first garlic order this weekend and will be planting out one 4x8 bed of various hardnecks & softnecks & an elephant to see what likes it out here. I bulb each of:
* basic elephant
* Inchelium - softneck, artichoke type
* Chesnok Red - hardneck
* Siberian - hardneck, asian purple skinned
* Music - hardneck, porcelain type
* Persian Star - hardneck, purple striped
* Silver Rose - softneck, silver skin
* Spanish Roja - hardneck
I'm thinking I will use the smaller cloves for cutting greens. The cloves in the windowsill didn't get enough light, and while they were entertaining and yummy, there wasn't much production from them.
Gumbo, real good gumbo - a person could sell their soul for such... mmmmm, getting hungry!
Maybe we should of had stickers 20 years ago that said "We don't care how your did it outside California". Perhaps there would have been less plundering of the state by people passing through and sucking the local communities dry. The factionalism is really sad.
Does Lahontan still turn over once a year (algae from the bottom suddenly rising to the surface)?
I've read not to mulch iris. The iris farm near here says as much too. I'm personally not a fan of hte lovely things.
Uncomposted wwodchips: They take nitrogen only at the fine interface between them and the soil- and it is only temporary. They don't make it disappear, they make it bond with their carrbon and break off of the wood. Diggin in a lot, mixed into the soil will need a nitrogen foil to counteract it. (Like Steve said with manure) I imagine, Betty, that your Potato crop failure had to do with softrot or somethign else. When plants lack nitrogen, they don't up and die, they go yellow and stop growing.
Donna, It looks like a spot of floor has fallen out of heaven and crashed lightly in Washington. It is open to let the spirit sail, eh?
This is a grand veg talk. I wish every Sunday were like this. I see ideas being thrown all over the place. Just great.
I'm getting hungry just reading this too. Sausage gumbo... Yum. I've had a dutch oven dish that incorporated a spicy sausage with cabbage and a large assortment of other veggies that I'm sure a bit of Okra would work in as well. I can see me trying Okra now along side my Artichoke. By the by anyone with some advice on overwintering an Artichoke plant. Do ya think a thick layer of mulch would work? Seems like that's what I've heard folks do with some of the bananas and palms and they pull through.
Rutholive that is a great place... I have to sigh as I look at your pictures. I'm hoping to have a similar set up in 10 or so years. That's the dream anyway.
Back to the question of elevation and such... I garden at 4800' elevation on the top of a ridge between three valleys with an average annual precip. of 18.5". Wind is definitly an issue here as well. This is why I positioned the garden where I did in the yard. We have 6' tall fence around the back as well as previously existing siberian elms(hate these), wild plums, wild roses and an assortment of other native shrubs. The garden is protected further by the 12' tall Garage on the North and an old barn/lean-to on the South. I started out with a little 8' x 8' piece and have added raised beds a little at a time and mounded the soil and organic matter(we have rabbits and chickens) and used leftover supplies to make it look a bit organized. We've also screened most of the dirt in the raised beds as well. This was one of the most rocky sections in the yard. The dirt here is a clay loam that I have learned to appreciate for it's water retention. I just have to be careful though not to work it when it's wet. I HATE the little dirt clods this produces... as such this is another reason the soil got screened. Oh well, live and learn. I also have a makeshift drip system that I use to irrigate in the evenings when I get home from work. As far as mulching goes I really only mulch my peppers and tomatoes with black weed cloth. I'm always worried that organic mulch around the plants will encourage the bill bugs and earwigs. They're already a big enough problem as it is. The chickens enjoy them though.
Lol, kmom! Mulch, mulch, mulch that's too funny. You realize now I'm going to think of this everytime I mulch a plant from here on out. We've learned the hard way that mulch can make all the difference. Trees and Shrubs are mulched immediately as are the ornamentals. We planted a Kentucky coffee tree in the back that almost died. My DH tilled in a bit of compost and added a ring of mulch and it's now actually starting to look like a tree.
I've never had any luck with carrots. I've had a couple get big enough to eat but they were bitter and I've not tried them since. Cauliflower is another crop that has never done well for me. I'm waiting now on my second sowing of bush beans and beets and will be planting some spinach and mache shortly. I need to harvest the rest of the brocolli since this is the time of year I start to see aphids on it. Once I see them I can't bring myself to eat the brocolli. The garlic chives are also just about to bloom. I'll have to give them a try in the kitchen as well.
I agree with Kenton. Great info here. I'm so glad we have this forum now.
Yes Okra in Gumbo is what I had hope for and now I can do it. My Louisania friend that I went to baseball games, tatoo parlors, and ACDC concerts made the best gumbo I have ever had. I miss him. He used to play bass guitar for Iron Butterfly. Quite the guy to go to games and talk about life.
Donna thank you for reminding me about my loss of my garlic chives. I need to plant some more. Very delicious! Nice arial of the garden spot. Too much concrete near the garage. LOL
Steve you are right about too much concrete out from the garage and was a poor job to start with, so now cracks all over. I have a good excuse , all was poured, planned etc, while I wassuffering from the need for my last of 4 hip joint replacements. Now I can't afford to have it broken up and replaced. But people who visit like my large turnaround area.
My plan was to have a arial photo of my house and yard every 5 years, but since the last one 6 years ago haven't had the opportunity for more shots. Both companies must be out of business.
I had really good carrots last year and this spring from the ones left in the ground and covered. this year the darn bunnies and quail either ate the tiny plants or the quail made dust holes in the carrot row, so not many left.
Thanks Steve, Well yes I do spend a lot of time out in the garden, when it isn't too hot. Can't take the heat any more. Yesterday when the sun was directly overhead, and shining rather than disapated by smoke, the temp. got up to 89 degrees and I was not out in the garden.
Three days of the week I am at the senior center, as this is my fourth year as pres. can't seem to find anyone to take over that position. After lunch several of us play pinochle, so then I don't get home until 2 or 3 pm. So that is what I do in the heat of the day.
Don't remember if I posted this photo of an area south of my house. The shrub in middle is Cornus Cherokee I believe.
IN th previous photo, the Cornus Cherokee Sunset was moved from other place 11 years ago, at about 3 or 4 years of age and 4 feet in heighth. I love that dogwood and didn't want to leave it behind. Back of the dogwood I planted 3 Pinus strobes, Eastern White Pine, to creat some shade and wind protection for the Cornus, seems to be working as the dogwood blooms fairly well each spring.
In the middle foreground is a clump of echinacea ??? Goldstrum and beside it a clump of Phlox paniculata The King.
What a lovely picture of yet another part of your garden, Donna. I need to get a disease resistant dogwood for my farm in Mississippi. Mine all have some disease, which I am told is prevalent in Mississippi. I understand you can buy resistant ones now.
Sowing Spinach today. It's still in the 90s during the day, but the nights are getting closer and closer to the 40's... with luck, I will sow every few days for the next month or two and maybe something will find a set of temps that it likes! ... garlic should be here soon...
I planted spinach in late July and it is ready now. The only things I am planting are fall bulbs and small lettuce plants that I germinated in plastic 4 packs. They will keep us in lettuce until frost aprox. Oct. 15. I might do another small patch of arugula because it grows so fast. I have garlic that I grew this past year and will plant some of it. But I am enjoying eating it so much I am afraid, I might have to order more! This is just about the right time to plant it here.
I bet you are enjoying the cool nights.
Betty, have you tried growing mache (corn salad)? It grows quickly and apparently will only germinate when the days are getting shorter (or already short?). It's a quick growing, tasty fall and spring crop.
Yes, I do grow mache. It is a very tender, tasty green. I plant it and I also let it reseed in some places. When it starts to come up, I plant more. That is how I get the timing right. I also grow chervil, except I have let it reseed for so many years that I never have to plant it anymore. It comes up by itself in my lily bed, in the spring before the lilies do much and in the fall when they are starting to die back. It is lovely in salads, like parsley, but with a nice anise flavor. I also sprinkle it on baked chicken dishes just before serving. You never hear about it in the US, but in France in came in all the salads I ordered when it was in season. Ah, the glory of a variety of salad greens and fresh herbs!
I love chervil! I just bought another plant at the farmers market to add to the fall bed.
If you like mache, you might like to try rampions. These are one of the old fashioned (medieval) winter root crops, like salsify, that were traditionally eaten in the late fall and winter. The rampion tops look and taste like mache, but it has a root that resembles a radish in shape. Rampions are called Rapunzel in German. This is the plant that Rapunzel's mother had such a craving for that her father went into the witches garden to harvest. They are often called ramps in old English literature.
Wow! I have read about rampions, but never tasted them. I will have to give them a try. I am also familiar with Gourmet Greens. They have fascinating stuff.
But I have another German green for you. It is ramson, or Bear's Garlic. I first tasted it while visiting a friend in Heidelburg, Germany. She had wonderful bruscetta with a sort of dark green covering on top, kind of like pesto. It was heavenly. She had learned about them from watching Turkish men go into the hills near her house to pick them wild. Later they appeared in her grocery store as a very expensive item. Basically she bought some and made a pesto out of them and spread them on a sliced baguette. She has also picked them wild. She says you know when you have found them because you smell garlic. The pesto was outstanding. I immediately wanted to know what they were. We had a big translating session and looking-up-on the web session and this is a summary of what we found: http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Alli_urs.html
I ordered the seed from J.L. Hudson. I haven't planted them yet, but am planning to put in a few before winter.
Betty, we know this one as Wilderknoblauch (wild garlic) or Waldknoblauch (forest garlic)! My mom is from Thüringen, an agricultural state in Germany with alot of forests and countryside. I'll have to phone my aunt and let her know that folks in NM are growing this. She'll get a kick out it. I never knew one could get seed for this.
I am glad your relatives will get a kick out of it. I thought it was amazingly delicious. The seeds were hard to find, but it got easier once we got it translated from German to English. I will have to tell my German friends about this. They, too, will get a kick out of the fact that I am not the only person who cares about this plant. Julia, the friend who introduced them to me, was amazed I didn't already know about them.
What a great article that was. I had heard bits and pieces of info about ramps and ramsons etc. for a while, but this this article ties them all together and adds more. I saved it for future reference -- sometimes the web sites die and the info is no longer available. I am thinking I may have to wait until spring to start mine. Hudson says freezing may help them germinate. I will probably do that then plant under lights in Feb. or March. I can't wait to see if I can grow them. For me the trick will probably be keeping them wet enough. sounds like they might make a good spring flower as well.
It's Spring, It's Spring! Iris reticulata are done blooming. Daffodils are poking bits of green above the sand. Sooooo - it must be Veggie planting season in The High Desert!
Garlic planted last fall is sprouting. 29 peas for the first week's planting are in the ground. Going to start my tomatoes, peppers and basil indoors today! So exciting! I think I'm rejuvinated and 8 years old again, today!
Im so happy its spring too. I planted my sugar snap peas, scallions, lettuce, and spinach in the ground already. I already started the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants inside. I have strawberrie bag but i need to put them in a different place. We have squirrels and birds here that im sure will eat them up if i put them out into the open garden. I started dahlia's from seed and just transplanted them into bigger containers.
'Tis the season!!! Snow peas, carrots, radishes, gr onions, spinach going in this afternoon or manyana. Toms, eggplant, hot peppers planted last Thurs and germinated while gone. Start everything else in a couple/few weeks. Still have to clear grass and get the two new raised beds in for the toms, eggplant and squashes. All the herbs sowed a few weeks ago are going gangbusters except the chamomile(only 2 germinated). Going to look for onion sets(prefer the walla walla) and taters today. Can't wait for fresh, garden veggies.
Oops, should have said sown. I've got all the maters and such in the basement under lights. Doing brandywine, beefsteak, souix, and riesentraube this year. I only did hybrids(best & big boy and sweet 100s) last year, and the boys got to 8 feet and very bountiful. Figured I'd try the heirlooms this yr.
My experiment (for me) this year of starting a few tomatoes very early is so far looking good.I planted seeds of Sweet Baby Girl, cherry tom. from Parks, and Mortgage Lifter. Seed planted Jan. 27, 07, and potting up when ready. Now are in 1 gal, or 2 gal. pots. All have bloomed in the gh. and have been hand pollenated, and the Sweet Babies have tiny tom. on the plants.
Peas, radishes, various lettuces, and spinach are planted and should be showing up soon.
I'm starting up my first vegetable garden this year! The garden pre-exists, but we moved here in late fall so I'm not sure what fall preparation was done. Can any of you give me some spring vegeatable bed preparation tips? I bought some organic compost and deweeded some this past weeked. Should I remove all the left-standing veggies from the previous year? Will any grow again this year or should I just pull out the old and get ready for the new?
Unless they put garlic in for you, or one of a few herbs(oregano, chives, parsley) I would say yank it. Till in your beautiful compost to about 6-8", and you should be good. I know our last frost date on the front range in 5b is May 15, and I just put in my carrots, onion sets, radishes, and trying potatoes this year. I put in some lettuce's, but not all, as it may still be a touch early.
I am not in the Rockies, i am in the low (4300) Sierra Nevadas but i grow a huge veggie garden. I just found this thread and will read back through it, but indoor starting is a must here!
I'll find some pictures of last years garden and post them. I think with enough care most things in gardening are possible.
We are having an early spring here, i have peonies and delphiniums coming up everywhere and a few thousand bulbs blooming, crocus and about half the daffs are already done and gone. Is everyone else having such an early spring? Most of my fruit trees are blooming or done blooming, tulips everywhere. I am just waiting for the nasty cold snap that will turn everything black...
tombak, thats what we got last night. When I went to bed, the temp. was 29, so I knew it was going to be a long cold night. Had moved inside or covered up almost everything that I was afraid might get frosted, but forgot my nearly in full bloom Wisteria bonsai, I don;t even want to go look at it. I did walk by my pretty Corydalis Geo. Baker, was laying on the ground but i think the blooms will straighten up. At 6:00 am it was 24 degrees and now at 8:00 it is 29 . I haven't uncovered anything yet. The wind machine fans are still running in the pear orchard that is about a mile south of me.
Tomaaak, I think you're my neighbor... rabbits and chipmonks feasted on the crocus and tulips, but the daffodils are doing well. Ones in tubs or raised beds are about done; ones in the ground are about mid way, depending if they are north or south of a wind/sun breaking structure.
My tomato and basil starts are ready to go out, but I too, am awaiting that one last sub-freezing day in late April or early May. Hard to believe it will come with today near 80, but although the trees are flowering in Reno, my little dinky orchard is just starting to bud - I hope they hold out and wait. I'm putting the seedlings out for increasingly long periods of time during the very late afternoon, but I'm still wary of putting anything major out. I'm thinking I might set out a (probably sacrificial) pair of tomatoes and a pair of lemon basils... peas are up, but the wind keeps blowing sand over them. So they are probably 5 inches tall, but only 1 1/2 inches pokes out of the sand... garlic is loving this weather. I'm really wanting to start my zucchini and yellow squash (indoors in peat pots) but I don't want to start them too early - only want to keep them indoors a few weeks before they go outside. Fencing is going up - or I know the rabbits will win the war.
Tombaak, this is going to be only my 2nd summer in the High Desert - any suggestions on what to grow? My toms grew like crazy last year but had a difficult time setting fruit. I think I'm going to put them under shade cloth this year.
One thing I have learned - full sun on a plant label does not necessarily mean full sun in the High Desert!
kmom, you could try using Wall O Waters around the tomatoes when you plant them out. We did that in Tahoe. It snowed on them a few times but the WOWs kept the plants from freezing. It gave them a headstart so that the toms would set fruit earlier.
Got my toms and eggplant potted up from their seedling beds, still a month or so to go before getting them out. I had planted out my cold weather veggies (snow peas, carrots, gr onions, etc) the weekend before that surprise deep freeze last week. Still nothing in sight, and expecting 2-10" of snow Thur eve and Friday (depends on the upslope, or not). I'm getting tired of lost weekends in the yard. My garaged is full of plants starting (cannas, hostas wintered over, daylillies, etc). Oh well, never really did like mother nature, that cantankerous witch!!!
You guys are way ahead of me. I have been gallivanting around for the past month and have done very little toward starting my garden. My potatoes arrived just before I left for my trip to Mississippi and now I had better get them out quick!
My parsley and chervil and oriental garlic chives are up and, in fact, I am already using them.
Now for the rest. I have done little or nothing so far. Oh, well. I have no travel plans for about 6 months, except for the American Iris Assoc. Convention May 1 and the DBG meeting of this forum in early may, is it the 12th? I will check.
Time for me to make up for lost time!
I bought 2 hostas from the Foxfire coop last year. They went into the garden and are peeking up their crowns. I just hope they dont unfurl their leaves until after this storm passes over us.
The peas, scallions, lettuce, radishes, and spinach are up and growing. Im going to wait another week before I pot up the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers in bigger containers.
Some of the dahlias are in bigger containers, but I started with over 64 plants. I just dont know where to put all of them. The wind today was so bad, i couldnt put the plants out on the patio. I wont pot the rest of them until next week i guess.
Of course, since my strawberries arrived yesterday and I planted out 20 out of 50, it is snowing today. I've got juice bottles filled with water around my one "sacrificial" tomato - we'll see how it does. It did good when the temps got to 31 the other night. It's a yellow pear cherry tom and has proven to be a vigorous and unstoppable plant in the past.
Temps are warm - about 35. Snow should turn to slush to rain shortly. I guess it's going to be ugly going in to work this morning...and at least the infernal, desicating winds have stopped.
Yea! No snow, the front passed to far south, and off work today, so I still get the 3 day weekend, and it is supposed to be beautiful tomorrow and Sunday. Guess what I will be doing?!?! I'm considering starting my squashes a week early, to give 4 weeks before planting out. Paj, should I start the winter squashes same time, or wait a few weeks to plant out Jun 1(May 15 is last frost date)? I've got butter nut & cup(bush), galeux d'eysines,conneticut pumpkin, and Baker Creek sent me the yellow scallop squash free. Looking forward to playing in the dirt! Hope ya'll get to, also. Oh yeah, half of the tom's have taken off since being potted up.
I will be envying you today as you plant. You can start squashes indoors in the house and put them our after last frost date or plant them in the soil after last frost date. I am told by better gardeners than I that it doesn't make much difference --early start maybe canceled out by transplant shock. I usually do some of each.
But be really careful about average last frost date. One year, here in LA, we all lost our Zuchinis to frost on June 7! They can't take any frost at all. Then the whole town had to buy new seed and there wasn't enough to go around.
Sounds like you will have a wonderful selection of squash.
The storm is supposed to move out tomorrow and I hope to garden then but the temperatures are supposed to be very cold. Who wants to garden with their fingers freezing?
I've been collecting milk jugs over the winter, abt a gallon a week! I start just about everything indoors, and keep a close eye on the weather(have worked outdoors most my life, so garden/work equally affected by bad weather). Still haven't seen anything of the "cold" weather veggies I planted. Guess it got a little to cold in last weeks low 20's. May have to emergency replant, but has only been 11 full days since planted, and maybe that cold snapped delayed them? Or, maybe it outright killed the seeds? I really wanted the butters, and your recommendation of the galeux won that, the free scallops, and forgot to mention the spaghetti squash, will certainly make a full harvest this year. I'm getting excited about it.
Inch of snow here night before last... I hadn't put anything that couldn't handle it out, but it frosted tons of bulbs and fruit blossoms. I was really worried about my peonies, i have have several dozen coming up, but they came through fine.
Loverly weather these last few days. Babies been getting early morning and late afternoon sun. Here's a photo of some local sunbathers: various toms, lemon basil, dark opal purple basil, rosemary, strawberries (to be planted out today) and an ailing sweet potato grown from a cutting from a sweet potato from our first Thanks Giving in when we moved here to NV. It actually grew a 2" round tuber. It's much happier now that it's getting real sunshine.
Those are beautiful sun bathers, at that! I have some of my own minus the basil. But I have toms and dill and rosemary and everything in the cabbage family -- b sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and of course cabbage. Also ornamental cabbage and kale. This weekend I am going to put my onions in. I have begun preparing their bed, hope to plant today or tomorrow. I am really behind this year. I got the watering system started last weekend, but it leaks at the faucet so I will have to get a plumber out here to fix the faucets. I got the lawnmower started -- one of the tough jobs every spring. Today I mow the lawn.
I let mint, sorrel, burnet, thyme, tarragon winter over and they are looking nice. I have tons of oriental garlic chives and parsley and chervil that wintered over. The chervil smells like licorice when you walk through it. I have been using the last 3 for a while.
Yippee, I love spring! And it has actually acted like spring for about 2 days now.
Spring has been here 4 days in a row now - with today reaching into the 80's, you migh almost want to believe our last hard frost date has past... but the AVERAGE still says "middle of May"... so I've got a few tender things out in the ground, and I'm thinking the babies might start staying out at night when the night temps are going to stay above 40*F... but still not quite ready to risk putting the main crop of toms and herbs out yet... but soon, oh so soon! I think Spring might be my favorite season.
I am already leaving my babies out at night in near freezing temperatures. They are doing fine, but they are right next to the house and don't get the low temps of the rest of the place. They seem happy. I am happy, too. I have been outdoors all day and some yesterday, but boy am I out of shape!
I have been working out at the gym all winter, but only gardening works the gardening muscles. Oh well, I will get strong before long.
Our average last freeze date is also May 15. I don't put out anything tender until then or even later, because it is an average, meaning some nights are higher and some nights are lower.
I love this part of spring, but not the winds and blowing snow of early spring. Today is heavenly.
BTW, just attended a lecture by the fruit and berries guy from our local ag research station. Our fruit trees frequently get frosted and fail to have crops. He had a list of ones that he had discovered which don't get nipped and do grow well in the high rockies. It was surprising. I will post it if anyone is interested.
I planted out a cherry and a peach last night. I'm totally interested in fruit trees that are "middle of april snow & frost resistant"! I think I lost my nectarine - she was just barely beginning to leaf out when that last cold spell, snow and 28* temps and winds came through. She looked ok for a day or two after, but then all the leaves wilted and look dead. I'm watering her as if she will live, but I'm having doubts.
I know what you mean about the gardening muscles. Forgot that even if the tractor drills the tree holes, there is still a fair amount of shovel work involved. The muscles are now protesting. 2 more trees to go this morning and tree planting is done for the year.
I've limitted my "planting too early" to one 4x8 ft bed that I can cover if need be and one half wine barrel that is close to the house and is in a little microclimate. Everthing else only stays out if the winds and the temps cooperate.
Came home yesterday afternoon from work, and ALL the squashes, pumpkin and watermelon have germinated. YEAH!! Now, all my veggies for the year are growing on. My tom's are growing by leaps and bounds, have to adjust the lights near daily to give them room. Going to cut the sod and make the new beds for them nest weekend, then another week or two to plant out. Of the veggies that I thought had frozen out a few weeks ago, only the leeks and carrots didn't germinate. Everything else is doing fine. My peach tree still has flower buds hanging on, so maybe some fruit this year? Then, probably not. Oh well, my caladiums need its shade along the back fence.
Okay, here is the results of 10 years of trials by Ron Walser of New Mexico State University at Los Lunas. These trials are the results of his work at Alcalde, NM, which is about 40 miles from Los Alamos and has a similar climate to that of most of Northern New Mexico. His goal was to find alternatives for the Red Delicious apple which the farmers here mostly grew and on which they lost a huge number of crops to frostbite. Ron trials fruit trees and berries and here is the result of his work. These will take New Mexico's cold winters and late frosts and produce good tasting fruit here.
Ginger gold -- crisp and spicy.
Gala -- extremely vigorous tree
Honeycrisp -- very cold tolerant and with an outstanding flavor.
Contender -- yellow flesh, cold tolerant, late blooming . Flesh does not turn brown when cut. Fruits mid-season.
China Pearl -- white flesh, very cold tolerant.
Harglow -- also late blooming and cold tolerant.
He also likes Chinese Apricot or Sweet Pit which has a pit you can eat the pits of.
Sweet Cherries -- all self fertile. Red cherries are bing-like.
White Gold -- Similar to a Ranier but more cold tolerant, Extremely good flavor.
Stella -- been around for a while, but not as good as the two below.
Black Gold -- he raves about this one.
Lapins -- good and self polinating but Black Gold is better,
Montmorency is traditional but not good for cold.
Two new ones are Hungarian, cold tolerant and larger and sweetersweeter than Montmorency. Both are self fertile.
Recommends only European Plums for New Mexico. Especially Italian plums. They are better eating quality than the Japanese.
Stanley -- a common mid-season one.
Castleton -- the latest
Black Berries -- grows only thornless
Chester, very good quality and cold tolerant
Triple Crown -- large delicious berries but not as cold tolerant.
Raspberries - Grows only everbearing.
Heritage used to be the standard but these come in 2 weeks earlier
Polana -- tastes like heritage. Matures earlier.
Caroline -- Says it is very good and cold hardy.
Strawberries -- Spring bearer.
For everbearing strawberries:
Himrod -- green, makes good raisins
Ron also fertilizes with New Zealand White Clover planted under trees. It produces enough nitrogen that there is no reason to provide more nitrogen.
Hope this helps. Some of these plants are rather new in US nurseries. I previously tried and tried to find out what were the best fruit trees for this climate and got virtually no guidance from nurserymen or books -- all are written for the big fruit growing areas in the East or Pacific Northwest where circumstances are different.
Great list Paj, and very interesting(ie, more things to study). I was just out in Paonia (my gf grandmother passed and buried in Hotchkis), and all the orchards are budding out(peach, apple, etc). Beautiful sight to top out on a rise and look across the valley surrounded by mesa's and see all the orchards. Alot of vineyards out that way, too. Finally got to see it when not winter, snowing, or dark. Absolutely beautiful, as Kenton has mentioned of the area before(only about 1-1 1/2 hr drive south -east of Clifton), and warmer to boot. Even the wild tulips in the cemetery were in full bloom. The contrast between the mesa's and everything greening up was wonderful.
Ahh, yes. I love to see the fruit trees in bloom. I am not familiar with Paonia, but sounds like I ought to take a junket there. Fruit trees and tulips are blooming here as well. I am so relieved to be rid of the intermittent snow and warm spells. So happy to see the flowers.
Do check out anything on the list that you are interested. I found them in most fruit tree nursery catalogs -- Raintree, Jung, Stark and others. What a great time of the year!
Major Announcement! I have an actual tomato on one of my madly blooming Stupice plants!!! Ta Da!
I know Donna is miles ahead of me, hat's off to her, but I am thrilled nonetheless as the tomato plant itself was a seed on March 14 or 15.
And, yes, it is a truly miniscule tomato at the moment but it will grow, and I am sure it will turn red too!
I have not been posting much as I have had a sick puppy, clients from out of town, and ongoing computer grief. But it looks like you all are planting and growing stuff, keep those pics coming!
I am only starting a few hundred seedlings (instead of 1000 plus) this year due to the shambles my gardens are in. I knew I would pay for it this spring when I had to let everything go last fall due to the book, boy howdy, was I right.
So sorry you have been sick and hope you are better soon. Maybe you have been trying to do too much beyond your book. And hope your computer is better also. I have continuing computer problems, mostly because living way out in the sticks.
glad you have a tiny tomato and we know you are right it will grow and red-up!!!!
Hey, I'm up to 7 wee tomatoes now! I love stupice, the early girls the same age do not even have open blossoms yet. And stupice tastes far better too.
I always am doing too much, but there is just so darn much I really want to do! I do not understand people who say they are bored.
Bern is helping me get some of the yard work done. Since bending over always gives him headaches, this is a valiant effort on his part I greatly appreciate. Usually all the garden stuff is my gig, since I actually like to do it.
Jumping in here to let you all know that I have ordered extensively from Raintree Nursery: all my fruit trees, bush & cane berries, Kiwi & other vines, plants. They are a great company to do business with, have excellent service & high-quality nursery stock. Don't know what kind of shipping charges you would incur as they are south of Seattle area, but the information they offer is quite valuable, and worth checking into.
Paj - I had to chuckle about your comment regarding what areas the majority of books are written for: I'm in the PNW & it is a foregone conclusion amongst this region's gardens that gardening books are written for the east coast. Our climate is similar to England, but can be much colder/hotter than they normally experience. It has only been recently that we have seen regional concerns addressed in gardening literature - why it has taken so long is beyond me...
MM - what did you do to get Tomatoes from seed (mid-March) to tiny fruit so fast? Do you have a greenhouse or some other type wonderful set-up? please tell...
Katye I have visited the Raintree Nursery and taken classes there on Espalier and they are an excellent nursery. You need to go down there with some friends and visit them. They have classes every weekend and are soooooo helpful and knowledgeable you can only grow with their help.
Steve - I'll do just that as soon as the Orchard & Garden fairies show up to do maintenance in my absence. But they are such cheeky fellows - always promising, but not very good at following through. In the meantime I will enjoy my orchard & veg garden chores: everything needs attention NOW - & it's only my two hands...
So nice to see the plants maturing & how everything just wants to live! The crabapple scent is deliciously heady in my yard - almost intoxicating. I have really teeny cherries already, the blueberries are all flowering, Pears are going gangbusters as are the apples. The cane berries are going to rule the world, and the Kiwi got pruned back due to rude & unruly behavior. Plums not yet flowering - hope the moles' excavation business did not do serious damage (found the tree at a 45° angle last week). Some plants sure took a hit this winter - they previously have not had to deal with such low temps on a longterm basis. I still marvel at how you all deal with the weather, so take a bow!
Anxious for dry weekends & warmer temps!
Here's Geum 'Mango Lassie', looking much happier with a bit of Sun for encouragement.
I order a lot of trees and stuff from Raintree. Their quality is good and their varieties are very interesting. I have an Orcas pear that I bought from them. It has had 1 gigantic pear so far, but it is only about 3 years old. I also have 4 pear varieties grafted on to one trunk from them. Very interesting, but only flowered for the first time this year. It is still pretty young to bear. They are the only source of Orcas pear.
Congrats, MM on your baby tomatoes. Mine are still in flats on the porch. I will be out of town from May 1-6 leaving my husband to water them. I will pray for them. Actually, my husband is terrified of messing up and does it better than I do because he knows he knows not what he does.
I am so behind on everything this year. Travel is not good for gardening, but it sure is fun!
I went to a nursery yesterday, and I always get ticked off that their stuff is always so far ahead of mine, despite the fact that I know they are forcing things in greenhouses to look pretty for the unknowing. Then I got back to their herbs and tomatoes. I was so HAPPY, because mine looked 100x's better than any of their stock. Mine tom's are already a foot tall, with nice, thick trunks, and were only planted 6 weeks ago. I know they are ready to go out, but I don't even have the new beds made yet(todays project-after I get to few others, like moving the sod I cut yesterday). So question, and sorry I have no pics,but: I have a 16x5 bed made with railroad ties along the back fence and kinda in the corner, I want to use 2x10s to make the new raised beds. Your opinions on 2 8x5 with 4' between(yes it will overlap to one side) horizontal to the original, or 3 6x4 with 4' between running perpindicular. Either will suffice my needs, just asthetics I guess, and can't make up my mind.
Vadap, which beds will be easier to maintain? As a short person I find 5 feet across too wide, even reaching to the middle from both sides. Easier is better from my point of view.
Glad your tomatoes are doing so well. Isn't it gratifying to have tomato plants of the kinds you want that are in better shape than what is available at the nurseries?
I had 24 stupice tomatoes before the first tomato appeared on an early girl. They were all seeds March 14 or 15, so they are same age plants. I now have about 28 tomatoes and will quit counting. It is time to stand there impatiently tapping my foot waiting for them to get bigger and red.
Except I don't have time to do that. Will try to post pics today, but way busy, will see how it goes.
Katye, I like the geum, have not grown those.
Paj, how are you plants faring, you should be back now?
Now I know people in my state garden but I have seen no one on this forum-anyone from Idaho out there? Wish the weather would decide to be spring or winter-very tired of covering and uncovering all my plants. Have tomatoes in blossom-so lucky to have the walls of water. In our case, I think the old saying of 'KNEE HIGH CORN BY THE FOURTH OF JULY" will be a reality this year.
Would like information on the best variety of tomatoes to grow in this zone.
Yes, I have been back since May 6 and am trying to get started on all the garden duties I have neglected while traveling here and there.
I have replaced two non-producing fruit trees with apple trees I learned were better suited to our locale -- they bloom late and produce a crop before the end of the season -- they are Honeycrisp and Ginger Gold. In 5 years I will tell you if I got good advice. One of the apples was the third one in that spot. They just wouldn't bear because their blossoms froze in our late frosts.
I have very few vegetables planted so far -- just some brussels sprouts and some garlic. I have lots of other plants to put in, but I have been on doing landscaping lately. We will get what we get. Both needed to be done. It is just now time to put in squash and tomatoes here. I confess to having purchased my tomato plants, but I too have Stupice and some other wonderful heirlooms well suited to our area.
I guess going to the AIS convention in Oklahoma City made me realize I have miserably failed to keep up with landscaping and flowers, so I have been planting some of the seemingly endless number of ornamentals i have waiting in line to be planted. It has taken some time away from my veggies, but I will get with it soon. I am typically late.
Vadap, I am totally impressed with what you have managed to accomplish so far in your garden.
MM, I made my raised beds only 3 feet across because somewhere I read an article saying that 3 ft. was all the author could handle comfortably -- I expect it was in a magazine, one of the Tauton Press ones.
I am so far behind on my garden it is not funny. I have 31 tomato plants in the ground in the hoophouse and a row of peas that is doing well. Other than that, everything else is on its own so far! A lot of iris are blooming for the first time this year, thank goodness they do fine left to their own devices.
I planted far fewer seedlings than usual and they all need to get planted out, plus the ones I bought. My outdoor gardens are in severe disarray. I actually am going to till the big rectangle, which I generally never do, because it is so weedy.
I just have had too much to do and have not been feeling too well so I am running at low speed while spring is at full gallop. Oh well, it is what it is this year.
Paj, I think you will really enjoy your raised beds.
Paja, thanks for the compliment, but things are a continuing work in progress. I know that I have taken on way to much at once, but am somehow, just barely behind(vs being completly inundated). I just planted all my veg plants: beefsteak, brandywine, souix, and reisentraube tomatoes, bush buttercup, butternut, spag. squash, galeux deysines, yellow scallop, crook neck and zuchinnis squashes, cuc's, sugar baby watermelon, conn. pumpkin(out front under the silver maple), and okra(see how it goes here). All my greens are still plugging away, and will hopefully get some shade from the maters as they grow. All my perennials and annuals are way behind though.
Mulch, good to see you. Hope you get to feeling well soon. Hopefully some good, sunny, warm weather gets you up and running again.
vdap, I thought that "work in progress" and "behind" was the state of all gardeners! I'm a zone ahead of you and I think you are a bit ahead of me in the planting out scheme! I guess I better get in gear!
Last year I mostly worked on my veggies, fruit trees and irises. Then I went and met up with those of you who attended the first DBG event. I bought lots, right revclaus?, of ornamental plants. I have been planting them ever since. Believe it or not I still have about 4 plants from that sale that have not yet made it into the ground. And I got lots of ideas from DBG and from you fellow gardeners. I have been planting plants with itsy bitsy leaves and flowers as I learned from Kenton, Loamy Lady, and DBG. They look very nice and are growing. I have added other flowers to my garden and had a few more nice ones jump into my cart at the nursery.
So far I have mostly planted flowers and not much in the way of veggies, but I have the plants and am now working on them as well. I have 4 brussels sprouts and a row of garlic and some lettuce so far. Its either beauty or food. Maybe in a few years I will have finished my landscaping and will get back to full time veggie gardening, except for maintenence on the landscape.
It's al a lot of fun though.
How are all the Rocky mountain Gardens coming along? My peas have flowers on them, my carrots are about 4" tall,my garlic and onions are growing. My cucumbers popped through the dirt today after planting them about six days ago. I'm waiting for other veggies to pop through any day.
a week ago I planted some more carrots, a few different kinds of squash and zuchinni, pole beans and bush beans.
I also planted tomatoes and peppers and 5 different kinds of sunflowers, 3 of them edible some are 2 and 3 feet tall already.
I 'm getting excited now that I'm seeing some growth. DM
I am really embarrassed to admit that I have only a small portion of my garden planted -- some garlic, some tomatoes and some brussels sprouts. I am unusually behind this year because I took 3 trips this spring, all of which were fun, but didn't help the gardening situation.
In addition, my interest in flowers and trees has been revived, largely by the first trip the Rocky Mt. Gardeners forum took to DBG. But in the edible garden category, I have replaced two non-bearing fruit trees with ones more suitable for our area. They will also contribute nicely to the landscape.
So stay tuned. The vegetable garden is coming.
Wow, Dig, I've barely started. By the pic below, you can see I grow just a few to please me.. I use raised beds to keep my dog out.
I started my tomato and cukes under grow lights and finally planted them outdoors the middle of May. About a week later, I planted some spinach, leaf lettuce, baby beets, baby carrots and green onions. My cukes fizzled out, so I picked up some from a garden center. They are a dwarf variety that can be grown up a support, which I'll add later.
Paj, last summer we were so busy out of town alot, that I didn't plant anything because I knew it would not be taken care of. So I told everyone that this is my year for a garden again.
I planted the peas and first batch of carrots in April. I also have some volunteer squash that I left where it is and it is doing great. I started many tomatoe plants and sunflowers in the greenhouse. I bought 4 tomatoe plants just in case. Mine look alot healthier so far than the store bought ones. I still have six in the greenhouse that I'm going to plant today.
Florae, you are not behind at all. This is the time most people in my area start planting. My sister just planted her garden yesterday.
I have bees in the garden that are so busy happily doing their work. It seems like I have way more bees than last year. DM
Harvested 10 sugar snaps just seconds ago. So far, we've gotten a few dozen peas from a little less than 20 plants. Still more to come, but I can see the wind and the 90*F heat is taking their toll. No matter - have a nice little tomato plant to take their place when it's time for them to turn into mulch.
Planted bush yellow wax beans and short (2 ft tall) sun flowers yesterday. Basils going bonkers. Lemon balm looking good. Toms blooming like crazy but no fruit (I think teh 30-40 degree night to day temp swings have something to do with it).
I'm behind as usual, but DH built me another raised bed this past weekend, so hopefully I will catch up this weekend.
I've been eating fennel stems, either sauteed with green onions or raw, thin sliced, in salads. My chard is being eaten by bugs. I have harvested lemon balm for tea early this week. Lavender is starting to bloom. I like to grow artichokes and cardoon in pots. I generally don't eat them but enjoy them as ornamentals. The cardoon has edible stems, they have to be steamed a bit. Best when they're young. I think they are an Italian vegetable. They taste sort of like artichokes and celery mixed.
I, too, have grown cardoons, here in Los Alamos. They are a beautiful plant for landscaping, as well as eating. Mine were planted near the sidewalk along with some irises and the neighbors complimented me on them as if they were ornamentals. Mine went to flower before I could eat them, but will try again some day. I hear they are delicious.
I am only beginning to get my vegetables in this year, but I have a thriving herb garden and I have been using it since early spring, parsley, chives, oriental garlic chives, lemon balm, chervil, thyme, oregano, sage, spearmint, burnet, and tarragon. I always start basil and Thai basil from seed or buy starts at the nursery. I have planted both in large pots already this year. I hope I never have to live without fresh herbs again. They add so much flavor and are so easy to maintain.
So now to get the rest of my veggies in. I am afraid I got hooked on long overdue landscaping this year. But that is also rewarding.
Hey Paj, your herb garden sounds great! That is going to be my next project next year, maybe I will find a spot and get it ready this year when things slow down. Do things ever slow down?
Do you have all your herbs in one area or do you have them mixed in with other plants and veggies? approximately how much space does all the herbs you mentioned take up? I'm with you on fresh herbs. I went out yesterday and pulled some fresh dill for a recipe and it smelled so good.
Now if we can only get some sun, my garden might take off. It has been cloudy and wet for about a week. Its so wet I'm afraid its going to damage some seedlings. some of my beans that are poking through the ground look like they have little holes in the leaves. But they look nice and green. DM
Your plants will, no doubt, love the moisture in the long run. But you will need sun eventurally. I bet those little roots are growing to beat the band where you can't see them.
My herb garden, was somewhat accidental. The house came with an elegant sandbox built for the previous owners' child. It must be 12 by 12. Having no children to use it, I filled it up with compost and top soil and everything I could get my hands on. Then, some friends who had grown lilies for the cut flower trade gave me some of their lily plants. The bulb is only good for cut flowers once. They gave me several crates of them and I planted them in the sandbox, temporarily. But guess what, they are still there and love the spot.
Then I put some store bought parsley plants around the edges and let them go to seed, in hopes they would reseed. They have ever since.
Then I planted some oriental garlic chives and let them go to seed. Some how some red chinese mustard got started there and I let it go to seed -- very pretty and nice in salads. Very healthy too. Then I put in a couple chervil plants and let them go to seed. I also put in some horseradish and that was a big mistake. I now have it in pots and in a 4 inch PVC pipe about 6 ft. long with the base in a bucket of rocks. Never, never, never give horseradish good soil unless it is in a bucket or something to keep it from spreading.
So I have a sort of ratty looking herb bed that I am very fond of. I use the parsley and oriental garlic chives extensively and the chervil in early spring and late fall when it is available.
Most of the rest of my herbs are in big flower pots on the south side -- oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary ( which I bring in in the winter), basil which I replant each year, Thai basil, the same, and holy basil which reseeds itself some years. I often grow cayenne, Thai and jalapeno peppers in some of those big pots as well. The Thai basil blooms a lovely purple and is as nice as many ornamentals. Also I have a great grean bean dish that I make with it for my husband who loves it.
I have some pots of mint to bring in in the winter, but I also let it spread outside my fence near my raised beds. I have enough mint to supply tea to the whole town. It is growing where otherwise weeds would grow and is much nicer to step on because it smells so good.
Here is what the bed looks like during the lily phase: http://davesgarden.com/forums/fp.php?pid=2547622
Here is what the bed looks like afterwards and before in the herb phase: http://davesgarden.com/forums/fp.php?pid=2547680
Another mistake. I put lovage in the bed. It is another one that quickly gets out of hand if it has good soil and water. I still have plenty of that that I work haphazardly on controlling. It has seeded itself all over the yard. It is tasty in salads and soups, but I am near to having a lovage jungle!
My lemon balm is planted in a flower bed with iris and other flowers. My dill still isn't in this year, but I, too, love it.
I just got started picking lavender today. I've never had lovage. What is it? I had borage but it didn't do well for me. Comfrey also died out. Garlic chives about drove me nuts this year and I uprooted as many as I could pull. Regular chives are better behaved. Yes, that cardoon does need to have strings pulled. I do like it alot. Any other kinds of unusual veggies doing well around here? ( besides arugula!)
Try using your garlic chives. I find them tastier than ordinary chives, but you are right. Ordinary chives are better behaved. Try chopping garlic chives into scrambled eggs, pasta and cheese. They are excellent with ground pork in Chinese dumplings and can be stir fried as a green to accompany other dishes --- just like spinach. My husband loves them. The Asians use them medicinally.
Lovage smells and tastes like celery. The leaves can be mixed with salad greens or chopped in salad dressing. The only problem is that if your soil is at all decent and you water them at all, they spread a lot more than oriental garlic chives.
I love some of the less common summer and winter squashes like lagenaria longissima, a gourd, actually that is very tasty cooked like zucchini when young. I love the winter squash Galeaux d'Eysienne, which were available from Payne's on Alire St. yesterday. Many of the gourmet winter squashes are great here. I can name others if you are interested. Ronde de Nice is a nice round light green summer squash, traditionally used and much prized around here for calabasitas and called "Spanish squash" by the locals.
I do well with eggplant, especially the Asian ones. Ping Tung is my favorite but none of the greenhouses in town have it. Icheban is good. So is Fairy Tale. I am trying a new one I found at Paynes called Niko ( or some such).
Paynes has Okra this year, but I have never had much luck with it. Think I'll skip it, but I would like to try it again some day.
Tomatoes, I like Stupice for early, Cherokee Purple for mid season, and Pruden's Purple and Caspian Pink for late. I use Supersweet 100 and Sungold for cherry tomatoes and am trying out black cherry this year.
Anything you would like to recommend?
I started a six pack of Galeaux d'Eysienne this year to try it out, since you loved it so much. Guess which tray of seedlings was stolen from our community garden green house? Yep, the Galeaux d'Eysienne. I still have seeds and will try starting some "anonymously" directly in the garden bed.
The stupice has a nice cluster of tomatos that are starting to turn red. I planted this one inside a Wall O Water and although it didn't grow much during the colder weather, it matured enough to set fruit quickly once things warmed up.
Best of luck with Galeaux. I am planting it again. And Stupice is an outstanding early tomato. Good flavor, but others are better for later in the season. Glad to hear you are still around. If I were a thief, I would steal Galeaux. But wouldn't the thief have preferred a car stereo or something? Wierd.
Oh, I'm still around. I took a week off for the west coast knitting conference in February and never managed to catch up on all the backreading of the RMG threads. I've learned my lesson on making sure I mark the threads as "watched" now.
Did you find that the Stupice tomatoes tended to be small in size? Mine are a little over two inches in diameter and turing red. Not sure if the small size is due to the variety or the growing conditions. It will be interesting to see if the later fruits get larger.
Stupice is small in size. It has a great flavor, but it is really an early tomato. It is a Czechoslovakian variety and can handle cool temperatures which is why it is so valuable early. I recommend something larger and stronger for later in the season. The fruits are probably not going to become larger.
Knitting conference, hemmm. I thought for sure you were at sea. Of course knitting is a time honored pastime of sailors.
Small fruits are not a problem. They are kind of cute and easier for me to use that way. I was just curious as the plants growing pattern.
For later in the season, I've planted Costaluto Genovese and Sun Sugar.
The potatoes are really drinking in the water. They haven't bloomed yet, but it seems they are already busy making tubers!
I've been pretty much out of touch for the past couple of weeks. My daughter from VA came to spend 2 weeks with me for my birthday. We spent the first week here at home where she really helped my weedy garden by doing lots of weeding. Then last week we went over to the WA coast, had a wonderful 2 weeks. i took her back to Spokane Sat. to catch her early Sun. morning flight home. We are both at out homes now and doing our own thing.
On the way home we did stop at Molbaks a nursery on the coast that i love to go to, hadn't been there for a couple of years. Bought two flats of plants, most that I am not familiar with. Couldn't find some of them in my garden books, had to google, and found most of the info in Google from Dave's Garden people.
I did have ripe tomatoes on my Sun Gold plant, that i grew from seed planted the end of Jan, ripe before June 1. I have really enjoyed them. Did not have as good luck with the early planted seed of Mortgage Lifter, Had to ripe ones but very small about 2 inches is all. Have small tomatoes on the Stupice (my first time growing Stupice). Also small tomates on other plants.
Thanks goodness the weather turned cloudy, even rain one day, and cooler while I was away and depending on a friend to water things. The first week Cheryl was here was very warm-hot and dry. Would you all believe that I have had to irrigate the garden and especially all the pots (since planted about a month ago), the garden area has been being irrigated since first part of Feb, has been very dry.
Sounds like you had a lovely birthday with your daughter -- and what a gift it is to have her weed for you. My Stupice tomatoes just went in. I grow them ever year and think they are the best early tomato I have tasted. I, too, love Sungold. I plant them every year. They are almost like candy they are so sweet. Another good one if you can get it is Gallina, a Russian small yellow tomato. Dr. Carolyn is the name of a sport of that tomato. It is like a large cherry tomato but extremely tasty. I haven't tried Dr. Carolyn, but it is likely the same, and may be easier to get seeds for. It is named for DGer and author, Dr. Carolyn Malle.
Thanks, Pajaritomt. Just returned from the Payne's on Camino Alire! Didn't get much, caught in nice down pour. I love winter squash, so will check back and give it a try. I was thinking about chayote squash, which may actually be a gourd. It's a native, I think. I do eat the garlic chives and give them away to anyone who seems even slightly interested but they overwhelmed everything this spring. Now it's the Egyptian onions, or walking onions, as the case may be. I like them to eat but also as a companion plant for roses. Next it will be mulberries. I hate mulberries. Two big, healthy trees full. The birds love them, tho.
Chayote squash is something I used to grow as a kid in South Louisiana. I have never tried it here in New Mexico, but have often wondered if it would produce here. It is a great squash and grows differently from any squash I have ever grown. You have to buy a chayote and keep it warm over the winter so it will sprout. It looks kind of like an avocado when sprouting. Then plant it and let it grow on a fence of something, if you can. It will begin growing and will eventually produce fruit. In Louisiana it is actually a perennial though it doesn't grow so well after the first year.
In Louisiana they are called Mirliton. You cook them, scoop out the meat, chop it up and mix it with bread crumbs, herbs, and meat or shrimp, then bake. Yum!. Emiril even offers a recipe for mirliton pickles in Louisiana Real and Rustic.
If you can get mirliton to grow in New Mexico, I will soon follow suit. And once they taste it, so will all the gardeners in New Mexico!
I had no idea that a chayote is a mirliton is a christopene. It may be too late in the season for me to try growing them this year. But, we shall see! Thank-you for the links and the great information, Betty. (I'm Penny, by the way. Roybird was my parakeet, sadly, recently deceased. He was 14 years old.)
Great to know you, Penny. And very sad to hear about the demise of Roybird. Nice to remember him through your moniker. Yes, Chayotes, by whatever name, are pretty common in warm climates. I have always wondered if they would make it here. If they do, let me know. I have several first class recipes for them.
In themselves, chayotes or mirilitons, as I grew up calling them, are very mild and bland, but like tofu, they take on what ever you cook with them and become a great vehicle for a whole lot of flavors -- meat, seafood, pickles, etc.
Keep me posted on your progress in growing them!
Thanks, Betty. I'm going to try to find chayotes at the grocery, probably La Montanita co-op, and go on from there. My D.H. has cooked them before. He says that they have to boil for a long time. They do have a mild, watery flavor. I bet you do have some good recipes, being from Louisiana.
You are more than welcome for the info. Interestingly, I have always had trouble getting dill to grow and reseed in my yard, though I am well aware it does so practically everywhere else, even in my area!
Just returned from Santa Fe. Saw a nice selection of chayotes at Albertson's north side, if you don't find them at Montanita, a first class coop.
Here is today's harvest of Stupice!
We sampled the first one yesterday. A thief ran off with two of them today before I could get to the garden after work. We've wrapped the plant in bird netting to make it more difficult for folks to run off with them. Should have three more ready to harvest tomorrow and more clumps on the way.
I'm jealous! Mine are trying to set flowers, but me thinks they be to young and small. They are only about 10", with a foot to 16" below ground. Everything has taken hold and is beginning to grow earnestly. Fresh veggies before to long! Yeah!!
vadap, I transplanted the Stupice in March inside the Wall O Water to keep it warm. This allowed the plant to mature, even if it didn't grow very much during the colder weather. The two new tomato plants that Itransplanted in May will take longer to bloom & fruit, even though they have almost caught up in size with the Stupice, because they are younger plants.
Our temperatures are lots cooler than those of Sunnyvale where GM gardens. Tomatoes, need warmth to flower and set tomatoes. If it is any comfort to you, mine are planted deep, too, but haven't even thought about flowering except for the Sungold cherry tomatoes which already have flowers. It is quite unusual in Los Alamos, which is not unlike Denver in climate, not to have even the earliest tomato until July and very few until August. Except for the cherry tomatoes, that is. They can produce a little in June.
Of course, I am talking about outdoor tomatoes. Greenhouses are another story. So hold on, it is getting close to July.
What early tomatoes did you plant? There is one called Fourth of July which was bred to be early which sometimes makes it here, but on the whole most people have to wait for August here.
Agreed, I am in a warmer climate at sea level now. One thing I learned when gardening in the mountains though, is that it is worth the effort to start a tomato seedling earlier and baby it along to get an earlier crop.
With tomatoes at least, the plant still matures even if it doesn't grow very much during cooler weather. Out Wall O Waters would keep the plant alive under the Sierra snow (I do realize the Rockies are colder than the Sierras). Most of the growth would take place after the weather warmed, but the tomato seedlings started earlier, would set bloom and set fruit earlier than a tomato seedling of the same size that was sprouted later in the year.
I wish I had a greenhouse, but alas, the garage must make do. I wintered over enough plants in there this past winter, but nowhere near condusive to tomatoes. The only "early" tom I did was Souix, but it is behind my Brandywine, beefsteak and Reisentraube (cherry type). Go figure. I did best and big boy and sweet 100's last year. They did so well, I figured I would try heirlooms this year. So far, all is going very well. Tired of eating cardboard toms, though. LOL All my squashes have taken hold, including my galuex. Zuccs are trying to flower to. Snow peas are still putting out, despite the heat. Spinach and radishs' have bolted. Collards are going gangbusters, with something slightly enjoying them as well. Have one of the 3 onion survivors from last year about to flower, with all the babies this year doing good(protected from the dang balack birds). Fortunately, been a wet and cooler spring. But, heat and winds are here!
Your garage sounds like a great place to give tomatoes an early start. Do you have a grow light in there? I switched to heirlooms ( on the whole) several years ago and have never looked back. I do find that some heirlooms like our climate and others don't. I have not even begun to try them all, but some of my favorites are Cherokee Purple which seems to really like the climate here and is earlier than other large tomatoes, Pruden's Purple which looks like a beefsteak but comes on earlier than beefsteak here, Caspian Pink, a huge yummy tomato here. I also love sweet 100's and sungolds which are not heirlooms. I grew Reisentraub once, but have to watch out or I plant way too many cherries. This year I am growing 2 each sungolds, sweet 100's, and black cherrys. Of course, I am never without Stupice for early season but they seem to fizzle out when the big tomatoes are just coming on -- at least for me. This year I am also growing Omar's Lebanese, and Black Brandywine which my friends do well with. I would love to grow more, but this year I have been working more with flowers than in the past so it has cut the size of my veggie garden. How I wish I could clone myself!
Well, it was fun to read through here and get partially caught up with you folks. Nice looking tomato photos! Sounds like you all have been busy indeed.
I have been overwhelmed with work, workshops, completing the final reviews on the color proofs for the book, having company, and so forth. It is so bad in my gardens my husband is actually weeding. That is thoughtful but indicates the state of chaos since bending over has given him headaches his whole life. He only weeds things he does not have to bend over to reach. He is tall. You get the idea...
I harvested my first tomato June 10, a stupice, of course. I ate all two bites of it in the hoop house. More are coming on quickly now and the sweet millions are starting to turn color too. Early girl is lagging behind them, but making progress. The caspian pinks are going for size without ripening at the moment, which is normal.
I am using some supplements to improve brix in there and have always had poor results with peas in Montana. Rabbits eat them outdoors and it gets too hot in the hoophouse. Even with inocculant they sort of loaf along disappointingly and then burn up.
This year I planted them in what was to become the cucumber row figuring they would be done for when I was ready to plant cukes. They were languishing without much show of enthusiasm when I brewed some microbe tea in the aerator I bought. Egads! The peas just exploded after that! They are bearing heavily, growing fast, and were looking so determinedly lively I put the cukes somewhere else. (I will pick the first cuke tomorrow or the next day.)
Asparagus did well this spring, yum.
I planted string beans, which I usually dislike, but felt like having a go at them this summer. The basil and peppers need to be planted in the last section of the hoop house but I have been reshaping the ground somewhat there. I need to clone myself twenty times just at the moment to get everything done.
On the non-veggie front, the rubifragrum poppies have been blooming for about ten days, the shirleys and orientals are just starting where the weeds have not overwhelmed them. Heliotrope and flax have gone crazy this year. And a lot of iris I planted is blooming for the first time this year.
The big rectangle is a complete disaster but the wild mustard looked pretty in there. I decided to allow myself all summer to get it back under control, I will put my efforts into the triangle and big round at the moment. The front border is not doing too bad and the back border with all the trees and shrubs is doing best. Mainly because I buried all the small weeds in heavy mulch before they got too big. I think I may have killed a few small perennials doing that, but am glad. Most of the stuff is coming up and doing fine.
Here is a pic of my tomatoes I took a few days ago.
Wow! Interesting story about the peas. What did you use for the microbe tea?
I finally pulled all my sugar snap peas when the weather got too warm. I would have liked to have had them longer, but needed the space to plant the squash.
We put Wall O Waters around the second pepper today. Both seedlings were the same size when transplanted. One went in the WOW and is now twice as tall. I was concerned they might get too hot in the WOW during the heat waves, but being a pepper, it just loves the heat. We're debating whether we should put the WOWs on over the eggplants at the moment.
Mermaid, I bought some products from T & J Enterprises in Spokane. Thomas, the owner, is really informative and will talk your ear right off if you get him on the phone. The website is http://www.tandjenterprises.com/index.html and I don't know if I remember how to make that into a link. Guess we will see.
I used the Soil Life brewing kit. The peas did not get any of the other products as they were already planted when I got the supplies.
Thanks for the info mm. Thomas Giannou of TandJ Enterprises is indeed a kick!
Some of the advocates of biological/high brix farming say that high brix is difficult to obtain using organic methods. Thomas is a shining light in that regard.
I know the eggplants like heat too, they've just been growing better than the peppers. We'll probably WOW them tomorrow. Thanks for the "second opinion"!
Something is eating my chard...a bug thing, I think. I'm also getting some of it. Our currants are getting ripe and will need to start picking the golden currants soon, red ones a little later. Sour cherries coming ripe. Had good cherry pie at a friend's house for breakfast today. His first crop from a new tree. Service berries are starting to ripen as well. I'm kind of glad to be getting a break from the apricots this year!
MY Rainier cherries are ripening, now if I could just keep the birds out of them. The birds eat the service berries actually faster than they ripen. My two new (different varieties) of gooseberries are ripening. Don't think the birds will bother them too much.
My lapins cherries are starting to ripen but black cherry aphids have attacked the tree. It was looking limp today so I washed off as many aphids as I could with a strong squirt of the hose. The tree seemed to perk up. Now I guess I need to start putting sheets and tablecloths on the tree to keep the birds off. Maybe I need a mulberry or a service berry.
If you think the mulberry or service berry trees will keep the birds out of cherry trees, you are in for a rude awakening. I have tried that solution for many many years and hasn't worked yet. The birds do eat the sevice berrys even before they get ripe and also the mulberry but just as soon as cherries get any color the birds are right there pecking and eating. I have 2 cherries a Lapins and a Rainier. I get to eat maybe 1/3 of them. If the sun shines today, then there will be lots of cracks in the Rainiers as they are almost ripe and it rained (for which I am thankful) but now will crack badly when the sun shines. I love cherrys, but do wish I could let them get fully tree ripe, and have more for myself. I don't mind sharing a few, but if I don't pick them before they are fully ripe I don't get many.
We built a 4 x 4 frame work around the Lapins with a gate, covered with bird netting so I do get to eat most of those. House finches can get through very small holes and robins can find holes I can't find !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rutholive, do you spray any of your fruit trees in the spring for aphids? This is the first year my plum tree seems to have aphids. Alot of leaves are brown and curled in. Inside the curl part is cobweb like stuff. I try to do mostly organic, but if it comes to saving a plant I will use other means. I have never sprayed any of my fruit trees. Mostly because I do not know what to use. Any information you could give me for next year would be appreciated. DM