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Gardening: 2016 (midyear)


ElainaA
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Garden update:

 

Herbs seem to be growing visibly! Blueberries and whimberries are still struggling. Cranberry is very happy but no sign of berries. Perhaps the most successful thing in the berry patch is, surprisingly, the lingonberries, which are sturdy happy bushes easily outcompeting the grass with a fair few berries on them. No aronia berries this year (not pictured). I may need to move them next year to somewhere with more sun perhaps, but I thought I'd let them get bigger first.

 

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How the cut flower and veggie plots look now from a distance.

 

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Courgette are just starting to be ready to harvest. I see courgette in my future at the weekend. I am watching out for zucchini recipes with interest! :D

 

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Cornflowers from the cut flower border ready for picking. I will take some to my Estonian friend (it's their national flower). Nigella, zinnia and cosmos are close. Scabious is being drowned by the cornflower. Asters are sort of OK. Sweet peas are still rubbish. Nasturtiums are going crazy which is great as that's more of a salad and seed crop than a cut flower. You can just see sunflowers forming, again I am growing that more as a crop than a cut flower.

 

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My dill has gone beserk and needs harvesting. This plus the coriander and parsley are keepers. Tarragon didn't germinate. Basil is now doing OK but only 5 or 6 plants have germinated and I get through so much basil I think I am better off buying the little containers of fresh basil from the supermarket rather than using lots of space to try and keep up with demand. Will have to evaluate at the end of the season though. Time to sew some more salad crop and raab. The tree spinach will become a sacrificial dinner tonight since being vetoed by hubby, along with some more chard and spinach beet.

 

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Runner beans, borlotti and dwarf french beans are all in flower. Peas are just about ready to start picking. Carrots are doing well, as is the salsify. Parsley and leeks are starting to get away. Broad beans are swelling nicely. I can see a few flowers coming on the tomatoes.

 

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Gooseberries! :D

 

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First of the peas and carrot thinnings with Sunday dinner.

 

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And here's garden mark 2, the revenge of garden.

 

This garden runs at the north side of the stream that runs into our duckponds. I am standing in front of three small cold frames which are pushed up against the fence of garden mark 1. I have 7 more raised beds now, not all of which will be used in the short term I think. Next job is to dig in a LOT of manure and install some weed suppressant membrane until we need them. The bed closest to me is going to be the sweetcorn bed, and I could see the next bed becoming strawberry overflow given the amount of runners I have. Other things I need to find space for are some lovage plants, which I'll probably plant in the bed furthest away with some other perennial (fennel? Artichoke?). One bed will be given over to rhubarb, and one to unusual tubers, I have some oka to plant out and then perhaps some jerusalem artichoke and some new potatoes. That leaves me with a couple of beds spare. I'm probably not going to repeat the cut flower bed next year in quite the same way, so that gives me three to play with, which seems enough for any ideas that come to mind.

 

The space right at the end will be where the beehives go eventually.

 

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It's a nice self-contained space which is making use of what was essentially derelict land. I'm pretty happy with it. :)

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Good Lord. I'm seeing movie trailers. "Revenge of the Killer Basil."

 

@Tere, your gardens are beautiful. Mine is grass and weed-infested now, but hopefully with an injury free summer next year and a better start, mine will look better next year! Tomatoes are still happily producing, though.

 

 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Tere, Such a beautiful garden. Thanks for the pix.

 

What do you cook with salsify? I've only eaten it once that I recall, in a risotto with mushrooms and leeks at a restaurant. Not a typical use of this veg, I suspect.

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51 minutes ago, djyee100 said:

Tere, Such a beautiful garden. Thanks for the pix.

 

What do you cook with salsify? I've only eaten it once that I recall, in a risotto with mushrooms and leeks at a restaurant. Not a typical use of this veg, I suspect.

 

I have to confess I've not cooked with it (yet) but I've had it roasted very successfully in several restaurant meals. It sort of tastes nutty, a bit like a cross between Jerusalem artichoke, parsnip and burdock root. This is a more experimental planting with some freebie seeds from a seed exchange, but the fact that each planting is only a metre long in the bed means we can try out more than a few things and not grieve too much if it doesn't work out (like the tree spinach).

Edited by Tere (log)
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Tere, ditto regarding your beautiful and orderly garden.  I have stopped growing favas because they always seem to get black mould on them even when my DH uses the sulphur spray he puts on our wine grapes.  Do you ever get this problem?

 

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2 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

Tere, ditto regarding your beautiful and orderly garden.  I have stopped growing favas because they always seem to get black mould on them even when my DH uses the sulphur spray he puts on our wine grapes.  Do you ever get this problem?

 

 

This is my first season but I don't see mould on them and I broke the first pod open to check on progress today and they were fine. No clue really, although I guess I am at lower humidity possibly? We do use fertiliser but don't really spray anything right now.

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Tere, your garden is just lovely!!!  I envy all those raised beds...they look so neat and organzied!  

 

KennethT....that basil is AMAZING!!!!  I cannot believe the size of those leaves! 

 

It was quite hot and humid today, and the Blacktail watermelons are lovin' it.  I've found blossoms on all nine of the tomato plants, cukes, zukes, blue and golden hubbards, sugar pie pumpkins, and beans. The early planting of the Cantare and Galopka beans all have new little beans popping out,. (I;d have taken a picture, but I plucked all I could find, and promptly gobbled them up.)  The grape tomato has several tiny tomatoes already, which is encouraging.   The oregano is growing beautifully.

 

The Oxtail carrots are thriving, despite the multiple hoof prints. It appears that the horse wasn't the only one to visit the garden. We have this little red Angus calf, Clover, who's turned out to be quite the escape artist.  She left her mark alongside the horse's prints.  Grrrrr.   The beets, chard, etc, are all popping up at alarming rates, but with all the rain we've had, I guess that would be expected.   They clocked the winds last week at 92mph. I'm amazed the tomato cones were still standing. It was a doozy. 

 

Off to pull more weeds. With all the manure we dump into that garden, its no wonder there are weeds everywhere! 

 

 

 

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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16 hours ago, Tere said:

Cornflowers from the cut flower border ready for picking. I will take some to my Estonian friend (it's their national flower). Nigella, zinnia and cosmos are close. Scabious is being drowned by the cornflower. Asters are sort of OK. Sweet peas are still rubbish. Nasturtiums are going crazy which is great as that's more of a salad and seed crop than a cut flower. You can just see sunflowers forming, again I am growing that more as a crop than a cut flower.

 

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Tere,

 

I know this flower in your photo as Bachelor's Button, and have grown them in Vermont and Tennessee. I did not know that the more common name was cornflower. According to Mr. Wiki, the flowers are edible (again new to me) and can be used in salads like nasturtiums. The petals of cornflower are also used in Lady Grey tea.

 

Beautiful garden, and so great that you haven't needed chemicals for pest control. It looks like you are having a lot of fun with it. 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I've talked about picking stuff from my deck while using a flashlight. Eh, I might as well post some pics of the stuff here. Some shots of some of the stuff on my deck:

 

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L-R: Sweet basil, summer savory, Siam Queen basil, more sweet basil, holy basil/tulsi, sweet basil, oregano (in the front), Thai basil (running from the left middle to the right), more holy basil/tulsi (front (decorative planter) & back), a small sweet bay, sage, lime thyme, parsley, "standard" thyme, silver thyme; and the trunk of a kaffir lime plant plus the other "side" at 90º shown below.

 

Oh, the small plant at the bottom left of the group is a Bursera fagaroides which has survived despite my best attempts at killing it. :-)

 

View of the above from a 90º angle.

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In the front, which was not seen in the first pic, is a 'Logee's Blue' rosemary.

 

The kaffir lime plant (mentioned above) on the right-side of the pic "came back from the dead", as it were. It had become heavily encrusted w/ mealy bugs &etc over the last winter due to my neglect and I abandoned it outside came end-of-winter-quasi-beginning-of-spring. Most of the leaves were lost, and I assumed it would be garbage soon. But, to my surprise, it hung on - and the almost-bare plant started sprouting new shoots as the weather warmed up. I was humbled by how strong its survival energy was. I trimmed it, painstakingly washed and wiped off remaining bugs and detritus of the mealy bugs and scale and other nasties, repotted it --- and here we are.

 

A close-up of the large holy basil plant in the first picture.

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There is a story behind this. A favorite vendor at the Broad Ripple Farmers' Market used to sell holy basil plants, but had stopped doing so - because he said they "had difficulty" finding seeds. (I won't go into the accuracy of this "difficulty") I gave him (for his mother, who is the one with the Green Thumb) some packs of holy basil seed which were a couple years old (due to my tendencies towards having difficulties with actually planting or sowing stuff) and none of them germinated, by his account. I sourced some tulsi plants from an Oregon place, got some, and gave some of the plants to him. Well, his mom grew them on, harvested the seeds, and this year he/they offered plants grown from those seeds. These are not the "standard" Thai holy basil - but rather, "Rama" Tulsi --- but the taste is pretty much the same. They're just smaller plants in practice. Sooo --- of course some of these plants came home with me (with the initial ones given to me by the vendor) and here we are now a couple months or so later.

 

A shot of the stuff at 90º from the first pic.

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L_R: Peppermint, Genovese basil, more holy basil/tulsi, parsley, "Pesto Perpetuo" basil (variegated one, in front - poor/weak taste, I won't be growing this again), Vietnamese coriander, Vietnamese "shiso", common sage.

 

 

Aaand...just for the hell of it – a shot of one of my Calamansi lime bushes, with developing limes.

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Edited by huiray (log)
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I'm most impressed at your container garden. Mine just don't do that well. I think they are in too mjuch direct sun (from noon onward).

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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8 minutes ago, KennethT said:

@huirayVery nice indeed!  What do you do with them in winter?

Thanks.

 

The "perennial-types" come inside to either the breezeway or the sun room. The annuals (e.g. the basils) are just allowed to go to sleep, and new plants will be grown the next year.

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It is looking like a banner year for winter squash here: (There are a lot more than shown in the pictures.)

Gold Nugget:

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Sweet Mama:

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Sweet Dumpling:

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I also have 2 plants of Metro PMR - an extra small butternut from Johnny's but, while the vines look good, there are, as yet, no flowers.

 

And I am still picking lettuce:

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Many, many green tomatoes but not one ripe one yet - soon I hope!

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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First mango of the season! Good mangoes just make me so joyful :) 

And just in time too, since Iv'e just picked the last few figs yesterday, and the market bought figs taste like water... Iv'e been spoiled.

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I'm also glad since last year we had little fruits, and even those few where heavily fly damaged. This year they seem plentiful and bug-free.

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~ Shai N.

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9 hours ago, huiray said:

..."Pesto Perpetuo" basil (variegated one, in front - poor/weak taste, I won't be growing this again...

 

I grew "Pesto Perpetuo" basil last year, and decided not to grow it again. I thought the taste was OK, though not to compare with regular Italian basil. I didn't like the texture of the leaves so much--they seemed a little tough to me. My favorite basil still remains Genovese; I really like the flavor.

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I have been doing well with the squash, but there is always one that escapes detection. I noticed a squirrel sampling the tomatoes, so I went on a rescue mission.

 

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Allow me to show you a pointer.

HC

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Edited by HungryChris (log)
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Something was eating my tomatoes the last few days.  Not those nasty tomato worms because too much of the tomato was eaten...something more sinister.  I thought perhaps a mouse from the nearby compost.  I set one of our live rodent traps bated with a green bean last night.  This morning, a rat!  Quite big.  In good shape...I should think so snacking on my garden.  I gave it to my DH who will set it free over on his golf course, across the lake...never to return here.  In the mean time I have my electric snapper rodent trap bated with a doggie treat.  We'll see if we get anyone else this afternoon.  This one will not be so lucky.

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On 7/17/2016 at 9:34 PM, Jacksoup said:

@Shelby here's trimmings from the basil for tonight's dinner.  We have 12 plants and my plan is to make lots of pesto and freeze it.  Behind the basil is the plum torte I made today.  Not pictured is the plum chutney( very good) and the plums currently dehydrating. Oh and the two more bags of plums.

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That is a mighty fine looking plum tort, Jacksoup! Maybe you can tell us about it in the baking thread? Is it by any chance the Marion Burros recipe? Is there any basil in it? (Basil and plums go very well together.) 

 

I am absolutely writhing with envy over this thread, the gardens look so luscious. 

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The garlic harvest was yesterday. I'll let them hang and dry out for a a week or so , then clean and store them. Some are a good size but a lot are smaller than usual - I assume due to the dry weather. As usual, Arlo is helping.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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My cilantro hasn't been doing well.  An interesting study in plant physiology.... It's been 95degF with no clouds for so long, and my windowsill garden faces S-SW.  Even with the A/C on full blast, it's just too hot and humid and too sunny... so the plant has been suffering.  Because it's not as healthy as it should be, it is much more vulnerable to pests.  I saw today that the cilantro was infested with mites. What is interesting is that the plants on either side of it (that are much more tolerant to heat and sun) and are touching leaf to leaf, have practically no pests at all.  Needless to say, I removed the cilantro plant and trimmed any leaves that had even 1 or 2 mites on them on the other plants....

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But look at those roots!

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