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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

Gardening: (2016– )

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Put the veggie plot and the cutting garden to bed for the winter today - harvested the last of the cornflowers and cosmos, and took the seed heads off the nigella to open later.

 

Found a last rogue courgette and picked some autumn raspberries. 

 

Made parsley pesto last week and ravaged the plants but decided not to dig the roots up just yet. Sure enough I have baby parsley leaves! The chard and the spinach beet are still pretty happy, even after my depredations to pick chard stems for pickling. We had our first frost last week and it doesn't seem to have harmed them so I will see how far I can stretch them!

 

The oka looks like I should look up when I am supposed to lift the things :)

 

Now to look at the seed catalogue and decide whether it's worth planting any of the seeds I have to overwinter!

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It's a wrap. Took everything down, carted away the refuse, tilled the rest in and planted winter rye last week. The forecast last night: "No chance for rain in the next several days." I was awakened by a downpour around 3am. I hope to see the winter rye emerge soon.

HC

garden.jpg 


Edited by HungryChris (log)
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Why let mother Nature dictate your gardening needs? 

Greenhouse is expensive and you need the space to install one. Cold frames can give you a few more months of growing, but where do you store them in the summer?

 

My method:

PVC electric pipes are very cheap. Using PVC pipes and connectors and making everything modular, installation and dis-assembly can be minutes. 

I decided to work with a 4 'x 8' x 2' module. there are three main components, 4' pipes, 2' pipes and 12'x 8' greenhouse clear plastic film. The trick in this method is that you do not have to glue the connectors to the pipes. The design makes the structure quite secure without gluing.

Because the joins are loose, the whole thing can be installed in 7 minutes and taken apart in 5 minutes. Storage of the components are very easy with everything taken apart.

I also have 4' x 8' insulation boards to put on top if it gets extremely cold at night. The reflective side of the boards gives better sunlight distribution.

 

dcarchPVC cold frame 2.jpgPVC cold frame 3.jpgPVC cold frame.jpgPVC cold frame 4.jpgPVC cold frame 5.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, HungryChris said:

....tilled the rest in and planted winter rye last week.

  

Good deal!

I mixed my winter rye with oats this year and sowed heavy.

The oats should die off when it gets cold enough — leaving only the rye.

 

JmybQFI.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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For some reason, I couldn't post multiple pics in that last post! >:(

A little baby seakale plant (not closely related to other kales.) I need to get it mulched well. I hope it makes it through the winter.

And some 'perpetual' spinach chard among the oats and rye — still going strong.

 

 

seakale.jpg'

spinachchard.jpg


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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The frost seems to have killed what was left of my Roma tomato plants so I plucked about 25 baby green tomatoes and brought them in.  They range from grape-sized to nearly mature.  Can I get seeds for next year from these?  Any other uses?

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November 16. I am still picking tomatoes.

 

tomatoes 1116.jpg

 

We've had one, very light, frost. And Thanksgiving is next week. 

 

But there's no global warming.

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I brought in another handful or two of my tomatoes.  I'm still waiting for my artichokes to do something other than produce massive amounts of vegetation.

 

The blueberry foliage is beautiful this time of year.

 

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Can spring be far behind?
DSC01860.jpg

(Well, yes. But it little self deception is not a bad thing. )


Edited by ElainaA (log)
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45 minutes ago, ElainaA said:

Can spring be far behind?
DSC01860.jpg

(Well, yes. But it little self deception is not a bad thing. )

 

Don't rush me!  We haven't even had Fall here yet!

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Picked the first of the Shamuti (AKA Jaffa) oranges and clementines. 

They are OK, going to get much more flavorful in a few weeks. 

@kayb the excess heat is quite harsh on the citrus this year, the trees restored their vigor only this month. 

20161117_154415.jpg

The Shamuti oranges have a thick and not very bitter peel, which I think will do great candied. I never tried making it before. 


Edited by shain (log)
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It appears our idyllic fall will be soon ending and winter moving in as it looks like we'll be getting our first extended period of cold weather and more than likely our first snowfall.

Went out early this morning and harvested the last of the lettuces, bok choy, some herbs and a lone kohlrabi.

Pickage:

 

Nov. 19.JPG

 

The only plants left are hardy herbs, some hilled up daikon and my kale and collard patch. These have been harvested continuously since early summer (as evidenced by the 'palm tree' appearance of the stem) and I'm hoping to keep these going as long as possible.

 

Last Standing.JPG

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Had a "citrus exchange" yesterday, visited a couple of neighbors and gave away some of our mandarins, oranges and lemons (and avocados). In return I got some good Oroblancos (yum), pomelos (double yum), and a few juicing oranges. Also got some red grapefruits  (pretty, but no yum :/). Still have loads of oranges and clementines .
The lemon tree is not doing well, it got some major branches dying... Still trying to figure out what's wrong with it.

 

20161220_201354.jpg

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@shain You have much more citrus growing experience than I do, but in my experience, most citrus problems are caused by the soil being too moist and causing root rot.  This is a major cause of leaf drop and twig dieback....  Do you have a moisture meter where you can check moisture at the root level?  I would also check for pests - my lime tree is a magnet for spidermites, which can also cause leaf drop.

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@Kenneth I was considering overwatering as a possible cause, but it seems unlikely, since the problem started mid summer, and even with irrigation, the tree got much less water than it does every year when it rains.
I sprayed against rust mites, since they damaged the fruits last year. And it seems to work, because I don't see a sign of them this season. It is probably not the cause, since I have whole branches drying.
Also some cracking bark, probably related.

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hmmm... @shain, this could be a more complicated problem....  there are several viruses that could cause cracking bark as well as whole branches dying.. maybe psorosis?  I did a quick google search for "citrus cracking bark" which came up with many hits - at least on the US Google....  This was one of the first results:

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/diagnose-citrus-bark-diseases-cracking-peeling-86612.html

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@KennethT Yes, all the information I found is not helping me be more optimistic about it... I haven't stumbled on any recommendation for action to take. So I'm left with doing further observation and hoping for it to get better...

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Well, Christmas is over lol.  I got FOUR seed catalogs in the mail today.

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I'm having a problem getting one of my seeds to germinate.  I bought a pack of Chinese Leek (Chinese chives) - #107 Tender Leaf allium tuberosum Rottler from Evergreen Seeds several months ago.  I have tried germinating them several times over the past several months with no success whatsoever... I emailed Evergreen a while ago, but have not received a reply, and by now am not expecting one.

 

In the same purchase, I also bought some cilantro, yu choi, and culantro (mexican cilantro) and had no problems germinating any of them.

 

I am germinating in rockwool cubes soaked in pH 5.5 water...  this is usually good to germinate just about anything...

 

Any thoughts?

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Kenneth - I planted some in a large pot outdoors in May and they took forever to come up and then stayed petite until about 2 months go. Now I am enjoying them constantly and find them especially delightful in egg dishes

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@heidihhmmmm... interesting.  Maybe I'm just not letting it go long enough?  That's what happened with the mexican coriander - they took forever to sprout - 6-8 weeks I think - but I wasn't surprised at that since it said on the packet that the germination time can be really long.    The chive seed packet doesn't really mention a long germination time, but it does mention a long time to maturity - 80-120 days!

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3 hours ago, KennethT said:

I bought a pack of Chinese Leek (Chinese chives)

If these are the same as garlic chives, and you would like, I will see if I have any seed heads left outside. 

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My tiny garden happiness is that some self-seeded parsley has come up! Since my parsley grows on our north-facing front steps, it doesn't always set good seed, so I'm very happy to see the next generation.

I'm out of the house about 14 hours most days, so rarely get into the back garden, but over new year I intend to dump the oldest compost around the drip line of our Japanese plum trees (p. mume, fruiting type), just to help things along come blossom-time. Best compost discovery has been that home-polishing brown rice produces a fine bran which is not only good for pickles, it keeps the compost heap clean and busy too.

 

My spring "edible salad" plants always include nasturtiums, and for some reason, they are still flowering! Since I have so little time for our rather shady garden, I am all for leafy food plants which are next door to weeds - tetragon, Malabar spinach, garlic chives, chameleon plant and so on. 

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@cyalexaThey are the same as garlic chives!  That would be awesome to see if you had some seed heads!  I would really appreciate it!

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