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Gardening: (2016– )


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1 hour ago, Senior Sea Kayaker said:

 

Don't forget a few geckos.

 

Of course!  But rather than geckos which I think are desert lizards, I'd need the tropical kind - like a monitor lizard, but they can get really big and I don't think I'd want it snuggling in bed with us.

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@Senior Sea Kayaker

 

back in the day when I had my garden ,Im grew similar speckled lettuce.

 

I enjoyed Bibb.   I used to grow 9 - 10 varietties

 

I found a small seed vendor that offered bibb 

 

varieties that germinated only when the seed was exposed to light 

 

i.e. it germinated on the surface of the potting soil 

 

and wouldd not germinate of buried.

 

I had to sprits the seeds a few times a day to keep them moist.

 

the plants were fairly pale , a bit yellowish , like the inner leave of some strains.

 

they had an interestingly mild flavor.

 

I did all of this for fun.

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40 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Of course!  But rather than geckos which I think are desert lizards, I'd need the tropical kind - like a monitor lizard, but they can get really big and I don't think I'd want it snuggling in bed with us.

Geckos are present in a wide range of climatic zones including tropical rainforest 

Of course you'd have to introduce insects such as mosquitos to keep them happy 😇.

 

 

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'A drink to the livin', a toast to the dead' Gordon Lightfoot

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It was often quite cool this Spring here on Vancouver Island so some things are delayed.

 

Snap peas have been enjoying that weather though and there are still quite a few there for picking. They have become rather expensive to buy at the farm markets so I am happy to grow some from seed. My husband isn't a big fan though he's ok if I add them to salads or stir fries. That leaves more for me to munch but I love them so much, I should have started more. I only have a tiny area for gardening though - a few raised beds and some pots. 

 

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I started hot peppers and tomatoes from seed also. My hot pepper plants have flowers but not much fruit yet. I have quite a few green tomatoes but have only been able to pick a few riper ones so far. I'm glad I started mostly cherry tomatoes -  Red Robin (determinate and suitable for containers) and Sweet Million. Also some Mountain Magic which are larger but not full-sized. 

 

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But then I have these crazy sweet mini pepper plants that my husband bought at the nursery and they are covered with ripe fruit! You can only see the red ones in this photo but there are also orange and yellow ones. Fun and nice to add to salads. 

 

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I started a few winter squash and melons but some didn't make it through a big storm and the cold weather so .... compost. Sniff. I might still try to get some going this weekend. 

 

 

 

 

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The one fennel plant that survived last summer never developed a bulb. But now it is sprouting pups. Trying to decide how many I dare keep.

 

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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@FauxPas Nice toms and sugar snaps. You're about 3 to 4 weeks ahead of me with respect to harvest.

I work with a small garden (raised beds, pots and grow bags) with an excellent eastern and southern exposure so I do a lot of companion, succession and intermingled planting.

The north bed with trellising for sugar snap (and long beans already planted to take over when the peas are done and will also support 3 indeterminate tomato plants).

Garlic will be ready to harvest in about 3 weeks and will be replaced by chards, bush beans and a lettuce bed.

More southerly in the bed are 4 determinate tomato plants, 4 jalapenos, 3 serranos and 2 habaneros. Also onions, sage, rosemary, tarragon and a line of Roma bush beans.

It's surprising how much comes out of this relatively small space.

 

DSCN2232.thumb.JPG.f1db30ad2e48542065ab83fecba245e0.JPG

 

 

 

 

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'A drink to the livin', a toast to the dead' Gordon Lightfoot

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I still haven't become used to winter vegetable growing being a thing but I'm making some progress. This year's attempt includes cauliflower, spinach, rainbow silverbeet (chard), a few volunteer mustard greens, garlic, and fennel. Oh and I spread some more parsley seeds under a rosebush to try to even out the boom & bust cycle.

 

I had a little success with cauliflower before - it seems to like the cold and doesn't get decimated by cabbage moths at this time of year. I usually get a little garlic but not great - probably because we haven't been diligent about picking the best cloves to plant. I have some along a fence in the front of the house along with some in pots in a cold frame that may get planted later. I have planted most of the spinach and silverbeet but still have a couple in a cold frame to hedge my bets. 

 

I have rigged up some cover at night out of shade cloth, plastic pots, and old patio furniture  for the raised beds because of the frosty weeks we have been having. Ugly but so far things are surviving.

 

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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24 minutes ago, Senior Sea Kayaker said:

@haresfur What conditions constitute winter in your corner of the world? Are you just concerned with overnight frosts or do you get sub 0 C. daytime temperatures?

 

 

Overnight frost. Usually no more than a few degrees and not every night but this has been a cold year. So it's put the beds to bed at night and uncover them late morning.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I've been crazy busy this past month and a half or so, so I'm going to shoehorn a quick catch-up post here. In this case it's "good busy": I have a new client with a massive and lucrative project, so my income will temporarily triple or thereabouts until late September. Leaves me relatively little time for posting, though I've been taking pictures all along with the intention of making a garden post.

 

Gardening season here typically kicks off around the time of the May long weekend, but this year (as posted upthread) I tried planting some cold-tolerant things "as early as the soil may be worked." Germination proved to be uneven, but the things that started did really well. A few weeks after the initial seeding, when I got back from my monthly NS visit, I filled in the gaps where I didn't get the germination.

 

Here's a look at my shelling peas (Early Frosty), for an example of where it worked out well:
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If you look closely you'll see the smaller second-planting stems scattered among the larger first-planting stems. This bed is now in full swing (that photo was a couple of weeks ago already) and we've had several meals of peas, though I haven't succeeded in putting any into the freezer yet.

Another bed I had to re-seed was the lettuce and salad greens, where a few oak-leaf lettuces did really well but most other things (including the usually reliable Grand Rapids) didn't. Unfortunately, just as those new greens were getting to thumb size... chickens happened.

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All of that desolation in between the large heads was filled with neat lines of new growth, and in the few minutes it took me to spot them and chase them out the damage was done. They also trashed my other bed of peas, which I'd also had to re-seed to fill in the gaps. Post-chicken there were maybe a half-dozen plants left.

 

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I've got the garden chicken-fenced now, so there shouldn't be a repeat. It's a good thing peas are fast growers!

 

My big bed of early-planted curly kale did exceptionally well, and is now a dense enough thicket that the chickens didn't manage to harm it. The more desirable lacinato kale didn't do as well in the early planting, so I reseeded that as well but (surprise!) the chickens got that one as well on the same day. Of course there's no inexpensive bulk pack of that kind at my local seed place, but I've bought more seed and will re-plant that one as well.

 

What's going well? My tomatoes, peppers and cukes are all well established and thriving, and I should start to see tomatoes ripening in a few weeks (which is early in my location). We're growing luffa this year and those are doing well. Chard is starting to produce. The bush beans are well established, but it'll be another few weeks before this year's "jungle o' beans" starts to produce. I harvested my scapes a couple of weeks ago, and the garlic is starting to give me some yellowed leaves, so that won't be more than a few weeks now. I'm just to the end of last year's garlic, so the timing worked out pretty well.

 

Here's a little curiosity that some of you may find interesting. I have Egyptian "walking onions" in a couple of my beds, where they help repel cabbage moths. They're just at the reproductive stage, so I grabbed a couple of snaps for the benefit of anyone who's not seen this before (they're not the best quality, but you]ll get the idea. They're a thin bunching onion, and at the top of their stems they produce very large, fat bulbils:
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The bulbils weigh down the stem, which bends over until it makes contact with the soil:

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At which point the bulbils sprout, and the whole cycle starts over. In this instance the place where it made contact was a good 20-ish inches from the parent plant's bulb, and if left to their own devices the onions will "walk" all the way across your garden over a period of a few years (hence the name). Most bunching onions are relatively mild, but these have a bold onion flavor. They're handy as a backup for those times when we run out of conventional onions (and the greens can still be used as scallions, if slightly punchier than the usual kind).

 

This was my harvest from a few nights ago. The peas shelled out to be not quite 2 cups, and we got three meals from the kale. The mushrooms are the same winecaps (Stropharia rugosoannulata) that we'd spawned in a bed under the moribund apple tree last year. Winecaps grown on wood, and the roots of the apple tree are close to the surface, and we reckoned they'd establish themselves in the root system and persist for several years after the tree is taken out (which I still haven't gotten to just yet, but having missed doing it over the winter I'm going to try air-layering and see if I can get a few viable cuttings from it; it makes good apples).

20240704_182425.thumb.jpg.ae10e754e40cc147b34b2938e2e48c27.jpg

 

Last night's take included a larger quantity of kale (I still have a lot to harvest out of the bed, blanch and freeze), my first picking of chard, a big bowl of lettuce from the surviving plants, and a smaller quantity of peas (about a cup when shelled).

 

I'm sure I'm leaving out lots of things, but that's all the time I have for this morning.

I'll close with an entirely different photo. I've always focused on herbs and vegetables but now that we're settled in I need to up my ornamentals game. This is a flat of transplants from the local nursery awaiting installation, but as you see they're already attracting pollinators. :)

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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6 hours ago, chromedome said:

Here's a little curiosity that some of you may find interesting. I have Egyptian "walking onions" in a couple of my beds, where they help repel cabbage moths. They're just at the reproductive stage, so I grabbed a couple of snaps for the benefit of anyone who's not seen this before (they're not the best quality, but you]ll get the idea. They're a thin bunching onion, and at the top of their stems they produce very large, fat bulbils:

 

I had never heard of these before! I wonder if they truly are grown in Egypt. I saw plenty of onions bundled together for sale in the souks, but never saw the gardens.

 

Fascinating growth pattern. Thank you for this!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Gardening has been a disaster this past spring. 🥶

All machines to prepare the garden in spring were not working. The rototiller, the mower, the chainsaws, the tractor ---------!.

 

Have you heard of "Phase Separation"?

Gasohol, if the supplier is not careful in handling, or if your gas tanks are not that good, phase separation can happen and can ruin your engine operated tools.

 

Anyone have advice to deal with this situation? My Honda rototiller manual says, "if you use gasohol, your warranty is voided". Here in NY, you can't buy regular gasoline.

 

dcarch

 

 

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9 hours ago, dcarch said:

Gardening has been a disaster this past spring. 🥶

All machines to prepare the garden in spring were not working. The rototiller, the mower, the chainsaws, the tractor ---------!.

 

Have you heard of "Phase Separation"?

Gasohol, if the supplier is not careful in handling, or if your gas tanks are not that good, phase separation can happen and can ruin your engine operated tools.

 

Anyone have advice to deal with this situation? My Honda rototiller manual says, "if you use gasohol, your warranty is voided". Here in NY, you can't buy regular gasoline.

 

dcarch

 

 

Well that sucks a lot.

This company claims their additives can help prevent it from happening (and explains why) but that doesn't help you now that it *has* happened. I'm not knowledgeable enough about two-cycle engines (or any engines, really) to offer any directly useful input, but I'll poke around and see if I can turn up any advice.

http://www.wellworthproducts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PHASE-SEPARATION-IN-ETHANOL-BLENDED-GASOLINE.pdf

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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@dcarch

 

Im no expert

 

but I had possible a similar problem years ago w my mower.

 

the engine had to be ' cleaned '

 

turns out that problem at least was solved by using gas stabilizer in the gas for mowers etc

 

https://www.berrymanproducts.com/fuel-stabilizer/

 

https://vpracingfuels.com/product/fuel-stabilizer/?c=496&

 

and you use fresh gas each year , and add this stuff again.

 

for years I never had a problem , year after year after year.

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, dcarch said:

I am not sure why gasohol makers do not add those stabilizers if they work. 

The 10 gallon gas tank I have has phase separated into gasoline and 1/4 water/ethanol. I am still trying to find out  how I can properly dispose of them.

 

dcarch

 

I think they work.  I use them and never had a problem

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a guess suggests they might not be helpful in automobiles.

 

just be thankful  Big Corm has not been sucseesful

 

just yet 

 

in buying off politiciansto require more EtOH in gas.

 

which BTW is an expensi9v proposition nd does not 

 

decrease the requirement on Big Oil

 

but BC is trying.

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