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On 2/22/2017 at 6:50 AM, ElainaA said:

@kayb  At the third week of March my garden is usually still buried in snow! That's just about when I start my tomatoes inside so they can go out around Memorial Day. Sometimes I really hate my growing zone. 

I'd be interesting in what you will be growing.

A fence to the ground will keep rabbits out but if you have woodchucks you might want to bury it at least 3-4", angled out. I thought my fence was fine until I lost all my peas and most of the lettuce in a single night. The woodchucks dug right under the fence. We dug a trench, added a strip of fencing at the bottom and buried it. This year we may have to extend the fence up as Fanny now simply watches the deer grazing in the meadow rather than scaring them away. I really don't want to plant a dinner buffet for critters. 

 

Lowe's sells a roll of fencing called "rabbit guard," a woven-wire fence with smaller openings near the bottom and larger ones further up. I can get it in 3-foot or 4-foot heights. No deer and no woodchucks, so I'm thinking the three-foot and use garden staples to anchor it to the ground between posts.

 

In the box were a dozen or more herbs, some asparagus, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers,  cabbage, five different kinds of tomatoes (yellow and red cherry tomatoes, Romas, Big Beef hybrid, and Mortgage Lifter heirlooms), sweet peppers, hot peppers, yellow and zucchini squash, green peas, lima beans, Kentucky Wonder pole beans (these are the BEST green beans in the world for cooking low-and-slow, with some bacon grease, Southern style!), okra...I think that's all.

 

Have never grown asparagus before. I figure I'll start it inside and transplant; my front flower bed is going to become an asparagus bed, with herbs interspersed in their three-gallon pots. I need to start those, the tomatoes and the herbs next week. I will be planting outdoors likely by early April; it has been an exceptionally warm winter and early spring here. Temp yesterday was 70, though it's a little cooler today.

 

I do wish I could grow some  cooler weather crops, but all in all, I'll take living in the South.

 

ETA: Carrots. I forgot carrots. And I will likely get some purple hulled peas and plant after the early crops (lettuce, cabbage, radishes) are through. Doubt I'll plant corn; it's easy enough to buy a bushel to cut off and freeze.

 

 

Edited by kayb (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I just spread 10 lbs of 12-12-12 fertilizer, 50 lbs of composted cow manure on my asparagus bed and covered it with a layer of peat moss. Last year it was borderline, so I decided to give it another season, but I am hoping to put some on the table this spring. Fingers crossed.

HC

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19 hours ago, kayb said:

 

------------

Have never grown asparagus before. I figure I'll start it inside and transplant; --------------

 

Starting from seeds takes a few years.

Buy crowns (roots). 1, 2 or 3 year old crowns and enjoy much quicker.

 

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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for my mother in CA  I set up a 3 yo trench for her.  she had a few asp the first year , but waited until the second year to gobble them up.

 

another thing you can do if you are very ambitious :

 

put rows of 3 yo roots at different depths      you will have to look this up for your area

 

why ?   you then get three staggered crops :  the deeper ones take a week or two longer than the shallow ones.

 

asp season is very short.  always leave a few to ' flower '

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Yikes!!!  After only 30 minutes with the light on, the inside temperature went from a stable 77.8degF (with computer and fan running) to 94.5degF!!!  And that was not the temp after it had stabilized, it was still going up!  Now I really don't think a peltier based A/C is going to cut the mustard....

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/25/2017 at 10:09 AM, KennethT said:

Spaceship garden is coming along... Right now I'm testing how much the light increases temperature....

 Oh, this is amazing. I'm gone for a few weeks (project deadlines and some kind of flu, eww) and I come back to a new installation. Love the Gorilla tent. The other day I was thinking of reading The Martian again, you know the part where Mark Watney starts farming inside his habitat so he doesn't starve to death, and he creates soil from his own waste. I don't expect you to do that kind of extreme farming of course. Your wife and your neighbors...xD

 

We've had a great deal of blessed rain this past month, and our state is recovering well from the Great Drought. Because of the cloudy gray weather, none of my plants have grown much in the past weeks. Their growth stalled without sunshine. They are, however, well-hydrated. 

 

 

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I also read The Martian, and enjoyed it quite a bit - but I kept wondering why he didn't grow his crops hydroponically - after all, it was NASA who did much of the development work on the subject many years ago, precisely for trying to develop ways to economically grow vegetables in space.  But, the reason he didn't do it is because he probably didn't have all the various nutrients he'd need for a well balanced hydro system - because they weren't planning on living on Mars for that long... their mission was only for a few weeks, so it would be pointless to try to grow food since they'd be leaving by the time it was ready for harvest.  But I wonder if they had a hydro garden on the Hermes, since they were living on it for a few years.

 

I know all about the rain issues in SF... my wife just got back from a seminar in Napa - her inbound flight was delayed a few hours because of storms in SF, and it basically rained every day she was there!  I kept joking how the weather was nicer here in NY than it was for her in SF....

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On 2/25/2017 at 1:43 PM, KennethT said:

Yikes!!!  After only 30 minutes with the light on, the inside temperature went from a stable 77.8degF (with computer and fan running) to 94.5degF!!!  And that was not the temp after it had stabilized, it was still going up!  Now I really don't think a peltier based A/C is going to cut the mustard....

I've been rethinking this statement...  I received my portable A/C unit - first of all, the thing is huge - it takes up about a third of the tent!  It's the smallest "dual hose" portable A/C I could get...  I wanted a dual hose version since, supposedly, it wouldn't vent much of my tent's air to cool the compressor - it uses an intake hose, which takes air from the outside, so it shouldn't create a negative pressure situation.  Oh well....  a few seconds after the compressor turns on, you can see the walls of the tent being sucked in - there is certainly negative pressure inside that tent!  More quantitatively, I ran a test - last weekend, the humidity in the apartment was a bone drying 11%....  So, I made an ultrasonic humidifier for the tent, and controlled it to keep a constant humidity in the tent between 60 and 70%, which at 75degF would create a perfect amount of VPD (vapor pressure deficit) in the plants.  When the A/C turned on, the humidity in the tent dropped to about 30% within 2 minutes - obviously, this was not caused by the dehumidification that A/Cs do, but rather, the influx of dry, 11% humidity apartment air into my tent....  A few minutes later, when the A/C turned off again, it took the system about 10 minutes to get back up to the proper humidity, at which time it was about the time for the A/C to turn on again!!!

 

My biggest concern is actually not with the humidity, however, but CO2... since I'm going to be enriching the tent with CO2 to make the plants grow faster and utilize all the light they are receiving, every time the A/C turns on, it will be venting my CO2 out into the apartment... which is both a waste of CO2, and not desirable since I'd rather not live in a heavily elevated CO2 level... not that that level would get to the point that it is dangerous or uncomfortable, but still....

 

MacGyver is back on the job... waiting for a few more parts to come in tomorrow... pics to follow.....

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My chives are coming up and the parsley looks to have survived too. I believe the sage and thyme will be OK. The rosemary comes in for the winter and seems to tolerate the western exposure pretty well. I brought it outside today to give it a little encouragement.

 Chives  and parsleyIMG_1384.thumb.JPG.e4a9a1fec5e05884bf949740efd68ec0.JPG

Thyme

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Sage and Rosemary (potted)

IMG_1391.thumb.JPG.05c07539e7c988e3ff40671dd10b6712.JPG

The deck Herb collection.

HC

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13 hours ago, KennethT said:

I'------------ a few seconds after the compressor turns on, you can see the walls of the tent being sucked in - there is certainly negative pressure inside that tent! -----

 

Not necessarily. In aerodynamics, when air is blown over a surface, it will create an uplift pressure. Try to blow over a piece of paper. It does not mean air is being sucked out. Check your air flow pattern.

 

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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9 hours ago, dcarch said:

 

Not necessarily. In aerodynamics, when air is blown over a surface, it will create an uplift pressure. Try to blow over a piece of paper. It does not mean air is being sucked out. Check your air flow pattern.

 

dcarch

 

Thanks for your thoughts.  When the A/C fan only is running (even high speed), there is no problem... only when the compressor turns on.  Also, I checked the flow at both inflow and exhaust tubes... the exhaust outflow is much stronger than what's coming in from the inflow.  I was thinking about adding some smoke to the inside of the tent to see if it was vented out, but the A/C has a filter which I wonder will filter it out so I won't see it anyway.  Plus, the negative pressure is EXTREMELY strong - all 4 walls and ceiling are sucked in...

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What is the model# of your A/C?

 

I am guessing there is an opening connecting the evaporative side and the condensing side for the purpose of ventilation.

 

You can probably close that opening with duct tape.

 

dcarch

 

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It's a Whynter ARC-12SD... I took a quick look inside when I removed the filter, but I think in order to completely seal off the compressor/evaporator areas, it's going to take a bit more than duct tape. If I get some time this weekend, I'll open up the cover completely and see what I see...  In truth, I'm probably going to have to hack the control board anyway since my test crop, alpine strawberries, seem to like a nighttime temo of 50 to 55 degF, but the firmware of the A/C only lets it get to 61, and in practice, I find it actually turns off around 62.5...

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@shain, do the lupines have food value? They're beautiful flowers (we have many varieties in the USA) but I don't know anything about growing them for other than ornamentation.

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

"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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We have them for miles along the roadside here, too. They do produce a bean-esque seed, but I don't know if they're edible. I've often wondered about that...Google it is. 

 

...aaaannnnd, no they're not. Toxicity varies, but they're full of alkaloids and antinutrient enzymes and such. I've been meaning to look that up for a long time, but never thought of it when I was in front of a computer. 

 

 

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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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In Southern California they are frequently growing alongside of mustard- and that is an edible - enjoyed some the other day - with the rains the yard is a magnificent "pick your own" salad bowl ;)  

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 @Smithy @chromedome The seeds are actually of culinary use, if soaked repeatedly, though I won't do it myself. Boiled and salted, they are eaten as a snack, much like chickpeas and fava. They are sold by vendors and also canned. They are a little crisper then most pulses. 

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~ Shai N.

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If I understand correctly, the "lupini" I've enjoyed with Italian friends are the least toxic of the different varieties. The ones that grow wild here would be challenging...they're smaller, and more toxic (especially in a dry summer, according to one of the articles I've found since the up-thread post). 

 

Sure are beautiful when you have 80 solid km of them along the roadside embankments, though. :)

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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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