How does your garden grow?

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Farside
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#21 Post by Farside » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:32 pm

A few years ago I noticed some chives growing wild in a corner of the property, and last weekend I went over with a spade and transplanted them into my ribes guild that currently contains blackcurrant, jostaberry, asparagus, and rhubarb. This property has a lot of quackgrass, and keeping it at bay is a constant battle. So I planted these chives along the walkway border because they form a dense root mat that acts as a physical barrier to the grass runners that go under the ground and into the growing bed.

That's the theory. Let's see how well it works. The rhubarb is supposed to perform a similar function as well as shading the grass out. It's actually why it's in the guild in the first place.

dirtmurphy
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#22 Post by dirtmurphy » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:09 pm

We most commonly use daffodils for that around here but I imagine irises would also work. Let us know how it turns out!

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#23 Post by Farside » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:09 pm

I have a garden bed that is growing onions, carrot, and spinach all together. I finally got it weeded and are now half way through mulching with straw which is quite painstaking because the carrots are quite small.

On the carrots, they are not planted as a bed, but dispersed thinly among the onions.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#24 Post by dirtmurphy » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:41 pm

I like to sprinkle straw thinly on top of the carrot bed as soon as I sow the seeds. The seedlings will grow up through the thin layer easily. I mostly grow carrots in containers although today I direct-seeded a carrot, arugula, lettuce mixture in my stropharia bed.
I have to say that I'm really impressed with the production in that bed. Plants are going absolutely nuts so I'm hoping to turn all of my beds into stropharia beds by the end of this year.
I finally planted a tray of brussels sprouts and cabbages today.
Princess Layer is still sitting on eggs but one chick hatched last night. It appears to be quite healthy.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#25 Post by dirtmurphy » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:53 pm

Something ate every last peach from my tree. It was loaded with unripe fruit to the point that I thought it would break. Then overnight everything disappeared. I can't tell you how disappointed I am. Our fig and pawpaws are loaded too. Let's hope I can at least harvest from those trees.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#26 Post by Farside » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:02 am

In permaculture they talk a lot about food deserts. Even though the landscape is green and lush, there isn't enough food for the wildlife. What often happens in a food desert (like suburbia) is that you plant food producing plants and they get stripped. You plant more and it just attracts more wildlife and they get stripped too.

You've created a food oasis, and people drastically underestimate how much food production is required to satiate the starving animals. For example I have a friend who planted a few haskap bushes and they got stripped. So he increased it to 10 and still they got stripped. At 20 there were loads of birds stripping the bushes. At 30 bushes it was a mad house. He now has 50 haskap bushes and the birds are sick of them. They still eat them but not to the extent to what they originally did, and now he has so many haskaps he is wishing more birds would help him harvest them all.

An interesting side effect is that the birds leave his blueberries alone (they fruit just after the haskaps), and they only lightly feed on his strawberries. It appears he reached that tipping point where the local wildlife are no longer starving and in survival mode, and he has more than he needs but it took a lot of plants to do that.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#27 Post by dirtmurphy » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:27 pm

I'm a permaculturist too and what you said is so true. I'm constantly rolling my eyes at the landscape choices around here. People want things to look a certain way regardless of whether or not it's a thriving system. Always the same tired mix of butterfly bushes, hostas, junipers, azaleas, sod, knock-out roses. God forbid a dandelion or clover should pop up. They throw all of their "yard waste" on the curb for the city to pick up instead of allowing nutrients to cycle. What's crazy is that they come to me for advice when they're having issues with their plants, then they hire someone else to do the exact opposite of what I've recommended because feeding the soil and building an actual thriving ecosystem is too "out there." I can't do anything about other people's choices but I do wish they would stop wasting my time by asking me to come over to look at their problems, particularly when they aren't going to hire me to address whatever situation they're having.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#28 Post by Farside » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:36 pm

Speaking of a food oasis and hungry wildlife, My blackcurrants are about 2 to 3 months away from ripening. The berries are tiny green balls on the bushes and the crows are already going after them.

We've had a cold wet spring and the indications I see from the wildlife activity in my garden is that it's really bleak out there. The pea seedlings are gone, and the oyster mushroom beds have been ransacked.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#29 Post by Farside » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:26 pm

Today I harvested a shopping bag full of spinach which when blanched should come to about a cup lol!

I am also experimenting with deep straw smothering for weed control. The area was covered in March when the weeds came up. Today I pulled back the 6 inches of compacted straw, laid down about 2 inches of compost, sprinkled some radish, arugula, and mesclun salad mix around, covered it with a bit more compost, and then finished off with a thin layer of straw.

The idea is to plant the seed without disturbing the soil.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#30 Post by Farside » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:24 pm

I have 2 systems growing potatoes. One is in garbage bags, and the other is in ground pits. Today I filled the pits partially up which replicates the action of hilling in a traditional system. These are gourmet potatoes I was given and were planted about 3 weeks before the main crop in the garbage bags.

In the garbage bags there is new growth visible. It's been a wrestling match with the skunk that is nesting under the garden shed for the straw mulch I use on top of the compost in the bags (to lock in moisture). Every day I put it in there and every day the skunk pulls it out and tries to stuff it into its hole, leaving a trail of straw in its wake.

I left some straw next to the garbage bags for the skunk, but for some reason the good stuff is apparently in the bags and not beside the bags. :roll:
The potatoes don't seem to care so I think I'll let the skunk win this exercise.

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