How does your garden grow?

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Farside
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#41 Post by Farside » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:43 pm

I harvested my multiplier onions the other day and I cooked one last night to see what they taste like. They are very similar to a shallot. They cook down to a gooey, mild, sweet onion that holds its texture but just not as firm as a regular brown onion. They are going onto pizza tonight so I'll let you know how that goes.

I harvested a shopping bag full of kale the other day too. The first cut of the season. I stripped the stems out (they went to the chickens) and the leaves went into the dehydrator set on low. I then put the dried leaves into the blender and cam away with about a cup and a half of course kale powder. We can add it to soups, stews, and casseroles as a nutrition booster.

Edit: yeah the pizza was great. It did have oyster mushrooms and chanterelles on it, but the onions are certainly "kid friendly" and paired well with the other ingredients. The immediate complaint from my family is that being so small, they will be a pain in the ass to peel. Oh well, small price to pay for extremely good storage qualities beyond that of a larger onion.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#42 Post by Farside » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:16 pm

Today I harvested 65 good sized hardneck garlic bulbs and hung them up to cure. In about 4 weeks I'll be planting cloves from these bulbs for next year's crop. In the meantime, I will add add manure, bone meal, kelp, and rock dust to the bed to replace the nutrients used.

I also harvested my red onions which were growing amongst the carrots. The bulb size is quite variable, but they're all useable. There were also some brown onions and white onions mixed in. I found the white onions bolted and the bulbs divided. They still appear useable though.

I bundled the garlic into groups of 20 bulbs, tied them together and hung them from the rafters in the garden shed to dry. The onions are laying on the floor for now, and I'll hang them when I get the chance.

Tom Kleffman
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Re: How does your garden grow?

#43 Post by Tom Kleffman » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:20 pm

15 years ago I started collecting short season/cold weather appropriate seeds. Everything from upper missouri river native american crops, to siberian versions of south american annuals. Also changed my families diet to match. most of the food is dry storage with no need for processing, being long storage insect resistant C. Mochata squash, flour and flinty corns, dry pole beans and cool weather root crops (carrots, garlic and rutabaga). We grow and dry herbs, and wet-process only red sauce (tomatoes with garlic, peppers, and fresh herbs) and potted meat/fish. Also get a year's worth of apples without even trying.

Much of what I sorted through in the last decade and a half was that a lot of things are made far more difficult than it needs to be, and the first things and bulk of what goes in, is things that are going to produce pretty much no matter what. After that, you do the extras (longer season things, exotics, experiments and crosses for selection)

Historically, local area appropriate diets, with the ability to sustain them yourself without external input, are most important if you worry about breakdowns in systems due to scarcity or social unrest.

Tom

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#44 Post by Farside » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:35 pm

Well both my vertical onion growing and potato growing experiments were a bust. In comparison to the control patch, the onions were small and the yields were low. I noticed that moisture control is a challenge with this system and maybe this is the problem. I got a few full sized bulbs, but most were stunted.

I have no idea what the deal was with the potatoes. I planted some in the ground this year and they were dismal too. The garbage bag system yielded less potatoes than what I planted in the spring. I have no idea how that even happens.

Needless to say, the lesson for me here is that if we were relying on these crops then my family would be dead before spring. It took me a few seasons to figure out how to grow garlic, onions, and carrots. In fact, this is the first year I have successfully grown full sized carrots that aren't riddled with bugs.

My lesson this year is that when food gets short, it is extremely difficult to grow an instant garden. You need years (well, I do anyway) to learn about the requirements for each plant and discover what works and what is simply a pinterest illusion.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#45 Post by Farside » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:01 pm

So I wish I knew this before I started my potato experiment:
Potatoes need cool soil. And growing them in garbage bags above ground results in warm soil that will often reduce yields significantly. The most productive method of growing potatoes is still in the ground and mounding them in the traditional way. I also used soil I had made with sawdust and coffee grounds. It's amazing black soil that is packed with nutrients. Not the type of soil that produces loads of potatoes apparently as it's too fertile.

Next season I think I'll reserve the bags for growing tomatoes and peppers where warm rich soil is beneficial.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#46 Post by veggiefarmer » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:52 am

Farside,

This season I planted over 20 pots of potatoes as an experiment.
I usually do them as row crops in a 40 ft. long X 5 row plot that I have. Then I pray for good weather :D
This year I wanted to try something more controlled and potentially resilient.
Here's how it was done...

- 30 liter (8 to 10 gallon) plastic pots.
- Soil mixture was 1/3 Sphagnum Peat and 2/3 Compost (which includes chicken manure) and 1/2 cup of bonemeal.
- I seeded the spuds 3 weeks earlier than the normal plant day for my area and stuffed all the pots into the greenhouse.
(One could line them against a house and cover with a tarp.)
This gave them an early start and they sprouted leaves quite early.
- Once that final expected frost day has passed move them into a sunny spot where they have shade after say 3pm or 3pm.
-Water as needed

I had some harvested a month before the normal dates. Important as our growing seasons get shorter.
I experimented with 10 varieties and had great harvests. No hilling, cultivating, or weeding.
The 5 best varieties got invited back for next season :)

Potatoes are super nutritious and pack a lot of energy and vitamins. I recommend them for every garden.
They also store well into the winter. That's important.

Good luck with your next potato crop. Don't stop.

veggiefarmer

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#47 Post by prepperNV » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:07 pm

We planted Garlic, onion, radishes, and carrots all doing very well here in Nevada, fall tomatoes will be ready in 2 weeks

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#48 Post by AnimalDoc » Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:20 pm

This year I attempted planting a fall garden for the first time. First go-round was in late July/early August when we had a cool spell. Then it got hot again and germination rate was terrible. Planted again, late October, which is just too late. My seedlings all died when the temps dipped to 14 degrees, unseasonably cool in Oklahoma.

There's been some discussion about potatoes. We haven't been wildly successful thus far, but I tried a new approach this year after finding this link: https://www.backwoodshome.com/plant-you ... or-winter/
The idea is to plant potatoes late fall or early winter, and they will emerge at the right time in the spring and will be much more hardy, as they've had time to establish their roots over the winter. Interested to know if anyone else has tried this technique! I am glad to have that chore done - one less thing to do in the spring.

Am attempting to plant fava beans, one of many new crops for me.

Tom, I'm interested to know where you source your seeds. Just found rareseeds.com and they look promising.

-AD

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#49 Post by Farside » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:07 pm

Everyone should look into multiplier onions if you haven't already. Yes, they are small compared to the baseball onions we're all used to, but they are far easier to grow, they have a much better shelf life, and they are more successful under challenging climatic conditions.


Right now I'm putting together a shelving unit in a South facing window that I will use to grow lettuce, asian greens, and my seedlings once spring rolls around.

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Re: How does your garden grow?

#50 Post by Farside » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:41 pm

Daytime highs are around -15C up here in Canada. I was given some steel shelving and I now have a lovely South facing window that I can grow some salad greens in, and get my seedlings started for planting out in the garden (early June).

Last year my experiment growing sweet potatoes was a bust. I grew great slips indoors. I was a little too eager and the slips were in water for quite a long time before I could plant them out. But many of them survived nonetheless. However, when the frost killed them off in fall, there were no tubers. A few people grow them here in greenhouses and get small ones, but I think the effort isn't really worth the reward.

This year I'm going to try growing ginger and turmeric. Both are very frost sensitive and won't survive the winter here, but my plan is to remove them in fall, keep some as harvest, and the rest I will place into shallow pots and keep them inside.

I went to the grocery store this weekend and bought some organic ginger and turmeric root. Organic because sometimes the non-organic stuff is sprayed with a growth inhibitor so it won't sprout while on the shelf. I looked for medium roots that didn't have too much damage, and that were showing early signs of new root activity.

Both these plants are closely related, and both form a dense root mat. They don't need deep soil but they need well draining rich soil and a decent amount of water. Ginger grows about 5 ft high and turmeric about 3 ft. Although they love heat, they also like partial / dappled shade in the late afternoon out of the direct sun. These plants are well suited to container growing so that's what I plan to do with them.

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