Garden thread

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  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 448 Member
    edited May 2022
    Thanks @LoveyChar! It's literally just a little 6' x 6' square in the wild-ish back corner of my lawn. There's a little thicket of Siberian pea shrub just behind it that's about waist-high right now. When we moved in 14 years ago it was kind of sunken, and bordered by those little landscape ties sunk into the ground, but already being covered by grass since the property had been on the market vacant for a while. I wasn't gardening at the time, and over the years the ties rotted and the lawn took over. I tried my hand at it a few times, but life always seemed to get in the way and derail my efforts before I could get any kind of harvest. But things are a bit more stable now (out of school, steady M-F job, kid's an adult) so I decided to take another run at it. Clearing the lawn off it last year was definitely the hardest part, and now so far so good.

    Everybody's stuff looks so good, it's making me a bit jealous over here in zone 3!
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,335 Member
    Look what came today! The Golden Ball Turnips were a free gift, really excited to give those a shot, all of it actually! I don't think I've ever eaten a turnip in my life.

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  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 448 Member
    I read "tulips" instead of "turnips" and I was SO confused!! 🤣🤣
  • girlwithcurls2
    girlwithcurls2 Posts: 2,257 Member
    @LoveyChar your veggies are already so far along! And they're gorgeous! I just got the rest of the garden put in, two and a half weeks later than usual due to heavy rain and cold temps. Many folks put their tomatoes, cukes, basil, etc in and are replanting. I did my tomatoes from seeds this year, and they're mighty tiny plants right now. I hope this week's sun and warmth will bolster them a little. I have 8 varieties, most of which are mysteries because the seeds came from a friend and with a watering mishap, the named got blurred.

    Each year, I try to grow something new to me. This year, it's celery root. We'll see how it does. There is also a whole new rabbit population at our community garden, so we'll see how much loss there is to them. I've lost beets and tomatoes to other critters before, but rabbits can decimate a garden.

    Oh, and I have grown lettuce in hot weather. It was a volunteer, hidden behind some dahlias, so in heavy shade, north facing. That one little head grew and grew until it was magnificent. I don't know if I'll try again, this time on purpose, but it did start off late, and produce late. We're still picking asparagus too :)
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,335 Member
    @girlwithcurls2 Thank you! Your garden sounds nice! I'm assuming you're in the northern region if you're hoping for warmer weather. Celery root sounds interesting. Only plants I have in garden are store bought ones but I am starting, from seed, some fall fruits and vegetables.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,335 Member
    Yesterday I potted five red and five yellow onions. I also potted zucchini and spaghetti squash.

    I have three 5-gallon buckets, which will accommodate the zucchini. But, for the spaghetti squash I need at least a 7-gallon bucket. I know very little about grow bags but can anyone tell me, are they sturdy? Do you think I could put spaghetti squash plants in there and expect that they wouldn't topple over? They're very large and heavy.
  • Fuzzipeg
    Fuzzipeg Posts: 2,297 Member
    I'm not sure grow bags would be sufficient in any way, volume, nutrients, support to grow the squash in. It is possible any strong roots could push through the plastic too. Here in the UK growbags tend to be flat oblongs which do not contain as much compost as the large compost bags would. I'm trying to imagine 5 and 7 gallon buckets they must be substantial. For my 5 penny worth, I would stick with the buckets because the growing medium has depth to give any substantial plant a good but contained root run more like being in open soil. Last year the stems of my courgettes tended to kink as they spread out from the tubs I used.

    I've a small vine in a tub/pot, I put the pot into a potting tray for the summer so when it is watered any which runs out, because its on the dry side, stays available to be drawn back up into the pot. I had 6 small bunches of black grapes on it last year. This year its not getting the care it did. I want to put it into its own deep, 3ft square raised bed, I'd prefer to have it in open ground but being on heavy clay which waterlogs in winter, even working it, adding compost as mulches too makes little difference.
  • azuki84
    azuki84 Posts: 212 Member
    I keep it nice and simple: perilla leaves, cucumber, green onions, chives. I need my korean bbq toppings.
  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 448 Member
    My pak choy is sprouting! 😃
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,335 Member
    One spaghetti squash seed sprouted after only four days!
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  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 12,583 Member
    No surprise.... I'm still working on getting through this year's artichokes....

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  • Fuzzipeg
    Fuzzipeg Posts: 2,297 Member
    We have Jerusalem artichokes in the garden raised bed but I've never knowingly seen globe artichoke plants or is it seeds to start them off. Neither do I know what one does with them. I'm interested to know if they are something you can have from one year to the next, perennial and might they do in clay. please?


    Someone the other day asked about grow bags. I probably should look you up. I discovered another way to use the things. Instead of using the suggested planting positions, if the bag has them, it was suggested the bag could be cut in two, half way up the long side. That would give the effect of having a tub. It seemed to me that using them in this way would mean they would need more support. I don't know if one on end and the compost shaken up and loosened would be any good for the squash you mentioned though. I'm still trying to imagine a 7 gallon tub, (I wonder if it half a barrel in old English, giggle. (but then they seem to come in different sizes, giggle.)
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 12,583 Member
    Fuzzipeg wrote: »
    We have Jerusalem artichokes in the garden raised bed but I've never knowingly seen globe artichoke plants or is it seeds to start them off. Neither do I know what one does with them. I'm interested to know if they are something you can have from one year to the next, perennial and might they do in clay. please?

    Depending on the severity of your winter, they can be perennial or not. Most winters, my plants die back to the ground and then resprout. For some reason, they stayed green all winter even though we had some very cold weather. They grew so fast this spring and then we had some extended rain that not only loosened the soil but made the stems heavy (the flowers hold a lot of water) and many fell over. A couple broke. The ones that didn't break kept growing.

    There's also smaller flowers lower down on the stalk. People call them "baby artichokes," but they aren't babies. They are just smaller flowers. I finally realized after all these years I should harvest them at the same time as the big flowers. They steam just a few minutes less than the large flowers, and the entire thing is edible.

    I have thought about starting over with new plants. Over the years (maybe a dozen or more years; maybe 15) the individual plants have mutated a bit. Only a couple are still very round and have thorns on the flowers that point IN. Most point out, and they are very tough and sharp. A couple weeks ago I got some stuck in a finger and it took several days to get out. I think it happens after I cut off the top third and trim the leaves - it's when I go clean up the cut-off sections that I get stuck.

    Simplest way to cook is cut off the top third, peel off some of the tough lower petals, and trim the points off any that still have them. Place them upside down in a steamer basket and steam until tender - 30 to 60 minutes. Some people squeeze a half lemon into the cooking water; it helps the artichoke maintain its color. I usually don't. Most people make some kind of dip. I sometimes do melted butter with or without garlic and/or lemon. I put it in a ramekin or small glass bowl and place it in the steamer basket the last ten minutes or so. I'm sure some steam condenses and dilutes the butter. That's fine. Sometimes I eat them without dip. The ones from my garden are tender and flavorful. Needs nothing else really. Some people make a mayonnaise based dipping sauce. I don't do mayo for the most part.

    To eat, pull off a "leaf." Dip it in the sauce if you have sauce. There's a meaty bit at the end of the "leaf" where it was attached. Pull the "leaf" through your teeth to scrape off the meat (and sauce). Discard the tough part. Near the middle there's a "choke" or thorny, stringy bit. Peel that off with a spoon and discard. For baby artichokes, you just eat the whole thing. Under the choke is the heart. That is the prize.

    I have also roasted them. You can very briefly par-cook in the steamer if you want, or skip that step. Still cut off the top and trim the remaining thorns. I leave the outer leaves and pull them off after they cook. I take a beefy spoon and scoop out the choke. Or not. Sometimes it roasts into something almost edible. I drizzle some olive oil on the top and maybe some garlic, then roast until the outside looks burnt but it's not. It's crispy.

    I have also par-cooked them in the steamer, cut them in half or quarters, and tossed them in the smoker if I happen to be running it. Very unusual.

    I haven't bought an artichoke in years. I eat them a lot for a couple months in late spring and early summer, then I'm done for the year. The last time I had one from the grocery, I was disappointed. Kind of like if you have home-grown tomatoes and can't eat grocery store tomatoes. I know some people who think a grocery store tomato is better than no tomato on a sandwich. I'm not sure I agree.

    Search the community for my name as author and the word artichoke. You'll probably find lots of pictures of roasted 'chokes. I think most are in the "For the Love of Produce" thread.

  • Fuzzipeg
    Fuzzipeg Posts: 2,297 Member
    mtaratoot, hope I've got your name right, Thank you for such an in depth answer. It seems they can be spiteful things, I might just be a coward I value my fingers but I've not had the pleasure of trying them in any of the ways you mention. Our climate is mild, getting milder and getting dryer though, gone are the April showers. Its not been long enough to be a drought but the water butts are low.

    There is a wonderful thunderstorm going on as I type. Predominantly the rain goes east or west of us but tonight it bubbled up just west of the Isle of Wight and seems channeled in by the Purbecks a line of hills on the coast so we have virtually a direct hit, bliss. I'll need to see what damage has been done come the morning. If you remember the 2012 Olympics, we are east of the place the Sailing events took place.

    Thank you.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,335 Member
    @Fuzzipeg Thank you for the response. I found some gardening buckets I'm going to buy from Home Depot, I think. They're specifically made for gardening and have holes in the bottom, come in different sizes and I'll probably get 15 or 20 gallon ones.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,335 Member
    LoveyChar wrote: »
    One spaghetti squash seed sprouted after only four days!
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    In only the course of around twelve hours, to work and back home for me, the seed split in half and turned green. You can see the veiny chlorophyll appearance running through it. Super cool, I've never potted squash seeds before now and I expected something like everything else I've potted from seed, like a pepper plant. Not at all like that, very interesting...
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  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 448 Member
    edited June 2022
    That's so neat @LoveyChar! My sister is doing squash from seed this year but I always buy bedding plants - the cats make trying to do it indoors pretty futile. I do have a baby acorn squash that looks pretty happy, though. (and I guess the zucchini is technically a squash, too, even though I tend to think of them as their own thing)
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,335 Member
    Seedling is fully opened now and green. fj1x48v9v7t1.jpg