Garden thread

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  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 3,893 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    LoveyChar wrote: »
    @AnnPT77 Thank you. I have no idea what they are. I ordered seeds off of Etsy, company called Back To Nature and all I know is that they're organic spaghetti squash seeds. I appreciate your input. I'm going to see if I can find out more, whether bush or vine...

    Purely a wild guess, but if they don't say on the web site or the packet, long-vine seems more probable, especially if it's advertised as an heirloom variety. IME it's more common for old-school varieties of squash, cucumber, and similar vining things to be long-vine, with the more compact hybrid varieties something that has become more popular in the more recent decades, with smaller home gardens and the popularity of growing veggies in pots.

    When someone has a large garden space, as would've been more common in subsistence-farming days, the long vine types have some advantages, such as being more prolific (generally), but they do take up a lot of space.

    Thank you. They're heirloom seeds and the seedlings will be two weeks tomorrow and they're super long already. I'm stopping at three plants and I think I'm going to put them in the ground and pay special attention to how they grow. I know you can vine them up on a trellis or let them grow rogue but squash rot may become an issue there. It's one big learning experience.
  • beabria
    beabria Posts: 260 Member
    I have a big expansion this year! Growing lots of tomatoes for canning, some potatoes, and am going to try sweet potatoes (not sure how productive they'll be this far north...). Lots of brassicas, onions, and salad greens. And of course - garlic - the best food ever as far as I'm concerned! ;)
  • Katmary71
    Katmary71 Posts: 5,087 Member
    LoveyChar wrote: »
    Seed storage questions:

    1) What is the longest your seeds have ever lasted?

    2) How do you store them?

    I had seeds, store bought, that I purchased in 2020. I stored them in an airtight Mason jar in the refrigerator and they're still good. I'm just wondering what's the longest period of time for y'all.
    There's no way I can use all the seeds I bought so I'll store them. I didn't realize until now that I actually bought 60 spinach seeds and 40 of each onion.

    Longest my seeds have ever lasted, some beans and heirloom tomato seeds started about 10 years after purchase, Marianna's Peace especially (tomato). They were in the house in a cupboard, this year they're in a tin and baggies.
  • Katmary71
    Katmary71 Posts: 5,087 Member
    @LoveyChar I'm growing zucchini and summer squash in grow bags this year, 5-10 gallon ones (two in the bigger ones or one and a pepper plant). I did grow a zuchinni and a butternut squash in 5 gallon buckets and they did great. I've had about 10 zucchini and squash so far this year. Your peppers look amazing, for the most part here (9B Sacramento area) the peppers do better in fall but I'm getting some gypsy ones.
  • Katmary71
    Katmary71 Posts: 5,087 Member
    Here's my veggie section, I let my lawn go this year because of the drought but am hoping I'll still be able to keep most of these, it's tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash varieties, cucumbers, melon, then at the end of the walkway is all my beans, peas, lemongrass, lemon balm, then the rest of the herbs are on the deck. All the tomatoes are on those PVC trellises, really crossing my fingers they survive so many! I planted a bunch of flowers in with everything this year for pollinators and it's going well so far, mostly edible flowers then I brought home a mix of sunflower seeds from Take a Plant Leaf a Plant stands where you can swap plants with people. 9tg5dopta5h6.jpg
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,708 Member
    Ok so, my green pepper plants have been in the ground 3-4 weeks. They're the same size as when we planted. Why aren't they growing? Or am I too impatient? Everything else is doing okay.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 3,893 Member
    @Katmary71 I love hearing that about the success growing in grow bags and I love love love your garden, so nice and neat!
  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 348 Member
    We had a storm that took down a maple in our yard yesterday, but somehow my tomato plant didn't snap off. Noteworthy because it's quite a bit taller than both its stake and its cage (remedying that today, once we're done dealing with the fallen tree).
  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 348 Member
    @ReenieHJ it might be a climate thing (I'm in zone 3) but I don't find pepper plants increase very noticeably in size from buying the bedding plants to them producing peppers.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,708 Member
    edited June 16
    @ReenieHJ it might be a climate thing (I'm in zone 3) but I don't find pepper plants increase very noticeably in size from buying the bedding plants to them producing peppers.

    Thanks. :) I'm hoping these poor little plants play catch-up during the next 2 months. :/ I've never done well growing green peppers. Yet my neighbor, last summer, was plucking 6-8 peppers off his plants daily. Oh well...... :)

    @mtaratoot Yeh, I think I'm just being impatient is all. Maybe if I talk nice to them? :) All I do for feeding any of my plants, is use compost when I plant them along with some Black Cow Manure. I've used Miracle-Gro in the past but it doesn't seem to make much difference for me. IDK.


    Hey, another question for gardeners here. :) Does anyone grow mushrooms? I was thinking of that this morning, cutting up mushrooms for my omelet and realizing how much that omelet was costing me. Mushrooms are just another one of those things that have been hit hard by inflation and I might stop buying them. Last week, they were 2.49 for an 10 oz. package, this week they were 2.99.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 8,082 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    @ReenieHJ it might be a climate thing (I'm in zone 3) but I don't find pepper plants increase very noticeably in size from buying the bedding plants to them producing peppers.

    Thanks. :) I'm hoping these poor little plants play catch-up during the next 2 months. :/ I've never done well growing green peppers. Yet my neighbor, last summer, was plucking 6-8 peppers off his plants daily. Oh well...... :)

    @mtaratoot Yeh, I think I'm just being impatient is all. Maybe if I talk nice to them? :) All I do for feeding any of my plants, is use compost when I plant them along with some Black Cow Manure. I've used Miracle-Gro in the past but it doesn't seem to make much difference for me. IDK.


    Hey, another question for gardeners here. :) Does anyone grow mushrooms? I was thinking of that this morning, cutting up mushrooms for my omelet and realizing how much that omelet was costing me. Mushrooms are just another one of those things that have been hit hard by inflation and I might stop buying them. Last week, they were 2.49 for an 10 oz. package, this week they were 2.99.

    Definitely talk nice to them. You don't want them to turn into Triffids or Audrey.

    Some people might think it's gross, but urine can make a very effective fertilizer. It contains not only nitrogen but also phosphorus. Recently there was a project in Michigan to utilize urine. It was called "Pee for the Peonies." They had to change the name from pee ON the peonies because some people were actually doing that. Just like any fertilizer, too much is not better than the right amount.

    I have a few shiitake logs. A friend worked for a company that makes mushroom spawn for over 27 years and recently took a hiatus. It's a slow process. You get a fresh log from an oak or other tree with thick bark (oak works best) that has lots of sapwood and little heartwood. Drill holes in a certain pattern, then tap in wood dowels that have been inoculated with spawn. Keep them from drying out, but don't drown 'em. If you inoculate in the fall, you might get mushrooms the next year. Depends on a number of things.

    You can also grow mushrooms in sawdust or grain. It's easier, but not as much fun.

    There's also a mushroom you can cultivate in your yard. It's the Wine-Red Stropharia. You dig a trench, fill it with wood chips, inoculate it with spawn, then bury it. Wait for six months, and then be sure you can identify the mushrooms when they fruit. They can continue fruiting for several years.

    You probably won't save money growing your own mushrooms, but if you calculated how much those homegrown tomatoes cost..... One reason I like to grow beets is because I love 'em, and they are cheaper to grow than buy. Potatoes are easy to grow, but they're cheap. Artichokes? Well, I don't have to replenish them, and they are so much better than store-bought. I think the berries are very cost effective over time. The blueberry bushes were already well established when I bought my house 20 years ago, and they still give lots of fruit. Same with the fruit trees. Just.... all at once so there's a fair bit of work to preserve them. I wonder how much it costs to run my dehydrator. Same cost, probably, when it's full as when it's half-full. I have no problem filling it in season.

    I remember one time when my dad visited during the time figs were ripe. I have three different kinds. They are delicious. We went down to the farmers market, and he pointed at a small basket of figs and the cost and looked at me in wonder. I said, "Yeah. I know." We went home and picked more figs....
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,708 Member
    @mtaratoot Very enlightening and informative. :)
    It sounds like you produce all the produce you need, and then some. :)
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 8,082 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    @mtaratoot Very enlightening and informative. :)
    It sounds like you produce all the produce you need, and then some. :)

    Oh heavens no. I buy lots of produce at the market. I actually have a very small area for growing annuals. I definitely produce an excess of the things I grow, but they don't go to waste. I use my dehydrator, and I share with friends. I am considering getting in touch with our food bank to see if they can use some of my excess. I support them with dollars, and I wonder how much they might like to have home-grown produce. I did plant three tomatoes but only because my neighbor shared some of her starts. Blueberries have almost-ripe fruit now; I'm so excited. Raspberries too. Grapes still aren't even flowering. Blackberries are WEEKS away. Pears are months away, as are figs and plums.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 3,893 Member
    edited June 17
    Garden update: I talked to husband about in-ground garden and he said that it'd take a year to cultivate our soil and that after we did, our runner grass would grow through and destroy it. Even if there's any truth to this, I'm assuming he didn't want to have an in-ground garden but he assured me that I could do it.

    So... I have two garden beds coming. 8×4×1

    My Spaghetti Squash and zucchini plants are thriving. I very much see the viney-ness of the Spaghetti Squash as they firmly and strongly want to vine outward. The biggest on the far right is sprouting a fifth leaf. So as soon as I get my beds, these are going in.

    mq1ckcix78oa.jpg



  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 3,893 Member
    @mtaratoot Lots of good information, wow! I'll take notes, seriously. Thank you...
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 3,893 Member
    I've mentioned this before but I've never eaten a fresh artichoke (only the ones in the can to make spinach and artichoke dip) before as some things are more/less popular in different regions. I was raised in PA. I remember one year when I was very young, my aunt baked a rhubarb pie one Thanksgiving and I didn't eat it, still have yet to try that one also. We did eat potatoes and onions, radishes, cucumbers, and Butternut Squash most of the time.

    Anyway, I never ate okra until I moved to Texas. People I know fry it here; at least that seems to be a popular way to cook it. My ex-husband's mother cooked every single green vegetable she ever had in bacon grease, super delicious, very good country cooking. Anyway, Bush's Chicken has the best deep fried okra and most local country cooking restaurants serve it like that. Anyway, my fifteen-year-old daughter asked me if I would grow okra for her because she wants to pickle it.

    So I'm going to order some seeds, because I love her, and she can pickle it. Next time my husband cooks bacon, I'll save the grease. Maybe we'll have some fried okra this fall and some pickled, too.

    Here's delicious Anaheim Peppers cut straight off the plant for my nachos tonight:

    of589dedzv95.jpg
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 8,082 Member
    The artichokes in jars are just the heart. You have to do some pulling and eating work through the petals of the flower before you "eat the heart out."

    Pickled okra is awesome. In Texas, you can grow it. I can't. I've heard rumors of people finding ways to get enough growing degree days to make it work, but it's tough here. That's OK.

    One thing I miss from the south is boiled peanuts. Maybe this October I'll get someone to ship me a bushel bag of green peanuts (not dried). I'll boil 'em all and have a big party.