Gardening

Black Russian Seaman tomatoes

#organictomato These are #blackrussianseaman tomatoes

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Days of Silence – 05/31/13

A beautiful Friday morning after a fitful night’s sleep. The early morning garden check revealed a visitor.

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The little cotton tail seemingly favors the base of the weeds I had hoed down the other day. As long as the garden items aren’t on it’s menu we will continue enjoying each other’s company.
I have been able to find and plant three of the plum trees I had been craving. Growing up we called them “hog-nosed” plums. They are small, typically three centimeters and red or yellow when ripe. They are approximately two feet tall each. Two pear tree cuttings are now set in containers with root toner applied in hopes they will take and grow into gorgeous bountiful trees. These are currently eight inches tall. It will be years before substantial amounts will be produced but who wouldn’t be looking forward to such rewards?
Gardening is proving to be a rewarding experience with its own learning curve. Some plants are ready to be transplanted when the labels suggest (usually 2-3 inches) when started in the suggested container size. Others need to be moved much sooner. Case in point: white Peruvian habeneros. – I had started four seeds in a three gallon pot. I decided to move them once the plants reached three and a half inches high. The root systems on these were amazing! Six inches deep and spreading at least for inches wide! I ended up losing some of the root structure due to entanglement. They have been moved for four days now and are appearing still healthy and robust.

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Days of Silence: 05/20/13

Well the phone is still off so no calls or texts for two weeks and no internet for just over a week. My prior experience in being in a state of communication blackout prepared me for not having such resources.

Today was the heaviest rainfall of the season and I had to grab the hoe and trenched several locations. I was also able to replenish my water reserve. It was after filling my tanks I began trenching and was astonished to find the rain had only soaked just over 1/4″ into the soil. The soil beneath this depth was literally powder dry.

I have added another garden spot. This one is 10’x10′ .

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This is the only rowed plot I have done. Four rows of Rainbow Glass Gem corn, a row of brussel sprouts, a row of mixed bell peppers, and a row of mixed carrot varieties with a few Bolivian Rainbow pepper plants thrown in.

I have also come across several old tires that I am attempting to grow potatoes in. There are a couple of tree stumps in the backyard and I have placed two around one of them, which brought the top of them and the stump level. I then placed another on top of them and stuffed it with dried out grass (hopefully dead, acting as straw). I then added another tire, stuffing it with grass as well. I shoved grass down around the stump top as well and left a hollow. I placed a few shovelfuls of soil into the hollow and watered it to determine how well it would retain the soil. Seeing no loss I then added six potato cuttings then placed a layer of soil across them. I checked on this after today’s rains and have noticed no obvious loss of soil. My hopes are the decaying grass as well the stump will provide nutrients for the potatoes. Secondary will be the interesting results on the stump’s rate of decay.

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I also came across materials to set up a chicken coop. There is what they were using as a coop which I feel will be deconstructed to add to what I want to end up with. The actual coop will built from a discarded baby crib. There are bars missing on one side which will serve as a doorway. The drop down section on the opposite side’s top will end up being an outside access door to the laying boxes. Raising the crib a foot or so, providing a ramp walkway, placing a wire enclosure for them to feed on and the basic necessities are taken care of. Enclosing the top of the “yard” is another aspect I am looking at exactly on how to proceed.

Many nights lately have been spent awakening more often than sleeping. Several of those nights I had attributed to naps

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during the day yet I find myself awake now at one in the morning after thirty minutes of lying in bed. Saturday I sat back in my chair at three in the afternoon and later moved to the bed to get up Sunday morning at six. Yet Sunday night was basically one of peaceful rest.

This morning finds me listening to the BBC with the frogs and crickets providing background. There is a light fog with an occasional breeze.

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Nature’s gifts

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29Apr13 Weather

Current regional radar. The soil had been powdery when I worked the last plot and I had gone through one of my collection barrels and halfway into another. This will be a boon

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Growing food from scraps

What foods have you grown from scraps before or are doing so currently?
The ability to grow food from cooking scraps is literally mind blowing considering the amount tossed at every meal. Bell peppers or any plant where the  seeds or tops are typically discarded provide a ready made source for one to grow their own foods.

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Recovered strawberry seeds

Here are strawberry seeds recovered from the tops of strawberries that would typically find their way into the trash or compost bucket. I set the tops aside to dry out then came back and deseeded them. Now it will be to a wet cloth to see if I can get an adequate number to sprout and then plant in a garden plot.
So a reminder, any food where you would discard the seeds can possibly give you the chance to never have to buy them again. Other sources are potatoes, even pineapples!

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2013 Gardening – Plot Four

I had all intentions of starting this plot and knew it would be a booger once I did.

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Plot 4 Start

I marked off ten by twelve feet for this plot. The main type of grass through my yards is centipede and if you aren’t familiar with it the root system is extensive once it has had a decade to establish itself. I chose to tackle removal with the trusted hoe you see propped up there.  The picture above was taken two hours into the task.

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Combined with the tasks of grass and root removal was the issue of levelness. I went by sight and used a garden rake to come as close to level doing so after hoeing as much out as possible.  High side ended up being dropped three inches. The shot above is five hours of removal and leveling.

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I started this morning around seven, first picture was at nine, second at twelve and the one above six this evening. I planted the eighteen Rainbow Glass Gem corn kernels I set in wet paper towels and placed inside a Ziploc bag Wednesday to have sprouted for planting. I decided to go companion planting in a square foot method.
I varied straight and crook neck squash, peas, beans, eggplant, watermelon in this section and have my fingers crossed.
Tomorrow I’ll jump back into this plot again looking to finish out my RGG corn then on the opposite side begin with sweet corn. I have plenty of bean, squash, watermelon and eggplant seed remaining so it may be another full day. The thoughts of how rewarding all this labor can be already has my mouth watering and everything going well promises to be more than enough to fill my cupboard.

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Profitable gardening

Ever wonder roughly what kind of profit could roughly be made from home gardening?

Vegetable USD Value/SF
Cilantro $ 21.20
Arugula-Roquette $ 20.92
Green Salad Mix $ 17.55
Chives $ 16.40
Dill $ 16.40
Lettuce $ 16.20
Tomato, Cherry, small & medium $ 15.57
Turnip $ 9.90
Tomato, large $ 9.50
Squash, Winter $ 8.40
Tomatillo $ 8.00
Cucumber $ 7.74
Basil $ 6.63
Radish, Red $ 6.22
Pumpkin $ 6.20
Chard, Swiss $ 6.14
Celery $ 6.00
Squash, Summer $ 5.96
Choi $ 5.70
Peas, Snow $ 4.50
Pepper, Jalapeno $ 4.50
Squash, Summer, Zucchini $ 4.17
Onion, Bunching $ 4.14
Pepper, Bell $ 3.60
Brussels Sprouts $ 3.59
Carrots $ 3.56
Rhubarb $ 3.25
Squash, Winter, Butternut $ 3.20
Kale $ 3.07
Grass, Lemon $ 3.00
Peas, English $ 3.00
Onion, Bulb $ 2.63
Radish, White $ 2.60
Bean, Bush $ 2.51
Peas, Edible Pod $ 2.50
Artichoke, Globe $ 2.40
Cabbage, Chinese Napa $ 2.24
Squash, Winter, Delicata $ 2.10
Spinach, Spring/Fall $ 1.80
Leeks $ 1.75
Potatoes $ 1.50
Parsnips $ 1.50
Garlic $ 1.37
Squash, Summer, Yellow $ 1.34
Parsley $ 1.31
Corn $ 1.25
Squash, Winter, Acorn $ 1.20
Squash, Winter, Hubbard $ 1.20
Eggplant $ 1.10
Greens, Mustard $ 1.10
Rutabaga $ 1.00
Beet $ 0.89
Cabbage, Savoy $ 0.80
Broccoli $ 0.80
Kohlrabi $ 0.75
Cauliflower $ 0.60
Broccoli, Chinese $ 0.60
Cabbage $ 0.50

Information from The Cheap Vegetable Gardener, and remember prices will vary by geographic areas and demand.

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Spring in motion

It is a joy to watch nature go about in her efficient manner. Birds are what’s on my mind. To know what that particular bird feeds on all you need to do is observe the beak

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Bird beaks have adapted to allow for a diet of seeds, bugs, ripping apart prey or even drawing nectar. Just as chickens help keep bugs from a garden, realize some undomesticated birds can help as well.

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Shade loving plants

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Not all plants need full sun, and we all mostly have areas around the home which get a less sun as well. Here’s a sampling of plants that can make do with four hours of sun a day.

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