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  • In the garden today...

    Please feel free to post about anything you've done or seen in your garden today.

    I just finished planting a round of new microgreens. I hope some will be ready for Thanksgiving, but it will be close. I'll cut them small if necessary. Or maybe stick them under light in addition to being in 'the warm room' to help them grow faster.

    I started experimenting with microgreens about 6 months ago (?), but had stopped when lots was coming out of the regular garden. I had intended to start when the sun started to stream in the south-facing windows so the little micros would get stockier. And that means now. I've tried a number of varieties, but for now, I only grow sunflowers and peas. Sunflower shoots are amazing, as are peas. Sunflowers you only get one cut, but peas, if you cut high enough, you can get several harvests.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

  • #2
    I did a lot of peas this season, they are best in early spring or colder temperature like now and I had to harvest early or they get stringy. I haven't tried the sunflower shoots. How tall do you let it grow? Do you use regular sunflower seeds or special ones?
    Wish: UCR 187-25, LaRadek English Brown Turkey, Red Lebanese Bekaa, Melanzana, Gisotta Nero/Sicilian Black, Norella

    Comment


    • Gina
      Gina commented
      Editing a comment
      For sunflower seedlings, it's not the height, but rather harvest either before or just as the first true leaf is forming. That leaf is fuzzy and not very appealing to eat.

      The sunflower that is generally recommended is black oil sunflower. Right now I have both the black oil and striped seeds germinating, though I've never tried the striped. Got it on sale recently. You can use sunflower bird seed, but I've found the seed to be smaller and with lots of debris (they are not intended for human consumption).. as well as having around a 50% germination rate. Just not worth the aggravation. So I'm going back to sunflower seeds from seed companies - unless I grow my own.

  • #3
    I have tried pea shoots but not sunflowers I should try that. Microgreens is a good idea as they can be gone easily indoors.

    Today I went and pruned back raspberry bush and my peach tree. After an hr I went back inside because it is so cold. I have to go back and clean up my mess.
    Last edited by Zuny; 11-14-2017, 03:11 PM.
    zone 5b/Rotterdam, NY

    Wish list: Calderona, Izmir, Hative d' Argentueil

    Comment


    • grasshopper
      grasshopper commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep, we can see your fingers frozen up You prune in winter? It is cold out there.. why not wait till spring?

    • Zuny
      Zuny commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes I prune in spring, mostly because I like to finish things so I do not have to think about it. In spring I will be to busy planning out my garden and growing seeds.

    • NangkitaKate
      NangkitaKate commented
      Editing a comment
      Sunflower shoots are delicious. I was really surprised at how tasty they were when I first got into growing microgreens.

  • #4
    Originally posted by Zuny View Post
    I have tried pea shoots but not sunflowers I should try that. Microgreens is a good idea as they can be gone easily indoors.
    .
    Try the sunflower seedlings. They really are good. Nutty with a very nice texture.

    Yes, they are a good idea and once you have a system, very easy.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I'm growing two new to me winter veggies. One is a very small bok/pac choi that only grows to maybe 4 inches called toi choi. Sounds perfect for sautéing whole. And the other new one is a white turnip very similar to Hakurei. I would have gotten Hakurai, but the seed co was out of them. The flesh is supposed to be sweet 'like a melon', and not bitter/spicey. We shall see. Their pictures are pretty.

    I generally germinate such things in modules, one seed to a cell, and I just now finished dividing some of these that had been sown too many to a cell. Next time I'll be more careful.
    Last edited by Gina; 11-14-2017, 03:50 PM.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

    Comment


    • Zuny
      Zuny commented
      Editing a comment
      Toi choi sounds great. I enjoy bok choi and can only imagine how good a smaller more tender version would taste in a stir fry.

      I have never grown turnips before are they mostly for soup or do you eat them raw?

    • cjccmc
      cjccmc commented
      Editing a comment
      I steamed some purple top turnips last night. Some people like them with butter and salt, I usually enjoy them with a little vinegar. My daughter also likes these, even when she was a little kid.

  • #5
    I dug out the top 12 inches of soil in my raised planters to add OM.

    Re-familiarized myself with how heavy a 20 gal container of dirt actually is
    Conrad, SoCal zone 10
    Wish List: Bourjasotte Grise, Smith, More Land

    Comment


    • Gina
      Gina commented
      Editing a comment
      20 gallons of water would be over 160 pounds. 20 gallons of soil would probably be in that range of weight. Yikes.

    • grasshopper
      grasshopper commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't know about you. I first got couple 25 gal pots thinking I only need 2 figs ( a brown turkey and a green fig). One look at the pots, I knew I couldn't even lift it when it is filled so they have been left empty since.

  • #6
    Toi choi sounds great. I enjoy bok choi and can only imagine how good a smaller more tender version would taste in a stir fry.
    Let's hope it's more tender. I only ordered it because I needed another seed packet to get to 'free shipping'. But the thought of quickly cooking it with garlic/oil, or butter is very appealing. They say ready in 30 days. That would be cool if true. But bok chois do grow fast.

    I have never grown turnips before are they mostly for soup or do you eat them raw?
    Mom used to get purple top ones from the grocery, peel, and cut them in wedges to serve with other raw veggies on a plate. No dip, lol. She was a farm girl and knew how to select things at their prime. They were very mild and good. Hard to describe the flavor other than similar to other raw cole crops such as cauliflower, broc, kohl-rabi. I guess the easiest thing would be to buy one in the store, and eat it. I don't think I've ever eaten a cooked turnip. I've seen photos of the white Japanese turnips browned that looked like potatoes or even fries..., but the taste similarity? Probably wishful thinking.

    My first sowing is a the half inch cotyledon stage. Just gave them their first weak fertilizing today. I intend to grow them as fast as possible.


    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

    Comment


    • Zuny
      Zuny commented
      Editing a comment
      I seen then individually and in bunches at the store but I will definitely post after I get it.😊

    • JustJill
      JustJill commented
      Editing a comment
      My friend from the UK loves what he calls “Taters and Neeps.” These are cooked mashed potatoes and cooked mashed turnips mixed together with a bit of salt and butter. They were really delicious!

    • Zuny
      Zuny commented
      Editing a comment
      I tried the turnip raw and I like it. It was nice and crunchy and reminded me of a radish with no heat. I am not sure if I did a good job at picking but it was good.

  • #7
    My little yacon starts arrived today. They were in bad shape - the grower had no idea how to ship living material cross county - unlike we fig growers. Anyway, I soaked the pathetic little things in water, then set them out. I think they will make it, though they did lose most of their leaves, and there were a few badly bent stems. It's my understanding that once you have them, you'll always be able to start more either from cuttings or tubers. They are vaguely like sunchokes, and in the same family. Storage roots are said to taste like melon or apple.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

    Comment


    • #8
      Thanks for starting this thread for those of us who can only garden vicariously through those in warmer climates!

      I had my last day in the garden on Saturday. I started by admiring all the tiny green spikes just poking through from the garlic and shallots -- just enough growth to let me know they had put down roots prior to the ground freezing.

      Then I bundled up all the stakes by length, and took them, my hoses, tub of misc. garden equipment, empty grow bags, and my garden chair over to the shed for winter storage up in the loft.

      Next was mulching the beds. My husband didn't have time to shred up leaves for me, so I decided to use what was in the leaf compost bins we made and filled last year. Neither appeared to have broken down much which was disappointing.

      The first was in a sunnier spot and the leaf mulch was mostly dry. There was enough there to add a good layer of insulation to the bed the garlic is in.

      The other was in a shady, damp spot at the back corner of our yard. Underneath the dry outer layer of leaves, I hit gold! Black gold, that is... in the form of beautiful, rich leaf mold! It went into the second bed which is where the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cukes and zukes will go next year.

      The next day was leaf pick up day, so both bins got moved into the damp, shady corner and we'll work on filling them back up for next year.

      Comment


      • Gina
        Gina commented
        Editing a comment
        That's a lot of work. The upside is you get several months of downtime, which I think is rather natural. In my part of the world, I also take breaks cuz I just burn out, but it can sometimes not be the best of times.

      • ginamcd
        ginamcd commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm even luckier for the break as I have a work schedule that really spirals out of control beginning in November, and the pace doesn't let up until May. But June through September are the slow months when my hours really decrease, just in time for gardening and motorcycle riding season. I'd probably suffer burnout as well if my job and the gardening & riding season didn't take such complimentary breaks. Still doesn't stop me from suffering from some of the same "Zone Envy" as Jill...especially now that figs are in the mix.

    • #9
      I planted out a brown turkey fig today after spending a couple of days preparing its new spot. I'm also fussing over a bunch of seedlings - bush lemon, feijoa, pink supreme guava, coffee, and medjool dates. Some I'll pot up, and some I'll plant out - but I'm procrastinating the decision. I went down to the landscaping place this afternoon for some perlite, peat moss and fresh rooting hormone, as I want to do some air layers of my peach trees and pink supreme guava tomorrow morning before it gets hot. I checked my Flick's Yellow Pummelo this afternoon too, and it has little marble sized fruit so I hope to get at least one ripe fruit next year
      Kate - Lockyer Valley, Queensland, Australia.
      on acreage in a subtropical/warm temperate growing region

      Comment


      • DrDraconian
        DrDraconian commented
        Editing a comment
        I've been looking for a Medjool date tree, but have never seen anyone offering them for sale. Do you have seedlings (grown from seeds) or actual female medjool date pups (side shoots of actual producing Medjool date trees). I ask because dates are just like figs: they don't grow true from seeds, and seedlings can be either male (not fruit producing) or female, and you won't know for years which it is.

      • NangkitaKate
        NangkitaKate commented
        Editing a comment
        DrDraconian - I'm growing Medjool seedlings after thoroughly enjoying a punnet of fresh dates Like you - I've found it impossible to find a nursery that sells date trees, and I havn't found anyone growing dates locally who'd have pups. I do know of one nursery which has them listed - but they've never had any for sale. So I figured I'd just try growing some seeds and play the waiting game to see what develops Out of 13 seeds - I've had 8 sprout so far, and they're a couple of inches high.

    • #10
      It’s inspiring that you are growing so many varieties! I am starting to develop “Zone envy.” Maybe I should spend this winter reading greenhouse catalogs so that I can set one up for next year!

      Comment


      • NangkitaKate
        NangkitaKate commented
        Editing a comment
        Have you dabbled in the world of microgreens yet JustJill? They'll keep you happy through the cold months, as you can grow them in the house if your indoors temperature is suitable.

      • Gina
        Gina commented
        Editing a comment
        "Zone envy" - good one.

    • #11
      Kate, I would love to try micogreens but have not yet. I never thought of trying sunflower seeds...cool idea!

      Right now I’m busy with about 75 Louisiana Iris that unfortunately got back ordered and then showed up a bit too late to plant out (so I’m now growing them on the porch/sunroom along with veggies and herbs in the same pot), Potting up 13 different varieties of dragonfruit cuttings (thanks to Tyro’s generosity!), Paw Paws and Goose Plum from Oikos Tree Crops from seed, and starting to root about 75 ish fig cuttings (some here, the rest now starting to arrive).Oh, and orchids and bonsai, but only about 25 total of those..... and then there’s a day job that seriously impedes gardening! But thanks really for the suggestion . I am totally going to try micro greens once I get these figs settled and growing!
      Last edited by JustJill; 11-16-2017, 12:42 AM.

      Comment


      • DrDraconian
        DrDraconian commented
        Editing a comment
        grasshopper, dragon fruit are actually a relatively friendly cactus. The spines are small, and once you get them planted, you don't have to handle the vines much except for the occasional pruning. Best thing is, unlike prickly pear, the fruit is spineless (except for an oddball yellow variety), so you don't get attacked while snacking on the fruit. The cuttings can last for months if kept shaded and misted with water every once in a while.

      • grasshopper
        grasshopper commented
        Editing a comment
        Isn't the yellow one being the super sweet one?

      • DrDraconian
        DrDraconian commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, the yellow skinned, white fleshed varieties are known for being the sweetest. However, they are small (the spined ones that you can actually find cuttings for), need a lot of heat to produce fruit, and can take up to 6 months for the fruit to ripen (vs about 45 days for the standard varieties). I thought I wanted to try to grow it, but after a week of feasting on my purple fleshed dragon fruit, I am quite happy with the sweetness level of the ones I have.

    • #12
      Oh well Kate I forgot to mention “side” fine art business. I do painting and printmaking and have a studio downtown. But I also get tired hearing about everything you are doing in the garden!

      I wonder, in hearing about bed preparation, if people have ever used hugelkulture practice as a way to improve the soil and conserve water? I have made a few beds and mounds (“hugelbeet” and “hugelmound” ) as well as one keyholegarden and have been pleased with the results. My inderstanding is that it’s quite helpful also for conserving water in arid/hot regions.
      Last edited by JustJill; 11-16-2017, 12:09 PM.

      Comment


      • NangkitaKate
        NangkitaKate commented
        Editing a comment
        yes JustJill - I've got a bit of a hugelkulture process happening, but it's not the true form. I think of it as more "quasikulture", and it happened by accident when putting in water diversion embankments to manage hillside erosion.

    • #13
      Grasshopper, DrDraconian is right. I am growing these as an experiment, but I do have a moderately sized sunroom attached to the house. It’s not a tropical Greenhouse, but it doesn’t freeze in the Winter. Dragonfruit can grow well without huge amounts of light. They need stronger light on the ends of the plant and for the end to hang down in order to trigger flowers and fruit. This mimics what happens when they grow naturally up trees in the jungle and the finally reach the sunny canopy.

      Sorry, wanted to answer Grasshopper, but didn’t mean to hijack Gina’s post!
      Last edited by JustJill; 11-16-2017, 11:06 AM.

      Comment


      • Gina
        Gina commented
        Editing a comment
        This is the kind of open thread that really can't be hijacked. Discussing various things we are doing with respect to plants is the goal.

      • grasshopper
        grasshopper commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Jill. It is good to know they can grow mostly under shade until the last section. The ones I saw in photo seemed to be mounted on some post higher up and then hang back down like tree branches.

    • #14
      Good to know. Thanks for clarifying!
      Last edited by JustJill; 11-16-2017, 12:10 PM.

      Comment


      • #15
        Someone/something was digging up the dirt and munching on the sweet potatoes underneath. I sprinkled some chili pepper powder and black pepper but the citter seems to be fine with it. I am going to get some habanero to kick it up a notch.

        On the plus side, my stinking the neighborhood project seems to be going well. I made couple buckets of fish hydrolyate the other day from the fish scraps I got from the market. With some added seaweed, banana peel and eggshells, a bit yogurt and compost, I am quite certain it is going to stink badly pretty soon
        Wish: UCR 187-25, LaRadek English Brown Turkey, Red Lebanese Bekaa, Melanzana, Gisotta Nero/Sicilian Black, Norella

        Comment


        • DrDraconian
          DrDraconian commented
          Editing a comment
          You do realize that your stink project is going to attract every critter in the neighborhood, right?

        • grasshopper
          grasshopper commented
          Editing a comment
          That is the biggest bait I have set so far

        • NangkitaKate
          NangkitaKate commented
          Editing a comment
          Tasty

      • #16
        Today is the start of 3 entirely free days to work in the yard. What a luxury!

        The compost pile in the back is up to about 150*F this morning, as is the pile of city mulch in the front. I'm thinking of building a pile with just that mulch since it seems to have the right balance to get up to heat. Hmm- maybe under a tree in the front where it would be close to some veg beds.

        Seeds: Burpee seeds is having a 20% off sale that ends today. (Friday, Nov 17, probably midnight eastern time)
        http://www.burpee.com/
        And free shipping with 3 seed packets or more. There are seed companies with ... more 'status' ...in the gardening world, but if you need a few packets of radishes or zinnias or the like, it's worth looking around. I'm running low on zucchini and will look at their selection of cukes.
        SoCal, zone 10.
        www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

        Comment


        • NangkitaKate
          NangkitaKate commented
          Editing a comment
          Close to vege beds would be convenient. What are some of your favorite cukes to grow?
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