I've gotten pretty big plants from the nursery in sixpacks that turned out nice. Maybe they just feed them more.
There's a "plain" (Mennonite) greenhouse I always try to go to for annual flowers when I visit my mother and sister because of the great prices and healthy plants. Last summer, I asked one of the girls what they feed their plants, especially the flowers, that made them grow so healthy. She told me they used some "balanced" fertilizer cooked up by one of their Mennonite relatives who farms and that they fed all the plants EVERY DAY with a dilute solution of it. Kind of like hydroponics, I suppose.
The sun came out today, so I went to the gardens, but it's still way to wet to do anything, other than reset some of the t-posts on the perimeter fencing. More showers tomorrow, then sun and mid-to-high-80s for the next week!
First order of business is to top off the water tank and get my beach umbrella set up.
Finish the raised beds, lay weed barrier, plant peas, get the onion, lettuce, bok choi, cardoon and other starts in, along with the borage, scarlet sage, cardinal flower vines and hyacinth bean vines transplanted.
I'll take advantage of the wet soil to build an entrance arbor (that will eventually be covered with the cardinal flower vine, and
Get the structures for the mesh hoop houses that will hold the cukes, eggplants, zucchini and beans assembled so I can fit the micromesh to them and get them set up when it's dry enough.
After that, it's eggplant, peppers, tomatillos and tomatoes in the ground!
Hello, AJ! Happy to hear you are back in the swing of things, albeit missing a few bits.
We always had a huge garden growing up. That's what fed the four of us and Mom & Dad. Dad would get a pig and a quarter of beef and that would go into the freezer for meat. We grew, froze, canned and pickled all the fruit and vegetables from the garden and ate them throughout the year. A pear, apple, & a real plum tree (they were so good, not those hard, tasteless orbs sold at the supermarket), along with strawberries and rhubarb rounded it out, along with peaches from Dad's cousin's orchard and tart cherries and grape juice from Grandma's tree and arbor. At the end of the summer, we'd take whatever was left of last year's veggies out of the freezer, those canned and needing to be used up, and some cabbage. Then Daddy would get a big chuck roast and make the most amazing vegetable beef soup over a fire in the back yard. Yum.
My dad passed 18 years ago. Way too soon. He was strong as a horse. At 70, he could do a hand stand and walk around, on his hands, upside down. One day he has a brain tumor, 10 months later he's gone. Every day I think of things I should have asked him. He was a master of many trades. One of his favorite sayings was, "If there's an answer, it's not a problem. Let's find the answer." He could do anything. Make anything. If he could visualize it, he build it.
My husband has no interest in gardening, only things having to do with fast cars. He's a bull in a china shop in the garden. If I point out a plant, he eventually steps on it, sprays it with weed killer or whacks it off with the weed whacker. However, he is the muscle and will bring me anything I ask. But, don't let him in the garden unless he promises to stay on the pathways!
I like it that way. It's MY happy place. And where I talk with my Dad.
Finally able to plant out at the community garden. Think this is 81 pepper plants and 3 tomatoes. Soil is super primo, added compost to the bottom of each hole. Probably dug way deeper than I needed to but always want to set up the roots for success. Took about 6 hours
Looks great! Do you have any problems with pilfering? It always seems to be an issue here at my community garden. Two years ago, someone stole my Inca Red Drop. The ENTIRE PLANT. It was loaded & ready for harvest. They must have thrown a trash bag over it, as it was 40" across, 24" tall and not a single fruit was left behind. Only an empty hole in the ground.
EDIT: Oops....just saw the conversation about the very subject of theft.
there's no update. Just when the garden begins to dry out, it rains again. There's so much clay present in the soil there, I don't dare set foot in the community garden plots. The fabric pot option is beginning to look pretty good. At the moment, all the trays are on the only covered portion of the deck, as they'd be flooded/washed out by the downpours happening.
Does anyone know how long plants can grow in 4" pots, without compromising future growth? Better yet, what to do to keep them healthy in 4" pots until they can hit the dirt? I've never tried to grow them in smallish pots this long and am hoping the collective experience here can help guide me.
I've created garden journals in the past, along with using on-line garden planners that incorporated notes, but nothing like a GLOG. So, here goes!
The planner I've used the past couple of years generates an image of the garden, along with a plant list. My home is a development in a wooded area, on the side of a hill, so all the trees and critters makes it next to impossible to garden. I do have a few things I grow in pots on our deck, like kitchen herbs and one or two tomatoes, but for all intents and purposes, I don't garden at home.
The community garden where I do garden, requires a lot of prep work. It's a County-run community garden, so you live by their rules. And, their rules say you give the garden back at the end of the year, they mow it then and disc it at the beginning of each new year. So, every spring, you essentially prepare a new garden.
My two 30'x30' plots are, fortunately, connected but, unfortunately, the land slopes diagonally across them. Each year, after the gardens are disced, I move dirt from the high end to the low end and lay out raised beds to help counter the flow of water when the summer downpours come. The soil from the pathways goes toward raising the beds in the low side of the garden.
At any rate, my garden is my therapy. It feeds the gardener, the artist and the chef in me. This is my 2018 layout, designed by me, but generated by the planner:
Eighteen hundred square feet is a lot for one person to garden without any power tools or machinery, so there's about 450 square feet at the east end that will get planted in cover crop this year.It's a "keyhole" garden, something new for me. Theoretically, all the growing areas of the garden can be reached from a pathway, eliminating the need to walk on any bed. However, I have a few mesh-enclosed "hoop houses" I've built to grow the most pest-prone veggies... cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, & bush beans... and they are all located at the high end of the garden, outside of the "keyhole" area. That area will also house a 55 gallon water tank, two chairs, an umbrella and, a prerequisite in any of my gardens, a small folding table to hold cold beverages..
True to the past few years, it's already proving to be another weird weather year. The gardens opened May 1, as it's been too wet here to disc. On May 2, I put up my flag, perimeter stakes and fencing, and it started raining again. The east-west trench is dug, and I decided to concentrate on getting the beds in order, as I haven't had a chance to get any of the onions, beets or lettuce in yet.
The lettuce and onions are sitting on the window box at my kitchen window, waiting for dirt day:
Pepper, tomato and eggplant starts went pretty well this year. Only a couple of variety of tomatoes, one grape, one sauce type and one saladette gave me fits, dropping their lowest branches, acting as if they had the wilt. But, they are still growing, so I just isolated them from the others. They've all been moved outside onto the deck, as they've grown too large for my indoor grow area, some of the peppers over a foot tall at this point.
They have been potted on to 4" pots and that's where they'll stay until dirt day. The only disappointment was a peach biquinho, which never germinated, and I'm out of space in the garden, so it's no great loss.
That's not the case for the tomatillos. They are getting HUGE, toppling over, so they will go into a couple gallon pots.
Here's the entire plan, including plant list. Hope the link works.
Again another great answer that fills in some of the many blanks in my knowledge of this process, thank you.
I have zero experience w/pressure cookers except to make a meal that only came out so-so, so any info that comes in here is probably going to be news to me and of course be helpful. The necessity of killing of the botulism spores I was aware of but how to achieve that and how to figure out all the pressures and times I do not.
Weight and density of the liquid is something I would have never thought would factor in here. Is a reading of the specific gravity of any given sauce needed to ascertain proper pressure and cooking times? Only halfway joking there but it seems within the realm of possibilities a procedure needed from what you're saying. Or is it more ingredient and pH based?
I'm getting the impression there is no rule of thumb to follow in this process to produce a food safe product?
Please forgive the stream of questions as finding reading material on this is near impossible here and if it does exist I can't read it. My wife can be of help as she's Thai and can read it of course assuming she's able to find it herself.
Now you're asking questions I can't answer. My best suggestion would be to go to that restaurant, speak with someone in management and ask them for the contact info for the processor that makes their sauces. Or get in contact with another company that has food produced on a local level.
Here in the USA, we have "extension offices" in each state. Each office has a representative who can contact the state department of agriculture, who handles just these sort of questions. Are you a U.S. citizen? Our consulate there (Thailand) may also be able to point you in the right direction.
Sorry I can't be of any more help,but there are some ideas. Good luck!