What you got Growin?

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What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 5th, 2020, 12:03 am

Over here lately the harvest includes
-Few kinds of indeterminate tomatoes.
-Choclate Ghost Peppers, Hawaiian Chillis, Jalapenos, and Habaneros
-Purple Pok Choy
-Collard Greens
-Toscana Kale
-Swiss Chard
-Bush Beans
-Green Onions
-Ginger
-Few kinds of Basil
-Rosemary
-Okinawan Spinach
-Starfruits
-Japanese Cucumbers (excellent for Pickles. Stay crunchy)
-Some of those things that swim.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 9th, 2020, 11:02 pm

Not sure how many of you grow Okinawan Spinach, it's the small Green and Purple leaves in the bottom right. It's been called the easiest vegetable in the world to grow. Supposedly you can just break off a piece and stick it in the ground and it will grow.

Eating our Rainbow.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Andrew » March 10th, 2020, 10:20 am

Looks beautiful! You're making me hungry. :D

We're past our last frost hours, so I'm preparing our beds for the spring & summer crops right now. I also have to build a new 'cage' for the blueberries this year to keep the darned birds and fluffy rats off of them. I'm hoping to be squared away in time to let this next storm soak things in really well.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Westbury » March 10th, 2020, 7:41 pm

Nice John!
Where I live it's still a little early but I'm going to start preparing my beds for an early April planting.
I'll post some pics when I get going
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 11th, 2020, 11:51 am

Back in Rhode Island, we had similar issues.. still too much snow on the ground. But. It was super important to get the Spring Cold Crop in as soon as possible. I would drop seeds in late fall for Spinach and it would be growing as the snow melted. But, it would be almost late now to start things like Cabbages, Kales, Collards, Cauliflower, Broccoli, I think those I would start from seed back in February indoors. Those Cold Crops can be put in ground while it's still cold, and they will finish just in time for the ground to be warm enough for the Summer crop. Also a good time to be dropping Fish Carcasses or Seaweed into the soil. (remember you need to leech out the salt from Seaweed if you will be using as an Amendment.) Hopefully you guys are all lucky enough to have excellent nurseries around you which offer starter plants. You could probably put Cold Crop Starters inground in Sunny places now.

Over here, I'm also preparing some spots. This means having a 20# Straight Bar. I know some people believe in not disturbing the ground.. but in this case, giant rocks need to be removed. In some places the soil is compacted like clay, so I'll mix in a lot of Organic Matter and compost. By removing the Rocks, it also allows much easier transplanting. I'm not always sure if a plant will do well where I initially put it. sometimes I get my sun/shade map wrong, or for whatever reason it's not happy there. By prepping all my planting holes it's much easier to move things around even once they've been in ground for a while if I need to. I'll prep these spots, mix them up so it's a nice consistency, then cover with a few inches of Mulch for as long as possible and let the worms and other organisms do their thing. Anything is going to grow better with good soil rather than a 75# Rock directly underneath it.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 27th, 2020, 12:24 am

Typical Daily Harvest

Medley of Pok Choy, Collard Greens, Kale, Swiss Chard, Okinawan Spinach, Bush Beans, Eggplants, Tomatoes. Been doing some Planting Projects with the Kids.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 27th, 2020, 6:12 pm

Fingerling Bannanas, smaller Plants, smaller but tasty bananas the kids can reach.

Put a few kinds of Gardenias into the Hedge: Cinnamon (Samoan), Aimee Yoshioka, First Love, Heaven Scent, Tahitian Tiare, Kula Yellow Flower. Gardenias are not the easiest things to grow and the Pests love them, so you need to stay on top of them especially when they are just starters. Had to adjust PH of Soil for the Gardenias a little with Sphagnum Peat Moss and Coffee Rinds.

Some Arabica Coffee Plants. These plants seem to love the filtered light/shade. The plants can get Huge 10' tall and 8' wide, so I expect to transplant every other one to a different spot.

Trying Mulberries. They Fruit fairly Easy. LEt's see what happens..

Apple Bannanas. Just need one of these to start a whole yard of multiple clumps of Bannanas. Already have little Keiki popping up which I can take a few and transplant again.

Malaysian, Samoan, and Fijian Coconuts grow differently than the more prevalent Taller Coconuts. These varieties are known to grow taller very slowly and Fruit copiously when the Trees are only 4-6' tall. 40 at a time. I figure 8 should be enough for the Girls.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 27th, 2020, 6:21 pm

Coffee interplanted with Papayas

Eggplants

Passion fruits working their vines up the Trellis. Have Three varieties which will inhabit this 16' x 52" Trellis.

Coconuts, a neighbor gave me these Tall Kind. Thinking about whether I want to commit to Tall Coconuts.. I think my Coconut climbing days are behind me..

Okinawan Spinach. Easiest Vegetable to grow. Can break off one piece and put in dirt it will grow. I love the taste sautéed with garlic in Olive Oil.

Big Ghost Pepper Plant. This is after it's first harvest and starting to flower soon for second. I need to Feed it a Snapper Head or some Sardines. This is a Chocolate Ghost. Peppers are Chocolate Brown. I put them on a tray in the oven at 200 degrees for about 5 hours and desiccate them. They last for a long time. Different, Cerebral type of Heat..

Collard Greens are a garden essential for us like Kale. Need to plant some more from Seed. All these Greens are succession planted about every 6-8 weeks. Plants yield a lot and can last months, but sometimes they die off after a few harvests so need to have young ones to fill in.

100# Tomato Cage. Built for $20 from 2" x 2" Pressure Treated Wood. Staked in place with a 4' Stake on one corner. 3 plants in there. Lost the battle with the Suckers. It's more or less hollow inside so I clean out any dead branches and spot Ripe Tomatoes. Probably taken about 50# of Tomatoes off this plant. Have another one already started about 8 weeks younger. Need to sneak another Fish Head under this big one about 2' down.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 27th, 2020, 6:31 pm

Cucumbers and Pole Beans beginning to climb the Trellis. A Mix of both. The Trellis is almost 2' off the ground so this keeps everything off the ground. Need to train them with some sticks at first. Cucumbers are like Tomatoes in that they will Sucker and Revine. You can Sucker the First few sections to ensure a strong anchor vine. Watch how fast this happens.. March 27 today.

Bush Beans are super fast and easy to grow and it's amazing how many Beans you get in multiple harvests from these little plants. Easiest thing in the world to succession plant.. literally just plant the seeds from the beans you are picking. (let them dry a little first)

Cilantro, like many other spices is something I grow in succession. I put in new plants every 6-8 weeks, Same with Basil always got a few kinds going into the ground every 6-8 weeks as they often don't age well, bolt, etc,

R2E2 Mango and Glenn Mangoes, going to try to keep these two at 12' or under and shape them through pruning.

This Red Sugarcane will become Beastly 3" Diameter Stalks for Sugarcane Juice. Picked the Fattest, Sweetest, Starter Cane I could find. Cut it into pieces. This is March 27.

Cuban Red Banannas. Excited to try these. This one will be my Cuban Red Starter and I'll move some of it's Keiki to every corner of the property. If one corner gets a sickness like Bunchee Sickness, the others will not be close by.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 27th, 2020, 7:12 pm

Malama Avocado

Several varieties of Banana to use as starters for several patches.

Dwarf Samoan Coconut

Kahulu Avocado

Heaven Scent Gardenia tester

Haas Avocado. Love the nature of this, can already tell it will be easier to keep this thing low hanging

Bosworth Lychee. Have a few varieties of Lychee.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 27th, 2020, 7:24 pm

Kwai Fah aka Osmanthum. Pretty excited for this. I like to grow things that either I can eat, smell good, and or are incredibly beautiful. Osmanthum Flowers are used much like Jasmine to flavor teas. They are also incredibly fragrant. Soon I'll plant a row of Green Tea (Camelia)

Ixora Maui Red. This will grow into a Stunning Hedge Shrub 8' tall with starbursts of Red Flowers.

First Love Gardenia will produce the Largest of the Gardenia Flowers @4" Diameter of incredible fragrance.

Night Blooming Jasmine/Gardenias/Kwai Fah Hedge. Night Blooming Jasmine is a decent looking Hedge Plant during the Day. At night it's tiny flowers open up and fill the air for hundreds of feet with a Sweet Smell. Not a true Jasmine, the Flowers cannot be used in Teas. Night Blooming Jasmine is Toxic and will make you extremely sick if you do this.

Night Blooming Jasmine/Gardenia/Bougainvillea/Bannana/Pikake Jasmine/Pikake Lei Jasmine/Pikake Double Jasmine Hedge. These Jasmine Flowers can be used for Teas. We need a lot of Flowers for Leis anyways as my daughter both Dance here.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby chris oak » March 29th, 2020, 6:43 pm

I turned over the soil again today and it was nice and dark so I went and bought some fence slats to make a raised bed. I don't need the bed except my kids tortoise pushes thru wire and eats everything. The 3 fence slats were 2 bucks a piece and I cut the ends off and then split one in half so the bed is probably 6 foot by three foot. Adding the fish carcasses and top soil from home depot has been great, today we planted two small tomato plants and seeds from corn, cucumber, cilantro. In a separate seed starter we tried more corn (just in case), red onion, and more cilantro. I tried to pick plants that grow fairly fast so my kid will keep up the interest, I'm going to go over seed development etc in the next few weeks with him.

The avocado is still doing good, I see what appears to be flowering buds but we'll see, it grows pretty slow. I have a orange tree nearby it and it brings a ton of bees so I'm hoping they will pollenate it well when the time comes.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » March 30th, 2020, 12:17 am

Chris, some ones which kids enjoy are:

Sugar Snap Peas (now is the time) Make a small Trellis. These will be done by the time you want to put in your Summer Crop

Bush and Pole Beans (The old saying growing like a Bean refers to how fast these things grow)

Cucumber are very fast growing. Try Japanese variety they grow Uge. Fun to make Pickles.

Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard are nice for Kids because they grow so much and you can pull multipe harvests off of these for months. They don't Bolt like Lettuce

Indeterminate Tomatoes like Sunsweet 100, etc. Cherry Tomatoes. Because they grow for months and kids can eat the heck out of them.

Celery is easy and Grows quite big.

Onions are fun. You can buy the little starter bulbs at a place like AGWAY and just poke a hole drop one in and Border your Beds. Then they can be cured so you have them for a long time.

Raspberries if you start them now will grow for you this year, but next year and the year after you will have Heaps. A Good Raspberry Vine is a fantastic addition to the property.

Strawberries. Now is the time.

Jalapenos are fun. You can then Pickle them and have them all year.

Potatoes in a Bucket is a good time for kids..

For Right Now. Max Reward with the Kids. Sugar Snap Peas. Plant like 500.. put them everywhere.

If you can give your kid even one Success like a Cherry Tomato Plant which fruits for months that he grew..picks before dinner etc.. it will set the hook.

When I grow Cherry Tomatoes. One easier way is to put a few plants like 4. I make up a #100 Cage from 2x2 and then let them go offf.. I do it other ways which is more complicated, but the old 100# cage is easy. Not sure about the temps where you are but Tomatoes can live into the Winter. Plenty of times I've had Cherry Tomatoes covered in snow.. but they hate getting started in a cold Spring..

LEmon Cucumbers are cute too..
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Andrew » April 1st, 2020, 12:34 pm

Thank you for sharing so much of your backyard ag knowledge with the rest of us. I need to figure out whether or not any local hardware stores are open for business in order to pick up materials to build a pea trellis and a tomato cage. I haven't used cages in the past for my cherry tomatoes, but why the heck not? I'll report back on results.

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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Andrew » April 1st, 2020, 1:01 pm

Took a few quick photos in the yard to contribute to the thread. We've scattered irises around the yard (including among the sedges and fescues, which makes for a nice effect in the early spring). The white flowers are from either the Bing or Lapins Cherry and the pink flowers are from a Pink Lady apple tree. I expect fruit from both of the cherries this year. I don't know whether I expect fruit from the apples yet. My pomegranates have been blossoming and trying to set fruit for two seasons so I hope that this is the year they deliver. I'll share pictures of the poms when they bloom since they're such nice flowers to look at.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » April 1st, 2020, 5:32 pm

Hi Andrew,

I hope I can grow Pomegranate. Must be very satisfying.

My favorite way to grow Tomatoes is not using a Tomato Cage. It's tough to really tend to Tomatoes in a Cage. (I'm talking about Indeterminate Tomato Vines like Cherry Tomatoes) because I always like to use the Single Stalk Method, which requires nipping off all of the Sucker Branches and they're hard to see in a Cage. My favorite way to grow Tomatoes is to grow them in a bed near the House, Garage, or under a Deck. In this way, I use a few Eyebolt Screws into the edge of the Roof or a Deck Beam, and then I drop some fairly heavy Manilla Rope from the Screw. It's important to use a Sliding Knot with a Loop to the Eye bolt so that you can gradually give out more line. You start but putting a loose loop around the base of the plant and then wind the Single Stalk around the Rope as it grows. I'll try to find some pictures. But this allows for a HUGE producing Tomato Vine every 2', easy to pack in 6 plants in small space you were not using anyways. Good to do in a few places, i.e. the house, the garage on your Southern Exposure. Sometimes Tomato Plants get blight, etc.. disease/pest.. and they die. So it's good to have a few groups of Cherry Tomato Vines in different places. Decks are particularly nice, because then you can pick literally 15' of Tomato Vine easily. But for now I use Cages as we building.. You can probably co plant your tomato cages as Snap Pea Trellises and the Peas will do their thing and be done by the time the Tomatoes are starting to really kick.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Matthew Rice » April 3rd, 2020, 7:37 pm

New Varieties for 2020

Hey, all.

These guys just showed up in the mail today and I thought I would share. My fiance and I have 6 of these Emsco City Pickers self watering planters that we used last year with pretty good success. They are 20"x24".



We planted two tomatoes in a couple of them last year and had trellis that I made out of concrete wire mesh and 2"x3" lumber that we treated with an anti fungal copper stain.

This is from early in the season last year. The tomatoes reached the top of this cage and continued growing back down. Vines were about 14 feet long by the time we ripped them out.

Planning on mixing some of the new varieties in with some of the old. Some new interest in gardening and self sufficiency in the midst of this virus, so I could potentially have a new yard or two to experiment with new varieties with.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » April 3rd, 2020, 11:18 pm

Hasn't been a better time to work on your garden for a long time..

Those Carolina Reapers are pretty Hot! One thing I'll do with my Hot Peppers Harvests like Reapers, Ghost, Habanero, Cayenne, etc. is to dry or smoke them. This is a quick and easy way to Cure a Basket full of peppers so that you can have them for the year or years.. I used to have a smoker and would smoke them at @ 200 for @ 5-6 hours.

But one easy way to dry them is using the Oven. With our old Gas Range Oven, we had two ovens. One we didn't use. The pilot light keeps the oven at ?100 if I just put stacks of peppers in the oven we didn't use, and leave them there, eventually they cure to crispy. Now we have one Gas Range Oven. So I'll take some Peppers I've picked and put them on a Cookie Tray and put them in at 200 for @ 6 hours and they'll be crisp dried and cured and will keep for a long time in a Ziploc. This is nice for Crushed Red Pepper.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Matthew Rice » April 4th, 2020, 6:48 pm

Jon,

Thanks for the heads up on smoking hot peppers! I picked up the super small traeger a few years ago at Costco when they had it on sale. I did some jerky on it a few days ago with top sirloin seasoned with Montreal Steak salt.



I'm thinking of lacto fermenting some of them to do a hot sauce with. I lacto fermented a quart of serranos last year and they're great for anything you'd normally use pickled jalapeno for. A little extra kick and the lacto fermented veg are supposed to be better for your gut.



I lacto fermented some French breakfast radishes a few weeks ago and am planning on using them as a salad garnish. The plan is to do the same with some of the beet harvest.



I feel like I've gotten better flavor from the batches of lacto cucumbers that I have started with a half a teaspoon or so of greek yogurt. The biggest mistake I have made with the lacto fermented stuff is to not use enough bay leaves for tannin. I'd like to use grape leaves as a tannin source, as I think they'd give a better flavor.

How else are you guys preserving your harvests?
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Behslayer » April 5th, 2020, 12:38 am

Interesting. I've done that with Cabbages I used to grow back in Rhode Island to make SauerKraut, was Delicious by the way, and also with Daikon Radishes for Kimchi. Daikon is a fun Radish to grow. I had forgot I'd planted it and when I found it in the fall the things were almost the size of a Baseball bat.

But I didn't know you could do it with most things. I'll give it a go with some Cucumbers.

Traditionally, I smoke, or Dry a lot of peppers, and pickle things like Beets, Peppers, Beans, Carrots, I like to pickle in a Sugar Brine with Vinegar and other spices, you can adjust the level of Vinegar so it's not soooo acidic. But this is traditional style pickling/canning where we submerse the Jars into simmering water until we get a vacuum seal. For those Long Northeast Winters...

One thing we do here in Hawaii is to flash freeze a lot of Greens. We have this very serious disease here called Rat Lungworm Disease.. You don't want to get it. It comes from particular slugs, and you can get it even from their slime trails, but more commonly by accidentally eating one in for example lettuce. I don't want to get it and we have small kids, so I harvest things like Bush Beans, Kales, Collards, etc.. Rinse and Process/De Vein them and then Freeze in Zip Loc Bags. Honestly, the Greens remain Ultra Fresh and vibrant. Rat Lungworm disease will not survive freezing for more than 24 hours, so after that we are good. So.. we freeze a lot of stuff.
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Re: What you got Growin?

Postby Matthew Rice » April 5th, 2020, 12:49 pm

Yeah a proper pressure canner is on the list when we get a bit more room. Many moons ago, I had an All American one and they are really nice. Would be great to be able to pressure can a lot of pasta sauce that we make from the tomatoes we can't eat fresh. Right now, we wind up freezing what we can. Same thing as far as lacto fermented vegetables. It has to be refrigerated after fermenting, but all the living microbiota is supposed to be good for gut health. The salt, sugar, and vinegar pickled stuff is great for consistency and shelf stability, though.

As far as greens are concerned, we like to freeze greens pre portioned in food saver bags to use for smoothies. Fortunately haven't had to deal with that rat lungworm disease, but it doesn't sound like a carnival. Sounds like it'd make growing salad a hassle.
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