Garden 2013

Posted by: PerryMK

Garden 2013 - 03/23/13 03:11 PM

I tilled in some compost and ecomin rock dust a few weeks ago. I sprinkled some organic sulfur a few days ago (should've done that sooner), and bought my started plants today. I still have some onions and cabbage from the winter garden in the ground. They're taking a little long to get harvest ready. Not that I'm in a rush.

I made an effort to arrange them for efficient weeding with a hoe and watering with a sprinkler. We'll see how well I did as the summer progresses. It's my first crack at squash and bell peppers. I'm doing a whole section of hot peppers as my stash of homemade hot sauce is dangerously low. I also have one tomato plant on the porch.

I am also trying for the first time a ghost pepper. The young man at the nursery said it's even hotter than the Caribbean Habenero, which has billed itself as the world's hottest. Big fun. laugh I also have 8 cayenne, 4 jalapeno, and 4 sweet banana. Sweet banana peppers give hot sauce a really good flavor in my opinion. Seeing that I am the primary consumer of my hot sauce, my opinion matters smirk.

I also discovered a MiracleGro Sprinkles I hadn't seen before. It has sulfur and calcium. I read somewhere that vegetables like a slightly acidic soil. My soil leans towards neutral and I understand a little sulfur can help with that. We'll see.

Posted by: DTape

Re: Garden 2013 - 03/23/13 07:15 PM

Still a bit early up here, but I am starting some seeds indoors to be ready for transplant after last frost. The ghost pepper is indeed hot. I like hot, but those are just way to hot for me. I am looking forward to my asparagus this year. I started a few beds with about 20 crowns of asparagus last year. This year I get to harvest a little of them. Besides the asparagus, the only other thing in the ground is the garlic which was planted last fall.
Posted by: Pika

Re: Garden 2013 - 03/24/13 08:29 AM

My orange tree is in full bloom and my Meyer lemon is leafing out after a hard winter. I am already cutting basil, parsley and oregano for salads. I have one pepper (cayenne) starting to produce chiles but the Anaheim, poblano and jalapeño are just starting to bloom. I am also seeing flowers on the Early Girl tomatoes but won't expect fruit for another month. We have been getting kale and broccoli-rabb all winter and lettuce for about a month. The okra and squash are about ten inches high and ready to be set out: before I do, though, I need to make up more rabbit/pack rat barriers or they won't last a day. I'll probably be through for the season by the end of May, too hot in summer for most stuff until October rolls around again. I tried a ghost pepper once and have concluded that it is best used for etching glass or for stripping paint. I can handle habanero chiles in small doses but the ghost chiles are too potent for me.
Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Garden 2013 - 03/25/13 01:27 PM

I may try planting peas, lettuce in a couple more weeks and some root crops, depending on the weather. Still cold, down to around 25F, snowless snow camping Saturday night.
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Garden 2013 - 04/07/13 09:56 PM

Your garden is looking good Perry.

Bell Peppers grow great here, but they really start producing late in the growing season, and all the way to the first hard frost.

I bought the soaker hoses two years ago, but don't really like them much. They started getting weak and breaking at the connection fittings and there's no good way fix that. I'd really like to rig a drip system with pvc pipe instead.

I'm still in the weeding phase on my garden right now. I didn't really do much at the end of last season so there are lot of weeds growing on it now. I don't mind that much though because it's still a winter cover for the soil. The soil looks better again this year too. It's really been nice to see it improve so much every year.

This year I have so much compost in between the raised beds that I think I'll have to make at least one more raised bed. The worms have been working it for about 5 years now and it's so mixed in with soil below that you can grow in it too now. I have a spot for it, and I'll probably grow some potatoes in it.

DTape, I ate my first asparagus spear of the season this afternoon. I planted my asparagus two years ago, so this is the third crop coming up this year. I planted two year old roots and I read I could eat as much as I could harvest the second year. I didn't do that, I was kind of scared to cut that much last year and I barely ate any the first, but I realize now I could have, and should have last year. This year I'll be harvesting as much as I can and I should get a lot. I am thrilled with how well they've done. I hope yours do as good!

I also ate my first Shiitake Mushroom this afternoon! I was sure relived to see a few of those sprouting today after the vicious hot and dry summer we had last year. Tomorrow I'll fill a stock tank I have with water and start soaking as many as I can fit in there for 24 hours. That's supposed to "force" them to fruit, so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that most of them will produce. I have a lot of logs, so I'll be working my butt off on that for then next couple weeks.

I still have cilantro growing, I munch on that every time I've gone out there since last Summer. And there's some leaf lettuce that popped up and is ready to harvest, and some that survived the winter and is flowering right now, and the flowers are delicious. I'll let some of that go to seed so I can collect and plant it later this year.

And I have a few marigolds that survived the winter and some coming up from seed, so that's good. They really did help keep the bugs away last year, so I'll plant more this year, and those things are hardy too, they did great all last summer.

So far we have had some nice long soaking rains, but it's been pretty cool, so the forest is just starting to wake up. The Dogwoods haven't bloomed yet, but the persimmons are just starting so they won't be far behind now. It's still a tad early to get plants in, but there's no excuse here for not getting things ready for them.

Posted by: billstephenson

Shiitakes!! - 04/11/13 09:40 PM

I went down and checked my logs this afternoon...

Posted by: skcreidc

Re: Shiitakes!! - 04/12/13 08:52 AM

Boy! I love mushrooms and THOSE look gooood. I was wondering how these would turn out after that awful period you had back there. Might have to try growing those myself. wink

Newspapers...not familar with your local papers, but the San Diego Union Tribune has gotten positively anorexic and mostly filled with uslessness. Stopped getting it over a year ago, but I can see they are still good for something.
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Shiitakes!! - 04/28/13 11:52 PM

Found these while hiking on our property yesterday (and quite a few more too).

About 3-4 years ago I scattered a bunch of bits and pieces of morels left over from a bunch a friend brought over and these were growing right where I scattered them, near our fire ring. I found the first one right in the middle of one of our trails laugh
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Shiitakes!! - 04/29/13 12:23 AM


Our local newspaper, "The Taney County Times", is pretty cool. We don't have a lot of "exciting" news, and they don't do national or world news, it is all very local, and rural news, and only published once a week.

Almost anything happening in the county court gets a mention, but most of the crimes committed here are pretty small stuff. Almost all of that paper is written by one woman, Jann Clark, and she's awesome. She is as unbiased as anyone could be and she has no problem writing about local politics, and she doesn't miss a lick or cut anyone any slack.

Aside from "News" they do a lot of features on the local schools, school sports and academics, and local hunting and fishing. I don't think there's a kid in the county that doesn't get their picture in there for something. And they have "Repots" from the really small communities here that are way out in the sticks. They read something like "Wilma's daughter visited her and brought the grandkids. We baked a big chicken and had all the trimmings. It was a lot of fun. Mabel had an operation on her big toe. It went good and she should be back at work in a week or two." There's a lot of that kind of "News" in there.

I write "Letters to the Editor" now and then, and most of the time they get published wink They're a pretty big source of fun around here and can cause a lot of commotion and scuttlebutt.

The locals here will still pony up for the paper. It's only 50¢ and you just can't get that "News" anywhere else laugh
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Shiitakes!! - 04/29/13 01:21 PM

I love that kind of news! Unfortunately around here, even the "local" paper doesn't have much of that. Actually, even it is published by a big media company.
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Shiitakes!! - 04/29/13 10:37 PM

OM, it really is a throwback to days long gone, when newspapers really mattered.

My wife and I both look forward to each issue. We've had our scandals here, and I'm always amazed and proud to see how well Jann Clark covers them. I didn't really expect that in such a rural area.

This is a very conservative area, but most of the local newspapers around here are very unbiased. The "TCT" publishes Phyllis Schlafly's column, which is about as "Right" as you can get, but they'll publish some very left responses to her column too.

Some of the "Letters to the Editor" here are incredibly well informed and written and it's good to see people involved. Some of them are pretty uninformed, and you can feel like you're like you're really living back in time when you read them. The TCT will publish stuff that I doubt would ever make it in larger markets, but living here I know it provides the truth that a newspaper should strive to record. That paper is a real snapshot of the area it covers, and that's what makes it so fun to read every week.

In a way, Facebook is recording a snapshot in time for a given area too. I have a "FB" account and most of my "Friends" are locals, so I see a lot of very right wing Christian conservative stuff. I've wondered about what my FB page would read like if I were where you are, or LA, or New York/New Jersey.

I see pictures of young kids shooting rifles and handguns all the time here. I doubt you'd see that very often if you're living in the city. I see photos of deer and turkey and fish people have bagged and you know what's in season just by taking a look at your FB page. Right now people are posting their photos of the Morel mushrooms they're finding, and it's a big deal here.

The Taney County Times will have pictures of them too in this week's issue. It's what everyone is talking about. It's a good year for Morels (last year sucked) and that's big news here laugh

I've went to our local library a few times and read some old copies of the newspaper on microfiche. The style of writing has changed a lot over the years, and so has the integrity of the paper in how it has presented different concerns of the day, but there has always been those weekly columns written by and about the people living in the tiny towns way out in the sticks, and they haven't changed much at all. I love that stuff, and I love that you can find such worthwhile and longstanding tradition documented in good old fashion local newspapers.

It's pretty funny, but just an hour drive from here is Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and it's one of the most liberal small towns you'd find anywhere. Their local newspaper is a blast to read, especially the weekly "Police Beat". That reads something like "Woman called to report a very mean raccoon stealing her cat's food off the front porch. Officers arrived quickly but the perpetrator had fled the scene with the food and was assumed to be hiding out nearby. The cat was unharmed so they promised to issue a stern warning if they located the perp."
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Shiitakes!! - 04/30/13 10:58 AM

[quote]"Woman called to report a very mean raccoon stealing her cat's food off the front porch. Officers arrived quickly but the perpetrator had fled the scene with the food and was assumed to be hiding out nearby. The cat was unharmed so they promised to issue a stern warning if they located the perp."/quote]

Posted by: PerryMK

Re: Garden 2013 - 05/19/13 11:49 AM

Starting at top left, the cucumber is about 8 inches long, crooked squash about 4 inches, tomatoes about 2 inches, banana pepper about 8 inches cayenne about 4 inches
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Garden 2013 - 05/19/13 12:15 PM

Well, that's impressive. Good job Perry.

I've got nothing growing but weeds. Still not sure if I will plant anything. Just haven't been inspired to get out there this year...
Posted by: rockchucker22

Re: Garden 2013 - 05/19/13 12:49 PM

Awesome! I have pretty good garden going, but it has a way to go. I even planted a ghost pepper!
Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Garden 2013 - 05/22/13 07:39 PM

My squashes are popping out of the ground, corn is coming, at least what the gopher or moles have left alone. Spuds look good, I'll be mulching them this weekend. Maters may be blooming in another month. Almost warm enough to plant beans now.
Posted by: PerryMK

Re: Garden 2013 - 06/04/13 05:08 PM

Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Garden 2013 - 06/04/13 09:10 PM

I planted beans a week ago, corn is about 40% after the gophers got through. Squash has a couple regular leaves and the peas are up to the second sting. I am getting strawberries, not very good, must be too cool for them to sweeten up good yet.
Posted by: rockchucker22

Re: Garden 2013 - 06/04/13 09:14 PM

I hate you Perry! j/k awesome veggies! My tomatoes have blooms. My onions are pretty big, peppers are still waiting for out 100 degree weather to kick in. I'll get a few pics and post.
Posted by: billstephenson

Shiitakes!! - 10/01/13 08:35 PM

Well those shiitake logs finally sprouted mushrooms!!!

I was convinced that the record hot and dry summer we had last year had pretty much killed the spawn in most all our logs but the wet spring this year and long soaking showers we've had recently proved me wrong.

I've probably harvested about 40 pounds of Shiitakes in the past week and still have more to go.

I have to say, they are delicious. Sautéed in butter and nothing else they are wonderful.

Posted by: Heather-ak

Re: Shiitakes!! - 10/02/13 06:06 PM

Awesome! I really hope we can start growing ours next year.

Thanks for sharing.