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Discussing all aspect of gardening.
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Repotting and New Yamamoto Dendrobiums. 4.13.18
Randy, I imagine your farm family to be similar to the Rhodes.
The Rhodes resembles my farm family! Wonderful, Joan.
Yeah. That seems to be an awesome family.
One of my favorite homesteading families, The Rhodes, and these amazing kids, learning how to do so many things; they experiment, explore, and experience life as only kids on a farm scene can.
Good stuff, Jotham.
The only "winter gardening" I do is sprouts. Instead, I crack nuts. That's a labor of love (of nuts).
Saving seeds is something I also do--not with a lot of luck, however. You mentioned parsnips. I really have trouble getting them to grow, which is surprising being my carrots do well.
I did get a truck load of black compost. Ooh, it looks so rich! It's been wheelbarrowed to about 20 small piles scattered about the garden. Today (if it doesn't rain) I'll spread it about. I've also been tossing my "pee in a bucket" throughout the garden all winter. Good thing I live alone, because my house stinks of urine!
I've been gardening all winter. Practicing getting seeds to grow for transplants. I don't seem to be doing it right. I have some plants growing, but most of the seeds I plant still don't produce.
I tried some beets I just got from veseys. I know the seed is good, and when I plant them in the garden, most of them will grow. But less than half of them grew in the plug tray, sitting on a heating pad, and under a grow light.
Seeds are finicky. The rutabaga seeds I harvested gets almost 100% germination in the same conditions. But they won't produce with the paper towel germination test and mostly not when trying to grow them in a sprouter.
Speaking of which, I tested my rutabaga, turnip, and carrot seed that I grew last year, all have good germination.
Saving seeds is important. I just watched matt powers talk about his Ameranth. From a package of seed from Baker Creek, he only got one plant to grow. He saved seed from that and now he has Ameranth that grows with ease and self seeds at his place.
So grow your own seed. That's what I'll be doing. Currently I have carrot, parsnip, Rutabaga, Turnip. This year I'll grow them again and what ever I can get to grow to seed of the annuals I have.
Black compost sounds delicious.
It's time for me to plant some peas in my small greenhouse, but not being as ambitious as you, I haven't done it yet.
Two warm, sunny days has me outdoors doing some spring cleaning, picking up sticks, pruning, and cogitating about the yard and garden. And, although it needed to be done last fall, I plan to dump a truck load of black compost on the garden, taken from my son-in-law's huge pile. Much to be done this spring.,
We, the general gardening population, becoming aware of the value of charcoal in plant production, have a growing demand for and sources of supply for charcoal. It can be made by the gardener and the farmer out of supplies of slash at the site. For my purposes, I define slash as all above-ground residue left on the ground in harvesting timber, building structures, or after the gathering in of crops.
It is not economic to purchase charcoal from sources far away from the gardening site. Shipping costs are too expensive.
It is possible and preferable to make charcoal locally or on the site. The process isn't difficult even as it is messy. Charcoal is a messy thing with which to work, but its use in the garden offers advantages in growing food. I have used charcoal for years, just as my grandmothers and Dad gardened.
Alkaline ashes sweeten soils by raising the pH of acidic soils and reducing the need for liming. They neutralize pesticides and herbicides and provide a natural insecticide for some insects. We used them both as a fertilizer and an insecticide for roses.
I don't use ashes in alkaline soils.
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