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Discussing all aspect of gardening.
Location: Planet Earth
Latest Activity: Feb 28
Crinum Bulbs. 3.16.18
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.
Word Count 198
Can anyone recommend a good seed catalogue?
And life is good, Joan! You sound happy and content. Your idea(s) for a greenhouse should work. Go for it.
As for your previous post on garden pH, I agree. My asparagus does great, while I've lost about 20 blueberry bushes within a year or two of planting over the years. I'm done with trying (yeah, right!).
Randy, The winter froze out my greenhouse and Laura and Larry move south in the winter. Their daughter and her partner, both from gardening families, move in the home and property during L&L's absence. They hope to build a home in an untouched part of the property when they are able. They both love the forest, both are strong and they make a good team with L&L's other daughter and her partner who have a place on the property and five very healthy children learning gardening, farming, and forest management, as well as learning forest fire fighting at school and Jr. Fire Fighters.
I leave this forested paradise to live with my son, Craig and his family for part of the year in the mountains above Denver at 6043 feet elevation. Obviously, there is no winter gardening outside in their city lot, however, I suspect a greenhouse could grow things here because I have been here over a month and have not seen a cloudy day.
There are 246 sunny days per year in Littleton, Colorado.
There are 176 sunny days per year in Newport, Washington
With some auxiliary heat, plants should thrive in a greenhouse in this Colorado spot.
I will spend cold days inside on my computer reading mall and books in Colorado and outside tending the greenhouse and gardens in Washington. I have the best of all possible worlds.
How To Read a Soil Test And Make Adjustments To Your Garden Beds
I gardened with both of my grandmothers and my Dad since before I can remember; I am 82 years old and I still garden, although I am slower and weaker than I have been in a long time. Soil is my passion. Why do tomatoes grow beautifully in some parts of the garden and not others? Why did my beautiful new blueberry bushes die? My asparagus died after the first season; Why?
Understanding that plants thrive in different kinds of soil with different pH I found part of the answer to these questions.
Potatoes grow well in soil pH of 4.5 - 6.0
Blueberries prefer soil pH of 4.0 - 6.0
Asparagus prefers soil pH of 6.0 -8.0
My solution was to dedicate part of my garden to low pH and another part to high pH.
I rotated my crops in the soil dedicated to the pH of their liking.
Dug up "January carrots" from my garden yest. The ground thawed enough (plus I had mulched them good) that I could dig easily, The carrots were mammoth! That's the only veggie I have left in the garden. Waiting for Spring.
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