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Discussing all aspect of gardening.
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The ducks have a new yard, my future tomato and bean garden. 12.22.17
Daniel, those precious photos of your grandparents at the "Generative" stage of life. They look as though they worked hard and enjoyed the pleasures of their effort. You grandfather as a young man seems healthy and active. He also appears as though he worked hard and was a proud man.
You come from sturdy stock.
Randy, have a great trip in China! I hope you see the small family gardens with their small flock of free-range chickens, sometimes a pig. I saw virtually no flies, even in the slaughterhouse/meat markets. I don't know how they did it.
When I was there, the Chinese government had just opened the country to westerners and the general population was very friendly. When I rode public transit, I was usually the only Caucasian; each time the bus stopped I looked at the people waiting at the curbs, they seemed startled to see a round-eyed person. Crowds of people followed me and many of the young people were learning English. They spoke fluent English, although with a lovely Asian inflection.
Well, enough of my memories; I look forward to your experiences. Hopefully, you will be able to send us brief updates as you travel.
That would be an ooooooops!
Hey all you gardeners. Gloomy day. I may start digging my sweet potatoes since the ground is no longer hard as a rock. And, per daily routine, I'll pick a quart of red raspberries. They just keep coming, and I hate to see them rot on the vines. Freezer is packed. I didn't make any wine this year.
Daniel, I did what you suggested (before the suggestion)--I made a batch of persimmon pudding using one of the five cups I squeezed out. (Took me 30 minutes.) To answer your question about ripening: I let them ripen on the tree, usually picking them off the ground as they fall. Those that are stubborn, I'll pick later. If the 'possums don't get to them first, there should be a ground full when I return from China in 4 weeks. By the way, I caught another possum yesterday. I love your (Daniel) family photographs. I can tell where your love of the outdoors comes from!
Randy, I have a neighbor across the street that will take all the pears I don't use. Cars sailing past your place probably don't want to stop, but they're missing-out on some good food.
Today, I'm going to squeeze out persimmon pulp--not one of my favorite things to do. I have a pulp grinder which is difficult to handle, especially with seedy persimmons.
I set a basket of pears out by the road with a "free" sign. Not one pear has been taken after 3 days. People are in too much of a hurry to stop, I reckon.
Daniel, having raised beds makes it easier to control the elements of gardening, as you well know. Here is an old worksheet I use for turnips; you obviously don't need this; perhaps others will find the information useful.
Requires well-drained soil. Water turnips during times of drought, but otherwise avoid watering to the point of saturation.
Sandy and loamy soils tend to provide the best drainage.
If your soil contains large amounts of clay, improve texture and drainage by incorporating sand or gypsum into the soil.
Turnips grow best in mildly acidic soils, with an ideal pH between 6.0 and 6.5.
To raise the pH of soil, incorporate lime into the soil. Ground agricultural limestone is a common liming material, but dolomite and a number of alternative liming materials can also be effective.
To lower the pH incorporate sulfur or a sulfur compound like aluminum sulfate.
Adding organic matter to the soil will also lower the pH gradually over time.
Turnips grow best in soil rich in organic matter.
Incorporate a generous amount of compost into the soil before planting to help supply turnips with necessary nutrients.
Commercial fertilizers are not necessary, but applying a 5-10-10 fertilizer at a rate of 3 pounds per 100 feet is generally beneficial.
A soil test will reveal if additional fertilization is necessary.
Soil testing is the most effective way to understand the nutrient content of your soil.
Spud, I am happy to learn that you are tending to a carcinoma on your face. Farmers in the Palouse often have them and tend to them at once.
OOPPSS, I hope your copper lines didn't crack. I hate losing a copper fitting, although when they do crack they often give me beautiful sprays of water shooting into the sky forming rainbows.
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