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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

OK, so here is my one Rebel Alliance [Zluta Kytice X Not Purple Strawberry] F5 on the left -- a bit yellowed but I don't see signs of mites (growing leaf bud looks good) and the trimmed off leaftips had unidentified spots -- going in the ground and hopefully re-joining the fight for the season. It's still being stabilized at F5 generation but is being selected for the multifloral trait from its Zluta Kytice great- great- etc. grandmother. Heart-shaped ridged large cherry sized fruits in the F4 generation. I believe it's supposed to be Purple? ...or maybe Black/Brown with yellow epi?

Poor Isolde -- both of them got sunburned in a careless hardening off moment. Also showing signs of stress from the too-cold nights we've had when I'd left them outside.

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Curious as I'm such a greenie: what are the collars made of/for? Also how can you tell the cold has stressed them? My two little romas have been out in some crazy weather (40's at night to two 90+ days last week, and all in between...), but no leaf color changes and the flowers are still popping up... I'm taking notes from your beautiful garden for future reference! Haha!

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Image

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

:shock: :shock: :shock:

...is this a hint? Are you saying I need some art in my garden Gary350? :lol:

It's true, I don't use much art or sculpture -- a few conventional pieces -- metal hummingbird sprinkler, cast cement mostly realistic animals -- bunny, frog, turtle.... I actually am not attracted to folk art so much, though my brother poof-poofed me once when he did a film project on folk art in the American South.

I like this kind of thing though -- not dinky little ones -- this one has good size to the entity

Chris Cook's Sea Serpent Garden Sculpture
https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/se ... -sculpture

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I like arranging the garden beds in some kind of a design.... I like the idea of forming living greenery into a sculpture --

9 Living Tree Sculptures: Art Created One Ring at a Time
https://www.visualnews.com/2014/05/27/9- ... ring-time/



If anything, I would love to implement my own long-time back burner concept for a vertical garden. :mrgreen:
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Shanghaisky wrote:Curious as I'm such a greenie: what are the collars made of/for? Also how can you tell the cold has stressed them? My two little romas have been out in some crazy weather (40's at night to two 90+ days last week, and all in between...), but no leaf color changes and the flowers are still popping up... I'm taking notes from your beautiful garden for future reference! Haha!
The collars -- I use recycled Kcups for growing seedlings. I've made several modifications in the way I make use of them over the years, and this year, realized that I could easily snip the bottom out with scissors for taking them out with less root loss, and then use the already marked Kcup as the individual plant label as redundant backup system to the garden maps.

I decided to slit one side of the cup so the collar won't constrict the plant if it grew larger than the diameter of the cup. Then made additional fore-head slapper realization that as long as I am slipping the Kcup collar around the stem, I might as well fill the soil around it and secure it in such a way that it will also act as cut-worm collar :() -- a danger I was advised to watch out for when I sought advice about planting out smaller tomato seedlings than I am used to.


The seedlings that were exposed to the too cold temperatures for too many nights have become yellowed, faded and and purpled. Those are classic appearance I have managed to make this mistake over and over again with out DOING what I KNOW I need to do. So if you read my hardening off and seedling temperature advises, you will see me TELLING everyone what to avoid and how -- all quite true and beautiful if only I would do those things myself without slacking off. DEFINITELY Do what I say and not what I do in this. Image

Part of my carelessness comes from growing so many seedling starts that by planting time, I have too many to fit in available space. I still have seedlings in the house that have no where to go and hoping for some hapless seedling to falter out there. (Only die-hard survivors need apply :P ) I already plant them too close -- again, follow my advice and ignore my own foolishness.


Oh yeah, yours may have survived the cold nights better either because the next day's high was sufficient to warm them up again without lasting harm, or because I think you said they are already planted. As long as soil temp has warmed up enough, the temporary overnight cold air temp is moderated by the warmer thermal mass of the ground. Mine were in tiny cups and on a shelf with no ground mass to help them.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Whoo hoo! Lettuce mix and Fun Gen (which seems to be the favorite slug pick), and Michihili+ Asian mustard greens -- Tatsoi and Tokyo Bekana I think -- they practically overflowed my 2 gal harvest bucket. :()

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Some purple passion asparagus... First pair of ripe White Gold cherries, first strawberries -- these are wild and alpine white soul. And spearmint and peppermint sprigs.

At first my heart sank to realize that the aphids somehow got under the insect netting, though the netting is mostly to keep out the cabbage whites and moths, but then 2nd look revealed that practically every one of those aphids are already mummified, meaning the aphid mummy maker wasps are on the job.

This presented a different sort of difficulty -- I decided to trim all the parts of the leaves with aphid mummies on them with a pair of scissors. This sounds a bit crazy, but it wasn't difficult and I ended up with a nice pile of unhatched aphid mummies. So I scattered them among my seedlings that are being hardened off and then spread them around the tomato seedlings I planted in the SFH and SFHX. :twisted:

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

L: Getting ready to plant dwarf tomatoes, eggplants, maybe some of the smaller peppers in containers. The water-filled bucket in the group is 18 qts. White Small 2 gal bucket and a 5 gal.

R: 7 gal bucket I'm thinking of turning into a SIP. Testing an azalea pan for fit as possible riser/water reservoir separator.

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All the brown water are from the catch trays -- we've been getting a lot of rain and I have been emptying the nutrient rich water in these buckets to save and use later.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Love the dragon!

I always admire how resourceful you are, re-using all your cooking water and saving the catch basin water.....

an area I could still be better at.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Thanks :D

I'm trying to catch up to you -- pre-germinating corn :()

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-- these are Japanese Striped Maize ...seeds were gift from a friend :-()
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

At first my heart sank to realize that the aphids somehow got under the insect netting, though the netting is mostly to keep out the cabbage whites and moths, but then 2nd look revealed that practically every one of those aphids are already mummified, meaning the aphid mummy maker wasps are on the job.

This presented a different sort of difficulty -- I decided to trim all the parts of the leaves with aphid mummies on them with a pair of scissors. This sounds a bit crazy, but it wasn't difficult and I ended up with a nice pile of unhatched aphid mummies. So I scattered them among my seedlings that are being hardened off and then spread them around the tomato seedlings I planted in the SFH and SFHX. :twisted:

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Aphid mummies?? Awesome... I was unaware of this parasitic behavior! I feel like I've seen some mummified aphids and didn't know what they were. I will be keeping a close eye out for these this year!

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

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I thought this basket was Alpine White Soul strawberries -- as soon as they started to ripen red, I realized leaving it here under the mulberry tree was a BAD idea. :roll:
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Volunteer yellow peach -- probably from an organically grown fruit/variety. Very healthy.
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Blackberry Triple Crown nearing full bloom :()
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Pear espaliers -- good fruitset of dark colored Seckel and lighter colored but will grow to about 3x as big fruits on fireblight resistant Magness ...which doesn't appear to have as good resistance to Cedar-Apple Rust....
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Slooowly making progress....

Pre-germinating more seeds -- Korean melon seeds from H-mart was coated in some pearly pink stuff :shock: ...Nutter Butter butternut squash, Valencia peanuts selected for maturing early, more interesting corn (two varieties together but can easily tell apart)
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Today's harvest wash bucket was so colorful and pretty! (Except for that one strawberry which got "cooked" in the unvented protective clear clamshell box :roll: ). Darker colored "berries" are mulberries which I don't go out of my way to harvest for us -- mostly for the birds and animals -- but I couldn't resist the ripe ones within my reach on lower hanging branches :()

Overwintered peppers -- yellow Aji Pineapple and red 3rd year Shishito (these fruits that set during the winter will be least likely to be accidentally cross pollinated so I like to save seeds from them rather than the summer fruits when not bagged). Shishito pods are small because it was in a 6 inch clay pot.

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Lavender is starting to come in. :D
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Bah! I don't know if I have ever been THIS late planting "pre-germinated" -- actually already SPROUTED -- corn seeds! You can see some of them have become confused from being tumbled around in the sprouter and have roots and the shoot growing in the SAME direction. Lots of secondary roots already starting to grow instead of jut the single taproot. :roll: These are the giant purple and pink Mexican Corn and that is a 4 inch diameter ice cream tub lid.

Family activities took the front seat to veggies. :wink:

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TP tubes are actually shorter than what I would like for corn starts -- normally would plant them in rice milk carton standing on side panel -- but last night, I had run out of pre-mixed potting mix and these had been prepped and filled ahead of time and available. I will REALLY have to hop and plant them within the next week.

I did most of the prep for the Spiral Garden bed where the corn are going on Friday so that area is mostly ready to plant.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Today's harvest :D

Garlic scapes -- familiar slender curls as well as Elephant garlic. Some needed peeling -- were diced and sautéed with polish kielbasa and bacon, green onions, yellow carrots, and white birch mushrooms as base for a risotto. Good grinding of Himalayan pink sea salt and my own chili powder (with citrusy notes from dried lemon verbena and lemongrass) on top. 2nd helping also got scoops of buttery ripe avocado.

Daily harvest of strawberries, mulberries, and increasing raspberries... spearmint -- only the best top sprigs -- a peppermint that needed to be weeded out, more lavender....

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...Between harvesting and rinsing, ants found the garlic scapes where I had left them, ignoring the berries. :shock: I realized the scapes are sweet when I ate them.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Do you think I should have made a separate on-going thread about seed starting like I did one year? :?:

Here's an update collage of the pre-germinated/sprouted cucumbers, melons, watermelons, squash, corn, and peanuts:

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Crazy-looking -- no way! You might think -- but I grew the cukes and squash this way using “spoonzip method” last year and they did great. Corn for several years now. You can see how some sprout faster than others and end up with a head start, even after germinating at the same time.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

5/26
applestar wrote: -- pre-germinating corn :()

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-- these are Japanese Striped Maize ...seeds were gift from a friend :-()
They are ready to be planted ...maybe tomorrow :-()
I started extras, hoping for 24, but I only count 19 seedlings in the photo.... oh well -- but that's the whole point of pre-germinating and starting them as transplants. :-()
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

My amusement with what you find for starter containers will not end. It gives me good hope for next season.. starting seeds not just on a budget, but basically "for free" with all the containers we have around here!

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

My VG beds are STILL not planted :roll: I finally got around to clearing and generally assessing today.

I would like to re-fill the high raised beds. Ideally, I would take everything out, put down semi-decomposed wood from the wood pile, hugelkultur style, scrape up the paths, THEN layer the nice soil back on top.... IDEALLY. But, if I'm too pressed for time/energy, I might just plant in what's left which is still about 8-12" high raised bed level.

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...well OK, there is a daikon radish in one of the pallet beds. A bunch of chervil going to seed in VGB, a whole bunch of parsley from last year in that VGD bed that will bloom to attract beneficial insects... with a few volunteer radish and parsley coming up here and there. The square VGA bed has a few gobo leftover from last year that I'm hoping will make seeds as well as purple passion asparagus that had grown from seeds trying to take over one corner (I need to dig that up if I can ... it might be too late :? ). I think there's some kind of a carrot, too -- only letting that bloom for beneficials, then pulling it. Somehow, a few strawberries started growing in VGC. Waiting to see if these are wild variety or maybe Sweet Charley.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Shanghaisky wrote:My amusement with what you find for starter containers will not end. It gives me good hope for next season.. starting seeds not just on a budget, but basically "for free" with all the containers we have around here!
LOL -- it make me happy to hear this :D
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Yesterday's harvest -- strawberries, raspberries, a couple of first peas, an aji pineapple pepper, looseleaf lettuce, Tokyo bekana, Michihili -- took all of these to my parent's :D

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Today's harvest -- strawberries, raspberries, more peas, purple asparagus, garlic scapes, a stray peppermint, garlic chives blossoms

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I'm trying to be mindful of pepper maggots threat, so I planted these sweet peppers under the insect tunnel:

Shishito (3)
Chocolate Cake (2) -- these didn't grow true last time but I'm trying again to see if it was the seeds or operator error
Sweet Chocoloco (1) -- this may not be sweet pepper actually. Don't know if the pepper maggots will bother it
Liebesapfel (1) -- this is probably one of the most likely to be targeted
What is this picture? I don't know where it came from. I don't think it's mine.... is Flickr having problems? :shock: :?
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THIS is the correct picture....
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You might be able to see the two shaggy green masses in the tunnel -- those are Michihili and I decided I'm going to harvest them today and make kimchi. This bed will get full sun now so they won't last mulch longer, and this way I could squeeze a couple more vulnerable peppers under there as well as maybe some onions to protect them from onion leaf miners.
Last edited by applestar on Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Weirdness! Strange photo in place of the one I posted!
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I really should be posting in the PETC thread ... :roll: PLEASE don't try to plant like this -- there will be problems down the line (YES I do know this Image )

Apple Guild Exterior - insect tunnel

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Broccoli Green Goliath SESE
Paprika Alma Édes 2015 asmx
Pepper Chocolate Cake (gixx)
Pepper Doe Hill (Gixx'14) sweet
Pepper Fehérözön or Roumanian Rainbow 2015
Pepper Liebesapfel (paprika'15)
Pepper Shishito (DrBTX'15) 3.14,21 4.8
Pepper Sweet Chocoloco (Ellie'15)
Senposai F1 Fedco '16 cabbage/komatsuna hybrid
Volunteer cucurbit


VGA

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Eggplant Hari (g2'15)
Eggplant Kamo (kitazawa '15-'16)
Eggplant Orient Express (F2 2.1.15)
Chocolate Cake (gixx) - may not be true to type
Giant Marconi - mottled (SIP'15)
Jaloro Jalapeño (paprika garden 8.5.16, Ellie's last)
NuMex Jalmundo (vendor Ellie'15) - may not be true to type
NuMex Lemon Spice (patihum 8.16.16)
SuperVar Fish (Jan'15)
Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate (geoffrey44)
"Tim" (DPPxHOZO.F3) F2 (itali'16)
Dwf Brandy Fred PL (itali 2016)
Dwf Orange Cream (itali 2016)
MR.CF F3 1F.P1

--- FWIW, VGA is a deeper raised bed with no bottom. The bit of white you see at bottom left is a 5 gallon bucket remote reservoir for the SIP and the soil level is approx at the top of the bucket --
--- I raked all the loose soil in the VGA to the side and scraped up and tossed in the topsoil under the decomposed mulch (sticks, corn/sunflower/okra stalks, fall leaves) in the path/swales. You should have seen the giant earthworms thicker than a pencil -- I must have tossed at least a dozen inside the VGA. Smoothed the soil back over the top. Already dolomitic limed and rock phosphated in early spring, I raked in Tomato-Tone before planting.
--- oh yeah - high of mid-90's today, Mon, and Tues with clear skies, so I pulled a roll of black landscaping fabric out of the back of the shed (because I never used it) cut a couple of lengths and have them draped and secured over the hoops to provide shade for these little babies. They have been hardened off but not for this when their root systems are still so tiny. I hope I watered enough.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

" I hope I watered enough. "

I didn't get a chance to water last night or this AM, and have nothing to shade with. I haven't checked my garden today because I'm really afraid everything is just fried. 89 high here today with 0 shade. Sigh. Hope yours do ok..

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Hope yours made it. Look at what I did this morning. These are squashes and melons that had been pre-sprouted in spoon-seedzip (spoonzip method). For shading/protecting the tender seedlings, I used the 1/2 bottles originally meant for making sip's since they were handy and are almost all the way covered by the label, and put a large strawberry leaf or plantain leaf in the opening to compensate for the clear top and opening.

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I checked on them and watered them more thoroughly a couple of hours ago, and most of them looked good. I removed the strawberry leaves which were all dried to a crisp.

One of the butternut squash seedling had been exposed to direct sunlight for too long while still in the seedzip -- I left them in shade but by the time I came back from gathering tools, they were in the sun. It was iffy when I planted it, and looked even iffier -- it may not make it.

Here are the maps.

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Nutter-butter nut squash (Annapolis'16-17)
Thai Kang Kob x Seminole TKK#2Bkt F3 (SG'16)

Korean Melon (Worldseed/Hmart'16-18)
Melon, Snow Leopard (Ellie EGT'16)
Melon, Honey Rock (itali'16 EGT'16)
Watermelon, Orange Flesh (ellie EGT'16)

Room for more -- maybe tomorrow.... :D


I also watered the landscape fabric protected peppers, etc. I planted yesterday. They REALLY looked good. I wished I'd taken my iPad with me to take a photo, but I was too busy to come back for it. Definitely using this method for areas that I could set up a frame support.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

A quick peek under the landscape/shade fabric. The pepper and eggplant seedlings are tiny and somewhat stunted, but they did fight off/recover from the mite attack and look ready to grow. No sign of heat stress :D (white appearing leaves are just reflection -- honestly why do photos always turnout wrong when you were in a hurry and didn't verify?)

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...is it just me or do these basils in the foreground NOT look like they are all Lettuce Leaf variety and some/more of them look like the regular Genovese type Basil?
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

applestar wrote: ...is it just me or do these basils in the foreground NOT look like they are all Lettuce Leaf variety and some/more of them look like the regular Genovese type Basil?
Hard to say this early, I think. Some "lettuce leaf" types sit somewhere in between the classic genovese and the more dramatic lettuce leaf. Yours look to have some serrated edges which would indicate they might be more towards the lettuce leaf end of the spectrum, which might become more obvious as they get bigger?

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Hmmm maybe? I think of the ones with puffy seersucker leaves as Lettuce Leaf but maybe as you said, they will show their true form once they grow out of the awkward first tentative true leaves stage.....
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I'm so NOT organized this year, and my warm weather crop planting has been delayed overlong. I planted the started Japanese Striped Maize and Mexican Purple-Pink corn as well as some more melons yesterday.

I saw a bunny that had snuck into this fenced garden area the other day, so I had to do some creative protecting. Corn just needs to grow big and tough enough to resist the rabbity attention.

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Now that those are planted, I have just enough time to plant my own crossed mix of hopefully sweet corn. I finally got around to selecting out the best shrunken/shriveled kernels for my own Landrace Project Corn Mix from the SAVE! Selections of the Mirai 350BC x (KandyKorn x Glass Gem F1) as well as Ashworth, Double Red Sweet, and Aztec Black.

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I'm planting seeds from this cob separately -- labeled Mirai 350BC that has no shriveled kernels, only the shiny smooth popcorn type that look like Glass Gem. They are almost all dark colored kernels, and I would have liked to see more pinks and lavenders, but if this is truly Mirai 350BC mother, I want to see what happens in the next generation.

I found some weird runty flat kernels among them. In case they are viable and in case these are the representation of shriveled kernel Mirai genes, I'm going to try babying these and see if they grow.

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Had planned to do something else this morning, but got caught up in digging and shaping the swale/paths for the Northeast gardenbeds to properly flow and sequester irrigation and rain water.
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Re-shaped the Spiral Garden into broken spirals and created overflow channels for the swales to leach their way downslope into swale/paths for the Sunflower House Extension and Haybale Lane beds -- I think this will work better.
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

There are an upside and a downside to pre-germinating. I set up these seeds to pre-germinate very early on6/15, so actual time elapsed is probably about 36 hours, but look at them! Very gratifying :D ...That's the UP-side.


The DOWN-side is that I had to process them at 11PM because I could see they couldn't stay in those zip bags for another night:

I put all the germinated seeds except the corn in DEspoonzips -- you've seen those before.

I want to sow the corn in deep containers -- probably ricemilk cartons as usual -- in the morning, so I have temporarily scattered them on a bed of moistened DE sand. **Last time, I didn't like the way the sprouted seeds had both the root and the sprout growing in the same direction due to being tumbled around.

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

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Sowed the germinated and sprouted corn and spoon-seedzipped the germinated Sibley banana squash, Sweet REBA Acorn squash, Alibaba watermelon, and Lemon Queen sunflower seeds. Ran out of prepared DE Sand so used potting mix (haven't tried that before)

...yeas, yes. Those are the later sowing of very interesting basil varieties that I REALLY have to separate and harden off. :wink:
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

My first ripe tomato of the season is going to be Marz Pulcent :D

I am trying this variety in hanging baskets as well as a 2 gallon container -- the container with ripening fruits was the first one planted out.

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Taiji
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

So I'm curious about the zip lock bag pre germinating. I'm having a little trouble this year with some seeds in the ground, namely, beans and squashes. So, I guess it's wet in there and don't leave them in more than 36 hours. But what kind of environment? Warm and dark, warm and light, cool and dark...etc? Do you soak them overnight before putting them in the bags sometimes? Thx. :)

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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Taiji, beans and squashes are very easy and quick in warm location! I'm going to refer you to this part of last year's thread where I think I went into detail about most recent pre-germinating methods. I've been tweaking every year so I may have changed a little bit, but most important is to soak -- 4 hours for smallest seeds, 6-8 hrs, 12 max for largest seeds, then rinse and drain thoroughly. Ideally repeat (rinse twice and drain) 3-4 times a day (every 8 to 6 hours) during the hottest season. But absolute minimum (rinse twice and drain) every 12 hours.

At some point, I mentioned squash seed that rotted in the bag but one sample seed taped onto the outside of the bag germinated. With older seeds, too, there is a huge and obvious difference in germination.

Subject: 2016 -- starting seeds and cuttings for the new season
applestar wrote:Pre-germinating mixed seeds that will eventually be planted in the same bed. They are easily recognizable for what they are -- except for a few Marrowfat vs. Blauwschokker Blue peas that I couldn't differentiate (Marrowfat is green and Blauwschokker Blue is brown as a rule, but some were tan. :roll: )

...I see Christmas Lima and Runner beans as well as green hull less Kakai squash in addition to the peas that have germinated and are ready to plant.

-- note that the seedzip bags hold a little extra water due to capillary action of the plastic stuck together that need to be removed, either by opening wide to get the front-back sides of the bag unstuck or sometimes with a pipette.

-- also, I had some failures in earlier group this year, so with this very latest batch of corn and cucurbits which are normally sown 1-2 inches deep, decided to put the little seedzip bags of well drained seeds (zips left open and set upright) inside of a paper egg carton to provide darkness while allowing for ventilation. And I think I see improvement in germination speed and rate.

...I usually adapt from the sprouting instructions given at sproutpeople.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Some of my gardening chores can get overly complicated, and they need a pre-campaign logistic/strategy/planning session. Sometimes, the ideas fall into place in-situ, but other times, I can't think how to proceed -- the seemingly related tasks won't coalesce into a clear step by step from just standing there looking until I write them down and think about them.

One such project involved the VGB and VGD pallet sided raised beds (VGB.PSRB and VGD.PSRB). The soil level had gone down to about 1/3 and needed to be re-filled before planting. I had started pre-germinating the seeds which meant I couldn't procrastinate on prepping the beds any more.

- I knew I wanted to use the old potting mix from one of the SIP's to top them off.
- The existing soil is nice and friable so that would be the layer immediately under the potting mix....
- I wanted to toss in the swale/path top soil so that would be the next layer UNDER
- and unfinished compost on the very bottom or as bottom as a I could get because there are still some unbroken down branches, etc. in the bottom of these pseudo-hugelkultur beds

...see how I knew what the layers should be TOP-DOWN? Not so easy to figure out exactly how I was going to put them IN.

...also, last time I explored this project, I realized I needed to line the upper slats of the pallet sides with something to hold the soil mixture in. I decided so was going to use bamboo side branches like the last time, so I needed to gather enough from the bamboo I got from my parents' and stored by lashing upright a while back.

Added to the complication was that the used SIP potting mix was corralled in slit open/flattened mulch bag-lined concrete blocks...and I wanted to move these heavy concrete blocks to the patio....

I gave all of this some serious thought the night before, making bullet list of what needed to be done. In actual execution, however, I ran into logistic errors and had to make some modifications. But all was going well and I managed to get the VGD.PSRB refilled:

- one 5-gal bucket of unfinished compost full of wrigglers on the bottom
- scraped up path/swale top soil
- three 5-gal buckets of existing soil mixed with 2 cups of dolomitic lime, 1 cup of tree-Tone, 2 cups of tomato-Tone, and 1 cup of kelp meal
- layering two 5-gal buckets of the used SIP mix on the top.

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But when I uncovered the rest of the used SIP potting mix on a slit open/flattened mulch bag to use for VGB.PSRB -- I found out it had been taken over by little black ants -- the ENTIRE surface of the mix was black (rather than the dried peat mix color) and moving :eek: Any tool plunged into the potting mix was immediately swarming with determined ants that rapidly made their way up the handle to my hands and arms (tone managed to get all the way to my neck and bite me), and while just standing next to the pile to assess the situation, my boots were covered in ants.

I stirred it up a bit more until I could see the ants start to carry eggs and pupae out of the light, but had to beat a hasty retreat. I gave up on finishing the VGB.PSRB, and moved all of the tools out of the area in hopes that the ants will finish moving house if the potting mix pile was left uncovered....

...then late afternoon, we had a passing sever thundershower... :? I dread to think what I will find when I get out there...

-- with any luck, the ants will be gone, but so might be my nice pile of potting mix, washed into the grass since all of the concrete block surround that were holding up the sides of the mulch bag are gone, successfully moved to the patio area, two at a time with a wheel barrow.... :roll:

-- IF the garden goddess is looking down on my garden with favor, then that pile of freshly blended SIP mix will be nicely soaked with rainwater now and ready to fill the SIP with. Of course it will be too heavy now to drag it back next to the SIP and I will have to carry by bucketfuls -- I dragged it away so the ants wouldn't decide to move their colony over to the big pile....
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Taiji
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Thank you for the zip bag info. :)

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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Yep. You're welcome. If you don't have pesky chipmunks that dig up every single seed you sow (particularly corn and squash), you can sow the seeds where they are to grow outside as soon as the tiny root tip shows. This will maximize space since most of these will sprout and grow with no empty spots and thinning not necessary. Good luck.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I got the VGD.PSRB planted. This year's "share with the neighbor" fence crop will be the Korean cucumbers. I rarely grow hybrids, but I decided to stick with productive, disease resistant varieties when doing this. If some of the tomatoes --particularly Bear Creek -- and the Giant Marconi peppers and Hari eggplants manage to top the fence, they will provide nice addition for offering.

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In VG.SIP, Japanese Striped Maize and Korean Melon are settling in. We are having mostly overcast days so I removed the screen cover. If the melon seeds in the other corner don't sprout, I will have to sow some more.

The ants had moved out of the used SIP potting mix pile (to underneath the mulch bag -- so I didn't have to deal with the ants while I worked to fill the VGB.PSRB.

I got overheated and tired -- not hot but so muggy today -- wasn't able to quite finish up. We are expecting thunderstorms later/soon so I did want to take care of all of the potting mix, which I was able to manage. :-()

I had a "grand plan" for this patio corner, but had to put it aside since it was holding up the rest of the planting. This SIP will be designated "Kitchen Garden Patio SIP" (KGP.SIP) and, along with the other planters and containers, will be planted with Mexican/Southwestern cuisine ingredients Image

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