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Fall Gardening thread.

Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

I have been lucky in work so not a lot of gardening got done. I had my first day off in 16 days tuesday. Garden still grew. There are spagetti squash, and beans. They are very nice, pealed and diced, mixed in with the beans and either stirr fried or boiled into a stew. green onions help too. What to do about the figs? I always get a poor first crop and then the tree produces lots of second crop. Right now the tree is loaded with unripe figs. How to get them ripe now? Do they need more light or do they need to be rapped in the white remay cloth to be warmer? I have a new squash "bird something" it has pretty white flowers and it climbs very well. Seems to be less affectedby mildew.

Thats it for now. lets hear about your garden

Brian


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Polly B
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Joined: Dec 15 2004

I am praying to the weather gods for a few more weeks of summer.  We had a late frost (well snow actually, just after the May Long) and I had to delay planting a few things.

Result is tomatoes small hard and green still, and I just don't have the room indoors to finish them.  Also beans are still flowering but not producing a whole bunch.

On the bright side I have tons of zucchinni and cucumbers, lettuce and carrots, beets and swiss chard and onions and celery.  I have dug up about half my spuds and they are the best thing on the planet seriously.  I keep them cooked in the fridge and it's my favorite snack these days.

Borsch.  Veggie soup with swiss chard.  Steamed carrots with fresh parsely or dill.  Salads with every meal.  Fresh herbs.  Rhubarb and strawberry pie (store bought crust I can't bake to save my life).  Barbecued corn on the cob.  Baked beets with garlic.  Steamed spinach/chard/beet greens.

I don't have enough planted this year to do much preserving, but am making plans in my head for next years crop.  Must fix up that old greenhouse and start a bit earlier.  Alberta summers can be so short.

Damn, now I am hungry :)

 


ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

Polly you're garden sounds exactly like mine. I'm still picking peas!  :D   There finally seems to be some beans but they're very slow. The tomatoes are very few and far between and who knows if they'll ripen. I'm trying to figure out how to rig a bit of a greenhouse cover on some of the plants to try to increase the warmth. I'm growing some in large cages so I think I can do something with some clear plastic. They're going to look like they have huge shower caps on them.


Sineed
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Joined: Dec 4 2005

I planted corn this year, and the weather in Toronto was completely wrong for it this summer - what I've got is a weed bed.

But my herb garden did brilliantly.  I've got a tremendous crop of basil, and I'm going to try and make pesto again, and freeze.


ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

I just picked a couple of cabbages. It's the first time I've ever grown them and they've done really well.  I had to remove some of the outer leaves because there were slugs on them but they didn't seem to be doing a whole lot of damage.  I think I'll be making some coleslaw for din din.


Polly B
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Joined: Dec 15 2004

Hmmm, I might be able to cover my tomatoes too.  Good idea!


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

Just a  thing I learned in germany. You can sauerkrout beans too.  Same recipee and warm temp as saurkraut but you use raw green beans instead. They are quite tasty and get a little softer in the saurkrouting process.  Or you could do a mix. I use sauerkrout "water" as a starter because it is loaded with lactic acid already.  I also worked in switzerland and they were not afraid to pick up  falllen plums and put them in a big barrel to let rot (airtight) for a year.  After the year, the liquid is the starter for the best schnaps ever. I  had it in my coffees and the farmer used to say "you cannot get schnaps as good as this in the finest resturaunts" (in german with a funny accent) and a tablespoon in a flask of coffee is still the nicest alcoholic drink I have yet tasted.

I went to a local park (belton park) and the ground and trees are just packed with plums.  (I have my trees at home to keep me busy) such a shame to see good food wasted! I would have thought some of the 500 or 600 new condo dwellers in the area would have picked them.

Anyways.


Call me Dave
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Joined: Sep 3 2009

I don't have a lot of space for a garden, but I tried some container gardening this year...  Have a nice crop of tomatoes and some hot peppers.  Should be great for sauces!  I want to expand the containers, maybe have then at an angle up against the fence where there is good exposure.  I want to plant a couple of zucchini, it is amazing how much produce you get off of one or two plants!  I have herbs in the living room for cooking... thyme, rosemary, oregano and a few others, they are great!

There are a few poplar trees in the back yard that I would like to replace, they are getting old and I am afraid they will blow down.  Would be nice to put in a apple tree and some plums.  Problem with the plums is that you need two or three of them to ensure pollination and I have not seen any others in the neighbourhood.  Maybe some raspberries for the kids would be a good choice.

I am thinking of renting a garden plot next year as well.  There are quite a few community gardens that have plots at very reasonable prices.  Would be great for the kids!  Maybe plant a few of those Giant Atlantic Pumpkins.  Nothing says successful gardening like a 200 lb pumpkin!  :)


Call me Dave
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Joined: Sep 3 2009

Just a thought about all of the plums in your neighbourhood...  Does your city have a fruit picking program?  They started on here this year to deal with all of the extra fruit.  Basically, volunteer pickers will come out to the park, or a private house for that matter.  The picked fruit is shared by the tree owner (if applicable), the pickers (if they want it) and the local food bank.  It has been working out really well so far! 

I think the original idea may have come from Toronto...  but I am really not sure about that, been a few weeks since I read the article.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

My nine beanstalks(of 40 beans planted) are now 13 stalks and climbing over the tops of the poles. I tied some rope between the poles for them to climb horizontally. I picked a fistful of beans today, and they were overly long, about ten inches or so. Theyre kind of coarse when they get that large. I'll sautee them in a bit of unsalted butter tomorrow.

And, holy Lard Tunderin Jeezus I've got tomatoes! Sweet 100's, beef steaks, and some other hybrid ones I've forgotten the name of them already. Theyre green and just starting to ripen a little. I'm giving everything lots of water in this wonderful weather we're having.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

They do have a program. I mentioned the schnaps idea because it is already too late.  They are overripe. But fine for wine. Actually there is a lady in the area who is into food security.

I coud confer with her for next year. Perhaps they were forgotton because last year was very bad for fruit. And maybe you need permission on parks land.

In victoria, the city refuses to plant plums. Says it costs 600 for the first 3 years or so!  Actually plums are a weed tree and half of what I harvest in my garden are volunteers. Bunch of the plums in the park are volunteers too! I will ask her if I can get a weed greengauge plum to transplant  from the park for next year.  And it will get harvested by me!. But what of prunes. I tried to make them from the greengauges and the the tast was strong and sour. Horrible! Anyone had success with drying plums? is there a secret?

I have just been so damn busy that I didnt have time to see the wasted plums  until it was too late.  16 days in a row doing masonry is a killer but I am just scared of hitting a slump (like some of my friends). The work is there so I do it.

If you work that much you miss a lot though!

Call me Dave wrote:

Just a thought about all of the plums in your neighbourhood...  Does your city have a fruit picking program?  They started on here this year to deal with all of the extra fruit.  Basically, volunteer pickers will come out t  o the park, or a private house for that matter.  The picked fruit is shared by the tree owner (if applicable), the pickers (if they want it) and the local food bank.  It has been working out really well so far! 

I think the original idea may have come from Toronto...  but I am really not sure about that, been a few weeks since I read the article.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

It is important to pick beans every 3 days. Do not let one bean swell in the pods.  Keep them well watered too. With the big runner beans, if you do this, you will get an incredibly big harvest. (even from 13 plants). Back in ireland, i have made it from mid august to late october with bean harvests from one crop of beans!

Here in vic water is more of an issue so I need 2 sowings to manage this. (you forget to water a couple of days and the beans stop producing). Runner beans are an incredibly producctive plant. Many of the english varietys are stringless.  For some nutty reason, stringless runner beans are hard to find in Canada.

I believe it is due to flaws in the holy free market.  Stringless beans taste better, produce longer, and only get strings if you leave them on the plant way too long. So why are they not readily available.   When I was in England, and even in nowhere town ireland, there were many many more varietys to choose from. Why not here too?

Fidel wrote:

My nine beanstalks(of 40 beans planted) are now 13 stalks and climbing over the tops of the poles. I tied some rope between the poles for them to climb horizontally. I picked a fistful of beans today, and they were overly long, about ten inches or so. Theyre kind of coarse when they get that large. I'll sautee them in a bit of unsalted butter tomorrow.

And, holy Lard Tunderin Jeezus I've got tomatoes! Sweet 100's, beef steaks, and some other hybrid ones I've forgotten the name of them already. Theyre green and just starting to ripen a little. I'm giving everything lots of water in this wonderful weather we're having.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Brian White wrote:

It is important to pick beans every 3 days. Do not let one bean swell in the pods.  Keep them well watered too. With the big runner beans, if you do this, you will get an incredibly big harvest. (even from 13 plants). Back in ireland, i have made it from mid august to late october with bean harvests from one crop of beans

Your plants would love it here, Brian. I've got some kind of artesian spring water on tap in the cellar. It's got a lot of iron in it, but the garden seems to do okay by it. Thanks to you, I've figured out some things about growin proper runner beans. Me mam showed me some years ago how to pull the string from the spine of a runner bean, and slice 'em diagonally French style. Oh aye theyre lovely. Im not bothered about ordinary bush beans. Theyre not the same. My nephew and his wife down the line have some of the best soil for growing things I've ever seen, a barn, and lots of property. But he brought me some runner beans one summer as he remembered me talking about the ones our grands grew in Ingerland. But they were like a foot bloody long! I didnt turn me nose up at 'em though.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

Some of the english beans are more than a foot long AND stringless!  I think the English are more into hobby gardening than any other people in Europe.

I think in Ontario, you probably have better seed selection but here on van island, it is piss poor. Lots of local companys but they are all selling the same varietys. "scarlet runners" means generic runner beans that set seed in 5 hours, go stringy in 12 and  stop producing flowers in 3 days.  (Slight exageration).

The humming birds love my runner bean flowers.  I let collards and kohl rabi go to flower in the spring for them too.

I am going to put remay cloth around my fig tree. I hope it will keep the heat in and ripen them.   There must be about 50 figs in a state of suspended ripening on it for the last 2 weeks. Eating black seedless grapes now. They are sweeter than last year due to the hotter summer.

Brian


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I just cooked a nice dinner - broiled salmon in butter, swiss chard with garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil, and mashed potatoes with rutabaga and onions with a small salad on the side - and the swiss chard, rutabaga, lettuce, and radishes are from my garden.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

I have been eating  black seedless grapes today, and later will have young skinned, and diced spagetti squash cooked up in olive oil with sliced beans. add a little salt and plenty of pepper, and a couple of welsh onions perhaps,  Lovely and all except the olive oil and pepper comes from my garden. The squash bean thing can be stewed up or fried. It is way nicer that I thought it would be.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

This hasn't been a great gardening year for me - the beets are small, and the carrots are slow growing. On the other hand, I have a bumper crop of lettuce and chard. I guess it was too cold, and I didn't till the garden this year.


ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

This past week or so of hotter weather has caused my garden to explode. It's like it was just lying in stasis waiting.  The beans are coming on in buckets and the tomato plants are now full of fruit. Whether they will get to the point of where most of them ripen  is a wait and see situation but I'm trying to set up some season extenders around at least some of the plants. 

 This week I went to a nursery that specializes in native plants and shrubs. They had a wicked sale so I picked up a bunch of mostly shrubs that have edible berries or can be used for other things.  Now the hard part. Planting them all.  Next year if I can manage to get a share from the birds I should have a bunch of different types of berries to eat and make things out of. 

Most of my gardening focus has been on edibles and herbs (edible and medicinal) and haven't done a whole lot of just ornamental stuff. I finally got a new well put in this summer (yay I can shower!) and there's now a big patch of dug up ground smack in the front entrance of the house. It's ugly, ugly, ugly so I'm using it as an excuse to do something 'pretty' with flowers.   I ordered a bunch of bulbs and planned them so that they'll flower from when the snow leaves till August. I feel like a kid at Christmas, watching for the mail everyday. :)


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Quote:
This past week or so of hotter weather has caused my garden to explode. It's like it was just lying in stasis waiting.

My garden is similar.  A couple of weeks ago it looked as if I'd have little production, but yesterday I picked enough cucumbers to just about fill a two-gallon pail.  My corn plants suddenly have cobs!  I'll still need a couple of weeks of frost-free weather to see corn, though.

What the heck, I can make dill pickles now, which a couple of weeks ago I thought would have been impossible this year.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I am so jealous of you two! Laughing  


Bubbles
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Joined: Feb 21 2003

The onions and garlic for some unknown reason did very poorly this year in our kitchen gardens. Normally they do very well. Also I tried Broad beans, but they turned all black. Pumkins also were below expectations.

But we have great tomatoes, potatoes, leek, asparagus, peas, beans, carrots, redbeets, chards, cabbages, the best ever sweetcorn, lots of lettuce, huge sunflowers, way too many squashes, most herbs did well too. We had lots of rain but also a lot of sunshine.

This evening we picked our dried white beans. planted  about hundred grams of seed and harvested about ten kilograms of dry beans, should last us for two years at the least.


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Where do you garden, bubbles?

 

My broad beans did fine this year. Many years ago I grew ful meddames, an Egyptian type of fava bean that is related to broad beans, and they had black specks all over them.

 

I have a few tomatoes, but nothing like the usual.  They are still about a month behind. I don't know if this is because I didn't use bedding plants as I planted from seed I saved.  I put out the seedlings three weeks later than normal, because of our dismal spring, although I started the plants in early March.


Bubbles
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Joined: Feb 21 2003

I live about an hour and a halve north east of Toronto in the Lindsay- Peterborough area.

We have been lucky with our glut of tomatoes, because a lot of our neighbours have been complaning about their rotting tomatoes. One of my kids planted them and I believe they were bedding plants. I was thinking of saving some tomato seeds, never tried it before. How do you go about it? I know that they will often self seed in our garden.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Someone told me if your tomatoes get the black scab, it's due to a lack of water. So I've been watering heck out of mine morning and evenings. One tomater plant is over three feet high and drooping over now with the weight of several beef steak tomatoes only just starting to ripen now. The sweet 100's are ripe and quite sweet to eat. One o these days I'll try one with a tiny sprinkle of salt. I've committed salticide in my heart now I dont know how many times.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

Just a note that in england last year, gardners discovered that cow manure still was a potent herbicide even after it rotted over the winter before been sold to gardeners.   Some new spray on cereals to kill broad leaved weeds. (cows ate the cereal, or were bedded down on the straw, etc and the active ingredient was still active in their composted  poo).

 I think it is possible that a similar thing happens here and it might explain the poor gardening year for some people. england is full of fanatical gardners and they picked it up quickly. We are not so fanatical so it might happen here without people knowing.   I grew up in ireland, and even in a bad year the veggys usually  grew good. I cannot imagine a canadian summer being as bad as an irish one so that is why I speculate about another reason for bad yield.


Bubbles
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Joined: Feb 21 2003

Yes, I heard about that issue also. And it made me wonder about my own operation here. I do not use any pesticides, but I do import onto the farm some feed grains to feed to my lifestock, mostly for my sheep and chickens. It only amounts to a few tons a year, but who wants to have to worry about pesticides in one's compost. Anyway now I am trying to grow that all myself. The trouble is that small combines are difficult to get hold off.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

I have been busy harvesting grapes. So many this year! I am juicing them, and using the pulp to make jam. That seems to work well. I have just been juicing them in a plastic collander. My grapes are seedless which helps a lot. When you juice them, the jam has a lot more solids in it. The grapes  I have have quite a lot of juice.

some people are giving away their grapes on freecycle to winemakers or whoever takes them to use.   (Better than letting them go rotten).

I have a few figs ripening  for my birthday and in a few minutes will be having a bean feast with green beans. I canned some too.

I am hoping for a mild winter so I can harvest swiss chard and welch onions throughout.  A neighbour gave me some winter savory seeds and I have started them.  Hopefully they will grow well too.

Still one bucket of plums in the fridge to make jam from.  Jam has been made from most of the rest.   Some went to my X's favority charity and some of my friends really like the stuff too.  Especially the grape and yellow plum jam.

I dry the black grapes for raisins in a dehydrator because it does not make great jam.   It has much more flavour than the grapes we buy and the raisins have as much flavour as dried cranberrys.  I do not know what either variety is.

Brian


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

 

I've seen so many wild grapes on the vines I've allowed to grow around my fence line and phone/cable lines along the back, that I've been wondering if they'd be worth the time harvesing them and using them for something.  However, the grapes are small, tart and mostly seed. 

I let them grow because the cardinals and robins and other birds seem to enjoy them, and I'm happy to let them have at them this year. But wow, sure is a lotta grapes this year.

Looking around the yard, seems to me plants are kinda off.  Different plants seem to have flowered early, or late, gone to seed early or late.  Maybe it's just me, but things look off schedule, but not uniformly early, or late.  Just all kinda mixed up.

 


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Going to pick my brussel sprouts today, and does anyone know why they are called that?

Have some huge huckle berries to make jam from, never seen them this big, they are like tame blueberry size.

Got pounds and pounds of cherry tomatoes and  am giving some of them away even, I have so many, but am going  to try and make salsa out of the rest,cause I got some wicked habinero peppers  that look decorative hanging from my dinning room light, but...must use them for something.

Horse radish is coming up tomorrow.


RosaL
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Joined: Mar 4 2007

I have quite a few green tomatoes and it's supposed to freeze next week so I'm going to make salsa with some and freeze the rest; I'll use the frozen ones for later batches. Maybe I can give green tomato salsa as Christmas presents. That's the full extent of my garden Laughing

 


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Do you have a recipe that is good that you would like to share? Cause I do too, as it already froze here, and I lost a bunch, so I had to pick the rest of them.

Can you blanch and freeze green tomatoes? I have for red ones, but never green ones.

Now that we have the soil correct in its composition, next year, if we are still here we are going to have a huger garden.

My potatoes, beets and carrots are outstanding, and the brussel sprouts look to be too.


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