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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #900 on: May 04, 2020, 07:23:55 PM »
Just wondering, du sunflowers support a light freeze or is it like the tomatoes?

P-maker

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #901 on: May 04, 2020, 09:01:37 PM »
Etienne,

I tried in vain to find an answer to your question. If anyone can help on this issue, it would be most welcome.

nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #902 on: May 05, 2020, 03:20:11 AM »
Hi P-maker, you kept your sunflower seedlings outside of your climate and soil until the beginning of May. I want to put the seeds directly on/in the outside soil.
If they rot, they will rot. I'll learn from it. They are not planted as food for me. I wish they will help the birds and insects.
The first of May is "International Sunflower Day". There has been some coordinated action here, mainly for children, to plant sunflower seeds in May. The local gardening expert said halfway May is best:
In Frisian: https://www.omropfryslan.nl/nijs/955931-siedsjes-plantsje-op-ynternasjonale-sinneblomdei-elkenien-kin-it

Thank you for the advise on spinach. I have them already in the ground and will put more seeds in at the end of this week. I now know what I likely did wrong; I put the seeds in too deep. More than 1 inch deep.

I'll keep your advise in mind.
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nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #903 on: May 05, 2020, 03:38:28 AM »
Quote from: etienne
Well, since Luxembourg and Belgium are very close to the Netherlands
About this perceived small distance:
Luxembourg and The Netherlands are only 'very close' if you're thinking in fast technological modern transport vehicles such as aeroplane, train, car or motorcycle. Without motor-assisted technology it's a long distance away. It would take me probably three days to cycle to Luxembourg. Without technology, i.e. by walking, it'll take a week.
The big advantage is that with this 'slow' natural transport speed you really know where you have been along the route. There is enough time to take in surroundings and make contact with other people.

Re: Hawthorn
Thank you for explaining etienne, now I understand your message. I'll look out for Hawthorn trees/shrubs and expect that I'll find them (if they're in flower).
I learned some stuff by looking it up on wikipedia, such as that its wood is very hard.


I wish all the gardeners here many hours of satisfying and fruitful gardening.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #904 on: May 05, 2020, 11:47:04 AM »
With respect freezing and sunflowers I found the next article from an Argentine University. It is only in Spanish but this is the translation for the interesting paragraph (South Hemisphere):

"The sunflower is the most frost-resistant crop in its germination stage, as it has a low germination temperature. But if frost occurs in its flowering stage it destroys the plant. Late-sowing sunflowers are not damaged by late frosts in September-October as they occur in frost-resistant vegetative periods; on the other hand, early-sowing sunflowers are affected by their premature sowing date, in their critical phase such as the beginning of flowering.

In the case of other crops, the most critical and vulnerable moment is the first phase of germination-emergence. In these crops, mainly in spring, a great sensitivity to sudden changes in temperature begins. A frost in spring can affect the plant, reducing its yield and even causing its death.
"The damage caused by frost is caused more by the stage of the crop in which it is found than by the intensity of the meteorological phenomenon" explained Professor Martínez Jiménez.

She added that the autumn frosts have shown practically no negative influence on the crops."

http://www.eschaco.com/vernota.asp?id_noticia=60480

P-maker

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #905 on: May 05, 2020, 01:11:58 PM »
Aporia_filia,

Thanks a lot for your translation. That should make the forth-coming cold outbreak from the Arctic more bearable.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #906 on: May 05, 2020, 08:36:41 PM »
Yes, thank you very much.  That's good to know, because I always planted them in pots or in May. That's for next year.

wili

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #907 on: May 05, 2020, 10:17:37 PM »
"It would take me probably three days to cycle to Luxembourg"

That depends on where you are in the Netherlands and where you are going to in Luxembourg (and I suppose how good your bike is and how good of shape you are in! :) )

According to google maps, a Maastricht to Weiswampach bike trip is 130 km, about 7 hours.

But yeah, going by bike or walking brings a very different relationship to the land.

I think it was C.S. Lewis who said that flying destroys time and space.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #908 on: May 06, 2020, 04:23:03 AM »
^^
Nice response.

From my place to Maastricht by bicycle is more than 350 Km and when I wrote 'three days', I didn't mean racing there as fast as possible but an average daily total of 8 hours cycling (with 2x a 1 hour stop) at 20 Km/h. The bicycle will be packed with tent, sleeping bag, rain clothes, towel etc. That's three days cycling, But, then... I get to meet etienne :) and enjoy his beautiful garden. If I'm lucky there'll be a cold beer waiting for me.

C.S.Lewis was right about destroying time and space. Going fast in an enclosed vehicle is like a time-warp through non-space. You miss out so much. I like to extend C.S.Lewis' time&space-destruction to cars and motorcycles. On a motorcycle you're still a bit outside. On busses and trains you can still take in the surroundings but it's like watching a movie on fast forward. When it's finished, you haven't seen the movie.
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"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #909 on: May 06, 2020, 07:52:22 AM »
 :you're welcome. Maastricht Luxembourg is worth more than 3 days, on the German and on the Belgian sides, but as far as I know, they are better equipped for pedestrians than for bicycles. I think that the roads could be dangerous and it goes up and down all the time.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #910 on: May 06, 2020, 10:06:14 AM »
Walking to Luxemburg to see if the hawthornes are blooming, seems a bit inefficient. Who will water the plants while you're gone?  ;)
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #911 on: May 06, 2020, 05:15:54 PM »
A friend asked if I was a 'seasoned gardener' and I'll respond here:

I'm not a seasoned gardener.  I did some 'real' vegetable gardening 25+ years ago (in New Hampshire) with mediocre results (and nobody to ask for help, or so I felt).  I live in a north Florida forest now with a tiny area in which to grow anything and with a rather intense 2-3 hours of direct sunshine, and have not done much more than some flowers and an occasional cherry tomato in a large pot. One year I grew some winter squash, once some beans, but flowers do better (roses and pansies bloom nearly year round) and they're prettier to look at.

 A volunteer papaya started growing in a window box 2 years ago (my brother got me started composting when I was 8 or 9, and I never stopped) and I transplanted it to a large pot.  It over wintered its first winter in my house (I have many potted nun orchards  that spend 9 months in light shade outside and 3 months by a south-facing window inside where they bloom for a month.) and then last fall it started to fruit, set out in a prime sunny place over my septic leach field.  As it had rooted through the pot into the ground, I left it out last winter.  (The fruit was too high up for it to fit in my house, anyway.)  We had two 'just barely' frosts which killed the papaya's leaves back but didn't affect the dozen baby-to-immature-large fruit and the plant survived - it started to re-leaf immediately.  I harvested my first papaya last week.  It didn't have any seeds and the flavor was OK (a little bland), but hey, free fruit!  Because the tree is over my leach field, I'll have to take it out this coming fall/winter (fruit or no fruit) as you should only grow very shallow rooted plants (traditionally only grass) over a leach field.
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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #912 on: May 06, 2020, 11:15:23 PM »
hawthornes under the moon.


El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #913 on: May 07, 2020, 07:55:56 AM »

 A volunteer papaya started growing in a window box ...

It didn't have any seeds and the flavor was OK (a little bland), but hey, free fruit! 

volunteers are the best! If you are consciously a bit careless with your garden (I am) then you will get all kinds of volunteers. I have potatoes coming up in one of my beds now, tomatoes happen to come up all the time, carrots as well, sometimes onions.
I also have rose-hips which I try to graft with various rose varieties (sometimes I succeed, more often not), I have wild cherry plums popping up, and I grafted two of them last year (so I have some new apricot shoots this year on them). I also dig up and replant volunteers that are not where I would like them to be (eg. beautiful flowering lupines and last year found some holly seedlings, the year before that some yews).
Semi wild gardening is fun!

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #914 on: May 07, 2020, 07:04:13 PM »
One more thing: it seems that my mini-passive solar greenhouse is working as I harvested my first cherry tomato of the year! 8)

Melons would need more heat as I see it, they don't grow as fast as I had hoped. But tomatoes have a great time, they look healthy, I see many green ones and many flowers!

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #915 on: May 08, 2020, 05:08:03 PM »
Hard freeze warning for much of US northeast. Better try to cover what you can but fruit trees that have bloomed are going to lose this years crop. A hard freeze in May is going to be a very hard lesson for gardeners in some areas of US.

Hat tip to Voxmundi
https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/frosts-freezes-snowflakes-northeast-braces-for-a-miserably-memorable-may-weekend

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #916 on: May 10, 2020, 11:34:21 AM »
Slugs are back in Luxembourg.
The French government organized a web site to help people since many chemicals are not allowed anymore. Here is what they say about it. Nothing really new.
https://www.jardiner-autrement.fr/lutter-contre-les-limaces-et-les-escargots/

I have a new gardening book that recommends a mulch with oak's leaves (too early) or horsetail (don't have any), so right now I cut them in 2 pieces.

uniquorn

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #917 on: May 10, 2020, 04:14:32 PM »
We mulch a lot of oak leaves and we still have slugs, mostly these

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #918 on: May 10, 2020, 05:00:51 PM »
Slugs and snails can be controlled with hydrated lime. Cut some pvc pipe lengthwise to make long channels on the ground and sprinkle hydrated lime in the long grove created . Create a little moat around sensitive crops. I only go through the hassle to save something valuable like ripe strawberries.
But it sure beats flashlights and slug hunts.
 Rain will wash away powder but easy to sprinkle more on later. It won’t hurt your dirt and may even improve it. Careful if you already have high pH soils but amount needed to stop slugs is very little compared to what is needed to alter soil pH.

uniquorn

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #919 on: May 10, 2020, 05:11:36 PM »
Good idea. We have acid soil and try to add a bit of lime between planting and mulching but I sprinkle it around the edge of the polytunnel when I remember. I think we have some old gutters that would make a better barrier.

vox_mundi

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #920 on: May 10, 2020, 07:23:55 PM »
uniquorn

You might want to try coffee grounds or old left-over brewed coffee (works better).

It's the caffeine that gets them.

Open Access: Caffeine kills slugs and snails
https://www.nature.com/articles/news020624-8
https://www.nature.com/articles/news020624-8.pdf

-----------------------

Bruce

Thanks, we just dodged a blossom freeze here in southern Connecticut. It got down to 34°F with some mixed rain and snow. 15-20 mph breeze.

It would have been a shame, because the whole apple and pear orchard at the community garden is in bloom. Peaches bloomed about 2-3 weeks ago. Even my pawpaw is blooming late
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El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #921 on: May 14, 2020, 06:15:44 PM »
Damn...

That Arctic high pressure dome sure pushed some cold air into the US (NYC snow) and Europe. Yesterday morning I measured 0 C in the garden and we very-very rarely have freezing temperatures in May. I lost almost all sweetpotatoes, all basils, most of my tomatoes, and 3 my melons survived (barely) because I put some covers on them. Even half of sweet corn died. I am so sad  :'(

Of course everything survived in the mini-greenhouse, where it did not even go below 6-7 C, but that is only a small area (5 tomato plants, 3 melons, salads, and some broccoli are in there). Luckily I have some leftover transplants so I put them outside today. I hope no more frost comes, as these are my last reserves in this war :)

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #922 on: May 14, 2020, 08:38:20 PM »
El Cid , I consider any sensitive plants planted before May 1 as early but getting hit a couple weeks into May is hard because there is a lot planted by then. Good to hear you maintain backup starts.
 I am into excess production because the carrots are getting too big and some of the cabbage heads are splitting. Making sauerkraut .Snap Peas are finishing and this year I am going to collect field pea plants to dry and then thresh out dried peas. First attempt at dried pea harvest.
 Planting Lima beans and black eyed peas between corn rows . First cultivation through half acre of corn finished. Electric assist and by hand.
 Keep planting , the season is still young.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #923 on: May 14, 2020, 09:23:05 PM »
half an acre of corn by hand? that is a lot...

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #924 on: May 14, 2020, 10:04:47 PM »
El Cid, The electric wheelhoe goes between rows and then I use a hoe between individual plants. Whatever is left I pull by hand. About 5 or 6 hours of work but it needs repeating several more times before harvest. Harvesting, drying, threshing, seed cleaning are also labor intense without fossil fuels but with a couple electric gadgets it is not really too difficult.
 I have been focused on Spelt , wheat, and dried corn but peas and beans to round out a balanced protein profile. Although I have more common garden veggies those crops that can be dried and stored are my priority but I have started sauerkraut as a way to preserve cabbage . Cabbage are very productive and around here they grow during the winter rain season and can withstand frosts. I have several dozen ready so I better chop, salt and macerate.
 

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #925 on: May 14, 2020, 11:17:15 PM »
Damn...

That Arctic high pressure dome sure pushed some cold air into the US (NYC snow) and Europe. Yesterday morning I measured 0 C in the garden and we very-very rarely have freezing temperatures in May. I lost almost all sweetpotatoes, all basils, most of my tomatoes, and 3 my melons survived (barely) because I put some covers on them. Even half of sweet corn died. I am so sad  :'(

Of course everything survived in the mini-greenhouse, where it did not even go below 6-7 C, but that is only a small area (5 tomato plants, 3 melons, salads, and some broccoli are in there). Luckily I have some leftover transplants so I put them outside today. I hope no more frost comes, as these are my last reserves in this war :)

That really sucks. Sorry to hear it, El Cid.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #926 on: May 16, 2020, 06:38:27 AM »
Because of a couple very light frosts last winter, my papaya tree has a Dr. Seuss-tree appearance (all the leaves are at the top).  I harvested a second papaya fruit yesterday.  About a dozen small fruit remain, and should take all summer to grow (I hope).

A robin is nesting right there where all the leaves sprout from (and very convenient to the bird feeder 2 meters away and bird bath 5 meters away). 
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Pmt111500

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #927 on: May 17, 2020, 04:48:09 AM »
Oh no, sorry to hear El Cid. We've been having frosts as well, this is of course nothing new for southern Finland in May, but it's been so almost every night now for a week. Just two days ago tried to start a bench of perennials by the side of the parking-lot. Set out saplings of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperis_matronalis and had to take them back in. Probably they would've survived the frost and sleet, but...  I believe it's the lack of air traffic that let's the warmth of the day escape easier. Could now go scrape the cars and make a snowball
Cooling the outside by heat pump.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #928 on: May 17, 2020, 07:37:18 AM »
It's funny, on wikipedia, in French, many plants, including the Hesperis matronalis have a medical use. Not so much in English.
The freezing was also very strong over here. I'm lucky that my wife stopped me in my will to plant. We lost some pumpkins, unfortunately the ones the kids wanted to try to sale during the summer. It was the first time they wanted to try it.

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #929 on: May 17, 2020, 10:39:05 AM »
Here, in the wild, we started the year with amazingly sunny warm days. Everything came out too soon. Then this colder and very rainy spring dropped almost all cherries down and, a part from some apples, the rest of tree fruits disappeared. I'm not allowed to have a greenhouse, so all my summer orchard is being planted now (too late)
I have never seen so many slugs in my whole life. A week ago I counted 48 in a mere 2x2m plot. They are even climbing the house's walls and getting into the pots.
It is really a strange season, but the caws, goats and sheep are very happy, the grass has growth so much it's difficult to walk through it.

nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #930 on: May 25, 2020, 07:08:52 AM »
I have a question.
When germinating seeds to produce seedlings, I read and see that first the seed is in a very small container, after geminating and growing a bit, it gets transferred to a larger container for some to time to grow further and then it can be transferred to an even larger container.

What I don't understand is: Why do it like that in stead of putting the seed directly in the largest container?
Perhaps it has something to do with the development of the root system?
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #931 on: May 25, 2020, 07:23:55 AM »
Transplanting from container to the ground should only require one container. There are plug trays where you need to transplant very early before the roots get too crowded or bigger containers that allow you some time to grow larger transplants but generally transplanting is a shock to young plants.
 So if it is late in the planting season and you want to get hundreds of tomato’s into the garden use plug trays but if you are planting in the greenhouse to get plants started early use a container large enough to allow root growth until you can transplant .

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #932 on: May 25, 2020, 07:44:27 AM »
There are plants like tomatoes where you really don't know which seed will germinate, so you can let them germinate together, than you can separete them in individual containers.
I use the germination in containers technique also because of slugs and birds, otherwise I don't know if the plant has been eaten or if there was no germination.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #933 on: May 29, 2020, 09:04:16 AM »
In the fight against slugs, I have found a flower, the rudbeckia hirta, that is so much liked by slugs that it seems to protects the other ones around. Looks like it helps.
My wife wanted some because of the flowers, and they were so much eaten that I put some between my vegetables. It seems to become big, but in the strategical places, some animals, I guess slugs, keep them small. In other places, they grow normally. It's a north American plant, don't know if you have experiences with that plant. Here, it is only used for decoration.

nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #934 on: May 31, 2020, 09:47:45 AM »
Photo's of my north-south arranged allotment  (ca. 3 x 25 m).
Top image is from 28 April, showing the southern half of my allotment. The small ditches and holes in the soil are for irrigation and water retention after rain.
Bottom image is from 16 May, showing the northern half with my two tomato plants and an wildish part where I have put lavender plants and sunflower seeds (which are germinating nicely and growing fast) and wild flower seeds (dunno how to recognise the small plant amongst many).
I plan to irrigate only once per week except the potatoes which have not had irrigation yet by me. I don't want to manually put water on but we are in record drought here in the Netherlands and this is my first year of vegetable gardening so I'd like to harvest something.

Tidiness is unnatural because nothing in living nature is tidy. I try to have no supremacy/domination and minimal control/intervention.
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Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #935 on: May 31, 2020, 10:54:05 AM »
nanning,

by the look of it, this seems pretty poor soil (but I might be wrong)...you will probably need to find some compost, manure, hay, or something to make it darker, stronger, more alive. And use cover crops, especially nitrogen-fixers, eg. (my favourite) planting crimson clover in September (which lives thru the winter and starts growing again next spring), and will have amazing, beautiful flowers in May (pic shown). Then you can just cut it at the end of May when they have flowered. They will not come back, and you can transplant things into this mulch. Just an idea. It helps the soil, it is beautiful, it keeps back weeds and helps water retention as mulch. What's not to like? (the only drawback is that with this you can start planting only at the end, or middel of May, but that is OK, if you do warm loving crops, like tomatoes, basil, peppers, melons, squash, okra, etc)

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #936 on: May 31, 2020, 03:05:59 PM »
If you have the edible type of lavender, you can make some syrup. The flowers have to be collected when the bees are not  interested anymore. You put it in a pan, add water so that it reaches the level of the flowers, let cook it for 15 minutes and let it stay one more hour.
When that's done, you filter it, keeps the liquid, add the same weigh of sugar and cook it an extra 15 minutes. Afterward you can put it in bottles. When you feel nervous, you can mix some of the syrup with hot water and drink it as a tee.
You can do the same with thyme, but that's for when you have a cold, also to be mixed with hot water.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #937 on: June 20, 2020, 12:43:07 PM »
Like I already said, we opened a new area in the garden to plant vegetables. It was end March, so it was a little bit late for al the soil preparation and weeds destruction, so we mainly planted potatoes, zucchinis, onions, tomatoes, green peas, pumpkins. Brussels sprouts and sunflowers. Sunflowers are manly for the birds, I tried to plant beans that would grow on them, but they have been eaten by slugs.

It was the way we used some time during the lockdown.

The result right now is very good, but I'm worried about the mildew. I was expecting the green peas to be faster ripe so that the potatoes would have enough space. We'll see.

 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 07:59:55 PM by etienne »

nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #938 on: June 21, 2020, 07:36:46 AM »
Here are some photo's of my vegetable garden. Taken at 8.30 AM.

As you can see, I have some weeding to do. Mostly rye grass and plants that take sunshine away from my vegetables.
I weed by sitting on my knees and putting my hands into the soil to remove the plant but getting the roots out is many times not achievable because of the risk of disturbing the vegetables. More repetitive work but I really like working the land. Especially now I understand it a bit more. I still am a layperson though.

I got my garden in Februari and had no time to put compost on. I think my soil is a bit poor in nutrients, so in the fall I will put on compost. Still learning.

You may be surprised by the amount of other plants but that is my goal, to minimally intervene and work with living nature and not have complete control/domination. All other gardens have bare soil around their plants and use all kinds of technology to suppress and control/dominate living nature. I have not bought any equipment for my garden.

I think my irrigation system (canals between vegetable rows or holes) is working well. Others don't have it. We're in record drought here so it holds more water than non-irrigated plots. It also is a barrier for snails etc.
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nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #939 on: June 21, 2020, 07:39:23 AM »
Second batch:
(the 2 tomato and 2 cherry tomato plants are growing well and have flowered already. They are hard to distinguish on the photo's)
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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #940 on: June 21, 2020, 08:01:19 AM »
Nice pictures, but I never heard that removing weeds would disturb the other plants. I think that it might even be the oposite because it would mix the soil and that would be positive. Roots of the weeds decay in the ground and that could also help.
Some weeds, if you don't remove them before they have seeds, can become invasive. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the other gardeners around you would selectively remove some plants.

nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #941 on: June 21, 2020, 10:20:27 AM »
Thanks etienne.

The roots of rye grass don't decay in the soil I think. After initially having removed all plants and roots from the top 15 cm of the soil, they just come back up fast because the roots will sprout new plants. A very successful plant.
You don't see it on the photo's but there are many non-vegetable plants flowering and I have many pollinating insects and have not have any so-called 'pests' yet.
 Working with my hands in the soil, if I'm not careful, sometime I grasp a potato or a vegetable root. I have to be careful. The advantage of my method is that I don't just cut the roots and mix it in the soil but try to get the whole root out. Of course working the soil on your knees with your hands (and nails!) is great. I only use technology if necessary and most of the time there are creative alternative ways which gives me a good feeling because I did it without help. I really like finding creative alternative solutions.

This weeding is something that I have to do regularly because, especially the rye grass, it keeps coming up. Other gardeners call it rye grass but I'm not sure it is "lolium perenne".
Originally I planned to not add water myself but let nature take its course. That was not feasible because of the extreme drought here. Well, it was feasible but then I likely wouldn't have any harvest. That's a small concession. I am learning to find the best balance.

Other gardeners remove everything except their vegetables and fruit plants. They have created deserts imo. I have not seen them on their knees yet. Most gardeners wear gloves. I get my hands dirty.

I expected some shocked reactions about all that non-vegetable green i.e. what you call weeds.
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El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #942 on: June 21, 2020, 10:56:06 AM »
If you strive for a more "natural" looking garden, some weeds are absolutely OK (my garden also has some weeds, sometimes real big ones...I think that's OK, but my dad, a real master gardener for decades runs screaming away seeing my garden :)

What you can also do is that you do not pull the weeds but instead cut them at surface level. Then gather all the cut weeds, grasses, whatever and mulch around your bigger plants, like tomatoes or beans thickly, 10-15 cm thick. This way the cut weeds serve as mulch ie. they stop more weeds coming up around yout plants and release their nutrients into the soil. This is often easier than pulling weeds

wili

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #943 on: June 21, 2020, 06:27:11 PM »
nan, you might try sewing winter rye this fall. It will compete with your other grasses, but is an annual so won't keep coming back.

Grasses are pretty amazing really. I read that a four month old sprout of rye will have a root system that, if you laid out every bit of it in a straight line, would be something like 500 k long, iirc.

So they can be great at developing soils (basically how the American midwest got its deep but now thinning layer of topsoil), but yeah, perennial grasses can be a major hassle.

If you follow Cid's advise, just be sure you got the 'weeds' before they started putting out seed, or you will be basically helping the weeds reseed into your garden.

If you have a big enough compost (~ on meter ^3), it will likely get hot enough to kill most weed seeds.

Best, of luck, and just so you know, I encourage and even plant certain 'weeds' (native grasses and flowers), but regularly move them off to the periphery of the garden.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #944 on: June 22, 2020, 04:56:26 AM »
Thank you for that great advice El Cid! I'll try that.

And thank you wili for more advice and interesting information.
Searching for "winter rye" gives the wikipedia page for "Rye", a cereal grain grass. Every morning I breakfast with rye bread with sunflower seed and fresh raw sheep cheese and a baked chicken egg (all organic of course). If I get a bit of harvest of rye, I could try to make it into 'bread'. It will probably fail because I've read that it is not an easy and fast process.

Question:
Before the winter season I plan to cover my plot with a layer of dung & compost. Will that hinder the winter rye plants from growing?

Do I understand correctly that by 1 m³ of compost, you mean a separate mound of size 1 x 1 x 1 m? Otherwise the temperatures will not rise as high I think.
I think this means a different method for making compost than spreading the cut plants over the soil between the vegetables (what El Cid advises).
I should perhaps start with a special compost heap by making a square of planks to hold it in. My compost bucket at home also contains remnants of meat and fish. Some say that that's not good for compost but I cannot understand that.

Tips and advices are always much appreciated.
Thanks for your help.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #945 on: June 22, 2020, 05:47:47 AM »
From GardeningKnowHow
Quote
Meat Composting Info
If we consider that meat in compost is an organic material, then the easy answer is, “yes, you can compost meat scraps.” However, the question is a bit more complicated than that. Some areas, for good reason, prohibit composting meat because of the very real possibility of pests, such as rats, raccoons and the neighbor’s dog, infiltrating the compost pile and not only creating a mess, but possibly spreading disease. Not only can composting meat encourage pests, but it can also harbor pathogens, especially if your compost pile is not hot enough to kill them off. E coli bacteria, for example, can live for two years. Hopefully, however, there is no sign of this bacterium in the meat scraps you are trying to compost! Nonetheless, there is potential there for serious illness, or worse, if the resulting compost contaminates the table food one is growing. Notwithstanding the potential for vermin, meat in compost piles also tends to smell a bit rank, especially if it is not mixed in and the pile is not “cooking” at a high enough temperature, although cooked meat will break down faster than raw and so tends to be a bit less offensive. This said, meat in compost is high in nitrogen and, as such, tends to facilitate the breaking down of the pile. So, if you decide to compost meat scraps, make sure the compost is turned frequently and keep composting meat within the interior of the pile. Also, the amount of composting meat should only be a very small percentage of the entire make-up of the compost.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Composting Meat: Can You Compost Meat Scraps https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-meat-scraps.htm
I could use my own words, but they say it so much better.

I lived on a farm once where they (some three years before I arrived) tried to compost a dead cow.  Apparently, they covered it with tons of vegetable matter (branches and weeds, wood chips and manure mostly) but it stank to high heaven (no, a little higher than that).  At one point they burned the pile, and when cooled, covered it with more organic stuff, plus some dirt, but it still stank horribly. They did 'succeed', as in, when they spread the pile around when I was there, it all looked like good earth.
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El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #946 on: June 22, 2020, 08:18:54 AM »
1. meat composting:

burying the dead cow in vegetables is a mistake. You need lots of carbon to counterbalance the nitrogen (the veggies have to low C content vs N hence the terrible smell). You can compost cows, dogs, humans, anyhing with woodchips (C:N ratio very high). Cover them 0,5 m from every side and keep wet. Turn after a few months. Safe method.

2. Rye cover crop: I prefer crimson clover for the flowers and nitrogen production but you can also you rye (or both at the same time). The advantage of rye is that you can plant it later and will still establish very well. Growing it for grain in your small plot is not really useful as it will give you very little but takes up a big area. Instead, sow it in October, and cut or even better roll it down (with a plank or barrel even) in May. Transplant into this.

3. Hot and fast composting: google the "berkeley method" on how to do it properly. Read the original article by dr. Raabe 

nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #947 on: June 22, 2020, 09:21:55 AM »
Interesting tips and information Tor and El Cid, much appreciated. I still don't know what I'm going to do with composting and winter rye because some methods are not feasible for me/my garden situation.

I don't throw away animal muscle (meat & fish) because I eat it all, even when it's past its best-before-date or if it's a bit smelly. A bit of fungus can be removed.
The only things from animals that I waste into compost are:
meat: skin of tongue of cow and pieces of hard fat & tendons
fish:   skin and bones

El Cid, I would like to have a small flax harvest next year (seeding in April, harvest in July). To learn from the process of making linen and not to get usable products. Just as a (labour-intensive) experiment.
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El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #948 on: June 23, 2020, 08:04:45 AM »
nanning,

Unfortunately I have zero experience with flax but one of my friends made cloth out of nettle (there are many videos on youtube on how to do it). It is an extremely labor-intensive process! But if you have the time and will, that is great. Good luck!

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #949 on: June 23, 2020, 11:22:30 PM »
We plant a few square metres of flax every march, mostly to add the seeds to muesli but I've kept all the stalks dry in the barn. They might make a rough coat one day. A row of nails in a plank of wood is helpful for pulling the seeds off. Then beat them in an old pillow case. Winnowing in a breeze wasn't very successful so we use a fan blowing over a sheet on a slope.