Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Building A Raised Bed For Beans

 I think I've mentioned that I've amassed almost 100 varieties of beans that I wanted to plant out this year. Well, I have to be realistic about things. I'm going to have to split that number in half and then I may need to pitch out a few  from those.

This is a new garden from me. Last year, we bought the exact same soil blend for my raised beds, from the exact same place. Each time, the soil blend is different, if only by a little bit. We ran across a screaming deal for mushroom compost. I bought 30 bags of it for $1 per bag. They aren't tiny bags, either. Anyhow, I planted out several raised beds with early spring stuff. We have had weird weather this year so far. I think I heard on the news that it's been a desperately needed wet spring, the 10th wettest on record. We've been in a drought here in western Washington state. Click here to read more about that.

I knew that, this year, I wasn't even about to think about setting out my tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or cucurbits until after the first week of June unless we start getting some warmer, dryer temperatures around these parts. I started my nightshades on March 1st. I seeded in my cucurbits less than a week ago. I planted out kale, lettuce, radishes and bok choy the first week of March. It's starting to bolt.

Yes, the weather has been weird this year, for sure.

So, with all that, I'll be direct seeding beans in the first week of June and I needed a raised bed for them. I plan on using a T-post and shrog trellis system for them. We were asked if we wanted some old lumber that someone we know wasn't going to be using. We said sure! With the cost of lumber, we're more than happy to take whatever anyone wants to give us! There was enough for Bob to build me out a 3x25-foot raised bed. It will be around 7.5 inches deep and it will be plenty of room to grow out pole beans. Now, I am going to be growing out 4 bean varieties for Russell Crow this year. Those will not be down there in the bed. Those are going to be isolated and I'll use grow bags for those.


Down there where that tall grass is, in front of the alder, that's where the bean bed is to be put in. I had wanted a 50 foot one, but it wouldn't fit into the area.


First, Bob laid landscaping fabric. The fabric, when unfolded is 6 feet. This is perfect because the bed is 3 feet wide, so this fabric can be doubled up. I, eventually,want that whole area down there to be wood chips. I don't want any grass.


We realize that this lumber will rot off in a few years. It's not in the greatest shape now. It's raw lumber. It's not treated. We're okay with it rotting away because once that area is covered in wood chips, it's done it's job.


These boards aren't going to win any beauty contests, for sure, but they will work. I'm all about making free stuff work.

Bob is hard at work. He can mark this off of his honey-do list.

I can't wait to get this planted out and growing! I have to go through my beans and decide which will be planted and which won't.

Egyptian Walking Onions are starting to reproduce.

I appreciate him doing this for me.


Sasha is supervising. She's good at that job.


He's just finishing up.


Tacking down the landscape fabric. The landscape fabric was given to us along with the lumber.


And...
It's built! It's ready to go. I'm guessing that it will take around a yard and a half or so to fill it.


Garden Chat With Enoch Graham

 Recently, I got to chat with Enoch Graham. For those of you that don't know, Enoch has a YouTube channel called The Urban Gardener and a Facebook group called Let's Get Growing. I'll post links at the end of the post. Make sure to subscribe to Enoch's channel and ask to join his group. Both are awesome.





Q: What do you specialize in, as far as gardening?
A:
I grow fruits and vegetables in small urban spaces. I am using containers and elevated raised beds as well as in-ground spaces along my city alleyways. Using all sorts of organic methods to grow as much of my own food as I can. There are so many ways to take advantage of just a little amount of space, and it is my mission to learn and teach as many methods as I can to help encourage others to start a garden and grow food for themselves.


Q: When did you first get interested in growing?
A:
I have always had an interest in growing things, as a kid I followed in my mothers love for plants and grew many of my own. I grew a lot of houseplants throughout my life, but it wasn’t until 10 years ago that I was gifted a cucumber seedling and grew that plant out on my apartment balcony at the time. I had never thought, because of my small space living, that I could grow my own food. So I continued to grow more and more each season since, and today I share my gardening adventures with many viewers on my YouTube channel “the Urban Gardener.” That cucumber started a passion for gardening that continues to grow to this day.




Q: Do you have a personal favorite to grow?
A:
I enjoy the process of growing new to me varieties of plants, but if I were to choose one, it would be peppers. Every variety of pepper plant presents it’s own set of challenges for success, and there are so many varieties. There are delicious sweets to brain melting super-hots with an array of pod shapes and sizes. I usually grow about 20 different varieties each season in 5-gallon wicking containers around our gardens. My favorite variety of pepper is a super sweet variety called Doux des Landes, it has a large long deep red pod that looks like a big cayenne with a nicely ribbed top. If you didn’t know, you would probably think that it was a hot pepper, as it does disguise itself well. These peppers are sweet as candy and super delicious. They usually don’t make it to the kitchen as I snack on them right in the garden.


Q: On average, how many plants do you grow at once?
A:
Too many to count, lol. I really do try to grow as much food as I can, and grow hundreds of plants throughout the season. I do mostly keep to growing the things that I enjoy eating, trying new varieties of those things. I also try to grow something new each season as well to expand my tastes and growing knowledge, this year I am trying okra. I saw some plants last season and knew I had to grow those beautiful flowers as well as give the plant a taste test.





Q: Tell me about your mentor. Who are they and why?
A:
I don’t have any personal mentors in gardening or otherwise, but I do have a lot of big influences. When I first began growing my own food I learned from a lot of YouTube gardeners, as it was a great place to get the basic knowledge I needed to grow my own garden. Like Ray Browning, I learned a lot about gardening from him but mostly that the rules are pretty loose and that experimenting with growing is a great way to learn. He was also a big influence on me starting my own YouTube channel years later. One of the greatest things about my channel is that I have had the chance to meet some of my biggest influences in gardening. Even gaining friendships with some, like John Kohler from “Growing Your Greens” who I watched for years and since have done many videos with.

Q: Tell me what inspired you to start vlogging on YouTube?
A:
I was watching Ray on his channel “Praxxus 55712” many years ago and he bought a new camera and was giving away his old cameras through a contest. I entered to win the cameras, but at the time I hadn’t even thought about starting a channel with them. I don’t even know what I would have done with them really, but in the long run I didn’t win them. It did however plant a seed in my brain that after having many people compliment my gardens and the way I used the spaces, I began to think about sharing some of what I had learned over the last several years. So I began to think about Ray, and how he was just this regular guy showing people how to garden. Even though I had never envisioned myself doing that sort of thing I thought I should give it a shot. It really changed my life, the people I have met in the gardening community are the greatest and the support I get from them is amazing!




Q: How many varieties of seeds are in your personal collection right now?
A:
I have a lot of seeds in my collection, definitely in the hundreds. With many added each season. I also love to grow out several varieties of plants in the garden to save the seeds from too. It took a little while to gain the skills to grow most things from seed, but it is a great feeling to grow and harvest from plants that you have grown from seed. Especially from seed you saved from last season!

Q: What is the rarest seed in your collection?
A:
The rarest seeds I have are probably some pepper crosses that I have been gifted by some talented pepper growers. For the most part I tend to stick with a collection of seeds that I am growing consistently, but I do like trying some new things when they come my way. Like some luffa gourd seeds a friend sent me last season that I am trying to get a successful plant from.




Q: What is the name of your Facebook group and your YouTube channel?
A:
Let's Get Growing! A Gardening Group on Facebook. Click here to join.
On, YouTube, The Urban Gardener. Click here to view and subscribe.
Click here to follow on Instagram.

And for the last question:

Q: What has been your favorite garden to visit for your vlog?
A:
Even though I enjoy sharing my own gardens with the viewers of the Urban Gardener channel, I really like to visit with other gardeners and see their growing spaces. I have been fortunate and have seen many really cool gardens, from a rooftop garden on a building in Portland to one of our “Let’s Get Growing!” FB group member’s home urban garden. My favorite garden that I have been to visit has to be L.A.’s “The Urban Homestead,” an awesome urban farm run by the Dervaes family since 1985, it is just an amazing space to be in for a lover gardens such as myself. I encourage everyone to check out our channels “features” playlists and see some of these awesome visits.

I'd like to thank Enoch for taking time out to humor me and my questions. I know that this is a busy time of the year for everyone.
So, make sure to subscribe to Enoch's YouTube channel and join his Facebook group and GET GROWING!!

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Heirloom Tomato Chat With Kim Lund

 I got a chance to chat with Kim Lund regarding her passion for heirloom tomatoes. This woman is a steward, not only of tomatoes, but heirloom bean varieties. I know I'll be buying seeds from her for my 2023 garden season, for sure!




Q: What do you specialize in, as far as gardening?
A: I specialize in tomatoes. They are my true passion.

Q: When did you first get interested in growing rare and/or obscure heirloom tomato varieties?
A: I once, years ago, bought a Heirloom tomato variety called Belgium Giant and I fell in love with it and started researching heirloom varieties and got hooked.

Q: Do you have a personal favorite tomato?
A: I love all tomatoes, I have several favorites that will always have a space in my garden, Giant Belgium is one.
Cour Antico de Acqui Terme is a great tomato, large and in charge, great for all things tomato, Monkey Ass, Girls Girls Weird Thing.

Q: On average, how many tomato plants do you grow in a year?
A: I try to get about 120 or so. I sell to the local restaurant so I need a lot of varieties.


Q: Tell me about your mentor. Who are they and why?
A: My father was my mentor, we gardened together for many years. He handed his passion down to me. Then when I met Martin Longseth and he became my mentor and teacher. The man was full of knowledge. He taught me a lot about not only tomatoes but different things to do with gardening. He was a great friend who is greatly missed.


Q: How many varieties of heirloom tomato seeds do you have for sale currently?
A: I currently have well over 4000 varieties, over 100 categorized in Seedsavers. (seedsavers.org)


Q: How would people get in touch with you to order?
A: They can contact me on Facebook or at Seed Savers Exchange online.


Q: Are you planning on having a website in the future?
A: I have been looking into it, but with running the farm and greenhouse sales and the garden I just don't really know when I will find the time, but it is in the future. I have many rare varieties. I am collecting rare to the United States varieties as we speak. I have several family heirlooms from many other Countries that are not available here in the U.S. The rarest I have now I would say is Campbells 33.

**Side note: Kim has many of the Campbell's varieties. These all come with a number. I ordered my Campbell's 1327 from her last year. She also has many of the different Heinz varieties in her collection. Those, like Campbell's, come with a number after the name. I find these varieties fascinating because I grow to preserve for winter use. Campbell's and Heinz are forever developing newer and tastier tomato varieties. My thoughts are that you can't go wrong with those if you are growing out to can up sauce, paste, ketchup, etc.


Q: What's the best tomato group on Facebook?
A: I find them all to be great groups. I like to see what the daily subject will be on all of them. I don't usually do much on them but I do peruse them all.


I very much enjoyed my chat with Kim. She's super knowledgeable and helpful when I was placing an order with her last year and told her what I was intending to do. Her seed prices are more than reasonable and shipping was fast!
As a matter of fact, I have some Julia Child tomatoes going that are from the seeds that I bought from Kim.

Click here to visit Seed Savers Exchange.
Click here to visit Heirloom Tomato Addicts Anonymous. You can always post and tag Kim in there.


Thank you, Kim, for indulging me. I know how busy you are so I do feel honored that you took a bit of time out to chat with me.




Friday, May 13, 2022

Gardening Chat With Gabi Beyler

 You all know that I am a full-time RV dweller. I had joined a full time RV group a while back and that's where I met Gabi. I found out that Gabi is passionate about gardening, like I am and that we both faced challenges with limited space. Well, I did until January, that is. Gabi was wondering if starting a full time RV gardening group would be a good idea. I said sure it would be! She brought me on as an admin, we started chatting and found out that we are the same age and all sorts of other coincidences. I felt like I had known her for years. We did, however, take a different path with gardening. Here is my garden chat with her.




Q: What do you specialize in, as far as gardening?
A: Hydroponics

Q: When did you first get interested in growing?
A: Nursing school when my Professor introduce me to Aquaponics (using fish waste as nutrients).

But I didn’t want to bother with fishes. So I went with hydroponics.




Q: Do you have a personal favorite things to grow?
A: Anything I can eat, giggles.

Q: On average, how many plants do you grow at once?
A: currently 100, before I was growing 800+ per every two weeks.



**Side note: Nasturtiums are one of my favorite flowers to grow. I think the flowers are nasty-tasting, but I do pickle the seeds to make "Poor Man's Capers" and I use the leaves to make into a pesto sauce. Nasturtiums are an overlooked super-food.

Q: Tell me about your mentor. Who are they and why?
A: BOOKS! I’m a super nerd. Self taught. I think being a nurse, a dog breeder, and having a medical background helped me to understand things at a Microbiology level. But it also helps to be one with my plant babies. Very attentive to them.

Q: Tell me what inspired you to start the Full Time RV Gardening group on Facebook.
A:
I’ve always been for the underdogs. I see the prices for vegetables at the store and I get extremely upset that we would even have to pay those prices. Here in Vegas, they pick their vegetables early so they can deliver it to our desert stores. Well, it taste horrible. One night, I was going thru the Full Time RV site on FB. People were talking about someone growing outside their RV because they were stationary. I thought, “NO!” Everyone can grow while moving around. It’s super easy! I thought, let me help everyone that wants to help themselves, feed themselves and their family for a fraction of what they charge! It will blow their minds the aroma, the taste, the luscious greens they could grow! Talk about “PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH” Again, for a fraction of what they are charging you for that crap they sell full of pesticides and who knows what else they put in their soil. Hydroponics is cleaner than Organic. I want to help everyone who wishes to help themselves.




Q: How many varieties of seeds are in your personal collection right now?
A: I’ve lost count. Every time I see a family member, they are shoving seeds in my face to grow. I’ve even grown cannabis as a challenge. Surprisingly enough, I was on someone’s show(The Grow Boss), being asked how I did it. So, I have several totes full of seeds. Probably over 200 or so.

Q: What is the rarest seed in your collection?
A: I’m simple. I don’t have rare seeds. I don’t have half the collection I do now from when we had our giant house and my giant indoor garden. Maybe later. I’m in a 5th wheel and hopefully when our cabin gets done in the mountains, I will have some. Hubby knows I need a green house to protect my veggies from all the deer, elks, or whatever veggie loving creatures up there. Lol


If you want to join Full Time RV Gardening, click here.

Thank you, Gabi! I really enjoyed this chat with you. Aquaponics is something that I'm working slowly toward doing. I want to raise tilapia. I'm slowly collecting the necessary equipment to make a system. I'm sure I'll be asking you tons of questions in the future!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Heirloom Vegetable Chat With Ken Fry

 I got to visit with Ken Fry and have a chat with him regarding how he got into gardening, etc. I've ordered from Ken before and it's his fault that I'm really into growing obscure Native American varieties of heirloom beans. I had gotten a hold of one particular variety last year, quite by accident, and now it's on!



I requested this photo of Ken's supervisor. She is hard at work here. It's hard work to maintain that level of cuteness and she does her job well.

Q: What do you specialize in, as far as gardening?
A: Heirloom tomatoes that have a story to be told. Peppers from super hot to sweet. Cool beans.



I have several of those little envelopes in my seed collection. The one I'm looking most forward to this years is Hobb's Goose Bean.

Q: When did you first get interested in growing rare and/or obscure heirloom tomato varieties?
A: I have always had a garden, but around 2016 is when I really started saving seeds.



*Side note: That photo of Ken's high tunnel? That's garden goals for me!

Q: Do you have a personal favorite tomato?
A: Not one particular one no. I love all tomatoes.



Q: On average, how many tomato plants do you grow in a year?
A: 300 plants, 150 varieties.

*Side note: Would you please talk to my husband and tell him that planting 75 tomato plants is NOT ridiculous??




Q: What is the rarest tomato seed in your collection?
A: Probably the Inciardi Paste. That one really got me into collecting tomatoes with a back story. One day I was on Slow food, ark of taste looking at all the endangered tomatoes and I was bound and determined to find the Inciardi Paste that was listed on there. So I kept googling until I found Vickie Nowicki who is the steward for the seed. I sent her an email not really expecting a reply and not only did she reply back she agreed to send me seeds. I received 10 seeds dated 2014. Planted them and they all germinated. And it is heck ya, I am saving this tomato from being endangered. I have been growing every since.



Q: Tell me about your mentor. Who are they and why?
A: Don't really have one. Although I do hold Tomato Jim in hi regards. He is the one that got be going to seed swaps and being a vendor.



Q: How many varieties of heirloom tomato seeds do you have for sale currently?
A: 93 varieties, although some may be out of stock until fall.




Q: How would people get in touch with you to order?
A: On my website. Or if you have an interesting trade pm me. I am always looking for that family heirloom tomato.

Ken's website is called Forgotten Heirlooms. Click here to visit.

Q: What's the best tomato group on Facebook?
A: Of course, Heirloom Tomato Addicts Anonymous.



I'd like to thank Ken for having a chat with me. He's the newest person on the Heirloom Addicts Anonymous admin team and I'm damn lucky to have him, just as I'm damn lucky to have every single admin. 
Below is a list of all the Heirloom Addicts Anonymous groups. Feel free to ask to join.

Click on each group name and ask to join.
Heirloom Tomato Addicts Anonymous
Heirloom Bean Addicts Anonymous
Heirloom Cucurbit Addicts Anonymous
Heirloom Root Vegetable Addicts Anonymous
Heirloom Lettuce/Greens Addicts Anonymous
Heirloom Pepper Addicts Anonymous
Heirloom Herb & Flower Addicts Anonymous




Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Heirloom Vegetable Chat With Terry Lambert

 I got a chance to chat with Terry Lambert, who is in both Heirloom Tomato Addicts Anonymous and Heirloom Bean Addicts Anonymous, about gardening. Terry has always been super supportive of the groups.


Q: What do you specialize in, as far as gardening?
A: I grow a little bit of everything but my passion is tomatoes, beans, peppers, and anything unusual or not usually grown for food.

Q: When did you first get interested in growing rare and/or obscure heirloom tomato and bean varieties?

A: I’ve been gardening for over 50 years but my passion for seed saving started after I had a stroke in 2016. I was unable to garden for a few years and lost almost all my seed. When I started back I had trouble finding the things I had always grown and when researching found out how many heirloom varieties there were and how many we had lost and I was hooked!

**Side note: I didn't know that you had a stroke and I hope you've recovered completely from it. I can say that from the way you answered the questions, I couldn't tell that ever happened to you!

Q: Do you have a personal favorite bean or tomato variety?
A: Not really. I love them all!

**Side note: Me, too, Terry! Me, too! Well, except for Blue Beauty tomatoes. I grew those last year. They were stunning to look at and tasted like nothing.  I'll add in that photo just so that there is a tomato photo in this blog post. 😉



Coincidentally, you'll know that you've reached the right tomato group on Facebook if you see this photo. This is one of those dreaded Blue Beauty tomatoes. They are stunning to look at but they have no flavor.

Q: On average, how many types of beans and tomatoes do you grow in a year and how big is your garden? A: Up until this year my garden has been from a 1/4 acre up to a 1/2 acre plus assorted raised beds and containers here and there. This year I’ve moved to a new place and am still working on getting the new garden space going. I’m hoping eventually here to have about a half acre in cultivation. An average year I’ll plant around 20 bean varieties and at least 100 tomato varieties. I haven’t started my beans yet this year but currently have 112 varieties of tomatoes I’ll be setting out in the next few weeks.

Q: Tell me about your mentor. Who are they and why?
A: In gardening in general is definitely my grandpa. Most everything I know I learned following him and that old mule. In tomatoes it’s Kim Lund. I met her online through my friend Martin Longseth and through several online groups. She’s been so helpful in guiding me to where I can find info on varieties that have me stumped and has been so generous with her time and knowledge.

**Side note: I'm hoping to have a Q&A with Kim Lund coming up soon!

Q: How many varieties of heirloom beans and tomatoes do you have in your personal seed collection?
A: I’m a relative newcomer to seed saving. I currently have a bit over 300 varieties of tomatoes and about 200 of beans.

**Side note: Holy Cow!! My husband thought I was crazy for around 100 varieties of beans and 200 varieties of tomatoes. I'm going to need to have you have a talk with him.

Q: Do you sell seeds and, if so, how do people get in touch with you?
A: I occasionally sell or trade seeds although my focus is on preservation more than sales. I can be reached through Facebook and my wife is currently working on a website which hopefully will be up and running by mid summer. Although I’m meaning for it to be mainly a educational resource, I will offer seeds for sale there too.

**Side note: Just let me know when your site is up.

Q: What is the rarest bean or tomato seed in your collection right now?
A: I couldn’t say. Most likely some of the tomatoes I’m growing out from the late Mr. Longseth’s collection. There are several of those I’ve never heard of and can find absolutely no information on. But each and every seed is precious to me regardless of rarity.

Q: What's the best bean or tomato group on Facebook?
A: The Heirloom Addicts Anonymous groups! (Don’t make me chose between them because I can’t!)

Thank you, Terry, for doing this for me. I am enjoying getting to know everyone through these Q&A's. I'm learning more and more about the Heirloom Addicts Anonymous members that I had no idea of!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Heirloom Bean Chat With Rita Milburn

 I'd like to continue on with my Q & A blog posts. I enjoy posting these. I enjoy getting to know the people that I am interviewing and I hope you guys enjoy them, as well.

Today, I'd like to talk to Rita Milburn about heirloom beans. Rita and I became Facebook friends because she was looking for Egyptian Walking Onions bulbils and I had some that I could trade. We traded. She loves the onions, they are growing really well for her. I'm still in awe over everything that she sent me. What I'm most looking forward to is planting out the bean variety that she developed called Brown-Eye Bobby. There will be more on that bean later on.





Q: What do you specialize in, as far as gardening?
A: I like anything different or unusual and odd, but I have more beans in my collection than anything. I remember my dad always trying different things . I can remember him raising garden huckleberry and peanuts! I've raised garden huckleberry and will be raising peanuts this year.

Q: When did you first get interested in growing rare and/or obscure heirloom bean varieties?
A: When I went to my first seed swap in Berea at Bill Best farm. I was hooked. Then I found some cornfield beans that was in my grandmother's old freezer when we purchased her house. Raised them and was amazed. They were saved 1980. Went the seed swap with a few of these, traded them and came home with several seeds and that's when it began.

Q: Do you have a personal favorite bean variety?
A: That's a hard question to answer! I love them all! The fact that you put that seed into the ground and it becomes a beautiful and edible plant. But I do raise Bill Best NT 1/2 runner every year. No matter what stage you pick these beans they are always (non-tough) tender. You can pick young for green beans and pick them fuller for shelly beans and still tender. Same bean, different taste. They bare good too! The more you pick the more they bloom.

Q: On average, how many types of beans do you grow in a year and how big is your garden?
A: Last year in 2021, I raised 98 different kinds of beans, but honestly that was too many! Keeping my records and diagram of my garden was a challenge. I managed it but it took a lot of work keeping it straight. I usually planted different color seed beans so when they rambled I could tell which on was which. On the average I have grew 25 kinds. I have 700 square feet and vertical is the way to go pole beans grow up!

Q: Tell me about your mentor. Who are they and why?
A: My mom and dad and my dad's parents. They raised a big garden. My dad would do the planting and together my parents would keep the garden clean. Mom would pick and can all summer. I remember my grandmother's garden and how she would sit and very carefully gather her carrots. She would pick the biggest out to thin, but they were still little! But by the end of season she would have some nice carrots! I tend my garden in the same spot she did!

Q: How many varieties of heirloom beans do you have in your personal seed collection?
A: The last time I counted it was 400 bean seeds give or take. I document all my seeds, where they come from, type and any history that is past down with them. I also mark the ones I've raised and the year , most of the time. I have tomato, peppers, flowers, herbs and a lot of other seeds.

Q: Do you sell seeds and, if so, how do people get in touch with you?
A: I only sell my seeds at seed swaps, but I'd rather trade for something I don't have. In 2020 with covid, seeds were getting hard to find and I had a lot of my Facebook friends wanting a few seeds. I would send package seeds to Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Hawaii. Sometimes they would send me seeds and sometimes I would just receive a big thank you. I'm ok with that because I like to "Sow Seeds of Kindness".

*I'd like to add that your seeds came to Washington state, too. My onions made their way to you in Florida. My garden is truly bi-coastal this year!


Q: What is the rarest bean seed in your collection right now?
A: I have a bean that I have developed that has taken me about 5 years to get it stable? It's was a cross of Hidatsa shield and another unknown bean. But it's a stringless bush bean with long full pods with a kidney shape bean. When it first crossed, the next year, Bill Best suggested I raise the beans separate from any other bean and raise it a couple of years and if it stayed the same as what I planted, I could name the bean. I named it Brown Eye Bobby in memory of my dad!


So, back to the Brown-Eye Bobby. Rita has sent me some seeds of this variety to grow and I'm super excited about it.
It's people, just like Rita, that have made the Heirloom Addicts Anonymous groups as successful as they are. I want to extend a huge thanks to her for taking the time to indulge me and my questions.

Happy Planting!


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Planting Cucurbits & Okra and May Garden Update

 I've got a schedule that I'm holding to, as far as planting stuff out this year. Today was the day to get cucurbits planted and okra started. Luckily, I have this nifty greenhouse to help me out with things. I am grateful for that. I sat in there, in the pouring rain, and planted. It was peaceful.



It's, by no means, big enough for what I want to do...but it's a start.

Today, I planted out my cucurbits. Cucurbits are squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and gourds. They only need like a 4-week head start before being planted out. I'm planning on these going out by mid-June. It rains too much here for really any other time. Some of these will stay in this greenhouse to grow because they need the heat, like the Cucamelons.

Here is the list of what I got seeded in today:
*Parisian Pickling Cucumber (heirloom/OP variety)
*Arctic F1 Cucumber (hybrid variety. I'm going to see if I get a better harvest from these than I get from the heirloom variety)
*Dragon's Egg Cucumber (heirloom/OP)
*Marketmore 76 Cucumber (heirloom/OP)
*Jealous Neighbor F1 Cucumber (hybrid)
*White Wonder Cucumber (heirloom/OP)
*Balcony Swallowtail F1 Cucumber (hybrid)
*Armenian Cucumber (heirloom/OP)
*Mexican Sour Gherkin aka Cucamelon
*Siamese Bitter Melon
*Sugar Baby Bush Watermelon
*Kajari Melon
*Tigger Melon
*Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe
*Loofah Gourd
*Svitozar Zucchini (yellow variety)
*Dark Green Zucchini
*Patisson-Panache Et Vert Scallop Squash
*Gelber Englischer Custard Squash
*Rampicante Zucchino
*Hulless Dana Pumpkin
*American Tondo Pumpkin
*Musquee de Provence Pumpkin
*Lakota Squash
*Table Queen Acorn Squash
*Iran Squash
*Yuxi Jiang Bing Gua Squash
*Delicata Squash
*Kobocha Squash
*Pineapple Squash

I also planted 9 seeds each of Okinawa Pink Okra and Jing Orange Okra. Life is too short for boring green okra!

I got these all tucked away in the green house with the peppers.







I do have to say that it stays rather warm inside of this greenhouse. I'm impressed. I haven't lost any pepper plants due to being too cold yet.






My little baby tomato plants look great. The biggest one is the Red Dumplin Winner Pink. It's a variety that I got from Tomato Jim Wyant.
We figured out what was eating my plants while they were in the shed. It was a chipmunk.







We got another nice surprise today (I had several, garden-wise). I wasn't sure how my potato bed idea would work out. They seem to be really liking it. For whatever reason, we didn't harvest the Red Gold potatoes that I ordered last year. I paid $10 for a pound of them. Anyhow, they are growing!  I may leave my Jerusalem artichokes in a container for this year because I need to find where I can dedicate a space for them. They will take over. I don't mind them doing this, but since they get really tall (like 10 feet or better), I don't want them in my main garden area. I want them to have their own place. It's going to be the same with my Egyptian Walking Onions. They need their own space to grow.




The peas are doing fantastic. They are already grabbing onto the shrog netting.





We need to get this grass cut down. Eventually, that is all going to be wood chips. I'm going to kill off the grass. It will make it easier to maintain and, unless you have grazing livestock, grass is stupid.


The raised beds are doing ok. They'll last a few more years before they get rotten and fall apart. I planted all sorts of spring type plants in there: lettuce, kale, broccoli rabe, cilantro, radishes, etc.




My carrots have sprouted. I have 5 varieties planted out in the deep tub. I have Parisienne Market, Gniff, Kyoto Red, Uzbek Golden and Longue Rouge Sang.






In the biggest bed, I've put in cabbage, broccoli, Walla Walla Sweet Onions and various beets, radishes and some Black Nebula carrots.




Baby radishes. These are 18 Day French Breakfast Radishes.





Strawberries and raspberries in the terraced garden.



These are honeyberries and a pot of black raspberries. There's also some different mints back there.



A bit of a sidetrack here, but I have a washer and dryer fully installed and working now.



This is the site of my future greenhouse.
So, that's how things are growing in my garden so far.