Well , except for the lettuce and spinach , they just keep hangin' in
there - the strawberries have finally decided to go to sleep , leaves are
turning red and falling now . Time to start planning for next year , and
have I got some seeds ! In addition to the plantings for our use , I'll be
starting some bee-friendly patches . I have seeds for several varieties that
are specifically intended to help our bees with close forage . Also new this
year will be an herb/spice patch . Fresh herbs have so much more flavor ...
I was a little worried that I'd waited too long to set the garlic out ,
but it seems to be doing well , still has some green that hasn't frozen yet
. Last count I had over a hundred plants up , should be enough for us for a
year ! I think I'll be trying to roast some after harvest .
Horseradish , I need to get some horseradish ! I had a start from my great
i've planted garlic the day before the surface
froze and it came up just fine the next spring.
i've also planted it shortly after i've dug it
up and those plants do fine too.
all winter while the surface is frozen it builds a
root structure and starts pushing up surface growth.
if you are in a warm enough climate it will stay
green (even under the snow) and be ready to grow on
any of the warmer days (just like winter wheat and
in all the years here i've only seen one year where
it was cold enough to knock the tops back to the ground
(by repeated hard freezes below -15F and no snow cover).
otherwise it is one of the most hardy crops we put in.
oh, and those plants mostly came through ok too...
as for too much, never, it is great to plant some
extra deep so the stems will be long and blanched white.
in the spring and early summer they can be used as a
green onion substitute. with the garlic flavor. these
are good eating for quite some time as they grow up
until the bulbs start getting hard tunics over the inside
cloves or the stem gets woody.
All things that live must ultimately die within its own time. I think
some wise sage said that but am not sure.
We're still picking sweet chiles and a few cherry tomatoes from spring
planting. Still harvesting Swiss chard that was planted in fall of 2013,
stuff refuses to die. We've harvested and dehydrated about as much herbs
as our extended family, relatives at a distance, neighbors, and assorted
friends can handle. Basil, in particular, went completely berserk this
year, three feet tall and we were harvesting for about six months. It
was in shade so was stretching out.
Unfortunately for our pollinators another subdivision of a few hundred
homes is being built in the woods behind us. Mostly we have a few
European honey bees, tons of mason and carpenter bees and a plethora of
bumble bees. The little pollinator wasps were here again too, can't
remember name or species. Then were the bee flies, hit us in the lull
between bee hatches, nice little fellers too. Three different kinds of
wasps were after the aphids and other nasty critters, we were blessed.
Now is our season for perusing the seed catalogs, have several pages
turned down and need to order soon. Going back to green beans this
coming summer season, pole beans to be exact, don't take up as much
horizontal space as bush beans and produce well.
Will pull the peppers and tomato plants tomorrow and start another batch
of "Mel's Mix" to fill the raised beds. The fall broccoli is producing
huge heads and we're giving it away as fast as possible. Cabbage is
headed up and growing. Not so much goodness with spinach and leaf
lettuce, many seeds never sprouted, have replanted with fresh seed.
Onions, scallions, and garlic are doing well as are the climbing green
peas, already podding out and climbing like crazy. May be a good winter
crop of many things.
Just recognize that wherever you plant horseradish, there will _always_
be horseradish. So be sure it's where you want it...and not too close to
anything else (or use a serious root barrier). It does not expand as
fast as mint, but it's almost impossible to ever get rid of.
The garlic should be fine. I do about 50 (per person) myself. A dozen or
so of those 50 source the 50 plantings for the next year (only looking
for ~4-5 cloves per head on average so I can plant _only_ the larger
cloves in a head, selecting the larger heads for seed, and eat the rest
of those broken-up heads at planting time.)
Actually got mine in before Thanksgiving this year, but as Bird also
said, I've done anywhere from well into December (which was "some point
when the ground surface thawed again" on a very behind year) to planted
when dug (or not dug at all, though that's not ideal from a
rotation/pest standpoint) and it's been fine. One of the lower stress
things to grow, for the most part. The only time I have had issues is
with spring planting - that simply does not work, and I'm zone 4. The
stuff laughs at the cold, barring bizarre circumstances.
For bees, clovers are always a good option, monarda (bee balm) lives up
to that common name and also gets hummers if you use the red variety,
mints (also a weed that spreads vigorously, so again, be careful where
you put them) and thymes all do well. Lavender works well if you can get
it to grow reliably (better drainage than I have would help.)
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
Same thing goes for Jerusalem artichoke, aka Sunchokes. You would have
to burn the soil down two feet to get all the roots and, even then, the
damned things might come up again. We moved to get away from them. <G>
Bees here are drawn to salvia flowers and then move on to pollinate our
vegetables. They also seem to really like basil flowers so we leave the
plants to flower just for the bees. I've never been able to get lavender
to grow, I guess it's just to wet here most of the time.
Heh , I have some of every item on your list , and more . Out here in
the woods , we have a lot of space to plant this stuff . My plan is to focus
on using the power line easements across our land . they keep trees and
heavy brush cut back from the lines , and it's a perfect place to plant
wildflowers and other stuff . One of my best blackberry patches is in one of
the easements . Probably plant some stuff around the orchard too , I bought
a LOT of seeds for this project .
even with our heavy clay soil we have a lot of
even in places that flood from time to time.
as long as it is propped up on a hillock or
in a bit of raised bed it seems to do just
the pathways surrounding it are often mulched
with crushed limestone here and it will often
start seedlings in that mulch. we're never short
of new plants to use elsewheres.
unfortunately, both of us are allergic to them
and so it makes it very hard for us to take care
of them very well. the bees and butterflies love
it though so it stays.
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