chive talkin'

yesterday i finished up removing one of the chive patches that was taking up too much space at the bottom of the north garden. the smell of the roots and dirt make me rather sick to my stomach so i was very glad to be done.
most of the clumps of roots were buried upside down under a layer of dried stuff or whatever paper scraps i had on hand and then six to eight inches of dirt. they will likely never be able to come up through that and the worms will turn them into fertilizer in time. yesterday a few piles ran out of dried stuff to use so i may see some of those again this season. probably will plant extra beans/peas on top of them because it is in an unfenced garden.
still it is now a lot less cover for the bunnies to hide in along that edge with the chives gone. it is rather low there now too and since i was trying to get a low garden going with some creeping plants that like moisture and eventually i'm sure strawberries will get in there too. a layer of shredded bark would be nice there but i have to get a decent edge in place to keep it from washing into the neighboring crushed limestone. don't want to raise the whole area up too far as i sure don't want yet another retaining wall or more formal edge. that neighboring crushed limestone and flat flood plain may eventually get turned into more gardens as i can find the fill for it and if Ma will let me get away with it. :) :) :) the neighboring fake pond is falling apart and we're going to do something with it this year or next. hmm, too much to ponder and too many other projects in the works for me, but i better be sure to get a say in what happens next as if i don't then it more likely than not will mean more work for me later...
some of the earlier plantings have sprouted and seem to be doing fine (peas, onions, turnips, rutabagas). these too are in the unfenced garden so they may get raided by bunnies at any time.
the other project finished up the other day was getting the back spiral garden/green manure patch weeded and to dig out all of the garlic in there that i could find. it is much easier to do this before the alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil gets tall. this also gave me a good chance to observe the quality of the soil and to see how the late summer cover crops of buckwheat and turnips had fared. considering the condition of the soil when i started several years ago it is coming along well. i'm now going to be adding a mix of other plants into that patch in areas so that it can start being an alternate and back up food source. turnips, beets, beans, peas, fennel, bak choi, rutabagas, ..., and some other things i can find today (rainy day errand run).
now that these two projects are done i can switch to the fenced gardens and getting them weeded or turned -- getting them ready for planting and seeing how they are faring. most of them have a light cover crop of winter wheat or winter rye and will not need to worry too much about the impact of that rotting down. one garden has a much higher crop of wheat and rye and i'm tempted to leave that alone and see if i can get any kind of harvest from them but i suspect the goldfinches will beat me to it. the finches have a pretty good eye for any seed bearing plants. then again, if the field to the north of us does not get turned under we'll have winter wheat galore for them over there... hmm...
late last summer i also planted turnips in the north patch to see how they went. some did get fairly large and i gave them to someone who likes them and appreciates them, the rest i left to see how they survived the winter without being covered or mulched in any way other than what was provided by the snow. many did survive. i pulled some the other day to see if they were edible. no. so they are now worm food for the worm bins here in my room. the rest are out there growing and are going to hopefully be a source of seeds for future generations. yet, it is pretty likely i'll get a lb of turnip seeds today as they are a nice cover crop for bare spots and they aren't too expensive.
the killdeer are out there running around in tribes (mating season i suspect). funny...
songbird
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On 29/04/2014 11:49 PM, songbird wrote:

:-)) IMO, you can never have too many chives. I use them so often in the kitchen.

Members of the allium family are reputed to stunt peas and beans so it'd be interesting to know if that same reputed impact applies to planting on top of interred alliums.

:-)) Isn't it a great joy to notice those sorts of improvements? Non-gardeners never seem to understand why that gives gardeners such a thrill.
i'm now going to be adding a mix of

I've forgotten what the rest of the English speaking world calls them. Is it turnips??????
and some other things

I think I'll go and have a rest after reading of all your busyness. You've made me feel quite weary :-))
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Fran Farmer wrote:

Yes turnips or perhaps swedes (not Swedes). Other than stock feed the only reason to grow them is to get something fresh when it is very cold and not much else will grow. SWMBO puts them in winter soup, luckily there are many other things in there and you don't notice. Thinly sliced in salad - well you would have to be desperate.
D
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David Hare-Scott wrote: ...

two different turnip types. swedes are rutabagas are orangy/yellow pale color. some people raise them for animal feed too i grow most of them here for worm food (as a soil cover crop).
some people like the greens. (wonder how Derald is doing down there in FL with all the recent rains...?)
i like them better than potatoes if they are going to be cooked. haven't tried them pickled, fermented (kraut) or raw yet. not in any hurry...
songbird
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    He's getting very little of the rain. None of it that caused the recent flooding in the panhandle A whopping 0.4" overnight.     I grow those turnips that make somewhat spherical white roots with magenta tops. You know: The ones with the creative name. The last of mine, planted in late Nov. joined the compost on April 2. I shall begin planting them again when the weather cools somewhat in October.     Right now, have "Little Marvel" peas coming in; carrots, too. For practical purposes, the brassicas are all gone save for a handful of collards and some laggard broccoli. The celery is doing well; I had no expectations of it so any result is gratifying. Have green beans, cowpeas, okra, tomatoes, cukes, yellow squash, jalapeño peppers coming along well. Noticed some "Scarlet Nantes" carrot seedlings today. Took them 18 days to germinate; had about given up on them. Interested in seeing whether they thrive or develop much flavor as the weather warms (more).
--
Derald
Peninsular FL, USA
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Derald wrote:

hope things have improved? we're doing ok on some rain, but light rain and very scattered. frosts still here or there. not much warmth but perhaps that will change this week as we might break into the 70sF.

the ones that survived the winter have surprised me the past few days, it looks like they are going to flower. i thought it would be sometime this summer or even in the fall before they would flower. learn something new all the time. :)
you ever eat the flowers or seed heads from turnips?
i was also surprised by how the daikon radish seeds were reasonable edible.

good luck with the carrots. i seem to recall that like some other veggies that they seem to get better after a bit of frost hits them.
songbird
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    Two or three cloudy, drizzly, "wintry" days gifted us with slightly more than one inch; none since. Nighttime temps are mid-60's and daytime in mid-high 80's. As I've mentioned in the past, "spring" down here is about ten days in February or March.     The English peas are having a time of it: They indubitably do not prefer these hot, sunny days. This year's late planting rotated into a bed that gets early-day sun early in the year so they are adhering more closely to their normal "dwarf" stature than is usual and are covered with blossoms. Most years, the late peas are approaching the end of productivity by mid-May but this year's weren't planted until mid-March—almost a month later than in most springs.     Have blossoms on the transplanted "volunteer" tomato of unknown lineage and noticed for the first time this morning a smattering of blossoms on the snap beans ("Contender").     Spent some time yesterday evening transplanting okra into a singular bed from a community bed (a "community" bed, not the reactionary utopian misnomer). I always forget that okra is a slow starter, especially when planted early, and often is outgrown (overgrown) by its interplanted bedmates. Boy, does it compensate later in the year when the heat turns up.

    Nah; ours never stay in the garden long enough to flower. Turnips are biennials that do not thrive in warm weather so fall-planted turnips are pretty punched out by March or April and any planted after about Valentine's Day are basically just flea beetle fodder. Besides which, turnip roots are best eaten young; the longer they remain, especially as weather warms, the more likely the roots are to become fibrous or "pithy". I don't know what triggers flowering.

    Those are untreated seeds of known origin, I assume.

    I was surprised these even germinated. They were planted on 14 April. Two other varieties planted during the first half of April are no-shows, although, fall and winter plantings all did well. If the Nantes taste like anything, then they definitely are late-season candidates for future gardens.

--
Derald
Peninsular FL, USA
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Derald wrote:

sometimes ours seem that ways too.
i should not have spoken about scattered and light rain as pretty much then things changed and we've had plenty of rain. woken up again from thunder/lightning.
for some reason i keep thinking the weather forecasts are going to be reasonably right several days in advance and then foolishly make plans around that... good thing nothing really depends upon me getting stuff done on certain days.

two months seems like it should be enough time.

are these the new beans (i can't remember :) ) that you are testing out?

i wouldn't expect it to do much until it gets warmer anyways. here the one time i planted it it grew quickly enough in rock hard poor soil that i'd hate to see what it does in fertile soil. seemed to be an aphid magnet plant.

i decided i wanted flowers/seeds and most of them are in locations which isn't in the way of anything else so they get to stay at least until they get seeds.
the cabbage worm butterflies have been out the past few days -- first butterflies of the season.

oh yes, nothing on them, there were some other daikon seeds that did have a pink coating which i did not get. figured it was added filler to get the seed up to size to be planted by a soybean drill.

songbird
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Derald wrote:

as long as you aren't cutting down on air flow it seems like it should help some.
i don't think the plants are daylight sensitive in terms of shutting down as i can plant peas any time here during the summer and they will grow.

good luck!

hehehe... :) :) :)

i'm only basing it upon a very small sample as the one time we did plant okra they had some black aphids all over the pods. nothing else in our yard had those aphids that season. we have tons of lady bugs all over so i'm not sure what happened with those particular plants.

yes, i'd call them a medium sized butterfly. the next butterfly that comes out is a small pale blue one which i'm not sure comes from what larva. some time when i'm more ambitious i'll look it up.

i don't think they migrate. we have several flights of them during the warmer weather.

we pick up crawlies a lot too and move them to safe areas.

finally have been seeing more of the larger bumblebees with the many thousand tulips and daffodils out along with the hyacynths and now the dandylions. not seeing too many honey bees.
i'm not sure what you are calling a carpenter bee? here they would be what i am calling the large bumblebees as they can dig rather sizeable holes into wood if they find the right site. a few times i've had to caulk holes they've put in the sides/eves of the house. they aren't singular either as they do have rather large hives in the ground.
looks like turnip flowers are yellow - so they get to stay. the diakon radish seedlings are rather cute (about three times the size of a turnip sprout). think i may be approaching the too late for planting on the pak choi but i'll put a few seeds in and see how they do now and hold some back for the fall/cooler weather and perhaps those plants will over-winter like the turnips.
also hope to get some of the beans and more peas planted this week. never hurts to be an optimist on the beans as i have plenty of extra seeds to plant. like to have plenty to harvest all at once when i want to put some up.
strawberries starting to bloom. that's two years in a row they've started to bloom around May 11. the wild strawberries started a few weeks ago.
plenty to keep me busy if the weather cooperates.
songbird
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Derald wrote: ...

are you talking for fresh eating, shelling or for dried use?
songbird
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On 5/7/2014 1:21 PM, Derald wrote:

Wife likes turnips but she's of German descent, I'm Native American and English and I don't eat turnips. In my youth they were grown as animal fodder. Wife planted spring carrots again, I know for a fact they will not mature. Our temps here in Harris Cty, TX are already in the low to mid eighties. We are getting a light rain drizzle right now and we badly need it.
Last week I installed all new soaker hoses in the raised beds and they seem to be working better than the rain we don't get.
Crowder peas are climbing the fence, Hopi red lima beans are climbing their netting as are the cukes. We actually have little tomatoes and cukes making and an eggplant is about ready to pick, the fruit is bigger than the plant. Leeks need pulling and will most likely given away to neighbors, they're way to strong for my taste.
The fig tree has baby figs and the blueberries have very few berries coming on due to a late frost. Looks like we will go to a pick-your-own farm this year for blueberries and blackberries, the native dewberries and blackberries didn't get enough rain this year and are small and very seedy. I am happy for the rain we are currently getting.
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Fran Farmer wrote:

that's part of it, that we rarely actually even use them. we sure don't need 100sq ft of them. besides the two main patches (now down to one) we also have them scattered around growing in other locations.

hmm, these are buried quite deeply below the root zone in most of the area. i can always put beets in the shallower spots (where i didn't have enough stuff to cover). otherwise, i didn't notice any trouble in my previous years growing of beans on top of similar piles of chive sod.
...

i consider it a lifelong process which i hope will go another twenty or thirty years. each year certain things get easier too.

swedes, they are a type of turnip, but not the same as the purple topped globe turnips which are very common. these are pale yellow inside and turn yellow/orange more when cooked. they have a fairly mild flavor to me. turnips i like to fry up in the pan in a little olive oil until they get a little brown on the outside. to me much better than potatoes...
...

wasn't too bad as it was stretched over the past few weeks. i left out some of the great blunders and adventures in sillyness.
i did find some diakon radish seeds and some dill, also restocked the buckwheat and turnip seed supplies.
the earliest tulips are starting to show up. that's about when it is the time to start getting more peas in the ground. still might get some frosts here or there but the worst of the hard freezes should be over. at least i sure hope they are.
oh, and the apple seeds i planted last fall seemed to have sprouted. i'll have plenty of scrub apple trees or root stock for grafting by the looks of it. all experimental as with the rabbits and deer around here i'm not sure i'll ever see a fruit tree make it very far. if i do it will because the thing has armor and fences around it.
time to check the weather radar and see if i'll get out to plant anything or just keep on goofing around today.
songbird
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songbird wrote:

This is where common names don't travel very well. I think we are talking about two different but related plants. The thing you buy in the supermarket here called a 'swede' is roundish, tapering towards the root, purplish skin on top and cream below with off-white flesh that stays dirty-white when cooked. The flavour is quite strong and to my taste unpleasant. I am guessing you call this a turnip and the yellow/orange one rutabaga? I haven't seen the yellow/orange one here.
D
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Perhaps this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutabaga would be useful in the discussion.
To muddy the language waters, I grew up (in the USA) with my mother calling these things (boiled and mashed) "turnips." I don't care much for rutabegas, but I like turnips in moderation.

--
Drew Lawson Some men's dreams
for others turn to nightmares.
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

...

yes, you've got it, the usage i am famiar with comes from the UP of Michigan where they have pasties (a meat pie with minced onion, carrot, rutabaga, potato) and that was for the copper miners that were brought from overseas to work in the mines. supposedly of Cornish derivation, but the plants go back much further.
the wiki seems to cover it well (along with the clarification on usage subtopic) and reflects what i've generally known.
as usual, English borrows heavily from other languages as in i liked the comment about root bags from Swedish.
neeps is a fun word.
too many good pictures of food/recipes in those pages, made me hungry and it was time to sleep, with a rumbly stomach.
songbird
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