winter wheat and winter rye (both grain
crops) are excellent for breaking up hard
ground. get them planted as soon as you
start getting into the colder wetter season.
turn them under in the spring several weeks
you can usually get the seeds from a
grain elevator type place for a few $ for
arid climate cover crop. hmm... tepary beans.
supposedly there are recent cross-breeds available
with other common beans so they are more edible.
i've never actually grown tepary beans here as we
are pretty wet here most of the season.
so i don't know when these would be planted.
pretty much any crop i would grow as a winter
cover crop would not be for eating, but to hold
soil, moisture and nutrients and to keep the
soil covered through the winter season. to be
turned under in the spring.
roughly the same here, except not so arid.
and at elevation 620ft, which also makes
a lot of difference in sun intensity.
for arid climate wind-breaks can help a lot.
he's mentioned before getting very strong
and mulching to hold whatever soil moisture
you can collect.
and using contours to harvest any run-off so
you don't lose topsoil and rainwater. stop it,
slow it down, soak it in. water stored under-
ground is much better than in a pond when it
comes to arid climates.
We get 7 inches a year on average. When it rains,
sometimes there are flash floods and then the
We have some awesome thunderstorms. The most
incredible five minutes of weather drama
you can imagine.
Broad/fava beans? Not sure how cold it gets where you are but I
currently have broad beans growing in -6°C. I do plant in mid to late
autumn though. I also grow a 'green manure' crop at the same time,
which mostly consists of things like lupins, mustard, oats etc.
Broadbeans (fava beans), mature seeds, raw
Glycemic load: 28
calories: 512 KCal
Carbs: 84 grams
My limits are 10 max per day load, 1600 KCal per day,
and 15 grams max per meal (60 max per day).
Beans also have weird things in them too that mess with
a Primal's digestion.
Thank you anyway. Yes, I find myself annoying at times too.
Is there anything like garlic that over winters?
Rats indeed. Such issues really narrow down options.
Ha ha :)
How about shallots and potato onions? The latter seem to be quite
uncommon as I never hear much mention of them - a great kind of onion,
they grow in clumps and are quite hardy. Winter lettuce does well...
(English) spinach is another one. Chives might do okay too. Japanese
turnip apparently does well although I haven't tried them myself.
Asparagus crowns... maybe?
Hmmmm. These seem like a really good idea!
I know just where to put them too. I eat A LOT of onions!
Shallots. I thought you planted them in the spring and harvest
them in the fall. Are there different kinds of shallots?
I am not finding the glycemic load on those Japanese turnips.
They do sound really interesting for those of us that hate
turnips (they taste too metallic for me).
For me fall is the time to gather the last crops and finish preserving
all of the harvest. Also get the plots I plan to plant next Spring
Winter is time to let the back rest and recover. It is the time to
read seed catalogues and gardening books, take inventory of my seeds
and preserved foods and plan for the Spring. Since I have a
greenhouse I start several things there as early as January. By
February I am starting many of my summer crops there.
Before I got the greenhouse I started many plants in the house with
Gardening or farming is not just a spring and summer project. Winter
is the time to plan.
Do you preserve any of your produce? I can, freeze and dehydrate.
That takes us though the winter or longer.
I used to do the same things Susan, had a shelving unit in my home
office. Four shelves with grow lights over each one, started lots of
good vegetables for many years. Nowadays we have one 16 by 4 bed and two
four by 8 beds that we grow our vegetables in. On this small property
that works best. Our old home in Louisiana was a 14,000 square foot
property with lots of concrete and a big house on it but we managed a
17X21 in ground garden. Plus several fruit trees, a green house, berries
along the fence line, etc. As we age we don't miss it to much.
In addition to the vegetable beds we have a fig, a kumquat, and a pear
tree, all producing well after four years of growth. Do need to replace
the growing medium in the raised beds though. That means a tarp to hold
the new medium and toss it several times to get it all mixed properly. I
think we might be getting a bit to old for that too. Might have to call
in the 200 + lbs grandsons to do the tossing.
It's a somewhat balmy day here in SE Texas, Northern Harris Cty, temps
in the mid to high seventies rather than the usual 90-112F we usually
get at this time of year. Might be because of the rain clouds moving in
from the Gulf. Almost time to plant the fall garden. I am waiting to see
if the Gypsy pepper plant we put in two springs ago is still going to be
with us. It is generally covered with lots of small peppers on a regular
basis. Most of which goes to the poor kitchen at church since our
freezers are full. I've never thought of a perennial chile plant.
Tried that, the compost part of the "soil" just eventually disappears.
This is the Square Foot Garden mix, peat moss, vermiculite, compost.
It's easier for the two of us old geezers to shovel the mix out on the
tarp and then shake it back and forth to mix it totally. The beds are
only six inches deep by four feet wide by eight feet long, the big one
is a double. We also put in kitchen vegetable scraps occasionally,
hoping to pull some worms into the mix. We finally, after three years
are seeing some earthworms in the beds. Took their own sweet time. I
think it's because we have been potholing a good bit of stuff from the
compost bucket rather than put it into the composter. We will continue
with that one.
you must also be fertilizing?
and yeah, hard to keep organic matter in the
soils in warmer areas. some clay can slow the
rate of loss down.
however, what i meant was that if the compost is
disappearing then add that on top and it will get
mixed in eventually as you plant. especially with
that shallow of a bed. i guess i'm lazy that ways.
:) think plants and worms can figure it out well
enough without me messing it up.
are the beds isolated from the subsoil clay you
have in place? like by a weed barrier fabric or
i hope they will continue to live there. it's
a good sign when the soil can support a diverse
community of critters.
Our "native" dirt here is two inches of sand over five feet of Houston
gumbo clay, put in at build to raise the houses above the minimum flood
zone, saves on $$$ but is very bad for gardening, hence the raised beds.
Yup, but the barrier fabric is pretty much gone by now, has been in
place since early 2013 and was intended to rot away eventually.
Yup, we both grew up on small farms, almost always had composting in
place, plus we had large critters for several years and they dropped
enough good stuff on the land that it became very rich. Horses, mules,
cows, goats, etc. Improved grass lands, eaten by large critters then
given back to the earth. In Louisiana we had access to friends who had
large critters and we always had a pickup truck. Go clean out a rain
shed that had two feet of excrement that was aged from two to five
years, take an axe, cut out large chunks, use the hay fork to toss into
truck, repeat many times. Take it home, put the stuff through the wood
chipper and blow it into the garden, Use the tiller to turn it under,
water, plant seeds, jump back as they grow. I miss those days, about the
only big critter poop you can get here is Black Cow in bags and that is
from huge feed lots and no telling what was going through the critters
and into the bags.
that will be where any earthworms will hide from
the heat when it gets too bad out.
oh, that's ok, at least you have sand and clay if
you ever need it and the worms can get in and out.
i know. i don't buy the stuff any more, but i did
try a few bags when i first put in the strawberries.
decided i could grow/harvest green manure crops for
a fraction of the expense and run it through the worm
i envy younger people who can handle larger animals
and have the inclination. you can do a lot of regenerative
grazing on beat up farmland to bring it back to prime
condition, run chickens through right after you graze
and the chickens will pick through the cow plops to
get the fly grubs, and scatter the plops around.
in those winter sheds, this guy takes whole shelled
out corn and sprinkles it in there once in a while and
then as the pile builds up he doesn't do anything until
after the cows come out of the shed and then he puts
his pigs in there and they root through it all and
turn it looking for the corn. :) i think that's a
great idea for stirring compost... using an animal
to do it.
for me, worms are about as far as i can go for now.
eventually i hope i can do some quail here just to
get a population back that has been eradicated.
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