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Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.

A little update here. The peas came up good and I am getting a few right now, but something else is too. I didn't weed the bed when the peas were small and some tall grasses came up. I went to pull it but found that the peas were using the grass for support. I planted a bed of Romain Lettuce and it is now ready to start picking, will start tomorrow.

Only 5 corn plants came up. I have two Waltham Butternut plants started in with the corn. I cleaned the bed of all weeds and grasses and planted Purple Hull Peas. This is old seed, probably 8-10 years old. I bought a large bag back then. Last year I put out a lot of the seeds around the edges of my new beds just to get them started fixing nitrogen. Not may germinated, so this year I sowed them really think in the bed. I didn't expect many to germinate, but surprise surprise, almost all of them did so I have got to thin them out.

I don't remember when I planted them last year, but something interesting happened. Since I didn't harvest many of the peas last year, many of the seeds fell to the ground. I saw one of them germinate at the same time the seeds I planted came up. If you subscribe to the "One Straw Revolution" where you plant the year before and the plants will automatically germinate at the ideal time, then I hit this one perfectly. I guess I will use the fading of my Iris blooms as a guide for when to plant.

The Artichokes are growing good, the strawberries are making baby plants, the blackberries are all growing. Tomatoes are doing good and I will be getting Zucchini and yellow summer squash by next week. I put a collar of aluminum foil around the base of each plant, about a 4" square of foil. I have never had a squash plant attacked by the squash vine borer when I put the foil down, and every plant that wasn't protected by foil has been lost. I am convinced this is the best way to defeat them.

I put out Sweet Potato slips, but only ten this year. I grew my own slips from some of last years sweet potatoes. Most of the time I lose a majority of my yams to moles, so this year I got two solar powered mole chasers from Harbor Freight Tools. I also bought a wind powered mole chaser, but that turned out to be a problem. The bright shiny propeller spinning in the wind causes flashes of light everywhere and that chases off the birds, so I got a can of flat black spray paint and painted it. I still don't see as many birds so I will probably take it out, unless I start seeing more birds in the next day or two.

One more note about the purple hull peas. In this part of the country, they would be one of my Armageddon plants, if I was one of those survival types. The seeds keep for may years with little or no care. The germinate well, produce a good crop in poor soil and are a good source of protein. When I saw all the seeds that germinated this year, that just crossed my mind. I hadn't thought of that before. I wonder what other seeds would be good to save for a near ELV (extinction level event).

Re: First taste of the garden and planting lore.

Keith, sounds like you are having a good crop.

I have some news too:

The tomato plants really took off. We expect the first ones to be ready in 2 weeks.

Long string bean started to flower, and looks like we will have a nice harvest.

Chives are doing great.

Corn, we are down to 5 plants, and they are about 18" tall already.

Bell peppers, they take their time...

Orange tree, doing great.

lemon tree, doing great.

Mandarin tree will give this year. The new fruits are pea size. Fully grown they should be golf ball size.

Baby Choi, we received small plants from a friend who has a lot, about 25 of them, put them in the ground and watch them take off. This is a green leafy vegetable with unbelievable nutritional value.


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