A Seed Saver's Garden 2021

flowerbug

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You may be able to plant again. If you really like them it might be worth it. The variety American Wonder, though it's a dwarf type, has come up for round 2 in one season from blowing open pods that I've missed collecting. That's another option too, grow a low type and have a chicken wire lid over top. In my case (as I've written about in another thread) weasels eat all the, well, everything on legs that might bother my garden, so maybe you could get some ferrets as pets? Release them in the garden for afternoon snacks? We have a family friend with a couple of them, they are sort of like his sneaky dogs. But they do bite visitors, so that's a minus. If you like having birds around though be glad for your lack of weasels, because my winter vacationing weasel ate the whole family of doves that's been visiting during winter for years. I think he even ate the hummingbird eggs/birds in the nest as I found the nest on the ground, before the time they should have abandoned it. Not a single living thing with 4 legs (besides bears) or wings really besides ravens and crows has visited this summer. But the bird loss was the cost of that.

no, no pets here, the worm farm is pets enough aplenty. i've never had great luck doing a 2nd planting of peas. i get way too busy at the end of the summer anyways. thanks for the suggestions and thoughts. :)
 

heirloomgal

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Years ago, when DW was working at a nursing home, they threw away a lot of cafeteria trays. Most were still in good condition, and the staff gave her permission to take some. They work great for drying seeds; they are strong enough to be cross-stacked into a fairly tall tower, and are wide enough to spread seeds out into a single layer. A few years later, a kitchen equipment retailer was selling used trays cheap, and I purchased another 100... so there are enough trays to hold all of my seeds. And last year, I scored a rolling rack that will hold 40 trays, with lots of air flow between! :celebrate

Trays are probably not a practical solution for most seed savers. I was fortunate to be in the right place(s) at the right time... but maybe something worth keeping an eye out for. A lot of places use those trays, replace them periodically, and might be happy to see them go somewhere other than the land fill.
Wow, amazing seed saving set up! A rolling rack would be great to have. The struggle I have with my drying trays is how much space they take up in my dining room, even though I do bring in some short shelves for stacking them. The house tends to get filled up with seeds drying everywhere, especially bean and pea pods. When my kids grow up they'll remember the dining room table covered in seed trays in winter, transplants in spring, produce in the summer, drying pods in fall, then drying seed papers and paper plates in late winter😅
 

Zeedman

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Wow, amazing seed saving set up! A rolling rack would be great to have. The struggle I have with my drying trays is how much space they take up in my dining room, even though I do bring in some short shelves for stacking them. The house tends to get filled up with seeds drying everywhere, especially bean and pea pods. When my kids grow up they'll remember the dining room table covered in seed trays in winter, transplants in spring, produce in the summer, drying pods in fall, then drying seed papers and paper plates in late winter😅
Our kids grew up that way... and apparently their most vivid memory is following Dad when the garden was being tilled, picking up rocks. :lol: (I always took them out for a treat afterward.) They also grew up eating fresh vegetables & lots of fresh-caught fish. The grand kids grew up eating Sunday dinner with those same fresh veggies, and learned to love them all. There are no finicky vegetable eaters in our family, nor I suspect are there any in yours, @heirloomgal .
 

flowerbug

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Years ago, when DW was working at a nursing home, they threw away a lot of cafeteria trays. Most were still in good condition, and the staff gave her permission to take some. They work great for drying seeds; they are strong enough to be cross-stacked into a fairly tall tower, and are wide enough to spread seeds out into a single layer. A few years later, a kitchen equipment retailer was selling used trays cheap, and I purchased another 100... so there are enough trays to hold all of my seeds. And last year, I scored a rolling rack that will hold 40 trays, with lots of air flow between! :celebrate

Trays are probably not a practical solution for most seed savers. I was fortunate to be in the right place(s) at the right time... but maybe something worth keeping an eye out for. A lot of places use those trays, replace them periodically, and might be happy to see them go somewhere other than the land fill.

i've been on the lookout myself as my old plastic trays are reaching their EOL (a friend was a nurse and she could get all the medical trays i could want so we had a couple dozen i've used for about 12 years already, but they are getting brittle and starting to crack and crumble). in the mean time box flats are working great and i can get all of those i need at the big box stores. one reason why i no longer really want plastic anything is that eventually it does get brittle and degrades with any sun exposure whereas at the end of the life of a box flat it all becomes worm food. worms love cardboard. just make sure to get the kinds that don't have any plastic coatings on them (i try to avoid any of the shiny stuff that has a lot of printing on it). we go through about a half dozen jif peanut butter flats a month alone. Mom uses them for all sorts of things and then we either recycle them or they're used to smother something in a garden and the worms take care of them.
 

flowerbug

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it really makes me appreciate the veggies even more when i've worked at growing them, picking and cleaning them and then cooking them. i've always been a vegetable eater since i was very young. always liked them - perhaps because some of my siblings tried to be pickier but they didn't get away with it because when food was short you ate what you got. now all of us eat vegetables but one of my brother's spouse is a very picky eater so she's often avoiding things. we just get some good laughs out of it all because we're not at all like that. however, Mom is much pickier than i am in terms of leafy greens and things related to cabbages. i'll eat all of those and she won't.
 

heirloomgal

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i've been on the lookout myself as my old plastic trays are reaching their EOL (a friend was a nurse and she could get all the medical trays i could want so we had a couple dozen i've used for about 12 years already, but they are getting brittle and starting to crack and crumble). in the mean time box flats are working great and i can get all of those i need at the big box stores. one reason why i no longer really want plastic anything is that eventually it does get brittle and degrades with any sun exposure whereas at the end of the life of a box flat it all becomes worm food. worms love cardboard. just make sure to get the kinds that don't have any plastic coatings on them (i try to avoid any of the shiny stuff that has a lot of printing on it). we go through about a half dozen jif peanut butter flats a month alone. Mom uses them for all sorts of things and then we either recycle them or they're used to smother something in a garden and the worms take care of them.
You must love peanut butter!
 

heirloomgal

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Our kids grew up that way... and apparently their most vivid memory is following Dad when the garden was being tilled, picking up rocks. :lol: (I always took them out for a treat afterward.) They also grew up eating fresh vegetables & lots of fresh-caught fish. The grand kids grew up eating Sunday dinner with those same fresh veggies, and learned to love them all. There are no finicky vegetable eaters in our family, nor I suspect are there any in yours, @heirloomgal .
Swiss chard is an impossible sell...
 

heirloomgal

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We've had surprisingly cool weather here lately, and a lot of rain last night and today. I'm hoping this spell will help the runner beans to set pods; they've flowered really well and the vines are rampant for sure but not a ton of pod set considering all those blooms. I've read they prefer cooler temps so fingers crossed.

Have hardly weeded in a few weeks, but there isn't much out there. Years ago I read about a method farm folks used way back which involved letting their pigs out to turn up the soil after planting carrots. There was a name for it, but I can't remember it. Apparently the pigs would roll around and bring up the weed seeds from just beneath the soil surface which would kill them and allow the carrots to thrive unweeded. Seems like there are a lot of holes in this type of weed control, but I've found if you scrape at the soil for about a month to kill the weeds, and don't hoe the dirt deeply, eventually the bare soil will sprout almost no weeds. The weed seed in that top soil layer will all eventually die. The only weed that seems to still come occasionally up is horsetail. Trying not to turn too much dirt over and exposing buried weed seed, on my small scale, seems to work.

Been picking a lot of dry pea pods. Lesson I learned from this last round - the pods camouflage absolutely perfectly against the leaves. If you want all the seeds go through the plants slowly and carefully. So easy to miss pods.

I have had two large 6ft+ pea trellis's collapse on me this year. Weight from vines fully loaded. Thankfully none hit the ground they just keeled over. Magnolia Blossom was one, the dried pea types the other. I have found climbing peas to be difficult to grow straight up, they always seem to lean away from vertical position. I guess one can't underestimate the weight from the wispy vines. How to grow them without leaning is the next challenge for me and the peas.
 

flowerbug

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Swiss chard is an impossible sell...

that is sad, it is so much like beet greens but only bigger that i really like it but it is one plant that Mom does not like at all. which is a shame because it grows here much easier than beets and also i like it for some variety. Mom will eat it in small quantities if included in a baby greens sort of mix, but not all by itself or used as a wrap - which was how i loved to use it for things like egg salad or tuna salad. of course i'm also a fan of using grapes and raisins in tuna salad so i'm strange anyways... :)
 
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