A Seed Saver's Garden 2021

heirloomgal

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Any advice for saving turnip seeds?
I haven't ever saved brassica seed @ducks4you. But, what I have read about it is that it's a cross-pollinating veggie, so you have to grow only one from that species or they'll cross (Brassica rapa). I think for this reason, canola can be an issue (if it's grown in your area) for saving turnip seed. In my area many brassicas take 2 years to make seed as well. When it goes to seed for you, as far as I know, you cut the tall stalk down, lay it to completely dry in a sheltered place, and then thresh it out. Apparently pillowcases work great.
 

heirloomgal

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We've had 3 good rains in the last week or so, and the garden plants have really jumped as a result. It helps too that the unusual heat wave we went through has subsided. Very enjoyable temperatures have begun. The flea beetles that were around seem to have finally disappeared, likely as the plants are not quite so stressed. It is nice to have a little break from watering, and see the plants flourish with their preferred source of water.


Older bean plant foliage pierced with flea beetle damage, but thankfully new growth after these rains has been fine.
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Tarragon, one of my favourite salad herbs, after basil and cilantro. Makes a fabulous dressing. And, it comes back every year without any help from me.
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I have followed the same formula for my greenhouse pot soil mixture for years -which relied heavily on greenhouse sourced growing medium made mainly of balanced peat, and rich manure supplementation. But this year I decided to try something different, something which most (or all) gardening books advise against - ground soil. Yet, ground soil has worked excellent in all my tomato pots, and turns out to be working just as well for my greenhouse peppers. Experimentation has really helped me in my garden projects, in many situations. This switch has been much more economical too. However, for the first time, I'm 'having to 'weed' my pots!

'Keystone Giant', 'Jupiter', Violet Sparkle' and 'Conquistador' peppers
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The potatoes have grown significantly, they are definitely enjoying the rains and cooler temperatures. Much of what I've planted are fingerling varieties, which can be spaced closer than maincrop potatoes. A quality I really like.
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Found this guy on my walking board, which wasn't a safe move for him considering all the robins hunting in the garden lately. I buried him again, but found many more worms just like this all over the garden. While nothing is drenched, only quite moistened, they don't seem to appreciate the added moisture in the soil.
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Sadly, one of the only soybean varieties to germinate well. Not sure why this one did so well compared to the others, but it seems the seeds did not like the heat they were expected to sprout in. Lesson learned - next year, plant the soybeans earlier. A little dismayed at this, but it's a good reminder than nothing in a garden is guaranteed. Also, that bean transplants of any kind are MUCH more successful, even if unconventional!
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'Spoon' tomato, a bit of a wild variety. I have a love of these pea/currant types; they may be tiny, but the flavour is usually off the charts. Nice and strong taste, with a good sweet & tart balance. And they tend to make tomatoes by the hundreds (not to mention all the seeds they make!). Keeping this guy a bit off on his own, as I've found the promiscuity with the wild types is, unfortunately, quite high.
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Zeedman

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'Spoon' tomato, a bit of a wild variety. I have a love of these pea/currant types; they may be tiny, but the flavour is usually off the charts. Nice and strong taste, with a good sweet & tart balance. And they tend to make tomatoes by the hundreds (not to mention all the seeds they make!). Keeping this guy a bit off on his own, as I've found the promiscuity with the wild types is, unfortunately, quite high.
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Not to mention that planting currant-type tomatoes in a pot restrains their wild nature. "Indeterminate" in their case is an understatement. I am growing a similar variety this year (an orange-fruited cultivar given to me with the erroneous name of Solanum sponteneum) under the same conditions - a pot in an isolated location. Planted in the ground, it would become a monster. I gave one to a friend several years ago, who planted it in the ground & trained it up strings attached to the neighbor's 6-foot wooden fence. She said the neighbor enjoyed picking from the vines which drooped over the other side. :ep
 

flowerbug

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We've had 3 good rains in the last week or so, and the garden plants have really jumped as a result. It helps too that the unusual heat wave we went through has subsided. Very enjoyable temperatures have begun. The flea beetles that were around seem to have finally disappeared, likely as the plants are not quite so stressed. It is nice to have a little break from watering, and see the plants flourish with their preferred source of water.


Older bean plant foliage pierced with flea beetle damage, but thankfully new growth after these rains has been fine.
View attachment 41336

that's about what happens in some of my gardens that have the flea beetles and why i've generally ignored them. they do some damage at first and then the plants out grow them. so while they may make a plant look ugly for a bit it's not something i've worried about.

rabbits, deer, groundhogs and chipmunks all do much worse damage to selected beans. even if a deer won't eat them sometimes they walk through a garden going after other plants and trample them.
 

digitS'

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Any advice for saving turnip seeds?

When it goes to seed for you, as far as I know, you cut the tall stalk down, lay it to completely dry in a sheltered place, and then thresh it out. Apparently pillowcases work great.
That's it ... except for the pillowcase ;).

After they have dried under cover - lay them out on a tarp. Tapping them with a board or walking on the pods will break them open. Try to separate out the straw, get everything in a bucket, climb to the top of a ladder, and dump everything back down on the tarp on the ground on a breezy day.

Do that several times and your seed will be fairly clean - the trash will blow away. (I find it best to mow the lawn after I've scattered chaff all over the grass ;).)

Steve
 

flowerbug

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That's it ... except for the pillowcase ;).

After they have dried under cover - lay them out on a tarp. Tapping them with a board or walking on the pods will break them open. Try to separate out the straw, get everything in a bucket, climb to the top of a ladder, and dump everything back down on the tarp on the ground on a breezy day.

Do that several times and your seed will be fairly clean - the trash will blow away. (I find it best to mow the lawn after I've scattered chaff all over the grass ;).)

Steve

you won't find me climbing on ladders to do it, but i do use a similar method on breezy days to separate some seeds from the chaff. the turnip and radish seeds i harvest i just leave in the pods until i use them. when planting i crunch them up in my hands as i scatter them.

i have some flax seeds to plant sometime soon and will probably use the same method. now i just have to remember to do it before it gets too late... :)
 

heirloomgal

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Only 4 watermelons in total sprouted of the many that I planted. Found one plant yesterday killed by another cutworm, but couldn't find it. I hoped no more would get eaten, but this afternoon I found a 2nd neighbouring plant taken down. So, I sat down right there and was determined not to get back up until I had found him. And I did.

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Really want to grow a few watermelons this year, so here's hoping there is no more.
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Finally mulched the rhubarb, which is having a harder time this year in the heat. Transplanted 5 plants to a new location during a heat wave (had to do it), which was especially hard on them. Usually I would forgo harvesting any stalks in heat like we've had, and let the plants just rest, but I decided to try something different instead. I harvested all the main stalks from the non-transplanted plants. There is a possibility that keeping the full leaf set hydrated is harder on the plants than removing them and that burden. Turns out, this seemed to revive them and, after the last rains, their is a flush of new healthy growth.

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Tied up the fava beans today, which are so grown they are now starting to flop over. Beans already have begun to form. Will probably clip off the tips in the next few weeks.
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'Snow Wind' peas are up and running.
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Few more peppers doing well in the greenhouse, 'Marconi Rossi Giant Red', 'Big Jim' and 'Slonovo Uvo'
(elephant ear) which also goes by the name 'Ajvarski' it seems.

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More perennials that will soon go on full duty distracting bees; when the shasta daisies bloom along with the catmint and lady's mantle it's an utter insect dominion. Whenever I'm out in the vegetable garden I keep an eye for pollinating insects, and happily almost never see them, except for the fava flowers. Those still seem too attractive for the bees to ignore. Luckily their blooming will end soon enough.
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I have a few favourite chards, 'Peppermint', 'Fantasia Orange' and the yellow one from 'Bright Lights'. Couldn't find the orange variety this year, but managed to find the other two. Been very vigilant with the water as I've had some major leaf miner years, and have not found any real remedy for those. So far, so good.
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