A Seed Saver's Garden 2021

flowerbug

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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.

it will help. i've also drenched plants with the hose in the morning if there is enough of a breeze.


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.

yes, exactly! this is why many of my posts i mention a stirrup hoe as it can scrape but not move the soil layers as much. this is how we both weed a lot. with our crusty clay soil in many gardens it's just too difficult anyways to dig or till each row. they don't care, the plants mostly don't either even if they don't grow as well as they would in better topsoil or garden soil it's just not what we have so we cope... :)


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.

true. :) when i'm cleaning up after growing peas i can usually find some extra seeds hidden in there like that. :)


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.

also consider cross section to the wind if you have an un-protected spot. we have open fields around us so growing tall things on fences needs a very strong support system.
 

heirloomgal

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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 it 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... :)
I know, so much potential with chard. My Swiss chard rolls the other day were 'unrolled' to get the filling out. 😂 I guess it is a pretty strong flavour.
 

flowerbug

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You must love peanut butter!

i eat a fair amount of it, but much less the past six months than what i was eating before. i could eat a large jar in a month, now i'm eating one every two months or so. i like it in oatmeal with tart cherries so i've kinda been going back the other way the past month and eating some more of it. i'm not much of a breakfast food cooker but i can eat oatmeal and do various things with it each day. a friend of mine many years ago started cooking onions in his so there are options beyond the sweet and fruity kind yet for me to explore...
 

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I know, so much potential with chard. My Swiss chard rolls the other day were 'unrolled' to get the filling out. 😂 I guess it is a pretty strong flavour.

hahaha! my first exposure to chard was when it was chopped up and mixed with ham and cheese and then baked in a croissant pastry kind of loaf. i loved that... probably would also be good with bacon or smoked fish perhaps. i'm always up for things like that.
 

heirloomgal

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hahaha! my first exposure to chard was when it was chopped up and mixed with ham and cheese and then baked in a croissant pastry kind of loaf. i loved that... probably would also be good with bacon or smoked fish perhaps. i'm always up for things like that.
My favourite chard recipe is probably 'spanakopita' chard pie with feta cheese, butter, fresh dill and phylo dough. I don't eat wheat flour anymore, so I miss making that recipe. Was delish!
 

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My favourite chard recipe is probably 'spanakopita' chard pie with feta cheese, butter, fresh dill and phylo dough. I don't eat wheat flour anymore, so I miss making that recipe. Was delish!

don't they make rice flour wrappers for things? i thought i saw that. also as a variation would be buckwheat. just try making a small amount first to make sure it's ok, then make it for everyone else and don't tell them what's in it. :)

that sounds good to me too. we'd probably just make it with pasta, but getting Mom past the chard is a hard sell here. i don't even bother growing it because i hate wasting space growing things she won't eat, i'd rather grow more beans anyways so it's ok. i sneak a few turnips in here or there instead but i can't cook them unless she's gone. haha... it's so funny to me that she will eat brocolli and cauliflower but not turnips or cabbage. i love all of those, can't grow most of them except turnips.
 

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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.
Hopefully some pods will begin setting. My Piekny Jas looked nearly dead at one point (as did almost everything else) due to waterlogged soil. The vines have now turned green again, climbed to the top of the trellis, and begun flowering furiously. Much to my surprise, quite a few pods seem to have set, in spite of the (relatively) high temperatures.

Oh, and Japanese beetles love, Love, LOVE runner bean flowers. I go out twice a day with my spray bottle on "beetle patrol", and usually find 10 or more beetles on the uppermost flowers. The Jembo Polish beans directly adjacent are almost untouched. Runner beans as a JB trap crop... who knew. :idunno
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 had that problem too, especially with some of the smaller soup peas. When tearing down the vines, I thresh them over a tub between gloved hands, to collect any peas that might have been missed in the dry foliage.
 

heirloomgal

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Hopefully some pods will begin setting. My Piekny Jas looked nearly dead at one point (as did almost everything else) due to waterlogged soil. The vines have now turned green again, climbed to the top of the trellis, and begun flowering furiously. Much to my surprise, quite a few pods seem to have set, in spite of the (relatively) high temperatures.

Oh, and Japanese beetles love, Love, LOVE runner bean flowers. I go out twice a day with my spray bottle on "beetle patrol", and usually find 10 or more beetles on the uppermost flowers. The Jembo Polish beans directly adjacent are almost untouched. Runner beans as a JB trap crop... who knew. :idunno

I had that problem too, especially with some of the smaller soup peas. When tearing down the vines, I thresh them over a tub between gloved hands, to collect any peas that might have been missed in the dry foliage.
Are JB'S red? The red ones that eat lilies right?
 

Zeedman

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Are JB'S red? The red ones that eat lilies right?
No, metallic green. They are an invasive species, and have been gradually spreading westward from the Atlantic coast, only appearing here about 5 years ago. According to the distribution maps, they are present in Ontario. The grubs feed in sod, and the adults attack many plants - especially beans, soybeans, mallows (including okra), grape vines, roses, raspberries, and even some of my trees. They attack in large numbers, often congregating in one place to strip leaves to the veins. I use commercial baited traps to reduce their numbers, and am currently catching over 100 beetles per day in each trap. :ep I also allow Malva sylvestris "Zebrina" to grow on the garden borders, it is very attractive to the beetles & acts as a trap crop (where I can spray easily them through the fence).
Japanese beetles
 

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