A Seed Saver's Garden

Pulsegleaner

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Bit of bad news on the seed hunting front. I did go over the Tappan Zee Bridge (sorry Mario Cuomo bridge, still not used to the new bridge and new name) to Nanuet in search of more bags of mungs to hunt through. But when I finally got to Bombay Mart (sorry again, D-mart) I found it had gone out of business! (the sign was still up as were the sales posters, but the door was locked, the lights off, and the shelves that were left totally empty). So, it looks like, at least until I CAN safely start visiting Manhattan and the Outer Boroughs again, it looks like the mottled mungs I got as all I am going to get for the foreseeable future. Unless a miracle happens and my parents and I actually CAN work out a time when we are all sufficiently not busy to head up to Cold Spring; I think there is an Indian grocery store there as well (or is it in Fishkill?)

On a slightly brighter note, after a season of finding basically NO suitable pumpkin for the house, today, after getting my booster/flu shot, I managed to get across the road to the fall sale at the stone yard, so we have gone from having one green and white striped pumpkin that was too small to carve to FOUR white and green striped pumpkins, of which two may be JUST big enough to get away with carving.
 

heirloomgal

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Bit of bad news on the seed hunting front. I did go over the Tappan Zee Bridge (sorry Mario Cuomo bridge, still not used to the new bridge and new name) to Nanuet in search of more bags of mungs to hunt through. But when I finally got to Bombay Mart (sorry again, D-mart) I found it had gone out of business! (the sign was still up as were the sales posters, but the door was locked, the lights off, and the shelves that were left totally empty). So, it looks like, at least until I CAN safely start visiting Manhattan and the Outer Boroughs again, it looks like the mottled mungs I got as all I am going to get for the foreseeable future. Unless a miracle happens and my parents and I actually CAN work out a time when we are all sufficiently not busy to head up to Cold Spring; I think there is an Indian grocery store there as well (or is it in Fishkill?)

On a slightly brighter note, after a season of finding basically NO suitable pumpkin for the house, today, after getting my booster/flu shot, I managed to get across the road to the fall sale at the stone yard, so we have gone from having one green and white striped pumpkin that was too small to carve to FOUR white and green striped pumpkins, of which two may be JUST big enough to get away with carving.
White and green striped pumpkins, I wonder what variety that might be? I've never seen one with colouring like that.

I've been wondering what squash might be a good idea to grow next year. Something early. I saw a little reddish orange teardrop shaped one called French Pumpkin (company was in Quebec). I like Kikuzu but all those deep wrinkles mean wasted flesh. Then I think, is squash worth the space? Maybe I should just grow a bunch of pole beans in that spot instead.
 

heirloomgal

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Here's why I have come to love eggplant, aside from the fact that I think it's a terribly delicious vegetable. (Sorry, awful photo.)
20221028_224524.jpg


This is Petch Siam, but nearly all my eggplant varieties produced this much seed. This was 2, maybe 3, plants in pots. Even Casper, a less wild one, produced crazy good and I got alot of seed. The only one that didn't do really well was Green Punjab. Just not many fruits on the plant, and they seem to have a super long dtm.
 

digitS'

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I've been wondering what squash might be a good idea to grow next year
Of the 3 C. maxima that grew in the garden this year (Burgess Buttercup, Cha-cha Kabocha & Oregon Homestead/Sweet Meat), the Sweet Meat was the most productive.

This is probably the 4th or 5th time I have grown it. Cha-cha is preferred for flavor but now and then has problems with up & down Spring weather. Buttercup has been out there forever and is very reliable but it has that big button at the flower end where there is very little meat in the interior.

Sweet Meat has done just fine :). I've tried other kabochas, hoping to deepen the bench and spooked by one Spring when all the Cha-cha died. They seem to require a more benign climate than what we have.

Steve
 

Jane23

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I am out of my garden for the year except for some fading flowers and periodic composting

I am trying to collect the dying heads to harvest the seeds for next year. I do plan to buy some borage seeds as they are supposed to be really helpful for a garden. I would like to try a "messy" garden next year to a certain extent with plenty of flowers everywhere.

Has anyone tried using tons of flower seeds around all their plants? I kind of wonder if it will help improve my strawberry, tomato, and cantaloupe plants next year. It will ensure pollination and plenty of bee and bug activity.

Any thoughts?
 

ducks4you

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Growing flowers around your vegetables is ALWAYS a good idea bc the flowers attract pollinators.
Some very good flowers to try are marigolds (you get something like 50 seeds to harvest from each flower,) nasturtiums, and zinnias, but I would do an internet search for other suggestions. Where the flowers grow, the weeds Don't.
I am too wet for lavendar, but you might be dry enough to try growing it.
Since I am about to harvest a boatload of cinnamon basil seeds, I will try replacing grass underneath my grapes next year with those, again, to replace the grass and weeds that already grow there.
 

heirloomgal

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I am out of my garden for the year except for some fading flowers and periodic composting

I am trying to collect the dying heads to harvest the seeds for next year. I do plan to buy some borage seeds as they are supposed to be really helpful for a garden. I would like to try a "messy" garden next year to a certain extent with plenty of flowers everywhere.

Has anyone tried using tons of flower seeds around all their plants? I kind of wonder if it will help improve my strawberry, tomato, and cantaloupe plants next year. It will ensure pollination and plenty of bee and bug activity.

Any thoughts?
It all depends on your ultimate goal. While flowers mixed in with the vegetables can be beautiful (I used to let huge poppies seed themselves everywhere) there can be HUGE drawbacks to mixing flowers with veggie crops, depending on what is most important to you.

In my case, seeds are a big priority. So drawing pollinators of any kind to my garden would be disastrous for me. 90% (or more) of what is typically grown in veggie gardens need zero pollinators - none. The idea that pollinators increase production in vegetables is a complete myth, though a widely circulated one. (As is the 'Bee-pocalypse', honeybees are actually an invasive species and struggle to survive winters in a climate they aren't native to) And if you save seeds, they can cause serious troubles with purity. Squashes and some cucumbers are really the only mainstream vegetables that require insects to transfer pollen, some veggies (a lot) have flowers designed to actually keep bugs & pollinators out. Tomatoes and potatoes for example. Almost all pollination is wiggle and wind facilitated, no bugs needed.

The other issue that may occur with mixing in flowers among the vegetable plants is that while nature, and soil in particular, abhors a vacuum, vegetable plants love it, thrive on it. Bare soil may not stay bare for long without human help, but our domesticated veggie crops love it. Any companions are their competitors; the more the vegetable plant gets the better for it whether it be soil nutrients, sun, or space. Air flow gets compromised as well when many things are grown in a space. Things may grow, but thrive is a different story.

But if hosting pollinators is a goal for you, borage is an excellent choice. The bee activity on them is remarkable, and the plants can actually get 'loud' from all the collective buzzing.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Got the frost warning tonight, so I just brought in the last of the veggies (actually, Dad brough them in, as I was busy trying to make up computer time due to our cable/internet/phone conking out for just under 24 hours.

1667093126196.png


Slight difference with this cucumber. Not only are the stripes a little weaker but this one is FUZZY. Which is baffling. I know of no fuzzy melons, nor do I know of any fuzzy cucumbers (well, back in college I bought seed for something called Hairy Babylonian Wild Cucumbers, which the seller said his dad had brough with him from Iraq when he immigrated, and which he said grows all over the ruins there, but they never came up, so I don't know how much of that was truthful.) Squashes can be fuzzy when they are young, but I planted no squash seeds this year (and, as all of the packets of seed were still sealed, no seed of mine could have gotten into one, even if there IS a squash with small enough seeds I could mistake them for cucumber seeds.)

Guess I have another mystery on my hands for a while until I actually DO open it in a moth or two (as last time, I'm going to leave it to ripen as long as I can, until it starts to go rotten.)
 

Jane23

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It all depends on your ultimate goal. While flowers mixed in with the vegetables can be beautiful (I used to let huge poppies seed themselves everywhere) there can be HUGE drawbacks to mixing flowers with veggie crops, depending on what is most important to you.

In my case, seeds are a big priority. So drawing pollinators of any kind to my garden would be disastrous for me. 90% (or more) of what is typically grown in veggie gardens need zero pollinators - none. The idea that pollinators increase production in vegetables is a complete myth, though a widely circulated one. (As is the 'Bee-pocalypse', honeybees are actually an invasive species and struggle to survive winters in a climate they aren't native to) And if you save seeds, they can cause serious troubles with purity. Squashes and some cucumbers are really the only mainstream vegetables that require insects to transfer pollen, some veggies (a lot) have flowers designed to actually keep bugs & pollinators out. Tomatoes and potatoes for example. Almost all pollination is wiggle and wind facilitated, no bugs needed.

The other issue that may occur with mixing in flowers among the vegetable plants is that while nature, and soil in particular, abhors a vacuum, vegetable plants love it, thrive on it. Bare soil may not stay bare for long without human help, but our domesticated veggie crops love it. Any companions are their competitors; the more the vegetable plant gets the better for it whether it be soil nutrients, sun, or space. Air flow gets compromised as well when many things are grown in a space. Things may grow, but thrive is a different story.

But if hosting pollinators is a goal for you, borage is an excellent choice. The bee activity on them is remarkable, and the plants can actually get 'loud' from all the collective buzzing.
I will think on this. I have been reading about protecting my garden from certain types of pests and was "ringing" my garden with flowers to protect the plants that need the pollen, like tomatoes and cantaloupes. I know the rest don't need them.

I am in the process of saving seeds because flowers are nice to have around in addition to their other qualities. I have started saving the water jugs I have that slip and slice the tops off. They are perfect small flower planters, which I have set outside the garden in certain places.

My garden design is a mixture of wood/metal from a house my husband and I took down and anything I can no longer use or came out of that house, like a dead garbage can I cut in half to make into two planters. It works.
 
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heirloomgal

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Got the frost warning tonight, so I just brought in the last of the veggies (actually, Dad brough them in, as I was busy trying to make up computer time due to our cable/internet/phone conking out for just under 24 hours.

View attachment 53045

Slight difference with this cucumber. Not only are the stripes a little weaker but this one is FUZZY. Which is baffling. I know of no fuzzy melons, nor do I know of any fuzzy cucumbers (well, back in college I bought seed for something called Hairy Babylonian Wild Cucumbers, which the seller said his dad had brough with him from Iraq when he immigrated, and which he said grows all over the ruins there, but they never came up, so I don't know how much of that was truthful.) Squashes can be fuzzy when they are young, but I planted no squash seeds this year (and, as all of the packets of seed were still sealed, no seed of mine could have gotten into one, even if there IS a squash with small enough seeds I could mistake them for cucumber seeds.)

Guess I have another mystery on my hands for a while until I actually DO open it in a moth or two (as last time, I'm going to leave it to ripen as long as I can, until it starts to go rotten.)
There is a seed company called Berton, they seem to more or less specialize in Italian varieties of various flowers, herbs & veggies. They sell a fuzzy cucumber, darned if I can remember the name of it though.
 

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