A Seed Saver's Garden

flowerbug

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Saw a big groundhog today in the yard. Not good. Was tempted to release the hound on him, but decided that might have a negative outcome, as in, a vet bill.

if you can train the hound to chase them but not actually engage that would probably be more useful and less expensive. :)
 

heirloomgal

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if you can train the hound to chase them but not actually engage that would probably be more useful and less expensive. :)
I doubt anything would happen really if I set him on one, he's more a tracker than a catcher. But a dog is a dog and you never know when a surprise burst of prey drive might kick in. Unlikely I'd ever be able to train out those deeper instincts.
 

heirloomgal

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I had 23 cubic yards of soil dropped off yesterday morning. When the tri axle truck lifted the box up for the dirt to fall, I saw that some (quite a bit) was stuck to the bottom of the box. DD and I looked at each other and wondered how on earth he'd get that out of there, way up in the air like that. The man came out, inspected, saw that there was stuff still in there, hopped back in, slowly drove forward and then suddenly backed up and SLAMMED into the huge pile of dirt! BANG! Very loud crash. But that worked. The tire tread marks left in that little spot are wild, the tires didn't just grind into the lawn there, they demolished it. Sheesh, the power of industrial machinery is truly mind boggling.

So, spent most of the last 2 days wheelbarrowing. Filled my new cedar log bed up, made my garden extension, filled some planters and am refreshing garden areas that need it. It's a lot of dirt, and I love it. Feeling super happy for all that new room, over 300 new square feet so far, and more to come if I can think creatively.

We had incredibly harsh winds on Wednesday and Thursday, very unusual. The bean plants were not real happy to be thrashed around like that, but I didn't lose any thankfully. The tomato plants have all hardened up so well though they are really ready for transplanting. I haven't a single thing planted in the ground yet. Hopefully I can do some planting this week. My peppers have been neglected with all the garden prep this year, so I'd like to get those in asap. Won't be as many as last year, which is good, because I had too many. They're all smaller than I like them to be at this time of year, but it is what it is. I hope the greenhouse can help them catch up.

I found a small box of my favorite potatoes, Purple Magic, so I broke and got some though I said to myself no potatoes this year. Hard to resist the combo package of beauty and taste.

Ah, all the planning and seeds started for 2024 are in that last stretch before transitioning into final placement and its a glorious thing. :)
 

heirloomgal

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I need to take some photos of my new cedar bed, it's been so busy I haven't been able to find the time yet but I have some of the stumps that we had to take out. DH started the removal project and then we all jumped on board, though 3 out of 4 of us quickly felt hopeless, lol. The network of surface roots was like cutting through a thick mat of wires, and all we really had was shovels. Then DH employed a small hand held saw, which didn't seem to work immediate miracles. Eventually DH's brute strength got us to a place where we saw a light at the end of the tunnel. An angelic neighbour, who's also strong, came over with a pick axe kind of tool and then we started cooking with gas. It was out in less than half a day. Those pioneers must have been a real hardy lot to take on stuff like this when they were doing clearing. Trees are formidable opponents.
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Some of the smaller cedar logs (most about 4-5 feet) I'm thinking of using for semi-runner beans. They'd last forever, unlike my present method which requires new wood every year. That smooth slippery surface quality gives me pause though. I left lots of bumps and numbs on there, but I think I'd need to add a few dozen long screws all over the place to really give the vines something to anchor to. Not sure what to do.
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Finished distributing the new soil yesterday, felt great. There was plenty left over to give a thick coat on the front yard edible project too, which badly needed some organic matter. The soil there was a prone to compacting, so this will help. Landscaped where that old tree was, as the earth had lifted over the years all around it. It's nice and flat and smooth now. I sprinkled grass seed this afternoon over the area, it's been raining. Secretly, I'd like to put another raised bed there eventually now that it has nearly full sun. :)

And a little picture of cuteness, new family members Maude, Martha and Esther enjoying a bit of sun for the first time.

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Alasgun

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That’s a trophy! Might even come into the category of “Yard Art” with your creative abilities?
 

Pulsegleaner

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I HAVE managed to find the box with my African common beans, but I am sort of on the fence about whether I should try and plant them THIS year.

On one hand, I DO have some spare space left, and they CERTAINLY could use a regenerative grow out. (I expected them to go from the dead white and purple they were when fresh to the tan and black they were when I got them, but by now the tan has darkened to a very clear chocolate brown, even on the solid greyish tan ones, so I can tell they are getting REALLY oxidized.

On the other, it's almost June, and that was when the beans last time were basically coming into flower/pod. So I'm a little worried that, if I plant them now, they won't have enough time or day length to reproduce before either it gets too cold or the days get too short.

I don't really have enough of any of them to try and split supplies and hedge my bets, so it's one or the other.
 

heirloomgal

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That’s a trophy! Might even come into the category of “Yard Art” with your creative abilities?
Haha, I think I'd need a lot of artistic capability to transform it! Not my strong suit! Although I have seen some very nice chainsaw sculpting...but I'd need to know how to use a chainsaw (and not be afraid of them!). It would be great to transform it instead of haul it, it weights hundreds of pounds. We broke our wheelbarrow hauling the other one away. 🤣
 

heirloomgal

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I HAVE managed to find the box with my African common beans, but I am sort of on the fence about whether I should try and plant them THIS year.

On one hand, I DO have some spare space left, and they CERTAINLY could use a regenerative grow out. (I expected them to go from the dead white and purple they were when fresh to the tan and black they were when I got them, but by now the tan has darkened to a very clear chocolate brown, even on the solid greyish tan ones, so I can tell they are getting REALLY oxidized.

On the other, it's almost June, and that was when the beans last time were basically coming into flower/pod. So I'm a little worried that, if I plant them now, they won't have enough time or day length to reproduce before either it gets too cold or the days get too short.

I don't really have enough of any of them to try and split supplies and hedge my bets, so it's one or the other.
Are African common beans P. vulgaris?
 

Pulsegleaner

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Are African common beans P. vulgaris?
Yes. I meant "African" in the sense of the varieties coming from Africa. Pretty much all of the ones I have came from buying out Richter's supply of something they called "Speckled Grey" from the Seed Zoo. They treated it as a single variety with a variable expression, but I quickly discovered it was in fact a mix of totally separate varieties (basically, the reverse of what I found with Fort Portal Mixed.) As far as I could tell, most of the beans turned out to be either Pebblestone or Fort Portal Violet (what I re-named Fort Portal Mixed to after everything came back identical in color and shape), and those I traded away. But I kept the few that didn't fit into either group; a few that produced seeds with the Pebblestone seed coat pattern but too small and or short to be Pebblestone, the Night Sky ones (basically a mostly purple/black seed coat with a few white/tan sprinkles scattered around on it* And two fairly small ones (one sort of greyish tan, the other maroon) that just showed up in a few packs.

*I originally thought these might be reverses of the Pebblestone pattern, or some sort of intermediate between the two major groups. But they come back consistently (i.e. you plant a black speckled tan, you get a black speckled tan back; you plant a tan speckled black, you get a tan speckled black) and they don't have FPV's other distinctive feature (VERY strong purple mottling on the developing cotyledons as soon as they are exposed to light,) so they are their own strain.
 

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