What are You Eating from the Garden?

flowerbug

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I wonder if strawberries could grow here in Bama. I am sure a contrivance would work but I am thinking outside in a strawberry pot because for some reason we actually have a clay strawberry pot.
you probably can but it may be difficult to keep them in such a container, they don't have deep roots and must have moisture to grow and to make berries. also i'm not sure how well they would do in the hottest parts of the season above ground like in such a planter - at least in the ground they have more thermal mass to buffer the hot days. not having lived there or done this down there i'd take my thoughts with a few grains of salt... :)
 

Ridgerunner

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One of the big festivals down here is the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival in early March. Ponchatoula is on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and inland a little but will have warmer winters than you, zone 8b instead of your zone 8a. They grow good strawberries in Ponchatoula. I'm in zone 9.

I found this for growing them on South Louisiana where I live. You can find what the Alabama Extension service says about growing them where you are. I suspect it will look a lot like this.


The Yankees on here probably won't understand but down here we put them out in the fall early enough so they can establish root systems by spring but not early enough to cook in the heat. By spring they are ready to grow and produce.

Occasionally you might read where someone says to pinch the flowers to stop them producing the first year so they can become established. Total nonsense with strawberries down here. Probably is with Yankees too but that's a different climate. Enjoy your strawberries that first season.

In a container you might be able to keep them alive over summer, keep it watered and maybe in a cooler shady place. If you keep them watered they might live in the ground too over summer, but it may be easier to just replant in the fall when the heat of summer finally breaks.
 

digitS'

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Eating and drinking:

Dandelions. I wouldn't be messing with the roots but DW wanted to try them raw for tea. The leaves we had for greens last night. Tasteless roots, DW boiled a minute before frying the greens, still a little bitter, as expected. I, more or less, ate them with my baked potato ;).

DW wasn't very impressed with the raw tea, either. She okayed me toasting her remaining roots and grinding for coffee, tomorrow morning. From experience, I know that at 50:50, they will be just fine for that. Wish I had a place to harvest larger roots. Or, maybe this economic downturn will encourage the harvesting of puny ones.

Portuguese kale soup for lunch!

Steve
 

flowerbug

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One of the big festivals down here is the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival in early March. Ponchatoula is on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and inland a little but will have warmer winters than you, zone 8b instead of your zone 8a. They grow good strawberries in Ponchatoula. I'm in zone 9.

I found this for growing them on South Louisiana where I live. You can find what the Alabama Extension service says about growing them where you are. I suspect it will look a lot like this.


The Yankees on here probably won't understand but down here we put them out in the fall early enough so they can establish root systems by spring but not early enough to cook in the heat. By spring they are ready to grow and produce.

Occasionally you might read where someone says to pinch the flowers to stop them producing the first year so they can become established. Total nonsense with strawberries down here. Probably is with Yankees too but that's a different climate. Enjoy your strawberries that first season.

In a container you might be able to keep them alive over summer, keep it watered and maybe in a cooler shady place. If you keep them watered they might live in the ground too over summer, but it may be easier to just replant in the fall when the heat of summer finally breaks.
this yankee up here has to get them planted early enough so they are rooted well enough to survive repeated freeze/thaw cycles or they will get popped right out of the ground. if they're not planted by mid-August or so they aren't too likely to survive. and, yes, i have learned this from direct experience...
 

Ridgerunner

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Dad would bury strawberries in dead leaves raked from the garden in the fall to insulate them some from freezing out of the ground. I did the same in Arkansas. It seemed to help. But in Arkansas the heat of summer was the big problem. If I didn't water them they died.

I fine when strawberries get ripe interesting. Down here February/March is prime strawberry time. Growing up in the ridges of Appalachian Tennessee strawberries were ripe as school was about to let out, May. I'd pick wild strawberries as I walked home from where the school bus dropped me off. Those were good. I don't know when they ripen in Michigan or Minnesota but it's quite a bit later.
 

flowerbug

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Dad would bury strawberries in dead leaves raked from the garden in the fall to insulate them some from freezing out of the ground. I did the same in Arkansas. It seemed to help. But in Arkansas the heat of summer was the big problem. If I didn't water them they died.

I fine when strawberries get ripe interesting. Down here February/March is prime strawberry time. Growing up in the ridges of Appalachian Tennessee strawberries were ripe as school was about to let out, May. I'd pick wild strawberries as I walked home from where the school bus dropped me off. Those were good. I don't know when they ripen in Michigan or Minnesota but it's quite a bit later.
you can influence some of the time of ripening by choosing varieties, but as i have had blooms on strawberries in March and in May it is also influenced by weather. this year is about perfect in that the latest frost came for us right before my strawberry patch bloomed, but the wild strawberries in the yard started blooming several weeks earlier so some of them got frosted out. both varieties i have planted here Honoye and Ozark both bloom about the same time. they are planted intermixed so i don't even keep track of who's who any more, but the Ozarks are supposed to bloom and fruit more than once but rarely do i get much from the 2nd crop. one season the weather was so mild they even tried for a 3rd crop but didn't get beyond green berry stage. mid-summer is just too hot for expecting much from them anyways IMO.

using mulch as a preventative to frost heaving can be done up here, but it comes with complications so i end up not bothering. the plants will survive our winter temperatures and exposure as long as they are not freeze dried (which usually isn't a problem). snow cover can also provide some insulation from frost heaving. in the end, me being a minimalist i just make sure to have them planted by mid-Augustish.

part of my time spent in there picking is also spent weeding and picking up any fruits that the animals are leaving on the ground or damaged or spoiling fruits. anything i see i pick up so that prevents disease and bug problems.
 

flowerbug

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yesterday i raided some pea pods on some plants.

since i have many new pea varieties planted in this patch the pods were only on a few plants that i harvested, but wow were they nice to have. big pods, crunchy and tender, but not the plumped up kind, these were flat and wide.

i ate them right in the garden. now i feel bad because i'm not even sure i left any pods to get seeds on that plant. oops... will have to be sure to leave the rest of them alone now if i see any because i sure do want some seeds from that pea plant to grow more in the future.

i do have more seeds yet to plant for another season so perhaps in there i have the same seed/plant type, but it was a mix of seeds sent to me so i'm not sure.

haha! so funny. :) ...
 

digitS'

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I might have snow peas, tomorrow ... will just have to see but it won't be long for snap, snow and shell :D.

Eating Asian greens with baby beets has gone on long enuf! Well, not really - there are more tiny seedlings but, that's risky because I will have to pay careful attention that they are not "cooked" in the garden.

My enthusiasm for the broccoli being nearly harvest ready relates to DW's recent enthusiasm for buying kale during the winter. Admittedly, we had quite a bit of kale and collards in the winter garden. Store purchases of broccoli plummeted!

Chard is dragging its feet. I will get some fertilizer on it by the next watering for encouragement.

Today, I will attempt to purchase Batavian escarole seed. I know, I'm very late but it may be a good test of warm season reliability. My usual perusal of the garden center racks was seriously interfered with in 2020. Dang, my habits weren't well-established in 1968 but this will be another discombobulated year like that one.

Steve
 

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