What Did You Do In The Garden?

digitS'

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haha! oops! nope, you need fats (whole milk, cheeses, yogurts, breads with butter) to help cool that off quicker, but it will eventually fade out.

While visiting Hong Kong, I was once served something which came with what looked like a tiny green tomato on top... which I promptly popped into my mouth

either to prevent you from eating it accidentally, or as a dare
 

digitS'

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Lots of digging with the spading fork.

There are probably small varieties of parsnips. If your soil is difficult to dig, here's some advice: plant those. Or, plant the parsnips in the shade. Where they were on the shady side and crowded, they were shorter.

Carrots. Don't go for the long ones. The tractor guy did a good job tilling down about 8". The paths along side were dug out a little and that soil was added to the carrot and parsnip patch. They just shot right through the relatively soft dirt and buried themselves in the compacted gravel below that!

Steve
 

digitS'

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Brought 'em home - Burgess Buttercup, Cha Cha Kabocha, and that La Madera "landrace" ... first, into the carport. Need to clean shelves downstair and give some of these away. Some aren't mature and will be used soon or they will be lost.

670310CE-F79B-4CBE-9661-7045E5ACCD21.jpeg

Steve
 

Zeedman

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Brought 'em home - Burgess Buttercup, Cha Cha Kabocha, and that La Madera "landrace" ... first, into the carport. Need to clean shelves downstair and give some of these away. Some aren't mature and will be used soon or they will be lost.

View attachment 44246
Steve
Wow, what a great squash harvest! Those Cha Cha Kabocha look really good, I may have to give those a try... hopefully with better results than I've had recently. Weeds, weather, and bugs have killed my kabocha for two years in a row. :(

Had an interesting thing happen yesterday. I was getting ready to ferment some gherkin seed; they have almost no juice, so I decided to chop them & add juice to cover from some of the large half-green cucumbers I still had left over. So I opened & scooped out the cukes, then strained the material for juice. To my surprise, there appeared to be quite a few well-developed seeds in the left-over "goop", so I decided to add that to the cucumber fermentation I'd started the day before (which still showed no sign of fermentation). The "goop", while slimy, was very thick; so I stirred everything until the two batches were thoroughly mixed. The previous batch of seed took 4 days to ferment, so I figured the new seeds had time to "catch up".

Wow, did they ever!!!

I checked the gherkins just before going to bed, to give them a stir & mash them a little more... and the cucumber container had overflowed, with goo spreading across the counter top as I watched! Apparently the "goop" super-charged the fermentation process, and the floating debris - having formed an air-tight seal - was being pushed over the side by the gas trapped beneath. There was a lot of it. I stirred the surface to release the gas, scooped everything into a larger container, and processed the seeds. There were a few seeds still enclosed in membranes, but a vigorous stir with a wire whisk freed most of them, and I ended up with a large amount of seed.

What amazes me is how quickly the fermentation accelerated. I've been fermenting seed for 15 years - including cucumber seed - and never seen fermentation increase so rapidly. Especially surprising, given that the temperatures in my unheated garage (where I ferment seed) are rather low now. Even seeds fermented in mid-summer on my patio take at least 3 days.
 
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flowerbug

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here are a few good articles on squash that i've been reading this morning:


i'm reading this one now but it was referenced in the second link





i'll try to get a picture of the squash harvest, but it is a challenge now because we have a full spot and a bunch of them are now on the floor of the garage because Mom had to move them and didn't put them back.
 

digitS'

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I would never think of counting days from pollination date. The Johnny's article shows that it makes sense to do so for improved flavor but the glossy nature of immature squash is an indication.

There is some maturing after they come off the vines but it's probably limited before decay begins to set in with the immatures. No doubt, some of these will be tossed but the best I can do is get them out of the garden, take them home, and unload. Composting squash is often a 2 year process for me -- the second year involves pulling up the seedlings that sprout from the discards :).

The articles led me off on a little research on Kabocha and hybridizing with C. maxima and C. mochata. The U of Massachusetts did some work about 10 years ago, maybe since as well. Seems that varieties were grown in Brazil much longer ago than that.

@Zeedman , I have tried a couple of kabocha varieties with poor results. The plants have to be able to deal with local conditions. (Can you imagine how different conditions would be between here and Brazil!) And Bugs. Probably the crossing of the 2 species was intended to see if a quality squash could be developed with vine borer resistance.

Sakata seed wholesales one or more but doing a quick search, I couldn't find a retail source. BTW, just because something is grown in Brazil doesn't mean that it couldn't be grown somewhere in far more temperate climates. Witness my absolutely most-productive, and good quality Talladega cucumbers, presumably from the state of Alabama ;).

Steve
 

flowerbug

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I would never think of counting days from pollination date. The Johnny's article shows that it makes sense to do so for improved flavor but the glossy nature of immature squash is an indication.

for picking the earlier ones i go by the stem, but perhaps that's not a good indicator or as reliable. for seed saving i want the seeds to be mature enough so i can have future generations.


There is some maturing after they come off the vines but it's probably limited before decay begins to set in with the immatures. No doubt, some of these will be tossed but the best I can do is get them out of the garden, take them home, and unload. Composting squash is often a 2 year process for me -- the second year involves pulling up the seedlings that sprout from the discards :).

i don't tend to do much with the immature ones as i find the flavor to be bland and i don't much like zuchinis or summer squash (i don't need filler in my food), but i have eaten them if someone else picks and cooks them or makes z-bread from them.

i used to put all innards of the squash and melons into the worm bins and then have to deal with the seeds sprouting all over the place the next year when i took the worm compost out and buried it for the heaviest feedlings/seedlings. :) (i liked that typo so i left it in there). considering the worm compost may be buried quite deeply i'm impressed by how well those seeds manage to come up even through pretty heavy soil in spots. now i try to get more of the seeds out and leave them out on the compost heap on top for the critters to have if i'm not going to roast and eat them myself or save them for replanting. i'll try to save all the seeds this year because we have some solid orange nice squash that maybe worth it and of course our other usual mix of odds and ends plus the new big squash i don't know what it is, so i'll have to save those seeds until at least i cook some up to know if it is worth growing again. large squash, almost up to Hubbard size but not elongated. plus i have the Dumpling acorn type and while they are small i didn't have many seeds so it will be nice to have more seeds for replanting and sharing around.


The articles led me off on a little research on Kabocha and hybridizing with C. maxima and C. mochata. The U of Massachusetts did some work about 10 years ago, maybe since as well. Seems that varieties were grown in Brazil much longer ago than that.

i like wandering down the internet rabbit holes like that too at times. this morning instead i got back to shelling more beans out now that my hands have rested a bit.


@Zeedman , I have tried a couple of kabocha varieties with poor results. The plants have to be able to deal with local conditions. (Can you imagine how different conditions would be between here and Brazil!) And Bugs. Probably the crossing of the 2 species was intended to see if a quality squash could be developed with vine borer resistance.

Sakata seed wholesales one or more but doing a quick search, I couldn't find a retail source. BTW, just because something is grown in Brazil doesn't mean that it couldn't be grown somewhere in far more temperate climates. Witness my absolutely most-productive, and good quality Talladega cucumbers, presumably from the state of Alabama ;).

haha! we have borers and squash bugs here aplenty, so if we get results at all i'm happy. i need to rotate plant next year, but i haven't figured out where yet.
 

digitS'

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Dug a hole about 4' x 5' x 16" in one backyard bed. Got several buckets of carrots, parsnips and celeriac in there. It was a little too big since DW wanted some of those veggies in coolers on the deck. Framed the hole with some boards and covered the veggies with several inches of soil.

As soon as the pine trees drop a sufficient number of needles, those will go on top. I can't call it a potato clamp because those potatoes went downstairs. There's still a big basket full in the garage to carry down.

The shelves in the cellar room were washed with bleach water. The winter squash could use more days in the dry carport to cure. It's interesting how long it's taking those unpainted shelf boards to dry. You may remember that I had squash on those boards for the first time, last winter. There were problems with mold by February. I'd always used the painted shelves for squash in that room. Squash Abundance requires that both sets of shelving be used and I just hope that the bleach cleaned out any mold spores.

This commitment to so much winter squash in our diets comes with problems. Having a few into January used to seem like a treat but I didn't really try to "cure" them before carrying them down. Need to take advantage of our low-humidity climate ;).

Steve
 

Gardening with Rabbits

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I am hurrying to clean as much as I can so I can spread the manure and not have a frozen mountain. DS is going to help me take the fences down this weekend and then I can move around with the wheelbarrow easy. I will decide this winter what i think about all this and how big of a garden I need or want. I got a lot of food out of this garden this year, so we will see how much of it we eat.
 

digitS'

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I'm giving some thought to how I could use some "hardscape" in a garden path. It's quite dry right now (& 29°f) with rain on its way. That's no problem with access for a time with all the root veggies in coolers on the deck but by late winter, that path can be a mud run! That was a problem for access to kale and collards to keep up with @Ridgerunner in his Louisiana garden and was the situation last January and February 😬 .

I'd like any paving to be temporary because of the soil disturbance going on thru other months. Dryness is characteristic for those paths during the growing season despite me running water out there 3 times a week. The problem is snow melt and that includes snow sliding off the metal roof over the carport.

I think that I've got it! The bedliner from a used pickup is rolled up in the garage. Tack it down on some junk lumber.

Steve :D
 
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