Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, May 21

Phacelia-campanularia-1-76.jpg

Happy Saturday, everyone! How is your garden growing? Or, Is your garden growing? Can you see a garden growing anywhere?

Don in Kansas sent in a note saying that he has established a few small gardens at his new place (far from a botanical garden). I thought it would be fun to include a few photos from his first garden posts from this year, and links to a few more. Don't forget to click on the links for additional (and larger) photos. He writes well, too.

Four months in four days:

Thursday it was March outdoors, chilly, windy and wet. Yesterday it was a much milder April. Today it's May, warm and breezy. Tomorrow, if the weatherman is right, will be a hot June day.

Despite the meteorological shenanigans, the plants in my garden continue to thrive. The first California poppy opened today. Phacelia campanularia, probably the most intensely blue flower one can easily grow in Kansas, has been blooming for a week now. There's much more coming soon.

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April 18, useful gardening notes:

Dandelions, henbit, seedlings under light, lilacs and more:

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March 29, a post about literature:

Does this photo distress you? I hope not.

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March 25, Friday Blues

Survivors!

March 23, Wednesday Yellows

March 18, X Marks the spot

California poppies have distinctive forked cotyledons, and seedlings look like little green X's on the ground.

Winter is leaving at last -- I hope -- and I can finally start rehabilitating the badly neglected quarter-acre on which I now live. Posting will continue to be light as I prune, rake, dig, cuss, plant and dig some more. . .

Interesting botanical information. Anybody relate to the gardening experiences?

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January 24, Catalogs, new and old

Fascinating. Lord Lionel Rothschild. Astonishing.

And a fake plantsman at White Flower Farm!

Don has been busy.

Edible Gardening

Got blueberries? Have a party coming up?

Blueberry lemon bars

Recipe at the link. Mmmm. Blueberries, lemon, cream cheese, crumble topping.

Putting things by

By-Tor's recipe for his award-winning Bread and Butter Pickles:

bredd n buttr.jpg

Bread and Butter Pickles

3 Cups water
2 Cups distilled 5% vinegar (white or apple cider)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup salt (non-iodized)
2 Tablespoons pickling spice
3lbs pickling cucumbers
6 cloves garlic (optional)
1 large sliced jalapeno (optional)
Half a medium onion diced or sliced

Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a large stockpot at medium until
dissolved. Adjust salt and sugar to your preference.

Cut off ends of cucumbers and discard. Slice cucumbers to your preferred
thickness. Pack cucumbers into jars with the garlic, onion, jalapeno and pickling
spices divided evenly between jars. Fill jars with brine. Should be enough brine
for 3 quarts.

Water bath can for 12-15 minutes.

Thanks, By-Tor!

Adventure

Long-time lurker and rare AOSHQ commenter "RS" here. I offer the following for the Flower/Garden/Adventure thread. Please feel free to edit as required or omit/ignore if not appropriate.

My eldest lives and works in Central Europe. Her weekends are spent hiking and climbing in the mountains, The attached photo is from a couple of weeks ago on one of her excursions to a lower range of mountains along the German-Czech border, an area known to mid-20th century history buffs as "The Sudetenland."

The flower is, of course, an Edelweiss, the first she's seen this Spring. it's a mountain bloom which appears while there's still snow at the higher elevations. Note the snow melts from the bottom up which can pose dangers for hikers, but still God's creation finds a toe hold.

The other three photos are from the border between Germany and Austria. (The concrete stone at my daughter's feet marks the border.) The view is east toward the "Kaiser Mountains" in Tyrol, Austria, which are at 7000-8000 feet elevation.

Keep up the great work. I religiously read the weekend specialty threads.

Best regards,

edelv.JPG

alp dangr.JPG

alp 1.JPG

alp 2.JPG

Wow.


If you would like to send photos, stories, links, etc. for the Saturday Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden at g mail dot com

Remember to include the nic or name by which you wish to be known at AoSHQ, or let us know if you want to remain a lurker.


Week in Review

What has changed since last week's thread? May 14, includes a lot of photos and information from the desert. Specific information on growing sapotes, award-winning pickles, growing and preparing asparagus, racoons, a giant moth, wildflowers and growing a garden in a time of fertilizer shortages (video).

Any thoughts or questions?

The comments here are closed so you won't get banned for commenting on a week-old post, but don't try it anyway.

Posted by: K.T. at 01:35 PM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Anyone ever use commercial deer repellent? Do they work?

Posted by: BignJames at May 21, 2022 01:39 PM (AwYPR)

2 God afternoon Greenthumbs

Posted by: Skip's phone at May 21, 2022 01:40 PM (7LtA1)

3 Love the blueberry-lemon recipe. That is a great combo.

I've also seen a blueberry-lime cake with thyme that sounds interesting.

Posted by: kallisto at May 21, 2022 01:41 PM (DJFLF)

4 Ahhhhh, great thread, KT.

Posted by: Sharkman at May 21, 2022 01:42 PM (5cCh1)

5 Have veggies finally, different tomatoes, mostly hot peppers. Cucumbers and yellow squash

Posted by: Skip's phone at May 21, 2022 01:44 PM (7LtA1)

6 I love that top photo! You very rarely find anything in nature with a Blue that pure.

Posted by: Tom Servo at May 21, 2022 01:45 PM (URhKg)

7 Wow, beautiful snow.

Posted by: Eromero at May 21, 2022 01:45 PM (0OP+5)

8 I don't ever want to be that close to snow.

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 01:46 PM (56+8G)

9 I guess the attraction of edelweiss really is that it blooms in the snow!

Posted by: KT at May 21, 2022 01:49 PM (rrtZS)

10 Packed a lot of tomatoes and herbs into my community garden plot, and found room to squeeze one more tiny plant (Cosmic Eclipse). Another month of this rainy/hot weather and it will be a miniature jungle.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at May 21, 2022 01:53 PM (Dc2NZ)

11 Thank you for the thread KT.

And thank you By-Tor for both recipes!

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 01:55 PM (56+8G)

12
Wow, beautiful snow.

Posted by: Eromero at May 21, 2022 01:45 PM


um, yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there

ain't no such thing as "beautiful snow"

Posted by: AltonJackson at May 21, 2022 01:55 PM (ENBF0)

13 um, yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there

ain't no such thing as "beautiful snow"
Posted by: AltonJackson at May 21, 2022 01:55 PM (ENBF0)
---

You and Napoleon...

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at May 21, 2022 01:56 PM (Dc2NZ)

14 No experience with deer repellant. Even i live on the river, have no critter issues in the garden. Bunnies nibble cabbage plants very seldom. Coons have only robbed corn twice in 10 years.

Posted by: Cicero Kaboom! Kid watching Sinkhole Spider eat face- sized spider at May 21, 2022 01:56 PM (3Or4S)

15 I love the snowy mountain pictures!

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 21, 2022 02:01 PM (2M1CH)

16 As usual, I love the photos in the thread. The sunlight shining through blossom is outstanding. And the mountain vistas are inspiring. (As long as I don't have to climb them.)

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:01 PM (7EjX1)

17 Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow ...

Lovely photos, RS.

kt in the garden, nice thread, as always.

Harvesting some celebrity tomatoes and getting ready to put shade screens up to prevent sun scald on the others.

Posted by: Adriane the Practical Critic ... at May 21, 2022 02:04 PM (okV1R)

18 I love the snowy mountain pictures!
Posted by: CaliGirl

Yeah I agree, pictures of snow where I am not included (or expected to be anywhere near) are great!

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 02:06 PM (56+8G)

19 This week I realized we hadn't had any blooms on the lilac bush. The bush itself looks full and healthy, just no blossoms this year.

We've had three winters in a row that were milder than usual: Less snow and few long periods of frigid temperatures. I wonder if lilacs need harsher winter conditions to encourage spring flowers.

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:06 PM (7EjX1)

20 Thanks to By-Tor for the full pickle recipe. Makes it easy to copy and file away. My taste for pickled and lacto-fermented foods is increasing as I get older. If we grew our own cabbages, some would end up in a sauerkraut crock.

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:11 PM (7EjX1)

21 No lilacs in the south; lots of crepe myrtles though, which fill the same niche.

Posted by: Tom Servo at May 21, 2022 02:12 PM (URhKg)

22 I am fighting a losing battle with ground squirrels and gophers. They ate all of my irises in one spot.

I have snap traps, gopher hawks, squirrelinators.

I hate them. I want to kill them all with fire.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 21, 2022 02:12 PM (2M1CH)

23 My wife is deathly afraid of canning. Too many horror stories I guess. Even doing it outside with a induction cooktop is outside her comfort zone. Me... I don't know enough about it to try, but I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to.

We get a huge surplus of veggies every summer and so much of it goes to waste. It's just the two of us. I think it's worthwhile to learn canning, dehydrating, smoking meats, etc.

Most of all I think it's worthwhile to Moonshine.

Posted by: Martini Farmer at May 21, 2022 02:12 PM (BFigT)

24 When we moved here 5 years ago I tried some kinds of deer repellent (including Irish Spring soap, which actually works fairly well until it gets wet).

I gave up after the security cam showed the deer coming up on our porch to eat "protected" plants next to the front door.

We have finally reached some kind of equilibrium where we have only plants that the deer don't "usually" eat. But as one gardening site said, "I think the deer eat things that they hate just out of spite."

Posted by: Art Rondelet of Malmsey at May 21, 2022 02:16 PM (fTtFy)

25 I am fighting a losing battle with ground squirrels and gophers. They ate all of my irises in one spot.

I have snap traps, gopher hawks, squirrelinators.

I hate them. I want to kill them all with fire.
Posted by: CaliGirl

I'm almost completely set with the PCP air rifle, just waiting on a cleaning kit before I sight the scope.
Can I bring an air rifle to california?

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 02:18 PM (56+8G)

26 Standing in the checkout line at Menard's last week with 20 bags of topsoil and five bags of garden soil, calculating the ratio that will nourish the hydrangeas without burning out the roots and then thought, "shit, when did gardening become one of my things?"

Posted by: Victor Tango Kilo at May 21, 2022 02:22 PM (OeBYn)

27 23 ''' We get a huge surplus of veggies every summer and so much of it goes to waste. It's just the two of us. I think it's worthwhile to learn canning, dehydrating, smoking meats, etc."

We don't use a pressure cooker but have done water bath canning with 100 percent success. Haven't done any smoking of meat because Mrs. JTB doesn't care for the taste. But we have dehydrated beef for jerky, and fruit and tomatoes. Skills worth having. It all comes under the heading of: 'So simple, even I can do it.'

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:26 PM (7EjX1)

28 Beer works as deer repellant, as does urine.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at May 21, 2022 02:27 PM (vuisn)

29 Can I bring an air rifle to california?

Newsom's magic eight ball sez we're working on no.

Posted by: Commissar of Plenty and Lysenko Solutions at May 21, 2022 02:30 PM (hWaIR)

30 I'm even older in mindset than my 29 years. I will buy bagged potting soil for houseplants and bottled water when I'm on the road and didn't pack enough water from home but my frugal Scandi nature is yelling "Buying dirt, buying water, that is crazy" at me every time.

Posted by: PaleRider, Simple Irredeemable at May 21, 2022 02:30 PM (3cGpq)

31 Snowed here all day yesterday. Got 6-8 inches of heavy wet snow. Sure needed the moisture. Hope it didn't break any branches. Wife had already planted a few flowers and veggies. She covered them up. Hope they all make it.

Posted by: Ronster at May 21, 2022 02:31 PM (Z1XlQ)

32 When it comes to preserving food, commercial or from the garden, we keep going back and forth about getting a vacuum sealer. One moment we are sure we'll get one, then the machine reviews are all over the place and change our mind. Bummer!

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:31 PM (7EjX1)

33 > Skills worth having. It all comes under the heading of: 'So simple, even I can do it.'
Posted by: JTB
_____________

Yup. Given the depressing state of affairs my wife is slowly coming 'round to it. Plus, the homemade shit is always better than even the most "natural" stuff in the stores or online.

That being said... there's a woman who sells "local honey" and it is by far better than anything I've ever had. They say that "local honey" (if it's really local) has a lot of the antigens that help with allergies as the honey is produced by bees that pollinate your local flowers.... including weeds to make that honey.

Posted by: Martini Farmer at May 21, 2022 02:31 PM (BFigT)

34 Martini Farmer, the premier book on canning is the Ball Blue Book, The Guide to Home Canning and Freezing

https://tinyurl.com/fje92nec

Your local extension service will also have information on canning, and it and some churches also offer canning classes. If you are in a semi rural county, ask at the County fair this summer.
Canning is not hard, and is not dangerous if done correctly - but even if you think Safety Third, remember safety.

I worked in canneries for years, canning beans mostly, and the stories of home-canned botulism are not as scary as the stories of bits of mice on the conveyors, or my co-workers on 'shrooms from the tediousness of the job. Home canned fruits and veggies are better and of higher quality
Also look into drying. You can do it on corrugated roofing in full sun, or you can buy a fancy dryer instead.

Posted by: Kindltot at May 21, 2022 02:31 PM (xhaym)

35 Can I bring an air rifle to california?

Newsom's magic eight ball sez we're working on no.
Posted by: Commissar of Plenty

I thought that might be the case.
Sometimes a little target shooting is the only way to deal with the invasion of critters (people, people, people... 4 legged critters!).

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 02:33 PM (56+8G)

36
I'm almost completely set with the PCP air rifle, just waiting on a cleaning kit before I sight the scope.
Can I bring an air rifle to california?
Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 02:18 PM (56+8G)

I have two of them. My husband shoots squirrels every am, there are babies everywhere. He's been getting about 20 a day.
I think there may be more than usual because we didn't get much rain this year.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 21, 2022 02:33 PM (2M1CH)

37 we keep going back and forth about getting a vacuum sealer. One moment we are sure we'll get one, then the machine reviews are all over the place and change our mind. Bummer!
Posted by: JTB

I was in the same boat. I finally talked better half into just biting the bullet and getting the one from Costco. It's simple, it works.

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 02:35 PM (56+8G)

38 When it comes to preserving food, commercial or from the garden, we keep going back and forth about getting a vacuum sealer. One moment we are sure we'll get one, then the machine reviews are all over the place and change our mind. Bummer!
Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:31 PM (7EjX1)


I have a 10 year old Foodsaver and the only problem I had was the foam rubber seals for the mouth of the bag dry out and need to be replaced. However there are near industrial value ones around too that are like a tank.
Check Craigslist or the local shopper for used ones. It is a cheap way to get into it, even if it doesn't work like you wanted

Posted by: Kindltot at May 21, 2022 02:37 PM (xhaym)

39 33 ..
Martini Farmer,

That's true about local honey. We have a couple of good sources and it is definitely better than store bought stuff. And no chance of any of the Chinese crap getting in our systems. Local honey to help with allergies isn't a cure-all but it certainly helps during hay fever season.

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:39 PM (7EjX1)

40 Sometimes a little target shooting is the only way to deal with the invasion of critters

Years ago hunting mountain lions was outlawed. Now they can be found in neighborhoods prowling. Profit!!

Posted by: Commissar of Plenty and Lysenko Solutions at May 21, 2022 02:42 PM (hWaIR)

41 The Miller Moths were starting to be a problem. Maybe the snow storm will set them back. Hopefully.

Posted by: Ronster at May 21, 2022 02:42 PM (Z1XlQ)

42 38 ... Kindltot,

Thanks for the suggestion. I notice the FoodSaver brand machines get consistently good reviews and most are easily affordable.

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:43 PM (7EjX1)

43 Best way to get rid of the low leafy looking weeds in my grass?

I tried Weed and Feed last year and it did kill it...but only right where I put the stuff.

Posted by: 18-1 at May 21, 2022 02:46 PM (ESjRY)

44 I have both .22 and .177 break over air rifles. Never could get the .22 zeroed in. Probably due to the cheap a** scope. The .177 works great.

Posted by: Ronster at May 21, 2022 02:46 PM (Z1XlQ)

45 I notice the FoodSaver brand machines get consistently good reviews and most are easily affordable.
Posted by: JTB

That's the brand that Costco carries and goes on sale periodically.

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 02:47 PM (56+8G)

46 hiya

Posted by: JT at May 21, 2022 02:47 PM (arJlL)

47 I got the garden finally tilled, the Pacific has been flipping rainstsorms at us for a month, and all around town the lawns are getting tall enough to set seed heads. You can see who put down rye grass and who put in timothy.

Yesterday I planted my late potatoes - I bought German Yellows and French Fingerlings instead of just Russets and reds from the grocery store - and put down fertilizer for them. I also put in about half my pole beans.
Digging through my seed packets I found I had put aside saved seeds several years ago for Kentucky Wonders, and I hate throwing them out and I can't depend on them to grow, so I interseeded those with ones I bought this year. I will have to thin.

I also planted 4 Korean yellow melon plants. The melons are heavy feeders and need lots of water, so I dig a pit and fill it with compost and fertilizer, and backfill it with a layer of our clay, and plant on top of that. I was taught to plant on a mound, but I have had better luck planting in a dished in area so the water runs to the plant in the middle instead of running off and absorbing on the surface away from the plant. It also shields the melon from weather early in the season.

Posted by: Kindltot at May 21, 2022 02:49 PM (xhaym)

48 Beautiful Sudetenland photos. It is the waters of my homeworld.

Careful on those slopes, and be prepared to self-arrest. They look pretty steep.

Posted by: flounder at May 21, 2022 02:49 PM (SH2Zi)

49 The temp is near 100 deg, here. I wouldn't mind a little snow.

Posted by: JT at May 21, 2022 02:49 PM (arJlL)

50 We have a few old Ball canning Blue Book pamphlets from the 1940s (courtesy of Mrs. JTB's grandmother) and the info is still useful. The Ball company has published an updated version that takes in all the improvements and new techniques in canning.

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 02:50 PM (7EjX1)

51 I have a cheap vacuum sealer that was like $60. It is great for being able to seal meat bought on sale that would otherwise get freezer burn with the super thin packaging from the grocery store. If you aren't butchering and processing deer or home raised livestock the cheap ones are probably all you'll need and at the price its not bad if you end up upgrading after a couple of years. If I'm going to seal anything liquid I do have to put it in a ziplock or pre-freeze first. The cheap sealer won't seal if there is liquid between the plastic where it makes the heat seal.

Posted by: PaleRider, Simple Irredeemable at May 21, 2022 02:51 PM (3cGpq)

52 Initially purchased an All American pressure canner because I was tired of Bean Soup or other dishes (Navy or Great Northern, Red Beans) taking so long. These are high quality cast aluminum units. Drop a ham bone or meaty ham hock in there too and it's more or less done done in an hour.

There's really not much to be afraid of - provided you guys use USDA tested and approved recipes and techniques. Found some canning jars in the attic. One of them was a large blue "Perfect Mason" - which (naturally) there is a web page devoted to age determining canning jars based on the font styles and such.

Turns out it is from the 1930s, making me wonder about the stories it could tell, if it could talk.

Canning jars are great for storing dry goods too, keeping staples and things fresh, and free from vermin. And they kinda look cool too.

Posted by: Common Tater at May 21, 2022 02:52 PM (pBNR+)

53 We have a "Food Saver" brand thing. It makes a huge difference with frozen meats. They're almost never freezer burn unlike regular freezer bags. We're using it for storing beans, rice and pasta too. In several 5 gallon gamma sealed containers.

Dried beans will be worth nearly as much as ammo in the burning times.

Posted by: Martini Farmer at May 21, 2022 02:54 PM (BFigT)

54 I ran across some information on Irish farming and found info on the "lazy bed" or making beds by flipping turf in rows to plant potatoes. It makes a strata between the sods where the grass decomposes, and that is where you plant your potatoes. It also lets you plant earlier in the season because the rain has a place to drain to.

The Irish use a special spade called a Loy, and the closest they have here is a 4" trenching shovel that comes with a heavy handle
it is not a bad shovel to work between rows, by the way, and I like it now for hilling up dirt on the potato rows.
I did plant a very short bed in potatoes a week ago, and I am waiting to see if it works at all.

Posted by: Kindltot at May 21, 2022 02:58 PM (xhaym)

55 The Ball company has published an updated version that takes in all the improvements and new techniques in canning.
Posted by: JTB

I couldn't find the book on Ball's site; but, they might have digitized it and made it available:
https://is.gd/yIL76P

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at May 21, 2022 02:58 PM (56+8G)

56 Does the wife have an Instapot? Because that can be used as a pressure cooker. For some reason, people have no problems usung an Instspot but freak out about pressure cookers. You can't can with one but it might show her that pressure isn't as scary as she thought.

I'd start her with a dehydrator. The Consori works well and is pretty inexpensive. Homestead Heart, Alaska Prepper and Appalachia's Homestead on You Tube have good canning videos. You may have to learn how to do it and show her that it works fine.

Posted by: Notsothoreau - look forward at May 21, 2022 02:59 PM (lQ7BB)

57 My wife is deathly afraid of canning. Too many horror stories I guess. Even doing it outside with a induction cooktop is outside her comfort zone. Me... I don't know enough about it to try, but I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to.

Posted by: Martini Farmer at May 21, 2022 02:12 PM (BFigT)

Pick up a Ball canning cookbook. It has all the recipes and info that you need to know. Boiling water canning is as simple as boiling water. Pressure canning requires more attention and equipment, but it is really nothing to be afraid over. Grab a friend who knows and make an event of it.

>>>Most of all I think it's worthwhile to Moonshine.

I really want to get this set up once I get my house and landscaping finished.

Posted by: Comrade flounder, wrecker, hoarder, saboteur at May 21, 2022 03:00 PM (SH2Zi)

58 I think this is that same Irish method, done by a Scot;

https://youtu.be/3JB67Wx9Pwg

Posted by: Notsothoreau - look forward at May 21, 2022 03:01 PM (lQ7BB)

59 Sorry, the benefit to a lazy bed is that you can put potatoes or other root crops early, on wet soil, and you don't have to till the sod under, just flip it over like closing a book.

If I decided to turn my yard into turnip and potato production that is how I would do it

Posted by: Kindltot at May 21, 2022 03:02 PM (xhaym)

60 Thanks for the suggestions about vacuum sealers and their usefulness.

Posted by: JTB at May 21, 2022 03:03 PM (7EjX1)

61 I bought a Food Saver. It seems to work fine. I haven't had much luck with the jar attachment. I need to take another look at it. My friend used to buy mylar bags ane use an iron to seal them.

Posted by: Notsothoreau - look forward at May 21, 2022 03:04 PM (lQ7BB)

62 The Phacelia campanularia is so blue! Very nice photo.

Posted by: m at May 21, 2022 03:12 PM (6i1Yo)

63

My attempts to vacuum seal my head have been a complete failure... p

Posted by: Ricky Retardo at May 21, 2022 03:20 PM (7DYli)

64 Posted by: Martini Farmer at May 21, 2022 02:12 PM (BFigT)

My family went though the canning process every summer. None of us ever got ill and we used the conventional stovetop method. They got used to it in the Depression and during the war, and didn't let it go.

Posted by: Sparkling CN at May 21, 2022 03:21 PM (ONvIw)

65 My garden is finally in. DH built me two more planters, and I bought a couple of those cute little greenhousey covers for a couple of them. Peas, beans, romaine, carrots, parsley, dill, cucumbers (in the greenhouse covers), and yesterday I replaced the strawberry plants that died over the winter. We will be eatin' good in the hood this year.

If we get to it, we can still put in about a 1/4 acre of potatoes on the land in Willow. Going up there today to see about clearing and turning dirt. We shall see. That may be next year's project.

Posted by: tcn in AK, Hail to the Thief at May 21, 2022 03:22 PM (LOVUx)

66 This is a video that explains very quickly how to make a lazy bed for planting potatoes, techniques vary in different places, but they all do the same thing, flipping the sods to allow planting without plowing.

This one is by a Manxman and the accent is not so ferocious

https://youtu.be/ywjH5w3zzss

Posted by: Kindltot at May 21, 2022 03:23 PM (xhaym)

67 We use the food saver to vacuum pack salmon filets. Works like a charm. Also, I can lots of food, including smoked salmon and pickles (not together, mind you). We eat well in the winter.

Posted by: tcn in AK, Hail to the Thief at May 21, 2022 03:24 PM (LOVUx)

68 Another thumbs up for vacuum sealers. We bought one for sous vide but use it constantly for all kinds of stuff. Main use is probably for storing and freezing smaller sizes when we cook a boatload of spaghetti sauce, meatballs, gumbo, charro beans, etc.

They are also great for preserving blanched veggies if you have a garden or score a great deal at a grocery or farmer's market.

I agree that the reviews are daunting. Fortunately I've been able to keep my Foodsaver Gamekeeper rocking along for years. (Alas I don't think they make it anymore.)

Pro tip: if your sealer seems like it's not working well any more, replace the seals and gaskets rather than replace it.

Posted by: Art Rondelet of Malmsey at May 21, 2022 03:35 PM (fTtFy)

69 I was out just now and saw a Western Tanager in my back yard. This is as unlikely in town, here, as seeing a Western Meadowlark. It is such a nice day here I guess the birds came in to enjoy it too

Posted by: Kindltot at May 21, 2022 03:51 PM (xhaym)

70 Kindltot at May 21, 2022 03:51 PM

Thanks for sharing your observations!

Posted by: KT at May 21, 2022 03:54 PM (rrtZS)

71 Don's post on plant catalogs and the gardening activities of the Rothchilds is really something. Sometimes I wonder where he finds this kind of information.

Posted by: KT at May 21, 2022 03:58 PM (rrtZS)

72 Tanagers are beautiful birds. I've only seen a couple in my life.

Posted by: Ronster at May 21, 2022 04:02 PM (Z1XlQ)

73 From Boise area, thoughts on preserving: It's just two of us as well. 2 words: "chest freezer". I haven't had to buy frozen corn, green beans, poblano peppers, butternut squash chunks, shredded zucchini, carrots, or cantaloupe for *years* now.

We started by trying water bath canning. It's pretty easy. There are limits on what foods you can process this way, so you have to be aware of that, and read recipes to be sure your food is acidic enough. We started with apple jelly, branched out into red raspberry jelly and syrup, applesauce, pear sauce, apple pie filling - then lots of types of pickles, including pickled 3-bean salad - and tomato sauce with our own home-grown tomatoes and herbs. Come to think of it, I haven't bought fruit jellies, syrups, or tomato sauce/paste for years now, either! (We have more flavors of jellies in the pantry than we make ourselves, because we do some trading with friends - apricot jam, yum!!)

We grow oregano and basil (I dry those in a low oven) - English thyme (I air-dry that between paper towels) - garden sage (I air-dry a few leaves a year) - and spearmint (got turned into a syrup for juleps).
/post 1.

Posted by: Pat* at May 21, 2022 07:14 PM (2pX/F)

74 From Boise area: 4 tomatoes went out into raised beds, under a row cover. Peas have come up. I planted 21 onions to become regular big onions, 7 radishes to grow MegaRadish for the Western Idaho Fair (Largest Vegetable category). I've worked on removing dead strawberry leaves - chopped dead parts off 2 lavenders, 1 garden sage - dug up spearmint that got out of bounds - brought and planted a flat leaf parsley - planted more green onions, yellow carrots and lettuce seeds, 1st basil seeds. Harvested 1st radishes, spinach, lettuce.

Husband put our compost on the corn patch, tilled it in. I raked the bed flat. Still need to put irrigation tubes onto bed, test it, and plant corn.

Siberian and Bearded Iris have started blooming. Tall lupines and yellow columbine are budding.

Puttering: thawed chest freezer to get ice off walls. Husband started mowing lawns.
/post 2/end.

Posted by: Pat* at May 21, 2022 07:30 PM (2pX/F)

75 What beautiful photos! Thanks for the thread, KT

Posted by: NaughtyPine at May 21, 2022 07:35 PM (/+bwe)

76 Repotting peppers for June 1 setting out.. i don't rush them like i used to. N. Indiana.

Posted by: Cicero Kaboom! Kid watching Sinkhole Spider eat face- sized spider at May 21, 2022 07:41 PM (3Or4S)

77 Pat* again: I realized I should have said we *grew* most of the stuff we froze or canned. We save a lot of money on food this way. The pears for the pear sauce were a gift (but now we have new pear trees of our own) - and only the green beans for the green bean salad came from the garden, we had to buy the garbanzo beans and kidney beans.

If you don't grow your food, then canning probably involves finding a sale on some food item you want to try canning, and a recipe from a reputable source, plus some equipment. (We started with just a big stockpot, a canning equipment starter kit, and 12 jelly jars. Now we have a real water bath canner and... a butt-ton of 3 sizes of jars.)

If you can boil water, and follow directions, then you can do water bath canning.

Posted by: Pat* at May 21, 2022 11:47 PM (2pX/F)

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