Cottage Gardening forum: #10 Piggy Swap Chat and Friends ... Looking at the pretty blooms

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Sep 24, 2014 10:25 AM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
The Moon flowers are white and bloom at night or when its cloudy. They are huge Morning glory types that smell awesome.
Sep 24, 2014 10:43 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
White. I have only seen them warly morning and I couldn't detect any fragrance. I will be trying to save seeds.
Sep 24, 2014 5:21 PM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, Georgia, USA
That Scotch Heather is deer resistant. That is all I know about it. Rolling on the floor laughing

My friend Plant Sister mailed her first batch of Piggy Swap seeds to me so I could get a head start on making the list. She also provided some photos to go with some of her seeds. Recipes on request!

This year I have listed Plant Sister's seeds separately from mine (greene) so I won't be going crazy like last year.

I am looking forward to the swap and hope I will be ready in time.
Sep 24, 2014 5:51 PM CST
I haven't been able to grow moonflowers here - season is so short. Maybe one of you could recommend when I should start them inside?
Sep 24, 2014 8:27 PM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
I'm not sure where you are. They are sensitive to transplanting, I would start them indoors in a newspaper pot so as not to disturb them too much.
Sep 25, 2014 6:18 AM CST
I'm in Pittsburgh.
USDA has upped our zone to 6, but to be safe, I still say 5.
I think I'll start them under the lights over the tropicals in the basement when the tulips come up.
Sep 25, 2014 8:39 AM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
Looks like Last frost date for you is Mayish. I would start one maybe in March? maybe early April. Keep her inside until end of May when no more frost is in the forecast. Also when starting Moonflower seeds, you need to scarify them or nic them. I use pliers and a steak knife to scarify mine, some use sand paper. then I drop in water until I see a "tail" sometimes I leave them longer but you run the risk of rot. Hope that helps.
Sep 25, 2014 10:24 AM CST
I've soaked them before I planted them outside before, so that part I can do.
And late March, early April IS tulip time! Hilarious!

Thanks for the advice!
Sep 25, 2014 7:15 PM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
Anytime, glad to help. I tip my hat to you.
Sep 26, 2014 7:26 AM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ciao all-

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just very busy between our garden and the university community garden. It's been a tough year. Just about everything is late except for the eggplants which were planted on time and were huge transplants. Fortunately, they did not get hit by the fungus gnats the way the tomatoes did. I'm just now harvesting some tomato varieties for the first time and a few still have not ripened.

One of the major success stories has been the herb garden. It's been a cooler, wetter than normal season overall and that has favoured herbs. I've done more with them than normal because of that and have also used the edible flowers a fair bit. Alana, I can't thank you enough for the Alaska Raspberry Nasturtium! I did not get germination from the Lady Cream Purple Spot Nasturtium that I had also planned to grow so I have the Alaska Raspberry in both back tomato beds. I should have plenty of seed to re-share. My Cerinthe and Salmon Sunset 4 O'Clocks are just now producing seeds, so I should have some of them as well. I think it was Ella who gave me the Mina Lobata. I had no idea what I was doing with that one, but I got 2 good seedlings and ended up with 2 sides of a tall obelisk covered in lovely flowers. I'm seeing seed pods now, but they are late to fully mature. I'm not sure how much seed I'll be getting from them.

It's been very tough for the basils this season. The weather has been beyond crazy. Thankfully, Duane has built some sturdy covers to protect from hail and cool overnight temperatures specifically designed for the basils and nasturtiums. I'm hoping that he can expand on that design to also include the eggplants because sometimes they suffer from the same fate if temps fall below 9C. Again thankfully, last year I made more pesto than I needed (and gave a whole bunch away as well), so the freezer is still well stocked. I did not get enough of the Italian varieties for even a single batch. That being said, I've had enough for salads, recipes, and sauces, so it hasn't been a total loss. I was just so delighted at how healthy and perfect the seedlings were and had high hopes for them.

Right now, I've got enough whole tomatoes canned, so I'm turning my attention to salsa. Duane's peppers have also been very late, so he's just now getting some of his hotter ones and the larger sweet ones to ripen. For any very brave souls out there, he should have some Chocolate Ghost Pepper seeds for trading later.

Take care all of you and I'll be posting more as we get closer to swapping time.

Here's a photo of some of the tomatoes, eggplants, and Alana's nasturtiums from this season:

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Grazie a tutti,
Sep 26, 2014 8:32 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
I harvested most of the beans last week. There are still a few that were too long season or that were pole beans that I am intending to harvest later. They will get rained on which is sad, but I make choices about which crops are most valuable to me and then I live with the consequences.

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Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
Sep 27, 2014 4:25 AM CST
Name: Alana
Julianna, your photographs of food always look like they belong in a magazine or cookbook.
[Last edited Sep 27, 2014 5:55 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1089109 (12)
Sep 27, 2014 5:44 AM CST
Joseph, prioritizing is the only way to go!!
Sep 28, 2014 5:34 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
Sorellina.... Were your ears burning? Was just thinking about you the other day. Wondered if you was doing ok. Figured you been busy with the gardens up there. I know you got cold. You getting any snow yet. Soon it will be hustle time to finish bringing the rest of your crops in. Maters looking good and what is the name of that little eggplant? Darn cute looking it is. How does it taste?

Joseph... My oh my. I don't know if it just my puter, but your pic didn't show, but if folks right click and than click open in new window it opens and shows just fine. You did plant the beans for sure. So much work to get all them plants in, grown and harvested. I feel sorry for you though. Boy that's a lot of clean up work and that just one of your crops. Probably takes ya all winter to get it done? Are you turning it under by hand? Whew, just thinking about all that work.

Sep 28, 2014 10:59 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
Star: Cleanup is the easiest thing I do... It takes a tremendous amount of work to get the crops harvested, and especially the seeds, but a 55 HP Jon Deere tractor with attached tiller takes care of the crop residues in a couple hours. (As demonstrated by my daddy.) It takes down a corn patch as easy as you please.

Thumb of 2014-09-29/joseph/42085d

Here's the squash, melon, and cucumber field that I tilled under last week. I've already planted winter peas in it. By the way, that hill in the background has been in my family since 1860 when this area was settled by my ggg-grandmother and her son.

Thumb of 2014-09-29/joseph/86afa1
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
[Last edited Sep 29, 2014 2:08 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1089370 (15)
Sep 29, 2014 9:09 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
Joseph... Glad to see you have a tractor. Imagined you going around tilling everything under by hand with a hoe. I'd love to have a tractor. Love the idea anyways. Maybe one day if I ever had some flat ground to grow on, but not here. Plus I am a big chicken. I drove one once. Was on it for about ten minutes and I know folks was probably wondering if I would ever make it to the end of one row and back up. Almost wet myself I was so scared even driving at about 2 miles an hour. I had this fear I was always going to go over sideways every time the wheels went down into the soil a bit. I admire those women that can get on them, drive them and not think a bit about it. Heck I was scared to pieces just riding on the back of the neighbors 4 wheeler around his back yard. Legs shook like crazy on the walk back home. Them old fashioned one footed power scooters ya ride as a kid is about my speed. Hilarious!

Sure do have some beautiful country where you at. Breath taking views of the mountains even though I know something so pretty can be so dangerous too. Ok, out to make like a gardener for a bit. Everybody have a good day! Big Grin

I was so tickled when I came in last night with my plate of peppers and couple of tomatoes til I looked at Sorellina's bowlful. My pathetic offerings right now. Whistling Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing

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The tomatoes on the plate are called Sunrise Bumblebee and I love em. Got the seed from Patti1957. Had some bigger ones of them that I have the seed fermenting for. ( at the rest myself *Blush* ). They have held up through every kind of weather here. Now that temps cooling a bit they growing and blossoms all over the place. They make clusters of 5 to 6 maters and they look like a sunrise on the outside. Striped with red and light orange thin stripes. Can't see it very well in pic. Too cloudy outside. To me they had more of an acidic taste instead of sweet, but who knows how well they would have done under better conditions. Definitely plan on growing them again next year. Sticking tongue out

Can't believe how bad a year it been, yes I can,, cuz you have to take the good with the bad sometimes, but I wishing winter was already over and it was spring and time to try again.
I been trying to decide whether or not to try and put in any fall crops. Weather just so iffy and I hate wasting seed.

Sprinkling outside now and rain coming in good later. Cool and a moist ground makes for easy pulling of weeds unless you want to drive that tractor over here and turn it all for me Joseph. Rolling on the floor laughing Just plop one of them farm triangles on the back of it and head this way. Figure it will only take ya about a month to make it here. Hilarious!

Folks be careful with fall cleanup. We just had a lady get bit and have to have venom shots . She got nailed in the hand when cleaning around in the mulch around her flower bed.
Sep 29, 2014 9:46 AM CST
That's a lovely plate of peppers and tomatoes, star!
Sep 29, 2014 12:43 PM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
yes very nice Star! my tomatoes ended up a blooming jungle and never did produce. I think I'm tired of tying up vines, anyone know of some good heirloom determinates?
Sep 29, 2014 4:04 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
Hilarious! Hilarious! Thanks! Big Grin I'm getting there, slowly but surely. While I would have liked a bunch to munch at least I am getting enough fruits and blooms of things for seed even if it only one or two here and there.

Misti... If you have lots of leaves, and they look healthy try not to feed em for a bit. Lots of foliage and no fruit is to much nitrogen usually. I have several plants too that growing tall and not doing the first bit of anything. I keep watering them though and hoping one day maybe I'll walk out and get me a surprise of a mater forming. I don't know. With all the heat and humidity the south and southwest had I am surprised anything grew.

I am watching these two maters like a hawk. I am hoping no deer, no critters, no hoppers or anything else gets to them til they mature so I can harvest them for seed. This is Texas Star. My first time growing it. Do to weather conditions they a bit smaller than what it says the size should be, but the maters are blemish free and the plant itself has held up well. I check them twice a day to make sure they stay ok. I think if something happens to them, I'll probably sit right down and cry my eyes out. Hilarious!

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I wish I could remove the chesecloth tunnel I have over them so they could get more sun since it been so cloudy these past days but I know if I do the Bambi's will have a field day with the mater plants I have left. I see their hoof prints all around the area where it like they trying to figure out whether it safe to crawl in or not. I'm surprised they haven't stuck their head in through the hole at the back and tried to munch. I should hush before they read my mind and do it. Hilarious!

Sep 29, 2014 4:43 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
Perhaps I am being naughty for posting this... But I pulled up a couple of tomato plants to show what I am leaving behind this year. There are approximately 300 plants that are some variation or other of this theme. I have finally learned how to grow tomatoes!!! Now I suppose I aught to learn how to pick them and/or market them. A hard frost is expected in a day or two so I'm expecting to till these under.

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I got one picking of peppers this year. These are the parents that I saved for seed.

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And just to brag... The third generation okra was the tallest i have ever grown. The first year it got ankle high, the second year it got knee high, and this year it is as tall as the farmer.. I sure love creating locally adapted varieties. This was grown in an open field. Not on the south side of a building. Not in a slightly warmer micro-climate. The one concession I made to the crop was I planted about 36 seeds of each lot in the greenhouse a few weeks before planting out into the field, and then I chopped out all but 4 to 6 of quickest growing most robust plants.

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When I trial new varieties of okra, they typically end up looking like this:

Thumb of 2014-09-29/joseph/05ea9a
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
[Last edited Sep 29, 2014 4:48 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1089489 (20)

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