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Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/2/2015, 11:47 pm

I didn't think the final bag of vermiculite would arrive for 3-4 days, so went ahead and set up the next box yesterday afternoon.  About an hour ago, the newest (and modestly better) vermiculite arrived. No


In any event, now I just need to find some anti-rat screen and plant the seeds.  cheers
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/13/2015, 5:48 am

I am pleased to report the presence of 4 bean seedlings.  

I hurried them along by scratching their seed coats and giving them a quick 10 minute soak.  Any of the remaining 4 that don't sprout in the next few days will be re-planted.

Still need to dig out my tomato and chard seeds.
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/13/2015, 8:14 am

Woo-Hoo!  Congratulations!

 
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 8/13/2015, 11:09 am


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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  plantoid on 8/14/2015, 4:04 am

EL,
The old British gardeners answer to stopping squirrels ,rats , mice & birds stealing newly planted beans & peas seeds was to soak them in paraffin for 24 hrs before sowing them.

 The simpler way is to start the seeds off indoors in small pots or tubes & only put them out when they are 2 inches tall , still protecting them from bird and squirrels etc. with netting etc.

I sow almost everything to get them started save for carrots & other long root crops like this.

 If such small pots are hard come by you may wish to use 2-3 " diameter old sink waste water drain pipe cut to 3 " length and stuff the bottoms with a square of 1/2" thick hard cell foam . Being small they don't take up much space  ,  better still they don't use a lot of compost.
 I think you can view some post if you put " Planting in tubes " in the site search box
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/15/2015, 10:09 pm

Yay for you, Lunatic! I always soak my beans overnight in room temp water before planting. No problems with germination on time doing that.

cheers
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/15/2015, 11:24 pm

The seeds I'm using are from other bean plants I grew earlier in the year.  I think some of them were left in an area which was too hot.  Ran outside during a rainstorm yesterday and planted 4 more that were recently harvested.

I haven't done tube planting (yet).  I think I'll need to wait for cooler weather.  I have done seedlings in small peat-pots, but those dry out very quickly in the heat of summer (but perhaps Mel's mix will be enough to overcome this issue thinking ).

If nothing too weird comes up today, I've got to look through my seeds in the fridge and see what I've got in the tomato and chard categories.
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/18/2015, 4:41 am

And it's fully planted.  Now to patiently wait ( bounce ) and see what happens.

Just for comparison, I replanted beans in all the pots I've been growing those in.  Should be interesting to compare growth rates and productivity.
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/18/2015, 7:30 am

The waiting game.....love it!
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/19/2015, 6:57 am

I lost one of the initial 4 beans in the experimental box.  2 more have sprouted, giving me 5 of 8 so far.  There are also beans sprouting in pots with more conventional dirt (modestly compost augmented).  Another day or two and I'll replant anywhere without sprouts.
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/19/2015, 4:38 pm

Planting them thickly certainly helps make sure that iffy germination doesn't leave you way behind your harvesting goals. But if they all sprout, a thick bunch of intertwined beans can be really hard to work and harvest without breaking stems and knocking off flowers all the time. And a half-successful planting may shade out the space you still want to fill with some more seeds for another try.

Hope you find a good balance. It can take a good number of plants to keep a steady supply coming in, at least if you like beans as much as I do.
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  TCgardening on 8/19/2015, 8:02 pm

Hi Lunatic,
 So what type of bean do you grow in China? I feel your pain with the roof rats, they are the nemesis to all gardeners.
Craig
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 8/20/2015, 2:59 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:The waiting game.....love it!
+1

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/23/2015, 3:43 am

Replacements planted in the box for those that didn't sprout and some more in the other pots.

Ummm... Not sure exactly what they are called, since the seed packages are written in what I refer to as squiggle (in China, I get to experience being illiterate every day).  In any event, they are pole beans with exceptionally long pods.  For simplicity's sake, I use the incredibly precise term "long beans" to differentiate them from the normal length  of beans.  Here's a pic of some of the first ones I grew in 2012, along with some peppers.






Later, I started favoring the purple variety.  This is from last year.  The short ones are a bush type.





And, since you've all been so patient and supportive, here's a worldwide exclusive - the first published photo of my Rectangular Foam Box Garden, complete with just sprouting beans, broken disposable chopstick pieces to remind me where I planted them, and an assortment of chopped and/or shredded leaves from other plants to make a very very inadequate first attempt at mulch which looks more like things that accidentally blew in than any form of deliberate placement.


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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/23/2015, 4:04 am

The short purple beans look just like royal burgundy beans. A little funky, maybe from uneven watering or water absorption or water depletion(lots of drying wind).
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/23/2015, 4:31 am

I think you're right on that.  I picked up some seeds while visiting the US and the bush beans were from one of those packages.  "Royal" something sounds correct.

The problem I have (which I hope MM solves) is that the roof is amazingly hot in the summer and isn't exactly cool anytime but winter.  Even the larger pots dry out very quickly.

Regarding that, I began the first phase of an experiment today.  I saved the can from some imported spaghetti sauce (metal food cans are also not common here).  It's a common 24 ounce can.  In one pot that has a tea bush that's not doing so well (and some thriving sorghum to the side), I twisted the can down into the soil and removed a can-full of dirt.  That's now been replaced by Mel's Mix.  My hope is that this helps to create a nice little water and nutrient reservoir, hopefully leading to happier plants.

Unless something goes terribly wrong in that pot, I'm planning to start doing this in other pots.  For those where there's not a lot of roots in the way, I may do 2 or 3 cans full and see how the existing plants like it.  For those with no plants in them, the percent replacement will be higher.  (Yeah, in theory I should do a total replacement, but that's a LOT of dirt to replace and I'm saving up compost for the next few foam boxes.)
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/23/2015, 5:33 am

Every little bit helps, but be prepared to see your roots suddenly circle and stop short on the border of inferior soil. High-nutrient soil, or the general sort of soil a potted plant might come in, both should be blended in to the surrounding soil rather than left as is, creating a sharp dividing line between "good" and "ordinary" or "bad" soil. Plants may stop sending out roots at the transition line, if a transition line you make, and circle back as if they were actually in a pot.
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/23/2015, 6:27 am

Some of the plants are too big to even consider transplanting.  Guess I'll have to see what methods I can come up with to improve their soil conditions without accidentally making things worse.
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/23/2015, 10:25 am

But they still look good, EL!  Congratulations!

You might look at Cappy's post on his yard-long beans too.  He may have some advice for you....
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  yolos on 8/23/2015, 12:35 pm

Escaped Lunatic wrote:Here's a pic of some of the first ones I grew in 2012, along with some peppers.

Later, I started favoring the purple variety.  This is from last year.  The short ones are a bush type.


Could they be Chinese Noodle Beans since you are in China.
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/24/2015, 6:18 am

For reasons I can't fully fathom, the Chinese name for them translates either as "corner beans" or "angle beans". thinking
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 8/24/2015, 10:51 am

EL, I planted the Red Noodle beans last year. A novelty for passersby to see. What I liked the best was ease of harvesting as they stand out and dinner with a handful of beans.

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/25/2015, 5:59 am

Most of what I've got planted are the dark red ones.  I've also got some plain green ones.  At the village market, I've seen some other varieties.  Maybe at some point I'll see if I can drive people there crazy by purchasing only 1 or 2 of the oldest looking beans of each type to get seeds from. Very Happy
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/25/2015, 6:18 am

sanderson wrote:EL, I planted the Red Noodle beans last year. A novelty for passersby to see. What I liked the best was ease of harvesting as they stand out and dinner with a handful of beans.

Refresh us -- why only a novelty for passersby to see? That sounds as damning a faint praise as I could imagine. What didn't work out?
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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 8/25/2015, 9:44 am

Passive advertising, my friend.  "Look, the Anderson's have funny red strings growing!  Are those beans??"  The SFG is in the back yard.  I didn't like them as much as DT, KW and Rattlesnake, so I didn't plant any this year.  The RS are the novelties this year.  The public sidewalk is on the other side of the fence from the beans and trellises.

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

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