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N&C Midwest: December 2016

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N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/1/2016, 6:04 pm

Hi, Midwesterners!  December came today!  Cold here, windy.  Guess it was bound to be winter!  We had a pretty nice and extended autumn, at least.  

Anyone getting their catalogs?  I have only received one, will get busy ordering some more this weekend.  

Still have a few "ripening" tomatoes on the counter, planning a last REAL BLT this weekend, wah!!!

I don't know what I am planning to plant next year yet, but know what I am not going to repeat!  Stay tuned for more on this!
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  jacobking101 on 12/1/2016, 6:17 pm

Would like to hear more.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/2/2016, 5:44 am

+1! Fill us in, SR!
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/2/2016, 6:28 pm

OK, well for one thing, I did not have enough lettuces, and they were not timed well.  All hit at once.  Will work on timing.  

Lettuce:  Yes:  Black Seeded Simpson--Hardy and great producer, reliable.  Also Matchless was a winner, more of that!
     Bail:  stupid Ruby Crunch!  Never had a single one germinate!  Out of 26 or so cells spring and fall!  
     New:  Marvel of Four Seasons, gonna try that!  Excited!  

Kale:  Jury still out.  Might try it on my patio so I can harvest early and often....I did like the baby kale leaves.....Dwarf Blue Vates

Herbs:  Did not plant them, not sure why...really missed them!  Basil, cilantro, dill, especially.  I have thymes in my perennial bed.  

Patty pans squash:  Less!  Had too many. 

Winter squash:  Wanna try one!

Melons: Loved all of them!  Sakatas Sweet, Minnesota Midgets, and Blacktail Mountain, will repeat 2 of each again!

Beans:  Will repeat the purple pole beans, but less.  Too many went to waste.

Cukes:  More, and will add a standard pickle type.  I grew a wonderful eating type, basically invisible skin, but no pickling there....

Tomatoes:  Did not plant a red, except for Oxheart.  It was such a large and Heaven producer that it pulled the support down with the weight of the fruit while we were on vacay!  Need my beloved Brandywines back. Scale back on the white, green, and purple ones.  One cherry is plenty.

Ground cherries:  Need to be in a container!  They were very low growing and bearing, hard to see them....very delicious.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  GardenGal on 12/2/2016, 7:49 pm

I've started to receive my seed catalogues and have already placed some seed orders. We've had a couple of hard freezes so far and thus the majority of my gardens have gone to bed for the winter, but I still have a couple of 4'x8' beds full of various greens, most of which usually survive all winter under a two-layer polytunnel. On the occasion that we get hit with a -26°C (-15°F) night, if I go out and put a quilt/blanket over them under the polytunnel, they still usually pull through. 

I'm still harvesting:
Celery: Golden Self Blanching, White, and Brydon's Prize Red. The BPR self-seeds and comes back year after year. 
Kale: Red Russian, Scarlet and Cavolo Nero
Brussels Sprouts: Evesham Special
Brassica: Calabrese Green Sprouting
Parsley: Plain Italian, Petra and Moss Curled
Radish: French Breakfast
Onions: Evergreen White Bunching
Red Veined Sorrel
Sculpit
Sea Buckthorn
Roquette
Winter Purslane (Claytonia)
Mâche

I also have about 1/4 acre of turnips (Purple Top White Globe and Boule d'Or) and a plot of Jerusalem artichokes which I leave in the ground covered with straw and harvest as needed over the winter.  I share the turnips with the deer, which I don't mind as long as they will eat them.  However last winter the deer went through and pull up over half the plot, taking a bite out of each of turnip, then throwing it down before going on to pull up the next one and repeat. But the turnips didn't go to waste. I simply fed the ones that had a bite out of them to the goats.  Smile
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  countrynaturals on 12/2/2016, 8:32 pm

Ooo, sounds like you have a nice big spread, GardenGal. Do you have pics posted somewhere? Also, I just planted Calabrese sprouting broccoli for the first time. How do you like it? Any advice for a newbie? geek
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/2/2016, 9:01 pm

BTW, GardenGal, Welcome to our forum! Glad you've joined us!
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  GardenGal on 12/3/2016, 2:26 am

I'll hunt some pics I took this year and get them posted. The calabrese is easy peasy to grow. I start them from seed in January and usually plant them out abt mid-March, adding a generous spadefull of compost to each planting hole. The main thing is to really firm them in the soil; they don't like having wiggle room. And mulch well to help them conserve water. They do well in partial shade, esp if you get triple digit temps in the summer. Give them a bit of cover during nights when temps threaten to drop much below freezing. After you harvest the main head, it will continue to produce smaller florets if you keep them picked. If it blows (flowers), don't pull them up. You can still use the yellow flowers in salads and omelets. The stalks are also delish and tender, just trim the woody outer part. The leaves are really good stir-fried with a nob of butter. Oh and I fasten pvc hoops on the sfg boxes then cover with bird netting to keep the cabbage white butterfly from getting to the brassicas and laying their eggs.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  GardenGal on 12/3/2016, 2:30 am

Thank you for the warm welcome. It's nice to be here. Smile
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  sanderson on 12/3/2016, 2:34 am

GardenGal, Hi, there! happy hi You know we love photos!

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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  countrynaturals on 12/3/2016, 10:42 am

@GardenGal wrote:I'll hunt some pics I took this year and get them posted. The calabrese is easy peasy to grow. I start them from seed in January and usually plant them out abt mid-March, adding a generous spadefull of compost to each planting hole. The main thing is to really firm them in the soil; they don't like having wiggle room. And mulch well to help them conserve water. They do well in partial shade, esp if you get triple digit temps in the summer. Give them a bit of cover during nights when temps threaten to drop much below freezing. After you harvest the main head, it will continue to produce smaller florets if you keep them picked. If it blows (flowers), don't pull them up. You can still use the yellow flowers in salads and omelets. The stalks are also delish and tender, just trim the woody outer part. The leaves are really good stir-fried with a nob of butter. Oh and I fasten pvc hoops on the sfg boxes then cover with bird netting to keep the cabbage white butterfly from getting to the brassicas and laying their eggs.
WOW! Thank you for the great info. I copied it to put in Marie's spreadsheet so I won't forget. (This ol' gal is gonna get organized fer shure.)
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  landarch on 12/3/2016, 4:03 pm

Harvesting squares of cylindra beets and tendersweet carrots.  Some bibb and igloo lettuce is still hanging in there.  Spinach, garlic, and tatsoi planted so we'll see how things grow through the winter...awfully dry so some rain would be nice.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/3/2016, 4:49 pm

@landarch wrote:Harvesting squares of cylindra beets and tendersweet carrots.  Some bibb and igloo lettuce is still hanging in there.  Spinach, garlic, and tatsoi planted so we'll see how things grow through the winter...awfully dry so some rain would be nice.
Those are beautiful, Landarch!  

Welcome, Garden Gal!  I am so interested in your veggies, many of which I have never grown.  I would like to try a Brussels sprout, and that calabrese broc sounds very interesting too.  

Glad you are here, looking forward to your posts!  glad you\'re here
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  GardenGal on 12/3/2016, 6:06 pm

Gorgeous veg, Landarch!
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  GardenGal on 12/3/2016, 6:38 pm

Here are a few pics from my garden...

One of the cold hardy beds with various kale, parsleys, radishes, etc.  I'll be replacing the netting with poly this next week as they are calling for snow.  Even though the Cabbage White butterfly is no longer a threat, I've kept the netting on to keep my hens and pet turkeys out of there (they have their own bed of Greens I grow especially for them).


French Breakfast...one of my fav radish varieties


Chickpeas in my "Experimentals" bed (photo taken this summer). This was my first attempt at growing chickpeas and they did exceptionally well so they will be getting their own designated spot next year. Very Happy  


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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/3/2016, 11:19 pm

Nice!  

Chickpeas, eh?  I love them...
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/4/2016, 7:45 am

@landarch wrote:Harvesting squares of cylindra beets and tendersweet carrots.  Some bibb and igloo lettuce is still hanging in there.  Spinach, garlic, and tatsoi planted so we'll see how things grow through the winter...awfully dry so some rain would be nice.

Landarch, those beets are striking! How do they taste?
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  sanderson on 12/4/2016, 1:44 pm

Landarch, great photo, as usual!

GG, Healthy looking FB radishes, the only kind I like.

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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/5/2016, 10:32 pm

Well, Monday , Monday!  

Cold and dampish.  Got my Pinetree and free Baker Creek catalogs to keep me warm...still winding through my beloved Pinetree....

Love the presentation in Baker Creek.  

I spread my love as far was where I order from.  I am still a LONG way off....

Needs SF!
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  llama momma on 12/6/2016, 4:43 pm

Landarch and GardenGal
Enjoyed your pictures very much!
GardenGal, I did black turtle beans for the first time and was happy with results and chickpeas or garbanzos are def. on my list of seeds.  Do you have any hints or tips on the chickpeas?
Thanks !
LM
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/6/2016, 5:29 pm

@llama momma wrote:Landarch and GardenGal
Enjoyed your pictures very much!
GardenGal, I did black turtle beans for the first time and was happy with results and chickpeas or garbanzos are def. on my list of seeds.  Do you have any hints or tips on the chickpeas?
Thanks !
LM
Nice garbanzos GardenGal! I grew them this year, too (just updated the chickpeas thread I'd posted on earlier in the year). I feel like I was successful but could have done better: I want to hear your tips and hints, too! bounce

(And +1 - those beets are stunning, Landarch!)
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/6/2016, 8:10 pm

Looking forward to more info regarding the beans!  

Why grow them?  Versus buying.....taste?  GMO/organic?  

Struggles?  

Square foot requirements?  Can they trellis?
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/6/2016, 9:36 pm

These are the only 2 I have so far...it is enough!  

My two favorites:

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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  GardenGal on 12/7/2016, 12:15 am

@llama momma wrote: Do you have any hints or tips on the chickpeas?
I don't do anything special, I just grow them the same way I grow dwarf French (bush) beans. They are really easy to grow and virtually maintenance free. Just keep in mind that the foliage of chickpeas secrete malic, oxalic and hydrochloric acids of which some people are particularly sensitive. I've not found it to be a problem for me, however a friend of mine gets a nasty rash wherever the green foliage touches her bare skin, but garden gloves and long sleeves (when she remembers) lets her safely grow chickpeas without incident.

If you have a problem with slugs or mice eating the seeds or emerging seedlings when direct sowing, or if you just want to get a head start on growing, you can start them indoors in multi-cell seed trays, sowing one seed per station/cell.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

Post  llama momma on 12/7/2016, 5:28 am

I didn't know about the foliage secretions, important to know thank you very much !!  Not familiar with the particulars of growing French dwarf beans though.  Thanks in advance for any further info as it relates to garbanzo.
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Re: N&C Midwest: December 2016

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