perhaps i will even skip my tendency to ramble and just get straight to some pics. will try to explain them at least a bit.
heres some cool stuff i am growing right now -
elephant garlic, getting closer to ready, yum =)
o and yeah the abundant swiss chard i get to take for granted as being always available !
current state of some of the garden beds:
carrots and cilantro, onions and lettuce - been harvesting a lot from these beds recently
serviceberry tree...saskatoons, also almost ready
roses climb cherry trees
blueberry, making berries for the first time =)
some of my young trees, gotta spend some time soon transplanting to bigger pots/planting in ground soon!
these are all from seeds, seedling trees....
plums and apples:
and a new bed i am planting up, with grapes, roses, and hibiscus.
got 7 grapes planted there so far, and these have all taken off great in the new bed i made for them ...so i suppose i can take that as a compliment of my soil building =)
well probably enough for now. will update some other day..... still have some more pics to post....
its been a huge help for all the plants i have been transplanting/direct seeding in new beds, especially.
had time to process and upload some pics.
the raspberry hedge, with some service berry trees, which edges the main garden area....
a volunteer mystery tomato, and some seedlings just getting going. theres japanese cukes, some tomato sprouts, and some melons.
last year i used this trellis in the hoop house to store the last of the tomatoes, by hanging the branches and letting them finish ripening. a number of them fell on the bed, and here is a volunteer from that:
this brown turkey fig tree i got last year, is looking great and grown a lot in the hoop house =)
young lemons, made it through the winter! and some new peach and cherry tree sprouts
the potting area, where some of my favorite growies are =)
also right now, crowded with some i am working on, got to transplant or getting ready to go into a plant sale at some point soon. divided up a lot of the asiatic lilies, for a plant sale we are putting together next month, along with many other starter herbs and raspberry cuttings. and the old ever present backdrop of the huge blackberry hedge there....
some of the plants there, a few orange trees, mandarins, and lemons, some passionflowers, young blueberries, and some of the young nut trees i have...among others...
new growies i got in a great trade =) some very tiny hardy kiwis =) seem to be establishing well... are just leafing out....and one of seedling vitis californica grapes i started, just sprouted
just planted these 4 large kiwis, in this new bed. i grew these from seed, at my last place, and took a few when i moved out. man was that uhaul overloaded with all the plants i wanted to take ! but glad i did, i am still enjoying watching these grow, knowing how small they started off, 5 years ago. and glad i get to transplant these here to their new home. theres a plan to reinforce this wire mesh fence, as these kiwis and the grapes on the other side are going to be very thick and densely planted, hopefully surrounding the entire perimeter of this garden area.
heres another, with a small bed for celery in front of it, some beans planted along the front, and an area of potted plants/trees, getting ready for planting out.
some new growies my landmate picked up from down south. she travels a lot, and almost always comes back with the backseat loaded up with cool plants and trees =)
some new pinot grapes, some apricots, and some golden raspberries
some more garden beds :
ate most of the asparagus =) but some of the skinnier younger spear got unnoticed and kept going. also threw a lot of the red berries around last fall and got a lot of new sprouts of asparagus, so this should be getting to epic asparagus next year or two! right now theres some annuals in the bed, heres beets, swiss chard, cress, greens mix just starting out, parsley and parsnips
Zach Muller wrote:Looks excellent and productive leila nice job! Seems like you have a really nice touch with plants.
yep, i'm definitely a green thumb. i have been growing food since i was a little girl.
always love to help my grandma and mom with their gardens, i'm actually from a long line of green thumbs =).
i like that i got to learn from my elder peeps all kinds of useful homesteady stuff when i was little.
gathering and drying a lot of different strawberry seeds right now. there are so many interesting types, and i am growing a lot of wild and alpine types too. going to make a nice big mix of the seeds, and see what comes of the mass crossing. here's some pics of the pink flowering ones....
two types of oregano. the light green one is the yummiest, a greek oregano i think....
the color is much different from the common O. Vulgare. my best guess after trying to figure it out, is Origanum hirtum "greek oregano"
elle sagenev wrote:Everything looks great and I love those strawberries!
and totally they are cute. they are two different varieties, both pink flowering, but look pretty much the same. the berries are not entirely awesome, but not bad either. all the other types they are growing around are fabulous for eating, super strong flavored, and with the normal white flowers.
i think it will be an interesting experiment to put them into a mass cross with all the other white flowered types. they are all already grown in close proximity anyway, except one of the pink flowering types is isolated. it will take a long time, but if i pull it off that far, i can see if theres a pink flowering type with bigger yummier berries =)
i am drying a lot of strawberry seeds right now. going to make a pink and white flowering mix, an eventually an alpine/wild type mixture. also keep some of the pink ones separated out, which are hopefully hybridized well with the white flowered types.
on the chance you are interested, i would send you some of the seeds for stamps. message me if you are interested.
been doing a lot of work on this fedge project since late winter, along with my landmates and their cool digging machines =)
even with the machines making it so much easier to plant all this up, there was a lot of extra digging and fine tuning/grading and such to get this living fence project partly planted. still got months/years of work to get "finished", phase one two and three are complete! with some extra holes left over for additional plants/trees/bushes/berries.
this is over twenty trees so far, approx 10 plum and 10 cherry, alternating.
3 blueberries, 3 elderberries, 2 black currants, 2 red currants, goji berry, and the very front is a huge trench planted with over a hundred raspberries.
theres a nice dip there from where the road was made, and so it should be a good spot for gathering its own water. phase one was to increase that, get a huge long trench, as exagerate the depression, and plant the raspberries deep in the trench.
it pretty much has to be on its own for water, since watering way out to this corner is a pain. right now i am occasionally watering it, but the plan is for it to be able to hold its own on just rainwater once established.
it's all still looking a bit like a bad haircut, but is establishing well and starting to fill in. this is a kinda busy street, especially for the tiny town i live in, so the privacy screen/barrier aspect is going to be great once it really comes together. this is on a kind of island, sort of, theres a rounded loop drive, and this is the spot of land on the other side of the driveway.
it will probably be pretty much publically accessible, and harvested by people and animals, but that seems ok. we are aiming for so much abundance of fruit here that even if a family of bears came through, there would still be plenty =). it is though, already being browsed by deer....
now i am getting ready to sheet mulch some patches and plant some smaller stuff, herbs and ground covers and such....over some woodchip/sheetmulch/soil patches...here and there around the trees. got a few more elderberry to plant there, and some other berries, etc.....
not quite as fun as it sounds -but then again actually it is kinda fun. =)
since i dont have a tiny stature and sticky legs to transfer the pollen, i use a paintbrush, or sometimes i just break off a piece and then roam around dusting pollen on similar colored ones.
i am really enjoying the lilies, one of the only kinds of ornamentals i am interested in growing, though they are somewhat edible...i havent yet tried to eat them....really like the pink and white colored ones...
but these daylilies, are edible...
this was a good one, with everything from the garden, including the strawberries and raspberries that are awesome this week...
service berries, the saskatoons, are coming ripe too, yumm =)
as well as raspberries
my landmate came back from a roadtrip and brought back these mostly mature avocado trees =)
she also got some thompson grapes, some boysenberry and a bunch of other stuff, and miracled them for 3$ each ! she said she wouldve gotten more only she couldnt fit anymore in the back seat!
these are bacon avocado trees, so will be maybe able to deal a bit better with our colder winters. they are staying in large pots for now.
maybe this pomegranate tree will produce its first fruits this year. it has grown a ton, so it seems to have hit its stride, with a little help from a nice cool and wet spring
comfrey, growing in its crazy abundant way
everytime i walk by this little mini pond, i hear a splash jump, but this time i actually caught him on camera =) he's really well hidden on that rock.
well thats enough for now. i have been taking a lot of pics, but its far too nice outside to be sitting in here going through them. will post some more after dark thirty...
"finished" the fedge, of course just for now...basically finished phase 4 of this project. still got a bit more to do, to direct seed some things in there, but all of the major perennials and trees are in now, it has been sheet mulched in patches, especially in the front, and many many many loads of wheelbarrows of woodchips, local soil, and primo additive type "soil" also added. now defining the edges better with rocks, and also started direct seeding. thats the next and final step, for this year anyway, besides maintaining it and babying it a bit with watering.
6 peach trees, seedlings very young, 3 different varieties
4 newly sprouted plums -a purple and a yellow plum
2 more small black currants,
2 additional elderberries
3 addition blueberry
3 loquat trees
2 seaberry (male and female)
6 very small seedling guava bushes, pink guava and lemon guava
the larger brown turkey fig pictured above somewhere
another fig. grown from a cutting
3 large thomson grapes, and 3 young seedlings of concord grape
herbs, thyme, sage, pineapple sage, mugwort +
flowers- asiatic lilies, and some daylilies, which really brightened it up and look nice =)
and a couple of canna plants, a jasmine, and hibiscus, these are all at the end with the lilies
so far i have direct seeded - more guava types, white flesh guava, and more canna indica, indian shot type, as well as canna patens. that will be the fun part, now thats its together, and ready for seeding with supportive type stuff, hyssop, herbs, etc....
really it wont get going till next year, whatever makes it and establishes well...should be producing a huge amount of food next year, and every year after, more and more =) but even this year, since many of the perennial plants were older, there is some things producing, some raspberries, a few blueberry, the elderberry also has started flowering and might have some berries...
heres the pics
this grasshopper sits at the very end, at the entrance of the driveway, one of my landmates sculptures
some more detail, its actually kinda tricky to photograph this, since its so long.....but heres some of the individual plants....
red currant and blueberry
an overview of the main garden area, although theres a lot of different areas, this is where the annuals grow, and the most intensive garden area. though theres a ring of trees, and the newly planted grapes and kiwis, as well as the raspberries, surrounding the perimeter...
this new garden bed is slow taking off, partly because its so sunny and dry? the grapes, roses and hibiscus are doing ok, some currants and artichokes are establishing...some other plants are making it too, but slowly. for whatever reasons it has been dubbed the snail garden, for the shell spiral shape. you might think thats a bad name for a garden bed! yes yes, but this is probably the least hospitable to actual snails, as its quite dry and all day sun. and the name has stuck, so hey....
the apple tree inside the fence there, is providing some need shaded areas...producing pretty well too =)
another garden area, blueberry, peas, herbs, strawberries, +++
the volunteer tomato is way way ahead of all the other maters. its almost to the top of the hoop house now.
i am starting to think its going to be black cherry....
i like the way of our very tiny sort of community, and my landmates are all really nice chill people, we all give each other lotsa space and its a good scene =)
but i am the sort of weird bird that plants huge abundant amounts of stuff where ever i go, i left behind some awesome gardens in my long journey through life, but hey...probably at least a few of the gardens i have built and left, manage to make it on their own after i moved on.
guavas are a lot tougher than one might think, but yeah they are the most iffy thing that we got going. it's gonna have to be a make it or break situation for them, we will see how they do. i started them all from seed, and have a bunch of types i got trading...so whatever, if they make it great- if not, o well. most of the trees and plants i have i start from seed, that i get for free ish, cheap or trade or get gifted.
the avos are staying in pots, going in hoop house, or (depending on it actually getting built!) a new solarium/greenhouse that has been talked about and visioned. we will see when and how that manifests, but its a plan for someday.
ditto on the new limes, lemons and my young seedling citrus, they all go in the community space through winter, or in hoop house. last year i had the whole window of the laundry room full, some kitchen table space, the hoop house, all filled to the brim with my tender stuff. it is probably setting myself for a bit of extra work, and potential disappointment, but i just say, its a good experiment...and maybe a few will adapt and decide to become really hardy and make it =)
the passionflowers, guava seedlings, and citrus made it all through winter, course this was the mildest winter ever.
i am going to do a lot of extra mulch around them, and the fedge, to try to keep it warmed up there...through the next winter....
but i am drawn to try to grow avo, citrus, passionfruit, guava and other borderline tropicals/subtropicals. stretching the zone a bit. i figure at least some of these will make it? where i am at there is just a slight bit of a warmer microclimate, even more so a bit away, near orleans....
and the lilies are pretty drought tolerant....they do get watered a bit by being in proximity to the garden, but not really actively watered...and they do great.there is a system of drip lines and seep hoses, one goes underneath their area so theres some watering once a week or so.they look pretty brown and bad late summer, and die down to the roots in winter, then come back bigger the next year.
and just yesterday i went about planting them, some for our mini pond, and some in pots.
i had been planning on completely draining and cleaning out the pond area before preparing an area for planting them, but then i discovered that the "little guy" i kept seeing a few weeks ago-
was not actually a guy - but a mama toad ! she's gone now, but theres a huge amount of tadpoles...
actually i am not sure it is a toad or a frog, i tend to think of the fatties as always being toads. definitely a girl though = P leaving behind all those hundreds of tadpoles....
usually this is a fountain, with the pump turned on the water moves through a rock pile and ends here...
but its been still for a long while, with the pump unplugged. i didnt clean it out like i thought, just added a lot of freshy water, did a lot of weeding and adding some sand/ clay/ and even a little bit of rich soil for the lotus. and am leaving it off for a while till all those tadpoles grow up and hop away =)
planted the blue lotus seeds anyway, one in a bowl that i submerged, and one in the side area after adding clay and sand. its looking pretty mucky, but i think it will be good and settle in a bit. planted the others in their own pots, with no drainage holes, and one where i found a great cork to fit the hole.
fingers crossed for it working out good =) its the first time i have grown them, or any aquatic plant, but i think it will work out.
the garden has quickly turned into thick jungle, its already getting hard to get through the paths, and everything is growing so fast. i like that squished together jungle like gardening, but it is tricky sometimes when you plant so close together, to get at harvesting stuff. the swiss chard has just gotten monstrously big, and flopping everywhere...its basically naturalizing too, so its already popping up a new generation, although most of the plants are just starting to have seeds...
heres a few more new pics....
clary sage against the back fedge - cherry trees, roses, and blackberry
yumm, lots of raspberries =)
doing really well considering the heat weve been getting
before it was raining, i spent quite a few days wandering around the beautiful forest, going up to one the peaks (@ 6000 ft), doing a lot of foraging and swimming =)
gathered 8 huge bags of st. john's wort, elder flowers, a large amount of seeds, oodles of different plums, all of the awesome wild berries we have here, as well as some transplants for propagating back here. of course it seems i either forget my camera, or the batteries are dead right when the most beautiful potential pictures happen, so no photos =( at least not of the foraging trips. maybe one of these days i will actually remember to bring the camera, and check the batteries before leaving.
manage to find a large healthy patch of Lilium Pardalinum, the native californian leopard lily =)
was really excited to find this plant, it is one i have been looking to find for several years. my friend did tell me of a spot where theres tons, and even the 12 mile hike to get to it sounded doable, because i wanted to get seeds/bulbils that badly ! but managed to work with synchronicity enough to find them closer to paved road =) while looking for something else....
it was a really developed old patch, in need of being divided, so in just two small clumps i dug out, there were bazillions of bulbils/ bulbits/scales and whatnot- the tiny baby bulbs that is their main ways of propagating themselves underground. ok, not a bazillion, but maybe close to a thousand!
and it was awesome that it was such a nice big patch of them, that i wasnt worried about taking a few out. it was a very happy, moist, abundant group of them! will go back to check for seeds, but maybe they dont make that many, we will see. mostly i think they propagate themselves through these tiny bulbs underground, that come off the sides of the main older bulbs. usually i dont do much digging up of roots of plants, but these were all from extremely abundant populations. actually the dividing them up is beneficial for them, they crowd themselves out once they get too mature, and keep on producing more and more of the tiny bulbs...which get all stunted from not having the room to expand.
i've divided up many kinds of different lilies, and these were kinda strange, much smaller and different shapes. there was a long root too, with smaller and larger bulbs coming off it, and all the bulbils and scales were really tiny.
they look pretty rough from the ride home in the trunk, but soon i should have tons of baby leopard lilies =)
the roots /bulbils / scales :
also dug up some blackcap raspberries from the mountains..theres so many thousands of these where i just was gathering.
these are really prolific, i think i have just decided they are my favorite of the wild berries =)
although its hard to say favorite, because they are all so good.
^^already ate all the ripe black/purple ones =)
at the same place as the lilies, in a small really boggy area with a ditch/creek - found a wild Cobra lily, it was pretty neat to check out. got me curious to research it a bit, it is actually an insect eater!
also found a few plants i am trying to identify, and brought a few back to try to figure out what they are, but havent figured it out yet.
the lotus plants are doing pretty well, only i lost track of the one actually sunk in the pond side.
also gathered a few roots of Darmera peltata , umbrella plant to share with someone who is interested in propagating this plant. its an interesting native that lines most of the rivers and creeks around here. stuck the roots in sand, and then into the mini pond, they like to grow with their roots right in the water.... it already sprouted a tiny leaf again, they get enormous!
and grabbed the lotus bowl, from where it was submerged in the mini pond....
on the other side of the pond, the snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus, has made its berries
the gardens are doing well, still jungle -y
though a lot of the early season plants are now seeding or finished, and the later plants are just coming into production.
the first tomato:
runner beans, and a couple of these anasazi soup beans i got...
the blackberries are incredibly good this year, probably due to all the spring and early summer miracle rains we have had.
these remind me of the ones i used to have so abundantly on the coast, all nice and huge, juicy...as opposed to sometimes here, they either make these tiny dry berries, or medium sized ones...due to the lack of water...and only the ones along the creeks get very good...but this year, theres tons of them, and they are really huge and juicy =)
these are all different prunus cerasifera trees -
also harvesting ceanothus seeds and oregon grape berries
and processing a large amount of seeds. cleaning and drying a lot of seeds!
unfortunately, processing ceanothus seeds is a lot of effort! plus i got them a bit too early, and i realize now that many of them are duds. apparently only the really large juicy ones are viable full seed pods. theres thousands of these bushes around tho, to gather more seed from in a few weeks.
manifested this neat dehydrater dealio for free =) and its been a great help for drying seeds.
maybe at some point it had more pieces, but just the shelves and the stacking bits are working out great.
planted a lot of new stuff in the fedge. some passionflower, some iris, golden hyssop, cotton rose hibiscus, roselle, and also some tulsi basil.
was very pleased to find tons of these california poppies, volunteering !
much better than the grass and perennial sweet pea that formally dominated this area before the sheet mulch.
still having to weed quite a bit, as the sheet mulch was only patches, to allow more water penetration around the trees and raspberry.
the muscat grapes:
artichokes, nasturtium, roselle, some musk mallows, ashwaganda, and lots of volunteer chicory
the fedge is establishing. most things are making it, even through our intense summer heat.
this grape totally groks the fedge plan and has already starting climbing the plums...
and the lotus is growing still =)
that volunteer tomato turned out to be large red cherry. it is by far the hugest monster sized plant i have ever grown, and producing huge amounts of tomatoes already, while others have only ripened a few.
since i decided i wanted to lay down some freshy thick mulch, i decided to also layer them to propagate them. spent an afternoon picking out branches for layering, scratching them up and cutting off strips of the outer skin of the low branches, dug out some small trenches for the branches, and then buried them all under some fresh very rich "soil" with lots of woodchips. the large rocks point to where i should dig for new roots, where the branches are buried.
may actually get some melons! i thought maybe it was getting too late, and they developed slowly, but the melons seem to be finally getting into gear and producing some cutie small melons...
we had a ton of volunteer squash from where i mixed some compost into the soil, and then once that happened decided to plant more squash there. they are over taking the raspberry trellis, which actually seems to be working out good. the raspberries are in decline for the year, but the squash is getting epic!
i had forgotten about direct seeding this passionflower...so this was a happy surprise. i seeded it, and a few others, at the end of winter, so it took a while to get going and get my notice...
also this malabar spinach finally came up and started growing fast
have actually been finding more and more surprises =)
well...just stuff i had either given up on, or forgot about planting...just found this awesome surprise behind some trees...it is an avocado, from a pinkerton avocado i ate months ago =)
and a couple of the air layers i did last winter, the ones that made it! a meyer's lemon and a lime. got three or four more that actually made it, from air layering the trees last winter.
oo and this fig tree is producing for the first time =)
theres been a huge amount of deer damage being done to any plants that arent fenced. luckily most of the things planted in the new fedge and other areas that are accessible, are mature plants. so even though they look sad with all their leaves eaten off, they keep coming back in (and then...eaten again!) and they will make it. just some (unwanted!) pruning...i guess.
but i was flustered with having planted this awesome roselle in the "snail" bed, being totally destroyed every night, half the plants i planted there are already gone from the deer eating them. so i cut a lot of large blackberry canes and mounded them on the bed. it isnt pretty! but it has been so far working surprisingly really well. =) i threw around some gravel too, i know this wont stop them, but i had a little revelation about it walking around barefoot one day. the loose, sharp gravel does actually seem to be helping in some areas, for now anyway. i'm thinking it makes them feel unsure of their footing, and is possibly a mild deterrent.
since i did this and threw the blackberry canes over plants i didnt want them to eat, i havent had any losses, and no new hoof prints.
i also seeded this bed again, since not much of my first big seeding came up, with a lot of the pink flowered strawberry mix i made, more golden hyssop, herbs +..... gonna leave the blackberries there for a while, till all those plants get bigger, and hopefully it doesnt matter as much if the deer do some "pruning"...
and...well one more new pic to share - a happy bee getting into a chicory flower =)
and totally, a good idea. basically similar to the blackberry cane idea, only maybe more attractive.
i have tons of blackberry canes that need to be cut back though, so this was a quick fix, and seems to be working. it keeps shrinking down, when i first put it on there was no way they could get there faces down close without getting snagged by the thornies. so i keep throwing more on top as it shrinks down.
the roselle plants should get huge eventually, that is, if they dont keep getting eaten down. i am glad i planted them really close and a few too many, cause the deer have eaten at least three whole plants! i can see where this would be one of the most enticing plants, they are really interesting tasting leaves. and they were climbing all over the bed, every day there were fresh prints all over the beds...and now none. so it is working enough.
i've been thinking it might be cool to make nice easy access paths to good eating plants...and then use these kinds of subtle ways to try to divert them away...with the rocks and gravel. i totally dont care if they eat up the "yarden" plants, theres lots of chicory, strawberry, violet leaves...all sorts of stuff that they can eat, if they would just leave the roselle, currants and berries alone!
the fedge is really getting eaten, even the elderberry leaves. i thought elder berry leaves were kinda toxic, but these deer keep eating them, they grow back, and they get eaten again. ditto on the passionflower, currants and jostaberry.
sea of tomatoes -
these are particularly good - the amish paste -
the volunteer mater is still epic !
and the beans and squash get more and more jungle-y
some new cute melons are forming
and the bees are going crazy for our mint patch...
been transplanting a lot of the young trees, especially all the citrus, into bigger pots:
and been starting lots of seeds, some for fall gardening, and seeing a lot of new things pop up from earlier plantings.
heres a newly sprouted poncirus trifoliate, and some others :
procrastinated for so long, to get the main wood elements cut up and puzzle pieced together...but now its all downhill from here =)
so hope to have this one "finished" in the next few weeks...
off to the side of this is some hugel ish beds, with logs bordering them and thick wood chip mulch under...as well some cactus growies i am cactus sitting for a friend =)
and then filling it up ---->
already got the sides of this bed planted up, the very edges, with roses, walking onions and tons of wild strawberries...
cant wait to put it together this fall...
grapes are growing like crazy,
and everything left in this bed must be deer proof by now, except the roselle. havent put fresh thorny blackberry "barbed wire" like i had been before, actually i am tired of looking at it, but it has served its purpose. the deer are back to coming on this bed and eating stuff, but dont go on the thornies or eat the roselle unless it pops up way above the thornies...
i suppose i could cover the whole bed...but i think at this point i am just going to let it be, not plant more roselle there, hope by some chance it can withstand both the deer and the winter to come back again next year, only big enough to outpace the deer. i will otherwise try to find a new spot for it next year and just plant things in this bed that arent deer food.
apparently deer dont eat tulsi, ashwaganda, borage, the wild strawberries are unfazed, as well as the artichokes, some sage and whatever else is left in there.
my new seedlings are popping up so they will be deer resistant or deer food, i guess i give up =) at least on the deer fighting....though i continue laying down sharp gravel and loose rocks in strategic spots and that seems to be helping a lot. the conveinance vs inconveinance thing...this is the direction i am thinking might lessen the deer pressure to the point where its not bad...thats the plan anyway. plus they are getting too preoccupied eating the fedge =( but it is helping with our stuff further back.
i usually only harvest small amounts at a time, so i dont have many glam harvest shots...but heres some of my bounty =)
those melons pictured above were really good =) been having them for breakfast...only a couple more left...
i took a ton of pics, usually only a few come out good, but this batch had a lot of nice photos =)
my bounty --->>>
actually thats only part of the total amount, but i picked out the prettiest and ripest for fresh eating/juice.
these are incredibly yummy, i really enjoy the flavor, when they are perfectly ripe (a little over ripe)...i am currently cleaning a lot of the seeds...and have a few ounces of seed so far.
and of course -major tomato flood, its tomato time
actually it everything flood time, theres a lot of food coming out of the garden now =)
but been eating tomatoes every day !
been taking some pics, looking for some glam shots of my pretty and yummies while they are still going. also cleaning a lot of seed, been constantly fermenting tomato seeds for weeks now ...
and the pomegranate is producing fruit for the first time, with three fruits ripening on it
still been working on the hugel spiral, it goes slowly. put in a lot of mini sessions, decided i had to go backwards a bit and rip up some of the sheet mulch to re do it, and got a lot of dirt over there. still to be screened out and spread around the whole area. its looking less together than before, somehow, but it is getting closer ---->>
finally "finished" the hugel bed, although actually i still have to finish adding rich "soil" to the very top. heres a few weeks of the process ---
screening and spreading out the native soil
its at a good stopping point, where i am adding and gathering more compost materials slowly, and plan to keep doing that till early spring when i am ready to plant it. then i will put a final layer of wood chips/straw and then the rich "soil", purchased finished compost, manure, and other purchased "soil".
already got a good amount of comfrey leaves buried in there, as well as all the compost i had saved for a while -
then covered that up with screened native soil and woodchips, and did a lot of fussing to shape the bed.
heres where its at now :
i'm really liking it, glad i did it =) and glad its done! at least the heavy lifting part. we will see how it works out, going to plant a lot of perennials there, and a couple of trees along the sides.
also am going to do a slightly sunken hugel bed, where the leftover branches and rounds are....
the pineapple sage blooming beautifully throughout the fall --
and managed to draw in some cutie hummers =) for a while i kept seeing them every day, i think it mightve been the same ones, and for whatever reason we were synced up with whenever i would go to check my mail, they would be checking for the pineapple sage flowers =)
course by the time i would get my camera they would be gone, so i got a lot of pictures instead of just the sage bush....
its looking really sad though these days, but hopefully it will come back ok next year from the roots...and maybe some of the seed matured well...
most of the things planted in the fedge are making it, despite being eaten regularly by deer. they keep growing leaves, only to get eaten soon after, and then the plants bounce back. it seems it could be worse! the deer actually dont eat the main stalks, or get too destructive about it, they seem to be nibbling fairly gently. the deer here are quite spoiled, perhaps, by the awesome abundance in their habitat here, so its not like they are starving.
well nibbled passionflower
the hope and the plan was to go so far over the top with thick, bushy, and eventually impenetrable growth by planting so many things so close together...that eventually it could be browsed and be hardy noticeable...but we will see how it plays out. its going to take a few years, but at least, most of the plants are establishing pretty well, in spite of the frequent browsing pressure...
nibbled many times, but still bloomed, evening primrose --
have been taking a lot of cuttings, and doing a lot of ground layering
ground layered the boysenberry --
wasnt really sure that was legit, or just something i made up, to try to do more than one wound on the same branch as i did with the boysenberry.... to ground layer things in a sort of wavy pattern, but then i looked up some stuff and apparently thats a thing!
"Compound (serpentine) layering"is apparently what its called...so then did the grapes that way --
and did more of the blueberries --
this is a southern highbush blueberry, 'star', and i think it got confuzzled and began to think it was spring, during our very mild early winter --
it even produced a few berries, right before the freeze.
after having summer seemingly last all the way through fall and into early winter, we just got slammed with lows in the 20's and a deep freeze. so that was a lot of running around moving sensitive plants indoors or to our sort of greenhouse ish area...managed to get them all settled in, and so far so good, lemon, lime mandarins, hibiscus, avocados and passionflowers --still alive!
plus got a nice set up with lights in the laundry room for the youngest and most delicate.
guava, is doing surprisingly well, so far.
and i proved to myself that blueberry is not as difficult from seed as some might say...
i am psyched on these sprouting, hope i can keep them growing...testing out my new theories about fermenting and long term soaking the berries/seed...these sprouted up pretty fast once i planted them ...and look great so far --
been already starting to harvest again, after our intense winter, some of the fall/winter gardening plants did ok...
so having frequent small harvests of greens, arugula, chard, beet greens, cilantro and kale
and now -- asparagus!
been sorting, shuffling around, and re tagging all the young trees, and seeing how they made it through winter. some are looking pretty rough, but think i didnt lose too many to winter, hopefully they will all bounce back now that its warm and sunny again....
^^^theres a one year old peach in that photo, it grew right through the bottom of the pot and grew as large as my three year old peach tree seedlings!!! so i decided maybe that was an ok place for it to be, so i cut the pot off from around it rather than uproot it...
the loquats are looking good...i gave a few away cause i realized i had a few extra...
and got a lot of new seedling trees pop up...some like these cherries...i actually planted a year and a half ago...and they are finally popping along with others i planted at that time, and the couple hundred tree seeds i planted last year...
and i had to eat a lot of blood oranges last year just to find 3 whole seeds. so far two have popped...one is hiding in the pot but should poke up any day now...
and checking on some of the things i stratified in the fridge i found a lot of sprouts =) ready to go...so heres some new peach and pluot seeds...also a lot of rosa rugosa..
the native panther lily scales and bulbils i got last year have taken off very nicely =) it will take them a couple of years to get larger, but they are looking great and sprouting up from all the tiny bulbils and scales...
love thats its finally spring its been a long winter over here! our violets are so welcome flowering so early
and the cherry trees are beautiful and full of busy buzzing bees
finally almost finished with the hugel spiral! of course i have been saying that to myself for too long! this is my personal record for slowest built garden bed, ever. it has taken me 2 years to finish this up...still got just a bit futher to go, but really close to planting it up now...heres...the final steps...
layers of compost, manure, and lots of saw dust, as well as screened native soil...
a nice layer of straw over some last minute compost dumps...
now just to finish off the smaller side beds...
i have though, already started planting these up...last year and this year...at least along the sides...and now in between the sunken hugel and the raised hugel. planted thimbleberry, some raspberry, a couple of roses, some pineberry white strawberries, a lot of wild strawberries, and walking onions...along the sides...among others. keep planting anise hyssop there...one of these times it will stick i hope...but this bed without much growing in it is rather hot and too much sun...so direct seeding hasnt been happening.
and oooo! i managed to get some fresh chocolate seeds! so slimy and weird, but cool. i may be dreaming and trying to stretch my climate way too far but i would be willing to have a chocolate plant as a house plant if i can get these seeds going...
Michael Newby wrote:Wow, so many growies! You're not kidding when you say you've got a majorly green thumb. I love seeing what a huge variety you're growing so close to me. I think that you're a little lower elevation and higher temperatures than me but it's still encouraging. You are quite the industrious permaculturist, it's inspiring.
unsure if its much warmer here, maybe a bit if you are much higher in elevation.
i think this is 1800 ft, i am surrounded by much higher peaks, but this is a bit of a valley.
south of here for a while is orleans and they have a real heat bubble there, but not as much up here, almost to oregon. technically i believe this is zone 8A, although some years its usually more like 8B.
up the road i live on goes up to 7000 ft...and just recently has it cleared of snow enough to take the pass to oregon....
I've done work all along that corridor from Happy Camp to Wietchepec. Just the other month I was working on the side of the highway between Wietchepec and Willow Creek. I love how wet it is out there but I can't stand the poison oak. When you talk about the pass to Oregon are you talking about Grayback Rd? I took that one time when I was staying in Happy Camp (locals said the drive wasn't that far to go get good mexican food - an hour and a half later we made it to Cave Junction. Not far at all!) and really liked the country on the north side of the pass. There's a great shanty on that road that I wan't to take a picture of if I ever make it out there again.
have been taking some pictures, especially of the now completed hugel spiral bed.
i am a little further than these pics...have been planting a lot of seeds in these beds, and covered up the top with as much bag "soil"/finished compost/whatever i can get!
did a major dump of the pots that never sprouted, stuff i have been giving a last chance too for a while...that doesnt seem likely to sprout. at least i got some more dirt, and all the empty pots to re use =) as i was totally out. and hey, maybe some of them will sprout up now that i gave up on them completely! at this point with so little growing, it would be great if they did sprout there.
i have already planted some ginseng, raspberry and thimbleberry in the triangle space between the beds, and some lily bulbs surprised me by sprouting up. i had previously also gone through all the potted trees and plants, and thrown down the soil from all those pots that i had given up on. only apparently these lily bulbs were still alive, even though they had been ignored and completely dried out for a long time.
now if only i could remember what tree i direct seeded here!
off to the side of the hugel spiral, there popped up three of those tree sprouts...i only have a vague memory of planting something there, but i seemed to remember thinking the seed mightve been too dried out. i planted 3 seeds in a triangle pattern right in the little nook off to the edge of that bed. but i cannot remember what they were !
also some volunteers have come up from the compost --
many of the things i winter sowed are now popping up, such as the many nut seeds i planted last year --
and several types of plums --
and some pears-
i have also gotten a number of new lemon and mandarin seeds to sprout. interestingly some of them i had long ago given up on, got cold stratified and very wet this winter, and are now popping up new citrus sprouts. i definitely wouldnt think of citrus as a seed that wants to be cold stratified, but these seeds seem to do ok with it. many of them i planted a year ago, so it was surprising as i was going through the pots to dump many out, that there were a lot of young lemon and mandarin sprouts, having been through a rough winter outside in a pot.
and very exciting - i got the ginseng seeds to sprout --
so now i have several pots of ginseng starting off, and i transplanted some to be under the thimbleberry in the new hugel spiral. i positioned them right close to the logs, and those large logs provide a good bit of shade and moisture, to a small triangle between the two spiral..so hopefully they will establish themselves there.
right on time - the maypop popped up - with a lot of vines and stems, and much bigger than last year when they were all just getting started...
really enjoying these, both for edibility and beauty, some golden peas i am growing this year with really lovely flowers and form...growing along side the kiwis which have really taken off this year -
the grapes i planted last year are looking awesome! they grew so fast, and are totally established well and about to produce a lot of grapes.
and the artichokes have begun flowering!
am especially enjoying how i can climb up and down along the "steps" of the wood... it feels like good childish fun to walk around on the stumps.
have so far planted a lot of basil, two types of perennial tulsi basils, tree basil, and kapoor basil, perennial rocoto peppers, roman chamomile and anise hyssop, and some very young seedling goji berries got transplanted in there
as well a lot of volunteers squash came up!
and that inspired me to transplant some annual peppers, a bolivian rainbow chile, some others, tomatillos, and some melons.
i think eventually this should be all perennials, or at least mostly perennials...but for now i started too many melons!
so with the squash, they can have their season there, hopefully. next winter, and the following spring i will plant it out with more perennials, while these young ones i already planted will make it or break it. i am really hopefully the rocoto peppers will make it, but i think tulsi may be too delicate for our winters. still i can hold out hope =)
started some capers
and decided to transplant two pots with a couple of sprouts, over into the new hugel bed....
you can barely see them there, but 2 made the transitions, and hopefully more of the seeds will pop up too...
it's a quarter till cherry harvest, getting small amounts so far but soon!
and the pomegranate is full of flowers! it has really taken off now
some of the blueberries i layered made roots...some just spread out further where they were planted. maybe eventually they will make roots at the buried parts, blueberries take a long time. a lot of my cuttings from last winter took, so i have been able to clone some of the blueberries...
planted lots of nigella and it is so easy and lovely. i really like it =)
and enjoying these, very low maintenance, already established beds...this is the landscaping beds and herb gardens we have scattered about ...rue, st john's wort, oregano, wild violets, wild strawberries, a young maple...etc
lots of tree seeds and other seeds are finally popping up with our warm weather ...
and really hopeful this isnt a fake out weed, and is maybe the beginnings of a cacao plant?
really happy i finally got at least one black olive to sprout
and the new chestnuts are doing well...
and a few hazelnuts started popping up beside them =)
this i am not sure what it is??!!??
came up from a pot of grapes, i may have recycled the soil from an old pot and had something long forgotten sprout. planted it, along with the grapes, into the fedge.
the fedge is finally starting to really fill in, but its still going to take a long time. it is producing a small amount of raspberries, a few blueberries, and the fig tree has a couple figs....i like that the st john's wort i have been planting all over has finally gotten to the point where theres a substantial amount. enough to make at least a small amount of medicine with....
this avocado had it rough from last winter, but is coming back ok
not sure i can get the hang of celery!
its going to seed now. i havent managed to eat very much of it. it was either too young, or then too frozen, and now too old. but its sort of...spreading by way of making litlle side celery plants...almost like the artichoke...
Tyler Ludens wrote:Do you think the avocado will ever be able to fruit? I have some in my garden, kind of a little thicket of them.
i really hope so. it is a particularly hardy type called 'bacon'.
particularly hardy may not quite be enough here though.
eventually somehow i would eventually like to get a better set up for winter, and grow more delicate passionflowers, guava, avocados and the citrus.
this did survive last winter, under the plastic greenhouse dealio, submerged in mulch, but this one and its sister looked the worst off than anything else.
i am thinking you might be just a bit warmer of a zone 8/ i have read through your threads and your just a bit ahead of me i think, and maybe warmer...
Alder Burns wrote:What's your secret potting mix? I'm having the darndest time making up a potting soil that doesn't rot seedlings and cuttings. I've tried solar-cooking the whole mess, pouring boiling water on it, nothing seems to work....
well not always the same, i make it up different each time, from whatever i can pull together.
me and my landmates went and got a nice truckload, with an extra trailer load last year, of some nice seed starting mix from someone up in medford...that i have been stretching as far as possible now that its almost gone. late last year we got some general "compost" thats got a lot of wood in it, and that always worries me a bit only with the delicate seedlings and cuttings.....but now that i am almost out of the specific seed starting mix we had...i hve been using that with a lot of sand mixed in.
i do usually make up the mix, recycled old "soil" and even use a little of our native soil, adding river sand to the piles of compost and manure we truck here...but i get way better results when using some of that bag soil, pre made seed starting mix specifically...especially a nice fresh bag so it doesnt get the bugs....
my favorite is coconut coir, it works better than most for me.
especially with the grapes, the one i pictured above where i did "compound" layering /serpentine layering, worked out really well! made three nicely rooted out plants, from the same vine stem. i cut the one closest to the plant, and the one off the very end, and left the one in the middle to grow in place. it had already produced a six foot long vine from it!
they were so rooted i had to get the digging fork out. usually i am less patient than this and only pull out ones with small just beginning to root.
after pulling those out i picked another long vine to do it again in the same spot
actually did two low growing vines there, one inside the fence and one on the outside of the fence. that one we probably have enough of, its a black muscat, a very old european wine grape, and we have 4 huge plants. but i can always trade them out/give them away/plant them somewhere else. the others, i will be excited to get a few more of...
also got some off of the flame grape, i have been growing in a large pot since i recently got it.
those were much smaller but easy and fast to root. i took the vines that were long enough to bend down in the pot, dig a little trench around the edge and wrap the vines around the pot in the trench. then cover with rocks, to hold the vines down into the soil. only a month or two later and i got some small rooted plants to cut off ...
well got so excited about my 6 new grape plants - i went on a layering kick, and layered everything i could find for a couple of days =)
layered all the muscadines in pots
and the concord grape in the ground
and the thompson grapes from the fedge
chased a butterfly around the pomegranate to get a few good shots of her enjoying the flowers...
the tree has grown so much recently and has a huge amounts of flowers
and slowly planting up the hugel spiral
it's looking better and better, now that it is getting going
the grapes are really coming in and we have a lot!
it's only been one year since they were planted, so i know next year will be even more epic...
got a few of the shasta lily bulbs to bloom
and theres some lemons forming on the meyer's lemon tree!
but this a good time to finally get all hooked up with my new landmates, we finally got back online =)
anywho since we got like tons and tons of snow, the likes of which i havent ever seen here in the 5 or so winters i have spent here...i have been finally uploading and going through my pictures...
currently the garden looks like this :
but heres some pictures from the later part of the year -
got my first harvest of lemons =)
a total of 8 super yummy lemons =)
and had to re situate them in a warmer inside place, the laundry room, where they are doing ok. it stays at least 20 to 40 degrees warmer in there because its both connected to the main house and houses the hot water heater.
harvested a huge amount of walnuts from a great old tree i discovered a few years ago, saved a lot of seed and shared a lot of it too...
unfortunately theres 2 raccoons that have set up their camp here, they have been really annoying me with digging up all my nut seeds, and even anything in a pot. since they scored so big ruining my first planting of pecan, chestnut and walnut...i had to make a dealio of glass windows and my compost screens to try to keep them out. so far it has worked, and had enough of the same types of seed to replant all the pots again...
thinking about getting some have a heart traps, or something.
i swear these 2 raccoons are doing more damage in the last year since they found us here...then everything else combined did in the years previous. they got to go...but based on how many raccoon prints i see in the snow it seems unlikely they will leave easily!
also processed a huge amount of cherry, plum, and peach seeds this year
the plums are getting massive, there was a huge amount this year -->
this was one of my faves from last year...hopes its still sort of alive under all this snow...this Ethiopian kale which grew to be bigger than 7 feet tall or so...
the first sowing of these i did a couple of years ago were mostly small plants, only 3 or 4 made it through the first winter and came back enormously tall! and quite yummy, its quite mild considering its a mustard kale cross, the kale flavor comes through and a mild sweet flavor. it's also a stable hybrid, rather old type...so its one of the only brassicas to produce true seeds as it apparently doesnt cross with other brassicas.
the hugel in full swing.
well it is only year 1 ...so in full swing of year 1. many of the perennials i planted in there didnt seem to take...but i got a lot of squash, basils of different types and onions and potatoes are doing well there. not so sure on the capers, goji berry, and ground cherries i planted, most of those seem to give up around fall. i have some hopes at least a few made it, the tree basil (which is perennial but not very cold hardy) seem to go into dormancy, like a mini tree...theres some chance they could come back from the roots next year. i do have some more in pots, inside the with the citrus and delicate plants.
got a nice amount of runner beans, these were a variety called 'insuk's wang kong', bred from scarlet runner beans for hotter climates. they were all around more hardy and quick growing than the other runner beans i grew this year, growing so fast you could see huge amounts of growth daily from them when they were in full swing.
sprouted a lot of pawpaw trees =)
they didnt pop up till almost fall, even though i planted them before the previous winter...
these artichokes did really well -
got a ton of volunteer artichokes !!!
i have grown several different types of artichokes in previous years and havent ever had many seeds. i used to let some go past their past their prime to see if i could get seeds...but none of the type i was growing before ever made seeds for me.
the three artichoke plants i planted a while back had a few flowers that didnt get eaten before flowering...and so had a lot of volunteer seedlings show up =)
Our ongoing involvement is with our gardens, a pond for wild ducks, firewood processing, upkeep of buildings - and with some regional environmental activism and with our community of friends. My most recent project has been to get halfway through revamping our mountain gravity-feed water system, and coming up will be improving our fencing to better control bears harvesting corn, squash, carrots, apples.
Here are some pics of some of our growies.