Tory Ruszkowski

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since Jun 22, 2018
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Recent posts by Tory Ruszkowski

Alternatives to tomatoes that come to mind include (depending on your taste buds) tomatillos, ground cherries, litchi tomatoes, and parts of snake gourds. I recommend direct-seeding tomatillos and ground cherries, though. They seem to do better that way (as long as they sprout). Better yet, just get a tomatillo from another gardener and squish it where you want tomatillos next year. Till and water the soil when you want it to sprout. Tomatillos are commonly used for green salsa. I'm not sure that any of these crops will do any better in such wet conditions, but some of them might.

You can use several things as a replacement for tomatoes in ketchup (e.g. mushrooms, bananas, squash).

However, I think a better option than those might be to garden differently.

1. Get the right varieties of tomatoes. I might suggest some early ones like Nodak Early, Sub Arctic Plenty, Frosty F. House, Millet's Dakota, Cougar Red, and Gold Dust. You'll notice that Tatiana's is based out of British Columbia, Canada. She's one of the most popular names in tomatoes, and she's reviewed a lot of them; so, you might check her favorites.
2. Minimize the water. You might try laying black plastic down, which will both warm the soil and hopefully prevent most of the water from entering the soil. (Just be sure to support your tomatoes so they're not sitting in water.)
7 months ago

Tatyana Piven wrote:Anyone grows Garlic from bulbils? I receved some really nice bulbils from ebay and planted them in December. I expected the bulbils to grow into a larger ine-clove head, but instead they shot scapes and yielded small heads, divided into 3-5 cloves. I guess my question is - what now? Do I divide them and plant separately, or do I plant the 2-ng year bulbil head whole?



I've planted bulbils before, and cloves. Where you plant them seems to make a difference. The cloves and bulbils in quick-drying, sunny soil fared about the same (they grew, but not much). The next year, the ones I had planted in a place with soil that takes longer to dry and that had more shade did very well by comparison—the clove became a head (which I had left where it was, and it became several plants). The bulbils, which I also let overwinter, each became a nice plant (just one, but bigger than the first year). I initially planted them kind of late. The bulbils and cloves were ones I saved from our garlic. Neither of the soils had much organic matter.

For sunny locations with quick-drying soil, I much prefer to grow garlic chives. They don't seem to mind the conditions.

Regular garlic is very hardy and can live just about anywhere (but that doesn't mean it prospers there).
7 months ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Steve Farmer wrote:Then see if i can ID it as an elephant garlic.



Elephant garlic often has corms, which are small bulbs that grow outside the main bulb. They are typically covered in a hardish brown shell. Also, the flavor and smell of elephant garlic are significantly different than common garlic. Elephant garlic does not have bulbils in the flower. I haven't seen a common garlic flower that didn't contain bulbils.



So, what does elephant garlic do? Does it produce true seeds, or is it generally sterile?

I've been interested in true elephant garlic seed if it exists.
7 months ago

Victor Johanson wrote:I'm getting ready to try landrace gardening. There's a guy named Joseph Lofthouse in Utah who has written a fascinating series of blog entries on the subject at Mother Earth News:



Joseph is one of the three gardener's listed in the sidebar here. :) He posts here.
7 months ago
If you look at the dictionary definition of vegetable (although even dictionaries differ on their definition), it basically tells you that anything edible that comes from a plant is a vegetable (that includes the fruit). I grew up thinking it had to be anything but the fruit—but I guess I was wrong.

It's also worth noting that things like melons, watermelons, ground cherries, and such are usually listed under the vegetable section at seed stores, right along with radishes and cabbage.

Also, watermelons are usually excluded from the melons section (which is generally reserved for all other kinds of melons—especially C. melo).

The fruit section at seed and plant stores tends to be for sweet, fruiting perennials (like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, pears, plums, cherries, and such).

But yeah, I like the botanical definition of fruit (for most gardening purposes). It doesn't have to be sweet. However, if I describe something as fruity, I hope you know I'm not saying it tastes like zucchini.

They should make a new kind of fruit cereal with the following flavors in it:

* Pumpkin
* Tomato
* Okra
* Eggplant

You can get some pretty fruity-tasting pumpkins and tomatoes, though (e.g. Blue Doll F1 and Gardener's Delight). Well, I guess Gardener's Delight is more like those vitamin C that taste like candy than fruit, and Blue Doll F1 is more like pumpkin pie than a cherry (although it smells really fruity in a melon-like sort of way)—but you get the idea.
7 months ago

William Schlegel wrote:… The presumably pepo (edit I was incorrect in my presumption) Hidatsa squash landrace described in the book was actually multiple purpose and provided at least 5 food products. Squash blossoms, immature immediate eating squash, immature dried squash, winter squash, and squash seeds. …



I wonder if they ate the leaves, too. Squash leaves tend to be edible. Some kinds taste better than others.
7 months ago