Ulla Bisgaard

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since Jul 11, 2022
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Ulla Bisgaard currently moderates these forums:
People call me a jack of all trades, but master of non. I know a little and dabble a little in many things, but there are very few things I am an expert in,
I believe in a holistic approach to life and what surrounds us. I believe in finding happiness in small things, or those that looks small but still have a big impact of your life, I live with my husband on a 1/2 acre homestead, where we practice permaculture. We have a small orchard, grow a lot of vegetables too and we keep chickens, ducks and rabbits for livestock. The rabbits is an endangered livestock, that we together with others are trying to save.
I love and engage in reading, gardening, herbalism, food preservation, sewing and alchemy.
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Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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Recent posts by Ulla Bisgaard

Roxanne Oguin wrote:My garlic was strange this year although not as bad as that. No scapes ever came up, but the leaves were dying and they were big so I went ahead and harvested them. But the scapes usually always come up before I harvest. But we have had a lot of rain this year. Have you? Maybe that’s why they are soggy? Just an idea. I hope you’re able to get some better answers.

Yesterday we pulled all of the soft neck garlic, but when we got to the hard necks, they didn’t have the same problems. No scapes, but clear heads forming. The soft necks looked like leeks when we cut them up.
We thinned out the hard necks since I suspected over watering (they have drip irrigation, but because of my sunflowers, my husband has used the sprinklers, which then also has hit the garlic).
I think I know what went wrong.
1. I forgot that the compost didn’t have a lot of nitrogen and garlic are heavy feeders. I have given the hard necks a good feed of liquid fertilizer now.
2. We planted them too close together.
3. Placement. This garden bed doesn’t get as much sunlight as the rest of the yard does. Next year I will plant garlic in a spot with more sunshine.
4. I need to forget that people tell you to grow soft necks when you are down south. I have know for the last 5 years that the hard necks perform much better here. I don’t know why, but I am not planting soft necks again. Not just because of this, but also because my stored soft necks expired around Christmas, but the hard necks we have left, are still good now over a year later.
I am in a few food preservation groups on FB, and I remembered that one of the other women didn’t cure her garlics, but instead just cleaned them, put them in the food processor and then froze it all in small portions. This was what we ended up doing, since cutting shows that they all looked like leeks inside. No cloves were developed. Half we froze in small silicone molds, and the rest goes into my freeze dryer to make garlic powder. Because they didn’t cure, we were able to use part of the stalk too, so we ended up with 5 full freeze drying trays and one large tray with the molds.
I am grateful that we didn’t loose all of it, and I have learned a lot from it too. Since learning is good, I am happy.
3 days ago

George Booth wrote:This is probably not the right place to say this but it's what came to mind reading the thread. I really wish there was more gardening discussions happening on the forums ) :

As Jay said you are the solution. Also, gardening is what I mostly write about here on permies. Just get a thread started with a topic or just a story about the things about gardening you are passionate about. Once you do that, you will connect with like minded souls (like me) 😉

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Great mullein has fuzzy leaves, therefore, I would ID this as a different species.

It definitely has fussy leaves. I have suggested to my husband that we use some in stead of toilet paper. There are no doubt that it is mullein, but as I am finding out, there are more than one type of mullein.
4 days ago

Nancy Reading wrote:That doesn't look good Ulla. Are these grown from saved bulbs, or new stock?

It was new certified disease free organic stock that I bought, since I didn’t grow enough last year to last us until the next harvest. On the right side it’s Music and on the left Spanish Roja which is a hard neck. I have bought from the same company before without problems.
The soil is a mix of compost, partly composted mulch and compost tea. They only got watered from below until March when we turned on sprinklers to cover a larger area. When I first noticed the problems, I had my husband change back to below drip watering only.
5 days ago
I have grown garlic for many years, but this year something went wrong, and I can’t figure out what it is. A lot of the bulbs come up rotten, and the rest are not growing well. They were planted in October, so they should be ready and they are not. The soft necks have dead leaves and the hard necks haven’t set any scapes like they usually do. The only difference from previous years, is that they are in a new bed by themselves instead of surrounding other plants like I usually do. I do find a few nice heads, but very few.
I have attacked pictures.
5 days ago

Timothy Norton wrote:I'm currently using the borage as a pollinator attractor near but not in my vegetable gardens. I also am hoping to use it as a form of green manure.

I have a good amount growing in some rocky soil that I have been pulling slate roofing chunks out of. It seems to be a never ending rock pile but the borage doesn't seem bothered. The hope is that it will assist in slowing down some invasive plants by competing for space.

I feel for you. I dug out enough rocks to fill my fountain, and are now collecting more to make a sun spot for lizards and snakes. I am also lucky enough to have gophers who, with a little bribery, help dig through the soil and mix in mulch and compost.
We also had a lot of invasive weeds, especially grasses, it’s why I spread out a 6” layer over the whole lot, before I seeded it with the plants I wanted there. It worked to suppress most of the weeds, so I was able to manage what did grow, until what I seeded was able to take over. I will be honest and say that I hate the grasses. The seeds stick to my clothes, so I have to spend hours picking out seeds before I wash them. Only my long old fashioned cotton skirts don’t get seeds stuck to them, and it’s not always practical to do gardening in a full length skirt.
5 days ago

Anne Miller wrote:Borage was on my property when I made my purchase.  Since then I have seen none.

Since I have no experience cooking it I will say that I believe those plants are telling you something.

Planting by spreading out a 6” layer of compost helped the borage.

I bought a total of 50 yards of compost and composted mulch last fall, as the final step in the food forest before planting the last shrubs and sowing wild flowers and herbs. The goal was to suppressing the California grasses, that was dominating the area, to give the flowers and herbs a better chance to get established. Second goal was to provide more organic matter to improve the soil quality. This was the third time we added compost and mulch, but the other times it wasn’t this much. The gophers are my helpers in improving our sandy clay soil. They bring the compost down and push the sand up, so that over the last 7 years the soil quality has gotten to a nice dark color and things are thriving. I think I am probably the only California gardener who likes my gophers. I make sure they have access to plants I am okay with them eating, and I put our own food plants in cages, so they are hard to access. This way they are paid for their work, and we live in harmony. That said, I also have several gopher snakes and cats, that keep the gopher and rabbit population under control. If not, they would take over.
5 days ago

Timothy Norton wrote:I just want to post to share a bit of a laugh with you.

I too have had a problem growing borage! I bought a half pound of seed and sprinkled it all around my property and now am in the same boat as you!

Small world and an excellent topic to post about.

Okay, that is a little funny, and it’s good I am not alone in doing this. Have you thought about what to use your borage for?
Also off topic, but still funny:
My family just shakes their heads, since I have a tendency to grow monster plants. I baby my plants and soil. Every plant gets a daily inspection for pests, weeds and disease. Last year my main basil plant grew 4’ tall and 2’ wide. I got 1/2 gallon of freeze dried leaves and 1/2 gallon of pesto out of one plant. This year some of my beets were over 2 pounds each.
5 days ago

Jay Angler wrote:Well, there's not doubt in my mind that Borage feeds the bees! Particularly in the late fall where I live, when there aren't so many other flowers.

However, I've never had a huge oversupply, so the only things I have done is chop some finely into soups, or added some to a mixed-greens pesto.

Thank you for the tip. I will try that. My son is making carrot top pesto tomorrow, since my carrots are ready for harvest. I will have him try and add some and see how it tastes.
If leaves can be used in soups, freeze drying them might work. That’s what we do with extra greens like beet leaves for example, when we have too much of them.
5 days ago