Friday, December 17, 2010

This Spring: 150 Varieties.

I had an accident Halloween and haven't been out to Stony End since then. I wonder if any of my winter garden is still growing. Between the varmints and temperatures in the teens I doubt if much is left. Oh, well; time to plan the Spring garden. I got my seeds in place and this looks to be the plan. Many of these seeds came from trades; the rest come from Baker Creek, Pinetree, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and Native Seed SEARCH.

Proven varieties are marked with a *. All others are in testing.

Tomato: *Huando, *Indian Stripe, *Matt's Wild Cherry.
Pepper: *Steve's Anaheim, *Tulip (aka Balloon Pepper).
Eggplant: Brazilian Oval Orange, Diamond, Early Black Egg,
Ma-Zu Purple.
Tomatillo: Chinese Lantern Gigantea, Everon-Large Green,
Mt. Pima, Purple, Tepehuan, Zuni.
Other: *Land Race Ground Cherry, *Chichiquelite, *Litchi Tomato.

Watermelon: *Hopi Red, Jemeze, Jumanos, Katanya,
*Melitapolski, Northstar, Strawberry, Sweet Siberian.
Cantaloupe: Amber Nectar, Joseph's Early,
Joseph's Most Productive, Old North Carolina Heirloom,
*Old West Virginia Heirloom.
Other: *Horned melon (aka Jelly Melon)

Pepo: Styrian Pumpkin, Lady Godiva.
Maxima: Australian Butternut.
Mixta: *Silver Edge.
Moschata: Kikuza, Mayo Kama, Seminole Pumpkin, Shishigatani,
Steve's Butternut, Sucrine du Berry, Tahitian Melon,
Thai Rai Kan Tok, Musquee du Berry, Chiriman, Black Futsu.
Edible Gourds: Cucuzza, *Sicilian Serpent, Thai Bottle gourd.
Other: Luffa.

Bush: *Alaska, Desiree Dwarf, *Steve's Snow Pea.
Pole: Alderman, Golden Sweet, Lancashire Lad, Sugar Snap,
Super Sugar Snap,Wando.
Broadbean: Imperial Green Long Pod.

Bush: Dragon Tongue, Painted Pony, Kabarika, *Royal Burgundy.
Pole: Christmas Lima, *Hopi Red Lima, *Marengo Romano,
Mayflower, New Mexico Cave, Rattlesnake, Trail of Tears,
Turkey Craw.

Bush: Big Boy, Mayo Calima, Mississippi Silver, Purple Hull,
Red Ripper.
Yard long, Pole: Anna's Taiwan Long, Sitao.

Bunch Onions: *Tokyo Long White, Crimson Forest, Deep Purple.
Other: Chives, *Chinese Chives (aka Garlic Chives).

Lettuce: Black Seeded Simpson, Lolla Rosa, Jerico Romaine.
Mustard: *Boston Mt. Land Race, *Thick Stem volunteer, Southern Giant.
Kale: *Ragged Jack (aka Red Russian)
Other: *Blood Sorrel,Cilantro/Coriander, Creasy Greens, Culantro,
Florence Fennel, Kang Kong-Upland, Lovage, Edible Chrysanthemum,

Amaranth: *Callaloo.
Other: Alfalfa, Blue Bonnet Rice, Dragon's Claw Millet, Pennuda Oats.

Okra: Burmese, Cajon Jewel, Charley's Fat Pod, Gold Coast, Lee,
Pitre's Short Bush Red Cowhorn.
Asparagus: Mary Washington, Precoce D'Argenteuil.
Rhubarb: Paragon, Victoria.
Chia: Desert, Crown Jewels,
Tobacco: Mennonite, Samuel Mudd's.
Other: Flax, Sesame.

Echinacea: *Puporea, Paradoxa, Augustafollia.
Basil: *Lime.
Oregano: *Greek
Dill: *Bouquet, Thai
Other recommended: *Lemon Bee Balm, *Catnip, *Borage,
*Lemon Balm, *Lion's Tail, *Stevia, *Toothache Plant, *Yarrow,
Other: Grandview Catmint, German Chamomile, Roman
Chamomile, Mexican Mint, Soapworth, Tarragon,
Vietnamese Mint.

Asclepias: Incarnata, Syriaca, Tuberosa.
Other: *Heavenly Blue Morning Glories, Ball's Orange Calendula,
Petite Marigold, Dwarf Jewel Nasturtiums, Wild Plum, Dog Rose, Sugar Pear.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My 2010 Garden

I'm sorry I haven't kept updated posts on the garden this spring. Unlike the 2 previous cool, wet seasons this year has been a great year for gardening. Some newcomers to the garden that are doing great:

Marengo Romano Pole beans. Fantastic! 42 days after putting the seeds in the ground the plants are over 9 feet tall and flowering profusely, even setting some tiny pods. Lush, healthy plants.

Old West Virginia Heirloom melon. After bemoaning my inability to grow cantaloupes in my garden a West Virginia gardener on sent me seeds to this melon with the comment: "I bet these will grow for you." They do!

Indian Stripe and Huando tomatoes. I had resigned myself to just growing Matt's Wild Cherry tomato as it was the only productive tomato of 20 or so that I've tried. Again 2 members suggested trying these. They are growing great and setting lots of fruit. Huando is a local variety from Huando, Peru. Indian Stripe is an heirloom grown by an Arkansas gardener.

Horned melon, aka Jelly Melon. I started these indoors and transplanted them after about 8 weeks. They promptly acquired brown spots and wilted. I read in Susan Ashworth's book that they are very resentful of being transplanted so I wrote them off. After 1-2 weeks of looking about to die they suddenly started growing again. One plant is now over 7 feet tall and well branched, lots of flowers about to happen.

Clary Sage. Another gift from an gardener. Planted last summer, it grew into a 2 foot tall plant with big leaves. It flowered this May and yesterday I harvested some ripe seeds; I'll harvest more in a few weeks.

Everbearing Strawberries. I must mention that everbearing strawberries are doing great on my poor, heavy soil with leaf mulch. Ozark Beauty, Tribute, Pretty and Pink, and Sarian F1 (from seed) are all doing great with no care and a few berries to munch on every day. I sure am glad I bought one Pretty and Pink plant at Lowe's 2 years ago. Pretty pink flowers and a wonderful flavor. It seems to have been taken off the market; I don't know why.

This is the 5th gardening year in my Boston Mountains garden and I can report discovering varieties that grow well for me in almost every category. In the 4 previous years I've lost many varieties to disease; these are tolerant/resistant to local diseases. I've also had many crops that simply refused to grow for me. Most greens and all cole crops just sit there. Until now cantaloupes would not grow for me. Sweet peppers don't grow well, though many hot peppers do quite well. All herbs and spices that I've planted have done well except for common thyme. Interestingly creeping thyme is doing well. It is a thick green carpet that creeps out a few inches each year.

Baring a crop failure I'll have seeds for 2011 from:

Allium ------------- Tokyo Long White bunch onions, Garlic Chives (aka Chinese Chives)

Amaranth --------- Golden Giant

Beans -------------- Marengo Romano, Red Noodle, Hopi Red Lima, Royal Burgundy, Razorback cowpea

Greens ------------- Ragged Jack Kale, Mixed Mustard Greens, Edible Chrysanthemum, Blood Sorrel

Herbs, Spices ----- Lime basil, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea), Clary Sage, Toothache Plant

Melons, Squash -- Old West Virginia melon, Hopi Red Watermelon, Seminole pumpkin, Kikuza squash, Horned melon

Misc. ---------------- Ground Cherries, Chichiquelite berries, Purple tomatillos, Goldenberry, Litchi Tomatoes

Okra ---------------- Lee

Peas ---------------- Alaska, Super Sugar Snap, Neighbor Steve's snowpeas

Peppers ----------- Tulip (aka Bishop's Hat, Balloon pepper), Neighbor Steve's Anaheim, Long Thin Cayenne

Tomatoes --------- Indian Stripe, Huando, Matt's Wild Cherry

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Deep Root: The Experiment.

Goldenberry (Physalis peruviana) cuttings I took last November have gone wild. I'm going to trim them and root the cuttings at the same time as I root some weeping willow cuttings. Both Willow and Goldenberry will have 10 inch stems in the water. Some chopped up willow stems are also in the water.

Update: 6/27/10 Failure!
The willow rooted but mostly in the top 3-4 inches. No roots at all from the Goldenberry. Perhaps if I had shortened the underwater stems to 4 inches they both would have rooted.
Oh, well.

The Goldenberry trimmings and Willow in the jug.

The jug in the warm spot, water temps = 75 to 80 degrees. Misted several times a day. East facing window light supplemented with 2 23 watt compact florescent lights on 16 hours/day.

Much smaller Goldenberry plants!

I'll update in a few days.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Promise of Spring.

Rebirth and renewal. Rejoice!

Fall and winter were sad and depressing for me; I spent months in an amotivational hibernation. The cool, wet March kept me from my garden but now temps are rising to 70 degrees and the garden beckons. I just spent 5 days out there and the greening landscape and the garden work have brought an optimism that I've lacked since October. I find myself repeating a simple prayer: "Thank you God!"

Among the returning garden plants were Garlic chives (aka Chinese chives). I planted the seed last Spring and now I have a perennial patch.

Work in the Garden:
I put up a 41 foot, 8 foot high fence/trellis shaped like an I, two 8 foot cross pieces and a 25 foot center. Driving metal stakes into rocky, clay soil with a hammer is hard work! Ah, but so rewarding to look at when it's done.

I used my long handle loppers to clear and expand my garden. Lots of thorny blackberries to clear. One wild blackberry got to live and maybe become part of my garden pending fruiting. It had round stems and few, small thorns like a dewberry, perhaps it's a cross.

Planted outside the garden enclosed by the electric fence: potatoes and garlic, seeds of asst. flowers, Litchi tomato, Garlic chives, and Bunch onions.
Planted inside the garden: two Matt's Wild Cherry tomato plants and 12 marigolds from Lowes and seed of 3 carrot varieties, 3 Snow pea varieties, and Sugar Snap peas.

The 4 varieties of ever bearing strawberries made it through the winter and have resumed growing. One Ozark Beauty strawberry has a flower on it.

The Blood sorrel died back in the winter but has returned and is growing well. Pretty, nutritious, easy to grow perennial; I'll be planting a big patch this Spring.

Oregano, Creeping thyme, and Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Echinacea, Kiwi Gold raspberries, Bunch onions, Jim and Jan primocane blackberries and Goji berries all green and looking good.

Wild violets and Juneberries in flower.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Picture of Jerry Stoppel.

Holding Luffas behind giant Habanero bush.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Jerry Stoppel

I'm putting Jerry Stoppel up for Google to harvest.

Jerry died Christmas of a broken heart. He spent 2 years drinking himself to death.

There will be a wake at his house 1/3/10.

Come by or email me.

Jerry taught me how to grill a rare fillet. He told me of his grandfathers and father's trips to Kansas to harvest. He told me of corn squeezins, He told me of living off your garden. Thanks, Jerry.