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N&C Midwest: February 2018 !

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/1/2018, 5:46 pm

Well, the days are noticeably longer (yay!!) and the recent warm days truly brought Spring Fever to the forefront for me!

I am solidifying my planting plan, finishing ordering seeds, inventorying what I have and basically scheming!

What are you all doing?  What are you going to try?  What are you going to nix?  Any building or planting plans for your edible landscape?
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Post  sanderson on 2/2/2018, 1:29 am

Thank you for reminding me to order my seeds.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/2/2018, 5:45 pm

@sanderson wrote:Thank you for reminding me to order my seeds.
You’re welcome!

Doing that tonight myself, sanderson!

Plan:  another box; convert my 3x7 to strawberry bed and do another 3x7 for veggies

Increase:
Cukes, add a pickler
Bring back the pole beans

Add: (new)
Kohlrabi
Cabbage

Omit:
Kale

Reduce:
Swiss Chard
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Post  sanderson on 2/4/2018, 3:05 pm

I got my seeds ordered. Only 5 packs needed this summer. The seed exchange has given me a chance to try new varieties. I hope to mail my seeds to 3 of you on Monday.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/4/2018, 4:20 pm

Nice!  Trying anything new?
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Post  sanderson on 2/7/2018, 2:00 am

Blue speckled tepary bean, Dread Locks Amaranth, Chinese 5 color pepper in the front flower beds, Charentais melon and Rich Sweetness Melon, all from Baker Creek.

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Post  countrynaturals on 2/7/2018, 2:25 pm

@sanderson wrote:Blue speckled tepary bean, Dread Locks Amaranth, Chinese 5 color pepper in the front flower beds, Charentais melon and Rich Sweetness Melon, all from Baker Creek.
We LOVE tepary beans -- didn't plant nearly enough of them last year.
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Post  sanderson on 2/9/2018, 2:12 pm


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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/10/2018, 11:40 am

I had to google tepary beans!  Interesting native plant!  I grew Charentais for the first time last summer, sanderson, they were delicious!  I didn’t get as many per plant as I’d like, but for last summer I could say that for my melons in general.  I have them in containers, and I don’t think they got enough nutrients as the season progressed...they are heavy feeders and the mix in there was depleted I believe....

Yeah, that is headed our way from Chicago some time tonight/early AM tomorrow.  What a mess.  I am officially over winter, but winter doesn’t care about my feelings!  LOL!  

Ordering my seeds today!  Trying to get a definitive answer on spacing for strawberries.  I am converting my 3x7 to all strawberries.  It is just too shallow.  Will check on here, I know my peeps will have the answer!!!!!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/10/2018, 12:32 pm

OK, so I ordered the Strawberry plant collection; 10 plants each Earliglo, Cabot, and Seascape.  Also am trying new this year Kohlrabi Kolibri, and a new early tomato called  Ultimate Opener.  And again, my beloved French Breakfast radish, which I haven’t had since my regular garden at the old house.  All from Pinetree.  Excitement is rising!
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Post  sanderson on 2/10/2018, 1:28 pm

Very Happy

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Post  DorothyG on 2/11/2018, 12:53 pm

@sanderson wrote:You Mid-West folks just can't seem to catch a break!  https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/snow-blankets-chicago-as-winter-storm-sweeps-us-midwest/ar-BBIV3MM?li=BBnb7Kz
Awe Sanderson, you hit the nail on the head.  We have gotten spoiled with the nicer winters without the slick roads and what we now call extreme cold. 
I didn't  get around to seeding anything in the greenhouse for the winter and it is a good thing.  I doubt if even the hardiest would have made it.  Stuck my head in there last week and found where something had tunneled under the south wall.  Seems as though one of our cats has set up housekeeping there.  
This morning we have a coat of ice on everything.  It's a little different than we usually have because it isn't polished but does have a texture similar to 60 grit sandpaper.  The 6am department of transportation report shows all roads, major and minor, to be fully covered.  High for today is expected to be 29 and 13 for tonight.  By Tuesday they are guessing it to get to 49 for daytime high and 39 for overnight low.  One day they are even guessing 61 before the next round of rain, freezing rain, and snow are expected.  Been that way for almost 2 months now.
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Post  DorothyG on 2/11/2018, 1:07 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:

We LOVE tepary beans -- didn't plant nearl enough of them last year.
CN, what do they taste like?  I looked them up and the article described them as having a sweet flavor.  Can't put that with a bean. I think of a meaty flavor for beans, lol.  They sound very interesting.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/11/2018, 2:35 pm

@DorothyG wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:

We LOVE tepary beans -- didn't plant nearl enough of them last year.
CN, what do they taste like?  I looked them up and the article described them as having a sweet flavor.  Can't put that with a bean. I think of a meaty flavor for beans, lol.  They sound very interesting.
I agree, DorothyG, I had looked them up too, as I had never heard of them.  What do they taste like?  How prolific are they?  I love butter beans, but would like to know how much you get from a plant....before committing squares to them!
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Post  sanderson on 2/11/2018, 11:58 pm

Oh, butter beans. I forgot to order them!

Lrt's see, a sweet bean. Maybe they taste like pork'n'beans. Wink

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Post  DorothyG on 2/12/2018, 1:16 am

Gosh if you could only grow pork-n-beans my husband would tend the garden daily!  Laughing
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Post  sanderson on 2/12/2018, 1:53 am

rofl

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/12/2018, 6:22 pm

I sprout my beans before planting. I haven't tried tepary beans yet, but sometimes the sprouted beans have a very bacon-y smell. Just like Pork n Beans. It's probably an odor from some bacteria or yeast enjoying the humid, warm germination conditions, but it's really weird.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/12/2018, 6:27 pm

Interesting.  Beetles, what kind of beans do you grow?  I only grow pole beans....
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/12/2018, 10:29 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Interesting.  Beetles, what kind of beans do you grow?  I only grow pole beans....
Mostly pole (and mostly in the OSFG): Scarlet Runner, Nekargold, Lazy Wife, Non-Tough Half Runner, Snow Cap, and Ugandan Bantu (a mix in and of itself, and some crosses/sports that came out of that.) I'm adding Nonna Agnes's Blue this year.
For dry bush beans I've grown Marfax (I *think* this is one of the ones that was bacon-y as it sprouted), Jacob's Cattle, and Peregion.
The green bush beans go in the ANSFG. I've tried over a half dozen varieties but I haven't really compared the various varieties to have a fave worth commenting on.
If I could only grow one of all of those it would be the Nekargold.
I also grow soybeans (edamame). I'm trying favas again this year but haven't been very successful. I've tried yard long beans and limas, but they aren't a good fit for the current gardening space/environment, so I'm going to wait to try them again until I have a garden space with more sunlight.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/13/2018, 10:04 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Interesting.  Beetles, what kind of beans do you grow?  I only grow pole beans....
Mostly pole (and mostly in the OSFG): Scarlet Runner, Nekargold, Lazy Wife, Non-Tough Half Runner, Snow Cap, and Ugandan Bantu (a mix in and of itself, and some crosses/sports that came out of that.) I'm adding Nonna Agnes's Blue this year.
For dry bush beans I've grown Marfax (I *think* this is one of the ones that was bacon-y as it sprouted), Jacob's Cattle, and Peregion.
The green bush beans go in the ANSFG. I've tried over a half dozen varieties but I haven't really compared the various varieties to have a fave worth commenting on.
If I could only grow one of all of those it would be the Nekargold.
I also grow soybeans (edamame). I'm trying favas again this year but haven't been very successful. I've tried yard long beans and limas, but they aren't a good fit for the current gardening space/environment, so I'm going to wait to try them again until I have a garden space with more sunlight.
You know, at my old house, in a regular organic garden, I grew a bush yellow bean that was wonderful, can’t remember the variety.  It tasted nothing like the complete absence of flavor wax beans in the store!  Looks interesting!
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Post  aliceingardenland on 2/14/2018, 9:11 pm

Thanks for the invite, Scorpio! Hello Midwest! New to the site, my 3rd year SFG. I do mainly raised beds and container gardening
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/15/2018, 8:59 pm

@aliceingardenland wrote:Thanks for the invite, Scorpio! Hello Midwest! New to the site, my 3rd year SFG. I do mainly raised beds and container gardening
Hi Alice!  

I do the same...I had a bad tomato season last year, mostly my fault.  Bed had seed-ridden compost (yeah, I am an old fashioned composter, so some of my weed seeds don’t get toasted) and my tomatoes started well, but when I got back from vacation.  Umm, let’s just say it needed mown.  

I had good luck with peppers, and the Early Jalapeño I grew from pinetree was a runaway.  It is HOT!  I froze a bunch of them whole, and they really stand up well when used in recipes, very firm, not mushy.  

What do you like to eat?
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Post  aliceingardenland on 2/16/2018, 1:30 pm

I hope you have a better tomato season this year!! Mmm I love to eat everything...Lol. tomatoes, peppers, cukes, zucchini, peas, green beans etc etc. Tomatoes are my favorite thing to grow, fairly new to growing peppers Very Happy
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/16/2018, 9:41 pm

Yeah, peppers are my new fave thing.  I grow short season specialists, due to our, umm, short season!  Big Red, King of the North, Early jalapeño, and sweet banana are my workhorses.  Love salsa, makes a m=nice way to handle all the maters and peppers that hit all at once.

Last year, I had a love affair with my 4x4 which was all leaves!  Lettuces mostly, some Swiss chard, and spinach (which I will be honest, I struggle with)...I love spinach however, so i will not give up!
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