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N&C Midwest: February 2018 !

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Post  aliceingardenland on 2/17/2018, 10:42 am

Yum...Fresh spinach is so good. Never grown it myself, on my list of things to try though. I can see how you could have a love affair with leaves 🤣sweet banana are so fun to grow I love them! My fave pepper. Going to try a couple new varieties (new to me) this year.  Jimmy nardello and Aurora. I didn't have luck with lettuce last year but going to try again this year woohoo
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/17/2018, 11:41 am

@aliceingardenland wrote:Yum...Fresh spinach is so good. Never grown it myself, on my list of things to try though. I can see how you could have a love affair with leaves 🤣sweet banana are so fun to grow I love them! My fave pepper. Going to try a couple new varieties (new to me) this year.  Jimmy nardello and Aurora. I didn't have luck with lettuce last year but going to try again this year woohoo
I will be honest;  the last 2 springs, I have started spinach seeds indoors and transplanted.  They literally bolted before anything came of them.  This year, I am going to direct seed outside as soon as I can.  Maybe this cold period will prevent the sudden boltage?    I will test my theory!  And this year I am going to be more diligent about getting a fall crop going of some things; Spinach, mache, radish, to name a few...

Trying mustard leaves for the first time this year, and kohlrabi.  I really like the salad turnips, and I think kohlrabi might be similar crunch and texture wise!

Those Jimmy Narrdello are beautiful!  I will be interested to see what they look and taste like!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 2/17/2018, 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added “spinach”)
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Post  aliceingardenland on 2/17/2018, 12:02 pm

Ooh kohlrabi, never had it but curious about it are you trying the white one? Purple? Have you eaten it before? Someone told me it tastes like a cross between corn and potato. I may try rainbow Swiss chard too this year. I hope you have lots of tasty spinach! I've tried growing cabbages without success Sad
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Post  farmersgranddaughter on 2/17/2018, 11:32 pm

I hope you don't mind me hanging out with the N&C Midwest crowd.  It seems that no one has visited Upper South in a while.  I'm in Northwest Arkansas... just a hop, skip, and a jump from Missouri.

I've received my seed orders and started bell, jalapeno, and banana peppers indoors last week.  My new 4'x4' boxes are assembled.  So far, I have acquired vermiculite, worm castings, and composted chicken manure.  Does anyone have experience with Black Kow manure?  I've read great reviews but also saw a few reports about fillers such as rocks and bark having been added.

I manage a small rural library and am thinking of hosting a seed exchange.  I've never been to one but it sounds like something that fits our community.  If anyone has suggestions for a newbie, I'm all ears.

It's only 31 days to spring!
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/17/2018, 11:39 pm

@aliceingardenland wrote:Ooh kohlrabi, never had it but curious about it are you trying the white one? Purple? Have you eaten it before? Someone told me it tastes like a cross between corn and potato. I may try rainbow Swiss chard too this year. I hope you have lots of tasty spinach! I've tried growing cabbages without success Sad
Have you ever had the "core" of a cabbage? Yes, the part you generally get told to cut out and throw away compost? That's what kohlrabi is most like to me.  Slightly sweet, and lightly cabbage flavored. Less bitter/bitey than turnips, for all that I don't find turnips unpleasant. I don't find kohlrabi to be as starchy as corn or potatoes, but everyone's taste/preferences are different.

What went wrong with your cabbage?
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Post  yolos on 2/18/2018, 9:31 am

@farmersgranddaughter wrote:  Does anyone have experience with Black Kow manure?  I've read great reviews but also saw a few reports about fillers such as rocks and bark having been added.

It's only 31 days to spring!
Black Kow manure is my favorite purchased/bagged composts.  I love the texture (I have no idea if the NPK is adequate).  I think it has changed a little over the years and I don't know if it is all manufactured in one location or spread out through out the country.  So there is the possibility that it may differ depending on where it is manufactured.  I have found a few (very few) pieces of bark in the bag but they are easy to spot and just picked out of the mix.

I make most of my own compost but there is never enough so each spring I buy a couple bags of bagged compost and mix it up in a large garbage can next to the garden.  Black Kow is the first thing I look for in the spring to load up my garbage can.

Another one I like (because of the texture) is a Lowes product.  It is Compost and Manure.  Evergreen brand.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Evergreen-1-cu-ft-Compost-and-Manure/3693246
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Post  aliceingardenland on 2/18/2018, 10:16 am

Welcome farmer's granddaughter!! Yes yes yes seed exchange is a wonderful idea! I'm in the River valley Arkansas myself, I can be in Fayetteville in about an hour give or take. I would love to come to your seed exchange never been to one in person. Scorpio, cabbage worms and/or something else always attack my cabbages. Yes, I have ate the core actually, not the whole thing but when I chop it up I use almost the whole cabbage so yum I would probably like kohlrabi
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Post  aliceingardenland on 2/18/2018, 10:18 am

Beetles I meant not Scorpio. Teehee Razz
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Post  farmersgranddaughter on 2/18/2018, 4:02 pm

Alice, it looks like we may have one or two Benton County Master Gardeners at the Seed Swap to answer questions, set up a display, and/or give a presentation.  I'm going to use Sonic sundae containers for the children to plant seeds in (my husband once used sundae containers to start seeds for catalpa trees). 

I've never been to a Seed Swap before so this is all new to me.  We'll provide envelopes and ink pens and set up stations for the various plant families (Nightshades, Brassicas, etc.). 

Many people here garden in rows so I thought it would be fun to introduce Square Foot Gardening.  I don't know of any certified Square Foot Gardening instructors in our area so I'll set up a Square Foot Gardening display to include Mel's books, information about Mel's Mix and samples of the ingredients, and charts showing the spacing for various vegetables and flowers.

I'll send you information as details are finalized.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/19/2018, 6:17 pm

@farmersgranddaughter wrote:I hope you don't mind me hanging out with the N&C Midwest crowd.  It seems that no one has visited Upper South in a while.  I'm in Northwest Arkansas... just a hop, skip, and a jump from Missouri.

I've received my seed orders and started bell, jalapeno, and banana peppers indoors last week.  My new 4'x4' boxes are assembled.  So far, I have acquired vermiculite, worm castings, and composted chicken manure.  Does anyone have experience with Black Kow manure?  I've read great reviews but also saw a few reports about fillers such as rocks and bark having been added.

I manage a small rural library and am thinking of hosting a seed exchange.  I've never been to one but it sounds like something that fits our community.  If anyone has suggestions for a newbie, I'm all ears.

It's only 31 days to spring!
Welcome, Farmersgrandaughter, you are an official honorary Midwesterner anyways!  Glad you jumped on!  

I have Spring fever sooooo bad!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/19/2018, 6:23 pm

@aliceingardenland wrote:Ooh kohlrabi, never had it but curious about it are you trying the white one? Purple? Have you eaten it before? Someone told me it tastes like a cross between corn and potato. I may try rainbow Swiss chard too this year. I hope you have lots of tasty spinach! I've tried growing cabbages without success Sad
I am trying a purple one (I didn’t even know they came in purple) just for fun!  I really like the Asian Early turnips, very light and crunchy...so I think I will like kohlrabi!

Bright Lights Swiss chard is a beautiful plant, and really tasty.  I like it way better than kale (don’t like it at all).  In a nice stir fry, garlic, add some pasta or taters...other veggies—winner!

I am hopeful about direct seeding the spinach.
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Post  sanderson on 2/20/2018, 1:44 am

Bright lights, pretty and tastes good.

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Post  aliceingardenland on 2/20/2018, 7:35 am

That sounds great, farmer's granddaughter! I like trying purple veggies tried purple sprouting broccoli last year It was pretty good. Tasted like broccoli lol very pretty. Ok you two twisted my arm  Razz I'm going to for sure try the Swiss chard.
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Post  sanderson on 2/20/2018, 3:47 pm

Purple Cauliflower from Baker Creek.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/20/2018, 9:31 pm

@aliceingardenland wrote:That sounds great, farmer's granddaughter! I like trying purple veggies tried purple sprouting broccoli last year It was pretty good. Tasted like broccoli lol very pretty. Ok you two twisted my arm  Razz I'm going to for sure try the Swiss chard.
You won’t regret it!  And very easy to get seeds, anywhere really.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/22/2018, 8:37 pm

@aliceingardenland wrote:That sounds great, farmer's granddaughter! I like trying purple veggies tried purple sprouting broccoli last year It was pretty good. Tasted like broccoli lol very pretty. Ok you two twisted my arm  Razz I'm going to for sure try the Swiss chard.
Funny how i got started on the purple thing; so my first year here doing all new SFG, I planted my usual pole beans, Kentucky Wonder.  They did great (and the Japanese beetles loved them, grrrr) but they were so camouflaged, that some of them got HUGE! So hard to find them all!  And when that happens, it “turns off” the productivity of the plant, thinking it just needs to set seed to survive...

Enter Baker Seeds Blauhilde pole bean!  The next year, those purple babies were much easier to find, and pick at a smaller size, too.  More tender.  They cook up green.  Added bonus:  The blooms?  Purple!  And seem less attractive to the JBs...
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Post  sanderson on 2/24/2018, 2:31 am

I tried bush green beans in a low bed last summer and had a heck of a time seeing them. Shocked I'll plant the Dragon Tongues in that bed this year and plant the green beans in a table top. Adding colorful veggies just makes the garden, well, more colorful.

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Post  farmersgranddaughter on 2/24/2018, 11:54 am

Scorpio, I just had to order Baker Seeds Blauhilde pole bean after reading your comment.  

I have a question about Southern cowpeas.  Most that I look at appear to be more like black-eyed peas.  I'm looking for crowder seeds.  Are crowders a form of cowpea? 
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/24/2018, 12:07 pm

You will love them, and they really produce!  All season, unlike bush beans.

Here is a good read from our archive:  Hope it helps!

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t7159-friday-s-rookie-topic-v-southern-peas-aka-cowpeas-or-field-peas?highlight=Cowpeas
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/24/2018, 12:09 pm

@sanderson wrote:I tried bush green beans in a low bed last summer and had a heck of a time seeing them.  Shocked  I'll plant the Dragon Tongues in that bed this year and plant the green beans in a table top.  Adding colorful veggies just makes the garden, well, more colorful.
LOL!  Yes, they do!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/24/2018, 11:07 pm

I am expanding my South Annex; just got 3 more containers from Walmart....need to drill holes in the bottoms...but still, they match my original 4 containers.  A little smaller, but still good.  That is where I have put the melons.  They like the heat.  Red brick wall to help.
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Post  sanderson on 2/25/2018, 10:33 pm

Photo of your new containers?

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Post  R&R 1011 on 2/26/2018, 1:20 pm

Hi all, I usually pop up on the forums in the spring and disappear as I get busier. Im starting over this year. 2 years ago, the stream in my yard flooded so badly it took all my mels mix with it. Pretty devastating. Last year, I worked too much to have time to rebuild. It was a depressing year without a garden!

So this year, Im raising the boxes height to a foot, but will keep my mix at 0.5" high. Also, will stake them down in the corners as the flooding pushed my boxes out of place.

The only thing that survived was my asparagus! First step is clearing the weeds. Step two, building up & staking down the boxes. Step 3, add mels mix. I have 3- 4x8 beds, 2- 4x12 beds, & 2- 3x3 beds.

New this year, other than almost everything, I just ordered a few more fruit trees, a self pollinating almond tree, & bareroot strawberries from stark bros. My fruit trees, canes, & grape vines are doing ok. They're 2 or 3 yrs old this year. My bees are doing ok, 3 out of 5 hives survived.

Today, Im starting seeds indoors. About to order a few more seeds. Seed addict right here! I need to finish my plans, where im putting everything, etc.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/26/2018, 6:25 pm

R&R 1011 wrote:Hi all, I usually pop up on the forums in the spring and disappear as I get busier.  Im starting over this year. 2 years ago, the stream in my yard flooded so badly it took all my mels mix with it.  Pretty devastating.  Last year, I worked too much to have time to rebuild.  It was a depressing year without a garden!

So this year, Im raising the boxes height to a foot, but will keep my mix at 0.5" high.  Also, will stake them down in the corners as the flooding pushed my boxes out of place.

The only thing that survived was my asparagus!  First step is clearing the weeds.  Step two, building up & staking down the boxes. Step 3, add mels mix.  I have 3- 4x8 beds, 2- 4x12 beds, & 2- 3x3 beds.

New this year, other than almost everything, I just ordered a few more fruit trees, a self pollinating almond tree, & bareroot strawberries from stark bros.  My fruit trees, canes, & grape vines are doing ok.  They're 2 or 3 yrs old this year.  My bees are doing ok, 3 out of 5 hives survived.

Today, Im starting seeds indoors.  About to order a few more seeds.  Seed addict right here!  I need to finish my plans, where im putting everything, etc.
Hey, R&R!!!  Glad you are back!  Yes, I remember that when your beds got rinsed away...you have quite a few squares!  Can’t wait to hear what you are planning to grow!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/26/2018, 6:32 pm

@sanderson wrote:Photo of your new containers?
Yep:  got 4 more of these babies, at Walmart!

https://i.servimg.com/u/f62/19/25/77/83/7419bf10.jpg

They are 24” diameter, pretty large.  Z is 40”, they come up to my knee.  I am excited!
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