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Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #21 
And a nice big patch of self-seeded hardy salady type crops. Kale, carrots, mustard, radishes, lettuce, chard...This area was amended primarily with char, wood chips,rock dust and compost the first year I started gardening here. Most of this seeded itself this year, but I did sprinkle a few more seeds out this year like pak-choi, tat-soi, and mizuna. All of which can interbreed, and possibly cross with the kale and maybe the red mustard too I'm not sure. Might remain somewhat distinct unto themselves but I'll probably end up with my own hybrid brassica in a couple years. 

Tangy sorrel in the back R corner under the aspen is a personal favorite and quite hardy as well. I've heard it can upset digestion particularly raw or in large amounts so it might be a good thing I only have a little bit. So tasty both raw and cooked!

The white flowers far left are white clover and a welcome friend in the garden for its nitrogen fixing and insect attracting. As bees love it, so does powdery mildew though.

Also visible Lower left among the carrots and radishes are a lot of volunteer lambsquarters. It's delicious, especially the tender shoots, and makes for a nice harvest while I weed them out. They are a local volunteer species that is quite successful in my neighborhood. So much so I weed out nearly all of them and leave very few to seed inside my fence. They will always infiltrate back in IF I ever manage to suppress the population...

This whole area was especially crowded and even though I had help harvest-thinning none of us got very aggressive and there were some issues with overcrowding like:
-Aphids booming on spindly kale plants. This made harvesting kale(Russian Red) dicey for about a month but actually helped thin the kale to a much healthier density. Kale made an amazing comeback though once the cooler weather set in and we were harvesting loads again into december's hard hard freezes (-17*low).
-Dragon Carrots(mostly) were epic in numbers despite harvesting the majority of the seeds, even with heavy thinning we enjoyed mostly small to tiny tasty carrots, with just a smattering of large lucky ones.
-Beets(planted this year) were slower to sprout and got largely overshadowed by more vigorous self seeded competitors.
-Tatsoi bolted early and tiny as well as much of the pak choi, fortunately they're both delicious flowers and all.

6-22-13 094.jpg


Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #22 

This bed was also done the year prior and was dug deeep for the perennial's planted here. Asparagus is known to send roots down 5-6ft. It has already been ferned out for some time in this photo. Goji berries are in their second year growing kinda long and spindly though I'm not sure it isn't normal for them. I've only seen a few mature plants this old chinese lady had pruned into a 4-6ft trunk(staked i think) with spindly shoots coming out everywhere. I held up these floppy ones up off the ground with bamboo stakes and made some effort to get some sort of upright growth habit going on. Goji are native to the harsh himalayan plateau and so my 7000ft is nothing for them, they can take the large temp swings, intense midday sun followed by cold nights, dry and windy weather and they keep on truckin. Hoping to see some fruit soon, maybe even get to eat some before the bears find it. Or perhaps I might have gravely endangered those asparagus...only one way i know to find out if bears like goji berries. They've not taken much interest in any of the garden except those apple trees in front.

6-22-13 091.jpg


Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #23 

Heres June 28th and the new bed is sprouting up with everything but a kitchen sink in there. Sunflowers/Pole beans were planted on the W side along the fence w/ my neighbors, transitioning to shorter plants on the East side. This area gets full morning sun until after noon but is shaded in the later part of the day by both mine and the neighbors houses. Tremendous variety was planted, and a bit crowded as well. Focused more thinning efforts in this area since I wanted it to get off to a real good start this first year.

6-28-13 161.jpg


Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #24 
Close up of the seedlings and a run down on what was planted in this patch.
Amaranth- seen in next pic as burgundy seedlings, though I planted a green variety too. We'll see what happens in the seed. Amaranth is taller than the rest of the list, but shorter than the sunflowers. so it was mainly distributed in between. You can see it is especially thick in this patch because I planted most of this bed except the larger seeds the lazy way. I literally sprinkled all the different seeds around in a pseudo organized mish mash. Then I sprinkled a light covering of topsoil and mulch on top and watered it all in a bit. I like this technique but I have a tendency to overseed and it led to a lot of thinning required for healthy growth. Not to mention wasting valuable seed. I love munching on the tender young plants as I thin things out, but I should seed a bit more sparingly and I could have the same yield with less work and healthier plants overall.

Lettuce-also extra dense but it was the best lettuce I've ever eaten, lovely variety mix from the Seed Savers Exchange. Gladly ate handfulls of it nearly every day right there on the spot like an ancient hunter gatherer might. It is said lettuce may be one of the oldest domesticated plants. Nutritionally its valued for its mineral content, but I like it for the crunchy, juicy, taste aspects. I left some of my favorite types to seed but I could have eaten it all.

mustard- Purple veined leaves. excellent hardy soil builder/clay-buster. I love the spicy taste of the greens raw/cooked as well as the seeds for seasoning. Seeds easily and a great choice for clay dominated soils.

pak choi- performed much better out front here where it was thinned somewhat better. Again I ate most of it while the getting was good, but I left one standout individual to seed and a few other good specimens as well. Lots of the pak choi in the lower bed was left to flower and seed collected. It got hard to reach past the sunflowers and pick it....

tulsi-left nearly all to seed. Fortunately the smell alone is intoxicating.

basil-virtually all harvested before flowering to keep the tulsi from hybridizing too much. A bit of the containers' cinnamon basil did seed nearby but it might have been far enough away in this dense foraging ground that there was limited cross pollination. I think a cross sounds intruiging too though.

romanesco- did not make any florets, but the leaves were excellent when sauteed, steamed, or stewed a bit. In the containers you will see the romanesco started indoors and transplanted STILL did not produce florets. Abundant Huge leaves and very dark seems it could indicate too much Nitrogen, and I did mix some rich compost into the containers.  Decent production on the peppers though and the tomato was out of control both spreading vines and countless clusters of fruit. I did feed that with LOTS of wormcastings though...

broccoli-I ended up munching all of these before they got very large or mature.

Okra-second year trying okra and it didn't go anywhere in this new bed nor the other lower bed. I think it just needs warmer nights than we have. maybe I'll try some in the greenhouse this spring.

spinach- Bottom of previous pic. I swear popeye was on to something. Bolted quickly but hopefully it will spread next year.

borage- myriad of small pastel blue/purple edible flowers that bees LOVE and I throw on salads and such too. taste something like cucumbers.
nasturtiums- delicious peppery tasting flowers that hummingbirds enjoy often around here. try one with some basil and  a golden cherry tomato and its hard to stop!
Plus a good measure of wildflower/beeforage medley with many native and also nonnative flowers.
6-28-13 164.jpg


Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #25 

Container garden is doing well.

Down the left row starting near: romanesco/nasturtium/mustard/basil/cilantro(coriander), romanesco/basil/cilantro, fennel/celery/spinach/za'atar
Center row: basil/anise/cilantro, cilantro, chia, spinach/romanesco/nasturtium/carrot
Right: Fava bean/cilantro/lambsquarters, Purple bellpepper/cinnamonbasil/cilantro, BeaverDam Pepper/spinach/lettuce/keep your eye on that tomato(Sungold) in the cage...

6-28-13 168.jpg


Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #26 

Lower bed coming up nicely too. A bit too nicely in some places. leeks in back row were transplanted with nice spacing...

6-28-13 172.jpg


Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #27 
Potatos will be filled in soon and mulched

6-28-13 173.jpg 


Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #28 
backup12-9-13 694.jpg 

Hopefully got the rotation thing fixed...sneak peek at the lower beds @ end of september +-

Scott Davis

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Posts: 697
Reply with quote  #29 
Hi JoeK,

Love the shots, but if you could resize the large ones to 1000 pixel widths, going forward, I'd sure appreciate it.  Details are here:


It is easy to rotate your shots in Paint too, which would be welcome.

Thanks again for sharing your photos!

Take care, Scott MD

Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #30 
sure I'll have a look at how to do that next time. I don't have a great connection myself so I know how much difference it makes for slower connections to resize the pics! should I try to edit the ones already up? I didn't see how to do it right off but maybe could figure it out. I'm not all that tech savvy but willing to learn. They are just as they got dumped off my iphone and for some reason they all got rotated. Super easy to rotate back just gotta remember to do it before I post'em.
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