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When the harvest fails

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  • Sun, Jul 10, 2016 - 09:14pm

    #21

    Taz Alloway

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    When the harvest fails

I have been at my site long enough to see multiple crop failures. My personal strategy is to plant a variety of annual crops.  If one crop fails, I have others to back fill. I do save enough seeds to last multiple years of starts.

For perennials, I increasingly see erratic weather in winter and spring. I plant multiple varieties of each perennial crop. For example, both early fruiting and late fruiting peach varieties. If a late cold period kills my early peach blossoms, the late bloomer may still bear.

I bracket my growing zone. I am in zone 7, so I make sure all my perennials can tolerate both zone 6 and zone 8 conditions to provide a hedge against unusual weather conditions.

Re: 'Squash and pumpkins are notoriously heavy feeders!'

I let them grow in my compost pile. Once they have finished fruiting, the vines do not have far to go!

  • Sun, Jul 10, 2016 - 11:14pm

    #22

    pinecarr

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    Good list, Wendy

…of the foods that have the worst problems with contamination. 

I don't know why, but seeing "coffee" on there with all the other foods I regularly ingest,just felt like a low-blow.  No, not coffee too!  Would you believe that when I first took the red pill, and realized we may need to depend on ourselves for food/sustenance if/when TSHTF, one of the first types of plants I bought were coffee plants!  I now have ~6 coffee plants in planters indoors (which really need to be transplanted in bigger pots) that have just produced another -wait for it- two (2) coffee beans.  That makes a grand total of 4 coffee beans over their lifetime.  Hmmm, not looking good for the coffee addiction! 

…But it does prove there's a chance….

P.S Great thread!

  • Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - 01:02am

    #23

    Bytesmiths

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    try tea

[quote]one of the first types of plants I bought were coffee plants![/quote]

I have a Camilia sinensis v. sitka, a cold-adapted tea plant. They are good for zones 9-11; we are in zone 8+. It's been sheltered next to the south wall of the house, and hasn't done much in several years. I think this is the year I try to propagate it via cuttings.

I tried seed, and they are miserable. They take a long time to germ and have a short lifetime. You have to poke them with lots of tiny holes, and watering is very picky. I got 0% germ on a couple dozen seeds I bought. How do these damn things propagate in the wild?

So I'll try cuttings next time. I can't see having an indoor source of caffeine!

  • Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - 01:17am

    #24
    cestorke

    cestorke

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    coffee substitute

THe invasive herb, cleavers or bedstraw, has many medicinal uses. It is said that the seeds can be dried and lightly roasted and taste somewhat like coffee. Won't help with caffeine addiction. The Vietnamese stuffed mattresses with it (bedstraw) and used the leaves for tea.  It is a very destructive plant if left alone because it climbs everything and suffocates bushes.Hundreds of seeds per strand. Plant Can be used in soups, but is bitter eaten raw.

  • Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - 01:17am

    #25
    cestorke

    cestorke

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    coffee substitute

THe invasive herb, cleavers or bedstraw, has many medicinal uses. It is said that the seeds can be dried and lightly roasted and taste somewhat like coffee. Won't help with caffeine addiction. The Vietnamese stuffed mattresses with it (bedstraw) and used the leaves for tea.  It is a very destructive plant if left alone because it climbs everything and suffocates bushes.Hundreds of seeds per strand. Plant Can be used in soups, but is bitter eaten raw.

  • Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - 03:37am

    #26

    Taz Alloway

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    Camellia sinensis- caffeine from tea

I grow C.sinensis in USDA zone 7 in sun and shade, in protected and unprotected sites. Bytesmiths are you in the UK? UK zone 8 is similar to USDA zone 7 I believe.

It does quite well here once established. It may benefit from winter protection on the coldest nights in open sites in zone 7 while getting established.. I have not tried to grow it from seed, although the birds have established a few additional bushes for me!

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Camellia+sinensis

  • Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - 11:14am

    #27

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Tea

Link suggests a neutral to acidic soil ph. What is your soil like?

 

  • Tue, Jul 12, 2016 - 10:48pm

    #28

    Bytesmiths

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    Tall wrote:I grow C.sinensis

[quote=Tall]I grow C.sinensis in USDA zone 7 in sun and shade, in protected and unprotected sites.[/quote]

That is quite heartening! I need to transplant our tiny specemin to a better location, and start some cuttings.

  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 01:20pm

    #29

    pinecarr

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    Thanks for the suggestion, Bytesmith

 I do like tea as well as coffee.  But unfortunately I live Zone 5 (which actually has temperatures closer to Zone 4).  If I was in Zone 9 I'd try it in a heartbeat, though!

  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 02:21pm

    #30

    pinecarr

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    When broccoli crop fails (does not produce heads)

I had mentioned on another thread that I planted some broccoli seedlings that I had sprouted indoors 2 (yes two) years ago, but never got around to planting.  So they spent 2 winters in my window, and surprisingly did fine.

The transplants did well in my garden except for one very important thing: they have not produced broccoli heads.  The plants are big and healthy, the leaves are magnificent.  But no heads at all.

On researching the potential causes, one typical cause is planting the broccoli when the weather is too hot (they are a cool weather plant).  That could be the reason here.  Or maybe the fact that they survived as seedlings for 2 years stressed the plants.

But what I wanted to share with folks here is that, in the process of researching why broccoli plants don't produce heads, I learned that broccoli leaves are edible!  Per http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/broccoli/broccoli-not-forming-heads.htm

If you still have no head on broccoli, eat the leaves. High in nutrition as well, the leaves can be sautéed, stir fried, or added to soups. Okay, so no broccoli heads, but growing the plant wasn’t a waste either.

-This was actually very welcomed news.  If they are a tasty (vs bitter) green, I will be encouraged to try growing broccoli again, knowing that the consolation prize is an edible source of greens.

Has anyone here ever eaten broccoli greens before, and have any insight into what they're like?

[Sorry about the duplicate quote below; it doesn't show up in the Preview Window, so I don't know how to get rid of it!]

If you still have no head on broccoli, eat the leaves. High in nutrition as well, the leaves can be sautéed, stir fried, or added to soups. Okay, so no broccoli heads, but growing the plant wasn’t a waste either.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Broccoli Not Forming Heads: Reasons Why My Broccoli Has No Head http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/broccoli/broccoli-not-forming-heads.htm

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