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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:23 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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In my 'Wild Edibles' book, the author talks about harvesting young flowering stems (before the buds open) of Sow Thistles too, and steaming them for an asparagus substitute. I found them edible, but not very tasty that way. Instead I use the young leaves in a stirfry or anyplace I would use cooked spinach.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:48 pm 
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i just ordered a mixed bag of true potato seed from ebay. i'm really excited. i want to get some nice purple flowers and then i'll be able to grow them on the front lawn in 2015. i wanted to order magic dragons from tom wagner seeds, but they were all sold out. poo. the ebay seller said they had skagit magic in their plot, which is a parent of magic dragons, so that's close enough. this is going to be fun! wheee!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:41 am 
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torque wrote:
Wha! It seems that callaloo can be the same plant, or a variant, or amaranth! who knew? I was told to boil it first, then rinse and squeeze, and then use it however I want to. It looks though that I could cook it up into a shlerpy type stew. Awesome.


I love a traditional Jamaican dish of ackee and callaloo (although I can never find callaloo here in the UK so I just use spinach instead). It's traditionally made with fishes but I have a veganised version of a recipe I cook on special occasions with braised tofu. If people are interested I can dig it out and post it somewhere?

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:01 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Imogen, I'd love to see that!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:09 am 
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torque wrote:
Imogen, I'd love to see that!


I made a blog post: Ackee and Callaloo with the Spy Club

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:40 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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thank you!
I just went on a long drive to stake out plant places. I am trying to find a replacement rhubarb plant and it looks like this is the wrong season for it. I know someone growing it from seed but am not sure I am up for that yet (also I have so many plants growing from seed right now, one thing at a time). I didn't find a new one but I now have 4 more plant places in my repertoire....

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:33 pm 
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Torque, so you're finding transplants in the wild or abandoned places? When I was growing up there was an abandoned field of rhubarb behind the health clinic where my mother worked. We would harvest from it every year, but didn't have a veggie/edible garden at home and never thought to dig one up and bring home. The field eventually became a parking lot.

And I can't believe I used to harvest watercress from a stream running through Cowen/Ravenna Park in the middle of Seattle - but this was before giardia and ecoli were in our consciousness.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:59 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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no, but don't I wish!! I'm staking out tiny independent garden center type places. Rhubarb is so out of the ordinary in Brazil-- it is only grown by German immigrants way down south, and nobody nowadays uses it to make food, it's used for medicinal purposes. Places that specialize in hard-to-find plants might have it, but it is out of season right now, from what I can tell.
I am not, however, above snagging any funky plants I see growing in abandoned areas. Got a nice tangerine that way!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:28 pm 
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I'm so excited that i'll be able to do seeds this year - I already bought some because Mernard's had one brand one sale for .19 cents a pack, but obviously that meant slim pickin's. I tried googling 'heirloom seed kit' because i'd really like to not buy a zillion more seeds than I actually need, and apparently lots of people sell heirloom seed kits as survivalist kits. The more you know...

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:21 am 
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You guys, I bought tomato plants today!!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:32 am 
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nice! i ordered a bunch of seeds on friday and on saturday we went to a huge nursery near us and bought some seed potatoes. i can't friggin wait to start planting things!

oh and a couple weeks ago i bought some actual flowering plants for the front of the house. some woodland peony and hellebore since we have this small strip of shadiness on the side of the house that has almost nothing in it - just a small, but very pretty, hosta. i need spring and flowers and plants and grass really badly. i'm so sick of looking at snow and dead trees. even the evergreens look sad.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Cool! When can you start planting in New Jersey?

I've got a bunch of pepper seedlings right now that are just not doing that great. I think. I've never grown peppers from seed before so maybe this is normal development! They sprouted and stuff but aren't growing very fast. I saw all these giant pepper plants at the garden store and felt inadequate. Haha!

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:34 pm 
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we start things inside in feb- mid march (certain things can be planted in the ground in february, but most plants don't go outside until mid-april (last frost)

i'm running late, as usual. i'm cleaning my planting stuff right now. tomatoes, peppers and cabbage were supposed to be started a month ago. *facepalm*

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:58 am 
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protein lump
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i'm behind, too. like i said, i just ordered a bunch of early spring seeds and we're going away for a week, so i won't be starting anything until mid-march. but *shrug* it'll work out.

i'm in RI so i should have started my onions, leeks, and celery already. i should be on time for everything else as long as i have my shiitake together.

i usually plant a week or two behind what i would have done when i lived in NJ. i'm not sure if that's right… that's what a lot of books and websites seem to think is right, but i live on the coast and it's warmer here than even a couple miles inland. i could probably plant a couple weeks earlier, but i always get paranoid right before and i decide to wait. i should experiment next year.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:17 am 
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i ordered some "wall-o-water"s last year, so i'm excited to try them out. i think they said i can get a 2 week jumpstart. sounds good to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:54 am 
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couroupita wrote:
I've got a bunch of pepper seedlings right now that are just not doing that great. I think. I've never grown peppers from seed before so maybe this is normal development! They sprouted and stuff but aren't growing very fast. I saw all these giant pepper plants at the garden store and felt inadequate. Haha!

I wouldn't worry too much about it, peppers are always pretty slow to start and much more so without warm temperatures (day and night). Since they need a pretty long season you kind of have to start them early anyway.

On the plus side, the giant peppers at the garden store were probably over fertilised and raised in a heated greenhouse and will get permanently stunted when put outside, so maybe yours will still be better in the long run.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:09 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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esme wrote:
i usually plant a week or two behind what i would have done when i lived in NJ. i'm not sure if that's right… that's what a lot of books and websites seem to think is right, but i live on the coast and it's warmer here than even a couple miles inland. i could probably plant a couple weeks earlier, but i always get paranoid right before and i decide to wait. i should experiment next year.

I think you could actually do it before- i fed my NJ and RI zip codes into this page and found that RI was zone 6b while NJ was 6a.
http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:34 am 
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aaand that is why i'm always confused! i mean, it makes sense since it is warmer here right now than at my dad's house.

i'll have to re-write my planting calendar.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:07 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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we only had a big garden one year in RI, so I don't remember too much, but when i volunteered with the farmshare things were started much earlier than I remembered from my years in NJ and NY.
Moving here to such a different zone I got a lot of help from going to places like gardenweb and seeing planting calendars from other people in my zone.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:18 am 
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i'm on the cusp of 7a and 7b

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:50 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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ha, you live in the "garden" part of the "garden state". Esme and I are alumni of the deer-and-bears-and-snow part of the garden state.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:23 pm 
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which is super weird, because the vast majority of the farms i'm aware of are in north jersey.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:05 pm 
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It's a good idea to plant veggies like onions that mature based on day length around the recommended time, and also ones that mature better during the cold season. But with heat loving stuff, it isn't going to make too much difference if you delay a couple of weeks - unless you live in a super hot climate and want them to fruit ahead of scorching weather, or like my cool-ish garden, where I have a hard time getting them to even ripen.

I'm in Zone 7b, but with our cool, damp springs extending into early summer in the PNW, and my even cooler local microclimate, I wait until mid-March to start tomatoes and often don't transplant them into the garden until late May. I did start onion seed, some brassica, and lettuce under fluorescent lights in mid-February, along with tomatillos and ground cherries. I'll probably start celery and leeks this weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:24 pm 
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last year i got plants on 4/20, since i hadn't started seeds, and i had to collect a bunch of green tomatoes at the end of the season. :-(

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 Post subject: Re: Garden Chat
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:39 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
last year i got plants on 4/20, since i hadn't started seeds, and i had to collect a bunch of green tomatoes at the end of the season. :-(

That seems like it might be the fault of the starts - maybe they were forced with too much nitrogen and consequently late to start blooming? Like caterpillar was talking about too.

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