Food Gardening Anyone ?

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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:00 pm

Ah I see now, from this post viewtopic.php?p=7089403#p7089403 :)
Do you have a picture of Strawberry tree, never seen one, except for bush size. What does it look like as a tree ?, how tall is it ?

That is a nice size rosemary, wish mine grew that big :(

I had forgotten about the slug/snail problem being overcome with the gravel, very good point. There is another way which I came across purely by accident, upon observing one of those plastic plant pots. Its probably done by accident but it is effective. The plant pot has a lip around the edge which is there for a decorative edge, but the underside forms an inverted U - type channel. I have observed snails crawl up the side of the pot, and then go into the channel, but cannot progress any further, either because there is very little for them to crawl on past this point, or because their shell gets trapped in the channel. I was thinking of trying out some square section wood with some thin ply nailed along the edge on a container, to see if that would work just the same.

tbh I find the proprietory raised bed boards very expensive for what you get, but are great if you want a hassle free way of creating raised beds, with the added bonus that they create frames, cages and covers to fit these beds. To save money you can build your own, depends how handy you are, the added bonus here is that they don't need to be a set dimension, but can be fitted into the space you have. :)
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Who Am I? on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:31 pm

MrsRapidByte wrote:oooh fellow food gardeners :cheers:
Yay indeed! :P

MrsRapidByte wrote:..the blue dander potatoes didn't amount to anything
Does it look like this? We grew this when I was little, really cool :)
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MrsRapidByte wrote:blueberry bushes
American blueberries I presume? Nice, I've grown them as well, but the ones that grow in Sweden (Google says they're called Bilberries) are better IMO.
MrsRapidByte wrote:Hoping to have a strawberry tree full of fuzzy little strawberries for jam making next year:
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hmm.. looks similar to Lychee indeed, went and found a picture:
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MrsRapidByte wrote:Apple pie and apple sauce :cheers:
You can also make fresh apple juice :) My mom made like 50l of apple juice when she and her bf went to this cider factory with their apple harvest and got to make their own :)
MrsRapidByte wrote:The only fruit tree that failed this year was the plum tree :cry:
This year we got 3 rhubarb plants
Ugh! you can get a nasty larvae surprise when eating the plums anyway, ugh the memories. My grandma had a plum tree.
Rhubarb, it makes me cringe just thinking of how sour it is raw. But it's nice to have in pies :) My family grew this a lot in the backyard when I was younger.

MrsRapidByte wrote:So jealous of the squirrel I always wanted to set up a squirrel obstacle course in the garden
Genius! is that an actual thing or was it just a concept? either way, awesome :D love them squirrels as well.

MrsRapidByte wrote:Your passion vine does it flower? if so you need to use a paintbrush and pollinate it yourself since the bees cant do it for you on your windowsill :P and secondly give it a feed boost to either flower and then again while flowering and hopefully you should get some fruit.
Done and done. It was it's first year, maybe better luck next year, and I will make sure to put it where it get's most sun exposure. The balcony above my windows block a lot of the sun sadly.. I'll figure something out, and do some more research. With some plants, I read that you're supposed to trim them at a specific range for better results, haven't really researched this plant that much yet though.

A lovely front garden, I like the gravel, makes the garden look really pro!
You really have a vegetarian paradise going on Mr. and Mrs. Rapid! :) I wish you more luck in the future though :P Interesting about the chickens also, nice little projects you've got going on. What about the cat though? (cat + chicken = ?)

---LD---

I must have these cucamelons you speak of, LD! Researched it some more, they look so delicious and cute! and you can just eat them like they come! Go go go!
coconut coir, you can buy that at IKEA here actually (a dry cube of it), I've had good experiences with it, it's easy to work with and you don't get as dirty as with soil. The problem I had was to make it as stable as soil.

---Elmo---

Hey, I like that layout and brick wall you have there, you've got a good thing going and you've got to start somewhere :) And if you built it yourself, even more awesome.

And the potential for your back yard is huge, it'll be fun to see what you'll make of it (if you do) :) I guess you want to keep the playing space for the kid(s) as well :)

---
EDIT: this James Wong guy must've been interesting to listen to, checked out his website now.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby MrsRapidByte on Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:47 pm

yeah bluey/purpley potatoes they make awesome tattie wedges :D makes people think you are eating mouldy food!

We have 3 different types of blueberry bushes so we have a fuller season, well in theory :wink: The first is Blueberry ‘Brigitte which I think is Australian and is an early season, the second is Blueberry ‘Chandler which is american and is a mid season bush and the third one is Blueberry ‘Earliblue but I've no idea where it comes from but its a late season bush so blueberries for longer :cheers:

Would love to grow Lychee they are amazing :p Lychee have knobbly skin and the strawberry tree produces fruit which is fuzzy and lacks the kinda harder skin of Lychee which keeps in all that lovely juiciness :P

Quite a few people have squirrel obstacle courses in this area its just my neighborhood is very dog and cat dominated so squirrels dare not venture here.

Our two cats are house cats so they don't pose an issue for chicken and with having the dog not many cats come in our garden, and our dog i'm sure will be terrified of the chickens as she is a scaredy cat :roll:

We need pictures Susan of the passion vine :!:


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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:35 pm

Strangely enough the American and Australian Blue berries are supposed to have originated in Europe ( I am not convinced ) and carried across to those countries with the early settlers, Cranberry was introduced from the UK. I can remember bilberries from when I was a kid and those apparently grow well in Scotland, although I don't think they have been successfully cultivated, could be wrong though.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Who Am I? on Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:48 pm

MrsRapidByte wrote: and our dog [...] is a scaredy cat :roll:


Hmm. you have a catdog? Or did I misread that? :D I'm guessing your dog is a bit of a chicken? (see what I did there?)

Pictures of the passionflower plant is on the to-do list :) Will see if I have some somewhere already.

Interesting about the bilberry LD. We call bilberries blueberries in Sweden, and the thing you call blueberris, we call American blueberries :) Why can't all countries have the same names for everything?
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Who Am I? on Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:29 pm

A couple of pictures as requested.

For those who don't know, I grow all my plants inside the apartment (no balcony). I only have one big window facing the sun (south ish), and the sunlight is kind of blocked off by the balcony of the apartment above. So the growing conditions aren't optimal. I realize my trellis/stands/tripods aren't top notch either :P I just improvised when the plants needed it.

(EDIT - First image changed places with the second.)

Passion flower (from seed of bought passion fruit):


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Here you can see how it just goes nuts if you don't trim it:


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Hibiscus (Kind of prepping it to be a Bonsai, but I'm too lazy):


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Avocado, also had to be cut because it was getting to tall. Now it's growing sideways instead -.-


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Lemon:


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Habanero:


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Last edited by Who Am I? on Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:50 pm

Amazing what you can grow indoors isn't it. In many ways I envy you having the space inside to do this. :)

Those plants really look nice and healthy, have to look at growing some fruits inside in pots.

Main ingredients for a lot of plants is Light, Water, Nutrients and Warmth ( although some do fare well in colder weather )
Light is as simple as a bulb of the right colour spectrum, have even seen S.A.D (seasonal affect disorder) lights used
Water can be an irrigation system on a timer, use rain water for the added nutrients, if not you can easily buy those.
Warmth can be the normal temperatures you like yourself. :)

I am thinking of getting a simple led lights or some red/blue led bulbs, which are fairly cheap. Plug these into a mechanical timer and you have a day night cycle. May even look pretty strung up in the garden :P
I can use this to extend the season for some plants, being careful not to interrupt those that need the cold and dark.

p.s I ordered some mushroom kits, since I have grown these before, when I lived in a flat.
Varieties are your normal white button mushroom with Oyster and Shitake as well.
I did see for sale some plugs that you apparently plant into a log of wood, and they keep coming back each year for you to harvest, but since I will be moving home within the next couple of years its not worth it for me.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Who Am I? on Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:57 am

Yes, it is quite amazing.

I have a spacious apartment, but I have about 20 plants crammed into one side of the living room, because that's the only place with decent exposure to light :) I do have a couple of Christmas Cacti younglings in the kitchen, where there is about an hour of direct sun in the morning, they are doing just fine. So the actual space used by my plants is perhaps 2 sqm.

I did look into special lightbulbs a while back, for the purpose of spreading the plants out in the apartment, but that never happened. I have had plans to make my own water irrigation system with a timer and some simple controller (I have used assembly and c before so it would be a cool experiment), but it's probably too advanced for me.

Never would've thought of planting mushroom, let us know how that goes :) Interestingly, a mushroom ascended from the soil of my Ficus bonsai the other month or so, but it's gone now.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby moe_guays on Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:09 pm

About that time of year again...

I have to clear out the old greenhouse and replace 19 panes of glass :evil:
Then I have to decide what to plant.... Any ideas?
Thinking of planting some veg but lots to choose from
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:08 pm

lol I started in January, but only stuff that will repeat every month, plus a spattering of others.
Monthly Spring Onion, Carrot, Cauli. Early Beef Tomatoes but non have come up, mind you they were old seeds, so I wasn't expecting much. Planted Golden Berry, which is a pineapple flavoured fruit.
February
More Tomato, Chilli, Sweet Pepper, Aubergine, and Cos Lettuce.
March is the busiest time of planting for seed for me. More Tomato plants (now have 17 baby plants) Radish.

Been quite lazy with the garden tbqh, only just finished the raised beds, but have tomatillo in and will be planting Leek, Celery, Spinach and Jerusalem Artichokes.
Others that are already there and are perennials like raspberry, blackberry, Strawberry, Kiwi Fruit and Apple trees. Kiwi and Apple have of lots of new buds and the Chives are coming on nicely.
Green house has Inca berry, Parsley, sage + a few other herbs like Anise Hysop, and camomile.

Not started up the hydroponic systems yet, since I really don't do that until I have plants that are sturdy enough to transplant. Plus the water heaters cost too much if they are on for long periods in cold conditions. I am wanting to modify those anyhow, since I have a number of individual tanks, and I want to daisy chain them. A larger body of water keeps a more stable temperature than individual smaller water containers. :)

Loads more stuff to start up, like potatoes, different herbs so that I have companion plants, and green fertiliser plants (Comfrey 'Bocking 14').
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby moe_guays on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:51 pm

That's a lot more than what I've done lol.
I've managed to get rid of most of the broken glass. Brought replacement clips and glass.
Got myself a load of different seeds,
Carrots, Parsnips, Cabbage, Tomatoes and a few others :D Including a Cherry tree (Which I've already planted, Should have cherries off it in summer) :P
Next weekend I should be putting the new glass in and might get time to plant some of the seeds.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:15 pm

I was going to ask if you meant glass, or the dual layer poly-carb.

Basically I had read 'for and against' views on replacing glass in greenhouses, so was interested in which one you had gone for and why. :)
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby moe_guays on Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:36 pm

It is glass, We had two at the house, we took one of them apart (extremely strong winds 2 years ago [Freshwater East, Pembrokeshire coast]), there is more than enough to replace the broken ones in the other greenhouse.
So may aswell use up the glass and hope we don't get another harsh winter of wind (but if we do the'll still be a few panes left). 8)
Don't know what happened to all the clips from the old greenhouse so had to go out and buy a load of new ones and find the glass out from the shed.

So basically, didn't choose glass; Parents did when they got the place :D

Did you go for glass or poly-carb?
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:52 pm

I went for poly-carbonate in the end. Basically it is twin walled so retains heat like double glazing, and I put a window opener in last year to help get rid of heat.
The down side is that poly-carbonate is light in weight, so flexes and can pop out in the higher winds.

I do like glass, because it does cool faster in Summer, with adequate ventilation. :)
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:00 pm

Just a quick tip, since I have been planting more :)

If you are stuck for plant id strips, you can use lollipop sticks or if you are near a place that sells beverages, they usually have those wooden stirring sticks, a bit thin but ideal for identifying seeds in trays. :)
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby moe_guays on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:13 pm

lol, used lolliepop sticks a few times before.
That having been said I have a few lolliepops in the freezer :D Shame about the weather (Too cold + raining :( ) TBH never stopped me before :)
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby renegade_master on Mon May 26, 2014 1:25 pm

brought a new house last year and focused indoors mainly, but over last 2-3 months i have spent alot of time on my back garden and got a few blisters to show for it!

during the winter most of it looked like weeds so I pulled a lot of it up and got rid of the grass!, however now seeing it in summer i am beginning to wonder if i have inadvertently destroyed some flowers.

these are the saviours of my rampage! are any of them weeds that survived my bullish behaviour ? :)

General garden shot
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plant 1 (the leafy parts at the top is that a weed?)
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plant 2 (is this a weed near the pump? )
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plant 3 (top middle near fence is that a plant? or weed)
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plant 7 (the bush above the purple flower plant is that a weed?)
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Tue May 27, 2014 1:10 am

lol wish I knew tbh, have to get a friend to look at those, she will know. :)

My view on weeds :
Definition of a weed = a plant you don't want, or grows that fast that it tries to take over the garden.

Criteria, is it functional, gives good ground cover without strangling every plant around it ?
Plants rely on moist ground, and a shaded ground looses less moisture to evaporation.

Does it look nice, with the rest of the plants.

Is it perennial or evergreen, evergreen is great for the winter months. I have cornus sanguina mixed in, it turns bright orange and red in winter, mixed in with evergreen and other winter flowers, you get some colour in the garden. :)
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby renegade_master on Tue May 27, 2014 11:02 am

yea that's basically what i worked too over winter, but everything was overgrown so it was a case of destroying what i thought was a weed and cutting back the rest (filled 3 black bins worth), nothing flowered in winter.
i am thinking now, i must have all perennial. i like your concept of mixing the two, so i think need some evergreen plants for winter months too.

guess ill wait a tad longer see if anything sprouts up before i start round 2 and replace some of the plants with some evergreens.

Ive been told that bush in front of the shed is a rose bush, so i am thinking of sticking some chellace fencing on the shed so it can grow into it?

you know I had a child mind in thinking gardening was easy and leaving it till last, having spent months on the garden i suddenly realize i haven't really accomplished a lot really, just made it look tidy, I only realize now that a lot of thought goes into the gardening in terms, of different plants used, color scheme and how things grow etc. there something almost fun about playing around with it all too, does that mean i am getting told? :scratch: :roll: :D
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Tue May 27, 2014 2:36 pm

Too old, not really.
Gardening should be a pleasure and laid back, although some preparation is needed, hard work is not.

Plants have been around in one form or another without a single gardener to weed out things and tidy up, it is only a high number of humans, who feel the need to tidy everything up and organise plants like regiments of little soldiers :P

When it comes to food crops, we look at farmers, and plant things in nice little rows, ignoring the simple facts that farmers need to mass produce and never hand pick. Example would be how I plant, with Sunflowers mixed in with corn peas and beans, which use the corn and sunflowers as natural supports, with a sprinkling of herbs as not only ground cover, but deterants against different pests like ants to the bigger ones like cats. :P

People look at flower shows and idealistic people who make a collage of pretty flowers, ground cover and shrubs, continuously weeding cutting and pruning to get that perfect look.
I prefer the no dig way, only giving nature a helping hand, rather than strip out plants that help the soil heal and replenish. Yes it does look a little untidy, but nature is like that, it knows what plants thrive in what soil together with which plants, after all, nature has been at it longer than any human, All we need to do is to put in whatever plants we like, and let nature put in its helpers. :)

In the wild, all through the year, the plants shed their leaves and drop their debris onto the ground, rain and insects take this mess and mulch it down, releasing all sorts of nutrients into the soil. We as humans are for ever cleaning this up, spending 1000's on tools and plant food. This together with all the insect repellent slug and snail killers and chemicals for killing weeds. :roll:

Lets look at things practically, and take these facts into account. use a hoe to chop the heads off weeds before they can seed, and leave the debris behind to much down. get insects like ants to help out, Ants like to pick up debris and carry it back to their homes :) they will carry aphids to plants, so the aphids can feed, which is great for the ants, as the aphids exude a sticky nectar that the ants feed on. Pull up weeds and these little insects will go for what is left, your pretty plants.


I don't really like the propensity of gravel gardens these days, I can see why people do it, because they lack the knowledge and think they need many hours, to look after a garden, which is far from the truth.
Too much order and clinical gardening goes on, lets get nature to work for us, instead of us working against nature.

Read up on no dig gardening, and apply it to your own garden, no matter how small, and give companion planting a go. :D

Companion plants are a good way of making a nature loving garden, and act as natural insect repellents like Penny Royal Mint, which ant hate. Good with your potatoes too :)
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