Gardeners of AW, unite

mccardey

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Bees are good helpers.


I wish there were more y*utube gardeners from temperate parts of Australia...most of them are living in the ever-bearing, no-winter places...
My daughter lives in Sydney, which is the temperate zone and is a full four weeks ahead of me with the planting. I'm in the Cool zone - because of course I am *preens*
 

mrsmig

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I swear our excellent crops this year were the result of letting the lawn grow wild and attracting bees.

What does everyone use to wash their produce?

Just running water. I don't use any pesticides. The only thing I spray on my plants is the occasional neem oil + castile soap spray, and I've gotten where I'd rather use that as a drench than a spray.
 

SWest

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...What does everyone use to wash their produce?
If you're growing without synthetic chemicals: water.

If using soap-based treatments that you think might have "stuck": let things sit a few minutes in cool water, then rise.
 

mccardey

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Just running water. I don't use any pesticides. The only thing I spray on my plants is the occasional neem oil + castile soap spray, and I've gotten where I'd rather use that as a drench than a spray.
Same.

For leaves and things like broccoli where I know there will be bugs, I put them in salted water first, and then rinse. It sounds mean, but I've decided the bugs just think they're at the beach, which is why they go swimming....
 

mccardey

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Wash? What is this wash you speak of?
*cough* worm-brain *cough
“It’s worth taking care when encountering animals and the environment, by washing foods thoroughly and cooking food properly, and wearing protection like long sleeves so you don’t get bitten,” he said.
ETA: Although I got bitten by a chook today, and I don't think the sleeves had anything to do with it.
 

Brigid Barry

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Did said Chook decide it was a police dog and the sleeves were the sign to attack?

I have some weird psychological aversions to food, and while I bravely/foolishly (see my signature) took a bite of a pear to see if it was ripe, I am uncomfortable with that much nature and have to wash some of it off. I have some veggie wash that I use but I've also done the vinegar and water bath.

@mccardey how much salt and how much water? The husband brought in broccoli two years ago covered in tiny green worms and since then I can only eat it from plastic bags from my grocers freezer section.
 
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...

ETA: Although I got bitten by a chook today, and I don't think the sleeves had anything to do with it.
Blousy sleeves will provoke a dinosaur...

(My gardening uniform is one of Sr. Esteban's old dress shirts. So I feel extra-fancy when I wipe dog eye goops and other muck onto it. Our town probably has a ban on dinosaurs. Potentially sensible...)
 

lorna_w

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I swear our excellent crops this year were the result of letting the lawn grow wild and attracting bees.

What does everyone use to wash their produce?
water... sometimes. I eat peas and cherry tomatoes and more in the garden, no washing. I figure we evolved to eat food that way. A bit of dust no doubt does something great for our health.
 

mrsmig

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Today was the play-in-the-dirt kind of gardening - sowing seeds in containers that I prepped for fall crops as soon as the summer ones were harvested or died back. I sowed four kinds of lettuce: Winter Density Romaine, Emerald Oak, Rouge d'Hiver and some kind of baby leaf blend. Then I sowed radishes: Misato Rose, Roodkopje (Red Head), French Breakfast and De 18 Jours. The latter two are quick to mature so I sowed them into the middle section of one of the stock tank planters, once I worked some perlite into the soil. They'll be harvested and eaten long before the seed garlic arrives in early November.

The containers got netting to keep out diggers and nibblers; the stock tank got a fancy ladder-mesh tunnel. I still have the winter spinach bed to put in, but I'm not doing that until next weekend. And then there's the garlic...

Every time I think I'm done, turns out I'm not. But this is the first time I've planted my whole garden with fall/winter crops.
 
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mccardey

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@mccardey how much salt and how much water? The husband brought in broccoli two years ago covered in tiny green worms and since then I can only eat it from plastic bags from my grocers freezer section.
In the sink, I put about *hang on, I''ll go and measure* half-a tablespoon (I measured) into about two cups of hot water to dissolve it, and then top up with cold water to generously cover the veg. If you leave the veg there for a minute or so and then swirl it around in the water, you'll see all the bugs, micro bugs and eggs have detached and are *ahem* swimming and sinking and generally having a lovely day at the beach

Then rinse off - or, if you're squeamish, do another rinse in a tub of unsalted cold water so that you can swirl around again and be sure you didn't miss anything. Shake dry.

I'm also a very big fan of insect-netting, with a couple of sacrificial plants up the other end of the garden..
 

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We got about 20 pounds of pears off the pear tree so I'll be making some jam and pear butter.

The tree is in desperate need of pruning- it's about 30 feet high with a double leader. Unfortunately all the biggest, nicest looking fruit is on the top of the tree. The stuff at the bottom is shaped funny (they have navels for some reason?) and not as big. No idea what that's about.
 
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mccardey

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Today was the play-in-the-dirt kind of gardening - sowing seeds in containers that I prepped for fall crops as soon as the summer ones were harvested or died back.
I'm doing that today, too - except for the other seasons.

I have very high hopes that this year will be the year I am grown up enough to actually label the seeds - especially label whether they're bush or need staking.
 

SWest

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A lot like that actually!
Good news: they're safe to eat/cook.
Bad news: you have a few things to rule out/correct by spring.

Curculio are a giant pain (but make a satisfying *snap* when you pinch them hard). I sprinkled my Cornus Mas with diatomaceous earth, but they're still tiny. You might need to spray kaolin clay...
 

mrsmig

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Rain's in the forecast (in fact, it's sprinkling now), so I got up early, punched some holes in the cap of a big mailing tube, filled the tube with milky spore and treated the property against Japanese beetles. I must have looked eccentric as hell, going up and down the yard thumping my mailing tube against the ground, but the one neighbor who walked past as I working told me my vegetable garden was "awesome." So I may have looked nutty, but basically harmless.
 
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lorna_w

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Hmm, something is eating my baby kale. I thought it was low germination, but three were up with true leaves and then they were gone. I have hardware wire buried there and chicken netting strung over tautly with about a six-inch gap between seedling and netting. So not rats, not birds. I'm going to guess little mice. It's probably too late, but I'll put more seed in there today. Otherwise, winter garden is getting going.
 
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SWest

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Yes, I bought more trees and shrubs. :greenie

I've been hustling to get them all potted/planted ahead of this weekend's storm wildness. Maybe only 2 inches of rain across 4 days, but lots of high winds. I don't mind working in the rain, but not so much 40MPH winds (~655KPH). :e2bike2:
 

mrsmig

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I wanted to dig and plant my winter spinach bed tomorrow, but damn it, I have Covid. (We'd managed to avoid it up to this point.) Fortunately it seems like a mild case, but I don't want to risk exhausting myself. Maybe I'll plant in containers instead...or just wait until I'm better.
 

mrsmig

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Thanks. It's a cold-hardy variety (the spinach, not the Covid) so I can probably wait a little bit.
 
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Brigid Barry

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I hope you're feeling better!! When I had Covid I got out of my chair and was so exhausted from the effort that I needed to sit down. I've never been so sick in my life. And that was after getting my vaccine and booster.

The cold nights aren't impressing the tomatoes. I've been washing and freezing them until I finally have enough to do something with. Now that plants are dying, I can see what happened. The plants grew like crazy, then they bloomed liked crazy, and then they had so much fruit on them that it pulled the plants over and took the cages out of the ground and ripped the trellis netting. I tried to fix them but couldn't and as a result there is so, so, so much dropped fruit on the ground. My chickens spend a lot of time cleaning up and for sure I probably will have a garden full of volunteer tomato plants next year. I have plenty of t-posts from fencing that I used to have so I will either have a trellis of welded wire and t-posts, or use the t-posts to support the tomato cages.

Our spaghetti squash did terrible - only one squash - and it rotted. That's getting hucked into the woods because I don't want any plants from that. We have quite a few pumpkins that need to get processed and canned, but we grew a new variety of pie pumpkin that are the size of jack-o-lanterns that are still ripening. And me with three gallons of the stuff from last year. Once the plants die I'm hauling the plants to the burn pile. Apparently the squash bugs overwinter in the leaves somewhere so I need to take that away. I will also be waiting until late next year to plant my squash because it screws up their life cycle if they the bugs don't have squash plants to destroy when they come out looking for it in June. I will be hopefully expanding the garden next year. The back of it didn't do well at all, so I'm thinking that I need to rearrange some animal pens to maximize the garden. The plants love being the recipient of the goose water tub getting dumped out.