This is a quickie-post with a few seasonally relevant links particularly for people who have their own gardens (Starting Fall and Winter Crops, and Saving Tomato Seeds). But, even if you’re not a gardener I've included a link to a post about Interdependence Day. Enjoy!
|Read an inspiring essay about celebrating Inter-dependence day. What if we celebrated Interdependence Day instead?|
The Sharing Gardens are growing exponentially these days. We dug our first potatoes last week (an experiment at growing them in the raised beds of our greenhouse, which seems to have worked beautifully!); our corn and sorghum plants are knee-high; the cucumber, winter squash and bean plants are all flowering and all our amaranth and ornamental flowers are in the ground and growing strong.
|Golden Amaranth (foreground) is a grain crop which we'll harvest, dry, winnow and grind to add to our hot-cereal mix. Scarlet Runner beans are climbing the tipi, behind. The sunflower (top, right) volunteered from seeds dropped last year! (LINK: Why growing sunflowers is great for bees... July 2, 2023|
|We had a whole bunch of sprouting potatoes in late winter, and it was still too
cold and wet to plant them outside so we experimented with growing potatoes in our greenhouses.
(LINK: Sprouting potatoes? What to do. ) The potatoes are the plants in the middle of the frame, with purple blossoms. Started in early March - as I recall...they were probably about12-14 weeks old in this picture. May 29, 2023|
|This pic, taken in mid-June, shows how the potato plants have begun to flatten with their own weight. The potatoes were rapidly growing below. June 14, 2023.|
|This pic was taken one month after the first and shows the potato plants beginning to die back which means that the potatoes are almost ready for harvest. We ended up with about 30 pounds from this row. June 28, 2023|
CLICK HERE. (Note: you can only save seeds from heirloom, or open-pollinated varieties. Seeds saved from hybrid, or F1 types while not breed “true” and next year’s plants will/may revert back to the characteristics of one of the parent-plants they were bred from).
|Stupice tomatoes grow in such abundance that we pack them in egg cartons for safe transport home with our volunteers. Here, Llyn getting help from Adri and Jazmyn a few years ago.|
|Striped German tomato: To learn how to save seeds from tomatoes, CLICK HERE.|
Starting Fall and Winter crops: Though it may seem counter-intuitive, now is the time to start your fall and winter crops from seed (late June/early July- Zone 7B, Pacific NW - USA). They need 8-10 weeks to gain some size before day-length begins to seriously shorten around the fall equinox (I know…it’s sad to think that we’re already headed back to winter’s short days after having passed the summer solstice!).
Now is the time to start any brassicas (cabbage, kale, collards etc.) and other ‘greens’ such as chard. If you have room in your garden, there’s still time to plant a second crop of cucumbers or summer squash; these will carry you through till first-frost and you'll have plenty of these summer delights when your neighbor’s patches have ceased to produce.
We’re starting a second batch of basil too as our first batch is already trying to go to seed. We’re taking a chance in starting more lettuce too. It may be too hot for it but we’ll plant it in places where it’s partially shaded and hope for the best. Also, because we’ve been harvesting lots of beets and carrots, we have lots more room (and time enough) to start succession crops of both these excellent winter-storage crops.
|Time to start fall and wintering-over crops! Here are cabbage plants getting moved to larger pots. For a full post on planting fall and winter crops, CLICK HERE. |
|See those new, little lettuce plants to the left of the tomatoes and behind the flowering nasturtiums in the front?...|
|...Those same lettuce plants are covered with a polyester 'row cover' in this picture. You can find these row-covers from nursery-stores (or, if you have a free-cycle program in your neighborhood, see if you can find some without having to buy it new!). It lets some light through but provides a micro-climate that's less harsh for tender seedlings, and you can even water through it. We'll remove it once the plants are more established. This picture also shows the red, shade-cloth (above) that we have in our Ark greenhouse to provide diffused light and a slightly cooler space. In the path to the left of the lettuce are heavily applied grass-clippings which keep moisture in, stabilize the ground temperature, are comfortable to crawl on and will turn into next year's compost and potting mix. (LINK: How we grow...Veganic Community-based gardening) |
If you're local and want to learn more about planting fall and over-wintering crops, here's a free workshop:
SAT, JULY 29 (10 am – 1 pm) PUBLIC SEED LIBRARY POP-UP VEGETABLE GARDEN PLANT CLINIC: Bring your vegetable gardening questions and get advice from a Benton County Master Gardener! Now’s the time to plant cool season crops for fall and over wintering: Come learn how to extend your vegetable garden harvest through the winter, look for seeds of interest on the free seed rack, and find vegetable garden educational materials and links you can access anytime.
At Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 NW Monroe St., in the historic Belluschi Wing (home of the Public Seed Library)
Sponsors: Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Food Action Team, OSU Extension Service/Benton County Master Gardeners, and Corvallis-Benton County Public Library
|Inter-dependence...another name for sharing...|