Sunday, August 28, 2016

Resurrected Chinese Beans. 8.28.16

 We've had sveral meals from these Cinese bean seeds that I resurrected from packets in the 6 to 10 year old range, maybe older.  There seem to be 3 types.  The wider ones were what we remembered from the past.  Wuote delicious, stir fried i  the Northeast Chinese way with potatoes.  Tradition calls for pork but I am vegetarian, and I think their flavor as is, is great

The intent is to save pods from each type.  Beans normally pollinate within the flower, so may grow true.  I would not be surprised, if they dont.  I will label plants of each type for sed saving, so that I can segregate them next year.  Red/pale, Red/green, and Black/green.

Not bad.  Even though initial germination of tne old seeds was only about 20%, we got a lot of beans in the end, and vigor, for most, was great.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

You CAN Grow Okra in Southwest Washington State. 8.27.16

Top photo is today, lower photo is yesterday.   The short fat pods are the Star of David cultivar.  The longer, thinner pods are the Baby Bubba hybrid.

It's true, this Spring was unusually hot.  I didn't think they would grow and did not invest much effort in these at first - planted in ground, in rows.  When they started growing, I became more interested, thinned the plants, provided fencing for animal predation protection.  

My failures this year, were okra plants that I grew indoors and set out in the garden. They failed to thrive, and died - I think it was too early, and on top of that rabbits ate them  .

In the top photo, thete are 3 large pods and one small malformed pod.  The top three were hand pollinated, using a paintbrush.  i left the flower for the other one, to its own devices and local insects.  I dont think the insects here are pollenizers for okra.  The only flowers that have formed pods, are ones that I pollinated.

There are lots more flower buds.  Cool weather ahead may limit bearing, but at the moment i'm very happy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Late Summer Planting Perennial Seeds. 8.21.26

These are perennals for next year if they grow.  I bought seeds for Echinacea - both the wildflower species and the hybrid "Warm summer".  The hybrid had all of 10 seeds in the packet, but I don't need more than that anyway.  There is also hybrid  Lychnis, unnamed Rudbeckia species, Asclepias tuberosa, and a hybrid perennial hibiscus.

I could have planted these in the garden row, but containers give me something to putter with, and I don't have to decide whether germinating seedlings are weeds vs. ornamentals.   The seedling medium is old but hopefully sterile.

Most of these should germinate in 2 to 4 weeks.  It's warm to hot outside, so not using a warming mat.

First Grapes. Some Flowers. 8.10.16

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Okra. 8.21.16

So far, so good. We had the first 2 pods for supper today, in a stir fry with tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions, and mixed into scrambled eggs.  All of those ingredients home grown.  Nice feeling.

This variety is Star of David.  They are a fat pod type, not long and narrow.  I think the hand pollinating is helping, as well as the hot weather the past week - several days above 100 F.

Progress Report. Grafted Gingko biloba trees. 8.21.16

Grafted Ginkgo biloba.  Whip/tongue graft at about 6 Months.  8.21.16
This Spring, I did whip-and-tongue grafts on Ginkgo biloba seedlings.  The scion was my male ginkgo tree from my Dad.  The rootstocks were seedlings that I germinated and grew from seeds collected in Vancouver WA in 2013.

Of the 3 attempts, two took.  Not dramatic.  I've noticed that ginkgos just make a tuft of leaves if the tree is moved or disturbed, then the following year make a dramatic burst of growth.  These just have a tuft of leaves.  I'm hoping for a burst of growth next year.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Walking Around. 8.18.16

Single French marigold selected for seed saving.  8.18.16
Walking around,  but not a lot.  Temps above 100 F by afternoon.  I can handle the am cooler temps, but not the afternoon.
Photos are via I-pad, I didn't have camera card for the better camera today.

Some of the marigold seeds, saved from last year's double flowers, grew out with single flowers.  I've decided I like these better, and want to save them as my own little landrace.  These have a rich, brick-red appearance, with yellow edges.  I don't think they are the same as the Burpee "Cottage Red" variety, which is much redder in photos.  I do have seeds of that variety to grow next year, and signet marigolds, both of which will be kept separate from these singles. There are doubles and oranges nearby, so it may take another year or two to isolate these as my own strain.

Four O'clocks are holding up well to the summer heat.  Some came up from the same roots, for the 3rd year.  They have not been invasive.  My intention is to save seeds from the traditional reds and yelows.
Yellow and red Four O'clocks selected for seed saving.  8.18.16

Seedling rows, Evergreen Bunching Onion and species Echinacea.  8.18.16
 Corn turned out to protect sunflowers from deer, once they grew too big for rabbit tastes.

I planted echinacea seeds a few weeks ago.  These are not a modern hybrid, just bought seed packet labeled "Echinacea Purple Coneflower".  They have germinated.  Rudbeckia seeds have not germinated yet.  Rudbeckia, grown from seeds this Spring, did grow nicely and are blooming.  There are annual and perennial Rudbeckia, and I don't trust the labeling, but maybe these will come back next year.

Sunflower.  8.18.16
Missouri  primrose, Oenothera missouriensis.  8.18.16
Missouri primrose, growing wild.  Very dry tolerant,  and grows in soil that supports almost nothing else.  Maybe I will dig a plant for the perennial border.  Bees don't seem interested in them.

Evergreen bunching onions are doing OK with the heat.  They look delicate but I think they are tough.   They are just a few weeks from planting the seeds.

Rudbeckia, first year from seeds.  8.18.16

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kitchen Garden Update. 8.15.16

Peppers.  8.17.16
 Kitchen garden is at an in-between stage. 

Sweet corn is midway through the multiple plantings.  I have finished off the first to patches, 3 or 4 to go.

Tomatoes aren't as productive this year but we are getting a few every day.

The peppers recovered from what I think was planting too early in Spring.  They are lush and green and loaded with peppers.
Collards.  8.17.16

Red Stem Scallion Starts.  8.17.16
Okra Flower.  8.17.16
The okra plants are lush and vigorous.  I think the shorter row is Baby Bubba Hybrid, a more compact variety.  The taller ones were mixed, but I think most of the plants are the variety "Star Of David".  The first few okra flowers fell off without producing pods.  Maybe due to cool nights.  Maybe they didn't pollenize.  Yesterday I pollinated a few okra flowers.  The Pistol is dark brown, and the pollen is bright yellow.  It's easy to see the pollen on the pistol after I transfer it.  I hope that helps.
Lettuce, Cilantro, and Evergreen Bunching Onion Seedlings.  8.17.16

Peppers.  8.17.16
 I found a bunch of dried out scallions in a container garden.  These were grown from seeds in 2015, and the remaining plants abandoned due to lack of interest at the time.  They stayed alive despite no watering all summer.  I separated the plants and re-planted in the Battleground kitchen garden, 3 separate areas due to no room for all in one row.  They look droopy, but with a few sturdy green leaves.  I don't know what they will do, but no harm in planting them.

Summer-planted seeds have all germinated and all growing great.  We got a crop of radishes and a crop of salad greens.  More to come.  The turnips, Chinese radishes, carrots, lettuce, kohlrabi, and broccoli plants all show promise.  Definitely worthwhile project.

Fall Kitchen Garden Seedlings.  8.17.16

Turnips.  About One Month.  8.17.16
Red Stem Scallion Starts.  8.17.16

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kitchen Garden. 8.10.16

Harvested the test of the Bartlet-type pears.  A few were fully ripe.  The rest went into the fridge for controlled ripening.

There were some extra second mini-ears on the Trinity corn.  These were small but still just as good.    Second sweet corn  batch ripening now.  Picked the first of those today.

Some more fresh food from the garden.  I want to make tamales with the red bell peppers.  The beefsteak tomato is the first of those this year.

Hamese Asian pears.  These are the first of my Asian pears to ripen.  Fresh and juicy.

Summerred apple.  There were 3 of these, a summer apple.  Quite delicious, spicy flavor - sort of like cardamon, I think.

Summerred apple, beautiful white flesh, with some of the red color of tne skin soaking into the white flesh.  Pretty as well as tasty.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Final Seeds to plant in summer for Fall Kitchen Garden. 8.2.16

More seeds to plant now for fall kitchen garden.  8.2.16
This idea of planting is summer for a fall crop is foreign to me, but the state ag station says we can do it with some crops.  It might be a little too late for some and a little too early for others, but all we can do is try.

Today I stopped by a local nursery to see if there were seeds for Chinese cabbage, and also bought seeds for red carrots - should look nice in zucchini bread, Daikon, and Bok Choy.

With the storage onions and all of the potatoes now dug up, there is a garden patch with room for all of these and then some.  I also planted a few more Chinese radishes, Salad radishes, bunching onions, rudbeckia, and echinacea.  Herbivore control might be an issue - not a sheltered bed - but maybe I can get in a low fence soon.