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   PastimesGardening and Especially Tomato Growing


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To: sense who wrote (3431)9/15/2021 7:22:29 AM
From: Cogito Ergo Sum
1 Recommendation   of 3484
 
That is so ironic.. my mom's front yard is still a mess. Sewage issues .. cannot get landscaping done (big job) before fall.. so in middle of mess a feral tomato plant growing loaded with cherry roma tomatoes... in a virtual desert :)The old plant from last year was 30 ft away... one seed made it :) Nature is truly awesome...

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To: Cogito Ergo Sum who wrote (3432)9/15/2021 12:17:02 PM
From: sense
1 Recommendation   of 3484
 
Last year was amazing... as I had an entire forest of tiny tomato plants that emerged in the spring, right at the edge in a boundary between lawn being mowed (with many more tiny tomatoes not fairing well at all against the machine) and what was once a 2 foot thick berm of woodchips that I've been using in an exposed barren, to retain moisture and build soil. In the lee behind the berm, fallen oak leaves from the prior season tend to gather throughout the fall and winter. I'm happy to allow them to collect there, as the wind supplied organic material supplements the woodchips with organics that the earthworms prefer as a food source. The tomatoes struggle to emerge from beneath the leaves. A very few succeed, and start life with a contorted ground hugging form as they snake out from beneath the litter... but as I push the leaves back against the berm, many more seeds will start to grow from that narrow strip of soil that emerges from beneath the shaded out lawn the leaves create, only once the soil has been exposed. The density of the forest of tiny seedling thins itself out as the weather grows hot... and only the more drought tolerant survive...

None of my store bought tomato plants would survive the neglect to which those survivors are subjected, needing watering almost daily to survive.

What form the fruits will take this year... its too soon to tell... but the prolific flowering and rangey habit I see might indicate that they're trending toward smaller and more cherry like... but the original plants in that spot were mostly heirlooms, along with a few modern hybrids to supply prolific clusters of those long cylindrical salad tomatoes... Last year had a nice mix of yellow and red clusters of salad type tomatoes and heirloom types, with large dark purple fruits... and a few plants making spectacular "heirloom type" salad tomatoes.

I think I have truly excelled in neglecting the tomatoes better this year...

A parallel effort in another corner, focused on naturally selecting a more drought tolerant lettuce... which I started using seed from the waxy (and delicious) Istanbul variety... might have influenced some few of the local wild lettuces (of which I have plenty, and they are drought tolerant enough)... to become a tad more waxy... but nothing remotely close to an edible and self propagating lettuce has emerged from that effort. However, the local yellow finch population greatly appreciates the source of edible seed... in a drought year when almost none of their wild food sources have survived... I've allowed the wild types to carry on with feeding the birds... who gladly moved in and took over that corner... disappearing only recently just as the tomatoes began flowering... apparently having growing quite tired of eating lettuce seed.

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To: sense who wrote (3433)9/15/2021 3:48:18 PM
From: Cogito Ergo Sum
   of 3484
 
as I had an entire forest of tiny tomato plants

I always get lots of garden volunteers and keep the more robust ones... always cool finding out which variety made it where :) My mom's situation was more extreme...

When I was young say 10 to mid teens I fished a lot at the Back River in Montreal .. a 15 minute walk ... we went almost daily ... anyway from 5 I was already a garden nerd courtesy my French (almost no English) grandma ... So I noticed the rock walls perpendicular to the river.. full of old apple and plums trees gone wild... old seigniorial system of everyone gets a piece of the river in ever narrowing strips ... I started noticing as you did hiking through down that there were lots of tomato plants gone wild... my buddies did not realise... then I pointed them out there was a huge snack bounty.. I mean huge LOL We should have been more entrepreneurial LOL

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To: Cogito Ergo Sum who wrote (3434)9/15/2021 4:21:43 PM
From: sense
   of 3484
 
The entire concept of permaculture is vastly underappreciated, even by those who are ostensibly its advocates. Every year I try to find a way to add something of value... which, as proved true of the lettuce experiment, doesn't always pan out...

But, occasionally it does:

I've done trials on tomatoes and come up with a couple of better varieties for local conditions... that are now the dominant choice of variety (far better flavor, earlier, more persistently productive) for the local "direct to consumer" farms. I've not convinced them, yet, that they don't need to collect seeds and start them in the greenhouse to replant each year... rather than just manage a patch of naturalized tomatoes like you would a hedgerow of wild blackberries...

And, the best yet... did strawberry trials and found one variety (out of 35) that not only survives our occasionally extreme summer heat without a lot of water, but also survives the winters without any protection... and makes the best flavored berries, too... in just the right size... with no crunchy frankenberries... and no need to dig the plants and store them to over-winter, and then re-plant them in spring... which is just a massive amount of work...

And, then, paired up that berry with fruit trees... to grow the berries under the fruit trees... where they make a dense enough carpet of leaves, and emerge early enough in the year, that together with the shade from the tree, they completely shade out the weeds... including the bind weed. So you end up not having to do any labor at all (or, use any chemical or mechanical means) to keep the ground below the trees free of weeds... while you also make dual use of the ground... and prolong the berry season by the margin in which the shade from the trees allows them to flower a bit later than they do in full sun... You get tree fruit and berries... and no weeds... with less land, and less work, and no chemicals ?

The amount of pointless labor being done on small farms... only because the choices made are the "approved solution" that mimics what industrial scale agriculture does ? Hard to quantify the costs in time, labor, equipment and chemicals... doing things that are essentially unnecessary.

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From: Cogito Ergo Sum10/6/2021 11:44:13 PM
   of 3484
 
Another planting weekend ahead

need to complete another raised bed for fall... permanent locations for plants to be decided later :)

Qty ShippedItem NumberItem Description
167967EARLY SNOW GLORIES 100 BULBS
182220QUEEN OF NIGHT TULIP
172238FOREVER SUSAN ASIATIC LILY
172255TURK'S CAP LILY MIXTURE


Qty ShippedItem NumberItem Description
681175ELEPHANT GARLIC


North Ontario :)

constant sound of ducks and geese :)



Oct... is doing it month

Bought my season ski pass today :)

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To: sense who wrote (3435)10/10/2021 11:48:22 PM
From: the longhorn
   of 3484
 
Hi,

Could I ask what variety of strawberry? Anything that impedes bindweed is impressive! That has to be the toughest weed I've ever encountered.

I liked your comments on how a natural permaculture system saves a great deal of inputs. It may be when we got away from subsistence farming, we lost a lot of that knowledge. Also liked the suggestion of putting strawberries under the fruit trees. GOing to try that. I'm having luck with peas there too. SOuthwest climate.

lh

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To: the longhorn who wrote (3437)10/21/2021 6:23:29 PM
From: sense
   of 3484
 
My best guess is that the survivors of our latest round of super cold winters... down under 20 below for more than a week... is probably an Ozark hybrid...

My climate challenges though are probably quite a lot different than yours... even though we share the same concerns in terms of tolerance of drought and high summer heat...
I tend to discount the "right berry for your state" type links... as variation within a state can be pretty dramatic... so state boundaries aren't often the right way to look at the problem in the western states.

More of a focus on climate specific issues seems a better idea... so maybe you'll find more help in something like this... Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix Arizona and California: Growing Strawberries in Hot, Dry Climates

Among the everbearers, if I were somewhere that I didn't have to worry about freezing them out, like here ? In Arizona, picking from among "popular" choices... I'd probably try Seascape...

Having struggled and experimented with the bindweed issues for years... I'm pretty certain that the only reason the strawberries work well to contain it here... is that when used as a ground cover they make a very dense shade beneath them... and the bindweed needs sun on the soil to warm it up, first, and then needs enough sunlight penetrating the upper layers of the soil, to induce the seeds to germinate. The berries here in our northern climate emerge and leaf out in spring quite a bit earlier than the bindweed does... they're far more frost tolerant... and thus are well enough established by the time the bindweed wants to germinate that they shade it out effectively... IF you have allowed them to form a continuous bed.

Since the berries also benefit from / require shade in hot climates... putting them under the fruit trees only helps the berries... but it amplifies the problems for the bindweed by making for an even deeper shade beneath the berry leaves...

I've also had temporary success countering bindweed using tarps laid down with mulch over them... which works only as long as the tarp and a good depth (6" or more) in mulch remain intact. Pull up the tarp after everything else has been killed by being covered over for a couple of years... and the still dormant bindweed seeds lurking beneath it will happily emerge with vigor, and no competition. I know for certain that they'll last at least ten years that way... but I hear they'll survive and wait dormant for many decades. The only sure cure seems it is to sustain that depth in shade well enough that it BOTH prevents the light penetrating to the surface, AND keeps the sun off well enough that it prevents the soil from heating up. Bindweed doesn't do deep shade... so crops that create dense shade... or cultivation practices that mimic the natural mode of forests with stories layering into a progressively deeper shade created by an overlapping canopy of vegetation... the only thing that seems to work.


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To: sense who wrote (3438)10/21/2021 9:52:47 PM
From: the longhorn
   of 3484
 
Lots of good info....thanks!

I did a two year cover...carpet plus mulch...on bindweed and knocked it down pretty good. But it does come back...as you say. Cleaned up the new sprouting weed with vinegar and steady digging out with a shovel. Still have the final third of the garden area to purge of bindweed. Tackle a segment of ground at a time.

Didn't do a lot in the garden this summer but I did get two chokeberry bushes going. They seem to be tolerating our dry climate. I mulch them and water regularly.

Planting garlic this weekend!

lh

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To: sense who wrote (3438)10/22/2021 1:11:31 PM
From: robert b furman
   of 3484
 
Hi longhorn, Got our first light frost last night. Picked everything I could pick last night. Garlic came in this week and got garden tilled before my old Troy Horse blew the crank out. Time to repower that beast. Old Tecumseh blew up just as I pulled out onto grass. LOL

Deer hunting time again -LOVE IT!

Bob

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To: robert b furman who wrote (3440)10/22/2021 2:11:58 PM
From: the longhorn
   of 3484
 
Hi,

Good to hear from you! Harvesting garden and deer hunting...you are livin the dream there, son! Other than flying cranks but that's kind of exciting too. Wonder if they still make the Tecumseh engine. I remember those from long ago days growing up on the farm.

We are planting garlic today and putting ear tags on new calves later.

lh

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