The 2020 Garden Part 6 of ?

You could also call this blog starting the starts. As I started a much larger garden this year (50 x 100 ft.) than I did last year, I will be needing many more starts than I am used to growing. Finally, I saw some of my tomato seeds germinate and pop up their little green heads yesterday. Today as I write this it is February 3rd. and I am now looking at what I will seed today. Working with all those tiny seeds has been a challenge.

I was also amazed at how long seeds can last. I found in a storage box here in the house some Okra seed that I have on purpose saved. The okra from this seed was something that I had grown for over 20 years. The seed I found was dated August 2003. My wife soaked some of it for a day in water and then wrapped them in a damp paper towel. All of the seeds (about 7) germinated. So my treasure I saved back in 2003 will again produce food for me this year. I am amazed by how wonderful seeds are every time I poke some in the ground.
The picture of my seeded starts on the left is all sitting on a very long heating mat. The mat is connected to a timer that turns the mat on every thirty minutes and then off for thirty. Once they germinate and put on some true leaves I will pull them off the mat and put under grow lights. I use LED and T5 fluorescent lights for supplemental light.

One caveat about heating mats and that is they will dry out your potting mix rather quickly if you don’t monitor moisture closely.

The first onions I planted are making their way through the hay. There will be a lot more hay added later. Remember, if you purchase onion starts at the big box store and cannot put them in right away, just go out and plant the whole bunch in the garden and keep watered. Then later when you are ready to plant, pull the whole bunch out. I double plant onions much closer than I would normally, then I thin them out and my wife uses them to cook with. If you notice the black plastic crates on the right of the picture, these are for growing Waltham Squash and other vining types. That will keep them out of the garden. I will then use grow bags to grow in. The crates stabilize the grow bags and keep them off the ground. Before I start this I will place cardboard under the crates. This also keeps out weeds and perhaps even ants.

Now for something different! Yes, Microgreens are not exactly Ruth Stout!

The microgreens are also looking good. These will probably be eaten by someone in a restaurant this coming week. Daikon, Triton and Rambow radish make up the twelve trays. If you are looking for really good for you full of vitamins type of food to eat, radish microgreens are it. In studies, Daikon radish microgreens had huge amounts more of good for you nutrients than broccoli. I think it was 40 times more. I eat radish almost daily in my salads.

If you don’t like radish, then there are all sorts of microgreens that you can grow. Here are a few from our shop where we grow indoors. There are probably 8 different microgreens in the picture below. Finnel, Mustards, Carrot, Beets, Swiss Chard, French Parsley and of course radish. As I walk through the shop, I often pull a selection of microgreens and make a mix.

That’s all for this blog. I am still following the Coronavirus closely. There is not much information out there except for those who know nothing. Much like me, anything I write about it is only speculation. I know one thing for sure, if they come out with a vaccination for this, I sure wouldn’t run there to get one. Probably the best thing one can do is quit eating all that crappy fast food, and grow some of your own. I would highly recommend that you put microgreens in your diet.

It’s time as spring is on its way so:

Get your seeds and start a garden
Prepare for the coming Grand Solar Minimum
Look after yourself, friends and family
Take care of those who are not as fortunate as you are.

Cheers from Central Texas
Dennis

I eat an all plant diet and have for about a year. I am now 77 and have as much energy as I did when I was much younger. This book (PDF) is free. To get this Book go HERE.

The 2020 Garden Part 4 of ?

Prepping my Ruth Stout Garden

Note the above picture is not my garden. Well you must start some place. My new place is a 50 x 100 foot plot. I can see it from my dinner table and every time I sit down there I am reminded of all the work I have to do. Below is some of my hunter gathering results. This is just a start as I will need many more to fill up the garden. Red and white potatoes. Going back later for Yukon Gold.

If you get your seed potatoes, you need to wrap in paper and store in a dark place. I need to order some of those blue potatoes soon as I tried some last fall from the store and they were great tasting. We are still eating potatoes from our last July harvest. Potatoes make a great prep vegetable (tuber). Just keep some for seed next year. As I have stated in a previous Blog, you can’t live on lettuce. You will need some high energy things like potatoes and a bit of meat. Next on my list is sweet potatoes which I will grow my slips with. I have my eye on some Korean purple ones that my wife cooked last week and were super sweet. Heading to the Asian market for them. Unless you want specialty sweet potatoes, the ones from the grocery store work well for slips. 


Note on Asian seeds. There is a new world of Asian seeds at Kitazawa seeds. I get nothing for the plug. These are wonderful people and seeds. Go this URL to take a look. I have ordered from them for many years. Read about their history. Tell them I sent you.


Some people want a picture of what grumpy grandpa looks like, so here is a really grumpy picture of me. If you blow it up and put in your garden, it just might chase off bugs and other things? The door mat at my house reads: “Here lives one nice and one grumpy person.” Actually I am a marshmallow, but that’s a lie put out by my wife.

Below are the items I mix for mulch in my Ruth Stout garden. I use coffee grounds but never mix them. Coffee grounds are always placed on top of the mulch. From left to right: Rotted leafs, horse manure with some hay and hay for the final cover. While not shown, chicken manure and coffee grounds are put on last.

I have three large compost piles made from shipping pallets. Any things that the horses, chickens, ducks, guineas, cats, dogs, pigs or I won’t eat goes into the compost heap. Soon the animal list will contain rabbits! Please note that I am on the top of the food chain, even if listed last!

I will be starting my tomato starts this weekend. I would like about 150, so I had better get started. I make up a mix of some horse compost mixed with mostly peat moss to plant them in. I use bottom heat to encourage germination and growth. If it’s cold or cool they will just sit there looking at you if you don’t have some heat. Hey stupid “we are cold” I expect they will be thinking. I am hoping to get the tomato starts up to a foot tall for planting in the spring.  

Here are some of the tomatoes I will be starting but not all of them. Hmm where are my yellow pear tomato seed?

Mountain Princess, Beefsteak, Large Red Cherry (my favorite), Roma, Cherokee Purple, Red Siberian, Jet Star and Arkansas Traveler. For salsa of course Tomatillo – Toma-Verde. 

We eat a bunch of Tex-Mex her at the farm. Mexican food and Mexican culture makes up why Texas is a great place to live.  Actually, the Central Texas area is one great melting pot of civilization. It’s amazing at all the different foods available at restaurants and grocery stores here.  

And while at the store today I purchases the following for George who owns the farm along with a huge rooster. George is also security. No one comes on the farm with out running through George’s security system (four and two legged animals). George lives outside and actually hates coming into the house. We don’t pamper him and he likes that. I would suggest that everyone has a dog like George.  

But back to the garden. The following picture is what a prepped Ruth Stout garden floor looks like before placing down hay. This is my version so yours might be different. 

 Here is a tip on planting onion starts. If you just let them set around, they will dry out and will die or you will have poor results. Right after you purchase them, just take the whole bunch out to your garden and plant them into damp soil, If you wait a week or more, they will continue to grow roots. Picture below.

That’s it for this blog. I will document my starts and document the results as time goes on. It’s time to get started on a garden. What is coming our way will not be fun and games. Actually your survival may depend on what you do now. Think not? Well just wait a couple of years and find out. Then you wont be one of the 1 out of 10 who may not make it through the Grand Solar Minimum and many other things that you can’t do any thing about but prepare. While these gardening blogs may have a bit of humor in them, what I am telling and writing about is deadly serious. If you don’t think that way, I would like to suggest that you close out this blog and never come back. Then open your refrigerator, microwave some pizza and have a beer or two. Then be happy and don’t worry as all will be fine.

Now is the time to: Prepare
Get some seeds and start a garden
Look after your family, friends and neighbors
Take care of the poor who have less than you do

Cheers and best of everything from Central Texas

Dennis 

Need Seeds? Yes You Will!

These are my two of my recommended seed suppliers at thisĀ URL

I eat an all plant diet and have for about a year. I am now 77 and have as much energy as I did when I was much younger. This book (PDF) is free. To get this Book go HERE.