stevesdigits

What do You Think, 2020?

digit (ID/WA, border)
November 24, 2019

"These are the good old days
And stay right here,

'cause these are the good old days.

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway ..."

Anticipation




What interests do you have for your garden in 2020?

Steve

Comments (21)

  • Heidi Denver

    For me, more sempervivum and some new crevice areas, and I absolutely need some more fall color next year. So I'm excited for spring planted bulbs.

  • popmama

    I have a lot of anticipation waiting to see all the new iris I acquired and planted this year. I also planted three hydrangeas and am anxiously waiting to see if they make it through the winter. I'm not sure what I will be planting, if anything, this coming season. I will concentrate a lot on my container gardens and annuals. And I just found out that I will be getting 4 weeks off from the end of may through mid-June to spend in the garden!

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  • gjcore

    I have not got to checking out my seed stash so have not even started thinking about ordering seeds but maybe with the big snow coming this week I can at least take inventory. Looking forward to improving the flower beds here in Westminster and getting the two cold frames in the ground that the HOA approved. In Aurora the front yard is so busy it's more a matter of maintenance and thinning and some swapping out. The Aurora vegetable garden is in a state of transition after moving the high tunnel there from Westminster. So quite a bit of rearranging.

  • mmmm12COzone5

    I always vow not to plant much more but then find treasures at the swaps that I must have. So next year are looking forward to seeing if any of the new iris bloom. Seeing if any of my roses make it through with this early start to winter. Getting all the great tomatoes and other veggies at the swaps to enjoy through the summer.

  • digit (ID/WA, border)

    Heidi Denver, there was a way to add Autumn color that I discovered a few years ago. One has to be mindful that Spring chrysanthemum colors are readily available ... right after Memorial Day. Fortunately, they aren't all pink flowers.

    What I have done is buy the mums on clearance. Cutting them back within a couple of inches from the soil line and transplanting them to the flower bed give adequate time for them to grow and bloom before fall frosts shuts them down. Mostly, yellows ... unless you are happy with those springtime pink colors.

    November is just about the slowest month of the year for me. That is an Osbourne Seed catalog and they arrive very early, along with Harris and HPS. It's actually the next page over that has the escarole that I find more tasty than the radicchio but those two pages are such a colorful tease.

    Yes, and maybe I will finally come up with a suitable pink cherry that won't split so easily in a dry climate and overhead watering ...

    Steve

  • treebarb Z5 Denver

    Steve, that's a great fall color suggestion! At the moment, I'm enjoying the snow day and finalizing the game plan for food on Thursday. I got the last of the bulbs, acorns and peach pits planted over the weekend, so nothing more to put in the ground. I think we have about a foot of snow so far.


    We're contemplating a move in a few years, selling our place and taking over my parent's house, 30 minutes away. It's something I didn't think I'd ever be open to. But, as I get older, a more open, ranch style house in a quiet neighborhood, close to shopping has some appeal. It's a little daunting and sad to think of leaving here, too. I planted some larger trees that have been on my must-have list this year and finally feel like I have the "bones" of the yard in. It only took 20 years, lol!


    Steve, gj and anyone else, you'll have to share tips on how to garden at 2 places while working full time, as I think I'll be doing that for a few years!


    The current project for spring is revamping the veggie beds. The grass has really been encroaching and over time, I don't love layout. I've been dealing with it for years, but it could be so much better! It's hard to give up the garden for a growing season, but if I do and just container garden next spring, I'll be so much happier. DH is actually pushing to do it, so if he's willing, we better do it! I think I'm not going to order seeds this year. I have plenty on hand to plant containers.


    Popmama, wow! You must be over the moon to have an entire month of prime planting weather at your disposal. You go, girl!


    Barb

  • popmama

    treebarb, I am over the moon. I keep saying I feel like I won *both* showcases on the Price is Right! I can hardly wait!

  • digit (ID/WA, border)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Gardening in multiple places, Barb? It took me a while to better understand that just because I can't see it, doesn't mean that nothing has changed. It isn't even as though there have been all that many unexpected things that have occurred - like the time Wiley Coyote chased a bunny into the garden and broke 5 stakes holding a trellis. He left plants and twine dangling.

    I became a scheduling fanatic. Gardening is all about dealing with Life. There is growth and change and needs. I can also mention, wants and wishes! Have fun ... with Life.


    Steve

  • treebarb Z5 Denver

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    I need to work on the having fun part, responsibilities have piled on these last few years and I've not made that enough of a priority. I agree, gardening is all about dealing with life. You just do it! You learn and grow and learn some more.


    Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!


    Barb

  • digit (ID/WA, border)


    If you were making Punkin Pie with a squash, would any of these be a good choice? (from the Johnny's catalog, 2020)


    Steve

    took me a looong time to get that photo on here!





  • digit (ID/WA, border)


    Do you know of a beet variety that does well in summer heat?


    Steve

  • Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

    I don't make pies, Digit, but I think any of the acorn type squashes would be "too wet" to work very well for punkin pie! I don't have room to grow squash here, but back in the day my parents always grew acorn! In the last ten years or so I've discovered (store bought!) butternut type squash, and I very much prefer the "drier" flesh over the acorns! So, unless you were to cook the acorn flesh long enough to "reduce" it before putting it in the pie, I think you'd have better luck with a butternut variety. Just my speculation! Since I've never actually done it--I obviously don't really know what I'm talking about!!!

    With the beets, due to "technical issues" I haven't been able to grow beets for a buncha years now, but when I did grow them I never had any problem with them in the "summer heat!" I had two "major" problems! The first was leaf miners--'cause I really, really like beet greens--but the leaves always looked too gross to eat!! And--I have a really, really, really hard time thinning things, and since beets are compound seeds and come up in "little clusters," when I didn't thin them--most of the time!--they never developed into very big beets! The first problem I never found a fix for, and the second problem clearly had a fix--but I could never bring myself to do it! But even for the ones that wound up far enough apart to develop, I never noticed any problem with their development when it got hot out!

    I don't really think the specific variety will make any/much difference! I grew Touchstone one year and really liked it! The other--red--one I grew isn't in your catalog! It's Warrior, and I grew that one because my brother in Illinois had grown it successfully for many, many years--and it can get HUGE and still be tender and good! There were other misc. varieties I tried for a year now and then, but I don't remember any of the names--so none of them ever really stood out!

    Skybird

    P.S. I got my Fedco catalog already! Won't be ordering any seeds this year tho! Barb and I went together on some orders last year--and I have enough seeds to last for several upcoming lifetimes! I am excited that I'm pretty sure--after about 6 years!--I finally found a replacement for my red Sweet Baby Girl cherry tomato! Due to the Roundup Catastrophe this year I didn't get many tomatoes, but I got enough of a couple varieties to taste them and I believe Sweet Aperitif is going to equal or exceed Sweet Baby Girl! Also tried Farthest North this year, it's a large red cherry, and the ones I got off of that one were very good too! Will be growing both of those again in 2020 to see how they do/taste in a "non-RU year!"

  • digit (ID/WA, border)

    Thank you, Skybird.


    My problem with beets is that the small ones are a favorite food. Thinning doesn't need to be much of a problem because I'm down there harvesting as soon as they amount to anything. Late sowings are inhibited by the heat and I don't much care for mature roots. They are near the opposite end of my preferred veggies.


    Leaf miners. Removing the leaves has been my best solution.


    I grew acorn squash for about 5 or 6 years but don't remember ever using them for pie. Delicata was a no-go. The squash matured like one year out of 4 trials. Now that my very poor harvest of Buttercup has been used up in Thanksgiving pies, imma gonna try cooking then putting a Spaghetti squash in the food processor .... using that for a pie ingredient. Wish me luck!


    Buttercup and the related C. maxima are preferred but the C. pepo Spaghetti did just fine this year. It's new to me but C. pepo Jack o'Lanterns always grow well. Those are useless for pies but I feel like I'm swimming against the tide with not using a pie pumpkin or its kin ...


    Yes, Butternut also make good pies but I have run into that maturing problem.


    Steve

  • Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

    If you're not wild about beets, Digit, you might want to give the gold Touchstone variety a try! They weren't really "quite the same" as "normal" red beets! It's been a few years so I don't remember exactly--not sure how to describe it, maybe like they were a little bit "sweeter!?" And if you just baked or cooked them and ate them plain, you might try pickling them--that would be simmering them in a sweet and sour sauce as you're making it--it's very simple and I could send you or post the recipe. And to the basic recipe which is "plain" you can add some very thinly sliced onions, or, alternately, you can add some OJ concentrate in place of the water to give it an orange-juicy flavor (like cranberry-orange!)--and could add a little spice like a bit of ground allspice, or cloves, or some cinnamon--or anything else you really like. Could also use cranberry juice in place of the water, with or without spices, but I'm not wild about cranberry juice so I don't do that one!

    Just some possibilities in case you happen to be in the mood to give them a try again!

    My problem with thinning isn't that I don't have easy access to them--they're (they WERE) right at the end of my house! I just can't make myself pull out or snip off "perfectly good plants!" It's the same reason I have pothos coming out of the kazoo! Whenever they need to be cut back I just don't have the heart to throw the stems I cut off on the compost pile--so they go in water to make MORE--and more, and more, and...! The first couple years I grew beets, before the leaf miners got bad!--I was snipping the little ones for baby beet greens! Then the leaf miners increased exponentially, and I didn't have an excuse to "remove" any of them anymore!

    I didn't think of seeding beets later in the year! My gut reaction is that that wouldn't work at all! I do think they prefer colder conditions when they're just starting--but once they get beyond the "tiny baby beet" stage I've never noticed them having a problem with heat.

    Have you ever grown actual pie pumpkins for your pies??? They're quite different from "Halloween pumpkins," and I suspect they'd ripen earlier than most of the winter squash. I did that one year as a kid, LONG ago, but it seems to me that even the pie pumpkin flesh was wetter than butternut squash! Another suggestion! If you want to try the acorn squash for pies, rather than simmering them to reduce the moisture, you could also cook them and then let the flesh sit in a sieve over nite to drain off the excess water! I grew spaghetti squash one year--but I didn't like it as "spaghetti," so I never grew it again!

    Just some possibilities to think about!

    Skybird


  • popmama

    I looked at Johnny's website and they have three pumpkins they actually recommend as the best for pie:

    https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/pumpkins/pie-pumpkins/

  • digit (ID/WA, border)

    Yes, I see those on page 109 of the hardcopy catalog, PopMoma. Two are right against my 100 day-to-maturity imposed limit but I have been somewhat discouraged by experiments with my Jack o'Lantern pumpkins, left over from those not needed to scare tick-or-treaters beside the front door ;o). Those experiments will continue this winter. I've learned that those pumpkins can be successfully substituted for zucchini in recipes and I will soon try a batch of pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies ..!


    Sure, I'm willing to guess that "pie" pumpkins would be a better choice in pie. On the same page is the Long Island pie pumpkin. It bares noting that it is a C. mochata rather than a C. pepo and, once again, a late 100 day. It's probably much like the Autumn Crown that I grew in 2017 and 2018. Not bad but it wasn't quite flavorful enough. Also, what Libby uses in the cans is a C. mochata. So are those Butternut, rightly acclaimed by Skybird.


    The Cinnamon Girl pie pumpkin is a C. pepo and earlier! I just might go with that. I do, however, know that no amount of cinnamon will get my Jack o'Lanterns where I want to go in a pie.


    Steve

  • popmama

    I did read recently that Libby's canned pumpkin actually contains no pumpkin. But rather some special hybrid squash. But I didn't pay close enough attention after that as to what it was.

    For what it's worth, my mom used to collect her neighbors' discarded pumpkins from the curb in the days after Halloween. She cooked them, pureed them and made pie from most one of them (she made soup out of the rest). I know they say that the carving pumpkins are not bred for good eating, but anyone I ever saw who ate my mom's pie exclaimed it to be the best they ever had. So...

    digit (ID/WA, border) thanked popmama
  • digit (ID/WA, border)


    There are a couple of less-than 90 day Butternut varieties in the new Harris Seed catalog that came today.


    Also, oh so many punkins!


    Steve

  • digit (ID/WA, border)

    Hey!


    https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/vegetables/winter-squash-eating-experience-slideshow.html 


    But of course, this guy is just talking about flavor ... sorta. (Except that Candy Roaster idea, where the squash is filled with pumpkin pie filling and used in place of a pie crust. ;o)


    Steve

  • Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

    HI Digit,

    I got a catalog a few days ago from a place called Seeds 'n Such--have no idea where they got my address, I never heard of them before! But they have a lot of tomato seeds, so I paged thru the catalog to see what I could see! They have a butternut squash, Early Butternut Hybrid, that they say is 82 days! Of course one never knows how accurate that is in any particular climate! But it surprised me when I saw such a short growing season for winter squash!

    They also have a pie pumpkin that they say is 95 days. It's Small Sugar, a/k/a New England Pie! Don't know anything about it but it's a cute little thing in the picture!!! In the description it says: "Undoubtedly the best pie pumpkin, although the larger specimens can be carved for Halloween."

    They also have...

    Sweet Aperitif red cherry tomato seeds! That's the one I decided this year is going to replace Sweet Baby Girl! They say it has a brix of 13, and describe it as "even sweeter that Sungold!" Based on the few I got to eat this year, I think that might be true! So if you like SWEET, I recommend trying Sweet Aperitif this year! It's also available at Fedco, and it's open pollinated so after getting the first few (pretty expensive) seeds you can save your own--free!

    Skybird

    P.S. Your link doesn't work, Digit!

  • digit (ID/WA, border)

    How about this?


    Johnny's winter squash


    I've tried Early Butternut, Skybird. It grew, produced and matured. It wasn't very productive.


    The bush-types haven't been very productive and have had little vigor, in dealing with the difficult weather, we sometime have. Early growing season chill, up-&-down temperatures, , wind ... then ... if they get through that and produce ... the squash have to mature enough to make it, at least, to Christmas. Or, I'm casting about fer sumthin new!


    Steve

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