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Old 05-31-2019, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,600,833 times
Reputation: 2954

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Had to replant parts of my garden... apparently some seeds did not like the seesawing spring and decided not to come up at all. Some carrots, half the corn, and ALL the squishy-melony type stuff went totally AWOL. (Since when will zucchini fail anywhere it's not actually below freezing??) OTOH I have a whole bunch of volunteer tomatoes of uncertain parentage. Teeny tiny things, but by the dozens, and apparently impervious to every sort of abuse short of being yanked up outright.

Yeah, dries up fast once the rain stops... three dry days and parts of the yard are already like concrete, and some flowers gone wilty. Should bring another hose down from the ditch. (We use the thoroughly ghetto method of a hose siphoning 500 feet downhill. Someday we need to get the headgate fixed and put in a proper pipe. Who around Billings/Laurel can do that for not too much $$$ ??)

Not getting smoke here near Billings, but friend in Edmonton says it's really bad there, even indoors.
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Old 06-01-2019, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,910 posts, read 5,796,001 times
Reputation: 8282
Smoke was bad all the way from Ryegate to Helena yesterday. Tropical downpour at Checkerboard really helped last night, but still have some smoke.

Planted some rhubarb seeds today, been far too wet and cold to plant, so we have tomatoes and green peppers growing in the house.

I'll have to deal with a bumper crop of terrorist rabbits if I want any produce.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,600,833 times
Reputation: 2954
I'd never heard of planting rhubarb from seed (well, I guess it has to come from somewhere!) but lo and behold, you can buy the seed.

https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/rhubarb/

In April I moved my single plant from the yard (where it wasn't real happy) to the garden, and only when it broke into 3 pieces did I realise it had a root the size of a baseball bat. Now I have one big plant and two little ones. Way more than I need, but hey, there it is.

I planted one pepper from saved seed (yep, just one) and it took so long to come up I thought it was hung. Maybe I should plant another.

Oh, I think I've learned the secret to potatoes that never sprout in storage. They've been treated with some inhibitor. They never sprout if planted, either.

Haven't had any predations from rabbits, but last year a deer decided to use my tomatoes for a high-jump. Knocked a bunch of 'em over. After that I closed the gate.
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,910 posts, read 5,796,001 times
Reputation: 8282
I've never tried to transplant rhubarb, they're easy to start from seed especially from well established plants.
This is a new place and climate from what I'm used to, so it's starting all over for me since I don't know what does well here.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,600,833 times
Reputation: 2954
I just forked it up before it really got to growing, and reburied all the resulting pieces. It was that easy. (Tho I gather one should not overwater 'em, cuz they're subject to rot.) The big piece never noticed and grew its usual big spring crown of stalks. The little pieces are already as big as the parent was its first year. I think I'm going to move them next spring (at which point I'll probably wind up with a dozen) because where I stuck 'em in the main garden, they're in the way, and they'd probably like some afternoon shade. The hazard of planting wherever you've already dug.

Other than not liking wet feet, rhubarb prefers it cooler, and doesn't mind shade. It REALLY likes old fishtank water as fertilizer. Otherwise it's not fussy. Mine came from Canada so I'm sure thinks it's too warm here.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,910 posts, read 5,796,001 times
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I had 4 plants in East Helena, they produced enough for several families, and to give away. Nursing homes love it as the residents ate it all their lives and it's a real treat for them.

I love the plant, it's hardy, produces well, and it tastes great!!
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Billings, MT
9,535 posts, read 7,829,050 times
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I built 2 more raised beds this spring. That makes a total of 6, plus one horse feeder that is now a garden bed.
We discovered that while 4X8 is a "nice size" for a garden bed, 4 feet wide is just a little much for our aged bodies to reach the middle when picking beans and such. the new ones are therefore 3 feet wide. Should be much easier to harvest.
We have onions and carrots coming up, and the cucumbers and tomatos are starting to recover from being transplanted.
I think my concord grape vines have lost the battle. I allowed the neighbor's mules to graze my pasture last year, and they ate all the leaves off the grape vines. I haven't seen any new buds so far. I'll wait a little longer before pulling them up.
The hollyhocks we planted last year seem to be growing well, and the poppies planted this year are struggling.
My rhubarb is going quite well. In fact, it has huge seed heads.
I need to mix up some more vinegar/epsom salts/dish soap weed killer. It works well on thistles and other broad leaf weeds. Not so good on grass, though.
I have been thinking about getting somebody in to replace the underground sprinkler system, and hook it to a pump sucking water out of the ditch. That would relieve some of the wear and tear on the well pump.
It is a beautiful sunny day, but there is some haze in the air, probably due to the Canada smoke.
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,600,833 times
Reputation: 2954
So my big rhubarb is making flower stalks. What's the verdict on that -- let it bloom or cut 'em off? The whole plant is suddenly huge, and makes way more stalks than I could ever eat. (It's a really tasty one, too. Some Canadian variety.)

Contrary to advice from elsewhere, I'm finding the older stalks have better flavor.

I've discovered an interesting use for boiled rhubarb sauce: substitute it for applesauce with pork. Really yummy!
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Old 06-27-2019, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,910 posts, read 5,796,001 times
Reputation: 8282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
So my big rhubarb is making flower stalks. What's the verdict on that -- let it bloom or cut 'em off? The whole plant is suddenly huge, and makes way more stalks than I could ever eat. (It's a really tasty one, too. Some Canadian variety.)

Contrary to advice from elsewhere, I'm finding the older stalks have better flavor.

I've discovered an interesting use for boiled rhubarb sauce: substitute it for applesauce with pork. Really yummy!
Unless I'm collecting seeds, I cut the stalk so the plant keeps producing.
Rhubarb sauce is wonderful, so is rhubarb chutney. I love rhubarb coffee cake, and my mother makes spectacular rhubarb jams and jellies.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,600,833 times
Reputation: 2954
Well, it's not like I need more of 'em... 3 plants is overkill. Chop it is. Perhaps late in the season, when it gets ratty anyway, I'll let it try again.

Oooh, now jelly... gotta try that!
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