Transplanting Beets

A hundred to a hundred and fity years ago transplanting beets was not uncommon close to the big Northeastern cities, where there was near year round demand for fresh produce.  Market gardeners forced plants into early production using “hotbeds” fueled by manure they brought back from the center cities after delivering their produce. They even had special vegetable varities for “forcing.” Nice system, if you can maintain it…and internal combustion remains a niche market. (Many of these older varieties are now attracting attention as market gardeners move toward the widespread use of “high tunnels.” (7.5MM results from Google in 0.47 seconds) Beets are just about the only “true” root crop that can be transplanted, and using a few tricks from …

ShepherdTransplanting Beets

The Crown Of The Plant (Crown of Creation)

If you are thinking about how to grow vegetables, and how to grow them well, then one of the key things to know about plant structure is what is meant by the “crown” of the plant. The crown is the spot where the above ground parts of the plant meet with the below ground parts. If you are growing plants for food this is a an important distinction, because the plant part you are cultivating (root, shoot or fruit, for example) will differ in its needs, depending on where on the plant, and in the environment it is located. Tomatoes need some sun to ripen well, while their cousin, potatoes need to be covered in soil or they will develop mildly …

ShepherdThe Crown Of The Plant (Crown of Creation)

Da Vine – Moving a Mature Grape Vine

Making big changes (again) in my overall garden plan. This time it involves pulling back on my grand plan:  to grow everything for everytime from everywhere…and concentrate on my own personal (lifestyle) pleasure. Call me foolish, call me old. In practical terms this means that I am pulling out the failed grape trellis (which was created after the failed grape arbor that was consumed, leaf by leaf by the Japanese Beetles and the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs). All tolled, the horseshoe pit brought a whole lot more to my life than those high maintenance grape vines did. Of course nothing is simple in this life. Three of the four grape vines were stone cold dead, but one lived (we had …

ShepherdDa Vine – Moving a Mature Grape Vine

A Tale of Two Kales

It was the best of kales; it was the worst of kales. (Where the Dickens did I read that?) I was watering yesterday and gave little attention to the stray kale (Lacinato) that had somehow gotten in with a patch of garlic . What I did notice, though, having just moved from watering the Brassica bed, was that there were no flea beetle holes in its leaves. NONE.   Yet the same variety, fifteen feet away (and surrounded by other Brassicas) was too pitiful for the table.   Its pretty well known that diverse plantings make crops plants harder for pests to find, and of course there is a wide belief in particular companion planting combinations. I haven’t found most …

ShepherdA Tale of Two Kales