Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Growing Oca in summer heat

This is an experiment to see if
1. Oca can grow in my climate
2. Be planted late in the season 
The Oca has been in the 4 inch pots for a week now.
They were started indoors.Then places in filtered shade a few days.
 I have place them in the sun for a little bit yesterday. temps were 84° | 64° no rain. Some showed signs that they needed back in the shade. I am hardening them off, as if it were still spring.
This would have been easier if I could have started them inside in March.
But this is summer. So I have to re-think how to get them to adapt to heat. 

(Oc-14x11x16) (OC-14-1x15x14) ( OC-14-1x14x8) 2x (OC-14-1x16x14) ( OC-14-1x10x10)
I planted 6 of them that have roots but no top growth as yet. The first one bottom left, (OC14-1x11x16) was a brown dry tuber and has no signs of life. So I may only have 1 plant of this variety. This is a full sun location.  I prepared the bed far in advance. It had compost that developed in the bed. Lots of  good material. The bed was starting to grow things on its own. A potato peel from food scraps formed 2 plants it the top left corner. Right edge has 3 Physalis peruviana plants, and 1 watermelon in the top right corner.  I planted some in the soil outside of the potato garden. The ones that looked like they were fine with the sun and heat of the day. I moved the rest back into the shade.

OC14 1x11x16

OC14- 1x14x 8
The 6 outside of the potato garden

  I still have 13 to plant in the ground.

I will post more photos soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

How Long Do Seeds Really Last?

 I took this corn seed that was not carefully stored. This was 2013 seed. I put  9 pieces. I should have done 10. 5 sprouted and 4 molded.  So If I had 1 more seed to not germinate I could have just said this was 50% But this way I would have to do math for 5 out of 9. LOL. 
I also have to consider the quality of corn this will produce. So I will plant these 5 and see if they will survive and produce quality corn.
 As it is already in Missouri, a bad year for corn at my place.I planted this area in April, one the 20 tall. plants that are stunted. 2-3 foot tall are growing. In may I replanted the back half with the rest of the 1/4 pound of this years seed. I will count the plants soon. But not a good amount. The front was planted with Amish popcorn, closer to June. There is a better rate of growth for them. But I do not know if it was bad seed. Grubs, moles or birds stole the seed. Or Juglone from the Walnut tree. This is all an experiment in growing in adverse conditions.
 The 1 plant is acting like a trap plant. It has maybe a corn borer. And Every day I take the eggs on the side of the leaf. Poke in the hole and every day it is replaced.
I will soon test out some old bean seeds from 2013. 
But I know if they were properly stored they would be viable. But these were left to hot and cold conditions. 

The cheat sheet below takes the average life expectancy of seeds from a variety of sources, including the cooperative extensions of Oregon State University, Colorado State University, Purdue University, and Virginia State University. Consider it more as a guideline, as the longevity of your seeds ultimately depends on the date on the packet and how carefully you’ve stored them since then.
Vegetables Shelf Life
Asparagus 3 years
Beans 3 years
Beets 3 years
Broccoli 3 years
Brussels sprouts 4 years
Cabbage 4 years
Carrots 3 years
Cauliflower 4 years
Celery 3 years
Chard 3 years
Chicory 4 years
Collards 4 years
Corn (sweet) 2 years
Cress 5 years
Cucumbers 5 years
Eggplant 4 years
Endive 5 years
Kale 4 years
Kohlrabi 3 years
Leeks 2 years
Lettuce 3 years
Muskmelons 5 years
Okra 2 years
Onions 1 year
Oriental greens 3 years
Parsnips 1 year
Peas 3 years
Peppers 2 years
Radishes 5 years
Rutabagas 4 years
Salsify 1 year
Spinach 3 years
Squash (summer and winter) 4 years
Tomatoes 5 years
Turnips 4 years
Watermelons 4 years

Herbs and Flowers Shelf Life
Basil 5 years
Chives 2 years
Cilantro 2 years
Fennel 3 years
Oregano 4 years
Parsley 2 years
Sage 4 years
Annual flowers 1 to 3 years
Perennial flowers 2 to 4 years

Read more at http://www.gardenbetty.com/2015/03/how-long-do-seeds-really-last-plus-a-cheat-sheet-on-seed-storage-life/#iYx3q4trk7UzgUlf.99

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2 days in soil Oca has roots

I planted the Oca in the 4 inch pots on June 22 I checked plant number OC 14-1x16x14 red t has roots started.This tuber was fully covered with potting soil.
Where some of the others were placed with some of the growing out of the soil.
I wanted to compare the difference.  To see if the stem would green up and form leaves. Or just send up new shoots. I have left the tubers attached to all stems that were already growing, when I received them. The soil is moist and watered from the bottom. I did add some water to the top after planting them. As it did not wick up fast enough to moisten the soil. I have a grow light above them and south window. I will place them in so Sun outside tomorrow if we have a clear day. Today was no rain for the first time in a while. I should start writing and recording every day. But it takes a bit of discipline to form a habit. 
I will list now what I have received with links to more info to refer back to.
Black flat has
3 tubers where all the others have 2
1.(3) OC-14-1x14x8
2. Oc-14x11x16
3. OC-14-2x08x05
4.  OC-14-1x10x15
5.  OC-14-1x15x14
6.  OC-LG-13-2x5   large
7. Oc14-1x23x8
Container 2
8. OC-14-1x13x8
 9. OC-14-1x23x8
10.  OC-LG-13-2x2
 Container 3
11. OC-14-1x10x10
12. OC-14-1x15x2
13. OC-14-1x16x14 Red

Link to more info
 Growing details
Where to plant
Oca prefers a cool, maritime climate, where it should be planted in full sun.  Although oca can tolerate some drought, best yields are achieved with plenty of water.  Oca will do better in partial shade where temperatures frequently exceed 80 degrees F.  With some shade, oca may be able to tolerate temperatures up to 100F, at least for short periods of time.  Low spots, protected from wind, that stay damp but don’t pool are particularly good places to grow oca.  Almost any plot of decent garden soil will suffice.  Oca prefers moderately acidic soils (pH 5.5 to 7) and will tolerate very acidic soil
It is best not to plant Oca, potatoes, and Ulluco in the same ground (without rotating to other crops first) because they have some common diseases.

 Plant whole tubers and seed pieces about 2-3″ deep In-row spacing of 18 inches works very well.  48″ row spacing will leave a comfortable walkway.  36″ between rows will usually leave just a little walking space in between.  24″ between rows will form a dense, unbroken canopy.
Note: Dormancy is similar to potato and runs anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, with most clocking in at about 14 weeks. Cold storage can extend the dormancy period greatly - up to a year in some varieties.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sneak peak of Yukon golld potatoes and starting Oca tubers

I am so excited to receive the Oca tubers.They need to be planted about 3 inches deep. But here in Missouri we have had allot of rain. Now temps are up in the 90f. These tubers many not be happy with that. So I am starting them in 4inch containers. Once I get some roots and growth on top. I will place them in the garden. It will not be till fall that tubers form beneath the plant. So I may have a chance to still get a harvest. This is an experiment to see if they will grow in my area. They are normally grown like potatoes in the Andie's. (South America)
High temperatures may affect the plants. That area is a short day area and I am in a neutral day area.  The hard part will be to get them to Nov or Dec for harvest. But I will do my best.

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa ) Known as the New Zealand Yam

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Tomato blossoms and blooms

All of the tomatoes were grown from seeds bought from Wild boar farms. Except: Dwarf Shadow boxing is from Tom Wagner seed. And the others I collected locally.
Red with yellow stripes mini Roma (Larger Cherry).
 blue, pink
The next one I have saved and regrew from collected seed. I bout the original tomato from a local Mennonite farmer. So I just named it the  Mennonite tomato.
It have been very hardy and disease resistant. All the fruit set at about the same time. Then a new batch sets. If our weather were more constant. I would have 3 harvests. 
Mennonite  tomato

Very Large Pink Beefsteak like tomato these tomatoes grow over 3 pounds.
Huge clusters of pale yellow, oval shaped cherry tomatoes
Tom Wagner's Dwarf shadow boxing
red, striped 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pea (Dwarf gray sugar)

A beautiful small flower will be found on this plant.

Pea (Dwarf gray sugar) (Pisum sativum)
  They are said to have purple bi-colored blossoms and leaves. Shoots are used as garnishes and in salad mixes, Small snow pea pods avg. 2½" long. But to me they look more Pink to purple in color range. The leaves remind me me of butterfly wings. But with out lack of sun and too much rain. This could account for the color difference.

Sow 1-1 1/2" apart 1/2-1" deep  germinate in 7-14 days
28" vines are said to be grown with or without support. But I find the will lay on the ground, and needed to be put on the fence to stand up.I planted these May 1, 2015. It took about 5 + weeks to start flowering. Well worth the wait.  Next year I will plant them early April. Or mid may. When soil temps are over 45f in temp. The are a full sun plant. But still grow with out lack of sun. 
 Edible podded in 60 days. But may take  bit longer if we continue to have so much rain.

 I planted the seed on May 2, 2015
This is what they looked like on May 19th

I will update this post as time goes on.

Black Coat Scarlet Runner Bean

Phaseolus coccineus ( Black Coat Scarlet Runner Bean )
They are a very large black bean.Pollinated by bumblebees, Soil temperature must be at least 50 Fahrenheit to germinate seeds, They can be reluctant to set fruit if temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They should be in a fertile soil. They have deep roots. Leaves can sustain a good amount of bug damage. The flowers are tiny.
These were planted May 1, 2015. We have had allot of rain in Missouri. And cooler than normal temperatures. So this has taken 5+ weeks to start flowering. I will update this post as the plant progresses.