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Garden chat & photos for torts and people ♫ ♫

ZEROPILOT

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Brace yourselves. Here's my garden. All jammed together are wild mustard and collard greens, different herbs, cactus, mulberry, watermelon, wild onion, romain, purslane, hibiscus and others.
 

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Yvonne G

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Len: This is a member of the rush family of marginal plants (grow on the edges of water). One of my favorite marginal plants. I've been trying to find it locally to plant by my pond, but so far haven't found a nursery that sells it. I guess I'll have to buy it online.
 

Jacqui

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Brace yourselves. Here's my garden. All jammed together are wild mustard and collard greens, different herbs, cactus, mulberry, watermelon, wild onion, romain, purslane, hibiscus and others.
Very nice! Your using what you can, you should be proud of yourself. :)
 

Prairie Mom

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I picked up a few of these a while back, View attachment 102800 View attachment 102800 Juncus effusus, Big Twister. supposed to be real cold hardy, (that's one reason i got them) Has anybody grown this ? I have never seen it before, and haven't got the slightest idea if it is tortoise safe. But is neat looking.
WOW! Those are so cool! I have only seen them dried in floral arrangements! I'd stick them everywhere dried and fresh if they were mine! Have you had them long? They look so big and healthy.

I know Yvonne already mentioned wanting to get these for her turtle pond, but I couldn't resist looking them up a bit. I'm a "google-gardener." I know nothing, but the little I have learned about gardening has come from random internet searches.:) From what I've read, it sounds like your beautiful plant is part of the common soft rush family and is an edible and a desired plant for turtles and aquatic gardeners. Since yours is the "big spiral," I'm guessing it's woodier and probably not high on a tort's list for things to eat, but you never know, right? I searched high and low and it's not listed as being toxic for any animals on any toxic plant list that I could find.

I'm interested in getting them now too! I was curious when people prune them back in freezing climates and found some people do it in the end of fall and I found one that said the end of winter. I would LOVE to have those swirly branches poking up through the snow!!!
 

Prairie Mom

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Brace yourselves. Here's my garden. .
I'm bracing myself! Seat belt strapped and holding on with a white knuckle grip!!! :) ...And the Jury says......................................................your container garden is AWESOME!

Your mulberry is looking really good. I heard those do well in pots.-That makes me really happy to see, because I want to try to grow mine in a few pots for a while. What is the plant in the large pot next to the mulberry? Is that the hibiscus?
p.s.I love that you mentioned purslane too! YES!
 

Prairie Mom

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I thought this was a good photo too...View attachment 102825
I really like the idea of putting dirt inside the concrete barriers a lot of people use for their tortoise pens and planting something small in them.
YES! YES! YES! Me too! I actually spoke about this with my husband. The first time I saw someone do this was at a friend's house in Germany. They put their strawberries in the holes as a way of preventing them from spreading. Because I'm a nerd, I took a picture...
smaller strawbery patch.jpg

Thanks for reminding me of this! In fact, I took a bunch of photos of gardens and plants on my last visit (probably as many as I did castles and pretty buildings!). hmmm...I'm thinking I should post some of those...:)

Thanks again for the photo! That really is a BRILLIANT idea for using space in outdoor tortoise enclosures! I hope lots of people see that!
 

Turtulas-Len

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I picked them up about a month ago. If I had known something about them I could have gotten more, I found them at Lowe's for $2 apiece, I bought 3 and gave one away last week. I am not planning on putting them in the ground until next srping..
 

Jacqui

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Len: This is a member of the rush family of marginal plants (grow on the edges of water). One of my favorite marginal plants. I've been trying to find it locally to plant by my pond, but so far haven't found a nursery that sells it. I guess I'll have to buy it online.
The nursery I work for had them. Of course I bought one and of course I immediately killed it. :rolleyes:
 

Jacqui

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I thought this was a good photo too...View attachment 102825
I really like the idea of putting dirt inside the concrete barriers a lot of people use for their tortoise pens and planting something small in them.
I started doing that years back in my one area, best thing that grew there was weeds (grass, not nice things like dandelions, ect) Some folks need to watch the blocks don't burn the plants because of how hot they can get. Others have worried about chemicals from the cement leeching into the plant, but my poor memory can't recall if that is an actual worry to have.
 

Prairie Mom

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I picked them up about a month ago. If I had known something about them I could have gotten more, I found them at Lowe's for $2 apiece, I bought 3 and gave one away last week. I am not planning on putting them in the ground until next srping..
It sounds like you got them for quite a steal! I think you're smart for not planting them until next Spring. I'm finally starting to learn the HARD WAY that I need to let my new plants have a long summer to let their roots get established and not do much late summer and fall planting.

Are you planning on bringing them in the house and trying to keep them "awake" or are you going to put them in the garage or something after they've gone dormant? -Have you had much experience housing new plants over winter? I'm asking because I have a few new plants that are really delicate. One has been outside in a small pot all summer, but I'm experimenting and letting it go dormant, but bringing the little pot in, so the roots don't freeze up. Then I have a few young and weak new plants that I am considering trying to keep awake and next to a window for sunlight (or under grow lights if necessary).
 

Turtulas-Len

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It sounds like you got them for quite a steal! I think you're smart for not planting them until next Spring. I'm finally starting to learn the HARD WAY that I need to let my new plants have a long summer to let their roots get established and not do much late summer and fall planting.

Are you planning on bringing them in the house and trying to keep them "awake" or are you going to put them in the garage or something after they've gone dormant? -Have you had much experience housing new plants over winter? I'm asking because I have a few new plants that are really delicate. One has been outside in a small pot all summer, but I'm experimenting and letting it go dormant, but bringing the little pot in, so the roots don't freeze up. Then I have a few young and weak new plants that I am considering trying to keep awake and next to a window for sunlight (or under grow lights if necessary).
If I bring them in I most likely will kill them. I will put them in the pots on the southeast side of the house where I have the banana trees, colocasias, and some other stuff growing. This area gets winter sun almost all day and is protected from the strong winds that usually come from the northwest. I mulch this area heavy every year so the soil stays moist and doesn't freeze.Picture 003 copy.jpg This is what that area looked like this afternoon. Another good plant choice for cold weather areas is Horseradish, you can use the root and the torts can eat the leaves. It can spread very rapid in the right conditions so be careful where you plant it, horseradish will do fine in pots, this way it wont get out of hand.
 

Prairie Mom

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If I bring them in I most likely will kill them. I will put them in the pots on the southeast side of the house where I have the banana trees, colocasias, and some other stuff growing. This area gets winter sun almost all day and is protected from the strong winds that usually come from the northwest. I mulch this area heavy every year so the soil stays moist and doesn't freeze.View attachment 102962 This is what that area looked like this afternoon. Another good plant choice for cold weather areas is Horseradish, you can use the root and the torts can eat the leaves. It can spread very rapid in the right conditions so be careful where you plant it, horseradish will do fine in pots, this way it wont get out of hand.
Wow, that is an absolutely beautiful photo, Len! The banana trees are incredible and I'm guessing the "colocasias" are the Elephant ear plants (I didn't know their real name:) ) They look so great over there! I also really like the containers you guys are using for the cacti (the wooden box and the square stone-looking containers). That whole area is like a little oasis! I hope your new "Twisters" do well over there. They would be a really fun addition to that space. I remember you said they were really cold tolerant, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Thanks for the tip about the horseradish. I hadn't thought about growing that one and will look into giving it a try in pots. -Very cool. Thanks! :)
 
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Prairie Mom

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My gardening is pretty much done for the season. I only have a random assortment of herbs, a trickling of cold tolerant raspberries, and the last of my broccoli and cauliflower.

I thought I'd post a photo of what BROCCOLI looks like when it's gone to flower.
broccoli flower.jpg

Broccoli really is a flower. We just eat the florets before the buds have had a chance to mature and bloom. It's surprisingly pretty and the bees LOVE them. I may start intentionally allowing some to flower in parts of the garden just to attract pollinators.
 

Prairie Mom

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CAULIFLOWER

My family loves cauliflower. Even my young children will eat cooked cauliflower readily.
caulflower bouquet.jpg
My daughter likes to hold cauliflower and pretend they are bridal bouquets

We'll put cauliflower in just about anything, but one of my very favorite ways to eat it is the same way my German Great Grandmother did...

"Breaded" Cauliflower from my Bavarian Great Grandmother

-Simply boil the whole head in a pot until it is just tender enough that a fork can poke through it.
-When the cauliflower is done, drain the water, and leave it in the warm pot
-Put some butter in frying pan to melt
-Pour plain breadcrumbs into the buttered pan and toast the bread crumbs until they are nice and brown.
-Dump the toasted buttery breadcrumbs over the whole cooked cauliflower
-Serve the "breaded" cauliflower by simply digging out your portions with a large spoon

It is so simple and delicious! My picky eaters have been known to go back for seconds and THIRDS!


White "Snowball" Cauliflower
white caulifllower.jpg

Purple "Grafitti hybrid" Cauliflower
purple cauliflower.jpg
This was a blast to harvest. I planted the seeds in the early Spring and was only able to harvest the heads at the end of October. They grow S-L-O-W-L-Y, but it's well worth the added patience. They are not just a slight lavender, they are a deep DARK PURPLE and taste exactly like fresh white cauliflower. They are so fun to have out on the table and you don't have to blanch these varieties as they grow.

Colored Cauliflower
In addition to purple, there are also orange and green varieties available. I haven't grown them yet, but will try them out in the near future. Here's an article about the colored varieties of Cauliflower. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-514799/The-orange-purple-green-cauliflowers-scientists-claim-healthier-you.html Apparently, there may be some health benefits to the fun colorful ones.

I ordered the Purple Graffiti Hybrid seeds from https://www.jungseed.com/dc.asp?c=93. All my seeds produced without any problem. They are more expensive than white cauliflower, but these are like the ice creams of cauliflower and still about as much as purchasing one organic head of cauliflower from the store.

BUGS! BUGS! BUGS!
In the past, I've run into BIG BUG issues with my cauliflower. My plants survive the caterpillar and slug onslaught in the early Spring, only to get infested by earwigs and earwig eggs later in the summer.

My sister and I love to "garden chat" and have been known to send each other photos of produce we are proud of:) I emailed her these photos of how I keep my cauliflower bug free using old pantyhose and thought I'd post them here too. I love recycling!

blanch doorknob cauliflower.jpg
Begin blanching when the flower is about the size of a doorknob

pantyhose cauli.jpg
Most people just blanch by tying leaves over the vegetable, but I've completely
saved mine from bugs by putting pantyhose over the head before I cover them up.
Notice, I've left room to grow in the stockings.

tied cauliflower.jpg
Finally, tie the leaves over it. You can also just tie the leaves-themselves in a knot over the cauliflower.

Keep tying more leaves to cover up the cauliflower as it grows and VOILA!.. You have bug-free nicely blanched Cauliflower!
AND THEY SMELL LIKE FEET! -just kidding:D
 

Jacqui

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I never thought about horseradish. I miss the going over to my ex's parents place and helping them grind up huge masses of them. Also a nearby village has like a festival almost where the main thing is selling the horseradish the town as a community makes. Love the smell! :)
 

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