Fall and Winter Garden pics

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)October 4, 2012

With the way the weather has been, I was never in a big hurry to get my fall and winter garden planted. I know I should have had it in a few weeks earlier, but I didn't have time. So, over the last two weekends over 200 tomatoes plants came out, plastic pulled out, drip pulled up, tilled recomposed, beds formed and either seeded or transplanted everything (except one row of later tomatoes)

Here are some pictures..

Tomatoes tore out

Ground Tilled, much drier than usual

Everything Transplanted

Napa Cabbage, Tokyo Bekana, Bok Choy

Black Seeded Simpson, Red Sails, Red and Green Oakleaf and Cilantro

Summer Crisp Lettuce 5 varieties, Buttercrunch and Romaine

Red Russian Kale and Winterbor Kale

Chard and Toscano Kale

Here is the spinach that was direct seeded, 1200 row feet

Carrots

First Planting, about the size of a sharpie marker

Close up of Napoli

Round 2 of carrots

We still have tomatoes growing in the two movable buildings. They will be moved over the carrots after the tomatoes freeze out. There is also half of another big building with tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. They will be pulled when they freeze and carrots for next year will be seeded or something will be transplanted there. We have the last building that has peppers planted in it. Those are coming out and Radishes, Turnips and more greens will be transplanted into that space.

It has been lots of work, but well worth it!

Enjoy,

Jay

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myfamilysfarm

Jay, remind me, how wide are your houses? We still have plenty of peppers and tomatoes, but no market, so the animals will probably get them. Haven't started to clean up our fields, been working on building the house instead. Almost done, just some of the final work to do, may be in by next month. Hope so.

Marla

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:46AM
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randy41_1

impressive carrots. i grew napoli last fall/winter inside and they tasted great.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:35AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

The movable ones, with winter carrots, are 16 by 32. The bigger stationary ones, with spinach, are 18.5 by 45. The largest one, with all the transplanted crops is 30 by 48.

I need to start cleaning up around the "Farm" too. Mow off weedy sections and cleaning out and up.

Jay

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:38AM
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rustico_2009

Looks good Jay,
My garden and seedlings supply are terrible. This is the worst time to be a market grower here and it's been hotter than normal. It's been 100F a few days out of almost every week and the pest animals are starving and thirsty and flock to my garden...an oasis in the dessicated desert scrub.

There are a lot of things to pick from summer, and even more that I could still could be picking had I succession planted a little more. Have to learn to get through this time better, or just skip it and hold my spot with winter squash and eggs and maybe a few plants. It should be easier from now on, the heat finally broke....if I put everything under bird netting and can knock the rats and mice down. They chew right through anything plastic. I don't think growing under wire will be worth it....but I am thinking about it.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:57PM
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cole_robbie(6)

Hi Jay, nice pics as usual.

I posted in an old thread on the greenhouses forum that I am just about to try to build a copy of your 18.5' wide pvc hoophouse and fill it with spring tomatoes. I noticed that you have a few different designs for the center posts. Are the three rows of posts, versus a single middle row, designed with snow load in mind? Or do you think they are necessary just to hold up against strong winds?

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 2:19PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Cole_Robbie-

I added the additional 2 by 4's and posts as a cheap insurance for snow. The 2 by 4's bolt on to each side of the doors and are bolted together in the middle. A 2 by 4 post is attached, under a bow and it is done. While they are 100% necessary, they do allow me to sleep better at night. We have had 14 inches of drifted on snow sitting on top of them and they were fine. Just make sure to brush it off.

THey also help with the wind. The posts in the pictures are sitting with little support to the structure, I will move them to hold the beam tight against the structure when needed.

Good luck with building, let me know if you have any questions. I know of 7 buildings built like this, it would be interesting to know if anyone else is trying it.

Jay

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 2:50PM
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myfamilysfarm

rustico, I have a friend that lined his greenhouse with hog panels, then covered with plastic. He could and does keep ducks in there during the winter. The hog panels were leftovers from his cousin's farm.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:00PM
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rustico_2009

Marla, I think I'd need 1/4" hardware cloth and that stuff is expensive. Also, still not sure a hoop house is necessary here...or will have a payback compared to low tunnels with row cover for a few months. When these houses are useful to you, here everything would have to be vented on almost any given day and also needs shade cloth on almost any given day. It's a tricky dynamic. It can be 90+ degrees in January with frost at night, or snow 6" and melt by noon. In the early spring through late fall it would sit around unused. Still, as a luxury they are attractive.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:43PM
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cole_robbie(6)

Thanks. I may try to just make pvc side purlins where those rows of side posts are.

I was also thinking about renting a post hole digger and setting a row of 4x4 posts in concrete for each end, all chopped to the correct height and angle, and then wrapping a 20' synthetic decking board around the posts as the end hoop. That may be overkill, but it would make an end wall that can't be pushed over and collapsed in a storm.

Have you thought about using the gray pvc electrical conduit instead of the white pipe? It is supposed to handle UV rays better.

Thanks again for the help.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:21PM
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myfamilysfarm

Rustico, the friend was given the hoophouse and around here, they're useful.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:25PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

That all looks awesome! Like my dreams of the future. I think movable greenhouses are brilliant.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:18PM
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rustico_2009

Jay, I have been meaning to ask you, with the kale on such close spacing do you intend to cut it once and that's it.I've only grown it really big picked the biggest leaves until it bolts....gave it more space?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 1:12AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

No it will be picked on a regular basis and I will finally tear it out next spring. The spacing is one foot in row and one foot between rows. When the leaves get big enough, I start harvesting from the bottom up. Remember, in the winter time it doesn't grow as fast. I will probably pick this stuff for 4 to 5 months. I have to have alot to allow enough time for regrowth. Here is a picture from last year, about the time to start picking. I have three rows in this picture. I am tilling in a 4th row and going to plant it soon and the rest will go into another hoop building.

Jay

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 12:00PM
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rustico_2009

One of the kales I planted and liked a lot looks pretty similar to that variety in the foreground of the photo.It gets about 2 feet in diameter and almost 3 feet tall before it bolts sometime in spring or early summer, depending on when it is planted.
Seems like it would get crowded if it's not a dwarf that's why I asked. Just trying to learn new stuff. Some people are selling harvested whole young plants about the size you have there. It helps get the greens in the rotation quickly after a too hot summer and in some parts of the year is a bug avoidance strategy.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 10:16PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Red Russian. I have some customers who only use kale in smoothies and say it must be the flat Russian kind not the curly kind but I never liked the curly anyway so I grow Red Russian.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:13PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

This is as full as that bed will look all winter, that is if sales stay similar to last years. I am putting in another planting when I can free up some more space. I would like to just clear cut the stuff and have new coming on, but that would require lots of space that I don't have in the winter.

So I just continue to pick the biggest leaves and bundle them up. I do the same with Chard and my lettuce. I pick the big leaves and keep the plant living. Our markets can be so hit and miss that I would hate to harvest whole plants and then not sell them. This seems wasteful.

I plant Red Russian, Winterbor and new this year Toscan (Dinosaur )Kale.

Jay

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:15PM
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rustico_2009

Yep it looked like red Russian. I can see your rational. We can grow the stuff outside in fall winter and spring so space isn't an issue. They make so many leaves that I think it is actually one of the best items for profit per square foot.

As the kale was ready to bolt we pulled the big plants, piled 'em up and sat down comfortably and stripped leaves which were mostly too small to make a bunch. My kids can do it so that helps. It takes up so much less room squashed into a cooler, stays fresher looking, and it was pretty popular by the pound while I had it. $8.00 /lb nobody batted an eye I think I'll do $3 per quarter pound next time.

I have Lacinato(dino kale), some save red russian and some from a new seed pack, and another less frilly curly type.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:59PM
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randy41_1

we've been making braising mix using kale. we cut the leaves of it and a few asian mustards and brassicas and mix it and bag it like salad mix. the leaves are no more than 4-5" when we cut them. our market is flooded with greens this time of year. the braising mix sells better than individual bunches of greens for us. we go back and cut the leaves on the same plants a week later for the next market. this is all growing outside for now but we wil plant some inside sometime this week. we get $2/bag for a quarter pound bag.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 5:42AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

The Winterbor Kale has actually been the best seller. I am hoping the Dino Kale is popular too. People asked for it last winter, so I had to try it. I like all the Kale, especially in the winter.

I can grow it outdoors, but in the Fall the temps swings and wind can be terrible. This week we are going to see, 82 plus on Wednesday and lows in the 30's by Friday. We had 3 days of 30-40 mph wind. The greens just get beat up too much. In the tunnel they look perfect and it is much easier to harvest!

Jay

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:30AM
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rustico_2009

Kansas sounds like a challenging place to grow too. After an impossibly hot late summer and early fall, we had cold fog and rain which is ideal for fall vegetables, followed by a dry hot furnace type wind that could dry out 72 cell trays overnight. Luckily(finally) my gardening insights are catching up with our weather extremes and I got out of bed before the blazing sun came up and watered them.I also moved the kale and lettuce to the north side of the house for a wind block and some time in the shade. Now we are back to cool and cloudy...and finally my Fall garden is taking hold good enough to withstand the dry next heat.

Dino Kale can be pretty bitter. It's neat looking and the name is catchy. Sometimes it is good. Mine got bugs and eggs laid on it at times when Red Russian was bullet proof. Dino was the first to start looking and tasting bad as it warmed up. Ironically again red Russian winter kept going longer. My favorite until something else happens, is Red Russian.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:25AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Kansas can be very challenging. Too hot, Too cold, Too wet and Too Dry and that is all in the same month. Wind is another issue, especially where I live. We don't have any windblocks so we take the full force every time it blows.

About watering, could you set up an automatic mister/sprinkler to water them? Then you wouldn't have to get out there 3 times a day. Also, do you use solid 1020 trays? I have found that if I fill the tray with water and not water the top, you can go longer between waterings.

Jay

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:59PM
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rustico_2009

Yes Jay, I do have solid trays and try to do as you say, but don't get to it or am trying to balance problems of too much moisture with to little. Anyway I am getting the hang of it. I have a few misters but haven't gotten around to installing them.I think I need to run white pipe or bury the hose so as not to mist with hot water. I am mulling over the idea of a flood table.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 2:28PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)


I put in a bed of kale, spinach and chard for baby leaves. They have been great, only too baby.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 6:26PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Here was my picking today for 3 CSA shares and a market tomorrow.

Fall has been rough so I was glad to see what I had today. Not too bad. Romanesco never produced and late summer planted broccoli and cabbages didn't make heads in time.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:02PM
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