2020 Garden

Anything related to growing your own food
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LBK_419
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2020 Garden

Post by LBK_419 »

Got everything cleaned up and planted a few tomatoes and peppers.
My other plants are almost ready to harden off and plant.
Seeded okra, corn, lettuce, arugula, beets, cilantro, basil, beets, spinach and dill.



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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by bp2878 »

I plan to build some cages for my tomatoes just like yours. Are those taller than the ones you had last season? did you find it necessary to build them that tall? My first time growing , don’t want to build them too short.

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by LBK_419 »

@bp2878 . They are the same height, just thicker boards so that they don’t break like they did last year when I was being too rough in removing the old dead tomato plants.
I wish they were even taller. I originally made them taller but felt bad since they were taller than the fence... out of respect for the neighbors I made them shorter. I should have made them about 8 ft y’all. My tomato plants got up to 9 or 10 feet last year.

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Re: 2020 Garden - update

Post by LBK_419 »

Peppers are growing much slower than last year for some reason. Tomatoes are doing well. Corn has at least 2 ears per plant. Watermelon has several blooms but no fruit yet. I already harvested all of the lettuce. Tired of eating it already!

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by wizardstephen »

Hi all. First year with an in-ground garden. My wife and I have done pots the last 3 years. This year we planted 3 varieties of tomatoes, many bell peppers, various hot peppers (nothing too hot), zucchini, cucumbers, cilantro, mint, and lavender. Here's a picture from a few weeks ago. Everything has really responded well to the heat we've had recently. The cherry tomato is now peeking over the fence behind it. I also added a trellis of sorts on 7/3 for the cucumbers to climb and they've been loving it.

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WizardStephen's 2020 Lawn Journal - viewtopic.php?f=27&t=16358

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g-man
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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by g-man »

@wizardstephen be careful with in ground mint. It gets out of control and it is perennial. Keep it in a large pot.

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by CTTurfDad »

^+1 beware the mint! I've only seen people able to control it in ground by planting it in a bottomless 5 gallon bucket that's been buried almost completely in the bed. Container is definitely best, that stuff will run rampant.

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by wizardstephen »

Thanks @g-man and @CTTurfDad . The mint is indeed in a pot.
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WizardStephen's 2020 Lawn Journal - viewtopic.php?f=27&t=16358

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by GrassFarmer »

Image all sweet corn to right

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by rob13psu »

GrassFarmer wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:05 am
Image all sweet corn to right
And look at all those Brussels Sprouts! :thumbup:
Failure is the quickest path to success.

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by g-man »

@TheSwede what is you fermentation recipe/method for your hot peppers? I have a ton of habaneros.

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by TheSwede »

I'm hardly an expert on fermented chilli sauces, but I can briefly explain the fermentation process and then link to the Youtube clips that got me into DIY fermented hot sauces.

So, fermentation is a very old way of preserving vegetables by letting a special type of bacteria, lactobacillus, consume the sugars in the vegetables. In the process, lactic acid is produced and as a result the pH drops into a region where pretty much no microorganisms can survive (typically below pH 4).

To successfully ferment say chilli, you need lactobacillus to process the chillies, and a way of preventing other bacteria and mold to develop. Vegetables (that has not been disinfected) has lots of lactobacillus and a bunch of other microorganisms on its surface. Lactobacillus eat sugar, and sugar is only present in decent amounts in chillies that have color (not green). So do not try to ferment green chillies. It will not work.

To prevent the "bad bacteria" from multiplying, you add between 2 and 3% salt. Lactobacillus will thrive in 2-3% saline solution, where as all the other bacteria will not. When the fermentation starts the pH will drop rapidly killing all other bugs present.

So, what I do is:
1. I first rinse the chillies briefly under non-chlorinated (or any other disinfectants) water (where I live tap water just pure water so I can just use that).
2. I prepare the fermenting jars. I disinfect them by either boiling the jar, lid, and all other parts like the air lock, or I use StarSan to make sure there's as little contaminants as possible. I also make sure the chopping board is sanitized, just to be on the safe side, but in all honesty, I don't actually think it makes any difference since we're going to immerse everything in a salt brine anyways...
3. I cut the chillies in halves or maybe even smaller pieces -the important thing is to open them up so that the brine can fill up the void inside, otherwise they will float up to the top which we do not want.
4. So, to make sure the chillies are all submerged in the brine, I also prepare a "sacrificial vegetable" to use as a barrier pushing the chillies below the brine level. Some use weights of different kinds like stones but I didn't have any appropriate at hand when I did my first fermentation so I used a piece of onion. The idea here is that the onion will keep the chillies safe below the brine level while the onion (or whatever vegetable you use) will be at risk of having some unwanted microbes grow on it above the brine level.
5. Pack the chillies into the jar as tightly as you can, put the weight or the "barrier" in and fill it up with the salt brine. The fermentation process will produce CO2 so you need a way of venting that from the jar. I use the same air locks I use when making my craft beer, but you could just use a plastic bag over the jar held in place with a rubber band or two.
6. place the fermentation jar in a slightly cool place. Idealy say 63-65F.
7. Ferment for at least 2 weeks, I like to ferment for 4 weeks or sometimes more, because just as with beer, the fermentation temperature and fermentation length affects the taste and aroma. Higher temperatures and shorter fermentation lengths tend to produce more "funky" aroma and taste IMHO. Cooler and longer fermentation produces more subtle flavours and aromas.
8. When fermentation is complete, poor out the brine, put the chillies in a mixer and blend it smooth. Add other dry spices to your liking. For food such as vegetables to be shelf stable, the pH needs to be less than 4.6 (if I recall correctly) so even if perhaps not needed (my chilli fermentations have all come out around pH 4) vinegar can be added to make sure the sauce is shelf stable at room temperature.
9 If you like smooth sauce, strain it through a sieve and bottle it. Otherwise, just bottle it.

Below are some pictures of this year's hot sauce project (in addition to the chillies, I added a few garlic cloves to each of the jars, so the final sauces are made up of fermented chille and garlic, and some additional vinegar):
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The random Youtube-clip that got me going on doing my own fermented hot sauces was the ChilliChump channel I just stumbled upon a few years ago, searching for completely unrelated videos. And I got hooked:

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by g-man »

@TheSwede I started the fermentation today. Hopefully it works out.

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by LoveMyLawn »

That's how I do my ferments @TheSwede I like to get a culturelle probiotic capsule and separate it to get just the powder. Add it to your brine. Really gets the fermentation kicked off into high gear.

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by TheSwede »

g-man wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:30 pm
@TheSwede I started the fermentation today. Hopefully it works out.

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Sorry for the late response, life has been busy lately. Anyways, may the fermenting gods be with you -in two weeks or so you will know! :)

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by TheSwede »

LoveMyLawn wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:08 am
That's how I do my ferments @TheSwede I like to get a culturelle probiotic capsule and separate it to get just the powder. Add it to your brine. Really gets the fermentation kicked off into high gear.
Sounds like a smart thing to do -doing it the ol´ fashioned way, I´m allways a bit worried the lactobacillus won´t take charge and something bad will start to grow instead. So far, though, my fermentations have been OK...

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by g-man »

@TheSwede the fermentation looked good and had plenty of bubbles at the start. The smell was awesome. But now I don't see bubbles anymore. Should I worry? Is it normal?

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Re: 2020 Garden

Post by TheSwede »

g-man wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:00 pm
@TheSwede the fermentation looked good and had plenty of bubbles at the start. The smell was awesome. But now I don't see bubbles anymore. Should I worry? Is it normal?
Just as when fermenting a craft beer, CO2 is only produced as long as there are carbohydrates left to consume, so bubbling will stop when the carbs have been consumed. I am pretty new to this fermented chili sauce thing myself, so I haven't really tested this myself, but I think that it is not a bad thing to have patience with chili sauces, the same way you need to have patience with craft beer fermentation. With beer, the yeast will continue to consume some of the funky smelling and tasting bi-products produced during the vigorous fermentation period (esthers etc.) and if you let the fermentation take its time the beer produced will have a much more refined and complex taste IMHO. If it works the same for lactobacillus and fermented chili I don't know, but for example tabasco sauce is fermented in oak barrels at least three years, I believe. Some even five years(!), so taste will probably deepen and refine more the longer it is fermented.

But, the smell of a jar of fermenting chilis with a couple garlic cloves...wow.

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