Garden Chat

Now that gardening season is coming to a close here in the northern hemisphere, a gardening book I ordered through the library finally appeared. I thought some of you might be interested and have some thoughts on it. It’s titled “High-value Vegetables” by Mel Bartholomew. Has anyone read it? What did you think of it? He’s an American author. I’m just browsing the book now.


I’ve read his Square Foot Gardening and implemented it with great results. I’ve not read that one. I do plan what to grow based on grocery prices, so I guess I’m already thinking in terms of value.


Sounds like you are ahead of the game! Hubby and I are going to sit down with it and figure out all our costs to date.

It’s kind of hard to figure out past yields. Our garden is so new we just haven’t made much progress yet. The deck garden is actually 3 years old and producing well. There are two narrow beds that are in their second year and doing well. Then there’s these new raised beds that aren’t doing that well. Of course the deer have been helping themselves too, and that doesn’t help!

So yeah, a rethink of the garden is in order.

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Oh, I’m sure I don’t plan to the extent he advocates doing - no cost spreadsheet or anything. But I don’t grow potatoes or onions because they’re so cheap, grow enough basil for fresh eating and next year’s seeds but not to dry, that sort of thing.


Dunno whether I posted about the absolute fucking shit show our driveway was back in October when we had a storm come through from the north east and knock down eight trees. Took me ten hours to cut my way through it all to get access for a car to come in/out.

That big leaning stump in the fifth photo. Today I got around to dealing with it.

Now all I need is a backhoe (neighbour three doors down the road has one) to pick up the remaining stump/rootball out of the ground and deposit it further back into our property so we can burn it sometime in the future.


Move to the country they said. It’ll be fun they said. My back hurt just reading that.


Wow, those are some big trees!


We grow em big up here :wink:


I plant onions if I have room and the sets are cheap because it’s so convenient to go out and yank up green onions when you need one or two.

I planted leeks this year, and wow! So worth it.

Otherwise, I aim to plant what we actually eat, which is not Swiss chard. I would never spend actual money on fresh herbs, but I love having them in the garden.

I think raspberries are my #1 value crop, as we will eat an infinite number of raspberries and they are extremely easy.


Wow I’m glad you are ok. My family owns a campground with lots of trees and there have been a few storms that look like this. It’s definitely a ton of work to clear out.


Not 100% my own gardening, but a cool thing - the city I live in is hosting a survey about Xeric landscaping and Soil Amendment Improvements, and how we think landscaping should be regulated/incentivized for new commercial and residential construction in the city.

I love that they’re thinking about this and getting public feedback, especially since summers have been getting SO much hotter and dryer recently. I personally would love a little bit of incentive to update our front yard - right now we kind of just let it die off, but our long-term (expensive) plan is to landscape with native low-water plants.


I need to map sunlight on a moderately shady yard I don’t have access to until the end of October, so I need to do some sort of satellite (I assume?) mapping. I’m willing to spend up to $20. Any ideas? The shade is all from trees so I can’t just model where the buildings are.

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I think there is a company that does this? But I can’t remember what it is called. It might have been a non profit (an org)?

If you know there is LiDAR data available for the area and it includes tree height (you need a DSM to be available that includes tree height, not just a DTM/DEM), you can do this in a GIS with shade analysis pretty easily. ArcGIS and QGIS can do this, maybe others (GRASS). There might be an app created to take advantage of this.

Here’s a Google project that, if you are in a densely enough populated area, probably has data:
Project Sunroof
I did a test (though not my house, it isn’t available in my area (not surprising)) and it looks like it does take into consideration tree cover (so the location I checked must have tree height data/a DSM available - a private company would have to source tree height data (if it even exists for the particular area, which it definitely does not in a lot of places)).

To find a private company to do this for $20 I think would be impossible, it would take more effort/time than this price (UNLESS it already exists, eg. the above Google project…)

You can also try googling things like
shade analysis gis lidar
shadow impact analysis gis lidar
solar radiation analysis gis lidar

use caution when googling, there are other projects, that don’t take into consideration tree cover; like there is a Google Earth one that is a shadow calculator, but it relies only on topo maps.

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For when we bought one of our older houses I just used the website

I used a different one for when I did the PDC submission for our farm but I can’t recall it off the top of my head.

Also I find Google Maps generally has the shape of buildings on lots as boxes ala:

Australia is just fucking scary.


Slowly getting produce out of our small garden. Not a stellar year, what with the poor soil in the new raised beds.

Kale, carrots (pulled up by an animal and left there - they were after the tops.), turnips, radish, carrot tops, mint, nasturtium flowers (for salads), marigold flowers (for tea), one lone jalapeño and tomatoes.


What do you use marigold tea for?

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I haven’t used it yet. I’m thinking of putting it in with other herbs and flowers for an herbal tea. I’m also thinking of collecting the flower heads to make a natural dye. We’ll see I’m a bit discouraged right now. I found mold in my jar of supposedly dried marigolds and had to put them in the compost.


April last year through to today!

I still need to stake some of the tomatoes properly.

I’m really excited to try the dark galaxy tomatoes. The plants are really productive and seem to tolerate my climate pretty well. Hopefully they taste ok. None of the tomatoes seem even close to ripening though :disappointed:


Hurricane Fiona coming. I’ll be picking all my tomatoes tomorrow morning before it arrives. :pensive: