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Garden Challenges In 2023 – WATER and ELECTROCULTURE

Here are some of the challenges that we are facing in 2023. This year it’s water and electroculture experiments. Every year is different and new sets of challenges present themselves. Adapt and overcome!

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  1. On the broccoli issue… I started growing broccoli-rabe. My broccoli bolts in the spring, and stays small and still takes up a 2’x2′ bed space so I stopped trying to grow the big heads and embraced what works and tastes like broccoli. So I get a bunch of small broccoli heads with edible stalks that I can multi harvest over a longer season and I can plant 4 in the same space that one traditional broccoli plant used to take up (to feed the worms and go to seed). At first I thought I was settling for “something I could grow” and after my first spring I now regret all the time I wasted trying with traditional broccoli. It’s the same flavor, texture of broccoli that grows in a much more prolific “cut and come again” style. I love it! I am growing a ‘spring rappini’ heirloom variety.. very well suited to a humid climate or Mediterranean climate. Highly recommend. I’m seed saving from my spring planting now (I wish I could put a picture on here) the number of seed pods from one plant that was harvested multiple times is unreal! Hundreds of pods.

  2. Pest pressures aren’t terrible this year, worms took out my kohlrabi which is bolting anyway so extra protein for the chickens. Rain is better than usual but I’m in the “please staaahp now” phase. My beefsteaks didn’t take and none of my White Tomesol made it. Out of 193 tomato plants, I have 157 producing and all my tomatoes seem to have overcome an early blight… but now, with all the rain, I’m trimming up bottom leaves that are turning yellow. Beans are coming in, Squash is looking fantastic, spring brassica’s are done and making seed now. Carrots are coming up a little late this year but absolutely clean and beautiful. I’m hoping my beets aren’t far behind. I had a wonderful 24x return on my early potatoes! Lost 2 peach trees, which was expected given they showed up in terrible condition 2 years ago and just could not stay healthy… oh and we also lost our entire blackberry patch and we aren’t sure what happened. Not a big deal because we forage the natives around here for the bulk of the harvest anyway and I’ve got several dozen pints of jam on the pantry shelves anyway. We’re expanding our raised beds this year… getting them in line with the wind direction (so we’re not fighting storm winds with trellis kites) and bringing them up to 30″ for my back’s sake. We have had to pause half way through due to inflation and we can’t find good dirt anywhere! I think the biggest issue I have been having is health related this year (nothing major, thank God) just been little things every few weeks… now, I have a summer cold.

  3. Central Texas, here. Dry and hot as usual. It has been and will be temperatures over 100 degrees for the foreseeable future. We had the nicest long Spring that I can remember. A good amount of rain that filled up local farm ponds. Unfortunately, I do not yet have a water catchment system. I started all seeds this year but got them in a tad late. Plants are growing ok but it doesn’t look like there will be much to harvest. Plants just aren’t thriving despite my attempts to organic garden. I do have earthworms now. I’ve been nurturing the soil for the three years since we moved here. Okra grows well, here. My garlic did very well. Harvested potatoes and onions. That was a success! I’ll be ordering Mung bean seeds soon and focus on Fall and Winter gardening. I think I’m done trying to grow anything here in the Summer. Your videos are encouraging and much appreciated. You give us some balance!

  4. Completely agree you have to try things to know what works. I’ve always used cages on tomatoes along and I am really interested to know your end result of eltroctroculture. Additionally I wanted to push a book your way…”Teaming with Microbes” written by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis. I have been most successful when using raised beds and the teaming with microbes soil. Look it up and let me know if you have already read it.

  5. Living nearish to st Louis. I’d guess we’ve gotten a third of the rain as previous years at this point. Pasture isn’t brown but it is not green like previous years and the garden is suffering but I’m not a great gardener to begin with.

  6. This is the first year that I have successfully grown broccoli. We planted early (plants), and covered them with garden cloth. We had prepared the soil by adding LOTS of manure last fall. For whatever reason, we had humongous results. I think that covering them might have been the secret. We live in Missouri where the summer comes in hard, so I think that the bit of shade from the cloth was protective from the sun, as well as the bugs.

  7. No rain here in central Michigan for a month. Got very little the other day when it was forecasted to thunderstorm heavily the whole day. “Interesting.”

  8. Hey Zach, grow broccoli the same way you’d grow a leafy green. I use fish emulsion every 2 weeks and I get pretty decent sized heads. I use trifecta plus once a year on all of my beds.

  9. sw va here, garden is coming along = tomato plants look great, lots of blossoms but no tomatoes, peppers coming along, picked turnips, cabbage, potatoes, garlic, onion, kale… an odd thing: raspberries turning red and picked wayyyyyy to early. black berries turning red maybe picked in a couple weeks. not too many insect issues, but it is a weird season, at least for us

  10. And definitely hand watering because of the hands on thing and water at the stem on most plants

  11. Zach, I just moved out of the city and onto 5 acres. The garden was left in disarray and likely needs to be reclaimed by tilling. Any smarter ways? It’s currently overgrown by sticker burrs.

  12. Zach have You watched John Evans videos who has grown Guinness, world record vegetables. He is a joy to watch. I think You’ll appreciate Him

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