Home   |   About Us   |   The Grow System   |   Blog   |   Join Us   |   Store   |   Forum Rules

What did you learn this year? — The Grow Network Community
The 3-day Grow System Summit starts soon!

Click here to register for free.

What did you learn this year?

christenchristen Posts: 16
edited September 2018 in The Homestead: DIY
Hi Christen,

Love this question!

I learned this year that I have gourmet rabbits - they loved all three of the Kales I tried last Fall and this summer they decided that they like Thai Basil then when that was out of reach they ate my regular Basil.

I also finally learned how to grow blueberries in S. California and actually got fruit!

Lessons I am hoping to learn in this next year is growing Skullcap this Spring along with other different kinds of herbs, also  finding/experimenting with a lots of different fruits and vegetables.


  • christenchristen Posts: 16
    edited September 2018
    Isn't Thai Basil a lot spicier than regular basil?  I had rabbits years ago and they didn't like any basil.

    Scullcap is on my list for next year too!  I usually limit new plants to two or three a year, but this year, I think I did closer to 8, which was just too many.  Purslane, New Zealand spinach, strawberry spinach and watercress were a few of them this year.
  • peppypoblanopeppypoblano Posts: 92
    edited September 2018
    I learned that while the deer might not eat it this season or this year means nothing long term.
  • bmaverickbmaverick Posts: 175 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Always learning.  Should I make a list?

    - Soils are not all the same even though there are 3 basic types for gardening.

    - Never do the Back to Eden Gardening in the south.  Bermuda grass will take over everything.  So your money and efforts will be lost.

    - If you pepper plants get the tomato leaf disease, DO NOT pull up the pepper plants and start over.  Instead, just pick those bad leafs off.  The pepper plants will rebound, and in some cases produce even better than a normal harvest season.  Credit to Danny and Wanda on this lesson.  We had the same issue here in Southern Wisconsin.

    - Learned that Poke weed does grow in the North!  And grows a whole bunch!  Learned that poke root is harvest in the late fall.  Then made into a tincture.  Much care on dosage to use less than 3 drops per day.  It does all kinds of good health benefits.   Made into a salve, it will cure breast cancer if lumps are just under the skin.  It will also cure most skin problems too.  Just keep at low dosage because it's soooo potent and higher levels are toxic and can kill.

    - Learned that not all chicken breeds are smart.  Got a dumb breed this time around, but awesome egg producers.  These birds walk aimlessly around when it gets dark, then just drop in place to sleep.  No instinct to find a roosting bar in the coop.  This is my first flock ever like this.  So, for a week, I've been picking up the birds and putting them in the coop at night.  Weird weird weird.
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 42
    edited September 2018
    I learned that washing fruits and veggies with baking soda was the most effective way to remove pesticides.

    I love tropical fruits but they do not grow in my area, are almost impossible to find organic and I imagine they have a heavy pesticide load, so I was quite happy to have learned this tip.

  • H_DH_D Posts: 384 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I remember when I was a small child my mom washing our produce with baking soda in water. Great tip!
  • peppypoblanopeppypoblano Posts: 92
    edited October 2018
    Thank you Angela

    I learned that my dog is the vegetable thief.  All this time I've been blaming the raccoons.
  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,925 admin
    edited October 2018
    I am afraid that baking soda and water does not rid the produce of pesticides. This is very unfortunately a very widely believed myth. The plant takes the poison in and it doesn't just stay on the surface. I have also heard that the peel or just under the peel holds the highest concentration of pesticides, but I have found no proof for that. It would be first contact though. Chemical application is so nasty.

    What you will have done by washing with baking soda, however, is that you will have removed some of the handling "dirt" and such from the outside.
  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,925 admin
    edited October 2018
    Peppy...hahaha...you know it! We had a dog who carefully opened up pea pods, held them open with his paws and picked each pea out one by one with his mouth. He liked to steal my young melons too.

    Another went along after me when I was cutting a few peonies to bring indoors and she popped the heads off all of the rest of my plants. She felt so guilty after being called out on it that she only ever did it that one time.

    As far as learning this year, I have been learning a lot about herbal remedies and herbs in general. I am always learning more about my birds as well. Strangely enough, the poultry world can be very interesting.
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 42
    edited October 2018
    NOOO!  I guess the baking soda trick was too good to be true.  Maybe the myth was started by a pesticide company........?
  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,925 admin
    edited October 2018
    Well, it certainly won't hurt the sales.
  • BlairBlair Posts: 46
    edited October 2018
    I learned about TNG. nough said :-)
  • GrammyprepperGrammyprepper Mamaw, retired RN, jack of all trades master of none Zone 5BPosts: 169 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I live in an area with heavy clay soil. What I learned this year is that lasanga gardening work.s For the same cost of 'traditional' gardening. minus the work of tilling. Healthier for the soil, and building the soil. The real payoff will come next year, when I plant that plot again, and work on enlarging it. I also learned that I can successfully start plants from seed.  I know everyone has their favorites, but I can't recommend Baker Creek highly enough. I had 100% germination from the seeds I purchased from them. And had some darned tasty tomatoes!
  • NanCNanC Posts: 53 ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I came across this recipe for eliminating pesticides, but I forget where I got it:

    20 drops grapefruit seed extract
    1 tbsp baking soda
    1 c. vinegar
    1 c. water

    Mix into a spray bottle, spray produce and let sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse.

    (I found I had to carefully add baking soda to the vinegar water, small amounts at a time to deal with fizz, and even after diluted, leave screw cap on lightly for a day, for any escaping gas aftewards).

    I hope it really works.

    I discovered that my Jack Russell likes comfrey leaves and green beans. I found her munching them both times and had a good laugh.
  • CherlynnCherlynn Posts: 165 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I was thrilled to learn that doing berms around the trees I selected did in fact keep everything watered growing in that area.  Out of my 15 growing areas only one failed and we have corrected that so hopefully we'll have better success next year.  Creating  food forest takes work and time but at this stage in our life we are hoping it will reach the point that it takes care of itself.  Can't wait to expand it all next year.
  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Marjory,

    having gardened successfully for many years, last month I became aware of *you*, & your wonderful community here of very resourceful fellow gardeners. Also I watched your “Grow... Your Own Groceries Free". You are a truly Amazing 🤗 Homesteader.

    And everyone stands much to learn from you. I for 1 probably need to start a few discussions, lol - Thank you for your concern, your genuine heartfelt caring, and all living beings you bless... Thank you!

  • GrammyprepperGrammyprepper Mamaw, retired RN, jack of all trades master of none Zone 5BPosts: 169 ✭✭✭

    Welcome @ines871! Please feel free to share your knowledge and your questions!

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks GrammyPrepper for your welcome. - With all the experts in Marjory's ' Home Grown Food Summit ' , this is an Amazing group with an eternity of experience... to continue learning from. And too beyond my gardening adventures, daily I ask at least 40 new questions, lol

    is it acceptable here to ask where people live ? We live around Puget Sound in Wa. - of ever-growing passions, one project is developing a city small 'foodForest', (much smaller than those near Seattle, like Beacon Food Forest etc, which have 100's of people involved plus continuing $$ grants). ---- For years I've shared with others & neighbors (some even poorer) how to grow their own gardens, by also sharing seeds, & baby bushes & even baby trees. - Many love getting them, but don't nurture them afterwards, so most died, sigh - By growing this foodForest, hopefully they will become more interested. 🙂

    However people are supposed to http://call811.com/ wasted ! effort, as neither Water-dept, nor Centurylink ever bothered to come, even after following up repeatedly. And Power-comp acted illegally, but that is yet a different complication. - So aside making a usual permaculture foodForest Design, I do not know about the root-systems of Canopy trees, & lower layers as far as the Utilities are concerned.. - Aside "David The Good" in Florida: an opposite climate, helping resolve this challenge, I wonder if anyone here can ?

  • AlisonAlison Posts: 155 ✭✭✭

    Great question to help us reflect.

    I learnt to priorities what was most essential in my food growing due to a severe extended drought.

    I also learnt [once again] not to give up. Even in the harshest of conditions, the garden is a haven which provides peace and nourishment for both body and soul.


Sign In or Register to comment.