19 September 2015, by gjones
Good Mother Stallard Beans are a very interesting pole type new to us this year.
We found them to be quite productive, with high yields. Each pod produced 4-6 beautifully mottled maroon and white beans.
These are mostly used as a dry beans and are said to have a “creamy texture, and hearty nutty flavor” according to Baker Creek where we purchased our starter seeds.
If you harvest some at a younger stage, a good idea early on in the season to encourage a better harvest, you can use them as a shell bean. The color at that point is more white. In the picture above, the beans are in order of how mature they are from left to right.
Ours grew to about 8 feet, up one side and over the top of the Jones’ Garden System.
We recommend you plant one extra seed to grow beans to harvest for seeds for the following year. This way, you are getting a tasty protein source that is simple to store and use year after year for free.
Similarly, you can also kick-start your seed supply buy purchasing soup beans at your local market. Here’s how.
Try them in any of our bean recipes here. Not only will you save money, you will know your protein source is not compromised in any way, and no animals were needed to feed you.
Growth habit: Pole
Days to maturity: 90
Uses: As fresh shell or dry
Seed: Heirloom or OP and seeds can be saved. No worries about cross pollination.
Categories: Beans, Vegetable Varieties & Cultivars
9 August 2015, by gjones
This gorgeous flower is an All America Select winner, and one we are thrilled to be a part of field testing.
Simply grow in full sun, direct seed or transplant 2′ apart in ground or in containers. Planted just about 2 months ago, they are filling out their containers well with these beautiful doubled-row salmon pink blooms. The flowers are about 3″ wide, and the plants a foot tall so far.
They still have plenty of summer left to grow, and we will be enjoying every minute.
Botanical name: Zinnia hybrida
Growth habit: Annual
Days to Bloom: 60
Size: 14″ h x 24″ wide with 2-3″ blooms
Uses: Ornamental – I just found out you can eat them as well. Bonus!
Past AAS Winners
Harvest more with The Jones’ Garden System
Categories: All America Selection - AAS, Seeds
12 July 2015, by gjones
This is the wonderful All-America Selections award winning Mascotte Bean that we are enjoying testing in our garden, and technically, also on our front steps.
It does do well both in ground and in containers. The plants only get to be about 18 inches tall and about 8 inches wide, so take up very little space.
When bean flowers open, the pollen needed is moved. In other words, if you see a flower you’ll see a bean almost every time.
Mascotte is a bush type stringless bean, that produces on the top of the plant, making it very easy to harvest. The beans are best at about 5-6 inches long.
Not only are they very tasty, all their attributes make them a great crop for anyone who wants to grow food indoors year round. Since they like full sun, additional light may need to be added.
Because they mature in only 55 days, it isn’t too late to start a crop outdoors now, and just bring it in when the temperatures cool down.
We intend to plant in intervals to have fresh beans over a longer period. We’ll post pictures this winter of these and other crops growing in our little indoor veggie garden.
It will make the dark cold days a little brighter, and tastier!
Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Days to maturity: 55
Growth habit: Bush 18″ high x 8″ wide
Harvest: At about 5-6 inches long
More on growing beans.
Categories: Beans, Vegetable Varieties & Cultivars
7 June 2015, by gjones
This hybrid, developed for Burpee’s in England, grows smaller veggies in much less space. As you can see from the picture, it can even be container grown. The plants are still vining to some extent, growing to about 2-3 ft., but most certainly more bush like than conventional butternut. This is great if you have little space, or if you are just trying to maximize what space you have. The fruit are smaller, only about 1-2 pounds, but the perfect size for 2 people. Of course, they can be held well into the following winter and even spring, as you normally would hold squash.
We started these in the house in early March, and them moved to the greenhouse. That is where the first squash bloomed, and was pollinated by hand. It’s the one on the top.
It was placed outside at the end of May, the time we usually plant seeds in the ground.It was in shock for about a week, and has now acclimated and is producing more flowers again. Each bush yields about the same as other butternuts, 4 or 5 fruit; so once we harvest those there should be time for some fall crops.
We started it earlier so that we could push our Zone 5/6 season, and also so we could share with you sooner. If you are in a similar zone, or cooler, it isn’t too late to try this variety.
The flavor is said to be just as good as an open pollinated butternut, maybe even a bit sweeter. We’ll get back to you on that on our recipe site.
Seed source: Burpee’s of course, also Reimer’s Seeds, Fedco, Parks and others. I think Fedco still has them in stock, others may be sold out.
Common name: Butterbush Butternut
Botanical name: Cucurbita moschata
Habitat: 10″h x 24-36″ annual, full sun
Seed: Direct seed in hills or containers
Spacing: 1-2 per container, or 6 ft apart in hills.
Days to maturity: 75 – This is about when the female flowers begin to arrive, not when the fruit is ready. Some sites list the DTM as 90 days, a little more accurate but our experience is it will be longer.
21 April 2015, by gjones
Call it Mother Nature, or call it Murphy’s Law, but the gardener is only a player on the growing stage.
One thing we have learned is that no matter how long you wait for a seedling to sprout, as soon as you replant, the first one will come up.
Followed very quickly by the more recently planted.
The second planting of seeds were marked in this picture above. A week later the first seed sprouted. One more week and here you have it.
Apparently this also holds true when you reuse seed starting mix.
We finally gave up on a few seeds that never sprouted, and dumped the mix in with our potting soil.
This little patio tomato, center above, was potted up about 2 weeks ago. Now it has a tall friend, some kind of brassica, with it. It kind of looks like kale, but we shall know soon enough.
In case that isn’t enough, another little seedling is joining in.
So far, this one ain’t talkin’.
19 April 2015, by gjones
We’ve seen a number of how to’s on making a mason bee house, this is one of the best ones.
Basically you need a wooden frame and anything that either already is hollow, or can be made so.
We used different size bamboo canes, with diameters up to about 1/2 inch. We also used old corn stalks from last summer. They are either hollow already or the bees can easily chew their way in.
We overestimated how many canes we would need when we built the frame, so we drilled a few wooden blocks and added a wee bit of whimsy to help fill in the area.
This figurine is of a bird catching a butterfly with a net, a gift from my late mother. So in her honor we set up an old birdbath in her area of the garden and placed the bee house on the basin. We added dirt to the basin, which will become mud when it rains tonight. Once we see the nesting is pretty much complete, we’ll cover the basin to be sure there is a safe place for the young ones to land when they emerge.
The area also has lots of fallen leaves. We learned from the video that different mason bees use either mud or leaves to seal their larva in the hollow opening.
This area is the southeast section of the garden, which is where it is recommended to place the house. We used twine to secure the house to the fence, just to play it safe.
Now we will wait and see. How fun!
More mason bee tips.
Categories: The Birds and The Bees