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Video: How Nature Examined Us Last Season
Every summer is a surprise …
At the very beginning of the last summer season, we, gardeners and gardeners, usually exchange opinions. Everyone agreed that there was no cold April, May, and there were no return frosts. Shrubs and herbaceous plants bloomed two weeks earlier. At the beginning of May, the soil was already ripe for crops and planting.
Gooseberry bushes in my garden are already 20-25 years old, they did not give me big problems before. Therefore, in the spring, I did not pay attention to them. And suddenly the Old Russian variety was covered in powdery mildew. It was too late to process it with anything, since the berries were already quite large - and all white from the disease. I uprooted it. The rest of the bushes were treated with soda ash (40 g per bucket), not with soap, as recommended, but with milk. I poured it in by eye. Then I picked berries from these bushes.
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Vegetables also behaved outside the box last season. However, I and all the gardeners I know received a rich harvest of vegetables, berries and fruits. Everyone, with a few exceptions, is happy with the past season: for six months they fed their families from vegetable gardens and orchards, and they made so many preparations that there would be enough before the new harvest.
The year of the moon is blessed for pumpkin crops
Last year, 2013, and this was the year of the moon, the easiest way was to get a harvest of zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers. My first cucumbers had grown by May 31 - it was a hybrid Grasshopper F1, and by June 15, Siberian Luck cucumbers were ready. I sowed them on April 20, they then bore fruit in a greenhouse until the end of September.
But gardeners came to me and complained that instead of female flowers on their cucumber plants there are only male flowers. It happens - they sowed late, the daylight became long, the heat was, especially among those who did not sufficiently ventilate the greenhouses.
So there was a gender failure - from female to male, but by the fall, the fruiting of cucumbers improved. On a plot not far from ours, a neighbor grew cucumbers in the open field. Since it was warm, she only put a film on the beds with cucumbers for the night, which kept on the established arcs. She did not close the sides. And then unexpected pests came to light: jays pecked up cucumber ovaries in the garden. But in general, there were no particular problems with this culture. If something happened, they tried to figure it out on the spot, identified errors and eliminated them.
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The zucchini grew by themselves. They were enough for food in the summer, and in the fall there was a supply of fruits. I have three plants that developed and bore fruit on a compost heap - marrow varieties Kuand and Aeronaut. I was able to stock up on squash caviar for the winter. Our family loves her. Previously, we made such caviar according to a recipe in which the vegetables first had to be fried, now we stew them. Here is her recipe:
For caviar you need: 1 kg of zucchini, 1 kg of red tomatoes, 0.5 kg of sweet red pepper, 0.5 kg of carrots, 0.5 kg of onions, 1 glass of sunflower oil, 1 tbsp. a spoonful of salt, 0.5 cups of sugar, 1 tbsp. a spoonful of vinegar at the end of cooking.
All vegetables must be ground in a meat grinder with a fine grid. Add salt, sugar, butter. Put on fire to simmer, stirring occasionally. From the moment of boiling, cook for 40-45 minutes (if the tomatoes are very juicy, watery, then first they must be boiled separately). At the end of cooking, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. When hot, transfer to sterilized jars, roll up and wrap until it cools completely.
I lacked the spice in this recipe, and I began to add garlic, a slice of hot pepper to it, reduced the carrots a little, and added zucchini.
The pumpkin also worked out last season, but I had several questions that I have not yet found an answer to. During my practice, I went through a lot of types and varieties of pumpkins. It was necessary to stop at one, so that there was a lot of carotene, and that it was sweet, and the harvest so that it ripens every summer, so that it would not be small and not huge. And I chose this variety - Tiny. In 2011 and 2012, its harvest was excellent. Many fruits ripened, the pumpkin was sweet and orange. I remember cutting the last pumpkin of the 2012 harvest last summer.
It turned out to be so sweet that one might think - I poured sugar into the porridge. And it was so bright orange that both porridge and pilaf were orange. Everyone remembers that the summer of 2012 was very rainy. There were no heavy rains in our area last season. Pumpkin variety Kroshka grew well, set fruit. It's time to harvest. We counted 13 pieces. We even worried: how to take such a crop from the dacha? But only four large pumpkins were removed, and the rest began to fall off for some reason, although their weight was only 1-1.5 kilograms.
When I watered the vegetables, I didn't worry about the pumpkin. I have never watered it on compost, because it goes down to a depth of 5 meters by its roots. And now the fruits fell off, I think, this time the lack of moisture affected, because there was no rain. And I had one more question. When I began to cut the pumpkin to take half of it to the gardeners' holiday. Alas, it turned out to be not orange, but pale pink. I didn't even take her to the holiday. I looked, and there on the table with the harvest lay a cut pumpkin, someone from his harvest brought, and also pale. At the markets where gardeners sell their crops, I also saw cut pumpkins.
And they didn't have a bright color. So now I'm trying to understand: what influenced the content of carotene in it, and why did my pumpkins fall off in just 2-3 days? I think that the dryness of the soil affected here, but there were other warm dry seasons, but I did not observe such a phenomenon then.
Many are dismissive of pumpkin, but it is very tasty and healthy. Our family loves pumpkin porridge, but plov with pumpkin without meat is especially popular.
Here's how I cook it: I cut the pumpkin into cubes, fry it in vegetable oil, put it in a bowl, there is a layer of chopped raw leek on top, then another abundant layer of carrots chopped on a coarse grater. It is necessary to salt everything, pepper, add bay leaves, and then pour rice on top. Pour the contents with water so that the rice is completely covered - and into the oven.
You can make sweet pilaf with pumpkin and leek. For him, the pumpkin must also be cut into cubes, fried in vegetable oil, covered with leeks on top (before that, it must also be finely chopped, and then slightly darkened in a pan in butter). Put dried fruits on top of the leek. I use apples, pears, quince, sloe, raisins. Pre-pour boiling water over dried fruits to steam. I dry my sloe and use it instead of plums and cherries. I cover the fruits with rice, fill everything with water, in which the dried fruits were steamed, and into the oven.
And the carrots did not disappoint
When I was still at my site, gardeners began to call me, saying happily: "Even I got a carrot", "I got a carrot for a feast for the eyes!". I just smiled and answered them: "This year the carrots should be like this." I am sure that everyone who sowed carrots in the ground last season, in which there was still a supply of moisture, did not lose. Then the warmth came, there was no frost, and the carrots dashingly began to grow. The summer was warm, and although carrots are considered a cold-resistant crop, they are better in the warm. So the harvest was a success.
In our gardening, some have tried to sow carrots at two times. The first sowing as early as possible, and for winter storage they were sown in June-July. I remember that summer was cool and rainy then. Early-sown carrots are medium-sized, and late harvests are even smaller. And this is understandable: the ground has cooled off prematurely from the rains, there is no food for the plants, and no heat is supplied to the roots. We tried to cover the crops from above in order to warm the plants a little, but this did not help, because the earth was already cooling down.
I have not done such experiments, and it is clear that the growing season may not be enough for the plants. Although in the 2013 season, it may have turned out to be a late sowing crop. You just need to remember: if the carrots did not have enough growing season, then during storage they will germinate.
I plant carrots every year the same area. But if in 2012 she collected one bucket of 12 liters from it, then last season - already two such buckets. Warm weather immediately after germination played a role here.
In one of the seasons in the fall, one gardener came up to me and complained that she did not get carrots. And I know that she grows cabbage amazing: every head of cabbage, then 8-10 kilograms, but carrots failed. And last year, her carrots also turned out to be large, even, although she thinned the crops only once. Root crops crowded in rows, literally squeezing each other out. Two factors have affected this. Firstly, it was the year of the moon, and secondly, it was warm since spring.
Last season I sowed hybrids and varieties of mokovi News F1, Yaya F1, Losinoostrovskaya and Nantes improved. I tried the News F1 hybrid for the first time, the bag said: "The hybrid is highly productive in all weather conditions, on all types of soil." And, indeed, the roots turned out to be large, even, but the weather was excellent.
I have been using the Yaya F1 hybrid for several years. Forms not very large root crops, but even and beautiful. I have been growing the Losinoostrovskaya variety for a long time, but not every year. Sometimes I don't grow a season or two, and then I come back to it again. In the wettest, coldest summer, this carrot tastes better than all other varieties. And last season she turned out to be huge, beautiful.
Root crops of the improved Nantes variety also grew huge, but not all, some of them turned out to be medium and small. Here, everything depends not on agricultural technology, but on the quality of the seeds, since all varieties of carrots grew on the same bed. Gardeners often complain that the seeds have not sprouted, they have to re-sow. I test the seeds for germination at home, even before the start of the season. For example, last year carrots of the Nantskaya-4 variety of the SeDeK agricultural firm showed a germination rate of 30%, I do not sow such seeds, but mercilessly throw them away.
Read How nature tested us in the past season. Part 2 →
Luiza Klimtseva, experienced gardener