Sew, Sow–So what?

Transplants compressed  I readily admit I am old and set in some ways, but I’m also trying to embrace new technology.  Obviously I can encourage far more people to garden and continue gardening despite discouragements through blogging, than by silently burrowing my head in my potager and gardens in a very rural part of Indiana.  And I’m running out of time to learn, so any wonderful information on gardens, plants, and gardening advice that I can pick up easily and quickly is a treat.  So, I blog and read blogs.  However, two things have been needling me of late.

The first is bloggers who complain about a problem in their garden, for instance growing garlic and not knowing when to harvest it, or starting a sweet potato in a jar of water only to have it rot.  They expound upon their trials and sorrows…..and yet fail to have a comment box.  There are many skilled gardeners who have mastered these tasks and would be happy to give a helping hand, if only the blogger would let them.  It seems they just want to talk, and don’t want to listen.  It’s definitely a one-sided conversation, and those can be annoying.  Please, dear blogger, add a comment box if you truly want to learn without wasting a lot of time and sweet potatoes!  Even if you can’t respond to every comment given, there may be one or two bits of wisdom that arrive to save the day…or the garlic, or the sweet potato, not to mention time and money.

(And maybe there is a way to comment if they don’t provide a spot to click on, and I’m just ignorant.  If so, I apologize. Enlighten me!)

Secondly, it is seed starting time in many places and the gardening blog world is bursting with advice on varieties, techniques, tools, and planting schedules, which is great.  I’ve learned a lot.  What is not so great is the verb usage.  Are you really sewing seeds…with a needle and thread?  We SOW seeds; we SEW cloth.  It’s a tiny thing, and in this day of “R U ok?” shorthand, maybe I am just too old-fashioned and no one else cares.  However, it’s those small details that show how much effort was put into the writing, how accurate the observations recorded may be, and so on.  Make an old lady happy! Use the correct verb.

Now go sow, sow, sow!

(And just in case you need to know, for success in sprouting sweet potatoes, be sure the potato is organic and has not been treated with a sprout-suppressing spray.  I generally start mine in February for Zone 5 growing.  Inspect the potato.  You want one free of soft spots.  Look for the flat circle at one end, usually slightly smaller than a pencil, which is where the potato was attached to the vine.  That’s the top.  Suspend in a jar of water so that the bottom 2″ are submerged, using toothpicks if necessary to keep it in place.  Place in a warm, sunny window.  Check the water level daily and top it off if required.  When sprouts are at least 3-4″ tall, carefully break them off right at the potato’s skin.  Remove any leaves on the bottom 1″ and place them in a glass with 1-2″ of water in a filtered light position for a few days to recover from “surgery.”  When they form roots, you can put them in sunlight.  Don’t plant out until the soil is very warm, or grow in containers.  They cannot tolerate frost.)

(A good way to know when garlic is ready to dig?  When the scapes are harvested, leave 1 plant untouched of each variety grown.  When that scape is uncurled and pointing skyward, the garlic is ready to dig.  That one bulb will be smaller than the rest, but it’s worth it to get the timing right and to have that visual reminder.)

 

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
This entry was posted in Blogging, gardening, garlic, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Sew, Sow–So what?

  1. curioussteph says:

    Good advice. I did successfully start my own sweet potatoes last year. And too late, so I appreciate your advice on February to begin the process. I share your horror at sow/sew and other errors. I have found that autocorrect is sometimes responsible, and if I don’t re-edit more than once, the escapees can be horrifying. Much worse if I’m working off of my phone.

    Like

    • carolee says:

      I hate autocorrect! You are better than I to be able to work off your phone! I do my own sweet potatoes because I want just 3 or 4 plants, not an entire bundle…especially at 16.95!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • curioussteph says:

        I actually do very little on my phone, its way to frustrating. I started doing my own sweet potato for the same reason. Paid way too much for slips, that only 3 out of the bundle worked anyway. Had to be a better way, which we’ve both found!

        Like

  2. I sure didn’t know that about harvesting garlic! I’ll try that this year!

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  3. bcparkison says:

    Good info here. Not sure I knew about the sweet potatoes sprouts and the garlic…I always thought when the tops started to die was the time. Now I’ve learned something new. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shelley says:

    My comment box is ready and waiting for ANY feedback you want to give as I learn to grow food for my kitchen! Thanks for your post. I am inspired by all your industriousness!

    Like

  5. freds64 says:

    Gardening and proper grammar — you’re my new hero.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. terrifortner says:

    I love this. They’re probably just unaware of what they did there when their grammar was not quite right. Also as someone playing homesteading I like to sew and sow. And I agree why do you blog if you don’t want a conversation? I really like the conversation!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree, you’re my new hero! I loved your post and you made me laugh which makes me extremely happy. 🌼🌼

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Margy says:

    Thanks for the garlic tip. I’ve grown garlic in containers and there hasn’t been enough space for them to mature into large bulbs. This year I’m using a corner of my raised bed with larger spacing, so I’m hopeful it will be a more productive year. It was a pain to peel those really tiny cloves. – Margy

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    • carolee says:

      The variety of garlic, fertilization, steady watering….garlic in containers can reach full size. Hardneck garlic, which is what I grow because we have freezing soils in winter is fall planted, winters over, and is harvested in late July here in Zone 5. It usually has one layer of very large cloves around a hard stem. Soft-neck garlic (usually found in grocery stores) has much smaller cloves in several layers. Good luck this year, but just keep at it and you’ll grow better each year.

      Like

  9. Im so glad I found your blog – even though you are on the other side of the world the information is just as useful. I’ve just started my blog so Im hoping that the comment section can be found easily enough. I love the advice and conversation. Just a random funny – you managed a bit of a pun in your first paragraph – ..two things have been “needling” me of late.. Was this intentional?

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      Yes, but you are the first person who noted it! Isn’t it wonderful that we can share ideas instantaneously across the globe now? I like to think that all this global sharing can lead to global peace as well. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, this year I will be expanding a laughable vegetable growing habit into something of a vegetable empire, so prepare your comment boxes for a lot of questions and concerns! I can see I already have some reading to catch up on now I’ve found you!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    Like

    • carolee says:

      A vegetable empire? That sounds intriguing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • An Empire… by comparison. We’re talking the mighty leap from a box on the windowsill to anything above 3ft sq. I have very high hopes. And I will be experimenting with Moon Gardening, if you can imagine! I’m intrigued by both the science of it and the delicious mysticism! I’m having dreams/nightmares of great, swollen pumpkins and monster cabbages… so as you can see, *practical* information from an experienced hand will be of great interest!

        Like

      • carolee says:

        You make me smile, and that’s an achievement for a non-plant entity! My Grandmother always gardened by the moon, but my mother doesn’t even know which stage is what for, and she’s the best veg gardener I’ve ever met. I do watch it…”Ring around the moon means rain soon,” and whether it’s angling to be “pouring out or holding water.” Sometimes I actually look up a moon sign for proper planting, but then I forget to plant a “control” group to compare when the sign changes. I love your choice of words; very thoughtful. 3′ is pretty small for a Great Pumpkin and monster cabbages. I assume you’re going vertical with the pumpkin. Best of luck in ALL you endeavor!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you – well I shall keep you posted and I’m sure my endeavours will give you a few more smiles, if not some out-right belly-laughs 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  11. 69owen says:

    Good advice. Never grown sweet potatoes, might give it a go

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Helen says:

    Yes, it is frustrating when there’s no box for comments. For me, comments are a reason for blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. katvyce says:

    I learned so much from this post, and as a beginner gardener I also learn a lot from your helpful comments. Thank you!
    I’m tempted to try sweet potatoes as you describe. Does it matter what size of potato you start with? (Wondering if it’s better to buy smaller or larger.)

    Like

  14. Wonderful advice! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great article!
    I’m just about to plant my garlic (it’s an Easter weekend tradition) as the weather is beginning to cool down here.

    May I ask what you use the garlic scapes for and when you harvest them? I haven’t done this before and I often have small bulbs so wondering if harvesting the scapes will help as is implied in your post.

    I am new to WordPress and hoping my comments box is turned on.

    Like

    • carolee says:

      Your comment box works! Yes, harvesting the scapes just as soon as they form will divert energy into making the bulbs larger. Use them just as you would regular garlic cloves…in stir-fry, salad dressings, chopped into salads, sprinkled over pasta, pickling, lightly fried as a side dish, and they make a great pesto. I made more money selling garlic scapes at farmers’ market than regular garlic!

      Like

  16. 42daysfarm says:

    I love your blog, and I love it when I see a comment. I have a lot of reasons for writing but it’s always special when someone stops in to add something or to impart wisdom. It the blogging realm, i think gardening and gardeners may be underrepresented, but I think we are a tight knit group.

    Like

    • carolee says:

      I think you are correct in your assessment. Gardeners are in most part a very caring, sharing group…individuals who truly want to see others succeed, and are ever-learning, open to new ideas. Thanks for reading.

      Like

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