Peredovik Black Oil Sunflower Seed – food for the birds!

peredovik-sunflower heads

Close up of Peredovik sunflower heads-after the flower petals fall exposing the seeds

peredovik-sunflower

Peredovik Black Oil Sunflower in bloom

Today I planted my Peredovik Black Oil Sunflower Seed from Russia. They are the black oil sunflower seeds that the birds love to eat and this is the variety that is in your bird seed mix that you buy in the store. They are particularly good because they are high in natural fat giving the birds energy. This makes them the best choice of sunflower for feeding birds although the birds love all varieties of sunflower seeds.

I got mine for 2016 from Southern Seed Exchange and can’t wait for them to come up. Just plant like any other sunflower seed mixed in your garden with other flowers. They have multiple heads on each stalk. They won’t be as tall as some of the giant sunflowers usually reaching 4-5 feet tall but it’s nice to know I’m helping the birds. After they flower, I leave the heads on and it’s fun to watch the birds eat them right off the plant in the fall. I leave them well into winter where the wild birds will continue to get the seeds out of the heads.

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Veggies I will and won’t grow this year and why in 2011

Here is my veggie list from last year. I thought it important to go through it and tell you what I will and won’t grow again and why before I forget. Look at my SEED LIST PAGE next week (as it could always change) to see exactly what I am growing in 2011

TOMATO-HEIRLOOMS
San Marzano-red plum tomato-YES-I will try again even though ALL 4 died. I hear too many good things about this tomato

Striped German-bicolor tomato-YES-I WILL grow it again for my third straight year-One of my favorites even though it takes a little longer to develop

Black CherryYES– I will grow this for my third straight year-another favorite

Paul Robeson-black tomato-YES-A Farmers Market favorite although I prefer others.

Cherokee Purple-purple tomato-NO-I missed this one last year but it is wonderful. As good as Brandywine.

Cherokee ChocolateYES-Just as good as Cherokee purple but a little brownish color. I will choose between one of the Cherokees due to space.

Prudens Purple-purple tomato-NO-not as good as the Cherokees nor as prolific but planted it because it was suppose to ripen sooner-not true for me last year.

Black Krim-black tomato-NO I didn’t do this one last year but had it in the lineup because it is only 69 days to ripen. Never had good luck in previous years.

Pantano Romanesco-red classic tomato-YES-wonderful tomato from Italy

Great WhiteNO– novelty-lost both plants

Costoluto Genovese-red tomato-YES fantastic looking-fluted and great taste

Goldsman Italian American-large red plum-YES even though I lost 3 out of 4, and it took forever to ripen, it makes the BEST tasting tomato sauce I’ve ever made

Aunt Ruby’s German GreenNO-Novelty-lost 2 plants

Gold Medal-bicolor tomato-MAYBE-took longer to ripen than Striped German but great taste

TOMATOES-HYBRID-I grow a few hybrids
Lemon BoyMAYBE-didn’t get any in last year but it is a sweet terrific tomato

Park’s Beefy Boy-red tomato-70 days-YES-only 70 days and great taste

Sun Sugar-yellow cherry-NO-kinda like a lot of yellow cherry tomatoes but super sweet.Want to try something different.

Original Goliath-red tomato-NO– nice size, early ripener but can’t remember the flavor

TOMATO-COMPETITION (biggest)
Big Zac-red/80 days-YES-takes the longest to ripen but taste is great and chance to grow a huge one.

2010 VEGGIE LIST
BEANS-Rattlesnake-YES-great tasting pole bean over my arbor and Tavera-NO average tasting bush bean

PEPPER-Shishito-YES-I love these-not hot but full of flavor

SUMMER SQUASH-ZUCCHINI-Costata Romanesco –YES wonderful taste and Lungo Bianco-NO-it was good and more prolific than Romanesco but not as flavorful. Sticking to one kind this year.

SUMMER SQUASH-SCALLOPED-Yellow Custard and Bennings Green Tint-NO on both. I’m only growing Costata Romanesco

WINTER SQUASH-Marina di ChioggiaNO-powdery mildew problem and not many squashes and Galeux d’EyesinesYES-prolific-great taste-3rd yr.

EGGPLANT-Little Fairy-YES-prolific tender skin and great taste, third year in a row. Thai Yellow EggNO-took all season to develop and then froze at first frost. What a disappointment.

CUCUMBERS-Parisian, Boothsby Blonde, Poona Kera, and ParadeYES TO ALL-Third straight season

CORN-not sure if I’m growing. Might just pick it up at Farmers Market

LETTUCES-from COOK’S GARDEN-Provencal Mix, Mesclun Mix, Buttercrunch, Yugoslavian Red, Santoro Lettuce, and Little Gem-YES

SPINACH-from COOK’S GARDEN-Indian Summer and Double Choice-NO-will look for bigger leaf variety.Too puny.

CARROTS-from COOK’S GARDEN-Kaleidoscope (mix of red, purple, orange and yellow)-NO want only orange and purple ones this year.

BROCCOLI-Brocolli Romanesco-NOtakes too long to develop.

ARUGULA-ApolloYES

BOK CHOY-Extra Dwarf Pak Choy-YES

CHARD-5 Color SilverbeetYES TO ANY CHARD

PEAS-DWARF SUGAR, OREGON SPRING IIYES

2010 GIANT PUMPKINS
895 Grande (1016 Daletas x 1385 Jutras)-YES-grew the 2010 NM State Record Pumpkin-421 lbs + 3 other new ones

GIANT MARROW (like a giant Zucchini)
206.5 Wursten 09YESdidn’t grow last year but will this year

75.4 Wursten 09YESgrew the 2010 NM State Record-43 lbs

GIANT TOMATOES
7.18 N. Harp 09 (5.58 Timm x open) YESgrew a 2 lb 11 oz tomato in 2010

5.416 N. Harp 09 (5.58 Harp x openYES

Big Zac (from Totally Tomato)-YES

GIANT SUNFLOWERS
TitansYES

Master Gardeners tour-Giant Vegetable Garden

I’ve been getting ready for my first Giant Veggie Garden Tour for the Santa Fe Master Gardeners group next Sunday from 9am-12 noon. I have 3 giant marrows, one being around 30+ lbs, 2 giant pumpkins, many giant sunflowers, and a couple of giant tomatoes (still green). I’m cleaning up, trimming and generally sprucing up the garden. By the time they come next Sunday I should be ready. Seems like there is always something to do in a garden no matter the size. Fall is definitely in the air with the nights cooling off into the high 40-50s. Daytime temperatures are in the 80s. Perfect weather to be in the garden…

Garden Arbor Entrance update August 4

garden arbor entrance

Here is a picture of the garden arbor in my entrance to the veggie garden. The ‘Rattlesnake’ beans, a pole variety that can grow 13 feet a season, are doing really well covering the arbor-just like I envisioned when I built it at the beginning of the season. An added bonus is they taste great. You only have to pick the beans before they get too big and tough. I ate some raw right out of the garden and they have a nutty sweet flavor that I like better than the ‘Contender’ bush beans that are just finishing up. Rattlesnake beans are a winner!

entrance right side

Also pictured to the right of the arbor are chartreuse colored ‘Golden Sunshine’ Scarlet Runner beans  I got from Cook’s Garden growing on the fence. They come from England. I love their bright yellow green leaves against the other greens. I grow them just because they are so beautiful and I love that purple varigated color of the seeds when they are dried. They haven’t flowered yet as they are just climbing the fence but when they do, the bright red blossoms will look great against that yellow-green.

Behind the Scarlet runner beans, still on the right side of the entrance are my giant ‘Titan’ sunflowers that will be fantastic a little later when they get their huge flowers. They will grow up to 10 feet tall and have heads that can get up to 24 inches wide! I call all sunflowers the guardian angels of the garden. Did you know sunflower flower heads follow the sun all day long? Sun worshipers! Hence their name. They are so majestic! Behind them are various flowers that will be blooming soon to add color and attract beneficial insects.

entrance inside left

entrance inside left

On the left side just inside the entrance, are asparagus fronds, calendula, ”Bright Lights’ chard, ‘Chianti’ sunflowers, multicolor ‘Japonica’ corn from Seedsavers Exchange and other flowers coming along. I got a late start in this section of the garden but it should look great later this month and I will take more pictures then.

Beautiful garden entryway-amaranth and flowers

This year I want a beautiful garden as well as a bountiful one. I planted tons of flowers in the entry way and along the entry fence. Inside the entry fence I planted Titan sunflowers again (I call these the ‘guardian angels’ of the garden) which will grow behind some scarlet runner beans (good hummingbird attractors) that will grow up the fence. Last year the Titan sunflowers got 10 feet tall and heads up to 18 inches across. Then in the entry arbor I planted rattlesnake beans (a green and purple streaked pole bean) that hopefully will grow all over the arbor giving me a very lush, green entryway (and tasty one too). Then after you walk through the arbor immediately on the left, I’m going to try amaranth-Loves-Lies-Bleeding and cockscomb-Flamingo Feather.  I saw these on the Seed of Change garden tour last fall here in NM and they looked fantastic, so I thought I’d try some. I also planted sunflowers-Goldie and Chianti, Queen Anne’s Lace, Zinnias and Cosmos flowers. All this with the asparagus that I had planted last year in the entryway. I figure I have a few years till the asparagus kicks in-so I’ll plant pretty stuff around it till it does. I am also putting a glass water basin for the birds in this section of the garden.  Last year it was a nice entry and I hope it will be even better this year with the arbor and the flowers.  Hope to have some good pictures later in the season. Ah, fantasies of how it might be..

titan sunflowers

I just realize it looks like from the photos so far that I only grow giant pumpkins so I want to show you some titan sunflowers which got 10 feet tall last year. Really beautiful. Can’t wait to grow them again this year. The birds love them too. I call them the guardian angels of the garden.

titan sunflower

guardian angels of the garden