Gardeners, what can i easily grow a lot of to feed/gutload

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
So my new house came with a nice, fenced in garden. I haven't done much gardening in my life. Is there a green/vegetable/fruit/etc that I can easily plant, that will efficiently produce a lot of food for feeder colonies? For example, I buy huge bags of organic carrots as my water source for feeder colonies. They're cheap and have the been the best method so far. I don't want to grow carrots, but something that will fill a similar role. I add a lot of varied foods for gutload that I mix up, but I just want a simple staple from my garden.

Right now I'm planting a grape vine(for the leaves), black berry, raspberry, and rose bushes(for the stick bugs). I have a white mulberry tree I'm afraid to plant, not sure if it would survive our winters and it has been doing well in the pot. I like to use their leaves in my gutload. I also have oak in the woods(for stick bugs) and maple(some roaches will eat these).

Also, how do you guys wash stuff from the garden? I've seen slugs all over the place and I know they can carry lungworm, among other things.

Hell, I was thinking of just being a crazy person and planting dandelion lol. They are very nutritious and easy!
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was going to suggest blackberries, but be careful because they can just take over if given the opportunity. They grow well on fences or trellises.
I would go with something that grows leaves off of a stalk, rather than something that IS a leaf, if that makes sense. Like for example basil has leaves that grow off of a stalk so that you can pick the leaves but not effect the stalk, whereas lettuce and probably collard greens grow as the leaf so when you harvest it you are pretty much harvesting the whole plant. Does that make sense?
Pretty much anything will grow well in your climate I think, veggies wise
 

Multivitamins

Avid Member
Nasturtium is a random one but on the gutload graphics it grows easily and flowers adding some color to the garden. Used to grow in the canyon at my old house( oh I miss that place) and was beautiful as it climbed up Jade's and filled in with it's orange flowers
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
You would need a deep bed with lots of light soil for carrots and they are so cheap so don't bother as you said. Squash is easy to grow. You are probably a bit late for this year.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don’t know about Philadelphia, but down here green beans are absolutely prolific. They are hardy, easy to plant, put out ridiculous amounts of beans, and require no maintenance once established. All they need is something to climb.

Same goes for cucumbers but I’m not sure if they are good for a gut load...
 

Twitchet

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi James, I have a vine too and I second squash or courgette, I plant it here in the spring, there’s soon a few spare leaves for gutloading, lots of big yellow flowers, then small to more mature fruits so you get three different options, all of which are great, all the way through to late autumn.
My other favourite is a tub of alfalfa, I’ve always got stems to pick and that means the main plant still keeps growing, if you are worried about slugs some people put a band of copper around the rim of the pot to deter slugs but I don’t know it that works. I love the alfalfa though, I almost always have some available to me, if not then I use the squash or vine, and mine overwinters too. Another one I do is a tray of soil and sprinkle over some mizuna, rocket, turnip, red mustard leaves, they are all found in salad seed mixes, you can trim a few leaves and the plant will keep growing.
Good luck!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi James, I have a vine too and I second squash or courgette, I plant it here in the spring, there’s soon a few spare leaves for gutloading, lots of big yellow flowers, then small to more mature fruits so you get three different options, all of which are great, all the way through to late autumn.
My other favourite is a tub of alfalfa, I’ve always got stems to pick and that means the main plant still keeps growing, if you are worried about slugs some people put a band of copper around the rim of the pot to deter slugs but I don’t know it that works. I love the alfalfa though, I almost always have some available to me, if not then I use the squash or vine, and mine overwinters too. Another one I do is a tray of soil and sprinkle over some mizuna, rocket, turnip, red mustard leaves, they are all found in salad seed mixes, you can trim a few leaves and the plant will keep growing.
Good luck!
Nasturtium, I'll have to look into it.

So would alfalfa grow fast from seeds, or do I buy it already growing?

Squash leaves are edible? I wasn't aware!

I'll definitely give green beans a try, see if I can find a plant somewhere cheap.

@snitz427 bell peppers grow in high quantity? That would be an excellent addition to the gutload!
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nasturtium and squash flowers are both edible, I believe. Actually Im certain people eat nasts and zucchini flowers.

Bell peppers grow well and you can find decent sized starter plants, but you are way late in the season so you may not get much if any harvest. Starter green bean plants are fast growing and produce almost immediately.

Sweet potatoes are easy to grow, too.

Maybe you can find an old window and make a small cold frame for lettuces thru the winter!

Ok Im a plant nerd... stepping away.
 

Twitchet

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi James, yes, I buy alfalfa seeds from eBay, only a £1 for a packet and they last for ages, some are sold for sprouting or ‘green manure’ but they are all the same I think. And the same for turnips, bought as seed and also the mitzuna, mustard etc, they are sold as a ‘spicy salad’ mix. I just grow these in a flower pot and start a new one every month or so, Good luck! :)
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nasturtium and squash flowers are both edible, I believe. Actually Im certain people eat nasts and zucchini flowers.

Bell peppers grow well and you can find decent sized starter plants, but you are way late in the season so you may not get much if any harvest. Starter green bean plants are fast growing and produce almost immediately.

Sweet potatoes are easy to grow, too.

Maybe you can find an old window and make a small cold frame for lettuces thru the winter!

Ok Im a plant nerd... stepping away.
Man I can't seem to be on time for anything:(

I'm pretty good with tropical decorative plants, but gardening I tried last year for the first time. Failed miserably. Only thing I got was like a thousand pounds of swiss chard, which i don't even like to eat.

Sweet potatoes would be a nice gutload though, maybe I'll try them.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not a great veggie gardener, either. For some veggies, you need to be out in the garden every single day and I just don't have time for it. Especially setting up to water the garden every day. Some plants do well with little maintenance. I've found green beans and sweet potatoes definitely fall into that mix. Okra, too.

The one year I had a REALLY sweet garden going... my most successful ever... John ticked off the neighborhood ground hog and it literally came through and ripped down every plant. The little bastard didn't even eat anything, he was just sending a message!!
 
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