This is a continuation of Texasrockgarden's thread about general happenings and free discussion of our vegetable gardens. We came from here:
This message was edited Apr 21, 2012 10:01 AM
What's going on with your Vegie Garden Today, part 2
This is a continuation of Texasrockgarden's thread about general happenings and free discussion of our vegetable gardens. We came from here:
Peppers and Okra has been in the ground for a week. Onions and shallots for a month. Putting tomatoes into big containers and pulling weeds so far today. Looks like rabbits or deer ate all my okra last night so I'll be planting more seeds before it rains tonight and all day tomorrow. Planted bush bean seeds last weekend so they should be up shortly for the rabbits to eat.
I mulched a huge pile of leaves this morning before the mower ran out of gas. Now I'm waiting for hubby to put more gas in the thing so I can mulch some more!
I'm going to wait until after the weekend before transplanting any more seedlings. It's supposed to get cold again Sunday night.
Anybody here familiar with straw wattles? You see them along new freeway work sometimes, look like a big worm. They are used for erosion control. I've made garden boundries with them. Quicker and easier than a raised bed....and I can do it myself. The hammering drilling and sawing, DH has to do.
Anywho, I created a new one last weekend for pepper plants - hot peppers - various kinds. I filled it with some sandy loam mix, commercial compost and a bit of home-grown compost. Straw mulch, large rocks bordering the straw, mostly for asthetic purposes. I also have a keyhole garden that I created 2 or 3 years ago, I'll dig up a picture.
I had two tomato plants, both Black Sea Man, that were doing the old curly leaves routine. I potted them into much bigger pots, no in-ground available ATM, and moved them out of all day brutal sun. The other tom plants seem very happy with the heat but the Blackies are not doing so well. A Black Krim also sickly.
Here's the main keyhole garden being developed (Feb 2010), then it had filled in by March 2011. It's transformed yet again.
Anybody else try these? [edited to aplogize if these photos are repeats, I don't *think* I've posted these here before but not sure.]
This message was edited Apr 21, 2012 11:48 AM
How do you make a "wattle," or where do you get them?
No those pictures are not repeats Ive been waiting to see them. I want a keyhole garden soo bad but have to find a place for it.
Im trying so hard to be good on the wattle topic, please pray for me. lol
Didn't make them. I get them at a construction supply type of place. Around here it's Marvel Masonry aka Border Construction Specialties. Looks like they have a few locations in the SW but El Paso is probably too far for either of you.
oops - meant to give you this link, fwiw. Builders supply is where you will find them methinks.
This message was edited Apr 21, 2012 2:40 PM
What's going on in my garden is - I'm having a hard time talking myself into pulling out the winter/spring stuff to make room for the summer garden. I am so far behind (again). Still have chard, and late-planted kale and collards to harvest, the broccoli is producing heads and sprouts, the solid bed of sweet onions are bulbing up nicely, and most of the garlic varieties are starting to thicken at the bases but aren't forming cloves yet as far as I can tell (leaves are still green). I've got cilantro and basil self-seeded that are ready to begin harvesting. My late-planted broad beans (planted mainly to see how they like my soil) are showing tiny pods and may actually produce some seeds for soup. The tomatoes and peppers are going great guns in containers, and the eggplants and tomatillo transplants are rapidly rooting into the garden where the neighbors chickens demolished what was supposed to be my winter vegetable supply. The overwintered peppers are supplying fresh fruit, some of the hot varieties for the first time. Next up: cowpea and edamame variety trials.
MaryMcP - very interesting about the wattles. I've seen them being used on "This Old House" episodes.
Can one purchase the wattles empty and fill them yourself?
We are getting some chilly weather. It is not suppose to be frosty but extremely close and it's making me nervous.
As for changing out plants from spring to summer crops........I have just about made up my mind to grow the cool weather crops in containers from now on and leave my big open beds for the big heavy duty plants that normally need to be planted before the cool weather is finished.
I don't grow a lot of cool weather crops anyway and what I do grow is shallow rooted and grows great in containers. The same plants can be started again in the containers during the summer for the fall crop while the big heavy plants are still in their beds producing. etc.........
Also have a few Table Top Gardens for the small stuff too.......... lettuce, carrots, radish, choy, etc...
I tried Chard this year and ,,,,,,,,,,,I don't like it. I guess it would be ok adding some to spinach to make the spinach go further. I will always grow it cause it is good for me.....but it is soooo blah.
it is good for me...but it is soooo blah.
My reaction exactly! I have "Bright Lights" - my neighbor said she will eat anything, and even she didn't like it!
As to growing in buckets... Do you think they need to be "food grade?"
I know white buckets are food safe. Home Depot orange buckets are made out of the same stuff the white food grades are made of. Is that what you are talking about?
I have a thousand 4 gallon nursery containers. I prefer 5 gallon buckets.
IF the air doesn't kill me first, I guess the buckets will.
I hear some folks are stocking up on food and using the home depot buckets for storage incase there might be a Dooms Day soon. Mostly economic failure. But in my opinion,,,,, an economic failure will be Panic Induced. My step mom is one of those preppers..
This message was edited Apr 22, 2012 8:46 PM
I've only just started looking into e-buckets as I hope to make some next year. From what little I've read, there is a difference between food grade buckets and those used for other purposes, even if they have the same number on the bottom.
The white ones from restaurants should be food grade.
I've been listending to "dooms day" theories all my life - now I'm too old to care. LOL
I don't know if the info would really matter. I'm not saying it mite not be toxic, I highly doubt that either are but storing prepared food is completely different then growing plants. The conditions, the additives, the whole process, is just different. Plants are shipped and grown in plastic all the time. If if poisons are produced with say, the heat and addition of fertilizer it doesn't mean that the plant can metabolize it anyway.
If your really concerned about the food grade issue. I wouldn't grow in plastic anyway.
I'm reading a great book calked THE DOSE MAKES THE POISON. I'm really into this kind of stuff but it's even hard for me to get into. I may have to switch off ever so often with some lighter reading. But it helps explain why poisons are poisons,but not under every circumstance. Let's face it Nightshade plants are poisonous but we sure spend a lot of time trying to grow them. Lol Bee you are NOT too old, but when I read about your exploits you sure don't sound like your from England!
My supper tonight, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and zucchini, fresh from the garden.
Photo 2 - JD's Special C-Tex triple blossom set on a plant set out Jan 16. I have more triple and double blossom fruit set this year than I can remember. Must be a weather thing.
Photo 3 - Muriel tomatoes.
Photos 4 and 5 - Indian Stripe tomatoes.
got a light frost last night (mid 30's) but it looks like everything survived without injury. That inch of rain we got Sunday probably helped
Photo 1 - First jalapeno of the year. My peppers are late tis year.
Photo 2 - Corn has tassels and some silk. Did the Dipel thing on the silks today.
Photo 3 - Lots and lots of dill.
Photo 4 - Texas Early White onions. These have done the best so far compared to the Red Creole and the 1015Y.
Photo 5 - A bed with some of my cucumbers. Seed for plants in this bed were sown in three staggered stages, thus the three sizes of plants. I picked the first four cukes today.
Photo 1 - Potatoes starting cracking the ground. Can you say "new potatoes"?
Photo 2 - Tomatillo - I bought three at HEB this past Saturday for $1 each. I understand you need at least two plants for fruit to pollinate.
Photo 3 - A pot of cacti that blooms for a day to two ever year about this same time in April.
Photo 4 - All the yard critters gather around for this special event.
Photo 5 - Seven pints that were pickled last week.
Mary, that wattle is cool. I haven't seen any locally :0(
Do you use garden scraps in the center of your keyhole for moisture?
Love seeing those veggies, TRG, if it's happening to south..I can be far behind :0)
when I read about your exploits you sure don't sound like your from England!
The English are supposed to be very "refined" and "reserved" - I'm neither - probably why I left England LOL
While I was talking to my neighbors yesterday I was covered in mud! I asked if they liked my "outfit" - they said I looked like a Country Girl (whatever that means.)
I'll probably purchase some food grade buckets just to convince myself they are "better" and quit being so concerned. It occurred to me this morning that I grow lots of transplants in plastic pots - so how can plastic buckets be so different!
TRG, good to see you 'back'....love the pics. Thanks for the kind words on the wattle garden all. cocoa_, I don't place scraps directly into the garden, it gets watered weekly with a sprinkler. I need to rig up the drip line but haven't done it yet. I have a compost barrel and compost all kitchen scraps.
The straw wattle Lisa - it's the border/boundry for some of my raised garden beds - like the keyhole garden. TRY to keep up okay? ;-))
Ah, I see, thanks. I hope to a keyhole put in this year, I'm going to try the type that has a compost bin in the center, 'they say', there is enough water in compost scraps to keep the keyhole watered. It'll be an experiment for sure. At 110 degrees, not even my scraps have much water in them.lol
Oh, I wasn't aware of that fact. Do you have a link? I'm interested in where the compost section is located, am guessing the top, narrow part. There are some really really nice keyhole gardens out there. Mine is functional but not so 'pretty'. If I ever again live where green things grow, I'll try something more elaborate. Green is a color we lust for here in Phoenix. [sigh]
Here is a one link that Darius sent me. http://www.texascooppower.com/texas-stories/nature-outdoors/keyhole-gardening
I found a lot of information and different material options by youtubing (verb.lol) 'keyhole gardens'.
I think yours is going to be very pretty, all that great raised soil makes such a difference!
I'm thinking about planting my Butterbush (butternut) squash seedlings tonight. They've been outside for a couple of days, and are starting to send roots out of the peat pellet. If I don't get them into the ground I'm afraid they will be disrupted when the roots are torn out of the pellet tray. Even with outside sun, they continue to get more leggy. Getting them in the ground may be the best treatment. After all, how much "hardening off" does a cotyledon have when it breaks out of the seed?
Today is my weekday evening off dialysis (YAY!) so I have a chance to do a few things around sunset. Watering everything, since it has been all month since we have had a good rain. The temps haven't been as bad as last year, but April has been very dry. Trying to decide what to do with the last space (about 30' x 30') in my garden. I will probably plant one more block of sweet corn, but that will still leave room for a few more rows of something. I may plant a few succession items-- my first planting of green beans germinated poorly, and there's always use for more yellow squash (we like Early Prolific Straightneck, picked small). I've already added sweet potatoes and purple-hull peas as new items for the year. I also have space currently in late 'Spring' vegetables: Sugar Snap peas, lettuce, spinach, bulb onions, green onions, and (bolting) broccoli. I'll reuse that space for some fall planting, which I haven't been doing before.
Of course, I have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and okra as well. Any suggestions for other summertime garden favorites?
How about armenian cukes? I love to grow spaghetti squash but it takes a fair amount of real estate, like most squashes. What about dried beans, like dragon tongue or lentil? Yard long beans? Loofah!
David, are you growing any cantaloupe or melons?
TRock, I tried both 2 & 3 years ago. I had very poor results. I could try cantaloupes again. I don't have room for watermelons if I plant any more corn.
We will plant the okra seeds that have been soaking since Tuesday this evening when it cools off a bit.
Need to check the peas for what needs to be harvested.
A few more of the asparagus crowns my hubby planted have sprouted, so he's a happy camper.
Nice rain this morning. The pepper plants are almost a foot tall and the tomatoes just a little taller. Zucchini is happily making new leaves and the cukes are looking good. Okra is a little slow but it isn't hot yet.
Today the squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and beets got watered. The new corn silks got a dose of Dipel.
And, the cucumbers are starting to come in. My neighbor who is in their mid 70's gave me a sour brine counter-top pickle recipe a couple years ago. It's one I use every year and it's quick and easy. All you need is salt, vinegar, water, dill blooms and a glass container. I use a large Pyrex bowl or a used 5 quart pickle jar.
Here is todays haul.
What a pretty kitty tx! Nice cukes too. Can you post the recipe?
I sowed okra and armenian cukes seeds earlier this week. The seeds had been soaking a couple of days. We had a little rain yesterday. I'll plant corn and basil this weekend. Maybe a few more summer squash seeds. I need to find spaghetti squash seeds.
Picking Sugar Snap peas today. They didn't get as tall as some other years, probably because I planted so late. You can see in the first photo that the plants are still blooming, at least. Beets are looking pretty good, too. There are a few that I could pull now, but I will let them grow bigger for slicing.
I need to cut some lettuce. I grew up eating a wilted-lettuce salad that we called "fried lettuce". To make, shred a mix of leaf lettuces and some spinach leaves. Add finely chopped green onion. Salt and pepper and toss well. Heat bacon grease in a cast iron skillet (the amount of grease depends on the amount of salad) until it is smoking hot. Carefully drizzle the hot grease over the lettuce, tossing to mix. Sprinkle lightly with a little apple-cider vinegar and dig in. Unbelievably good! You can use other oils, but the bacon flavor is a major contributor to the success of the salad.
Yellow squash is starting to bloom. It looks like I may be lucky in that both male and female flowers are starting at the same time. Bees are already buzzing the plants. The cucumbers are a bit slower. The cuke seeds I started in peat pellets are doing well, though and are beginning to put on a burst of growth.
The Vardaman sweet potatoes are making a good start. It looks like all 50 of the slips survived the transplant and all our putting out new growth. I am very happy with the quality of the slips. I planted fairly close (10"). According to "tatorman.com" (George's Plant Farm) the closer spacing should encourage the plants to produce consistently-sized sweet potatoes. The foliage is a pretty cover and might make a nice ground cover in a flower bed.