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Dave's not here...haven't seen a post from David [dreaves] in a while. Hope all is well on that front. Someone please d-mail me some news if there's any.
My peppers are really starting to take off - finally. Other than them, my garden is almost fallow. I'll sow some more summer squash today, the last batch I was trying to train to grow up an old grapefruit tree and that did not work as hoped. Oh well. And I must have waited too late to sow bush beans, they refused to germinate and I'm guessing the soil was too hot for them. Next year I'll plant in March, not May, and they may do better.
harvesting string beans, peppers, and cukes. gotta watch the cukes and beans every day now so they don't get too big. I have a ton of huge bell peppers on the bush but no immediate use for them now so I'll just wait until they change colours. Jalapeno, New Mex, Anaheim, Ancho are producing like gangbusters! Still waiting for the tabasco, scotch bonnets, chocolate habs to change colour. The bermuda grass is also doing very well, grows faster than I can pull it up lol
[quote]The bermuda grass is also doing very well, grows faster than I can pull it up[/quote]
We've dug up Bermuda grass repeatedly, and still it returns in the areas outside the raised beds! We've tried smothering it with a 12" deep layer of leaves, and it grew through that, too! It also creeps through from the neighbor's yard, which doesn't help.
[quote] have a ton of huge bell peppers on the bush but no immediate use for them now [/quote] Vaughn ~ what on earth will you be doing with so many bells?
When I get excess, I slice and loose freeze them on a waxpaper covered cookie sheet. Then I'll pack them in a baggie where I can remove what is needed for cooking. Of course cooking is the only way to use them once they are frozen.
Oh, all very nice, especially the deck containers.
Today I see the first bloom on the beans. On my Spanish Musica. Hopefully there will soon be more blooms and on the Blue Lakes also. Really I can't wait to taste these. I am growing both of these in containers.
I have some cucumbers in a bowl type planter too. Salad Bush which has baby cucumbers already. But I have plenty more cucumbers in ground.
Picked our first melons of the year this morning. These were three volunteers. They tasted great, and gave enough to share with my daughter and neighbor.
Also picked some tomatoes. They weren't quite ripe, but if I had left them there, the squirrels would have eaten them.
This is my first harvest of potatoes- the bigger ones are Yukon Gold- from some I didn't find last year! The others are fingerlings that I put in a half barrel just for fun. I have 2 more half barrels that I will let go longer. I wasn't sure when to dig these, since the tops had started to die back, but I think I was early.
I'm right behind you on the seed sowing outside. My "kids" will sow seeds this weekend in the painted seed trays, for broccoli, cauliflowers, and cabbages. I'm leaving them outside, under the patio cover. This'll be my first time sowing ANY seeds for these veggies outside, but, if I miss, I'll still be right on target to resow come August 1st.
I'm about ready to rip out my lemon cucumber vines. They just don't do well when the temps get up to 105º!! Besides that, they were looking really bad. I'll probably take out the Marketmore cukes when the last of the cukes mature. I am also ready to rip out the cantaloupes. They've pretty much finished producing and are looking half dead. The tomatoes, okra, and pole beans are still doing great, tho!
It looks like one last decent harvest of the zucchini but we'll still hopefully have some tomatoes if this 100-plus temperatures break soon. Looks like we'll also be pulling the zucchini and summer squash plants out. Going to cut the cucumber vines at the base and let them dry out, since we are only going to get another 6 or 7. Actually got a single Mr. Stripey to fruit and it's turning color. Not much bigger than a golf ball.
Watermelon... "It's what's for dessert"... Well, okay, August dessert. All four kinds are doing good. Have some Congo's, Crimson Sweet's, Little Gem's and Bush Sugar Baby's... Finally got the pine bark mulch down outside the fence for the melons to sit on... I've counted about 10 melons but I know a lot more are hidden in all the leaves..
I've got a couple of pics of our zucchini plants and they are covered by what I would expect to be Powdery Mold, can someone confirm this by the pictures?? They will probably be pulled out by this weekend, anyway, but want to make sure what I have been dealing with.
Today's harvest... Zucchini plant & leaves... Watermelon patch.. A couple of Congo's
Dragged out the hoses and wetted down all the beds this morning in anticipation of 100F temps this coming weekend. Threw more BER infected tomatoes into the compost. Added fertilizer to one row of peppers, pulled a row of onions, and added mulch to the peppers and beans. Tripped over something and am now resting a pulled muscle in my back! My little dog Chloe thought mommy had a new game to play!
I know there's some squash out there calling my name, so perhaps after lunch I'll venture out.
I am always very impressed on how good you are naming your vegetable varieties.
I have a question for you: your eggplants look so beautiful, don't you have flee beetles in Gainesville?
I don't see any little holes on your eggplants.
[quote="MaryMcP"]Rich, is Tiger a tomato? I love the 'markings'.
This message was edited Jun 27, 2012 3:54 PM[/quote]
No, it's one of a number of types of Thai eggplants. They also grow long types in Thailand, but the small round ones seem to be a specialty. "Tiger" was from Kitazawa. Johnny's sells one called "Kermit" that looks identical. Evergreen Seeds (http://www.evergreenseeds.com/oreg.html) lists a staggering number from all over Asia.
If you Google "Thai eggplant" you'll get links to dozens of photos and recipes. I'm still trying to decide if the little ones are worth growing. My single plant has been incredibly productive, averaging one fruit per day. Some recipes/instructions say to remove the seed cavity, others use them seeds and all. Some indicate they are bitter, but I braved a bite right out of the middle (raw), chewed up seeds and all and did not detect any bitterness. The bitterness some experience may be a function of age - these were all picked small, before the seeds hardened. It seems to me if you had to scoop out and throw away the seed cavity, you'd need at least a half-dozen or more fruit to make a meal.
I still lean more towards the long Japanese types, but that is partly because of their reputation of producing well in the heat. I'm not sure how you'd tell - all the eggplant I'm growing (with the exception of a "Green Goddess" that got off to a slow start) have been productive - but we're just now getting to the really hot weather down here.
The two earliest to produce fruit BTW were Tiger and Swallow. But I have a very small sample of varieties (unlike my peppers), and didn't even include any "traditional" European-style varieties. I wanted to see how some of the different Asian varieties compared in my garden.
I am always very impressed on how good you are naming your vegetable varieties.
I have a question for you: your eggplants look so beautiful, don't you have flee beetles in Gainesville?
I don't see any little holes on your eggplants.
I have been fortunate this year. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any since I moved to my current location. I have no explanation. I do periodically release green lacewings and ladybugs, but I don't know if they have any influence. Maybe just lucky so far?
thanks so much. I love the larger eggplants better.
The smaller ones are just too small and I harvest 2-3 at the time ... too little to do nothing.
Flee beetles are really not a problem for me as far as production ... but I wish my fruits was just like yours: "perfect".
Keep up the great job !
I have just bought more eggplant seeds from Baker Creek since they are having a 15% sale this week.
Most of my plants are just ramping up except the summer squashes; first cuke yesterday and more on the way. I do have a second wave of squash and cukes I'm trying to get established.
Astonishingly, I got peppers this spring and lots of them -- I *never* get them until late fall! (Except for one variety which I will post another thread about.) They aren't ripening, though -- after they hang there for too long (say 3 or 4 weeks once they are a good size) they just start getting rotten spots. I had this happen last year, too. No sign of any bug damage or physical damage. No mold, no BER. If it's a fungal disease, it isn't one I can find and it doesn't affect the younger peppers. Weird. I just eat them green, but some nice ripe peppers would be a treat.
[quote="SusanKC"]We have lots of peppers and eggplants this year also. Now if the temps would drop so that the tomatoes would continue to set.[/quote]
My Momotaros are still setting and ripening new fruit. Astonishing to me, having lived in the South for 47 years and gardened most of those years, and these are the first full-sized red tomatoes I've grown that keep producing right into hot weather. Not only that, but they made it through three days of torrential rain from Debby (over 12 inches recorded locally) with only one split fruit. I will be planting them from now on.
Told yah! Those Momos are amazing. Give them a decent growing season and they won't disappoint you.
WARNING: MOMOTAROS ARE MEATY AND THEY ARE SWEET!
You have been warned...
Rich, the Sioux I grew along with the Momos last season in the drought? Outperformed the Momos in all that heat - even when I refused to go out and water. I finally had to rip the plants to shut em down!
Thanks Kristi, I just ordered some and focused on small types...Fengyuan Purple, Edirne Purple Striped and Malaysian Dark Red Eggplant, Also grabbed some extra dwarf pak choy that looks enticing. Yummmm.
Have we determined what those rotting spots are caused by?
I'm thinking BER...I mixed some Dolomite lime and water and poured down into my eBucket reservoir, and on the top and watered in really well. It seems to have helped, but, hey, the BER camps will have all sorts of ideas about what happened.
All I know is, the rotting spots came to a screeching halt!
We plant 700 or so bell peppers every year. They must be on the plant to turn color. A lot will rot before getting completely red. Corn borers like peppers. The moth lays a egg under the stem. When the larvae hatches, he bores a hole & goes inside. You won't know it until you cut the pepper or a rotten spot appears. A lot less of that since farmers are using the BT corn seed.
I feel certain my issue is not BER . It doesn't have the "edges" the BER gets or the black spots, and it only affects the oldest fruit. I also don't have any other plants with rotting problems, and my soil test last fall said I had high levels of calcium. I haven't noticed any symptoms timing with soil moisture levels either.
I don't think it's bacterial soft rot either -- it doesn't get that squishy. Oh, and no bugs on the inside.
It looks just like if the pepper had started to rot normally after being picked.
I'm still here. Training on a new mode for dialysis a couple of weeks ago, then adjusting to new procedures at home. Free time spent canning roasted tomato sauce, fig preserves, and peach jam. Highs in the 100's are doing in the tomatoes, but okra is kicking into gear.
[quote="Gymgirl"]Told yah! Those Momos are amazing. Give them a decent growing season and they won't disappoint you.
WARNING: MOMOTAROS ARE MEATY AND THEY ARE SWEET!
You have been warned...
Rich, the Sioux I grew along with the Momos last season in the drought? Outperformed the Momos in all that heat - even when I refused to go out and water. I finally had to rip the plants to shut em down![/quote]
Maybe I'm spoiling them too much...?
Oh now I had to go search Momotaro as it is a variety I never heard of before. I found information about them on the Territorial Seed site. Seems they were not only seeling seeds but plants of these earlier in the year.
We have a great selection of tomato p[lants available at a big local nursery but I know they did not have these. I hope I remember to try them next year as they sound great!
Linda, Stephanie, Re: peppers, I've put up shade with old sheets. They still get morning sun and filtered evening (through the okra).
Not the most aesthetic looking, but If the neighbors can't see, it might be worth a try. It's stopped the sun scald. I get the garden sheets from Good Will cheap.
Ya'll are being so helpful today (as all other days)!
I've got a flat of eggplants and (more) bell peppers that need to be transplanted two weeks ago. RB #1 has the remnants of 5 tomato vines that are coming out, plus 15 sweet bell peppers that are finally taking off. I soaked okra seedlings last Friday night and put them into some IHORT plugs two nights ago. They jumped right on outta those plugs, so they have to go in somewhere too.
Now that I know I can plant all this together, I can plant the okras where the tomatoes were, and put the eggplants to the north of the bells.
Hurray, I found two ready to pick cucumbers on my Salad Bush plants this afternoon so I picked them. First cucumber of the year. Probably will eat them tomorrow. These Salad Bush are in a container. My in ground cucumbers still have very small fruits. Some of them have no flowers or fruit as yet.
Glad to see you back David. It's so strange even with the high temps my tomatoes are still setting. When I get a chance I pull the spent bloosom out and there is a tiny tomato button. I went out this evening and found some tomato buttons on all my plants. I have some Red Alerts and Dwarfs in containers. They all have tomatoes and tomato buttons. Then I went into my weed/grass infested garden and found more. Even the Cowlick's Brandywine has tomato buttons. The black krim has some large tomatoes but smaller ones too.
I'm really surprised. The plants are smaller then normal but they are cranking out the fruit. I haven't had a bunch of ripe ones yet but the future looks promising. I expected the larger fruited varieties to have stopped but Mortgage Lifter, Box Car Willie, Virginia Sweets etc are setting fruit too. I even have some tomatoes on the Black Seaman (didn't get one last year) and it too is still setting.
I read in a DG article that tomato plants don't like coffee grounds and by the looks of my garden I have to agree. I do lasagna gardening and the plants are much smaller in the area that got the most coffee grounds. This is just a strange year. The fruit is coming in later, the plants are smaller, but they are loaded with fruit. Maybe mine are still going strong because my micro climate is cooling off into the mid 70s at night?
As for Eggplant. I grow almost only Thai types I just like how they look, but they love the heat. Any suggestions on the weeds. I've been so busy taken care of my elderly parents personal matters. I haven't had a lot of time for my gardening...
I still need to plant my pepper plants I really want to put them in containers. I've heard that 3.5 gallon nursery pots should be Ok, but what does everybody think about smaller pots. I have a lot of plants (unusual types) and I want to try to over winter them since it doesn't look like I'll have much time for them this summer...
Lisa, my tomatoes are also still setting fruit in all the high temps! Lots of maters waiting to ripen. I just wish they'd hurry up! Also I've been hunting down the evil hornworms!
Since we've pulled out much of the spring stuff, hubby got more mushroom compost and cotton burr compost the other day. He's been putting that on top of the garden in the places we've pulled stuff out in preparation for fall planting. He's not going to turn it in, just rake it over the existing soil and water in. Then, we'll put a layer of either leaves or straw on top to prevent weeds and to help with moisture control and keep the soil temps down a little.
when rb #1 was set in place we tilled down about 8". we also tilled the spot where rb #2 is now sitting. i have to dig the holes for the feet and level it. it's been about 2-3 months since the ground was tilled and i think it compressed again. it's been covered with a sheet of heavy plastic, so no weeds or grass. i was thinking to go buy a pitchfork and hand dig it up about 6-8" before i cover it up with a sheet of thick cardboard and begin layering some organics on top. do y'all think digging again is necessary?
Linda, from what I have read, it is best not to till a garden too much as it disturbs the micro-organisms. If this bed is full of earthworms, I would leave it alone. They will till the bed for you. ^_^
However, if the soil has compressed to the point where roots cannot get enough air, I would certainly "fluff" it up a bit.
Just saw the post above and wondered what okra you're planting. Was that any of the seed that I sent you? Glad your second bed is in the ground and ready to go. BTW, some replacement showed up & I'll get some to you...
Nothing like cooking dinner with a lot of the veggies from your own garden! Taco salad with roasted corn salsa with my own onions, tomatoes, and peppers! (the corn was at least from the farmers market tho)
Kev, I haven't tried the okra seeds out yet. Still have half a dozen Burgundy Okra to transplant when I pull up the zukes and cukes
I wish I could get some of your cucumbers in Texas. My Picklebush cucumbers burned up in our heat weeks ago. I still "need" bread-and-butter and would like to have more dills. I'm going to start some seeds inside and plant a second crop in the next week or two. Also need to start some more tomatoes and try a fall crop.
Today I planted the remaining eggplant and bell pepper transplants , and the rooted tomato cuttings. RB #1 is almost filled. Thinking of sprinkling some carrot seeds in between the spaces, since this is where they'll go once the bells are up.
I scored two bags of freshly mowed grass yesterday, and mixed it in with the leaves in my compost trash cans. It helpswas already heating up in the plastic bags! Sure hope it helps the compost break down in the cans.
Didn't get to empty the EBs. The onion nubs aren't doing a thing. I'll use the boxes for my mustards and collards, or for the onions I'm starting from seeds this go round.
All that's left is to fill RB #2, and start the seeds for the fall crop.
It was a very productive holiday. And I managed to eat a plate of BBQ after all!
Oh my, I got flooded with cukes yesterday, and more today -- but no more stacked up behind them. I may need to make pickles today. Cherokee Purple tomatoes have been coming in (they're the best!) and some small ones off that volunteer vine that have only been good compared to supermarket toms.
I never got overwhelmed with zukes this year. My patty pan squash have been steady but not overwhelming either.
I need more peppers but I can't complain about their productivity. I wish I could find a reliable and prolific bell. Jackpot is reliable and good tasting, but only produces a few fruit per plant. They are large, sweet and truly thick-walled, but I need something that's a better user of space.
Scarlet runner beans are done blooming although they may come back when it cools off a bit. All the native bees adore my sunflowers and the bumblebees are stacked 5 and 6 deep in the squash blossoms.
I jumped the gun and planted potatoes a little early on a hunch and they are starting to put on some green. I have some newer squash, cuke and tomato plants coming along for the 2nd summer season and it's nearly time to direct seed fall seeds.
I'm happy to hear 'Ace" is doing well, Honeybee. That's been on my wish list for my next Johnny's order. Most of my peppers are just starting to turn, wish I had gotten them in earlier.
I just got in an order from Jung's, excited to get started, but have family staying over the weekend...my light set-up is in the spare room, no sense making a mess until they're gone. It's hard holding back, that box of seed keeps calling to me!
Tore out Market More cucumbers, that was my second attempt growing these and I'm done trying. They are way too bitter for me.
Tore out a bed of green beans, they're done for the year. Prepped two more beds for fall. And canning gazoodles of tomatoes. Life is good :0)
I'm about ready to pull out our pole beans because they look so fried. They just really don't do well in this heat. I hate to do it though because they are loaded with blooms. I'm ready to pull out the Marketmores, but hubby wants to try nursing them along. Ugh!
My beans look beautiful, and are putting on new blooms, so I hate to pull them out, but I know it's time. I need to get going or I'm going to mess up my fall planting. I have never tried marketmores, only used to plant straight 8, but since I found the little Cucina hybrids, I probably won't plant anything else. They are wonderful! From Parks seeds, and I've been planting them for a few years now. Soft skin, smaller size, and great taste.
There are lots of better tasting cumbers out there than Marketmore.
I have been eating my SALAD BUSH cukes (which are in a planter bowl) and saying my inground cukes don't have big fruit yet but today I looked under the leaves and found lots and lots of cucumbers already. Picked 5 today and will be picking more tomorrow. Those were Burpless and Marketmore. I have Straight Eight in there also. Bought them all as seedlings. Over on the much longer trellis I have the cucumbers I started my self from seed which are the China Long, Aremenian and Palace King. Only the CHINA LONG ones have flowers already.
I have calypso and straight eight growing, straight eight I like to grow as an old stand by.it is not always the best for taste,,only does have above average or usual taste and it produces exceptionally on occasion .
I picked my first tomato of the season this evening and had it with dinner. Marketmore and Armenian, always seem to end up with some malady when I grow them.
ARMENIAN as either standard or yard long I find to be delicious as far as taste only either never produced well for me.
My little cucumber fruits are all small yet, in a while.
I only have a few Marketmore plants and honestly, I don't know why I planted them. They are my least favorite cucumber. Well, any of the Marketmores are my least favorite. The Marketmore 76 and others I find no different. Straight Eight is all right but the Burpless ones are better. I never had Calypso.
I am really looking forward to tryying the Armenian and the China Long. Both new for me.
I haven't grown cucumbers for a couple of years because the cucumber beetles were so bad. I looked back into my records and had made a note that "Marketmore" did poorly. Had to go back to find one that I liked and found it in 2009 - "Cucino" from Park Seed. I had made a note that it produced from the middle of June to the middle of September that year.
I'll have to add this to my "buy" list for next year.
The worst part about my Marketmore vines was that they were gorgeous and healthy...but what good is that if I can't eat the fruit.lol
Thanks for the tips on Cucino. I just received H-19 Little Leaf seed, it's supposedly not bitter because it's parthenocarpic and has less Cucurbitacin compounds (the substance that can cause bitterness). We shall see, I feel really confident in my ability to grow a bitter cucumber :0)
I absolutely loved the Armenian melons, I can't get over how much they tasted like cucumbers. The only thing that seems strange is how they looked pickled since the skin is so different. I can't tell if they taste different pickled... I think that might be imagining that they do. I need to do a blind taste test with the family.
Stephanie, I forgot to ask. Do pole beans normally keep producing during our summers? I'm trying them the first time this year. I was hoping they would produce after the big flush of bush beans was over, so I planted them late. They are blooming, no beans yet.
But one concern I had..my bush beans were still producing when I pulled them up, however, the pods were getting tough and stunted. Will poles do this in high heat?
Our Ferry-Morse Marketmore 76 Cukes did great this year... They were not bitter and had great size along with the Salad Slicers... Pulled the last 4 cukes today and cut the vines at the ground and will pull the remnants out of the trellis... If we get the break in the weather we're supposed to next week, maybe the rest of the tomatoes will finally ripen. Now, they're kind of dormant and just watering to keep them alive, they haven't ripened in the last 2 weeks.
Watermelons are going pretty good, but I've got one question. How do you know when a Bush Sugar Baby is ripe?? The skin is dark green without any stripes and has looked the same since it set fruit, just grew to about 7"... So far I can only find about 4 of them and they all look & feel identical.. May harvest one when the grand daughter is over this weekend, just to see how it tastes...
kevcarr59 There's a bunch of guess to that ,With me I am a tapper and a viewer.The melon where it sets in contact with the ground should go from white to yellowish ,Tapping them lightly for sound difference,others will be by the dry tendril only I don't like that as much(to many an overripe melon that way) If they sound solid ;not ripe. Like store-bought there is a slight hollow sound to watermelon.Water re-verb I guess
It does take some practice and do not be in a hurry most melons will not be ripe for a while ,even when you think they are. For amateurs like myself it is difficult!
I love watermelons though!!! And I will keep on trying to grow them!!
Just south of us they have a "Watermelon Thump" in Luling, Tx. It's a huge festival and LOT'S of WM... Have heard about the thump & the dry-tendril method. Will have to check Burpee's website again to find out what the DTM is. I I'm correct, they should be fairly close to being ripe...according to DTM...
I don't know about your type of melon but many melons have a small tendril about an inch away from the melon. It is not attached to a fruit or leaf. When the melon ripens, the tendril begins to dry up. That is usually an indicator of time to harvest.
CountryGardens; Hi ya if you have a few minutes later, what kind of melons are you growing,I actually think you mentioned that earlier this year on another thread,.only I seemed to have forgotten(big suprise there) lol
Your farther north and way ahead of mine, one little ole cuke and a melon maybe,is all my little garden has. I remember the pic of your market garden spaces,how wonderful that must be at times.My grandfather was the last farmer in our family,and the one thing I seem to remember most was what a bunch of hardworking man he always was.
Oh, no ripe melons here. I think I planted my melon seeds too late.
I planted some of my brocoli seedlings in ground today from their cellpacks that I had used to start them in. They had their first set of true leaves so I figgure it is time. Still have half of them yet to plant.
Thought for a while my drought was over,it wasn't, still going on.Some of my melon vines look like I just planted them,not good there.Starting to harvest tomatoes, not much else.
Rain was 9/100 dreths for June and about 3/100 for July where I am.Rained all around where I am though,the corn fields only a few miles away look really nice! good thing!
I'm finally picking more tomatoes that don't have BER than those that do! Even though more than half the crop has landed in the compost, I feel confident that we'll have enough tomato sauce to last us until next summer.
The tomatoes I transplanted (as an experiment) in a pile of leaves are showing some color.
This dry heat has produced the most amazing sweet melons!
Some of the sweet pepper plants have given up. They just dried up and died (sigh) - another row is still hanging in there. They are loaded with peppers. This row gets more shade, so perhaps that's what is helping them along.
The Jimmy Nardello sweet frying peppers are laughing at the heat. I'm freezing some for later.
It's supposed to rain tonight and be cooler this coming week. (fingers crossed)
I posted this elsewhere - does anyone know what these are?
We use to call those butter gourd squash in the Thanksgiving Harvest baskets that we sat on the table. Never did know what they were for sure though.
Good weather for gourds,unfortunately I am not growing any,guess I need to turn my psychic receptors back on and start guessing what to grow when.
Guess I'm not a natural at gardening,"too much work"...did I just call myself lazy?(lol)
Finally got the zucchini & squash plants pulled out of the garden, and now it looks so naked. Just have to wait for the cuke vines to die a little bit more and pull them out of the trellis.
The big zucchini stem was about 4' or 5' long, is this normal or are they smaller??
Before & after or garden...
With this rain, and hopefully non-triple-digit temperatures, the remaining tomatoes will finally ripen and finish them for the season. The plants are now growing through the bird netting, and I bet will go ahead & start some new blooms... This is going to be fun getting that net back...
rjogden wow I like the variety of eggplant you have picture there, out of those varieties which do you like the best and why? 3 years ago I had several plants and really fell in love with eggplant so now I'm on a quest to grow as many different kinds to find which ones I like the best.
I've had about 3 inches of rain in the past few days! I haven't been able to pick the okra, so I know there will be some monsters. Hopefully this will give the sweet-potatoes a boost, too. What was left of my tomatoes blew down in a storm this week. We had winds of 60-70 mph-- my cages weren't secured nearly well enough for that much wind. The rain should make it possible to till up some of the areas where I had my onions, beans, peas, squash, and cucumbers. I'm thinking of planting more squash and cukes. I will also be starting beds for fall crops soon.
Mee too, except for the wind, hopefully the gusts are gone for awhile. I've ignored the okra for the last few days, I'm almost frightened at what I might find :0)
Stephanie, I sowed 4, 72 count trays of tomatoes. It sounds like a lot, but I'm the queen of tomatoes disasters and had miserable luck with them over the last few years. My thought process was, even with drought, poor conditions, poor planning, surely 280 would be enough to see some results. I lost 30 plants in the early spring and another 30-40 have never produced because of some kind of weirdness. They are all growing on new ground, so next year I can go back to about 180 plants, since I now know where they do well.
Here are the 8 plants that are planted. We only planted 6, but put 2 seeds per hole. Mark can't stand to let anything go to the compost pile, so he transplanted 2 of the multiple germinated ones. I did soak the seeds overnight in a hydrogen peroxide-water solution.
Harvest pic from 7.11.12 (Did you get your free Slushee at 7 11 yesterday?)
Another harvest pic showing various sizes of pods.
Pods on the plant. The tips turn red and are very pretty.
Those are pretty, Stephanie!
I'm loving the 'burgundy' this year, it's pretty too, with long narrow tender pods. The funny thing is I can't get anyone to buy them at our little farmer's market..too weird for them.lol
I got some seeds of another Hill Country okra, 'Beck's Big Buck'. I desperately want to sow them now, but already have enough of the burgundy and clemson. I guess "next year" is what always keeps a gardener going.lol
Thanks! I took some cucumbers to work to share with my co-workers. They quickly took the 'regular' cukes, but left the lemon cucumbers. Some brave soul took one and came back the next day and told everyone how wonderful they were. The next time I took cukes, both kinds went like hotcakes! People are just so skeptical of "not normal looking" produce. One of the wonderful things about growing your own veggies is that you can grow all the "weird" but good tasting stuff you want!
My cucumbers are starting to produce as I am picking every other day. As soon as the ones on the long section of trellis staert to produce, I should be swimming in cukes.
I found 4 nice red ripe tomatoes on my BETTER BUSH so I picked those and will be having one on a sandwich or a hamberger later.
But mainly what is happening here is making room so that I can plant more in the future. I have a very much cottage garden with lots of flowers and this year have found that by re-arranging or moving plants forward I can fit veggie areas along in back. That would work especially well for vertical gardening and for planting tomatoes. This year I have Juliet Grape tomatoes in back of one of my daylily beds. That is working out so well, I made space in back of another section of daylily bed and can have tomatoes here also next year.
Then yesterday and today, I changed an area from two rows of daylilies and a row of tall lilies in back with emplty spot between to one row of daylilies forward, left the lilies and now have enough room for veggies in between.
I am thinking I will plant my fall peas of which I already ordered lots of seed in those two new empty spots. I just love garden freash sugar snap and snowpeas.
oh snap and snowpeas fresh from the garden are so yummy, gosh yall are making me so hunger for my own garden but I won't be getting started until later this month... so I have a long wait... but do keep up the discussions as it just keeps making my seed order list longer and longer...lol I just received an order of seeds today and man they were fast, I just order the first of this week and got them today. I really love that they have smaller size seed packs and you can't beat the price 40 cents a package. Artistic Garden, St Johnsbury Ctr VT www.artisticgardens.com no GM seeds.
NyRita, that sounds lovely. Cottage gardening is my first love and the only way I used to grew veggies was mixed into the flower beds. Somedays I think I had far less problems among the flowers then a I have now with a dedicated veggie garden. Not to mention, my flowers beds have now suffered from neglect. I would love to see pictures, if your up for it :0)
Meadwyk, thanks! I haven't seen that seed company. Nice to know they're fast. I'll have to do some window shopping!
I got the okra tended to this morning, I hate to waste food, perhaps I can use these older pods as fire wood.lol
Finished canning the toms, 30 quarts, plus 5 quarts juice. Still have a gallon of juice left, but ran out of steam. Decided to cook a roast in the juice tonight instead.
My makeshift shade cloth is holding up, no more sun scald on the peppers. Got a lovely picking this morning. It's all going on the smoker for some salsa making.
I picked more cucumbers today and a few tomatoes. Main crops of tomatoes not ripening here yet. Had afew Juliet tomatoes so that I got a taste of them and I do like them. Good thing as the plants are growing like weeds and have green fruit just everywhere. I wasn't sure when I planted them this spring in back of my daylily bed if they would like it there and do well but apparently I need not have worried. They are thriving and I more or less negrect them. Will take some pictures to post in the next few days.
Oh good. I am done gardening for the day. Watered all my tomato plants with liquid Neptunes Seaweed Fertilizer. I really like this stuff. You can just water in ground, which is what I did today, or you can folliar feed. Never used it on my veggies before but use it on my roses and daylilies each year. What makes the stuff so good is that the seaweed is just full of all the micro-nutrients that plants need.
Linda, I wasn't sure if I could grow bell peppers here, I didn't invest in a lot of ordered seed. I grew mostly those pre-mixed Burpee packs (hot and bells). I also planted, 'sweet ruby' bell, cubanelle, anaheim and sweet banana. My favorite is the Cubanelle, will be growing it again, but have a list of seeds I want to try next year.
Good job, Rita! I intended to fertilize today, just got to hot, too quick...spent too much time picking off squash bugs. yuck!
I dilute fish emulsion, molasses and liquid humus by half and use it every two weeks instead of monthly. Kelp products have become outrageous around here, a 50lb bag of kelp is 80.00 and my feed store has to order it. Someone here mention a liquid kelp concentrate, I need to look into that.
I always chuckle when I slow down long enough to read through the days posts.
Cocoa ~ I ordered Cubanelle peppers for next season. They were recommended as a smaller stature plant working well for raised beds or containers. I wondered how large the peppers are and you are the perfect person to answer that question please?
I found the Burpee bell seed pack. 'Carnival Mix' hybrid seed, contains California Wonder, Diamond, Golden California Wonder, Orange Sun, and Purple Beauty.
Really hated Purple Beauty, its been consistently thin walled for me.
Kristi, my cubanelles are not getting that big. I wish, nice job, rwaterspf1!
They have been 4-5", The first few were probably around 6", but they were close enough to lay on the ground and got soft spots with bugs. Is that why it's recommended to cull the first few fruits?
I pulled out the zucchini -- they were pretty much played out -- and the patty pan squash, and pulled the weeds that had come up underneath. Not many -- I am finally getting the worst perennial weeds under control. I hate to do it since the bees loved the blooms so much, but it's time. I have 3 empty beds there now and 1 is slated for carrots which should be seeded in a week or so and the other for turnips which need another 2-3 weeks.
I have a Kazakh melon plant which is rambling absolutely everywhere, up and over the fence and into the straw for my potatoes and the luffa gourds. Despite plenty of blooms, male and female, and lots of bee attention they are not making fruit. If it doesn't do something soon, it's coming out. The Rich Sweetness melons got wilt and died and I just don't think the ones I reseeded are going to make it. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Midget melons are coming in strong and I know from growing these before that they all get ripe nearly at once and then the plant is done. I'd prefer something that spaces out more, but I love the small plant and personal melon size and that they come in so soon, so I guess I will stick with MN Midget as my regular melon. Those three beds are needed for peas, and they should get seeded in about a week.
Meanwhile 2 of my potatoes, Carola and Rio Grande, are up and doing well. The Yukon Golds are not rotted and still have eyes, but no greenery. I did plant potatoes early so they have time. Hopefully they come in, but clearly the other two are winning the contest for what does well here.
Tomatoes are coming in well (German Striped, Cherokee Purple, Brandywine) -- it's been a bang up year for them. Best maters ever. I severely pruned them yesterday and started new plants around the landscape to see if I can get a fall crop that everyone says they do. Muncher cucumber as tasty and reliable as always; the first plant is playing out a bit and the second one is starting to bloom. It's been a good year for peppers, too, and they are just getting going.
The Honey Nut mini butternut started slow but is setting a lot of fruit now and a few are turning yellow. I have high hopes for these. Waltham Butternut has always been a sure fire winner for me but they are so BIG, and since I'm the only one that eats squash I end up wasting a lot. The Honey Nuts are definitely small. Also in squash, I replanted the Sweet Reba acorns I lost to SVB and they are getting ready to bloom. Nice compact bush plant with regular sized acorns. (I got one slightly immature fruit before the original plants died; haven't eaten it yet.) The Bon Bon survived me removing the main stems and just getting by on rooted vines, but it looks like I will only get one squash off the plant.
The goldfinches are enjoying the sunflowers as have the bees. The scarlet runner beans are probably done.
It's hard to believe the end of summer is almost here.
Nicole - sounds as though your garden is doing well. It's a great feeling when one gathers a good harvest.
The "Monica" tomatoes seem willing to set another round of fruit, which is surprising seeing as they are supposed to be determinates. Hopefully these will not succumb to as much blossom end rot. I gave the flowers a gentle shake this morning.
The tortoises are back! They have eaten two melons, but I gathered another two this morning that they missed.
Now that we've had some rain, the squash have picked up again.
Another sweet pepper succumbed to wilt over night. The other row of peppers still seems immune, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Looks like the second row of "Royal Burgundy" bush beans will be bearing soon. They seem to love the heat.
I'm going to try to direct sow some peppers today. I also need to get some black eyed peas in the ground. I missed growing them this spring. We don't eat a lot of black eyed peas, but it would be nice to have some homegrown ones on New Year's Day!
Kristi, I really can't tell that the cubanelle plants are all that much smaller then the other sweet peppers. I think the beds are a safe bet. Let me know how you like the Beck's, only one review in PF for taste from Farmerdill. He didn't care for the taste, but I love the taste of some of the tomatoes he doesn't care for. May just be the regional difference.
Nicole, sorry to hear about the luffa, I think mine are a bust as well. I got them sown early enough, but planted in an area with no irrigation. Haven't had the rainfall the rest of the state is getting. Tho, I haven't had the a/c on in over a week...that's a fair trade off :0)
Honeybee, are tortoises a common garden problem in NC?
Stephanie, how is your Rutger's look on the stem end? I tried them for the first time this year and they have been the worst about catfacing and cracking on top, but out of all it's our favorite tasting tomato! So, I'm to try again with them next year.
Going to post some pictures of what is going on at my garden. First just some pictures of the Juliet tomatoes. I have four of these plants in back of a row of daylilies in the garden that runs along the side of my driveway.
[quote="cocoa_lulu"]Nicole, sorry to hear about the luffa, I think mine are a bust as well. I got them sown early enough, but planted in an area with no irrigation. Haven't had the rainfall the rest of the state is getting. Tho, I haven't had the a/c on in over a week...that's a fair trade off :0)
Actually it wasn't the luffa -- my wording was poor. It's the Kazakh melons that are all blooms no fruit. The luffa ae doing well but I think I planted them too late to get any fruit this year.
NicoleC, when is your first frost date? Are you growing the luffa for eating or for letting ripen on the vine for the sponge? If eating then you should be able to get some before you first frost, if for sponge then it might be close.
Did I get a surprise yesterday between rain storms. Went out to see what could be harvested, and what I thought was a cantaloupe, was actually a watermelon. Identification was pretty easy since it had split in half. No wonder why it never went to the brown, scaly skin. Oh well, learn something new every day.
Got another extension service website & have finally figured that my tomatoes have TSWV. The majority of what coming off the plants now have the big, yellow splotches, plus the cracking rings that radiate around the stem. It's only 10 tomato plants, the whole crop, we're tired of eating tomatoes, & the neighbors aren't taking as many as before. A 100-fold better year than last year, plus VERY educational. A very big "Thank you" for all of those who participated in my education!!
With all the problems with thrips & stink bugs, what would be a plan of attack to "debug" this raised bed?? Plans are to: 1) Pull all the existing plants & trellises out. 2) Scrape as much debris off the top. 3) Cover the entire bed with a weed cloth & then with pine bark mulch. On final transplanting, use this bed to hold the aeration containers for the fall garden, just sitting on the mulch... Another lesson learned from this year...LOL...
Spray suggestions?? Will prep this bed for next spring by removing the mulch & weed cloth, amending with the composted cow manure & replacing the cover & mulch. I plan on using this bed exclusively for cucumbers next year.
[quote="meadowyck"]NicoleC, when is your first frost date? Are you growing the luffa for eating or for letting ripen on the vine for the sponge? If eating then you should be able to get some before you first frost, if for sponge then it might be close.[/quote]
I had wanted to grow them for the sponges. Our first frost varies widely, but average is Oct 10th.
We'll see how it goes. I don't need that space for anything for fall -- it's outside the fence although the rabbits haven't nibbled the plants yet.
cocoa - [quote]are tortoises a common garden problem in NC[/quote]
I don't know the answer to that one. We live in an subdivision called "Heritage Woods" which will give you a hint that there are many, many trees in the area.
My daughter lives a half mile from here, and her house is right next to a "Greenway." We see lots of wildlife during our early morning or late evening walks. We even had to carefully walk around a snapping turtle one day that was sunning itself on the path.
So, anything that can crawl under, or climb over our fence is sure to visit the garden at some point.
Honeybee, I just found it interesting they could be a garden problem. I couldn't remember ever seeing a tortoise in Texas. When I looked it up..sure enough..Texas only has one tortoise and it's limited to a very small southern region. Sorry they are after your veggies, but thank you for leading me to learn something new.
The "aeration containers" are the Smart Pots, Root Pouches, Grow Pots, etc... The fabric pots that provide better aeration to the growing media for the growth of the root ball & a better plant overall...
This morning, I harvested my first carrot ever! It's the "Short & Sweet" variety - it's 7" long, and FAT! I also picked zucchini (need to tell hubby how to find them before they get steroidal), strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions (bunching) and beets. Not bad for a two person garden!
I threw on the composted manure around the strawberries, and rhubarb, and tomatoes. Then, limed the tomatoes. Then had a bale of straw that I scattered about, really hitting the strawberries heavily.
Oh, I also sprayed a concoction of Baking Soda, Dr. Bronner's soap, and Neem on just about everything. The garden just loves it, and so do my roses and Jane Magnolias! Takes care of powdery mildew, and is pleasant to work with. Cleaned out my shed, washed out some tools and pea wire fences with a mild bleach solution - time to put them away. Staked up some wandering tomato branches...
Now, in the 95 degree heat, I only could take gardening until 12:30, but the results are so worthwhile.
I keep waiting for ripe fruit on mine but they are STILL all green.
I don't know what is going on with my cucumbers. MY CHINA LONG have more blooms than I have even seen on cucumber plants. Tons of blossoms and hardly a cucumber set. One here and there but hard to find any! On the other hand the PALACE KING right next to them are loaded, loaded with little fruits set. Both planted at the same time, both asian cucumbers.
I don't know how to tell the difference between the male and female blossoms. Never had to even think about it before. All these years I have been growing cucumbers I get flowers, I get fruit set. Lots of fruit set.
I decided to give the cucumbers some fertilizer. I watered around the roots with my Neptunes Liquid Seaweed and Fish Blend Fertilizer late today. Did all the cucumbers. Couldn't hurt.
I just have NEVER seen so many flowers on cuke plants before. I mean what with THAT many flowers I really expected some fruit set. I know people do like this variety of cukes so they must get at least a decent amount of fruit
could be possible that the variety you are growing makes only female flowers?
Some packages have female seeds only and they include some pollinators seeds (normally male and female)
It is just a thought ...
I have been planting parthenocarpic cucumbers for a couple of years now (they don't need to be pollinate). I love the fact that they keep producing fruits under extreme heat ... maybe because they don't stress of waiting to be pollinate.
I don't know, Rita, once those blooms kick in, it sounds like your going to swimming in cucumbers :0)
I harvested another couple hundred pounds of tomatoes this morning, gearing up for a weekend canning marathon. Sent out e-mails for friends to come glean the vines so I can start pulling them up. With the temps I think it will take me all of August to get the area prepped for fall.
I think the timing worked out well this year. It's starting to get really dry here. I priced and discussed putting in irrigation yesterday. Not as expensive as I thought it would be, will wait and see if Santa agrees!
Hope to get the rest of my fall seeds started today.
Here are my tomatoes I picked this morning while it was sunny. Left to right. WHOPPER, EARLY GIRL, another WHOPPER, PATIO and 2 FOURTH OF JULY with a quarter so you can see size scale. The 4TH OF JULYs are just small tomatoes, I doubt that they will be back next year. If I am going to have small tomatoes then I would rather have cherry and grape types. I want more size than they have on the regular types.
I have been having the grape and cherry tomatoes, some Patio and a fair amount of 4TH Of July to eat already but The EARLY GIRLS are just comming on now and that is my first fruit off the Whoppers.
Saw a male tortoise eating a tomato this morning. I watched for a few minutes, then left him to his breakfast. I know his girlfriend is probably around somewhere, but haven't spied her yet. It amazes me as to how far up they can reach! They also devoured two melons a couple of weeks ago.
This summer, I have to live vicariously through those people whose gardens are doing well. Mine has been blasted by heat, drought, rabbits, bugs, slugs, snails, etc etc. I also suspect that the homemade growing mix I put together may be a culprit. I used equal parts fine pine bark, cotton burr compost and ProMix potting mix. I'm ready to give up on the cucumber and zucchini; the pepper plants have plenty of leaves but no peppers; tomato plants are not as big or lush as usual, with small fruit. Only true success was the lettuce, and the chard which is not my favorite to eat but is pretty to look at.
I remember when the tortoises had been here,the males with yellow stripes reaching the heads to look around or get goodies to eat.Not many around here anymore.
Not been a good year for many places with the gardens,hold out a while,,it usually gets better,and I have lost a few cucumber crops and vines before,they seem to do better in soils that have set a while,and sometimes they resent fertilizer,cukes can get finicky.!
Honeybee, I use Espoma products mainly. Tomato-tone for the 'maters. The pepper plants got Epsom salts and some Garden-tone. Not sure what to give the cukes and zucchini. I had to blast them with triple-threat Earth-tone to rid them of bugs/fungus/whatever. They are looking a bit better with a few flowers. I put lime in the soil mix for the tomato plants on transplanting. Right now I am afraid to give anything more to any plant other than the tomatoes for fear of over-fertilizing.
There are a couple of small businesses in my area that will install or consult on vegetable beds. Next spring I think I will ask for some hands-on help.