July is here and HOT- HOT - HOT

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I noticed we don't have a new thread for July so thought I would start us one.

Hope everyone has had a wonderful 4th of July!

I've been on a roll today! Worked in my garden for a couple of hours this morning and then came home and started cooking and have been at it all day!! I made 17 pints of salsa (that was a lot of chopping), then decided to try my hand a sauerkraut and made 3 quarts of it, then made a bunch of zucchini bread, now have zucchini muffins in the oven. I plan to freeze the bread and muffins. Also made some marinated zucchini and a broccoli salad! Now I'm ready to clean the kitchen and be done with cooking for a while!

Tomorrow I need to fertilize my brugs and do some other stuff in the yard!!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I was going to put this as the picture on the start of the thread but didn't see a way to add a picture. So I'll just put it here.

Thumbnail by cperdue
Ripley, MS

Beautiful butterfly, boy that bread and muffins sounds so good, I need a snack!

North Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Very pretty. Thanks for starting a new thread.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Charlotte, I would love to have your salsa recipe. I know i will have lots of tomatoes when we get back. How do you keep it from being too watery? When I roasted some tomatoes last week I drained off a lot of juice. I used to have a good recipe but think I have lost it somewhere over the years.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Elaine I'll be glad to give you mine but I just went on the internet and kept looking at salsa recipes until I found one that had ingredients that I liked. Some of them called for a lot of vinegar which I didn't want. You need some vinegar or lemon juice due to the canning process but not as much as a lot of them I like cilantro so I added a lot of it. The recipe I used called for tomato paste and tomato paste. The first batch I made I made it with both. I really liked the taste of the salsa but thought I would like it better with not so much of the tomato paste in it. So for the second batch I just used one 16 oz can of tomato sauce for the whole batch. The tomato paste does help keep it from being so runny. But runny doesn't bother me. I think you just have to find a combination of ingredients to suite your taste. Doesn't seem to be any certain way to make it.

Just remembered one recipe I found called for something like Sure Jell but a different name. I'm sure the purpose of it was to make it thicker.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Just marking the thread! Hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July....... we made some good progress at Alex's so it was good day!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Charlotte. I just remember canning some a few years back with my home-grown tomatoes and not using canned tomato sauce or paste. I sure haven't heard of using Sure Jell or the other stuff (I can't remember the name either but it's in a bottle I think) but that would make it thicker. I love lots of fresh cilantro. Can't remember if we just cooked it down until most of the juice was gone. Anyway, I'll just experiment when I get back. Seems like we used garlic and peppers and maybe some lime or lemon juice too. I don't remember any vinegar either but if I'm going to can some I guess a teaspoon wouldn't hurt.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Elaine the recipe I used had 1/3 cup vinegar to 8 cups tomatoes, 2 and 1/2 cups onion, 6 cloves of garlic, 1 and 1/2 cups bell pepper, 1 cup jalapeno (I didn't use that much). When you can salsa you have to have a certain ratio of either lemon juice or vinegar because of the acid in the tomatoes (something to do with the canning process). With the 1/3 cup I couldn't taste it in the salsa. But at lot of recipes called for 1 and 1/2 cups of vinegar. That just seemed way too much to me! The last batch I made I doubled my recipe and did a little more experimenting.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Well, it's obvious i'm not taking my vitamins, I have no energy, and i got extremely tired after reading what all Charlotte did today. ;) gosh, I'd be wore slap out if I did all that in one day. wish I were there to sample it all ;)

Sounds like y ou had a very full day today Charlotte. We let some of our front garden go because of the heat, but I'll have a good supply of tomatoes in about a month, the back garden has about 22 plant s in it and they are doing fabulous, wasn't affected by what ever affected the front garden. i'm so tired i don't even care to go out and water it any more. We both agreed that this is our last year to have a garden so large, we're even going to move our garden spot next year and just big enough for us to have fresh stuff.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I think that's a good idea Kathy Ann to down size your garden! That's a big garden you've been trying to keep up with! With your full time job and all the stuff your trying to keep up with no wonder you are tired!!

This heat is just unbearable! I keep my front watered very good but everything in my beds in front in that blazing hot sun just doesn't look good! Needs some rain water!! Still haven't gotten my brugs fed. Going for a walk now and then will do that when I get back.

Ripley, MS

Charlotte, I know you are trying to get ready for your trip, but it is so hot, even after dark here, please be careful

Kathy Ann, I agree, it is getting so hard to fight the weather to grow anything these days, I have some late tomatoes that look pretty good, but don't know if they will make anything or not. The older plants are just burning up even with me watering them.

Someone from our church told me she thought the chlorine in the water hurt the plants, more than helped them, I guess that could be true, I am trying to keep things alive, but there is no way to water them enough as dry as it is.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I don't leave my house until 7. That's when there is no more sun! So while it's still hot not having sun shining on you makes a big difference.

Sandra I think the lady at your church is probably right. I have to put something in the water to take the chlorine out when I add any water to my koi pond. Otherwise the chlorine will kill them! So it makes sense that it's not good for our plants either. I do know that you can water all day long and you just don't get the same results as rain water.

I went by my garden on my way to walk and the tips of some of my bush bean leaves are just burnt to a crisp!!! The leaves were not wilted from lack of water - just a few leaves here and there that were just totally fried from the sun. I have several little melons on my cantaloupe and watermelon vines. Some of them have gotten under my okra and are shaded by the okra and I think that may be helping them. Sure hope they will reach maturity! I'm trying to use as little pesticides as possible but I had a bunch of ants that had gotten on my okra and had to put something out for that the other day.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I haven't fed my brugs in a couple months, poor babies, I got a golden lady that has y'd off about 7 times and no blooms yet, I guess it's too hot, I sure would like to see blooms on that one. Danny hired someone to come in and finish the sheet rock he put up and then to blow it to ttexture it. I think their gonna come back and paint it , but i'm not sure about that. we are very close to being ready to put in the kitchen cabinets, as soon as they get painted. i'll be glad to have my kitchen back. we did manage to buy all new appliances also, everything is What I want except the stove. it's not the one I wanted but that was too expensive. lol I did get the frig I wanted. and danny bought a very nice dishwasher for the kitchen. i'm very excited to get finished.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Kathy Ann you are just going to love your new kitchen!!! Can't wait to see it! The sheetrock part is what I really hate about remodeling! When we added the sunroom years ago I remember having sheetrock dust on everything for the longest and they hung big sheets of plastic up to supposedly keep it out of the other rooms. But that stuff just seeps through anyway!!!

I had a lot of blooms on my brugs right after I brought them out this spring. I've gotten a few blooms this summer but not many. Way too hot. They wilt so bad doing the day from the heat. My back yard is mostly shade but a few are in spots that get a little sun during the middle of the day. They wilt every day but perk back up when it cools down. Can't be good for them! They just don't look that good this year.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

We got a good soaking, but brief rain yesterday! It was nice, but SOOOO humid afterward! I was heading to my sister's to water when the rain started, but I drove on down there to make sure she was getting a good rain too and check on Sadie (her bassett hound) . Unfortunately it appears that something has happened to her other dog! My BIL will be devastated when he gets home! I can't find her anywhere and neither can the neighbor who home she visits on a regular basis!! Not good........... :( I saw her last Wednesday and Friday but she didn't act like herself - I thought it was the 106 degree temps while I was there. I sure didn't feel like being too enthusiastic in the heat, and just assumed she didn't either. She came thru the woods about 10 minutes after I had been there both times so i assumed she heard me start up the Mule. Sunday she didn't show - but I just assumed she decided it wasn't worth the effort to walk from the neighbor's house because I hadn't been feeding them any scrapes or anything and they have an automatic feeder for the dogfood. Then when she didn't come Tuesday, I went to the neighbor's house and asked if she was there................and he hasn't seen her in several days either! He has looked for her with his mule all thru the woods and on the deer lease - we can't find her. I just HATE this has happened while my sister and BIL are gone!! At least I didn't have to water yesterday at my house or hers - so I had a lot of 'extra' time yesterday! :) Managed to get the rest of my DLs potted up and put them up on my porch so they will only get the early morning sun and then be shaded the rest of the day. Hopefully that will tide them over until fall when I can decide where i want them.

KA - so glad to hear they are almost finished with your kitchen! I know you are ready to have it completely finished!

Charlotte, when do you leave for Utah? Hope you have a great time!
Genna

Ripley, MS

We got a nice rain this afternoon too, it was wonderful to see rain falling once again, it has been a long time it seems

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

We're getting a really good rain now. I have a feeling it's not going to last for a very long time however. For a while we had a lot of wind with it. I could hardly see the house across the street. It knocked out our dish and haven't gotten it back yet. Not complaining - we really, really need the rain. It reached 106 in LR today. A record for us for this date.

I'm going to Utah the 3rd of August Genna.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

jealous!! no rain here, I just got back from walmart it was 102 outside at 8:45

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

It's now 84 in Little Rock. A neighbor said his rain gauge showed we got 1/2 an inch. Not much but sure better than nothing!!!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

We got a rain today--hooray! It was a real downpour, too. The wind blew and it was thundering and lightening, but alas only for about 20 minutes. Hey--I'm not complaining--so glad we got anything. It has literally been weeks since we have had any rain to speak of. Our yard is brown but maybe today's rain will help to perk it up. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees during the rain and the cooler temps certainly were welcome. I was on the screened in porch earlier today before the rain and it was like being baked in an oven! I didn't stay out there very long---and neither did Laddy! LOL He likes the a/c, too! :D

We have been keeping the flower beds watered, though, and they still look pretty good. We are on a well so we don't have to worry about chlorine in the water. :o) I can hear it thundering again so maybe we will get more rain. Sure hope so!

Charlotte, the zucchini bread and muffins sound good! I made some stewed apples today with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon on them--yummy!

Genna: I sure hope your sister's dog turns up but if she is old she may have gone off and curled up somewhere and died. Old dogs will do that when it is their time to go. *sniff*

Laddy gave me a scare yesterday. I have been letting him loose in the front yard when I am out there and he has stayed nearby and always come back when I called him. Well, yesterday he decided to wander away while my back was turned and I couldn't see him anywhere. We live in a rural, mountainous area and it would be really easy for him to get lost. I called and called and after about 10 minutes he came running up from somewhere. He had those stick-tights on him so he must have been out in one of the meadows nearby. What a relief when he came home! I won't let him off the leash when we are outside anymore--just can't trust him to stay nearby. He has a fenced in back yard but he would much prefer to explore the area--there's just way too much area for him to explore around here!

Well, gotta go get ready--we are going to eat with 3 other couples and then going to the home of one of the couples to play pegs and jokers--it's a fun game and we don't play for money. It's something we do almost every Saturday night when we aren't away somewhere. You ladies have a good evening!

P.S. I have a recipe for a great salsa--it came from Izzy's Restaurant in Little Rock. If any of you want it, I will be happy to share it once I remember to bring my recipes from my daughter's house. I'm still in the process of getting all my "stuff" over here from there. :o)

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Glad you all got some rain Marilyn. Hope we get some more the next day or too.

I make apples similar to what you made but I call mine fried apples. I melt some butter and add some brown sugar and sliced apples. I cook them until the apples are somewhat soft but still in slices. It is a really good dish!

A card player I'm not! Richard used to play bridge but that was the one thing he could not talk me into! I've tried to get him to find a group he could play with. We did used to play hearts with another couple and that was fun to do every once in a while.

I think I'm salsa ed out for now!!! I've made 26 pints. Going to freeze tomatoes next and make tomato juice or tomato sauce after that.

Ripley, MS

I bought some tomatoes for canning and freezing today, I did 3 quarts and a pot of soup today, but the rest of them are not ripe enough yet, probably do the rest of them Monday.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Your really racking up on the tomatoes charlotte!! I'm glad your garden is doing well.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

My tomatoes have been good producers. I have a whole platter of those little sun tomatoes that I need to eat! The plants don't look as good after all this heat but I'm still seeing blooms. I have about smaller plants here at the house. Most of them I'm going to end up taking to the garden and planting there. Some are plants I started from suckers. I just had to try that after you all mentioned it! My problem is squash borer. I keep fighting those. I found a big pile of eggs on a zucchini plant the other day. Got them before they hatched thank goodness.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Sandra would be proud of me. I just ordered some D/L from mamajack's coop. She had the one's with the puckered edges that I like real cheap.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I saw those Jeri. The prices were good but I didn't order any. I like the puckered edges too.

Ripley, MS

Jeri, why didn't you just tell me to send you some "puckered edges"?
Tell us what you ordered

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

LOL!! I knew I'd get a rise out of you Sandra. They are so pretty. I must be converting. How long has it been? I ordered the following:


2.50 per fan
Ageless Beauty
http://allthingsplants.com/plants/view/29554/Daylily-Hemeroc...

Strutter's Ball
http://allthingsplants.com/plants/view/19845/Daylily-Hemeroc...

3.25 per fan

Bela Lugosi
http://allthingsplants.com/plants/view/12268/Daylily-Hemeroc...


Cool It
http://www.growsonyou.com/photo/slideshow/172838-daylily-coo...

Ripley, MS

Beautiful, but then all daylilies are to me. I have Bela Lugosi, Cindy gave me that one.
Looks like you got good prices on them, but from me they would have been FREE!

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

That is an even better price Sandra!!! LOL!!! I didn't want to be greedy and God only knows where I'm gonna put them anyway.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I will have to freeze tomatoes or do something this week. We got home yesterday and I have a bumper crop of tomatoes. All kinds are coming in. My Cherokee purples are huge!! I'm telling you I have never seen anything like it. I'll post some pics when I get a chance. I had one yellow one that was ripe but it was almost over-ripe but there are plenty more that will be getting ripe soon. Better Boys are also ripening and my cherries (Sun Sugar, Sun Gold and Sweet Millions) are also going strong. All the plants look great, but I have been on a routine spraying and fertilizing program that really works apparently. After I started my laundry last night I found my old salsa recipe!! I remembered I had put some of my 'good' recipes in a new box and it was in there! Sometimes I get 'too organized', know what I mean?

One of my new DLs will have to be relocated. I put it near a bird feeder and I think the ground squirrels are tearing it up. It did bloom once but it's looking bad now. Those are some pretty DL's, Jeri. I'm going to have to quit ordering pink ones...they seem to turn out more orange once I get them. I ordered an 'Alabama Sunrise' thinking it looked peachy, and it looks more orangey. Now if I put 'Alabama' in the name of a DL, I sure wouldn't make it orange, lol. Now you'd have to be an Alabama Crimson Tide fan to get that but you'd sure know what I mean.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

LOL!! I understand completely!!! I am forever looking for purple & gold and I'll let you figure out why. I think it's your ph that is changing the color of the bloom. Have your soil tested to be sure.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Yep, Jeri. I need to do that. One of those things I mean to do every spring for the last 2-3 years is send off some soil samples for testing and I never get around to it. This year I'm going to do it for sure. My neighbor did it and she had huge tomato plants this year and their blueberries about ran them crazy they produced so much.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

I think there was a quick test to tell if soil is acidic. I found the link:

http://frugalliving.about.com/od/gardening/ht/Soil_Test.htm

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Good to know!

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

I was thinking that would be a neat experiment for kids to see, to explain the difference between soil types.

Ripley, MS

Faith is coming tomorrow to spend her week with me, we are going to do a project, not sure what yet. Charity and I painted a t shirt, it didn't turn out too well!

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

You will have fun. Have you seen those t-shirt transfers that you print with your printer. We aren't real artistic and the girls enjoy doing that. They just pick out some picture of a band or singer or Cinderella. Then we outline the transfer with that poof paint.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

That sounds easy, Jeri. Thanks for the link. I would think my soil in this particular location tends to acidic, but will test to make sure. You never know.

Do any of you folks keep a bird bath with a mister or bubbler? I have one but am thinking about moving it because it keeps the soil continually wet if I don't move it around a lot. I can't seem to keep the amount of water regulated, even to just a slow drip to where the soil isn't just soaking wet below and around it. Any suggestions? I don't want to put it near any bulbs or they will just rot. But I have to keep it close to the hose connection to run the line to the mister.

How old is Faith, Sandra? You could try some tie-dye t-shirts if she's old enough. those are easy. Sounds like fun! My grand-daughters and I had fun with those stepping stones you do with concrete and colored rocks and stones when they were older. We didn't try to do all the patterns in the kits though...too hard. I just let them do a sort of butterfly and their hand prints.

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