dreaves>> At the top of Part 3 you asked about transplant date, well I can give you a definite date... Saturday the 16th the tomatoes will go into the Root Pouches and be put out into the garden. I still have to get the garden cleaned up, but have been involved with a new heart therapy 5 days a week, and it just messes up the day TOTALLY... Thankfully only 2 more weeks of it, so then I'll have more time for the garden.
The same is true with the cucumbers. They all have blooms on them already and the tendrils are up around the lights. I don't think we're going to have any more cold weather, so I think we're passed the posibility of frost, just hope we stay above 50 degrees.
Not necessarily veggie garden update, but next to the veggie garden. Planted out nine blueberry bushes to replace the ones that died during the drought. Very nice ones from Berries Unlimited. I'll get the drip irrigation re-installed over the weekend and mark the end of the line with a VERY bright marker to let DH know not to mow over the end of the drip lines again! Any suggestions for markers would be appreciated. He doesn't like to mow, so when he has to he just bangs it out. I'm the mower in the family now.
I did the same with mine, look okay, but it's been windy today. Have to get some more starts to the wife's co-worker who is getting his garden going this weekend... Gonna be warm one this weekend, 90 possible for Sunday & Monday... Last week we had lows in the upper 30's...Good 'ole Texas weather...
I planted Garlic (that I didn't get to plant last fall-instead kept in a 35-degree room), leeks, and spinach in the bales on the south outside wall of the greenhouse, with a little soil on top of the wheat bales, mixed with vermiculite and perlite. I topped it off with vermiculite and loose straw strewn to keep the baby birdies off it. Watered in. Inside, there's more corn up, squash, kentucky wonder bean, but the last batch of various corn are not up, yet. Corn- Bantam, Blue Jade, Smoke Signals, Roy's Calais (and yet to plant, Mandan Bride and Reid's Yellow Dent for my chickadees).
You're growing the San Marzanos, right? What's the DTM on those? My avg. DTM on this batch will be 100 days, so I'm looking for a harvest beginning mid-May through the end of June. June is my cut-off date, when the tomato vines get ripped out.
The tomatoes have been in since Feb. 23rd, and I've been doing the "on again, off again" dance with the hoop cover. This was only bothersome until I figured out a method that now takes only 3-5 minutes.
The lightweight perforated plastic has stayed on 24/7 since plant out. On nights it dipped into the low 40s - high 30s, I pulled an additional, non-perforated sheet of 4 mil opaque plastic over the hoop. One windy night I added a bed sheet as a wind breaker.
Instead of taking the heavy sheet completely off, I anchored it on the bottom front corners of the hoop on one end, and sat my little red wagon on it so the wind wouldn't blow it all over. Now, all I have to do is grab it and drag it forward over the entire hoop. It's easy to reach under and grab the bulldog clips from the perfed plastic and re-clip both layers together. 3 minutes..
WHY did I wait so long to put up a proper hoop????!!!!
My soil thermometer has read 70° for the last three evenings... Suhweet!
In the past three years I have been very successful on taking care of the LEAFFOTED BUG.
I found out that they like SUNFLOWERS and CARDOON blossoms so much better than my tomatoes.
My Cardoon is a stunning perennial while I seed my Mammoth Sunflowers every year (most of them they self seed).
Just plant them away from the tomatoes.
Example: my vegetable garden is on the back of the house ... the Sunflowers and Cardoon are on the opposite side.
In my zone is time NOW to seed SUNFLOWERS. Push down the seed on the soil of 1". That's all.
Good Luck !
Today I removed the PVC hoop house and the perforated plastic.
I built tomatoes cages and secured them. Tomatoes now have been out for one month and they are much stronger and they can take those heavy winds with no problem.
I forgot when do I start to fertilize the plants?
When I see the first flower or the first tomato?
Huumm I don't remember ... I better watch the "Tons of tomatoes" video again.
I fertilize my tomatoes from the day I sow seed, but I know others don't do this. When I transplant the seedlings to the garden, they get organic fertilizer in the hole, mixed well with the surrounding soil. I NEVER let my plants get "hungry".
I don't know but my tomatoes have very nice fat stems and are almost 2' tall! They've been blooming since last week, but I've been trimming the blooms off so that more energy was spent on roots and plant health. I'm planting them out TODAY or tomorrow!! When I plant them, I'll put some earthworm castings, compost, and slow-release veggie fertilizer in with the dirt in the hole.
drthor wrote:Isn't fish emulsion very rich in N?
In general, tomatoes want less N as fruiting begins, and increasing amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, right?
You can get away with more N early on.
Way back when I was studying tomatoes in school, the research showed it is better to get as much calcium into the plant as you can early on and keep it coming. It is almost completely immobile once it has moved out of the xylem into cells, and it needs to be available to the fruit as soon as they start to form to reduce BER. In other words, constantly available. Calcium nitrate is a good source for people who don't mind the pure form. It can be mixed right into the water if you liquid-feed.
Great tips !
I have a bottle of liquid CALCIUM and I will start to apply to the tomatoes ... even if I never Had problems with BER.
At time of transplant I did put some crashed egg shells in the hole ...
My tomatoes are not greening up, so today I gave them a side dressing of Ammonium Sulfate. I dug a "bowl" out in-between each plant, mixed the Ammonium Sulfate into the soil mounded around the "bowl," sprinkled a bitmore into the bowl and watered it in.
We started planting tomatoes today!!! So far, we've got 3 Homestead, 4 Pantano Romanesco, 1 Rutgers, and 2 Beefsteak in the ground. Tomorrow, we'll get the tomatillos and large red cherry plants in the ground. We also still need to put up the cages for them.
We also pulled out the aphid and some other kind of bug infested broccoli plants. They were finished producing anyway, but I'll miss their flowers.
My Early Treat tomatoes are very green, my Big Boys and Beefsteaks are not, but I think they will green up after a few more days. I just transplanted them two days ago, I was wondering why some were so "healthy" looking and some not so green. I am hoping it is just a difference in the variety.
My tomatoes are not a nice deep green. More yellowish green. It's either too little Nitrogen, or a drainage issue in the bed. Since I forgot to mix in any blood meal, I chose to work with that possibility first. I'd probably need to dig out a section and run a drain pipe if it's not draining.
Thank you. I clipped off the bottom leaves and planted them deep. Added some earthworm castings & tomato fertilizer to the dirt at planting. I then watered with an organic fertilizer at a weak solution.
I'd like to compare my tomato plants and production to yours this year. Since we have very similar weather condition.
I'd like to understand the better time to start the seeds and transplant them outside in our area.
Would you like to do that with me?
I started my tomato seeds on Dec. 31, 2012 - Transplanted out on Feb. 16, 2013.
First "green" tomato forming on March 16th
First "red/yellow" tomato on ...
End production on ...
My tomato seedlings are out on the back porch today. I've had them out for an hour or two all weekend and about six hours yesterday. Today they will be out for eight hours. The bed is ready and the stakes for Florida weave will go in probably tonight after work. If the weather holds then I will plant out this weekend. The pole beans are planted out, as is some lettuce. I just ordered some more sunflower seeds as well as some gomphera (did I spell that right? Doesn't look right to me this morning). The pepper and eggplant seeds are starting to sprout. Next I'll be working on the melon and sweet corn beds. Just need to find room for my peanuts and sweet potatoes and I should be set. I'm growing some of the tomatoes and some of the zucchini and squash in with the baby blueberry bushes this year. I think I'm going to have to cut out a new bed this spring too! The veg and fruit garden is growing!
Does anyone suggest a cover crop for a new bed to help choke out weeds and to be turned under for green manure? This would be a summer cover crop. I was kind of thinking sunflowers but am open to suggestions as I've not done a summer cover crop before and have yet to do any research...
Oh my...hit the pine straw motherlode today. I had to stop at 16 garbage bags full because I couldn't balance any more in the pile in the back of my truck. I say "I" like I hauled any myself... the boy did it all for me.
Uh, I just read something that said I was supposed to pull all the blooms off the bell pepper plants that are still under lights, so the plant would grow to full size and be able to hold up its fruits.
My bells are LOADED with blooms. I haven't potted them up (this evening), so is there still time to remove the blooms? Should I leave them alone? Will the plants continue to grow properly once planted out?
I would definitely cover the transplants, stephanie, and maybe put some gallon milk jugs under the blankets with them filled with hot water. I'd wait on the other tomatoes. The seeds- it depends on what kind they are.
Stephanietx and Solace, I have a pile of milk jugs and soda bottles (we try not to dring soda, but the neighbors are happy to let me have some of theirs) just for this time of year. Of course the weather may change by then...
Gymgirl, I'm a bloom remover too. Once the plants are in the ground I will also remove a few blooms if the plants themselves don't look like they are up to speed. Let them put their energy into growing a good strong plant and then they can do the bloom/fruit thing. I do that wil my peppers and eggplants mostly.
I removed ALL the blooms from the bell peppers (found two more peppers almost 3" long!!!!). Still didn't get to pot them up, and, at this point, don't think I will. My neighbor is ready to plant some out in her sunny patch, so I'll start hardening them off...
I'm partly with Solace.
►Cover the transplants. 39° isn't freezing, but they'll need protection more from the wind than the cold...
►Wait on the other transplants...
►I'd go ahead and throw the seeds...if you have a piece of dark plastic, you could throw the seeds, then cover them with the plastic. The sun will help warm the soil for these next couple nights with chilly dips (next Monday-Thursday here, I think)
Do you have a hoop up? That'd solve a lot of on again, off again protection issues...
I used to watch The Victory Garden religiously. Bob Thompson always said to put a board over freshly planted seeds if the weather was going to turn bad. Of course don't use a board if the seeds have sprouted, but I've used a board may times to protect the seed from weather or dogs even. It does work. Sometimes the old ways...
I've never plant Peppers or Eggplant until the low temps are consistenty above 55*. They don't like the cold and may even stunt them. Some people recommend 65*, with the temps doing what they do every year at this time I would wait to put them in the ground.
I'm with Lisa -- I want the soil warm and nights at a minimum above 55F (whether naturally or under hoops, etc.) If I try and get them out too early, they just stall out and don't restart until it's even warmer, so I don't end up getting fruit any sooner.
I'm probably at least a month away from putting out tomatoes and peppers here.
My transplants are already too big for milk jugs to cover. I thought of that, tried one on for size, and came up short (or tall??). I did plant one other Beefsteak today as it's stem had bent over. Decided to plant it really deep to cover up the bend and hope it roots itself. I'll plant the rest of the transplants next week. Still figuring out what I want to do with the seeds.
Nichole- if I use hoops then they roast during the day, if I don't get a chance to remove them. It's supposed to be in the low 60s and 30s next week. For the first time in all my gardening life I'm happy I'm behind. Lol
I really think it's more like zone 7b here anyway.
12 isn't too bad. I luv to go dumpster diving but it embarrass my kids. However, everything I do embarrasses my kids so it doesn't stop me. Ive even told them, " you don't like anything I do, so I'll do it anyway ". Lol
steph... As an experienced diver, depending on how big your plants are, how about some of the 2 or 3 gallon nursery plastic pots? With some plastic sheeting, you'd have a little hoop house. BTW, a good source for FREE buckets, usually, is a BBQ restaurant. Empty pickle buckets are great, and easy to clean. I've got a bunch of transplants going to various people, and I'm going to advise them to hold off planting until after this little cold snap, especially the peppers & eggplant. I'm figuring they ought to be able to get away with the tomatoes, as long as they are covered, and bring the peppers & eggplant in at night...
Just watched the weather for the next 7 days, and it looks like we're about to have lows in the 40's next week until Wednesday, so I don't think it'll be too bad on the tomatoes. I still have the option to move them since they'll be in the fabric pots, plus the fact they are supposed to be warmer in the winter.
My eggplants and peppers are just starting to sprout this morning. They are out on the back porch with a heat mat in one of those BioDome starting kits. I've used the same one for years. The tomato seedlings are sitting right next to them, off of the heat mat without the cover. They are starting to look pretty good with their second set of true leaves. Doesn't look like the weather will hold through the weekend. But my soil has been at a consistant 65 degrees for over a week now so I think I should be able to plant the tomatoes out maybe Monday depending on the weather up, up in the sky--sometime next week anyway. I usually check my Farmer's Almanac and see what it says about the best days to plant what. I've been cutting up "dixie cups" to make cutworm collars for the
The pole beans are sprouting but they are under cover of Romex (sp?) so they should be fine. I have to cover almost all sprouting seeds out here as the crows will just wait for me to leave for work and pluck everything out of the ground if I don't.
This has nothing to do with gardening - but I got my solar system finally completely hooked up today!! I signed up for it in June of last year so it took forever. Of course today's an overcast day, with no real sunshine forecasted until Monday. I'm just excited that it finally came installed!
Congrats, Jo-Ann! I debated getting one last summer before the TVA cancelled their contracts paying a premium on buying back energy, but there were too many trees that would have to come down at a fairly high expense, so the ROI was past when I'd have to start repairing/replacing parts. Ah well, I'll look at it again in a few years.
My retaining wall was finished this morning... time to landscape. I'll be posting over in Garden Design about that project. It's not as exciting as a solar system, but it's pretty exciting to me!
terri.. Down here just south of Austin they're predicting lows in the low 40's thru next Wednesday. I'm definitely holding the peppers & eggplant from the pots, but I may escape with the tomatoes being covered. Are they predicting freeze up your neck of the woods??
My peppers & eggplant went out today to various gardeners, and most of those were already 2-3" tall. They got started mid-February, and actually look pretty good. Going to start a second planting for set-out end of April.
Kevcarr59, Wednesday the weatherman said definite frost for Sat or Sun night. Thursday this same guy said Sun night frost but probably not Sat. This morning he backed off the whole thing and said we should cover the plants both nights, but if we do get frost it will only be lite. I only really need to cover the pole beans and they are already covered due to the crows. The rest hasn't been planted out yet. So they can come inside at night. From looking at my Weather Channel desktop app it looks like we will dip into the 30's Sun - Wed nights. Our average last frost date should have been last week. I've been holding off planting early this year. My big problem here in my garden is the incessant wind. It really can desiccate the little plants. I recently unpacked a box of books from the big move four years ago (will I ever stop finding stray boxes to unpack?). I found my precious Victory Garden book published in the 70's. That is where I was reminded of the board thing. Bob Thompson put boards over freshly planted seeds when frost might be an issue. Also came across a drawing of an 8" x 1" set on angle and propped up with stakes to protect a row of your sprouts from the wind and mid-day sun.
I'll wait for the peppers and eggplants to go out when the soil temps register more into the low 70's. At least 70. LOL!
I might be off topic here ... but last year somebody did ask me which color is the tomato sauce using yellow tomatoes ...
Here it is ! Today I was making "ragu bolognese" = tomato sauce with ground meat.
One year I canned some yellow tomato sauce -- nothing special, just Beam's Yellow Pear. It was such a brilliant yellow the jars brightened up the whole pantry like a bit of summer sun all winter. We have ladies here who sell canned goods at the farmer's market -- they should add it to their repertoire, they'd sell out every time.
I can understand the question, though, since some many of the "colored" veggies lose their special color when being cooked.
I haven't tried canning any of the dark purple or brown varieties. I'd guess their sauce would be dark, but I wonder if it would look dingy. Has anyone tried?
I picked up two tips while listening to a short radio program. First, water you seedlings that are indoors in the morning, then let them stay dry during the night. I am guilty of watering them way too much I think.
Second, and I had never heard this: When hardening off seedlings (tomatoes was the plant used in the program) after you work up to them staying out all day, then move them to the drive or paved walkway so they are exposed to the extra heat. The program stated that plants depend on heat hours to mature as well as hours exposed to sunlight.
Any gardeners out there ever try this?
I usually harden mine off on the back porch, which is concrete. Once they are out there for eight hours they would be getting sunlight in the morning and then again in the afternoon. So I guess I'm sort of doing that without knowing. They seem to do fine.
-Your neighbors recognize you in your pajamas, rubber clogs, and a cup of coffee.
-You grab other people's banana peels, coffee grinds, apple cores, etc. for your compost pile.
-You have to wash your hair to get your fingernails clean.
-All your neighbors come and ask you questions.
-You know the temperature of your compost every day.
-You buy a bigger truck so that you can haul more mulch.
-You enjoy crushing Japanese beetles because you like the sound that it makes.
-Your boss makes "taking care of the office plants" an official part of your job description.
-Everything you touch turns to "fertilizer".
-Your non-gardening spouse becomes conversant in botanical names
-You find yourself feeling leaves, flowers and trunks of trees wherever you go, even at funerals
-You dumpster-dive for discarded bulbs after commercial landscapers remove them to plant annuals.
-You plan vacation trips around the locations of botanical gardens, arboretums, historic gardens, etc.
-You sneak home a 7-foot Japanese Maple and wonder if your spouse will notice.
-When considering your budget, plants are more important than groceries
-You always carry a shovel, bottled water and a plastic bag in your trunk as emergency tools.
-You appreciate your Master Gardener badge more than your jewelry.
-You talk "dirt" at baseball practice.
-You spend more time chopping your kitchen greens for the compost pile than for cooking.
-You like the smell of horse manure better than Estee Lauder.
-You rejoice in rain...even after 10 straight days of it.
-You have pride in how bad your hands look.
-You have a decorative compost container on your kitchen counter.
-You can give away plants easily, but compost is another thing.
-Soil test results actually mean something.
-You understand what IPM means and are happy about it
-You'd rather go to a nursery to shop than a clothes store.
-You know that Sevin is not a number
-You take every single person who enters your house on a "garden tour"
-You look at your child's sandbox and see a raised bed.
-You ask for tools for Christmas, Mother/Father's day, your Birthday, and any other occasion you can think of.
-You can't bear to thin seedlings and throw them away.
-You scold total strangers who don't take care of their potted plants.
-You know how many bags of fertilizer/potting soil,/mulch your car will hold.
-You drive around the neighborhood hoping to score extra bags of leaves for your compost pile
-Your preferred reading matter is seed catalogs.
And last but not least:
You know that the four seasons are:
►Planning the Garden
►Preparing the Garden
►Preparing and Planning for the next Garden!
Author Unknown. I'd love to give credit to the rightful author.
I've seen versions of that one before and always get a chuckle from them. Thanks for this one!
I got the biggest laugh from the one that listed the point that Roger Swain (the bearded guy from the Victory Garden) started looking good to you. He was a great guy and an even greater teacher, but that beard...☺
Gymgirl... There was a FUNNY comparison many years ago about buying firewood versus getting your own, it was absolutely great. Buying a new 4X4 truck vs. getting the wood delivered, Going to the hospital after cutting yourself when the saw bucked and caught you in the thigh... Throwing the wood in the back of the truck and busting out the back window were just a few that I can remember...
You cannot freeze lettuce.
I eat it every day. My DH eats just a little bit of lettuce ... he says that he doesn't like to eat the some stuff of his pets ... kind of funny - but true !
I eat half a package a meal ... weee
I had the luxury to be raised in a country that has a lot of varieties of "fresh" vegetables.
Some people eats vegetables to loose weight or to stay in shape, I eat vegetable like they are candies ... love it !
I just wish to have lettuce in the summer in a salad together with cukes and tomatoes ... oh well ... we cannot have everything !
Now, my plan is to harvest a bag a day ... I need to make room for eggplants and peppers.
This year I think I figure out he best planting dates for lettuce.
In my garden: August and mid November.
The leaves on my avocado tree curled up and went brittle in the cold, but since it's suffered so many things (including being chewed to the ground by Puppy last spring) and still come through, I have faith it'll pull through.
Something gross had started gnawing through my collards, so I pulled them out and will replace them with some more tomato seedlings once the weather evens out. I went a bit overboard with tomatoes, but I do love them so.
Others coming up inside are friarello peppers, cushaw, okra, cukes...looks like our weather is headed from chilly to 77 in a few days, so hopefully it's not too early to start the okra.
"-You have a decorative compost container on your kitchen counter."
Is an old Folgers coffee can with the "aromaseal" lid decorative? Granted, that didn't work so hot the one morning I walked out to the compost pile and dumped it, and then realized I'd picked up the can of coffee I just opened instead of the compost...
I'd like to add to the list:
- Your retirement location planning assessment includes growing zone and soil type.
Once AGAIN, I have these HUMONGOUS bean sprouts growing in my compost can. These things are HUGE! Thick as a chopstick, with long stems, and the seed head looks like a big old bean. I can't figure out what they are!
I did NOT sprinkle any alfalfa pellets in this batch, so that ain't it...
Maybe they don't think they do. Are they actually growing the plants or just acting as a retailer? Could be they got a shipment of purple asparagus plants from their supplier without knowing it.
They are supposed to be a grower, but even growers sometimes source from other places. I don't really care that they are purple; I was just happy at how lovely and healthy the crowns were.
The SO won't eat alternatively colored vegetables but I doubt he'd eat the asparagus anyway.
I have started to trim my tomatoes.
I trimmed all the leaves below the first flower blooms and all the leaves that touched the ground.
The plants are making lots of suckers and I am trying to remove them, apart Gold Nugget and Koralik.
Cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, eggplants and beans have been hardening off for last week.
I will transplant them tomorrow and Wednesday.
I am waiting to get headed for home. What I am planting will be seeded directly outside when I get there, Or I will pu a few plants that I have no seeds fo rto add to their new home. I cant wait, but tho I am ready my load to the house isnt materializing today, sigh.
The tomatoes have "greened up", and are starting to crank out marbles!
The beets in planters on the patio are looking much healthier since I sprinkled Sluggo Plus and stopped the pill bugs from munching holes everywhere...
Onions are holding steady...
Spinach was being munched by a cutworm who was killed in a freak accident!
Black Beauty Eggplants outside are taking off in an EB.
Here're some pics.
#1 Beets in a planter
#2 Kimberly Cherry Tomato
#3 Black Beauty Eggplants in an EB
#4 Onions from seeds sowed in August 2012
#5 Spinach being munched on by a cutworm or a locust/grasshopper
I checked the babies again tonight. I am pretty sure they're going to make it if we can get them through this next cold snap!! Tonight, I cut off the freezer burnt leaves off the maters, the flower stalks off my onions, and I sprayed the tomatoes with a combination of soap, liquid horticultural molasses, compost tea, and fish emulsion. I did this to feed and nourish the babies as well as to keep the bugs away since they're already stressed.
First Japanese Beetle sighting. He may soon be attracked to and killed by a freak chemical spill LOL! I have those bag/trap things ready to set up. If only I could train those feral hogs to eat J/B grubs. You know, like they train Italian hogs to root up truffles.
Tomatoes have been hardened off and will start planting as the week goes by. I planted out more pole beans and some cucumbers over the weekend. Also some zuc. They should be OK with the cold snap as they have crow covers on the bed. I planted out the special sweet corn I bought that is supposed to be able to germinate in cooler soil temps. That bed is covered, too. So we shall have to see about that.
My soil temps are nearing a consistant 70 degrees. Once this cold snap is past I can see some more sweet corn in my future.
It was 54 degrees and snowing earlier this afternoon.Now, it's grey and dreary,with blue showing above the thunderclouds (but no thunder,so far). I planted some more seeds last night, and trying to get the energy to plant some more this evening. I think the cloudiness makes me tired. Or maybe it's the new baby. A red heeler/blue heeler cross, seven weeks old. Keeps me hopping. So far he's explored the greenhouse, but won't go near the chickens. He chases the cat and herds the other dog where he wants him to go. He sure is a nipper... but, I guess, hence, "heeler". I think I've gone back in time when my children were toddlers, 'cause I find myself putting toys away in the evening. He's an angel when he's asleep, lol.
Solace, that sure is one cute "baby". We had a red heeler--one of the rarer smaller varieties. She was supposed to be my younger son's dog but she was so full of energy I was the one who walked her for over three miles each morning before work and usally another three miles before bed each night. YS played and walked her after school. A friend did some extensive research on types of heelers after a trip to Australia and told me that she would have been used to bring cattle in from outlying areas and would have been expected to trot for miles in very hot and dusty conditions without a break. I believe it. That dog never even started to pant unless I took her for the longer hikes on the weekends. All that exercise must have done her some good though, as she lived to be 20 years old. When we moved down here our vet couldn't believe she was that old until I found a file with all her shots records, etc. She was really smart, too.
Nola, windy and rainy with thunder and lightning here today. I'm trying to get a rose hedge going around the veggie part of my garden to help some with the almost constant winter/spring winds we get here at my place. They really tear up the young plants. The climbing roses looks like they are starting to come into their own. But something is chewing away at my Stanwell Perpetuals. I'm going to have to figure that out as I can see that that "something" will be moving on to the veggie garden if they get bored with ringing rose canes.
drthor, that fennel looks good. Do you use it in salads or cook with it? I've seen recipes calling for fennel but I don't recall eating it in anything other than a carrot/fennel salad I used to be fond of as a child.
Gymgirl, oooo I forgot about my okra seeds. Thanks for reminding me. My memory bank seems to be getting too crowded lately. It seems I have to write what I want to plant when on the calendar and then pull out the seeds at night and line them up on my kitchen counter. Otherwise I forget to get them started when I want. Thanks for reminding me about the okra.
I need to write peanuts on my calendar, too. I tried growing them last year and had marginal success. I need more experience so this year can only be better! There seems to be varieties that do specifically better in one region of growing conditions and soils over another. I'm trying to find the right one or two varieties that will do consistently well in my garden. And then just plain learn how to grow them LOL! This year I'm trying out Schronce's Deep Black peanut and Texas Red and White peanut.
I love Fennel. Last year I was gone too much and I missed my Fennel planting date ... I just have a few of them that made it.
You can eat Fennel raw. Just cut in very thin slices or you can make Fennel soup, saute, stir-fry ... also Fennel (similar to Dill) go so well with fish.
I just checked my garden pictures of 03 April in 2011 and 2012. My garden was full of flowers/ Also my tomato plants were already loaded with green tomatoes.
This year we are behind. It has been much cooler ... flowers will bloom soon and tomatoes will also start to produce ... maybe this year we will have a nice cool summer ... maybe?
2nd summer garden...you betcha! I've been getting more and more into that.
Thanks, drthor. I think I'll start experimenting with it. I saw some fennel in the grocery store the other day. Probably not as good as home grown but should be good enough just to see if we like it...
It was COLD this last night and this morning! Into the mid-40s. I turned on the heater!
Ya'll know several of us have been pushing the weather envelope, right? Well, my BEETS, MUSTARD GREENS, CARROTS, and CABBAGES, are doing wonderfully well! I had almost decided to rip 'em last weekend, but, because ya'll were talking about a cold front, I let them be. Soon as the chill came through, they started growing faster.
I'm contemplating sowing seeds for more of the above, to see how far I can take them in a shady, breezy spot in my yard, between now and the end of July. If I cover them with the tulle (which, BTW, is doing a FINE job of keeping moths off of the bell peppers that have been hardening off), and spray them, periodically with some Bt, I might manage to keep the buggies at bay.
The breeze could be handy for keeping the air flowing through the plants, even though it will be relatively warm air.
What do ya'll think? Go for it? No? Too late?
P.S. Does anyone use Microlife in their RBs? I have a 40 lb. bag that I bought to try out. I mixed it into the tomato bed as recommended, but wanted to get some feedback from a real live user. Please lemme know how it works for you.
This weather is a buzzkill! We're finally gonna get a warmup this weekend - yay! It's been so cold - it was in the mid-low 20's when I got up yesterday!
Got my tomatoes out into my Wall-O-Waters last weekend and they're safe and snug. I'm gonna set up some for my peppers this weekend and get them out of the house. I need some room to start cukes. My kale, brocolli, lettuce and peas seeded outside are FINALLY starting to come up but I'm worried about them cause I have a feeling that next month at this time it's gonna be in the 90's.
I'm a soft cast and the weeds are taking over my flower beds. I was able to stand there and cut down alot of the grasses and other dead stuff from last season (I leave it up over winter for the birds and then cut it in spring for nesting material) but now I can't get in there and pick it up and dispose of it. My DH has no interest in gardening so I'm considering hiring a neighborhood kid to do it.
I'm so tired of this bi-polar weather! I need to get my stuff planted, but it's been so dang cold that I'm afraid to put anything else out. My tomatoes are hanging in there. They're still green, so that's a plus!
We have a lovely looking forecast ahead of us for the next week, and my 'mater transplants are about the right size to go outside soon. Another week or two and the soil temp will probably be high enough with a warm forecast. I hope.
It seems to be a product line with organic liquid or granular fertilizers, and multi-purpose innoculents.
"... with a very comprehensive grouping of positive soil/plant microorganisms."
"47 strains of beneficial bacteria and fungi including Streptomyces, Trichoderma, Pseusomonas, Gliocaldium and a extensive variety of Bacillus "
I'm not affiliated with them. And haven't tried their products.
I do push screened pine bark, Bok Choy and Chinese cabbage at every opportunity, but I don't know much about organic fertilizers other than my own compost heap.
I planted some onions on purpose last year that someone brought over when they were cooking. I don't eat onions! I figured since they were alliums . . ... And they had lovely white blooms and the bees loved 'em. :D
Set out long beans (thanks, Drthor!), more tomatoes, okra, and a couple of squash today, along with seeding a few shaded containers with microgreens/arugula.
I had a rotten day to start. I run online communities for work, like this one, but with not nearly as many nice people, and people were just awful to me today.
But then! I went to a street fair, and one of my favorite local garden gurus recognized me as "Our Compost Girl!" and gave me a hug and a t-shirt. Plus, a box of ladybugs arrived, and the kiddos and I let them loose this evening. Plus, my peppers put their heads up finally, and some ramps I potted up, and a garden show tomorrow. So all's well that ends well in the dirt!
My plants are so much smaller this year due to the cold weather. It was freezing here Friday AM. I also direct seeded some squash and cukes but they too are taking longer then usual to sprout. I sowed some radish seeds and have beet seeds soaking (going to sow tomorrow). But I looked at the temps for next week and they are forecast to be lower then this week. I usually don't do beets this late but when I saw the forecast I thought I'd give it a try.
I'm going to try tulle also, if nothing else, to keep the pea fowl from messing with my plants. First they broke a couple of tomato transplants by knocking a pot over. Now they got in the upper garden and messed with the transplants in the garden. They did this to some onions I have in containers but they stopped after a day or two. This is the first year I've ever had problems with them, I don't know what the difference is. I want to find something to stop them before I plant out much more. Once the plants get big it won't be a problem. Still haven't started my Roselle, I usually start them in 4" pots at the end of Feb. but it's been too cold.
It's snowing, here. Getting down in the mid 20s at night. Enjoy your air conditioning (must be nice, said the envious gardener here); our air conditioning is pretty chilly. Glad I didn't set out my seedlings... more on that in the Rocky Mountain gardening forum. Aargh.
Cucumbers are making fruit and Eggplants flowers ...
ohhh I hope I will not lose everything this week ...
Okra is ready to be planted ... maybe on the 20th ... Still harvesting lot of greens and green onions.
AC is on full-blast in our house today, and it looks like nasty weather ahead for those of us in the Gulf. I'm heading to Cali for work for a few days, so I hope everything's still here when I get back!
80+ outside today, but cold nighttime temps are on tap for the end of the week. Hopefully after that I can put out the seedlings in the garden. Meanwhile they've been enjoying the balmy weather and mild nights for another couple of days.
(*&^%$# It's supposed to be in the mid-30s tomorrow night! It's been hot and humid here the past couple of days and my AC has been running more to get the humidity out of the air so hubby's asthma stays in check rather than to cool things off. My poor tomatoes! I'm going to toss a pillow case over them, then put a bucket on top to help keep them from getting windblown and frozen. Also supposed to have a wicked spring storm complete with very high winds and hail. UGH!! Thank goodness inventory was this past weekend and I've not had time to get anything else planted.
onions that flower- older folks trick to drive the growth back into the bulbs. Stomp em. The green tops, stomp em flat, one smack- tho if you have kids they can walk down the plants a bit lighter. They will rebound, trust me, but the growth will go down and not up into the flower.
I have too many plants out there to cover with anything but remay. So I'll just have to use that and hope for the best. I don't think my onions will be bothered, not my lettuce. But the determinate tomatoes will just have to buck up! I haven't planted out many indies yet, as the local weather folks have been predicting this front was imminent for days now. I don't think they really even look out the window, they just parrot whatever the Weather Channel is predicting. And they are not what they used to be. So I've been holding about 20 tomato plants in reserve just in case. But I've already got Turkey Chomp out there and that was DH's favorite last year. It has really been taking the wind well so far so we shall see. If it doesn't make it, DH will just have to wait until fall to see if Turkey Chomp is as good this year as last. It was 81 degree and humid last night when I got home from work. I just put my buck in with our yearling doelings. He was running around with his tongue hanging out--poor fellow. At least he will appreciate this drop in temps.
Here is Billy and his buddy, Gingersnap, checking out the girls last week. Please ignore his toes, he got them trimmed before his big move to live with said girls...
I've only got 3 small tomato plants out, and I'm so glad. I watch accuweather and it seems pretty good. I don't plant out until I see the next week has no lows in the 40s in the forecast. I know it will be at least 5* cooler here. I did sow beet seeds which seems crazy considering it's April.
Peppers and Eggplant won't go out until the night time temps are 55 and above.
Eggplants -Calliope, and one Ping tong went in ground 3 days ago. Along with a white salvia, a deep blue salvia and relocation of red salvia starts. Getting a Tuscan Blue rosemary established...wanted Goriza, but my daughter swore they all smelled the same...waited on sunflower seeds for a bit more heat, and kept chasing fire ant mounds down with the water hose. the fern leaf dill carpet was thinned, but I caught blooms already on 4" strands that just jumped overnite. Carrots experiment are looking good, and I spent all 3 days side dressing fertilizer to the onions n chives (because of the water I am soaking them with against ants). thermometer swears its 50*, but that one is on the truck, I put my jacket on and am on the way to check a different thermometer. Nothing is covered, but I am surrounded by woods and dont get the wind and cold of the rest of the area
Planted spring vegetables (beets, radishes, lettuce, and sugar snap peas) a couple of weeks ago...very late, but given the recent temperatures I may get a harvest. Planted 50 tomato plants this week and planted two 30-ft rows of bush pickle cucumbers. Onions and garlic have been in the ground since January. I still have yellow squash, zucchini, slicing cucumbers, bush beans, sweet corn, and okra to plant. I am planting 5 different types sweet corn, from 65 to 85 days maturity. I can't decide if I'm going to plant any peppers or not. I can't grow bells, since I have a virus in my soil. There are other sweet non-bells (Gypsy, etc.) that do better... just haven't decided. It will depend on what the garden centers / nurseries have since I haven't started any seeds for peppers.
Kittriana, my Tuscan Blue rosemaries are really attractive shrubs, but not nearly as fragrant or tasty as my Arp Hardy, which is very intense. I'd be interested to learn if yours gets more intense in your hotter climate; rosemaries do like it hot and dry.
I planted a rosemary right where it spills out into the walkway just so people brush up against it when they come to the front door.
I can't believe how well my potatoes are doing. I put some in a large container and some in a large cloth bag everyday I'm putting in more soil, radishes are germinating. The cukes,I sowed a week ago, are just sprouting but the squash is a no show. I'm not sure if its the seed or the soil temp. The soil temp is below what it should be but so is the air temp. Lol
Squash is apt to be slower than cukes, more heat needed, this cold front is freezing me, but isn't nearly as nasty as it could be here, another cooler wave will follow this one in 2 to 3 days, we'll see if its all bluster too
WOW... That okra looks great!!! We only got down to about 42 last night, but the winds been up around 20-25 mph. Most of my okra is only about 8 or 10 inches tall, but they're in the fabric pots, so there in their home. I think with the last couple cold fronts has really slowed down the okra that I had put out.
One of the things I noticed is the size of your plants in what look to be 3" pots. Aren't they root-bound, being that big? From what we always hear, okra hates to have their roots messed with, and you don't want to transplant okra much larger than 3" or 4" tall. Do you normally have your okra that big before they go out into the garden?
They are 4" pots. They are not root bound yet.
Yes I did transplant my okra even bigger size then these. I never had a problem transplanting okra.
The only problem I had was last year with my second planting of okra (I think end of June) ... it was a waist of space and time ... they didn't produce as much. The okra I transplanted in April last year started to produce like a missile right away and kept producing until the frost.
I am transplanting these out next fruit date: I think April 20th ... I am leaving town and they need to be in the ground.
Mine are about 6" tall, now, in the blue solo cups under a light. I'll have to build a temporary hothouse around their bed, and hope to get them out there by May 1st, otherwise I'll just have to keep raising the light or something. In the vermiculite/perlite mixture, I do want to have a good rootball, so when I transplant, it won't disturb the roots too much.
I got the sweet corn in the ground today despite the rain showers yesterday and the early morning rain today. Planted 5 30-ft rows of each, Sugar Baby, Chubby Checkers, Ambrosia, Peaches-and-Cream, and Sugar Dots. I'll thin the corn to about 12 inches, so I should have about 150 plants of each variety. Even one ear per stalk will be a lot of corn! Luckily, the Earthway Seeder did a fabulous job. Hopefully the moist soil will lead to early germination. The field corn has been up around here for several weeks.
My sweet corn is peeking through the soil this morning. Guess the cool overnight temps didn't bother it much. This variety is X-Tra Tender and I just can't remember where I got it right now. It was either the local farmer's co-op or Hooten's Hardware. It had a tag on it saying it had good cool weather vigour. I don't know why I decided to try that here in Texas, but I guess it turned out OK this year. I have other varieties to try once the weather settles in.
The tomatoes I left out unprotected the last few days were too big to put under the milk bottles I have. Looks like all but two will be fine. They are not growing much but they look nice and green and perky. I'm leaving for vacation in two weeks, so I'll have to plant out the rest of the tomatoes this weekend. They'll need the time to get established before I leave and DS takes over. All he should have to do is water in the veg garden. Water the roses once a week. Take care the the chickens, dogs, and goats. Mow. LOL, he's grumbling already!
Can't trust the temps now, though the suns rays are goin to be lost if you don't plant out and simply protect while outside... I keep seeing forecasts for one temp change drastically in one day, then not even match the new forecast. drthor makes me want to try a 'choke, tho I thought they were cabbage family for some reason...
Just saw our 7 day forecast for Austin, and it's up to 90 for the next couple days. Wednesday front comes through, possibly some rain, then in the mid-60's, with lows in the low 40's. Getting a little tired of the moving the plants around every couple days, I guess it's going to be the survival of the fittest. Finally saw my first bloom on the Cherokee Purple that's looking pretty good. Okra's going to be stunted this year, I think. Started it too early, and it was too cold when I set it out to harden off. Will look at the root structure, just to see how it's developed. I didn't get any okra last season at all, so I am a little upset at 2 years in a row.
Last summer was a LOT different, it started off warm and stayed warm, and was much more consistent. Very little rain, and these crazy temperature swings are killing any solid growth pattern.
Here are some photos of what I have going right now.
1 one of the second planting of broccoli (gave Gym Girl their siblings)
2 one of my first planting of broccoli, still churning out side shoots. Ive eaten so much broccoli, I probably smell like it.
3 photo of my "old" tomato plants from last fall, still churning out tomatoes. Jaune Flamme' Two plants, maybe 20 fruits
4 one of my new tomato plants with new fruit forming. The variety is 4th of July
5 same 4th of July. I have 3 plants of this.
My homestead is slower and is behind with no fruit yet. Im also growing Ted's pink currant and it is behind also.
My asparagus is looking good. I have not planted okra yet.
This year is going to be tough, plans for the big garden are going on hold since my wife & I are going to Florida for an undetermined amount of time. My Mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer a year ago March, and her health is deteriorating rather quickly, so we're going over there next month to help my younger brother take care of her. She wants to stay at home & hospice enter the picture when the time comes. They did that with my Dad when he passed, and she wants to do the same thing. I may have some time to do a little garden for us, but May in Florida is not the time to start much of anything, so will just have to see what happens.
It's not going to be a permenant move, we'll return to Texas after everything is settled in Florida. One of our son's is staying in our house while we're gone, so at least the house here isn't empty. All the plans have been made and now it's just waiting for the planned moving date...
drthor... I guess when you transplant okra that tall, it shouldn't take long at all to start producing. Will have to contact some of the Florida gardeners & see if they get a fall crop, and when they start it...
Kev, I dont really know you but I wish you and your family all the best as you deal with this sadness. Those who have been thru this know how stressful it is and we hope you and your wife will take care of yourselves as you become caregivers. We DG'ers will keep the Texas home fires burning until y'all get back. Take care and Godspeed.
Thank you for all your prayers... The offer was made last year when we were over there, but now my brothers & I made the decision it was time for us to get over there. Not having the car note & our son moving into our house here in Buda, makes the finances a lot easier to handle.
I am starting cucumbers again. This year it has been a "cucumber debacle" ...
This is the third planting of cucumbers. I do have maybe 10 plants in the ground ... but I lost quite a few to the weather.
oh well ...
I will turn green from eating all of this lettuce, but I love it !
I harvest a huge Fennel bulb and some onions for my DH.
Last night, I trimmed some drooping leaves off my tomatoes that survived the cold snap (all survived!), trimmed off a few onion buds, and saw that the garlic had started to send up shoots, so we'll be harvesting garlic soon!
My onions are getting nice and fat and should be bulbing soon. The neighbor's cat has been using my onion rows as his sleeping spot. :/
Yes, you can roast them in olive oil, but we tried that last year and didn't like them all that much. I might let one bulb go to seed just so I can see the size difference in the size of the bulbs produced.
Today's garden job was to build & fill 2 raised beds 4x12. These are where my corn is going to go, probably next week. I still have 1 4x8 bed left to build. That one is going to run alongside the fence in the front yard. It will contain sweet potatoes. I kind of figured no one would steal sweet potatoes since their all underground & it would be too much work to dig them up!!