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Beginner Vegetables: What veggies/fruit loves sweltering Tennessee Summers and..

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etnredclay
Spring City, TN

April 26, 2013
12:03 PM

Post #9498070

... Could replace salad green boxes until time to replant salad greens for fall?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 28, 2013
7:56 AM

Post #9499735

Summer squash... yellow or zucchini's
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 28, 2013
7:13 PM

Post #9500479

If you want to continue with edible greens in those boxes, look at Swiss Chard, Malabar spinach, New Zealand spinach.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 5, 2013
4:04 PM

Post #9509530

One word...Okra.

etnredclay
Spring City, TN

May 5, 2013
4:07 PM

Post #9509534

Another word -- blech!

(Sorry, thanks for the suggestion, but I'll save all the okra for good folks like you!)

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 6, 2013
9:18 AM

Post #9510452

LOL, Eggplants! Double-blech???

This message was edited May 6, 2013 10:20 AM
KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 6, 2013
9:51 AM

Post #9510493

Glorious peppers! California Wonder, Sweet and Spicy Bananas, and the one I fell in love with last year, Atris. There are so many varieties you simply can't go wrong.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 6, 2013
12:45 PM

Post #9510690

Oh, it's ok. Okra is definitely a love it or hate it kinda thing. I gotta agree with KarensWorld, peppers are where it's at for hot weather. Here in east Tn, I did great with California Wonder and Ancho/poblano last year. My Husband is a hot pepper freak and I grew 1 habanero plant and it just produced like crazy. The Poblanos are very prolific,and are a happy medium for us, good flavor, but not so hot.

Thumbnail by scarletbean
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 6, 2013
6:31 PM

Post #9511118

That's one nice pepper picture, scarletbean!
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
5:32 AM

Post #9511540

Thanks! I realized when I posted it that the pepper I liked the most, the poblanos, are not pictured. The cayennes were strung into a kind of ristra and I just used the last one yesterday. Anxious for hot weather and some peppers, tomatoes, well, I just want it to be warm, it has been downright chilly here lately.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
7:39 AM

Post #9511675

Yes, peppers do well here (my Hot Banana peppers, Sweet Banana peppers, poblanos, etc. do wonderfully all summer long as do other peppers), certain tomatoes, as mentioned Swiss Chard does well but tends to take a little hiatus during the high heat of summer and can benefit from a partly shady location to take off again in the fall), radishes, some carrots, some beans, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, purple hull peas.

(edited to add the peas)


This message was edited May 7, 2013 9:52 AM
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
10:23 AM

Post #9511881

I wanna try growing swiss chard, the Bright Lights look so pretty. I have not eaten it. Is it like the green part of bok choi?
About beans in the heat, I was so surprised to see my Henderson bush limas, Cherokee wax beans and Contender green beans do well for so long in the heat. I grew limas for the 1st time last year. I couldn't get the ripeness timing right for fresh eating, but let them dry on the plant. Good Grief! They kept at it, constantly sending up flowers all season which gave me so many lima beans.(about a 32 oz yogurt container full from 4 plants)They were finally done in not by the summer scorch, but that stupid bean beetle( the yellow poky things before they turn into beetles)The Cherokee held out a little longer than Contender in the heat, but both were good steady producers after the first heavier harvest. Contender is designed to give a big one time harvest, but the later beans were just as good.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
11:06 AM

Post #9511919

Somewhat like Bok Choi - I steam the chard like other greens. :)

Those are all good bean varieties for around here. I've never grown limas but I really like them so maybe will give them a try. Any recommendations as to varieties?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2013
11:26 AM

Post #9511951

Be forewarned. The Bright Lights Swiss Chard has a more pungent taste than the regular green Swiss Chard. And, I DO like my greens...

I didn't like the Bright Lights and had given up on chard until my neighbor served me some regular green, sauteed in butter & minced garlic, with a bit of salt & pepper.

Now, I can't grow enough Chard!!! ^:-)^

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
11:34 AM

Post #9511959

That's true - it is a bit different. I like them both. :-)

scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
11:35 AM

Post #9511960

Well, I got Henderson Bush. It has a uniform and compact growth habit and is early at 65 days to begin harvest. the pkt says it is good for fresh, dry or canning and is noted for its flavor. I really like to add a handful of my dried limas to homemade vegetable soup.
Cville, I think I will try the Swiss chard. I rarely buy veg plants, but it is late for seeds on that one, and I think I saw some at Lowe's, the bright lights.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
11:42 AM

Post #9511964

Gymgirl, Do you mean bitter or tang? I like turnip and mustard greens and collards. and beet greens are nice. not big on dandelion or poke weed, I dont like bitter-not even radicchio or endive.
On the flip side of our topic, My collards are getting happy in this cooler weather here lately, but will be long gone before the TN summer heat hits. Peas, too. Gosh, I love fresh garden peas!

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
11:45 AM

Post #9511966

Thanks. Uniform and compact is good. :) Yes, I put limas in homemade soup also - which I make a lot. Our Lowe's here has several varieties of chard right now, among them the 'Bright Lights'. I think they even had it in our Walmart garden center. Pick the leaves often while they are young and tender.

Fresh peas are da bomb!!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2013
11:59 AM

Post #9511985

Scarletbean,
I think our taste buds are alike. The green chard tastes more like beet greens, without the "earthiness". Almost like a cross between the beet greens and a nice spinach.

I think you'd like the green better.

The taste of the Bright Lights (for me) would be in the same category with the radicchio and the endive. I don't like them either!

Hugs!

Linda
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
12:14 PM

Post #9512002

Oh, good advice! IThat seals it, Regular green it is for me. I wonder why the difference in taste due to color?
I worked in quite a few swanky fine dining establishments in the 80's & 90's and radicchio and Belgian endive were all the rage. It seemed like I couldnt get a salad without it. Plech-o! call me plebian, but I'll take butter lettuce or romaine anytime. Even a nice wedge of iceberg with bleu cheese vinaigrette...(or, ..gasp...ranch!) YUM!

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
12:16 PM

Post #9512005

Well, I love all greens, whether tart, somewhat bitter, or otherwise - especially doused with some good vinegar. So I'm probably not the best adviser on this. The 'Bright Lights' do need some shade in the heat of the summer. :) Sorry to lead you astray. lol.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
12:27 PM

Post #9512024

Ha Ha Cville, have I been led down the garden path?

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
12:40 PM

Post #9512048

LOL. Very good. :-)

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2013
1:11 PM

Post #9512075

I am just now learning how to cook greens with apple cider vinegar. Beet greens especially.

I'd never eaten them until my DexH's Aunt Beatrix cooked them for me, fresh from my own garden! I was growing the bottoms, but once I tasted the tops, I can't get enough of 'em. And, she taught me how to pickle the bottoms, too.

Now. If I can just grow enough beets to put up, I can break out the All American Pressure Canner, that's never been on the fire, LOL!

I'm still learning...THANK GOD!!!
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
1:16 PM

Post #9512084

Oh boy! don't get me started on the greatness of a pressure canner! I want to like pickled beets, but well, i just can't . they are so pretty in the canning jars. yet they taste like dirt. Maybe I will like them some day. I felt the same way about cilantro, it tasted like soap. Now, I cant get enough of the stuff. Weird.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2013
1:32 PM

Post #9512105

LOL, "taste like dirt!" "tasted like soap!"

There are not any foods I will not try, at least once. In fact, every food I've ever eaten I'm willing to try again, just to be sure I don't cross it off my list because of a bad chef.

Almost did that with tripe. A very dear friend served me some once and I had been dying to try it. I almost gagged!!! That might have been the worst thing I ever ate.

But, I'm a trooper and good for a challenge. So, when my Asian-American co-worker took me on a gastronomic (insider) tour of our local 5-star Chinese restaurant, and asked if I ate tripe, I had to go for it. I thought NOTHING could be worse than that first time!

Well, that beef tripe is the first thing I order at that restaurant, every time I go! Can't get enough of it!

Oddly enough, the one food I'm not all that fond of is...gasp...asparagus. I think I had something from a jar, so, I'm willing to try it again at some point. Fresh. From someone's farmer's market or garden, lol!

You will have to teach me all about CANNING!

Hugs!

Linda
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
3:14 PM

Post #9512227

Oh, Tripe: the unsung hero of menudo. (the soup, not the boy band of the 70's)
Yep, it can be very uuhh, icky, or yummy. Another love/hate food. Ever had Cincinnati style chili? another weird food.
Anyhoo, I agree, try and try again with foods. Of course preparation is the key.
Asparagus from a can is like canned peas. Edible, but why bother? Fresh, a whole different thing.
Hey, this is off subject , but Nasturtium seeds are good pickled.
Canning is one of those things that makes you feel like a domestic goddess and when you open the seal with that little "Ssswok!" sound it takes you back to the middle of your summer garden smelling your tomatoes, or peaches, whatever is in the jar. Your own salsa, you get the idea. Plus if you give home canned gifts, people think you are so amazing. And you are, you canned it yourself!

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
3:20 PM

Post #9512232

Love that sound. ♥

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2013
3:26 PM

Post #9512238

Nasturtium seeds might be good pickled but they certainly do NOT taste like capers.

When I was growing up, my step-mother cooked tripe about once a week, just fried southern-style. I hope to never have to eat it again. Tough shoe leather. Taste-wise, it wasn't so bad.

I will however eat lots of offal (although I exclude brains). I'm pretty adventurous about trying new things once. I particularly like creamed sweetbreads in puff pastry.

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
3:33 PM

Post #9512249

Darius, when I worked in those swanky french restaurants sweetbreads were a regular on tjhe menu "ris de veau" If I remember right. The first time I heard sweetbreads, I expected Banana nut bread. Hhmm not exactly, they are the thymus gland, is that correct? The French word sounds nicer. I gotta say that ANYthing creamed in puff pastry sounds good!

I like that shirt!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2013
3:41 PM

Post #9512259

Yup, generally from the thymus, but sometimes the pancreas. "Sweet" is perhaps used since the thymus is sweet and rich-tasting, as opposed to savory-tasting muscle flesh.

LOL, almost anything sounds better in French, as well as anything in creamed in puff pastry.

I get lamb sweetbreads for free when my friend at the farmer's market sends sheep to the abattoir. Folks around here have no clue, nor any use for them.
etnredclay
Spring City, TN

May 7, 2013
3:42 PM

Post #9512265

OK, what is Cincinnati style chili?

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
3:45 PM

Post #9512278

darius wrote:Yup, generally from the thymus, but sometimes the pancreas. "Sweet" is perhaps used since the thymus is sweet and rich-tasting, as opposed to savory-tasting muscle flesh.

LOL, almost anything sounds better in French, as well as anything in creamed in puff pastry.

I get lamb sweetbreads for free when my friend at the farmer's market sends sheep to the abattoir. Folks around here have no clue, nor any use for them.


How do you prepare them, Darius?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2013
3:46 PM

Post #9512279

Yuck, in my opinion. I guess you have to be raised with it. Spaghetti on top of chile, IIRC...
KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 7, 2013
3:52 PM

Post #9512290

Oh my goodness, what memories you guys are stirring. When I was a little girl, my grandma would cook us up a big breakfast of "brains and eggs." We, of course, loved them, though we had no idea what they really were. When I asked her about it and found out she'd actually been serving us oinker brains, well, let's just say it curdled my stomach. Much later in life I shared the story with my children, who decided they wanted to try eating a big plate of brains and eggs for themselves. Well, I cooked it, and they stared at it. Every bit of it went into the garbage. Still gives me chills to think about it.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2013
3:55 PM

Post #9512292

Blanch them in milk then remove the membrane. From there you can bread and sauté them, grill them, and a gazillion different ways (even include them in pĺté). Do a search for sweetbreads recipes.

I like to sauté them and make a cream sauce to cover them...

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2013
4:01 PM

Post #9512297

Karen, my dad's favorite breakfast was scrambled eggs and brains. I'm sure he must have made all of us taste them and I really don't remember the taste. It's hard for me now to wrap my mind around eating brains even though I KNOW the organs have superior nutritional value compared to the muscle meats.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2013
6:42 PM

Post #9512496

Wow.

I want that shirt!!!

I love chicken & calf liver. Would like to experience Rocky Mountain Oysters one day...

Ya'll, don't ask...Google it. LOL!!!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 7, 2013
7:00 PM

Post #9512521

Fry em up, good eating like fried gator tail and frog legs. Does depend on the chef a lot tho. Fried chicken livers and good chewy gizzards, my grandad had dibs on brains scrambled eggs and scallions, and the pickled pigs feet. I like pickled okra-pickled beets(depends on the beet tho ) i like the website nolacuisine.com sigh, there is a taco meat I havent found how to prepare that is prob sweetbreads- soft meat with awesome flavor, just like my beloved braunschweiger. But I am not fond of head cheese. Recipe has to be just right for that stuff. And boudain, rats. East/north coast cant cook. I am ready to be HOME

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2013
7:07 PM

Post #9512525

I was born and intermittently lived near the Everglades... so of course I like 'gator and frog legs. I'm working on a recipe for duck gizzards.

I don't pickle much anymore, choosing instead to do old-fashioned ferments like our grandmother's did with 'kraut and dilled cukes. You can lacto-ferment almost any vegetable except green beans... and the nutritional value of the foods increase over eating them them raw, cooked, or pickled, thanks to the lactobacillus.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2013
7:48 PM

Post #9512577

PLEASE get back on topic or let me know when I can read these thread without wanting to run to the bathroom!

I did check my beets today and found a small cutworm enjoying them. New dirt in a raised bed. Not as many plants as yesterday. May try again, as the temps look good but may wait until next season.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2013
9:13 PM

Post #9512707

tee hee hee!!!

Ok. ok.

Lisa,

We're sorry. We've been absolutely offal, LOLOL!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 7, 2013
10:19 PM

Post #9512748

Dunno, i am really fond of my raw veggies, cabbages dont like me, kale tastes like cabbage, edible tho. Tennessee - so much chert, still they love their collards, melons and squashes and sweet taters!

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2013
2:25 AM

Post #9512829

Good one, Gymgirl. Dad loved brains and eggs. Oops, back to Tennessee. Oh wait, that's where I am. :) Well, back to veggies that tolerate our hot and humid summers. Looks like we've covered quite a few of those. And a little shade works when necessary.
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

May 8, 2013
2:51 AM

Post #9512843

You all went side tracked! LOL!!!@


Hi Linda!!. I am on vacation in Florida. It is kind of chilly here but we are on the beach everyday but not for hours.

Back to tripes.!!! It is tough like rubber so it has to boiled till tender and thinly sliced. They are not cheap!!!
Recipe for marinade:
Cider vinegar, ginger, sweet onions, salt & pepper to taste hot pepper to taste. 1/4 tsp of brown sugar. low sodium soy sauce.

Measurements is up to you depending on how much tripe you have. use vinegar sparingly

Back to the thread.

I use swiss chard green or red in soups. I had them in Portugal on a vacation and was able to copy the recipe.

Happy gardening!!!

Belle
KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 8, 2013
4:56 AM

Post #9512949

All I have to say is...I'm glad I've already eaten breakfast (cereal, for the record)! Back to topic: This year I'm growing a variety of peppers. The California Peppers are doing great, even in this lousy weather, but the Hot and Spicy Bananas look puny. The only problem I've had with peppers is that they don't size up like I'd like. It's high humidity and hot here (well, later in the Summer), but my peppers tend to come in small.

Oh! Here's another hot weather lover: eggplant. That's another one of those love 'em or hate 'em veggies.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2013
5:26 AM

Post #9512972

Hmmm... maybe it's this year's weird back and forth weather? This is a shot of some of my hot banana peppers last year. They are container-grown and do get a little shade from the house.

Thumbnail by Cville_Gardener
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 8, 2013
6:23 AM

Post #9513023

Good looking large peppers, Cville_Gardener. I watched a Youtube video that said Magnesium Sulfate (think that's right) is the key to growing bigger peppers. Apparently you can buy the stuff at garden supply centers or bury match heads under your plants. Matches I have. Might bury a couple to see if it helps. I'd love to have peppers like yours!

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
the Highland Rim of
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2013
8:33 AM

Post #9513192

Thanks. I just grow mine in good soil/compost, maybe some worm castings added now and then.

Just thought I'd throw this in for good measure. :)
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/health/chard-stem-pickles.html?hpw&_r=0
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 8, 2013
7:36 PM

Post #9513916

Magnesium Sulfate is Epsom Salts you can get it at the pharmacy or grocery store.
KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 9, 2013
4:36 AM

Post #9514122

Epsom Salts I already have. I'll dig a few holes close to some peppers and see if it works. Thanks!
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

May 9, 2013
4:56 AM

Post #9514132

I use a lot of epsom salt. I just add it to my diluted miracle grow.

Belle
KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 9, 2013
5:53 AM

Post #9514183

Do you use epsom salts during the entire growing season or just when the plants start to bloom?
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 9, 2013
7:43 AM

Post #9514334

Hmmm, gotta put that on the shopping list. Epsom salts.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 9, 2013
8:24 AM

Post #9514396

I use ES when ever I remember lol I put about 1 tablespoon per gallon of water or fertilizer. I pour it on the plants and the soil. Just don't use it in the direct sun or in the heat of the day.
KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 9, 2013
9:27 AM

Post #9514488

I'm going to try putting epsom salts in water. I expect results would be almost immediate? On a side note, I sure can't wait for some juicy homegrown tomatoes. I went to the Farmer's Market yesterday and bought some greenhouse grown tomatoes. Better than store bought, but not by much. Oh how I do love me some tasty mayonnaise covered homegrown tomato sandwiches! Yum, yum, YUM!
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 9, 2013
11:53 AM

Post #9514603

Oh, the joy of tomatoes! Red meaty slices with basil, olive oil, ume plum vinegar and goat cheese. Or plain with salt. or no salt, BLT's are big on my list. I am also liking yellow tomatoes lately. Some day I will have a homegrown tomato in the first week of June.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 9, 2013
12:24 PM

Post #9514626

You mean like this one, picked from my garden two days ago, that's ripening on my desk?

LOL!

I am sooooooooooooo glad I planted my tomatoes in the middle of winter!!!

I'll be sure to let you know how it tastes!

LOL!

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KarensWorld
High Point, NC

May 9, 2013
1:58 PM

Post #9514775

Fresh tomatoes already? I'm jealous!
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 9, 2013
3:56 PM

Post #9514924

What is the name of your tomatoe Gymgirl. Mine looks like that but is still green. I plan to pick it asap, & let it ripen on my table.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 9, 2013
8:01 PM

Post #9515186

GG, I'm just curious but how many days have they been in the ground and when did you start them? I know this year is not an average year do to the crazy temps. I've had a few plants in the ground since the beginning of April and they are just starting to bloom and there are a couple tomato buttons. But this is the longest ive ever waited for flowers.
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

May 10, 2013
2:22 AM

Post #9515334

Linda,
Looks good!!!

Had you seen Gymgirls set up when she starts her veggie's from seeds?

Belle

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2013
11:54 AM

Post #9515804

Ok, ya'll,
It took me a minute to review my 2013 Spring/Summer timeline to answer your questions re: the MULE TEAM tomato in the picture.

12/31/12: Sowed seeds for 24 bell peppers and 84 tomato plants:

01/06/13: Five out of nine trays have popped and are under lights, right on schedule, six days from sowing...

01/09/13: 72 total tomato seedlings under fluorescent lights.

01/17/13: My tomatoes under lights have taken off, and are too tall for the 4" pots anymore. They are also telling me that they are about to be ready to EAT! The stems are long (but not leggy), so, looks like I'm gonna have to pot them deep into the tall drinking water bottles from this weekend until hardening off on February 9th. That's only 4 more weeks before plant out on February 16th. I'm actually ON SCHEDULE for a change! Life does get better!

01/29/13: Batch #1 of the Tomato seedlings have gone outside for hardening off Target planting date is weekend of 02/16/13, depending on 1) the weather and 2) when I can get them in, schedule-wise...

01/29/13: NOTES ON 100% ROOTS ORGANIC SEED STARTER MIX EXPERIMENT. The remaining seedlings that are still inside under lights have taken off like a bullet, and are looking more and more like those in drthor's pictures. These are the ones I planted in 100% fresh Roots Organic Potting Soil (vs. the others that were planted in 50% RO and 50% old, refreshed potting mix). Took them awhile to kick in, but they finally sucked up the steroids, and are now growing like they are ON steroids. Totally beautiful!

02/23/13: I managed to get seven tomato plants (MULE TEAM) in after mixing up a topper of topsoil, MG garden soil and Microlife. Put the hoop up and covered it with the perforated plastic sheeting. We're going to the high 30s all next week, so, I'll break out sheets and the frost blanket. Glad to finally have the contingencies in place!

03/04/13: I remembered that I hadn't mixed any Dolomitic Lime into the planting bed, so, I sprinkled a handful of EP and a handful of lime over the root balls of each plant and watered it in. Hopefully the mix sank far enough down to the root balls. REMEMBER TO ADD LIME!!!!

04/01/13 WEEKEND UPDATE: The tomatoes have "greened up", and are starting to crank out marbles!

04/10/13. I was securing the tomato plants to the stakes this morning, due to expected high winds. I spied at least three tangerine-sized tomatoes hiding underneath the leaves -- Mule Team.

04/18/13 GARDEN UPDATE: I have tomatoes on all the vines, and most are cherry tomato or tangerine size. Most are Mule Team in RB #3. Two Kimberly Cherry varieties planted in one EB and one pot are also marbling.

One MULE TEAM looked like it was blushing on the underside, and no sign of BER on any tomatoes, PRAISE GOD! First time no BER!!!

I'll have to remember that I forgot to mix the Dolomite into the new soil when I topped the beds. I made "wells" in the soil over the roots of each plant, sprinkled the Dolomite in each well and watered it in from the top. It looked like milky cream in a pool, but, it soaked into the soil right over where the root balls were...I might do another application of Dolomite lime this weekend, just to be sure...

(Note: did not do second application of Dolomite, however, I noticed some changes on the ends of one or two new tomatoes coming out as of 5/10/13). May be time for a second application after all...

04/24 & 4/25/13
•Have to spray the tomatoes for little green worms
•The MULE TEAM tomatoes are about full tangerine size, in clusters of 5-6 tomatoes.
•I've NEVER had this many tomatoes, this early in my season!

05/02/13 GARDEN UPDATE
•My Mule Team tomatoes are bigger than tangerines, and there're plenty of them!
•But, I have encountered tomato worms and Leaf Footed Stinkbugs!
•I sprayed Bt Friday evening for the worms, and we had a gully washer Saturday...
•I sprayed Bt yesterday evening for the worms, and this morning we had a gully washer..
•(NOTE: Bt was applied twice with the sprayer, & washed off by rain, but the worms are under control 15 days later, except for a rogue I need to find - keeps chewing holes!!!).

05/06/13
•I checked this morning, and one of the tomatoes in the cluster is a full tennis ball size, and rusty red on the entire bottom half! And today is only May 6th!
•The worms are under control, the vines are full, and setting new blossoms everywhere!
This is the best season ever!

05/07/13 Garden Update: Snapped this morning!
#1 FIRST real tomato of the season - Mule Team!
#2 Kimberly Cherry Tomato cluster (I picked three ripes ones Saturday!)
#3 VERY, VERY, VERY late transplanted cabbage in Earthbox. Shouldn't even be alive...
#4 Bell Peppers under Tulle
#5 Mule Team Cluster

And, there you have it! My 2013 Spring/Summer Tomato Timeline!

Hugs!

Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click an image for an enlarged view.

scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 10, 2013
12:43 PM

Post #9515864

Gymgirl...HUMPH! ... that is a nice tomato. I wish it was mine.

You are the gardener I hope to be.
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

May 10, 2013
12:44 PM

Post #9515865

Thank you Linda!!!

Can you imagine how organize and patient this lady is.!!!!

Who among you can do this?

Not me.LOL!!!

Belle

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2013
1:19 PM

Post #9515887

LOL, if you saw my house right now, you'd know how schizophrenic my life is!

Ya'll FORCED me to do what I needed to do anyways -- document the season!

Thanks for the push, you guys!

P.S. Anyone can do this. All I did was review the thread and pull out from what I previously posted. Cut and paste onto a Word document, then paste here.

However. It is MUCH easier to document as you go. Those threads go waaaay back! LOL!
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

May 11, 2013
4:20 AM

Post #9516548

Linda,
Are you planting any okra this year?

DH planted some but i think he planted them so early.

You are an inspiration to gardeners and sharing your experience is very helpful!! Such a patient lady, I think you are a retired teacher with lots of patience!!!

Happy gardening!!!

Belle

scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 11, 2013
6:52 AM

Post #9516683

Oh boy, OKRA! I just put my seeds in. I start a few inside and some out in the garden. I just want to cover the bases and be sure it grows. It was absolutely rampant last year, and I was so happy. The year before i really had sad little plants, and almost fell off my chair when I got a total of 10 pods. Raised beds have really made a difference.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 11, 2013
12:27 PM

Post #9516984

Belle,
You are so kind. But I am the thankful one! Everything I know I learned on this website from growers here.

I'm a teacher by God's grace alone. I'm not a professional! But, things I am passionate about spark a powerful fire in me, and I want to share that passion with others who are "smoldering!" Then comes the blaze!

I plan on growing okra, and have been content to exercise patience until this weather stabilizes. I'm surveying the garden now, studying the sun patterns, and determining what I can plant next, and where. I'm still learning about sun and yield.

I've got flats of seedlings inside, way overdue for translating. They'll start hardening off in a minute. And, my tree trimmed might open up a bit more sun for me next week, so, opportunity abounds!

Hugs.

Linda
viltor
Germantown, TN

November 17, 2013
12:42 PM

Post #9711122

Gymgirl,
May I suggest trying grilled asparagus. I have turned many 'asparagus haters' around with it.
A soy sauce sesame oil mixture (roughly 2 to 1 ratio) + some garlic, lemon juice, sesame seeds and pepper works great! (Or if you want to spice it up, mix in some Cajun spices and make a southern/Asian fusion mix, which is stunning if you can get the flavors to balance right)

As for TN, peppers should be happy here, but I had the hardest time getting my Trinidad scorpion plant to produce any peppers. I got 1 that I got to eat off it, and another two that were partially eaten I think by my behemoth of a dog. Any suggestions for next year on pepper plant growing? The flavors of the scorpion were amazing, and I desperately want more of them (it had a citrus flavor to it, unlike the ghost chili which is more of a fruity flavor)

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