This is so I can keep watching along ;
#1 Romanesco Pantano I don't know if they are really as big as yours dr.. About 30inches tall this one , and it way ahead of the others.
#2 salad bowl lettuce
#3 A semi happy Borage plant
#4 Leeks already going to seed ,, zoom ,, Do these like cold weather , anything warm . poof to seed they go !!
Easy grow plants ,, you know ..
Indeed and thank you again Gymgirl !!! It was meant for cats and voles and rabbits to start with , Then I read someplace that a lot of insects and small animals won't cross nettle (stinging) .. Seems to be partly true anyway , best kind of accidental ..!! saves my vegies.!!!
Likely the hares on the nettles , besides other plants take a fluid booster from nettle ..(or so I have read)
Wonder if that works on critter bugs like SVB and so forth? , The bean beetles, a few small ones Is all have seen (so far) this season .
I think I am going to give the mulch idea a try around some of my melons ?
Dryland Herbs love the coffee grounds My catnip love'em ... That is about the only experience I have I am sure of . When I get more Lavender and yarrow I will try some more on them .. I think I used some a few years ago on my yarrow and it was working pretty good , but I don't remember for sure..
Black fly are drawn to wet coffee grounds or as they spoil . so if you use them in a mix , mix well with something to repel the buggers ,, that also is from experience ,,
Thought I'd show a few pics of my backyard and what's growing:
Photo 1: Sweet 100's in RB#1. Look at all of them! Apt name!
Photo 2: Beefsteak tomatoes.
Photo 3: My first full-sized tomato (Solar Fire) of the year -- a bird or squirrel got the very first one!
Photo 4: Long view of side yard leading to backyard. Beans on left (nearly finished), and on the right are yellow squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber and strawberries. RB#1 is at the very back.
Photo 5: Two RBs, one in full sun (same one as in photo 3), and the other part way under a tree. I had cooler crop stuff in there when the tree's branches were bare, now I recently stuck in a couple tomatoes and peppers to see how they would do. They are far behind their neighbors, but they may do better when summer gets really cooking. We'll see.
You've got a wonderful setup! Glad to see more beefsteaks being grown.
Which variety? I'm harvesting Mule Teams (not beefsteaks) and Beauty Beefsteaks. Two Kimberly patios about ping ping size.
I'm about to sow cuke, squash, and carrot seeds in EBs, and set out more Eggplants and bell peppers to harden off.
The flat of Broccs stalled at 9". They haven't grown an inch for three weeks. Just standing there, tall and green as you please. So, if they're willing to stay alive until fall, I'm willing to wait, and see what might happen.
Everythng looks great, Lisa! Glad your tomatoes are going and you've already got your first ripe one. Woot!!
I also have the tomato jungle going on after the recent rains. Every year I tell myself I'm not going to let this happen. Maybe one of these years, I'll listen and be more proactive! LOL
The blackberries are ripening. I've probably harvested at least a pint already. I love how red they get before they turn "black".
I'm thinking the onions are ready for harvest! I harvested a Texas Legend earlier this week to have with our hamburgers and it tasted so good! I harvested another onion, Early Texas White, to have with my lunch and it was tasty as well.
The garlic's just about ready for harvest as well. My harvest will be smaller than last year because I didn't plant as much, but I'm still using cloves from last year's harvest!
Great pics Stephanie. How could you avoid the tomato jungle? I haven't even put cages around most of mine. That part isn't as fun. They grew so slow at first now they are going nuts. I can't believe you have a volunteer okra, I have one volunteer tomato that is 3" tall. Can't believe it showed up so late. By the look of the leaves I think it's Thai Pink Egg.
The only plants I have left to plant are dwarf tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, Roselle, tomatillos, ground cherry, and Cape gooseberry. Still have seeds to sow. I can't decide if I should put the plants in the ground, in root pouches or pots. If I put them in containers I can keep them out of the direct sun, if needed, on my covered deck. I even have a kids plastic pool so they can stay wet. I grew some dwarf tomatoes on the deck last summer and they did great even tho they never where in direct sun until late in the summer hen the angle of the sun shifted. I should add this is about 70 plants and if I could decide where to put them they would be planted. suggestions are needed and will be greatly appreciated. I would like to get this done this weekend I just need you guys to tell me what to do with them.
Lisa, most of mine are caged, but just with the smaller round cages. We need to put up some larger square cages (or something!). I still haven't sown okra or cukes. Not sure I'll get to the cukes, but the okra can be planted all summer long.
The cukes can be planted all summer long too. I haven't made pickles in years I am going to do it this year! I need to get mine in cages of any kind! Since it has warmed up I feel like I need to do everything NOW!
I have grown the Dwarfs on the deck without direct sun. Ohhhhh...decisions.
This is my first year for Solar Fire. No idea how it tastes, yet, but it was the winner as far as timing.
Linda, I had bird trouble last year, and lost my very first tomato this year to bird pecking. Then as I was washing dishes today, I looked out and saw a bird hopping down into the tomatoes. I shot out there and shooed him off! Then I grabbed whatever tulle I had handy and threw a little over the top of the hoops and wrapped two of my tomato cages that had some tomatoes starting to turn. And then I filled my birdbath to brimming. I do think that helps.
New problem today on the tomatoes though -- saw a branch with NO leaves left. Some voracious tomato worm has been at it. I couldn't find it, but will get up early tomorrow and see what I see, and sprinkle some Dipel around. It's always something.
Stephanie, your onions looks great. (Well, everything does).
Kitriana, nice property. Great idea on the PVC pipes, too!
1lisac, I'll let others advise you, but -- what is a root pouch? I've never heard of that.
Fantastic pictures of your vegetable garden.
Thaaank you ... y'all just needed a little "push".
I love to look on "how" everybody is growing their vegetables. Even if we are growing the same one, it seems we let them grow and stand in different ways.|
I am impressed from y'all and thanks again.
Here is yesterday harvests. Yes two zucchini ... weee
I am hand pollinating the flowers .. but so far I had just a few females ... lots of male flowers which I will cover in a batter and fry this weekend ... they are the best !!
Two old fennel bulbs ... maybe I will just use them in a fennel soup
A few okra pods and still lettuce.
The second planting of corn is FINALLY growing. Planted different seed, and only 3 types this time. Now, only two months until I can start picking corn! Haven't tested the older seed, so I don't know if the problem was the weather or the seed.
Tomatoes are starting to grow, but I wouldn't say "taking off" just yet. Most plants are between 2-3 feet high and have a few blooms. One or two have a couple of marble-sized fruit. Normally at this time of year The plants are at least 5 feet high, with many fruit set and a few that are starting to ripen. WAY BEHIND.
I will be pulling onions and garlic this weekend. At least one crop has been successful.
Hi Gymgirl -- Happy to see you shareing your expertise with others. Good news on my part! Although my legs are basically shot I will be able to purchase a power scooter with a swivel seat and the Earthbox people now have stands for the EBs so I can sit in my swivel seat and grow my tomatos etc.( earthbox.com ) hopefully by the autumn season. Where there is a will there is a way.
w_r_ranch -- gorgeous stuff! I think you'd better give tutorials on onion growing. I haven't checked our onion thread in awhile, but I hope you have shared your "how I did it" advice on there. (If not -- go do it!! Or do it here! LOL).
dreaves - glad you're back in the game on the corn, and tomatoes as well. My onion crop was pretty pathetic, nothing got larger than a ping pong ball, so good on ya for having a nice onion crop.
drthor, thanks for the reminder about hand-pollinating. I've been sort of waiting and waiting. Pulled one zucchini that we ate a few days ago, but nothing else much on the horizon. I'll get busy pollinating (being a *busy bee* in quite a literal sense!) Nice pics. Amazing you are still picking lettuce, the last of mine has bolted, but then I'm south of you.
Final note: raining like cats and dogs here. I LOVE that, but of course, I just dusted Dipel on my tomatoes. It must be like washing your car.
LiseP wrote:I think you'd better give tutorials on onion growing. I haven't checked our onion thread in awhile, but I hope you have shared your "how I did it" advice on there. (If not -- go do it!! Or do it here! LOL).
Growing onions are not really much different that growing any other vegetable. The majority of a person's success is directly attributable to their soil. After that, it is just basically proper irrigation & applying the correct fertilizer.
Veggies prefer fertile, loose, friable soil that is well-drained and has lots of organic matter. Sandy loams are ideal garden beds especially if you till in generous amounts of compost yearly. I also apply 3" of mulch each spring to shade the soil, converse moisture & help suppress weeds. It will break down over the course of a year & thus further increase the fertility/structure of the soil.
I also apply side dressings of 10-20-10 fertilizer once per month, as I have raised beds & usually have to water frequently at times due to the heat. The biggest problem I see is folks that go overboard on nitrogen (which will produce lots of leaves but little in the way of fruit/bulbs).
Lastly is irrigation. Don't water unless the garden needs it (preferably in the early morning). Many folks over-water, which is why their plants turn yellow & are susceptible to fungus. I stick my finger 2" into the soil to check the moisture level. The idea is to encourage the plants to establish deep roots.
Other than those 3 'biggies', it is just weed & pest management... until harvest time, which is when the real work starts.
Thanks so much for that. I think I can spot my problems -- the soil. I hilled up bagged veggie garden soil on top of an existing border garden (NOT a raised bed, and there's probably limestone about 2" below the surface). When I put it down I tried to make the best ridge and valley situation I could, planting the onions on the top of the ridge, and threw in a bit of my own compost too, but I don't think it was enough -- not friable enough, not sandy enough, not deep enough.
I figured that of all the veggies, onions probably needed the least soil depth (they seem to sit right on top of the soil!), so that's why they got the least desirable spot in the garden -- but they probably still need more than I've been giving them. Watering was okay, I think. Might have been a little slow on keeping it fertilized.
But yep, think it's the soil that's the biggest issue to work. Thanks for that.
Hmmmm, side note. I did put one onion into a pot, because I wanted to see if depth of soil would help. (My onions did poorly last year too). The pot onion didn't do well either. But I still think it was the soil -- not sandy at all, not good enough drainage, not enough compost.
the lettuce I am harvesting now is almost at the end ... but I never had lettuce for so long this year.
Last year I did two planting of lettuce seeds: mid August and mid November = PERFECT !!
I will do the same this year !
thanks for sharing those amazing pictures. You are way ahead of me ... what a fantastic gardener you are !
My onions did great this year too. And my peppers are already bigger than they ever got last year. My tomatoes are over 6 feet, but I have been pruning the suckers off. Got my first two Better Boys last weekend.
Got my first two squash harvested today, a few carrots and some Banana Peppers, and pulled my first onion, still no tomatoes. Onions from plants did not do very good, I think they are in way too much shade, I am surprised by the ones I grew from seed. They are not that far behind the ones grown from plants. If the Armadillo had not dug so many of them up I think they would have done much better. Even the ones he did not dig up he disturbed the roots on them. I have two tomato plants that wilt very badly when the day gets hot, so far they have come back in the early morning, but not sure how long that will continue. The plants look healthy otherwise, I am not sure if it is too much water, not enough water, or exactly what the problem is. At least so far, if is only the two plants, and they are side by side.
Lise-root pouches are cloth bags. I've haven't used them yet but the roots grow thru the fabric
and get " air pruned ". I have hand pollinated my squash zukes,crookneck and white scallop. This is the first year that female flowers have shown up at the same time as the male.
My potatoes are still growing so weird it's almost June!
It rained like crazy here all day, and might rain tomorrow. There wasn't even a chance of rain. I don't know if I'll be able to get in the lower garden. It may be too muddy. My beans still aren't blooming..
Drthor thanks for the reminder about the male squash blossoms, i eat them plain. It's been so long since vie had decent squash plants, I forgot.
I have 14 types of dwarf tomatoes and about 35 types of peppers and they are getting planted this weekend!
So glad you got the rain, but sorry it came as a rain bomb and dropped all that in such a short period of time. Need to call my dad again and check on him. I talked to him late last night and all was well. Thankfully, I don't think his side of town got hit as hard as the south/southwest side of town.
Tomatoes season is officially started and they are ripening like crazy.
I need to start to harvest daily ... what a problem, right?? giggle
First Eggplant and first Blackberries ... a few okra and I hope soon cucumbers and peppers (this year I am going to harvest them red or yellow = it takes forever to tun color)
Lots of zucchini flowers ... yum !
wow ... yes the blackberries are huge this year.
Mine never make it to the kitchen ... I must eat them right away before my DH give them to his pets .. sigh ... he loves them like if they were family.
Stephanietx, do you have any ripe tomato yet?
#1 This is my harvest yesterday: I tried to make a face ... can you see it? The right eye is Momotaro tomato, the left is Black Zebra. ONE long bean ... giggle ... and one Thai Sweet Pepper (from Baker Creek) which is NOT sweet at all ... so spicy ... yuk ! Lots of zucchini flowers ... so good !
#2 this is how I store my tomatoes in the kitchen. They are in order of maturity ... so I know which one to eat first. I just love to see all of the tomatoes at this time of the year. All that "tomato dance" was well worth it !
Biggest one to date. Unfortunately, I have NO Idea which variety this beautiful tomato is. I have to go back through my receipts to figure this mystery out. And, I sure hope I do, because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this flavor!
The tomato is huge, meaty, and an orangy, peachy color. Juicy without being runny, and a great sweet to tang balance.
I have no clue...but, I grew these from seeds I saved last season. They did very, very poorly then, but the saved seeds are producing wonderful fruits this time around.
I planted some cowpeas this year. Just a few but the seedlings are up and growing.
Meantime something got into my Straight Eight cucumber seedlings and dug them up and broke the others. By the time I found them they were totally wilted. I replanted and watered but I doubt they will make it. Good thing I have extra seed so I sowed some new seed.
I had by cucumbers dug up by an Armadillo, I replanted the cucumbers at least three times before he finally managed to totally destroy them. So if what ever dug them up does not return, you have a good chance of saving them. I noticed today I still had one of the original plants hanging in there with a few blooms on it.
I put a small fence around them but he just dug under it after I replanted, then I replanted again in a new location just a few feet away and he has not bothered them.
I picked my first 2 crookneck squash today. I have never had such great looking plants in Tx. I forgot how fast the fruit matures. I should have zukes in a day or so, and some white scallops. I have got most of my peppers planted, I have pepper plants that I onverwinter in containers they are starting to really bloom and set pods.
I also have some pole beans that were supposed to be bush beans and vice versa. I'm trying to figure out how to give them something to climb up since they weren't sown to be pole beans.
Everything is looking really good my garden seems to be enjoying the cooler temps and the rain.
Today I tied and grouped the onions and all the garlic (about 170 bulbs) after they dried in the back porch.
I am storing them in a one dark room.
I also harvested the rest of the onions. Not so bad for my second year of growing onions. Lots to learn still !
All my cooking will have lots of garlic from now on !
Ok. maters were doin great. Cantt find anyone who knows what this timy worm by the thousands is... Its prob moving north tho... so far a sphinx moth cat is all i can find resembles these guys. Will take any ids available
Mine were barely half that size and were turning the tomato leaves into doily skeletons. They move fast and are ravenous by the scores, so they must be handled early on.
Fortunately, like some insects I've run across, they seem to concentrate on only one leaf at a time and don't move on until it is total destroyed. That means they collect in one area, so it gives you a chance to eradicate them before they spread too far.
I don't know where mine came from. Never had them before...
So I know I am really late late but I just sowed some mustard greens (not a lot) and some celery seeds. Wow, that celery seed is so small I can barely see it. I have Tango Celery which I have read is very good for home gardeners. I have read celery is difficult but I had celery from seedlings last year and found it very easy to grow.
Southern army worms. Tent worms ONE stripe, whitish...eggs are little sparkly things on undersides of leaves. Search and destroy in early mornings. moth is a small one- looks to have a set of clear wings
Planted collards, lettuces, some more tomatoes, corn in the straw bales (with squash, melons, and sunflowers), eggplant plants, okra plants, and some flowers beneath one of the apple trees. The strawberries I planted in the straw bales yesterday, and they look pretty happy. Still no sweet potatoes after they froze, but might have some beets in the same bed coming up. The Casper eggplants are getting their true leaves.
It is said that the temps will dip down to almost freezing tomorrow night (or below, never can tell) so will probably have to cover tomatoes, okra, and eggplant I planted in the GH area yesterday. Trying to harden off watermelons. Boy they hate this sun up here.
I have 10' Lilac hedges, like solid walls almost, around the front and side yard and they're in full bloom- two weeks early. At least they're loaded this year, and smell heavenly. I want to take and start some cuttings for other areas.
Getting the other strawbales cooking so I can plant in them too. The barley bales are feathery soft after a long snowy winter, but the wheat bales from last fall are still pretty firm. They sat out all winter, so should be cooked, but who knows?
I run out of energy before I run out of things to do. There's no end to it. Whew!
Solace Like being a youngster ,,having fun running out of energy is big "FUN" !!!
Planted some Huckleberries ,some amaranth , the past few days ,,
Harvested , lettuce , radish , garlic, onions , for eating ,, Leaves of Borage , spearmint . also..
Myself I am not going around real fast , near 90 today ,, The temperature not my Birthday age ...lol
Gathered all my onions, just before possible rain. It looks like I have about 100 pounds. There are a mix of sizes. Some are quite large and others very small. Many are baseball size or larger. Not bad since I didn't keep them fertilized, watered, or weeded. They were basically on their own after I planted. The garlic were all small. I guess they need a little more attention than the onions.
I haven't given the garden the attention it needs, I've been fighting health-related depression. It's hard to get motivated to work in the garden. It hasn't been the distraction for me that it has been in past years. I think the odd weather made it worse, but then I didn't get things done as quickly as I should have, so now there's even less motivation since I am so far behind.
Tore out the sugar snap peas today. I planted them so late that they burned up in the heat before they could bloom. Started to till the area where I pulled onions and peas out, but the tiller broke-- lost a pin holding the tines in place. By the time I got back from Lowes with a new pin, it had rained and the ground was just wet enough to be a problem. Maybe I will be able to get to it tomorrow. Still need to plant all the possible summertime vegetables: beans, cucumbers, squash, okra.
At least the second planting of corn is growing. I need to cultivate it, too, to knock the weeds back while the corn is small. If we don't get a measurable rain tonight I will water the corn tomorrow. I plan to water it every week if it doesn't rain. In past years I haven't watered the corn consistently and later plantings did not produce well.
David I can understand the depression. Now that the weather has stayed at one temp I feel like I'll never catch up. I'm lucky that I didn't sow any seeds that wouldn't germinate bc of the cool soil. But I can't believe it's almost June. I try to get a certain amount done each day and not look at what I didn't get done. I love to garden but I have many other obligations too, so do you. Don't be too hard on yourself, there is only so much you can do.
Linda- what do you mean "should fruits be setting this high?"
There ARE no cages, aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!
I was seriously remiss, and just used the heavy duty 6' stakes from HD, and some bamboo stakes I had. I have propped the plants up, basically, on top of each other!
I am seriously looking at the Mittleider trellis system for next season's tomato bed. Trying to make the commitment to turn the yard into more growing space and less grass.
If I construct the trellis in the video, I'll need to combine two existing beds into one, AND re-orient it in the opposite direction. Not a biggie, but it puts the structure right back where I tore down the storage shed.
I was getting used to the nice "openness" of my yard.
But, if I had built that trellis (ANY trellis for that matter) over this current tomato bed, man 'o man what tomatoes I could've had!!! They're sprawling everywhere!
Here is my latest harvest.
Finally some cucumbers and zucchini ... and some more beans ... red delish peppers, tomatoes and lots of male squash flowers (I hope more female flowers will start to produce)
Eggplant plants are looking amazing, cucumber plants are growing and tomato plant are loaded with fruits ... so yummy !
My tomato vines get huge. I just let them flop over the sides of the cage, they go back down and grow on the soil. Many times they will root more which seems to make the plant stronger. I haven't got mine in cages yet, this year.
My planning (oh no lol) Has a concrete reinforcing wire fence across the length of one bed ..
Another raised bed has two metal poles and an 8 ft; common fence between them ,,The reason for that oh no ? about planning . I put some taller plants on the shorter fence and some shorter plants on the tall fence (way to go smooth one) lol
Pic's of these trellis oddities later , One old as can be of use , people been gardening with that kind of trellis for decades .
The fence is hair extreme , but was handy , and a why not ..
which variety of squash are you growing?
maybe 4" is too small.
squash/zucchini are better when they are harvested young. When you harvest your first fruit look inside and see how many seeds the fruit has ... if too many you did harvested too late.
my cages system works fantastic. (cages from Lowe's)
can you see in these pictures?
Now some of the plants are tall as me ... when they will reach the top of the wine I start to twist the plant with the twine going horizontally.
Last year I found out that laying down the plants produced even more tomatoes.
Also you can see how I remove all the suckers ... at least I try, giving all the energy to fruits production.
I am going out to harvest right now.
When I harvest I have 2 baskets; one for the tomatoes and one for the unwanted leaves ... in fact I keep trimming the bottom leaves after the tomatoes are gone ... no need to waist energy/attract pests on these leaves ... plus the plants have so much more sun light = more production.
We are having really high winds right now and the plants are secured inside the cages.
This system really take little effort. When I pass by the cage if a branch did fell out, i just push it inside or twist with the twine.
Your system is very neat and works well for cherry type tomatoes.
Unfortunately, one of my tomato vines would completely fill about TWO of the cages in your picture! I'm growing monster vines that weigh approximately 25-30 lbs. Add the weight of the fruits growing on them, and my test lines need to hold at least 50 lbs.
The tomato frame I used last year was wonderful. Problem is, I switched beds for the tomatoes, and didn't commit to constructing a frame over the new location. I see that I will go ahead and put a tomato frame over this current bed, and work toward building the Mittleider T-Frame over my original bed(s). The frame allows for growing vertically, two feet wider than the bed it covers, and, most importantly, you can throw a plastic covering over the whole frame and convert it to a greenhouse. DOUBLE DUTY!
Here is are my harvests. Two large baskets of Swiss Chard.
Lots of tomatoes ... finally the Dr. Carolyn tomato is ripen.
A few peppers and okra, just a hint of blackberries for the picture to remind me that I am harvesting them ... because I have to eat them outside before my DH will see them. I think I harvested the last bag of lettuce.
Gymgirl my system works for small and huge tomato fruits too. It is probably hard to understand from the pictures. Look at this incredibly beautiful Chocolate Stripes tomato, probably the biggest this year. The cages are secured with 6" wood poles and they are not moving, even under high winds. Last year my big tomato was 22 oz.
You do have a large plant system because it seems from the picture that you are letting grow your suckers. In fact I do see a lot of green growth and a few fruits production ... just a suggestion.
The tomatoes you see there are setting and growing 5 ft. off the ground. The bottom is loaded. I snapped the pic to give a perspective of how high up they're growing.
I started out pinching suckers, but, because it became a tangled jungle, the vines are growing in every direction now, suckers and all. Better organization would have allowed me to stay ahead of the suckers, LOL!
That's why I like the tomato frame so well. I have a New Big Dwarf growing under the frame, trellised up on hemp lines. Such a total world of difference than the tomato jungle! I can SEE every sucker to pinch off!
my indeterminate tomatoes keep growing until they stop producing by mid-July.
They grow until 6' vertically and after I turn the stems horizontally and they keep growing in that way.
This is the "cage" we put up last night. We have used these previously with pretty good results. The only thing is that they are really too narrow for the varieties we grow. Mark made these himself and they lay flat for storage. I also found more maters when we strung up the mater plant!
They look great. What kind of tomatoes are those? The leaves look so healthy and green, I can't believe those are the same plants that went thru the deep freeze. I still have to stake, cage or just do something with mine. I have about 70 plants and some extra tall cages but they don't jump on the plants all by themselves. A few years ago I made some cages with some fencing material. I really need to get it done before the plants get any bigger and it's too late. Planting is so much more fun.. Thanks for the inspiration.
Well, I finally got some work done in the garden today. Of course, I almost did myself in at the same time... I ended up working for a total of 3 1/2 hours, with a 1-1/2 hour break in the middle. Turns out I didn't realize exactly how much I was perspiring. Even though I drank quite a lot (especially for a dialysis patient) I ended up losing over 5 pounds of fluid. By the time I finished, I was light-headed from the heat and dehydration. I use blood pressure as a measure of hydration-- when I went inside after working, I discovered that my blood pressure was about 70/40. My normal pressure is about 130/80. :( Not good! My wife was not very happy with me, either.
I finished a good bit, though. I tilled and completed seed-bed prep for several items. I recovered and transplanted some volunteer sweet potatoes and the slips that recovered from rabbit rampage. I planted four rows of bush beans, four rows of black-eye peas, a row of okra, and replanted cucumber and squash rows (rows are about 30 feet). I still have one more row of cucumbers to plant, and I think I will finish the large open area I have still available with Sugar Baby pumpkins. We have at least 150 days to first frost, so there should be time if the vines can stand the summer heat.
Hoping for rain tonight as a cold front passes. If not, I will be watering tomorrow. I'll be happier about the garden if I see some seeds sprouting. I do know that I am going to have to do a better job on keeping up, so I don't have any more days where I try to kill myself with effort.
Garlic is about ready to harvest, corn is growing like crazy and the tomatoes aren't growing so fast but are starting to bloom. I need to prune them, but not today; it's wet. The squash plants are taking off in the heat and the cucumbers are starting to run and try out this "blooming" thing.
It's going to be a great year for blueberries if we keep getting some rain every now and then. The bushes are loaded!
Before the rain started today, I got out to see leaf miners have made short work of my tomatoes, and now these little black caterpillars have invaded the rest of the garden. Ugh! I have a few organic home remedies to try, but another week of this, and I'll need to do something else. Any suggestions welcome.
Dipel dust (Bt) is considered organic and it only attacks caterpillars. It should be effective on any type caterpillar that eats the leaves. You could also use Spinosad, which is based on a different bacterial toxin. It is also considered organic.
Google either one for more information than you could possible want to know. : )
This is a good way to start June. Look at this harvest ... I love all the colors of the tomatoes.
The larger tomato is Chocolate Stripes - 9.5 oz. and an amazing taste.
In the pictures # 3: the two bottom-middle tomatoes are black Zebra, on the right Momotaro peachy color (delish tomato - I just wish the plant was more productive).
On top of Momotaro, 3 yellow tomatoes Jeaunne Flamme: the 2nd best tomato taste of this year so far. Inside they are orange.
Below Momotaro, Chocolate Cherry and Black Cherry (the smaller ones) - they are the best taste of this year so far.
On the left two Tigerella and on top two Green Zebra - love it !
In picture #1 the white/light yellow tomato just below the middle cucumber is Dr. Carolyn ... huum
Lisa, the tomatoes pictured are Pantano Romanesco. They're not as big as I had thought they were going to be, so I sure hope they're tasty! Mark constructed this cage out of 1/2" electrical conduit and there are some kind of 1/2" hot water PVC pieces connecting them together and used for the part that goes in the ground. We used some kind of rot-proof string to hold the plant in.
Kittriana & David,- thanks, darlins. I went outside in a sun break just now and I'd say 60% of my plants are nibbled to bits. Tomatoes, beans, okra, eggplant - in 3 days they're gone. I love my monarch caterpillars, fortunately, they're in containers, but everything I have in the ground is halfway to gone.
And David, I hope you're feeling better. My friends and I like to call July 1 "Demi-New-Year" when we get to start it all over, it's just one way to get a reset. :)
Y'all be good, I'm going to go lose some karma by squashing all the bugs I see!
I haven't had anything to talk about lately- just a lot of work in the garden, but today I harvested these- they are so pretty! Peas are Sugar Lace- supposed to be stringless- tatse test will be tonite! Tomatoes are blooming but none are set yet. I'm having a terrible time to get decent Pole Beans going-
If it were me, NOLA, I would try a quick dusting of Sevin. Not organic, but has proved to be one of the safer pesticides. I would hate for you to lose your garden because of a stupid worm infestation! I suggested the organic options since that's what you seemed to be interested in using.
It looks a fright , but it's growing plants ..
Here some of my extreme old fashioned trellis doings .. some of you were talking about trellising a while back .
Tomatoes on the big tall trellis,Kentucky wonder beans this year on my extreme sawhorse whatever or that they may be . background trellis will have cucumbers , And the concrete reinforcing wire cage with Lima beans climbing
1 the trellis
2 KW beans
3 more KW beans
4 KW bean vine imitating me ,, going over the top
5 lima beans Yes I have bean scrounging not as bad as it sounds, only it is to most ,, lol
I edited one of my above posts after a bunch of researches . on the southern army worm. Nola? The moths eggs are tiny sparkly things on the undersides of the leaves- apparently they hatch fast too, so early morning inspections...
Several things after onions, but the nitrogen isnt as high as all that, flowers are one possibility, corn, another.
I usually grow Blue Lake Pole Beans for years and years. The taste very good. But this year i wanted to try some different types that are new to me. Couldn't make up my mind while ordering seeds so ordered too many different varieties. Not I do have to choose before I can plant.
I have to get one so i can have my hormones. They used imaging not xrays since I have had fibrous strings forever. Tech says there are no rules for who gets cancer- past the people who volunteered to try new drugs in medical ads and were given cancer deliberately. There is no bets on this.
This conversation just outran me ,, I was going to say I have Blue Lake pole and bush types ,, good beans but it has been a couple of years since I have grown them
The conversation all changed on me though .. always behind ... so it seems .
Finally realized I have 17 tomato plants .. GOO...OOD LOL
Nice to have a lot of tomato plants. I have 62 tomato plants and 14 pepper plants. 10 eggplants, 5 zucchini plants. Melons I am growing Sakata, Avara, Sugar Cube, Green Machine and mystery melons (no tag). Cucumbers growing Burpless, Straight Eight, Suo Long, Camilla and Armenian Cucumbers. Brocoli and Cauliflower. Peas I am growing Mammoth Melting Snow Peas, Super Sugar Snap, Norli and Sugar Lace II. For beans I have yard long beans and Tenderette Bush Beans. Plus the seeds I got which I am still trying to decide which ones to start and where I can fit them.
Windsor and speckled lima (horse food) Kentucky wonder amd climbing lima (green) And shell bean ..lemon ,spacemaster bush , and blonde is all I managed to get planted of cucumbers ,off and on straight eight I have grown for many years ,, good strong grower with a good taste , little tough at times ..
Giant cantelope and a couple of watermelons is about all .. Of course I could go for permanent plantings but then we (me) would be straying away
Last year was the first year we grew pole beans and we had so many problems with them! We went back to bush beans this year. This year, we're growing burgundy. In years past, we've grown Blue Lake bush and Contender bush beans. Both very good, but I really like the Blue Lake.
I feel a little bit guilty! I have two main garden areas that are about 80' x 30' and one small area that is about 20' x 20'. Some of you that have much smaller spaces are growing many more types of vegetables and more varieties of the types I am growing. All my rows are 30' except for the small area. I have:
3 types corn, total 20 rows (rows 30' long)
12 types tomatoes, 50 plants in total
2 types bean, 4 rows each black-eye pea and Burpee Bush Heavyweight II
1 type cucumber, 2 rows, Picklebush
1 type squash, 1 row (for now), Early Straight-neck
1 type sweet potato, 2 (20') rows, Vardaman
1 type pumpkin, 18 plants (25' x 30' patch), Sugar Pie
I've pulled the onion and garlic. I had 3 rows of onions, 1015Y yellow, Texas Early white, and Hybrid Southern Belle red. I had one short row of white, soft-neck garlic.
I still have space for some peppers (where the onions were), but I have to find a source for some decent peppers. All the peppers from Bonnie at the local big boxes all look diseased to me. Any suggestions from anyone in Central Texas?
I'm lucky to have as much as I have done. Most of it, other than the corn and tomatoes, was done on Saturday and finished today. I'll be resting for a couple of days... maybe making a batch of summer sausage. Brisket was on sale last week.
Yummm. Peppers. Most are already in ground in Texas. Big box stores, feed stores, even seeds would jump right now if planted. I do like to go over to peppergal.com and look at her varieties, but Fl is a bit far...
Armadillos, green stink bugs, huge leaf footed bugs, squash vine borer, leaf hoppers, grass hoppers, the list goes on. Summer must be here because all the usual pests have arrived in the garden. I did manage to get at least a few meals off the squash before the vine borer moved in. I pulled that plant and now am relying on the other plants to produce more squash. The melon vines are just getting ready to start running, the onions were in too much shade, the carrots are the best I have ever grown. The peppers are starting to come on faster than we can eat them, the tomatoes are the best looking crop ever, and for the first time growing sunflowers I am really loving it. I did plant four types of sunflowers and now I have only two types left thanks to the Armadillo that never ceases to return for a meal of earthworms every night.
I did it. Yesterday. Homemade tomato sauce. EIGHT HOURS on my feet!
I used 40 Roma and 10 HUGE beefsteak tomatoes I bought from one of our local Farmers Markets. I then added every heirloom tomato I had ripening at home (about another 10-12 large tomatoes).
Two large Vidalia onions, 5 huge ripe (red) bell peppers, about 8-10 cloves of garlic, FRESH handfuls of basil, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Only thing I sprinkled was a bit of sage, cause I forgot to buy fresh. Salt, pepper, a bit of sugar to cut the “tang,” crushed red pepper flakes, a seeded ripe (red) jalapeno pepper…
I learned a lot…
I needed to DOUBLE the amount of seasoning I used!!! But, no matter, because when I thaw out the quart freezer bags to use, I will chop up additional fresh seasonings to add to the pureed sauce.
Remove the tomato seeds!!! Otherwise, you’ll get a “crunch” when you chew, but, more importantly, those crunchy seeds are a bit bitter – NOT good. But, my sauce simmered on the stove for 8 hours and cooked down enough that when I hit the sauce with my immersion blender, most of the seeds were broken up, so they’re now negligible.
Just run ALL the veggies AND the cored tomatoes through the food processor. Will save approximately two hours worth of time chopping veggies. They’re gonna cook down anyways in the sauce…
It was worth it!
I had some over angel hair pasta with sausage for dinner. YUMMY!
P.S. I ended up with 3.5 quarts of very thick sauce…
WOW, that sounds so delicious! You are a determined and hard working lady! It does sound like it was worth it. I agree with the food processing part, given the time you spent on this project. The good thing: all is not eaten up in one meal- you have lots more for later! Let's see, chicken parmigiana, breaded eggplant and sauce, meatballs and spaghetti. I have two blooms on one tomato plant, so I have a ways to go before I can enjoy such deliciousness. Congratulations!
My corn is tasseling up; it's about 3' tall. I'm growing Fisher's Earliest for my first batch which gets 5-6' tall and is supposed to have some reddish foliage. No red just yet. It sprouted 4/21 and it's a 70 day corn.
I'm hoping for a nice thunderstorm today but if not I'm going to have to water the garden again.
A bit of trouble in tomato land! Found two maters with some kind of worm in them and 1 with blossom end rot. We'll treat for the worms this evening and I'll apply a fertilizer to help with the BER.
In other tomato news, this one Homestead tomato plant has TWENTY (20!!!) tomatoes on it! If they all make it to maturity and ripe status, that'll be a record for me. I don't think I've had 20 tomatoes all season from 6 plants much less ONE. Yes, I'm excited about that!
My burgundy beans are loaded with flower buds and should be flowering any day now. That means that beans are right around the corner!
I know exactly how you feel about your tomato bounty! TWENTY Tomatoes is a record for some, me included!
Just a tip about the BER, I forgot to put Dolomite lime in my raised bed before I planted this season, and it was critical because I ALWAYS get BER. Well, everything was already planted, so I just made some dinner plate size wells directly over each root ball (I knew exactly where each one was, having just set the plants). Then, I sprinkled Dolomite Lime into the depressions (there were seven), and I watered in until they were filled and looked like milky water.
Each one drained straight down over the root balls. For the first time ever, I had NO BER! Maybe just a fluke...
But, I'm about to do a second application like this, since they are still going strong, and I did notice one new tomato has a bit of a spot on the bottom.
Mine are all taking their time ,, mulling along ,, sometime here though .. (sigh)
In the meantime I will 'hog it up" and visually "pig out" on all of yours here...
It is rather strange to me that whether or I grow ten or twenty(or more) plants I only seem to get a couple of plants I am satisfied with ,
for now , I am only watching bloom variations and deciding as for keeping seeds from later. and what kind of diversity from the heirlooms there is for me to work with ,,
Always lots of leaf and bloom differences to watch and learn from , the produce and good vegies is the hope ,,
I love some crunchy leaf lettuce , fresh beans , and I really enjoy a good old fashioned fresh Tomato!!!
Another way to make your sauce is to oven roast. Get a couple of really big, deep, pans and coarsely chop (halve or quarter) your tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and spices into the pans. Set your oven for about 350-degrees, then stir every 1-2 hours as the skins brown. In 5-6 hours you will have reduced the volume by 50% or so. After that, I run through the food mill for my Kitchen-Aid mixer. I used to use a Foley hand-mill to separate the seeds and tough portions of the skin... never again. The Kitchen-aid mill gets more from the pulp and is much easier to use. I can roast and process about 40 pounds of tomatoes in under 8 hours-- most of that time is spent doing other things, while smelling the delicious aroma of roasting tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, and spice! The amount is limited by 1) the tomatoes you have, 2) the size of your roasting pans, 3) the size of your oven.
Another fantastic season in my vegetable garden.
Cherokee Purple in the middle of the pictures, weeee
Cucumbers are growing really fast right now. A few okra and "one"bean ... giggle
All my pepper plants have green fruits ... I keep watching for them to turn color ... they are so slow to change !
To date, I've harvested 23 lbs. of tomatoes! Just last evening, I brought in 5.4 lbs. from 12 tomatoes.
I was looking at the tomato bed from afar, and noticed a very marked growth pattern:
►The NOID, which is the shortest of the seven plants, is cranking out the biggest tomatoes.
►The three Mule Teams are the tallest and holding their own with production, too.
►In the middle are the Mortgage Lifter , the Virginia Sweet, and the Beauty Beefsteak. The Mortgage Lifter hasn't kicked in just yet, either. Not sure what's going on there.
►I've had real skimpy production from the VaSw, but the few fruits are tasty.
►The Beauty Beefsteak fruits are just plain beautiful to look at. Perfectly shaped and a deep red color. A "still life" model...
►I have some BER setting in on the newest fruits coming out on the Mortgage Lifter(?). Too tangled to say for sure which fruits are which.
►Will apply more Dolomite this weekend, as well as cut back the whole bed by about 1/4 to 1/3. It needs serious cleaning up. There are vines all over the ground, and spilling out onto the grass. Lawn Mower girl will have trouble, otherwise...
Great news, guys! They look wonderful! I transplanted scarlet runner beans to the arbor, along with a couple of cucumbers, but still could get a freeze, so am holding a few of those plants back, just in case. Got most of the 100 strawberry plants in bales and in the ground and they're doing very well.
Okra and eggplant in the open greenhouse are hanging in there, as well as a squash plant and a bunch of onions.
Garlic is doing great in last year's barley straw bales around the greenhouse, and beans and squash are coming up in more of those bales (a bunch of strawberries are loving those bales this year).
Aside from one plant that developed one leaf, still no sign that my sweet potatoes survived the freeze, but still watering them.
Beets in that bed are coming up.
The German Butterball and Rio Grande Potatoes are coming up out of the straw in which I planted them.
There are hints of corn coming up in the wheat bales beside the arbor, as well as some squash, I think.
I made a small Hugelkultur bed for strawberries and flowers in my little Aspen glade on the north side of the house, and they're not wilted away, yet, lol. Planted Cosmos and Blackeyed Susans, plus a couple of cantaloupe on that bed. I have more flower seeds to add to it - would like to get more perennials in there, we'll see. The hare bells are growing fast, and still enjoying the massive lilac blooms this year. Ah...Spring (winds have been very bad this year, though). Tomatoes have endured against a sheepwire trellis in the GH outside.
My big Hass Avocado that froze and came back to life when moved into the house, has now decided to shed all its leaves, but it's putting out new shoots. Don't know WHAT's going on with that finicky tree. I'm planning to move it outside into a partial shade and see if it does better. It probably needs more light. The other smaller avocados are doing great in the inside GH, but they get more light by the window. There's always a troublemaker, lol.
I'm trying to decide if I have enough time to plant okra seeds. I have yet to get a decent crop of okra. I think watering has been my issue.
The bell peppers I kept inside forever that had LOADS of blooms on them inside were planted out about 8 weeks ago and have yet to fruit. What's up with that? They're still growing, just not making as many blooms as they did inside. And the few blooms it made fell off, but no fruit yet.
Someone recently made a comment about direct sowing vs. starting seeds indoors, and I gave "saving my sprouts from the dreaded pill bugs" as one of my reasons for starting even the easiest of seeds indoors.
Last week, I sprinkled carrot seeds in two SmartPots. Within days I had neat little rows of seedlings peeping. And, within days of that, because I didn't remember to sprinkle the Sluggo Plus for the pill bugs, I have exactly ONE sprout left...
"My big Hass Avocado that froze and came back to life when moved into the house, has now decided to shed all its leaves, but it's putting out new shoots. Don't know WHAT's going on with that finicky tree. I'm planning to move it outside into a partial shade and see if it does better. It probably needs more light."
I wouldn't fret it. It's not uncommon for plants to shed leaves and grow new ones if their environmental conditions change.
Linda- the peppers are adjusting to being outside and are probably growing roots. Once they get the roots they need they will bloom again. That's why it's advised to remove all flowers and fruit before planting. It's in the 90s here so plenty hot for peppers but it takes awhile and the temps have only been consistent for a few weeks. I direct sow but when I had problems with pill bugs it wasn't possible without an insecticide.
Also, you still have time for Okra IMHO. You have more time then I do, I still need to sow mine, so you better have enough time.lol.
Just wondering why you are sowing carrot seeds now? Enquiry minds want to know.
I have squash coming out of my ears. Once again Im wondering why I planted it when I don't really like it. I picked some really young maybe I can eat them raw. I know they are good for me so I need to eat them but in a day they get huge. Haven't had a harvest like this since I lived in CA. Beans, tomatoes and peppers are setting too.
Squash Casserole is the bomb! Saute some diced bell pepper, onions, garlic and celery in a pan. Chop up the squash and add to the sauted veggies. Add more seasonings (S&P, some cayenne powder, Season All Brand Seasoning, etc.). Add some seasoned bread crumbs to the mixture, and, use some broth to loosen up the mixture a bit. Then, turn into a casserole dish, and run through the oven until it sets (not to dried out, though). Sprinkle more bread crumbs on top, drizzle some butter on top, and run it under the boiler until the top browns.
You can also add chopped seasoning ham and/or chopped shrimp to the mixture before you bake it.
Uh, add a splash of tabasco sauce at some point...
My onions and garlic storing in my laundry/growing plant room.
More vegetables today.
The yellow pepper is CORNO DI TORO GIALLO and it is amazing. really thick skin and very sweet.
It took forever to change color ... but now I know to wait.
Linda, David, Drthor, I bow to your awesome harvests/growing!
Got my first eggplant today, and a second planting of tomato seedlings are going in tomorrow morning. Made fridge pickles this morning out of my green tomatoes that I snapped up before the worms did. :)
Thanks, NOLA, but my harvests are very modest. I'm only growing tomatoes right now, and some eggplants and bell peppers. Might start the okra and some squash this weekend. And sprinkle more carrot seeds to replace what the pill bugs destroyed...
But, I AM having the best tomato harvest I ever had, with 23.5 lbs brought in to date!
Um, I need that pickle recipe! I didn't know you could pickle green tomatoes!!! I've got bunches of greenies that could become pickles.
This is from a restaurant I cooked at for ages. You can use okra, green beans, green tomato, watermelon rind, just about anything savory.
1 cup white (or rice) vinegar
1 tbs each sugar & salt
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tbs cayenne
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 or 2 garlic cloves
I basically put it in a jar and shake it, then adjust seasonings, then drop in whatever veggies I've got. People sell this at farmers markets for about $14 a jar. I made it for garnish bloody marys at the restaurant, so you want it in that flavor profile: sour, spicy, salty, in that order.
Keeps for a week or so in the fridge, unless you feel like properly canning it. ;)
@beebonnet - I use a quart jar, because I want to use these within 2 weeks. I also have subbed out with all kinds of combos: dill & coriander seeds for a milder pickle, rice vinegar, lime, onions, and more salt for a more S. Asian flavor...I recommend trying them in small jars for the summer for what you like, then canning a bunch of your favorites late-season.
Also, tomato jam: red tomato, ginger, pepper, cloves, salt, sugar... It's fabulous on toast, lamb, duck...
All I need is for the veggies to actually come IN, then I can recommend more recipes!
Nola---You are making my head spin with all of these suggestions. I have no doubt that your recipe is delicious and I would love to try them first hand. I will be watching for more, but please make it easier for this old gal. Thanks
Lisa, some people store onions and/or garlic in pantyhose, tying a knot in between each one and hanging them up. Then when they want one, they cut off a knot.
Since I don't own any pantyhose. I bought some reusable mesh produce bags that have a drawstring opening and hang those. I just open up a bag and grab a head of garlic. When the bag is empty, in the washing machine it goes to clean up for next year.
MY WEEKEND UPDATE:
I dragged myself out of bed at the crack of dawn (well, it was daylight...) yesterday, and forced myself to go plant everything still growing in containers, out into my one and a half empty raised beds.
I set 10 eggplants, 10 Swiss Chard plants, and the marigolds that keep blooming in their original trays...sheesh...the beds had been prepped at least 3 months ago, and have been sitting, waiting. I tilled in some Triple 13 and some Ammonium Sulfate, just on gp, since the beds drain so fast. Probably didn't have much left in them, anyways, so, hopefully, the plants will take off fast.
Watered in well, and around 12:30 p.m. God sent a downpour with some extra nitrogen (guess I needed more nitro, huh?)
Still have a flat of assorted peppers to go into the other half of the 2nd RB. Have about 15 BPs in there already, planted about 2 months ago. But, they don't look like they're doing well. Kinda pale yellow, they keep dropping blooms, and no fruit set, yet. Don't know what their ailment is, but they should have good color by now. Which is why I've hesitated planting in the remaining half of the bed...
My tomato jungle is getting outrageous! After the rains, a whole layer of vines just sort of sheared away and laid right down on the grass. Opened up a whole new view (and access) to the tomatoes growing toward the middle. Gotta handle this quick, cause the birds now have better access to the once-hidden tomatoes...
Shoot!...er..."thank you, God, for that rain...amen."
My latest harvest. Cucumbers are in full production and they taste so good.
The larger tomato is Marianna's Peace. It tastes amazing.
The only problem is that one plant produced only ONE tomato so far ... it has a few blooms though ... so I will keep watching.
Half of my tomato plants are already on the top of the cages, so I have started to turn the cane horizontally and I will keep training them in that direction.
No pesticides, spray or other bad stuff have been used in my garden ...
Drthor I thought you posted you never had problems with bugs?
I noticed for the first time today that SVBs have returned. I thought I had been watching closely but one plant had 5 larva in it's stem so I squished and tossed. I removed some from a couple other plants but they weren't near as bad, I'm hoping they will be ok. The plants are so big it's hard to keep them covered.
I also found squash bugs (at various stages), a leaf footed bug, a small tomato worm, a few leaf miner tracks, tons of pill bugs all sizes, and a couple unknown bugs,some grass hoppers. All bugs have been squished. It surprising how quickly they appear, as soon as the temps warmed up.