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I have to pick beans again. I wanted to take a break from Fortex because last summer they didn't do well for me and a lot of them were soft and hollow, but I'm not as fond of the ones I'm growing now, so I'll probably go back to Fortex next year.
Lily? Start with DEEP pots for herbs. There is a sweet basil names 'compact box basil' chuckl. Oreganos are grateful, but sweet marjoram may work better. Parsley is used in kitchens its first year, becomes bitter 2nd year, but the butterflies dont mind at all. Tea hyssop smells awesome. blue basil will root in water in a kitchen window from cuttings and transplant out in early sprinng. Chives- onion and garlic are a constant sow and use by 4" to 6" ht.
As Honeybee said, there's little in the way of common culinary herbs that won't overwinter outdoors here, and the opposite is usually true -- they tend to take over everything if you don't keep them in check. Herbs here get BIG. Those silly little tiny herb garden kits you see for sale? Forget 'em.
Stevia is borderline here; basils -- any of them -- are far too frost tender. My French Tarragon is huge -- granted we had a mild winter but it didn't seem bothered at all and came back with a vengeance this spring.
Lavender is one exception to the outdoors rule. It'll do okay for a while and then you'll get a year like this one and the excess water will kill them. If you really want to keep lavender and aren't willing to deal with occasional die-offs and needing to restart them, I'd put it in a pot with some extremely well draining soil.
Many thanks to those suggestion as far as what herbs to plant for our zone, special thank to both NicoleC and HoneybeeNC. I'm taking names and record that info. in my memory. lol I do have onion, parsley and dills over-wintered outdoor. Basil is quite tender and won't survive our winter that's true. But that's one of the herbs that I'd like to cultivate all through the winter months... Kittriana, thanks for your suggestion and the information about lavender is all so accurate, and the monsoon rain that hit us in Al. recently would do them right in. We're seeing flood in areas that seldom experienced with flood before. GG, you must have the same variety of Lavender that I saw in Tenn. one spring a few years back. They were luxuriance and beautifully healthy. I wish I know what they are.
Stephanie,those tomatoes don't look too measly at least to me. Do have any idea what kind of disease your plants had? A couple of my PL have spots on the lower leaves but not bad. Did you leave any of your plants in for fall?
Lisa, it was turning yellow, so it may have been blight. Not sure. None of the other plants have it. Nothing in for fall VEGGIES yet, just my pepper and jalapeno seedlings in my middle bedroom under the lights. I did take some cuttings of some of my tomatoes that I need to get potted up. That's on my agenda for today. I can do that inside and stay cool. :) (There is a method to my madness...LOL)
I think I'm going to soak some okra seeds and plant those tomorrow. It's almost time to plant potatoes, too.
Coming out, a few dozen mature corn cobs now set up for drying and turning into corn meal (and much more in the garden not yet ready). My first 'mater yesterday (Cherokee Purple) and my first bell pepper (Jackpot) today.
And almost 30 pounds of banana peppers, sweet basil, cucumbers and zucchini went to the community garden.
Nice discussion here. I love the Russian Sage. I have the variety 'Filigran'. Might harvest some seeds this year, if anyone is interested. I started mine from a small plant in 2010 but I understand it is easy to grow from seed.
Good work with the donation. I grow only one hot banana pepper and one 'Giant Marconi' since I'm the only one here who eats peppers. I do grow a few tomatoes, leeks, onions, chard, cabbage, radishes, beets, herbs of various kinds. Will plant garlic this fall.
I love stir fry veggies. Never tried eggplant stir fried but am planning to have my little harvest for dinner tonight. Peppers. eggplants (two different varieties), zucchini and green beans. Will add some cut up fresh onion but that is from the store.
I cut up the veggies and then was thinking. This is the first time I have had eggplant from my garden. So instead of stir fry I added marinara sauce to the pan until I had enough to coat everything. Then I covered and simmered at a low heat until tender. Just tasted a piece of eggplant. Oh yummy!
First frost is scheduled for early/mid October here in southeast Nebraska.
Have already planted fall cucumbers (even though main season haven't started bearing yet, thanks to the hordes of rabbits in the area), and fall bush green and wax beans.
Currently harvesting green and wax beans, onions, cabbage, kohlrabi, chard. Tomatoes, the aforementioned cucumbers, and peppers are almost to the harvest point. Winter squash (butternut and spaghetti) are growing well and setting fruit. Harvested first cloves of garlic, the rest are about a week away.
My goodness! I lose the original thread for 2 days, and look at all I missed, LOLOLOL!
Fall Veggie Gardening 2013
What started out as, "I really need to clean up my seedling room," and, "I can do better than what's covering that window," has ended up with a TOTAL breakdown of the room, new window coverings, a total makeover of the light shelves (the girlfriend who looked at the curtains also looked at the cement blocks and shelves)...
Off the heels of the latest HGTV room makeover, I was going to purchase carpet squares to cover the laminate floor (better than the plastic covered plyboards that were protecting it...) and went to a carpet store (falsely) advertising carpet squares on sale, and in stock...well, as GOD would have it, I ended up with a remnant piece of carpet for $12 vs. $50 on the squares. And, it's the perfect color, AND, while I was there I spied an old bookcase sporting some cobwebs, enquired, and now have a bookcase for my gardening room for $15.
So, now that the freshly painted cement blocks and light shelves are all dry, I can start hauling them back into the grow room. And, putting all the garden related mat'ls I've collected into nicely matched binders for the bookcase (which will also be repainted).
And all this has to happen this weekend, cause NEXT weekend, seed sowing begins for the fall garden!
►Broccoli, cauliflowers, & onion seeds will be sown indoors for planting the last weekend in September
►Direct sowing carrots, beets & turnips the 1st of September
►Mustards, collards & kale will be sown the middle of September
►Lettuce & spinach direct sown end of October & mid-November
►And, definitely going to plant a bed of garlic this November, for the first time! Seems I'm reaching for garlic almost every day, now!
I also have one New Big Dwarf tomato plant that's still very healthy, which should be putting out a brand new crop of tomatoes for a fall harvest.
Still trying to decide if I wanna do all the onions from seeds again, or go ahead and order the Dixondale transplants. Theirs did better than mine, but, it could've been a feeding issue, and I might try again since I'm using a whole new fertilizer system that is working amazingly well. My current eggplants are full of blooms, and the Swiss Chard has gorgeous leaves.
Enjoy your new room, Linda. I have a spot in my basement that's my "mad scientist" zone that I want to revamp into a better area for brewing, fermenting, dehydrating, hanging to dry and so forth, but that project has no wait until I hire a cabinet maker for the utility room... and *that* project apparently has to wait until I determine is my fridge is dying or not. (Okay, it is dying, I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth putting on life support for a while.)
I can't wait to eventually get my space going, though!
Quoting: ...until I determine is my fridge is dying or not ...
A similar problem we have had here in our house hold. I wanted a new fridge, so didn't wait for repair, and went and bought a new upgrade/modern one. Only to find out that the old fridge had a blown fuse, and was easily corrected. Now, we wound up with two. One is kept down in the basement for back up storage. Co-incidentally, it's good to chill Fall bulbs ect. *grin~
Linda, your garden is gonna be enough to feed a whole neighborhood. Wow! I'm learning a lot from your posts, as well as others here in this forum. Thanks all.
Lily_love wrote:Hi Nicole, A similar problem we have had here in our house hold. I wanted a new fridge, so didn't wait for repair, and went and bought a new upgrade/modern one. Only to find out that the old fridge had a blown fuse, and was easily corrected.
It's only 13 years old but the compressor was replaced to the tune of $700 in 2009. Now the temperature is fluctuating too much. Last week I had bad lunch-meat AND frozen radishes! I took off the back and cleaned, thoroughly cleaned the coils and fans and lubed up moving parts this weekend... now I'm waiting to see if it helped. I know I need new door gaskets ($200), but if the inner seals or the thermostat is shot Ishould probably just get a new one. Holy moly, they're expensive!
Quoting:It simply behooves me that there are not more gardens planted on vacant city lots. We have more wasted space in this country, and opportunities to eradicate hunger than any nation on earth.
Linda, don't just fret, be a force for change! Find people in your community already working to fight hunger or increase available garden space and help them out.
Sadly, the only way you are likely to make an abandoned lot to community garden happen is on city or state-owned land. With the whole liability insurance thing, most private landowners won't bite. And if it isn't guaranteed the land will be available for a while, gardeners won't come and invest their time. You'll need an established group that will commit to doing the volunteer work to keep it ticking over, because gardener's tend to drop out and the city will want assurances it won't be an eyesore.
It CAN happen, though. Cities are becoming more interested in these kinds of cheap projects that improve community health and contribute to quality of life. In recent years here, we've managed to get public orchard space and raised beds at the "projects." More community gardens have opened up of all kinds, from charity and church gardens, to rent a plot style, to even a local artist center that's full of all kinds of art projects designed around growing veggies. Even the local Maker's 256 group started a garden... I haven't seen it but no doubt it's full of gadgets.
Your enthusiasm is contagious, Linda, go share it!
Still trying to decide if I wanna do all the onions from seeds again, or go ahead and order the Dixondale transplants. Theirs did better than mine, but, it could've been a feeding issue, and I might try again since I'm using a whole new fertilizer system that is working amazingly well.
Last year was my first time growing onions & I purchased Dixondale transplants. They grew great. I was thinking about trying some from seeds this year, and if they're not looking too good by January, I can still get some from Dixondale.
Yes try seeds for onions, my seed crop this year did just as well if not better than my onions started from plants. Not saying either one was a huge success, but this was my first year for either. I was surprised by the seed crop doing so well. I don't know why but I just get more satisfaction from growing things from seeds.
I'm with Seedfork on starting things from seeds. Some days, I don't care if I even grow plants. I just get great satisfaction from starting seeds.
Will post pics of the finished grow room soonest!
Where did you get your onion seeds? I had a couple packs from Henry Fields. I think they may have passed their shelf life by the time I planted them (not Henry Fields' fault at all), so that may have contributed to my so-so crop.
I'll try again with fresh seeds, and a better fertilizing regimen.
I noticed my bell peppers are starting to produce again, and the eggplant and Banana peppers are still producing tons. The tomatoes are 90 per cent water balloons with all this rain. Finally, only a 30 % chance today, we need some sun! But I am mowing grass later, so could the clouds hang around just a while, if that is not asking too much?
Sure come on over! :=)) Actually I haven't cooked it yet, I had better get going.
My neighbor, who is just a fabulous cook, came by giving me some bean salad that she has made. So I cut her two zucchini and one eggplant. She said she had grilled the last zucchini that I gave her and that it was so good.
The zucchini is producing well but I still can't keep up with all the demand from my neighbors and friends.
I had a sunflower that was wilting, but I couldn't find anything wrong with it -- the largest one, too. (Of a dwarf variety.) Today the 2" diameter stalk up and broke halfway up. It's filled with excrement and damage. Apparently there are a whole horde of potential pests, but my money is on the Dectes texanus since it also infests soybeans, and we have a ton of those here.
Well, they are mostly there for the goldfinches and to see if they work as a trap crop for squash bugs. No seeds yet for the finches (although they loved them last year), but they are covered with squash bugs and my squash are fairly clean. This might be a trap crop which truly works.
Plus, they are nice to look at and the bumbles bees love them.
THIS as you all move to fall .. still summer here , Even if our summer temps are your fall temps ..
yellow currant Tomatoes
Belle Starr Last Storm knocked the last one over
Thistle and Nettle to deter some boring type bugs , then they bore on the flowers , yeah well , you never can have everything can you ..lol
I like to try new things and add to the garden when possible. This year lots of squash and I have decided I want to plant many different types of melons next year. I like to to see what works out. I have tried melons before with some success but this year planted in a big pot on the driveway. They love the heat there and are doing the best ever.
Waiting on beans to come in as I pulled my bush beans so now I am waiting on my yard longs and french fillet beans to produce. French fillets have started with the flowers but no beans set yet. Yard longs are already starting to produce but not big enough for picking. But those grow extra fast!
Genovese isnt one I have. Though I fell in love with blue spice this year! Blue is the only one my dau takes cuttings of and replants in the spring- Lime and red leaf we just thin when spring hits, chuckl. Cinnamon, we might buy or not if we dont see it volunteer. thanx for answer!
Wow, those look great. I have already pulled my bush beans and am waiting on production on my pole French fillet beans. I have two types, one a burgundy colored bean and the other yellow. First year to try the French Fillet types.
They stated flowering but no beans set as yet. I made that mini garden bed there with the two bean towers to grow them on. Really those were sold as tomato cages but when I saw them I thought they would be great for my pole beans.
Yes, I think it is time for the bean pods to start. I am really looking forward to these as I have read so much about the fantastic flavor and tenderness of those French Fillet type beans. Then I had to search for what I wanted as most seem to be bush types and I wanted pole type. Plus green was my last choice. So I finially found these. Burgandy and then the yellow on the other tower. I am thinking they will look good as well as taste good!
This is the first year I have gone for a second season cucumber crop. Started seeds just recently and today just now I planted them out. I have Orient Express and Suyo Long. So the idea is too have cukes later into the season than when I have to pull out my spring planted ones. We will see how this goes.
Rita, you're doing so well with many vegetables whether they're in ground or in containers. I gathered your growing season in zone 6b is a tad shorter than us Southerners down here. May I ask if you've started your seeds indoor and transplant your seedlings out later?
Anything I start late now that it is warm I start outside. Not direct sow usually. I like to start my veggies in re-used veggie six or four packs which I fill with new potting mix. So I have been starting squash and now those cukes I just planted all outside to transplant once I have seedlings.
Small things like beets and turnips are direct sow. Oh, I did start those beans pictured direct sow and my yard Longs direct sow but I started all those beans late and I knew the seeds would pop up quickly with the nice weather.
Earlier in the spring when the weather is not so warm so seeds would not pop up fast I start them inside. I use the same method of the veggie six packs with new potting mix. Then as soon as they break ground I bring them out in the sunshine during the day and bring in at night for a few days. That way they grow well.
Seeing Calif fields gathering grapes, nectarines and peaches and we are bringing them out to eastern areas. The peaches look really good. Cherries are about all gone now from Washington state, you guys enjoy your veggies, One of these days I'll be able to get growing too!
Our highs for August are 95-100°F and lows 75-85°F.
Our average first frost date is anywhere from November 7th - December 7th.
And, yeah, in Houston, Texas we WEAR our humidity! And our fall, winter, and spring are quite mild.
You harvest carrots, leeks, and broccoli well into early December, and I can harvest up until mid-March or so, depending on when the spring heat sets in. I love to grow in the fall/wtr/early spring season!
Last season I started all my seedlings the weekend of August 6-7th, and suffered through hotter-than-usual weather up until mid-November. It was a total pill, keeping my cole crop transplants comfortable, and the aphids at bay. Cold weather down here truly helps with bug control!!
This season I'm gonna start the seeds a bit later, although I do like to have sizeable broccoli, cauliflower, & cabbage transplants by the time the cool weather hits. I start all my seeds indoors. Works better for me against my teeming pillbug population. A very small seedling here doesn't have a chance against them, although I've learned to use the tulle (think bridal veil) fabric as a very cheap and reusable alternative to floating row cover.
We throw the dice down here on when it'll get cold...HEAT is never a crap shoot, LOL!!!
Houston has an average of 285 available growing days, and I'm trying my best to have something growing every one of those days!
BTW, you have any tips on growing onions from seeds? I've grown one successful crop of full size 1015s, purples, and whites from Dixondale Farms transplants. Last August, I started some from seeds for the first time. I sowed Henry Fields onion seeds in August in seed trays to have sizeable transplants by November. Seems it took forever for those wispy onions to start beefing up. But, soon as our weather started chilling, they took off.
Unfortunately, they didn't grow as large as I had hoped. I think I had kept the seeds too long. Also, I didn't fertilize as diligently as I should have.
Thinking of trying again from my own seeds, although it's an long investment of time and resources to get those transplants by mid-November...Only costs $11 for a mixed set of short-season transplants from Dixondale, LOL!!!
Linda, did you find that your onions from seed were hotter than from transplants? I had really sweet Walla Wallas last year from plants, and last fall I sowed seeds, transplanted them this spring, and they are real hot little dudes! Great for cooking but not fresh eating. I think hotness is somewhat dependent on your soil, but other than that I'm at a loss.
Were you growing short day or long day onions? I would assume the short day onions would be better for your region. Sometimes daylength is a predcitor of bulb size.
I have grown onions from seeds many times but always have done so in the early spring. However, I'm with you lately I just get a bunch of already started plants because they do take a while. I have also used sets but variety selection is limited.
For long day onions like Walla Walla they say that planting them in the fall will give you the colassal sizes but I havent tried that. Not sure if my winters here would be too harsh for them to survive.
I used to live in Pasco just off of Rd 68...in between there and the airport. I have grown Walla Walla onions both from seed and with transplants both in WA and here in PA and I have never had a hot Walla Walla. I do know that very hot temperatures and very dry condutuions can increase hotness in peppers, some onions and radishes. Could the seed be incorrect?
Attatched are my intermediate day (12-14 hrs) sweet onions called "Candy Hybrid". Harvesting 1 or 2 every day for the last few weeks. I planted them (plants) on April 26th. I ordered them from Miller Nurseries in NY http://www.millernurseries.com/. They are baseball to softball size.
I am also growing "Red Zeppelin" but they are not ready yet and somewhat smaller at this point.
Traditionally I have had real good luck with Walla Walla plants I buy at the box stores planting them in mid to late March. They are very hardy and planting them early give me good size. The only problem with Walla Walla's are they they dont store very well and somewhat sceceptible to Botrytis neck rot.
Sprayed all my squash again with the Neem. Really want to get back on top of this powdery mildew stuff. Already today the squash look so much better than they did on Monday when I last sprayed them. So today being Friday that means 4 days in between sprayings. Now I should be able to go back to weekly spraying. Actually I would like to keep to a spray in just under a week. That should work well.
I had to wait until late in the day, I just came in from spraying. Not that it is hot. I could have sprayed in the middle of the day as temps are really mild. But the bees were out all over the squash all day. Lots and lots of honeybees. I don't honestly know what they were doing but they were at it ALL day. Not in the flowers, they were landing under the leaves and then looking like they were eating or vacuuming along under the leaves. And only on the leaves that had powdery mildew. How really strange. I guess eventually they had enough and went home or it just got late.
I was using my battery powered wand sprayer again. Found a spray setting that works really well and the spraying didn't take as long to do this time as it did the first time I used the sprayer.
The really great part of the Neem is that it also kills any insect pest eggs that are on the plants.
Two NOID tomato plants pulled through out of the 24 or so I planted. It's been a tough year on the maters.
My caterpillar issues have *knock wood* abated somewhat, but I keep finding all sorts of other interesting critters in the squash vines.
We also have the biggest wasps I've ever seen. They seem to head for these bananas and then take a break in the squash. But, lots of bees visiting, too. I saw my first bumblebee in ages! She was having a grand old time falling all drunkenly around in the bananas. Made me smile.
Whoa! Those drunken bees do make me smile as well. But your banana fruits and flowers made me grin from ear to ear also. On the issues of caterpillars not being an issue, here too, I've noticed alot more predatory critters in the garden such as crab spiders, hover fly and wasps.
Rain? We're having too much rain, maters drown in this type of weather. By far we've 15" above average rain fall. Ugh!
It was a beautiful overcast, cool, breezy morning today. My husband and I went for a walk, then came home and worked in the garden. Here's our harvest for today. Several tomatoes (Homestead 24, Pantano Romanesco, and Rutgers), one token Hill Country Red okra pod, and 3 Royal Burgundy beans. We harvested a whole slew (3 lbs) of Royal Burgundy beans a few days ago, too.
Honeybees also gather water to cool their home (hive).
They also make something called propolis which is a "bee glue". You don't have to know why they collect stuff to make glue. It's just something they do, and is a necessary part of their existence.
You said you sprayed with Neem. Did you spray the under sides of the leaves, too? If so, I suspect they were collecting the oil to make it into propolis. They will collect any kind of sticky-stuff to make bee-glue, including some stuff you don't even want to know about!
As you probably already know, I used to be an apiarist in my younger days!
The summer challenges have begun. First, I lost my second crop of corn to corn worm -- a huge infestation. (Never saw any on the first batch.) Then, my parsley just up and died dead as a doornail for no reason. Next, I started losing sunflowers to borers. Then the pickleworm moved in and oh boy, what a massive infestation I have this year. They are in everything: melons, tomatos, cukes, zukes... I haven't looked at my summer squash yet. I'm losing about half the crop each day. As the sunflowers have died off, the squash bugs have moved to the squash and tomatoes and are doing damage there.
Oh yeah, and one of my apple trees had to be staked up because it could no longer hold itself upright for some reason. I get to dig both of them up this winter and replant it with a permanent support system this time. My rootstock is probably M7A which means they probably won't be able to support themselves and are deigned for trellising, but it's too late to trellis them. Those are big digging jobs for 7' tall trees!
On the other hand, the garlic crop was excellent and I've have a good run of cukes this year (60ish pounds), but they are about played out. I pulled two of the zuke plants out this AM but the 3rd is still blooming so I left it even though it looks really ragged
Tomatoes are starting to come in in earnest. I harvested over 25 pounds today -- most of it from the variety I am breeding from the 2012 seed, so those plants are performing well. None of the toms from my strain have shown any blight this year, but the Brandywine and Cherokee Purple has (only a little though.)
I need to get some more fall crops in the ground this afternoon. Every year about this time I think fondly of how easy fall and winter crops are!
The pickleworm is a tough one, though. There's nothing really available for home use except Sevin, and with the reduced populations of bees this year I'm not going to do anything that might hurt them. So, I just keep throwing stuff out; not much else to do.
I've asked other gardeners around, and it seems to just be me with the problem this year. At least they don't overwinter here, so I don't have to worry about building a heavy population for next year. Unless the moths have some sort of geographic memory. :)
The cabbage and carrots are all in now, and some peas although I want to find room for more. There's always a space crunch about now in the year, and even expanding my garden hasn't helped, since I also seem to have expanded my ambitions.
Birds are saving me from the bugs, DH saw a small greenish bird flying out of veggie patch with a bug in its mouth, makes me happy. Also the red tail hawks are back and chipmunk damage is down.
I've got a few tomato plants started from seed in late June that I may put where green beans were. The mature tomatoes are pumping out fruit but vines dying, probably from all the crazy rain. So I'm going to try a second tomato crop, considering we usually have warm weather thru Sept. nothing is usual about this year but garden is very productive if I can grab an hour between rainstorms to tend it. With all the stress in my life I seem to be enjoying the garden more than ever.
O MY. Am home and think I am growing veggies as a cover crop for weeds. Golden Eggplant fruits. Pretty, probably pretty worthless, but will be out tomoro morn for pix...I feel like I am missing the gardening middles...
Honestly I swear these zucchini were not there yesterday! Well, I guess they were but very small. Yesterday I figgured I would not have Zucchini for at least three days then this morning, pow. There they are.
Second picture. First yard long beans to harvest of the season. Honestly these are SOOOOO good, Sweet and tender. But don't left them get big, pick at this size. I ate these raw, they were so good. That is why I like yard longs so much stir fried. They don't need much cooking.
Third picture. OKRA!!! First pod off my okra plants. I had never eaten okra in my life. I read that some people munch on young okra pods raw so I ate this raw. I really don't know what to expect but it tasted wonderful! It did have a flavor unlike any other veggie I have ever eaten but I really loved it.
Rita, I'm glad you like okra. I can't stand it, but I have a low tolerance for mucilaginous foods. (Can't stand Malabar spinach either.) I do like okra pickled, and although I'm not a huge fan of pickles usually, to me the okra really improved in the process and made a fantastic pickle. If you end up with more than you can eat, you may want to try making a batch.
Any way you can imagine is good for okra- breaded, fried, added to soups, raw, grilled, boiled. Favorite summertime dish, a skillet of zucchini, yellow summer squash, okra, tomatoes (and everything else you might have a hankering to add-onion, garlic, peppers) and sausage over rice/noodles. We call it sausage creole, chuckle. DON'T let okra get past that size because that is when they pick up a woodiness and slime. Taste like raw green bean to me when young. You do know you can trim the lower leaves of okra and not hurt the plant?
Where to start on the garden? It rained so weeding is goin to get easy if I can find the skeeter spray
I think the gold is an overripe condition, chuckle, havent cut it, but my tags say it is Calliope. The trimming is up to you- our okra plants get 12' hi and the leaves can get tremendous, even Clemson gets 6' tall before frosts... the okra develops like a tomato- higher on the stem each time, so lower leaves, or over abundance of lower leaves can be removed to kick the production up. I am abt to do the same thing with those eggplants, sigh
I tasted those gold eggplants, seedy when small, skin is paper tough when a bit too large. I have never grown mini okra, but I can imagine since it is an okra ( I have grown vine okra too) same ability applies. Again it is a choice, not a necessity
Yup, where I grew mine - off the front of the house and the side of my pecan trees. was good to eat, huge leaves, got a LOT of comments along with the Jacobs Bean vine farther down the fence, (hyacinth vine, only NO ONE knew the name of it in the late 70's...chuckle.
I can't believe how many tomatoes I picked today. Just piles and piles and piles all next to the plants as I went around the tomato beds. Eventually I picked up the tomatoes in low sweater box type tubs and eventually transferred them to those plastic grocery bags. Had to double bag the grocery bags as they were heavy with lots of tomatoes.
You would think with all this that I had absolutely stripped the tomato plants but not the case. Give me a few days and I will be picking again!
I have another pile of tomatoes on the counter for me and I gave tomatoes away already today to friends. Guess what I am having for dinner? Tomato salad and tomato sandwiches!
A few years back I thought I would cut back on the tomato plants and grow only enough for myself. Well, That did not work out as neighbors and friends that were used to getting tomatoes kept asking and I had nothing to give. Nope, all the tomato plants were soon back and I now I have more than ever before.
I will have to believe it is because I have 13 plants in the main garden , is why they are producing slowly for the most part ..
I grew one of the plants for a neighbor , who has all shade and no place to grow one ..
I could of arranged it all better , as always , always something different to try this way though .. AS said though , it is doing better than last year and next year will be better still as I have a few more that grow well here , and produce pretty good ...
Seems things like sour currant that I didn't like much and everyone else here not at all . produce until I am inundated , swamped over and no room to put them anywhere .. I have possibilities with what everybody likes here as to that after this season ,,
Well, I am tired. Been working most of the day on my project of turn that back yard Tall Bearded Iris Bed back into a veggie bed. I dug up all the healthy iris and relocated them and dug and tossed the rotters. More work than I first thought when I last night decided to to this today.
Once the iris and any weeds were out, I leveled up the soil and then mulched with a layer of straw. Then I did my measuring and layout of what I intend to have there next year. This year it is a catch all of whatever I have planted. Been calling it the root veggie bed. But I spaced out my layout and two more cucumber trellis will go there, posts set for measure (although I will change them from these short posts to taller ones). Then bamboo steaks put out to show the layout of pepper rows I intend to have there next spring. I will be having 6 rows of peppers because that is what fits.
I have been needing a better plan for my peppers and I have been wanting more space for cucumbers so this will work out really well. I am extra pleased with the way it all is now.
Root crops next spring can just be planted were I had been thinking to put the peppers before this new plan. So I still have room for the things I want to grow, only with a better layout.
I made my own version of ratatouille from my veggies pictured above. I used my convection oven instead of doing it on the stovetop. First pic ready to go in the oven, secind pic done. It tastes wonderful!
My gardens are producing so much that I haven't had time for DG, there have been some other interruptions too. It's never produced like this. Strange, because of a long cold spring my plants went in way late, so it seems like I'm still planting my summer garden when it's really the Fall garden. Lol I picked my my first tomato a month ago, which is much later then normal, but it hasn't stopped.
One thing that I have noticed is that even tho it gets in the 100s it cools down to the low 70s at night.
It's hot, hot, HOT here and the garden is frying. I pulled out my bush beans this morning to make way for the cucumbers and other fall crops. I found 2 of the hugest grasshoppers I've even seen on my biggest okra plant. My hubby quickly dispatched them to grasshopper heaven. They didn't do too much damage, but I didn't like to see them eating up my plant! I now have the soaker hose going on the area where the beans were to deep water in preparation of the cukes. I still have lots of green tomatoes on the vine, but it'll be a few days before any are ready. Just have to keep the birds off them.
►To date, I have only one 4x8' RB actively growing (RB #1).
It's filled with 12 eggplants that are just about loaded with fruits/blooms, 8 Swiss Chard plants that are fighting off the heat very nicely, one New Big Dwarf tomato plant that I'm nursing into fall, and a flat of dwarf marigolds that are so pretty! Everything in this bed is growing very well, and, it's easy to maintain in this heat...
►About to pull the bell peppers from RB #2. They are just not producing, and I'm wasting resources on them...next year...
►I have two more eggplants growing in an Earthbox, loaded with fruit. Having trouble keeping up with the watering, though, cause that box is drinking like there's no tomorrow...
►Finally, the ONE lone zucchini growing in another Earthbox is just gorgeous! I spied my very first zucchini, ever, last night! Won't be long, and have not seen evidence of any frass...
►I'm about to pull the seven dead tomato plants out of RB #3. Once I do, I'm purging my garage of every remaining supply of amendments & garden soil and dumping it all into the bed. I'm also dumping in all the bagged leaves that I've been collecting.
I had a weekend "To Do" list as long as my arm, and managed to get through edging and mowing the lawn...sheesh...it was sooooooooooooo hot out, I don't start lawn care until 7 pm. After I cut, I hand watered the lawn until 10:30 p.m. My neighbor across the street was watering his in the dark, too, LOL!
►Next up is sterilizing seed trays and pots for sowing seeds this weekend.
I've decided NOT to wait the additional two weeks to sow, hoping it'll be cool enough by plant out time. Instead, I'd like to stagger the seed sowing every three weeks and have a steady supply of seedlings to put out between mid-September and December 20th. Right after the Winter Solstice, I'll start the tomato seeds for planting out mid-February...
Gymgirl, which varieties of Eggplants are you growing?
Today I planted turnips. Well, I planted 4 rows of Purple Tops. I have other varieties also but considering it is late and I am disorganized, I will just save those seeds for next year.
And I planted 2 rows of bush beans. French fillet green bush beans. I do very much like the french fillets I have on poles so decided to plant these. Besides I had the seeds. Watered everything nicely and I hope they grow fast.
This spring I had Tenderette Bush beans but I was not overly impressed. I have to find something better for next spring.
4 tomatoes competed. All four varieties new to me this year.
None compared to my three favorites from last year which are Big Boy, Better Boy and Beefmaster. So those favorites from last year not about to be knocked off the top of the list.
Favorite of the four, Rutgers with a very nice taste. Worse Jet Star which I would rather not be eating. Supersonic came in second and Big Beef third. Right now I am questioning if any of these will be brought back next season. The jury is still out as there are a lot of tomatoes still to be eaten. I usually do my taste challenges and then a while later do it again to check taste. Just to be sure.
I know I like Rutgers , but is has been years since I have grown any that grew well , it use to where I use to live ,,
Broad Ripple currant ( a naturalized , better producing Burgess Lemon I am about sure it is )
Belle Starr Burst of tomatoes and the plant is toast .. real good for what it is
Romanesco (pantano) Few but delightful( still producing not final )
Juane Flamme is good but came in last according to all here .. One good little producer over a long season this is ..
forgot;Burgess Mammoth Wonder , sour after taste , acid Tomato these fellows are definitely your big greasy Hamburger Tomato ...lol
(*Expect Broccoli and Cauliflower buttons/heads ~ 120 days from sowing seeds)
2014 TOMATO TIMELINE
12/21/13 Sow Longest season Seeds; 2/8/14 Harden off; 2/15/14 Plant out
01/04/14 Sow Medium season Seeds; 2/22/14 Harden off/ 03/01/14 Plant out
2014 GROWING LIST (Tentative) From The Sustainable Seeds Company
Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
Early Round Dutch Cabbage
Early Wonder Beets
Detroit Dark Red Beets
Snowball Y Improved Cauliflower
Snow Crown Cauliflower
Texas 1015Y Onion Seeds
Red Creole Onion Seeds
Little Marvel Peas
From Johnny's Select Seeds Company
Waltham Butternut Squash
Green Magic Broccoli
Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach?
Da Cheong Chae-Mini Asian Pac Choi
Seven Top Turnips
Carrots (various varieties, in SmartPots)
Mustard & Collard greens (sowing seeds every 4 weeks)
When's your average first frost date? Ours is anywhere from 11/7 to 12/7.
Are your nights cooling off already? We still have nights in the mid- to high-80s, and days this week will be triple digits...
This year we've been having cool nights much of the time (60s!), but mostly they are in the low 70's. Normally it's not that cool. Daytimes, we've only had a few days over 90 and none over 100. It's wacky weather this year.
Average first frost date is Oct 21-31. Problem is, we don't really get fall. It's usually how right up until we get a two week fall, then we're into winter. Many years the fall crops just burn up, but if you don't plant this early they won't mature. I'm hoping this year we'll actually get a nice fall.
But hey, it's raining outside again. And here I was worried because we were only 12" over normal.
Yesterday I had fireflies in my yard... In *August*!
Spring was so late I was a little worried we might have a year without a summer, but we got plenty of sun if not normal temps. I'm inclined at this point to think fall will arrive early in the southeast.
Our June & July were great! Few 100º days, lots of rain, clouds, cooler nights. Then August arrived with a vengeance! I think it's been over 100º every day! Yesterday it was something like 108º!! That's just crazy!
I've been picking watermelons too. I had an Ali Baba which was large and delicious, and a small volunteer that was probably a Blacktail Mountain, also very tasty. My lemon squash are producing in spite of squash bugs, although I think I have to pick them a little smaller because the seeds get quite big if I don't. Loads of tomatoes, and the Dixie butter beans are bearing. Blackberries are plentiful this year as well.
AS the previous was posted , I was sitting here eating Romano Bush beans steamed in butter from the garden .
I am the only one here who likes them ,,oh goody ..
Old Kentucky Wonder for dry beans this year .. I am not the only one here who enjoys Ham & Beans ,, so I won't get all those to myself ,, lol
I usually grow Blue Lake and have for years. Have some in this year also.
My beans in the picture are two varieties of French Fillet Pole beans. A yellow variety that barely gets yellow before I pick and eat them (as they tatse so good) and the purple variety. They start out green and on some of the smaller beans you can see they are partially purple until they color up.
Today's harvest basket contained several tomatoes and 2 Hill Country Red okra pods. Due to the high heat we've been having, my tomatoes are not as large as they were in early to mid July when our temps were about 10º cooler and overnight temps were in the 70s. However, I'll take any size tomato in August after a week of over 100º temps!
This morning, I also planted some stuff for fall. Planted 3 different varieties of cucumbers, National Pickling, Muncher, and Ashley. I've never grown any of these so it'll be a test! We also planted some watermelon. I've missed our fresh grown watermelons this summer. Tomorrow, I plan on planting some Blue Lake pole beans and maybe broccoli.
Pickling cucumbers will be new for me. I decided I should try some and got those seeds. But to late here to plant cucumber seeds now so I will be hopefully planting them next year. Unless they are no good. That is why I will be waiting for your reports on this variety.
I have a long list of frends and neighbors that I give veggies too each summer season. Mostly tomatoes and cukes that I share. I have to have tomatoes that look like tomatoes and cukes that everyone recognizes right away. No green when ripe type of tomatoes and no cukes that I have to cut up to give samples. And really, the idea of growing a cucumber that doesn't look like what most of us think of cucumbers as looking like just does not much appeal to me.
I love trying "non-traditional" vegetables, but I agree with Rita in that ff it looks too different most people won't try them. People have accepted non-red tomatoes and non-green peppers and even blue corn chips, so maybe some of the other ones will start to "stick." In the meantime, I try to avoid planting anything that I might not be able to either eat all myself or be able to give away.
I so understand Rita and Nicole! I find it amazing how "programmed" the American public has become when it comes to our food source. I like trying new and unusual stuff, and educating those I share it with. My friends at work always enjoyed learning about the produce as well. However, I do understand your predicament.
I can see the difference between Green Tiger and Caserta. Green Tiger has those heavy stripes. Caserta is light green background with dark green mottling. Both of these look to be much prettier than your average dark green common zucchini. So you might be thinking what difference does it make? It does to me. I want my zucchini to be more appealing and prettier than those dark green types you see commonly at the supermarket.
Lemon cucumbers !!! Not much taste to them , but not bad , will have to let the next ones ripen some more .. ?
Cool here the rest of the week , if they go on growing and settting the vines at the back of the garden are covered with small ones..
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/62261/ I know , you already know this ; only don't believe the 6 to 8 ft vine part ,, I have a few back there well over 12 ft and growing still , like fast growing and vigorous so far a few of them ..
Always that way isn;t it .. I did not even like cucumbers at all until I aged a while . Must of happened from always drinking green tea , (picked and made myself ) That I have done as long or longer than I can remember ..
I use to grow a few cucumbers though anyway , good food .. not always my favorite .
Some days I could eat a bushel of green beans(and got close) , I wouldn't try that anymore (lol) only at times I still could.
40's TONIGHT .. Getting cool here , way too early for these temperatures .. Half done melons might be dead tomorrow morning or the day after .
Kale and Mustard are going to like it .. nice days I like,, cold nights I don't , can't have everything our way when we play outside , I guess ..
My Fall crop or second crop of cuciumber plants are doing really great and growing fast. I never tried a fall crop of cukes before so want them to do well. These are Suyo Long and Orient Wonder. Last pic is my little cuke seedlings I just planted.
I am growing a wider range of veggies this year than ever before. So really the garden really is doing fabulously. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, various squash, melons, beans, eggplants, peas and a few other things.
I am really not that good of a gardener when it comes to many things , I study the plants and diseases and look for remedies and cures .
I enjoy a few health benefits from the different foods , and enjoy the gardens in general
Could not imagine being without some of the goodies anymore . Takes a lot of energy sometimes , only it still fun!!!
Except the Balloon spider I picked up out of the compost that was as big as my hand , and yesterdays scorpion recluse I put a finger through it's web in the Tomatoes before I saw it there .. Only it moved away , and they rarely bite , they would rather move away from my hand or things that bother them ..
The praying mantis are small here but their cute .. Only things to enjoy ..
We have Tarantula and Brown recluse or widow here also . Only things to watch for sometimes while picking through ..
Weather is crazy .. who really knows ,, ( yeah well , besides the creator ) lol