Russ, how do I know when it is time to pick the melon? I don't think it is going to get any bigger. Will it get yellow? On the vine? Or will I have to pick it and have it ripen on the kitchen counter like pears do?
I think I have stopped the squirrel with the bird netting. I think it is afraid it will get tangled up in it. Good. I didn't think anything would work on that little critter.
I hope you all can find this forum now. I posted on the end of part 16 I think it was. The last one that Kent started.
I don't have a real good answer for you on that. I usually watch for the stem to start showing signs of turning lighter green or yellowing. Also the melon should just pop off the vine with the slightest pressure. I also sometimes give the blossom end a slight thumb pressure that will be the softest place if it is ripe.
Well I just got done with another 8 pts. of salsa. That is what I'm using the San Marzano tomatoes for.
I am also saving some more seeds, one of the tomato plants I got was called ( Italian tomato tree) They are so big, I just set the stem end down, and slice it from side to side, then cut the stem part out of the 2 or 3 center slices. One tomato is a meal in it's self, for two. and they have very few seeds. I don't know if they will come back true. but it is worth a try. All the maters are coming on now. That is with the exception of some that Garrett sent for and then gave them to me to plant. They came really late for here. and they are a late tomato as well.
They do have large green maters on, so they will get some. He is getting some from his small bale garden. but he could have planted a couple more tomatoes. Oh well! Guess he knew I would share anyway.
You know, I keep hearing how the tomatoes are really big. I have some that are big also. BUT, what about flavor? That is what I want. Let me know what you have that actually tastes good. Send me some seeds of those. I am going to send for some next year simply because I am afraid of getting genetically engineered tomatoes and ending up with none!!
So far The best tasting large tomato I have is one called " Italian tree tomato" It didn't grow like a tree. I had it caged. but the shear weight above the gage toppled it. I now have a steel post holding the cage up. but I am not sure if I can bring the rest of the plant up and tie it to something taller. I don't want to break off a branch full of tomatoes.
They are nearly seedless. I am saving some seeds. I haven't gone into the tomato forum to see if I can find out if it is an heirloom or a hybrid.
The Box car Willie Is huge but does not have the flavor. Seems to be a slow producer as well. But then I haven't fertilized it either.
I have way more tomatoes than I need. But I had all these different varieties and just had to plant them. Oh well Gary can serve tomatoes at the resturant.
Went to town today Barb had a Dr. appointment. I was able to get in at the same time. However The trip brought me more trouble. I had a brake start grinding. so while in town I visited the parts store and got a set of brake pads. Now I just have to go out and jack of the car and get busy on that job. Luckiley it is not roasting hot today. So everything should go ok. Unless the roter is messed up. and that would mean a little more work. But I can't drive it like that so, get off my butt and get it done.
I don't even want to think of that. But it didn't take very long. $29. for the brake pads, and I even changed the oil. as we want to use the car to make the trip to pick up another daughter. You know, sisters want to confer. She is flying in from Ohio. She is a little more upset than Connie who has the blocked artery. But I'm all for her coming. They need to talk things out.
I picked a whole bunch of tomatoes, mostly San marzano. Gave them to Gary as he wanted to make some salsa. I don't think he was ready yet. But I either had to do some canning or give them away. I gave one of our shut-ins some too. One of which was some where around 3 and 1/2 lb Was she ever surprised, at the size. I didn't weigh it so I'm guessing. I had to take her picture with the tomato. I will have to post it later as I didn't get it loaded where I wanted it. I don't like my photo program! When Sandi gets here" the daughter in Ohio" I'm going to beg her help. Maybe just maybe I'll be able to get them to load where I can find them with the browse button, on DG. It has other problems too.
No Jeanette this is about our youngest daughter. she is the one with the blockage. Barb and I are giving her all the support we can. Her next older sister wants to see her before anything else happens. and of course sisters want a girl talk time together too. As well as Talking about the possible operation for " Connie" Our youngest daughter.and of course, about the possible outcome.
We have three Daughters. Our oldest and the youngest are within 14 miles of us. Our middle girl and hubby are in Ohio. We have 9 grand children and 14 great grand children. soon to be bumped up to 16.
The only conspering behind our backs is only when they were little. and they would try playing the trick of getting one of us to say it was ok, to stay overnight with one of their frinds, or something. LOL
Jeanette, thanks, think I am okay with new way to get to Straw Bale gardening now. Must go outside soon as another hot day in the offing. Was 93 degrees here yesterday and windy, now quite smoky outside.
I hope no one minds me butting in, I have been lurking on the strawbale threads for a while, gradually reading through all the posts from the beginning. I have a solution for Russ's problem with the photos - I don't like my camera's software much either, by the way!
This is what I do to make posting photos easier. I have a folder permanently on my desktop called (very imaginatively) PHOTOS. With both the photo software and the folder open I can drag and drop the photos I want to post into the folder. I set the folder view to Thumbnails so I can see the photos. Once I am in DG and posting I can browse to the folder, open it, and see the names of all the photos They are always something descriptively useless, like "100_2435.jpg" but, with the folder open on the desktop to the thumbnails at the same time, it is very quick and easy to see which is the right photo for the post you are making. I hope this helps, Kaelkitty.
While I am here, do you have any Australian Strawbale gardeners? I am having trouble finding a source for the bales at present. I would also like to know if Lucerne hay is better or worse for the process.
kaelkitty If you drag the photos to the Email. Is only that one visible?
If I click on a photo and say yes to Email you can open every photo that ever came in through an Email or Whatever was in a file even the samples. And I only wanted to send one single photo. I'm not sure that I was able to click and drag one to an E m. But will try.
The other problem I have been having is that I can only find 3 maybe 4 folders When I go to browse on DG. Maybe if I can get them to all go to one folder, it may work on DG. I'm not to sure on Emails though. I'm about ready to delete that program and try another.
I am not familiar with lucerne hay, I think the main difference that I have heard. Hay bales may have some weed seeds sprout. If you can get the hay bales to start to (rot) or cook. and can keep them moist, They should work.
This was my first year. I made a few mistakes. But I found that when the tomatoes finally did start getting a good set of roots the really took off. I may have had too much nitrogen, or not the right fertilizer.
After the bales were almost falling apart is when they really took off.
I would think that even if you had every bit of information possible. there is still room for human error.
I used two rows of bales and had them too close together. I have a little trouble walking between the two rows. Then I missed tieing some of the vines and they fell down and filled the area between the rows. I'll put up with it this year. but next year I'll make sure I have enough ties, and keep after them. I also used cattle panels. Next year I will put them with the smaller squares up so I can reach through the lower part to get at the tomatoes from either side. Or else prune them heavily untill they get tall enough to where they won't have any maters down that low.
Thanks for the tips on the photo program I will work on it, see if I can get to work that way.
I've just seen your reply, If drag n' drop isn't working for you, try right clicking to get the menu bar, go down to "Save Image As.." to save just the one image as a new file and you should be able to put the new file onto your desktop, or wherever else you want it to go. As a bonus, if you make a new copy of the photo, you can call it something recognisable, like "Giant Tomato.jpg" LOL!
I've had a fairly steep learning curve with my computer over the last two years or so, especially since I got my digital camera (2,922 photos and counting1) I came late to Windows after working in a text based DOS environment for 20 years and sometimes I could just scream at the hoops you have to jump through to get where you want to go! One thing I have, hopefully finally, pounded into my own head is the way in which you can use the desktop to hold temporary COPIES of files which you can work with and then throw in the trash bin when you are done. That way, if you stuff up, your original files are still in their original locations and you can always start again if things go wrong. Don't forget to empty the trash though! a full trash bin can really slow down your system.
Kaelkitty, You caught me didn't you!! Not emptying my trash bin. Thanks for the reminder and also thanks for the info on the photos. I do use the desktop a lot to hold photos and a lot of stuff temporarily.
Nice to hear from someone out There. Never heard of Lucerne, but Russ is probably right.
Lucerne (Medicago Sativa) or Alfalfa is a green leafy crop similar to clover. It is very high in nutrients and is well noted for its:
* high fibre content
* high protein content
* high mineral content
* high vitamin content
* high digestibility
* good energy
Since it is a legume, as opposed to a grass, it contains lots of nitrogen. It is usually fed to horses. I am wondering if the extra Nitrogen would be beneficial for green leafy vegetables like lettuces and cabbages. Thanks, Kaelkitty.
We know it as Alfalfa rather than Lucerne. There are people on here that have used "hay", which some, have a lot of alfalfa in it. You could do a search, upper left corner, for alfalfa and get the information you want.
I was thinking there has to be some information as to when to pick melons. This is what I come across. Hope it is helpful
Fertile soils usually grow a fine crop of muskmelons with normal maintenance-fertilizer application plus one side-dress application of high-nitrogen fertilizer when the plants begin to vine. Muskmelons benefit especially from the incorporation of well-rotted manure before planting and also appreciate high potassium. All melons respond favorably to mulching with black plastic, especially early in the season. The mulch can be installed when the soil is in good planting condition anytime from a few days to 2 or 3 weeks before planting. Make holes every 2 or 3 feet to plant seed or transplants through the plastic. Use starter fertilizer to help transplants get established. Floating row covers also can be used to advantage over early season melon transplants. These covers exclude the worst of the cold and also early season insect invaders. Covers need not be removed until plants start to flower unless extremely hot weather threatens.
Muskmelons suffer from extremes in soil moisture (too much rain or an extended drought). Irrigation is recommended in case of drought, especially when the vines are growing and the fruits are developing. Trickle irrigation systems used with black plastic mulch work extremely well. Muskmelons ripen to the highest quality when the vines remain healthy throughout the harvest period, when temperatures are warm but not excessively high and when the weather is comparatively dry at the time of maturity.
Good eating quality depends upon the texture of the melons and the development of sugars from proper ripening on the vines. When muskmelons are ripe, the rind changes from a green to tan or yellow between the netting. They should be picked when the stem separates easily from the vine near the point of attachment ("half-slip" or "full-slip" stages of development). At these stages, there will be a crack near the point of attachment. Do not pick too early because the quality will not be as high as that of vine-ripened melons; sugars continue to be stored in the developing melons up to the moment the stem separates. Once picked, muskmelons soften but do not sweeten further.
Russ, that is good. Thanks. I am going to copy it to my files for next year. Yes, I am going to try again next year. I will keep the seeds from this melon. You are welcome to some if you want to try them. I don't know why they wouldn't grow good if you are in an area where squash etc. grow good. I don't know about those here.
Will try anyway. Thanks again. Say Hi to Barb for me. How is she doing? And the daughters? Are they like a bunch of hens clucking as my mom used to say? Having a good con-fab I'll bet.
Well, I'm chuckling but the hen party don't start until the 17th but that is ok. Right now it is her close friends giving her support and courage, and of course us. but her sister will be like the icing on a cake. Although I know her sister will first have to grasp everything that Connie has been going through. She knows some of it, but there will be some catching up first.
Right now Barb has caught a cold. So to say the least she feels miserable. But I did tell her you said hi. She just wants to be over the cold. We think that it came from the school that Tami ( Gary's wife) teaches at. as their little one that we all love got it along with Grandpa and grandma and the lady that helps out with the restaurant as well as diaper changes. And a few others that pick the little one up and, in general dott over her. She turned 1 in July. and has a smile for everyone. I guess this is as close to a village raising a child as it gets. She makes the rounds of all the regular customers. We don't understand all she is trying to say but she talks up a storm.
I think I will try those seeds again. I asked for some seeds of a melon from the restaurant, I don't know the name of it but it is like a honey dew but only sweeter and it is shaped like a football. It is probably a hybrid, but I'm willing to give it a try. I'll send you some of them so you can give it a go round too. That is in addition to the tomato seeds.
Yup kids are absolutely dirty little critters- - - - It's a wonder we made it to the adult stage. lol. Not too long ago I sat in our recliner, sick with flu. with our little great granddaughter who had an intestinal infection. with her head on my shoulder. That was the only way she would sleep. We had to spoon feed her nothing but water and only a tsp at a time for about three days. Needless to say it was started from a cold or flu brought home from her mom or dad from work. It went through the whole house hold. Well it's been around a year by now. but I guess I would do it again, even though it is hard on us old folks. I think Barb is feeling a bit better, at least she is up and reading with her klenex by her side.
Wait until those grandkids start school!! That is when they bring everything home and it keeps going round and round the household.
Well, guess we should get back on topic or we get people mad. I am getting so many tomatoes now that I am going to have to make salsa. More salsa I should say. Right now I am making Jalapena Jam. It is wonderful on pork steak.
I think what I don't like about the forum concept is that we are going to catch heck for discussing other things. Like we have been.
I just come back in with a small basket of maters, 20 to be exact.. Most of them off the big beef plant. Guess I better do some up as well, huh.
Gary uses the skin and all for salsa. I have always blanched and peeled them. Which way do you make salsa? I know I throw a lot away, that way but it does go in the compost.
Think I will try this batch with skins on.
I am hoping to clean out the compost bin this month yet. and mix it with the load of grass clippings I brought home The other day. Spread it all out, till it under and cover the whole area with black plastic. That should finish the cooking process and kill those seeds. but if it don't they will be easy to pull. By the way I have gotten two maters off that one that was voluntier this year, so it wasn't too bad for leaving it grow. It has more on it so a little more time and I may get more. Oh almost forgot I get all of Garys bales at the end of this season. Should make more good compost. It is only 6 bales, but add that to the fifteen I have that should cover a good area with rotted straw. I am thinking that i could mix it up a little for an area that I have made for a shade garden. A little off the subject but probably a good use for the shade garden.
There are some seeds on their way. Start them about 6 wks before last frost.
I done a little searching and found that, "The Tomato Patch" has most of the seeds, of the plants I have. I found my way there by googling in heirloom tomatoes. I thought I would try the seeds I saved, as well as whatever I happen to get at the IARU next spring. I am relatively certain that the maters I have, had a big chance of cross pollinating. But I'm still going to try them. However I am going to make some heavy duty stakes for them. Will also have more space between them. They will be a full 6 feet tall and have some extra width as well. Have to play with that thought for a while. lol
Thanks Russ, I wish spring would hurry up and get here so I can try them. Here yesterday I said I was tired of taking care of plants and I am wishing for spring already. LOL Have a good one. Say Hi to Barb for me.
The nights are getting down to 34 here so fall is in the air. But, the weather is gorgeous. The tomatoes are still hanging in there. Ripening faster than ever tho. They know it is time to finish up. Canned Roasted Red pepper jam, (first time, and no different than the Jalapeno Jam), Salsa, and tomato sauce over the weekend. Also I won't do the Red Pepper again unless I just happen upon some cheap ones. I don't have a long enough season to grow them and they are expensive. The Jalapeno Jam is much cheaper and uses zuchinni instead of so many peppers.
Aw c'mon - you guys are just teasing us Arizonan's who are still stuck in triple digit temps. 107 today and that's the forecast for the next 7 days as well. We're sizzling here, just listening to talk of a frost is just too cruel. [sob, sob - Mary - wringing her hankie...]
I will huff and puff untill it blows down your way. LOL
A local radio station had a Game this year that they didn't have to pay out on. The game was " guess the first day the temp reaches 100, and win a free swimming pool. We did get up to 99 F.
I was In Phoenix in 81. Crossed the Salt river bed twice daily. This was in July. I related that blast of hot air to going past a blast furnace.
But otherwise I enjoyed my stay there. with the exception of trying to find a place close enough to go fishing. lol ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Russ
Well, Mary, we are still in the high 70s and low to mid 80s during the day, but it does get down there at night. Yup, the days are beautiful. I don't mind the nights being cold if it just didn't damage the plants. But, your nice weather is about to start pretty soon, I see the RVs starting to head south.
Yes Jeanette, couple more weeks should bring us back to Why We Live In Arizona weather. Everyone is more than ready. And Russ, the blast furnace is apt for June and July, Aug and Sept we get humidity, but no rain. Soon come, it will be nice again.
I'm about to pick that melon Russ. Wouldn't you know it, another plant has one growing fast but it will never catch up. My one bean plant is really pushing those beans to get big. LOL
Had 4 mule deer off the living room deck this morning and a little black bear ran across in front of us on the way home from town a few minutes ago. Real cute, but I sure hate to see them down here so early. Must really be dry up there.
We don't have very many Mule deer, Mostly Whitetail. There is an area within thirteen miles of here, that sometimes you need to stop the car and wait for them to get done crossing the hyway. There is over 100 in that bunch. And dispite the hunters seting up stands and and going hunting in groups, they really haven't dimished the herd that much.
We hope that melon is good, as it sure was a little hard to get it going. All my muskmelons are all gone now but I have 4 watermelons left.
I still have a quite a few tomatoes coming on yet. Then the ones Gary gave me are starting now too. Most of those are a hybrid, large yellow maters. Actually sort of a mottled red yellow and purple. Since I have given him 2 buckets of tomatoes for puting up salsa. I am going to try making some yellow tomato salsa. I know I'll have to use it up first and fast. Unless I can find a canning procedure, for yellow tomatoes!
Wow there must be a lot of pollin on the grass now. I haven't in from mowing very long but still sneezing and kind of congested. Don't usually bother me but this time, oh well !
That's a lot of deer. We don't have herds like that any more. I remember them when I was a child, but the hunting has sure cleaned them up. We have never had mule deer as much as we have this year. We normally have white tails also. But the mulies are a lot bigger than the white tails. I remember my uncle saying they are tough. Don't know why they would be, but he would never shoot one for that reason.
That's right, I was going to pick tomatoes this afternoon too. Better do that 'cause I want to go fishing either tomorrow or Sunday. Better get to it.
I was just saying to Barb that We needed to go fishing, I was thinking of today but we had to go pay our first half of taxes. She also had a Dr. appointment, so that had to take first on the list. It's going to be pretty cool in the morning, So I may go get a load of gravel for making concrete, for Gary's patio. Then it should have warmed up enough that my fingers will work. Some grilled catfish would taste mighty fine, along with that squash I picked today.
But I did get something else done that needed doing. Took the carburetor apart on the other Rider mower and cleaned it out. And now it will stay running on a high RPM. Before I had to pull the choke out, just to keep it running. But what has that to do with gardening Hmmmm.
Oh well we can't garden all the time, now can we??
Jeanette. where are going fishing and what are you hoping to catch. There are quite a few lakes around here and the Okanogan river where lots of people fish. In my younger days i fished but don't do that anymore. I would rather spend my time away from the garden watching birds.
I think my strawbale gardening is about over for this season. Only have the green beans left fo gather. Nights are pretty cool.
Russ!! Thank you for the seeds. They came today and I sure would like to start them. I love starting seeds. Are these all from ones you saved from your tomatoes? How do you clean and dry them? And, now you need to rate them from best to least best.
Second, I was re-reading this thread and saw that Gwen said she found a couple of melons on her plants. Gwen, are those the ones I sent you the seed for? Do you think they will be able to ripen much before winter? How are they doing?
Donna, we just go to the lakes and rivers around here. Here, meaning Pend Orielle County. We get trout and bass. Would like to fish Lake Roosevelt, they get Walleye over there besides trout. Big trout. But, we also get pretty good sized trout. The F&W planted Tiger Trout in several lakes around here and the average is around 15 inches. Some at 17.
So Donna, now that you have had a season of bale gardening, along with the regular soil gardening, do you think you will go to the trouble of getting the bales etc., etc. again? I bet not huh? You had quite a time even finding them.
Jeanette ; If you like yellow toms, that is a good one. It has nice even globes Don't split out at the stem end like the Dutchman did for me.
Then in order of the ones I liked.
1--the giant beef
4--Box car willie
5--sweet charlotte--- for salads-- or just to pop in your mouth while in the garden.
I don't remember if I included the big beef or not but that rates right up there with the giant beef.
I was thinking there were 7 different toms. but I forgot what it was I sent right now.
If it was Cherokee purple that is a good tennis ball sized tomato. I liked that one too. But you need to use them faster than you would some of the others. They don't set on the counter long before starting to spoil
They are a little darker than the regular tomato, and slightly greenish on the stem end when they are ripe. same with the sweet Charlotte.
I know what you mean with starting the new seeds. I had a lot of fun with starting them this spring. I did get a wee bit carried away with it too.
Some of the seeds I used a little Oxyclean and water soak. then a good rinse. and dry on a paper towel. One of them I just stired them in there own juice and used a dish rag to squease the juice off which seemed to work too.. The yellow ones really didn't seem very dry to me but they were not getting any drier It may have just been cause they seemed to have a little fuzz on the seeds.
Remind me if there was any different ones that I didn't list above.
You did send 7 seeds Russ, but one was the Toad Skin Melon. You sent me a good variety. Should have fun with them. Now you and Barb take a little time off to go fishing. I would love to try the catfish but it is really expensive in the markets here.
Are your daughters all there still? I know 2 of them are close by. How is Connie doing now? Is Barb over her cold?
I guess we should be doing this on D-mail since we are off topic again. Oh well. Have a good weekend.
Barb is on the tail end of her cold, and doing much better.
Connie has seen the specialist. But because of where the blockage is,
The won't do anything unless She either does have a stroke or loses sight of one eye. or other severe symptoms.
They don't want to make her worse. I would still like another opinion but yet this specialist did say that since she has been getting along this good there is the possibility that another artery will take over and supply sufficient oxygen to that side of her brain. Naturally she has to avoid all stress. She is having a little trouble doing that., I won't go into that.
The daughter out in Ohio is catching a flight with Airbus, Monday. Connie and I will go meet her. problem is, that gets her to KCMO. A 4.5 hr. drive from here. Oh well that will give me some prime father daughter time. On the way home though I will definatly be out numbered LOL
Barb is going to stay home and try make sure, the cold continues on it's way into oblivion. ~~~~~~~~~~~~`Russ
I watch about 17 forums, the tone, and what is considered acceptable, is different for each. I think it depends on the people involved. Generally I find the smaller or more specialised a forum is, the more "chatty" it is, probably because on the small groups you get to know each other better. This is a very nice bunch of people here, I'm sure someone will jump on you with both feet (LOL!) if they think you've gotten out of line! If you run out of stuff to read here you can always check out the Australian Forum - we are a very chatty bunch too!, Bye for now, Kaelkitty.
I have been out of town for a week on my annual bus trip to Reno. Had a great time, and very good weather. Always glad to get home. Luckily the weather was cooler and even one little showery night so plants okay. a neighbor lady came one day to check and see that plants were wet enough. now it is colder, 41 degrees this morning so frost is coming and i must get my tender plants moved inside.
I will probably try more bale gardening next year. Alfalfa bales which i would rather use are going to be even more expensive this fall. Bales work very nicely for string beans, not so much bending and the plants were very healthy. Still have quite a few beans on them.
Yeah another frost will probably take the rest of the garden. We only had a light frost it got down to 32 F for a few hours it put an to the squash and blackened the upper leaves on the sweet taters. but there are enough leaves left to feed the tubers a little more. I covered the tomatoes though and I have enough still coming on to be worth canning a few more jars of BBQ sauce. Then I promised some green tomatoes to another of our ( mature ) neighbors LOL Jokingly says She is 39 and holding. I guess so but at least the second time LOL. Wonderful person but can not stand erect. but says she don't hurt or any thing, but her children look at her as crippled. and don't want her to raise any more garden, or do any weeding. She is able, just don't look like it.I keep telling her just be sure the kids come around enough that you don't have to do it for them. They even took her car keys, but she fooled them she had a spare. She can see good and handles herself pretty darn good. Oh well We check in on her.
If I have to I'll mow her lawn, but would rather have her son do it since he don't trust her.
Donna I am glad you had a good time. I was wondering where you were. And glad you mentioned your "tender" plants. It just reminded me to get my houseplants in tonight 'cause it is suppose to be 28 tonight. Just got it done. Thanks.
Russ, I sure do feel for that lady. My SO's mother has a friend who is 95 years old and still driving around Seattle, doing just fine and then his son came up and sold all of his stuff and moved him down to Texas with him. He is so lonesome. Calls my friends mother every day asking her to come down and see him. She is 87, and thinking about a visit to him.
With all the hassles at the airports now I sure am not encouraging her to go.
Jeanette ; It sure does make a person wonder whatever happened to growing old gracefully.
Well we have what looks like another week or two of nice weather. I don't think it will help much though as most of the tomatoes still ripening, get some odd blemishes and spots. as well as splitting and grasshopper damage. But I try to pick early to save as many as I can. I want a little more salsa, and some of older people still appreciate getting them.
My watermelons are not going to mature. The vines have shriveled, and they have not reached full redness, but still taste good enough to eat. there may be a couple that are a little better. Just have to get them in earlier I guess.
I have some plants to take cuttings from. and have some to carry in I am going to try keeping some in the garage with lights and making a temporary greenhouse.
My sister, who lives about 5 miles or so from me, and I both picked all of our tomatoes that even looked like they would ripen last night as the weather people were all saying 28 degrees for us last night. Well, should have known better. It was 34. Anyway, I have 2 kettles of sauce going so I guess it will be done.
Yes, I think earlier on the melons might work also. I still haven't cut the melon that I picked. I was hoping it might ripen a little on the kitchen counter. We'll see.
It was 42 degrees here this morning. I will try to finish moving my tender plants inside today. The hardest one for my fellow to move was my fig tree. It is in a20" wide and 24" deep pot and pretty awkward and heavy to move. I keep it for the winter in my insulated north room off the garage that I call my bonsai storage room. It has several near ripe figs still on the branches. I hope they will ripen.
We are supposed to get some rain over the weekend, got some while I was gone so haven't had to irrigate very much. Still have beans so must pick them today. Lots of green tomatoes, so will cover the vines when frost is predicted which will probably be this weekend.
Jeanette; Well I picked all the watermelons as the vines gave out.
I was quite surprised to find that even the littlest ones were very close to being ripe.
They were not a variety that I would usually go with. But they are still fairly good. The flesh is not the bright red, instead it is more of a orangish red. They were the refrigerator melon.
The little ones we have just been cutting in half. and each of have a half.
Have you tried your Melon yet??
I think I had better get some mowing done. Kind of hoping that this will be the last time for the season. Of course my yard will be the worst. as I have a big walnut tree, it was loaded this year. You know where all those walnuts are now. ha ha Maybe I should get a big vacuum, suck em up, lol
The reason I think it may frost this weekend is the high predicted is only in mid fifties and that makes me thing the lows will be below 32, hope not but I am taking my garden blankets out to be near the tomatoes. Have quite a few large green tom. and sure hope they at least turn orangish. LOL
No Russ, I haven't cut into the melon yet. It sure seems green. But, I did pick it because they were predicting frost. And that probably would not have hurt it any.
Have you seen those roller things that pick up nuts between the wires? They are really cool. You should try one of them. I doubt that they would be very expensive.
Yes, they are predicting that for us this week also. I picked almost all of my tomatoes and canned them last week. Glad it is over. Fried Green Tomatoes are wonderful. I always thought they tasted like oysters. Isn't that funny? Very good.
No jnette I haven't seen a roller like that, so I am at a complete loss as to how it would work.
I will probably just rake them into piles and rake them in to the skid loader bucket.
I love the flavor of black walnuts in most baked things and even ice cream. I'm just a little lazy to sit for hours and crack them. I do a few but not as many as I would like for winter candies and cookies. So I take a bunch down to the back of the lot and let the squirrels have at them.
Funny thing is though, some of the tree rats carry them all the way back up front to the tree they come from and sit there an spill the cracked shells right in my little shade garden. I have a plan for that though, I just need the time to skirt the tree with tin and trim the limbs back so they can't jump from another tree to their favorite spot.
I would get rid of the tree but I like the shade. I have other walnut trees out in back, so I would not be out any nuts for cracking. Just the shade for a few years.
My gosh!! I thought I had found a convert, but then I noticed you are from Olympia so I guess you didn't need to be converted. LOL.
Russ, I can't remember who has those rollers. Sorry. But you know, the squirrels need to eat too. I comb my dog out and let the hair fly so the little animals have something to kine their nests with for the winter.
Well it did get down to 30 degrees here for a short while yesterday morning, but only thing killed was the squash vine. Tomatoes are still okay and the corn and cukes, but soon I know will be too cold for them. Already cutting back on the flavor but i am still eating and enjoying them. Forty seven degrees here this morning and strong south wind, so may rain some today.
I went for a drive yesterday, (too cold to work outside !!!!!!!!) Drove over to Twisp and Winthrop, just because i never got there at all so far this year. stopped a Farmers market in Twisp and bought a nice bag of Cameo apples and a small container of gold Pluots, my favorite stone fruit. Most of the aspen have turned gold, Loup Loup pass is 4000 feet Some of the Larch are gold and some Oregon Grape are red. First nice rain we had was Friday night, so more would be appreciated.
That rain just skips right over you guys doesn't it Donna? My daughter in Seattle said it is raining there and it has been raining the last 2 days here and predicted for the next week. That is ok tho, because as long as it is raining it isn't going to freeze.
Problem is that when it is raining I am not out getting the rest of my work done before winter. I sit here and think of all the things I need to do.
Yes Jeanette, the rain does skip right over this area most of the time. But we did at last get some rain, after Friday, it rained lightly all day Sunday. The ground is so dry the water just goes right in but still yesterday was dry after digging 7 or8 inches down. Had my fellow dig out an IlexSouthern Gent that had been completely, this summer, overgrown by a Marconi type aster. Took me quite a while after he dug it out to get the aster roots separated from the Ilex roots, but it is back in the ground now.
What in the world is that Donna??? Sounds interesting.
Russ, we haven't heard from you for a few days now. How are things going with you all?
I am hoping to get anything in and dried out like dahlia tubers, brugs, a few things like a climbing rose I haven't figured out what to do with etc. It has rained for the last several days and predicting more for another 4 or 5. If it quits before I get done I might lose them. The cloud cover is all that is holding the freezing temps at bay.
Jeanette how tall are your brugs. and how do you care for it overwinter.
I have one left it is around 4'. It didn't do very well. It had a few leaves on top, until the wind whipped them off. then it sent out another branch from the side. It still has leaves, but I was wondering how much water does it need over winter. Last year I watered it and it kept leaves all winter. With all the other plants I try to take care of, it is almost a pain to try taking care of one that I'm not sure of how to.
Well I finished that concrete project for Gary. I should have bought bengay by the gallon. It's going to take a while for my back to quit hurting. lol
We are having nice weather through the weekend. At least that what the weatherman says. I think I will dig up another hill of sweet taters, this weekend just to see if they are any better yet.
I too have some bulbs and tubers to dig and dry. I think I have lost count of the Eyes. I lost all my cannas and dahlias, an I'm not sure what happened. May have to start over on them.
Then I need to get a row tilled up to put in more garlic. It may be a little late but if it does freeze very soon I can cover it with a weed barrier cloth and put some of my grass clippings on it for mulch. then uncover it early spring. Should work right?
Was out with my lawn sweeper for a while, It didn't do too bad on picking up walnuts. I made 7 piles of them down in the back yard. I think it would do better if the sweeper had wire bristles instead of plastic. I am gathering all the parts I will need for an attachment to hook up a vacuum to the rider mower. That job will be a little simpler then.
It will also help me save grass clippings. for the garden mulch.
Neighbors may have thought I was a little wacky running around in circles in the same area with the rider mower so long. At least I got about 90% of the walnuts up.
Now if I could harnes this litle one's energy, I might not need any extra equipment, huh?
What a wonderful picture Russ. Another friend on Dave's sent me a picture of her daughter and grandson out in the flowers. I told her that these pictures, enlarged and framed make so much nicer pictures than portraits. I hope you do that with this one. It is wonderful.
As for the brugs, I put them in my plant room at about 35 to 45 degrees and water them a couple of times a month. I strip the leaves before I do this and wipe them down with a dormant oil. Some I lose, and some make it. I am giving them one more year and if they don't bloom earlier, out they go.
Yes Russ very nice picture, and too bad that so much energy has to be wasted LOL
I have about 10 brugs left now. Had 50 to 60 three years ago, but in this zone as Russ says, it is difficult to find enough room to store them over winter, so each year I grow fewer. Most were planted in the ground and I have been taking cuttings but so far that hasn't been too successful. I have one new to me this spring, that I bought from Logees, It is in a fairly large pot, 16" and is in full bloom at about 25" in height in the gh now, because of frost. It is getting late in the season but I will take some more cuttings today.
Jeanette, why do you strip the leaves off, is it to be sure of not bringing in any bugs. Does the oil keep aphis off. Later on in the winter that is usually my worst problem.
Good grief Donna how do you store that many brugs? Do you take cuttings from yours and not keep the root going? Do you bubble yours? How do you get them blooming so early? Mine are all budded but I have not had one bloom yet.
I strip the leaves off to keep the spider mites down, not as much of a mess, and because a couple of other people do, one in zone 8 and one in zone 5, and have success with it. I have not used the Volek oil yet, but if I remember correctly, it is suppose to even keep the eggs from hatching.
I will check the Volek and let you know. Where do you keep them over the winter? How soon do you start them in the spring? You are going to have to give me some pointers come next spring.
I guess first I need you to answer the questions above about how to keep them. Roots vs cuttings, or both. Each year I have tried something different and each year I swear I am going to toss them.
Which is the one you got from Logees?
You must heat your greenhouse? How do you heat it? LOL, pardon me for all the questions. I am almost at might wits end with these darned things.
As much as I love brugs, I gave up on trying to winter them over. It took so long for them to produce flowers the next year that it wasn't worth it. Taking advice from Ciscoe Morris - Seattle's Hyperguru - I just treat myself to ones in full bloom - and kiss them goodbye at the end of the season. He has guided my life in the same way regarding tulips and poinsettia ...by recommending they be treated as annuals. I admire those who have the special touch, along with climate and/or greenhouses, to make things different. I also admire folks who climb Mt. Everest.
I'll answer as many of your questions as I can but I am sure not an expert on Brugs.
I take cuttings mostly because they don't take as much room, and my storage space is very limited. My gh is small,10 x 14 and I heat it with an electric heater. I just came back into the h ouse from gh, where it is only 45 degrees. I tried to get the heater to start, it didn't so will have try to figure out what the problem. is. To hopefull y get your cuttings to bloom soonest next summer the cuttings need to be taken from ab ove the Y of main stalk of a brug, to my knowledge most brugs only bloom above the Y. I take a cutting 10 or so inches, take off bottom leaves, stick in to rooting pwd. then into rooting medium. I used sand and perlite mix but now am going to mix in some Sweet Peet (which sadly is not available west of Mississippi, good friend Marilynbeth sent me some to try, and I have a little left) Just perlite and sand mix dries out fast.
The one I got from Logees is Cassies Curls, so called for the long curled tendrels on the blooms. It is 24" tall and wide and right now has 12 open blooms, but not terribly fragrant which some varieties are. But it is really pretty. I will try to take a picture later when the sun is shining. In the gh my Halide light makes everything yellow so not good for photos.
I had decided last winter that I wouldn't try to keep the brugs over winter, just takes too much room. So if I don't have good luck with the cuttings rooting I will do like Wannadance does and just buy a couple new ones. Logees has a pretty good selection now. I lost my Charles Grimaldi last winter and I really liked it so will probably get another of those next spring/
I do have 6 or 7 Hibiscus in my plant room here in the house, they need warmer temp. than I provide in the gh. The larger older ones have buds but no buds showing on the smaller but larger flowered varieties.
So Donna, when do you take the cuttings and plant them? Soon? And then do you keep lights on them all winter? And heat? So then they have a head start going into spring. What temp do you keep your gh on? Is that where you keep your brug starts? Is that where you have your halide?
I could kick myself. I went to a sale of a woman who was a horticulturist and she was selling a halide on a 6 foot track with motor for $100. At the time I didn't have a use for it so I offered her $50, thinking that one would come along some time. But she thought she could get the $100 from gardener friends so she didn't come down and I didn't go up. Well, now here is my use.
Wanna, don't know your name, I hear what you are saying, but aren't you in zone 8? My daughter in Seattle found that it doesn't take much to keep them from freezing. She even left one in the ground to see how it did. It did come up again, but not until late June so she decided that wasn't the way to do it. She is going to leave them in her unheated greenhouse this winter. She is zone 8.
Also, one of the fellows who has gorgeous brugs is in either Eugene or Salem. His are outstanding. He is one that strips the leaves off. He also is zone 8.
The funny thing is, the first year I tried them, I had them under florescent lights in my bedroom. Believe it or not, I had one bloom in December.
Donna, I have one that is suppose to be a Charles Grimaldi. If I knew for sure, I would send you a cutting. Altho, I don't know if I could get a 10 inch cutting above the Y. I do have several Ys but only one with buds. That is how slow they are over here.
Jeanette, Your brugs then outside haven't frozen yet. MIne haven't either but it is getting close and they are just sitting there. Actually I started taking cuttings about a month ago, getting late now tho as I don't feel they will root as easily when they aren't growing rapidly.
I do keep them at west end of gh where it is darkest and also where the halide light is (too bad you didn't feel you had the need for a halide, as that was a really good price) My cuttings are all in 2" tall type plastic containers. I was using just sand and perlite, but they seemed to dry out too fast,, so yesterday I redid them all using a sand & perlite and Sweet Peet, also added a nother 1 or 2 cuttings to each container. They, the cuttings, are all in a heated enclosed clear dome type thingy, that I can't remember where I got . thought it was Parks but don't see it in the latest catalog. The clear top things get dark in 3 or 4 years and are only usualble that long. I replaced one this summer, have 3 now. The base is about12 x 16 " or thereabout.
I try to keep my gh about 50 degrees. Any plants that need higher temps I keep in the house. But yesterday when I turned the heater on it wouldn't start. I only have one easily available 220 plug in so I called 2 electricians and left messages but no answer. Must all have gone hunting!!! The heater is at least 25years old so has done well. It is a 1500 or 4500 amp heater. I have only used the 1500.
As soon as the cuttings have rooted, which of course not all do form roots, I pot them up in at least 4" pots with good potting soil , and put in good light. Usually have to repot before warm enough to put outside next spring.
Jeanette & Donna;
I heard there was snow in northern MN. Did that miss you? Or are you wearing boots now.?
We have another frost warning, But I don't think we will get hit yet.
I still have tomatoes to pick and I'm still digging sweet taters. I can't do too much right now, I'm kind of down in the back. Been going to the bone cruncher, one time it seems to help, then next time it don't.
Think I will try twist Gary's arm have him pick the rest of the tomatoes. That should give him enough for more salsa. Then I can get the rest of the SPs out. I have one hill that I'm sure has some good sized tubers. All the rest are planted later and may have little ones. I also have the ornamentals to do. But I will wait for a real frost, to give them more time. Besides I like the way they look yet.
Barb walked past the garden this evening, brought in some broccoli.
I mixed that in with sweet potatoes, an onion and a banana pepper and an apple. and heated them up in a pan of water, with just a tad of brown sugar. By the time the water was about gone the taders were soft. And also fixed pork cutlets with lemon pepper. I will definitely fix that veggie mix again, even though apples aren't veggies. LOL Of course neither is an onion.
Take care, an I wish you well.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`Russ
We did get snow in the mountains, we can see it, but no, the weather is pretty good for this time of year. No frost yet. I have tomatoes that look good from a distance, but the rain we get at night has split them all.
I guess if you had to get something wrong with your back, this is the best time of year to do it. One more month would have been better. You rest up. Let Gary get the rest of the produce in. Including the SPs.
That veggie recipe sounds pretty good. Definitly one for the recipe books.
That veggie, plus apples, dish sounds very good. As Jeanette said, take care of your back first. My garden area looks pretty good now. Charles, my garden guy, cut down the last of the corn yesterday after I picked the few good ears. The he spread the last of my ready compost on the area. Russ do take care of your back.
Haven't had a really killing frost here but the cool weather has slowed the tomato ripening process. Only one out there with color. I will wrap a few in paper and store in my one insulated room at north side of garage, and hope they may ripen enough to taste a little better than grocery store tomatoes.
Russ, I keep forgetting to tell you, I waited too long on that melon and I have never had one do this before, it fermented!!! LOL Yes, it almost tasted like a liquor. Isn't it funny it didn't spoil? Why would it ferment?? I brought it in the house a couple of weeks ago so it has been warm.
I am not sure why it would ferment, before it was cut, but I know they will ferment fairly fast after cut up and left in a bowl.
I feel bad that happened for you. You didn't even get a taste of the only melon that survived.
So far all my watermelons have been good. We had two good melons from those volunteer muskmelons. but there were several that were spoiled before I thought they were any where near ripe.
I still haven't got anybody to pick the rest of the tomatoes, there are several who would take them, but don't seem to want to pick them.
I can understand for 2 of the people as they are nearly house bound. If someone is too lazy to pick what they would like to have, I don't think they want them very bad.
Right now my back is feeling better, but I'm not ready to go out in the garden and pick any amount just yet. Let alone to standing over a kettle processing them. If nobody picks them, by the time I feel better, I will either pick them for myself , or if we have a killing frost, I will shred all the vines for the compost pile an not feel sorry for any one that is lazy.
There was one, willing to pick them for me. One of our friends too. but she can't stand erect because of a back surgery and a muscle that was cut. I think that when I can. I will see how many she wants and they are hers.
I know, without even asking, that is ok with Barb. We both feel some sorrow for her as her children look at her as disabled. They don't want her doing this or that. Almost restricting her to the house.
Teasingly I have said well if they think they have put you out to pasture, "you know where the gate is" she really thought that was funny.
That is funny Russ. Didn't you say not too long ago, "it's hell to get old" or something to that effect? Oh no, it was something about growing old gracefully? LOL, I would have to go back and look.
You know, I have tomatoes out there that haven't frozen, but I tried a couple today and the skins were so tough that when I tried to bite into them they squirted out the stem end. Tht must be from all the rain we have had nights here.
Wish I could come pick your tomatoes for you. I would.
I left the melon on the counter too long waiting for it to ripen. That is why it fermented.
All things are covered w/ yeast - t'is what makes the gray pattern on grapes and apples and such. We know that yeast will do what yeast will do - and so it that your melon fermented. I have an awesome fresh pineapple, papaya, strawberry fruit salad that I make (no sugar, no additives) - but if you don't "watch it" - it builds up a head of steam and alcohol and fizz even in the refrigerator.