General Discussions - 2011 - Chapter 35

Dahlonega, GA

Slugs and snails don't care if they get drunk in Seattle or Ga. They just like thier beer at any bar they can crawl up to . LOL

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Yeah, but they make such a mess! Ugh, Yuck! Like putting salt on them. My daughter used to do that. Go out at night with the salt shaker and a flashlight. Ducks are really good to keep them down, but they make as big a mess as the slugs do.

Dahlonega, GA

A small amount of dirt , dug and covered will get rid of the mess .

Pipersville, PA(Zone 6b)

Digger - Just saw your post about using treated wood to enclose the bales. This is not a good idea- you don't want what they were treated with leaching into your bales! But you know me - I figure that, if you're growing your food, you want it to be as pure as possible.

What a gorgeous weekend we're having - sunny and breezy - not hot. Heavenly. How 'bout you all?

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

The amount of contaminants that leach out of treated wood is miniscule. No worry there.

Doug

Dahlonega, GA

I think they quit using arsenic a few years ago. I may go with landscape rock borders anyway

Amherst, VA

My first strawbale harvest, 6-26-11

Grilled veggies tonight!!!

Thumbnail by DoxeeMom
Wake Forest, NC

DoxeeMom: great job! Love'em both!

I agree with Doug, pressure treated wood sold today is OK to use for raised beds:

Lots of links on the subject, here's one: http://www.gardeningblog.net/2009/04/12/using-pressure-treated-lumber-in-raised-garden-beds/

Pipersville, PA(Zone 6b)

IDK - according to what you read (depending on where you read it) genetically modified vegetables are ok, too. I'd say that, if you're interested in organic gardening, untreated wood would be the way to go.

Hope you all had as good a 4th as I did!

Suz

Wake Forest, NC

Life is good!!

Thumbnail by KentNC
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Looking good Kent. Are those off of the tomatoes you planted from seed? Did you have any more trouble with them after you cleaned up the disease you had?

Wake Forest, NC

Thanks, Jeanette.

These are a combo of seed starting and purchases from local nurseries.

Once I lost the Mtg Lifters, Brandywines, German Johnsons, and Mexico Midgets to fusarium wilt, everything else seems to be doing OK.

We've had some recent showers so I need to respray some copper fungicide tomorrow.

We put up 14 quarts of tomatoes today for total of 21 so far this season.

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

Wow, Kent! Looks yummy!! We have had some fried zucchini and a couple of tomatoes so far. Waiting on the bounty so I can put some up for winter. So far so good.

Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Connie , how do your, and your neighbors crops look for this year? I have been pretty busy, but been meaning to ask. Jeanette

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

Well...since ya asked....(snicker) Ours is looking good. The plants are much bushier than last year but not as tall. Zucchini is huge. That's okay though, they are still growing. Now for the neighbors - what can I say. They are still alive but they need to feed those poor things. Our phone/internet guy stops by to visit (see what it is like to work in a small town lol) and told us of some more bales that have popped up. We drove around and found there are 4 here trying to grow in bales. None look good. They will walk or drive by and stare but no one is asking how we do it. Some of the poor little plants look petrified!

Thanks for asking and how are yours? Did ya get rid of those darn ants?

Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Connie, that is funny, but let me ask you, did you try the alfafa vs straw? I thought you did. If so, what did you decide? What kind of plants did you grow? If they were determinates, they will be bushes. All the tomatoes will come on at once. If they are indeterminates they would be bigger bushes.

You said you had ripe ones, so they must be doing ok?

I did alfalfa this year and have found that they don't need as much water just like Suz said. But, mine are just like last year, June was so wet and cold that the plants didn't grow until July!! And mine aren't any different than anyone else's in this side of the state of Washington. Another year like last years. I am getting a few more tomatoes come on the plants each day, a half dozen maybe that are the size of baseballs (not quite). But that's it and I only have until mid Sept. at the latest to get any ripe. Just 2 sad years. We really have too short a season.

Yes, once the ants got wings they took off. LOL

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

We are using both to compare and so far the hay is winning as far as growth. One minus is the hay is breaking down at a much faster speed than the straw. I am hoping we will have a little hay left to finish out the growing season. Now I see what she meant when she said there's nothing left at the end of the season lol. The tomatoes are the same as last year (Heinz, Beef Steak, and those yummy yellow cherry tomatoes) and then we added Roma to the list. We finally found a few Red Wolf seeds (you know the story on that one lol) and we planted those in compost. We are hoping to get at least a few ripe ones to collect seeds before frost. Such a late start on those.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you hoping you will get enough ripe ones to maybe can??? Did the Scotch Bonnets ever take off for you?

Ants and wings...must have had a good prayer meetin' with them LOL!!

Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

No on the peppers Connie. I just cannot get peppers to do anything here. I have 2 burgundy Bells that are barely hanging on. Not peppers hanging on the plants. Plants hang on to life. However, I still have some seeds you sent so maybe another year.

Keep us posted on the comp of the bales, and also how the neighbors gardens are doing. LOL

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

I was sure hoping you could grow some this year. Dog gone it!!

HA!! You know I will keep ya posted :)

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Connie, how is your garden doing now? Are you canning yet? Ya gotta let us know how the straw vs alfalfa does. I don't know that this year would be a good comparison for me since the weather is sooooo bad. I can't even say the lack of watering I am doing is unusual because it is so cool. Actually cold. Yesterday didn't get over 60 degrees and the nighttime temps aren't doing any better. High 40s and low 50s. Too cold for tomatoes to grow. So, no it isn't even necessary to water but a couple times a week. Isn't that awful?

Actually it is picking up today. It is up to 76. Very nice, but a few more degrees would be better for the tomatoes. Now if the nights would just warm up some. Maybe we would even get some bees to wake up.

Let me know how you are doing. And have a BLT for me. LOL

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

Speak of the devil (snicker) We just came in from outside talking about the Romas and the yellow cherry tomatoes. (Those yellow ones are so awesome!!!) Of course your name was mentioned along with the tomatoes HA!!! Alfalfa has beat all!! Suz did good for us. YAY, SUZ :)

Just got done with a taco salad that included some freshly ripened red cherry tomatoes and onions from the garden. We just talked about BLTs too. (Are you listening to our conversations again ha!) Would have used the yellow but they disappeared just as quick as they were pulled off the vines hee, hee. Gotta find some "blue ribbon" recipes for salsa, ketchup and other stuff. I am ready for canning!! If we could meet in the middle with the temps, we'd both be happy. Highs hitting 100s and no rain in sight. Hubby said they just changed the forecast to 40% for Friday so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Got a funny for ya: We took our Grandson fishing and who do we run into but the neighbor up on the corner trying to grow in bales. We asked him how they were doing for him and he said "oh, those are my girlfriend's". He asked us how we were doing it and continued to talk. Couldn't get a word in edge wise then he left. He said "I'm, err she is putting compost from scraps around the bottom of the bales." and kept asking questions but we never got to say a thing. They actually started the bales before we did and he aka she made a clear tent out of plastic for a greenhouse effect. They looked great when they took it off but they haven't grown any since. Not sure if they are hitting a foot tall and not sure if they have any green left on them.


Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Connie, you are such a tease. Don't you even share with him? LOL, yeah right. Not much!! Sounds like you got the bug girl. Be sure you save seeds from the Sun Sugars. Those are the little yellow cherries. So good. I didn't get any this year 'cause mine that I started from seed got hit by frost so I ended up buying some and nobody had those. I did save 2 Jelly Bean plants that I had started from seed. Have you had any of those? I hope I get some to try 'cause I have never had any.

Look on google for some recipes. Just type in recipe for salsa, or recipe for cherry tomato salsa, anything like that. Whatever you want. You will get a lot of recipes and just look thru them. You might find something that sounds real good.

Anytime I need a recipe for something I don't have, that is what I do.

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

Ya know, that day I was going to be nice and share.:)))) He just wouldn't let me say anything lol!!! We are definitely saving seeds from those tomatoes. Hubby takes care of the seeds and he thought they started with a G. He is thinking Gallaway or something??? He said Sun Sugars didn't ring a bell. He will have to look through the seeds but whatever they are... You did good :) Never heard of the Jelly Bean plants. Are those mini cherry tomatoes?

I have been looking at different recipes and ratings. Family recipes have been lost through the years due to lack of interest by family members which is so sad. I have others but only one for canning. I am hoping one day to make two recipe books for the kids and hope they will pass them on.

Well, I sure hope things warm up enough for you to get a good tomato or two. You might just have to pack up and come to my house. Heck, the others have gone visiting so why not lol!! Have you heard from Russ or the others? I hope they are safe and having a wonderful time!!!

Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Yes, as a matter of fact, funny you should ask now. I got an email from Russ today saying they had a real good time other than the river was high, which I think they all are. Too high to use the sluice box so he was disappointed with that since he had wanted to learn that too. Said Johnny, Sally's husband, was a good teacher tho 'cause he actually found some gold. He said not enough to make him rich, but at least he panned some.

So that was cool. I am sure they will be on soon. I think he was having trouble getting on DG so he was wanting me to maybe give Melody or Terry an email telling them. But then he discovered he was spelling his password wrong or something and is on, so I am sure you will hear from him soon.

Wonder if the G was for Sun Gold? The ones I sent you were Sun Sugar. Don't know if I sent you seeds or told you to get some. They are so good. Think I sent you seeds. Tell him to look for Sun Sugar. ttyl,

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

Oh, I can't wait to hear all about their trip when they get back!!!

Found the name of the yellow cherry tomato you sent: Galino Cherry Tomato OH, SO GOOD!!! Now I am curious about Sun Sugar. Time to go search lol

Connie

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Well Connie, that surprises me, 'cause I didn't think the Galinoes were very good. You've gotta try Sun Sugar. They are regular small cherry tomatoes.

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

AHHHH....that's why you sent me those seeds I see how you are LMBO!!!!

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

The trip

Well, it's not the easiest for me to find a place to start.
But, Sally was successful in jarring me out of my comfort zone of what I felt I could spend on a trip. The lure of learning to pan for gold and finally being able to put a face to someone called Digger, must have been the real draw. As Gary, at the coffee shop has been watching a show filmed in Alaska about finding gold on the beach I think by Nome, and kept showing it to me while sucking up several cups of that morning nectar, so there was an interest there to start with and Barb and I hadn't been on a real vacation for quite sometime.
Convinced at last, the race was on to get ready. I had an old pop-up camper that I drug home to scrap out, but had not started to do so yet.
With the interest in the trip, I took another look at the camper and decided
( I can fix it ) I mean really. Pull some of the skin off the outer edges of the hard top, replace the wood frame work. replace the skin and seal the joints. Take the canvas off both ends do some sewing and patching of torn material.
New tires as it had been setting 1989. Wheel bearings on one side and repacked bearings on the other side. The lights were all gone, so found lights that would work and got them all working. Got it registered and licensed. this took all fall and most of this spring to get it ready as I was doing the work outside and it was a rainy fall, a cold winter, then this spring wasn't that good either. I also had to decide what to pull it with. I decided on the van I bought from the delivery company for salvage price. a 1996 Ford E150 cargo van.
It also needed a little care. tires, breaks wheel bearings one hub and rotor. and a good going over. Was a good thing we had made our plans months ahead of time. Now Barb had been dragging her feet most of this time. Not looking forward to such a long trip and no running water or electric at the camp site. When it came to the last week or two we were both in agreement though and really started getting ready.
The trip across Nebraska was uneventful, being mostly flat. We stopped for the night at Ft. Morgan Co as a distant family ancestor was instrumental in starting free camping in a park by the Platte river .
The rest of the way was ( different ) when we went Southwest from Denver we began to wonder if the van would have enough power to make it all the way as a quite a few of the long steep grades we had to downshift, all the way to low gear!. I had driven that van working for the delivery company and hauled many heavy loads in it and put many of the 373000 miles on it. I trusted it and thought I knew how it would handle. This was different, very different. But as I looked around only the lighter units or those with V 8s were right on my tail or passing. That made me feel a little better but I think an overhaul may be in order, so sometime soon that will be in order.
Now Johnny and Sally had things to get ready too. getting their dredge all checked out and their van all ready too.
Well the usual happened. Both Barb & I as well as Johnny and Sally forgot a few things we would have liked to have along.
We kept in touch on the way. We didn't have as far to travel and we left a day earlier than we had planned so we got to the original destination a day early.
Sally discovered that some of our plans had to change. Due to the weather late spring snow and mud in one area. Not able to dredge in this or that area. So We decided to meet in Salida at the Wal-Mart parking lot and check things out. Figure out where to go. We greeted each other as though we were family that we hadn't seen for a while. Hugs! We were very glad to have that much of the trip complete. It felt good to be with friends.
Sally had all the phone numbers and claim information, so a few phone calls
and a drive to get more information and we were off again to find a camp site.
It was Sunday so after setting up the campers and unloading. Sally made some coffee and we rested and visited the rest of the day.
Coffee pot was one of the things we had forgot.
Monday morning some of my lessons to began, likely place to dig, how to set up the sluice, how fast- slow to feed it. Johnny and I managed to get up and down the river bank with some difficulty and run several buckets of material through his sluice then cleaned it into an empty bucket and carried that material back up to the camp and began to separate the gold from the sand by panning. I was a little awkward at first and a little over cautious, thinking I would spill any gold in the pan and find nothing. But I soon got better with Johnny's coaching and could do pretty good.
Now all this was work but fun for me. But with not being able to put the dredge in the river in this area because the water was too high and the current too swift, that left a lot to be desired by Sally as that was really what she had in mind. So she and Barb done a lot of visiting while Johnny and I were making the best of the situation. and I was learning something new.
We had several visitors to our little camp. One was a couple staying in a cabin for several months of the summer. he stopped in several times to see how we were doing. once giving us 2 trout he had caught. Well Sally hadn't planned to do any cooking and we had planned to go along with that plan. but how long would trout keep and there were only two. So Sally made a wonderful stew that we all provided items to make it. You can't make a little stew, so that was good for a couple meals.She also made a great chilli, same story it is hard to make just a little. That was also good for a couple meals.
Then there was another couple that dropped by they were the caretakers of that claim, they dropped off 4 ears of sweet corn. That was put in an ice chest for a while. We made a few trips into town for ice and to make some phone calls as our children wanted to hear from us as well as Sally's and Johnny's to hear from them. after all who was this other couple they were with. LOL;I felt bad that the river and the location was not any thing like Sally had planned and she really didn't get in on any dredging or panning. But it was a situation that we just had to make the best of.
Well Sally said she was done cooking she washed her skillets. They were going to try another spot as we were going to have to move our camp anyway.
So Barb and I watched over things at camp while they checked out another area. While they were gone and about the time they should be getting back, I got out our dutch oven, husked the sweet corn and boiled it. I would have roasted it but we couldn't have a campfire as it was so dry and they were in a high fire risk area.
Where they found what was to be a good place they didn't think Barb and I could get our camper turned around let alone make one or two of the turns, so we had supper of sweet corn and sandwiches. and decided to break camp in the morning after coffee. We would head back home and they would try this new area. I think Sally will tell the story of that place.
Anyway in leaving I forgot one turn and went about 15 or 20 miles out of the way but it was very scenic and we enjoyed the view even though we finally decide to turn around at a little over 1100ft elevation and we knew for sure we were going UP the wrong road. That was the last wrong way or lost if you wish, the rest of the trip.
Now Panning for gold was work and was even fun for me but it proved a little more like working for mister scrooge and after a couple days you find you have earned around 15 cents. But we did find gold and it will be a keepsake. the real gold though however was in the friendship that is now cast in gold and we have a face for (Digger) Sally and Johnny.
I will have to load some of the pictures yet so some will follow soon.
Russ
Sorry this was so long and off our straw bale garden theme but this is where digger an I started visiting.
And I hope you will either forgive the story or enjoy the little side track.

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

What a wonderful story!!! I had just asked Jnette if she had heard from you all. Now I am sure you have left out some details that we would get a kick out of. Maybe when digger gets back on, she will fill in the blanks (so to speak ) LOL! Thanks for sharing some awesome memories with your DG family :)

Connie

Dahlonega, GA

I have lots to tell about Russ and dw, Barb . Deliteful . Gotta catch up on visiting with family first . Made wonderful friends and grateful for the chance to meet them . Just wish the parks dept . and bureau of land management would have let us camp in one place more than two weeks, then have to move over 30 air miles

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Kent, Russ, anyone, have any of you heard anything from Lena? Wasn't she in Australia last we heard? I thought she went there from NZ. Right? Then there was that terrible weather, hurricanes or something in Australia. Hope she is ok.

I keep waiting, thinking we should hear any time. This is their winter I think. Let us know if you have heard from her.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

NO! haven't heard a word. I've been a little concerned too.
Lets hope she got a good job and is just too busy.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Jeanette; how are things going with your home and the possible move??
I was able to get out in the garden today and do a little catch up on tying up my tomatoes. Some of them have a pretty good size to them. No ; no ripe ones yet. I think they missed me. Going to give them a good watering tonight. Got lots of nice potatoes though. I've been making good use of them already. as I dumped over my tire project. Got 20 good sized ones from that. I will probably try that again. Might even stack it a little higher if I stick around home a little longer. LOL
My cannas that I nearly forgot about and planted the last of June are growing. Don't know if they will multiply much but at least it should save the tubers. They range from 8" to 13" tall right now. Got a ways to go before they bloom though. Probably not in time for the humming birds though. I need to put out a couple more feeders, so they stick around.
Had fresh caught catfish and new potatoes for supper. yummy

Wake Forest, NC

Jeanette: nope, haven't heard from her in a long time. She was a great addition to our gardening family!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

No, still looking at houses Russ, but just can't find what I want.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

My tomatoes are finally getting fruit on them. So ok, I am using alfalfa bales this year. I just went out the other day and cut off leaves, and big branches, in one case half the plant. Parts that were not producing. I had such gorgeous blossoms they would have made a beautiful bouquet in a vase in my house. But no fruit. The plants are 4 to 5 1/2 feet tall from the bales up.

Ok, my question is, was the alfalfa too much nitrogen? Suz??? What do your plants do? I seem to do the same thing with all this type of plant. Including my brugs. I have such beautiful plants but no blossoms on the brugs, and not much fruit on the tomatoes. My daughter tells me I am too kind to my plants.

Suz, tell me, do you have produce in conjunction with your plants? In other words, do you have as much fruit/vegetables as you do foliage? Or in equal, maybe not quite equal, amounts? Do you know what I mean?

Jeanette

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Jnette,

If you can get some liquid kelp that may help. That is recommended when tomatoes are fruiting and filling out instead of nitrogen. Foliar feed as well as hitting the soil.

I am using some alfalfa bales (4) this year as well and I don't think that is the cause. I will have to go out tomorrow and really look at the tomatoes in the alfalfa bales to compare to the straw ones. I know they are strong but will do a tomato count!!

it has been a very strange summer with extremes. I notice that different varieties of tomatoes really set at different times. I have over 50 different varieties this year and a few have set no tomatoes yet, others one or two, and others are filled. I really think it depends on the variety and the weather conditions. One Italian grape is just about dead - not sure what caused that since the 4 different varieties next to it in a row are doing fine and my Amazon Chocolate has leaves that are wilting and then turning brown. I have never had that but fear it may be a blight?? So hang in there - you will get ripe tomatoes eventually!!! Try the kelp and see if that helps with the setting and ripening.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Jessica why does it have to be a liquid kelp? I have a granular kelp. Wait a minute, I also have a kelp blend with humic acid and a few other good things. I do believe it is water soluble. But kelp would be a nitrogen too. Wouldn't it?

I see you are zone 6. How long do you think you have yet for your tomatoes to ripen? We normally get a frost any time after Labor Day. After that one frosty night, it will be nice up until mid to late October!! It can I should say. Not will.

So are you saying the kelp will help them ripen???

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

The kelp has micro-nutrients and minerals including potassium which encourages flowering, fruiting and overall health. It sounds like your mix would be fine. Read the label and see what it says or Google for more info. Granular kelp is slower acting, I think, at this point and spraying the whole plant once a week for the next couple of weeks might help. I have Aggrand products which includes 4 types of fertilizer from a general one, to liquid bone meal, liquid lime and liquid kelp with sulphate of potash. On their planting guide, which explains when to use what combination, they suggest using just the kelp with sulphate of potash at tomato fill. I use 2-4 tbs per gallon. Use your liquid kelp and follow the directions and see what happens. You certainly will not be worse off. The one thing you do know is that you probably don't need any more nitrogen!

I also have Aggrand Liquid Lime and Liquid Bonemeal. They recommend mixing the Liquid Bonemeal with the General one at first blooming and the Liquid Lime with the General at full blooming. If you can get either of those it might help as well (doesn't have to be Aggrand - they are strictly Internet Order). My problem is that the tomato plants are never doing any of those things all at once. I have very few determinates where I could say the plant is in "full flower". I'm sure you have the same situation. Each plant is in various stages all at once - so I cover my bridges and use both in my mixes. Using both should cover the flowering and fill!

For the moment start with your Kelp and Humic Acid mix and that should do the trick if the weather cooperates! Are you getting this terrible humidity? That is certainly slowing down the tomato setting!

You certainly do frost earlier than we do. First frost for us is usually second week of October but we can start getting very cool nights in September which slows the tomatoes down considerably. While it says Zone 6 some Zone 6 plants don't make it here if we have a harsh winter so I generally consider us a 5 to be safe and experiment with Zone 6 plants.

Good Luck. I have just resigned myself to the fact that things are MUCH slower this season and I get what I get! I am praying more that the diseases stay away as they hit in August two years ago and a couple of my plants have me worried at this point - don't want their problems (whatever they are - must check that out) to move to others!

Jessica

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the suggestions. Will see what I can do. I have given some of them fish emulsion a couple of days ago.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP