Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 28, July 13, 2012
Posted on 07/13/2012 8:35:18 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde
Good morning and happy Friday (the 13th) to all of my FRiends and fellow gardeners! My special thanks go to Ellendra for posting the thread while I took a week to go to the mountains. I was hoping to find relief from the heat, only to find that it was in the 90's in SE Montana, not much cooler than here in Louisiana.
I began the long process of becoming a fly fisherman, and I am hooked, so to speak. Just what I needed ... another hobby to compete for my limited time!
Today is the first time I've seen the sun since Monday ... the rain followed me all the way from Kansas City, and it has stayed around. Thank goodness! It is my sincere hope that y'all are receiving some beneficial rainfall.
Before leaving on the trip, I spent 4 days making fig preserves ... the Italian White Fig tree was covered in a bumper crop, unlike anything I've ever seen. I also got all of my wild plum juice turned into beautiful jelly, and harvested another 5-gallon bucket of honey from the beeyard.
So ... what's going on with you???
The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.
This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you wont be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isnt asked.
It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!
Weekly Gardening Thread (Catalog Fever) Vol. 1 Jan 6, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Seeds) Vol. 2, January 13, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 3, January 20, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (U.S. Hardiness Zones) Supplemental Vol. 1
Weekly Gardening Thread (Soil Types) Vol. 4, January 27, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation) Vol. 5, February 03, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation) Vol. 6, February 10, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation?) Vol. 7, February 17, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Home Sweet Home) Vol. 8, February 24, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Soil Structure Part 1) Vol. 9, March 2, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Transplanting Tomatoes) Vol. 10, March 9, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Useful Links) Vol. 11, March 16, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread -- Vol. 12, March 23, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread -- Vol. 13, March 31, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Happy Easter!) Vol. 14, April 6, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 15, April 13, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 16, April 20, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 17, April 27, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 18, May 4, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 19 (Getting Projects Done) May 11, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Harvesting Wheat) Vol. 20, May 18, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 21 (Keywords) May 25, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 22 (Keywords 2) June 1, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 23, June 8, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 24, June 15, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 25, June 22, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 26, June 29, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 27, July 06, 2012
Ha! I’m glad you posted that because I had totally forgotten the ping. Thanks!
I cannot thank you enough for the recommendation of cattle panels as a trellis for tomatoes...two hundred tomato plants heading for the sky instead all willy-nilly like most years...the velcro is a BIG improvement over twine, as well. ‘Let there be TOMATOES!’
We saw a groundhog in our front yard yesterday, munching on the clover.
There’s a fantastic recipe in the old red 50’s Betty Crocker Cookbook for Filled Cookies. It may be in the newer ones. Anyway, make the dough and cut it into circles about the size of wide mouth jars. Top one circle with a spoon of preserves and cover with a second circle. Tomato preserves are out of this world but fig preserves comes in a close second. They’re great for snacks or like a breakfast pop tart.
We’ve had nice rain all week. At least I think that’s what I remember that wet stuff is that falls from the sky. Whatever it is, I’m not complaining but there’s now a bunch of mushrooms popping up so need to get rid of them. All outdoor work has come to stop with the mud but the slobber buckets are enjoying it.
I need to start on the fall garden soon but that would mean weeding.... AGAIN. Ok, I’ll give the squash one last time but if I can’t get ahead of the squash bugs this fall then that’s it.
My youngest son has gotten into fly fishing as his hobby. He loves it.
Have started tying your own flies yet? If not you will before long.
Welcome back. I hope that you had a great time. It’s always good to get away, no matter where you go.
Our tomatos are starting to slow down now. We still have about 8-10 large banana peppers still on the plants after putting up about 6 pints. Our one and only eggplant got pulled and half eaten by unknown varmit.
We are thinking of taking sprouts from some of the tomato plants and starting them for a fall crop. I dont know if that will work or not, but we have nothing to lose. Rather than pulling up the existing tomato plants after the last tomato, we may just prune them back to about two feet tall and see what happens then. Anybody got any thoughts about that?
Our okry patch is about 30’ tall and producing a few pods every day or so.
Wife’s flowers are all going fantastic. Its a very good year for her beds. We are building a new bed in the front yard that has got a medium size three tier fountain for it’s centerpiece. Well, in between rainstorms, that is. We have been getting 2-3” every day or so.
30 seconds after posting that, I heard this strange sound coming from the roof. Could it be? Yes, water from the sky!!!!!!! IT’S RAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you have any issue with diseases affecting tomatoes where you are at? For me, it’s not about keeping them from getting sick, just trying to manage it. This spring I made the mistake of transplanting a broken off part of one of my winter crop near some spring seedlings, which of course simply ensured that the new crop started off sick.
You got me to thinking though. We have an abundance of rabbits on the homesite here, but they never really bother my garden. Hmmmmmm... Wonder if it is a matter of plenty of other food, or what? Maybe if you planted a perimeter of something that rabbits really like better than garden plants?
I am so glad that I could offer an idea that works for you. That velcro is *the* secret to everything around my house and yard. I keep a roll in several spots. In the house it keeps the cords of my small appliances tidy, and holds the cabinet doors closed against the prying paws and noses of my fur kids.
The fence panels are also a versatile tool. They made an enclosure for my compost heap. I held the narrow ends to the ground with bent rebar stakes and made the coolest hoop arbor for my grapes. Next project is the hoop house for year-round growing. I was going to use PVC for the hoops, but realized that the panels would be a better surface for the plastic covering, plus will not degrade in the blazing sun.
How are you weeding??? I think I’d be using a roundup/lawnmower combination!
I have them cut into eight-foot sections...it must be quite a few, because the employees at my local retailer scatter to the four winds when they see me coming. Too hot to count right now...but they're worth it. They'll last a LONG time.
My fur friends are all Siamese; they laugh at velcro. If I want them to stay out of a particular cabinet; it's Gorilla tape. Nothing else will stop them.
Maybe the rabbits know about all those snakes that seem to hang around in your plants..?
LOL! By hand. The weeds inside the fence are so big (two to four feet high) that I barely have to bend over, if at all. I have a cart, and I just pile them up, pull the cart over to the fence and throw them over, as far down the hill as I can. It’s about a quarter acre or slightly more that’s fenced. Thank goodness my husband has started putting down gravel on some of the raised beds. It helps to keep the weeds from getting a strong footing.
I’ve been using a combination of rat traps and live catch traps.
We are overrun this year with them and they are feasting on my tomatoes.
2 kills so far...
Compared to you, "Nut-N-Honey!"
Get out while you can!
One of those almost ate President Carter!!
They’re vicious, intractable, intrepid, and unstoppable!!!
Or, you could just serve it for dinner, with a side of fresh veggies.
Glad to hear from you JADB, was a little worried, cause we didn’t know what was going on, and was praying you were OK and just too busy or something.
I had to travel to a conference and just got back on Wednesday. While I was gone, Hubby tended my garden and his. Squirrels ate all of the 9 really nice green tomatoes(probably thirsty).
I forgot to put up the sheet I was using for afternoon shade (took it down during high winds - very little rain), so tomatoes are pretty sad to look at. Got them all watered and the shade back up. I think I’ll also trim them back a little.
We are hauling water (about 30-50 gallons per day) to water the perenials and fruit, nut, and 2 Maple trees. All of the trees are beginning to have yellow leaves and dropping leaves and fruit. Annuals are burnt to a crisp.
Praying for Rain. Have a great weekend. God Bless.
Would you mind taking a trip through Wisconsin? It’s been weeks since we had rain, I’m starting to forget what it looks like.
Ditto come on through about 75 miles south of St. Louis, it’s not much out of the way!LOL
Pictures of that hoop arbor for grapes would be a beauty to behold. Hint Hint. Pleeeeeeease? LOL
What? Rain? We haven’t had any since early June. I saw a neighboring farmer plowing his corn under this week.
I hope it wasn’t too great a loss. It was just a little field that is normally made into a corn maze for the Farm to Market store at the corner for the kiddies at Hallowe’en.
But, still it made me :(
The low clouds/high fog rolled in on the 5th and won’t leave due to the heating of the great valleys to our east which causes a onshore flow but the sport fishermen are limiting out on King Salmon in as little as 20 minutes once they leave the bay. One small boat was catching them in 20 to 30 feet of water. I am worried about late blight in my potatoes as the tops are very lush. I’ll post more later when I can get on my iMac...
We have been “house sitting” for a neighbor and they have a fig tree that is about 25 feet tall. It is loaded with figs and many can be picked from their second story balcony and walkway.
We have cooked up a bunch of fig jelly and added a packet of strawberry jello [recipe my mom used]. It tastes just like any other homemade strawberry jelly.
Do some research on drying Figs for winter eating.
I remember doing that on the farm as a kid. I’ll see if they mind us picking more. We also dried pears and peaches as well.
Still hot and dry in Central Missouri. Fortunately the string of 100° days was broken last weekend. The mid to upper 90°s we’ve been having this week has actually felt pleasant. Still no rain to speak of. It went north, it went south, it went east and it went west but all it did at my place was settle the dust. In spite of all that the garden is doing fairly well. The tomatoes that set before the 100° stuff got here are ripening now and absolutely delicious. Cucumbers are starting to make. Ambrosia cantelope vines are loaded with softball sized melons. 2nd planting of sweetcorn is approaching waist high. Pepper plants are loaded with developing fruit.
The rain just started here. Coming down in buckets. Lightning, thunder. My husband has been patching the roof at work. I hope he got it finished before this all started.
Not quite that bad, but almost, despite having served in the Navy Reserves. Doesn't stop me from going out whenever I have a chance (not too often, oddly enough, since leaving Oregon for SD) because I can fish & 'bark at the seals" simultaneously; it is a multitasking gift. When I finally stop chumming, the skipper may as well head on back in, because no one is going to catch any more fish.
I get car sick, too, on curvy roads, unless I'm driving; then I can either mosey or let'er rip, and not get sick either way.
Is it possible for you to describe the process? I bought an inexpensive electric dehydrator once and it was a disaster.
We used to pick fruit that was close to being ripe, slice pears or apples really thin, put the slices on a towel and and let dry on the screened in porch.
Peaches were cut into halves and seeds removed. We also put them on towels, cut side up and let them dry on the screened in porch. After a few days, just turn them over. It takes about two or three times on each side to make dried fruit to eat in the winter.
We also have a back yard with more peppers down there. To get an idea of how big those Tabasco plants are, the fence they are up against is 6 feet tall. The smaller plant, which really isn't small at all, is another Ghost Pepper plant. To the left of the 2 Tabascos, not in the picture, is a huge Habanero plant. The grass is all dead so not everything is thriving in the heat.
Think you don't have room for a garden? This Ghost Pepper plant is in a pot that is 7.25 inches tall and 12 inches across. There are already over 150 peppers on it, enough to keep your food spicy for years if you dry them out and store them in jars.
Look at all of the peppers on this one section of plant to get an idea of how prolific these plants are once you get them established
Hopefully my next set of pictures will be of Datil Peppers, my latest project. I have 4 plants established but no flowers yet. Even if they did get flowers this early in their growth I'd pinch them off so the stems and roots get a chance to grow strong and bear even more fruit in the long run.
If any of you care to give growing Ghost Peppers a try drop me a PM and I'll send you some seeds. If you start them within the next couple of weeks you may have some fruit by September. Even if you didn't you can bring them indoors, let them grow during the winter and look forward to a monster crop next season.
I remember my Mother drying fruit outside on old rusty window screens in FResno County in the 30s and 40s. She covered the fruit with cheese cloth to protect from flies and bugs. I still buy dried apricots to this day but I have to be careful as I now have type II Diabetes...
What was the disaster, particularly? I have a Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator, because I do a lot of drying fruits, veggies, and meats. Even my first batch came out very well.
For peaches or pears, I pit the fruit and slice it up about 1/4 inch thick. I immediately put them in a bath of cold water with Fruit Fresh added ... this keeps the fruit from turning brown while drying. Take them out of the water/Fruit Fresh bath and quickly dry them on a towel. Then I place them in the dehydrator in single layers, set the temp for fruit, and let the dehydrator do the rest.
If I can help you in any way, please let me know. :)
Mark for dehydrating fruit.
Thanks for that, JustaDumbBlonde. :o)
Love love LOVE my excalibur. Got it toward the end of March of this year. The first thing I dried was a puree from most of my remaining winter squash from ‘11. Hubby buys clearance veggies now and we dry those along with garden produce. Just last week he found mushrooms on sale and I filled the entire dehydrator with them. I put up 40lbs of vidalia onions like that. Dried them about 50% longer than the recommend time and they’re just like funyons. I’ve had to hide them from my oldest. We found pineapples on sale that were overripe already. Those were GOOOOOOD dried.
I’ve been especially happy with the tomatoes though. They’re still just as red and pretty when they’re dry as they were when I picked them. My previous cheapie dehydrator invariably ‘cooked’ them to a nice brownish red that wasn’t very appealing.
In my experience the cheapie dehydrators are a waste of time and money.
What sort of velcro? The kind you just buy at Hancock fabrics? Where’s the cheapie place to get this stuff? Sounds wonderful. We do a florida weave with t posts and wire and use those tomato clips from Johnny’s right now. I might use the velcro sometimes too for really big branches.
You can get the rolls of velcro JADB is talking about at most garden centers...great for unruly tomato plants...
I searched online and found it really cheap at some catalog website like Harriet Carter. Bought it at about half what it costs at the garden center and really stocked up. The great thing is that you can reuse it year after year. I put a big lump of it in a mesh bag and throw it in the washing machine.
Gorgeous produce in the pic there. You’re quite the farmer. I’m dreading the tomato patch after our SEVEN inches of rain since Monday. At least my pumpkins and butternuts are happy...
Bunny ears? Devil horns? Peace sign?
That’s it...wind howls in my yard (and only my yard) 24/7; and this stuff keeps those unwieldy tomato branches in their place...love it.
That’s it...wind howls in my yard (and only my yard) 24/7; and this stuff keeps those unwieldy tomato branches in their place...love it.
You must love those roads in the Black Hills, if you ever have occasion to visit that area...b-a-r-f. Great scenery, if you can keep your face out of the air sick bag.
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