Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread – 2011 (Vol. 29) July 29
Posted on 07/29/2011 5:22:39 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232
Good morning gardeners. This past week here in East Central Mississippi has been great, weather wise. There have been numerous and very beneficial pop-up T-storms almost every day, which have helped keep the temperatures down and my garden watered.
I hope TS Don will give some relief to those of you in drought stricken Texas. Forecasts are for it to dissipate in about 36 to 48 hours after landfall.
If you are a gardener or you are just starting out and are in need of advice or just encouragement please feel free to join in and enjoy the friendly discussion. Our Freeper community is full of gardeners, each with varying interests and skill levels from Master Gardener to novice.
I hope all your gardens are flourishing.
Weekly Gardening Thread
I hope all of you will stop by.
This is typically a low volume ping list. Once a week for the thread and every once in a while for other FR threads posted that might be of interest.
If you would like to be added to or removed from the list please let me know by FreepMail or by posting to me.
Send seeds? Befriend seeds? Just want 10 seeds?
If you have garden seeds you can offer other FReepers for free, for a SASE, and/or in exchange for other seeds, please send me your info. (Private Message Mrs. Don-o) and I will add you to this list, which I will post on the garden thread from time to time. Please also Private Message me to be removed when you no longer have the seeds to offer. FReepo-seedoholics can contact each other by Private Message to arrange any transactions. Remember that old seeds may have reduced germination. (Although Ive had great luck with them. And for free, you cant lose...) If possible, list year and variety. Mrs. Don-o I CAN OFFER a few of these seeds (say, 10) for free to anybody who wants to send me a SASE: Basil (Genovese 2010) Beans (Jackson Wonder Butterbean 2011) Broccoli (Bonanza 2011) Chard (Bright Lights 2010) Fennel (Florence 2011) Kale (Redbor Hybrid 2010) Squash (Acorn 2009 and I had really good germination with it, this year!) Squash (Georgia Candy Roaster 2011.. a terrific winter squash!) Tomato (Brandy Boy 2011) INTERESTED IN Seeds for Fall Anything (surprise me!)
Dozens of large ripe “Better Boy” tomatoes and lots of “burpless” cucumbers in Virginia Beach. life is good!
From the forecasts, TS Don will not bring much needed rain to Texas. SIGH.
I hope so. Even if TS Don hits the right area of S Texas, some of the runoff could get into Lake Travis, since the S Llano River runoff area starts near the border.
I've harvested lots of red, ripe tomatoes, by the way. Mine came in relly early. But now the plants, which still have a few pink-turning big tomztoes n them, are looking poorly, and there's very few blossoms and no new fruit-set.
I'm wondering if "wrecked" or exhausted tomatoes could be cut back at this point, resulting in renewed growth and increased production until the first killing frost. I'm thinking you could cut them back pretty far, leaving some foliage, esp. branches that are still looking good. Then apply a good dose of balanced fertilizer and water to renew growth and increase production.
Is that worth a try, especially on a sprawling indeterminate plant that still has a good root system?
Alternatively, could you bend down and re-root your better branches via layering?
I am open to any suggestions, and I suspect other gardeners have similar interests right about now.
Has anyone had any luck growing Okra in the Northeast? I’m here in (M)assachusetts.
Getting tons of green beans, summer squash, and my first red tomato. My acorn squash and butternut squash are going nuts!
I'm in Massachusetts too and don't have any red tomatoes yet, but more cukes than I know what to do with so I've been canning like crazy and will do more this weekend. My peppers are starting to look better, but are still in trouble.
Our garden is growing nicely, and we have noticed something we have never seen before. . . or at least something we never paid attention to before. Our potatoes have seed pods that look like little green tomatoes. I had to look it up on the computer to learn more. I’m sure this is a well known fact and we are the last to know, but we think it’s pretty neat!
What variety are your tomatoes? Some very early ones are determinants. They make, then they’re done. If they’re determinants I’m not sure anything other than rooting cuttings will fix it. Curious to see if anyone has any other advice.
Maybe it’s hot where you are? Mine have just now started making. With temps above 95 for several weeks it was a task just keeping them alive.
After a slow start, I am getting some big, beautiful tomatoes. My pink Brandywines are just lovely. I also have the regular, and they are my standby tomato plant.
Corn is so-so - has been too dry, and hopefully it will come through. For some reason my squash did not do well this year, but I have enough friends with gardens that I still have plenty.
After some rain (not enough but we'll take it) forecast looks hot and dry - sigh!
I’m up in Harrisburg and we grew okra this year. I wish I had planted more I love them pickled.
There are varieties of okra that are supposedly more tolerant of cooler temps. Can’t recall any specific names right off hand but IIRC Burpee and maybe Johnnys had some?
My squash are ‘large and in charge’ with all the heat units we’ve had this summer. Keeping them watered has been a task as RD232 seems to have gotten all my rain. If you’re in the heatwave part of the NE you may find female blooms aborting before and/or just after they set if temps are 100ish. Hopefully not though. With either of those. One of my compost volunteer squash (cross between musquee de provence and long of naples) is ripe. We’re going to pick it this weekend. It’s longer than a regular pumpkin but has turned very bright orange over the last week. Long of Naples are usually more dark green when picked.
The water lines are in to four points in the backyard...the vegetable garden raised beds, the rose garden and fire pit, the chicken coop area and the pond/waterfall area. Jack will finish filling in the trenches today.
The yellow cherry tomatoes are ripening and sweet. We have some blossom end rot on our Romas. Next year, we will do a better job with our vegetable garden...we may have to with the current economy and administration!
Our hopes of any moisture here in the Hill Country are rapidly evaporating this morning as we find Don speeding due west into deep south Texas ....
I guess that is our next best hope.....it’s a long shot, but nothing else seems to be on the horizon....
My acorn and other winter squash have not done well at all and my zukes have slowed down quite a bit. I have never had much luck with any type of squash. My pepper plants are doing well. My tomato plants are done for. I will be transplanting some more paste tomatoes either today or tomorrow they are all right around 15 inches high and really need to be planted in the garden.
I’ve bought pickled Okra in the grocery, but if you pickle them yourself, let me know how they turn out.
And it did. But now it seems shot, and we still have 80 days until the first expected frost!
My sister lives in Austin, and I have a niece that lives near Madrone, where the wild fires burned over 600 acres. She even is close enough to take pictures from her home. I pray for you Texans. We have been dry here in MD but when I hear this I am thankful that some of our grass is still green and our ponds are still full.
My vote is heat then? Are they in containers? I have some ananas noir that are taking over my trellising system. They are just now making fruit (nothing set due to heat). I water them every 2 weeks with algoflash water. Maybe they’re resting, hopefully not pining for the fjords. Or seaweed stuff. I think RD232 doses his with seaweed somethingorother. Maybe he’ll have an idea?
Tomato forensics is mysterious. To me anyways.
I have rooted suckers from mine though. With our heatwaves and general disease and insect problems it never hurts down here to have backup plans B, C, D and possibly E.
Were you closer I’d give you all the plants you desired. I’ve probably got 30 orphans of one variety or another on my driveway in drink cups waiting for homes. This means you too, RD232.
I’ve pretty much given up on the Spring garden. I’ll nurse my Bell and Thai peppers through the Fall. At least long enough to see if they revive and start producing peppers. Everything gets pulled up.
My seed trays have sprouted. This weekend I’ll put them in 4inch peat pots and pray for a break from this ghastly drought.
Virginia Sweets 80 days
Jetsetter hybrid 64 days
Katana hybrid 60 days
Biker Billy Jalapeno
Big Early Hybrid
Chinese Giant Hybrid
Shoya Long Eggplant
Waltham Butternut Squash
Assorted bunching onions and radishes
Hope the heat doesn’t kill em!
It’s been miserably hot here in Central Missouri this past week. Is also starting to get dry at my place.
The sweet corn is starting to fill out the ears and I’m trying hard to get enough water on it to make a good crop. The summer squash is dead, cucumbers not far behind, green beans suffering and the bugs have turned my brassicas to lace.
On the bright side, the tomatoes are flourishing. Picked close to five gallons of whopping big Purple Cherokee and Better Boy this week. The Brandywines are loaded and just starting to ripen. The Ambrosia cantelopes love the hot weather and are loaded with fruit. The late-planted okra is knee-high and starting to take off.
We’re getting a little break in the heat this weekend - highs are only supposed to reach the low 90°s. ugh...
So says superstitious that way BA. I've got some 'Maskotka' tomatoes to put in a couple of urns by my back door. And some paste tomatoes to set out as well.
My winter squash have done well for some reason.
We're growing 'Rumbo' (Jungs) and hubby calls them 'Rambo'. 4 vines, each in its own hill, have taken over my yard. At least 12 almost ripe pumpkins on them and they're still setting little ones. Also some Long of Naples, Seminole Pumpkin, Violina Gioia, Black Futsu and Argonaut. Along with 6 or so compost volunteers radiating out from my compost pile. Maybe your squash hate all the rain? We also spray with sevin (dilute) mixed with DE once a week to keep borers down. I've already lost 3 of 12 zukes to the little stinkers. Squash are the only things we spray with any pesticides. Otherwise, down here, we just wouldn't get any.
If only SVB's and fire ants were natural enemies! Although, I have a new respect for my mole problem. I'll tolerate the mole if he'll eat SVB grubs.
Two days of tremendous T storms have turned my grass from brown to green and soaked my poor flower beds so thoroughly that I’m planning to take the day off of work today and work in the garden to try to get some of the stubborn weeds OUT. And the temps have cooled down.
I haven’t been out to check the veggie garden yet, but I’ll do so right after breakfast. So far we’ve harvested only 3 small zucchini, 2 cherry tomatoes, herbs, and green onions. We’ll see what we have behind the fence. It’s been almost a week since I’ve been out there. I’m hoping for some GOOD surprises.
Then I will transplant today!
I gave away all my lovingly grown-from-seed "starter plants" many weeks ago.
One of my overgrown, harvested-out, played-out and tattered-looking plants developed an excellent sucker that started near the bottom of the main stem, so I cut away all the fading, yellowing, browning branches and kept the sucker, hoping to take advantage of a still-good, big developed root system. We'll see how that sucker does!
I do think I'll try rooting some cuttings as well. (Sigh.) Hope springs eternal!
When the kids were little, we grew enough okra to pickle and they’d eat them by the jar full. Literally by the jar so didn’t have any left for the freezer. Wierd afterschool snack but at least it wasn’t junk food, lol.
Today’s a good day to root cuttings. I had the best luck just putting the cuttings in a glass jar full of water. YMMV, of course. Definitely spray for the blight, that will tax the plants and they won’t do anything. We use copper. We got some from Jungs (big mongo sized container of it) to use this year. Last year we got a smallish container from the local ACE hardware store. Definitely try that too. Else blight will get them all. Which reminds me, hubby needs to spray with copper again tomorrow. It’s *time*.
I lost all my maters to blight last year. It got too bad before we realized it wasn’t just ‘too much water’ or ‘too much heat’. All 75 tomato plants, started from seed. Gone.
Encourage the joints to root. That makes the whole plant stronger and more resistant to disease and insects. You might keep the grass away as best you can. When you water (if you need to), water along the whole rooted vine. I had some giant squash vines last year that had SVB’s in them. The SVB infected part died, of course, but the rest of the rooted vine survived and produced just fine. The vines we allowed to root and grow along the ground out produced the trellised ones by a factor of about 2:1. This is only with vining things that will root along the vine. IIRC, cucumbers and melons don’t do this. We trellis those.
Your little pumpkin looks great! Give it time, allow it to root where it wants (I direct the unrooted tips where I want them to go) and when you fertilize (I use compost tea), sprinkle some along the vine also. You’ll get female blooms eventually. They’ll look like teeny little pumpkins with a flower on the end.
San Saba, a couple hours NW of Austin, had another grass fire a few days ago. Between the firefighters on the ground and the water dumper planes, I think all the houses were saved.
Also this week, some people just outside Austin donated their father’s estate to help victims of the fires there.
It’s the dry pastures that’s the problem. One lit cigarette thrown out a car window or a spark from a train is all that is needed to set off a fire. The cattle tanks are dry so ranchers are selling off their stock. Beef prices will be dropping so get ready to stock up the freezer soon.
Paste Tomato Plants I will transplant today and a few Jalapenos, green Bell peppers, Red pimentos and a zuke I picked this morning.
You NEED to see this. Some say the way he speaks or his mannerisms may drive you a bit nuts (didn't bother me, so I don't get it), but you have to stick with him until the 3-minute mark or so...trust me.
Holy cow!!! Has anyone else ever seen this guy's videos before? This was posted in 2009, and he has over 470 other videos posted on his YouTube channel. I have watched a few, and they are packed with loads of interesting information for the raised bed/high-impact gardening crowd. Gardening tips and ideas galore...
Amazing. This is what everyone's front yard should look like. :-)
Tomatoes have finally been ripening for me. And the cucumbers continue to slow down, but are still producing fairly well. Here is the harvest for this week, minus a few tomatoes that have already been sacrificed to our meals. And about a half dozen tangerine beefsteak tomatoes that are in the freezer.
And my first attempt at barrel pickles.
Isn’t the ‘ping’ list getting up toward 500?
The barrel pickles look amazing.... like something you would see in a magazine. May I be so bold as to ask where you got the glass container? I’ve never seen one made of glass and have only seen the crocks.
Thanks Red_Devil 232.
I just did that to several of mine. Im in the south and the intense sun and heat about did them in but the ones (I have them in buried pots because of all sand) that I moved to where they get half shade during the day are doing great. I cut them way back. They are growing new foliage and one even has new flowers. Looks like its going to work for me.
Gorgeous bells. I’m envious. You had more cooler/cloudy days during the heat wave than we did apparently. My tomatoes, however, are all ecstatically happy plantwise. Just no tomato set during hot spell. I think the combo of heat and excessive rain made yours unhappy. Seems like your locale is always getting rain, every time I load the radar.
Your mater plants are about the size of mine. IIRC we started them around the same time.
Thanks for the video it is interesting, you know. He has some very big, you know, and deep raised beds.
I also bought a cheap poly cutting board with the intent to cut it down to fit in the jar to weigh down the pickles, but for this run, I just used a gallon ziplock bag full of water.
The ping list is at 477 as of this post.
You are a doll for letting me know! Thanks!!
Can you give us more info on your Barrel pickles? They sure look like they will be very tasty. Ingredients?
One of his other videos state that the depth of his raised beds ranges from 12 to 33 inches deep. That is because his land slopes down to the street, and he wanted to keep the beds level...
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