Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread – 2011 (Vol. 35) September 9
Posted on 09/09/2011 5:02:47 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232
Good morning gardeners. It has been beautiful weather here in East Central Mississippi. We received about 3 inches of rain out of TS Lee on Monday and the daytime highs have been in the mid to high 80s with overnight lows in the 50s. It is 50 right now. This is quite cool for this time of year for us. My garden is basically done for the year. I bottled my first batch of beer yesterday, 30 quarts. Now it is wait for two weeks and maybe up to a couple of months, while it conditions, until it is ready to drink.
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
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Good Morning RD!
Still have plans for a fall/winter garden once I heal from hip replacement.
I’m dreaming of multi variety lettuce crop with winter onions, radishes and a few surprises. Any suggestions for a zone 9 Florida November/December garden?
Hope you are well!
Dreary looking morning here in coastal VA.
Maybe you could try ferns.
As I just posted a few minutes ago on the Canteen thread - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2775671/posts?page=81#81 -
“I have a calendar I use to note the amount of rain we have and we have had just over 6” since January 1st of this year.”
This is the worst drought Texas has ever had. Garden is gone for this year, and I hope to be able to have a few fall veggies.
Is there some way you can "patch" the small stem-wound and knicks so they worn't start to get soft at those spots?
Otherwise, I'll have to process them. I'm thinking to just cook and then freeze them in chunked or mashed form, or shred them raw and freeze. Any recommendations?
Fall "crops" of turnips, beets and broccoli seem to be coming along fine. After a terribly hot and dry summer, the weather has turned much cooler: in the 50's at night, and the mid-70's during the day.
I'm in USDA Zone 6B, the "limestone/dolomite valleys and rounded hills" section of Southern Appalachia. It's a good place to garden.
Well, if this coming winter is anything like the previous, have an easy to set up covering made for your garden to protect against frost. A tunnel made from woven wire that you can easily throw a blanket over in the evening is one idea...
You also may wish to utilize a square foot garden due to the poor, pest-infested FL soil. Another option is a global bucket system. You can look both of those up to get the details.
I moved up to WI this past June, so I won’t be planting any Nov/Dec garden...lol
Great ideas. I have some chicken wire mesh for a handy tunnel. The bugs are always a battle. I couldn’t solarize this year so I know there are some doozies out there. I’ll keep the sprayer handy.
WI is a beautiful state but no, a Nov/Dec garden won’t be a good idea unless you like ice gardens ;D! Thanks!
I pray for rain for you folks, too. There have been summers in Pa., that the only way we got over a dorught was for a hurricane to pass over. I hope you get steady rains, not the deluge kind.
We were having a bit of a drought last month in Pa., that for sure isn’t the case right now. They drier weather was good for the tomatoes...but weeks of the rain makes them soggy, I’ve picked most of them. Had some very nice varieties this year, bought from local schools. I’ve put up what I can, I don’t knw if I’ll have a big enough batch for canning. I tired to make fried green tomatoes a couple weeks ago...mine were terribkle. I’ll try again. I’ve had them one time in the South and they were out of ths world. I’m just not that good at fry cooking.
My garden is cranking out the produce like nobody’s business right now. HOWEVER - I broke my right foot 10 days ago so family and friends are enjoying the bounty more than ever. You pick it, you can have it, LOL!
Did get some tomatoes sauced (with Mom’s help) and I was able to lean on the counter and chop up a bunch more to freeze...I’ll deal with them later. Chopping and freezing peppers & zucchini is on the docket for today. Small steps...small steps!
The weather has been gorgeous, and I’m able to drag myself via my walker out to the picnic table to get SOME fresh air & sunshine, and this week Mr. Wonderful carried me out to the garden and sat me down there so I could talk to him while he harvested tomatoes for me...
Can’t complain too much - but I still will, LOL! A little less than 5 weeks to go! I may be able to go back to work part time after this upcoming week. Grrrr!
Okra, peppers and eggplant are finally starting to produce. Tomatoes are still doing well. Planted some fall greens over the last few days.
There were only four of the baby rabbits in the nest yesterday evening. Hopefully momma rabbit will move the others before the barn cats find them.
I got an email from my cousin in Abilene, and they have had less than an inch since January and just under two inches since Sep 2010. Forecasts are expecting this drought to continue well into next year. We are getting to the point of running out of water in parts of Texas.
I am actually praying for a hurricane or tropical storm. I never thought I’d get tired of the clear blue skies, but this heat is getting old. We’ve only had a few drops of rain since May.
Last weekend, with Barb weilding the whip, we were able to finish the landscaping around the duck pond. That required eight or nine wheelbarrow loads of dirt moved to form the base for the perimeter pavers, placing the pavers and rolling some very large boulders into place around the waterfall. It looks good.
I also put in permanent bird ramps at the chicken and duck pens as well as fixing the bird and duck gates with proper latches. Now, I just have to finish the coop addition behind the duck dorm and paint it and put on the trim all around.
The tomatoes continue to produce as well as some small egg plant. Barb has added drip systems, but the drought earier has taken its toll. Next year!
Our five new Maran chicks are growing like weeds. They are already developing wing and tail feathers! They seem to have interesting personalities.
Have you considered trumpet vine? It’s really tough, grows in any soil, and it’s a fast grower. It will do fine with sun and shade.
Wisteria is a perenial but the main stems lose their leaves. The lower bare stems are not real attractive as a specimen plant.
The trumpet vine quickly sends up volunteers which keeps the lower parts of the vine look bushy and green. Gorgeous in a place it is not overly invasive.
There is the common orange color, but there are red ones available as well.
Wow hope you heal quickly! How did you manage to break your foot?
Do you EVER stop whining, woman?
You know I’m funnin’ with ya! Glad to know you’ve got so much help.
Good morning, gardeners - we finally have had some warm weather here in the southern reaches of Puget Sound and the tomatoes are loving it.
My wonderful wife is having hip replacement surgery Monday morning in nearby Olympia - she has been freezing green beans and tomato sauce this week trying to get ahead of things around here.
Our beets, peas, kohlrabi, asparagus and strawberries did pretty well this year - still holding out for the brussels sprouts, though.
You do have quite a variety of veggies. Some I have never seen. Is that Old Time Tennessee melon like a cantaloupe?
Yeah, similar to the heavily ribbed types they often bring up here from southern Illinois or Missouri. I’ve had good luck with it. Sweet, productive, reliable.
We are finally getting a few tomatoes and peppers to harvest here in NE Missouri. There are still many more green tomatoes, my Romas are loaded, but very green. It’s been in the upper 60s/low 70s for the highs this week, so not warm enough. It should warm up again this weekend. I hope so!
I got enough green beans and gold potatoes to make beans and taters to go with dinner last night. We had BLTs, with garden tomatoes. It was wonderful to put home grown food on the table. I sure hope I get to can my Romas. Not enough Blue Lake plants this year, unfortunately. I have never grown enough beans to put up. :(
Our Brussels sprouts look like they are trying to make little sprouts, finally! And the broccoli is attempting to make heads as well. Here’s hoping. Next year I will not be planting an heirloom broccoli, I need something more reliable.
Does anybody have favorite broccoli/Brussels/cauliflower/cabbage cultivars?
Sadly; it doesn’t appear that Nate will be stopping by...the East Coast better keep an eye on Maria...
Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage is my favorite. Cone heads, not too big, very sweet. Have had good luck with Green Goliath broccoli and White Vienna kohlrabi.
Forgot where I got the seed, Baker Creek and Southern Exposure sell it though.
OMG. How’d you break your foot?
I’ve got lots of tomatoes and a few small watermelons yet to harvest. Lots of herbs still out there, but I’m just about ready to tear everything out for the winter. A couple more weeks.
My squash weren’t too successful this year. Ad the cucumbers were a bust.
Wow, I hope your foot heals soon! If you need to you can borrow my old wheelchair, I’m not using it anymore.
Our tomatoes are so stunted we’ve only gotten 2 cherry tomatoes so far out of the 10 tomatoes I planted, I’d be glad to come over and help pick some of yours this weekend.
Texas has been a great place for businesses, but we are close to having water shortages. We were hoping for Nate to hit us, but none of the projected tracks look good for now.
“My zucchini has had many flowers, but no fruit...I have two baby yellow bell peppers, lots of flowers on the green pepper with no fruit.”
Do you have bees visiting your zucchini? Zucchini are insect-pollinated, since they have separate male and female flowers. If you don’t have bees, you can hand pollinate them by clipping a male flower, carefully pulling away the petals to leave the stamen exposed, and then “painting” the pollen inside the female flowers. You need to do this early in the morning while the flowers are open.
With the peppers the problem could be temperature, since some peppers don’t set as well when it’s really hot. Also, have the winds been calm? Peppers and tomatoes are self-pollinating, but need a little wind to shake the pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part. If the wind is not doing the trick, you can try hand-pollinating your peppers by vibrating the flowers with an electric toothbrush or electric shaver.
There are lots of videos on YouTube showing how to hand pollinate - just search for squash pollination or pepper pollination. Good luck!
Earlier this week I sprinkled bone meal throughout my garden, hopefully that will help balance out the nutrients. My watermelons are starting to turn golden so they should be ready to pick soon. (They’re Golden Midget melons)
I picked 2 pints of raspberries yesterday and froze half so they wouldn’t spoil before I could do something with them. I also picked a few green beans but those are going to seed now, I couldn’t get out and pick for a few days and most of the pods are too mature for green beans, so I’m just letting them ripen. My zucchinis seem to be recovering from whatever it was that hit them, there are baby zucchinis all over the vines now. There was one that was hidden until it got too big, so I’m letting that ripen for seed. It’s hanging on the trellis with one end touching the ground, and if i sit next to it it’s almost as tall as me!
My cucumbers did something weird just a day or two before i spread the bone meal. The leaves that were on the trellis all died, all at the same time, but the vines themselves are still alive. The vines are starting to sprout new leaves, and i picked all the developing cukes I could find so the vines will focus on regrowing, but I can’t figure out why all the leaves would die at once like that. They weren’t even wilting and then suddenly they died. And it happened before the cold snap recently, so I don’t think it was temperature related.
I’ve borrowed some books on grafting from the library. This summer I’ve found black cherries, crabapples, and grapes growing wild on my land, and I want to try grafting some sweeter varieties onto them next spring. It’s going to be a long winter with all the dreams I can’t wait to start on next spring.
I received some Datil pepper seed in the mail the other day, 25 to be exact. Decided to try germinating 5 of them and save the rest for next spring. I put them in soil then placed them in the oven with the light on overnight then outside during the day while it was warm and sunny. I now have 2 sprouts to coddle over the winter with perhaps a couple more on the way. They germinated much faster than I thought they would.
Getting lots of zucchini and yellow squash. Some banana peppers and jalapenos. So far the tomatoes have lots of flowers, but not a single tomato so far. About time to dig up potatoes. It got down as low as 33F this week.
I’d go ahead and cook the damaged butternuts/acorns. Once they’ve lost their structural integrity you have to assume that microbes are present. I wash mine, cut them open & scoop out seeds/stringy stuff (set that aside) and put them face down in a big glass baking dish with 1/2” of water. Tent the whole thing with foil and bake them. Scoop them out into those little square freezer containers (bespak?) and freeze. The rest should store fine. I usually cook mine along, I don’t have room to store all the cooked squashes we have this year in my freezer. JADB does more ‘adventurous’ stuff with her squashes so I’m sure she has more ideas. I’m limited in ideas by picky kid appetites.
Now, put the seedy portion in a seive and pick out the seeds. Rinse them really thoroughly and put them on a paper towel to dry. Really dry. Store them in a glass jar in a cool dark spot for next year. If this was the only variety of c. moschata you grew (butternuts and acorns don’t cross with each other w/o some effort, if at all) they should come true. Not sure about the acorns though. They might cross with something a neighbor grew (but it will still be squash) And, besides, even *if* they did cross they’ll still grow out to be winter squash. (not sure about the acorns) I’m not the only one on this board that grows ‘squashkins’ that are mysteries. I had a whole compost pile (and they ran into my yard wholesale!) full of ‘mystery squashkins’ this year. We’ve harvested nearly 400lbs of them so far. All sizes, all shapes. All great tasting winter squash. As my dad says ‘it’ll all eat’. He grew up poor and country. If things get really bad you’ll have a nice little cache of seeds you can share with neighbors and fellow church members next spring. They don’t take up much room and hungry people won’t care if they’re a perfect replica of butternut or not. We usually try to keep a stash of winter squash, sweet pepper, hot pepper and tomato seeds that might be best described as ‘mysterious but tasty!’. Just in case. You can always throw them out when you get next years crop.
I have earned the right to whine!
This is the first time I’ve been confined to quarters since that ‘misunderstanding’ with The General back when I was in the Army, LOL!
Ok, those melons are gorgeous, we’ll have to try some of those at my house next summer. Do the fire ants love your sorghum like they loooooove mine? I can’t get close to mine w/o getting an ant or two. Fire ants should have been denied entry to the ark IMHO. ! Squash vine borers too.
‘Life’ broke my foot! It was a stress fracture that had been building and finally fractured. No bone chips; just a clean break, so no surgery - just rest. Grrrr! I’ve been on the fly at work since February because we were short-handed, so my body is finally saying, “ENOUGH, ALREADY!”
I take heart in the fact that it’s the 5th metatarsal of the right foot; the exact same break that Ballerinas get, LOL!
See Post #39 for the gory details... :)
I’m going back in for another x-ray on the 14th, then we’ll see if she’ll release me to work at least part time. I can’t AFFORD to not work. Grrrr!
Everything in our garden is late this year but at least it’s still producing. Berries were excellent, fruit on trees is maturing and about ready to harvest and share plus tomatoes are beginning to ripen...some are ready to preserve.
However, while waiting for the veggies to grow up, I had time for silliness in one flower bed. Here’s a link you might enjoy. (Check the phone # doodled in the eighth picture.)
Thank goodness we don’t have fire ants this far north in Iowa. I remember going down to Alabama to relatives in the ‘70s and getting stung by them. Felt like someone shot hot pepper sauce under my skin.
The squash bugs on the other hand have done their fair share this year.
I’m curious as to what you think of the Golden Midgets. I have some Al Baby watermelons, planted the last of my seed and was going to save it because nobody sells it anymore - and I stepped on the only melon they produced this year. So I’m looking at the Golden Midget to replace it.
Thanks! For such a crappy year the garden didn’t do bad.
There are some current produce/garden/food pictures at this link...
We’re working on finding something for me to do. I really do need to be 100% mobile to do my job, but being in a wheelchair will help to some extent. I can park myself in the Chemical Aisle and expose myself to all sorts of toxins until I’m better, LOL!
I hope this means that it is a Worker’s Comp injury. That won’t help with missed wages, but it should take care of the medical.
I asked the other day about what to do about my squash bug. I’m about to rip out my squash, but should I tread the bed and the soil with anything for next year?