Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread – 2011 (Vol. 36) September 16
Posted on 09/16/2011 5:18:08 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232
Good morning gardeners. It has been another beautiful week here in East Central Mississippi we have had moderate daytime temperatures with cool nights. Perfect weather to get out and do some garden and yard clean up. My Fig trees have finished producing and it is time to winterize them with a thick layer of straw. All my of the pears have been picked and either canned or eaten. My vegetable garden is basically through producing except for a few Jalapenos that are still hanging on and still producing large peppers. My Beer brewing experiment is still progressing nicely with 6 gallons of a Canadian Blonde still aging in bottles and I have a six-gallon batch of Irish Stout fermenting and almost ready for bottling.
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.
I live in Michigan (Magslinger points with his right index finger to a point on the back of his left hand midway between the lowest knuckle of his middle finger and wrist.) In a couple of weeks we will be moving to new digs in the same area. The bright side is that for the first time in my life I will have enough room to make a decent sized garden. I am very much looking forward to that.
I have identified some potential problems with our new place. The location is near three large city parks, two cemeteries and two golf courses. It is infested with deer, has hot and cold running woodchucks and yet is within city limits. If it werent for the last, I could very easily reduce the other two problems with some 12 ga. slugs and a brick or two of .22LR. As it stands I am going to need some advice on what may work to keep uninvited pests out of the garden. I would appreciate any advice on how to keep chucks from burrowing under out buildings and porches as well.
I have been so sick for the last two weeks that I haven’t been able to tend the garden...Now I have a yard full of WEEDS! EEK! Such work ahead for me.
Last weekend, I finally finished the roof on the poultry complex. I plan to get the floor joists, insulation and flooring down and painted this weekend. The walls will have to wait. I have other fish to fry first.
The weather turned decidedly cooler last night and it was 50 this morning with a brisk breeze. Autumn is definitely in the air!
Since I have such a small plot, I will be growing tomatos in pretty well the same place next year. Can anyone tell me what I may need to do to the soil to freshen it up for next year. Crop rotation is not an option here. I am sure that I should re-plenish nutriants in the soil, but don't know just what I need.
Today is my FReeper Birthday! 7 years and counting
Feels like October here in Central Missouri. I managed to get a small patch tilled up in the garden and planted some green salad. It’s up and loving the cool conditions. Peppers, eggplant and okra are going nuts. Tomatoes are beginning to wither but are still blooming and setting new fruit. The peach trees that I grew from seed are waist high and look fantastic. Still haven’t seen anything popping up where I inoculated with mushroom spawn in the spring. Time will tell...
We had a frost here a couple days ago and all my pumpkin vines died. What can I do to keep the pumpkins “fresh” till Halloween. I would like to carve them, and use the seeds and pulp for recipes. It just seems too early to save them for that. Any suggestions?
Deer pretty much do what they want unless you build a very high fence they cannot jump over. A fence will also keep rabbits and ground hogs out.
We had ground hogs burrowing under our front porch (concrete slab). We tried moth crystals blown down the holes and fox urine (no effect), loud music piped down the hole, filling the holes with crushed stone and concrete (they just dug a new entrance holes), .22 use (got a couple) and have a heart traps (we let them go miles from here, but new ones always took their place).
This went on for years. Once in a while a skunk would decide to invade the burrow and we were treated to that wonderful smell in our basement.
If you want them removed professionally, it will cost you about $250 a pop.
Look into a con-a-bear trap if you want lasting results. Obviously, you have to keep household pets, children, etc. away from it. Then fill all the holes with crushed stone and concrete. Wash, rinse, repeat as needed.
Good morning. Weird change of weather here in eastern coastal Virginia. It reached 91 yesterday afternoon, but dropped to 51 overnight. Daytime high for the next couple of days not to exceed mid 60s, with lots of rain forecast, although the sun is shining brightly this morning.
The garden is just about done, but I do have plenty of butternut squash left to pick.
Otherwise, they'll keep well anywhere in your house.
Tomatoes are declining but it looks as if we’ll have 50 or 60 green peppers for stuffing in a few days. Lake of the Ozarks keeps things milder than nearly.
Tarps out tonight...mid-30’s in Red Hampshire is forecast...
Not sure you can still buy carbon tet, but I suspect that the seed fumigant like phosphene gas pellets that will do the same job.
We don't have them here in New Mexico, but I was wondering if burying heavy wire mesh around foundations and such would work?
We have deer, coyotes, jack rabbits, raccoons, etc. Everything stays clear of the garden because of our chronic fatigued hound dog, except ground squirrels which we trap and shoot. Trap and release doesn't work because animals will travel miles to get back to their home territory.
Hey! It’s a Friday and I’m HOME! I’ll read through all the posts later today. Dr. Appt. this am for another x-ray on my foot to see how I’m progressing. Maybe I can go back to work part time? I’m getting a little squirrely here at home, LOL!
Mom harvested all she could from the garden yesterday - mainly cherry tomatoes. Beans are done, so are the zukes & cukes. Some green tomatoes remain, but with our cool nights, it’s not looking good for ripening. Fried Green Tomatoes or Green Tomato Pie are on the menu for next week!
Fried Green Tomatoes:
Green Tomato Pie:
Fall lettuces, beets and spinach are coming along just fine; we’re to have rain this weekend, so that’ll help some.
I pulled up all the dead plants last weekend and will be tilling my garden this weekend for my fall crops. Our back lawn made it through the hot and dry summer. Not so good for the front lawn. I am thinking about buffalo grass to replace the carpet grass. I just hope our trees don’t die from the drought.
“Not sure what the modern wood chuck control method is, but the old timers eradicated the prairie dogs with corn cobs soaked in high life (carbon tetrachloride). They dropped the soaked corn cob in the hole and tamped dirt on top.”
Raccoons got into our garage and ate the granulated cricket
bait. The whole family died. I don’t take any delight in telling you that, but they had been doing a lot of damage.
Those “flairs” you light and stick down the hole work well,
be really careful to follow the directions! I lit one in the garage, and then walked to the front yard to plant it..not smart!
Hope that foot is getting better!
Did you get the hard freeze over there in WI that we had here in northern MN the last two nights? I got down to 27 here Wed. and 30 last night.
We tarped the tomatoes, watermelons and cantaloupes and are heading out to uncover them after we finish brekkie... hope they did ok!
Still waiting for the brussel sprouts to start fruiting. Everything else is doing well, even with this early Fall weather.
Judy is already charting next Springs garden... I think she got addicted to this stuff! LOL!
My father and his neighbor had raccoon problems, but they trapped 26 with live traps. They shot them as they caught them and dumped them along an old railroad siding. Nothing would eat them, not even the coyotes. Left a pretty big pile of raccoon bones.
They had made a real mess last year they were all over his roof at night, they were eating the persimmons of the tree outside his bedroom window. Such a waste of good fruit.
You can be fairly successful with a whole lot of commitment to your fencing.
To aggressively head off groundhogs you’ll need to have a fence(of course)both above and below ground.
Here is what we do around here:
four foot tall open wire “lawn fencing” (green coated as it blends in better)around the entire garden, with a gate. Along the bottom you make a trench at least six inches ( but eight is better) deep and stick chicken wire down the trench, then attach the top edge of the chicken wire to your “yard fencing”. Backfill trench.
There is another way to do that which requires removing the sod from the yard fence “out” to about a foot away from the fence, and at least three inches deep. You lay the chicken wire down where the sod was lifted, working back to the yard fencing, and bend it up to fit against the fence. I use zip wires to secure. Then you replace the sod.
Once you do all of that, you think about the deer. We have gotten the six foot bamboo “stakes” from lowes, and secure them them halfway up the yard fence at regular intervals, again using zip ties. That gets us about eight feet up. Then we go round the contraption with black wildlife netting-zip ties to secure.
The deer will sometimes jump it anyway, but very rarely. During our short growing season they don’t want to take the risk and would rather eat from their natural menu.
We still have trouble with rabbits - I didn’t get that section of the fence addressed in time. But there is always next year.
Anyway, it doesn’t look an eyesore though you might expect from my description. The green coated fence blends in and the black wildlife netting is barely noticeable.
Have you ever tried stuffing them, then freezing for later use? Mrs. Augie just chops em up and freezes em that way.
Seems like stuffing then freezing would work.
Fall garden looks good, rain is still sparse but have watered it a few times to get a jump. Got lots of volunteers from my seed saving adventures. Getting some nice melons out of the patch.
Pics! (click on the pic for a bigger version)
This is a wild prairie aster I saw growing in pasture. A rare sight around here. Not a big flower guy but I like the wild ones.
Al Baby watermelon. Planted the last of the seed and can't get it anymore. Stepped on the first melon but now have another chance to save seed.
Half ripe Rugosa Butternut squash. Best squash I've ever ate.
Sweet Dumpling squash. First year I've planted it.
Garden burnet. Tastes pretty close to cucumber.
One of only a couple of sage plants that came up.
Litchi tomato. Cousin of the tomato. About an inch in diamter, has more of a cherry-like flavor.
Jerusalem artichokes in bloom. Flowers smell like malted milk balls. Bees love 'em.
Cinnamon basil in flower. Going to save the seeds for sprouting.
Cowpeas that desperately need weeded.
Some volunteer Red Russian Kale from seed saving.
Nice stand of winter radishes in the fall garden.
Jenny Lind muskmelon, or as I call it 'liquid sugar'. Unbelievably sweet but not much bigger than the palm of your hand.
Got a shot of honeybees swarming the goldenrod and boneset at the bottom of the garden. There were thousands all thru the pasture.
Being stupid, we started putting out snacks for an invading raccoon (he was so cute!). Our wonderful, placcid neighbor went berserk when he found out what we were doing. The raccoons had been on his roof tearing off tiles to get into his attic. Fortunately, for us, our friendly raccoon got run over in the road..... I hope you are getting rain? We are. First, good rains since last October. Mountain lion tracks in the dry creek bed.
Since last October we have had 2 measurable rains. Last October we had a 1” rain and about a month ago we had between 1.5-1.9” rain. That is all we have had for almost a year. Our average annual rainfall is about 25” per year. So we are at about 10% of our normal rainfall.
This is the worst drought seen by any living human in Texas. It may have had a comparable in 1895, but counties do not have good records that far back. There are state rainfall records back to 1895, but I am not sure where they measured those. (Texas is a big state, hee hee hee)
I put out a lot of fruit trees; blackberry, blueberry and strawberry plants this year. It has been a constant struggle to water enough to keep them alive. I lost 9 of the 29 fruit trees that I planted to the extreme heat, dry wind and sun exposure. I have a large garden too, had to water that every other day during hottest of the summer. But most of the plants are doing well. Only one of the blueberry plants is still alive, but they are really not suited for this area.
I am still getting a lot of okra, squash, cucumbers and some black-eyed peas. I think this cooler weather is going to allow my tomatoes and jalapeno peppers to finally set fruit.
Check the fur-trapping laws in your state.
The moving and storage guys are here packing us up for our trip to Chaos for the next 2 weeks while we have our hardwood floors refinished. This is not fun for folks our age.
Our garden is still producing Corn, salad cucumbers, potatoes and a few Blueberries. We are going to have 8 pumpkins for pulp for pies plus a Jack 0 Lantern or two. The variety is Cinderella and two of them are extra large this year. We will start shredding flowers and corn stalks soon if I can get the shredder started as I sprained my right wrist.
FR is giving me fits with upload speeds...
Oregon here....cooling down after a brief summer....MY question....I got ONE spaghetti squash, ONE green pepper, ONE scallop squash, ONE butternut squash....and ONE ancho pepper....lots of tomatoes, some zucchini....IS it that the bees don’t like to pollinate these things?
The gardener’s enemy, FROST!!!! The last 2 nights Mom and I have been spreading sheets over the garden in the hope that it will survive until it warms up in a day or two.
I also took a cutting from each variety of tomato and planted them inside. This way I can take cuttings from the indoor plants in the spring and use them to plant my garden with. I seem to have lousy luck with seeds lately, but cuttings do well.
I also picked the one zucchini I’d let go to seed. The shell is nice and hard, but I’m letting it cure for a bit. This variety is supposed to make a good winter squash if allowed to ripen. We’ll see.
My raspberries are still producing, and my strawberries are still covered in blossoms. I think I want to take some of both to my land when I move!
I’m making progress on my house designs, figuring out where all the screws and bolts are going. It’s going to be a microhouse, but I made it so it can be easily expanded when I get the permits for a bigger one.
The bad news is, I’m on an unpaid leave of absence from work. My job requires talking on the phone all day, and I lost my voice 2 weeks ago and haven’t gotten it back. I have some savings as a buffer, but I really need my voice back soon! My supervisor keeps trying to find something I could do that wouldn’t require talking, but there’s isn’t much of that right now.
Great photos BV! I forgot to mention that my blight stricken Siberian tomato is fighting back and 4 small ones are turning color so there is Hope and Change but it’s confined to my garden...
The main danger is blight. Make sure you clean out every trace of the old plants so that nothing can overwinter and infect your plants next year.
Other than that, some calcium and manure ought to do it.
They will dig pretty deep. We considered getting some lengths of rebar (2-3 feet) or something similar and pounding them in around the foundation at 4” intervals, but that seemed like a huge amount of work and not guaranteed to work. Groundhogs are pretty strong and would probably find a way to move the spikes or even dig under them.
The problem we had was that there were litters of them born beneath our porch that were imprinted with the “smell of home”, so as soon as we dealt with one, we’d get a sibling taking over. You got to deal with all the generations that think your home is theirs. That can take a while, but in two years we haven’t had trouble.
BTW, we are in a housing development - not rural - so you can have problems anywhere.
Most varieties of peppers are self pollinating just like tomatoes. You can help them along by giving the stem the flower is on a flick with your finger or a genital tapping with a small stick. If you don’t think your squash are being pollinated by bees or other insects you can hand pollinate by using a small artists brush. Gather pollen from the male flower with the brush and brush it on the female flower. Bees were constantly visiting my squash plants in the early morning hrs.
Hey goodnesswins....a fellow Oregonian... I know what you mean about, brief, short, stunted summer. I have been getting some tomatoes and cukes. My spinach just doesn’t seem to do well. I usually plant in Spring so I’ve planted some in Aug. and they are coming along...I’ll see.
Last gardening thread, I was asking about a white bug (new to my garden) that was on our new grape plants. I did a little research and think they must have been Leafhoppers. But, none were exactly like mine. My research said to spray with Sevin, did it and they were gone! Got to check again today to see if it they are truly gone.
I also have a plant that I’m not sure what it is. I let it grow and then pulled most out (convinced it was Baneberry.) Left a few to see what the bloom was and the fruit/berry. Looked today and the berry is small, round, shiny black. The leaves are heart shaped with rounded scallops on part of the edge. Any suggestions...I’m going to do some research (still think it might be a variety of Baneberry or....?)
I have Amaryllis in abundance. Anybody locally want any? They are not a new fancy type. Orange and white bloom but they sure bloomed like crazy.
I’ve frozen uncut green peppers in plastic bags and used them for chili a few months later. Usually, I stuff them first and then freeze em.
May I suggest a Mathews Solocam with carbon arrows and fixed broadheads??? Bow is silent and deer are tasty. I can help.
If you have any questions or concerns on how to go about getting a reliable test done, let me know. We are forever testing fields and I've learned a lot.
After I got the results for my garden last fall, I discovered that I couldn't go to our farm chemical dealer because they only handle things in tons. So I took my test results with me to Lowes and spent almost 2 hours in the fert section with a calculator, gathering bags of different things.
When it was all said and done, I was delighted with how the plants did and our crop consultant/entomologist got tickled at how I came about getting the right amount of everything.
Thanks. We get the blight too but by now you’re almost glad for it because you’re drowning in tomatoes by the time it starts seriously affecting the plant.
Siberians are good tomatoes.
A couple of years ago I grew 4 acres of pumpkins ... what a nightmare, there were thousands of them!! Somebody that was buying a few told me about washing the outside of the pumpkin with a bleach solution to keep them for a long time, but I never looked into it further.
Sorry to be late checking in. It’s been a provoking day. Had to have the plumber out to redo work he did on Tuesday.
On the garden front, I harvest 3/4 bushel of red, plump, beautiful tomatoes last night and I still have a lot on the vines. I need to get them in before the frost gets them. It’s been dipping to 34 at night all week.
It’s my birthday today. We have a custome here that on our birthdays we each bring a treat to the cafeteria at work and spread it out on the table for all of the employees to take, as they please. So, today I brought in a humongous box of tomatoes for my co-workers and a supply of brown lunch sacks for them to take home whatever they want. I haven’t been back there yet, but I understand that most of them are gone.
A fence for the deer. Mine is reinforced around the bottom with rabbit fencing to keep them out,as well. Woodchuck? I have no idea, as I have those too. If they can burrow under buildings (and their burrows are in all 3 of my barns) I don’t see what good it does to bury your fence wire under the ground. But, the woodchucks have never bothered my veggie garden.
What they have bothered are any planters that I have filled with annuals and perennials at the beginning of the season, if they are placed far away from the house. I’ve given up on having a large pot of flowers at the entrance to the drive, for instance. Those cruel woodchucks just uproot all the little flowers I plant and throw them on the ground to wither and die. They will destroy a container of freshly planted petunias, marigolds, or impatiens the first night that it is out.
I have a neighbor who is a real farmer (her family has farmed here on the same land more than 100 years), and she has an unfenced veggie garden every year in her front yard. I happened to see her the other day and asked how she keeps the deer away. She laughed and said that they destroy her garden every year — eat everything except what grows under ground. I don’t know why she doesn’t get her hubby to put a fence around it.
Groundhog, the other-other white meat! I found a few recipes:
When I lived there and would go "home" to CA, the captain on the airliner would annouce, as we flew over El Paso, "OK folks, we have just passed the half way mark between Houston and Los Angeles."
Do we put in the manure and calcium now, or wait until spring? (after the tomato plants are cleared out.)
Where are you going while they refinish your floors? Moving in with your kids? Taking along vacay? Hitching along the California Coast?
Yay! I finally spelled stefanbatory's screen name right!
I used to have a whole book of these. I don't know whatever happened to it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.