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Weekly Gardening Thread 2011 (Vol. 37) September 23
Free Republic | 9-23-2011 | Red_Devil 232

Posted on 09/23/2011 7:28:24 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232

Good morning gardeners. I am getting a late start posting the thread this morning. Cleaned up my garden plot and will be tilling in some of my compost and wheat straw when the soil dries out a little more. I put a bail of straw around the base of my Fig trees in the hopes the straw will help them through the winter.

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 did well this year.


TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: garden; gardening; recipes; weekly
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Weekly Gardening Thread

gardeningtools_Full-1.jpg picture by wjb123


1 posted on 09/23/2011 7:28:26 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; billhilly; Alkhin; ...
Ping to the Weekly Gardening Ping List.

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.

2 posted on 09/23/2011 7:29:56 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Anyone have any experience with the “Lead Tree”?
(leucaena leucocephala)

It’s a legume nitrogen fixer that makes for good forage material.

Just wondering if anyone here has some growing about.


3 posted on 09/23/2011 7:34:59 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Irene took my garden out. Just as the corn was starting to mature. I have a few tomatoes still producing, but my pole beans didn’t produce much. I’ll leave them in till Spring. From what I understand they release nitrogen back into the soil only after the plant dies.

Two poor years in a row for my garden. Last summer had too much rain at all the wrong times, then this year the tropical storm whipped my plants to pieces.


4 posted on 09/23/2011 7:39:16 AM PDT by Betis70 (Bruins!)
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To: Red_Devil 232

We still are deep into the harvest phase of gardening here in teh PNW. Tomatoes and corn are going strong, pears and peaches and late raspberries are ripening nicely.

Garden cleanup in the flowerbeds will begin soon. I do have one bed that won’t be a problem. It’s my own form of maintaining my sanity in the garden. I smile whenever I visit this bed. I invite you to take a peek too and if you have further suggestions, I’d appreciate them.

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/580822259BmprZp


5 posted on 09/23/2011 7:40:12 AM PDT by IM2MAD
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To: Red_Devil 232
Good Morning and Greetings from southern New Hampshire!

This Tuesday evening, I built a six-nest box for the chicken coop. I moved it in on Wednesday evening and the chickens were all over it, trying to decide if I had moved too much of their cheese. I posted a picture of it on my facebood accout, in the Chicken Codo album.

Our five Maran chicks are growing like weeds and Barb has moved them from the brooder to a large cage. I cut a couple of branches for perches and they are happily playing chicken astronaut.

I am finishing up my plans for the deck and roof between the kitchen door and the carport and for the Quonset shelter platform. I need to get them under construction and completed before the snow flies.

The leaves are starting to turn and I believe that today is the first day of Autumn.

6 posted on 09/23/2011 7:42:54 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: IM2MAD

Very creative!!

Thanks for a chuckle.


7 posted on 09/23/2011 7:43:07 AM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: Red_Devil 232

This afternoon we’ll be pickling 9 pints of sweet peppers (pepperoncinis), and a couple quarts of bell chunks w. garlic. So far the squash/pumpkin patch has yielded about 500lbs of goodness with about 300lbs still on the vine. Bambi got 50-75lbs so there will be a *penalty* for that consumption come deer season. Bad Bambi!

Still having to water although not as much since it’s cooled off some. Pepper plants are still loaded and producing like gangbusters. Tomatoes are hit and miss with that. Okra is still trying to put out and hopefully I’ll get around to seed saving on that some this week. We grew ‘Vidrine’s midget/dwarf cowhorn’ (baker creek) this year and were very pleased. Prepping to plant some fall stuff come the 27th.


8 posted on 09/23/2011 7:44:14 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: IM2MAD

We are also still producing tomatoes, squash, peppers and herbs in noth Idaho. Our heirloom tomatoes got a late start, but are coming on strong now. Out of six plants, my wife counted over 100 fruit....can hardly wait!


9 posted on 09/23/2011 7:51:19 AM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: Red_Devil 232

My okra took a hit when I went out of town and it needed water. I think I have brought it back by cutting the tops off, encouraging side shoots. I hope so, as I had not yet frozen any. Green beans which looked awesome all summer but never produced seem to be doing so now. Not sure why, but I suspect it was my husband putting lawn fertilizer on it after I planted it.

Just planted some black-eyed peas which are coming up in the greenhouse. Also two squash plants which I started from seed in my bay window. Tomato plants that produced well in the spring in the greenhouse are starting to have new tomatoes on them again. They got really awful looking in the summer, due to mites and heat, but I cut them way back a month ago and got new growth on them. An experiment. The whole greenhouse thing is an experiment; I’m new to it & don’t have alot of time to spend on it. Am very curious to see what the temps will be in there in the dead of winter.


10 posted on 09/23/2011 7:55:45 AM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: MrB
We call them mimosa trees down south, and I am one of the very few folks who would actually plant one on purpose. I enjoy trees for the shape of their leaves, the sounds they make when the wind blows, different textures of bark, etc.

Mimosa are so plentiful around here that they are considered 'trash trees'. In Florida, they are considered an invasive species that displaces the native vegetation. They are difficult to get rid of once established, but not impossible.

I placed my bee hives not far from a group of mimosa trees that line a creek. The bees love them, although they have now gone to seed for a final time.

Much in spite of the objections of my DH, I will be planting a group of 3 mimosa on the edge of our backyard pond. They grow extremely fast and make a nice, fragrant place to fish in some shade.

11 posted on 09/23/2011 7:56:11 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: illiac
Our heirloom tomatoes got a late start, but are coming on strong now. Out of six plants, my wife counted over 100 fruit....can hardly wait!

I had six plants like that...unfortunately; I had another one hundred or so that produced like that, as well. They're still coming.

Anyone want some tomatoes? :-)

(Production like that in NORTH Idaho? Really? Hmmm...)

12 posted on 09/23/2011 7:57:56 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

God decided to toy with me this year, I had a nice patch of corn, beans and pumpkins planted. One morning I heard cawing and when I wandered out later those flying monkeys called crows had pulled up half my garden for amusement. No worries, this was my relaxation not my survival so I tended what was left lovingly. About the time the corn matured the raccoons came and visited, it is really amazing how much they like sweet corn. Then the beetles found the pumpkins but at that point I was just happy I didn’t come down with boils like some character in the Bible. Oh well there is next year!


13 posted on 09/23/2011 8:02:38 AM PDT by dog breath
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To: Red_Devil 232

I planted too late.
I did discover the Farmer’s Almanac on line yesterday. Wow, what a wealth of information.
It’s my birthday today (56), but I don’t know what I will do, yet.


14 posted on 09/23/2011 8:22:35 AM PDT by Excellence ( CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Fall garden is my favorite garden time of the year. Great weather, not alot going on in the garden but enough to keep you busy.

Got greens and roots coming on to put up or go into the root cellar. Getting ready to plant some rye and wheat for overwinter and get the greens planted for the hoop tunnel.


15 posted on 09/23/2011 8:29:14 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: Excellence

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Have a great day, some great food, and hoping you have a birthday cake.


16 posted on 09/23/2011 8:35:28 AM PDT by NEMDF
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To: NEMDF

Thank you. Right now I’m thinking about going out and getting a cup of coffee. Maybe a pumpkin spice latte. MMMM!


17 posted on 09/23/2011 8:40:30 AM PDT by Excellence ( CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Since we had a little over an inch of rain, I tilled up part of my garden and started my fall crops. I have black seed, Buttercrunch lettuce, spinach seeds planted. I also got a few broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower seedlings in the ground.

I have onion seed coming up in pots for later planting. My shallots are already coming up. The garlic bulbs are in the ground too. I am trying one tomato plant and see if we get any fruit late fall. I’ll be tilling the rest this weekend.


18 posted on 09/23/2011 8:51:27 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
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To: who knows what evil?

Yeh, really. We put them on the east side of the home so they get morning sun and afternoon shade....good manure for fertilizer.....drip sprinklers set for 30 minutes a day....they are all about 6 feet tall at this point...


19 posted on 09/23/2011 8:54:35 AM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: texas_mrs
My okra took a hit when I went out of town and it needed water.

My neighbor planted 18 or 20 okra plants last spring. He had never raised it before, and had no idea how fast it grows. I warned him, and he is now supplying the neighborhood and many of the school teachers with okra. He freezes it on a cookie sheet and then vacuum packs it when frozen. He is cutting okra twice a day.

20 posted on 09/23/2011 8:57:38 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

It is starting to get cold here in the Colorado Rockies. The yellow squash is producing well. Time to dig potatoes. Yesterday’s low temp was 33F so it may not be long before a freeze.


21 posted on 09/23/2011 9:21:26 AM PDT by MtnClimber (Obama unemployment equals national prosperity.)
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To: Excellence

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear Excellence...
Happy birthday, to you!! (and many more!)


22 posted on 09/23/2011 9:56:38 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: illiac
I have been thru that area on several occasions, and have considered a relocation in the past. Friends would always poo-poo the idea, because I "wouldn't be be to grow much too much, as frost can strike at any moment"...I get the same nonsense about the climate here in Red Hampshire, but I am currently in the middle of processing hundreds and hundreds of pounds of tomatoes.

Maybe I need to quit listening to my 'friends'...the liberals here in New England drive me nuts. :-) (Why am I here? The in-law thing...)

23 posted on 09/23/2011 9:58:16 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Planted a pound of winter wheat last weekend, after getting the Fall amendments tilled in.

Tuesday & Wednesday nights had to cover the tomatoes, peppers, and pattypans due to mild frost.

Harvested the last of the cukes & melons; and the lone banana squash, and said adios to those vines. The beans, other than the limas (just finally starting to set pods) were already finished, but survived nicely; may get some butterbeans yet.

Used the last of LAST YEAR’S pumpmkins to make coconut-ginger pumpkin soup this week.

So far, 3 quarts of apples in the freezer; a quart bag of dried apples ready for hunting & hiking; and 3 quarts of fresh apple juice from a bushel of our apples; a 5 gallon bucket left to take care of.

The chickens love the cores, trimmings, and peelings. Today, they’ll get the pulp from the juicing, too.


24 posted on 09/23/2011 10:21:08 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch ("Public service" does NOT mean servicing the people, like a bull among heifers.)
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To: Red_Devil 232
We've managed to save most of the garden from the early frosts, but we went and harvested the winter squash and the watermelons. Mom and I even got out to the land and found 5 nice ripe pumpkins to pick!

The zucchini I grew this year is a variety that is shaped more like an elongated butternut squash. I let one ripen completely for seed, and will be seeing how it does as a winter squash after it's had a couple of months to cure:


Here is the rest of my fall harvest so far, the yellow one is a Golden Midget watermelon. I didn't grow the banana, it's just there for scale:


Here's why it's called a "Midget" watermelon, that's my mother's hand next to it:


I was asked by another freeper to give my opinion on this watermelon variety, but I wanted to taste one first. I'm not sure how accurate my review will be, because everything in my garden was stunted this year, including the watermelon. The leaves stayed yellow all summer long, and of the 4 vines that grew, I only got 3 melons. The melons weren't as sweet as I was expecting, probably because they were still a little under-ripe, but they had incredibly thin rinds, and I think they did well given the circumstances. I'll be planting them again next year in the hopes that they'll do better when the soil has improved.
25 posted on 09/23/2011 10:27:43 AM PDT by Ellendra (God feeds the birds of the air, but he doesn't throw it in their nests.)
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To: who knows what evil?

Latest frost is usually mid-April and last frost around 1st of October. This year we are having a great Indian summer, but they are predicting above normal snowfall. We have had good luck with tomatoes, squash, peppers, rhubarb, sometimes brussel sprout, and most herbs. If we have warm summers, the growing season can be very good....glad you like our area....


26 posted on 09/23/2011 10:29:56 AM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: Red_Devil 232
This is that time of year when the Zucchini People begin to prowl. You know them, they're the folks who planted ONE plant five years ago and are now running around with garbage bags full of the little buggers in their cars, giving them out to lucky friends for, I dunno, bread or something. Slice 'em up and dry 'em and use 'em for poker chips. You see them coming, smiling at the bounty of their harvest, and you dive into the bushes dreading yet another of those "Oh, sorry, I'm full up on zukes for the next couple of decades" conversations, but they give you this hurt-puppy look and you end up taking the dang things and thanking them with that strained look on your face...

Zucchini People. (Shudders)

27 posted on 09/23/2011 10:34:05 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: KosmicKitty

Re: Thanks for a chuckle.

I don’t know if you noticed, but on the white cockadoodle there’s a phone number to call if you want to party. It’s a D.C. number that ends in -1111 (WON, WON, WON, WON).


28 posted on 09/23/2011 10:37:51 AM PDT by IM2MAD
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To: illiac

Climate sounds similar to this one...saw all those goodies at the Kootenai market and figured they must be using high tunnels to protect their plants. Came thru CDA a while back during summer, and it was in the low/mid 90’s...now that is some fine pepper growing weather.


29 posted on 09/23/2011 10:40:01 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: who knows what evil?

Anyone want some tomatoes? :-)

We’ve had a good growing year here too in ID. So far,we’ve given away 4 boxes of tomatoes and 6 boxes of pears with more to come. Cantalope and honeydew melons are going gang busters now too.

Currently, I’m wondering what to do with the tubes of mason bee eggs til spring. Does anyone have any advice on what to do with them til next spring??


30 posted on 09/23/2011 10:48:49 AM PDT by IM2MAD
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To: IM2MAD
I’m wondering what to do with the tubes of mason bee eggs til spring. Does anyone have any advice on what to do with them til next spring??

Put them in your fridge.

31 posted on 09/23/2011 10:58:40 AM PDT by Drill Thrawl (0 - 537 They ALL must go.)
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To: who knows what evil?

We use wire cages for them....that way the wind can blow through and not knock them over....although when the plants get large and heavy, we have to anchor the cages to something....


32 posted on 09/23/2011 11:10:43 AM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: momtothree

Thank you. My twins are taking me out for a late lunch at a biker bar (where we hold Tea Party meetings, so they’re okay)!


33 posted on 09/23/2011 11:12:09 AM PDT by Excellence ( CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Betis70
I don't know what zone you are in but the Amish get a second crop if their plants aren't dead (probably lower yield). Think I mentioned it before. Sounds like they're not dead, they are nitrogen fixing, and you are in a warmer zone.

I'd spray the plants with one part drugstore hydrogen peroxide and 9 parts water. I've used it for different things, good at killing fungus and molds on my seedlings. If you do spray, do it in the shade or on a cloudy day.

You can google it. Spray. More blossoms, more beans if time before frost.

I'm not growing veggies or I could give more specifics.

34 posted on 09/23/2011 11:24:46 AM PDT by Aliska
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To: Red_Devil 232; JustaDumbBlonde; tubebender
The temperatures have really stayed cool/cold since our early frost two weeks ago. We were able to save much of our garden and harvest enough veggies to keep us busy for a while...

Problem is, we have six rows of tomatoes that are hard and green. Will tomatoes mature in high temps of mid sixties and low temps in the high thirties? I have my doubts, but they seem too immature to cut and bag with any effect. Any thoughts?

35 posted on 09/23/2011 11:37:08 AM PDT by JDoutrider
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To: JDoutrider

I’d make green tomato relish. In fact, I do that every year with the green tomatoes that are left on the vine and have no chance of ripening. Size and hardness doesn’t matter.


36 posted on 09/23/2011 12:07:28 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Enjoying the cool weather here in Central Missouri. Okra is still doing well, sweet peppers loaded and just about ready for harvest. Fall salad coming along nicely. Got half a dozen Ayers pears off one three year old tree. Dug a few carrots, lots more in the ground waiting.

It gets hard for me to fuss over the garden much this time of year - the fish are biting...


37 posted on 09/23/2011 12:43:17 PM PDT by Augie
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To: Red_Devil 232

South FL Update: Everything is now up, Peas took forever but they came up today! WOOO HOOO! The Hubbard Squash is started to grow also!

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/493/hubbard.jpg

94 more days till watermellon!


38 posted on 09/23/2011 2:11:31 PM PDT by satan69 (garden)
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To: JDoutrider

Thin your plants so the remaining tomatoes get plenty of day time sunshine.

I’ve left them on the vine right up until the prediction of the first frost.


39 posted on 09/23/2011 3:06:47 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: Red_Devil 232; All
Thanks for the thread. Boy oh Boy, what a day. I have been trying to get in here and check out the thread since 6 am. Loooong boring story not amounting to a hill of beans, so I won't elaborate.

Speaking of Beans, Green Beans are still producing and I am still freezing them. This week, I have made about a quart to eat, and I have about 5 pints to put up. Still waiting on Hubby's corn to mature. He got it out late, so I am hoping we don't get an early frost.

The cucumber beetles have been merciless this year, so almost no cukes. Hubby has finally decided to spray the corn, because they have turned their attention to it.

I have one Iroquois melon trying to mature. It rained almost all weekend and off and on all week, so I didn't get the garden cleanup done, or the outdoor winter salad garden planted.

I did get the tarragon harvested and frozen, and some cuttings placed in a plastic flat to form roots. This weekend will be time to work on the Rosemary. I also need to plant basil and sage for the indoor winter garden.

Great afternoon today with sun shine after some early drizzle, but all I got done was to clean off one of the 4 patios this morning. Have a great weekend and God Bless.

40 posted on 09/23/2011 3:14:38 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: IM2MAD

Oh, missed that. You are very creative!! My hat’s off to you. :-)


41 posted on 09/23/2011 3:33:24 PM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: IM2MAD

LOVE IT!!! The Whimsey Garden by Grubby Knuckles...


42 posted on 09/23/2011 3:37:30 PM PDT by tubebender (She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.)
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To: JDoutrider
Last year, the night before a hard frost, we had a bunch of green tomatoes and blossoms. I don't care for green tomatoes.

As an experiment, I cut off all those branches, stripped the bottom layer of leaves, and stuck them in a couple of pots of Mels Mix.

All the tomatoes matured. Some of the vines died. I flipped the branches with flowers, and some of those also made tomatoes. The surviving vines made new flowers, and tomatoes under the grow lights for the rest of the winter.

Then I cut them off again, and restarted them outdoors in pots for summer tomatoes. It worked better than I thought it would.

I have also wrapped green tomatoes in newspaper, and let them mature that way.

43 posted on 09/23/2011 3:39:02 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Ellendra

I don’t think I have ever seen a yellow skinned watermelon. The seeds are black so that means it was ready to pick...


44 posted on 09/23/2011 3:53:14 PM PDT by tubebender (She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.)
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To: JDoutrider; Red_Devil 232; afraidfortherepublic

Benderville (aka eureka ca) is now into our Summer Season with highs near... 68 degrees! We used the shredder in spite of the bearing problem and ground up 2/3 of the corn stalks and 3/4 of the Marigolds and I started this falls compost pile. We had gone over to the public stables for a pickup load of bedding earlier in the week. Life is as good as it can get considering the hardwood floors received their final coat of Vararthane this morning and the our temp kitchen is just 3 notches below no kitchen at all. Lady Bender just got back from the neighborhood market with a great little Deli. Chicken wings and potato salad plus some red wine...


45 posted on 09/23/2011 4:16:09 PM PDT by tubebender (She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.)
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To: MrB

What is it?


46 posted on 09/23/2011 7:06:51 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: texas_mrs

You’ll have to tell me how to preserve these tempting bites. Personally, I cannot stand them, but hubby absolutely loves okra. He misses them during the non producing months. I would appreciate your help. How large can the okra be for preserving, can they be frozen. I’m not a canner...I can freeze anything that can be frozen.
Thank you for any and all HELP. Thanx.


47 posted on 09/23/2011 7:12:23 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: tillacum

I haven’t actually done it yet, but have heard from many people that they wash them, cut them into slices as if preparing to fry and then spread them 1 layer deep on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, put them in a vacuum seal freezer bag, seal and freeze. Alot of people go ahead and put the coating or breading on beforehand, but I don’t plan to do that, as I just sprinkle it with Morrison’s cornbread mix before I cook it.

A couple of years ago I froze some whole and they were kind of rubbery when thawed.

If you haven’t tried it, fry okra with cubed red potatoes sprinkled with cornbread mix for your husband. Also good cooked with strips of sweet onion.

My teenage daughter likes okra raw and pickled. Haven’t been able to try the pickled yet, but raw is actually tasty.


48 posted on 09/23/2011 8:22:26 PM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: Excellence

Happy Birthday! (I had my 56th this past July.)


49 posted on 09/23/2011 8:23:56 PM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: Red_Devil 232

You know the Charlie Brown Halloween story? The one where the kids go round in a group trick or treating and Charlie Brown only gets a rock at every house?

Sort of illustrates my garden experience this year.

Sigh.


50 posted on 09/23/2011 8:25:48 PM PDT by Ladysforest
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