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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

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To: tubebender

The seeds are black, but the skin still had green splotches, the first tendril next to the melon was still alive, and the melon did not slip from the vine.

In order to be at it’s sweetest, it should slip from the vine, and the closest tendril should dry up. For this variety, the skin should also be completely yellow. (That’s partly why I chose it, it has that built-in ripness indicator.)

But, the seeds at least look viable, and since it’s a rather expensive heirloom, I’ll be saving those for next year.


51 posted on 09/24/2011 9:14:54 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: Black Agnes

Holy moly... nice harvest. And in New Jersey. Good job!


52 posted on 09/24/2011 9:15:03 AM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: LomanBill

Actually I live with a half days drive of Red. Moved from NJ a while back. I’m still there locale wise because they’re message board is far more interesting and I’ve actually met some of those involved.

Preliminary surveillance reveals about 50lbs lost to the bambi brigade last night. Hubby’s buying a game cam today to see when they’re coming through. We’re going to put tomato cages around the squash that have set but aren’t ripe yet this afternoon to ‘dissuade’ of possible. Bow season opens in these parts in a couple weeks, he’s looking at that right now. Hence the ‘when are they doing this’ project. If they’re going to eat my kids food. They’re gonna pay a price for that. My kids Luuuurrrrve them some venison. Hopefully we’ll come out ahead financially on this little squash—>venison transaction.


53 posted on 09/24/2011 10:02:15 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: LomanBill

The varieties we grew this year were Long of Naples and Seminole Pumpkin (Baker Creek), Argonaut (Shumway), and Rumbo (Jungs) (my hubby calls these Rambo, they’re very energetic wrt setting females) and Tetsukabuto (Pinetree).

The Long of Naples are running between 25-40+lbs. The Seminole Pumpkins are 4-6lbs, Argonaut somewhere in the 15-25lb range and the Rumbos are 6-12lbs. What the Rumbos lack in overall size they’re making up for in quantity. 10 average so far, per vine (we planted 5 vines, 2 in one hill, 3 hills of one each). The Tetsukabuto got started late (first of July) so they’re not done just yet. So far one vine has set 6 with what looks like 3 or 4 more females that will set this week.

All these varieties are ‘c. moschata’. Those are resistant (but not ‘proof’) for squash vine borers. We have not trellised any of these as I’ve found that affects yield and susceptibility to borers and other insects. These vines, unlike cucumbers and small melons (which I DO trellis!) set down roots at every or every other leaf node. This has helped with our drought this summer as they have a much larger root system. This helps with both number of squash/vine and weight of squash/vine. I trellised some of the smaller squash varieties last summer (the ‘regular’ butternut variety, Waltham, IIRC) and the difference was profound in yield and size of squash.

Of course, if space is a factor it doesn’t really matter then.

The squash that have done the ‘best’ (and this might just be because it’s a hybrid) has been the Rumbo. That we planted in a plot that was mulched almost entirely with newspapers/hay. Hubby cut the grass as close as he possibly could, we covered that with 1-2 sheets of newspaper only and then with 3-4” of hay. Less paper and hay than we normally use in the regular garden. By the time the vines started running pretty good the paper had broken down enough for the leaf nodes to root. This way I didn’t have to weed or weedeat around the vines, it was all way less ‘snakey’ and the vines didn’t have to compete with grass or weeds. It also helped them hold more moisture. It wasn’t as bad as TX here but it was close for 2-3 months. Daily highs over 97 for several weeks in a row (night lows in the upper 70’s and low 80’s) and no rain for 10 weeks.

Two things hampered yields. High temps which caused females to abort right and left and no rain which meant I had to water. We can’t afford to water as much as we’d like to so our squashes were probably smaller than they might have been with completely adequate moisture and temps < 100.

The variety that seemed to be more tolerant of the high temps wrt aborting females was the Rumbo. This may have also had something to do with the mulch keeping their ‘feet’ cooler too.

As always, YMMV.

—ba, the opinionated

Oh, forgot to add we’ve gotten several hundred pounds of ‘squashkin’ volunteers from the compost pile. Didn’t do anything to those except weedeat around them periodically and water when they looked really bad.


54 posted on 09/24/2011 10:19:37 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: tillacum

I let my okra get a bit bigger than all the recommendations I read, five to six inches. If (when) I let them go too long, to the point that they start getting tough, well the dogs love okra and chewing/tearing, too.

I boil them for five minutes (four for smaller ones, IIRC), then dunk them in ice water to cool. Dry, freeze on a rack, and then vacuum seal. I think they are fine after a year in the deep freeze.

BTW, even though you don’t like okra, you might want to try an okra, corn, and tomato stew if you haven’t already. Not much if any okra taste or texture, but yummy.


55 posted on 09/24/2011 10:39:19 AM PDT by Darth Reardon (No offense to drunken sailors)
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To: Black Agnes

This thing works for me to deter raccoons... http://www.motionsensorsprinkler.org/


56 posted on 09/24/2011 11:42:32 AM PDT by tubebender (She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.)
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To: Redleg Duke

French Copper Marans?


57 posted on 09/24/2011 2:44:27 PM PDT by realpatriot (Some spelling (and grammar for the grammar nazis) errers entionally included!)
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To: tubebender

That looks neat. Problem for us right now is $$$.

We’re hoping to keep them away from the squash with the cages until bow season opens.

Then open season on my squashes becomes open season on bambis!


58 posted on 09/24/2011 4:07:14 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes

[Hubby cut the grass as close as he possibly could, we covered that with 1-2 sheets of newspaper only and then with 3-4” of hay. Less paper and hay than we normally use in the regular garden. By the time the vines started running pretty good the paper had broken down enough for the leaf nodes to root.]

Nice. I’m gonna try that next year. And also some of those Rumbo’s. Thanks FRiend.


59 posted on 09/24/2011 6:45:27 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: realpatriot
Cuckoo
60 posted on 09/24/2011 7:52:34 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: texas_mrs

Thank you. I’ll do that next okra season. Ours are gone for this year.


61 posted on 09/25/2011 12:07:00 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: Red_Devil 232

South FL UPDATE: I got the holes replanted, Going well. I found a catapiller of the chile peppers and used the 2 board-2 brick method of pest control.. Spiders and catapllers must be related, They are both green inside! :-}

http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/9807/1000101k.jpg

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/7117/1000106z.jpg

http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/160/1000108l.jpg

http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/8168/1000109u.jpg

Enjoy


62 posted on 09/25/2011 1:39:33 PM PDT by satan69 (garden)
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To: LomanBill

You’re very welcome.

Things we’ll do differently this year:

Start earlier with the mulching/paper/hay thing. We’re going to cover a 150+ftX150+ft plot with 1-2sheets newspaper and 3-4” of hay *before* the grass starts growing. We live in the country, have a pretty good sized yard (several acres) yard and this year the choice (THANKS PRES__ENT!) was between gas for the car so hubby could get to work and gas for the mower. With a good deal of our ‘yard’ out of comission for the growing of grass (NO HOA!) we’re going to focus on food. I’m planning on starting the ‘mulch the squashkin patch’ project sometime in January. It’s ‘mild’ here in the winter (no snow or freeze hardened ground) and it’s WAY easier to work in 45-55 degrees than 95 degrees. That way the grass and weeds won’t have a chance to grow and I’ll be absolutely certain the paper is broken down. In mid Feb I’m going to take the largest peat pots I can find and start my squashkins. I plan on setting them out in the first week of March with a covering of some sort to protect them from frost/freezes.

I found that given a month or 6w or so the paper has, in my area, broken mostly down or at least broken down enough for me to poke a hole in that with a bulb planter thingie and set stuff out.

I think another reason we’ve gotten so many pumpkins from the Rumbo this year is the early start. They’re, IIRC, a ~90day variety. They had their first batch sometime around the last week or so of July. Once we picked those the vines started running again and a couple weeks later they set pumpkins again. (I cheated and treated the vine source and running vines with dilute algoflash) We picked those a couple weeks ago and they’re running/setting again right now. Our growing season doesn’t end really until the end of October or early November. Last year I had a few stragglers I just covered with plastic on the nights it was lower than about 40 in my garden patch. I covered the pumpkin/squashes and 5ft of vine or so in either direction.

I also put a small (less than recommended amount on the package) scoopful of osmocote in the hole when I transplant the squashkins, that probably doesn’t hurt, either. IIRC I also sprinkled some along the growing vines once or twice. We don’t use anything ‘stronger’ than osmocote out of concern about ‘burning’ things. Exception is the dilute algoflash. We’ve got an acre under till this year and we’ve used 2 bottles, total, for the entire garden for the entire year.

Using plastic and frost cloth I’ve been able to extend my growing season by at least 4w, probably could do a great deal more if I were more organized and on the ball with stuff.

Good luck with your pumpkin patch. Start saving your (and all your friends!) newspapers right now. Also, cereal boxes work (they take about 2 times longer to break down) as long as they don’t have that ‘shiny’ coating on them. Ditto other grocery boxes (MacNCheese, granola bars, ritz, etc). We like to make sure the boxes are stuff that’s from this country. Toy boxes aren’t allowed in my garden or compost pile, they’re all from China. Pretty sure they have stuff in/on them I do *not* want in my garden!

Those little cream cheese boxes and stuff that size I use to mulch my strawberry bed. Put pinestraw on top of those.

YMMV

—ba, the opinionated


63 posted on 09/25/2011 1:54:14 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: tillacum

All this talk about Okra led me to order a Sizzling Cajun Shrimp and Steak platter at Applebee’s last night anticipating the Okra the menu mentioned. What a flop as there were exactly two (2) slices and the steak was over done...


64 posted on 09/26/2011 8:02:34 AM PDT by tubebender (She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.)
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To: Arrowhead1952
My neighbor planted 18 or 20 okra plants last spring.

WoW! My okra are just starting to produce.

65 posted on 09/27/2011 1:10:10 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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To: Sarajevo

He has all of his garden plots in raised beds. The okra plants are all over 6’ tall, and he has to bend them down to pick the top.


66 posted on 09/27/2011 1:23:09 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
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To: tubebender
Benderville (aka eureka ca)

Stay safe! I heard that your town was being swallowed by black holes on the last episode!!!!!

[OK, I'll crawl back in my closet now.......... ;)]

67 posted on 09/27/2011 1:28:54 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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To: Sarajevo

Two weeks of growth on the second garden of the year. Everything is growing well in the cooler temps, and the little rain we recently helped. The apple trees are slated to go in the ground in December/January when they are dormant.

68 posted on 09/27/2011 3:43:11 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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To: Sarajevo

Two weeks of growth on the second garden of the year. Peppers, tomato, cabbage, and lettuce are growing well in the cooler temps, and the little rain we recently had helped. The apple trees are slated to go in the ground in December/January when they are dormant.

69 posted on 09/27/2011 3:45:24 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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To: Sarajevo

Great pictures, and what a nice tidy garden. My garden season is winding down. It has been a roller coaster ride this season. Too wet in the spring to plant, then the month of July was a blast furnace and no rain. August got too much rain and wind at one time. Now it has cooled off but need rain. I keep watching the night time temps to know when I have to pull the sweet potato vines out so they won’t freeze. I have 6 rows of Purple Queen beans just starting to bloom and I am concerned they will not mature before the first freeze.

Now that I have started typing I could go on and on about the winding down of gardening season 2011.


70 posted on 09/27/2011 5:11:59 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: Sarajevo

I just shipped off 2 boxes of slugs and snails to your address. Need any other pest or disease?


71 posted on 09/27/2011 5:23:31 PM PDT by tubebender (She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.)
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To: tubebender

AH tubebender there’s nothing worse than an over done steak.


72 posted on 09/28/2011 8:41:38 AM PDT by tillacum
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To: Just mythoughts
I've had just the opposite problem. We've been in the midst of drought and high temperatures. Now that it's cooling off, the plants are recovering and producing.

We had a nice storm roll through north of us last night. It brought wind and about 1/4 inch of rain in our area, but it dumped over the aquifier recharge zone.

73 posted on 09/28/2011 3:03:25 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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To: tubebender
LOL! Snails would do well in my duck pond.

I pulled a hornworm off of one of my tomato plants yesterday. The chickens seemed to know that I had a treat in my hand from 30ft away. They started to surround me, so I tossed the hornworm and ran. They always remind me of the velociraptors on Jurassic Park.

74 posted on 09/28/2011 3:07:27 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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To: Sarajevo

Just sitting down to a home-made pizza stacked high with fresh garden tomatoes and jalapenos...washed down with a ice-cold Pilsner Urquell...makes it all worth while.


75 posted on 09/28/2011 3:11:00 PM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Sarajevo

I’ll take your word for it as I was born a little after the Jurassic period. I was a Ace in locating Hornworms in our tomato patch when we owned some property east of Benderville where 110 degrees days was not unusual...


76 posted on 09/28/2011 5:23:09 PM PDT by tubebender (She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.)
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To: tillacum
Especially after ordering it MEDIUM RARE...
77 posted on 09/28/2011 5:28:45 PM PDT by tubebender (She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.)
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