Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread – 2011 (Vol. 40) October 14
Posted on 10/14/2011 5:20:03 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232
Good morning gardeners. The October weather here in East Central Mississippi has been nothing but amazing this past week. We have had a few rainy days that have helped keep my compost pile moist as I am still working on building it up. It is satisfying to see the steam rise from it when I give it a turn on these cool mornings.
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 Summer gardens did well this year and your Fall gardens prosper.
Weekly Gardening Thread
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Good morning. Thanks for this thread. The winners this year in our garden were peppers, tomatoes and butternut squash. The loser was pumpkin. We had just one pumpkin out of 2 plants. Pitiful!
I plan on trying a greenhouse this year.
I wanted to build it on the back of my house to share the heat but....I am thinking of covering 1/3 of my garden (since I have late broccoli still growing). I’ll let the broccoli finish then plant greens, spinach and other cooler weather plants.
Is this a bad idea? Will it affect growing something in that area next spring? Does the ground need to go through the cold season?
Thanks for any help.
Still picking LOTS of tomatoes off my tomato “tree”... best year I have had yet!! might have frost here in ATL soon though...
Good morning RD. The garden and lawn sure liked the rain we got last weekend. We had about 2.75” but need a lot more to catch up. We are over 20” behind for this year.
I think a lot of trees are going to die from the drought. I’ve noticed a number of cedar trees that are brown and the city has already cut some down.
I talked to my sister and BIL after they went to the farm last weekend. Almost all the stock tanks had dried up, but some caught a little water. Will have to restock fish when we get some heavy rain.
This week, we got our first chicken eggs! Also, our accidental rooster, Studley Hungwell, has started his "duties"!
The leaves are turning and approaching peak color. It seems to have happened faster this year, but now that I am "over the hill", I seem to be picking up speed!
I have started putting metal wall panels on the carport north wall. I will do the same on the south wall and that should help with keeping snow out this winter.
We still have some peppers to be harvested, but the garden is ready for tilling.
Our five Marans pullets continue to grow and develop bigger attitudes. They are sure ugly...but the Dutchess says they will grow out of it.
What would you recommend for planting now? I’m in ATL, so similar climate to yours I would expect.
I have two raised 6x6 planters available in the back yard. There’s some basil that’s about to go, and some thyme, oregano, and chives, but mostly wide open. Suggestions?
We had high winds when that storm came through the other night. There were a few limbs broken, but nothing big. Our daughter came in last weekend and told us about the damage she saw in the Bastrop area. I heard that the fire damaged over 90% of Bastrop State Park.
Have had some seriously awesome crop of salad greens this fall. Harvest a bunch of winter radishes this week and froze a bunch of kale. Starting to ‘put the garden to bed’ this weekend, looks like the cold is going to move here next week.
Also putting garden to bed. Took down tomatoes yesterday, getting ready to start turning the soil for planting the garlic next week. Adding steamed bloodmeal to the soil as I would for any bulb beds.
We'd been needing this rain. It's filled up the TVA reservoirs.
Here's what I still have to harvest in my garden(USDA Zone 6B): lovely broccoli, Eritrean basil, leaf lettuce, Bull's Blood red beets, Egyptian walking onions, some kind of Asian greens (I don't know what it is, but it has huge mild leaves, like a tender and sweet leafy cabbage), Swiss chard, kale, 4or 5 big red Brandy Boy tomatoes still on the vines; and quite a few peppers.
And I've potted up a good variety of perennial herbs to bring in before the frost: parsley, chives,cutting celery, sage, thyme, green onions, rosemary. I hope they'll do OK in my front window. We don't have grow-lights. They'll just have to manage with the southern exposure.
I know the Weekly Cooking Thread isn't until tomorrow, but I will favor you with my latest Garden Soup recipe. Keep in mind, as all sensible people know, that soup recipes are highly adaptable. Do it YOUR way:
Turnip Squash Soup (4-6 servings)
1 whole big galumptious turnip
1 whole med. butternut squash
1 carrot, scrubbed
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs butter
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock (I used bouillon)
1 big Bouquet Garni *
1 Tbs honey
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Big pinch of Garam Masala**
4 oz. cream cheese (half a package)
* This was the first time I ever made a bouquet garni. I took a big bunch of cutting celery, stems and all (or you could just use regular leafy celery--- just the foliage), parsley (long-stemmed), thyme, sage, and leek leaves too tough for eating. I tied the bunch together with string. And then...you'll see...
** Garam masala is a mildly sweet-mildly hot Indian spice mixture. You could use curry powder
Put the whole turnip, the whole butternut squash, and the whole carrot in the microwave and nuke for about 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes remove the carrot (when soft); after about 15 min. remove the butternut squash (when soft). Leave the turnip in there until it's good and soft, and then let it sit.
Meanwhile, sauté onion and garlic in butter they just begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Also meanwhile, heat broth (I used bouillon) in a large pot. Add the bouquet garni and let it steep while simmering gently (kind of like making a tea). When the onions/garlic are cooked (10 min), remove the bouquet garni from the broth and discard,and then transfer the onions/garlic to the simmering stock, and add the honey, pepper, nutmeg, coriander, cayenne pepper, and Garam masala or curry powder. Simmer until all the onions are softened, about 15 minutes.
And yet again meanwhile, your microwave veggies have by this time cooled. Cut the turnip in chunks and peel (The skin will come off easily). Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, chunk and and peel. Cut carrot in chunks, and puree all these various soft chunks in a food processor, together with the 4 oz of cream cheese. Then put the whole creamy orange puree into the soup pot with the (mmm, inhale, so fragrant) broth, warm gently, and correct seasonings; add a little more chicken bouillon if it isn't salty enough. Serve hot with croutons.
I know it seems like a big production, but the microwave makes it speedier so the total preparation time might be about 40 minutes (my guess), and boy, it was good.
And it's a sure-fire way to use that big galumptious turnip!
O-mi-gosh. I’m glad you reminded me to wipe off the dirt! LOL.
I am not sure where you live, but I actually did this with some success last year, and will do it again this year. My “winter garden” had onions, garlic, spinach, and 2 varieties of lettuce. We had home grown salad at Christmas, and plenty of salad through the winter and spring. Had to cover the bed a little more as the weather got colder.
Just put in compost in the fall and spring, it is actually good for your soil to have plants rather than be barren. I am going to plant winter wheat in addition to the salad garden. The empty beds are going to get Rye or clover to turn under in the spring.
Still picking up a few persimmons daily, and eating 2 or 3. Collecting the seeds. I have almost enough to roast and grind to see what kind of coffee they make. Hubby's corn is still maturing. I tested an ear this week. It was 3/4 filled out, and tasted pretty good.
This week I have been thinning the spinach which gives me plenty of baby spinach to eat in my salads. The winter salad greens are not as far along as I would like, but I was a little late getting them planted.
Have a great weekend. God Bless.
I say go for it!
We hope to finish the Fall garden cleanup today and shred it for addition to the compost pile. I raked up 2 big garden carts of Redwood needles and stock piled them to use as dry matter for the compost and will gather more for mulching garden beds. I weeded the old corn patch yesterday so I can amend it and plant my Garlic soon. Pumpkins are still growing and the vines are still green with no mildew yet? Picked a few more cucumbers this week but I think most of those plants are done...
Yum! Sounds so good!
Thanks for the info. I live in Tn - zone 6 - I have enough plastic to give it a second layer if needs be. So be it - I will erect it in the garden.
I used a row cover which lets in sun and rain. As the temps got colder, I covered with straw and then with a Styrofoam egg crate mattress during the colder weather.
Once the snow melts and temps improved, I could just roll back the mattress. I also lined the planted area with black milk jugs full of water to give off heat.
Keep me posted on how your project works out.
San Antonio's west side received a whopping 4.5 inches. The northwest side enjoyed 5 inches. The airport area had to limp along with a measly 3 inches. Usually, the north and east parts of the county get all the good stuff and we're left wondering why we're left out.
I collected 75 gallons of rain water. Now, I'm down to about 25 gallons and there is no rain in the near term forecast.
I probably wasted ten gallons trying to keep alive a bell pepper stem broken by storm winds. But, the thing was loaded with buds and young peppers, so I stuck it in the ground and have kept it saturated, supposing it might root like a cutting. It is definitely drooping, but still green with some kind of promise. How could I not try just to see what happens? :-)
My sister and BIL live on 1560 N and they had just over 5”. The creek was over the road on Sunday morning. I need to buy some rain barrels. Our neighbor has two and they both overflowed.
Salvaged the last tomatoes, japaleno (LOL) peppers, and pattypans yesterday.
Just need to mulch the strawberries, and gather in the squashkins; then do the Fall tilling.
If it hadn't been for a decent Indian Summer, we wouldn't have gotten any heirloom tomatoes; they didn't produce until after the first frost.
We did get a half decent apple harvest this year; next year, weather willing, should be better as the tress get yet another late Winter rejuvenation pruning & Sp fertilization.
The plots of winter wheat are looking good. Oddly, the two meticulously planted (6” rows 4-6” seed spacing) 4’ X 25’ plots sprouted somewhat (50-60%) poorly; the three 8-10’ X 20-25’ that were hand broadcast, then lightly tilled in are doing much better.
All of the plots got the same amendments tilled in before planting, and the two row-planted are next to two of the broadcast plots; the other broadcast plot is in a different area, but got the same treatment.
Anyone have any ideas about apricots that bloom about 6-8 weeks before the bees are active?
My best crop this season has been basil. Picking lots for drying and making pesto.
Lettuce seedlings almost ready for transplanting. When it gets much cooler, can start the spinach.
My husband has been trying to grow the old variety of Virginia Beauty apples for years but with no success. This year he had his first apple. I say that in the singular since there was only one on the tree. LOL!
This is from the outside of the hoophouse
It's a little difficult to see due to the angle of the sun, so I'll post a pic from inside:
We have cabbage, lettuce, tomato, onion, watermelon, pumpkin, pole beans, and more peppers. The trees are apple trees from Medina. They'll go in the ground as soon as they go dormant for the season.
The Thai peppers are still producing:
As is the Tabasco "tree". Believe it or not, but this one is 5 years old. It will freeze back in the winter, and return every spring.
The Papaya has it's first fruit of the season. I thought the freeze last February killed it.
Now, for all of y'all who can read plants, I have several store propogated tomato plants that look like this:
I've added Epsom salts, super triple phosphate, and chelated iron to the manure and high pH soil with little results. Am I missing something?
Have never seen tomato plants with leaves like those pictured!
Great looking hoop house - looks like your efforts have paid off - the plants look very healthy!
Nice work there FRiend...
SOUTH FL GARDEN PICS: ENJOY
SOUTH FL UPDATE:
Local Farmers Market Pictures
Thanks for the photos...
I notice that your soil looks real sandy but your plants appear healthy. Do you use any amendments such as manure?
Yes, That area had cows and sheep on it for 25 years. The best soil to be cursed with is sandy, At least it drains. I also have to put lime on it 2 or 3 times a season as the rains wash it all away and the tomatoes get blossom end rot. It’s worth all the extra work as we get 2 seasons in South FL! In the summer it’s just to hot. If you like black eyed peas you can get 3 seasons but the fungus goes nuts in the rainy season...
The sweet and spicy syrup is easy. Dissolve 2 pounds of sugar in each quart of vinegar. Make a spice bag by tying a handful of pickling spice into a piece of cheesecloth. Bring the syrup to a boil and throw in the pickling spice. Boil for one minute, remove from heat, cover and allow to cool. For more spicy flavor, leave the lid on your pot put it aside overnight.
After washing thoroughly, remove the stem and blossom ends from your peppers, and slice the peppers.
Bring your syrup to a boil and add the sliced peppers, stir long enough for the peppers to heat through, but do not "cook" them.
Pack the heated peppers into clean canning jars and top them off with boiling hot syrup. Remove air bubbles and leave 1/2" headspace in jars. Put your lids and bands in place and place in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes.
You will get this:
On these jars, I used apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar, so the syrup is a bit darker and a little sweeter. I also add a few red pepper flakes and extra black peppercorns to my pickling spice, for a little zing in the syrup. If you are using a hot variety of jalapenos, you may want to tone the syrup down instead.
If you have any syrup left over, you can put it in a jar and use it as pepper sauce on peas, etc., or you can seal it in a jar with the water bath canner and save it for your next batch of peppers.
We've got 2 seasons also, but the seasons are temperamental. This year, we had a freeze, so I had a small crop of peaches and mulberry. If we don't have a freeze, I harvest Japanese Loquat.
The current drought also causes all kinds of growing problems. We mist our plants to keep the air temps below 90 degrees, but the irrigation water is high pH with a lot of dissolved calcium which accumulates on the leaves. I haven't found a good way to filter and lower water pH before it gets to the spray heads yet.
I use a lot of epsom salts (Magnesium sulfate) to combat blossom end rot in my garden. It's real cheap at the drugstore.
That is a recipe to drool over!
You can apply your calcium in a foliar feed and it won't wash away.
It is a good basic syrup recipe that can be used for so many veggies to pickle. My husband likes okra pickled in that recipe.
Anyway, when you get beneath the outward jungle appearance, there are bushels of green tomatoes! Some are large enough that they will certainly ripen before it gets cool, but there will be more than enough green tomatoes to make my DH's favorite relish to enjoy throughout the winter.
That’s just NOT RIGHT!!!
I thought Cotton came from the fabric store?
Just Kidding. I have never seen plants that uniform in height but I left the farm in 1951. My dad leased a place in 1946 or 47 and some of his plants were 5 feet tall. Of course we picked by hand in those days and we got over 3.5 bales on a few acres and averaged about 2 bales...
Let’s keep this tip just between you and I Blonde... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnBF6bv4Oe4
That is so cool.
you are amazing....
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