Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread (Harvesting Wheat) Vol. 20, May 18, 2012
Posted on 05/18/2012 5:59:55 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232
Good morning gardeners. JustaDumbBlonde asked me to post the thread this morning because she and her Husband are out in the fields harvesting their wheat. Looks like they will have good weather.
I hope all of your gardens are doing well. My gardening efforts have been scaled back this year to a 6x6 raised bed planted with eight of my three favorite tomato varieties. I am also continuing to pursue my Homebrewing hobby and will be brewing up a Honey Bee Ale later this afternoon and also bottling a Cranberry Mead that I started last November with a cork popping planed for this up coming Thanksgiving.
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.
Weekly Gardening Thread
Pleas forgive me if I missed pinging any new FReepers to the Gardening Thread.
I got my Zuchinni, cukes, and squash out of the greenhouse and into the ground yesterday ahead of the rain ;-)
I also planted sunflowers along one fenceline with sweet-peas as an enticement for bees.
Talk your friends into planting barley instead of wheat and you can combine hobbies.
I put out my peppers and zucchini and some insect is chomping on them. Got all the zucchini so I started more and will put them out when they’re much bigger.
We had a light frost last night but I covered everything I needed to and everybody made it.
Long time no post, RD!! Were your ears ringing yesterday?!!! My littlest one asked me to bake her a Red Devil Zucchini bread....
All my stuff is in except my corn. Will do that this weekend. I plant seed in the ground, I never start seedlings indoors. I never had luck with them so I simplify.
I transpalnted the peppers in the flats into pots and left them outside to harden and grow until this weekend. I hope to get them in the ground, along with the zucchini, eggplant and some other odds and ends. Next weekend comes the tomatos and the rest of the cold sensitive crops. I'll probably go tomorrow and buy tomatos. I'm growing cukes by seed. Already had the 1st strawberry harvested the other day. Wifey got that one!
Been having a running battle with squirrels devouring my suet feeders. I've offed a number and rehung the feeders with 1/8th in steel rods. I came home two consecutive days and found these feeders with bars twisted around into the crabapple tree that I have them hung in. It occured to me that it can't be squirrels because of the strength necessary to twist them around like that. Also, I didn't have this trouble in recent years. It had to be raccoons!That's why it happens over night! I bought a fence charger and am going to wire the tree and steel rods holding the feeders. That should do the trick and possibly provide some comic relief...
I haven't been out to the garden yet today, but yesterday we had numerous new tomato babies. The bigger ones are about the size of plums right now, but growing fast. It won't be long now! A pepper is growing pretty big, but the others are just starting to bare.
Our weekend project is to plant okry and run water out to it. This is a new garden bed in the far outback of the property where there is a sunny spot. We also will be doing some work in the flower beds.
Still nursing my sore knee. Life further complicated by my 98 yo mother who fell in CA and broke her leg. She had surgery last night and is in a lot of pain this AM. Trying to keep tabs on her by phone. Hard to do because her hearing is really bad.
Had planned to clean out garden beds and plant this weekend. Now, undecided. If I plant, I’ll most likely be called to CA imminently, and everything will die from lack of water. Might just skip the garden this year.
I am in need of advice, especially those who live in SE Texas where I live. I would like to garden and in the past have attempted to have tomatoes and a few other things in pots. I can never seem to actually grow anything. Our house is situated so that we get morning sun in the front of the house, but a large tree shades most of it, and the back of the house bakes in the afternoon sun. In the past the sun has cooked any plants I have back there, or bugs/birds invade them. How do you garden in hot climates? Right now I have a tomato plant in a pot in the front of my house to see if it does better there. So far it looks good but it doesn’t get a lot of sun, but it does get some. I would like to grow other things but am frustrated with the weather problems I am having and not knowing what to do about it. We can buy vegetable plants in February and get started before the heat of spring and summer, but I don’t want to invest in a raised garden till I can find a place to put it. HELP!!
We had two days of rain this past week which totaled a little over an inch. Our rainfall total this year is about normal. That’s a big deal here in the Texas panhandle. Last year we had drought and wildfires. This year has been very nice.
Our winter squash, green beans and cucumber popped up out of the ground this past week. Life is good!
I found a summer-blooming Lilac at the nursery and bought it for my better half for Mother’s Day. I didn’t know such a thing existed. It should be nice having Lilacs during the summer and fall. Hoping the hot sun and high-plains winds don’t beat it to death. LOL!
I recently purchased kamut and spelt (non-genetically modified grains) from www.waltonfeed.com to eat.
If I had land, I would try planting some.
Our ancestors lived off a grain diet for a long time.
Best thing would be get in touch with your country extension service and show them photos of your property and get their advice, they're pros!
Ouch. Best of luck with your knee and your mom’s leg. I’m still creaking around on mine, too.
Woohoo, Texas has had several days of rain!!! So, just got out to the garden yesterday. Noticed new weeds from the rain - of course. A few of the baby squash may rot due to sitting in puddles. Still slightly too muddy to do anything but threw out some flower seeds yesterday on the strip by where hubby is now parking (grrr) just to have something there. The corn is just starting to make. Need to get out there later and take some lettuce and asparagus to a friend.
Also need to start moving a pile of dirt down to fill in a hole left from a tree that fell a few years ago. Though with my knee, it’s going to be little bit by little bit.
The birds are lining up for the feeders like it’s McDonald’s, lol. On one side, the line forms along the fence and on the other it forms on a tree limb. The hummingbirds are even sitting quietly on the fence until a spot opens up on their feeder.
Ha, between rain showers, I went out to check on things and sweep away pecan catkins to divert water from the door. Hiding under one pile was a big frog. No matter what I did, he wouldn’t move so left the pile for him. After a few hours, he was still there so called hubby to warn him not to walk there before checking on the frog. He finally moved on that evening.
Thanks for your kind thoughts. What happened to your knee?
Welcome Home RD232. I’ll get back to the thread later...
Sun won’t hurt your plants, as long as you keep them watered. If you are growing things that might actually sun burn, you can make a hoop house with flexible tubing and shade cloth and alligator clips (like you would use in an office). This works great with a raised bed garden because the tubes (polyurethane water pipe) just bend down and are secured by the edges of the bed. Easy to put up and easy to remove. Looks like a Conestoga wagon when you have it all set up.
I did this a few years ago when I had to leave town shortly after planting my garden. I set up a sprinkler on a timer and a shade house. When I got back a week later, everything was great. I have some pictures, but they are on my other computer. I’ll post them later when I find them.
In your situation (TX — drought) I would recommend a raised bed with a drip watering system on a timer. Consult tubebender for instructions on a drip watering system.
I live in Wisconsin, but I lived in TX for nearly 10 years in the Houston area. It took nearly 10 years for us to get the trees up enough for me to open my drapes. That sun can be brutal. The finish on my piano is still crazed from the sun it took between the time we moved in and the drapes were deliviered.
Fun with greedy squirrels:
I had this one:
I was favoring one, because it gets out of joint, so the other went wonky, of course.
Prayers up for your Mother and for you! A broken leg at her age can be rough.
I need to vent to no one in particular. :)
We have a tiny little garden on a tiny plot in a small town. So I need to maximize every square inch.
Now I dunno if it’s squirrels, rabbits, or that groundhog I’ve been seeing around, but we are getting massacred. Lettuce plants....gone. Strawberries...gone. Fennel...tops neatly trimmed off. Blueberries...last year I didn’t get a one, and this year’s crop is almost ready.
Beyond frustrated. I’ve been trying to let my cat out more, and putting some netting and fencing up, but I need a better solution. Plants are scattered all over to make use of space, so they will have to be fenced or whatever individually.
Totally wasn’t prepared for this war...I’d been growing raspberries for years with no trouble. I guess whatever it is can’t reach them.
And before my friends in normal states chime in with the entirely appropriate sentiment of “shoot the dang things”, please note that even BB guns in the people’s Republic of New Jersey are considered firearms and can’t be discharged in town.
Thanks. Always a little vanity there. She is used to being in charge of herself and everything around her, and she doesn’t take kindly to being at the mercy of others.
Before undergoing surgery she metioned that my aunt had had a broken hiip, or leg, (my aunt is just a bit younger) and the doctors fixed it “so that her foot doesn’t face directly forward” and she walks with a slight limp. I was supposed to tell the surgeon not to do that to her!
I have tasted a Belgian Wit (wheat) beer and found it to be unbearable to my palate, nasty tasting to me! So the Barley would be good. JADB also is a bee keeper and harvester. She has copious amounts of honey but I won’t be using any of hers in my Honey Bee Ale today.
But, but, but...NJ is the GARDEN STATE!
Sounds like your groundhog to me. Fencing buried in the ground is the only thing that will stop them. My groundhhogs pull new plants out of the ground and discard them to go after grubs and bugs around the roots. They seem to just go after the newly planted plants.
I do not like belgian beer either. English and Irish ale for me.
I to like the English - Irish Ales. Reds, Browns and Dark. I am chilling down a Nut Brown Ale right now to taste and test for carbonation this afternoon. I just know it is going to be yummmy!
Yep our elderly parents are used to taking care of things themselves and do not like being fawned over. My Father (89) was getting dressed to go to church on a Sunday morning and started having chest pains and drove himself to the hospital. My Aunt called me a few hours later and told me he had a heart attack. At the time Peggy and I were living in San Antoino, Tx. I drove 12+ hours to get home. Went directly to the hospital and he was in the ICU - 10pm, and they let me in to see him and his first words to me were “what are you doing here?”. I said “Dad you have had a heart attack and are in the hospital, where do you expect me to be?”
Gardening is such a chore and a pleasure, it's "hope springs eternal" every year. One of life's joys.
Come to think of it, there have been strange pits dug around the plants, so I bet you are right. I thought it was the kids. :)
Here’s a great site to help on those tomatoes and peppers in SE Texas.
As other have said, check with your county agent. Also, and this takes some time but well worth the effort, check your growing season with the NEW zone map because climits have changed and then go to Burpee’s site and do a spread sheet of sorts for your zone’s veggies. Combine that with the Farmer’s Almanac planting by the moon dates and you’re set.
Yeah, last year was a buggerboo for Texas gardeners. We’ve already had 100 degrees in Central Texas so it looks like we might be in for a second year of HOT. You would probably have better luck not doing containers here since they dry out too fast.
Update - hubby just refilled the hummingbird feeder that he had refilled last night about 8pm. He had them flying around as he was trying to hang it. Geez, that’s 18 hours. Told y’all they’re lined up like it was McDonald’s.
I’ve been having trouble with something eating the leaves of my small tomatoe, beans, ginger, cukes,in the molasses pots so I spritzed some anti bug stuff, hubby got, didn’t help. Today I went out and loaded the area around these plants with black pepper. If the bugs like black pepper, I may add a little garlic. Let them eat gourmet.
I don’t know if this will help or not. What Mother used to do is buy a pkg. of 8oz. paper cups. Cut the bottoms out and stick them upside down over all new transplant seedlings. She used to say it blocks the “cut worms” from getting to the plants.
Got the last of the veggie gardens planted today.
The loooooong 18” wide strip of dirt between the chain link fencing and the driveway now hosts 24 Cucumber plants and 6 Cantaloupe plants set to grow on the fence for support.
The 8 4’x4’ raised beds are done too. After amending the soil with sulfur, mushroom compost, and “water crystals”, I dug it all in then tilled them before planting. The beds contain:
For those of you that have raised beds might like this. I purchased a Ryobi string trimmer a few years ago. It is made so you can use different attachments on it. One available attachment is a small tiller. It has 4 discs that have 6” tines on them. Very easy to maneuver in the confined area of a raised bed. It only takes a few minutes to buzz thru each bed.
Now for my favorite combination . . . a hot bath & a cold beer.
You don't do tomatoes?
I love hummingbirds. Saw my first one up close many years ago while attending Northern Arizona Univ. Flagstaff, Az (Geology Field camp). I was resting on a rock on the side of a steep hill that overlooked a small meadow. I heard this buzzing sound and looked around for a bee or other insect. It was a beautiful Hummer checking me out. He flitted around me coming very close and a couple of his friends showed up and hovered all around me. I was amazed and spent to much time resting on that rock. That encounter made my day!
Sorry, not a fan of tomatoes. Something about the texture makes me gag . . .
As a sauce or paste, fine. Ketchup, no problem. Fresh? forget it. Much easier to buy in cans.
I planted stuff that is hard to find locally, or too damn expensive to buy locally. When I can go to Sam’s and get a 5 lb bag of frozen veggies for 6 to 8 bucks, it is crazy to grow & process them here. But - When sweet peppers are $1 each in the store, I grow lots of ‘em to freeze.
I hear you, especially on the Bell Peppers!
Hope your harvest went well.
I had a good day today Brewed up a Honey Bee Ale, bottled my Cranberry Mead and just pulled a couple of the best looking loaves of bread out of the the oven I have ever made. The bread will be great buttered and served with the spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce I am making this evening! Sitting and sipping on a Homebrewed Nut Brown Ale right now. It is extremely tasty and strong at about 8.3% alcohol content. The one I am sipping on and maybe one more may do me for the rest of the evening. It is quite smooth and could sneak up on the unaware.
Just wondering if any of y’all have any experience with small scale grain raising? I have Gene Logsdon’s book ‘Small Scale Grain Raising’ and I’m prepping about 1/10th of an acre for raising some different grains next season. My intent is to eventually raise a year’s worth of wheat, sorghum and, maybe, barley probably pretty much like they did 100+ years ago.
I’ve got an eye out for a good fanning mill and a grist mill, too. My soil prep got rid of most weed seeds in the soil seed bank and I’ve got a stand of oats as a nurse crop over alfalfa and sweet clover to increase tilth, nitrogen and drainage (clay soils). I broadcast seed and plan to cut with a scythe and snath and rake into windrows. I’m also insane. . .
What I’d like to know is: Has anyone has raised small grains without mechanization (i.e.; tractors, threshers, driers, etc); at what scale; and how did you clean and store your grain.
Wish I could help but I have no experience with grains. I am sure there is a FReeper gardener or two who can help.
Dug the first of the Chinese early red Garlic, cleaned it and laid it out to cure today. Moved some more compost and 347 other little garden projects in spite of my physical and mental fatigue apparently triggered by elevated blood/sugar levels. Lady Bender is trying to take up the slack plus everything else she does so well. All the berries are very robust but too early for eating but the corn will get planted in 10 days or so.
Oh, did I tell you I turned 79 this week?
First, please permit me to proudly announce that I completed the Master Gardener program this week, passed the final exam and plant identification test! Whew!
Took a few photos this evening at sunset...
Banana plants growing tall
The last two blueberries...sniff
Ruby red grapefruit recovering nicely after assault by citrus root weevils last fall
White bunch grapes--harvest within the next 1-2 weeks
Thank you! It was a labor of love and serious dedication. Like being back in college, except working full time too. Very relieved the study work is behind me now.
Just great! Your knowledge will be a great asset to all your FReeper gardeners and your local neighbors!
May you have a much longer life and continue to help us with your gardening skills and knowledge!
Thank you, I’ll try that.