Skip to comments.WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 25 JUNE 21, 2013
Posted on 06/21/2013 12:40:17 PM PDT by greeneyes
The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.
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Still eating lettuce from the spring planting and peppers from the indoor plants taken from the garden last fall.
Spring plantings are coming along. Pests have been minimal so far. Carrots failed to germinate, but the beets next to them are coming along fine. I'll plant carrots later this fall to keep in the winter garden.
Dew berries are starting to ripen and are really big this year. Blackberries must be trying to recover from the drought or something, they are very small this year and not ripening very well. We are just letting the birds have them.
Yucca plants are starting to bloom. Passion flowers are blooming in the blueberry bed. We'll get the seeds this year and plant them in a bed of their own for next year.
Hope you are all doing well, and having some successes too. Have a great weekend. God Bless.
Pinging the list.
My squash (zucchini & straight neck) are blooming like gangbusters ... and I have yet to see a baby squash! I’m getting nervous. Too many recipes ... not enough zucchini! We have gotten two out of mom’s garden & picked the first cucumber today.
It has been a beautiful two days here, but humidity is creeping its way back in & the temps will be heating up.
Found a big ol' volunteer tomatillo amidst the taters when I was weeding and hilling them. Moved it to its own spot.
Pulled a muscle in my back from all the hilling and hoeing. Ouch.
Hi! I’m doing nothing with the garden this year because of my recent surgery. It looks awful. I can’t even mow because I’m still traumatized by my mower accident 2 weks ago.
I was starting to mow the front pasture, which was really long because of all the rain we’ve had. I was proceeding slowly with the blades set up as high as I could set them. Suddenly, thud,, crunch. I turned around and found that I’d mowed over a newborn fawn. There was no sign that that little creature was underneath the long grass.
After talking to people around here (I’ve lived here more than 25 years) I find that this kind of accident is rather common among the farmers when they are cutting hay. But, I amstill devastated, and there is no way I can get to my garden area now because it is surrounded by chest high grass. It will stay that way until Fall.
I’m an all fruit cropper this years.. The nets seem to have kept birds and squirrels from feasting while we cruised Alaska.. could be a bumper crop for Asian pears, 3 kinds, and Fuji apples look good too. Bees were around but some of these trees pretty much take care of their own pollenious stuff just fine regardless. Wish I had cherry and a berry or two too.. oh vell
Never have I ever had anyone complain that they don’t have enough zucchini.LOL
I had some trash in a garden cart that I was going to burn as soom as it got full. Before it got full, a volunteer tomato came up.
I am not sure what to do with it.LOL
I hear that peppermint essential oil is good for muscle aches and pains.
I am so sorry for your trials this year. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Just had a meal at work that featured (fresh from my garden) marinated and grilled zucchini and straight neck squash. We also had cucumbers from the garden. Things are looking good. Last year I had a bad fungus invasion. It looks like I am holding it back this year.
My two adult sons visited last week. Of course they wanted quality time with Mom and Dad. (Taking back home a free motorcycle, 100+ quarts of homemade salsa, jalapeno relish, peaches, and other vegetables, 12 bottles of homemade wine (almond-raisin and jalapeno wine were their favorites), and about 40 pounds of bacon, smoked pork chops and homemade sausage probably influenced their decision to make a detour on their way home from attending a wedding in Wisconsin.)
This year is the first for our cherries, and they are awfully small. Some of our apple trees, and peach trees seem to be suffering, but we have not figured out what their problem is yet.
They may just be too close to the walnut tree, have a pest that we haven’t been able to see, deficient in nutrients, but we did use a fertilizer that is specifically for fruit trees. Hubby is still researching it.
We did figure out what was happening to our Goji berries and bush cherries. After hubby told me it happened again, I went out to look, came back and told hubby it was two-legged varmits-most likely some teenage boys that walk through the neighborhood sometimes.
The plant had obviously been cut with a knife.
I’ve got volunteer squash, cilantro, dill and basil as well as the tomatillos. I don’t even bother buying tomatillo plants or seeds any more, I can count on them coming up as volunteers each year. But the one by the taters was much bigger than the other ones in their normal spot.
Not much you can do , unless you can catch the kids,, keep watering and such,, the kids, like squirrels, will eventually move on If your lucky, I hate folks that feed them peanuts.
TRY Alfalfa pellets,, a local old timer talk show host gardener swears by ‘em, natural source for nutrients, just work ‘em in and water normally.
Wow, impressive haul, are they pulling a giant cooler? :-)
Tons of green tomatoes, even after losing some limbs from the wind.
The remaining squash after the wind storm are doing well, and I'll have fresh squash tonight again for supper.
Tobacco is doing great, and I'm keeping ahead of the horned tobacco worms, mercilessly killing the little buggers every morning and evening when I find them. They are getting rare.
Everything is doing great, including the dipper gourd plant that I didn't expect to do well here.
Oh, and I have my first baby cantaloupes now, too.
My green beans are being decimated this year. I’ve begun to apply hoy sauce/soap mixture. I hope they recover. Little white thingy’s are having a feast.
Would you share a recipe or two???? ;)
I would surely visit you as well with all that bounty.LOL
Hubby just brought in the first cucumber this year, and said he had a lot of small ones coming on.
Maybe I’ll get to make some dill piclkles this year. We haven’t had a decent cucumber crop since 2010.
Hubby thinks that the last summer was so hot and dry that a lot of the bugs died, because we have been relatively free of insects etc. so far this year. Thinks the soil got baked free of pests and soil borne diseases.
We often have volunteers in our compost pile too, but I never thought that a mesh cart would be subject to volunteers. LOL
Makes sense. Alfalfa is good source for nitrogen.
Glad to hear you are going to have a decent crop in spite of the high wind storm damages. I hate processing in the water bath canner or pressure cooker during the summer, but that’s the way I do pickles. Tomatoes too, since the freezer went on the fritz.
One big problem I have encounters is that my rhubarb is suddenly dying back. It was looking limp a couple days ago, so I watered it with a garden hose (previously it was only rain water).
Are they white flys? I read this winter that you can actually plant your beans under a row cover and leave it there till harvest, since the flowers don’t need pollination.
I even like picklers sliced and in a salad.
OOPS. Ya know it had to happen-always expect to be asked for the recipe, when you mention stuff like that. LOL
I overplant by 100%, so I can take losses. If I don't have losses, I'm ahead, but I rely on the food I grow and forage as a large part of my diet.
I’ll be planting fall tomato plants later this week. Most will be cherry tomatoes for sauce. I’ve been picking lots of veggies from our garden.
Our neighbor asked to watch his garden while they were out of town. He has about 20 tomato plants that are loaded. I picked the ripe ones and put them in the “usual” spot when they are away.
I was thinking about processing outside this summer too. What sort of set up do you have for pressure cooking or water bath canning?
Is the usual spot somewhere in your house?LOL
No, in a cooler on his back porch. I did that a couple of years ago and he now knows to check the cooler when they get home.
Both squash plants died, murdered by moths/borers. War plan completed to prevent that again. Have Hydrofarm tomato barrel with attached trellis coming and have Zucchini seed coming. This is for fall garden to transplant plants in early September. Ordered more netting - will wrap net over Zucchini to hopefully keep out moths. The barrel will be on the deck, not on the ground in garden. If this doesn't work, I'll only plant Butternut Squash from now on (in containers, not in ground) since it has hard limbs, not hollow for those freaking borers to be in and murder the plant.
Sweet potatoes in 10 gallon fabric container with potting soil mix look better than anything out there. They look just fine even though the Texas sun is beating down out there. I'm up to 94/95/96 temp. here.
This was a real learning week and I'm not through with this project. It all started with Sunflowers and oil and seed, but it went to potatoes yesterday and today went to Egypt Walking Onions. I'll just write about the final decisions and not how I got there.
Operation Sunflower Oil - Seeds
I'll get Sunflowers that grow two feet tall (I'll look up the name if someone wants it) with black seeds as black seeds have more oil than others but even black seeds have moderate, higher, and highest amount of oil depending on the strain. The seeds of the two feet tall ones have higher oil. Black seeds are also smaller than striped seeds. The seeds you buy to eat are the striped ones. I have a thought up way to crush the seeds, heat the seeds to release the oil but I don't yet have a press to press the oil out of the mass. Not going to spend $100+ for a press. I'll find a way.
Operation Sunflower - Potatoes
I'll get Jerusalem Artichokes (also known as Sunchokes) - darn, I did not know those came from Sunflower plants. Those Sunflowers are called vegetable plants, not flower plants or they are listed both places. That's because you eat the roots. I'm trying to find the “Fuseau strain as they don't have bumps but look more like a potato and one root can weigh up to four pounds. The plant can grow to ten feet. Each plant can have ten tubers under the soil. They can be eaten raw and taste like Water Chestnuts except they are sweet. They have a substance that controls the amount of sugar released into the body so that's good for diabetes. If they are stored for awhile, they act like a regular potato in the body so that would mean more sugar released at one time just like regular potatoes dump sugar in.
They are perennial so if you plant a few extra the first time (don't dig out the tubers from a few), the left in flower part of the extras will die but those extras will add more tubers until the next time they grow, and you've got more plants to come up forever. Just one 4 pound tuber will feed a number of people. I saw a picture of a four pound one split down the middle like a big regular white potato, with a stick of butter in the middle melting. You use the tuber the same way you use a potato - just substitute the tuber for the regular potato.
I haven't found the “Fuseau strain roots in this country yet. If I was in England I would have no trouble finding them. They are all over the internet. I only started looking this afternoon for the Fuseau strain so I'm not giving up finding them here. This strain has a smooth skin and looks like a regular potato. The other strains of the Jerusalem ones, are much smaller and knotty and sort of glued together. They would have to be cut apart and peeled, then they would look like regular new potatoes. I'll go to that if I have to, but I'll keep looking for them here.
Oh, yes, these tuber, either the long or knotty ones, will take over the garden if you don't keep them thinned. Some people put metal down in the ground to prevent the tubers from leaving that area. Some plant them in another plot away from the regular garden so they won't infiltrate the regular garden.
Those Jerusalem Sunflower tubers are everlasting food. You just dig up what you want and leave the rest and they are fine - go back for more when you want them. You will always have food, either raw or cooked.
I found a place in Texas that has the knotty kind and saw they had Egypt Walking Onions. What the hell was that? Well, it's onions that travel and you will always have onions. You might plant the first one somewhere other than the garden because it's always traveling and multiplying. If you are interested in everlasting onions, let me know and I'll post the link. A number of pictures of the onion are there to show how it travels and what the onions look like in all phases.
These war plans will come together as the months count down and it's time to plant for a fall garden and prepare for the spring one. This present period of time has been military procurement for this garden war - getting the proper tools so the operation will succeed.
Onward into the fray -
you are using a regular bbq grill?
OK. Thought he might be paying you to look out for the garden with produce.LOL
We had two zucchini plants last year and it supplied us with enough. This year, Mr. Sg used the “Three sisters” method and I’m afraid we might be overwhelmed. Fortunately, the seedlings-turned-transplants he gave away were mostly zucchini, so we have a bunch of butternut squash plants that can be preserved.
Hey, wow! People will line up at your door begging you to adopt them.
“Still flogging it to death, I see. You are force of nature...”
Actually it was you who started this. I checked on Sunflowers because you had them so I needed to know about Sunflowers. I’m glad I studied them.
Mr. Sg once developed a motion-sensor sprinkler device. It would be even more fun if you rigged it w/green food coloring or indelible ink to dye the varmints!
I have some of those onions, but I would like to see the website, as I just happened upon the seeds one year and never got around to learning more about them. They are part of Hubby’s garden plot.
We actually have frozen zukes before for use in soups and zuke bread.
Did you have a lot of cold snaps last winter/early spring? It seems like when we do, we have fewer early insect problems, but since correlation isn’t causation....
LOL. I like that idea. Kinda like the dye packs used by banks.
Yes, I think we did have unusually cold weather this spring for a longer period of time than usual.
The back field (production gardens) remains a mess. For the first time in my memory, it looks like my tomatoes will be a disaster. The soil is oatmeal or playdough depending on elevation. Each time it dries enough to till properly, we get drenched.
I tilled one section this week and planted corn in the doughballs. Last night I planted bean among the corn just to get the job done. If they produce - good. If not, at least I tried. I primed both by pre-soaking the seed with a smidgen of kelp extract to get them going. Last night we had a good thunderstorm so more nitrogen and plenty of moisture to keep them going for a few more days.
We take what we get from the Lord. Prepared the fields (as best we can) and rely on God for the harvest (maybe somebody else grows it and sells it in the grocery store).
Still, all is well. We’re butchering chickens tomorrow, too.
I couldn't find the right type fertilizer for containers around here, so ordered some Jobes for containers plus a not big bag of fertilizer just for tomatoes when they start to grow tomatoes in that container.
If I find a source for the Fuseau strain, I’ll let you know. Walking onions? I could never have too many onions! If I were a vegetable, I would be a big, beautiful onion! (My personality is much more turnip, but who doesn’t want to aspire to greater things? Excelsior!)
This is a blog spot that talks about them and has the pictures.