Skip to comments.WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 27 JULY 2, 2013
Posted on 07/05/2013 1:06:42 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.
This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you wont be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isnt asked.
It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!
NOTE: This is a once a week ping list. We do post to the thread during the week. Links to related articles and discussions which might be of interest are welcomed, so feel free to post them at any time.
Today is nice only 82 degrees, sun has been shining, but a Thunderstorm is moving this way. Our nights have been in the 60's-great for processing in the canner.
I have pickles in the crock soaking in brine. I have 8 quarts of green beans waiting to be washed, snipped, and snapped for processing later today.
Sad to report the death of all sunflowers except 1. Will have to replant. Some of them developed spots on the leaves, and shriveled and died. The other were preyed upon by some sort of critter that chewed off the leaves, and in some cases gnawed the stems down about halfway too.
Hubby is busy thrashing the wheat. We got our first serving of blueberries, so I made blueberry muffins. We also had the first serving of blackberries, and they were inferior in taste to prior years.
Strange because the dewberries we had earlier were quite good. I have not been on the computer this week until today. I actually accomplished some must do stuff, but my to do list still has plenty left to do.
I haven't read all of last week's thread, so I'll be reading it today too. Hope you are all doing well. Have a great weekend. God Bless.
Pinging the List.
There was an interesting link, last week on pocket gardening, and also one on the death of bees. I think it would be nice if the Freepers who posted those, would post them again on this week’s threads.
Likewise, if anyone has any other links or articles, please fell free to post them today, and anyother time.
Thanks for all the interesting information everyone.
Hope you feel better soon. Sorry about the sunflowers going down.
Glad the green beans are producing nicely. My little garden has like 7 green bean plants and only 4 pods total were harvested.
Blooms fell off and/or some bug or worm is having a feast.
My arugula has long since bolted and some of the seed pods are crumbling to maturity so I’m saving the seeds. The arugula did quite well this season. Getting hot again in North Texas—would like to see a little rain now—otherwise its garden hose moisture distribution until then.
Between yesterday and today (this is Thursday), something, SQUIRREL, ate the leaves, medium sized leaves, off one sweet potato plant only a short stalk is left. So depressing. I had netting over it but the net was close to that plant, so the varmint ate it through the net. There was no part of the leaves left. That ten gallon grow bag was in the dirt garden. I picked up the bag and carried it onto the deck and fairly close, within 8/9 ft. or so of the sliding door into the house. I dont know if the stalk left will grow leaves again anyone know? The other three plants are fine. I covered the grow bag with row cover so surely they are safe now being up close to back door. (Its now Friday and the plants were safe overnight.)
This experience has sealed it that, for now, I have to grow in containers on the deck. I think I can clear a space in the dirt garden to have grow bags bunched together and I have some fairly tall stakes that stand up by themselves to put in the center and on the edges and then drape net over the tall stakes so squirrels cant get to the bags. Ill do that when I get more plants in bags.
I have a question about baby seedlings (that is redundant wording, Johnny). I now have sprouted Sunspot Sunflowers in small paper cups and they are from 4 to 6 inches tall and the stems are substantial as are three leaves. They are in cups on a table just outside my door. When do you think they are grown enough that the squirrels/birds wont eat them as they are going in the back garden area. After the eating of the potato leaves, Im afraid to plant them at this time. I would ask the squirrels when the plants are safe, but they hate me (and I hate them). :o(
I have Mortgage Lifter little tomato seedlings sprouted from seeds and they are in cups. They are so delicate its scary maybe 3-4 inches tall and so thin I wouldnt touch them. They will eventually be in a large planter designed for tomatoes and be on the deck. How big do they need to get before transplanting them to the big planter and they be strong enough to live through the transplant? (The tomatoes I got earlier were from bought tomato plants so I didnt have to decide this problem.) When I put these new plants in the tomato planters they will be properly covered with net so the squirrels cant get them plus they will be on the deck.
See, this is my problem area I have no experience. I have to be able to sprout seeds and get them in the containers and they have to live once I do that. I am using organic seed starter for the seeds and that seems to really work for sprouting.
I was in Walmart and bought 2 Neem oil in the sprayer bottles already mixed so I can direct spray and not have to mix with water. Remember, I dont have the back 40 acres, will just have bunches of containers on a deck. If I had a large area, then I would go with the mix it yourself kind.
I hate to admit it, but I didnt even have a bucket. I bought two plastic 10 qt. plastic buckets at Walmart so I could move potting soil mix or whatever I needed to move.
Again, the questions are:
1. Will my Sweet Potato chewed off remaining stem grow more leaves?
2. How big should the Sunflowers get before they are safe from squirrels in the garden when planted?
3. How big should tomatoes get before I transplant them into big tomato containers? They will be safe from Squirrels they just need to be able to live and they are so tiny now in those cups.
Harvested the last of the broccoli today, but I’m too tired to blanch and freeze. Is it wrong that a fasting glucola test can wipe mommy out? I think we might eat out tonight!
As for the squirrels, I don't know. For some reason, I don't have any squirrels on my property. I do have stew in the freezer, though. ;)
The plants themselves should be transplanted now, they are big enough. The squirrels put a different spin on that.
I have a wee little bit of broccoli coming on but it’s really too hot. Had a cuke and some tomatoes this week but that’s about all that’s left in the garden. There is some corn but it never does any good. I did see some little bitty bees flying around the corn this morning so maybe that will help.
Thankfully, it’s been under 100 the last few days but just barely.
I think I’m going to get to include a rarely used driveway into next year’s garden. Of course, I’ll have to be careful in what to plant there because as soon as I do, someone will need to drive through.
That’s terrific. Sorry about the sunflowers, though.
The seed pods next to the quarter dollar are tobacco seed pods. The tiny little seeds are from ONE seed pod. There's about 2000 there, since it was a small pod. I've got at least 50 seed pods out in the garden.
I'm not buying tobacco seed next year.
The full article can be read @: Texas Co-op Power
Sorry about your green beans. Green beans are a necessity, because it is one of the few veggies that our grand daughter likes.
I am thinking that the sweet potato might put out some more growth, but not sure where. All the Goji’s are putting out new leaves from the bottom except 1.
Obviously, I am just a newbie on sunflowers, so I don’t know.
As long as you have 3 or 4 regular leaves on the tomatoes(most plants in fact), you can transplant. Why not do some now, and some later to see what works best for you?
It all depends. A simple stroll around Walmart knocks me out, and I can barely muddle through the take home food before laying down.
Holy Frijoles man.
I’m reminded to plant tobacco next year.
I’m going to replant in the same space, and also try a pot or two.
Well, that’s the way it goes sometimes. I’ll try again, and see what happens.
Thanks for sharing that info. It gives me some ideas.
The romaine showed quarter inch long rootlets, so we decided to pot it. I mixed up some potting soil and put it in a pot. We bought another head of nicely trimmed romaine today and decided to see if we could replicate the results. So we put the stump into root hormone dust in a dish of water. So far the celery stump has not responded. Maybe it got shaved too far back.
We harvested my first ever home-grown tomatoes! What is with the stretch marks??? The skin on one of them was splitting open. At any rate, split or no split, what they say is TRUE: homegrown tomatoes really DO taste better!
My squash are not doing well. Good green leaves, good blooming, and the straight neck is forming squash, but they have not been developing. My scallop squash will bloom, but then the end of the vine will wither with the blossom on it. No squash developed at all.
I asked the lady at our local gardening store - not the box store - and in our conversation, we decided that probably I have squash bugs on the yellow squash. She said that several things could account for the problems with the scallop squash. I purchased a soap solution for killing bugs. She suggested I try that on both and see what happens.
Re my legume problems: I had what I thought might be a “Duh” light bulb moment earlier today. I realized I had not obtained any inoculation bacteria. I specifically went to the garden store for it. The lady at the store said that this was the first year that they are not selling it because no one is buying it any more. She said that legumes usually do just fine without it. As far as my problems are concerned, it could be too damp, too dry, micro creatures, fungus, bugs, and disease. *sigh* The advice is to squirt the soap on them as well and see if that helps, as a first measure.
I had some extra dirt, so covered up my sweet potato vine some more. I saw a sweet potato peeking up at me, so with more dirt, here’s hoping that more will form! The vine is very pretty.
I bought some fish emulsion (5-1-1) and some osmocote (14-14-14). They have directions and I’ll see about applying it sometime in next few days. Can anyone tell me why I would use one and not the other? Would I use both on the same plant? Not sure at all what I’m doing here. My Darlin has been urging me to open and use the Miracle Gro blue stuff as well.
My grand experiment is harvesting me so far two tomatoes, an active lifestyle, 4 chigger bites in delicate places, quite a bit of fun, and loads of realization that I know nothing! Nevertheless, my learning curve is trending straight up, and I’m so grateful that we are not dependent on feeding ourselves at this point from our garden! We would surely starve. Maybe I can do better next year, by God’s grace.
Do you have a rifle and some ammo? What about a guard dog? I never have any deer here. We have so many dogs in the neighborhood barking all the time, and we’re a little close to town.
We have plenty of rabbits, squirrels, occasional possum, coon, and fox.
Yesterday, my husband planted some of my seedlings in flower boxes that hang off of our deck. Squash, hot yellow peppers and eggplant. He also planted one tomato in a large container. We were both too worn out today to do much of anything, but I'm hoping to get some more seedlings into the ground tomorrow. It's been so hot here and with all of the rain, the bugs are everywhere in force.
Just re-read carefully your post. I hope you guys are feeling better! Thanks for posting the thread! And happy belated Fourth of July!
Sorry to hear about your sunflowers! We had ours attacked by a herd of little black crawlie worms which I immediately neemed, then stomped! The leaves they had chewed on looked like little transparent ghost leaves. So far the plants are surviving, but it is a blow to lose a sunflower. They are so very dear and special.
Marcella, I’ve been thinking of the Jerusalem sun chokes you have been discussing. I’m wondering if it might be possible to obtain oil from sun choke seeds. I realize they are quite a bit smaller than the mammoth, but in extremis, I’m thinking they might be a possible oil source as well as food source from the roots. Have you looked into that or run across that info in your researches by any chance?
No. I thoroughly studied the Jerusalem Artichokes and the other choke which is “Sun Chokes” thinking that might work, too, but they have little to no oil and very few seeds. The flowers have thin petals and the flowers aren't big. They are just grown for the everlasting tubers, not for oil and not for eating.
The “Black Oil” Sunflower is the one for getting oil from the black seeds.
The “Sunspot” Sunflower grows only to 2 or 2 1/2 ft., has 10 inch flowers and is packed with striped seed which is the one for eating. These are the ones I just grew from seed and will plant soon within the next few days. I'm gong to try growing them in grow bags. They are not perennial like the Jerusalem and Sun Choke ones.
Tomatoes like to have consistent watering. When the weather is dry, and then there is a big rain, the tomato will split the skin due to more water than usual.
Squash may need some additional potassium, phosphorous, or trace minerals during the bloom time? I have never heard of squash without squash bugs, so you probably have some.
Fish emulsion is good to add nitrogen to your soil, when you have other nutrients in adequate amounts. For example, you might have grown a bunch of lettuce and depleted the nitrogen quite a bit, but P or K not so much. So you might want to add a little fish emulsion before replanting the second crop in that space.
The 14 14 14 is just a balanced mix, fine for generic soil nutrients. However, plants with blooms like melons, roses, tomatoes etc usually need additional Phosphate(P)especially during the bloom time.
In light of the green beans not doing well, you might want to do a soil test. Even if it’s just one of the at home kits. If your extension office is close, that’s also a good place for info, help, and soil testing usually.
Keyhole gardens ay? Thanks for sharing the article on it. Do you personally know of anyone using these type of gardening models with success?
I did not think they touched the leaves, but this year they are feeding heavily on the plants. Does anyone have any idea how to stop them?
30-06 or .308, 165 grain soft point should do it.
LOL. That was my first thought too, but she’s in an urban area, and that’s not possible.
Does your city have an animal control department?
Deer are relentless and destructive pests. I have shot many on my property when they destroy my plants and trees.
That being said, you can go the passive route and erect a “tent” of deer netting over the plants to deter the varmints. Small sachets of human hair or Irish Spring bar soap is also said to deter them, but I haven’t tried that technique.
No, but I have had volunteer plants growing in my compost pile, so it shouldn't be much of a difference.
“I’m not buying tobacco seed next year.”
Maybe you could send me some of those next year. I know I can sprout seeds now and still hate it that I didn’t manage to grow those others you sent. I learned from that not to trust “seed grower trays” you buy at stores. At least I have the plastic trays left and now know to use the cups and organic seed starter.
Fortunately, the sugar snaps have taken it in stride. We're picking daily. Tuesday, we sold 15 pounds to a private customer. Wednesday, we gave 5 pounds to a local restaurant owner; she has been giving us the coffee grounds from both of her locations for the past year and a half. Yesterday, I prepared a couple of pounds of them as a side dish for dinner with friends: bacon & balsamic glazed snap peas; we also took large bags of fresh ones for each of the other two couples.
We've been eating carrots & radishes, but so far, while coming along well, nothing else is even remotely ready to harvest...except a Giant Marconi pepper in one of the hanging upside down pots.
Need some FReeper garden help:
Some of my Grey Stripe sunflowers looked diseased; tops withered & drooped over. When I touched them, the stem separated cleanly, as if cut or bitten through. On close inspection, the stem had small, shallow brown pits and short channels, like insects chewing; and where it separated, it had been girdled by them. No bugs in evidence; and none of the native Blackeyed Susan types or the black oilseed seem affected. I have no idea what is doing it.
Although it has been cloudy and gloomy here in Missisippi the temps for this time of year have been beautiful, mid eighties during the day and mid sixties overnight this whole week. Some nice rain today with current temp at 75. Yesterday I picked 12 Breba figs, early maturing figs that grow on last years old growth. New growth figs are just two numerous to count and should be a good crop late August or early Sept. We ate the fresh figs for snacks and desert yesterday. My pear tree has a low volume of smaller fruit compared to last year. Lovely canning pears, we only have one jar left from last years crop.
“Sad to report the death of all sunflowers except 1.”
Sorry that happened. I’m going to grow the ones I have sprouted (Sunspot) in grow bags and make a decent net cover over them so varmints can’t get to them. That will take some rigging to get the net far enough away from the plants that the varmints can’t reach them. That is the plan. I’ll do it in the next few days.
You have so much growing and know so much. Could you box up what you know and air mail it to me?
I got to researching baits this past spring, since the little buggers got more aggressive and totally cleaned out our three backyard citrus trees.....two very small scatterings of this stuff the first week of April - and have not seen one since.
Well, at least you have some really good sugar snaps. Some of my sunflowers also had spots on them before they withered, and a few had that same isssue of “clean” break.
Between the disease and the critters, not a great beginning for the sunflowers here.
Sounds like your fruit and fig trees did ok while you were gone, and you’ll be able to put up some stuff this fall, maybe.
“If you don’t mind offing the squirrels, try a product called “Eraze AG” - five pound pail of pellets a little under 25 bucks.”
I would do that if I didn’t have a little Yorkie. I’m trying to keep from killing the squirrels with a pellet gun I have but my patience is about gone.
I am replanting in that spot, and also a pot or two. I did read that sometimes, when the spring is wet, the sunflowers are more susceptible to diseases.
I’ll probably spray them with my all purpose homemade cayenne spray too hoping to discourage critters.
If I kill a squirrel with my pellet gun, can I dump the dead body in my composter unit?
Neighbor refrigerates his until trash day, and tosses them in the trash bag with everything else.
I could do that. Put it in plastic bag and in freezer until night before trash pickup. We take our trash to a dumpster which is just a very short walk for me. They come on Friday and Wednesday.
I bought a huge block of Irish Spring soap to use as a deer deterrent about five years or so ago. One good thing was that we had bath soap for some time.