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Gardening: 2013–2015


ChrisTaylor
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Deryn,

 

Dandelions are good in a salad; poison ivy not so much.

 

Oh how I hate that stuff, and I don't seem to be allergic. (Crossed fingers, and any other mojo I can muster.) I've been known to get in a tizzy about it, don gardening gloves, glasses, and start ripping it out wholesale. I always jump in the shower afterwards, but it's probably providence that I have not been eaten up by it. When I get in one of my tizzies, I rip it up from the ground by the roots and pull it down from the trees it climbs. The roots/runners grow twenty feet or longer. Its poisonous oils are of course, spraying everywhere.

 

I'm really grateful for Dave W's idea about a much saner way to attack this horrible weed, because doc's will tell you that allergies may develop at any time in your life, especially if you push it, like I've been doing.

 

This poison ivy actually killed my blackberry bushes and grapevines. I didn't know that was even possible, but they are kaput.  The grapes especially were really good, and not something you could buy anywhere.  :angry:

 

ETA: I also tie a scarf around my nose and mouth to prevent breathing any sprayed oils, but do not try this at home or anywhere! I still can't believe I've gotten away with it so far. I knew a woman who could be downwind of the undisturbed weeds and wind up literally in the hospital.

Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Poison sumac is worse. If you encounter it be very very careful.

 

How about a disposable painter's paper bunny suit for tearing out poison oak? Wear that with gloves, goggles and perhaps a respirator or mask at the least.

 

And for heaven's sake don't try to burn poison oak once it's been ripped out.  :sad: For those that don't know already...

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I commiserate about the poison ivy, Thanks for the Crepes.  I too have a plethora of the stuff at my place in NC and it is a bear to get rid of I know. One may not be sensitive to it for years and suddenly become sensitive, so be careful. I keep bottles of Tecnu around at all times.

 

Horrible as it may sound (because someone is still subjected to the risk - just not me), the best way I found to get rid of it was to hire people to come and rip it out, year after year, till some of it finally decided to move somewhere else I guess - there is much less now than there used to be. I didn't try the boiling water trick - it might work now with the bit that is left because it is more fragile than the thick trunks of the stuff I used to have. Those you had to cut with a chainsaw.

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... poison ivy that grows so prolifically in my yard, and this sounds like a good way to kill the roots without creating a permanent biohazard.

 

Try googling "pour boiling water on poison ivy". Yeah, there really are links about it.

 

There's a risk of volatized oils from this method, although it works.

 

This woman learned the hard way:

http://jenontheedge.com/2011/09/12/poison-ivy/

 

If you cover up completely, just like you would for pulling up poison ivy, that would offer protection. Also be careful where the wind is blowing.

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Did a lot of shopping and planting this Sunday and Monday...

41a2583a53956daa264bbeaa136d1d29.jpg

Mortgage Lifter and Cherokee Purple

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Rutgers and San Marzano

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A cherry variety

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Basil

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Peas and tomatillos

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Mini watermelons and pole beans

This doesn't even include most of my herbs, plus cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, chard, beets and carrots!! All grown in containers.

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Those of you who grow tomatoes in containers: do you have to replace the containers periodically to avoid blossom end rot?  I was replacing the soil (only) for my tomato containers, back when I did several containers' worth, and the last time I tried it almost all the fruit rotted before it came ripe.  Now I'm down to a few cherry tomatoes in nursery-planted containers, and a lot of herbs. 

 

Speaking of herbs: I lovingly protected (and used) 3 basil plants during my winter trailer travels, and they've been sitting outside hardening since I got home.  They aren't looking too happy at the moment.  It got down to 30F a couple of nights ago.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Smithy,

 

I used to grow tomatoes in containers, and the best containers I used were large square ones made by Rubbermaid, and had a water reservoir tray and a special wick you installed for transferring water from the tray to the soil. They were about 3' x 3' x 3 feet deep, and I've never had a problem with blossom end rot. I only grew one plant per pot. The containers were too heavy for me to move, so I placed them where I wanted them before filling and planting. My husband could move them. I don't know if they still make them, but they were more expensive than regular containers, last for many years, and are well worth it IMO.

 

I think blossom end rot is caused by insufficient calcium being delivered to rapidly growing fruits. Tomatoes need plenty of space and well-drained, not too compact and dense soil in order to develop a sufficient root ball to deliver water, calcium and other nutrients to the plant. I never replaced the soil from year to year, but added some to top off the container if it had settled or the organic matter in it had decayed or been "eaten". A little bone meal mixed in with the soil helps if the soil you're growing in is calcium deficient. Also don't fertilize too much once your plants have set fruit and are growing rapidly. The biggest factor, though is to give the plant space and good soil or the roots won't be adequate to deliver nutrients to the plant no matter how available they may be in the soil.

 

I don't know that I'd leave basil out below about 50F. 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Those of you who grow tomatoes in containers: do you have to replace the containers periodically to avoid blossom end rot?  I was replacing the soil (only) for my tomato containers, back when I did several containers' worth, and the last time I tried it almost all the fruit rotted before it came ripe.  Now I'm down to a few cherry tomatoes in nursery-planted containers, and a lot of herbs. 

 

Speaking of herbs: I lovingly protected (and used) 3 basil plants during my winter trailer travels, and they've been sitting outside hardening since I got home.  They aren't looking too happy at the moment.  It got down to 30F a couple of nights ago.

 

As I understand, blossom end rot is not an infection.  That I can remember I've not had a problem with blossom end rot growing tomatoes in containers.  I did have blossom end rot when growing tomatoes in a real garden.

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I have researched blossom end rot quite extensively as it is a common problem when growing tomatoes hydroponically in greenhouses. It is also quite complex....

Technically, Crepes is right - ber is caused by a calcium deficiency in the fruit - but there could be many reasons for having this defiency - only one of them being not enough calcium in the substrate (soil).

Some heirloom varieties are naturally prone to it - this is because their root system is not strong enough to take up all the nutrients necessary to provide for the plant when it is growing quickly. To combat this, most professional greenhouses use hybrids, or more recently, grafting heirloom plants to hybrid rootstocks.

Another issue is ventilation. Tomatoes need quite a bit of wind to allow the necessary amount of nutrient to reach the leaf tips and fruit. Wind across the leaves increase transpiration rates, which increase the amount of water intake from the soil which carries more nutrients with it. Still air in the microclimate of the leaf slows transpiration, and with no water movement there is no nutrient movement to the extremities.

Another possible problem could be soil pH. This is a common problem in containers as there is typically less biological activity. One way to combat this problem is to add a good amount of healthy compost. Compost contains tons of beneficial bacteria which will help keep down the population of anaerobic bacteria which cause pH to drop significantly. Which leads to another thing - make sure the container's drainage is very good - wet feet is a breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria which will rot roots (decreasing nutrient uptake) and also lower pH which decreases the availability of nutrients to the plant.

Wow... sorry about this - I didn't intend for this to get so wordy!!!! I hope some of it helped...

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I had problems with BER last year, but not the year before. I am hopefully chalking it up to a bad year in general. This is only my third year growing tomatoes, or anything else for that matter, so we'll see.  I did rotate all the soil this year so all the tomato soil got transferred to non-tomato containers and vice versa.   The terracotta colored containers with two tomatoes each are Grow Boxes - self-watering planters similar to the ones Crepes described.  The instructions tell you how much of whatever plant to put in and where they should be placed, etc.  They also have a "nutrient patch" (aka fertilizer bomb) under the surface covering.  The tomatoes in those containers will be large, sturdy plants and very prolific.  Ones in individual buckets will be less so, but I've still gotten good yield from them.  

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I use Leca  pebbles to avoid rot in my pots, it is like small balls of harden clay that goes in the bottom of the pot and then on top and that keeps the tomatoes happy.

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Thank you all for your answers. Maybe I'll try tomatoes again this year.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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My baby cherry tree has its first blossom! Is there anything I should know about caring for it at this point?

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"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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I planted the last of my garden yesterday.  I have a final tally of what I planted.  I think I got a little carried away   :wacko: .......we'll see if we have a banner year.  

 

7 cucumbers

8 basil

23 okra

4 rows assorted lettuce

20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana

4 rows peas

5 cilantro

1 tarragon

2 dill

many many red and white onions

7 eggplant

3 rows spinach

57 tomatoes

5 cherry tomatoes

7 rows silver queen sweet corn

11 squash

4 watermelon

2 cantaloupe

6 pumpkin

 

I took a ton of pictures yesterday but I won't bore you with them...maybe when things get a bit bigger.  For now, just a couple.

 

We put a bench and a table on the south side of the garden so we can sit there with wine and watch it grow.  That's Chum taking a break underneath.

 

photo 3.JPG

 

View from the bench.  Excuse my dirty feet....just got done working. :biggrin:

 

photo 5.JPG

 

 

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Shelby - WOW! That's a garden and a half. Lovely. Fifty-seven tomatoes? Sounds like the perfect number! 

 

No green beans? 

Lol thank you--I know....57, such an odd one to land on.  Maybe it will be lucky :)

 

No...I love fresh green beans but I've never gotten them to grow.  I'm thrilled that my peas look halfway decent.  I've never been able to grow them either. 

 

Maybe next year.

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I was pondering to grow tomatillos on my balcony but I was told I needed two plants and I have no space for that since they can become rather large,

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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I was pondering to grow tomatillos on my balcony but I was told I needed two plants and I have no space for that since they can become rather large,

 

I am in the same situation, having purchased one plant before learning that I needed two <sigh>  I found that they could be planted very close together, in fact mine are just inches apart.  I'm looking forward to seeing how well they'll do.  If mine get too large, I'll try pruning them, just as I do many of my other vegetables.  Pruning has worked well for me in the past.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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Lol thank you--I know....57, such an odd one to land on.  Maybe it will be lucky :)

 

No...I love fresh green beans but I've never gotten them to grow.  I'm thrilled that my peas look halfway decent.  I've never been able to grow them either. 

 

Maybe next year.

 

 

You are not related to Heinz are you?

 

Green beans have never done well for me either.  Fortunately the local market almost always has excellent green beans.  The same cannot be said of various other vegetables.  I'm impressed how well my okra is progressing.  Only one seed failed to germinate.  It shall be so sad to cull.  Of course it remains to be seen if I will actually harvest any fruit.

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Well it is too late any way.  Oh and my chilli is dead too,  my daughter  has been manhandling it to the point of  no roots so it died, but we have two tomato plants and  I found a place where I can buy chilli, peppers and strawberry plant for a good price and not bog standard types  ( grow fast= no flavour).

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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I am in the same situation, having purchased one plant before learning that I needed two <sigh>  I found that they could be planted very close together, in fact mine are just inches apart.  I'm looking forward to seeing how well they'll do.  If mine get too large, I'll try pruning them, just as I do many of my other vegetables.  Pruning has worked well for me in the past.

 

I wonder if that was why there were three plants int he one pot I bought.  I was pleasantly surprised and just figured I had received a bonus.  It happened with one of my tomatoes - two seedlings in one container.

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I am in the same situation, having purchased one plant before learning that I needed two <sigh>  I found that they could be planted very close together, in fact mine are just inches apart.  I'm looking forward to seeing how well they'll do.  If mine get too large, I'll try pruning them, just as I do many of my other vegetables.  Pruning has worked well for me in the past.

 

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/v1-407.html#Production and a quote from Purdue`  Tomatillo is self-incompatible, so all plants are hybrids. Pollination is by insects. 

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I used to container plant all my vegetables with mostly successes. Now it's raised beds with modified hugelkultur- which actually works. I've never watered my broccoli and it is still alive after nearly two years. 

 

But anyway, it is far too easy to over-water the containers (I use 5 gallon buckets) especially when it's dry and the temps are high- there will be problems. Conversely, containers do dry out fairly easily, but to do it again say it would be essential to use a drip system on a timer instead of hand-watering in the am or pm.

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http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/v1-407.html#Production and a quote from Purdue`  Tomatillo is self-incompatible, so all plants are hybrids. Pollination is by insects. 

Sorry, Heidih.  I Googled 'self-incompatible' and just can't get the meaning in plain English.  Could you please do this in just a couple of sentences for me (and possibly others) if it's possible. ...and why it should matter...  Thanks.

I've grown tomatillos for the past five years.  Not well, as I have the blackest thumb in all captivity.  However, I do get enough for our own use and tomatillos are one thing which is NEVER in the local grocery stores or markets.  (Probably available in Toronto.) I container plant and my containers are a weird bunch of miss-matched items and so I have to water the plants according to container.  You'd think with 100 acres that I'd do better than that.  But there you have it.  It is what it is. 

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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