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Gardening: 2016 (midyear)


ElainaA
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Well, I used to have a fence, but the deer would jump right over it and the calves would go under it. (Before our house burned down, DH has his cross bow mounted on the deck, aimed at the garden to deal with intruders. 9_9)   But, since we moved our herd of Angus to the house and keep them in back pastures, the deer seem to stay away.   

Nope---that wasn't solarized. I actually had some large sheets of rubber that were laying there too long. I put them in the garden for weed control- but there were a couple I hadn't move into place yet. 

 

If you look to the left side of the pic, there is a light green section of grass---that is also garden. But, I did not put corn in the garden- so that part can just rest. It gets amended with tons---literally TONS - of manure every fall and spring.

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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The first three pictures are of my monsters from the compost, aka the squash plants that were not murdered when they appeared in the compost bin.  "Let's just see what happens" I recalled remarking to DH.  A friend who has a nasty history with out of control squash plants remarked upon hearing the news of our experiment "Nothing but trouble!".  As you can see they are a little water stressed at the moment.  It happens every afternoon despite watering full on for 40 minutes a day at this time.  They, I think there are three or four plants, have taken over the entire three-bin compost and are growing out the back and off to the side as you can see in the first and second pictures.  They are buttercup squash and I'm not sure how many of them are but a guess would be 25 or soO.o

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Cucumbers:  I don't know what is going on this year but three cucumber plants died after being transplanted as usual.  And the ones that have survived are small like the one in the picture.  Weird.  My lemon cucumber plants are ok but on the small size also.

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Here are a couple pictures of my tomato plants, Early Girl and Cherokee Purple.

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We also had some blossom end rot on baby romas. The gardener uses Epsom salts regularly, and also for the end rot crushes eggshells to a powder and applies around the base of the plant. 

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I don't see how Epsom salts can help BER, as it is a calcium issue, and Epsom salts are magnesium.  If the problem is with heirloom varieties (non-hybrid), the answer is that we just have to deal with it... many heirloom varieties root structure is not sufficient to bring in enough nutrients for the plant once it gets really going - this is (one of the reasons) why heirloom tomatoes can be expensive in the store since up to 50% of the crop can wind up being not saleable. Also, since Ca is not very mobile (it is moved by the plant with water flow due to transpiration, not actively by the plant itself), conditions that limit transpiration like high humidity or cool temps can exacerbate the problem.

 

In order to fight this in a garden, you can make a foliar spray using CaMg, a good source of calcium.  Spray on the leaves closest to the fruit - maybe you can even spray the fruit - I'm not sure if that works or not...  but you have to spray before BER takes hold - it is irreversible.

 

ETA: the crushed eggshells are a source of calcium, but are not directly absorbable - it must first be broken down by fungi and bacteria to the salt form so that the plant can take it up.  So it will take quite a while (maybe for next year?) for the eggshells to make a difference.

Edited by KennethT (log)
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In my experience nearly all varieties/cultivars of tomatoes are susceptible, new or old, some more than others.

Long fruited types, such as Romas, tend to be more susceptible.

 

What's most important to understand about blossom end rot is it's a condition (not a disease), a condition where there's a problem with calcium distribution IN the plant (not always a lack of available calcium in the soil or foliarly) with various causes....moisture fluctuation is one of those causes.
 

Keeping your plants evenly moist — for steady even growth — and well mulched is one way to prevent or lessen the problem of blossom end rot.

 

Setting seedlings out in cold/cool soil can also lead to blossom end rot, especially in early fruits.

I don't start tomatoes early anymore — haven't for years.

I start them ~4 weeks before set-out time and only set them out when the soil is nice and warm.

 

 

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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On 7/18/2016 at 9:37 PM, Jacksoup said:

I need to stay on top of the basil and de-head the flowers.

 

On 7/17/2016 at 9:34 PM, Jacksoup said:

trimmings from the basil for tonight's dinner.  We have 12 plants and my plan is to make lots of pesto and freeze it.

 

Consider using basil as a vegetable. I've posted examples on the dinner (and other "meal threads" in the past) where I used basil just like I would spinach or other leafy vegetbles.

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2 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

In my experience nearly all varieties/cultivars of tomatoes are susceptible, new or old, some more than others.

Long fruited types, such as Romas, tend to be more susceptible.

 

What's most important to understand about blossom end rot is it's a condition (not a disease), a condition where there's a problem with calcium distribution IN the plant (not always a lack of available calcium in the soil or foliarly) with various causes....moisture fluctuation is one of those causes.
 

Keeping your plants evenly moist — for steady even growth — and well mulched is one way to prevent or lessen the problem of blossom end rot.

 

Setting seedlings out in cold/cool soil can also lead to blossom end rot, especially in early fruits.

I don't start tomatoes early anymore — haven't for years.

I start them ~4 weeks before set-out time and only set them out when the soil is nice and warm.

 

 

 

Setting them out when it's not warm enough may be my problem.  I shall be mindful next year.  So far this year only a few tomatoes with blossom end rot.

 

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After the horsey fiasco yesterday, I went back to the house last evening to repair the damage from the hoofed demon. Salvaged some of the squash and most of the carrots. Roto tilled the remaining areas, and hoed a few more partial rows and a little "greens" section. In the partial row sections, I planted purple topped turnips, rutabega, Okragly beets, leeks, kale, five color silverbeet Swiss chard, and peas; For the little section of greens, I planted some Butter King lettuce, spinach (forgot which variety), Blonde du Cazard lettuce, a few Calabrese broccoli, and some Brussel Sprouts.  I'm sure there are some items missing from that list. If anything else pops up in the ground, it will be because my bag of seed packages tipped over, and mixture of seeds planted themselves.  Might make a groovy little salad. :D

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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On ‎18‎/‎07‎/‎2016 at 0:18 PM, blue_dolphin said:

As I mentioned over in the breakfast thread, the salting/draining step concentrates flavor and removes enough water that the squash retains a nice crunch but doesn't get watery at all after cooking.

 

The salting/rinsing/draining step is also very beneficial before pickling zucchini. It firms them and they retain a nice crunch.

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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With respect to the above discussion concerning blossom end rot I'll have to side with @DiggingDogFarm in that it is a physiological condition and the best way to deal with it is by preventive practices.

I'm unsure what Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) can contribute except Mg++ is essential for chlorophyll synthesis and may contribute to the overall ability of the plant to uptake and transport Ca++.

I'll have to consult one of my old textbooks on whether Ca++ and Mg++ uptake are codependent.

 

You've given me a brain worm :hmmm:.

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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This morning's pickage:

Clockwise from top left: collards, kale, basil, cherry bomb and jalapeno peppers, the start of another run of bush beans, pickling cucumbers and a few radishes that self-seeded.

 

July 21 002.JPG

 

It's also first tomato day. Some didn't make it into the house.

 

July 21 004.JPG

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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22 hours ago, Wayne said:

 

It's also first tomato day. Some didn't make it into the house.

 

July 21 004.JPG

 

 

Lovely tomatoes! Would you identify your tomato varieties please?  The small, purple one looks like indigo rose or another of the indigo series. There are so many striped varieties now that I hesitate to guess about that one. I have grown tigerella (much smaller) and am growing solar flare this year - but in both cases when they are fully ripe the stripes turn gold.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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6 minutes ago, ElainaA said:

Lovely tomatoes! Would you identify your tomato varieties please?  The small, purple one looks like indigo rose or another of the indigo series. There are so many striped varieties now that I hesitate to guess about that one. I have grown tigerella (much smaller) and am growing solar flare this year - but in both cases when they are fully ripe the stripes turn gold.

 

Starting from the upper left:

 

The bicolour is Aviuri (when fully/overripe the green striping is completely gold).

Next is Black Magic (it should be round however all the later fruit look more as expected but still tasted great).

The two red round fruit are Canadian Heart.

Next is Red Pear.

The last is Blueberries which is an indigo strain developed by Brad Gates. It's my experimental tomato for the season.

Still awaiting harvesting are Pink Brandywine, Striped German and Dix Doights de Naples (a roma type).

 

Tomatoes are smaller than expected this season as we are experiencing a severe drought in southern Ontario. The silver lining is that the tomatoes are intensely flavourful.

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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11 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Haha!  I thought about you yesterday.  I picked a total of three okra.  My plants look 100% better than they did last year, though, so I'm hoping for okra to be coming out of my ears soon.

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This is our lone peach for 2016. There was a bad freeze in April. I put lights in the trees and it looked like it worked some.

 

But this is it on two trees that usually produce a couple bushels.

 

If it makes it.

 

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2 minutes ago, gfweb said:

This is our lone peach for 2016. There was a bad freeze in April. I put lights in the trees and it looked like it worked some.

 

But this is it on two trees that usually produce a couple bushels.

 

If it makes it.

 

022.jpg

Oh man.  Damn weather.  It looks like it's getting ready to turn.....

 

If it makes you feel any better, we may only get one tomato this year too.

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I have gotten rid of most of the weeds, but because I left the plants untended for so long, there is way too much fruit sitting right on the ground, which is asking for trouble. Those are the ones I use for fried green tomatoes or pick as soon as they start to turn.

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I grew the cucumbers outside of the garden, this year for more space. They are doing OK, but need more sun, I think.

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Still, I am happy with the way things have turned out.

HC

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Today's harvest: The fennel needed thinning so i pulled some small ones. The purple beans are pole beans that are doing very badly - I'm not sure why. And, clearly it is time to start pickling. I didn't bother take a picture of the inevitable zucchini - you all know what they look like! ^_^

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These are just about the last of the raspberries. I didn't think to take a picture when I picked most of them - 4-5 quarts. You can see the result in the background or on the preserving thread - raspberry jelly. I find it odd that the raspberries have done beautifully this year is spite of the drought - and i do not water them - while the blackberries are shriveled and dried up. The few you see in the picture may be all I get.

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Here's what the blackberry bushes look like:

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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Just have a few tomatoes and herbs this year. Think we have figured out a spot in the yard to turn into a vegetable garden... a project for next season. Thrilled that the tomatoes are ripening - starting to enjoy the smaller varieties. Looking forward to the mid-sized maters and the beefsteaks.

 

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I used to have a nice veg. garden and specialized in tomatoes   24   in cages made w concrete re-enforcing wire.

 

nothing like a home grown and ripened on the vine tomato.   its the last few days when you get that incredible aroma.

 

then there are farmers market tomatoes.  some are nice, fairly expensive, rare to get that vine-aroma.  they pick them just a pin too early in

 

my area, and why not ?  economics and loss to local critters.

 

these are the tomatoes i eat now.  I mention them here because they are home improved in a heavy paper bag with a few apples in the bag.

 

they are then decent, and equal some of the Framers market tomatoes.   these are the On-the-vine tomatoes that are ubiquitous in the east at least

 

an article in the NYTimes a few years ago explained they were grown in greenhouses in Maine, of all places.  the NYT time an energy analysis

 

electricity for lights in the winter, propane for heat etc.

 

most main stream chains sell them for  3.99  t0 4.49 etc / lb.

 

MarketBasket, and interesting local chain sells them in the winter for 1.99, then 1`.49, then 1.29  w frequent sales at 0.99

 

if you carefully select groups with no visible damage, and leave them on the stem for several days +  you get these :

 

TonV.jpg

 

you leave the stems on as removing the stem might produce rot at the stem area in a few days.

 

better than nothing, good enough for Toasties, salads  etc

 

so if you can get decent versions of these  and have few other options  give it a try.

 

NB  these have little to do with home-rippened, but are better than canned for some things.

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You are right, @rotuts, nothing like a vine ripened tomato! I love them warm from the sun, washed, of course.

 

I don't care for the on-the-vine variety we get from grocery stores here much. They are extremely watery, with not much flavor. They look so deceptively pretty, though. I will buy them if what else is on offer looks anemic, though. I haven't had luck with counter ripening, between their high water content and the propensity for the seeds to sprout inside the tomato. I love sprouts, but with tomatoes being in the nightshade family, the word is not to eat them. I used to before I knew, and I'm still here. The sprouted seeds actually taste good to me, but I figure at my age, why push my luck?

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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