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Gardening: (2016– )


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2 hours ago, Shelby said:

The only thing we had to buy this year (grown plant-wise)  was the pepper plants--8 shishito and 6 jalapeños.  $70!!!!   I told Ronnie we need to figure out why we never can grow peppers in the greenhouse.  

btw - you can treat peppers like other plants - take a cutting off of a really healthy plant (before it starts flowering) and root it, then you can keep it under 14 hours of light continually to keep it like a mother plant.  Each season, take a bunch of cuttings off the mother and plant them (once rooted and hardened off) outside to finish to maturity.

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Yah.... @Shelby's garden would eat up these little seedlings of mine...  Totally envious and not ashamed to admit it!

 

With crappy city soil we went with some cloth bags.  These ones are made out of recycled plastic water bottles and drain really nicely. 

 

First day of hardening under the real thing!

 

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9 hours ago, Shelby said:

Here is the main garden.  Didn't take pics of the other two but I will.  Not a ton showing yet, but I weeded everything so I took pictures while it was still pretty lol.

 

You are Ronnie worked very hard and will have so much lovely produce to show for your efforts. I hope you'll keep us updated with photos! I love seeing your garden pickings!

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16 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

You are Ronnie worked very hard and will have so much lovely produce to show for your efforts. I hope you'll keep us updated with photos! I love seeing your garden pickings!

Thank you so much!  Hopefully it grows lol.

 

Got the straw put down around the tomato plants today.  I'm so stiff I can hardly move.  I need a shower, I stink lol.

 

One of my peony bushes finally bloomed.  I don't think I've ever gotten so many from one plant.

 

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10 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Thank you so much!  Hopefully it grows lol.

 

Got the straw put down around the tomato plants today.  I'm so stiff I can hardly move.  I need a shower, I stink lol.

 

One of my peony bushes finally bloomed.  I don't think I've ever gotten so many from one plant.

 

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Spectacular peonies! @Pierogi loved them so. So the straw around tomatoes is a mulch/top dressing to hold in moisture?

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35 minutes ago, Shelby said:

One of my peony bushes finally bloomed.  I don't think I've ever gotten so many from one plant.

 

Stunning! Are you willing to share any of your pruning/deadheading/fertilizing etc tips?   

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3 hours ago, heidih said:

Spectacular peonies! @Pierogi loved them so. So the straw around tomatoes is a mulch/top dressing to hold in moisture?

Thank you!  Yes, straw hopefully helps with moisture--it's been so freaking windy that I hope it stays.  Also, it helps deter weeds somewhat.  We used to do newspaper under the straw, but we don't get newspapers anymore.....

3 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

Stunning! Are you willing to share any of your pruning/deadheading/fertilizing etc tips?   

I don't do any fertilizer at all.  Haven't in all the years I've had them.  I think I planted a couple years after we moved here so they are probably 20 years old???  I had a lot more that died off within the first couple years.  I had planted them in some very root filled soil and they couldn't compete.  My mom used to work at a peony farm so I guess it's just instilled in me to love them :) .  She would go sucker bud (dead head) and it would take a reallllly long time in that field.  Anyway, yes, I pick off all of the buds except the main one--I go out every day to get any strays that I've missed.  Makes for beautiful big flowers.

2 hours ago, kayb said:

I love peonies. Planted four the fall after I moved here. Not that winter but the next one, we had record cold and they didn’t survive. 🥲

That sucks.  I didn't cover mine earlier this spring and I was scared but they made it ok.

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Wow - You are like the energizer bunny Shelby. I have been whining for two days after spending only 2 hours pulling weeds from our (flower) garden. It has been unseasonably cold here this year, but bought tomato starts and some bedding plants yesterday for my deck containers and baskets. We grow tomatoes and green beans in our green house in self watering containers. Have given up on our vegetable garden due to the fact that we are gone off and on camping for most of the summer and don't have the (well) water or water pressure for a sprinkler system and all the neighbourhood kids that we used to hire to water have grown up and gone on to bigger and better things! 

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1 hour ago, MaryIsobel said:

Wow - You are like the energizer bunny Shelby. I have been whining for two days after spending only 2 hours pulling weeds from our (flower) garden. It has been unseasonably cold here this year, but bought tomato starts and some bedding plants yesterday for my deck containers and baskets. We grow tomatoes and green beans in our green house in self watering containers. Have given up on our vegetable garden due to the fact that we are gone off and on camping for most of the summer and don't have the (well) water or water pressure for a sprinkler system and all the neighbourhood kids that we used to hire to water have grown up and gone on to bigger and better things! 


 

I grow tomatoes each spring/summer from 3” potted plants - one plant each in a 14” container here in SoCal. The only place I have for them gets almost no direct sun. This year the plants have grown to almost 3’ tall in around 60 days and all have a lot of flowers but no tomatoes so far. My Googling has made me conclude it’s the lack of direct sunlight, but if they can be grown in a greenhouse, I’m wondering if it’s something else. A friend bought a 3” plant that already has a few tomatoes on it (one is maybe 2” already) but those plants get direct sun. Do I just need more patience?

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9 hours ago, Midlife said:


 

I grow tomatoes each spring/summer from 3” potted plants - one plant each in a 14” container here in SoCal. The only place I have for them gets almost no direct sun. This year the plants have grown to almost 3’ tall in around 60 days and all have a lot of flowers but no tomatoes so far. My Googling has made me conclude it’s the lack of direct sunlight, but if they can be grown in a greenhouse, I’m wondering if it’s something else. A friend bought a 3” plant that already has a few tomatoes on it (one is maybe 2” already) but those plants get direct sun. Do I just need more patience?

The ones at store that say greenhouse grown probably have supplemental light if ghouse configuration does not supply adequate natural. All my great tomatoes down here grew in full sun. The very best were on wedt side of house and baked for hours.

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13 hours ago, Midlife said:


 

I grow tomatoes each spring/summer from 3” potted plants - one plant each in a 14” container here in SoCal. The only place I have for them gets almost no direct sun. This year the plants have grown to almost 3’ tall in around 60 days and all have a lot of flowers but no tomatoes so far. My Googling has made me conclude it’s the lack of direct sunlight, but if they can be grown in a greenhouse, I’m wondering if it’s something else. A friend bought a 3” plant that already has a few tomatoes on it (one is maybe 2” already) but those plants get direct sun. Do I just need more patience?

Tomatoes are a high light crop - they need like 25 to up to 50 mol/day of light which translates to either several hours of full sun per day or like 20 hours of strong shade per day.  Most commercial greenhouses have much more light than a shaded area would get, plus, during the short day season, they would have supplemental lighting fill in the gap.  It is not difficult at all to get 50 mol/day in a greenhouse - heck, I can even get it indoors using a really strong LED grow light.  Years ago, I grew a fantastic Goose Creek heirloom tomato plant in my southern facing windowsill using supplemental LED lighting.  Since it was indoors, I had to hand pollinate, but that doesn't take a lot of time for 1 plant and I had a LOT of tomatoes.  Probably 3-4 tomatoes every day for 6 months at least (Goose Creek (as well as most heirlooms and greenhouse hybrids) is indeterminate which means it will keep growing and fruiting for about a year as opposed to a determinate tomato which fruits all at once and then dies at the end of the season).

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I used to grow peppers in my greenhouse…from seed.  But, they were so slow and some of them would not germinate so more seeds got planted.  I grew jalapeño , cayenne , habanero, and some bell peppers but they never really got big so I gave up.  

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5 hours ago, KennethT said:

Tomatoes are a high light crop - they need like 25 to up to 50 mol/day of light which translates to either several hours of full sun per day or like 20 hours of strong shade per day.  Most commercial greenhouses have much more light than a shaded area would get, plus, during the short day season, they would have supplemental lighting fill in the gap.  It is not difficult at all to get 50 mol/day in a greenhouse - heck, I can even get it indoors using a really strong LED grow light.  Years ago, I grew a fantastic Goose Creek heirloom tomato plant in my southern facing windowsill using supplemental LED lighting.  Since it was indoors, I had to hand pollinate, but that doesn't take a lot of time for 1 plant and I had a LOT of tomatoes.  Probably 3-4 tomatoes every day for 6 months at least (Goose Creek (as well as most heirlooms and greenhouse hybrids) is indeterminate which means it will keep growing and fruiting for about a year as opposed to a determinate tomato which fruits all at once and then dies at the end of the season).

There’s plenty of light, just not DIRECT sunlight on the plants. The same space has produced tomatoes earlier in past years. I’ve ‘flicked’ the flowers to try to encourage pollination per online suggestions. 


Also…… I’ve been unable to find a meaning for “mol” per day in several searches. ??????

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16 hours ago, Midlife said:

There’s plenty of light, just not DIRECT sunlight on the plants. The same space has produced tomatoes earlier in past years. I’ve ‘flicked’ the flowers to try to encourage pollination per online suggestions. 


Also…… I’ve been unable to find a meaning for “mol” per day in several searches. ??????

Try a search for DLI - Daily Light Integral. It's a cumulative measure of how much light a plant gets for the day. Another way to tell if it's getting enough light is to measure the internode space - the distance from one set of branches to the next. Shade has a higher proportion of far red light which promotes stem elongation. 

 

If it's outside, it shouldn't need hand pollination but if you have no bees around, rather than flicking, a better method is to use an electric toothbrush and hold the neck against the flower truss once the flowers are open. You should be able to see the pollen falling out. Best to do either in the morning or evening rather than mid day.

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I alos grew tomatoes in NE.

 

started seeds in Jan , oh a seedling heating mat

 

tx to 1 liter plastic bottles , cut in 1/2 for later translating

 

concrete reinforcing wire cages   soaker hose , black plastic ...

 

Early Girl was my ' standard '   other were compared to those

 

' on the plate '

 

I was a member of a local CSA for a few yeaers

 

they grew , outdoors , an ' oxheart ' shied tomato 

 

hungarian something or other , deep deep purple 

 

almost black    Outstanding they were .  my heirlooms took too long to

 

grow and ripen , and in the fall , the rain left them watery.

 

of note , my mother grew tomatoes in her garden , 20 miles 

 

N. of SJ.   we both got vine ripe garden tomatoes at the same time

 

were 3 ft long , spindly as they grew inside

 

but had a 1 liter tight root all , and were layed in a carefully constructed trench

 

in May 

 

why such a difference , but the same result :   Bay Area /// MA ?

 

tomatoes set their seeds only when the night temp is warm.

 

bay area was cool at night , too cool to set

 

discovered there is a hormone that the tip of the plant secretes 

 

when it is warm , and that hormone is necessary to set the blooms.

 

and  you can buy it at higher end seed companies

 

my mother started to use it , and she , of c0urse , got ripe tomatoes

 

much sooner

 

Farmers Markets generally here pick the tomatoes as soon as paddible

 

for sale , a tomato sod early is a tomato not gotten by a squirrel 

 

each summer I ate mostly FastaPasta thin linguini 

 

which just picked tomatoes , coarsely cho0pped 

 

w the hop pasta on top , garden basil  and parmesan-ish

 

the tomatoes were warmed by the hot pasta , and not cooked.

 

I agree , for a Red Sauced pasta or other dish , high quality canned 

 

tomatoes is the way to go.

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16 minutes ago, rotuts said:

bay area was cool at night , too cool to set

 

This certainly depended on where in the Bay Area one lives; I would drive up to SF occasionally to get away from the heat in the south bay.

 

Also - I think too hot and tomatoes have a hard time. The main issues I had were hornworms, but my cat enjoyed eating them.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 minute ago, rotuts said:

its the night temp that determines 

 

flower setting fruit.

 

I know SJ is quite a bit warm than 20 - 30 minutes up the peninsula 

 

but it was still cooler than tomatoes like

 

at night

 

for quite a while.

 

Sure - but position of garden, fencing, heat keeping qualities of stuff around the plants, all mattered.

 

At San Jose State, I took a class from someone who turned out to be one of my favorite professors...he had turned his house into a classroom; it was all passive solar heating, cooling, etc.  No garbage either - and I remember BFI getting pissed off because he wouldn't pay since they had nothing to collect.

 

He was groundbreaking and brilliant regarding gardening, coomposting, etc...and he gave me an "A!"

 

https://wildwillpower.org/about-wild-willpower/also-with-very-special-thanks-to/frank-schiavo

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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I'm going to try a new strategy for growing tomatoes next year. Start the seeds in December, transplant into larger pots at least once, ideally twice, and plant out in late January/early February to grow until the rain starts and the plants rot. I have tried for the past 4 years to grow tomatoes in large pots, with varying success, so I'm going to try to plant them in the ground to see if I get better results. I can get at least 3 or 4 months before I have to pull the plants in June or early July. I will have to protect the plants at the beginning with Wall-o-Waters so they get a good start.

 

As for varieties, I have been growing heirlooms for a while, with some tasting better than others. (David Davidson's was a favorite, though the name shows a lamentable lack of creativity.) Buying heirlooms at a farmer's market is iffy at best. If they're ripe enough to taste good, getting them home in one piece is tricky. My sister, who gardens north of Denver, grows magnificent heirlooms. Her favorites are Gold Medal, Cherokee Purple, and Green Zebra, and I can vouch for how delicious they are. But then she has the right climate conditions to do that--a long growing season, for one thing, which I never had when I gardened in Salida, Colorado at 7,000 feet and a supposed 110-day season. (I say "supposed," because even though it didn't actually freeze in late August, overnight temps ran in the low 40s or high 30s. So those late summer days weren't real "days" in the sense that it took half the next day to warm up enough to start growing again.)

 

And as for mangos, 'tis the season! Pickups loaded down with ripe fruit, 5 kilos for 30 pesos, which translates to "almost free." I'm going to be making a lot of mango jam and chutney in the coming weeks. My favorite fruit, my favorite time of year because of that. 

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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@Nancy in Pátzcuaro  

 

I enjoy hearing about your plans .

 

I take it  you do not have cool nights .

 

Ive used Wall-O's early on.   those were not eventually covered w

 

black plastic.

 

Do you have in your area where you can get Reemay spun cloth ?

 

its easier to use , over and over.  Wall=O's  were pretty yuky at the end of the season

 

and the number of tomatoes I planted ballooned to three rows of 8 each.

 

Have you tried early Girls ?

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Re: tomatoes. I grew up eating hybrids. We’d have our first ripe tomatoes in late June, but the ones picked in late July/August had a richer flavor; I agree it’s the warmer nights. We usually planted Big Boys, which I think were superseded by Better Boys, which is still my hybrid of choice. I plant Arkansas Traveler and Cherokee Purple hybrids — love the taste, especially the Travelers — as well as Park Whopper hybrids.

 

I’ve found my tomato plants dying off by mid-August the last couple of years. Too much July-August rain, I think.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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@Nancy in Pátzcuaro re toatoes in  pots. For a bit I had a garden where the ony realistic space for toatoes had the worst soil (chunks of cncrete embedded in dobe. I went over to Laurel's for nice plants and advice. She sold me the grow pots. Worked beautifully  The Berkeley Tie Dye was wonderful. https://www.heirloomtomatoplants.com/   https://www.amazon.com/Dchant-Wiiiisen-10-Gallon-Breathable/

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17 hours ago, KennethT said:

The "Champagne" ataulfo are from Mexico. 

Looking forward to my first ataulfo tonight. The smaller one is very ripe. Probably straight up or on the side of a salad plate. 

 

Tomatoes are climacteric. If you can find a market vendor that knows what that means you will be much happier with heirlooms. If you look at ripening say 1-10, a good solid blush around 5-6. 7-8 is good but any fruits over that I consider ripe. Picked early morning they will continue to ripen out of the sun and heat and be best that evening, maybe next day. Watching the weather and picking 5-8's before a storm prevents splits and waterlogged. Pick an 8 or 9 and I risk birds pecking and critters taking bites. 

Old timers will have none of it. Like home bread bakers that will continue their laborious habits and not even glance at KenForkish pinch and fold or JimLahey methods. 

 

climacteric vs non-climacteric fruit

 

"...Whether or not a climacteric fruit can ripen to its full extent is dependent on if the fruit was harvested at the proper maturity stage. An example we can all relate to is with tomatoes. Tomatoes are climacteric fruit that continue ripening after harvest. However, they need to reach a certain maturity stage while still on the plant in order to ripen properly after harvest. If not and they are harvested prematurely, it results in the issues we see with store-bought tomatoes that cannot compare to home grown tomatoes..."

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