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Gardening: (2016– )


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The other days pickage 

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the Armenian cucumber variety was awesome.  Too bad it’s such a poor producer this year.

 

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this little guy was happy to see me

 

 
 

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On 8/10/2022 at 3:13 PM, Kim Shook said:

Jessica wanted to try growing romaine from the cut off ends.  We are decidedly NOT a farming family (my Italian grandmother only grew azaleas and my farm grandparents only grew calves and a neglected apple/pear orchard), but they are doing well:

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She wants to transfer them outside to a planter, but everything I read says just let them get some leaves and then harvest - that trying to grow whole heads almost never works.  

 

 

They'll need lots of roots first.

 

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For three weeks ripe tomatoes have disappeared from my garden just before I wanted to pick them.

 

I blamed squirrels and wondered how they carried them.

 

Well, I caught Henry in the act.  Its taken him 6 years to get a taste for tomatoes.  He eats them in a few bites, leaving a few seeds on the patio.

 

The turd.

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19 minutes ago, gfweb said:

For three weeks ripe tomatoes have disappeared from my garden just before I wanted to pick them.

 

I blamed squirrels and wondered how they carried them.

 

Well, I caught Henry in the act.  Its taken him 6 years to get a taste for tomatoes.  He eats them in a few bites, leaving a few seeds on the patio.

 

The turd.

Clever boy. Murphy was with me at a neighbor's house. as we stood right there he plucked the largest beautiful tomato and scarfed it. 

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I have a question for anyone who has grown okra.  It's actually for a friend of mine, but anyway, he's growing 12 okra plants. 2 of the plants are producing pods that he says are hard like pieces of wood.  The pods are like 9" long.  The other plants seem to be fine and normal.  Any ideas what's going on?

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18 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I have a question for anyone who has grown okra.  It's actually for a friend of mine, but anyway, he's growing 12 okra plants. 2 of the plants are producing pods that he says are hard like pieces of wood.  The pods are like 9" long.  The other plants seem to be fine and normal.  Any ideas what's going on?

Unless it's some variety that I don't know about, you want to pick them way before they get to 9".  The older/longer mine get, the more woody they become.

 

Here's my average picking size:

 

 

thumbnail_IMG_2895.jpg.49dba989f02d791bf41e63074d149ec9.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

I have a question for anyone who has grown okra.  It's actually for a friend of mine, but anyway, he's growing 12 okra plants. 2 of the plants are producing pods that he says are hard like pieces of wood.  The pods are like 9" long.  The other plants seem to be fine and normal.  Any ideas what's going on?

 

I used to grow okra in pots on my balcony.  If the pods are 9" long, they are wood.  As @Shelby said, pick when a couple inches long...and don't turn your back.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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7 hours ago, gfweb said:

For three weeks ripe tomatoes have disappeared from my garden just before I wanted to pick them.

 

I blamed squirrels and wondered how they carried them.

 

Well, I caught Henry in the act.  Its taken him 6 years to get a taste for tomatoes.  He eats them in a few bites, leaving a few seeds on the patio.

 

The turd.

 

Had a dog that took a liking to my patio tomatoes. I was concerned because the neighbours had an unfenced yard and garden. Then one day I saw her standing by the neighbour's back door. The door opened and a hand reached out to give her a tomato.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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6 hours ago, Shelby said:

Unless it's some variety that I don't know about, you want to pick them way before they get to 9".  The older/longer mine get, the more woody they become.

 

Here's my average picking size:

 

 

thumbnail_IMG_2895.jpg.49dba989f02d791bf41e63074d149ec9.jpg

 

I love okra but only small pods.   i cherry pick 2.5" maximum length pods.    (Moosh in olive oil, salt and pepper and scorch in cast iron.   Lovely!)

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eGullet member #80.

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I am deeply regretting that I didn't plant okra this year.  No one else in the house eats it though.  In the past I have grown enough to harvest a good gallon of pods a few times a week.  So, I have picked and eaten a lot of okra!

 

One of the things that I have observed about okra is that toughness is much more a function of the age of the pod, than size. I have harvested plenty of nine inch pods that were perfectly delectable, and plenty of three inch pods that it turned out you could barely shove a knife through.  In fact, I consider the feel under the knife to be the only reliable test of tenderness.  There's always that one pod in the patch that it turns out you overlooked for a couple of weeks.

 

I know this doesn't help much if you don't grow your own, but I do want people to know that large okra is not necessarily bad. It can be some of the best!

 

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16 hours ago, KennethT said:

I have a question for anyone who has grown okra.  It's actually for a friend of mine, but anyway, he's growing 12 okra plants. 2 of the plants are producing pods that he says are hard like pieces of wood.  The pods are like 9" long.  The other plants seem to be fine and normal.  Any ideas what's going on?

 

It may also be weather related.

I have a few Okra plants in the garden, may be three or four varieties. This year, they are all very "woody" even I do pick them not too old.

I figure this is because we are having no rain at all for a long time here in NY, and there will be no rain for the next 10 days.

 

dcarch

 

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3 hours ago, dcarch said:

 

It may also be weather related.

I have a few Okra plants in the garden, may be three or four varieties. This year, they are all very "woody" even I do pick them not too old.

I figure this is because we are having no rain at all for a long time here in NY, and there will be no rain for the next 10 days.

 

dcarch

 

Thanks. He's in southern California, so it basically never rains there, but I'm sure he's keeping them watered.

 

I also don't know if he planted 12 plants that are all the same variety, or if there are different varieties.  I don't even know if he even knows that there are different varieties (he's pretty new to gardening and plants in general).

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Quite a lot of tomatoes from our tiny little deck garden, loving them! The bowl holds leftovers from yesterday, the rest were picked this morning. Should really try for more containers/raised beds next year. 

 

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Hahahahhaha

 

WHAT GIVES PEOPLE FEELINGS OF POWER MONEY STATUS GROWING A TOMATO

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2 hours ago, heidih said:

Victory gardens. I know the meaning was different, but empowerment same?

 

Oh yes!  But I think it's just meant to be funny, maybe aimed less at some of the folks here and more at novice gardeners. 

 

But it can be a bit of a challenge to get a good tomato, especially in some climates or years. Here, for example, we had a long, cold Spring. Some folks are still waiting for tomatoes to start to ripen. I think @MaryIsobelmentioned something about her tomatoes not being ready yet. 

 

Cracked me up when I first read it, though. 🙂

 

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10 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

 

Oh yes!  But I think it's just meant to be funny, maybe aimed less at some of the folks here and more at novice gardeners. 

 

But it can be a bit of a challenge to get a good tomato, especially in some climates or years. Here, for example, we had a long, cold Spring. Some folks are still waiting for tomatoes to start to ripen. I think @MaryIsobelmentioned something about her tomatoes not being ready yet. 

 

Cracked me up when I first read it, though. 🙂

 

We are slowly getting some cherry tomatoes but every other heirloom plant has only either pea size fruit or blossoms. I too blame it on the long wet spring.

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I have been trying the hand vibration pollination technique this year for my 'maters....

 

Basically while watering (or just prior), give the plant a little shake/vibrate, near the flowers, to imitate the vibration of a bee.  Out of the 15 plants I put in (all from seed) only one has yet to produce any fruit - all flower.  Far better than my 2021 batting average.

 

Some of the plants that are ripening slower (I have a large red cherry varietal) I am pruning all suckers and lower leaves to drive more energy to fruit maturation.  Seems to be helping.

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28 minutes ago, TicTac said:

I have been trying the hand vibration pollination technique this year for my 'maters....

 

Basically while watering (or just prior), give the plant a little shake/vibrate, near the flowers, to imitate the vibration of a bee.  Out of the 15 plants I put in (all from seed) only one has yet to produce any fruit - all flower.  Far better than my 2021 batting average.

 

Some of the plants that are ripening slower (I have a large red cherry varietal) I am pruning all suckers and lower leaves to drive more energy to fruit maturation.  Seems to be helping.

I used to hand pollinate my indoor tomato plant and had tons of fruit.  The best way is to use an electric toothbrush - you don't need the brush itself, just the vibration.  Press the neck of the toothbrush under the truss for a few seconds - you should see the pollen fall out of the flowers like snow.  Best times to do it are early morning and late evening.  You should be able to get 100% pollination. 

 

Definitely prune all suckers and the lower leaves (which may or may not start to yellow)!

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3 hours ago, KennethT said:

I used to hand pollinate my indoor tomato plant and had tons of fruit.  The best way is to use an electric toothbrush - you don't need the brush itself, just the vibration.  Press the neck of the toothbrush under the truss for a few seconds - you should see the pollen fall out of the flowers like snow.  Best times to do it are early morning and late evening.  You should be able to get 100% pollination. 

 

Definitely prune all suckers and the lower leaves (which may or may not start to yellow)!

That is when I tend to water.  Typically evenings. 

 

I have seen the electric toothbrush suggested as well; those whom have utilized that approach also often suggest the tapping method and thus far it seems to be working for me.  *knocks on wood*

 

I recall reading somewhere about pruning only whether they are determinate or indeterminate and given the fact that, I have no fucking clue......I rolled the dice and picked some to cage up and let go aux natural; and some I am pruning (I know the cherries and grapes prefer to be pruned and go long and lanky).

 

On another bright note, I have noticed a lot of monarch's lately and am transplanting some milkweed soon!

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6 minutes ago, TicTac said:

That is when I tend to water.  Typically evenings. 

 

I have seen the electric toothbrush suggested as well; those whom have utilized that approach also often suggest the tapping method and thus far it seems to be working for me.  *knocks on wood*

 

I recall reading somewhere about pruning only whether they are determinate or indeterminate and given the fact that, I have no fucking clue......I rolled the dice and picked some to cage up and let go aux natural; and some I am pruning (I know the cherries and grapes prefer to be pruned and go long and lanky).

 

On another bright note, I have noticed a lot of monarch's lately and am transplanting some milkweed soon!

I have experience pruning both determinate and indeterminate varieties.  For years, my father grew determinate varieties (mostly hybrids) in our garden.  We always pruned the suckers since they won't have fruit.

 

My indoor tomato was an indeterminate heirloom called Goose Creek, which was prized for its flavor.  Being that there's only 2 of us, I liked having an indeterminate plant since I could basically harvest 1 tomato per day, every day, for months.  Most commercial greenhouse growers grow indeterminate plants - once the leaves on the stem start to yellow, they are removed leaving a naked stem and only the top maybe 4-5 feet of the plant has leaves. They will also remove the suckers since those branches won't provide fruit and the plant doesn't really need that many leaves assuming that you've got decent light levels.

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Tomatoes just getting going here in North Yorkshire.  The cherry tomatoes are plentiful (Sun Gold and Tumbling Tom). We are trying new varieties otherwise this year because seeds of our much loved Ferline F1 were just impossible to source.  We have 2 varieties of San Marzano in our tiny unheated greenhouse and Fantasio F1 outside as a salad option.  I’ve planted basil at the foot of each tomato as a companion plant and, as a result, we have more basil than I had imagined possible.  Not complaining, we will freeze any that we don’t eat.

 

Very happy with capsicums and chillies, usually these have to be grown under cover in this less than clement corner but the exceptional weather has seen them flourishing in the open air.  
 

Certainly one of the best years we have ever had for fruit and veg.  Sugar snap peas have been amazingly plentiful, unfortunately we stopped picking last week due the dreaded Covid but there is another row of small plants sitting in a run of guttering that should get transferred into the garden next week if one of us finds the strength to move them, hoping that these will produce into autumn.  Spuds have also been great, Charlotte work well for us and it is just lovely to take them from garden to pot.  

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Fact that night critters have not stripped the tree might be an indication of poor quality. Entire yield from ancient tree except sister cut a larger one open. Not totally ripe. Npt sure why she picked them all before testing but she is the bossy one.

 

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image.thumb.jpeg.efd3efdc577cd310df73135454bd3c3a.jpeg

 

The cook at the Mission Food Bank - who cooks for several programs in the building - happens to sell plants she raises at market. She had brought some leftover plants to the food bank and was giving them away to all comers - so I grabbed two plants - both with early ripening times - one this heirloom variety and the other a roma. Just happened to be checking out the garden the other day and noticed I had ripe ones. 

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11 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

image.thumb.jpeg.efd3efdc577cd310df73135454bd3c3a.jpeg

 

The cook at the Mission Food Bank - who cooks for several programs in the building - happens to sell plants she raises at market. She had brought some leftover plants to the food bank and was giving them away to all comers - so I grabbed two plants - both with early ripening times - one this heirloom variety and the other a roma. Just happened to be checking out the garden the other day and noticed I had ripe ones. 

BEAUTIFUL!!!  I have tomato envy.

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