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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

Gardening: (2016– )

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@dcarch great post - so glad you did that. That is the big misconception about BER, the lack of calcium but it really is a distribution problem. I had the same problem with my hydro tomato and my nutrient mix was just fine.

 

Here's hoping I dont get it or tip burn on my strawberries!

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Maybe here it's because it's so damn hot, so early.

 

99 yesterday, supposed to be the same today and tomorrow.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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A storm came through this evening and seems to have taken down one of my blueberry bushes.  Or it could have been the birds.

 

Also my cosmos.

 

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I had a terrible time last year with Baltimore Orioles pecking holes in my ripening tomatoes, then teaching their young to do the same. This year, probably a month before I expected, I have tomatoes that are getting ripe. I had plans to erect a house of netting around the whole thing, but thought I had weeks to spare. In the mean time, I now wrap the ripening tomatoes in wet paper towels, to hide them from the birds.

On another note, in years past, I would always see honey bees working the flowers in the garden, but not this year. I have also noted that the zucchini are not producing well. About half the little squash just wither and drop off without ever being pollinated.

HC


Edited by HungryChris (log)
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When natural pollinators aren't getting it done, you can hand-pollinate with a small paintbrush. It's a time-consuming PITA (best done in the morning, before it gets too hot out) but it'll crank up your zucchini production.

 

...and we all know how dear to your heart those morning zuc's are. :)

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"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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6 hours ago, HungryChris said:

I had a terrible time last year with Baltimore Orioles pecking holes in my ripening tomatoes, then teaching their young to do the same. This year, probably a month before I expected, I have tomatoes that are getting ripe. I had plans to erect a house of netting around the whole thing, but thought I had weeks to spare. In the mean time, I now wrap the ripening tomatoes in wet paper towels, to hide them from the birds.

On another note, in years past, I would always see honey bees working the flowers in the garden, but not this year. I have also noted that the zucchini are not producing well. About half the little squash just wither and drop off without ever being pollinated.

HC

 

That's a great idea--using the wet paper towels.

 

We've had a couple of our zuke plants completely give up and die.  A couple have made a come back.  More seeds have been planted so we'll see if we can get a second wave going on.  Some of our squash are doing the same thing--rotting off.  Frustrating.

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The Art of growing Chokes

 

Yes, finally, after trying a few years in zone 6. Very encouraging, it's only the beginning of July.

 

dcarch

 

891983112_artichoke2018b.thumb.jpg.92457df28850adc1c3b09b4bfd210be3.jpg17656839_artichoke2018a.thumb.jpg.6bf8ed942a9b4f44a1e6a8801939bd21.jpg710313800_artichoke2018.thumb.jpg.de48af1eef0764651aa78c4e55b23455.jpg

 

 


Edited by dcarch (log)
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1 minute ago, dcarch said:

The Art of growing Chokes

 

Yes, finally, after trying a few years in zone 6. Very encouraging, it's only the beginning of July.

 

dcarch891983112_artichoke2018b.thumb.jpg.92457df28850adc1c3b09b4bfd210be3.jpg17656839_artichoke2018a.thumb.jpg.6bf8ed942a9b4f44a1e6a8801939bd21.jpg710313800_artichoke2018.thumb.jpg.de48af1eef0764651aa78c4e55b23455.jpg

 

 

Oh nice!

 

Last year mine looked just like that, minus the artichoke, all summer long.  I gave up.

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2 hours ago, Shelby said:

Oh nice!

 

Last year mine looked just like that, minus the artichoke, all summer long.  I gave up.

 

Same experience here.  Quite a disappointment.

 

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6 hours ago, chromedome said:

When natural pollinators aren't getting it done, you can hand-pollinate with a small paintbrush. It's a time-consuming PITA (best done in the morning, before it gets too hot out) but it'll crank up your zucchini production.

 

...and we all know how dear to your heart those morning zuc's are. :)

I will definitely be giving it a try.

HC

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Deb went clamming with me this morning and we made out pretty well, by "raking in" about six dozen. The day got even better after we got home: Today we celebrated "FTD" (First Tomato Day), better, still, we celebrated with a Three Bagger!!!

HC

IMG_1229.thumb.JPG.ab6d95e949402d9a60f6a8ae03259003.JPG


Edited by HungryChris (log)
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Hot weather has not been helping my tomatoes.  Particularly the plant closest to the air conditioner exhaust.  More than a few flowers have turned brown and died.  Still no sign of red.

 

My blueberries are all stripped except for the branches I wrapped in frost cover and kept well sprayed.  Did I ever mention I hate birds?  According to the NY Times the secret to sweet blueberries is to leave them on the bush a few extra days after they have ripened.  Really.  I wouldn't know.

 

Also I tried tying up my poor cosmos.  They look pitiful.  Next year perhaps I'll plant them with some support.

 

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12 hours ago, Shelby said:

Oh nice!

 

Last year mine looked just like that, minus the artichoke, all summer long.  I gave up.

 

10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Same experience here.  Quite a disappointment.

 

 

1. Select the best variety for your zone.

2. Start seedling early.

3. The seedling needs to go thru a fake winter. To set their buds, artichokes need a period of vernalization, at least two weeks of cold temperatures below 50°F, but not freezing.

 

dcarch

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7 hours ago, HungryChris said:

Today we celebrated "FTD" (First Tomato Day), better, still, we celebrated with a Three Bagger!!!

HC

IMG_1229.thumb.JPG.ab6d95e949402d9a60f6a8ae03259003.JPG

 

 

What variety of tomato do you grow that ripens fruit so early?

 

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I’ve really enjoyed catching up with your gardening exploits.  For the first time in years I have some ‘free’ time and this coincides with a mini heatwave in North Yorkshire.  First run of summer days with blue skies for around 3 years! .

 

You all seem well ahead of us in terms of gardens.  We have plenty of salads and herbs to eat but attempts to get other stuff started in good time didn’t succeed and it is too soon here for tomatoes to be ripe.  There are plenty coming on so we look forward to those.

 

Strawberries usually do well here.  Plenty of berries were produced and we netted the raised bed as usual.  We must have netted some kind of beast in there with the plants because the vast majority were eaten for us.  I have no idea by what.  Certainly no birds caught in the netting and the damage was far too extensive for the usual slug or snail that gets to the plants.  The only thing I saw was a toad, I suspect he or she lives between our raised bed and the neighbour’s fence but research didn’t confirm that toads like strawberries so I’m at a loss really.  We were so disappointed being both strawberry lovers.

 

On a happier note raspberries are now ripening.  We don’t have many and we don’t net because birds haven’t shown much interest in the past.  There are also lots of blackberries to look forward to, and gooseberries.

 

We are trying Romanesco for the first time.  Lots of leaves but as yet no sign of any centres forming.  These are very much an experiment so we wait and see, checking often to ensure no caterpillars installing themselves.  I like to mix flowers and veg, below is a pot with Romanesco, Coriander and some lobelia for colour.  Taken last week I think.

 

432A96C4-5117-4AD5-BF2D-FB833B40F1E8.thumb.jpeg.d5822f7df870d1ebe80d5484de4284d4.jpeg

 

Salads in baskets, spring onions in the trough on top of the gas bottles.  Apparently we can’t enclose the bottles...

D5377ED9-1817-4E91-BBA3-83F491C65123.thumb.jpeg.fcc8d69546d5dcdce0ce8a762ac66d6c.jpeg

 

It looks as though ugh this was taken before I replanted the basket closest to the window and we had eaten the first lot of lettuce.  The far basket has oak leaf lettuces still.

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5 minutes ago, DianaB said:

Salads in baskets, spring onions in the trough on top of the gas bottles.  Apparently we can’t enclose the bottles...

 D5377ED9-1817-4E91-BBA3-83F491C65123.thumb.jpeg.fcc8d69546d5dcdce0ce8a762ac66d6c.jpeg

 

It looks as though ugh this was taken before I replanted the basket closest to the window and we had eaten the first lot of lettuce.  The far basket has oak leaf lettuces still.

 

Is that a laurel / bay bush in the lower left of the photo? 

 

I like the idea of salads in baskets. The lobelia for color is a nice touch.

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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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9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

What variety of tomato do you grow that ripens fruit so early?

 

This is pretty unusual for here, but I did buy individual tomato plants in mid-May and picked particular plants because they already had little tomatoes on them. The largest and smallest are from a plant variety called Mountain Fresh and the middle sized one is from a container plant called Better Bush. The latter is a variety developed by Bonnie Plants and was a gift to Deb from that company, which is a regular customer at the truck shop where she works. It too had small tomatoes on it when she got it. I took a chance planting my plants in the ground as early as I did, but it happened to pay off this year. The only plants I started from seed are Burpee Fourth Of July Hybrid and, like last year, are the least advanced of the lot.

HC

 

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1 hour ago, DianaB said:

I’ve really enjoyed catching up with your gardening exploits.  For the first time in years I have some ‘free’ time and this coincides with a mini heatwave in North Yorkshire.  First run of summer days with blue skies for around 3 years! .

 

You all seem well ahead of us in terms of gardens.  We have plenty of salads and herbs to eat but attempts to get other stuff started in good time didn’t succeed and it is too soon here for tomatoes to be ripe.  There are plenty coming on so we look forward to those.

 

Strawberries usually do well here.  Plenty of berries were produced and we netted the raised bed as usual.  We must have netted some kind of beast in there with the plants because the vast majority were eaten for us.  I have no idea by what.  Certainly no birds caught in the netting and the damage was far too extensive for the usual slug or snail that gets to the plants.  The only thing I saw was a toad, I suspect he or she lives between our raised bed and the neighbour’s fence but research didn’t confirm that toads like strawberries so I’m at a loss really.  We were so disappointed being both strawberry lovers.

 

On a happier note raspberries are now ripening.  We don’t have many and we don’t net because birds haven’t shown much interest in the past.  There are also lots of blackberries to look forward to, and gooseberries.

 

We are trying Romanesco for the first time.  Lots of leaves but as yet no sign of any centres forming.  These are very much an experiment so we wait and see, checking often to ensure no caterpillars installing themselves.  I like to mix flowers and veg, below is a pot with Romanesco, Coriander and some lobelia for colour.  Taken last week I think.

 

432A96C4-5117-4AD5-BF2D-FB833B40F1E8.thumb.jpeg.d5822f7df870d1ebe80d5484de4284d4.jpeg

 

Salads in baskets, spring onions in the trough on top of the gas bottles.  Apparently we can’t enclose the bottles...

D5377ED9-1817-4E91-BBA3-83F491C65123.thumb.jpeg.fcc8d69546d5dcdce0ce8a762ac66d6c.jpeg

 

It looks as though ugh this was taken before I replanted the basket closest to the window and we had eaten the first lot of lettuce.  The far basket has oak leaf lettuces still.

BEAUTIFUL!

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A week after our monsoon season ended and temperatures rocketed up past 30C (into the 90sF), I am seeing buds on my snake beans ...cool and rainy today, tough, so not sure if they will set fruit or not. I love snake beans, because pests rarely bother them enough to actually destroy a plant or its harvest.

Several of my bitter gourds are almost big enough to harvest, and even in the Deepest Darkest Shade where my vege planters are, a few enterprising tomatoes have actually managed to ripen. Zucchini are just lolling round wasting space, meanwhile...

With high temps, life is getting hard for my container-grown silverbeet though. There seemed to be enough parsley for the plant to grow good seed, so I hadn't the heart to remove the numerous swallowtail caterpillars - I could actually see this guy's jaws moving!
 

IMG_20180627_093526.jpg

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5 hours ago, helenjp said:

A week after our monsoon season ended and temperatures rocketed up past 30C (into the 90sF), I am seeing buds on my snake beans ...cool and rainy today, tough, so not sure if they will set fruit or not. I love snake beans, because pests rarely bother them enough to actually destroy a plant or its harvest.

Several of my bitter gourds are almost big enough to harvest, and even in the Deepest Darkest Shade where my vege planters are, a few enterprising tomatoes have actually managed to ripen. Zucchini are just lolling round wasting space, meanwhile...

With high temps, life is getting hard for my container-grown silverbeet though. There seemed to be enough parsley for the plant to grow good seed, so I hadn't the heart to remove the numerous swallowtail caterpillars - I could actually see this guy's jaws moving!
 

IMG_20180627_093526.jpg

 

Nope, that caterpillar would be deceased under my foot along with any tomato hornworms

 

Gardeners work too hard to let the predator pests take all the bounty, and this comes from a person who carries "pill bugs" outside if they manage to get into my home.

 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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No harm in being selective though! Swallowtails only lay eggs on parsley in my garden, and there is enough of that and to spare...or rather, by the time it starts going to seed (doesn't take long in my very dry garden), the caterpillars are the only ones who fancy it, so as long as I get enough good seed for next year, they're welcome.

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15 hours ago, helenjp said:

No harm in being selective though! Swallowtails only lay eggs on parsley in my garden, and there is enough of that and to spare...or rather, by the time it starts going to seed (doesn't take long in my very dry garden), the caterpillars are the only ones who fancy it, so as long as I get enough good seed for next year, they're welcome.

I have enough dill and parsley to share with the feeders.  A fellow gardener in the community has let his mint go to flower and the bees are enjoying their buffet.  The horn worms I throw into the koi pond right next to the garden for the fishes.  

Tomato report, the plants I bought are just slow.  The volunteers that just came up and I moved to one area are going to town,  mostly yellow sungolds I hope.  I planted some brandywine starts today for fall harvest.  Before planting I did some amending to about 6 inches deep with what was labeled growing soil.  The area is mostly dark clay type soil and gets hard as concrete.  About the only thing that seems to thrive in that soil is thai basil.  The peas are starting to bloom. 

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It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Garden update:

 

I've never had beans be this late.  The hot air dried up all of the earlier blossoms.  A few beans are starting to form now--I'm ready for green beans and new potatoes! 

 

IMG_4859.JPG.9c8d55fcf5bde7d8f085ceeb4e782ff9.JPG

Peppers are doing better than usual

 

IMG_4860.JPG.a45b79713e7a89d9991134c236d86a92.JPG

Okra will be taller than me soon

 

IMG_4861.JPG.f7ffa8301f381ee395b8bd1e9b2acd11.JPG

Basil

IMG_4862.JPG.bcf22baaee2fed9c9be6600e0506c18a.JPG

Tomatoes are taller than me

IMG_4863.JPG.9a7c1f422e8f461b870a1455c2225f27.JPG

IMG_4864.JPG.456374a4d8c2132c2798fce85dabbea4.JPG

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Eggplant

IMG_4865.JPG.91a5f6b510456af4c2cfc5e7975a7eb6.JPG

Cucumber

 

IMG_4867.JPG.2de5e3b055ec26533761b8f021868853.JPG

I love these bumpy pumpkins.  There are only two...maybe more will come on.....

 

IMG_4868.JPG.607d07b4e016dc0345e24036e7b57323.JPG

IMG_4869.JPG.88a6fc1eaff011b6fb20876ed4969ec2.JPG

 

I have a lot of corn to shuck and put up here in a bit

 

IMG_4870.JPG.a27a27f3dc4006545512685c303f2a62.JPG

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