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Gardening: (2016– )


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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!
 

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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! 

 

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Peppers are doing better than usual

 

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Okra will be taller than me soon

 

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Basil

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Tomatoes are taller than me

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Eggplant

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Cucumber

 

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

 

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

 

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I was a little nervous leaving the strawberry plants while we went on vacation, but they're doing great! Now I'll start pollinating every day and we should be getting tons of strawberries soon.

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I just wanted to share a trick for getting rid of slugs or snails which can really devastate your garden plants, flowers and vegetables. I lived in a place where they were just horrible! It was close to a pond that attracted ducks and geese, so I guess the water was part of the problem.

 

In my flower and vegetable beds, I started putting plastic containers of beer buried up to the rims. This worked really, really well! Snails and slugs love beer and fall into the ground level containers by the dozens every night. Just be sure to empty these every single morning, because I forgot for a week and was confronted with decomposing corpse smell. This does work, though.

 

So ... don't forget to empty the container every day. I used to put the used beer and dead slugs/snails in the garbage disposal. 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Recent podcast/interview by my favorite person Margaret Roach re slugs - just the overturned paper...beer works too  The slug bit is pretty far down. Love the ant info as well. These folks have a decent grip on reality :)

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11 hours ago, dcarch said:

Have you considered using Blossom Set?

 

dcarch

I don't think it's necessary.  The plants should be producing enough hormone on their own, and as long as I can manipulate the environment (which I can) I can make sure that the plants are healthy.  The only problem is the lack of pollinators (like bees) indoors, so we have to do it manually.  It seems as though some of the blossoms have pollinated themselves (maybe from the circulation fan?) but I don't know how good of a job it is or how even it is.  Uneven pollination results in misshapen fruit.  This is why most indoor growers either hand pollinate (with a vibrating wand that resembles an electric toothbrush) or if the facility is large enough, with a hive of honeybees.

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Cooler weather has lessened the incidence of blossom end rot on the tomatoes. Cucumbers have slowed down somewhat. I have a good crop of lima beans on the vines, but they aren't filling out yet. Green beans are slow to come along.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Fantastic shots everyone!

 

Your gardens look (and sound) unreal.

 

A few questions....

 

- Has anyone experienced Tomato curl on leaves (upward curl) with no other apparent 'health issues'?

 

- Do you folks pick your sucker branches on your tomatos?

 

It has been a wild season here, I have more flower sites and young (green) tomatos than I have seen in years, it has been very hot in southern Ontario and dry.  So much so I had to harvest entire basil plants and make pesto far earlier than ever this year.

 

As an aside, if I know the creepy crawler will produce something beautiful (like a butterfly) I will leave it be, but those snails and little shiny beetles that eat my roses.....instant ant food!

 

 

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@TicTac Upward curl is sometimes called "leaf roll" and can be caused by a few things....  Some varieties naturally have a curl to their leaves - but it's not usually that drastic.  If it is very hot and humid, tomato plants will curl their leaves in an effort to curl water loss.  This is because the plant is losing more water than it can take up with its roots, so the plants roll their leaves to limit evapotranspiration.  There is also a leaf roll virus which can cause this.  Finally (but this is usually more of a farm problem), leaf roll can be caused by over application of certain herbicides...

 

Based on your description, and knowing how hot it has been in the North East, I'd say the problem is being caused by the heat, in which case there's not much you can do aside from setting up some kind of misting system to lower the temps and raise humidity!

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6 hours ago, KennethT said:

The only problem is the lack of pollinators (like bees) indoors,

 

Blossom Set will fertilize the blossoms. Just spray on. When used for tomatoes, you end up with tomatoes with very few seeds. I wonder what that would do to strawberries, which have seeds on the outside.

 

dcarch

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How does the Blossom Set fertilize the blossoms?  I am to understand that it is a plant hormone which helps the fertilization set and not drop off.  I would think any true pollination is coming from the action of the liquid spraying into the flower, dragging some of the pollen with it.

 

Personally, if I'm going to spend the time spraying something into every flower (which are mostly hidden in the foliage), I'd rather spend the same time and use a pollinating wand and not use any chemical whatsoever.

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finally remembered to take the cell phone to the garden.  In order, 1.  meet George, he really seems to love dill.  Go for it little dude.  2. an over view of my 4x5 1/2 foot space.  3. Brandywines for fresh fall production.  4. Oh My Gosh, is that what I think it is?  Silks on one of the corn plants?  Will I really have homegrown corn on the cob sometime this summer?  I'm so excited.  I'll be out there shaking that corn every morning. 

IMG_0706.thumb.JPG.638732a12101529b616b89475dc9be09.JPGMeet George, IMG_0701.thumb.JPG.5467c17b3ec0c165259c52c2d3d5fcb4.JPGIMG_0705.thumb.JPG.fed7e6b4ed711e47024676382b3aed05.JPGIMG_0704.thumb.JPG.032fab2146ad5545e6a655f7f36f3caf.JPG

Edited by joiei (log)
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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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Its been a while since I ventured out to the garden. The May knee injury has sidelined me from the usual ultra-busy summer gardening regimen I'm accustomed to. Today was a new day though....the long-awaited Curcumin supplement arrived yesterday, and today, I'm 5 doses in- and feeling much better.  So, I cautiously approached the garden, found a solid pathway, and set about to locating what the storms have left us with.    We had another 2+ inches early this morning, and the ground is quite soft and squishy yet. Navigating once I got out there was interesting. 

What I found:  9 potato hills still MIA.    The rest are growing well, and do not appear to have been munched on by the dreaded potato beetles.  Some are growing blossoms. 

The carrots!!!  I found the carrots!!!   They are not where I planted them, mind you. But, they are still there.   After weeding the areas, there is some optimism in the air regarding a decent harvest. 

The beets are still MIA. 

Yellow Beans....A group of them washed downwards to the back area of the garden, and are growing in patchy areas with what I presume are some of the green beans that I thought were MIA.  They hadn't been visible previously- because of the weed/grass growth around them. I did a little weed pulling while out there, to solve that. 

Tomatoes.   Lost 3 of the 9 plants. That's the bad news.  The good news is, I started 5-6 more plants in the house, and they are doing well enough to transplant outside. I will keep some for indoor growth through the winter. 

A root vegetable....I do not know what it is.  Either turnip or rutabaga- is my best guess.  Can't be beets, as they were no where near that area. So, we shall wait and see.

Squash.  There are various plants mixed and splattered all over the back area- but clearly they are not in the hilled areas where I had planted them. Its maddening, because I've organized it so well other years.  

 

Not quite up to root-tilling just yet, but if the progress continues, I might take a stab at it next week.  In the meantime, the knee is on ice- and the chickens are dealing with George's distant Michigan relatives. :P

 

 

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-Andrea

 

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

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