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Other Non-culinary interests and conversation => Fruit and Vegetable gardening => Topic started by: LizR on March 05, 2010, 02:20:54 PM

Title: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 05, 2010, 02:20:54 PM
So, I asked for this spot so I might as well start things off!

I love spring. It may sound hopelessly corny, but I really do feel optimistic every spring about all the wonderful things we will grow this season. I eagerly peruse seed catalogs, dig out last year's left over seeds and start them in a warming tray, get excited when they emerge, and spend too much money on impulse vegetable plant purchases. All this, despite the fact that our garden has not been too productive the last few years. Part of it is our three-year old (it is so handy to have a small child to lay blame on!), but part of it is that organic gardening in GA is actually pretty difficult. By mid-august, when the weeds are moving in, insects and/or disease and/or critters have destroyed most everything, and it is so miserably hot I don't want to go out and water, I am inevitably disappointed.

But this year will be different...I'll keep up with weeding, I swear! I'll use all-natural pesticides and fungicides, I'll fertilize the beds, I'll buy disease-resistant varities, I'll be vigilant for the first sign of pests. Good intentions, indeed!

So, what are y'all growing this year?

We are planning on: swiss chard, lettuces, annual herbs, fogo peppers, Thai dragon peppers, cucumber, eggplant, bell peppers, pole beans, some kind of super-resistant tomatoes (any suggestions?), and other stuff.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Beerbitch on March 05, 2010, 03:42:20 PM
I have a raised bed at home where I grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and kitchen herbs.  We planted a pomegranate tree and a bunch of berry bushes which are supposed to produce this year....Hope so.

I'm also a member of our community garden where, sadly, I can't grow any of the above because most likely they will be pilfered.  So, over there, I do more experimental things and underground stuff.  Plus lots of flowers.

This year, we're going to plant some"help yourself" items around the outside of the fence.  Hopefully that will cut down on the pilfering.

Liz -- Have you been over to the new "Gardenhood?"  A little on the dear side but a nice selection.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: morebread on March 05, 2010, 03:58:00 PM
We grow the usual tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, peppers (both bell and hot), eggplants, cantaloupes, and watermelons. The latter did the best the last two years.

I've also tried growing Central Asian melons, but they really hate our humidity. Even during the drought. Won't stop me from trying again though. If you ever tasted an Uzbek or Turkmen melon you'll know why. Reportedly they do grow well in places like Arizona.

What are the organic pesticides and fungicides you are using? I'm all for organic, but if need be I'll go all-Sevin to save the hard work.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: tansu on March 06, 2010, 09:29:44 AM
I have raised bed in front yard - one foot from street. I lose a lot of stuff but that is where the sun is.
In my seed trays: spinach, mixed lettuce, 2 peppers, 2 cucumbers, eggplants, 7 tomatoes.
If anybody has cherokee purple to swap for japanese, mule team, box car, or black cherry.
Also snow peas and purple beans.
For annual herbs I buy the ones with roots at farmers market and plant.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on March 06, 2010, 09:38:24 AM
We grow the usual tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, peppers (both bell and hot), eggplants, cantaloupes, and watermelons. The latter did the best the last two years.

I've also tried growing Central Asian melons, but they really hate our humidity. Even during the drought. Won't stop me from trying again though. If you ever tasted an Uzbek or Turkmen melon you'll know why. Reportedly they do grow well in places like Arizona.

What are the organic pesticides and fungicides you are using? I'm all for organic, but if need be I'll go all-Sevin to save the hard work.

Melons are hard to grow here - I'm guessing yours end up getting a fungus and dying?  Pretty common unfortunately.  I use Neem oil for lots of my pest problems but I do the same as you and switch to Sevin if some bugs really piss me off.  Have you tried Daconil for fungus?  It's not organic (as far as I know) but if you only have a couple or 3 melon plants and want to keep them sometimes it's the way to go.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Loundry on March 06, 2010, 11:03:02 AM
I would love to have a garden.  But to really get some yield out of it would require not only the culling of trees in my backyard, but also the culling if trees in my neighbor's backyard.  The south side of my house faces forest.  I simply don't have enough sunlight. :(

If I could teleport those trees away, I would set up an aquaponic greenhouse.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Barnum on March 06, 2010, 11:20:33 AM

Plan to break out last year's topsy-turvy's for the balcony that worked so well.  For the first time we had a lot of decent tomatoes!  Will probably to the same as last year, plant a combination of higher yield and heirloom plants.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 07, 2010, 08:00:47 PM
To answer the organic perticide question...

Over the past 20-or-so years I have tried: home-made garlic spray, complanion planting, home-made red pepper spray, neem oil, diatomaceous earth, fish fertilizer, earthworm "casings", chicken fertilizer,  (last three to supposedly make my plants more disease-resistant), "Safer " brand products, picking off mexican bean beetles and Japanese beetles by hand, cutting out squash vine borers, and probably a bunch more.

The only thing that I have seen work really well for most applications is the neem oil, but you have to get there before the problem gets bad.

Growing up in Western NY, we always had a garden and we NEVER had any problems with bugs. Never. There were so many zucchini that, like the cliche, we gave them away like crazy. My mom grew peppers, tomatoes, beans, horseradish, asparagus, beets, potatoes, edible flowers, rhubarb, pumpkins - one was at least 100 lbs-, peanuts, and other things, and we never sprayed them. When I moved south I thought that it would be easier to grow things, not harder, but it is harder.

This year I may be tempted to the dark side of better living through chemicals. But I really don't want to hurt any bees.

Barnum, you have inspired me with your Topsy Turvey success. Did you use determinate or indeterminate plants? I can't remeber from AC.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on March 08, 2010, 08:51:10 AM

Plan to break out last year's topsy-turvy's for the balcony that worked so well.  For the first time we had a lot of decent tomatoes!  Will probably to the same as last year, plant a combination of higher yield and heirloom plants.

"Heirloom" (perhaps this term goes into the overused foodie words category) does not necessarily equal low yield.  There are certainly some plants that aren't as productive as others, but I know of several from first hand experience that offer huge yields.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Barnum on March 08, 2010, 09:08:22 AM

Plan to break out last year's topsy-turvy's for the balcony that worked so well.  For the first time we had a lot of decent tomatoes!  Will probably to the same as last year, plant a combination of higher yield and heirloom plants.

"Heirloom" (perhaps this term goes into the overused foodie words category) does not necessarily equal low yield.  There are certainly some plants that aren't as productive as others, but I know of several from first hand experience that offer huge yields.


I think both that I planted last year were indeterminate, which did cause a little issue as they got huge and at least one branch tore off under it's own weight (they want to grow/branch "up" and you still end up with a weak branch/junction tearing down under it's own weight).

and as far as my casual use of the word "heirloom", please do not read too much into that.  I simply bought plants at HD that said "heirloom variety" that I expected to taste better and look worse.  Not sure that was the case.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on March 08, 2010, 09:23:08 AM
Got it.  ;) If you're at all interested check out these guys below.  You'll probably be happier with this stuff compared to what you can (or can't) find at Home Depot.  They are just over the border in Alabama and the plants that I have gotten from them over the years have always been outstanding.  Shipping isn't costly and if you do order, only choose the regular ground shipping - being so close the regular UPS ground gets here overnight.  They have fairly good descriptions about what to expect in terms of yield, pay attention to their rating system.

http://www.tastefulgarden.com/index.asp

Oh, and the "tomato" cages that they sell at Home Depot are a joke.  They do well supporting eggplant or larger pepper plants but you'll need a very large (6, 7+ feet tall) or a sturdy trellis system for GA grown tomatoes.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on March 08, 2010, 10:01:44 AM
Oh, and the "tomato" cages that they sell at Home Depot are a joke.  They do well supporting eggplant or larger pepper plants but you'll need a very large (6, 7+ feet tall) or a sturdy trellis system for GA grown tomatoes.

Yah, which is why this year i'm planting dwarf indeterminate varieties...i just couldn't keep up with the indeterminate ones, they got too huge.,
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on March 08, 2010, 10:05:44 AM
I'm going to try my hand at a 2x4 and wire trellis system this year.  After my 5 foot homemade cages were dwarfed by the monstrous vines last summer I need something different.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 08, 2010, 07:04:36 PM
Thanks for the Alanama link, HD. What varieties of tomatoes do well for you? Do you have wilts in your soil?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on March 09, 2010, 08:10:06 AM
I think we all have wilt and dozens of other pesky & pesty things in our soil.   ;)  It's just a matter of how to prevent it for as long as possible and then when something does creep up, how you are able to deal with it.  Sometimes there's nothing you can do, other times some neem oil or calcium spray will do the trick.

I've had great luck with most of the cherry/small fruits.  Perhaps it's the fact that they are so prolific anyway, but they always outperform the others where we live.  That's part of it too, you're specific garden might have better light in a better time of the day... who knows.  Sun Gold is my favorite.  They have started creeping into farmer's markets around here and elsewhere and they are a powerhouse of tomato flavor.  Carmello has done well in the past, and black pear was a good one last year.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on March 09, 2010, 08:16:29 AM
Anyone else grow in containers?
I use Earthboxes, they truely are amazing.
I set up a little timer based watering system, so i never have to water, and the plants always have the correct amount of fertilizer and water.

Last year i grew zucchini (didn't get much, the plants broke during one of the storms), peppers, pickles (killed by some disease/fungus!), tomatoes, melon and watermelon. The melon was the most amazing melon we ever ate. Too bad it was such a pain to train up a net trellis!

This year i think i'm going to do lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, cukes, and chile peppers. I'm going to try some herbs in the boxes too.

http://www.earthbox.com/index.php (http://www.earthbox.com/index.php)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 09, 2010, 08:47:29 AM
We have four raised beds but the Earthboxes look interesting.

Hot peppers are the one thing that is really reliable. Tons and tons every year. In fact, I just consolidated our frozen hot pepper stash yesterday.

Cherry tomatoes are easy too, I just don't like them nearly as much as full-sized ones. Too much skin-to-flesh ratio. But I always plant at least one anyway, just to be sure we get some sort of tomato flavor. I'll look into the calcium spray, thanks.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: CodePoet on March 09, 2010, 08:49:36 AM
Anyone else grow in containers?
I use Earthboxes, they truely are amazing.
I set up a little timer based watering system, so i never have to water, and the plants always have the correct amount of fertilizer and water.


Now that is my kind of gardening!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on March 09, 2010, 09:59:39 AM
We have four raised beds but the Earthboxes look interesting.

Hot peppers are the one thing that is really reliable. Tons and tons every year. In fact, I just consolidated our frozen hot pepper stash yesterday.

Cherry tomatoes are easy too, I just don't like them nearly as much as full-sized ones. Too much skin-to-flesh ratio. But I always plant at least one anyway, just to be sure we get some sort of tomato flavor. I'll look into the calcium spray, thanks.

I take it you haven't tried a Sun Gold, huh?!  It tastes more like a tomato than most of the large red ones, even home grown.

Calcium spray is for blossom end rot.  It's just another thing to have on hand for tomatoes.  I've only had trouble with it one year but it can be rather disappointing if it creeps up.  Simply a calcium deficiency and has something to do with large moisture fluctuations in the soil.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on March 09, 2010, 11:19:19 AM
<<< big edit >>>
Oh, and the "tomato" cages that they sell at Home Depot are a joke.  They do well supporting eggplant or larger pepper plants but you'll need a very large (6, 7+ feet tall) or a sturdy trellis system for GA grown tomatoes.

I am going to take some pictures of the rebar tomato cages that I built 5 or 6 years ago...   Yes it does involve gloves and a BIG set of wire cutters along with some rebar clips, or some good wire to tie them together, but they are just the best.

You have to buy some rebar (comes in rolls from Home Depot or elsewhere). You hqve to unroll a long section of it, depending on how many 6 foot high cages you want, and then re-roll it the way it wasn't rolled before.  It is a two person task at most, but you will end up with terrific large tomato or squash cages, that birds love unless you cover them, that last a long, long time and that you can reach through easily and prune or pick your crop...   Pictures later today..  I hunted for some of the ones I took but they are on a backup hard drive and not easily accessible.


.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on March 09, 2010, 11:36:47 AM
I've used homemade cages made from the concrete reinforcing wire over the past 3 years but never was really happy with it.  The vines still grow out over the top, set some fruit (weight), flop over and crease.  Granted, my cages are only 5 feet tall not 6, but a wire system that will allow me to create a canopy is what I'm after this year.  It might work or it might not, but it's worth a try I suppose!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on March 09, 2010, 11:43:51 AM
I saved some seeds from my Cherokee Purple tomatoes that we enjoyed last summer and I am going to try my luck growing some this year. Don't really expect them to do that well as we have limited sunlight. Lowe's had this little plastic pan with clear top that holds about a dozen of those soil pellets that expand in water. Will start them in that, it looked like a nice way to do them.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on April 09, 2010, 09:49:31 AM
Here are my seedlings that I started from seed a few weeks ago. I plan of culling each of them to only 1 plant each this weekend. They seem very happy.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on April 09, 2010, 10:34:46 AM
Nice looking seedlings AB! Our San Marzano, cour di bue, and druzbas are almost ready to put out.


Frisee and lettuces doing well, tho growing slow. Kentucky Wonder pole beans are about four inches high. Planted the okra too soon in a fit of eagerness. I'm hoping it will come up once the nights get to 55.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Beerbitch on April 10, 2010, 08:21:30 AM
   
PLANT SALE:
Also, Gardenhood just got in their tomato plants.

Date:   
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time:   
10:00am - 2:00pm
Location:   
737 Woodland Ave SE
Description
April 10th is the last frost date of spring in Atlanta for 2010! Come celebrate with our lucious organically grown heirloom tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, lettuces, Asian veggies, annual flowers, succulents, hanging baskets, perennials, and a few shrubs.

All are grown by the loving hands of our gardeners who live with a diagnoses of a mental illness. Proceeds support the Friendship Center, a place of wellness, love and hope
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on April 13, 2010, 07:39:38 AM

I take it you haven't tried a Sun Gold, huh?!  It tastes more like a tomato than most of the large red ones, even home grown.


Does anyone know of a place to buy SunGold plants locally?  I know that I bought them several years in a row some 7-8 years ago, but haven't seen them again since.  Thanks!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on April 15, 2010, 07:28:08 PM
Sorry - don't know where to find Sun Golds.

Most of the lettuce has died for some reason, but the frisee is doing well.

Okra came up and needs to be weeded like crazy.

At least one Druzba tomato plant has rotted at the stem at soil level (?).
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on April 16, 2010, 07:50:26 AM
At least one Druzba tomato plant has rotted at the stem at soil level (?).

Cut worms?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Beerbitch on April 16, 2010, 08:14:52 AM
At least one Druzba tomato plant has rotted at the stem at soil level (?).

Cut worms?

You can put some copper ribbon around the base of the plant.  You may also be over-watering.

How deep did you plant the plant?

Can you trim it and re-root it?  I know it's just one plant but it could be a good experiment.

As you can tell, I love Gardenhood -- they are a wonderful source of information.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 20, 2010, 08:12:04 PM
Planted 3 of my 5 earthboxes this weekend with the following:
1 Patio tomato
1 Bush Goliath
1 Husky Red
1 Amelia
2 basil plants
1 black beauty zucchini plant

I'm waiting for my cantaloupe seed from Park Seed as well as a pattypan squash and cucumber that are both resistant to diseases (last year my cantaloupe and cukes were destroyed by something)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on April 26, 2010, 06:41:52 AM
Put in the ground yesterday from Cross Country Nurseries (http://www.chileplants.com) (thanks for the hook-up geo, where ever you are):
Chile plants
Aji Colorado
Australian Lantern Red
Goat's Weed
Jaloro
Peter Red
Tinidad Scorpion
Tomatoes
Black Pineapple
Chucks' Yellow Beefsteak
Oaxacan Jewel
Omar's Lebanese
Purple Calabash
Watermelon Beefsteak

Bought some of their organic fertilizer this time as well.  Gonna try my best to go all organic this year.  The only way I'll break out the chemicals is if the 'maters don't bud out.

Also have two pots of transplanted arugula from BHFM.  No, they are not selling plants for planting but they sell the arugula with roots still attached.  Worth a shot to see if it takes and then we'll only take of leaves as we need them.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on April 26, 2010, 08:25:41 AM
Does anyone know of a place to buy SunGold plants locally?  I know that I bought them several years in a row some 7-8 years ago, but haven't seen them again since.  Thanks!

Check out some of the farmers markets around town.  I know Peachtree Road Market has plants available - just not sure what kind (haven't been there yet).  Check the websites and email the market managers, they can probably direct you to the folks who are selling plants and if you get lucky you might find your Sun Gold.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on April 26, 2010, 12:51:32 PM
Does anyone know of a place to buy SunGold plants locally?  I know that I bought them several years in a row some 7-8 years ago, but haven't seen them again since.  Thanks!

Check out some of the farmers markets around town.  I know Peachtree Road Market has plants available - just not sure what kind (haven't been there yet).  Check the websites and email the market managers, they can probably direct you to the folks who are selling plants and if you get lucky you might find your Sun Gold.

Thanks - I ordered some from the Tasteful Garden - I think that maybe you were the one who recommended them.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on April 26, 2010, 12:56:56 PM
Thanks - I ordered some from the Tasteful Garden - I think that maybe you were the one who recommended them.

Oh OK cool.  Yep, I've got my order from Tasteful Garden coming in next Tuesday. 
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on April 26, 2010, 02:36:01 PM
Out of curiosity why do you order from Tasteful Garden rather than say Cross Country Nurseries?  CCN has tremendous variety.  My plants were shipped from NJ last Monday afternoon and arrived to my house Tuesday afternoon.  The plants/containers seem to be a little larger from TG.  But the per plant price at TG is considerably more and the shipping is marginally less for the minimum 12 plants that CCN requires.  I guess the one plus Tasteful Garden has is that you don't have that 12 plant minimum.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on April 26, 2010, 02:52:54 PM
I'd rather support a somewhat local nursery rather than order from one several hundred miles away, and I've never had any problems finding a variety of plants that suit my needs and wants at Tasteful Garden.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: tansu on April 28, 2010, 03:30:35 PM
Never bought plants by mail, except fruit and berry, (only seeds from Italy) so can't compare cost,
but http://www.morningsidemarket.com/ always has veg plants for sale early in season. sungold last weekend.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 28, 2010, 03:39:47 PM
WTF, i ordered seeds from Park Seeds, they shipped last thursday and i still don't have them.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: tansu on April 28, 2010, 03:57:07 PM
I would love to visit other peoples vegetable garden to see what your doing, maybe pickup some ideas.
Anyone else interested?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on April 28, 2010, 06:34:08 PM
WTF, i ordered seeds from Park Seeds, they shipped last thursday and i still don't have them.


A watched Park slows arrival...    :D  It has something to do with the LHC ?
.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 28, 2010, 07:17:01 PM
i can't imagine what is taking so long!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 30, 2010, 04:40:23 PM
Is there a local place that has a good assortment of seeds? I thikn my Park Seed order is lost, and i need to start my cantaloupe and cuke seeds as well as my zucchini. I want to use disease resistant hybrids, which many times are bred by each company....any place in ATL sell a whole bunch of types?
Hastings? Pikes?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on April 30, 2010, 08:20:12 PM
If you are looking for disease resistant hybrids, you may just want to check Home Depot or Lowe's. Hastings used to have a ton of seeds but they have really cut back the past few years. And a lot of their stuff is not hybrid.

How do you grow zucchini without it being destroyed by squash vine borers? I have tried everything and asked everyone I can, to no avail. Tried aluminum foil around the bases, diatomaceous (sp?) earth, cutting them out ,and growing in containers. Nothing works and it is super disappointing.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 30, 2010, 08:23:21 PM
thanks Liz. I'll look again, all they had for squash was black beauty zucchini at HD.
Last year one of my squash broke in a storm, the other got some disease...so i haven't had to deal with vine borers:)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on April 30, 2010, 09:18:23 PM
Master Gardener friend says that if you call the County Extension agent they will be able to tell you the week when squash vine borers are laying larvae.  If you wait to plant squash, cukes, etc. until after that week, supposedly all will be well.  I'm waiting on someone else to try it this year.

In other news, I have fruit on my Early Girl tomato, planted a month ago in a very protected place.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 01, 2010, 08:08:33 AM
Thanks, I will call them!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 01, 2010, 09:19:20 AM
let us know what they say
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 01, 2010, 11:23:29 AM
Of course..i spend th emorning driving between Hastings, Lowes and Home Depot, got home, and the seeds from Park Seed got here.
Well, not a total loss, i bought cherokee purple and a black krim tomato plants at Hastings...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 01, 2010, 11:54:45 AM
Of course..i spend th emorning driving between Hastings, Lowes and Home Depot, got home, and the seeds from Park Seed got here.
Well, not a total loss, i bought cherokee purple and a black krim tomato plants at Hastings...


Of course!

Hope I didn't send you on a wild goose chase.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 01, 2010, 01:07:19 PM
Nope, you had warned me...in fact there were no good hybrid seeds anywhere. Next year i'll plan earlier and order earlier. No big deal. Cukes and squash planted today, cantaloupe tomorrow hopefully.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 07, 2010, 11:23:27 AM
I just called the ASK UGA number and got a representative in Cobb County. She had never heard of a date to plant squash to avoid squash vine borers. In fact, she said to plant them early so that "you might get some fruit before the eggs get laid". She also suggested sprinkling sevin dust on the bottom of the plant. Hmmmm
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: KoPP on May 07, 2010, 12:01:22 PM
Back in college, I was in charge of the gardening chemicals at our local variety store (go figure). We sold tons of Sevin, and this was back when malathion was readily available. Sevin was the only stuff that was 'safe' around tomatoes. It breaks down pretty quickly, though, so you have to use several applications of it to really control the bugs.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 07, 2010, 03:13:48 PM
But the Sevin kills the good bugs too. I may get to the point where I don't care, but I'm not sure I'll punblically admit it.

The Cooperative Extension lady did suggest Tromboncino and Tahitian squashes as resistent to borers. I've seen the trombochino but will investigate the Tahitian.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 07, 2010, 04:23:42 PM
Forgot to add that I picked up an Amelia tomato plant and a Black Beauty eggplant at Lowe's today. I seriously need to stay away from herb and veggie plants - I cannot resist them.

So for tomatoes that gives us: Amelia, Rose, Druzba, Early Girl, and Coeur de Boeuf.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 08, 2010, 09:21:54 PM
Got my garden in yesterday:

Tomatoes: sun gold, yellow pear, black cherry, "beauty heirloom."

Chilies: serrano, jalapeno, Chile de arbol, coloro-casacabella (found it at Pikes)

Herbs: rosemary, mint, fennel, sage, Thai Basil. Mint is far far away and is welcome to overtake its space.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: geonuc on May 09, 2010, 03:18:36 PM
Put in the ground yesterday from Cross Country Nurseries (http://www.chileplants.com) (thanks for the hook-up geo, where ever you

You're welcome. For the first time in many years I didn't order any plants from Cross Country. This year I just have a few plants growing. I did buy an Earth box based on recommendations here.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on May 10, 2010, 08:53:15 AM
Put in the ground yesterday from Cross Country Nurseries (http://www.chileplants.com) (thanks for the hook-up geo, where ever you

You're welcome. For the first time in many years I didn't order any plants from Cross Country. This year I just have a few plants growing. I did buy an Earth box based on recommendations here.

I didn't order from Cross Country last year and was dispappointed in my Chef Jeff's plants from Hastings.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 13, 2010, 06:25:25 PM
Squashed my first Mexican bean beetle on a cucumber leaf today. Rrrrrgghhhh!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 13, 2010, 07:01:35 PM
Squashed my first Mexican bean beetle on a cucumber leaf today. Rrrrrgghhhh!  

We had a large non-indigenous Lizard in our garden in Norcross, he must have eaten well as he was almost a foot long.  He only stayed with us for a year or three, but while he was in our small garden there were NO beetle problems.

I like some of the row-covers they have now.. If I was growing a larger garden, I would have row-covers on the whole lot...

I wish I could pull up some of the pictures from our 350sq/ft. garden off of Singleton in Norcross, it was a winner.  and a producer.

One day I'll scan some of those pictures into digital..

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Barnum on May 14, 2010, 04:50:32 AM
we have rabbits eating flowers down to the ground... any thoughts?  I remember growing up we used to dust the ground with dried blood... think that was a rabbit counter-measure?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 14, 2010, 06:24:59 AM
hasenpfeffer?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 14, 2010, 07:57:40 AM
we have rabbits eating flowers down to the ground... any thoughts?  I remember growing up we used to dust the ground with dried blood... think that was a rabbit counter-measure?

http://www.amazon.com/Contech-Electronics-CRO101-Scarecrow-Motion-Activated/dp/B000071NUS

We've had good luck and good fun with this thing.  Be sure to turn it off before you have visitors over... or don't.  ;D
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 17, 2010, 08:37:42 AM
we have rabbits eating flowers down to the ground... any thoughts?  I remember growing up we used to dust the ground with dried blood... think that was a rabbit counter-measure?

Blood meal sometimes works.  Also, human hair - get your hairdresser to save you some.  That has worked pretty well for me.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 17, 2010, 08:46:02 AM
we have rabbits eating flowers down to the ground... any thoughts?  I remember growing up we used to dust the ground with dried blood... think that was a rabbit counter-measure?

Blood meal sometimes works.  Also, human hair - get your hairdresser to save you some.  That has worked pretty well for me.

If you want hair, you can stop by PetSmart (or somewhere similar) and ask the groomers.  Dog/pet hair might have a little more impact than human hair.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 17, 2010, 08:48:34 AM
we have rabbits eating flowers down to the ground... any thoughts?  I remember growing up we used to dust the ground with dried blood... think that was a rabbit counter-measure?

Blood meal sometimes works.  Also, human hair - get your hairdresser to save you some.  That has worked pretty well for me.

I think that might stop me from eating them too
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on May 17, 2010, 10:22:32 AM
we have rabbits eating flowers down to the ground... any thoughts?  I remember growing up we used to dust the ground with dried blood... think that was a rabbit counter-measure?

Blood meal sometimes works.  Also, human hair - get your hairdresser to save you some.  That has worked pretty well for me.
Marigolds are supposed to work for rabbits.  I've tried the bloodmeal and human hair.  They both must be re-applied after a good rain or after you water a few times.  I still don't think either of them really deterred the squirrels or chipmunks.  I think I'll just chain a few opossums close to the tomato bed.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on May 18, 2010, 03:18:24 PM
Eldest daughter has assesed that the tinyest praying mantis is eating the leaves of my chili peppers.  Tried spraying with water, dish soap, etc.  Reluctantly will have to break out the Sevin.  Really sucks because praying mantis is a very beneficial insect.  Hmm, after a little research it can't be a praying mantis eating the leaves.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 18, 2010, 03:26:01 PM
Eldest daughter has assesed that the tinyest praying mantis is eating the leaves of my chili peppers.  Tried spraying with water, dish soap, etc.  Reluctantly will have to break out the Sevin.  Really sucks because praying mantis is a very beneficial insect.  Hmm, after a little research it can't be a praying mantis eating the leaves.

Yeah, I don't think they eat foliage.  Great assassins on bad bugs.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 18, 2010, 03:32:03 PM
Eldest daughter has assesed that the tinyest praying mantis is eating the leaves of my chili peppers.  Tried spraying with water, dish soap, etc.  Reluctantly will have to break out the Sevin.  Really sucks because praying mantis is a very beneficial insect.  Hmm, after a little research it can't be a praying mantis eating the leaves.

Good research..    tiny or large Praying Mantis do not eat leaves.   And they are your friend when the bean beetles arrive and they get a bit bigger.  You can move them, if you can find them, they are fairly gentle and will allow being moved around from place to place.

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 18, 2010, 03:36:28 PM
Yes, don't kill the mantis! I always feel like I've had a bit of good luck when I see one - they are super cool little animals.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on May 18, 2010, 03:45:38 PM
I don't want to kill the mantis but I've barely got any leaves left on the chilis.  I'll try to see if I can move it but if it comes back and gets the Sevin residue then so be it.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 18, 2010, 03:48:49 PM
I don't want to kill the mantis but I've barely got any leaves left on the chilis.  I'll try to see if I can move it but if it comes back and gets the Sevin residue then so be it.

You need an after-dark excursion to the plant/plants that are being eaten.  Take a GOOD flashlight and look real good, I'll bet you find a few caterpillars that live in your soil (sometimes cutworms, sometimes not), during the day and come out at night to feast on your plants...

I'll bet you a beer....

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 18, 2010, 03:56:15 PM
I have some VERY special Calabrian chili peppers that my dad brought me from Italy, they were fresh. I've since frozen them. How do i harvest/dry the seeds for planting next year?

If it way too late to grow some from seed this year?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 18, 2010, 04:25:06 PM
I have some VERY special Calabrian chili peppers that my dad brought me from Italy, they were fresh. I've since frozen them. How do i harvest/dry the seeds for planting next year?

If it way too late to grow some from seed this year?

Peppers here in the Deep South are a 45 day plant to fruit. 

If you start them now and have a good place to grow them, you should be still picking peppers in October.

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 18, 2010, 04:29:19 PM
I might give it a try then GG2, thanks!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 18, 2010, 04:46:04 PM
I might give it a try then GG2, thanks!  


but again, who knows about those smuggled from Italy plants you are raising.   8)

 I am sure there is info about them on the Google...?

The Aji peppers that I grew in my garden in Norcross were started Jan. 30th and fruited Sept. 7th..   We ate those three kinds of fiery Aji peppers until Christmas.   They are normally grown at such a high altitude that they had to figure it all out when they came out of the ground at 1700ft. above sea level.  Like some Thai peppers they wintered over in pots and lasted about 4 years before a long Mexican vacation killed them..

I remember those plants and those dates because they are birthdays of folks in our family.  

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 18, 2010, 04:55:37 PM
jan - sept?! if that's the case with these, there is no way i'll make it in time!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 18, 2010, 05:03:35 PM
jan - sept?! if that's the case with these, there is no way i'll make it in time! 

Do half of the seeds..   save the rest for next year.. You only probably want a couple plants anyway, and there are many seeds in a pepper. 

Make sure they do NOT cross pollinate with your other peppers if you have any growing if you are going to save seeds to replant the next year.

Soak the seed in water for a day or so to rehydrate them and then plant them in those peat pots or however you are doing it..?

I used to germinate the seeds in a layer of paper towels before replanting carefully in peat pots..

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 18, 2010, 05:45:52 PM
cool GG2, that's what i'll do. I'll get one of those jiffy peat pellet greenhouses for like $3.
I'll do maybe seeds from 1 pepper, and save a bunch for next year. I have no other chilies so no cross pollination which is good.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on May 31, 2010, 03:30:24 PM
This is my first tomato from the Cherokee Purples I started from seed. My potted plants seem to be growing faster and with more blooms than the inverted planters. Maybe they are getting a little more sun.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 01, 2010, 07:09:54 AM
Do you pinch the suckers on your tomato plants?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 01, 2010, 08:15:16 AM
Do you pinch the suckers on your tomato plants?

Most of them when I see them and especially at the beginning of the plant's growth. 
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 01, 2010, 08:20:12 AM
I haven't been pinching mine off. If you do you get less tomatoes but larger ones. We have such marginal sunlight that I will settle for any size I get. It is amazing to see such large plant growth from a tiny seed. Nature is pretty amazing.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 01, 2010, 08:34:00 AM
At the beginning I like to do it because they truly suck (where do you think the name comes from) lots of the energy from the plant.  Some nutrients go towards building that faster growing stem rather than going towards things like roots and leaves.  

I do the same with the first several batches of flower buds that I see too - I pick them off.  In my opinion, a 12 inch plant is far too small to support any kind of healthy tomato growth.  Again, that energy needs to go towards building better roots and leaves.  As a result I am only just now getting some significant flowers on my plants.  I'm obviously a little behind others who are growing but I think it's the right way to grow.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on June 01, 2010, 09:06:53 AM
Picked my first Early Girls yesterday.  Not quite ready to eat, but wanted to get to them before the squirrels/birds have a chance.  Lots of tomatoes on all of the other plants, including one ginormous pink Brandywine that's just sitting there green for the past 3 weeks.  Finally,  tomato season is really here!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 01, 2010, 09:53:31 AM
I do the same with the first several batches of flower buds that I see too - I pick them off.  In my opinion, a 12 inch plant is far too small to support any kind of healthy tomato growth.  Again, that energy needs to go towards building better roots and leaves.  As a result I am only just now getting some significant flowers on my plants.  I'm obviously a little behind others who are growing but I think it's the right way to grow.
I don't know about that.  My six tomato plants (not including the bush I got from Costco) are about 12-20 inches and nary a bud.  The plants seem healthy.  They just don't get as much sun as they probably need so I have to have a little patience.

Eddited to show emphasis on what I was replying to.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 01, 2010, 10:08:34 AM
I don't know about that.  My six tomato plants (not including the bush I got from Costco) are about 12-20 inches and nary a bud.  The plants seem healthy.  They just don't get as much sun as they probably need so I have to have a little patience.

I think you're missing my point.  I'm only talking about keeping the tomato plant itself from producing fruit too early in the growing process.  By picking off the first flowers (or even small tomatoes) when the plant is very small and very young, in theory I'm making the plant concentrate more on overall plant growth as opposed to fruit growth.

I'm not saying that your plant isn't healthy because you don't have any blossoms yet, in fact your situation is exactly what I'm trying to achieve.  I want the plant to be 12-20 inches before it starts producing fruit because I think the plant at that stage is large enough to support healthy production.

The only time this would be a bad idea is if the tomato plant in question is a determinate variety.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 03, 2010, 07:40:38 AM
Has anyone seen the small Bonnie (or not) containers of basil?  The only ones I've found at Lowe's and HD are the larger containers retailing for $3.25+.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 03, 2010, 07:54:13 AM
My thai basil looks like my only garden casualty so far.  It has some kind of nasty fungus and is dropping all its leaves.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 03, 2010, 08:29:42 AM
2 of my tomatoes toppled over the weekend. I stood them up and put an Ultomato support....looks like they'll live.
My 2 heirloom maters seem to be stunted in their growth...i don't know what's going on with those.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 03, 2010, 08:57:52 AM
I've got one tomato that's at least 4 feet high now, it really rocketed up this past week, and the other three I have are only about 2.5 feet high.  Some of it depends on the variety of plant, some of it depends on the location of the plant (sunlight, available moisture, nutrients), and some of it it probably just plain unexplained. 

With all this rain and moisture around, everyone be on the look out for fungus on your leaves (yellow or black spots).  If your plant has plenty of other branches and leaves, cut off the bottom branches so that none are touching the ground/mulch at all.  It seems to help prevent or at least slow down a fungal attack and helps keep bad bugs off too.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 03, 2010, 09:16:22 AM
These tiny plants were planted 1 week after my others which are not 4' +....  i might rip 'em out and replace if i can find some new black krim and cherokee purple plants at the market this weekend.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 03, 2010, 09:22:51 AM
I'd let them grow if I were you unless they are really sickly looking.  You've already invested this much time in them.  Starting over would be just that, starting from scratch.  The roots would take some time to develop and establish themselves, etc.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 03, 2010, 09:35:03 AM
i've been told by a fellow on the Earthbox forum that every once and a while they would get tomato plants (he used to sell them) that just never grew, for no particular reason....they would just stay tiny.
that's what i'm afraid of....
If i wait much longer, it'll will be definitely too late....i'll see..maybe i'll ask the dude selling the plants if he's every seen that.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 03, 2010, 09:44:58 AM
I'd let them grow if I were you unless they are really sickly looking.  You've already invested this much time in them.  Starting over would be just that, starting from scratch.  The roots would take some time to develop and establish themselves, etc.

btw.. those suckers once removed and dusted with a bit of rootone will root at once in a semi-shady spot in some good potting soil.  Some of the determinates will run out of steam but you can pop an already rooted and growing new plant in and go for phase II..

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 04, 2010, 08:58:17 PM
Zucchini plant, basil which is to the left and right of the zucc, and covered, Patio tom, Bush goliath, and midget black krim
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Qe4KleSN3Go/TAmu5MHqjAI/AAAAAAAABh8/D3W0JhP1ZxE/s800/plants.jpg)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 04, 2010, 11:24:58 PM
Nice Jason - I send you and your family my best wishes to avoid the dreaded squash vine borer. Keep us in the loop!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 05, 2010, 05:23:59 AM
thanks liz. I hope i get at least a few zuccs before the vine borer gets me!:)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 05, 2010, 05:25:24 PM
I think my first tomato has end rot. Anybody know what causes that and is there anything to prevent it?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 05, 2010, 05:41:35 PM
Are you farily sure that that is what it is? This site is a great general gardening resource:

http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2000082444023571.html

I think that all of the wet weather can be really hard on tomatoes. Ours look ok so far, but I am only cautiously optomistic right now.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 05, 2010, 06:04:02 PM
I think my first tomato has end rot. Anybody know what causes that and is there anything to prevent it?

If it is truly end rot (actually called blossom end rot) then all you need is a calcium spray.  Real simple fix.  I have a bottle on hand just for such occasions.  You should be able to find some of the spray and concentrated spray at Pike's or probably even Home Depot/Lowe's.  The blossom end rot is a calcium deficiency and comes from stress (more or less) whether it be from heat or water fluctuations, etc.  If you've ever read about people putting a handful of lime (garden lime, not mojito) or even egg shells in the soil when they plant tomatoes, that's why - to supply calcium.

The spray actually has a very complex name, it's called "Blossom End Rot Spray".  ::)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 06, 2010, 06:24:33 AM
Anybody tried or had success with tomatillos?  Saw a plant at Wal-mart yesterday and figured what the heck.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 06, 2010, 09:25:46 AM
Anybody tried or had success with tomatillos?  Saw a plant at Wal-mart yesterday and figured what the heck.

No, but it sure sounds like a cool idea.  Now its on my list for next year.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 06, 2010, 10:57:49 AM
Funny your should mention tomatillos - I was trying to post a picture of our tomatillo plant here yesterday but didn't have time to fiddle with Flickr. This is the first year growing them for us. We started them from seed directly in the ground and only three came up. They are actually pretty big plants, though, so I think three will be plenty. No fruits yet but lots of yellow blossoms.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 06, 2010, 01:53:41 PM
Funny your should mention tomatillos - I was trying to post a picture of our tomatillo plant here yesterday but didn't have time to fiddle with Flickr. This is the first year growing them for us. We started them from seed directly in the ground and only three came up. They are actually pretty big plants, though, so I think three will be plenty. No fruits yet but lots of yellow blossoms.

My tomatillo plants ( several years ago in Norcross ), did really well.. I had raised beds there and grew two plants that more than produced enough plants for this non-Latin family..    Should I have wanted to make chile verde more often I would have 4 or 5 plants..

I am trying to remember...   I think they were really disease resistant besides being a "Park Nursery" hybrid..   Ton's of husk tomatoes. 

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on June 08, 2010, 01:18:43 PM
I just called the ASK UGA number and got a representative in Cobb County. She had never heard of a date to plant squash to avoid squash vine borers. In fact, she said to plant them early so that "you might get some fruit before the eggs get laid". She also suggested sprinkling sevin dust on the bottom of the plant. Hmmmm

Master Gardener friend says some of these folks are more knowledgeable than others.   ;)  She found out that they supposedly laid eggs the last week of April/first week of May this year.  Later planting should be better, maybe even now for a end of summer crop. 
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 08, 2010, 02:32:20 PM
Thanks BL - does your master gardner friend know if there are two egg laying periods in GA? I had heard that as well but not sure if it is at all true.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 08, 2010, 04:57:49 PM
I just called the ASK UGA number and got a representative in Cobb County. She had never heard of a date to plant squash to avoid squash vine borers. In fact, she said to plant them early so that "you might get some fruit before the eggs get laid". She also suggested sprinkling sevin dust on the bottom of the plant. Hmmmm

Master Gardener friend says some of these folks are more knowledgeable than others.   ;)  She found out that they supposedly laid eggs the last week of April/first week of May this year.  Later planting should be better, maybe even now for a end of summer crop. 

What about injecting the vines with BT.. ?    As I recall I had way less damage when I was doing that in my Norcross Garden.. ..

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 10, 2010, 11:48:38 AM
Yeah, GG, but that sounds like a pain. I have tried cutting them out of the vine for years. This year I just didn't plant any (yet). Maybe I'll start some seeds soon and see what happens.

No one told me that tomatillo plants are enormous!!!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 10, 2010, 02:12:55 PM
No one told me that tomatillo plants are enormous!!!

If they grow like regular tomatoes (same family of course) then they will indeed grow enormous.  Tomato vines in the south grow super-enormous too, but I suppose people expect that.  Sounds like they are growing well!  Good job! 
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 10, 2010, 06:52:29 PM
Should we make a new thread to show off our home grown produce?
Anyhow...first pattypan squash. Will eat it tomorrow, as tonight already had planned homemade pesto with smeraldo green beans.
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Qe4KleSN3Go/TBF6JSo0ItI/AAAAAAAABj8/HeIbx6g0_j0/s400/patty.jpg)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 10, 2010, 07:05:01 PM
Should we make a new thread to show off our home grown produce?
Anyhow...first pattypan squash. Will eat it tomorrow, as tonight already had planned homemade pesto with smeraldo green beans.
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Qe4KleSN3Go/TBF6JSo0ItI/AAAAAAAABj8/HeIbx6g0_j0/s400/patty.jpg)

Go for it - make a new thread!  "Home Grown Produce Pictures." 

I'm a little behind the curve I guess, I've got some chile de arbol, serrano, jalapaneo, and several tiny tomatoes poking through, but it'll be another couple weeks before I get anything.

Forget that squash, look at those burners!  Nice!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 10, 2010, 07:12:39 PM
Hah. Thanks HG. It was my one "demand" when we moved. A bluestar stove/range and an externally vented hood with serious blower power on the roof.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Girly on June 10, 2010, 10:49:21 PM
Forget that squash, look at those burners!  Nice!

HAHA, I'm so glad I'm not alone in my "burner envy"!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 10, 2010, 11:05:24 PM
Forget that squash, look at those burners!  Nice!

HAHA, I'm so glad I'm not alone in my "burner envy"! 

No, sadly you are not alone..   

It's okay, I LOVE my 30 year old Sears stove..    Just love it..    8)

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: The Foodist on June 11, 2010, 12:33:00 AM
I have some extra tomato plants that I grew from seed. Mortgage Lifter, Black Brandywine and sugar Sweet Cherry . Also have a ton of basil. You can have them - I'm getting ready to throw them in the compost unless someone takes them. I live near Northlake Mall.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on June 11, 2010, 08:45:08 AM
I generally subscribe that you're going to lose out to the vine borers eventually, regardless.  I've injected with BT and split open vines with a razor to remove borers.  They tend to do decent even after that.  Our garden gets a lot less sun since we remodeled and relocated it, so now I focus on tomatoes. My green beans actually are making it this year (something ate the sproutlets last year), and I have to start harvesting now.

I'm curious about what y'all think about Farmer D and his "designer dirt." The stuff is like plant steroids.  I'm envious of the dirt and the uber-sustainable cedar raised beds, but at the same time the fact that all these newb gardeners are spending hundreds and hundreds on them offends the frugal sensibility of home gardening that I was raised with.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 11, 2010, 09:03:51 AM
I bought a little bag of Farmer D compost, and I have to say that it seems like good stuff. I put a bit in each hole when planting tomatoes and they are doing beter than ever this year, but who knows what other factors may be contributing to the sucess (like putting down newspaper and mulching heavily over it).

I hear you about the money though. I was so sick of my tomatoes dying of wilt in the soil that I bought three Topsy Turvey planters and then I had to buy a shepard's crook to hang them on. Total - around 45 bucks. Yes, I know, I could have "made" them myself but I barely have enough time to keep the weeds at bay, let alone get all crafty. I often think of how many pounds of heirloom tomatoes I could buy with $45.

Rather ironically, the two tomatoes that I ended up putting in the topsy are not doing very well, and the shepard's crook  is bending over so much from the weight that I had to lean it on a tree.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 11, 2010, 09:42:41 AM
I often think of how many pounds of heirloom tomatoes I could buy with $45.


I thought about this too, especially last year when i had to buy the dirt to fill the eartboxes, at about $13 per box + dolomite and fertilizer. Luckily the dirt is mostly reusable for many years, so this year i just bought 1 bag to "recharge" all of them...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 11, 2010, 09:55:45 AM
I find that the regular bags of composted manure and mushroom compost work perfectly well and at fractions of the cost of the "designer blends."  You often get some other ingredients in those designer bags but I usually amend bags of compost with paver sand and some soil conditioner and till it all together.  Every now and then I'll add some perlite or some vermiculite but that's about it.  I just don't see the benefit of a small $8 bag of dirt.  The most expensive thing I buy is the mushroom compost at about $4 for a 40 lb bag... I think it's 40 lbs.  Of course at Home Depot you have to walk right by all the more expensive bags with pretty colors, pictures, and writing and brand names but the cheaper stuff is back there towards the corners of the garden center.  Advertising at it's finest is how I see it.

If you really want to get into the super-rich compost, start now for next year.  Start a small compost pile in the backyard and add all your kitchen scraps.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 11, 2010, 10:47:17 AM
I find that the regular bags of composted manure and mushroom compost work perfectly well and at fractions of the cost of the "designer blends."  You often get some other ingredients in those designer bags but I usually amend bags of compost with paver sand and some soil conditioner and till it all together.  Every now and then I'll add some perlite or some vermiculite but that's about it.  I just don't see the benefit of a small $8 bag of dirt.  The most expensive thing I buy is the mushroom compost at about $4 for a 40 lb bag... I think it's 40 lbs.  Of course at Home Depot you have to walk right by all the more expensive bags with pretty colors, pictures, and writing and brand names but the cheaper stuff is back there towards the corners of the garden center.  Advertising at it's finest is how I see it.

If you really want to get into the super-rich compost, start now for next year.  Start a small compost pile in the backyard and add all your kitchen scraps.

Good advice H.  'specially about the amendments to the soil..   both perlite and vermiculite are very inexpensive if you buy them from the right place..  Those things together with sand in our Georgia Red clay made the raised beds I had in Norcross wonderful.  Peat (bought in huge bales from Pike), made the soil too acid, so I had to go the other way with lime and plant rotation until the PH was back in the good range.  I only had 300+ sq. feet of beds but they grew an amazing array of foodstuff for our, and neighbors, tables..

And I have said before I ran two compost piles year round, salvaging the unusable hay from our local nursery, and out-of-date vegetables from the old farmers market where Bass Pro Shops used to be.  I kept both of the piles covered most of the year so they didn't get soggy, and turned them often with a big pitchfork. It was the "stuff" that made the garden wonderful. Prompting CP to say at one time "You are a two compost pile farmer in a one compost pile neighborhood"..  So we moved.  To a place with a mostly shaded yard.
.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 11, 2010, 12:01:14 PM
We have a compost bin but I am still glad I got the Farmer D's wee compost bag. I only used a little bit and I think it will probably last me for several years. I wouldn't bother with his soil though, now THAT is crazily expensive.

I got cheap cedar mulch from Lowe's this year, and then someone told me that it is not PC. Who knew? It is working very nicely.

I'll try to follow Jason's lead and post a picture of the raised beds we inherited when we bought the house. The garden is a suprisingly large part of the reason I fell in love with this house.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on June 11, 2010, 03:36:58 PM
The Farmer D remark was mostly regarding folks who get the full treatment- raised bed(s) full of the dirt mix.  Souper Jen has them by us. She paid for it with a demo for customers on gardening where they had lunch too.  But otherwise, that stuff is wicked expensive.

I get bags of cow or shroom compost every year and do planting holes for my maters with them. The main, sunny bed now has chocolate dirt as a result of doing that for several years.

I got stuck on 316 a couple weeks ago and had to detour through Dacula to get past a wreck. I was drooling at all the multi-hundred-square-foot gardens with 100% sun coverage.

We are lazy composters- occasionally add cover dirt or turn. There have been times in my life where I collected stuff a la Mike S though.

LizR- it isn't the cedar mulch that's bad, that I know of. But the cypress mulch isn't sustainable (http://www.sierraclub.org/getprepared/downloads/cypress.pdf).  We're using chipped tree material generally, with wheat straw (Lowe's) on the veggies. Wasn't motivated this year, but sometimes we'll put down newspaper before the straw to block the weeds.

Oh, and $45 will buy you about 9lb (peck basket, I'm guessing) of heirlooms at any of the intown weekend markets or WF. That's why I attempt to grow them instead.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 11, 2010, 05:39:03 PM
This is completely personal preference but I just don't like the way wood chips or mulch look.  No knocks against those who like it, I just find the look unnatural and sometimes striking in a bad way (think that silly dyed red stuff).  It also takes a loooong time to break down.  The previous owners of our house had used it at some point and I still find bits of red mulch in our front yard when I'm doing projects... we've lived here for over 3 years. 

Pine straw to me is better for a few reasons.  It looks better.  Pine straw also helps to blend into the look of the surroundings at our house.  For example, when I prep my garden I amend it, till it, rake it out, then I lay a soaker hose on top of the dirt.  I get the plants in the ground and then I immediately cover everything with pine straw.  The soaker hose essentially disappears.  The only way you would know it is there is to look at the 4 inches sticking out from beneath one of the landscape timbers.  I think wood mulch would show you where that hose is - kind of outline it.  I rarely use the hose once the plants get established but in mid-July and we've not had significant rain in 2 weeks, it's great to have.  The pine straw also allows the rain to dissipate into the ground, for lack of a better term.  What I mean by that is it doesn't splash.  Splashing rain = disease and fungus especially for tomatoes.  The relatively thin, sharp pine needles "cut" the rain and it eventually falls into the soil.  This may sound extremely picky, but I find that it works.  ;D
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 11, 2010, 07:59:49 PM
Shoot - cypress - that is what I bought, not cedar! Have to look in to that issue.

I like the way it looks but I also don't really care about what the garden looks like, as long as it is not weedy and it is producing. I did put newspaper down first, and our drip irrigation is about four inches under the ground, so no probs there.

Oh, and I used to use pine straw in my front beds but one year during the worst of the drought we had many, many large roaches coming inside around our front door. Really odd. Might have been partially caused by the drought but then I also read that pine straw attracts them. Haven't used it since. Last time we got wheat straw from Lowe's (last year) it sprouted TONS of grass seedlings, which was a royal pain.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on June 11, 2010, 08:41:38 PM
We were right there with you on the cypress- uncolored looked good and lasted, that was until my wife figured out that somewhere there's a swamp getting bulldozed to make it.

We had a tree service dump a load of chips a few years ago, and then we had to take 3 trees down ourselves last fall.  So most is mulched with chips.  Used to do straw, but it just breaks down too fast for me- would need to replenish 2X a year.  Also, don't forget that it's dropping the pH of your soil, which is good for blueberries and IIRC azaleas, but not for a lot of stuff. Oh, and it's all over the top of weed barrier, which kinda works.

We just use the straw for the veggies, which isn't much area, so not a big deal that there are sproutlets.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 22, 2010, 12:08:45 PM
Anyone know where to find Bacillus thuringiensis?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 22, 2010, 12:21:21 PM
As with most things, it's available online.  Aside from that I would check with places like Pike's or other nurseries first, and then Home Depot/Lowe's as a last resort.  All of them may in fact have it, but in my searches for more specialty items like that, plant nurseries/garden centers were a good bet.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 22, 2010, 12:36:55 PM
Anyone know where to find Bacillus thuringiensis?

http://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn=8797 (http://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn=8797)

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 22, 2010, 12:38:58 PM
Anyone know where to find Bacillus thuringiensis?

I got mine at Pike's.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 22, 2010, 01:20:38 PM
Anyone know where to find Bacillus thuringiensis?

I got mine at Pike's.
I used to know where quite a few Pike's were.  I guess the big one on Larryville Hwy is still there.  I wouldn't even bother with big orange box or big blue box.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 22, 2010, 02:52:21 PM
Anyone know where to find Bacillus thuringiensis?

I got mine at Pike's. 

I think I have bought it at Pike's too when there were more stores.  It is pretty much the same product.  Pike bought it in fiber drums and repackaged it in plastic bags.   Good stuff..

Gardens Alive has been good too..  I bought floating row covers from them and several of the mainstream organic pest repellents.

They are honestly also a good source for ideas about how to do a small garden better..

I so wish I had those early garden pictures available.  I proved to myself that I could grow some amazing things in a very small space.  I still have some drip irrigation hose and all of my floating row-cover material boxed up in the garage.. One day we will cut an acre of trees and have a place for a garden...

.

.


Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on June 23, 2010, 08:08:19 PM
You never know about the orange or blue box- I've found BT donuts for my rain barrels there (and was surprised).  Generally, I agree, though, it's a better than 50% chance that what I'm looking for is either out of stock or not lowest-common-denominator enough for them.

I got my Cherokee Purple plants and a few others from Pike this year (organic ones!). I seem to keep missing starting from seed in the dead of winter to have my own plants. So I'd look there, Habersham or one of the other landscape stores.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 23, 2010, 08:09:41 PM
Anyone elses tomatoes rather unhappy about the crazy heat? Mine have been wilting during the day...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 23, 2010, 08:41:41 PM
Anyone elses tomatoes rather unhappy about the crazy heat? Mine have been wilting during the day...

That should be no problem.   do not water them during the day though they appear wilted..    Let that big 'ole sun work on the plant and you'll see that later in the afternoon they perk up and will be fine.   Sometimes minimum water is the best way...

for tomatoes and especially for peppers..  stressed peppers plants really make good tasting peppers.

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 23, 2010, 10:50:34 PM
Anyone elses tomatoes rather unhappy about the crazy heat? Mine have been wilting during the day...

I agree Jason - I think that my tomatoes are super unhappy with the heat. I was even going to look up fruiting temp maximums bc my tomatoes are not happy at all. The Early Girl has a bunch of tomatoes but nothing else does. :0(
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: geonuc on June 24, 2010, 05:37:06 AM
stressed peppers plants really make good tasting peppers.


Yes, or at least it increases the Scoville count.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 24, 2010, 07:04:12 AM
Two of my 'maters are wilting big time.  And one of those is getting lots of yellow leaves.  8-(  Squirrels are having a feast with the Costco bush.  Anybody had any success with putting something else (ears of corn, etc) out for the squirrels to eat so they leave the tomatoes alone?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 24, 2010, 07:42:31 AM
Two of my 'maters are wilting big time.  And one of those is getting lots of yellow leaves.  8-(  Squirrels are having a feast with the Costco bush.  Anybody had any success with putting something else (ears of corn, etc) out for the squirrels to eat so they leave the tomatoes alone?

No, but you could always cover them with a net, right?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 24, 2010, 07:51:15 AM
Two of my 'maters are wilting big time.  And one of those is getting lots of yellow leaves.  8-(  Squirrels are having a feast with the Costco bush.  Anybody had any success with putting something else (ears of corn, etc) out for the squirrels to eat so they leave the tomatoes alone?

No, but you could always cover them with a net, right?
I've got netting around my 6 plants from Cross Country (maybe I'll catch an opossum again).  Not sure how I'd put netting around a potted bush, that is spilling all out of the pot.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 24, 2010, 08:09:44 AM
Two of my 'maters are wilting big time.  And one of those is getting lots of yellow leaves.  8-(

You might want to try to ID the cause of that yellowing plant.  If it's a fungus or bacteria (likely) and it goes untreated, it could spread to the others and then you'll end up with none.  It's hard to yank a plant out of the ground and trash it but sometimes it's the best solution if you're not going to treat it.

Anybody had any success with putting something else (ears of corn, etc) out for the squirrels to eat so they leave the tomatoes alone?

BBs flying at greater than 700 fps usually work for me.  
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 24, 2010, 08:22:16 AM
i don't water at all. The earthbox supplies what is needed on demand from the plant.
Yes, they perk up in the evneing...but they do look sad.

Ate my first cherry tomato last night from the plant. So good.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: tansu on June 24, 2010, 11:10:49 AM
Two of my 'maters are wilting big time.  And one of those is getting lots of yellow leaves.  8-(  Squirrels are having a feast with the Costco bush.  Anybody had any success with putting something else (ears of corn, etc) out for the squirrels to eat so they leave the tomatoes alone?

they are probably going for the moisture content. I have had some success by providing drinking water to all the critters
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on June 24, 2010, 11:11:05 AM
We've somehow managed to avoid the critters getting our tomatoes over the years. No good explanation why. Growing up, the pellet rifle was part of the ongoing chipmunk solution.

On the fungus/wilt issue, I have had good luck with some varieties and not with others. Haven't had a problem of it spreading and taking out all the plants. But Green Zebra and Yellow Pear are no-go for me b/c they don't make it long enough to bear significant fruit.  Cherokee Purples generally do well (and are my favorite tomato bar none), and the various Brandywines make it long enough to keep me happy.  What I'm talking about is yellowing starting at the ground and working its way up to eventually kill the vine.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 24, 2010, 12:24:46 PM
Two of my 'maters are wilting big time.  And one of those is getting lots of yellow leaves.  8-(  Squirrels are having a feast with the Costco bush.  Anybody had any success with putting something else (ears of corn, etc) out for the squirrels to eat so they leave the tomatoes alone?

they are probably going for the moisture content. I have had some success by providing drinking water to all the critters
How do you do that and not breed swarms of asian tiger mosquitos?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 24, 2010, 12:33:00 PM
How do you do that and not breed swarms of asian tiger mosquitos?

Not too hard. Refresh the water with new water every so often or you can buy bird safe mosquito killer stuff to drop in the water.  Despite what it may seem mosquitoes do not hatch from eggs and fly away overnight.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: tansu on June 24, 2010, 04:54:45 PM

How do you do that and not breed swarms of asian tiger mosquitos?
[/quote]

I actually provide larger black containers of water for the squitos to lay eggs in.
One is in under mosquito machine with mosquito dunks, the other is dumped when I
see the larvae "swimming".
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 25, 2010, 01:31:07 PM
Just planted three rounds of Trionfo Violetto pole beans in the front yard. It is a little late but my Kentucky Wonder beans are too crowded and not producing well.

Black cherry tomatoes are slowly dying but have about 20 fruit on them. Early Girl is surviving with about 30 unripe fruit. Druzba is growing slowly with no fruit set yet. Rose tomato in a container has blossom end rot and needs calcium. Coeur de boeuf tomatoes have no tomatoes.

Tomatillo plants are huge but have dropped all the tomatillos and the upper leaves are curling in an unhappy way.

Volunteer mystery melon in about football size, grey and getting mottled.

Okra is just about ready for the first picking.

Why can I grow five large clumps of lemongrass but not tomatoes? Go figure.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 25, 2010, 01:33:10 PM
Hrm..you grow lemongrass? This interests me greatly...tell me more please
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 25, 2010, 01:44:05 PM
Lemongrass is bulletproof.  It grows anywhere.  Grab some fresh stuff from the market, and stick them in water.  Once they sprout roots put them in the ground or a pot and watch out!

LizR, too bad about all the plants.  :-\  This heat is really doing a number on things. 

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 25, 2010, 01:51:20 PM
how do they propagate? If i put it in the ground, how does it spread so that when i go to pull a stalk to use it, i don't pull up the entire plant?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 25, 2010, 02:18:05 PM
Lemongrass is bulletproof.  It grows anywhere.  Grab some fresh stuff from the market, and stick them in water.  Once they sprout roots put them in the ground or a pot and watch out!

LizR, too bad about all the plants.  :-\  This heat is really doing a number on things.  



Thanks HD! And you are sure right about the lemongrass. DH sprouted these clumps from store bought lemongrass - probably from YDFM.

Jason -It doesn't really spread, it grows new grass stalks. You can just cut them off as needed, rather than pulling on it. Hope that makes sense. They do get large, though, like two and a half feet high and almost as wide.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 25, 2010, 02:48:17 PM
So i plant 1 stalk..it grows a bit, i cut it at ground level (without pullng out roots) and it regrows from the same crown? So really i'd need to plant 4 or 5 plants in succession to have a steady stream? Otherwise if i cut it off, i have to wait for the 1 i planted to regrow?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: geonuc on June 25, 2010, 02:49:27 PM
how do they propagate? If i put it in the ground, how does it spread so that when i go to pull a stalk to use it, i don't pull up the entire plant?

I've been growing lemongrass for a few years now. I just sort of grab one of the fatter outer stalks and twist it until it detaches.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 25, 2010, 02:59:27 PM
Jmo,

Check out the picture.
http://www.ehow.com/how_2306333_grow-lemon-grass.html
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 25, 2010, 02:59:36 PM
Think of an ornamental grass clump. There are many stalks that will come up near/attached to the base of the one stalk you start with. Unless you use a TON one plant will probably be more than enough.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 25, 2010, 03:27:32 PM
Think of an ornamental grass clump. There are many stalks that will come up near/attached to the base of the one stalk you start with. Unless you use a TON one plant will probably be more than enough.

Ah got it. That makes sense now.
thanks

How do they survive winter?

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 25, 2010, 03:29:54 PM
Think of an ornamental grass clump. There are many stalks that will come up near/attached to the base of the one stalk you start with. Unless you use a TON one plant will probably be more than enough.


How do they survive winter?



They don't.  :)

I suppose you could put it in a pot and bring it in, but they are so easy to grow that you may as well just start over the next spring, IMO
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: geonuc on June 25, 2010, 03:35:35 PM
Think of an ornamental grass clump. There are many stalks that will come up near/attached to the base of the one stalk you start with. Unless you use a TON one plant will probably be more than enough.


How do they survive winter?



They don't.  :)

I suppose you could put it in a pot and bring it in, but they are so easy to grow that you may as well just start over the next spring, IMO
I had two that survived one winter in the ground, but only by my putting plastic over them during freezes. So, as you suggest, it ain't worth it.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on June 26, 2010, 09:20:29 AM
We tried planting lemongrass in the yard- think it was fall before last. It didn't survive the freeze over the winter.

Our bay tree has made it 10+ years and is about 8 feet tall, though.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 26, 2010, 09:42:31 AM
I had some bay trees in pots years ago and the freeze got them, but if they are in ground they easily survive winter. In italy we have a VERY old bay plant, it's gigantic, and it gets much much colder than here
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on July 06, 2010, 09:19:12 AM
The tomato hornworms have arrived, a little bit early, it seems.  I don't remember seeing them before August in previous years.  These things really creep me out, but I sucked it up and disposed of it quickly.  Too bad to lose 4 early girls to that ugly thing.

Despite what some folks are saying, it has not rained at my house in weeks, so I'm into drought style watering mode again.  After an early round of lots of tomaotes & peppers, they seemed to quit setting fruit when it was so hot a few weeks back.  I'm hoping for a late summer recovery. . .
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on July 07, 2010, 08:07:39 AM
After losing almost all my tomatoes to blossom end rot, I now have some that seem okay. I am getting restless to pick the largest one green and make fried green tomatoes.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on July 07, 2010, 08:14:39 AM
try watering with some calcium added to the water... that should help...or so i read...google around to see what calcium additive to use.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on July 07, 2010, 12:03:36 PM
Lowe's sells a concentrate that you can spray on. Seems to have helped ours.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on July 19, 2010, 11:10:42 AM


Good stuff..  About harmful insects.


http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1341/ (http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1341/)


.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on July 27, 2010, 05:45:01 PM
Strictly speaking, this is not about fruit or veggies but here goes:

Does anyone know the name of those awful, super-quick growing tree-like plants that sprout up everywhere? They have a central tree-like stem and pointed leaves on side branches, and they make your hands smell really odd when you pull them up. Anyone know what I am talking about?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on July 27, 2010, 07:20:18 PM
leland cyprus? (sp?)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on July 27, 2010, 07:41:16 PM
Is it a tree?

Sweet gum?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on July 28, 2010, 08:52:27 AM
Mimosa?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on July 28, 2010, 08:56:27 AM
Or POISON IVY Ahhhhhhh!  :o

Just kidding.

Can you get a picture of it?  Even if it's a link to something that looks similar we can at least narrow it down.  Everything starts small of course so it really could be anything from a tree, a small weed, etc.  It could be a useless invader or it could actually be something useful.  Epazote (pig weed here in the south) for instance is used in Mexican cooking.  When you rub it or break the leaves it kind of smells like kerosene. 
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on July 28, 2010, 09:03:58 AM
Thanks but I don't think it is any of those. It is as pesky as mimosa though.

A friend of mine calls them "yard trees" but that doesn't help. I looked online but don't see anything similar. I'll try to take a picture and post a link to it.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on July 28, 2010, 09:07:02 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pokeweed

?

AKA poke salat or poke salad. Some people actually eat the stuff but you're supposed to boil it and change the water a couple of times - I like to cook, but that is not my kind of thing just to get a few green leaves.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on July 28, 2010, 12:36:24 PM
poke salat or poke salad.
Gator got your granny!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on July 28, 2010, 12:40:21 PM
poke salat or poke salad.
Gator got your granny!

That's the one.  ;D
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on July 28, 2010, 12:44:37 PM
horny goat weed?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on August 01, 2010, 10:57:01 PM
You guys were cracking me up with trying! Thanks for the tries but I now know that it is ailanthus. Hate it.

http://www.invasive.org/species/subject.cfm?sub=3003
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on August 02, 2010, 07:31:09 AM
80ft high and 6 ft in diameter is a "typically small tree"?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on August 02, 2010, 08:58:41 AM
I know, saw that. I didn't know that they got that big.

Once you start looking you will see them everywhere, esp along the highways.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on August 02, 2010, 09:43:57 AM
80ft high and 6 ft in diameter is a "typically small tree"? 

I deem that size quote solid BS.  I have never seen a really huge Sumac tree, they are a pest though..

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on August 02, 2010, 10:14:05 AM
Now that I am looking, there is one in my neighbor's yard that is likely the cause of our problems. It is probably 40 feet high and about 2 1/2 feet in diameter.


Mike - although the leaves look like regular sumac, this is more of a tree when it matures. I haven't seen (what I would call) sumac over 20 feet, tops.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on November 05, 2010, 12:51:14 PM
As luck would have it the fruit on some my chile (or is that chili Loundry?) plants is just turning ripe (several even have a bunch of buds) and we've got freeze watches/warnings tonight and tomorrow.  My chiles usually are done by late September/early October but this has been a strange year for me regarding vegetables.  Last night I put sheets over them.  My horticultural daughter says to water well this afternoon, mulch as high as possible with leaves/pine straw/whatever in the afternoon so the sun can warm it up, and cover with sheets.  Here's hoping the fruit doesn't all die off before it gets ripe.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on November 05, 2010, 12:59:14 PM
Yeah, my chiles are all still doing quite well.  That is as of this afternoon they are doing well. :-\  The tomatoes are not worth saving at this point, so I'll pick off the last few (though there are still a few green ones still on the vine) and take down the cages.  It was a great year for me, I've been getting fruit since July.  

Next year I've thought of not doing tomatoes and doing the corn, beans, and squash Native American style garden.  I don't have a lot of space so if I do something like corn I'll need all the space I can get for proper pollination.  We'll see.  Doing something like that would allow me to do a Fall/Winter garden as well which I have never done.  I just didn't have the heart to rip up all my plants while they were still in serious production in the late summer.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: uOTPia Dweller on November 05, 2010, 02:36:08 PM
As luck would have it the fruit on some my chile (or is that chili Loundry?)

He always gave me a chilly reception.

I can't speak for Loundry but I've never gotten fruit on my chile.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on November 05, 2010, 04:24:11 PM
As luck would have it the fruit on some my chile (or is that chili Loundry?) plants is just turning ripe (several even have a bunch of buds) and we've got freeze watches/warnings tonight and tomorrow.  My chiles usually are done by late September/early October but this has been a strange year for me regarding vegetables.  Last night I put sheets over them.  My horticultural daughter says to water well this afternoon, mulch as high as possible with leaves/pine straw/whatever in the afternoon so the sun can warm it up, and cover with sheets.  Here's hoping the fruit doesn't all die off before it gets ripe.

Me too! The fogo peppers are just beginning to ripen - lots of flowers. I covered it with a bucket last night and will again, maybe I'll do a sheet on the other one. Keeping my fingers crossed. When I was growing up outside of Buffalo, I remember my mom covering things with sheets and it worked just fine.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on November 06, 2010, 08:53:38 PM
Just never use plastic.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on January 28, 2011, 12:53:59 PM
So, anyone else perusing the seed catalogs and starting to get the itch? Already bought some carrot, sunflower, pole bean and exotic pepper seeds at Hastings. I cannot seem to restrain myself.

Hope springs eternal.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on January 28, 2011, 12:57:41 PM
Something tells me a bit of Spring fever is going to hit hard this weekend.  If you venture to Home Depot, Lowe's, Pike Nursery, etc. be ready for a crowd.  :)

Personally I plan on getting some outdoorsy stuff done myself.  I need to get my bed ready before the daffodils pop up.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on January 28, 2011, 02:18:03 PM
i def. want to do beans this year...will have to start eariler than last year.
when do you guys plant beans?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on January 28, 2011, 02:23:23 PM
i def. want to do beans this year...will have to start eariler than last year.
when do you guys plant beans?


When I was doing this more I started my peppers indoors on Feb. 1.  I started beans and tomatoes 3 weeks before Easter.  If you have a good sunny place that is not in the dog or cats reach (or child), you can start many things in peat pots. I used to use a heating pillow/blanket turned way down and pay attention to the plants every day.  I had good results.

<<added>>
I used one of those large black plastic rectangular tubs with a moist wet towel (that I always had to throw away), on the bottom to keep the peat pots barely wet.   Too wet and they will mold, and if they dry out there goes two weeks worth of fiddling with seeds.  I also started seeds in a pamper (folded) on a heating pad turned way low, then transferred them with tweezers to peat pots when they germinated. I brought back some seeds that were 4-5 years old that way.  Some peppers are very reluctant to start, there are some tricks to do that job.

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on January 28, 2011, 03:33:55 PM
I need to get my bed ready before the daffodils pop up.

Mine popped up right after Christmas.  I guess the snow sort of insulated them, they are still growing.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on January 29, 2011, 11:52:55 AM
I need to get my bed ready before the daffodils pop up.

Mine popped up right after Christmas.  I guess the snow sort of insulated them, they are still growing.

The planting depth of the bulb has a lot to do with when they emerge.  If they are planted shallow (maybe 2-3 inches deep) the surrounding soil and thus, the bulbs are exposed to a wider range of temperature fluctuation.  A warm spell here or there in the early winter will trigger them to grow.  If they are planted deeper (6-7 inches deep or more) it takes longer for the soil at that deeper depth to warm to the temperature at which they will sprout.  I don't think there's any right or wrong answer, you will just get different sprouting times.  I think it's nice to have a mix.  Plant some real deep and plant some real shallow.  That way the length of time that you have pretty white, yellow and orange daffodils will be extended.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: foodnearsnellville on February 12, 2011, 03:57:48 PM
Ok, I'll ask. From the tomato seedling FAQ on Gardenweb:

http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2005015135020413.html (http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2005015135020413.html)

How strong a fertilizer do you think they're talking about when the first leaves appear? I'm at that stage with Cherokee Purples, Black Krims, Sweeties, and Super Sweet 100s.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on February 12, 2011, 04:34:41 PM
Ok, I'll ask. From the tomato seedling FAQ on Gardenweb:

http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2005015135020413.html (http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2005015135020413.html)

How strong a fertilizer do you think they're talking about when the first leaves appear? I'm at that stage with Cherokee Purples, Black Krims, Sweeties, and Super Sweet 100s. 

Without looking anything up, you want a weak fertilizer until real roots are on the plant, possibly 1/5 or less of the regular formulation.

.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on April 09, 2011, 03:55:36 PM
I think that the beans can go in next weekend.

When are you all putting out tomatoes?

Also, anyone seen any seed potatoes anywhere?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 09, 2011, 05:45:58 PM
all my stuff (toms, melons, beans, peppers) will go in when we get back from the beach in 2 weeks...kind of later than i wanted, but should be ok...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: morebread on April 11, 2011, 09:59:36 AM
Far too late for potatoes, they stop growing tubers when soil temps hit 70, and we are at 65 already.

Beans I thought should've gone in long time ago also, although mine have just started to sprout.

Tomatoes can be put out anytime since frost is very unlikely at this point. In fact the last frost where we are was on the morning of Feb 13 - is that a record? Volunteer tomatoes have been sprouting for weeks now and are all doing fine.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on April 11, 2011, 10:49:35 AM
Actually, I think potatoes stop forming tubers more around 80, and the max tuber production is around 65-70. I've grown potatoes here before, tho it may have been later in the fall. Worked just fine. So, I suppose I should say that come early fall, I'll be looking for some seed potatoes, which I never see around here.

Beans like it to be warm at night and I believe that they need night time minimums not under 40, which is why I didn't plant them last week.

MB - glad your garden is growing well!

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: morebread on April 11, 2011, 11:53:42 AM
I may be wrong, I'm just repeating what I read out there, specifically

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/gagarden/msg020828154855.html

Walmart/HD/Lowes all had seed potatoes, probably still have. Not sure how they would last till fall, maybe bury them? but then they may still sprout...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Hrothgar on April 11, 2011, 02:56:16 PM
Actually, I think potatoes stop forming tubers more around 80, and the max tuber production is around 65-70. I've grown potatoes here before, tho it may have been later in the fall. Worked just fine. So, I suppose I should say that come early fall, I'll be looking for some seed potatoes, which I never see around here.

Beans like it to be warm at night and I believe that they need night time minimums not under 40, which is why I didn't plant them last week.

MB - glad your garden is growing well!

Does this go for sweet potatoes too? We planted some Beauregard sweet potato seedlings last year around mid-April. They grew like CRAZY and when we dug them up in Nov., we had a massive yield. Doing them again this year. Planted them yesterday.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on April 11, 2011, 07:08:28 PM
I may be wrong, I'm just repeating what I read out there, specifically

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/gagarden/msg020828154855.html

Walmart/Lowes all had seed potatoes, probably still have. Not sure how they would last till fall, maybe bury them? but then they may still sprout...

This is what I saw abt potato temps.  http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/potato.cfm
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Beerbitch on April 11, 2011, 08:03:11 PM
Sticking to the rules and waiting until the 15th.....

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on April 11, 2011, 09:51:31 PM
Sticking to the rules and waiting until the 15th.....



Yep.  It was only 4 years ago that we had a April freeze that absolutely decimated the local crops and plants.  While many of us don't rely on farming for an income, the possibility of a freeze damaging tender plants is real.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on April 16, 2011, 05:36:26 PM
Pole beans and lettuces went in today. Probably almost too late for the lettuces, but they were old seeds and I thought, what the heck!

I'm thinking of putting out my fatali and Bulgarian carrot pepper plants soon. Maybe next weekend. That and pick up some tomatoes from somewhere - probably Hastings or Gardenhood.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: KoPP on April 16, 2011, 07:17:59 PM
Bulgarian carrot pepper

Aren't they at the Roxy ronight?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on April 20, 2011, 12:13:24 PM
V brought home a clipping that a woman in her spin class gave her.  It appears to be from a local neighborhood paper.  It is for "Dr. Dan's Tomato Recipe & Method".  Which is method for planting tomatoes.  It is a combination of bagged top soil, potting soil, Nature's Helper, 10-10-10 fertilizer, lime, Epson (sic) salt, cow manure, and backing soda.  Has anybody seen this or used it?  I couldn't find anything on the internet for it.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 28, 2011, 05:59:42 AM
I planted my stuff last sunday.
Toms: cherokee  purple, black krim, better boy and husky red.
Beans: Capitano Romano
Squash: g-star hybrid pattypan
melons: chanterais and Goldbar
Chili: calabrian trottolino amoroso
basil: sweet and thai.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on April 28, 2011, 08:31:15 AM
Plants came in from Cross Country Nurseries last night.  Security guard wanted to make sure there weren't any illegal plants in the box this morning.  Looks like he's adding to the order next year.  And he'll take care of me when we get to Jamaica. 

Lowe's had a special last weekend of 2 tomato or pepper plants for $1 but all they had were big boy and bell peppers.  8-(
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 28, 2011, 08:44:58 AM
Lowe's had a special last weekend of 2 tomato or pepper plants for $1 but all they had were big boy and bell peppers.  8-(

saw that special. Instead i bought a 6 pack of better boy for $1.48 at Lowes... and my cherokee purple and black krim from Hastings.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on April 29, 2011, 01:05:53 PM
Lowe's had a special last weekend of 2 tomato or pepper plants for $1 but all they had were big boy and bell peppers.  8-(

saw that special.
I commented out loud about the limited selection while looking through the rack.  A woman standing by me said "what's the big deal, tomatoes are tomatoes."  As Piggy would say, Oy!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on April 30, 2011, 12:33:50 AM
Lowe's had a special last weekend of 2 tomato or pepper plants for $1 but all they had were big boy and bell peppers.  8-(

saw that special. Instead i bought a 6 pack of better boy for $1.48 at Lowes... and my cherokee purple and black krim from Hastings.


Ha! I bought one Better Boy at Community Q from "Farmer Dave" ( I think) for about $2.50. I am always seeming to be stupid about tomatoes in Atlanta. But I refuse to buy heirlooms anymore due to lots and lots of years of growing them from seed and also buying plants and having them grow nice and big, set fruit, and then promptly die of wilt(s). And last year I also bought the most crazily disease-resistant types I could find at Lowes and they promptly died without setting ANY fruit. So I am taking my chances with a hybrid from a hopefully better source.

I swear again that gardening in the north is easier...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on April 30, 2011, 08:33:29 AM
that's why i planted 2 better boys...everything i've read say they are delicious and resist disease well. Agree on the heirlooms...they're difficult to grow
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 01, 2011, 12:15:41 PM
We're doing corn, green beans and summer squash this year - no tomatoes for us.  Though corn is a heavy feeder and we haven't had any real problems with disease/wilt, it's time to give the soil a break.  Crop rotation.  We got 2 of the sugar enhanced hybrid varieties through Burpee: one that is a red/ruby color, "Ruby Queen" and a regular yellow hybrid, "Early and Often."  I did 4 rows, 8 feet long so I don't think I'll have any problems with pollination, but this is my first time growing corn.  We'll see!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on May 02, 2011, 12:12:19 PM
I as well have given up on expensive heirlooms.  I had 30 plants shipped in from Cross Country but only 7 chili peppers for me.  One co-worker got toms and eggplants.  I did buy a 4 pack of an heirloom variety at Home Depot Saturday.  But with 4 plants @ $1.65 it is worth seeing how they do with the big boys.

I decided to try to get more sun on the bed, so yesterday I took out the last of the peach tree (squirrels and chipmunks get the fruit before they are fully developed anyway), some hollies, and  a small tulip poplar.  When I start brewing again I hope to be able to add the final runnings of the mash to the ground by the base of vines.  Those were the sweetest tomatoes I ever grew.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 02, 2011, 06:47:47 PM
I have to disagree with this heirloom bashing.  ;)  Heirloom tomato varieties, generally speaking, are not any harder to grow than hybrids.  However, there are clearly heirloom varieties that #1 are not as resistant to certain strains of disease and #2 do not produce as prolifically as some hybrids.  If you happen to choose one of the varieties like this (Cherokee Purple is a common variety that people choose that is harder to grow), there is a chance that you'll have problems.  I've grown heirlooms exclusively the past 3 years and after doing my research, specifically choose tomatoes that were easy to grow and produced more or less on par with your standard hybrid.  My Sun Gold and particularly my Black Cherry went nuts.  I had a great year last year and I was picking tomatoes clear into November on vines that were easily 8 or 9 feet long with no disease.  I've still got dried tomatoes in my freezer.  I'm not trying to brag, I'm no master gardener, but I can attest to the fact that certain heirloom tomatoes are a joy to grow.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 02, 2011, 08:01:44 PM
oh, of course the one i plant is the one that's hard to grow!
where did you find the prolificity and resistance of heirloom info?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 02, 2011, 08:29:56 PM
The company that I bought my tomatoes from over in Alabama (The Tasteful Garden) had a 3 star system where 1 star was not the easiest and was the least prolific.  3 stars was the opposite.  I made sure to buy only the tomatoes with 3 stars.  It seems that this year they have changed the system a bit by not specifically saying that a tomato variety is harder to grow but that it has "lower yields, high in flavor".  From a marketing perspective this is the correct thing to do.  I mean, who wants a tomato that the seller tells you is hard to grow and only gives you a few tomatoes, right?  Anyway, that was my main source. 

The other source was simply Google.  When I saw that a particular variety was easy to grow on the T.G. website, I just searched  the name of the varietal and read a bit.  There are books out there if you really want to get into it.  I've seen this one on Amazon for instance: http://www.amazon.com/Smith-Hawken-Heirloom-Tomatoes-American/dp/0761114009/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280599809&sr=8-1

http://www.tastefulgarden.com/
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 03, 2011, 06:23:06 PM

I really agree with this from experience..

The best Broccoli I ever ate in my life came out of that 300+ sq foot garden in Norcross.  Wonderful stuff if you can make it happen in your yard.


http://www.ajchomefinder.com/gardening/overfeeding-can-stunt-broccoli-928170.html (http://www.ajchomefinder.com/gardening/overfeeding-can-stunt-broccoli-928170.html)

....
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 19, 2011, 11:03:10 PM
So far, as usual, things are looking good. Red and green mixed lettuces about three inches tall. Pole beans climbing to almost five feet, tomatoes and weird peppers growing nicely, and even some summer squash plants and cukes growing surrounded by radishes (which I heard are supposed to deter the dreaded and invincible squash vine borers). We will see.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 19, 2011, 11:23:30 PM
And not strictly about food gardening at all, but, anyone know a gardening store/landscaper who might give us a quote on installing some edging and doing some weeding of the generally evil zoysia grass that has invaded the beautiful flower beds that came with our house, which have now been nearly destroyed by four years of neglect? I have a Hastings quote but it is very expensive. I've tried enlisting neighborhood kids to no avail, and I am a little skeptical of Lowe's and Home Depot because I really need someone who knows not to pull up the many beautiful perinniels that the former owner planted, while taking a no-holds-barred approach to the invasive weeds and trees in the beds.

We have weeded and weeded out the zoysia and I am now ready to pay someone else to just fix it for me because it is overwhelming and too time-consuming.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on May 20, 2011, 06:11:06 AM
funny...i'm about to pay a boatload of money to redo my backyard with zoysia...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 20, 2011, 10:26:28 AM
That is funny. I should note that I am not at all a "grass person", so maybe zoysia is the best choice for this region. Lots of people seem to like it and it does have good drought tolerence. I grew up in New York state in the country, and we just mowed the weeds and called it the lawn. The kind of zoysia we have here is so course that, in my opionion, it is unplesant to walk on in bare feet, especially compared to the soft, weedy grass I grew up with. My daughter rolls around on the prickly zoysia but it pains me that she doesn't have soft, grassy-smelling grass to play in. Plus zoysia is brown half the year, and it is even more prickly then. And when it is green, it is not REALLY green, more yellow-green. Harumph.

All that said, it is the invasiveness and the difficulty of pulling it out that is the worst for me. I am gleefully looking forward to them installing four-inch-deep metal edging barriers to keep it out of the gardens. At least most of it.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 21, 2011, 07:15:07 AM
Are you sure it's not bermuda?  Zoysia is not really all that aggressive, and actually has a pretty hard time getting established.  It's not as prickly as bermuda, either.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: MadBob on May 21, 2011, 07:59:30 AM
St. Augustine is also very agressive and is brown for a good time of the year. Very thick growing with loooong runners that get into everything.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 21, 2011, 09:45:34 AM
No, not sure at all myself, but MIL who is very very into grass thinks it is zoysia and so did the Hastings guy, or he was humoring me.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: KoPP on May 21, 2011, 01:31:32 PM
Zoysia grows slowly, but is really hard to get rid of. It has a really heavy thatch.

http://www.ehow.com/how_7520998_identify-bermuda-grass-vs-zoysia.html
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on May 23, 2011, 09:57:11 PM
oh, of course the one i plant is the one that's hard to grow!
where did you find the prolificity and resistance of heirloom info?


Cherokee Purple and Brandywine are my 2 favorite tomatoes to grow, bar none. I don't get huge yields, but they taste great and I'm not paying $5/lb for them. I think it's mostly b/c we don't get much sun in the backyard. I keep trying to sneak a plant or two in front but SWMBO intervenes.  They typically have wilt that progresses up the vines later in the season, but not before I get tomatoes.

I haven't had any luck with Green Zebras- they die from wilt before even producing. I put one Pink Zebra in a sunnier spot, so we'll see how it does.  Sun Golds rule (and have the stinkiest vines by far).

When I get my ducks rowed, I start from seed (which is even cheaper than organic plants from Pike), but I haven't done that for a couple years.  I get seeds from Tomato Growers Supply. This year I got a load of mushroom compost from ATL Landscape Materials- it smelled pretty bad, so hopefully good for the plants, and $24 for 13 cu yd, which is less than half the cost of bagged stuff from the big box. I'm also a big fan of Tomato Tone organic fertilizer. Farmer D's is the only place of all the possible places that should have it that actually did.

Hey totm- I'll take some peach wood.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on May 24, 2011, 08:34:21 AM
I saw that Home Depot had a sale on vegetables over the weekend.  Two for $5 for what are normally $3.33 each.  I picked up a Solar Fire, Black Prince, Mr. Stripey, a couple of bushes for the pots in front and some basil.  As I was driving on Peachtree to a baptism Sunday morning I saw Hastings had tomatoes for $2.

Hey totm- I'll take some peach wood.
There wasn't much left of the peach tree.  And I'm afraid in my tired state I hauled a bunch of limbs to the roadside.  I have placed a few scrawny peach limbs, a nice cherry limb, and a bradford pear limb to the right of the garage.  Pick em up whenever you want.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 24, 2011, 09:34:18 AM
Picked my first yellow cherry tomatoes this morning!  Lots of fruit on the others, but nowhere near ready, especially the Brandywines. 

I still need a Sungold - does Hastings have them?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on May 24, 2011, 01:15:46 PM
I didn't look at Hastings- I got my Sun Golds from Farmer D's store on Briarcliff. Pike, Lowe's and HD didn't have them, and I didn't check Habersham. I don't think Whole Foods had them.  The ones at Morningside Farmer's Mkt looked too root bound for my preference.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 24, 2011, 01:37:36 PM
Thanks, I will probably stop by Farmer Ds.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 24, 2011, 03:20:29 PM
I didn't even know that Farmer D had a bricks and mortar store. Could be bad for the wallet!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 24, 2011, 04:46:46 PM
I didn't even know that Farmer D had a bricks and mortar store. Could be bad for the wallet!

Yeah, he's over on Briarcliff near Wakiki BBQ.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 24, 2011, 06:06:18 PM
Thanks BL.

On another note - pole beans appear to have rust. Time to spray the fungicide.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 31, 2011, 03:22:53 PM
This weather absolutely stinks for gardening. Looks like it is supposed to be low to mid 90s for another entire week. No cooling trend in site.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 31, 2011, 04:06:33 PM
This weather absolutely stinks for gardening. Looks like it is supposed to be low to mid 90s for another entire week. No cooling trend in site.

I don't remember having to use the A/C so consistently before Memo Day in the past.  Don't like it at all.

I did swing by Farmer D's on Friday and got a Sungold as well as an Eva Purple Ball, which I don't think I've ever grown in the past.  Picked the first grape tomatoes and have tons of peppers in the making.  But I'm going to get sick of watering pretty quickly.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 31, 2011, 05:11:39 PM
This weather is when I'm glad I got in the habit of laying down soaker hose before I plant and mulch.   8)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 31, 2011, 05:54:00 PM
This weather is when I'm glad I got in the habit of laying down soaker hose before I plant and mulch.   8)

Ya know, we have a whole system of soaker hoses with a bunch of different shut-off valves in our raised beds. It came with our house and we replaced the hoses a couple of years ago, which was a huge hassle. They promptly broke again almost immediately. :0(
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 31, 2011, 05:57:23 PM
This weather is when I'm glad I got in the habit of laying down soaker hose before I plant and mulch.   8)

Ya know, we have a whole system of soaker hoses with a bunch of different shut-off valves in our raised beds. It came with our house and we replaced the hoses a couple of years ago, which was a huge hassle. They promptly broke again almost immediately. :0(

I have a whole system of "leaky pipe" soaker hoses with all of the valves and stuff from our house in Norcross, the garage is holding them until I have someone that needs them or I use them.  I did get approval to make raised beds in the front yard this year.   I can only dream about a garden as good as I had in Norcross.

.....
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 31, 2011, 06:08:10 PM
This weather is when I'm glad I got in the habit of laying down soaker hose before I plant and mulch.   8)

Ya know, we have a whole system of soaker hoses with a bunch of different shut-off valves in our raised beds. It came with our house and we replaced the hoses a couple of years ago, which was a huge hassle. They promptly broke again almost immediately. :0(

I have a whole system of "leaky pipe" soaker hoses with all of the valves and stuff from our house in Norcross, the garage is holding them until I have someone that needs them or I use them.  I did get approval to make raised beds in the front yard this year.   I can only dream about a garden as good as I had in Norcross.

.....

$12 for 50 feet of hose at Home Depot.  No valves and no breaks.  So cheap you can buy 2!  ;)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 31, 2011, 06:18:26 PM
That's what we used, but it broke at the point that it goes over the 2x4 dividers in the beds. We actually buried most of it about 5 inches down, which works great if it doesn't break. It is more of the pain-in-the-butt factor than the cost. We could fix the above-ground breaks pretty easily, but at this point I'd rather just use my wand to water right at the base of the plants. Takes less time than a shower to water the whole garden. How much it will cost me with the crazy Atlanta water charges, we will see.

Speaking of watering, how often do y'all water in temps like this, and how much on any given day? Different water amounts for different veggies?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on May 31, 2011, 07:25:57 PM
That makes sense about your hose breaks Liz - I actually have a slot in my semi-raised bed where the hose slips right through.  My design as I built it.  Could you drill a large hole in the 2x4 to slip the hose through without bending/creasing?  

Usually you can get away with an inch of watering a week as a general rule, if I'm not mistaken.  When temps get up to 95+ you might need more though.  I think the need will depend on your soil make-up, the amount and kind of mulch you have, and certainly the amount of heat/sun you get in your particular spot.  I can say don't be alarmed if your plants wilt in the high heat, they will recover after the sun goes down... unless the reason your plants are wilting is blight.  
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 01, 2011, 04:03:35 PM
Thanks. I think I need to water more than a inch a week in hot temps but here is a stupid question: when you say an inch a week, how would you estimate that? I generally just eyeball the amount of water coming out of the hose end and pooling on the ground. I guess I kind of visualize how much water I am projecting at any given spot, and leave it at that. Meaning, I imagine that there was a cup where I am watering and if I mentally fill an inch of the cup, that counts as an inch of watering. Is there a more scientific way?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 01, 2011, 09:16:10 PM
Thanks. I think I need to water more than a inch a week in hot temps but here is a stupid question: when you say an inch a week, how would you estimate that? I generally just eyeball the amount of water coming out of the hose end and pooling on the ground. I guess I kind of visualize how much water I am projecting at any given spot, and leave it at that. Meaning, I imagine that there was a cup where I am watering and if I mentally fill an inch of the cup, that counts as an inch of watering. Is there a more scientific way?

Not a stupid question at all.  Or if it is, I'm stupid too because I had to look it up.  ;)  I remember Walter Reeves having it on his site and here's some general guidance.  This doesn't give an exact inch measurement but it will give you something close.  I should say that this is for shrubs.  You can search on his site for more reading about it.  The flower guidance is the same so I think it's a good bet that vegetables are very similar.

"A soaker hose can effectively water a swath one foot wide on either side of the hose. A 50 foot long hose can water 100 square feet of flower bed. Apply 50 gallons of water per 100 square feet when plants show water stress.

To determine how much water your soaker hose delivers:
> Coil it up and put it in a large plastic garbage bag.
> Cut a small hole in one corner of the bottom of the bag.
> Connect the soaker hose to your garden hose. Turn on the water.
> Suspend the soaker hose (in the bag) above a five gallon bucket. Allow water to drain into the bucket.
> Time how long it takes for the hose to apply five gallons of water."

http://www.walterreeves.com/landscaping/article.phtml?cat=19&id=291

http://www.walterreeves.com/landscaping/drought-watering-flowers/
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: el_ted on June 04, 2011, 04:41:29 PM
My stuff is coming along, not as far as some others that got an early start, it sounds.  Just got the tomatoes staked and started tying them up.  Beans are OK- some didn't come up (forget if the Contenders or Blue Lake Bush).  I'll re-seed which will get me a better staggered production if it works.  My Sungold is going nuts, and the couple pepper plants and Thai basil I managed to plant in the front yard are doing better than anything else.

This heat is nuts.  My neighbor has a Farmer D setup, and I think there's so much sand in the soil mix that it doesn't hold it at all when you water. I usually go by the inch per week rule of thumb but it's almost every other day to keep some of the smaller stuff from frying.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 04, 2011, 06:02:59 PM
Thanks. I think I need to water more than a inch a week in hot temps but here is a stupid question: when you say an inch a week, how would you estimate that? I generally just eyeball the amount of water coming out of the hose end and pooling on the ground. I guess I kind of visualize how much water I am projecting at any given spot, and leave it at that. Meaning, I imagine that there was a cup where I am watering and if I mentally fill an inch of the cup, that counts as an inch of watering. Is there a more scientific way?

Not a stupid question at all.  Or if it is, I'm stupid too because I had to look it up.  ;)  I remember Walter Reeves having it on his site and here's some general guidance.  This doesn't give an exact inch measurement but it will give you something close.  I should say that this is for shrubs.  You can search on his site for more reading about it.  The flower guidance is the same so I think it's a good bet that vegetables are very similar.

"A soaker hose can effectively water a swath one foot wide on either side of the hose. A 50 foot long hose can water 100 square feet of flower bed. Apply 50 gallons of water per 100 square feet when plants show water stress.

To determine how much water your soaker hose delivers:
> Coil it up and put it in a large plastic garbage bag.
> Cut a small hole in one corner of the bottom of the bag.
> Connect the soaker hose to your garden hose. Turn on the water.
> Suspend the soaker hose (in the bag) above a five gallon bucket. Allow water to drain into the bucket.
> Time how long it takes for the hose to apply five gallons of water."

http://www.walterreeves.com/landscaping/article.phtml?cat=19&id=291

http://www.walterreeves.com/landscaping/drought-watering-flowers/

Wow, thanks. Seems like 10 times the five gallons would take a while. I could NEVER afford to water that much - well, I suppose I technically could afford it but I certainly don't want to! Anyone else have the crazy Atlanta water charges? I am trying to be really conscientious about using water. So I guess I'll continue to eyeball it. My main concern, other than the price of water, is that I'm watering too shallowly and that that isn't good for the root systems.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 04, 2011, 06:06:22 PM
"My stuff is coming along, not as far as some others that got an early start, it sounds." 

"the couple pepper plants and Thai basil I managed to plant in the front yard are doing better than anything else."

"This heat is nuts."

"almost every other day to keep some of the smaller stuff from frying."

Yes, yes, yes, and yes!! Peppers and basil can take the heat.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 09, 2011, 06:41:49 PM
We are in the process of putting in 2 raised bed gardens each one is 4' x 6'. I plan on a couple more but will do that in the fall. They have Jungle Growth, or whatever it is called, on sale at Lowe's for about half price so we are using that with manure. Plan on planting tomorrow so maybe a picture when all is finished. Miss you guys.  
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 09, 2011, 07:21:24 PM
We are in the process of putting in 2 raised bed gardens each one is 4' x 6'. I plan on a couple more but will do that in the fall. They have Jungle Growth, or whatever it is called, on sale at Lowe's for about half price so we are using that with manure. Plan on planting tomorrow so maybe a picture when all is finished. Miss you guys.  


Good additions to your soil will pay you back a hundred-fold..  I think that there are positions in Heaven that are established due to how much Georgia Red Clay is turned into garden dirt. 


Look at all of the additions you can make early to make a friable composite in your raised beds. 

...  I love the things that are now available to us, especially in raised beds or organized bed gardening.

.....
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 09, 2011, 10:18:53 PM
Picked my first 2 pattypan squashes today...very nice..will eat them tomorrow or this weekend.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 10, 2011, 04:33:58 PM
We finished the gardens today and got them planted. We have a real good spot with shade starting about 3:30 and that is needed in Beaufort according to the lady we bought our heirloom tomatoes from. She said the full sun in July and August would just wilt tomato plants no matter how much water they get.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: KoPP on June 10, 2011, 06:57:14 PM
Are yall getting t-storms down there?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 10, 2011, 08:21:50 PM
Are yall getting t-storms down there?

No it is very dry here and no t-storms predicted until Monday or Tuesday. We could use some rain.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 12, 2011, 03:54:34 PM
This little fella was protecting my basil:

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-9UODVpU3no0/TfUtJcMiETI/AAAAAAAACno/Vk-mLu4Vdj0/s800/IMG_3532-2.jpg)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 14, 2011, 09:43:30 PM
@ Jason - saw a tiny baby mantis a couple weeks ago on our bolting cilantro. First time I've ever seen a little one. So cute.

So, is it just impossible to grow pole beans in GA anymore? Mine are growing vines nicely but no flowers. Garden Web indicates that they do not set flowers if the temp is regularly over 90. I believe the same is true for tomatoes. I have seven tomatoes total on five plants and they are starting to look disease-wilty despite spraying semi-toxins regularly, meaning fungicide and insecticide. Maybe in order to have a garden I need to move back to NY State?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 15, 2011, 05:59:47 AM
@ Jason - saw a tiny baby mantis a couple weeks ago on our bolting cilantro. First time I've ever seen a little one. So cute.
I had a little mantis on my chile plants last year.  I wish it would come back and take care of whatever is eating the leaves again.  BTW JMo, great shot.
<snip>Maybe in order to have a garden I need to move back to NY State?
Maybe you just need to grow peanuts, cotton, tobacco, and peaches.  Those all seem to grow pretty well in the deep south.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 15, 2011, 07:31:55 AM
@ Jason - saw a tiny baby mantis a couple weeks ago on our bolting cilantro. First time I've ever seen a little one. So cute.
I had a little mantis on my chile plants last year.  I wish it would come back and take care of whatever is eating the leaves again.  BTW JMo, great shot.

Try this :

http://gardeningzone.com/catalog/product_info_Praying_Mantis_egg_case.html (http://gardeningzone.com/catalog/product_info_Praying_Mantis_egg_case.html)

....
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 15, 2011, 08:55:30 AM
@ Jason - saw a tiny baby mantis a couple weeks ago on our bolting cilantro. First time I've ever seen a little one. So cute.
I had a little mantis on my chile plants last year.  I wish it would come back and take care of whatever is eating the leaves again.  BTW JMo, great shot.
<snip>Maybe in order to have a garden I need to move back to NY State?
Maybe you just need to grow peanuts, cotton, tobacco, and peaches.  Those all seem to grow pretty well in the deep south.

LOL. Actually, our peach tree is the least successful of all our fruit trees. Had a friend recently describe trying to grow peaches as "heartbreak" because so many fruits set and then don't stick. That said, this has been a great year for our dwarf citrus, sour cherry and ume plum. And the freaky hot peppers are going crazy.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 15, 2011, 09:15:58 AM
My squash are growing well..tomatoes pretty ok. Bush beans terrible but don't know if it's a disease, basil insane, chili well, melons well.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 15, 2011, 09:36:25 AM
@ Jason - saw a tiny baby mantis a couple weeks ago on our bolting cilantro. First time I've ever seen a little one. So cute.
I had a little mantis on my chile plants last year.  I wish it would come back and take care of whatever is eating the leaves again.  BTW JMo, great shot.
<snip>Maybe in order to have a garden I need to move back to NY State?
Maybe you just need to grow peanuts, cotton, tobacco, and peaches.  Those all seem to grow pretty well in the deep south.

LOL. Actually, our peach tree is the least successful of all our fruit trees. Had a friend recently describe trying to grow peaches as "heartbreak" because so many fruits set and then don't stick. That said, this has been a great year for our dwarf citrus, sour cherry and ume plum. And the freaky hot peppers are going crazy.
My dearly departed peach tree put out peaches like crazy.  I had to thin them out or the limbs would break.  But as is always the case with the peaches and pears, the squirrels got to them before they are ripe.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: UltraFoodie on June 15, 2011, 04:36:40 PM
So, is it just impossible to grow pole beans in GA anymore? Mine are growing vines nicely but no flowers. Garden Web indicates that they do not set flowers if the temp is regularly over 90. I believe the same is true for tomatoes. I have seven tomatoes total on five plants and they are starting to look disease-wilty despite spraying semi-toxins regularly, meaning fungicide and insecticide. Maybe in order to have a garden I need to move back to NY State?

I grow beans every year and generally throw away tons that I'm too lazy to pick, that get too ginormous to eat. What is your soil like? Is it clay? I find they like a lot of organic matter. Also, what are you fertilizing with? I think lack of bloom set can be caused by potassium deficiency, but I have to double check on that. Tomatoes should also grow well for you here, but are very susceptible to blight, are the leaves turning yellow/brown? If so, that could be blight. Also, it is early for tomatoes, they should just be starting to set fruit now, so 7 tomatoes is not bad. If you can post pictures of the plants I can probably give you a better idea.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 17, 2011, 10:43:03 AM
I think Kentucky Wonder pole beans are just a little late to flower. I believe that I see some tiny buds, so I hope that the continued heat doesn't cause them to drop. One tomato has a little bit of wilt going on but they are actually looking better than they have other years.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on June 17, 2011, 07:25:36 PM
This relentless heat does a number on all things.  As far as I know, there are not many summer vegetable plants that like 95 degree heat and low rainfall other than the hot chiles.  My corn is stunted and has sent out tassels without any ears present, so I'll probably not get much.  It's a result of the heat.  Tuesday's high is predicted to be 97.

Wilt is a soil borne disease.  As much as it may pain you, I would highly suggest not growing tomatoes (or ANY other nightshade family plant) in the same spot next year, or completely replace the soil in which it is growing.  I haven't had a problem with wilt and I don't plan to in the future... which is why I'm not growing tomatoes this year: crop rotation.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 17, 2011, 09:11:29 PM
This relentless heat does a number on all things.  As far as I know, there are not many summer vegetable plants that like 95 degree heat and low rainfall other than the hot chiles.  My corn is stunted and has sent out tassels without any ears present, so I'll probably not get much.  It's a result of the heat.  Tuesday's high is predicted to be 97.

Wilt is a soil borne disease.  As much as it may pain you, I would highly suggest not growing tomatoes (or ANY other nightshade family plant) in the same spot next year, or completely replace the soil in which it is growing.  I haven't had a problem with wilt and I don't plan to in the future... which is why I'm not growing tomatoes this year: crop rotation.

Yeah, you are right about the heat. Unfortunately, we have a tiny back yard with about four raised beds that are maybe three feet by ten feet? I say "about" bc a couple of them are odd shaped. We have tried all kinds of rotation in the 8 years we have been here, including nitrogen-setting crops like beans, but the evil wilt remains. I have talked to a guy at Hasting's about just covering the whole deal with black plastic and frying the wilt out, but my online research indicates that it needs to get even hotter than that. Very ironically, I think that the infestation of wilt was caused by the fabulous previous owners, who were totally organic gardners who planted a lot of heirloom varieties and I think that that contaminated the soil and allowed wilt to proliferate. We were 100% organic until last year, when I just got pissed at the bugs and the diseases, so I totally support what they did, but, again, it is weird to have to suffer bc folks (and us) were trying to do the right thing.

Frankly, I'm not as bummed out as I was last year at this time. Things are still alive and growing and the borer-who-should-not-be-named has not shown up. Yet.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 19, 2011, 11:19:08 AM
Cautiously optomistic. This rain has helped a lot. Pole beans are beginning to flower. Looks like it may be cooling down a bit by the end of the week, yay!!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: KoPP on June 23, 2011, 07:50:26 AM
We host one of the Atlanta Food Bank's WIC gardens on our common property, and they're pulling in a LOT of green stuff. Especially carrots - they planted them where we had some pines removed, and they are going nuts there.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on July 10, 2011, 05:22:50 PM
Got my first veggies from my garden yesterday except of peppers which have been plentiful. These were less than an hour from the garden when eaten and were so good.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on July 20, 2011, 10:49:44 AM
Not a tomato question, so moved to a more appropriate thread.

Is it really worth all the effort? I'd love to start growing basil next year (pesto has really been a staple this summer), but it seems that Georgia hasn't been kind to green stuff.
I know of others that have basil plants that look like small bushes.  Not necessarily a lot of effort to water occasionally.  If they start to put out flowers just pinch one leaf out of the cluster.  IIRC, sweet basil won't put out flowers unless there are five leaves in the cluster at the top of the stalk.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on July 20, 2011, 12:16:55 PM
BAsil is trivial to grow and it loves the georgia heat. Just keep it watered.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on July 23, 2011, 06:05:45 PM
Enjoying our few tomatoes. Still not a single pole bean. I am thinking of ripping them out and replanting bc I think that they will die of rust (even though we are spraying for it) before the weather cools down. Should I do that, and if I do, when should I replant them? I'm also considering getting some heat-resistant bush beans instead. Any advice?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on August 19, 2011, 09:16:43 AM
Got the bush bean seeds - green and yellow. Thinking about planting them today or next weekend - they are 50 days to harvest.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Beerbitch on August 20, 2011, 08:19:04 AM
Got the bush bean seeds - green and yellow. Thinking about planting them today or next weekend - they are 50 days to harvest.

Are you going to GP Farmers Market tomorrow?   Certainly plenty of folks there to ask for advice.....I think Ria's doing the chef demo.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on August 20, 2011, 02:09:36 PM
Got the bush bean seeds - green and yellow. Thinking about planting them today or next weekend - they are 50 days to harvest.

Are you going to GP Farmers Market tomorrow?   Certainly plenty of folks there to ask for advice.....I think Ria's doing the chef demo.

Thanks BB, that is a good idea but I ended up planting them yesterday. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on August 22, 2011, 09:47:55 AM
Liking the bulgarian carrot peppers, the jalapenos, and the habaneros, but LOVING the fatali peppers. Really nice and hot but even fruitier than the habaneros. Highly recommend.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on September 03, 2011, 05:56:36 PM
Beans are up and growing but I think I've killed some of them off by daily shallow watering - I think they have root rot. So, I'm ready to not water and now it is going to rain for the next four days. Hope some of them survive.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Beerbitch on September 04, 2011, 06:29:56 AM
Have you tried pulling one up (gently) and taking a look?

Depending on what you see, you could let them be for a few days and then use a soaker hose.  Or maybe the tropical storm will be your soaker hose.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on September 08, 2011, 08:28:09 PM
Thanks, BB. The ones that survived seem to have rallied a bit. And I planted replacements and they have already sprouted.

Time to plant the lettuce soon. Maybe next weekend.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on September 08, 2011, 09:08:54 PM
Time to plant the lettuce soon. Maybe next weekend.

Already? Dang, i need to prep my box!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on November 12, 2011, 03:12:23 PM
Garlic and lettuces both doing well. One tomato bush still has 10 tomatoes on it (it went crazy setting fruit as soon as the temps fell below 90) but they are not growing or ripening. Looks like it is time for lamb stew with green tomatoes! Fatali pepper plant has about 30 good-sized peppers beginning to ripen. Good thing it is in a pot, because we ended up bringing it in the last two nights.

Anyone else growing any fall crops?

BB - how did the SZ peppercorns turn out?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on November 12, 2011, 04:52:49 PM
My toms are LOADED!! picked 3 pink cherokee purples yesterday
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 18, 2012, 01:49:46 PM
Still have lettuce growing since last fall! Been enjoying it all winter.

Weather patterns be damned: I'm going to plant beans tomorrow. I'd like some heat-resistant varieties since I am sure that it will be over 90 for three straight months again. Now that Hastings has moved out of range, anywhere ITP to get seeds? I'm just going to go to Lowe's tomorrow if I can't figure out where else to go.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Corky on March 18, 2012, 04:53:32 PM
Still have lettuce growing since last fall! Been enjoying it all winter.

Weather patterns be damned: I'm going to plant beans tomorrow. I'd like some heat-resistant varieties since I am sure that it will be over 90 for three straight months again. Now that Hastings has moved out of range, anywhere ITP to get seeds? I'm just going to go to Lowe's tomorrow if I can't figure out where else to go.

Home Depot-carries heirloom seeds by Ferry-Morse, plus Burpee and Martha Stewart brand. I have no idea if the ITP HDs carry the same selection. Our Lowe's here in Alpharetta does not have the seed variety and selection as our HD.

I have had good luck with Sow True Seeds out of the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville. They have a website, but have no idea on shipping times or availability. Pretty good selection was still available several weeks ago when I stopped by the FM. I buy my greasy and rattlesnake beans from them.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 18, 2012, 08:38:50 PM
Thanks! Rattlesnake is one variety I'm considering. I'm assuming since you mentioned them that you have had good luck growing them here?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Corky on March 19, 2012, 07:28:01 AM
Thanks! Rattlesnake is one variety I'm considering. I'm assuming since you mentioned them that you have had good luck growing them here?

I have had no problem growing them. I was told by others to use a real loose soil. I add sand and an organic soil enhancer to my containers place them on my deck where I get a lot of sun and I don't let them dry out too much.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 19, 2012, 08:47:47 AM
Ok, thanks. Good to know about the sand addition. I'll be looking for them at the Lowe's - and if they don't have much, I'll try our Home Depot or the Ace on Scott Boulevard in Decatur.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on March 30, 2012, 06:34:31 AM
Home Depot has their vegetables and herbs marked down to 1/2 price this weekend.  I kept looking long enough to find the 3 thai basil they had at perimeter.  8-)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 30, 2012, 10:08:12 AM
Thanks for the heads-up. I find the Home Depot stuff to be hit or miss in terms of actually being healthy and surviving, but totally worth it at 1/2 price.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on March 30, 2012, 10:30:38 AM
Agreed.  I was quite surprised at how dry the dirt was on a lot of the plants.  BTW Liz, I left a couple of Thai basil for you.  Best of luck finding them...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on March 30, 2012, 11:37:57 AM
That is rather evil of you totm! But I think I'll try the one on Lawrenceville HWY instead.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 29, 2012, 01:07:50 PM
Picked the first (cherry) tomatoes of the season on Saturday. Quite a few blueberries coming in now, too!  For some unknown reason they taste a lot sweeter than they did last year.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on May 30, 2012, 01:31:58 PM
Got 2 Cherokee Purple tomatoes this morning, they were not quite ripe but we had heavy rain last night and they cracked, so I picked them early. We have lots of green tomatoes starting to ripen but my tomato plants don't look that good to me. Gardening in the Lowcountry is tricky business.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Corky on May 30, 2012, 03:52:19 PM
Also picked my first cherry tomatoes this w/e. I'm concerned about my German Johnsons and Brandywines, no flowers yet. Plants look healthy, but, as someone told me, growing heirlooms can be dicey. Have already had several pickings of Greasy and Rattlesnake beans... Man those things are good. Bush beans are producing like crazy. Should have plenty to can.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 30, 2012, 04:24:19 PM
Also picked my first cherry tomatoes this w/e. I'm concerned about my German Johnsons and Brandywines, no flowers yet. Plants look healthy, but, as someone told me, growing heirlooms can be dicey. Have already had several pickings of Greasy and Rattlesnake beans... Man those things are good. Bush beans are producing like crazy. Should have plenty to can.

I've about given up on Brandywines - they take so long to produce and so few fruit per plant.

First figs today!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: bettylouski on May 31, 2012, 12:10:28 PM
The tomato hornworms have arrived, a little bit early, it seems.  I don't remember seeing them before August in previous years.  These things really creep me out, but I sucked it up and disposed of it quickly.  Too bad to lose 4 early girls to that ugly thing.

They're BAAACK!  This has got to be a record, I have never seen them in May before.  I was able to get it off the plant before it had eaten anything.  I just don't want to see anymore.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Picklefactory on June 02, 2012, 03:54:39 PM
I have a wonderful selection of heirlooms starting to come in. Got started too late last year and didn't have too much luck but this year things are looking better. This is a composit of tomatoes growing.

Left to right, top to bottom.

Copia                    Copia
Green Zebra         Anas Noire
Orange Fleshed     Cherokee Purple
Purple Smudged
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 02, 2012, 04:57:10 PM
I have a wonderful selection of heirlooms starting to come in. Got started too late last year and didn't have too much luck but this year things are looking better. This is a composit of tomatoes growing.

Left to right, top to bottom.

Copia                    Copia
Green Zebra         Anas Noire
Orange Fleshed     Cherokee Purple
Purple Smudged

Seven descriptions and six pictures..    I'm a "special" child that needs 'splaining. 

.....
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 02, 2012, 05:54:59 PM
I have a wonderful selection of heirlooms starting to come in. Got started too late last year and didn't have too much luck but this year things are looking better. This is a composit of tomatoes growing.

Left to right, top to bottom.

Copia                    Copia
Green Zebra         Anas Noire
Orange Fleshed     Cherokee Purple
Purple Smudged

Seven descriptions and six pictures..    I'm a "special" child that needs 'splaining. 

.....


Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge is just one name so there are only six.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: tansu on June 03, 2012, 12:41:13 PM
Had my first (costco) tomato before Easter, since then at least a dozen.
Have half dozen parks whopper and cherokee purple picked/eaten.
Now under attack from ? about to try neem oil - any advice?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Corky on June 03, 2012, 08:33:39 PM
I always save my onion and garlic skins, soak them in water and then spray on plants to get rid of a lot of bugs. Works well for me. Have no idea what type of bugs it repulses. It just works.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Beerbitch on June 04, 2012, 09:17:54 AM
Had my first (costco) tomato before Easter, since then at least a dozen.
Have half dozen parks whopper and cherokee purple picked/eaten.
Now under attack from ? about to try neem oil - any advice?


If the suspects are birds and squirrels, try some deer netting. 
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 04, 2012, 09:45:11 AM
Had my first (costco) tomato before Easter, since then at least a dozen.
Have half dozen parks whopper and cherokee purple picked/eaten.
Now under attack from ? about to try neem oil - any advice?


If the suspects are birds and squirrels, try some deer netting.
And if they are chipmunks then forget the deer netting and get some hardware cloth, which isn't cloth at all.

I discovered last fall when we planted pansies/violas in the same bed that I grow chile's that I had slugs.  Those things will do a number on young chile plants.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 04, 2012, 11:35:08 AM
I have a cherry tomato that has not set fruit and another hybrid that has two small tomatoes on it. Pole beans growing but just starting to flower. Cucumber vine has anemic growth - keeps making tiny cucumbers that turn yellow and fall off. On the positive side, serranos and jalapenos are very happy, as is the regular basil and the Thai basil. And the French tarragon is out of control.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: tansu on June 04, 2012, 02:51:21 PM



If the suspects are birds and squirrels, try some deer netting.
[/quote]
And if they are chipmunks then forget the deer netting and get some hardware cloth, which isn't cloth at all
[/quote]

My 10 tomatoes are completely covered with chicken wire with a lock.
My problem is probably the hornworm.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 04, 2012, 02:58:04 PM



If the suspects are birds and squirrels, try some deer netting.
And if they are chipmunks then forget the deer netting and get some hardware cloth, which isn't cloth at all
[/quote]

My 10 tomatoes are completely covered with chicken wire with a lock.
My problem is probably the hornworm.
[/quote]
Without some description as to what is happening to your fruit no one here can really help you.  Are the leaves being eaten rabidly such that your vines/stalks are down to nubs?  Are your fruit showing with a bite or hole in them?

#1 - probably hornworm - look closely and you may see the disgusting thing.
#2 - probably birds or chipmunks.  Chicken wire will protect some from birds but chipmunks can get through those octagonal holes just as they will with deer/bird netting.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 10, 2012, 08:50:46 AM
Anybody know how to tell if a watermelon is ripe?

I planted 3 hills of Sugar Babies and the largest one seemed ready so I picked it this morning. It weighs 8 lb. 3oz and is the size of a small bowling ball and feels heavy for its size. We have about 10 melons in various sizes from tennis ball size on up. I planted them in a space that was intended to be landscaping but growing watermelons is way more fun. Anyway it is in the fridge getting cold so in a couple of hours I will see what it looks like.

Farmers grow a lot of watermelons down here. They take old school buses and remove the ceilings and part of the sides and use them to transport melons to markets. It is quite a sight to see a school bus completely loaded with watermelons.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 10, 2012, 11:23:06 AM
Don't know about watermelon, but i've heard for a cantaloupe it's when the tendril/grappler closest to the melon dries out and the stem comes off easily off the melon.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 11, 2012, 07:44:18 AM
Had my first (costco) tomato before Easter, since then at least a dozen.
How big have the tomatoes from your costco bush been?  Mine have been more golf ball sized with a couple getting a little bigger.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 11, 2012, 09:45:47 AM
Don't know about watermelon, but i've heard for a cantaloupe it's when the tendril/grappler closest to the melon dries out and the stem comes off easily off the melon.

Watermelon wasn't quite ripe. Still had some white flesh along with some red. It tasted pretty good though but had lots of seeds.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 16, 2012, 12:53:38 PM
Lettuce from last fall has finally bitten the dust. It was awesome to have lettuce all winter.

Pole beans have several beans on them and if it can just stay below 90 for a couple more weeks we will likely have a nice crop. Thai basil, regular basil and other herbs are happy. Tomatoes are anemic looking. I planted an Amelia (because of supposed disease resistance) and something ate the main growing shoot, so it is stunted at about a foot high with two small tomatoes on it. The random cherry I planted has a couple of nice tomatoes coming. Cucumber continues to inch along producing tiny cukes that turn yellow and fall off.  Fairy eggplant bush has produced two little eggplants but it seems stunted at about a foot as well.

I think I'm going to buy another tomato plant.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 16, 2012, 01:11:58 PM
sounds like your cukes ares getting fertilized
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: robertl on June 16, 2012, 01:28:39 PM
Most likely poor fertilization on the cukes.  Small yellow fruits can be typical of this.  Plant flowers near them to see if you can attract more bees, hummingbird moths, wasps, etc.  There are just not that many honey bees left around here to do their job.  Could also be a virus as this can cause yellow fruits also but I think with a virus they tend to grow out to normal size.  That's my 2-cents for what it's worth.

I'm getting lots of green beans, potatoes, jalapenos, and eggplants but my tomatoes are way behind.  Sounds like that is a common problem this year.  At least my cherry tomatoes are loaded.

Robert
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 16, 2012, 01:57:23 PM
correction... arent getting fertilized
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 16, 2012, 09:25:40 PM
Could be but I Miracle Grow-ed them a couple of time in the last two weeks. Duno. We will see what happens. I'm not heartbroken about the cuke. Maybe it is missing a specific nutrient?

Good idea about the flower planting. I do have a flowering sage fairly close by in the back yard, so that should help. My front yard is absolutely swamped with honeybees, they LOVE the flowering oregano that has morphed into a huge bush.

Did you hear that they think they have discovered the problem with honeybees dying? Seems it is a pesticide used on corn (neonicotinides?) that the bees get from corn syrup with beekeepers feed them.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 17, 2012, 06:47:29 AM
nono, the fruit of your cuke isn't getting fertilized, not the plant as a whole.
For the cuke to grow the pollen has to be brought, normally by bees, from the male flower to the female flower. The male flowers are the ones with just a flower. The females have a tiny baby cuke an a flower,. They have to be open the same day and a bee or other insect, has to go between them. If it doesn't happen, the tiny cuke yellows and dies.

This is can also be addressed by taking a small paint brush, gathering pollen from the male flower and dabbing it on the female flower pistil. I often do that with my pattypans to make sure i get fruit in case no bees come by that day
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 17, 2012, 10:41:22 AM
Ah, ok, I see what you are saying. But they do grow to about 1 1/2 inches, so I'm not sure that is it. Maybe I'll try with the brush anyway. Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 17, 2012, 07:20:29 PM
yup...sometime they get quite big before dying...i guess it depends on the variety
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on June 18, 2012, 07:30:12 AM
correction... arent getting fertilized
correction ... aren't getting pollinated  8-)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Jmolinari on June 18, 2012, 08:27:43 AM
correction... arent getting fertilized
correction ... aren't getting pollinated  8-)

So persnickety
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 18, 2012, 12:21:19 PM
Today's gifts from our garden. Cucumbers and squash are still not doing to good and we have a bunch of green tomatoes that should give us another bounty of them, I may fry up some green tomatoes in the mean time.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: robertl on June 18, 2012, 03:22:16 PM
Well, crap, I may get persnickety also.  The plants could be getting "pollinated" which is the transfer of pollen from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another.  Sometimes, even though a flower may be pollinated, it may not complete the process of "fertilization" which is the union of the sperm and egg which forms the zygote cell.  Or something like that.  So, I think Jmolinari was correct in his post.

Not that anybody really cares.....

I sure wish my tomatoes would take off.

Robert
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on July 08, 2012, 02:46:22 PM
Got a pretty good harvest from the gardens this morning. I am not sure what to do with all this, maybe a stir-fry or even a vegetable stew. We are getting to the end of our season because it is getting too hot, especially at night for anything but okra and eggplant to thrive.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on November 11, 2012, 03:07:02 PM
We are having a problem with squirrels in our gardens. They have eaten all the small green tomatoes, lettuce and sprouting radishes, etc. I tented bird netting over the gardens but they crawled under them. Anyone know of something that will keep the little pests out or something natural I could sprinkle over the beds that they don't like. Someone told me blood meal worked against rabbits but so far I haven't tried that.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on November 11, 2012, 04:12:01 PM
We are having a problem with squirrels in our gardens. They have eaten all the small green tomatoes, lettuce and sprouting radishes, etc. I tented bird netting over the gardens but they crawled under them. Anyone know of something that will keep the little pests out or something natural I could sprinkle over the beds that they don't like. Someone told me blood meal worked against rabbits but so far I haven't tried that.


SHOTGUN...................

...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Corky on November 11, 2012, 06:52:12 PM
We are having a problem with squirrels in our gardens. They have eaten all the small green tomatoes, lettuce and sprouting radishes, etc. I tented bird netting over the gardens but they crawled under them. Anyone know of something that will keep the little pests out or something natural I could sprinkle over the beds that they don't like. Someone told me blood meal worked against rabbits but so far I haven't tried that.
I take my onion and garlic peels and save in a container in the refrigerator, when full I add cayenne and chili powder and fill with water and let sit for 3 months. Afterwards, I put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray around the plants. Although I container garden, I have plenty of squirrels in my yard and they don't touch any of the plants. Don't know if it is the solution or the numerous acorns. They may not be interested in the produce after feasting on acorns.
I agree with GG, pellet guns and SHOTGUNS are very effective. Ready for some Brunswick Stew?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on November 12, 2012, 11:41:35 AM
We are having a problem with squirrels in our gardens. They have eaten all the small green tomatoes, lettuce and sprouting radishes, etc. I tented bird netting over the gardens but they crawled under them. Anyone know of something that will keep the little pests out or something natural I could sprinkle over the beds that they don't like. Someone told me blood meal worked against rabbits but so far I haven't tried that.
I take my onion and garlic peels and save in a container in the refrigerator, when full I add cayenne and chili powder and fill with water and let sit for 3 months. Afterwards, I put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray around the plants. Although I container garden, I have plenty of squirrels in my yard and they don't touch any of the plants. Don't know if it is the solution or the numerous acorns. They may not be interested in the produce after feasting on acorns.
I agree with GG, pellet guns and SHOTGUNS are very effective. Ready for some Brunswick Stew?
It either must be that there is enough other food for the varmints or that you let the mixture ferment.  I started spraying that concoction (in addition to coffee grounds, dog hair, human hair) on my costco tomato plant this year.  Now I didn't let it sit for 3 months but there were times where the jug would sit for several weeks before I would refill my spayer.  Didn't faze the squirrels and chipmunks one bit.   But V hated when I made the stuff and it was pretty rough to get a whiff of it while spraying the plant.

It is nice to actually still have home grown tomatoes though.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: tansu on November 12, 2012, 05:13:29 PM
I finally made a electrical 1/2 conduit, bent to fit and attached chicken wire with plastic ties.
Had to add lock to keep humans out. Life is strange but interesting!
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on November 13, 2012, 11:34:19 AM
I finally made a electrical 1/2 conduit, bent to fit and attached chicken wire with plastic ties.
Had to add lock to keep humans out. Life is strange but interesting!
You made your own mini electric fence around your tomato plants?  Sweet!  I'm sure the homeowner's association would love that in my front bed.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on November 13, 2012, 02:56:29 PM
Over the past several years I've killed a total of 323 squirrels ...and counting. I've NEVER had a problem with squirrels. :-)
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on November 13, 2012, 06:50:51 PM
Over the past several years I've killed a total of 323 squirrels ...and counting. I've NEVER had a problem with squirrels. :-)

Seriously, what do you use?  I have a couple of nifty long guns that have scopes on them but they are mostly for elk or deer or big-horn sheep.  I do have a trusty 22 with a really nice scope that I almost never fire, I'm betting that would be the ticket. 

.....
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on November 14, 2012, 06:40:46 PM
WOW! 323 squirrels, thats a lot.

I don't own a gun and it is illegal to fire one in the city anyway so I got some squirrel repellant stuff from ebay that I am going to try. It is supposed to keep them out of gardens and flower pots. I will let you know if it works.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: HaagenDazs on November 15, 2012, 08:22:03 AM
It's not illegal to own a $45 bb/pellet gun from Walmart ... because that's what I use.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Corky on November 15, 2012, 09:56:42 AM
We are having a problem with squirrels in our gardens. They have eaten all the small green tomatoes, lettuce and sprouting radishes, etc. I tented bird netting over the gardens but they crawled under them. Anyone know of something that will keep the little pests out or something natural I could sprinkle over the beds that they don't like. Someone told me blood meal worked against rabbits but so far I haven't tried that.
I take my onion and garlic peels and save in a container in the refrigerator, when full I add cayenne and chili powder and fill with water and let sit for 3 months. Afterwards, I put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray around the plants. Although I container garden, I have plenty of squirrels in my yard and they don't touch any of the plants. Don't know if it is the solution or the numerous acorns. They may not be interested in the produce after feasting on acorns.
I agree with GG, pellet guns and SHOTGUNS are very effective. Ready for some Brunswick Stew?
It either must be that there is enough other food for the varmints or that you let the mixture ferment.  I started spraying that concoction (in addition to coffee grounds, dog hair, human hair) on my costco tomato plant this year.  Now I didn't let it sit for 3 months but there were times where the jug would sit for several weeks before I would refill my spayer.  Didn't faze the squirrels and chipmunks one bit.   But V hated when I made the stuff and it was pretty rough to get a whiff of it while spraying the plant.

It is nice to actually still have home grown tomatoes though.
Try adding more cayenne to your concoction. My concoction is also good for keeping squirrels out of the attic, like you mention with the addition of human and dog hair.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: totm on November 15, 2012, 10:23:27 AM
We are having a problem with squirrels in our gardens. They have eaten all the small green tomatoes, lettuce and sprouting radishes, etc. I tented bird netting over the gardens but they crawled under them. Anyone know of something that will keep the little pests out or something natural I could sprinkle over the beds that they don't like. Someone told me blood meal worked against rabbits but so far I haven't tried that.
I take my onion and garlic peels and save in a container in the refrigerator, when full I add cayenne and chili powder and fill with water and let sit for 3 months. Afterwards, I put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray around the plants. Although I container garden, I have plenty of squirrels in my yard and they don't touch any of the plants. Don't know if it is the solution or the numerous acorns. They may not be interested in the produce after feasting on acorns.
I agree with GG, pellet guns and SHOTGUNS are very effective. Ready for some Brunswick Stew?
It either must be that there is enough other food for the varmints or that you let the mixture ferment.  I started spraying that concoction (in addition to coffee grounds, dog hair, human hair) on my costco tomato plant this year.  Now I didn't let it sit for 3 months but there were times where the jug would sit for several weeks before I would refill my spayer.  Didn't faze the squirrels and chipmunks one bit.   But V hated when I made the stuff and it was pretty rough to get a whiff of it while spraying the plant.

It is nice to actually still have home grown tomatoes though.
Try adding more cayenne to your concoction. My concoction is also good for keeping squirrels out of the attic, like you mention with the addition of human and dog hair.
How many tablespoons of cayenne do you put in a 1/2G container?  I think I had increased to 3 or 4T.  The mixture is pretty red and burns the eyes/nostrils when spraying.   Do you strain the solids from the liquid?  I run the whole thing through the blender and then strain the solids through cheesecloth.

BTW, the spray bottle I got at Home Depot sucked.  The similar spray bottle I got from Autozone was much better quality.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on November 16, 2012, 05:25:47 PM
We had these citrus trees last year but no fruit at all. This year they are going crazy and are loaded. The last photo is a Myer lemon I planted, one of three trees but it is the only one with any fruit. We also have a blood orange and another tangerine variety but they are having trouble this year with insects. A local expert said they needed to be sprayed in June next year to remove the pests.

Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Corky on November 17, 2012, 02:48:46 PM
We are having a problem with squirrels in our gardens. They have eaten all the small green tomatoes, lettuce and sprouting radishes, etc. I tented bird netting over the gardens but they crawled under them. Anyone know of something that will keep the little pests out or something natural I could sprinkle over the beds that they don't like. Someone told me blood meal worked against rabbits but so far I haven't tried that.
I take my onion and garlic peels and save in a container in the refrigerator, when full I add cayenne and chili powder and fill with water and let sit for 3 months. Afterwards, I put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray around the plants. Although I container garden, I have plenty of squirrels in my yard and they don't touch any of the plants. Don't know if it is the solution or the numerous acorns. They may not be interested in the produce after feasting on acorns.
I agree with GG, pellet guns and SHOTGUNS are very effective. Ready for some Brunswick Stew?
It either must be that there is enough other food for the varmints or that you let the mixture ferment.  I started spraying that concoction (in addition to coffee grounds, dog hair, human hair) on my costco tomato plant this year.  Now I didn't let it sit for 3 months but there were times where the jug would sit for several weeks before I would refill my spayer.  Didn't faze the squirrels and chipmunks one bit.   But V hated when I made the stuff and it was pretty rough to get a whiff of it while spraying the plant.

It is nice to actually still have home grown tomatoes though.
Try adding more cayenne to your concoction. My concoction is also good for keeping squirrels out of the attic, like you mention with the addition of human and dog hair.
How many tablespoons of cayenne do you put in a 1/2G container?  I think I had increased to 3 or 4T.  The mixture is pretty red and burns the eyes/nostrils when spraying.   Do you strain the solids from the liquid?  I run the whole thing through the blender and then strain the solids through cheesecloth.

BTW, the spray bottle I got at Home Depot sucked.  The similar spray bottle I got from Autozone was much better quality.
I just pour the marinated liquid only from the onion and garlic peels into a spray bottle. Then I add both cayenne and chili pepper (whatever is closest and handy) to the spray bottle. The spray bottle I use used to be my wife's ironing spray bottle. I got into trouble for that one. I don't know why you couldn't use a pump up pressurized container. I keep one for pesticides and one for herbicides, probably one for anti-squirrel matter next spring. I haven't checked on various sizes. Hope I can find a 1/2 gallon one.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on May 21, 2013, 11:22:30 AM
Visited Farmer D's and picked up a "compact" tomato plant, some sort of southwestern-sounding pepper plant, and basil. I really wanted lemon thyme but they did not have any.

I don't recall what kind of tomato it is off-hand, but I did ask them to recommend something for me because I have had terrible tomato problems for the last several years. They also recommended Tomato Tone, which we bought. We will see - it is already very much not a cost effective experiment!

Other than that, the only things we are attempting this year are popcorn and bush and pole beans.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on May 21, 2013, 06:24:28 PM
I have 4 4' X 6' raised bed gardens this year. We are using the square foot garden method and everything is looking good except the squash. Getting end rot so I have been spraying the leaves. We had trouble with squash last year also. I had to make chicken wire cages to keep the squirrels out. This was taken a couple of weeks so everything is about twice this size right now.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 21, 2013, 06:25:18 PM


I/we too would like to grow them, we have some shaded area and rich soil, they could do well here.

I have puzzled over putting a couple of raised beds in the front lawn, I have NO pushback from Deanne, it might happen.  I would love to grow several of the things we use in quantity.   Parsley, Thyme, Oregano, (my rosemary bush is a couple feet wide), and some beans now and again. 

....
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 21, 2013, 06:26:36 PM
I have 4 4' X 6' raised bed gardens this year. We are using the square foot garden method and everything is looking good except the squash. Getting end rot so I have been spraying the leaves. We had trouble with squash last year also. I had to make chicken wire cages to keep the squirrels out. This was taken a couple of weeks so everything is about twice this size right now. 

Very nice..

........
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on May 22, 2013, 10:59:57 AM
We have basil from our herb box coming out our ears so I just made a batch of pesto. As I was washing the basil a small, green tree frog hopped off onto our kitchen counter. Cute little guy, he is back outside now. Nice to know our herbs are so organic that a frog is hanging out on them.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 22, 2013, 05:19:02 PM
We have basil from our herb box coming out our ears so I just made a batch of pesto. As I was washing the basil a small, green tree frog hopped off onto our kitchen counter. Cute little guy, he is back outside now. Nice to know our herbs are so organic that a frog is hanging out on them.

I wish I had basil enough to make pesto Andy..  Our Thai basil at the community garden is not showing anything but stemmy growth.  This soil will be MUCH better when I do that bed NEXT year.  I am going to amend the dickens out of it.  I also am going to pull my arugula up, it has gone to flower without very much leaf growth.  I can see the nitrogen deficiency in the soil with that, but I have a plan.    8)

We do have a drum composter, I am going to make 20 day compost in it, I have never done it the "speedy" way, I have always just built on what was there until I wanted to sieve it, give it two weeks to let it dry out and it is good.  This other way is a 14 to 20 day regime that all goes in there at one time and then produces compost in ~20 days..  We'll see.....    ;)

 I have two HUGE bags of oak leaves and frozen or bagged vegetable cutting/trimmings for 20 days.  Here goes. 


......
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on May 27, 2013, 01:22:23 PM


I picked my first jalapeno today and sliced it up in our omelet for brunch.  Not too hot yet, but it was little..

tomatoes are getting big but are not yet reddening up..


(http://aroundhere.net/Mike2/285Fpics/2013pics/Jal14.jpg)


...
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 03, 2013, 02:47:59 PM
Picked about several pounds of beans this morning. We have Kentucky Wonder, Purple Pod and Rattlesnake planted and they are really producing right now. We are having beans for dinner and I froze two large packages of them.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 04, 2013, 11:43:01 AM
Wow - that is great AB! I got a VERY late start and just planted some Kentucky Wonder and Rattlesnake last weekend. The little fellows are already up and growing.

When did you plant yours?
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on June 12, 2013, 04:39:41 PM
Picked my first tomatoes today, they were still warm from the sun when I brought them inside. We have lots more coming in, these are Russian Black Krims. My wife is going to visit her Mother so I sent them as a gift to her.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on June 12, 2013, 07:06:07 PM
Picked my first tomatoes today, they were still warm from the sun when I brought them inside. We have lots more coming in, these are Russian Black Krims. My wife is going to visit her Mother so I sent them as a gift to her.

Your tomatoes look great the "black" tomato plants we have are like yours but not ready yet but they soon will be producing ripeness. 

Here is what we have here:

        Supersweet 100's near the deck
   Black Cherry
   Mortgage Lifter
   Black Krim

............
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on June 15, 2013, 12:14:24 PM
My little tomato from Farmer D's is not even flowering yet. :0(
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: AndyBoy on July 02, 2013, 04:18:46 PM
Picked a bunch of tomatoes yesterday and this is a grouping of some of the prettier ones. May have to do a watercolor of this.
Title: Re: General gardening thoughts
Post by: LizR on August 25, 2014, 04:12:31 PM
So, I have some garlic that I forgot about that is growing all kinds of spiky leafy greens and starting to flower. I thought the plant was supposed to die back about a month ago and then be harvested. Should I pull them? Use them for garlic scapes? Let them flower? I think that it may be too late and that the bulb is probably minimal since the energy went into the huge plants.

Thoughts?