Gardening 2018

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Bill_G
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Re: Gardening 2018

#151

Post by Bill_G » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:09 pm

P.K. wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:10 am
Beautiful!

We had 117+ degree temps last Thursday (my car dash thermometer read 121 after sitting in the park n ride in the Valley all afternoon) and four out of five of my tomato plants were killed by the heat. The tomatoes that were on the vine seemed partially cooked and not in a yummy way. I cut all the dead branches off the survivor and discarded all the fruit, and when temps are cooler I'll get some seedlings and start over.

Of course the heat didn't even touch the weeds that were invading my tiny tomato patch. They're all fine. :roll:
Oh yeah. At 117, they suffered. Tomatoes don't like heat above 100F for long. The leaves scald, and blossom drop is common. Sometimes you can recover them by providing shade, but that means you have to anticipate the need, and have something on hand already. That's why tomatoe season is in the winter in Florida - it's warm enough to grow them, and cool enough to not kill them.



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Re: Gardening 2018

#152

Post by P.K. » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:59 pm

Good news! The one surviving tomato plant is bouncing back, and has even set fruit! I forget what variety it was, but it's a really tasty brown tomato with pink stripes. I'm glad I'll be getting a few more of those. As long as the temps stay below 117 that is. :dance:


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Re: Gardening 2018

#153

Post by Bill_G » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:21 pm

P.K. wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:59 pm
Good news! The one surviving tomato plant is bouncing back, and has even set fruit! I forget what variety it was, but it's a really tasty brown tomato with pink stripes. I'm glad I'll be getting a few more of those. As long as the temps stay below 117 that is. :dance:
Toma, the tomatoe Goddess is on your side! Now you have to keep Sol at bay. He is a jealous God.



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Re: Gardening 2018

#154

Post by kate520 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:34 pm

My tomatoes this year were volunteer black cherry ones that started producing in February and just finished befor the heat. But...my ancient Rex begonia from Mexico may not survive. :crying: Of course, we’re going on vacation for two weeks. I’ll have to figure out a way to save it.

https://www.begonias.org/monthly/heracleifolia.pdf

Mine has very red hairy stems. It comes from Veracruz, where the previous owners of our home used to vacation.


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Re: Gardening 2018

#155

Post by Bill_G » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:58 pm

Well, it's official now. The Willamette Valley has entered that part of the year where we rename the state Orezona, We haven't broken 100F yet, but you can feel it wants to.

The potatoe leaves are scalded, and many of the tops will probably die off in the next week meaning I'll be digging those up soon. The spinach is bolting, and the lettuce isn't far behind.

The beets have leaf miners, but they usually can suffer through those. It just means I don't get any greens off them for a while until it's too cold for the bugs.

The tomatoes and beans are greeting the heat and rising to Sol. The beef steak hit five feet tall today, and the early girl is a close second. They both got a good dose of compost tea to help transition from growth to fruiting.

You can almost see the pole bean runners grow. A couple blossoms forming, but nothing major. OTOH, the bush beans have hundreds of little eyelash size beans set. So, we'll be having assorted bean green dinners soon - green beans and spatzle being my personal favorite. Considering the potatoe situation, I imagine it will be simple beans and taters first.

The garlic is almost dry enough to clean now. It's on my roundtoit list to get done soon.

We have scads of pickle size cucumbers. We should be eating those in another week. Mrs_G's favorite is to chunk those up with mayo, garlic, red onion, and lemon juice on a bed of mild dirty rice (ground beef, rice, and a pinch of chili peppers with other spices) (or she may cheat and use Rice-a-roni - still good).

The compost pile hit 130F today, and the babies have returned. Babies meaning black soldier flies - the gift to any gardener. They reduce the volume of the compost pile by fifty percent in short order yielding (A) bug poop which is good for the garden, and (B) predator insects (wasps, yellow jackets, hornets) going after the slow and lumbering black soldier fly adults as the larvae pupate. The predators in turn forage the rest of the garden for other insects keeping it cleared of hornworms on the tomatoes, etc. A total blessing to have BSF in the compost pile. Just don't go into the garden midday when the predators are in high feeding mode. Early morning, and evenings are good.



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Re: Gardening 2018

#156

Post by Bill_G » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:02 am

kate520 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:34 pm
My tomatoes this year were volunteer black cherry ones that started producing in February and just finished befor the heat. But...my ancient Rex begonia from Mexico may not survive. :crying: Of course, we’re going on vacation for two weeks. I’ll have to figure out a way to save it.

https://www.begonias.org/monthly/heracleifolia.pdf

Mine has very red hairy stems. It comes from Veracruz, where the previous owners of our home used to vacation.
Water it well, perhaps put up some shade with a board staked to the ground, and let nature take it's course. The top may die back, but the root will probably survive, and regrow when it cools down again.



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Re: Gardening 2018

#157

Post by Bill_G » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:44 am

We had our first green beans last night from a fast growing Ed Hume bush fillet variety. When it says 51 days to maturity, they were right on the money. I'm going to plant more so we have some by mid-September.

We also started picking cucumbers this week. I love them when they are fresh. They have a distinct fruity aroma, and a sweetness that disappears within hours. Entirely different from store bought until they sit in a fridge overnight, and then you can't tell the difference.



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Re: Gardening 2018

#158

Post by Bill_G » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:02 pm

I made a full on farm-to-table dinner tonight. On the menu were -

Caesar salad made from romaine, red onions, garlic, and herbs from our garden, croutons I made from day old bread I baked, and eggs from down the road. The parm cheese, lemon, and olive oil were store bought. Mrs don't do anchovies. Garnished with fresh sliced Early Girl tomatoes picked this morning from our garden.

A cheese and apple plate made with fresh cheese curd from Tillamook Friday, and Grannie Smith's from a neighbor's tree.

Steamed and then pan fried potatoes graced with parsley both from our garden.

Tiny fillet green beans steamed quickly, and lightly buttered. I pick the the juvenile beans before seeds set. Bigger than eyelashes, but much smaller than most people would pick them. Picking early forces new flowers to set. So, you aren't actually losing any harvest in the process. Once the seeds set though, you reduce the yield somewhat. It's a delicious gamble.

Willamette Valley Hereford beef aged NY strip steaks from our local butcher. Rubbed in salt and pepper, and grilled on the gas barbi medium / medium rare.

Blueberry cobbler made from our neighbor's sister's berries.

Washed down with Yamhill County VX Chablis.

I love summer dinners!



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Re: Gardening 2018

#159

Post by Bill_G » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:18 pm

A cautionary tale about tomatoes, water, and calcium. Ca (calcium) is super abundant in the soil, and it's used by plants to form rugged structures like the skin of a tomatoe. However, there is no such thing as free calcium. Ca tends to be locked up in other forms (oxides, dioxides, and ions), and as such it needs to be converted to a form that can be taken up by plants. That's where soil flora come in as well as the root systems of plants. Without getting too deep into the weeds of the chemistry magic that occurs in plant biology and their symbiosis with microscopic organisms, let's just say that you can screw it all up by watering. You have to find the Goldilocks amount of water.

I've posted two pictures of tomatoes with problems. One shows a big dark spot on the bottom. That is blossom end rot (BER). Super common, and there is nothing you are doing wrong. It will happen on almost every tomatoe plant. The first few tomatoes to form and ripen will have BER as the tomatoe plant balances out it's Ca demand versus Ca availability. Unless you have really sandy soil, or very alkaline soil, you have plenty of calcium. And by the time fruit is setting, it's too late to fix it even if you tried. But, you wouldn't have gotten this far if Ca was totally depleted. So, you just have to let the plant and it's pals in the dirt work it out. All the tomatoes afterwards will be just fine once the Ca ion balance is achieved. Pick the bad ones off, and toss them in the compost pile for the babies to eat.

The other picture shows a large orange stain on the bottom. That's BER too. But, in this case it's caused by overwatering. That plant is getting too much water which washes out the calcium, interrupts the uptake process, and yields sour flavored fruit. You can cut that part off, but the whole fruit will have an extra tang that most people don't like. And once picked, that part tends to rot very quickly. These won't keep very long. This problem you can fix by cutting back the watering for a few days. Let the soil dry out, and when you see new fruit ripening without the stain, you can start watering again.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#160

Post by DejaMoo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:52 pm

This is what I (with the help of a couple siblings) have been busting our heinies over this summer. We laid a new paver patio and put up a gazebo.
gazebo.jpg
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Re: Gardening 2018

#161

Post by DejaMoo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:53 pm

This is a view from the new patio.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#162

Post by DejaMoo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:54 pm

This is the view of the new patio from the lawn swing.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#163

Post by DejaMoo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:54 pm

This is my pond garden. I've got the waterfall on a smart switch, so I can tell Alexa to turn it on and off.
pond garden.jpg
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Re: Gardening 2018

#164

Post by Volkonski » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:45 pm

:thumbs:


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Re: Gardening 2018

#165

Post by Notorial Dissent » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:58 pm

That looks absolutely gorgeous, well done. :thumbs:


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Re: Gardening 2018

#166

Post by Bill_G » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:04 am

Excellent work! Love the face stones and statuary. You have a keen eye for color spreading around the garden. It's pleasant and soothing to look at at. I could sit there for hours contemplating. You are starting at my house when? :)

You should proud of yourself. Top marks for this really. House tour worthy effort.



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Re: Gardening 2018

#167

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:05 am

I love the little faces!



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Re: Gardening 2018

#168

Post by Bill_G » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:59 pm

Our tomatoe issues are flattening out after several days of drying out the bed. All the latest fruit are stain and BER free. We had our first Beef Steak last night, and it was great. I cubed it up, added some EVOO, salt, and some fresh chopped basil. Yum! It was another full garden to table dinner with everything grown here. It's pretty easy to eat vegetarian when it's growing right outside your kitchen door.

I pulled the potatoes today. A bit early, but I planted the pole beans too close to the tater bed, and now it's crowded to get to the beans. So, taters out of the dirt, and the path widened. The harvest weighed out to 25# for a 30sf bed. Lots of tiny ones (gum ball and bigger). Those will get eaten first since they do not last. They steam easily. A dab of butter and some parsley, and you have a creamy delight.

There also about five pounds of golf ball size that will get eaten next. Cut in half, they also steam well. Those are destined for a milk gravy ala bisquits and gravy. Then there were about 8# of tennis balls, and the remainder was baseball or softball size. Those are hardening in the lawn in the sun right now. I'll gather them in a couple days carefully scrubbing the dirt off with my hands so I don't tear the skins. Those will go into paper sacks, and then a cool dark cupboard where they should keep for a few months.



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Re: Gardening 2018

#169

Post by Bill_G » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:26 pm

Good evening and welcome to our coverage of the annual Labor Day Compost Bologna Races. Tonight we have literally several thousand entries on the field all vying for the prize: Last years meatloaf, some bean soup, and some cut up hotdogs. A record audience is in the stands. The bell is about to sound. The riders are ready.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#170

Post by Bill_G » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:29 pm

The first riders have reached the prize and the race is on. We can already see some progress.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#171

Post by Bill_G » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:30 pm

The riders have been hard at it for a half hour now, and there has been some brilliant moves on the field.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#172

Post by Bill_G » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:32 pm

We are now an hour into the race, and the riders have been hard at work. No sign of fatigue yet. Their conditioning this year is amazing.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#173

Post by Bill_G » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:34 pm

Oh No! An interloper has come onto the playing field and has taken one of the riders. thankfully, there were no other injuries.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#174

Post by Bill_G » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:45 pm

You are watching live coverage of the 2018 Labor Day Compost Races. If you'll recall, we just suffered through a tragedy, but the riders have soldiered on, and have just about completed the first lap. Over half of the meatloaf is now gone along with some of the hot dog, and the bread has moved a full 3 centimeters. The stamina they have displayed is phenomenal.
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Re: Gardening 2018

#175

Post by p0rtia » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:05 pm

Gorgeous, Deja Moo! I'm pretty sure they held the Council of Elrond on your patio. <3


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