Author Topic: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017  (Read 34788 times)

Cranky

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #550 on: August 16, 2017, 05:30:55 AM »
We have a million billion concord grapes this year. My dh is hovering over them, but I taste them every day, and they are NOT ready. LOL

We are also going to be eating butternut squash every week this winter.

The second round of raspberries is in full swing, but we could use some rain.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #551 on: August 16, 2017, 09:29:31 AM »
Oh man, I went to the community garden last night after work and the blight got BAD, overnight. :( I gave all the plants a good haircut. Some of the yellowed branches were coming off right in my hand. WTF?

I'm still harvesting tons of tomatoes, though. Mostly sungolds. I need to stop snacking on them raw so that I'll have some to put up. Also got my first mini red pepper, and my first White Beauty tomato. Yes, it is white. Weird! (That plant looks like total shit, though, so that is probably the only tomato I'm going to get off of it.)

Made heirloom tomato salsa last night with my huge cherokee purples, creme brulees, and mortgage lifters. And some hot peppers that were still in the freezer from last year's harvest but seem just fine. Yum!

Just to see what would happen, I threw some lettuce seed in the community bed to see if I can try for a fall crop. And it's coming up! In past years I was never successful at fall greens; they never germinated. Hopefully I'll get some fall lettuce this year, then.

Cressida

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #552 on: August 16, 2017, 07:47:54 PM »
Hi all. Does anyone know what's up with my tomatoes? A lot of the lower leaves look like this.



I appreciate any input. Thanks everyone!

Sister C

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #553 on: August 17, 2017, 07:13:13 PM »
Kale has aphids! Diagnosed by a gardening friend. Will strip the plants of leaves, spray with insecticidal soap and wait 2-3 weeks for the plants to regenerate. Oh and apparently we need to fertilize with a fish emulsion.  Hoping to extend the kale harvest well into fall.

Cache Stash

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #554 on: August 18, 2017, 07:34:40 AM »
Hi all. Does anyone know what's up with my tomatoes? A lot of the lower leaves look like this.



I appreciate any input. Thanks everyone!

Looks like blight to me.  Being that it is on the lower plant leaves, blight can be transferred from "splashing" of rain onto the soil and up onto the leaves.  Those leaves also get little sunlight which blight likes :).



SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #555 on: August 18, 2017, 09:07:56 AM »
We harvested our potatoes last night. I only had a few plants, and I was trying a new method. (A potato box thing--I think I put up a picture earlier in this thread?) The soil, such as it was, was pretty poor, mostly mulch, and I only hilled them once. Well, we got a little over 8 lbs of potatoes, so not too shabby, especially considering the serious lack of care I put into these plants. And my daughter had a ball finding the potatoes and pulling them out as I sifted through the dirt with a pitchfork.

Next year, I want to have a big potato patch, plus the box.

We also harvested some tomatoes, almost up to a pound total of those (romas and cherry tomatoes, so they're small) and we've got a few more zucchinis springing up.

Last, I checked on my onions. Some of them are nearly twice the size they were just two weeks ago, so I guess they've finally decided to make their final push to get bigger before fall. Yay!

Coming up soon: harvesting apples. I can them as sauce and we press our own cider (hard and sweet). Yum!

Rural

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #556 on: August 19, 2017, 03:12:41 PM »
Hi all. Does anyone know what's up with my tomatoes? A lot of the lower leaves look like this.



I appreciate any input. Thanks everyone!

Looks like blight to me.  Being that it is on the lower plant leaves, blight can be transferred from "splashing" of rain onto the soil and up onto the leaves.  Those leaves also get little sunlight which blight likes :).


Afraid I agree - that's early stage blight.

ender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #557 on: August 19, 2017, 03:58:41 PM »
Another 13 pounds of tomatoes today (last harvested on the 15th, so what... that's 4 days ago?). Up to about 75 total this year, yay!

Blight is looking bad. But at this point we're going to get more than enough fruit even if all them get blighted.

I hacked away TONS of branches again today, both blighted as well as extra. Our Early Girls don't look like they have much blight now (after a massive pruning a few days ago) so fingers crossed there. But a few other plants picked up traces of it. I guess we'll see what happens.

Cache Stash

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #558 on: August 19, 2017, 04:06:35 PM »
Another 13 pounds of tomatoes today (last harvested on the 15th, so what... that's 4 days ago?). Up to about 75 total this year, yay!

Blight is looking bad. But at this point we're going to get more than enough fruit even if all them get blighted.

I hacked away TONS of branches again today, both blighted as well as extra. Our Early Girls don't look like they have much blight now (after a massive pruning a few days ago) so fingers crossed there. But a few other plants picked up traces of it. I guess we'll see what happens.

Good for you!  I've harvested about 60lbs so far.  I'm in the southern local so I don't have but maybe one more good harvest.  Probably end up with about 70lbs.  I was hit hard by the white moth larvae.  I did massive pruning.  Then blight set in just a few weeks ago.  I'm yanking everything next week and planting fall veggies.



ender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #559 on: August 19, 2017, 04:09:07 PM »
Good for you!  I've harvested about 60lbs so far.  I'm in the southern local so I don't have but maybe one more good harvest.  Probably end up with about 70lbs.  I was hit hard by the white moth larvae.  I did massive pruning.  Then blight set in just a few weeks ago.  I'm yanking everything next week and planting fall veggies.

We've got a bunch of peppers that look promising but I'm hoping to end up with around 100# of tomatoes.

Will be a nice haul, should last us a year, but I do like putting them in lots of things... so we'll see.

wannabe-stache

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #560 on: August 25, 2017, 08:12:47 AM »
OK - let's get this party started!

What are you growing this year?
Trying anything new this year?
What did you learn from past years?
Best tips to pass along.
Having problems?

I am trying to grow tomatoes (indeterminates i think, they're getting big) in containers.  Staking them has been tough though, i am using strips of t-shirts to tie them but they seem to slide down and don't really serve their purpose.

interestingly, the immediate area around where the containers are located seem to be really getting weedy.  i assume this isn't a coincidence.

i am also trying to grow herbs but starting them outdoors, in rainy season in south FL, seems to be a mistake.

StarBright

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #561 on: August 25, 2017, 08:17:04 AM »
If anyone is looking to use up some tomatoes I recommend the "Tomato Pie" recipe from the Hoosier Mama Book of Pie. It is intense tomato-ey goodness.

Bonus - you can double the filling recipe and then blend up the second batch for sauce in the "Chicago Pie" recipe which is also excellent.


asauer

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #562 on: August 25, 2017, 08:27:47 AM »
If anyone is looking to use up some tomatoes I recommend the "Tomato Pie" recipe from the Hoosier Mama Book of Pie. It is intense tomato-ey goodness.

Bonus - you can double the filling recipe and then blend up the second batch for sauce in the "Chicago Pie" recipe which is also excellent.

Actually made tomato pie last night!  Still getting tons of 4th of July tomatoes.  Also, still harvesting bell peppers and jalapenos.  I can't tell you how many jars of hot sauce I've given away. 

asauer

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #563 on: August 25, 2017, 08:29:40 AM »
Looking forward to getting my seeds for fall planting- spinach, peas, carrots, garlic and turnips.  Can't wait!

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #564 on: August 25, 2017, 08:52:37 AM »
Community garden bed officially looks like poo. Still getting tomatoes, but the plants look the way they usually do around mid-October. Very sad. It's making me not want to go there and continue to tend it, but I still do.

Backyard is still churning out loads of romas, cherries, and the Red Prides finally started to ripen. Some are really large. Still getting some big heirlooms too. I had to throw out a Mortgage Lifter that I left on the counter too long. It had a split in it that I didn't see and got moldy and liquefied. Ew.

A question on blight. So, everything I read about it says you have to rotate your crops or else you'll get it again next year. I don't have another place to plant, though, and I don't want to give up tomatoes entirely for a few years. (One thing I read said plant nothing in the tomato family for FOUR years?!) What would happen if I emptied out much of the soil from the bed and replaced it with fresh? Would that help? Every year I top off with fresh compost, but the same soil is still in there underneath (and probably has been for as long as the community garden's been going). Has anyone successfully done this? Because, it's going to be expensive and I don't want to make the effort if it won't actually help.

I planted fall spinach but it didn't come up, booo. The fall lettuce is up but not really growing. It's gotten cooler these past few days, though, so maybe that'll make it happy.


SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #565 on: August 25, 2017, 09:11:09 AM »
I ordered lettuce, spinach, and carrots for my fall/winter garden. Going to make some low tunnels over my garden beds so that everything will grow faster and nicer than it did last year, out in the open. My spinach made it through all of the frosts, but it grew so. slowly. I actually want it to be harvestable over the winter this year.

I'm now over 1.5 lbs of tomatoes. :) That's nothing compared to some of your harvests, but the few plants I have and the profound neglect they've suffered at my hands means I'm happy to get anything at all.

I have enough ripe cherry tomatoes that I think HusbandX and I will be hipster Millennials and make avocado toast this weekend. Never tried it, but it looks yummy.

Sorry, no advice on blight.

ender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #566 on: August 25, 2017, 12:18:16 PM »
A question on blight. So, everything I read about it says you have to rotate your crops or else you'll get it again next year. I don't have another place to plant, though, and I don't want to give up tomatoes entirely for a few years. (One thing I read said plant nothing in the tomato family for FOUR years?!) What would happen if I emptied out much of the soil from the bed and replaced it with fresh? Would that help? Every year I top off with fresh compost, but the same soil is still in there underneath (and probably has been for as long as the community garden's been going). Has anyone successfully done this? Because, it's going to be expensive and I don't want to make the effort if it won't actually help.


I don't know.

So far blight has been annoying but not "entire crop ruining" - I think for next year I'll just plant more Early Girls (which mature... early) and just keep a watchful eye out.

If blight had completely devastated our crop I would be more worried. But it's been slow attrition and realistically I probably should be pruning them anyways.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #567 on: August 25, 2017, 01:06:38 PM »
Yeah, my plants in the community bed aren't dead and I'm still getting tomatoes, but they look BAD. Very spindly compared to the lush forest that I've got in the backyard. So, not devastating but my yield is much less than in past years.


FerrumB5

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #568 on: August 25, 2017, 02:04:15 PM »
After 2 sprays of copper fungicide - very little dead leaves!! Will apply last one for the season tomorrow

ender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #569 on: August 26, 2017, 03:26:34 PM »
Most tomatoes in our garden are looking blighted. I pruned another massive pile of affected leaves today though and that seems to be pretty effective at curbing the onslaught.

I'm... not that worried now either, as our freezer is mostly full and at this point most of the tomatoes we harvest are going to salsa with the peppers.  It's been a very successful garden year so far even if everything dies a horrible death right now!

Picked a half dozen massive banana peppers today too. I'm getting excited for the next month as more peppers start maturing. We've got two plants FULL of bell peppers that should be great :D

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #570 on: August 26, 2017, 03:42:14 PM »
My banana peppers are still green, but they are enormous! I am excited!

I'd hoped to be able to can enough tomatoes to get us through the winter and spring, but that does not seem likely as my yield is much less than last year and we ran out of my home canning in February. Ah well.

ender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #571 on: August 29, 2017, 07:31:27 PM »
Getting to be pretty regular 10 pound plus hauls from the garden. Almost 14 this time and that's without cherry tomatoes (or a final-final-final bean crop from the BEANS WHICH WONT DIE).

Blight looks less bad now, other than the first two where I didn't do much pruning seems to have stemmed the spread of blight, though some of the tomatoes seem to have spots (which we'll cut out of course).

Our two early girl plants have now produced a total of just under 37 pounds between the two of them. WOW. And they have a bunch more on them now, too!

Pepper crop is looking great. Going to have a ton of them compared to my expectations given how many are out there. Already harvested ~2.5 pounds of Jalepenos (that's a lot of them) from our single plant!

ender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #572 on: September 10, 2017, 04:32:46 PM »
No one has updated this for almost two weeks (!).

Pulled another 6 pounds of tomatoes today. Up to 120 this year now.. that's a loot. Our recently purchased 22 cubic foot freezer is looking full already with our garden harvests.

Plus I pruned about two wheelbarrow loads of tomato leaves/branches that were showing any signs of blight. First signs in the garden were a month ago, the plants that showed them are pretty bad off but the ones I have been aggressively pruning seem to be in good shape!

Peppers are going to be a great crop. We'll use a bunch for salsa and the rest will get frozen for stir fries!

StarBright

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #573 on: September 10, 2017, 06:45:43 PM »
I've run out of freezer room and I don't can. I have 15 tomatoes sitting on my window sill and I'm at a loss. I hate to say it, but I'm a little tomato'd out.

I'm sort of debating whether or not to fight the blight or just let the tomatoes go since I have more than I can use.

My last two weeks worth of green beans, cucumbers and peppers have all gone to a local foodbank. Our community garden has a neat option to send everything to a food kitchen once a week.

The only thing that are getting eaten with regularity are the cherry tomatoes because my kids are still eating them by the handful.

Will probably finish planting fall greens this week in my emptied 4x4.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #574 on: September 10, 2017, 09:37:34 PM »
Getting lots of big beefsteak tomatoes right now. I've dried several dehydrator loads of tomatoes, canned some whole, canned some soup, and a big batch of salsa today with roasted bajio chiles.  I gave away at least 20# at work last week, and have probably 25# spread out in the kitchen in various stages of ripeness.

Chiles are HOT this year.  I also made a batch of sambal olek this afternoon, and picked and roasted a bucket of green chiles last night.  The chocolate habaneros are absolutely scorchingly hot.  Cayenne peppers will come in next - I'm thinking about doing a fermented Tabasco-style sauce, as well as cayenne powder if I have enough.  There is another whole large batch of Thai chiles ripening as well.

I've gotten several nice honeydews, and have cantaloupes ripening.  The spaghetti squash was the only winter squash to survive, but it looks like it will give me at least a dozen squash to store.

Potatoes - I've dug about 10# of blue and fingerling potatoes.

I've got cabbage, broccoli and kale going for fall, and just took the shade cloth off of them a few days ago.  Hoping for some nice production there, as well as from the few carrots that managed to survive a summer planting.  I'm hoping to get some salad greens in the ground in the next few days as well.  I also noticed new sugar snap pea plants popping up where the peas were planted this spring.  Not sure if they are re-sprouts, or from seed, but I'll be interested to see how they do, as I've never had luck with fall-planting peas.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #575 on: September 11, 2017, 10:31:36 AM »
Things are more or less the same in my garden. The community plot still looks like poo, but is still making tomatoes. My sungolds had quit for a while, but now are churning out another round. In the backyard, I think the Roma's about done, but the heirlooms and cherry tomato are still bearing lots. The peppers are taller than me now - too bad that they're just deciding that now would be a fine time to start making peppers. No way are those going to ripen before it gets cold out. Oh well.

Looks like I'll get some fall lettuce soon; I planted a "gourmet blend" of red and green lettuce, from seed, and it's starting to come up.

And, I have a volunteer dill plant growing just outside my community bed! Perfect timing as the dill I planted intentionally is about done.

I have no idea what to do about my raspberry bushes. It's my first year having them. One has just grown in 1 long stalk that's got to be about 8 feet long. It's growing sideways, not up. That one didn't bear anything. The other is fuller (and did make probably 20 or so raspberries in July-ish) but is starting to do the same - putting out long sideways stalks. Can I cut those down or do I have to leave them so that they make berries next year? I have these in huge pots and their branches are growing into all the native ornamental plants that my landlord has in the ground, but I've really no good place to move them.

SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #576 on: September 11, 2017, 11:16:38 AM »
Are cherry tomatoes any good if dehydrated?

The fall garden has started popping up. Yay! I still need to get the materials to make low tunnels. It's on my to-do list for today, though.

ender

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #577 on: September 11, 2017, 12:58:13 PM »
Are cherry tomatoes any good if dehydrated?

The fall garden has started popping up. Yay! I still need to get the materials to make low tunnels. It's on my to-do list for today, though.

We froze a bunch this year. I've heard of people deydrating them though, too.

FerrumB5

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #578 on: September 11, 2017, 12:58:36 PM »
@This Prior.
We are in same location, so I'll share my experience here relative to Chi land.

Dill - mostly done (the one I planted in spring). Great seeds outcome for next year and lots of it dried and frozen for winter. And of course used all summer long in meals and tomato canning.
Basil - still OK. Early plants are done, the ones I planted later in summer are still good.
Same with parsley - good.
Miserable fail with cilantro. No idea why. 2 years ago it was great

Cucumbers - done. Summer was not warm so I'm somewhat glad I could get like 70 from 6-7 vines.

Jalapenos - turning red! Excited to pickle them with this extra spiciness

Bells - meh, cool summer. Still green and low outcome

Tomatoes - still OK. Lots of green ones on vines (I only plant indeterminates. Never going back to determ)

Re raspberries - there are two types: june-bearing and everbearing. The june ones produce on 2-year canes (so if it grew this year, next year it will give you berries. and you cut down the ones that produced - they are done). Everbearing - produce on new growth only. You can cut to ground in fall/winter.

My blackberries did absolutely nothing again for the second year so I decided to remove them (and will fight with roots for next 10 years)

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #579 on: September 11, 2017, 01:58:13 PM »
I too dried a lot of dill, as well as thyme and oregano. One of my purple basils dropped dead but the other one, and all the regular basil, are still hanging in there; since it's gotten chilly overnight I was concerned but so far so good.

My cilantro was doing OK for a while and then it started tasting awful, though it didn't visibly bolt. ??? Tried again, and the second try quickly dropped dead. Oh well. It's 69 cents for a huge bunch of it at Aldi so I am not that upset.

I got a lot of chives.... but realize that I don't really eat chives. I don't dislike them; I just don't cook much that uses them. Wondering if I should pull it and make room for something else.

I cannot grow anything in the cucumber or squash families. I get male flowers only and then the whole thing drops dead. (Though, maybe next year I'll try a couple in the backyard; although it is not far from the community garden conditions seem totally different between the 2, at least based on what grew well where.)

I think I might get some sweet banana peppers before it gets cold - I've got a bunch and they're large but still unripe. The regular bells are maybe 2 inches big right now. Boooo. Honestly, I think next year I'm going to do mini bells only; I got a yellow mini bell at Home Depot and that one did well and ripened quickly. Maybe 15 peppers off of the one plant? Given my track record with peppers (poor), that's pretty good.

I googled my raspberry varieties - is midsummer-bearing the same thing as June-bearing? That's what one of mine is (the one that did make some berries). The other one's a purple brandywine and I cannot find any info as to when it bears - and it did not bear this year. I did read that it's supposed to make long canes rather than filling out width-wise and you're supposed to trellis it. Oops. Live and learn. And, I guess the fact that it's long and skinny is normal for this bush. Hmmm. If I'd known that I probably would've picked something else. Oh well.
(ETA: Found it. Purple Brandywine is "late summer bearing." Which I am assuming is not the same as everbearing, so I guess I should leave it be as none of its canes produced berries.)

You know what else is really stunted this year? My mint. Weird! I thought that was a plant that's supposed to go insane. But, nope. It doesn't look unhealthy, just small, and last year the same plant got huge.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 02:00:37 PM by Tris Prior »

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #580 on: September 11, 2017, 02:00:33 PM »
Are cherry tomatoes any good if dehydrated?

The fall garden has started popping up. Yay! I still need to get the materials to make low tunnels. It's on my to-do list for today, though.

Yes, they are very sweet.  They make a great addition to pesto when the basil has gotten a bit bitter.

FerrumB5

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #581 on: September 11, 2017, 02:39:55 PM »
@This Prior: I'm still fighting my mint. Who created this plant?? it's insanely tough - dug out root, sprayed lots of chems there. Still coming up. Man.

Cucumbers - I had 12-13 vines planted, only 6 or 7 survived our cool spring/summer. And no bees - this is how cukes are growing. I had lots of small ones in the beginning of summer but with no pollen they died. I even started hand pollination with male to female flowers - felt like I'm ... you know

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #582 on: September 11, 2017, 10:28:35 PM »
Haha, that's why I keep my mint in a pot and not in the ground.

I do have a LOT of bees in the backyard. Maybe cukes and zukes would do OK there? Hmmmm. Though, that doesn't solve the male flowers only problem.

SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #583 on: September 13, 2017, 05:32:42 PM »
Thanks for the advice about dehydrating cherry tomatoes! Now I know what to do with the glut and will feel a bit less overwhelmed.

Another question: I've been mulling the idea of getting backyard chickens for a long time now. Like, years. I have some very minor experience with them, as a family member raises them. I've even looked into the local ordinances to know what I am even allowed to do as far as flock size and all of that.

I have an area in mind for making into a rather large run, but I want to make sure it would be suitable before I talk my (incredibly reluctant) spouse into letting me go for this. There's a raised corner of the yard that a previous owner propped up with boulders and topped with ground cloth and gravel. However, this has not stopped the invasive weeds (blackberry, bindweed, a few others) from taking over that area. I was thinking of building a coop up on the raised part, taking over that entire corner of the yard, and having the run go down into the lower part of the yard.

My questions are: would those weeds be a problem for the chickens, or would they scratch them enough to keep them at bay? Could this be used as effective weed control as well as delicious eggs? Also, would the pebbles and rocks be a problem for the chickens? I don't care if they scratch up all the pebbles in that area, I just want to be sure they wouldn't be hurting little chicken feet and causing problems.

horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #584 on: September 13, 2017, 09:04:11 PM »
Thanks for the advice about dehydrating cherry tomatoes! Now I know what to do with the glut and will feel a bit less overwhelmed.

Another question: I've been mulling the idea of getting backyard chickens for a long time now. Like, years. I have some very minor experience with them, as a family member raises them. I've even looked into the local ordinances to know what I am even allowed to do as far as flock size and all of that.

I have an area in mind for making into a rather large run, but I want to make sure it would be suitable before I talk my (incredibly reluctant) spouse into letting me go for this. There's a raised corner of the yard that a previous owner propped up with boulders and topped with ground cloth and gravel. However, this has not stopped the invasive weeds (blackberry, bindweed, a few others) from taking over that area. I was thinking of building a coop up on the raised part, taking over that entire corner of the yard, and having the run go down into the lower part of the yard.

My questions are: would those weeds be a problem for the chickens, or would they scratch them enough to keep them at bay? Could this be used as effective weed control as well as delicious eggs? Also, would the pebbles and rocks be a problem for the chickens? I don't care if they scratch up all the pebbles in that area, I just want to be sure they wouldn't be hurting little chicken feet and causing problems.

That sounds like a fine place to me.  The chickens should scratch out the bindweed.  I think if you cut the blackberries down to the ground before the chickens go in, they'll kill it eventually be immediately eating any sprouts that try to come up.  Of course, your ratio of pen area to chicken numbers will be a factor in whether they can kill everything.  You might want to have a strategy for hemming them into one part of the run at a time, so they can control weeds, and then move to the next place, if the area is too big for your flock to kill all the weeds at once.

SisterX

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #585 on: September 13, 2017, 10:02:48 PM »
Thanks for the advice about dehydrating cherry tomatoes! Now I know what to do with the glut and will feel a bit less overwhelmed.

Another question: I've been mulling the idea of getting backyard chickens for a long time now. Like, years. I have some very minor experience with them, as a family member raises them. I've even looked into the local ordinances to know what I am even allowed to do as far as flock size and all of that.

I have an area in mind for making into a rather large run, but I want to make sure it would be suitable before I talk my (incredibly reluctant) spouse into letting me go for this. There's a raised corner of the yard that a previous owner propped up with boulders and topped with ground cloth and gravel. However, this has not stopped the invasive weeds (blackberry, bindweed, a few others) from taking over that area. I was thinking of building a coop up on the raised part, taking over that entire corner of the yard, and having the run go down into the lower part of the yard.

My questions are: would those weeds be a problem for the chickens, or would they scratch them enough to keep them at bay? Could this be used as effective weed control as well as delicious eggs? Also, would the pebbles and rocks be a problem for the chickens? I don't care if they scratch up all the pebbles in that area, I just want to be sure they wouldn't be hurting little chicken feet and causing problems.

That sounds like a fine place to me.  The chickens should scratch out the bindweed.  I think if you cut the blackberries down to the ground before the chickens go in, they'll kill it eventually be immediately eating any sprouts that try to come up.  Of course, your ratio of pen area to chicken numbers will be a factor in whether they can kill everything.  You might want to have a strategy for hemming them into one part of the run at a time, so they can control weeds, and then move to the next place, if the area is too big for your flock to kill all the weeds at once.

Thank you! I knew there'd be at least one person in this thread who'd be able to help advise me. :)

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #586 on: September 17, 2017, 09:02:08 PM »
Isn't it way late in the season - in the Chicago area, anyway - to get aphids?

I assume that's what the tiny black insects are that, literally overnight, have COVERED all the tomato plants in the backyard.

I'm leaving town in a couple days and have a crazy long to-do list beforehand, so I'm tempted to just let them have it, to be honest, since there's less than a month until frost anyway. I don't know of any natural remedies other than ladybugs and it's too late in the year to buy those.

FerrumB5

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #587 on: September 17, 2017, 10:24:00 PM »
Isn't it way late in the season - in the Chicago area, anyway - to get aphids?

I assume that's what the tiny black insects are that, literally overnight, have COVERED all the tomato plants in the backyard.

I'm leaving town in a couple days and have a crazy long to-do list beforehand, so I'm tempted to just let them have it, to be honest, since there's less than a month until frost anyway. I don't know of any natural remedies other than ladybugs and it's too late in the year to buy those.

Just let them be. We are very close to the first frost, and we are enjoying our 80 degree weather today, right? I'm still expecting 5-8 cucumbers unless cooler weather kills them (already lost 3 vines). Tomatoes still OK. Jalapenos - what do I do with so many? Bells - mediocre to bad

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #588 on: September 17, 2017, 10:41:50 PM »
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm satisfied with my yield of tomatoes this year, and there are still plenty of tomatoes ripening. The tomatoes are definitely enjoying this warm weather! It looks like it's going to be warm through the next week so hopefully most of them will finish ripening before the aphids take them out.

I got so many jalapenos last year, I didn't grow any this year, because I STILL have some in my freezer! They freeze well, BTW - just chop them up (wearing gloves - learn from my error!) and throw them in a freezer bag.


Threshkin

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #589 on: September 18, 2017, 05:00:42 PM »
Finishing up the garden here on Northern Colorado.  We had a major pumpkin haul this year, 12 from 3 plants and the largest was over 38 pounds!  We will let them finish ripening in the basement and then they will mostly become soup.  All of our pumpkins are volunteers from the compost bin.

Other big winners this year included: Peppers (Hungarian Wax, Santa Fe Yellow, Anaheim and Bell), Eggplant (Italian did better than Japanese), Pineapple Tomatillos (so yummy to eat raw) and Chinese Cucumber.

Tomatoes were a mixed bag.  We got LOTS (Brandywine Pinks are to die for) but we also suffered from blight (TMV?), blossom end rot and hungry mice.

We have not decided if we will do another big garden next year.  Now that we have time for ourselves we are contemplating extensive slow travel for the next few years.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #590 on: September 19, 2017, 05:32:51 AM »
I have been away for a long weekend after traveling for work so had neglected my little garden.  Was pleasantly surprised to find a dozen green peppers ready for harvest.  I planted three watermelon seeds and harvest one tiny watermelon.  Tomatoes are doing poorly but got a few cherries.  Some of the lettuce is coming along for a late fall harvest. 

The greenhouse is working out ok.  I am getting more cherry tomatoes from there than my front lawn. Most of the peppers came from there.  The only thing that was a bust was the cukes - and they were a bust all around. I am now scheming how to improve productivity for next season. 
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pekklemafia

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #591 on: September 20, 2017, 12:21:52 PM »
It snowed here yesterday.

That is all.


(I've plucked all of my tomatoes/anything sensitive to frost, but it's all mucky out and really hard to do yard cleanup!)
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Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing Your Own - 2017
« Reply #592 on: September 20, 2017, 12:25:53 PM »
It snowed here yesterday.

That is all.


(I've plucked all of my tomatoes/anything sensitive to frost, but it's all mucky out and really hard to do yard cleanup!)

OMG - I am so sorry. 

We have had four patchy frosts already but the last two weeks have been summer - it is so hot I had to water the plants that I protected from those first frosts.
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