Author Topic: Planting / Growing your own 2018  (Read 41832 times)

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #550 on: July 30, 2018, 05:35:52 AM »
That's awesome @Indio.  Have you been beekeeping long?  I am hoping to get into that soon.  I've done a day-long cooperative extension class, and found it totally fascinating. 

Haven't posted much here lately.  The early summer fruits (cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries) are all done, and the tomatoes and peppers are not ripe yet. 

Tree fruit is looking pretty good.  One of our apple trees is nearly ripe, so we have that to look forward to.  Our grand old Kieffer pear tree is loaded with fruit again this year.  We actually had to thin the fruit quite a bit to avoid branch breakage.  I have no idea what that old tree used for a pollinator this spring (I don't know of any other mature pears within bee range) but somehow the job got done.  Kieffers are known to be partially self-fertile, however it's got a lot of fruit on it!  We have three young pears in the ground that will hopefully flower next year.  Our fig trees have quite a bit of fruit on them, but a long way from ripe.  The pomegranate I bought this spring on a whim looks fantastic -- has tripled in size -- but no fruit on it.  Of the 4 young persimmons I planted last year, only one has fruit on it.  Two of the other three are suffering some kind of leaf-curl problem.  Grapes look good.  The Concords are loaded with fruit, and the baby Muscadines are growing well.

Next spring I will be FIREd and will be able to really go to town on my garden.  Can't wait!     
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 08:51:31 AM by Trifele »

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #551 on: August 01, 2018, 06:53:22 AM »
Had bees for almost a decade now. Got into it after I noticed a drop off in backyard garden veg. Then I realized that pollinators declined cuz town was spraying for west mile mosquitoes. When they stopped, ecosystem balanced out with more birds and bats to feed on them.
Bees are a great hobby. Itís good exercise too cuz im always carrying around lots of heavy stuff. Was in Volvoís early on with a new bee group in our area and this year we started offering free mentoring to new beekeepers. Itís so satisfying to see others get interested in it. Happy to answer any questions if you need help when you get started.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #552 on: August 02, 2018, 05:34:16 AM »
Cool -- thank you @Indio !  One thing I've been pondering is the start up costs of beekeeping.
I know there are those who say it can be reasonable if you DIY your hives, rent/borrow equipment and so on.  Since I am "lean FIREing" next year, I will not have lots extra in the budget, so figuring out how to start up cheaply will take some careful planning . . .

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #553 on: August 02, 2018, 08:01:12 AM »
You're right the start up costs can be very high. When I first got into beekeeping, I had no idea that you could DIY, but I've met lots of people that have done it with great results. Probably the only thing you would need to buy would be a bee smoker/bellows. I saw one guy who was a cigar smoker who got around it by puffing cigar smoke on the bees. Don't think it is worth the trade off.

If you want to pick up used equipment, keep checking craigslist. There are always people that get out of beekeeping cuz it became too physically demanding for them. 

You can easily make hive bodies out of discarded wooden wine boxes and then modify them slightly, if you want a langstroth style hive, but there are many successful hive bodies out there. I've experimented with a few that were given to me and I've had the most success with Langstroth and Warre. Frames can be made from kebab skewers. And you can pick up bees when they swarm, but this can be difficult and requires really good timing, usually Spring, and the ability to react quickly. sI saw a swarm on a Home Depot truck in their parking lot this May. They wouldn't let me take it for insurance reasons. :( Look on FB for a local bee group. When homeowners have a swarm on their house or car, they might post it there for someone to come and get it. Alternately, beekeepers might have a rapidly growing colony that they need to split to prevent it from swarming and they don't have enough space or hives for the bees so they give it away. That would be the best scenario for you to get a starter bee colony.

For tools to manipulate the hive, a straight edge screwdriver, small spackler/trowel and a soft broom used for sweeping into a dustban, should be enough.

Check out anarchy apiaries http://anarchyapiaries.org/ in upstate NY. I believe he has built all his own hives and has photos. He specializes in queen rearing, which is where the big money is. He inspired me to breed winter hardy, mite resistant queens.  Another beekeeper imported the winter hardy queens from Canada and I'm crossing them with my mite resistant queens to see if I can create a bee that is impervious to a few of the environmental factors that are leading to their die off.

What hardiness zone are you in @Trifele ?

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #554 on: August 02, 2018, 08:37:48 AM »
You're right the start up costs can be very high. When I first got into beekeeping, I had no idea that you could DIY, but I've met lots of people that have done it with great results. Probably the only thing you would need to buy would be a bee smoker/bellows. I saw one guy who was a cigar smoker who got around it by puffing cigar smoke on the bees. Don't think it is worth the trade off.

If you want to pick up used equipment, keep checking craigslist. There are always people that get out of beekeeping cuz it became too physically demanding for them. 

You can easily make hive bodies out of discarded wooden wine boxes and then modify them slightly, if you want a langstroth style hive, but there are many successful hive bodies out there. I've experimented with a few that were given to me and I've had the most success with Langstroth and Warre. Frames can be made from kebab skewers. And you can pick up bees when they swarm, but this can be difficult and requires really good timing, usually Spring, and the ability to react quickly. sI saw a swarm on a Home Depot truck in their parking lot this May. They wouldn't let me take it for insurance reasons. :( Look on FB for a local bee group. When homeowners have a swarm on their house or car, they might post it there for someone to come and get it. Alternately, beekeepers might have a rapidly growing colony that they need to split to prevent it from swarming and they don't have enough space or hives for the bees so they give it away. That would be the best scenario for you to get a starter bee colony.

For tools to manipulate the hive, a straight edge screwdriver, small spackler/trowel and a soft broom used for sweeping into a dustban, should be enough.

Check out anarchy apiaries http://anarchyapiaries.org/ in upstate NY. I believe he has built all his own hives and has photos. He specializes in queen rearing, which is where the big money is. He inspired me to breed winter hardy, mite resistant queens.  Another beekeeper imported the winter hardy queens from Canada and I'm crossing them with my mite resistant queens to see if I can create a bee that is impervious to a few of the environmental factors that are leading to their die off.

What hardiness zone are you in @Trifele ?

I am in Zone 7a.  Funny you mention capturing wild bees -- there is an article this month in Mother Earth News about doing just that.  It seems sort of advanced for a newbie though!

Edited to add:  When I attended the workshop, I won a really nice hive tool as a door prize!  So all set there.  :)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 12:24:58 PM by Trifele »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #555 on: August 02, 2018, 05:41:39 PM »
I watered like mad during our drought and now we have had some rain (but need more more more).  My reward - tonight my first 2 tomatoes (Celebrity), 2 cucumbers, and 2 cherry tomatoes that were eaten while I was still in the garden.  Cherry tomatoes are our gardening reward right?  They are not meant to make it to the house.

I also cut one basil way back and have lots of leaves drying.  I have two more that also need cutting back, no place to put the leave while they dry.

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #556 on: August 04, 2018, 11:23:53 AM »
I absolutely love August when the garden is producing like crazy. This morning I picked 6 quarts of tomatoes. We've had heavy rain this week so I needed to stake some of the plants upright again. About a 1/3 of tomatoes were split from rain so I'm popping them into the food dehydrator. I love "sundried" tomatoes in Winter salads and soup. Chickens will get some of the more damaged tomatoes. One of the 4 chicks we added to the flock, has started laying. Oh yeah... egg production has been on the slow side from the big girls. Averaging about 5 eggs a day. Will need to thin the flock of the older hens soon.

The zucchinis are humongous too. Might turn the gigantic ones into zucchini bread. Made 8 quarts of zucchini relish and it's sitting on the pantry shelf with the soothing yellow glow of added tumeric.

The cuckes need to be pickled asap. Using ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, red onion, I made a delish salad with very thinly shaved cuckes. Ate that for dinner and breakfast.

Going to make pesto today, harvest more dried cilantro seeds and dill heads to use in the pickles.

I keep thinking about how good the eating is this time of year.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #557 on: August 04, 2018, 01:22:26 PM »
I picked my third Celebrity tomato today.  This is the best my tomatoes have done in years for early ripening, especially since they went in so late because of the cold spring.    There is one more sort of orange one, and the rest are green.  The Sweet Chelsea and unknown cherry are also doing well.  My 3 Italian paste tomato plants have masses of green, oddly shaped tomatoes - I hope they don't all ripen at once!

My bush beans have not done well the last few years, but I planted some short rows a week ago and they are all up, and no mis-shapen leaves. This was seed ordered from a good seed company instead of off the rack at the garden centre.  So that is a win!  I also started some broccoli indoors for planting out in a few weeks, and half the seeds are up.   We've had long mild falls the last few years, so I am hoping for some harvest - both are early varieties.

nessness

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #558 on: August 04, 2018, 04:30:52 PM »
An animal broke into the coop where I keep my five Silkies last night and four of them are missing. I'm hoping a couple of them will show up at dusk but I'm not that optimistic. :(

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #559 on: August 04, 2018, 04:42:43 PM »
Oh @nessness -- I am sorry to hear that!  Fingers crossed for you.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #560 on: August 04, 2018, 06:58:31 PM »
Really sorry to hear that, nessness. :(

This week I have gotten the following varieties of ripe tomatoes:
- black cherry
- sun chocula (makes brown cherry tomatoes)
- a variety that's just called "cherry." My mom gave me the seed packet probably 5 or 6 years ago, it cost 5 cents on clearance. Every year it's my best producer and healthiest plant. Even with seed that is now very old. I will despair when I finally run out of seed for this thing.
- Fourth of July
- Inca Jewels. This one's a disappointment. I picked the one ripe tomato it produced today and tried a piece before cutting up the rest for salad. It is completely tasteless. WTF?
- Little Bites
- Sungolds sungolds sungolds! Including one that looks like a butt! :D

Not ripe yet, but making green tomatoes:
- Mr Stripey
- Brandywine
- Mystery Pink Brandywine
- Boxcar Willie
- Roma
- Martino's Roma
- Creme Brulee
- Rutgers

Doing exactly jack shit:
- Nebraska Wedding
-

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #561 on: August 04, 2018, 07:07:32 PM »
An animal broke into the coop where I keep my five Silkies last night and four of them are missing. I'm hoping a couple of them will show up at dusk but I'm not that optimistic. :(

Sorry. What did you build with and how did they get in?

nessness

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #562 on: August 04, 2018, 11:18:55 PM »
An animal broke into the coop where I keep my five Silkies last night and four of them are missing. I'm hoping a couple of them will show up at dusk but I'm not that optimistic. :(

Sorry. What did you build with and how did they get in?
It's a pre-built coop that my neighbors gave me. Two of the wood pieces were apparently attached to each other with plastic screws, and the animal pried them apart. I suspect a possum. There were a bunch of feathers around the coop, and I found a pile of feathers about 50 yards away, but no other evidence, and only the one live chicken.

My mom was housesitting last night and said she heard scratching but she thought it was coming from the roof, and she didn't hear any chickens making noise, so she didn't go out to check them. She feels terrible.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #563 on: August 05, 2018, 05:18:11 AM »
So sorry Nessness.  In my experience, chickens go very quiet at night (they kind of shut off) and don't make much noise, even when serious shit is going down.  So there may not have been a lot of noise.

May have been a raccoon -- they are very strong, motivated, and have clever little hands.  For future repairs/construction -- hardware cloth is your friend.  It's work, but doable to build a coop that nothing bigger than your finger can get into.   Well, a bear can get in -- if you have those.  But at least here it is rare for bears to tear into coops.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #564 on: August 05, 2018, 06:17:29 AM »
Also, attach hardware cloth with either screws and fender washers or poultry staples that you hammer in. Regular staples from a staple gun are not strong enough. Predators can peel the wire off. Never lost a chicken that way, but lost a rabbit doe and her entire litter when a coyote peeled the hardware cloth off a hutch that was attached with staple gun staples.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #565 on: August 05, 2018, 08:52:42 AM »
Also, attach hardware cloth with either screws and fender washers or poultry staples that you hammer in. Regular staples from a staple gun are not strong enough. Predators can peel the wire off. Never lost a chicken that way, but lost a rabbit doe and her entire litter when a coyote peeled the hardware cloth off a hutch that was attached with staple gun staples.

+1. Yes -- use the big metal staples that you hammer in. 

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #566 on: August 05, 2018, 09:02:53 AM »
Also, attach hardware cloth with either screws and fender washers or poultry staples that you hammer in. Regular staples from a staple gun are not strong enough. Predators can peel the wire off. Never lost a chicken that way, but lost a rabbit doe and her entire litter when a coyote peeled the hardware cloth off a hutch that was attached with staple gun staples.

+1. Yes -- use the big metal staples that you hammer in.

Though the screw+washer is easier, and easier to pull out. Slightly more expensive.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #567 on: August 05, 2018, 09:25:38 AM »
Also, attach hardware cloth with either screws and fender washers or poultry staples that you hammer in. Regular staples from a staple gun are not strong enough. Predators can peel the wire off. Never lost a chicken that way, but lost a rabbit doe and her entire litter when a coyote peeled the hardware cloth off a hutch that was attached with staple gun staples.

+1. Yes -- use the big metal staples that you hammer in.

Though the screw+washer is easier, and easier to pull out. Slightly more expensive.

Agree -- I have pried those staples out, and it is a pain.

StarBright

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #568 on: August 05, 2018, 10:39:40 AM »
The caterpillars got my Kale and Brussel Sprouts :( I'll be pulling them all in the next day or two and possibly putting starts in for a fall crop.

My single cantaloupe is still hanging on. Tomatoes, squash, and green beans are all producing just as they should! The weather has heated up the last few days and my basil likes it.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #569 on: August 05, 2018, 05:34:47 PM »
- a variety that's just called "cherry." My mom gave me the seed packet probably 5 or 6 years ago, it cost 5 cents on clearance. Every year it's my best producer and healthiest plant. Even with seed that is now very old. I will despair when I finally run out of seed for this thing.

If they are an open pollinated variety you could save the seeds from this year's tomatoes.   If it doesn't say "hybrid" or "F1" on the packet you should be fine.  Tomato seeds are easy to save, lots of instructions on the net.   Pick from your best plants and your next generation will be that much better adapted to your growing conditions.  I am growing an Italian paste tomato that I got from someone who got it from someone who got it from someone - so it has had several generations in my area since it left Italy.  ;-)

nessness

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #570 on: August 05, 2018, 07:38:46 PM »
Thanks @Trifele and @furrychickens . We're going to try to fix the small coop and fortify both coops tonight.

Unfortunately the one remaining silkie is a rooster. I think I'm going to take him and my 3 guineas to a poultry auction next week. I need to examine my other suspected roosters closely this week and decide whether there are any others I'm confident in. They're mostly mixed breeds which makes identification harder.

In happier news, my pepper plants are suddenly full of tiny xzbaby peppers. I was thinking about giving up on them at one point because they barely grew for several weeks after I planted them, but  I'm glad I didn't.

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #571 on: August 06, 2018, 07:24:36 AM »
I'm sorry to hear about your travails nessness!

My garden is a mixed success this year. Despite my epsom salt sprays and addition of blood meal, many of my tomatoes are still coming up with blossom end rot. I had planted fewer tomatoes than usual this year to allow for more variety in the garden, but at this rate I don't think I'll have enough to keep me in sauce for the year.

However, since adding the blood meal and epsom salt sprays, the pumpkin and spaghetti squashes are setting fruit like mad! Fortunately, my basil is also going gangbusters, so I've been making and freezing pesto, which will hopefully help to offset the shortage in tomato sauce this winter.

On the other end of the garden, I've started harvesting celery. It isn't beautiful, but will make great additions to soup, along with the leeks that are getting huge. Seemingly overnight my kale has been devoured by cabbage moths. Do you folks know if the moths lay eggs on the kale? I'm wondering if it's too late to cover them with a floating row cover to salvage new leaves.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #572 on: August 06, 2018, 09:19:15 AM »
Today I will pick  my 4th Celebrity tomato. Then there will be a break, the rest are doing well but still green.  I saved egg shells (rinsed and dried) all winter and added crushed eggshell to all my vegetable beds this spring.  Despite the lack of rain and my hand-watering (which is never a full substitute) I have had no blossom end rot on the tomatoes or peppers.

I have a raised bed that I hadn't planted, it had strawberries from last year.  In the heat I never managed to keep it properly weeded.  The last few days I have dug out all the weeds (a lot of grasses, some of it is quack grass so the underground stems go for ever) and will solarize it with clear plastic for a few weeks.  Then the baby broccoli (9 seedlings so far) can go in that bed, and garlic can go in there for the winter.  The strawberry plants will go where the garlic is now.  It is about ready to harvest so I can do soil amendments before I move the strawberries.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #573 on: August 06, 2018, 11:34:48 AM »
@Sun Hat BER is a calcium deficiency, not a magnesium one.

On that note, I completely forgot to put calcium down on my tomato beds this year, so other than cherries Iím probably going to get zero/little usable fruit. Even the ones so far that have looked nice have had internal rot in them.

Iím probably going to take a break from tomatoes other than a few cherry plants next year and put all that space into doubling/tripling my peppers because I really want to try my hand at making chili powder, paprika and other pepper based seasonings. Still have lots of hot sauce but maybe Iíll grow hot peppers too because it makes a great gift.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #574 on: August 06, 2018, 11:38:32 AM »
Forgot to add that the cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans are all picking back up now that weíre getting some rain again. They struggle on city water alone - anyone else notice this? (And yes I know how to properly water.)

Need to go debone a bunch of rabbits now :)

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #575 on: August 06, 2018, 11:57:57 AM »
Forgot to add that the cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans are all picking back up now that weíre getting some rain again. They struggle on city water alone - anyone else notice this? (And yes I know how to properly water.)
 
My water is from a well, but hard where rain water is soft.  It is fine for the garden, I just have to make sure I water enough to really soak the soil, instead of the top inch or less.  My house water goes through a softener becasue of all the minerals.  I don't use it at all on house plant, as it is gradually lethal.

Our drought is over, but barely, we are still getting thunderstorms instead of proper rainfall.  I have watched the storms go south of me, and north of me, and ended up with 3 mm.

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #576 on: August 06, 2018, 04:27:22 PM »
@Sun Hat BER is a calcium deficiency, not a magnesium one.

It took me a while to remember why I had done the addition of magnesium, but it's because I read that often there is enough calcium in the soil, but that it isn't being taken up because of a shortage of magnesium. I went with the Epsom salts first because I had them handy. Some of the newly formed tomatoes are free of BER, so it's possible that one of the additions was useful, though to be safe I should add some calcium too.

Now for an exciting evening of de-worming my kale!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 05:06:51 PM by Sun Hat »

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #577 on: August 07, 2018, 10:18:49 PM »
@Sun Hat BER is a calcium deficiency, not a magnesium one.

It took me a while to remember why I had done the addition of magnesium, but it's because I read that often there is enough calcium in the soil, but that it isn't being taken up because of a shortage of magnesium. I went with the Epsom salts first because I had them handy. Some of the newly formed tomatoes are free of BER, so it's possible that one of the additions was useful, though to be safe I should add some calcium too.

Now for an exciting evening of de-worming my kale!

BER is a calcium deficiency, but it can be happen in soils with plenty of calcium and high pH, due to a lack of water.  The water is needed to allow the calcium ions to get to the fruits of the tomatoes, as I understand it.  We have very high calcium soils, but very hot dry summers, and blossom end rot is an issue for us when the watering levels drop off.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #578 on: August 08, 2018, 04:48:08 AM »
Forgot to add that the cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans are all picking back up now that weíre getting some rain again. They struggle on city water alone - anyone else notice this? (And yes I know how to properly water.)


Yes, I noticed this too when living in the city.  Huge difference between city water and rain.  During dry periods my watering would keep them alive, but that was it.  Then when the rain came the plants would stand up tall and take off.  I always assumed there was some additive in the city water they didn't like(?)  I know they added fluoride. Not sure what else.   

Sun Hat

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #579 on: August 08, 2018, 06:15:10 AM »
BER is a calcium deficiency, but it can be happen in soils with plenty of calcium and high pH, due to a lack of water.  The water is needed to allow the calcium ions to get to the fruits of the tomatoes, as I understand it.  We have very high calcium soils, but very hot dry summers, and blossom end rot is an issue for us when the watering levels drop off.

This may well have been a factor in my BER, since we've had a very hot summer and there was a period in July when I didn't water enough. I'm being more attentive now and hope that the BER is behind me.

Picking the larvae off of the kale, brussels sprouts and rutabaga went better than expected, though I don't presume to have eliminated the white moths. I also got to enjoy some very dignified frolicking around my yard, catching the mature moths in a butterfly net.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #580 on: August 08, 2018, 07:19:27 AM »
Forgot to add that the cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans are all picking back up now that weíre getting some rain again. They struggle on city water alone - anyone else notice this? (And yes I know how to properly water.)


Yes, I noticed this too when living in the city.  Huge difference between city water and rain.  During dry periods my watering would keep them alive, but that was it.  Then when the rain came the plants would stand up tall and take off.  I always assumed there was some additive in the city water they didn't like(?)  I know they added fluoride. Not sure what else.

I asked my parents last night when they were over for my birthday and they confirmed that was their experience as well when they still had a veggie garden, and theyíre on the same water system as I am.

Make me wonder if it affects plants that strongly (perhaps because itís altering the soil microbiome?) whether I shouldnít spend the $$ on a really good water filter like a Berkey because weíre super reliant on our own microbiome.

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #581 on: August 08, 2018, 07:59:16 AM »
I have noticed too that rain is better than me personally watering. Of course, god only knows what's in the city water here. We've gotten a lot of rain over the past couple days; haven't visited the community garden as a result but I'm hoping that everything's happy.

ender

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #582 on: August 08, 2018, 08:23:15 AM »
blight + massive inconsistent rain ==> lots of lost tomatoes (between blight killing the plants slowly and tomatoes splitting).

:'(

we still picked 25 pounds yesterday though, so there's that. And our peppers look GREAT - not a ton off them yet but the ones we started from seed are huge plants right now and I see a lot of started peppers and flowers yet. Still a few months for them.

Vasilisa

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #583 on: August 08, 2018, 08:46:06 AM »
@ender what varieties of peppers are you growing?

The pole beans in my garden have been so productive- picking pounds a week it feels like. Basil is coming in strong too. The bush beans petered out, so ripped those out this weekend and put in some lettuce, spinach, kale, zinnias and a couple peppers.


ender

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #584 on: August 09, 2018, 01:07:15 PM »
@ender what varieties of peppers are you growing?

The pole beans in my garden have been so productive- picking pounds a week it feels like. Basil is coming in strong too. The bush beans petered out, so ripped those out this weekend and put in some lettuce, spinach, kale, zinnias and a couple peppers.

Whole bunch of varieties - bells, bananas, a few various sweet pepper types I don't know off hand.

We have 36 plants (18 of which we started from seed, the others we bought).

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #585 on: August 09, 2018, 01:36:44 PM »
I got three mini red bell peppers yesterday. They are so little and cute!

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #586 on: August 09, 2018, 03:32:16 PM »

Check out anarchy apiaries http://anarchyapiaries.org/ in upstate NY. I believe he has built all his own hives and has photos. He specializes in queen rearing, which is where the big money is.

Thanks again for this @Indio.  I checked out that website -- great stuff! I have read a few books, lots of articles, attended a day-long class, and this website is the first time I have read about small-cell beekeeping.  (I have sooooo far to go, knowledge-wise.)  This apiary's approach (let the bees do their thing, work with them both on the scale of individual hives and generations, let them build more natural small cells in small hives) resonates with me.  It feels like the way I feel about gardening, orcharding and chicken keeping -- I'm not the 'master' of any of this.  I'm the student, and privileged to observe and support.  I start from the assumption that the plant or creature knows best, and interventions into those processes should be rare and thoughtful.  And Anarchy's hive boxes look simple to build -- very encouraging.

I'm not worried about failure for my sake, but I would not want to let the bees down somehow due to my ignorance.  I wish I could find someone of more or less the same philosophy who could take me by the hand and show me what to do.  I'm such a newbie, I've never even seen a hive close up! 

I love watching the bees on our land though.  Not sure if they are wild? I don't know of any neighbors that keep bees.  I remember last summer we had loads of bees visiting our compost pile.  Do you know what they were doing? They were rubbing themselves on coffee grounds.  I watched them at it for months, doing vigorous scrubs on their bellies and then rolling onto their backs.  They didn't seem to be gathering the grounds or trying to eat them.  I'm guessing they were trying to treat themselves for some ailment?  Maybe mites?  They haven't been doing it this year as far as I've seen. 


 


clarkai

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #587 on: August 09, 2018, 04:54:02 PM »
Today, I sowed seeds for fall and over-wintering crops. It's been really dry here, and I expect that to continue, so I'll have to water, but I think it's worthwhile. I intend to sow more, but so far I have spinach (a heat resistant variety), carrots, kale, and arugula.

I want to sow a lot more kale, along with more bok choi, arugula, lettuce, and more.

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #588 on: August 09, 2018, 09:59:13 PM »

Check out anarchy apiaries http://anarchyapiaries.org/ in upstate NY. I believe he has built all his own hives and has photos. He specializes in queen rearing, which is where the big money is.

Thanks again for this @Indio.  I checked out that website -- great stuff! I have read a few books, lots of articles, attended a day-long class, and this website is the first time I have read about small-cell beekeeping.  (I have sooooo far to go, knowledge-wise.)  This apiary's approach (let the bees do their thing, work with them both on the scale of individual hives and generations, let them build more natural small cells in small hives) resonates with me.  It feels like the way I feel about gardening, orcharding and chicken keeping -- I'm not the 'master' of any of this.  I'm the student, and privileged to observe and support.  I start from the assumption that the plant or creature knows best, and interventions into those processes should be rare and thoughtful.  And Anarchy's hive boxes look simple to build -- very encouraging.

I'm not worried about failure for my sake, but I would not want to let the bees down somehow due to my ignorance.  I wish I could find someone of more or less the same philosophy who could take me by the hand and show me what to do.  I'm such a newbie, I've never even seen a hive close up! 

I love watching the bees on our land though.  Not sure if they are wild? I don't know of any neighbors that keep bees.  I remember last summer we had loads of bees visiting our compost pile.  Do you know what they were doing? They were rubbing themselves on coffee grounds.  I watched them at it for months, doing vigorous scrubs on their bellies and then rolling onto their backs.  They didn't seem to be gathering the grounds or trying to eat them.  I'm guessing they were trying to treat themselves for some ailment?  Maybe mites?  They haven't been doing it this year as far as I've seen. 


 

@Trifele So glad you enjoyed the info. Not sure how far away you are, but if you wanted to visit Anarchy apiaries, I'm sure he would love to show you around. His passion comes through when you speak to him. He might even be open to the idea of an "intern."
 
Another great resource where you could take a class, which is closer to your hardiness zone, is spikenard bee sanctuary. https://spikenardfarm.org/ Gunther is like the bee whisperer. It's amazing to see in person. I'm on his email list and saw that he was offering a class online at one point, but couldn't find it on the website.

Bees are fascinating creatures. It wouldn't surprise me if they were sucking the leftover coffee liquid out of the grinds. They may have had too much caffeine, which led to their tricks. I have several bowls of water throughout the yard for the bees to drink from and they prefer the soaker hoses and the leftover duck bath water. Go figure.

One of my favorite things to do is watch the bees flying in and out of the hives. They have flight paths, similar to aircraft, and do an amazing job of not crashing into each other as they zip in and out of the hives. Recently, I took a video of a bee, about to take off foraging, and she spent about 5 mins getting ready by grooming herself, while seemingly oblivious to all of her sisters comings and goings.  Between the chickens hysterical dust bathing, wild bees hopping from cucumber flower to flower without flying, a praying mantid (that probably hatched from an egg case I found on a rue plant) hitchiking into my living room, firefly's sky writing mating dance, its all fascinating to observe.

Meanwhile, I just discovered that dehydrated zucchini chips are delish. Don't know if anyone else has tried this, but I highly recommend it. They dehydrate much faster than apples and tomatoes and the texture is similar to chips.



Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #589 on: August 09, 2018, 10:04:47 PM »
I have noticed too that rain is better than me personally watering. Of course, god only knows what's in the city water here. We've gotten a lot of rain over the past couple days; haven't visited the community garden as a result but I'm hoping that everything's happy.

I believe that it's fluoride and chlorine that are in water supply that slows plant growth.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #590 on: August 10, 2018, 05:56:16 AM »
Thanks @Indio!  I am not that far from Spikenard Farm -- I will definitely plan a trip there to check it out.  Unless I missed it -- I couldn't find an address on the Anarchy website (other than 'the Hudson Valley' ?).  I do make one or two trips to upstate NY a year, so that is also a possibility.  And I'll keep putting out feelers (har har) locally. There may be a local bee guru who'd be willing to show me the ropes.

Haha - you may be right about the bees in my coffee grounds.  Maybe they were just wriggling and buzzing on a coffee high.  ; 

One more question for you -- what do you recommend (if anything) that I plant just for bee feed?  I'd like to get going on that now, as there's a chance I'll start with bees next spring.  Are flowers like monarda the best way to go for that? We have a fair size orchard and garden, and some ornamentals as well -- but I have loads of space to plant more.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #591 on: August 10, 2018, 06:28:44 AM »
I liked zucchini chips until I suddenly started not liking them, now I canít eat them anymore, thereís a weird flavor note or something. I canít remember, itís been a couple years since I last tried.

nessness

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #592 on: August 10, 2018, 10:14:23 AM »
I got my first zucchini last night - I didn't think we were going to get any (it was producing a bunch of rotten ones early in the season, so I fertilized it and applied some eggshells, and didn't see any fruit at all for weeks), then last night I spied two zucchinis that had been hiding, one of which was already like 15" long! I was inspired by this thread to try making zucchini chips - they're in the oven now.

I prepped the soil yesterday to plant our cool season crops - carrots, lettuce, and cabbage - which I plan to plant this weekend. My daughter has been asking to plant broccoli too, which should have been planted in July in my area but I might try it anyway if I find some seeds in the next couple days.

I'm planning to take my guineas and my one remaining confirmed rooster to a poultry auction on Sunday. The guineas are just too darn noisy, and I'm pretty sure they're all males, so no eggs. We might get another hen or two at the auction if they have any young ones.

ender

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #593 on: August 11, 2018, 08:12:10 AM »
A friend of ours made zucchini noodles, too. Those were really good and considerably better for me than regular flour based noodles.

Makes me want to plant another zucchini again next year!

Indio

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #594 on: August 11, 2018, 10:09:21 AM »
@Trifele There are a lot of sites that post info about plants honeybees prefer https://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/plant-a-bee-garden/. Since the bees travel far and wide, chances are they won't linger in your garden for too long, unless you have a lot of land.

If you're looking for plants, I would focus on plants that bloom early spring and late summer, since that is when there is usually a dearth. Light colored spring honey is my favorite so I have a lot of daffodils, crocus and 12 different fruit trees that bloom in succession - nectarine, plum, peach, pear, apple. Your fruits trees will likely cover the early spring demand. One spring, I walked by blooming nectarine trees and there were so many bees on it, I could hear the high pitch buzz about 20 ft away from it. This is unusual because bees don't exhaust a pollen/nectar supply all at once, without having identified other sources.

For late summer, I've noticed that my honeybees prefer fennel, sedum, goldenrod (which is in my next door neighbor's garden.), zucchini, echinacea, flowers on lettuce/mustard/kale that go to seed, and clover in the lawn. There is also a vining plant, similar to kudzu, but I don't know its name that the bees are crazy about. I hate it because it is so invasive and fast growing. I watch the bees leave the hive and head straight for it. If you want some fennel seed, DM me because I save it every year and will have some fresh seed in a few weeks. The chickens like the fennel too so I throw it in the lower garden and let them eat it when it's a few inches tall. .

Monarda keeps the wild, solitary bees happy, which is also good for the habitat, but my bees don't usually spend a lot of time visiting it, despite the name.

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #595 on: August 11, 2018, 11:17:25 AM »
Thanks @Indio! Very helpful.  I'll start reading more about things I can plant.  We have the vegetable garden and the orchard, and we are lucky enough to also have an additional two acres that are currently fallow, and I'm just letting whatever grow there.  When we moved here three years ago it was just grass, but now some other wild things are getting a toehold.  There's a decent amount of thistle, which I personally like, and the bees, birds and butterflies seem to dig it.  I was planning to put in a bunch of milkweed.

Is this the vining plant you see?  I've been battling a fair amount of oriental bittersweet around here . . .it is so vigorous it literally covers and kills whole trees. I haven't seen bees going for its flowers, but now will pay attention.   

 

krmit

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #596 on: August 11, 2018, 02:55:33 PM »
DH is harvesting honey today - expecting at least a few gallons, but will know the final amount later today.

Worked all morning in a nearby community garden and brought home tons of summer squash, some tomatoes, peppers, and beans. My fridge is overflowing with produce, plus I've been making dried apples and applesauce all week from the bounty of my parent's apple tree....any ideas for more things to do with apples or summer squash?

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #597 on: August 12, 2018, 04:35:15 AM »
DH is harvesting honey today - expecting at least a few gallons, but will know the final amount later today.

Worked all morning in a nearby community garden and brought home tons of summer squash, some tomatoes, peppers, and beans. My fridge is overflowing with produce, plus I've been making dried apples and applesauce all week from the bounty of my parent's apple tree....any ideas for more things to do with apples or summer squash?

Hi @krmit -- love your updates from your urban gardening adventures.  For apples, we eat them all and never have extras, haha, so no advice there.  Winter squash we bake and freeze the extra, but I've never tried that with summer squash . . . Wonder if it would work? 

furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #598 on: August 12, 2018, 05:03:50 AM »
If you like making zucchini bread or using shredded zucchini mixed into things like tacos, chili, etc you can shred and freeze in appropriate size portions. Works well, Iíve done it in the past with good results. This year Iím just giving away the excess though.

krmit

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #599 on: August 12, 2018, 11:38:18 AM »
A nearby community garden is doing a cider pressing today, just in the nick of time for my apples! Looking forward to bringing a few gallons home.

Total honey harvest almost 50 pounds (or around 4 gallons), plus beeswax. The ladies did really well this year; hopefully they'll survive the winter!