Author Topic: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020  (Read 38077 times)

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #700 on: September 14, 2020, 07:32:18 PM »
Frost warning tonight - covered what I could.  Brought in my house plants.

The forecast low at my community garden is 4.  I picked a bunch of stuff today.  If the rest frosts it frosts. A lot of the gardens have already had everything cleared out.

I have nothing super tender on the balcony, the date palms can take the odd frost.  plus I figure the concrete will radiate some heat, and the overhanging balcony will hold some heat.  The Norfolk Island Pine and the orchids never go outside.

SisterX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #701 on: September 14, 2020, 10:29:16 PM »
Hi all! I'm an avid gardener but haven't posted in this thread because life has been too overwhelming. BUT, I had a Mustachian Tip to share for those who are currently getting tomatoes about making the most of your harvest.

If you, like me, can any tomatoes that requires you to remove the skins (whole peeled tomatoes, diced, etc.) don't throw away the skins! If you make sauce you can add them to the sauce, then put the whole thing through a food mill (if you have one) and then discard. Alternatively, you can dehydrate the skins and pulse them into a powder and add that to soups, stews, pastas that need more tomato flavor.

I wonder if you could take the solids out of the food mill, dehydrate that, and then use in the same way as the last part? Just to get the very most out of your harvest and not waste even the smallest part.

Anyway, happy harvesting!

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #702 on: September 16, 2020, 08:20:31 AM »
We didn't have frost Monday night, the sweet potatoes in a plot near mine were fine.  They turn to black slime when frosted.  The garden is nearly finished, though.  Most tomatoes have been picked.  I'm not seeing any baby zucchinis and almost no flowers.  Two varieties of squash are all picked, delicata and sweet dumpling, the butternuts are next.  I'm leaving the last few pole beans to set seed.  The second planting of bush beans is up (pathetic germination) and if the weather warms up like the forecasts are predicting, I might get a bit of a crop.  The popcorn silks are all brown so they are pollinated, a month of decent weather should give me a crop.  If not, it was a gamble, the corn went in late.  They are interesting to look at, instead of one big ear like sweet or field corn, the plants have 2-4 really small ears. 

Now my main job is cleanup, get the weeds into the compost bin, get the plant remnants to the main garden collecting point. 

Next year I may go back to sweet potatoes instead of squash.  They are more compact.  The downside is more digging.  But I saw squash beetles and cucumber beetles this year, so that makes it iffier to have healthy squash.  This year my squash and zucchini were fine, but my cucumbers weren't.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #703 on: September 16, 2020, 11:39:46 AM »
I wonder if you could take the solids out of the food mill, dehydrate that, and then use in the same way as the last part? Just to get the very most out of your harvest and not waste even the smallest part.
I'd just blend the sauce and call it good, though tomato powder for soups does sound a bit handy to have.

My attitude toward preserving is do whatever is easiest to preserve the most first. If that means more scraps end up in the compost than the 100% best preserving plan would, that's fine - it's better than having larger portions of the harvest end up going to the compost because I had difficulty getting to preserving it.

SisterX

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #704 on: September 17, 2020, 10:43:09 PM »
I wonder if you could take the solids out of the food mill, dehydrate that, and then use in the same way as the last part? Just to get the very most out of your harvest and not waste even the smallest part.
I'd just blend the sauce and call it good, though tomato powder for soups does sound a bit handy to have.

My attitude toward preserving is do whatever is easiest to preserve the most first. If that means more scraps end up in the compost than the 100% best preserving plan would, that's fine - it's better than having larger portions of the harvest end up going to the compost because I had difficulty getting to preserving it.

Oh, definitely. Tomatoes are just such a high value thing in my house that getting the most out of them is generally worth my while. Other things I'll do whatever's easiest because that's going to be the most efficient use of my time.

This year I am trying to do more canning than freezing, however. The way we've been pandemic shopping, freezer space is at a premium. So far so good. I don't even feel like I've been slaving away unduly over the canner, more's the miracle.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #705 on: September 18, 2020, 06:50:58 AM »
I wonder if you could take the solids out of the food mill, dehydrate that, and then use in the same way as the last part? Just to get the very most out of your harvest and not waste even the smallest part.
I'd just blend the sauce and call it good, though tomato powder for soups does sound a bit handy to have.

My attitude toward preserving is do whatever is easiest to preserve the most first. If that means more scraps end up in the compost than the 100% best preserving plan would, that's fine - it's better than having larger portions of the harvest end up going to the compost because I had difficulty getting to preserving it.

Yep, you can do that, I've done it myself.  The tomato powder makes a nice, umami-heavy ingredient, sort of like adding a paprika made out of sun-dried tomatoes.   But, that said, it's a bit of word to dehydrate and then powder it.

Another good use is just to freeze the scraps in Mason jars and use them for stock.   Good actually to do that with lots of veggie scraps, but tomato leftovers give a particularly pleasant result in stock.   Combine tomatoes with mushroom stems and onions for stock, throw in some miso, and you've got a very rich flavor, almost a vegan version of beef broth.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #706 on: September 18, 2020, 08:25:40 AM »
We are four nights of frost predicted.  I am going to give up trying to protect the garden - except for the newly sprouted greens.  Damn it is over too soon.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #707 on: September 18, 2020, 01:51:42 PM »
We are four nights of frost predicted.  I am going to give up trying to protect the garden - except for the newly sprouted greens.  Damn it is over too soon.

We were forecast frost last night and tonight, I am also giving up.  Everything dead (except the corn, I hope) means easier garden cleanup.  Then plant the garlic around Halloween and I will be done for the year.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #708 on: September 25, 2020, 04:27:03 AM »
Overdue for an update here.  Fall garden is going really well here in Zone 7a.  It's my first time doing a serious fall garden, rather than just one or two things.  It's fun -- like a whole second growing season -- and a great learning process.  Very grateful for my retired status to have the time, and my growing region for the mild weather.  We're probably 3-4 weeks out from the first frost.   

Lettuce -- Going nuts!  It looks great, and nothing is eating it but us.  How can that be?  I've got four different varieties going.  So tender and beautiful.

Cucumbers -- Just finished.  The 41 degrees we had the other night did them in.  They did great this year.   

Carrots -- Doing well.  I think I missed the timing on them somehow.  Not sure they're growing fast enough to finish before hard frost, but they look good. 

Spinach -- Looks good too.  I tried a new variety (Winter Giant) and it's a winner.  The germination wasn't super strong, but the plants are champs.  Huge and can withstand cut-and-come-again.  I'll definitely plant again.

Cabbage -- I first planted out plants at the beginning of August, and that was too early.  The cabbage moths mowed them down and the crop was a loss.  I replanted September 1 with some plants I bought and that seems to be about the right timing.  Plants are doing much better now that we've had a few cool nights.  Seems to have knocked back the cabbage moths.

Broccoli -- Plants look good, but they're not growing very fast.  Not sure they'll have enough time to bloom before hard frost.  I think maybe I messed up the timing on those. 

Turnips -- Look fabulous.  You can't get a turnip down.  :)

Kale -- Doing great.  Grows like a weed. 

Sugar Snap Peas -- Are going bonkers!  Star of the fall garden so far.  They are 7 feet tall and look super happy.  Looks like I hit the timing exactly right with them.  They're covered with flowers and we should have a good crop.  This is my first time ever doing fall peas, and it's going great!

In about a month I'll probably start to clean up, fertilize, plant garlic, and get ready for winter. 

What a great season!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #709 on: September 25, 2020, 06:26:04 AM »
crikey - @Trifele - am I ever jealous.  My fall peas look anemic.  None of the many sowings of green germinated.  I am going to sow some more seed in the greenhouse and hope for the best.  We are getting 26C today.  And have had zero rain for two weeks.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #710 on: September 25, 2020, 06:45:22 AM »
All of our tomatoes are picked. I have a large sheet pan full of ripe tomatoes and not sure what to do with them. I don't can and have no more freezer space. Any suggestions? I know the usual spaghetti sauce which I have made and I make a mean roasted tomato sauce with garlic sauce. Anyone make tomato soup? Some kind of tomato casserole?

I also have a big box of green tomatoes that I am hoping will very slowly ripen so I can have them for at least a month or even better two months! Th box has a lid that I close 3/4 of the way. I have not done this before, so no idea how slowly they will ripen.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #711 on: September 25, 2020, 06:59:23 AM »
Forgot to add -- I've been harvesting tons of herbs this year for the first time.  I've been drying peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, anise hyssop, and lavender for tea, and thyme and oregano for cooking.  I've dried them by laying them out on the counter on newspaper and covering with a thin layer of paper towel to keep the dust off.  It's kind of a slow process because I'm limited by the counter space.

I've been thinking of possible other ways to do it.  I have some window screens that I use in the garden for shade.  I could spread the herbs on those and lay them out in the garden shed.  That should work if the weather is fairly dry, but I'd have to figure out how to keep them clean.  Maybe a bed sheet . . .


RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #712 on: September 25, 2020, 07:05:45 AM »
Dehydrator.  I had a great time with mine, it's still out because I  want to try apple slices coated in cinnamon. 

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #713 on: September 25, 2020, 07:16:51 AM »
I too have been dehydrating herbs.  Way superior to the dusty/sometimes moldy/bleached ones I got the old fashioned way.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #714 on: September 25, 2020, 10:57:59 AM »
Ok!  Two votes for a dehydrator.  Iím off to search Craigslist. :)

Rosy

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #715 on: September 25, 2020, 11:12:55 AM »
Forgot to add -- I've been harvesting tons of herbs this year for the first time.  I've been drying peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, anise hyssop, and lavender for tea, and thyme and oregano for cooking.  I've dried them by laying them out on the counter on newspaper and covering with a thin layer of paper towel to keep the dust off.  It's kind of a slow process because I'm limited by the counter space.

I've been thinking of possible other ways to do it.  I have some window screens that I use in the garden for shade.  I could spread the herbs on those and lay them out in the garden shed.  That should work if the weather is fairly dry, but I'd have to figure out how to keep them clean.  Maybe a bed sheet . . .

I just tie them in (small) bundles and hang them from my curtain rods and also from a couple of those narrow photo display shelves in the dining room and kitchen.
I like how that looks and it works well.
Regardless, this time a year, half my kitchen counter always holds trays layered with paper towels stacked on top of each other crosswise for drying something (lemon balm at the moment) including pods full of seeds I harvested.
Maybe I should finally try out the dehydrator I picked up at Aldi three years ago:). Pitiful - I know...

I found the shed too dusty, not enough air circulation.

@Trifele - your garden sounds so bountiful!

I've been weeding for a week, clearing space and evaluating how year one faired in my newest garden area. As long as I start between seven and seven thirty I can work until ten, before it becomes too humid - unfortunately the heat is back after a couple of days of reprieve.

Today I had some serious help from Mr. R. so I think in two or three more days I can declare that part of the garden ready for fall gardening.
Well, as soon as I composted and mulched and said good-bye to the dwarf apples - I hate to give up on them, but I concede defeat after six years.

Trouble in paradise - whitefly
It spread from the Canna Lilies to the dwarf banana - damn - damn.
So I cut as much as possible from the banana and cut down 90% of the Canna Lilies, then hosed off each remaining leaf meticulously.

I'm holding off on using soap and water on the leaves since it is still way too hot, I'm afraid it will kill off my banana.
So I've resigned myself to whitefly vigilante duties for a while.
The big banana lives in the back and so far has not been attacked - thank goodness for that.

If anyone has any experience with fighting off whitefly please tell me what else I can do.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #716 on: September 25, 2020, 02:51:59 PM »
@Rosy ó we have banana trees, but Iíve never heard of whitefly, so I donít think we have those here.  It sounds nasty ó sorry you are having to go through that. 

Rosy

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #717 on: September 25, 2020, 05:31:52 PM »
All of our tomatoes are picked. I have a large sheet pan full of ripe tomatoes and not sure what to do with them. I don't can and have no more freezer space. Any suggestions? I know the usual spaghetti sauce which I have made and I make a mean roasted tomato sauce with garlic sauce. Anyone make tomato soup? Some kind of tomato casserole?

I also have a big box of green tomatoes that I am hoping will very slowly ripen so I can have them for at least a month or even better two months! Th box has a lid that I close 3/4 of the way. I have not done this before, so no idea how slowly they will ripen.

Well, the one year that we had a bumper crop of tomatoes:

Sauces
1. I made five different sauces, the Vodka sauce and the Florentine sauce with spinach were a huge hit, my favorite was a very fine, simmered for five hours Bolognese Sauce. Delish.

Soups
2. I don't remember which recipe I used for the tomato soup it called for whipping cream and Vodka.
Something like this Rachel Ray Creamy Tomato-Vodka Soup
https://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/creamy-tomato-vodka-soup

I also tried a Tomato Puree Soup with lots of carrots which was excellent - strangely enough you couldn't taste the carrots at all. It was way more work than a soup should be:).

Don't forget about Minestrone - best with a quarter cup of wine:) - you can hide plenty of tomatoes in there along with your garden produce and white beans.

OR one of my favs - Tomato Barley Vegetable soup (you only need half a cup of barley and of course half a cup of red wine:) (Zucchini, Cauliflower, Onions)
I like Thyme and Chili Flakes in mine along with Celery seeds - but some recipes call for fennel seeds and cumin seeds if you prefer that.

3. Stuffed Tomatoes
Mozzarella and basil stuffed tomatoes
... or fill with sausage and rice ... plenty of recipes on google
pair with rice/beans and cucumber salad.

4. Tomato Frittata
The tomato frittata was so fun and colorful - it is essentially a big skillet omelet, the secret is that you add milk/cream to the eggs and sautee on medium then change to low heat and add a heavy well fitting lid.
Big tomato slices arranged in an eye-pleasing pattern as if it were a cake. Add anything you like, green onions, Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence, even kernels of corn for color and sweetness and of course your favorite Italian cheese or Feta or goat cheese - your options are endless.
Serve with home made bread or on a bed of rice.

5. Instead of a casserole - consider a quiche!
You could keep it pure with just tomato and onion maybe with Ricotta
or use spinach or whatever is growing in your garden.

My old, beloved Quiche cookbook suggests a filling of:
6 large tomatoes
100g Mascarpone Cheese or Cream Cheese
3 eggs
50g Gruyere Cheese flakes

Key is that you slice the tomatoes in half and roast at 200 degrees for 40 min first - on a grate atop a cookie sheet. Then cool off a little and remove the skin. Cut each half in four slices.
The remaining ingredients are slowly beaten into the eggs. Fill your quiche and place the tomato slices on top. Bake for 20 minutes.
They suggest adding herbs to your quiche crust like garlic chives and parsley.

*** Personally, I am very fond of smoked gouda or smoked white cheddar which when slightly melted with tomato slices on toast -
is simply divine, quick and easy too. Love that paired with a special salad.

6. Bake your own - tomato-basil bread or add cheese/eggs and make breakfast muffins.
Garden fresh croissant with cream cheese, garlic chives, basil and tomato, cucumbers.
Then there is always the classic Balsamic Brushetta.

Salad - Pesto - Salsa
Pico de Gallo-Salsa or Caprese Salad

Of course a spicy tomato juice drink or an awesome home made Bloody Mary for Sunday Brunch at home is a winner in my book too:).
 


Hope that gives you some ideas - sorry, didn't mean to write a book, but hey, I like to cook.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #718 on: September 25, 2020, 05:45:18 PM »
I spent three and a half hours out at the farm preparing the garlic bed.  I have 3 kilos of garlic to plant this year.  Given the sad state of the harvest - a lot of mushy buggy bulbs, I decided that I would be planting only at the farm and only with brand new seed garlic.  There have been no onions planted there ever so I should be great!
The soil is really compacted so I worked the fork in as deep as I could go for four double rows.  I have some lovely loose trenches ready for the cloves to go in on Sunday.  I will then mulch heavily with some old straw.
I found a stray acorn squash and dug two potato plants.  The potatoes are plentiful.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #719 on: September 25, 2020, 08:13:13 PM »
I spent three and a half hours out at the farm preparing the garlic bed.  I have 3 kilos of garlic to plant this year.  Given the sad state of the harvest - a lot of mushy buggy bulbs, I decided that I would be planting only at the farm and only with brand new seed garlic.  There have been no onions planted there ever so I should be great!
The soil is really compacted so I worked the fork in as deep as I could go for four double rows.  I have some lovely loose trenches ready for the cloves to go in on Sunday.  I will then mulch heavily with some old straw.
I found a stray acorn squash and dug two potato plants.  The potatoes are plentiful.

Can you plant garlic that early?  When I talked to a bunch of growers here (we had a garlic festival 2 years ago) they said mid-October at the earliest, Halloween is perfect.   It gives lots of time for root growth but prevents much top growth until spring.  And you are warmer than we are.

My raised beds should be nice and loose.  My garlic in the pot made tiny bulbs, so it is all getting planted, not eaten.

Yay potatoes!

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #720 on: September 25, 2020, 10:22:16 PM »
My garden has just been kind of on its own lately, but somehow it's doing OK.  Needless to say I did not get fall crops in like I wanted, but it looks like we'll have collards, kale, chard, celery leaves and parsnips for the next couple months anyway.

Tomatoes continue to be lackluster.  I've canned one batch of tomato soup and cooked down some sauce that went in the freezer.  I'm hoping the weather holds long enough to get enough tomatoes to can.  My tried and true varieties are just less productive and smaller than usual, but at least they taste good.

OTOH, all the cucurbits have been cranking.  This was my first year growing Canada Crook(neck) squash, and I've got loads of it. We at the first one the other night, and it was delicious; sweet and cream roasted under a chicken.  I've already fermented 3 1/2 gallon jars of pickles, and most of the rest of the cukes are going straight in the compost, as did the 7# zucchinis I harvested the other day.

I'm hoping I can figure out what variety of broccoli I have, because it's been producing side sprouts all summer.  I only had two plants, but will put in more next year and we'll eat broccoli all summer.

The green beans were producing empty pods for a while, but now they're back to normal, and doing one last hurrah before they shut down.

Project for this fall is to dig up ALL the horseradish and try to get it contained in a smaller area.  Right now it's taking up about 6x16' of bed space, and no one needs that much horseradish.

One of my two apple trees produced well this year.  A few days ago I picked about a bushel of apples, and have a nice apple crisp baking as I type this.

And figs!  I got a handful of delicious ripe figs yesterday.  Hoping some more have a chance to ripen in the next couple weeks.

Clearly it's fall, because my okra are struggling to produce pods suddenly.  I'm hoping for enough to do one more batch of gumbo.  Sadly the pretty red variety I grew this year was not productive, but my other one (Eagle Pass, I think) produced pretty well.  I just need to put in more than 3 plants next year.

For this fall, the big projects will be replacing the roof on the greenhouse, and the afore-mentioned horseradish containment.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #721 on: September 26, 2020, 04:13:20 AM »
All of our tomatoes are picked. I have a large sheet pan full of ripe tomatoes and not sure what to do with them. I don't can and have no more freezer space. Any suggestions? I know the usual spaghetti sauce which I have made and I make a mean roasted tomato sauce with garlic sauce. Anyone make tomato soup? Some kind of tomato casserole?

I also have a big box of green tomatoes that I am hoping will very slowly ripen so I can have them for at least a month or even better two months! Th box has a lid that I close 3/4 of the way. I have not done this before, so no idea how slowly they will ripen.

Well, the one year that we had a bumper crop of tomatoes:

Sauces
1. I made five different sauces, the Vodka sauce and the Florentine sauce with spinach were a huge hit, my favorite was a very fine, simmered for five hours Bolognese Sauce. Delish.

Soups
2. I don't remember which recipe I used for the tomato soup it called for whipping cream and Vodka.
Something like this Rachel Ray Creamy Tomato-Vodka Soup
https://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/creamy-tomato-vodka-soup

I also tried a Tomato Puree Soup with lots of carrots which was excellent - strangely enough you couldn't taste the carrots at all. It was way more work than a soup should be:).

Don't forget about Minestrone - best with a quarter cup of wine:) - you can hide plenty of tomatoes in there along with your garden produce and white beans.

OR one of my favs - Tomato Barley Vegetable soup (you only need half a cup of barley and of course half a cup of red wine:) (Zucchini, Cauliflower, Onions)
I like Thyme and Chili Flakes in mine along with Celery seeds - but some recipes call for fennel seeds and cumin seeds if you prefer that.

3. Stuffed Tomatoes
Mozzarella and basil stuffed tomatoes
... or fill with sausage and rice ... plenty of recipes on google
pair with rice/beans and cucumber salad.

4. Tomato Frittata
The tomato frittata was so fun and colorful - it is essentially a big skillet omelet, the secret is that you add milk/cream to the eggs and sautee on medium then change to low heat and add a heavy well fitting lid.
Big tomato slices arranged in an eye-pleasing pattern as if it were a cake. Add anything you like, green onions, Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence, even kernels of corn for color and sweetness and of course your favorite Italian cheese or Feta or goat cheese - your options are endless.
Serve with home made bread or on a bed of rice.

5. Instead of a casserole - consider a quiche!
You could keep it pure with just tomato and onion maybe with Ricotta
or use spinach or whatever is growing in your garden.

My old, beloved Quiche cookbook suggests a filling of:
6 large tomatoes
100g Mascarpone Cheese or Cream Cheese
3 eggs
50g Gruyere Cheese flakes

Key is that you slice the tomatoes in half and roast at 200 degrees for 40 min first - on a grate atop a cookie sheet. Then cool off a little and remove the skin. Cut each half in four slices.
The remaining ingredients are slowly beaten into the eggs. Fill your quiche and place the tomato slices on top. Bake for 20 minutes.
They suggest adding herbs to your quiche crust like garlic chives and parsley.

*** Personally, I am very fond of smoked gouda or smoked white cheddar which when slightly melted with tomato slices on toast -
is simply divine, quick and easy too. Love that paired with a special salad.

6. Bake your own - tomato-basil bread or add cheese/eggs and make breakfast muffins.
Garden fresh croissant with cream cheese, garlic chives, basil and tomato, cucumbers.
Then there is always the classic Balsamic Brushetta.

Salad - Pesto - Salsa
Pico de Gallo-Salsa or Caprese Salad

Of course a spicy tomato juice drink or an awesome home made Bloody Mary for Sunday Brunch at home is a winner in my book too:).
 


Hope that gives you some ideas - sorry, didn't mean to write a book, but hey, I like to cook.

Wow, thanks! What a lot of ideas!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #722 on: September 26, 2020, 01:04:25 PM »
@RetiredAt63 the packaging recommended planting before October 15th and I have time this weekend....so that is why I was going to do it tomorrow. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #723 on: September 26, 2020, 02:06:38 PM »
@RetiredAt63 the packaging recommended planting before October 15th and I have time this weekend....so that is why I was going to do it tomorrow.

Aha, makes perfect sense.  I'm holding off, we can see how things turn out.  Or, we could be scientific, both plant half now and half late October.  Mine are tiny, I'm sure your bought ones are much larger.

Other thought, are yours soft neck or hard neck? Mine are hard neck, they do better in cold climates.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #724 on: September 26, 2020, 05:15:45 PM »
My coffee plant seeds arrived today!:)

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #725 on: September 26, 2020, 06:48:33 PM »
@RetiredAt63 the packaging recommended planting before October 15th and I have time this weekend....so that is why I was going to do it tomorrow.

Aha, makes perfect sense.  I'm holding off, we can see how things turn out.  Or, we could be scientific, both plant half now and half late October.  Mine are tiny, I'm sure your bought ones are much larger.

Other thought, are yours soft neck or hard neck? Mine are hard neck, they do better in cold climates.
No idea - I think it is called music...I am not so good at being scientific.....I would probably forget to plant the second batch!

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #726 on: September 27, 2020, 06:56:14 AM »
@RetiredAt63 the packaging recommended planting before October 15th and I have time this weekend....so that is why I was going to do it tomorrow.

Aha, makes perfect sense.  I'm holding off, we can see how things turn out.  Or, we could be scientific, both plant half now and half late October.  Mine are tiny, I'm sure your bought ones are much larger.

Other thought, are yours soft neck or hard neck? Mine are hard neck, they do better in cold climates.
No idea - I think it is called music...I am not so good at being scientific.....I would probably forget to plant the second batch!

Music is a hard neck. 

I can be scientific for both of us if you want to try it.   You plant 1/2 now, I'll plant 1/2 soon as I have the spot ready.  Then when I  plant the second half I remind you.

Of course it's a lot easier to plant all at once, no gaps, no overlap.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #727 on: September 27, 2020, 02:56:00 PM »
Oops...I was on a roll and planted it all.  I have a lot going on and can't be certain I would get it in by the 15th as recommended by William Dam.

I planted all three kgs.  Soil is so dry.  Very little rain forecast.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #728 on: September 27, 2020, 05:59:55 PM »
Oops...I was on a roll and planted it all.  I have a lot going on and can't be certain I would get it in by the 15th as recommended by William Dam.

I planted all three kgs.  Soil is so dry.  Very little rain forecast.

3 kg, that is a LOT!  I have 6 tiny bulbs with about 2 cloves each.   They really didn't like the pot.

They are dormant now, they will get going once the rains come.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #729 on: September 27, 2020, 06:50:52 PM »
Oops...I was on a roll and planted it all.  I have a lot going on and can't be certain I would get it in by the 15th as recommended by William Dam.

I planted all three kgs.  Soil is so dry.  Very little rain forecast.

3 kg, that is a LOT!  I have 6 tiny bulbs with about 2 cloves each.   They really didn't like the pot.

They are dormant now, they will get going once the rains come.
half is for me and half for my neighbour who owns the land of my in town garden. 

I planted way too many potatoes.  I dug about 50 pounds today and that is probably only a fifth of what I grew.  Lots of long rows still to dig. They are huge potatoes this year.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #730 on: September 28, 2020, 05:21:37 AM »
Oops...I was on a roll and planted it all.  I have a lot going on and can't be certain I would get it in by the 15th as recommended by William Dam.

I planted all three kgs.  Soil is so dry.  Very little rain forecast.

3 kg, that is a LOT!  I have 6 tiny bulbs with about 2 cloves each.   They really didn't like the pot.

They are dormant now, they will get going once the rains come.
half is for me and half for my neighbour who owns the land of my in town garden. 

I planted way too many potatoes.  I dug about 50 pounds today and that is probably only a fifth of what I grew.  Lots of long rows still to dig. They are huge potatoes this year.

Wow thatís a lot of potatoes @Frugal Lizard!  Fabulous.  If you canít eat them all yourself, maybe a local food bank that takes farm produce donations?

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #731 on: September 28, 2020, 07:06:36 AM »
@Trifele - I have three brothers with families and the family on whose land most of the food grows, is six in size, but I truly think I was way too ambitious. Yesterday I gave my stepmom, her mom, her brother, their friend and my stepbrother bags of potatoes.  And two neighbours.  So that took care of about 12 pounds!  I took a picture of my three year old nephew holding one of the larger potatoes and it is almost as big as his head.

I do have a food pantry I have been donating to all summer whenever the harvest allows.  They are thrilled. Two weeks ago, all the tomatoes went off happily to them. 
Also I have been "selling" to the neighbours and then donating the cash to the food pantry.  So far the cash collection has been $110 dollars for the beans, greens and tomatillos.

I also grew over 100 pounds of squash.  I want to store the correct amount!  I want to try making some squash leather with my dehydrator


Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #732 on: September 28, 2020, 07:48:36 AM »
Wow your production is amazing @Frugal Lizard!  Very impressive.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #733 on: September 29, 2020, 10:43:33 AM »
Oops...I was on a roll and planted it all.  I have a lot going on and can't be certain I would get it in by the 15th as recommended by William Dam.

I planted all three kgs.  Soil is so dry.  Very little rain forecast.

@Frugal Lizard    How many bulbs/cloves is 3 kg?  I'm  looking at my garlic (several varieties) and thinking most weeds I small it will take 2 years to get them back to a good size.  So I'm going to order from William Dam today.  I'd like 15-20 cloves, which means 3-4 bulbs if each bulb has about 5 cloves.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #734 on: September 29, 2020, 10:59:31 AM »
Oops...I was on a roll and planted it all.  I have a lot going on and can't be certain I would get it in by the 15th as recommended by William Dam.

I planted all three kgs.  Soil is so dry.  Very little rain forecast.

@Frugal Lizard    How many bulbs/cloves is 3 kg?  I'm  looking at my garlic (several varieties) and thinking most weeds I small it will take 2 years to get them back to a good size.  So I'm going to order from William Dam today.  I'd like 15-20 cloves, which means 3-4 bulbs if each bulb has about 5 cloves.
One kilo had at least 24 bulbs.  The bulbs ranged from in size, but some had six-seven cloves.  Some had four huge cloves.  The bag was about four cups of cloves once they were all separated.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #735 on: September 29, 2020, 07:56:04 PM »
Oops...I was on a roll and planted it all.  I have a lot going on and can't be certain I would get it in by the 15th as recommended by William Dam.

I planted all three kgs.  Soil is so dry.  Very little rain forecast.

@Frugal Lizard    How many bulbs/cloves is 3 kg?  I'm  looking at my garlic (several varieties) and thinking most weeds I small it will take 2 years to get them back to a good size.  So I'm going to order from William Dam today.  I'd like 15-20 cloves, which means 3-4 bulbs if each bulb has about 5 cloves.
One kilo had at least 24 bulbs.  The bulbs ranged from in size, but some had six-seven cloves.  Some had four huge cloves.  The bag was about four cups of cloves once they were all separated.

Thanks, that is really useful.

I gave away quite a bit of my garlic harvest last year.  Not sure if that will happen this year, who knows with Covid.  But planting more is better than not planting enough, so 500 gms is the order.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #736 on: September 29, 2020, 09:53:02 PM »
@Frugal Lizard - you are my new hero. Feeding people is awesome. You garden is unbelievably productive.
Not only are you blessed but you are a blessing to many:).

For 2020/2021 I've decided to keep developing the new garden area into a food forest aka tropical garden with permaculture influences. 

New this fall.....
SWEET CHERRIES:) - yay!
Cherry of the Rio Grande Eugenia Involucrata aggregata
White blooms, dark(ish) red cherries. Columnar -10-20ft
At this point I don't care what shape or size they are I am just happy to find cherries that might survive and thrive in our climate, especially since the apples failed.

COFFEE ARABICA
I bit the bullet and ordered three coffee plantlings. I also have seeds but they take 60-90 days...
We'll see. I would have done this years ago if I had only known that you can grow coffee in my region. 

GINGER
1. Common Ginger - for cooking and tea.
To fill in spaces in the back as an understory plant - so it can spread and be easily harvested.

2. Yellow Turmeric Ginger
For that tropical garden feel. Beautiful and scented - who can resist?
"Scented", "white" flowers and tropical foliage, the rhizomes are a staple in Indian cuisine so I might try them once I have a nice patch.


3. Shampoo Ginger - Zingiber Zerumbet
I had to have this one the minute I found out it existed.
Yes, it is instant shampoo and conditioner.
Paul Mitchell made it famous - it is used in his Awapuhi Shampoo.


A preppers deam plant:) - It has several medicinal uses, good for your skin and no, you can't eat this ginger, but it is used as perfume in some products.
It smells nice, looks pretty and is a trouble free, spreading tropical - will do well under the bananas.
My kinda plant, it is useful, takes care of itself and is perennial.

4. Adding a different BANANA
That will give me three different bananas and one freebie banana pup already almost five ft high.

5. ORNAMENTAL - TROPICALS
Love-in-a-Mist Passionflower Vine - what's not to love?:).


There is no way I could resist this scented beauty once I saw it, besides I needed something to cover my new double garden arch.
Strictly speaking this one also has edible fruit too, but it is being grown for it's scent and its beauty, so I will leave the fruit for the birds.

HELICONIA - for that tropical look.
I only bought one - we'll see how it does. I've tried years ago but none ever survived the hot summers.
Maybe this new garden area is better suited to them in a partially shaded area.
https://i.etsystatic.com/5812231/r/il/86aa4c/997214309/il_794xN.997214309_9n43.jpg

LOBSTER CLAW - I have several already in other areas of the garden, so I'll just be moving a couple, this stuff can become invasive.
Anyway - it is a freebie and in the right spot it is a beauty to behold.


FINAL TREE DECISIONS
I wanted something evergreen, easy no care:) with cool tropical blooms. These are the last two additions, I'm officially out of space.
That means I ended up with

PRODUCTIVE
Papayas (3), Bananas (3), Blackberry Jam bushes (2), Cherries (2), Moringa (1), Florida Cranberry (2), Elderberry (2-4), Avocado (1), coffee bushes (3)

ORNAMENTAL - new this fall
WHITE POWDERPUFF - soft like a kitten:)
I am so excited I finally found a white one. We have two 'red' powderpuffs in other parts of the garden. So I know they are easy care once established and they bloom practically all year long - even in the winter.
The leaves are so feathery and airy and it stays a small tree that is easy to shape if you wish.


PRIDE OF BARBADOS - a rare beauty, gorgeous blooms in a great rose color fringed with a creamy vanilla. Small tree/bush.
I had to settle for seeds, could not find a plant anywhere. I searched for this one specific color ever since I spotted it at the Ford Estate botanical garden in Ft. Myers fifteen years ago.
More about that later.

VEGETABLE
I've wanted Egyptian Walking Onions like forever - the bulbs arrived yesterday, to be planted tomorrow.
They look so cool - hopefully they will do fine in our climate.

It is time for choosing which seeds to plant. I changed my mind a million times already.
All I know is I have more seed packets than space:).

So there you go - moving right along with fall gardening.
I'm out of space and out of budget, except for hardscape and maintenance.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #737 on: September 30, 2020, 07:53:47 AM »
First signs of fall this morning - it is, wait for it! - only 70 degrees at almost ten a.m. and will only get up to 80 today and tomorrow.
Cooler, drier air - Northwind.
Even better, last night we had rain come through! We can open all the windows in the house this morning.

Of course it will not last, but maybe it will last until this weekend, before the heat and humidity returns.
For now - life is good, it is a pleasure to work in the garden:).

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #738 on: September 30, 2020, 08:18:10 AM »
@Rosy - you make me blush.  I am indeed blessed in so many ways.  Gardening has been my solace through PTSD symptoms and deep grief. Harvests are a byproduct of caring for my mental health.  I am fortunate to have this outlet.

Those tropical plants are so very gorgeous.  I love sour cherries but it is too cold here.  I love the vicarious gardening! 
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 08:20:02 AM by Frugal Lizard »

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #739 on: September 30, 2020, 09:25:38 AM »
@Rosy - you make me blush.  I am indeed blessed in so many ways.  Gardening has been my solace through PTSD symptoms and deep grief. Harvests are a byproduct of caring for my mental health.  I am fortunate to have this outlet.

Those tropical plants are so very gorgeous. I love sour cherries but it is too cold here.  I love the vicarious gardening!

Sour cherries are hardier than sweet cherries.  I had sour cherries in zone 4a,and some of the newer varieties are pretty sweet (Romeo and Juliet, for example).  Maybe there is more than one kind of sour cherry? 

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #740 on: September 30, 2020, 12:17:46 PM »
The trees seem to be ok but they always seem to blossom when it is too cold and fruit doesn't seem to develop.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #741 on: September 30, 2020, 01:23:39 PM »
The trees seem to be ok but they always seem to blossom when it is too cold and fruit doesn't seem to develop.

They are hardier than the bees, I guess.

Actually honey bees are special snowflakes at times.  You need these:

https://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-we-do/resource-centre/featured-species/insects-and-spiders/blue-orchard-mason-bee.html

You are warm enough that you can grow sweet cherries.  I was in too cold an area for them.  I definitely lost more cherries to birds (and the odd raccoon) than I did to failure to pollinate.  I did lose more apples to failure to pollinate, but that was just in years that nothing that bloomed early got pollinated due to long cold wet springs.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #742 on: September 30, 2020, 04:20:15 PM »
I love the sweet, dark cherries but the few tropical cherries that grow here are all tart.
So I'm hoping the Rio Grande cherries will do fine and survive the summer heat especially if I put them in the ground now.

Pics from this morning of our two
PRIDE OF BARBADOS
This is the orange variety - we love it. We planted one on each side of the Royal Poinciana Tree.

One of many blooms on the baby plant I planted this spring - grown from the seed of the mother plant last year.
It is already about three feet tall and full of blooms. I'm thinking of selling or trading some of my seeds.



To give you some context - this is the mature bush or small tree up to 10-12 feet.
About 10 or 15 years old.
I cut it back drastically in February, because it was growing wider and taller than we wanted.



It is a butterfly magnet.
A Gulf Fritillary stopped by this morning. I've counted at least ten different varieties of butterflies if not more.
We have more Monarchs this year than ever before.



They do get blousy looking blooms around this time of year and they start setting lots of seed pods.
We love the exuberant bright colors of the orange variety but the pink/rose/magenta looks like a completely different species,
more elegant and fragile somehow.
I started the seeds for the pink variety with vanilla cream fringes today - I tried two different methods - wish me luck.

This is a difficult plant to photograph and do it justice. A few years ago I made a project out of
capturing as many different butterflies on the blooms as possible.



Enjoy your fall gardening everyone!

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #743 on: October 01, 2020, 12:36:08 PM »
those are gorgeous

I picked enough beans to shell and make a minestone soup with.  I shelled them during a lunch break.

I have a sweet cherry in a bush form, but so far (four years) haven't gotten a fruit set.  In fact, none of the fruit trees I have planted have yielded any pears, plums or nectarines.  The nectarines died in fact.
I am ever hopeful though....

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #744 on: October 01, 2020, 03:28:48 PM »
Gorgeous pictures @Rosy!   Surreal!

@Frugal Lizard, sorry if I missed it but do you grow apples?  I would think your location would be good for those?  I used to live in Upstate NY, and they did really well there. 

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #745 on: October 01, 2020, 05:51:15 PM »
Kudos to William Dam Seed and Canada Post . I ordered my garlic online the evening of September 29 and it arrived today.  Now I know why shipping was expensive, it was Priority Post. 

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #746 on: October 02, 2020, 01:20:12 PM »
Okay, I need some help! We have two raised garden beds and they are galvanized cattle water troughs. Quite large and perfect to grow my tomatoes. I plant marigolds around them to keep bugs away and it seems to work. This summer was hellish hot and we had weeks and weeks of 90+ temperatures. We watered and watered and due to the galvanized containers getting super hot and the hot weather, the soil always seemed dry. We have a well so we try to be frugal. Plus, this summer we had a drought and it barely rained.

I am been thinking and thinking on how we can prepare the beds next spring so we can keep the soil moist but be as frugal as we can be with the water. We use potting mix and peet moss mixed together in the planters now. Each year, we dig about half of the soil out of the beds and replace it with fresh. To keep more moisture in the beds, I am thinking of adding lots of newspapers and or cardboard sheets. Then poke holes in the cardboard, cover with the new potting mix and peet moss. However, not sure if that will keep it moist enough.

I was also thinking about buying baby diapers and using them to line the bottom of the beds but read that the beads that collect moisture are not good or safe in the soil.

Then I even had a crazier idea to buy lots of sponges to line the bottom of the beds.

So, does anyone have a tried and true moisture idea?

I don't think the hub will go for a drip irrigation thing. It is all I can do to get him interested in gardening. That is another story. His father made him pull weeds every single summer as a kid, day after day.

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #747 on: October 02, 2020, 03:40:01 PM »
Egyptian Walking Onions - planted twelve bulblets - most in the ground, four in a planter together with the Mesclun Lettuce Mix.
Really enjoyed watching this youtube garden lady - all enthusiastic about her Egyptian Walking Onions - entertaining how-to.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YASVTIZ4_8M

Lettuce - Mesclun Mix - 2 small plant boxes
Lettuce - Paris Island Cos (Heirloom) - One small planter box
Both seed packs were freebies I got with online orders - now all I need to get is some Buttercrunch and Endive.

More weeding and composting... - cleared:) a walkway that was chock full of self seeded cosmos - up to seven feet tall.
Sorted all my seeds - soaking four sets later today.

@Roadrunner53 - I'm thinking insulation is your best bet to offset the heat from the metal. Along the sides of your container - anything you can get your hands on - packing peanuts or pieces of styrofoam from packaging.
Florida is hot in the summer so I use moisture soil in my pots and a good layer of leaves at the bottom - sort of a combination of built-in compost but the leaves do a good job of holding on to the moisture and preventing the water to run out. You can also place a piece of terracotta in the holes of the bottom to keep the water in. Cardboard might help at the bottom, but it actually deteriorates quicker than the leaves.

As far as the water there are a few age old tricks used around the world - unglazed terracotta container filled with water set into your bed or container - it releases the water slowly through evaporation because it is unglazed.
Even those pretty glass water globes that you stick into your pots work.
Tomatoes are water hogs in my opinion so I do mulch generously with leaves both on the top and the bottom.   

I'm wiped out. The only other thing I'm doing today is trying out a new recipe for a pear dessert.
Easy and quick - Caramelized Pears served hot w/Vanilla Ice Cream. https://www.marthastewart.com/925572/caramelized-pears#reviewSection
One of Mr. R's co-worker gave us a batch of pears from his dad's garden.

We've been sharing our avocadoes...


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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #748 on: October 03, 2020, 04:03:24 AM »
@Roadrunner53 -- I've dealt with big containers of tomatoes in hot weather, and what works for me is to (1) makes sure it's sitting right on the ground (so it can act as a heat sink) (2) put some rotten wood in the bottom as a water reservoir -- it absorbs like crazy and soil microbes love it, and most importantly (3) mulch the hell out of the soil surface with leaves or straw. Like 5 or 6 inches deep covering the whole surface.   Keep the mulch a few inches from the stems themselves, but cover everything else tightly. 

Tomatoes like cool roots, so that soil mulching is really critical.  It's insulation that is keeping the temperature down and the moisture up in the soil below. 

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #749 on: October 06, 2020, 05:48:10 PM »
Ugh, the heat and humidity is back with a vengeance.
Regardless fall gardening will continue to commence - took advantage of three rainy, overcast days.

Planted all my kitchen windowsill babies - it looks strangely bare now:).
Rosemary cutting, just in time, since all my Rosemary's died, they only last about five years or less.
African Blue Basil - starting one more plant/big bush - it's not like I don't already have seven giant bushes of it:), all five that I planted in the spring survived and thrived - the bees love it and it smells oh so good. Oh and yes, I do cook with it.
Rue - this was an experiment, but it grew roots in water (wrapped in a papertowel in a spice jar). This spring I purchased a live plant and it liked it's spot, partly shady. So this summer I cut the flowering part and voila, it worked.
Next year I'll see if it selfseeds - but I just didn't want to spend another $5.95 for one little herb that isn't noticeable in my big garden - hopefully it will survive, maybe I should have planted it in a pot first.

MYSTERY PLANT
It showed up in my garden one day in a flowerpot under the oak tree - birds maybe? I called it my mystery plant and I'm so glad I waited for it to grow, curious to see what it would turn out to be.
It has lovely blooms on sturdy tall spikes, blooms for almost three months. Over the years I've divided the clumps thinking it was a lily or an iris.
I shared it with my garden friends.
We all love it and it was easy to grow - leave it alone, fertilize when you think of it and water during the heat of the summer.

Mystery solved - it is a NUN'S CAP ORCHID
The exciting part is that I just learned on youtube that you can cut the stalks into sections and get several new plants from the flower stalk once it is done blooming. Wow - I'm definitely propagating that way.
Too late for this year though since they already turned black - I cut them this afternoon. You can even propagate from seeds which might be how I ended up with mine - thanks to the birds.
For now I am dividing my 18-inch big pot into half, maybe even thirds. Gorgeous freebies.

It looks like this - when all the spikes are in bloom.
But what I really appreciate is that it has good size green tropical looking leaves all year long.
It always looks good - in bloom or not. (Sorry, the pics of the blooms are on my phone and I haven't figured out how to upload pics from my phone)


Here is what is what my orchid looks like when it is not in bloom. Shot today.
The leaves show a little stress from the summer heat.
But fertilizer, water and some TLC will perk it right back up.

Easy care plant - evergreen - gorgeous flowers - it doesn't get better than that.


...and yup, the lettuce I planted four days ago all showed up already - thanks to the reprieve we had in the weather no doubt.
LETTUCE MESCLUN - two window boxes. Mr. R's fav.
LETTUCE - Parris Island Cos - One window box and mixed in a planter with Egyptian Walking Onions.
EGYPTIAN WALKING ONIONS - yup, I can see the green shoots, a couple are two inches already - trying in two different garden areas.
I really want some celery - it does so well here and is so versatile. Hoping to just get some six-packs locally.

Several of the online plants arrived today but it is still too hot, so they will all have to be transplanted from two and four-inch pots to six-inch pots or larger until they've acclimated and have a stronger, better root system.
Ginger/Tumeric roots arrived, I will plant those in the ground tomorrow.

I'm excited about my new dwarf banana. I thought I had one, but oops, I ordered a dwarf plaintain instead. It grew well since Spring and we are happy to have a plaintain since we both love them. Happy accidents ...:).
My one big banana just started a second pup - the first pup is already almost six foot and looking happy.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow. I do have garden help from Mr. R. come Friday thank goodness - I need to get our Potager in shape.
It is a hot mess right now.