Now Picking

Right now I am picking tomatoes, eggplant. cukes and bell peppers.
The tomatoes are pitiful but I am getting a few each day. The peppers are getting up to a good size and thick skin. Will see what is on the inside soon. The eggplants are the long thin type. Now have 3 so will probably fix them for supper tonight. The cukes look don't look very happy. Think I will put a couple of seeds in one of the boxes and see what happens. I took cuttings from 3 tomato plants, started rooting them in a glass of water and set them into one of the boxes yesterday. See what happens.
Actually this is a nice change from the years that I had so many veggies that I was running like a chicken with my head cut off for most of the summer trying to get them all put put in some fashion.
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USA
North Carolina Foothills
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    Despite this year's late start -- most years, I'm getting tomatoes by the time I transplanted them this year-- I had pretty good yield from a new-to-me store bought hybrid indeterminate but it pretty much has played out and I pruned it for rejuvenation just a couple of days ago. Also layered a few canes and kept a few cuttings. If I can get them through August, I'm hopeful of some fall tomatoes without new starts. Some years, indeterminates last into December. The summer rain, heat, and constant humidity are hard on tomatoes down here (peninsular FL). The more heat tolerant heirlooms ("Homestead") started from seed aren't doing much. The plants appear to be thriving but I don't see any blossoms yet. I normally have good success with those, as well as, with "Floradade" but they also "normally" get a much earlier start; we'll see.     Yellow squash ("yellow crookneck"; "dixie hybrid" straightneck) and cukes ("marketmore 76") are long gone, but both produced well: Have a freezer well stocked with baked dishes containing yellow squash as well as frozen breaded squash ready for pan frying; yum. Too early yet to plant more of either: Late August or early September is fall planting time for them and they should last 'til Halloween (most years). No luck yet with eggplant or bell peppers, although, the japs in the same bed are producing well. Both are dropping their blossoms. I suspect excessive water and a nutrient imbalance. Oh, well; will leave them in place and see if anything eventually happens. At the very least, they're pretty. An additional bonus is relief from listening to my spouse grouse about "too many damned eggplants". Unfortunately, the only neighbor who cooks and with whom I'd share food doesn't eat them.

    How big are the boxes? Do you normally grow tomatoes in containers? Most years, I grow a couple in containers using at least three cubic feet of garden mix (usually twenty-five gallons "just because"). Never have rooted tomatoes in water; normally either peg down a cane or just shove a cutting into the dirt, sometimes under an improvised cloche.

    Elsewhere, the okra is producing well, although, the first planting of field peas has played out and the second still is immature but since the okra lasts 'til cool weather there still should be time for more peas 'n okra. Unfortunately neither last season nor, so far, this season did I make enough peas for the freezer. Next year, I'll have to plant more, I guess, although there probably still is time to plant more for this year.     The first planting of snapbeans has just about ended its useful life, although, it seems that every time I decide to pull them, I find another meal's worth of beanies on them. The second planting is just coming in well and is covered with tiny beans. I'm cautiously optimistic about the second planting. However, this time of year, incomplete pollination along with an uncontrollable population of adult shield bugs are pretty debilitating. Little point to planting more until late August and even then the stink bugs are rampant.     We've had so many years of abnormally low rainfall that this year, with rainfall closer to normal, I've let a (well, "another") French tarragon and a thyme get too wet and die and the years-old sage and one oregano are struggling. I suppose I should devise some sort of semi-permanent shelter for use during the wet season because I obviously can't rely on my memory.
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Derald
USDA 9b
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wrote:

The boxes are permanent ones, 8' x 3' x 2' They replaced the ones that I had for years that finally gave up the ghost. I use one for my perennial herbs and another one for the annuals. I use another one for early plants. This year it was spinach. Now it is full of beans, Cannellini and black. They are just beginning to set. Another one us full of Roma beans. Started a bit later but now blooming. Another one has the tomato plants I am trying to resurrect and I put 4 cucumber seeds in the last one since the other I set out aren't doing much. That last box is the one DH is going to use for strawberries. Maybe we can keep the weeds out and get to them without breaking our backs.
The weather here has been so variable. It was too cold to set out the tomatoes until the middle of May. They are usually out by the 3 week of April. Then it rained. Then it was dry. Then it rained again. The plants never did get deep roots. And not just my plants. The corn and tobacco also took a beating.
Hopefully next year will be better.
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USA
North Carolina Foothills
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