Picking the garden

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Picked a small bucket of sweet chilies, eggplant, kale, two or three sorts of lettuce and one lone cucumber. Had a good bit of the pickings in our dinner salad this evening.
Black crowders are making like crazy and the vines have climbed the trellis and I'm now working them in and out. Tomatoes are a bit slow in ripening but that is expected with all the rain and overcast we've been getting.
Figs are getting larger every day and it looks, I hope, to be a good harvest. The pears are about the size of a quarter and looking good. This will be our first pear harvest on that tree if they make it. The coloring now is a russet and we hope they are tasty. Supposedly good for eating out of hand and canning both. Tree looks really healthy but I'm doing my best to keep pruning off the "rain" limbs so the tree stays open to sunlight.
The blueberries aren't doing well at all, will have to do some research to see why they aren't. The "wild" tomatoes that came up this spring are putting on fruit and, today, we ate the first "Indigo" tomato we planted earlier.
George
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wrote:

I am not jealous of your Texas heat or rain, but just a tad so of your earlier producing garden.
So far all we are harvesting are asparagus (at an end) radishes and mixed fancy-pants lettuce. Spinach and romaine will be up for grabs in a week.
The prune plum has fewer than half a dozen fruits. Go figure. Donut peach has fruit, but both of these fruit trees are turning into items best admired for their spring bloom than production. IT is very difficult to grow stone fruit here in NJ without a very strict spray regimen, and I confess, if Safer doesn't take care of things, I just let Mother Nature take its course.
We'll be fine with the blueberries this year, the blackberries are covered in flowers The tomatoes - and there are many varieties this year, as doing well, but we won't get fruit until July,
Long beans are coming up, cukes are coming up, acorn squash is fine, an unknown, family-passed-down bean that a friend from Alabama sent are coming up, too, as are some beans I picked up at Monticello.. Pepper, hot & sweet are taking their time, but I have patience. What gardener doesn't?
Regular wax and green beans are not doing so well. It took a while for the soil to heat up, so they are just popping through, and then they were raided by a possum (said possum was have-a-hearted and taken 5+ miles away. I'd have let it stay if it hadn't decided to use the lower garden as a toilet. We tried mouse traps to scare it off and that worked for a bit, but it outsmarted us. Damn illegal to move it, but by law we are only allowed to do on-site kill. Long story.)
Meanwhile, the flowers are glorious right now, with rhododendron, peonies, roses, and irises going gangbusters.
Spring is a nice time for me in the garden and I am always filled with hope - before the intense heat (remember, much of my gardening is done in tubs) and the bugs, squirrels and birds get to things.
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George Shirley wrote:

:)

i'm just planting ours today...

hope these all grow grow grow!

blueberries, hmm, acidic soil and plenty of organic material in the soil, mulched on top, perhaps the many rains are leaching all the acidity away?
songbird
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On 5/31/2016 9:18 AM, songbird wrote:

We acidify that blueberry patch every year, reckon we will have to wait until the next bout of thunderstorms pass through, if they every do pass through.
Just back from another round of testing for the heart, nuclear stress test, no big problem with the nuke or the rest, will have to wait until tomorrow for the results. Last time was in 2014 and came okay then.
Eight of us in a small room, all veterans and all geezers. Nice visit but had to stay there to long to suit me. Got there at 0915, left around 1330, that was tiring. We old veterans were having a good time. One guy was actually older than me, the rest were a few years behind my enlistment in 1957. Three old sailors, including me, one lone Marine, and some doggies. Wasn't to bad as we were all in a good mood. Hope I won't have to go back for awhile.
George
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On Monday, May 30, 2016 at 7:39:56 PM UTC-4, George Shirley wrote:







My wife just harvested an unusually large number of broccoli heads in the p ast few days; many are now in the freezer. The pea pods are ready to pick a nd throw into the salads. I just planted the pumpkins and squashes a couple of days ago; 13 varieties in 21 hills. What we can't eat are wintertime tr eats for the sheep.
Paul Maryland, North of Baltimore
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On 05/30/2016 04:39 PM, George Shirley wrote:

My stuff is just starting to sprout (from seeds I potted two weeks ago). We are not suppose to transfer to our gardens till the second week of June, do to freezes overnight.
But, I did notice I will have some purslane to pick this weekend. :-)
And I dumped two gallons of high test vinegar (20%) on the weeds, so the tide has turned on them! The ones I sprayed look really pathetic. Chuckle. The dandelions will be the last and hardest to kill. I hope I don't have to dig every last on up with my axe!
Be careful posting this stuff. Folks may show up for dinner! :-)
Definition of a small town: when you visit your neighbors, you have to lock your car doors, otherwise you will wind up with a back seat full of zucchini.
My neighbors have no fear from me, black thumb and all. I hope to turn the tide this year with my holes as pots, peat moss, and weeds at the bottom of the holes. You know, there is a certain enjoyment stuffing weeds down holes.
-T
I wish I had 1/20 of your and Songbirds gardening skills.
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T wrote: ...

ours is just starting to show up.

they're breaking up that soil for you. some people eat the greens or make coffee substitute from the roasted roots. can't say i've tried either of them. worms like 'em after i leave them to dry on the surface for a few days/week.

for sure! some i have to bury deeply enough and put a layer or two of cardboard or craft paper or newspaper over them to keep them from coming back up too easily. i had a whole five gallon bucket of old onions and garlic that needed to be buried the other day. prime worm food... :)
songbird
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On 06/05/2016 06:11 AM, songbird wrote:

Ha! I wanted to dig a hole and had a dandelion dead in the middle of the target. So, I axes an eight inch square around it about two inches deep. When I pulled up the piece, the the root threaded though it like a needle.
So, I repeated about five more times at about an inch deep at a time (that is all I could beat through). Each time it just threaded through the hole.
I finally got the root out. The root didn't do a thing to the soil around it. The whole experience was a bit amusing.
Oh yes, I found that swinging an axe actually helps my blood sugar. (I am one of the 20% that exercise backfires on T2 Diabetics.) So, the weeds now tremble in fear from me. By the way, an axe is not a real effective way to remove weeds, but it SURE is cathartic.
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Get you a mattock.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
  Click to see the full signature.
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On 06/08/2016 02:56 PM, Ecnerwal wrote:

Sort of like a pick axe. Hmmm. THahnk you!
-T
"Cats ... vices to live by" ???? You do realize that Tofu -- colorless, flavorless, gelatinous goo, that rots in your stomach and gives you gas -- is God's punishment for humans domesticating cats ????? :')
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Great tool. I swear by it.
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T wrote: ...

how did that hole get there? dandelion might have drilled it for you, but once that root is down there then worms will follow the root and perhaps another plant will get in there.
those tap roots are what i was talking about.

i did a few hundred deep knee bends today picking strawberries. :) i'm sure i will be feeling it tomorrow...
songbird
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On 06/08/2016 05:54 PM, songbird wrote:

I was hoping purslane would accomplish the same thing. parts of my yard are not glowing red, so maybe a bumper crop?
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T wrote:

hope so, any ground cover is better than bare dirt if you're not using the space, but if you can get something else going there instead (buckwheat or winter rye are both excellent) it's much better. also looks like we have a good crop starting up of purselane this season.
songbird
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On 06/09/2016 05:35 PM, songbird wrote:

Thank you!
My wife is scared to death of buckwheat as thee is a severe allergy in her family to it (but not her yet).
Is Winter Rye the same stuff that gives you diabetes, such as what is used in Rye Bread, etc.? Is so, I'd rather plant something I can eat. My purslane is already giving me seeds, so maybe ...
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T wrote: ...

interesting! i've never heard of an allergy to it before. they are no fun for sure as i have reactions to some plants too ones that i actually like (lilacs, lavender, yarrow).

it doesn't bother me. no, the point was, when you have extra space that you don't have planted with veggies is to fill it with a benificial ground cover plant, to help suppress weeds and create topsoil/humus. weeds are opportunists, fill the niche with a more useful plant and you get topsoil faster. winter rye is one of the most common used plants to break up hard soil. it sends out huge amounts of roots. i've done it here in this clay in the fall, turned it under in the spring and the soil was great that season. you don't have to let it get to seed/head stage, just chop it back and turn it under before the soil dries out.
songbird
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On 06/11/2016 04:16 AM, songbird wrote:

My wife mother was given something in the hospital with something else she as allergic to. The reaction was secondary effect of the original allergy.
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On 06/11/2016 04:16 AM, songbird wrote:

My Purslane is already producing seeds. So when I pick it, I make a pint of rinsing it off over a patch of the yard that doesn't have any growing in it yet.
I will have to look into the Rye solution too.
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On 06/08/2016 05:54 PM, songbird wrote:

That is one tight fit. And once the worms get down there (root has to die first), what will the eat? Decomposed sandstone? Rocks?

Plantain herb will help fix that.

Oh, in case I forget, death to weeds!
-T
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T wrote:

depends upon the worm, but some will feed off what the roots give off and any other bits of stuff in there. when you cut back some plants (simulate grazing :) ) they will balance the roots out with the foliage so that means some roots will die back, which yes, become worm food eventually. it's a pretty good way to build up topsoil and you can see how well it works by examining the history of the Great Plains and see how fertile those prairies were (and how deeply too).

plantains seem to be loved by bunnies, grasshoppers and worms. when i weed them out i just turn them over and leave the roots up in the air to dry out. if they have been let go to seed or have seed stalks on them i pull those off and put those on the weed piles. the birds pick at them...

if the spot ain't got nothing better i'll leave the weed alone as long as i can. i'm too far behind now to plant or transplant in most spaces, but as i do get time i replace weeds by ground covers i do like.
we have some thymes that do well here and cover up a lot of area and don't need a lot of weeding. and i've also got some creeping phlox, creeping jenny and i will also toss out old seeds from melons and squash and see if any of them will get going in the wilder areas. if they smother some stuff in the process of growing that's all good...
the weeds i have to keep after are the thistles (sow thistle and the purple globe thistle) and some others that are really a pest because they were brought in with a wildflower seed mix and the one i don't like happens to be the one that survived and spread all over the place and is almost impossible to get rid of... the one i'm reactive to...
love in a mist and poppies we have both thrive and grow in the crushed limestone. they don't seem to need much dirt at all. spread like crazy too. but we like them as they wander around and when they are done flowering all those stems are free organic material i bury. :) the love in a mist pods are often used for decorative things by flower arrangers.
ok, ramble time over. peace, even to weeds...
songbird
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