2022 Garden Thread

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Dan Freeman

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2021
455
NE PA
rumble.com
Active little thread going here. Almost as many gardeners as BK owners in that other thread. Glad I found you.

I have a question about canning. Specifically, where do store all the darn jars? We had been paying about $2 each for new jars up here. Some used canning jars with bands were found at a yard sale for 50 cents each. You know how that ended. I am inundated with empty jars. I have a canner, we have propane, I am happy to fill them with stuff we are going to use - but where do I put them? On many youtube it appears mason jars should not be stacked one on another so a custom shelf unit with fixed height shelves seems inevitable...

My Amish Paste are doing OK, but I was underwatering. They are up to 2 quarts of water twice daily now, next feeding July 3 will be mostly fish meal. Hopefully 18 days later on July 21 I will have blossoms and 48 inch tall plants so I can stop with the nitrogen and feed P, K and Ca. So far first thing in the morning they are standing tall with no staking or string clips, and the already sprouted side shoots should be able to rest on the first horizontal wires of my cages once they get grown out.

Honestly, and this was a risk, they (the Amish Paste) seem a bit nonchalant about my first frost scheduled for Sept 1. My sister in California loves these for diced recipe ready, salsa and catsup, the three things I really hope to can. But we don't have any spare days for them to give me ripe fruit between last frost transplant and first frost harvest. And they are lolligagging. I would feel a lot better today if they were each about 8 inches taller.

I know I am obsessing on them. I am pushing the limits on feeding. I was giving them one gallon once daily with late afternoon leaf curl, but they were both dribbling water out of the bottom of their planters, so I moved to half a gallon twice daily with no drips out the bottom. I am going to try to move to half a gallon each three times daily with the next feed on July 3, but solstice was last week, winter is coming and these guys need to get a move on. I just decided to move to half a gallon each three times daily tonight. I just took the attached, and I still have late afternoon leaf curl even though both have had a full gallon in divided doses with no drips already today.

I know I am rolling the dice on these with my short season (zone 1). I have a little bit of purple staining on the lowest leaves and the stem, but no outright burning from over feeding. I was sweating after the first post transplant feeding on June 16th. I was afraid I may have over fed, but they are doing OK. For me to get ripe fruit, they need to be doing awesome/ excellent.

Winter is coming. This is why I stopped reading the Game of Thrones books before the TV series even started. I have no desire to invade Idaho or Texas, I just want my local ducks in a row.

View attachment 296624

Welcome into the Garden thread Poindexter!

Luckily, a few years back we bought one of those heavy-duty double-sided grocery store shelves from a store going out of business (6 feet high x 8 feet long with adjustable shelves on both sides). We set it up in the basement, and all our canning equipment, empty and full jars fit on it. However, since we bought our dehydrator and freeze dryer, we are not doing as much canning. Wow! $2.00 a pop for new jars! We can get them here for less than a dollar new, but we don't need anymore. Guess everything is more expensive in Alaska because of the shipping costs to get it there.

I have never grown Amish Paste; I usually grow San Marzanos for sauce. We freeze them as they ripen and then process them all at once after the season is over. We have a gazillion of those little 1lb cole slaw/potato/macaroni salad containers. Each one is enough for one meal for the both of us.

I can see why you are pushing the fertilizing limits and stressing. Growing in Fairbanks must be real tough trying to get things to maturity with the very short growing season.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,368
Texas
I didn't have any luck with cotton in the aerogarden. I inlet tried it once though.

A skunk is considered an omnivore, but is meat biased. I'd be real surprised if he goes after the plants. He might be after a tasty grub under them though.

No, the skunk isn’t going after the plants. It’s just that when he’s going after grubs, beetles, toads, skinks, or what have you, he often tears up roots or plants. He also apparently likes marshmallows better than hard boiled egg as he waltzed right into my trap last night, ate the marshmallows, sampled the egg but didn’t eat it, and walked right out without triggering the door. I tapped the trigger plate lightly this morning, and it sprang shut, so that’s one lightweight or talented skunk.

Here are some of the best photos from the game camera, but there are actually no photos of an animal actually entering the garden. After this photo of the skunk facing the fence (about to squeeze through), the camera didn’t catch anything till a few hours had passed. (The date and time stamp are wrong, but it gives an idea of the four hour gap.). The first two photo are from the night before last when there was lots and lots of digging in the garden. I can see the skunk clearly, but I’m not sure he did the damage.

8A33B0EF-9FF0-46B2-9C6F-9EDFD10F0A78.jpeg

I think this next picture is of an armadillo. There were huge holes in three garden beds two nights ago. It could be a skunk tail, though, I suppose. What do you all think?

B3BCA07B-7522-4247-A9A9-9B9F3E6B9A48.jpeg


The next four photos are all from last night. The camera didn’t capture the skunk entering the garden, but it shows him having a little snack in the trap, then proceeding to the garden beds to dig up his main course. The holes weren’t as bad this morning as they were yesterday, but I still had onions dislodged and a watermelon seedling (in the other garden area) dug up.
E5ACF543-E633-4F45-A016-EAA0F0EF1298.jpeg AD12EF95-92C8-4A76-B5ED-0DC2CE818075.jpeg 732A880B-9732-4EBD-ACBE-FFE32E877450.jpeg CE5F38AB-0746-401C-AE7C-D0E7917E9D6E.jpeg

This last photo of the skunk facing the fence was the last one from the overnight hours. I’m wondering if he just slips in and out through the 2” x 3” holes.


It’s really hard to capture the depth of the digging in these holes, but each one goes a good 8 to 12 inches down. There wasn’t much hurt in the first spot since it had been dug yesterday as well, so I had already brought in the onions. I don’t think you can see it in the second photo, but down at the bottom of the hole underneath the watermelon root, there was the shell of a beetle. I know the skunk isn’t trying to hurt the plants; it’s just a byproduct of his digging.
E1F2077C-B002-4412-BA5B-9F5A2736DF1B.jpeg 6DEE050C-F87C-4FEF-A9EA-C693468EAB2B.jpeg

Because I’m watering my garden, and the rest of the land is so dry, it makes sense that it’s a haven for bugs and beetles, and all sorts of grubs, frogs and toads, lizards and skinks. I guess I’m just luring the critters to this spot as much as I try to keep them out.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,368
Texas
@Poindexter , here’s a shot of the remnants of some of my canning from last summer. We are blessed to have a good-sized walk-in panty here in Texas, but it’s not cool storage in the summer.

FEFE7549-00CB-4770-A3F5-7DA8D079D74A.jpeg

I can’t remember where I bought these folding wire racks, but I have had them for twenty years or more, and I use them in my kitchen cabinets for dishes and jar storage as well as in the pantry. They can actually lock together to stack one on top of the other if needed. They fit both pints and cups, and I haven’t canned much in quarts since I never had a pot big enough for that.

I was actually able to get a pressure canner on a good sale over the winter and an induction burner to use under it more recently. I had big plans to can lots of tomato products and green beans this summer, but the drought and high heat in Texas have meant that my garden is not producing as it has in years past. It’s quite discouraging.

I’m starting more seeds now inside in an attempt to grow some transplants for a fall season, but fall isn’t usually as productive as spring for me, though this spring was pretty much a bust.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
Honestly, and this was a risk, they (the Amish Paste) seem a bit nonchalant about my first frost scheduled for Sept 1. My sister in California loves these for diced recipe ready, salsa and catsup, the three things I really hope to can. But we don't have any spare days for them to give me ripe fruit between last frost transplant and first frost harvest. And they are lolligagging. I would feel a lot better today if they were each about 8 inches taller.
Amish Paste tomatoes like to take their time. Most paste tomatoes do. 90+ days is not uncommon for them to reach full yield. You might want to check out Jutland which is about 65 days. FWIW, we toss in regular tomatoes (Early Girl, Celebrity, and this year Abraham Lincoln) with our paste tomatoes (Pomidoro Squisto & Blue Beech this year) for a killer sauce. They are baked with garlic, onion, and seasoning, then pureed in the food processor. Easy and delicious.
I have a question about canning. Specifically, where do store all the darn jars?
We store our canned goods in our pit basement. It stays about 55-60º there year-round. They are on a 4 shelf shelving unit.

If you get a chance, can you share some shots of your greenhouse setup?
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
We mostly stopped canning when we got the big freezer. Canning is so much work! I almost canned some rhubarb marmalade, but didn’t quite get there, lol.


When I really need to catch a skunk and I can’t trap on a path or hole I first use little Debbie stuffed oatmeal cookies. They’re cheap and skunks can’t resist. Also good for opossum and raccoons.

Next sardines. They are easy to store in a truck and are cheap.

Finally, if all else fails or I think somebody has trapped or widened up an animal to traps, I’ll stop at KFC for lunch and use the fried chicken bones.

Now your skunk’s behavior is interesting. He went in the trap, but didn’t step on the pan. It sounds like someone has caught him before. Grab a black contractor bag and dump your bait in the bottom. Then set your trap and slide it in the bag. Tge bag mimics a den and makes them comfortable. It’s also dark in there so they can’t see as well. The bag will concentrate the smell, and put it out of the animal’s reach. This will often work with a hard to catch animal. I’ve heard of people placing the bait under the trap and even under the pan. I haven’t done this. We’ll, maybe the bait in the bag is under the trap. Same idea either way.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire

These were only $1.79 when I started trapping. Careful, there addictive.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,716
Fairbanks, Alaska
@begreen , no greenhouse yet. I started seeds indoors April 3rd, two seeds in each of two clear solo cups. I drilled a hole in the bottom of each so I could water from below. They were in the upper level dining room with my wife's plants as seedlings, south facing glass sliding door is in the room.

Once I had two true leaves on all four seedlings, I culled the two slackers, and then buried my more aggressive plant in each solo cup up to its true leaves to get some more root growth going.

Transplanted outdoors June 1. I cut a clean 55 gallon drum in half to make two 27 gallon planters, and have a moderate quality tomato cage in each one. In six weeks or so when it starts to cool off, I will use some I don't know what yet to build a frame around each planter and then cover the frame with firewood kiln membrane to make an individual greenhouse over each plant. Alternatively I could drag the planters into the garage and hammer on them with some grow lights. Just depends on how far along they are. I could very well be making the most expensive compost ever this summer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
I'd make one greenhouse for the two plants side by side. The more heat storing mass in the greenhouse the better.
 
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,716
Fairbanks, Alaska
FWIW, we toss in regular tomatoes (Early Girl, Celebrity, and this year Abraham Lincoln) with our paste tomatoes (Pomidoro Squisto & Blue Beech this year) for a killer sauce.
Yessir. I came at this when I got flooded with patients having poor baseline nutrition and undesirable clinical outcomes a couple years ago.

I shoot for my little lambs to have three vegetables daily, one each from the "gimme group" (iceberg, corn, peas, potato), one serving from the leafy green group (broccoli, spinach, parsley, basil, cauliflower counts) and one from the pretty colors group. That is a major improvement in nutrition for the folks that ended up on my census.

There is no known vegetable in the pretty color group that does well up here. Red yellow and orange bell peppers, tomato, carrot, purple cabbage, that kind of stuff. The process drug on and on and on, you lived through it too; and I got pretty focused on tomato.

There are a few varieties of this and that developed at the university level with no doubt some federal assistance that will produce food in climate zone 1, but in general they don't taste as good as the parental lines from down south.

I found all the store bought tomato in town have a countertop life of about 48 hours tops. The heirloom varieties from Mexico at the co-op market can sometimes last 72 hours. My mom's tomato, and my grandma's tomato would last a 5 days easy on the kitchen window ledge over the sink, with sun beating down on them, and they tasted better than the current store bought ones too.

I can talk people into eating salsa. I can talk people into using catsup. While fooling with the store bought varieties, (red, vine ripened and Roma) I too prefer to mix tomato variety or breed or species or etc in one pot for most things. But for best flavor and best nutrition, I am convinced one of the tomato in the pot needs to be something I can't buy in stores around here.

EarlyGirl is a variety that keeps coming up for me in search after search and will probably be the next variety I try. We have had pretty good luck with the SuperSweet 100 cherry tomato up here. I get the best yield when I have three plants in about a 20 gallon pot and they are competing with each other. SS100s are fabulous off the vine, just stand at the plant and eat them one at a time, but they don't keep well for me.

Tomato is not a silver bullet for good nutrition. I can get people that don't like vegetables to eat it (salsa and catsup), but really a variety of colorful vegetables is the better choice. I saw an organically grown orange bell pepper, a male with only three lobes showing at the base, at Kroger, less than a week ago, for $5. I am not talking anybody on a fixed income into buying that. If you love bell peppers you already know the females with four lobes at the base are the sweeter food.
 
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,716
Fairbanks, Alaska
@DuaeGuttae , I suspect that little skunk might have gotten a little backrub walking through the rectangular opening in your fence, but he probably didn't need to exhale or "get skinny" to sashay on through.

You might try a single line of chicken wire at ground level to keep the little ones like that out. I haven't tried it. The more attractive your garden is, the harder they will work to get through your fence. With the drought outside your garden, you will probably have more critters on your trail cams soon.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
@DuaeGuttae , I suspect that little skunk might have gotten a little backrub walking through the rectangular opening in your fence, but he probably didn't need to exhale or "get skinny" to sashay on through.

You might try a single line of chicken wire at ground level to keep the little ones like that out. I haven't tried it. The more attractive your garden is, the harder they will work to get through your fence. With the drought outside your garden, you will probably have more critters on your trail cams soon.

Blueberries and brambles are coonsidered fruit, but are pretty colorful. They also mature early.

Will rhubarb grow up there? Asparagus?

You may have best luck growing cherry and grape sized tomatoes. They tend to set fruit and ripen faster.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,368
Texas
It rained again, and it rained a lot! We got over an inch in the garden through the shade cloth. The gutters on the house couldn’t keep up, and my rain tanks all together probably got 1,500 gallons added to them. Can you hear me singing and shouting for joy? The whole landscape already looks greener and so refreshed.

We couldn’t set the trap last night because of storms, but the little skunk must have sashayed right through the fence again and decided he wanted the remnants of the hard boiled egg. (Perfect verb, @Poindexter.) Even though I had left the door closed, he got it out the back. He didn’t do much digging in that area, though, but went and visited my other garden and dug two deep holes, thankfully where he didn’t disturb too many roots. He or one of his friends and relations also visited my neighbors’ garden last night which is also fenced like Fort Knox.

I have some really thick poly mesh that I’m thinking of attaching at the base. I’m wondering if they’ll just climb it, though, to get higher to go into the holes. We also have some fencing wire we can use, but we can’t cover all six feet of both gardens at this point.

We do plan to try the contractor trash bag over the trap this evening if we can, though we haven’t bought any Oatmeal Creme Pies. I hope my kids haven’t finished up the marshmallows in the pantry. I do have lots of chicken bones that I store in the freezer for broth, and I could get some of those out.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,368
Texas
Amish Paste tomatoes like to take their time. Most paste tomatoes do. 90+ days is not uncommon for them to reach full yield. You might want to check out Jutland which is about 65 days. FWIW, we toss in regular tomatoes (Early Girl, Celebrity, and this year Abraham Lincoln) with our paste tomatoes (Pomidoro Squisto & Blue Beech this year) for a killer sauce. They are baked with garlic, onion, and seasoning, then pureed in the food processor. Easy and delicious.

We store our canned goods in our pit basement. It stays about 55-60º there year-round. They are on a 4 shelf shelving unit.

If you get a chance, can you share some shots of your greenhouse setup?

I quoted Begreen, but this is really directed at @Poindexter .

I haven’t grown Amish Paste, though I know that many folks who do rave about its qualities for sauce. I also don’t know Jutland, but I was thinking that choosing much shorter days to maturity would be wise. Even though we have a huge number of frost free days down here, tomatoes don’t do well in our hottest times, so we really have two short seasons in the spring and the fall. Cherry tomatoes do best, and larger beefsteaks do the worst. I’m still on a hunt for the best sauce tomato for me.

One tomato I have been very pleased with this year is “Taste Patio” from Artisan Seeds. It’s a small variety, and the tomatoes are the size of chicken eggs. They’re juicy tomatoes more so than paste tomatoes, but they have produced more abundantly than any of my others, and I have two planted together in a large pot. I’d rather have to cook down a sauce a little more than try to grow a plant that doesn’t produce in my climate. I’m not saying that they would be good for you, but I think it would be worth looking around for a quicker maturing variety that still has good flavor.

BC3400FB-4814-4EDA-B52C-8A6FFB5553DB.jpeg

Here’s a photo of my Taste Patio tomatoes (with a few others mixed in). I picked them blushing before the rain, so they’re ripening on my counter. I don’t have enough to make sauce for storing, but I might cook some up for pasta later on.

If you’re interested in pursuing less well-known but well-reviewed varieties that have been bred for cold, you could look up Karen Olivier’s True North Tomatoes. She has developed at least a couple of lines of tomatoes, and the True North Variety was developed when she lived in Zone 3 in Canada, I think. She’s now on Vancouver Island, I believe. The True North Tomatoes have names like Tundra, Taiga, Polaris, and maybe True Colors. Most are heart-shaped and really meaty by the reports I’ve read. I’m growing Taiga this year for the first time, and I’m impressed that it has set fruit at all in the horrible heat we’ve been having.

There’s also Mark Oathout (I think) of Mid Valley Garden and Greenhouse in Alaska who developed a tomato called Matsu Express. I don’t know much about it other than that it is a beefsteak type, but maybe if you can reach out to him, he might have a suggestion for what would do well in your climate.

I wonder also if you could grow your transplants a lot bigger before setting them out after danger of frost has passed. It took me a while to adjust to that idea down here in Texas, but it has worked for me in years when we’re not in exceptional drought.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
Our sauce tomato season is not long either. That is why the Pomodoro Squisito has worked out well for us. It is a san marzano style tomato but more prolific, earlier, and with less blossom end rot. They yield well in about 70 days vs 85 days for the Amish Paste.
We also grow Blue Beech, even though they are 85 day paste tomatoes because the flavor is so good. They were consistently picked out in a taste test when we compared them with Amish Paste and others. The tomatoes are large and low seed and very prolific.

If you like a big slicer tomato that is early, try Better Boy or if you like a Brandywine style, Burpee's Brandy Boy. We had a 2-pound Brandy Boy tomato one year.
 
Last edited:

Dan Freeman

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2021
455
NE PA
rumble.com
It rained again, and it rained a lot! We got over an inch in the garden through the shade cloth. The gutters on the house couldn’t keep up, and my rain tanks all together probably got 1,500 gallons added to them. Can you hear me singing and shouting for joy? The whole landscape already looks greener and so refreshed.

We couldn’t set the trap last night because of storms, but the little skunk must have sashayed right through the fence again and decided he wanted the remnants of the hard boiled egg. (Perfect verb, @Poindexter.) Even though I had left the door closed, he got it out the back. He didn’t do much digging in that area, though, but went and visited my other garden and dug two deep holes, thankfully where he didn’t disturb too many roots. He or one of his friends and relations also visited my neighbors’ garden last night which is also fenced like Fort Knox.

I have some really thick poly mesh that I’m thinking of attaching at the base. I’m wondering if they’ll just climb it, though, to get higher to go into the holes. We also have some fencing wire we can use, but we can’t cover all six feet of both gardens at this point.

We do plan to try the contractor trash bag over the trap this evening if we can, though we haven’t bought any Oatmeal Creme Pies. I hope my kids haven’t finished up the marshmallows in the pantry. I do have lots of chicken bones that I store in the freezer for broth, and I could get some of those out.
So happy to hear you got a good rainfall!!!!!
 
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Dan Freeman

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2021
455
NE PA
rumble.com
Worked on digging out more of the pond this morning for about 3 hours. Then, I treated the 3 knockout roses with the BioAdvanced Rose and Flower Treatment. Looking forward to seeing how well this product works. I spent 1 1/2 hours watering. After that, I split the rest of the firewood I have on hand. I have almost 1/2 of what we will need for next winter. Waiting for my wood guy to drop off another cord. Totally pooped! I'm sure I'll fall asleep within a short time after dinner.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,368
Texas
@Poindexter, I remembered more thoughts about tomatoes while I was handling lunchtime here.

While cherry tomatoes grow the best for me, I found last summer that my family does not really enjoy salsa made from them. It was too sweet for us. We did use them in a fresh pasta sauce that we enjoyed, though.

Fred Hempel of Artisan Seeds (the breeder of the Taste Patio tomato that I mentioned above) works with a lot of restaurants and caterers in his area to develop tomatoes that suit their needs. Two things that he concentrates on, therefore, are flavor and good shelf life. I’ve grown Madera cherry tomatoes, and they do keep well. I’ve not grown his hybrid slicers, but I’ve read good reviews of them. Every so often his shop runs a special where you can get a variety of packs for a much cheaper price. That’s how I got several new varieties in including Karen Olivier’s Taiga last summer. I was excited to try Marzano Fire as a paste tomato this year. Unfortunately I’m having a particularly bad growing year, and it’s getting a lot of blossom end rot.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,368
Texas
Worked on digging out more of the pond this morning for about 3 hours. Then, I treated the 3 knockout roses with the BioAdvanced Rose and Flower Treatment. Looking forward to seeing how well this product works. I spent 1 1/2 hours watering. After that, I split the rest of the firewood I have on hand. I have almost 1/2 of what we will need for next winter. Waiting for my wood guy to drop off another cord. Totally pooped! I'm sure I'll fall asleep within a short time after dinner.

The past two days I’ve taken naps before dinner after working outside in the mornings.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
That rain sounds like an incredible Blessing! Your water tanks were almost empty I think! Just in time!


We’re supposed to get some hot weather coming up. I’m not looking forward to it. I think everything is well rooted in, but we haven’t had any real heat stress on them yet.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
Things are catching up. We are finally seeing a few small green tomatoes forming. Yay! The broccoli harvest is about done. Peas are coming in steadily along with cucumbers. Picked 3 big cukes today, 2 yesterday. More on the way. There are small squashes on the delicata, butternut, and zucchinis. The cantaloupe has lots of blooms and I think I see some female starts there. Corn is about waist high. Some peppers forming, mostly bell style, but also some melrose. Eggplant has flowers. Welcome summer.
 

Dan Freeman

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2021
455
NE PA
rumble.com
@begreen Looks like you may actually be ahead of us now. While we have had a few ripe tomatoes (6, 3 of which the chipmunks took bites out of), neither any our peas nor our cucumbers are big enough to pick, yet. No squash (acorn or butternut) yet. No blooms yet on our cantaloupes. Our peppers and eggplants are doing well, but I grow them in the greenhouse. Our onions, beets and turnips are looking good, and I plan to start harvesting some of them in the next 10 days or so. Mornings lately have been in the low 50's, and I don't think we have had an afternoon temperature above 90. Very unusual for it almost being the 4th of July.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
That's our normal summer weather. Lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s. We have a bit longer days due to the higher latitude which probably helps out. I got the green beans in late, they are just sprouting out of the ground now. Fortunately, they grow quickly. Carrots are late too, just forming their first true leaves. The tomatoes have recovered enough from the multiple deer mutilations that I am able to start pruning them back a bit.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,368
Texas
That rain sounds like an incredible Blessing! Your water tanks were almost empty I think! Just in time!


We’re supposed to get some hot weather coming up. I’m not looking forward to it. I think everything is well rooted in, but we haven’t had any real heat stress on them yet.

It was a blessing and just in time! I was going to run out of water this week, and I was going to have to decide whether to let the garden just die or not. (We do have a community well that allows restricted watering, but it probably wouldn’t have been enough, and it would have moved us to the next billing tier, so I think we really have would have let the garden die. I’m thankful I’m not faced with that at the moment.)

The skunk came back last night. We still haven’t gotten a shot of how he enters or leaves the garden, but we get plenty of shots of him digging. There may have been two skunks last night, or it may have just visited two times hours apart. I spent a lot of time this morning filling in very deep holes. I don’t think it even visited our trap where we had put some rotting compost that was full of soldier fly larvae. I thought it would be very enticing (to a skunk, not to me), I guess we need those Oatmeal Creme Pies.

Here’s a hole by one of my three corn stalks. I hope it can handle it. I filled it in with potting soil, because I’m out of aged compost, and there never seems to be enough soil in the beds to replace what was dug out. (I was particularly upset to find digging like this in my asparagus bed, too.)
9F3E22D4-D18F-408F-8748-84E95BEC028A.jpeg

Here’s the bed where I have a few onions to harvest and where I plan to transplant the corn that I’m starting inside. You can see why it’s not safe to put seeds in the ground till I’ve dealt with the skunks. I do have my first few sprouts on the corn, so that’s fun. I hope to have more than three in this second planting, but there are signs of more coming in the other cotton balls.
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Here’s my little indoor garden attempt. A salad mix that germinated more heavily than I expected. A zucchini plant, and three tiny za’atar sprouts hiding in the back. I finally got a stronger light hooked up over them. All the plants are leggy from not having enough light at the start, but they’re looking fairly happy inside.
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,368
Texas
That's our normal summer weather. Lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s. We have a bit longer days due to the higher latitude which probably helps out. I got the green beans in late, they are just sprouting out of the ground now. Fortunately, they grow quickly. Carrots are late too, just forming their first true leaves. The tomatoes have recovered enough from the multiple deer mutilations that I am able to start pruning them back a bit.

Begreen, I’m glad to hear your garden is recovering and taking off. I’d love more pictures!

Your normal summer weather sounds like our normal early April or late October, just about my favorite times of year down here.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
Your normal summer weather sounds like our normal early April or late October, just about my favorite times of year down here.
Yes, Texas in the spring and fall can be quite pleasant. I'm glad you finally got a break from the heat and dry spell.
 
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