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Thread: CityKitty's 2015 - 2020 garden Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-27-2020 03:31 PM
citykittyatheart My new plum tree seems pretty small but at least it's alive. I might have planted it too early in April; it was a 65F day that promptly went down into the 40s for a good month, and the tree might be forever stunted. Hopefully there's been lots more action below ground. It's been 4-5 years and I'm still dreaming of my own plums.

The new plantings, taken today. I emptied many of my deck pots there and raked the soil around. The new lavender plant can be seen, far right. Hopefully it works out better than the Liatris and the St John's wort. I hedged my bets on the other side of the house though.

The price of not checking my companion planting charts! By the time whatever was left of the kohlrabi left the soil and my tomatoes took off, it was too late. I got some tomatoes, including a bowl of green ones today, but not nearly what nine plants should have produced. There were many flowers and small set fruits today when I cleared everything out too. Oh well. Lesson learned.

The rest of the deck soil usually goes into my raised beds. I add fertilizer every year too since obviously the nutrients have been pretty well consumed, and this year will buy a micronutrient fertilizer as well. This occurred to me while considering my tiny plant problems; we all know about NPK but there are ten micronutrients that also matter. I add calcium from egg shells every year but I haven't done much to add Mn, Mg, Bn, or any of the others. I will fix this. Bonus finds: a 50' soaker hose that I didn't remember having and some cover crop seed. This is what I get for decluttering! Soaker hose is hard to find around here this year and if I don't have to spend money, this is also good. Next time I'll be more careful to not prong my hose when I'm using the hand tiller! Ugh.

My bowl of green tomatoes. We'll see what ripens inside and maybe try fried green tomatoes with the rest.

Looks like some volunteer cat nip has established. My cats will be thrilled! They hate store-bought now that they've had the real thing.

A friend brought over a laundry basket full of crab apples from her tree. No time like the present to turn them into applesauce! I also rotated out some apples from 2012, which weren't good anymore despite the jars being sealed. It was harsh to toss them but really, if I wouldn't eat them, then they serve no purpose other than education. I have one last dozen of cole slaw to toss also. Those looked so good when I canned them! But they simply haven't kept well and shelf space is for good food, not old lessons.

18 1/2 pints. And I do remove the rings before storing them. One jar didn't seal so I conducted some QC, and the sauce is good! Much better use of space then the old jars that mice have crawled on.

Garlic was planted a couple of weeks ago, and I push anything back down into the soil that the chipmunks have dug up. I wish I could shoot the chipmunks, or that the possum would take care of them at least. Shooting would freak my neighbors and is technically against city ordinance anyway. I don't remember the varieties; Music is one, and the other one from last year plus one big mystery bulb from some I bought at the farmer's market.

To end it on a pleasing note, the bees enjoying my calamintha. There are always at least six flying around in there, and the butterflies seem to enjoy it too.

And so I end this year's blog. I may pop in if there's anything to report on the potatoes, and I'll likely see all of you as I enjoy your gardens. Here it's only a matter of time before the hard freeze and snow, and I'll enjoy living vicariously in the South with your year-around growing season. Until then, I finish my blog for the year as I always do:

09-27-2020 03:00 PM
citykittyatheart Deck, parte deux:

Kidney beans dying back, under Morty's supervision of course. Those old seeds actually did pretty well; remember, I planted exactly six seeds per bean pot. The old seeds are in the eating jar and new seed is in the tin. Next year I might do just three plants per container since they were all pretty root-bound. Less is more. I get this now.

Carrots before I pulled them. I had, in addition to four varieties of carrots, four varieties of greens (ate one spinach salad), two pumpkins (got one cup of puree) and four watermelons (nada.) Next year I might focus on carrots only, and give them more room to grow. One likely reason for small carrots, in addition to the above, was not enough thinning. I will chant it like a mantra: Less Is More!

My earth boxes, with rapini that's more than one month old. That's grown much better in those! I should have had enough to freeze in fact. Unfortunately, the rains collect in the reservoir at the bottom (second picture) and the soil is continually wet, which obviously impedes plant growth. This might be a job for my drill.

My deck always looks so lonely after I clean it off. All that's left now is the two earth boxes for the Great Winter Potato experiment, after that Back Woods Home article Weedinhoe shared. I amended the soil with some fertilizer and used the not yet dried bean plants for insulation, plus my deck is twelve feet off of the ground. Of course, my winters are a bit colder than theirs, so we'll see what happens. I got that going today so the plants will have time to get established before the subzero temps hit. If this works for garlic, maybe it'll work for potatoes. If nothing else, all I've lost is eight small ones that I couldn't use for cooking anyway.

On to the lower garden.
09-27-2020 03:00 PM
citykittyatheart Greetings fellow prepper gardeners! I've cleaned out my garden today, sadly, and it's time for the long-promised update. With pictures! I've been a very busy cat and while there are a few things that still need doing, for the most part, gardening season is over. I got it all in just before today's rain started too! So perhaps Mother Nature is blessing my efforts. This is going to be a bit of a long post, just so you're warned. I've learned quite a bit this year, which makes up for the lack of my home-grown stuff in my own pantry. As always, I'm grateful for farmer backup. If I did anything right this year, opting for the weekly CSA box was it. Also buying whatever I could from him, which includes two extra end-of-season boxes. We've got an extra dose of uncertainty for next year, so I might as well take advantage of my opportunities while I can.

First, my deck. We've had one light frost here already with another forecast for this week, so beans and carrots were dying off. Time to harvest what there is.

I pulled the purple koronis a couple of weeks ago, as I might have mentioned on a different thread. I've saved seed from that one and it'll be back next year. I've got nearly a quart jar full of beans, and they're largely PK. Yeah OK so that's technically lower garden. So sue me!

This is the Spanish toloscana from a few days ago. Once they kicked into gear they produced pretty well. I had to harvest all of the remaining pods today so it's a good thing I save the first pods for seeds, as very few of today's were mature enough. I got a few though. Also the carrots. I got a few of OK size but most were really small. Not sure why; cold weather and poor soil, perhaps.

Two of these teeny tiny melons are the closest I've gotten to eating my own watermelon! The funk that got all of my curcurbits got these too. At one point I just gave up spraying and they stopped growing. These were the yellow melon. The red never even got this far. As I remember, this is why I stopped growing them, but I suppose the situation made me a bit nuts too. I tried growing a bunch more than usual, and didn't get much for my trouble other than an education.

One of the melons split and when I cut it open, this is what I found. There was some mature seed but I hesitate to use it, since many fungi can exist in the seed. Septoria is good for that too. So as much as I hate to pull things, I got over it and pulled it. It's not productive of anything other than disease so why bother. This represents some corrected thinking on my part. If it's not producing, it's gone. A growing, living, but not productive plant can live in the house.

Potatoes just before I dug them. They always fall over in these bags, and I'm wondering if I'm planting them deep enough. When I dug them I also discovered that I water like a noob. The soil towards the bottom was pretty dry. Next season I'm going to make more use of the 5 gal bucket, kind of like a big measuring cup. Hopefully that will work better.

My haul. Also pictured is my salsa and spicy pickled beets. A few jars here and there may not be my idea of pantry porn, but it's added up pretty well.

My poor red hidatsas! They never did come back from the aphid infestation. They're a write-off this year. They're usually a pretty good producer too.

Continued in next post.
09-20-2020 12:15 AM
Originally Posted by citykittyatheart View Post
I have been taking pictures and I promise I’ll post them when I have more time. I’ll do an overview of the many things I’ve learned this year too.
Looking forward to it!
09-19-2020 09:30 PM
citykittyatheart Greetings fellow gardeners! I thought I’d pop in and say hello, and catch you all up with another quickie post.

It was 33 degrees this morning, which is a strong hint that the end is nigh so get it done! I have a bunch of green tomatoes on my vines too. We’re supposed to have better weather for a week or so but I doubt the tomatoes will ripen totally before the hard frost. It’s just a matter of how ripe they can get before I have to pull them.

Purple koronis beans are pulled, as are the kidney beans and red hidatstas. That latter never did come back enough from the aphids. The Spanish toloscanas have a few nice pods on the vine. My carrots are the only other thing left on the deck. I’ve been emptying containers a few at a time and spreading the soil around. Heck the diseases are here to stay so I might as well use the soil. I’m prepared for next year with suppressant measures for the leather rot, and will be right on top of things should Septoria rear its ugly head. I did save my tomatoes from that at least. I’ll remember the part about no kohlrabi in with the tomatoes for a good, long time.

Garlic and lavender are in, and the rehabilitation area looks just fine. I think it’ll die back and overwinter in good, healthy fashion. I’m glad to have the new defense hedge establish well. The old area seems happier too, even though blackberry is constantly coming up there. The rose is happier. Let the comfrey fight the blackberry. Those two are pretty invasive.

I processed some free crab apples into 18 1/2 pints of sauce, and added another gallon freezer bag of veggies and two cups of pumpkin purée to my stores. It’s adding up, even these little bits! I also rotated some old stuff out of my pantry dated 2012 and no good anymore. So I’ve learned that some fruit lends themselves better to sauce and other, firmer fruit works well for canning whole. I’ve also learned that just because the jar is still sealed doesn’t mean the food inside is good. The stuff smelled iffy and that’s good enough for me! When in doubt, throw it out. I’ve had food poisoning and once was enough, thank you very much. I also learned about chili hands a few weeks back. Definitely once is enough on that one. Yikes! I thought my hands were on fire!

So more book indexing work tomorrow and a hopeful trip to the Wednesday market for pears and more pumpkin. I don’t have any classes scheduled for a few weeks so I can concentrate on the last of the garden goodies and the more lucrative work. Hopefully I’ll be able to clean my house soon because the dust is thick and stuff is lying everywhere! Winter, post-garden chore. Priorities, people.

I have been taking pictures and I promise I’ll post them when I have more time. I’ll do an overview of the many things I’ve learned this year too. Until then, happy gardening! May our pantries and our hearts be full.
09-12-2020 09:27 PM
citykittyatheart Hello there out in prepper gardening land! I’ve been working my butt off with little time to blog, but I have time for a quick update before bed. I’ll work on pictures. I have been taking them just no time to post.

I’ve been racing to beat an early winter here. So far I’ve dug my potatoes and will plant some lavender tomorrow. Garlic in a week or so unless I feel motivated to do it tomorrow, and while I’m planting tomorrow I’ll probably pull the purple koronis beans. Those have been nicely prolific and will be back next year, but we’ve already had a couple of frosty nights and they’re dying off. I’m sure the chipmunk burrow in that bed isn’t helping them. Tomatoes have been setting fruit but I’m not sure how much will ripen before the hard freeze, which is usually around October 10. I wouldn’t put it past Mother Nature to be early this year either; that’s the forecast, which is why I’m thinking garlic. I’ve canned small amounts of meat sauce, salsa, and beets, as in nine, seven, and six pints respectively. Hardly pantry porn but better than nothing. I have some small pumpkins to purée and I’m looking for more. I have two more farmers markets and six more CSA boxes, so I’m hoping for peaches, pears, and a few more pumpkins. Some winter squash would be nice too. I’ve been trying to avoid the market but looks like I’ll have to one more time. And I’ll take what I can find; accept what the garden gives. This is better than an empty belly.

My deck is mostly done except for two bean pots and my carrots; I want to clean out the empty pots but it’s been so rainy here and the soil is too heavy and outside work no fun. The rapini I planted in two earth boxes is barely one meals worth! Man! I can see one or two bags of bad potting soil but ten? Crazy! My grand plans for my garden have come to much less than I could wish for. If not for my CSA my pantry would be nearly empty! Oh well. At least I have that, and therefore some food in my pantry. And if I have to buy more, oh well. I’m grateful to have both opportunity and the money to take advantage of same. Can’t eat my pride and food is only going up. Anything I can put away now will only help even if it’s not my grandmother’s pantry. This has been a rough year and I’m not optimistic about the next one. While no stash will last forever, I’m better off than many.

Work has been flowing, so I’m taking all I can while I can. I haven’t been teaching much with the exception of this weekend; book indexing is deadline work and much more lucrative so I’m making hay while the sun shines. Those checks will screw my PUA for those weeks, which I call a good thing. I’d rather make my own money. Strange in this day & age, I know. I guess I was raised funny.

Anyway, time to sack. Morning comes early and I have ten kids to teach across four classes. Rumor has it that Antifa is planning to crash a pro-Trump flotilla cruising up the river tomorrow, which I call a good day to stay home and garden. Locked and loaded of course. Our mayor is a tool who plans to publicly welcome them, or so i hear. Yay. Happy gardening!
08-26-2020 08:44 AM
citykittyatheart We don't have constitutional carry but we do have castle doctrine, stand your ground, and no duty to retreat nonsense. The thing in Kenosha is related to sheer numbers. People are coming in from far away places, some of them by the busload, and the PD is simply being overwhelmed. The violence also has a distinct air of far more planning than the average ghetto dweller: bricks are being gathered and distributed by the van load, shields and helmets are being passed out on cue, and people with gas cans and fire crackers wander in great abundance. Obviously this begs the questions: who is funding these people? Who is the planning mind behind this stuff? It most certainly isn't the average porch monkey! Then there's the social media postings. Those reek of military-level psyops to me! But who am I but some dumb white alley cat whose micro-empire was built on the backs of slaves and white privilege, right? Sheesh.

I plan to stay safe. OPSEC and gray woman all the way, and you bet I carry an extra mag when I'm outside. It's a fool's dream that this crap isn't spreading across the country. I was reading an Organic Prepper article that discussed rumored plans to extend these activities to small towns as the election draws closer. This makes me wonder if there's even going to be an election in November. Granted that no matter who wins, half of the country is going to be angry and the legitimacy of the election will be called into question. But is no election a better outcome? I'm not sure.

Woe to the Republic my heart is breaking.
08-25-2020 10:36 PM
Originally Posted by citykittyatheart View Post
And I don't live in Kenosha. That's a bonus. Not that my home town is immune by any means. But at least they're not burning it down just yet, although racism is being declared a public health issue and our governor has declared another state of emergency over Kenosha. My heart goes out to the first responders/police, as well as the many small business and home owners who have had their places burned to the ground by peaceful protestors. From what I've read, many of them are black and minority-owned. Citizen militias have headed to Kenosha and Madison to help the PDs deal with things.
Please stay safe! Fortunately, we haven't had much of anything like that around here. Of course, that could be partly due to the fact that Oklahoma has:

Constitutional Carry
Castle Doctrine Laws
Stand Your Ground Laws

Since I live in a college town, there's been a little bit of foolishness come up occasionally. But so far, nothing serious that I'm aware of.
08-25-2020 08:38 PM
citykittyatheart Hey y'all

Just popping in for a quick update. As you know, boredom isn't a problem at the Cat House. The person around here who can't find nothing to do, never did nothing! And please don't come to visit. Cleaning has fallen by the wayside, except for the bare necessities. It's shameful, really. But it's garden season and a full pantry is more important than cleaning corners.

The Purple Koronis beans are coming in, and that's a nice producer. I've saved some seeds and it'll be back next year! I'm getting a few tomatoes, and now that the evil kohlrabi is gone from that bed, I'm seeing some new flowers. Hopefully those flowers will translate into tomatoes, but just in case, I've ordered a half bushel from my CSA guy. It seems rather shameful for a woman with nine plants to need outside help, but there it is. I might have to rotate the tomatoes out of that bed next year; it's been 4-5 years and I add both fertilizer and the potting soil from my deck to that bed every year, but the Great Wall of 'Maters is only halfway up the trellis and it's almost Labor Day! Surely that's not solely attributable to the kohlrabi. I guess it's just as well that asparagus didn't come up in one bed, so I have a place to move the tomatoes next year. Planting beans and peas into the big bed will help revive the soil. This time I'll check to see if they get along with kohlrabi.

I've been freezing veg as it comes in, and have lost count of all of the bags. More broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots mostly. Fruits get stored in my tummy although I'm keeping an eye out for my 25# peach order. Nice to see the freezer filling up, even if it's mostly from my CSA share. I can't eat my pride this winter, after all. Buying a full share plus his specials has been a good decision.

The deck garden has been a near total disaster this year. I'll get more potatoes, carrots, and a few beans, but that's about it. My two watermelon don't seem to be growing much and the plants look pretty sickly. Ditto the last pumpkin plant, which I might as well pull. This means one more trip to the farmer's market in a month or so for pumpkin and hopefully, pears. That'll be my second trip this year since the virus took all of the fun out of it. I'll have some rapini to munch on in a few more weeks as well. It all seems so little as compared to my grand plans in spring. Oh well.

But hey, I've had quite the refresher in plant disease and pest management! And I don't live in Kenosha. That's a bonus. Not that my home town is immune by any means. But at least they're not burning it down just yet, although racism is being declared a public health issue and our governor has declared another state of emergency over Kenosha. My heart goes out to the first responders/police, as well as the many small business and home owners who have had their places burned to the ground by peaceful protestors. From what I've read, many of them are black and minority-owned. Citizen militias have headed to Kenosha and Madison to help the PDs deal with things.

At least I have some work to keep my mind off of things. It's a sad shade of fall push, but I've got a couple of books to index. This time last year I'd pick my best 3-4 and be fielding requests beyond that, but not this year. My book indexing business is down 30%. Teaching and PUA has taken up some of that slack, and I've cut expenses accordingly. Proactive and effective leads to success in navigating interesting times.

I hope you're all well in prepper land Happy gardening! I'll try to do an update with pics at some point before the end of the season.
08-12-2020 10:33 AM
citykittyatheart A very quick update today. I dug one bag of the Desirae potatoes, since the plants were pretty much dead so I might as well dig them. I'm not impressed with the haul but it's better than nothing. Given the challenges I've had with my containers this year, I'm not really surprised. The plants in the other two bags are much healthier so I have my hopes.

Six more purple kohlrabis today! That leaves only two in the bed yet. These have actually grown pretty well and I just might grow them again next year. You can see some sugar snaps drying on the side for seed.

One of my Venus flytraps. It's been such a glutton that it turned green. Hey, at least the house fly population is down.

One of my pitcher plants, another glutton. You can see on the right a house fly getting ready to meet its fate.

Another day in Paradise. Happy gardening!
08-08-2020 04:44 PM
citykittyatheart The rehabilitation area has gotten to the point that I don't need to weed as diligently as before. I'm not sure I dare hope the thistles & garlic mustard are gone, since they're pretty hardy and I have them all over my yard. But all of the blackberry canes are growing and soon I'll have a nice, edible defensive hedge. The asparagus is still back there too.

Wide angle view of the tomato/kohlrabi bed. Things are looking good there, and I've pulled a couple of each out of there. My first tomato went into my short ribs and kohlrabi has been frozen with the squash. The purple stuff has a slightly hotter taste then the plain white variety. Prettier too.

This is how kohlrabi grows. It's our version of okra: something we grow up here regionally. It's very cold tolerant from what I've read. I'll have to keep that in mind for next year.

Tomatoes! Green is the Tye Die Red and black is the Cosmic Eclipse. My Chocolate Cherry is forming some nice ones too.

The Purple Koronis beans are producing nicely! I've already got a couple of seeds from a pod that I found on the ground. Looks like more and a few to munch won't be a problem. Thankfully.

Wide angle view of the beds. Asparagus seems happy, peas are dying off. I'll likely yank those peas soon, as soon as the pods are mature for the seed. That's another thing that just didn't produce as well as I'd hoped; not in the container or the bed. I got plenty of vine but not much peas. I'll have to look into that this winter.

New plum tree is growing, probably establishing its root system mostly. Hopefully I didn't stunt the poor thing permanently by planting it too early! I expect a dwarf tree to be small but still-this one has had a hard year. I don't think I saw a leaf until June!

Calamintha and roses are blooming nicely, except for those awful Japanese beetles. We need a nice, cold, -40 for a couple of months winter. That'll fix those grubs!

The rose in the half circle is growing back nicely, although both the comfrey and the lily are still vying for dominance. And I still find blackberry in there, which I mostly just cut down. I have plenty in the new area and it's just not worth the trouble to transplant anymore. But at least the rose isn't being shaded out any more. Crowded a bit but not shaded. One problem at a time I suppose.

Just for fun, this is one of my sundews (Drosera binata) flowering. My carnivores have actually been doing a pretty good job keeping the house fly population down. I'm having to spray a bit but not nearly as much as last year. My Venus flytrap and Sarracenia pitcher have been especially gluttonous. I even saw the flytrap take one a few weeks ago, which was pretty cool. Wish I'd had my phone handy!

Since I've been working my tail off, I treated myself to a couple more of those. This is Utricularia longifolia, a terrestrial bladderwort. Sadly, the traps are all located on the roots so I don't get to see them take insects. These may look plain now but they have really pretty purple flowers.

Drosera California Sunset, a D. filiformis hybrid. My sundews are gluttons on the smaller bugs. The bigger ones are able to break away, unfortunately. Those are the ones the flytrap and the pitchers take.

Off to the next chore! Feed my outdoor cats and likely clean up a cat mess. Morty is showing the signs of a cat who made a mess. And grab my laundry. Sigh. No life of leisure here! But at least I'm not bored.

Happy gardening! Can't believe it's August.
08-08-2020 04:21 PM
citykittyatheart It's another day in Paradise, and time for another update. With pictures even. I taught a full 50 kids this week, which is a record. Since I had no book indexing work, I scheduled classes past Labor Day. The money isn't as good as indexing, but it's better than earning no money at all! And now I've got indexing work until just past Labor Day. So I canceled the classes that didn't have kids enrolled and will teach the rest while getting my book projects done. At least I'm not bored!

First, the deck. Some of the stuff is still looking good, but my refresher course in plant pathology continues. The cucumbers have powdery mildew and since they're no longer flowering, I'll likely pull them. It rained pretty hard today or I'd have pulled them already.

This picture was taken 3-4 days ago. The other picture is from yesterday. I'll probably put more rapini in the container, but I want to check the soil and see if it's soaked down deep. That was a problem last year; these SWCs don't have the drainage that other pots have. If I'm not using the SWC feature I might drill some holes, because these are really nice, big containers.

I cut that zucchini back hoping the new leaves would continue to grow, and I might get more squash. No such luck. I'll likely pull that soon as well, and let the rapini I already planted in that pot take over. All total, I think I got perhaps 6-8 good squash between the two plants. Squash has a better reputation as a producer, so I'm attributing the poor yield to angular leaf spot and possible wet feet.

Aphids have hit my Red Hidatsa beans! They've been sprayed and are trying to flower, and I've moved the other bean pot further away. I am not happy.

Looks like that leaf spot likes beans too. Sigh.

Wide angle view of that corner; Hidatsas on the left, Toloscana on the right. Funigicide and distance matter, and after today's storms, I'll be spraying tomorrow. The hippie organic don't use fungicide farmers can kiss my kitty litter. I'd have nothing if I hadn't.

The red kidney beans in the opposite corner. They've been slow to get going but there are a few pods there. Hopefully I'll get some fresh seed at least.

Wide angle view of potato corners. Two pots on the right look good, pot on the far left looks like more Verticillium. Figures my expensive Desiraes would take up with a wilt! One pot anyway. I have two small pots of those. The russets went into the largest pot, far right. It's had its problems but has been behaving itself, at least for now.

Closeup of the wilted Desirae pot. I might well be digging these very soon. Usually we dig them up here in September anyway. What's a month early in the big scheme of things?

I didn't grab a picture of the VegTrug; the carrots are doing well in the middle, and I've planted catnip along the sides for my assistants. I still have two good-sized melons forming, about the size to fit well in my hand but not ready for picking yet. Those are the yellow ones; the red watermelon has only now put out its first flower. I've pulled one vine of melon because it too had leaf spot and wasn't putting out any more flowers. The remaining pumpkin vine has a few flowers on it so even though it's really small, I'm holding out hope for one more pumpkin. That won't save me a trip to the farmer's market though. I usually put up ten cups of pumpkin puree, not two. I like pumpkin hummus. And pumpkin bread. And I'm sure I could find other pumpkin recipes too. We're really fond of our pumpkin spice dishes up here.

Now on to the lower garden, and better news.
07-29-2020 08:40 PM
BrettTheOkie Glad to hear things are going well, overall!
07-29-2020 08:26 PM
citykittyatheart Just dropping in for a quick note It's been pretty crazy around here, getting a new income stream going. I'm glad I saw this coming back in May, but I still would've preferred to keep my old business and I wish the new one would grow faster. As would many others across this country.

Today I added 1 1/2 quart bags of cauliflower to my freezer, along with 2 bags of squash, one with my purple kohlrabi, and a small not quite ripe pumpkin that yielded 1 cup of puree. The angular leaf spot finally got that vine, but at least I got the one. Hopefully the other vine will produce; it's looking a bit healthier albeit very small for as old as it is. I started both of these in the house back in March. Is it just me, or does that seem like forever ago?

I have a couple more cucumbers on the vine, as well as some zucchini, but I'm thinking that the yellow squash is about done. The leaves have just laid down; they're still green but I suspect not for long. My Red Hidatsa beans have also yielded a few dried pods and look about done, which is odd. They usually last through the summer, and the other beans are still going strong. It looks like a very similar leaf spot as the squash next door has, and I've seen some nice, fat aphids as well. I have sprayed of course since the Red Hidatas are right next to the Spanish Toloscanas. Probably wouldn't hurt to move the pot, in fact.

Carrots are going strong and my yellow watermelons are still growing. Tomatoes are setting fruit nicely, and the Purple Koronis is just loaded! Sugar snap peas have a couple of flowers but the older parts of the plant are dying off so I grabbed a couple of mature pods for seed. Purple Passion asparagus is waving lazily in the wind. I've also given both strawberry beds a good dose of Captan, partly to use up what I had mixed and partly to kind of soak the ground underneath the plants. Die spores die! Sorry worms.

Above all things I'm glad that I ordered the weekly CSA box this year! Seriously, plant pathology is important but I'd really prefer a good yield. So far potatoes and the red kidney beans are looking good. I don't want to say too much though. Bean diseases are many

I am grateful for all of my blessings. Life could be worse.
07-23-2020 08:56 PM
citykittyatheart Yup, they sound like kin all right! Maybe it's just the chocolate tabby street cat genes. Morty also appears from out of nowhere when the potato chip bag crunches, and don't even get me started on ice cream! I have to eat that standing up or he'll climb right up my face to get it. That's even though I strongly discourage him too. And if I'm not quick enough to the food dish in the morning, he'll nip my leg to speed me up. He's never drawn blood yet but it's very startling, and hugely irritating! But I love him still. I don't know how I'd make my bed without him jumping into everything.
07-23-2020 01:57 PM
Originally Posted by citykittyatheart View Post
Yeah, Morty is a pretty common-looking fellow! Does Lester manage to stay always underfoot, like Morty does? Morty has an absolute talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and can't understand how he gets stepped on.
Lester is a busybody so yes, he does get under foot at times. If he's indoors he's got to know who is doing what and who has what in their food bowls. If he's outside he's pretty much on his on agenda.

Originally Posted by citykittyatheart View Post
He's also an unapologetic beggar. Even if it's food that no self-respecting cat would ever eat, such as lettuce or tomato, he watches each fork-full. He came into rescue as a stray pretty young, so he'd been on the mean streets and learned a few things. Like persistence LOL.
The only food thing that Lester gets frantic about is anything in a crinkly bag, like chips, etc. I keep a bag of pork skins on the shelf under the little table next to my recliner and when I bring that thing out at night, Lester can appear out of nowhere and want to stick his nose right in the bag. He thinks it's cat treats for him as those are kept next to the pork skins and the bag crinkling pretty much sounds the same. Persistence? Oh yeah....
07-23-2020 01:07 PM
citykittyatheart Yeah, Morty is a pretty common-looking fellow! Does Lester manage to stay always underfoot, like Morty does? Morty has an absolute talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and can't understand how he gets stepped on. He's also an unapologetic beggar. Even if it's food that no self-respecting cat would ever eat, such as lettuce or tomato, he watches each fork-full. He came into rescue as a stray pretty young, so he'd been on the mean streets and learned a few things. Like persistence LOL.
07-23-2020 10:55 AM
Originally Posted by citykittyatheart View Post

Everything's looking pretty good and you've gotten a lot of stuff for your efforts so far! The tomatoes here are just starting to make for kitchen work.

It looks like one of the cats here, Lester, has a twin at your house! I swear, Lester gets around. Cat food commercials and Lord knows what other enterprises he's gotten himself into. I see him everywhere!
07-23-2020 09:38 AM
citykittyatheart The Purple Koronis plants are producing like anything! I'm very pleased at the number of pods forming and how big those pods are. That was the last of my seed, which of course I'll be fixing at harvest time. I'd read that these are great producers and indeed they are!

Wider view of the two beds. Asparagus in one bed is growing nicely. Sugar snap peas are almost done, so I've been taking seed from them. The two cohabitated nicely, plus the nitrogen fixing quality of the legumes in good for the beds. I've read that asparagus is a very heavy feeder.

Tomatoes are setting nicely. These are the Tie Dye Pink. My Great Wall of 'Maters is halfway up the trellis, and no sign of nasty Septoria. You can bet I'm keeping a sharp eye though.

The Cosmic Eclipse. The picture on the package wasn't a black tomato but whatever. As long as they're a yummy tomato. And prolific.

Wide angle view of the bed with my ten remaining purple kohlrabi. Oregano has bolted so the pollinators are happy. I've dried as much as I need for the year.

New plum is coming along. Planting it too early in the cold weather might well have stunted it though. We'll see.

Rehabilitation area. All blackberry canes are sprouting leaves nicely. Bloody dock is hanging in there and the onions are growing. I actually pulled one onion when I made the pickles a few weeks back. It was small at the time but enough for the recipe. The volunteer asparagus is still back there, as is a volunteer comfrey.

The area I moved the blackberry from. The rose is happier; the comfrey and lily are vying for supremacy and will also crowd out the rose if I let them. Comfrey is an amazingly poorly behaved plant. Seriously, it's nice to have as a medicinal but I hardly need a yard full of it! I still have four of the six jars of salve I made last year, though I may top that off before the season is over.

Calamintha is starting to bloom so the bees will be thrilled! The other rose has never gotten very big but it's pretty so I keep it weeded.

Other than that as I've said, it's been busy at the Cat House. So far this year I've put up:

16 qt bags of strawberries
4 bags of squash/kohlrabi mix
5 bags of blueberries
4 dehydrator trays of same-probably 1 quart jar
3 pints of pickles

I have 3 good-sized squashes and 1 pumpkin waiting to be processed, and I feel like the season has barely begun! Lord help me when tomatoes start coming! Plus I've ordered 25# of peaches; I'll likely split those between cold packing and dehydrating. I've never done peaches before but this is what's available, and so I am grateful. Hopefully I'll be able to get my pears at the end of the year but since everything is uncertain now, I adapt accordingly. I just sent an index in, and it's the last one on my schedule until September. This is a far cry from the days of 3-5 books in-house on any given day of the week! I'm so glad I got the Outschool thing going because it's helping, although it definitely needs to be More. I put up a class on food preservation and it has appallingly little interest! I think both kids and many adults think that food comes from the grocery store. Hopefully my famous women in military history class will be more popular. In the meantime, thank God for my financial literacy classes! Those are booking every weekend. Hopefully they'll get up to capacity more, but this is a very competitive platform. Other people offer similar classes and the parents review teachers just like we review products on Amazon. A cranky parent can do a LOT of damage and OS doesn't do anything about it. Oh well.

Another day in Paradise. I feel the need to pile up as much food, money, and ammo as I can, so I'm off. Happy gardening!
07-23-2020 09:08 AM
citykittyatheart And a nice rainy morning to you all! It's been a busy week around here and I'm ready for a chair, so I thought I'd do an update. With pictures.

This is my very first purple kohlrabi! I've never grown this before; I was introduced to kohlrabi via my CSA and since I got free seeds with an order, I thought I'd give it a go. Kohlrabi is our version of okra: a regional thing that no one else knows much about what to do with. It's got an earthy taste that's hard to describe, freezes well, and is good in soups. This first one is going to the food bank in gratitude. I've got ten more in the bed.

Someone is plumb tuckered with all of that pollen gathering and is taking a snooze in my squash flower.

The very cool rain gauge I received as a gift for my participation in the local Planting for a Purpose program. I give my overage to the food bank up the street from my house and report to them what and how many pounds. It's for a good cause and again, for gratitude's sake.

I processed ten pounds of blueberries yesterday. This is two of four trays. I also have five quart bags in the freezer. I paid too much but it's a farmer's market right now and I shudder to think what this stuff is going to cost out of season. If we can even get it! The times are changing and those who adapt, survive and even thrive.

The VegTrug. Greens were cleaned out long ago and the dead pumpkin vine went yesterday. I did get one small pumpkin so that's something. It seems that every year I try to grow pumpkin, fungus hits and I get only one. Lots of trouble for not much return, but at least those old seeds produced something before I trashed them. And now I'll have new seeds.

This is a second pumpkin vine. The number of flowers and the green in the leaves gives me hope that I might get one more pumpkin. I'm keeping on top of the funk as much as possible.

Wider view of the remaining pumpkin vine with red kidney beans in the background. Those are setting a few pods. Given how old those seeds were, I'm pleased. And now I'll have some new seeds at least.

Potato pots. Storms knock the plants around no matter how much I tie them. I've buried a few potatoes that made their way to the top of the pot though so I have my hopes.

Spanish Toloscana and Red Hidatsa beans, with one squash container in the background. Beans are setting pods and growing nicely. Squashes have the funk. They also have flowers so they may produce more. I'm keeping on top of treatment.

Yellow watermelons have set a couple of fruits. Red hasn't done much; I did see a first flower on that one today but it's still a very small plant. This is why I don't grow these much but again, cleaning out old seed. And I might have gone just a bit overboard in production, given the current circumstances. And I like yellow watermelon. A woman has to have some fresh goodies for her trouble!

My assistants, supervising. They love coming out here. My Siamese, Lily, is 15 and fine with her cushions. She's not an outdoorsy type but Morty and Kona love it.

Now on to the lower garden.
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