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Old 03-15-2016, 03:56 PM
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It's a very warm 85 out there today, possibly the highest temp on record here for March 15 before the day's out. More wind (third straight day) so I watered everything in the garden as the moisture is being sucked out. Fortunately we'll be back to more seasonal low 60's by the weekend.

Today I got the rest of the onion plants separated and set out. They are the bulbing kind as all the scallions are in. I’ve not messed with the bulbing onions before so I did just some of three kinds to see how it goes. They’ve been planted along the edges of the turnip/beet bed, the summer squash bed and a mixed bed of spinach and radishes on one end and kale/ collards on the other end.

‘Australian Brown’ (OP, Baker Creek) – The catalog says, “Introduced in 1897 by W. Atlee Burpee. Medium sized, flattened bulbs, flavorful and pungent, yellow brown." Did 14’ of row, 46 plants at about 4” spacing.

‘Red Creole’ (OP, Baker Creek) - "Short day onion great for the South; a good keeper. Hard flat bulbs have spicy red flesh. Good cooking onion or in salads". Did about 20’ of row, 63 plants at about 4” spacing.

‘Barletta’ (OP, Pinetree) – a small white pickling onion. Did 12’ of row, 66 plants at 2” spacing. They said to put them close together to keep them small so I guess I’ll see if 2” is right or not.

I’m glad they’re all in as planting out onions is probably my least favorite planting task. The Bender-Over gets too good of a workout!
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:04 PM
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We finally got a break from the wind so last evening I set out the first six 'Packman' broccoli, first three 'Stonehead' cabbage, first three 'Charleston Wakefield' cabbage, three 'Alabama Blue' collards, three 'Flash' collards, a Napa cabbage and a 'Michili' Chinese cabbage. The rest of the broccoli and cabbages will be set out later as I'm trying to not have it all ready at once. I don't grow a ton of everything but have plenty for fresh eating and still have a little to put up. Six collard plants is a gracious plenty.

This is a pic of a mixed bed. At the near end are four 'Dwarf Siberian' kale that I cut just before taking the pic. Got a Walmart bag full off just these four plants and after they were cleaned and stripped there was one pound of kale. The next plants are the six collards and two Chinese cabbages that were just set out. Spinach and radishes are at the far end. The next step will be to mulch it all with leaves.



It's been unusually hot and the spinach needed a break so I rigged up a little shade by repurposing last year's Magic Screen that hung on the back door of the house. Yeah, I'm a pack rat but stuff comes in handy! The spinach along the outer edges is what's left from fall's planting of 'Bloomsdale Longstanding'.

The next two inner rows are also spinach sown Feb 16. One is the 'Bloomsdale' and the other is 'Space', a new one for me. It's supposed to be very prolific and already it's twice as tall as the 'Bloomsdale'. Then there are radishes down the middle. Radishes in other beds, too.



This is one of the pea beds sown with 'Wando' which always does well, taking the cold but especially taking the heat. I'm afraid the bed of 'Sabre' peas is a bust. Only 21 plants germinated. They were planted the same day and same way as the other two pea beds so it may be a bad batch of seed even though I ordered it fresh this year. Shoot, I ran out of this year's 'Wando' and used up some seed from 2014 and it all came up fine. Not the 'Sabre'.



To the left of the peas are the four 'Catskill' test brussel sprout plants from fall and I finally picked the first handfull of sprouts after three tries at growing them. When the brussels and collards come out, I will plant green beans there and the English peas will be followed by field peas.

Tonight I will start the tomatoes, eggplants and other stuff. And so goes another day in the garden.
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:20 PM
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The annual Yellow Menace is upon us. All of these Georgia pines are turning loose their pollen. Yesterday my sister and I were out shopping and on the way home we'd see a heavy fog up ahead which was actually clouds of pollen knocked out of the trees by the wind.

Here's the culprit:



Here's what the slightest touch or gust of wind will create:



And here's what a car looks like with one day's worth of pollen on it:



Fortunately I'm not allergic to it but the pollen particles are large enough that they're irritating everybody's nose and throat. Lots of hacking and blowing! It's been really dry lately and we need a good rain to knock it down. The weather man said tonight that we have a chance of some tomorrow. I sure hope so!
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:24 PM
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Oh man I remember those days. I used to work at the Augusta National, and it was funny to watch everyone pointing up when the wind blew those yellow clouds around. Sure was easy to tell where the water ran!!
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Old 03-18-2016, 08:51 PM
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After a storm left us with no electricity, I used a clothes line outdoors to dry our laundry. I started to gather in the dry laundry and found it covered in golden yellow powder - to which I was apparently allergic judging by the subsequent sneezing! LOL !
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:56 AM
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Hey Weedinhoe......any type of red onion you've grown that makes your eyes water, sinuses open, and just general breakdown of normal head functions? And I'm going to try that Barletta if I can find it locally.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:27 AM
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Hey Weedinhoe......any type of red onion you've grown that makes your eyes water, sinuses open, and just general breakdown of normal head functions?
I've always just grown scallions so this is my first time out for bulbing onions. If they make, I'll let you know about those things for sure.... after I get myself under control.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:51 PM
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Today was seeding day for tomatoes, eggplant, ground cherry, strawberry spinach, marigolds and zinnias.

There is bacterial wilt in my garden beds and so I cannot grow tomatoes there any more. It started one year near the upper part of the garden and I guess water moved it downhill over time and spread it. The affected area has grown to cover most of the veggie garden. Tomato plants will be beautiful and starting to set tomatoes. One day I will notice the very tip of one branch seems to be a bit wilted. The next day about a third of the plant is affected. Within two more days the whole plant is wilted. It happens that quickly. So disheartening. A slit stem from the bottom of the plant will ooze a cloudy substance when put in a glass of water.

I now grow tomatoes in 15 gallon nursery pots behind the house. And because I can’t afford a ton of potting soil I have to limit the number of tomatoes. I also buy cheaper potting soil when it’s on sale in the spring and mix it with aged cow or chicken manure and compost, about a third of each per bucket. At least I get tomatoes; not as many as I want because I’d love to can a ton, but we get by with fresh eating and can any excess.

This year’s tomatoes:
2 ‘Celebrity’
2 ‘Early Girl Bush’
1 ‘Juliet’ cherry (so sweet!)
1’Large Cherry Tomato’ (a Ferry Morse thing someone gave me a long time ago; the bush gets huge and produces a ton of 1¼” cherry tomatoes. I’ve actually canned these whole before.)
1 ‘Martino’s Roma’ – was a freebie last year and I didn’t try it then. We’ll see.
1 ‘Viva’ paste – ‘Viva’ might get totally eaten up with early blight or whatever and will still finish making its fruit. Amazing.
1 Paste/Salad freebie that was included in one of my seed orders this year. I have no clue what this one will be like.

The eggplant is ‘Millionaire’, one of the longer skinny varieties. They do much better for me than the round or teardrop shaped eggplants.

‘Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry’ and Strawberry Spinach are two of this year’s toys. I started a six-pack of each and will plant them out around the property. It’s the “food in plain sight” experimental category.

A flat of Dwarf French marigolds will be added into the beds wherever I can find a little space for them as they are about the only deterrent to root knot nematodes. Yes, I have those in a few beds and they are a pain in the butt, stunting plants and knotting up their roots. From what I’ve read there really isn’t a cure although “they” are experimenting with several natural substances. Filling a bed with marigolds for a summer will knock them back enough to allow planting the next summer but then they build back up again.

The flat of zinnias is for drawing pollinators and also as a snack source for any Monarch butterflies that might be in the area. And they’re pretty.

Out in the garden today I also seeded another 5’ each of beets, turnips and radishes. I was hoping that “50% chance of t-storms” forecast would wet them in but it looks like that won’t happen now so I’ll water them in myself. The last two rains were March 3 and Feb 24. We’re dry.

Time to go watch some March Madness.
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:25 PM
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Weed, were you using wooden stakes for tying the tomato vines?
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:40 PM
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Weed, were you using wooden stakes for tying the tomato vines?
I see some very long wooden stacks leaning against the shed... perhaps?
inMichigan
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:56 AM
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I do love tomatoes......this year I've started my favorite, Cherokee Purple, along with Black from Tula (a new effort for me), Mortgage Lifters, Polish Linguisa for canning, Super Sweet 100s which I leave in large pots on the porch. I may start some others like Better Boys in the next week or so. I've grown Celebrity which I like, but Cherokee Purples rule!!
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:04 AM
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Weed, were you using wooden stakes for tying the tomato vines?
I use cages made of welded wire fence and disinfect them every spring before use by spraying them with a 10% bleach solution. Each cage does have a wooden stake pounded in next to it and the cage is tied to the stake to keep the wind from blowing them over. However, since I can get free stakes each year, the old ones get tossed.
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:07 AM
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I see some very long wooden stacks leaning against the shed... perhaps?
inMichigan
Those 1"x1"x8' pieces of wood are the freebies I get whenever I want them from where I used to work. I cut them in half or whatever length I need. They get the bleach spray too before use.

Some of the wood is 2"x2"x8' and those make dandy supports for trellises made of panels of welded wire fence.
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:10 AM
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I do love tomatoes......this year I've started my favorite, Cherokee Purple, along with Black from Tula (a new effort for me), Mortgage Lifters, Polish Linguisa for canning, Super Sweet 100s which I leave in large pots on the porch. I may start some others like Better Boys in the next week or so. I've grown Celebrity which I like, but Cherokee Purples rule!!
Lucky you! I've not had much luck with heirlooms as they catch every funk known to man in the humidity and sultry summers we have. I gotta do hybrids with resistance to just about everything.
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:30 AM
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I found this pic of my double decker tomato cages from 2013. This was a first effort experiment of growing tomatoes in 15 gallon nursery pots behind the house due to the wilt problems developing in tomatoes down in the garden. I make the cages using 10' of welded wire fencing, 40" tall (?can't remember) with the 6'x6" mesh. That makes a cage with about a 2 1/2' diameter.

The tomatoes got so tall I decided to stack another cage on top of the first one and tied the cages together with baling twine. Since the ground was hard enough by then that I couldn't pound the 8' stakes into it, I stuck them down into the pots on the inside of the cages and then tied the cages to the stakes. It worked just fine! Ya do what ya gotta do and make it up as you go along.

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Old 03-22-2016, 06:27 PM
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Spring is definitely here:

- The first grape leaves (muscadine) are just starting to open.
- The first leaves on the Brown Turkey fig are starting to open.
- The oaks are pollinating and in the past two days are starting to push leaves. There is actually some shade in the yard.
- Everything in the area is blooming; azaleas, dogwoods, redbuds, Chinese Fringe, Carolina Jasmine, Bridalwreath Spirea. So pretty. After all, it's almost time for The Masters. I love this time of year!

In the garden I pulled the first two small radishes and got the newly set out broccoli and cabbage plants mulched with leaves. Yesterday the flat of marigolds was starting to pop and today the zinnias followed suit.

And yesterday I transplanted peas! That's the first time I ever did that but to reclaim that bed where the 'Sabre" peas didn't cooperate, I transplanted the 23 little pea plants that did dare germinate. They got set along both sides of a trellis set up across one end of a different bed. Their root systems aren't real fibrous and didn't want to hold the generous soil ball I dug for them so I had to be real careful. They looked happy today. We'll see.

After days of 80's last week, Mother Nature decided to remind us we haven't turned the temperature corner for good and she sent some light frost and 34 degrees this morning. Just to be on the safe side I put a very light row cover over the newly set out stuff.

And this afternoon the back area got it's first mowing of the year. Riding the mower into the wind was nice but going downwind meant riding through clouds of pollen stirred up by the mower. An exercise in holding one's breath.

Today's lunch was mostly from the garden. It was a frittata made with spinach, scallions, a few asparagus spears, parsley, oregano (all from the garden), eggs from a friend's chickens and some store bought mushrooms and parmesan. Good stuff! And that's why I garden. The fruits of the labor.
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:53 PM
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Great idea on the trellis-thanks
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:13 PM
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Good stuff! And that's why I garden. The fruits of the labor.
+1

Ain't it grand
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:18 PM
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Yesterday in the Farming forum I posted about the Hamburg Rooted Parsley I'm growing:

"This is one of my garden toys this spring. It's an old pre-1600's vegetable whose roots were grown like parsnips and whose tops can be used as regular parsley. Dual purpose; that's why I'm growing it and also because it's odd."

One bit of information I found online said to freeze the seed 3-5 days and then soak in warm water for 8 hours before sowing to help germination. Other sources didn't mention that at all. So I'm experimenting by starting twelve plants in cell packs for later transplant and also direct sowing some in the garden.

Half of the cell pack plants and half of the direct seeding were done using seed that was freeze treated and soaked. The other half of the cell pack plants and direct seeding was done with dry seed right out of the pack. That way I can see which of the four groups does best. These are along the edges of the bed that is now open due to the pea failure.

I also played with using a technique I read about sowing amaranth. Instead of sowing in a furrow and then later thinning to 8" spacing, I poked 1/4 to 1/2" dents in the row 8" apart and put three to four seeds in each little hole, to be thinned later.

It was also carrot sowing day. Nine feet each of 'Bolero', 'Dragon' (a freebie), 'Ingot' and 'Kuroda Long' along the edges of the bed that will eventually have peppers and eggplant down the middle. Of the four varieties I've only done 'Bolero' before.

I think that about wraps up all the early seed starting or setting out; beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, collards, eggplant, garlic, ground cherry, onions, parsley, green peas, peppers, quinoa, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, marigolds and zinnias. Now it's a waiting game until the end of April when Mr. Frosty leaves for good and the soil warms up enough for the beans, cukes, corn, squash, okra etc and the transplanting of tomatoes, peppers, etc.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:32 PM
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Lots of wonderful stuff here.

Do you have your canning jars ready?

I'll be sure to check for your post on Hamburg Parsley. Sounds intriguing.
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