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Old 06-12-2016, 12:45 PM
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Were e. coli present in numbers, you would know it...

Thanks for the pictures, CityKitty;
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:51 PM
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Were e. coli present in numbers, you would know it...

Thanks for the pictures, CityKitty;
I'd know it after the fact If it's in small numbers I still don't want it! Cooking is a good thing.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:57 PM
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A quick update. My tomato trellis:



While much more sturdy than the Contraption, the hook & eye connections don't allow the panels to connect on a straight line. I staggered them a bit for end coverage and tied the tops together with twine. Yes I could've purchased a set for the top but twine is cheaper. Also think it's a four hand job to put it together. I strung all of the tomatoes to it so they'll grow in that direction, through the slats, which should support the plants while making the fruits easy to grab. In theory anyway. Lots of blossoms on my tomatoes too

My establishing rapini stand. I have a bunch to eat from the deck, and rapini can be blanched & frozen as well. Cook fresh in a bit of oil with salt, pepper, and garlic. Yum!



My big rose bush with the blackberry growing nicely behind it. Hopefully I'll get some this year before the wasps claim it. I don't argue with wasps.





Must get back to work. Happy prepping!
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:36 PM
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The fruits of the labor are tasty indeed! That's some nice looking stuff you have there. May I ask what variety of spinach you have?

I have a friend in Wisconsin who has been fighting all the rain too. Y'all feel free to send some down this way.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:54 AM
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The spinach is Gigante divergno, from Baker Creek Seeds. Best I've had so far! First time I've had enough spinach growing to enjoy a bowl full. Even the bolt-resistant variety I tried last year didn't work for me!

It's raining here again this morning. Actually kind of nice since it saves on the water bill! Would be happy to share
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:50 AM
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A very quick update:

I harvested a big handful of kale today. This is the first time I've grown kale; while I'm not nuts about it, it makes for a nice change and grows well in my container. The only thing better than fresh greens is free fresh greens!



This spot was formerly occupied by arugula, and illustrates an important concept that's technically known as succession planting. Once the last crop has been cleared, one plants something new in its place. It's important to plant something that can mature in the time frame left in your growing season, and there are nutrition requirements to consider. For example, it's not good to grow a second crop of broccoli in the same space as the first since broccoli is such a heavy feeder. Nothing a bit of fertilizer won't fix but something to consider. I've planted butter crunch lettuce following the arugula.



I have tomatoes! Fruit has set on a couple of my vines. I didn't snap a picture of it as I was trying to get through mowing at 85 degrees, but you all know what fruit set looks like. Strawberry season has started here and I have not one, which bums me out pretty totally! I might blow off broccoli next year and devote that bed to strawberries. That'll cut into my ability to rotate things but this lack is getting on my nerves! Of course another possibility would be devoting a large container to them. Since they overwinter well, I just might do that.

Happy prepping!
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:41 AM
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Remember these garlic scapes? They make a great pesto! Excellent poured over pasta, though I'll warn you that a little bit goes a very long way. That level of garlic will wake you up in the morning, believe me!



Here's the recipe I used:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtDP6i9srjc

I know her via Facebook, and she suggests cutting the recipe with butter or more cheese if it's a bit garlicky for your liking.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:06 PM
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Looks great !

Do you suppose the same thing could be done with multiplier onion scapes - a sort of onion-y pesto to dump over vegetables??
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:52 PM
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Remember these garlic scapes? They make a great pesto! Excellent poured over pasta, though I'll warn you that a little bit goes a very long way. That level of garlic will wake you up in the morning, believe me!



Here's the recipe I used:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtDP6i9srjc

I know her via Facebook, and she suggests cutting the recipe with butter or more cheese if it's a bit garlicky for your liking.
Some of us use the herb to keep horseflies and ticks away from us. What you're calling 'too garlicky' translates to 'not enough...".
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:20 AM
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Looks great !

Do you suppose the same thing could be done with multiplier onion scapes - a sort of onion-y pesto to dump over vegetables??
I don't see why not! Give it a try. If it doesn't turn out well then there's no need to go there again. If it does turn out well, you've found yourself a new yum yum.

Optimist, different purposes require different recipes I'm sure the level of garlic needed for insect repellent would burn a hole in my gut!
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:45 PM
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...Optimist, different purposes require different recipes I'm sure the level of garlic needed for insect repellent would burn a hole in my gut!
Nah, but your significant others will give you more personal space until they get their bug repellant levels up to speed...
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:02 AM
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Love the pics no weeds ..looks good
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:55 PM
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OK, since I've done enough work for today to indulge my desire to do something else, it's time for a garden update.

Potatoes are setting fruit and looking a bit spent. I've felt around down there and run into a few tubers. I might pull them this weekend.



One large container devoted to strawberries. This container is on casters so I can move it around fairly easily. Not sure if I'm going to mulch and let it overwinter on my sheltered deck or bring it indoors for the winter. The strawberries look happy so far, but they always start out this way. Fertilizer will be a consideration here as the plants will deplete the available nutrients quicker than you'd think.



VegTrug. I've pulled all of the radishes since they (and the spinach in the other container) were bolting. I've got butter crunch lettuce and mixed orach growing, and planted more spinach and strawberry spinach yesterday. Not sure how well those latter two will do in the heat but I'll give it a try.



My blackberry plant is doing well! If that can't outgrow the useless climbing ivy, nothing can! Hopefully the wasps will leave me some this year.



The rapini has gone to seed and I've dug a nice spot for the seeds to drop into. Keep growing baby!



The Old North and Tristan Everbearing strawberries. The former was planted this year and the latter, last year in fall. No strawberries so far but I'm working on it! I'm wondering if they simply don't like my clayey soil, which is why some went into the container and half of a raised bed.



Tomatoes! The Vine Spine is holding up well, far better than the Contraption! I've also got tons of flowers and some fruit set. I have no doubt that I'll be extremely busy when these start coming en masse! Meat sauce, maybe one run of chili, salsa, soup, V8-all very low-cost and MUCH healthier than store-bought.







What is now two spare tomatoes and the bean bed. Remember that Three Sisters-based idea I had about growing beans with bell peppers, and allowing the beans to use the bell peppers as support? Well, it looked great on paper but didn't work out so well in practice! Even though the bells were four weeks old when I transplanted them and direct seeded the beans, the beans grew a whole lot faster than the bells and were shading them out. I was able to save eleven of the fourteen bell pepper plants, which have been transplanted into the old garlic bed along with the new strawberries. I'm sure no one is thrilled to be right next to broccoli, but it's better than being shaded out of existence! What can I say? Garden and learn!



Bell peppers in their new home. The other half is planted with bare root strawberries. I just transplanted them this morning so we'll see how they take to their new condition. Bells don't like anyone in the cabbage family; I'm hoping that each being in different soil will mitigate at least some of the effects. I was kind of in a bind here.



I pulled my garlic yesterday and got twenty-six heads, many of which are as big as my palm. They're largely hard neck and I need to hang them to cure obviously, but they are inside and out of the sun & rain. Cat for scale.





OK, got to go tie and hang some garlic! Thanks for following my thread as always and do ask questions if you have them. Happy prepping!

Last edited by citykittyatheart; 06-28-2016 at 01:59 PM.. Reason: to fix a picture
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:44 PM
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Great update! Everything is looking so good, especially the tomatoes. They sure like that Vine Spine.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:46 PM
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Such a helpful kitty.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:05 PM
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Nice to see garlic coming out...
inMichigan
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:19 AM
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Such a helpful kitty.
Oh, Morty's very helpful! He's like a toddler, into EVERYTHING! He's a young, very high energy cat who benefits greatly from quality time with the red dot. No red dot, no peace!
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:07 PM
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OK, it's update time!

I've been fairly busy. Happily, at this point, other than watering, weeding, and tying things up the garden mostly takes care of itself. I think I should schedule some time out there every day. The news sucks. The garden revives. I have to time this with the weather however. Hot & sticky is no time to be outside and well, that's summer in Wisconsin.

My garlic is trimmed and curing. Some of the heads got spaded as I was digging them up. Those will go for seed. I'm happy with my haul this year



The bell peppers are much happier in their new location! I've got plenty of flowers and some nice peppers forming. The strawberries aren't coming as fast as I'd like, especially compared to the bare roots that got planted in my large container. The big plants are the Old North variety, which I transplanted today.







The beans are also happy, although a few of them show signs of critter predation. Filthy thieves! Pity my new .22 would freak out the neighbors too badly. I've used upside down tomato cages and the metal supports from those political yard signs to support the beans, and it's working well so far.





Wide angle view of the bean bed. There are two tomatoes in there, more than holding their own.



Looks like I have to divide my post.
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:08 PM
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The potatoes look like they're dying back, both in the bed and on the deck. I've been thinking to pull these for a few weeks now; the skins were pretty thin on those I found a few weeks ago, which is why I didn't pull them at that time. Not only are the leaves curling up, I've got some nice sized fruits forming.





This is my tomato bed from the other side. That's sixteen plants in a bed 4'x8'! They're growing like crazy. I have no doubt that I'll have enough for meat sauce, chili, salsa, soup, and V8 juice. Once they start coming I'm sure I'll wish for more hours in the day! Last year I was getting a good haul every day. It was a challenge to process them before they turned bad. You can see the string I've used to keep the branches above ground and hopefully, above critters.









Last year's strawberry plants. They're spreading all over but not giving me any strawberries! I think they simply don't like my clay soil; good enough for growing in but not for setting fruit.



The blackberry bush is doing well. I'm looking forward to those! That bush is really growing this year.



The strawberries in my container, grown from the same bare root batch as those in the raised bed. These guys are even setting strawberries! Yes technically I should be pinching those flowers off so the root system develops better, but they don't seem to be having a problem. Honestly, if I get a few this year, I'll count it as a good thing! Like spinach, these have been a challenge.





The VegTrug, with buttercrunch lettuce in the foreground and mixed orach in the back. The middle has some spinach growing, though not well due to the heat. There's miscellaneous clover in there for soil enrichment.



The broccoli is almost done. Really I'm leaving it to flower for the bees more than anything. I'm not sure that I'll grow it next year; I get a better yield than from cauliflower but not by much and it's a whole lot of space to dedicate to so little. This is especially so since I just dedicated one raised bed to strawberries. That leaves me with only three. Potatoes, beans, garlic, and bells grow well here. Four crops, three beds. Might have to find another place for the bells. The garlic does OK in my soil, but it did better in the raised bed. I'll have to think upon this a bit.

Other than that, plum trees are growing well and roses are hanging in there. It would be cool if I got some plums next year! The new cats are happy; they love me, but I'm not sure that they love each other quite so much. Sigh. They test me some days but I love them still



A new toy, FN 5.7. With all the fun going on I decided to tick down on pretty and up on useful. These fire a 40 grain round at 2100-2600 fps, which is enough to penetrate Kevlar 2. No kick to speak of either! I hefted a Kimber Sapphire, the same series as the Amethyst, and honestly wasn't impressed, certainly not $1600 worth! The controls were extremely tight and difficult to work. A friend has a Kimber Gold Match II, which is a joy to shoot after she did some work on it. For $1600 I really expect joy straight out of the box! The FN is light, accurate, and easy to use. The plinking ammo isn't too expensive, the armor piercing stuff a bit pricey but not too bad. I've put nearly 500 rounds through it without so much as a hiccup! I think we have a winner, and I found one quite a bit cheaper than the Kimber.

Talk to you all later! Happy prepping!

Last edited by citykittyatheart; 07-16-2016 at 06:10 PM.. Reason: forgot one picture
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:17 AM
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Where in Heaven's name does the time go! It seems to be flying by and I still have plenty to do. Lots of food to process between what I'm harvesting and my CSA. A couple of publishing industry emergencies and the kind of weather I can weed by, a FEMA course to take, plants to water, cats to feed. Good thing I can't stand TV right now anyway! Time for another blog update.

Stuff is starting to come in from the garden. I grabbed these tomatoes a couple of days ago, and got more today. Time to start processing tomatoes!



Butter crunch and mixed orach was ready for harvesting. The only thing I didn't grow in this salad was the cucumber. I have learned that I'm not especially fond of mixed orach.



Strawberries! I've gotten more from this container than I've gotten in the last four years. I ate a couple more this morning too. Rest assured I'll be taking very good care of that container over the winter! Outside mulched and sheltered at least, so the plants have their normal growing cycle. Indoors isn't totally ruled out either.



I pulled both the broccoli and potatoes. The broccoli was pretty much done producing; in fact I think you'll all laugh at what I got for the last of it! Nothing worth processing; I put it on my plate and honestly, it wasn't its usual good tasting. I don't think I'll grow it next year given the low yield and the fact that one of my raised beds has been put into strawberry production. The potatoes were dying back. The fruits were well-formed and it just looked like time. Mother Nature isn't really into the Gregorian calendar anyway. My gut said pull them so I pulled them. I'm estimating about 15 pounds, and I still have to pull the deck container. I did plant the tiny buds and the potato fruits. Let's see if I get a few more this year.







Tomatoes. VineSpine is holding up well and the plants are loaded! Like I said, lots to process and it's only going to be More very soon.



One very tough bell pepper in the bean bed! It's got a couple growing on it too.



Beans and those stray tomatoes. All very happy, especially now that the morning glory has been removed. Again.





One rather sick-looking rose. I need to send this image to my local Extension office to see what's wrong.



Having to split the posts due to lots of images. Never could figure out why the image url is given twice per image but I tried deleting one of them once and it didn't work. Sigh.
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