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I have control issues
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Discussion Starter · #601 ·
Been harvesting zucchini and yellow squash - Cutting it into chunks then putting into ziploc freezer bags and into the freezer. Have been battling the freaking MICE that have been chomping down my plants. They're pretty much leaving the squash and pumpkins alone, but have wiped out my tomato plants (have replanted twice and the blasted mice keep eating the plants) and eggplants, and all my beans. They're more or less leaving the peppers and potatoes alone, but are wreaking havoc with a lot of the other plants. I'm getting tired of replanting things only to have them devoured.

Latest challenge now is the Houdini pig. Got home from work and was dropping off mail to daughter's house, and see that the sow is out and running around. Got her to follow me back to her pen and put her back in. Got the car back to my parking spot and saw my floor mats and window shades for the car had arrived from WeatherTech, so put them in place. Got the milking stuff together and went to go feed and milk...and the pig was out AGAIN! Got her back in, set the milk and udder wash buckets set down, and took the wheelbarrow to grab some cinder blocks we had to try and reinforce the area under the pen gate...by the time I had gotten the 3 cinder blocks into the wheelbarrow and started back, she was out a THIRD time! Had to dig down a little extra under the gate to get 2 of the cinder blocks to fit underneath, and set the third in front of the gate. Went back to get another couple of blocks, and by the time I got back - yep, she's out for the 4th time. Got her back into the pen and set the other blocks in front of the gate, then did the milking and gathered eggs, then back to the house to handle the milk and start dinner. About the time that dinner was done, got a call from son-in-law. Basted pig was out for the FIFTH time! This time grabbed some ratchet wrenches to work on fixing the gate - when the guys hung the gate, they put bot of the gate hinges facing up, so if the gate is pushed up, it will come off. Got the pig back in the pen again (it didn't help that daughter's dogs were out and chasing the pig.) FINALLY got her back in the pen (bribed her with FOOD) and loosened the top hinge to where I could get it off, turned it over, and replaced the way it SHOULD have been done in the first place; then grabbed a lead rope and TIED the gate to the fencing. Will still have to take some cement and put it into thee post hole, because she kept dumping her water in that area, and was able to push the post enough to change the angle of the gate so that the latch would come undone (which is why I tied it closed) We'll see if my "fixes" will keep her in now. At least she's pretty good about following me back to her pen and usually goes back in pretty easily (if the dogs aren''t chasing her, that is.)
 

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Ice, I'm harvesting Black Beauty zucchini, Early Girl tomatoes, French Climbing Pole beans and Peacevine Cherry tomatoes (the Open Pollinated version of Sweet 100). I have raised beds surrounded by 1" chicken wire 30" high to keep the rabbits out. The bottom of my raised beds are lined with multiple offset layers of 1" chicken wire, but 1/4" hardware cloth would be better--keeps pocket gophers, desert packrats and other tunneling rodents out. Birdnetting keeps the quail from getting in. In spite of all these measures the occasional mouse or ground squirrel gets in so for years now I've been setting Victor Powerkill rat and mice traps baited with old peanut butter. All I can say is it works really well. It's been two years since any rodent got into one of my raised beds. I feed the dead rodents to the buzzards so they don't go to waste.

Here's a link to the type of trap I use if you are interested. ref=asc_df_B001AH3DNS
 

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I have control issues
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Discussion Starter · #604 ·
Been harvesting lots of zucchini and yellow squash lately - seems the varmints don't care for the squash plants. Been cutting the squash and portioning out/freezing into quart-sized ziplock bags. Potato plants are also doing very well, so should eventually be getting a good batch of potatoes.

Well, went from two pigs back up to three. Friend of daughter and son-in law's had been given a pot-belly pig, and now that she no longer eats pork due to diet changes, she wanted it gone. She had asked them about taking it before, but they had passed. Son-in-law brought it up to husband and I on Sunday, and after eating some of the meat from the animals we'd had butchered, he was OK with us getting it, so daughter and I went and got her. Dang pig is bigger than the one I'd had butchered - she's probably at LEAST 300 pounds. Once we get some space cleared in the freezer, she'll end up going to "freezer camp" too.
 

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gardener & news junkie
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I've been thinking about you lately when I see the heat and drought reports from your neck of the woods. Are you facing any water availability problems?

Congrats on scoring free pork! You just can't beat the price. LOL!
 

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Jackpine Savage
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I love yellow squash, especially wrapped in foil and sauteed in butter on the grill as part of a cookout. Or grilled, as part of a kebab.

I haven't tried to grow it for several years now, because the SVBs are so bad.
Do you have a grill pan or basket? I use my grill pan a lot it's something I got from Walmart probably 10 years ago, it looks like a frying pan that has been drilled full of holes.

It's great not only for squashes but also for peppers and onions and mushrooms to go with your steak. You can chunk stuff up, give it a light coating of olive oil (or italian dressing) and then add seasoning if you want. Just toss it in the pan and turn it a few times here and there. Great grilled veggies and the wife now cuts asparagus to where they fit the pan so it's easier for me to grill them without dropping them through the grates.

Olive oil and salt and pepper is what we normally do with it. If you haven't tried doing that I'd really suggest that you buy something similar and give it a shot. I don't like the tinfoil method as well because it doesn't give any good smoke or charcoal flavor. It's like the difference between doing your taters in foil and putting them right on the grates "naked", a whole different ballgame flavor wise.
 

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I have control issues
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Discussion Starter · #608 ·
I've been thinking about you lately when I see the heat and drought reports from your neck of the woods. Are you facing any water availability problems?

Congrats on scoring free pork! You just can't beat the price. LOL!
Fortunately for us, although there is the heat and drought, we have a well that goes down 400 feet to the aquifer, so we haven't been having water availability issues like some folks have.
 

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I have control issues
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Discussion Starter · #609 ·
Since husband decided we WOULDN'T go fishing today, as planned, decided to to out and pull some of the weeds that have been trying to (and pretty well succeeding) take over the garden, thanks to all the rain we've been having. Also harvested the last of the summer squashes (zucchini, mexican gray squash, etc.) and pulling up the expended plants, leaving more room(and sunlight) for the green beans and the upcoming plantings of carrots, and other fall crops. Also picked the 4 green beans that were ready, and there are a whole bunch that will be ready to start harvesting in a few days to a week.also picked the first of the jalapenos and ancho/poblano peppers. Didn't get as much done as I wanted, since husband wanted to go in to town to the farm/ranch store.

Went back out after dinner and did some more weeding - got the weeds cleared out of the bed with the anchos, and the bed with the bell peppers, as well as most of the walkways, as the weeds in the pathways were making it difficult to access the beds. Also got the weeds pretty much cleared out from the beds where the potatoes are planted. Still have a couple of beds that need to be cleaned out, but hope to get out there in the morning to work on it. Harvested most of the pumpkins (a few still weren't done ripening) and butternut squash, as well as a few jalapenos and anchos
 

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I have control issues
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Discussion Starter · #610 ·
Harvested 2 pounds of green beans today. They'll be cut and put into ziploc freezer bags and added to the veggie stash in the freezer. Will be harvesting more in the next couple of days. Also have jalapenos needing to be harvested, as well as ancho/poblano peppers.
 

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I have control issues
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Discussion Starter · #611 ·
Picked a couple of ounces shy of another 2 pounds of green beans this evening. Also pulled a bunch of weeds so that I could get to and see the bean plants and beans in a couple of the beds I hadn't gotten to during yesterday evening's picking. Also got the weeds (mostly LONG grasses) that were in the bed where the jalapeno plants are...Am going to have to pick a whole bunch of jalapenos tomorrow...the one bush is LOADED with peppers.
 

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I have control issues
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Discussion Starter · #612 ·
Yesterday, harvested another pound plus of beans, then cut up those plus the almost 4 lbs of beans I had harvested earlier in the week. Today, harvested and cut another 3/4 pound of green beans, then cut up the last of the yellow squash (4 lbs), gray squash (4 lbs) and zucchini (6 lbs). Husband cut up the jalapenos I had harvested. When I took it all out to the freezer, decided to do an inventory of how much of the home-grown veggies I had. Zucchini - 27 packages; Calabacita - 18 packages; Yellow squash - 12 packages. Also have 5 of green beans in the freezer, plus another 1/2 pound in the fridge - there would be more, but I cooked some tonight to have with dinner. The squash may be over now, but the beans are a "daily pick" right now.
 

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I have control issues
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Discussion Starter · #614 ·
Yet another pound of beans harvested today. Also dried and saved seeds from the straightneck yellow and Calabacita squashes for planting next year. Carrots are starting to grow in well in a couple of beds, but plan on planting more in some of the other beds, as well. It will be a while before they're ready to pull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #615 ·
Besides beans (still), have been harvesting various peppers, tomatillos, and cherry tomatoes. potato plants are dying down, so will start harvesting potatoes soon. The first of the carrots should be ready to start pulling soon, as well.
 

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Besides beans (still), have been harvesting various peppers, tomatillos, and cherry tomatoes. potato plants are dying down, so will start harvesting potatoes soon. The first of the carrots should be ready to start pulling soon, as well.
Ice, when did you plant your potatoes? I'm curious because I never can get any decent sized spuds to grow in my raised beds. I always end up with tiny potatoes.
 

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Besides beans (still), have been harvesting various peppers, tomatillos, and cherry tomatoes. potato plants are dying down, so will start harvesting potatoes soon. The first of the carrots should be ready to start pulling soon, as well.
Oh, I forgot to say I envy your bean harvest. What variety are you growing? Same question for your potatoes? My garden suffered from neglect and drought this summer. I got and am still getting tons of cherry tomatoes (Sweet 100 and Peacevine--the OP version of the Sweet 100), but my Black Beauty zucchini are almost done. I tried lemon cuke this year and got lots of vegetative growth but almost zero production. My pole beans (French Climbing) produced well this spring but withered this summer. Got no melons at all. Same for peppers. I'm still harvesting Kuroda and Scarlet Nantes carrots and still have on celery plant hanging in there--mostly because it is shaded by a cherry tomato. I did get a bumper crop of asparagus this spring and did well growing Iceberg and Jericho lettuce. The Jericho lasted into July before bolting. De Ciccio Broccoli and the Purple Queen Garlic (softneck) that I interplanted with the broccoli were productive this spring as well--though I didn't harvest the garlic until mid-June.

Re potatoes: I tried something different this past year and planted potatoes 12" deep in a richly composted raised bed, overwintered them, and this spring when they came up I was hoping when the tops died back I'd finally get some baker size spuds. Nope. Same old, same old. Nothing bigger than three inches and most of them one to two inches. The were russets, but I've tried Yukon Gold and others with no better luck. They grow well, flower nicely--and we have plenty of bees for fertilization--but just aren't productive. Any hints?
 

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Discussion Starter · #618 ·
Wryter, I THINK I planted the potatoes around may/June timeframe. Can't quite remember. I only dug the ones where the plants had died down...left the rest to continue growing. Had some little small ones, and others that were VERY oddly shaped...almost like potatoes that had other potatoes growing off of then. They are russets of some sort

As for the beans, I planted the Contender variety...they seem to do better here than anything else I've tried before.
 

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Contender is one of the best producers here too. Provider does quite well also in my 8b zone. In my experience very oddly shaped potatoes happen for two reasons. First is the soil isn't busted up fine enough and second they were left in the ground too long and really did start growing other potatoes off of them. I've never planted potatoes that late in the Spring, but maybe I'll try it. God knows nothing else I've tried--and I've tried most everything--has worked. I'm beginning to think potatoes don't like it here because the nights don't get cool enough. In Colorado, I was able to grow nice large bakers. Here I get plenty of vegetative growth but very small potatoes--lots of them, but small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #620 ·
I'm in 8B, as well. I've planted Providers in the past, but they just didn't do very well. Contenders have done the best out of any variety I've planted.
 
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