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coelacanth2
08-31-2008, 12:02 AM
My gardening friend came back from his trip to Spain , and we picked over the garden. 7, 5 gallon buckets of assorted tomatoes (not counting cherry tomatoes) pounds of Italian green beans, wax beans, butternut squash, Doc Martin's pole beans and beets. Zucchini and summer squash and sweet corn still producing. Watermelons going ripe and basil about ready. More to come.
How's your plantings coming?

PeterSibley
08-31-2008, 12:26 AM
Slow this year ,I got the flu and didn't get planted in time then we had a month of unseasonable rain ...............so all and all slow .Lot's of lettuce and rocket , a couple of good beds of brocolli and bush beans .About it .

GoldDogs
08-31-2008, 01:08 AM
another Summer that wasn't. Cold weather stuff is doing ok.


The guy up the road has a pile of cow manure 18 feet high, won't even SELL me any. My soil here needs work. I had been using liquid Fish emulsion and seaweed in the past but didn't buy any this year....I paid dearly. many things are yellow, little Nitrogen.

First couple years here I had good crops of tomatoes, Chile peppers, Jalapeno's, onions, garlic, cilantro and tomatillos(pineapple flavored) and ate fresh salsa for 3 1/2 months.

In Mass. I grew everything possible to grow and lots of it. One year I was staying at friends, they had 3 hungry teen boys, I grew 500 lbs of Yukon Gold taters, Organic, blemish free, harvested by hand when soil was dry, just a dust of dirt. The lady of the house refused to use them because they didn't come pre washed like what she got at the store. The Hubby wanted me to give them to HIS friends. I ate what I could and let the rest freeze and rot. Washing them ruins their storage potential.



try some of the yellow (sugary sweet) cherry tomatoes...Sun gold and Sun sweet if they are still around.

also, try Romanesco type Summer Squash, has a great nutty flavor(fedco seeds, maine. order catalog in Dec)

You should be able to grow perennial Artichokes down there with minimal Winter mulch.

Cantaloupe, better than watermelon.

if you like Jalapeno's, try "Mucho Nacho" hybrid. 2 times bigger, 2 times hotter, much more productive.

JBreeze
08-31-2008, 01:21 AM
I'm jealous!! Sounds like a very productive garden:)

My red and sweet onions didn't do too well; the purple cherokee tomatoes weren't very productive and often split or rotted on the vine, and the beefsteaks were marginally acceptable, the bean seeds are still in the packet, etc.

Which variety of tomatoes did best for you? A few years ago I purchased some Park's Improved plants, and they were terrific! The past few years I haven't found anyone selling the plants, so it looks like I'll have to start from seed next spring.

On a positive note, I rescued some dried out Iris roots from a "big box" clearance display, and they are finally sending up some healthy looking leaves. Did the same with more Iris roots from a friend who is moving. Yesterday, rescued three nice Blue Prince/Blue Princess 2' holly bushes from another end-of season clearance sale (2 female and 1 male - the way life ought to be for a guy:D)....now I have to find a sunny spot for them.

I anticipated buying more local farm stand produce this year...but the local non-profit, no attendent, self-serve farm stand on the island wants $7.50/dz ears of corn, as an example! Little to no overhead, so twice the price. Next week I have to find 50-100 big Bell peppers to stuff and fill the freezer for the winter - anyone got any extras?:D

Enjoy yor success and bounty, Coelacanth2

Paul Girouard
08-31-2008, 03:09 PM
We had a odd summer to cool mostly for tomatoes , and the beans. And it was bit to warm for lettuce and spinach to grow well although I did keep those going as long as possible.

Kohlrabi's , and lettuce.
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b299/PEG688/Aug2420081.jpg

Pototoes has shut down I'll dig those up as well need them.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b299/PEG688/Aug242008.jpg

Grapes again to cool we'll get a few.It's more a fun / looks plant anyway.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b299/PEG688/Aug2420082.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b299/PEG688/Aug2420083.jpg

I'm thinking of a plastic green house this winter / fall , I can stretch the lettuce and spinach out till Nov. maybe:)

paladin
08-31-2008, 03:27 PM
My garden.......a dozen and a half large pots on a 8 x 20 foot deck.....are still producing cherry tomatoes, green peppers eggplant and herbs. I did receive lots of strawberries, apples, peaches and tomatoes from friends that have large gardens.....so I've been working slowly....canned 16 qts of tomatoes.....made canned tomatoes/tomato sauce for spaghetti(marinara) using the herbs and basic chili sauce...just add meat and fresh onions...
about a dozen qts of apples same of peaches and a dozen pints of strawberry preserves...didn't do the cherries this year so no cherry cobblers....

pipefitter
08-31-2008, 04:51 PM
Florida soils are quite challenging. High PH with complete absence of organic matter. I would have to have a truck load of compost per season just for how fast the sandy soil allows it to leach through with the heavy rains of summer. Now I see why granddad grew most of his in buckets. Just cut down the avocado tree because I never bothered to graft it when it was young and they don't grow true from seed very often. Right now, the boat tent is taking up the best sunny spot for growing so I have to rethink a location for it that I can still back it into.
I have 7 muscadine grape vines, two of which I would like to put in the front yard but I don't know how hip it is to put trellises in the front yard where most of the full sun is.

Anybody do any front yard (to the street) edibles without looking too much like a farm? I have thought about a picket fence to break the view somewhat and the vines could use that I suppose. Anybody facing similar situations? Open to suggestions.

PeterSibley
08-31-2008, 05:26 PM
G'day Pipes .Mate grow what you like were you like ,forget about the public acceptance of vegetables !

As to you soil ....I recommend this site for a read .Very interesting ! http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/lehmann/terra_preta/TerraPretahome.htm

and this one .http://biochar.pbwiki.com/
It is definitely possible to improve tropical and subtropical soils quite spectacularly .

Donn
08-31-2008, 06:09 PM
I must agree with Peter (Happy Birthday, Peter!) on all points.

I grow veggies wherever the sun is appropriate, and my yard is a corner, so I have two street facings. I think some veggies are every bit as attractive as ornamentals.

I also agree on the soil. You can't do much about some of your gardening variables, but soil is one you can completely change, and without bringing in a truckload of compost every year. You may have to send away some of your sand, but not all, unless you can find another use for it (berm building? Florida's pretty flat).

Build your soil a bed at a time, and base the ingredients on what you intend to grow. Sand can be fully half of almost any soil concoction, but your sand is the source of your alkalinity. It would be easier to replace it with non-native sand, but you can bring down the Ph using other means.

I'd go with raised beds before pots in your climate. You'll use 2-3 times as much water in containers as you will in a raised bed, and your containers will be much more difficult to keep cool than raised beds.

Regarding the Black Earth links above...I haven't tried it yet, primarily because I don't need to, but secondarily because my garden is directly on the water, and I haven't researched the potential effects of high-carbon nutrient run-off into my bay. I don't need it because I've been building my soil for 10 years now, and it's gotten to be pretty good without BioCarbon. I've got extremely sandy, but slightly acid soil to begin with, so it responds quickly to natural native amendments.

pipefitter
08-31-2008, 06:12 PM
Hey there Pete, thank you for the info and a belated happy bday to you. I agree with the neighbors thing. I have a neighbor on one side that has really given me a hard time being they are retired and have nothing else to do. The old couple on the opposite side are much nicer. Heck, I wouldn't even be adversed to sharing the bounty. I was really just trying to be somewhat considerate.

Jim Ledger
08-31-2008, 06:14 PM
Todays harvest. Eggplants, doing well, as are the tomatoes. Peppers, poorly, so far, but here's a few, cucumbers and beans, OK.

Beer's on ice, steaks on the barbie.:D

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m193/searover1916/vegetables.jpg

Spin_Drift
08-31-2008, 06:21 PM
Wonderful thread. :D

I keep checking in to see all your great produce from your beautiful gardens... :):D:D

pipefitter
08-31-2008, 06:22 PM
Thanks Donn. I was hoping you would chime in. We did manage a small(large initially) compost pile that ended up at around 6.5 ph. I have an abundance of oak leaves that I used in the front bed as mulch and everything grows pretty well there but the root systems are mostly superficial. Oak leaves present the issue of too much brown matter perhaps and the self mulching mower I have doesn't allow me much in the way of available green proportionately.

I do think I am just going to start like you say and start sneaking in shapely plots and perhaps offset it with some florals of sorts. Roses seem to do well here.

Anyone with any pictures of their layouts and border arrangements are welcomed. I have looked online but a good part of that is perhaps too well manicured for better homes and gardens over my humble tract home.

Donn
08-31-2008, 06:28 PM
Beer's on ice, steaks on the barbie.

HA! The only veggie needed is Armoracia rusticana!

Bob Smalser
08-31-2008, 06:49 PM
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/18228023/332619572.jpg

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/18228023/332619586.jpg

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/18228023/332619599.jpg

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/18228023/332619611.jpg

PeterSibley
08-31-2008, 06:53 PM
The problem with places like Florida and here on the North Coast of NSW is the rate of breakdown of humus .Compost is great and I make a LOT plus heavy mulching of paths .I am ,however ,extremely interested in the biochar for this are and similar areas.The carbon is stable and quite mysteriously assists fertility while itself staying in place .Lots of experimenting coming up .

Nice to see you back and contributing Donn .

pipefitter
08-31-2008, 07:21 PM
Is that your property, Bob? Very nicely done and I have always loved stone. That's another issue I am having to face with the sidewalk out front nearly right on grade so I am going to have to set brick or something to raise the front sidewalk that goes across the front of the house. As it is, if the garden bed is built up, it would wash back onto the sidewalk. The house itself is 6" higher than that so I do have room to build up the sidewalk 2-3 " without creating a wet situation within the entry ways.

Bob Smalser
08-31-2008, 07:29 PM
Is that your property, Bob? Very nicely done and I have always loved stone. That's another issue I am having to face with the sidewalk out front nearly right on grade so I am going to have to set brick or something to raise the front sidewalk that goes across the front of the house. As it is, if the garden bed is built up, it would wash back onto the sidewalk. The house itself is 6" higher than that so I do have room to build up the sidewalk 2-3 " without creating a wet situation within the entry ways.

4X8 Crushed Rock runs around 6 bucks a ton and a 10-yd dump truck load of it will border a half-acre lot with some short rock walls thrown in for good measure.

I have the same problem....that front stoop settled a full 3". Raising the roof was easy enuf and one layer of brick veneer will raise the stoop but I can't get a brick pattern aligned that fits the space perfectly. I may wind up using a brick border and concrete center.

Donn
08-31-2008, 07:31 PM
You don't have to set brick to contain raised beds. You can use any exterior material you want, wood, stone, whatever. Line the inside with any number of barrier materials, like vinyl siding or PVC barrier material. Drill 1/8" holes in it, and line it again with landscape fabric. Then fill with your new soil. The excess water from your summer rains will drain off rapidly, but leave your bed's soil in place.

carioca1232001
08-31-2008, 07:55 PM
Todays harvest. Eggplants, doing well, as are the tomatoes. Peppers, poorly, so far, but here's a few, cucumbers and beans, OK.

Beer's on ice, steaks on the barbie.:D

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m193/searover1916/vegetables.jpg

Great photo !

What has aroused my curiosity is the long and slender shape plus the stonewashed look ;) of your eggplants.........they look just like the eggplants I knew in my youth in Karachi, Pakistan, unlike the stout, stumpy, dark purple eggplants that are sold in our markets in Rio and in yours (US) too.

My last visit to Karachi was in Dec 1996....the veggies, including eggplants like yours, tasted divine...........to crown it all, Discovery Channel aired a program while I was visiting on why veggies are much tastier in the third world........... because the first world veggies - commercial varieties, it would seem - hail from genetically selected seeds, to optimise yield and good looks !

pipefitter
08-31-2008, 07:59 PM
You don't have to set brick to contain raised beds. You can use any exterior material you want, wood, stone, whatever. Line the inside with any number of barrier materials, like vinyl siding or PVC barrier material. Drill 1/8" holes in it, and line it again with landscape fabric. Then fill with your new soil. The excess water from your summer rains will drain off rapidly, but leave your bed's soil in place.

That's a good thought. And I could always raise the concrete walk that skirts the front of the house after that if it didn't work out. Raised beds do work well here.

Donn
08-31-2008, 08:02 PM
"Selected" seeds are not limited to the 3rd world. I'm not sure which world I'm in, but I use nothing but heirloom seeds, carefully collected from my own plants, and from sources I trust to preserve the traits I desire. I'm not sure "good looks" are a characteristic I seek, but yield, taste and disease resistance certainly are.

pipefitter
08-31-2008, 08:05 PM
4X8 Crushed Rock runs around 6 bucks a ton and a 10-yd dump truck load of it will border a half-acre lot with some short rock walls thrown in for good measure.

I have the same problem....that front stoop settled a full 3". Raising the roof was easy enuf and one layer of brick veneer will raise the stoop but I can't get a brick pattern aligned that fits the space perfectly. I may wind up using a brick border and concrete center.

I have just enough space under the concrete curb that exits from the front door to fit a red brick on the flat side with room for mortar under it. There is some other parts of the soil around the foundation that could be improved for run off but back in 67, they weren't so strict on codes for houses above grade. I will just have to be creative and what has been suggested here so far would sure add some dimension to the property. As it is, it's a plane Jane fixer-upper where an addition was added by someone watching too many how-to videos at home depot without the foresight to do it right from an engineering standpoint.

Donn
08-31-2008, 08:10 PM
Raised beds do work well here.

Raised beds work well everywhere. They warm faster in cool climates, and stay cooler than above-ground containers in warm climates. They drain better in all climates, and they are far easier to tend as you age. They increase root-space for plants which like to send down long roots, and (if they are properly constructed) use less water and need fewer added nutes than containers. A good raised bed has all the best attributes of both flat-land beds and containers, and none of their downfalls. If you define them with paths of either wood chips or hay, you develop compost adjacent to the beds, and keep your feet free of mud at the same time.

pipefitter
08-31-2008, 08:11 PM
Even volunteer home grown veggies taste better than what's at the grocery stores. I recall finding wild carrots up north that looked sickly compared to the store bought but the taste was great in comparison.

Bob Smalser
08-31-2008, 08:13 PM
. I will just have to be creative and what has been suggested here so far would sure add some dimension to the property. As it is, it's a plane Jane fixer-upper where an addition was added by someone watching too many how-to videos at home depot without the foresight to do it right from an engineering standpoint.

We bought this one similarly some time ago. I'm grateful it's a pre-truss, all-DF structure.

Much as I like the 4X8 rocks for landscaping because they are so cheap, when I gardened down near you I liked Liriope borders. Also called Monkeygrass, it gorws thick and dense so you can get a mower hard up against it. Do all curved borders and in three or 4 years you can sell your string trimmer. Went well colorwise with the St Augustine grass I likes too. Grows beneath Magnolias.

Jim Ledger
08-31-2008, 08:14 PM
Great photo !

What has aroused my curiosity is the long and slender shape plus the stonewashed look ;) of your eggplants.........they look just like the eggplants I knew in my youth in Karachi, Pakistan, unlike the stout, stumpy, dark purple eggplants that are sold in our markets in Rio and in yours (US) too.



Those are Ichiban eggplants, a Japanese variety...

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.reimerseeds.com/images/products/eggplant/Ichiban_Eggplant_Seeds.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.reimerseeds.com/ichiban-eggplants.aspx&h=170&w=170&sz=9&hl=en&start=1&um=1&usg=__fG7BS1zM8Q7f3oE9uPOiMTDalIM=&tbnid=V1xqdnJbBcRLtM:&tbnh=99&tbnw=99&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dichiban%2Beggplant%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den %26sa%3DN

...grown from seedlings bought at Home Depot. We gave some away and received in return a bowl of a very tasty Turkish dish, consisting of the eggplant, onions and a bit of tomato and garlic.Sauteed in olive oil and spices, it's eaten cold as a side dish.

carioca1232001
08-31-2008, 08:19 PM
The 'selection' I had referred to, has to do with commercial veggie planters and producers in G-8 - not in the 3rd world - although Brazil, unfortunately, has also succumbed to the temptation of 'yield and good looks'. (osmosis effect !).

I havenīt yet tasted or looked at any homegrown veggies, either here or in the US, but I take your word for it that your produce is special ;)

carioca1232001
08-31-2008, 08:27 PM
Those are Ichiban eggplants, a Japanese variety...
...grown from seedlings bought at Home Depot. We gave some away and received in return a bowl of a very tasty Turkish dish, consisting of the eggplant, onions and a bit of tomato and garlic.Sauteed in olive oil and spices, it's eaten cold as a side dish.

Thanks for the info.

The Lebanese and other Mediterraneans, carefully roast the eggplants in the oven, then peel and mash them, following which they add sesame seed paste (Tahine ?), olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon juice and salt to taste.Garnish over with green herbs (not cilantro nor mint, the other one !) Delicious as a dip or as an appetiser with meals. Named 'Baba-ganoush'.

Just found a recipe for it via Google, although garnishing is with mint leaves:

http://www.recipezaar.com/187214

erster
08-31-2008, 08:32 PM
Can I brag about the Tabasco peppers that I grew this year?:o

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v356/Bateau1/DSC03797.jpg

pipefitter
08-31-2008, 08:36 PM
Erster, do you bury all of those fish guts/parts as fertilizer?

erster
08-31-2008, 08:46 PM
Erster, do you bury all of those fish guts/parts as fertilizer?

Well early on we did. But with critters increasing and most seeking people stuff out of getting used to living together, I quit it since my beds are not that deep. We also grow about ten months a year, basically three seasons gardening.. Heck the deer has eaten all of my flowers in the front yard thats not got the nine foot fence around it. . Even today we also noticed that they had eaten my mulberry tree that we planted last year.

Donn
08-31-2008, 08:47 PM
Garnish over with green herbs (not cilantro nor mint, the other one !)

Parsely, although I prefer it with Cilantro.

carioca1232001
08-31-2008, 08:51 PM
Erster, do you bury all of those fish guts/parts as fertilizer?

Makes for excellent fertiliser, once decomposed.

carioca1232001
08-31-2008, 08:58 PM
Parsely, although I prefer it with Cilantro.

Thatīs the one !

Ed Harrow
08-31-2008, 09:11 PM
Veggies. That's so yesterday... We're into livestock!

http://bugguide.net/images/cache/OQM0FQX0S0FKYRSQDRMQOR7QOR7QBRG03QRQCQI0YQX0VRIQQ0 7QK080ARLQTQFK9R3KYQI0L060DQ60H0KQWRZQ

Had to 'borrow' this photo as i couldn't get close enough. We have one herd of ten or so of these guys. We also found a maverick - wouldn't tell us who he's voting for, however.

Monarchs in the making

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g65/wlgtoo/Spring%20Lane/Critters/DSC_0101.jpg

and, two to tango

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g65/wlgtoo/Spring%20Lane/Critters/DSC_0100.jpg

And, for those who prefer legged beasts:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g65/wlgtoo/Spring%20Lane/Critters/DSC_0070.jpg

Hughman
08-31-2008, 10:40 PM
Tomatoes just coming in, from the plants the deer didn't eat. The potatoes were completely devoured., go figure. zukes, cukes, and some winter squash on the way.

I need about 30 yards of wood chips to kill the witch grass before I have another try....and a dog.

Spin_Drift
09-01-2008, 01:26 AM
Ed Harrow, excellent pictures...

Wonderful to see men gardening and producing such great crops and having such beautiful gardens...:D

This is a GREAT & POSITIVE THREAD....;):p:):D:D