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It's time...for the 2018 Garden Thread.


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Kansas Big Dog
3 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

I start out snapping off all the suckers on tomatoe plants (The shoots that start at the crotch of branches) Then they get ahead of me and I let it go. I should be more diligent for yield, ease of care and it's good to have a lot of air circulation otherwise rot and blight can occur. I have a couple deck planters with tomatoe plants that are contained in wire cages I stick in pots. I have over a dozen in a raised bed that I have staked and I use 8-11 inch zip ties to keep them upright on stakes.

 

Here is a tip on getting ripe tomatoes. Up here in the far northeast we wait forever for tomatoes to turn red. If I get over anxious I will take a spade or a shovel and cut around a plant or plants around 8-10 inches from stalk and about a foot down. That cuts a lot of roots, doesn't kill the plant but prompts it to ripen the fruit.

 

Optimum ripening temp for tomatoes is around 65 F. As soon as you see them turning, bring them inside to a room that is close to 65 F. They do not need to be on the vine or in the sun to ripen. But make sure it starts to blush. When you cut the roots, the plant changes putting resources into fruit, and starts putting resources into growing foliage, that is why they ripen. May be a good idea up north, but here, we can have indeterminate varieties up in to November. 

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Look what I found in the garden this morning while planting giant sunflowers!

3 different berries off my property,  Mmmmmm. A nice snack today. 

I grow pickling cucumbers and can spicy dill pickles. Last year I canned about 60 quarts. I still have a dozen left from last year. My cukes are blooming well so I think I will not run out.   

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The only thing in our garden is sweet corn and lots of it. We trade corn in advance for the other veggies from the neighbors. Works great for me. Last spring I bought a Honda Mini Tiller, 9" cut, and that little devil made hoeing obsolete. You can lift it with 1 hand.

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23 minutes ago, Kansas Big Dog said:

 

Optimum ripening temp for tomatoes is around 65 F. As soon as you see them turning, bring them inside to a room that is close to 65 F. They do not need to be on the vine or in the sun to ripen. But make sure it starts to blush. When you cut the roots, the plant changes putting resources into fruit, and starts putting resources into growing foliage, that is why they ripen. May be a good idea up north, but here, we can have indeterminate varieties up in to November. 

True dat. I always bring green tomatoes inside to ripen when it's taking too damn long on the vine.

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3 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

 

 

Here is a tip on getting ripe tomatoes. Up here in the far northeast we wait forever for tomatoes to turn red. If I get over anxious I will take a spade or a shovel and cut around a plant or plants around 8-10 inches from stalk and about a foot down. That cuts a lot of roots, doesn't kill the plant but prompts it to ripen the fruit.

 

2 hours ago, Dogwood said:

 

When do you do this?

 

When I am sick of waiting for my white bread, mayo and sliced tomato sandwich with lots of S&P...when the plants have nice big green tomatoes...usually mid August and only a plant or two in case I do kill or compromise them.

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Kansas Big Dog
On 6/12/2018 at 5:27 PM, Kansas Big Dog said:

I grow pickling cucumbers and can spicy dill pickles. Last year I canned about 60 quarts. I still have a dozen left from last year. My cukes are blooming well so I think I will not run out. 

 

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I also can tomatoes. Crushed and sauce. I used my last quart of crushed last week, but I have half a dozen quarts of sauce left. I normally do 60 quarts of crushed using a hybrid celebrity variety of tomatoes. I also do 60  quarts of sauce. For sauce I use an heirloom Amish paste variety. These are my celebrities. 

 

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You can  barely make them out, but I just set out 25 heirloom brandywine variety next to the celebrity for slicing and blts. It has been extremely dry, but we got a good rain last night which is nice. I have a well I water from so water is not an issue. 

 

This last picture is my asparagus patch. I set out 250 roots 2 years ago and let them go this year because it was so dry. I picked maybe 10 pounds we ate. Hopefully next year I will have enough to sell. 

 

 

 

It has been a hot dry mutha this year. Our June temps averaged above 90 and our July temps have been averaging above 95, and very little rain. I have been pumping water from the well for about 3 hours each morning. Here are some current pics. Kind of before and after.

 

This is the pickling cucumber patch. I have canned 50 quarts of pickiles and have sold 120 lbs.Picked 30 lbs off them this morning.

 

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These are my Amish paste tomatoes. They always look spindly. 

 

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A double row of beans and a row of beets.

 

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These are my hybrid determinant Celebrity variety in the out side row. The inside row are pepper plants and heirloom brandywine tomatoes.

 

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It has been so dry, I had a friend want to bale up my winter wheat and an acre of grass behind the house because of the hay shortage.

 

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We might get some rain the next couple days and relief from the 100 F humid weather, but I am ready for fall now.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Crazy year...getting into the heat of August so things are starting to peak. Been blanching and freezing a lot: broccoli, squash, cauliflower, green and wax beans, etc. Cukes are coming in, but tomatos are green. Already dug out my Red Norland potatoes since tops died off.  Yellow Kennebec are still in ground. Mostly small "new" potatoes but that's cool for raised beds. Summer squash and Zuchini coming out my ears. Been a banner year, that I have to attribute to using the black plastic mulch.

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Kansas Big Dog

I did not plan on growing much this year, just my strawberries, but I have had folks calling me to sell some green beans for canning and so I planted a double row a few weeks back. They are blooming now and should make enough to satisfy the folks that called. They want 100 lbs, I should get that for sure, maybe more. Hopefully more as I have other folks wanting some too.

 

beans

 

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Other than beans, I have 3 varieties of tomatoes. I got mine out late and later, and with the very hot dry weather I was wondering if I would even get a crop, but we have had some cooler, rainy weather and they are starting to look more promising.

 

Amish paste.

 

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These are my Celebrity, they are a determinant variety and should ripen in a short time period. I will can these.

 

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These are a heirloom variety, Brandywine. I set these out last and they are just starting to bloom well.

 

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I also have a lot of this, purslane. It is a wild green but is a super, super food with a lot of anti-oxidents and omega-3.

 

 

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I have got 3 big patches of it. Wish I could find a market for it.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

IMG_0823.JPG

 

Im normally a summer gardener. Once fall arrives I'm a hunter and could care less about things growing out of the ground. I'm after protein. But the wife wants to try some fall crops of greens, like lettuce, spinach and kale...although the Kale I planted in spring is still thriving like a weed. So I started building a cold frame today for one of the 4'x8' beds. Basically 2x3's with 2x4's for the feet. Tomorrow I'll build the doors on top. I'm building two doors so you can open each side separately. Then I'll staple and lathe on some 3 or 4 mil plastic sheeting, etc....and simply place the cold frame over the bed after the seeds are shown. Simply? Well I don't do things half ass so this is way overbuilt and I may need a crane to get it from garage to the garden out back...

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Kansas Big Dog
32 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

IMG_0823.JPG

 

Im normally a summer gardener. Once fall arrives I'm a hunter and could care less about things growing out of the ground. I'm after protein. But the wife wants to try some fall crops of greens, like lettuce, spinach and kale...although the Kale I planted in spring is still thriving like a weed. So I started building a cold frame today for one of the 4'x8' beds. Basically 2x3's with 2x4's for the feet. Tomorrow I'll build the doors on top. I'm building two doors so you can open each side separately. Then I'll staple and lathe on some 3 or 4 mil plastic sheeting, etc....and simply place the cold frame over the bed after the seeds are shown. Simply? Well I don't do things half ass so this is way overbuilt and I may need a crane to get it from garage to the garden out back...

 

My experience with cold frames is that they can get too hot, of course that is down here in the lower 47. Not up there close to the arctic. Good luck.

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