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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Gardening  (Read 5529 times)
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Donotremove
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« Reply #375 on: June 05, 2008, 04:35:04 AM »

Here's a "tomato article" appearing today in the NYTimes.  Good reading.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/garden/05garden.html?pagewanted=all

Especially the part about a plant farm in California that will still ship tomato plants in the middle of June.  Who knew?  The California Gov says they might have to impose water rationing out there.  It's about time.  Nothing like waiting until the water faucets don't produce anything but sand.
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #376 on: June 05, 2008, 11:22:48 AM »

Donot -

Thanks for the article - very interesting.  However, I don't understand why she says to remove all suckers, since you're supposed to leave the first three on the plant to get the maximum harvest.  I overpruned my first tomato plant this year based on such advice, and I'm just now getting a single sucker going - hopefully I'll eventually get a decent yield from that portion of the plant producing a couple more of them, but it will be a very deformed plant.   Embarrassed

I'm growing a Mr. Stripey heirlom and yellow pear tomatoes.

Speaking of pears, my pear tree is so full of pears this year!  The thing got fire blight, however, so we've been very busy pruning the diseased parts of it back. 

Hydrangea doesn't look any better today - I wonder if the fact that it suddenly got quite hot has it upset?  Someone said they will droop in the heat over here - I don't get that because my sister has gorgeous blue hydrangeas everywhere in her backyard and she lives in Stockton, CA, where the heat is much more ferocious in the summer than it is here.

Sign me -

Agonizing Over My Blushing Bride and Pear Tree
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harrie
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« Reply #377 on: June 05, 2008, 12:07:13 PM »

madupont, we use salt on cabbage once the head forms. Right now we're talking about 2 leaves and a stem, so diatomaceous earth is our weapon of choice.  DE works against all these critters (with thanks to ghorganics.com for the info) - Diatomaceous Earth may be used as a barrier to control adult flea beetles, sawfly, coddling moth, twig borer, thrips, mites,  cockroach, slugs, snails and many other insects such as:  Aphids, thrips, earwigs, silverfish, and ants. Can be used for bedbugs, cabbage root flies, carrot root flies, fleas, pillbugs, ticks  and is helpful in dealing with fungus gnats. - and we have earwig issues as well, so it just really works for us.  I also put rosemary in the cabbage beds; they seem to like each other and the rosemary wards off some bad guys (or disguises the cabbage, scent-wise -- either way, it works).
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harrie
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« Reply #378 on: June 05, 2008, 01:07:19 PM »

DNR, Great article, thanks from me too for sharing.

I gotta say,while we feed, nurture and encourage our tomato plants, we don't think of them as babies and are a little rougher with ours than the author with hers. 

Sucker pinching seems to generate controversy everywhere.  Our local gardening columnist says you don't have to pinch at all; says he did a test in his garden, pinched versus non-pinched tomato plants one year. According to him, there was no discernible difference between the yields and fruit quality of the two test groups.   

The hubby is a sucker-pincher, though not militant about it. For one thing, his Irish grandfather, a farmer, was a pincher and passed along that lore. I also think it gives the hubby a chance to take a good look at his plants and maybe notice anything else that looks troublesome (or quietly gloat about how good something looks, if that's the case).

I had some Cherokee Purple starters a friend gave to me, but they didn't do well, and the ones that lived were enjoyed by a groundhog, skunk, rabbit or deer.  So it's also good to know that White's has stock left; guess I'll have to take a run by there, though it's hellish this time of year.
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #379 on: June 05, 2008, 01:32:01 PM »

Interesting about the suckers, harrie - I had always heard that if you don't pinch the suckers, your fruit would be smaller. 

Donot is a proponent of neglecting your tomatoes.  When I grew them years ago as a young woman, I babied them a great deal - I'd aeriate the soil around them a couple of times a week and give them a dose of Miracle Grow weekly.  I grew some beautiful tomatoes with that method. 

Now that they have the long-acting Miracle Grow pellets, I just put some down when I planted them and won't fertilize them anymore.
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Donotremove
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« Reply #380 on: June 05, 2008, 03:06:56 PM »

To sucker or not to sucker, that is the question.   Smiley

I think the babying gardener was speaking about the deep planting of the stem when you first transplant from growing pots to the ground.  You plant the stem deep, right up to the topmost 3-5 leaves, and all that stem will sprout roots to go along with the bottom roots already formed.  This is the same advice a Polish lady gave me 35 years ago and has worked for me ever since.  The only pinching I do to a tomato plant after that is to keep the plant at about 4 feet by pinching the top ends of the branches so the energy is directed to everything below rather than going to new stuff.  The season is short, it gets too hot real quick, so you want TOMATOES after about 4 feet not new growth.
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harrie
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« Reply #381 on: June 05, 2008, 06:29:56 PM »

Interesting about the suckers, harrie - I had always heard that if you don't pinch the suckers, your fruit would be smaller. 

Well, yeah -- that's the garden column guy we cuss out every other week or so.  We're not exactly rushing to try his experiment in our garden because things are working okay with our current methods and we're not rocking the boat.
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harrie
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« Reply #382 on: June 05, 2008, 06:39:52 PM »

DNR, we grow the tomatoes to about 8-9 feet; it's like a point of pride for the hubby because he's always had remarkably tall, lush plants; and he gets a huge harvest despite all that leafiness.  Other people at the garden make their plants bushy, but it's not like we've ever compared harvest amounts.  We're still working on last year's harvest (in the form of sauce), though.  Though Texas (right?) and Connecticut have very different growing conditions....  We plant the seedlings good and deep, too.
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Donotremove
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« Reply #383 on: June 05, 2008, 11:14:10 PM »

Harrie, you're right about different growing conditions.  Last night our temp didn't fall below 82°.  And our daytime temp was 97°.  Looking to stay that way.  Tomato growing is short here in the normal outdoors situation.  So, if we want lots of tomatoes, we plant lots of tomato plants and force them to bear and ripen on shorter bushes.  Not everthing in Texas is biggest and tallest.   Smiley
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thecap0
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« Reply #384 on: June 06, 2008, 10:23:29 AM »

DNR, we grow the tomatoes to about 8-9 feet; it's like a point of pride for the hubby because he's always had remarkably tall, lush plants; and he gets a huge harvest despite all that leafiness.  Other people at the garden make their plants bushy, but it's not like we've ever compared harvest amounts.  We're still working on last year's harvest (in the form of sauce), though.  Though Texas (right?) and Connecticut have very different growing conditions....  We plant the seedlings good and deep, too.

This works for me here in Colorado also. 

Since it is so dry out here (except for the 1 1/2 inches of gentle rain we got yesterday) I also place 2-3" of mulch around the base of each plant.  Keeps the ugly critter known as bindweed at bay.

I also plant big, stinky marigolds with each tomato plant.  Really keeps the aphids away as the marigolds secrete natural pyrethryns.

Yes, I'm a pincher!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 11:03:36 AM by thecap0 » Logged
desdemona222b
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« Reply #385 on: June 06, 2008, 10:49:53 AM »

Donot -

That's what my grandfather used to do, too - he kept his tomatoes bushy.  That was back in the day - he usually grew beef steak tomatoes there in Mart (McClennan County near Waco) to impressive size and yield and the flavor was wonderful.

harrie -

I've decided to just leave the suckers on my yellow pear alone.  Too late for the Mr. Stripey heirloom.

I've eaten those Cherokee heirloom tomatoes - they are like manna from heaven.
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madupont
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« Reply #386 on: June 06, 2008, 05:23:20 PM »

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/40062,arts,salad-days-of-covent-garden
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madupont
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« Reply #387 on: June 07, 2008, 01:36:29 PM »

http://www.pallensmith.com/index.php?id=1054&jnfcb622ca=1#jotnavfcb622ca1ca2dc3230563d4eb64f1eab

108 other inquiries and/or comments on our hydrangeas
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madupont
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« Reply #388 on: June 10, 2008, 12:11:59 PM »

Squash as a Groundcover
Here's a trick that saves space, keeps down weeds and deters critters, all at the same time. Plant winter squash along the edge of the garden and train the vines outward, through the fence. The vines will soon blanket the area just outside, shading weeds out; the leaves make a prickly carpet that some animals prefer not to walk on.
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madupont
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« Reply #389 on: June 10, 2008, 09:53:48 PM »

harrie,

Picked up a new hanging begonia in a deep coral red shade with oodles of blossoms. Was unable to save mine in time last year and instead of drying the corms to store, I hung it on the shower-curtain rod in the bathroom until -

One evening as I was stepping from the shower, I noticed something odd emerging where I usually water between the fragile stems. I'd never seen anything like it in my life. I quickly found a half-cup glass jar (used for canning jelly),with a cap and hustled the creature into it. He had a high-ridged spine(or so it appeared) and he was as black as metal about an inch and three-quarters in length.

I turned him out of the front door. You may ask how I knew it was not female? Predominant sexual differentiating characteristics feature something cute about a female anything; in fact, we often say, "Cute as a bug's ear!". 

Just this evening, I finally found out what That was.  A katydid.  It also has lots of other Latin qualifications but I could not find another example that looked entirely like what was living, and probably trying to be dormant but for those shower sessions, immediately adjacent.

Then I gave up and looked online in hopes they would have the same photo that alerted me in the Sunday paper that there was such a thing. Admittedly this one is a lot more cute, probably younger retaining that youthful green, and likely female.

http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/5/222717/katydidJ8
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