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Saturday Gardening Thread [KT]


Don in Kansas went to the botanical garden last month. It was a cloudy day, but he saw some ducks, among the Victoria amazonica. Plus some other nice things.


The unusual flower above is from a Gomphocarpus physiocarpus plant. Has some other names. Heh. Check Don's post for a butterfly that, earlier in the spring, might lay eggs on this plant. Plus some other great photos.

Check out the sidebar on Don's blog page, too.

Here's what a Gomphocarpus plant in Wisconsin looks like with seed pods. They can be cut and used for arrangements. Grows pretty tall in the South, where it is perennial. Can grow kind of big even in the North.


Tropical or Mexican Butterfly Weed, like Gomphocarpus, continues to bloom into fall. Here's a yellow one at the Cincinnati Zoo. Could be the Silky Gold cultivar. More photos at the link.

The Zoo is aflutter with migrating monarchs on their way to Mexico. Look for them all around the zoo but they especially like the Mexican butterfly weed across from the World of the Insect building.


Seemed like a Milkweed Beetle looking over the leaf in that photo, too. But Hank Curmudgeon thought it was a Milkweed Bug. He saw four clues. What is your guess?

Have you got milkweed growing in your yard? What kind?

Seen any migrating Monarchs?


Hurricane Florence triggered new leaves and bloom on trees at Patch Farmstead. Hope recovery goes well from the latest hurricane, too. Anybody have a report?


My cousin with the geraniums had some repeat bloom after the plants were stripped by that hail storm a few weeks ago.


And now the plants have been returned to the basement for the winter. The oldest is estimated to be more than 10 years old.

I dead head them, trim them, and clean them all up. I water them every 3 to 4 weeks with some miracle grow added. A few of them bloom during the winter, but they all grow big leaves. When I take them back out the winter leaves usually fall off with the new growth in summer.


A tarantula tried to join the geraniums. Hank Curmudgeon thinks it is a Desert Blond Tarantula.


Wildlife and Wild Places

Illiniwek sent in the following from his farm not long ago:

These deer spotted me in the living room and ran off to the other side of the pond. They are two sets of twins from this spring, that now seem to roam together without their moms.

The green patch right in front of them is the deer resistant mix from last year that performed nicely this year. I mowed it a month ago, and it came back nicely, but the few new blooms barely show up here


I have more than one cousin. From a hike another cousin and his wife took in Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah about a week ago:

big ctn 1.jpg

big ctn 2.jpg

On another trip, they saw Kokanee Salmon spawn in a stream. Interesting fish. A landlocked version of the Sockeye Salmon.

The ones pictured below were perhaps near Lake Tahoe, where they had a festival last week. If you are in the north, you might check for spawning fish somewhere near you. They are being stocked in various places now. Story: man unknowingly catches world record fish and cooks it before he gets credit.


Gardens of The Horde

Atomic Playgirl sent in the following fun photos:

My SO and I don't have a backyard we can garden (too steep), but for the past three years we've rented a 10x40 plot in a local pea patch. Last year we build raised beds, and this is a photo from two weeks ago of the garden.


Besides a lot of tomatoes, we grow things like zucchini, cabbage, beets, peas, different kinds of beans, asparagus (our second year with it), and a favourite, mouse melons (Mexican gherkins), which we then pickle. They're in the second photo as little sliced things on top of tomatoes from our garden.

They are a fun little plant, and the melons look like miniature oblong watermelons; they taste like a mild lemony cucumber/watermelon rind mix and one plant produces enough to pickle two pint jars worth for the fridge.

Thanks for the garden thread! Love it. =)


If you would like to send information and/or photos for the Saturday Gardening Thread, the address is:

at g mail dot com

Include your nic unless you just want to be a lurker.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:53 PM


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1 Content

Posted by: Golfman at October 13, 2018 12:58 PM (If3tB)

2 Bradford Pears are blooming here.

Only on the NE side that got the brunt of Florence's wind.


Posted by: Golfman at October 13, 2018 01:00 PM (If3tB)

3 Gardening this week will be cutting up debris from Michael. 12 or so big trees across the driveway in some rather imaginative piles. Just like pick-up sticks.

No damage to buildings or equpment, though, so I'm lucky.

Posted by: Jinx the Cat at October 13, 2018 01:03 PM (YCpVK)

4 Bradford Pears are blooming here.

Only on the NE side that got the brunt of Florence's wind.

Posted by: Golfman

I saw the same thing a few weeks after Hurricane Camille.

Posted by: Jinx the Cat at October 13, 2018 01:04 PM (YCpVK)

5 Moose!
Love moose.
Especially right next to the potatoes.

Posted by: Diogenes at October 13, 2018 01:06 PM (TGayj)

6 Golfman at October 13, 2018 01:00 PM

The Bradford Pears bloomed around here in the fall last year. Because of the dry, dry summer. So did some apples.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at October 13, 2018 01:11 PM (BVQ+1)

7 The Kokanee are fantastic. It is totally worth it to spend the time off each year with friends to harvest those tasty morsels of pink muscle.

Posted by: Fritz at October 13, 2018 01:12 PM (Z9C5C)

8 Hank Curmudgeon's four clues to the Milkweed Bug:

Straight antennae, pointed face, triangular section behind the head, bright red color.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at October 13, 2018 01:14 PM (BVQ+1)

9 We got the killing frost this week in Minneapolis, after a false alarm two weeks ago. So it's time to pick all of the green tomatoes and make green tomato salsa, which we use for cooking. It makes great pulled salsa pork.

Also, dig the sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets. We were busy this week, making 32 half-pints of strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, and rhubarb strawberry jam (the latter has 1/3 as much strawberries). The son-in-law was able to make 8 quarts of vegan tomato soup, and a bit of salsa was done as well.

It was a good garden year, although the chocolate cherry tomato yield was low.

Posted by: Gordon at October 13, 2018 01:16 PM (vd69n)

10 Cut down the sunflowers and pulled weeds this week. My English Ivy threatens to cover everything. I wanted ground cover not ground, tree, house and bush cover. I've been hacking at it for awhile but it is tenacious.

Posted by: Tonypete at October 13, 2018 01:19 PM (9rIkM)

11 Gordon at October 13, 2018 01:16 PM

Thanks for the update. I haven't noted Chocolate Cherry as being a high yielding tomato. Like it in the fall when the nights were cold. Good luck with your remaining harvest.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at October 13, 2018 01:25 PM (BVQ+1)

12 Turned the compost pile yesterday. OK, I saw the chickens out scratching in it.

Posted by: Evasiveboat42 at October 13, 2018 01:25 PM (Rz2Nc)

13 Tonypete at October 13, 2018 01:19 PM

Bonus around here is that ivy harbors snail-eating roof rats.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at October 13, 2018 01:26 PM (BVQ+1)

14 Looks like Atomic Playgirl has some beautiful Dahlias in addition to veggies.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at October 13, 2018 01:27 PM (BVQ+1)

15 That English ivy! It will cling on the beaches, it will cling on the landing fields, it will cling on the hills and the streets. It will never surrender....

Posted by: Gordon at October 13, 2018 01:28 PM (vd69n)

16 Those crystal clear waters are awesome ... one of the nice things about the western waters. Add some pretty fish to the pic and it is even more spectacular.

That monarch is perfect as well ... I saw a lot of them here this year, had a lot of milkweed plants. But I never caught such a sharp picture, with such a perfect butterfly. Nice.

Posted by: illiniwek at October 13, 2018 01:31 PM (Cus5s)

17 KT, the chocolate cherry has been a huge producer for us. But this year, we didn't use horse barn sweepings, because of the contamination with Grazon.

I'm thinking of setting up some plastic barrels I have with the horse barn sweepings mixed with straw, and growing peas in them to see if they mature properly. If they do, the barrel contents can be safely added to the beds.

Posted by: Gordon at October 13, 2018 01:32 PM (vd69n)

18 Cleaned out most of dead plants in garden, still have a couple of peppers clinging on to life. Leaves are starting to come down so need to clean out compost bin of last year's, pile on plasticity sit another year before getting used.

Posted by: Skip at October 13, 2018 01:32 PM (T4oHT)

19 Skip, does saving your compost for an extra year yield better results?

Posted by: Gordon at October 13, 2018 01:42 PM (vd69n)

20 Those lily pads look like petri dishes. And the fish look like their hovering in thin air. Cool.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at October 13, 2018 01:45 PM (/qEW2)

21 Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

Posted by: Insomniac at October 13, 2018 01:50 PM (NWiLs)

22 I think it breaks down even more to a black fine material, been doing this for years so have enough to not need this year's. Still have a little from 3 years ago but will put that in with last and use that plastic.
I sift it before using with a piece of masonry wire fastened between 2 boards,it gets rocks and sticks out as well as banana stickers. Egg shells get further ground up in this process.

Posted by: Skip at October 13, 2018 01:51 PM (T4oHT)

23 It's finally raining here. I can retire the hose for a while and the new shrubs will be okay...providing the damn deer leave them alone.

I think I'll enlarge that last picture to full screen and just sit and stare at it for the rest of the day.

Posted by: creeper at October 13, 2018 01:51 PM (7xXFn)

24 I see ducks and geese all the time. So often in fact, that if my town allowed me to shoot them, I'd become a proficient marksman. #@!*^$ (The geese are a thousand times worse than the ducks.)

Hubby is finally going to dump the dirt out of my last remaining earth-filled earth box today. After that, it is nuthin' but raking leaves and watching the lawn develop snow mold.

Posted by: Ann at October 13, 2018 01:54 PM (RdjB2)

25 Like skip, only the peppers were left this week. Chance of freeze Monday, so we pulled everything.
Now, once the wet abates, I'll till it all in. We used 15 bales of straw on about 3200 square feet. All compost now.
We don't turn most the garden plants under, cause of disease, and whatnot.
Have to rebuild some fence cause of letting gourds grow on it, so will probably take the opportunity to bring in some composted wood chips with the Bobcat.
Love the pics of the west!
We had 10" inches of rain the last week. Soggy.

Posted by: MarkY at October 13, 2018 01:55 PM (C/TI8)

26 I place my wire over my garden cart, shovel on a scoop and using heavy gloves hand rake it until it falls through tossing out what doesn't.

Posted by: Skip at October 13, 2018 01:56 PM (T4oHT)

27 Very pretty. And speaking of very pretty, I'm gonna put my sweety on the motorcycle and go ride the back roads up on the peak between Cheyenne and Laramie.

Posted by: Hawkpilot at October 13, 2018 01:59 PM (KCxuz)

28 Cleaning off garden in N Indiana is a works-in-progress. Missed a frost last nite, down to 37, so everything still left is edible. Harvested last of okra and green beans, some lemon grass, chili peppers and greenish-tomatoes for a Filipino chicken tinola which demands a mid-afternoon nap after the consumption thereof.

Posted by: Cicero Boom chicka boom Kaboom! Kid at October 13, 2018 02:01 PM (XuycQ)

29 We got rain and thunderstorms last night in So Cal. Everything is green and not dusty anymore! I am still getting peppers but everything else is done. Time to plant the carrots and chard.

Posted by: keena at October 13, 2018 02:07 PM (RiTnx)

30 And speaking of very pretty, I'm gonna put my sweety on the motorcycle and go ride the back roads up on the peak between Cheyenne and Laramie.
Posted by: Hawkpilot at October 13, 2018 01:59 PM (KCxuz)

Enjoy national motorcycle ride day! It's nice here, I'll be heading out to pick up stuff for soup. I may get very lost on the way back and find myself 20 miles out of the way.

Posted by: hogmartin at October 13, 2018 02:08 PM (y87Qq)

31 Planting hardneck garlic today in zone 6B Indiana.

Posted by: hogmartinsmom at October 13, 2018 02:10 PM (8xZLz)

32 I've heard that tree leaves make excellent soil amendment because the trees pull minerals from deep down and those nutrients end up in the leaves.

Posted by: Emmie at October 13, 2018 02:13 PM (4HMW8)

33 Hogmartin, does your mom know you comment here?

Posted by: Emmie at October 13, 2018 02:20 PM (4HMW8)

34 We planted a fall crop of leaf lettuce, Simpson Elite which has become our favorite. In less than 2 days it started to show sprouting and has continued to come right along. We have hopes for autumn salads in a few weeks.

The seeds had been stored in a sealed bag in the fridge. I don't know if that enhanced their sprouting speed or if they just wanted to avoid going back in the chill until next spring.

Posted by: JTB at October 13, 2018 02:22 PM (V+03K)

35 Hogmartin, does your mom know you comment here?
Posted by: Emmie at October 13, 2018 02:20 PM (4HMW

I'm fairly sure she does. I send her reminders about the garden thread.

Posted by: hogmartin at October 13, 2018 02:23 PM (y87Qq)

36 I don't know if it will come to anything usable, but we are getting new growth of dill in one of the boxes. Small as they are touching them leaves a wonderful scent on your fingers. We actually have a lot of dried dill from the summer but even a little fresh and put on eggs is a treat.

Posted by: JTB at October 13, 2018 02:28 PM (V+03K)

37 Can't remember who it was, but someone told me a few weeks ago to use the Plant Tone on my Green Giants to get some extra growth before the winter. Thanks. It worked. They are still growing out.

Posted by: Marcus T at October 13, 2018 02:29 PM (KDipw)

38 Small as they are touching them leaves a wonderful scent on your fingers. We actually have a lot of dried dill from the summer but even a little fresh and put on eggs is a treat.
Posted by: JTB at October 13, 2018 02:28 PM (V+03K)

Fresh dill is an essential ingredient in chicken stock. I wonder how little you could get away with? I usually use a whole bunch, but that's just because that's the smallest amount you can buy at a store.

Posted by: hogmartin at October 13, 2018 02:30 PM (y87Qq)

39 Late to the thread, dammit. I've got to stop letting life get in the way of the weekend threads.

Posted by: JTB at October 13, 2018 02:33 PM (V+03K)

40 Fuckig deer ate about 800 hostas

Posted by: REDACTED at October 13, 2018 02:41 PM (L/iaS)

41 38 ... Hogmartin, I hadn't thought of using dill in chicken stock. I'll have to try it. Even the dried version should work well. When I start baking again (as the days get cooler) I should incorporate dill into the bread dough.

Don't know if it just me or getting older or both but I find my liking for dill and some other herbs is increasing. It's convenient that it grows so well in our area.

Posted by: JTB at October 13, 2018 02:42 PM (V+03K)

42 Since we won't be using the in-ground garden area for at least a season or two, we are thinking about putting in plants that will attract bees and butterflies. Flowers, shrubs or whatever as long as they don't need maintaining, just watering as required.

Posted by: JTB at October 13, 2018 02:47 PM (V+03K)

43 Hogmartin, I hadn't thought of using dill in chicken stock. I'll have to try it. Even the dried version should work well.
Posted by: JTB at October 13, 2018 02:42 PM (V+03K)

"Essential ingredient" might have been a stretch, but it's in the chicken stock recipe we use for matzo ball soup. Passover ticks a lot of the same "spring, rebirth" boxes as Easter, so some dill in the stock gives it a fresh note without going overboard.

Posted by: hogmartin at October 13, 2018 02:47 PM (y87Qq)

44 A few weeks or more ago I noticed a few monarch's cruising around the yard. Watched it land up in a dead birch and what I thought were leaves were hundreds of butterflies. Been here 32 years and never noticed them before.

Posted by: dartist at October 13, 2018 03:00 PM (K22Va)

45 One of the things I want to check out this winter is finding a winter squash that will grow well in our area. Don't need a ton of them but a few would be nice. Years ago there was a squash called kuta. Some sort of hybrid. When young it was like a summer squash. Left to grow it became a winter squash style and both versions were delish! Sadly, for some reason it was discontinued. Bummer.

Posted by: JTB at October 13, 2018 03:01 PM (V+03K)


Deer ate 800 Hostages...that be one big ass DEER.
Good for here is Brandi on stage #1....

Posted by: saf at October 13, 2018 03:15 PM (5IHGB)

47 We have an indoor Grow Box by a south-facing window, with a couple of LED grow light panels above. There just wasn't enough natural light here in the winter. This is our herb box, and is dominated by a sage bush, but also has basil, thyme, parsley and rosemary. The basil will grow right up to the LED panel and put a leaf under each LED, the greedy thing.

I shall have to put some dill in. I had a dill plant in it but I think it got unwatered for a while, and the dill died.

Posted by: Gordon at October 13, 2018 03:25 PM (vd69n)

48 The thing about the herb box is that it makes virtue of necessity. When visiting friends who cook, we bring a baggie with cuttings and a damp paper towel. They are very appreciative that we care enough to share our little herb bounty.

In truth we have to keep the thing cut back as all of the herbs grow like crazy.

Posted by: Gordon at October 13, 2018 03:30 PM (vd69n)

49 First frost here in N IL last night. Still have onions and fall peas and beans growing under cover in the Vegtrug.
Did see a monarch this summer, first time in several yrs.

Posted by: Farmer at October 13, 2018 03:37 PM (yJ1e6)

50 44. How magical to chance upon hundreds of monarch butterflies in one's own yard!

Posted by: kallisto at October 13, 2018 03:38 PM (BKV7y)

51 41. in morning thread noted a recipe from Paula Deen's magazine. This month features Southern style bread, one of which is Cheddar Dill Beer Bread. Looks super easy, uses 1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill.

Posted by: kallisto at October 13, 2018 03:46 PM (BKV7y)

52 Great pics, as usual. fun to look at.

Not much going on at Che Blake these days.

Things are winding down and the season to trim is almost upon me.

Posted by: Blake - used bridge salesman at October 13, 2018 04:28 PM (WEBkv)

53 Does anyone have experience with the galvanized metal raised beds?

Posted by: Gordon at October 13, 2018 04:48 PM (vd69n)

54 From Idaho's Treasure Valley (Boise area): Husband and I just got back from 3 nights at Bruneau Dunes. We'd been there about 4 times before, but their observatory always had some problem - usually cloudy skies, or, once, a power outage. This time we finally had clear skies - and this was the last weekend they had it open; tomorrow they'll start disassembling and storing the telescope for winter. What was better than seeing a fuzzy Andromeda Galaxy through their big telescope, was the amateur astronomers who set up telescopes in the courtyard! We got to see Saturn!, and M11 (the Wild Duck Cluster), and a blue/white star pair. And that's not mentioning seeing THE MILKY WAY with your bare eyes, which is completely amazing when you've lived under city lights your whole life! We were lucky that we had only a first crescent moon, which set not long after dark.

Looks like winter is about to arrive - we already had cucumber and most cantaloupe vines wither. But freeze is predicted for Monday night, so tomorrow will be spent stripping everything!

We had over an inch of rain on Tuesday, and all the plants seem dead or close to it, so husband turned off our irrigation system. We still don't know when neighborhood shut-down will be.

This past Monday, I turned some of the compost. I had to chop of parts of the tomato plants growing out of the next bin back - when I get to that bin, it will be a riot to try to get all the roots out...

I've already harvested, chopped, and frozen some of our bell peppers. And we already harvested, seeded and cored some weirdly-shaped poblanos for use in casseroles. Today we grabbed the last 9 radishes in one row - it looks doubtful that the other row will mature. And I've been salvaging what I could out of the final cantaloupes - there are 3 big ones left out there, on that vine by the compost, but...

Tomorrow is definitely time to strip *everything*. Pick raspberries - cut down the green bush beans - grab the last cantaloupes - strip the Romas (I checked this afternoon, and the plants are dead) - strip the Nyagous tomatoes and send them to my friend's chickens, or the compost - the Big Boy plant is still *mostly* OK but I should take a lot of its fruits off it anyway - dig up the small green onions - cut down and strip the pepperoncini plant - strip the bell peppers - strip the poblanos - husband didn't mention the jalapeno, but I suppose we'll strip that as well... then I will spend lots and lots of my time this week, processing all this!! (Husband's job is to strip the red raspberries and the various hot peppers.)

We keep taste-testing apples each week. We think we'll prioritize applesauce, since the crop looks small, and that's what we want most.

Right, gingeroni asked last week about my chiles rellenos recipes:

Our original recipe comes from all, and is called Real Chiles Rellenos. The author is listed as "Fat-Dog-Lane", so you can tell you have the same recipe I have. (tildes instead of dashes) This one is NOT a last-minute dinner. The only way we can do it that way is, we pre-made some of last year's tomato sauce into the sauce from this recipe, and canned it up. Then we prepared the chiles, stuffed them, and froze them. So now when we want to eat them, we thaw them *just* enough to get the tinfoil off (use lots of flour when wrapping before freezing!) but not enough that they start falling apart - heat the sauce - make the batter - and fry them up. I love it with sour cream.

The most recent one I tried, is for using up all the weirdly-shaped peppers, or the ones that are too small to bother stuffing. I typed in "Better Homes and Gardens Chiles Rellenos Casserole", and it was the first result I got - the first line should mention "a gold star for authenticity", so you can tell you have the same recipe I have. This was tasty enough, but maybe it could use some of our spicy/vinegary relleno sauce too.

I haven't yet tried the recipe Chili Relleno Casserole from Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen - in the story, she mentions starting with a Better Homes and Gardens recipe, but changing it. I'll try that one next (because I have to do *something* with the leftover Cotija cheese!).

Gordon Scott mentioned last week, a recipe involving chicken, chiles, and cheese. Husband did print out a recipe for Chicken Poblano Casserole from MyRecipes, which might get tried at some later time.

Posted by: Pat* at October 13, 2018 10:20 PM (2pX/F)

55 Better late than never.
Outstanding and visually stunning thread this week.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at October 14, 2018 09:47 AM (2I4LM)

56 Our original recipe comes from all, and is called Real Chiles Rellenos.
Thank you!

Posted by: gingeroni at October 14, 2018 10:03 AM (GIqnq)

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