Saturday Gardening Thread, September 21 [KT]

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Hello, Gardeners and friends. If you are seeing this thread on Saturday, you are seeing it without KT, who is away from the internet. Why not visit with some other members of The Horde who have garden, puttering, vegetable cookery and nature-related observations and experiences to share? The photo above is from Hrothgar:

Walking Conor Dog through local nursery, when I spied a butterfly, fumbled with my phone/camera and it flew away. As I prepared to put the camera away he reappeared and posed so I got this. Have no idea what the flower or butterfly are, but I was pleased with the picture.

Thanks as always for you work on the blog.

Thanks for the photo, Hrothgar.

The underwings of that butterfly have such intricate markings. Think it is a Painted Lady? Or maybe a Red Admiral? They like dog poop.

What do you think the flower is?

The Edible Garden

Something a little different this week. From Floridachick:

Here is a photo of some of this year's avocados - gift from our one and only avocado tree. The tree is about half as tall as avocado trees eventually get so it is not fully mature. This is the biggest yield ever. I have been taking down from the tree only about 10 to 15 avocados at a time because they all will ripen at once. Husband and I can only eat so many. Absolutely delicious!

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Now we are going to need some guacamole recipes. So we don't have to eat fake taqueria-style guacamole made with calabacitas. How can you make guacamole without avocados? Use the calabacitas for something else. The ones used for fake guacamole in Los Angeles restaurants are perfectly lovely little squashes when small and fresh. They're just not avocados.

Thinking about growing squash next year?

"Calabacita" just means "little squash" or "little pumpkin", and squashes labeled as such vary from market to market. In various parts of Mexico, they like either round or long little squashes (calabacitas largas) in either light or dark green. A medium to dark green round heirloom, also grown in Texas, is called Tatume. Nice summary at the link, with cooking ideas, history, growing information and dramatic photos. The fruit is firm-fleshed. Pick it small to use as a summer squash. They say you can leave it on the vine for winter squash but I have only seen one suggestion that it tastes good as winter squash. Try the little squashes grilled, steamed with onions and butter or pan-fried with other veggies.

The plant is somewhat resistant to squash borer because it is a fast-growing vining type that roots along the ground. Not the bush types of summer squash normally sold in the USA.

Where I live, 'calabacita' means Mexican grey zucchini, which is a creamy color flecked with green. I prefer the similar Mideastern Cousa type, which I think maintains its quality to a somewhat larger size if you miss picking it when it's little. My favorite is Magda Hybrid. Recipe at the link and other cooking ideas in the comments. It looks kind of like an avocado.

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Johnny's compares the quality of Magda to its intriguing yellow and green Zephyr, but Magda is earlier and more productive. Zephyr is lots of fun, though. It has a winter squash in its heritage and lasts late into the season for me. The plant is on the large side for a bush squash. The fruits maintain their quality in the fridge longer than most summer squashes.

Anybody starting a seed list for next year? Picked out summer squashes yet? Any recipes work out well for you this season?

Back to Floridachick:

Bet The Horde could come up with better recipes than guacamole with avocado and butternut squash, too. Though that one is supposed to promote the use of avocados, unlike the fake guacamole.

There is probably another avocado tree in the neighborhood to provide cross-pollination to Floridachick's tree. Something to keep in mind if you are thinking about planting a tree. There are a few tricks to avocado pollination.

...and here is a photo of a few of this year's mangoes from our blessed mango tree.

I honestly do not do a thing to help my mango and avocado tree. They produce their copious fruit all on their own. Such a wonderful gift!

Thank you for the opportunity to share these beauties.

I hear that mangoes are much better when tree-ripened than most of us realize. I don't know much about mango varieties. Anybody?

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Here is the photo of a gorgeous flower growing (wild?) in a neighbour's overgrown front yard. Noticed it while taking my dogs for a walk down a dirt road in Vero Beach.

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We featured some passion flowers last week, too. This one likely has edible fruit if fruit appears. Whether or not it is tasty would depend on what variety it is.

Gardens of The Horde

From Bakersfield, CA

Blake sent the following update:

This is the same crape myrtle I sent you earlier, though, after I cut back all of the branches that were sticking out and were no longer blooming.

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Gorgeous. "Sideshow Bob Myrtle" looked good before, but it's amazing what pruning can do.

From Arizona:

budman sends the following:

One of my favorite succulents, the Pedilanthus macrocarpus. Here in Arizona it's commonly known as the Lady Slipper (because folks think the little red flowers look like slippers) or the Desert Pencil Bush (because the straight green shoots are about the size of a pencil).

This lovely plant grows to about 4' in height and 3' in circumference. It sends out underground shoots and will spread to fill any available space. It does well in the hot desert conditions, but it does give you a lovely "thanks" when it gets a little bit of water.

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This is a perfect location for this plant, I think. Looks like a living sculpture:

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And here's a female hummingbird photo to go with the great hummingbird plant above. Photo taken by Jake Holenhead, in Washington State:

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The plant above has a tropical relative native to parts of Florida, the West Indies and Central America. It can be grown as a houseplant. It was the only Pedilanthus listed in my first Sunset Western Gardening Book. A foot and a half is about tops as a house plant, I guess. Though there are several subspecies, so who knows?

Of course, just when you get used to its name, they change it.

Euphorbia tithymaloides is a perennial succulent spurge. An erect shrub, the plant is also known by the scientific name Pedilanthus tithymaloides. However, the genus Pedilanthus has been submerged into the genus Euphorbia, and is more correctly known by its new name (Euphorbia tithymaloides).

Euphorbia tithymaloides was introduced as a garden plant prior to 1688. The first record of it growing in a garden was in Amsterdam. It is primarily used as an outdoor garden border plant, but certain varieties do well indoors. Because of the plant's toxicity, gardeners are cautioned to wear goggles, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Propagation may be by seed or cutting. Cuttings should be made above a joint, be 5 to 6 inches (13 to 15 cm) long, and planted in sandy, nutrient-rich soil and allowed to root before planting. Cuttings should be made in March - April or June - July, and from the middle or top of the main stem.

Hummingbirds are attracted to the plant's flowers. Cabbage worms are particularly fond of the plant's leaves.

Municipalities have planted Euphorbia tithymaloides in landfills, toxic waste sites, and along roadsides because it is one of the few plants which can thrive in these more difficult environments.

Weird about the cabbage worms. I sincerely doubt that it makes it through the winter in Amsterdam without protection. Maybe they sent cuttings from the Netherlands Antilles every spring or something.

There is a variegated variety that is quite attractive. Says at the link that it grows upright to 8 feet. Most people keep it lower.

Here's a young plant.

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You can tell where they got the "Redbird" names, can't you?

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This plant is attractive in a border or hedge, if you are in the right climate for it. You can see the zigzag pattern of the stems that give it the Devil's Backbone name below.

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Stamp:

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Budman's plant and the one above are related to poinsettias.

From Illinois:

lizabtha sent the following back in June.

Here is Sidonie, from my garden, which I purchased through High Country Roses. Here's its description:

Damask Perpetual (Dorisy, 1846).Very fragrant, medium pink, densely double flowers in summer and autumn. A bushy, 3 to 5 foot plant with long, narrow leaflets, it has the most reliable repeat and continuous bloom of all the Damask Perpetuals.

It made it through the wicked winter weather of northern Illinois with no protection of any sort.

In harsh climates, it is an advantage to have roses grown on their own roots. And about this time of year, it is a good idea to allow the last flowers to remain on the bush to form rose hips. Helps the plant get ready for winter.

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From Washington State

WonderPony sent the following a while ago from his garden near the Snoqualmie River, East of Seattle.

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Lovely flowers for a lovely setting.



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

ktinthegarden
at g mail dot com

Include your nic unless you want to remain a lurker.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 01:52 PM




Comments

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1 Good afternoon Greenthumbs

Posted by: Skip at September 21, 2019 01:57 PM (ZCEU2)

2 fifth?

Posted by: firefirefire at September 21, 2019 01:58 PM (LVVMh)

3 I'm ashamed of my garden right now. Next Saturday is clean up and then mum shopping.

Posted by: Jewells45 at September 21, 2019 01:59 PM (dUJdY)

4 Nice thread. KT. WonderPony took some great photos. Blake's crape myrtle looks impressive, and Floridachick's avocados look great, but why did she lube them?

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 01:59 PM (o2vOl)

5 Hot peppers are the best thing going now, tomatoes seem to be rotting on the vine more than getting much from them. They get spots which quickly ruin them.

Posted by: Skip at September 21, 2019 01:59 PM (ZCEU2)

6 If I put up my cold frame over the peppers I will send it in. Hope would be to extend growing past 1st frost.

Posted by: Skip at September 21, 2019 02:01 PM (ZCEU2)

7 >> tomatoes seem to be rotting on the vine more
>> than getting much from them

In SoCal, my San Marzanos are getting ripe and they are delicious. I should have sent KT some pictures, but I'm too busy eating them.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:03 PM (o2vOl)

8 Butterfly...?
But it's on a coneflower also known as echinacea i think

Posted by: LoneRanger at September 21, 2019 02:05 PM (3GN2g)

9 >> What do you think the flower is?

I'm thinking Echinacea angustifolia.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:06 PM (o2vOl)

10 My landlady in Hawaii had avocado, mango, and starfruit trees. Talk about paradise.

The standard mango is heaven, but the absolute best I've had are the smaller, yellow Champagne Mangoes, which peel like a dream and are so flavorful.

As for papayas I like the big football-sized ones from the Philippines that have deep pinkish-orange flesh inside.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Michigangsta at September 21, 2019 02:06 PM (kQs4Y)

11 Mrs. Grimaldi says the flower looks like a ornamental purple cone flower. Butterfly is red admiral. Expanded by saying "The cone flower looks like a ornamental hybrid. They usually look good for a year or three, but then start to look more like the wild ones again."

Posted by: Grimaldi at September 21, 2019 02:08 PM (tKUm/)

12 Now i'll have to look up all the coneflowers and their botanical designations

Posted by: LoneRanger at September 21, 2019 02:09 PM (3GN2g)

13 >> You can see the zigzag pattern of the stems that
>> give it the Devil's Backbone

I just started reading about them. There are several varieties, and many are xeric. The flowers on Pedilanthus tithymaloides are really eye-catching.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:13 PM (o2vOl)

14 Not at the farmo this weekend. Stuck at home doing chores! Well, A chore. Promised WW I'd scrub the front shutters.

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 02:14 PM (MVjcR)

15 Beautiful butterfly is on a coneflower. I bought one for Publius's mother to have on her deck, and I was wondering if you think it will overwinter OK in the pot. we're zone 7 here in upstate SC.

Coneflowers are easy to propagate, and deer don't like them, so I plan to have a lot of them in my garden (we haven't even started to build yet, so I can't get ahead of myself, but I sure do want a head start).

Posted by: Rashida T-labia at September 21, 2019 02:14 PM (NMAzL)

16 Also, my front yard looks like crap. Don't think it's rained here in weeks.

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 02:16 PM (MVjcR)

17 I was all geared up with essential oils to try and keep the box elder bug population down this year, and there have been exactly zero so far. I guess I should be thankful, but I did want to see how well it worked. Supposedly thats how they maintain keeping the population down @ Sundance.

Posted by: Quilp at September 21, 2019 02:22 PM (Bf3hj)

18 Lizabtha, those double roses look really good, and are apparently very fragrant. Nice work.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:23 PM (o2vOl)

19 Cover happy weed much here? (void where prohibited?)

Have one stubby little potted cannabis plant as a casual crop for fun because it's legal yay merica. With the turn of season, it's losing all its old leaves but generating many sticky tops.

Always heard it was a good border crop, as bugs & such don't care for it. For all our plant-chewing local bugs, I've seen little evidence of damage. Found a couple of webworms (? some kind of spikey multipede) crawling on it yesterday, but no sign of chewing.

Excuse not sending a pic; posting under deep sock because paranoia still strikes deep.

Posted by: Smokey Bogart at September 21, 2019 02:25 PM (dRfXw)

20 "I hear that mangoes are much better when tree-ripened than most of us realize. I don't know much about mango varieties. Anybody?"
Definitely. Mangoes in the market in Minnesota taste like kerosene. To ship, growers pick them too green. Bananas in the market in Minnesota taste like cardboard.

Posted by: Malcolm Kirkpatrick at September 21, 2019 02:28 PM (kD3S+)

21 9 >> What do you think the flower is?

I'm thinking Echinacea angustifolia.
Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:06 PM (o2vOl)

Yes, I agree, I've grown that and it's quite hardy. (commonly called purple coneflower) It's also an important herb for those into herbal medicine, believed to bolster the immune system, prevent colds, and to support good health in general. Supposedly it was a Native American medicinal plant.

Posted by: Tom Servo at September 21, 2019 02:33 PM (trdmm)

22 17. which essential oils?

Posted by: kallisto at September 21, 2019 02:34 PM (knNho)

23 My apples and pears were styrofoam this year. Such a bummer. Perhaps the trees are just too old to produce decent fruit.

The blackberries are going crazy, though. Time to put some in vodka and add some sugar to make a blackberry liqueur for the holidays.

Posted by: Nurse ratched at September 21, 2019 02:36 PM (PkVlr)

24 I'm ashamed of my garden right now.

...

Posted by: Jewells45 at September 21, 2019 01:59 PM (dUJdY)


If you saw mine, you'd feel infinitely better about yours ...

Posted by: Adriane the Mail Order Writing Course Critic ... at September 21, 2019 02:36 PM (LPnfS)

25 as to the butterfly ID, I called up your links side by side and I go with Red Admiral. Now if you could see the top of the wing it would be simple.

Posted by: Tom Servo at September 21, 2019 02:41 PM (trdmm)

26 Also, my front yard looks like crap. Don't think it's rained here in weeks.

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 02:16 PM (MVjcR)

Our grass out front is actually crunchy. It's been a terribly dry summer. Upside is that we don't have to mow very often.
The guy across the street has a "competitive" lawn. It's gorgeous. One night I walked across the street, kicked off my flip flops and walked in it barefoot. Lovely and soft, and no fire ants.

Posted by: Rashida T-labia at September 21, 2019 02:41 PM (NMAzL)

27 My little garden has had it. I have a few cherry tomatoes still producing but everything else has gone to seed or hell.

Just as well - I have to dig up a drainage pipe that runs beneath the garden very soon.

Posted by: Tonypete at September 21, 2019 02:41 PM (Y4EXg)

28 Hey, where's the Queen of Botany? KT, are you going to visit before the pet thread?

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:42 PM (o2vOl)

29 >> which essential oils?

Tend to use Castrol and Mobile1 myself. Valvoline is excellent as well.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:43 PM (o2vOl)

30 Not much to report about the garden this week. But looking at today's thread, I noticed just how much variety of shapes and colors can be found in even a small garden. It's lovely to sit and look at on a comfortable day. A suitable beverage and a pipeful of good tobacco completes the image.

Posted by: JTB at September 21, 2019 02:43 PM (bmdz3)

31 Oh crap. Off with the T-labia sock. Jeez.

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at September 21, 2019 02:43 PM (NMAzL)

32 >> Now i'll have to look up all the coneflowers and their botanical designations

The wikis are usually pretty decent. Sometimes you get lucky with the growers' sites as well.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:48 PM (o2vOl)

33 >> 31 Oh crap. Off with the T-labia sock. Jeez.

LOL. I was wondering who that was.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:49 PM (o2vOl)

34 31 Oh crap. Off with the T-labia sock. Jeez.
Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at September 21, 2019 02:43 PM (NMAzL)

lol! I was wondering, come on, in the garden thread?

I suppose I've always been one who keeps a "competitive lawn". Don't know why, I just like it. I put too much work and water into the St. Augustine to let it die now.

Posted by: Tom Servo at September 21, 2019 02:49 PM (trdmm)

35 My yard is feral but it is healthy even being in a drought. Indigenous plants help in that respect.
I dont irrigate 'cept the garden in back which goes year round here.

Wish i had 2 or 3 inches of the se texas deluge...

Posted by: LoneRanger at September 21, 2019 02:49 PM (3GN2g)

36 ha, maybe we need a "bad garden" contest. I'd be a contender.


My yellow flowers around the pond are blooming now, I'd have to search back previous years to see what KT told me they are. The deer food plots have turned bright green with the rains and warm weather... mostly purple top turnips and some rye or millet.


The keto diets I've seen love to add avocado for many meals, but most fruits (sugar) are not recommended ... maybe some raspberries are OK. Guess I'll need to grow more broccoli and freeze it.

cheers to the growers ...

Posted by: illiniwek at September 21, 2019 02:54 PM (Cus5s)

37 274 I've been a lurker for over two years because I couldn't figure out what my URL was\is. So i took a chance and posted something and it worked. Yes yes I'm a computer genius but I should fit in well with morons here.
Posted by: xa4 nasal radiator at September 21, 2019 01:26 PM (xkudx)
--------
Well I half-assed my way through the shutter scrubbing job. I did four of the six, missing a lot of spots, before deciding the last two on the downhill side of the house were far, far too dangerous for me to attempt with a step ladder. Which means I need to get out an extension ladder, which seems like a lot of work.

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 02:55 PM (mitVr)

38 >> I've always been one who keeps a "competitive lawn"

My front lawn looks like Hell. So much grass has died that the Dichondra is actually making a comeback.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 02:55 PM (o2vOl)

39 Shit. Paste fail.

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 02:56 PM (mitVr)

40 Just back from our tiny hometown festival. It's more like a social with music and games. One vender selling glorious mums. I didnt buy any since i cannot keep the darn things alive. Just outside the lawnmower shop there were huge fabulous coxcombs. Bright magenta color. I wanted to steal some since the weren't for sale. I have no luck growing those either. Last time I tried was 10 yrs ago. Maybe I should try again.

Posted by: madamemayhem (uppity wench) at September 21, 2019 02:58 PM (myjNJ)

41 I also managed to soak myself with the hose, so now I'm on the back deck with WD drying out.

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 02:59 PM (mitVr)

42 ha, maybe we need a "bad garden" contest. I'd be a contender.
Posted by: illiniwek at September 21, 2019 02:54 PM (Cus5s)
-----
That's a hell of an idea!

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 03:01 PM (MVjcR)

43 40 miles..thank you! It is a spectacular rose, and I am so looking forward to its October bloom. The scent is incredible.

The dog and I just walked around the gardens. What a mess...so much rain, and more to come thanks to the tropical storm that hit Houston so badly.

Posted by: lizabth at September 21, 2019 03:04 PM (L3Rsz)

44 I used to have White Swan coneflowers in NoVA. I think I'll get those to combine with the purple ones. And yeah, I'll end up with a ton because they seed themselves so well. If they get water. And I can't count on rain, apparently.
Next year I want to plant Phase 1 of the garden close enough to water and manage. The semi-drought this summer was very frustrating. And still no rain on the horizon for the next 10 days. Despite that, there are tons of flowers on the cukes, and the tomatoes hare going gangbusters.
Question: if the first frost is expected come the first week of November, when should I start snipping off tomato flowers?

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at September 21, 2019 03:08 PM (NMAzL)

45 42 ... "maybe we need a "bad garden" contest."

There needs to be one rule: We have to be responsible for the bad garden. Weather alone doesn't count. Judging by the state of my garden and comments from others here, there should be plenty of contenders.

Posted by: JTB at September 21, 2019 03:08 PM (bmdz3)

46 At the beginning of every autumn, I find myself singing, "I fought the lawn, and the lawn won."

This year is no exception.

Posted by: Noam Sayen at September 21, 2019 03:16 PM (WJcbb)

47 Hey, I need to send KT a picture of my Tiger Lily that isn't. What do you call a plant that only pretends to be a tiger? Cory Booker?

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 03:19 PM (o2vOl)

48 Hey, I need to send KT a picture of my Tiger Lily
that isn't. What do you call a plant that only pretends to be a tiger?
Cory Booker?

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 03:19 PM (o2vOl)

We need political plant names. Weaponize the garden!

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at September 21, 2019 03:21 PM (NMAzL)

49 45 42 ... "maybe we need a "bad garden" contest."

There needs to be one rule: We have to be responsible for the bad garden. Weather alone doesn't count. Judging by the state of my garden and comments from others here, there should be plenty of contenders.
Posted by: JTB at September 21, 2019 03:08 PM (bmdz3)
-------
Does neglect and a bad attitude qualify as "responsibility"?

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 03:23 PM (mitVr)

50 Is this going to be one of those years with no fall season? Seems warm-ish for September.

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 03:27 PM (mitVr)

51 well there was bad weather, and Japanese beetles, and chickens pecking the fruits ... and global warming and TrumpHaters and some repressed childhood experience, and my state is run by the Chicago Mob ... now that I think of it NONE of this is my fault ... I feel better now. This "take responsibility" thing is for the birds. /s

Posted by: illiniwek at September 21, 2019 03:30 PM (Cus5s)

52 Does neglect and a bad attitude qualify as "responsibility"?

Posted by: Weasel at September 21, 2019 03:23 PM (mitVr)

Yes. Lack thereof.

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at September 21, 2019 03:31 PM (NMAzL)

53 49 ... "Does neglect and a bad attitude qualify as "responsibility"?"

Well, they sure work for me!

Posted by: JTB at September 21, 2019 03:32 PM (bmdz3)

54 Laziness and procrastination account for most of my garden neglect. Which is why I'm a big fan of perennials. They take care of themselves.

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at September 21, 2019 03:32 PM (NMAzL)

55 as for bad garden contest...neglect is requisite...attitude not so much.

My water bill is thirty or so a month and some of my neighbors are over 300 a month but they got grass and pools!

Never cared much about grass...

But backyard garden is always producing but the varmints are a problem

Posted by: LoneRanger at September 21, 2019 03:35 PM (3GN2g)

56 >> We need political plant names. Weaponize the garden!

It's not every day you get slapped by a Duchess.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 03:39 PM (o2vOl)

57 We haven't had rain in awhile, should go water the few plants still going.
It's like summer today, might be mid 80s full sun. It's our community day, down at park lots of rides and activities to do, live bands, dozens of food vendors. Finally got to climb a rock wall, harder than I thought but made it to the top.

Posted by: Skip at September 21, 2019 03:51 PM (ZCEU2)

58 What's a cactus that I can commonly find in garden depts. of places like Walmart that can live indoors without much sunlight?

Posted by: ArthurK at September 21, 2019 04:05 PM (gk/9Q)

59 58 ... "What's a cactus that I can commonly find in garden depts. of places like Walmart that can live indoors without much sunlight?"

Never had any luck with true cacti. If succulants are close enough to a cactus, they might suit you. The light demands are less and the varied shapes are interesting.

Posted by: JTB at September 21, 2019 04:10 PM (bmdz3)

60 Our Home Depot always has some really neat succulents.

Posted by: OldDominionMom at September 21, 2019 04:16 PM (t0Z53)

61 @58 and 59


Was just thinking. .
Go with mother in law tongue. Aka snake plant.

Posted by: madamemayhem (uppity wench) at September 21, 2019 04:16 PM (myjNJ)

62 From Idaho's Treasure Valley: Serious question for tomato growers - is there an heirloom variety that will do well in 95-100 degree heat during July/August, doesn't have green shoulders, doesn't grow into weird shapes, and doesn't split or crack all the time? Previously, I've tossed most of the Cherokee Purples into the compost - this year, it's most of the 'Black from Tula' crop. I'm to the point of thinking I should just grow boring Big Boy hybrids, and maybe a Sungold, and give up on the heirlooms...

In other news - still harvesting a few zucchini, though the powdery mildew on the leaves, and cooler temperatures, are slowing them down. Also still harvesting our pickling cucumbers. The red raspberries are still producing but just don't taste the way they do at their height, so we'll freeze them, and turn them into juice for jelly later. Most of the bush green beans seem done - I'm mostly finding the big ugly ones that hide at the bottoms of the plants, now.

Harvesting tomatoes - finally got a few Romas, but there's not going to be much of a crop. The temperatures have really dropped, about 50 F at night and 65 at most during the day. We're getting enough Big Boys to keep us in salads, plus a small number of Blacks.

I did spot a hummingbird several times this week - still waiting to see when they'll migrate. Those scarlet sage aren't going to be there all winter... That flower garden has produced some nice larkspur, and any plant whose seed head is outside the edges of the raised bed, is fair game for me to collect. I can re-seed quite a few larkspurs now, if they don't re-seed on their own. (I've also decided which types of flowers I'll pull out next year, since I thought they were ugly and I never saw any hummingbird pay attention to them.)

Cantaloupes, some of those got damaged badly by some nibbling critter (though I've cut up and frozen some that didn't get damaged). Come leaf drop time, we're going to be severely trimming the back apple tree branches (since so many of them broke off...), and then looking for all the critter holes everywhere around the back yard and doing some serious poisoning (we know there are plenty of critter-holes deep under that tree).

Under puttering, I've done some trimming back of unruly flowers, and dug up some chamomile plants in an area I don't want them in. Husband's been working on the irrigation. We'll need an unused zone re-commissioned to feed the future orchard, so he's finding the risers. And one riser we've been using for drip irrigation, has been leaking, so he's had to dig that up, locate the leak, then go get parts for repairs.

Posted by: Pat* at September 21, 2019 04:20 PM (2pX/F)

63 It's not every day you get slapped by a Duchess.

Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 03:39 PM (o2vOl)

Elevated, darling! Elevated.

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at September 21, 2019 04:34 PM (NMAzL)

64 Finally the Central Valley is cool enough to plant the fall garden. SO tomorrow will be a full on clean up and planting leafy greens, daikon/radishes and winter cabbage-y things. But today I have a big ole pot of Southern style green beans, baby potatoes and bacon stewing on the stove.

I still have eggplants, a late summer cuke and half a dozen tomato plants chugging along...oh a one very determined purple snake bean.

After attending the Baker Creek Heirloom extravaganza in Santa Rosa last week, I've decided to grow mostly heirloom tomatoes next year. I gotta have as many of Brad Gates' varieties as I can fit in. I mean look at these beauties (they were even better in the flesh and very tasty).

https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/tomatoes/wild-boar-farms/

Shanks

Posted by: Shanks for the memory at September 21, 2019 04:40 PM (TdCQk)

65 (I'm not sure how many URLs one can drop in a comment before the spam trap kicks in, so I added this separately)

Speaking of Echinacea, I picked up three Redbeckia Echinacea hybrids at Home Depot yesterday. They are gorgeous in autumn toned pots and later will find a home in a bed of various colors of lavender, Gaillardia, Sicilian oregano and garlic chives.

https://www.perennials.com/plants/echibeckia-summerina-yellow.html

Shanks

Posted by: Shanks for the memory at September 21, 2019 04:53 PM (TdCQk)

66 Not a spam trap, just blows the margins to Hell for phone viewers.
Shorter url than the text being seen works IMO, and haven't blown a margin in a year and half and link half dozen a day.
For long url try this >
https://tinyurl.com/

Posted by: Skip at September 21, 2019 05:14 PM (ZCEU2)

67 Gave a neighbor a cutting of Lady Slipper last year. Saw her this morning and she said how well her plant is doing and that she went to trim it the other day and she made a cut and the white sap from the plant squirted in her eye. She was rolling around on the ground crying in agony. Had to go to the eye doctor. I had warned her when I gave her the cutting, people have said that the sap can cause temporary blindness if you get it in your eye. She didn't get that but it hurt like hell. I guess I never cut mine, just let them be.

Posted by: Wee Kreek Farm Girl at September 21, 2019 06:06 PM (spBV6)

68 > 61 @58 and 59

Was just thinking. .
Go with mother in law tongue. Aka snake plant.
Posted by: madamemayhem (uppity wench)

--------

Just looked it up. that's a good looking plant!

Posted by: ArthurK at September 21, 2019 06:52 PM (gk/9Q)

69 regarding mother-in-law's tongue plants
Seems like in the Midwest in the sixties and seventies, I saw those everywhere. I think they were used a lot in businesses public places churches because you could stick them in a corner and just neglect them and they would never die. LOL

Posted by: Farmer posting from stupid smartphone at September 21, 2019 07:25 PM (EeVWu)

70 Pat, as per usual, thank you for the update!

Posted by: blake - used road trip salesman at September 21, 2019 08:16 PM (njJCo)

71 4 Nice thread. KT. WonderPony took some great photos. Blake's crape myrtle looks impressive, and Floridachick's avocados look great, but why did she lube them?
Posted by: 40 miles north at September 21, 2019 01:59 PM (o2vOl)

----------------

Thank you for the compliment!

I have some neighbors who have some even more impressive myrtles!

Posted by: blake - used road trip salesman at September 21, 2019 08:18 PM (njJCo)

72 Those look like Hayden Mangos. They have a sweet, pine flavor when properly ripened.

Posted by: wayne at September 21, 2019 08:59 PM (l+ENQ)

73 I sure do miss my neighbors avocado tree and the other neighbors lemon tree. Hubby wants to build a greenhouse just for the lemons (zone 6a here).
My San Marzano's were ripening quite nicely and I was able to can several quarts. But now that the weather has cooled I've taken to putting them in boxes in the garage with an apple in each box. It's really gotten the semi-ripe ones to completely ripen.
And I'm ashamed to admit, I've never eaten a mango. Or a papaya for that matter. Maybe next time I'm in a tropical paradise when it's snowing here.

Posted by: S.Lynn at September 21, 2019 10:21 PM (oYThS)

74 Shanks for the memory at September 21, 2019 04:40 PM:
The beans, potatoes and bacon sound great. So do the fall planting plans.

You might try some 'Just Right' turnips, too. They get yuggge. Don't try eating the roots as baby turnips. They don't start to bulb up until the plant gets bigger.

Don't count on all of the Brad Gates tomatoes doing well in the Central Valley. We will be going over regional tomato varieties soon. I like his AAA Sweet Solano, which looks great and does well in the Central Valley, like some of his other smaller tomatoes. Not wildly productive, though tasty. Haven't tried any of the big ones that have done well here, at least that I remember right now.

Posted by: KTontheroad at September 22, 2019 01:06 PM (qVvBP)

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