Saturday Gardening Thread: The Harvest Continues [KT]


Hello, gardeners and those who would like to make friends with a gardener about now. There are some good things coming out of gardens this time of year. Above, a peach my niece and her husband grew in their yard in Utah.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the tomato harvest is so good that they are throwing tomatoes at people.


"Vegetable Justice". I am still pondering that. The photo is from the Minnesota Renaissance Fair. Gordon writes in response to my query about the identity of the target:

He's an employee. He insults you as you throw. He was gentle on the insults with the little girl, but he still did it. With adults he is offensive.

I missed seeing a report from Pat* last week. Bet some other people did, too. Here's why:

From Moronette Pat*

My husband occasionally writes for the blog Ricochet. We were invited to their recent gathering in Montana. We attended, which is why I didn't post last week. We didn't harvest for a total of 8 days. I asked four neighbors to go harvest my garden while I was gone.

They didn't.

I photographed the results. In total, we harvested 9 cantaloupes (2 others were rotted), over 7.5 pounds of red raspberries (most just fit for steam juicing), . . .

pat haul 2.JPG

a few late-season strawberries, two 1# salad tubs filled with beans (most ended up as compost), partial tubs of Sungold and Early Girl tomatoes, a few good Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes (most ended up as compost), and two nearly full 2-gallon buckets of Roma tomatoes. The sprigs of spearmint represent an *entire garden cart* full of it that I had to trim off, just to get the plant pack in bounds.

Not included: the *23.5 inch zucchini* I had to throw in the compost.


Pat's neighbors don't know what they are missing. I hate hearing about the part of the harvest that went past its prime.

Getting down to the nitty gritty

We also have new information related to past threads today. Remember not to comment on old threads. From last week's gardening thread:


Geoffb5 has checked in with details on those pretty tomatoes he grew on those gorgeous plants:

For slicing I like the Kellogg (orange) best as it is very meaty and not too acid. Lemon Boy (yellow) and Black Krim (purple) are next. For salads the Early Girl is good, I also use the bigger ones on BLTs along with Better Boy. The disappointment this year was the Big Rainbow. Lots of smallish tomatoes but very watery. When I got the seedlings what I probably was thinking of was Big Pineapple and bought the wrong one. There's always next year.

Kellog's Breakfast seems to be developing a following among The Horde. I am not real crazy about the bicolor types like Big Rainbow in our climate, either. Haven't seen many comments about Brandywine this year. Maybe as winter rolls in, we can make up a regional tomato wish-list or something. Maybe one for peppers, too. Anybody grow Hatch chilis this year? (h/t Sarah Hoyt)

I still think Geoffb5's container plants look especially lush. I would be interested in learning some growing details.

Raised Bed Gardening

In response to my blegging, Lawrence Larson has provided some really useful details on the classy raised bed garden and veggies pictured in last week's thread:

Thanks for sharing our submission. We've been growing veggies for a long while, but I make no claim to be a green thumb. Our biggest lesson learned over the years is to plant zucchini and tomatoes only. They love the weather and it's nearly impossible to kill 'em. We've never had much luck or good output from anything else we've tried and we've got lots of great recipes for them both zuccs and tomatoes together and separately.

We built the garden in a "C" shape to be able to get access to all the plants without having to climb into the bed. We back filled it with several yards of high grade top soil--didn't even bother to mix in fertilizer. The bed is 18" above our alluvial clay-like soil so the drainage is excellent. It's plumbed for automatic watering with mini-bubblers instead of fixed flow emitters. The mini-bubblers are great for varying the amount of water delivered plants on the same circuit.

The zucchini and crooked neck ended up completely overflowing the beds. We were constantly pruning back large leaves between the roots and the fruit so that the plants energy was focused on flowering instead of growth.

I honestly don't know if anything we did was the key to our success. It could have simply been the whether this spring and summer. It was a wonderful summer of home-grown produce.

We would like to see a recipe or two. Any thoughts about winter gardening in that new bed? Veggies (broccoli, salad greens) or flowers?

Invasive Species

Turns out that Todd was way ahead of us on the identity of the Tree of Heaven.

New to me is the idea that an invasive species can be a tree, not just a tiny weed. If caught small, you can just pull it out of the ground. Larger specimens must be treated with natural or chemical herbicides. TOH doesn't live forever, a tree will will eventually die. I had a dead tree removed in the corner of my lot, but it was in my pre-TOH-radar days, so I don't know if it was a TOH or something else. Once you notice TOH, you'll have a permanent TOH radar in your brain and you see it everywhere. I know it grows all over Denver, but I don't think it thrives everywhere in the USA.

Somebody in Portland agrees with you, Todd. Personally, I think that radar is also useful when invasive species that are NOT trees are small. It's discouraging that so many of them were imported on purpose. Rip 'em all out when they're little.

seedling TOH.jpg

Hard-neck garlic and garlic scapes

If you are in the North, time may be getting short for planting hard-neck garlic. Getting late for ordering fall flower bulbs. Earlier this summer, Born Free sent in some remarkable photos of hummingbirds on garlic flowers. This set me off on a little tangent regarding garlic scapes.

This week, I got a link from a surprise correspondent with more uses for garlic scapes than you could probably imagine. You can use them in flower bouquets, pickles, all kinds of dishes. Just keep scrolling. Lots of photos, and a little cooking video.

Ever considered wrapping garlic scapes in bacon? GAINZZZ-friendly.


I think this one's easy enough for Ace.

I don't know if it was clear to me earlier that only hard-neck garlic, the kind planted in the North, produces garlic scapes. Maybe that is why I have never seen them before. Heh. For you northerners, harvesting the scapes may have the benefit of improving your garlic harvest, unless you plan to save the bulbs to re-plant next year.

Soft-neck garlic, the kind planted here in the Valley, goes in after the new year, so southerners can wait a while before planting garlic. I think there is more variation in flavors among cultivars of hard neck garlic. Some are mild. Some are anything but mild. Hard-neck garlic tends to have cloves of uniform size, while soft-neck garlic has a bunch of tiny cloves in the center. I think I remember something about baked garlic from the Food Thread. Some cultivars of hard-neck garlic are especially recommended for baking.

Harvesting and storing garlic seems to be trickier than harvesting onions. Anybody have some experience to share?


Hard-neck Garlic

Disaster preparedness and recovery

We have been getting some inquiries and suggestions recently about preparedness. Not all prepper stuff is yard and garden related, but some is. Would you like to see more information along these lines?

This was the first year we bought federal flood insurance, because of the possibility here in the San Joaquin Valley of a levee break. But I am not really prepared today to discuss the effects of Harvey and Irma on gardening. If you are, I would love to hear from you. I did run across this piece on cars saved from Harvey by garden blocks. Too bad about the house.

Wired managed to provide a suggestion for sinking those floating rafts of fire ants from Harvey: dish soap. Anybody have a better suggestion?

If you're wading around flood waters and run into a raft of 100,000 fire ants, your day will get considerably more complicated. The ants will board you and sting and not let go, even if you submerge. (Stings are painful, hence the name, but rarely fatal, typically if you've got an allergy to the venom.) Really, your best bet is to hit their rafts with soapy water, which breaks up the ants' waxy covering and drowns them. Otherwise, it's hard to stop these things, which have been known to float around for almost two weeks.

But should the raft make it to a dry surface, the ants form into an even more bizarre structure: a roiling, liquid Eiffel Tower. . . .

Don't give in to fire ants. Ageratum houstonianum is one flower you might say represents the "Houston spirit". It is recommended for fall. It is easy to transplant, even in bloom. Though it is usually seen as a short bedding plant, there are taller sorts that are even useful for cutting.


I think people affected by Irma are not quite ready to talk about gardening yet. I do have some thoughts on preparing for fire. I don't think there is much you can do about some of the huge wildfires we are currently seeing, but last week there was a less-huge wildfire that closed a highway I had traversed while vacationing in Utah recently. I am not aware of any friends who lost homes, but a friend of a relative did.

There was something pathetic about the real-time news reports showing homeowners training weak streams of water from garden hoses against the advancing fire, and about firefighters begging homeowners to turn their hoses and sprinklers off so that there would be sufficient water pressure for firefighters to do their job.

I noticed in news reports that one of the homes that burned flat to the ground had a swimming pool. It reminded me of reports I had seen of swimming pool fire-fighting rigs. The one I remembered had a stationary nozzle fixed to the pool. It would spray water over the owner's roof and parts of the neighbors' roofs. The one shown below is just a fire hose attached by the homeowner to his pool pump. Looks more versatile. The article from the OC Register is dated, but if you scroll through the slides, there is some interesting information. Looks like roof eaves are an area of concern. There is also a photo about some fire retardant you can spray on your house that could be refreshed by firefighters.

fire hose 1.jpg

I have never wanted a swimming pool. But sometimes a water tank seems like a good idea. Have you been thinking about "hardening" your house and yard against disaster lately? Better done calmly than in time of disaster, I think.

Gardens of The Horde

The weather changed this week. It's actually pleasant enough to consider pulling weeds without feeling dismay. Anything going on in your yard or garden? If you have been affected by wind, fire or flood, we would like to hear from you.

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 want to be a lurker.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:43 PM


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1 Wow, that's lot content, thanks KT.

Posted by: Farmer at September 16, 2017 12:44 PM (lfXAE)

2 I need to set down and make the time to read all this content.

But I do want to mention that all our tomatoes seem tb be off schedule by 3-4 weeks.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at September 16, 2017 12:57 PM (EyPfd)

3 That's a big 'ol peach.....Georgia Belle?

Posted by: BignJames at September 16, 2017 12:57 PM (LWPRt)

4 I like to employ gunpowder and fire in my pest control solutions, Unfortunately I think I'm frequently close to some kind of 'line' with BATFE.

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 01:00 PM (Sfs6o)

5 BignJames at September 16, 2017 12:57 PM

She doesn't know what kind it is. Came with the house. I seriously doubt that it's Georgia Belle.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 01:02 PM (BVQ+1)

6 Does anyone have experience growing tomatoes on the coast? The place we want to buy is right on the bay, northern WA state. They did have a few 80 degree days this year. I tried Stupice at our current home but am not impressed.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at September 16, 2017 01:02 PM (Lqy/e)

7 Even in the Midwest some rural people put in dry hydrants, with the water source usually being a pond. That is mostly for a pumper truck to use in case of a house fire.

I'd guess clearing brush and trees close to the house would be essential out west, and a metal roof would help a lot. Then having a good pump for keeping embers at bay might be effective. It would be a scary situation for sure.

Posted by: illiniwek at September 16, 2017 01:05 PM (yKAUL)

8 I'm a native Floridian so I have some familiarity with storm preparedness. One of the things that impressed me the most about Katrina was how immediately unprepared most people were to take care of even their most basic needs. If you want to understand what you need for an emergency, go shut off the electric breaker to your house for 48 hours and don't drink the water from the tap without boiling or otherwise treating it. Take notes on how things go and what you didn't have that you could have used. There's your plan.

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 01:05 PM (Sfs6o)

9 Vegetable justice > social justice.

Posted by: Aunt Luna at September 16, 2017 01:07 PM (Zd2ZF)

10 Notsothoreau at September 16, 2017 01:02 PM

Tough location for tomatoes outdoors. Check in with Territorial Seeds. Besides flavor, late blight is a concern. We can maybe address this issue during the winter garden doldrums.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 01:12 PM (BVQ+1)

11 this horticulturist says "A Tree Grew in Brooklyn" (in the sidewalk) was a tree of heaven.

she also gives good tips on ID and eradication.

Posted by: illiniwek at September 16, 2017 01:13 PM (yKAUL)

12 We are creating generations of people that can't take care of themselves. Money lives on plastic or comes out of a machine. Food comes from grocery stores that are always stocked. Electricity, refrigeration and the internet are guaranteed rights. Worst of all, they have no interest in learning otherwise.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at September 16, 2017 01:15 PM (Lqy/e)

13 Where my hoes at?

Posted by: Insomniac at September 16, 2017 01:16 PM (NWiLs)

14 Weasel at September 16, 2017 01:05 PM

Interesting exercise.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 01:16 PM (BVQ+1)

15 I'm always interested in preparedness info. Eventually, I'd like to have a small vegetable garden with produce that does well when canned (carrots, green beans, potatoes, etc).

Posted by: PabloD at September 16, 2017 01:16 PM (yAX7n)

16 Just not having water is a pain. I had a kitchen faucet go out last year. Whoever put it in fckd it up. I could not get it out for the life of me. It was a Sunday am and to turn off that faucet, I had to turn off water to the whole house. No was was I paying a plumber for a Sunday call. I had plenty of bottled water and electric. Took a shower at a friends, but had to use a 5 gal water jug to haul in irrigation water for the toilet. I also refer to the large shelfs in the guest room as the grocery store.

Posted by: Infidel at September 16, 2017 01:16 PM (bfUpy)

Not included: the *23.5 inch zucchini* I had to throw in the compost.

What a terrible waste.

Posted by: Sandra Fluke at September 16, 2017 01:17 PM (NWiLs)

18 Good afternoon greentumbs
Was at a firetruck parade, finally getting Anaheim peppers ripen, don't know how many yet been very busy really look.

Posted by: Skip at September 16, 2017 01:17 PM (ghofu)

19 One of the few things that worked in the garden this year was chives. We have a nice batch (actually the second batch after last spring's), more than we can use fresh. I know we can dry them but are there better alternatives? Freezing in ice cube trays? Chive vinegar? Chive olive oil?

This is the first time we've had enough chives for the question to matter.

Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 01:17 PM (V+03K)

20 There's a company called Adaptive Seeds that has a lot of Russian/Ukranian varieties. They had one that did well on the coast but were sold out. I know it's going to be a challenge. I'm planning on the types of plants they grow on the coasts in England. But it would be nice to have a few tomatoes, even if it takes a greenhouse to do it.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at September 16, 2017 01:18 PM (Lqy/e)

21 Cursed be the ground for our sake. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for us. For out of the ground we were taken, for the dust we are...and to the dust we shall return.

Posted by: Insomniac at September 16, 2017 01:18 PM (NWiLs)

22 FIRE ANT RAFTS: Douse with gasoline, enough to make a nice fire. Toss match and watch those vile little stinging bastards pop and sizzle. For mounds on dry land, just put some gasoline on the mound but do not light, the fumes are heavier than air and kill the whole nest colony. They writhe in agony - is it wonderful.

Posted by: Bonecrusher at September 16, 2017 01:19 PM (r+mGZ)

This is the first time we've had enough chives for the question to matter.

I grow chives. There is a huge 'bundle' growing in the flower bed in the front yard. We get freezing and snow here. I still cut them almost all year long. Much better that dried.

Posted by: Infidel at September 16, 2017 01:19 PM (bfUpy)

24 Pat* has some beautiful raspberries there. Even if some are a little over-ripe. And the cantaloupes remind me of how they look in the Intermountain West. Refreshing.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 01:21 PM (BVQ+1)

25 14 Weasel at September 16, 2017 01:05 PM

Interesting exercise.
Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 01:16 PM (BVQ+1)
It's really the very best way to figure out what you need and don't have, and what your threshold for discomfort is. For example, I grew up camping and backpacking, and did so well into my adult years, so I have some pretty nice gear and don't mind roughing it a bit. Others might have a different experience, say, without a/c for a couple of days. It might make the basis for an interesting AoS thread where people share their experience. I know the topic comes up from time to time.

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 01:25 PM (Sfs6o)

26 Green River melon season is almost over here. Those things are like candy.

Posted by: Infidel at September 16, 2017 01:25 PM (bfUpy)

27 All summer veg is pretty much done. We have such a busy fall and winter traveling I may just go with cover crops and give the soil a break. Maybe just some carrots and chard and that's it for a change.

I have about 7 grape vines on trellises that are about 3 years old. Anyone have good tips or sources on how to best prune them in winter so they grow properly? They're kind of a mess now but the bunnies love that low hanging fruit.

Posted by: keena at September 16, 2017 01:26 PM (RiTnx)

28 8 ... Great suggestion on developing a prep plan, Weasel. (I also like the gunpowder and fire pest control. BATF needs a sense of humor.)

Don't know if it came up here, but check out the prepared-housewives site. It has a bunch of good info on food prep, preservation, and other useful matters.

Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 01:27 PM (V+03K)

29 Yep, I don't camp anymore, but I am not getting rid of any of my camping gear. Which reminds me, grandson owes me a sleeping bag.

Posted by: Infidel at September 16, 2017 01:27 PM (bfUpy)

30 My chives, which basically is a grass, survive as they are most of the year. I did a bad thing and put my peppers next to and now covering over.

Posted by: Skip at September 16, 2017 01:27 PM (ghofu)

31 I have a friend that learned to be a prepper when she lived in Guam. Her pantry really does lookl like a grocery store. She went through a period of about a year with no job. She had enough food that she didn't need to buy much and could use her unemployment to pay the mortgage. It really convinced me that preps are a good idea.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at September 16, 2017 01:27 PM (Lqy/e)

32 I missed the garden report from Pat last week.

That is a lot of raspberries. Quite the haul for 1 week.

Posted by: CaliGirl at September 16, 2017 01:29 PM (Ri/rl)

33 Its slower way to kill fire ants but a good sunny day and a magnifying glass and use them as lazer practice.

Posted by: Skip at September 16, 2017 01:30 PM (ghofu)

34 That's a big damn peach.

Posted by: Insomniac at September 16, 2017 01:34 PM (NWiLs)

35 keena at September 16, 2017 01:26 PM

Depends on the cultivar. There is a really nice diagram of cane vs. spur pruning in one of the older Sunset Western Garden Books. I think January is about the right time. Though Southern Californina is sometimes pretty warm then.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 01:37 PM (BVQ+1)

36 Thanks for reposting the hummingbird/garlic pictures. I'd missed them the first time. I finally caught a hummingbird flitting about my deck plants. Last year I saw them more frequently. Maybe next year I'll plant some garlic to attract them. I would never have considered it until I saw the photos you posted.

Very late in the season, I put the goldfinch feeder out. It only took about 18 hours for them to show up. Most of them are either female or young males who are not yet in their yellow plumage. They are just adorable. I found out they may overwinter in our area, so I'll keep an eye out for them as the weather cools and I'll be sure to have enough nyjer seed on hand.

The feeder attracted a chickadee, a titmouse and a mourning dove too. There are gangs of sparrows and finches as well, but the goldfinches manage to get in between them. Their advantage is their ability to stay perched on the tube for lengths of time. The other birds are not as agile or athletic.

Planted some fall pansies in the spots where the summer plants had breathed their last.

Posted by: kallisto at September 16, 2017 01:39 PM (kD8Fh)

37 i still don't understand why a tomato costs $1 at a supermarket. this is a plant that grows like a weed in almost any environment.

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 01:46 PM (AxFdW)

38 you know what these supermarkets should do? grow their own vegetables on their acre-sized roofs.

that's what they should do.


Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 01:47 PM (AxFdW)

39 Sorta O/T but prep related: Weasel's approach to developing a prepper plan works in other areas. When we realized we were a year or so from retirement, we did a conservative estimate of what the reduced income would be and lived on that for the year, banking the savings. Being somewhat frugal, turned out we would be plenty comfortable. Made the last days of employment free from concern. We use the same approach in developing an emergency pantry and learning to preserve food.

Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 01:48 PM (V+03K)

40 We had a huge wild black raspberry fruiting season this year in WNY. I picked over 2 quarts for jam-making in about half an hour just by walking along a woodland margin and just grabbing the easy no-reach ones facing the trail. (But I still somehow managed to get some bramble scratches!)

Heading to my mom's condo in a bit. There's an apple tree in the woods out back of her place that puts out remarkably good-tasting apples for a wild tree. You just have to pick through the wormy ones to get the non-wormy ones. I'll grab enough for lunches for the week.

Posted by: WhatWhatWhat? at September 16, 2017 01:50 PM (ul9CR)

41 how about this for a business plan? maybe for one of you green thumbs out there:

offer a supermarket to set up a greenhouse operation on their roof and provide maintenance. for a fee, of course. they get the produce.

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 01:55 PM (AxFdW)

42 23 ... Infidel, This is the first time we grew chives in an Earth Box which is several times deeper than the flower pot we've used in the past. Think we'll leave a clump in place and see how they do. Thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 01:55 PM (V+03K)

43 Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 01:48 PM (V+03K)
It also goes without saying some of your 'needs' will vary based on the time of year and the climate. For example, I have a natural gas furnace but the blower is electric. Without power, the house is going to get cold. Fortunately, I have a fireplace and have a couple of kerosene heaters to keep the pipes from freezing in the winter.

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 01:55 PM (Sfs6o)

44 n.b i don't know a thing about the economics of farming or gardening.

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 01:57 PM (AxFdW)

45 kallisto at September 16, 2017 01:39 PM

Thanks for the bird and flower report. Fun.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 01:58 PM (BVQ+1)

46 ... all i know is you put a seed in the soil, water it and, voila, tomatoes!

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 01:59 PM (AxFdW)

47 WhatWhatWhat? at September 16, 2017 01:50 PM

Nice to hear a foraging report. Nothing available along the roadsides here until chickweed season.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 02:00 PM (BVQ+1)

48 JTB at September 16, 2017 01:48 PM

Great idea.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 02:01 PM (BVQ+1)

49 I have a natural gas furnace but the blower is electric.

This. I also have a pellet stove with a battery pack that will keep it running without electricity. Kerosene lamps. Coleman fuel and cook stoves.

Posted by: Infidel at September 16, 2017 02:01 PM (bfUpy)

50 My tomato containers ( except for one Earth Box) are 10 gallon storage containers which have a 3 gallon water reservoir in the bottom and 7 gallons for potting soil. The internet has many plans and I made mine using what I had available in my shop to save money. The soil is covered with black plastic to keep water from evaporating and the keep pests away.

I use potting soil which comes with stuff in it to hold water and some fertilizer. I add a fertilizer that has 5 to 10 % calcium like this, when I mix the soil up in a wheelbarrow and wet it before putting it in the containers. I'll also put in some cleaned and crushed eggshells. Then thoroughly wet it, cover with the plastic, fill the reservoir and wait a day for the soil to equalize moisture.

Two plants per container. I cut an X in the plastic and transplant seedlings. After a couple weeks I'll every other day take a capful of liquid fertilizer (I use Schultz 10-15-10 ) in a 2 gallon watering can and add some to each container's watering tube before watering for the day. I water until water runs out the overflow every day.

The rest is the usual care keeping disease and tomato worms at bay.

Posted by: geoffb5 at September 16, 2017 02:01 PM (zOpu5)

51 Getting our first taste of Fall. Highs in the 60s today.
First frost probably not far off.

Posted by: Ronster at September 16, 2017 02:02 PM (H2Dsd)

52 Its been a quest of mine to get a cistern installed. Surprisingly difficult to get something not polyester.

No contractor wants to tough that job.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at September 16, 2017 02:05 PM (hyuyC)

53 Just had 8 hours of rain and snowfall and random power outages. Big flakes, some of it stuck while it was 31degF above 4000'. On the bright side, the forest fire smoke from multiple states has been beaten down.

Posted by: Fritz at September 16, 2017 02:06 PM (8flQp)

54 Part of the issue with old cisterns is that they are a snake habitat. Like -- a lot more snakes than you want. Greater than Indiana Jones in Egypt numbers of snakes.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at September 16, 2017 02:07 PM (hyuyC)

55 50 geoff: how many tomatoes do you harvest in a year? can you cover your costs @ $1 per tomato?

i know there are commercial greenhouses in upstate new york that grow tomatoes at a profit.

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 02:08 PM (AxFdW)

56 geoffb5 at September 16, 2017 02:01 PM

Thanks for the great details.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 02:08 PM (BVQ+1)

57 NaCly Dog, maybe you could buy a septic tank.

Posted by: Ronster at September 16, 2017 02:09 PM (H2Dsd)

58 37 i still don't understand why a tomato costs $1 at a supermarket. this is a plant that grows like a weed in almost any environment.
Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 01:46 PM (AxFdW)

The grocery stores used those rewards/loyalty cards to gather information. They figured out the max price they can charge for different commodities and their prices don't fluctuate with the market as much as they used to.

The grocery stores used to pay market price for fruits and vegetables. They used to do contracts for ads.

For example, they would agree to pay 10 dollars a carton for lettuce x 10 truckloads because they were going to run a special. Then if the market went to 20, they would pay 10. If the market fell to 4 dollars, they would throw a fit and pay 4.

Now, everything is contracted. You agree to give them so many pounds or cartons a week at an agreed upon price.

I'm not sure if they do this with tomatoes but I know they do it with vegetables. I would guess it's the same.

Posted by: CaliGirl at September 16, 2017 02:10 PM (Ri/rl)

59 NaCly Dog at September 16, 2017 02:05 PM

Keep us updated on the cistern thing. My Dad woke up dens of rattlesnakes while doing soil surveying as a young man. He favored tall boots.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 02:11 PM (BVQ+1)

60 Ronster

All local septic tanks are non-potable rated plastics. And would not want to confuse the piping.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at September 16, 2017 02:11 PM (hyuyC)

61 I would love to have a fireplace or a pellet stove for emergencies and 'ambiance'. But the way our house is arranged, it would take a MASSIVE overhaul to install one. Bummer.

Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 02:12 PM (V+03K)

62 KT,

In mitigation, I would want a blivet liner and very tight seals with strong filters on the input side. I'm planning to connect the downspouts to it.

Well, that's the plan.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at September 16, 2017 02:13 PM (hyuyC)

63 Those not fortunate enough to have a protected (electric!) water well on their property, should invest a few dollars in a Water Bob for the bathtub. Its a big plastic bag that you throw in the bathtub and fill from the faucet. It holds about 40 gallons of water and if you fill at at the first sign of trouble you have clean drinking water for a while. Most people don't otherwise have 40 gallons of fresh water storage capacity readily available. Having said that, in a true emergency, don't overlook what's in your hot water heater - just don't forget to shut off the supply if contamination is an issue.

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 02:14 PM (Sfs6o)

64 Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 01:46 PM (AxFdW)

Basically, the chain stores figured out that they can charge a dime or a dollar and everyone is still going to buy 3 tomatoes a week. They figured out the max price they can charge and keep their sales the same.

Posted by: CaliGirl at September 16, 2017 02:14 PM (Ri/rl)

65 As far as emergency preparedness, I'm concerned about earthquakes and fire.

My house has a metal roof and I have I think 7 fire hoses.

We just bought a huge generator. The electrician has to hook it up. We need another one for the well.

Posted by: CaliGirl at September 16, 2017 02:18 PM (Ri/rl)

66 50 ... GeoffB, Thanks for those specifics. I mentioned we probably won't have an in-ground garden next year but those ten gallon buckets would be possible.

Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 02:20 PM (V+03K)


Hope it works!

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 02:21 PM (BVQ+1)

68 Correction WaterBOB = advertised 100 gallons but is realistically probably slightly less,

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 02:22 PM (Sfs6o)

69 Good afternoon to all. Fun content. We are harvesting canning drying and digging up root crops for the cellar. Its been a dry summer so we've been watering twice a week since mid July.

As far as prepping goes, water is a first priority. We have 2 wells, one of which has an old fashion hand pump, and a 12,000 gallon cistern which we have been using once in a while to water garden.

The oaks in our woodlot have been dropping more acorns than we have ever seen. This is considered a sign for a cold winter. Don't mind that if it brings lots of snow to replenish ground water.

May everyone have a bountiful harvest.

Posted by: colfax mingo at September 16, 2017 02:24 PM (vt7Nq)

70 Is Drudge trying to get amnesty passed?

He seems to be posting lots from the fake news media designed to make Trump think he can give amnesty to illegals and his base will just love him even more..or something?

Posted by: Duncan Macleod, The Highlander at September 16, 2017 02:26 PM (ZZhQQ)

71 64 caligirl:

interesting & makes sense. whether it's one of those big, tasteless beefsteaks or small imported hydroponics, the tomato costs $1 (last time i computed it.)

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 02:26 PM (AxFdW)

72 ... supermarket math is bizarre.

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at September 16, 2017 02:30 PM (AxFdW)

73 Farmers Almanac has us at below average temps from now until March. Guess I better go get pellets.

Posted by: Infidel at September 16, 2017 02:34 PM (bfUpy)

74 Is that an Indianapolis peach? I hear they're really sweet!

Posted by: andycanuck at September 16, 2017 02:36 PM (mJ8mX)

75 I've been eating a lot of pears lately. Any chance they're good for you?

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 02:40 PM (Sfs6o)

76 My Dad woke up dens of rattlesnakes while doing soil surveying as a young man. He favored tall boots. Posted by: KT

yikes ... my uncle did soil surveys around Illinois, but I don't recall any snake stories. The soil maps for the farm here were done by him decades ago, when he worked as a soil scientist for the state. He wrote a little book about it ... "Dirt, Dust and Mud" to try to inspire future surveyors. Doesn't exactly sound like a page turner, but the process is interesting ... for gardeners at least, maybe.

Posted by: illiniwek at September 16, 2017 02:44 PM (yKAUL)

77 Greenhouse tomatoes in winter could be lucrative. We get them from Mexico but it is hard to import quality that far. I looked at some literature on the process here in Illinois back around 2000. It's doable, but I think it requires a lot of lighting, and is high maintenance to make sure nothing goes wrong. I was too lazy for all that.

Posted by: illiniwek at September 16, 2017 02:49 PM (yKAUL)

78 My Dad woke up dens of rattlesnakes while doing soil surveying as a young man. He favored tall boots. Posted by: KT
I have some friends who manage a biological reserve deep in a primary rainforest in Central America. It's a days walk to the nearest jeep track and it is home to six (I think) of the deadly snakes in the region. My pals all wear high boots because if you get bitten, chances are you're a goner.

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 02:50 PM (Sfs6o)

79 74 ... Weasel, Pears are good for you: fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamin C, and more. I had looked it up because Mrs. JTB loves them.

Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 02:53 PM (V+03K)

80 Posted by: JTB at September 16, 2017 02:53 PM (V+03K)
Good to know. Thanks, JTB!

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 02:54 PM (Sfs6o)

81 Weasel,

I envy you. Pears are yummy. If you have lots them make pear sauce, better that applesauce imo.

Posted by: colfax mingo at September 16, 2017 02:55 PM (vt7Nq)

82 applesauce imo.

Posted by: colfax mingo at September 16, 2017 02:55 PM (vt7Nq)

I had some pear cider and didn't know what to do with it. I added some to beef stew I was making in the slow cooker. Delicious.

Posted by: kallisto at September 16, 2017 03:01 PM (kD8Fh)

83 No veggie or fruit stories to tell, but we did have to have a yuuge cherry tree in our backyard taken down recently. It was being hollowed out by some type of borer. The tree guy estimated it could've been 50-75 years old, which is past the normal lifespan. Whoever planted it decades ago put it way too close to the house. Part of it was looming over the roof, another part over our neighbor's yard. Took a crew of 5 from 10 am to 4 pm to get the whole thing down. It was sad to see it go. But a feeling of relief, too, because it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Posted by: JuJuBee at September 16, 2017 03:04 PM (2NqXo)

84 And my neighbor, who is Chinese, gave me a bag of what he calls Chinese pears. They're round instead of the usual shape. He told me they have to be eaten cold to get the best flavor. His wife said her sister just planted a seed in their back yard and it grew. They go out on their second floor deck to harvest the fruit. I haven't tried them yet.

Posted by: kallisto at September 16, 2017 03:04 PM (kD8Fh)

85 JuJuBee at September 16, 2017 03:04 PM

You did the right thing. In time.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 03:06 PM (BVQ+1)

86 kallisto at September 16, 2017 03:04 PM

You're taking a chance, growing pears from seed. If theirs turned out well, they are lucky.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 03:07 PM (BVQ+1)

87 "Vegetable Justice"

Maybe it's like the Dr. Who "Seeds of Doom" episode. Eccentric millionaire Chase hated his fellow humans for oppressing plant kind, so he reified a hostile alien race of plants in order to help them destroy humanity. Vegetable Justice Warrior.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at September 16, 2017 03:07 PM (/qEW2)

88 Pet thread is up.

Posted by: Bruce at September 16, 2017 03:08 PM (8ikIW)

89 We have a backyard pear tree. Our pears are round, not pear shaped.

The thing produces more pears than anyone could possibly eat.

We give the things away by the bucket.

Posted by: weirdflunky at September 16, 2017 03:10 PM (bPzl3)

90 81 Weasel,

I envy you. Pears are yummy. If you have lots them make pear sauce, better that applesauce imo.
Posted by: colfax mingo at September 16, 2017 02:55 PM (vt7Nq)
I'm fortunate in that the company I work for provides a free cafeteria for the employees (contributing significantly to my 32 years of employment there) and I usually raid the fruit basket mid-morning for a snack. The lady who runs the operation likes me so she makes sure to stock my favorites!

Posted by: Weasel at September 16, 2017 03:10 PM (Sfs6o)

91 You're taking a chance, growing pears from seed.

What kind of chance? I haven't tasted one yet.

Posted by: kallisto at September 16, 2017 03:20 PM (kD8Fh)

92 kallisto at September 16, 2017 03:20 PM

The original pears were mostly very gritty things, growing on thorny plants. They revert easily. They won't hurt you. But quality may not be up to modern standards. If the pears are good and the tree grows well, maybe the tree should be propagated by cuttings. Because they lucked out.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 03:27 PM (BVQ+1)

93 There is an interesting Australian blog at She has a book out too. She is retired and talks about planning to set up your homestead for retirement. She has advice for younger folks too. I'm planning to retire when we sell the house. Husband was on disability and is now on regular retirement. I think we can set things up to live frugally and grow enough veggies and fruit to make a difference. It does require planning.

When I lived in the Gorge, I had a volunteer peach tree. It sprouted from the compost pile, where we'd dumped a bunch of pits. It did produce one year, but we moved away. It really wasn't a place you'd expect peaches to grow.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at September 16, 2017 03:35 PM (Lqy/e)

94 Picked 2 large Anaheims, bowl of wax beans and still getting tomatoes. Dozens of Anaheims that are green, sweet peppers this year did nohing

Posted by: Skip at September 16, 2017 03:40 PM (ghofu)

95 My pear tree yielded a nice five gallon bucket of pears this year. I read it is best to pick them while still fairly hard, put them in the frig for a week, then let them ripen on the counter for a couple days. (they said if they ripen on the tree, they tend to get rotten in the middle, and I did pick one like that) That formula has worked well ... and they are melt in your mouth juicy if timed just right. (still a little of that grittiness, but not much)

This is a bradford pear ... I have an asian of some sort next to it, which from what I read now is not the best pollinator. So I might put another variety out there next year. I read for the asian varieties to pick them more like apples, and that process is not needed.

Posted by: illiniwek at September 16, 2017 03:42 PM (yKAUL)

96 Notsothoreau at September 16, 2017 03:35 PM

Thanks for the information.

Peaches from seed are more likely to turn out well than apples or pears from seed. There is one cultivar for which seeds are sold, because it breeds true. Might be Indian Free, but I'm not sure.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 03:47 PM (BVQ+1)

97 Skip at September 16, 2017 03:40 PM

Those dang peppers.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 03:48 PM (BVQ+1)

98 55,
geoff: how many tomatoes do you harvest in a year? can you cover your costs @ $1 per tomato?

Probably a couple hundred from the 12 plants this year, but like fishing, I don't count the cost per pound.

Posted by: geoffb5 at September 16, 2017 03:54 PM (zOpu5)

99 I am sure my tomato plants pay for themselves, I also am almost double with free ranged tomato which give some tomatoes.

Posted by: Skip at September 16, 2017 04:10 PM (ghofu)

100 illiniwek at September 16, 2017 03:42 PM

Are you sure you don't mean Bartlett pear? Bradfords have tiny, dry pears. Asian pears and European pears often do not cross-pollinate well because the Asians bloom earlier.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 04:14 PM (BVQ+1)

101 thx KT ... you are correct ... Bartlett.

I also have a bradford pear planted about the same time nearby, (never even considered that might be a pollination issue, I just planted it for the colors). Someone had posted on Facebook I think, "don't plant Bradford pears ... they are invasive", but I'd never heard of the problem around here.

Posted by: illiniwek at September 16, 2017 04:28 PM (yKAUL)

102 Been to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair many yimes but not in a long while. Its connected to a Pennsylvania/New York ( I think) winery
( eastern wines generally suck btw)

Posted by: Skip at September 16, 2017 04:44 PM (ghofu)

103 That's a peach of a peach. My wife whimpered that she wanted one when she saw the picture.

Strangely enough, KT, those could be California tomatoes. Bushel Boy is a Minnesota greenhouse grown brand.

I have watched a lot of wildfires from afar. I thought if I ever lived in a vulnerable area I would have a metal roof, and a 10,000 gallon underground tank (or a pool) with pump and plumbing to spray from the top of the roof. And, yeah, a generator carefully installed to survive the fire.

Posted by: Gordon at September 16, 2017 04:45 PM (/UHsW)

104 has a nice little video. I couldn't see what lights they used.

then I found this one that uses LED lights ... they produce a crop year round in Alberta. No info on cost analysis ... but pretty interesting.

Posted by: illiniwek at September 16, 2017 04:58 PM (yKAUL)

105 Skip,

The Minnesota Ren Faire is 30-some years old. The village is mostly permanent structures and covers at least 20 acres. But it will move from the original location in a couple of years, because it sits atop a whole lot of pretty red gravel. For years festies have seen the pit (and it's a deep pit march toward the grounds, and the grounds are surrounded on three sides now.

The Vegetable Justice booth is part of the games area, and it's been there at least 25 years. Up to 25,000 people attend per day on the 8 weekends. There is some pretty landscaping, which I think is done by volunteers.

Posted by: Gordon at September 16, 2017 04:59 PM (/UHsW)

106 Posted by: Gordon at September 16, 2017 04:45 PM (/UHsW)

I have a huge reservoir with a pump and hoses and a huge pool. I think the pool is 55,000 gallons. We have a bunch of fire hoses too.

Fires scare me.

Posted by: CaliGirl at September 16, 2017 05:12 PM (Ri/rl)

107 Me, too, CaliGirl. A few years in Australia there was an outbreak of bushfires one day. 5 separate fires, at least some of which were arson, took off in high winds. There was little warning and some folks couldn't get away, and a lot of people died. The then-prime minister was a local fire volunteer and helped fight the fires.

A day or so later a photo emerged of a rescue worker holding a bottle of water for a thirsty koala. The little guy was kind of stunned and had burns. But he drank two half liter bottles.

Posted by: Gordon at September 16, 2017 06:00 PM (/UHsW)

108 My husband has two large fiberglass tanks that he's been trying to sell. If we can't sell them, we'll move them to the new place. They would make good water storage tanks and are large enough to turn into a shed.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at September 16, 2017 06:07 PM (Lqy/e)

109 Great information, Gordon. I like the details on the fair. Sounds like a great thing. And why not throw California tomatoes and save the local ones to eat?

About wildfires:

The only downtown building that survived the big fire in Murphys California back in the day was made of stone, had iron shutters and a thick layer of sand on the roof.

From the OC register article linked today, it seems that fire often makes its way into roof vents. Or that fire starts under the eaves. So what the roof is made of may be of secondary importance if vents and eaves are not fire-resistant. Though shake roofs are bad news in fire country, of course.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 06:56 PM (BVQ+1)

110 I'm glad you are set up to defend against fire, CaliGirl.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 06:57 PM (BVQ+1)

111 illiniwek at September 16, 2017 04:28 PM

There may be some places where Bradford pear seedlings are invasive. In landscapes, the more common problem is that they tend to shatter in storms and fall on houses and cars and such.

Posted by: KT at September 16, 2017 06:59 PM (BVQ+1)

112 Thank you for running my photos this week. One post with a question, one with advice, one with my report this week. First the question: My Early Girl tomatoes have some yellow/white spots on them. When sliced, that fat outer part of the tomato flesh has grayish flesh where the spots are. Does anyone know what this is, and how to prevent it (if possible)?

Posted by: Pat* at September 16, 2017 07:20 PM (3etCS)

113 Now the advice post: I did read last week's Garden Thread. So to those who built raised beds, yes, you will need some *serious* barrier on the bottom to keep burrowing creatures out. Chicken wire won't do a damn thing to stop anything getting in. When we built our 4 foot by 8 foot raised beds, we first constructed the bottom layer around foot-tall, 4-inch-square corner posts, then carried the frame out to the garden. We flipped it over and stapled half-inch hardware cloth all across the bottom - and when I say staples, I don't mean from a staple gun, I mean the kind that have to be hammered in. After the hardware cloth was on the bottom, we flipped it back over, screwed on the upper boards, got it leveled, and only then worried about getting the soil in.

This will not stop creatures from just hopping in from the top and building burrows! We found that out last year, in the Roma tomato bed. This year, they hid in the bush green bean bed. We keep poisoning them (promptly tossing out carcasses so local cats don't eat them). We keep hoping we're depleting the local vole supply...

Also, advice regarding parsley: If you have a plant that has gone to seed, the next spring you are likely to see lots of cute teensy parsley plants. Admire them for their frilly cuteness - then *kill them*. Srsly - kill them while they're small! When we first put in our blueberry bed, we hadn't yet built our herb bed, so I tucked a few small herb plants in blank spots - one was a parsley plant. This year, because I wasn't heartless enough about thinning the baby plants, you can barely see the 2-year-old blueberry bushes that are buried somewhere in the parsley! I filled a garden cart with what I dug out of half the bed - and I mean dig with a shovel, not with a trowel - parsley has taproots. I have to wait until my trash goes away next week, before I can dig out any more.

Also, advice regarding chives. They multiply!! At least they did here. I only bought one of those little 4-inch pots they sell at Home Depot. Now I have 25 clumps, all of which are WAY bigger than that original plant - and I threw away a bunch of bulbs along the way. Decide how many you want, or can use, and stick to that. If they start multiplying, ask friends if they need any, and if nobody wants a new plant, or nobody can use any fresh-cut chives from you, be ruthless about throwing those out too.

Posted by: Pat* at September 16, 2017 07:36 PM (3etCS)

114 Finally, this week's report from Idaho's Treasure Valley!

The weather has seriously shifted in just the 2 weeks since I last wrote. The high was 91 F on Sept. 1st here, and only hit 68 F yesterday on the 15th. I was hoping for a late First Frost, something like around Halloween - but now I'm not so sure that I'll get my wish...

Before we left for our meeting with the "Ricochetti", I carefully weeded one area where we were trying to start new grass, we put on the seed, covered it with compost, and made sure it was watered in. It looks like that area will take. We do still have more area to re-seed, but we may not get to it before winter.

We put in our first attempt at a fall crop of shelling peas, planted in the corn bed after the corn was cut down. However, given poor germination rate and a possible early winter, I'm not sure what we'll get. We'll save the rest of the seeds for spring. We also had put in some carrots, radishes, lettuce, and spinach. We'll see what happens.

As you saw in the photos, there was a lot to be harvested while we were gone. I'm now testing what freezing the cantaloupe flesh is like - we never had so many at the same time before. We processed and froze some of the green beans for stews, and ate the rest - we already have 40# in the freezer. Those plants are being cut down over time, depending on how much room there is in the trash.

The tomatoes I harvested, plus what I'd frozen before the trip, are being roasted to make more tomato sauce. The red raspberries were all steam-juiced, and sometime soon, the juice will turn into jelly and syrup.

We harvested 3 of our 5 cloth pots of potatoes today, since the plants looked dead. Our potatoes were grown in 20-gallon cloth bags, same as last year, but this year they were on drippers instead on spray - it definitely made for a poorer crop. They probably should have had more water. I'll end up weighing the crop after they've dried off a bit and I've brushed the dirt off, but the entire Yukon Gold crop fits in a single 2-gallon bucket with room to spare... and they were small, as well, much smaller than last year. At least the Red Norlands from one of the pots were seriously sized potatoes. I didn't grow those last year so I'll have to see what they're like for cooking. Also, we need to experiment with storage - in the house last year, it was too warm, but we were afraid the garage would be too cold.

I haven't mentioned the various peppers much - we grew one orange and three red bell peppers, which did produce some fruits that I chopped and froze. Husband grew 3 poblanos, which are producing a ton of fruit, which we still need to figure out what to do with! He also grew 2 jalapenos, and while we use a few when grilling, we truly need to figure out what to do with a bazillion more of them - and I am not into hot salsas, so any other ideas would be welcome.

The zucchini plant did set 3 fruits *other* than the monster I whacked up with my machete (!). I harvested one today, one is for tomorrow, and the last will be for next week. We still don't know why one of our 2 plants thrived (throve?) and the other didn't.

I do have a butternut squash vine and a sugar pumpkin vine, but it's not harvest time for those yet.

Soon we need to start tasting the apples, to find out if it's time for making cider yet. (Previously, we harvested wild rose hips off plants on our neighborhood's paths, and steam-juiced these with apples to make rosehip-apple jelly, which kicks serious butt as far as flavor. If anyone would like advice on how to choose and process rose hips for this purpose, please just ask!) I hope we can try hard cider this fall, but having some regular cider in the freezer will be fine if not.

Whew, I think that's all, folks!

Posted by: Pat* at September 16, 2017 08:03 PM (3etCS)

115 Pat,
Grease a casserole dish. Layer seeded, blistered & peeled poblanos, chicken, cheese, cream cheese. Repeat until close to top. Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

Poblanos also work well in white chicken chili. We use them in salsa as well. They do not need blistering for these.

Your chives are so much more vigorous than mine, which have not spread much at all.

Posted by: Gordon at September 16, 2017 08:19 PM (/UHsW)

116 Darn it! Way late for garden thread...

We have one Brandywine tomato in *huge* pot on the deck... not many fruits, and I blame myself for potting it so late. B'wine is a late setter anyway, so doubleplus ungood. BUT! What we've gotten are very flavorful, if not as large as ground-grown would be-- about a pound, or less, per tomato. Darned plant is grown beyond the homemade cage, flowers on top, but temps are back to 70s/50s now so don't know if fruit will set or ripen. Will let it go for now and will see what else we get....will at least get a few green ones for frying!

Early Girl has been the best of our potted toms.

The lobe-y varieties just crack and split, even with daily watering during the hottest spells. I've even added Tomato Tone, mulched heavily, shaded the pots, etc. and still... cracks...grr.

'Jubilee' is a great looking little yellow one, prolific, pear-shaped, flavor is good but not strong or sweet. Will try Sungold next year.

Poblano peppers came on strong and then just stopped flowering... that's alright, hubby can't stand any 'heat' in my cooking. Saving them for when my brother comes over, heh.

Hops were a bust this year-- not much harvest, just enough for some pillows-- they *really* need to go into the ground!

Once the Big Tree is cut down, hops will have their permanent homes. (I think. Hope hubby doesn't veto my idea...)

Posted by: JQ at September 16, 2017 11:18 PM (yD/Pf)

117 Pat*

Thanks for the photos and for today's report.

Some Poblanos are hotter than others. I sometimes substitute the mild ones for bell peppers in recipes. Use them for color in dishes with Mexican tomato-based sauces. Gordon's recipe sounds great, too.

Garden peas are a gamble in fall. Maybe you'll get some tendrils if you don't get peas.

Posted by: KT at September 17, 2017 12:20 AM (BVQ+1)

118 Don't know for sure what the spots on your tomatoes that turn grey underneath are, but they could be where fungus spores landed when the tomato was little.

Posted by: KT at September 17, 2017 12:22 AM (BVQ+1)

119 JQ,

Nice report. Are you sure you got 'Jubilee'? It should be slicer sized. If you want a slicing tomato with stronger, sweet flavor and you can grow from seed, try Sweet Tangerine. It's determinate, but keeps bearing for quite a long time. Plants are bigger than many determinate plants, but not nearly as big as a Brandywine plant.

Sungold is great as a cherry tomato.

Good luck getting your hops in a permanent home.

Posted by: KT at September 17, 2017 12:27 AM (BVQ+1)

120 Pat's veggie haul looks pretty much what I harvested today, minus the melons, we already et all the cantaloup and crenshaws. The cukes are done, still a few self-sown Armenian cukes hanging on the gate arbor.

I had to cut the raspberries back so missed the autumn crop. Early last Spring I hired an experienced gardener to help with the early season workload, she came highly recommended. Unfortunately she lied about being a smoker and spread tobacco virus to the artichokes, berry vines, half the roses and Buddleias. The roses, berries and Buddleias will recover; the artichokes were a total loss. Three years of effort shaping the Buddleia into gently weeping mounds...I am still so pissed off.

Anyhoo...I grew the usual suspects but Mr. Stripey didn't produce well this year and Green Zebra produced two humongous tomatoes and died. Black Prince and Cherokee Purple are late and are just coming on strong. Sungold is rocketing along as usual as are the Juliette grape tomatoes and Chocolate Sprinkles. 6 Early Girls & 3 Better Boys have filled three dozen quart jars. Nothin like forking a whole tomato, flavored w/ a few leaves of basil, out of a jar in the middle of winter. Pure sunshine.

I've a plethora of peppers, italian, bell and banana that will become sliced pickled peppers tomorrow. Also have a boatload of Japanese eggplants...they did exceptionally did the long beans. As you can tell, my plant choices tend to veer between classic English, Italian and Asian.

This evening I made black bean pork belly with a side dish of eggplant that I simmered in a garlicky sauce.

We cracked the first jar of homemade kimchi made with garlic scapes and Mu, a crisp white Korean daikon radish. I'm a fermenting fiend this year...I bought a set of inexpensive fermenting valve cap thingies that fit on mason jars. Makes a huge difference in quality/texture and no exploding lids or weeping jars.

Ha! i just ate a peach that was a dead ringer for the photo...stopped at a farm and got two punnets of the last of the year's peaches. They are either Fayette or Flamecrest...the lean-to stand wasn't staffed (they still use the honor system hereabouts on the backroads).

Belgian waffles and sliced peaches for brekkie tomorrow.

Anyone in the San Joaquin started their winter veg yet? Temps are finally in the mid-80's up my way and I'm itching to get the winter and early spring veg going. What are you planning to grow over the winter?

I also went mad and bought 1000 daffodil bulbs from a local grower. I'm hoping to have the entire hillside naturalized with Daffies before I go the The Great Cold Frame In The Sky.

BTW- Here's the link to the pork belly recipe, easy peasy and sooo tasty.


Posted by: Shanks for the memory at September 17, 2017 01:08 AM (TdCQk)

121 Wow. Thanks, Shanks. I've been thinking about winter veggies, too.

Never heard of Chocolate Sprinkles tomatoes. Did they do well?

Any of your daffodils named?

Posted by: KT at September 17, 2017 10:25 AM (BVQ+1)

122 @KT Chocolate Sprinkles is a cherry tomato...very tasty and they stand up well to the valley heat.

I bought bulk bags of two-toned yellow 'California' (old 'Carlton') Daffodils which are very similar to Dutch Master/King Alfred from

I've about three acres of hillside woods comprising of Valley and River oaks (a multi trunk deciduous oak ) that are carpeted with wild mustard and Miner's Lettuce in the spring, so I'm going for max yellow bloom.

Now if my knees hold out....

Posted by: Shanks for the memory at September 17, 2017 05:57 PM (TdCQk)

123 It can cut the wood at many different angles other than 90 degrees. After getting the wood it can even rotate within the frame.

Posted by: Cordless Table Saw at October 09, 2017 03:02 AM (SsVxA)

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