Saturday Gardening Thread: Summer Solstice [KT]

calipop.jpg

Hello, Gardeners and Friends of Gardeners ! Yesterday was the Summer Solstice. Did you remember? That California Poppy from 40 miles north closes at night, so last night could have been its shortest night.

This week, we have a feature on a small garden pest and on a big one. Plus some fun things from The Horde.

Critters, some nice, some not so nice

From lizabtha, a ruby-throated hummingbird in the catmint:

rubyincatmintliz.jpg

Bet they eat those blood-sucking black flies, too.

Black Flies, AKA Buffalo Gnats, AKA Turkey Gnats

With the late rains and flooding this year, some of this information may still be useful this year. If not, remember it for next year if these insects live where you do:

How to make a hat that traps those clouds of black flies around your face. The trick is not to touch the fly strip. Short videos at the link.

laughing-gardenerr.jpg

Those are all of the bugs that thought that they would be able to torment me. As an added bonus, and this part is especially for all of you that know what I mean when I say that a black fly swarm around your head - the circling and singing that they do to drive ya crazy - well when they land on this strip they scream. It's incredibly loud for such a small bug and I'm not ashamed to say it's also strangely entertaining. "Who's having a good time now, black fly? Me."
- The laughing gardener.

The host blogger for the post above has a little more land than her guest blogger, and wrote this piece on making dandelion salve, for arthritis relief in her case. Perhaps you were wondering what to do with your dandelions.

She belongs to the Homestead Bloggers Network, where I found this piece on keeping black flies (buffalo gnats, turkey gnats) from killing your chickens. Seems pretty thorough. The bit on vanilla-scented chickens is not overly hopeful.

This post also linked the University of Arkansas extension, which notes that flooding conditions increase black fly populations, and that they pretty much go away once temperatures hit 80 degrees. But these black flies are a serious problem while they are around. From last year:

Between heavy rain and temperatures bouncing between the 40s and 70s in the last few weeks, "we're seeing a bumper crop of black flies, likely as a result of floods in February and March," Kelly Loftin, extension entomologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said on Monday. "These are late winter, early spring pests that usually go away when temperatures warm above 80 degrees."

Grant Beckwith, Arkansas County extension staff chair for the Division of Agriculture, said a cattle producer in DeWitt lost a prize bull and cow to the flies - identified as southern buffalo gnats.

"I've also heard reports that several horses had died and there were some deer lying dead in fields," he said. "I had one farmer tell me he was met at his carport by a deer who was inside trying to get away from the gnats. The gnats don't like to be under a roof or indoors.

Some livestock operations set set up situations which allowed to animals to congregate in heavy smoke to repel the insects.

"Buffalo gnats are a fact of life down here," Beckwith said. "The running joke is that the buffalo gnats will have you looking forward to mosquito season."

Last Thursday, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission closed its Cook Lake Conservation Education Center until further notice because of the fly outbreak. The center posted photos on Facebook page of with piles of dead black flies on the nature center's doorstep, saying "at this time, it is impossible for visitors to do anything unless covered with mosquito nets."

Hank Curmudgeon sent along this link from Pennsylvania, about avoiding black flies, with Bt. This organism is related to the one used for mosquito larvae and caterpillars. Interesting that as pollution decreases in streams, black fly populations go up.

To cheer us up, Hank also sent this great video on butterfly farming. Ever wondered where those butterfly houses get their butterflies? Hank also likes some of the other videos on this guy's channel.

Illiniwek has sent in a fun video of some big creatures that may or may not be considered to be pests, depending on your point of view. Thanks to CBD for formatting for the blog:

Illiniwek has planned for deer. Have you?

If you have deer in your yard and you're in the East, they are probably here to stay.

For every Staten Island homeowner who gets annoyed when a deer crashes through his yard and takes down a tree, there's another who feeds them out of his hand. How many deer are too many is largely in the eye of the beholder. Whatever their feelings about their hooved neighbors, Americans in deer-rich places will be coexisting with them for the foreseeable future. If you plant tulips (a deer favorite) in your garden, expect to have company.

Farm Report

I know that a lot of farmers have not been able to plant in the midwest because of flooding. What's been going on near you?

A new vineyard has gone in near me. Probably table grapes. Cotton grew there last year. Grapes will take less water. Cotton in the next field is doing well. Nearby, pistachios are nearing maturity. They are in a high-salinity area.

Second-crop corn is coming up in some fields. Other fields have just been plowed down. We have a long growing season.

Hank Curmudgeon sent in this cool heavy equipment gif. Might not want to watch if if you have a migraine. It is remarkable, though.

Gardens of The Horde and Recipes

We posted photos and information about roses from badgerwx earlier, but here is an impressive sight from earlier in the year:

The wet year we had in the state of MD really helped the spring blooms look good this year - my roses had a really strong first bloom this year.

To set the stage, here are my main beds along the main road back in late
April. A good show from the bearded iris, May Night salvia & cheddar pinks.

Cheddar pinks sound wonderful. I hope there were a few extra fragrant blossoms to pick for the house. They go well with the other flowers, too.

sidewalk2019badgerwx.jpg

Early in the month, Wee Kreek Farm Girl sent us the following update from the desert:

Just thought I would send a few updates on the garden. The arch experiment is coming along nicely and I have lots of vines growing up, now they just have to grow "over" the big show off is the Armenian cucumber.

Armenian cucumbers are really melons, so they are a good choice for the desert.

trellli.JPG

Also it is looking to be a stellar year for the grapes, Thompson red seedless if my memory serves.

grapees.JPG

The last picture is the great garlic harvest of 2019. I tried halfheartedly to grow garlic before, sticking store bought cloves in and whatnot and it never amounted to much. This year I buckled down did my research of what might do well here and ordered proper stock. As you can see that made all the difference. These are Moroccan Creole, nice big heads. I have a few smaller heads but those are from a friends garlic that they grew and gave me some. All in I have over 60 heads of garlic. Just started drying them out today and then I will have to hang them for a few weeks. Very excited on how this went. I am going to try and save a few heads to plant for next year. And I did get a few scapes so I am going to try making pesto. Hope the rest of the Horde is as happy gardening as I am.

garlc.JPG

She posted recipes in the comments on June 8 (59 - 61). Garlic scape pesto! I would used pine nuts, too. Also a favorite zucchini recipe that uses other garden ingredients. Fantastic!

Wasp Killer that works

Last week in the comments, S. Lynne recommended a wasp trap combining Frontline for pets, hamburger, red Solo cups (the sign of a gardener) and wasp attractant. This one sounds similar, and the blog post is informative. Kills meat-eating wasps and yellow jackets even in the nest:

But be careful to get the product that contains only Fipronil as its active ingredient. When Fipronil is coupled with other ingredients, the wasps will ignore it.

Thanks so much!

I have transplanted some little Salvias and China Pinks and one Hollyhock in hot weather. Worked out OK. I really firmed the soil in around the root balls.

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 01:15 PM




Comments

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1 1

Posted by: Ha at June 22, 2019 01:19 PM (MAstk)

2 Good afternoon Greenthumbs

Posted by: Skip at June 22, 2019 01:20 PM (BbGew)

3 Outside and tablet isn't cooperating
Trying to keep weeds at bay but garden is slowly coming along. Have a few green tomatoes and lots of flowers on Japanese cucumbers and peppers.

Posted by: Skip at June 22, 2019 01:22 PM (BbGew)

4 I'm thinking I may have some of bluebell's bluebells, but it is probably a weed!

Posted by: Commissar Hrothgar at June 22, 2019 01:25 PM (AZxMX)

5 Mosquito meter @ Congaree NP

http://tinyurl.com/y296mzxw

Posted by: BignJames at June 22, 2019 01:27 PM (ykq7q)

6 How lucky are Badgerwx' neighbors?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 01:29 PM (BVQ+1)

7 These ared the lanternflys I wrote about last week, stikll killing every one I see on my deck.
https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly

Posted by: Skip at June 22, 2019 01:29 PM (BbGew)

8 The monsoon season here in SW OH has been less then helpful in the veggie garden. Have already lost one blueberry and two raspberry bushes. Green onions doing zip, nada, nothing. Have also lost two dogwoods that were planted over the last 2 years. One fell over in a rainstorm and when hubby tried to put it back is was sitting in a foot of water. We moved it but it's not doing good. The other one was a goner.
We've had way too much rain and in our clay soil it has nowhere to go.
Did pick a single serving of peas yesterday. Probably will not get anymore due to higher temps and you guessed it too much rain.
I will add that we've hacked our planting areas out of a 5 acre stand of trees. Not the easiest area to grow veggies. It's been 5 years and I'm still struggling to get much that's edible.

Posted by: neverenoughcaffeine at June 22, 2019 01:32 PM (N3JsI)

9 The Dutchman's pipe I mentioned last week is Aristolochia macrophylla. I did not plant it. I have also found now, probably courtesy birds, porcelain berry vine, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata. The first is native, the second not but they're both invasive.

I have a lily, planted four years ago. Had flowers that year, next year buds were eatern. Had flowers last year, came out this past week to find every single bud gone. I am not fond of wildlife at the moment.

Posted by: Lirio100 at June 22, 2019 01:36 PM (JK7Jw)

10 I'm going to apologize for not being on this thread, though I thoroughly enjoy it.

Brief update for Che Blake: We have a Chinese Pistache Keith Davey B that wasn't doing well. Finally figured out what was wrong, put down some Dr. Earth and the tree has really taken off.
(we had some tile work done and the contractors rinsed their stuff off at the base of the tree)

Then, our Desert Museum decided it was going to see if it could grow all the way to the house (about 12 feet) and it succeeded, so, I took off about 1/3 of the tree. Hated doing it, because it was covered in bright yellow blooms. But, our Desert Museum looks much better, now that it's been trimmed. By the way, this is year three since I planted that thing and it's gone from being about 4 feet tall to over 12 feet. It has sort of a "weeping willow" effect. I swear, it's it's a weed disguised as a tree. Very pretty to look at, though, and the flowers in the spring are amazing.

The Locust Purple Robe clothed itself in it's usual purple trumpet shaped flowers for the usual couple of weeks. Perfect tree for the Valley, as it thrives in bad air, low moisture and crummy soil. With that trifecta, our Locust Purple Robe has gone from roughly 6' to 12' tall and is branching out nicely. When it went dormant this last winter, I took about 4' off the top, to see if I could get it to spread a bit, which it has. I'll do the same this winter. Tree was planted about 3 years ago, too.

This year, I put in a new raised planter and planted some Zinia's and Bells of Fire. It is another low moisture plant that thrives in the heat and clay soil. Thing erupted in flowers that definitely lived up to its name.

Posted by: blake - used sock salesman at June 22, 2019 01:45 PM (WEBkv)

11 Our tomato plants (in containers) have lots of tomatoes on them (still green). My herbs are growing like crazy and I can't give them away fast enough. The pepper plants (green and banana) are also doing well. We've had a mild, wet spring in SEMO and all of our plants/flowers/bushes seem really happy about it.

Posted by: Tami at June 22, 2019 01:54 PM (cF8AT)

12 neverenoughcaffeine at June 22, 2019 01:32 PM

Sorry about your losses. Didn't know it was called a "monsoon season" in Ohio, too. We generally get the edges of the Arizona monsoon season - clouds but not much moisture, and fewer of those strange windstorms.

This seems to be our hailstorm season. But we have has some monsoon-like weather. Seems early.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 01:57 PM (BVQ+1)

13 I have sweet basil and Greek oregano on my salads almost every evening, my chives flowered and let them go for awhile then cut them down and they are stating to return. Bought cream cheese to make dip as soon as I can get enough.

Posted by: Skip at June 22, 2019 01:58 PM (BbGew)

14 We had always called them buffalo gnats, and I thought they were black flies. But these are smaller than those on that hat ... and this year they leave a little welt, but can't even feel the bite. They go for the eyes, nose, ears, mouth ... which is the most irritating. Populations have diminished a little, but the rain keeps coming.


Most people around here have their crops in, except a few on the river bottoms that have a few flooded spots. But most planting was a month late, which means lower yield AND more spraying for weeds. The pre-emergents wear off after 4 weeks or so with all the rain, and it is amazing how there is always more weed seed waiting to emerge.

Posted by: illiniwek at June 22, 2019 02:01 PM (Cus5s)

15 Lirio100 at June 22, 2019 01:36 PM

Looks like that Dutchman's Pipe is a big plant with big leaves. Best where it can be confined, I would imagine. Pipevine swallowtails are attractive, though. I think one of the native ground gingers (not a true ginger) may be an alternate host. I would have to check again.

Sorry something ate your lily.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 02:02 PM (BVQ+1)

16 blake - used sock salesman at June 22, 2019 01:45 PM

I am not sure what Bells of Fire are. Sound like they could be useful as an expletive, though.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 02:04 PM (BVQ+1)

17 Tami at June 22, 2019 01:54 PM

Neat.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 02:04 PM (BVQ+1)

18 Skip at June 22, 2019 01:58 PM

Can you tell the difference between Greek oregano and other oreganos?

There are lots of prospective basils for you to try.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 02:06 PM (BVQ+1)

19 neverenoughcaffeine at June 22, 2019 01:32 PM

Any of your veggies in raised beds?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 02:06 PM (BVQ+1)

20 I'm thinking I may have some of bluebell's bluebells, but it is probably a weed!
Posted by: Commissar Hrothgar at June 22, 2019 01:25 PM (AZxMX)
---------

Alas, I think it probably is a weed. True bluebells bloom around here in early to mid April, and are gone by the end of that month.

Whereas the weedy fake bluebells, like me, tend to stick around and show up in inconvenient places.

Posted by: bluebell at June 22, 2019 02:07 PM (aXucN)

21 illiniwek at June 22, 2019 02:01 PM

Yes. There is always more weed seed.

Looks like there is more than one species of black fly.

There is also a biting gnat in the West's alkali deserts. Called no-see-ums. Prominent in the Four Corners area. There is also one around the Great Salt Lake. Don't know if they are related to yours. Do yours stop reproducing when temperatures hit 80 degrees?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 02:09 PM (BVQ+1)

22 I always liked those bicolored California Poppies.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 02:13 PM (BVQ+1)

23 I live in a townhouse community right next to a county golf course and about a mile from the Beltway in NoVA. There are small patches of woods here and there, and deer are living here, I'm sure that's what got the buds since the three foot tall plant is not damaged.

I rarely see butterflies here; I suspect because most of the gardens here are mostly shrubs sans flowers. I do keep a mason bee house, and flowers in my garden for them.

Posted by: Lirio100 at June 22, 2019 02:13 PM (JK7Jw)

24 We had a bit of an adrenaline rush while gardening this week--and not for the right reasons. We were digging a hole to plant a vitex, which outside of Texas often known as a chaste tree. Husband was digging and suddenly I screamed. He stopped and with some (understandable) annoyance said "What?!" I was so scared it took me a few seconds to get out "Coral snake!!"

Apparently it was chilling in the slightly damp earth in the corner of our yard. Some research shows this is common western coral snakes. Who knew? Husband promply hacked it with the shovel and we finished the planting.

But from now on I'm going to be a lot more wary when digging new holes for plants.

Posted by: Art Rondelet of Malmsey at June 22, 2019 02:14 PM (S+f+m)

25 Hola from not at the farm this weekend. I need to get back to my roots on the land!

Posted by: Weasel at June 22, 2019 02:21 PM (6TInh)

26 Hi Weasel! Isn't it a gorgeous day here?

Posted by: bluebell at June 22, 2019 02:21 PM (aXucN)

27 yeah, once it gets warmer there are few of them ... usually mid to late June. I'm not sure if it is the temps or just that the wet areas have dried out by then. I used to think they kept producing down by the creeks (for example) ... thinking maybe they need cooler air to stay moist enough for them in grassy areas, so in spring they have those conditions in yards ... maybe, idk.


this link says they lay eggs in running water ... my little ditches have not stopped running at least a little even now ... so I guess they have a lot of locations to breed. The link says larval numbers decline dramatically when the water temp is 75-80 ... so I guess that is the key.


http://entoplp.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/blackflies.htm

Posted by: illiniwek at June 22, 2019 02:22 PM (Cus5s)

28 Posted by: Lirio100 at June 22, 2019 02:13 PM (JK7Jw)
-------
Howdy neighbor!

Posted by: Weasel at June 22, 2019 02:23 PM (MVjcR)

29 26 Hi Weasel! Isn't it a gorgeous day here?
Posted by: bluebell at June 22, 2019 02:21 PM (aXucN)
------
It's just about perfect! I've been out on the deck working and enjoying it since I got up this morning.

Posted by: Weasel at June 22, 2019 02:26 PM (MVjcR)

30 Bluebell! How are you doing, my dear?

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at June 22, 2019 02:27 PM (kQs4Y)

31 I love sweet basil, you can smell it walking into the garden, there are other types of oregano but the Greek is good and is doing better this year. I took a root and planted it in the deck box and should do it again to divide the original plant as I think it was getting root bound.
It was one of the original plants in my garden.

Posted by: Skip at June 22, 2019 02:28 PM (BbGew)

32 Eris!

Posted by: Weasel at June 22, 2019 02:28 PM (MVjcR)

33 Does acid in the soil determine if Columbine blooms are yellow or blue?

Posted by: Ronster at June 22, 2019 02:30 PM (7AtW1)

34 Hi right back, Weasel!

Posted by: Lirio100 at June 22, 2019 02:32 PM (JK7Jw)

35 I am not sure what Bells of Fire are. Sound like they could be useful as an expletive, though.
Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 02:04 PM (BVQ+1)
--------------

It should grow into a hedge like bush that flowers.

It's starting to bloom again so I'll get some pics and sent them.

Great job, as usual, with the thread!

Posted by: blake - used sock salesman at June 22, 2019 02:32 PM (WEBkv)

36 Weasel!

This gorgeous day is a gift after all that rainy humid bleccherousness.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at June 22, 2019 02:33 PM (kQs4Y)

37 36 Weasel!

This gorgeous day is a gift after all that rainy humid bleccherousness.
Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at June 22, 2019 02:33 PM (kQs4Y)
-------
Sure is! I could get used to this.

Posted by: Weasel at June 22, 2019 02:41 PM (MVjcR)

38 We had a Rose of Sharon start blooming early in the week. Curious, because it is a in a cluster, and none of the others will bloom for another week or so.

The first hummingbird showed up on Thursday.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 22, 2019 02:42 PM (2kj6M)

39 I've really noticed the goldfinches around in force the last couple of days. We have a woody area behind us with a ton of birds and other wildlife. Deer, foxes, hawks, owls... a regular Wild Kingdom!

Posted by: Weasel at June 22, 2019 02:46 PM (MVjcR)

40 Ktbarthedoor. No raised beds. If we stay here I will add raised beds, we're looking at moving to Montana. I do have 3 beds that are 2 x 6 filled with decent soil. Even those are saturated.
I estimate that we have added 800 lbs of cow manure and twice as much peat moss and topsoil to the 30 x 15 area. It's well tilled but as much rain as we have had has nowhere to go.

Posted by: neverenoughcaffeine at June 22, 2019 02:52 PM (N3JsI)

41 Fly dope:
Peppermint oil
Rosemary oil
Eucalyptus oil
Rose Geranium oil

Put 30 drops of each into a 3 oz (travel sized) spray bottle. Fill bottle with witch hazel for an astringent base. Shake well before spraying.

Smells good, no DEET on you, oils are good for your skin, and helps with the scratches and bites you already may have.

Posted by: Mondegreens at June 22, 2019 02:54 PM (K1IUD)

42 Hi Eris! I'm doing well, thank you. I was gone for a while on vacation with my extended family, and came back today to this lovely weather you so thoughtfully arranged for me. It couldn't be more perfect, so thank you.

Posted by: bluebell at June 22, 2019 02:54 PM (aXucN)

43 Off for the Saturday Geezer Coffee Klatch. I'm the babysitter, as it were.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 22, 2019 02:58 PM (2kj6M)

44
I miss Winter.

Posted by: Soothsayer at June 22, 2019 02:59 PM (JAi0L)

45 Does acid in the soil determine if Columbine blooms are yellow or blue?

No, but it can do wonders for strawberry fields

Posted by: john lennon at June 22, 2019 03:00 PM (ykYG2)

46

Homemade recipe for weed killer?

Posted by: Soothsayer at June 22, 2019 03:00 PM (JAi0L)

47
Is mulch (tree bark, hemlock, etc.) supposed to be a weed killer/suppressor?

Posted by: Soothsayer at June 22, 2019 03:01 PM (JAi0L)

48 Great job on the grapes, Wee Kreek Farm Girl.

Posted by: 40 miles north at June 22, 2019 03:01 PM (o2vOl)

49 Just stopping in briefly to ask if anyone has tips on growing San Marzano tomatoes. I have two, in cat litter tubs. I may plant them out in the field, since we're almost done with the deer fence (hope it works!)
Specifically, tips on pruning them, since they're very bushy. The tomatoes, not the deer

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at June 22, 2019 03:04 PM (NMAzL)

50 >>>I miss Winter.
Posted by: Soothsayer at June 22, 2019 02:59 PM (JAi0L)

WHAT?!

Seems like summer just got here.....

Posted by: My life is insanity at June 22, 2019 03:10 PM (Z/jzm)

51 The vet just called and said Nood.

Posted by: Beartooth at June 22, 2019 03:10 PM (Pr4n8)

52 Another fine thread, KT. Those buffalo gnats sound terrible.
A DIY bug-killing hat was a clever idea.

Posted by: 40 miles north at June 22, 2019 03:10 PM (o2vOl)

53 Miley, make sure that the little deer can't push their way under your fence. We found this out the hard way.

They panic when trapped (after eating) and try to jump the fence, bounce off and fall, over and over till their exhausted. We used tent stakes.

Posted by: OldDominionMom at June 22, 2019 03:13 PM (t0Z53)

54 I know that this in a next to impossible request, but does anyone know how to repell skunks? I live in the older part of Omaha, and the skunks have learned how to cohabit with humans. My yard is entirely enclosed with chain link fence, but the little bastards keep sneaking in. I wouldn't mind it so much, except that my dogs demand to go out at night. I can easily sweep the front yard with a flashlight, but not the back. Any and all ideas would be gratefully received. I'm tired of scrubbing dogs in the middle of the night and/or my house reeking of skunk for days at a time.

Posted by: Captain Josepha Sabin at June 22, 2019 03:22 PM (5+J7M)

55 Old Dominion Mom, we have a 6 foot fence with plastic orange web on the outside, and 45 degree struts on the inside, with more orange web on an angle. If the deer want to crawl under, commando-style, they can, but I'm hoping it's unlikely. I hear the angles freak them out since they can't gauge how far to jump.
Wouldn't be a problem for a moose, I bet.

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at June 22, 2019 03:23 PM (NMAzL)

56 Miley, the Duchess at June 22, 2019 03:04 PM

There are some indeterminate San Marzano tomatoes, but if yours are bushy, it is probably because they are determinate. The fruit is on buds at the ends of the branches. If you prune them, you will lose the fruit.

Kitty litter boxes are kind of shallow for tomatoes, but they still might work for determinates if the soil is good. Otherwise, transplant without disturbing the roots too much.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 03:24 PM (BVQ+1)

57 Captain Josepha Sabin at June 22, 2019 03:22 PM

Sounds like a topic we could put up front.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 03:26 PM (BVQ+1)

58 Ronster at June 22, 2019 02:30 PM

No. You are thinking of Hydrangeas.

Variety determines if columbines will be yellow, blue or another color. Soil pH may affect the color slightly. Don't know.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 03:27 PM (BVQ+1)

59 Hey KT,

Is that Moroccan garlic like the African garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) that they grow all over Southern California or is it like the more traditional garlic?

Posted by: 40 miles north at June 22, 2019 03:29 PM (o2vOl)

60 Soothsayer at June 22, 2019 03:00 PM

What kind of weeds? What kind of tree bark? Mulch will suppress many weeds if used properly. Black walnut kills some kinds of plants.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 03:31 PM (BVQ+1)

61 40 miles north at June 22, 2019 03:29 PM

I don't think so. I think it is real garlic. But we could look into it.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 03:32 PM (BVQ+1)

62 So much content!
Thank God there will be no quiz

Posted by: Le Garde Vieux at June 22, 2019 03:45 PM (Y2VBD)

63 Has anyone grown fennel? We (hopefully) just had our last frost and wouldn't mind pointers- thanks.

Posted by: Quilp at June 22, 2019 03:45 PM (Bf3hj)

64 Quilp at June 22, 2019 03:45 PM

Fennel is easy from seed. You thinking of growing fennel for bulbs or maybe bronze fennel for garnish and/or butterfly caterpillars?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 03:47 PM (BVQ+1)

65 For bulbs for starters..

Posted by: Quilp at June 22, 2019 03:48 PM (Bf3hj)

66
KT, common weeds, I guess. I don't know the names. Stuff that just pops up around the plantings in the beds.

Hemlock mulch is popular here -- it's a reddish-brown color and smells good.

Posted by: Soothsayer at June 22, 2019 03:50 PM (JAi0L)

67 >> 22 I always liked those bicolored California Poppies.

I have quite a few new poppies coming in, KT. Perhaps the California poppies will pollinate the corn poppies and create some festive colors.

Posted by: 40 miles north at June 22, 2019 04:00 PM (o2vOl)

68 IT -- if you think that would help, be my guest. It's only the middle of June and the dogs have already had two narrow escapes. The house still has a trace of eau de skunk from the last encounter. Most of the time, skunk season doesn't start until August, when the babies are just venturing out on their own. The young uns are quicker to shoot than the old, experienced skunks.

Posted by: Captain Josepha Sabin at June 22, 2019 04:11 PM (5+J7M)

69 KT not IT. Damn autocucumber.

Posted by: Captain Josepha Sabin at June 22, 2019 04:13 PM (5+J7M)

70 Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 03:24 PM (BVQ+1)

Thanks - I'll have to check to see if these San Marzanos are indeterminate or determinate. They aren't in kitty litter boxes, they're planted in the big tubs that the litter comes in (12" of soil).

Posted by: Miley, the Duchess at June 22, 2019 04:32 PM (NMAzL)

71 dead thread, but funny part of that fawn video ... fawn runs up and tries to go between mom's front legs, bounces off and goes around. A "please use other door" moment.

Posted by: illiniwek at June 22, 2019 04:54 PM (Cus5s)

72 Way late.

What do I do with those cucumbers my golf buddy gave me?

I don't like cucumbers. Love pickles. Never liked cucumbers. Weird. I know.

Posted by: Golfman at June 22, 2019 04:57 PM (lZS3l)

73
What do I do with those cucumbers my golf buddy gave me?

I don't like cucumbers. Love pickles. Never liked cucumbers. Weird. I know.
Posted by: Golfman

=====

Where do you think pickles come from?

Posted by: Blonde Morticia at June 22, 2019 05:15 PM (13CQC)

74 Where do you think pickles come from?
Posted by: Blonde Morticia

Pickle Heaven !

Posted by: JT at June 22, 2019 05:24 PM (zfLOA)

75 Soothsayer at June 22, 2019 03:50 PM

Mulch will make it easier to pull out many weeds and will keep many seeds from sprouting in the first place. Not perfect. Keep it a few inches away from the trunks of trees.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 06:02 PM (BVQ+1)

76 Quilp at June 22, 2019 03:48 PM

Plant seeds shallowly in a row. Away from delicate plants, as fennel inhibits the growth of some plants. When the seeds come up, thin as recommended on the seed packet. You can eat the thinnings in salads. Be sure you get a variety intended to form bulbs.

Keep well watered if growing as a vegetable. Otherwise, it is very drought tolerant. Little caterpillars on the plant are likely to be Black Swallowtails in the East and Anise Swallowtails in the West. You can move them to a designated caterpillar fennel plant if you like.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 06:06 PM (BVQ+1)

77 Golfman at June 22, 2019 04:57 PM

If you don't have too many cucumbers, you can make refrigerator pickles. Need a recipe?

Dill? Bread and butter?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 06:07 PM (BVQ+1)

78 illiniwek at June 22, 2019 04:54 PM

I loved the video. Both the solo and the duo parts.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 06:09 PM (BVQ+1)

79 Art Rondelet of Malmsey at June 22, 2019 02:14 PM

We don't get a coral snake story every day. Whew!

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 06:11 PM (BVQ+1)

80 Miley, the Duchess at June 22, 2019 04:32 PM

Depending on how big the plants are, maybe you can just leave them where they are. Or try leaving a few and planting out a few.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 06:13 PM (BVQ+1)

81 40 miles north at June 22, 2019 04:00 PM

I don't think your California poppies and corn poppies will cross without significant help. They are in the same family, but different genera, last I remember.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 22, 2019 06:16 PM (BVQ+1)

82 Great guy. Just gave me three. Just trying to dress up maybe ONE where it is tolerable. Imagine okra in your mind.

Scoop the seeds? Lots of vinegar? Salt and pepper like a tomato?

Posted by: Golfman at June 22, 2019 06:22 PM (OE84+)

83 Soothe somewhere I have a recipe for homemade weed killer. It uses Epsom salts don't recall what else. Try Google. If you can't find it post next week I will look for the recipe. Bought the Epsom salts put they're still sitting in the pantry never have tried it maybe I will this summer.

Posted by: Farmer at June 22, 2019 06:55 PM (muNAI)

84 Thanks, 40 miles north. It is so hot here now that sometimes the grapes are just getting ripe but they dry out and it seems I am growing raisins. Fresh off the vine raisins so they are still good... The Moroccan Creole garlic is a real garlic, hardneck and gets a nice thick red "wrapper" around each of the cloves. I have been using it in all my cooking. Froze some as I wasn't sure I could use it all as an experiment. I will let you know how it turns out. Had so many hot lemon drop peppers I am making my own hot sauce today. Another experiment but that is what makes the garden fun.

Posted by: wee kreek farm girl at June 22, 2019 09:04 PM (P+pc3)

85 Golfman, you could try these:

Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles

This recipe is adapted from one by a male gardener that was featured in the LA Times many years ago.

Prepare cucumbers (whole, halves, spears or slices) to fill jars with non-corrosive covers, any size from pint to gallon. If I use a big jar, I put whole cukes on the bottom, then spears, then slices for early snacking.

As you fill the jar with cukes, add a medium to large immature dill seed head or two for each quart of pickles. The seeds should be at least partly green and the stems should bend. If you don't have any immature dill seed heads, use some fresh dill weed plus some dill seeds.

The following are optional, per quart:

One or more small Cayenne or Serrano chiles, pierced if fresh.
Two to six cloves garlic.
One medium bay leaf

I usually add them all in the smaller amounts. You can add additional pickling spices if you like.

Cover cucumbers completely with brine. For each cup of brine, dissolve 1 teaspoon kosher salt in 2/3 cup hot tap water and add 1/3 cup cider vinegar, preferably raw, like Braggs. You can use a little extra salt and vinegar if you are closely packing spears or slices. If you don't have kosher salt you can use regular table salt, since there is not as much salt as in regular pickles and you will not be processing with heat.

Cover jars and allow to sit on the kitchen counter for one day. Maybe 2 days for whole pickles you want to start eating soon. You can start sampling after a day but flavor will improve over time. Refrigerate. These keep for a few weeks, with whole pickles keeping the best. Make sure cukes remain immersed in brine. Scrunch up some plastic wrap in the top of the jar if necessary.

Posted by: KT at June 22, 2019 10:54 PM (BVQ+1)

86 Or this. To stretch out those 3 cucumbers:
Easy Refrigerator Garden Mix or California Hot Mix

Pack into clean jars, any size, with non-corroding covers:

Cauliflower florets
Sliced white or yellow onions or whole, peeled pickling onions
Sliced, peeled carrots
Sliced cucumbers
Celery chunks
Red bell pepper
Pepperocini, Anaheim or Ancho pepper, sliced (for Garden Mix)
Yellow Chiles or Jalapenos (for California Hot Mix)

Cover vegetables completely with brine. For each cup of brine, dissolve one teaspoon kosher salt in 2/3 cup hot tap water (use table salt if you don't have kosher salt). Add 1/3 cup white vinegar.

Cover jars and allow to sit on the kitchen counter for one day, then store in refrigerator. To keep longer, refrigerate immediately after making them. Make sure vegetables remain immersed in brine.

Posted by: KT at June 22, 2019 10:57 PM (BVQ+1)

87 Or, Golfman, if the texture of the skin and/or seeds bothers you, go ahead and peel the cukes, cut in lengthwise strips and remove the seeds or cut crosswise in thin slices, leaving the seeds in, which is what I do.

Soak overnight, covered and refrigerated, in half water and half vinegar with sliced sweet onion (red is nice).

I use cider vinegar. Don't remember what JTB uses. You can also just leave it on the counter for a few hours if you are in a hurry.

Serve cukes and onions with sliced garden tomatoes and/or buttered bread. And a little salt. My Mom's favorite.

Posted by: KT at June 22, 2019 11:06 PM (BVQ+1)

88 Make gardening much easier and get far better yields with heavy feeder plants. Tomatos, pumpkins, melons, etc. Plants are not likely to stress out from unequal watering due to dry spells or lack to timely nutrients.
Use a 3 or 5 gallon bucket and fish aquarium size clear tubing. Drill holes in the bucket just above the floor of the bucket, note not the bottom edge of the bucket ! The holes MUST BE SLIGHTLY SMALLER THAN THE TUBING, so the tubing pulled through makes a tight fit and seals free of any leaks. You determine the lengths of the tubing and the number of tubes/holes to drill. You can fill the bucket with water and any fertilizer or insecticide that is soluble with water and make the tasks extremely easy to do. Depending on the plants size and weather conditions, you can water weekly or in severe drought conditions even daily. Return lids onto buckets after filling to not let debris foul the water flow and nutrients. As the flow is slow the water/nutrients stay close to the plants and greatly conserves water and nutrient uses, AND DOESN'T FEED the weeds competing with your crops. You only need to try this once, you will probably use the method ever after. Much greater yields, less stressed out plants, less waste of water and nutrients and less competition of weeds. I used this method last year and was greatly impressed by it. Nothing electrical to fail you. Get the garden you dream about, do it ! It's usage matters most when weather stresses the garden most, hot dry summer weather. Liquid fertilizer, sold in plastic soda bottle size really works well ! (wal-mart) a table spoon a week in a bucket fill works very well for me, and IOWAN.

Posted by: ron n. at June 23, 2019 01:30 AM (om5HK)

89 ron n. at June 23, 2019 01:30 AM

Sounds interesting. What did you grow, and how far apart did you put the plants?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at June 23, 2019 01:56 AM (BVQ+1)

90 Yup, got the wasp killer solo cup from Rural Revolution. We keep them near our grapes towards the end of the season when the wasps seem to like the sweet raisiny grapes.

Posted by: S.Lynn at June 23, 2019 09:02 PM (xFohF)

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