The Dawg Patch

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PlainJane
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#221

Post: # 23519Unread post PlainJane
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:45 pm

I’m so jealous that you can grow cukes out in the open. If I even think about it I have pickle worm.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#222

Post: # 23543Unread post GoDawgs
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:03 am

PlainJane wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:45 pm
I’m so jealous that you can grow cukes out in the open. If I even think about it I have pickle worm.
The first pickle worm we've ever had showed up two years ago and last year but so far we haven't seen any this year. Keeping fingers crossed!
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#223

Post: # 23831Unread post GoDawgs
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:45 pm

Friday morning the weather dude was forecasting a front coming through with winds on Saturday and Sunday at 15-20mph. Hmmm, soft moist soil + 15-20pmh winds = corn down... again. NOT! Enough of this flattened corn business.

What I ended up doing was driving in some stakes around the patch perimeter and running baling twine down and across rows at intervals in an effort to keep the stalks somewhat upright. It's soooo close to pollinating as silks are pushing out. So here's what it ended up looking like. That white thing is the Walmart bag I carry the baling twine around in.

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The big test came last evening when a storm blew through that had 50 mph gusts about 15 miles away. Fortunately it wasn't that bad here but we did get another 3/4" of rain and a lot of wind. This morning the corn was standing tall with just a hint of a lean. A few stalks of popcorn in a bed were down but all in all, we dodged the bullet.

At least the rain washed down that Saharan dust that has plagued the area for the past several days. It has actually looked smoky out there at times or like spring when all of the pollen lets loose at once. Without the dust the sky would be blue. This photo of the pasture would be sharp and clear on any other day but it's been pretty hazy with that dust:

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It's more turn-around time in the garden. Yesterday I picked the last Contender and Golden Rod beans, pulling the plants out as I went. Boy, that's easy picking! Just pull up a plant, pick off the few beans left and toss it aside. :D:

This is the first year I ran baling twine down both sides of a bean row but some plants were flopping out into the aisle or flopping towards the middle of the bed. The improvised twine line kept them up and made picking so much easier. Note to self to do that again next time.

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The first regular cherry tomatoes are getting ready. This is Rosella, new to me this year. I just had to try the ripest one and oh my, is it tasty!

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And finally, this is the one zuchetta rampicante or trombone squash I have. New to me this year, it looks like the first one is right about at the stage where you can pick it and use it as summer squash and I'm going to try that. Then I'll let the rest go to winter squash stage just to see how big they really get. One of this year's toys! :D:

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#224

Post: # 23836Unread post PlainJane
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:14 pm

Isn’t this dust the weirdest thing? We had it bad yesterday but a violent thunderstorm late in the day seems to have helped.
Except now it’s even more humid if that’s possible. I lasted only an hour out there today after all day yesterday in the garden.

Love what you did with your corn!
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#225

Post: # 23841Unread post GoDawgs
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:44 pm

That dust got me all chugged up. First a tickle in the nose and then the sinuses joined the party. People were actually driving around with headlights on even though it wasn't THAT bad, fer cryin' out loud. :shock: Today's a lot better after last night's rain. I still haven't seen any pretty sunsets or sunrises due to clouds on days when I remember to look. ;)

I don't think I've ever had a corn year like this. Back in '17 someone gave me a packet of Boone County White corn seed they couldn't use. It was a tall flour type which I couldn't use either but I decided to use it to see if I could grow corn in circles in a raised bed. That stuff grew over 8' tall! That's an 8' pole in the photo. Heck yeah, it worked!

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That's when I had to figure out a way to hold them up because I couldn't really pull any soil to the stalks like I always do. So I made like a spider's web with baling twine, running back and forth and diagonally through the bed. It worked! So what I did with this year's corn is a modified version and not so intensive because I will actually have to walk through the rows to pick. At that point I'll probably just untie everything and roll up all that twine for some other project.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#226

Post: # 23854Unread post PlainJane
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:33 pm

And, wow! Look at your beans right next door!
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#227

Post: # 23856Unread post GoDawgs
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:40 pm

I had to do a quick check of my 2017 map. Those are Big Boy field peas next to the corn. They get big and viney and rambunctious with 12-15" long pods. Tasty too. LOL! Field peas are another thing where I have to run baling twine down the sides of the bed to keep them from falling out into the aisles.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#228

Post: # 23931Unread post OhioGardener
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:54 am

WOW, I wish I could get my cabbage and cauliflower to look that good! The only cole crop I seem to have a lot of success with is kale.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#229

Post: # 23968Unread post GoDawgs
Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:57 pm

@OhioGardener , thank you! But after umpty hundred tries I finally had success with cauliflower just this past fall. Spring plants confirmed that the wild spring temp swings here preclude growing cauli then. Fall only now for me. And the only one I had that success with is 'Amazing'.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#230

Post: # 24078Unread post GoDawgs
Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:39 pm

Whew, it's hot today with a 104 heat index going on right now. I got a lot done in the garden this morning while it was cool and have been inside all afternoon. Got two loaves of English muffin bread baked though and while the oven was hot, a tray of peanuts roasted off. :thumb:

One of my projects was to run some support lines for the Colossus field peas. They'll get pretty big and rowdy so the support twine should keep them from falling into the aisles. These things are growing fast!

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I noticed that some deer visited last night, munching the poor sweet potato plant at the end of the row and also some of the climbing butterbean foliage in the next bed.

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The corn's looking good right now and is silking away. It won't be too much longer.

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And finally, I heard a loud buzzing nearby and turned to see a really big bee land on a post in the bed next to me. Hmmm, it was about an inch and a quarter long and looked like a bumble bee on steroids!

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Pickles said it might be some kind of fly and by golly, she was right. I did some internet digging and it is a Robber Fly. They're fast fliers, snatch other insects out of the air for munching and hang out on branches and posts waiting for the next meal to fly by. The good thing is that they really like to eat Japanese beetles. Yo Robber! You're more than welcome to hang around this garden!

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#231

Post: # 24079Unread post PlainJane
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:19 pm

Wow, the corn is just exploding! Really cool about the Robber Fly; I expect to see Jeff Goldblum’s head on there.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#232

Post: # 24360Unread post GoDawgs
Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:58 am

It's been ho hum maintenance in the garden but in the heat that's probably not a bad thing. Morning and evening garden strolls, watering and weed pulling give me time to look at things more closely, think about stuff and make notes for next year. Afternoons are indoor play time.

I did get next year's spring garden rotation decided as far as what plant families will go in which beds. And that allowed me to plan what goes where in the fall garden.

The sweet potatoes are starting to bloom here and there. As they're in the morning glory family, the blooms are similar but smaller. Still pretty though.

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The okra are just starting to bloom. These are the two surviving Cajun Jewel of the three planted. New to me this year, they are almost pretty enough to be used as edible landscaping plants. Really big leaves!

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The three Choppee okra are a lot smaller because I had a heck of a time getting them going. Never had that problem before. After several replantings three of them decided to grow. I need to get the Mantis in there, get the weeds out and mulch well.

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June was kind to us weather wise with temps mostly in the upper 80's and a bit over average rainfall for the second year in a row. But July doesn't care about that, whipping hot days out of it's pocket and throwing them right in your face. I took a screen shot of my weather data page for July daily high temps over the past ten years. It looks like this July will fit right in. I just hope it's not a repeat of 2016. :o

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The corn silks are starting to brown, the first tomatoes are starting to ripen, the cuke plants are going away and the Blue Lake beans will get pulled up in two days during that last picking. Spring is finally giving way to summer.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#233

Post: # 24369Unread post PlainJane
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:09 am

It’s an absolute steam bath here now. Working in the garden forces slow motion and frequent breaks.
Will you start more beans or is that it for you?
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#234

Post: # 24375Unread post Bower
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:36 am

Very impressed with you keeping all that weather data! Way to go. :)
I have to say I always learn something whenever I catch up on your garden patch! Love the things you do to support the plants. Our weather here is very changeable but windy is the closest thing to a constant. I honestly gave up trying to grow tall things like sunflowers which disappointed every time as they ended up face down in another part of the garden... Great trick with the corn, I hope it all holds up to whatever mother nature has in store. :)
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#235

Post: # 24407Unread post GoDawgs
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:10 pm

@PlainJane , boy you sure are right about slow motion and frequent breaks. I have a giant insulated mug with sipping cap on it that I fill with ice water and take to the garden with me every time. I've heard some say ice water isn't good for you in hot weather but they can mind their own business. LOL!

I'm about beaned out. Two cases canned up plus enough dilly beans and other pickles made. The Blue Lakes are done but the Roma bush are still making and the KY Wonders are just starting. A lot of flowers on those but it's so hot I don't really see them making beans. They were late to the party with slow germination so they deserve what they get. I intend to grow one bed of beans in the fall for fresh eating and giving away. That would be one 18' row of Contender on one side with 9' of Strike and 9' of Provider on the other side.

Last year I planted on Sep 1 and the first light picking was Oct 22. On Nov 10 and 11 the first killing frost came and we picked everything the day before. A two week total of just 6 pounds from the whole bed. The frost killed everything which was a shame because there were still lots of flowers on the plants. Soooo, this year I want to plant either 8/4-6 or 8/21-24 (good moon planting periods) so that we have a longer harvest time frame. I'm shooting for the earlier period.

More info for those planting beans in the heat:

The problem comes with getting beans to germinate in the heat but I think I figured that out last fall with germinating turnips in hot weather. I ended up adding a lot of water to the furrow pre-plant, sowing the seed and covering, then covering that with soaked sections of newspaper and keeping that wet.

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I learned the hard way to check very often for the first signs of germination! This fall, after removing the wet newspaper, I intend to set up a tunnel and cover it with shade cloth, a wonderful Christmas present from Sister Pickles! And so another experiment begins. :D

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#236

Post: # 24412Unread post GoDawgs
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:33 pm

@Bower , thanks for the kind words. That weather data goes back to 1999 when I started keeping it. The information comes from a Univ. of Georgia weather station three miles up the road at the place where I used to work, The information is about as local as it gets! However there really are times when they'll get a deluge from a pop-up storm and we will get just a spittin' here and vice versa.

I look for patterns in the different years and it has helped me in different ways. Sometimes I see if I can get away planting early because the data for the year resembles some from a past year. And it's amazing how things really do run in solar cycles like every 7 or 8 years where weather patterns repeat. Each month's data is also graphed with lines showing both highs and lows.That's where you can really see the cyclicality. Some people think I'm nuts but oh well, it's what a data junkie does, it's useful and maintaining the data takes takes no time at all. LOL!

And I find good things in your posts too. Good garlic info, etc. Some things do cross borders and climates easily. ;)

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#237

Post: # 24623Unread post GoDawgs
Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:49 pm

Yesterday the Blue Lake beans got their last picking and were pulled out. It was a good decision as there were very few baby beans and no more flowers.

Today the cuke plants got pulled and yes, it was confirmed that the yellowing was due to nematodes. The roots were all knotted up. Nothing was planned for that bed this fall so I think I'll plant some brassicas in there for fall and again in spring to see what that does to the 'tode population. It seems to help in that regard and so another test.

Today's pickings:

At least the Early Girls (in the front) are sizing up. Behind them are three of the real Early Annies and that yellow is the Fake Early Annie. The little oblong one next to the Fake Annie is Ten Fingers of Naples. They grow 5-6 to the truss.

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Those five Millionaire eggplants came off one plant. Gotta make more of that new eggplant casserole we really like! Then there are the last oddball cukes and assorted tomatoes. At least the Early Girls (in the front) are sizing up. And the first two okra. The one on the left is that new Cajun Jewel and the one on the right is that smooth Choppee. Guess I'll have to wait to get enough of both to do a taste test.

So far the winner in the Most Tomatoes At One Time category is Rio Grande, a paste. I counted 28 on there this morning. Some are hiding behind others. It did well last year and earned a spot for this year. I think it's earned permanent status. The hunt for a good paste 'mater is probably over. The other contenders this year, all new to me, are the Early Annie, Mom' s Paste (setting few tomatoes) and Ten Fingers Of Naples which has the BER problem.

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And finally, completely off topic, the small pork butt I smoked on the Fourth. I had cut some off for another recipe but that's OK as 6 lbs is better than 9 lbs for just two people. We had the third and last lunch from it today and froze the rest. Man, it was good! My favorite food. :thumb:

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#238

Post: # 24634Unread post friedgreen51
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:27 pm

The vegetables look good. That is the most tomatoes I have ever seen on one plant. Outstanding.

Did you smoke the Boston Butt on a Big Green Egg smoker?
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#239

Post: # 24697Unread post GoDawgs
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:12 pm

friedgreen51 wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:27 pm
The vegetables look good. That is the most tomatoes I have ever seen on one plant. Outstanding.

Did you smoke the Boston Butt on a Big Green Egg smoker?
No, I just used one of those barrel grills that has the small side barrel. I don't use the side barrel much and usually put the coals at the bottom of the left side of the big barrel. Then the butt goes on the grid on the right side almost under the smoke stack. I use charcoal and soaked chunks of hickory or oak and keep the temp between 275 and 300, for about an hour per pound of butt.

That smoker is about 15 years old and the bottom on the end where I put the charcoal is starting to develop rust holes. I've been putting several layers of heavy duty foil under the charcoal grid so the ashes don't fall out! Poor thing! Time to retire it if I can find another one just like it. It's simple and has a large grilling surface, just the way I like it. No fancy dancy, "set it and forget it" pellet or whatever grills for me. :D
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#240

Post: # 24699Unread post GoDawgs
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 pm

RAIN! Off and on deluges began yesterday afternoon and continued through the night. There were 1.5" in the gauge this morning. More rain off and on all day. I guess today's bean picking will be postponed until tomorrow!

Meanwhile, it’s rainy day indoor activities. The parsley on the porch went to seed last month and I had clipped off the dry seed heads. They’ve been sitting in a tray to make sure they dried enough and today I rubbed off the seeds and cleaned them. They’ll stay on a paper plate for another week or so just to make sure they’re dry before I put them in a paper coin envelope.

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We've been using onions fresh from the garden now and then since there's no real cool place here to store them. There aren't many basements in the South. :D The last Australian Brown onion tops were dry down to about 5” above the bulbs and had been without rain for about 10 days so two days ago I pulled them and laid them out on the bed to dry a bit. Yesterday afternoon Pickles saw rain coming and brought them to the house. They always seem to rot if I tie them up and hang them to dry under the pole shed so I’ve been cutting the dry tops off down to where it's not so dry yet, about 5" from the bulb. Then they've been set upside down on the wire shelf of my light stand. It seems to be working. You make it up as you go along!

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The ones on the right have been there for several weeks. We’ve been using them and have found no rotting at all. There’s a styro tray underneath the newly pulled ones on the left to catch a few drips from several onions whose stems still have water in them.

These are fall plants that are coming along. In the back are two cukes (just popped up this morning) and three newly seeded rhubarb pots. In front are an eggplant, three regular “quick” tomatoes (Early Girl and Rio Grande) and two of the Whippersnapper micro cherry tomatoes.

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