The Dawg Patch

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GoDawgs
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It's Finally Ready!

#241

Post: # 24888Unread post GoDawgs
Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:48 pm

I've been waiting ever since the last of last year's was gone. The Silver Queen corn is ready. WOO HOOOOO! I've been watching the silks darken and feeling pointy tips on the ears but today a few felt more rounded so I pulled an ear to check. Yep! Ready! So I picked three more for eating this evening. Tomorrow will start about a two week window of picking until it's all done.

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At the other end of the garden the popcorn is doing really well and starting to silk.

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We ended up with 2" of rain and were lucky as two counties north of here got 6". But what we got is making things jump. This is the zuchetta or trombone squash I have going this year. I swear it grew by about a third over the past two days. It's way past using as a summer squash so I'll have to wait for the next one to set. This one is about as thick as my wrist.

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Speaking of squash, the first summer squash is on the way. I'm playing with training the summer squash to a stake to see if going vertical will provide enough air flow to keep the funk away.

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And finally there's one Charleston Gray watermelon growing but not growing as fast as I want it to! All those flowers and just one melon set so far on this plant and none yet on the Black Diamond. Maybe the heat's to blame.

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GoDawgs
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#242

Post: # 25069Unread post GoDawgs
Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:26 pm

After picking the first few ears of Silver Queen for lunches the past few days, I did the first quantity picking of corn this morning before it got too hot out there. 55 ears gotten and lots more coming. Pickles and I got them shucked after lunch and they're now in the reefer, waiting to be cut off the cob tomorrow.

I've been getting a few of the climbing Alabama Blackeye Butter Beans. It's kind of hard to tell when they're filled out enough. You can run your finger along the side of the pod and feel them but the pod is very leathery and stiff so you can get fooled. What feels like a good bean can be too small when you open the pod. If they get too big where you can see them really bulging, they'll be starchy. I've found that picking in the morning and facing the sun helps as the sun back lights the pod and you can see what's inside! These are just right.

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The colossus field peas are already up to the first support string.

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Many of you will recognize these 'Brad's Atomic Grape', one of the three new-to-me cherries I'm trying this year. Definitely different in look and taste. I wasn't sure when it was ripe so after biting into a few that weren't, I decided to just squeeze them a little and try one when it got sort of soft. Bingo! The flavor is strange though, like no tomato I’ve ever had. Pickles doesn't care for it and I'm still not sure if I do or don't.

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PlainJane
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#243

Post: # 25081Unread post PlainJane
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:53 pm

Yea, I decided I had to try at least one of Brad’s anthos so I got the very similar Atomic Fusion. Visually very cool and decent production.
I also grew 3 more from Wild Boar Farms: Cascade Lava, Pink Saphire and Atomic Sunset. All have ‘wow’ looks but flavor was fairly average. No where near a good Pink Berkeley Tie Dye or Solar Flare. I’ll be going back to Solar Flare next season, I think.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#244

Post: # 25150Unread post arnorrian
Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:01 pm

In my experience BAG need a bit longer on the vine to fully develop the flavor. It doesn't ripen fully after picking. It should have a bit less green than in the picture.
Climate: Cfa
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GoDawgs
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#245

Post: # 25171Unread post GoDawgs
Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:53 pm

@arnorrian, thanks so much for that tip. I will let them go longer before picking.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#246

Post: # 25178Unread post PlainJane
Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:31 pm

@arnorrian, I’ve noticed that too.
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Disguising Ripening Tomatoes

#247

Post: # 25333Unread post GoDawgs
Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:27 am

Another hot July day. The morning garden putters are done; basic inspection stroll, picking a few tomatoes, cukes and the last Roma green beans and getting another 30 ears of corn.

The birds have been pecking at the tomatoes just when they're about ready to be picked. Smart birds. :evil: BUT I'm playing with coffee filter hats, slitting them from the side to the middle and then slipping them over those tomatoes that are almost ripe. These are some Rio Grandes. I picked a few but then covered the ones getting as red as the ones that were pecked.

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Maybe if the birds can't see ripening tomatoes they'll leave them alone. Curiously, they don't mess with the yellow/orange ones. Could it be they think they're not ripe? Bwaaaaahahahahahah! FOOLED YOU! :lol:

I don't know what's going on with the corn. There are a lot of ears whose silks are as dark as can be but the ears themselves are only as big around as a half dollar.

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The kernels inside are still immature too. I don't know if they'll finish or not. But there won't be any more room in the freezer after today's picking is put up. Might have to give away some and not put it all up but maybe I’ll play with dehydrating some. Dehydrated sweet corn is supposed to taste like candy. Any other ears that finish will be given away. Gotta get those stalks out of there and put in field peas.

Every once in a while the garden reveals something that catches the eye. This is a silk from the Japanese Hulless popcorn. Mother Nature had her artist's palette out this morning.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#248

Post: # 25346Unread post PlainJane
Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:02 pm

That red corn silk really stands out!
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#249

Post: # 25358Unread post MsCowpea
Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:22 pm

Love all your garden photos. They look wonderful. And thanks for all the garden tips and tricks.

Your corn looks beautiful. I grew it one time and it was so starchy and awful tasting. I don’t know what went wrong but not even a cow would have liked it.
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Disguising the Tomatoes

#250

Post: # 25436Unread post GoDawgs
Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:45 am

Thank you, folks, for your kind words. I just like to share what I see; the good, the bad and the ugly. :D

@MsCowpea , my guess is that you pulled that corn way too late. Here's a tip I learned from an old neighbor years ago. He said to feel the tip of an ear after the silks darken. If it feels real pointy, it's not ready. If it feels more rounded, it's ready. I've found if it feels real rounded it's probably because an ear worm has mushed up the end! So now I pull and check an ear when the silks are dark and the end is not *real* pointy. This technique varies a bit year to year and variety to variety so every year I have to get a feel for when the current corn is ready.

Speaking of corn ear worms, that's a pest that is absent this year. Not one ear so far has had one. Other years just about every ear will have one. I don't treat with anything as it's easy to just cut the wormy tip off. Corn ear worm... another one to add to the "low insect pressure" category this year.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#251

Post: # 25477Unread post KathyDC
Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:36 pm

I don't know why but birds won't touch yellow, green or orange when ripe tomatoes. Just the red color. Something signals them to go take a peck.

I've also read, though I have been too chicken to test it, that when they peck tomatoes what they want is water, not food. And that if you put a water source near your crops, they'll leave them alone.
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Playing With The Dehydrator

#252

Post: # 25528Unread post GoDawgs
Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:48 pm

There were five nice red paprika peppers ready, extra corn shaved off the cob and lots of carrots on hand so I decided to play with the dehydrator. One tray of corn (experiment as I've never done that), three trays of thinly sliced carrots and one tray of diced peppers.

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The dried Feher Ozon peppers, grown this year to make paprika powder, will be whizzed up after they're dried.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#253

Post: # 25613Unread post KathyDC
Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:41 am

I impulse-bought some Feher Ozon paprika peppers once, and ended up never growing them because I wasn't sure what to do with them. LOL! Still have them in my stash somewhere.
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Last Of The Corn

#254

Post: # 25718Unread post GoDawgs
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:02 pm

Two days ago we processed the second picking of Silver Queen corn, 34 ears. Pickles bagged up the tray frozen kernels yesterday. Between the two pickings of 89 ears there are 13 quart bags of frozen corn now in the freezer and there is no more room for any more.

This morning I went down the corn rows and picked what I call the nubbins. These are ears where the top half isn't filled out but the bottom half is just fine. There's a 5 gallon bucket of those that I need to shuck this afternoon. We'll keep some of those for fresh eating and give away the rest. Thus endeth the fresh corn season for this year.

Tomorrow I will pull out the corn stalks to make room for planting Big Red Ripper field peas in those rows.

Meanwhile the popcorn is still in the silk stage.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#255

Post: # 25782Unread post AKgardener
Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:50 pm

Oh man how impressive I’m waiting on corn zucchini and cucumbers still can’t wait everything looks amazing
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Wasps and Stalks

#256

Post: # 25852Unread post GoDawgs
Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:09 pm

Thanks, AK! I bet you have some big beautiful produce coming along with those long days of yours. You guys manage to get an awful lot of stuff crammed into such a short growing season. I'd love to hear what varieties you use on everything, especially corn. I'm always looking to push the envelope as early as I can to get some corn going before the main Silver Queen goes in. That early one for the past several years has been 'Spring Treat', a 67 DTM variety that will germinate in somewhat cool soil.

It's been a busy day so far. Pickles has been mowing the place and this morning I got the corn stalks dug out before lunch and took one load of them back to Mt. Brushmore. The other two loads will get moved this evening after it cools down. It's looking rather bare in that corner of the garden! With the stalks gone it looks like a much smaller area.

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Tomorrow I will get out the Mantis, till those four double corn rows and will be planting four single rows of Big Red Ripper field peas. That's going to be tricky as it's been so hot and dry. I think I will use that "deeply watered furrow covered with wet newspaper sections" method that successfully got turnips to come up in dry weather. More on that as it happens.

This morning as I reached under a porch table to drag out some plants, here come the wasps! I was getting stung and flailing my arms to keep them off and then realized I needed to just get off the danged porch! A paste of Adolph's meat tenderizer really helped take the fire out of the stings. Three on my left arm, four on the right and two on my, uh, chest. They hit that right through my shirt.

After things calmed down I went hunting for the offending nest. Yep, it was about 2x2" and attached underneath the table. There were about ten of those small wasps that look almost like yellow jackets. Pretty vicious little buggers. I got my spray bottle of Dawn soap water set on stream and commenced to spraying. Once you start you dare not stop! They started falling right off the nest. All dead. That soap is pretty powerful stuff! I keep that bottle on the porch almost all year.

The first four pints of tomatoes are in the canner. It's officially summer gardening season now.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#257

Post: # 25871Unread post PlainJane
Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:03 pm

Sorry about the wasps, @GoDawgs!
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The Last Summer Planting

#258

Post: # 26030Unread post GoDawgs
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:46 pm

Today marks the end of summer planting. Now that the corn is done and stalks removed it's time to plant field peas where those corn rows were. Never let a good row go to waste. ;)

This morning I hoed any weeds in the rows, raked them out and then tilled the rows up with the Mantis. Then a deep trench was hoed down the middle of each row and each one filled twice with water. We're really dry right now so the soil sucked all that water up in a heartbeat.

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This evening I came back and opened the furrows, filled them with more water, planted the seed and then watered rows again after covering the seed. I'm going to have to make sure each day those rows don't dry out. The forecast remains in the mid-upper 90's. If I can't get germination this way I'll have to revert to covering the rows with wet newspaper which worked on fall turnips last year.

I'm planting Big Red Ripper. It's what I call a rambunctious vining type, making pods about 10" long. The peas, which are great fresh eating and also can up well, are the usual green when shelled but acquire a pink tint if they start getting real mature. By the time they're dry they're a reddish maroon and make a dandy dry pea too. The seed I'm using has been saved every year from the original purchase five years ago.

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After reading an article about it, I'm playing with tying the summer squash to a stake. So far it's doing well and just now starting to produce. I think that keeping the vine off the ground is eliminating problems from insects and, with better air flow, some of the funk that usually comes along.

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It's hard to believe that in two weeks or so it will be time to start scallion and onion seed and some of the brassicas. The fall tomatoes and one eggplant are ready to plant out once I find room and enough buckets. A few non-performing spring tomatoes might have to give way to make that happen. This year is moving too fast.

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Summer Switchout

#259

Post: # 26294Unread post GoDawgs
Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:02 am

The field peas are coming up! Three day germination.

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That deep watered trench method will sure help as the roots of these babies go searching. I made sure to also water the planting furrows, water the planted rows and then they've been watered morning and evening all three days. Now they need to stay hydrated until they're big enough to be mulched well.

It's summer switch out. Not long ago these beds were full; early corn, beans, cukes and four rows of Silver Queen. This fall they will hold broccoli and cabbage, onions and scallions, and maybe a fallow bed. To be determined. The field peas (down by the ladder) will be there until frost.

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Unfortunately I had to remove my GGWT tomato plant. It was developing some kind of leaf problem I've never seen in the tomatoes before, kind of like little dried brown patches. When I couldn't stop it and it started to spread to a next door tomato I just had to pull it. But I did harvest the green tomatoes and they've been ripening in the kitchen. I'm not sure what "ripe" one is supposed to look like but I think I remember seeing a photo.

@Ginger2778 , is this what a ripe GGWT looks like?

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BTW, I followed the advice and did let the Brad's Atomic Grapes ripen more until the green on them was more gold with red streaks. They taste much better.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#260

Post: # 26299Unread post Ginger2778
Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:27 am

That looks pretty close to ripe. Is it soft? I think it might need a few more days.
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