Garden update, and a small outburst…..

Posted August 28, 2015 By Ruth

Another $3 or so of tomatoes

Say another $6 of hot peppers

Another two cantaloupes

Another Early Moon Watermelon

Two more Charentais

A million (only slightly an exaggeration) Rattail Radishes

 

 

Oh  yah.  If/when you do home additions, major repairs, deck building etc, I don’t care how far out in the middle of nowhere you are.  Please check building codes.  They’re there for a reason.  Even if enforcement doesn’t care about your area its very likely that the folks who live in your house after you will care ALOT when they discover stuff that’s not up to code.

And while we’re at it, nails are not appropriate for attaching a deck to a house (regardless of what your code says).  And if the deck is supposed to be “only temporary” then damn well reveal that fact to the folks buying the house.

We’re all fine, but the bank account is taking another hit.  And it could have been ever so bad.  So please.  Please.  Please.  Check building codes!  (and get permits, if only so that the folks after you can tell if you put in proper footers under that slab without having to break it up cause you didn’t follow code with anything else so why should we expect footers??)

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My first Charentais melon and a garden update

Posted August 24, 2015 By Ruth

I think the tomatoes are finally slowing down (thank god, I’m not planting that many again, well, probably not, maybe…..).  I got half a colander this time.  About $9 worth

Two more Early Moon Watermelons.

Another Cantaloupe.

More Jalapenos and a couple more Habaneros, call it $6

My first two Charentais melons EVER!  I took a picture of one, when they call them “about softball sized” they’re not kidding.  But oh gosh are they tasty!  I’ll definitely try these again next year.

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If anyone else tries to grow these, the warnings about them splitting, within a day or so of turning ripe are correct.  The reason you didn’t get a picture of the 2nd one I picked was because sometime in the previous 24hrs it had turned color and split.  I cut it open to save the seeds and tossed the rest of it.  The ripen and split that quickly.

My Mystery Compost tomato plant is HUGE.  Its officially taller than me, even with the stem being bent the way it is.  The tomatoes on it are looking like Black Plums.  What I can’t figure out is how its getting enough sun.  Admittedly that probably explains some of its hugeness, its spreading like mad to get leaves into the sun.  But that doesn’t explain the decent amount of tomatoes that its about to produce……

I’ve now pulled a total of 7 little pumpkins (6-8inches long) out of the garden as the vines they were on were among those that have died.  Still another 4 large pumpkins out there turning orange.

What else am I forgetting?  Oh, I need to decide if I’m going to actually eat any of the okra I planted, or just admire it (it is a very pretty plant with pretty flowers)……

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Garden update

Posted August 20, 2015 By Ruth

Two more colanders of tomatoes: $18

4 more cantaloupes (I’ve lost track of how many total that is, 10? something like that, they’re little, but tasty!)

Two of the Early Moon Watermelons

a gallon ziplock of rattail radishes

a handfull of carrots (dammit, was at the market again, forgot to check prices)

Another handfull of jalapenos: $3

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Please vote for Apollo!

Posted August 16, 2015 By Ruth

I have, again, entered a couple photos of Apollo in the TMINFO Calendar contest.  A couple years ago we managed to get one of his photos in it, so I’m trying again this year.

You don’t need to register to vote, and you can reload the page and vote again, up to 5 times, for each photo (and any other photo you see in the contest that catches your eye).

Photo 1 (click this link to vote)

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And Photo 2 (again, click this link to vote)

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Farmers Market pricing

Posted August 13, 2015 By Ruth

Tomatoes were running about $3/basket (those little green baskets they pack fruit and vegi’s into)

Cucumbers were $0.75/each

Zucchini were $1/each for more normal sized ones

Jalapenos were also about $3/basket

Garlic varied, but call it $1/head

I didn’t see any melons or lettuce or radishes and didn’t want to interrupt to ask since I wasn’t buying.  Forgot to check carrots.

Or, the pizza sauce that we were buying before we started making our own runs $1.99/16ounces

 

 

So, based on what I’ve picked out of the garden so far (though I haven’t been as OCD as I could have about keeping track):

Cucumbers, about $15

Zucchini, about $16

Jalapenos and other hot peppers, about $6

Garlic, about $30

Tomatoes, about $72 (!) or about $47.76 in tomato sauce

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Wilt

Posted August 12, 2015 By Ruth

Here’re the pictures of the garden wilt I was talking about:

The Sugar Baby watermelons-

KIMG0192 KIMG0193You’ll have to trust me that the green in the first picture is all weeds, mostly clover.  The Sugar Baby watermelon vines are almost completely dead at this point, with only a couple vines holding on.

The one set of affected pumpkin vines-

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And the affected Blazing Star flowers-

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So far, other than the “normal” tomato wilt affecting the Black Plum tomatoes I’ve not seen any signs of it anywhere else, I’m hoping the semi regular treatments with neem oil are preventing it from spreading.  But this is the first year I’ve had a serious problem with it too.  Anyone have any ideas as to what it is, what the cause is, and/or how to prevent it next year?  I ran across a product called “Root Shield” thats supposed to help prevent several varieties of wilt (including the normal tomato wilts) and I’m seriously considering picking some up for next year’s garden……

 

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Thats a little hot!

Posted August 12, 2015 By Ruth

I made my first batch of hot pepper jelly this week.  Right on schedule.  Except the ingredient list was a little different this year.

Normally I weigh out just short of a pound of red ripe Jalapenos, toss in a single red ripe Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper or ripe Habanero (or just do a full pound of Jalapenos, depending on what we have in the garden), and go from there.

This year the hot pepper growth pattern has been screwy.  The Jalapeno plants are half the size they normally are, and though they’re producing nicely they aren’t as loaded as normal.  However the Hot Wax plants are huge and loaded (normally they’re smaller than the Jalapenos and less loaded).

So I was getting ready to make jelly and realized I had 1/2pound of Jalapenos, and 1/2pound of Hot Wax peppers, and a single ripe Habanero pepper.  So I shrugged and made jelly out of that combination.

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I will occasionally eat the tiniest little bit of the pure Jalapeno jelly.  But this batch is way out of my league.  Even Husband choked on it when he had his first taste.  Its a little hot!

 

I also pulled three cantaloupes out of the garden, a couple more Sugar Baby watermelons, the first harvest of Rattail Radishes, three more zucchini, another two colanders full of tomatoes….

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Frustrated

Posted August 10, 2015 By Ruth

I’ve held off posting about this, cause it made me so frustrated…..

When we bought our house there was approx 20ft of mature daylilies growing on our side of the road side ditch.  A question to the seller confirmed that although the town mowed the ditch here they didn’t care about our side of it, even though legally they could.

Over the last couple years I’ve been adding to that line of daylilies.  That area is a pain to keep trimmed and the mature lilies do an awesome job at keeping down the weeds on the ditch-side.  Resulting in about 40ft of daylilies on my side of the roadside ditch.

A week ago, last Monday, I came home from work to discover that the town had been through and mowed the ditch.  Which was fine and normal.  Except that this time they’d also used an extended arm mower to mow the first 2-3feet on my side of the ditch.

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To say I was peeved would be putting it mildly.  But I took a deep breath and reminded myself that they have the legal right to do it.

Tuesday morning I called up the town’s Highway Dept Supervisor to ask if they were supposed to be mowing on my side of the ditch?  The answer is apparently no!  They’re only supposed to be mowing on that side of the ditch if its a visibility problem, such as at an intersection.  So I advised the supervisor of what had happened, and that in addition to taking down my daylilies they’d also taken the cap off of the water shut-off.  He promised to have a word with the mower driver, and that the town would be out to replace the cap on the shut-off.  Though they haven’t been out yet and I may need to call him again.

On my way to work that Tuesday I paid extra attention to the roadside of the rest of the road.  I’m hoping the supervisor got a few more phone calls.  There are daylilies missing in several places along the property owners’ side of the ditch.  And in one case, one homeowner had planted daylilies to edge his driveway and the first 3 feet of daylilies along both sides of the driveway are now stubs.  I’m thinking that someone doesn’t know what daylilies are……

The good news is that, at least on my property, the mower was mostly a couple inches above the dirt level, and so there’s a couple inches stub of at least some of the daylily plants, and so all of those plants should survive the experience.  However there are several places where the mower clearly hit dirt.  Plus I can’t find stubs for many of the newer plantings (he even mowed down the metal stakes I was using the mark them!), so I’m not sure how they’ll do.  Regardless though they likely won’t come back as full as they were, as it takes time for that sort of growth to appear.

A week later and the whole strip like still looks murdered and dead.  Though I’m sure the weeds will be shortly taking advantage *sigh*……..

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ouch

Posted August 8, 2015 By Ruth

In the wake of discovering that my ankles weren’t going to be adapting to concrete floors I picked up a pair of soft ankle braces to take the place of the ace wraps I’d been using to give my ankles support.  The braces weren’t anything fancy.  $10 each at the local pharmacy.  But they helped, a lot, and weren’t horribly uncomfortable to wear while I was at work.

This past Thursday, part way through the day, my feet apparently swelled up and the braces became uncomfortable to wear, so I ended up not wearing them for the last couple hours of the work day.  Things didn’t hurt to badly.  So yesterday, Friday, since I was only working a 5hr shift I decided to try the day without them.  I never did figure out what caused my feet to swell and I wanted to see how bad the shorter shift would hurt without the braces.

Wasn’t to bad.  Made it through the 5hrs with no braces with not much additional pain, though I could tell my knees were going to be more sore than usual.  

Till I left work.  

1/2hr drive home and both ankles and knees stiffened up drastically and getting out of the car at home was, well, interesting.  Staggered into the house, greeted the dogs, and collapsed with my feet up.

It is now Saturday morning, I leave for today’s work shift in an hour.  My ankles are still very stiff and painful despite some careful stretching exercises.  My knees are better, but not as good as normal.

Crap.

Obviously ankle support isn’t optional for any reasonable length work shift.  For the moment I’m just going to pick up a 2nd pair of the cheap braces in the larger size for the next time my feet swell.  But I guess I’d better start looking for better ankles supports too…..

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Hah!

Posted August 3, 2015 By Ruth

So, I’ve been ignoring the compost pile this year.  Its covered in weeds, and I’m sure the tree roots are enjoying it entirely.  Its just been too busy a summer.

Yesterday afternoon I took the kitchen scraps out and noticed what looked like 4 or 5 tomato seedlings popping up out of it.

Then I looked closer.

And realized it wasn’t 4 or 5 little plants.  What I was seeing was the ends of the branches of one HUGE tomato plant.  The base stem a good inch in diameter.

I dug out my garden stakes and stood it upright.  Curved as it is it comes up to my chin, if the stalk was straight it’d be over my head.  Its got several flowers on it, and at least one baby tomato forming.

It gets, at most, a couple hours of dappled sunlight there.  The spot itself is VERY wet…..

It’ll be interesting to see what it produces!

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