Summer in the Garden.....Good and Evil

abnorm(Orlando)July 27, 2012

Hi Ya'll...In the midst of rain and heat the garden still survives ...The Sweet Potato Patch still has a month or more to grow...I started about 5 different store-bought taters as well as Silvia's PuertoRico....In front of the garage are "CrepeMurderSticks"....I cut supports for my tomatos last spring and some rooted in the nutrient rich mix so they recently moved into the yard....

The Orlando eggplant is HUGE and producing....I have it in my largest container....about 30 gallons...and the Prosperosa eggplant has about 5 "globes"....soon-to-become 'Parmesan

The peppers are a mixed success story...the pepper plants grown in containers on a raised support were great.....but I grew about 15 additional buckets on the ground....Most of these buckets showed a real decline over time....

Well I finally turned out those buckets....replanting any survivors!....AH-HA....Tree roots!!!

This season I had drilled extra Bottom holes in the buckets...I usually use side holes but lately some of the buckets have developed a "stank"...The result were TREE ROOTS invading the peppers and the tomatos...Sometimes more than 25% of the container were full of brown tree roots.... This season I used a series of hydroponic fertilizers that included a Root Stimulator....Yeah it works !

After seeing MooLou's brick smoker.....I decided to get busy with MY barrel smoker....I'm starting with a cast-iron-coal-stove as my firebox....and a cheap barrel grill as my smoke chamber.....Here's a mockup:

This week my behind-the-house-neighbor left a voice message on my phone....They would like to use my yard to stage a CRANE again...Two years ago they had a huge oak tree trimmed (at my request) by parking a huge crane in my backyard/driveway ....That spot is right in the middle of my garden NOW!......WWYD?

And as some of you know we've lost three of our four cats this past year all due to old age....Well we're proud to anounce the TWO recent additions to the family....Smudge and Blackie....Sister rescue cats that join our remaining old-man Ragdoll cat....PC

Yea!Wooohoo!!!.....Fish guts for everyone!!!!!


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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

Congratulations on the new furry additions to your household. Hopefully they will invigorate your "old man" and make him feel younger.

I don't have any advice about the crane. It's nice to accommodate neighbors when you can (if they're decent neighbors). Is the garden in-ground or in containers that can be moved? If your garden is in-ground, is there a time of year when your garden might be dormant or in transition - perhaps the neighbors could wait until then?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:30AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Doug and Pam

I like the title like in the "Garden of Good and Evil".:) I think that this summer we had more evil being that we had more bugs!

I am very sorry about your cats, I know the pain of loosing your pets for any reason...congrats on the new additions.

I hope that soon we will be all eating sweet potatoes, I will have to use some more winter squash that I have it in the closet to make room for my sweets coming up.

Your smoker is smoking hot! did you try it already? Was it Bamboo who used the smoker for the tomatoes?

I have to visit soon the hydroponic store, they are great! but since the garden is resting now, kind of.:) I have not use anything, the bugs can kill each other outside for all I know, it is just too hot.

My purple jalapeno that you gifted me is doing fine and is hot, my other peppers are still surviving.

Hope that you decide what is best for you and your garden and let the neighbor know...


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Thank You L....At 12 years old he/we haven't seen these kitty antics in quite a while :-)

HiYa Silvia....Thank You.....The smoker is a work in-progress...I've fired the stove when I first painted it black.....hopefully it will finish as "cherrybomb red"...I saw the stove being placed on the curb and asked..... I used an online Smoker Design Calculator to insure the stove and barrel combination should behave in a useful cooking range ....I want to smoke my peppers to achieve a rich flavor when dehydrated and powdered for seasonings.....

I'm glad your Purple is Hot....some were "Bells"

Sorry BambooRabbit...what's cooking?....and Moo-to-you-Lou


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:36PM
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I am sorry to hear you lost your kitties, but love the fact you gave two rescues a home. I lost my dog and adopted one from Dogs and Cats Forever, a no kill shelter.

I hope to make it to Silvia's next time to meet you all and of course see Silvia and Willy again. :o)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:50AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Doug - That sounds like a great idea! I love hot smoked paprika, those seasonings are hard to find and expensive.

Kathy - Next party, we hope to see you and Ralph, we are just waiting for cooler is so much fun to see gardening friends get together.:)


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:14AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

As usual you and Pam have been very busy Doug, looks great!

Too funny about the Crepe sticks, just goes to show you really have a Green Thumb ;-)

Very tough call about the crane, can things be moved? If not have them and the crane operator come over to see if they can accommodate you without destroying the garden.

Please snap a picture of the Orlando eggplant in your container. We don't eat a lot of eggplant but Silvia's made such a lovely ornamental in the garden I'm thinking of growing one just for that purpose.

For the peppers, you could get some of those 12" or 16" square patio blocks to set your containers on....

Sorry about your cats, you know what we went through....Ricky says hi to Ragdoll, Smudge and Blackie. Welcome back to the world of being woken up all hours of the early morning by the young'uns wanting to play ;-)


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:18AM
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Thank You Kathy(Katkin)....and good for you on your pooch too!....I hear RoadTrip!

Silvia....I'm anxious to make some real SMOKED pepper seasonings.....Ya'know when you open the jar it just Talks to you!

...the build has a name/logo: The Smokin' Pepper...I guess the soundtrack might be ZacBrown or JimmyBuffet..... and the Official sponsor? (Yet-to-be-determined)

Ok Tom....One Orlando eggplant....That's a cutdown 100 gal. tree pot...the bottom is 28" in diameter filled with 16" of mix... I recruited Pam for scale...Ollie the outside cat had to report for duty with mom.....Too much contrast to see the "eggs"

And the last time the crane made a sizeable "impression" on my backyard....(and I also dislike the neighbors and their illegal overlooking treehouse)

So I think it's NO garden access for the crane this time......thanks all


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:01PM
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i was thinking of a tree house here! kind of run out of room on the ground, so i figure "why not up?" love the coal stove, would make some cool garden art!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 6:56AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

I remember that picture now, would definitely trash the garden. Thanks for the picture of the Orlando, gotta have one.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 8:53AM
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CAST1(9b Arizona)

Oh my gosh ! Everything is so green and full of life!
The greenest thing around here is the campus of good old Chandler High School.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:34PM
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CAST1(9b Arizona)

I hate this Arizona heat!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:35PM
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My my, that eggplant is huge!!! I'll have to try growing one of those. I haven't had luck with the eggplants from the box stores. Where did you get it from?? The little dog we adopted is deaf and I've been training him to understand hand signals. He brings us so much joy and filled an empty spot.

CAST1, we've seen the weather reports and Arizona has been in the triple digits for some time now, like much of the rest of the country. I am on the coast and only been about 91 and trade wind breezes too.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 6:38AM
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CAST1(9b Arizona)

The weather here in too much. My plants die if I don't water them everyday and the electricity bill goes up to $500 dollars a month if you want some nice AC. The pools around here are like hot springs and you have to wait at least 3 minutes for the cold water to come out cold out of the hose.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Cast1, isn't this been usuaully hot or is that your normal weather? We are hot and humid for about 6 months of the year. I feel for you with that electric bill!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:18AM
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Thanks Mark......every thing looks good in YOUR garden....

Cast....What a beautiful HS campus.....we have had 29 inches of rain in Orlando so far this year.....good luck!

(OMG...Time flies...I was in high school in the 1960's)

Katkin....Silvia turned us on to the Orlando eggplant....I purchased seeds from PARKS....I just sent my last "almost" empty seed packet to Tom.....Et Two Orlando


    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:03AM
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CAST1(9b Arizona)

We have broke records all last week . The temperature was 114 on August 9 . Today has been quite cool with 104 degrees and a bunch of clouds. Last year we had like 30 days straight of 100 degree weather or higher !

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 5:51PM
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