Last two weeks of September '09

ceresone(missouri ozarks)September 17, 2009

Well, looks like you're all like me--suffering garden burn-out! We start off, usually when the snow's still on, planning and anticipating the spring and summer garden. Then, by late September, we're tired of fighting the bugs and weeds to harvest anymore. least, that describes me!!

It's been days since I've seen the sun, cloudy, windy, with rain, on and off.

Sweet Potatoes are about ready to dig, they've had their right amount of time, 120 days, but I guess I'd better give them until frost is predicted. I've dug 2, nice and big.

I finally have pictures of my amazing Dahlia, wish I knew how to post them--but on dial-up, that alone might take days. One stem will have a snow white bloom, one have 3 petals of burgandy, another, completely speckled, while a fourth is half and half. Gldno, guess I could e-mail them to you, but for some reason, my daughter's camera has shaded pink in.

Did anyone have tomato blight? Martha Stewart was talking about it, even. This year, I didn't--and I only had 3 horn worms in the garden. A plant on the deck has many tho.

Blister Bugs--only on one plant! I think this rainy cool weather even affected the pest population.

I've been picking Cantelope, but watermelons didn't do much.

I'm sure everyone has been checking in, and like me, just didnt have much to say--but you can ramble on--like me!!

Rock Guy--get all settled in?

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Too much rain and clouds here too. My mustard and bush bean leaves are blanching out from lack of sunlight, and my fall planted stuff is just sitting there. We need SUN. The upside is that the water and electric bills are going to be low this month.

I have only one sweetpotato which I planted late. Hope I get something of it. Last year something ate my sweetpotatoes underground just leaving the tops of the taters sticking up.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 1:02PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I have had a dry summer, but now I am getting rain. It has done wonders for the flowers. It has not been good for the tomatoes. We had one 4.5 inch rain and most of my big red tomatoes (and small ones too) split. I had one friend who sold her house and had a big yard sale and another who called me to take him to the emergency room. All those split tomatoes were going bad on my counter. Now I am throwing away anything with a touch of bad on it.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 12:33AM
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ceresone, maybe your good year with tomatoes balanced out my horrible year!

We aren't getting your good rains. I have been watering some ornamentals. I won't have to mow for a long time if it doesn't rain, one good thing about the dry.

I found one nice sweet potato while cutting down the corn stalks yesterday. My garden must be lacking potash. I am not having great success with root crops. I need to burn a lot of wood this winter and use the ashes.

Sure wish you could post pictures, ceresone. I would love to see your dahlias.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday morning chopping down poke that was 8 feet tall and some others. DH hauled them off for me and the pickup was rounded over.

Next will be all the diseased tomato vines. I will try to burn those.

The Moon and Stars turned our really well. We have had one and gave one to the neighbor and have two more in the garden and one in the spare fridge.

The pumpkins are almost ripe and the LI squash are huge and turning a nice tan. I have so many Butternut Squash, I will have to give some of those away if I can.

Been gathering a few flower seeds. The petunias are still looking good so can't collect those quite yet, but will.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 5:53AM
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I don't know how it happened Glenda but it's not dry at our house even though I'm not far from you. We must've gotten some rain that missed your place. I've watered less this summer than I can ever remember. The draw-back is that I've had no break with weeds or mowing the lawn. I definitely have burn-out Ceresone. I think it's the sight of weeds causing it. lol I have stuff on my patio that needs to be planted and I can't get motivated. I agree, we need more sun Mulberryknob. We need to make a note not to complain when it gets hot and dry next summer. I think I missed it this year.

Sorry to hear you lost your tomatoes Helen. Sounds like you've been busy. I'm guilty of throwing things away too. It's hard to use everything up.

Are you going to make jack-o-laterns with those pumpkins or pie Glenda? The last two times I tried to grow pumpkins for my kids for Halloween, they were invaded by squash bugs. I need to try again.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 7:53AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Sorry, if my post was misleading--in general, my tomatoes were blah! The best this summer was Opalka, and strangely enough, one I hadnt grown before, White Oxheart. And, it was a lemon yellow. They were slow ripening, split badly, and just didnt taste good--they were watery, instead of a good tomato taste.
Must've been bad, if neither blight, nor worms touched them!
I think, if I'd had all my beds in, I might have tented the rows, to protect from so much rain, and to give them the heat they needed.
I want a HUGE astro-dome, to cover the orchard and gardens, with a retractable roof! Aww, the gardens of the Future!

Still cloudy, but good for splitting the 4 ton of wood thats on the trailor, best get busy.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 9:30AM
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Won't be doing Jack-o-lanterns here. All the grandkids live away. These will be processed for pies. I haven't had squash bugs until just now which, I hope, is too late to damage the mostly mature winter squashes. I did loose the spaghetti squashes to vine borers early in the season.

I want to take a picture of the L. I. Cheese squash. I had to pick one yesterday because it was splitting on the bottom. The thing is huge. I will be processing it soon. I am anxious to see what kind of flesh it has and how it tastes.

We finally got rain yesterday and last night. Sounded like a pretty good one. Christie, the last good rains everyone got, we were in rain at Willard and out to AC and when we turned on our road, it was like someone had lowered a curtain and on our side, nothing! It literally stopped at our farm road.

I have been making myself cut down tall weeds and clean up some beds. I don't cut off tops of perennials usually until spring, but may do some next week that I know are hardy. The garden is another story. I am praying for a hard freeze to kill all the grass weeds in it! I have made a vow to clean it really good this fall. If I had a way to burn it all off, I would.

ceresone, I have really thought about a cage for growing sweet corn. About every other year, the raccoons get mine.
I think you could bend cattle panels over your beds and create a mini greenhouse pretty easily. Well, relatively speaking.....nothing is easy! wonder if pvc pipe would bend that narrow a width? My mind is running away with me this morning! Assuming you have a wood splitter for that load of wood?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 7:37AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Oh, My, YES! A wood splitter is the greatest invention that man made!! I remember the years, living alone and trying to split wood. I always got the axe into the wood--then couldnt get it out.
We had torrential rains last night, along with lightening and thunder.Wish my weather gauge had still been up.
the advantage my sweet potato bed had was that it was right next to the chicken pen, so it was easy to cage it.
And another reason my beds are 16' long, the length of a cattle panel. when I get them all in, I hope to have cages for hoops for everything.
Trying to decide how to do my potted blueberries this winter-last year, a milk crate stuffed with leaves sat over them, but this year, they're about 4' so, I dont know how I'll do it----any ideas?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:49AM
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ceresone, they should be fine just with the leaves or hay or whatever tossed up around the buckets and held in place with something. I have carried over lots of things in buckets placed in the middle of piles of leaves up over the buckets. How about a cage of chicken wire or anything you have loosely put around them and filled with leaves. Just thinking out loud here.

I just processed one of the Long Island Cheese pumpkins that I had to pick a little early because it split. I made over 8 lbs of puree. I did one pie pumpkin and it made 4 cups. I went ahead and made a pie with the L.I. one and pumpkin bread using it ...... wanted to see how it tastes.
The bread is good....waiting on the pie to get cold.

I have about 8 or so of these huge things! I think it is less stringy and sweeter than pumpkin. I would like for it to be more orange, but maybe when more mature, it will be.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Ceresone - I have some potted blueberries too. They're only in five gallon pots (maybe smaller) It's those foam ones that look like concrete. I've had a Sunshine Blue that way for a few years and just put it up against the south side of the house in the winter with no extra mulch or anything and it does fine. It's in the shade there from our balcony which might help it not to leaf out too early in the spring. That is my plan so far for my two new ones, Chandler and Ozark Blue. I think Ozark Blue may be the least hardy of those three so I should probably give it a little extra shelter. I have some bigger containers to move them into in the spring.
I've been trying to decide what to do with some grape starts that are only in gallon pots. I've been debating whether to plant them or wait until spring. Same with my pawpaw seedlings that are in two liter bottles and some salvia guaranitica that I rooted. The Jupiter Grape that I planted this spring doesn't look very healthy to me. Hope it makes it through the winter.

I picked hazelnuts and my second round of Sakata Sweet melons this week.
Do you all think this cool weather and rain will give us some good fall colors this year?

How did your pie turn out Glenda?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 8:11AM
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Christie, DH declared it the best pumpkin pie ever! I must admit, it was very tasty...just lasted two days for us. Of course the whipped cream from the cow didn't hurt it!

Here is a picture:

I will definitely grow this one again.

BTW, I saw Lowes had lots of B & B's for $1.00 each last week. The starts I did during the summer two years ago, I just stuck in the midst of the grasses and it was prettier this year than the mother plant by the drive. The blue was much more intense.

I still have lots of things to either get in the ground or pile up on the east side of the chicken house for winter...I am leaning to the piling up method!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 10:12AM
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I can hardly believe the month is practically over! Where does the time go?

I mowed Friday. The ground is still very soft and spongy from the wet mole runs....

Saturday I harvested another L.I. Cheese squash and some of the dried bean pods for seeds. The Cherokee Trail of Tears is behind the others in drying since they were planted out late.

While I was in the garden, I decided to dig the sweet potatoes. It wasn't a bumper crop but I do have a nice little pile of them. I do love the Beauregards! I just had a very short row.

Still have lots of squashes to harvest before frost. I am seeing lots of squash bugs now but it is so late I don't think they will harm anything. I am turning the chickens into the garden hoping they will find and eat them.

Still have flowers in bloom but they are looking a bit sad since I am not deadheading. I want them to dry for seeds.

The mums are beginning. I have two red, a dark gold, a straw colored one and lavender and white.

I have yet to plant my row of garlic; will try to get that done this week.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 7:06AM
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Ok,that pie is making me hungry. Like I need an excuse to eat pie :)
Well yesterday I finally got most of the lawn mowed. Still way too wet in some areas. Very nearly got the mower stuck once b/c I was not paying attention to the wet areas. lol
Cut back a lot of flowers an pulled some zinnias up as well.
Picked tomatoes white cherry an some roma's. As well as some peppers, an more basil.
My eggplant is still not ripe. What a strange summer this has been. Still getting some beans every few days. So will keep picking them since I don't need a large batch at once.
How ever, next year I will continue to plant in succession but will plant more plants per time.
Dahlia's are starting to bloom.
I had the window up last night an had the wonderful scent of night jasmine to fall asleep to. I really love that smell. I know some don't but hey to each there own : )
An of I had to cut back the 4 o'clocks. They were taking over in some areas.
My mums did not make it through the winter last year.
Was just thinking I need to make up a list of what has to be dug up an brought into the house for winter. I don't relish that job. But I do enjoy the plants when it is cold/snowing out side.
Have a great week everyone.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 9:48AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Bonnie, tell me about the jasmine. Do you winter it in the house? I picked some brown flowers off the salvia and found there are three seeds per tubular flower instead of one like I thought. I may start gathering seed from impatients and other things. I don't regularly visit the seed exchange but sometimes I lurk and then don't have anything to trade when I see something I want. This is the first week I don't have tomatoes all over my counter. The cool, cloudy weather has slowed them way down. It is time to think about protecting things for the winter. Sometimes I get caught at the last minute. I have some sun coleus cuttings started; I need to think of where to put them and pot them in small window sill size pots. I did buy two bags of expert perfect mix, so I have the soil.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 1:33PM
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Helen, the jasmine was started from seed last winter. I ws it in march.
So I am going to bring it in the house for the winter. But I am also going to leave a piece of it in the ground an mulch etc really well an see if it will come back. That way I don't have to start over.
But since you like flowers in pots. it might work really well for you that way you can move it around and bring it in in the fall.
I read on a site were several people keep theirs in post an that way they don't have to re pot every year.
I do know they don't like standing water. but just moist soil. but it can dry between watering. if it droops it need water.
I'm leaning toward just potting it up into bigger sized bot as needed until I have it the size I want for indoor/outdoor. That way I wont have a monster! It can be trimmed back also.
Do you want some starts from mine?
I still have to pick up soil, I keep forgetting.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 2:37PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Jasmine from seed that gets big enough in a season to provide fragrance sounds like a good way to go. I keep plants through the winter, but it is a lot of trouble. A few sun coleus wintered over and starting plants from seed starting in late Feb or March is better than fighting fungus gnats and spider mites all winter. Where did you get the seed? What is the name of the one you grew; I know there are different kinds. I used to have a jasmine plant in my hall. When it had one or two flowers on it, it perfumed that area. I may look for a small houseplant. I got rid of plants when my mother was here because she needed to get her walker through the hall. I could make room for a jasmine; the fragrance is heaven.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 3:36PM
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I will try to keep an eye on it so when it sets some seed I will save some.
If I forget just remind me!
I received the seed in a trade last year.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 4:13PM
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