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Thread: A general gardening thread

  1. #1171
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    The summer crops here are just about over other than the sweet potatoes that need digging up, the few peppers and eggplant that are still producing, and the last of the cantaloupes and watermelons ripening up. The tomato plants were hit hard with late blight disease thanks to a very wet stretch after a TS hit 3 weeks ago, even the late tomato plants were just but a few may survive to produce some late Sept fruits. The watermelons got off to a slow start but did get a pop from recent rains. Also the pears are nearing their picking time and the figs are doing well too. The persimmon tree must need a break after 3 years of being overloaded with fruit as there are only about a dozen persimmons present this year. Just 2 pomegranates are on the tree/bush but that's better than nothing.

    The fall crops are mostly planted now, broccoli and cabbage transplants are ok but do need a bit of shade on the hot days (like today 95F with heat index at 107). The carrot, beet, collards, turnip, and spinach seed are popping up now. More late turnips seed will be planted soon as well as more spinach in Nov for an early Spring harvest. The early season zinnias and cosmos have re-seeded and should produce some nice autumn colors soon. Will be happy to put the lawn mower in storage after 4-6 more cuts.

  2. #1172
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    So far so good on the autumn gardening. The cabbages are plumping up, the broccoli shows signs of tiny heads developing, the carrots, spinach, collards, and turnips are doing well and should be picable in about 2 weeks.
    The pears have all been picked now, mostly stored in the extra fridge (~ 60). The persimmons are turning orange and the 2 pomegranates are turning red. The last of the sweet potatoes will be dug up over the next week or so.

    Here's a quick snapshot of the back garden...
    From left to right...Sweet Potatoes, turnips, cabbages, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and collards.
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    The old scarecrow is standing in what's left of the watermelon patch.

  3. #1173
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    The Fall garden is winding down now as winter is coming. All the broccoli & cabbages have been picked which leaves just collards, turnips, and carrots to slowly harvest before temps drop into the teens. The spinach has gone dormant waiting for late winter to perk up again. It will soon be time to take a seed inventory......I miss our vine ripened tomatoes :-(

  4. #1174
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    When we had my niece and her husband up for early Thanksgiving, he asked if there were any apples on the trees down below in the former front yard. He uses them to attract deer. I hadn't been down there in ages so told him probably not. He went and looked and found there were not only apples, but NICE apples; came back eating one. I saved a box of them to have for lunch.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #1175
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    We have had a very mild last few weeks with the maximum temperatures on most days being only in the mid 20C range - admittedly tomorrow has been forecast to top out at 39C. This weather plus some very unexpected rain has done my garden a power of good.

    The grapevines (old style Muscat grapes) are covered in bunches of grapes that are now about the size of frozen peas. The orange and lemon trees are covered in small fruit and even the lime tree that had been threatened with removal due to underperformance has a few fruit on it. My fig tree seems to have the biggest crop on it that I can recall in some 20 years or so. The tomatoes are going well with some just about ready to start to show some colour. The rockmelon (cantaloupe) vines are going mad. The beetroot have very healthy leaves but I am still waiting for the 'roots' to thicken. Most of the flowering plants are also doing very well and my 30 odd rose bushes have been flowering profusely.

    So all round a good time in the garden - but the really hot weather will hit us shortly so some sun damage will occur.

  6. #1176
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    Well I've picked everything from the garden now other than the remaining collards, a few carrots, and some late spinach which is going dormant now and to start producing again in March. With all this rain lately the carrots would surely crack/split open if left in the soggy ground, some I picked were already splitting. It's now time to take seed inventory and deal with indoor projects.

  7. #1177
    Well the ground is rock solid. Have to get a regular job so I can at least get some new gear for the garden.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  8. #1178
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    As I mentioned a while ago our fig tree is having a really good year. As you can see by the photos below we are going to have a good crop but they are still a few weeks away from ripening. Of course they usually all ripen at once and are 'over-ripe' in a couple of days. (A lemon tree is in the background)

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  9. #1179
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    WoW those are gorgeous figs you have growing there Ozduck! I have 2 trees here (more like large bushes) but they don't produce nice clusters as yours have. We try our hand at fig preserves/jam and your bumper crop would go a long way at that.
    As for our garden, only collards remain growing now to pick and as long as the temp doesn't drop into the F teens we should be picking them for a while yet. Now it's time to trim the fruit trees, thx to covid I'm getting a head start on many projects this year.

  10. #1180
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    Collards are not really grown here and had to look them up to see what they are.

    This is very definitely the best fig crop we have had. My brother and sister in law are waiting impatiently for them to ripen as they like them more than we do. My first crop of tomato bushes have just died back and I have some green fruit coming up on bigger vines. The rockmelons (cantaloupes) are getting closer to being ripe as are the grapes. My orange trees are also covered in fruit but they will not be ripe until around May. I don't know what happened this year as ,per usual these days, we had under-average rainfall. But I think an unseasonal few wet days in November gave everything a boost. My garden is also watered by a groundwater bore but this only allowed to be used on three days of the week. My 'watering days' are Monday, Thursday and Saturday. There are big fines if you use it on the wrong day.

    Rockmelon

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    Muscat Grapes

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    Tomatoes

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  11. #1181
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    Nice pics! I tried growing grapes here but no real luck with that. Va is known more for growing grapes for wine making and not fresh eating grapes, a lesson that I learned the hard way.
    Your Rockmelons look good too and the dry weather there may be an advantage. Here too much rain (or even normal rainfall) can cause the melons to rot while sitting on wet ground and I have to place a hand full of pine needles under each one to prevent bottom rot, esp true when at their ripening stage. Ambrosia is my fav variety.

    Here's pic of our collards below...
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  12. #1182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Nice pics! I tried growing grapes here but no real luck with that. Va is known more for growing grapes for wine making and not fresh eating grapes, a lesson that I learned the hard way.
    Your Rockmelons look good too and the dry weather there may be an advantage. Here too much rain (or even normal rainfall) can cause the melons to rot while sitting on wet ground and I have to place a hand full of pine needles under each one to prevent bottom rot, esp true when at their ripening stage. Ambrosia is my fav variety.

    Here's pic of our collards below...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That looks like a fine crop of collards. Do you use a lot of them in cooking? I gather, from the Internet, that they can be a bit of an acquired taste. Looking at rainfall I see that Richmond, Virginia gets 43.32 '' of rain compared to our 733mm (29") but yours appears to be a bit more spread across the year while ours is concentrated in the cooler months of April - September.

    By the way your soil looks great! I can see a nice pile of mulch - I guess. Our normal soil is - dry sand very lacking in trace elements. You need to add a lot of organic matter to make it fertile for vegies etc. My vegie patch - I live on a suburban block - is the bottom half of an old galvanised rain water tank filled with improved soil and mulch etc. The local trees are adapted to this sandy soil but foreign crops struggle. Citrus trees are very easy to grow as are grape & passionfruit vines. We also have a lot of problem with water absorption - to quote "In fact Perth has some of the most hydrophobic soils in the world". Soil wetting agents are often necessary. All this is why West Australians are called Sandgropers.

  13. #1183
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    "That looks like a fine crop of collards. Do you use a lot of them in cooking? I gather, from the Internet, that they can be a bit of an acquired taste. Looking at rainfall I see that Richmond, Virginia gets 43.32 '' of rain compared to our 733mm (29") but yours appears to be a bit more spread across the year while ours is concentrated in the cooler months of April - September.
    By the way your soil looks great! I can see a nice pile of mulch - I guess."


    Yes we eat collards with dinner about 3 times each week during the growing season. As for taste it's not bad with butter and seasoning, it's kinda like spinach but not quite as tender. We like it better than kale or chard (other leafy greens) which can be bitter or more earthy tasting.

    Our rainfall this year is second from the top for annual rainfall, last estimate was that our normal 43 inch average was topped by about 15 inches so things are a bit muddy out there, just glad it was spread out a bit. It beats a drought as long as it doesn't flood us out, ha.

    The pile in the pic is pine needles used for mulching, the shadow on the left is from a big compost pile which has been decompsing since last summer which will be used for the Spring plantings. We are lucky to have rich soil here, our home is a 110 YO farmhouse originally on 80 acres, back in the 1970's the land was sold off as a subdivision where each resident has at least 1 acre of land, we're down to 1.5 acre which is plenty to keep me busy.

  14. #1184
    I've tried growing and didn't really find it had much taste to it.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  15. #1185
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    I've tried growing and didn't really find it had much taste to it.
    My wife cooks collards by simmering them in a pot with chicken broth with some salt & pepper, then buttered on the plate. Some people cook them with a hamhock or other meat/fat source for flavoring. Simmer for about an hour or longer to tender them up. I also de-vein the leaves as I pick them (removing the main leaf vein) this removes a bulk of the fiber making them easier to chew. As a kid I was raised on kale (my Mom's fav then) but since then I've tried just about all of the greens available and spinach and collards are on top, better than kale, turnip greens, chard, and others.

  16. #1186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    "That looks like a fine crop of collards. Do you use a lot of them in cooking? I gather, from the Internet, that they can be a bit of an acquired taste. Looking at rainfall I see that Richmond, Virginia gets 43.32 '' of rain compared to our 733mm (29") but yours appears to be a bit more spread across the year while ours is concentrated in the cooler months of April - September.
    By the way your soil looks great! I can see a nice pile of mulch - I guess."


    Yes we eat collards with dinner about 3 times each week during the growing season. As for taste it's not bad with butter and seasoning, it's kinda like spinach but not quite as tender. We like it better than kale or chard (other leafy greens) which can be bitter or more earthy tasting.

    Our rainfall this year is second from the top for annual rainfall, last estimate was that our normal 43 inch average was topped by about 15 inches so things are a bit muddy out there, just glad it was spread out a bit. It beats a drought as long as it doesn't flood us out, ha.

    The pile in the pic is pine needles used for mulching, the shadow on the left is from a big compost pile which has been decompsing since last summer which will be used for the Spring plantings. We are lucky to have rich soil here, our home is a 110 YO farmhouse originally on 80 acres, back in the 1970's the land was sold off as a subdivision where each resident has at least 1 acre of land, we're down to 1.5 acre which is plenty to keep me busy.
    You seem to be living in a lovely place. I have a big suburban block for these days at 1,015 M2 (1/4 acre) and have enough trouble with keeping that in check. Oh for above average rainfall! Perhaps then we could live without year round water usage restrictions and wouldn't need to rely on two large sea water desalination plants to supply over 50% of our potable water.

    Collard greens sound like they need some 'proper' cooking rather than just steaming them for a few minutes.

  17. #1187
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    I am not sure how much of our fig crop we will actually get to eat. The 'foreign invaders' have turned up to gorge themselves. I m sure I have posted about these birds a year or so back.

    Anyway, a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets has turned up as usual for the last few years. They are native to Eastern Australia and were only introduced here, either via an aviary escape or by a stupid person, in 1968. They are 'declared pests' in W.A and therefore not protected. But they are gorgeous birds to look at. Unfortunately, they love to eat fruit which is not a real problem for me but a big problem for the fruit industry.

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    Last edited by ozduck; 2021-Jan-16 at 03:27 AM.

  18. #1188
    The only work in the garden lately was cutting down an old pole used to hang a clothesline from years ago, already cut a couple of small logs to be split into kindling later. There is a lot more work to be done in the area. Here is a quick video of it, playing with tablet to.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  19. #1189
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    I got a couple of smallish baking potatoes a couple of weeks ago but haven't used them and they are beginning to sprout. I think I'll stick them in the ground and see what happens!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #1190
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    I picked the first of my Rockmelons (Cantaloupes) yesterday. I was unsure if it was fully ripe but it had a bit of 'sunburn'. I think that I was possibly a couple of days early but it was still fine. I haven't been able to find why much of Australia/New Zealand call them Rockmelon instead of Cantaloupe. In comparison, the Zucchini/Courgette choice seems more explainable as being due to whether the society was influenced by more the French or Italian nomenclature..

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    (The Australian flag was my wife's idea)

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    Last edited by ozduck; 2021-Jan-21 at 04:02 AM.

  21. #1191
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    Maybe because they look a bit like rocks? They are my coffee or Vegemite. If someone puts them in a fruit salad, I wonít eat it, as it makes the rest of the salad taste like cantaloupe and I donít like that flavor at all.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

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  22. #1192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Maybe because they look a bit like rocks? They are my coffee or Vegemite. If someone puts them in a fruit salad, I won’t eat it, as it makes the rest of the salad taste like cantaloupe and I don’t like that flavor at all.
    As we agreed on that Vegemite thread, everyone has there own preferences and I am certainly not going to throw rocks at you about your likes and dislikes. What I did find interesting when I was hunting around is the number of varieties of these melons. The 'USA' one is Cucumis Melo Reticulatus while the Australasian variety is apparently Cucumis melo cantaloupensis

  23. #1193
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    Now that Feb is here there's not a whole lot to report gardening wise. The Collards are still out there but it's getting to be slimmer pickings with each passing day. The fruit trees pruning has been completed, a bit ahead of time thx to the covid clock. I've restocked on seeds but still need more spinach, my first planting will be peas near the end of the month. The Daffodils are popping up now which is nice to see. Not looking forward to mowing the lawn again.

  24. #1194
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    My rockmelon plants have now died off but I was happy with what I got and managed to give some away to family and friends. There is a nice pumpkin vine for which I hope will give me a least a couple of pumpkins. The tomatoes have been a big disappointment. Despite getting plenty of growth and flowers they have produced very little fruit after a good start. I suspect that the heat wave that struck just as they should have been at their peak was the problem. I think that I actually planted them, as seeds, a bit late in the season.

    The figs are still going and the grapes are now ripe. They did not produce as many bunches as I was hoping but the vines desperately need a good prune later this year. The Lime tree has some fruit soon to ripen. It had been threatened with removal this year if it didn't start pulling its weight so it seems to have heeded the warnings. The roses are also flowering well - they will flower all year round but are normally pruned in July.

  25. #1195
    Yesterday in middle of doing the auction I thought I should tart some bulbs indoors, but I didn't leave until after the hardware store had closed and I also needed other things from there but I guess I have to wait after the next snowstorm to pass over starting tonight.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

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