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New England July 2014

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  quiltbea on 7/9/2014, 7:38 pm

Even after all the rain we've had the last couple of weeks, I still had to go out this morning and water my garden. 

Hooray, today I harvested my first tomatoes, 4 grape toms.  Now if only the bigger ones would hurry and grow and ripen.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/9/2014, 8:03 pm

"Even after all the rain we've had the last couple of weeks, I still had to go out this morning and water my garden."

I did too! I went out there and the cucumbers were in wilt stage. I gave them a good water and they perked right up. While I was there I watered everything else. Thought I was going to have heat stroke.

I've brought in a few squash and today the first zucchini.

Hmm. Getting dark & cloudy. Is that because we watered today?

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  sanderson on 7/9/2014, 8:19 pm

NHG, "Wash your car and it's guaranteed to rain." I guess watering your garden is the Eastern version.

CC, NHG, QB and Camp, I always admire your gardening.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  quiltbea on 7/9/2014, 8:48 pm

We had a sprinkling of rain around seven thirty tonite.  Not much, but it cooled off the air which is a good thing.  Its supposed to be cooler tomorrow but no rain.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/9/2014, 11:21 pm

It's been raining pretty well here and also an impressive lightning display.

So glad everything is getting good and saturated before the sunny days ahead.

If anyone is interested, I just heard about this online (free) Grow Your Own Food Summit, and watched 2 of the presentations tonight. I guess it started July 7 and goes until July 14, with about 5 presentations per day. The 2 I watched tonight were really good, esp. the Doug Lowry one, I believe that is available to watch until 10 a.m. Thurs.

http://growfoodsummit.com/

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/10/2014, 9:21 am

I don't want to blanch!! I just want to slice the squash, zucchini, etc. and put it in a ziploc in the freezer.

But apparently you have to blanch. As I read quoted: why go thru all the trouble of growing your vegetables if you're not going to preserve them adequately. Bleh.

Here's a link about what needs blanching and for how long:

http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/blanching.html

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/10/2014, 9:31 am

Lol, it seems so unnecessary, but it takes so little time to do and it's worth it... Thanks for the link.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  donnainzone5 on 7/10/2014, 10:50 am

Great link!  And just in time for my experiment with the remnants of my Asian greens!

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  yolos on 7/10/2014, 11:06 am

Here is another link.  I am combining the University of Ga info with the University of Arkansas info on an excel spreadsheet.  Eventually I will have a very comprehensive guide to help me freeze all my stuff.
http://www.purplehull.com/pdf_files/FSHED-24.pdf
The link takes you to the purple hull website but then links a University of Arkansas publication.
But if there is any discrepancies between the two tables.  I am going with U of Ga as they seem to be the leader in preserving food.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/10/2014, 11:20 am

A thought about trellising vine crops: I don't like it.

I trellised cucumbers last summer. Sure, they went up the trellis. But they weren't real healthy and they only had one root point. So if anything happened to that root point, the whole plant is history.

If you let your vines (cucurbits?) travel over the ground, they create multiple root points. Should they get attacked by SVB, etc., they have options.

I noticed the same thing with the volunteer tomatoes last summer. In the large bed where they obliterated my seedling onions, I didn't bother staking them, they were a complete mess. They ended up lying all over the bed, creating multiple root points. Granted, the tomatoes were often on the ground, and that's an issue. But how much healthier might a plant be that has produced many root systems as opposed to one?

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/10/2014, 11:26 am

@NHGardener wrote:

CC, did you make that straight compost?

Oh yes!  I've had a compost pile for over 30 yrs now.  I also started all my annual flower seeds in straight compost this year for the first time and they came out great!  
That's my compost pile at the top left corner of my poor crispy back yard:  

Matter of fact ALL my pots are made of straight compost this year.  This Lolla Rossa lettuce in mostly shade is doing beautifully & tastes fabulous: 

I may try starting some veggie seeds in straight compost for an experiment instead of using the usual used MM.

CC

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/10/2014, 11:37 am

@NHGardener wrote:If anyone is interested, I just heard about this online (free) Grow Your Own Food Summit, and watched 2 of the presentations tonight. I guess it started July 7 and goes until July 14, with about 5 presentations per day. The 2 I watched tonight were really good, esp. the Doug Lowry one, I believe that is available to watch until 10 a.m. Thurs.

http://growfoodsummit.com/
These are to be watched online?  I hope they will leave them up coz I don't have time between now and Thur to watch any.

NHGardner wrote: "If you let your vines (cucurbits?) travel over the ground, they create multiple root points. Should they get attacked by SVB, etc., they have options."

That's a good point. I have some sprawlers but they are surrounded by wood chips.  Would they root in wood chips do you think?

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/10/2014, 1:22 pm

I think they would root in wood chips. Wood chips don't seem to deter my strawberries from spreading, and I have what looks like a potato plant coming thru the wood chips in the aisle which is a mystery - we'll see.

Container gardening lettuce is actually a great idea. To have salad makings and herbs easily accessible to the kitchen sounds better all the time. How to structure that? I have basil on the deck in a pot but I do notice it dries out really quickly and might be getting too hot. Hmm. Might want to think about putting a 4x4 right outside the door for lettuce and herbs. I have a rock wall flower garden along the house, but the spouse worries that roof runoff will contaminate anything edible in there, so I just leave it at that.

CC, they only leave each day's presentations up until I believe 11 a.m. the next day, so that's it. UGH! I think the point is that when you miss something, you're going to want to purchase it in order to watch it.

P.S. - That's a beautiful compost pile. My compost pile keeps shrinking. I don't know where it disappears to. Probably feeding the weeds and the lawn...

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  quiltbea on 7/10/2014, 6:40 pm

For daily leaf lettuce, I have 2 rather shallow but wide pots outside my kitchen door in the shade of a huge bleeding heart.  I cut fresh leaves down to an inch of the base and they grow out again....and again.   Up to 4 times.  Easy to water them when needed since they are just outside the door.  I'm still getting them.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/11/2014, 5:23 pm

This is kind of interesting...I have 5 types of tomato plants in 3 different types of medium this year as an experiment.  So each medium has a group of different plants in it.  I took the following photos today...these are the first to ripen.

These black cherries are in the perennial garden covered last year in wood chips so no watering to speak of:

These Super Sonics that look like Romas are in MM covered with wood chips, watered twice weekly:

And these Sungold cherries are in builders sand mixed with a bit of compost, covered this year with wood chips, watered sporadically:

I don't know what this means... thinking ...unless it means that some types prefer this and others prefer that.  No blushing as yet from Super Beefsteak or Box Car Willie, but both have fruits.

Nice garlic, Camp.  Mine are teeny tiny and not worth showing but I'm sure they are delish.  I left some others in to see if they would get bigger.

Molly, here's your squash - the 2 best plants out of 4.  No flowers yet:
Someone somewhere on the forum posted a link about using milk for PM.  I'll start using it this weekend...AND cover with tulle.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/11/2014, 7:13 pm

It's hard to compare cherry vs. regular tomatoes, as they are often so sturdy and prolific compared to bigger tomatoes. A sungold especially can pump out huge volumes of tomatoes in much less friendly soil. Those are tough plants.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/11/2014, 7:47 pm

I'll have to try to take some photos tomorrow.

Squished some squash bug eggs on the undersides of leaves yesterday. So those are out. I dread the SVB.

And the potato beetles - yuck. They leave this larvae to chew the leaves and they're ugly. I've been dropping the entire leaves into soapy water.

Oh, I blanched for the first time today. It took forever. Probably 3 gall. of water on the stove, finally I couldn't stand it anymore and just dumped the squash/zucchini in, and then did some sugar snap peas. I don't think it ever came to an actual boil, must've used the wrong type of pan, too large and it had a steamer basket in there. But, next time I'll know.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/11/2014, 8:47 pm

Happy shocker! I am the caretaker of a very healthy native American Elm tree. The tree guy was impressed.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/11/2014, 8:54 pm

@NHGardener wrote:I'll have to try to take some photos tomorrow.

Squished some squash bug eggs on the undersides of leaves yesterday. So those are out. I dread the SVB.

And the potato beetles - yuck. They leave this larvae to chew the leaves and they're ugly. I've been dropping the entire leaves into soapy water.

Oh, I blanched for the first time today. It took forever. Probably 3 gall. of water on the stove, finally I couldn't stand it anymore and just dumped the squash/zucchini in, and then did some sugar snap peas. I don't think it ever came to an actual boil, must've used the wrong type of pan, too large and it had a steamer basket in there. But, next time I'll know.
I only put the minimal amount of water in the pot so it will boil sooner; and just enough water cover the batch I am doing. I have found doing it in small batches goes much more quickly. When it says blanch for two minutes, I put the veggies in the boiling water and set the timer, when the timer goes off, whether the water reboils or not, it's done.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  cpl100 on 7/11/2014, 8:56 pm

@NHGardener wrote:I'll have to try to take some photos tomorrow.

Squished some squash bug eggs on the undersides of leaves yesterday. So those are out. I dread the SVB.

And the potato beetles - yuck. They leave this larvae to chew the leaves and they're ugly. I've been dropping the entire leaves into soapy water.

Oh, I blanched for the first time today. It took forever. Probably 3 gall. of water on the stove, finally I couldn't stand it anymore and just dumped the squash/zucchini in, and then did some sugar snap peas. I don't think it ever came to an actual boil, must've used the wrong type of pan, too large and it had a steamer basket in there. But, next time I'll know.
As far as I know, you MUST bring the water to a boil before putting in the veggies in order to successfully blanch.  Blanch for the required amount of time, then ice bath for an equal amount of time.  Water can be used three times in a row for blanching.  This is what my research showed me last year when I was learning/doing it for the first time.  FYI

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/11/2014, 9:10 pm

@cpl100 wrote:
As far as I know, you MUST bring the water to a boil before putting in the veggies in order to successfully blanch.  Blanch for the required amount of time, then ice bath for an equal amount of time.  Water can be used three times in a row for blanching.  
+1

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  mollyhespra on 7/11/2014, 10:07 pm

CC, mine only have male flowers yet: teeny tiny ones.  I'm eager to see a female flower to see if it's got ribs or not.  Are those plants from the original seedstock or the second generation?

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  yolos on 7/11/2014, 10:36 pm

@camprn wrote:
I only put the minimal amount of water in the pot so it will boil sooner; and just enough water cover the batch I am doing. I have found doing it in small batches goes much more quickly. When it says blanch for two minutes, I put the veggies in the boiling water and set the timer, when the timer goes off, whether the water reboils or not, it's done.
I am not as experienced in blanching as most of you but I have done a lot of research learning the best way to get the water back to a boil after adding the vegetables.  I have a ceramic cook top that just doesn't heat up as well as some other types of stoves.  One of the things I learned was that the higher the ratio of water to vegetables that you have in the pot will make the water come back to a boil faster after the vegetables have been added.  But on the negative side, it takes a long time to get the water boiling before you put the vegetables into the pot if you have a large amount of water.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/11/2014, 11:17 pm

Yup, less water next time, and no fancy basket insert.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  cpl100 on 7/12/2014, 12:23 am

@NHGardener wrote:Yup, less water next time, and no fancy basket insert.

I use a basket (it's easier to get them out and into the ice bath quickly) and a very large pot of water.

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Re: New England July 2014

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