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PNW: 2015 August

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  sanderson on 8/16/2015, 2:29 am

Marc,  Glad the Arkansas Traveler and DTs are doing well.

Gwen,  scratch that neighbor off the give-away list!

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  yolos on 8/16/2015, 9:18 am

@Marc Iverson wrote:
Cow peas growing out back -- never grown 'em before.  They seem to come in two's, and almost always have black ants that I see nowhere else surrounding the base of their stems.  I don't know if they're trying to suck juice out or what.  But they're always there.  I see no aphids or damage.




Yep, ants every year on my cowpeas (pinkeye purple hull peas).  First the little black ants, then sometimes aphids, then larger red ants show up, and for some reason, Wasps always all over the peas ??

My pinkeye purple hull peas also come in two's.  If you very carefully harvest the two peas, then after a week or so, another flower will emerge from between where the two peas were growing and you will get another pea on some of the stems.

What variety of cowpea are you growing.  I am pretty sure that the term cowpea encompasses a lot of southern pea varieties.  They have differing characteristics.
http://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/cowpeas/

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/16/2015, 10:10 am

So glad your garden is starting to gear up again for you, Marc. I may have asked this before but are the dragon tongues and the cow peas edible raw? And what the heck are cow peas anyway? Are they really means? Like the ones you use in baked beans? Or are those Pinto? So confusing... so many different beans and peas and so little time...and space.
Wink
Thanks for the reminder on the banana peppers. I forgot to plant them this year and they always do so well for me in a pot, but not in the SFG. That's weird, huh? Matter of fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I remember that my first year trying to grow bell peppers the ones in the pot did better than the SFG. Hmm...I think I may have to change my strategy concerning peppers going forward.

How do you like the flavor of the Arkansas travelers? I've never tried that before.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/16/2015, 10:59 am

Gwen, I think I just might have had an involuntary tic that grabbed my peppers back!

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/16/2015, 12:50 pm

yolos, odd about the ants, eh?  I was looking for aphids but didn't find any.  I was wondering if they wanted to cut off a bean and carry it away, but although I have one branch with only one pod on it, I don't know if that's what they're after either.  I don't know whether to treat the ants as a pest or not.

I don't know what variety of cowpea I have; I'll have to find my seed packet.  

If you very carefully harvest the two peas, then after a week or so, another flower will emerge from between where the two peas were growing and you will get another pea on some of the stems.

That's good to know!

CC  -- I've never grown cow peas before and don't know anything about them.  I think someone may have put up a recipe before the season started, but I don't recall what to do with them except I think you're supposed to cook them rather than eat them raw.  I'll have to look into it more.  I'm not even sure how long to leave them on the vine.

Dragon tongues are great, and safe, raw.  Supposedly they're good at any stage from small pods all the way through to full size and eventually as dried beans.  But they're the best-tasting fresh-eating bean I've ever tasted, so I won't cook any of them.  Plus they look so spectacular in a salad!

Haven't eaten an Arkansas Traveler yet; all my tomatoes outside the occasional chocolate cherry are still green; most of them didn't even set fruit until the last couple of weeks, if they've even set fruit at all.  The single regular-size tomato anywhere near to ripe is the brandywine I posted a pic of.  Most of the rest of my tomatoes are doing like my Black Krim -- one lone tomato set back nearly a month ago, and nothing else on the rest of the plant.

Unfortunately, we're forecast to be back to 98 degrees this week, so that may once again set my plants back by preventing fruit set.  If I don't get some real fruit set soon, I'm going to have mostly green tomatoes this year.  This is a really bad year for tomatoes so far.  Last year I did much better.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  sanderson on 8/16/2015, 3:07 pm

Coastal PNW summer weather is outstanding. Photos later but the plants are so BIG and green and prolific. Inland is not so outstanding! Going to Hood River today via highway 14 for the wedding. Suppose to be beautiful drive.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/16/2015, 3:20 pm

There are some desert-like parts of the state, but almost all drives everywhere in Oregon are beautiful.  It's really quite amazing.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/16/2015, 3:28 pm

I do find that the drive and scenery from south of Portland to Eugene to be rather monotonous.  However, the rest of the state that I've seen is quite beautiful!

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  gwennifer on 8/16/2015, 6:14 pm

I knew everyone here would understand my guinea pig story.   Laughing  I have other neighbors to share with.  I'll save some of my compost scraps for her piggies.

I grew dragon tongue beans and didn't like them.  Maybe I let mine get too old and tough?  I did appreciate they were easier to spot in the foliage.  

Here's my latest garden pics.  My remaining peppers are slowly turning red:


My late planting of cucumbers is beginning to pay off:


Moved my pollinator-attracting plants over to my watermelons a while back.  Need to move them to the other side by the cucumbers since the watermelons haven't flowered in a long time.  The watermelons are probably ready to pick:


My four squares of black beans:


And the latest pickings from my two tomato plants (one grape, one cherry - vines have topped six feet now, trained to a single vine):

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/16/2015, 10:15 pm

NICE

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  sanderson on 8/17/2015, 2:32 am

Really nice looking veggies and watermelon! Jealous. Laughing

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/17/2015, 4:05 am

@gwennifer wrote:
I grew dragon tongue beans and didn't like them.  Maybe I let mine get too old and tough?  I did appreciate they were easier to spot in the foliage.  

Wow I'm surprised. I generally pick beans pretty young, before they've fully filled out, but have been really happy with how tender and juicy the DT beans have been even when quite long.

I do find, though, that once the seeds get of an appreciable size in any bean pod, the seeds start to get drier and more mealy and less pleasant. Sometimes the outer pod gets less pleasant too. The DT's get a more "furry" feeling on the outside of the pods, but it's milder than happens with many other beans, and the pods stay otherwise juicy and crisp.

... and ... hey your black beans look great! Cukes too!

I've yet to train a tomato to a single stem, though sometimes as late blight sets in I wind up taking off so many side branches that I think I get about halfway to that point!

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  sanderson on 8/17/2015, 12:44 pm

The air is so dang clean here in Portland!  I feel like a fish out of water.  Too much oxygen.  JK  Off to Hood River via 14 for just a leisure drive.  Plus a little further to see what the other side looks like.  91*F today and 99*F tomorrow, so tomorrow will be the coastal drive.

PS I think Fresno is in the high 100s What a Face

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/17/2015, 1:17 pm

I was just reading on the Washington Post the other day that in all the U.S., the Fresno area has the worst pollution of all. And Beijing's level of particulate matter(soot, dust, etc.) is TEN TIMES that high. Supposedly their air pollution kills 4,000 people a day in China.

And guess who just won the bid to host the winter olympics? Beijing.

Off-topic I guess, but oh well!

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/17/2015, 3:02 pm

When I was on a trip in Beijing, in the evening after a day out, I washed my face before bed and the white wash cloth turned grey.  That's when I realized why a lot of the citizens were wearing surgical masks all the time.  I bought some right away, and showered every night after a day out from then on. Many of my fellow travelers on that trip came down with respiratory problems before we left.

It totally blew my mind when Beijing was chosen for the summer Olympic games a few years ago.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/17/2015, 3:08 pm

Not to mention sanitation problems.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/17/2015, 3:10 pm

Sanderson,

How far south along the coast will you drive?

I might be able to give you some tourist tips.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/17/2015, 10:30 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Not to mention sanitation problems.

Don't get me started as to WHY DO ALL THE WEIRD FLU variants come from Asia? Really, don't get me started.....ewwww.

Do not sleep with your chickens, and pigs. Expectorate away from others. Yes. Really. Spit over there.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  sanderson on 8/18/2015, 3:37 am

Today we took scenic 14 from Vancouver, WA to Hood river, crossed over to 84 and continued east into the dry country. What a change in environment. I am extremely jealous of the Columbia River and all of it's contributing rivers and their water falls. You have so much water that you have to dump it in the Pacific!!!

Tomorrow is 26 west to the coast near Seaside. Then maybe 30 min south on 101, then back north to Astoria, highway 30 east to I-5 and south back to Vancouver. Hopefully there is a fish place to eat near Seaside.

The weather is flawless. . . thank you. Starting Tuesday night and Wed morning everyone has to catch a plane to return home, CA, MO, TN, FL.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  sanderson on 8/19/2015, 2:47 am

Today it was hot so we went to Astoria via I-5 north, across the Columbia west on 30. Crossed that huge bridge, then back to Astoria down 101 to Seaside for a late seafood lunch. Last dinner tonight - 5 days of eating abuse. Tomorrow will be back to salads. Can't wait to see what the garden looks like. After we pick up cat, I'm sure to see a lot of her back, tail flicking. That will teach me to leave her. Laughing

PS yesterday we went west as far as The Dalles where we found a cute family restaurant for lunch. I can't believe how cheap salmon and halibut are here!! Very Happy

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  sanderson on 8/20/2015, 4:02 pm

These photos are of the bride's beginner garden.  She is stoked about SFG and can't wait to get back from their honeymoon to start building the boxes.  They have quite a bit of 2 x 6s left from building their deck.  I was shocked at how big the leaves and plants were!!  Totally jealous.  The tomato label is a large one (for  comparison)
Squash:
Beans:

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/21/2015, 12:21 am

If she's doing that well in the dirt, she'll probably kick butt with an SFG.

Today I picked lots more dragon tongue beans. I'm glad the folks here raved about them; they're a great crop, still juicy and the seeds don't get mealy even when the pods are big and the seeds are full. I can't say that for the other beans I've grown.

The scarlet runner beans are starting to slow down after a great start because of bacterial wilt from cucumber beetles. Those are my worst pest in the back yard. Some very healthy bean plants now look terrible and are producing miserably thin and dry pods.

Down at the other garden, my tomato plants are are giving me very modest returns compared to last year. Quite a disappointment. We've had a lot of wind lately too, which has been drying out my plants a lot. Even when producing, some of my beans down there are very small, for instance. I should take pics and show one bed of beans next to another ... the one full of bushy plants, the other planted later when the heat was coming on strong ... and they got all stunted.

But at least the beans back home are for the most part doing well. But wow what a meager season for me this year. It feels like I'm going backwards, not forward.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  gwennifer on 8/21/2015, 2:25 am

@Marc Iverson wrote:
... The DT's get a more "furry" feeling on the outside of the pods...

Ha!  Where's Boffer?  I feel vindicated!

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  sanderson on 8/21/2015, 11:54 am

I forgot to mention that OR-WA has tons of wild berry vines. The berries weren't especially large, but maybe due to the lack of pruning.

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/21/2015, 12:19 pm

Here in Oregon, blackberries are considered an invasive species.  I love them, but my small bed has a concrete paver base to (hopefully) preclude any spreading outside the bed.

So far, there's ONE new sprout-- where it belongs!

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Re: PNW: 2015 August

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