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Veggie Tales - May 2019

5 years ago

Happy May Day, all! The growing season is in full swing for those of us in The South but our Northern Neighbirs will be catching up to us this month as the danger of frost disappears for most of the country.

This time of the year always seems hectic to me as I scramble to get the last of the seeds planted in between thunderstorms. Summer is just around the corner though and so are the first green beans and tomatoes!

Comments (526)

  • 5 years ago

    The onions are quite beat up from the storm. However, they are not looking too bad. Being long day, they *should* start bulbing up soon. These are an experiment this far south! I’m going to try and give them a small dose of urea tomorrow morning in an attempt to gain a hair bit more leaf area before bulbing is triggered.

    Jamie, I love that bee balm. I’m thinking my garlic will be ready in 2-3 weeks. I’m excited to harvest this year. The elephant garlic will probably be quite a bit longer. I imagine it will appreciate the extra space once the soft neck garlic is out.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    It’s an easy plant to grow also, Jacob. I keep it in a pot because it will spread very easily, though, kind of like mint.

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  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Jacob - Nice job on the broccoli and onions!! Looks like your Early Dividend is about ready to harvest. Keep a close eye on it as the heads can start showing signs of bolting overnight it seems. If the weather cooperates the plants can put out side shoots for a few weeks but eventually they are pretty tiny. Giving them a urea feeding now should help the side shoot production after the main head is cut. My broccoli was also untouched by cabbage worms this year which is a first for spring grown broccoli. Usually they show up in early May here. I'm glad you were spared the brunt of the storms!

    Jamie - You're going to be eating fresh corn on the cob in a few weeks!! Corn likes a good feeding about the time they start to silk. Is that garlic bulb around 2.5"? Hard to tell.

    Richard - thanks for the tomato display with the names shown. I'm growing at least 4 of the varieties in your pictures that are new to me so it is nice to get an idea what to expect. Nice potato harvest too! Are those Yukon Gold?

  • 5 years ago

    Thanks, Jack! It is about 2.5" across. I'm planning to pull up some more tomorrow (maybe all of it).

    Thanks for the tip about the corn ... Sunday is my scheduled fertilize day for the garden, but I'll fertilize the corn tomorrow

  • 5 years ago

    A few photos from this morning

    Greek Runner Beans (gigantes)


    I’m pleased with how these bush beans are doing in the concrete mixing tubs. I’m glad we got them.

    Some of the “younger” dwarf corn

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Jamie - I take it you are 'working' from home today? Or do you have lighting in your garden area? hahaha Your squash and beans look great. I can't hope to get a harvest from either until late June here.

    I believe most of us on this thread have seeds for Brunswick cabbage which is a fall/winter variety according to Baker Creek. When do you all plan to start your seeds indoors and when will you plant them out? They are listed as 85-95 DTM which is quite a bit later than the broccoli and cauliflower cole crops I usually grow in the fall which are in the 50-70 day range. I usually plant those out in early August and harvest in late October to mid November. They take longer than the advertised DTM due to the waning days of fall. I'm thinking I may need to plant the cabbage out by mid July which means I need to start them in a couple weeks. I'm only going to plant a few due to lack of space.

    Jamie thanked LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    haha! Jack- i took those photos at 5:30 this morning and posted them from here at work! I have some idle time right now and it's pretty dead around here anyway. It's the end of the fiscal year, and a lot of people take off this week to use up any remaining vacation days. I am off tomorrow though so today is "Friday" for me!

  • 5 years ago

    Jamie - I guess it is starting to get light by 5:30 now. That is about the time I arrive at work most days. We're only a few weeks from the summer solstice now which means the onions should start bulbing up any day, Mine are starting to swell a bit at the soil surface and once that starts they size up quick.

    I'll probably be digging my garlic by mid June I think based on the time they scaped. I still have a few scapes to cut on the German White but the Chesnok Red and Spanish Roja are just now forming scapes. Those 2 may not be ready to dig until a week or 2 later.

  • 5 years ago

    Jack, those are Yukon gold. I was surprised that they got that big. All my potato plants are dying without putting out blooms. My onion trials were almost a complete failure. I got a lot of green onion sprouts but once I trimmed them all like Tony suggested they all died-not sure what happened. I had already trimmed them a few times but only took off the last 6-10 inches. When I cut them down to about 4 inches above the bulb they all turned brown and not another speck of green showed after that. I planted okra in one of the onion containers and one is still open (both 20-25 gallon containers). Might put the kohlrabi in it (or 5 or 6 plants)

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Jack it gets daylight over here around 6 now. Not sure why my last post just came up when I posted it about 4 hours ago

  • 5 years ago

    Albino Bullnose pepper

    Ruby Ann strawberry runners complete with blooms

  • 5 years ago

    Richard -- on green onions:

    If they are dying after cutting -- too much hot sun. Mine get only 5 hrs of total sunlight which ends by 2pm. Move them were there is no afternoon sun. You can reseed containers by dumping hundreds of seeds and covering them with 1/2" peat moss, and keep it moist till they sprout. Will give you lots more green top harvests.


  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Richard - I don't remember having Yukon Gold ever bloom for me but most others do. Yukon are always the earliest potatoes to be harvested in my garden.

    Your onion issue might be due to you having started them from seed this year as opposed to Tony growing his as perennial. I don't trim my green onions at all after I plant them out. I only trim mine for the 3 months or so between seeding and planting out while they are under lights. Tony's would have a much more established root system to regrow than tiny new transplants.

  • 5 years ago

    That's a lot of beans, Len! We are in the same boat, though- we will have plenty to share.

    We are growing Dragon Tongue beans this year also. Of your tomatoes, I tried Cuor di Bue but the seedlings were very frail and just didn't thrive, so I composted them. We are growing Pink Ping Pong also - thanks to Ms. Cindy! They are doing well for us.

  • 5 years ago

    Tony and Jack thanks for the onion information. One container had shallots and the other had red onions. My squash are just about done too. I have one white-one green-and one crookneck plant that didn't get savaged as bad by the beetle invasion. My fingers are turning yellow from smashing the evil critters-their only defense is to fall-pretty weak most of the bugs around here make you work for it-use some channel locks or at least gloves (I usually wear gloves too lol). My tomatoes, eggplants, corn, and peppers are mostly still looking good (about 12-15 of the tomato plants and maybe 10 of the pepper plants are wimpy-most have at least 3 tomatoes on them or had at least 3 tomatoes on them And all the pepper plants have at least 5 and most are loaded. I will get my list and put the varieties when I get back home.

  • 5 years ago


    I didn't respond to your suggestion about helping me turn over all this clay. I thank you now. What I've been thinking about is that I should be helping Kevin. To do what he does requires a strong work ethic and the ability to choose what to do when. The right tools would also help.

  • 5 years ago

    Serrano peppers

    Slovana peppers

    Lipstick pepper

    Pink ping pong

    Fish pepper

  • 5 years ago

    Jack, The Tornado was about 10 miles north of us. But the sirens were going off so I did get a chance to visit with my neighbor as we sat on the front porch and drank a beer.

  • 5 years ago

    Here is the list:

    Big Beef 6

    Bloody Butcher 8

    Big Daddy (not looking great) 4

    Neve's Azorean Red (3 good, 2 wimpy) 5

    Dester 5 (only 2 are looking strong)

    Pink Ping Pong 2

    Sungold 3

    El Dorado 1

    Season Starter 1

    Pink Belgium 2

    Not Purple Strawberry 1

    Rosy Finch (less than a foot tall) 1

    Umamin 5

    Atlas 2

    Vintage Wine (won't grow again) 2

    Sugar Rush 7

    Henderson's Pink Ponderosa 3

    Burpee's Delicious 4

    Mortgage Lifter 2

    Black Sea Man 2

    Druzba 4

    Black Hybrid (won't grow again) 2

    Pink Berkeley Tie Dye 2

    Giant Belgium (giant plants) 3

    Sweet Million 3

    Money Maker 3

    Tycoon 1

    George Detsika (blossom end rot) 3

    Kumato 8

    Bolseno 5

    Nectar 3

    Big Yummy 3

    Charger 3

    Chocolate Stripe 5

    Black Krim 11

    Honeycomb 3

    Missouri Pink Love Apple 4 (not looking great)

    Black Truffle (struggling) 3

    Black from Tula 5

    Caspian Pink 3

    Jaune Flamme (Love these) 3

    Creole 2

    Mystery 4

    Black Prince (won't grow again) 8

    Dark Shekel (only one made it) 1

    Sunray 3

    Sweet Pea Currant 3

    Hungarian Heart 1

    Better Boy 2

    Rejects (worst plant in the 4" pot) 6

    Red Cherry 2

    Pruden's Purple 1

    Margaret Curtain 2 (had trouble growing these last year and this year)

    Pinkalicious 3

    Cherokee Purple 2

    Summer Pick 2

    Burgess Delicious 2

    Omar's Lebanese 2 (huge plants)

    Tasti Lee 1

    Goliath 1

    Maskotka 1

    Rutger's (look terrible) 2

    Tim's Black Ruffles 2 (heat is starting to take it's toll)

    Anna's Noir 3 (giant tomato on each with only 3 total)

    Purple Russian 3 (prolific for about 6 weeks-no leaf protection)


    Wonder 13

    Fish 5

    Karma 3 (only pepper plants that are struggling)

    Starfish 2

    Thai 1

    Sugar Rush Peach 9

    Albino Bullnose 3

    Lipstick 4

    Red Habanero (2 year olds) 2

    Ghost (3 year old) 1

    Poblano (3 year old) 1

    Serrano 6

    Carolina Reaper 2

    Horizon Bell (no peppers) 2

    Slovana 9

    Cayenne (3 year old) 1

    Jwala (3 year old) 2

  • 5 years ago


    Your pink ping pong balls are bigger than mine. Mine are the size of a marble.

    Rgress - somebody has to take one for the team! It lasted for over an hour so I hope you had a cooler full! I have a coworker that lives in western Shawnee that said he could hear it roar.

  • 5 years ago

    Jack the red one is actually bigger than a ping pong ball (the rest are about the same size as a ping pong ball)-should have used something to show the size-I will use a quarter next time.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    We got a pound of blackberries today

    Mike picked them and he snagged a few that aren’t totally ripe hahaha

    and the passion fruit vine decided to bloom

  • 5 years ago

    Jamie, I haven't even gotten a bloom on my blackberry or blackberry/mulberry cross and one is about 8 feet tall and the other about 6.5 ft. Hopefully I won't have to wait until next year

  • 5 years ago

    Oh, Jack - I hope your Pink Ping Pong wasn't a crossed seed. Any chance that you are growing more than one plant?

  • 5 years ago

    That’s surprising , Richard. Is this their first year in your garden?

  • 5 years ago

    RD -- how does Druzba taste? That's Shell's go-to market tomato and also one of her favorite. I grew the wrong seed (said "Druzba", but was something else -- horrible, tasteless mushy mess) in 2015, and due to limited space have not tried it again.

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Richard do you have a restaurant that buys up all of your tomatoes???? I count over 200 plants!

  • 5 years ago

    Richard, forgot to add that this is the only bunching onion variety I grow as a perennial: Evergreen Hardy White

    I got the 1oz packet (over 10,000 seeds) for $7 over four years ago and they still sprout nicely.

  • 5 years ago

    I have a friend who is a gardener-wanna-be. I am encouraging her as much as possible. Today I saw her place and she posed a question about her beans. She has them in pots that are 18” in diameter at the level of the soil. She has 11-13 plants in each of the pots. Here’s a picture.

    The question for all you container gardeners: Should she thin the plants? The base of the plants are 4-5” apart. If it matter, they’re Blue Lake Bush.

  • 5 years ago

    Margi -- perfect spacing for bush beans in a large, deep container.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Margi- I plant mine about the same distance apart. They do get crowded but they still do well so she should leave them and let them grow. They also support each other as they grow. Bush beans will sometimes flop over as they grow. The square foot gardening people also recommend planting 9 plants per square foot- 4” between plants in both directions.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Margi - I agree that your friend's spacing is fine. I sow mine with about 3-4" spacing in row. Tight spacing allows the plants to support each other. Beans don't have a robust root system since they 'feed' from the nitrogen in the air rather than nutrients in the soil for the most part so crowding of the roots is not a problem.

    Cindy - I'm sure the pink ping pong seeds are true. Mine are just small right now because they only set in the last week. I don't have more than one plant of any variety this year.

    I got all of my peppers and tomatoes fed last night with TVF or TTF. I also fertilized the cukes and squash with TVF. It's nice to have a few days without rain for a change. 50% chance on Saturday PM and then decent chances every day for 10 days starting Monday. I want to hit the tomatoes and peppers again early next week to push them into blooming more.

  • 5 years ago

    Here is a photo of some of the fruit on one of our Pink Ping Pong tomato plants beside a quarter

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Jamie - The fruit of Pink Ping Pong should not be ribbed. They should be smooth. Is your plant potato leafed? They should be regular leafed.

    Starting to get concerned about the seeds I sent out.

  • 5 years ago

    Tony Druzba is my new #1 for this year in red tomatoes. It is like a cross between Bolseno and Jaune Flamme-pretty awesome and great internal consistency. Now the bad news: I lost 11 of my best tomatoes and all of my strawberries to blue jays and mockingbirds. I really hate them-especially the idiotic state bird. I have never had that many tomatoes destroyed by birds at one time before-squirrels yes, but not birds. It is like one flew around to every single ripe tomato red or orange and pecked holes in them. They also ate all the ripe cherry tomatoes right down to the nub. I went ahead and pulled everything that was even close to ripe until I figure out what to do. I can guarantee a $5000-$20,000 greenhouse is in my near future if I have to finance it for the rest of my life. I have had all I can take of the Texas critters and I don't even live in the country-there were a lot of woods around here a few years ago, but they cut them all down and built an expressway.

  • 5 years ago

    Gardenia and buds-terrible picture

    Grabbed up a bunch of tomatoes before the birds got them

    Pink Ping Pong with quarter-pulled the pink one

  • 5 years ago

    Cindy - I'm 99% sure my PPP is regular leaf but I'll verify this weekend.

    Richard - that is a real bummer about the birds attacking. I've never had that happen to me here. It sounds like it might have been a whole flock of them.

  • 5 years ago

    Len I eat about 10 tomatoes a day and about 15-25 cherry tomatoes-I rarely even use mine for hot sauce because I would rather eat them. I usually buy a bunch of roma tomatoes and mix my peppers, (sometimes onions) and cilantro with them to make the hot sauce.

  • 5 years ago

    Jack I saw about 5 blue jays fighting over the strawberries before I chased them off-probably back by now-might have to rig up some kind of a net over things

  • 5 years ago

    I am going to try to grow these sweet potato slips on the shady side of the house-the corn, strawberries, tomatoes and eggplants seem to be growing fine and don't get all dried out like the others. I am going to use the container I had the onions in to grow them

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Richard - That's a real bummer about the critters! I hope you can come up with a solution. I'm a LONG way away from having to worry about anything getting tomatoes in my garden. I did notice blossoms on the Bolseno plants this morning. Also have blossoms on Sweet Million, Sungold, and Supremo. When it comes time for me to have real tomatoes, I'll be harvesting at the first flush of red, which helps.

    Thanks all for the vote of confidence for my friend's bean planters. I have passed along your comments. The tomato plants I gave her are looking good - pepper plant too. I gave her a couple zucchini seeds to put in a little raised bed by her shed and one sprouted. She's thrilled. The onion sets which grew into nice little green onions are about harvestable size now. I may make her a gardener yet!

    This morning I picked my sugar snap peas. Nice harvest. I'm not sure I will be able to eat all these between now and when I pick again in 2 days.

    The good news on the pea front is that the snap peas are still blooming! The heat will start soon, so I may not see many more blooms, but I'll take what I can get. The Maestro shelling peas, on the other hand, are not blooming. They're about done. <Will edit to post pics from my phone>

    Look at this forest of onions! I have a little over 100 plants here in this 4-wide row.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Cindy- I’ll double check my label. It’s entirely possible I mislabeled it

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Margi - send some of those snap peas my way and I will help you eat them! Your onions look bigger than mine. Are they starting to swell up at all? The necks of mine are getting pretty thik and appear to be starting to bulb. Another week and it should be pretty evident. Don't fertilize them or your garlic anymore as it will be wasted.

    It sounds like you have been giving your friend great instruction so far. I keep trying with my neighbors and a couple coworkers but they don't listen very well. One neighbor does OK but she insists on watering everything daily and won't put in drip or a soaker hose. The other neighbor crams too much into too little space and then wonders why everything gets diseased. I also quit giving either neighbor brassica starts because they just become cabbage worm fodder and I can't stand to see my poor babies suffer like that!

    Richard - I do the same as Margi and pick all tomatoes at first blush. Only bad things can happen after that. I probably wouldn't get half the harvest if I left them on until fully ripe. Sungold are the only ones that I try to let go until just perfectly ripe because they are so much sweeter if allowed to do so. I will still pick them a little early if rain is expected.

  • 5 years ago

    Jack, that is going to be my new method. That mockingbird is never gone more than about 20 minutes now. The cherry tomatoes are always better when they ripen on the vine, but so are almost all tomatoes but I usually leave a piece of the stem on my harvested tomatoes especially when I have to cut them early so they will continue to ripen somewhat

  • 5 years ago


    If I were selling tomatoes I would do my tomatoes your way. Since they're for me I let what happens, happen. I start slicing from the bottom of a tomato. When I get to the top, or shoulders I look at what I have and if any good spots I cut them diagonally.

    I save seeds from what I'm eating, so I know what they're like. And if they weren't fully ripe I would guess the seed won't germinate.

    So I ignore all those cracks, the misshapen sections. The stink bug bite. It's usually on the the shoulders. Since I grow mostly beefsteaks I accept the good with the bad.

    The yellow pear tomatoes never have flaws? What's with that?? And the cherries!

    Wish I had a big beefsteak with cracks and bug bites right now. Just can't wait!!!

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Jack, John, Richard...all of talk about tomatoes is making my mouth water and my plants are only 10-12" tall. Put squash and cukes out to harden off second day today. They had better get tough because Sunday they are spending the night outside in mother earth!

  • 5 years ago

    Len did you plant any Druzba tomatoes? The plants haven't been real productive and are all small but the tomatoes are awesome. Only around 4-10 ozs. Every bite is like a taste treat. I have found 4 new tomatoes that I love that would never grow here before. Thank you Mycostop Some might only grow 4 or 5 tomatoes but at least one can see how good they really are with that limited output

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Hi Richard,

    Did not plant Druzba this year but is on my list to replace any of this year's trials that don't like me or our climate.

  • 5 years ago

    It’s June!!

    I thought for certain that Jack would beat me to it this morning!

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