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Veggie Tales - July 2021

Jamie
28 days ago

Happy July, everyone!

After a somewhat slow start , our garden is beginning to produce. We got plenty of beans in June and a few cucumbers and zucchini, but now our first tomatoes are beginning to ripen and the cucumbers are going crazy. Soon, it will be time to dig potatoes and pull the garlic.

Our weather has been a bit unseasonable but nothing like the extremes our friends in the Pacific Northwest and in VA have experienced. I keep hoping that you will all experience some relief quickly!

Comments (211)

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    7 days ago

    Very sorry for that, Margi. This is actually the first year that my peach trees have been this productive. One of them is so laden with fruit that a big branch broke. And the wildlife is loving them as well, both the squirrels and the deer. I finally have enough that I am not upset with them eating some.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    7 days ago

    Richard - There were exoskeletons all over the place here. In fact, I am still finding them attached to my garden netting.

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  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    7 days ago

    Keep those squirrels away! My one armed p peach tree is trying to prove her worth this year.

    I got a new phone so lots of pictures coming ☺

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    6 days ago

    Cherokee purple breakfast sandwich yummy

  • RD Texas
    6 days ago

    Len, I am dreaming of a Cherokee Purple tomato (did plant some for the fall season) and those peaches look great Cindy

  • leahikesgardenspdx
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Len, I'm waiting on my Cherokee Purple! So far it's been dependable Jaune Flamme with my first tomatoes.

    Did you get some Aspabroc started? I have three in a big pot, south side of the greenhouse producing like crazy. They were extras, the rest are in the garden, but these are doing so well even through the awful heat we had.


    The other good thing about them is that even though there is cabbage butterfly damage on the leaves, the heads have no, to almost no, worms (I only found one once).

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    6 days ago

    Lea I cheat. The 🍅that are ripening now are all in hoop house. I have some tiny aspabroc seedlings that will hopefully be a fall/ winter crop.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    6 days ago

    Lea - Think I will have to grow Aspabroc next year.

    Len - We had tomato sandwiches for lunch yesterday with my cat faced tomatoes.

    Think I will make sorbet with my peaches. Very little heat in the kitchen and no sterilizing involved. A win - win in my book.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    4 days ago

    The clouds let loose while we were eating dinner last nite and dumped 1.7" of rain on us in just 20 minutes. It was a small isolated downpour, no lightning but a true frog choker. The melons and sweet potatoes should plump up nicely now. Just before it rained I planted some rutabaga seed for a late Oct harvest, only 4 weeks to go before starting the regular fall crops.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    Cindy please ship a few inches of your rain west...we are dryer than ever!


    I warned that I had a new phone, so this morning you get the Garden tour, starting with this video:


    https://youtube.com/shorts/G6zakK06A4U?feature=share

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    Our garden is way behind most of you here...just green and ready but only the hoop house producing, except for zucchini of course, lots of that, and that wonderful gold patti pan squash.


    New bags ready for planting more carrots and radishes. Had to order radish seeds because I lost mine somewhere:)


    Bush beans about ready to crop


    Rest of bush beans


    Will these heads ever firm up?


  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    These peppers and tomatoes were planted very late about July 1 but it looks like they will crop some at least.


    Bumble bee working this lonely volunteer squash. Nothing formed yet but maybe spaghetti which would be good because I did not plant any of those this year.




  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    Two views from west side of hoop house




    Tomatoes inside...we are eating a few now every day!





  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    Last two I promise

    The trombocino on the left has had no male blossoms yet and it was planted at same time as the Lakota on the right which has several sizing up already. That is an eclectic trellis with squash, tomatillo and runner beans growing all over each other.


    Cindy these babies are sizing up so worth the trouble I guess. Maybe we will have better luck germinating next year?



  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    4 days ago

    Len - I think you have me confused with vgkg, as we did not get any rain here yesterday whereas he received 1.7" of rain. However, it did rain just three miles east of us. We had a few sprinkles. There is another possibility tonight and tomorrow.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    4 days ago

    I do tend to confuse people ;-)...as I type this there's another line of rain heading in this general direction, hope it fizzles out, or better yet wish we could send it to Len and many others in dire need.

  • rgress
    4 days ago

    Vgkg - that must have been an impressive storm to choke a frog. I really enjoy hearing local idioms. I personally would have called a storm like that a gully washer.

  • rgress
    4 days ago

    Has anyone else been disappointed in the flavor of their tomatoes? I am finding my tomatoes are tasting just a little better than store bought. I'm hoping the recent heat wave we are having will intensify the flavor.

  • RD Texas
    3 days ago

    Vgkg, speaking of frogs-they are everywhere this year. I have never had many before, but this year there are scores of them-maybe they are keeping the other insects at bay.

  • RD Texas
    3 days ago

    Nice looking garden Len, so pretty and green.

  • Labradors
    3 days ago

    Rgress, I too am disappointed in the taste of my tomatoes this season. I'm growing several new-to-me varieties this year, but so far nothing can hold a candle to Maglia Rosa. I'm so glad that I have four pots of them :).


    Linda


  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    rgress - Around here I would appreciate a good ol' "toad choker" of a storm about now. Starting to get really dry.

    Things are looking good Len. I enjoy seeing your lush gardens.

    I found a fused blossom on my cantaloupe yesterday. I hope it gets pollinated. I'll edit to post the pic from my phone. I am hopeful to be picking the first cantaloupe in a week or so.


  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    3 days ago

    I spent an hour watering the gardens today. Tomorrow I have to go in for a new Pacemaker/Defib battery which is dying. It started vibrating occasionally as a warning. I guess it wouldn't be appropriate to use a Diehard battery??

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    3 days ago

    John - I hope that’s a quick/easy fix.

  • RD Texas
    3 days ago

    John, was it a defective battery? They should last way longer than yours did. Lithium Iodine batteries should last about 10 years. Lithium iodide last about 7 years. Greatbatch and Electrochem were the only name brands I could find.

  • RD Texas
    3 days ago

    Randy, I think all the rain around here eroded a lot of the flavor of tomatoes this year, not to mention the scores of tomatoes split in concentric circles this year. Hopefully the fall season will be better.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    3 days ago

    John that is a shocking story.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    3 days ago

    Our tomatoes have been fine with one exception. I usually plant my own saved seed but this year my pink brandywine seed did not geminate well so I resorted to buying Brandywine seedlings at the local nursery. They surely looked like Brandywine plants with the right leaf shape but the fruits are orange and not the slightest bit pink. Is there such a thing as an orange BW?

  • RD Texas
    3 days ago

    Vgkg, there are orange Brandywine tomato seeds and sometimes when the temperature is above 90 that it will turn tomatoes orange-I have had several varieties do it to me-including the PPP which was producing nothing but light pink tomatoes at the beginning of the summer and the same plant produced mostly orange tomatoes when it got hotter. I am growing some Brandywine Pink tomatoes now for the fall season, if you need any seeds-I sent some to Cindy and tried them for viability and every seed I planted grew.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    3 days ago

    Thanks RD for the very kind offer but the original pinkies are on my restocking list. Oddly I bought these 4 plants from a reputable local nursey so something isn't right. I do have other pinkish types growing now (Cher Pur, German Johnson, German Queen) and those are doing remarkably well and staying true to form (all 3 plants were bought back in late March to get a harvest jump). It's been warm here and hot a few times but overall probably normal for us. Thanks again!

    BTW, we just got another 1.3" of a quick downpour, glad it passed thru here rather fast as right now it's somewhat stalled over the towns just south of us. Flash flood warning all over.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    3 days ago

    vgkg - I really, really NEED that rain!!

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    3 days ago

    Margi - I hope it's just replacing the battery or the entire device. They're hoping they don't have to change the jolt leads to the heart. If they have to change the leads I have to stay overnight.

    Rich - They told me about this problem about 5 years ago. The device will be 10 years old in November. A few months ago I had a 6 month "device check" and they said it had 2.9 years left on the battery. I think after this procedure I won't have to go every 6 months for the "device check"; which sounds to me like a computer error. I'm thinking of the old status byte after every I/O operation.

    Len - Very Shocking!


    I've never had an orange tomato on any pink or red tomato plant. If I had any PPP tomato I'd keep checking it's flowers looking for open stamens. I grow Pink Brandywine's; and bought new seeds because I had the feeling I'd mixed up my seeds in last years season. My family had that "Perfect Pink" tomato that we lost but it would grow an occasional plant with red tomatoes. If you saved seeds from the red sport they would grow a plant with pink tomatoes.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    3 days ago

    I just picked what I believe is the biggest tomato I’ve ever grown. 1 lb 6 1/2 oz. Wes. Recommended by Jack a couple years ago. Last year none of my tomatoes did very well. This year is a different story.


  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    3 days ago

    Margi - Do you think that the placement of the tomatoes in this year's garden is a factor?

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    3 days ago

    Cindy , I suspect so. Last year’s tomato position received more shade than they (and I) like from the neighbor’s tree.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    Makes sense.

    We already have an air quality alert for tomorrow. Code orange.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    vgkg - I know there is a yellow Brandywine but not sure about orange. I am getting PINK ping pong tomatoes off of a potato leaf plant this year. I thought PL PPP were supposed to be orange? PPP/OPP is just like me and NOT entirely stable.

    Margi - congrats on that whopper! Slices of that thing will easily cover a slice of bread. Wes does get huge. I know mine averaged over a pound the last time I grew one out. They call it a heart tomato but other than a little point on the blossom end it sure seems more like a beefsteak.

    Randy - the taste of my tomatoes seem normal this year but we(you and I) have had a lot of rainy periods this summer.

    I need rain too. We are in a little heat wave with 5 days in the low to upper 90s. At least it is supposed to cool down a little before we head to the lake Friday.

  • RD Texas
    2 days ago

    Totally Tomatoes sells Orange Brandywine seeds-supposed to be the best orange beefsteak.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    2 days ago

    I'm home after R&R of my pacemaker. They replaced the whole thing. Except they left the leads. I asked how they attach the leads to the heart. The answer was they screw them in! I didn't ask if they use brass wood screws.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    Walked around the garden and saw leeks were beginning to shoot up scapes...first time I saw that happen...so harvested them for current consumption. Added to green beans and carrots in my basket. There are lots of smaller beans on to harvest over the next few days. Love the provider beans.


    Do they use phillips or torx head screws John?


  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    Just in from spraying Captain Jack's on my eggplant and potato plants because of the darn Colorado potato beetles. I put it off all week because it was supposed to rain. Every day. And we had nada, zip, zero, zilch.

    So . . . it should rain now, right? Hope it works.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    yesterday

    Cindy - It worked for me the other day. I had no idea there was the possibility of rain. I mixed up my gallon sprayer 2 times with Neem oil to fight spider mites and aphids on most of my garden. Within about 4 hours…rain. <sigh>

    Hot, hot, hot here. Yuck!

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    yesterday

    Here's a pic of my suspect "orange" Brandywine. I'm used to growing Brandywines (Sudduth strain) which ripen up with a crimson/pink blush. These will eventually become a typical hybrid red color a couple of days after I pick them, they taste ok. There are many potato leaf varieties out there. The bright sun washed out the yellow tones a bit, that's not sunscald.




  • leahikesgardenspdx
    yesterday

    After reading this article, maybe I will can more of my tomatoes this year! However, I'm certainly not going to make ketchup, we don't use enough to worry about that one.

    If I could make it rain here by spraying I would!

    We are so dry and this area rarely gets thunderstorms, that's more common east of the Cascades (but then they can start forest fires, so not always a good thing).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/07/28/california-tomatoes-drought-prices/

    "In a normal year, Aaron Barcellos, a farmer in Firebaugh, Calif., grows 2,200 acres of processing tomatoes. This year he’s decided to drop to 900 acres on his farm, which is on the border ofMerced and Fresno counties. He’s left the remaining acres unplanted, choosing to focus all of his precious water on almonds, pistachios and olives grown on trellises — crops that command higher prices and represent already-significant sunken costs.

    “We get eight inches of rain in a normal year. Last year we got 4½ inches,” he said. “We got zero percent of our water allocation, which forced us to buy a lot of expensive water, and it doesn’t make sense to put it on tomatoes.”"

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    18 hours ago

    Margi - It worked! It rained last night and we ended up with half an inch of badly needed rain. Had thunder and lightening and there are small branches and leaves all over the yard.

  • RD Texas
    18 hours ago

    Congratulations, Cindy, that works for me too, but only when I don't want it too

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    17 hours ago

    This tulip poplar lost this branch last night. You can see the broken area near the center top of the photo, has a slight arc.


  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    17 hours ago

    Cindy your batch of storms was heading our way but missed us by a few miles. I'm glad you got some but also glad it missed us since we've gotten about 3" over the past week. That's enough here for a while, more good news is that the mid 80's will return this weekend and those pleasant temps will stick around for several days. You picking any corn yet?

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    14 hours ago

    Cindy - I’m glad you got some rain. Sorry about the loss in the tree.

    I picked another 1# 6 ounce Wes tomato this morning.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    14 hours ago
    last modified: 14 hours ago

    vgkg - I actually picked two ears of corn just yesterday. One was a little early but the other one was fine. The rain last night should really help get the rest of the corn ready more quickly. Need to go see if any of the corn stalks were knocked down from the storm.

    And there's a good possibility of more storms this afternoon/evening with a cold front coming through tonight. Looking forward to those 80s myself.