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Veggie Tales - September 2022

cindy-6b/7a VA
26 days ago
last modified: 26 days ago

Good morning,

My tomatoes are still doing pretty well and the peppers are just now really producing. How is your garden doing? No 90s in the long range forecast so that's good.

Comments (123)

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    12 days ago

    Richard - Good to hear from you. And good to see your gardening.

  • RD Texas
    12 days ago

    Thanks John, good to hear from you too

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  • leahikesgardenspdx
    12 days ago

    Richard, I'm glad to see you back on Veggie tales! I had been wondering how you were doing. It's good to see you gardening again. I got probably the same warning that you did about the "danger" from the soil while undergoing chemotherapy. I tried to garden with a mask but that just wasn't going to work, so I said to heck with it and had a wonderful garden that summer. As my son said, "It's your happy place Mom".

    Of course you must listen to your Dr. and make your own choices, but I know that gardening made my life so much better during that time.

    An article recently appeared in our newspaper titled "The benefits of digging in the dirt", I thought that I should send it to my Oncologist!

    Here is an excerpt and a link to the full article ( I couldn't send the one from our newspaper).

    "...several studies indicate benefits from just being around soil laced with bacteria that doesn’t cause disease: Mycobacterium vaccae or M. vaccae for short. This species of benign bacteria exists in soil all over the world, but it was first discovered on the shore of Lake Kyoga in Uganda in the 1970s by immunologist John Stanford after researchers noticed that leprosy patients who lived around the lake responded better to treatments than those receiving the same treatment in other areas. "

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/how-gardening-may-extend-and-improve-your-life/ar-AA11GXnS

  • RD Texas
    12 days ago

    Thank you Lea, I really appreciate it. You, John, Len and Jack have been very supportive and encouraging and it has been very helpful. I am taking reasonable precautions like wearing long pants (and shoes lol). And it definitely feels great to be gardening again as it was like a huge piece of my life was missing (especially since I couldn’t be in the sun for over 10 minutes)-not to mention the support structure of Veggie Tales and the wonderful humans on it. Cindy, in particular, has been wonderfully supportive and encouraging throughout this dark ordeal even when I haven’t been on Veggie Tales she has been there for me-thank you so much Cindy. Margi has also sent me numerous encouragong and supportive messages, thank you so much Margi.

    I have some Saffron Crocus and a few squash plants. Will post pics later if they produce. Thanks to all.

    cindy-6b/7a VA thanked RD Texas
  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    Richard - It's really good to see you back posting here! I was worried about you. I haven't been posting much lately because my garden is pretty much finished for the year except for my fall green beans that should be ready for the first harvest next week.

    We are going into a hot spell with highs in the mid 90s until next Wednesday. After that the forecast is showing all highs in the mid 70s. No rain in sight which is typical of fall around here. At least I don't have to mow often.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    Dry Dry Dry continues here and the next 10 days show no sign of rain (zero) with steadily rising temps into the 90's next week. In fact the only rain on the horizon right now is if TS Fiona heads this way and hits the east coast. I finally caught the bunny that chewed thru half of my broccoli plants. He wasn't a problem as long as he fed on the sweet potato vines but once he decided to change his diet it was time for a trip to the coutryside. Welcome back Richard, was unaware of your medical problem but glad you're doing better!

  • RD Texas
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    Thank you Jack and Vgkg

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Glad to see your post, Richard.

    Did the Chocolate Stripe seeds germinate?


  • wayne_5 zone 5b/6a Central Indiana
    11 days ago

    Does anyone here raise strawberries?

    I have quite a patch of 9 or10 varieties....Earlyglow, Galletta, Flavorfest, Jewel, Archer, Sonata, Cavendish, Cabot, Honeyeo, and a couple others.

    I have been reading an old book from about 1890 on strawberries and it is the best book I know about strawberries...exhaustive and I have picked up a pointer on winter mulching.

    Right now I am clearing out runners from the mother plants...don't need more plants in most areas. This is the second year on this patch. Most sources would say to plow up the patch every year or 2, but I take care of them and am not over run with grass and weeds and too thick with strawberries.

  • RD Texas
    11 days ago

    Cindy, thank you-I only got one Chocolate Stripes seedling out of 9 seeds planted which germinated after 10 days. It is still very small, maybe 1/2 inch-for comparison I planted rockwool squares with Wessel’s Purple Pride (I got from you), Cherokee Purple, and Andrew Rahart which all germinated within 3 days and are now maybe 2.5 inches tall. The George Detsika and Dark Shekel seedlings are probably the best looking seedling out of about 35 varities I planted this time. Didn’t I tell you I was going to try around 10 varities this time around? lol

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    11 days ago

    Wayne we used to grow starwberries and liked them berry much :-) but after about 9-10 years of taking care of the patch (~25' x 20') we decided to let it go (removed). As much as we like them the daily chore of bending over picking them was getting to us. I forget the variety but like you said the runners kept them going and I'd herd the runners into new rows for the next year or used them to replace delapidated crowns. Tried my best to keep the patch neat but it's a lot of work as you know, esp fighting off the slugs, rabbits, and rot. We do miss our starwberry jam though.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    John - That zucchini is huge!

    I just picked what may be the last of my ripe tomatoes for this season. The rest will probably be picked green and then I will start to dismantle the gardens.

    I have lots of peppers still to pick.

    The chef is coming by tomorrow morning for produce.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    11 days ago

    Cindy - I'm still picking the first of each tomato variety. I picked two Pink Brandy Wine tomatoes that were my first of the year just today. One had slight nibbles the other had a thin healed crack 3/4 of the way around the tomato diagonally. But I'll still get a taste and some seeds. The tomato I set out on July 17 (Dester) still hasn't flowered, the one from July 10 (Marianna's Peace) has a lot of big green tomatoes. Usually Mortgage Lifter and Dester are my first tomatoes, this year I still haven't had a ripe one. I had a purchased Mortgage Lifter that wasn't a ML. I pulled that one today as it's a waste of sun light and air flow.


    I also pulled a pepper to encourage another variety to set its first fruit.


    I assumed you delivered to the chef!

    cindy-6b/7a VA thanked John D Zn6a PIT Pa
  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    John, actually the chef comes here. We trade, seafood for veggies. I know that he gets more produce than I get seafood but we love seafood and we are happy with the arrangement.

  • RD Texas
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Cindy,

    Hope you load up on lobster and seafood from the chef. Know he will love the tomatoes. I have 2 Chocolate Stripes seedlings now (that I am going to baby to make sure they grow)!!

  • RD Texas
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    That was a great article Lea, thanks. Those are some monster squash John. How were the Pink Brandywine tomatoes? I had some really good ones last year, hope yours are too. Are cucumbers that big good to eat?

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    10 days ago

    Richard - I didn't try the Pink Brandywines yet. We had a Red Brandywine yesterday which isn't notable. This one had a few seed cavities with black seed, which is the 2nd time that's happen this, my only, year. I ate the tomato with the overripe seeds cutout. The big cuke and zucchini are only for seeds for next year. I might try the cuke, just to see, probably bitter. Will let you know if I do try it.

  • wayne_5 zone 5b/6a Central Indiana
    10 days ago

    I raise Pink Brandywine, Suddeth strain.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    John and Richard - This may sound strange but I've grown tired of lobster. Today I got scallops and cod. His cod is so good! Going to cook both tomorrow for football Sunday.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    10 days ago

    Wayne - I also grow the Sudduth strain of Pink Brandywine.


    Cindy Free cod and scallops are good.. Does he give you any credit with his customers. And; do you want any?

  • RD Texas
    10 days ago

    Cindy I never get tired of lobster-that said, I only have it once or twice a month. It is actually cheaper than the good cuts of steak around here. Shrimp is probably the best deal, since I can get 3 or 4 meals out of a pound. I do like cod too (like most white fish).

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    John - They used to have a restaurant not too far from us and, if I was coming in for dinner, he would have "Cindy's Heirloom Tomato Salad" on the menu. Now he's in DC and I haven't been to this restaurant yet because it's so far.

    Richard - I just get tired of lobster and my DH doesn't like it at all. Don't think I could eat it once or more times a month.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Since I still have quite a few peppers in the gardens I decided to make Jalapeno Poppers for a snack yesterday. They turned out quite well. Used Billy Biker jalapenos. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo.

    Was just looking up the official name of this pepper and some sites call it Biker Billy and other sites call it Billy Biker. IDK?

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    Hey John. Seeds arrived and thank you very much!! Appreciate it.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    5 days ago

    Still dry as a bone here, buuuuut, maybe a shower this afternoon? Fingers crossed. Having to water a couple of young fruit trees as the deep soil is drying out fast. I did pick the first 2 tomatoes from the late plants which have a good load of greenies. The fall crops have needed a little watering each day in this relentless heat but they are surviving. Battling pests like grasshoppers and cabbage worms. Cooler temps expected after today with 71F for the high tomorrow, brrrr, nyuk.

    Transferred the first load of cured sweet potatoes to the inside pantry. I raked out the chicken coop/run (pine shavings mixed with manure) and tilled it into some rows where the late spinach seed will be planted in late Nov. Still cleaning up the summer plant plots where defunct melon vines and early tomatoes were growing, it's time to put those plots to bed.

  • RD Texas
    5 days ago

    Vgkg it rained here really hard for about an hour yesterday and we got a little less than 1/2 inch. It is 98 degrees today and humid-had 90s all week. Dreaming of cooler weather

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    5 days ago

    Well well, I'll still have to use the well. Rain missed us, strike 7?...... :-(

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    We had less than 5/100"of rain today.

  • Sikabum
    4 days ago

    what sort of peppers do you have? (question to op)

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    Garden Salsa Hybrid, Ausilio, Biker Billy hybrid, Cubanelle, Bella Rosa, Ancho.


  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    4 days ago

    Cindy - That's a great list of peppers with short days to maturity. But is Bella Rosa really Bella Rouge? Bella Rouge has 4" inch blocky fruits, thick walls, fabulous sweet flavor and 66 days to maturity. Green?

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    Hey John - I received the Bella Rosa seeds free with another seed order and I cannot remember which company. And I could be completely incorrect about it. It has been a good pepper though not very prolific. Yes, I have harvested it green.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    Looks like our next best chance for any rain here would be Ian or it's remnants which could be here by next Friday according to present projections. Hopefully it'll be just remnants!! One heck of a way to get some rain. Good luck to you folks in Fla.

  • kevin9408
    3 days ago

    Inspired by Len I spent a few days building another garden but for flowers and plants. I extended off an existing perennial garden of ferns, hostas and coral bells under a spruce tree out into the yard for sun loving plants.

    Dug up some Korean feather grass and planted it in the back, have a bunch of tulip bulbs for the front to plant now, and dahlia roots to dig up and add in the spring. I'll need to go back to Len's pictures for more inspiration on what to plant so it looks good.



    I canned 103 jars of tomato product consisting of sauce, juice, diced, and salsa's, and out of tomatoes. It's time to focus on peppers with candied jalapenos first on the list.



    Freeze dried some herbs to put in jars. Bought some gizmos to suck out the air from my jars with the food saver and they worked really well. When I open one to get something I can just vacuum seal the lid back on if I don't bend the lid. Basil, Parsley, cilantro along with a jar of freeze dried sweet corn, and like a candy snack still dry. With the success of the gizmos I plan to expand my herb selection. Imagine paying $2.49 for 1/2 oz. of fresh parsley at target, not any more! The walla walla onions in the back and needs to be diced and frozen or freeze dried because they won't keep like regular storage onions will.


    Our good weather is done. The onset of perpetual clouds and damp wet ground will exist

    until the freeze comes with very few sunny days until February. So the cycle will start again with the body weight I'll gain and lose again next summer, starting the seedlings in the basement, and waiting for the snow and cold to go away.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    3 days ago

    Kevin - Where did you get those black trays that are holding your canned goods? Thanks.

  • kevin9408
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    Oh oh. They are nice aren't they, well those crates were offered up on Craigslist for free from a restaurant in Minneapolis. They had maybe a hundred crates and stated the distributor didn't want them back. I took eight not knowing really what I would use them for. They sat for a year with no ideas until a bell went off and I tried a pint jar in one, they fit perfect with 15 to a crate.

    They were made for 15 one liter soda bottles with dividers but I still haven't seen these types used anywhere by any distributor for the years I've had them. I did source them to the manufacturer who still makes them and they are called 1L 15 pack castle crates because I'd like to have a few more but I don't believe they sell retail.

    The diameter of a pint canning jar is the same diameter of a 1 liter soda bottles so any crate for 1 liter bottles will work perfect for pints. if interested in some you could try asking a local beverage distributor if they have any old "1 liter 15 or 12 pack castle crates" laying around they don't want.(They will know what you're talking about.) No harm in asking and you may hit the jack pot. good luck.

    P.S. They also fit the 24 oz tall ball jars.

  • RD Texas
    2 days ago

    I am overloaded with hummingbirds today. I had about 25- 4 days ago and all but about 4 or 5 disappeared ahead of the hurricane, but today there are at least 25-still probably moving ahead of the storm.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    Original Author
    2 days ago

    Thanks for the information, kevin.

    RD - Are you expected to get a huge hit from the hurricane?

  • wayne_5 zone 5b/6a Central Indiana
    2 days ago

    My hummer was still here this morning.

  • RD Texas
    2 days ago
    last modified: yesterday

    Cindy, it depends which way it turns-looks like Louisiana or Texas with winds over 130 mph. I know I have 6 hummingbird feeders out and all of them have had 4-6 hummingbirds on them since daybreak and they usually move before the heavy winds hit-so 2 or 3 days ahead of the storm, but there could be another batch of them tomorrow. I think landfall for Ian is supposed to be Wednesday or Thursday around here. If it turns back northeast we might only get a little rain. As long as it doesn't rip my roof off like Harvey (it was a category 4), I'll be happy. Might have to move my new plants.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    yesterday

    Holy Moly we got a whopping 1/4" of rain last evening, but I'll take it. Looks like Saturday will give us 3-5" if the leftovers of Ian head this way. Still cleaning up the summer garden, the fall garden likes the cooler temps.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    Here is a news Flash. It is almost the end of September! I've been reading through everyone's posts and Looks like you're all having fun. Richard I'm really happy to see you here.

    I have been harvesting beans and tomatoes making salsa And 3 or 4 kinds of jam. Meanwhile my Winter garden has not been planted! I'll try to get these seeds sown in a tub tomorrow morning before I go to play bridge.


    Our spring was so cold lots of my dahlias are behind. This lovely just came out today.



    Blueberry and strawberry jam; some of the blueberry did not set up which is fine as it makes super great pancake syrup. We put in 7 more blueberry plants and 3 tiny huckleberry plants.. I hope to live long enough to get a huckleberry pie off of them:)



    Chimayo peppers are really tasty with just a little spice. I have been chomping on them while out in the garden so probably won't have enough to pickle.



  • RD Texas
    yesterday

    Thanks Len

  • RD Texas
    21 hours ago

    Seeds and Such has a 30% off all seeds in a fall closeout sale. It is 63 degrees here this morning-waiting to see how many hummingbirds are still here-had about 15-20 last night

  • wayne_5 zone 5b/6a Central Indiana
    16 hours ago

    Len, are the huckleberry plants hard twig pereannials?


    We used to raise garden huckleberry which were like annuals with purple berries that were upturned clusters...not those very small hanging type. You had to crush the berries [tart] and add sugar when making a pie and it left you with a purple mouth.

  • wayne_5 zone 5b/6a Central Indiana
    15 hours ago

    vgkg, Here is a link to projected rainfall from Ian. I may not get any .


    https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at4+shtml/161142.shtml?rainqpf#contents

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    11 hours ago

    Thanks Wayne, yeah you're too far west for Ian unless it does some weird maneuvers, still can't rule it out. The confused spaghetti models seem to stop it over the SE after it's nails Fla and after 4-5 days out it's anyone's guess. Richmond may yet get a good test of its flood wall built after Anges in back 72". This is the first time since Spring when I felt positive about getting some rain. I just hope we're in the sweet spot somewhere between it missing us and flooding us.

  • leahikesgardenspdx
    5 hours ago

    We could really use some rain here, not hurricane amounts but more than the drizzle that we have had. So far in Sept. we have had .03", our last significant rainfall was June 6. We have also had 29 days this summer of 90F or above, and very low humidity. Forecast is for rain tomorrow into Thursday-I am hopeful but it won't begin to soak the ground.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    4 hours ago

    Wayne, the huckleberries I am hoping will grow are Vaccinium ovatum 'Cascade Sunburst', which is a relatively new hybrid selection of wild huckleberry. It is a woody shrub...the wild ones grow all through the mountains and in some of the lowlands here in the northwest and I think in northeast as well. The berries are dark purple and juice will stain cloth and teeth. The flavor is unique. This cultivar is supposed to have lots of spring and fall foliage color and of course great tasting fruit


    When we were children my parents took us into the woods to pick them....many hands make light work...and we had pies and huckleberry pancakes.


    The plants that I bought were in 1 Qt pots, about 2 years from being rooted cuttings, so probably 2-3 years from significant fruiting if they thrive here. Optimistically I will add another variety (much easier to find) so that there is ample pollination available.