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Gardening &
Landscaping




   MeiDei  I don't know how many here are familiar with Jerry Baker (Master Gardener )formerly of PBS. He has an interesting website that he supports via sales of his books, however, there are links to his blog and various newsletters that are full of free information. If it hadn't been for the Zoysia grass comment below I would have forgotten about him & the grass tonic we use. You might find his website of interest:
http://www.jerrybaker.com/ Lots of interesting tips for home, garden, etc.
14 hours ago .

   3 people like this.




   BirdsNest  Tomato plants and fruit are a big disappointment this season. Plants are failing an the fruit is misshaped. Not for sale to anyone, but cut up with Italian herbs, S&P, and EVOO, they are delicious. Cukes, peppers, eggplant are doing well. String beans keep on making, and the pole beans that looked so sad after H. Arthur went through are now lush and flowering. Luffas,birdhouse gourds, watermelon are all over the fence-daily tending to keep them out of the path of the neighbors mower. Last week he actually moved several out of control vines and they did not get cut.....miracles never cease! I check on them daily now and I may get time to place a path of mulch so he does not have to get close to them. Fig trees are coming back, even a few figs, of that we are more than thankful.Blueberries are starting to ripen, have picked several gallons so far. Yesterday I picked some wild cherries and we processed 7 pints of juice. We don't have a cherry pitter so we chose to juice them.
How is everyone else doing with their gardens?
18 hours ago .

   4 people like this.



   Rake King  Here in the St. Louis metro area truck farms, tomatoes are so abundant the price starting is lower than last year. Native blackberries are as big as half-dollars. I can't explain why, but some relate that the deep and long cold of last winter killed off many plant pests. Even the roses have large blooms, again stated as fewer aphids and beetles. Re the pests, maybe Mother Nature said enough is enough.

Missouri is known for it's wine industry and they stated last years grape crops were poor, but this year appear to be flourishing.
17 hours ago .

  3 people like this.



   Wrightwinger  Well, I had some difficulties with the garden. A lot of it was blocked by access problems, mower problems, and so, much is in pots this year. I have a lot of small cherry tomatoes that are good, a volunteer watermelon is growing from one pot, and has a lot of blooms and a 3 inch melon. This may not make it, but I am going to see what happens. My sweet banana peppers are producing, my herbs are doing well except for the basil. Did you ever eat nasturtium blossoms or leaves? Turns out they are good with a slightly radish flavor that I like. We canned some potatoes and some green beans. I ate some pink tomatoes I bought at a farmers market today that were fabulous, and some corn as well.
8 hours ago .




   Rake King  Those of you with Zoysia grass lawns, be alerted a disease is killing off patches of lawns. If you see this contact whomever you use for lawn treatments. If not the disease, it can also be the results of grubs attacking root structure. Normally a trouble free lawn grass, I don't recommend re-sodding, as that is being found the following year to have also died.
July 20 at 19:21 EST .

   5 people like this.



   MeiDei  Having had various lawn problems including grubs & friends, dog spots & snow melt areas I've used to great success - Jerry Baker's Lawn Tonic. The following is from a site in praise of it.
"The Jerry Baker Lawn Tonic..
About twice a year I spray our lawn with a lawn tonic that was originated by Jerry Baker. It is a combination of liquid ingredients that accomplishes several great things for your yard. I am often asked for the recipe so I thought I would post it an everyone could have a beautiful lawn.

The ingredients are generally found at the local dollar store:
•One bottle of liquid dishwashing liquid (not anti-bacterial )
•One can of beer - not light
•One can of regular cola (not diet )
•1 cup of household ammonia
•1 bottle of antiseptic mouthwash like Listerene (or store brand )
•10 or so drops of hot sauce like Tobasco

Mix the ingredients in a bucket and apply to your lawn in some type of hose-end sprayer. The above amount should cover around 5000 square feet. Hose end sprayers vary, so you may have to move fairly quickly as not to run out.
Here is my understanding as to what these ingredients do:

•The dishwashing liquid breaks up the oily film on the surface of your lawn's soil. This allows water to reach the deeper grass roots for a healthier lawn. It will also allow the other things you do (like fertilize ) to go deeper in the soil. Dishwashing soap is also distasteful to insects and critters.

•The yeast in the beer feeds on the sugar in the soda and helps to break down thatch.

•The ammonia is liquid nitrogen for a greening boost. (but don't overdo it )

•The mouthwash helps fight lawn diseases.

•The hot sauce is an insect and critter repellent.

I apply in the spring and fall and have had great results."
Monday at 12:20 EST .

  4 people like this.



   MeiDei  Oh, the above is for large lawns - just checked my repurposed large glass pickle jar that I mix this up in for my "recipe" - same as above but just 1-1/2 cup dish detergent (or cheapo powder laundry ) and 1 or 1-1/2 cup listerine. My recipe from Jerry dates back to the early 80's & doesn't include Tobasco.
Monday at 12:33 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Rake King  Mei, I hope you don't get mixed up and drink it!!!
Monday at 21:10 EST .

  3 people like this.



   MeiDei  OH thanks for the laugh! It stays in the jar on a shelf in the laundry room - & it's labeled with the recipe.
Monday at 21:25 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Rake King  Seriously, I have seen a mixture much like you outline from an old Chech who lived next door to us in my youth, and who cut his lawn with a hand-push reel type mower.
17 hours ago .

  5 people like this.



   MeiDei  As a kid visiting my grandparents, a push mower was the only thing to use & the grass was always greener where the laundry wash water was thrown outside instead of down the sink. During a bad drought many years ago, when the lawn & pool police would check residences - we bailed the washing machine as much as possible & used the "grey water" on the barest spots - Californians should take note.
9 hours ago .

 1 person like this.





   StormCnter  Two things. I had planted 8 pittosporum, 4 on each side of the front sidewalk, a couple of months ago. The four on the south side get afternoon shade and are thriving, with new growth and healthy, perky foliage. The 4 on the north side of the sidewalk, just a dozen feet away, get full sun all day and are having trouble. Extra irrigation and a bit of fertilizer haven't helped at all. They look wilted and sick. Lo and behold, Texas got several days of the "polar vortex", with rain and much cooler temperatures. Those four pittosporum have sprung to life. They're not as large as the others on the south, but they are plenty lively. I'm loving it.

Second thing: I have a very large Brown Turkey fig tree on the southwest corner of this house. It extends well over the roof and bears two crops of figs each year. Right now, it is loaded with figs about a week away from full ripeness. My former habit was to stroll around the yard, plucking sun-warmed figs from the tree for munching. That was until last year when one of my beautiful sun-warmed figs had a salty flavor. I realized a squirrel had visited that branch before I arrived. Now I bring them in the house and wash them before I snack. The reward is great, but the experience is just not the same!
July 20 at 09:56 EST .

   10 people like this.



   Gerty  Miss Storm---Ain't Nature wonderful? (Chuckle.. )
July 20 at 18:52 EST .

  6 people like this.



   Alice  Funny, thanks a lot squirrel... oh how lovely an 'untouched' sun-warmed fig is!
Monday at 14:07 EST .

  3 people like this.





   Magdalene  I regret to say that my garden has apparently bit the dust. Mildew, wilt, I don't know what it is but I can't get out there and take care of it. I've picked a half dozen cherry tomatoes but I think that will be about the extent of it. Makes me really sad.
July 11 at 22:15 EST .

   4 people like this.



   Gerty  Miss Mags, have you tried something indoors? I am hoping you are feeling better and turn my suggestion over to Miss Birdsnest. I'll bet she can give some advice.

There is something so uplifting about using the fruits of your labor---I know the feeling because I miss the huge garden I used to be able to manage.
July 12 at 08:01 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Rake King  Mags, take care of yourself first and the garden later. Being out in the heat is not something you should be doing, at this time. Gerty's suggestion is a good one and put it on the sunny side of your home.

Tell David I said "Hi".
July 12 at 08:25 EST .

  4 people like this.



   MeiDei  Rake is right - take care of yourself first! You have a garden to tend to within and one to tend to outside next year.

Sadness & disappointments are not in this years budget. But thanks for sharing, will know how to direct our prayers
July 12 at 10:27 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Surfhut  We're in the same boat. The roofers took out 1/2 of my garden. A neighbor's dog took out the other 1/2. I managed to get some cucumbers. Planted another tomato but it's probably too late to get a crop. I still have herbs in pots that are OK.

We'll give it another try next spring, Mags.
July 16 at 06:41 EST .

  3 people like this.





   Wrightwinger  Well we were cleaning out the freezer and discovered several roasts and some older round steaks hiding in the bottom. We decided to can the meat for soups and stews in the winter. ( A really simple process, clean the meat of gristle, excess fat, bones etc by bringing it to a boil in a really large pot, cut it into strips or cubes, bring it back to a boil, fill jars, process for 90 minutes at 10 lbs for my altitude. ) We then put the bones, scraps of meat some carrots, celery, onions, etc with several quarts of water back on the stove, along with any leftover broth from the other meat. I added a splash of vinegar to help get the calcium from the bones. Simmer for several hours on a low boil, At the end I added a couple of bay leaves, some rosemary and some parsley. Added just a bit of salt since it is easy to add more later. After about four hours of boiling, and a long sit overnight, I reheated the broth, then removed the bones and other chunks, filtered through a colander, and canned the broth at 10 lbs for 25 minutes for my altitude. While we had the stuff out, I pulled out some fresh potatoes we had grown in some large pots and cleaned and canned them. ( 10 lbs for 40 minutes. ) Busy few days.
July 11 at 15:27 EST .

   5 people like this.



   MeiDei  When you say "can" specifically meat, do you use a pressure canner? I was always told for corn, green beans, non-acidic veggies you had to pressure can them vs a hot water bath or the steam seal process - which is what I prefer for tomatoes, sweet pickled beets, sauerkraut & all jams & jellies.
July 11 at 18:39 EST .

  4 people like this.



   MeiDei  Sorry, 10# for 25 mins. - that's pressure canner!
July 11 at 20:31 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Balogreene  WW in 1982, in Oakbrook IL there was a Czech restaurant, I liked. I loved their liver dumpling soup, and I'm not fond of dumplings, and don't like liver! The thing is, they made their broth from all the meat in the restaurant, chicken, lamb, veal, beef, pork, etc. I don't know what spices they used, but it was fabulous. I swear it was so good because of the blending of flavors.
July 11 at 21:06 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Wrightwinger  I do pressure can most things. We seldom just use a hot water bath. Although years ago, my wife's folks canned in a no. Nine wash tub over an open fire in the yard. That was a lot of work, and is NOT considered safe for most things anymore. But they canned beans, corn, and other stuff. They did pickle a lot of things too, cabbage, corn, beans, etc. I never really liked pickled corn or beans, I guess because I expected them to taste like regular veggies.
July 11 at 22:39 EST .

  4 people like this.



   MeiDei  Steaming is my preferred choice. Bought a steamer 30+ years ago from a Feed Store. Found I could also use my largest pan with the egg ring insert and using the stock pot upside down to double my canning by steam. Made canning over 24 qts. of marinara sauce, 12 qts. each of tomato & grape juice, several 1/2 qts of sweet pickled red peppers and beets, stewed tomato w/garlic & a jalapeno pepper, jams, etc. fast and easy. It was so rewarding.
July 12 at 14:07 EST .

  3 people like this.





   Linder  First green beans and new potatoes from the garden today....flavored with bacon, ham, onion and garlic. I had forgotten what fresh from the garden food tastes like.
July 8 at 20:04 EST .

   10 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Last Friday evening I picked 37# green beans from the 75ft row to take to the flea market to sell. On Wednesday I picked an additional 11# beans from the same row. Since we have no place to sell them except the flea market(Sat.only ) we gave them to friends. This evening I will pick the other row,different kind of beans,more slender and these we will take to the flea market tomorrow.Last week we had 2 big buckets of green peppers,mix of bell and Italian,sold many but also gifted friends with the rest. I will pick the peppers tomorrow before we leave. Eggplant will be ready sometime next week. Tomatoes are beautiful but refusing to ripen, so we just might enjoy some fried green tomatoes while we wait. The pole Limas are recovering from the beating of 44mph winds from H. Arthur. The wind beat the heck out of the vines in the air.Getting a few cukes, enough to enjoy with dinner. I ate one while I surveyed the progress in the garden this morning. Luffas are on the fence, now I have to "police" them to stay on the fence so the neighbor won't mow them down. Kuri squash the size of soccer balls. Potatoes could be investigated for "grovelin' taters" but I can wait.
July 11 at 07:46 EST .

  9 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Oh, dug up a bulb of garlic, it is so good fresh from the dirt.
July 11 at 07:48 EST .

  8 people like this.



   MeiDei  Bird, you impress me greatly!
July 11 at 18:44 EST .

  6 people like this.





   Bettijo  I got my garden planted this morning: 2 tomatoes, green pepper, mint, parsley, basil, and rosemary. First time in about four years I have tried a garden and after planting tomatoes realized trees have grown so that tomatoes are no longer in full sun, in fact they are in shade in attached pic. Think I am going to have to move them to the right with the mint..

I have more room, any suggestions of what else to plant? I am thinking lettuce, potatoes and onions.

   July 4 at 14:53 EST .

   6 people like this.




   BirdsNest  I can finally say that our garden looks close to perfection.
Weeds are at an all time minimum and the rows are either weed free or covered with mulch of some kind.
The Luffa are almost to the fence where they will grow up and be off the ground. Picked and ate the first ripe tomato yesterday. Had yellow squash, zucchini, and green peppers for dinner....oven roasted them with a bit of olive oil and S&P, they were delicious. We have eaten string beans, they were amazing, both kinds. The "Annihilator" beans were a nice dark green even after cooking and the beans were fast to cook and did not fall apart. A definite hit and we will plant them next year. The next test will be pressure canning them. The "Mascotte" beans were still too small to pick a lot so I picked enough for a meal, we cooked them in a hot skillet with coconut oil and garlic added at the end. Also very tasty. Eggplant are blooming and just starting to make, so they are a ways off. I planted what I thought was white "Patty Pan" squash, from seed directly in the ground....looks like we will be having an acorn squash of some kind.
now I have to plant some white squash, but not from that seed packet!! We have a new tomato(for us ) called "Garden Peach"....it has a bit of fuzz on it. They are still green and will be about the size of a salad tomato, but I am anxious to see and taste a ripe one. The shift key on the left of the keypad died so we are having to use the one on the right for caps and my brain just stops every time I need to put in a capital letter....

We have put in a lot of "sweat equity" into the garden this year and with the help of black plastic and mulch the work has not been so repetitive. It has been loads of hard work, but always moving forward to the next project, not stopping this to weed 15 rows(75 ft long )every few days. I have moved copious amounts of mulch by wheelbarrow, and shoveled and hoe-d soil and bent and squatted hundreds of times a day. Today it is raining thanks to the storm, and I got to feed the animals outside in a light rain and cool temps. Now I am staying inside and maybe will go back to bed for a nap.
Hope everyone has a delightful 4th.
   July 4 at 08:17 EST .

   5 people like this.




   BirdsNest  Picked and sold 2 five gallon buckets of green peppers yesterday. Blossoms on the eggplants,yay,and beans will be coming off in a week.

Today I am weed eating all day, lots of grass to cut and rake for the compost piles.
   June 29 at 09:12 EST .

   2 people like this.


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