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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Seeds from the State Fair for Fall Planting: Winter Radishes

I've cleared out more beds and am getting back into the swing of things. Here are some seed packets I bought at the fair. There was a large heirloom seed section.  I could have bought $100 worth of seeds. I decided to concentrate on seeds I could put in now and in the spring.

1. Radish: Round Black Spanish 55 days
This radish is known as a winter radish and can be harvested well in the winter. We will see.

2. Arugula: Wild Italian 45-60 days.
A different variety. Sturdy leaf that is cold tolerant.

3. Kohl Rabi: Purple Vienna 50-65 days.
Needs to go in 4 weeks before frost.

4. Radish: White Chinese Winter 25-30 days.
Develop best in cool weather.

5. Radish: Chinese Rose-Winter 20-50 days.
Fast growing and can stay in ground to continue maturing.

More State Fair Pictures: Tomatoes, Pumpkins and More

More pictures of Maryland grown vegetables.

What Good is the State Fair without Vegetables Pictures: Peppers, Gourds, Squash

Maybe one day, I may compete. Nah. But here are some interesting pictures.

How the Tomatoes are Doing: 1st and 2nd Waves.

Well I survived the blight very well. Wettable sulfur is the way to go. Here are some pictures. I fertilized the tomatoes with Miracle Grow and pruned them. I want to see how long I can get them to maintain through September.

This is a 2nd Wave Orange Jubilee.

These are 2 first wave tomatoes. Growing well with green tomatoes and buds.

This is the Sara's Galapagos. Yellowing out. Loaded with fruit.

Grape Juice From My Concord Grapes

The Concord grapes did very well. I must have 100's of bunches. I purchased a $35 juicer. I made grape juice. It was quite easy. Because the Concords have seeds, I had to juice outside. The juicer is 400 watts. Powerful enough for what I wanted but it didn't grind the seeds down. Which is good, I didn't want the seeds. It did however bounce them around and they would shoot out the top each time I added more grapes. I move the project outside since they were bouncing around the kitchen.

Once juiced I brought it to a boil for 5 minutes. I did add honey for fun and a bunch of ice to dilute it and cool it down.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Finally Fall Plantings & My Third Wave of Tomatoes

So not only does the heat of August beat my garden down, it beats me down.

I finally cleared 3 beds and did my Fall planting. Late! but I did it. I went with transplants and went to my local nursery. I didn't like what they had. When I touched the leaf lettuce, I saw white flies. Not the type in my garden but I didn't want to introduce a  new pest. So I passed. I went to Home Depot and Lowes. Their lettuce was bolting. Heat effects transplants more rapidly then plants in the cooler ground. I passed on the lettuce but ended up getting Swiss Chard and  loose leaf head cabbage.

Incidently, I went back to the nursery 2 days after my first visit. The lettuce had bolted and the kales and greens were chewed to sin by critters. I'm glad I passed.

I put in the transplants, planted 4 kinds of radishes, and put in my third wave of tomatoes. They are small. I will be making solar cages for them as October approaches.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Types of Tomato Cages: Support Your Local Tomato Plant

There are lots of ways to support tomato growth. Here is one example of plants growing in my mother's garden.

She does have a wooden stake in there for side support. She is using collapsable orange cages for the main support. You can see them better if you click the images and enlarge them.

Powdery Mildew on Cucumbers: Picture

Powdery mildew often hits cucumbers, zukes and squash. These cucumber leaves (below) look like they have a white powdery dusting on their leaves. That is powdery mildew. As soon as you see it on one leaf it is time to treat the whole plant.

There are lots of treatments. I use wettable sulfur. It creates an environment on the leaves the mildew doesn't like. This year I had 2 small outbreaks of powdery mildew. A quick spray cured the plants. This is the first year I didn't have a large epidemic.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Whiteflies? White Flies? A Neglected Garden

I hit the August wall. Life stuff over took my garden. Good stuff, but still time was taken away from my ability to tend the garden. It happens every August. A combination of this and that. My garden is over-grown. I began taking it back yesterday. I am still getting great produce but it is out of control. I have been posting about a Fall garden. Now is the time to take it back and plan for the Fall.

What did I miss?

1. Never got my beans in to the extent I wanted.
2. My third wave tomatoes aren't growing and needed some love.
3. The weeds are happy. I never pulled the August wave.
4. The vegetables never got a round of liquid fertilizer.
5. The white-flies became a Nation.

I have been fighting white-flies for weeks. They have INFESTED my kales and kohlrabi. I picked the kohlrabi and bagged the leaves. My 2 kales, Dwarf Curled and Russian Red, I cut ALL THE LEAVES off. There must of been 1000 white-flies. I was covered in them. I basically destroyed their main habitat.

The kale stems will survive and I plan to leave them in the ground. New leaves will come and they will be part of my Fall crops.

The lady bugs never came to eat the white-flies. I am unleashing a week of fury to recapture my garden. I plant to have pictures up this week.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things to Have for College

Thanks for the post from Sylvester Campbell

Moving off to college can exciting. But you don't want to get there and realize that there were a few things you should have considered before loading the car. Here are a few of the most important.

Have A Plan.

College is going to be the best four years of your life. There are tons of people to meet and fun to be had. But if you have not considered things like "What kind of job can I get in my major?" and "Are my goals realistic?", then you many be wasting your time.

Know What You Need.

If you are moving away to college your new dorm, or apartment, is you home away from home. You may need to consider what you will need to make you live in your new home easier. For instance, you will need a highspeed wimax internet packages. Make sure you know what your school provides and what you will need to purchase on your own.

How Are You Going to Make a Living?

Beyond paying you tuition, room and board, and books, you will need money for other thing too. Like food when the cafeteria is not open, pizza during late night study sessions, and other toiletries that you will run out of. Do some searching. Look for jobs on and around campus.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lettuces and Greens for the Fall

Lettuce, Kale and other greens love cool weather. Bolting is the issue of planting lettuce in June and July. When it is hot, the lettuces send out a flower stalk to produce seed and cut leaf production. Plus the leaves get bitter. If you break a leaf of bolted lettuce you notice a white substance seaping. It's bitter. We obviously want the leaves.

Now that it is August, you can plant lettuce. Lots of it. It is frost tolerent to a degree and some varieties can take a good frost.

Kale is great to plant now. It may not mature in time to eat in the Fall but it does over winter very well. I plant Kale now and 50% survives the winter. I can pick Kale in March! from my Fall plantings.

Other greens... mustard greens and other Asain greens can go in too. Here are some ideas. Most seeds need to be purchased at a nursery this time of year. Home Depot and such might also have some and they are probably on sale!. Lettuce and green seeds last for years.

Organized With Paying Bills Online

Guest post written by my buddy Aldo Mays

I was skeptical at first about paying bills online and I am probably not the only one. I worried about the security of it all. Would my information be safe? Would I have to worry about my debit card number being stolen and used by someone else?

I have been paying bills online for several years now and have not had any problems. Paying bills online has made paying bills so much easier. I am a stickler for organization, so this method of bill pay helps keep me and my life more organized.

There is no rushing out to buy stamps at the post office anymore and it is easier than writing a check for each bill. It is as simple as getting online with my satellite internet and logging on to all the places I need to pay bills. Practically every bill I have I can pay online.

All my utilities for my home are paid online, which includes my phone, internet, water, gas, electric, and cable. The credit card I have also allows me to pay the balance online. I even go as far as paying my car insurance online because of the added convenience. If you want a great internet service so you can pay your bills online, then click for more info.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Varieties of Cold Tolerent Tomatoes I am Growing

Original Blog Entry With Pictures and Seed Starting.

Maybe tomato seeds don't germinate in 100 degree heat. My plan is to plant cold weather tolerant tomatoes in July and tend them through to the first hard frost. I know my May tomatoes will be disease beaten or sun beaten come mid August and pretty much can be pulled by months end. Some of the cherry tomatoes survive every year into September. This year I figured, I would plant a third wave of cold tolerant tomatoes.

I ordered and planted the following varieties:

Sub Arctic Max: 62 day determinate. Bred for extremely cold climates. Dwarf vines of 2 1/2 oz fruits.

Oregon Spring V: 58 day determinate. Develop by Oregon University for short season gardeners. Medium to large fruit.

Silvery Fir Tree: 58 day indeterminate. Delicate lacy leaves with a silver sheen. 3 inch fruit from Russia.

Polar Baby: 60 day determinate. Very small plant that bear large harvest of 2 inch fruits. Developed in Alaska for cold weather.

Glacier: 58 day determinate. Sets fruit well in cold weather. Comes loaded with 2 -3 oz fruit. Potato leaf foliage.

Now I have a Russian Heirloom, a few bred specifics for cold, 2 unique foliages, both determinates & indeterminates and a variety of tomato sizes. I figure that was the easy part.