Whole Leaf Tobacco

let's see your veggie garden {pics}

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,765
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
March Garden



My Slovenian Anka garlic (toward the rear of the bed) is just beginning to show. The soft-neck Czech Broadleaf always produces greater leafage, as well as larger heads, with 12 to 16 cloves per head. The Anka predictably yields somewhat smaller head, with exactly 8 cloves per head. Anka has a spicier (hotter) taste when very fresh, but smooths out to a finer aroma, after a few months of storage. The best thing about my garlic is that I haven't given it the slightest thought or attention since November, and won't need to do anything with it until mid June.



Every winter, my grapes require heartless pruning. I used to be more aggressive about that. But these vines are now senior citizens, and require a bit of respect.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,765
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Breaking News!

My first veggies for 2020:



What is it? I'm not sure. But I can narrow it down to two possibilities. Two cells received Chinese eggplant seeds, and two cells received yellow Cherry Tomato seeds. Their cotyledons look identical (and just like tobacco, since they are from the same plant family). I didn't bother to squander a perfectly good Popsicle stick on labeling them. Once the first pair of true leaves comes out, which is which will become obvious.

This little tub (a mushroom tub from the supermarket) with its insert were sitting on a seedling heat mat. But now, with greenery showing, it needed to be promoted to a sunny spot.

Bob
 

MadFarmer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
114
Points
43
Location
Arlington. TX
I'm looking forward to saving seed from the chard, it's an interesting red/orange and was the only plant to survive a succession of hard freezes we had in Nov/Dec.

IMAG1368_1.jpg

The purple stems are a Chinese broccoli that I saved seeds from a few years ago, and then forgot about. Around New year's I tested them just for viability and decided to stick a few under the grow lights in the garage. Spring coming in how it did I wish I'd filled the garden with them. Three plants and we've harvested from them regularly for weeks.
 

Attachments

ChinaVoodoo

Moderator
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
4,648
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
I started corn, cantaloupe, and pumpkini a couple days ago. Nothing to see there.

Here are my tomatoes and cucumbers which I started a few weeks ago. I have no idea what they are. The cucumbers are mostly a pickling variety, and partly a long variety. I gave the seeds to the father in law.

The tomatoes, well, my hoarding F.I.L. went away and asked me to start his seeds for him and gives me a stack of like 60 different things, some of which probably go back to the 80s, and he doesn't want to throw anything away, so I planted 2 of everything. A veritable Noah's Ark of seedlings. He has a key to the trays I planted for him. I do not. So, when I snagged tomatoes from pots that had multiple seedlings in it, i had no idea what I was grabbing. If he still has the dud seed packages next year, I'm going to give him crap.

DSC_0036~2.JPG

DSC_0035~2.JPG
 

Knucklehead

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
9,214
Points
113
Location
NE Alabama
I started corn, cantaloupe, and pumpkini a couple days ago. Nothing to see there.

Here are my tomatoes and cucumbers which I started a few weeks ago. I have no idea what they are. The cucumbers are mostly a pickling variety, and partly a long variety. I gave the seeds to the father in law.

The tomatoes, well, my hoarding F.I.L. went away and asked me to start his seeds for him and gives me a stack of like 60 different things, some of which probably go back to the 80s, and he doesn't want to throw anything away, so I planted 2 of everything. A veritable Noah's Ark of seedlings. He has a key to the trays I planted for him. I do not. So, when I snagged tomatoes from pots that had multiple seedlings in it, i had no idea what I was grabbing. If he still has the dud seed packages next year, I'm going to give him crap.

View attachment 30121

View attachment 30122
He had a great plan. They’re looking good. (y)
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,765
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Earthworm Porn


Earthworms having sex in public.

Earthworms (Lumbricus spp.) are hermaphrodites. Each earthworm is both male and female. So any earthworm can mate with any other earthworm of the same species. Being cautious, they never emerge completely from the soil to mate, but instead extend their "heads" out of a burrow, while keeping their tails underground. Their activity above ground is most often at night, since they sunburn easily.

Despite having no eyes, earthworms can detect light vs. darkness. If I go out to a garden bed at night, and suddenly shine a bright flashlight on earthworms above the surface, they think about it for a few seconds, then promptly withdraw into the soil. They're not what you might consider quick thinkers. The brain of a large earthworm is smaller than a mustard seed.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,765
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Blackberries

Now that my late frosts seem to be over, it was time to prune my Prime Jim blackberries. The books and articles about growing blackberries state that after the last frost, remove the two year old canes, and prune the one year old canes to about 5'.


One support wire at knee height, the other is at about 4½ feet.

I like to carefully time this task to occur just before sunset, so that, after pruning, I won't have time to also carry the removed canes to their final resting place. That's because, by then, I just want to go back in the house and lick my wounds.



Unlike raspberries, which have tiny, annoying thorns, blackberries sport vicious, lacerating, penetrating weapons. Regardless of how much care I apply, some part of some cane will poke me in the hands or wrists or forearms or shoulders or legs or....

Two year old canes are just plain dead, and that is obvious. So they are easy to spot--not so easy to reach and remove safely. And all these thorny canes interlock with each other. "Remove" is a cautious understatement. It's more like "slide", "yank", "rotate", "rotate again", "pull some more", etc.

I make tidy, nearby piles of the canes as I work. This is to encourage me, at some later, unspecified date to dispose of them. That usually awaits the final instant before I have to (sigh) mow the lawn again.

There are varieties of thornless blackberries, but they have floppy, trailing, vine-like canes, that are a nuisance all season long, and have to be coiled onto a trellis. The fruit of my Prime Jim blackberries are fat and large. (My only complaint is that they also have large seeds.) Some seasons the berries are surprisingly abundant. Some years the Japanese beetles eat the blossoms. No blossoms; no fruit. My canes were first planted 10 years ago, and seem to be holding up fairly well.

I also planted two beds of raspberries at the same time (10 years ago): a bed of Autumn Gold and a bed of Heritage Red. But the red ones lasted only about 5 years, and the yellow about 7. Since they were "everbearing", I could mow over them after first frost in the fall, and they would be regrown and bearing fruit again by mid-summer. None of this "remove two year old..." stuff. The mowing would turn all those old canes into instant mulch, which I just allowed to rest in place.

[Anecdote: About 5 years ago, my eldest brother and I were standing near the blackberries in summer, watching a noisy, thumb-sized cicada making a racket on one of the leaves. A gigantic, black and yellow wasp appeared out of nowhere, grabbed the cicada, and flew away with it. We looked at one another with wide eyes.]

Bob
 

GreenDragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
1,102
Points
113
Location
Austin, TX
I have fond memories of picking wild blackberries in a (recently vacated) 2 acre plot that formerly housed a Bull called "Buddy". All I can say is that "Bull Chips" made great fertilizer. Those blackberries were delicious and we made many cobblers, pies, and jars of jam out of them. My then girlfriend, now wife's, aunt would hitch the bush hog to the tractor and mow them down each fall.

And can confirm... those thorns are vicious!
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,765
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA


The friendly, neighborhood deer did not actually kill my pie cherry tree. Instead, they crippled it, year after year, until it finally succumbed to assorted pathogens. In order to cut it down (didn't feel up to digging it out today) so that the mower wouldn't hit it, I had to get down on my knees, and saw it with a pruning saw. Afterwards, my back and thigh muscles went on strike for better working conditions. Like a good CEO, I humored them by walking with a cane for an hour or so, until they returned to their poorly paid, benefit-free jobs.

I never did harvest enough cherries in a single season to make a pie. I think that I managed (after the deer and birds had taken their shares) to max out at 7 entire cherries during one stellar season, two years ago. Those were tasty cherries.

Bob
 

Knucklehead

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
9,214
Points
113
Location
NE Alabama


The friendly, neighborhood deer did not actually kill my pie cherry tree. Instead, they crippled it, year after year, until it finally succumbed to assorted pathogens. In order to cut it down (didn't feel up to digging it out today) so that the mower wouldn't hit it, I had to get down on my knees, and saw it with a pruning saw. Afterwards, my back and thigh muscles went on strike for better working conditions. Like a good CEO, I humored them by walking with a cane for an hour or so, until they returned to their poorly paid, benefit-free jobs.

I never did harvest enough cherries in a single season to make a pie. I think that I managed (after the deer and birds had taken their shares) to max out at 7 entire cherries during one stellar season, two years ago. Those were tasty cherries.

Bob
My pecan and apple seedlings suffered a similar fate. The bucks would rub on the base of the trunks until they entirely rubbed the bark off all the way around the trunk and hook the lower branches with their antlers and rip them away. I don’t know what they disliked about the apple seedlings, I was planning to share. All that digging...
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,765
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Great Expectations with Fruit and Nut Tree Planting

My trees that succeeded:
  • Winesap Apple Dwarf (2)
  • Golden Delicious Apple Dwarf
  • Starking Delicious Pear Dwarf
  • Moonglow Pear Dwarf
  • American Hazelnut (2) [actually shrubs]
  • Common Lilac [actually a shrub]
Nearly every varietal fruit (and nut) tree is not raised from seed, but is a scion that is grafted onto a rootstock. (There is no practical way to control fruit tree pollination.) Dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit trees are grafted onto intentionally "inadequate" rootstocks, to limit the mature size of the tree. The two pears above, though "dwarf", began life with extremely low to the ground graft junctions, and the varietal scions managed to root themselves around the mean old dwarfing root stock. So those two trees are now way bigger than dwarf, and bigger than semi-dwarf. They are too tall for me to adequately harvest--but they are healthy.

My trees that failed:
  • Red Rome Apple Dwarf {flooding}
  • Bartlet Pear Dwarf {fireblight}
  • Italian Prune Plum Dwarf {flooding}
  • Red Plum Dwarf {flooding}
  • Peach Dwarf {flooding}
  • Pluot Dwarf {flooding}
  • Aprium Dwarf {flooding}
  • North Star Cherry (genetic dwarf)
  • Apricot Dwarf {really bad luck}
  • Sugar Maple seedling {deer}
  • Common Lilac [actually a shrub] {mystery plant pathogen}
All in all, my success here, where I've lived for about 22 years, has come to 8 out of 19 attempts. Batting .421 isn't too bad. (I'm not counting the 35 successful out of 90 total fruit and nut trees that I planted at a previous home during the late 1980s.) So my conclusion is that, with the most sincere and aggressive fruit and nut tree planting, one can anticipate a success rate (measured at 5 to 10 years after planting) of between 3/10 and 4/10.

This is based on my experience with many "dwarf" fruit tree varieties. Non-dwarf trees have a better success rate, and a longer lifespan. [I've noticed that Stark Brothers Nursery has pivoted away from dwarf fruit trees toward semi-dwarf, perhaps for this reason.] But of 30 Chinese Chestnut trees I planted elsewhere--on prime agricultural land, all of them failed within a year. Of 30 Carpathian Walnuts planted on that same property, maybe 4 or 5 of them thrived.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,765
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Late Frost Coming

@ChinaVoodoo has once again been generous enough to share some Canada air with us down here in southwest Virginia. I have nothing planted yet in most of my beds, but do have stuff in my porch corner bed, as well as a 1020 tray of tender veggie starts on the porch above that bed--and I don't want to have to make space in the back porch for it again. So I've enclosed the porch corner, including the bed beneath it, in an Agribon AG-15 tent.



Since I always have 7 or 8 gallons of drinking water stored in used distilled water jugs, I just moved them outside, surrounding the 1020 tray, and within the tent. There is also a gallon down on the ground, just outside the bed and tent, but snuggled beside a bean plant.



Aspare-A-Back

My asparagus bed has become overrun with weeds. It's not as much fun weeding it as it used to be. Yesterday morning, I harvested every stalk visible, regardless of its size. Yesterday afternoon, I rode the Oh Deere! lawn tractor out there, dropped the bed as low as it would go, then scalped the asparagus bed. This morning, I went out there with a propane garden torch, and blasted it.



Bob
 
Top