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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Freakin gorgeous!! As always! :wink:
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

applestar wrote:Not quite sure what you are doing with your raccoon barricades, but am following with interest. 8)
Here is a shot of the "Pier Veggies" from another angle, and you can see the corn at the front. Any year that I have grown corn the raccoons, and squirrels to a lesser extent, have helped themselves just as the corn gets ready. My thought with the tin is that it will be slick enough, and high enough, that the raccoons and squirrels cannot climb it. At this point an entire section of the garden, including the pier, is completely enclosed in the wall of tin. Everywhere except on the pier I plan to have two strands of electric fence above the tin, to keep the squirrels from jumping from post to post.

Here's hoping.

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imafan26
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Looking good. You should leave home more often the tomatoes grew so fast. You must have longer days than mine. It does make a difference.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

imafan26 wrote:Looking good. You should leave home more often the tomatoes grew so fast. You must have longer days than mine. It does make a difference.
I agree. Hours in the springtime sun makes a world of difference. This spring has been very conducive to good growth, but the last two nights we have hit the high 40's. Brrrr that feels cold when the previous two weeks were so warm.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Man vs Raccoon, Part III

I am continuing to build my fortress against the neighborhood squirrels and raccoons. The inner part of the garden is completely enclosed in the 32 inch tin, and now I have two strands of electric fence on top.

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For safety reasons I am not running the hot wire around the pier garden, but I am hoping the tin will keep the critters from climbing in. A couple of spots have some tall posts near some large plants. I plan to either trim the plants and/or have some hot wire to the top of the posts. My plan is that my wife and I enjoy the sweet corn this year, and that the squirrels get fewer of the tomatoes.

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KitchenGardener
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Now THAT is diligence and commitment! I am rooting for you on this one. While I know how devilishly smart raccoons and squirrels can be (I stopped growing corn because they would not even leave one ear for me), you absolutely deserve to prevail! And pretty ingenious to have a garden on a pier and over water - love it!

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SPierce
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I went grocery shopping yesterday to pick up a few bags of potatoes to grill/boil with my steak. Bought two, brought them home, only to realize that all of them have little sprouts on them! I also have a quite a few onions that have sprouted while hanging out in the fridge

So, I'm now for new containers so I can plant all these little potatoes for harvesting later and am going to attempt to plant the onions... if only I could get the red potatoes from the same place (which I absolutely love) to sprout I would be so, so happy!

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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

SPierce wrote:I went grocery shopping yesterday to pick up a few bags of potatoes to grill/boil with my steak. Bought two, brought them home, only to realize that all of them have little sprouts on them! I also have a quite a few onions that have sprouted while hanging out in the fridge

So, I'm now for new containers so I can plant all these little potatoes for harvesting later and am going to attempt to plant the onions... if only I could get the red potatoes from the same place (which I absolutely love) to sprout I would be so, so happy!
I am trying sweet potatoes this year for the first time ever. My cousin has raised them for years, and grows her own slips from potatoes that are heirs to potatoes her father planted in the thirties. Want to keep them going. I have some good slips in potting soil now and will plant in late May
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PinkPetalPolygon
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I'm happy to hear you are cherishing those sweet potatoes! :D

I went to war with the... ooh, let's foreshadow!

Oooooh okay fancy story time.

Once upon a time, before my mother in law lived in her house which we now have a nice vegetable garden & where a ton of our potted plants live, the very nice neighbor lady who lived next door to the old man who used to live there was very sad.

The very nice neighbor lady was very sad because the old man who lived next to her didn't have any plants or flowers in his backyard. She thought that was boring, and thought she knew what she could do to spice things up for the old man.

So she unleashed a pretty plague over the fence into the old man's yard in an attempt to entertain herself and the people around her???

That pretty plague was called morning glories.

When I met my mother in law and her morning glories, because she... trellised them, watered them, and allowed them to crawl over every surface and everything she owned... because of how my mother in law treated the morning glories I thought she had chosen the flowers on purpose? And I liked it. I really liked it when I thought it was how she wanted her outdoor area......!?!?!?!

But after seeing uhm...

Oh my gosh. There is an area that gets fed clean water from our garden sink??? I had no idea the water drained behind the sink. I just learned this like yesterday, hah. So..

The water drained behind the sink onto the ground which is dirt between the fence and the sink structure, which was next to the gazebo which is a big metal structure with a cover over it... which was where the nice neighbor lady threw the morning glories originally...

I had no idea that the sink had been feeding the morning glories!!!!

When I told my boyfriend that his mother's garden sink drained onto the ground behind the sink his eyes bugged out!!! "We've been wasting water all this time???"

The upside to this is that *directly* next to the garden sink in its shade we have a looooooovely chocolate mint patch that has also been fed from the sink. (Sue has known for the last few years that her sink drained into the garden so she hasn't been using any yucky stuff down the drain, and I don't use any yucky stuff, and I made an assumption without asking where it drained, so no harm I guess!)

But I wasted so much water watering a plague of morning glories and weeds last year I can't believe it. :shock:

I always neglected weeding that part of the garden, like, no big deal, it'll be there when I get there
I had no idea it was being fed all the water in the world. (Not that we excessively waste water but hey we could have used it to grow stuff had I known it was not going down a drain to a sewer or whatever.)

My final straw in declaring war was uhm, Sue isn't currently well enough to get rid of the morning glory corpse onslaught every year. They make such a mess and crawl over everywhere then die and crumble and seed a big mess and a bigger mess for next year, it's a terrible ordeal if you aren't entirely well. :(

Last year she made a trellis for them to grow onto the gazebo... and they did... we ended up with like 3 feet thick of morning glories over everything.

If I had known that this hadn't been her grand vision she orchestrated on purpose at the time, I would have 100% saved the plants in the gazebo before they got buried?

There was this one succulent plant in the corner last year... thank goodness some of those succulents are so hardy they can survive most things???? This plant was beneath morning glories for at least 5 months, like in a black out...

When I cut the morning glories away from it, the parts of the leaves that were supposed to be black colored from direct sunlight were anemic green from lack of sunlight and it looked a mess. It fully recovered, and while rescuing it from the morning horror glories I accidentally broke quite a few branches off into new plants... then got a succulent cutting starting mania fever and probably made uhm at least 20 new plants from that big one. We gave like 8 away to friends at a party, yay! :lol:

Anyway, my final straw was... in November/the fall...

I cut away at least 60 pounds of morning glory vines from that gazebo. No joke. It took hours.

And when I learned that wasn't even the owner of the backyard's choice to plant them, I say: no more indulging trellises. Heck NO more being irrigated by the sink!!!

I used some plastic to cover the strip of dirt between the fence, and then put some weed control fabric over it. I felt all fancy doing like official landscaping work. It was my first time laying down a liner and I kind of felt like I was making a pond

Oooh I just remembered watching my dad make a foutain with a liner in it. Haha. So that's what it felt like. I shoula taken a before and after. I always say that. I'm kicking myself mentally, like

If I were as disciplined as I should be I could have a Gardener portfolio already.

The before & after on my MIL's yard was pretty impressive. Next year/next project = I'll force myself to do before and afters.

I put some potted plants where the dirt with the weeds and morning glories were. :)

I look forward to doing this really great thing that I read about on HG forum to get rid of weeds/unwanted plants... where you sprout the weeds, then cover them with cardboard/an old carpet/a big board/something to block out all the sunlight, then wait until the sprouted weeds die under the cover, then lift the cover, water the ground under the weeds sprout, then cover the all again to kill them in the dark...

Yeah... that's what I really want to do. But this year, I'll settle for one round of black out and the seeds can just stay under that.

I'm all slightly paranoid they'd grow through my blockade (I know they'll grow around it through the fence and such)
Then I remember I also put plastic down

Morning glories can't grow through plastic
Morning glories can't grow through plastic

Mommy make the morning glories stop! :'(

(Haha, I'm joking, it's fine. Step one is officially just to stop indulging them. :lol: )

And to utilize all that perfectly fine water being dumped on the ground, yes yes!

I am not sure I have the will to actually eliminate the morning glories (if only because they spread to the front yard and everywhere. Last fall there were seeds all over the ground. :shock:)

But what I am confident I can do is prevent the morning glories from traumatizing our chosen plants too terribly! <3

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SPierce
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

lakngulf wrote:
SPierce wrote:I went grocery shopping yesterday to pick up a few bags of potatoes to grill/boil with my steak. Bought two, brought them home, only to realize that all of them have little sprouts on them! I also have a quite a few onions that have sprouted while hanging out in the fridge

So, I'm now for new containers so I can plant all these little potatoes for harvesting later and am going to attempt to plant the onions... if only I could get the red potatoes from the same place (which I absolutely love) to sprout I would be so, so happy!
I am trying sweet potatoes this year for the first time ever. My cousin has raised them for years, and grows her own slips from potatoes that are heirs to potatoes her father planted in the thirties. Want to keep them going. I have some good slips in potting soil now and will plant in late May
Awesome! I will eventually get into Sweet Potatoes - they are good for baking/frying, it's on my to-do list of things to get to!

Currently I'm tight on cash, so while I got the pumpkins & brussels sprouts/brocolli planted out, I have to wait to plant the tomatoes, peppers because I need to pick up some extra pots and also some new soil for them. So they'll be hanging out in their starter pots for a few more weeks until I get paid, then I can put them out. Thankfully they're all still fairly tiny for the time being, only on their first sets of leaves, so it isn't going to affect them too much.

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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Things are looking good. I love the view from the water when the Hydrangea are in full bloom!

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We picked our first tomato today, to let it finish ripening inside, and these are not far behind. Looks like an abundant crop this year on the pier.

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And the fruits of the labor = first rattlesnake beans and yellow squash picked today and enjoyed for dinner tonight with fried chicken. Love being a Southerner!

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

lakngulf wrote:Things are looking good. I love the view from the water when the Hydrangea are in full bloom!

Image

We picked our first tomato today, to let it finish ripening inside, and these are not far behind. Looks like an abundant crop this year on the pier.

Image

And the fruits of the labor = first rattlesnake beans and yellow squash picked today and enjoyed for dinner tonight with fried chicken. Love being a Southerner!

Image

Image
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Lindsay
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PinkPetalPolygon
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

I maintained the zucchini & cucumber vines today. (I learned last year that those types of plants need you to get the dead leaves and other muck off of them. Or at least, last year I never removed any dead leaves or spent male flower stalks, right?... then I read somewhere something telling me I should, so I went outside and groomed my zucchini plants for the first time of the year? I could tell they loved it and were all choked out with the dead stuff! I want to say that mere hours after I cleaned it up it started growing new stuff where the dead stuff had been.)

So of course, this year, I am taking very close diligent loving care of my zucs n' cucs! <3.

I got my first fruit off of the green zucchini, the black beauty zucchini, & the lemon cucumber recently.

The lemon cucumber was superb. I love picking things like 2 minutes before I eat them!!! (After I wash them, hah) I had lemon cucumbers last year from MIL's garden, but they didn't taste anything like this one, yaaay. Some of our friends didn't like the lemon cucumbers last year because they were so tough? I didn't mind, but oh goodness - the lemon cucumber I grew this year, picked really early - was NOTHING like rough or tough or unpalatable. It was delicate, if anything. Crisp and wonderful.

Also, did I ever tell you black beauty zucchini is my favorite?

Black Beauty zucchini is my favorite! DH says he didn't notice a difference between the green zucchini and the black beauty, but I reeeeally did. :lol:

As I was cleaning the dead leaves, dead flowers, and aborted fruit from the vines I found that my other two cucumber plants also had cucumbers ready, I just hadn't noticed.

They are a Japanese long & a "burpless"

I'm gonna probably make a salad featuring them.

Actually, now that I mention it I realize I have no idea what I'm having for dinner. Well, let's pretend I do. :lol:

Alls I know is that when it comes to cucumbers, it's best to pick them early :D
Zucchini too, but cucumbers especially!

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KitchenGardener
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Hey Lakngulf, have you started your sweet potatoes yet or are you getting slips from your cousin? I ask because I need someone with sweet potato slip growing experience to help me out!

In the meantime, your vegies look awesome - can't believe how big and how fast they are growing. But the key question: has it proven to be critter proof? :() :twisted:

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applestar
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Looks fantastic lakngulf! :D love the blue hydrangeas, too -- I was going to ask if that was this year when you posted that photo in another thread. Should have known by the metal panels. They look sleek.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

KitchenGardener wrote:Hey Lakngulf, have you started your sweet potatoes yet or are you getting slips from your cousin? I ask because I need someone with sweet potato slip growing experience to help me out!

In the meantime, your vegies look awesome - can't believe how big and how fast they are growing. But the key question: has it proven to be critter proof? :() :twisted:
Please understand that this is my FIRST year to attempt to grow slips, and to plant sweet potatoes at all. I got help from my cousin on growing them, and from some advice on here. I started with a couple of potatoes about 1/3 submerged in water in a mason jar. Used toothpicks to keep the top 2/3 out of water. Got some decent success with slips this way.

Another method I tried was to lay a couple of potatoes length wise in some moist potting soil, with just the top third showing above the potting soil. This method worked too, AND I think is the best, because the slips that form have some decent nutrients from the potting soil.

I took the slips from both methods, separated them from the mother potato (leaving a small bit of potato where I could) and put the slips in 3 inch peat pots with potting soil. After couple of days I gave them a small drink of miracle gro (especially the ones that formed in the mason jar because they were pale green compared to the others). They grew in there for a week to ten days and are now planted in my Mom's garden.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

applestar wrote:Looks fantastic lakngulf! :D love the blue hydrangeas, too -- I was going to ask if that was this year when you posted that photo in another thread. Should have known by the metal panels. They look sleek.
Thanks. Even my wife says the metal around the pier and around the garden looks better this year!!!!! The test will come as the corn gets ripe, and the first will reach that stage in 10 -14 days.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Remember this???

Image

Well, so far it has led to this, and more. First time I have picked vine ripe tomatoes in years. These came straight from the garden. Previously, I had to pick them early or the squirrels would get them. And so far we have enjoyed the fresh corn instead of the raccoons. Hoping for continued success.

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And the result is this for supper:

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Yummy!!!!

Glad to see your success!!!
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Yeah, Corn is in the Barn

Always an anxious time when sweet corn is about ready to harvest. The raccoons get there a couple of days before. But a good electric fence helps.

The corn at my Mom's garden was in perfect shape to work Monday morning

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So, I am up at five o'clock and begin the process.

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Shucked, silked and ready to cut by 6am

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Mother takes care of the cooking process. Funny, though, she asks me if I think it has cooked enough, when she has been doing this for 75 years.

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applestar
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Fabulous! Your Mother must be proud :D It sounds like she really enjoys having the garden. What a wonderful way to spend time together.
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Some of my fondest memories of my Nanny were times like these! Putting up crops from our garden. Freezing soups and canning beans and jellies! Good stuff!

Do you freeze it?
Lindsay
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

applestar wrote:Fabulous! Your Mother must be proud :D It sounds like she really enjoys having the garden. What a wonderful way to spend time together.
She does enjoy the garden. Likes to go out each morning before it is too hot to see what has changed. She loves to bring the strugglers back to life.
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Lindsaylew82 wrote:Some of my fondest memories of my Nanny were times like these! Putting up crops from our garden. Freezing soups and canning beans and jellies! Good stuff!

Do you freeze it?
Yes, we freeze it in the quart zip lock bags. It is quite good.

It goes from the grill to an outside frig for cooling.

Image

Then then to zip locks

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Y'all put anything it it or just "creamed" (we call creamed corn that because once you've cut the kernels off, you scrape the "milk" off the cob with the side of the cutting blade.) corn?
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lakngulf
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Re: Let the 2016 Games Begin

Lindsaylew82 wrote:Y'all put anything it it or just "creamed" (we call creamed corn that because once you've cut the kernels off, you scrape the "milk" off the cob with the side of the cutting blade.) corn?
We call it "creamed corn" was well. It is pure! Nothing added except a little water at cooking stage.
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