SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

June 20th - 25th, 2018

I got some of my garden stuff done after work today.

Cut down my Oat Field. lol.

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I really wish I had enough land to do this on a yearly basis.



Cut down my Snow Peas, such a waste, we never ate any except for that one batch I made a few weeks ago, I wont grow these again. Trying to keep up with my new strategy, the Snow Peas will be chopped and placed back in the bed for mulch.

Trimmed back the Spaghetti Squash before it eats the neighbor.

Trimmed a few stems and leaves off of a tomato plant that was yellowing, this will not go back into the bed, this heads straight to the firepit.


Two of my eggplants are loaded with aphids and ants, I did put out a terro bait but the ants are still coming, I ended up spraying the leaves with Neem Oil.
Sprayed the Zucchini plant with Bt.

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Time to compost. I'm already on my way to having a great compost year.

Layering my Compost ingredients.

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Topped with spent Rabbit bedding.
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I need to top this with my Wood Ash from last weeks cook on the Pit.


Prickly Lettuce Compass Plant Lactuca serriola?

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Hoping this is my Sunchoke.

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I was going nuts trying to figure out what this was, I'm pretty sure its Crimson Clover that dropped its petals.

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Finished the trellis for the Reliance Grapes. I really wanted something Low Profile so I came up with this. So far I am happy with how it looks.

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[imgh]ttps://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1830/42936539261_83a9401256_b.jpg[/img]

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Installed gutters on the underdecking.
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Compost is kicking butt
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Hardy Kiwis climbing nicely
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Started the day with a garden breakfast.
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Done a bit more work on the Rainwater Collection. Put an overflow on the Koi Pond rain barrel and ran the hose beside the Hugelkultur bed.

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Added a 2x6 to the edge of the pavers, hopefully this will divert some water to the drain and not flow on the patio.
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Battled some ants




I was going to remove this vertical tower next year but the Jalapenos do so dam good here. I think I may leave it be. Maybe it's all the beer I pour in it? Quick explanation... I have a beer meister and the first pour is always foam, this foam gets dumped in this vertical tower. Looks like I'm making Poppers next week!

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Chopped up all of the snow peas and mulched the Hugelkultur bed.
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Been spraying the heck out of my Eggplants and Artichokes with neem oil, the Aphids are out of control.
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First eggplant of the season. (Small planter on the side patio.)

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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Yay! Your artichoke is budding. Yours will grow much bigger than mine since the plants are bigger.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Grow dammit! I'm hungry!!!
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Since I am running out of space in my smallish yard, I started looking at my garden in cubic feet not square feet, So I have been utilizing areas above things that are already planted.

My Corno di Toro Rosso was near death yesterday, I watered it last night and this morning. This morning it looks like it bounced back slightly.
I'm not sure what happened but it looked as if it wasn't getting any water. The only thing I can figure is that the water is channeling through the soil as the soil settles in the hugelkultur beds due to decomposition of the material below. The area is probably drying out too quickly due to air pockets and the water channeling. The roots are not extensive so it may not be reaching water.
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I tweaked my irrigation lines and put the timer on for every day instead of every other day until I can get some rain water collected.

What I have been doing recently is when a hole opens up due to settling, I try to stuff it with kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, pieces of wood, grass trimmings, whatever organic matter I can get my hands on.


Yesterday after work I soaked down all the raised beds and yard, I really soaked down the Hugelkultur beds to dissipate larger air pockets, as I was doing this my son said, "dad its supposed to rain", I said, "yeah but there is only a 10% chance of rain and my luck it wont rain". Guess what it rained so hard my back yard flooded and my rain barrels are completely full.
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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Corno di Toro — maybe it’s definitely the water issue, but you might want to check for stalk borer just in case
:arrow: Subject: STALK BORER in my Tomato , Potato, PEPPER
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

June 25th -28th

Rutgers
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This is my neighbors yard, this is where I removed all of his hemlock shrubs? Anyhow I was afraid he would spray poison everywhere so I planted him a garden (per request from his wife), Basil, Eggplants, Tomatoes, marigolds, sunflowers and White clover. I go over there once a week and clean out the weeds and pinch the basil. I love my neighbors and have no problem taking care of a garden for them, plus it keeps the poison bottle use at a minimum.

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July 7th

Not a whole lot going on in SQWIBS garden, I planted quite a few Okra seeds in various spots, trimming some plants here and there, trench composting quite a bit, working on my Rainwater Catchment/Diverting system. Things are going pretty good, I am battling some kind of Fungus on my Box Car willie plant, removed my Cape Gooseberry from the front Hugelkultur bed and I am having some Issue with my Matts Wild Cherry.

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I'm a novice with Bee Balm, it got real leggy then flopped, I now know I need to cut it back in early spring. I'm leaving it be for now because its been bringing in humming birds.

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I'm real happy with my "Mini Guilds, this one has Maypops, Blueberries, Comfrey, Hollyhocks (that I haven't seen yet) and I just planted some Okra seeds, but I don't expect them to do anything, let alone sprout. When I trim around the yard a bit I toss it in this guild, this is two of the turtles favorite spot.
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This guild wasn't really planned, it just happened, there s a rosemary in there that needs to be moved to the front, also Blackberry, Artichoke, marigolds, some weed that I've been using as a chop and drop. I like to leave all this fill in because its perfect relaxation spots for the turtles.
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Here is a video of a poor attempt at capturing a hummingbird on video, however the video does give you an idea of how things are doing in my garden.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

July 7th

I got a little done this weekend, Friday after work I started digging out the pathway stones and a few inches of soil, we decided to put in a mini rain garden here. When it rains the water runs down this path and onto the patio towards the drain, I'm trying to catch some water and channel the water to the drain a little better.

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Saturday, Laura and I stopped at HD to Look at some flowers and once there decided to grab these. Our game plan was to look at what HD had then go to a nursery, but I was actually more impressed with HD's choices, thats pretty sad!

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I had Sam help me out, after all the rocks and soil were dug out I cut the lawn and had Sam rake the grass clippings in the rain garden, I then topped with a few small bags of peat moss and 5 gallon bucket of my compost and about a 1/4 cup of Blood Meal. I then mixed everything up with a few inches of the clay soil. Sam planted the new plants for me then mulched the top. The marigolds got beat up a bit when I separated them, I had quite a few up on the hill all growing in a clump. My only concern is this area gets 5 hours of sun from afternoon till evening, I'm hopping its enough. I tested the garden out with a 55 gallon drum of water 90 percent full. I pumped the water out in about 10 minutes and it caught at least half of the water before it went towards the drain.
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I battled some Aphids on my Table Dainty plants but it appears I am loosing, Tried neem oil with a few drops of dish detergent, I guess I'm gonna have to go out and spray the leaves every other day. I also have been keeping up on my Zucchini plants with Bt spraying the stem and soil surface real good, maybe 2 or 3 times a week.

I also wanted to try setting up another trellis from the deck. I want to grow Honeydew here next year, as a test I set it up and tossed in a few Cantaloupe plants from HD, This trellis is removable.
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I had these stakes left over from when I purchased some landscape edging for diverting the rain water on the patio, these stake the bottom of the trellis nicely.
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Here are a few shots from the garden.

The pepper plant bounced back. To be honest, I'm a bit confused as to what it is, I had it labeled as a Tabasco but I think it was replaced with a Corno di Toro Rosso?

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Turtle Guild (that's what I call it now, they love it here!)
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Artichoke, you really got to watch these guys, they start to open very quickly, I just got this guy in time.
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I am really impressed with the Spaghetti Squash plants, I think there are at least 6 Squash so far.
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This is what happens when the pepper is bigger than the plant, sunscald.
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These Poblanos are earmarked for some Chili Rellenos, woohoo!
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Food break.... we got to enjoy a few of our tomatoes and I had asked Laura to make me some "jalapeno poppers", but there was a mis-communication... my fault. I sent her a list of ingredients and included Jalapenos in the list, so the poppers are not from the garden (sad face).

It's pretty awesome when you are having a discussion with your spouse on where to go out for lunch and you both agree you would rather eat at home knowing there's some home grown veggies waiting.
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This morning I got a little surprise, my Koi pond was half drained, looks like I'm gonna be late for work today! The veggie filter outlets got plugged and the water was running out of the veggie filter underneath the pond, I usually have the pump that feeds the veggie filter higher up in the main pond just for this reason, somehow it had dropped to the bottom of the main pond. I fixed the problem and added half the water back, I'll top it off tonight and tomorrow so I don't shock the fish.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

July 10th

The 10 day is gonna be dry!
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Me learning how to use the camera incorrectly!!!
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Here's the pic I was trying to take.
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Weeds serving another purpose.
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2nd artichoke from this plant
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My first BB !!!
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First flower on the Purple Thai Yard Long Beans
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One of my pollinators hard at work on the comfrey.
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Sunflower for the birds.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

July 10th

After work today I checked on my Table dainty "aphid problem", it don't look good, I put out a terro bait yesterday to get rid of the ants and will keep spraying for the aphids. It's a shame everything is shriveling up. This morning I checked and it seems the ant population has seriously declined.

I got tired of looking at my Box Car Willie plant in the planter so I ripped that out, it had one tomato the size of a marble and all the flowers were just brown. I replaced the BCW with a volunteer I pulled from my Vertical tower, we will see if it takes.


I learned last year to pull the Cherokee purples before they are ripe or they split like a 17 yr old married couple.
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Minor split on top
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What the hell is wrong with my Rutgers? The plant and fruit look OK, I'm wondering if it was a seed mix up or some funky cross or something, it looks like a Tigerella or Red Zebra. I ordered these seeds from Bakers Creek.
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Image from Bakers Creek website
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Red Zebra (image from internet)
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Red Zebra (image from internet)
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Yay, a viable zucchini.
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Eggplants are doing nicely, the Listada di Gandia set fruit much quicker than the Black Beauties and the plants are 25% larger. This one needs to be picked soon
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The spaghetti squash took over the neighborhood, I think my neighbor is going to have a good harvest this year, lol. This is the first Squash that was green, the rest all started out tannish/white.
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Everything looks great from a distance.
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I tasted one of the "Rutgers" last night and let me tell you it was the best tomato I have ever eaten in my life...EVER!!!

But seriously the tomato was OK, sweet with a little acid/tart flavor, nothing to write home about but just a decent tomato, although I was impressed at how thin the skin was.

Anyhow here's a few pics of the tomato and plant.
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OK Back to the garden, I went out and sprayed a lot of the plants with some Neem Oil, and Bt on the Zucchini plants. I'm not winning the Aphid battle but I'm not loosing either, I'll know in a few days. I have also been battling some type of fungus/virus who knows what it is. Also powdery mildew has reared its ugly head already on my squash plants, I'm not too worried about the spaghetti squash because there's a good amount of squash set on the plant already. I picked a few tomatoes and trimmed the comfrey a bit

There is also rain in the forecast, thank goodness.
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July 17th

Sunday we got a good bit of rain, I filled up my rain barrels and played around a bit. Still waiting for my 90 gallon rain barrel to arrive so I can finish my Rain Barrel harvesting system this year.

Sorry for the dizzying video!




Found this guy, not happy. I smacked him around a bit and said, "go tell your friends they'll get the same if they show their faces around here"
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Some random garden pics.
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Random food pics.

Chicken, Feta, Egg, Red Onion, Chopped popper and Perpetual spinach wrap.
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Popper burger - Burger, popper, Am. cheese, red onion, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard (finishing up my poppers, lol)
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Turkey club, (shoulda' toasted it)
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A Sulcata that we are fostering until we can find him a home. Strawberry all over her face lol.
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Apparently I'm not the only one that likes a good butt scratch.


Table Dainty squash isn't looking good, I may throw in the towel if it don't look better by this weekend.

My neighbor was out doing some yard work with his daughter and was thrilled at the spaghetti squash growing on his side. He said they were 30" long and 40 pounds, I laughed and thought he needs to clean off his glasses.

There's also a volunteer pumpkin plant that appeared on his side with an itty, bitty pumpkin.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

July 17th

Woohoo, the Cavalry is here!
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Reliance grape vine is coming along nicely.
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I may have to put the table dainty out of its misery
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The rain garden perked up and the plants around the pond are doing OK.
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Not sure what is happening with the 3rd tomato plant from the left (Brandywine Red). It hasn't put on any new flowers or grown anymore in the last few weeks.
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two of my Texas tomato cages got blown over in the storm today. The problem is these are Hugelkultur beds and I can't get the cages in deep enough for support before they hit logs or sticks, next year I'll beat in a few pieces of rebar.
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Getting a 2nd harvest of strawberries and my Giant Leader Cabbage is starting to form a head, its only been 4 months!!
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July 20th

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Random garden pics

Chia sees for living mulch.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

August 1st

Been a while since I updated this page, been pretty busy with other stuff.


Tossed some water lettuce in the pond.
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Haul for the shore
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At the condo (OC MD)
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Food Pics

Fried Eggplant, Poblanos stuffed with cheese and sweet peppers, fried poppers..
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I gotta say that I like the Listada di Gandia better than the black beauty, taste is better, cooks better, skin is not as tough. This is a winner.


Jimmy Nardello peppers fried with Burrato Cheese and French Bread, everyone raved over this. Toasted french bread would have even been better.
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Tried this Eggplant Bacon recipe and it was a fail, however the marinade was awesome, I may try it on something else. I tried recycling it into a dip and it was OK, barely!
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Mountains of oyster shells we found while hiking.
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July 28th


OK Vacation is over ... back at home...

Garden pics when I got home
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Haul when I got home
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Hardening off a few spaghetti squash.
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Garden woes... gave up on the Table Dainty and pulled them. Spaghetti squash plants are dying, got a few SVB in the squash, pulled the Zucchini plant (SVB), have a few tomato plants that aren't doing well (pulled one, may need to pull two more), asparagus didn't grow hardly at all and a few pepper plants are pretty stunted.



Poblanos are going crazy
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Canned some salsa
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Why I love oregano in the garden.




Friendly garden critters.
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Food pics

Spaghetti squash, feta, basil and tomatoes.
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But first, I had to get rid of this guy.
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August 1st

Harvest after work today
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Pond is doing well but I really need to clean the filters.
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Made some lunches for work, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Jalapeno, Oregano, Basil.
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I really need to get some trimming done.
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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Looking really great!

...and ah HA! So you came across the oyster shells in MD! I was wondering where in Philly area there would be such a place.

Also, this is the time of the year when I watch the weather radar red/orange/yellow/green blobs of storm systems march from south to north on your side of the Delaware R., with maybe fringe puffs of clouds scattering drops that may or may not fall on this side, certainly not as east as my area. (Also, my area has some kind of secret anti-rain device that activates and splits storm systems over us, the system re-coalesce after it has passed without raining....) The weather folks keep giving us false hope because they want to promise us a % chance just in case the system shifts a few miles this-a-way, but nope. On the other hand, you probably get hammered by some of those storms, too.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

applestar wrote:Looking really great!

...and ah HA! So you came across the oyster shells in MD! I was wondering where in Philly area there would be such a place.

Also, this is the time of the year when I watch the weather radar red/orange/yellow/green blobs of storm systems march from south to north on your side of the Delaware R., with maybe fringe puffs of clouds scattering drops that may or may not fall on this side, certainly not as east as my area. (Also, my area has some kind of secret anti-rain device that activates and splits storm systems over us, the system re-coalesce after it has passed without raining....) The weather folks keep giving us false hope because they want to promise us a % chance just in case the system shifts a few miles this-a-way, but nope. On the other hand, you probably get hammered by some of those storms, too.

Fresh Pond Trail Delaware Seashore - Fresh Pond State Park

Just got done pouring here at work about 30 minutes ago, Bristol.
Rained most of the week in Philly when I was in OC MD, rained a few days ago too

Rain in forecast til Sat. Night.

Sorry your not getting much.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

August 6th

This weekend was a bust, had to work Saturday. On the way to work, I liberated one of these for my Butterfly Garden, I also grabbed a Milkweed, but sadly I don't think its going to make it.
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I got a few fall crops planted and I thought I was being pretty slick using old Tortillo shells to plant my fall crops, that was until the little rat dog came by and ate all the shells.
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Artichoke
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Pulled the last of the Spaghetti squash, got two more squash that are free of SVB's


Everything in the garden is in its, what I like to call, "weird stage", Crickets have taken over, plants seem to be frozen in time, the grass is even getting funky, my lawn is overcome with this weird looking grass (Bermuda?) that grows by runners, happens every year, lots of heat, rain and humidity. This runner grass is in most of my beds, planters and pots, it's even coming up through the pavers.

I cut back a lot of the Chia plants that I had inter planted for green manure.

The Hugelkultur beds are sinking significantly this year, that's a good thing, I have been direct composting in these low spots and filling in with green manures, shredded paper, cardboard and grass clippings.

I'm basically just letting everything do its thing.

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Laura had asked Stephen to shred the mail and I thought, Hmmm, mulch and said, "I'll do it", so for the next several hours I sat on the floor painstakingly going through all the mail, separating it then shredding while watching SG-1 on Hulu. I even shredded the packing kraft paper that comes in shipped packages, I then got a little crazy and started shredding the pizza boxes.
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Food pics,

Frittata - Havarti Cheese with dill, Perpetual Spinach, Red Onion, Ham, Milk, Eggs. The Frittatta was excellent.
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Got some canning done made a double batch of "Ball's Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Puttanesca sauce". I learned two things from this go around with canning,

1) Don't ever double a recipe until you have tried it.
2) Don't can in the house when its 95°F outside.

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I am totally disappointed and can kick myself in the @SS, I canned 8 jars and have 7 to go, it was a lot of work and I sacrificed 4 pounds of eggplant and 10 pounds of tomatoes from the garden.
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After work today I strained the Puttanesca sauce and rinsed real well, put back in the pot, added a few quarts of Crushed tomatoes, basil, garlic, oregano and a pinch of red peppers and simmered for 30 minutes. Processed in a water bath using 1.5 liter jars adding a teaspoon of citric acid to each jar.
I think this will make a fine sauce for pizza

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

August 8th

It's too hot and humid to do any serious gardening other than some maintenance. Still getting rain every few days. Heavy rain in the forecast for tonight and rain Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Was very happy to see a bunch of Honey Bees visiting the Spearmint Flowers.
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Starting to get a bunch of Maypop Fruit, hopefully I'll toss together a Maypop Jam in a couple of weeks.
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Laura made some Cole slaw from the cabbage and it was a fail! I have one head left still growing, if it's still good were going to make Galumpkis


My Reliance Grape vine is coming along nicely.
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Definitely need to work on the tomato supports in the hugelkultur beds next year. I'm loosing my Box Car Willie, I may cut it down once the tomatoes are ripening a good bit. Marigolds are taking over, I need to trim them back a bit.
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I removed most of the Basil, it took over the Asparagus bed, I am very disappointed in the asparagus.


Hardening off the Spaghetti squash, note the one in the center was green when I pulled it from the plant, (bottom picture). I'll pull seeds from it just in case I do decide to grow it again.
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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

I have one head left still growing, if it's still good were going to make Galumpkis
“Great minds” SQWIB! I told my BIL to have his mom make those with the heirloom tomatoes last weekend when he told me he is having trouble with splitting from all the rain, and tomatoes are going bad quicker than they can eat them. He was really happy with the suggestion so I imagine they did.

There’s a sort of fixed brainwashing going on that tomato sauce needs to be made with “sauce” tomatoes, but great tasting super ripe heirlooms make fantastic sauce/soup.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

applestar wrote:
I have one head left still growing, if it's still good were going to make Galumpkis
“Great minds” SQWIB! I told my BIL to have his mom make those with the heirloom tomatoes last weekend when he told me he is having trouble with splitting from all the rain, and tomatoes are going bad quicker than they can eat them. He was really happy with the suggestion so I imagine they did.

There’s a sort of fixed brainwashing going on that tomato sauce needs to be made with “sauce” tomatoes, but great tasting super ripe heirlooms make fantastic sauce/soup.
I totally agree, I never was on board with the "paste tomato only" recommendations.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

August 14th

The garden is doing very well. With all the recent rain it looks like the tomato plants shot up a good bit, they outgrew the Texas Tomato Cages, the poblano on the left center is nearing 6' tall and is loaded with peppers. I turned off the irrigation and have been watering with my rain water barrel this week. I'm going to see how far I can go before I need to turn it back on.
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The Reliance Grapes are doing better than I could have hoped for.
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Did a bit more trim work on the trunk and cordons.
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Removed a few tomato plants that were struggling to make room for the other plants, the plants on the hill have exploded. I pruned the Hardy Kiwi, there were several main stems that were twining, so I cut them at the base and started the tedious task of unwinding the cut stem from the main trunk. I'm going to cut them just below the trellis and hopefully get a couple cardons.

Harvested my first batch of Yard Long beans, and cooked them, I don't like green beans and would rather eat these instead. I don't think anyone else cared for them but I think my family felt bad and really didn't say much. They were OK but I don't think I'll grow them again. I'll finish the year with them and make dilly beans.
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Cooked another spaghetti squash, this was the one that was green (pictured above) tried it with a Sage Butter. I liked this squash much better than the first one we tried but not enough to regrow it next year. It had a very pleasant smell when cut open, reminded me of cantaloupe. I did save seeds from this just in case.
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I had to cut back a lot of stuff. A lot of the trimmings were chopped and remained in the beds as mulch, other trimmings went into the compost heap and questionable trimmings went into the firepit.
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I planted some Detroit Radish on the back hill, left and right of the tiger lilies, around the playhouse trellis and in the front Hugelkultur bed. Here I am trying out my shredded paper mulch.
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The pond is doing real good this year, no string algae... KNOCK WOOD!! The pepper plants aren't doing too good in the veggie filter this year, they are still producing but look stunted, I usually fertilize twice in a season but just added some 10-10-10 to the peps this weekend... long overdue. I'm pretty conservative with adding anything for the plants that reside in the veggie filter for the safety of the fish. If they don't bounce back a bit, I may try to find something else to grow in the veggie filter next year. The water lettuce will make a fine compost this year, I may even just plop these in the hugelkultur beds as mulch. I am very pleased with the Rain Barrel I hooked up to the pond, I have only had to top it off twice this year, the rest has been supplied by the Rain Barrel, its on a timer that cycles on and off twice a day for an hour, the feed line is a 1/4" hose.
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I cut back all of the perpetual spinach and my daughter took the cuttings to the AARK for the animals, also pulled my old woody beets to feed to the AARK animals.

Added some fertz (Leftover Milorganite, yeah, yeah, I know!) to the flowers and shrubs and 10-10-10 to the potted plants. I don't add any type of fertilizers to the non-potted plants with the exception of flowers and shrubs, only compost.

The yard is loaded with critters, more so this year than any other year, the Carpenter Bees look like they're getting drunk on the Passion Flower. The oregano and Mint is loaded with insects.


Maypops are going nuts, next year I'm going to figure out an arbor or something for them to climb a bit neater.
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Wasn't sure if this was a thread waisted wasp or Mud dauber.
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Some crazy looking spider.
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Looks like a frog with 4 eyes!
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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

From the posture, I think it’s a jumping spider....

Hmm... eggplants are better than peppers with extra moisture.... or you might want to try micro-dwarf tomatoes if you need smaller stature plants. Shorter pepper plants tend to be hot peppers and prefer drier growing medium I think? Thicker walled peppers do better with more moisture.

If you can find fresh waterchestnuts (early spring) you might try growing them — I Think you would need the entire trough (maybe a windowbox) rather than individual pots.

I *thought* I found water chestnuts at Hmart and grew them last year, but they turned out to be some kind of (edible) arrowleaf bog plant — they Overwintered in one of those white square 2.5 gal pots in the bottom of the pond after it got pushed off the shelf and into the deep by some critter (I realize now, probably raccoon). They actually managed to send up leaves all the way up and are thriving this year — you can see them in the middle of my pond. I really should pull them out this fall....

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

applestar wrote:From the posture, I think it’s a jumping spider....

Hmm... eggplants are better than peppers with extra moisture.... or you might want to try micro-dwarf tomatoes if you need smaller stature plants. Shorter pepper plants tend to be hot peppers and prefer drier growing medium I think? Thicker walled peppers do better with more moisture.

If you can find fresh waterchestnuts (early spring) you might try growing them — I Think you would need the entire trough (maybe a windowbox) rather than individual pots.

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I may try a few eggplants in there next season.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018


August 23rd


The garden is doing fairly well, all the peppers are really starting to produce, some smaller plants are growing fruit as tall as the plants and rotting as they touch the soil, I have some plants 14" tall and some are near 5' tall, go figure. I am loosing one of my Eggplant Plants, it's being shaded out by a poblano, which blows my mind. The funky rutgers tomato plant is putting out a lot of tomatoes, there is definitely something wrong with this plant, some tomatoes look beautiful and some look scarred.

I'm eating and giving away a lot of eggplant and freezing a ton of tomatoes.

The Thai Purple Podded Yard Long Beans have escaped and are climbing the hedges in the neighbors yard, I'm going to let these die off and harvest the seeds for pulses.

I have been using the water lettuce from the pond for fertilizer/mulch for some plants, the pepper plants aren't doing too good in the veggie filter, the jalapeno is the only one that looks decent, the poblanos look a little better than the Jimmy Nardellos, they all have peppers but small in size.

No signs of the Detroit Red Radishes I planted.

I have been messing with my Rainwater setup, I'll post that on my Rain Harvesting page when finished. Other than that I've just been tweaking the garden and doing a lot of trench composting.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

August 28th

I have been working on the Koi Pond rebuilding the Faux bricks on the sides, trimmed back a lot of the mints and basil plants.

My new rain barrel came in and I played with that a bit, more on that later in the season when its finished.



Making some mulch
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A couple peppers for my Sausage Peppers and onion I am canning.
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Ruby King center, the others are store bought.
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For the 2019 season, I think I'm gonna replace my Corno di Toro Giallo's and Rosso's with the Red Marconi.
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First Batch
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Canned 21 quart jars and only had one that did not seal, that was lunch yesterday and today, half the jars have whole sausage links for sandwiches and half are sliced. My wife doesn't care for the hots but they are my favorite, but for her, I done a 25% hot, 75% sweet ratio. The sweets are cut on a diagonal and the hots are cross cut. The "Links" jars have 2 sweets and 2 hots in each. The last batch of links (4 jars) I added a few poblanos, a can of RO*TELL to the existing peppers and onions and blended with an immersion blender for a smooth sauce.
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Saving some seeds.
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September 4th, 2018


The compost is doing well, these are Bio-degradable packing peanuts.
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Critters

I have seen a few more yellow finches here and there, they really love the sunflowers. Sorry no picture, they're just too dam skittish.
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These are probably the only insect that really bother me, for some reason they like to get in your face and buzz all around you. They seem really attracted to alcohol, these pineapple chunks were sitting in grain for quite a while.
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Garden

I really haven't noticed any difference between the Giant Marconi and Red Marconi, both plants are doing equally well. The seeds were graciously sent from a forum member.
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Canning

Picked 3.5 pounds of Jalapenos for a batch of cowboy candy, the reds that were not crisp are set aside to dry and make chili powder. Roasted and canned some poblanos a few of the reds that weren't firm were set aside for chili powder.
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Got 8 jars and canned the remaining syrup for another 4 batches of Jalapenos
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Roasted and peeled the poblanos, used trimming and simmered for a broth to use as a canning liquid.
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In retrospect, I wish I would have canned in 8 oz. jars.
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Chili powder. These will be dried and placed in the refrigerator in a mason jar unsealed then processed in a coffee mill. I'll continue to add Jalapenos and Poblanos til the end of the season.
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Food

Red Marconi and Buratta cheese. We usually make this with Jimmy Nardello peppers, these are Red Marconi and just needed to be cooked twice as long. The family liked these just as much as the Jimmy Nardellos.
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Basil, mozzarella, grape tomatoes (store bought tomatoes)
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Nachos
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Fried garden peppers, chives and cheese omelet with fried butter, garlic, crushed red pepper toast and a side of fried hard salami. Apple juice and coffee.
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

September 10th

Played in the garden a bit. I had this piece of bark that I decided to cover up one of my 4x4 posts.
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the Garden is still producing, the eggplant on the hill exploded.

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Breakfast

Mac n' Cheese omelet with fried sweet peppers

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Canning

Working on my canning stuff, Canned some Roasted Red Marconi peppers and a few Ruby Red Bell's then made some Turkey Taco Meat and canned that. Tweaking the pantry for more goodies.
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Stopped at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve and Bowman's Hill Tower. Picked up some plants for my Butterfly Garden - Butterfly Weed, Swamp Milkweed, New England Aster, Purple Cone Flower and some Black eyed Susan's. Got everything planted right away.
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I saw this Aphid Eater Block House for sale but they didn't have any, I may research this and make one from a piece of log and keep in a few of my gardens.
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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Oooh jealous! I really wanted to go to the plant sale, but we had a family thing going on this weekend.

Glad you got some nice stuff. :wink:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

applestar wrote:Oooh jealous! I really wanted to go to the plant sale, but we had a family thing going on this weekend.

Glad you got some nice stuff. :wink:
And thanks for the heads-up on the sale

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

September 10th - 16th

I started planting my cover crops
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The garden is starting to get a bit out of control, everything is growing out of their cages and flopping over. I was up on the hill trying to support the poblanos and eggplant plants. The eggplant plant ripped the cage out of the ground. The poblanos are growing out sideways about 2' past the cage. The tomatoes grew out of the TTC's and are growing anywhere they can. I may need to start cutting some stuff back and tying things up a bit.
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Tabascos are starting to come in, a lot of my pepper plants really start producing in September.
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This will give you an idea on how wet it has been, I haven't seen the sun in nearly a week. Needless to say, I turned my water off September 6th.
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The excessive rain has pretty much destroyed my heirloom tomatoes as they are splitting like crazy, usually I can scavenge a few split ones and either eat them right away or, core, cut out the split and freeze, I always smell the cut area because sometime they start rotting underneath the split. Between sight, smell and feel I can pretty much perform a successful surgery. My unaffected tomatoes has been my "so-called" Rutgers tomato plant, not one split at all.

The water lettuce in the pond has done real well this year and I have been harvesting a lot of the lettuce during the growing season as a mulch. Here I am gathering some water lettuce to top portions of my beds for a cover crop.
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The drip line is pulled up, this can be a chore with the roots entwined in the drip line, especially the roots from the oregano. The drip line is turned off by the small valve in the line, each bed section has its own valve. I will handwater from the Rain Barrel at this point. Everything is cut back to the soil level and chopped up and placed back in the bed, this is so much easier now that I have a pair of Felco pruners. The next step is to cover everything with some water lettuce.
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A bucket of My compost is dumped on top.
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Oats are added and lightly tapped in.
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Another layer of Oats is added and a handful of Crimson Clover, then I tap over the whole area with my Hori Hori, followed by a good watering. The area is then covered until I get some sprouts.
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Another bed done the same way but using the potting soil from my retired Vertical Tower.
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Its been 8 days and every day is has rained to some extent, the Sun still hasn't made an appearance.
I've been slowly going through sections of my beds, pulling up the drip lines, chop and dropping weeds, some veggie plants and early season cover crops then adding compost and planting a fall cover crop (Oats and Crimson Clover).


I don't know what the heck is going on with this zucchini plant, no fruit yet but a ton of mushrooms. This soil with the mushrooms will be spread out over a few of the beds.
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Eggplants are really putting on fruit, I'll be cooking plenty of eggplant dishes and giving some eggplant away, I wont be freezing any eggplant dishes this year.

Tomatoes have me totally disappointed, I have a lot of fruit that has set but most of the fruit that is somewhat red is split, half ripe and infested with gnats and ants, some I can save and some I can't. I definitely will be trying some Hybrids next year, the weather this year has been really rough on my heirlooms.

The "True Black Brandywine" and the "Cherokee Purple" really produced this year but more than half was not worth saving. The Brandywine Red tomatoes are not producing near as much but have had more salvageable fruit.
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Volunteer Bok Choy.
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Artichoke that will probably be removed and used as mulch.
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Oats sprouted after 4 days
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My rain barrel came in Friday the 14th, so I played with that a bit. Full post coming soon.
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This weekend I got some yard work done, cut the grass, while I was cutting the grass I found a little surprise.

Let me tell you the whole story, anyone that reads my threads know that we rescue box turtles and have a few full timers in the yard.
Last season my daughter had a few she was rehabbing in the yard that wintered over then were released.
Well Speedy (full timer) was digging a few months ago and I figured she was going to lay some eggs, I didn't think much of it because the eggs are never viable.


June 20th

Speedy digging a nest
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September 13th

Anyhow last week, I noticed a hole where she was digging and the hole looked like it was made from the inside out, sorta looked like a cave. When I peered inside I saw an egg that was broken open. I told the family that their may be a baby in the yard but there would be no way we would ever find it.
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They all thought I was nuts, because both turtles in the yard are female. Well...this morning armed with a weed whacker I was cutting the lawn an noticed this little brown spot, I thought it was a leaf when I went over it with the weed wacker but then it started to move.
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My daughter was working on her essays for vet school when I walked in and plopped it in front of her and with a smile on my face I said, "so ya'll thought I was nuts". She couldn't be happier. She went into care taker mode and made sure he/she was hydrated. Her assumption is it's at least two weeks old because the egg sack is completely absorbed, however she is worried that it may have been born too late in the season to survive.
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OK back to the garden,

Made some more mulch.
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Trimmed and cut back more plants in the veggie garden and have been adding compost and planting cover crops in the beds. Battled some Aphids and Ants on my Concord Grape vine with neem and dish soap.

Drying some herbs and making some infused Olive oil.
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Garden pics

Chopped and dropped around the tree then mulched.
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Mulched the grapes with coffee grounds and shredded cardboard mulch
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My compromise pot, she wanted flowers and I wanted veggies.
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Oats are coming up nicely.
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I forgot all about the Okra seeds that I tossed in here a while back.
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Maypops are going nuts in the back yard.
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I had my buddy over and loaded him up with some veggies to take to his moms, she was thrilled. I'm now trying to get him into gardening, we'll see!
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This poblano plant is so loaded with peppers that branches were snapping off.
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This is from one branch that snapped.
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My first year with yacon
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I have no idea what this is.
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Finally got a chance to work on a few stumps, I got tired of tripping over them.
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Garden Breakfast
Sour Cream and Chive scramble with sweet peppers and a side of Garlic toast with Olive oil and crushed red pepper.
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Gary350
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

All that stuff your, growing, cooking, canned looks good especially the sausages. Your in a cooler climate than us i wonder if that is helpful for growing peppers, I have always heard peppers like hot weather. What soil do you use to grow peppers? Do you grow peppers in full sun all day? Do you water your plants? I like your sweet Red Macaroni Peppers I may try to find seeds for those next year. I have to buy what is available local at, Lowe's, Home Depot, Garden Store, I have never seen red Macaroni for sale here. I have never seen Ruby Red either. My plants never produce peppers until about mid Sept when weather gets cooler & days get shorter Oct is my month to harvest the most peppers if I can get plants to grow taller than 3 ft. This year I did soil preparation on a few plants and fertilizer on other plants, soil preparation seems to work better than fertilizer. My pepper plants always seem to suffer all summer in full sun or shade in 96 degree heat. I never water my garden no matter how hot & dry it gets it makes grass & weeds grow but this summer I watered the 6 pepper plants that I fertilized and the other peppers that never got water or fertilizer seem to be doing better. I wish I could compare what your doing to what I am doing I would love to grow a bushel basket of red Macaroni next year for paprika & chili powder.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Gary, I tend to over water but that is something I am working on.
My poblanos, Ruby Red and Red Marconi are in my native clay soil amended with Peat, Black Cow, Bio char, rabbit bedding and manure, my compost and compost from the recycle center.

Fall time I plant a cover crop.

The beds on the hill get full sun most of the day

I also have peppers in my hugelkultur beds with the same soil structure as the raised beds but less clay soil. These beds get a little less sun.
I seem to get my pepper explosion in September. But my poblanos and Jalapeno's I get earlier.

I haven't used store bought soil ammendments or fertilisers the last three seasons (Black Kow, Peat was a one time deal when making the beds).
I do use my own compost, bio-char, potash and Urea.
I interplant with cover crops throughout the season and nothing is removed from the bed unless it's diseased, everything is chop and drop the entire season.
In the fall, I dress with compost or spent potting mix and plant a cover crop.
Come spring/late winter when the cover crop is dead and decomposing, I'll top with whatever I have on hand, leaves, compost, rabbit manure, bio-char.
I also trench compost a lot during the growing season.

BTW, I totally agree on the soil preparation.

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Gary350
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

SQWIB wrote:Gary, I tend to over water but that is something I am working on.
My poblanos, Ruby Red and Red Marconi are in my native clay soil amended with Peat, Black Cow, Bio char, rabbit bedding and manure, my compost and compost from the recycle center.

Fall time I plant a cover crop.

The beds on the hill get full sun most of the day

I also have peppers in my hugelkultur beds with the same soil structure as the raised beds but less clay soil. These beds get a little less sun.
I seem to get my pepper explosion in September. But my poblanos and Jalapeno's I get earlier.

I haven't used store bought soil ammendments or fertilisers the last three seasons (Black Kow, Peat was a one time deal when making the beds).
I do use my own compost, bio-char, potash and Urea.
I interplant with cover crops throughout the season and nothing is removed from the bed unless it's diseased, everything is chop and drop the entire season.
In the fall, I dress with compost or spent potting mix and plant a cover crop.
Come spring/late winter when the cover crop is dead and decomposing, I'll top with whatever I have on hand, leaves, compost, rabbit manure, bio-char.
I also trench compost a lot during the growing season.

BTW, I totally agree on the soil preparation.
I know what you mean about pepper explosion this time of the year my plants are getting heavy limbs are breaking off. One year I tilled a 3.3 cu ft bale of peat moss into the soil & that was the year my sweet bell pepper plants were 7 ft tall & I had 2 bushel baskets of peppers. I never did know for sure if peat moss preparation helped or something else I don't remember helped. This year I did no soil preparation at all winter seemed like it was boring 14 months long. We went camping 3 to 4 days every week, I planted the garden when we were home. I have Urea & 15-15-15 fertilizer, I forgot to use it much this year except on a few peppers, I only fertilized with wood ash & pellet lime. I will get peat moss & cow manure this spring. It looks like you have lots of organic material on your peppers I think that must be what peppers like. If your using Urea it needs calcium to convert Urea to a type of nitrogen plants can use.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Gary350 wrote:
SQWIB wrote:Gary, I tend to over water but that is something I am working on.
My poblanos, Ruby Red and Red Marconi are in my native clay soil amended with Peat, Black Cow, Bio char, rabbit bedding and manure, my compost and compost from the recycle center.

Fall time I plant a cover crop.

The beds on the hill get full sun most of the day

I also have peppers in my hugelkultur beds with the same soil structure as the raised beds but less clay soil. These beds get a little less sun.
I seem to get my pepper explosion in September. But my poblanos and Jalapeno's I get earlier.

I haven't used store bought soil ammendments or fertilisers the last three seasons (Black Kow, Peat was a one time deal when making the beds).
I do use my own compost, bio-char, potash and Urea.
I interplant with cover crops throughout the season and nothing is removed from the bed unless it's diseased, everything is chop and drop the entire season.
In the fall, I dress with compost or spent potting mix and plant a cover crop.
Come spring/late winter when the cover crop is dead and decomposing, I'll top with whatever I have on hand, leaves, compost, rabbit manure, bio-char.
I also trench compost a lot during the growing season.

BTW, I totally agree on the soil preparation.
I know what you mean about pepper explosion this time of the year my plants are getting heavy limbs are breaking off. One year I tilled a 3.3 cu ft bale of peat moss into the soil & that was the year my sweet bell pepper plants were 7 ft tall & I had 2 bushel baskets of peppers. I never did know for sure if peat moss preparation helped or something else I don't remember helped. This year I did no soil preparation at all winter seemed like it was boring 14 months long. We went camping 3 to 4 days every week, I planted the garden when we were home. I have Urea & 15-15-15 fertilizer, I forgot to use it much this year except on a few peppers, I only fertilized with wood ash & pellet lime. I will get peat moss & cow manure this spring. It looks like you have lots of organic material on your peppers I think that must be what peppers like. If your using Urea it needs calcium to convert Urea to a type of nitrogen plants can use.
Thanks for the heads up!

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

September 19th

I like to start my cover crops covered with cardboard for a few days, the key is to wet the soil down real good and cover with cardboard and saturate the cardboard. Overcast days are great during this phase as the sun really dries out the cardboard quickly and you need to water more often ensuring the cardboard stay wet. Pizza boxes work great for this. I decided to add some peas and alfalfa to the beds and watered then in.

Removed cardboard after 3 days, I usually uncover after 3 or 4 days and I'm good.
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After one week, 3 days covered 4 days uncovered.
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My daughter made up a tank for the Box turtle.
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This guy was "side-eying" me!
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Rogue Daikon Radish, there must have been a radish seed in with the crimson clover.
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I'm sure a lot of folks are gonna cringe at how I prepped this bed for winter!

This is one of the hardest things for me to do at the end of the season. Cutting down tomato plants that are still flowering and loaded with tomatoes.
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Everything is cut down, the cages are removed, the drip line is turned off and moved out of the way. Tomato plants, and rogue weeds/plants are chopped up with my Felcos pruners then lightly chopped with the shovel, then saturated with rain water
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My weeds that have been sitting in the bucket of rain water and a bit of urea for a week are dumped onto the bed and scattered somewhat.
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A layer of shredded cardboard is placed on top.
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Cardboard is saturated with rain water.
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I had a bit of spent potting mix left over from when I removed my garden tower and dumped that on top of the cardboard.
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For this bed I'll be using mixed Lentils, Crimson Clover, Alfalfa and Oats as a cover crop. I thing the oats will probably pretty much choke most of the stuff out, well see. Seeds are broadcasted.
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Seeds are mixed in with a needle hose sprayer using rain water.
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The final step is to cover with cardboard, I used some pizza boxes. I will wet down the cardboard each morning and evening and when I have a good germination rate, I'll remove the cardboard and toss in the compost bin. It has been overcast lately but if it gets real sunny the cardboard dries out fairly quickly but the soil always stays moist.
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September 24th


Its been raining most of the month, the yard is like a swamp. The plants in the raised beds on the hill are still producing, Tomatoes, Eggplants, Poblanos, Red Marconi, Giant Marconi, Ruby Red and Jalapenos. I'll let these plants go until they look stressed or stop flowering. The leeks are getting a little shaded out but hanging in there. I also Have a volunteer eggplant by the fence that has set some nice fruit. The plants out front are doing well, although, I'm not real happy with my sunpatients
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Harvested my first Okra ever, I cant wait to grow more of these next year.
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I was impressed with the Okra flower and can see these being grown in front yards where vegetable gardens aren't allowed.
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Drying some Cayenne and Serrano for chili powder.
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Saving some seeds and going through my trays.
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One of the Maypops fell or was blown off of the trellis, It seemed a bit wrinkly and starting to yellow so my kids and I sampled it. It wasn't bad, a bit tart and had a citrus flavor. Sam and Stephen said it had a pear flavor. I took the rest after sampling and put in a few ounces of hot water and a pinch of sugar, strained and sat in the fridge. I tried it later and it made for a decent beverage.
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Oats in the front pots.
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The front hugelkultur bed is growing nicely, I wont touch this bed at all until the spring. Im curious to see what will happen in the spring.
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And had to make some Garden meals, I try to make something from the garden every weekend.

Garden Fritatta
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Garden Pizza
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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

September 26th

Buffalo Chicken Eggplant Parmigiana Burger
This thing was simply amazing, my mouth is watering posting this.
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Still Raining

Removed cardboard
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Everything appears to have germinated, I thought I put oats in here but don't see any, I'll leave it as is and see what happens.
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September 28th

Still raining.

Had a funeral yesterday and was home fairly early so I tried to keep my mind occupied by doing some gardening. Just did a bit of weeding, sprayed some neem on the milkweed and my one grapevine. Installed some lights on the Koi Pond Hugelkultur bed and installed another upright.

I received a nice compliment from the neighbors after the funeral, they were saying how serene and peaceful the front gardens are with the plants and Koi pond. Mostly everyone in my neighborhood has a green lawn and a few flowers and shrubs. Some of the neighbors stopped by and I gave them a tour of the herbs out front and told them they were for anyone to use. In disbelief they said, "we can just come up here and grab some herbs", I said, "yep, I tell all the neighbors to help themselves to the fresh herbs".
They smiled and starting calling it the "Greendale Community Garden" Greendale is the name of our street.

One of the neighbors replied, "I was wondering what you were always doing out front dumping stuff all over". Then I told them to enjoy the pond when they come up, we have a bench by the Koi pond and I keep fish pellets on the bench so folks can come by, have a seat and feed the fish as well, a few neighbors come by with their nieces and nephews and grandchildren.

Although we put to rest a Great neighbor and Friend, it was still a good day.

Maypops are ripening, I'm waiting till they drop before I take them, but it's a race with the squirrels ever since they tasted one.
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Messed with the landscape lighting, some bulbs are blown and some connections are bad. Replaced some Incandescent bulbs with LED's.
Got tired of fiddling with connections and ended up splicing directly into the wire and using wire nuts.


October 1st

Today the yard seems a little bit dryer, at least dry enough to get some yard work done. The neem oil has helped the common milkweed plant tremendously, it was flopped over a few days ago, after a good spray of neem oil and dish soap and it has perked up. The aphids have damaged my Concord Grapes, the ends are dead and not growing.

Got a few more beds done this weekend. The raised beds on the hill were chopped and dropped.
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This was a hard choice to make, some of the plants were loaded with buds. I harvested whatever I could, all these poblanos are from one plant. Hopefully, I will have time to roast and can some. Some of the reds were placed in the dehydrator for chili powder and most of the red sweets (Marconi, Ruby Red) and some of the green peppers (California Wonder) were frozen for the sauce that I will be making and canning when the weather gets a bit cooler.
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I still have a pepper plant in one of my Hugelkultur beds and a tomato plant and eggplant plant in my Hugelkultur pots, plus there's a rogue eggplant plant up on the hill that has some fruit on it, I'm going to leave them go as long as possible.

New toy, now I really look like a farmer.
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Drip line is pulled up and set aside. I learned to do this the hard way.
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Everything is cut down to soil level and chopped with a shovel. The Yard long beans are still growing, I'll let these go till a cold snap then take them down and harvest the beans.
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The yacon and Leeks will stay in the beds. I'm also leaving the artichoke plant alone. The Big Box Store tomato cages are stacked in the corner. Just need to get my buckets and milk crates tucked away and winterize the water lines and take in the valves and timers.
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After the plant massacre, I tossed on a tightly packed 5 gallon bucket of Water Lettuce from the pond. I tried harvesting just enough each time so the water lettuce would recover quickly so I had plenty of water lettuce for the beds.
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Spread out the water lettuce.
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Topped with my compost. Seeded with Alfalfa, Oats and Crimson Clover, I'll water this every morning and evening with some rainwater until everything has germinated and become somewhat established.
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I started playing with my lighting and couldn't wait for it to get dark to check it out.
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Cover crops in the Hugelkultur beds.
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Stacked my Texas Tomato Cages against the play house, need to find a place for them. Burnt up my pallets, cardboard, some yard waste and a bit of a maple tree.
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Ooops! picked up a red coal.
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Enjoyed some Matts Wild Cherry tomatoes from a rogue plant.
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Pulled some crab grass and weeds that had gone to seed and placed them in a bucket of rain water, they will sit in here for a week or so then will be dumped in a bed or the compost bin.

The next day the fire pit is sprayed lightly with water then later it is cleaned out and the Ashes and bio-char are "sparingly" placed in the beds and watered in.
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Breakfast
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Dinner (Eggplant Rollatini)
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Delivered some Rain Barrels to a fellow gardener.
Harvested some Eggplant seeds.
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Stupid dog in one of the Hugelkultur beds
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Saturday and Sunday night I was tweaking the Outdoor lighting, everything has been converted to LED lights. I still have a bit of tweaking to do, messing with positioning, uplighting, wattage and color temperature.
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SQWIB
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Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

October 6th

Some cleanup, I removed the trellis and will be using these for sweet potatoes in the raised beds on the hill next season.
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I think I'm gonna try a few Okra plants where the trellis was next season
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Getting some plants in for my 2019 season

Sacrificed my Artichoke plant, there just wasn't enough room to grow this plant and I have no doubt that this would have come back next year!
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My plants came in from, FastGrowingTrees.com. I was extremely impressed with the packaging. I was informed that these are pruned when shipped out but I'm not too sure.
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Spaced them 26" apart, I did notice that there were roots on the scion that was grafted to the root stock so I just brushed off the tiny roots and made sure to plant with the graft 3" above the soil level.

Green Columnar Apple Tree
Malus 'North Pole'

Red Columnar Apple
Malus 'Scarlet Sentinel'
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Celeste Fig. I'm most likely going to put this in the basement bathroom this winter then may up-pot, the following year.
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My ginger seems to have grown, now I'm not sure If I should pot this and bring it in during the winter or plop in in some peat and put in the basement.
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Some of the fall plants I put in are blooming, this is one of my goals for next year is to have more native flowers in the Butterfly / Hummingbird garden.
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I have been very careful with removing flowers this year, I have been trying to leave as much as possible for the wildlife to enjoy. Funny thing, a lot of the flowers blooming now were plants that were tossed in the trash at one of my daughters events.
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During work today, I liberated a "Roadside Goldenrod" Common Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis for the butterfly/hummingbird garden.
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October 8th

Tried a batch of my Cowboy candy. I'm really happy with how these turned out.
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Roasted and canned 5 pints of Poblanos.
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Tore out my yard long beans. The hardy kiwi was all tangled up in them so I wanted to get the hardy kiwi vines untangled and start training them. The neighbors hedges or whatever they are are becoming a bit of a pain. I had to climb up on top of the fence and cut a lot of the hedge back.
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Going to harvest the beans from these. I may grow these again next year and pick them immature and make "dilly beans" again. I made a batch a few months ago and we just tried a jar at my parents house and they were pretty darn good.
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A few red Marconi's that I picked last week and some Jimmy Nardello's from the pond. Saved some seeds from the Jimmy Nardello's and made a batch of Fried peppers with Burrata cheese.
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Was at my parents house Saturday and I seeded their Hugelkultur bed with oats and crimson clover.
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SQWIB
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Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

October 16th

Got some work done on my Rainwater Diverting project. Winterized the drip lines and the Koi pond
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Stopped at the recycle center and picked up some compost, double ground mulch and single ground mulch. I worked on my neighbors garden, laid out some cardboard and mulched.
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Cleaned up the yard a bit.
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Installed a hanger for my Texas Tomato Cages.
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Harvested my beans.
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Harvested my one and only Zucchini of the year.
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I have a few pepper plants still growing.
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Gathered some Maypops from the ground
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Cover crops are growing nicely, I added some diluted urea to the cover crop beds @ 10-1.
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Found out why my grapes were suffering, this cardboard seemed like an ant narcotic.
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SQWIB
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

October 22nd
Fig and cover crops, I may transplant this to the deck planter.
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Laura picked up her fall Mums.
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Cut back the Listada di Gandia Eggplant and put the planter to bed.
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Kale and perpetual spinach in the Koi Pond Hugelkultur bed.
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Passion flower still going like gangbusters
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October 29th

Still getting Ruby Red peppers, just eating them green, tomatoes and Tabasco peppers, Kale and Perpetual Spinach and chard are growing nicely, parsley is doing great.
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Harvested my horseradish
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Made my tomato sauce and canned.
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I really love my immersion blender.
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My last stop at the recycle center for the season. They close on the weekends at the end of October till the end of May, so I got some compost, single ground mulch (wood chips) and double ground mulch that I will be putting down when the cover crops die back.
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In situ composting
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Mulch :mrgreen: lol.
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Winterized the drip lines.
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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

That is interesting that your baking tomatoes in the oven, with a few peppers. Is there a reason for baking rather than cooking in a large pot? Does that add a special flavor to the tomato sauce? It looks like your putting, basil, onion, parley in your sauce?

I still have not gotten the hang of cooking with real home grown garden herbs vs dry herbs.

SQWIB
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Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Gary350 wrote:That is interesting that your baking tomatoes in the oven, with a few peppers. Is there a reason for baking rather than cooking in a large pot? Does that add a special flavor to the tomato sauce? It looks like your putting, basil, onion, parley in your sauce?

I still have not gotten the hang of cooking with real home grown garden herbs vs dry herbs.

Freezing the tomatoes then tossing them in the oven separates most of the water. these really weren't roasted this time around.

When I roast fresh tomatoes I roast until they cook down 4-5 hours and it does give it a much richer flavor, this time I used the stove top after a few hours in the oven, not as rich but still good but I prefer the fresh roasted. Maybe next year.

Yes fresh herbs and dried, some onion fresh and minced, fresh minced garlic, olive oil, oregano was the dried stuff, Worcestershire and soy sauce then whipped out the immersion blender and that took care of most of the seeds and skins.

I always try to toss in a few green and red peppers also so I don't have to add too much sugar if the acidity needs to be cut, a little black pepper helps also. This batch had a few pinches of red pepper flakes and a couple Red Poblanos and the sauce has no heat. Ill double that next time. I don't want it hot but a tiny bit spicy.

Next canning session will be a chunkier roasted sauce by roasting most of the tomatoes then blending with immersion blender then roasting the rest of the tomatoes with peppers and onions and process lightly for a chunkier sauce by mixing both together.

Last Year (richer sauce)
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here's a batch that was very rich with no peppers
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I just finished up my 2017 sauces.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

Looking good! Your energy and enthusiasm are inspiring! Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

applestar wrote:Looking good! Your energy and enthusiasm are inspiring! Image
I wish.

You are the one that is actual the inspiring one.

SQWIB
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Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

November 2nd

For folks that followed this thread from the beginning know my frustration with my 3 year old asparagus, well this season I put in 10 new crowns along with 2 from the original surviving 10 crowns, well that was also a bust only a few sprouted. I think I am the only person on the planet that cant grow asparagus and zucchini.

Anyhow, mother nature is doing a better job than me, found these 50' away up on the hill.
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Looks good
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Lets have a look at the crown, looks good.
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Tossed the little guys in my asparagus bed. I got three crown from this, hopefully they will take. It's actually a bit funny, last season I saw these sprouting all over the place and didn't give them much thought. These are Jersey Knights and supposed to be all male plants, not sure how they grew up on the hill.
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Great, these guys again, I think they know I planted some apple trees and have two peach trees on order. This is the only guy I saw and by the looks of him, he's not going to last very long.
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SQWIB
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Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Gardening Adventure 2018

November 5th

I got a lot done this weekend and my back is feeling it.
Got 80% of the wood stacked in the back yard over the weekend. If it wasn't for my Son and Daughter I would never get this done.
First piece I picked up there was a decent size Garter Snake. First I had to clean out and level an area for the wood.

Ants, I'm really getting tired of these things!
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1/2 cord dropped off.
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Cut back the Tabasco and re-potted to bring inside for overwintering.

Built a pressurized clean out for the overflow on the rain barrel.
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Found a new home for my irrigation equipment.
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Installed another 4x4 post for some cable and ran another length of the vintage cafe lights.
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I finished winter prepping a few more beds, I wanted to wait for a winter kill of the cover crops but the yard is looking pretty messy and I need to get it cleaned up, that and the weather was so nice especially Sunday. The yard is so small that a few buckets and pallets and it looks trashed! Topped the beds with cardboard then compost.
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When the beds settle a bit they'll be topped with double ground mulch and get a good watering with some rain water and urea. During the winter, leaves, rabbit manure/bedding, bio-char and other things will be tossed on top as they become available.
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This bed I am doing a bit differently. Rabbit manure and bedding then cardboard, yard trimmings and compost. When this settles a bit I'll top with Ramial? Wood Chips. I plan on planting a peach tree in the right corner and may be trying mushrooms this year. I checked out the wood chips I picked up and they have a lot of small branches with buds on them, there's also a bit of green leaves in with them.
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Started another batch of bio-char.

Re-potted all of the Mums in compost. Funny thing when were looking at Mums, Laura grabs the ones that are all opened up and look beautiful and I grab the ones that are just buds. Re-potted my daughters neglected succulents.
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Pulled some Leeks for dinner, one of our fall favorites.
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