jamie_z7bhz8

Veggie Tales - August 2019

Jamie
August 1, 2019

It’s August (where has the summer gone?) We have had a decent summer season by many of our plants are slowing down due to the heat. After a bit of a vacation, we will be clearing out a couple of the beds and preparing them for fall and winter crops.

Successes this season: cucumber and zucchini (as well as winter squashes)

Moderate success: tomatoes

poor performers: beans, peppers


Comments (314)

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    John - that's one of the things I don't like about the z-turn mowers...not being able to push them when they get stuck. And they seem to get stuck in a little mud quite easily.

    Cindy - I'll snap a picture of the white acorn next time I head out to the garden. It probably won't be tonight since we are supposed to be pretty darn hot today with heat index well above 100. It got hotter than they had forecast yesterday too. 96 when I got home. My broccoli and cauliflower were severely wilted so I ran the soaker hose on them for a couple hours. They looked much better this morning in the car headlights.

    Len - those runner beans look like they will be easy picken'. Are you letting them matrue to save seed?

  • RD Texas

    John here is a video about moving a z-turn mower-I am sure every manufacturer has different versions. http://husqvarna.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1229/~/video---how-do-i-manually-push-my-rz-series-zero-turn-mower%3F

  • cindy_7

    Thanks, Jack.

    We had more t-storms last night. Received 1.4" of rain this time. They are calling for more today with even more severe storms. And again tomorrow. And Thursday.

    Yesterday DC hit 98, here it was only 94. Today the heat index will be in the low 100s.

    Looking forward to Friday!!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Stay inside Cindy! I know I will be. No rain here today but tomorrow when the cold front pushes through we are supposed to get some pretty good storms. The front is currently pushing south through Iowa and Illinois and generating some strong storms up there.

  • cindy_7

    Jack - I just had to pick a few things for my chef. I came back inside dripping. He's coming by early this evening. This time I'm getting scallops and clams!

    Just looked at the weather map and it looks like there are two cold fronts. One just west of Chicago and the other one up in Minnesota. Hope that I am seeing this correctly.

    Two of my healthiest tomato plants are Pink Bumble Bee and Purple Bumble Bee. Steady producers, too. The Chyornyi Tarasenko seem to be taking a break in production. Hopefully it's because of the heat and humidity. This summer has been just plain wicked.

    Nayagous is on the 'do not grow again' list. The plant is scrawny and disease prone and the fruit was minimal.

    ETA - Our heat index right now is 98.

  • Jamie

    the heat index is 109 here now, Cindy - 90 degree temp and 73% humidity! I hope your's doesn't get that high!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Cindy - I need to get me one of those chef thingies! I don't think I could get the same goodies in trade as you do since I am 1000+ miles from the ocean. I think I've only had clams in chowder. I do love grilled sea scallops though. How do you usually prepare them?

    When I worked in Manila for a few months years ago I used to go to the fresh seafood markets often and then take the purchase over to a chef that would prepare it however you wanted. I usually had them cook it like they do at a Japanese steakhouse. I'd usually get scallops, baby octopus, and prawns that looked more like lobsters.

    I think the actual 'cold front' is between those two storms.


  • cindy_7

    Jack - If you're serious about the chef thingies, the best way to start is to find a restaurant that is not part of a chain and one that is fairly new as restaurants that are established usually have people/venders that they already deal with. I got lucky. When I first contacted this restaurant, they were looking for heirloom tomatoes as the person they were dealing with wasn't working out.

    I called them early in the season and when they were ready (the tomatoes) I took in a tray of various colors and shapes as samples and they were happy with them. Very happy with them. Then they started asking me what else do you have and now they take almost anything I have that's ready. I've been working with the same chef since 2005 and though he's changed jobs/restaurants, he's kept using my produce. I just text him when I have enough produce for him to pick-up.

    Should have asked for some octopus! Next time.

    Now that you mentioned it, I think that I will grill the scallops. Usually I just pan sear them in a cast iron skillet.

    Day 49 of 90+ temps here.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Thanks for the info Cindy. I doubt I could supply the volume that a chef would need unless I expanded my garden. There aren't that many high end restaurants around here and very few non chain seafood restaurants. Lots of steak houses and BBQ joints though. I did talk to the owner of a Mexican restaurant near my house a few years ago to see if he was interested but he obviously needed fresh produce year round and he owned 3 other MX places around the KC area too. I did trade him about 4 lbs, of garlic for a $50 gift certificate.

  • RD Texas

    98 degrees with 60% humidity here. The humidity is usually a lot higher but it hasn't rained in so long, i don't even remember what rain looks like...seems like it was wet and cooling...anyway it is like a fever dream now.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA

    I had a long post and it got deleted or lost somewhere. Too tired to retype it. Short version - Cant believe summer is just about over! And really working hard to put a cap on a great season with fall crops, cover cropping and adding beds for next year!

  • RD Texas

    Kevin, what kind of tomatoes are those in the first picture above?

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Great photos Kevin!

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA

    RD - Either Red Rosso Sicilian or Costoluto Genevese, I cant remember! - from Baker Creek! Thanks!



    Ughh why are the photos upside down!!!!!!!?!??! They are right side up on my phone, right side up on my computer, and when they get uploaded they flip.... If it werent for you all I would seriously consider never coming back to Houzz again.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Lovely long white on that leek!

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Kevin:

    It's my guess that an an image that was rotated when displayed on your computer will display here as unrotated unless you safe the file. And if it's too big it sometimes is rejected when attempting to upload it. I save mine at 2000 pixels on the longest side.

  • cindy_7

    Kevin - Agree with John. After the image is rotated, it must be saved first before you post it.

  • cindy_7

    We're having another round of "severe T-storms." Lots of noise out there and the temp is down to 77 degrees. Only two more days to go, then some nice cool weather.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Picked 3 tomatoes a Belgium Gigant, a Kellogg's Breakfast yellow and a Marianna's Peace that was partially eaten and trashed. They just started coloring up last Thursday, but they all seem a little soft

    edit: I bought a new belt, by dimensions. We thought I shouldn't spend time out in the heat, 87 and very humid. I thank all of you who supported me. They say you shouldn't tow it without the hydraulics bypassed. Only two hydraulic pumps and two hydraulic motor!!

  • Lyla (7A MD)

    Loving everyone’s harvest photos! My tomatoes did not enjoy their vacation neglect. They’ve suffered the same heat as Cindy’s without the TLC. The only one still pumping out fruit is the Gardener’s Delight cherry, though my fall starts are flowering now. They are suckers from my summer plants, plus a chocolate cherry and yellow pear. I’m hoping to freeze a useful amount for winter pasta dishes.


    I weeded/pruned pretty heavily today so the peppers can share some of the remaining sunlight. When the heat breaks, I’m going to pull all the eggplants—they got buried under some rogue zinnias and between that and the flea beetle damage, they look done. I’m home long enough to keep some fall crop seedlings alive finally, and it’d be nice to tuck some peas/spinach/carrots into that space. It seems like it’s getting late for a lot of things. I might try an experimental broccoli, it’d be interesting to see how far it gets by frost.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Went out with 2 year old Madison to the gardens this afternoon after work. She found 5 or 6 nice yellow Galina tomatoes, one Purple russian and a couple chocolate cherries. Madison also like the bunny rabbit that lurks in the front garden.


    All of us tasted and agree the Galina and chocolate cherries are keepers but no more Purple russians for us...just flavorless compared to the other two.


    Pam made dilly beans and cucumber relish today...beans were picked relatively small from NT half runner vines. I'm watching those to pick nice and lumpy to see how they cook and taste. Same story for the Tobacco worm beans that actually start out lumpy. We are out of town for 6 days starting next Wednesday so have to get everything under control by then.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Len - you just got back from vacation! I don't think I could get away with leaving my garden alone for more than 4 or 5 days in a row during July and August here. Just too much going on. I am going to the lake for 3 days over Labor day weekend but by then there won't be much left to harvest.

    Kevin - Beautiful! Are those pictures all recently taken? That's a lot of carrots! With all of the capital expenditures you made this year do you have a chance of breaking even?

    Lyla - I pulled 2 of my 3 eggplants last weekend as well as a couple peppers. I also pulled all of the in-ground dwarf tomatoes. My dwarf Brandyfred in a 5 gallon bucket is still going strong but it got blown over again by the last storm and lost 5 more fruit. I'm still waiting to pick the first ripe one.

    John - My Kellogg's Breakfast are orange not yellow but I'm growing the potato leaf variety (KBX). It is now my favorite tomato and I'll be be growing 2 or more plants every year going forward. Good to hear that you got your Z-turn fixed.

    Cindy - I saw those storms in your area last night on TWC when I got home from work. They looked nasty. We have some storms moving into KC from the NW right now. I'm getting a great light show out my office window but it hasn't started raining yet.

  • cindy_7

    Jack - We lucked out last night with only one inch of rain for the evening. The thunder and lightening was worse than the rain. A very noisy and light filled evening. However, east of us had it much worse.

    Just looked at your radar map and saw that you could be in for some serious storms today. However, I do not see the usual line of clouds associated with a cold front. In fact, I don't see evidence of a front at all.

    Today will only be in the low 90s here due to cloud cover.

    Lyla - Are you being hit with these storms the past few days?

    Today I'm going to plant seeds for Swiss chard, broccoli, and Chinese multi-colored spinach.

  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)

    Good hot morning! yesterday evening brought hefty storms to the Maryland side of the DC area... the winds knocked over a few of my plants on my balcony. But they are all fine.


    this morning‘s harvest.... the first Marconi pepper of the season. The scotch bonnet peppers are really showing out this year! As are the habaneros even though I only pulled 1 ripe one today. Also the last of the tomatoes are ripening... i think I’m just going to pull the rest and let them ripen on my counter.





    The marketmore cukes are finally getting female flowers so I was able to hand pollinate a few. The sugar baby melons are about the size of golf Balls.


    i also transplanted Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage last night. I have them sitting inside in front of the balcony door today since it’s still supposed to be 95 degrees. Or should I just put them outside? Can they withstand the heat right now?

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Hab King - I would gradually harden off the brassicas over the course of a week or 10 days. They will wilt in the heat or direct sun. They will even do that after they've been acclimated but they bounce back over night. Make sure to give them plenty of water. Aside from the plants sitting in a puddle of water for days, you have try very hard to over water brassicas.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA

    John - glad to hear you got the ZT fixed. I was going to chime in and say you shouldnt be towing it being that its hydraulic but you probably did what you had to do given the situation.

    I think I am just no longer technologically savvy regarding photos and PCs in general. They are never rotated anywhere - On the phone - upright. When i move them from my phone to the PC - upright. When uploaded to Houzz - upside down. Seems like it works better when directly uploaded from my phone but sometimes they wont load at all from there. Oh well.

    Jack - None of this is official or run by our accountant so cant be trusted tax-wise - BUT - If we dont count the property taxes and depreciate the bigger equipment (hoophouses, trailer, walking tractor, etc) we are hovering green right now but do have some investments to put into the farm this fall (maybe another couple hoops, soil amendments, seeds, fruit tree orchard, etc) that will probably need to come out of the personal budget. The weekly income from the markets is going to dry up sometime around October. We will hopefully get a nice bump from 2020 CSA signups sometime in November/December. And perusing ways to continue limited sales through the winter.

    My wife and I have to sit down this winter to talk business but preliminary plan is to have the farm self sustaining next year (including taxes) and start turning profits the year after.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Kevin - that's great to be able to even get close to breaking even the first year. Congratulations on a job well done!

    Did your brassicas respond to fertilizing and perk up? Are you planting them out in the hoop house?

    I saw the PB area got hit pretty hard by storms the other day. Did you have any damage?

  • Jamie

    Kevin- are you looking at having a CSA year-round or selling produce in the winter some other way? Or are you going to focus only on spring/summer/fall gardening?


  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA

    Jamie - CSA for now is going to remain a 20 week buy in - season runs from mid May to early Oct. We are just trying to think of ways and whether it would be worth it to keep product available for purchase in the off season (cold tolerant greens under cover, overwintered carrots, storage crops, etc) to make a little side income and keep in touch with our core customers.

    Jack - Thanks! We are proud of ourselves and at the same time looking all all the mini failures weve had this year and thinking of ways to overcome them in the future to be even better!

    Brassicas did perk up after a shot of fertilizer - they are doing a little better but still smaller than I usually like them to be before transplanting - but they are going to have to suck it up and get out in the big world! Going out this week sometime - in the field, not protected, but will have row cover at the ready come October!


    Recent storms here didnt hit us, they stayed north of us I believe. Not sure if John got hit or not. The intensity of these little storm cells that pop up amaze me. As little as a couple streets over saw heavy downpours and flooding, hail even, and we got almost diddly the other night.

  • Lyla (7A MD)

    Kevin, congrats on the success with your farm!! It sounds like it's going really well.

    Cindy, we are getting most of them. Often the storms split around DC and miss us as well, but the bonus of that is we get some rain without a side of wind and hail.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    I stand corrected, the Kellogg's breakfast are orange. That's what they look to me; however I remembered, incorrectly, that they were yellow. We canned some of these last year and I have problems mixing the jars up with peaches. I learned to look for the seeds.

    I ate the one I picked last night, this morning, for Breakfast! I thought the taste was excellent and this is an orange tomato. No aftertastes. We went to an outdoor 90th birthday party 4 or 5 years ago. I took a variety of red/pink and yellow/orange tomatoes. No one tried the non red/pink That's a mistake. The taste is much better than many tomatoes and possibly all the store tomatoes. I grow these because I have a heart burn acid reflux problem and am afraid that one season I won't be able to eat the red/pink. Never happened, but I'm going to grow two of these in the future. I grew this plant from seed and saved seed from this one for 2020

    This tomato was round, at least 4 inches across, and maybe 3 inches high. I'd guess it at about a pound. There are still 14 tomatoes on this plant and I found a few flowers, so I'd say it's prolific for a potato leaf heirloom beefsteak. As far as diseases go this one stayed a lush green until about the time this fruit started to turn orange and then starting up with Septoria/blight problem.

    edit to add potato leaf

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    John - If you'd like to try the potato leaf variety of Kellogg's Breakfast I can send you (and anyone else who would like to try it) some seed after I do some germination tests this winter. The PL variety is supposed to be more productive and vigorous. Mine set 22 fruit early on and they matured to right at 20 lbs. total. The plant later set another 6 or 8 fruit that have yet to ripen but I'm hoping they will within a few weeks.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    I bought a belt yesterday, but didn't put it in. We're going up to Lake Erie tomorrow for the tall ships event, so I elected to put it off till Friday.

    It's not hot 81°, but humid today. We haven't got hit with any of the recent storms in the area.

    Kevin- Thinking about how to extend the CSA box season, fall veggies, late season apples- a long lead time. Grow a lot more onions, garlic, and tomatoes to dig or pick and store. What would it take to store tomatoes with facilities that you already have.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Jack- I edited the above post to add potato leaf. I think we have the same tomato. I got these in 2018 from Seed Savers Exchange.

    I think I should cut back on how many (25) plants I grow. But I'm going to continue growing two of these as if my acid reflux gets worse this may be the only one I can eat. Some folks say yellow/orange tomatoes are less acid, some say they aren't. I've read not to can them, we did last year because we had so many. As good as they taste it's a good gamble to take.

  • RD Texas

    John, I don't think I have found an orange tomato I didn't love. I think orange might be my favorite color for tomatoes. Jaune Flamme and three different types of orange cherry tomatoes were all great this year and I will be growing all of them and Kellogg's (never got any tomatoes off the 3 I grew this year) next year for sure along with numerous striped varieties after the awesome tasting varieties I got from Cindy and Margi this year-thank y'all very kindly. The Berkeley Tie Die were also incredible. The Druzba was still the best flavored tomato that I grew this year and I will grow it again despite its terrible production (got 2 tomatoes but it is still alive though struggling). The taste is just unbelievable and about as strong of an acid type old fashioned tomato flavor As one can find. I am already dreaming about next year's crop.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Light rain outside today which will be good for garden. Interesting how much more effective rain is that irrigation, regardless of how much water I push into the soil. Tomato chat continues to make me jealous since we only have a few cherries and Galina to eat so far. Oh well...

  • cindy_7

    Len - My Galina's plant isn't doing well. It's rather disease prone. How is yours doing with disease?

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Cindy...sorry to hear about yours. So far in my micro-climate I have no tomato disease and Galina looking well. I'll take some photos tomorrow. Of course I'm about 6 weeks behind you throughout garden so more trouble may be in my future.


    My gardening partner


  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Len - she's a real cutie! Love the floppy gardening hat but it looks a little too big for her! lol

    Got some rain here overnight but the heaviest stayed to the south of my area. I had to pick/squash a bunch of newly hatched cabbage worms on my broccoli yesterday evening but I didn't bother spraying BTK since I knew more rain was coming. We might get more rain today but I think I'll go ahead a spray them this evening.

    Winter squash are getting pummeled by squash bugs and dying a slow death. Hopefully the plants have enough left to ripen the fruit that have set already. Pickling cukes are looking pretty bad as well but they've had a great run despite getting repeatedly pruned by Bambi. I'm up to 72 lbs. of harvest and have made about 24 qts. of pickles so far.

    I meant to plant some fall beets but haven't done it yet. The Missouri extension website says to sow in the first half of August for my area. I might go ahead and give it a shot anyway since I have plenty of space right now. I'll think I'll stick in a row of the golden beets this weekend. Lettuce starts are coming along nicely. I sowed all 8 varieties of Salanova (18 total) and 9 Dragoon mini romaine. I'll plant them out late next week.

  • cindy_7

    Len - What a doll! Always great to have a garden helper.

    Jack - Has the cold front moved through your area? It's supposed to be here this evening and I'm counting down the hours. Literally. This heat has just been too much, and too long.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Cindy - yes the cold front moved through overnight. High of 79 today and nothing in the 15 day forecast over 81! Mid to upper 70s predicted for the Labor day weekend at the lake.

  • cindy_7

    Give it a shove, please!

    Did you know that there is a Yellow Ping Pong? I did grow it once years ago but it isn't as prolific as the pink version.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Cindy - YPP would have a hard time producing more than PPP. I'm up around 250 fruit from my PPP so far and I bet there are still another 50 left on the plant. I need to dehydrate some more this weekend. Jaune Flamme only has 10-15 left on the plant and I've picked a little over 100 so far.

    PPP will be a must grow. I'm starting to put my 2020 grow list together. Not sure yet how many spots I'll have to try new varieties.


  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    Cindy -- report on the Bulgarian #7 tomatoes, also the Zulu peppers?

    Len -- report on the Buena Mulata peppers? (beautiful grand daughter!!!)

    My report on Ajvarski peppers -- best sweet red roasting peppers I've ever grown!!! Smallish plants, not very productive -- but, very large (8+ inches long), meaty with an amazing taste and aroma when roasted red!

    Tony

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Buena mulata pepper

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    Len -- and...? Is it productive, how hot is it, do you like it, would you recommend it?

    I recommend the Ajvarski sweet peppers 100% just for roasting!

    Tony

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Tony I was called away so did not get a message with photo. it is lots cooler here so peppers are slow. Lots of small peppers am the Buena Vista but none really ripe yet, ditto ajvarski. Have been harvesting shishitos that fry up delicious and have a few poblanos ready to pick.

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