Author Topic: Fritz's garden 2020  (Read 4885 times)

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #60 on: June 16, 2020, 06:32:24 PM »
I cut the foam about level with the ground.  My understanding is that if you use the foam with wood fence posts, it will keep the post from rotting.

Pulled a bunch more radishes.  I think I'll try lacto-fermenting them.  I haven't decided on a recipe for that, though.  I'll also give a bunch to my neighbor that really likes them.  A big plus is that while picking them, I found that the okra is growing fine.  I thought that it didn't sprout, but it's now about 6" tall and doing well.  I guess it was just a little slow to get going.



I also picked up a new tool.  About 8 years ago, I volunteered to clear some trails at a local park.  They supplied the tools.  We were using this cool hedge trimmer type of thing to do most of the clearing.  I did some searching and it was just an attachment for a Stihl Kombi system.  This is a power head with a bunch of different attachment.  I saw how well that tool did on everything up to about 1 1/2" branches, so had to have that as one of my attachments.  I also got a string trimmer attachment.  The power head I got was the smallest of the "professional" level.  It is the most powerful string trimmer I've ever used.

But on to the new tool.  It's a cultivator attachment for my Kombi.  I think I mentioned the corner flower bed.  My wife bought a bunch of top soil and potting soil for that bed.  She also got a little bit of finished manure, but not nearly enough.  My neighbor volunteered some of the manure from his cows.  It was still a bit too wet.  I let it dry out and she really wanted it mixed in.  So I did some searching and found that the attachments for things like the Ryobi Expand It work on the Stihl, but the recommendations on internet do not recommend using a different brand cultivator due to the torque.  I was surprised at how well this dug up the ground.  I had everything mixed in quickly and it broke everything up nicely.  Well worth the money, I'll likely use it on the vegetable gardens between plantings.


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #61 on: June 16, 2020, 09:38:51 PM »
I cut the foam about level with the ground.  My understanding is that if you use the foam with wood fence posts, it will keep the post from rotting.

Pulled a bunch more radishes.  I think I'll try lacto-fermenting them.  I haven't decided on a recipe for that, though.  I'll also give a bunch to my neighbor that really likes them.  A big plus is that while picking them, I found that the okra is growing fine.  I thought that it didn't sprout, but it's now about 6" tall and doing well.  I guess it was just a little slow to get going.



I also picked up a new tool.  About 8 years ago, I volunteered to clear some trails at a local park.  They supplied the tools.  We were using this cool hedge trimmer type of thing to do most of the clearing.  I did some searching and it was just an attachment for a Stihl Kombi system.  This is a power head with a bunch of different attachment.  I saw how well that tool did on everything up to about 1 1/2" branches, so had to have that as one of my attachments.  I also got a string trimmer attachment.  The power head I got was the smallest of the "professional" level.  It is the most powerful string trimmer I've ever used.

But on to the new tool.  It's a cultivator attachment for my Kombi.  I think I mentioned the corner flower bed.  My wife bought a bunch of top soil and potting soil for that bed.  She also got a little bit of finished manure, but not nearly enough.  My neighbor volunteered some of the manure from his cows.  It was still a bit too wet.  I let it dry out and she really wanted it mixed in.  So I did some searching and found that the attachments for things like the Ryobi Expand It work on the Stihl, but the recommendations on internet do not recommend using a different brand cultivator due to the torque.  I was surprised at how well this dug up the ground.  I had everything mixed in quickly and it broke everything up nicely.  Well worth the money, I'll likely use it on the vegetable gardens between plantings.



Nice looking radishes... I have used the greens in salad... good stuff.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #62 on: June 17, 2020, 01:03:33 PM »
Nice looking radishes... I have used the greens in salad... good stuff.
I've had the greens in a couple of dishes, but I didn't like them.  So the greens all went in the compost pile.

Here's what I ended up doing with about half of the radishes.  Lacto Fermenting them.  I went with the recommendations on Cultures for Health.  Brine was 4 cups water, 2-3 Tbsp see salt.  Radishes, a couple of bunches of dill and cloves of garlic.



The eggplant looked horrible, so I pulled it and replaced it.  The very next day these new eggplant were looking horrible.  I found some little black bugs.  Looks like I have flea beetles on the eggplant.  I hit them with Neem oil this morning.  Hopefully this knocks them down.

While looking, I got a glimpse of this baby cucumber.


So started to look around and found this yellow squash, but the flower end is kind of shrunken.  So I don't think this got fully pollinated.



I also found this Siamese zucchini.


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #63 on: June 18, 2020, 01:41:48 PM »
It's looking great, Fritz. Tell us how the lactofermation goes.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #64 on: June 23, 2020, 07:19:28 PM »
It amazes me how fast some of the fruits grow.  Picked these cucumbers and zucchini last night.


Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #65 on: June 23, 2020, 07:42:03 PM »
Yes. Lookin good. Mine is coming out of it's slump and growing, just in time for the japanese beetles.  ::)
Should have traps here tomorrow or so. Amazon shipping is so screwed up....

Offline bigbear

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #66 on: June 24, 2020, 07:21:01 AM »
I'm not a big radish fan either.  I may add a few slivers to a salad, but not much appeal for them beyond that.  But I usually grow radishes as a cucumber beetle deterrent.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #67 on: June 24, 2020, 07:32:40 AM »
I'm not a big radish fan either.  I may add a few slivers to a salad, but not much appeal for them beyond that.  But I usually grow radishes as a cucumber beetle deterrent.

Does it work? Are other organic methods effective? I'm just starting to see a few of those pesky beetles on my squash and cucumbers.

Offline bigbear

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #68 on: June 24, 2020, 12:20:56 PM »
Does it work? Are other organic methods effective? I'm just starting to see a few of those pesky beetles on my squash and cucumbers.

I still get them.  But it seems to be later in the season. 

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #69 on: June 24, 2020, 12:46:19 PM »
I raised Cushaw squash last year. Seeds from Texas a friend here sent me.
They are immune to the squash bugs. They covered them over last year after they showed up, but never damaged the plants.

I may try the radish trick on the young cucumbers. I still have seeds left.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #70 on: June 24, 2020, 03:47:16 PM »
I grew tromboncino squash one year when we lived in Ft. Worth and they did very well and seemed pretty immune to the vine borers, etc. So far the squash and cucumbers are looking good, but it's early... if I have problems with the bugs, I may try the tromboncino next summer.

https://territorialseed.com/products/squash-summer-tromboncino?variant=12786142576739

I do have radishes planted near my cucumbers (they are in the process of going to seed right now since it has gotten hot). I'll let them go and see how it works.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #71 on: June 24, 2020, 07:25:24 PM »
I grew tromboncino squash one year when we lived in Ft. Worth and they did very well and seemed pretty immune to the vine borers, etc.
I thought of growing them one year.  How do they taste?  Anything like zucchini?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #72 on: June 25, 2020, 07:11:11 AM »
It's a bit like summer squash if you pick it smaller... if you let if go, it gets a hard shell sort of like a butternut and can be stored longer.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #73 on: June 27, 2020, 07:18:43 PM »
So I took the air lock off of the lactofermented radishes.  The bite from the radishes is completely gone.  There's the taste of the ferment, a slight dill taste and I don't taste the garlic at all.  It does have that funky smell that comes with lactofermented stuff.

I was surprised that the red has been almost completely removed from the radishes.  I didn't think about it, but I should have just ordered the grommets for the airlock and drilled the lids myself.  I have plenty of airlocks for my brewing.  I also picked up these glass weights for fermenting.  They work great, but they are really difficult to take out of the jars.



Previously I had pallets set up to separate the sections of the compost bin.  I don't keep up with the turning like I should.  So I picked up a couple barrels from Craiglist and make a tumbler.  I have another barrel, but I wanted to make sure that I figured out the various issues with my first tumbler before making the second.  The blue barrels stick out really well.  So that's what's up with the paint.  I'm doing a couple of different colors to try to camouflage the barrels from the driveway.  First barrel is full, so I need to get the 2nd built.



This is just a shot to show what I mean when I say that my pumpkins and spaghetti squash is trying to take over the world.  It's just amazing how quickly these things grow.


Offline Carver

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #74 on: June 27, 2020, 09:37:23 PM »
It looks like you fermented the radishes in a brine; I suggest you just salt and crush them. For your lids two ideas: drill a hole through plastic one piece lids, or buy rubber gasket material and cut to fit top of jar under ring and cut hole for air lock. 1st is best, 2nd not so good as rubber gasket is too weak to support the weight.

For radishes I get pretty much the same result if I just salt them for an hour and rinse as letting them ferment.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #75 on: June 28, 2020, 07:13:55 AM »
We planted some black, ribbed, basketball size squash one year. Don't remember the name, but it about took over the property. 1/4 of the garden, across 10' of grass and under the fence, then out into the woods......
And it didn't taste good. Lol

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #76 on: June 29, 2020, 03:30:15 PM »
For your lids two ideas: drill a hole through plastic one piece lids, or buy rubber gasket material and cut to fit top of jar under ring and cut hole for air lock. 1st is best, 2nd not so good as rubber gasket is too weak to support the weight.
Well, I already have the lids and air locks.  The pack was 4 airlocks, 4 lids with silicone gaskets and 8 grommets for the airlock to fit through.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2020, 05:39:26 PM »
Here's today's harvest.  We are getting more cucumbers than we can use.  We've given plenty to my neighbor that plows our driveway.  We have plenty of uses for the squash.  The wife loves them.  I eat them because they are there, but I can do without.



Here's what we did with the cucumbers from a couple days ago.  These are all bread and butter pickles.  My wife is a big fan.  These are the Ball jar packet mix.  It's tough for me to convince my wife to make them from scratch.  I'll get her convinced.  Took some of these to the neighbor too.


Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #78 on: June 30, 2020, 05:56:46 PM »
Lookin good.
It's been some time since we've done bread&butter pickles.

I did pickle quite a few cukes last year. I did a mixture of leftovers and added celery and such. Green tomatoes, onions. I just sliced and cut to length for WM pints.
Planning on doing more this year.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2020, 09:51:53 PM »
Great job, Fritz! I don't have enough cucumbers yet, but am hoping production kicks in soon...

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #80 on: July 01, 2020, 06:13:59 PM »
Here's tonight's harvest.  Including tonight's harvest, I have 37 cucumbers waiting for the next batch of pickles.  We are going to try dill pickles this time.  I'm looking for a good recipe it anyone has any suggestions.



My spaghetti squash is doing well.  Lots of little squash on the vines.  Tonight I was picking the cukes and this spaghetti squash surprised me.  It's the biggest we have at the moment.  The knife in the pic for scale is a standard steak knife that I use for harvesting.  The handle broke the other day, so I super glued it and covered it with Minions duct tape.


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2020, 12:12:08 PM »
Minions are always useful.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #82 on: July 04, 2020, 07:01:55 PM »
Cucumbers, cucumbers, cucumbers.  I've never had a garden produce cucumbers like this.  Tonight we made up some dill pickles.  I processed 14 pints, but the bottom of 1 jar broke out.  I'm not sure why, but I also had the bottom break out of 1 jar of the bread and butter pickles too.  I'm not sure that I've had any jars break in a water bath canner before.  But 2 jars this year.

Anyway, here's the shot of the dill pickles.



Preserved harvest 2020
13 pints dill pickles
11 pints bread and butter pickles
7 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #83 on: July 05, 2020, 10:27:01 AM »
Lookin good.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #84 on: July 05, 2020, 01:13:52 PM »
Awesome pickles! Maybe you got your quota of broken jars done early... If I ever get enough extra to can (busy eating them fresh now), I'm thinking of fermenting them this year. I have two big fermenting crocks and I'd like to try it out. I've never been completely satisfied with the crispness of the dill pickles I've made in past years and I don't have any grape leaves for the top this year either... so I was thinking maybe fermenting would be the ticket...

I've never really saved summer squash in the past... we are just eating it (and giving it away to neighbors). I typically just grate and freeze enough zucchini to make zucchini bread and call it good. I have made squash chips (dehydrating), but I'm the only one in my family who really likes them, so... the winter squash is more popular in our household for storage. We do love that butternut squash.

I've got a very small garden this year, so I only have a couple of butternut plants, but there are already four nice looking squash on those vines.

I'm also trying out Jackie Clay's Hopi Pale Grey squash this year (looks a lot like a hubbard squash). That one is the only vine that has attracted squash bugs this year (and so far, my diligent efforts have kept their population at bay -- I pick them off and kill them twice a day and look for the eggs on the leaves, too). I didn't find any of those nasty bugs today, so maybe I can relax a little (ha).

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #85 on: July 05, 2020, 06:10:54 PM »
Got our first green beans today.  This was one of 3 plants that grew in the first batch of beans I planted.



Made 8 more pints of bread and butter pickles.  This time around we made them with the Ball bread and butter mix.



Here's our first pumpkin.  I don't know if this is a Jack Be Little or a Jack O Lantern.



I made up my second compost tumbler.  The first is pretty much full, and I needed more compost space.



Preserved harvest 2020
13 pints dill pickles
19 pints bread and butter pickles
7 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #86 on: July 06, 2020, 06:01:13 AM »
Nice. I have composting bins made from pallets that are cooking well. I have two full and one used for turning... with all the clippings we get here, I have them full, so I can understand your need for a second one...

How long does it take to finish your compost in a  tumbler like that? I figure it is taking about 6-8 weeks for me with my bins.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2020, 01:14:29 PM »
I have no idea how long it's going to take.  I understand that because it's easier to turn, you tend to turn it more in a tumbler.  So it's supposed to be quicker than a  bin on the ground.  I had the pallets set up before, but didn't want to do it that way this time around.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #88 on: July 06, 2020, 06:47:57 PM »
I've never grown spaghetti squash before.  I have a couple that are getting pretty large.  The biggest has a fairly tough skin, but it's not yellow.  So have any of you grown spaghetti squash?  I've seen several videos where they turn yellow, several others where they allow the plants to wither and die away.  So how do you guys know when to harvest your spaghetti squash?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #89 on: Yesterday at 10:44:14 PM »
I haven't grown spaghetti squash... I'm hoping someone who knows will chime in.

A neighbor gave me 10 lbs of nice pickling cucumbers today. I've got them in the fermenting crock. I've always just water-bath canned them in the past, but wasn't as happy with their texture as I would like. I'm hoping they'll stay crispy with fermenting...