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Farm, Garden and The Land => Gardening and Agriculture => Show Us Your Garden => Topic started by: fritz_monroe on March 24, 2020, 04:13:28 PM

Title: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on March 24, 2020, 04:13:28 PM
It's been a couple of years since I did anything with my garden.  I decided that with the extra time at home, I'd get it back into shape.  There are several trees that I have to dig out.  I'm also going from raised beds back into the ground.  Mainly because it's easier to keep the rest of the area cared for without having to worry about the beds.

Here's a shot of what I'm starting with.  All those vines are mile a minute weed.  It's come into my area with a vengeance.

(https://i.imgur.com/ByrYrSR.jpg)

Hopefully the new image hosting works for me.  Let me know if you can't see the image.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on March 24, 2020, 06:15:08 PM
The image hosting is working well... looking forward to seeing the progress.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: bigbear on March 24, 2020, 09:32:20 PM
Yay!  I enjoyed looking at your thread a few years ago.  Looking forward to seeing it again!
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on March 26, 2020, 03:18:58 PM
Here's the progress so far.  Tuesday I dug out 2 trees, but really didn't have a game plan.  Yesterday was rain all day, so no progress then.  But I did decide that I needed to plan what I was doing.

Game plan:
1. clear the brush
2. take up the old rotting bed borders
3. cut the thorn bushes and trees growing up through the fence, dig out the trees
4. dispose of the debris
5. till the area

So here's my progress today.  I was able to clear out the brush and take up the rotting bed borders.

Here's a couple of shots of the garden area, just 2 different angles.

(https://i.imgur.com/yEPfSYN.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/QojBOes.jpg)

And here's the brush and other debris I took up.  I wish I could get away with just dragging it to a different part of the yard to let it rot.  But the wife is not having that. 

(https://i.imgur.com/LBd2jWp.jpg)

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get that huge thorn bush and the rest of the trees cut and the dig out a tree or 2.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on March 27, 2020, 10:32:23 AM
Nice progress... and perfect timing for a spring garden, right?
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on March 27, 2020, 04:37:57 PM
Third day, not a huge impact.  I did take down most of a huge thorn bush and several trees, before I had chainsaw issues.

Wife suggested that since the garden beds are nicely defined, we could just redo the beds.  The soil in them is great, I filled the boxes with straight compost, so it's good stuff.  I may do that this year so I can continue working the area throughout the season.

(https://i.imgur.com/hSirCvU.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on March 28, 2020, 09:03:49 AM
Good to see someone else gardening.
Our cleanup is hampered today due to rain again.Wife did get some carrots and lettuce planted in a raised bed yesterday.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 12, 2020, 05:49:34 PM
New update.  I didn't get a lot of work done on the garden this week.  I was hoping to get the trees pulled out, but the rain and wind kept me in the house more than I wanted to be.

However, back in the Fall, I picked up a tow behind tiller off of Craigslist.  Great deal, but it hadn't been run for about 3 years.  I cleaned it up and today ran it in the garden for the first time.  It really saved physical effort, but did not cut down all that much time.  The first tilling took me over 2 hours.

Here's the start of the tilling.  Can really see the previous garden beds.
(https://i.imgur.com/PzuW1vC.jpg)

And here's the garden after the first tilling session.  Still can see the previous garden beds.  I was able to really break up the ground, but I need to hit the whole thing with a rake to level it all out.  Then hit it with the tiller again.
(https://i.imgur.com/IvTaop7.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/KMKrVkl.jpg)
 
My work is on a split schedule for COVID-19.  Last week was my "off" week.  Tomorrow I go back to work.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on April 14, 2020, 02:54:33 PM
Looking good, Fritz. Love those flowering trees...
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 14, 2020, 05:01:36 PM
Right pink one is a crab apple.  Left I don't know.  Little white ones are native plums.

I absolutely love this Magnolia in my side yard.  A shame it can't look like this all year, but it's good for about 2 weeks a year.
(https://i.imgur.com/gnkBnBJ.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 18, 2020, 06:21:53 PM
Back to my "off" week.  Got home last night and dug out a couple of the trees in the garden.  Then got chased out by the rain.  Today I was going to keep working the garden, but it was too muddy in the morning and by afternoon it got really windy.  I can deal with cold, I can deal with hot.  I can't deal with wet or windy, today was both.

Just a shot of what I'm dealing with.  My own fault, I should not have skipped keeping the garden producing..
(https://i.imgur.com/R0VM73Z.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on April 18, 2020, 06:44:05 PM
Mmmm yea......a backhoe in there would make that easy.
Your manual hoe takes more effort
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 18, 2020, 09:15:40 PM
Yeah, I could as my neighbor to pull these out with either his FEL or his skid steer, but I like to keep my requests to the minimum.  He already plows the 500' shared driveway and had moved 5 ton of stone for me.  These just take some back work.

He absolutely would do it for me, but I don't want to abuse the friendship.

He's also told me that I can use his tractors and skid steer, but that's not gear that I'm comfortable borrowing.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on April 19, 2020, 11:38:53 AM

Understand that.  8)

I have a rancher neighbor who owns property in front and behind us that I request his use of one of his tractors sometimes, mainly to lift/load something.
I return the favors by loaning tools, or working on something. Last year I helped him with rebuilding a hyd cylinder.

Works out well. He's plowed our garden, I've disked/tilled his garden.
They bring over lettuce, we throw back zucchini's....tomatoes....... ;D
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 19, 2020, 02:18:45 PM
Well the trees have all been dug out and I tilled the garden.  There's lots of debris in the soil, so I'll need to do a bunch of raking.  I will likely till it once more before I plant.  Since I let it go for as long as I did, there's lots of roots all throughout.  I also have to get it broken up a little more.

My wife worked her butt off taking down all the crap growing up through the fence.

Here's the trees that I dug out.
(https://i.imgur.com/5k1Crko.jpg)

And a couple of shots of the tilled garden.
(https://i.imgur.com/o22AOGk.jpg)

A different angle.
(https://i.imgur.com/jkBGYsJ.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on April 21, 2020, 05:46:32 PM
Looks good, Fritz. Looks like nice soil...
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on April 21, 2020, 06:52:55 PM
Yes. You have any rocks?
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 21, 2020, 09:16:46 PM
This area was the area that the previous owner had his garden.  I still have to pull rocks, but not all that many.  Just about all the rocks are soap stone.

As for the soil, when we moved in 10 years ago, I built 16 beds.  I filled them with compost from the county yard waste recycle center.  So that's why the soil is so dark.  I plan on putting down a couple of yards of compost each year and tilling it in.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on April 21, 2020, 10:06:27 PM
 8)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 22, 2020, 02:45:07 PM
Clean up continues.  Garden itself is looking good, but still have all the trees and stuff I've taken out.  I've made 3 trips to the yard waste facility so far.  This trailer is #4 and there's at least 1 trailer worth of debris to take.

(https://i.imgur.com/MZYZHWD.jpg)

But boy are my muscles sore.  Lots of work.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on April 22, 2020, 03:13:45 PM
A small affordable chipper would be nice for those times.
I've often thought of getting one.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 22, 2020, 06:08:53 PM
A small affordable chipper would be nice for those times.
I've often thought of getting one.
I've thought of it, but in all honesty, I doubt I'd use it.  My wife wants mulch on a lot of stuff, but seems to think that buying bags of it from Home Depot is the only way to get quality mulch.  I picked up a trailer load of mulch from a "forestry products" place in town and spread it over the 1 flower garden.  When thistle popped up 2 months later she came to the conclusion that it must have been that mulch, not that she hadn't weeded her flower garden for those 2 months.

Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on April 23, 2020, 05:48:36 AM
A chipper is on our wishlist... I'd like to use all that tree debris for composting.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on April 23, 2020, 07:28:22 AM
Yes. I've got enough limbs out back from cutting 12 cords of wood to have mulch for a couple of years. Just need a chipper.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 25, 2020, 03:15:13 PM
We've had a lot of rain, so I have to wait for some things.  In my area, most of my planting is in May.  I didn't do any cold weather crops since I really didn't think I'd be ready for them.

It certainly doesn't look like I did a lot of work, but my back says otherwise.  I laid out the 3 long rows, they are about 50' long.  I raked 2 of them into a hill, but my back couldn't handle the 3rd.

Just a shot of the mounded rows.
(https://i.imgur.com/wEWpuIT.jpg)

From a different angle.
(https://i.imgur.com/d92m9ak.jpg)

I should end up with 3 more rows that are about 35' and 3 that are just 20'.  I'll make the garden bigger next year, but can't do that this year.  It will be about 65' long by about 30'.  I'm not sure exactly what I'll do to take out the grass, but am thinking  of using plastic over it to kill off the grass.  I think it's called solarizing, but not sure.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on April 25, 2020, 05:54:35 PM
Yes. Cover with black plastic.

Lookin good there.

We got rained out. 5-6" last night. Rained and blew. Blew and rained. Low water crossing was out.
My onion bulbs seemed to have survived so far. 4-25' rows. I was concerned the soil would wash away, but I think the rain pounded the bulbs farther in.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Mona on April 26, 2020, 05:32:47 AM
It's a great start and if you can't plant jet anyway there is no reason to kill your back!
Do you start your plants inside or straight in the ground?
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 26, 2020, 02:37:13 PM
I have several previous years garden threads.  I've been away from doing  a lot of gardening for a couple of years.  I always started everything from seed inside, but I'll be doing a lot of store bought plants this year. 
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on April 28, 2020, 10:04:28 AM
It's looking great, Fritz
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 28, 2020, 05:08:03 PM
So this isn't actually gardening, but I added a Mason Bee box to the yard.  I used to have honeybees, but just didn't keep the interest.  Mason bees are much lower upkeep.  Here's hoping I have a lot in the area.  I plan on adding several other boxes to the yard, but this is a start.

(https://i.imgur.com/iCfWkhu.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on April 28, 2020, 05:52:04 PM
Mason bees. Box looks so much simpler. I may have to bone up on that.
My wife is the bee nut here. I do some grunt work.......eat the honey.....the simple things.  ;D
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on April 28, 2020, 06:51:24 PM
The bees do all the work.  This is my first year, but my understanding is you can just leave them in their tubes.  But many people will open the tubes to harvest the cocoons.  Then store them in the fridge over the winter.  Many places will have  a thaw in February and some of the bees will come out of dormancy.

Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 03, 2020, 05:54:40 PM
No pics today, but I planted the green beans today.  This year it was Blue Lake beans.  I had inoculate in the fridge in the basement.  I'll need to get more next year.

Hoping to plant Lima Beans next weekend.  Between now and then, I plan to get the rest of the rows built up.  My wife wants to put in a raised bed for the strawberries.  I rarely eat strawberries.  But I feel certain that I'll be doing all the weeding and such.  I told her that's what I thought would happen and she's assured me that's not what is going to happen.  We'll see.

We have a shade garden in the corner of the yard.  We weeded that today.  I have a garden cart, I filled that 3 times, mainly with thistle.  That's all in my compost pile now.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Mona on May 04, 2020, 01:57:08 PM
I find bean plants pleasing because you can almost whatch them grow :D
 Strawberries... I would say plant some and if she doesn't weed them she won't be eating any, but if you have to build a raised bed first that is too much work for that approach. If it is about less acess for snailes maybe just a couple in  big pots or hangers? The farmers around here grow them in huge pick your own fields, if you can ignore potential weedieness you could just pop some in the ground in some corner.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 17, 2020, 01:26:54 PM
Finally got the plants into the ground.  I have a row of Blue Lake beans, half a row of Fordhook lima beans.  I have half a row of okra and will likely get another half row planted.  Those are all from seed.

The squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers are from transplants.  We got those into the ground today.  Not a lot to look at at the moment, but since it there aren't pictures, it didn't happen.

I also put a trail camera in the garden to see if anything goes in the garden.

Zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, cucumber and spaghetti squash in these beds.  The soaker hose is just a temporary measure.  I forgot that I have a bunch of drip irrigation stuff, so I'll be putting that in place.
(https://i.imgur.com/aJkjloG.jpg)

From the opposite angle.  Far left row is the Blue Lake beans.  Middle row has nothing yet, right row has the lima beans and okra.  The dark patch is where the tomatoes and peppers are planted.  Most of the peppers are Roma since we mainly use tomatoes for salsa, and other tomato sauces.  But also have a couple big boy type of tomato.  These are all caged, I'll be driving a T post down through each of the tomato cages since the tomatoes tend to cause these cages to topple over..

For the peppers, there's the required Jalapeno pepper, I grow these all the time because they make me feel accomplished.  No matter what the rest of the garden does, the Jalapeno peppers will produce.  I also have bell peppers that finish in red, orange, yellow and green.  I plan on putting cages around the peppers as well.
(https://i.imgur.com/DZSENll.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on May 17, 2020, 04:30:07 PM
Lookin good.

I'm going to save my pennies and invent a hot pad I can put 2' under and dry my garden out.  ;D
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 17, 2020, 05:09:30 PM
Lookin good.

I'm going to save my pennies and invent a hot pad I can put 2' under and dry my garden out.  ;D
I was rushing to get everything in today.  Forecast calls for rain all this week.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on May 17, 2020, 06:28:56 PM
 8)

Mo more ^$%# here until Wednesday. Maybe I can most of ours in by then. May be Tuesday before it's dry enough though.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 18, 2020, 08:09:26 PM
Forecast has changed, now they are calling for just cloudy conditions this week. Possibility or rain Thursday and Friday.

So I planted pumpkins today.  I planted Jack O'Lantern and Jack Be Little pumpkins.  The former are standard carving pumpkins, the later are small pumpkins.  I haven't grown either.  I also ran a soaker hose for the Blue Lake beans row and the Lima beans and Okra row.

Tomorrow the plan is to run a drip irrigation hose to water the tomatoes and peppers.

Long term plan is to automate the watering of the garden.  I'm thinking that a Raspberry Pi or Arduino solution is in the mix.  Initial thoughts is that the Pi is probably a better solution since an Arduino has a single instruction set.  Either it runs, or it doesn't run.  The Pi, it runs or a section fails to run.

I also plan on running a water pipe down to the garden.  I have an in-ground box on order.  That will hold the manifold to the water spigot or the drip irrigation system.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 24, 2020, 05:37:01 PM
I put in the drip irrigation to the peppers and tomatoes today.  I bought a "drip repair/expansion kit" last year to ensure my wife's plants didn't die.  I think I did it all wrong, but it worked.  I read up a bit on how to do it right and installed in the garden.  I made use of the standard Rainbird stuff, but I ran out of things like bug caps and feed line stakes.  I used 3D printed items when I needed additionals.

(https://i.imgur.com/sgyPQ5c.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 25, 2020, 06:23:34 PM
Had my first "harvest" today.  I clipped mint for my mojito and I clipped a bunch of other herbs to add to my hamburger recipe.  Calls for dried herbs, I used the fresh from the herb garden.

I also did a good look at the garden.  All looks good except the green beans.  I planted at least 75 seeds, I see 3 plants growing.  The okra and lima beans seem to be doing fine, I see many more of those and they were all planted a week after the Blue Lake beans.

So I'm doing an experiment with "found" seed.  I keep the seed that I don't plant in my beer fridge.  I went through it the other day and found a bag of Blue Lake beans from 2012 and a bag of Fordhook lima beans from 2014.  I have 18 pots for each of these, filled with potting mix.  Each pot has 3 seeds.  I'm hoping that there are a couple plants that sprout.  If not, I'm out nothing but a little watering time.

I'll probably spin off an experiment thread with pics of the progress.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on May 25, 2020, 06:36:02 PM
I planted Blur Lake and Kentucky Wonder pole beans, same day.
The Blue lake lagged behind a week, and are still only about a 3/rd up in a 25' row. Spaced about 4".
Both are new seeds this years.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 25, 2020, 07:12:06 PM
Yeah, I'm hoping they still come up.  I'm not planting anything on top of them until I'm sure they won't come up.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 26, 2020, 07:42:54 PM
So I planted 2 packages of Lake Valley Blue Lake beans.  I inoculated them also.  Of the 50 or so beans I planted, 3 have sprouted.  3 F'ing seeds.

My wife went shopping at an Amish store today.  I asked her to see if there were any beans available and to get some for me if they were.

This is what she came home with.

(https://i.imgur.com/T3thDiG.jpg)

That's 2 pounds of bean seed.  I guess I'll be putting 1.9 pounds of bean seed in the fridge later in the year.  hehe.

I've never grown Strike beans, but looking online, this variety is apparently fairly popular.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on May 27, 2020, 08:54:04 AM
Never saw that brand before, but if Amish, the brands are usually not the norm from what we see here in our other stores. Burpee and such.....
And those are bigger packages. Yep.
So you have enough beans for 19 more years. Yep.  ;D

My blue lakes are still coming up. Spotty yet, but still emerging. I think we just need warmth and sunshine here, and to dry out for a week or so.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 27, 2020, 07:08:07 PM
Rorher Seed is out of Lancaster, PA.  There's a "chain" of Amish stores called Goods in that area that carry this brand.  Could be Amish, or maybe just in the area.  I replanted the row that had the Blue Lake in it with these Strike variety of bean.  I have another row with nothing in it, I think I'll likely put more of these beans in there.  The Fordhook Limas are coming up nicely.  It looks like only 1 seed didn't sprout.

While down there, I pulled all the mile a minute weed that was coming up all over that row.  We got hit with this crap 2 years ago.  I've been reading up on it a little and apparently it is an annual and have a very shallow root system.  Get them before they go to seed and you stop them in that area.  Last year it was growing so quickly that it completely covered a 20' black walnut tree and starved it of sunlight.  It's nasty stuff.

Quick update on the seed experiment.  The Fordhook Lima beans have a couple that are sprouting already.  Not seeing anything in the Blue Lake beans yet.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on May 29, 2020, 01:36:51 PM
It's all looking and sounding very good, Fritz. Those are some nice bean packets your wife got you. You could start an online business selling them in smaller quantities :)

It has been really rainy here, too... it almost drowned a couple of newly transplanted peppers. I started nearly everything from seed this year, but broke down and bought one bell pepper, thyme and lavender. Couldn't get good starts on those from seed, so admitted defeat.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 29, 2020, 02:04:20 PM
I started nearly everything from seed this year, but broke down and bought one bell pepper, thyme and lavender. Couldn't get good starts on those from seed, so admitted defeat.
If you look at my previous garden threads, I used to do all my plants from seed.  But I didn't get started nearly as early as I started.  I knew that I had my work cut out to get the garden cleaned up, I didn't want to put starting the seeds on top of that.

I really prefer starting from seed.  I like "different" varieties.  With the plants, you have to take what's available in the store.  Hopefully I'll be back to seed next year.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on May 29, 2020, 02:23:27 PM
Oops, forgot to add an update on the bean experiment. 

For the Fordhook Lima beans, there's at least 1 plant in each of the 18 pots.
For the Blue Lake beans, there are 9 pots that have a plant peeking out of the soil.

I'm surprised how many have sprouted.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on May 29, 2020, 02:40:52 PM

Our blue lakes (from Heirloom Seeds) keep slowly coming up.
Some are 6" tall, and others are still emerging. Odd......
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on June 02, 2020, 11:50:55 AM
Still not all that much to take pictures of, but the garden is looking pretty good.  Green beans are finally starting to pop up.  The eggplant and cucumbers were looking kind of bad, but they have recovered nicely.  The pumpkins are coming up better than I thought they would.

We have a bunch of strawberries to plant yet, but my wife wants a bed build for them.  So it will be about 3'x30'.  We don't have enough plants to fill that, so the other half of the bed will have watermelon plants in it.  I haven't had a lot of luck with watermelon in the past.

Final update on the bean experiment.  The vast majority of the Fordhook lima beans came up.  I planted 54 of them and only 4 didn't sprout.  The Blue Lake beans didn't do nearly as well.  I had 22 of the 54 sprout.  But both did WAY better than I thought they would, after all, the Blue Lake are 8 years old and the Fordhook are 6 years old.

Here's the final shot of the bean experiment.  They now are planted in my garden.
(https://i.imgur.com/a3QRPvG.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on June 02, 2020, 01:49:37 PM
 8)

I replanted 2/3rds of our blue lake.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on June 02, 2020, 04:00:49 PM
The new green bean planting is coming up nicely now.  Well over half of what I planted is now popping through the soil.  Most are just the stem popping through, the cotyledon isn't even out of the soil quite yet.   But tomorrow they probably will be.

This evening I replaced the soaker hose in the squash, cucumbers and pumpkins with drip irrigation.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on June 03, 2020, 07:35:00 PM
The other day I had some landscaping timbers delivered.  My wife wanted me to build a raised garden for strawberries.  I rarely eat strawberries, so it's all hers.  It's going to be 4'x30'-ish.  She didn't get enough plants to fill it, so this year part of it will have watermelons in it.  I've started having my garden tractor do a little more work than just mowing.  Earlier in the year, I was pulling the tiller with it.  This time I built some sides for my yard cart to haul the wood from where Home Depot would deliver to the garden.  I was able to haul 13 timbers, but it was obvious that this was close to the limit for this cart.  Not because of the weight of the timbers, but because I couldn't get the weight centered front/back.  My cart is just about riding a wheelie.

(https://i.imgur.com/1qtfDUe.jpg)

While working on the strawberry bed, I put in one of the  timbers and look down to see a small toad.  I love having toads in the garden.  Usually there's a HUGE one in there, this one was just about 2" long, not counting the legs.  Then when I was walking out of the garden and something big buzzed me.  It ended up being an Eyed Elater.  I had forgotten how big these things got.  This was about 2" long.  I just did some searching and the adults are neither beneficial nor pests.  But the young are voracious predators.  They eat all kinds of other larvae, like the larvae that prey on the roots of plants or wood boring beetles.

Here's a shot of this huge click beetle.

(https://i.imgur.com/LnXps58.jpg)

Hopefully I'll finish building the strawberry bed tomorrow.  Today was unseasonably warm, about 92F.  Tomorrow will be about the same.  I'd have finished it today if I didn't have to take so many breaks.  I would work about 20 minutes and rest about 40.  I also had to wait to start work, with heat and humidity like this, comes storms.  I couldn't get started until about 1.

Here's a shot of what I did get done today.  The cross pieces are mainly there to give support for the wall that's against the fence.

(https://i.imgur.com/VRoHcVU.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on June 04, 2020, 03:58:33 PM
Looking good, Fritz.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on June 06, 2020, 02:18:41 PM
I finished building the strawberry bed.  Filled with a mixture of top soil, hummus and a little potting soil to lighten up the soil.  Nothing planted quite yet, will give it a day or 2 of our nightly rains to settle a little. 

(https://i.imgur.com/tqXWpD1.jpg)

The last 3 pots in the bean experiment finally came up.  They were just running a little late.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on June 06, 2020, 05:41:41 PM
Lookin good on the bed
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on June 07, 2020, 05:29:07 PM
Planted this afternoon.  Closest bed is miscellaneous herbs.  Next bed are strawberries.  Last 2 are watermelons.  Just need to figure out the best way to water these beds, I'm thinking soaker hoses, but may do some sort of sprayer.

(https://i.imgur.com/Lto5hQQ.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on June 14, 2020, 05:46:47 PM
Just a bit of an update.

Had my first official harvest today.  Radishes.  A shame that I don't eat many of them.  I planted them for the same reason as I plant jalapeno peppers.  They make everyone seems like a master gardener.  Of course I'll use the jalapeno peppers far more than the radishes.  But if I didn't plant jalapeno peppers, I wouldn't really miss them.

(https://i.imgur.com/Q3blTSN.jpg)

This isn't really the garden, but the fence.  The post holding the gate has been damaged for quite a while.  I decided it was time to replace it.  Instead of using concrete, I decided I'd use that post hole foam.  It seems very sturdy after about 3 hours of cure time.  I did have to cut about 6" of foam that was up above the ground level.  So much easier than concrete, I'll see how it holds up.

(https://i.imgur.com/TDc5EtB.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on June 14, 2020, 05:54:53 PM
 8) on the harvest.

I've never seen the foam in use before. I may have to ck into that.
I have a woodshed to build.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/vp38Lc2.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/ps6hY7h.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/vp38Lc2.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/ps6hY7h.jpg)

Nice looking radishes... I have used the greens in salad... good stuff.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/RLabZdf.jpg)

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.
(https://i.imgur.com/7T3tvne.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/fSIaMqn.jpg)

I also found this Siamese zucchini.
(https://i.imgur.com/Wc2AwEr.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on June 18, 2020, 01:41:48 PM
It's looking great, Fritz. Tell us how the lactofermation goes.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/DB2z4s3.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood 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....
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: bigbear 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: bigbear 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. 
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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?
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/O7JkKN1.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/dDCMSYU.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/Kpm54t9.jpeg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Carver 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood 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
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/JLP6No7.jpeg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/9lsUlv5.jpeg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant 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...
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/svbynfM.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/SkqdbpZ.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 02, 2020, 12:12:08 PM
Minions are always useful.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/xI6mpih.jpeg)

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)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on July 05, 2020, 10:27:01 AM
Lookin good.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant 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).
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/DJItl4J.jpeg)

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

(https://i.imgur.com/ciHIlt3.jpeg)

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

(https://i.imgur.com/hLwOEZb.jpeg)

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

(https://i.imgur.com/7MIvcpr.jpeg)

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)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe 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?
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 07, 2020, 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...
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 08, 2020, 04:57:19 PM
Here's today's harvest.  That cucumber by the knife is bigger than we thought.  That's the second handful of the green beans.  That's the 2nd plant that grew from the first batch of seeds.  All the rest are just now putting on flowers and tiny little beans.

(https://i.imgur.com/gAazduO.jpeg)

We haven't eaten our pickles yet.  The fermented radishes I made are firm, not crisp, but not mushy.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on July 08, 2020, 05:21:44 PM
 8)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Mintbird on July 08, 2020, 06:47:29 PM
Fritz, I’m so envious of your garden. I’ve had terrible success with my container garden, I think because of the horrible 90-100 deg heat we’ve been having here in the high desert of California. My squash are the size of my thumbnail, my cuc plants are barely hanging on and I’ve had a first batch of strawberries die and my second batch are on their way. My cherry toms are the size of a dwarf Tom. I’m so discouraged, but I keep on trying.

Congrats on your awesome garden!
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: bigbear on July 09, 2020, 07:27:11 AM
So how do you guys know when to harvest your spaghetti squash?

We've grown spaghetti squash with varying degrees of success over the last 5 years.  We pick when it's yellow.  Though in bad years the vine is dying when the fruit is yellowing.  I always feel like there's something I'm doing wrong with them because I typically only get 3-4 gourds from each vine.  But it seems like the number should be closer to a dozen. 

Anyway, spaghetti squash is a favorite here.  It's a great way to keep the carbs down!



Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 12, 2020, 12:59:54 PM
Preservation update:

This morning we made 21 pints of bread and butter pickles.  Last night, we blanched and froze zucchini and yellow squash.  We lay them out on trays to freeze then bag them up.  This afternoon we bagged up 11 bags of frozen squash.

Anyone know the "right way" to freeze grated zucchini?  We like to make up zucchini bread in the Winter.  And while we've just grated and frozen it in the past, I'm pretty sure that's not the best way to preserve it.

Preserved harvest 2020
13 pints dill pickles
40 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 12, 2020, 10:22:41 PM
That's exactly how I've done it in the past... just grate it up and freeze it in the quantity I need for my zucchini bread recipe. Works fine as long as you include the liquid when you use it in the recipe.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 18, 2020, 09:15:59 AM
Harvested beans last night.  Also harvested the pickling cucumbers and the zucchini.  Will be making bread and butter pickles out of the cukes and grating and freezing most of the zukes. 

I'm going on vacation tomorrow, so I'm sure the garden will be a mess when we get back.  Hopefully the  neighbor will come and harvest the cucumbers and zucchini while we are gone. 

(https://i.imgur.com/mQA4TvQ.jpg)

We canned most of the beans.  This it our preferred method of preservation.  We got a full canner load of 7 quarts.  Plus would have had probably 2 additional quarts, but I blanched and froze those instead.

(https://i.imgur.com/GvTkIZ5.jpg)

Preserved harvest 2020
13 pints dill pickles
40 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
7 quarts green beans
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 18, 2020, 03:17:47 PM
That is fantastic!!! Hope you have a nice vacation.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 18, 2020, 03:24:17 PM
Just an update on the cukes and zukes.  Made up 20 pints of bread and butter pickles, obviously my wife loves them.  For the zucchini, we shredded a bunch to freeze.  Packed in 2 different sized bags.  Zucchini  bread recipe calls for 4 cups, the zucchini tots call for 2 1/4 cups.  We froze 2 bags with 4 cups, and 4 bags with 2 1/4 cups.  I'd like to have just done 1 cup portions, but SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) wanted them like this.

Preserved harvest 2020
13 pints dill pickles
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
7 quarts green beans
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
18 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 18, 2020, 03:59:29 PM
Now that's a lot of bread and butter pickles! No way could we eat that many in a year.

You should share your zucchini tots recipe.. never tried that.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 18, 2020, 04:42:58 PM
You should share your zucchini tots recipe.. never tried that.
We haven't gotten it figured out completely.  They are still pretty dense.  It's basically shredded zucchini, bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese.  I'll post it once we get it straightened out.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 18, 2020, 05:41:39 PM
I finished setting up the drip irrigation on timers this afternoon.  My wife's planters on the porch will be watered every morning and I broke the garden up into 2 zones that will each get 2 hours of watering every other night.

I thought that the wife had harvested everything, but she just mentioned that she only got the pickling cucumbers.  So here's today's harvest.  Got the first couple okra and jalapeno peppers.  We also grabbed the largest of the green peppers to take on vacation.  There's still a bunch of peppers that will end up red, orange and yellow, but they haven't ripened yet, they are all still green.

(https://i.imgur.com/3QlxItp.jpeg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 18, 2020, 07:16:34 PM
Wow! Good work!
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on July 19, 2020, 08:21:39 AM
Lookin good.

We picked one year for some distant neighbors while they vacationed. Everything we could find, and when they got back, asked if we had picked.  ??? ;D ;D ;D
They had a good crop that year.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 26, 2020, 06:31:35 PM
We asked the neighbor to harvest anything they wanted while we were gone.  They obviously forgot that we asked. First shot is the garden cart filled up, but we couldn't see everything when piled up.

(https://i.imgur.com/HNGzR8j.jpeg)

Here's a shot of the zucchini, peppers, start of the tomatoes and the slicing cucumbers.  There were a couple more zucchini that went bad in the garden.  That biggest zucchini is 5 lb. 11 oz.  I guess these huge zucchini are really only good for grating up and making zucchini bread?  Maybe zoodles?  Any other ideas for huge zukes?

(https://i.imgur.com/LE0uWrz.jpeg)

The other end of the table has some big okra, yellow squash, pickling cucumbers and the first of the finished spaghetti squash.  There's still a bunch of spaghetti squash on the vines, but not ready.  The pumpkins are starting to turn orange and we have a few  watermelons on the vines.

(https://i.imgur.com/Alkufdd.jpeg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on July 27, 2020, 08:32:02 AM
Leave the 5# zukes in your neighbors car seats....... ;D

Is your big okra tough? Our green okra gets tough after about 4" long. The red, about 6" long.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 27, 2020, 07:02:07 PM
Is your big okra tough? Our green okra gets tough after about 4" long. The red, about 6" long.
Yep, I told the wife the big ones would be woody, but as most husbands know, we're idiots.  But she discovered that they are too tough tonight when she tried cutting them to bread and fry.  The little ones were good.

I cut the green bean plants and harvested all the beans off them.  I'm starting to get hit pretty good by the Mexican bean beetles.  I canned 7 more quarts of beans.  I have a bunch more to snap and will probably be able to get 7 additional quarts tomorrow.

I also did some looking for good recipes for those big zukes and cukes.  I made the zucchini relish that's on the UGA canning page, Summer Squash Relish (https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/summer_squash_relish.html).  I tasted some after I filled 6 pint jars and it is pretty good, I used that huge zucchini to make the batch.  I also found a chunky cucumber relish that looked pretty good.  Cucumber Relish (https://www.fillmorecontainer.com/blog/2014/08/29/what-to-do-with-very-large-cucumbers-cucumber-relish/)  I only got 3 pints to can and about 1/3 pint that I'll put in the fridge.

Shredded relish is the zucchini relish, the chunks are the cucumber relish.

(https://i.imgur.com/knCHZKs.jpeg)

So here's the updated list
Preserved harvest 2020
13 pints dill pickles
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
14 quarts green beans
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
18 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
6 pints zucchini relish
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on July 27, 2020, 07:12:48 PM
Yep, I told the wife the big ones would be woody, but as most husbands know, we're idiots. 






 :rofl: :rofl:
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 28, 2020, 08:24:41 AM
We haven't gotten it figured out completely.  They are still pretty dense.  It's basically shredded zucchini, bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese.  I'll post it once we get it straightened out.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 28, 2020, 04:46:39 PM
Still processing everything I can.  Canned 5 more quarts or green beans.

I made use of the longer beans to make some dilly beans.  A couple of years ago I made some basic dilly beans and they were okay, so I decided to try different kinds.  I made 2 pints of spicy dilly beans with garlic, dill and red pepper flake.  I also made 2 pints of dilly beans with garlic, dill, mustard seed and celery seed.

(https://i.imgur.com/vuHmghS.jpeg)

Preserved harvest 2020
13 pints dill pickles
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
18 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
6 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 28, 2020, 09:28:41 PM
Wow! You're doing great!
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 29, 2020, 07:23:55 AM
Wow! You're doing great!
Thanks, but now I don't know what to do with all these cucumbers.  60 pints of bread and butter pickles will last a long time.

In case I like the dilly beans:
Brine 2.5 cups vinegar, 2.5 cups water, 4 Tbsp salt

Spicy Dilly Beans, each jar gets 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp dill seed, 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (recipe called for 1 tsp per jar)

Other Dilly Beans, each jar gets 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp dill seed, 1/2 tsp mustard seed, 1/2 tsp celery seed
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 29, 2020, 07:59:28 AM
I could use some... just send them down here. My first planting was pretty much ruined by cucumber beetles... so my second round (in a different location) is starting to produce now. I'm still hopeful! My fermented pickles  (from cucumbers given by a neighbor) are doing well... probably almost ready to jar up and put in the fridge.

I'd like to make the sweet pickle recipe from my grandma if I get enough once the cucumbers really start producing...

I have some little bitty watermelons starting now and was able to harvest four butternut squash so far... still fighting the squash bug battle every day. So far, I've kept the adult numbers to a minimum by painstakingly picking off all the eggs I can find every day... and squishing any adult or juvenile bugs. I know it wouldn't really be feasible in a larger garden, but for my little beds, it is workable.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 29, 2020, 05:13:26 PM
I could use some... just send them down here.

... still fighting the squash bug battle every day
I don't remember where "down here" is.  But if you were close, I'd give you all that you want.

I have never had issues with squash bugs, in my area squash vine borers are the problem.  They will take a healthy zucchini plant down over night.  I've been able to successfully get the grub in the past.  Luckily I haven't had that problem this year.  All the squash are doing well.

I'm starting to get some tomatoes.  It just occurred to me last night that I didn't have enough bottled lemon juice, so looked at options.  I decided that this year I'm going to use citric acid instead of lemon juice this year.  I picked up a jar of Ball's citric acid at a local small Ace store.  As I stated in the canning flats thread (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=61905.msg774747#msg774747), I took my daughter for a driving lesson and stopped at a small hardware store.  Was thrilled to find they had plenty of regular lids.

(https://i.imgur.com/6lIQyxJ.jpeg)

In case anybody wasn't aware, there's a shortage in canning stuff this year.  Amazon has 2 box packs listed for $25.  I paid $3.59 in the store, which is still pretty high, but certainly not $12/box
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 30, 2020, 11:37:46 PM
I don't remember where "down here" is.  But if you were close, I'd give you all that you want.

I have never had issues with squash bugs, in my area squash vine borers are the problem.  They will take a healthy zucchini plant down over night.  I've been able to successfully get the grub in the past.  Luckily I haven't had that problem this year.  All the squash are doing well.

I'm starting to get some tomatoes.  It just occurred to me last night that I didn't have enough bottled lemon juice, so looked at options.  I decided that this year I'm going to use citric acid instead of lemon juice this year.  I picked up a jar of Ball's citric acid at a local small Ace store.  As I stated in the canning flats thread (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=61905.msg774747#msg774747), I took my daughter for a driving lesson and stopped at a small hardware store.  Was thrilled to find they had plenty of regular lids.


Tennessee -- too far for cucumber pickup or delivery!!!
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on July 31, 2020, 06:01:45 PM
Just a preservation update today. 

I cut and froze a bunch of green peppers.
Grated a metric crap ton of zucchini.
Wife made 6 loaves of zucchini bread, froze 5 of them.
Froze a bunch more bags of shredded zucchini.
Made up 6 more pints of zucchini relish.

Preserved harvest 2020
13 pints dill pickles
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
62.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
4.5 pounds chopped and frozen green peppers
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on July 31, 2020, 06:47:46 PM

How did you bag and freeze the shredded zucchini?

Bag and freeze?, or freeze on a cookie sheet then bag it?
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on July 31, 2020, 09:19:44 PM
When I bag and freeze my zucchini, I measure it out in a measuring cup for the amount I would use for a recipe and transfer to a freezer bag, flatten out and remove as much air as possible and freeze. Haven't tried the cookie sheet method, but I'm guessing it would work, too.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 01, 2020, 08:45:22 AM
We freeze a lot on the sheet, then transfer to a bag. That way it doesn't all stick together, like cantaloupe. We slice and cut into chunks, freeze on cookie sheets, then transfer to a big 2 gallon freezer bag. Comes apart fairly easy that way when you need a portion.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 01, 2020, 10:37:09 AM
For the shredded zucchini, we do just like LvsChant does.  We measure out what is needed for each of the various recipes.  Doesn't matter if shredded zucchini freezes into a big mass of squash.

For the chunks of squash, the green beans and the peppers, I spread those on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet to freeze.  Then bag them.

We have a baby rabbit living in the garden.  It has been bedding down among my tomatoes.  It doesn't mess with any of the garden plants, so I'm not really worrying about it.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 01, 2020, 09:35:11 PM
Repost from the tomatoes thread.

So tonight most of dinner was from the garden.  We had a quart of green beans that didn't seal and 2 of the spaghetti squash I harvested last week.  I didn't have time to make up a sauce, so that came from a jar.

But I found that the spaghetti squash was fully ripe, so I harvested a bunch more.  I also counted the squash still on the vine and there's at least 16 that have plenty of time to ripen.  There's also a couple more that might not have enough time.  We also have at least 8 pumpkins turning orange.  I'll probably be harvesting the first of them in a week or so.

The mandatory shot of the spaghetti squash harvest.  The striped type is what we ate tonight.

(https://i.imgur.com/MsjXLQ9.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 04, 2020, 07:25:08 PM
Had the tropical storm come through today.  All I harvested was a couple zucchini.  One was really weird.  It had the flower on the end still.  The flower was really wide and completely covered the end of the zucchini.  When I pulled back the flower, it looked like the skin didn't grow over the end of the zucchini.  There were seeds visible like in the pic.  Anyone seen something weird like this?

(https://i.imgur.com/EBQ0a9Y.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 05, 2020, 07:02:04 AM
Weird

Wow


No
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on August 05, 2020, 08:58:12 AM
maybe a relative to corn smut? https://images.app.goo.gl/iZMQ524XoRTyemnCA

haha
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 09, 2020, 02:54:40 PM
Harvested the spaghetti squash today.  I brought in 17 spaghetti squash and we had 4 from previously, ate a couple and gave a couple away.  So those 3 plants produced 25 squash.  Also brought in a bunch of tomatoes, a couple peppers and a couple zucchini.  We've never had zucchini plants make it this long, usually the squash vine borers have taken out my plants.

(https://i.imgur.com/kOA6Gfj.jpeg)

My wife didn't like the dill pickles that we put up previously.  So we ended up dumping them.  But we made a different recipe.  Canned 14 pint of dill pickles using the Ball dill pickle package.  We had left over brine, so made up 4 jars of dill pickle relish with the brine.  Also processed some of the tomatoes I froze last week.  I made up 9 half pints of pizza sauce using the Pick Your Own pizza sauce recipe (http://pickyourown.org/pizzasauce.htm).  This is the first time I've made pizza sauce.  The UGA site says that it needed to be acidified, so used the citric acid.  The sauce ended up a bit sweet and a bit acidic, hopefully we'll like this recipe.

(https://i.imgur.com/1baHZ6Q.jpeg)

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
62.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
4.5 pounds chopped and frozen green peppers
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 10, 2020, 07:00:08 PM

Picked some green peppers and jalapeno peppers, but just as part of the salsa I made today.  I usually use the Annie's Salsa recipe/ (https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/annie-s-original-salsa/)  The whole family really loves this recipe.  I did things a little differently this time.  We've been cleaning out some junk in the basement and I came across the accessory kit (https://amzn.to/3kHnvwu) for my Roma food strainer.  I had completely forgotten that I had this thing.  I use the strainger regularly to make sauce and paste, but this kit has a "salsa screen" with 1/4" holes to make chunky puree.  I put half the tomatoes through the strainer and chopped the other half.  I think I'm going to put all the tomatoes through the strainer next time I make it.  I had forgotten the texture of the salsa.  I don't end up with chunks, just a  chunky texture.  I may try putting the peppers through this as well.

So I ended up making 12 pints of Annie's Salsa.

(https://i.imgur.com/DSoZ9ym.jpg)

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
62.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
4.5 pounds chopped and frozen green peppers
12 pints Annie's salsa
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on August 11, 2020, 12:46:39 PM
Is this the type of food strainer you have? WESTON STRAINER (https://smile.amazon.com/Weston-82-0250-W-Deluxe-Electric-Strainer/dp/B07G51XYX2/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2YAKORFYXEZJ4&dchild=1&keywords=weston+tomato+press+and+sauce+maker&qid=1597171441&s=home-garden&sprefix=weston+tomato+press+and+sauc%2Cgarden%2C177&sr=1-4)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 11, 2020, 05:20:51 PM
Is this the type of food strainer you have? WESTON STRAINER (https://smile.amazon.com/Weston-82-0250-W-Deluxe-Electric-Strainer/dp/B07G51XYX2/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2YAKORFYXEZJ4&dchild=1&keywords=weston+tomato+press+and+sauce+maker&qid=1597171441&s=home-garden&sprefix=weston+tomato+press+and+sauc%2Cgarden%2C177&sr=1-4)

Nope, this one (https://amzn.to/2PL7eby) is what I have.  Hand crank only.  I also have an "expansion" kit for it.  That has a berry, a squash, a salsa screen and a grape "screw" for squeezing the juice out.

Put 10 pounds of Roma tomatoes into the freezer.  I decided that since I usually take out the seeds, I might as well do that before putting them in the freezer.  I've found that  1 gallon Ziploc bag holds right around 5 pounds of Roma tomatoes without the seeds.

I'll pull them out in a couple of days to make another batch of salsa.  My daughter loves it and has it just about every afternoon for a snack.  A batch of salsa uses about 5 pounds of tomatoes.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on August 11, 2020, 09:37:58 PM
Is this the type of food strainer you have? WESTON STRAINER (https://smile.amazon.com/Weston-82-0250-W-Deluxe-Electric-Strainer/dp/B07G51XYX2/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2YAKORFYXEZJ4&dchild=1&keywords=weston+tomato+press+and+sauce+maker&qid=1597171441&s=home-garden&sprefix=weston+tomato+press+and+sauc%2Cgarden%2C177&sr=1-4)

Looks good... I haven't gotten one of those yet... but was thinking it would be nice to add to the canning apparatus preps. I typically raw-pack tomatoes as diced tomatoes... just blanch, remove skins and chop up. I had been water bath canning, but went ahead and pressure canned this year and it has worked very well -- not a single jar that didn't seal properly. I haven't had the type of big crop yet this year to make me want to make sauce this year, but maybe next year
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 13, 2020, 09:02:30 AM
Early harvest today, they are expecting a lot of storms all day, so figured I'd get the tomatoes harvested so I can use them today.  The bin on the left is about 5 pounds of Roma tomatoes.  There's a couple of okra that are pushing the limit on edible.  A couple of really good looking tomatoes in the back.  Those are the last of the peppers on the green pepper plants.  They may be fully ripe, so the plant thinks it doesn't need to produce more.  The yellow, orange and red bell peppers are covered with fruit.  Same with the jalapeno peppers, the plants are just covered.

(https://i.imgur.com/35WnqwG.jpeg)

I like to grow jalapeno peppers, they are just so prolific.  Here's a close up of one of the biggest I've ever gotten.  That's a AA battery for scale.  The one on the right is about the biggest that I usually get.  I'm going to make these into poppers and freeze them.  I've found this works fantastic.  I'll end up with a big container of them that I'll pull some every time I grill over the Winter.

(https://i.imgur.com/QvhFsRt.jpeg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 13, 2020, 09:15:19 AM
 8) Nice haul.

Try some habanaro's. You think jalapeno's go to town.......4-5 plants, and you can share with your whole county.  ;D ;D
Course they don't fit the picture of usefulness as the jalapeno's do.
They're mainly good for burning the hair off yer arse.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 13, 2020, 04:20:31 PM
8) Nice haul.

Try some habanaro's. You think jalapeno's go to town.......4-5 plants, and you can share with your whole county.  ;D ;D
Course they don't fit the picture of usefulness as the jalapeno's do.
They're mainly good for burning the hair off yer arse.
No habaneros for me.

Made a mistake on the Roma peppers, that's about 12 pounds in there.  It will end up being 5-6 pounds if I take out the seeds and goo.

I got a new Ball canning book.  I made up a batch of the Garlic-Basil tomato sauce.  Ended up with 10 pint jars.  I also cut up the peppers to make up more salsa tomorrow.  Also cut up the rest of the peppers and froze them, I won't know what they weigh until I bag them up tomorrow.

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
62.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
4.5 pounds chopped and frozen green peppers
12 pints Annie's salsa
10 pints Garlic-Basil tomato sauce
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 15, 2020, 07:44:12 PM
The peppers from the other day ended up being about 1.5 pounds.  I was going to make salsa yesterday, but found that I can't use the frozen tomatoes with the salsa screen on my food mill.  The skins clog up the holes.  So I just ran them through the sauce screen and froze the puree.  I'll use that to make sauce when I get enough puree to make it worth my while to cook down.

I used the pizza sauce to grill some pizzas tonight.  It turned out pretty good.  It's a little sweet to me, but it was good.  Here's my pizza with turkey sausage and basil and oregano from the garden.
(https://i.imgur.com/baUZGjN.jpg)

Harvested a bunch of jalapeno peppers.  Made up 6 dozen poppers.
(https://i.imgur.com/dCWibx8.jpg)

Finally, this is the first time that we grew watermelons.  We found one split.  My guess is that the skin hardened up a bit and we've had rain every day for the past week.  Not overly wet, but a little rain every day.
(https://i.imgur.com/R5h6hNO.jpg)

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
62.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
6.0 pounds chopped and frozen bell peppers
12 pints Annie's salsa
10 pints Garlic-Basil tomato sauce
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 15, 2020, 08:59:10 PM

Never seen a green striped Pac-Man before
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 16, 2020, 02:15:24 PM
Made up 27 pints of salsa today.  Also grated and froze more zucchini.

Gave the neighbor zucchini and tomatoes.

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
78.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
6.0 pounds chopped and frozen bell peppers
39 pints Annie's salsa
10 pints Garlic-Basil tomato sauce
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 16, 2020, 06:32:58 PM
 8)


We're doing salsa tues or wed.
Currently covered up in green beans and okra.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 16, 2020, 07:02:08 PM
8)
We're doing salsa tues or wed.
This is the recipe I've used for the past 10 years or so.  It's the best.

Annie's salsa (https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/annie-s-original-salsa/)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 16, 2020, 07:14:18 PM
Thanks. That one looks good. Not too vinegary.
Red sent me one to try also.

I have 4-5 different recipes I've used. Not totally happy with the ones I've done.
Usually do 3-6 dozen pints each year.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 16, 2020, 07:53:19 PM
I leave out the cilantro because it tastes like soap to me.  I've only tried 4 or 5 recipes, and this was the best for me.  It's fantastic.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 21, 2020, 05:21:04 PM
Dinner last night was almost completely from the garden.  Spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce and zucchini tots and green beans.  I found the sauce is not thick enough and is lacking on anything outside of tomatoes.  So I'll have to figure out if I'm going to dump them or try re-cooking the sauce.  I'll need to add a bunch more garlic and basil.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 21, 2020, 07:34:20 PM

Depending on much you canned, I would add spices and cook it on down.
Maybe add some corn starch.

Your Annie's sauce is fabulous. I've made 35? pints. 3 was just the juice I skimmed off of one batch as I didn't drain the tomatoes well.
First 2 batches I left the cilantro out as you suggested. Last batch (today) sheboss demanded we add it. Had some dried and ground, no fresh.  We'll see on that.  ::) . Cook taste test, I tend to agree on the soap taste.  ;D
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Redman on August 22, 2020, 06:37:11 AM
Cilantro is good stuff. I've never seen dried cilantro. Coriander is the seeds of the cilantro plant whole or ground. The whole plant including the roots is used in some Asian and Pacific island cooking.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 22, 2020, 06:38:48 AM
I tend to agree on the soap taste.  ;D
I'm one with the gene that makes it taste like soap.

Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap to Some People? (https://www.britannica.com/story/why-does-cilantro-taste-like-soap-to-some-people)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Redman on August 22, 2020, 08:10:06 AM
Well I learned something so today isn't a total loss.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on August 22, 2020, 08:26:39 AM
soapy to me, too.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 22, 2020, 08:53:35 AM
Well I learned something so today isn't a total loss.


10-4
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 23, 2020, 05:08:49 PM
The zucchini and yellow squash has pretty much run its course.  My wife decided to pull the plants today while I was out.  We've had a ton of squash bugs lately and this will certainly help.

Been harvesting a lot of the smaller orange peppers.  I'm a big fan of these "lunch box" peppers.  They are very prolific and quickly turn orange, unlike the red bell peppers.  There are several BIG bell peppers that are starting to ripen, but it's taking a long time.

The Roma tomatoes are pretty much done.  There's a few more left on the vines, but not a lot.  I still have a bunch left on the "regular" tomatoes.

I canned up 24 more pints of Annie's salsa.  We're pretty much set for the year.  It will likely last us until about June of next year. 

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
78.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
6.0 pounds chopped and frozen bell peppers
63 pints Annie's salsa
10 pints Garlic-Basil tomato sauce
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 23, 2020, 06:03:25 PM
Amazing how fast a garden goes down when it starts turning.
My grean bean leaves have been drying and shriveling, and the lower okra leaves/stems are drying and falling off. Cantaloupe plants are yellowing
Fall is coming
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 25, 2020, 07:05:54 PM
I grow okra just because my wife and daughter like them.  She mainly breads them with cornmeal and fries them up.  Since that's mainly her thing, she's been blanching and freezing them.

We also cut and froze another 1.5 pounds of bell peppers.

I also had a bunch more Roma tomatoes and wanted to try something that I have done before.  So I made up a batch of a tomato and chiles thing, sorta like Rotel.  I canned up 13 half pints of them.  I had 11 of them seal just fine within about 10 minutes.  The last 2 ended up sealing, but it took at least 30 minutes.  I'm not really sure why some take so much longer to seal than others.

Canned Tomatoes and Chilies (https://anoregoncottage.com/canned-tomatoes-chilies-aka-rotel/)

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
78.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
7.5 pounds chopped and frozen bell peppers
63 pints Annie's salsa
10 pints Garlic-Basil tomato sauce
13 half pints tomatoes with chiles (Rotel clone)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 25, 2020, 08:17:09 PM

When I get a jar that lags behind and seems it isn't going to seal within 5 minutes of the others, and fairly sure there hasn't been a boil over, I snug the ring good, flip the jar over and let the product heat the seal and lid. Sometimes they will seal upside down. I leave it for 5, then upright it. Most usually it will seal.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on August 27, 2020, 10:15:01 AM
I pressure canned up more green beans yesterday and had 7 of the jars seal immediately, with two lagging behind... they were a different brand of lids. The fast sealers were from a box of Kerr lids... the other two were Ball brand. When the slow jars did seal, they were very loud - heard a big pop each time... no idea why.

I must add that I have had this stock of lids for probably about 8 years -- bought at a huge closeout price back in 2012. They all seem to be working fine, so all is well.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 27, 2020, 04:34:20 PM

I've always liked/preferred the Kerr lids. Gold with Kerr embossed on the lid. They always seal.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 27, 2020, 05:06:15 PM
I've never seen Kerr lids in my area.  Once in a while there will be some jars, but never lids.

Tore up a bunch of the garden.  I'll have to do some shopping for seeds.  I think I want vining peas for Fall.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 30, 2020, 05:26:30 PM
Did some garden cleanup today.  I pruned back the Roma tomatoes pretty severely.  I pulled out a lot of them.  The slicing tomatoes are still in place, but I pruned out a lot of the branches that didn't have tomatoes on them.  I also pulled the Fordhook lima beans.  We didn't get any beans off of these and they take so long that the Mexican bean beetles cause a lot of damage before we get any beans.

Here's a shot of the last of the ripe Roma tomatoes.  I'm not sure what I'm doing with these yet.

(https://i.imgur.com/YvLDwYR.jpg)

I picked up this chipper shredder off of Craigslist.  It looks practically brand new and starts on the first pull.  The only thing I found that was wrong is the gas cap had a big crack in it, I picked up a replacement cap  It will take a little while to get used to using this.  I've found that when I put branches through that have leaves, I have to poke around in there a bit with the next branch of the leaves will pack into the chute and stop anything from feeding.  I'll probably get a lot of use out of the leaf chute in the Fall.

(https://i.imgur.com/nHjqt9o.jpg)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on August 30, 2020, 05:43:48 PM
I've often thought I could use a chipper. I know I could, but haven't wanted to lay the cash out. And, I'd want a tractor mount.

Roma's look good there.  8)
I've pulled a bunch of my plants. About one more picking and I'll pull all of them.
Pick the small green maters and pickle those along with some onions.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 30, 2020, 05:46:45 PM
I've often thought I could use a chipper. I know I could, but haven't wanted to lay the cash out. And, I'd want a tractor mount.

I've been making trips to the yard waste facility every couple of weeks to get rid of the branches and debris.  I think I got a good deal on it.  I don't have a tractor, so...
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on September 03, 2020, 06:21:29 PM
Getting pretty close to the end.  We've never had much luck with red bell peppers.  This year has been a good year.  Here's a shot of some of the peppers.

(https://i.imgur.com/UHFYXsi.jpeg)

I chopped 15 pounds of Roma tomatoes and froze them.  I have about 25 pounds in the freezer.  I'll probably make tomato paste out of them, but I'm not sure.

We also chopped and froze a bunch of peppers.  Not sure how many pounds yet.  Will update tomorrow.  Also blanched and froze more okra.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on September 03, 2020, 06:54:39 PM
Peppers look good.
I planted several varieties this year. One was Ozark Giants, which never even flowered. Bad pepper year for us, except for hot peppers. They always do good.  ::)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on September 05, 2020, 11:16:59 AM
Congratulations on the chipper... we bit the bullet this year and bought a tractor mount chipper shredder... works very well... but haven't used it much yet because of other projects taking priority...

Your tomatoes and peppers are looking good. I'm finally starting to see production on my pepper plants and the tomatoes are mostly still growing, although the plants look a little sad as I pruned all the blighted parts on the lower parts off. I'm getting quite a few green beans from the second planting. The cucumber and squash beetles killed my cucumbers before they really produced much, so next year I'll have to try again on cucumbers for more pickling. I think I have enough dill for the winter, but would have liked to make some sweet ones, too.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on September 06, 2020, 10:09:24 AM
The peppers I chopped and froze were right around 2.5 pounds.  That makes 10 pounds of peppers.

Picked the rest of the bigger jalapeno peppers, I left some of the smaller ones.  There's still flowers on the plants.  I decided to try making some cowboy candy.  I've never had it before, but it sounded pretty good.  I made this Candied Jalapenos (https://www.thechunkychef.com/candied-jalapenos/) recipe

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
78.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
10 pounds chopped and frozen bell peppers
63 pints Annie's salsa
10 pints Garlic-Basil tomato sauce
13 half pints tomatoes with chiles (Rotel clone)
4 half pints cowboy candy
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on September 06, 2020, 10:36:49 AM
*63 pints Annie's salsa*
 8) 8)

Awesome salsa. I stopped at 36 pints as we needed tomatoes for other canning, and I have almost 4 cases of various recipes left from last year.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on September 06, 2020, 04:09:10 PM
*63 pints Annie's salsa*
 8) 8)

Awesome salsa. I stopped at 36 pints as we needed tomatoes for other canning, and I have almost 4 cases of various recipes left from last year.
Yep, daughter will eat lat least 75% of that.  She has it a lot for a snack after school.

So what do you use your tomatoes for?
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on September 06, 2020, 04:58:10 PM
Eating fresh
Canning straight tomatoes
Tomato juice, kinda like V-8
And our garden stew.
Spaghetti sauces
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on September 21, 2020, 06:30:27 PM
Nights are getting colder.  I had frost on my windshield this morning.  Last night I picked all the jalapeno peppers that were big enough.  I left a bunch of small ones on the plants.  Tonight I made up 4 more half pints of cowboy candy. 

Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
78.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
10 pounds chopped and frozen bell peppers
63 pints Annie's salsa
10 pints Garlic-Basil tomato sauce
13 half pints tomatoes with chiles (Rotel clone)
8 half pints cowboy candy
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on September 22, 2020, 10:09:56 AM
Wow! You did great this year!
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on September 26, 2020, 01:42:05 PM
Since the family wasn't eating the watermelons, I decided to try making some watermelon jelly.  I've never made it before, so I picked 2 different recipes.  The dark one was from Taste of Home (https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/watermelon-jelly/).  It called for white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar, I only had regular balsamic, so that's why it's so dark.  The other recipe came from Daily Dish (https://dailydishrecipes.com/watermelon-jelly-twc-92/) and uses the powdered pectin.  I ended up with 5 half pints of each.  Both taste pretty good, time will tell which we like best.

(https://i.imgur.com/VWBc11d.jpg)


Preserved harvest 2020
14 pints dill pickles
4 pints dill pickle relish
60 pints bread and butter pickles
18 bags of blanched and frozen summer squash (1 bag = 1 meal)
19 quarts green beans
9 half pints pizza sauce
2 bags of blanched and frozen green beans  (1 bag = 1 meal)
78.5 cups shredded and frozen zucchini
3 pints chunky cucumber relish
12 pints zucchini relish
4 pints dilly beans
10 pounds chopped and frozen bell peppers
63 pints Annie's salsa
10 pints Garlic-Basil tomato sauce
13 half pints tomatoes with chiles (Rotel clone)
8 half pints cowboy candy
10 half pints watermelon jelly
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: Stwood on September 27, 2020, 08:06:12 AM
 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: fritz_monroe on September 27, 2020, 05:33:32 PM
Cracked my first jar of cowboy candy.  Spread some cream cheese on Triscuit thins and topped with a piece of cowboy candy.

(https://i.imgur.com/moTE130.jpeg)

Verdict is they are damned tasty.  I'm glad I cored the jalapeno peppers before candying them.  I like a little heat, but not a lot.  These provide a little bit of heat at the end.  I'm glad I made these.  We are expecting "seasonal temperatures" at the end of the week.  I hope to snag the last of the jalapeno peppers just prior and will make up another batch.  I don't think that 10 half pints will be enough for the year.
Title: Re: Fritz's garden 2020
Post by: LvsChant on September 28, 2020, 01:07:37 PM
Looks great, Fritz! My jalapenos are just now starting to produce... I don't think I'll have enough to try it this year, though. My husband is planning to make poppers...