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Re: The August garden report (loooong)

Zem - not much better here.  The ranchers and farmers are having a bad
time.  No one is going to get a fall hay crop in.  Shades of '99 when
they were having to import hay from Iowa, Illinois & Missouri.  And
gas wasn't so high then.  Can you imagine what hay is going to go for
around here??  Scandalous.  Stock tanks are dried up & the lake levels
are dropping.

On 8/24/05, Zemuly Sanders <zsanders@midsouth.rr.com> wrote:
> Well, Cyndi, nobody can say your've been goofing off!  I only plant a few
> garden items in pots, so I can keep up with them.  Just about everything
> else is either covered by every noxious weed native to this area or dead or
> both.  The drought here has taken a major toll on everything.  Just heard
> this morning that the governor of Arkansas has requested the feds declare
> his state an agricultural disaster, and I understand the Mississippi Delta
> is doing no better.
> zem
> zone 7
> West TN
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSR" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 1:19 PM
> Subject: [CHAT] The August garden report (loooong)
> > I'd like to be able to write about how great my ornamental garden is
> > doing,
> > but unfortunately the vegetables took almost all my time this year. The
> > teahouse garden is doing okay, I just dug up and gave away hundreds of
> > bearded iris out of there, thanks to whoever mentioned Freecycle on this
> > list. The iris were there before the teahouse garden and I thought I could
> > work them in, but in the end they just didn't look right. My husband was
> > able to weed in there for me, it's the one place he can't really mistake a
> > weed for something I planted.
> > My dry garden is also doing okay although it's in need of a little
> > weeding.
> > My desert willow (Chilopsis) are really growing and blooming, and the
> > spineless Opuntia cactus has actually been blooming on and off since
> > spring.
> > Penstemon bloomed great and some of the salvia are still blooming as well.
> > I
> > found penstemon seedlings there earlier this year which was fun.
> > The cottage garden...well, it's pretty weedy so I won't talk about it,
> > other
> > than to say that the third Chrysler Imperial rose (I've killed two) is
> > growing and blooming, with the perfume exactly what I wanted.
> > In the vegetable garden, I planted way more than I needed of just about
> > everything. And it has been a weird year, which I guess is due to the
> > incredibly wet winter. I had powdery mildew on my summer squash. At least,
> > I
> > think that's what it was, never seen it before but they were covered. I
> > ended up spraying with a mix of baking soda and light horticultural oil,
> > which didn't remove it from the older leaves but it is no longer
> > spreading.
> > And I don't have whiteflies or leafhoppers this year, usually they are a
> > real pest. That's nice.
> > I planted four different beds with six tomato plants each. That was nuts,
> > I
> > never would have had time to deal with that many tomatoes if they had all
> > produced. However, they didn't. I had blossom end rot so bad in two of the
> > beds - they had Big Mama and Viva Italias - that not one of those plants
> > has
> > produced a useful fruit. I know all about the causes and tried all sorts
> > of
> > things but to no avail. I think I'm going to spring for a soil analysis
> > and
> > see if anything jumps out to be done. The other two beds did okay. I
> > planted
> > Classica and Super San Marzano paste tomatoes in one, they did quite well
> > with big crops from each. The other area was my fresh-eating tomatoes. I
> > put
> > in Black Plum, Rose, Heatwave, Sunmaster, and Red Pear. The Black Plum
> > started off well but something did it in; I haven't looked through my
> > books
> > for the exact disease but there were huge chunks of just dead shriveled
> > leaves on it, and it didn't grow fast enough to outpace that, although it
> > isn't quite dead yet. It also had a little problem with BER. Otherwise I
> > liked the fruit, maybe ping-pong ball size, good flavor. The Red Pear is
> > very interesting looking, pear-shaped and fluted, but didn't set many
> > fruit
> > and they are rather wet and flavorless to me. Huge plant though. Rose is
> > quite nice, a dark pink medium size, more fruit than Red Pear, and a
> > strong
> > grower. I liked its flavor too. Sunmaster and Heatwave are always good
> > performers with strong growth, medium size red fruit, and they set well
> > except in the most extreme heat. They both tend to crack somewhat.
> > A little disappointed in the melons. I usually grow Ambrosia canteloupes
> > and
> > Galia, a green melon. This year the Ambrosia all rotted on the vine about
> > when they were getting ripe. Don't know what caused that except maybe the
> > temps right then were hitting over 100 consistently. There are more melons
> > setting now.
> > My herb bed could have done better. Last year I direct-seeded basil,
> > cilantro, parsley and dill, then left on a 3 week vacation. When I came
> > back
> > there were so many weeds! The basil outgrew it all and I made gallons of
> > pesto for the freezer. This year did the same thing except for the
> > vacation.
> > The weeds also returned but I had trouble separating them from the herb
> > seedlings. The basil didn't sprout. Never saw the cilantro. The parsley
> > was
> > overcome. But the dill triumphed and I picked and froze a zillion dill
> > heads
> > for making pickles later. Which brings me to the cucumbers...still
> > attempting to take over my kitchen in the sheer volume of fruit
> > produced...I
> > will never plant six cucumber plants again. Never. On the plus side, I
> > will
> > not run short of pickles ever, and people at work seem to appreciate cukes
> > more than zucchini. Go figure.
> > Lastly the peppers, I doubled up the number I usually plant and they are
> > almost all thriving. I can freeze those. I shouldn't jinx it by saying so
> > but I rarely have problems with peppers. The jalapenos, Anaheims, anchos
> > are
> > great. The bells have a little bit of BER but not like the tomatoes. The
> > Italians (giant Marconi) had a little trouble - a couple appear stunted -
> > but there are plenty of good sized peppers. Roasted red pepper sauce,
> > grilled red peppers, sauteed peppers and onions, chile rellenos, mmmm. I
> > love peppers.
> > And that's about it. Next year the vegs will be cut way back and I will
> > attempt to devote myself to the cottage garden, which sorely needs
> > renovating.
> >
> > Cyndi
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Pam Evans
Kemp TX
zone 8A

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