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cactusflinthead

2019 Gardening thread of homegrown tomatoes

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Another 23 jars of dill pickles. Also got our first cantaloupes of the season. Probably have about 5 more on the vines and 3 watermelons. 3936b2fd58e012d5dff57ffe8bd2d383.jpg463d2c3d7176d91ad800c4b678f7d57f.jpg

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Been thinking about starting a garden but if it gets devoured by bugs/birds, I'd probably never try again. Want to get the pest control aspect figured out before I put in time and money.

Advice? 

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54 minutes ago, GotThatFire said:

Been thinking about starting a garden but if it gets devoured by bugs/birds, I'd probably never try again. Want to get the pest control aspect figured out before I put in time and money.

Advice? 

A lot has to do with if you want to go full organic or you don't mind spray pesticides in your garden to keep the pests away. Even with pesticides, it's not 100%. To me, beating the pests is part of the "joy" of gardening. It's a war each year and you better be ready to come to battle. Myself, I don't mind spraying certain pesticides to kill things like squash bugs as I haven't had any luck with anything organic. But for things like tomato hornworms or leaf eating caterpillars, I will use an organic spray like BT. 

What I try to do is plant enough that if the bugs get to a few plants, then no big deal. I would say that I get 50% of my tomato plants to really thrive. 

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Speaking of wars, I saw a good amount of ants wandering around leaves on my raised bed. 

Won’t have produce for a month, so probably going to knock some sevin around. Maybe tobacco tea. Either way, nuke time. 

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On 7/16/2019 at 4:04 PM, Both Tacos said:

A lot has to do with if you want to go full organic or you don't mind spray pesticides in your garden to keep the pests away. Even with pesticides, it's not 100%. To me, beating the pests is part of the "joy" of gardening. It's a war each year and you better be ready to come to battle. Myself, I don't mind spraying certain pesticides to kill things like squash bugs as I haven't had any luck with anything organic. But for things like tomato hornworms or leaf eating caterpillars, I will use an organic spray like BT. 

What I try to do is plant enough that if the bugs get to a few plants, then no big deal. I would say that I get 50% of my tomato plants to really thrive. 

This. Este. Right fucking there. 

I'm about half tempted to start a CR thread of no holds barred on GMOs, vaccines and the origins of organophosphates. 

You ever tried a tobacco spray on the squash bugs?

I ain't done shit this year. I have some volunteer gourds and a bunch of weeds. The accounts are better but my garden is asleep and begging me to visit. This new gig is almost a hostile takeover. I get home and all I want to do is collapse 

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This. Este. Right fucking there. 
I'm about half tempted to start a CR thread of no holds barred on GMOs, vaccines and the origins of organophosphates. 
You ever tried a tobacco spray on the squash bugs?
I ain't done shit this year. I have some volunteer gourds and a bunch of weeds. The accounts are better but my garden is asleep and begging me to visit. This new gig is almost a hostile takeover. I get home and all I want to do is collapse 
Never tried tobacco spray.

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6 hours ago, Both Tacos said:
On 7/17/2019 at 8:54 PM, cactusflinthead said:
This. Este. Right fucking there. 
I'm about half tempted to start a CR thread of no holds barred on GMOs, vaccines and the origins of organophosphates. 
You ever tried a tobacco spray on the squash bugs?
I ain't done shit this year. I have some volunteer gourds and a bunch of weeds. The accounts are better but my garden is asleep and begging me to visit. This new gig is almost a hostile takeover. I get home and all I want to do is collapse 

Never tried tobacco spray.

It's like making sun tea. Big old three finger wad of pipe or chewing tobacco in a gallon of water.  Let it steep a day or so. A cup of that with a teaspoon of soap in a gallon sprayer. 

Don't worry about tobacco mosaic. It has to move from live host to live host to be pathenogenic.

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I’ve used the below recipe/method for years. Works great when a nuclear option is needed, and as well as sevin. It doesn’t stick around as long, so will need to use it more frequent. Be wary of flowers, you don’t want to kill off the pollinators.

 

Tobacco Tea

1 pouch chewing tobacco. (Redman, Levi, whatever.)
1/2 cup lemon dishwashing liquid
4 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper


- Put tobacco in a small pot, add enough water to cover tobacco about an inch and let soak 10-15 minutes.
-- (I use a small sauce pan for this, and fill it about halfway. End up being 3-4 cups of water, give or take.)

- Bring tobacco to a boil, then back off the heat to just enough to keep it hot.

- Steep the tobacco (like tea) for about 30 minutes

- While the tobacco is steeping, put 1 gallon of hot water into a bucket.

- Add the remaining ingredients to the bucket, and mix real well.

- When the tobacco is done, strain the water into the bucket (mash the tobacco to get all the juice) and mix well.


This amount should cover 1500-2000sq ft, and kills bugs dead.
 

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Now if I could fix this fucking bird issue I’m having, I might get some tomatoes. So far I’ve gotten maybe a dozen sauce and 3 slice, with 4dz or so having to be tossed. 

Hung up cd’s, and tin foil squares, and it seems to be helping but not fully effective. 

Picked up some rubber sneks off amazon on the cheap. They get here tomorrow, so we’ll see if that helps.  

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Can’t get a cat. Old lady is highly allergic. 

Will have a new pup the end of September, but doesn’t do much for the time being.

 

Could go with bird netting, if I have to. We’ll see how the snek thing works. Worst case is they don’t, but I stick one behind the toilet and scare the shit out of the wife. So either way I’m getting my monies worth. 

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I use a stuffed animal snake to keep birds from nesting over my front door and it's been pretty effective. 

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I’m fairly certain it’s only a pair of juvenile mocking birds. At least those are the ones I’ve caught red handed. The cd’s/foil seem to have helped, but not completely solved the issue. 

I may add a few more tinfoil “streamers” in a couple spots if needed, and maybe next year I rig up a netted cage over the entire garden. Small enough holes to keep the birds out, but big enough for the bees to get through. I hate to go all walmart trailer on it, so will need to think it through first before I knee-jerk into something overly ghetto.

If I thought I would be here another 10 years, I would screen/wire in a more permanent option. May end up with something like row-cover hoops but put netting over it and lift as needed for access. 

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You can also pick them when they just start changing colors. Usually they go after the red ones, so I know people who just pick them when they start changing from green and let them ripen inside
Luckily, I have cats and dogs which even with blue bird houses I don't have a problem.

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What’s the point of growing your own if you’re picking early? Seems a waste. 

While they do go for the ripe ones, they’ve been at some of the green ones too. 

 

Sneks deployed. Now to watch and see what happens. If I don’t see any activity in the back corner on top of the fence, I’ll know it’s working somewhat. 

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We may have success. 

Saw one of those juvenile fuckers land on the fence, right behind the garden. It was chirping and making a racket towards the garden, hopping around on top of the fence, and after a minute or two it flew off. 

I left a couple choice cherry tomatoes on the vine this evening and will check them tomorrow morning after the sun has been up a while. If those are clean, this may be working.  If so, I’ll clean up any remaining tomatoes that have been pecked and keep an eye out. 

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I’m not declaring victory just yet, but maybe a successful opening salvo is in progress. So far not a peck one on my cherry toms in the rail box. It did rain this morning early (between 5 & 7) so that may have influenced behavior as well. Will keep an eye out. 

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Posted (edited)

We got several buckets of roma and beefsteak tomatoes, pickled several jars of cucumbers, jalapenos and got some nice zucchinis without spraying anything.  We also have several cantaloupes. We grew leafy, arugula, and other lettuce at the end of the winter/early spring seasons.  True, our plants now are being attacked but we're done until fall.  Birds kept pinching our tomatoes early on so we wound up getting a few store bought plants so they were bigger.  Our garden box is only 4' x 6'.  We also have several garden spiders now which makes me happy.  Think they are our bug repellents currently. 

Edited by Mdhorn

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Stand corrected--went into the bowl of tomatoes and a 4"-5" spider was in it. That was creepy. Even if only a garden spider, it's not what you want to see in your kitchen.

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Not in the house, no. I see spiders on my sunflowers laying in wait for the moths. I grow a lot of morning glories and moonflowers too because I enjoy the anole lizards that hang out in them. They also love the moths that come to the flowers. I don't mind the spiders too much, but that one in your tomatoes would freak me out if it was on the counter. Do you ever have praying mantises? Manti? Whatever. I have had several and they are really neat. My youngest was really into bugs and so I had to read a lot of encyclopedic bug books to him when he was small and I guess I picked up some of his enthusiasm.

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I'm looking to get into some gardening and have zero experience up to this point. I'm in a rental home in north Texas and don't really have flower beds so it would probably be primarily potted stuff that I would be looking to start with. Vegetables and native plants to attract pollinators would be great, and maybe some hanging flowers from the patio. Any advice for a beginner? I have no idea when or how to begin, especially with it consistently over 100 degrees.

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4 hours ago, hookem2010 said:

I'm looking to get into some gardening and have zero experience up to this point. I'm in a rental home in north Texas and don't really have flower beds so it would probably be primarily potted stuff that I would be looking to start with. Vegetables and native plants to attract pollinators would be great, and maybe some hanging flowers from the patio. Any advice for a beginner? I have no idea when or how to begin, especially with it consistently over 100 degrees.

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https://earthbox.com/

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Do you want stuff you can eat?  Herbs are a good way to start into gardening.  Sweet basil is super easy to grow and maintain, and if you let it flower and go to seed, you can plant more next season. 

Chives are another good herb.  The leaves/blades look cool, and the flower spikes are pretty and bees like them.

It's too hot for cilantro now, wait until late winter. 

I think you can plant tomatoes now for a fall crop. 

It might be late for jalapenos, but you could get a modest crop still.

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Posted (edited)

this relates to growing in KS, so cannot say its a surefire for anywhere....I plant tomatoes in the ground, and have had great success growing peppers out of the topsy turvy planters that are made for hanging tomato plants.  I've got 10-20 peppers almost continuously on one plant hanging, meanwhile, the peppers in the ground might have 2-5.  Next year, I'll have every pepper plant hanging.  If you're thinking of hanging flowers on your patio, no reason you couldn't do the same as I did.  2 plants per planter.

Other than the peppers this year, I've been a bit underwhelmed by the other production so far.  Tomatoes have been good growning plants, plenty of buds, just not a ton of production so far.  Zucchini bit the dust, something got the main stem and killed it.  Fucking japenese beatles have kept eggplant production way down.  Plenty of peppers though, red, purple, orange, yellow, tons of green.   We'll freeze em and use em in the winter.  $1 a piece at your local market, paid $3/plant.  Pretty sure I got my money back on that one.

edit:   If you do use planters, you better have a plan on getting them some type of moisture every day as they can dry up pretty quick.

Edited by mulletpelini
moist

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I think I chose poorly on the variety. The one on the right did great and started producing some fruit but out grew the cages and then the string I put above it. Got so big it killed the other plants and now is dying.

2308e74ab4b97acff2fe6e5890850756.jpg

Next year I’ll change varietals... any good ones that don’t get as big and grow well in Austin area?


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Posted (edited)
On 7/28/2019 at 3:41 PM, thunderlounge said:

What’s the point of growing your own if you’re picking early? Seems a waste. 

While they do go for the ripe ones, they’ve been at some of the green ones too. 

 

Sneks deployed. Now to watch and see what happens. If I don’t see any activity in the back corner on top of the fence, I’ll know it’s working somewhat. 

My dad always picked his tomatoes when they were getting yellow or just a faint hint of orange-red. He’d let them finish ripen on the window sill or in the garage doors that had windows, and you wouldn’t know the difference.

I’ve done the same. 

Edited by ImissWallyPryor

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I would love to eat some of what I grow. Jalapenos, tomatoes, herbs would be great. Maybe I will start with some tomatoes and fall/winter friendly herbs. Also, any recs on native flowers that I could just throw in a pot for migrating hummingbirds? This is kind of their peak season. Looking at my yard, there are a couple areas of what I guess were flower beds with mostly weeds growing in them that I could dig up and replace, as well as small collections of trees that dont cast too much of a shade shadow and may accommodate some flowers around them as well. I think I could probably do the earthbox thing right off my patio, but I'm pretty lost when it comes to just putting something in the ground. Any good beginner references for gardening? Lots of questions, I know, but I need something to entertain myself for the next 16 months in Decatur, so I might as well give myself some involved chores and as relaxing a living space as possible.

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I think I chose poorly on the variety. The one on the right did great and started producing some fruit but out grew the cages and then the string I put above it. Got so big it killed the other plants and now is dying.

 

2308e74ab4b97acff2fe6e5890850756.jpg

 

Next year I’ll change varietals... any good ones that don’t get as big and grow well in Austin area?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

One issue is the tomato cage. It's too small to contain a cherry tomato variety plant. They can get big just in the spring and if you keep them alive during the heat, they will grow to 8'-9'. I've got one right now that is over 9' tall. The first 3 feet of vine are dead leaves and won't produce in the fall. The top part will begin producing again once the weather cools off.

Second is that tomatoes need a bunch of water right now to survive the heat. Some people just start with fresh plants in June/early July but if you keep them well watered, they can survive. A little shade cloth can also help.

 

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Here's a couple of pictures of my tomato plants. I've made homemade tomato cages that I can stack as they grow. Typically I only have to go 2 high, but this year I may need to go up one more or just let them hang over which would probably be easier for harvesting.10e4bc379cba5910cab760801fcc3d48.jpgf30e88a773c49dc26ff23ff7bc6788fb.jpg

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On 8/17/2019 at 9:08 PM, Both Tacos said:

One issue is the tomato cage. It's too small to contain a cherry tomato variety plant. They can get big just in the spring and if you keep them alive during the heat, they will grow to 8'-9'. I've got one right now that is over 9' tall. The first 3 feet of vine are dead leaves and won't produce in the fall. The top part will begin producing again once the weather cools off.

Second is that tomatoes need a bunch of water right now to survive the heat. Some people just start with fresh plants in June/early July but if you keep them well watered, they can survive. A little shade cloth can also help.

 

Thanks... I think I will go with a smaller plant as I just don't have the space to have something that get's 10' tall. There is some shade where it's located but I could try a shade cloth. My planters are irrigated so I can give as much water as I need. Have 3-4 bubblers in each tank right now going off for 1m each morning. 

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Okra coming on strong. Have to harvest each day off 3 plants I have so they don't get too bid and too woody to eat.4227f9582acefbdc764b0392e0f14efe.jpg

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Our tomatoes look more like ZB's right now.   Got some good production until the rain went away, now just barely spitting out anything. Will look to grow taller next yr, thx for the tips. 

This yr was better than last year though, as we put netting around to keep the birds and squirrels from stealing the babies. 

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On 6/30/2019 at 9:01 PM, Both Tacos said:

Found 2 cucumbers hiding at the bottom of the trellis that had been missed for a couple of days. Luckily they didn't yellow up.
Canned 19 more jars of dill pickles today. Next batch will certainly be bread and butter pickles. 1b2316b20bc119b63cfc7ef5c54a99a8.jpg4a530e30c9b6ba14e63e93977300f3ae.jpg

Needs a gun for perspective.

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Right now we've got a Green Fig Eater Beetle takeover... I guess they're harmless and they help the compost pile but man they are buzzing around whacking into the house.

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On 8/29/2019 at 2:36 PM, Walden Ponderer said:

Shit just got real, y'all. I just put in a bid for a 20+ acre Christmas Tree farm here in North Carolina.

 

That is my ideal retirement job. Grow Christmas trees and fish. Serious.

 

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Shit just got real, y'all. I just put in a bid for a 20+ acre Christmas Tree farm here in North Carolina.
Well, did you get it?

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9 hours ago, Both Tacos said:
On 8/29/2019 at 3:36 PM, Walden Ponderer said:
Shit just got real, y'all. I just put in a bid for a 20+ acre Christmas Tree farm here in North Carolina.

Well, did you get it?

Won't find out 'til next week. Current owner has some serious health issues, which is why it is even in our price range, so I can be patient. Barely.

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That is some of the best looking okra I've seen.  Had 5 plants about 7 years ago when I had no idea how much produce they put out.  Wasted a lot because I did not harvest daily.  After I pickled it, one of the ways I loved to serve it was to deep fry it.....fried pickled okra, I'm amazed it is not served at restaurants.

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The cold weather destroyed the basil plants. I covered them, but maybe the cover was too thin because they have the sad and droopy look of plants that are done. Spent the rest of the day cleaning up the garden, and the cool weather plants are happy, but I wasn't quite ready for the early chill this year.

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2019 outdoor conclusion:

1) The ants won the melon war.
Got 2 cantaloupe and 0 watermelon. I had watermelons, but they got attacked by the fucking ants. I nuked the beds the 3rd week of September with roundup and followed that up with a heavy dose of sevin a few days later. I've left a few dozen tomatoes and a couple immature watermelon to sit for a bit, and have them loaded with sevin as well. Maybe I'll get the ant shit under control, but maybe not. Might have to skip the raised bed next season to deal with it, and just grow a couple tomato plants in buckets instead.

2) Tie score with the fucking mocking bird(s). I was able to finally get them out of my cherry tomatoes, and kept them off one of the slice tomato plants in the raised bed. Both my sauce tomatoes and my other slice tomato were a lost cause.

 

Indoors:

This shits went full on regarded, but I'll be fucking damned if there ain't tomatoes that will be ready to pick in a couple weeks. Biggest challenge so far has been keeping the temps up. Static room temp is running about 70* during the day, 65* at night. I added a small heater and have it set to a temperature controlled outlet, and have kept temps at 77* during the day. Working pretty good. Also ran a small humidifier for the 4-6 weeks since the RH was running 45%. Humidifier bumped it up to 58%, which I was fine with. Now with the plants bigger, they're creating their own humidity and it's running 62%.

I'll have to knock them off after new years to get ready to sprout seeds for outdoors. That is if I decide to go for the outdoor thing, and if not, I may let them go longer.

Plant height hasn't been bad. I've kept them topped and trimmed pretty well I think. They're more bushy than they would be outside, but I've also thinned them out a bit as well. Light penetration seems good, so all in all not a bad little experiment. I could potentially keep it going inside if I wanted to over the summer, so at least there are backup options if I want to get the ants under control outside. However, I'll probably do buckets instead. Why burn the electric up with lights when the sun is free.

 

 

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Hadn't contributed much because I really didn't have the garden up and running like I really wanted it to be.  Didn't end up to bad though after throwing it together late towards the end of May, beginning of June.   We just moved into this house a little over a year ago and I've spent most of my free time renovating the inside so haven't had a ton of time spent in the yard....but it's a coming.

3DxQVtc.jpg

Best plant by far was the purple pepper plant, damn it was working overtime and put out easily 2 dozen peppers per month when active.

GertauN.jpg

tomatoes meh, wasn't real impressed by any of the yellow boys that much, they never do that well for me.  Cherry tomatoes probably do the best, and they're small and easier to deal with and generally more larger output from a single plant anyways.

FW0AsJI.jpg

eggplants came on real late in the season and then really boomed for about a month.  Those cherry's still on the vine were probably the best looking singular group I picked all summer.

BcFvMZH.jpg

This was everything that hadn't ripened before the freeze last week.  I stuck all the greens in boxes and put em in a dark closet, check em every 3 days or so.  1/3 have already gotten pink.

Next year....much like the last 20 years of Nebraska football will be the year!  Seriously though, I've already mapped out a section of the back yard and got the extra irrigation line run to water (3) 25' long raised beds.  Been collecting compost for the past 6 months and have a really good base to start with to put soil onto.  

Then I will update this mfer!  

Oh I also planted two apple trees and a pear.  The two apples are doing fine but the pear already got fire blight so it got cut the fuck out.  Neighbors have a crabapple right over the fence so I'm hoping it will help these produce.

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