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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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July 2012, New England

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Pollinator
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July 2012, New England - Page 3 Empty Re: July 2012, New England

Post  NHGardener 7/19/2012, 1:37 pm

Cape Coddess - Looks like you are not alone in that! A quick google found this

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/Garden-Slugs.aspx

I have some pine needles in the yard, even tho I think the slug population has dwindled a little, I'll still throw some on there and see how it works.
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Post  CapeCoddess 7/19/2012, 2:59 pm

I LOVE Mother Earth News! Maybe I read that and that's why I left the pine needles on. *shrug* I should try them on my hosta.

It's good to read alot...I never know what's sitting there in the back of my li'l brain and will filter forward. Very Happy

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Post  Pollinator 7/19/2012, 5:44 pm

boffer wrote:
I've got one cuke and one squash in my greenhouse. The cuke is getting pollinated by itself and doing great, but I've been struggling to hand pollinate the squash. I guess the bees in my neck of the woods don't like squash! Funny thing though, I've never seen any bees in the greenhouse.

Is your cuke a parthenocarpic (seedless) variety? These don't require pollination - in fact pollination will degrade their quality, as the seeds are quite coarse, when they are produced. Parthenocarpic cuke varieties are usually recommend for greenhouse production. I don't know of any parthenocarpic squash, though.
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Post  Pollinator 7/19/2012, 5:48 pm

hruten wrote: After checking, there doesn't seem to be a lot of pollen in the male flowers?!? suggestions?

Squash pollen is very large and very yellow, so it is highly visible. Cucumber pollen is much finer and paler in color, so it's hard to see.

If it is actually disappearing later in the day, it's a good sign, as it may be getting used up. But more likely, it's just the visiblity thing.

Best time to hand pollinate is just after the dew is dry.

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Post  hruten 7/19/2012, 7:37 pm

I tried with a very small paint brush, but I'm not sure I did anything. I saw no residue on the dark brown bristles. However, I did see bumblebees out there today!! Hopefully they will take care of it for me.
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Post  camprn 7/19/2012, 9:36 pm

NHG your gardens are looking fabulous!
My cherry tomatoes have finally grown enough to start the Florida weave. The aubergine are going crazy with the hot weather we have had. On one plant this morning I had 8 blooms... so excited!. I have to start freezing some of my beet greens and swiss chard.

Are any of you planning on entering anything into you local agricultural fairs? I am going to bring some fresh vegetables. I hope the tomatoes are done by then. Last year the judges were quite mystified by my gilberties. I may try the baking contest, but that is going to depend upon the weather... Will also bring canned goods, some stained glass, and for the first time this year, Honey. I just got my acrylic boxes for comb honey today, so hopefully there is comb honey for cutting. I am also entering chunk and extracted honey. I guess Welsh honey judging is full of rules and quite strict. I will find out study The Cheshire Fair is at the end of the month.

I ended up with 2.5 gallons (about 30 pounds) of honey the other day. I am going to barter a bit of that for a nice haul of red raspberries. okay

The past few days the bees have been doing this funny communal behavior called washboarding. No one knows why they do this.

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July 2012, New England - Page 3 Empty Bees Washboarding

Post  memart1 7/19/2012, 9:58 pm

Camp -- About 40 years ago I had two hives each with four supers. An old-timer friend gave me a lot of help and guidance. He said that that is how they cool their hives when the weather is too hot.
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Post  camprn 7/19/2012, 10:15 pm

memart1 wrote:Camp -- About 40 years ago I had two hives each with four supers. An old-timer friend gave me a lot of help and guidance. He said that that is how they cool their hives when the weather is too hot.
Thanks Memart, they did indeed begin this behavior about two days into a really hot stretch of weather. It was a curious thing that only one out of three colonies were doing it, but tonight there were two of them doing it. Fascinating... Very Happy

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Post  memart1 7/19/2012, 10:44 pm

Possibly the hives receive slightly different amounts of sun and shade. Or maybe the location of the queen, as it might influence her production of new babies. That is the real purpose of the hive, for the queen to reproduce. But I would keep an eye on them as "Red" may have been mis-informed, and maybe it is a precursor to swarming.
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Post  camprn 7/19/2012, 10:50 pm

memart1 wrote:Possibly the hives receive slightly different amounts of sun and shade. Or maybe the location of the queen, as it might influence her production of new babies. That is the real purpose of the hive, for the queen to reproduce. But I would keep an eye on them as "Red" may have been mis-informed, and maybe it is a precursor to swarming.
Yeah, that thought has gone through my mind and I am keeping an eye on this colony, a strong nuc I got about a month ago.I think I need to put another medium super on tomorrow. The girls have been getting a bit cranky the past few weeks, if you know what I mean What a Face

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  quiltbea 7/20/2012, 1:16 pm

@camprn.....I picked my first Gilbertie tomato today and its the one I bagged for seed. I got my original seeds from you 2 years ago. Great tomato. Early, and great for roasting, freezing and sauces and soups and chili. Thank you again for sending them to me.
July 2012, New England - Page 3 Gilber10
I had to pick this 2nd generation fruit a bit earlier than I wanted for seeds because it was developing a black spot but it will work for seeds just the same. I found from last year that the germination may not be as high as if kept on the vine til nearly overripe, but its still high. I'll leave it on the counter to ripen a bit more before saving.

I'm really thrilled to get my first red tomato.
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Post  camprn 7/20/2012, 1:49 pm

QB, I am glad you like the gilberties, I love mine. In past years I have had issue with the first fruits having a bit of BER, but I have allowed it to stay on the vine and the fruit seems to contain the problem and I just cut out the lesion at the tip. the following fruits seldom have BER. The tomatoes in the garden this year are behind a bit, but are not showing symptoms of BER yet. I'm happy about that. Very Happy

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Post  CapeCoddess 7/20/2012, 2:37 pm

Ladies, what do you mean by 'bagged for seed'? Do you put plastic bags over them?

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Post  quiltbea 7/20/2012, 2:48 pm

@CCoddess.....No, I mean I put a net drawstring bag over the very first blossoms on a tom or pepper plant and keep it on til at least the fruit is forming. That keeps it safe from insect cross-pollination and means those seeds I save from that fruit will breed true the next year. This year I'm keeping the bags on to keep off any damaging insects and the hornworm. They get sunshine and rain thru the holes in the netting.July 2012, New England - Page 3 07-09-21
These Chico III's are safe for seed saving this fall.

Note: If you remove the bags after fruit forms, be sure to tie a piece of string or yarn beside the forming tomato so you know from which one you can save seeds.
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Post  Pollinator 7/20/2012, 3:25 pm

quiltbea wrote:@CCoddess.....No, I mean I put a net drawstring bag over the very first blossoms on a tom or pepper plant and keep it on til at least the fruit is forming. That keeps it safe from insect cross-pollination and means those seeds I save from that fruit will breed true the next year. This year I'm keeping the bags on to keep off any damaging insects and the hornworm. They get sunshine and rain thru the holes in the netting.
These Chico III's are safe for seed saving this fall.

Note: If you remove the bags after fruit forms, be sure to tie a piece of string or yarn beside the forming tomato so you know from which one you can save seeds.

The pictured bag would not stop Lasioglossum or Ceratina bees from entering. I'm not sure they work tomatoes (never seen them do so), but have seen Lasioglossum frequently on tomato's cousins, eggplants and peppers.

They would stop bumble bees, which are the most frequent pollinators of tomatoes.

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July 2012, New England - Page 3 Empty Blossom End Rot

Post  memart1 7/20/2012, 4:14 pm

Camprn -- I am glad to see your post about blossom end rot. I thought I would have to pull and destroy (in the garbage rather than compost) any plants that showed signs of it. I have four cubanelle peppers which are a mildly spicy banana type pepper. Two of them had nice 6 inch peppers that developed a rot on the side of the pepper. Also one tomato on my Early Girl. The spots on the two peppers infected almost the entire pepper before I noticed it, but the tomato has just a small spot, so I harvested it and will let it finish ripening on my kitchen counter.
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Post  quiltbea 7/20/2012, 5:30 pm

@Pollinator.....I don't know how tiny those bees you mentioned would be, but the holes in the bags are minute. To date I haven't had any trouble with any cross-pollinating when saving my seeds this way.

@memarti.....BER can affect some of the first tomatoes growing, but usually by the time the next flush of tomates arrives, its done and it doesn't happen to the newer tomatoes. Don't pull the plant. You can also use the BER tomates by cutting out the affected sections.
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Post  camprn 7/20/2012, 5:36 pm

memart1 wrote:Camprn -- I am glad to see your post about blossom end rot. I thought I would have to pull and destroy (in the garbage rather than compost) any plants that showed signs of it. I have four cubanelle peppers which are a mildly spicy banana type pepper. Two of them had nice 6 inch peppers that developed a rot on the side of the pepper. Also one tomato on my Early Girl. The spots on the two peppers infected almost the entire pepper before I noticed it, but the tomato has just a small spot, so I harvested it and will let it finish ripening on my kitchen counter.
Now you may be aware, that BER is a physiological condition of the tomato and not really a disease, it is more a nutrient deficiency. Spots that rot the whole fruit and often start on the side are not BER but disease like anthracnose.

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July 2012, New England - Page 3 Empty BER versus anthracnose

Post  memart1 7/20/2012, 5:50 pm

Thanks Camprn -- I will look up some info about anthracnose tonight when I get home. I'll look at both the SFG search and all over the web. At first I thought it was just the heat and drought conditions, but everything else looks OK. (Some holes in leaves, but I don't see the culprits anywhere) Lots getting close to harvest, like a black beauty eggplant that is about 6 inches long. My cucs have lots of pretty ladies, but I don't think there have been any males for pollination.
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Post  quiltbea 7/20/2012, 6:38 pm

I'm also happy to report my first eggplant, Fairy Tale, is forming and lookin' good.

July 2012, New England - Page 3 07-20-10
I only had blossoms on Fairy Tale and white Casper so far but no fruit on Casper to date.
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Post  camprn 7/20/2012, 6:41 pm

quiltbea wrote:I'm also happy to report my first eggplant, Fairy Tale, is forming and lookin' good.

July 2012, New England - Page 3 07-20-10
I only had blossoms on Fairy Tale and white Casper so far but no fruit on Casper to date.
Hooray!!!!

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Post  llama momma 7/20/2012, 7:01 pm

okay okay okay okay !!!!
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Post  camprn 7/20/2012, 10:14 pm

Ok, I'm cranky! Evil or Very Mad I think those STOOPID cuke beetles have given 6 out of 8 watermelon plants wilt! very sad I am so not going to put up with them next year!

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Post  CapeCoddess 7/21/2012, 9:30 pm

camprn wrote:Ok, I'm cranky! Evil or Very Mad I think those STOOPID cuke beetles have given 6 out of 8 watermelon plants wilt! very sad I am so not going to put up with them next year!

Go get 'em, killer!!! Twisted Evil

So this is what I planted this weekend: sugar peas, snow peas, spinach, kale, cabbages, mustard greens and the usual succession of radishes, carrots & beets.

Don't know if the green leafies will work this early or not even tho they are under burlap or in the semi shade behind vines.

Has anyone else in zone 6 planted leafies in July's past and had it work out?

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Post  NHGardener 7/22/2012, 1:18 pm

Huh. I used to get an email if there was a comment added to a thread I had posted in, but I'm not getting those anymore... Otherwise I'd be reminded to be here more. Sorry I haven't responded!

camprn wrote:I ended up with 2.5 gallons (about 30 pounds) of honey the other day. I am going to barter a bit of that for a nice haul of red raspberries. okay

The past few days the bees have been doing this funny communal behavior called washboarding. No one knows why they do this.

Yay on the honey! The washboarding is funny. I've seen my bees congregating, but I haven't observed their movements closely enough - will do that.

Took yesterday's beautiful weather opportunity to go into both my hives and there is larvae in both so yay, I still have queens and no one seems to have swarmed. Top supers on both were still fairly empty so that's good. I had scraped queen cells off the bottom of a frame or 2 last time I was in there 2 weeks ago, and then was afraid maybe they had swarmed and I was queenless, but doesn't seem to be. I'm pretty certain those were swarm cells tho, so not sure what that was about.

Great to see everyone's progress! It got cool the past day or 2 (NOT ANYMORE) and it felt like September and I was getting depressed - oh no, garden time almost over...


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