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California - What are you doing this month?

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Post  sanderson 8/22/2014, 2:11 am

So good to be home.  Need to rest up!  Looks like the weather was just perfect while I was gone.  Without the cat around, the corn grew over a foot and stayed upright and rooted, and the Dragon tongues are looking so good.
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The green tomato is still healthy, and one in the front yard was ripe and we ate it in our salad tonight.  A real surprise was the fact that the compost was still going - temp was 132*F. Very Happy I hurt my back turning it twice during the 2 days before we left.  It was so bad that it ruined the first day of the cruise for me.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/22/2014, 1:32 pm

Yeah, compost can do that to ya. I get tired of hauling those 100 pound tubs of horse poop around too. Hope your vacation was still plenty of fun anyway. And those dragon tongue beans do look good!

They look like one of their sides isn't covered. Does that mean you are using that cloth as shade cloth rather than to keep bugs out?
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Post  sanderson 8/22/2014, 1:44 pm

Marc, The tulle is haphazard because Sweetie was at the kennel (I told her it was a spa) so I didn't have to protect them with the tulle. The single layer of tulle isn't really doing a lot as a shade cloth (I have curtain sheers for shade cloth) but it did camouflage the fact that I had corn and DT growing in the TT for the first few days of their growth. I will have to make a chicken wire cage or something for the beans in order to keep her out or reaching through. She can work the tulle until it's loose enough to slip under.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/22/2014, 6:30 pm

I've got dogs that leap up into the gardening area and try to crush and ravage plants and dig up soil, pull down pots and empty them of their soil and plants to chew them, work their snouts through the chain link fence to bite holes in my fabric pots on the other side, and tug at vines whenever they come close enough to a fence to try to climb it. Pets and gardens can make for a very troublesome combination, can't they?
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Post  sanderson 8/22/2014, 9:32 pm

Shocked   I have no idea how you can have such a nice and tidy yard much less how you can garden with veggies.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/23/2014, 2:09 am

One of my dogs is a Catahoula Leopard mix and she's a HUNTER to the extreme. If she smells a Vol or spots a lizard, there is no stopping her from going into my garden. So far though, she hasn't torn or chewed anything up.

My cats were using my table tops as litter boxes so we installed carpet tack strip on the top of them. We very gently introduced both of them to the strip, lightly touching their paws to it and they have never jumped up on them again.

As our temps drop, the powdery mildew index starts to climb. I desperately need to spray Neem oil bout all my sprayers have gone bad. Does anyone else find that spray bottles don't last long with neem oil? If not, do you do anything special with them?
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Post  sanderson 8/23/2014, 3:56 am

Temps rise and we get spider mites. Temps drop and we get PM.

Regarding the spray bottles lasting, thoroughly rinsing is the only thing I can think of, and storing them out of the sun. I have different bottles for milk, Neem and anything like soap. Plus a lawn sprayer bottle and a pump sprayer. Until this year I didn't take care of them and they seemed to loose their seal or get stopped up or break apart.

I'm glad your kitties only needed one lesson for staying out of the TTs. I have a neighbor cat that just started using 2 ground boxes for serious business. Some one mentioned a sensor that I think triggered a water spray?? I just don't remember which one. At least the only thing growing in these 2 boxes are trellised squash. I will just replace the MM in those squares but I want to make sure that cat doesn't use it again. Maybe lay a couple carpet strips across them? Hmmm. They are cheap . . .
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/23/2014, 1:26 pm

Come visit me and I'll share my massive box of them with you, LOL!  We bought I think a 100 strip box because it was cheaper than what we actually needed.
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Post  sanderson 8/23/2014, 2:20 pm

lol!  I keep saying I will come and visit!
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/23/2014, 3:23 pm

mmmm hmmmmm!  You sure have, LOL!  

Compost pile turned - I'm done for the day Razz
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Post  sanderson 8/23/2014, 4:09 pm

Turned the pile? You've earned a rest.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/23/2014, 5:47 pm

I get problems spraying milk. Ruined a sprayer with it, I guess. The milk solids, well, solidified after the spraying was done and now I've got a gummed up inner mechanism in a dead handle.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/23/2014, 9:30 pm

Something happens to my bottles where they quit pumping, all I have is air, but there doesn't appear to be any clog. I'm just not engineering savvy.
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Post  yolos 8/23/2014, 9:51 pm

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:Something happens to my bottles where they quit pumping, all I have is air, but there doesn't appear to be any clog. I'm just not engineering savvy.

You know you can (depending on the brand) unscrew the tip and then another mechanism behind that and make sure there is nothing clogging in the end of the sprayer or in the holes of the tip.  That is where mine usually clog up.
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Post  sanderson 8/24/2014, 1:17 am

Turned my pile.  Time for dinner!  Then a shower!

Today I ripped out the cucumbers, sprayed Neem for the spider mites, sprayed the front lawn and beds with raw milk and molasses.

When we came home from the cruise, the ants had moved into the house.  In one potted household plant, they were carrying eggs!  So we had to soak the perimeter of the foundation with a termaticide, very, very carefully.  What a Face
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Post  Yardslave 8/24/2014, 6:06 pm

My garden is on life support; trying to get the last of the tomatoes in witbout having to water so much. Zuccini, peppers, cucumbers and parsnips are going from the beds to the table. The whiteflies and aphids are back for another shot at what's left...I ' m so going to nuke 'em! Sadly, I 've stopped watering my precious 36 square feet of strawberries to cut down on watering. It killed me to do it, but water rates are such that it's cheaper to buy them than grow them. If only I Could water them with my tears.....
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/24/2014, 6:23 pm

That's a bummer. Is there any amount of further mulching that might help?
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Post  sanderson 8/24/2014, 8:20 pm

YS, I feel so sorry for you. Gads, your water bill is something else. Like a mortgage payment. Then aphids and white flies!  What a Face  An entomologist told me that the only way to get rid of the white flies is to deep soak the ground underneath with something like pyrethrin. They over winter in the soil. I removed all the infected gardenias in the back yard, instead. For the aphids, I wash them off with a soapy spray, then Neem the rest.
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Post  Yardslave 8/25/2014, 4:52 pm

Soapy bubble bath aaaaannnd a spritzing of neem???? I'm so ticked-off that I would rather resort to NAPALM!!!! My wife started the infestation by bringing in a giant planter pot that had petunias, stock, and snapdragons that happened to be infested with the pests. Had I known, I would have sprayed and bagged up the whole pot to stop the bugs. A lesson learned; Carefully inspect anything a nursery sells...give the plants a visual and a vigerous shake to see what may be going along home with you.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/25/2014, 8:04 pm

Absolutely. I'm pretty convinced one of the greatest dangers to anywhere I'm gardening is from plants brought in from outside -- and maybe even especially from nurseries, where they have such a volume of plants grown year after year on so much land and sometimes from so many places that you could hardly ask for a more likely place for pests to come from.
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Post  sanderson 8/30/2014, 2:35 am

I had a productive morning and night in the garden. Raised the "Cabbage" 2' x 3' bed, made some MM to top it off at 9". Photos tomorrow, before and after. And turned the Berkeley compost. Photos in the Berkeley Compost topic.

The Cabbage box was the first one my husband made, March 2013. Roots from nearby bushes were invading the box and it was increasingly shaded by the neighbor's trees during the cool/cold months. Raising the box and topping off will give the box maybe an extra month of sunshine. I shoveled out all of the MM and screened for weeds and large wood chips as I put it back in. I found a lot of earth worms even with the weed fabric on the bottom! I had to be so careful not to hurt any as I screened. They just flip-flopped around. Tomorrow I hope to start raising another box, an original 2' x 4' with a worm tube. I'll be curious as to how many worms are in the tube material and surrounding MM. Earlier this year I split a half pound between 4 boxes and 3 of the tubes seemed to thrive.

And, I have 3 tomatoes! One volunteer and 2 cherry. Woopie. I think the total for the year is less than one pound.
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Post  sanderson 9/1/2014, 3:18 pm

I can't believe it is September, and what a glorious day it is.  We are easing down into the 90's and some of my plants are picking up.

I'm going to seed some cabbage and carrots in the raised 2 x 3 (now a TT) and snow peas in the raised 2 x 4 (slightly raised on treated 4 x 6") .  Onion, garlic, carrots, parsnips, turnips, kale, bok choy and lettuce in the new 2 x 8 TT.  The corn is 4 1/2 - 5' tall in the smaller TT.  Dragon Tongues next to the corn are thriving now that Sweetie can't get back in.  tongue   Okra, one or 2 a day from each of the 3 okra plants.  DH is patiently waiting for battered and fried okra!  Very Happy

One of the benefits of raising the original ground boxes is that they are now 10 1/2" deep.  I can plant carrots and parsnips without Top Hats.  I have a decent supply of Berkeley compost from the first two batches this year to top off all my boxes with MM!  Very Happy   I never thought I would reach that landmark.

What are the rest of you up to?
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Post  sanderson 9/1/2014, 4:30 pm

Another cantaloupe.  Could have used a couple more days on the vine for full juiciness but at least it was sweet.   Very Happy  Some variety other than Hales.  Darn those pesky markers.  I swear they move around in the dark.
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Post  Marc Iverson 9/1/2014, 5:03 pm

Nice. Nothing like melons in the summer!
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/2/2014, 1:18 pm

Let me ask y'all a question.  I'm going to move my strawberries out of one of my table tops that gets too much shade and plant lettuce there next year so I just "might" get lettuce all year around :-)  

Can I move the strawberries this fall or do I have to wait until spring?  We'll have a long period for them to put down new roots before our relatively mild winter hits, so I'm thinking I should be able to.  Opinions?
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