July 30, 2016

Saturday Gardening Thread: The Hog Days of Summer [KT]
— Open Blogger

coral hibiscus.jpg

Coral Hibiscus 'Mango Dainty'

High temperatures have been at 110 degrees or higher for most of this week. Electronic hazard signs over the freeways in Fresno display warnings about severe outdoor watering restrictions. There is haze from wildfires, though not close ones. I have let most of the yard go, but I am still watering trees, grapes, permanent shrubs and a few things in pots (mostly in shade or part shade). Wish my garden looked more tropical. I have been dreaming about tropical trade winds, like maybe in Hawaii. Maybe whilst eating a nice mango.

I haven't felt like being outdoors much. How about you? Sometimes I think about farm animals in this kind of weather. This riddle is dedicated to Traye's Hogs:

Q: What did the pig say on a hot day? A: I'm bacon.

But enough frivolity. On to some actual topics:

Hibiscus Schizopetalus

The exotic flowers pictured above are also called "Fringed Rosemallow", "Japanese Lantern", "Coral Hibiscus" and "Spider Hibiscus". Oh, and also "Waltzing Ladies" or "Chinese Lanterns". It grows into a big shrub in Hawaii, in nearly frost-free areas of Southern California and along parts of the Gulf Coast.

Elsewhere, it can be kept smaller in containers as a houseplant or seasonal annual, including hanging baskets. Even in Wisconsin. Culture is similar to that for the common tropical hibiscus, except that they should be pruned sparingly for best bloom. They need water.

Cultivars are now available in red, many shades of pink, yellow and white. Here is an unusual double flower, a hybrid with H. rosa-sinensis. Growing in the desert. Do you like it, or is a little too theatrical for you?

yellow hibiscus.jpg

Mangoes

I bought some pretty good mangoes this week at the supermarket, but I suspect that there are much better mangoes out there. If I remember correctly, mangoes cannot be shipped to California from Hawaii because of the oriental fruit fly or a similar species. Most of the mangoes I see in stores here are from Mexico. But mangoes can be grown in nearly frost-free locations in mainland USA. They can even be grown in parts of the low deserts, especially in micro-climates where they have extra frost protection. I hear tell that they grow some excellent mangoes there.

Have you ever grown mangoes? Do you have a favorite kind of mango?

mango-tree.jpg

How to grow mangoes in a pot

Planting Fall Veggies

Although it seems crazy to think about planting for fall here right now, members of The Horde in other parts of the country may want to remember to look up their local planting dates for fall veggies.

Root Crops

Carrots, beets, turnips and rutabagas are possibilities for fall in many climates. Probably too late for parsnips in most places. Golden beets in particular may benefit from planting in warm soil, with better germination rates than in cold spring soil.

Cole crops

Mustards, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage and other cole crops tast best when they mature in cool weather. I expect that somewhere seeds are being started for brussels sprouts for my area. They are not reliable here if planted late.

Leafy greens

The leafy kinds of Chinese cabbage may taste better than lettuce in warm weather. Some kinds of lettuce will not sprout in warm soil. Swiss Chard (like beets) sprouts faster in warm soil than cool soil. It can produce for a long time in the fall. /spinach is a little touchier.

Swiss-Chard.jpg

Swiss Chard

Planting Calendars.

Burpee has come up with a fairly sophisticated one. Can't vouch for its accuracy. They are also advertising a "Transylvania" garlic for your vampire-repelling needs. Don't forget long-day onions for fall if suitable in your area.

Have you settled on a favorite planting calendar for your area? Does it cover both veggies and flowers? Want to do some planting for fall? We can discuss it in the comments.

Have a great weekend.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:45 AM | Comments (93)
Post contains 664 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Good afternoon greenthmbs

Posted by: Skip at July 30, 2016 07:56 AM (bksJQ)

2 Try this again, first cucumber (1 of 2) I got was very bitter, maybe because it took so long to get to size. Starting to get tomatoes ripen but only pepper that has was cut off a week ago and brought in..

Posted by: Skip at July 30, 2016 07:58 AM (bksJQ)

3 Report about a siege of American military at Turkish base. "Berserk Muslims" etc. But it's Shoebat, so who knows what the truth is.

Posted by: Meremortal at July 30, 2016 07:58 AM (3myMJ)

4 I have a significant allergy to mangoes.

Posted by: Insomniac at July 30, 2016 08:01 AM (0mRoj)

5 Insomniac at July 30, 2016 01:01 PM

If you are allergic to mangoes, you may also be allergic to some other tropical fruits. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:03 AM (qahv/)

6 5 Insomniac at July 30, 2016 01:01 PM If you are allergic to mangoes, you may also be allergic to some other tropical fruits. Quite possibly. I've never really had any others but a small bite of mango makes my entire mouth and back of my throat itch. Most unpleasant.

Posted by: Insomniac at July 30, 2016 08:04 AM (0mRoj)

7 I'm in SE Michigan.

It's been incredibly hot, plus no rain.

So my grass is dry, I might have a grub infestation and I've got way too much quack grass, something I didn't even know existed until recently.

/oh, keeping up my lawn is not gardening? Many apologies....

Posted by: shibumi who is awaiting SMOD at July 30, 2016 08:08 AM (tvyXw)

8 Skip,

Bitter cucumbers are common if they are stressed, as by uneven watering.  Try to plant a "bitter-free" or burpless type.  Even some of these are bitter in our hot-summer climate.  Trellising helps. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:09 AM (qahv/)

9 Cicadas are swarming my ripe figs and eating them! Never saw this before. Prob related to the El Niño winter?

Posted by: keena at July 30, 2016 08:11 AM (C/kwd)

10 shibumi who is awaiting SMOD at July 30, 2016 01:08 PM

Lawns count.  And outdoor structures, even. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:11 AM (qahv/)

11 keena at July 30, 2016 01:11 PM

I have no experience with cicadas.  But there are lots of beetles that really love figs.  We have big metallic-looking ones that attack from the outside and little brown ones that enter the eyes to attack the flesh directly. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:13 AM (qahv/)

12 9 Cicadas are swarming my ripe figs and eating them! Never saw this before. Prob related to the El Nino winter? Posted by: keena at July 30, 2016 01:11 PM (C/kwd) No idea. I remember there being tons of cicadas when I was a kid though, and finding their molted outer shells all over trees.

Posted by: Insomniac - Pale Horse/Death 2016 at July 30, 2016 08:14 AM (0mRoj)

13 The mango is in the same family as cashews and poison ivy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacardiaceae

Posted by: Don at July 30, 2016 08:16 AM (R8iLy)

14 13 The mango is in the same family as cashews and poison ivy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacardiaceae Posted by: Don at July 30, 2016 01:16 PM (R8iLy) Interesting. I don't have any problems with roasted cashews but mangoes do me in.

Posted by: Insomniac - Pale Horse/Death 2016 at July 30, 2016 08:17 AM (0mRoj)

15 Tree people. We have sandy soil and a hard climate for trees. High winds, late freezes, hot dry periods, warm periods in winter followed by very hard freezes. So any tree that survives is a good tree here. I have several that are restarting from roots after a tree died or are just generally bushy that I want to get them to grow up. So I try to prune off the low branches growing horizontally. I think I need to do this more often or more aggressively but I have no idea how much pruning is safe and if pruning is more risky at certain times of the year.

Posted by: PaleRider at July 30, 2016 08:20 AM (Jen0I)

16 Heh:

The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum), also known as the stinky plant, is blooming at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. It is the first bloom of this particular plant, which is six years old. It takes quite a while to create enough energy for a bloom as spectacular as this one!

The plant went on view to the public Friday, July 22, and peak bloom is currently estimated for July 30-Aug 2


https://www.usbg.gov/corpseflower

The blossom smells like rotting flesh, hence the name "corpse flower". Me, I thought it was blooming all last week in Philadelphia.

Posted by: OregonMuse at July 30, 2016 08:22 AM (OxsRO)

17 It has been just miserable here: hotter than usual even at night or hotter and more humid. The roma tomatoes continue to ripen on the vine but everything else is either done for the season or is waiting for nicer conditions. (I hope.) Rain has been spotty and it's been severe or nothing. We're dry and three miles away has flooding. I think it may be personal.

Posted by: JTB at July 30, 2016 08:24 AM (V+03K)

18 I vowed that whatever was eating my green and wax beans was living on borrowed time. With the rain in was out pulling weeds and saw more wax beans were chomped up. So pulling under my oregino which has overgrown it's area is a brass sun dial. So I'm pulling weeds in that area and see a wax been. ???. So I pick up the sun dial and see 5 2 inch long black rodent babys. Picked up the whole nest with a shovel and dumped them in a bucket which I filled with all the rain water I could find.

Posted by: Skip at July 30, 2016 08:28 AM (bksJQ)

19 I'm going to seed my fall stuff inside over the next couple of weeks. My summer garden is just done except for okra, I have another planting started but it will be a month or more for everything. Pigs are happy about that though, I've been feeding them all the plants and vines plus all the big weeds I've let grow. Normally they wouldn't put on weight in this heat but they are right now since they just lay around and I throw food to them. Prefect looking for natural pigs. (Going to send one in next week for myself, yummy) I did plant a third corn crop this week should be up in a day or two.

Posted by: Traye at July 30, 2016 08:30 AM (nKDDt)

20 Ah, Fresno...reminds me of the opening scene in that Carol Burnett parody of Dallas/Dynasty/Knotts Landing: Conquistadors are riding through the central valley of California. A scout comes riding up, excited, and hands the commandante a bunch of grapes. The commandante bites into one, grimaces, and spits out the fruit: "These grapes taste like fresno!" It can't be any better in that kind of heat.

Posted by: Gordon at July 30, 2016 08:30 AM (ZnynT)

21 Prefect pigs. I have prefect pigs that lead the others. I mean perfect looking

Posted by: Traye at July 30, 2016 08:33 AM (nKDDt)

22 21 Prefect pigs. I have prefect pigs that lead the others. I mean perfect looking Posted by: Traye at July 30, 2016 01:33 PM (nKDDt) Any satrap pigs?

Posted by: Insomniac - Pale Horse/Death 2016 at July 30, 2016 08:34 AM (0mRoj)

23 PaleRider at July 30, 2016 01:20 PM

I'm not an expert, but I would prune gradually during summer.  Deciduous trees can be shaped in summer.  To stimulate new growth, prune tips of branches you want to encourage to grow while the tree is dormant. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:34 AM (qahv/)

24 JTB at July 30, 2016 01:24 PM

Sounds like garden conditions are tough in several locales.  I have a few tomatoes left.  I planted them in containers in afternoon shade.  Flavor has suffered in the heat. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:36 AM (qahv/)

25 Thanks for the reminder about fall planting. We haven't given it any thought but now is the time to plan. It would be nice to think about more pleasant weather in any case. This heat is pulling my cork a bit. We already have plans to protect some plants in cool/cold weather to extend the growing season. Also time to consider what we might do for next spring: seeds we want to try, going with local plants vs. seeds for some things, fresh soil needs if any, and writing up what worked and didn't this year. Oh, and a list of tools to be cleaned, oiled, sharpened, etc., before being stored for the winter.

Posted by: JTB at July 30, 2016 08:37 AM (V+03K)

26 Skip at July 30, 2016 01:28 PM

You finally identified the culprit(s)!

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:37 AM (qahv/)

27 "These grapes taste like fresno!"
It can't be any better in that kind of heat.
Posted by: Gordon at July 30, 2016 01:30 PM (ZnynT)


I wish I could see that parody again. I don't think it's ever been released on either VHS or DVD.

Posted by: OregonMuse at July 30, 2016 08:39 AM (OxsRO)

28 Traye at July 30, 2016 01:30 PM

Nice report.  Good luck with your new plantings. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:39 AM (qahv/)

29 Thanks KT. Time to go outside and putter for bit.

Posted by: PaleRider at July 30, 2016 08:40 AM (Jen0I)

30 Have y'all ever heard of sliver king corn? I thought I was picking silver queen, but old man Williams told me it's silver king. Even better, he says. He has 4 ears of corn for lunch every day. It was nice to see the old guy out there still doing his thing. I used to go pick strawberries on his farm 40 years ago. Today, I scored a dozen ears of corn four beautiful tomato & a gigantic summer squash - $3. All this right here in the city, maybe 2 mIles from home.

Posted by: Chi at July 30, 2016 08:41 AM (+r9J8)

31 OregonMuse at July 30, 2016 01:39 PM

The opening scene  and some others are on YouTube. 

Actually, some nice table grapes are grown in Fresno, in addition to grapes for raisins.  They put excess ones in blended wines.  Huge tanks for wine can be seen along Clovis Ave. in Fresno.  Not the romantic image that some fat cats  imagine when they buy a vineyard. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:44 AM (qahv/)

32 what did the Chinese pilot say on a really hot day? I'm Frying

Posted by: Hillary Rodham Mallflower at July 30, 2016 08:45 AM (qSIlh)

33 I will say, although we had more problems with bugs, birds, and disease than usual, what has come through has been absolutely delicious. The magda style squash, cherry and roma tomatoes, and herbs have never tasted better. That last item reminds me to start drying some of our herbs. While fresh is great, I use a lot of dried herbs when I makes soup, stews, and in omelets. We also use them to make a kind of home made boursin cheese spread and herbal butter. (Okay, I guess it's time for lunch.)

Posted by: JTB at July 30, 2016 08:46 AM (V+03K)

34 Chi, yes to divert t king. Never planted it but I've seen it. The one I just planted was golden queen.

Posted by: Traye at July 30, 2016 08:46 AM (nKDDt)

35 Chi at July 30, 2016 01:41 PM

Cool, Chi.  Silver King corn is a Sugar Enhanced (se) cultivar.  Probably more tender than Silver Queen. 


Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:47 AM (qahv/)

36 where'd everyone go? Free liquor day at City Hall?

Posted by: Hillary Rodham Mallflower at July 30, 2016 08:55 AM (qSIlh)

37 The opening scene and some others are on YouTube.

Video quality is pretty poor, though. Looks like someone taped it from the original broadcast back in the day (1986).

Actually, some nice table grapes are grown in Fresno, in addition to grapes for raisins.

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 01:44 PM (qahv/)


Oh yes, you can get some decent wines from the Central Valley.

Posted by: OregonMuse at July 30, 2016 08:56 AM (OxsRO)

38 One tomato that is starting to ripen and 2 little baby cucs.
That is the garden so far this summer. Been dry and hot for most of July. Could use some rain before things start dying.

Posted by: Ronster at July 30, 2016 08:59 AM (7AtW1)

39 KT I live in Fresno too! We could have a meet up :-) Do you live in the NE quadrant? I am going to the water meeting Monday night at the library.

Posted by: sunny at July 30, 2016 09:05 AM (XBatu)

40 We had a hibiscus in the front yard for several years. Can't recall why or where we got it but those huge blood red blossoms were spectacular. After one especially nasty winter it never came up. I don't know if they have a natural life span or not. I should look into putting a few in the back yard in the bird feeding area. I would think bees and humming birds would be attracted to them. (Anything that brings in more humming birds is welcome.)

Posted by: JTB at July 30, 2016 09:09 AM (V+03K)

41 I told Mr Williams that if his corn is as good as he says, I'd be back in a few days. I gave Mom 6 ears, and at least 4 will go on the smoker today. He also had some okra ready, but I've never cooked it. Frying it can't be too hard... Some giant summer squash, zucchini and pitiful looking eggplants. My own "garden" has produced 2 dozen sad head of garlic, one hot banana pepper and two cayennes. I do have another 1/2 dozen cayennes waiting to turn red, and a few jalapenos about the sze of a fingernail. Pretty bad results this year. But I was lazy about planting a lot.

Posted by: Chi at July 30, 2016 09:12 AM (+r9J8)

42 The guy that works on the ranch started a mango tree. It's on the southe side of a thick grove of trees. I don't think it will make it here. I picked my first 2 tomatoes. I'm not sure which kind they are because I didn't have my map with me. I know it's been really warm your way KT. It's cool at the coast. It's been 85-98 this week at my house. I now understand why everyone from the valley dreams of Pismo.

Posted by: CaliGirl at July 30, 2016 09:12 AM (eU/yZ)

43 There's a fig tree a couple blocks away that the homeowners ignore. Should be ripe by now. Might pass by with my pickanick basket.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at July 30, 2016 09:13 AM (GdFQh)

44 My favorite mangoes are the smaller yellow ones sometimes called Champagne Mangoes. Unlike their larger cousins, these always seem perfectly ripe when I buy them, they have a nice firm texture yet are melty smooth. You have to eat them quickly though.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at July 30, 2016 09:17 AM (jR7Wy)

45 grow mint so you can make baad ass mojitos!!!!

Posted by: Jake at July 30, 2016 09:18 AM (v+nPg)

46 43 There's a fig tree a couple blocks away that the homeowners ignore. Should be ripe by now. Might pass by with my pickanick basket. Posted by: Dr. Varno ---------------- Ooops! Thanks for reminding me. I left a few figs in the truck. Yeah, he has a bunch of fig trees, too. They were so ripe, they practically fell into my hand when I touched them.

Posted by: Chi at July 30, 2016 09:20 AM (UY/Ky)

47 sunny at July 30, 2016 02:05 PM

I'm South of Fresno.  But a meet-up could be good.  After the heat dies down some. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 09:20 AM (qahv/)

48 Any idea why my tomatoes stopped blooming? They're getting enough water in spite of some heat.

Posted by: delayna at July 30, 2016 09:22 AM (KNFU5)

49 JTB at July 30, 2016 02:09 PM

I'll do a little segment on some hibiscus that grow in your aread, JTB. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 09:27 AM (qahv/)

50 CaliGirl at July 30, 2016 02:12 PM

Before air conditioning, a lot of famillies sent the women and children to the coast for the summer. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 09:29 AM (qahv/)

51 All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at July 30, 2016 02:17 PM

I like the smaller yellow mangoes, too.  They also seem to be the favorite of people who grew up in Mexico. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 09:30 AM (qahv/)

52 delayna at July 30, 2016 02:22 PM

Tomatoes will not bloom when it gets too hot.  You can try misting them in the mornings, and/or some 30% (or so) shade cloth over them. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 09:32 AM (qahv/)

53 I like the smaller yellow mangoes, too. They also seem to be the favorite of people who grew up in Mexico. Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 02:30 PM (qahv/) --- And not the bigger ones actually grown in Mexico? The first time I saw the little yellow mangoes was in Singapore ages ago.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at July 30, 2016 09:32 AM (jR7Wy)

54 And thick mulch to keep the soil cooler, delanya. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 09:32 AM (qahv/)

55 All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at July 30, 2016 02:32 PM

They grow the little yellow ones in Mexico, too. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 09:33 AM (qahv/)

56 The wineries in Minnesota grow a few grapes for appearances' sake. Then they truck in big square plastic tanks of grape juice from California to fill out the blend.

Posted by: Gordon at July 30, 2016 09:36 AM (ZnynT)

57 Look, if your life turned out the way mine did you'd be bitter too!

Posted by: Cucumber From Skip's Garden at July 30, 2016 09:37 AM (kTF2Z)

58 Taking a short break from lawn therapy. Heh, Hog Days of Summer reminds me that a small town near me has an annual Whole Hog Festival to end the summer season. I may have to go there this year. Now back to my therapy session.

Posted by: tbodie at July 30, 2016 09:45 AM (ZuWqx)

59 I saw Coral Hibiscus open for Mango Dainty at the Palladium in '96. Swiss Chard was awesome on the guitar as always.

Posted by: Yuimetal at July 30, 2016 09:48 AM (rDxLs)

60 30 years since I saw it. Wow, Charles Godin was young, once.

Posted by: Gordon at July 30, 2016 09:51 AM (ZnynT)

61 Tree people. We have sandy soil and a hard climate for trees. High winds, late freezes, hot dry periods, warm periods in winter followed by very hard freezes. So any tree that survives is a good tree here. I have several that are restarting from roots after a tree died or are just generally bushy that I want to get them to grow up. So I try to prune off the low branches growing horizontally. I think I need to do this more often or more aggressively but I have no idea how much pruning is safe and if pruning is more risky at certain times of the year. Where are you, (first)? Secondly, for the best, ling-lived, low maintenance trees, plant whatever is the dominant species in your oldest woods. Third, the rule of thumb on trimming is... never remove more than 20-25% of the foliage in any given year. As to when to prune, unless you have specific diseases that preclude pruning (oaks in spring where oak wilt is present), you prune when the saw is sharp. Caveat is to avoid pruning shrubbery in high heat. Prune flowering things after they flower (only so you don't prune flower buds). And I have to disagree... just cause it survives, doesn't make it good. I personally hate short-lived trees, but YMMV.

Posted by: MarkY at July 30, 2016 09:51 AM (3hIZX)

62 I was just informed by Mrs. JTB (she who has the memory in our family) that we had the Lord Baltimore hibiscus.

Posted by: JTB at July 30, 2016 09:51 AM (V+03K)

63 Doggie day thread is up

Posted by: Skip at July 30, 2016 09:54 AM (bksJQ)

64 Try this again. Wrote it once and when I hit post the connection had dropped, dang it. Lots of ripe tomatoes now. I screwed up and planted the heirloom Lincoln-Manahan tomato next to 2 La Romas, so of course it's producing a cross between the 2. Have another in a pot a bit away from there, maybe it will stay true. Also have some planted in isolation at the LM Home so I know I'll have a source for true seed for next year. Mystery vine turned out to be butternut squash. Oh well, the wife usually makes me eat some when in season, I just hope this doesn't produce too much, LOL.

Posted by: Farmer at July 30, 2016 10:11 AM (3hlFs)

65 Today I ordered a rain barrel and downspout diverter from Amazon. I live in Cleveland and last weekend we had 95+ temps here and I was gone all weekend. I came back to find half of my plants "mostly dead". Along with the rain barrel, which I will use on the back patio (the builder of my townhouse didn't put a water spigot in the back!) I bought the Miracle Gro hose watering system for the front. The concept is that you connect it to your garden hose and then their special hose meters out the water at a much slower rate. Have any of the horde tried this? It was only about $28 but if it works, could reduce my watering angst significantly.

Posted by: Obamaisacommunist at July 30, 2016 10:44 AM (KGZnU)

66 Not sure why but 1 pepper plant was giving up, kit dropped it's couple small peppers and had the look of plant in late fall, so pulled it up. Have another not looking very healthy.

Posted by: Skip at July 30, 2016 10:44 AM (bksJQ)

67 61. Heh there are no woods here except cottonwoods along river bottoms. Russian Olives do well in our yard. They are considered an invasive species now I think but the ones we have are hardy and provide shade and we don't get volunteers, they must need more water to get started. Takes pruning the suckers off every year to keep them in tree form, they would prefer to form a thicket. We have some elms, but they are not real hardy and one cottonwood. Up in the foothills and mtns they have spruce, piñon pine, aspen and scrub oak. Aspen don't do well off the mountains.

Posted by: PaleRider at July 30, 2016 10:49 AM (Jen0I)

68 Treasure Valley of Idaho (Boise area): Reporting early since we're going out boardgaming tonight - also because we took the day off from yard work. I see that others have worse heat than we do, but I just don't do well in this 90+ F heat. We can get maybe 1-2 hours of work done in the morning, and then it's too hot for us. Give me a nice crisp fall day, and I can be outside working for the whole day. We harvested our first potatoes!! - got over 4 pounds from one Yukon Gold plant. There are 4 more of those in the raised bed, plus 5 Purple Majesty - 3 of each kind in "potato pots" (sort of a strong, felt-like fabric pot), and 4 Russets in the raised beds. Maybe I should start looking for more potato recipes *now*... Corn production and processing (freezing) continues - we're over 70 ears harvested now. Green bush bean production and processing (freezing) continues. Zucchini production and processing (freezing) continues. I managed to give away 4 to a neighbor, and 8 to a clerk at my grocery store (she says she'll bring me some of her peaches when they come ripe - I think I made a great trade!). Last loaf of zucchini bread got eaten so it's probably time to make another. 2 Early Girl tomato plants starting to get serious about producing, one SunGold mini-orange also producing (although it's also producing insane amounts of vine). 2 Romas ("determinate", my a**!) have plenty of fruit but none ripe yet. The mystery plants rescued from sprouting in the compost were 1 SunGold and 2 yellow pear; the latter are almost ripening fruits now. I need to get out there and manage the strawberry runners again... When we build another bed for strawberries, we can put fewer plants in, if they're going to be as enthusiastic about spreading out as this batch are! I ran the dehydrator several times for parsley and twice for chives. Now I'll let the parsley go to flower. Have to decide whether to dig up carrots, process and freeze, or whether to wait and eat them raw (at least until they try to bolt). We brewed up a batch of raspberry wheat beer - still in the carboy. Definitely looking forward to drinking it!

Posted by: Pat* at July 30, 2016 11:06 AM (ZdNOH)

69 My son loved "hibiscuits" when he was little, so whenever I bought spring plants I'd have to get one or two for him to plant in containers.

Posted by: stace...TEXIT at July 30, 2016 11:14 AM (ozZau)

70 JTB at July 30, 2016 02:51 PM

Lord Baltimore is one of the more acclaimed cultivars. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 11:56 AM (qahv/)

71 Farmer at July 30, 2016 03:11 PM

Nice that you're getting tomatoes.  You might be able to find a butternut squash soup recipe that you like.  With bacon, preferably. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 12:02 PM (qahv/)

72 I visited Hong Kong years ago in December and they had huge mangos that were totally ripe for immediate eating, and I could peal them down the side like a banana and eat on the spot.

Posted by: todd at July 30, 2016 12:03 PM (VJuM/)

73 Obamaisacommunist at July 30, 2016 03:44 PM

There's a whole complex in town here where there are no - or few - water spigots in the back of the townhomes.  Strange. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 12:06 PM (qahv/)

74 I am planning on moving to the Central Valley/Fresno area in about a year.
I garden here in the Bay Area and plan on gardening in CV.
I typically watch garden vids on Utube to see what others are up to in my area. 

I can's seem to find anything concerning gardening in Fresno. 
It's a totally different climate than the one I'm in currently.
Even in summer we can't grow tomatoes to save our sole.
Can't wait to move where I can plant corn, melons, and peppers.

Anyone have any links to garden vids for the area?

Thanks a million.






Posted by: EZnSF at July 30, 2016 12:29 PM (eD8fH)

75 PaleRider at July 30, 2016 03:49 PM

Where nothing else grows, Russian Olive can make a pretty nice tree.  Have you ever tried the berries?  Dry and mealy.  They use them for rheumatoid arthritis in Iran.  There is one with red berries named 'Red King'. 

One Green World has some edible plants from Russia that might work for you. 

What about lilacs?  Chinese lilacs smell like lilacs.  Japanese Tree Lilacs don't.  There is also a hardy Peking Lilac that gets tall, for a lilac. 


Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 12:30 PM (qahv/)

76 Pat* at July 30, 2016 04:06 PM

You have been busy for only working a couple of hours in the morning!  Hope you save some of your carrots to eat raw when the weather gets cooler. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 12:35 PM (qahv/)

77 Stace,

"Hibiscuits".  Love it.

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 12:35 PM (qahv/)

78 todd at July 30, 2016 05:03 PM

Mangos in Hong Kong in December sounds so exotic.  I had a co-worker from India who liked to smoosh mangos up inside the peel and suck the flesh from a hole in the side of the fruit. 

I prefer mangos before they get ripe enough to take on that turpentine flavor. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 12:40 PM (qahv/)

79 EZnSF at July 30, 2016 05:29 PM

I can't think of any videos right off the bat, but you might try this site to start with: 

http://sjmastergardeners.ucanr.edu/Home_Vegetable_Gardening/

Master Gardeners do demonstrations in Fresno, too. 

And look for Farmer Fred on the intertubes.  He puts out some information that is applicable to the Central Valley.

Good luck with your move.  Try to find a place with gardening space that will have some afternoon shade, without tree roots. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 12:47 PM (qahv/)

80 Mid 90's here in Texas so not too bad, all I have in the veg garden is a tower of Malabar spinach and a volunteer daikon radish. Too hot to be out there watering all the time. A strange plant sprang up out of nowhere and I think it is a volunteer papaya. Since we don't eat papaya, I have no idea where it came from! Some of them need a female plant and a male plant in order to make fruit ( a Mamaya and a Papaya, as I have heard on one of the garden shows) but there is one variety that can produce fruit by itself. So I guess we will have to wait and see. I really like the idea of growing mangos in a pot, thanks for the link.

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at July 30, 2016 12:51 PM (z1kKI)

81 THANKS KT!

Posted by: EZnSF at July 30, 2016 01:04 PM (eD8fH)

82 (EZnSF, I politely beg you to consider moving out of CA altogether, as I did.) Late update: Given how much stuff we're freezing - red raspberries, blueberries, zucchini, corn, green beans; potentially also cider and butternut squash - and given that we plan to keep planting more stuff, we bit the bullet, and bought a chest freezer this afternoon. It arrives Monday afternoon. We have to get the spot where we're planning to put it, all clean and organized by then! But it will make managing the refrigerator's freezer MUCH easier.

Posted by: Pat* at July 30, 2016 01:06 PM (ZdNOH)

83 N. Indiana. Hot and HUMID!!! Plenty rain all season. We need sunshine or rot will be a problem in my vines and peppers but so far everything is green and healthy. Put up 1 1/2 gallons refrigerator sweet pickles using two old pickle jars. These will keep in excellent shape for over a year for all of the salads... Carabao Mango from the Philippines....sweetest in the world.

Posted by: cicero Kaboom! kid at July 30, 2016 02:25 PM (qdC78)

84 cicero Kaboom! kid at July 30, 2016 07:25 PM

Thanks for the details. 

Maybe you should post the recipe for the pickles in the Food Thread tomorrow. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 02:30 PM (qahv/)

85 @65 the MiracleGro watering system: I bought one last year, another this year because I needed more fittings. They work; sometimes not as well as I would like. There is a flow restrictor (light blue) in the fitting where one connects the water hose. I think that can cut flow a whole bunch in one direction while another branch gets lots of water. Another problem seems to be that the water doesn't want to go up hill. I'm going to find out what happens when one removes the flow restrictor. I'm looking at the other system Home Depot sells, the DIG system. It has drip holes pre-done for you. There is hose with different hole spacings. One can even attach mini-sprinklers. Overall, I'm not thrilled with the MiracleGro system, but eh. It's there, I use it. I've spent more on brass hose dividers, fittings and manifolds than on soaker hose in order to get good flow.

Posted by: Gordon at July 30, 2016 02:54 PM (ZnynT)

86 Hey, KT...has anyone talked about broadforks here? Also, I just got this very cool jam/jelly maker from the canning folks at Ball. It is very highly rated. Having made about 5 5-cup batches of jam the old fashioned way so far this year, I'm looking forward to trying this device that does all the cooking and stirring with no mess and no burns from boiling pre-jam.

Posted by: Gordon at July 30, 2016 02:58 PM (ZnynT)

87 Thanks, KT!

Posted by: delayna at July 30, 2016 03:02 PM (KNFU5)

88 @82 Pat: we have a chest freezer and two upright freezers. Upright uses a bit more electricity but less food gets lost in the depths.

Posted by: Gordon at July 30, 2016 04:36 PM (9lCXX)

89 Gordon, I think we'll be OK with the chest freezer. We'll probably have tall stacks of a small number of things. I don't expect us to go out and buy half a cow or anything - this is going to be (at least for now!) for storing freezable summer garden produce.

Posted by: Pat* at July 30, 2016 06:39 PM (ZdNOH)

90 Pat: we have a chest freezer and two upright freezers. Upright uses a bit more electricity but less food gets lost in the depths. Ditto us. Re: butternut squash. Folks, that's what pumpkin wishes it was! Will keep all winter and into the next spring in the basement... makes bread, pies, soup, you name it. Supposedly Libby's (largest canned pumpkin producer) uses a butternut/pumpkin hybrid.

Posted by: MarkY at July 30, 2016 06:43 PM (iLoHX)

91 Pat, you must not be short and round like my wife. She can't REACH the bottom of a chest freezer (she's not behind me is she?)

Posted by: MarkY at July 30, 2016 06:44 PM (iLoHX)

92 Gordon at July 30, 2016 07:58 PM

I don't remember a discussion of broadforks.  Interesting contrast to an advanced jelly making machine.  You have broad garden interests. 

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2016 08:34 PM (qahv/)

93 KT, I'll get on that for two Saturdays from now. Gotta do camping. The wife is suspicious about other broads in the garden. They might eat her tomatoes.

Posted by: Gordon at July 31, 2016 04:45 PM (9KR27)

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