August 30, 2014

Saturday Gardening Thread: Writer's Block Edition [Y-not and WeirdDave]
— Open Blogger

Good afternoon and welcome to your Saturday Gardening Thread!

Today's thread is brought to you by Billboard's Top 100 Songs of 1962, which happens to be the year I was born. Here's Number 69, "Cindy's Birthday:"

Take it away, WeirdDave:

OK, got no clue what to write about today. None. Zero, Zip, Nada. I tell ya, I got nothing. So I plugged "Garden" into DuckDuckGo and scrolled way down, then started to look for interesting stuff.

What garden is complete without a geodesic dome? Not yours, I'm sure, and at the link you can buy one for only 499 €, whatever the hell a "€" is. I'd be worried that Pauly Shore would show up.

Here's a site called The Gay Gardener. There's lots of helpful tips there, but I haven't found yet how being gay affects your garden, unless you're doing in your garden what you should be doing in your bedroom, in which case I'd suggest investing in a geodesic dome with an opaque cover (see first link) if you have neighbors.

Moving on, since we're getting close to Halloween, perhaps a nice, creepy scarecrow is in order. At the link you can get ones with faces on them, although the fact that they feature a picture of one of their products with crows sitting on it makes me question how effective they are. The faces are a nice touch, if you put one out front instead of in the garden I'm sure you'll give one or two trick-or-treaters nightmares. Still not sure about crow nightmares.

If you find yourself in Iceland, you should definitely visit The Elf Garden. Why? Well, their webpage has a picture of a cat looking at a rainbow sign captioned "We are here". Isn't that enough? We are here. Much better than "How to cook forty humans" I suppose. These people seem to have the intersection of elves and gardens nailed, AND they featured a performance by "the extremely funny Teenagers, Arnor and Oli." Book your tickets now before their voices change, their "Elves and faeries and goblins, oh my" routine won't be nearly as funny in a bass voice.

I got quite excited when I noticed a link to Eden's Garden, I thought God had barred mankind from that place for eternity. Turns out it's an aromatherapy store. I looked, but couldn't find any ValuRite scented oils or essence of Ewok, so it might not be our kind of place.

Hey, here's a website about bugs. They tell you which bugs are good bugs that fight bad bugs that are bugging your garden. Garden Insects. They promise that their bugs can beat up your bugs, and even provide a link to where you can order bugs online. Shopping for AtC has never been easier. Buy now, Christmas is just around the corner.

Finally, we find a link to Michelle Obama's garden. "Today, the garden is planted, tended and harvested by Mrs. Obama, White House staff, the National Park Service and visitors." Sure. I'm willing to bet that one of those listed does just a teensy bit less work in the garden than the others. Call it a hunch. There's more: "Inspired by the First Lady's passion for healthy living and healthy eating, people across the country have revisited the American tradition of starting a vegetable garden at home." Actually Madam First Lady, Americans are "revisiting" the "tradition" of starting a veggie garden because WE CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY FOOD DUE TO YOUR HUSBAND'S LOUSY ECONOMIC POLICIES.

* mic drop *

Weirddave is out.

And now from your co-hostess, Y-not:
Today's my birthday.

I'm past the age where I actually celebrate my birthday, but I'm using the calendar date as an excuse to not feel guilty for having virtually no content for you this week!

You youngsters will discover that as you get to A Certain Age you begin to embrace your Inner Curmudgeon. I hit that age two years ago. My Inner Curmudgeon gives me license to ask to see The Manager when service sucks, to insist that hipster clerks SPEAK THE FRIG UP WHEN TALKING TO ME, and to blow off my AoSHQ duties as desired.

It's quite freeing, really. I'm not sure it compensates for waking up with aches and pains every day, but it's something.

In any event, here are a couple of things from Casa Y-not.


I have finally harvested a tomato! The first of the Black Carbons has produced a ripe fruit (left) which we enjoyed in a salad earlier this week. It had split in a couple of places, but it was still fine for eating. I found it to be a sweet tomato with a firm, juicy flesh. Meanwhile, a tomato from the Black Krim plant (right) is starting to ripen. I'll let you know how that goes.


I was planning on writing up something about fungi, because we've had a lot of rain around here, which has produced tons of mushrooms in our back yard. Most of them are of the smooth, rounded cap type (lower), but I did find one funky one (upper) that was flat with ridges on the top side instead of on its underside the way most mushrooms are.

I'm not particularly bothered by the existence of these things, but if you're interested in learning more about lawn mushrooms, here's a link.


Finally, we've had some extra bonus flowers popping up in our yard recently, thanks to the messiness of the birds who visit our feeder. They're kind of pretty and are helping to fill in that "problem slope" that I told you about earlier this year. It'll be interesting to see if they return next season.

So that's it from your pals WeirdDave and Y-not. What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?

To wrap things up, here's #60 from that list, "Moon River:"

Send comments, pictures, tips, questions, and large unmarked bills to me on Twitter at moxiemom or to my gee m ail account, bailesworth.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:05 AM | Comments (54)
Post contains 1009 words, total size 7 kb.

1 While you're digging in, I'll see if I can fix Dave's strange character.

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:04 AM (zDsvJ)

2 Pixy does not support the Euro symbol? Maybe it only takes Deutschmarks and Pounds.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at August 30, 2014 08:09 AM (u82oZ)

3 Nope. 500 error on other currency symbols.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at August 30, 2014 08:10 AM (u82oZ)

4 Got it! :-)

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:10 AM (zDsvJ)

5 the code at this link worked:

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:11 AM (zDsvJ)

6 Speaking of plump juicy tomatoes, Miss America 2014 is promoting "Platform Issue: Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency". WTF is 'cultural competency'?!

Posted by: goatexchange at August 30, 2014 08:11 AM (sYUHT)

7 that is such a great movie....audrey hepburn was so gorgeous and george peppard so handsome thanks for that link y-not!!!! weird dave.....great links too

Posted by: phoenixgirl at August 30, 2014 08:14 AM (u8GsB)

8 WE CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY FOOD DUE TO YOUR HUSBAND'S LOUSY ECONOMIC POLICIES. No kidding. Subsistence farming is no fun no matter what the hipster "we eat what we grow" douche tells you. My mother's garden was plentiful this year. I look forward to the jars of pickles, fig preserves, and muscadine jelly I'll be getting at Christmas.

Posted by: no good deed at August 30, 2014 08:16 AM (w3a0Z)

9 They call me MISTER Acker Bilk!

Posted by: rickl at August 30, 2014 08:17 AM (sdi6R)

10 Why do you get all the large unmarked bills?

Posted by: Weirddave(chopped liver) at August 30, 2014 08:19 AM (9422s)

11 Hey phoenixgirl I passed along your error message... and it was sent by a cob on to pixy. I dunno if it'll help, but we can hope.

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:19 AM (zDsvJ)

12 >>Why do you get all the large unmarked bills?


Perhaps I'll share. Stranger things have happened!

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:20 AM (zDsvJ)

13 Harvested our first carrots this week. One tomato is finally getting ripe.

Posted by: Ronster at August 30, 2014 08:22 AM (GmOIG)

14 WeirdDave is freaking me out with all of his Fall references. Last week it was the bulbs and this week it's scarecrows.

I am not ready for Fall. I want some friggin' tomatoes!!!

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:22 AM (zDsvJ)

15 Happy Birthday, Y-not 1962 saw a good year

Posted by: AltonJackson is just drivin by at August 30, 2014 08:26 AM (KCxzN)

16 comment fail I meant to say "1962 was a good year"

Posted by: AltonJackson is just drivin by at August 30, 2014 08:27 AM (KCxzN)

17 Mercy buttercups, Alton.

Mr Y-not cooked me breakfast in bed - blueberry pancakes, ham, bacon, and MIMOSAS! So I am happy about that.

Very gloomy here today. Bummer. And one of the kids (we, he looks old enough to get a job, but he doesn't seem to have one) next door is screwing with his motorcycle, which necessitates a constant vroom-vroom. Double bummer.

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:30 AM (zDsvJ)

18 BTW, I was too lazy to actually count them, but it seemed like 15% of the songs from that list had "Twist" in their titles.

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:30 AM (zDsvJ)

19 Huh. That looks like Lucas McCains' kid from The Rifleman.

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Suntanning in Bizzaro World at August 30, 2014 08:30 AM (3qe2i)

20 is. Use the Bing. Use the Bing.

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Suntanning in Bizzaro World at August 30, 2014 08:31 AM (3qe2i)

21 We in Western Washtenaw county Michigan are watching our tomato plants die of some fungal blight. It's a very poor year for tomatoes -- so sad. Eggplants were total bust. But cukes are doing well, so it's not all the nightshades under attack. Nurseries and Michigan Extension Service have no productive suggestions.

Posted by: sinmi on her tablet at August 30, 2014 08:34 AM (2SAQP)

22 The Hummers are already leaving. Probably means an early Winter.

Posted by: Ronster at August 30, 2014 08:36 AM (GmOIG)

23 >> The Hummers are already leaving. Probably means an early Winter.

Speaking of which, I've had one hanging around my deck this week. He's been sipping from the hot chile plant flowers. Brave bird!

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:39 AM (zDsvJ)

24 The Hummers are already leaving. Probably means an early Winter. ...or that the honeymoon is over.

Posted by: garrett at August 30, 2014 08:41 AM (+MeNb)

25 We usually have lots of Hummers pass through as they leave the mountains and head South. They normally hang around till the second or third week of September.

Posted by: Ronster at August 30, 2014 08:45 AM (GmOIG)

26 I have about a bushel of tomatoes spread out on the kitchen island and dining table despite having made a gallon of salsa last Sunday, a half gallon of tomatoes in the freezer for stews and such this winter and six quarts of salsa with my cayenne peppers this morning.  It's a good (if unusual) problem to have.  My dad, who's 87 and has been gardening for most of his life, says he's never seen anything like it.  I credit me and my sucker plucking and measured watering and intermittent but timely rain.  We've grown Celebrities the last three years and this is the best they've done. 

Also, watermelons out the wazoo and I'm not tired of them yet.

Happy b-day, Ynot!

Posted by: huerfano at August 30, 2014 08:45 AM (bAGA/)

27 ...or that the honeymoon is over. That was many years ago.

Posted by: Ronster at August 30, 2014 08:46 AM (GmOIG)

28 Ooh, I am envious, huerfano.

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 08:47 AM (zDsvJ)

29 thanks y-not!

Posted by: phoenixgirl at August 30, 2014 08:53 AM (u8GsB)

30 OMG!!! Happy Birthday Y-NOT!!!! so many august bdays......(mine was at the beginning!!!)

Posted by: phoenixgirl at August 30, 2014 08:55 AM (u8GsB)

31 Mr Y-not cooked me breakfast in bed - blueberry pancakes, ham, bacon, and MIMOSAS!

Wasn't it sort of a pain to move the stove?

*ducks*    *ducks again*

Ya missed me!

Posted by: Retread at August 30, 2014 08:57 AM (l7hog)

32 Nood

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 09:01 AM (zDsvJ)

33 Congratulations on your 'Black Carbon' tomato, Y-not. There are two strains of 'Carbon' tomato in circulation, one quite dark and one not so dark. Looks like you have the dark one, and somebody decided to call it 'Black Carbon'. I have the lighter one, from Sample Seed Shop. Seems like a nice tomato. Black Krim also comes in two strains - one "salty" and one "smoky". See if you can detect either flavor in your upcoming ripe tomato. Pick it while it still has green shoulders. There is also a 'Noir Crimee', which one would think would be the same tomato. It is a favorite black of Carolyn Male, who wrote the book on heirloom tomatoes. A lot of my tomato plants have died, but yesterday, I got three beautiful pointy pink tomatoes from my 'Eva Purple Ball' plant. Normally, they're round and a little darker. Don't know if I have a genetic sport or if the appearance is due to disease or heat. Eva Purple Ball is a smallish tomato known to be productive but not extraordinarily good in heat. People are using it to breed new open-pollinated tomatoes. It is said to confer greater productivity than either parent when used as the female parent in a cross. A peek into the world of tomato nuts here. Nice folks, sometimes a bit obsessive: Eva Purple Ball was the foreign competitor in my Duck Dynasty Little Pink Southern Tomato trial this year. It held its own with the southerners for producing in heat, but cucumber mosiaic virus was an issue, so the trial may have been affected. I liked the flavor of the granddad commercial pink tomato best -- Bradley. It is a little larger than the others and sweeter. It is a determinate, but contrary to some descriptions does not bear its fruit all at once. I also liked 'Traveler 76', which is a refinement of 'Traveler' (Arkansas Traveler). Contrary to legend, Arkansas Traveler is not a traditional heirloom from the Appalachian hills. It was developed at the University of Arkansas and released around 1966. This was back before commercial tomatoes were almost all hybrids. 'Traveler 76' is supposed to be more productive and less crack-prone than Arkansas Traveler. 'Traveler 76' peels easily when ripe, without blanching. I got seeds from Victory Seeds. I was a little disappointed in 'Burgundy Traveler', which did not match descriptions I have seen elsewhere. Maybe I got a stray seed of something else.

Posted by: KT at August 30, 2014 09:02 AM (qahv/)

34 there is a typo in that tomato name.  You've swapped the B and the R.  You are welcomc

Tell me how your Krims come out.  Mine are getting dark but not all the way.  I had black tomatoes, cherokee purple I think, last year and loved the taste but about half rotted on the vine, unripe and splitting when the winter rains moved in.

Posted by: kindltot at August 30, 2014 09:02 AM (t//F+)

35 Y-Not. Problem slope? Y'all are up north right. Is it a north facing slope? Seed some fine fescue. Cut it about twice a year. High. Think of it as ornamental grass. Saw it done like this on a golf course at Kingsmill in Williamsburg. Impressive. Good time to bump up the K in your soil for the yard. Skip the big box stores and go to the local farm supply and get a fertilizer with a ratio of 1:0:3 or better. Potassium is some good insurance this time of year. Anytime for that matter. For us down south, watch for army worms. Been the worst year I've seen in 6 or 8. I think that early TS brought them up from the south. Army worms don't seem to bother centipede or St Augustine much but if you have Bermuda or Zoysia, they'll get after it. Really enjoy the gardening thread if I'm not on the golf course.

Posted by: Golfman in NC at August 30, 2014 09:04 AM (gd1mh)

36 Oh, and to brag, I'm getting delicious, head sized, juicy cantaloupes.  Pretty good for the Willamette Valley.

Posted by: kindltot at August 30, 2014 09:04 AM (t//F+)

37 Here Y-not. (Pushes tomatoes thru port.) We've got tomatoes coming out of our ears, but one type is just getting around to blushing now, slowpokes. The little camparis are the sweetest, juiciest and most productive of the 7 types we tried. Thanks Weirddave! Next year we'll have one or two slicer types and more camparis only. We have lots of tiny not-so-purple-yet purple tomatillos that will be put up in a green salsa concoction. They are really sweet compared to green ones. Cucumbers are still barely producing even tho the plants look almost dead. Chilis and peppers are just not happening, tho. If the science is settled on global warming, why are we contemplating use of a space heater out here in August?

Posted by: OldDominionMom at August 30, 2014 09:04 AM (Vp1dQ)

38 Doing my willow imitation still. Ima gonna take her place. I swear it.

Posted by: Golfman in NC at August 30, 2014 09:07 AM (gd1mh)

39 Sinmi, if it's Late Blight (or Early Blight) killing your tomatoes, you might try Mountain Magic next year. It's a cocktail tomato (like WeirdDave's famous one). There are quite a few other Early Blight resistant tomatoes, not a lot of Late Blight resistant ones. I think Juliet has some resistance. There's a Roma type called "Plum Regal" that was released with Mountain Magic, too. There's also a new Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus out these, but I think it's mostly in the South. There are some resistant hybrids out now.

Posted by: KT at August 30, 2014 09:09 AM (qahv/)

40 I'm still here, Golfman.

We tried mint on the slope last year. Most died b/c they were not getting enough water, but some re-emerged this year. The challenge is the slope is very "rooty" from the aspens, it faces SW, but it's also shaded by trees and the deck... and the dogs use it as a shortcut. We put up some temporary fencing/barriers to stop the dogs.

We stopped mowing it and planted periwinkle. It seems to be taking, although it still have some ground to cover.

Posted by: Y-not at August 30, 2014 09:11 AM (zDsvJ)

41 Periwinkle is one of my favorites. My boss planted it. Wasn't too impressed. Told him to give some time. He's now taking sprigs and planting it under the live oaks at the office.

Posted by: Golfman in NC at August 30, 2014 09:19 AM (/djtm)

42 For blight on tomatoes, chiles and bell peppers, try spraying with copper sulfate soap once a week.  It's a fungicide and prevents the fungus from developing if you start early or mitigates it after it's infected.  A couple of years ago, we started spraying with it too late, though, and had a very poor crop of green chiles and two dead tomato plants.

Posted by: huerfano at August 30, 2014 09:20 AM (bAGA/)

43 Moon River. Always reminds me of mom. It was one of, if not her very favorite. Dad said it was because Andy joined them at their table for close to half an hour one night (probably because mom was a looker which runs in the females in my family). It think it was because it was a great song.

Posted by: teej at August 30, 2014 09:29 AM (JLRz+)

44 BEES In other garden news, my brother-in-law picked up the beehive that he had left here for a couple of weeks after inheriting it from his deceased brother in law. The hive was getting ready to divide itself, and the bees were cranky. One kamikaze bee got me, one got a cat, one got the neighbor's dog and one came in the house on my hat (not all on the same day). The one that came in the house stayed angry, attacking light bulbs, until I swatted it. WASPS One of the plants that is still looking good in the garden is a volunteer, sprawling cowpea with lavender blossoms. One year I grew a compact, pretty little cultivar called "Dixie Lee". It was bred for elegant, thin little "snaps" - the cowpea equivalent of green beans. When the wasps left the cotton fields in the fall, many came to our house, where each wasp stationed itself under a Dixie Lee blossom. Whatever they were drinking from the nectaries under the blossoms made them really docile. You could accidentally grab one when picking snaps and it would not even get upset. Wasps and bees like cotton fields in summer because cotton stems 'sweat' sap when temperatures are high. The sugar exuded is less soluble in water than the typical sugars we are used to, and the sap is very thick. Cotton honey only tastes about half as sweet as regular honey.

Posted by: KT at August 30, 2014 09:29 AM (qahv/)

45 And happy birthday Y-not. Wish I was young as a spring chicken like you are.

Posted by: teej at August 30, 2014 09:36 AM (JLRz+)

46 Happy B'day Y-not, and don't eat those mushrooms! Here in the Midwest there are a fair number of eastern Europeans who search them out in the woods. They seem to know what they are doing, but mistakes can be made.

Posted by: WhyMe at August 30, 2014 10:04 AM (l9mF2)

47 Still have Flavor Queen and Dapple Dandy Pluots hanging on the trees. Flavor Queen is now unbelievably sweet. Dapple Dandy finally tastes really ripe, several weeks after it looked and felt ripe. Characteristic of this variety.

Posted by: KT at August 30, 2014 10:17 AM (qahv/)

48 Found bagram bugs in my yard today!  Everything I've read on the interwebs says there is nothing that kills them, even pesticides and to just pull out your cabbage crops.  Grrrrr!!! Is this really true?  Nightmare as I get to fall/winter planting time for me.  Dream for hubby who can't stand those veggies anyways.

Posted by: keena at August 30, 2014 12:18 PM (RiTnx)

49 Back to gardening, the Old Farmer's Almanac says that today, tomorrow and Labor Day are good days for planting, especially leafy greens. I'm going to plant some lettuce indoors, as germination of most kinds is inhibited over 80 degrees. A shady location is next best. Plantlets can be moved to a partly-shaded location if it stays hot. I'm planting cool-season varieties, and if they bolt, I'll just re-plant. Last year, I kept plants to a respectable size in barbecued chicken trays. They don't take much planting mix, but choose a good one. I'll also start some kohlrabi. Johnny's Selected Seeds has a pretty good list of veggies to plant in summer for fall harvest. Stokes has a good indication of which Asian greens bolt in heat and which ones bolt in cold weather in their print catalog, but apparently not online.

Posted by: KT at August 30, 2014 01:03 PM (qahv/)

50 Do you mean Bagrada bugs, Keena? Are you in California? Could they be Cabbage Harlequin bugs? New pests to me. Sound nasty.

Posted by: KT at August 30, 2014 01:14 PM (qahv/)

51 Yes oops I meant bagrada bugs. Scarey nothing will kill them.

Posted by: keena at August 30, 2014 01:42 PM (RiTnx)

52 Maybe beneficial nematodes? I will try them

Posted by: keena at August 30, 2014 01:47 PM (RiTnx)

53 Keena, I saw some leaf-footed plant bugs congregated on one pomegranate this week. Seems like they are part of the same family. They remind me of squash bugs from the description. Squash bugs are really hard to kill as adults (though you can hand-pick them and throw them in a bucket of soapy water). Squash bugs will congregate underneath boards and such at night, where they can be destroyed. The nymphs are more susceptible to insecticides, and you can find and squash egg clusters. But if the weather's not too hot, a summer-weight floating row cover over new plantings might work better. Make sure no bugs are hiding in weeds under the cover. Bury the edges, but leave it floppy above or stretch over a frame to allow room for growth. Would also keep out moths and butterflies that lay eggs on cole crops, and aphids. I thought beneficial nematodes only worked on stuff that spends part of its life in the soil. Cabbage root maggot might be controlled by them.

Posted by: KT at August 30, 2014 03:41 PM (qahv/)

54 I was happy to see the whiny protest songs are all down at the bottom of the list.

Posted by: Ponydaemmerung at August 31, 2014 03:45 AM (aUgP1)

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