Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Summer Bounty

scout211 jul15 watermelon

From loyal garden correspondent Scout211:

We had a very hot spell recently, with daytime temps in the low 100s, so many blossoms did not set during that period. The weather now is in the 90s and maybe next week in the 80s, so more blossoms will set for future harvest.

The tomatoes are abundant this year, as are the melons, squash and peppers. My corn was a bust, but I just couldn’t give it the water it needed, with the drought here in California.

scout211 jul15 counter haul

My kitchen counter today. Yesterday I chopped and bagged 3 quart-sized ziplocks full of bell peppers and made 6 quarts of marinara sauce. All are in the freezer.

scout211 jul15 ambrosia melon

Yummy ambrosia melons. I use a trellis for melons because of the small space in my raised beds. Ambrosia melons are simply the best, sweetest melons, IMMO.

scout211 jul15  jalapenos

Jalapeno peppers.

scout211 jul15 honeydews

Honeydew melons.

scout211 jul15 tomatoes

One of my 8 tomato plants—all doing well this year.

scout211 jul15 squash

Butternut squash.

scout211 jul15 crookneck squash

Yellow crookneck.

scout211 jul15 strawberries


Here in New England, I’m thrilled to report that I picked my first ripe full-sized tomato this week — a Cherokee Purple. It was a pea-sized fruit when I got the plant in the mail; I should’ve done as recommended and picked it off while transplanting, because that vine just hasn’t done nearly as well as its fellows. But we have a ripe tomato, as a promise from all the green globes now swelling up among the lush foliage!

What’s going on in your gardens, this week?

153 replies
  1. 1

    Those are some impressive crops, especially the melons and peppers.

    I don’t have a vegetable patch; here in Miami I leave that to the growers down in Homestead and Redland. What I do have is a small collection of orchids which I hang in the hibiscus trees/bushes, and they get along very nicely. My chili pepper vanda — so named because of the color and shape of the blooms it puts out — is showing another round of blooms; the fourth set since last fall. The hibiscus is always putting out a flowers. The orchids and hibiscus don’t mind the heat and the humidity.

  2. 2

    Very pretty.

    I’ve had a lot of cymbidium root spikes this year–they won’t stop blooming. It’s kind of awesome. My San Pedros are super not in a flowering mood though.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Really nice!

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: Just read in TeamStream that there will be a new Uga this year — Uga X!

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    What a nice bounty. Enjoy.

  6. 6
    Pogonip says:

    Good morning shaper-upperers! My motivation sort of collapsed this week; I hope you all did much better than I. (I bet Major x 4 is stll kravving enthusiastically.). Onward and upward to next week!

  7. 7
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: Que! Russ doesn’t like noise!

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    Today, I whack weeds.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Blechhh… I hate you Scout and your perfect unblemished by blight tomato plants, and your perfect squashbug free squash plants, and the super sweet melons which I don’t even bother with anymore ’cause the coons just beat me to them. ;-)

    But I have been eating Paul Robeson tomatoes this week.

    Seriously, most everything looks like hell in my garden. My tomatoes have been afflicted with an armageddon of blight. (the sun did shine yesterday, and is supposed to all week, or so they say) I am in a war of attrition with the squashbugs which in the end they will win, but for right now I am still picking plenty of zucchini and lemon squash. I can only hope the winter squash gets far enough along that they will store well. My sweet peppers… well, I haven’t surrendered yet but the writing is on the wall: TMV wins. My hot peppers are doing OK so far but nothing to write home about. I did get a couple of nice heads of cabbage too. I’ve canned 10 pints of green and yellow beans this week. The Missouri Wonder has been setting pods and the Mother Stollard have finally started flowering so we will see about them. I will be digging up my red onions today and the potatoes later this week (which I don’t expect much out of) I will be digging up the broccoli soon in preparation for the Brussels Sprouts which are doing well under the grow lights.

    Just another mixed Ozark disaster in progress.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    El Chapo has escaped again. Big surprise that Mexico can’t keep a billionaire with his own private army in prison, eh?

  11. 11
    Mary G says:

    Your garden could be in a magazine, Scout! Beautiful.

  12. 12
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s the Mexican government, they are sending him here!

  13. 13
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Lovely garden. There’s a lot of effort wrapped up in those successes.
    Our ‘harvest’ this year is wild raspberries from canes that come up on the edge of the rose bush beds. Very nice on vanilla ice cream. Other than that we’re all flowers and shrubbery. And weeds. Always the weeds.

  14. 14
    Eric S. says:

    A most excellent and beautiful garden.

    My little deck garden is struggling through the cool rainy weather here in Chicago. While the Swiss Chard is happy the tomatoes are not. Each plant has 3 not quite golf ball sized fruit but one is fully invested with blight and the other has early signs. The peppers seem to be coming on though.

    I’m off to Florida this morning. A friend will be taking care of Ozzie the cat and the plants.

  15. 15
    Gindy51 says:

    SE IN garden, tons of rain very little heat. Great pepper harvest and nothing but green tomatoes. Zucchini and cucumber are lame, but the herbs are doing well. We don’t grow much else because no one eats it. I’m about ready to not bother anymore and plant wild flowers…
    The kicker is, we put in a drip irrigation system and only got to test it since it has rained every other day or two since we installed it. Figures.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Trump is on it!

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    My garden is okay. I’m going to have lots of tomatoes and peppers and the sweet potatoes should be ready by September. Everything else fried with the heat. I’m going to clean out the bed with beans and peas and get it ready for fall planting.

    @raven: Be afraid, very afraid. If Trump were President, he would have a sent his private plane and put the perp in supermax.
    The other republicans running for President seem to fear Trump, but will stay mum.

  18. 18
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Okay, I’m jealous now, except of the jalapenos. I clipped last years’ plants and they came back, how cool is that?!

    Aphids finally back, started to spray with Neem oil again (it worked) but now it’s raining again. The Lawn Guy after ignoring that horrible shrub for eons now likes to randomly clip it which stimulates growth, attracting the little suckers. I need them way the hell away from my other plants.

    Also, he needs to stop clipping that vibranum, otherwise it will never bloom. That’s why someone bought this hell plant to begin with, right?

  19. 19
    Botsplainer says:

    Thunderbooms and thinking about our poor old sweet cat that passed. Wife’s devastation, in part, was over him dying alone at the vet’s office. Not much answer for that – he was resting comfortably, and it is a measure of how sick he was that when I went to see him yesterday he barely opened his eyes even though he moved into his neck scritch a little when I was hitting his favorite spot – had he been more alert, he’d have bolted from the cage because he HATED the vet.

    I was just thinking about him as a kitten – we had this huge, sweet Groenendael who was about 3/4 grown; the dog would herd the cat around the yard showing him things while keeping him close. If the cat got too far or he wanted the show him something else, the dog would scoop him up in his jaws by the torso (couldn’t figure out the scruff thing, I guess) and carry him to another spot to plop him down – it was his cat. They really were buddies, they grew up together and aged together. When our sweet old Groenendael died a few years ago, the cat seemed to go a little downhill, but perked up some when we got the Tervuren, and some old behavior patterns reasserted. I like to think that the physical resemblance and behavior similarities made him think his friend was back.

  20. 20
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Eric S.: Florida??? Stay indoors.

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    A really good interview/profile of Amy Poehler

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    Am I the other one, who has missed McCain? It seems that all his calls to Sunday morning shows, are being ignored. Nikki Haley is going to be on MTP, Face the Nation has an interesting lineup with Boehner saying the confederate flag should be removed from all National parks, (huh) Just a few days ago, he had someone insert an amendment, saying they stay. Tom Cotton will also discuss how Iran is going to nuke us. In order to be fair and balanced, Bernie Sanders will be on. This Week with George has Carly Fiorina.

  23. 23
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Is there a good nationwide resource to look up which weeds are native plants and which ones are invasive? (Or non-native non-invasive, while we’re at it.)

  24. 24
    Schlemazel says:

    Beautiful garden produce! Too bad about the corn. We drove across Nebraska yesterday and, despite heavy rains the night before, saw a lot of water being sprayed on corn fields. That is not sustainable and I wonder what they will do after they pump the wells dry.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    @Botsplainer: What a sweet story, everyone needs a friend. RIP

  26. 26
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Cool. Not even a mango tree, though?

  27. 27
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @JPL: lol

    he has to be thinking, I’ve been pre-empted for this lot?

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Carly who?

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Botsplainer: Sorry about your loss.

  30. 30
    Gene108 says:


    I met my nemesis this weekend: Ice Cream!!! And it was good.

    Now back to eating more carefully.

  31. 31
    Botsplainer says:


    Gonna have to really think about a companion for the Tervuren. He’s pretty clingy as it is. When youngest daughter’s cat leaves Tuesday and the house empties, it’ll get mighty lonesome.

  32. 32
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Is there a good nationwide resource to look up which weeds are native plants and which ones are invasive? (Or non-native non-invasive, while we’re at it.)

    I really don’t know. You might have to look them up individually, as what’s local in one place is non-native in another. A lot of our ‘weeds’ are volunteers from neighbors’ gardens. Like a gorgeous little terrestrial orchid thing that comes up in spikes in the duff under our spruce trees. My sister howls “INVASIVE KILL WITH FIRE”, but hey, free orchid. And it’s bordered with lawn so I can isolate it by mowing. Not that that worked for the lily of the valley…
    I’m sure we never planted feverfew but they come up and I leave them alone. Lovely flowers that last for weeks. I have three handsome cottoneaster shrubs that started as patches of ??? in the grass that I mowed around and grew into dense green clumps. There’s some larkspur and snapdragons hiding in corners that the birds probably contributed. All welcome unless they get underfoot or stage a coup on a flowerbed.
    We have at least 3 varieties of milkweed and only one is native. I leave them until they finish feeding the bees and butterflies, then chop them and they come up the next spring.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    5 science questions you always wanted to ask, including “Are silent farts more deadly?” (yes) “Could a zombie apocalypse happen?” (yes) and “Should you use the snooze button?” (no)

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Eric S. says:

    @Another Holocene Human: The Girl had been down there for two weeks. We are staying at her mom’s place in Clearwater. I’ve heard they purchased spf 50 for my fair northern skin. As sweltering as I know it’s going to be it’ll be nice to remember what temps above 75 feel like.

  36. 36
    Baud says:


    A silent fart ate my baby!

  37. 37
    satby says:

    I’m almost giving up on my tomatoes, one hybrid is doing ok with small green tomatoes that don’t seem to be in a hurry to ripen, the rest have blight. I am using the Serenade I bought to fight it, but it appears to be a holding action only. The flowers aren’t setting into fruit anyway.
    My flowers from seed are all thriving.
    And it’s raining again. Predicted for more off and on through the week. I’m not feeling hopeful that the tomatoes will amount to anything this year.
    Anyone in the Michiana region want to buy a tiller? Seriously, I’m selling it; it’s too big and heavy for me even though it’s self-propelled.

  38. 38
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Thanx, handy link.

  39. 39
    satby says:

    @Eric S.: LOL, I love my mom, but nothing short of an emergency gets me down to Florida between May and September.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: John McCain is saying the same thing.

    Salon has an interesting article about how the GOP has to destroy Trump. link
    I need to finish reading it but I’m a tad concerned about who this guy is. In the past he was pro immigration, for pro choice in regards to abortion rights, and mentioned several times that the democrats did better on the economy. What would happen if he had chosen to run as a democrat? Would the democrats be afraid to attack him?

  41. 41
    Gvg says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I doubt it. invasive is a local designation and so is native. Check IFAS website for Florida. also Florida native plant society. for publications on invasive weeds. University of Florida press has published whole books on the subject. You can find used copies of their more expensive books once you know what you want. Many IFAS publications are free. IFAS is Institute of Food and Agricultural Science and is the reason Florida is a land grant school. Is very helpful especially if you have a clue about what you want to know about to start with.
    the native plant society doesn’t seem to have much online but the actual people at the meeting know a lot. Paines Prarie/ Rhexia chapter is Gainesville and they are usually the biggest chapter in the state even though Gainesville is a smaller town.

  42. 42
    Another Holocene Human says:

    reposted via LGF

    Ladies and Germs, your Republican base:

    Lou Brudnock, 71, said he is attracted to Trump’s brash “truthfulness” and his willingness to be politically incorrect.

    “This country today is sad, sad, sad,” Brudnock said. “You can’t say anything or they call you ‘a racist.’ It’s like we’re back in Nazi Germany. But look around, man. It’s people here reading and listening to his message.”

  43. 43
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You’re welcome! I refer to it occasionally, but it mostly depresses me at this point because I would have to have the fire department come do a controlled burn on the swamp next to me to get rid of all the non-natives. And they don’t do those around here.

  44. 44
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Gvg: I wonder if native plant society is on Facebook. (My FB peeps are into some hardcore urban food gardening club that was too exhausting to even read about.) Probably biggest chapter because it’s the biggest concentration of highly educated native Floridians.

    I know what IFAS is. Hard to live here and not know, unless you’re Bernie Machen, I guess. One of my friends did tech support for that database so I should have thought of it but for some reason I thought of it as an internal project. ETA: Correction, he didn’t work on that project, he worked on some other bio database for UF IFAS. Duh.

  45. 45
    satby says:

    @Gvg: the link I supplied goes down to invasive species by regions, and includes animals and fish.
    The DNR here has been trying to get control and stop the spread of lamprey eels coming up the rivers from Lake Michigan, for instance.

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Sometimes all you can say is WTF. How do you reason with that type of thinking?

  47. 47
    Baud says:


    What would happen if he had chosen to run as a democrat? Would the democrats be afraid to attack him?

    Huh? Are you new to the Democratic Party? Of course we’d attack him.

  48. 48
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Gvg, am I missing something? The USF “mobile field guide” doesn’t have any way to look up a plant by leave shape, etc, unless I’m missing something.

    I did not major in horticulture. I have no frigging clue what I am looking at.

    I keep pestering my wife but she majored in forestry and if it’s not a tree….

  49. 49
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Thanks. My grandmother had a big patch of purple loosestrife in her garden for years. She bought it as a potted plant ages ago before they were banned. This in western MI, which now has waterways choked with the stuff crowding out natives. We pleaded with her to get rid of it and after she moved from the house it went to the burn pile. Heaven knows how many it spawned.
    Our big invaders here are mulberry and buckthorn. Very difficult to get rid of without extensive excavation. They’re native but a nuisance.

  50. 50
    jharp says:

    We have been underwater for weeks and got more rain last night. Flood warnings now. More rain in the forecast.

    Bad bad year in central Indiana.

    I have picked one cucumber and about 6 golf ball size tomatoes that have little taste. Peppers have been hammered by the rain and rabbits.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    What would happen if he had chosen to run as a democrat? Would the democrats be afraid to attack him?

    For what? Saying all Mexican immigrants are ebola infected gay rapists? Or for saying the economy does better under Democrats? Point being that the core beliefs of the Democratic party are not anathema to the country as a whole. One might think there is too much gov’t involvement in society, but unless you are a Grover Norquist acolyte nobody is going to think gov’t should be drowned in a bath tub.

  52. 52
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Checking through the links, I guess the answer is no, there’s no giant dichotomous key online. Even some of the best image galleries expect you to know what family the plant is in just by looking at it. Hey, I know what a legume looks like. I can tell a dicot from a monocot. Go me. Looking at the Noble image index right now, seems like my best bet as many plants grow in both Texas and Florida alike.

    Up til now I’ve guessed what a plant was based on flowers and trolled through wikipedia, which is hit or miss. But I have plants without flowers that I’m trying to sort out. Dunno why I need a PhD in plants just to identify what’s in my garden.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    From this side of the planet, it’s hard to see the Donald running as a Democrat. His lack of decorum, seriousness, and policy substance would surely kill his chances of gaining much traction.

  54. 54
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @JPL: Who the guy is is a narcissist. That’s why he’s such a chameleon politically. He needs narcissistic supply, and that willing executioner crowd was more than happy to give it to him.

  55. 55
    Botsplainer says:


    I’m thinking that the emergence of Donald J Trump as a serious contender for the GOP nom could be the ever elusive Peak Wingnut. He’s white, is on the TV, inherited well, has scammed people, has no filter, is a xenophobic demagogue and wears nice suits. For the Howdy Doody generation, it’s the Superfecta times 10. He’s their id, their Kweisatz Haderach.

    They long to see him sneer “ya fiahed” to Barack Obama as a TV moment on Inauguration Day 2017. Thing is, he’d actually say something stupid like that.

  56. 56
    JPL says:

    @Baud: That’s what I’d like to think. He scares me and bravo to Suzanne for being able to sit while he was spewing his bile yesterday.

  57. 57
    satby says:

    @Botsplainer: Aww, Bots, that’s so sad. Even though it was his time it’s hard to have them be gone. That is such a sweet memory of the dog showing “his” cat things in the yard.
    You gave them all a loving place to live.

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Is there a County Extension in your area? They’re usually good sources for all things agricultural.

  59. 59
    BillinGlendaleCA says:


    Huh? Are you new to the Democratic Party? Of course we’d attack him.

    You are, of course, absolutely wrong. You statement has no basis in fact and you’re ugly.

    ETA: I’ve had a guitar solo playing off and on in my head the past few months and I couldn’t ID it. I figured it out, Polythene Pam off of Abbey Road.

  60. 60
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @JPL: Dems would have zero problem attacking Trump. The Dem base doesn’t appreciate out-and-out bigotry. The Repub base loves it.

  61. 61
    satby says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I cut down two buggy mulberry trees and now have four small ones growing on the opposite side of my yard. Took years to get the stumps to quit sprouting.

  62. 62
    Another Holocene Human says:

    I’m sorry I’m being a big fat whiner all over this thread. The Noble index has very little text to accompany the photos so you can’t search by plant characteristics. The folks at the extension office are very nice and have helped me before but I’m not going to call them over some random weeds I can’t identify. I guess science will never know what the fuck is growing out there because science can’t be arsed.

  63. 63
    Botsplainer says:


    It was always so funny, this massive dog just walking around with a cat in his mouth, the cat looking around placidly.

  64. 64
    Currants says:

    Scout–gorgeous gardens! How many raised beds do you use, and what kind of trellis for the melons? I have yet to figure out an efficient organization for my beds. And it’s clear the melons will do better with a trellis but I didn’t have very good luck with the one I used last year.
    Will check back later this afternoon–on the train to visit L’Hermione and the Sagres in Boston Harbor, and then meet my granddaughters on the greenway for a fountain splash. Good plan for what looks to be a 90 degree+ day (and no AC).

  65. 65
    Botsplainer says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    The Repub base loves it.

    “PC doesn’t hold him back and he tells it like it is. Suck it, libtards!!!”

  66. 66
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @debbie: Like gvg said, IFAS is right here. But all I can give them over the phone is a very vague description of what the plant looks like. They’re supposed to be assisting commercial growers in this region who have real omg the fuck problems like stink bugs and other pests from hell. Think I’ll leave them to it.

    Agriculture is the #1 industry in this fucked up state. Don’t let it be said I don’t know where my paycheck comes from.

  67. 67
    Valdivia says:

    @Botsplainer: Read about it in yesterday’s thread and wanted to say so sorry about your tuxedo cat. You gave him all the love and even if it was his time I know how hard it is. I lost one of mine recently too. Many {{{{{hugs}}}}}

  68. 68
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Currants: Hope there’s a nice sea breeze for you!

    After I came back from 3 years in DC where the subway is cold during the summer because it’s in a manmade cave below the water table (and, yes, the water leaks), I took the trolley into Boston on a hot summer day. It was literally 10 degrees hotter in Park St “Under” than on Park St “over”.

    That breeze felt so good.

  69. 69
    Eric S. says:

    @Eric S.: @satby: Your May to September moratorium is perfectly sane. I had no vacation scheduled for this year. Additionally I had shoulder surgery in February which will cost new about 6gs, my out of pocket max. I’m fortunate to be able to afford that but didn’t want to take on another big expense. The Florida trip is cheap: flight food and booze.

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Sorry. I brought that up because the extension here (in central Ohio) will look at plant samples. Send a bit of the plant in a baggie, and they check it out.

  71. 71
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    I cut down two buggy mulberry trees and now have four small ones growing on the opposite side of my yard. Took years to get the stumps to quit sprouting.

    We have some mulberry stumps in an odd area between houses. I’m considering boring the stumps with a spade bit and putting poison in to stop them sprouting. I’ll have to be very careful with this to avoid spoiling the soil. Maybe a pellet of salt in the hole. I won’t do anything until I know it’s safe. But I really want those damn things to quit turning into noxious bushes every spring.
    The yard was somewhat neglected around the edges when we bought the place and for years I’d haul heaps of mulberry limbs out of the fence borders. Finally got most of that under control but the stumps are pretty tough.

  72. 72
    Another Holocene Human says:

    This is more what I had in mind. I get what ya’ll said about highly local. It’s tough and our society devalues plant knowledge. Was mindblowing when I found out all that lyme disease was not due to some deer resurgence or nature walk fanaticism but due to a rodent explosion that was supported by the growth of invasive bushes in New England that provided prime habitat for mice. Ugh.

  73. 73
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @debbie: Okay, that’s a thought. I could ask.

  74. 74
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: That’s amazing. You were really blessed. I think it takes a special kind of animal friend to keep cats who get along with anybody, never mind a dog. They easily become paranoid and attacky.

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    They’re supposed to be assisting commercial growers

    and people like you. You pay taxes too, ya know.

  76. 76
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Botsplainer: Condolences. It’s hard to lose a pet.

  77. 77
    Patrick says:


    One might think there is too much gov’t involvement in society, but unless you are a Grover Norquist acolyte nobody is going to think gov’t should be drowned in a bath tub.

    People who think this are usually clueless as to what the government actually does. These are the same folks who think there should be no limit to the funding of Pentagon, eventhough it is very much part of our government.

  78. 78
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    We have some mulberry stumps in an odd area between houses.

    Driving copper nails into them is supposed to wok and it’s nontoxic.

  79. 79
    Gimlet says:

    Following the abstinence model that Bristol Palin uses.

    A Salvadoran nun who said she had no idea she was pregnant gave birth in Italy this week after she felt stomach cramps in her convent and was rushed to hospital, Italian media reported on Friday.

  80. 80
    Scout211 says:


    I expanded my garden last fall. I now have 13 raised beds–half are 4×4 and half are 4×8 or 3×8. And one little bed for a few herbs.

    The type of trellis: I purchase them from Gardener’s Supply. I think they are called “heavy duty cucumber trellis.” I use the larger ones (approx 4 ft wide) for melons and the smaller one (approx 2 1/2 ft wide) for cucumbers. I like them because you can adjust the angle of the trellis depending on your space. I also use the little melon holders that they sell for any of the melons that rest on the ground. Lots of melons hang from the trellis though, and those melons are usually the healthiest.

    I live on the outside edge of the Central Valley in Northern California–a huge melon producing area–so the conditions are really perfect for melons here.

  81. 81
    JPL says:

    @Gimlet: Praise the Lord!

  82. 82
    satby says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I used this on a big oak tree stump in Chicago. Worked pretty well, speeds decomposition.

  83. 83
    satby says:

    @Scout211: It all looks fantastic Scout211! I’m quite jealous too ;)

  84. 84
    Scout211 says:


    I do have some late blight this year on a few tomato plants. I used to get starts from the big box stores but I almost always got early blight on those plants so I now purchase starts at a local nursery. Late blight is easier to deal with. For late blight, I try to remove the leaves and branches and then hope for the best. Then sterilize the garden clippers, of course.

    My garden area is fenced or I would have deer, raccoons and other creatures feasting on all the bounty. I still have an occasional vole sneak in somehow. But raccoons stay out.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    Mother Superior must have had some uncomfortable questions for the Sister after she came back from the hospital.

  86. 86
    WereBear says:

    @Botsplainer: So sorry to hear. Sounds like one cool cat.

  87. 87
    Shakezula says:

    Question for people in zone 7a – I have this beautifully cleared and securely fenced area in the back yard that I’d like to grow something in (long story short the seeds I put in there didn’t come up). Any suggestions?

    The spot gets full sun except during the pit of winter and is against a wall so it stays warm. I was thinking I needed a cold weather crop but I don’t know. Basically I just hate to see the space go to waste because we put a lot of work into it, including the relocation of a bunch of mantises when I cleared it.

    The pumpkins came up soooooooooooo slooooooooooow, but finally took off last week and are clambering up the trellis Mr. S. made for them. One thing that really likes the new weather pattern – basil. We’ve never had this much basil and it is all perfectly green and healthy. We left a few cherry tomatoes – 4th generation volunteers – in and those are doing well. Other than that it is just a matter of making sure the mint, sage, thyme and chives play nicely, keeping the weeds from crowding out the new kids – rosemary, lavender and tarragon – and controlling the catnip, which appeared out of nowhere several years ago and is worse than all the other mint plants combined in terms of world domination attempts.

    Do the potatoes that grow in our compost heap count as gardening? We just let them grow in there because it helps shield the pile from delicate sensibilities.

    Oh, and diligently sprinkling cayenne powder over anything the groundhog might eat. The damn thing has started in on the catnip and yesterday it got some basil. I friggin hate this thing.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scout211: I start all my tomatoes, it has just been an impossible June with 15 inches or so of rain. I was doomed from the get go. My garden is fenced but there is nothing that will dissuade an Ozark coon on the scent of an almost ripe melon.

    Then sterilize the garden clippers, of course.

    Doh! I am always forgetting to do this.

  90. 90
    donnah says:

    Holocene Human, there’s a garden app that I’ve used to identify plants. One time it was poison ivy! There are plant specialists there who look at the photos you sent via email and they tell you what it is and how to either take care of it or get rid of it.

    The app is Garden Answers. They don’t usually answer immediately, because they have a waiting list, but it’s usually before 24 hours. It’s a very useful site.

  91. 91
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Mother Superior must have had some uncomfortable questions for the Sister after she came back from the hospital.

    Nothing compared to the nun telling her some story about a swan getting frisky with her.

  92. 92

    @Another Holocene Human: I used to live next to a place that had mangoes and kumquats, but this place is fruitless, so to speak.

  93. 93
    gelfling545 says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Try your county extension service. They usually maintain lists of what is invasive in the area. This is changing rapidly lately due to climate change so some things that weren’t invasive in some areas formerly now are.

  94. 94
    Poopyman says:

    @Botsplainer: That sucks, and the fact that their leaving is inevitable, and we KNOW it’s inevitable, doesn’t make it suck any less. Probably more, in fact, if you’re prone to letting your thoughts go that way.

    When out Nicky left, my wife said no way was she even thinking about another cat, since we still had two younger ones. That lasted about three weeks, when she suggested we go to the shelter “to just take a look”. We came home with three.

    (Thanks to OO for the use of his commas.)

  95. 95
    WereBear says:

    @Shakezula: I’m a rosarian, so I’d do a mix of climbing roses and clematis up the wall, with bulbs for early color and daylilies for repeat and contrast. Alyssum makes a self-seeding ground cover.

  96. 96
    MomSense says:


    Sorry to hear about your cat.

  97. 97
    Kay says:


    If he stays in they have additional problems because the 2016 senate races will have a stronger Latino vote effect. It won’t be just GOP Presidential candidates who are stuck with him. The candidates who will have to denounce what he’s saying will just keep multiplying, down to the state level.

    Unlike the 2014 Mid-term Election — where in eight states with close Senate races, just 4.7% of eligible voters on average were Latinos, and Among those states, Latinos made up less than 5% of eligible voters in six states — in 2016, five Senate races will be in states with large Hispanic voting blocs where Hispanics are over 20% of eligible voters and between 15% to 20% share of total state turnout; and three of those five states will help pick the next president through the Electoral College Map.

  98. 98
    Botsplainer says:

    Incredible derp, and great graphics. Trump is speaking to the mouth-frothing GOP primary voters in a direct manner, not mediated or moderated by focus assholes like Luntz.

    We’ve arrived at the wingularity, it seems.

    Railed against government of Mexico for ‘sending’ people ‘they don’t want’

    Said he would fine them $100,000 for every illegal border crossing

    But defended legal immigration, pointed out he is married to a Slovenian

    Also pushed his credentials as a negotiator, and slammed current ‘bad deals’ by U.S. politicians including Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry

    Said he’s ‘militaristic’, wants to dramatically increase defense spending

    He’s Bolton without the mustache or the charm.

  99. 99
    MomSense says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I remember hitting a wall of heat when you finish going down the stairs and enter the station.

    Many years ago I was one of the unlucky people who had to be evacuated because of a fire. We were not quite at Davis Station. It is disgusting outside of the train between stations. Very glad that was not the last thing I saw in this world.

  100. 100
    boctaoe says:

    @Another Holocene Human: How about you take your phone thingy and take a picture of your mysterious weed and post it for the community to dissect?

  101. 101
    Cervantes says:


    Your wife may be showing it more but I suppose all of you feel it. Hang in there.

    Is the peripatetic daughter doing OK?

  102. 102
    MattF says:

    There’s been some sudden ups and downs in reporting of the Iran negotiations. The AP reported that an agreement was at hand, but that was shot down by a ‘senior State Department official’ and, apparently, by the Iranians.

    The actual story, I guess, is that there has been significant progress, but we’re… not… quite… there…

  103. 103
    Amir Khalid says:

    I reckon this one of those negotiations where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

  104. 104
    MomSense says:


    And of course the reaction will be universally one of well wishes and hoping that the talks are successful. I didn’t watch Nation, Meet the Republicans This Week but I won’t be surprised if the usual suspects hope this deal will fail.

  105. 105
    Botsplainer says:


    Is the peripatetic daughter doing OK?

    Everybody is here, everybody good. Youngest says that the middle rarely follows through on stupid plans.

  106. 106
    JPL says:

    @MomSense: The republicans will win either way. Their dream is to bomb Iran, consequences be dammed, but if all they have is to criticize, they will.

  107. 107
    MattF says:

    @JPL: What Republicans want is an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. Lindsey Graham is, I think, honestly shitting his pants, the rest… who knows.

  108. 108
    Cervantes says:


    Glad to hear she is safe and sound.

  109. 109
    Patrick says:


    Said he’s ‘militaristic’, wants to dramatically increase defense spending

    So Trump is in favor of raising our taxes. I wish the media would ask him how much is he going to raise our taxes to pay for his “dramatically” increased defense spending.

  110. 110
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @MomSense: I’m sure it will shock you to know that the commenters on Fox see no way this can be a good deal.

  111. 111
    Marvel says:

    Thankful over this-away: we’re eating the fruits of our labor, big time. Roasted beet salad; carrots saute’d in butter with sugar & cinnamon; strawberries and blueberries over ice cream; saute’d zukes with a spicy zuke bread to follow; and I just put up some dill and bread & butter pickles. Tomatoes, beans, corn, onions & potatoes are doing well as are the plums, pears and apples (knocking on wood, u-bet). Today we’ll be planting Fall/Winter garden starts (kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and lettuce). I found a shelling pea that grows well in Summer heat (“Wando”), so we’ll be sowing some of that next week.

  112. 112
    Bobby B. says:

    @MomSense: But Meet The Republicans is good this morning! Chuck takes on two southern bucks in a double penetration analysis! Not enough blackstrap at NBC to grease those corndogs up.

  113. 113
    redshirt says:

    Is it too late to start tomatoes in a pot? I’m in Maine.

  114. 114
    woodyNYC says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Thanks for posting that pdf! Put it right into iBooks. Now I know that it is japanese stilt grass I have been plucking out of every inch of my front garden. Closest I could get with my weed books was canary grass but knew it wasn’t right.

  115. 115
    Scout211 says:


    Since I expanded my garden this year, planted a late winter/early spring crop of kale and lettuce in between my tomato starts. The kale was especially yummy. I hadn’t eaten fresh-from-the-garden kale before.

    It is too early for winter planting here in the heat but I am looking forward to all the winter crops. Planting will probably be in late September here, though.

  116. 116
    Baud says:


    I wish the media would ask him how much is he going to raise our taxes to pay for his “dramatically” increased defense spending.

    The standard GOP answer to any budgetary question is “4% growth” will pay for everything.

  117. 117
    Eric U. says:

    everything is covered in fungus. We got one of the fungicides recommended here, it just seems like it might be pointless. We’ve had so much rain and humidity I’ve been emptying the dehumidifier twice a day.

  118. 118
    Baud says:


    Weeds are whacked!

  119. 119
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    My grandmother had a big patch of purple loosestrife in her garden for years. She bought it as a potted plant ages ago before they were banned. This in western MI, which now has waterways choked with the stuff crowding out natives.

    A couple of species of beetle that feed on purple loosestrife were introduced in the mid 1990s approximately, and 4 species so far. The ones I’ve seen ( eat new growth in the spring, and the plants stay stunted through the summer.
    The beetle in my area can be moved; just shove a couple of infested plants in a garbage bag and release in a pristine loosestrife patch. (I don’t know for sure that this is legal.)

  120. 120
    debbie says:


    Railed against government of Mexico for ‘sending’ people ‘they don’t want’

    Maybe my memory’s bad, but I don’t remember him “railing” against Reagan letting in all those bad guys during the boat lift back in 1980. Trump would have been a brash young man back then.

  121. 121
    JPL says:

    @redshirt: Maybe but you might try some cherry tomatoes and see what happens.

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    Scout: lovely pictures, amazing bounty. So jealous!

    @Marvel: I want to hear more about this spicy zucchini bread.

    I am growing round zucchini for the first time this year. So cute! Stuffed the first ones for dinner with company last night and they were very good.

  123. 123
    Brachiator says:

    @Botsplainer: Why is anyone taking this Trump crap seriously?

    Why is no reporter pressing him on Simple answers to simple questions?

    Railed against government of Mexico for ‘sending’ people ‘they don’t want’

    Said he would fine them $100,000 for every illegal border crossing

    But defended legal immigration, pointed out he is married to a Slovenian

    Also pushed his credentials as a negotiator, and slammed current ‘bad deals’ by U.S. politicians including Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry

    Said he’s ‘militaristic’, wants to dramatically increase defense spending

    Mexico is sending people? Really? And Central America and other countries are deliberately sending people, too? Really?

    Since Mexico is not a state or under the control of the US, exactly how would this $100,000 fine thing work? How would he collect it?

    After he has shut down the border with the impenetrable wall, how is he going resolve the immigration problem? Oh, yeah, has he talked about rounding up illegal immigrants in the country? Is he going to expand and fund immigration agencies, or use fairy dust?

    Is Trump going to do all the negotiating himself? Is he going to be his own Secretary of State?

    Does Trump even know what the current Defense budget is? What, exactly, would he spend new money on? What would he do about what appears to be wrongheaded programs, such as the F35 fighter jet, which doesn’t appear to be able to defeat older jets in simulated combat?

    Does Trump have any political advisors or potential cabinet nominees, or has the GOP warned people to stay away?

    I know that Trump’s job is just to work the GOP base into a frenzy, but still the GOP and the press should make him work at it a little harder.

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I hope it didn’t take the whole 4 hours!!!

  125. 125
    Cervantes says:


    Maybe my memory’s bad, but I don’t remember him “railing” against Reagan letting in all those bad guys during the boat lift back in 1980. Trump would have been a brash young man back then.

    Reagan as presidential candidate excoriated Carter for letting those Cubans in.

    Did Trump say anything about it? I don’t remember, either.

  126. 126
    Baud says:


    No. There was some other things thrown in there.

  127. 127
    Cervantes says:


    Actually, I meant to say that Reagan excoriated Carter for trying to stop those Cubans from coming in.

  128. 128
    rikyrah says:

    I am so jealous of the gardeners here. Your pictures are terrific.

  129. 129
    J R in WV says:

    @Eric S.:

    This web site is amazing, I had shoulder replacement surgery last Feb, and did the other one 3 weeks ago. The second operation was nearly free because the first one did all the deductables!

    The Surgeon’s scheduler was setting me up for first Thursday in July, and when she called my insurance to do pre-approval, they told her that if she rescheduled in June I would have already met those nasty deductables, so she did!! Ethics in motion, considerate insurance people and a doctor’s scheduler willing to redo her schedules for two days to help out a patient, what a wonder!!

    But wow does my shoulder hurt. I know it will go away as I heal and do the PT, which won’t be nearly free, and the pain isn’t nearly as bad as the bone-on-bone pain I had before. Arthritis is terrible – I hope I don’t have to go through with this kind of thing for every freakin joint in my body!

    Good luck with Florida! We went to Key West last September, and it was too early it was all I could do to go outside at all – it seemed steaming hot every afternoon. Plus lots of the restaurants were still closed for off-season. It wasn’t like we remembered at all, we didn’t see anything that reminded us of the way it was in the 70s when we lived there, all grown up with new hotels. There were 4 or 5 when we were there, and now there are 80. Plus cruise liners. Uch.

    But we did have a good time, anyway!

    Sometimes you can’t go home again, for reals.

  130. 130
    rikyrah says:

    Yeah. What a shock that he escaped…NOT

  131. 131
    rikyrah says:

    Sorry for your loss.

  132. 132
    ThresherK says:

    @Brachiator: I have a vision of President Trump’s Wall.

    Thanks to Trump-style hiring practices and wages, it’d be built by undocumented aliens,

    And thanks to Trump-style slipshod management, after the wall is constructed, a great number of these workers will be found to have been doing finishing work on the US side of it.

    That would make the wall deliciously self-defeating.

  133. 133
    J R in WV says:


    You are so wrong! Most people who want to strangle our government in a bathtub are the same one who fervently want the pentagon to be the whole federal government.

    Our government is US, You and me, that’s how Democracy works. If you don’t believe in good government, you don’t believe in self governing Democracy, move away from it.

    Our government is why we have safe health care, safe cars, save highways, are protected from industrial accidents (when and where we are actually protected! Not in Texas where people who don’t believe in government are in charge of the government!!)

    When people are poisoned by toxic leaks, it is because government did do its job well enough.

    You have your head on backwards, saying the stuff you said here. Uneducated about the real world and how it works. Democracy works, and is why America is as good as it is. If people who don’t want good things weren’t in charge much of the time America would be better than it already is.

    Obama could have moved us a long way into being better, if he hadn’t had to deal with haters in the other party obstructing and doing deliberate damage to our country in order to try to keep Obama from accomplishing anything, to make the black man a failure by harming the country. This isn’t technically treason, but it is so close you need a microscope to see why it isn’t. As it is Obama and the Democrats in the legislature finally created an insurance plan that is saving thousands of lives every day.

    Think about democracy and how it works. I’m a vet and believe in self-defense, but I think the Pentagon is a swamp of mis-management and waste, and should have to get along on a quarter of what they get today, which would still be more than any other nation in the world. Most Democrats would agree with me, I think.

    But I’m probably talking to a right-wing troll, stupid of me.

  134. 134
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: whew!

  135. 135
    J R in WV says:


    Silly, he’s going to cut (rich peoples’) taxes, and use our social security to buy the Pentagon pretty toys!!

    Don’t you know nothin’ ’bout no republicans?

  136. 136
    rikyrah says:

    Always breaking it down for us, Kay.

  137. 137
    rikyrah says:

    This is what I have been saying. Trump flew past the Luntz approved language that the MSM can hide behind….it’s not that what he’s saying is WRONG…it is that he does not use language to hide what the GOP is.

  138. 138
    opiejeanne says:

    @Another Holocene Human: on Flickr and several other places online there are groups with names like What Is This Plant? Find a couple and send them a photo.

  139. 139
    Brachiator says:


    And thanks to Trump-style slipshod management, after the wall is constructed, a great number of these workers will be found to have been doing finishing work on the US side of it.

    That would make the wall deliciously self-defeating.

    Hah! I could imagine it happening just that way.

  140. 140
    Tree With Water says:

    Why are hummingbirds attracted to running water from a hose? Twice over the past few weeks I’ve watered plants when a hummingbird has suddenly appeared, stopping in mid flight just beyond the arc of the water, and stared at me. Anyone know why (there’s a river two short blocks from my house, so I doubt they’re thirsty)?

    And blue jays might not mess with woodpeckers, but in a battle of a bid feeder they each brought in reinforcements over the course of five minutes, and the jays had more reserves. When the ratio reached 6 or 7 to 3, the woodpeckers retreated and left the spoils in the beaks of the bluejays.

  141. 141
    Marvel says:

    @WaterGirl: The spicy zuke bread includes curry & crystalized ginger (this ain’t our mothers’ zucchini bread) and the recipe I use is similar to this:

  142. 142
    opiejeanne says:

    @Marvel: my goodness! Where are you?

  143. 143
    redshirt says:

    @Tree With Water: Fuck Bluejays. Go Peckers!

  144. 144
    WaterGirl says:

    @Marvel: “Similar…” I see how it is! :-) Are you one of those people who never shares everything about their recipe?

    Off to check out the link now.

  145. 145
    WaterGirl says:

    @Marvel: Crystalized ginger? Yum. You have inspired me to doctor up whatever zucchini bread I make.

  146. 146
    currants says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Hah–yes, that’s true even at South Station, though you’re more likely to emerge into a breeze there. It was gorgeous, but very hot, and a long wait in the sun. Glad we went anyway–we need to get out and do stuff more (more stuff).

  147. 147
    Cervantes says:

    @Tree With Water:

    Why are hummingbirds attracted to running water from a hose?

    They have a very high metabolic rate — highest among vertebrates, certainly — and their kidneys use whatever water can be found.

  148. 148
    currants says:

    @Scout211: Thank you–I have gotten great supplies from GS, so I’ll look for those too. Last year was the first I grew melons–they were small (it’s MA, after all), but I used some seeds from Johnny’s meant for northern growers, and they were DELICIOUS. So I’m hoping for more this year.

    I have 6 4×8 beds, plus perimeter (asparagus, tomatoes, peas, herbs and melons), and I can’t keep up with it. (Maybe I need to quit working and friending and just garden….)

  149. 149
    Tree With Water says:

    @Cervantes: Thanks, I am happy to hear that. I just bought a birdbath and plunked it down it my new garden a few days ago. Bought it at a consignment shop, and it looks as if it’s been sitting in the same spot in my garden for years. Can’t wait to see the bluejays bully other birds from using it when the weather turns hot, the pushy little bastards.

  150. 150
    Cervantes says:

    @Tree With Water:

    it looks as if it’s been sitting in the same spot in my garden for years


    Given their size, hummingbirds also like mist, as you can imagine. There are devices one can buy.

  151. 151
    currants says:

    @Scout211: I’m also wondering where you learned when to put things in and pull them out/rotate them. Or how close to plant them, and what varieties work best in close plantings, etc….

  152. 152
    Marvel says:

    @opiejeanne: We’re in the southern Willamette Valley, OR. Growin’s pretty good around here.

  153. 153
    Gvg says:

    @Another Holocene Human: The thread may be dead and you not see this. sorry I mowed the lawn, then rushed off to see the minions. Take a sample to the native plant society meeting. the time just before the meeting is plant ID time. there is a table with a few volunteer experts who will almost certainly ID it. If it’s hard they may tell you later but aren’t often stumped.
    IFAS does have homeowner ID service. I have never used it, but some guy who does that has given a lecture at the society meeting. People mail him samples and it can take a few weeks but he really knows his stuff. we pay taxes and IFAS is supposed to be for everyone not just big ag.
    I have emailed the apple breeder directly 10 years ago asking if they had more releases coming and got a nice reply within a day. In my experience if you can figure out who would know what you want to know, you can email and get a serious answer. You need some basic info first tho.

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