How Does your Garden Grow ? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Its now June.

Here in the west of England(usually the warmest part) the Ist crop Early Potatoes should be able to be dug in two weeks time,2nd Earlies in 6 weeks.(in total we are hoping for about 370lbs)Broad Beans will be picked next weekend.Onions & garlic and carrots doing well but nowhere near ready yet.Runner beans just beginning to climb the strings.Parsnips,brussel sprouts & cabbage small & under attack from pidgeons.Perpetual spinach ready for first of many pickings.

In the fruit patch,strawberries ready for Wimbledon;gooseberries, blackberries,damsons & raspberries still doing their thing.Herbs off to a low start except for self-seeded anise & feverfew although parsley & sage doing well.Marrows a failure.

How are you doing?If you reply could you give an indication of what the temperature is like.Here we are talking about 60deg daytime as an average.

-- Chris (, June 04, 1999


Here in So.Missouri the temp is 90 today and the humidity at least the same. Picking early onions,spinach,beets, and the peas. Flea beatles at the eggplant...usually they bother the pigweed we let grow in patches thru the garden to lure them but it isn''t that big yet. Guess we'll have to replant. Tomatoes have baby tomatoes. We have a greenhouse so are lucky but this year we were really late getting things in as we built this bigger greenhouse. Herbs are all doing well and we have a sort of shady end to our big garden that keeps the broccoli/cabbage from cooking. 60 sounds so cool and refreshing!!

-- MUTTI (windance, June 04, 1999.

Dear Mutti,

I forgot to say that this week we have had gales & thunderstorms with flood alerts.Just long for some sunshine.

-- Chris (, June 04, 1999.

I'm in south east U.S. and I just went out to check my garden and i was shocked. a whole 20 foot row of string beans and two 20 foot rows of corn all just sprouting up was gone...seeds and sprouts all gone. i am really mad...i think it was moles got in durning the night and had a feast. i am now going out to set some traps and will replant tomorrow. i not only have to worry about survival garden food but moles or sqirrels or birds whatever.

-- dr. don (, June 04, 1999.

Mark Twain said something to the effect that the coldest winter he ever felt was the summer he was in San Francisco. It's wet & chilly today, I've got the woodstove fired up.

Cherry tomatoes looking quite forlorn, I have some every year anyway. I've got some seeds from Siberia and the Arctic to try next year.

Elephant garlic, Korean garlic, potato or multiplier onions, & catawissa onions looking great. Top bublets on the catawissas already, egyptian onions were a total wash-out this year. All the alliums went in last fall.

This is this first year I've grown Jerusalem artichokes, they're looking pretty sturdy. I've heard they can become a menace. I held my taters as hostages for quite awhile before planting. They have rallied admirably. I'm experimenting with tires as well as raised beds. It's a constant battle with critters here.

My winter seed catalogue came yesterday, my thoughts have turned to what I will put in the ground in July, to harvest during the fall & winter & beyond. Such as chinese greens, chards, peas, a plethora of lettuces and radishes.

-- flora (***@__._), June 04, 1999.

It seems such a short time ago that I was watching my stuff grow and could hardly wait. Now I can hardly wait for it to die!! Up to my ears in all kinds of veggies. Gotta get off of there severe thunderstorm moving in per weather radio. I am in N. Central Florida.


-- Taz (Tassie, June 04, 1999.

Be safe, Taz. Too bad we can't set up our barter economy on the web, across the climate zones!

-- flora (***@__._), June 04, 1999.

Flora, I forgot the artichokes.Yes,they are very invasive and taste kind of smokey.I have used them to make soup but nobody in the family will eat it.The tall stems make a good screen,however.

-- Chris (, June 04, 1999.


Thanks for the screen idea! My mom used to fry the J-chokes, high cholesterol runs through my veins like a raging bull, however & I've looked for other prep tips [now you know part of the reason I could fixate with abandon on the bacon thread!]

I understand they're used alot in asian cuisine. I'm praying for an edible crop that I can regard as a menace.

OT-- my Austin roses, begonias, & epiphyllums are magnificent.

-- flora (***@__._), June 04, 1999.

Great idea for a thread! I worked in the garden all day!!!

Today I picked 14 head of cauliflower, 3 broccoli, 2 cabbage, a whole bunch of sweet peas-we ate some the other night that were the sweetest I've ever put in my mouth-,more spinach than we care to put up,and my first crookneck squash of the season.

I planted some more tomatos-a variety my brother gave me,second crop of green beans,amd some pumpkins. I put poles up for my pole lima beans(last year they gave more than any family could eat) and planted the rest of my okra seeds for some unknown reason.

A few weeks ago I posted that a rabbit had climbed my chicken wire fence. Well I haven't seen him lately, but this morning when I got home from work I saw two doing the mating thing in my neighbors yard! I guess they know better than to do that kind of thing in my yard. Bad karma to rabbits.

Oh yeah the weather is nearing 90 and although we've had rain we are heading into the summer on the dry side.

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), June 04, 1999.

Well, I thought I planted summer squash, but what I've got is more closely related to the Little Shop Of Horrors plant. Next to the row of "Feed me Seymour" plants is a double row of what I thought was bush blackeyed peas but turned out to be the 6' climbing variety. They are becoming one with the "squash" and the 30" path is no more. It cuts down on weeding, but I'm scared to go in there. It's real itchy & a boa constrictor could be lurking. Actually, that's doubtful, but we have spotted rattlers & coral snakes in the past.

-- mostly lurking (mostly lurking@podunk.texas), June 04, 1999.

Hey mostly lurking- sounds like your blackeye peas (oh I love them with some pepper sauce mmm!) did what we call "went to vine" or "started running". How hot has it been there? and have been watered regularly? Also this happened to me a few years ago and it was cause the soil was toooo rich! who'd of thought?

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), June 04, 1999.

Up here in the mountains of Vermont- in the 30's tonite (sigh), we've got lettuce, asparagus and radishes. Garlic is looking good. Eggplant, pepper and tomatoes growing nicely. cucumber beetles attacking the winter squash. Peas up about a foot high. Little green berries forming on the strawberries. Swiss chard growing nicely as are onions. Giving up on spinach- won't budge this year. Corn just poking up out of ground. Blueberries are in flower.(earliest ones).A couple of potatoes have sent leaves above ground. My best crop this year is dandelions! Most stuff is under row cover or in greenhouse tunnels here- otherwise......tomatoes in Sept.(maybe)- this way- in July.

-- anita (, June 04, 1999.

Johnny: It's been pretty pleasant weatherwise. I've got the garden on drip irrigation & it's actually RAINED maybe once a week for the past 4 weeks (amazing - that never happens). So the blackeyes probably have gotten too much water. I did top dress them with some compost. And I did stir in a little Texas green sand. I probably should have ignored them instead. But there really are bush blackeyes and climbing blackeyes & these were bulk mystery seeds from the feed store.

-- mostly lurking (mostly lurking@podunk.texas), June 04, 1999.

A hot and *extremely* dry spring here in Massachusetts. (Will I ever have a chance to try out my new rain barrels??) Peas and tomatoes in full flower! For those of you who have been harvesting for weeks, think of me when I'm comfortably ambling through my crops in July, and you're inside glued to your a/c. ;o) I'm not making any progress on expanding my vegetable garden yet, too much wood to stack (and restack, I'm still learning) and other weedy distractions.

-- Brooks (, June 04, 1999.

Oh, boy, I REALLY hate to do this. :

-- Lon Frank (, June 04, 1999.

"It cuts down on weeding, but I'm scared to go in there" LOL

mostly lurking, I can relate to that!

Here in eastern NC it's dry and in low 80s

We garden in raised beds. The sugar snap peas are coming off like crazy, we're eating and freezing as long as they last. Yellow and pattypan squash are ready. We'll make squash pickles tomorrow. Dill and bread & butter. Better than cukes! Beets, kale, chard, shallots, vidalia onions, 3 kinds of lettuce. We'll pickle beets too. I like them juiced with apples but can't drink that many! I wish I had a root cellar.

This year I used floating row cover over the eggplants. Best looking eggplants ever, no flea beetles. Nice stocky plants. Grasshoppers are eating the pepper plants. Need an organic solution for grasshoppers. The carrots should be ready soon. Broccoli raab grows fast and the seed is easy to save. Looks like it will be anyway, when I get out there and pick the pods. Tomorrow we'll pull out the last of the kale and raab and plant more squash, butternut & zucchini and some canteloupe. I have a delicious receipe for canteloupe jam if anyone is interested. Thought I had posted this but I don't see it; forgive me if it goes up twice.

mb in NC

-- mb (, June 04, 1999.

I feel like such a laggard! I didn't plant that much to eat in case we sell the house, but I did pick my first tomatoes today. I cheated, though, bought large Johnny's plants from Home Depot. Bell Peppers (sweet to you, Chris) doing fine; eggplant nicely branched; strawberries doing wonderfully well; lots of herbs plus garlic and onion chives. Lettuce looks about ready to start bolting (what a joy to have crisp, fresh lettuce); and have nipped the flowers off the fabled epazote; feverfew in flower; thyme about finished flowering. But I've had to go out and put the sprinkler on twice this week--very hot and dry. Probably around 90 today. Humid too.

The roses (mostly Austins and a couple of different rugosas) have already had their first flush of bloom, now putting on new growth for a second go-round. Daylilies blooming (Stella and Happy Returns, others later), petunias, portulaca, salvia, all blooming madly, pansies and Spanish broom about done. Hydrangeas flowering. The foxgloves were scandalously beautiful this year. There are tons more things in flower--I went a bit overboard to attract buyers. It may not have worked but it's certainly provided a lot of pleasure to me, not to mention the bees, birds and other critters.

Chris, we may be able to grow tomatoes and other "exotics" outdoors here, but it's very difficult, if not impossible, to grow peas or sweet peas. I'd swap any time! When you move to the Caribbean, you'll have to learn gardening all over again!

-- Old Git (, June 04, 1999.

mb in NC,

I think cantalope jam is illeagal north of the Mason-Dixon Line. I would love your recipe, don't grow cantalopes anymore since they take up too much room. Also, tell me about your squash pickles. I thought they always came out less than crisp. You probably already know, but I'll share the secret to fried squash, in return.

Old Git, If you don't sell that lovely garden, I'll move in with you for the summer! I was so busy with y2k preps, (we sold our city house, and have moved to the summer cabin on the bayou), that I didn't even try on my flower beds.

-- Lon Frank (, June 04, 1999.

MB in NC: Please tell about the cantaloupe recipe!!! Every year I raise the french charentais canteloupe (Savor). Seed is very expensive so I only use about 6 plants per year. Extremely flavorful and aromatic orange flesh. I also would like to know about the SQUASH PICKLES!!!! Please tell!

-- jeanne (, June 04, 1999.

Battling the deer here, for our garden. I swear they know when hunting season is over. They just stand and look at you while eating their fill! And snort at you when you try to scare them away. The really sad thing is - they will be 'non-existant' when hunting season is in.

Thinking venison stew

-- Dian (, June 04, 1999.

Chris and other readers:

Here in northwestern Ohio the weather has become slightly chilled and stirred. The tomato plants are ready to burst forth in new growth when the next heat wave strokes their budding meristems. The cool weather crops are doing VERY well. I have a late start on potatoes, but they seem to be proceeding normally with underground rooting.

-- Randolph (, June 04, 1999.

Happy to oblige.

Cantaloupe Jam

2 large cataloupes, peeled, cut into pieces.

2 lemons, juiced

2 oranges, juiced and rinds

1 can #2 1/2 size pineapple tidbits, drained

sugar, the same amount as fruit

1 small bottle maraschino cherries

Combine all ingredients except the cherries. Cook over low heat until thick, about 1 1/2 hours.

Quarter cherries and add the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

To test for doneness, take a tablespoon full from kettle and place in the freezer for a few minutes. If it is thick, it is done.

Immediately ladle into hot, sterile jars and seal.

I had a batch that failed to jell and discovered a wonderful pancake topping. This makes a chunky jam/topping depending on how large your pieces of cantaloupe are.

I use yellow squash & zucchini interchangeably and mixed together in these pickles. Whatever I have on hand. Use small 10" or less squashes.

Zucchini Pickles

4 quarts squash 1 1/2 tbsp tumeric 2 small white onions 1 1/2 tbsp celery seed 2 green peppers 2 tbsp mustard seed 2 or 3 cloves garlic 3 cups vinegar 5 cups sugar 1/4 cup salt (non-iodized)

Remove seeds (if any) and cut squash into 1" chunks.(I like mine sliced thin-have not done it in chunks just slices-use what you like)

Slice onions and peppers.

Cover squash, onions, peppers and garlic (I use extra garlic-a clove in each jar at least) with crushed ice, add 1/4 cup salt and mix well. Let stand 3 hours. Drain off ice water.

Pour the vinegar and spices over the squash and boil 5 minutes. Note:If pickles are made from small squash boil 5 min, if larger squash is used, boil 10 minutes.

Seal in jars. Makes about 8 pints.

My husband's mother and aunt love these pickles. They eat them right out of the jar.

Sweet Dill Zucchini Pickles

16 cups thinly sliced unpeeled zucchini 4 cups sugar 2 cups sliced celery (or green pepper) 4 tbsp dill seed 2 cups sliced onion 4 cups white vinegar 1/2 cup salt 4 (or more) cloves garlic cut in half

In large bowl combine squash, celery, onions and salt. Cover with ice cubes and let stand 2 hours, drain well.

Combine sugar, dill seed and vinegar in large non aluminum kettle. Heat to boiling and stir in mixed vegetables. heat just to full boil.

Place 1/2 garlic clove in each of 12 sterilized pint jars. Ladle in hot vegetables. Adjust lids and seal.

I don't worry too much about the crunch. Sliced thin as they are and in sandwiches there is enough crunch and the flavor is wonderful. I have much better luck with squash than with cukes and like them better so I grow only squash now. Lon, bring on the fried squash receipe! And Chris, on another thread you offered a marmalade receipe, I'd love to have it!

mb in NC

-- mb (, June 05, 1999.

Old Git, Already started the research for gardening in the Tropics.Thanks to Taz's suggestion,obtained detailed plans for a monkey-proof fence ! Will also have to contend with centipedes..a bite from those can make you swell up like a balloon as does the bite from a Jack Spanner wasp.Lurking landcrabs,wild bees so huge that it makes you wonder how they ever get air-borne and hummingbirds will add to the gardening experience too.Main threat to crops apart from monkeys are untethered cows and free range pigs.Mike has been able to recognise quite a few of the moulds & insect infestations out there and knows the treatments...much to his relief.

-- Chris (, June 05, 1999.

Oh brother, MB, this is gonna be messy. I'm trying to type while drooling all over the keyboard. The cantalope and cherrys sound wonderfull. I am determined to try the squash pickles too, since it looks like I'll soon be buried in the little yellow darlins.

Now, I never said anything about a RECIPE for fried squash, I mean, you just slice them like pickle chips and drop them into a bag of cornmeal and some cajun spices, and fry them up in just a little good olive oil. That way, the batter doesn't override the delicate flavor of the squash. But the real SECRET is to use bar-b-que tongs to turn the pieces over in the frypan. If you use a spatula, you'll knock off the cornmeal, but with tongs, you can turn them gently. (works with green tomatoes, too.)

Oh yeah, make twice as much as you think you'll need, and when they are almost burned to a crisp, they're ready. Serve 'em up with a grilled fish filet, some cold icebox pickles, and ma' sha', them's fine vittles down on the bayou!

Thanks for the recipes, by the way. It's nice to have a thread where nobody's being shot at. :

-- Lon Frank (, June 05, 1999.

Just picked the last of the peas. Have nice variety of lettuces. Also just cut the first full head of broccoli. Spinach was a bust -- it bolted immediately. Must have planted it too late. Already have some tomatoes coming in. Rhubarb is thriving. Harvested radishes and turnips the other day too.

Have the sprinkler on at the moment. It's been way too dry here. Wonder what next year at this time will be like... Thanks for squash pickle recipe. I've got three hills of zucchini this year. (One year I had nine hills of zucchini. Man, I couldn't give those things away!)

-- Libby Alexander (, June 05, 1999.

Lon, that nail gun thingy sound downright dangerous! The squash goes on tomorrow night's menu. The cajun spices sound good. Libby, what do you think about a thread with just zucchini/squash receipes? It's amazing what you can do with them. Relish is another good use. Cookies, bread, jam. I'll see how many I can find. One thing about the squash that I think is important for the quality of the pickles or freezing of it, is to be sure to pick it small. The larger it gets the more water is in it. It gets soggy especially for freezing. Reminds me a great receipe for spinach stuffed zucchini. That is a really good one with cheese and bits of bacon.

Chris, how about that marmalade receipe? In looking in my book for the squash pickles I came across a receipe for elderberry jelly. This things grow wild all around here and make an interesting jelly, not too sweet. Anyone interested?

mb in NC

-- mb (, June 05, 1999.

mb -- will start thinking about some zucchini recipes!

-- Libby Alexander (, June 05, 1999.

At the end of the season last summer a friend gave us an overgrown zucchini [about 18" long x 7" diameter ]. I put it on a shelf thinking I would eventually make bread with it. In the last month it has turned yellow; I finally laid it outside towards the worm box. Not even the rodents around here are interested. This has given me the idea of saving them for winter squash this year, even though their skins aren't so tough. Any thoughts?

-- flora (***@__._), June 05, 1999.

I'm amazed that overgrown zucchini hasn't rotted by now. It's really from last summer? Try cutting it open and see what it's like inside. The seeds may be viable. Although if it's a hybrid there is no telling what you'd get if you plant them.

I'm hoping to have lots of butternut squash to store. Since we have no root cellar I'm thinking of storing it under the bed in a low cardboard box with crumpled newspaper separating them. This is a guest room I can shut the heat vents off in. Should work pretty well I think.

mb in NC

-- mb (, June 05, 1999.

I'm amazed by the zuke too! I just went out & cut it open, hoping for magic seeds to share. Suprisingly the flesh looked fabulous, though everything almost a saffron yellow. Alas, the seeds...little paper nothings. I'll ask our friend what kind it was & if he knows I will post it on this thread. Could have been one of those dastardly hybrids.

The moral of this story could be when at the end of the season you're having trouble farming out your mature zukes, hang on to 'em!

-- flora (***@__._), June 05, 1999.

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