I noticed my cukes were succumbing to some mildew or fungus, sprayed them thoroughly with neem... and then, five minutes later, it poured. Sigh.
Picked my first peach today! It smelled heavenly. I'll let it sit ont he counter a day or two to finish ripening, then post tasting notes! I have about forty more on the tree.
Alison asked me some questions... I'll share answers.
1) Are your rattlesnake beans the same as rattlesnake pole beans?
[mad :-] yes
I tried the rattlesnake pole beans with moderate success, but I wouldn't say they were anything spectacular. I noticed in the seed catalog that they had both with the pole and without. And how did they end up doing with the dry winters?
[mad :-] I only grow beans during the spring/summer. I wouldn’t try them in the winter. They need a fair amount of heat and a longish season. I guess if you put them in at the end of August, you might get a decent harvest.
2) How about that Okinawan spinach? Good summer green?
[mad :-] Very good, prolific, easy. Want some? Perennial.
And were you able to keep the malabar spinach through the winter?
[mad :-] Blech. Mucous.
Does it get bitter in the summer? If you have the malabar, is there any point in the okinawan too?
3) How did your strawberries do for the summer?
We'd like to start a strawberry patch this fall, but I really don't like the idea of replanting every year. Our chosen spot is against the east side of the house so it gets good morning sun, but is shaded from the afternoon sun. Would that get enough sun in the winter to bring a decent spring harvest I wonder though. I had 2 plants there doing very well, but planning to do more, I didn't have it fenced off. Some escaped chickens, after 3 tries, have finally killed them both. :-<
[mad :-] [mad :-] Forget ‘em. Not worth the space. I planted FIFTY one year and still only produced a handful per day. There are much better uses for the space/water/fertilizer—persimmons, figs, citrus.
4) So your
[mad :-] Totally.
We planted some cowpeas in our pasture last summer, but if I didn't water them a few times a week, they quickly dried up.
[mad :-] Were the MS cowpeas? If not, you should try them…
5) What variety of collard greens do you prefer? Not a huge fan myself, but Randy loves them so I'm willing to give them a try. Just not year after year of attempting failed varieties!
[mad :-] Champion. You should try Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale and chard. They’re prolific, too, and milder in taste.
6) We've tried bulb onions with no success. Same with beets and carrots. The carrots I think are mostly stumped by nematode problems. Beets and onions never bulb. Don't know why. Any suggestions? Just not going to do carrots and beets this year, but I hear about so many people doing onions that I would think I should be able to get them to work too.
[mad :-] Work PLENTY of organic junk into the soil, at least the top four inches should be straight-up compost. Beets are a PAIN in the ass, but tasty, nutritious and bountiful. I discovered that they can be transplanted, even quite large, and still produce. (This flies in the face of all advice I’ve read.) So, try to start the beets in cups in August, and plant them out when they’re growing well. Carrots do well for me, but they take a long time (couple of months at least). Make sure that the soil is very loose—dig down at least 6 inches. I really like Sweet Treat: http://www.burpee.com/product/vegetables/carrots/carrot+sweet+treat+hybrid+-+1+pkt.+(1500+seeds).do
Onions—you gotta make sure they’re granex. Then, give them a LONG time. I planted them Nov 15 and just harvested them a couple weeks ago. They need a fair amount of water, lots of sun, and lots of compost.
7) Is de Cicco your favorite broccoli variety?
[mad :-] Sure. They’re all similar. I noticed that the ones from seed produced better and longer than the ones from seedlings (Lowes).
How about for lettuce?