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Old June 16, 2019   #16
SeanInVa
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And a bit better look at some of the fruits - as you might can tell, Septoria is our main disease pressure here, with a touch of early blight

German Queen


Brandywine




Maglia Rosa



Tennessee Suited




Marzano Fire


Mortgage Lifter


Sweetie


Pineapple



Marmande Garnier Rouge


Pink Bumblebee

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Old June 27, 2019   #17
BigVanVader
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Looks great, may want to space ur maters further apart. I have a really cheap and efficient gh design that has held up to 60mph winds and 6 inches of snow. Built it 4 years ago and haven't had to do anything to it since. I'll look for the post on FB where I go over its construction.
Finally found it, you'll probz have to join that group to see it.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

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Old June 27, 2019   #18
Whwoz
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Looking good Sean, making me think more about my seed sowing coming up in roughly a months time. Always enjoy the photos of you northern folk, even if I cannot get the seed of some varieties you grow to OZ legally.
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Old June 29, 2019   #19
SeanInVa
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Finally found it, you'll probz have to join that group to see it.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
I had been toying around with putting something together like that, but also with a permanent front door with some wood. Good to hear it's holding up well

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Looking good Sean, making me think more about my seed sowing coming up in roughly a months time. Always enjoy the photos of you northern folk, even if I cannot get the seed of some varieties you grow to OZ legally.
thanks and that's a shame
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Old June 29, 2019   #20
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I added endwalls and a door later. I actually like to keep the sides rolled up and both ends open 90% of the time.
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Old July 7, 2019   #21
SeanInVa
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Single-stem lean-and-lower experiment is going well. I've got to learn how to tie #9 wire tighter and probably install a middle support post. Wire is tied to ends at 8', and it's sagging to about 5.5' in the middle. These are "Delicious"



This "Delicious" went a little squirrely. If you follow the main stem from the bottom, you see on the right where I plucked a sucker. The on the left, a sucker I've not plucked, and then the main stem. It's got a flower truss, then a stem of another truss that looks like it wants to keep growing, but has another flower truss starting just one branch up. Weird growth.



I grew three Marzano Fire plants. Two of them produced the these longer, more traditional fruits....


While the third produced nothing but these half-size things. Growth pattern of the plants were near identical with this one growing a bit stronger earlier in the season. Also not as attractive to hornworms as the other two. Maybe a bee cross? Seed source is Artisan Seeds.


And the two sizes compared


I cooked these down into a sauce. My first time ever making s'getti sauce. THink i needed to cook the tomatoes down some more. I mixed in some peppers and squash too, and didn't de-seed the tomatoes. A bit salty, and chunky. But, tastes ok. Next time, I think I will just cook the tomatoes down by themselves first. Anyone have any tips?

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Old July 7, 2019   #22
SeanInVa
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Also, having this issue with a lot of our tomatoes. I suspect stink bug damage, but if that's the case, those little buggers are getting around. I have only seen a few of them, but two whole plants of Maglia Rosa was like this. Brandywine and Pink Bumblebee also have these spots



And in other news, we had a hen disappear a bit ago, and we'd see her out in the AMs sometimes eating by herself. We figured she went broody. Lo and behold, she's out in the yard this morning with not 1, not 5, not 10 but 13 of these little things in tow! Holy moley! Wife and I got them scooped up (while battling a very ticked off momma hen who kept charging and jumping at us!) and put into a box. We've since moved them into the run and blocked it off and covered it to give them some safety and weather protection




And the momma (who certainly did NOT lay all these eggs)
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Old July 7, 2019   #23
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Anyone have any tips?


My first sauce-making experience taught me to not salt the sauce until it is cooked down to the consistency that I desire. I ended up having to make a non-salt batch later that day and blend them together to fix my error.

I also now shun the stove-top method in favor of a 300 degree (Fahrenheit) oven. Leave it in for an hour and then stir. Repeat the process until the sauce is cooked down to your liking.

I put my sauce in ziplock-style freezer bags (not too much - keep it somewhat thin) so they freeze quickly, are easy to stack, and thaw super fast.

Other than that - experiment and enjoy!





BTW - How big were your Marzano Fire plants?

Last edited by Koala Doug; July 7, 2019 at 07:07 PM.
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Old July 7, 2019   #24
SeanInVa
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My first sauce-making experience taught me to not salt the sauce until it is cooked down to the consistency that I desire. I ended up having to make a non-salt batch later that day and blend them together to fix my error.

I also now shun the stove-top method in favor of a 300 degree (Fahrenheit) oven. Leave it in for an hour and then stir. Repeat the process until the sauce is cooked down to your liking.

I put my sauce in ziplock-style freezer bags (not too much - keep it somewhat thin) so they freeze quickly, are easy to stack, and thaw super fast.

Other than that - experiment and enjoy!



BTW - How big were your Marzano Fire plants?

Thanks for the tips! Definitely lesson learned about the salt!

The plants were grown with a florida-weave support system, and got to maybe waist high on my 5'7" frame. so.. 3-3.5 feet or so?
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Old July 8, 2019   #25
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Cute chicks Sean!!!! I hope they do not turn out to be all male!

Linda
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Old July 24, 2019   #26
SeanInVa
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Well no pictures for this update. I'm a little miffed at the overall situation

We live on 2.2 acres and have all kinds of nature in the area, and the last few years the rabbit population has surged, despite one of our indoor/outdoor cats best efforts (he likes to eat the babies up and leave the heads/appendages in front of the front door)

It started with a tomato here, and tomato there that would get eaten or chewed on. OK, we didn't fence them in and I don't mind sharing some. I walked out to the lean/lower patch and these varmints have done gotten into over a dozen tomatoes. Green, yellow and orange and every where in between. I've not kept up with it as much as I should recently between work, rain/storms and that crazy heatwave. *cocks pellet gun*

One Pineapple plant wilted overnight, and the other started growing like crazy. Checked it today and there were ~6 half-ripe tomatoes. Most had splits from the rain, all but two were devoured by..... something. A bit high for rabbits, but doesn't look like chickens. Deer maybe?

Started checking the taters and this was a very big disappointment. I'm sure I planted late, but I'm only getting a few that are maybe silver-dollar size. These are from plants that have been heeled up, flowered already and are dying back.

I still have a Pink Bumblebee producing, a Brandywine and German Queen I just nabbed the 1/2-3/4 ripe from. The Sweetie cherries are plentiful, but taste awful, I assume from all the rain. I have a few more I put in late, and those are just starting to turn with one or two ripe fruits. *those* taste ok. Best Boy Hybrid I saved seed from aren't quite blushing yet and I grabbed a few 1/2 ripes from the Park's Improved Whopper. Now let's see if I can actually get anything from the lean/lower!

So I suppose between this season and next I need to work on some fencing!
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Old July 24, 2019   #27
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Deer, possums, racoons, squirrels and rabbits definitely loved my tomatoes down the road in Williamsburg! The first year I ended up with *no* big, delicious heirloom tomatoes. I spent the winter watching some commercial on Hulu for home-delivery-meals that featured heirloom tomatoes. Ugh!

Fenced with Tenax with a supplemental "lead shield" (pellet gun) and now I have an overflow!

Good luck with your planning!

Jeff
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Old July 28, 2019   #28
SeanInVa
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Took some pictures yesterday - the sun was out and I couldn't see a dang thing on my phone, so the quality isn't very good. But here we go - and yes I know I need to weed around my plants!

Best Boy Hybrid - These were from saved seed last year, experimenting to see what I got from them. Sepotoria hit them hard last year, and you can see some here as well, already. These are from three separate plants in total. One has some fruits with a nipple on them





The last patch I planted. Dwarfs to the left are Tennessee Suited. To the right is 3xSweetie (front) and 3x Best Boy Hybrid saved seed. In the back are my blueberry bushes hiding in the weeds


The lean and lower system. Wire is tied off at ~8', and sags to 4.5' or so at this point. Bleh!

These are Gardener's Delight - seem to be bigger than what the internet says they should be.



Garden Leader Monster
This one, a rabbit took a liking to


And this one, a worm


Safe - so far



Brandywine (first three on left). Rabbits think they are tasty


Showing the sag. Money Maker and 4th of July


Money Maker and Delicious - more varmint damage



Delicious - yet more damage


These two are the Mortgage Lifter and Pineapple I planted near the squash in the lasagna bed. They went gangbusters after all the rain we had. I stopped pruning and just tied the stems all together. I'm sure this will result in lots of disease, but we'll see

Mortgage Lifter


Pineapple - this on is throwing these apple shaped fruits (for the lack of a better way to describe them)



And, and update on the chicks!
Here are our baby dinosaurs with momma dino.



And their daddy, Charlie
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Old July 28, 2019   #29
jtjmartin
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Sean:

Again, beautiful pics.

I had never seen chicken runs covered before. My niece in Charlottesville said the hawks were so bad that they keep theirs covered. Gloucester too?

My wife wants to move out of Williamsburg so we can keep chickens and maybe a pygmy goat or two!

Jeff
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Old July 28, 2019   #30
SeanInVa
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Sean:

Again, beautiful pics.

I had never seen chicken runs covered before. My niece in Charlottesville said the hawks were so bad that they keep theirs covered. Gloucester too?

My wife wants to move out of Williamsburg so we can keep chickens and maybe a pygmy goat or two!

Jeff
Come on over here!

Yes, we have a breeding pair (at least) that hangs around the general area. Along with foxes, possums, etc.

In fact, my wife had been nursing a polish after something attacked its back. Not sure what, but she had a nice deep open wound. Had this bird in the bathtub for darn near 3 weeks, then she moved her out to a metal dog crate under one of the maple trees out front, where we hang bird feeders. She did great for about a week and a half.
Then my wife came home, while I was not 25 feet away in the office working, screaming and crying running up to the door. Seems a hawk was sitting next to the cage eating her neck up. That was my wife's favorite chicken, and she was really sweet. Here is a pic of her, with her floppy mop feathers tied up so she could see
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