MattituckMike

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About MattituckMike

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  • About Me:
    Travel around the northeast (Job related)
    Travel to SE Asia every winter
  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Organic/Biodynamic gardening, All Food-Thai in particular,Fishing, Shellfishing,Chili Peppers
  • What I do for a living:
    Organic Certification Inspector/Consultant, Organic Garden Consultant/Installer

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  • Location
    Beautiful North Fork of Long Island

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  1. We have had more flea beetle issues this year on the lower leaves of our young tomato plants too. The plants have outgrown the damage and the first generation of this pest seems to be slowing down at this point. We plant a couple of tomatillo plants as trap crops on the edge of the garden which seems to attract them, but this year they found our tomato starts too! Never had any issues on our peppers. Now I'll be looking for that hornworm moth too! Thanks.
  2. They look to be just a bit behind the larger plants, which could be caused by a variety of factors (different variety, less sunlight, transplant shock, early stress, a bit less fertilizer etc...). I would bet that in a few more days they will start producing female flowers. Bee/pollinator populations have no influence on the number of male and female flowers. Lack of pollinators would reduce fruit production from the female flowers only. The plants look very healthy. Good luck and keep posting!
  3. Great photo and thanks for the information. I think that moth was lost in the cucurbits! Did you scout any flea beetles? If so, what crops were they damaging?
  4. Size of a football...... That's great! They can get big. Here is one we grew a couple of years ago which was almost 7 lbs. !!!
  5. Growing your own sweet potato slips is very rewarding and you are able to keep your favorite varieties year after year (and save money). After the fall harvest and curing we select the sweet potatoes that we think will produce the best slips in the spring and put them aside so we don't eat them. As Ditchbag said, you can start the slips growing in the spring in a glass of water and that works very well. We keep quite a few varieties so we start the slips growing in flats with soil in the spring. We still have slips being produced from some of last year's crop. They are called "slips" because the growing shoots are "slipped" off the tuber and planted without any of the tuber itself. We still grow slips this time of year and use the plants in empty spaces in gardens around the house. They look great, fill in spaces nicely to crowd out weeds, can easily be pruned back, and the vine tips are very tasty and nutritious......... But deer LOVE them! Here is a photo I just took. The 2 slips were slipped off 3 days ago and put into that jar of water. You can see how quickly roots form. When we have enough slips to fill in the selected area, we plant them all together. That tuber has another 6 slips started which we will slip off in a couple of days and all will be planted out.
  6. Very common in Thailand. One of the varieties that we grow is just for the growing tips but all the varieties we tried are very good and also nutritious. We harvest the tender young growing tips from the vines before they start to toughen up - used raw or in stir fried dishes.
  7. Very popular flavor in Thailand.... they also sell quite a few other unusual Lay’s flavors there - crab curry, green curry, sweet basil, prawn, etc.... Not to my liking...
  8. Not too late for either carrots or scallions. Carrots should be direct seeded since they do not transplant well. The seeds take quite a while to germinate. They should be kept moist while awaiting germination - we water lightly at least once a day during the summer until we see them germinate. This makes summertime carrot growing a little more challenging than springtime plantings. Thinning is important and we found that clipping the crowded starts with scissors instead of pulling them up works best as it does not disrupt the roots of the starts left in the ground. The young tender thinnings (leaves) are tasty addition to salads. Scallions can be started in cell flats and transplanted or direct seeded. We try to start as many seeds as we can in cell flats because it gives us more control and we can keep a closer eye on things in addition to utilizing the precious garden bed space as efficiently as we can with spacing and succession plantings. Happy growing!
  9. Doesn't have to be a whole potato. Seed potatoes are often cut into pieces which have at least 3 or 4 "eyes" which are the points from which the plant sprouts. Cutting seed potato can increase the chances of soil born diseases attacking the seed so they are often cured and/or treated before planting.
  10. Yup...... But seed potatoes have not been treated with any sprout inhibitors like most grocery store potatoes. Seed potatoes are also tested for disease so you can be more certain they are disease free. Volunteer plants from last season that sprout or using uncertified seed can bring in late blight which was the potato disease of the Irish potato famine. Certified seed potatoes should be the ONLY seed potatoes planted in gardens.
  11. Alpine Wurst and Meat House.... Great sausages and some of the best liverwurst I have ever had!
  12. Basil, collards, kale, carrots, beets, chard, summer lettuce can all be planted now but beans are a great crop to plant now and are a good crop to follow lettuce and other greens.
  13. Just saw this...... This was Chandler, the largest variety we usually grow. Good yielder but more susceptible to diseases than other varieties. Strawberry season is just finishing up for us. Last batch of jam made last night. Time to renovate the patch for a more abundant harvest next year!
  14. If you want to harvest them as thin skinned “new” potatoes you can start when flowers appear. Yields will be smaller than if you let them go to maturity. You can harvest some new potatoes from the outskirts of the plants and pack the soil back leaving the other tubers to further mature. When you want to let them mature into main crop potatoes let them grow until the foliage yellows and dies back. After dieback you should not harvest for a couple of weeks if you want the skin to toughen up for better storage. This advice is based on my experiences with potatoes grown in the ground. I have never grown any in buckets.