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2023 Gardening

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21 hours ago, JimKu said:

Do you put a lot of fertilizer or compost in? How do you protect your blueberries from all the critters that like to eat them? 

Yes lots of compost over the years and lots of composted cow manure from local farm. All my leaves and grass clippings go in also in the fall. I mow up the leaves. Turn into soil. As far as blueberry protection yes I cover them. Only way and they still get in once in a while. My problem has been rabbits this year. 

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Edited by Steel Pulse

what's the secret word for tonight

 

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Got lucky and managed to dodge storms today, and the past few days have been dry in my area.. so the soil in my raised/mounded rows and beds had a chance to dry out some.

 

My corn patch isn't mounded but level with the original soil, and unfortunately it's still very wet.

 

Sadly the brief dry times are over.

 

Flood watch in effect Sunday thru Tuesday.

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Same dumb pattern we've seen all summer. Areas to N and W get flooded out, areas to S and E get a healthy shower.

Fishing kills me exactly as it keeps me alive.

Hemingway, Old Man and the Sea

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Garden precipitation forecast

 

Storm prediction center put out a map that depicts the area of greatest potential for flooding rainfall today.

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Modeling suggests Vermont gets the worst of it over next two days. And since they've been hammered almost continuously for the past month, the ground is already completely saturated.

Set up is a recipe for areas of severe flooding there, with road washouts and likely some property loss. 

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Fishing kills me exactly as it keeps me alive.

Hemingway, Old Man and the Sea

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Here in Lakeville we have had the perfect amount of rain so far. Usually we get nothing. Always seems to go either south of us or north of us. Been lucky so far this year. Sucks to get too much or too little. 

what's the secret word for tonight

 

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4 hours ago, Steel Pulse said:

Here in Lakeville we have had the perfect amount of rain so far. Usually we get nothing. Always seems to go either south of us or north of us. 

 

I concur.

 

Lakeville is usually too far southeast to get much from afternoon summer Tstorms-- that develop, peak and fade (or die) by the time they reach the South Shore.

 

And it's also a little north of the Cape which can get nailed in a different pattern, with storms training in from the ocean to the south.

Fishing kills me exactly as it keeps me alive.

Hemingway, Old Man and the Sea

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Mister beetle:

Hey, thanks for the cantaloupe. 

(And killing my plants)

 

After I transplant melon seedlings into the field I keep them protected with a hoop tunnel row cover until female flowers emerge. This minimizes the time they're exposed to striped cucumber beetles, which spread bacterial wilt.

 

In an ideal world... bees discover and habituate to the male flowers (which emerge first), then pollinate the female flowers which pop a week or two later.

 

But what happens in a world without bees?

 

The farm I'm at used to have managed hives at the edge of its fields. Those bees didn't take long to find the cantaloupe. And they did good work.

 

But there's no farm hives anymore, and virtually zero wild bees.

 

> So what the hell pollinated my melon crop this year??

 

The same insect that kills a bunch of melon vines in late July: the striped cucumber beetle.

 

Cucumber beetles love yellow, and they gravitate to yellow melon flowers like a crackhead to free rocks.

 

Once on the yellow flower they usually settle in the center and chow down. Apparently they also end up transferring pollen fairly efficiently. 

 

Today I saw the very first bee in my melon flowers since I removed the row cover. But the season's fruit set is basically done. And this year I had a pretty good set. So what the hell did the heavy lifting?

> Those damned cucumber beetles. 

 

Two or three weeks from now, a percentage of plants will suddenly collapse overnight and die from bacterial wilt -- which was introduced from infected beetles that bit those plants in early July.

 

But without the beetles? I'd have no melons at all.

 

Unless I physically got in there and hand pollinated the entire crop with Qtips. Pfft. Forget that. 

 

Below:

Today the fertilized melons are about the size of golf balls. Next to the melon is a male flower.. and lounging in its center? A striped cucumber beetle. 

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Fishing kills me exactly as it keeps me alive.

Hemingway, Old Man and the Sea

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Ok, take several 5 gallon buckets and drill holes big enough for a chipmunk.

Go to Home Depot and buy some of these traps with the high impact kill bar.

Bait the trap with some peanut butter, and toss a small handful of sunflower seeds in the bucket for smell. They can't resist sunflower.

Place the trap in the bucket, and let the carnage begin. Some days I catch them all day.

 

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The Sultan of Sluggo

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