OT: Any Gardeners on here?

I do a little pallet garden in my square concrete patio in Philly. I actually get a ton of growth out back.

I figured the gardeners of TKP could use this space to talk about what they are growing, and any success or issues they might be having growing this season.

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I kill everything i plant. I suck at gardening.

My tomato plants are turning yellow. I'm not sure what to do. The leaves and branch turn yellow, and if left unattended will brown and shrivel up. I keep cutting off infected branches and more just turn up over night.

I am using a wicking system, so I am ruling out drowning, as the plant should just take whatever water it needs as it needs it. The roots are also air-raided as well.

I think they might have blight.

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Are the leaves yellow with brown spots? If its spotted, it could be a fungus or blight. If they are just turning yellow, it could be a variety of things. They'll turn yellow if its underwatered and overwatered. So you might have to play around with your system to figure out which. They'll also turn yellow if the soil lacks nitrogen and/or isn't aerated enough (the roots get too compact)

So i don't think its the water as the system is designed to just take what the plant needs when it needs it. I'm guessing the roots should be fine since they are aerated as the bucket they are growing in have holes everywhere just for aeration of the roots.

I added some fertilizer to the water last night to see if that helps out.

It's not spotted. Everything turns yellow and then eventually dies.

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How large are the buckets and plants? If the fertilizer doesn't help, it might be that your buckets are too small as your plants have outgrown them. The roots themselves could have grown too tightly compacted. I'd wait and see how the fertilizer does first before thinking about transplanting to a bigger pot.

Also, how does the stem look, especially around the base? If its starting to turn brown, its probably starting to rot from overwatering. I know you said the system is designed to take what it needs but its possible it might not be working as intended. Just something to look out to try to narrow down the problem. I don't have any experience with a system like that. I'm just trying to think up different scenarios with what I've seen with plants in the past

This is what it looks like give or take:

You can read about it further here: Alaskan Bucket System

Stems look fine. It's just certain branches turn yellow. I trim them and they return yellow.

I might have to hack them down a little bit as they have grown really tall.

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Seems like a lot of work for maters. Just plug them babies in the ground, add a lot of chicken shit, water a little but often.

Seriously try the chicken shit.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

let me just grab a bag o'chicken shit from the neighborhood convenience store!

I don't have any ground to plant them in. I live in the city, I have this bucket system since I have no ground. I tried just pots, but the results were poor simply because the soil would dry up during the day after a through soaking in the AM.

I also have 3 pallet planters with peppers and herbs and they have grown quiet well.

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We used to get out of school when the farmers did their yearly chicken shit fertilizing. We didn't have AC, and the fields were right next to the schools.

Best fertilizer out there from what I hear.

Previously LowBrau.

It's generally fine, unless certain materials are high in concentration. Excessive amounts of copper can (rarely) be an issue. It's generally best to have a decent mix of things applied when gardening at the scale referenced here.

I thinks it's the roots after further investigation. They are actually growing outside of the grow bag that the soil and plants are sitting in. The colander at the bottom also has roots growing out of it.

Not sure what I can do but cut the plant down a bit and prune the roots. How I prune the roots, your guess is as good as mine.

What's
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I've never heard of trimming the roots of the plant. Personally I'd be a little scared that I'd do too much damage. Based on what you've described and I read that bucket system pdf (neat idea), it really does sound like your pots are too small. I assume you used the 5 gal bucket in the pdf. You probably need to double or triple the size. Certain types of tomatoes root systems grow pretty wide and deep. I know you said you don't have any bigger pots so maybe just keep that in mind next time you grow.

For right now, your best bet might just be to keep your plants pruned to a certain size that the root system can support and make sure the soil stays properly fertilized. If you've got extra buckets, you can take some of the pieces you've pruned and try to get them to take up root in those pots to help offset some of the losses you're gonna take

Definitely let the plants grow too high. I'm hoping to be out of the city next year, so hopefully the last year of patio gardening for me.

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do you comment on tkp with speech to text?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Negative

What's
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The roots routes are also air-raided as well.

looks like your tomatoes have been hanging around Mike Leach, Kliff Kingsbury, and Hal Mumme lately. Four verts!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

maybe that is the issue; the lack of ground game.

What kind of soil? Is it new or have you used it before? What are you putting on it? Does it affect one side of the plant more than others?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

If you haven't already, you might try looking at using hay bales instead of pots/buckets. The latter has been my go-to, but friends have been doing hay bales for years, and their results are generally 3 to 4x better than mine. I've also had similar issues with my plants and part of the problem for me was the heat. The reflective heat coming off the deck was massive and was baking the plants.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

It could be the heat. They get a ton of sun where they are positioned. I'm not sure I could reorganize the patio to give them less sun. Maybe put and umbrella up.

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How heavily chlorinated is your water? And is there a water softener in the line? Water softeners aren't great for plants. We were having a terrible year with starting plants one year. Realized it was the water softener that had been added.
Chlorine isn't the easiest to get rid of. You could get a filter. Chloramine can be dealt with using campden tablets in brewing. Not sure that it works in this case.

I'm pretty sure they put free the buckets as the roots are protruding through the grow bag they are sitting in. I'm going to have to take them out of the bucket and prune the roots. I don't have a bigger pot to put them in.

What's
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Chlorine is easy to get rid of. Just leave the water in a bucket for 24 hours before you use it, and the chlorine will evaporate.

Chlorine is. Chloramine is not. Most treatment facilities use chloramine because it's more stable.

Correct.

What's
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Get a two gallon bottle of Seachem Prime from pet stores, just a tad added in and it strips the chloramine, it should only take a capful mixed in when you water. I use it for fish and plants

If the soil is low in magnesium, or high in potassium you can sprinkle about a cup of Epsom salts around the plant. It really helps prevent the yellowing. I've had very good luck doing that for several years.....but you really want to do that before you have any fruit on the plants.

TN_Hokie

The problem is you are using water. Them plants need electrolytes.

"Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.” -Einstein

Actually you can also pray epsom salt water on the leaves in the evening for faster absorption if you are trying to correct a problem. The dosing is lighter - but is available via the inter webs. There are also other fertilizers based on Epsom salts that are readily available which can be easier on the plants if spraying the foliage.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Yes?

We put the K in Kwality

No

We are allowed to have 6 plants, been trying to decide if we should actually do it or not. I'd want something that I don't need to baby all the time, so a little more hearty.

Previously LowBrau.

Do you have actual land to plant it in or would it be a potting situation?

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We have about 125 SF of land next to our house. Otherwise it would be a potting situation. So would depend on the plants and what they prefer.

Previously LowBrau.

They are weeds. They will grow. Indica is usually a shorter plant and does better in pots, but needs more water. Sativa will do better in the ground in a drier climate.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

at this point, we are just trying to have a low maintenance yard. With two growing boys and everything else going on, it's been tough to work on it.

Add on that recently our HOA decided to prune our yard and butchered a bunch of our plants, and we just are losing energy. We had two Clematis that were about 6 years old and starting to really provide coverage and the landscaper ripped it out as if it was a weed, tearing them to shreds. We are hoping there is enough base there to allow for continued life. They hit a bunch of other stuff too, like cutting the bud off of lilies. So i'm sure they would have cut our weed plants down to the base if we had them.

Previously LowBrau.

From my experience with clematis, they will come back. Those things are tough and I won't plant them as I find them too invasive.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Thats the hope. The years of me training it and getting the gigantic blooms are gone though. Going to have to wait a few more years i guess.

I also have a wisteria (it is climbing up my deck and onto my arbor), so as you can see, we like the aggressive plants.

We have changed our tune a bit and are looking for stuff that takes minimal work. We are still planting flowers, we have some herbs mixed in (for general use and prepper), but we are mainly trying to find solid ground cover and plants that somewhat take over. Stuff like creeping jenny and litton roses.

Still pissed at the landscapers though. They obviously have no idea what they are doing.

Previously LowBrau.

Last year we had the neighbors lawn service come in when on vacation. They cut down three staked tomato plants, some thyme, a young blueberry bush, a foxglove, a paper lantern annual (not sure the real name), and a hellebore. Fortunately everything except the 2 of the tomatoes and the blueberry bush came back.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

that stinks.

Our HOA sent out an option to go in or out. We stayed out, but then my wife was upset we were missing out on the free mulch. So we opted in.

The first time they came in, they trimmed everything way down. Things that weren't supposed to be. I think because of how mature things were, they are still chugging along. They killed a lot of the ground cover with the mulch, as they did too much. They didn't even weed or remove clippings.

So we opted out. They came again and went nuts on our yard. Eventhough we were on the no touch list. I have video of the guy going to town ripping apart the clematis.

So we caused a stir in the community. Right now they are trying to figure out how to move forward, so in the meantime, we have to have those driveway reflectors bordering our yard so they don't touch it.

Now mind you, we live in NE DC, we have about 125 SF of total yard, as we live in a townhome community. It's insane to me to think that the landscapers can't manage this. What makes it worse, we have a nearby hill that is a "meadow" and supposed to be a nice landscaped area. It is currently being overrun with vines. In fact, the landscapers are dumping their prunings and other stuff up there. So it just doesn't make any sense.

If our next house has an HOA, it will need to have a ton of amenities and be one badass house for us to deal with the HOA. Cause we are done.

Previously LowBrau.

The only HOA I will be a member of is me, myself and I.

ajuga for your shady spots, it stays low to the ground and has a nice purple leaf and small spring blooms, but it will take over any shady area you start it in.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

We actually had a bunch of that and it was spreading and filling in nicely. Then they came and covered it with 3+ inches of mulch. So we lost some of it. Hoping it kicks back in and takes over again.

Thanks for the reminder, we were trying to remember it.

Previously LowBrau.

I grow hops. That is all.

My wife on the other hand, she has quite the green thumb. Fenced off a 15'x25' area for a garden for her this spring (fenced it off to keep the pup out)

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Props for the hops!

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

What type hops? We have cascade and centennial. Cool May kind of stunted the cascades somewhat. Kicking into gear now.

#Let's Go - Hokies

Deer and drought have decimated everything my way this year. They should really allow deer hunting in residential areas. Fuck those bastards. Gotta thin the herd

Check your local regulations - where I am allows urban archery with the proper permit

Every time I hear "urban archery" I think of a dad geared up, using his kid's treehouse as a deer stand, and trying to sweet talk his wife into bringing him coffee.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

This is our second year trying to grow things. Have learned many lessons in 1 and half growing seasons.

Last year we planted too much stuff close together and the cukes and squash choked out some our smaller guys. Made another mistake this year by trying to do cukes and squash in 12" pots.

So far, this year's successes are tomatoes, green onions, and arugula. Jalapenos and Bell Peppers look good too, but no harvest so far.

We have two garden beds. This is what we planted back in spring

We did end up planting too many things and we should have spread out the carrots a bit more.

In the first garden (front), we pulled everything up for the summer except for the kale and then added Thai basil, jalapenos, serano peppers, and bell peppers.

In the rear garden, we harvested all of the spinach and planted three tomato plants along that side of the bed (San Marzano, Best Boy, and Mr. Stripey)

The zombie likes it!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

ah, that's Terrance our lawn zombie! He's actually protecting the herb garden. There is some rosemary, thyme and like 3 types of oregano?

I'm am a wizard at growing wild grapevine and poison oak in our back yard.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

If I breath near poison anything I get it.

What's
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You sound like HokieEnginerd. He is extremely allergic to it. He had it so bad several years ago that his eyes were almost swollen shut. He went to the doctor to get a steroid and the nurse thought that she was going to have to give him an EPI injection immediately.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

My TKP back yard BBQ guest list is getting pretty small.

Maybe I should just douse the entire back yard in gasoline and light a match. /s...not really.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

We will be happy to come visit. We just have to keep hubby on the porch or something.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

You all are welcome to come hang out on the deck anytime. I strung up some string lights last week and our beer garden effect is coming along. We would gladly keep you and the hubs full of your choice of beer for a guest grillmaster session and some great company.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

DO NOT burn poison ivy. A guy I worked for back in the day had poison ivy really bad at his new house. He's really allergic and he had a serious reaction. He got pissed off and lit it on fire, and then breathed in the fumes. We went to visit him in ICU that evening, and we passed the Grim Reaper himself on the way in. Dumbass literally was touch and go for hours as far as actually living to tell the tale.

Leonard. Duh.

Similar thing happened to the father of someone I went to high school with. His dad was burning brush, didn't realize there was poison ivy in the pile and inhaled the fumes and he was hospitalized not long after because of the reaction.

I know. I'm not really going to burn it. Just venting my frustrations. But I am in between a rock and a hard place with it. A named creek runs through my backyard. So, spraying is technically a no no. I have been trying to come up with creative ways to deal with it. Currently, I have two 24x12 tarps covering a portion of the grapevine to rob the bitch of sunlight. I'm open to any suggestions.

But no BS, that's solid advice.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Spraying a mixture of vineagar, salt, and a drop of dish soap (to help it stick) will kill pretty much any foliage it touches. It won't kill the roots, but you may be able to control the ivy. Idk if that mixture would be ok to spray by your creek

Find some old clothes and gloves to throw away after, wait until the ground is super saturated, and slowly pull them out by the roots. Or cheat on the intent of no-spray by cutting them off as close to the root base as you can and use a water color paint brush or medicine dropper to put round up concentrate on the top of the fresh cut. Shower in the coldest water you can stand afterward, with a soap that is good at getting oils. Hot water opens the pores and lets it into your skin. So does sweating, so go after it when it is not super hot out. The plants circulatory system is also solar powered, and may suggest there is some truth to the old tale that you won't get poison ivy on a cold morning, but I would not bet on it.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Damn, Gina!!!

Never expected a response to be so detailed.

Thanks.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Having used the real round up that my dad uses on the farm vs the crap I can pick up at Lowe's, I would pay a premium for the farm grade stuff. My first house was covered in English ivy and I "borrowed" some round up from my dad and sprayed it on the ivy on a decently warm day. Within minutes that shit was wilting, and it never came back. So I really like the idea of using an eye dropper to apply round up to a fresh cut on the ivy stem. But you gotta use the good stuff. And 100% use PPE, or you might grow a 3rd arm or something.

I'm pretty sure a homeowner can by concentrate glyphosate (generic roundup) without a license and it is dirt cheap.

Be careful just killing it though. The oil stays in the dead leaves and the leaves turn to dust and really get in your pores. I don't take ivy terribly bad, but I once moved some dead vines off a structure I was measuring in winter and my hand looked like a leper's for a week.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

That's what I really hate. When I was younger, I could literally roll around in it and wouldn't get a rash. I was free range as a kid and stayed in the woods until it was time for dinner. Never had an issue with it. The older I get, the more sensitive I am to it. Yet more proof that getting older sucks.

Also, the bad thing about never getting it growing up, I never really learned to identify it because it didn't matter to me. I'm catching up fast though.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Its fairly common to not have a reaction with the first encounter with the oil as your T-cells are just familiarizing themselves with it. The second time You will get a rash because the T-cells know to attack.

What's
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The oil stays in the dead leaves and the leaves turn to dust and really get in your pores. I don't take ivy terribly bad, but I once moved some dead vines off a structure I was measuring in winter and my hand looked like a leper's for a week.

Yeah, HokieEnginerd had a very similar experience. We got a Christmas tree one year and there was a dead vine wrapped around the tree. He pulled it off and next day, BAM he was broken out.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Just a bit of info:
RoundUp (ie. glyphosphate) is horrible for the environment.
A little better solution is Pramitol but it kills for years.

uva - the taint of the ACC
XL Jockstraps 34 - Ascots 31
#15 Straight

Is it? Everything I have read seems to result in inconclusive evidence. Roundup ready crops has changed the farming industry dramatically. A conspiracy theorist may wonder who would benefit from negative publicity toward glyphosate.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

And another conspiracy theorist points to the big bad genetics editing corporation we know is profiting from the positive publicity towards Roundup resistant crops

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Good point

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Studies have linked it to Autism as well as a nueral disrupter believed to be responsible for the abandoned hive crisis with bees. As a Chem E, I would recommend a less is more approach when it comes to using any type of xxx-cide.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Unfortunately, the alternative to herbicide is tilling the soil, which is also bad.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Thick layer of wood chips is the best way to keep down weeds without tilling or spraying. Any weeds that poke through are much thinner and easy to pull. Chips deteriorate into awesome soil. Win win.

Studies have linked it to Autism

This is somewhat bogus. There is a terrible paper from 2013 concluding there is a link between glycosophate use and autism, but it's the same bogus link correlation/causation fallacy used to suggest vaccines cause autism. (They showed, over time, as glycosophate use went up, cases of autism went up; this also true of vaccines; this also true of anything that has increased over the past 50 years. There was no showing of autistic children being exposed to glycosophate.)

The link between glycosophate as a bona fide carcinogen and as a likely cause of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in humans is more murky. For the most part, studies in rodents debunk this as rats and mice that consumed glycosophate were statistically indifferent from those that didn't, even at high levels and across several studies. On the contrary, the link between humans that work with the chemical and development of lymphoma suggests that it may be a carcinogen.

🦃 🦃 🦃

Would this Pramitol work on wisteria? Because the previous homeowners planted some in the back yard and it is starting to grow dangerously close to my house and I can't allow that.

Wisteria? Good fucking luck. That plant was made by Satan himself. You're gonna need some of the best herbicide you can get. Then its 50/50 chance it actually kills it down to the roots. If it doesn't, that shit will sprout back up 3x thick. Lots of times you have to dig it up by the roots and that shit is a pain in the ass. It's tough, deep, and literally runs everywhere. The vines will crisscross each other in the ground to the point where you're ready set the lot on fire and then salt the earth.

You know what else makes you want to salt the earth? Yucca. My grandmother tried to get rid of a yucca plant at their beach house. I literally watched her salt the earth, in great quantities, in the garden bed it was planted in with no luck. That little bastard kept sending up shoots. Now, what plants do you think I have at my current house, courtesy of the previous homeowners? Yucca and wisteria. They were NCSU fans, for what it's worth.

Yes, Pramitol should eliminate wisteria. The key to Pramitol is to apply it just before it rains.

uva - the taint of the ACC
XL Jockstraps 34 - Ascots 31
#15 Straight

Slow day at work today, and something I have had to deal with in the past. Poison Ivy took over a part of our landscaping. Spent a couple hours in clothes from goodwill and gardening gloves from Dollar Tree. Used garden shears, one of the kids paint brushes and a plastic container with a little concentrated weed killer. Got me a wheeled yard waste bin full of poison ivy, no other plant casualties, and none of it came back (at least that year).

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Again, thanks for the tips.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Oh I have known that for years. I wouldn't dream of it. That would be a nightmare and I am itching just thinking about it.

What's
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A Cautionary note on Poison Ivy and Steroids-
A former co-worker got eat up with it clearing a home he bought and was treated with steroids. A few weeks later Kenny became depressed sort of delusional and ended up in a mental health facility for several weeks. He returned after treatment and on meds. Later he developed a bipolar disorder and sadly took his own life several years later.
This was 30+ years ago and while I'm sure medications have improved steroid psychosis is real and something to be looked out for.

I built a garden in the back, about 40' by 40'. We've got cukes, tomatoes (Roma and cherry), cerranos, tomatillos (which are the most underrated vegetable, imo), a whole bunch of herbs (not that herb), a few different berry bushes, a couple of grape vines we started last year, two persimmon trees and a few pear trees. Oh, and a couple of pumpkin vines that are absolutely invasive and hostile to everything around them. Literally, we have to keep trimming the pumpkin back because the things they put out to climb with wrap around the other plants and try to choke them out. Already harvested the arugula and bok choy that came up earlier in the year.

Also, my wife plants a bunch of sunflowers and marigold and lavender and lamb's ear which is a waste of space to me because I can't eat any of it.

Well, you've planted tomatillos. Good News! You'll have tomatillos for the rest of your life. Those damn things just keep coming back.

I wish. I could eat those things like potato chips. I thought that they were annuals like tomatoes? I've had to plant new ones every year.

Also, if anyone is looking to cut calories from their diet and partakes of salad, salsa verde is the best salad dressing in the world and it's like 10 calories per tbsp. I use my tomatillos and cerannos to make my own (need to start growing onions and garlic, too...)

They are annuals. But, they are very effective at reseeding themselves.

lamb's ear

Smells good, nice addition to flower gardens, BUT spreads like the dickens and gets insanely pervasive.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

cerranos

You need to be careful with those. They are either overly aggressive or way to passive. No real in between.

How did this not get a bajillion votes?

Largely shaded yard, NC hot summers, and lots of city deer that will eat plants right of the porch have left me with growing peppers in pots on the deck on patio, and cherry tomatoes if a small patch of morning light at the end of the driveway. I have not been able to get good yield from bell peppers or larger tomatoes, but am picking about a quart of red grape, sunburst yellow and purple cherry tomatoes a week now. Peppers are just starting to come in, as I had a fungus get into my seed starts this year. Will not use organic coconut husk starter soil again. I have about 16 varieties of peppers this year, as every year I seed my favorites and try a few new kinds.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

If anyone is interested in trading unusual pepper seeds I'd love to get a few new varieties. Or if you just want to try to grow some I can send some seeds.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Would definitely be interested in some seeds. Being in the hospital put a big damper on my gardening this year but I moved a few big pots to where I can get at them now.

send an email EDIT - got it. I'll try to get them out this weekend.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Awesome assortment, give this man some leg love

cucumbers, cantelope, bell peppers, tomatoes, zuchini, eggplant, parsley, sage, rosemary, coriander (cilantro gone to seed)

the herbs, cucumbers and zuchini are doing great, cantelope and eggplant are coming along, but half my bell peppers just straight up died... others are seemingly healthy but not growing. Same goes for the tomatoes.

this week is round two of planting in the space vacated by the dead peppers.. probably kale .

uva - the taint of the ACC
XL Jockstraps 34 - Ascots 31
#15 Straight

I like gardening but I'm no expert. I don't farm anything intentionally. I toss a bit of kitchen cuttings into the yard every now and again and end up with produce sometimes. I pull whole ass trees out the ground without a root ball and replant them and they thrive. I can get a thing or two done in a yard.

Mostly I decorate the landscape. I have a few compost heaps that produce a few good native saplings of sorts every year - I guess the birds leave me seeds and they sprout up.

Love getting my hands dirty. Great thread.

I accidentally put Preen Mulch around all my plants and killed everything. Everything.

fml

I built a raised cedar bed a few years ago and used the following mix after hearing someone else swear that it was the best - http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net/mels-mix/

They are correct. Just mix 1/3 each of vermiculite, peat moss, and multiple composts, and plant away. Each subsequent year I have just added a couple bags of compost (usually 1 mushroom and 1 cow) and it's ready to go. We have had great luck with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. We are near Charlotte so it's hot. It gets full sun 75% of the day. We water almost every day. It's an investment of time but for us it's well worth it.

Do houseplants count? I was gifted with several around this time last summer, so now I have several peace lilies, 3 pots of golden pothos, two dieffenbachia, one snake plant, one arrowhead plant, and my aloe plant that I inherited from my grandmother has produced so many pups I can't keep them all alive.

I wonder if you could amend your soil with a little bit of ironite?

Let's Go

HOKIES

Opened this thread expecting questions about garden pavers.

Let's Go

HOKIES

We had a very mild spring this year, so I got good production from the snap peas, chard, lettuce, and radishes. My cilantro grew to 3 feet tall, and I just harvested all the coriander from it last weekend. Unfortunately, aphids took over my broccoli and cabbage.

As for the summer stuff, all my cucumbers died when they were about 2 inches high, and my peppers and squash are all stunted this year. The tomatoes, anaszi beans, and black-eyed peas are just starting to produce, which is normal for New Mexico. The watermelon and cantaloupe are flowering; each of the past two years, we've had more watermelon than we could eat in September, so I'm hoping for a repeat of that.

I'm also trying carrots and parsnips for the first time this year. They seem to be struggling through the hot part of the summer, but I'll see if they're worth it in the fall.

Just to be clear, everyone here knows that electrolytes is what plants crave, right?

Bought some tomato seeds from guy on the side of the street. Didn't quite turn out as expected /s

Vroom Vroom

Damn. Now instead of growing something to eat you're just gonna get more hungry.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

'Guy on the side of the street' is the new 'guy on the couch'

I've been working with about 3200 plants that look like that, albeit slightly smaller. They just don't smell like tomatoes. I think I'm going to have to throw them out.

I am part of the Master Gardener program in Frederick County, Virginia. It is under the auspices of the Virginia Cooperative Extension office and sponsored by Virginia Tech. One of the service offered is a Green Line which answers questions from home owners like these. Penn State also offers a similar service ( see: https://extension.psu.edu/programs/master-gardener/counties/philadelphia ). For as much as we hate on PSU raiding "our" prospects, they do a have a good reputation offering service like this.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

This. I've thought about getting my Master Gardener and have a handful of friends in town that are Master Gardeners. Neat program.

What do you do with your certification? Do you work in the field (pun kinda of intended) or did you get it due to personal interest?

Personal interest and trying to stay out of trouble.

My degree was in Horticulture but I went into Air Force right after graduation (Vietnam War time frame). After my time in the Air Force, working for the DoD as a civilian and as a contractor (42 years total), I moved out of the madhouse traffic and expenses of northern Virginia. I needed something to do that was productive (for some reason my wife did not see the value of playing computer games). I saw an ad in the Winchester local paper describing the program and I was in.

I would encourage you to join if it fits your interest. I'm glad I did.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

Thanks '69.

Nice.

Just wanted to add that having a degree in a related field is not in any way a requirement. If you like growing plants, you will fit in.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

Wanted to resurrect this thread as I have a garden that I just started.

Anyone use any gympsum / clay breaker? I dug out a 4'x4' hole in my back yard garden and threw in a bottom layer of clay breaker (link below), and then a top layer of garden soil, all of this from lowes. Not sure i did the right thing - can anyone comment?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/HARVEST-Harvest-Superpowered-1-5-cu-ft-Organic-...

don't know about that stuff. Years ago I used rice hulls from the local mills near Houston to break up the clay...worked great, and I had a very nice garden

Get barks and a good tiller. Add lime as it helps balance pH level in the soil and till. Barks help to condition the soil. I had to do that with my rose garden at my old house since the soil was clay. It worked but it takes time.

I appreciate the knowledge, but that doesn't help with my current predicament. Can you comment on that?

I have never used gypsum to break up clay and that's why I said barks because that's what I have used. Since you already added the stuff, the only thing going for you is time.

I have heard people using the other stuff with good results so I think you are fine.

Clay, while an excellent moisture retention, suck in draining water and that can be bad for plants. So the key is conditioning your soil, which you have done.

Edit: reread your post and I'm wondering if you also tilled the clay with gypsum because it helps to mix the clay and gypsum.

Edit: reread your post and I'm wondering if you also tilled the clay with gypsum because it helps to mix the clay and gypsum.

No that was my whole issue. I didn't till the gympsum "mulch" into the clay I dug-up. I just threw out the clay and threw the mulch in there. Serves me right for being too excited and doing stuff I didn't know much about. But my 4"-6" of garden soil will hopefully still serve its purpose and help grow my plants.

So, yes, I think my short-term might suffer (Zucchini and tomatoes at the moment), but doing what I did will only make better soil in the long-run in that mulch will provide a better bed than clay after it's broken down over time. I'll most likely plop down compost on top of whatever I have there later on as it will help break down better-quality soil rather than the clay that was there, so hopefully a long-term win.

Ha, that's the best thing about gardening, it's a good way to experiment and learn what works and doesn't. I learned mostly from my in-laws and a neighbor who gardened before we did.

One year, the neighbor and us experiment in growing potatoes. We tried to add layers of dirt each time the flowers grew. It was a disaster. We suspect the manure we added had too much acid from urine that it killed the potatoes before they got going.

my only concern would be that you just created a bucket of top soil in which water will just collect where you left the clay layer. I have tried to use some lime and gypsum to break down clay, but have also found mixing in compost or other fillers with high organic matter seems to help the most. watch for water pooling up under your 6" layer of top soil and on top of the clay.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Yeah agreed. I'm trying not to over-water as a result of that. At this point I've planted my saplings else I would've considered taking them out and maybe tilling in some compost, but que cera cera. I'll learn for next year. My Okra seem to be doing ok so far (and i grew them from seeds directly into the ground) so cross fingers.

i think i'm going to try and go no-dig for my next bed. Charles Dowding has a great video here that talks a lot about it. Will try that approach next as it seems less labor intensive lol.

check your okra every day! It will have small veggies one day an they will be triple the size and woody the next. I found it grows really easily and I planted 9 plants from seed one year and my wife and I were giving it away in bags so we didn't have to eat it every 2 days.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Most of the bagged topsoil or garden soil sold is very poor, mostly mulch and junk. Find a nursery or garden center that sells bulk topsoil and compost. Go look at the topsoil and make sure it is sifted with no rocks and clumps of clay. Get a 50/50 mix of those and till it in.

I'm thinking that gypysum mulch will get broken down over time into finer soil, correct? So hopefully not a total waste?

It will break down in time so no, not a waste. Just not doing you much good in the short term.

It helps to create your own compost of organic materials from your own garden, leaves (the Town of Christiansburg usually have a give away for free), grasses, and leaves. Absolutely NO MEAT allowed in compost.

I have a total of 18 beds in an enclosed garden space to keep the damn deer out. When I have a chance, I'll add more pictures of my front house where I had a electrified fence erected to keep the damn deer from eating roses and hostas.

Excellent stuff. Looks like you're doing No-dig? How's that working out for you? Have you tried dig vs no-dig and have an opinion?

I have always used boxes and those pictures were taken almost a month ago. They are producing like crazy. Can't complain.

I have a friend that uses boxes and straight into the dirt and plowed method. It seem both gives roughly equal yield. The key, to me, is watering and good drainage.

My VT Horticulture brother calls Hostas, "Deer candy"

He's not wrong.

I have neverending hostas in my yard. The deer only seem to want to eat the new leaves in the early spring, once the hostas are established the deer leave them alone.

Pro-tip that didn't make in the tips above:

Use crushed eggshells to blacken the soil. I promise you it work wonder. Also do not toss out used coffee ground. Add them to blueberries as they love those. Research other plants that will benefit from used coffee ground.

These are good. Spent eggshells from non-hard-boiled eggs contain beneficial nutrients that kick start decomposition. I've even heard of people burying entire eggs and crushing them to improve soil quality. If you happen to have an animal carcass of some sort, you could also bury that in the garden but not the compost heap.

Coffee grounds are ideal for compost but they tend to make the compost/soil acidic. This is why blueberries love it, they thrive in acidic soil. Many plants don't, so I'll second doing research on plants that enjoy acidic soil.

plants that enjoy acidic soil.

Azalea, hydrangea, foxglove. I haven't seen anything describing hostas as liking acid, but they seem to do just fine.

My wife started growing things, which is nice...I love the fresh veggies.

But now she's bringing home plants almost every other day. She needs help. I need help.

Help me.

Bought a house a few months ago built new and my wifes now unemployed so all she does is buy plants for the house which wouldnt be a bad thing except every day I come home to a new pile of stuff. Right now were in an aqua garden phase and luckily I caught her in the act before she managed to dig up the water lines going into the house from the well. I feel your pain.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Need some help on bell peppers. Have them in full sun but if we water once a day the leaves curl and it looks like its going to die but if we lessen the water they do better? Doesnt make a lot of sense but wondering if anyone else knows better?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Over watering is a thing. Peppers and tomatoes in particular. Try every other day.

(Frequency dependent on your soil and sun conditions).

Hoping thats it the bed is in full sun most of the day and has tomatoes in it as well which seem to be doing just fine so far so I was surprised the peppers werent looking near as happy. I put a little nutrient spread in there as well as some compost to help freshen the dirt up as underneath its nothing but red clay.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I usually put my peppers on the outside of the garden so they don't get too much water from the sprinkler (I mount it on a step ladder and run it for 30 mins in morning and evening.).

Peppers are about as easy of plant as you can get. I can't remember ever having a pepper issue. Just keep doing what you are doing and reduce the water a bit and see how it responds. If the tomatoes are doing well, then it's a bit curious.

Do you have a water softener? If so, that could be the source of some of your issue. Get your water from upstream of the softener.

No water softener as the water from the well is good just has a little sulphur smell to it is all. So unless they dont like sulphur then I'm stumped.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Leaves curling might also be an indication of temperature changes not being in the plants favor. Usually relatively colder temps cause leaves to curl too. Where are you keeping them and how cold does it get down there?

Any recommendations for a first time gardener looking to do something small on an apartment balcony?

Twitter me

Get a good planter box or build one yourself. Drainage is the key.

A keep a variety of herbs in small pots on my patio so I have quick access to them from the kitchen. Most vegetable plants will likely be too big. Basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, and even terragon will all grow well on a patio without needing a ton of space. Some people will claim that basil and rosemary will help keep mosquitoes away, but others have said you really have to rub the herbs on your hands to have it work. Word of caution, mint is also essentially a weed and will grow well enough to take over whatever you put it in.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Good suggestion, man. I am growing basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and oregano. Oregano is no joke, that stuff is robust as all get out.

Rosemary is excellent to flavor fish, pot roast, and steak and discarded upon completion of cooking. Cilantro, delicious on Mexican dish and homemade burritos. Parsley can go into anything but really shines as addition to spaghetti sauce. Ditto for Oregano. Basil is excellent for making homemade pesto sauce - chopped up with olive oil, sea salt, and a bit of garlic for extra kick. Love it on my pasta.

Make a chimichurri sauce when the oregano starts to get out of control. Just like the pesto, but with mostly oregano and a little of whatever other herbs you have, and add a little red wine vinegar. It also freezes well if you have as much oregano coming in as I do. Amazing on steak, steak tacos, and just about anything else beef.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I have to try that, it sounds divine.

Urban gardener here. Something decimated my starter plants early in the season, and tried CD's to keep them away. Little luck. Luckily, most of the plants survived the onslaught and i was able to propagate the surviving basil plant recently.

We ruled out rats and cats, so all we can think of is bird got at them. No idea.

I would take a look at the plants. If there's chewing, that's a telltale signs bugs are eating the leaves: Japanese bettle, aphids, caterpillars, whatnots.

Also if you planted them too early, chances are the frost got to them and bit them hard. We lost some early starters because we planted too soon. Consult the planting zone chart for best time to start and what to plant. Always plant what's in season.

....yep, and on latter point, this was a big year for the snap freeze/cold. From veggies to trees, I've seen all kinds of plants that were a bit early from the warm March/beginning of April but the cool late April/early May certainly took some buds out.

Yep. Crazy weather this year.

there were broken stems, leaves scattered. It was definitely not bugs. We did plant early, but it wasn't frost.

I'm still baffled. You guys are naming all the usual suspects, they just weren't it. I only suggested birds b/c we couldn't think wtf else it could be.

Do you have deer in your area?

Nope. I live in Baltimore city. I also have a fully enclosed back patio.

I agree that something got to your early starters so I'm out of idea what it could be

Even more baffling, it only attacked the tomato plants, basil, and parsley. Seemed to poke at the cilantro but didn't do much to it, and left the rosemary, lemongrass, oregano, and mint completely alone.

birds don't usually go after plants until they are dropping seeds. rabbits will mow down some starters for sure, but typically mice,squirrels, and racoons will only steal your veggies/fruits once they start to form. Bugs and pests will eat leaves and you can get some sevin dust spray for early on, but I quit using it when the food starts to form and don't use any sprays on the herbs. There are also granules and powders that are supposed to simulate the urine of predators and can keep away small critters.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

We are growing sunflowers, bell peppers (red, yellow, green), some kind of hot pepper, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, garlic, pumpkins, collard greens, broccoli, potatoes....and a few other things I'm probably forgetting. Honestly, this is WAY easier than I'd ever imagined...can't believe we didn't start doing this before.

The only issue we've had here so far is my 3 year prematurely picking tomatoes. Veggies and flowers seem to grow here in Washington with no problem.

I have been watching this YouTube channel for a few weeks now, it's called Self Sufficient Me and it's a burly Austrailian guy talking container gardening and he's a gem:

https://www.youtube.com/user/markyv69

You guys are making me want to give gardening a go lol

do it you wont

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Maybe I will!

I am a Covid-19 gardener now, as in, not really, but quit golfing with the gang six days a week and landscaping and lawn care are a daily thing now regrettably. But do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

Awesome comment, especially the last part. 😉

They won't come steal your tomatoes, but they might poison your landscaping.

Wife and daughter do all of the gardening, but I can tel you what they grow - mostly strawberries in the plot out front of the house and mostly portulaca flowers in pots on the front porch. Strawberries seem to be the favorite food of various bugs and slugs. They had produced a fair amount of fruit, but I think we maybe get to eat about one-quarter of them as most are chewed up. Have to bring them in while light pink and let them ripen inside.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

One garden hack I saw but haven't tried is to use briers. Cut them to size and lay them around the perimeter of the strawberry patch.

Another option is to purchase Neem oil as it's supposed to be all natural ingredients. Follow manufacturing direction and apply.

Thanks, will let them know. Something my wife saw said to use hair trimmings and that is supposed to keep slugs away. No idea where that came from or why it would work, but she saw it. Slugs seem to be the main issue.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

Didn't they use hair in The Rookie or some movie to stop the deer from eating the grass?

Dang, I do vaguely remember something like that too now. Now I'm going to have to check just out of curiosity.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

Anyone here ever dabbled in aqua or hydroponic gardening? I've always wanted to do aquaponics to grow fish namely trout as well as garden at the same time but have never been able to find the time to build the setup. Finally have the space but just need to get the stuff together and see what we can make work using IBC tote tanks for the fish and the tops of the tanks for grow beds.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I tried the aerogardens a while back and they worked VERY well with a self contained unit. I bought mine on craigslist b/c I'm cheap and I make my own pods now with my own seeds. Great for winter gardening.

There is a new podcast that hits the demographic of this thread.

Hand in the Dirt is a podcast where gardening meets college football. It's hosted by Michael Felder (@inthebleachers), who breaks down film for Stadium and is an avid gardener. He is joined by Stephen Hartzell & Michael Surber. Each week, they talk about their latest gardening ventures as well as college football (though the latter is light on topics lately). They also have guests from the world of college football, including Banner Society's Holly Anderson, The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach, Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer, etc.

Anyway, it's enjoyable to listen to because it is accessible for gardeners at all levels and has college football fans from all fan-bases, but it is more community centric...unless they are roasting Hartzell for his lack of knowledge or strange gardening attire.

This is episode 1 with Holly Anderson:

In other news, my San Marzano tomoates and pickling cucumbers have started to come in!

Looking good, man!

Thanks! I am really looking forward to the tomatoes and making pickles and kimchi with the cucumber.

In other news...some jerk critter at the all of the lower leaves of our bell pepper plant.

Guys, just moved into a place with some garden space. What vegetables would you recommend planting?

kinda depends on where you're located?

As AXD1985 said, it depends on your location, so consult the zoning, and then from there, research what to plant in season.

First, I would figure out which vegetables you want to eat. If your planting goes well, what veggies do you want to eat A LOT of.

After that, figure out which grow well in your area (see other posts in this thread).
The farmer's almanac also has a growing guide based on your zip code: https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar

How much time do you want spend taking care of it? Are you planning on conditioning the soil, keeping deer out, using pesticides, etc? Or just plant and pick. If the latter, squash are pretty easy. Cherry tomatoes and hot or cherry peppers are lower maintenance than the larger fruited ones, and come in for a longer period of time. Cabbages are also low maintenance and easy, as are kale, chard and collards. Also look at how much sun you get and when. Some vegetable do better with full sun, while others can't take the heat. I you want to plant heat sensitive ones in full sun you may want to screen them with a row of taller vegetables on the southwest side.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I'm in Winchester, VA and looking to grow some low maintenance vegetables. Have a decent area to plant them, maybe 10 by 10 plus a bunch of large pots. I'd like to be able to make my own salads and then also some stuff to go with burgers, etc.

When planting lettuce, plant it over several weeks. That way it will come in over a period of time and not all at once.

Also late in the year for lettuce. It does not grow well in the summer - too hot. You can likely grow some in indirect light only, but direct sun on hot day will burn it pretty quickly. You can put it in as a fall crop - check the forecast and seed very late August or early September, depending on if the 10 day forecast calls for a heat wave. I can grow it in the summer under the deck in a window box where it is shaded except for about an hour in the morning.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

NOT RHUBARB

I can't get rid of it. It pops up everywhere. I have f***ing rhubarb growing in cracks in the driveway

Anyone have any luck with Okra??

I planted some in a friends garden one year (they over-plowed), but they did not take care of them and they died. I stuck a few of the seeds I had left in a container the next year and got some scraggly plants. I don't think they take well to containers. Apparently I did not pick one of the few small ones that came in, because the next year I got another plant in the container, that did a little better being the only one in the pot, but only got 4-6 pods. This year I have them in the ground next to some tomatoes. No were near having fruit yet, but have 6 plants. Every seed came up, so they seem to seed well. The bugs to not seem to want to eat them. I think they would prefer more light than I have, but they seem quite resilient and fairly easy to grow if they have enough soil to support them.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

The last 2 years in GA I've grown them with success. My garden is around 20x40 and I just use a tiller with horse manure compost from our pastures. Mainly in sun but some shade from a tree in the afternoon and seem to handle the heat alright. I start them inside from seeds then transfer outside once they have a good root system. I planted late this year because of work and Covid but they are close to producing. Once they do it is cajun cooking at least once a week.

I also like them stewed with the tomatoes from the garden in some african spices and a touch of vinegar, but mainly I just make hot pickled okra with the hot peppers to serve as appetizers. About the only thing I can make that uses the moruga scorpion or carolina reaper peppers, but the flavor is better with thai and tabasco peppers.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Y'know, over several years and several different threads, I've come to realize that you are an interesting cook and I wish I lived next door.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thanks!! Cooking is my favorite "creative art". I get home from work, pour a drink, put on some music, and create in the kitchen to unwind. Love to entertain, though COVID has put a damper on that. Did make watermelon, feta, mint and radish appetizer salad along with 5 different "flavors" of deviled eggs to bring to a 4th of July BBQ. I like to fish, but don't own real equipment, and am likely the type of charter client the people on here bitch about for having no clue what they are doing. Tried to get the kids into it growing up so I could go more on vacation, but they both get my wife's motion sickness. Half the fun to me is figuring out the best way to cook what you kill. If you lived nearby I'd be annoying as heck by inviting you over for food and drinks and guilting you into letting me be "that guy" on the fishing trip.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

My friend, you would be welcome in my boat anytime even if you couldn't cook a lick and were a bunch of teetotling Vols, but yeah, Kville is a ways away now that I've left SWVA.
I get the fishing thing, and I grew up with it in ways that never meant boats other than rental jon boats on lazy rivers, bank, surf and pier fishing. And not everyone will be bitten and addicted by their first exposure like I was. I'd love it to death, though, to have a chance to learn better ways to eat the fish I do catch. I let most of them go, but the ones I keep generally get fried. I know there's a better way or 10, but my culinary skills are utilitarian at best.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Deep frying, or just cooking in a hot pan with a little oil? I love deep fried, but my wife is not fan, so I don't do that more than once or twice a year. Cast iron is awesome for getting a crispy skin. If you want ideas I'd be happy to share some fairly simple techniques, but most people are happy doing what they know, and do it enough they are good at it. I just enjoy trying to do something I have not tried before to see if it works.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

No, same here. I love anything I've ever had deep fried, but doing it at home isn't something I do anymore. I have a turkey fryer and have done that, but haven't for years. Will make some fried oysters once a year around Christmas to honor an old friend's mother, of all things, in a big pot of peanut oil. But for me, it's fried or maybe more sauteed, in a cast iron skillet with olive oil, sometimes with a dollop of peanut oil added in. I limit myself also these days by not having a grill. Just never got the hang of broiling fish, either. I've definitely had some good grilled fish, though, and I know I need to replace the grill that rusted out after replacing the one that rusted out before it and the one before. This is a tough environment for burners and I'm a bit too impatient these days for charcoal.
That all said, I'd love to hear your techniques for crispy skin, if the gardeners wouldn't mind too much.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

For a fillet wash it, dry it with a paper towel, and put it skin side up (I put a little marinade on the plate to flavor the fish) salt the skin heavily, and return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Take the fish out, wipe the salt off with a paper towel - it will be wet with the water pulled out of the skin, and brush with a bit of oil. Get the oil to shimmer in the pan and put in the fillet skin side down. If it's a thin fillet just cover to let the rest of the fish steam while the skin crisps. If its medium thick, turn it down when the skin starts to crisp to let it finish. Depending on your marinade you can add it the pan at this point to thicken and form a pan sauce, but don't put an acidic sauce in a cast iron pan. If its a thick fillet, transfer to a 350 degree oven when the skin is crisp and cook until firm.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

That sounds good. I will admit that over the years, I have been skinning my filets, so the skin isn't in play for my fish. Like my insistence that my venison not go into the freezer until it is all red meat, no bones, no fat, no tendons, no fell, my fish needs to be as white and as fresh as possible for me to like it. Given also that most of the red meat on a fish is next to the skin and can be strong flavor-wise, unless you are one that likes the stronger flavored fish, skinning and trimming the filet is a must for us here. I know, our tastes are so provencial, but I've stated more than once that a good chef can produce wonderful results from fish I wouldn't do credit to because of my limited approach. Like I said, I wish I lived next door!
When I was but a lad, we lived in Morocco for a time and the only vacation we took while there was several days in Spain and Portugal. My brother and I were so finicky that my folks despaired in feeding us away from the sameness of home. Because in Spain, nobody ate supper until 10 in the pm, we got special treatment from the hotel restaurant and staff who fed us at 5:30 and they served us fish every night. Mom told them we wouldn't like it, they insisted we try it, my brother and I were in love with every bite we were served. Garlic and butter were likely the main reasons, but since then, I've always wanted to just surrender to the chef when it comes to seafood. Unfortunately, my mom and dad shared our youthful predilection for provencialism and never made an attempt to broaden our treatment of fish. We ate fish weekly, fried and out of the freezer, and I pretty much got stuck there.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have tried to replicate the fish we had in Barcelona, but have never thought it came out as good. My wife consoles me by saying it was likely the ambiance and good bread. They probably did not use butter there, but a Spanish olive oil that would cost $20 a bottle to get here. Garlic, capers and lemon. If you want to try to copy it, very lightly flour the paper towel dried fillet and let it sit for a few minutes for the flour to absorb some liquid and adhere to the fish. Put the olive oil in a cold pan with some smashed garlic and smashed capers and slowly heat the pan until the garlic is golden. Remove it, and add the fish. Squeeze some lemon juice on the top and cook until brown on the bottom - about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat. If a thick fillet finish on low heat in the oven to keep it from drying out. If really thin, just flour one side, and tip the pan and spoon the oil over the top a few times as it cooks. i often still cook with the skin on, even for skin that does not crisp, as it helps keep the meat from drying out, and then just don't eat the skin. it often helps if you score a 1" diamond pattern in the skin to keep the fish from curling when it cooks, or from falling apart if frying whole fish.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Yeah, you're probably right about the olive oil. Only been 63 years or so, and as a kid I wouldn't have noticed the difference. I always dry my fish thoroughly and if I can get a clean fileting and skinning, I don't ever wash my fish either. I think leaving the skin on fish is way more important when grilling fish in order to keep it contiguous, but man do I wish I could eat fish more often and enjoy it more different ways. Also, I think the limitations on what kind of fish I catch makes a big difference in how I cook fish. Some fish just lend themselves more readily to more "exotic" prep.
Thanks for the conversation!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have very good luck. I put the seeds in a baggie with some water. Freeze for a day or so. Thaw them and direct sow in the garden. Usually have great stands doing it this way. This year I had a germination problem with one of my varieties.

grew it in La and Tx...loves light and heat and is pretty averse to bugs. Easiest garden plant I've ever tried to grow.

we fried it, pickled it, and gave it away.

New problem. I've got little green bugs eating my Basil. Any recommendations for a concoction or commercial product?

Sounds like aphids but I do not know my insects as well as I thought.

You could try Sevin in powder form or Neem oil, a more organic product.

This website has some other options available.

I don't have a vegetable garden, but I have a few rose gardens. I also have 4 citrus trees: grapefruit, lemon, Mexican lime, and a dwarf clementine. Landscaping my small yard and tending my gardens keeps me busy.
Roses:

Grapefruit flowers:

🦃 🦃 🦃

I once had a orange Knockout rose bush. It was a showstopper. They are very hard to find here.

I have wild roses springing up everywhere.

Where do you live? Thems a lotta tropical plants.

SoCal. Where it doesn't rain 350 days of the year. With light watering, the roses and citrus do well. Birds of paradise and many succulents are also common.

None of the roses here are wild, but they do grow very well here. Many landscapes in my neighborhood have roses. The dryness protects against many of the mildews and other pests that negatively affect roses, so they're relatively easy to care for .

🦃 🦃 🦃

Great to see this thread pop up again, but since it was originally created almost a year ago, would anyone invested in the conversation here want to take the lead on a new thread?

Appreciate it. I will close this one up then.

I'm cutting back tomatoes for the first time this year, both determinate and indeterminate. Anyone had success with this; any advice?