What did you do in the garden today?

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
31,951
24,900
937
St. Louis, MO
took 4 pounds of orange tomatoes out of the garden as rain is causing splitting. I's rather NOT toss any more split ant covered tomatoes to the hens.

May have lost another hive to those darn wax moths. Weather is just brutal this year. The hive was fine 7 days ago, half full of comb and honey. Today. Most bees are gone, moth cocoons everywhere, comb a disaster and I couldn't find the queen. ARGH! I even treated that hive!
It's my second, but it was being watched and was treated for prevent moths. It's infuriating. The whole valley is battling them!

I stripped out the hive and put fresh everything inside. The bees were not happy, but I still have drones and workers. I will look for a queen again tomorrow. I will treat every couple of days. I hope maybe the ones left will make a queen and stay.
I guess you freeze the frames when moths invade. How long do you freeze for?
@WthrLady I am battling small hive beetles in my hive(s). A couple of people suggested Swiffer dry sweeping cloths so I am trying those. I am sorry that you are having so much trouble with your bee adventures this year.

In the garden, I harvested some more tomatoes, and tomatillos. I went to a friend's house to pick Dawson Plums. I had never heard of them. She said she remembers her mom and Grandma making jelly out of them. When I got there she couldn't figure out which tree they were coming from so I picked them up from the ground. It turns out that all of the ones I got were no good. 😞 But I did save some seeds. She said I could come back any time and try to figure out which tree it is and gather more. I tossed them in the coops this evening for the girls to enjoy. They look like persimmons, especially when not ripe. When they ripen they turn purple (instead of orange like a persimmon). Has lots of flat seeds like a persimmon does and the "cap" on top looks just like a persimmons too.

Oh, I butchered the turkey yesterday. Caught him trying to mate with another chicken hen. This one at least lived through the experience.

My sad news is that my mom is going to be evaluated for Hospice tomorrow. I believe she is ready. She has gotten so weak she can hardly even sit up much less do anything else. She is also in almost constant pain ( yes, she has pain meds). She has pretty much stopped eating and only rarely answers her phone anymore (and never calls anyone). I will meet with the hospice worker at 4:00 in the parking lot since this pandemic keeps me from being able to go in the facility.
Small hive beetles are an absolute pain. I have found the fully screened bottom boards with a trap tray beneath filled with cheap vegetable oil works for pretty good control.

Are those Dawson plums or Damson plums?
We had several Blue Damson plums at our farm and my grandmother had some she wasn't too fond of and she called them Blue Damn plums.
I thought the mail service was ok up until a few years ago. These last few years... I have lost and late packages 5 out of 10 times. If it gets mailed Fed Ex it now gets stuck on a boat and takes 4-6 weeks to get here, not 2 days- that is a 3 year old policy. We are not lucky enough to have home delivery. We walk, bike, scoot or drive to our dilapidated post office a proud 1/4 mile up the road where they have some nice A/C in the building where they work. It used to be a nice place to buy stamps and cool off before Covid19, now, not so much. Our boxes are not in the inclosed A/C building, just a room that gets hotter every year. Our last postmaster put in for some funding and got the parking lot fix and some of the rotted siding repaired and painted 5 years ago but that is the most I have ever seen done in my 40 years of looking at it. Of course 20 years ago it only needed help with the parking lot.
I have been raising chicks for my island community because we don't have 2 day or overnight mail and now... with this not-so-new admin, chicks (if we can get) can take 5 to 6 days. Eggs are in question too. And it is only supposed to get worse. Be nice if someone with a brain could rescue our postal service, save the jobs of those nice hard working people so they are not added onto the list of the tens of millions of other people who are now unemployed. We can spend trillions on our armed forces during peaceful times, trillions in tax breaks for the wealthy... why do we have a failed postal service?

I'd say our country is burning down the way some wanted. Yes, you are going to hear some complaints, it would be remiss as Americans if we did not. These are embarrassing times and I am old enough to remember Nixon.
Island life is a blessing and a curse.
I feel your pain. I find myself from time to time apologizing for my countrymen.
 
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Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
5,183
13,458
737
Western Ohio
Anybody have good experience with watermelons?
Not much experience, but I'm having some current success.

I planted 3 types that should do well in my area.

1. "Greely Wonder", it produced 2 melons, then got "sick" with some kind of wilt, I think, and faded away, and melons didn't get any larger than a softball.

2. "Wilson Sweet" - growing well. 2 plants, and I see 2 melons growing.
Screen Shot 2020-08-06 at 7.42.44 AM.png


3. "Cherokee Moon and Stars" also growing well. 2 plants, and I see 2 melons growing. They are large (but not southern large), and its hard to tell if they are growing anymore. I haven't checked the bottom of them for bugs, but the stems are still green and thick, so they aren't ready to pick.

Screen Shot 2020-08-06 at 7.42.33 AM.png


So, not sure if they will ripen fully yet, but It is fun to watch and hope for success.
 

WthrLady

Free Ranging
Jul 24, 2014
3,554
12,399
521
WestOak, Nebraska
I should show you some of our village post offices. Oh wait. Power of the internet. Hang on.
Many here are the size of a closet. One person can get in at once. The rest of the building, which is smaller than a 1 car garage in total is behind the counter. AC ? HA!
My only peeve with the PO is if you are charging me for 2 day post, it better get there in 2 days, not 5/6/8.
Screenshot 2020-08-06 at 8.23.54 AM.png
This is the closest village post office. It has room for three people in line (precovid) and actual little brass post office pick up boxes) All the other villages around have room for one person.

I'm always in awe at the huge post office in the city with it's 1920s stonework and art deco decor, but not with it's kindness or parking situation.
 

Flockincrazy

Songster
May 23, 2020
2,082
4,178
243
Elyria, Ohio
Not much experience, but I'm having some current success.

I planted 3 types that should do well in my area.

1. "Greely Wonder", it produced 2 melons, then got "sick" with some kind of wilt, I think, and faded away, and melons didn't get any larger than a softball.

2. "Wilson Sweet" - growing well. 2 plants, and I see 2 melons growing.
View attachment 2278553

3. "Cherokee Moon and Stars" also growing well. 2 plants, and I see 2 melons growing. They are large (but not southern large), and its hard to tell if they are growing anymore. I haven't checked the bottom of them for bugs, but the stems are still green and thick, so they aren't ready to pick.

View attachment 2278552

So, not sure if they will ripen fully yet, but It is fun to watch and hope for success.
We love watermelon my 10yo daughter planted icebox watermelon and they are doing well we turn ours a little every day when they get softball sized
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
5,183
13,458
737
Western Ohio
I should show you some of our village post offices. Oh wait. Power of the internet. Hang on.
Many here are the size of a closet. One person can get in at once. The rest of the building, which is smaller than a 1 car garage in total is behind the counter. AC ? HA!
My only peeve with the PO is if you are charging me for 2 day post, it better get there in 2 days, not 5/6/8.
View attachment 2278644 This is the closest village post office. It has room for three people in line (precovid) and actual little brass post office pick up boxes) All the other villages around have room for one person.

I'm always in awe at the huge post office in the city with it's 1920s stonework and art deco decor, but not with it's kindness or parking situation.
many tiny P.O. buildings in the area. But,the one in mycity is old/historic, just off the downtown square. Last year they re-grouted the entire building leaving the original brick. It took a few months, but they removed old grout, put in new between all the bricks. While the building didn’t originally have a/c, at some point it got a/c.


in 2017 and 2018 I mailed a normal sized box to my kid in FL. Priority Mail, expected delivery 2-3 days. It took 11 days to arrive each time!!! :eek::rant:he Yes, it was before Christmas, but that was insane. I additionally mailed priority packages to Seattle, LA, and DC At same time. All of those arrived in the 2-3 day time frame. FL kid is not rural. Lived on base both years, but that was not the delay! Tracking showed bizarre route in FL before it even made it to the final city. last year, sent it priority, 13 or 14 days ahead.....it made it there before Christmas, but after everyone else I mailed got their packages. Another time, I mailed a package toFL Kid, but there was no rush....so I mailed it regular type mail. It took OVER 2 weeks to get there!!! This was in October, no holidays, and kid no longer lived on base, but in a regular apartment. Tracking showed it parked in one random FL location for over a week!Not sure why so much difficulty in FL, but it’s strangely inefficient there (In my experience).
 

karenerwin

Free Ranging
Jun 11, 2013
3,973
10,365
677
Cedar Hill, Missouri
Small hive beetles are an absolute pain. I have found the fully screened bottom boards with a trap tray beneath filled with cheap vegetable oil works for pretty good control.

Are those Dawson plums or Damson plums?
We had several Blue Damson plums at our farm and my grandmother had some she wasn't too fond of and she called them Blue Damn plums.
She pronounced them Damson but said they were spelled Dawson.
When I tried to look up Dawson plums the only thing that came up was Damson Plums. The pictures look correct for them. So I am guessing that they are Damson Plums.
The chickens sure liked them, beetles, worms, seeds and all!
I did save 10 seeds to see if I could get any to grow.
My friend said she remembers from her childhood that the tree had real gnarled bark and the tree was kind of twisted, but we couldn’t identify which tree they were coming from out of the dozen or so tree in that small grove area.
 

Secondof9

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
80
296
126
SE of Seattle WA
Today in the Garden I was planting the rooted cut end of onions (while I was veg prepping and cutting meat) I stuck my hand in the soil to make holes to plant Onions, no problem I will just wash my hands after touching my nice clean organic soil then I found something that seemed kinda rotty (wordsmith alert). I pulled it out trying to figure out what it was and how it got there because I went through this soil (100% chicken compost) before adding it to my raised bed. Then I got a good whiff of it. Cat Poop... I love cats but I hate their poop! it was all over my left hand... and I was in the middle of making a meal. I had to do more than just wash my hands I had to scrub and sanitize them! I used soap first, then my hand still stunk... then I used Degreaser, scrubbed it with a green scrubby and washed that off (10 minutes gone buy and I am in the middle of a cook)... the smell was still there, then I soaked my hand in bleach (both of them but just the left hand had the odor issue) ... I scrubbed the hands after the soak and rinsed... Rinsing took a long time and the odor was gone

The big question I have... is there a substance that cats will smell and not poop in my raised bed? I am using other methods like providing (another) outdoor litter box.

Fences do not stop cats unless you invest heavily in them, and fences keep gardeners out of the garden even if they say it wouldn't. Weeds and pests loves fences as a gardener will not be in there as often to stop either.
There are 2 cats who visit my gardens and leave little bombs! I especially hate it in my vegetables. Who wants to eat that!!?? I've used cayenne powder with some success. They hate the smell and don't dig in it. Of course, I have to reapply periodically and certainly after a rain.
 

karenerwin

Free Ranging
Jun 11, 2013
3,973
10,365
677
Cedar Hill, Missouri
Currently re-checking my bee hives. The split hive (only 1brood box) only had 1 big beetle. I killed it. All of the capped brood from a week or less ago has hatched. They were from the Queen that they raised! I saw a lot of bees with pollen on their legs(relative to what I’ve seen in the past). I had put 1 Swiffer dry sheet on top of the frames a few days ago.
Hope to as good of results in the original hive. 🤞
 

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