Gardeners of AW, unite

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Friendly Frog

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Does anyone know if one can safely top up the soil around potatoes twice in the same week? These two plants are going places!
 

danneds

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My fall-planted onions are sending up flower heads, and the internet says when this happens to pull them up immediately or they will get too strong and woody tasting. But it's far too soon; I had expected to have at least another 6 to 8 weeks before they were to harvested, and digging around the bulbs aren't even the size of golf balls.

Should I let them grow and see what happens, or is the internet right and this crop is a loss?
I don't think the bulbs will grow much once they have flowered. You could pull some of them and use the greens and little bulbs and leave some in? If the bulbs don't keep growing, they have kind of nice flowers and maybe you can harvest some seeds in addition to the fact they will seed the ground. Or maybe the bulbs will grow a little bigger?
 

SWest

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Chris P

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I don't think the bulbs will grow much once they have flowered. You could pull some of them and use the greens and little bulbs and leave some in? If the bulbs don't keep growing, they have kind of nice flowers and maybe you can harvest some seeds in addition to the fact they will seed the ground. Or maybe the bulbs will grow a little bigger?
I pulled up all but three of the flowering ones, and left all the rest. The ones I pulled will go into a soup or salads. In the past I've had better luck with seeds anyway (although that was in a different part of the country with a colder climate) so collecting and saving some will be worthwhile.
 

lorna_w

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I pulled up all but three of the flowering ones, and left all the rest. The ones I pulled will go into a soup or salads. In the past I've had better luck with seeds anyway (although that was in a different part of the country with a colder climate) so collecting and saving some will be worthwhile.
I've had better luck with onion seeds too. More patience is required, as I planted indoor in Feb along with leek seeds, and harvested onions about September, but I never had them bolt. (Leeks I left in the ground and only took out as needed unless it got below about 5F. )
 

lorna_w

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Weather next two days:95F and 97F highs and 2% humidity again means two waterings per day. No high wind, so at least I don't have to feel nervous about another wildfire coming at me. That's 8-10 degrees above normal, so not that crazy high.

BTW, if you've never lived in a desert, 95F and 2% humidity isn't nearly as awful as 95 and 90% humidity, but if it's 120F or more, "dry heat" doesn't matter any longer. It's still 120 freakin' degrees and it feels awful.
 

Brigid Barry

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BTW, if you've never lived in a desert, 95F and 2% humidity isn't nearly as awful as 95 and 90% humidity, but if it's 120F or more, "dry heat" doesn't matter any longer. It's still 120 freakin' degrees and it feels awful.
People make fun of "it's not the heat, it's the humidity", but it's true. When I was in Texas 107 was more tolerable than 85 in Maine with 80% humidity.

120 degrees is more than half-way to boiling and almost outside of the comfort zone for a lot of bacteria. It's better that it's dry, but there's no way it could be any level of comfortable.

Do the nights cool off at least?
 
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lorna_w

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@Brigid Barry thanks for asking! I'm above 4500 ft elevation, so it never gets 120 here, but I've lived in Tucson as well, and it does there. This morning when I woke, it was 49F. Right now it's 94. I know people who ran their furnace and A/C both today already. (I like 49 with open windows and a blanket, so I was fine.) Even in June, our hottest month, nights will get down to 60F. Sleeping with windows open and fresh air is really nice.

You know now, in Phoenix, nearly every year it gets so hot for a few days here and there that planes can't fly. That just stuns me, every time I think about it. You can't get them off the ground because air isn't dense enough.
 

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This morning when I woke, it was 49F. Right now it's 94.
!!!!!!!!!

We lit the fire this morning because, while it's not cold, it's cool enough that it'll be miserable without some kind of heat. And this way I can roast a pumpkin and bake some potatoes in the fire later today.

We had rain, rain, rain yesterday and last night, complete with two power outages in the night. Not sure how much rain, because it overflowed our rain gauge, so I can just say >45 mm.

Happily only one of my broccolis is listing badly to the side; the rest all look fine, and I should be able to re-stake that one safely. It's a weird, new-to-us 'red sprouting' broccoli. It's still growing upwards, not even thinking about making broccoli yet, and it's already nearly up to my waist. Who knew these things could get so big?
 

lorna_w

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It's still growing upwards, not even thinking about making broccoli yet, and it's already nearly up to my waist. Who knew these things could get so big?
I've watched English allotment gardeners on Youtube often, and most of them grow purple sprouting broccoli all winter, and it does get pretty big. Perhaps the first freeze spurred it on? I know it's a vernalizing plant, so it may react to cold in the opposite way to most plants. (total guess)
 

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I've watched English allotment gardeners on Youtube often, and most of them grow purple sprouting broccoli all winter, and it does get pretty big. Perhaps the first freeze spurred it on? I know it's a vernalizing plant, so it may react to cold in the opposite way to most plants. (total guess)
Oh, great. We'll have tree broccoli to go with the tree marigolds! (Packet of seeds we thought were for french marigolds for under tomato plants turned out to be giant marigolds that grew over a metre high and have enormous fist sized flowers. Next year we plan to grow an entire hedge of them so we don't have to look at the neighbours :D )
 

Brigid Barry

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Oh, great. We'll have tree broccoli to go with the tree marigolds! (Packet of seeds we thought were for french marigolds for under tomato plants turned out to be giant marigolds that grew over a metre high and have enormous fist sized flowers. Next year we plan to grow an entire hedge of them so we don't have to look at the neighbours :D )
I must know more about monster marigolds...
 
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I must know more about monster marigolds...
When we (too late!) checked the packet, it said they grow up to 70 cm. But we find that in our soil everything doubles what it ought to be -- our hollyhocks were, no joke, 11 feet tall.

This is the Marigold Tree I speak of.

Our potager is about 20 feet by 30 feet, so not all that large (about half paths, bench and small shed, and half beds). We, in our ignorance, planted forty of these marigolds near the tomatoes and cucumbers. You can guess what happened....

ETA: Each plant produced probably a hundred flowers. Each flower, without fail, has formed a seed head containing hundreds of porcupine quill-like seeds. I haven't collected all of them (and god help me they're self seeding and sprouting already, though it's nearly winter) but I did collect a good litre-sized container of seeds. We're not kidding about the neighbour-screening wall for next year. Plus, the honeybees, bumblebees, and monarch butterflies love them. Crazy-love them.
 
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MaryMumsy

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@Brigid Barry thanks for asking! I'm above 4500 ft elevation, so it never gets 120 here, but I've lived in Tucson as well, and it does there. This morning when I woke, it was 49F. Right now it's 94. I know people who ran their furnace and A/C both today already. (I like 49 with open windows and a blanket, so I was fine.) Even in June, our hottest month, nights will get down to 60F. Sleeping with windows open and fresh air is really nice.

You know now, in Phoenix, nearly every year it gets so hot for a few days here and there that planes can't fly. That just stuns me, every time I think about it. You can't get them off the ground because air isn't dense enough.
The only time they shut down the airport due to heat was June 26, 1990. And only then because their aircraft operation manuals only went as high as 121F. When it hit 121.6F they shut down for a while. It hasn't gotten that hot again in the intervening years (although sometimes it 'feels' like it), and they updated the manuals. So no one anticipates shutting down again.

MM
 

lorna_w

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Huh, Mary, I find three articles since then that said they did. But you may well have the right info.
 

lorna_w

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I tied up my tomatoes finally. Because of the crazy wind year we've had, the stalks are like little tree trunks. I have a crookneck squash plant that is trying to take over the universe, with four tiny squash on it. (not 100% sure they're pollinated, so I may or may not be eating squash next week.)

It's amusing me that all the mansplainers who told me I was doing gardening wrong now have to watch as my plants have grown to 1-2 feet higher than theirs. Ahhh, silent revenge served cold. It's rather fun. One did ask me what I used and I said "a small bag of granular tomato fertilizer dug in through the bed" and he said "which brand? Organic, OMRI listed? Fungi and vitamins included?" I answered truthfully, "What was cheapest."
 

Brigid Barry

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My shade garden is being taken over by volunteers brought in from the compost pile, and my hostas are looking better.

All but one of the apple trees are blooming, and one of the ones I had more or less given up on is blooming the most.

I clearly know nothing about fruit trees.

Meanwhile, I know it's not technically gardening, but my front yard - which staunchly refuses to grow anything but weeds- is making the bees very happy. I ventured outside for some sunshine and there were almost a dozen different types of bees going crazy over a plant that's either an edible related to broccoli (LeafSnap) or a roadside weed (PlantSnap).

Does anyone have a plant ID app that they like, or any suggestions on identifying plants?
 
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lorna_w

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Does anyone have a plant ID app that they like, or any suggestions on identifying plants?
I've tried a couple. Nature SN is one. i get about 90% correct using on on things I'm sure of. I got mis-ID like hops instead of the Virginia creeper it was. (I wish that was all hops! I'd have a beer-brewing empire!)
 
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Brigid Barry

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I've tried a couple. Nature SN is one. i get about 90% correct using on on things I'm sure of. I got mis-ID like hops instead of the Virginia creeper it was. (I wish that was all hops! I'd have a beer-brewing empire!)
I'm all about edible weeds, unfortunately I'm not going to start browsing the front yard assuming theapp is right. 😂
 

lorna_w

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I'm all about edible weeds, unfortunately I'm not going to start browsing the front yard assuming theapp is right. 😂
you know the rules of caution right? Rub some on your lips, wait 4 hours to make sure no swelling. Chew some and spit it out, make sure no tongue or throat swelling. Eat one leaf, wait another 8 hours. If you're okay at that point, you may have id'ed it correctly. :) If not, it's been lovely knowing you...
 

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you know the rules of caution right? Rub some on your lips, wait 4 hours to make sure no swelling. Chew some and spit it out, make sure no tongue or throat swelling. Eat one leaf, wait another 8 hours. If you're okay at that point, you may have id'ed it correctly. :) If not, it's been lovely knowing you...
You know the mother-in-law test, right?
 

Friendly Frog

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My two potato pots, my one and only food crop, is going wild. I already filled up the entire pot and the plants are already thirty cm over the rim. Dare I hope I can get enough homegrown potatoes for a meal for the three of us? Would be nice.

Most of the seed that is going to sprout, has by now, by the looks of it. The vitex, armeria and the verbena buenos aires are the only no-show. The last two were an experiment that frankly, I expected to fail so not lost much.

Buddlea cuttings are doing well. Lost a few of the oak saplings. There is still something about shade and sun that they require that is eluding me because the walnut and hazel seedlings are doing so much better, as well as the self-sown oaklings in the front garden.

There are some unusual sproutings in pots where there shouldn't. I wonder whether dad has gone wild with the gladiola bulbs and neglected to mention it.
 
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