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Hi, Joe! Thanks for helping to bring about positive change in my hometown of Baltimore! I moved from B'more to NC in 2000, but B'more will always be home for me. I grew up in a row home in the northwest part of the city and I remember that we always had a garden in our back yard. Not just us, but most of our neighbors had gardens as well. One year, my parents didn't feel like putting in a garden, so I did it all by myself. Then I went around the neighborhood knocking on doors selling my tomatoes, lettuce and radishes for a profit! I've always been resourceful! The other thing I remember is that the soil in the city is incredibly fertile. It is truly black gold. Access to quality markets has always been an issue, but it is good to see that gardening is catching on with city residents once again. -Vera B.
Ah, the lazy days of summer are here! I had to chuckle that you'd rather give away the pole beans than to string them. I applaud you for putting in the work to get a jump on clearing out the spent plants. I still have to get around to doing that. I only have tomatoes and okra still producing. -Vera B.
Joe, please post videos and pictures of your Fall garden as well. I've really enjoyed seeing what you're doing, seeing the progress and picking up tips and techniques. We won't hold you to the $25 for the Fall. :-)
Joe, everything in the picture is so pretty! Raleigh is having their annual Tomatopalooza this weekend. Everyone who attends is encouraged to bring a few heirloom tomatoes that they've grown. The tomatoes are cut up and everyone samples the tomatoes. I've never attended this event before, but I was hoping to attend this year. The only problem is: I doubt that I'll have any ripe heirlooms by this weekend. All of my tomatoes are still green. :-(
Jeph, thanks for the economical suggestion. I put up some plastic poles with the fishing line about 3 days ago. So far, Bambi has not crossed it. I'm crossing my fingers, eyes and toes that this barrier holds for a while. :-)
Hello! Congrats!! I'm envying those lemon cucumbers!! That is one of the things I was sooooo looking forward to this year (and that Bambi demolished). I put up poles with the fishing wire recently to help salvage what is left of my garden (thanks for the suggestion from one of your readers). I picked about 9 yellow squash yesterday. I plan to make some Low-Country stewed squash over rice today. Simmer the squash down with some onions and bacon and serve over rice. Yum!
Hi! Thank you for showing that squash beetle and letting us know that it is not a friendly bug - although it looks like a ladybug. Hey, did you disolve the ENTIRE bar of soap for the 1 quart of water?
I just want to cry!! Hubby and sons have been "whizzing" around the perimeter of my garden AND I've been playing the radio at night. Still, Bambi ate SIX (6) of my purple pole bean plants overnight!!! I was literally 2 - 3 days away from being able to pick them!! I am leaving in the morning for the weekend . . .will make up the little "cup traps" and post around to try to save the plants that are left. I suppose this is what happens when you build a house out in the middle of no where. :-( The good news is: I picked my 1st cucumber (for this season) this morning. It was wonderful! I just sliced it up and ate it raw . . .shared it with the kids. I hope to be able to pick more on Monday. Have a great 4th of July weekend!! Vera B.
Fantastic idea!!!! I may have to steal that idea . . . we are going away this weekend and I do NOT want to come back to a ruined garden. Thanks so much! Vera B.
Joe, I grew 2 types of cucumbers - regular long green ones, and LEMON cucumbers. I planted them in rows next to each other. So far, all I see are long green ones. I read that cucumbers can cross-pollinate. Do you think I messed up my chances of seeing any lemon cucumbers? What should I have done to keep them from crossing? The book said to plant them miles or acres apart. hahahahaha - I don't have that much land. Vera B.
Joe, BEE-YOO-TI-FUL harvest there!! Please give a bit more information on this "hand pollinating". . .I've never heard of it. Does it work for any plant? How do you do it? I'm just beginning to get some pickings from my garden, too. So far, we've had some green string beans (bush beans) and some blueberries. Looks like I'll have some purple pole beans and some cucumbers to pick in the next few days. All of my squash plants have big yellow flowers! Yayyy! I have some small green tomatoes . . .the deer just took out another one of my tomato plants. Seems they are now getting bolder and coming out in the daytime more (when my radio is off). So, yes, now I'm pushing my hubby and 2 sons outside to do their part in saving the family's garden. :-) Vera B.
Just viewed your 8th episode with the "Smoking Grass". Cool idea for mulch!! Question: How do you keep your kitty cat from digging in your garden after you've mulched? My cat is attracted to dig whenever I put down mulch. I've tried putting rocks around that I've sprayed with vinegar, but that only works for a day or two.
Joe, I just want to say that I used your suggestion to start seeds in a cardboard box top. That worked great!! I also love the idea to use toilet paper rolls. I will have to start saving them. Hey, I have not tried this, but tell me what you think of this idea: small candles in glass jars around the garden. Wouldn't Bambi have a natural fear of fire?
My hubby says that back in the day, people would have been happy that their crops attracted deer . . .that meant MEAT on the table!! :-) Unfortunately, we can't quite get our city-fied minds to turn off the gag reflex when even THINKING about eating Bambi. However, we no longer see deer as beautiful, wonderful creatures. They are now just critters to be reckoned with! Hubby and I spent most of last weekend building barriers to keep them from eating our newly planted fruit trees!! We spent about $200 on the trees, and about $200 on posts, netting and metal wire. It probably would have just been cheaper to buy fruit at the store. . .but, it will be soooo cool if we ever get to pick some fruit that we grew ourselves!!
Here is a tip for a cheap weed-blocker: newspaper. I've been putting this around in the garden and putting a few rocks and mulch on top to hold it in place. It is doing fantastically well to block the growth of grass and weeds around my plants.
I was cracking up about your deer repellent!! I live out in the country and am in a constant battle with Bambi and her clan. What I have found to work best (and does not attract FLIES) is to put a little old-fashioned transistor radio out in the garden at night. If you play something loud and annoying (gangsta rap or heavy metal), it will keep Bambi away. :-) Note: batteries can be a bit of an expense.