Monthly Archives: June 2014

What’s With This New Pot?

I just bought some pots from Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off. This makes them cheaper than from the big box store.

I have never seen this before.  All of my other orange clay pots have been solid orange.  If my ‘Gardening Buddy’ hadn’t broke this pot, I wouldn’t have found this.
black lining of clay pot

I googled around trying to find something, but hadn’t yet found anything about this black core pots.  I bet, however, that this is a cheaper way to make these pots.  Maybe I should stick with the big box actual garden pots and not decorative stuff from a hobby store?

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Toxic Compost? Aminopyralid? Thanks Dow AgroScience

I posted a while back that I thought that our wetter than normal spring may have been responsible for my pepper leaves being deformed.  Well, after weeping over my destroyed garden – peppers, tomatoes and beans shot for the season, I have found that a herbicide may be responsible.  After thinking about it, I do believe that the tomato leaves do in fact look like previous herbicide damage to tomatoes that I have seen.

My tomato damage and pepper leaf damage does indeed look like pictures of aminopyralid damage seen all over the internet.

Here is an update on what my tomatoes now look like:

aminopyralid damage to tomatoes?
dow agroscience damage to my tomatoes?
aminopyrlid dow agroscience damage to my tomatoes?

The EPA won’t help me – they are too busy trying to shut down our coal burning power plants and cripple the American economy.

Manure and compost can kill your garden – thanks to Dow chemical company.

They peddle a herbicide called aminopyralid.

Dow Agroscience released this environmental poison in 2005, from what I can tell.  They aggressively market it to horse and cattle owners to control perennial weeds.

Dow strikes again – in 2001, Dow’s clopyralid – still sold as Confront, was found to be the contaminant in compost that killed home garden and nursery plants in Washington, Pennsylvania and New Zealand.

Aminopyralid is the active ingredient in the herbicides Milestone and Forefront and belongs to the same class of chemicals that includes clopyralid.

Dow’s behavior defies environmental corporate responsibility.  They know their product is capable of causing significant environmental harm, yet they continue to not only sell it, but to develop and sell new products that pose equal or greater risks.  The EPA lets it happen again.
My peppers:

The peppers grew perfectly fine in the pots that I sprouted and grew the seedlings in.  They seemed OK for the short while that they were in the garden.  After a rainy spell, I noticed that they suddenly had deformed, small and cupped leaves.  After a few weeks, the leaves dropped off.  At this time, it looks like new leaves may be trying to grow from the spots where the leaves dropped along the main stems.
aminopyralid killing my pepper plants?

These leaves are deformed and long.
did dow agroscience destroy my pepper crop this year?

These leaves are cupped and wrinkled.
is aminopyrlid and it's toxic compost destroy my garden?

More deformed, cupped leaves.  Some of these leaves don’t look totally deformed.
did dow agroscience kill my garden?

My beans were also deformed.  I replanted Heriloom Rattlesnake Pole Beans three times.  This image is the third planting.  I can’t get a good picture, but maybe you can see that the new growing ends of the plants just shrivel up and never grow into new leaves.  After a few leaves, the growing ends are deformed.

did dow aminopyrlid destroy my garden?

From what I have read, lettuce and carrots are also affected by this poison.  This past fall – in some of the areas where the peppers and tomatoes are deformed this spring – I grew carrots and lettuce – they seemed to be OK.  One of the links below mentions Peas as being damaged by this poison – my pea crop was a total failure this past fall. Out of a whole raised bed of peas, only a few germinated and those never grew more than about 3 inches – perhaps Dow’s poison damaged my peas. In a previous post I show the trailer of horse compost that I shoveled into my beds in about October.  It should have affected the lettuce and carrots that I then planted.

Dow chemical seems to be playing games with studying the half life of this poison so I don’t know what to expect this spring.  I shoveled that horse compost into all 7 raised beds and put the rest into my compost pile.  It seems that this poison doesn’t start to degrade until the toxic compost actually gets mixed with soil.

I don’t know what to think.  I will have to call our county extension agent and talk to him and give him this blog URL so that he can see the pictures.  Will keep you updated.

Some links for further information:

Manure Matters 
Tomato Ville forum
Aminopyralid images

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Three Types Of Cucumbers This Season

I have grown 3 types of cucumbers this spring.  The 3 shorties on the left are Little Muncher/Ferry Morse from a store rack.  The next 2 are Tasty Green hybrid from Twilley Seeds.  The 2 on the right are Heirloom Japanese Long Soyu.

3 types of cucumbers

I don’t like Marketmore type cukes – I prefer English type cukes.  Thus these 3 varieties do not have that bitter jelly like filling around the seeds like the standard Marketmore cukes do.

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Cactus Flowers

I love little cactus – I grow them from seeds and from cuttings.

This ugly old cactus is one that I use for cuttings and propagation – it has over-grown into an ugly shape.  When I get my greenhouse moved over to our new home, I plan to cut this one up and start a number of other cactus out of it.  I don’t remember it ever flowering.  I was shocked to see 3 jumbo buds slowly growing on this ugly old thing.  I was shocked – and excited.
cactus flowers

I am just totally shocked that this old, over-grown cactus put out these 3 surprisingly beautiful flowers.
cactus flowers

I don’t know what caused this thing to put out these flowers.
cactus flowers

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Second Year Gogi Berry Lookin’ Good

Last year, this Gogi berry was so small it would have gotten lost in the big out of doors.

gogi berry 2nd year

These little purple flowers are on the original branches – this is their 2nd year.  Maybe they will mature to berries.  On the left side of the pic are a number of new shoots that popped up from the soil this year.  I potted it up to a bigger pot this spring.  I will be trying to find a special place for it around the garden area and might be ready to put it in the ground next spring.

The plant is less than 3 feet high – with the branches drooping over.  It is a droopy/trailing plant and I have s few bamboo poles to tie some of the droopy branches to.

Some of the leaves got pin holes earlier this year so I sprayed them with Neem oil and the problem disappeared.  What ever was eating holes is gone.  This plant over wintered in the pantry – it was a low light area, but the plant never dropped all of its leaves and went dormant.

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Squash, Zucchini and Cucumbers Are Starting To Come In

Finally, the squash and cucumbers are starting to come in.

The round zucchini is a hybrid 8 Ball. I think that the 2 zucchini on the left side are Elite Hybrid – I picked the small one a few days too early.  The pepper is a sweet banana and the 3 cucumbers are either Twilley Tasty Green hybrid or Japanese Long Heriloom –
squash, zucchini and cucumbers are starting to mature

I am picking the onions that I find.  I waited too long and some of the tops have already dried up.  If I miss some onions, they will re-sprout in the fall.  Some of these onions are from sets that I  bought at a big box store and some are from seeds that I started at the first of the year – see an earlier post – I didn’t bother making note of which are which.
onion harvest

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Green Anoles

I have so many green anole lizards in the garden and woods.  They are so cute and I love them.  This one – I think it is a female  because it doesn’t look like it has one of those pink things under it’s neck and its mouth is rounder – is on a t-post that is holding up the cattle panel for Chinese Long Red Beans.

green anole lizards

I see them all over the garden and I’m loving it.  They are so cute.  Oh, and they are great bug eaters.

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Heriloom Slo Bolt Leaf Lettuce Going To Seed

I really liked this Slo Bolt lettuce.  I am letting a couple of heads go to seed.  It would definitely be better if I could have let a dozen plants go to seed, but I just don’t have the space.  If I let this plant make it all the way to mature seed, I’ll have to be sure and try to remember not to save seed from this plant’s children.  The genetics will probably be poorer.

You can see little yellow flowers.  I am only letting one variety of lettuce go to seed, so I shouldn’t have a problem with cross pollination.  Collecting lettuce seed can be sticky – I have always had a milky stickyness from handling the seed heads.
slo bolt lettuce going to seed

I like Slo Bolt Lettuce.  It is leafy.  I also grow Cos lettuce.  Cos takes a freeze much better than cos.  You can see the basil plants all around the lettuce.  Since the peppers aren’t doing well, this will becomemy basil bed. The swiss chard in the background will be gone in a few weeks.

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Overview Time

Time for an overview.  This garden, except for the peppers, has exploded in the past 3 or so weeks.

This view is from the center row, looking up at 4 raised beds – 2 on each side.  In the far set of beds, you can see the summer squash over flowing into the row between the beds.  Since I don’t have very much bed space, I planned to grow squash on each side of the raised cattle panels in the middle and allow the squash to grow over the side into the middle beds.

In the front bed on the right, you can see the cucumbers and the waltham butternut squash growing on the ground around the bed.  The left bed has chard and some poor quality tomatoes.

overview of garden

This picture is from standing at the opposite end of the garden, looking at those squash plants growing into the aisle.
overview of garden

It was very humid today and the camera lens fogged up on this picture.  This picture was standing just a bit over from the last picture.  The grass is in serious need of mowing, but it has been so wet this past week.
foggy lens  garden overview

A closeup of the zucchini and squash.  These are hybrid plants from Twilley Seed.  They grow larger than heirloom plants.  Some winter squash – butternuts – are growing up on the center cattle panel.  That is a pot of basil in the front corner.
overview of garden

The squash is doing great.  The peppers are a failure due to excessive spring rain.  The beans aren’t doing the greatest.  The chard has to be harvested soon because it doesn’t like the heat.

I mulch between the raised beds with wood chips and bark.

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Dying Peppers Update

In an earlier post I described how the excessively wet spring has devastated my pepper plants.

These are a few of my sweet peppers.  Although it is sort of hard to see, notice that the leaves are turning brown and dying.  The bottom leaves are dying and falling off.  The cucumbers behind the peppers are happy.  Peppers need it hot and dry.  These peppers should be full and bushy and full of blooms by this time.  Total devastation.

peppers dying leaves turning brown

This pic shows tall pepper plants whose bottom leaves have fallen off.  It is sort of hard to see, but I outlined the leafless stems with a thin red line.
peppers leaves drop

All of the surviving plants are in such poor condition, I don’t know if I will even keep any of the seeds – maybe just use last summer’s seeds next spring.  They are in the freezer so I hope they will sprout next year.

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