Monthly Archives: August 2014

Late Season Bean Planting

After trying to get over the failure of my spring garden, probably due to Dow Agriscience’s poison aminopyralid, I have decided to replant some quick growers for the second half of our growing season here in Texas.  This bed is scheduled to have broccoli, cabbage and greens this fall.  However, since these crops won’t be planted for at least 6 to 8 weeks, I am going to try to get a quick crop of beans.

So far, the beans look OK.  I think that maybe most of the poison aminopyralid may have degraded in this bed.

This half of the bed is planted with yellow wax beans. I intend to pick them for fresh yellow beans and have no intention of saving seeds. This means that this crop should be done in 60 days.  There is basil planted all thru this bed – I planted it after my squash mysteriously started to dye – probably thanks to Dow’s poison aminopyralid that is now loose and ruining compost piles all over the western world.  One okra plant survived – barely holding on for the past few months, but now seems to have taken off – it is in the lower left side, circled in red. In the front right corner is a lone surviving pepper plant.  The peppers seem to be doing better – again I suspect that maybe Dow’s poison aminopyralid may be degrading.  The tomato next to the okra never recovered and really needs to be pulled.

yellow wax beans

This end of the garden – below – was initially planted with left over Seed Savers Painted Pony beans from a 2009 batch. The seeds were refrigerated, but I guess they were just too old – only 2 seeds sprouted. So, a week later I replanted the area with a few Bolita Bush bean seeds that I had left from Baker Creek, dated 2010. They sprouted and now they look like they are actually pole beans! As such, I had to put some tomato cages among them so that they have something to climb onto.  I had intended to only grow bush beans for 2 reasons: to improve the nitrogen in the bed and for something quick – bush beans mature quicker than pole beans. Well, this is a surprise an I hope that they will be done and producing by the time I have to yank them out to plant my broccoli seedlings in. I didn’t have enough seeds to cover this whole half of the bed, so I’ll just leave that bare spot unplanted for now.  I had planed to save some of these Bolita seeds – if the plants can mature quickly enough.

late summer bean crop

I still don’t have my greenhouse moved over to our new property and have had a very difficult time trying to get seeds to sprout.  These are my cabbages and broccoli seedlings.  The chinese cabbage seedlings were rained on and over half of them were lost.  I have reseeded these trays. I need several hundred chinese cabbage seedlings and at least 6 dozen cabbage transplants and at least that many broccoli seedlings.  I plan to grow the broccoli under my winter hooped garden beds and stick the cabbages all over – under the hoops and outside.  It can take the freeze.

broccoli cabbage seedlings

I have trouble knowing when to start the cabbages and broccoli because it is so hot here for so long and quickly gets cool.  It is almost too hot to get the seedlings started and then gets too cool to get them growing good in the garden.  I can’t even start the spinach until the soil cools to 75 degrees and at the same time I plant my lettuce.  I plan to direct seed the carrots, chard, beets and kale pretty soon.  The turnips are the last thing to get planted.  The winters seem to be getting colder and get here sooner.  I’m having trouble timing plantings.

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A Few Peppers From A Lousy Harvest Complements of Dow Agriscience

Thanks to Dow’s wonderful poison called aminopyralid, all of my pepper plants were deformed and stunted and most of them died.  A very few recovered enough to produce a few little peppers.  Here are some of that very few:

a lousy aminopyralid pepper harvest

(That lime isn’t part of the harvest – it’s part of the home made salsa!!)  By this time in the season, I should have 5 gallon pails full of peppers.  Ha, not this year.  Thanks Dow!  By the way, their rep never got back with me.  Gave me a song and dance like dow really cared about how their poisons are destroying innocent folks’ compost piles – they don’t care about anything but their bottom line.  Dow is now in the same file as evil Monsanto.

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Sprouting Honeysuckle

We cut down some little trees that had honeysuckle growing on them.  I decided to try to sprout the honeysuckle.  Some parts of the vines were woody and some parts were soft and green.  I sliced the vines into 6 to 8 inch sections, dipped them into rooting hormone and placed them into a deep starter tray with regular potting soil.  A bit over half of the cuttings look like they made it.  Neither of the woody pieces rooted.

And the roots:

honey suckle roots

I think that I’ll wait until next spring to plant these little plants in the wild.  Hopefully I’ll have my greenhouse moved over by then and I can leave them in it overwinter.  This is the first time that I have rooted honeysuckle and I’ll just have to see how it does.


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Garden Salsa

Isn’t this pretty – the beginnings of garden salsa.

garden salsa

The problem is that, thanks to Dow Agriscience’s total lack of stewardship and concern for home gardeners.  The peppers are mostly store bought – thanks to Dow, very, very few of my peppers survived long enough to produce a single pepper.  Also thanks to Dow, the tomatoes are not going to be garden tomatoes because Dow’s wonderful herbicide destroyed my tomatoes before they had a chance.  Add to the financial loss that Dow has caused me, I have to purchase new heirloom pepper seeds because all of my plants are defective.

I am going to have to put Dow in the same category as evil Monsanto.

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I Think My Pine Tree Seedlings Are Actually Cedar Trees – Yuck

I have been digging up little tree sprouts that I thought were pine trees.  Well, after doing some research – after watching these trees grow a bit – I have come to realize that most of the seedlings that I thought were Pine trees are probably cedar seedlings.  Big disappointment.  I like pine trees and greatly dislike cedar trees.  Looks like most of these seedlings are going into the compost.

I have circled the one pine tree – it is in front.  Although it looks faded out, it is really light green.  So, pine trees have inch long leaves while cedar trees have a bit longer than quarter inch ‘leaves’.

pine tree seedlings are actually cedar trees

Big disappointment!  I am trying to figure out how I can get a few hundred pine seeds this fall.  I am certainly NOT going to climb a tall pine tree to pick the pine cones before they open and spill their seeds all over the place.

Well, now I know what seedlings to NOT dig up and put in my tree trays.

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