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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

What! A gardening blog? They've become rare. NEW COMMENTS!

Posted Friday, June 2, 2017, at 5:05 PM
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  • Morning glory's! I had some over 10 years ago and I still can't get rid of them!

    Glad to hear about your job!

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Sat, Jun 3, 2017, at 7:14 AM
  • But they're beautiful espoontoon. That is what makes me so conflicted about ravaging through the vines. 😮😼

    By the way, the crystallization to which I referred was that I am now UNemployed. But actually, it feels pretty good right now. I may be poorer but I might live longer. 😺

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jun 3, 2017, at 10:30 AM
  • It's looking like it might be a good year for tomatoes!....Those I bought from Mr. Murphy are looking great....I bet there are at least 40 mini sunburst orange ones about to ripen and this Goliath tomato plant is looking like a tree...I'm convinced these squirrels are clairvoyant though....went to pick the 2 strawberries I had been watching and they were gone!....they will be leaving me little notes before long with their demands to get the cat back!

    This red flint corn I stuck in the ground is doing well also...and it might just be a record year for the longest period without having to water....if it rains this evening like they say I'll gain another few days!

    I have a few surprises this year as well....I think the cheese melon I threw in for fertilizer compost last year has a few sprouts in that spot and can you believe several of the pepper pods I wildly threw down from those you brought last year are coming up in various areas...I'll have to transfer them to their area soon, hopefully without shocking them too bad...

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Jun 4, 2017, at 11:44 AM
  • Get the cat back? Earl?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 4, 2017, at 11:49 AM
  • Unemployment! Let me offer you some encouragement to be creative and start your own business. I discovered already that employers are not looking for anyone they consider "old." Even young guys with a little mileage, like you and me, are not on their list. But, you are a people person. I am betting you can make a success out of working for yourself. It might mean some long hours, but if you are doing something you enjoy, you can always call it a hobby.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Sun, Jun 4, 2017, at 1:14 PM
  • Thanks for the encouragement Lazarus. I guess I am a "people person". Been in sales of one sort or another since graduating from college in '71.

    We've had a few brick and mortar businesses that always closed in the black. We closed them for health or personal reasons but not because they were losing money.

    We would open again in Bell Buckle on our property but it requires a building and unemployed, "seasoned" folk are not prime for lending money. :-)

    I've been teaching/consulting online selling for about 10 years now while the wife and I have 4 ebay, 2 etsy, and 1 Bonanza selling entities. I just need to step up the game.

    Deb lists about 500 items monthly while I only have been listing 300+-. We both need to step up the game to 1,000 or more per month.

    We source from auctions, yard sales and Craigslist but we are starting to add some repeatable items that go along with what we are selling. Just placed an order Friday for some record accessories.

    I am also developing an online course oriented toward folks like me who may have limited computer skills and don't know all the fancy acronyms, selling venues and how to benefit from social media. Not there yet, so this is not a promotion T-G. :-)

    I will still be active in the paper/printing industry. I have picked up a few "lines" to rep,so I doubt that I will be bored any time soon. I just need to translate it all to hard, cold cash.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 4, 2017, at 5:33 PM
  • Whoops, sorry Steve! I completely read that the wrong way...

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Mon, Jun 5, 2017, at 6:34 AM
  • No worries espoontoon. It was intentionally vague to avoid crying the blues 😉

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jun 5, 2017, at 7:11 AM
  • chefgrape, my tomatoes are doing well this year as well. Being in containers, next to where we get in and out of the car almost daily has helped me watch them closely for plant disease and "bad bugs" (BB).

    Have not seen any BB yet but from past experience I know that the tomato horned worm will eat quickly once there. They seem so darned hard to find (even when all the evidence is there) and then suddenly there they are, bigger than your thumb and plain as day 'cause they've eaten everything around them!

    Something I am doing religiously is pinch off yellow leaves. Once they start yellowing, they are no good to the plant anyway and since they could be harboring infectious spores, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, or at least with the branch. If nothing else, they stay looking pretty. :-)

    I had one plant, a "mortgage lifter" that went downhill. I believe I must have damaged the main stem in handling when we picked them up from a friend. I really wanted to try this one.

    I cut the top off and started to root it but in my anxiousness to get it going, I think I put it out too soon. Death spiral. Luckily, my friend had another and this one seems to be coming on strong. Thank you unspoken friend. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 8, 2017, at 10:46 AM
  • I still don't know what this squash is and in fact think it is one I did not get a harvest from last year, or at least thought I did not. HOLY MOLY! I counted well over 30 forming fruits.

    A few other observations is that although it appears to have all kinds of competition with weeds, I don't think it is bothered by any of them. Also, NO SQUASH BUGS or vine borers.

    The last observation was one I REALLY LIKE! HONEY BEES are back!!! We used to have wild nests in the woods but they disappeared. I don't use pesticides that would affect them and our neighbor farmers are all cattle folk who probably don't spray much, if at all.

    The one think that might have happened is that we had the forest logged about 5 years ago. That may have taken down some nesting trees, but our loggers did not mention anything.

    I waded into the patch and confirmed this all came from the same stem, but could not find a fruit far enough developed to be sure what it is. It is a winter squash for sure but past that.....

    While in there waist deep in foliage, something went across my sandaled foot. NOT what I wanted, nor did I ever determine what it was but it was heavy enough to push down on my toes. Hmmm, since it did not bite, I guess I won't be too concerned, but it is an eerie feeling.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 8, 2017, at 1:57 PM
  • I noticed some white flies and aphids on one particular tomato plant today. Did not have time to mix up some soap and oil tonight but will tomorrow. It may seem counterproductive to mix something that breaks down the oil but they both do different jobs.

    The soap does not stop the oil from suffocating the insect and the soap helps the oil and water as a surfactant to cling to the insects as well as dehydrates by breaking down the protective coat on the insect. I think that's how it works. Anyone else want to chime in?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jun 10, 2017, at 9:09 PM
  • Those aphids and white flies are more prevalent than I thought. I noticed some droopy leaves and few that were "different" from the others. When I lifted them to look they had a nice colony going. I've added a picture of the aphids into the main post.

    I did not have any insecticidal soap so I took a small chip from a bar of plain bar soap and placed it in the spray bottle before shaking. Wasn't much, but it made the oil water mixture lay down on the leaf.

    This mixture has to make contact with the insects, so spray with vigor BUT, test a few leaves out for 24 hours before spraying the plant. Just as with humans and pets, some plants don't do well with it.

    Another interesting observation was that the yellow tomatoes seem more susceptible and had larger aphid populations than the reds. Is a yellow tomato plant different in basic chemistry than a red?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jun 12, 2017, at 1:50 PM
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