Re: [gardeners] my veggie garden

George Shirley (
Tue, 14 Jul 1998 11:30:55

At 08:35 AM 7/14/98 -0600, you wrote:
>We dug up all but two hills of a 20-foot row of Yukon Gold spuds yesterday.
> Left the two hills because the vines weren't quite dead.  Have an
>overflowing liquor box of nice-sized taters, most of a size for baking.
>Yum!  They were planted St. Patrick's Day, and I bought seed potatoes
>locally.  Yukon golds have few eyes, so you have to plant the whole potato,
>usually.  That gets expensive when you also have to pay shipping.  Local
>garden stores have started carrying more and more seed potato varieties,
>fortunately.  I've got to work on them to get them to carry Green Mountain
>and/or Butte.  Friends swear by Butte, and say microwaved Buttes taste just
>like baked potatoes, but I get poor production out of them, and none of
>baking size.  Green Mountain are good, however.  

I'm envious, never been able to grow decent spuds. A few Red Pontiacs for
"new" potatoes but thats been it over the years. Suspect I would need to
hill up much higher than the garden is now to avoid the high water table.
Oh well, not supposed to eat many taters anyway. Once a month is about it.

>I have Kennebec and Red Pontiac taters still in the ground.  Nowhere near
>ready to pick.  Pulled some nice-sized beets yesterday, and see I have my
>favorite green beans are ready for picking: Contenders.  I pressure cook
>them with diced bacon, and nothing is better anywhere.  People who don't
>like green beans love Contenders.  They don't freeze well, but for eating
>fresh they can't be beat.  In fact I planted a second row of Contenders in
>the now-vacated tater row.  45 days to maturity.  Few seed companies carry
>this old variety anymore, but they should.  

We grew Contenders for many years and then couldn't find seed for awhile.
Notice that the catalogs that do carry them call them "heirloom" beans.
Heirlooms, seems I can remember when they were carried by all the seed
catalogs and the local seed and feed. Am I getting that old? I found that
Contenders pressure can well. I'm not fond of green beans that have been
frozen but do like them raw packed and pressure canned. I put garlic and
onion in the jar with them and add other herbs when I heat them for eating.
Soon as I run out of these bush Kentucky Wonders, which are remarkably
prolific down here, I will get some Contender seed.

>I'm growing Sugar Buns early SE corn, and it has tasseled, two ears per
>stalk.  At least it doesn't have kernels on the tassels like Precocious
>did.  Seeds were available locally, and a friend always grows this,
>followed by Incredible.  I did too.  But having read Tom Clothier's review
>of Bodacious, I regret not having planted that instead.  Maybe next year.
>Tassels on Incredible (another SE corn) are "in the boot," as Kay says.  I
>can look down into the stalk and see the tassels.  
>I didn't plant a single lettuce seed this year.  

We may as well not have planted spring lettuce this year. Spring was two
days in early April and the lettuce bolted immediately. Even with daily
topping it went bitter rapidly. Waiting on fall and winter, if we have such
things this year.

Two raised beds are still empty, but my chiles are looking guuuud.  Brent
Thompson, on Chile-Heads,
>said he grew chiles in practically straight steer manure, and they grew
>strong and vigorous.  Steer manure doesn't really have much in the way of
>nutrients, but Brent knows more about growing chiles (and propagating them)
>than anyone I know, so I added a strong mixture of steer manure and alfalfa
>meal (whose fertilizing qualities have been extolled on one list or
>another), and my chiles are looking dark green, sturdy, and generally
>excellent.  Finally got them all free from @#$%^ crabgrass that got a
>foothold when the garden was too soggy to walk in.  

We also have good chiles this year, these drought and dry years down here
are good for chiles I reckon. Little disappointed in the yield on the Thai
Hots but can't complain about the yield on the others. Lemon Drops should
be ripening in a day or two and if they're as good as Lillian Kepp says
they are they should be keepers. Had a diced Charleston, carefully seeded
and the placenta cut away, with my BLT for supper last night. Just the
right blend of heat and flavor.

>I've been paying 49 cents a pound for baking size potatoes.  Now I have a
>big batch of better baking potatoes, right out of me garden.  Hurray!!!
49 cents!!! Minimum price for bakers around here is 79 cents a pound and
they're mealy. I'm jealous, but then you do live in the Tater State.

George, home from work and waiting for the rain to come