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Old June 12, 2017   #2851
Barb_FL
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Root aphids, wow. That's a new one for me. I will have to Google that. Pyrethrins or permethrin(synthetic pyrethrin) will most certainly help.
I cut down the last of my tomato plants yesterday. Per Barb's advice, I am not breaking things down all at once. There us time, so I am doing about 1/4 of the garden each day.
The mangoes are going gangbusters, with all the rain we had my new pomegranate has established itself and is putting out new growth shoots.
Barb- 100 heads wowee! And they were huge, and delicious. Very special. You and Larry are amazing gardeners.

Barb,you don't solarize your EBs anymore?
My Kent tree looks great too; so much new foliage over the mangos. I will have <20 Mangos; they are very big already.

Did you eat any pineapples yet?

I'm just going to solarize a few of them that had all new mix this spring season; my reasons actually thinking as I type.

1. I used MasterBlend formula since early fall; the drain part of my boxes is very salty and nasty looking. This is the biggest reason.

2. We had the house painted in February and I need to get the pool deck painted. The deck is the best place to do the solarizing.

3. I want to have much fewer plants so starting over with mix and keeping the cost reasonable (my attempt at being cheap) will ensure that fewer plants will actually happen. For me, it's $15 per Earthbox just for ProMix. If I skip the loaf, then down to $10. I did skip the loaf this spring with new mix and saw absolutely no difference; probably b/c I used liquid fertz.

If I refill with Lambert's Organic Mix (sold here at HD - About $15 for 3 Cubic Gallon loose) and I skip the loaf, can load an EB for $7.50 - If I include the loaf, then $10.

Walmart sold this for a short time in the 1.5 C Gallon bags and I filled one EB (no loaf) and used it this spring. Very happy with it.

4. I had more nematode damage when pulling plants. In recent seasons, I had no nematode damage and also had none for the plants that I pulled after the fall. Was it b/c the plants were not elevated? or b/c when I mixed the MasterBlend in the 27 G container in the backyard , I sometimes got a little dirt (sand) in while scooping the bucket. (the dirt/sand was on the bottom of the pouring bucket - not much at all but could this make a difference?). On the EB that had Nematode damage, they also had those grassy weeds growing in the cover holes. Could weeds bring in nematodes?
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Old June 13, 2017   #2852
Ricky Shaw
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The water soluble ferts and unavoidable salt build-up takes a toll on potting mix and fabric pots. The pots crust up white with patches of green slime and much of the peat is broken or pulverized.

The probability of increased poundage would be enough for me to go fresh mix and pots, the peace of mind is icing.
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Old June 13, 2017   #2853
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Barb, interesting about the salt buildup. I haven't looked to see if mine has it, but I don't see any on the outside.
Pineapples- yes, I have harvested 3 of the 6. I found that even picking them bright yellow and bent completely over, if I leave them on the counter for an additional week, until my whole kitchen smells like a pineapple and no green anywhere in the body, they are unbelievably sweet. I just picked the other 2 a couple of days ago, I want to try grilling them, allrecipes has a great simple marinade for them that I must try.
My Kent has new growth over the mangoes too. Very weird, usually it doesn't get new growth until the season is over. I only have about 200 this year, but still plenty.

As far as the EB with the nematodes, my guess is the yard guys kicked some dirt up onto the EB, which had nematodes in it, as well as weedy seeds. Mine do that, so now I resist the urge to hose it off, I dont want to rinse nematodes down into my EB. I think if I wait a few days the nematodes will die in the sun, then I can safely rinse the cover off.
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Old June 13, 2017   #2854
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The water soluble ferts and unavoidable salt build-up takes a toll on potting mix and fabric pots. The pots crust up white with patches of green slime and much of the peat is broken or pulverized.

The probability of increased poundage would be enough for me to go fresh mix and pots, the peace of mind is icing.
The grossness (is that a word?) on the Root Pouches is unbelievable. I put the hose on JET and hit the outside of the Root Pouch starting about 6" from the bottom and working down. All kinds of green algae is washed off. I thought it was just me b/c of the humidity here.

Once everything is pulled, I am going to Pressure wash the Root Pouches. Mine are beyond Gross. I always use some brand new ones for plants I think will be favorite and can't tell the difference between those and others used for many seasons. Initially, I just used the Longer Lasting more expensive brown ones but since have converted to the grey ones. I'm on 3 years with my earliest grey ones and they are still good. Will see after the pressure wash. I'm on the 5th year with the brown ones.

Marsha - If you are not noticing salt buildup on the outside, I wouldn't worry about it. It looks like the water line of a toilet in a raunchy gas station bathroom back in the day. It's definitely obvious. Ricky and I fed the plants daily so that is probably the difference.
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Old June 18, 2017   #2855
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Larry your broccoli production is insane! I often hear from fellow urban gardeners that they dont grow broccoli because it takes to much space for the selling price to make it worth it. Obviously if your getting 800 heads from 2 raised beds that isn't the case. I may have missed it but can you explain your process, spacing, ferts etc? My wife loves broccoli and nobody sells it at my market so I may try a few beds this Fall, then if all goes well a big planting for Spring harvest.
The raised beds (RBs) that I am growing most of my Broccoli in are approximately 16' by 5’. The spacing I use allows me to get 5 rows lengthwise in a RB. To do this I space the rows 5” from the side boards and space the rows 11” apart. Within the row I space the plants 8” apart. I have tried closer spacing, e.g. I have used 8” between rows allowing 6 rows per RB and although it works OK, I find that spacing so close is cumbersome. Therefore, now I stick with 11” between rows and 8” between plants in the row.
I plant the seeds in 3 ½” square x 3 ½” high plastic pots. I try to get my transplants fairly mature before placing them in the RB. I like to plant the seeds 45 to 55 days before transplant. The transplants get to the stage which is often defined as root bound. For me this gets them to maximum maturity in a 3 ½” cup but without them attempting to head. They usually have 6 or 7 true leaves. I do not attempt to break up the roots before transplanting. I don’t find that breaking up the roots speeds things up. If I am not in too much of a hurry I add a bit of fertilizer at the bottom of the hole but I am unsure of how much this actually helps. Once the transplants are established and showing some growth (normally in approximately 7 to 10 days) I side dress with some 10-10-10 conventional fertilizer. I side dress with 10-10-10 again in 14 to 20 days, then a third time when I see the first plants starting to head. I am not at all sure this schedule is optimal, it is just what I do and it seems to work. I have never sprayed for insects or fungus. I haven’t had a problem or if I did to a small extent, I just ignored it. Maybe I have just been lucky. Also I water routinely with a hose. I used to water at the base of the plant but I gave up on that and just water from overhead. It’s easier.
When one crop comes out I attempt to get the next transplants in the ground immediately, in an attempt to maximize the use of my RBs.
I admit my methods are a bit on the crude side but they seem to work for me.
Good Luck
Larry
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Old June 18, 2017   #2856
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Excellent information and thank you very much. I don't see anything crude about your methods at all. In my experience most brassicas do better with overhead irrigation, and your results prove the effectiveness of your methods. What would you say your total weight of heads is per bed in a good year?
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Old June 18, 2017   #2857
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Jeremy, I followed Larry's method this past fall as well. I spaced mine 12" apart vs his 11 but that was only because I used the weed barrier cloth that had lines 12" apart running down it. My RB are 4'*12' (2 of these), 4'*8' so a total of 4'*32'.
I only recycled my beds twice vs Larry's 5 times (I think he had 5 harvests)

I always started in deep cells and transplanted later as Larry did. I did this to save on watering. I watered from above too.

I fertilized my bed with a combination of Plant Tone and Tomato Tone.

The only thing different I did than Larry was initially as I picked a head, I replaced the plant with a seedling. Later on, I stopped doing this as it was hard b/c pulling it through the weed barrier.

Also, later on I fertilized a few times with Neptune's Harvest Blend via the hose/sprayer.

We both had lots of 2nd/3rd heads that the plants produced at the end of the season.

Larry knows his stuff. I had 100 original heads and a significant # of 2nd/3rd heads.
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Old June 18, 2017   #2858
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Jeremy, I followed Larry's method this past fall as well. I spaced mine 12" apart vs his 11 but that was only because I used the weed barrier cloth that had lines 12" apart running down it. My RB are 4'*12' (2 of these), 4'*8' so a total of 4'*32'.
I only recycled my beds twice vs Larry's 5 times (I think he had 5 harvests)

I always started in deep cells and transplanted later as Larry did. I did this to save on watering. I watered from above too.

I fertilized my bed with a combination of Plant Tone and Tomato Tone.

The only thing different I did than Larry was initially as I picked a head, I replaced the plant with a seedling. Later on, I stopped doing this as it was hard b/c pulling it through the weed barrier.

Also, later on I fertilized a few times with Neptune's Harvest Blend via the hose/sprayer.

We both had lots of 2nd/3rd heads that the plants produced at the end of the season.

Larry knows his stuff. I had 100 original heads and a significant # of 2nd/3rd heads.
That is a significant point that Barb makes about a 2nd/3rd head. I have only experienced this with Castle Dome variety but it probably works for some other varieties as well.
My experience with say Packman is after the main head is cut then the plant would produce small side shoots. However, when I cut Castle Dome, even when I cut it fairly close to the soil, it produces new heads. Sometimes one of these heads will be close to as large as the original head.
However, this normally doesn't apply to me because as soon as possible I pull all plants to immediately make room for a new set of broccoli transplants.
Larry
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Old June 18, 2017   #2859
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Excellent information and thank you very much. I don't see anything crude about your methods at all. In my experience most brassicas do better with overhead irrigation, and your results prove the effectiveness of your methods. What would you say your total weight of heads is per bed in a good year?
While I have weighed quite a few Broccoli heads this would have to be a guess. The 1st and 5th crops were grown in significantly warmer weather and head weight is significantly reduced. While head weight can as much as double in the crops grown in cooler weather. Also, when I cut the head I take quite a bit of stem. We peel and cut up the stems for eating fresh or freezing for later. My guess is the total weight from 500 heads is somewhere close to between 450 and 500 lbs.
Larry
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Old June 18, 2017   #2860
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That is a significant point that Barb makes about a 2nd/3rd head. I have only experienced this with Castle Dome variety but it probably works for some other varieties as well.
My experience with say Packman is after the main head is cut then the plant would produce small side shoots. However, when I cut Castle Dome, even when I cut it fairly close to the soil, it produces new heads. Sometimes one of these heads will be close to as large as the original head.
However, this normally doesn't apply to me because as soon as possible I pull all plants to immediately make room for a new set of broccoli transplants.
Larry
Interesting, thank you both for the great info. I will try this for winter growing here and let y'all know my results. This method is what I would call Bio-intensive, which is what I have to do to get the production I need to make it worthwhile. Constantly replacing plants, tight spacing, etc.
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Old June 18, 2017   #2861
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Interesting, thank you both for the great info. I will try this for winter growing here and let y'all know my results. This method is what I would call Bio-intensive, which is what I have to do to get the production I need to make it worthwhile. Constantly replacing plants, tight spacing, etc.
Bio-intensive, ha. I will use the name. Thanks
Larry
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Old June 19, 2017   #2862
MarlynnMarcks
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Lettuce - So a couple of days ago I planted my Super Jericho (very heat tolerant) and also sowed seeds for the Parris Island Romaine. The PI romaine is kicking the SJ butt.

Pics are some of my lettuce, beans, and tomato plant is Sky Reacher (tons of tomatoes).
How tall does Sky reacher get? Is it sweet or tart?
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Old June 21, 2017   #2863
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Kay could you share the roasted Okra recipe? Okra is prolific here in Houston as well.

Hi Floridians.. I am going to monitor this thread because Houston is pretty much like North Florida when it comes to temperature challenges. I am actually planting several varieties created by UF. I am very interested in seeing some easy low cost ideas for shade covers? I have 8x1 ft boxes lining my fence (see pic). I am thinking I will clamp a 1/2 inch pvc (6 ft tall) to front or boxes and drape shade cloth across and anchor to my fence with grommet / hooks. I already own shade cloth and assume the PVC would be very low cost investment...
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Old June 21, 2017   #2864
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Actually I think it was Marsha that had the roasted okra recipe. I made her version and really liked it. I did grow okra this year since I had a limited garden due to health issues and I don't remember her instructions. I am sure she will share when she sees your post.
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Old June 24, 2017   #2865
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Thanks kayrobbins. I hope Marsha sees and shares..
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