Clippings by joeyVegies

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RE: watermelons (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: brookw on 02.19.2014 at 02:03 pm in Market Gardener Forum

Melons are a big part of our business, so I always dedicate at least an acre for them. For cantaloupes, this year's inventory includes Ambrosia*, Athena, Gold Dubloon, Halona, Goddess, Maverick, and Gold Strike.

Watermelons are Crimson Sweet, Sangria*, Jubilee, Plantation Pride, Diablo, Crispy Critter, Starbrite, Ali Baba, Shiny Boy, Lemon Krush*, Orangeglo*, New Queen, Sugar Baby, Smile, Yellow Doll*, Pony Yellow, Yellow Petite, and Baby Doll.

canary, Lambkin, green and orange honeydew, sapo miel*, dove, tweety, jill, honeycomb honeydew, and honeybrew.

I experiment every year and add at least 6 new varieties. Favorites have the *. Having the unusual varieties sets us apart from other vendors. I add more orange and yellow melons every year. While I love them, the specialty melons haven't caught on nearly as well. Still, many are great keepers that I enjoy late into the year. I am ashamed that I have yet to try the charantais, but I think I raise enough as it is.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 02.22.2014 at 12:47 am    last updated on: 02.22.2014 at 12:48 am

REagretti (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Ben39 on 07.04.2013 at 02:25 pm in Market Gardener Forum

I have no idea how to price Agretti but I would like to know the Germination period. I have planted some seeds that I bought from a nursery in New Mexico. I have bought other seeds there like Cardoon, Escarole, Rapini, and they have always been great. However my Agretti has not yet appeared I planted it about a fortnight ago. I live on the central coast of California near the ocean but I have a green house. Has anyone here grown Agretti before?

NOTES:

unusual veg, AGRETTI
clipped on: 07.06.2013 at 05:02 am    last updated on: 07.06.2013 at 05:03 am

RE: tips on growing okra (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: jayreynolds on 04.07.2005 at 09:46 am in Market Gardener Forum

I've grown Okra, Tom, and highly recommmend clemson spineless, not spineless at all, so be sure to use care and/or if necessary wear sleeves/gloves, for it'll keep you up at night for sure. The spines are really hair-like, but irritating to the skin. Here are some tips:

Okra doesn't start moving till temps get into the 80's, it actually enjoys the 90's! So I intercrop it into a double row of leaf lettuce, following the lettuce by a few weeks.

The pre-soaking is an excellent idea, even for direct sowing. I direct sow at 1seed/inch and thin to 18", but some people plant densely, even thinning to 1/6". They will end up with many straight stalks without many branches, and fruit only at the end of the growing columnar plant.

By spacing widely, the plant will develop a branching structure with ten or maybe more fruiting points per 18" of row. Math will tell you that I am getting more growing points per foot of row. My plants become stump-rooted and sprad widely, up to 3 ft wide, so leave plenty of room for this crop! This year i'm planning to tip-prune the initial growing tip at about 2 ft high, to encourage uniform branching.

Last year, I found that after strong branching and harvest began, It was good to prune off the larger leaves which formed the initial plant before it branched, which had grown 1 ft wide leaes at that point. This allowed easier access to find the fruit without brushing up on so many spines.

I suggest using light pruning shears to harvest okra, as I've found snapping or knife-cutting them increases chance of getting spined. A two handed operation with secateurs in one hand and grasping the fruit in the other. I pick the rows with plastic trays used for under-the-bed storage.
Okra is fairly fragile and shouldn't be piled too deep in a box, or treated too roughly, or else by market time it will have dark bruises along the ridges and no be as attractive cosmetically. Okra can be picked at any size, and some people prefer small okra, mainly because it will always be tender. However, well-grown okra can remain tender through the larger sizes. Don't let customers cheat you out of half your crop by talking you into picking them too small, unless they are willing to pay a premium. Since Okra harvest takes place in the heat of summer, take care to reove field heat after picking, don't just let them sweat in a box. Spread them out to cool or just pack them into quarts and let them cool off. I get $2/qt.

The final word on whether or not an okra pod remains tender is to test it by snapping off the tip of the pod. If it snaps cleanly and crisply, it has not yet become fibrous and is just as good as a smaller pod. Under stress, the maximum size will decrease, so keep them well watered, and top dress them halfway into the season. They are amazingly productive.

One last word. If any exist, target the (east)Indian community, they are massive okra('bhindi') consumers, and can usually be contacted/networked through their dominance in the motel industry.

Oh, I forgot. Last year I ended up pulling my okra out of the ground in the fall with a chain and a front-end loader, some had stumps 4" in diameter!

More than you ever wanted to know about Okra? Maybe, but you asked for it.

NOTES:

okra, vegetables
clipped on: 06.18.2013 at 03:24 am    last updated on: 06.18.2013 at 03:24 am

RE: Tomato choices for Georgia (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: Raymondo on 03.09.2005 at 08:54 pm in Heirloom Plants & Gardens Forum

Though not GA, or even USA, I too have long, hot, humid summers to contend with. Cherokee Purple and Gregori's Altai were the star performers in my garden last/this year. Riddled with fungal disease, and decimated by nematodes, they still pumped out good numbers of yummy tomatoes. Jaune Flamm�e (aka Flamme), also did very well with great taste, and it's such a pretty little tomato. All readily available from many sources.
You might find that in mid-summer, most varieties will give up temporarily. I prune mine back as the worst of the weather hits and look for fresh growth that will provide a another crop into the autumn. Seems to work well with the indeterminates.
Hope this helps.

NOTES:

tomatoes for sydney
clipped on: 05.31.2013 at 10:20 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2013 at 10:29 pm