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Everything posted by JWXnc

  1. Potatoes -- good, but they work well for me one year and were awful in subsequent years. Probably the wet/cool weather we had a couple years ago. They took up too much space for me for such a small return, but I'll try them again sometime. Tomatoes -- try a variety like Big Beef, or most any variety with "Mountain" in it's name. You'll want to look for the disease resistant varieties if disease takes over your plants each year. Nobody I know has had consistent results with Better Boy or many of the main kinds they sell as plants at stores. If you want to go heirloom, try Black Krim -- usually the first in my garden to produce, and produces a lot! Beans (snap beans) -- try a bush bean like Contender or Provider, or to save space try a pole bean like Rattlesnake. Rattlesnake beans do awesome, and I usually have to pick the beans every single day to keep up with them. The vines for me usually climb up a 7ft fence, and all the way back down again. Squash -- I prefer the flavor of yellow crookneck squash. But whatever you do, plant squash/cucumbers/melons/pumpkins from SEED -- do not buy plants for them at stores. Melon seed, for me at least, always do 200% better than bought plants. It's amazing how much difference it makes. Pumpkins -- To save space, try a semi-bush variety like Gladiator, which is also somewhat resistant to powdery mildew (they still get mildew in my garden in the humid summer with afternoon thunderstorms, but by the time it hits, the pumpkins are almost ready to harvest). I plant my pumpkin seeds around the end of April for the Raleigh area, and I usually pick my pumpkins around the 2nd week of July, wash them off with a bleach water mix, and store them in a dark closet indoors. They will still keep through January. Planting early also helps the plants get a jumpstart on the squash bugs, which show up for me around the end of May or early June. By then, pumpkins have already set and are steadily growing before the insects hit hard. I also tend to plant a trap crop of yellow squash -- the bugs in my garden always go for the squash plants before hitting my pumpkins. I also plant marigolds throughout my melon plants. Whether it helps or not, who knows. Cucumbers -- Arkansas Little Leaf has very small leaves, compact vine, and doesn't need good pollination to set fruit. Try a variety that is compact/bush or intended for containers Okra -- try a cowhorn variety, and you will have okra stalks about 7-8ft tall that grow all summer. I've also noticed that with the cowhorn varieties, you can let the okra pods get larger than with the common clemson spineless, and they wont get woody as fast. Peppers -- bell peppers are hit or miss for me. Some season they do well, some seasons I only get 2-3 from each plant. Purple Hull Peas -- always do well for me, are very forgiving of growing conditions Eggplant? Watermelons? Look for a compact or semi-vine or bush variety to save space Cantaloupe? Same, look for compact/semi-vine/bush Sweet Potatoes? Long vines, morning-glory-like flowers Peanuts? Corn? I never have luck with corn because it requires a LOT of nitrogen and water. My neighbors, however, always have corn plants that are seriously 10 foot tall with ears of corn almost the size of footballs... Plant some marigolds and zinnias or other annual flowers in and around your garden to attract the butterflies and bees and other pollinators. Keep-up with fertilizing and providing enough water. And if you want to bump-it-up a notch, look into a fungicide routine if your garden usually gets hit with disease early in the season. But most fungicides only work as a preventative... if you wait until disease already starts, it's typically too late! Spring and Fall stuff (I plant most of these in August/September for the Raleigh area, which allows them to mature in cooler weather): Broccoli Cabbage Lettuce Carrots Rutabagas Turnips Collards Kale Beets Radish
  2. Thanks, calc! The ground is still white with all the ice on the grass (it looks like a heavy frost), trees are still covered, the porch is still a sheet of ice. It was a decent event here. The roads seem fine, but the landscape is beautiful with all the ice and icicles everywhere. Doesn't look like anything melted much today.
  3. Some pictures from northeastern Franklin County, NC. Still 30F outside and drizzling at 1:15PM. More ice than I imagined/expected to visually see, even on the grass.
  4. I use tapatalk. It's definitely convenient and easier than using the mobile website version of the forum when you're on the go. But I'm also using a 2 year old droid, so everything these days feels sluggish. Tapatalk is nice, though, since I keep track of 4-5 other different community forums, so having everything in one place with notifications is worth it, to me.
  5. I've seen many good things about Schreiner's: http://www.schreinersgardens.com/ Their new introductions are expensive, but that's understandable since they'd have limited supplies of new varieties.
  6. NWS Raleigh surveyed the area today: Another neat pic below of the storm in Franklin County shared by a neighbor who lives half a mile south of the damage site, she took this picture looking north where the damage in the photos occurred.
  7. I was directly under the path of that storm today. All of a sudden during the storm the wind picked up strong blowing toward the north and snapped a few tree limbs in the backyard. Power went out. Within a few seconds, the wind flipped to blowing just as strong toward the south and snapped more tree limbs. The neighborhood has some pretty bad wind damage. Many, many trees down. Several barns destroyed. Pics attached. It all happened around the same time the tornado warning was issued -- I never even got the warning on my phone until after the winds calmed down. The path of this damage lines up pretty well with the storm reports of funnel clouds/tornadoes in Aventon a few minutes later. In fact, I was a little shocked to check the NWS storm reports when my power came back around 8:30PM and saw no reports for the area where these pictures were taken.
  8. A lot of people frown upon sevin and other broad-scale insect killers because they kill 100+ types of bugs, including honeybees and other beneficial insects that help pollinate and protect the garden. Ladybugs, for example, eat aphids off your plants, and the specific type of wasp can take care of horn worms on your plants. Sevin can supposedly be carried back to the beehive and wipe out the entire colony of bees. Unless you have an overwhelming bug problem, I think most experts would suggest using targeted products that kill the specific bugs you have trouble with, and not the beneficial bees/insects. That said, there was one year my apple tree was absolutely covered with Japanese beetles, so I pulled out the sevin dust. Same for the year I had literally thousands of squash bugs in my garden. I use it as an absolute last resort, not as a weekly treatment.
  9. If the local pumpkin was a hybrid variety, the seeds may not produce the same pumpkin with the same disease resistance, strength, vigor, etc. The grocery store variety I grew was the plain Jack o Lantern. Those vines grew straight for about 10-15 feet, and the pumpkins were the size of cantaloupes, like you said. The hybrid pumpkins often have much better disease resistance and vigor. Gladiator, for example, is also a semi-vine. It is much much more bushy than the store variety, so the pumpkins grow within about 3 feet of where I planted the seed. Eventually, later in the season, the vines spread to about 10 feet, but that's well after I have already cut the pumpkins off. So some varieties are much better space savers if you have a small garden.
  10. I never had luck with the pumpkin varieties you get in packs from retail stores. So I bought a variety called Gladiator from an online store (Harris Seeds carries them, so does Southern States), and they grow great in my backyard! I also plant my pumpkin seeds this time of year, cut the fully-grown pumpkins shortly after July 4, wash them with a very mild bleach-water mix, and store them in a dark closet until September. They still last outside through about the end of January, and growing them early in the season avoids the heat and summer pests.
  11. No joke! I have already seen plenty of kudzu bugs all over the place. Many more than last year.
  12. The only pests I have a problem with year after year in my vegetable garden: the so-far unidentified critters (slugs, snails maybes?) that always eat holes in my young beans and seedlings. Diatomaceous Earth takes care of those as long as it's not rainy every single day. aphids on a few of my tomatoes. Soapy water takes care of those. stink bugs on beans and tomatoes, and squash bugs on my pumpkins. I plant marigolds among all my squash/cukes/pumpkins, and I hand-pick the bugs and drop them in soapy water. And watch them drown. And it gives me a good feeling inside. Nothing else has really bothered my garden so far. So far.
  13. Bt (Bacillus Thuringienses) usually works for most all caterpillars or worm-like pests. It's not an instant kill, but I have found it very effective on my cabbage plants and walnut tree that was overtaken by caterpillars last year. For hornworms, I usually just hand pick them if the wasps haven't killed them already.
  14. Check the critical temperatures for fruit trees: I usually protect my trees (and berries) if the overnight lows are within 3-4 degrees of the critical temps, just to be safe. My backyard tends to run colder since it's a rural area.
  15. I agree -- I remember Greg Fishel showing a computer model a few days before that wasn't just showing pink colors for intensity of freezing rain in/NW of Raleigh -- it was dark pink and almost black at times. I think the surprise was that most people didn't know what to expect in terms of damage and having never seen that much freezing rain before. It's not that they were calling for plain rain the entire event and it ended up as ice all of a sudden. Freezing rain/mix was in the forecast.
  16. I'm curious if they really still count a day as full if the busses run. I remember they used to, but it seems like there has been a ton of talk on TV this year about instructional hours and basing makeup days on the number of hours that are required by law to be instruction time. Several schools systems around here are making up days by extending the school day by 5-10+ minutes each day for the rest of the school year.
  17. Moderate snow northeast of Louisburg near Centerville.
  18. Not to mention at least 4 "first call" maps each storm... Anyway, thanks for taking time to put this together and post, griteater! It's interesting to see just how many variables can be considered for winter trends.