Pond is leaking again. Its the same crack. Giving up on fixing it. Bought a pond liner and lining the vinyl tub with it.
|Onions and Sugar Cane
Filled three of the four beds with various short day onions since I bought 2 extra bunches. Lost the sugar cane over last winter so went to the syrup making day today and got more. Brought back a red and a green variety. But the red in the raised bed that doesnt have onions and the green in the row bed much closer to the house so it gets more light. There is also a stalk of red in the row bed. Neither location is ideal but just trying to get it to grow again.
Put off planting onions yesterday for hours. Instead trimmed a lot of the trees, the pineapple guavas and ripped out the three eastern most grapevines. The vines are 13 years old? Really? And just dont produce grapes. They are in the shade too much. The trellis is falling down because the anchor at one end is coming loose so there is no point in keeping them.
Not sure they are really 13 years old. There is a Welder tag but the database says that one is a Carlos. Welder is a grape similar to Carlos so maybe I just assumed later it was Carlos. No idea what the first one in the row was but it was different.
The mayhaw by the blueberries is dead. However it works as a trellis for the luffa that volunteers every year. The rosemary is over run with goldenrod and all but dead. A limb seems to have rooted but the main stem is done as of the cold last year.
Still having problems with poison ivy all over the place. Its in the Azaleas, is under the grapes, its under the pineapple guavas.
|Dragoncon and Hurricane Idalia
Idalia threatened to wreck all the plans for dragoncon. Power went out abt 4am and didnt come back on till 2am the next morning. Watch the hurricane out the window some gusts and drizzling rain but nothing bad. A few small limbs down.
Left Wed night instead of Thursday since I still didnt have power. Staid in the worst hotel ever. Roaches all over the bathroom in the middle of the night, so bad we didnt even take showers and waited till we got the hyatt room.
Went to see Jesses mom Edi for lunch in Highlands after dropping Craig off at the Hyatt so added an extra 5 hours of driving to the trip.
2 games and several panels. Got Cece to play FATE since Clayton and Leslie didnt come and had tickets already. Crowds were not bad only walked down the stairs once.
Tuesday had to rent a u-haul trailer and tow Kris car to jax. His house got wiped out and he needed the car towed to get it fixed by his nephew. That took all day so another 6 hours of driving (55 with the trailer).
Grapes have been late and fish fryer for canning not working right. Havent even checked to see how many are left after the hurricane. Got Craigs fryer so if there are any left can process them.
|Trees are alive
Grapefruit tree has new growth and orange tree has a few leaves left so it looks like everything made it through the freeze.
Went down to 17.8 the day after Christmas with another low of 18.7 on the 24th. It been below freezing every night for 5 days now. Bees seem alive, not sure about the citrus. I did put some lights under them and pine straw around the bases but they are too tall to cover and have some frost damage thats obvious already. Fruit didnt fall off but oranges are mushy. There was a quarter inch of ice on the pond Christmas eve morning and the ice in the fsh fryer was so thick I couldnt remove the basket. That day it didnt get above freezing till 2pm and only reached 37.
Went back and looked at data from my weather station going back to Jan 2012. The coldest day before this week was Jan 7 2014 at 20 degrees.
Lemons are much better this year, most are not brown and dried up inside. I think it was the extra borax I kept putting on the tree. Harvest half a create full and made 2 pitcher of lemonade. More lemons on tree.
Down to 2. They are healthy.
|More on African Violets
Managed to kill my way down to 3, and one looks weak, from a high of something like 11. Several of ones i lost had been around for a decade or so. Two are blooming so they should be good.
Have a tremendous amount of okra in the freezer breaded and ready to fry, over 3 gallons. Still picking every couple of days. Stopped picking grapes first of sept with dragoncon and havent gotten back to it because i was sick. Lost a lot in the intervening weeks, the carlos grapes didnt last long but the scuppernongs arent quite ripe even yet so there will be more to come. Got more bell peppers this year than almost every year combined, i think it was the constant rain through july and aug but thats stopped since Ian came close.
Yard hasnt been mowed since Aug. Lawn mower wouldnt start. Sears was supposed to come on Tues before the con, didnt come becuase the guy didnt have his truck, they rescheduled it for 2 tuesdays later and then canceled. So had someone pick it up, with a minimum time of 2.5 weeks. Need to call them and see what is going on. Asked one of the neighbors yard men to mow it, said he would do it by tues, didnt. Called a week later and said he would do it next day, didnt. Wading through the grass is not fun.
|killing African violets
Losing African violets. They have a white fungus and its not dying. individually bagged all of the ones left to increase humidity. Or the problem could be mealy bugs.
Doing bad job with cutting also not sure why had no problems in the past.
Updated the plant database. Started with identifying the African violets. it looks like I have 4 varieties. Only one of them is flowering and I got it in the last year. I know the one with the tag still. That leaves 2 others. Pretty sure one of the came from Nanny, I bought the other as far back as 2013. Well, bought and have made cuttings and replanted. Im not really sure which one is which however. Assuming the dark purple ones came from her since I have several plants of it. Made some new cuttings, labeled them and set up the shelf in the library w grow lights.
Lost 2 blueberries. Need to go to Leslies and dig up new ones. Old ones are finally starting to produce. Removed a peach that was growing from the root stock. Picked 2 peaches from the other tree and a few more on the way.
Blackberries are a constant problem. The original thorny one still survives but stays small. Of the half dozen plants Ive tried to add to the bed only one had made it. It makes huge berries however. There are a number of new sprouts this year, going to encourage them.
All the purchased azaleas on the front are gone. They never got any direct sunlight. Some of the ones from Rons are still there. The ones around the Oak are fine.
Harvesting onions. Thy bulbed well since I remembered to fertilize them but lost over half of them. They just arent there any more. Not sure what happened.
Pick an entire 6 lemons. Orange and grapefruit plentiful as normal. Sugarcane never got above knee high. Not even sure it will come back next year. I'd like to move it to a sunnier spot. Had bags and bags of breaded okra to fry. On one hand need more coming in at once to make breading small batches not a pain (throwing away egg and buttermilk) on the other how much okra do I want? Tomatoes produced into August. There is still a pink flower strawberry plant from 2020 left in one of the beds. Dont think it ever made a strawberry. Onions in the ground as usual, part of one row just didnt take. Apple trees trimmed and limbs spread. Need to straighten up one tree. Down to one blackberry and some small thorny mess where the old varieties were. Except the one harvest never been happy with the blackberry production. Blueberries did well this year.
Yesterday there was a 50% chance a tropical storm out in the Gulf would form. Apparently it decided it wanted to and came right for us. Power out overnight for a couple hours. Winds rattling the ladder on the side of the house and plants knocked down. Mail in the mailbox was wet too.
Still getting tomatoes. Im sure Ive never been getting full sized one in August before. Trying to pick all the okra and freeze it also. Grapes are just about ready to pick.
This is been both the best and worst tomato season. Plants are still healthy and green and producing a number of tomatoes, long after they are usually done for the year. At the same time almost none of those tomatoes are edible. Early on they were getting blossom end rot and rotting on the vine because not enough water, later splitting from too much water. I think Ive gotten maybe 4 edible tomatoes, and tossed a dozen that werent.
Pulled the apple stumps easily Sat morning. Replaced 2 trees Sunday morning. Instead of putting the third in the back put it in the middle of the front yard where there is more sunlight.
|A single good crop this year
The lemons are ripe and for a change they are juicy inside. I past years they have been all brown and shriveled. Turned out they needed boron so gave the tree some borax this year and it made a real difference. Made fresh lemonade last night.
|Saddest grape harvest
Harvested a whole 7 gallons of grapes. Typically the number is more like 50+. Wasnt even worth making the 6 whole quarts of juice I made. Stopped canning it and just put the last 3 quarts in a pitcher to drink.
The Prime Ark Freedom Blackberry I planted a few years ago really started producing this year. Ive picked two bowls so far. One went to flavor applesauce. Planted another one beside it earlier in the year and if it produces next year may remove the old thorned blackberries.