TN, thanks for the info and the web site, I will check them guys out. My garden, while doing well is very labor intensive this year. I noticed your garden looks pretty much weed free. I have a grass growing, I suspect it is Japanese stilt grass, an invasive here and I am constantly mowing where I can, weed eating at very slow speed (to not throw projectiles into my crops) and hand yanking close to crops.
Next year, unless I run across a better option, I plan to lay down weed block fabric or black plastic between the rows. This grass is everywhere here except where the trees provide good shade.
I'm fairly new to gardening and have never canned, neither has my wife. She took it upon herself to try to learn to can this year, mainly pickle cukes and can some beans because we are harvesting so many. We live in a rural area and she cannot find on shelves the products/ingredients that are required. She came home with two mason jars, said that's all she could find. The shelves housing dill ingredients like vinegar etc, empty. Similar to the TP dilemma this past spring lol
I noticed that stores had run out of seeds and I've been trying to buy tomato stakes but I suspect due to this virus, lots of folks are gardening and canning and that's a good thing.
Meanwhile, we're sharing our harvest with neighbors and building relationships.
Yes... canning stuff is in high demand now... i ordered from 3 sites before I actually got me a pressure canner, the first two orders went thru, but was later informed out of stock and they did not know when they would get any... and when I did get one I had to pay almost 2x the normal price for it.
Can't get any wide mouth quart jars anywhere... i did get a couple dozen pint in wide mouth.
I prefer wide to narrow... but do have a lot of narrow mouth jars upstairs... I may have to pull them out and use them (if I can find new narrow lids to can with).
There is a lady on youtube that does a good job of explaining how to can a lot of stuff... no frills, just the facts.
Search for imstillworking and you will find her. She married another gardner from youtube named mhpgardner... man that guy is a gardening nut, he is the one that I found out about Big Beef tomatoes from...
Today I picked my first watermelon... we are going to eat this baby for desert tonight...
It was 18" long, 9" wide, 25.6 lbs... the variety is Charleston Grey... I have grown many different ones, but this is my favorite.
Here is a tip for how to tell when a watermelon is ripe (on the vine)...
See that tendril... right there where the short run of vine goes to the melon... a week ago it was solid green... then slowly it started turning brown on the tip, and that brown worked it's way all the way back to the vine in about a week.
when that tendril is completely brown... your melon is ripe. If it is half green or full green, you need to wait.
I grow a bi-color named Ambrosia... love it. What kind is that that you are growing ? Peaches and Cream ? I hear that is a very popular bi-color sweet corn...or some other ?
Woodsrunner on the "weed free garden"... Yes I have weeds, just like everyone else, everywhere else...
I like to keep them down and out of my garden, especially important that you don't let them mature and go to seed. that just makes it worse year after year.
I have found two ways to deal with weeds that work well... 1... Mulch... Like in my food forest beds I mulch with hay, and it works well. Normally have to put it down twice a year, but it does a good job of keeping the weeds down, or very manageable. For example the few weeds that do come up thru it, you can easily pull out. I just pull them and put them on top the hay mulch, and they eventually become part of the compost layer beneath the hay mulch.
Option 2 is you just have to wipe them out... and the best way I have found to do this is with shallow cultivating
Check out the pic below... those are black eyed peas that I planted a week or so ago...
If you look close you can see the weeds starting up... I see some grass and some purslane and some other stuff starting up..
That tool included in the pic is my stirrup hoe... some call them other names and you can get them in different width's... 4", 7" wide, etc..
It is a great tool for shallow cultivating... you can just put it on the ground and push it forward and pull it back, and it works in both directions. If you apply little pressure, it does not go very deep, so you just cultivate the top 1" to 1/2" of the soil.
Some weed seeds can live and remain viable for 20+ years under the soil... and not sprout... until you cultivate deep enough, to bring them up near the surface.. then they sprout up.
If you cultivate very shallow, 2-3 times, each time you do that, the number of weeds that sprout up, gets less and less.. because you are not going deep enough to bring up any more weed seed.
That stirrup hoe is easy to use and makes quick work of weeding. just have to be careful (as with any hoe) not to whack what you are growing.
Below is what my black eye pea patch looked like after a few minutes with the old stirrup hoe.
Nice and clean... and again, each time you do that, fewer weeds come up.
My corn is getting close but just a few ears here and there, the tops haven't filled in completely. I don't think they will completely, like last year, but almost fill in.
Today, I saw my first seng berry turning red, it's kind of a red-brown right now. I'm still bummed about the deer eating so many of my plants. I wish I could kill them, phone a number, and have someone pick up the meat for a charity. These deer here just stare you down at times. I've got at least three #&$(*&@%^ Bambies on my property right now.
I'm curious if it's prudent to collect seng berries and plant them not in the general area of the parent plant. I'd like to plant them closer to my house where I can manage and protect them better.