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July 6, Maryland, Code Red & 105 F

by James Denison / July 6, 2010 6:34 AM PDT

hot, hot, hot. Calling nurseries about palm trees. It's almost time to plant them!

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(NT) Evidence of Climate Change?
by JP Bill / July 6, 2010 8:43 AM PDT
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(NT) I hope!
by James Denison / July 6, 2010 9:21 AM PDT
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Yep, it's cooler
by Steven Haninger / July 6, 2010 9:46 AM PDT

Record highs here for these few days were set mostly in the 1880s. That may have been due to excessive methane output from all the horse drawn buggies. Happy

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by Willy / July 6, 2010 11:42 PM PDT

I've yet to mount the window A/C unit. I had done that home attic insulation I possibility mentioned awhile ago. It really makes a difference, besides me being warm in winter, this summer has proven to be more tolerable in in 95+ heat. I just close the windows and allow the house to remain cool from the evening window opening and fans. Pf course it does get warmer in here eventually but it so much better now. A window fan in the evening goes a long way in cooling the house. My next project is mounting a "solar attic fan" to kick-in when things get too hot in the attic. It does this on its own power and vents the hot air and mounts easily between the 16in. roof trusses. They want $400 for one, but a typical fan is $100 but I think it pays for itself in the long run. One step at a time, so far its working. -----cooled Willy

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I turned on both units yesterday
by James Denison / July 7, 2010 12:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Projects

And left them both overnight to build up a reservoir of cooler air toward today. The central air which does fine for 95 and under, but have auxiliary window unit I turn on at times like this too. Right now it's 72.7 indoors, and over 95 outside, but that's at 10am. The indoor temp will start to climb. Yesterday it almost reached 80 indoors with both units running. Normally we keep temp set about 76 during summer months.

For your roof, can't you hang a $15 box fan at one gable opening and run extension cord through access door to a plug? Make something more permanent later. Cheaper to replace those standard box fans.

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No Menards visit
by Willy / July 7, 2010 4:41 AM PDT

Believe me when I say, I reduce any type of opening to let insects or others in. I like the idea of a solar fan because once its installed, it a forget type of thing and sealed. Anything else would be seasonal task but then it would be nice to mount one if I can't get things going otherwise. I do have vents and these work, but the years have clogged then, and touching them means, replacing the screen now attached because of aging damage. Right now, I'm tolerant of the conditions as it were, better than years past. -----Willy Happy

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Records broken
by James Denison / July 7, 2010 12:07 AM PDT

It's already 95 here at 10am today, one day after breaking heat records all over northeast and mid atlantic.

Baltimore, Md.: 105 degrees (101 degrees from 1999)
Wilmington, Del.: 103 degrees (98 degrees from 1999)
Newark, N.J.: 103 degrees (102 degrees from 1999)
Warwick, R.I.: 102 degrees (97 degrees from 1999)
Philadelphia, Pa.: 102 degrees (98 degrees from 1999)
Atlantic City, N.J.: 102 degrees (99 degrees from 1999)
NYC, Central Park : 103 degrees (101 degrees from 1999)

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(NT) You wanted it...you got it...ENJOY it?
by JP Bill / July 7, 2010 1:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Records broken
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Yes, in some ways
by James Denison / July 7, 2010 1:36 AM PDT

My garden is doing great, I'm up to 115 combination of squash and zuchinni harvest from 20 plants, the cucumbers are a bit lagging, less than 20 of those so far. Hopefully the heat will start some of those green tomatoes ripening soon. The grass isn't growing, so don't have to cut it. I also have a good excuse to not do other yard work, for awhile.

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(NT) Green tomatoes? Get out the corn meal and fry some !
by grimgraphix / July 7, 2010 5:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes, in some ways
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end of season
by James Denison / July 8, 2010 12:47 PM PDT

that's when we do that rather than wait for all the last ones to maybe ripen up indoors.

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Indeed James,our temps in North Jersey were comparable......
by Tony Holmes / July 7, 2010 7:52 AM PDT

Everyone in our shop was especially nice to the owner when he walked through today and yesterday...:=)

When you consider our shop has 4 450amp Trane AC units on the roof and it was a comfy 76deg inside,saying hi and thanks isn't asking too much!!Each one of the damn things is the size of a Sienna and probably weigh as much.

Just for giggles I went outside with my point/shoot laser thermometer.Blacktop read at 140 in direct sunlight,a black new car was nearly 150deg while a white one was almost 20deg cooler!!

Like they say,when you get lemons>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrhf_zgtmAg

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I was having flashbacks

To years lived in Florida and Texas. I got out in it twice today, gave up both times and came back in. Took completely cold shower finally and called it a day. It was 8am and already 87, rose to 92 by 9am. Tried it again at 100 near 10am for about 40 more minutes to stretch some new drip hose that was kinked to let relax in hot sun to get kinks out. Just too hot. Glad I'm using drip hose in gardens this year, it's really helped them to weather the heat.

Some recent pics of early garden. I still have to put in the summer to fall garden, which I was planning on doing this week.







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I gave up on zukes
by Steven Haninger / July 7, 2010 8:37 PM PDT

I don't care much for them but my wife does. I prefer cukes as they take less space and have their own flavor. In the last few years, I've not been able to grow either. They come up strong and bloom well but powdery mildew takes over and fruit stops maturing. I've read how to control this but no success yet. I've also read that powdery mildew doesn't hurt that much but that's not been true. Once it starts, the plants are doomed. Yours appear to be healthy. Any secret? I suspect my soil is just infected by spores so maybe a few zuke free years might help. I plant snow peas in March around the garden perimeter and fill in with several varieties of peppers and tomatoes in May. My wife put a few carrots in this year so we'll see how that goes. Right now I'm fighting off the bunnies and hoping for a decent harvest. Grocery store produce might be attractive but the taste is never as good as home grown.

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zukes are half cucumber
by James Denison / July 7, 2010 10:22 PM PDT
In reply to: I gave up on zukes

They are a cross between cukes and some sort of squash that happened a century or more ago. Very popular now. A funny thing the other day, I knew I'd brought in 4 cukes, but after chopping squash and zuchinni and bagging to freeze, I only saw 3 cukes left in the sink where I'd placed the night before. Perplexed I went through the bags to find which one I'd accidentally chopped a cuke into. I thought I'd found it, so tasted it. It wasn't the cuke, but the taste of raw zuchinni is so close to cukes I wasn't completely sure lol, so give one a try sometime. I finally suspected I'd been had and called wife and daughter at work, left message. Turns out wife had grabbed one cuke and a couple zukes and squash for a friend at work. There were so many zukes and squash to process, I'd not even counted them again.

The best way to freeze slices of squash and zukes are to cut and let dry a bit on a rack, then put in bag and freeze. I'm always in too much a hurry for that, and often too many at the time, so I flour mine instead. Slice, then shake flour over them, flip and do the same, shake off excess, drop in bag and toss in freezer quick. When I'm really in a hurry I just toss in bag, drop in some flour, do the "shake and bake" sort of action on it, then toss in freezer. It keeps them from sticking to each other so much, which makes easier when cooking later, and the way we cook ours it just thickens the juice later when we do cook'em.

I've had problems with powdery mildew too. I use copper sulfate and baking soda spray. About a teaspoon of each per gallon of water. Melt in the copper sulfate first, shake, add the baking soda, shake, then spray quickly. Makes a sort of homemade bordeaux mixture, but with soda instead of messing with the lime. There's some store bought stuff with copper in it if you check around. I wish they'd make some with zinc instead because I know it kills mildew great.

Some use wettable sulfur with those duster cans. I've not tried it, but supposedly works well. My soil is acid so I prefer not to add to that burden using sulfur. I put lime in garden each year to help counter that. It's possible your soil conditions might need some adjustment to help squash plants survive mildew better.

Putting plastic on the ground where the zukes or squash will be helps a lot in keeping the plants from getting soil born virus and mildews, usually from dirt splash up during rain. Eventually the powdery mildew gets mine too, but I try to forestall it long as possible. I spray Sevin once per week to keep those beetles that look like yellow ladybugs away because they not only eat the plants they can infect them too. Either there are not that many this year, or my weekly attentions have been successful. I like Sevin because it isn't persistent too long, breaks down so no buildup of pesticide residues, supposedly. I spray only in evening when the honey and bumble bees tend not to be there as much as they are in the mornings.

The main thing is to try and keep moisture off the leaves and keep them from sitting directly on the ground since the early leaves become prop leaves for the plant. I've seen a few who plant them in small circle gardens within grassy areas do well since I guess the grass helps keep the leaves and fruit directly off the ground and maybe stops so much soil splash from rain. I remember one person who had a giant pumpkin plant run across their yard and they just mowed around it and the plant did great, never got any powdery mildew.

I've still lost about 20 or more this year to blossom rot, but checking around I've discovered sometimes that's related to weak fruit that didn't get pollinated well, makes it susceptible. I hope some of that helps.

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by James Denison / July 7, 2010 11:57 PM PDT
In reply to: I gave up on zukes

...the bunnies haven't bothered anything I've noticed. I did find one hot pepper laying a bit away from a plant. One bite mark. At the time I laughed, imagining the squirrel who decided to take the chance he was making off with a nice "berry" from the plant. I'd love to have seen the look on his face when he bit it. Maybe it was a rabbit instead.

Chrissy spotted a mother rabbit and bunny in yard a few days ago. I've seen the grown rabbit a couple mornings. Maybe my secret is that big patch of dutch white clover near the shed since that's where they tend to be seen most often.

My problem is I can't plant sweet corn in the spring to summer. I can only grow it by planting in July. Reason are the squirrels. They are all over the place. In late fall the oak trees start with the acorns, so they have something else they prefer more at the time late corn is making, which keeps them from stripping the corn before I can get it. I've become accustomed to growing things that squirrels don't like. Sometimes they steal cherry tomatoes, but they don't do more than bite them, I suspect they don't like the citric acid in them. Probably just attracted to the pretty orange and red colors.

I've left this beef bone out in the yard near a tree they like. Reason is because I noticed one on several occassions sharpening his teeth on it. I remembered my neighbor had a squirrel that loosened parts of his chain link fence because it would sharpen it's teeth on the ties along the top rail that held the fence to the rail. It was sort of funny to me at the time hearing my neighbor grouse about it, lol. So, when I saw the squirrel I dubbed Polident, sharpening his teeth on that old dog bone, I remembered and left it there for him and any others that wanted to use it for that, rather than have them look for something else.

We quit growing gladiolas in flower garden because it seems they became the favorite of moles or voles. They'll even eat the bulb underground, leaving the stalks and leaves standing, which then turn brown. You go to pull it out and it's just chew marks at the bottom revealing what happened. After a couple years we just gave up on them. Day lilies and daffodils seem OK here.

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I may try zukes again next year
by Steven Haninger / July 8, 2010 5:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Oddly...

I could at least do a PH test on the soil sometime. It was fairly neutral a few years back so I stopped checking it. I tend to replace a good deal of the soil every. The old stuff gets used in low spots in the yard which I reseed. The bunny problem isn't usually bad but this year they discovered the snow peas and mowed down about 8 feet of row before I noticed. A low fence was put up to keep them away. Pea pickin' season is a short one anyway. There are now 3 bunnies...one mama and two babies who've been eying my wife's carrots. She's threatening to make fuzzy slippers out of them and has named them "Left" and "Right". Happy

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