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Ski
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PostTue Sep 07, 2021 5:43 pm 
oh.... on the strawberries....

get a start of those wild ones ... like the ones that grow all over the bluffs out at Kalaloch and La Push ... you only need a little piece to get them started. toss a couple into your flowerbeds. in ten years you'll have more strawberries  than you can eat. added bonus: they put out a pretty little flower in late spring. up.gif

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Sculpin
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PostWed Sep 08, 2021 7:17 am 
fourteen410 wrote:

That is slug damage for sure.

I am harvesting a great crop of everbearing, delicious strawberries this year.  Three reasons:

1.  I use black plastic bird netting over the strawberries.  Netting is great!  Nothing gets through except slugs (see below).  I weigh the edges with bricks.  The squirrels have given up, they used to eat them all before they ripened.  I have to lift the netting once a week to keep the plants from growing through it, but that is a good harvest schedule anyway.

2.  It has been an A+ year for food gardening in Western Washington this year.  The warm and dry weather in May and June pretty much eliminated the mold I often get on raspberries, strawberries, and plums.

3.  Slugs have been in steep decline for a couple years now after being very common for the 20 years I have lived in Brier.  I can only guess why that has happened, but I may have figured it out.  The decline started around the time those annoying tiny moisture ants arrived in my yard.  My wife picked up a plastic plant pot in the back yard this summer and found two juvenile slugs on the bottom being attacked and consumed alive by moisture ants.  Meanwhile, the snails are doing fine but don't bother the strawberries.  confused.gif

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Joey
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PostWed Sep 08, 2021 8:22 am 
Sculpin wrote:
The decline started around the time those annoying tiny moisture ants arrived in my yard.

Wanna trade?
A couple of our coyotes that chew up garden hose for a few of your moisture ants that chew up slugs.

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Bowregard
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PostWed Sep 08, 2021 8:59 pm 

Picked a bunch today - some of the "Currant" variety were literally the size of BBs. Hardly worth picking but they do taste good in sauces and salads.

Joey
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PostThu Sep 09, 2021 7:35 am 
Dropping off a box at the Redmond food bank enroute out of town to explore for Little Big Rock Lake.
Big Rock Lake is a name we got from a USFS person we met along the way a couple of years ago.
"Little" is my name for the next one beyond.


Cyclopath
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Bowregard
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PostMon Sep 13, 2021 8:50 am 
Just out of curiosity does anybody know what drives the color of tomatoes when they ripen?

I am amazed at how red they are this year compared with last.
I thought at first it might just be white balance in my photos but with the same camera color corrected to the same surface they really were very orange when ripe last year compared to being very red this year.
The large variety is the same so that can't be it.
We did put a good layer of bark around them for mulch so that might affect the PH.
Obviously the weather got a lot hotter at times this year.
Watering was about the same with a marginal increase for the very hot days.

I didn't find much searching at first but eventually found a reference to potassium levels and optimal ripening temperatures (in the 80s) that might explain it. The focus of the article was about tomatoes not getting red in very hot conditions but I assume the reverse case applies too.

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Anne Elk
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PostMon Sep 13, 2021 1:43 pm 
Bowregard:
It's gotta be the right combo of heat and sun.  My tomatoes that won't ripen invariably are left on the vine in late Sept/Oct - very cool nights & short days.

Joey wrote:
A couple of our coyotes that chew up garden hose

They're smart!  they know where the water is!  Bet if you leave them a pan or two of water somewhere, the hose chewing will stop.  Just a thought.  wink.gif

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PostTue Sep 14, 2021 7:07 am 
Bowregard wrote:
potassium levels

I had potassium problems, which I have since rectified.  If the potassium level is too high, the tomatoes will not turn red.  They also are full of white pith and they do not soften.  So that is probably what happened.

There are fertilizers that are intended for raised beds that are low in potassium.  I guess the way it works is that the other nutrients leach out more when you water, so it gets out of balance without any fertilizer screw-ups by the gardener.

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PostTue Sep 14, 2021 7:22 am 
I don't think I was very clear - my tomatoes ripen fine, taste great, and are very meaty inside. Both last year and this year. But the color when they are ripe was orange last year and much more red this year for the same variety. I was curious what causes that. Given a choice I like the appearance of the bright red color from this year's crop but I don't know if that is affected by something I control or not.

That photo of the tomatoes and the white dish was not color corrected or enhanced at all. They actually look that red. But I don't know why.

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