Accuweather's forecast for October
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Herbed Holiday Vinegars and Garden Gift Making Workshop
Sunday Oct 30, 11:AM - 1:00PM
It's time to harvest all those lovely garden herbs and put them to work making flavored vinegars, perfect for holiday gift giving or just keep them for your own kitchen! Come to Sunshine Gardens on Sunday, Oct 30 - from 11AM till 1PM (outside if the weather is nice, or in the trailer if not,,,) to see how to make herbed vinegars and other garden type holiday gifts and decorations. Gardener Gail Reese will bring various sample herbal vinegars that are "making", sample bottles, labels, etc. for final packaging, as well as ideas for using dehydrators and garden produce for holiday decorations. While we don't have the facilities to have a hands on preparation session, instructions will be provided for producing your own herbal vinegars, garden gifts, etc. Everyone is welcome to bring their own ideas and samples for show and tell also! The session will go for two hours, so feel free to stop by for the whole time or take a gardening break and drop by for a short look and see! Contact Gail at 512 451-0913 if any questions.
Attn: Sunshine Gardeners
Sunshine-made Compost is Available
A big pile of our Sunshine-made compost is available. It is marked ready to harvest. Please remember to put the trash in the buckets available. And you can even empty them when full! If sifting, place the organic pieces left behind in another pile, either the compost not ready yet or the big pile where we put our old plants.
If you have any questions about the compost, please please contact Janet Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Site Rule Amendments Ratified by Membership
At the 9/17 All Gardeners meeting, Sunshine membership ratified the five site rules amendments adopted by the board. The amendments fall into two categories. The first is amendments (3) addressing the minimum standards for how plots should be gardened.
- Prohibiting encroachment on adjacent plots
- Requiring maintenance of weed free buffer strip along borders shared with adjacent plots
- Requiring active gardening of plots
The second is amendments (2) addressing operations of Sunshine Community Gardens.
- Secondary gardener becoming primary gardener on plot
- Earning service hours for maintenance of pathways
Summary and copies of the five amendments.
Everybody has heard of the "Old Farmer's Almanac", but have you ever visited their website? Tons of good information.
Another good resource is TAMU horticulture.
If you have an interesting website to share, please send the link to email@example.com.
Tomato Tasting Results
Compare the taste and texture of tomatoes over the past years
Gardeners' Picture Page
If you have pictures you want to share on the Sunshine web site Sharon has created a new feature that will allow you to do this.
Navigate to the upload page to upload your pictures.
Go to the Gardener's picture page to see the pictures. Click to see a larger view of each picture.
Problems/Comments? Contact Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
The Garden That Gives Together By Zoe Erler, The Philanthropic Enterprise
Watch video of the March-in on March 5.
Courtesy Berkley Bettis
Updated Texas A & M AgriLife Vegetable Planting Schedule
Last year a new vegetable planting guide was published. Of note, tomatoes transplants can be planted the last week of February. Gardeners, watch the forecasts and plant at your own risk.
What Vegetables Grow Well Together
Many times I'm talking to fellow gardeners and am asked "Do you do companion gardening?" Well, yes and no. I subscribe to the theory that "If it tastes good cooked or served together, then it should be able to be grown together". My gardening neighbor tried to grow pole beans with onions on the outside of the beans and swore he'd never do that again because he did not get any beans. I do plant an overabundance of onions around my tomatoes and peppers, but only because there is empty space on the outside. By the time the onions are ready to be taken up (early-mid May), the tommies are just starting to go strong, so no energy is wasted growning the two together. Besides, alliums are supposed to be good bug repellants.
As I was searching for a particular webpage, I came across this article which explains in more detail the ins and outs of companion planting.
(If you come across an article you would like to share, please send the link and maybe an explanation or anecdote to email@example.com. Thanks.)
Pictures of Fall Transplanting
Video from the Plant Sale 2015 -- courtesy Berkley Bettis
Tomato Garden News
Many tomato varieties have been recommended for Central Texas gardeners. The tomato garden located by the entrance was established to evaluate various tomato varieties. Spring 2014 was the fourth year we have field tested tomato plants in the tomato garden. Each spring since 2011, eight tomato varieties have been grown or evaluated in the tomato garden. The tests are designed to determine the yield or production of each variety. Generally, tomatoes are allowed to remain on the vine until color is showing. Tomatoes from the test garden are donated to Micah 6 or Eastside Community Connection. Since 2011 over 4,500 tomatoes from the test garden have been donated.
During the first year of the test garden (2011), over 700 tomatoes were harvested from 24 plants of eight varieties. The Carmelita tomato plants yielded an average of 54 tomatoes per plant followed by La Rosa II with an average of 50 tomatoes per plant. Carmelita is a medium sized globe tomato. La Rosa II or LaRossa is a pear-shaped, paste tomato. A popular heirloom tested in 2011, Cherokee Purple, yielded an average of 14 tomatoes per plant.
In the spring of 2012, the 24 plants yielded over 1,300 tomatoes. The Viva Italia plants were extremely heavy producers averaging about 150 tomatoes per plant. Viva Italia is a pear-shaped, hybrid tomato. Arkansas Traveler yielded an average of 63 tomatoes per plant. Arkansas Traveler was developed in the 1970s and takes its name from an old heirloom that went extinct in the early 1900s. The plants yield a deep pink tomatoes weighing from 5-7 ounces.
The early high temperatures in the spring of 2013 negatively impacted the yield for the plants grown that year. Only a total of 376 tomatoes were harvested from the 24 plants. The three Bedouin plants yielded at total of 102 tomatoes, or 34 per plant, followed by Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye with 83 tomatoes, or 28 tomatoes per plant. Bedouin is a pear-shaped, dark red tomato originating in Eastern Europe. Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye is a port-colored beefsteak tomato developed at Wild Boar Farms in California.
For spring 2014, we planted five plants each of eight varieties. Plants were planted on March 22nd. Below are the varieties grown and the average number of tomatoes harvested per plants.
- Andes - average of 15 per plant
- BHN602 - average of 54 per plant
- Black Krim - average of 30 per plant
- Black from Tula - average of 32 per plant
- Cream Sausage - average of 78 per plant
- Early Girl - average of 107 per plant
- Flamme - average of 98 per plant
- Indigo Apple - average of 52 per plant
Overall, a total of 2,304 tomatoes were harvested. Black Krim and Black for Tula are heirlooms. Both yielded 30-32 tomatoes per plants. Black Krim and Black from Tula are both dark maroon beefsteak tomatoes from Russia. Flamme, or Jaune Flamme, is a French heirloom. Flamme is a small orange globe tomato. On average the Flamme plants yielded about 100 tomatoes each.
Early Girl is a medium size globe tomato, hybrid, reportedly producing earlier than other varieties. The Early Girl plants in the test garden didn't really produce "early" compared with other varieties. About 6% of the Early Girl tomatoes were harvested before June 1st compared with 22% of the Flamme tomatoes and 12% of the Black Krim tomatoes.
The Cream Sausage plants produced a large number of tomatoes during a short period of time. From June 7th through June 17th 225 tomatoes were harvested, or 57% of the total Cream Sausage tomatoes harvested. Cream Sausage is an elongated paste tomato that is cream in color. Cream Sausage tomato plants are short in height, about two feet tall.
Welcome to Sunshine Community Gardens' website
Please feel free to contribute recipes, hints, pictures, links, comments or anything else you feel that will help this website become a gardener's reference and home.
Send email to Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunshine's Compost/Recycling Operations
Do you want to recycle leaves, grass clippings, or vegetable kitchen waste? You are welcome to bring this material to Sunshine Gardens and deposit it in the appropriate clearly marked pile.
Please empty your collection containers (another opportunity, to recycle) for reuse.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept twigs, branches, or logs as we have no way to deal with them as nature cannot break them down quickly enough given our limited space.
Also, we can't accept florist waste. We try to subscribe to organic practices and avoid herbicides and fungicides and preservatives. We don't know what the flowers are treated with but if and only if, it contains none of the above then you are welcome to dump it in our compost pile.