Register  |   | 

The search returned 86 posts

Only find topics started by nhardy
Topics  |  Posts
Subject: Birds, squirrels and possums, oh my Replies: 22
Posted By: nhardy Views: 392
I have a possum this year. He has not found my figs yet. They are close to my pole light.
I bought shade cloth for the birds. What they can't see they won't eat.  It is super easy to put on and tack off too. I have indoor cats. So get out door dogs is out for me. Next best thing is to buy pee. Try fox pee for squirrels or coyote pee for possums. Local hardware stores have some varieties of pee or outdoor sporting goods stores too. Otherwise order online.

We have had tons of squirrels. The neighbor behind me was feeding them. So this year she must have stopped. I was able to pick my first apples. Every other year the squirrels got every apple. I got 1/2 bushel of apples. I was even proactive and built a tomato coop. They stole most of the tomatoes until I built it with thing I mostly had. Cloths line supports poles, electrical conduit pipe for the framing and nylon rope cut to length. I had to buy 2 rolls of chicken wire. But I can assemble it by myself each year. I get 99% of my tomatoes. I'd had to spray for the stink bugs to get that last 1%. So far I tired of spraying for the season.

From my $4.39 Jerry Baker book. A recipe from Jerry Baker to teach squirrels a lesson.
2 tablespoon cayenne pepper, extra fine
2 tablespoon chili powder, extra fine
2 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Murphy's oil soap
1 quart of water
Use with a hand held sprayer to spray. Note you will have to wash anything you eat after using this spray. 
Jerry Baker had no recipe for opossum. He said get out your twinkle Christmas lights and put them on your edibles plants. The brighter and flashier the better. Opossum love the darkness and hate the day time. You can even check out solar motion sensor lights on Amazon like this one. The more lumens the better.

Subject: Happy Earth Day! Replies: 2
Posted By: nhardy Views: 68
I still have some black raspberry canes to plant from Nourse that I got the other day. I repotted some of my tomato plants yesterday as they wait to be planted in the ground. My pepper plants are slowly getting bigger. I started way to many of them. Now I'm off to get some bulbs to plant.

Subject: Happy Earth Day! Replies: 2
Posted By: nhardy Views: 68
I know it's a few days early. El Nino has me getting my property cleaned up early this year too. From cutting the grass, pruning bushes, raking up wave after wave of sweet gum balls, cutting out honeysuckle vines, raking leaves, root pruning my potted figs and cleaning out old berry canes, I have been busy. I have the growing fever bad this year to plant as much as I can. I'm on my second wave of planting seed.  I have never put my potted plants out so early.

Are you growing anything new this year? Trees, shrubs, fruits or veggies? Got any landscaping projects this year? Anyone putting in a water feature? Have you started dragging things home from the garden stores? Come on, I know we all grow more than figs. Do you have the grow fever too?

Subject: blueberry source? Replies: 14
Posted By: nhardy Views: 287
I have had luck with Chippewa (half-high variety) here & we have high humidity most of the summer. Just ordered from Nourse Farms two blueberries (hope one to survive) as I needed a pollinators amount other thing I ordered. For a few years now, I have been looking locally for a variety that would pair with Chippewa's bloom time & height as I had no space for the tall high bushes. My first 2 pollinator did not come back the second year. I final gave up this weekend ordered them with some berry plants that produce on primocanes for summer long berries. My shade cloth arrived yesterday to cover my blueberries & blackberries from the birds. Now to acidify my soil for the new bushes with some sulfur, cottonseed meal & raking more of the neighbors pine needles. I just love cottonseed meal to acidify over the long term. The last time I also used sphagnum moss, but I do not need that much and sulfur will do it for the short term.

I'm tired of raking up sweetgum balls. I have been cleaning out all of my spent canes from my blackberries and black raspberry plants. The wild honeysuckle has taken hold here. I finally gave up & got some Roundup to help me win the war. And now the apple tree need some attention. Were has the Spring gone? Thanks El Nino for the early spring!

Subject: Root pruning now? Replies: 2
Posted By: nhardy Views: 130
My pots are in the garage without any leaves open. We still have some nights down to 37 with swings up to the 70 on some days. I already put my potted red raspberry bush and potted pomegranate outside. My apple tree is swelling but no leaves yet. Everything is early this year with El Nino again.

So can I drag them out and get my bow saw out this week? I have time now and really want to get this over for the year.

Subject: Rerun of 2012-2013 winter weather this year Replies: 6
Posted By: nhardy Views: 431
The garage gets to about 20 degrees until it is below zero. At below zero, I have to carry my 45-50 lb potted the figs to the basement.

Subject: How much water do dormant figs in potts need? Replies: 8
Posted By: nhardy Views: 493
Should not take too much at all for a  fig without leaves. Maybe 12 oz or less. Start with a cup and see how dry they are in 3 weeks. Mine are still outside. Frost got the leaves this week. So I'll work on bringing them in after I put the foam boards back in the garage vent at the top of the gable end. I just closed the garage window last week. My naked figs got rained on today. So 4 weeks might be too soon for mine to be watered. Hate to think how heavy they are for me to move them in by myself.

Last year the temps. dipped to minus numbers a few days and I carried the figs to the basement for a week.  Wish I could leave them in the basement. Just too warm.

Subject: How much water do dormant figs in potts need? Replies: 8
Posted By: nhardy Views: 493
I water about every three weeks.

How big is your pots? I lift the pots to know how much water they have when I store them. Sometimes they dry out more in the garage in warmer winters. Then again never water them as much as in the summer. Not even half that amount. Just enought to keep the roots alive. You should never have water in the saucer. I use one watering can for the two large figs in about 20 inch pots and my pomegranate in a 18 inch pot. I'll have to refill for my new fig in the small starter pot, about a 12 pot. I worry more about the pomegranate drying out.

Subject: Rerun of 2012-2013 winter weather this year Replies: 6
Posted By: nhardy Views: 431
I was cleaning out some of my bookmark of internet pages. And there it was, this years winter weather. I saw a wooly bear caterpillar two days before I read the report. He had black caps and a wide reddish brown strip. Funny, the woolly bear and NOAA agree.

Synopsis: El Niño is favored to begin in the next 1-2 months and last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.

During September 2014, above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) continued across much of the equatorial Pacific (Fig. 1). The weekly Niño indices were relatively unchanged from the beginning of the month, with values ranging from +0.3oC (Niño-3.4) to +1.1oC (Niño-1+2) at the end of the month (Fig. 2). The change in subsurface heat content anomalies (averaged between 180o-100oW) was also minimal (Fig. 3) due to the persistence of above-average temperatures at depth across the central and eastern Pacific (Fig. 4). Equatorial low-level winds were largely near average for the month, though brief periods of westerly wind anomalies continue to arise. Upper-level winds were also close to average for the month. The Southern Oscillation Index has remained negative, and rainfall was near average around the Date Line, with a mix of positive and negative anomalies over Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (Fig. 5). The lack of coherent atmospheric and oceanic features indicates the continuation of ENSO-neutral.

Most models predict El Niño to develop during October-December 2014 and to continue into early 2015 (Fig. 6). The consensus of forecasters indicates a 2-in-3 chance of El Niño during the November 2014 - January 2015 season. This El Niño will likely remain weak (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index between 0.5oC and 0.9oC) throughout its duration. In summary, El Niño is favored to begin in the next 1-2 months and last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015 (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome).

This discussion is a consolidated effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA's National Weather Service, and their funded institutions. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions). Forecasts are also updated monthly in the Forecast Forum of CPC's Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. Additional perspectives and analysis are also available in an ENSO blog. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 6 November 2014. To receive an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail message to:

I Googled a weak to moderate El Nino winter weather. Here was one site that had the map.

I guess, I'll leave my potted figs in the unheated garage.

Subject: How do you make heat? Replies: 13
Posted By: nhardy Views: 575
Hoping for this week's really good high temp. spike will help my VdB figs ripen. Right now watching the hummingbirds gives me patience with the rest of the town around me in chaos. Otherwise it is a bust for me this year.

Subject: The tale of two summers Replies: 1
Posted By: nhardy Views: 237
Last year was an extreme heat filled summer with record breaking temperatures. My figs loved it as long as I keep them hydrated.

But this year, we at best have only had a few days in the upper 90's and no temps in the triple digits. The summer has been filled with more 80's and a few upper 70's as a high. I worry that my main crop will not ripen. I have already lost my brebas crop to a possum or the tornado.  I only noticed the brebas were gone after the May 31 tornado that came through St. Louis. Funny, you seem to spend more time outside when you have no power.

Even my tomatoes are struggling this year from the lack of heat. Varieties suited for our hot weather are slower to ripen in this cool summer. I have the largest pimiento peppers this year. I'm waiting for them to ripen.

Now I wait with high hopes that the main crop will have time to ripen with these lower temperatures. Any of you in the same boat?

Subject: OT - Zombie Poms Replies: 42
Posted By: nhardy Views: 2,077
I deleted my orginal bookmark but found some other info on Eversweet AKA 'Armchat'.  Mid Aug. it said where others said Sept. Grenada was a full size that I did not think I could keep small.

I found to remove the seeds all you need is a knife, a bowl of very warm water. I skin some of the flesh without cutting into the seeds at stem and the blossom end. I skin about half a dollar size of the flesh on both ends. Soak at least 10 minutes or when I return to the kitchen.  Then I shuck it.

Subject: OT - Zombie Poms Replies: 42
Posted By: nhardy Views: 2,077
I have Eversweet that I got from Durio. I picked it because I read the fruit mature in 5 months vs. 6 - 7 months for some of the dwarf varieties I was considering. I did not even think twice and throw out the trimming last fall.

Now I'm think about it.....

Subject: Janice Seedless Kadota vs Mary Lane Replies: 23
Posted By: nhardy Views: 2,394

To my surprise, Mary Lane has figs for the first time for me. I worried the heat from 2012 had harmed both of my figs. Both are alive so I kicked them out of the garage yesterday. I guess, I'll leave one fig per stem. 

Subject: A tale of two figs. Replies: 4
Posted By: nhardy Views: 530
The season have started to change here in STL. Most of the leaves from the shade trees have fallen two weeks ago. My VdB lost all of its leaves three weeks ago. Last week, we had a good frost. And again today, the cars and lawn are frosted over. But Mary Lane still have all of her leaves. I'd like to put them in the garage but Mary Lane is not cooperating. She will not take here nap. She is driving my crazy.

Tuesday, they think it will get down to 29.

Subject: VdB and Environment Replies: 9
Posted By: nhardy Views: 969
I also had bad splitting in 2010 due to high humidity. I'm southwest of Dieseler in StL. I have one misshapen breba this year that has started to dry up before it ripened due to our extreme heat of 105 plus temps. My poor fig has just baked this summer.

Subject: Heat and more heat! Replies: 3
Posted By: nhardy Views: 636
I guess you did not see I did put my city and zone in my salutation before I ever posted here today. It has been there several years now. I added only this year about the humidity in case any one in my area is thinking about buying a fig to pick one that can stand up to our humidity.

Subject: Heat and more heat! Replies: 3
Posted By: nhardy Views: 636
I'm so tired of all this heat & now humidity. We are back to triple digits temps. I decided to move my potted figs & pomegranate to the front of the house. I thought I could keep a better eye on them. I lost one leaf on the last triple digit week. Now it does not sound like a lot but with a young plant I want them to survive to fruit another year & another year. I'm watering everything in the night daily. I'm thinking of adding a morning watering too. The lawn is so crispy too. I'm up to an extra $20 in water so far & we are not even done with the summer. Last year it was only $16 for all the watering in the summer. The last pop up rain storm was last Tuesday, just 2 miles south of here. It knocked out the power sub-station that was tied to our sub-station. We were 3.5 hours in the dark.

They only call for a chance of rain again.

Subject: NEMATODES Replies: 15
Posted By: nhardy Views: 2,136
When I did my research I ran across, Neem Cake to treat soil. I gave my niece a fig for Christmas a few years ago. She lives just outside Jacksonville with an all sand soil. I ran a cross articles on Neem Cake. But my niece has decided to keep her fig in a pot. So I never ordered her some Neem Cake.

Subject: A little off topic Replies: 25
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,189
"do they make coyote spray?" Don't laugh, but pee. Try wolf urine. Here is a link for research, since I have never puchased anything from them.

Subject: It is freakin hot in Idaho Replies: 19
Posted By: nhardy Views: 894
I'm tired of the triple digit temps. I'm watering before the crack of dawn everyday.

Subject: Freeze advisory Replies: 57
Posted By: nhardy Views: 3,235
Cool weather coming Tuesday night for a few days. (Back to spring temps.) They say our overnight temps. will be around 47. I'm worried about my annual seedling that I have outside. I ran out of room under my lights.

Don't trust the weatherman! Now we are going to be in the 90's and not problem about cold temps. over night. Just make up your mind!

Subject: Weather in your neck of the woods? Replies: 18
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,032

Same as Cajun with some rain and hail here in STL. Then back to the same  80/60 without rain until Wed. I have to get my lawn mower out.

Subject: Too early to prune roots? Replies: 11
Posted By: nhardy Views: 878

Our garage is attached. The roof has a ridge vent & the gable end is vented too. I have cut ridged foam to put over the gable vent 12 ft. above ground. It is dangerous to climb the ladder and put the foam over the vent by myself. I have plans to cover the vent in the winter but I'm needing my help to install it. So those plans are on hold. But the heat loss in the garage has to be weighed against the weight of the fig. The weight of the fig is increasing. I'm able to carry it now but if it gets heavier it is out of the question to even bring it to the basement. At that point, the fig may have to overwinter in the garage regardless. I'll start to use minature Christmas lights on a timer at night only for nights below 10. I think the garage is about 15 degrees warmer than outside. 

Subject: Too early to prune roots? Replies: 11
Posted By: nhardy Views: 878
It was in the basement the first year & the garage last year. I noticed it was breaking dormancy in March when it was in the basement. It was just not a cold winter this year. It woke up too soon. I had verbena the winter overed in the garage this year. Even one of my ivy leaf geramiums lived over in the garage. Last summer was so stressful with the extreme heat. I did not want to face it to face extreme winter. So I carried the heavy pot to the basement for a kinder winter nap. Who know La Nina was going to continue and no cold winter?

We are zoned for 5b. So we do get down to -20. I can remember a Sunday in Jan. 1981, it was -18. It killed the battery of one car and we took the other car. We had to drive it over the lawn. Guess which car's battery started?

<----------- Look Left.

Subject: Too early to prune roots? Replies: 11
Posted By: nhardy Views: 878

Well I brought up VdB & pulled off the pot. I guess I thought it would have more roots encircling the pot. No need for a bow saw. I hand pruned it. Got about a hand full. Now to bring up ML and put her in a bigger pot.

Subject: Too early to prune roots? Replies: 11
Posted By: nhardy Views: 878

Life happens while you are making plans. The basement was warmer this year because of La Nina and the figs woke up early before I checked on them.

Subject: Too early to prune roots? Replies: 11
Posted By: nhardy Views: 878
I need to prune the roots of my potted VdB this year. I stored the plants in the basement this year. After a small rest, it has already started to leaf out, breba and all. I'm zone 5B in STL & I'm frost free May 10. With La Nina still present, I'm betting that everything is going to be early this year. Saw a saucer magnolia tree in bloom today. I have already pruned my pomegranate in the basement. It look so much better. It has already sent out new shots. I might start to bring up all my potted plants, figs & pomegranate. I'm in full plant mode with all my grow light going. I still need to plant 150 zinnias but I'll have to borrow a shop light just for the zinnias.

I have my bow saw ready to prune if you say, Let her rip! What do you think?

Subject: Easter 2011 Replies: 24
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,188

I thank the Lord and sing his praise.  He has brought us from the darkness into the light.  He has brought us from the storm and protected us all in St. Louis. He has risen! He has risen indeed! Happy Easter to all of you!

Subject: You won't believe this! Replies: 22
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,540
Your photos are beautiful. They would make gorgeous Christmas cards.

I wish we had snow on Sunday. We got 2" of snow on Friday. By Sunday evening it was 65F & the storm pushed through fast. Straight line winds snapped limbs from two of our trees.  I'll have to reattach one fascia cover that was hit by a limb as it fell into our tiny backyard. We were plunged into the darkness for only 2 1/2 hours.  I can't believe I'm wishing for snow.

Subject: It is winter here Replies: 90
Posted By: nhardy Views: 3,866

I'm thinking that groundhog might be right this time. Spring is on the way. Got to 40F today. The most of the sleet melted on the front lawn.  I can now see the brown grass dotted with sweet gum balls. They are calling for temps in the 60s by mid week. Almost shorts weather. I guess I'm itching to start all of my veggie & flower seeds.

Subject: It is winter here Replies: 90
Posted By: nhardy Views: 3,866
So we got 1/2" of freezing rain. More than 3" of sleet. Snow is still coming down. But it is not going to be more than 2".  I'd trade 20" of snow for what I got. I'm having to chop every inch that I had to shovel. The sleet is like concrete. With the figs in the garage, I could not open the garage door. And I could not open the back door with all the sleet. I ended up carrying a bag of salt through the house. 

Revised: The driveway was 8" thick at the end were they plowed. The blocks was a most solid weighing 30lbs.  all to get the car out of the driveway. Fun.

Subject: It is winter here Replies: 90
Posted By: nhardy Views: 3,866
Rub it in Jon!

Forecast for STL:
Mon. Freezing rain then sleet.
Tue. Heavy ice/Snow
Wed. Blowing snow, with over night low of -1F
1/2-1" ice, 3-4" of sleet, 4-7" snow 

The worst part of the forecast is they are calling for some power outages. It looks like the storm from Nov. 30- Dec. 1, 2006. I'm so glad you guys say to wait to start my cutting. I would be hard press to keeping it warm without power. It was 53 degrees in the house during that outage in 2006. I made sure all the flashlights have new batteries. I drug up candles and hurricane lamps from the basement.

Subject: It is winter here Replies: 90
Posted By: nhardy Views: 3,866

Need snow!! It's making it's way East now. Got 12+ inches of dry snow. I checked on my little figs last night when I was filling the bird feeder. They are going great in the garage, but not a single fig popsicle to eat.

Subject: Happy New Year Replies: 19
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,126
Wishing you and your families all the best in the New Year!!

I'm blessed, we only had rain here today!!!  Looks like the F3 tornado did damage to part of our county about 20 miles from me.

Subject: What else do you grow? Replies: 106
Posted By: nhardy Views: 9,150
Grant, We just got the pomegranate in the spring. It was 9 in. tall from Durio. It was 37 in. tall when I put it in the garage last month. So no flowers or fruit this year. I picked Eversweet because I read it takes 5 month to fruit mature after it flowers on new wood. I really wanted the dwarf parfianka for it's size and taste. But I read it takes 6 to 7 months for the fruit mature. I'll have to prune the Eversweet, but that should be no big problem to keep it dwarf in size.  I wish I was a little further south to be able to plant in the ground a cold hardy variety. Bass has posted pictures of his havested fruit from his cold hardy varieties.  I saw an episode of Gardening by the Yard on pomegranates & thought it would be fun to try to grow if I could overwinter it.

I thought about trying to grow an avocado, papaya or an olive tree. But had second thoughts on how big they get. I tried to grow a lemon & an orange, but no luck overwintering them in the house. I'm trying to overwintering a gardenia in the basement underlights. So far so good.

Subject: What else do you grow? Replies: 106
Posted By: nhardy Views: 9,150
I'm in zone 5b. 

In containers:
2 Figs *
1 Pomegranate, Eversweet *
Strawberries ^
Sweet potatoes
Banana, Dwarf Novak **
* overwintering in the garage
** overwintering in the basement
^ overwintering in the garage to protect the containers

In the ground:
Tomatoes, Jetstar, Sungold, etc.
Pimento peppers
1 Jonathan apple, semi dwarf
Black raspberries, Jewel, John Robertson & Mac black, etc.
4 Blackberries, Triple Crown & Black Satin
3 Blueberries, Chippawe & Bluegold
1 Grape, seedless Concord for pies!

On order 2 dwarf apricot trees, one for me and one for the neighbor for cross polination. What a neighbor!!

Everything with stars are not zoned for my area but still I'm trying to grow it anyway.

Subject: Happy National Fig Week! Replies: 3
Posted By: nhardy Views: 604

Nov. 1-7. Eat them if you have them. Otherwise, you can always look forward to next year. Cheers to all.

Subject: My fig is in time out Replies: 2
Posted By: nhardy Views: 560

High humidity & a lot of split figs.

Attached Images
jpeg Splitfigs.jpg (86.31 KB, 19 views)
jpeg splitfig.jpg (100.53 KB, 21 views)

Subject: Julian Merrow-Smith's paintings of figs Replies: 10
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,630
I thought someone might like this one too. Even though it is not nearly as the paintings by Julian.

But it looks upside down to me, but that might just be me.

Subject: My fig is in time out Replies: 2
Posted By: nhardy Views: 560

I checked my fig today for ripe ones & found the birds or a squirrel discovered the fig tree. On the ground, there was one fig that started to ripen with puncture marks. I got out my hand truck and load up the fig. I put it on the screened porch. I put on the east side of the porch to get six hours of direct sunlight. The other sides of the porch are north and west but would get less light. I wish I have seen the fig on the ground before I watered it!  Maybe this weekend I'll put it back out if I can find another solution.

Subject: Timing is everthing! Replies: 5
Posted By: nhardy Views: 549

I picked these today. I had time to photograph them, unlike the first one eaten within ten minutes of picking. They range it size. The quarter on the right and a CAD dollar on the left for our fellow fignuts.

Subject: Timing is everthing! Replies: 5
Posted By: nhardy Views: 549
I think my VdB has the best manors! My niece and her family visited us today. I gave her a LSU Gold fig tree for Christmas. She was so excited to see a few figs on her tree last month. So I was showing her my trees & found that luck would have it, my first main crop fig was ripened today. As a good host, I offered her the fig. Without hesitation Yes, oh yes! We got out a knife an split the small fig into three pieces for them all to taste.  What have I started? She was talking about maybe getting a purple fig to replace one of her cirtus tree if it does not start producing something.  Another fignut is born.

Subject: Question for container grower Replies: 7
Posted By: nhardy Views: 665
My main crop figs look like they are started to ripen.  With El Nino ending, we get a lot of rain.  Rain, rain go away already!! I'm having to get rid of the water in the attached saucers. Do any of you move your fig trees to a shelted location to control the moisture?   

Subject: Airy figs? Replies: 24
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,768

Japanese Beetles like plants in the rose family, Rosaceae. Figs are a ficus part of the Moraceae family. Maybe you have June bugs? They are also called Figeater beetles. Both beetles love peaches.

Subject: What is your biggest growing season problem in your area of the country? Replies: 30
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,549


Subject: Julian Merrow-Smith's paintings of figs Replies: 10
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,630

How beautiful!!! Breathtaking texture!

Subject: You Cover Your Figs I Cover???????? Replies: 19
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,737
Vivian, have you tried gypsum to loosen the clay soil? My veggie garden I worked in two bags of top soil and 2 cubic feet of vermiculite in to my clayish soil. I need to get another bag of vermiculite to add to my veggie garden. It only lasted 17 years.

Subject: LSU Gold Pics update 7/4/10 Picked Replies: 11
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,725

Wow!! That is phenomenal. I hope her fig does as well as your LSU Gold fig. It just blows my mind that you got figs last year on your baby. She is up state from you in Orange Park, FL.

Subject: LSU Gold Pics update 7/4/10 Picked Replies: 11
Posted By: nhardy Views: 1,725
Wow!!! Beautiful! I'll have to send a link to my niece to see your pics. We sent her a LSU Gold fig for Christmas. She just found her fig pushing out some little figlets this month. I'm hoping they will ripen by Yom Kippur.  I was so surprised that it is trying to produce fruit this year.

Thank you for all the pics & your update!!! Can I ask, how old is your LSU Gold?? WOW 84 gram fig!


Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.