Nematode killer

Joey gets his PET scan next Wednesday so until then, no news. He’s feeling good albeit a little apprehensive about the coming test. Plenty of business right now so the economy doesn’t seem to be bothering the cruise industry. The weather has been awesome for a while so I think he’ll be busy now until the cool turns to cold – January most likely.

Our eagle has returned for the season. I started seeing him a couple of weeks ago but his mate hasn’t shown up yet. They have two primary locations, one a nest the other a fishing perch. It’s really awesome to hear this guy screech and see him soaring over the lake hunting. Not sure why he makes so much noise but there’s no doubt when he’s out and about.

The garden is coming along fairly well. I keep nuking it so the bugs are manageable. They get their half and hopefully, we’ll get ours. If all goes normal, we should be past the real storm season and a couple of months from a possible frost. I’m calculating a return to picking mid November with green beans and squash,and then right on through until early summer with the winter stuff – lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots, peas, spinach etc etc etc. My plan this year is to cut it all off by the end of June and let it rest until mid Sept again. July and August are just too much to deal with between the critters and the storms.

Learned something about gardening in Fla; the hard way of course. I try to grow many different varieties which means that I buy lots of seeds. With most seed packs you get hundreds of seeds and use only a few dozen. So over a season you accumulate lots of partially used packs. In Utah, I would use the left over seeds the next season; and in some cases was still using the original seed purchase 3-4 years later and getting results about the same as the first year. Doesn’t work that way in Florida. Seeds that are 6-9 months old are nearly useless. I kept planting and having either very low or zero germination when I expect between 80-90%. I’ve been blaming the soil since that’s been the focus of my corrective actions and I’ve had this gnawing in the back of my brain that I wasn’t helping things regardless of how much blood, sweat, and blisters went into it. On a hunch I ordered some fresh seed and guess what, instant germination. I have to guess that the dry air and cooler weather in Utah kept the seed fresh whereas the heat and humidity here, take a toll on the seed.

I’m also on the trail of a solution to the persistent nematode problem. Nematodes are microscopic bacteria or critter that attacks the roots of vege’s and overnight kills a mature plant. When you pull out the plant the roots are full of large, white nodules. It’s very discouraging because the plant seems to be doing just fine and then, bam, it’s gone. In bygone days there were chemical products that took care of them but they’ve been banned due to toxicity, I guess. Nancy was playing bridge yesterday with a lady who’s husband is a long term, big time back yard gardener. I guess Nancy mentioned that I was having nematode problems and the lady volunteered that her husband had the answer with a special mixture of household stuff. I talked to him right away and he shared his secret formula. This is one of those gems you pick up from guys 85+ years old. He mixes a cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of clorox in a gallon of water. Then he digs a trench 4-6” deep and pours the mixture along the trench with a topping of 10-10-10 fertilizer. A gallon does a 30′ row. He puts a little compost or soil on top of that and then plants his crop. He also said that he has an old book called Tomatoes Love Carrots that describes which crops to plant side by side for symbiotic benefits. In that book they say to sprinkle sugar into a trench before planting. No clorox, just sugar. So naturally my plan is to use the sugar/clorox mix and then pour some sugar on top of that. I’m a big believer in nuking as necessary. I’m also going to dump a mixed gallon of diazanon or malathion in a row to see if that spices up the mix even better. That doesn’t work with nematodes but maybe it will kill off the cut worms. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I’ll sure be a happy camper if this works.

Bass fishing is still in the dirt. I’ve been banging it hard for the past week but nada. Tried lots of different approaches and nothing is working. We’ve had a full moon this week and historically I’ve learned that fishing stinks (during the day) on a full moon. This confirms it and next week will hopefully be better. Doesn’t seem to bother the bream so I’m still in good shape there and should break out the fly rod to take advantage of that. I’m actually picking up big bream on fairly sizable bass lures.

Big game tonight – Texas vs Missouri. I’ve watched both play and think it will be a good match. Missouri is coming off a loss against Oklahoma State whereas Texas is coming off a big win against Oklahoma. Good chance that the winner of this game will be the conference champion. My fingers are crossed for Missou and hope they can recover from the loss and that Texas is flat after leaving it all on the field last week. Not sure who the gators are playing and they’re not on the tube – at least not mine.

What happened to BYU? TCU – who’d a thunk it.

PS: I usuallly spell check before I post and it accepted “thunk”. Who’d a thunk it!

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