I think I have used that title before but being a simple guy …….. I am simple aren’t I? Don’ any of you answer that question.

I have been in withdrawals from my blogging habit……..hmmmmmm, maybe if it had indeed been a habit I would have been blogging every chance I had….isn’t that what habits create. So, I don’t quite have a blogging habit but I do derive a lot of pleasure from sharing my blog life, whether it be my gardening blog or my beer brewing blog. Rest assured that I haven’t been idle. I am still sweating through several T-shirts every time I am out working in the garden.

The heat has the tomatoes struggling so I yanked most of them and replanted with some high dollar grafted varieties from a local nursery. I am cautiously optimistic! I set my buddy John up with 3 new plants and his seem to actually be doing better than mine. His cucumbers are doing very well…..mine succumbed to the dreaded white fly attacks. I still have peppers doing well, the single eggplant has taken over a corner of the garden and my asparagus ferns look very healthy….it bodes well for next year.

Talking about next year. I had a bumper crop of strawberries and therefore a bumper canning effort for my low sugar strawberry preserves. I like the low sugar recipe, not just because of the reduced calories but primarily due to the fact that more of the berry flavor comes through! If you have followed me for a while you may remember my efforts with strawberry towers. It makes the garden grow vertically and keeps those nasty bugs that live in the beds off of the berries. I eschew using bug sprays of any type. My first attempt at strawberry towers worked ok but I shredded my hands and fingers planting the bare root plants through the small holes. My subsequent efforts were easier on the hands, created bigger but fewer pockets. I like volume when it comes to berry harvest!

So back to the drawing board. Not wanting to waste materials I sought out a way to make the first towers more user friendly. For my second generation efforts I had used an electric heat gun to soften the pockets and it gave me an idea. I took the original towers (first generation), heated the lower edge to soften the hole and stretched it like a protruding lower lip! I think it is going to work.

http://wp.me/p13JYy-5v  original post

http://wp.me/p13JYy-lP this post shows an image of the second generation tower

A close look at how the hole gets stretched once heated

A close look at how the hole gets stretched once heated

Modified and original views.

Modified and original views.

A look at my heat gun....a hairdryer on steroids. I call it my "Binford" hotter than Hell model!

A look at my heat gun….a hairdryer on steroids. I call it my “Binford” hotter than Hell model!

I am nursing my Pineberry (a white strawberry with red seeds) plantings, trying to root as many runners as I can. I hope to plant one tower entirely in the white colored Pineberries.

Tuesday my oldest son and I are off on a day long fishing adventure – gardening again on Wednesday. I will highlight a path he put in for me as I get caught up on the stories floating around in my head.