Friday, November 19, 2010

Garden Thoughts 2010

I am finally done with all things garden this year and wanted to record my thoughts for reference for next year.

What went well:

  • Tomatoes, they grew almost too well. I planted 12 roma tomato plants. One per square. I had buckets of them left on the plants when the time came to worry about them freezing. I pulled off all the green ones hoping they'd ripen and I could use them. Only the ones that were close to ripening worked. The rest just went mushy or moldy before they ripened. 
  • Watermelons. I planted three seeds in the center of a 4x4 box and I got 4 good sized watermelons.
  • Raspberries. The canes from last year produced at the beginning of the summer. New canes produced from mid summer till even now. I just pulled off 1 1/2 cups of berries. I was able to make 12 jars of raspberry jam and some raspberry/strawberry fruit leather.
  • Strawberries. The everbearing plants from last year did awesome this year. Some just kept on producing and I probably have some strawberries and I pull off right now. 
  • Green beans were easy again this year. 
  • Cucumbers produced pretty well even though I only had one or two plants.
  • Cantalope did okay. I got two decent melons off the vine.
  • The boys planted Red corn in their square and even though we only ended up with a few ears they tasted good, unlike last year.
  • Onions were very prolific. They were easy to grow, they are harvested early and I still have a bunch of little ones left to use.
  • My potatoes didn't have brown spots inside every one this year. I did have a couple with brown spots but most were good and I got a bunch.
  • Zinna flowers. The boys picked these out for their box and I loved clipping them and putting them in a vase on the table. They remind me of gerbera daisies but more wild.
  • The spinach I planted last fall started growing again this spring and I ended up with a bunch of it early on.
  • The carrots I planted this spring grew well and I really enjoyed cooking them and eating them.
What didn't go well:
  • Peas, I think I planted them a little late, not all of them sprouted and I only got a few pods off the plant. They were also hard to open and get the peas. 
  • The Peppers had issues this year and just didn't grow. They may have gotten too much shade from all the tomato plants. I probably only picked about 4 good ones off of 3 plants. Last year I picked probably 3 times that much.
  • Lettuce just didn't work out for me this year. It smelled and tasted bitter and I just wasn't motivated to pick it. 
  • I planted 4 broccoli plants and none of them actually produced a head. Lame.
  • The carrots I planted last fall started growing again this year. But either I waited too long to pick them or they grew woody over the winter. They were no good after all.
  • I planted a couple cabbage plants. One actually grew a little head, not too impressive though.
What I will do differently:
  • Plant less tomato plants, not so close together. The plants in the center didn't quite produce as much as the ones on the edges. Also I need to stake them better the ones on the edges got so big and heavy with fruit that they fell over despite my cages.
  • Plant more red corn. Yum. Space out the plantings so they aren't all ready at the same time. 
  • Plant more cantalope, and maybe try starting it inside if they can be transplanted.
  • Don't grow vining green beans. By the time they start producing the bush beans have already been at it for a while and I'm sick of them by the time they are there and they are a pain to take off the trellis.
  • Maybe plant pickling cucumbers. I actually don't like fresh cucumber all that much and they tend to go bad before we use them all.
  • Start the peas earlier or try a different variety.
  • Watch the strawberry runners better and keep their boxes more tidy.
  • Try different lettuce and broccoli.
I'm sorta burned out on the garden right now. Luckily it is winter now and by the time spring comes I'll be ready.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

To All Yahoo Email Users

I know I am not the only one getting spam from my friends who use yahoo email. I also know that often they don't even know that their email was used to send spam to all of their contacts. If you used yahoo email it is almost certain that your account has been hacked, possibly more than once.

Do you know why? SC Magazine does.. Hackers are using a security hole in Yahoo to access a login credentials page that allows unlimited attempts to login. They probably use some bot to try password after password until it works. Apparently the hole described in the linked article has been known since September 2009. Hello! You'd think Yahoo would have fixed this by now.

Also the attacks have only been escalating. I remember getting these emails back in the spring, only once in a while. This week I have deleted at least 8 emails from people that I know and people that I have happened to email in the past for some reason or another. In one case I deleted one from the same person 3 days in a row!

What do you do then? There are a couple of options.

1. Drop your yahoo account. Open a gmail account or some other more secure one. Export or copy all of your contacts down and forward any important emails to your new account. Strip the yahoo account of all contacts and emails. See if you can forward new emails to your new account or set up a vacation message with your new email.

2. If you keep your yahoo account first change your password to something really difficult. Lots of letters, numbers and special characters. Even then you are not completely safe. Get rid of any sensitive emails. Maybe empty your contacts too and keep them on a file on your computer to use when you need to send an email.

There is not much else you can do. It's not a virus or a malware attack that you can clean up off your computer. Yahoo is aware of this but seems to be pretty silent about it. When you do a search for this problem not a lot comes up. Except the article I linked to and this blog post, The guy in this post has been in contact to some extent with Yahoo and has not had much success. Interesting.
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