Garden Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:10 am

@cmonkey:

Mmmmmm. Can't wait until my sour cherry is yielding enough to make some. However, I think it might be a dead heat with fresh plum jam for bucket list.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:33 am

I burned about a gallon of gas in the car I have on loan from my BF in order to harvest about a 1.5 pints of black raspberries from my garden today. Seems kind of like a metaphor for my life in general lately.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:40 pm

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Last edited by Kriegsspiel on Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:19 pm

Harvesting potatoes... still affected by wireworm. Peas are finishing up because I didn't plant a third crop. Raspberries finished a week ago and blueberries started two weeks ago. Been enjoying fresh green beans since last week and wife discovered that two broccoli plants are burdening her with too much because these have heads the size of basketballs. I might get some tomatoes this week. There's a crazy sunflower that the squirrels planted; crazy because it has a dozen flower heads on it. And sweet corn has ears half-developed, so I wait patiently for the feast to begin.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:05 am

Pulled out one of the carrots this morning to see how they're doing. Think they might be on the long side this year?

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George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:12 pm

Green beans: I've tried 3 varieties so far this summer. "Tender green" and "blue lake" taste the same, while "Alicante" has a bean-texture to it that is slightly off-putting. "Tender green" grows larger and more uneven compared to "blue lake", so "blue lake" is better for a more consistent pods. "Alicante" produce nice slender pods that seem to take longer to mature, though possibly I'm letting them fill out too much and that causes the texture.

So far, "blue lake" is the clear winner to me. Two more varieties, planted later, will mature in early September.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:16 am

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cmonkey
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Re: Garden Log

Post by cmonkey » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:37 pm

I don't know why but it's take 7 years of gardening here for me to own up to the mistakes I make each year and realize I need to stop making them.

Specifically -

1. Over planting - Each year I always over plant my seeds (as I should in case of bad germination ) but then I end up trying to save them all and find room. Then it just turns into a jungle and I can't even harvest anything. This leads to number 2.

2. Under spacing - I think I need to be able to see the dirt around each plant. This makes weeding with a hoe much easier than having to weed by hand. Which leads to number 3.

3. Block planting doesn't work very well if your soil has a lot of weed seeds. Rows are much easier because you can weed between the rows. I suspect block planting works much better in a raised bed where you bring in good soil with no weeds.

All three of these have conspired to actually reduce the amount of food I'm getting from my garden I think.



Anyway, we have had another exceptional concord grape harvest this year. DW is away for the week so I had fun processing these by myself over 3 days. I had to pick them all by moonlight because we have hornets and they had found them.

Before you ask, no I'm not making any into wine because neither of us enjoy alcohol. Just juice for us. :lol:

I ended up getting 10 quarts of concentrate and the dilution ratio is 2/3 water so we have preserved the equivalent of 30 quarts (7.5 gallons) of juice. And it's not even cider season yet!


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7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:12 am

@cmonkey:

Relatively low production year here too. However, still the case that processing is the log jam in my system. There are 3 mature pear trees within the purview of my garden-buddy community that I could/should be taking the responsibility for harvesting/processing, but I am just too damn lazy, beyond picking a few to ripen on the counter for my own consumption. Storage in a location where they might actually be eaten by someone is also an issue. IOW, 1st world problems compound.

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cmonkey
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Re: Garden Log

Post by cmonkey » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:38 am

I'm also beginning to realize I need to purge unproductiveness from my garden, specifically any plant that is just taking up space and not giving back. Half of my orchard falls into this category. The plums never produce even though they are now 4-6 years old and the sweet cherry doesn't produce at 5 years old either. Japanese beetles devastate these trees each year and that's not a war I want to fight. I think they are too exposed as well. Too much heat and cold and not enough moisture. They haven't grown a whole lot in the past couple of years. I'm thinking other things might do better, such as apples. All of our apple trees do well.

My blackberry shrub never produces either. We planted it 6 or 7 years ago now and we've had one good year. So out it goes.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:50 am

Interesting. My blackberries and sour cherry tree went gangbusters, but my apples are doing very poorly.

Lucky C
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Lucky C » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:17 am

Last year and into this year I have been trying a low effort / low cost vegetable garden. Besides fencing to keep the deer out and squishing the occasional obviously harmful bug, I have been been spending little effort on soil improvement, no pesticides or fertilizer (or organic alternatives), and using a drip hose but not putting much effort into water optimization. The beds also fall a bit short of 8 hours of sun.

This is a zone 6 humid climate with acidic soil that used to be lawn, with some soil and compost added but the roots would definitely be reaching the ex-lawn soil underneath.

The good:
- Green beans and cherry tomatoes were the big winners, exceeding expectations. Almost too much to eat, and this is in a small square footage. The green beans were grown from seed packets. The tomatoes were off to a slow start from seed last year, but this year were faster growing all as volunteers from last year's remnants in the compost pile.
- Cucumbers were just as successful for a while, but suffered from cucumber beetles which are harder to catch than squash bugs, and ultimately disease. Prior to their recent demise, from just two cucumber vine transplants we were getting plenty to eat raw, plus make a couple big jars of pickles, and more that we had to give away.
- Cantaloupe volunteers from the compost were a success last year, producing five nice fruits with zero effort, but none happened to grow this year.
- Nasturtiums were happy in my garden bed last year and even happier around my fig tree in my front yard this year. The big seeds are easy to gather for next year and they help deter the deer. The flowers and leaves are edible but that doesn't mean they taste good.

The OK:
- Zucchini and various winter squashes had strong starts, and would have given us as much as we could handle if they continued, but ultimately succumbed to some sort of disease that kills them off too early.
- Butter lettuce was pretty good considering spring in southern New England has become so short that by the time they're maturing it's already getting hot enough to start turning them bitter. Still, I like how it's so easy to let them go to seed and have conveniently pickable free seeds for next year.

The bad:
- Lima beans apparently are nowhere near as easy as green beans to grow. There are also bugs that bore into the pods and eat them beans. I got some beans in the end but overall it was not worth the effort so I'll stick to buying cheap beans at the store in the future.
- Got a few good corn cobs last year with hardly any effort, so I tried planting much more this year and got practically nothing. The farm down the road has good fresh corn so I don't think I'm going to bother trying again next year.
- I didn't have any luck with greens and brassicas - spinach, chard, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale only yielded tiny portions, but I may try some of these more seriously in the future with raised beds and more consistent watering.
- Last year I got only one bell pepper after my attempts to start them inside and transplant them. In the future I would start them in bigger pots with better soil or just buy transplants.

Next year I plan to have a couple new garden beds outside fencing in the sunnier part of the yard with stuff that deer won't eat, and then build actual raised beds with good soil in place of my current beds. Based on these pretty good results with minimal effort, I imagine with more free time to garden next year we will have an abundance of a wider variety of veggies.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: Garden Log

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:27 am

Hugelkultur FTW!

I started my nightshades + herb container garden not long before leaving town for almost 3 weeks. I knew I wouldn't be around to water everything for the critical early days, so I filled the containers with mostly sticks and branches, followed by dead leaves and kitchen-scrap compost, and a layer of potting soil on top. After placing the seeds and some wood chips, I overwatered for a few days before leaving town.

I came back to the most dense growth ive had since I started container gardening. Honestly, the only things I did differently this time were 1)more wood/branches, 2)started everything outside (no transplanting) and 3)ignoring the whole garden for 3 weeks.

jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:35 am

We've had a terrible year. Even the fruit trees were stripped bare when we got home from traveling. I'm ready to till the whole thing under and throw down some grass seed. :(

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:57 pm

Getting fat on many ears of corn-on-the-cob (of course with butter <ahem>). Still hauling in gallons of blueberries, but we're slowing down to a trickle after this week as production switches to only two bushes. More green beans, more carrots, etc. Honeycrisp apples are nearly ripe.


Outside of the garden, I spotted a couple salmon making their way upstream just above tide water yesterday, so it's fishing time despite the low water! Also saw a very healthy coyote.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:43 pm

Tenderette and Topcrop join Blue Lake as my preferred green bean varieties. Tenderette ripened about a week later than Topcrop here.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:51 pm

Still eating green beans and corn-on-the-cob. Picked another gallon of blueberries, probably two more gallons still on the late-bearing Elliot bushes. Watching the poor tomatoes suffer without a greenhouse, but I'll get a few more off the plants. Hmm, haven't checked on the cantaloupe lately.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:11 pm

Fall really is here. Nearly frosted last night! 1.5 gallons of green beans picked, might get another picking next week if they don't freeze or mold first. A couple were seemingly affected by the same mold that can infect strawberries. The Alicante variety that I didn't like have already died back.

Cantaloupe aren't going to make it. Apple harvest is underway, primarily honeycrisp. Still a few ears of corn. Guess its time to pull in the remaining beets and lettuce.

I've nearly eaten all the patch of carrots I was counting on for fall harvest. Winter carrots are safely tucked away and doing well, so I hope they gain a little weight before going dormant.

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:48 pm

Amazingly, I collected more tomatoes and green beans today! The green beans are essentially done, but I might get one more chance for tomatoes. We've had a few close calls with frost, but the plants continue to live. High temps (F) are in the high 50s-low 60s and overnight lows in 30s-40s. The garden is in sun now from about 10:30a to only 3p.

Along with the tomatoes & green beans, I harvested beets for dinner and some onions that I'd forgotten about and picked the last honeycrisp from the orchard. There are carrots, lettuce, beets, arugula, & spinach still out there. I've got about a week of sunny days left until the next weather system rolls in, so I'll be spending some quality time putting the garden to bed for the winter (gotta get the garlic to plant next month!).

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