Author Topic: 2016 Gardening  (Read 2150 times)

Offline greyhoundgirl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2016, 11:52:29 AM »
Sounds like you got a lot put in, Erica!

This morning, I went out and pulled the rest of the kale.  I used that space for a later variety of corn, then tucked in more onions and beets in a few empty spots.  Also replanted just a few beans in spaces where one didn't come up or else was eaten off by some little critter.  It's actually considered too late to plant beans here due to our hot summers, but I'll see.  Maybe they'll grow extra fast and catch up to the ones planted earlier.  :)  The heat of July and August keep them from producing normally, so they have to be in full production mode by June to get anything.  I keep trying, though.  Old timers have told me the best thing to do here is plant in late July/early August for a fall crop, so I hope to try that this year.

Offline Cheryl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2016, 12:01:59 PM »
I've been working in my garden today.

Our squash plants are loaded, and we will probably get the first picking of them in a day or two.  I am looking forward to that.  The zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, okra, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and beans all look good.  We've planted corn two times now, but no luck.  We've tried two different kinds and I don't know what the problem is.  We still want to plant more beans, but we were waiting on the corn to come up so they could run up the cornstalks.  I guess we'll get those planted this week, with or without corn. I have been eating lettuce from the garden for a few weeks now.  I've pulled up the early lettuce because it was bolting.  I still have some deer tongue lettuce growing in another place.  It won't last much longer as the weather gets hotter, and I dread the day when I don't have fresh homegrown lettuce.  Almost overnight it seems the worms ate my cabbage leaves, but I picked them off and fed them to the chickens.  I think I've won that battle but I'm sure they'll be back.

Early this morning when I was weeding, I saw signs that the neighbor's peacock had been in my garden.  It came back twice while I was out there.  I ran it off but it came back.  I hope they'll pen it up because I don't want to do all this work just to have that dumb peacock tear up my garden.  I don't understand how some people can be so inconsiderate.

Our peach trees are loaded this year.  I hope we finally get a decent amount of fruit.  The apple, pear, cherry, and plum trees are still too young.  We have a lot of thornless and wild blackberries.  My muscadine vine is huge and loaded with tiny fruit.  My grape vine is loaded too.  We've picked a few strawberries, but we're still trying to get a good bed of them established. 
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline sbdriver

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2016, 10:04:08 AM »
Mandy do you just have your herbs in pots?
Laurie
Many hands make light work

Offline Cheryl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2016, 07:27:12 PM »
Went out to the garden earlier and caught a rabbit eating the green beans.  He better be glad he can run faster than I can! :D
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline greyhoundgirl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2016, 06:21:06 AM »
Went out to the garden earlier and caught a rabbit eating the green beans.  He better be glad he can run faster than I can! :D

Uh oh!  Time to work on your sprints?  ;)

Offline Cheryl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2016, 06:39:47 AM »
Ha!!  I'd never catch him!  Guess I'll have to plant enough for all of us. ;D
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline Cheryl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2016, 05:16:01 AM »
The bean eating rabbit has been a busy little fellow.  We've replanted our beans but we can't keep up with him, and now he's bringing a friend along to help him eat.  I chase him away whenever I catch him, but he's not very afraid of me, and if you could see me yelling and flapping my arms chasing a couple of rabbits, you would probably be scared! ;D

During the past week we have picked nearly 50 pounds of yellow squash and zucchini.  I gave away over half of that to my mother, sister, and a niece.  I just picked another dish pan full of squash and cucumbers this morning.  Making refrigerator pickles and some relish is in my near future.

Except for the bean fiasco, our garden is doing well.  I can't wait for the first ripe tomato.
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline greyhoundgirl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2016, 07:21:41 AM »
The bean eating rabbit has been a busy little fellow.  We've replanted our beans but we can't keep up with him, and now he's bringing a friend along to help him eat.  I chase him away whenever I catch him, but he's not very afraid of me, and if you could see me yelling and flapping my arms chasing a couple of rabbits, you would probably be scared! ;D

During the past week we have picked nearly 50 pounds of yellow squash and zucchini.  I gave away over half of that to my mother, sister, and a niece.  I just picked another dish pan full of squash and cucumbers this morning.  Making refrigerator pickles and some relish is in my near future.

Except for the bean fiasco, our garden is doing well.  I can't wait for the first ripe tomato.

I'm sorry about your bean-eating rabbit.  That must be frustrating!  But wow on the squash and zucchini! 

Offline greyhoundgirl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2016, 07:34:26 AM »
Well, though I was gone and obviously not actually working in the garden, I did take along my Baker Creek catalog and my "everything" moleskine book (I use a modified bullet method so it's my planner, calender, and financial tracker all in one) and spent some downtime, mostly early one Sunday morning when I was awake before everyone else and went down to the breakfast area at 6 AM, figuring out what seeds I "need" and want.  Several years ago now, a friend who worked with school gardens in CA as her job, sent me a big box of seeds.  Many are Renee's Seeds, heirloom ones, and I really appreciated it as things were tight and the selection was amazing on some items.  But now what are left are getting quite old and germination is not good, and somehow, some packets got damp.  :(  So, I am replacing must-have items though I will probably still keep trying to use some of those for fun experimental things and flowers.

As for the garden, I left tomato plants just above my knees, but apparently it rained and rained and rained while I was gone.  I came home to tomatoes above my waist which are now chest-high.  Quite a few plants have tomatoes on them (some were even before I left) but all are still green for the moment.  I have NEVER EVER had a good green bean crop, but since balancing my soil nutrients last year things are growing that I never had luck with before, so I'm trying again.  The green bean plants are thick and lush and have loads of blooms, so we'll see what happens.  The trick here is getting them to produce before it gets too hot.  Once we hit mid-90's, they quit and then you have to replant in late July/early August and hope for a fall crop.

Cucumber plants are finally growing (got fresh seed for those locally, Seeds of Change organic seeds sold at TSC here), but not near size to produce yet.  My squashes that took forever to come up are doing well.  I have seen one tiny zucchini out there but haven't had anything to pick yet.  May go look for blooms and hand pollinate in a bit.  Onions are coming along well, strawberries are running like crazy, and some new Swiss chard is growing great (last year's bolted and I'm letting them go to seed to collect).

Offline greyhoundgirl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2016, 12:06:18 PM »
Haven't posted about the garden in a couple of weeks but it's in the wild and crazy stage.  :D  Tomatoes and various squashes flowing out of the beds.  Just did my third picking of the green beans today--have been picking every other day since beginning.  The first pick yielded enough for dinner for my crew with generous leftovers.  Second picking was smaller and I took them to a disabled older friend of mine who loves fresh veggies.  Should have been enough for generous portions and maybe leftovers for her and her husband.  This morning yielded enough for a dinner, or maybe a couple of quarts.  I am just amazed at how things grow since balancing the nutrients in my soil per Steve Solomon's protocol.  Now I just need to increase the number of raised beds and work on my succession planting to be able to grow more for preserving. 

Picked the first two eight ball zucchini and one Romanesco one last week and fixed them all together to go with a dinner.  I see yellow squash forming on two other plants (yay, those are our favorites!).  The tomato plants are heavy with green tomatoes.  The corn appears to be forming well (from the early variety) and there is a bell pepper on one of the plants.  Some of the plants appear to have had some damage, possibly from excessive rain, but the new growth on them looks good so I'm leaving them for now.  Onions are tall and strong looking.

Last week I planted some spaghetti squash and some Sweet Meat squash, hoping for a late summer crop to eat on in the winter.  Right now I'm at the stage of waiting for something to be done so I can take it out and replant something else.  :)  Also working on my fall/winter garden plans.

What's going on in your gardens?

Offline Cheryl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2016, 12:50:21 PM »
My garden is keeping me busy.  I have spent the morning making squash pickles, refrigerator claussen clones (we love these!), and now I'm making sweet pickle relish.

Our yellow squash is doing well in spite of the squash bugs.  I'm picking about a 5 gallon bucket full every other day.  I have so much of it in the freezer already and we eat it a couple times a week.  I have been giving it away when I can because we've been blessed with so much of it.

The first planting of cucumbers is starting to show signs of dying back, so we planted more yesterday.  Our corn finally came up but I don't know if we'll get any from it because it's so puny.  Tomato plants are loaded and I've been eating a few cherry tomatoes every time I go to the garden.  Our pepper plants look good and I've already picked some peppers.  The jalapenos are the hottest ones we've ever had but I don't know what variety they are because I thought I was buying cow horn pepper but these were mislabeled.

The rabbit finally left the beans alone, but the damage was done.  We replanted but a lot didn't come up.  Maybe it's not too late to get some more in the ground. I gave up on my cabbage.  The worms won that round.  I have a few decent size heads that I'll cut sometime soon.   

The okra is only about knee high, but is blooming and has little pods on it.  Maybe we'll pick at the end of the week.  Our cantaloupes are loaded and doing great.  Can't wait till they are ripe.  The watermelons are just sitting there, not really growing at all.
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline Cheryl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2016, 08:37:36 AM »
In the week or so since I last posted in here my garden has changed.

The squash is gone now.  I picked the last of it yesterday and added 10 more bags to the freezer.  I left one zucchini plant because it had a couple of little ones on it.

I have only picked a handful of beans (thanks, rabbits! >:() and my cukes are turning bitter from the heat.  It hasn't rained here in a while and even though we are trying to keep it watered, the garden is looking fried.

The worms got more of the cabbage than I did.  Maybe we'll plant more in the fall.  The tomatoes are hanging in there and I'm picking a few here and there.  We have a couple of cherry tomato plants that are over 7 feet tall and producing like crazy.  They are called Super Sweet 100 and are so good!  I highly recommend these if you like cherry tomatoes.

Our peppers are doing ok, just not producing very much compared to other years.  Of course the okra is doing great since it's my least favorite vegetable we are growing. :)

Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline greyhoundgirl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2016, 12:19:04 PM »
Mmm, Cheryl.  I LOVE Super Sweet 100's.  They are the only hybrid tomato I make an exception for. :)  Super delicious!


Offline Cheryl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2016, 02:08:20 PM »
Mmm, Cheryl.  I LOVE Super Sweet 100's.  They are the only hybrid tomato I make an exception for. :)  Super delicious!

I wish I'd known about them sooner.  They are delicious!  We bought 3 plants from a greenhouse we'd been to only a couple of times, just to try something different.  I'm very pleased with these.
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline greyhoundgirl

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Re: 2016 Gardening
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2016, 07:36:16 AM »
Last weekend, I spent some time pulling up some plants that weren't doing so well, probably from getting so much rain in a short time in May and June.  Some of the tomato plants and green bean plants were yellowing and I spotted squash bugs on some squash plants.  So those came out.  Harvested green beans one last time before pulling them and got enough to can 5 quarts.  Also, the chard had gone to seed and I was waiting to collect seed, which I did, then pulled those.

After that, or rather during that,  Earl was expanding one of our 4' x 8' beds into a 4' x 12' bed.  We used a large cattle panel to make a sideways arch in it with about 6-9 inches on either end.  I planted spaghetti squash on one end and sweet meat squash on the other end.  Just inside the arch next to the panel, I planted Chinese red noodle beans to grow up the arch.  On the south long side of the bed, I planted basil and okra.  Behind the basil, I tried direct sowing a couple of tomato plants.  Beyond that, some lettuce in hopes that the shading from the other plants and those growing up arch will shade them and allow them to mature despite the heat (this is an experiment!).  And on the far other side, north side of the bed, more zinnias.

In a few other empty spots, I tucked in sunflowers, patty pan squash, more yellow squash (our favorite), jicama, and more Chinese red noodle beans, as well as more zinnias.  Oh, and lemon cucumbers!

I bought some large faint-gridded poster boards last week and drew my garden beds on them to scale in order to start planning out the fall/winter garden and what I need to be starting inside.  This is a new thing for me, but being a visual learner and loving seeing garden plans in books, I thought it might be fun and helpful.  Really wanting to take advantage of the cooler growing seasons even more this year.