2020 Garden Thread

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,343
Schenectady, NY
I've had surprise garlic show up too! It's usually in bunches as I left the garlic in the ground and each clove sprouted. It's real small when that happens though.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,202
South Puget Sound, WA
Getting into full harvest mode now. Raspberries, blackberries, tons of green beans, 23# carrots, and many tomatoes. We are pretty busy picking and preserving. Peppers, eggplants and tomatoes will be next.
This is a partial load (18# of primo carrots)
carrots.jpg
And this is pretty much an every other day harvest now.

veggies2.jpg
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
Begreen, that harvest is beautiful. I'm impressed (and envious). How large is your garden?

I was excited this week to get hold of some locally grown, organic Texas Rose garlic heads. I haven't had great success with garlic the past couple of years here in Texas, but my husband wanted me to try one more crop this fall. I'm attempting to vernalize the cloves in the refrigerator before planting this year, and I plan to plant them deeper than the usual recommendation because I've read that it's necessary to combat our heat when the bulbs are sizing up.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
@begreen and I were in danger of confusing the cooking thread and the garden thread (the two go well together, though!), so I'm going to quote one of his comments over here and respond more fully.

From Begreen: "I love pickled hot peppers. Fresno peppers are mildly hot, but tasty. Habeneros are hotter if that is desired. We have poblanos, sweet yellow bananas, bells, jalapenos, & allepo (hot) this year. In past years we have grown hot Bulgarian carrot peppers which dry very nicely."

I looked up Fresno peppers last night, and they do sound yummy. My neighbors every year grow bumper crops of habaneros, serranos, and poblanos, and we can have a pepper any time we need one (which isn't really too often), so we didn't use our pretty limited space for them. This year since we expanded the garden, we wanted to grow some hot peppers this year, though, but a milder sort of hot for pickling. It's our first attempt at any sort of hot peppers.

We're trying three types: a very mildly hot banana pepper, a purple jalapeno (such beautiful dark green foliage and purple blossoms!), and an heirloom called a fish pepper. It has a longer days to maturity than the others and could be hard to get a crop, but we decided it would be worth a try just as an ornamental if we did get hit with an early frost.

3AB30820-94BE-4584-BEE6-3852BE803D08.jpeg

Some of my pepper plants are beginning to bloom, but it needs to cool off before there's much chance of fruit set. Unfortunately my cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkin are being hit pretty hard by what I think are thrips (and vine borers, too) and I don't know if the plants will stand the stress to make it to a crop. There's been a late-August heat wave here, but the shade cloth has definitely been helping. It may cool off enough by mid September for it to come down.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,550
Downeast Maine
We found a hidden cucumber plant a few days ago, it even has flowers. The wind came through and roughed up our flowering tomatoes, but seems that all the flowers made it. Our broccoli all "bolted" without making the nice floret clumps. On the bright side humming birds seem to love the yellow flowers. we are going to let the see pods fall and plant themselves. So far we have harvested lots of snow peas, cabbage, and collards. We got a late start, so whatever we get is awesome.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,202
South Puget Sound, WA
We have had a brief cool spell here and right on cue, powdery mildew started showing up on the older zucchini leaves. I gave the plants a good haircut up to the flowering part of the stems. And I pulled out the rambling delicata squash plant. We got bout 16 squash from it. The butternut squash is still growing so I will give it a chance. After cleanup I drench sprayed everything with a neem oil spray. Summer heat is supposed to return in a couple days, so I am hopeful that I can keep the PM under control with early intervention. Our pepper plants are packed with peppers ripening and the eggplants are now producing. The DeCicco broccoli has been a very good producer this year with many nice side shoots. I gave all the heavy feeders a feeding of bat guano/fish emulsion. One very bright spot has been our day-neutral strawberry patch. I completely redid the bed in spring and put in new plants. We have been getting steady basketfuls of beautiful strawberries for a couple of months now. My wife is in heaven. I will be picking the last crop of blueberries today along with the last ears of corn. It was a good year for them too.

I planted a new variety of broccoli (to us) for this fall, Piracicaba. This was developed in Brazil and is supposed to be very tasty and exceptionally heat tolerant. If our winter is mild I have been told that it may also overwinter. We'll see. I have cabbage, beets, lettuce, broccoli, kale crops all growing for fall harvest and a few big heads of swiss chard.

 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
@SpaceBus, congratulations on your harvests! Snowpeas, cabbage, and collards are wonderful! How long do you have before your first expected frost for those tomatoes and cucumbers?

@begreen, I had a lot of powdery mildew on my first round of cucumbers earlier this summer. I, too, trimmed and sprayed, and the neem really knocked it back. It's interesting, though, because my version flourishes in the heat and dry.

I actually just used up my bottle of neem concentrate trying to deal with thrips on the fall cucumbers (and zucchini and pumpkin), but that has been less successful. I may end up pulling some out soon if they don't show signs of healthy growth. I'm also having problems with vine borers.

I'm glad you're having success with your strawberries and broccoli. You had mentioned a discouraging year with your tomatoes (though the ones pictured above look beautiful), and it's wonderful to get encouragement where you can.

We were supposed to have a cooler day (high of 88) with cloud cover and the possibility of showers, and I took the opportunity to remove the shade cloth this morning. (We get a lot of wind, and I was having to resecure it a fair amount, and I didn't want it whipping around if the promised cold front moved in). It managed to be bright and sunny and a high of 97, and my plants were a bit upset with me before the showers did move in. It was a gentle rain but it lasted a while, so that should provide at least some small help for the drought conditions we're dealing with here.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,202
South Puget Sound, WA
First time batch of sauerkraut is a success. Well, at least so far I am still living. The fermented dill pickles came out good too. I did a double-dare and had both for lunch.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
First time batch of sauerkraut is a success. Well, at least so far I am still living. The fermented dill pickles came out good too. I did a double-dare and had both for lunch.
Yum.

I think we're not going to manage homegrown cucumbers for pickles this fall. The thrips have taken such a toll on the plants. I've pulled out two of five, and I think the other three will go soon, but there is still some healthy growth, so we'll see.

We had three inches of rain last week, and the garden and other plants look so much better. We've been in moderate drought conditions recently. I don't know if this will bring us out or not, but our rain tanks are full again at least, and the sun is less intense, so the soil is not drying so quickly.

I planted some daikon radish, sugar snap peas, kale, beets, and rhubarb (attempting to grow the last as a winter annual) in recent weeks. The temperatures are more reasonable (eighties for highs and high 60s for lows), so I hope to be able to have some harvest this fall. The daikon radish is more for the soil than for harvest, but my children really enjoy a nice fermented kimchi from time to time, so we might harvest one or two if we actually succeed in growing them.
 

Riff

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2015
105
Virginia
We're under a frost advisory tonight and probably one for tomorrow night. Took that as a good enough reason to harvest the rest of the garden and call it a season. Will pickle the green tomatoes tomorrow and the 4yr old is already talking about making pumpkin bread with one of the squashes.
IMG_20200920_180736.jpg
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,202
South Puget Sound, WA
We're under a frost advisory tonight and probably one for tomorrow night. Took that as a good enough reason to harvest the rest of the garden and call it a season. Will pickle the green tomatoes tomorrow and the 4yr old is already talking about making pumpkin bread with one of the squashes.
View attachment 263463
Wow, frost in VA already?
 

Riff

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2015
105
Virginia
Wow, frost in VA already?
Doesn't look like we ended up getting it last night and if the forecast is right we won't be getting conditions for it again for the foreseeable future.
 

NickW

Member
Oct 16, 2019
218
SE WI
My garden was quite productive this year... 128 zucchini, 148 cantelopes (neighbors & family were happy with that...had a 3 day stretch with over 90), 35 mango hybrid melons, and still harvesting peppers. I don't do a lot of things, but this year everything did well. The mango hybrid melons I had never done before. I couldn't taste any "mango" flavor, but they tasted like cantelope only sweeter and more flavorful. Lots of zucchini halves blanched and frozen for stuffed zucchini this winter. Shredded some for zucchini bread and zucchini grilled cheese and made some zoodles too. Cleaning and freezing green peppers and jalapenos as they ripen for stuffing and poppers.
 

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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
We had our first ever meal of homegrown zucchini today. I know that having four small zucchini off of two plants is no major accomplishment, but with high heat and drought at planting time and thrips and vine borers, we were happy to get our first meal. This is hopefully the beginning of our harvest season for the plants, and we're hoping to have lots more.

We were hoping to get some rain from the outer bands of Beta today, and it was gray and windy but no measurable precipitation. There's still a chance, but it's diminishing.

Our beans are finally starting to set some fruit. We planted Kentucky Wonders back in May and have been wondering all summer if they'll ever have fruit. Even though we planted within our recommended window, it must have just been too hot by the time they matured, and they hunkered down till rain and cooler temperatures came. Now all three of my varieties are starting to set some beans, even though the other two weren't planted till the very end of July. Next year if I do summer beans, I'll try to get them in much earlier. Now that the garden is larger, there should be more choice of space for them.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,001
Palmyra, WI
Even though we planted within our recommended window, it must have just been too hot by the time they matured
Some beans and corn varieties can become infertile when temps are above 90 during blossoming or silking. I remember in 2012 here, we had record temps over 100 for weeks, with nights into the 90s well past dusk. I watered and watered, and got a total of 3 ears and few beans from otherwise healthy looking plants.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
Some beans and corn varieties can become infertile when temps are above 90 during blossoming or silking. I remember in 2012 here, we had record temps over 100 for weeks, with nights into the 90s well past dusk. I watered and watered, and got a total of 3 ears and few beans from otherwise healthy looking plants.
And tomatoes, and peppers, and cucumbers, and it seems just about everything. My okra has even been doing better since it cooled off, and I thought for sure that it wouldn't mind the heat. I've been watering regularly from our rain barrels, and even though it's good water, it doesn't compete with actual soaking rain.

Record temperatures over 100 for weeks and nights in the 90s. That sounds awful. Really awful! We did have temperatures over 100 a couple of times this summer, and that's actually a bit unusual for our particular area. I understand 2011 was brutally hot here, though I didn't live here then. Even though 100 is a bit unusual, temperatures are regularly in the high nineties for long, long stretches, and the solar radiation is intense. I've been having to learn a new kind of gardening down here which is much more dependent on a short spring season, and a short fall season, with summer not being a productive time at all. It's only been a couple of years of building our garden and learning, and my husband often encourages me when a crops fails that I've at least harvested some knowledge. I have hopes for some fall food crops if we don't get a really early (for us) freeze.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,202
South Puget Sound, WA
Things are starting to wind down here with the cooler and shorter days. We've harvested most of the heat lovers. Only green tomatoes left on the plants and some small eggplants. If we get a warm fall, they may continue on. Got a bumper crop of nice red Fresno, yellow banana, poblano, bell, and Allepo peppers with many still on the plants. Winter crops are looking good. We have some serious swiss chard action going, kale, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and some carrots. I have some spinach just starting too.
 

Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
395
Helena MT
We had our first killing frost here 3 weeks ago at 5,000 ft. elevation in central Montana. I have cleaned everything out of the garden except the members of the cabbage family, which will soldier on for some time yet. In the foreground is brussels sprouts on the left and kale on the right. Behind them on the left is rutabagas. In the background is cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
100_2376.JPG
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,202
South Puget Sound, WA
Looks pretty neat and tidy. Are those beets on the middle right side?
 

Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
395
Helena MT
Yes it is.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
26D1F88E-A931-49CC-A908-C3CA7AB6B4D5.jpeg

The cooler weather has been good for our garden. This was a couple of days' worth of pole beans. I also harvested three pimientos, a zucchini, and a few okra pods. I'll have some more coming in in the next couple of days and need to think of a good way to put them together.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
C045C789-85F6-49C9-987B-D29FE024A456.jpeg D486CA91-1CFD-4584-88B8-FC060FDAEDEC.jpeg 8794242C-2464-4C77-81F0-463DB6A54F23.jpeg 5484D3F9-2DED-487C-9D3F-31B87773B010.jpeg

We've got some peppers and tomatoes that have set some nice fruit in recent weeks. We're about a month out from our average last frost date (but two of the three falls I've lived here we've had it in October). I'm hoping it will be later this year because the peppers and tomatoes could use the time. (And, yes, there are Christmas ornaments on my tomato plants. Some other folks in the neighborhood recommended that I put them up before the tomatoes set fruit to teach the birds that there isn't a benefit to pecking. I don't know if it helps, but after my summer discouragement with stolen and damaged tomatoes, it was worth a try.)
 
I still have some broccoli to come in, but after about 5 frosts now, everything else is done. DuaeGuttae, in some ways you are lucky to still be getting fresh veggies, I envy you in that regard, but would not want to deal with the hot weather when it is really hot. The hottest it ever got at my this summer was 91 degrees.