2020 Garden Thread

Jun 8, 2020
102
Craig County, VA
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Some glass gem corn that I grew this year. I will save the seeds once they dry out. We used the stalks for decoration:
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Cabbage broccoli and some other stuff tolerate frost pretty well, but, a good lower 30 degree freeze will end their lives. I need to pick what is left of the green peppers today as NWS says low 30's here tonight. I keep contemplating a greenhouse but so fat it has not materialized.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
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.
Quite frankly, I don't want to deal with the hot weather either, but it is what it is. I try to make the most of this new climate, and at least my mandarin orange tree is doing well. 5E90FAB1-BC56-4496-A25B-70E2A066D774.jpeg It's about eighteen feet in diameter and pretty loaded with fruit. The oranges are swelling and turning lighter, but they won't be truly ripe till December, I think. We're really slightly cold for a lot of citrus, and I've realized that the previous owners must have planted a bunch that didn't make it as I've recently identified some mystery plants as trifoliate orange that appears to be growing from the rootstock of no-longer present trees.

I pruned tomatoes recently to tone down new growth and suckers, but I'm debating doing a much more radical pruning of tomatoes and peppers to focus the plants' energies on the fruit that's already set. Anyone have any tips or warnings about that?

I have a handful of brassicas scattered about the garden. I think they'll enjoy the cooler weather in the weeks ahead, but they've held their own during some unusual heat this month, too.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,092
South Puget Sound, WA
Things are wrapping up for the season. A cold snap due later this week will wipe out all but the hardy plants. We'll be taking down most plants now and composting them. The cabbage, lettuce, carrots, beets, chard, kale will remain.
 

gggvan

Member
Dec 6, 2012
99
Does anyone grow inside over the winter? Use grow lights? I'm finishing my basement and want to add some plant life and flower beds.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
Unless your basement has a remarkable amount of natural light, you'll surely need grow lights for many kinds of plants.a I've known numerous people who maintain all sorts of plants in the winter, but not usually in basements. Circumstances differ based on what kind of light and heat you have, of course.

I did know an engineer who had a large house and small yard who set up a hydroponic system in his basement and grew large, indeterminate tomatoes with it. It can be done, but it's an investment.

We own two Aerogardens, one received as a gift, one bought used years ago. They seem to have gotten crazy expensive and bigger in recent years, but they are easy and provide some nice opportunities for winter growing depending on what you want to grow.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
The cold snap even pushed itself this far south. We had a much cooler week last week than originally forecast. One day didn't even get out of the thirties for more than 24 hours (that's impressive down here), but thankfully the heat-lovers all survived. I do have some beautiful tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers that I'd like to see mature. The weather will still be cool overnight but back up to the 70's during the days this week.

I planted my garlic yesterday as well as seeding some more daikon radishes as well as lettuce and kale. We don't have rain in the forecast (and haven't had much of anything since September, I think), so I'll have to be pretty diligent on surface watering for some of those seeds.

I seeded some sugar snap peas a good while ago, and the heat in October was really hard on them. They are all putting out new growth now that things have cooled, so there's hope yet.

I have some beautiful cauliflower plants that have been growing for a couple of months, but there have been no signs of heads. I know that they can be temperamental about temperature, and it has been a pretty up and down fall here. Is there hope for head formation now that we've got cooler weather, or do the plants get to the point where they just won't produce heads at all if they're too old? I'm tempted to cut them and cook the leaves like collards if there isn't any chance now.
 

Riff

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2015
110
Virginia
The cold snap this weekend was enough to have a killing frost. We harvested the last of the green beans on Friday. Enough for two meals and have 4 quarts worth of them in the pressure canner right now. Not a bad year for having only put in the garden this summer. Planning to put down some aged manure this winter and expand out the garden in preparation for next year.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
We've had some cool/cold nights, but it has been an above average October and November in general. It has slowed my heat lovers, but they're still in the garden and show signs of some maturing. My eight year old and I harvested one ripe Black Krim tomato yesterday. We had one old seed that we planted inside in the winter. The plant went into the garden in the spring. It bore a first crop in the very early summer. It bore a late crop in late summer, but that was decimated by squirrels to our disappointment. We have fewer squirrels now, and I trimmed the plant back to one strong sucker in late summer. It has grown large again and has a third crop of about eight green tomatoes in varying stages. I'm proud of that one little old seed. This first tomato that we harvested was a bit cat-faced, but it still yielded some nice slices for BLT's (and it got sliced immediately for lunch yesterday, so there is not picture). I also harvested some leaves of Crawford lettuce that had volunteered in the shade and moisture next to one of my ollas. Now that it's much cooler and I'm watering some Daikon seeds in the same bed, and there are lots of tiny seedlings showing up. I hope it's more Crawford lettuce (went let it go to seed there this summer), but it will take some time for me to determine if it's that or weeds.

We did harvest one of our earlier Daikon plantings the other day. 49E32644-54D2-4481-B40D-CD037605A899.jpeg (The photo shows the lettuce as well, hiding by the pot.) We didn't have a lot come up from the first round, but we wanted to try one. Since I was motivated to plant them to help our soil, I kind of felt bad about harvesting it, so I ground up the leaves in the blender and poured them back down the planting hole. The sliced and salted Daikon was a hit. Now we have about two dozen newer seedlings growing for the winter.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
We cut and mulched the asparagus today in preparation for "winter." (It hit 82 today, and the sun was out while I was spreading mulch.) We also moved some of the containers of brassicas out of the empty raised bed frame we had built earlier this year to make room for organic matter in preparation for planting onions next month. I had expected the tomatoes to be dead by now, but they still are ripening on the vines, and the vines are so twined into the trellis that we didn't want to disturb them. We're about at the time of average first frost, and there is a cold front moving in tomorrow, I think, but I don't expect frost for a while yet this year.

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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,378
Schenectady, NY
We went hog wild on garlic this fall. We intensively planted 2 beds with them. Hundreds of plants, lol! I wonder what their growth rate is? I wonder how big they'll be if I start harvesting in June?

I ran into a time constraint again this year. 2nd year in a row. Even with the wife working from home. I think I need to reevaluate what I'm planting and how I plant.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,092
South Puget Sound, WA
Looks right tidy mam.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
It looks like some cold and wet weather may move in this weekend with the possibility of a hard freeze on Monday. We took the opportunity of having a day off today to harvest most of the heat lovers and clean out the garden. Sadly something had been eating most of the well-formed sweet potatoes. The nibblers left me the little ones and ate into most of the good-sized ones. I'll cure them, but I was disappointed.

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This is my second batch of fairly ripe tomatoes this week. The first got turned into some pretty yummy tomato basil soup. These will sit on the counter for a bit and will probably become sauce for pizza or pasta.
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We also harvested the rest of the tomatoes and peppers as well. We cleared off a shelf in our pantry, and we'll see how they do in there.
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The only plant we tried to transplant out of the garden was our fish pepper. I pruned off the vast majority of its foliage when we picked the peppers, but it had some nice young growth at the base, so we figured we'd see if we could overwinter it inside. We really just enjoy seeing the variegated leaves. (Its peppers are also striped; they're in the box just beyond the purple jalapenos.)
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We also spent a lot of time adding new mulch around the inside and outside of the garden fence. Weeds and grass had been growing in some spots, and I wanted to get it under control before the rain. My husband made me nine cart loads of cedar mulch, and I got it all down. There's still more perimeter to do, but we've got plenty more brush piles to tackle.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
We got our rain. I'm so thankful as we have been in a drought for so long. It was just over an inch, and we could certainly use more, but it was the best we've had in the past two and a half months.

A surprisingly hard freeze (for us) is forecast for Monday night into Tuesday morning, and it has the potential to be low enough and long enough to damage the satsumas on the trees. We therefore harvested the majority of them this afternoon. I have no idea how many there are, but it's a good-sized box and eight paper bags about half full each. I have an old refrigerator in the garage that doesn't cool well enough for our regular groceries, but it can maintain a temperature in the forties, so I anticipate using it as storage for lots of oranges for the time being.

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,092
South Puget Sound, WA
We got our rain. I'm so thankful as we have been in a drought for so long. It was just over an inch, and we could certainly use more, but it was the best we've had in the past two and a half months.

A surprisingly hard freeze (for us) is forecast for Monday night into Tuesday morning, and it has the potential to be low enough and long enough to damage the satsumas on the trees. We therefore harvested the majority of them this afternoon. I have no idea how many there are, but it's a good-sized box and eight paper bags about half full each. I have an old refrigerator in the garage that doesn't cool well enough for our regular groceries, but it can maintain a temperature in the forties, so I anticipate using it as storage for lots of oranges for the time being.

View attachment 267957 View attachment 267958 View attachment 267959
What a treat!
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
What a treat!
It is a treat, @begreen. My kids got fresh-squeezed orange juice for breakfast this morning. Tomorrow they'll have marmalade and English muffins with their poached eggs.

My compost bin is suddenly so full of orange peels that I'm wondering if I'm going to cause myself some sort of problem. We have plenty of shredded leaves piled up that can be added to increase carbon if necessary (we usually have way more carbon available than nitrogen in our yard), but are there other factors I need to consider? This is a bin that we just emptied recently, so it's getting a fresh start. Right now it's basically shredded oak leaves, sweet potato vines (cut), and orange peels. I think the orange peels will be accumulating daily for a while.