2020 Garden Thread

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
580
Texas
Try a shade netting cover to filter out the sun over cooler crops like broccoli, spinach and lettuce.
We do have shade cloth for a little later in the summer. My plants might have wanted it today, though. Last week was cool and gray all week with temperatures in the lower forties at night until Thursday. Yesterday wasn’t as cold, but even the daytime temperature didn’t get above 60. Today was bright and sunny, and I saw 88 on the thermometer. My plants looked a bit wilted in the heat of the day despite having moist soil. I think today was the highest, but it’s supposed to be a hot week. I suppose the tomatoes and peppers will be happy, and I can think about planting corn and okra soon.

@begreen, @EatenByLimestone, @AlbergSteve, and any other fruit growers who care to share wisdom, how do I most reasonably protect peaches from squirrels? We have a decent crop set on the tree, and I’d like to get some of them at least for our family. I have extra bird netting and was thinking of trying to wrap part of the tree, but I’m not sure I can really do that. I’ve also read of some kind of bag that goes around fruit, but I’ve never had experience with anything like that. I was wondering if you all had any advice. (I am hopeful that a new neighbor’s three cats who visit might help us a bit, but I figure I should take my own steps.)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,653
South Puget Sound, WA
BB gun will give the message.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
840
n
We have a lot of invasive Eastern Grey Squirrels and they are voracious. What I've done with with my bird feeders is placed a metal collar/disk about 16 inches in diameter on the post at least four feet above the ground. You may try that with the trees if they're not too close to each other. I've watched them jump vertically 3 1/2 feet to get on a feeder. Small live traps with nuts work well.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
The first hint that the squirrels are ready to nibble on fruit, you've got to trap them out. Here's what I use...


If I dont get to them within a day or 2, they'll strip the tree.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,653
South Puget Sound, WA
I've used a medium-sized Hav-a-hart using peanut butter.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
580
Texas
I’ve been giving some thought to the various suggestions (except the one about keeping them out of the tree since it’s growing alongside a fence corner and underneath an oak tree) and I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to be shooting or trapping. I was surprised to learn that wildlife relocation is legal under certain conditions in Texas (it was not in Virginia), but there’s no one from whom I’m going to seek written permission to deliver squirrels to their property.

Last year we had no peaches set because of late freezes. The year before was our first spring here, and we had lots of peaches, and we never saw the squirrels near them. Little did we know that they were lulling us into a false sense of security. One morning in May just as the peaches were getting close to picking, we went out, and there was one single peach left. That was it.

This year the crop is smaller (and the tree is smaller), but the peaches are growing and coloring up a bit. They’re not close to ripe, so I know the squirrels are biding their time, too. I was thinking of trying to put mesh bags (like the kind that store onions) around some of the fruit to save some. I wonder if the squirrels will just chew or tear right through them.

On a happier note, I had to thin some beets today, so we had a nice side dish of greens and beetroot at our midday meal today.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
I always liked beer seeds. They always looked like pieces of cork to me, lol.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
Beet
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
840
n
Where can I find beer seeds, where!;lol
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
Lol. The question we've all asked ourselves!
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,810
SW Virginia
I transplanted a bunch of tomatoes and peppers from containers to the garden this evening since further freezes are unlikely.
I continue to wonder why I used to spend so much time tilling and prepping my garden every year.
We've gone no-till for about 10 years in our raised beds and I really appreciate the decreased workload. We plant, mulch, and then top with lots of organic matter at the end of the season, then repeat again the following season. Sometimes I'll take a fork and turn the soil a bit in early spring, but not often. We add only compost and wood ash for nutrients.
Meanwhile, the rototiller sits in the barn.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
I've been no till for about 9. It was pure laziness at first, then I started reading up on it and it became my way.

I woke up to 25F this morning. I'm ready for sun!
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
892
Palmyra, WI
After working with relative recent garden beds, that have gotten more and more weedy, year by year - this year, it's compost raised strips, with untilled paths between. Should be able to be like year 1, with very little weed seed load, and very little carry over. We'll see. About a month before plants are set out. Beets are in (compost strips). Potatoes are in. Seedlings are started.
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,653
South Puget Sound, WA
I've started moving these babies outside for hardening off.
greenhouse-starts.jpg
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
580
Texas
I planted out the last few seedlings I had today: container tomatoes, a cutting of purple basil I had rooted, and some pimientos that I put in pots so that I can more easily overwinter them if they survive the summer. Two of my peppers that I dug up last fall made it through the winter in the garage, and they are blooming nicely now. (The water trough was left behind by previous owners, and it has plenty of drainage holes rusted through in the bottom. I also have an abundance of pots from them and from former neighbors who gave me all their plants when they moved.) These are late for transplanting around here. Some of my other tomatoes have a few flowers, and the Glacier that got chomped by “Mr. Mystery Beast” has a couple tiny fruits.

1D95D541-7257-4CB0-BFFB-2A827BB443E0.jpeg 16ECC68D-7435-469B-B0D7-26B456982ADD.jpeg

Yesterday I planted out corn and okra seeds and gave the entire garden a good soaking. Our rain tank is running low, so it took a while, but the plants needed some extra fortification to face the 94 degree day and bright sunshine. Thankfully this weekend is cooler.

When I walked back to the backyard after watering my seeds this morning, I found a gnawed peach on the gate by the peach tree. I decided that today was the day to implement peach protection, and I needed to make due with what was on hand. I had a few mesh produce bags and some laundry bags, so I protected some clusters of peaches on individual branches that way. My husband helped me secure some bird netting around a portion of the tree. The squirrels have plenty of unsecured fruit (including hundreds of ripe loquats in another part of the yard). I hope they’ll be at least somewhat deterred by my attempts to get some peaches.

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,653
South Puget Sound, WA
Tomatoes and cukes are in the ground. I have backups in case they don't make it, but the one tomato I put out last week is doing well so far. I will see how they do and continue with more soon. Good luck kids. More to come.

baby-tomatoes.jpg baby-cukes.jpg
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
892
Palmyra, WI
Would anyone be interested in renting a garden plot? I'm wondering how many people are thinking this way? May be a source of income as I realize in suburbia it's not always an option. 100$ a season for a plot 5' x 20' ?
Equals $43,560 /acre. Going rate here is around $135 / ac.
Maybe time to sign up for farmer/producer direct to the consumer.
I've been ordering garden seeds for decades from Jungs out of Randolf WI. This year they were sold out of a lot of my go to things, and still haven't shipped an order that's a month old. Can't recall any of that happening before. I have seeds left over from last year, so I'm kind of good to go, but will be changing tactics for next year.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
Potatoes and onion starts haven't shipped from an early February order for me. I'm ticked.
 

mcdougy

Feeling the Heat
Apr 15, 2014
424
ontario
That's what I'm hearing/thinking....a large uptick in vegetable gardens. Considering it would be an extremely low input start up, it could prove a viable option. If it didn't work out I wouldn't be out much at all and could rent it back to the farmer...here the going rate is about 225-300 a acre. We have 33 workable on this 50 acre farm. I think 100 a plot sounds reasonable? I would need to supply a water source from my well. Or would you think less or more?
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
892
Palmyra, WI
In the past, I could bring up my account at Jungs, pick on past ordered items and hit reorder. This year my account was mysteriously gone. Decades of history gone too. Recreating with the same username and password made a fresh account from scratch. Hmm. Must have had a crash or account breach or something.
They did send the taters last week. No onions yet, and no seeds. They are just down the road (45mi) so I could just drive in and pick the things up - maybe. Usually they speedy delivery it all in a couple days.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,653
South Puget Sound, WA
In the past, I could bring up my account at Jungs, pick on past ordered items and hit reorder. This year my account was mysteriously gone. Decades of history gone too. Recreating with the same username and password made a fresh account from scratch. Hmm. Must have had a crash or account breach or something.
They did send the taters last week. No onions yet, and no seeds. They are just down the road (45mi) so I could just drive in and pick the things up - maybe. Usually they speedy delivery it all in a couple days.
They are probably a bit overwhelmed with orders this year and perhaps a bit short-handed too.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
580
Texas
Tomatoes and cukes are in the ground. I have backups in case they don't make it, but the one tomato I put out last week is doing well so far. I will see how they do and continue with more soon. Good luck kids. More to come.

View attachment 259753 View attachment 259752
Those look like some nice transplants, Begreen. What are the light-colored speckles on top of the soil? I know at my house they would be bits of eggshell from our homemade compost that hadn’t yet broken down, but I’m wondering what it is in your garden. My screen won’t let me get a good enough look.

Some of our cucumbers have started blossoming. Unfortunately it looks like some early heat is coming this weekend. It could be a bad year for my garden if it gets too hot too soon. It’s also very dry right now.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,653
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, those specks are eggshell fragments from the compost.

Corn is in the ground. I sprouted it first. Will it be knee-high by 4th of July? Hope so.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
892
Palmyra, WI
They are probably a bit overwhelmed with orders this year and perhaps a bit short-handed too.
The rest of the order showed up yesterday. Later than usual, but not bad. Frosty night last night, and a good chance of more of that for the next couple weeks, so only tolerant things can go in at the moment.
 
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