2020 Garden Thread

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Get yourself a good Tom cat. No more bunnies in the garden.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
The morning’s harvest:

1C0464DB-B424-4478-BCBD-AF92A5D7D1E9.jpeg

Now that those two cucumbers are picked, I trimmed the vine back to a single stem as well. There are four other cucumbers (on other vines) that are maturing fast as well. I hope to have them coming out of my ears soon, @begreen, because my kids are longing for pickles. These two will become tabbouleh today again.

I found a branch of my glacier tomato broken off this morning. I haven’t supported the plant, and I don’t know if it was simply the weight of the tomatoes or if a child bumped it. It has several nice green fruits on it, and so I stripped the bottom leaves and stuck it in one of my ollas to see if it might root. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. If it does, I’ll have gained a plant.
 
  • Like
Reactions: semipro and begreen

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,215
Downeast Maine
We are working on some raised beds and starting vegetables indoors. Hopefully in a week or so the raised beds will be finished. The last frost should be memorial day.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
This is the only year since I really started to garden that the frost free date really meant something. It's been a cold spring!
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
95F901D3-7B2F-4650-9ABE-9A5B258AF680.jpeg

I debated putting this photo of fermenting pickle slices in the cooking thread, but I decided that it was more appropriate for this one. I picked three slicing cucumbers this morning, and what was most delightful was that I could also harvest homegrown dill (though I needed to avoid some tiny swallowtail caterpillars on it), stop by the porch of the shed where the garlic is curing and grab some small pieces, and then head to the back yard to cut a few bay leaves that should add some flavor and help keep the pickles crisper. It’s only a small jar (about two cups), but it was just delightful to have the materials all growing here.

I also potted up the broken glacier tomato branch and put it under the peach tree. I thought it needed to some shade, but there was nowhere in the fenced garden area with enough. The deer rarely jump into our back yard where the peach is, and it’s also very close to our air conditioning condensate collecting barrel, so it will make it easier to keep moist. It has six green tomatoes on it, so it’s entirely possible that it won’t have the strength to put out roots, but I want to give it a try. If it doesn’t work, I think I have a recipe for green tomato cake somewhere.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
We are working on some raised beds and starting vegetables indoors. Hopefully in a week or so the raised beds will be finished. The last frost should be memorial day.
What kinds of plants are you starting?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
This is the only year since I really started to garden that the frost free date really meant something. It's been a cold spring!
My mother has been gardening for almost five decades in Virginia. She told me this has been one of the more difficult springs for her because it was so warm in April and so cold in May. She had a freeze a week or two ago that damaged cucumbers, tomatoes, and potatoes that she had in her garden despite her efforts to protect them with coverings.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,215
Downeast Maine
What kinds of plants are you starting?
Currently we are sprouting and starting snow peas, cabbage (I don't recall the type), and Swiss chard. Once we get the beds built there are plenty more packs of seeds to sprout. Originally we planned on building the garden space and beds this year and planting next year, but we are bumping up the timeline in light of recent events.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,681
South Puget Sound, WA
Third and last spinach harvest. Next few days will be sunny and warm. I have transferred the last of the heat lovers into the garden beds. Everything is looking good. We've started harvesting sugar snap peas, radishes and a ton of lettuce too. There are 7 tomatoes forming in the greenhouse and even more cucumbers. The outdoor tomatoes are starting to set flowers. Won't be long now. We also said goodbye to the mason bees. This is one of the last ones out harvesting. Till next year.
IMG_0705.jpg IMG_0703.jpg
 
Last edited:

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
Currently we are sprouting and starting snow peas, cabbage (I don't recall the type), and Swiss chard. Once we get the beds built there are plenty more packs of seeds to sprout. Originally we planned on building the garden space and beds this year and planting next year, but we are bumping up the timeline in light of recent events.
Yum. I love all of those. I’m attempting to grow cabbage down here in Texas for the first time, but it’s not going so well. I haven’t gone so far yet as to pull it out because it does have heads, and they are growing, but the caterpillars have been almost too much for me.

It is hard to build and plant all in one season. We did that last year, and this year has been nicer. We did expand our fenced area and add one large bed for asparagus (which is doing so well that it delights me every time I see it!). We have room for more beds in the future now but haven’t put them in yet. I’d love pictures of your garden area if you have any.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
Third and last spinach harvest. Next few days will be sunny and warm. I have transferred the last of the heat lovers into the garden beds. Everything is looking good. We've started harvesting sugar snap peas, radishes and a ton of lettuce too. There are 7 tomatoes forming in the greenhouse and even more cucumbers. The outdoor tomatoes are starting to set flowers. Won't be long now. We also said goodbye to the mason bees. This is one of the last ones out harvesting. Till next year.
View attachment 260496 View attachment 260498
Beautiful, Begreen. Do you freeze your spinach for later use? That looks like a lot for two people.

My garden time early this week was putting up all sorts of hail protection for the storms we were likely to get. Thankfully we missed almost all of the hail, but there were definitely some close calls. We took down the jury-rigged stuff today but left up the bird netting that is shielding the majority of the cucumbers, tomatoes, and asparagus. It’s high overhead and doesn’t interfere with moving in the garden.

We’ve eaten a good number of slicing cucumbers this week, and I’ve been harvesting some picklers and keeping them in the refrigerator for now. We also harvested one ripe pepper (they’re a small sweet variety that survived the winter in the garage) and a couple of glacier tomatoes (also small).

C022E627-D487-4501-99B4-651BB7AA07CD.jpeg 8D1946EF-B531-4FDF-9891-973DE5A76BD2.jpeg

The glacier tomato plants were my big surprise this year. I had the seeds from before we moved to this climate zone, and I wouldn’t have guessed that they would do so well, but they are just loaded with fruit. I hadn’t supported them, and they needed help, so we managed to get them very carefully up onto an unused trellis today.

C4F72CD9-59FC-4768-9CD5-3DF3AB0CA677.jpeg
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,810
SW Virginia
My mother has been gardening for almost five decades in Virginia. She told me this has been one of the more difficult springs for her because it was so warm in April and so cold in May. She had a freeze a week or two ago that damaged cucumbers, tomatoes, and potatoes that she had in her garden despite her efforts to protect them with coverings.
I'm in Virginia and have planted more than a month early the last 3 years without a problem. This year was different. We lost some tomatoes and peppers to a frost around Mother's day, the usual last frost date. It's a real pain because I'll give any plant a chance is if shows signs of life. This just means we'll be harvesting later than we have the last several years.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,681
South Puget Sound, WA
Beautiful, Begreen. Do you freeze your spinach for later use? That looks like a lot for two people.

My garden time early this week was putting up all sorts of hail protection for the storms we were likely to get. Thankfully we missed almost all of the hail, but there were definitely some close calls. We took down the jury-rigged stuff today but left up the bird netting that is shielding the majority of the cucumbers, tomatoes, and asparagus. It’s high overhead and doesn’t interfere with moving in the garden.
You're doing great. Yes, we freeze up a lot of the spinach because we also have a lot of swiss chard being harvested now from last year's plants too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceBus

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,215
Downeast Maine
We picked up two yards of soil today and hopefully I'll have the raised beds built by the end of the week.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,328
Schenectady, NY
I like raised beds. They dry out faster, but also warm up faster in spring.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,681
South Puget Sound, WA
Almost ready to pick. Getting so close I can taste them.

IMG_0715.jpg
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
I'm in Virginia and have planted more than a month early the last 3 years without a problem. This year was different. We lost some tomatoes and peppers to a frost around Mother's day, the usual last frost date. It's a real pain because I'll give any plant a chance is if shows signs of life. This just means we'll be harvesting later than we have the last several years.
My mother is in the central part of the state, and her 90% chance of last frost is mid-April, I think. She’s always telling me, though, that she’s seen frost as late as May 20th. She covered her plants but actually had a hard freeze that did some damage. She’s just the same about giving any plant a chance, though, and her plants are recovering.

Tomorrow I have plans to transplant six tomato suckers that I’ve been rooting. I’m kind of a sucker myself for giving potential plants a chance.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
We picked up two yards of soil today and hopefully I'll have the raised beds built by the end of the week.
I’m not sure we could garden here in the Edwards Plateau without raised beds. I got some good advice last year on this forum, Spacebus, to secure the corners with metal clamps or to put a small piece of 2x4 inside each corner and drill into that. We took that route because it’s what we had on hand, and we even did it retroactively after building the beds because it seemed to be the prevailing wisdom from this knowledgeable group.

8300759F-1C61-46B0-979B-E7E3E3698D8C.jpeg

May I also suggest that if having any sort of arched trellis appeals to you or your wife, cattle panels are a great way to set something up pretty easily and economically?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
Almost ready to pick. Getting so close I can taste them.

View attachment 260705
Those look great, Begreen. We’ve had a good number of cucumbers this week, and now that I’ve harvested so many, the vines seem empty. We’ve got some higher temperatures rolling in this weekend, and I’m worried that the heat will keep the plants from being so prolific.

I’m sure for your first cucumbers you’ll want to enjoy them in a salad or by themselves, but I did just post a simple recipe for a cucumber sorbet over in the cooking thread in case you find yourself with too many in the coming days.

Our asparagus keeps sending up new shoots, and I’m very pleased. It’s getting hard to get to some of the ollas when I water.

27425157-2E0B-481A-BC3E-1D118231EE84.jpeg

The corn is growing, and the okra seedlings are alive and slow. I’m hoping next week’s heat will help them grow, and they can eventually shade my cucumbers a bit.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,681
South Puget Sound, WA
Garden visitor to our blackberries. There have been a lot this year.
Bumblebee_close.jpg
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,215
Downeast Maine
I’m not sure we could garden here in the Edwards Plateau without raised beds. I got some good advice last year on this forum, Spacebus, to secure the corners with metal clamps or to put a small piece of 2x4 inside each corner and drill into that. We took that route because it’s what we had on hand, and we even did it retroactively after building the beds because it seemed to be the prevailing wisdom from this knowledgeable group.

View attachment 260777

May I also suggest that if having any sort of arched trellis appeals to you or your wife, cattle panels are a great way to set something up pretty easily and economically?
My plan was to use 2x4's or 2x2's in the corners and fasten the outer boards to them. What are you growing on your trellis? We are going to make a "tipi" with our snow peas, which have gotten to be six inches tall in the last week. We are still nervous about putting anything outside yet, but I can feel that we are rapidly approaching the time. This winter we are going to try and use our spare bedroom as a greenhouse.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,215
Downeast Maine
@begreen how did you plant your swiss chard? We are trying to sprout a handfull of chard seeds but are not having any success. Is it better to just sow them right to the soil?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
582
Texas
My plan was to use 2x4's or 2x2's in the corners and fasten the outer boards to them. What are you growing on your trellis? We are going to make a "tipi" with our snow peas, which have gotten to be six inches tall in the last week. We are still nervous about putting anything outside yet, but I can feel that we are rapidly approaching the time. This winter we are going to try and use our spare bedroom as a greenhouse.
On our big arched trellis we grow vining cucumbers and tomatoes. We love how sturdy it is, and we enjoy walking through it when it provides shade in the summer. We also have simple vertical trellises made from electrical conduit. We used to have nylon trellis netting on them, but we replaced it last year with some wire fencing we were given. That allowed us to make slightly wider beds that what he had had in Virginia. We’ve used those to grow tomatoes and cucumbers as well as beans, peas, squash, and last year we ended up with sweet potato vines climbing one.

I’ve not used a tipi structure personally, but my mother uses a bunch of them as her property is overrun with bamboo in one section, so she has a great supply of poles. They can work well.

Peas can tolerate more cold than heat-lovers like tomatoes or cucumbers. Have you been hardening them off gradually?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,215
Downeast Maine
I’m not sure we could garden here in the Edwards Plateau without raised beds. I got some good advice last year on this forum, Spacebus, to secure the corners with metal clamps or to put a small piece of 2x4 inside each corner and drill into that. We took that route because it’s what we had on hand, and we even did it retroactively after building the beds because it seemed to be the prevailing wisdom from this knowledgeable group.

View attachment 260777

May I also suggest that if having any sort of arched trellis appeals to you or your wife, cattle panels are a great way to set something up pretty easily and economically?
My wife is inquiring about the buckets with the beige lids. She is asking if they are for watering the garden.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,681
South Puget Sound, WA
@begreen how did you plant your swiss chard? We are trying to sprout a handfull of chard seeds but are not having any success. Is it better to just sow them right to the soil?
The start from seed, similar to beets. For just a few plants however, I buy starts from a local nursery or farmer as we are trying to support community farmer and growers. A 4 pack was like $3 and will provide more chard than we can eat.

You'll want to get your peas going asap. They like cooler weather. Germinate them indoor is a jar like sprouts, then plant. Or start them in flats indoors and then transplant.