2021 Garden Thread

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BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
450
Uptown Marble, CO
We're in a micro climate rain shadow. Our area gets half the rainfall that Seattle does. Average about 17" per year as compared to Seattle's 32-34" per year. So when we have a dry summer, it is really dry here. Some of our lawn is already browning out. Though it might green up again with yesterday's rainfall.


I lived in North Bend for three years, which was a micro-climate in the other direction: we averaged around 70 inches of precipitation per year. We had a stretch from Christmas through early February one year (about 6 weeks) where we recorded over 30 inches of rainfall, and that rain gauge was on the dry side of town.

Where I live in Colorado, it will still be another week or two before you can get any plants in the ground. We're still getting overnight frost regularly. It's 27 at my place at the moment, with an afternoon high of 82 forecast.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I guess time and dates are relative. I'm used to getting all my stuff in early. This year it's been real cold so I look at my garden and think its behind. It's not. I'm just being foolish. I like harvesting early and I'll be harvesting at a normal time this year.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Today when I got home from work I looked at the beans in their starter tray. Some are already poking out of the soil! I'm impressed! This is day 4! Day 1 was a soak in a bath of water. Day 2 was out of the water and onto wet paper towels. I noticed some of them starting to push out of the seed and put them in the starter tray yesterday, day 3. Today they are pushing out of the soil! Wow!


You know, those starter trays have been busy. I bought them with broccoli in them. After they were hardened off and planted they got tomatoes planted in them April 1st. A week or 2 later the remaining spots were filled with zucchini, squash, cukes, and basil. Now they are filled with beans!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,498
South Puget Sound, WA
I lived in North Bend for three years, which was a micro-climate in the other direction: we averaged around 70 inches of precipitation per year. We had a stretch from Christmas through early February one year (about 6 weeks) where we recorded over 30 inches of rainfall, and that rain gauge was on the dry side of town.
Yes, the west slopes of the Cascades get a lot more rain, almost twice what Seattle averages. We have rain to the west and east of us this evening. Dry here.
 

Dobish

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2015
2,027
Golden CO
Got our Garden in a few weeks ago. We wanted to maximize space, so we built a few more raised beds (60% more space than last year!) AND a trellis for the Butternut and Acorn Squash to go over. We have been eating lettuce and radish for the last week. Our peas and Beans are starting to climb, and we have a few patty pan and yellow squash on our plants.

1623558188280.png

The xeriscaped garden is coming in quite nicely for year 3!
1623558271325.png
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,498
South Puget Sound, WA
Wow, you have made a lot of progress since the last shots of the remodel. Solar added too! It looks great.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
You know, those starter trays have been busy. I bought them with broccoli in them. After they were hardened off and planted they got tomatoes planted in them April 1st. A week or 2 later the remaining spots were filled with zucchini, squash, cukes, and basil. Now they are filled with beans!

You know, I think you’ve been busy, too, in addition to those starter trays! What’s the latest garden news?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
Got our Garden in a few weeks ago. We wanted to maximize space, so we built a few more raised beds (60% more space than last year!) AND a trellis for the Butternut and Acorn Squash to go over. We have been eating lettuce and radish for the last week. Our peas and Beans are starting to climb, and we have a few patty pan and yellow squash on our plants.

I went back and looked at last year’s pictures to compare. I really like what you’ve added and how you made your trellis go over your entry path. It looks very nice, and I bet it will be beautiful when the plants start filling it out.

I have a pumpkin vine that refused to stay away from the tomatoes. I put up a little fencing to keep it a bit more contained. In one night, it leaped from the top of that fence and grabbed onto my taller tomato trellis. The next day it started moving out to the pathway. I decided to let it go and guided it toward an arched trellis where I have some determinate cucumbers. It now has a firm hold on the roof of the arch, If it wants to spread on top of that, I’ll let it. I just want to see what it will do.

I was surprised to see today that I have a tassel on one corn plant. I also have a couple of new tomato varieties blushing. Unfortunately it was so hot today that it was utterly miserable to be in the garden even in the morning. My plants have grown so tall that it might be hard to put shade cloth back up. Thankfully the lush growth is really doing a good job shading the soil.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,498
South Puget Sound, WA
Rain today, .79" in 24 hrs which is the most we have gotten in many months. It's very welcome. Unfortunately, slugs also love it. I will see what the garden thinks tomorrow.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
You know, I think you’ve been busy, too, in addition to those starter trays! What’s the latest garden news?

The garden has been busy, but if anything, I'm just holding a water hose, lol.

Perennials are about ready to harvest. Rhubarb is ready, blueberries, and raspberries are coming on soon. Kale just started getting harvested for soups and stews, I don't think we've frozen any yet. I'm wondering how much longer the lettuce will hold out. I do like scattering the seeds in the top of tubs, then hacking away with a pair of scissors. It's much better than going out to the garden and selecting leaves. Zucchini plants are starting to look like zucchini plants.

I need to have at the kale so it doesn't overtake the squash.

Maybe I'll get some tomatoes next month.

I dont know, it's a garden,lol
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,498
South Puget Sound, WA
I haven't had much time to spend in the garden.. but here it is so far. Iv been working on my wood processing area as well as additional storage.. I didn't do anything this week.. hopefully I can putter around next weekend
View attachment 279538 View attachment 279539 View attachment 279540 View attachment 279541
That looks great Woodsplitter. Your garden is at about the same stage as ours is.

Matt, have you tried growing more bolt-resistant varieties of lettuce in a shadier location or under a shade cloth? I grow red and green salad bowl lettuce all summer long in small successive plantings along with some other mixes. The early spring plantings are in full sun, but the next will be in a bed that only gets about 4-6 hrs of sunlight. I also may try some in an area that gets shaded by the cucumber trellis.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Well, yes and no. I'm not sure if the varieties are bolt tolerant, but they are a few feet directly north/northeast of a peach tree that shades them very well as it comes in.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
The heat has really hit in our part of Texas now. I had to harvest a bell pepper that got sunburned even though it’s to the north of super-tall tomato trellises. I don’t love green peppers as I prefer the flavor of ripe ones, but it went well in a zucchini sauce for lunch today. Here’s what the garden gave for that (with the ugly sunburned spot turned down):

331F072D-6BF4-4CFE-818E-AAB67E420B7F.jpeg

My five year old got to help harvest the cherry tomatoes, and he picked a few before their prime, but they all went into sauce. We have some sauce tomatoes blushing now, too, but they weren’t ready for picking.

@Woodsplitter67 , the tomatoes in the middle of this shot are the Agi Red, not quite ripe. The striping should be more yellow than green, I believe. I was still pleased with the flavor. The ones on the bottom are Sweet Million, on top Madera. Madera is a new one for me this season. I really like its flavor, though, and if it can stand up to the heat as well as Sweet Million, I think it might take its place for me. We use a lot of cherry tomatoes, and they’re better for the height of summer in Texas than bigger fruited varieties.

F9923810-884A-4781-93AB-B40E0B7CF458.jpeg
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,957
Woolwich nj
The heat has really hit in our part of Texas now. I had to harvest a bell pepper that got sunburned even though it’s to the north of super-tall tomato trellises. I don’t love green peppers as I prefer the flavor of ripe ones, but it went well in a zucchini sauce for lunch today. Here’s what the garden gave for that (with the ugly sunburned spot turned down):

View attachment 279565

My five year old got to help harvest the cherry tomatoes, and he picked a few before their prime, but they all went into sauce. We have some sauce tomatoes blushing now, too, but they weren’t ready for picking.

@Woodsplitter67 , the tomatoes in the middle of this shot are the Agi Red, not quite ripe. The striping should be more yellow than green, I believe. I was still pleased with the flavor. The ones on the bottom are Sweet Million, on top Madera. Madera is a new one for me this season. I really like its flavor, though, and if it can stand up to the heat as well as Sweet Million, I think it might take its place for me. We use a lot of cherry tomatoes, and they’re better for the height of summer in Texas than bigger fruited varieties.

View attachment 279566

I picked my first cherry tomatoes yesterday from a potted tomato that I had in the greenhouse. I took them out a few weeks ago when we had the heat.. im looking forward to the new tomato variety..
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
I picked my first cherry tomatoes yesterday from a potted tomato that I had in the greenhouse. I took them out a few weeks ago when we had the heat.. im looking forward to the new tomato variety..

You must have been having some pretty good heat. The photo of your garden looked like you were loaded with banana peppers or something similar.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,957
Woolwich nj
You must have been having some pretty good heat. The photo of your garden looked like you were loaded with banana peppers or something similar.
Yes.. we like frying peppers. but not that much. only one row was to be frying. the other row was to be red bell. I had to repot some of the stuff that I started in February. Some of my soil was contaminated and I had lots of seedlings come up and couldn't tell what was what. When we were reseeding I guess I was still sowing yellow when I should have sown red.. I have like 4 plants bell I don't like to discard anything do I have some in large containers.. 3 gallon plant pots I get from work. The cherry and Better Boy tomatoes are in 5 gallon containers We did have some good heat a couple weeks back and it was dry. Had I think 5 days of mid 90s for 2.5 weeks we had upper 80s to mid 90s and bone dry.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
At least peppers freeze well!

Plant mix-ups can be frustrating. I bought two packs of seeds for paste tomatoes this spring and planted two seeds of each. In each group only one plant is growing true to type, the other is a more typical slicer. I don’t think I mixed any plants up as they were labeled quite carefully, and one of the slicers is lobed, unlike any other tomato that I own. I’m assuming that I got some sort of crossed or mixed-up seed from the company. I’ll just make sauce from the slicers, but it is frustrating not to know exactly what I’m growing, and not to be growing the pastes that I intended. Both mystery plants have at least set a lot of fruit, and the lobed one has some ripening.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Manyvtomatoe flowers self pollinate with the wind. It sounds like a bee helped your plant out with a little cross pollination.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,498
South Puget Sound, WA
Cucumbers outside are finally getting some sun and tolerable overnight temps. I ate our first pickling cuke (Regal) yesterday. It was good. News for our full-sized cukes is mixed. The good news is the outdoor cukes are grateful for sun and warming temps. We have a Paraiso that is about 4" long. The bad news is that the disease (virus or bacterial) is badly affecting the huge Poiniente plant in the greenhouse. I'm not sure it is going to make it and suspect I will be growing in pots there next year.
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,957
Woolwich nj
Cucumbers outside are finally getting some sun and tolerable overnight temps. I ate our first pickling cuke (Regal) yesterday. It was good. News for our full-sized cukes is mixed. The good news is the outdoor cukes are grateful for sun and warming temps. We have a Paraiso that is about 4" long. The bad news is that the disease (virus or bacterial) is badly affecting the huge Poiniente plant in the greenhouse. I'm not sure it is going to make it and suspect I will be growing in pots there next year.

I have found growing in the greenhouse year round to be difficult. It gets way to hot I the summer or days with no clouds and full summer sun. I have my door open all all the vents open and the plants don't do well. My tomatoes don't flower because of the heat and things like cucumber get disease quickly when the greenhouse closes at night. I pot my stuff for the greenhouse in large containers and when the weather cools and gets more Conducive I will move the plants in. Every so often in the fall and early winter some of the stuff needs to get hit with a fungicide or its a goner..
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,498
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, our greenhouse does best for early starts and overwintering sensitive plants like our lemons and olive. The first few years were good, but the last 7 or so have been a battle. Aphids get in and spread disease quickly.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
Manyvtomatoe flowers self pollinate with the wind. It sounds like a bee helped your plant out with a little cross pollination.

I spend a lot of time tapping my tomato trellises and plants to encourage that self-pollination, though I do have a fair amount of wind, too. The honeybees have been very busy with my cucumbers. They must certainly be cross-pollinated, as well as my squashes, but I don’t have any plans to save seeds from those plants this season since most of them are hybrids.

Cross-pollination of plants in my garden shouldn’t affect this year’s plants or fruit since the changes in traits only show up in the next generation from the crossed seeds (with the exception of corn, I’ve heard, which can show changes that same season). Last year I used up my last Black Krim seed in my packet, and so I did save seeds from our first ripe fruit, I think. It was planted right next to a yellow pear tomato, though, and I had other varieties, too. I haven’t grown one out yet to see how it turns out, but I still have the seeds to experiment with at some point.

It’s been hot and dry here recently. I never harvested my onions in May as it rained the morning I had planned to do so. We’ve been eating them steadily, but I pulled the rest of the crop up this morning. They have been in my cucumber and pepper bed, and I needed to get mulch on that bed to help keep in the moisture I apply. The onions are now on a rack in my garage with a small fan blowing on them to circulate the air. I think they’re mostly dry from their time in the ground, but I wanted to give them a bit of air movement. I mulched around the zucchini and beans as well.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
Here’s a picture of the fruit of one of my mystery tomatoes. Next to it is a shot of the real Rio Grande tomato growing in my garden. The “not Rio Grande” tomatoes are about four ounces, kind of flat, and lobed. I don’t have anything else in the garden like it. I used several (with a few other varieties and vegetables thrown in) to make a sauce today, and it turned out well, so that’s good news. I’m not even sure if it’s a determinate or indeterminate plant. It’s growing pretty tall, but it also has a bunch of fruit that’s ripening now. I guess I’ll just have to see what happens as the season goes on.

982D8B10-2026-4EE6-BE4A-52929ADC36EB.jpeg 26A83DF6-4819-45F1-A163-96421DB2C51D.jpeg