2021 Garden Thread

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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,955
Woolwich nj
You may have gotten seed from a hybrid.. The seed from a hybrid will show the trade from the parents that is was cross pollinated from. I have also gotten seed that is incorrect.. one time I picked up.a pack of red bell and got a yellow bell pepper., even though the pack had a picture of a red and was labeled a keystone ..
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
I agree that it’s kind of a nice tomato so far, and it worked for the sauce. I’m just disappointed not to know whether my seed packets of Rio Grande and Floradade will be good for the future (50 % accuracy in the four seeds I tried isn’t encouraging.) I bought them particularly for their ability to set fruit in high temperatures, and because they were determinate open-pollinated sauce tomatoes. I’ll keep growing these, of course, and see what I learn.

I harvested another three pounds of tomatoes this morning, and a number of them were this mystery fruit. (The second mystery fruit that came from the Floradade package hasn’t blushed yet.) I wanted to give the ground around them a good watering, so I brought in fruit that was mostly ripe but not completely. It will sit on my counter for a couple of days. The interior of my house is actually a better temperature for ripening tomatoes than my garden is right now, but I do love a good vine-ripened tomato.

@Woodsplitter67, I have a mystery bell pepper in my garden right now. This one is no fault of any seed company, just my own not taking the same care with peppers that I did with the tomatoes. I did some individual seeds in containers that I didn’t label. I thought that the bells didn’t germinate, but evidently one came up later, and the jalapeño seed I had put in later didn’t come up. I only own two varieties of bells, but I don’t know whether it’s the yellow or the red. I’ll be happy either way if I can get a nice, big sweet pepper.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I haven't figured out the secret to peppers. I'll get red peppers or green peppers, but they're racketball sized. It's a me problem, lol, as plenty y of area farms grow them without issues.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
I haven't figured out the secret to peppers. I'll get red peppers or green peppers, but they're racketball sized. It's a me problem, lol, as plenty y of area farms grow them without issues.

I wonder if those area farms use “plasticulture”—black plastic “mulch” that heats the soil early in the season and helps keep back weed competition. I’m not recommending that you use that method, but I could see peppers being a challenge in your area because they do love to keep their feet warm. The secret to peppers is warm soil (and not too much sun, just to make things interesting down here in Texas!).

I think both @begreen and @Woodsplitter67 do well with peppers, though, Maybe they’ll share some other secrets, too.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,955
Woolwich nj
I keep my peppers on the dry side as they do not like constant moisture or we feet, as a matter of fact I have lost peppers when we have had day after day of rain. I feed weekly, but not enough to encourage the plant to get leggy. I use a soluble
15-15-15 but will cut it in half or a little more then half for the peppers. My garden gets full sun all day, very little shade. I do alot of hand watering and most times skip the peppers, I'll water them if, they look like there starting to wilt, or the color isn't good and mix in a small amount of fert. I do on occasion put down a couple granular fertilizers. One being a
14-14-14 and the other is a organic tomato fertilizer it's a jobes I think it's a
6-4-8 something with some micro nutrients, but I go light on the fert but feed regularly. If the peppers start to really green I cut back on the fert and skip the week. The farmer around me grows peppers normally about 400 acres. They feed regularly through drip tube and are using using a low nitrogen fertilizer like a 4 or 6 there plants a a nice green medium size, not leggy not compact, and filled with perfect bell peppers. These guys are pulling peppers out by the tractor trailer load.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I went away for the weekend. It looks like bunnies broke back into the garden. I'm not sure the broccoli has enough time to recover again. Ugh.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
I went away for the weekend. It looks like bunnies broke back into the garden. I'm not sure the broccoli has enough time to recover again. Ugh.
Bummer. Sounds like the fencing is going to need reinforcing or maybe add a low electrical fence. It's not too late to start broccoli, but the baby plants will need some sun shading until they are strong enough to take the summer heat. If the sun is very intense you may be able to leave the shade cloth up until mid-August. You can also plant broccoli in early August too, for a nice fall crop. That has worked well for us the past couple of years.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
I haven't figured out the secret to peppers. I'll get red peppers or green peppers, but they're racketball sized. It's a me problem, lol, as plenty y of area farms grow them without issues.
I don't do anything too special for peppers, they get the same treatment as our eggplants and tomatoes. They go in our sunniest beds which get prepped with some compost, composted chicken and steer manure, a good general-purpose fertilizer like Down-to-Earth's, and worm castings. I put a little extra fertilizer in the hole before planting the seedling. All our watering is via drip irrigation so the surface of the soil is usually dry. We get very little rain in the summer. The sunniest beds get about 9 hrs of sun.

Currently, most of our plants are flowering. There are around 12 plants and 8 varieties with about 6 peppers forming and one larger green bell pepper that will get picked this week. Most of our peppers are allowed to get red, which takes patience, except for the yellow banana peppers.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
Ugh, I just ordered shade cloth for the greenhouse. Never thought I would need to do this here, but the heat coming in the next several days will be too much I think for the tomatoes and cucumbers in there. With a record-setting air temp of 100º I will be watering a lot.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
Ugh, I just ordered shade cloth for the greenhouse. Never thought I would need to do this here, but the heat coming in the next several days will be too much I think for the tomatoes and cucumbers in there. With a record-setting air temp of 100º I will be watering a lot.


Ugh is right! I empathize. We haven’t hit an actual air temperature of 100 yet this season, I don’t think, though the heat index has been above several times, and we have been in the nineties for quite a while.

I don’t have a greenhouse, and I haven’t put shade cloth back above the garden for the summer because I have some plants where I’d have to sacrifice the top growth to do so, and I’m not ready to do that. You’ll definitely need it for your greenhouse with high temperatures and those long sun hours at your latitude.

How is your Poniente cucumber doing, Begreen? You had mentioned an infection a few posts back.

Our cucumbers have done very well this spring, but they are slowing down now. Even well watered they can have trouble facing our afternoon sun. I had my camera out just a bit ago, and this is what my droopiest looks like in the heat of the day. It’s been doing this every afternoon for a week, but it still has enough life and health to perk back up when the late afternoon shade covers it even though the air temperatures are still high at that point.

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If it gets really bad in your greenhouse, you could consider using ice to cool some watering cans of water before applying it. Obviously you wouldn’t want to make it too cold, but it would help keep soil temperatures down for those really brutal couple of days you’re expecting this weekend. If you’re running air conditioning during the heat wave, do you have a way to run the drain water to needy plants or to a container?

The ginger in pots on the front porch and back deck (both in shade) is doing well. I’m noticing that it must be developing new rhizome material and putting up new shoots. I’m thinking of giving some leaves a try in cooking later today. The first shoots are maybe two and a half feet tall now, but I’m glad to see the multiplying.
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
How is your Poniente cucumber doing, Begreen? You had mentioned an infection a few posts back.
The greenhouse poiniente is hanging in there. The lower leaves look sad, but the upper part of the plant is still growing and producing. It is now up into the greenhouse rafters and about 9 ft tall. The outdoor poiniente and other cucumbers are doing well so far and liking the warmer weather. Whether they still are by next week is another question entirely. I could try the ice water in the watering can, though I better buy some bags of ice for that.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,955
Woolwich nj
I can't leave anything in the greenhouse from mid may through early September.. It just gets way to hot. On a sunny day and upper 80s to 90 its 120 degrees in there with all the vents open and the door open. I have a dark concrete paver as the floor with tons of stone underneath for thermal mass and it holds heat.. great in fall, winter and spring but not summer. My friends greenhouse is hotter then mine his is cooking at 140 degrees..
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
Usually, overheating is not an issue in our greenhouse. We get a cooling influence from Puget Sound but maybe not this time.
I'm thinking of changing the greenhouse to bucket containers. That would allow me to relocate the veggies to a cooler, shade location during a hot spell, assuming this is an anomaly. However, what we are about to experience will be a record-setter if predictions hold true. And that is the all-time high record, not just for this day. Normally our record highs are set in late July.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
The greenhouse poiniente is hanging in there. The lower leaves look sad, but the upper part of the plant is still growing and producing. It is now up into the greenhouse rafters and about 9 ft tall. The outdoor poiniente and other cucumbers are doing well so far and liking the warmer weather. Whether they still are by next week is another question entirely. I could try the ice water in the watering can, though I better buy some bags of ice for that.

It seems that it’s ”hanging in there” in more ways than one if it’s growing nine feet in the rafters. Be careful harvesting that. You must need a stepladder.

I’ve read a couple of articles now on the expected heat wave for your area. It sounds as though it could be quite dangerous. Be careful for yourself, please, as you care for your plants. I would go ahead and stock up on ice now before the heat gets going today.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
It seems that it’s ”hanging in there” in more ways than one if it’s growing nine feet in the rafters. Be careful harvesting that. You must need a stepladder.

I’ve read a couple of articles now on the expected heatwave for your area. It sounds as though it could be quite dangerous. Be careful for yourself, please, as you care for your plants. I would go ahead and stock up on ice now before the heat gets going today.
Yes, it doesn't look good. I got the shade cloth on the greenhouse and an extra fan going there. Picking up a bag of ice for the plants in the greenhouse too. Expecting the mid-80s today, then the real heat is coming. Will be shifting to an early morning and evening schedule outdoors for the next several days. Thankful we have a heat pump for the house and that we are close enough to the water to benefit from its influence. The vents are not set up for cooling, but 80º inside will feel like heaven if it hits the predicted 107º on Monday. The 10 day forecast shows about 10º above normal every day. The tomatoes, peppers, cukes and eggplant should love it if they survive the next few days. And this is June!

Screen Shot 2021-06-25 at 10.23.51 AM.png
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
Wow! 107 on Tuesday! I’ve never even seen a temperature that high at my home in Texas (but this is only my third summer, and I know it has been higher at times in the past). It looks as though you’ll still get at least some cooling at night, which is good news. I’m glad you have a way to cool your home during the day, though. I regularly walk into an 80 degree home and am thankful for how much better that feels than outside. I’m also thankful to read that Washington has such a high vaccination rate since there are so many who may need to use cooling centers.

I agree that your vegetables will be liking the weather later next week if they aren’t too traumatized getting there. Your night time lows look good for continued viability of pollen. We struggle in the summers because it just gets too hot for our plants to set fruit or for the fruit on the plants to ripen, but we aren’t going below 70 at night these days.

That was quick turn around on your shade cloth order. I’m glad you were able to get it so quickly and get it set up before the most brutal heat comes in.

I hope this June heat wave will be a strange anomaly for the summer and not a harbinger of July and August. If things stay hot, let me know if you want a few okra seeds for your greenhouse.

Stay safe!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
The shade cloth was in stock, one day order from Amazon so I jumped on it. I also installed an extra fan in the greenhouse. The shade and fan are definitely helping knock down the heat in there.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
How did it go today, @begreen? I was thinking of you as I was working in our heat this morning and late this afternoon. The forecast for up there for the next couple of days looks dreadful.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
The peas have gotten so tall and heavy that they collapsed on themselves. I picked out in the heat and got about 6 pounds. I think tomorrow may be the last of them. The same thing happened in the greenhouse with the cucumber, but I managed to get it better secured to the rafters and it appears ok. The shade cloth is making a big difference. Even so I am giving the tomato in the large container almost a gallon of water a day. Monday will be the trial by fire day. Hoping we get some wind from the north for some water cooling effect.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
Congratulations on the pea harvest, @begreen. At least you had time to get something. I had a lovely crop of snow peas going this winter, and the February freeze did them in before I got to do more than taste them. I’m so glad the shade cloth is helping the greenhouse, but I just saw a prediction for 111 degrees on Monday near where you live. Ugh.

We had a really good harvest of vegetables (for us) this morning. My husband and I worked all day yesterday on the soil in our new raised beds. By evening I was overheated and feeling sunburned, so I didn’t get to the Swiss Chard which needed harvesting. This morning I took the time to gather everything that needed to be harvested, plus the tomatoes that were getting ripe. We have a (small) chance of storms today, and the critters have started getting at my tomatoes at times, so I bring in a portion of the ripening ones to protect them. Here’s what I gathered this morning.
2BA5E243-B3A2-4240-AA5E-104FCB109D64.jpeg

This Swiss Chard is just finishing baking with some scalloped potatoes for lunch. The two tomatoes that look so green are a white variety that my mother sent some seeds for to my daughter earlier this year. They’ve lightened up and started softening, so I brought them in. I’ll be interested to taste one.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
That looks great. What kind of cucumbers are the glossy long ones? How do you like them?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
That looks great. What kind of cucumbers are the glossy long ones? How do you like them?

They are Southern Delight Hybrid.


We have loved them. They don’t get bitter in our climate and have a great flavor. They are supposed to be a good pick for high heat, and I can attest to the fact that they are. They won’t last the whole summer here, though. They’re even slowing down a bit now, but they have been producing mightily for me this spring. We use them a lot for salads: garden salad, cucumber salad, tabbouleh, but we have pickled them, too, in past years. This year my Alibi Hybrid picklers are producing so well that I haven’t pickled any of the Southern Delights, but I have given away any number of them. They’re my equivalent of zucchini this year. It makes me think I planted too many plants, but really I think it was the rainy May we had that got them off to such a strong start. I have twenty feet of trellis, and the cucumbers have climbed all over it and are trying to invade the fencing, too.

I used my last seeds for the Southern Delights this year (one reason I was so, so upset when the armadillo uprooted my plants twice, but amazingly they actually came back). I think I’ll have to get a new pack next year. We are very pleased with this variety, and we love salads.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
Looks good. The Southern Delight looks like a shorter version of the Poiniente that we are growing. We are also growing Alibi and Regal pickling cukes for the first time. So far, the Regals have proven good. Waiting for our first Alibis for comparison.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
986
Texas
Looks good. The Southern Delight looks like a shorter version of the Poiniente that we are growing. We are also growing Alibi and Regal pickling cukes for the first time. So far, the Regals have proven good. Waiting for our first Alibis for comparison.

Your Ponientes must be monsters then! I really hope they survive today’s heat for you.
7FD78894-9013-4540-A9FB-26FFECC4C526.jpeg

We grew Alibi a few times in Virginia, and it was always great for us (except that it was definitely attractive to cucumber beetles). After having some less positive experiences with other types of pickling cukes down here in Texas, I decided to order a new pack of Alibis for last fall’s garden. It was an utter failure! Thrips found them, and no amount of spraying with neem or yellow sticky traps could save them. I just pulled them out and was really worried that they just didn’t like this environment. I tried again this spring, though, and they have been great. The bottom of my refrigerator is full of fermented pickles (one jar of dilly beans). I’m just about to sit down and make some more this afternoon. I’ve never had any experience with Regal.
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I’m thinking of you and your gardens/greenhouse in today’s heat.