2021 Garden Thread

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
So far we are not getting the worst of the heat. Nearby Puget Sound is helping keep us about 15º cooler than inland thanks to a steady breeze. We're at 84º at 1pm. Inland has already passed 100º. This should be the worst of it. So far the only casualties have been the peas and lettuce. The sugar snap peas have already provided us with about 20 lbs of peas, so it's not the end of the world. We'll see about the strawberries, they have been producing like crazy this year and may want a rest in this heat.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,038
Woolwich nj
this heat is Is reeking havoc on my zucchini... I have some serious wilt right now.. had a little wilt yesterday and threw water on them.. I'm hoping they make it past this week and the temps will drop to near normal.. got some good peppers yesterday

20210628_162152.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
Nice. Yellow bananas?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,038
Woolwich nj
how well does insecticidal soap for anyone here

They are just ok.. some results on some none on others. Don't spray when rain is in the forecast. If you have Aphids on your tomatoes, soap will help very little.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
Well, we survived. Temps are much better today, so far it is only 78º with a high of 84 predicted. The garden did ok. I picked another 5 lbs of peas today and then pulled the plants. They really performed well. we got about 30 pounds total. I put the canteloupe babies in the garden beds last night. They are ready to grow. Hope it's not too late.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
Well, we survived. Temps are much better today, so far it is only 78º with a high of 84 predicted. The garden did ok. I picked another 5 lbs of peas today and then pulled the plants. They really performed well. we got about 30 pounds total. I put the canteloupe babies in the garden beds last night. They are ready to grow. Hope it's not too late.

Hurray! I’m glad things have moderated for you, though I think inland is still expecting high heat tomorrow?

What type of peas do you plant? How big a space do you devote to them? I want to try sugar snap peas again this year for our fall garden. My kids love them.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
We grow sugar snap peas. This year I tried something new and had a row in the center of the corn bed which is 14' long. I also had some backup starts which I grew in another bed rather than throwing them out. The peas in the corn bed idea was not a good one. The peas grew huge and pushed out the corn sideways. I put multiple strings across the peas to keep them growing upright, but eventually, the height (over 7 ft tall) and weight of the peas caused them to double over and push the corn outward. Now with the peas gone the corn does not want to stand upright. I just added some support posts and strings to support the rows. Never did that before and am not sure if it's going to work. Next year the corn goes back to having a dedicated bed with squash in between.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
We grow sugar snap peas. This year I tried something new and had a row in the center of the corn bed which is 14' long. I also had some backup starts which I grew in another bed rather than throwing them out. The peas in the corn bed idea was not a good one. The peas grew huge and pushed out the corn sideways. I put multiple strings across the peas to keep them growing upright, but eventually, the height (over 7 ft tall) and weight of the peas caused them to double over and push the corn outward. Now with the peas gone the corn does not want to stand upright. I just added some support posts and strings to support the rows. Never did that before and am not sure if it's going to work. Next year the corn goes back to having a dedicated bed with squash in between.

Sounds like you had some really healthy peas, though!

A couple years ago I had some container corn that was flattened by a windstorm. It did not want to stand up on its own, but I was able to get it to stay upright by a thick layer of wood mulch around the base and some temporary fencing wrapped around the outside. Your bed might be too big for temporary fencing if you don’t happen to have any lying around, but stakes and strings should help. Do you have some thick mulching material you can add right at the base of the stalks?

I read all the time on various garden sites recommendations about the “Three Sisters” method, but I’ve never done it. I’ve also read that modern sweet corn with its shorter days to maturity doesn’t support aggressive pole beans nearly so well as traditional field corn that grows a much thicker, taller stalk. That makes a whole lot of sense to me.

How is the garden looking now that it’s had a couple of days since the highest heat?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds like you had some really healthy peas, though!
How is the garden looking now that it’s had a couple of days since the highest heat?
Yes, the pea crop was epic this year. Overall it looks like the tomatoes suffered the most in the heat. They are recovering, but with curled leaves at this point. I sprayed them with some dilute epsom salts today. Ironically, the plants in the greenhouse look better. The shade cloth worked really well. Both plants are now competing with the cucumber for rafter space. Speaking of which, it didn't slow down.
this was yesterday's harvest and there are a lot more coming.
cukes.jpg
I am happy to say that the new bed is thriving and the plants look better in there. I harvested some beets from the cinderblock holes and grilled them last night.
beets.jpg
Zucchinis are now going full steam. And last but not least, the pie cherries are coming on fast and furious. I picked a batch yesterday and will do another this weekend.
Cherries.jpg
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
Thanks for the photographic update, Begreen. Those cucumbers are beauties! What do you do with so many?

Those beets look great as well! I’m glad the new bed is working out so well.

I’m also glad the cherries made it through the heat. I actually heard a report one day on the radio on the hardships of cherry growers and pickers in Washington during the heatwave.

I just spent some time cleaning and rearranging our pantry to make room for multiple baskets of tomatoes. I prefer to store the fruit in a single layer, and I’m hoping to make salsa in the next day or two with the paste tomatoes. I need to keep an eye on them, but it was too much for the kitchen counter. That’s a good problem to have.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
Frankly, we have never had such a prolific crop. We make cucumber salads and are thinking of a cucumber soup. We give away them to family, friends and folks in need.
Yes, the berry and fruit farmers got hit hard. Some are saying the crop got wiped out by the heat. Our container raspberry got hit hard, but so far our Autumn Bliss raspberries look ok. The garden blueberries appear to have the heat in stride. I have a heavy mulch on that bed.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
I just posted a couple of links in the cooking thread that have cucumber recipes in case you need some inspiration.

My son loves to play in our next door neighbors’ garden paths (with permission). We were there this morning and got a text from the neighbor saying that she was feeling ill. I asked my five year old what we could do to help Mrs. *, and his answer was pretty telling: “We could give her a cucumber.” We’ve been giving lots away, too.

Tonight we had our first harvest of corn, just one cob, though. In the past I’ve made the mistake of leaving some too long while waiting to have six cobs ready. This one was ready, and others will take longer, so this one got harvested. I used it in a pan of vegetables, so we all got to share it.
599582C6-8C42-4C20-9E83-B98E67A90953.jpeg
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
I'm gonna need the recipes. Picked 3 more cukes tonight. Will be having a cucumber salad tonight and many more nights too.
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
I got a lot of prep work done yesterday in the garden, removed bolted lettuce and fed the bed in preparation for #5 planting of carrots. I am toying with the idea of planting more beets too and some bush beans to complement the pole bean crop. I also harvested the softneck garlic crop. It was a good one this year. Nice plump heads.

softneck-garlic.jpg
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
Good thing you’ve had two good garlic crops this year. You’ll need it to make pickles!

My garlic completely failed this year. Most of it never even came up, and the ones that did didn’t last. My first couple of years with garlic in Texas weren’t great, but my husband encouraged me to try one more time. I made a point of finding a local organic farm selling a good variety for the area. I vernalized it in the refrigerator for eight or ten weeks, I believe, and planted it extra deep (as directed for so far south). I don’t know where the failure was. I’m not sure whether I’ll try again this fall or not, but I do so love raising my own garlic. We use it a lot.

I pulled some bolted lettuce yesterday, too, after cutting off the seed heads. I was scavenging nitrogen sources for the last bed of our new ones. We topped the others off with finished aged manure compost that we purchased and planted out cowpeas and Sunn Hemp as cover crops, but there wasn’t really enough compost for that last bed. We haven’t planted anything, and we’ll continue to add as we go. We started on the fencing but will need to do a lot more work on Monday.

Unfortunately something has been digging in my very fenced established garden again. It looks like armadillo damage, but I haven’t a clue how they’re getting in if it is. There were also holes dug in pots and planters that stand more than a foot off the ground. Would an armadillo do that? What other animal would dig so deep but not eat the tomatoes or corn?
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,736
Colorado
Why is not your garlic growing like Begreen's whats happening there....My tomato is still growing and there is one very tiny tomato on it maybe two and I have come to the conclusion that I hate weeding...clancey
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
I'm sorry to hear you are still having critter problems. Do you have metal fencing laid flat on the ground outside of the fence perimeter as a dig barrier? Do you have a trail cam to catch the culprits?
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I can't catch a break this year. We were on vacation this last week. The fence failed again. Broccoli, beans and kale got hit. Hey even hit the onions again! I'm going to tear out all my fence and redo it. They took beans off the pots right against the deck. Must have been the lack of fresh dog smell.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
Oh no! Deer are always lurking around our fence perimeter. The week before last our neighbor's locust came crashing down on our west fence. 3 deer got in. Fortunately, they only ate some strawberries and the lower leaves on a cherry tree. It took a while to get them out and for the neighbor to cut back the tree and fix the fence. I was out of town so my wife had to deal with it. The mama deer kept breaking in. My wife was exhausted by the end of the day after repeatedly chasing them out and poured herself a glass of wine, then went to pick berries in the main garden. There, between two beds was a very young fawn. That was why mom kept breaking in. Thankfully she was able t scoot it out and peace returned.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Wow, I bet mamma deer was frantic!

I harvested all the softneck garlic. The tops died back. I forked them out with the kid and they are drying. Theyre a bit small. I'm not sure if our weird weather is to blame or something else. I'm not worried though. We got more than enough to cover our needs. If I need to buy some seed garlic this fall so be it. It's not expensive. The hardneck is still going strong.

I weed wacked down all the leafless beans and broccoli. I'll replant beans and can still get a harvest. The kale will come back. The browsing will only encourage it.

I have lots of tomato flowers. It should be a great harvest for them. The zucchini really took off this late week and I have a small 3" zucchini on1.

I did a quick weeding around the squash and cukes. Nothing really happening with them yet.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,005
Texas
Why is not your garlic growing like Begreen's whats happening there....My tomato is still growing and there is one very tiny tomato on it maybe two and I have come to the conclusion that I hate weeding...clancey

No idea. Garlic is a crop that is planted in the fall, comes up either then or waits the winter and comes up in early spring. I don’t know why mine didn’t make it. My climate is really not ideal for garlic.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,570
South Puget Sound, WA
No idea. Garlic is a crop that is planted in the fall, comes up either then or waits the winter and comes up in early spring. I don’t know why mine didn’t make it. My climate is really not ideal for garlic.
Have you read A Garlic Testament? It is a great book about growing in the Southwest. The topic is garlic, but the growth is in the gardener too.