2021 Garden Thread

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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,925
Woolwich nj
it's been an excellent growing season so far this year. Just recently we have been having frequent rain but may and June were pretty dry. which has been great for growing. The farmers as well as myself haven't had to do much in the way of spraying.. I did my first fungicide last week to the tomatoes and sprayed my first insecticide last week also.. what did you think of the pictures of the fields on my street
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
973
Texas
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We got a camera set up in the garden yesterday evening. Here’s what it caught. (It also saw deer outside the garden. No surprise there.) I’m really glad I harvested three nice ears of corn last night before this guy visited again.

I had returned the neighbors’ traps to their garden earlier this week as they had had some digging. There was a raccoon in one this morning. I don’t know if it’s the same raccoon or if there’s a big nursery around. I’ll use the camera again tonight and see if there’s another visitor.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
973
Texas
it's been an excellent growing season so far this year. Just recently we have been having frequent rain but may and June were pretty dry. which has been great for growing. The farmers as well as myself haven't had to do much in the way of spraying.. I did my first fungicide last week to the tomatoes and sprayed my first insecticide last week also.. what did you think of the pictures of the fields on my street

My first thought about the fields was, “They do call New Jersey the garden state.” My next thought was to try to figure out how big 250 acres and 400 acres was in terms of something I can relate to. I think the neighborhood in which I live (which I consider quite sizeable) might be around 250 acres (or smaller). I think adding the tomato field and the pepper field together would be about a square mile. Does that sound right?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,925
Woolwich nj
My first thought about the fields was, “They do call New Jersey the garden state.” My next thought was to try to figure out how big 250 acres and 400 acres was in terms of something I can relate to. I think the neighborhood in which I live (which I consider quite sizeable) might be around 250 acres (or smaller). I think adding the tomato field and the pepper field together would be about a square mile. Does that sound right?

so yes that's pretty close to a square mile.. its alot of produce..
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I planted some grass today, lol. Figured I should take advantage of the monsoon.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,251
Colorado
Everything sure does look beautiful and those veg in the picture of four of them I could eat now...just wonderful...gardening is such hard work but it keeps you independent and healthy and sane...I love those fields not a building in sight good for you...Just beautiful..clancey
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,906
South Puget Sound, WA
Begreen, that is just beautiful. I love nasturtiums! I haven’t grown them successfully in Texas (deer eat them, too), but I need to try again. They’re just gorgeous and such a fun addition to salads.

Do you have a second new bed in the back there where the corn is?
No, the corn is just extras I had so I put them in big pots. I had some extra blocks that I put around them to protect from the weedeater. I don't think they will bear anything worth mentioning.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
973
Texas
No, the corn is just extras I had so I put them in big pots. I had some extra blocks that I put around them to protect from the weedeater. I don't think they will bear anything worth mentioning.

I had the same issue. I soaked and sprouted a bunch of four-year-old corn seeds in April, expecting to see not great germination. Well, it turned out to be about 97%, so I ended up putting a good number of seeds in the extra holes in our cinderblock bed. I don’t think that they have the root space and nutrients they need because they’re awfully spindly, but it’s interesting to see what they do.

You can’t really see the herbs in the back behind the Roselle/Hibiscus plants, but I’ve got thyme, mint, and oregano back there as well as some za’atar (Syrian oregano), lavender, and dwarf ajicito peppers closer to the front. Some of the Roselle got torn up and broken this week, and the bushiest plant got bent way over by the runoff from the roof when we had four inches of rain overnight last week. The good news is that the bed absorbed that runoff and we didn’t have the flooding problem we’ve had in the past in that corner. The Roselle is beginning to stand back up now.

92629D2D-7CC4-40CA-8405-2ECE7097EDFE.jpeg
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
973
Texas
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We had another good harvest this morning. I’m afraid I haven’t been able to keep up with the cucumbers. I gave some away this morning but still have more than I need. We’ll have a cucumber and tomato salad for dinner tonight.

My cherry tomatoes are doing pretty well, though I am still having splitting on some varieties after all the rain last week. Some of the larger tomatoes are looking strange, though. These three are from a Thessaloniki plant that looks pretty healthy, but the tomatoes seem stunted and aren’t ripening to red. Is this a symptom of some sort of disease? Heat stress? (It hasn’t been as hot here as it normally would be, but tomatoes also often give up in July when the weather is normal.). I’ll keep these inside for a couple of days to see what happens.
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fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,026
Massachusetts
i used to get splitting up here in mass but that was because the tomato was warm and either i hit it with cold water from the hose or it would go from steaming hot to a thunder shower with cold rain and that would do it. those that are not turning red look weird i was told that if i put the tomatoes in a brown bag for a few days that would get them to turn red. hope you get it straighten out.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
973
Texas
We’ve definitely had more pop-up thunderstorms here recently than usual; I was attributing the splitting on the cherries to the rain.

I’m going to keep a close eye on the Thessaloniki tomato plants and fruits. I just don’t want to be harboring a disease in my garden that will spread.

I normally turn the trail camera off first thing, but today I wanted to see if it would capture pictures of a butterfly. The resolution isn’t great because I cropped a lot out, but it was still fun to see what it caught (along with hundreds of photos of plants waving in the wind).

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It was another good harvest day today. I’m very pleased with the shishito peppers.
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,906
South Puget Sound, WA
Nice harvest. It looks like you may be getting ready to do some pickling. Right now we are getting zucchinis out of our ears from just 2 plants. Time to get creative with them.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
973
Texas
are those the peppers that are used for pepperoncino's

They’re similar but not quite the same. Here’s a nice article that covers both.



Shishito is a Japanese frying pepper. I’ve usually been blistering them in olive oil, but last night we did them with a tempura batter.

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@begreen, I also had a little eggplant, zucchini, and okra and gave them the same treatment. It was a nice variation.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,251
Colorado
My tomato plant really looks wild looking and should I cut off or trim some of it's leaves on the bottom to make it look pretty..? clancey

My tomatoe plant 001.JPG
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
973
Texas
My tomato plant really looks wild looking and should I cut off or trim some of it's leaves on the bottom to make it look pretty..? clancey

View attachment 280274

Tomatoes can be pretty wild in their growth. Yours is looking nice and healthy.

The best thing you can do for a caged Celebrity plant is carefully to make sure that the branches don’t escape from the cage too soon. If any are under the wires try to weave them back in so that they are directed upward before heading sideways.

At the very bottom of the plant you can trim away leaves that are under the flowering branches (or even trim a flowering branch if it’s quite low). Sometimes soil splashing onto tomato foliage is a transmitter of tomato diseases, so that’s why it’s recommended to keep foliage higher away from the soil. That’s also why mulch is recommended in addition to keep down weeds.

If any of the foliage starts to yellow at the bottom of the plant, you can carefully remove that. So far I’m not seeing that in your picture. Colorado’s dry air probably helps keep foliage diseases from spreading as easily as they do in humid places like the southeast.

There are all sorts of different views on pruning tomatoes and you’ll find lots of information about it on garden sites, but keep in mind that there are different types of tomato plants. Celebrity is one that doesn’t benefit quite as much from pruning (a semi-determinate), but yours is growing great, so it might get bigger and wilder. You can try to keep that wildness headed out the top of the cage. You could even use garden twine to tie up branches if necessary.

If the appearance really bothers you and you want to prune just for aesthetics, you can. Tomatoes are pretty hardy plants. Just keep in mind that leaves are what feed the plant, and flowering branches are what produce fruit, so you don’t want to be too extreme.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,251
Colorado
Thanks that is very helpful information and I have been trying to shove the branches in the wire--lol and one branch I held up with a flower pot--lol---big branch and did not want to cut it--lol..enjoying my gardening adventure here..clancey
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Some alsotrim out the suckers. I normally start each season doing this, but lose interest part way through.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,251
Colorado
What do you mean by suckers? I got two long curvy green poles today at home depot to hold the tomato plant stems if they get too high and i wanted some chips but they only had real big bags so I got some peat moss to put around the bottom so that I will not have to weed them as much and if I keep it wet will this be okay to put under my tomato plant--looks pretty this stuff...clancey
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
973
Texas
What do you mean by suckers? I got two long curvy green poles today at home depot to hold the tomato plant stems if they get too high and i wanted some chips but they only had real big bags so I got some peat moss to put around the bottom so that I will not have to weed them as much and if I keep it wet will this be okay to put under my tomato plant--looks pretty this stuff...clancey

Suckers are branches that grow at an angle between the leaves and the main stalk of the tomato. Each one actually has the potential to become another main stalk. A lot of people (including me) prune out suckers early on to get a main stalk that is strong but then let them go later in the season. Sometimes I let them go way too much, and that directs too much energy to the plant rather than the fruit.

There are about a bazillion videos on pruning tomatoes, but I watched a few and think I found a good one for you. It would take only about ten minutes to watch, but you can learn a lot. He goes over some tomato anatomy, including what a sucker is. He also covers how to prune a determinate tomato sparingly, a different process from what you would want to do on a different type.

Your Celebrity plant that you are growing is classed as a determinate or semi-determinate plant. It doesn’t mean it’s a small plant, but it will not vine endlessly. You might want to do some pruning at the first foot or even eighteen inches up the plant, but on this kind of plant you don’t want to take out all the suckers. If you can, watch the video, maybe even a couple of times, and ask questions here if you need more clarification. I hope this helps.



I’ve never used peat moss as a mulch. It can be difficult to get wet once it has dried out. If you do decide to use it, ou might want to soak it in a bucket before you apply it. Someone else might have better advice for you on that.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,251
Colorado
Thanks I will check that out and most eager to watch that video you offered...I like video's like that where one shares know how things with you...thanks a lot..clancey
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,906
South Puget Sound, WA
Some alsotrim out the suckers. I normally start each season doing this, but lose interest part way through.
I trim our indeterminates regularly once every week or two. Mostly to get the suckers out. I have 2 celebrity tomatoes and they are so thick that it is hard to figure out if or where to trim.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
so, its been raining the last 15 days non stop. I grow in raised beds, so rain usually isn't an issue. When the rain started, my cukes were in a well weeded bed. Flowers were out and the female flowers were showing inch long cukes. I checked on them and they liquefied. Wtf! I've never seen that before!

Zucchini in the next bed are doing awesome. Little bit of powdery mildew on them, but I'm not complaining with the rain.

Tomatoes are doing well, but I wouldn't be surprised if something happens to them with a fungus or something.

By the end of the year I'll be down to the beans and okra in a couple containers. When I take the dog out to go to the bathroom, I raid a handful of green beans. A bright spot in the day, lol.

This year is traumatizing.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,906
South Puget Sound, WA
Yuck. Looks like you will finally be seeing a break for a bit Matt. Hope the garden plants recover quickly. Remove the bottom leaves from tomato plants to help air circulation.