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My progress at new home

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My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/12/2014, 11:31 am

Good morning all SFG'ers.  I have been keeping up with everyone but have not had much time to post anything as of late.  I built my first SFG in 2012 and had pretty good success.  We relocated across state shortly after and I had to leave the first garden but kept what I learned.  One of my first projects after closing on the new house was to get a garden set up.  We closed on the 28th of Feb and my first plants were in on April 22.  Here is a time laps of growth.  I bought starts this year due to time but will grow my own next year.

4/22/14-2x4 center box, 2 Cherokee Purple, 1 Pink Rutgers, 1 Better Boy, and 2 Black Cherry across the back left to right.  Peppers 2 sweet bells, 2 banana, 2 Jalapeno.  Left side box, 7 Cucumber, purple basal, curly parsley, and 5 squares of beans.  Also have some marigolds scattered around.


5/7/14
Planted corn in the far right box.


Shortly after 5/7 we had a visitor show up.  This pretty King snake actually has made 3 visits this spring.  First time was in my wifes garage, second in my garage up on my storage shelf, and third time he was checking out the garden.  



5/21/14


And here we are today


I have been hand picking Cucumber beetles for a month now and this week the Japaneze beetles have shown up in force.  I only had one cluster of Zucchini bug eggs to take care of so far.  There are a few volunteers that have popped up.  I am surprised since my MM and compost sat in trash cans for over a year.  The garden is doing really well compared to my first go around.  I am loaded with green toms and I have one CP that is well over softball size but is just not turning color yet so I leave it be.  The beans all have flowers and will be providing some good eats real soon.  I pulled one Jalapeno and diced it up in some eggs last week and the herbs I had planted are doing well and I use them regularly.  My cucumber plants are spreading like crazy and there are probably 1K yellow flowers but only one cuke growing.  I finally had one solitary bee show up this week and he's doing his thing every morning.  Hopefully he helps things get going.  I have one eggplant that's looking good too.  
No pics but along my back property line I experimented with the extra zucchini and yellow squash and a couple watermelon seeds I had.  I just stuck them in the ground at the base of the hill and edge of the sod.  Well I have 9 nice looking plants growing.  They are all in the soil with just a bit of compost top dressed.  I'll be happy if I get anything from them.  

Thats my update from the north side of Charlotte area.  Good luck to everyone this year.  I will try to keep up and update everyone as we go.  Thanks for looking.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  sanderson on 6/12/2014, 12:04 pm

Gilly, I see your son is scared witless about the King snake, NOT.  Very Happy  I've read that they frequent corn fields and barns for mice, but that's just what I have read. The boxes and plants look very nice and healthy.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/12/2014, 12:46 pm

I kind staged that pic.  But Fischer was good with him once I showed him there was nothing to be afraid of.  They are good snakes to have around because they keep the copperheads at bay.  


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Re: My progress at new home

Post  GWN on 6/12/2014, 12:52 pm

sanderson I was thinking the same thing RE: snake
I have never seen a snake like that and would be just a tad bit scared, however OBVIOUSLY Gilly knows his snakes
AND Gilly  I am also growing Cherokee purple and rutgers, AM curious as to what you have to say about them, as this is my first  year for those two varieties.
Your place looks great,  are you in the same climate?

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/12/2014, 1:03 pm

@GWN wrote:sanderson I was thinking the same thing RE: snake
I have never seen a snake like that and would be just a tad bit scared, however OBVIOUSLY Gilly knows his snakes
AND Gilly  I am also growing Cherokee purple and rutgers, AM curious as to what you have to say about them, as this is my first  year for those two varieties.
Your place looks great,  are you in the same climate?

First for me as well with the CP and Rutgers.  My rutgers only has one fruit on it but the CP is loaded up.  I trimmed the Rutgers pretty heavy early on because it was very branchy and taking up a lot of space.  I am hoping it will bounce back with lots of fruit soon.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/12/2014, 1:05 pm

Glad to hear you're doing so well with the cucumber plants (with their flowers and survival, anyway!) even though you have cucumber beetles. They completely destroyed dozens of them for me last year, if not by directly eating them, then by spreading bacterial wilt, which was the worst part and usually meant death within days.

I tried picking them, like you do, but lots dropped or hopped away as I approached. Hard to catch, even holding a bucket or platter underneath in case they dropped off toward the ground. And there were just so many of them that a plant would have multiples on it at a time.

Anyway, success even with cucumber beetles sounds like a great thing, and I'm crossing my fingers you continue to have healthy plants. They'll fruit soon enough, I'm sure, though you could always hand-pollinate to try to help them along.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/12/2014, 5:56 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Glad to hear you're doing so well with the cucumber plants (with their flowers and survival, anyway!) even though you have cucumber beetles.  They completely destroyed dozens of them for me last year, if not by directly eating them, then by spreading bacterial wilt, which was the worst part and usually meant death within days.

I tried picking them, like you do, but lots dropped or hopped away as I approached.  Hard to catch, even holding a bucket or platter underneath in case they dropped off toward the ground.  And there were just so many of them that a plant would have multiples on it at a time.

Anyway, success even with cucumber beetles sounds like a great thing, and I'm crossing my fingers you continue to have healthy plants.  They'll fruit soon enough, I'm sure, though you could always hand-pollinate to try to help them along.
I wouldn't say I am overwhelmed with the cuke beetles.  I probably have half to a dozen a day I can see/smash.  I know I am missing some.  The plants seem to be doing well besides.  They are also hitting my beans and pepper leaves a bit too.  I dont mind them having their fill once in a while as long as it is not at the cost of my fruits.  I will get chemical if I have to.  For now I am content with keeping things under control this way.  I have also introduced 4 wolf spiders and 2 toads to my garden.  I am hoping they are helping me out.  I made 3 little toad homes out of terracotta pots.  But they are never home.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/12/2014, 10:26 pm

I guess you're not having bacterial wilt then? If I just had the beetles but no bacterial wilt, I wouldn't have such a hard time with cukes.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  slimbolen99 on 6/13/2014, 9:26 am

Looks great!  Digging the snake in the garden.  LOL.  Do you have problems with the corn shading the garden?

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  jimmy cee on 6/13/2014, 9:47 am

Amazing what children can learn when not intimidated by snakes.
My 2 sons collected them in the woods, brought them home into terrariums, studied them and let them go.
They did this with praying mantis, seas anemone's, even had an octopus ordered, however that one fell through.
Grew a Burmese Python from a 12 inch cigar form to a 12 foot football form...
Both went on into biology and chemistry and are doing well for them selves.
I think the pic with your son holding that snake is precious, it shows how you tends to his interest... IMO.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/13/2014, 12:06 pm

No shading problems from the corn. The garden faces west north west but gets plenty of sun from 2 o'clock until sunset.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/13/2014, 11:59 pm

Gilly love your garden update!! it looks  cheers  awesome!!!

your son is precious!!

we too are thinking about putting in some kind of frog den  bounce 

happy gardening
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Re: My progress at new home

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/14/2014, 7:48 am

Gilly, everything looks GREAT!  Love the pics of your son & the snake.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Cajunsmoke14 on 6/14/2014, 8:56 am

The beds look good, I like the shape. The plants are pretty as well.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  rabbithutch on 6/14/2014, 12:56 pm

Howdy, Gilly!

Thanks for sharing your garden and experience with us.

I spent the first half century of my life in Raleigh.  I well remember the Japanese beetles.  IIRC there were traps that were baited with an appropriate pheromone.  (This was 20+ years ago.)  The traps would actually fill up with the beetles.  I got rid of them by first dunking them in a bucket of kerosene for a day or so then tossing them in the garbage.

Good luck with your crops and, please, keep us up to date with pics.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  jimmy cee on 6/14/2014, 10:19 pm

@rabbithutch wrote:Howdy, Gilly!

Thanks for sharing your garden and experience with us.

I spent the first half century of my life in Raleigh.  I well remember the Japanese beetles.  IIRC there were traps that were baited with an appropriate pheromone.  (This was 20+ years ago.)  The traps would actually fill up with the beetles.  I got rid of them by first dunking them in a bucket of kerosene for a day or so then tossing them in the garbage.

Good luck with your crops and, please, keep us up to date with pics.
5 years ago I saw a few J-beetles around so I picked up a trap at Lowes, it worked.
I had loads of beetles in the traps, I never saw that many around before I set up the trap.
Shortly after I did that I read some where these traps pull in beetles from all over your area.
Some never make it to the trap and stick around.
I haven't replaced beetle traps and never see them....

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/16/2014, 4:07 pm

Fathers day update.  We've had a good bit of afternoon showers which is like a shot in the arm to the garden the last week.  Here is how it looked this morning.  My big Tom is finally turning a different color.  Hopefully I will have a nice fresh off the vine Cherokee Purple to try this weekend.  The beans are doubling in size every day so might have a nice green been side dish this weekend too!  I love fresh veggies next to my slab of beef.  

The bee's have helped also.  Now I have 3 distinct cukes on the vines.


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Re: My progress at new home

Post  sanderson on 6/16/2014, 4:09 pm

That set up looks so nice.   

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/16/2014, 4:22 pm

It works well for me.  The two side boxes are 4x4 and the middle box is 2x6.  I have gorilla arms as my wife affectionately calls them so reach to all corners and middles are not an issue for me.  I have enough room to get behind the trellis's also.  With the AC units about 6-7 feet away there is nearly a constant breeze back there keeping the air moving around the plants.  Not sure if that will matter but with the hot breezless July and Augusts we get I am hopeful.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Kelejan on 6/16/2014, 6:02 pm

I enjoyed looking at your pictures, Gilly, I love to see progress. Are your neighbours interested in SFGing?  Very Happy

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/16/2014, 9:33 pm

Thank you!  I am still in awe of how well things are going in the first years beds.  So far I have been able to keep bugs at manageable levels too without chemical intervention.  I have lots of toads around the house that come out at night.  I pick a couple up every couple nights and place them in the garden.  None seem to want to take residence in my toad homes but I hope they are doing something.

I have one neighbor who has a raised bed and thought he was doing well until he saw mine.  Now he is wanting to do MM and SFG next year.  He is way ahead of me in composting but he didn't know about MM.  Another neighbor has tried unsuccessfully over the last couple years with just simple tomatoes.  He saw my garden two weeks ago and now he wants to learn a bit.  We have awesome neighbors in our new community and I hope I can help some people get some fresh veggies for their families in the future.  It would be cool to do some exchanges too.  We can grow some different stuff and try new things if we work together.  I am hopeful we get that far.

My large Cherokee purple started turning color today and I inadvertently knocked another off while mowing so I hope to have some fresh maters in the next day or two.  Also found a few beans ready to pick.  I thought I would have enough for a side tonight with NY strips but there were only about half a dozen or so.  This weekend the Inlaws are coming.  I hope to have enough to do a nice dinner while they are here.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Kelejan on 6/17/2014, 7:55 am

Your inlaws should be impressed, Gilly. Let us know how they react.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Gilly21 on 6/25/2014, 8:56 pm

Update 6.25.14


I have more green beans than I can eat.  Holy smokes they all bloomed at the same time.  I picked my first black cherry's today and those are some awesome tomatoes!  I ate the first Cherokee Purple this weekend on a hamburger.  I was not as impressed with it as I was hoping.  Not much flavor but I am hoping for better as we go.  I'm letting the toms sit a little longer on the vine to see if it helps add a little flavor.  Its strange though....My Black Cherry vines are still growing strong but the CP vines have not grown an inch since last update.  Thee toms are still growing and looking good but no new blooms have me worried.  I added some compost around the stems a week ago and it doesnt seem to have done much.  Is it typical for the CP's to stall in the heat?  The Brandywine has slowed also but I think that one is a bit strange anyway.  It has a strong vine but not much for blooms in comparison to the other plants.  

My biggest problem is my corn.  It's huge and healthy.  All stalks are 5-7' tall and green.  But...Not one single silk.  The tassels are coming out and I still dont have a single ear showing anywhere.  I watered very regularly and everything seemed to be going so well.  I feel like I have wasted a whole box to grow Halloween decorations.  I am going to give them another week or two then get them out.  What the heck happened?  Its brand new MM.


Last edited by Gilly21 on 6/25/2014, 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  yolos on 6/25/2014, 9:13 pm

Wait a little on the corn.  The tassels come out first and then the ears and silks, usually.  Last year my silks never developed but this year everything is developing at the correct time.  The problem I have this year is the vegetation on the stalks are so thick that the pollen is landing on the corn leaves and not much is reaching the silks.  The leaves are covered with pollen so maybe some reached the silks.

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Re: My progress at new home

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/25/2014, 9:34 pm

Might be your MM is quite high in nitrogen and/or doesn't have enough phosphorous; also, when it's too hot, tomatoes will bloom but the flowers won't set fruit. Very frustrating, I know. I had almost a month of that last year.

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