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PNW: September 2014

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PNW: September 2014

Post  boffer on 9/1/2014, 8:28 pm

It's been a good growing summer.  I've got corn coming out my ears.  I had very little bolting this year including spinach (Olympia) that grew through the hottest part of summer.  

The last box of Peaches and Cream corn.  Even with the four foot high railings, two boxes had the stalks lay over on each other during a weird summer wind, and  that reduced pollination even after I tried supporting them with a temporary grid on top of the railing.



Fall cool crops



First year Meyer Lemon plant



Squash volunteers from the compost pile.  I don't know what they're a cross of, and we haven't eaten one yet.



A squash jungle.



That looked like this on June 1.



I grow squashes on trellises too, but 'jungle' still comes to mind.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  yolos on 9/1/2014, 11:30 pm

Great looking garden Boffer.  Wondering about your corn.  This year, how many plants per square and about how many ears per stalk did you harvest.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/1/2014, 11:34 pm

That jungle effect is one of the fun things about growing squash. When they're healthy, they're REALLY healthy!

Your compost volunteers look like papayas!

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  sanderson on 9/2/2014, 2:23 am

Jungle is a good description for the squash! What a Face

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  boffer on 9/2/2014, 11:12 am

@yolos wrote:Great looking garden Boffer.  Wondering about your corn.  This year, how many plants per square and about how many ears per stalk did you harvest.

I laid out the grid in 9 inch squares so that in a 4x8 box my grid was 5x10.  With 4 boxes, my goal was 200 ears.  In past years I noticed that my germination rate was around 85%, just like the seed package stated.  I planted an extra 20% on the grid lines, and then transplanted them to the squares with no germination so that I had 50 plants per box.

Curiously, this year I had no tillers, and only a handful of plants with 2 ears.  I've never gotten more than 2 ears on a plant from this variety, but last year about 1/3 of the plants had 2 ears.  I'm going to end up about 10% short of my goal.

Mathematically, one plant per 9 inch square equates to 1.6 plants per square foot.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/2/2014, 5:15 pm

Went to visit one of the neighbors' places where I garden, the one with the especially good soil and sun. I looked out at the planter full of tomatoes with a feeling of pride and satisfaction and ... wait, what's that? Are my eyes or brain screwy, or did the row get shorter? It looks like one of the plants is ... missing?

I let myself into the fenced enclosure and saw that one plant toward the west end had tipped over northward, filling the aisle between the two planters. Uh-oh. Looked strangely healthy nevertheless. Its tomato cage was bent way out at the south end, and there was no way to work it back in without hearing the sounds of crunching and tearing. So I propped the plant up as best I could by grabbing some short round posts my neighbor had lying around and using them as struts under one of the lower crossrings in the tomato cage. It's very shaky, but it was the best I could do at the time. It's not my garden, so I don't feel comfortable rigging up anything more complicated or permanent at the moment. The neighbor's not home right now, but his wife said he'll be back in a few hours. I'll call later and hopefully we can do something that works, and in the process not tear up the plants. The one right next to it got pulled down a bit too, and that may be going down next. Uh oh times 2 ...

Gathered more tomatillos, malabar spinach, a few paste tomatoes, and lots of basil. I'm not sure how heavily to cut the basil, or exactly how. I've seen it recommended here and elsewhere that you cut above a node, which promotes bushiness below ... but what do you do then with that bushiness but cut it off? My basils are getting fat and sprawling and it seems like it's time to do more than just trim the tops. There are so many leaves on the bottom, and if I don't harvest them, they'll just fall off eventually anyway.

Clipped my first few leaves of giant mustard today. They're growing incredibly quickly and the leaves are really big and have a nice red/green color. They look so healthy it was hard to make myself cut any leaves; I was tempted to just leave them alone to be beautiful. Like the lettuce in my fence-top boxes, water squirts out of them when I cut through a leaf stalk.

Broccoli raab is growing like crazy too; it's really fun to see the difference that comes about even in just a couple of days.

Small tray of perpetual chard has germinated, and the small tray of winter kale is hanging around waiting for inspiration.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Vash_the_Stampede on 9/2/2014, 8:38 pm

Hello Boffer,

That all looks incredible and gives me great hope for our garden plans next year. Smile

thanks

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 9/3/2014, 8:38 am

Wow, Boffer!  Everything looks wonderful!  And I agree that the squash vol.s look like papaya.

Marc - you can trim basil quite heavily.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/3/2014, 12:57 pm

I guess I might as well. I tend to leave it around so long that the leaves just drop off anyway.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 9/3/2014, 1:02 pm

lol!

Are you drying them?

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/3/2014, 1:21 pm

I'm stuffing them into tupperware containers and freezing them. I've found that basil's taste is very perishable, and dried basil tastes very little like fresh. It's not something I would sacrifice fresh basil for.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  boffer on 9/3/2014, 6:01 pm

Thanks, guys.

Vash, here's to good gardening weather in 2015!  

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/4/2014, 5:59 pm

Wow, it was 48 degrees early this morning. Less than two weeks ago early mornings were 15 degrees warmer, and more. We even had a night so warm that the heat kept waking me out of my sleep. What an incredibly quick change.

Yet in two days the high is expected to be 102 and except for one day, the next ten days are all expected to have highs in the high 90's and the occasional mid-90's. If it hits the predicted 92 today, that will be a 44-degree difference between daytime and nighttime temps here. 30 is standard, 35 happens occasionally, but 44 is pretty dramatic.

Wonder how the plants feel about it ...

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/5/2014, 6:11 pm

The squash doesn't like it. Some of mine look really droopy today. Everything else seems to be loving it. The tomatoes just keep on putting new tomatoes out. The tomatillos seem to have slowed down or stopped, though. Malabar spinach is starting to get a little taller now -- perhaps it likes the cooler weather a bit now. It can't germinate in it, though, as was proved to me this spring. It needs soil that is really, really warm.

Really enjoying the Red Giant mustard. The leaves are huge, quick-growing and beautifully laced with red throughout their gently savoyed texture. Between the malabar spinach, marvel of four seasons lettuce, and red giant mustard, I'm finally getting enough greens to keep a decent portion of them regularly on the table. I think I'm going to be liking fall this season much better than I liked summer.

Oh, and the broccoli raab is throwing off some nice big leaves too. I'm not going to pick them until I get a better idea of the size of the plants and when they start to sprout their flower heads. I mean, you can always pick leaves, but I don't want to go stunting the plants.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/6/2014, 7:35 pm

Tomatoes swarming up outside their bed ...



But one fell out of its bed completely and the next was about to go too...and they're all interwoven with each other so any one could pull all the rest down.  So it was time to jury-rig a solution.

Post propping up the side they were falling into ...



... and pickets holding up the side they were falling away from.



Elegant, no.  But they're still okay.  There are more than 100 tomatoes buried here just in the two plants on the left.



This tomato looks a little rude. Let's just call it a nose.



This green zebra tomato plant has looked terrible for a long time, but the worse it looks, the more tomatoes are starting to appear.  These things are hard as rocks still, even though one is turning yellow.  Someone on a thread here said their turning yellow was a sign to pick them ... but are you supposed to pick green zebras so hard?  They seem as hard as any green tomato.



The malabar spinach is finally starting to vine a little bit.  Better get moving, buster, cold weather is coming.



The broccoli raab bed continues to do nicely ...






... but it turns out that cabbage moths like broccoli raab too ...



I sprayed with BT the other day.

In other news, the backyard beans are doing great, but the cucumber beetles are making a comeback on my mustards and lettuce.  

And my nice huge compost pile squash is producing only duds despite the huge number of bees around.  I half feel like ripping it up just to eliminate a host for powdery mildew.  I spray it with copper, which works like a charm, but two days later the powdery mildew is back again.  It's endemic around here; we get almost a whole tree covered with it every year.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  sanderson on 9/6/2014, 11:46 pm

March, The garden is looking fantastic. Which garden is this one?

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/7/2014, 1:03 am

Thanks, sanderson. It's the one with the cinder block planters where the guy grows in pure compost and let me use a bed for tomatoes and part of a bed for broccoli raab this fall/winter. It's also where I have my bucket brigade full of MM.

Back home, I just have various pots up against the hillside and in part of an unused dog kennel, and a few fence-top planters, all in MM.

And at a different neighbor's, I had a completely failed year. Lots of problems in there that can't be fixed economically, so next year I'll just stick to the other two areas. I still have some beans left there that are struggling along, but I may just use them for a seed crop, as I don't anticipate them bearing much.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/7/2014, 3:17 am

Boffer & Marc your gardens look GREAT!!....love seeing those pictures!

just wanted a quick check in on everyone and look for updates Very Happy...even though I haven't posted much I do pop in now and then Laughing

our gardens have done really well this year Shocked .... we have been busy freezing, dehydrating, pickling and canning cyclops I will post more and some pic's when I get another break.....LOL...our summer continues thru sept with more warm days! cheers

Happy gardening
rose....who also has been enjoying family from out of state sunny

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 9/7/2014, 8:44 am

All the pix look great!  I'm glad someone's having a good year!  :-)

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/7/2014, 12:39 pm

Thanks, FamilyGardening and AtlantaMarie!

FamilyGardening, keep us up to date. Your garden has looked amazing this year, like you got a bumper crop of ... everything. Wow.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/7/2014, 4:27 pm

Great photos & wonderful gardens, guys!  

Marc, tomato envy here, big time!  100 on 2 plants!  Dang! Glad to know it' possible in our northern latitudes tho.

Boffer, is that strips plastic around the base of your boxes, or row cover?  Is it for windbreaks?  I'm thinking of doing windbreaks next year and am looking for ideas...

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/8/2014, 6:31 am

Yesterdays tomato harvest Very Happy this has been an awesome year for tomatoes!, I believe this time last year as our larger tomatoes started to turn they were all wiped out by blight!....no blight in sight as of yet!



3rd year grape vines .....ton's of fruit this year! (I posted an update on the BTE thread on them) wanted to show them off here too Razz



some of the Painted Mountain corn (sfg bed #1 three sisters) that we are drying for corn flour



Saturdays harvest....cucumbers, scarlet runner beans, crookneck squash, zucchini, banana pepper & grapes




our son is starting to enjoy eating his apples from his tree Very Happy



broccoli for fall harvesting



happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 9/8/2014, 8:25 am

NICE, Rose!  Everything looks great!

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  boffer on 9/8/2014, 10:31 am

Rose, those grapes look wonderful!    Now ya got me thinking!

@CapeCoddess wrote:...Boffer, is that strips plastic around the base of your boxes, or row cover?  Is it for windbreaks?  I'm thinking of doing windbreaks next year and am looking for ideas...
CC
Yes, strips of plastic cut from scraps.  Ugly, but they keep my cat out of my TTs.

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Re: PNW: September 2014

Post  sanderson on 9/8/2014, 11:04 am

It's such a darn simple prevention that I'm embarrassed that I didn't think of it before with my bean/corn eating cat. Embarassed

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Re: PNW: September 2014

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