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July 2015 - N&C Midwest

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July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 7/2/2015, 8:25 am

The year is now half over - how are your gardens doing?  It is definitely time to think about what Fall crops to put in our boxes by the end of this month as we battle the threat of hail, heat, insects, and other pests (2- and 4-footed kind).  

My beans are blooming ferociously, tomatoes are just starting to bloom, and I am having my first EVER success with growing beets.  My pepper plants have shrunk from 10 to 7, 3 of them mysteriously disappeared - no withering, wilting, or snapping off, the plants are just GONE!  But the remainders are strong and healthy.  I am mulching for the first time ever in my boxes and I am amazed at the weed control.  I am using the fresh-cut grass from my bagger as I am mowing my lawn, and altho' it is having limited success on the bindweed, it is keeping just about everything else down to a manageable mini-jungle.  If you are wondering why I have such a weed problem in my MM, remember that I am in South Dakota, where the wind NEVER stops - no way to keep blown-in weeds away unless I tent my entire garden, which is NOT going to happen.

I have broccoli to start for the Fall, and hopefully a box of carrots.  My spring carrots had very limited germination, so I am hoping to get at least one more crop in.  It is the same package as last year when I had horrible germination but thought it was a box-flood problem instead.  

What plans do all of you have for July?

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/2/2015, 3:54 pm

Boy, fall planting already! I'm still looking forward to months of getting the heck beat out of me by summer, up where I live.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  CitizenKate on 7/2/2015, 9:20 pm

Fall planting... hmmm...

- carrots in late July
- kale the first of August
- more bush beans, any time - By the way, thanks again for the tips on getting my bean plants to sprout, GG, Marc, and others.  I have quite a few more plants going now, and the ones I planted earlier on are blossoming abundantly.
- more lettuce in mid-august - only not quite so much of it this time around, mercy sakes alive!

My tomatoes stalled out on foliage growth and setting fruit after all that rain we got.  Treating with compost tea and "emergency" fertilizer to restore the nutrients that washed out of the MM.  So far, no noticeable results.  And now the spider mites are partying.

Squash, zucchini, cucumbers - awesome!!!  Can't wait to can up some pickled cucumbers and zucchini.  Not to mention open season on stir-fry!  
  drooling

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  sanderson on 7/2/2015, 11:12 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Boy, fall planting already!  I'm still looking forward to months of getting the heck beat out of me by summer, up where I live.
+1 and down where I live

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 7/3/2015, 1:14 am

If I don't have my fall plantings done this month they won't have enough time!

lots o

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  yolos on 7/3/2015, 8:42 am

@sanderson wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:Boy, fall planting already!  I'm still looking forward to months of getting the heck beat out of me by summer, up where I live.
+1 and down where I live

+1 and down where I live.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/3/2015, 5:59 pm

Lie am gonna replace a harvested SF of turnips with carrots.  Other than that, I need to wait to the end.  I have tomatoes, squash, potatoes, peppers, pole beans with Swiss chard interplanted in front going.

Depending on the potato, might get some lettuce in there, or spinach.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 7/8/2015, 7:23 am

I HAVE BEANS!!!  I should be able to pick the first ones any day now!

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/8/2015, 6:11 pm

Yay! Me too but mostly babies, which I'm trying not to eat! Love it when the beans start coming in hot and heavy!

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/8/2015, 6:29 pm

I have bean flowers, but I saw a Yukon Gold tater pop it's pretty little head out....covered him up right now!

Beets close...should I trust the package on harvest date with them?  Will replace with lettuce!  Can't wait, haven't had homegrown lettuce for eons!

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  boffer on 7/8/2015, 7:06 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:...Beets close...should I trust the package on harvest date with them?...

Days to maturation or harvest dates that are listed on seed packages are based on specific weather  parameters.  Odds are that your weather will be either worse or better, so the time needed for your beets will greater or less than what's suggested.

The good thing about beets is that you can harvest them at any time, at any size.

One option would be to harvest some of the biggest beets now, and get some lettuce seeds started in their place.  Give the remaining beets a few more weeks to grow larger, then harvest and plant more lettuce.  That way, you'll have a chance for a longer staggered lettuce harvest.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/8/2015, 9:23 pm

Really good advice, boffer...this year has been cool and rainy...here anyway.  Will try to interplant if possible.  I was able to do so with radishes and the cherry tomato, so will continue to read on!  

Just got the New 2nd ed...

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  greatgranny on 7/9/2015, 5:51 pm

Kohlrabi - some is ready.  Shelling peas - some are done and some just starting.  Potato plants are huge but no blossoms yet.  Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts are just starting to make heads.  Lettuce almost gone.  Beets in different stages.  Tomatoes have babies so far.  Carrots and parsnips are not ready but are looking good.  Lima beans are crawling up the trellis but no blossoms yet.  Snow peas seem to be done but might have a few left.  Squash and melons are just now looking like they are ready to bloom and are taking up more space.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 7/14/2015, 7:41 am

Finally braved the heat and picked beans last night.  I got about 2 gallons!  I also saw my first green tomatoes.  By the shape of them I believe they are either Russian Big Roma or Purple Russian.  Either way, I will have some GOOOOOOOD sauce!

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  greatgranny on 7/14/2015, 10:54 am

Harvested some of the largest beets and kohlrabi last evening.  This heat wave is really making things burst forth. 

The rain we had Sunday night was amazing.  The sky was constantly lit up but no ground lightning strikes, thank God.  The air was so saturated you could almost ring it out.  Didn't get a whole lot of sleep.  No hail was a blessing.  Farm crops got a dose of high wind and some is laying down.  That will not be good come harvest time.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  sanderson on 7/14/2015, 2:54 pm

GG & GG, Nice harvests!

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  CitizenKate on 7/14/2015, 10:07 pm



I'm back thinking about drip irrigation again.

I spent quite a bit of time during the spring trying different ideas... I wasn't happy with anything I tried, so I just decided I'll continue watering by hand until I can come up with something.

Well, now the highs are getting into the 100's here (not to mention 65% humidity), the mosquitoes are abundant, the canopies of foliage are so thick, you can't even get to the stems with water without damaging the plants.  It has gone from being a quaint idea, to an awkward inconvenience, to a dreaded chore in one season.

Next season, I'm going to have a solution for hassle-free drip irrigation.  That is all.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  sanderson on 7/15/2015, 2:56 am

Drip is nice. Smile

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/15/2015, 10:20 am

Sounds very smart, Kate.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  vortex on 7/15/2015, 12:04 pm

I've mentioned it before somewhere around here, but my setup is working pretty well. I have a combination of micro sprinklers and drip. (The drip was added in the last month or so.)

I have to say that I'm impressed with the coverage, and combined with a timer that goes off at 5am, it's been an excellent choice. I also put the same setup in the landscaping beds out front with the same result.

Being micro sprinklers they sit low enough that it's down under most plant tops, and you can kind of plant around how you want to cover an area. For the couple of areas that are short or too thick for this to work is where I've supplemented with drippers.

What I've really wanted to do instead of drippers has been 1/4" soaker hose. Just haven't had the time to dig in and get some. That sure would help with the corn though, and the strawberries as well.


I started out with a micro sprinkler kit (Mr Landscaper) that was dead simple to install, and added on from there. The nice thing about that was I can change out sprinklers as the garden changes each year. This year I may need a 360* micro, next year it could be a 180* micro and two drips, or it could be two strip micro sprinklers. You can switch out what is attached, and mix and match.


For a strictly by the book 4x4 box, it may be easier to just to drip. I think I remember somewhere around here where the grid of the SFG was made of PVC pipe which was also used for watering.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  CitizenKate on 7/16/2015, 11:10 pm

I know, I've seen a few posts showing great solutions for irrigation.  I think the fact I'm trying to incorporate my rain barrels as a water source is placing some challenging constraints on the range of methods that will work for me.  I may have to give up on that idea.  Sad   But I haven't given up yet.  I was able to come up with a way to automatically feed my sub-irrigating plant containers on the patio with rainwater from my barrels, so I'm confident there must be a way to do it with SFG.  Maybe this winter I'll have some time to play with some ideas...

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 7/18/2015, 11:14 am

Wild & Wooly night here in SD.  3 tornadoes in our area, missed my town but east and south by only a few miles have lots of damage.  Sirens went off twice last night, kitties got their first taste of our basement storm cubby, and in just a bit I am going to assess the hail damage in the yard.  So far, no report of injuries, just lots of wind damage.  Pictures online of up to tennis ball size hail in the worst hit areas south of here.  On our lawn last night we saw hail a little bigger than golf balls, but that was the extent for us.  But, in between the 2 worst storms we saw the most beautiful double rainbow!

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  greatgranny on 7/18/2015, 2:01 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:Wild & Wooly night here in SD.  3 tornadoes in our area, missed my town but east and south by only a few miles have lots of damage.  Sirens went off twice last night, kitties got their first taste of our basement storm cubby, and in just a bit I am going to assess the hail damage in the yard.  So far, no report of injuries, just lots of wind damage.  Pictures online of up to tennis ball size hail in the worst hit areas south of here.  On our lawn last night we saw hail a little bigger than golf balls, but that was the extent for us.  But, in between the 2 worst storms we saw the most beautiful double rainbow!
Glad to hear that you didn't get the worst of the storms.  Those storms didn't get here until about midnight.  There was a tornado west of Lake Minnetonka.  I don't live near there.  Most of what I had here was lots of rain and lightning.  (no hail that God)  I hate it when we get these kinds of storms after dark.  One can't see the clouds.  One can't sleep either.  Oh well, I made up for it later. 

That double rainbow you saw is something I have always loved.

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 7/18/2015, 5:16 pm

@greatgranny wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:Wild & Wooly night here in SD.  3 tornadoes in our area, missed my town but east and south by only a few miles have lots of damage.  Sirens went off twice last night, kitties got their first taste of our basement storm cubby, and in just a bit I am going to assess the hail damage in the yard.  So far, no report of injuries, just lots of wind damage.  Pictures online of up to tennis ball size hail in the worst hit areas south of here.  On our lawn last night we saw hail a little bigger than golf balls, but that was the extent for us.  But, in between the 2 worst storms we saw the most beautiful double rainbow!
Glad to hear that you didn't get the worst of the storms.  Those storms didn't get here until about midnight.  There was a tornado west of Lake Minnetonka.  I don't live near there.  Most of what I had here was lots of rain and lightning.  (no hail that God)  I hate it when we get these kinds of storms after dark.  One can't see the clouds.  One can't sleep either.  Oh well, I made up for it later. 

That double rainbow you saw is something I have always loved.
GreatGranny:  Sounds like you missed the worst of it as well!  Our last Severe T-Storm Warning ended at 11 PM, last of our Tornado Warnings ended 8:30.  My garden has some slightly flattened bean plants but nothing severe.  

We are now in a cooling trend so I worked in the yard for 2 hours straight this morning.  Got out the bow saw and cut down 4 volunteer saplings sprouting up around the house and yard.  Then I cleaned up some of the wild growth I let get out of control in one of my flower beds.  THEN I pulled up the weed cloth and the jungle it was harboring around my 3 big boxes.  I originally laid the weed cloth and covered it with shredded cedar mulch 5 years ago when I made my boxes.  As you all can imagine, after 5 years some of that mulch has composted and the weed seeds that blow in could grow in it nicely!  I separated (as much as possible) the weeds and roots from the mulch, raked the mulch fairly level, then covered it with the shingles I scored last year from our local lumber yard.  I now have clean walkways around my boxes and a shingle-wide mow strip around the outside edge of that entire garden area.  Next week I will try for the back boxed area..............stay tuned!

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/18/2015, 5:44 pm

That hail sounds scary, goosey. Did it cause any damage to your car or house?

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Re: July 2015 - N&C Midwest

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