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UpSo: Time for July updates

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UpSo: Time for July updates

Post  pattipan on 7/2/2010, 10:27 am

Hey there, Upper Southerners! How much did your garden grow in June? I think in our region, June is THE month for rapid growth...and unfortunately the bugs that hatch in warm weather too! Here's a quick run down of my SFG status...

Tomatoes: I planted a dozen each of Opalkas and WV Centennials, four Early Wonders and one Sweet 100 cherry tomato. All are doing very well, but I haven't got a ripe one yet. The Early Wonders, a determinate type, are going to be later than the others, they are just starting to bloom. The indeterminate ones are covered with bloom and lots of little green tomatoes. I should have some cherry tomatoes soon!

Squash: All the squash is doing great. I'll be picking lots of zucchini very soon. The yellow squash is not far behind but has not bloomed yet. My winter squashes/vining have grown so much, that my ladder trellises are not looking big enough for them. I've trimmed some of the spaghetti squash vine branches, because they were reaching out for the tomato plants! Barring all unforeseen bug and mildew damage, I should have lots of summer and winter squash.

Shallots: I harvested my shallots last week. I am so happy with the yield. They are drying out in the garage now. I shared my excitement in a thread in the General forum, here's a link if you didn't see it: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/general-sfg-talk-f5/shallot-harvest-2010-t3103.htm#22950

Bush beans: My bush beans -- the ones that came up -- are doing very well, but I've had to plant them three times, to fill the 8-square row. I noticed when I replanted, that the previously planted seeds were not there, so something is eating them underground. It's a new box, new soil and the only bugs I've seen in the soil are ants and earwigs. I started some in another box to see if they do better.

Eggplant: Here's my disappointing plants. I started these from seed (Rosa Bianca) and they are growing, but are behind in growth...not one bloom yet. Sad I've been giving them a weekly dose of fish emulsion, hoping that will give them a boost.

Lettuces, spinach: All pulled up except for a bed I have in partial shade. Next year I'm going to plant more greens in this box and so we can enjoy them longer.

Snap peas: They been good, but they'll be pulled up this week. I'll plant some more bush beans in those squares.

Peppers: they had a rough start. the first part of June they were looking yellow and loosing leaves, but I've given them some Epson salt and a weekly dose of fish emulsion and I'm happy to report they have recovered. All kinds of bloom now and several little peppers.

Swiss Chard: How can you go wrong with this plant? I love it's cut and come again character. I made a Swiss chard frittata the other morning -- yummy!

Herbs: They are in pots (filled with Mel's Mix) and all doing great. I use them almost everyday.


That's the highlights of my SFG as of July 2, 2010. Now it's your turn! Give us a run down of your garden's status, I'm curious to read all about it!

Patti (a.k.a. pattipan)
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Garden update

Post  ander217 on 7/2/2010, 12:10 pm

We're having ups and downs, too. We haven't had a good rain since April, and there are so many bugs this year.

Potatoes: We harvested about half as many Red Pontiac and Yukon Gold potatoes as we expected due to the early vole damage. The Red Pontiacs are great, but the larger Yukons have hollow heart and much of the center must be cut away. I just tried an experimental planting this week of White Cobbler potatoes (thank you, Chocolatepop). We'll see how they do in the summer heat.

Onions: Rick's yellow onions are huge and very tasty. Note to self - next year plant three times as many. Winter onions (Egyptian Walking Onions) did very well this year. I've been peeling some for pearl onions and throwing them in pots of peas and green beans.

Carrots: Growing SO slowly - some rabbit damage.

Corn: the field corn is tassling and silks are darkening on several ears - roasting ears coming very soon. We just planted a 4' x 10' bed to Luscious sweet corn - again, no idea how well it will do this late.

Tomatoes: Doing very well - been picking ripe ones for a couple of weeks now. Had to pull up the yellow pear but the others are holding their own against blight or whatever got the pear tomato. The volunteer plant has turned out to be a large yellow tomato - yay! I was hoping it was a seed from from last year's yellow tomatoes - they were SO good. We had a severe case of hornwormitis, but they appear to be gone for now. A tomato fruitworm ruined five of the yellow tomatoes on the volunteer plant but I sent him to fruitworm heaven.

Moon & Stars watermelon: We have five so far, ranging in size from baseball-size to volleyball-size. Yellow speckles (stars) are appearing on the largest one.

Muskmelons: blooming for weeks with male flowers, finally saw first female flowers, but haven't appeared to pollinate yet.

Cucumbers: blooming for weeks, very few female flowers. Picked two small pickling cucumbers, no more forming.

Bush beans: disappointing yields - I think we got too much manure in the bed and they grew huge leaves but few beans. I replanted a square in my box to Blue Lakes after I pulled the cabbage, and like you, Patti, the seed just disappeared. We just made a new 4' x 10' bed and planted it to several varieties of bush snap and shelly beans, plus two zucchinis. Crossing fingers they will grow. (We planted Dragon's Tongue, Improved Horticulture, Bush limas, wax beans, and Blue Lake green beans.)

Pole beans: birds or something keep eating the blossoms off our trellised Scarlet Runner and Blue Lake beans - not a single bean yet.

Peppers: picked two bell peppers so far, and the jalapeno is now setting fruit. The cayenne plant died.

Swiss Chard: rabbits ate all my chard and beets.

Eggplants: First planting died to flea beetles, second planting struggling but hanging in there. Blooms fell off.

Kohlrabis: picked two so far, very good flavor and texture.

Okra: Been picking a few pods - yum!

Purple Hull Peas: Picked first ones last night - wish I'd planted more.

Zinnias: Blooming very nicely, attracting butterflies.

Squash & Pumpkins: Squash bugs gave zucchini the wilt and it died, but planted two more last night. Yellow summer squash infested with aphids but coming out of it. Butternut squash doing well. Baby pumpkins have one pumpkin, but few female flowers to set more fruit.

Sunflowers: Blooming - I think I saw some birds sitting on them with napkins tied around their necks, knife and fork in hand.

Herbs: Need rain.
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Re: UpSo: Time for July updates

Post  Megan on 7/2/2010, 12:29 pm

I've had flea beetle problems. Also, some plants are going like gangbusters, but others are oddly delayed and I don't know why. Earlier in the year, I think it was a temperature problem but that shouldn't apply now? I have very recently started in with fish emulsion and Epsom salts to see if that will help.

Baby Pak Choi, Rapini, and Lettuce: Done or pulled. Flea beetles LOVED my rapini, but I got enough for a few meals and some to share. The Baby Pak Choi bolted almost the moment it matured, but it was very tasty. The lettuce was cut and come again for quite a while, but it finally became bitter.

Radishes: Mostly done; the one that is left has grown chin-high with lots of flowers! Pulling that one this weekend. It has made a great trap plant for the flea beetles.

Carrots: No sign of shoulders but the greens are lush. I thinned a few a while ago and they were tiny. (These are supposed to grow 2-3" thick...so I think it will be a very late crop.)

Tomatoes: I have three: Cherokee Purple, Gold Medal, and Black Cherry. All are indeterminate. The Cherokee has started to bloom, finally, and I'm starting it up the trellis. The others are being sullen but seem healthy--just small. Not sure what is wrong there.

Purple Tomatillos: I bought three from DeBaggio's and they are growing and blooming. Have not seen any fruit set yet. One is in a square foot, the other two in containers.

Squash: Oh My Word. Zucchino Rampicante, they were not kidding about the Rampicante part. This plant laughs at my trellis. It is sending out a new branch with each female flower... I have allowed several to start but I'm going to have to start pinching them. One concern is there seem to be only two male flowers? I hope it puts out more, in the meantime I'm trying to hand-pollinate. The "early" Crookneck Yellow Squash is much smaller, but doing okay, no blooms yet.

Corn: Hip to chest high.

Pole beans and pole limas: Blooming like crazy, topped on the trellis and wanting to go higher. I am going to have a LOT of beans, I think! What I thought was a magnesium deficiency turns out to be a mite infestation. An expert told me it was a classic presentation and was 'normal' for around here. I am dusting with DE, but the plants seem oblivious to the problem, so hopefully they will be ok.

Poona Kheera Cukes: Blooming like crazy and topping the 4-ft cage.

Orange Giant Amaranth: One broke in half, apparently from the wind. It's sprouting leaves just below the break. The biggest survivor is level with my eyes, now, and I have staked it just in case. The stem is MASSIVE. No signs of grain heads yet. I keep meaning to try some of the leaves but haven't gotten to it. The cuke vines have started to grab on, so I guess my trellising experiment will go forward.

Lincoln Garden Peas: Pathetic. The plants are finally growing and blooming now, but as of today I have two (2) peas on the plants, and they are immature, look like snow peas.

Purple Kohlrabi: Beautiful, but doesn't seem to want to form "heads". I've got maybe one or two at harvesting size. The leaves have some raggy holes (slugs?) but the flea beetles seem to have left them alone. Surprised but grateful for that.

Golden Midget Watermelon: On the trellis and just started blooming. It truly is small. I was expecting huge leaves like my other squash plants, but these are almost delicate.

Onions: I interplanted them all over the place (70+ sets.) There are 3 varieties (yellow and white), all are growing, haven't really looked to see how big they are yet. Have eaten a couple at spring onion size, yum.

Brite Lites Swiss Chard: I'm with you, Patti -- I love it! It is still going strong but it's starting to shade out my peppers, so I am pulling a couple.

Peppers: I have three varieties planted, two from seed--Ozark Giant (sweet) and Red Mushroom (hot)--and a Chocolate (hot) pepper I got from DeBaggio's. The ones from seed are small, no signs of buds yet. The Chocolate pepper had some fruit on

it when I bought it... but it doesn't seem happy or getting any bigger. Some of the leaves are curling and I am not sure what is wrong. I have given it fish emulsion and Epsom salts?

Nasturtiums: One from seed, the other bought. One bloom so far, and some yellowing leaves at the bottom, but otherwise growing well.

Cabbage: I have one small, confused and lonely cabbage plant. It is starting to grow better now that the rapini is not shading it.

Kennebec Potatoes: One plant is struggling and has been from the beginning, but the other three are huge. I stacked another 12" riser a while back.

Strawberries: I think the birds are getting most of my red strawberries. My yellow alpines started from seed this spring are about the size of a small hen's egg.

Herbs: Doing very well, in planters and in the SFG. The cilantro and some basils are trying to bolt but pinching them back. The basil I started from seed are small but growing well. I was afraid they'd be terrorized by slugs or earwigs but seem to be doing ok. One thing--I am surprised the dill I bought didn't get much bigger. I remember seeing some in California a long while ago and it was just enormous.

I am going to plant a Cinderella (Rouge Vif D'Etampes) pumpkin this weekend, just need to figure out where to put it. I'm going to start it in a container so it can get the most sun... that will give me time to decide. I may start some other plants as well, as some empty squares in the back bed are calling to me! Very Happy

Something I've learned: My garden is backwards. I need to put the taller plants on the SOUTH side of the boxes.
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Dill

Post  ander217 on 7/2/2010, 5:56 pm

Megan, what kind of dill did you plant? Some varieties, like Thai dill, are small. Old-fashioned ones like Mammoth grow five feet or taller.

I've grown my favorite Lincoln peas for years and years, and this is the first year they didn't do well. They grew so slowly that by the time they were blooming the heat overcame them. No idea what happened.

What are Epsom Salts used for in the garden? I've seen several posts about using it, but I've never heard of it as fertilizer.

I'm still in mourning over the demise of my beautiful Brite Lites chard - it became bunny fodder.
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Re: UpSo: Time for July updates

Post  Megan on 7/2/2010, 8:43 pm

Dill "Bouquet" (Anethum graveolens). It supposedly was the larger of the two varieties they had.

I found a third pea, does that count? The plants are not robust like I remember from the past, though there are a bunch of blooms on them... and it's July, for goodness' sake. Sad They grew very very slowly for me, too, and only now are they really starting to climb.

Epsom salt: It supposedly provides magnesium and sulfur. http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/garden_why_it_works.htm

So sorry to hear about your chard!! Sad
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mid July update

Post  dac_cincy on 7/17/2010, 10:00 pm

My volunteer potatoes that I dug up in may have apparently sent up more volunteers. I think I am going tohave to replant the entire bed this fall as it is my strawberry bed.

The potato and onion bed is doing great. I have given up trying to keep it all covered as the potatoes have been covered to a depth of 3 feet. At this point, I think I can harvest them all, but I am waiting for the cooler weather since I will be moving that bed too in the Fall.

the volunteer tomatoes (growing outside the beds) are doing great and finally this week the tomatoes started rippening. The bed they are next too has snap peas and swiss chard. the peas are not doing weel (perhaps too hot and humid) but hte swiss chard is going to town. As the weather cools in September, this bed will get radishes and lettuce again.

The tomato and pepper bed is going gang busters. I have about a billion tomatoes (my 4 year old's words) rippening. The hot pepper plants are producing like crazy and sweet peppers are slowly coming along. I wish I had known that I should not put the hot pepers in the same bed as the sweet peppers as they can cross pollanate.

The 2 beds with corn are doing so much better than I expected. I have corn!!!! Now to keep the racoons away from it.

My son has 3 pots (2 tomatoes ia pots alone and 2 cucumbers sharing a pot). I had given up on the cucumbers, but today we saw 5 baby cukes growing- so wohooo on that.

the blueberry bush is doing nothing. This is year 3 of nothing a very limited growth. I am pulling it out in the fall and turning that area into an herb garden. I bought the blueberry plant at a big box store and I think it is the wrong variety for this area. so I might try again after I get the apple trees started.

I am eying spots for 4 semi dwarf apple trees for this fall or next spring and a spot for 4 grape plants in the spring.


Thats all for right now, but I am loving it.

Deb

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