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wow, crowded garden

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wow, crowded garden

Post  ajpriebe on 8/28/2011, 10:12 am

This is my first year with a SFG. I was late getting things planted and then I had a bunch of empty squares so I (in haste) planted things that I knew would fill up a few squares. I wasn't about to leave a square available for weeds. Ha, now everything seems so overgrown. . . I actually cut myself a path through the garden.

However, I am not actually getting much from the garden. It looks like a success, but the quantity is small. I have had great carrots and basil. The tomatoe plants (planted one per square -- not all in the same box -- are gigantic bushes with lots of green fruit on them, but not in comparison to the amount of bush. I experimented and cut some of them back. My zucs are producing more than I can use, but not as much as I expected since I planted a few of the plants. My baby watermelon (2 plants) has a box now to itself (it shared with lettuce early on) but there are only 3 melons. And I can't find any cantalope (there are a couple onions in that bed--which probably isn't good-- long story with that though). My cucumbers are great tasting, but hardly producing. I have 5 or 6 plants. Only 3 have produced at all.

Sorry, I realize I am not asking anything specific. But, I look at the pictures that people have posted about their gardens and I am wondering if I did anything right. I wasn't expecting everything to go smoothly the first year, but no one else has a garden that looks challenging just to get in. Or, maybe they are like me and just don't post those pictures. Embarassed

I guess I will look up the spacing stuff again and start planning for next year.

Amy

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  littlejo on 8/28/2011, 1:17 pm

Hi Amy,



I just didn't post those pics! In my mind, I did not need 3 ft rows! well, I left only about 1.5 ft between boxes. Sw. potatoes, zucchini, beans, and tomatoes(and their trellis) overcame the boxes, spilled into the isles. Had to move things just to walk. Most folks seem to have either planned well or read the book and payed attention. I read the book after I got it planted!

You did fine. Just remember what did the sprawling, and think of placement in the future. My tomatoes grew so much, as tall as the trellis, then bent to the ground and then grew up again. I have them (10 plants) in their own bed. They would not make it in a bed with other stuff!

Jo

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  Chopper on 8/28/2011, 2:12 pm

@ajpriebe wrote:

However, I am not actually getting much from the garden. It looks like a success, but the quantity is small. I have had great carrots and basil. The tomato plants (planted one per square -- not all in the same box -- are gigantic bushes with lots of green fruit on them, but not in comparison to the amount of bush. I experimented and cut some of them back. My zucs are producing more than I can use, but not as much as I expected since I planted a few of the plants. My baby watermelon (2 plants) has a box now to itself (it shared with lettuce early on) but there are only 3 melons. And I can't find any cantalope (there are a couple onions in that bed--which probably isn't good-- long story with that though). My cucumbers are great tasting, but hardly producing. I have 5 or 6 plants. Only 3 have produced at all.

Sorry, I realize I am not asking anything specific. But, I look at the pictures that people have posted about their gardens and I am wondering if I did anything right. I wasn't expecting everything to go smoothly the first year, but no one else has a garden that looks challenging just to get in. Or, maybe they are like me and just don't post those pictures. Embarassed

Amy

Not sure why you had to cut a path? Did you leave 3 feet between boxes? It can get bushy but need pics to visualize. Are the vines trained on trellises? SFGs are pretty easy to keep neat. They do spill out and exceed their confines a bit but if you have decent spacing btwn boxes it should not be a problem. However, it is up to you to make sure everything in the box is vertical. Also, looking at how things grow and ccrowd this year can help you decide where to place them next year to keep order.

Watermelon: Par for the course. I was disappointed in those long vined plants simply b/c they do not produce many fruits per vine.

Cukes and cantaloupe: Do you have flowers but not fruit or did you never get flowers? If you have flowers then pollination could be a problem if no flowers I do not know and you might do a search on that. Cukes should be prolific. But it does depend on variety and also weather. Some years things simply do not produce as well.

How much do you know about tomatoes? Are you sure there are not as many as there should be? Yes, there is a LOT of bush in a tomato plant. If you say you have lots of green tomatoes then you are probably not having problems with them, it is normal.

Also not sure what you expected with zucchini. If you are getting more than you can use, well, what is the complaint? I am thinking your expectations are perhaps unrealistic? It sounds like your zukes are producing properly.

Send pics! Love to see the garden!

Chopper

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  Kelejan on 8/28/2011, 2:33 pm

I am sure that Amy, like most beginners, will have learned many things from her first year's SFG.
I, as a second-year SFGer, did better than my first year, and coming on this forum I am certain that I will make an even better garden next year with fewer mistakes and with all the information I have gleaned from all of you. Thank you!

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  Chopper on 8/28/2011, 2:52 pm

I hope I did not come across wrong. I was not implying that Amy did anything 'wrong'. We all need the first year just to get a grip on what's what. There is no wrong, there is just more data to inform our decisions for the next time...where we will be hit with a whole new set of challenges... Very Happy

Chopper

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/28/2011, 3:47 pm

Let's also pass along to Amy that Eastern Washington hasn't had a "summer" yet. Warm season plants need warmer temps to pollinate/set fruit. If you never got heat, you never got fruit. Most times, when new, we think it's something WE did. When, in fact, it was the particular year's weather the whole time. We were just too inexperienced to know it until several years later OR someone with experience tells us.

This is why the regional subforums are so important imo. People like Boffer, Middlemamma, and others escaping me from the PNW are great resources. The only reason I suggest the lack of summer is because that's the main complaint they have had all summer long.

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  ajpriebe on 8/28/2011, 11:09 pm

Chopper-- you didn't come across wrong. Actually, you were very helpful. I really didn't think vertical! I meant too, in the spring I had plans for the trellis. Somehow I forgot. Maybe because I never planted the peas/beans. Duh, I can't believe that I never clued in all summer. I just am not used to trellising certain plants and old habits dye hard Rolling Eyes

For the cukes/cantaloupes I do have tons of flowers. I am thinking that perhaps the weather really is to blame. We have had a very bizarre summer here this year. No heat to speak of until the end of July. All summer and not a single day in the 100s. Only a handful in the 90s. Now the days are getting shorter so I don't know if everything will get to reach maturation at all. So, thanks to BackyardBirdGardner for reminding me that the weather really was different this year.

And, Littlejo, my rows aren't 3 ft either. Mine are 2. So, this could be part of the problem, but I did take lots of notes in a garden journal this year and will be putting that information to good use next year. Thank you for letting me know that I am not the only one.

Amy

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  shannon1 on 8/29/2011, 1:33 am

Amy thanks for your post I was concidering not having 3 foot wide spaces between my old and new box. Now I see I need to. My area is so small I wanted to pack in as many boxes as possible. I see now Mel was right, again, how could I have doubted him? Even this old dog can keep learning, that's why I love this forum.

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  middlemamma on 8/29/2011, 1:37 am

Hi Eastern Washington'er!

Post Falls Idaho here...and holy crappy summer batman!!!

I have 4 or 5 cuke plants that have yet to set fruit! Tomato plants that are JUST now ripening, melons that will never see my table, I am just now harvesting pole beans!!! Our June here for me was like extended spring...I didn't see a night above 40 for the first 2/3 of June....it PUT EVERYTHING in my garden behind, by nearly a month. And I would lay money we don't get that extra month we need in September....as soon as a frost hits most of what I have growing will be toast! Such is life where there are 4 seasons!

Hang in there....eventually we will get a good year!

middlemamma
 
 

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  Chopper on 8/29/2011, 4:35 am

@shannon1 wrote:Amy thanks for your post I was concidering not having 3 foot wide spaces between my old and new box. Now I see I need to. My area is so small I wanted to pack in as many boxes as possible. I see now Mel was right, again, how could I have doubted him? Even this old dog can keep learning, that's why I love this forum.

I do have one aisle that is not quite 3 feet and it feels very tight. I believe I read where Mel started with much smaller aisles and went to 3 feet as a result of trial and error.

Chopper

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  Unmutual on 8/29/2011, 11:12 am

@Chopper wrote:We all need the first year just to get a grip on what's what. There is no wrong, there is just more data to inform our decisions for the next time...where we will be hit with a whole new set of challenges... Very Happy

I wholeheartedly agree. Gardening(whether SFG or not) always presents knew challenges, and this is one thing that I love about it. Doing a hobby that doesn't force me to continuously research is not a hobby worth doing in my opinion. Gardening is a path, not a final destination.

Unmutual

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Re: wow, crowded garden

Post  ModernDayBetty on 8/29/2011, 1:45 pm

@middlemamma wrote:Hi Eastern Washington'er!

Post Falls Idaho here...and holy crappy summer batman!!!

I have 4 or 5 cuke plants that have yet to set fruit! Tomato plants that are JUST now ripening, melons that will never see my table, I am just now harvesting pole beans!!! Our June here for me was like extended spring...I didn't see a night above 40 for the first 2/3 of June....it PUT EVERYTHING in my garden behind, by nearly a month. And I would lay money we don't get that extra month we need in September....as soon as a frost hits most of what I have growing will be toast! Such is life where there are 4 seasons!

Hang in there....eventually we will get a good year!

I was going to say, remember we had a horribly late spring/summer this year. Over here in central Washington I've been "blessed" with the 100 degree weather to make up for that late summer. Even so, I have a lot of things that are way behind on fruit but I can barely get into them! I even went with the 4x4 boxes with at least 3 feet between them. Lots of leaves. I just started getting watermelons (They are the cutest tiniest things I have ever seen!). I have 1 pumpkin and was beginning to think that's all I would get but much to my excited surprise I have several more that are starting to grow! Just remember, if you garden is doing this well during an off year, just how well it will do in an ideal year!!

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