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jal_ut
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Summer Squash - Photo

A shot from a past garden.

In the foreground, potatoes with zucchini and crookneck behind.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/summer_squash.jpg[/img]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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Ah. I feel sorry for my veggies. They'll never see the open sky or sun from sun-up till sun-set like yours. :o They'll always be planted in close quarters with other plants, and with something shading them at one time or another during the day. If I wanted to grow veggies in a completely open area, I'd have to plant them in the middle of the front yard! 8)

Now, see, your potatoes. They look like they're standing upright. Maybe leaning a bit on their neighbors, but not much. My potatoes always grow about 30~36" high and flop over. I have to put stakes around the potato bed and tie a string corral at least two levels high to keep them standing. I mulch up about 8".

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gixxerific
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I feel sorry for my veggies to. Though they see sunlight all day they never get like those in the photo. They may get big but Jal's thumb is a bit greener than mine. :lol:

Nice pic, very lush, gives me something to strive for.

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lakngulf
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Re: Summer Squash - Photo

jal_ut wrote:A shot from a past garden.
Wow! Those are some healthly plants. Does lack of oxygen help them grow? ha.

I am sure you have discussed this before, but what type soil do you have? Compost? Do you fertlize?
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jal_ut
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XReport — Map Unit Description
Cache Valley Area, Parts of Cache and Box Elder Counties, Utah
McC—MCMURDIE SILT LOAM, 6 TO 10 PERCENT SLOPES
Map Unit Setting
Elevation: 4,800 to 5,150 feet
Mean annual precipitation: 17 to 20 inches
Mean annual air temperature: 45 to 47 degrees F
Frost-free period: 130 to 150 days
Map Unit Composition
Mcmurdie and similar soils: 95 percent
Minor components: 5 percent
Description of Mcmurdie
Setting
Landform: Lake terraces
Landform position (three-dimensional): Tread
Down-slope shape: Linear
Across-slope shape: Linear
Parent material: Lacustrine deposits derived from limestone and sandstone and/or lacustrine deposits derived from quartzite
Properties and qualities
Slope: 6 to 10 percent
Depth to restrictive feature: More than 80 inches
Drainage class: Well drained
Capacity of the most limiting layer to transmit water (Ksat): Moderately low to moderately high (0.06 to 0.57 in/hr)
Depth to water table: More than 80 inches
Frequency of flooding: None
Frequency of ponding: None
Calcium carbonate, maximum content: 30 percent
Maximum salinity: Nonsaline (0.0 to 2.0 mmhos/cm)
Available water capacity: High (about 9.3 inches)
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jal_ut
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That previous post is from the Web Soil Survey in answer to your query about my soil type. I garden in the soil that was on my lot.

In the fall I do what is called "Sheet Composting". Loads of organic matter and manure are put on the area and tilled in to a depth of 6-8 inches. (I haven't joined the "No Till" group.) All garden residue is tilled in, including standing corn stalks.

In the spring no tilling before planting the early crops. Just plant.

Later when it is time to plant the warm weather crops, I will till shallow, about an inch, to disrupt weeds and make a nice seed bed.

The fall tilling is done with a 6 foot wide tiller on a 55 HP tractor. The spring tilling is done with a Troybilt Horse.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/johndeeretill.jpg[/img]
Last edited by jal_ut on Fri May 14, 2010 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lakngulf
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That sounds like a good method. I like the idea of layering compost. But, with a 55hp and six foot wide tiller you are "blending". I wish I could do that. My area is much smaller, and I have to rely on a Troy Bilt rear tine tiller. I was able to get in the garden with my little Kioti tractor and pull the boxblade rippers thru a few times, sorta like a subsoiler. Also, I have hauled in some topsoil from farmland.

My report would read:

XReport — Map Unit Description
Lake Martin Area, Parts of Coosa and Tallaposa Counties, Alabama
Composted manure and sandy soid from Bibb County, Alabama


[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/TopSoil1.jpg[/img]
Last edited by lakngulf on Fri May 14, 2010 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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gixxerific
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Jal why is that you don't till in the spring. Is it because you don't think it is necessary or is it because the ground is usually still to wet.

Just wondering. :idea:

By the way nice setup if you are going to till that is the way to do it. Can I borrow that this fall? It would only take me about 2 min. :lol: :wink:

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applestar
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Oh! Oh! Can I answer this one?
Let me see if I remember...

(1) It's too wet to till, will result in clods
(2) Tilling into clods will allow moisture to evaporate that he wants to keep in the ground
(3) Surface skimming/raking (agh! can't remember the word you used jal! ... harrowing?) in spring allows the top layer to dry sufficiently to plant. Then he steps on them so the seeds make good soil contact and the soil can wick up the underlying moisture.

How'd I do? :wink:

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rainbowgardener
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"If I wanted to grow veggies in a completely open area, I'd have to plant them in the middle of the front yard! " AS

If I had a front yard that was open and sunny, I would DEFINITELY plant veggies in it. My very small front yard has two big trees (the huge old lilac you have seen and a very large panicle dogwood) and a good sized shrub in it, so hardly any sunny spots.
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jal_ut
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lakngulf, perhaps you should get a tiller for the Kioti tractor ?

Applestar, you did good.

Spring plowing or tilling causes a loss of moisture. Here in dry Utah that is not a good thing. I don't get my irrigation water until close to the first of June, so until then its a dry farm operation. Also, as Applestar said, early in the spring when its time to plant the early crops, the soil is too wet for tilling. It will just make clods.

I know a 55 horse tractor is overkill for a 1.5 acre ranch, but you gotta remember I grew up on a farm. I am a farmer at heart, and a farmer has got to have a tractor. The tractor gets winter duty pushing snow, and summer duty mowing. I do a bit of tilling for friends and neighbors in the spring and fall. It gives me something to do.

My operation is geared toward production. No raised beds, trellises, paved pathways, or fancy garden trinkets. Just a plot of ground to grow things. Since I have plenty of space I give the plants plenty of space.

Lots of different gardening styles/methods exist, in fact there is probably a style/method for every gardener. The only bad style/method is to fail to plant. Have a great garden!

I put this link in another thread: [url=https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/planting/planting.htm]Planting[/url] It is a page about my planting techniques and soil prep.
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Zapatay
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"I grew up on a farm. I am a farmer at heart, and a farmer has got to have a tractor"

8)

Guess whats on my christmas list.

kgall
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JAL.....How about spending the summer here in NH helping a girl who always wanted to live on a farm?? :wink:

garden5
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Nice size plants, Jal! About how high are those bush plants? They look like 6 ft. :shock:?
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jal_ut
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Guess whats on my christmas list.
John Deere?

JAL.....How about spending the summer here in NH helping a girl who always wanted to live on a farm??
Best offer I have had all week. :D

Nice size plants, Jal! About how high are those bush plants? They look like 6 ft. ?
How high? 4-5 feet I guess.
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garden5
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Wow, I'll bet that you get bushels of squash from your patch. I hope to get a better harvest this year that I did last year. I'm going to by trying some different varieties like scallop squash.
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jal_ut
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[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/crookneck.jpg[/img]

This scene would repeat every week. This harvest is from 2 hills of crookneck.

Let me explain "hill". A hill is a group of plants together. It is not a mound of soil with squash planted in it.

I plant 5 seeds in a circle about a foot round. then move over 6 feet and do it again. When you see on the seed packet, "plant in hills" this is what is meant.

So I have 4 or 5 plants growing together and the vines get 4 feet long even though they are supposed to be non vining. Each hill can be up to 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall. They are an amazing plant.

There are some mini varieties available for small space gardens. I have never tried those.
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lakngulf
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Here is a picture of my squash I took this morning at first light. I have zucchini and yellow straight neck. Growing great so far, but I have to stay after those little stem pests. Hope to have fried squash and "squash pizza" this weekend.

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/2010_May_M01020.jpg[/img]
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