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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

'tis the season

In the spring, all the plants are so beautiful and perfect and full of potential and I always imagine that this year will be the perfect, best ever garden. The weather is gorgeous and it is such a blessing to be outdoors again after being cooped up in the winter.

By this time in the season, lots of things are starting to struggle with disease and pests or just heat and humidity, too much rain (or some years too little rain). Things are getting a bit tired and so am I.

I stopped by my community garden briefly this afternoon. One of my tomato plants there got some kind of blight/wilt and is mostly gone. The others are looking pretty healthy (so far) but showing beginnings of septoria. The dill had a bunch of little black with red spots beetles (maybe 1/3 the size of a stinkbug), which are probably not good news. The borage plant that was big and healthy and thriving last time I was there was just gone. Just a stub of stem left, with some either chewed or rotten spots on it. What eats borage?

I didn't stay very long just long enough to harvest some peppers, basil, and a couple tomatoes. It was too hot and humid and fiercely mosquito-y to stay - I was getting eaten alive. This rainy, wet, humid summer has made a bumper crop of mosquitoes! Hard to enjoy being out. I try to get out in my garden early in the AM these days - best time to enjoy it.

Posts: 13917
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

The weeds are taking over in all my gardens. We are not getting torrential rain but there is a little drizzle almost every day. Not enough to water the plants, but enough for the weeds to take off. The rain steams off during the day which is so hot and muggy that I am sweating sitting down doing nothing. The trades are on and off, mostly off. It is just under 90 degrees where I am but it feels like a 100.

I did harvest my corn from my community garden. Only a few ears and more than half were not full ears. The corn was short because it just did not get enough water. My brussels sprouts is hanging in there, longer than I thought it would but I have yet to get a single sprout. The chayote though still produces and the citrus should have ripe fruit next month. The calamondin really has never stopped fruiting. I even had a volunteer cherry tomato and it made good sized fruit for a cherry, just not particularly tasty. Probably why the birds left it alone.

I am not having as much problems now with disease. I did have bacterial spot on the peppers and it is under control now and I have been spraying the rose and sweet basil every few days with a preventive fungicide. So far so good, but with basil, it is hard to tell. I have gotten this far before only to have downy mildew suddenly show up.

The cabbage worms found my kale so I pulled them. I have some white flies on the hibiscus and on the kale but they are leaving the peppers alone so not too bad. I tried the bag trick. It doesn't seem to make a difference.

I still have snails eating my seedlings and the weeds are helping them climb up to my bench.

I still hear the frogs so, they must still be in the yard. I thought, I got rid of them but I heard them chirping this evening.

Then there are the ants. They come in in summer looking for water and when it rains to the point of flooding they come in because their house if flooded. They are everywhere. My cat is taking care of the roaches in the house. I see one once in a while but I usually find the body a few days later.

This is the time of year when the newbie gardeners give up. They get overwhelmed with the weeds, the disease and the heat and find something else to do. The rest of us know, this is just what it is like in July and August and start thinking about clearing out the old stuff and get ready to put in the fall garden.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

"The rest of us know, this is just what it is like in July and August and start thinking about clearing out the old stuff and get ready to put in the fall garden."

:D :D

Yes, indeed!

Green Thumb
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:06 pm
Location: MD Suburbs of DC, 7a

Looks like early blight got to my Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Too bad, they were my earliest main crop tomatoes. They are fabulously sweet, juicy and tastes just what I think tomato should taste like. My other tomatoes seem okay right now, and ripening.

My first planting of bush beans (Burpee Gold Mine and Burpee Blue Lake 47) have finished so I pulled the plants and donated them to our Demo Garden compost pile. I replanted them today. I had already put in another crop 3-4 weeks ago so they'll be coming into bloom soon.

I also built and put in a hand-made bean trellis for pole beans. I wanted to compare the pole beans to the bush beans. I planted Burpee Monte Gusto yellow beans and Burpee Kentucky Blue pole beans. They're doing well with a constant supply of beans. But it takes several days to get enough to make a meal for us. I have 12' of the green and 4' of the yellow. These are my personal opinions and thoughts. Because the bush beans deliver their harvest in a short period of time we got enough in one picking to make a meal (my rows are 8' because of space limitations), and have enough left over to freeze. The pole beans are a bit thinner than the bush beans, but tastier. In order for me to get enough beans from the pole varieties I'd have to build 2 more trellises, and I don't have the room. So far the pole beans are quite healthy, and have not had an insect invasion. Although I won't be taking the trellis out of the garden I'm going to focus on bush beans next year.

The zucchini and yellow squash are growing with a vengeance. At one point I picked 12 in 3 days. I have 5 plants of zucchini (in 2 mounds) and 1 yellow squash. Burpee has a real QA problem this year because one of the mounds was to be zucchini and the other yellow squash. But, 2 of the 3 plants that were to be yellow squash turned out to be zucchini (all from the packet labeled Early Prolific Straightneck). I've had other problems with Burpee seeds as well. I planted 22 Echinacea seeds in my normal seed starting mixture (Pro Mix HP) and got 4 to grow. It's not the seed starter because I had excellent results with all my vegetable and other flower seeds.

This was the first year for me to grow bulbing onions, Candy and Candy Apple. There are just a few remaining in the ground and those should be harvested by next week. Although they were good, I'm not going to planting them next year because they weren't all that big. They are tasty but kind of a disappointment.

The scallions (Evergreen Bunching) are okay, but not great. Again, another Burpee product. They had about a 50% germination rate, which is not acceptable to me. I will be growing scallions again but will be looking for another supplier, and possibly another variety.

My eggplants got off to a rocky start after they went into the garden. I started Black Beauty from seed and had a good germination rate, above 90% if my recollection is correct. I purchased another 6 seedlings of different varieties from a local store to see if we like them. The flea beetles went to town on them. I ended up spraying with 3 different products (none were chemical pesticides): Surround, Neem oil, and an agricultural soap. All were good, but the Surround caused other problems. It coats the leaves with a substance they don't like walking on, but it also gets into the flowers preventing the pollinators from getting into them. It took quite awhile for new flowers to come out without the Surround. In other words, you won't get fruit until that happens. The plants are big enough now to survive without help. Next year I'll be putting agricultural cloth over them when they go into the ground, and the cloth will remain in place until the flowers show up. By then the plants should be big enough to survive attacks by the flea beetles.

Our peppers were good but I made the mistake of planting a few too close to the squash mounds. I just pulled those out because they were being shaded by the squash leaves and killing them. The jury is still out on the peppers. I'll be growing them again next year but not sure which varieties. I purchased all as seedlings where I got the eggplant seedlings. I didn't start seeds this year because we weren't sure if we were going to plant any peppers. Next year I will be starting them from seeds. We don't want hot peppers so all will be sweet.

We've gone through one planting of Swiss chard (which was wonderful), and planted another crop. And the new crop is doing great, even in this hot weather. All the beets and radishes are long gone, and were delicious.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3920
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: ID/WA! border

I can't give up now!

Some folks plant all at once and await the harvest. I do succession plantings as best I can. Summers aren't severely hot but this summer comes close. However it turns out, the Weather Service has declared my part of the world in "severe" drought. Triple digitS' on the thermometer have been tough on my garden even if it has had plentiful irrigation water.

It looks like it will be a good melon year. YAY! So often, all of the warm season crops, beefsteak tomatoes, peppers, melon, etc., have so limited a moment to ripen before cool weather slows them down ... then frosts come.

A ripe tomato in June? That has never happened before! They are still trickling in but they may be full-on by the end of July. I've got summer squash and cucumbers and put in a 2nd planting of both at the beginning of this month. Green beans, too. There will be no loss to production if the early plants play out before cold weather sets in.

The spinach and lettuce may have come and gone with a rush but we have had stir-fry greens right along. The peas may have been a disaster but I'm picking a crazy amount of French filet beans now!

I don't know what next month, next week, or tomorrow will bring but I'm, at least, pretending that the plants can come through. I'll just have to keep checking on them and try to attend to their needs as best I can ...


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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7447
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Its been a weird season here. I planted May 5 corn, beans squash etc. Then we got three weeks of rain and the seed rotted, so I planted again. Now everything is late, but we are having sunny weather and things are looking good. Here in this high dry climate summer rains are rare and brief if we do get any. Temperatures have not been bad though. Had some high 90s in June, but July is cooler. Go figure. Had an excellent spinach and green onion harvest. Now the corn is tasseling. Can't wait for some corn........ Been eating turnips. Hope your garden is producing.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 787
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:35 pm
Location: Upper Piedmont area of Virginia, Zone 7a

This looks like a rough season for everyone. We stopped by our local farmers market yesterday & were shocked at the limited offerings during what should normally be the height of the season.

No greens - not even warm-weather resistant types; very sad-looking summer squash & green beans; Poblanos so tiny I didn't bother buying any (which I wanted for my terrific baked cheese-stuffed Poblanos that I wanted to make this week), etc., etc. It was almost sad. We did score a few tomatoes, some beautiful eggplant (which will be going into Eggplant Parm tonight) & some gorgeous sweet 3"-long blackberries + a few peaches. But that was it. First time ever that the farmers market has looked so sparse.

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