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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Subject: 8 bags of treasures in my car -- D. FIR SHAVINGS for mulch
applestar wrote:I was perusing the local craigslist for the first time in ages and came across an advert offering clean douglas fir shavings $3 a bag. I was picturing trash bag size and decided to go for 8 bags to mulch my blueberries and raspberries. When I got there, they told me the bags were 55 gallon size, loosely filled. :shock:

...Had to put down the rear seats but I managed to get all eight bags in the back of my suv. :()

I might have been able to stuff a 9th bag in the back if I wasn't concerned about leaving space to see out the rear window, and if I hadn't been going to Trader Joes before going home, I could have put another bag in the passenger's seat. (as it was, I forgot all about it and when I rolled the shopping cart to my car, had a moment of panic when I thought I wouldn't be able to fit 5 full grocery bags in the passenger's seat and floor. :lol:

But they told me they always have these bags of shavings and local farmers come get them for their chickens, rabbits and other livestock. So now I know I could get 10 bags next time if I tried.

...these are clear bags and I can see using them for protecting my tomato plants after planting them, too.

...and you know what? These 8 bags of Douglas fir shavings made my car smell WONDERFUL! -- MUCH better than those Christmas tree shaped artificial car air fresheners :mrgreen:
Image 8 bags

...I picked up 4 more bags on Friday :-()
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Day before yesterday, a super gusty thunderstorm passed through this area -- I hear some people still had no electricity and traffic lights were nonfunctional even this morning.

In my garden, the Haybale Row corn got flattened even though they had been hilled, and wouldn't stand back up even when I tried hilling some more. So I borrowed a tomato support technique and Florida Weaved them yesterday. You almost can't tell now, can you? :-()
image.jpg
At least one Bantam Sweet Corn was starting to tassle... And Sangre potatoes are blooming. 8)

I'm going to need to put up those PVC hoops around the Sunflower House bed and set up barricade/trellis supports for the squash -- you can see the one in front is attempting to escape. :shock:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

great looking garden! do the pie pans help keep the rabbits away or just birds? I'm considering putting a few in my garden because rabbits are eating my sunflowers.

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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

I couldn't tell you. Rabbits are a perennial problem in my yard (wintertime too -- they chew on fruit tree and shrub branches like blueberries) so all my garden beds are surrounded with rabbit fence. Let us know if the aluminum pan "scares" work against rabbits.

A newer modification/accessory I made with a few of them is to hang a small metal washer from the upper rim -- then they bang on the pans. The pans themselves are often hung so they bang on the sticks or fences as they blow around.
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Update :D
image.jpg
The corn is starting to tassle. :-()

...but I didn't get the chance to look closer because I really HAD to get the support set up for the tomatoes in the Spiral Garden, then I was exhausted. :roll:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Everything looks so healthy, and there is a lot of "everything"!!
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

I harvested the garlic. These are Elephant and Music:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

I found two Kandy Korn with silks today. So I grabbed a sheet of paper and hand pollinated them. :()
image.jpg
It's a bit of a bummer though, because Kandy Korn wasn't supposed to mature until much later, and Bantam which was supposed to be first is being very slow, while Glass Gem is already tassling though no silk (might end up coinciding with Kandy Korn at this rate.... :? )


I also took pictures today of some of the winter squash that have set fruits :()
2 Volunteer maxima (pumpkins)... 2 Kakai Hulless
image.jpg
2 Guatemalan Blue ... 1 Black Futsu
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Ground level montage and stitched panorama:
image.jpg
image.jpg
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:?: WHICH DO YOU THINK IS BETTER :?:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

The last one, ground level.

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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Some of the squashes :D

Black Futsu ... Kakai ... Guatemalan Blue from two different plants looking a little different
image.jpg
More Kakai ... Tromboncino ... Volunteer maxima

I'm only growing two plants each of the C. moschata Black Futsu and Tromboncino, and they don't always have male and female blossoms open. I had to hand pollinated the Black Futsu with Tromboncino male and in the Tromboncino photo, the first fruit that has set and is growing was pollinated with Black Futsu. The female blossom in the photo was hand pollinated with its own male blossom.

So The seeds from the first Tromboncino will be (Tromboncino x Black Futsu) and if the Black Fitsu blossom sets fruit, I will have the opposite cross (Black Futsu x Tromboncino) 8)
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Does anyone remember this angle of view of the VG raised bed garden from last year? THIS is how it looks this year :()
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

It looks like your apples are doing nicely as well.

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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

They are :D Thanks!
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

First cucumber! :-()
image.jpg
-- I grow vining crop on this trellis every year to shade the SW wall of the family room. A month ago, I was complaining that you could FEEL the outside heat from the inside of this wall. ... A day before yesterday, I was sitting with my back to the wall in mid afternoon -- which I usually don't do because it's too hot, and was thinking "Oh! It's surprisingly cool...?" Well, the cuke vines had reached the top of the trellis. :mrgreen:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Looks like one last hurrah of broccoli before the heatwave arrives tomorrow.

Top-left -I'm pretty sure- is the central head of the only Purple Sprouting broccoli that germinated because it's the only one planted in a patio planter away from the others -- I hope I kept notes... Maybe I put a label stick in the planter... I should check..... Purple Peacock sprouting broccoli on the bottom-right (red flower is just Jacob Cline monarda that is growing through the foliage). Purple Peacock REALLY looks more like Red Russian KALE but does form heads that are closer to sprouting broccoli.
image.jpg
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

beautiful plants!

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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

applestar wrote:Looks like one last hurrah of broccoli before the heatwave arrives tomorrow.
Do you start broccoli from seed or buy plants? I have had little luck either way, maybe our humid area is just not right for it.
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

I start broccoli from seeds. I've been starting them earlier and earlier -- it looks like if I have the indoor space for the bigger plants, it's best to start them by mid-January -- I can usually start planting around 2nd week to mid-March.

This means you may be better off thinking of broccolis as fall started early spring harvest.

Rainbowgardener has been successful direct sowing them in fall -- I think about a month before first average frost? (Correct me if I'm wrong RBG) And generally her winters are mild enough that they survive. -- I've tried that but it gets too cold here, I think -- I'll keep experimenting to see if I can come up with a reasonable protection method. :wink:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Subject: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Curcs
applestar wrote:Last year, I found out that by pre-germinating and starting them inside for planting as early as possible, early maturing C.pepo variety and C.maxima, which are vulnerable to SVBs (squash vine borers) were able to mature fruits before SVBs took down the vines.

This year, I direct sowed the pre-germinated seeds in raised hills for warmed soil, etc. and it worked!

-- I harvested these Kakai hulless seed squash today (along with the one volunteer maxima) Almost all Kakai vines have collapsed due to SVB.
Image
I only got two Guatemalan Blue fruits from two plants -- but par for the course since I had 6 Kakai plants -- but I believe they are also nearly ready to harvest -- there is corking starting in the fruit stems. Since the vines are not quite collapsed (supplied by secondary roots from nodes along the vines), even though they are infested by SVB's at the base, I'm going to give them another day or two before harvesting.

This is working out well since now, melon vines that are enjoying the hot weather can move into the space that had been occupied by Kakai, and I sowed pre-germinated edamame/soybean seeds in the Guatemalan Blue hill.
Update plan and photo:
image.jpg
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Guatemalan Blue C.maxima squash -- one striped, one not. If they have equivalent flavor, I'm saving seeds from the striped one. 8)

Big and little tomatoes, and lemon Dani basil, A couple of test edamame and yellow raspberries that keep coming in ones and twos (I guess I would get more once this new patch matures more)
image.jpg
...last dozen or so of the last to silk corn had trouble because all the tassles were done making pollen.
... First peaches -- when I went to check on them there was this most awful cluster of dozen or so Japanese beetles on one fruit. Look what they did! :evil: ...but once the damaged part was trimmed away, the peach tasted delicious! :()
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

What do those ginormous squash taste like? You're supposed to let them get that big? How do you prepare them? The SVB leave them alone?

Sorry for the barrage of questions....they just look nifty and have me intrigued....

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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Haven't tasted them yet -- they are actually winter squash and supposed to get to be 4-5 Lbs, but my bigger striped one was only 2 Lbs:
image.jpg
Guatemalan Blue (C.maxima)
The vines did go down to SVB so that may have affected their development. But I think/hope they had the chance to mature. I'll give them a little time to "cure" before cutting them open.

But I do have to keep a close eye on these early harvested C.pepo and C.maxima squash. SVBs gets into the fruit sometimes. Yesterday, I was rearranging and turning the harvested fruits in their web tray so they have good air circulation all over, and found one that -- originally seemed solid -- had a wet mushy spot on the bottom. When I took it to the sink to wash and examine, there was a pocket/airspace under the already hardened skin and there were channels in the flesh just below the skin ...and a 1" SVB fell out :shock: :x

This one apparently got in from the softer bottom of the fruit where it was on the ground. I sliced open the damaged part and kept cutting bits off until all signs of burrowing were removed -- only a section about 2" in diameter and 1" deep and not penetrated into the seed cavity, thank goodness. Wrapped the remaining fruit and put it in the fridge. I'll process it today and make sure there are no others (but I don't think so).

I did harvest the last Kakai yesterday, along with a couple of cucumbers that were hiding -- one of them had wedged itself in the wire fence and had to be extricated :roll:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Applestar you are a true expert!!!

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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Sweet looking brassicas. Do you cover yours early in the growing season or use some type of insecticide?
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Oops sorry for not realizing you had posted a question @lexusnexus.

I've tried covering with netting in the past with great success. This year, I'm trying NOT covering and see how far I get with just hand picking and protection by the Garden Patrol. The cold spring slowed down the cabbage white invasion which helped.

I haven't used ANY insecticide.
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

First group of GLASS GEM CORN
image.jpg
Still waiting for the MELONS
image.jpg
Last edited by applestar on Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected the name of corn from "Gem" to "Glass Gem".
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Gosh that gem corn looks fantastic. I think I'm going to have to try to source some seed in Australia and give it a go, if only to see the pretty!

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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Sorry it's GLASS Gem corn. I fixed the name in the previous post.

...

Here is a second Kikuza squash I harvested today. I've been letting it mature on the vine, and it's still a bit green, but I noticed it's starting to soak up moisture on the skin instead of repelling it, and was afraid of it going moldy.
image.jpg
As it turned out ...i realized there was this SVB trying to burrow into the stem even after I rinsed the squash. :x

Plucked it off and dropped into a bucket I keep near the patio faucet to pour used rinse water in, and the resident goldfish swam up from the bottom and promptly swallowed it :twisted:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

After trying several times, I finally have Armenian Cucumbers producing fruits. Image

I do believe the key was to remember that this is actually A MELON SPECIES and treat it as such. These are growing in this year's melon patch.
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

MELONS!!! :-()
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Beautiful ! ! :D :D
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

applestar wrote:MELONS!!! :-()
image.jpg
Cantaloupe? They look delicious!!! :shock: :eek:

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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

...aaaand here is a winter squash that climbed up a trellis and set fruit about 4ft above the ground.... :roll:
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

I don't know what variety these winter squash are. :roll:

They are C.moschata variety that started to take over after Kakai (C.pepo) finished maturing fruits and/or went down from SVB. Maybe Black Futsu? But they originated among the Kakai so either stray seed that sort of looked like a Kakai or one or more volunteer(s). The plant I *thought* was Black Futsu turned out to be Kikuza, so I did intend to grow them this year.
image.jpg
There's one more that hopefully set fruit.
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

I was referencing this:
Subject: 2014 Spiral Garden Garlic Onion Pea Corn Squash Cuke Beet
applestar wrote:[...]

In the Spiral Garden, there are two Thai Kang Kob (maybe Seminole) and one volunteered in the compost pile Tromboncino fruits growing at the moment.
Image

[....]
...later, it turned out that the top left is a seminole and bottom left is a Thai Kang Kob (you can see how much TKK changed as it developed later in that thread)



I'm thinking the mottled color Of my mystery squash looks like Seminole and the initial shapes as seen in the one on the bucket look more like the Seminole, but the developing size, flattening shape, and the ribbing on the bagged one looks more like Thai Kang Kob. I wonder if I'm growing a bee cross of the two this year....?
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Oh! I forgot to mention! I might have another cross in the making.

The center bottom photo above is a Kikuza female -- she was blooming all by her lonesome on the struggling vine with no males to be her mate. So I gave her one of the mystery squash male to play with.

Not too hopeful though, since I really thought the Kikuza vine kicked the bucket long time ago....
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

9/10 Harvest

- More figs, apples and 1st Prok persimmon!
- Basil (VGDPSRB). Decided to harvest pretty severely since the Patio container basils are starting to suffer Basil Downy Mildew.
Image
- Also first MR x ZCMWF, F1 #1F ...it is small grape shape and appears to be pink or purple. #1F plant is tall and rambling -- really hoping this is a Maglia Rosa x Coyote cross with flavor to match!
- CHERRY TOMATOES:
- - A double cluster Champagne and small cluster of SIP Petite Pomme Blanche is again looking paler ivory color.
- - Single yellow cherry is from Iva's Sweet White.
- - Large yellow grape cherry is Sweetie. (I thought that was going to be red, so will need to look it up.) Sun Bell
- - Gotta love the cute antho-calyx sun print on the Amethyst Cream (It would be worth planting in much sunnier spot just for that but the flavor might suffer from overwhelming antho overtones....)
- - Large red cherry is Sun Gold not.
- Dwarf Red okra from Blane and Burgundy okra from Burpee
- Armenian cucumber (VGB)
- 2nd Captain Lucky White had multiple skin splits due to all the rain we had.
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

These okra were a bit oppressed while Trucker's Favorite White corn were looming over them, but now that the corn stalks have been removed, they seem to be visibly trying to make up for lost time. I'm loving the color combination with the Sedum 'Autumn Joy' starting to bloom behind them.
image.jpg
Burpee Burgundy in the foreground, (harvested the pods today after taking the picture). Dwarf Red in the back – that big pod was the very first of all of these to set. I'm leaving it to mature for the seeds to see if it's possible. I did the same thing with Louisiana Green Velvet.

If leaving the very first pod to mature, sacrificing production on that plant, still isn't enough to save mature seeds, I'll just give up and stop trying. :|
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

Harvest photos from last few days. Not as much volume per day, but interesting assortment that adds to our table. Kids are eating raspberries, figs and persimmons for special treats as well as filling up on apples for their snacks every day now :()
image.jpg
...forgot to include today's apples :>
image.jpg
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