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rainbowgardener
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rainbow's 2016 gardens

Probably should have done this sooner, but I've been showing progress in some other threads:

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most of the corn is two feet high or close to it

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broccoli has little baby heads

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Pepper plants are flowering

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my first tomato! (It's a cherry tomato)

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sugar snap peas on the south side of the bed are over two feet tall and blooming. Regular garden peas on the other side of the bed are most of a foot shorter and just starting to have some flower buds. Don't know if it is the variety difference or just that they are a little bit more shaded. This bed also has spinach, swiss chard, dill, cabbage, a few chives, a few onion sets, kale.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Everything is growing like crazy these warm days!
potato bed comparison.jpg
That is the same little potato patch. Above pic was taken 4/24 and below was taken today 4/29!
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Wow! great pics... very jealous of your setup. the beds look great.

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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Thank you!! Here's the overview:
8raised beds 4-18.jpg
this thread has the story of how they were built:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... er#p383540
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Very nice. I would have never thought of just pounding the rebar straight thru into the ground.(I might steal that one...lol)

alternating ends overlapping really adds great ascetics. very nice job. :)

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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Here's the update, just 12 days later:

this one is taken from the back of the yard looking toward the house, opposite view from usual (to avoid having my shadow in it!)

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Shows the corn about 28" tall, broccoli heads bigger.

Here's the same little potato patch. In the upper right corner, it is starting to bloom:
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Here's the cherry tomato with two clusters of tomatoes:

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A couple of the other tomato plants have tomatoes now as well.

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Sugar snap peas are four ft tall now and garden peas almost three ft. And they all have flowers and pods:

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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Miscellaneous non-veggie stuff:

After sitting there doing nothing visible for months while they grew some roots, the little fig tree cuttings are growing fast now.

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Our apple trees have apples!

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Lots of flowers and herbs on the deck

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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Looking GREAT @rainbowgardener :D
It must feel weird to have such advanced plants at this time of the year?

:-() in the tomato bed photo, I see an upstairs veranda you didn't mention before -- I enlarged and looked ALL OVER but don't see any plants! (How can this be? :> ) -- I'm thinking something highly scented and night blooming to waft in with the night and daybreak breeze, as well as little nibbles when you step out -- like nasturtiums and mints, everbearing/day neutral strawberries... 8) :wink:

...maybe grapevine climbing up from the ground... :D

-- all depends on the sun exposure, of course. :()
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Yes, because the picture was taken from the opposite direction, looking towards the house, you see the upper level deck, off the master bedroom. And yes, no flowers - that's because we just finished painting it YESTERDAY! :) Rest assured, there will be flowers! It faces west, but because there's a row of trees across the back, it only gets direct sun from about 1PM - 5 PM. It's actually a difficult exposure, since it does get direct hot afternoon sun, just not very many hours of it.

Mint would probably be good, maybe impatiens and petunias, begonias, coleus, sweet alyssum or trailing lobelia to drape over the edge of a container. Maybe a black eyed susan or a balloon flower?

I love the idea of something fragrant, which I hadn't really thought of yet. Nicotiana, for sure! Maybe stock in the fall, when heat of summer is past.

The reason we moved here is for all the sunshine, blue skies, and long growing season. I love that my garden is so far along here in May. I used to work really hard to have tomatoes ripe by the end of June (remember the June racers? :) ). Here I think at least the cherry tomatoes will be ripe by the end of May...
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

So it's been almost another three weeks, here's an update

Here's the quarter circle garden, showing the corn, beans, squash sprouted and the new rabbit fence

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Here's my cherry tomato plant showing the first one changing color:
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Here's that corn: (if you click on it to enlarge twice, to its full size, it is very nice and you can see the little beans in the bottom of the bed, just starting to climb the corn. The second time you are in photobucket and have to click the magnifying glass icon)
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sugar snap peas just after I harvested a quart of them. They are on the down hill side now, but now I am harvesting the regular garden peas on the right side of that bed. I have been picking some of the swiss chard and some of the kale in the back almost every day for weeks.
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and just for you applestar, :) the upper deck with a few flowers on it. Nothing very special yet, just something to get started with.
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In the background is the neighbor's blue hydrangea, showing that the soil around here is a bit on the acid side...
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

So those pictures were taken on 5/28. Corn has changed a lot in 3 days. Most of it is four feet tall, not counting the tall tassel spikes which are over my head.

Corn just starting to make an ear:
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Corn starting to make two ears, one has a few baby silks showing
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Corn tassels:
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are the purplish things hanging down the pollen? It looks like it is ready to drop, but there are hardly any silks yet to receive it.
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

The purplish things are the anthers which produce pollen. When it's not breezy, mid-morning after the morning dew has dried, gently pull a stalk down and hold a creased white heavy paper (or a file folder) under the tassels and shake/tap, or put a white paper bag over the entire tassel (I haven't tried the bag method because the tassels produce pollen for several days and I don't want to damage them, but I would guess that the bag will work better if you just don't have calm breeze less days). You'll see billows of pollen land on the paper. Fold by the crease and pour into the silks. You can start pollinating silks that have emerged and keep doing this over the next couple of days as more silks emerge.

If you are out again later in the day, you can try again -- mid- to late afternoon before there might be a shower or sunset breeze. But if the bees and other insects have been at the pollen, you may not get much. I think there are more to collect in the morning.

P.S. love the glimpse of the upper deck! Thanks :D
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

It's just a little more than a week since the last photos, but things are progressing rapidly in the heat. All of the photos enlarge quite nicely if you click on them, which takes you to photobucket and then click the magnifying glass icon.

(Silver Queen) Corn, with ears and silks; very tall now:
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Five weeks ago, that corn was almost two feet high. in front are the Husker Red cherry tomatoes, with more ripening up daily now

Jalapeno peppers:
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These are some variety of beefsteak tomatoes and one is getting huge:
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the bed with the peas:
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the garden peas have been pulled. (Actually cut off near the ground, leaving the roots to give N back to the soil.) Since the picture I weeded this bed out, got the empty space ready to plant seeds, mulched everything. A number of the sugar snap peas still had blossoms. So I cut down the ones that didn't and cut back the ones where the new blossoms were at the bottom, but left them to see if they will keep producing. Next year I may just do the sugar snaps- I like them and they were SO much more productive.

Here's another view of those cherry tomatoes, showing the lettuce and carrots in with them. Lettuce won't last much longer now, especially since we have another solid week of 95 degrees and nothing but sunshine coming up
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broccoli producing lots of side shoots, I've been harvesting them almost daily.
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some of the basil going crazy on the deck
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Very nice garden, I'm sure it will be really delicious. Where are you located?

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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

It says under my avatar - TN/GA that is on the border between SE TN and NW GA.
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

RG: that looks completely and utterly awesome and delicious! And here I've been feeling so smug, living in the San Francisco Bay Area, that I've had my stuff in for months whereas so many of you have had to wait, and I've been enjoying my cool weather crops for months...(you know there is a BUT coming)

BUT!

When your hot weather rolls in, your heat loving crops go hog wild, while mine are still inching along, ha ha! It will be a good month before tomatoes come in, probably two months before I get my peppers (other than Padrons). And heck, can't hardly even think about eggplant seriously until August with first fruit probably in September.

So enjoy your bounty as it looks so lush and green and almost ripe - and I'll just sit here, tapping my fingers.

Signed the formerly smug Californian.

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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Yes, I can't believe how fast everything grows here (this is my first growing season since moving down here from Cincinnati). I don't know if it is the heat, so much sunshine, or the fact that the bottom half of my garden beds are filled with horse manure from the horse ranch behind me (I've never gardened with manure before), but it feels like I can just watch everything grow...

I turned one of my garden pictures into the wallpaper/background on my desk top. The picture is from 4/24, six weeks ago now, and all the plants are so teeny.... :)
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Sorry, didn't see that! I do like your raised beds, we've been toying with some ideas for some new beds recently - very tempted to put something similar together!

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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

I love it when people borrow my ideas! I've borrowed plenty from others here. Just post pictures to show how they come out.

Here's my story of building them:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... ds#p383540
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

update again

Here's my quarter circle bed with corn, beans, squash, but each separate:
IMG_1339.JPG
Here's ripe tomatoes and ripe corn. Most of the lettuce that was along side the tomatoes has been pulled. The broccoli that is in the background behind the corn has since been pulled. (as always shows up better if you click on the picture)
IMG_1337.JPG
All the peas (that were in a bed to the right of this photo) have been pulled.

Today I planted black bush beans, more pole green beans where the peas were. Carrots and onions where the broccoli was.

Just for fun, here's the dog enjoying the garden:
IMG_1340.JPG
that's the last of the peas in the background of this one, but they have since been pulled and the space replanted.
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Fabulous, @Rainbowgardener :D All your hard work are paying off, and you are getting full production out of your new garden :-()
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Yup, we've been eating well out of it! Potatoes, tomatoes and corn! Life is good.

The edamame beans have pods on them now. And the squashes have some baby squash. It is all winter squash varieties, acorn and butternut. So far so good, they are looking healthy, no sign of attack by borers or squash bugs... But my experience with squash in the past has not been good. They always look big and healthy and tantalizing and then succumb to something, so I'm just keeping fingers crossed.

I have sweet potatoes growing slips to plant when the regular potatoes are pulled.

Tomatoes are starting to struggle with septoria a bit. I removed all the affected leaves and did the baking soda spray, so we shall see. I know, ideally, I should have been spraying BEFORE they started to struggle, but not something I ever seem to get together.
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Four days later, but lots of change:
end of June garden.jpg
lettuce is done, but I will leave a little bit to see if it will self seed. The first planting of corn has mostly been eaten (one ear for each plant, but not well filled out at the top).

But look at all the tomatoes! :)
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Looking great! Nice maters. I'm green with envy.

Red stem chard looks like they are doing well, too.
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Just nine days after the last circle quadrant picture, but it is looking amazingly different:
circle garden 7-2.jpg
(Click on the picture for a better look at how amazingly healthy that stand of SilverQueen corn is looking!)

It didn't start out to be a three sisters bed (it had corn, beans, and squash all planted at the same time, each in their own section of the bed), but it is turning into that as the squash snakes its way throughout. Squash are coming along:
winter squash 7-2.jpg
so are the edamame beans in the same bed:
edamame beans.jpg
and the butternut squash in the actual three sisters bed:
butternut squash.jpg
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Here's the story of this garden bed :D . Reading down, the pictures are from the end of April, end of May, end of June (6/23), and beginning of July (7/2)

circle garden combined series.jpg
Love gardening in the South! You can sit and watch your garden grow...


In the north, we used to say corn should be knee high by the fourth of July. Well, it's almost the fourth of July and this is my third planting of corn. First two have been eaten already!
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

I'm really enjoying your successes in the new garden, Rainbowgardener. :clap:
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

Rainbow I would die for veggies like that so early in the season. I'd till up half the yard to expand and plants 2,3,4+ crops. Get some more tomatoes in the ground before it's too late.
Here in northern Illinois I can only get tomatoes 2 months/year. August and September usually by October the sun angle is too low and the temps too cool hence the tomatoes just don't taste the same as the August and September tomatoes.
Beautiful!!!!!

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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

So I'm working on replanting some of the areas that have opened up. Planting seed and getting it to sprout in our continued heat and drought is challenging. I have planted various beans and squashes (including to replace the two acorn squash that bit the dust). I also planted some more potatoes, in July! I know that isn't kosher, but I thought I'd try. I planted them two weeks ago and so far four of the five potato chunks I planted have sprouts above ground! (Having survived being dug up by the dog and replanted!). I figure by the time they are getting big enough to be making tubers, the weather should have broken.

Planted some crookneck summer squash along the chain link fence on the off chance that by the time they are up, the SVB's will have moved on....

Working on clearing some more ground, expanding the area that was my little potato patch.
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

It's been about a month since did a real update. And the whole month was 90+ degrees and next to zero rain. So everything has been struggling, stressed and then stress making them vulnerable to pests and disease.

Here's my tomato plants with hardly any leaves left after I pulled the septoria spotted ones off:
IMG_1375.JPG
But healthy new growth at the top:
IMG_1376.JPG
But the cherry tomato plant is all denuded at the top where that new growth should be. I found a bunch of the barrel shaped frass that is a tell tale of hornworm. But I searched and searched and could NOT find it! :evil:
IMG_1377.JPG
There's no ripe ones, because I keep picking them as soon as they blush, to prevent damage. Production hasn't stopped. But my five regular tomato plants have been giving me about two tomatoes a day total, way less than I would be getting in different weather. The cherry tomato plant keeps chugging along, except for the hornworm.

continued next post
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

The kale was totally destroyed:
IMG_1381.JPG
I pulled it and the cabbages which weren't doing anything and were also in rough shape, so now have this:
IMG_1384.JPG
never did really figure out what was doing it. I saw ONE slug when I went out with flashlight. At one point when I was watering ONE grasshopper jumped away. And I found a couple harlequin bug nymphs. So maybe there was a lot more that I couldn't find or maybe it was just a combination of everything. I bought Neem oil then never got it together to use it.

Continued next post
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Re: rainbow's 2016 gardens

NOTE: This is the third of three posts I made, just dividing it up because it was picture heavy. The first one is on the previous page.

The seminole pumpkins or whatever they are are ripening up:
IMG_1400.JPG
IMG_1401.JPG
How do I know when to harvest them??

We ate the first two ears of Silver Queen corn in this third planting. They were wonderful and the ears were completely filled out! You can see the squash showing some wilting even though it had been watered just a few hours earlier. Without that it would have been more severely wilted. Those vines are huge and wandering all over.
IMG_1402.JPG
Some things I have planted now are sprouting, mainly more squash and some potatoes:
Image

You can see some squash and potatoes sprouted. Peppers and purple basil hanging in there. The sticks are to keep the dog from digging them up. Works pretty well.

Some yellow crookneck squash planted along the chain link fence. The weeds are mostly the neighbor's:
IMG_1397.JPG
Just for fun, one of the fence line flower plantings, color kind of washed out by the bright sun:
IMG_1398.JPG
So where I am now is still planting to fill in where things have been pulled. I still want to plant some more potatoes and to try a fourth (!) planting of corn. We still have three months until first frost! (Love gardening in the south!) so I think I can do it, though days are already getting shorter. Everything is an experiment since this is my first year here. But I think it is almost time I could start re-planting cool weather stuff, spinach and broccoli, etc.

In the past few days our weather pattern has finally broken; switched from mid to high 90's to low 90's and even some days in the high 80's! The garden started perking up immediately. Things looking better. I gave everything a top dressing of compost to help it recover. Butternut squash that had been sitting there with one squash on it, doing nothing for ages, suddenly put out another one. So I think I have made it through the worst that the summer here can offer and in an extreme heat and drought year.
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