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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Had planned to do something else this morning, but got caught up in digging and shaping the swale/paths for the Northeast gardenbeds to properly flow and sequester irrigation and rain water.
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Re-shaped the Spiral Garden into broken spirals and created overflow channels for the swales to leach their way downslope into swale/paths for the Sunflower House Extension and Haybale Lane beds -- I think this will work better.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

There are an upside and a downside to pre-germinating. I set up these seeds to pre-germinate very early on6/15, so actual time elapsed is probably about 36 hours, but look at them! Very gratifying :D ...That's the UP-side.


The DOWN-side is that I had to process them at 11PM because I could see they couldn't stay in those zip bags for another night:

I put all the germinated seeds except the corn in DEspoonzips -- you've seen those before.

I want to sow the corn in deep containers -- probably ricemilk cartons as usual -- in the morning, so I have temporarily scattered them on a bed of moistened DE sand. **Last time, I didn't like the way the sprouted seeds had both the root and the sprout growing in the same direction due to being tumbled around.

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

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Sowed the germinated and sprouted corn and spoon-seedzipped the germinated Sibley banana squash, Sweet REBA Acorn squash, Alibaba watermelon, and Lemon Queen sunflower seeds. Ran out of prepared DE Sand so used potting mix (haven't tried that before)

...yeas, yes. Those are the later sowing of very interesting basil varieties that I REALLY have to separate and harden off. :wink:
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

My first ripe tomato of the season is going to be Marz Pulcent :D

I am trying this variety in hanging baskets as well as a 2 gallon container -- the container with ripening fruits was the first one planted out.

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

So I'm curious about the zip lock bag pre germinating. I'm having a little trouble this year with some seeds in the ground, namely, beans and squashes. So, I guess it's wet in there and don't leave them in more than 36 hours. But what kind of environment? Warm and dark, warm and light, cool and dark...etc? Do you soak them overnight before putting them in the bags sometimes? Thx. :)

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Taiji, beans and squashes are very easy and quick in warm location! I'm going to refer you to this part of last year's thread where I think I went into detail about most recent pre-germinating methods. I've been tweaking every year so I may have changed a little bit, but most important is to soak -- 4 hours for smallest seeds, 6-8 hrs, 12 max for largest seeds, then rinse and drain thoroughly. Ideally repeat (rinse twice and drain) 3-4 times a day (every 8 to 6 hours) during the hottest season. But absolute minimum (rinse twice and drain) every 12 hours.

At some point, I mentioned squash seed that rotted in the bag but one sample seed taped onto the outside of the bag germinated. With older seeds, too, there is a huge and obvious difference in germination.

Subject: 2016 -- starting seeds and cuttings for the new season
applestar wrote:Pre-germinating mixed seeds that will eventually be planted in the same bed. They are easily recognizable for what they are -- except for a few Marrowfat vs. Blauwschokker Blue peas that I couldn't differentiate (Marrowfat is green and Blauwschokker Blue is brown as a rule, but some were tan. :roll: )

...I see Christmas Lima and Runner beans as well as green hull less Kakai squash in addition to the peas that have germinated and are ready to plant.

-- note that the seedzip bags hold a little extra water due to capillary action of the plastic stuck together that need to be removed, either by opening wide to get the front-back sides of the bag unstuck or sometimes with a pipette.

-- also, I had some failures in earlier group this year, so with this very latest batch of corn and cucurbits which are normally sown 1-2 inches deep, decided to put the little seedzip bags of well drained seeds (zips left open and set upright) inside of a paper egg carton to provide darkness while allowing for ventilation. And I think I see improvement in germination speed and rate.

...I usually adapt from the sprouting instructions given at sproutpeople.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Some of my gardening chores can get overly complicated, and they need a pre-campaign logistic/strategy/planning session. Sometimes, the ideas fall into place in-situ, but other times, I can't think how to proceed -- the seemingly related tasks won't coalesce into a clear step by step from just standing there looking until I write them down and think about them.

One such project involved the VGB and VGD pallet sided raised beds (VGB.PSRB and VGD.PSRB). The soil level had gone down to about 1/3 and needed to be re-filled before planting. I had started pre-germinating the seeds which meant I couldn't procrastinate on prepping the beds any more.

- I knew I wanted to use the old potting mix from one of the SIP's to top them off.
- The existing soil is nice and friable so that would be the layer immediately under the potting mix....
- I wanted to toss in the swale/path top soil so that would be the next layer UNDER
- and unfinished compost on the very bottom or as bottom as a I could get because there are still some unbroken down branches, etc. in the bottom of these pseudo-hugelkultur beds

...see how I knew what the layers should be TOP-DOWN? Not so easy to figure out exactly how I was going to put them IN.

...also, last time I explored this project, I realized I needed to line the upper slats of the pallet sides with something to hold the soil mixture in. I decided so was going to use bamboo side branches like the last time, so I needed to gather enough from the bamboo I got from my parents' and stored by lashing upright a while back.

Added to the complication was that the used SIP potting mix was corralled in slit open/flattened mulch bag-lined concrete blocks...and I wanted to move these heavy concrete blocks to the patio....

I gave all of this some serious thought the night before, making bullet list of what needed to be done. In actual execution, however, I ran into logistic errors and had to make some modifications. But all was going well and I managed to get the VGD.PSRB refilled:

- one 5-gal bucket of unfinished compost full of wrigglers on the bottom
- scraped up path/swale top soil
- three 5-gal buckets of existing soil mixed with 2 cups of dolomitic lime, 1 cup of tree-Tone, 2 cups of tomato-Tone, and 1 cup of kelp meal
- layering two 5-gal buckets of the used SIP mix on the top.

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But when I uncovered the rest of the used SIP potting mix on a slit open/flattened mulch bag to use for VGB.PSRB -- I found out it had been taken over by little black ants -- the ENTIRE surface of the mix was black (rather than the dried peat mix color) and moving :eek: Any tool plunged into the potting mix was immediately swarming with determined ants that rapidly made their way up the handle to my hands and arms (tone managed to get all the way to my neck and bite me), and while just standing next to the pile to assess the situation, my boots were covered in ants.

I stirred it up a bit more until I could see the ants start to carry eggs and pupae out of the light, but had to beat a hasty retreat. I gave up on finishing the VGB.PSRB, and moved all of the tools out of the area in hopes that the ants will finish moving house if the potting mix pile was left uncovered....

...then late afternoon, we had a passing sever thundershower... :? I dread to think what I will find when I get out there...

-- with any luck, the ants will be gone, but so might be my nice pile of potting mix, washed into the grass since all of the concrete block surround that were holding up the sides of the mulch bag are gone, successfully moved to the patio area, two at a time with a wheel barrow.... :roll:

-- IF the garden goddess is looking down on my garden with favor, then that pile of freshly blended SIP mix will be nicely soaked with rainwater now and ready to fill the SIP with. Of course it will be too heavy now to drag it back next to the SIP and I will have to carry by bucketfuls -- I dragged it away so the ants wouldn't decide to move their colony over to the big pile....
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Thank you for the zip bag info. :)

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Yep. You're welcome. If you don't have pesky chipmunks that dig up every single seed you sow (particularly corn and squash), you can sow the seeds where they are to grow outside as soon as the tiny root tip shows. This will maximize space since most of these will sprout and grow with no empty spots and thinning not necessary. Good luck.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I got the VGD.PSRB planted. This year's "share with the neighbor" fence crop will be the Korean cucumbers. I rarely grow hybrids, but I decided to stick with productive, disease resistant varieties when doing this. If some of the tomatoes --particularly Bear Creek -- and the Giant Marconi peppers and Hari eggplants manage to top the fence, they will provide nice addition for offering.

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In VG.SIP, Japanese Striped Maize and Korean Melon are settling in. We are having mostly overcast days so I removed the screen cover. If the melon seeds in the other corner don't sprout, I will have to sow some more.

The ants had moved out of the used SIP potting mix pile (to underneath the mulch bag -- so I didn't have to deal with the ants while I worked to fill the VGB.PSRB.

I got overheated and tired -- not hot but so muggy today -- wasn't able to quite finish up. We are expecting thunderstorms later/soon so I did want to take care of all of the potting mix, which I was able to manage. :-()

I had a "grand plan" for this patio corner, but had to put it aside since it was holding up the rest of the planting. This SIP will be designated "Kitchen Garden Patio SIP" (KGP.SIP) and, along with the other planters and containers, will be planted with Mexican/Southwestern cuisine ingredients Image

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

First ripe tomatoes! :-()

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Almost finished planting the SIP's --

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This overwintered Shishito was uppotted a couple of days ago --

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...this is the Fish seedling that was planted in the Earthbox above. Seeds from a SuperVar Fish that was harvested in January of 2015. I have two more, but look at how dark purple this one's stem is! It was darkest of the three. The thing is, I don't remember Fish as having purple stems. :shock: You can see a bit of variegation on one of the leaves so it *is* Fish....

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...I'm wondering if one of the attempts to cross SuperVar Fish with Bolivian Rainbow had been successful. :D
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

You are way ahead of me. My main garden has been fallow for most of the year. I have been mostly just killing the weeds. I just pulled the pea pods because it is raining again and I don't want them to rot. The cucumber and zucchini are growing. The zucchini is starting to get flowers and the cucumber is over 3ft tall and will soon be over the trellis. It is raining again so I did not have to water. The other good thing is that the grass is dormant so even with the rain it isn't growing much. The ginger sprouted late but it looks like it is catching up.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

applestar wrote:First ripe tomatoes! :-()

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Yay!! Beautiful tomatoes!
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Japanese Striped Maize planted in the center of the Spiral Garden as this year's center/showpiece are starting to show their stripes :D

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I haven't been able to get into some parts of the garden due to heavy rains leaving the accessways more SWALES than PATHS. I should have removed those bottletops yesterday and did already for those I could reach ...but these were doing THIS when I looked as soon as it was light. :roll:

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I buried some half-finished compost in the center portion of the row and sowed JUST SPROUTED Sweet REBA Acorn and Sibley/Pike's Peak squashes. Since they are C.pepo and C.maxima, I'm planning to put put a SVB protection tunnel over them -- hence grouping them in the middle with the C.moschata on the ends outside of the protection. But I was wiped out today.

These shouldn't need protection with the bottletops because just sprouted seeds/seedleaves are more resilient about encountering and enduring blistering sun.


I also sowed some more melons -- some of these were just germinated Ali Baba and Cream of Saskatchewan watermelon seeds (mostly because I can't take the time to baby them any more -- watermelons take the longest to germinate and sprout). Those seedleaves are a couple of Super Zagross Beit Alpha type cucumber seedlings that sprouted. I noticed that some of the beet seeds I rolled in the mud and scattered about (freshly made/instant seedballs) have sprouted. I did the same for some carrot seeds but I would be expecting to see them for a while.

I also sowed just sprouted Snow Leopard melon seeds, (been sprouted and nearly a goner) Honey Rock melon seeds, and a Thai Yellow Melon that sprouted a while ago but has been surprisingly healthy.

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I'm left with another 4 or 5 feet stretch in the Haybale Lane. I might sow my edamame here, unless I'm forgetting something.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Sunflower House and Sunflower House Extension tomatoes. They've really grown and many of them have started blooming.

This year, I have to decide if I want to try practicing cross-breeding again, and if I do, start thinking about which ones and get working -- not wait until too late since the tomato plants suffer from heat, drought, and fungal issues once the summer weather really sets in. I was really disappointed to see successfully set baby fruits get overcome without having the chance to mature after all the work I put into them.

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I'm starting to prune ...judiciously... completely necessary due to close spacing. And today's #2 priority ToDo was to side dress and put up the procrastinated support systems for the tomatoes...but... yeah maybe tomorrow.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Finished -- (well, I still have to fiddle with the support cages but that's not a big deal)

~KGPSIP~
Store bought red Pearl onions that started to sprout along the right side -- no idea what variety so expecting to harvest as green onions as they grow.

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~EARTHBOX~
I re-positioned the two peppers and planted a Jalapeño and a NuMex Lemon Spice as planned. 2015 Maui Purple is sitting in for the overwintered 2016 Ros de Mallorca since it is still in the house under the WWL lights and still needs to be hardened.

I also sowed pinches of dill seeds along the left edge.

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Arrrgh! I FF-ORGOT! Whipping rainstorm side swiping the house siding right now. Yeah THAT was why I was supposed to set up the tomato supports! 5:11 sunset at 8:30 -- enough daylight to let me see the destruction happening-- maybe it will pass just at sunset. ...it's going to be a mess tomorrow...
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I was thinking of you today! That rainstorm went just north of me, but the winds were so strong that the sound was drowning out the music on my earphones, and some more of my neighbor's tree came down. Friday I lost one EP, part of a chocolate habanero, and some tomato branches. Sunday, and again today, I tied up the drooping tomato branches, and made sure that I had strong stakes on the plants that needed them (that was the problem with the EP and hab - stakes snapped). Nothing looked damaged after todays winds, but I saw that it went north. I hope it didn't damage too much of your garden.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Thx pepperhead212 -- from what I could see from the window it didn't seem too bad.... a mulch bag blew into where sunflowers have sprouted, a couple of maters are leaning... a container of pepper -- peppadew -- fell over.... Will find out more in the morning....
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

All in all it wasn't too bad in the tomato garden. Mostly bandaid fix -- 3 or 4 plants that were leaning over and needed to be clipped onto a thin cane -- since of course they are drenched with dew and you don't really want to handle them too much then. And I sure am not going back out there after the sun has fried the dew off.

More serious were all the milkweeds that fell completely over. One fell in the pond. Some of them were already trying to grow upward just at the very tip. THAT took a while. I scared a frog in the grass while I was working -- I asked it what it was doing out of the pond (it was not a tree frog). Then a swarm of mosquitoes flew up and started attacking me. :shock:
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

My corn breeding projects are ready to plant, but it was way too wet to walk or dig in the Spiral Garden today :?

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Hopefully these won't grow up too late to try introducing the "Striped Maize" genes to some of this year's crosses. If possible, I'm going to try crossing both ways in case the variegation is sex-linked. (I read that sometimes, variegation is only passed down from the mother.)

So as not to let all of them get crossed if they happen to bloom at the same time, I'm growing a group of Japanese Striped Maize in VGSIP on the other side of the house, too. This also means the different growing conditions may create different pollen shedding and silk ripening period among them.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Timing is critical when pre-germinating and pre-sprouting cucurbits.
You can see the difference -- When planted just as the seedleaves are shedding their seed husks, they are unfazed by the sun and stretch out just as if they had been sown right here, except that they do it so much faster. One of the Butternuts didn't make it. I sowed 3 more soaked (but not pre-germinated) seeds. I also sowed Borlotto pole beans at the base of the two nearby T-posts.

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Once seedleaves have sprouted and especially if you let a (stunted) true leaf begin to grow, they need a good bit of protection and recovery time.

Here are the melons in the Haybale Lane

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I feel like the basils have REALLY grown since I planted them. Other plants have settled in, and it's time to deal with the weeds. :x

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Here are the rest of the first batch of basils (Lettuce Leaf, not so Lettuce Leaf, and Dani Sweet Lemon)

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Today's Harvest :()

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Yay I got my corn planted! Spiral Garden is almost filled up :-()

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Hoping the pink and orange ribbons will make the bunnies think twice about coming inside the garden enclosure and trying to nibble in them. STAY OUT! :evil:

Red straws mark the large fruited,day-neutral Seascape strawberries. I want to weed out the bird-sown wild strawberries that have mingled into this area, so I'm waiting for re-bloom to confirm ones that are Seascape, then will pull the rest.

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Yesterday, I saw and eliminated two harlequin bugs. This is WAY too early for them to be showing up -- usually later July mid-August. With the tropical storm systems blowing in from the southeast, too, I'm guessing all the summer pests including the SVB's could be flying any time now. So first thing this morning, I temporarily covered Sibley and REBA squash seedlings with the pop-ups. They don't have a chance at all if they get infested now.

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Hopefully, the Nutterbutter and my cross breeds which are C.moschatas will be OK for the time being. Usually they don't go after them until 2ndary infestations start.
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

...Little by little we're there...

— made some more progress planting the VG raised beds Image

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

After sporadically producing nice berries all winter in the Garage V8 Nursery, and a few more this spring, this clump of White Soul Alpine strawberries stopped bearing berries. I decided it might need to be uppotted from a cute clay cauldron-shaped pot -- when I worked the rootball out, it was completely dried out even though it should have gotten a nice soak yesterday.

So I mixed in a good amount of citrus tone in this basket which was sitting around dry with nothing growing in it (patched the coir lining on one side with some long grass). This should be about three times the volume it was in before. I soaked it thoroughly, then wandered around with the soaked heavy basket, looking for a good place to hang it... ugh ... Gave up and hung it on the end of the swing set. :lol: Hopefully, the squirrels won't think of raiding it here.....

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Took some photos of tomato blossoms and green baby fruits today :D

I was intrigued by these mega-blossoms -- (and of course HAD to include the one not mega with a metallic green bee working it)

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These are my Maglia Rosa x (Coyote and Faelan's First Snow) F3 segregates. Early to mature.

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Seeing those bright yellow blossoms made the clear flesh Vernissage Yellow's pale flower petals (and of course the striped fruits) stand out --

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I wish Rebel Alliance was a little bit more grown up so you could see the multiflorall trusses better --

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Thanks to pepperhead212, I'm more aware of the threat pepper maggot flies pose, so I've planted most of the remaining cherry pepper type varieties and thick-walled sweet varieties under an insect screen tunnel.

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

applestar wrote: I was intrigued by these mega-blossoms -- (and of course HAD to include the one not mega with a metallic green bee working it)

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I'm curious to see how any fruit that sets from that mega-blossom turn out! That's neat... I've had something similar happen and I got a giant, weirdly shaped fruit from it, but the blossom wasn't that large.

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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

The “Big Reveal” – took the hoops and cover off the Japanese Striped Maize in the center of the Spiral Garden.

I got distracted by the elderflowers and forgot to take a picture while outside, so this is just a view from upstairs window....

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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Today's harvest,--

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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Finished planting SF&H --

- Pulled last bolted Michihili and harvested all of the large leaves from Senposal and Osaka Shirona(?)
- cleaned up weeds and damaged leaves
- scattered Citrus tone
- Planted peppers that need to be protected from pepper maggots
=King of the North? 2015
=Trinidad Perfum (patihum) 2015
=Chocolate Cake? 2015

=Sowed dry -- Bau Sin Kai Tsai, Semposai, Komatsuna, Osaka Shirona, Tokyo Bekana, Fun Jen, Misome, Mizuna, Yu Choi Sum, Yokatta-na, Southern Giant Curled Mustard....

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Other possibilities for here --
=Sweet Chocoloco
=OKAHIJIKI
=DS Brussels sprouts
=Onions? Carrots?
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I've just about given up on growing sunflowers this year. I started out with pre-sprouted seeds -- they disappeared so I sowed some pre-germinated seeds -- last of the seeds in the Lemon Queen packet -- and was seeing them start to sprout, when they were all beheaded. So I sowed soaked Hal-runner white mountaineer bean seeds.

Now I'm seeing beans suffering the same fate -- chipmunks? Voles? Whatever they are, they are eating the cotyledons (which are two halves of the seed) overnight. ...hmmm maybe slugs? But usually they don't eat the entire sprout at once -- I see them nibbled.

Starting to see same thing happening to my black edamame that have sprouted. Ugh!

It really is getting late for sunflowers and I was only going to grow the Lemon Queen this year -- was going to give up but there was that recent thread in which a new member from Maryland or Virginia said they sow/start Sunflower seeds all the way into July. I like growing sunflowers for the birds and wildlife -- I was reminded of that while posting in the Sunflower Hulls discussion.... bah. Maybe I WILL fuss with them a bit more and grow them to first trueleaf then transplant, or try putting up some kind of protection after direct seeding.

Now what to do about the beans -- I have a bush beans I want to grow, and more pole beans. It's getting late for edamame -- I don't have the seeds for early maturing varieties this year and was hoping to acclimate the black ones saved from last year's harvest. :?
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Taiji
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

I've had a lot of trouble this year with something eating my cotyledons too. Not for sure what it is. Maybe more than one pest. I even suspect an occasional mouse. Once in awhile I see one running round; one of the few things that still manage to get in my enclosed garden. I finally seemed to get beyond that problem. I don't blame them because that's where so much nutrition is.

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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

Those pesky little critters that reasonable amount of fencing can't keep out are the worst! :evil: More so because they ARE clever.
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2017 Garden

When I look over the indeterminate Tomatoes in the Sunflower House, the two varieties that stand out as competing for the TALLEST status are Wes and Sergeant Pepper's -- but both these are hearts and have wispy foliage.

So the ones that are more obviously trying to take over the most CRW remesh panel trellis space by spreading out with big leaves are Michalych and Amy Sue (Giant Syrian x Marianna's Peace)... and if they were also on the CRW remesh panel, Cheste and Grandma Oliver's Chocolate, and maybe Ernie's Plump would be as well.

I thought from all the descriptions that Rebel Yell would be one of them, but it is being pushed aside and dominated by Cheste.
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