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applestar
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Roof-view -- I LOVE doing that! I wish I could get on my roof more often. haha.
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Front beds starting to clear. I planted lettuce in some of the open spots here, but I'm not sure if they'll have enough room to grow before the chard chokes them out. Worth a shot, I figure.
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The other front bed that had the April broc/lettuce is empty, refertilized, loosened, and waiting for these kale transplants. Was growing these inside due to the heat wave, and just put them out to start hardening off today. Should be ready to transplant in a week or so. (they're in the bed with the young broccoli plants so they get water from the sprinklers)
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Brussels sprouts and summer sprouting broccoli. Still waiting for some action here!
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Fall broccoli and lettuce.
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Peppers got huge, finally, with the symphylans distracted by the buckwheat. I pulled one of the buckwheat plants out by the roots, and sure enough, found it covered in symphs.
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Yellow crookneck
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Yukon gold potatoes. Almost time to cut off the water here. Also, in a previous post, I showed a picture of these plants, with the ones on the right significantly smaller than the ones on the left. I explained that I planted the seed potatoes in order of size, and it seemed that the larger seed potatoes produced larger plants. I need to correct the record on that. The plants on the right, from the smaller seed potatoes, ended up getting just as big as the other ones - it just took them longer. They germinated a little slower, grew a little slower at first, so they were a couple weeks behind the larger ones. They're all the same now, but the ones from smaller seed potatoes are still blooming, and the ones from larger seed potatoes are completely finished blooming. Will be interesting to see if there's any difference in the harvest, but I expect not.
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May broccoli starting to head. Survived the heat wave fairly well, but the shade cloth was causing some stretching for light by the time I pulled it off.
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June broc/lettuce with the remaining surviving lettuce plants. I lost probably 1/3 of the bed to bolting, and harvested the rest. These two, for whatever reason (perhaps that variety is more heat resistant), didn't mind the heat and have kept in-ground nicely.
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KitchenGardener
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Bri: forgive me if you've already answered this, but what have you found to be your most productive (and satisfying) potato?

One more question: what have you found to be something super successful for you to grow that is cost effective to grow? By that I mean those vegetables that are relatively more expensive to buy and therefore worth it to grow? When I used my back garden (before the rats/possums/mice/raccoons/insert name of wildlife here discovered my back garden, I found that I saved the most by growing everything in quantity, but specifically romaine lettuce (to me, it tastes so much crunchier and better if home grown), leeks, corn, cauliflower, padron peppers, sweet red peppers, and snow peas. I'm sure its different everywhere. Have you thought about what it is for you?

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

KitchenGardener wrote:Bri: forgive me if you've already answered this, but what have you found to be your most productive (and satisfying) potato?

One more question: what have you found to be something super successful for you to grow that is cost effective to grow? By that I mean those vegetables that are relatively more expensive to buy and therefore worth it to grow? When I used my back garden (before the rats/possums/mice/raccoons/insert name of wildlife here discovered my back garden, I found that I saved the most by growing everything in quantity, but specifically romaine lettuce (to me, it tastes so much crunchier and better if home grown), leeks, corn, cauliflower, padron peppers, sweet red peppers, and snow peas. I'm sure its different everywhere. Have you thought about what it is for you?
Hi KitchenGardener, yukon gold is always my go-to potato variety. This year I tried "yukon gem" which is a new variety bred from yukon gold that is supposed to be more productive.

As for cost-effective, I suppose fresh herbs would be the most cost-effective, as they're expensive to buy! I agree with you that fresh lettuce is just so much better than store bought that it's always worth it. Honestly, I grow more what I like and less what I think will save me money... I actually don't know if I save money with my garden, as I'd rather spend a little more on extra fertilizer or something than see a sad plant growing. But the joy I get from growing healthy plants that taste amazing makes up for any cost difference.

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KitchenGardener
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

I so appreciate your response, Bri! Its exactly how I feel. I like to think that I save all sorts of money growing my garden, but honestly, I'm not sure that thats a true statement. Given how much I spend on compost (to supplement my own), chicken manure, soil amendments and organic fertilizers at the beginning of every season, not to mention, seeds, plant starts, stakes, and string, and replacement gardening tools as my old ones wear out, I'm sure I don't save much, if any. BUT the pure joy I get from picking my produce and deciding what to make with it is beyond any feeling that might be derived from trotting down to the farmers market and buying the same produce. And the thrills when I see that a female flower has actually been fertilized and is becoming a pumpkin/tomato/pepper/eggplant :-() , or when finally, on my third try, my onion seeds are actually germinating...you get the drift.

My climate is definitely not conducive to eggplants, melons, some peppers, and the gigantor tomato plants everyone else grows, as mine limp along due to the cool weather, but I do have practically an endless season for great broccoli, lettuce, beets, carrots. Finally, about this time, maybe a little later in September, we start getting some sunny hotter days, and its finally time for ratatouille, corn and tomato salad, and grilled zucchini, onions, peppers... :D

But even so, the thrill I get, every time I see a cucumber or some radishes ready to pick in my garden is better than a kid in a candy store!

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

KitchenGardener wrote:I so appreciate your response, Bri! Its exactly how I feel. I like to think that I save all sorts of money growing my garden, but honestly, I'm not sure that thats a true statement. Given how much I spend on compost (to supplement my own), chicken manure, soil amendments and organic fertilizers at the beginning of every season, not to mention, seeds, plant starts, stakes, and string, and replacement gardening tools as my old ones wear out, I'm sure I don't save much, if any. BUT the pure joy I get from picking my produce and deciding what to make with it is beyond any feeling that might be derived from trotting down to the farmers market and buying the same produce. And the thrills when I see that a female flower has actually been fertilized and is becoming a pumpkin/tomato/pepper/eggplant :-() , or when finally, on my third try, my onion seeds are actually germinating...you get the drift.

My climate is definitely not conducive to eggplants, melons, some peppers, and the gigantor tomato plants everyone else grows, as mine limp along due to the cool weather, but I do have practically an endless season for great broccoli, lettuce, beets, carrots. Finally, about this time, maybe a little later in September, we start getting some sunny hotter days, and its finally time for ratatouille, corn and tomato salad, and grilled zucchini, onions, peppers... :D

But even so, the thrill I get, every time I see a cucumber or some radishes ready to pick in my garden is better than a kid in a candy store!
Exactly how I feel about it. :)

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

So I just got back into town after a 5 day trip to view the eclipse (which was amazing!). Garden is on an automatic irrigation system so everything was taken care of while I was gone. Need to do some weeding, though, and inspect for insects.

It always amazes me how much can happen in just a few days when I go away like that. When you're looking at the garden every day, the incremental changes are not as noticeable, but when you haven't looked at your plants for 5 days, it seems like they've grown exponentially!

I did transplant the kale, collards and purple sprouting broccoli for my over-wintered crops in the vacant front yard bed. Kale and collards in the foreground, the last two are the PSB. Goal is to grow the kale and collards as big as possible before mid-October when growth halts entirely, then I can pick off the plants all winter, and they resume growth in late February/early March. The PSB I feed less before winter, I want them a little smaller so they're hardier, then I feed them like crazy starting in late February, so they should (hopefully) do most of their growing then. The smaller plants are tougher and able to handle bad winter conditions more easily than large plants.
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And today's harvest.
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Removed the squash plant today. Would have liked to have kept it a couple more weeks, but it grew way too big this year. It was impacting nearby beds negatively (stealing water, forcing some broccoli to head too soon under stress, knocked over a pepper plant, etc). I've had more yellow crookneck than I can deal with for long enough anyway!

Kale and PSB are doing well in the new bed. It's hot right now though, and expected to stay hot through next week, but so far it's not setting them back.

Still unsure if the lettuce I planted out front will find enough soil space to grow in or not, but for now, they're still growing. Planted another round of lettuce in some pots in the back about a week ago, that will be the last round of things planted for this year. All that's left is some over-wintered stuff (should I decide I still have time, will have to check the planting calendar and room) and cover crop.

I dug a few potatoes for a recipe, and the purple brussels sprouts are starting to produce buds on the bottom nodes. This looks like it will end up being my first successful brussels sprouts harvest - every other time I've tried I lost the plants to aphids. This year I fought back with neem oil.

Will post pictures sometime soon, hopefully!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Looking good, and good job beating those aphids back!

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Finally getting around to uploading some pictures. Starting to empty beds in prep for fall/winter. Nothing left to plant unless I decide to do some garlic, and of course cover crop, but not till next month.

Today's harvest
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Kale for the winter! Plants all looking good. These will be for stir-frys and soups for as long as the leaves last, so I'm not taking anything yet, just trying to get them as big as possible before they go dormant in mid-late October (which reminds me I should side-dress some fertilizer on them today).
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Lettuce interplanted with the swiss chard is doing pretty well. They haven't been choked out yet, so I'm optimistic I'll get a decent final harvest from these guys before winter.
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I've been eating so much chard... the leaves aren't growing as big, but I think the smaller side leaves taste a little better.
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Back beds... front to back is fall broccoli (aiming to harvest mid-late October), peppers, half fallen over but still producing, a recently harvested bed of lettuce, then the June-planted broccoli which is producing massive amounts right now, and finally the brussels sprouts/summer purple broccoli. So far I've been a little disappointed in the summer purple, it's taken a LOT of space, and quite a while to mature, and it's only produced a few small buds so far. Maybe it'll pick up, or maybe I'll try over-wintering it and see how it produces in spring.
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(closer up of the b. sprouts and PSB)
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Here is a good example of how spacing affects your final harvest. The bed in the first picture was planted with broccoli on 18" centers, and was right next to the giant squash plant that invaded its bed and started stealing water/nutrients from the soil. I got an ok harvest from these, but the heads were severely stunted. Still haven't seen any side shoots to speak of.

The bed in the second picture was planted on 30" centers and half as many plants. They got HUGE. No competition from nearby squashes, either. The heads from these were normal-above average sized, and already have started producing hefty side shoots. (you can also see the size difference if you look at the first picture of the back beds, the fall broccoli in the foreground was planted on the same day with the same variety and all conditions exactly the same, except the one on the left was closer to the squash, and is noticeable smaller)
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Getting the last fall harvests out of the garden, and preparing it for winter. Threw a bunch of crimson clover over all the empty beds, the rains have come and it's sprouting nicely. Still getting broccoli harvests, brussels sprouts are producing, the last lettuce sowing produced some decent-if-smallish plants so I'm still eating fresh lettuce.

The kale for winter is fully grown:
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I'm going to make my first batch of potato kale soup this weekend! It's my favorite winter treat, and I save a majority of my potato harvest for it.

Still getting some tomatoes ripening. Peppers are all pulled and composted. Carrots are looking good in the ground and will harvest off them through the winter.

Wish I had more pictures but it's raining at the moment, so will post some soon.

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Finally updating... life got busy and I haven't had nearly as much free time the past month or so.

The back garden is done and the winter cover crop planted. I still have a couple pots with lettuce in them, they do get occasional sun back there during the winter so I'm hoping to leave them out and pick off them as long as possible.
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The front beds. Already had two pickings off the kale here for potato kale soup with potatoes harvested a couple months ago.
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The other front bed with cover crop coming in, and left over carrots in the ground. I will harvest these carrots for soups over the winter, they hold in the ground here really well.
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Pretty much done for the year now, until February.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

All your veggies are beautiful!!

It looks like if anything, your climate is just a tad warmer than mine in winter, though considerably cooler in summer. So you should be able to keep a lot of cool season plants going all winter. That's what I am working on.... I have all my garden beds replanted with seeds of cool season stuff.
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

rainbowgardener wrote:All your veggies are beautiful!!

It looks like if anything, your climate is just a tad warmer than mine in winter, though considerably cooler in summer. So you should be able to keep a lot of cool season plants going all winter. That's what I am working on.... I have all my garden beds replanted with seeds of cool season stuff.
Thank you! And yes, that's the goal, to keep as much going over the winter as possible. There isn't any growth between November and March, but if you can keep them dormant in the ground, they have a huge head start in March and produce really fast.

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