bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

applestar wrote:Image
...just letting you know I'm lurking and paying attention. :wink:
Lol, thanks! :)

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Planted some potatoes today (saving my main crop for closer to June, depending on how the seed potatoes are looking - they're already with roots) along with some experimental varieties of brussels sprouts, purple broccoli and lettuce.

Next I have 2 beds I need to dig in before the cover crop flowers for mid-May plantings.

Night time temps are looking to be pretty solidly above 40* starting next week so I'll be taking the water cloches off the tomatoes.

I haven't found as many symphylans in my traps or soil lately, so I'm cautiously optimistic I got a significant quantity of the population. I am pleased with how many immature symphs I caught on the potatoes, they seemed to like it more than the adults. Currently removed all the traps, will probably put more down in a week or so.

I was looking at pictures on my phone from last year's garden, and man was it doing sooooo much better by this time of year! At first I was a little worried, but I think I'm chalking it up to simple weather patterning. Last spring was sunny and warm. This one has been rainy and cold. Everything seems 2-3 weeks behind last year, even perennials, trees and weeds.

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Symphylan update: still seeing large populations in some beds, and I am coming to believe some crops are definitely stunted, if still growing moderately. After more research, I think I am going to try a soil drench method and see if I get results. I'm going to try soil-drenching with neem oil and pyrethrum, as well as possibly spraying the foliage with neem oil at night (research indicates neem will work systemically, so maybe absorbing through the foliage, it will be eaten by symphs eating the roots). Then I will see if there is a noticeable uptick in plant vitality after a week or so. *crosses fingers*

I've also been reading about some people's experiments with mixing neem meal and diatomaceous earth into their soil as pest repellents, with the side benefit that they provide some nutrients as well. I might try this on the beds that aren't planted yet.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Bri, do you like your irrigation system? Could you send a link for what you have?

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

wisconsindead wrote:Bri, do you like your irrigation system? Could you send a link for what you have?
I love it - smartest thing I ever did. It's all hooked up to a 4-zone timer so I can water stuff like landscaping and ornamentals separate from the vegetable garden.

I started with this kit:
https://www.amazon.com/Rain-Bird-GRDNER ... 000LO4FFG/

and then ordered extra tubing and accessories from there. For the sprayers, I'll explain my logic. The blue curly-q's are misters, and the sprayers are the "True Spray 360" nozzles:
https://www.amazon.com/Orbit-66190-2-In ... 000H9C9LM/
https://www.amazon.com/Rainbird-Truespr ... 011TMZNFO/

I tested many nozzles that fit this system, and all the "360 degree coverage" nozzles did a really horrible job - they would essentially spray a circle, that mainly waters the edge of the circle, and not the inside of the circle. Going on the theory that the ideal watering system sprays a consistent spray on all areas of the vegetable bed (thus why I don't use drip tubes), I found that the "True Spray 360" nozzles did the best job of watering the entire area of their spray, but the middle was still a little lacking. So I attached the misters pointing as straight up as possible, which essentially adds extra spray to the middle of the circle. By positioning the sprayers with slightly overlapping areas, you get a really consistent spray over the entire bed.

I use these risers:
https://www.amazon.com/Rain-Bird-RISER1 ... 0019TJ87C/

The sprayers will eventually be overgrown by large plants like broccoli, for example. I'm thinking of making pots or cans with soil or rocks in them that I could stick the risers into to lift them up another foot when that happens.

I use the spot watering attachments and drip tubing in other areas of the yard/garden, but for vegetables I love the sprayers. If you use it, bear in mind they can put out a lot of water in a short time and you don't want to over-water. I made that mistake the first year.

Once I got familiar with how to build/attach/repair/change this system, I really fell in love with it. I can change my setup really easily by cutting tubing, rerouting, removing sections, etc. This also facilitates easy repair if you accidentally chop a section of hose, too, which I've done a couple times while weeding.

For example, I installed spot-watering attachments for my tomatoes last year, as overhead watering encourages late blight. So this year I can pull out those tubes from the main line, and plug with the supplied "goof plugs", and add in a sprayer in one of the holes, since I rotated my tomatoes to a different bed, and I can switch out the sprayers in that bed for spot-waterers.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

I'm so sorry to hear the symphylans have become such a pest in your garden. :( Image

It sounds like all out war. I hope you can get them under control enough to save your garden this year. Once the pesticides and repellants are used, I guess it will take some time to bring the Garden Patrol back in play, but it sounds like this can't be helped.
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Yeah I'm not happy about having to resort to chemical warfare (even though it's technically organic), but I don't think I have a choice unless I'm ok with not growing vegetables for a couple years. I've got neem oil, so I'm going to try that first, the pyrethrum won't be here until later next week so I'll have a few days to see if maybe the neem does the trick and I don't have to use the pyrethrum, so we'll see.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

pyrethrum is derived from chrysanthemum and also counts as organic. That doesn't mean it is harmless, but less harmful. The pyrethoids like permethrin and many others are synthetic versions, but are many times more concentrated so much more harmful.
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Transplanted onion starts today, and got beds ready for more planting in a week or two. Had to replant a few sections of lettuce and carrot rows due to slug damage. Repotted the second set of pepper starts, and removed the water cloches from the tomatoes and added support for them. There was a little bit of sun scald on some of the tomato leaves but overall they look healthy.

Will post some pictures updates in the next couple of days.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Peas (harvested the symph-stunted mustards from the middle of the row as they were about to bolt, got an ok amount despite the stunting):
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Tomatoes:
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Broccoli (still growing decently despite the symphs, but I'm hoping to see an uptick in growth rate after some neem applications):
IMG_0789.jpg

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Pepper starts looking very healthy:
IMG_0794.jpg
And random stuff (lettuce, onions, carrots, cauliflower, swiss chard):
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

I'm jealous, I don't see any weeds. Nice going Bri :P :mrgreen:
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Looking very good!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Those are prime pepper starts. Some of mine always seem to get a cupping/distortion of the leaves, especially the newer growth. Not all, but some. Not sure what causes that. Even in years when I don't have aphids on them.

Tomatoes look wonderful. So you use a trellis system. Do you tie them up?

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Taiji wrote:Those are prime pepper starts. Some of mine always seem to get a cupping/distortion of the leaves, especially the newer growth. Not all, but some. Not sure what causes that. Even in years when I don't have aphids on them.
I think it's variety-related, personally... my young jalapeno plants always have some cupping. But I have noticed that, even though I use a slow-release organic fertilizer, too much in the potting mix for young peppers makes the issue much worse, so I dial back my fertilizer dose for peppers than other starts.
Tomatoes look wonderful. So you use a trellis system. Do you tie them up?
Thank you. I use soft ties (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012ED48NA/re ... NA4976237/) to loosely tie the stems to the poles every foot or two, as needed.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

I see, looking more closely, I see some have poles and some are on a ladder type trellis.

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

That is correct. Sometimes, late in the season, I get some issues with heavy branches pulling the plant down the pole a little bit, but it's never been too big of a problem. It's a simple, easy way to support the plants growing upwards.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Quick update... I'm wondering if I mixed the neem oil too strongly (pretty sure I followed directions), because a few days after application all the sprayed plants developed some white dots on the mature leaves. It doesn't appear to be a major problem, I think they'll be fine, but still, I'm trying to reduce stress on the plant, not add more. I am undecided if I think it appears to have helped with the symphs or not.

Transplanted the first batch of peppers out today (3 more still inside, they took longer to germinate):
IMG_0857.jpg
Broccoli (getting ready to head soon... wish they'd gotten bigger first, but early broccoli is always a little dicey. I'm curious if the symphs were a factor, too, I'll have to see how my direct-seeded broc does):
IMG_0858.jpg
Peas don't seem to be affected by the symphs at all:
IMG_0860.jpg
And tomatoes:
IMG_0861.jpg

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Just wanted to share this cool thing I built today. I built a simple frame and attached shade cloth to it, creating a mobile shade station. I can use it to cover cool weather crops like broccoli or lettuce in hot spells, and, as I am right now, use it to harden off freshly-transplanted vegetables that aren't acclimated to full sun yet.

For example, I transplanted out my peppers yesterday, so I put it over the pepper bed. On Monday it's supposed to get into the 90's for a couple days, so I'll move it to the next bed for the broccoli (hopefully 3 days will be enough for the peppers to get used to being outside).
IMG_0864.jpg
And a look inside:
IMG_0865.jpg

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Nice! I've been thinking along the same lines. ...but not sure if I will get around to building one. Looks mighty useful though! Image
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

From a few days ago but the lettuce is doing nicely. Should be having fresh salads within a couple weeks! The broccoli down the middle is taking a little longer to get going, either because of cold weather (it finally turned summer-y this week!) or symphs or both, but I'm not too worried yet.
IMG_0862.jpg
The other front yard bed. This is growing swiss chard, cauliflower, carrots, parsley and onions.
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And planting the main potato crop today.
IMG_0879.jpg
I also planted summer savory, dill, cilantro and yellow crookneck squash.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Lots of updates! I'm amazed and excited with how fast everything started growing now that the weather finally turned warm and sunny. All that cold, wet soil is now warming up and the plants are going crazy!

I couldn't be happier with how the front yard beds have progressed over the last week. It is amazing how much growth has occurred:
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Peas killing it and finally blooming:
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Peppers seem to be adjusting fine to being outdoors. Lost a couple leaves, and there's some slight yellowing on a few leaves, but new growth has already started:
IMG_0887.jpg
And had a few extra starts so these guys will live in pots this year:
IMG_0891.jpg
Almost time to harvest broccoli! I started these indoors a little earlier than normal and I think I'm getting smaller heads because of it. This should still be a decent harvest though. Also, usually I side dress fertilizer when the main heading starts but I completely forgot (this greatly improves side shoot production).
IMG_0896.jpg

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Random close-ups....
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And some young lettuce and brussels sprouts:
IMG_0885.jpg

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

First sizable lettuce harvest. These are thinnings from the two rows out front to make room for the rest to get bigger.
IMG_0918.jpg

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Gotta say that your plants and produce looks so healthy and unblemished! I wish my overgrown and densely packed garden would look as nice...

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

KitchenGardener wrote:Gotta say that your plants and produce looks so healthy and unblemished! I wish my overgrown and densely packed garden would look as nice...
Thanks!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

First broc and pea harvest:
IMG_0923.jpg
And this was cool... it's hard to tell what it is, but it's a cabbage moth larva that'd been caught and partially eaten by a common garden spider. I see them building webs in my broccoli/cauliflower, now I know what they're doing! You can see the damage from the larva in the leaves.
IMG_0921.jpg

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Looking really good!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

I too am so impressed with the robust healthy look of the plants that you set out; especially the pepper plants. Mine are ok, but not as nice as yours. I think next year I might try that vegan fertilizer mix that you use for your seedlings. I probably won't use it outdoors though; my gardens are too big.

One would never know that you have a symph problem. I'm thinkin this shows that healthy plants are better able to ward off pests and disease than unhealthy plants are! :)

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Taiji wrote:I too am so impressed with the robust healthy look of the plants that you set out; especially the pepper plants. Mine are ok, but not as nice as yours. I think next year I might try that vegan fertilizer mix that you use for your seedlings. I probably won't use it outdoors though; my gardens are too big.


Thanks, Taiji. I don't know how big your garden is, or how much you spend on fertilizer now, but I'd certainly recommend trying it on at least a bed or two so you can judge for yourself whether the results are worth it. 1.5 gallons per 100 sq. ft. is a good standard application rate for most crops.
One would never know that you have a symph problem. I'm thinkin this shows that healthy plants are better able to ward off pests and disease than unhealthy plants are! :)
I agree, but it's also worth noting I didn't post pictures of my completely stunted, barely 1" large spinach plants that completely failed because of the symphs! Apparently spinach is their favorite. I will be growing it in pots for the foreseeable future.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Thx. Sounds like a good way to start out with the fertilizer.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Update on things growing in the front yard:

Perennial herbs. You can see sage blooming on the left (I've never seen sage bloom here, in 7+ years gardening, but it's blooming all over town so something in the weather pattern must have triggered it this year), lavender and thyme blooming in the middle, and oregano and marjoram getting ready to bloom on the right.
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Lots of progress on the lettuce and broccoli. Entering full-on salad mode for the summer, now! I love giant, filling all on their own salads from the garden. Store-bought greens just don't taste like anything - fresh lettuce is delicious. Broccoli is my second favorite thing to eat from the garden, so I have this type of bed succession planted. I sow it on April 1st, May 15th, June 15th, and July 15. The lettuce, since it's many different varieties that mature at slightly different times, can be harvested a little at a time for 3-5 weeks, and just when it's fully harvested, the broccoli will be big and taking over its space.
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The other front yard bed, also showing great growth rate. This is growing my chard, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and a few random parsley plants tucked here and there.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

And updates from the back yard beds...

Peppers doing well, even fruiting a little bit. New growth looks healthy.
IMG_0939.jpg
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Tomatoes... my poor tomatoes. They got kind of blighty before I noticed and stepped in with some organic fungicide. Normally I don't have issues with early blight, only late blight, but for whatever reason it was an issue this year. All the plants are fine now, growing, setting fruit, etc, but it was definitely a setback.
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Eating lots of peas at the moment!
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First potato sprouts.
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Lettuce and brussels sprouts progress (this bed is also growing an experimental (for me) broccoli type but I can't remember which location, so I'm calling it brussels sprouts until it shows itself :D ).
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May 15 planting of lettuce/broccoli in the same style as the front bed.
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And yellow crookneck sprouts!
IMG_0936.jpg

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Love the lettuce! My only failure this year thus far. I made the mistake of going with one variety from one vendor and the seeds just weren't viable. Now it's a little late. I guess I'll try a midsummer planting of something else for a fall harvest.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Taiji wrote:Love the lettuce! My only failure this year thus far. I made the mistake of going with one variety from one vendor and the seeds just weren't viable. Now it's a little late. I guess I'll try a midsummer planting of something else for a fall harvest.
I'm lucky enough to live in a place where, if I time it right and have the space available, I can have lettuce from the garden 7-9 months of the year. The trick is growing enough in the fall that can hold into the winter months, something I don't always have the room for in late summer.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

"Salad season" is in full swing!
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Looking yummy! Did you say exactly which varieties of lettuce you are growing? I'm looking for recommendations for this fall and next year. 8)
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

applestar wrote:Looking yummy! Did you say exactly which varieties of lettuce you are growing? I'm looking for recommendations for this fall and next year. 8)
I grow mixes, so I'm not 100% sure on all the varieties. I combine these two mixes and then thin:
https://www.territorialseed.com/product/ ... blend-seed
https://www.territorialseed.com/product/ ... ganic_Seed

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Lots of updates on the next few posts... definitely in peak growing season!

May 15th lettuce/broc bed
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Yukon gold potatoes emerging
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Siletz tomato and yellow crookneck squash. I planted dill in between the tomato and squash, they're still too little to see in this picture though.
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Indeterminate tomatoes
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Early broccoli, still waiting for side shoots
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Peppers. I think this is a good example of the potential damage of the symphylans. The first photo are peppers that were started and set out earlier than the second photo. Obviously, the ones in the first photo were put in the ground with symphylans. The ones in the second photo are potted. Despite a 2-3 week head start, the potted peppers are out growing the in-the-ground ones. If I didn't have this to contrast, I might not even notice the stunting, but there you go. It is also possible that other factors are contributing (potting soil being more nutritious? warming up faster in the pots? reflection from light-colored house wall giving a little extra light?), but I suspect the symphs have something to do with it.
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And peas... so many peas right now!
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Cilantro on the left, summer savory on the right
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Basil
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Brussels/lettuce
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Purple potatoes emerging
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And a wider shot on the veggie garden
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Blueberries!
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This one needs some serious pruning come fall
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