Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by Taiji »

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

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

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

Post by bri80 »

And updates from the back yard beds...

Peppers doing well, even fruiting a little bit. New growth looks healthy.
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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!
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by Taiji »

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

Post by bri80 »

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

Post by bri80 »

"Salad season" is in full swing!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by applestar »

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

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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:
http://www.territorialseed.com/product/ ... blend-seed
http://www.territorialseed.com/product/ ... ganic_Seed

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

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

Post by bri80 »

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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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

And to the front...

April 1st lettuce/broc bed. Lots of lettuce harvesting from this one! Hopefully stretch that out for another 2 weeks or so before the broccoli fully takes over.
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The other, mixed bed. Huge growth going on here. I love this time of year.
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Just today's pea harvest. I have another full container in the fridge already.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by rainbowgardener »

Everything is looking good, happy and healthy!

Do you think about mulching? Most of your plants are big enough you could be mulching all around them. It helps keep nutrients and moisture in the soil and then the mulch breaks down to feed the soil.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by applestar »

You wouldn't know you are having any kind of issues to look at these. Looking great!


I was curious about pruning the blueberries. I have been thinking I might need to do that but have never tried except of course cutting off winterkilled twiggy branches.

Could we discuss this over in the fruit forum? I'd love to get some pointers. :D
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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rainbowgardener wrote:Everything is looking good, happy and healthy!

Do you think about mulching? Most of your plants are big enough you could be mulching all around them. It helps keep nutrients and moisture in the soil and then the mulch breaks down to feed the soil.


Thanks! I mulch my paths because they are non-growing areas, or if I let something grow there (like the california poppies you can see in some of the pics, or I plant a larger shrub) the mulch doesn't interfere. I don't mulch in my beds for several reasons, many of which I'm sure some of you will disagree with, especially if you like to mulch. :D

1) Moisture. Most soil moisture is lost through transpiration from the plants, not sun hitting the surface of the soil. A bed with a full leaf canopy will lose a lot of soil moisture because there's a larger leaf surface area being hit by the sun, even though very little light hits the soil. Mulching around small plants may hold a little bit of moisture in the top 1-2", but that's about it. A plant with a deep root system and lots of leaf surface to cool will be sucking moisture from way deep down and that top 1-2" won't matter much. Bottom line: you gotta water your veggies whether you mulch or not.
2) I like to limit my "unknowns" I'm adding to my soil, so letting it break down isn't ideal. For example, is the hay/straw mulch I'm using been sprayed with something? Is it super high in certain nutrients because of the soil it was grown on that could throw my soil balance out of whack? Impossible to say.
3) Mulching would disrupt my ability to do things that help my veggies grow, like weed with a sharp hoe or side-dress fertilizer.
4) I grow living cover crops when I want to cover the soil to prevent leaching, like in rainy winter months when a bed is empty.
5) Where I live, I need the soil to warm up fast and stay warm - which is difficult. Nights are cool even in the middle of summer. If I want to grow certain plants (melons, for example), I need to use black sheets to try and warm the soil around the plants. Mulching is often prescribed to help keep soil cool, which I think it probably does help with, so that's the opposite of what I want.

I see a lot of advice given to people to mulch, and I wouldn't disparage that advice - everyone does things differently and maybe it works for you! For me, my opinion is that it is not helpful inside the veggie bed (although I will agree that it could be helpful around say, tomatoes to prevent soil-borne fungus like blight).
Last edited by bri80 on Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

applestar wrote:You wouldn't know you are having any kind of issues to look at these. Looking great!


I was curious about pruning the blueberries. I have been thinking I might need to do that but have never tried except of course cutting off winterkilled twiggy branches.

Could we discuss this over in the fruit forum? I'd love to get some pointers. :D


Sure... you want to prune when the plant is dormant, so later in the season I can post pics of how I do it, but if you start a thread in there I'll pop in. :D

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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First of what promises to be many months of chard harvests. Cooked this up with some snow peas from the back garden and doused it in lemon-tahini dressing. Life is good right now. It's mouth-watering.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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They look great! :D
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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April 1st broc/lettuce bed after harvesting nearly all the lettuce. I have two huge containers of lettuce in the fridge, should last 1-2 weeks of daily salads. I would have liked to stretch the harvest out a little bit longer, but the broccoli is getting close to setting heads and I wanted to free up the soil space for the broccoli to put new roots into. Once I pulled the lettuce I threw down a ton of fertilizer, hoed it into the top surface, and watered. The broc will produce much larger central heads and side shoots with this extra growing room/fertility.
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Breezy day yesterday knocked this one over, but I think it's going to be fine (lettuce carcasses visible)!
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The other front bed. This is turning into one of my most productive beds ever. I normally like to give these kinds of veggies a little more space, but I decided to try a little closer spacing with more fertilizer and water. If I had a large garden, I wouldn't need to, but a little more intensive for this bed seems to be working out.
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Parsley! I'm growing a lot more herbs this year. Never grown many herbs, so I'm learning.
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My giant rhubarb
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(lots of updates on the back yard garden coming in next posts)

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

Lettuce and brussels sprouts doing well
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Potted peppers doing great. In-ground not so much. The symphs are definitely having an impact. As an experiment (I read about someone doing this and getting results with symphylan infestations), I planted a bunch of buckwheat around the peppers. Apparently the symphs love buckwheat roots. The idea is that they'll leave the peppers alone and go eat the buckwheat roots, allowing the peppers to recover. Once the peppers get big enough, and before the buckwheat competes too strongly with the peppers, I'll just cut down the buckwheat. Hopefully by then, the peppers will be large enough to withstand the symphs. *fingers crossed*
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Peas - pretty much done harvesting these. Will see if I can get some seeds before I need to clear this bed to make room for some winter crops.
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Yukon gold potatoes doing great.
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And the May 15th lettuce/broc bed doing well.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

On the trying to grow herbs more front... cilantro and summer savory
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Dill
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Basil (3 varieties mixed in). I planted another, staggered set of pots with basil, cilantro, summer savory and parsely.
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The first blueberries are ripening
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Sunflowers!
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

I'm really disappointed in these purple potatoes I tried out. They've been in the ground for over almost two months, and took weeks to emerge, then grew really slowly, and now are flowering! I'll go try and see if I can find the variety. Edit: variety is Purple Viking.
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The siletz, yellow crookneck, and dill bed, and close-up of the siletz tomatoes.
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The indeterminate tomato bed. They're about 6' high already. Setting fruit fairly steadily.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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Supposed to get to about 100 for a couple days this weekend. I decided to use my mobile shade station on the mature broccoli, rather than the young lettuce/broccoli. The young ones won't like it, but they'll recover. The mature broccoli might bolt or set small heads, so I'd rather put it there. The other end of this bed gets afternoon shade from a neighbor's tree, so I put it on the opposite end.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by applestar »

Wow! Looking really great! Your planting schedules seem to have been spot on! :clap:
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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Well, it hit 100* two days in a row over the weekend (which is unusual for around here). Most of the plants look fine, but one of the maturing broccoli put up a small, loose head. I cut it, hopefully it will produce decent side shoots. The other ones look little worse for the wear, which is good.

I did lose some basil that had just emerged in a pot that wasn't connected to the automatic irrigation system and got fried, but I can replant. A couple growing tips on one indeterminate tomato look like they might have fried, but the plant as a whole should be fine.

Finally got some side shoots from the early broccoli! I think I started those guys a week or two too early, as the timing of them has just been off the entire time. But at least now they seem to be producing. I hope to get one more set of side shoots before pulling them to make room for fall/winter crops.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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The chard has gotten stupid-big lately. I'm a big guy, and this was a freakin' armload!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by applestar »

So pretty! Are those Bright Lights or Five Color Silverbeet? -- Those seem to be the standard mixes that are readily available.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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applestar wrote:So pretty! Are those Bright Lights or Five Color Silverbeet? -- Those seem to be the standard mixes that are readily available.


Yep, bright lights.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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Broccoli heads starting to form out front
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Carrots starting to form underground. I think I'll give these another week or two before pulling one to see how filled-out they are.
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I liked the at-ground-level shot for the carrots so I tried again with onions. :D Will probably look cooler once they start bulbing, heh.
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Something took a couple chunks out of what was going to be my first ripe tomato. :(
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Luckily starting to notice some color on some others.
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And this week's lettuce harvest:
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

Dug out the lame purple viking potatoes today, luckily my yukon gold's are doing really well. Just hilled them for the 2nd time. I replanted the bed with some fall broccoli. I was going to wait until mid-July to do this, but decided to give them a little extra time to grow - they should provide plenty of side shoots well into the fall if the main head comes a little early.

I have two small beds left with which to stagger lettuce for the rest of the season. I decided to plant 1 row every 2 weeks, starting today, through August 15th. I think this will work a little better than planting mixed variety all at once and trying to pick off it for an extended period of time.

The plan then is to use my front bed for winter kale and overwintered broccoli, and plant fall spinach in pots to avoid symphylans (and because I won't have any more in-ground beds!). I dream of the day I can garden a 1/2 acre or so! Until then, it's quick turnovers!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

Cute ladybug scavenging on the carrot foliage
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It's hard to convey just how large these plants are. I've honestly never grown chard or cauliflower this huge. This bed is 4' across, and the cauliflower in some cases is reaching completely to the other side. One chard leaf is more than I can use.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

Indeterminates doing well

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Starting to ripen fruit!
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Siletz determinate has had ripe fruit for a couple days now.
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And finally seeing some new growth on in-ground peppers... so I think the buckwheat trick is working to keep the symphs off them.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

May 15th lettuce/broccoli bed

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Yukon gold potatoes, probably on their last hilling. Noticed flowers starting on some of the largest ones.
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Brussels sprouts and "Summer Purple" broccoli. Supposedly this is a purple sprouting type that will bloom without over-wintering. We shall see.
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June lettuce/broc bed
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Herbs! Cilantro, summer savory, and basil. The dill is really slow-going and still not very big at this point. I'm wondering if it's a slow-growing plant? If not, the symphylans may be eating it.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

Front bed
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Some harvest
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Every year I grow sunflowers and I get these bees feeding on the nectar... I call them "drunk" because they sit there gorging themselves, then are unable to fly away. They'll literally hang out, covered in pollen, without moving, for hours.
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And a garden project... dog fence built! I adopted a rescue a couple months ago and have been tripping over the makeshift chicken wire fence I put up ever since. Finally got around to building a proper fence to keep her out of the garden.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by Taiji »

It all looks great.

I'm a couple days away from my first ripe tomatoes. Unfortunately these are fruit that set long before our ongoing 100+ heat wave. Was looking at your little shade structure in a previous photo and got to thinking maybe I could roll out some shade cloth over the top of my structure where the tomatoes are. Maybe I could get some new fruit set.

As it is, I will have a long lull between tomatoes once the ones that are on there now are gone. In the meantime, we wait for the summer monsoons down this way! They will moderate day and night time temps and things will do much better.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by wisconsindead »

Bri,

When do you harvest your potatoes? I am struggling to determine the time that I should harvest. My potatoes are just about done flowering.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by KitchenGardener »

Nice - I am no where close to having ripe tomatoes! Grr...

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

Taiji wrote:Was looking at your little shade structure in a previous photo and got to thinking maybe I could roll out some shade cloth over the top of my structure where the tomatoes are.
.......
In the meantime, we wait for the summer monsoons down this way! They will moderate day and night time temps and things will do much better.


Monsoons sound like the kind of thing that could wreak havoc on some hastily tied down shade cloth, so be careful!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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wisconsindead wrote:Bri,

When do you harvest your potatoes? I am struggling to determine the time that I should harvest. My potatoes are just about done flowering.


Once flowering stops, the vines will start pumping all their energy into producing potatoes underground. When the vines brown and die back, they're spent and you can dig potatoes. How long this period between flowering and vines dying back lasts depends on lots of factors, not the least of which is weather and watering.

I recommend cutting off watering when you start to notice the vines deteriorating (the first signs of yellowing/browning, the vine will usually slowly die back for another week or so). This will harden the skins of the potatoes a little more to improve storage. So you also want to dig when there hasn't been rain for a week+ if possible.

If the weather is warm and the soil moist at the end of the cycle, the potatoes will sprout in-ground and this is obviously very bad for your harvest and to be avoided.

So basically the trick is to try and have your vines die back when the weather has started to cool a bit and is expected to be dry, but if they die back early the potatoes can be fine in the ground, to be dug later, as long as it's dry. If they die back early and you can't keep them dry, dig them immediately.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by wisconsindead »

bri80 wrote:
wisconsindead wrote:Bri,

When do you harvest your potatoes? I am struggling to determine the time that I should harvest. My potatoes are just about done flowering.


Once flowering stops, the vines will start pumping all their energy into producing potatoes underground. When the vines brown and die back, they're spent and you can dig potatoes. How long this period between flowering and vines dying back lasts depends on lots of factors, not the least of which is weather and watering.

I recommend cutting off watering when you start to notice the vines deteriorating (the first signs of yellowing/browning, the vine will usually slowly die back for another week or so). This will harden the skins of the potatoes a little more to improve storage. So you also want to dig when there hasn't been rain for a week+ if possible.

If the weather is warm and the soil moist at the end of the cycle, the potatoes will sprout in-ground and this is obviously very bad for your harvest and to be avoided.

So basically the trick is to try and have your vines die back when the weather has started to cool a bit and is expected to be dry, but if they die back early the potatoes can be fine in the ground, to be dug later, as long as it's dry. If they die back early and you can't keep them dry, dig them immediately.


Thanks Bri

bri80
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:12 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Post by bri80 »

I suspect raccoon or rat as the perp eating my ripe tomatoes. Any tomato too close to the ground is subject to this. Not a huge deal once my staked indeterminates start ripening further up the vine, but kind of annoying right now. Although I suppose if it's a rat, it could climb the vines/stakes a lot easier than a raccoon.

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Back yard wider shot. The empty beds are getting ready for fall/winter crops.

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