bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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

Wow! Looking really great! Your planting schedules seem to have been spot on! :clap:
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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

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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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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

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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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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

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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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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

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

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

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

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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

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

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

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

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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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Well, I snuck out to the garden with a flashlight tonight and busted one very naughty rat eating my tomatoes! So mystery solved... now to figure out what to do about it. I don't believe in killing animals just because they're trying to survive, and I live in a city, so rats are part of the environment.

A few years ago I had a rat living in my strawberry patch. It never left. It'd sit there eating strawberries all day long and felt perfectly safe under the cover of the thick leaves in the patch.

Raccoons would have been easier to deal with, but rats are smart, can fit through smaller openings, and can climb my staked tomatoes without knocking them over. This will be a difficult one to solve.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Oh no! I hope you find a good, acceptable solution.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

So I think I'm going to try a spray of essential oils. Apparently mint, lemongrass and thyme are effective rat deterrents. Going to pick up some essential oils today and mix something up into a spray bottle and spray around the base of the plants. I do wonder if it will affect the taste of the tomatoes for me, too, though.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

April broccoli. Getting lots of side shoots from these. Honestly I don't know why I mess around with other varieties, the one in the foreground is the variety that constantly produces best for me (Arcadia). It grows bigger plants, with bigger heads, and more side shoots. The others are a hybrid variety pack. Produced ok. I think it's all Arcadia from now on, except for MAYBE 1 early sowing of a couple fast-maturing hybrids, we'll see.
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And my other front yard bed... completely covered in veggies! I have to constantly pick the chard leaves away from the longer-growing stuff like onions and carrots. The carrots are looking like they're fattening up, so I will probably pull one or two soon. I wish the cauliflower would head up already so I could pull them out and give the rest of the plants some more room!
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Brussels/summer purple... growth seems to be slowing. Time to side dress some fert, I think. Also considering spraying the brussels with some neem oil. I have never successfully grown them due to aphids/cabbage worms, and it's been a couple years since I've tried. I remember now how hard it is to get in there with soap spray and get them, they're starting to be an issue again.
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Yellow crookneck and siletz, with dill in between. The dill has really been a disappointment, I think the symphylans got to them. I started new ones in pots to see if they do better.
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Yukon gold potatoes. As an experiment, I planted this bed with the largest seed potatoes on the left, and the smallest on the right. Clearly, the size of the seed potato makes a big difference in the size of the plants (and then, most likely, the size of the harvest).
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May broc/lettuce bed... been harvesting lettuce here. About to take another 7 plants.
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June broc/lettuce.
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Indeterminate tomatoes, over 6' tall and bearing heavily!
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Herbs! Summer savory and basil!
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Looking great. Cool potato experiment

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

So planting buckwheat in with the peppers seems to have done the trick to keep the symphs off. These plants had been "stuck" for weeks, with ZERO new growth. Finally growing again now that the buckwheat got in there. I just cut this buckwheat back about halfway, added some fertilizer, and will wait another week or two before cutting the buckwheat all the way back. Hopefully, that will have provided enough of a growth spurt for the peppers that the symph predation will not impact them as much. But, I am considering sowing another round of buckwheat, hoping that if I can continue to give the peppers a few more weeks of unencumbered growth into August, they'll be big enough to bear some decent fruit in the late-summer/fall.
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New growth!
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Pepper shots.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Love your posts - excellent photos and great narrative. I've been gardening for years, but always feel like there is more to learn!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

KitchenGardener wrote:Love your posts - excellent photos and great narrative. I've been gardening for years, but always feel like there is more to learn!
Thanks!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Was that white one Roumanian Rainbow? Or maybe Antohi Romanian?
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

applestar wrote:Was that white one Roumanian Rainbow? Or maybe Antohi Romanian?
It's "Cozumel." The picture makes it look whiter than it is, they're actually a pale yellow and ripen to full red:
https://www.territorialseed.com/product/ ... epper-seed

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Ah ha! Thanks!
Sounds like a good one. It's a hybrid but I might make an exception. I'll keep it in mind. Let us know how you like it.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Made a quart and a half of pesto!
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Side shoots from the front yard bed. Because the main heads formed during a heat wave, some of these side shoots were larger than the main heads. This is the advantage of NOT growing a bed intensely, and giving the broccoli new, fertile soil to grow into even as the main head matures.
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Pulled the first carrots! These are good-sized but subsequent ones should be longer.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

How would you compare the tastes of the various carrot varieties you grow!

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

KitchenGardener wrote:How would you compare the tastes of the various carrot varieties you grow!
Good question, I'm not much of a connoisseur but the purple ones (Purple Haze), are definitely much sweeter.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

applestar wrote:Ah ha! Thanks!
Sounds like a good one. It's a hybrid but I might make an exception. I'll keep it in mind. Let us know how you like it.
I've only still got unripe ones, but I like the flavor, although they're not hot at all. Maybe they will get hotter as they ripen.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Planted the last of the broccoli for this year (I usually grow a couple over-wintered ones that I start later). Been spraying neem oil a bit as the aphids have suddenly gotten bad.

Harvesting: peppers, broccoli, lettuce, chard, carrots, a few tomatoes but still battling the rat, tons of herbs, blueberries.

Getting ready for fall/winter plantings: spinach (in pots to avoid symphs!), kale, collards, purple sprouting broccoli, maybe a cauliflower or two if I have room.

Today's stir fry from the garden:
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Apparently the cauliflower I planted is a purple variety! Fun surprise. :) I looked up my seed order, and it's "Mulberry."
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Onions starting to bulb up!
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Broccoli head forming.
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Wider shots of the front yard beds.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Bri: what have you found (if anything) to combat your rat problem? I have a large yard with a small garden next to the house and a large back area which used to be my garden until it was discovered and consumed by critters - rats, racoons and possums. After several years of nothing back there except mile high weeds, I reclaimed it and planted flower seeds for a cutting garden. Watched all my seedlings come up and flourish, until, over two very hot nights, the critter came out and snacked on all my cosmos, then came back for my poppies and agrostemma. :evil: I am very angry. I started again. This time, I'd like to do something to deter them. Pepper spray? Is that okay for 6" seedlings?

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Oh, and love your purple broccoli - that is gorgeous!

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