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rainbowgardener
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Ohh, I'm sorry, my bad!! I just reacted off of first impression and never enlarged the photo. Usually I am better than that. :oops: Your creature does not have the 14 legs of a pill bug. I don't know off hand what it is, try and look more later.
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

rainbowgardener wrote:Ohh, I'm sorry, my bad!! I just reacted off of first impression and never enlarged the photo. Usually I am better than that. :oops: Your creature does not have the 14 legs of a pill bug. I don't know off hand what it is, try and look more later.
Well when I Google Wood Louse it does look like what comes up.... ???

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

I think it is O. Asselus. My pic was taken while it was scurrying away, so possibly the legs are just blurred.

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

We didn't go out to the garden yesterday after church - feeling a bit under the weather, and the weather itself was a little oppressive (overcast, muggy, 72ish). Braved the sprinkles in between showers this AM to go check things and we were happily surprised!

Three spaghetti squash popped up (and are huge already... maybe 1.5" tall?), the whole row of carrots is up, several beets, all of the greens are for sure up now and the spinach is starting to pop true leaves. The whole row of sunflowers is also up now, which is funny, because I didn't remember planting a whole row - just half a row - but I'll take it. They'll give good afternoon shade to the greens, especially since they're dwarf sunflowers.. nice and low. Once the flowers start to bloom I plan to cover them lightly with netting to keep the birdies out. Also, some of the marigolds are starting to finally get to growing (they all popped up everywhere almost immediately but then sat doing nothing visible for the week), and the peas are getting larger.

DD2 wanted to play in the mud puddles on the tarp, so I set her down and she promptly sat in one. Then she realized she was wet and wasn't very pleased. DD1 thought it was hilarious, but DD2 was not having fun any more, so we came in.

I still haven't transplanted the tomatoes. I know I need to, that they would be happier, but they're fun to see on the porch. The porch herbs (chamomile and sweet basil) are also not doing a whole lot of anything. I'm trying to keep the chamomile dry. I think I should have used a proper potting mix when I planted them (rookie move that I didn't even think about because I was so excited.. I just used compost that has a fair bit of OM in it... but it still seems pretty compacted). I'm not sure how they'll do. The chamomile out in the garden is probably not too happy as it's wet, but we'll call this an experiment and see how things grow. The sweet basil on the porch and the Genovese in the garden are both taking their sweet time doing anything, though I think the sweet basil is starting to bring up some true leaves slowly. I'm sure by the end of the week everything will be going really well.
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Chitlins playing in the puddles
Chitlins playing in the puddles
Noble Giant Spinach
Noble Giant Spinach
Boltardy Beets
Boltardy Beets
Wando Peas
Wando Peas
Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

One bean is up this morning, and it's pretty big! Still trying to straighten out from the seed, so I think it must have just come up.
Landreth Bush Bean
Landreth Bush Bean
The spaghetti squash is getting bigger and bigger by the minute (those seed leaves are really something). Two are pretty close together (in fact all three are..) but I'm hoping maybe it won't matter.... in that vein, I think the peas and beans are probably too close together. If I need to move things somewhere else, I will try. Hopefully everything will just play nicely together, and maybe I can make a wattle type trellis out of willow branches for the peas (we have an enormous willow tree).
Friendly Wando Peas
Friendly Wando Peas
In other news everything else seems to be doing fine for being 1.5wks post-sowing. I think one onion may have come up, but with my self-induced marigold problem I can't tell anything apart until it starts to get bigger or obvious (the carrot row is stuffed, as well as the beets..easy to see what's what there).

I'm going to make a thread over in the other veggie forum to see what folks think about all these "marigold" seedlings I have coming up. Some are obviously marigolds (still have the seed attached to the seed leaves), but others look more like basil and they are EVERYWHERE..... but as far as I know, we didn't spread basil anywhere other than the row we planted, let alone throwing marigolds wildly all over the place *outside* the bed.
Marigolds for sure
Marigolds for sure
Marigolds???
Marigolds???
I am hoping everything will work out just how I planted it, but bracing myself for the inevitable failure of some things being too close together, or the soil under the several inches of compost being too rocky or sticky for things to get to maturity... or something.

Pretty soon I will be hunting for some rabbit fence. There are bunnies around, and I also smelled the lovely aroma of a skunk wafting in the windows last night. I don't know if they'll go after the plants, but I'd rather not find out. Hopefully the sheer multitude of marigolds will make them barf as they run away....

Speaking of visitors, there was a happy honeybee (maybe a queen? it was really big) cruising back and forth up and down the rows.. nothing to stop and snack on yet, but it was good to see some activity. Some day I'd like to have a hive, amongst other critters.

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

The marigold problem has been solved! :-() The red stem seedlings are marigolds. The flat little fat guys are weeds. (Which must have come in with the bagged stuff, since I don't see these little seedlings anywhere else except in the soil and where the soil probably spilled out over the border.... hmm) Since there are still quite a few in areas where other things I planted should be coming up looking very similar, I'm unfortunately waiting a bit to pull most of them so I don't accidentally rip out all of my basil or romaine.... grr. Good news is there are many many less marigolds than I thought. Still a goodly amount, and I will start some more if I need to, but I think once I get a perimeter fence up of some kind, the plethora I have should be plenty. I also have 12ish on the porch looking sad and wanting to get into the ground before they kick the bucket.

The bean from yesterday is fully up and already has several leaves (what??), and the second bean is just breaking the surface. :mrgreen:

The spaghetti squash is getting bigger and I think the true leaves are starting to come up a tiny bit.

Peas are getting bigger, and two are quite close. I'm not sure if I should just leave them? I think I will, and see what happens. If one seems to struggle I guess I will cull one.

The Boltary Beets are coming up, and they are really cool. The tops of the seed leaves are green, but the underside and the stem are fuchsia. I tried my hand at beets once several years ago and they all died pretty shortly (definitely over-watered them.. oops). :flower:

DD2 is teething badly today and very needy, so we only stayed outside for about half an hour, and came back in so she could rest a bit. DD1 was a great teether, never complained, never got sick or had a fever, just woke up with 4 new teeth one morning every time. DD2 suffers from fevers and sleeplessness with hers, and they seem to take forever to come in. Poor thing :(

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Welp, a sad little day in the garden, but hopefully this will help things flourish. Per advice in another thread I started (a PETC award contender, I think...), I pulled all the peas and beans, and thinned the squash to 2 plants instead of 3.

The tomatoes are still far enough apart, I think (they look about 12" apart, maybe I need glasses still...), so hopefully they will be just fine. I need to either put the cages up for them or else just stake them. They're Romas, and I got two Tomato Tower cages from Lowes that look like they are just too big. Maybe they will work fine.

I intended to sort of double-purpose the tomato towers by adding some additional stakes and tying on some horizontal bars (either willow branches or some thin dowels from Lowes that I already have) to those, to use the tomato towers as part of the support for the peppers... BUT I am agreeing with advice given from Applestar that the peppers, whenever they DO sprout, will just not have enough time to fruit, since our season started so late, and I didn't start them indoors. If they do ever come up, I'll just pull them. I really doubt they will, though, given that the soil seems so cool still.

I learned my lesson for next season for sure.. well before this conundrum, actually. Many things I want to start indoors next year for many reasons. One, to beat the long last frost date, and two to know exactly how many plants I have. Also to work the soil with enough time for it to settle before plants need to go in. My only challenge will be where to start things indoors, as the south facing windows are both in areas that the littles frequent (one being their main playing area, the other being the dining area). I have good space that the kids aren't generally allowed in (the office) with western windows, but the western sun hits so hard here in the afternoon that it bakes the house, so we keep the blackout curtains closed past noon. I may just have to invest in lights. Maybe we will be in a different place next season anyway... :>

Anywho, the tomatoes survived the night, and everything else is still taking it's time. I hope the weather warms up at night soon, because these high 40's/low 50's at night don't seem to be doing anything any favors, and I fear that soon it's going to just suddenly be summer, and my greens will bolt before they had a chance to even put up much.

If we are still here next season, which we plan to be, I think I may unfortunately just go for raised beds. The thistle problem scares me a little bit (they are everywhere), and the native soil is just too sticky and full of rocks. Maybe after this spring crop is done, I'll just scoop the whole lot up off the ground (since the bagged stuff never got tilled in, just sitting on top), and put it in a compost pile for the winter. I'll have to plan out more efficiently what I plan to do, but that will give me a better chance of having warmer soil sooner, easier to put hoops up for shade and/or cold cover, and better separation between crawly climbs things and "don't touch me" things :P

So that's where we are. Grand total of:
2 Spaghetti Squash starting to set true leaves
2 Romas now in ground
1 row of Danvers carrots
1 row of Boltardy beets
1 row of Sungold dwarf sunflowers
1 row of Swiss chard that came up kind of spotty
1 row of Romaine that also came up kind of spotty
1 row of Noble Giant Spinach that only popped up about 4 or 5, one of which DD1 yanked out today announcing "WHAT'S THIS???" :eek: :>
1 row of Genovese basil
(and of course, Marigolds throughout)

On the porch:
a pitiful pot of sweet basil that still hasn't set true leaves (and it's been about 2-3 weeks..)
a slightly less pitiful pot of roman chamomile that is starting to finally show any sign of continued life

Lessons learned for next year:
- Forget the native soil. It's a wreck.
- Raised beds. Multiple.
- Better spacing, or else follow SFG (unlikely)
- Plant MORE of things (like more peas..rows of them... more beans.. several rows of greens and root veggies, etc).
- Start. Things. Inside. All the things.
- Breathe a little more. It's a learning experience and it's fun for the kids!

:roll:

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Gardening is a constant learning process, even after you have been doing it a long time.

Don't expect miracles from your first garden in poor soil, while you are learning. Each year will be better!

RE: - Start. Things. Inside. All the things.

Not all things. Cold weather greens, e.g. lettuce, spinach, chard, as well as root crops like carrots and beets are best seeded directly into the ground where they will stay. They can be planted "as soon as the ground can be worked," i.e. it is unfrozen and dried out enough that it doesn't clump up when you turn it. For me when I was in zone 6, that tended to be about a month earlier than average last frost date.

RE: where to start things indoors, as the south facing windows ....

Window sills aren't usually a great place for starting seeds and if you really want to start a lot of things from seed, you won't have room anyway. What works much better is LIGHTS.

Read the seed starting basics thread here: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... 48&t=44183. Along with good info, it shows the seed starting operation I used for years:

Image

Those are ordinary fluorescent tubes in shop light fixtures. They are hung from shelves that are wall mounted. I had 8 feet of shelving in each of two levels, but you wouldn't need that much. And hanging the lights from wall mounts means it takes up a very limited footprint. I had old kitchen cabinets that I used for the base. Supported the bottom level of trays and had storage space for all the trays and stuff.

Be thinking about it for next year!
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Another bean sprouted up today. Pulled it out ( sad face )... I considered leaving it in just for fun, but my tomatoes are looking so sad right now I didn't want to risk anything competing with them.

On the tomatoes: one has dropped most of its blossoms (including the megabloom.. boo..) and both are pretty droopy. It rained last night gently so they are well watered, but not soaked or beaten up. I think the soil is too cold. :( I hope they make a come back, but it is supposed to rain and be the same temps still until next week when it's suddenly going to spike up to the 80's... just as I feared. Hopefully they won't be too shocked.

The spaghetti squash is loving it though. Finally setting true leaves and moving on with life..

The sunflowers and spinach also have true leaves now, as well as some romaine, but everything else is really taking it's time. I think it's just still so cold at night that everything is waiting for warmer soil. I'm not direct sowing anything that can be started inside next season. Such a waste. :(

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Well, after a horribly long couple of days of nonstop rain and 0 sun, my tomatoes are all but happy. Sad, droopy, turning yellow... the soil is just soaked. But today, and for the next several days, it is supposed to be progressively warmer and sunnier. Maybe they'll dry out and perk up.

The greens are liking it nice and moist though. The romaine is setting true leaves (or leaf..?), the spinach is really going for it now, and the Swiss chard is getting big. Some basil doing it's thing, too. The root crops on the other hand are still just... sitting. I don't know what is happening under the soil but above, we're still sitting with just seed leaves on the carrots and beets. Maybe this is good. Grow little guys, grow!

In other news, the girls and I went for a walk around the property to see how fast the creek was rushing (fast), and check out the apple trees (sad trees). We found a gorgeous tent caterpillar.. which I am unfamiliar with, but have just learned it is apparently a pest. A beautiful pest, still.

In other other news, the power company is doing tree service (again), only this time now they are cutting trees on the property down (which is fine..) and spraying 3 different kinds of herbicides that my children are supposed to stay away from for at least a whole day, and I am not happy. If it drifts, who knows if it's going to get into my porch pots or the garden (or the big corn field behind us), or into my house... it says all over the info packets they gave me that users should not allow it to drift or be sprayed quickly etc etc, but I'm still not pleased. I had opened the windows to finally get some fresh air in after being holed up for several days, when they stopped by, and now I've shut the windows again and we'll be inside for the rest of the week, probably. *grumble*

I am feeling like this garden adventure is at a crossroads: accept some level of defeat and give up on most of it, or make vigorous plans for next year and how to avoid all of the issues I'm having right now. At the moment, I'm leaning towards the first half, because I'm very lazy and low on energy at the moment, but I know if I plan ahead *now*, that next year has a better chance of success. :-/

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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

You can scale down your ambitions for your first year garden AND make plans for how to be more successful next year. They go together. One way to scale down the ambitions, is to pull things and let some part of your garden go fallow. You don't want to let it be a weed patch though. So cover the area in cardboard (wetted down) piled on with fall leaves or straw or manure or whatever else you have. This is also preparing for next year. By next year all that will have broken down to make a good rich planting bed. In the meantime now you can focus your efforts on just a small area. One or two 8x4 beds is plenty to start out with.
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

I've got one 10?x4 bed now. I just packed too many things in, which I have now thinned out. The problem is the soil is really pretty terrible. Clay with rocks, that I thought was going to be okay (didn't realize it was clay as I'm used to red clay in the South), until after I planted and it rained and turned into a huge sticky compacted mess. So far my spaghetti squash and greens are doing great, but not a lot else happening yet. I'm just waiting to see what happens.

Re the herbicide spraying: it is not going to happen until July or August, which is good but unfortunately almost everything will be just before ready to harvest. I really hope there is no drift, as the spot they are spraying is about 30 feet from the garden. Sigh.

I pruned the tomatoes a little today. They are determinates, but the bottom leaves were touching the soil and really sad. I pinched them off up to where the plants no longer were touching the soil. Good news is I see a couple new blossoms on each plant, so even though they are pretty droopy and not very happy looking right now, they are not all together dying. It's been nice and warm and dry since yesterday now, and supposed to rain tomorrow then be warm and dry hopefully for several days.

At least my dwarf sunflowers are living it up. They're sending out their second set of true leaves now, so that's reassuring at least. If I can't get any food from the garden this year, at least maybe I can have pretty flowers to cut and bring to church. :)

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applestar
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Maybe have a disposable tarp and some kind of framework that could be set up quickly ready by then. They can use commercial grade stuff that we are not allowed to use I think?
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

applestar wrote:Maybe have a disposable tarp and some kind of framework that could be set up quickly ready by then. They can use commercial grade stuff that we are not allowed to use I think?
They will be spraying Rodeo (RoundUp), Stalker (Imazapyr), and Garlon 4 Ultra. The landlord said NYS has become more strict in recent years about what they can spray, but those still don't look great. And the spot/s they are spraying are spots my kids like to walk. Oh well.. there's no stopping them. :-/

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

With very bad soil like that, the easiest/ quickest way to have good soil is to build raised beds on top. Then your plants are sitting in good soil and it doesn't matter as much what is underneath. Just be sure to poke garden fork holes down into the clay before you fill, for drainage.

My raised beds are built from stacked landscape timbers held together with steel rebar pounded down through the stack (drill a hole first! :) ) and into the ground. Very solid, lasts a long time. And they cost me about $30 per 8x4 bed, which is about as cheap as you can get unless you find free materials on craigslist or freecycle.


Image

My soil isn't as bad as yours. You might want to make yours one timber deeper. This might be something you work on in the fall to have ready to plant in spring.
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

:-() :-() :-() We have some success!!! I watered deeply two nights ago after a high 80's day (which also happened to follow a couple of dry dry days), and then yesterday it was 91.. didn't go out to check anything because it was just too hot for the kiddos. Went out this AM before it gets too too hot, and to my very happy surprise, we have tomatoes!!! One plant (the slightly smaller plant that did not have the megabloom - we'll call it mater #2) had one little guy growing, and the big guy, mater #1 has 3! :mrgreen: I know it doesn't mean much yet; they're about as big around as a pencil. I'm just excited to see my plants aren't dying. So, we went around and gathered some tall grass/dried grass clipping clumps to use as mulch (I forgot my gloves at the house, or I would have mulched with the old yucky straw that's in the garden), and generously bedded those babies down. :lol: It's going to be hot again today (maybe 87-89), so hopefully everything will be okay until I can get out by myself to water tonight. (I water from the creek, and don't want the kiddos near when I'm filling the jugs for safety reasons).

Also, the squash is starting to vine out. When it grows it grows fast! The greens are all doing well, the carrots have set true leaves, and the beets are growing out too. There's a lot of crowding going on unfortunately, so I don't know how many will really turn out, but if we can grow even a couple for hubby to snack on in a salad, he'll be happy. The sunflowers are also doing well. The only thing not doing well is the chamomile in the garden which I think just got too wet and has kind of disappeared. The chamomile and basil on the porch are doing okay, need some water, but growing slowly. Ah, and the marigolds in the garden are really shooting up now. Soon the garden will be covered in orange. If they make it that far... :> I'm just a little excited to see some progress after a slow, iffy start.

I'm planning to start making some notes about what to start indoors next year, what to direct sow/when, what conditions things seem to be doing good in, etc. If everything works nicely this year in the native soil/bagged topping deal I have going, I will probably till it all in after the season's end (depending on any fall crop I try), and maybe work out another bed for next year to start up now. I've been saving food scraps for compost, but we have a skunk around here somewhere and some whistle pigs (ground hogs as I always called them until we moved to the South... hehe), amongst other critters, and they seem keen on getting into the trash and rooting through the food scraps I've thrown out in the brush... so maybe compost for now will have to wait.

Ah, lastly, we saw this beautiful caterpillar while we were gathering grass for mulch. Last time we saw a beautiful tent caterpillar (a shame it's a pest, I guess..), and this time I can't seem to determine what kind it is. It was crawling around under a pine tree on some leaves. (See photos.. maybe someone knows?)

:flower: :-() :flower:
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Maters!
Maters!
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Caterpillar

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Everything is looking great!

RE: whistle pigs (ground hogs as I always called them until we moved to the South... hehe), amongst other critters, and they seem keen on getting into the trash and rooting through the food scraps I've thrown out in the brush... so maybe compost for now will have to wait

Where I used to live we had lots of raccoons, ground hogs and other critters. I always had to have my compost pile enclosed. I have used both of these kinds of bins:
Image

earth machine type plastic bin

and Image

wire grid bin (but it has to have cover!)

Both worked just fine. Compost is still the best thing you can do for your garden!
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

A new day, a new adventure... today we have... cucumber beetles :x eating up my squash leaves and living like rockstars! Cheeky little buggers!! (see photos.....) I guess we'll have to just keep on top of picking them off, and keep a bucket of soapy water around. Sigh! They've put a nice dent in my squash that looked quite happy yesterday..

At least my tomatoes are doing nicely, already since yesterday considerably larger! Didn't get to water last night so did a little strategic child handling and managed to get everything watered this AM before the sun really sets in. I think mulching now that I know the plants are indeed alive and fruitful is really helping already. I am curious though.... both plants are maybe 12-18" tall, and already setting fruit. Not big enough to warrant sticking my tomato towers in (I feel like those may be better suited to indeterminate varieties... hmmm), but when the fruits start getting bigger... well, I guess I'll stake them?

Everything else happily moving along. The beets and carrots really zoomed into growth this week, and the Swiss chard is finally starting to get a little girth to it. Spinach is on the 3rd or 4th set of little leaves now. Hopefully it will make enough to warrant picking before it tries to bolt. Temps are now going back down to mid-high 70's with a spike back up over the weekend, and then back down. I think the few hot days this week may have actually helped things grow along a bit better, since it's been so so cold. Looking forward to some rain next!
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Cheeky little guys!
Cheeky little guys!

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applestar
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Tomato towers -- wire tomato supports?

Well, let me put it this way -- one I think you would appreciate -- ever try to put a shirt on a child who doesn't want you to put it on him/her? Wish you had 8 hands? Tomatoes are like that. Put them on while they are small and unresisting. You'll thank me later. :wink:
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

applestar wrote:Tomato towers -- wire tomato supports?

Well, let me put it this way -- one I think you would appreciate -- ever try to put a shirt on a child who doesn't want you to put it on him/her? Wish you had 8 hands? Tomatoes are like that. Put them on while they are small and unresisting. You'll thank me later. :wink:
They're these things.. I got them from Lowe's; they looked sturdier than the cone shaped kind. I think the spacing it just too big.. but I have no idea how tall these plants will get. They have only grown a few inches since I got them a month ago. (Though they have matured considerably) : https://www.amazon.com/Panacea-Products ... B002716PH2

ETA: I guess I should say the reviews on there don't match my product at all. Mine are very sturdy, and are not just flimsy galvanized wire.. they're coated. But the shape (and brand..) is the same.

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Shanghaisky
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Location: Upstate NY/ Zone 5a/b

Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

:( Something came in and ate half the garden. All but one sunflower nibbled down to stumps, some swiss chard - stumps, one squash - stumpy, some beets - stumpy. The neighbor's zucchini got hit too. I'm thinking deer, bunnies (less likely as neighbors stuff in tall raised bed), or whistle pig that I saw outside the garden fence last week. They left my spinach, romaine, basil, and tomatoes alone, so I guess they weren't a fan of Mediterranean fare... lol! I'm bummed, but my other squash has shot right up past the cucumber beetle damage, and my maters are getting big and fat, so I'm still pleased with my tiny garden at the moment. Wondering if anything will grow back....

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applestar
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Oh no! That is always heart wrenching after you have been watching and helping your garden growing through all of the trials. :cry:

Start thinking fencing right away. Our up some scares -- does not always work but it helps you feel like you are doing something. You can get your kids to help. Immediate and fun is drawing faces on aluminum pans (I recycle ones from the Italian place take out). If you don't want them to use permanent markers, try making shapes with waterproof stickers or cut pieces from duct tape -- I borrowed my DD's hot pink and fluorescent green tape.

When they were little, I only let them use black sharpie while sitting outside on the patio table. Regular black sharpie is not fade/weather resistant, but it also comes off easily with rubbing alcohol.

Hang these with long strings so they would blow around in the wind and bang on stuff -- each other, metal posts and fences. Random bangs are very effective. Works in daylight and dark. In the sun the aluminum flashes, another plus.


Totally simple -- hang plastic bottles, balled up aluminum foil

Caveat -- long strings make them wrap around each other and around sticks and objects. After a thunderstorm, you might as well just cut them down, so better to use biodegradable string. Best effect if you move them around.

Old garden hoses can become pretend snakes. Put something that looks like a head on one end, and black beady eyes.

I have no experience with deer, but there have been many suggestions on the forum. One that seem to make sense to me as temporary measure is strings strung at hock/knee and chest/neck high.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Shanghaisky
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Location: Upstate NY/ Zone 5a/b

Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Thanks for the suggestions! We will see if there is any more damage today and go from there..

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Sounds like ground hog damage to me. But whether ground hog or bunny, the answer is the same - fencing!

Since I grow in raised beds, I fence them in individually. Deer netting or wire bunny fencing are cheap and easy.

Deer netting
Image

bunny wire fencing:
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Whatever it was has not done any more damage yet! My other squash is actually shooting new leaves despite the damage.. maybe it will recover?? The sunflowers look pretty toast though except the one survivor. We will see what can be done..

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Went out and planted the tomato cages today. So many rocks I couldn't get them all the way down.. ugh! So I got them as far as I could go, and found a few sticks to "help" the branches up a little bit until they are larger. Already the maters on my one plant are getting huge! As long as my thumb and probably twice as thick. The other plant is slowly putting out fruit but they are small.

My squash seems to be making a come back despite one losing all of it's leaves. Shooting out new growth, so it looks like there's hope yet. I see the vines coming out now winding their way up the leaf stalks (I don't know technical phrasing here...), so I'm hopeful!

The tomato cages came with these big wrapped labels on them, and when I took them off I saw the back was shiny, and they wanted to flap really well in the wind. So I anchored one to each end of the garden on one side, to hopefully flap and scare any critters interested in dashing my gardening dreams again... lol.

Nothing much else to report except the tick population is disgusting this year. Neighbor said she has lived here 6 years and never had so many out in the grass. She's gotten two bites just recently and I got one last week. My first ever actually and I didn't even know it except that I happened to see it on my foot on my way to bed. So we're doing tick checks all around here now. I guess it's a part of the territory.. ugh.

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Nothing new going on except continued growth.. and a huge buzzard perched atop the nearby telephone pole who watched us very intently for a while.. buzzards in upstate NY! Who'da thunk?? Also the cucumber beetles took a hike and the one squash that looked toast from the leaves being eaten is smaller but definitely fine.
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Crazy huge buzzard!
Crazy huge buzzard!
Squash
Squash
Maters getting bigger
Maters getting bigger

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

We have had a crazy busy weekend. The Patronal feast for the Monastery where we go to Church was Saturday, so we had services Friday night, Saturday (and feasting all day), and then usual Sunday service with meal after. We have been so busy preparing and traveling and festive-ing, that we haven't been out to the garden in days! Well... a 50/50 report...

Something came and ate all the greens again. Except the basil and the one survivor sunflower. So we have gobs of basil and all the chard, romaine, and spinach are gone. Come to think of it I think it ate the beet greens too. Grr. Oh well. Surviving are about 90865 marigolds (just the leaves so far, no flowers.. though at this point I'm not sure they will put any out...?)... and it so happens that the carrots are surrounded by them, and remain untouched.. so whatever came in must not like the marigolds. Also thriving are the squashes.. getting huge and starting to latch onto nearby grasses and weeds. Finally, we have lots of huge Romas! 6 large ones and several smaller ones coming up with a ton of new blooms. At least we will get tomatoes! They look healthy too - no more leaf discoloring or curling, everything looks happy.

So since we gave up on the greens we girls spent a good while digging weeds around the perimeter and mulching it with nasty old rotten straw to try to smother it all. At the end of the season hopefully we can till it in to the bed itself. Some thistles have been trying to pop up, so I decapitated them all and smothered them with mulch.

Also of note is that my Roman Chamomile in a pot on the porch was doing nothing and actually died off after a scorching day. Well after this weekend I noticed a bunch of new sprouts all over the pot. Maybe the weather is getting warm enough for it now? We will see what happens!

The neighbor has a beautiful flower bed all around the house and the lillies are all in bloom... so beautiful! I'm not sure what the orange and yellow flowers are but they are also pretty!
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Flower bed
Flower bed

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applestar
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

I think the orange and yellow might be calendulas. I should grow them again even though I might be allergic....

So sorry to hear about your greens being eaten up. Pesky pests!
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Well, it's been a while! Everything eventually died off except my romas. Today I pulled one out, despite having several fruits on it, as it was very diseased looking and starting to spread to my other, much larger, better producing plant. We've had a handful of ripe romas in salad so far, but mainly bunnies have found a way past the rabbit fence to sneak annoying little bites off of the mostly ripe ones, and I toss them because I don't need rabies or whatever... lol. We have a lot of green tomatoes waiting for frying - they were touching the ground ans I didn't want them going to waste, so we plucked them. Probably about 20 more nice BIG green tomatoes waiting to ripen still.

I pulled my giant marigolds out that never flowered. They were about 3' tall and shading out the tomatoes! Maybe that's what's letting the bunnies in now, too.

We haven't been doing any weeding because I'm now 5 months pregnant and the humidity + heat has been too much for me. Today was manageable so we went out early and I did as much maintenance as I could. Planning to get some greens in (with a better rabbit fence!) and peas shortly. Will check the planting schedule and see what else could go in. Mid October is first frost I think, so they'll have to be shortish crops at this rate. It's been 80's and humid so short of excessive watering, things may have to wait a tiny while to be sown. I could also start and transplant..... hmmm.

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Shanghaisky
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Re: Shanghaisky's 2017 Garden

Sigh! The saga continues! Bunnies had been munching, so we have been picking before ripe to try to keep as many as possible.... now, these little boogers! Angry hornworms that attacked my stick that I tried to remove them with. Will have to go back down later without kids and put em in a bucket of soapy water. That’s the last thing I need is my remaining plants getting devoured.
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