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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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Location: Upstate NY/ Zone 5a/b

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:
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

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.
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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:
IMG_1689.JPG
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Shanghaisky
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Location: Upstate NY/ Zone 5a/b

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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Location: Upstate NY/ Zone 5a/b

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!
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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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