User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27657
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Ha! Bagging blossoms can get addictive. Just be aware that excessive heat, humidity and fungal issues can cause blossom drop and polle set failure and sometimes unbagged ones set while bagged ones won’t.

Did that pumpkin make it? It looks way up in the air. You’ll be using some kind of sling for it no doubt. How fun! :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.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11231
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Your garden does not look that big but you do get a lot out of it. How do you like yellow pear. I found it way to tart.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
kayjay
Green Thumb
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:14 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Thanks for the visit, folks!

Applestar, the pumpkin is doing okay. It's basically resting on the fence. I'll have to figure something out. The vine feels quite stiff and I obviously don't want to snap it.
2018-08-18-pumpkin.JPG
2018-08-18-pumpkin.JPG (39.83 KiB) Viewed 1234 times
imafan, I like the yellow pear, but I'm not much of a tomato flavour connoisseur. My husband really likes them, and I like the health of the plant and the steady rate of production, so I'll probably grow them again.
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27657
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

...maybe a plastic basket from the dollar store to make a shelf/sling for it? Tie THAT securely to the fence.
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.

User avatar
kayjay
Green Thumb
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:14 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

That is an option. I have lots of little baskets around the house. I really want it to hang off my side of the fence, though. I have lots of a-hole neighbors. They don't need to see a pumpkin growing. I kinda don't want to deal with it right now because there's a huge, beautiful spider web blocking it. Spidey is a pretty big dude.

Speaking of big dudes... GROSS

The first time I've ever seen one. I just about peed my pants. Someone get me a blowtorch.
2018-08-19-hornworm.JPG
2018-08-19-hornworm.JPG (42.04 KiB) Viewed 1223 times
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

User avatar
kayjay
Green Thumb
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:14 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Sigh. Labour Day weekend again already.

Here's what I ended up doing with the pumpkin:
2018-08-31-pumpkin.jpg
2018-08-31-pumpkin.jpg (40.96 KiB) Viewed 1285 times
I decided to sacrifice my Halloween tights. Appropriate, I guess. LOL. :mrgreen:

Not much else new. I've gotten quite a few tomatoes. The zucchini plants are just about dead from powdery and downy mildew, but still trying to produce, so I'll leave them for now and keep spraying. Tomato plants are also needing trimmed from the bottom up. Lots of brown, dying leaves. Still pretty healthy, though. Even the Mystery Orange, which did not get enough light, grew tall enough to reach the light eventually and there's one (1) tomato that I'll let ripen for seeds.

Cucumbers are almost done. The lettuce and basil are both flowering. Pepper plants look good, although the Hot Portugal is pretty much done. Jalapenos are still churning away. I have one more Early Calwonder on the plant. The sweet potato vines look good, but they're not getting much sunlight anymore. I might try planting them against the fence next year, or making some kind of A-frame trellis to put in the container with them.
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

User avatar
kayjay
Green Thumb
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:14 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Hi, all!

Back in October, I made a lengthy post summing up the season... and I guess I forgot to hit 'post', because it disappeared. :cry: It's taken me this long to come back and do it again. We're in the middle of a snowstorm and I'm bored.

The pumpkin grew nicely! I harvested it in late Sept, then it hung around on my kitchen table until Halloween. We have a lot of kids around here; we had over 60 trick-or-treaters, and I like to make a nice little table in the hallway. After Halloween, it became delicious pumpkin puree for soups. No jack-o-lanterns for me; not when I only get one pumpkin and I spent all summer fussing over it. :hehe:
IMG_0593.JPG
I got just shy of 30 lbs of tomatoes from 14 plants. The clear winner this year was Yellow Pear, with over 7 lbs over the summer. Here they are right before the first frost when I picked everything off the plant:
IMG_0625.JPG
It was nice to take a bunch into work back in November. Everyone liked them and thought they were cool. I'm not sure they really liked the flavour, but they sure were better than the pink gas-ripened-on-the-truck garbage tomatoes we have at work. :P (I work in food service.)

One thing I learned about the tomatoes is that it seems whichever variety I put in my "sweet spot" - the spot that gets the most sunlight - will have great yields. That's where my Brandywines were when I got over 10 lbs per plant. This year, the Brandywines didn't do nearly as well, but that Yellow Pear was an absolute monster. There were still tomatoes after I picked those. Our frost didn't actually come until about 2 weeks later.

The Rubbermaid tub of sweet potatoes was also a relative success. I got over 2 lbs, even though they were funny-lookin':
2018-10-04.JPG
They tasted really good. I'll have to loosen the soil up for next year; I think it was too clay-y and dense. It was a lot of fun anticipating what was under the soil. I probably could have waited longer to harvest them; again, the frost didn't come when predicted. Depending on my work schedule (exhaustion trumps everything) maybe I'll wait longer next time.

Other stats:
- 20 cucumbers
- 2 lbs sweet peppers
- 1.3 lbs hot peppers
- 3.7 lbs zucchini
- enough basil to make 2 ice cube trays of pesto
- a few cups of greens, but a lot of it was wasted because I'm bad at making myself eat my greens. :hehe:
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

User avatar
kayjay
Green Thumb
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:14 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

kayjay wrote:Goals for the season:
- Keep an accurate spreadsheet again of the grocery value of what I grow, plus production per plant and/or variety. This was interesting and eye-opening for me, and really didn't take much time. I have a little digital scale and all I had to do was jot down what I harvested and plug it into the spreadsheet.
- Overwinter some hot peppers. I did it a few years ago and the results were fantastic. I planned on doing it last fall, but I had a brain fart and frost killed them. :roll:
I met these goals, so far. I kept the spreadsheet, and I'm overwintering the Hot Portugal and a Jalapeno. The HP isn't looking too good; I might have cut off too many leaves. The Jalapeno, OTOH, looks like an attractive houseplant. I'll be excited to see if either of them wake up in April.
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

Vanisle_BC
Green Thumb
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

KayJay, I just discovered your 'my garden' threads for 2015-2018 and read them end to end. Thank you for taking the trouble to post so much detailed, week-by-week information.

I'm specially interested in the sweet potatoes. I intend to introduce them this year. I may try starting from grocery tubers aolthough I can mail order started plants - slips - online, from a grower who claims to have early varieties good for Canadian conditions. Trusting them to the mails may be a bit dodgy though ...

I have some questions about starting with tubers. Once you have roots and slips - baby plants - growing from your seed tuber, what next: Do you slice the tuber up into pieces that have both root and stem? Or can you detach the baby plants from the potato, each complete with some root? Sorry for my naiveté. Could one not simply bury whole or cut-up tubers as with regular potatoes?

I see you got a 2lb harvest from your tub last fall. Was that from 6 plants like you had in (I think) 2016? Do you think 6 is about the right number for one of those rubber tubs? Actually I'll probably grow mine in open ground. I wonder what the spacing should be.

Thanks again for all your posting and I hope you'll continue with it.

By the way that's a very handsome Feuerwerke. I grew them in 2017; looked magnificent and tasted good, but they didn't seem to be good keepers.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

User avatar
kayjay
Green Thumb
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:14 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Vanisle_BC wrote:KayJay, I just discovered your 'my garden' threads for 2015-2018 and read them end to end. Thank you for taking the trouble to post so much detailed, week-by-week information.
Oh, thank you so much! I do it mostly so I can go back and refresh my memory, but I'm happy if others get half-decent info from them, too. :)
I'm specially interested in the sweet potatoes. I intend to introduce them this year. I may try starting from grocery tubers aolthough I can mail order started plants - slips - online, from a grower who claims to have early varieties good for Canadian conditions. Trusting them to the mails may be a bit dodgy though ...
Yeah, I wasn't sure about mail order, either, and it just seems a bit late. My growing season is already borderline for doing them; I want to make sure they're good to go as early as possible.
Once you have roots and slips - baby plants - growing from your seed tuber, what next: Do you slice the tuber up into pieces that have both root and stem? Or can you detach the baby plants from the potato, each complete with some root? Sorry for my naiveté. Could one not simply bury whole or cut-up tubers as with regular potatoes?
It's a double-staged rooting process. After the slips are a few inches tall, you gently twist them off from the potato at the base, and then put them into another glass of water (I use little 4-oz glasses that I got from a beer festival, heh heh. :> ) Then, these will root and that's what gets planted. I don't remember why, and I don't remember why it won't work to just bury a potato. I think it would rot. I know I watched some youtube videos about it, but I didn't bookmark them and now I can't find them. Doh.

Here's the original potato plus the rooting slips:
2018-05-27-sp.JPG
I see you got a 2lb harvest from your tub last fall. Was that from 6 plants like you had in (I think) 2016? Do you think 6 is about the right number for one of those rubber tubs? Actually I'll probably grow mine in open ground. I wonder what the spacing should be.
I just did 4 this year. When I did 6, I suspect they were too close together, and the 'potatoes' were basically the size of pencils when I dug them up. I also think I started a bit too late, due to the potato being in a cooler room. I think even two weeks can make a difference. From what I've seen, it looks like folks put a foot or two of spacing when they put them in the ground. My other issue with the tub is that later in the season, the vines didn't get enough light. I'm going to trellis them and/or grow them up the fence this year.

Here are a few tips I learned the hard way:
- It's better to start them too early than too late. 6 weeks before last frost works.
- Make sure they're in the warmest area of your home. They still won't do their thing until it's good and warm in the house all the time. For me, that was mid-May.
- Organic is probably better, because they're less likely to be sprayed with a sprouting inhibitor, but I had a non-organic one start sprouting on me, so who knows?

HTH! :cool:
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

Vanisle_BC
Green Thumb
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Thanks for the information KayJay.

The supplier I was looking at is Mapple Farm in New Brunswick. They only sell slips, not tubers. I could order from them - taking a chance on shipping survivablity - and meantime see if I can find organic tubers in local stores to start my own. If I'm to do that I guess I'd better get moving round the grocery aisles.
ies
At another site 'Terra Nossa' there's an account of successfully starting sweet potatoes by burying tubers in indoor containers - may be another option but less fun to watch.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

User avatar
kayjay
Green Thumb
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:14 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Heh heh, definitely less fun to watch. ;)

I think I remember someone starting them half-submerged in a foil pan of soil.

I think I remember looking at Mapple Farm, too. There was also a sweet potato farm here in Ontario that used to sell slips, but I don't think they do it anymore.

I've found organic sweet potatoes at several local grocery stores. They're about $7 for 2 lbs, so a little steep, but you might be set up for a long time if you're able to store your successfully-grown tubers over the winter. I ate all mine. :>
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

Vanisle_BC
Green Thumb
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Here's the start of my experiment: Non-organic, grown who knows where so maybe not suitable here anyway. One suspended in water, one halfed & suspended, one halfed & afloat. They'll be kept indoors, mostly heated by a woodstove that goes out overnight - some kind of approximation for natural outdoor conditions.
Sweet [potataoes.jpg
No organic ones available locally. Next week we're going over the hump to what passes for the big smoke and I'll see how much stamina I have for tramping around the groceries there.

Anybody here from Nanaimo, got a guess where I'd find organic sweet potatoes?

One attraction of ordering from Mapple is they claim their varieties are early ones; I'll probably still try them. If they'll grow in NB they should do well here.

I suppose to complete the experiment I should have done a couple in soil. Maybe I will.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27657
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

One thing I have found is they want to be really REALLY warm. High 70’s to 80’s °F to sprout. You might want to put them inside something to localize warmth. I put them in things like clear bakery clamshells, especially if placing where direct sunlight will create mini greenhouse effect.

Cut pieces do also mold. If using toothpicks etc., be sure to change water often. If available, using willow bark tea or chamomile tea might help. Plain unbuffered aspirin if you have them, just like water for cut flowers.
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.

Vanisle_BC
Green Thumb
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

Thanks applestar; direct sunlight? I could use some myself! Lately if it's not raining we're fogged in.

I can move the sw. spuds closer to the woodstove and cover them at night. They won't need light 'til/if they sprout. I'll try the aspirin trick. I wonder, if the cut surfaces mold can they still make sprouts that will survive? I'm looking on this as an experiment so far, rather than serious gardening :).
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

Vanisle_BC
Green Thumb
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: KayJay's Garden, 2018

My sweet potato experiment - update

Apple, you're right. The cut spuds went moldy. Aspirin didn't help and eventually the uncut one went the same way. These were regular grocery non-organics.

Then I found some purple and some earthy-coloured ones in an all-organic store. The purples have sprouted robustly (see photo) but not so the others. Maybe they're Fake Organic; :x two went moldy but the third one has very belated bumplets - bumplings? - that may grow into shoots.
SweetPotato.JPG
Now these have not made 'side slips' with their own roots like I've seen in other photos. Rather the tuber is making roots lower down, and the shoots are growing from the top. Not sure what I can do with them at this stage. We're having unusual overnight temps for the time of year; generally -5 or -6C, never above freezing for the past month of nights.

I guess these shouldn't go outdoors till late May. Maybe for now I should plant them in a tub that can be wheeled in & out of the workshop. What a nuisance. Maybe it would pay to plan ahead? Haha.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

Return to “Vegetable Garden Progress + Photos & Videos”