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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Took care of the outside vermicomposter today -- more leaves for bedding, huge yellowed mass of chickweed from a weed pile, and a spoiled overripe and fermenting mango, placed off to the side in case there's too much fermentation going on. But when I opened the lid to peek a little while later, there was already movement (mango is under the white flap) so I suspect they liked it. (I've heard that they like a bit of alcoholic ferments Image )
Image
Also took care of the compost bin -- it was starting to heat up later. Image

Distributed the remaining greens and brassica mix seedlings in various nooks and crannies, including two empty gaps in the garlic bed and middle of peas and potatoes bed and middle of onion and carrots bed as an experiment to see if the cabbage whites and cabbage moths might be foiled.
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Patio containers -- I had to re-seat the alpine strawberry which wasn't liking the self-watering feature of these square pots. I took the opportunity to add fertilizer, then trimmed off all the dead leaves and settled it on a mound. Gave it a thinned spinach for company. Planted a sixth square pot with last of the greens.

Some progress updates for the SF&H
Most of the potatoes have "sprouted" -- emerged above ground and leafed out and the peas have sprouted under the tomato cages.
Image

...and VG raised beds (including peas and lettuce in hanging baskets -- safe from the muncha-buncha bunnies)
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That colorful brassica is sprouting side shoots all up and down the leaf nodes -- very curious and MUST discover what it is. Image

Planted first batch of Mirai 350BC corn in VGA
Image
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Image

Osaka Shirona in the middle row with a Tatsoi
https://www.kitazawaseed.com/seed_345-50.html

Kyoto No. 3 and I think Komatsuna in the nearest row
https://www.kitazawaseed.com/seed_009-49.html

Solstice broccoli to the left.
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Remember those spindly overgrown pantry potatoes?

Image :-()

Top left and bottom left are same ones (Gold Rush 2015) from different angles, as are the top middle and right (Sangre or Adirondack red 2015) These are the pantry potatoes in SF&H. ...(Potato, red skin w/white flesh • red skin w/yellow flesh) in the dimple to the right of Sangre/Adirondack Red are just starting to come up -- not very photo-worthy yet :> )

Bottom middle and right (Purple Majesty and Yukon Gold) are the store-bought seed potatoes for comparison. They took longer to start sprouting, but they are doing well under the loose and tattered floating cover tunnel.
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Patio Grouping in the sunniest spot:

Image

...these will be replaced by tomatoes and peppers later :D
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

- Mulched onions in the HBR (Haybale Row)
Image

- Espalier Fence Row is looking good! lots of Seckel pears and Arkansas Black apples forming, and some Magness pears, too Image
Image

- More strings for the peas in the Sunflower House. Swiss Giant snow peas at near left in front of Marrowfat soup peas are catching up, and the carrot seeds over(under?)seeded with the peas are up and growing.
Image
Elephant Garlic are chugging along, too :D

- Mulched the strawberries in the SGIS (inner spiral of the Spiral Garden) with the raked thatch
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- Green Arrow and Garden Sweet shelling peas are growing in the back SGOS (outer spiral)
... and Chickpeas sprouted in the front SGOS Image
Image

- Started to sheet mulch the SGA (Spiral Garden Annex)
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-- still need to tuck some fertilizer and compost, etc. amendment underneath....

- Today's harvest
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Chervil, Spinach, three little white alpine strawberries; shiitake; spring fresh stinging nettle to be frozen and used for my own tea. (later on, I use ones that aren't as nice -- bug eaten, etc. -- for plant fertilizer fermented/brewed nettle tea)
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Looking beautiful! I really like seeing the garden overview taken from above.
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Thanks, Rainbowgardener. :D I like the birds-eye view, too. I can take pictures from upstairs Windows for three sides of the house. Unfortunately, for the fourth side, I have to get out on the garage roof.... :lol:
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

I'm falling behind on planting the started corn -- this is the drawback with the two-step and three-step process.

Image

But I was able to plant the corn seedlings according to height, in a regular pattern and spacing. THAT'S the advantage. Image

Have I posted a recent map for the VG beds? Here's the latest version:
Image

...and a collage of VGB and VGD with VGE/SIP
Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

How do you like your Arkansas black? I planted one last year with the idea of it being a keeper for winter storage.
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

I'm loving it. Super disease resistant, full spicy depths to flavor that makes them useful in baked goods even when harvested early and that I think are what makes backyard apples so great, very nice size to the fruits, too, and productive.
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Pruned the espalier Magness pear and fertilized the onions in the HBR (Haybale Row)
Image


TOP LEFT: Since I'm completely out of space for planting cherry tomatoes which will be tied to spiral stakes and pruned to a cordon/sentinel like last year, I forked and dug up along the inside of the garden area fence, tuning over the sod and then piling up all topsoil from the right side of the path.
BOTTOM LEFT AND RIGHT: Planted more Mirai350Bc corn and Kandy Korn x Glass Gem F1
Image

Also planted pre-sprouted Scarlet Runner beans in the SFH (sunflower house) at the right near corner and right side of the arch trellis.

This is the map -- blocks with no dates are still to be planted.
Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

applestar wrote:I'm loving it. Super disease resistant, full spicy depths to flavor that makes them useful in baked goods even when harvested early and that I think are what makes backyard apples so great, very nice size to the fruits, too, and productive.

Glad to hear it! Now you got me thinking about apple pie :-()
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Looking so beautiful! Fills up fast, eh? Wish we could give you some of our room!
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

I'm TIRED today! I have a scythe that I break out when the backyard lawn and weeds get too tall for my cheap manual push mower. I have an agreement with DH that he won't mow the grass around the backyard food garden with his gas mower except for the stretch he uses from the shed to the front yard gate, and even then minimally so he can guide the self-propelled mower along the center and not right alongside the strawberries and other beds because I'm sure that if I can be overwhelmed by the exhaust fumes, there are airborne particulates that would get on our food. Besides, I harvest and use some of the "weeds" in the lawn, and use the clippings for mulch and compost.

I started out thinking I was just going to cut down the comfrey patch, but got caught up and basically mowed the back yard. I'm still not good at it, plus where the lawn grass is only tall in wispy seed stalks they are not as easy to catch unless the scythe was just honed, so some just get crimped or flattened and they will stand back up again. But it's a fun, soothing and satisfying activity.

...BUT!... Obviously the side to side scythe swinging motion used core muscles I'm not used to using and I'm feeling the deep burn today :D
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Wow, just wow! I mean you've earned this gorgeous world you've created, but still, I WANT!! What does VG stand for in your raised bed? Also, have you used SIPs before and should I consider them? I am most certainly not super handy (I did put together my tumbler composter with its requisite gazillion screws, but there was not cutting or drilling or power tools involved). Can you tell me about your SIPs - whether a novice can do it and whether there are versions that can be made for considerably less than $100?

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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Thank you so much for your kind words KitchenGardener. Your question prompted me to go find the debut post for my VG beds :()
Subject: Vegetable Garden Design Tue May 27, 2008 7:35 pm
applestar wrote:I just finished planting MY new raised veg beds. Mine are strictly utilitarian but here they are:
Image

Image

They are made with 8" metal raised bed corners from Gardener's Supply:
I used cedar 2x4's instead of 2x8's because they're cheaper, and also because they let me adjust for the sloped area without having to make angled cuts. So the lower beds (B), (C)-(D) are 2 2x4's high and the taller bed (A) is 4 2x4's high.
(A) 4'x4' (B) 4'x6' (C) 2'x6' (D) 2'x4'

I found out by accident that putting the 12" raised bed stakes: inside the corners creates a handy place to put cedar 1x1 stakes. I have the short vinyl coated wire fence secured to the stakes with tie wraps (google for an image if you don't know what that is). It's not in these photo's but I planted broccoli with the potatoes and carrots in (A), so I put up more fence around (A).

The veg garden is mostly for my kids' benefit so they're mostly planted with their favorites:
(A) carrots, potatoes, broccoli, soybean (edamame)
(B) sweet corn, pumpkin, scarlet runner bean, nasturtium, parsley, dill. Also Moonflower in a corner by the fence
(C) sweet corn, pickling cucumber, sunflowers, dill. Also Moonflower by the fence and clematis in the corner
(D) peas, tomato, basil, dill
I based the plant spacing on square foot gardening.

I really like the hooped netting. I just bought 2 more for another part of the garden (Sunflower House) It's also from Gardener's Supply:

My main concern is bunnies and neighbor's cats. I was protecting the corn with the Garden Quilt (heavier than floating row cover, only 60% light transmission) until they were big enough. So I've taken that off now. The groundhog may or may not venture all the way to this area.
As you can see, these VG beds have been expanded and re-configured over the years. :wink:
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Follow this link for more about SIP. I'm stil totally new to this concept, having only started using these freebie 2nd hand ones last year (I didn't build them myself), but other members have been using them a lot longer and are much more experienced:

Subject: Self Watering Container and Sub-irrigated Planter
applestar wrote:I "cheated" -- I was offered the home made tote planters in the back of this picture for free and could not resist :()

Image

I'll take better pictures to show later after have the chance to I look them over. These will get my project started with chance to observe how they work. I still kind of like the elegance of the design with perforated tubes laying on th bottom though... But I believe the limitation in that design is the limited depth of the reservoir.
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Yesterday's harvest
Image

Rumex sanguineus var. sanguineus - Plant Finder
https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/ ... rcode=b294

Peas and lettuce in hanging baskets
Image
VGA from front and back

Limba broccoli in last year's eggplant SIP
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Re: Applestar's 2015 Garden

I received some Garden Cress seeds as a bonus in trade... And I'm LOVING them :D

-- peppery flavor just like the (unbelievably) related Nasturtiums, which is my go to lettuce sub in sandwiches and salad must-haves in the summer. But my nasturtiums are still small right now while the Garden Cress is flourishing. I sowed the Garden Cress on 4/11 right around same time as planting potatoes and onion transplants in this window box of salad and sandwich fixin's

Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Image

These Blauwschokker Blue soup peas NEED to be planted. can you see the one Marrowfat Pea seedling that I missed planting last time? They have a unique paired double tendril shoots that make them easy to identify.

I finally got the Spiral Garden Annex ready today, so hopefully tomorrow is planting day.

Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Planted Blauwschokker Blue peas and Kakai squash in SGAX
Image -- pre-starting does provide instant gratification Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

I picked up Detroit Dark Red and Avalanche beet seeds at Agway. Soaked overnight and sowed some in a mounded row with extra fertilizer added.

Earliest of the radishes are starting to come in, but some of them are starting to bolt also (and then there seems to be some very late ones that haven't shown any sign of bulging.... I wonder if I should fertilize some more). I think there was a day or two when I should have watered instead of hoping for rain. Now that we did have rain, baby slugs are all over them. :x

VGA -- under the insect screen, Found a big slug and a couple of little ones that were wreaking havoc :evil:

Image
5/23 ETA -- loose leaf Chinese cabbage Osaka Shirona in the middle right and heading type Kyoto No.3 in the front, with Tatsoi in between and Komatsuna (another loose leaf) in the front to the left with left-behind volunteer garlic and 2nd yr Lunar carrots and parsley that I'm hoping to get seeds from. Broccoli in the back. IcebergA lettuce along the right ... Etc. etc. Image
...caught another giant slug trying to get away in here this morning Image


Today's harvest Image

TOP LEFT salad fixin's -- lettuce (thinned and cut-and-come IcebergA, Bibb, volunteer red, Mascara), Garden Cress, arugula, earliest radishes (bunny tail, Swiss melange), baby red Russian kale. yellow kale flowers and buds, violet flowers and baby leaves, plantain baby leaves, broccoli side shoots, magenta spreen/Spinach Tree (basically lambs quarters with magenta colored new leaves), red orach.
TOP RIGHT: stir fry greens -- loose leaf Chinese cabbage Osaka Shirona, Tatsoi, kale flower shoots, purple passion asparagus, radish tops, bolting celery and carrot tops.
Image
BOTTOM LEFT (aromatic herbs) my fuzzy spearmint (I have another patch with same shape leaves but no fuzz), peppermint, chervil, parsley, lemon balm,
BOTTOM-RIGHT -- strawberries :D
Last edited by applestar on Mon May 23, 2016 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added description of VGA vegs.
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

I like all the color in the top left bowl applestar, what all do you have in there?
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Salad fixin's -- had them with my dinner topped with sliced kiwi, kalamata olives, couple of blobs of hummus, EVOO,
Edited the above post with caption for the harvest collage. :wink:
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Beautiful GGS (good green stuff) Applestar! I have great luck capturing slugs using little yogurt cups (the wide-mouth kind) with beer-bait. They slide in and drown. I scoop out a little hole, so the rim is at soil level, empty and replenish every day or so.

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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Thanks! I found a few more big' uns between garlic stems and leaves yesterday, and two of the runner beans have lacework leaves. I did put down some DE but am planning to go at them using several different methods. :twisted:

Right now my main concern is protecting the blushing Sea Scape strawberries from birds. This morning, I saw a catbird in the Spiral Garden. With robins, they could be looking for worms or nesting material, but catbirds will start visiting about a week to a few days before the berries start ripen in earnest :x

I've had my share of frustration to the point of nearly bursting into tears over the typical black plastic bird netting that tangle up easily in larger sizes. So this year, I opted for nylon woven fishnet type. I'm not one to measure, but I lucked out and this one turned out pretty much perfect for the Inner Spiral, and my makeshift hoops seem to be adequate for the job with the wire compost bin holding up the middle.

Image

I was a bit sorry because I saw a house wren hunting around by the compost bin earlier. I will have to keep an eye on the situation in case any bird gets caught up in the netting. I also still have to secure the netting -- just draped over for now -- earth staple the edges down, and I also bought a wire pet cage crimping doo-dad as well as net hooks. Just have to do it when not so mind-wiped from solid morning spent on planting gotta plant them NOW pre-germinated seeds. :roll: ( do you see the little cardboard tent I had to set up for an inadequately hardened off seedling? I hope that will be sufficient. :| )
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Updated my maps for these beds Image

Image

Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

So, yesterday, what I did was take those seedzipped sprouted cucurbits, and instead of planting them in little cups safely in the house, planted them directly in the garden. Of course it was a blazing hot, sunny day -- and these delicate seedlings were so tender that cotyledons of a squash in one zeedzip that I'd accidentally left where the sun moved around to shine on it lost the tips of its seedleaves from being burned in a matter of minutes. :eek:

I knew though, that I was taking a chance, and I watered them in as I planted so that the soil and the 1/2-1 cup of potting mix I put in each hole swirled around and covered the seedlings with fine particles (a little sunblock), and then I put a clump of the raked dry grass thatch I had used for mulching the strawberries over the seedlings so they would have a little shade and humidity.

Even so, I wasn't positive they would make it. But today, it looks like they have raised themselves up from being plastered onto the soil, and some of the more vigorous squash had push the grass up and aside.

Here's a panoramic collage I made of the Spiral Garden Annex where I planted Kakai squash to occupy and hopefully, thoroughly shade out the weeds at the ground level, and H-19 Littleleaf cucumbers to climb the short fence with the Blawschokker Blue peas.

You saw the map before, but I'll include for reference. I intend to plant Shitokiwa cucumber along the outer Spiral in the back, along the path on the other side of the trellis netting where the peas will grow first. Even though that will skirt the "Buffer Zone", there are shrubbery planted on both our side and their side of the fence along that particular stretch, so it's not too likely that anything they spray on their side will reach the cucumbers, and in any case, the fruits are more likely to push past the trellis to the sunnier Inner Spiral side to grow, and worst case, the cucumber leaves will also provide another layer of barricade to protect the Inner Spiral.

Image

The photo on the right is the border bed between VCD raised bed of radishes and VGC. I planted pre-germinated Pickarow pickling cucumbers here and Luffa on the north (closest in the photo) end. I'm hoping to create a shaded bed here for heat sensitive plants and possibly get an early start for the fall harvesting crops. You might be able to count four small clumps of dry grass shading the sprouted cucumber seedlings, and the one large clump of dry grass shading the Luffa seedlings. :()
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

VGB corn patch with Marrowfat peas and the insect mesh covered VGA.

If the Mirai350BC corn seedlings don't hurry up and surge ahead, they are going to get overwhelmed by the aggressive double tendriled Marrowfat Peas. Image


I found some cabbageworm damage on unprotected broccoli elsewhere, but these ones under the cover will hopefully stay safe. up to now, the Asian greens and the broccoli have been WAY shading out the corn. Even though VGA was planted first and the insect screen offered some protection and warmth from the cold temperatures, at this rate, the VGB seedlings will overtake the VGA and it will be the VGA that will be the later harvested corn (IF they make it to full size and maturity)

Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

FWIW -- the pallet sided raised bed on the fence end of the VGB -- behind me as I'm standing on the walkway•swale in between -- has been in use as yard waste compost pile, covered with a skylight window that I had picked up (it still has aeration from the open pallet slats on the sides). I watched the weeds, etc debris dry up and perhaps get solarlized, condensation on the double-glazed glass soaking back in, then wormsigns -- earthworm casting mounds -- at first dotting here and there, but by yesterday, the entire surface under the window consisted of solid castings... So I put down another layer -- mostly cover crop vetch pulled as they were starting to bloom, as well as some shrubby prunings. Covered with the window again. We will see.

Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

See that wasp on the bottom right edge of the window? Prolly looking for a nice fat cabbage worm! :twisted:
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Yep, they are really great -- they get inside the broccoli heads and cabbage leaves, inside corn leaves -- all the places that are hard for me to poke around.

...it's getting too hot here and I had to start harvesting some of the broccoli --

Image
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

We've been going through a summer-level heat wave. My Peas have only just started to bloom and just starting to set pods.

Image
Image

It's going to be rainy/cloudy and in 70's, low 80's tomorrow, and then things are going to actually cool down with highs of 70's for a while. So hopefully they will hang in there and give us a full harvest.

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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

I saw you mentioned in another topic ( weeks ago???) that you make a banana peel tonic and do foliage sprays with that. Correct?

If so, have you noticed a decrease in aphids?

The reason I ask, is because I read SOMEWHERE, that leaving banana peels around the base of the plant helps to keep them away..... I don't think so.... But it did get me thinking about foliar banana tonic spray, and if it might have any uses for aphids.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Nah, that was for the winter -- just for fun and variation in feeding the container plants in the Winter Indoor a Garden (and keeping the worms in the containers fed). It's easier to just toss the banana peel in the compost pile now. :P
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Update :mrgreen:

Espalier Fence Row, Haybale Row, Sunflower House and Extension, Raspberry Fence Row
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Corn and Peas, etc. in the Sunflower House
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Planted pre-germinated adzuki beans everywhere I could squeeze them in, including among the partly planted cherry tomatoes in the new Raspberry Fence Row Extension dubbed "2016 Cherry Lane", between Marrowfat and Swiss Giant peas in the SFH, alongside Chickpeas in the outer Spiral Garden.
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Overview of this area including the Spiral Garden Annex of Blauwschokker soup peas, H-19 Littleleaf cucumbers, and Kakai hulless seed squash
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

beautiful! It looks a little like a labyrinth. I hope my circle garden will eventually have that effect too -- it won't be a labyrinth, but it may remind you of one a bit.
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

The Spiral Garden is a lot of fun. It's great to watch the garden fill in as the season progresses with any size bed, but this one takes on a well-defined spiral ...then eventually turns into a mounded jungle, and depending on what is planted for the rotation, I literally have to push my way in between and under the canopy. ha.
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Didn't you say you are about to pull your peas, Rainbowgardener?

My first harvest just started with the Golden Sweet snowpeas:

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My two hanging basket of peas are bearing pods, too -- they will be ready soon. The extra tall one that's falling over is Green Arrow and is normally about 4 ft tall and need support. The other one is Sugar Daddy, I think.
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

VGA today --

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Kyoto No.3 heading Nappa in the front looks like it might be starting to form a head. There are three but only the one in the middle is progressing well -- guess I planted them too close :roll: You can see the corn trying to get through (not the volunteer garlic in the front left but the grassy looking leaves among the big leaves). I keep harvesting the loose leaf Osaka Shirona, thinning and cutting IcebergA lettuce that I'm not saving to head up, and the Komatsuna to give Mirai350bc corn the chance to keep growing while we wait for the *spring* greens to finish up. I'm harvesting the main heads from these broccoli, too. Successful succession in here is going to be touch-and-go. :> Insect screen is keeping them safe from the cabbage white butterflies that are starting to flit everywhere and dumping eggs under the leaves of unprotected broccoli and kale leaves. :x

OH YEAH -- I saw the baby praying mantis still in here. It had molted to a green instar maybe not quite 2 inches long. :-()
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applestar
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Re: Applestar's 2016 Garden

Cabbage white butterfly kaleidoscope has arrived -- I imagin this would be the second or third generation since they start showing up in ones and twos in very early spring.

Now, they are everywhere, and I swear they are mocking me. They flit by when my hands are full. They flutter up from where I'm heading to do something else. I look out of the window and they cross my field of view. They are dumping eggs -- so many! Even on runty plants. I can only successfully catch them -- one at a time -- maybe 1 out of 4 tries with the butterfly net. And they ALWAYS not only appear but flutter near when I don't have the net.

I don't really like Bt but might to have to bite the bullet. I can live with using Bt if I do it very carefully and put only on the brassica. I can't use anything else that affects other insects because I'm seeing way too many beneficial insects everywhere -- hover flies, robber flies, tiny little beneficial wasps -- braconids, trichogrammas, aphid mummy makers -- praying mantis babies are scurrying everywhere and ladybug larvae and pupae. Paper wasps are looking for caterpillars already. I realized I can't use DE dust against slugs because ground spiders are everywhere on the mulch.

Hmm... And the birds will be gathering food to feed their babies too.

I'm half tempted to rely on the numerous Garden Patrol that are already here, but I know from past experience that they are not 100% effective, and won't help with keeping broccoli heads clean -- I may decide to just harvest the remaining broccoli at whatever stage they are in. Cabbage and kale generally fare better, and I only have to remove the worst affected leaves. I think I planted cauliflower too late -- they are still only in leaf stage.
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