EcoVogue
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Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:03 am
Location: West of Atlanta

Newbie with several questions…

This is my first season actually having a garden. So I feel a little silly asking basic questions but I haven't been able to find what I need via google or the search feature of this forum.

Here goes... First off I'm about 30-45 mins west of Atlanta I'm sitting pretty smack dab on the line between 7a and 7b.

I bought a yellow bell pepper plant as a seedling from home depot. I've already had a bit of trouble with a tomato plant I bought at the same time turning out to be cherry rather than beefsteak and no amount of pruning or watering or fertilizing has changed the size of the tiny toms one bit... I have a ton of cherry tomatoes though :) Anyway back to the peppers. The peppers are HUGE... double my fist size... and they aren't starting to change from green to yellow like I was expecting... Did I end up with another swap? Am I supposed to do something to get them to change color? Any advice?

Also should I be pruning my pumpkin and melon vines, like you do with tomatoes?

Does anyone around know when I should be planting my fall harvest crops... the packets all say from july-aug. but then warn about them not germinating in hot weather... those are the two hottest months here...

My iceberg lettuce (which I was probably overly advantageous in thinking I could grow during summer season) bolted. Should I try and save seeds for a fall crop... If so how do I do that?

and lastly I've got some sort of pear tree in my beck yard, anyone got any advice on finding out more about it?


Thanks in advance!

LoreD
Full Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Chicago Suburbs

I can answer a few of your questions. Your peppers are fine. They will change color when they are ready to change.

You can harvest lettuce for almost the whole summer, no matter how hot it gets. Go to a fabric store and buy some burlap. It usually costs about $3 for a 3 foot by 4.5 foot piece. They also have it at garden supply and hardware stores. You take some metal coat hangers and pull the straight piece into a curve. Pull the part that hangs on the rod straight and stick in the ground several feet apart along your lettuce or spinach rows and then cover with the burlap. Place rocks on the sides of the burlap to prevent it from blowing off during high winds. These hoops should hold the burlap off the the vegetables.

The burlap should shade your plants and lower the temperature 15-20 degrees. Last year here in Chicago we had record 100 degree temps all summer and I grew lettuce, spinach, and chard all summer under this shade cloth.

You do not need to prune your pumpkins or melons.

I don't know your fall planting schedule. You should contact your local university extension or ask some local gardeners.

LoreD

EcoVogue
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Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:03 am
Location: West of Atlanta

Thanks LoreD for all the help.

I was thinking of planting a second crop of lettuce in a shaddy spot in the front of my house, but I was worried it woouldn't get enough sun. Now I might give the burlap shade and the front yard shade a try :)

underthemagnolia
Full Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:54 pm
Location: Zone 7b, Cherokee County, GA

Welcome to the board EcoVogue.

As far as buying mislabeled plants, it can happen anywhere, but I find it happens most reliably at big box stores like Home Depot and Walmart.
I stopped buying vegetable plants in general unless I couldn't find the seeds I wanted and then I bought the plants from a local nursery.

The good news, it's not too late to get nice big tomatoes this year! Find a friend with a healthy big tomato plant and ask for a cutting and root it yourself. Our season is so long, you can start a plant in July and still get a great crop. You'll have the benefit of seeing the tomato from the plant you choose. You'll be sure to get similar fruit.

Happy Gardening!
Pixie

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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:42 am
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

Re: Newbie with several questions…

EcoVogue wrote:Here goes... First off I'm about 30-45 mins west of Atlanta I'm sitting pretty smack dab on the line between 7a and 7b.
OK, I'm an hour and a half NW of Alt, so I am familiar. Near Cartersville, I guess? Anyway - you have it pretty hot there, I'd vote for saying 7a.
EcoVogue wrote:Does anyone around know when I should be planting my fall harvest crops... the packets all say from july-aug. but then warn about them not germinating in hot weather... those are the two hottest months here...
Can you germinate them in the shade, or just morning sun? Once they get good size, in wide pots, you can get them used to full sun in September. I have been doing this with a few plants since I lived in FL, to keep things from frying to a crisp!
EcoVogue wrote:My iceberg lettuce (which I was probably overly advantageous in thinking I could grow during summer season) bolted. Should I try and save seeds for a fall crop... If so how do I do that?
You know, I have never tried to save those seeds! Hopefully someone else does. Just as easy to spend a dollar and get a new package. I save my tomato seeds from the best plants each year, but that's it.
EcoVogue wrote:and lastly I've got some sort of pear tree in my beck yard, anyone got any advice on finding out more about it?
I'd try taking pictures of it to a local garden center - not a box store, but one thats independently owned. Or even some nurseries may help with that, if you call and let them know you are coming.

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