bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Indeterminates doing well
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Starting to ripen fruit!
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Siletz determinate has had ripe fruit for a couple days now.
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And finally seeing some new growth on in-ground peppers... so I think the buckwheat trick is working to keep the symphs off them.
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

May 15th lettuce/broccoli bed
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Yukon gold potatoes, probably on their last hilling. Noticed flowers starting on some of the largest ones.
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Brussels sprouts and "Summer Purple" broccoli. Supposedly this is a purple sprouting type that will bloom without over-wintering. We shall see.
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June lettuce/broc bed
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Herbs! Cilantro, summer savory, and basil. The dill is really slow-going and still not very big at this point. I'm wondering if it's a slow-growing plant? If not, the symphylans may be eating it.
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Front bed
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Some harvest
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Every year I grow sunflowers and I get these bees feeding on the nectar... I call them "drunk" because they sit there gorging themselves, then are unable to fly away. They'll literally hang out, covered in pollen, without moving, for hours.
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And a garden project... dog fence built! I adopted a rescue a couple months ago and have been tripping over the makeshift chicken wire fence I put up ever since. Finally got around to building a proper fence to keep her out of the garden.
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Taiji
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

It all looks great.

I'm a couple days away from my first ripe tomatoes. Unfortunately these are fruit that set long before our ongoing 100+ heat wave. Was looking at your little shade structure in a previous photo and got to thinking maybe I could roll out some shade cloth over the top of my structure where the tomatoes are. Maybe I could get some new fruit set.

As it is, I will have a long lull between tomatoes once the ones that are on there now are gone. In the meantime, we wait for the summer monsoons down this way! They will moderate day and night time temps and things will do much better.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Bri,

When do you harvest your potatoes? I am struggling to determine the time that I should harvest. My potatoes are just about done flowering.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Nice - I am no where close to having ripe tomatoes! Grr...

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Taiji wrote:Was looking at your little shade structure in a previous photo and got to thinking maybe I could roll out some shade cloth over the top of my structure where the tomatoes are.
.......
In the meantime, we wait for the summer monsoons down this way! They will moderate day and night time temps and things will do much better.
Monsoons sound like the kind of thing that could wreak havoc on some hastily tied down shade cloth, so be careful!

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

wisconsindead wrote:Bri,

When do you harvest your potatoes? I am struggling to determine the time that I should harvest. My potatoes are just about done flowering.
Once flowering stops, the vines will start pumping all their energy into producing potatoes underground. When the vines brown and die back, they're spent and you can dig potatoes. How long this period between flowering and vines dying back lasts depends on lots of factors, not the least of which is weather and watering.

I recommend cutting off watering when you start to notice the vines deteriorating (the first signs of yellowing/browning, the vine will usually slowly die back for another week or so). This will harden the skins of the potatoes a little more to improve storage. So you also want to dig when there hasn't been rain for a week+ if possible.

If the weather is warm and the soil moist at the end of the cycle, the potatoes will sprout in-ground and this is obviously very bad for your harvest and to be avoided.

So basically the trick is to try and have your vines die back when the weather has started to cool a bit and is expected to be dry, but if they die back early the potatoes can be fine in the ground, to be dug later, as long as it's dry. If they die back early and you can't keep them dry, dig them immediately.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

bri80 wrote:
wisconsindead wrote:Bri,

When do you harvest your potatoes? I am struggling to determine the time that I should harvest. My potatoes are just about done flowering.
Once flowering stops, the vines will start pumping all their energy into producing potatoes underground. When the vines brown and die back, they're spent and you can dig potatoes. How long this period between flowering and vines dying back lasts depends on lots of factors, not the least of which is weather and watering.

I recommend cutting off watering when you start to notice the vines deteriorating (the first signs of yellowing/browning, the vine will usually slowly die back for another week or so). This will harden the skins of the potatoes a little more to improve storage. So you also want to dig when there hasn't been rain for a week+ if possible.

If the weather is warm and the soil moist at the end of the cycle, the potatoes will sprout in-ground and this is obviously very bad for your harvest and to be avoided.

So basically the trick is to try and have your vines die back when the weather has started to cool a bit and is expected to be dry, but if they die back early the potatoes can be fine in the ground, to be dug later, as long as it's dry. If they die back early and you can't keep them dry, dig them immediately.
Thanks Bri

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

I suspect raccoon or rat as the perp eating my ripe tomatoes. Any tomato too close to the ground is subject to this. Not a huge deal once my staked indeterminates start ripening further up the vine, but kind of annoying right now. Although I suppose if it's a rat, it could climb the vines/stakes a lot easier than a raccoon.
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Back yard wider shot. The empty beds are getting ready for fall/winter crops.
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Well, I snuck out to the garden with a flashlight tonight and busted one very naughty rat eating my tomatoes! So mystery solved... now to figure out what to do about it. I don't believe in killing animals just because they're trying to survive, and I live in a city, so rats are part of the environment.

A few years ago I had a rat living in my strawberry patch. It never left. It'd sit there eating strawberries all day long and felt perfectly safe under the cover of the thick leaves in the patch.

Raccoons would have been easier to deal with, but rats are smart, can fit through smaller openings, and can climb my staked tomatoes without knocking them over. This will be a difficult one to solve.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Oh no! I hope you find a good, acceptable solution.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

So I think I'm going to try a spray of essential oils. Apparently mint, lemongrass and thyme are effective rat deterrents. Going to pick up some essential oils today and mix something up into a spray bottle and spray around the base of the plants. I do wonder if it will affect the taste of the tomatoes for me, too, though.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

April broccoli. Getting lots of side shoots from these. Honestly I don't know why I mess around with other varieties, the one in the foreground is the variety that constantly produces best for me (Arcadia). It grows bigger plants, with bigger heads, and more side shoots. The others are a hybrid variety pack. Produced ok. I think it's all Arcadia from now on, except for MAYBE 1 early sowing of a couple fast-maturing hybrids, we'll see.
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And my other front yard bed... completely covered in veggies! I have to constantly pick the chard leaves away from the longer-growing stuff like onions and carrots. The carrots are looking like they're fattening up, so I will probably pull one or two soon. I wish the cauliflower would head up already so I could pull them out and give the rest of the plants some more room!
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Brussels/summer purple... growth seems to be slowing. Time to side dress some fert, I think. Also considering spraying the brussels with some neem oil. I have never successfully grown them due to aphids/cabbage worms, and it's been a couple years since I've tried. I remember now how hard it is to get in there with soap spray and get them, they're starting to be an issue again.
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Yellow crookneck and siletz, with dill in between. The dill has really been a disappointment, I think the symphylans got to them. I started new ones in pots to see if they do better.
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Yukon gold potatoes. As an experiment, I planted this bed with the largest seed potatoes on the left, and the smallest on the right. Clearly, the size of the seed potato makes a big difference in the size of the plants (and then, most likely, the size of the harvest).
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May broc/lettuce bed... been harvesting lettuce here. About to take another 7 plants.
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June broc/lettuce.
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Indeterminate tomatoes, over 6' tall and bearing heavily!
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Herbs! Summer savory and basil!
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Looking great. Cool potato experiment

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

So planting buckwheat in with the peppers seems to have done the trick to keep the symphs off. These plants had been "stuck" for weeks, with ZERO new growth. Finally growing again now that the buckwheat got in there. I just cut this buckwheat back about halfway, added some fertilizer, and will wait another week or two before cutting the buckwheat all the way back. Hopefully, that will have provided enough of a growth spurt for the peppers that the symph predation will not impact them as much. But, I am considering sowing another round of buckwheat, hoping that if I can continue to give the peppers a few more weeks of unencumbered growth into August, they'll be big enough to bear some decent fruit in the late-summer/fall.
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New growth!
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Pepper shots.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Love your posts - excellent photos and great narrative. I've been gardening for years, but always feel like there is more to learn!

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

KitchenGardener wrote:Love your posts - excellent photos and great narrative. I've been gardening for years, but always feel like there is more to learn!
Thanks!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Was that white one Roumanian Rainbow? Or maybe Antohi Romanian?
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

applestar wrote:Was that white one Roumanian Rainbow? Or maybe Antohi Romanian?
It's "Cozumel." The picture makes it look whiter than it is, they're actually a pale yellow and ripen to full red:
https://www.territorialseed.com/product/ ... epper-seed

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Ah ha! Thanks!
Sounds like a good one. It's a hybrid but I might make an exception. I'll keep it in mind. Let us know how you like it.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Made a quart and a half of pesto!
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Side shoots from the front yard bed. Because the main heads formed during a heat wave, some of these side shoots were larger than the main heads. This is the advantage of NOT growing a bed intensely, and giving the broccoli new, fertile soil to grow into even as the main head matures.
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Pulled the first carrots! These are good-sized but subsequent ones should be longer.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

How would you compare the tastes of the various carrot varieties you grow!

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

KitchenGardener wrote:How would you compare the tastes of the various carrot varieties you grow!
Good question, I'm not much of a connoisseur but the purple ones (Purple Haze), are definitely much sweeter.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

applestar wrote:Ah ha! Thanks!
Sounds like a good one. It's a hybrid but I might make an exception. I'll keep it in mind. Let us know how you like it.
I've only still got unripe ones, but I like the flavor, although they're not hot at all. Maybe they will get hotter as they ripen.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Planted the last of the broccoli for this year (I usually grow a couple over-wintered ones that I start later). Been spraying neem oil a bit as the aphids have suddenly gotten bad.

Harvesting: peppers, broccoli, lettuce, chard, carrots, a few tomatoes but still battling the rat, tons of herbs, blueberries.

Getting ready for fall/winter plantings: spinach (in pots to avoid symphs!), kale, collards, purple sprouting broccoli, maybe a cauliflower or two if I have room.

Today's stir fry from the garden:
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Apparently the cauliflower I planted is a purple variety! Fun surprise. :) I looked up my seed order, and it's "Mulberry."
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Onions starting to bulb up!
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Broccoli head forming.
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Wider shots of the front yard beds.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Bri: what have you found (if anything) to combat your rat problem? I have a large yard with a small garden next to the house and a large back area which used to be my garden until it was discovered and consumed by critters - rats, racoons and possums. After several years of nothing back there except mile high weeds, I reclaimed it and planted flower seeds for a cutting garden. Watched all my seedlings come up and flourish, until, over two very hot nights, the critter came out and snacked on all my cosmos, then came back for my poppies and agrostemma. :evil: I am very angry. I started again. This time, I'd like to do something to deter them. Pepper spray? Is that okay for 6" seedlings?

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Oh, and love your purple broccoli - that is gorgeous!

bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

KitchenGardener wrote:Bri: what have you found (if anything) to combat your rat problem? I have a large yard with a small garden next to the house and a large back area which used to be my garden until it was discovered and consumed by critters - rats, racoons and possums. After several years of nothing back there except mile high weeds, I reclaimed it and planted flower seeds for a cutting garden. Watched all my seedlings come up and flourish, until, over two very hot nights, the critter came out and snacked on all my cosmos, then came back for my poppies and agrostemma. :evil: I am very angry. I started again. This time, I'd like to do something to deter them. Pepper spray? Is that okay for 6" seedlings?
I've never had a problem with raccoons or possums troubling my garden. They aren't interested. Rats, on the other hand, have been an issue.

I'm still trying to figure it out. I tried spraying the ripe tomatoes and surrounding area with a slug repellent that is basically the same essential oils that I've read repel rats. It kinda helped, but it seeemed if I didn't spray every night I'd lose tomatoes. So next I'm going to mix my own essential oil spray and give that a try.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Peppers finally with some good growth. Just cut all the buckwheat back, added fertilizer, then planted more buckwheat. I think I want the buckwheat to help in there until early August, then the peppers will be on their own.
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Yellow crookneck took over. No female flowers yet.
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Potatoes in full bloom. I expect a great harvest from this patch.
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Brussels sprouts and summer purple broc.
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May and June broc/lettuce beds.
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And indeterminate tomatoes!
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

First purple cauliflower! 4 more that should be sizing up in the next few days. Going to be a week of cauliflower! Have to get creative, maybe make some soup that I can freeze or something.
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Wider shots of the back yard garden today. The tomatoes are over 7' tall, and I stopped pruning, but the way the light hits and with the bamboo in the background, you can hardly see them. :(
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

I'm eager to hear if the purple cauliflower turn green when cooked like purple beans 8)

Everything looks great! You got this gardening thing down! :clap:

...yeah, and if you push the exposure so the tomatoes show up, the foreground stuff gets washed out, right? Well I can see your fun step-ladder like tomato supports and separate out the tomato foliage from the bamboo. :wink:
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bri80
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

applestar wrote:I'm eager to hear if the purple cauliflower turn green when cooked like purple beans 8)
Seed packet says: "After cooking, the color deepens to a blue-purple, and a dash of vinegar on a raw floret turns it to a brilliant magenta." I'll let you know, though!

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Yep, turned deep blue-purple on the grill! Delicious, too.... 1 down, 4 more to go.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Today's haul. The onions were a little crowded so I took a few as thinnings so the rest can size up properly.
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

It all looks great! Please keep us posted on whether your homemade essential oil spray is a success at fending off the rats.

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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Looking great! I love that blue-purple when cooked cauliflower! Scary-looking, but cool.

It would be great as part of weird veg crudités for Halloween party..... Image
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Re: Bri's 2017 veggie garden

Planted spinach for the fall, and kale and over-wintered broccoli for the winter today. Supposed to be getting a heat wave, so I started them all inside. Hopefully it cools off before they out-grow the containers for the first transplant.

Still eating too much cauliflower!! But it's fun, and healthy. :)



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