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Old 06-17-2017, 08:30 AM
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Corn and my CSA Plans?I still have some time to do a trial corn crop. Ultimately I would need to experiment with staggered plantings to have a 4 week harvest.

Isnt this fun?
You might need more than one bed for staggered plantings to cover a month of picking. I think today I'm going to count the corn stalks in the row patch and track how many ears I get from them just for data grins and giggles. That might provide some input for the ears per stalk calculation. Will be doing the first picking in a day or two.

Edited to say I posted this before reading your later post about doing one bed per planting. Should be an interesting experiment.
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:21 PM
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Another Market Day Done

The rain has held off, and folks were in a spending mood. It all started at about 5:50 this morning. I stepped outside, you could cut the air with a knife. It rained overnight so Im surprised it was so humid.

Folks started milling about around 7. The usual crowd who knows to come early to get the best stuff. My usuals came by, almost like clockwork. The cranky lady from 2 weeks ago came by. She wanted to inform me that the Roma Beans from last week were tasty. Heres the conversation from my best recollection:

Me: Hows it going...
Her: I want you to know that those beans were good, which really surprised me.

Honestly, why bother? Im glad she thought I was selling her an inferior product that turned out to exceed her expectations.

Eventually all of us sold out of tomatoes. I could have sold probably another 50 pounds worth. Easily! But alas. The only thing I brought home was about a dozen cucumbers.

Farmer J and Farmer H started bringing in the Corn. Guess they have to flex their muscles. Then, the absolute Arch Enemy, "Farmer $1" showed up. Let me explain..

Farmer $1 sells EVERYTHING for $1. Maters $1 per pound. Cucumbers $1 per pound, etc. Everything is a buck. Farmer J and Farmer H really despise this guy. I think its a hoot, cause with simple observation, most of the customers that shop the $1 booth never show up too buy from anyone else. Once they exhaust the $1 customer base, thats it. Which is fine by me, they will sell out super fast, then talk to folks for the rest of the time.

To me, thats not competition. Thats someone who has nothing else to do..

Another day done!


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Originally Posted by Lord Darwath View Post
If they all come ready at the same time that works.

I guess I hadn't thought of it because I also do double duty and use the stalks for Halloween decorations, so I kinda want them to dry out while still standing.
Ok, glad thats cleared up cause I was really confused.

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You might need more than one bed for staggered plantings to cover a month of picking. I think today I'm going to count the corn stalks in the row patch and track how many ears I get from them just for data grins and giggles. That might provide some input for the ears per stalk calculation. Will be doing the first picking in a day or two.

Edited to say I posted this before reading your later post about doing one bed per planting. Should be an interesting experiment.
Definitely share the data. It would be very useful.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:11 PM
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Chad, those peppers really look good. I just got mine transplanted into the garden a week ago and you're selling peppers!!

I did get to both markets today. The first (small new one) had very little produce. One vendor with a lot of beets and onions and another with a bowl of small pickles for 25 cents each.

The larger, long term market in a bigger town had a lot more. Loads od root crops and berries and cauliflower but only two vendors with tomatoes. Most everything was selling for $3.00 a pound. In my opinion, the tomatoes were mediocre. Of course it is the first ones but in mid summer mine are much superior.

One guy had new potatoes for $3.00 per pound and cabbages (small) were priced at $3.00 per head. If I could sell all I can produce at that price, I could make a fortune. The only thing I saw that was superior quality to what I normally produce was their radishes. Three dollars seemed to be the magic number. Squash, radishes, potatoes, tomatoes, all gouing at that price.

My focus now is to get my high tunnel erected and be ready for a fall crop and an early next spring crop. Then see if I can market my stuff.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:16 AM
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Chad, those peppers really look good. I just got mine transplanted into the garden a week ago and you're selling peppers!!
"You got to start'm early". I really hate when "Farmers" say that. I would go to various markets and ask questions, and I figured out really quick that most were doing nothing more then reselling, under the guise of being a Farmer. ****es me off no end.

You can separate the re-seller from the Farmer real darn quick. I then started asking questions about fertilizers, yields, what variety... when the "Farmer" starts answering with replies that start out "uh" and "um" they start avoiding eye contact. "I dont remember.."

Im off that soapbox now.

Thanks for the compliments! Im still on the lookout for a really productive pepper. All my options are open. Maybe, and its a big "maybe", I might try "Sprinter" from Johnnys for Red Peppers next year. Its one of those rather pricey seeds. For the Green, Im hoping that the Cal-Wonder really impress me this fall. They got a late start this year. My current go-to, Keystone Resistant is on a short leash. I have had lots of seed mixups, etc. Which is a shame, cause I probably still have 1000's of seeds of that variety.

At any rate, Im thinking for the Green Peppers, I need about 100 plants. Red, maybe 25? Depends on the price. I plan to start the seeds around NOV. 1st.

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I did get to both markets today. The first (small new one) had very little produce. One vendor with a lot of beets and onions and another with a bowl of small pickles for 25 cents each.
Ok, how was the customer base? Lots of folks walking around or very few? Grant it, my Market can be dead as a door nail, then a glut of people show up out of nowhere. So thats not always the best marker.

Any idea how many vendors total? Were there vendors that did Art & Crafts type stuff. Those folks can bring in extra customers who would otherwise not come. Sometimes they make an impulse buy of produce.

Pickles or Picklers? I havent decided how im going to price my picklers, I might just have to see how the other vendors sell them. Overall, I would visit this Market a few more times as you have time. It will give provide you with good info. as to what you need to provide. Being this is a new market, if you can get in with the early produce, you might become an "anchor" vendor.

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The larger, long term market in a bigger town had a lot more. Loads od root crops and berries and cauliflower but only two vendors with tomatoes. Most everything was selling for $3.00 a pound. In my opinion, the tomatoes were mediocre. Of course it is the first ones but in mid summer mine are much superior.
Tomatoes were "mediocre" or "imperfect"? Im just trying to clarify. Generally, from my experience folks like ugly, imperfect tomatoes. Its a sign of "homegrown" or "real" tomatoes.

Can you be specific about "mediocre", from your observations. Im just trying to get a feel of what you see.

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One guy had new potatoes for $3.00 per pound and cabbages (small) were priced at $3.00 per head. If I could sell all I can produce at that price, I could make a fortune. The only thing I saw that was superior quality to what I normally produce was their radishes. Three dollars seemed to be the magic number. Squash, radishes, potatoes, tomatoes, all gouing at that price.
$3 a pound.. hmm. I wonder if there isnt some "price fixing" going on. I know of a Market back home that is like that. Its an unspoken rule, everybody has the same price. Which I completely disagree with. Its underhanded in my opinion.

3 a pound for New Potatoes. Uhh.. no. Aint no way. But that does sound right for small Cabbages.

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My focus now is to get my high tunnel erected and be ready for a fall crop and an early next spring crop. Then see if I can market my stuff.
Well, Im excited for you. Dont forget to get your Fall Seedlings started. Got to have something to put in the High Tunnel. I would do a wide variety, hopefully you will get a good feel of what works. Maybe we can shoot some ideas back and forth. Cause believe me, there is learning curve.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:17 AM
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Another Market Day Done

<snip>

Folks started milling about around 7. The usual crowd who knows to come early to get the best stuff. My usuals came by, almost like clockwork. The cranky lady from 2 weeks ago came by. She wanted to inform me that the Roma Beans from last week were tasty. Heres the conversation from my best recollection:

Me: Hows it going...
Her: I want you to know that those beans were good, which really surprised me.

Honestly, why bother? Im glad she thought I was selling her an inferior product that turned out to exceed her expectations.

<snip>

Farmer J and Farmer H started bringing in the Corn. Guess they have to flex their muscles. Then, the absolute Arch Enemy, "Farmer $1" showed up. Let me explain..

Farmer $1 sells EVERYTHING for $1. Maters $1 per pound. Cucumbers $1 per pound, etc. Everything is a buck. Farmer J and Farmer H really despise this guy. I think its a hoot, cause with simple observation, most of the customers that shop the $1 booth never show up too buy from anyone else. Once they exhaust the $1 customer base, thats it. Which is fine by me, they will sell out super fast, then talk to folks for the rest of the time.

To me, thats not competition. Thats someone who has nothing else to do..
Some people are just mean-spirited. I can see her stopping by for more of your product and commenting on every imperfection in an effort to get you to lower your price. Seriously. Saving a buck is a good thing, but there comes a time when it's penny-wise and pound-foolish. Personally I wouldn't insult my local farmer. Seems to me better to have a good relationship, and get a good deal that way. But that's me.

As for the $1 guy, meh. I have little respect for low-ballers. I get them in business from time to time, and they're always more trouble than they're worth. He'll sell out quickly to all of the jerk customers, leaving you in a better position. Plus all of his colleagues despise him, which is bad under any light IMO. Leave that negative energy over there LOL.

Last edited by citykittyatheart; 06-18-2017 at 09:18 AM.. Reason: to fix quote code
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:31 AM
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Some people are just mean-spirited. I can see her stopping by for more of your product and commenting on every imperfection in an effort to get you to lower your price. Seriously. Saving a buck is a good thing, but there comes a time when it's penny-wise and pound-foolish. Personally I wouldn't insult my local farmer. Seems to me better to have a good relationship, and get a good deal that way. But that's me.
I really dont know what her issue is. I see her every year, and I *think* this is her first year buying from me.

Ill happily give a little extra produce when the time comes, and as needed. As long as your nice.

Yesterday, I was rather tired when typing my response, so I forgot the other part of the conversation. She had the nerve to comment that $2 a pound for Beans is expensive. But that the grocery store often puts them on sale. I really wanted to tell her, "Im not the grocery store".. but I didnt. I did comment that growing and picking beans was a lot of work, and that its not expensive considering. She eventually left with out buying anything else. My heart was broken.

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As for the $1 guy, meh. I have little respect for low-ballers. I get them in business from time to time, and they're always more trouble than they're worth. He'll sell out quickly to all of the jerk customers, leaving you in a better position. Plus all of his colleagues despise him, which is bad under any light IMO. Leave that negative energy over there LOL.
Far as I am concerned, a vendor can sell for whatever price they want. I firmly believe in the free market. But Im not devaluing my produce just to make a sale. That aint happening. We all know how much work is involved in gardening.

I really dont know if they think they can make up for it in quantity? Or if they are doing the public a favor? Or if they have NOTHING else better to do? Or a combination of all 3? I just checked NCAG current prices. They are basically selling for half bushel prices, without the quantity.

As I said, they can do whatever they want. But, I did notice yesterday that a lot of customers would check out what Farmer $1 had, but would then go buy from others.

I think a few possibilities exist for this.

1. Produce didnt look good?

2. Suspicious that it was out of state?

3. Suspicious as to why everything is a buck?

I really didnt get a good look at the produce they brought. So I can only speculate. Next weekend should be interesting. They had posted on a dry erase what they plan to bring... the drama will continue.

Something else I noticed yesterday, and its a good sign...

New Vendors, who are kinda young. I actually talked to one yesterday, who was beside me. Nice kid. A couple others down on the other end of the venue, who are young. They say the average age of the current Farmer is something like 65-70. Without the young blood coming in, the populace is in for some serious troubles.

Its good to see young folks taking an interest in farming.
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:31 PM
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Something else I noticed yesterday, and its a good sign...

New Vendors, who are kinda young. I actually talked to one yesterday, who was beside me. Nice kid. A couple others down on the other end of the venue, who are young. They say the average age of the current Farmer is something like 65-70. Without the young blood coming in, the populace is in for some serious troubles.

Its good to see young folks taking an interest in farming.
That IS a good sign!
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:37 PM
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"you got to start'm early". :d: I really hate when "farmers" say that. I would go to various markets and ask questions, and i figured out really quick that most were doing nothing more then reselling, under the guise of being a farmer. ****es me off no end.

[I also got the impression that there were some people at the second market just reselling stuff because it would be very difficult to have some of the things this early]





you can separate the re-seller from the farmer real darn quick. I then started asking questions about fertilizers, yields, what variety... When the "farmer" starts answering with replies that start out "uh" and "um" they start avoiding eye contact. "i dont remember.."

im off that soapbox now. :d:

Thanks for the compliments! Im still on the lookout for a really productive pepper. All my options are open. Maybe, and its a big "maybe", i might try "sprinter" from johnnys for red peppers next year. Its one of those rather pricey seeds. For the green, im hoping that the cal-wonder really impress me this fall. They got a late start this year. My current go-to, keystone resistant is on a short leash. I have had lots of seed mixups, etc. Which is a shame, cause i probably still have 1000's of seeds of that variety.

At any rate, im thinking for the green peppers, i need about 100 plants. Red, maybe 25? Depends on the price. I plan to start the seeds around nov. 1st.



Ok, how was the customer base? Lots of folks walking around or very few? Grant it, my market can be dead as a door nail, then a glut of people show up out of nowhere. :d: So thats not always the best marker.

Any idea how many vendors total? Were there vendors that did art & crafts type stuff. Those folks can bring in extra customers who would otherwise not come. Sometimes they make an impulse buy of produce.

Pickles or picklers? I havent decided how im going to price my picklers, i might just have to see how the other vendors sell them. Overall, i would visit this market a few more times as you have time. It will give provide you with good info. As to what you need to provide. Being this is a new market, if you can get in with the early produce, you might become an "anchor" vendor.


[In the first market (small) there were only a few people stopping and buying. The second (larger/older) market, lots of customers. There were about 10 vendors at the first market, predominantly crafts sellers. Only one with a quantity of vegetables, the other had a small bowl full of little picklers at 25 cents each. The second market had maybe 40 vendors, probably half that selling produce and half selling crafts/baked goods etc.]





tomatoes were "mediocre" or "imperfect"? Im just trying to clarify. Generally, from my experience folks like ugly, imperfect tomatoes. Its a sign of "homegrown" or "real" tomatoes.

Can you be specific about "mediocre", from your observations. Im just trying to get a feel of what you see.


[By mediocre, the tomatoes were pale and hard like the stuff you buy at wally's in january. 'pretty' tomatoes depend a lot on variety. I've grown a lot of tomatoes that are pretty plus tasty plus homegrown. It might be that the vendor was just trying to be first with the tomatoes of the season. I was surprised i saw no evidence of extra early tomatoes that were grown in a greenhouse like yours. The early crop I was suspicious of that might have been imported was ripe peaches. Not grown in a greenhouse and super super early for my area.]






$3 a pound.. Hmm. I wonder if there isnt some "price fixing" going on. I know of a market back home that is like that. Its an unspoken rule, everybody has the same price. Which i completely disagree with. Its underhanded in my opinion.

3 a pound for new potatoes. Uhh.. No. Aint no way. But that does sound right for small cabbages.


[I had the same thought about unspoken agreements on pricing. Absolutely no variation on prices no matter what the quality. Also i was thinking the same on the price of potatoes. Only one vendor with potatoes, they were good looking new potatoes. I can grow tons of potatoes and at that price i'd feel pretty rich quickly.]

[I'll be happy to exchange ideas. I need to have some success on greenhouse growing and especially marketing first though.]





well, im excited for you. Dont forget to get your fall seedlings started. Got to have something to put in the high tunnel. I would do a wide variety, hopefully you will get a good feel of what works. Maybe we can shoot some ideas back and forth. Cause believe me, there is learning curve.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I wasn't able to figure out how to either color my answers or italicize them so my answers are in brackets.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:57 PM
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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I wasn't able to figure out how to either color my answers or italicize them so my answers are in brackets.
No worries. Ill PM you in the morning with some ideas of what I have learned over the last 3 years at the Market. That would be less cluttering then in this thread.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:44 AM
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Mtnairkin... clean out your inbox. I have something else to send you.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:59 AM
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Another interesting research article I found. This I think is useful to anyone who is curious as to "how much" you can expect from your garden, realistically.

https://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/urban...nge-v07n01.pdf

Page 1-2 is the backstory on how the numbers came to be.

Page 3 is 100 foot rows AND square foot yields.

Page 4 is High Tunnel yields.

In short, the average garden, with a mixed stand will average 1/2 pound of veggies per square foot.

Obviously something like my tomato house far exceeds that, but thats also a perfect example of mono-cropping.

In other news, I have already started doing some picking this morning. 23 Cucumbers and 26 pounds of tomatoes.

So for the season, I have picked so far to date:

Tomatoes - 348 Pounds

Cucumbers - qty. 143

Bell Peppers - qty. 37

Beans (which have been cropped out) - 24 pounds

Cherry Toms. - 7 pounds.

Tomtatillos - no clue. Lost interest and count.

All in all, Im pleased. I need to up my game on the beans. But the numbers for the other crops are sounding good based on the plant quantity.

In other news, looks like I will start my Yellow Squash and Zucchini harvesting later this week. Ill only have a handful of each, but its a start. Really wished I had started more plants, but it is what it is. Besides, those 2 arent exactly the biggest Cash Crop. Its more of a reliable table filler. But, I can extract the data to see how many plants ill need in the future.

The young fellow (new vendor) I spoke to at the Sat. Market told me they have something like 100 Zucchini and 50 Yellow Squash plants. I was curious, because the last 2 Market days, thats all he was bringing. He told me his other crops were running behind. Anyhow, he was using the plastic bread trays, and they were full of squash. I wouldnt have thought he would have 150 plants between the 2. Thats a whole bunch of plants right there.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:37 AM
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In short, the average garden, with a mixed stand will average 1/2 pound of veggies per square foot.
I've effectively got 10 3x9 foot beds active. I'll be seriously impressed if I manage to pull 135 pounds of vegetables out of my garden this year.

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The young fellow (new vendor) I spoke to at the Sat. Market told me they have something like 100 Zucchini and 50 Yellow Squash plants. I was curious, because the last 2 Market days, thats all he was bringing. He told me his other crops were running behind. Anyhow, he was using the plastic bread trays, and they were full of squash. I wouldnt have thought he would have 150 plants between the 2. Thats a whole bunch of plants right there.
Given how prolific each plant can be (assuming you can keep the bugs from getting them) that is indeed a huge crop of summer squash.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:08 PM
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I've effectively got 10 3x9 foot beds active. I'll be seriously impressed if I manage to pull 135 pounds of vegetables out of my garden this year.
You never know. It seems like everyone is having a good year.

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Given how prolific each plant can be (assuming you can keep the bugs from getting them) that is indeed a huge crop of summer squash.
I should have asked if of those plants were different ages? That or they sell at some other markets or something. Or his family really likes Zucchini Bread.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:06 PM
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I should have asked if of those plants were different ages? That or they sell at some other markets or something. Or his family really likes Zucchini Bread.
My first year of gardening, I wanted to see if it would save us any money on groceries. I had 4 zucchini plants, and I swear the extra flour, sugar and butter alone would have made the garden unprofitable
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:18 PM
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My first year of gardening, I wanted to see if it would save us any money on groceries. I had 4 zucchini plants, and I swear the extra flour, sugar and butter alone would have made the garden unprofitable
Think of it this way. You probably would have bought the flour, sugar, and butter, right? The zucchini makes it all "extra" healthy.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:27 PM
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Think of it this way. You probably would have bought the flour, sugar, and butter, right? The zucchini makes it all "extra" healthy.

Actually no. My point was we wouldn't have needed all that if we didn't have all those zucchini and had no idea what else to do with it

We were giving away loaves of zucchini bread and still had more than we could eat.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:28 PM
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Uh OH. Bean Problems

Well, I discovered this situation this evening. Im thinking I need a 2 prong approach. First get the beans out of the greenhouse. Second, I might just cut my losses and replant. Anyone think they will grow out of it? I think the second pic is fertilizer burn. Whoops.





On a positive note, the zucchini.. Will pick possibly Wed. by the latest.



The squash plants taking over the hydro rail system. Look closely at the difference in leaf sizes when compared to the yellow squash in the grow bag on the ground.



My size 12 wide foot. Wearing my lovely rubber slip on shoes. Handy for in the garden/mud wear. Dont make fun of my ankle tan line.



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Old 06-19-2017, 05:33 PM
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Lord Darwath Lord Darwath is offline
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the bug eaten ones will grow out of it if you can eliminate the bugs. When I've had the bugs lay into full grown beans, the vines kept producing until it got to the point the leaves pretty much looked like lace. Of course I'd pretty much given up on them by that point anyway, as it was getting impossible to pick an actual bean that hadn't been chewed up either.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:10 PM
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Weedinhoe Weedinhoe is offline
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Another interesting research article I found. This I think is useful to anyone who is curious as to "how much" you can expect from your garden, realistically.
Thanks for this! I'll check it out in the morning.

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Originally Posted by FarmerChad View Post
All in all, Im pleased. I need to up my game on the beans. But the numbers for the other crops are sounding good based on the plant quantity.
You should be pleased. Great job!

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The young fellow (new vendor) I spoke to at the Sat. Market told me they have something like 100 Zucchini and 50 Yellow Squash plants.
Good Lord! 150 squash plants! He's either gonna be giving them away or dumping a bunch unless he's got a contract with some groceries. Of course, I'm not selling my stuff but the one zucchini plant out there is making all I want. There are just so many ways to use zucchini. Next up is zucchini bread.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:22 PM
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Weedinhoe Weedinhoe is offline
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the bug eaten ones will grow out of it if you can eliminate the bugs. When I've had the bugs lay into full grown beans, the vines kept producing until it got to the point the leaves pretty much looked like lace.
I agree with LD if you can find out what's eating them. Have you spotted any grasshoppers in the house or any Japanese beetles? Beans can be pretty resilient once the pest pressure is taken off.

I've not had any kind of worm or caterpillar chomping on bean leaves but if you find any on the undersides of the leaves, I'd recommend the bT (bacillus thuringiensis) sold as Dipel or Thuricide. It's a natural bacillus and targets specifically any worms or caterpillars including hornworms. I know you don't use sprays but if push ever comes to shove and you need to save your crops from these things, this stuff will do the trick. Can even be used day of harvest.
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