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Old 06-19-2017, 09:38 PM
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The bugs that seem to go after my beans are these tiny little black fly things. At least that's what I notice on the plants when they start to get chewed up. The have kinda oval shaped wings that are almost too big for the bodies, and they are very soft bodied. And did I mention tiny? Fruit flies are big compared to these things.

The last time I had beans planted I was using up old seed, so I had my row of pole beans with a row of bush beans planted in front of it. The little fly things seemed to prefer the bush beans as they mostly left the pole beans alone until they'd destroyed the bush beans entirely. That was actually ok by me because bush beans don't produce well for me anyway. The flies were mostly eating leaves and only denying me a small amount of produce. But these things leave the bean pods covered in little brown bug eaten spots, and as I described before, eventually reduce the leaves to the appearance of fine lace.

I need to figure out what they are and how to deal with them as I don't have a sacrificial crop of bush beans this year.
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FarmerChad View Post
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
Nice find.

About Page 4, the High Tunnel Yield with the amount per 'tunnel', I must be missing something. I can't find 'how long and wide' a tunnel is. Farmtek sells them a range of sizes.

Thoughts?

inMichigan
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:31 AM
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Nice find.

About Page 4, the High Tunnel Yield with the amount per 'tunnel', I must be missing something. I can't find 'how long and wide' a tunnel is. Farmtek sells them a range of sizes.

Thoughts?

inMichigan
No, your not missing anything, cause it aint there.

The way its worded is rather poor, because you have to read between the lines. I re-read it several times, cause like you, I thought that info. was missing. I finally realized that in a nut shell, the "size" of the tunnel is irrelevant. Although for a "research" paper, you would think that they would include that little nugget of information.

This sums it up, and I quote:

Quote:
In small-scale agriculture studies, Lewis Jett, West Virginia University, measured yields in high tunnel production (Table 2). The yields are based only on the cultivated bed areas in high tunnels, representing about 70% of the usable space. Jett’s yield findings are similar to some crop yields published a generation ago by Smith and Stoner. For broccoli, kale, and similar greens,the yield estimates/ft2 from both studies are in a narrow range of about 0.3-0.75 lb/ft2 . Expected bush bean average yields are nearly identical. As expected, hybrid pepper and tomato yields under best practices, protected in a high tunnel, have advanced to 1.2 to 2 lb/ft2, about three times more than what was achieved a generation ago.
What they are saying, with the exception of the hybrid tomato/pepper, is that it doesnt matter the size of the tunnel. The Smith and Stoner "100 foot rows" produced the same as rows in a modern High Tunnel. But, the rows in the High Tunnel are about 30 percent smaller do to wall/accessibility. Overall, the production per square foot is the same.

If you look at Table 1 the Bush Beans, they have almost the exact same yield as Table 2 when you look at the square footage yield.

Also, it would interesting to know what method was used for production of the tomatoes. Im getting about 2 pounds per square foot based on my actual usuage in my tomato house. Grant it, some of the space is for cucumbers, and some for the tomatillos, but im getting pretty much their max. yield that was reported by the WV research. Im assuming it would have to be a similar setup to what I have.
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:25 AM
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I checked their corn yield number which is 120 ears per 100' row. So far I've gotten 117 ears from 90' so it's pretty much on target there. It will be interesting to see how the bush beans finish up. I'm weighing them separately from the pole beans.
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:44 AM
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I checked their corn yield number which is 120 ears per 100' row. So far I've gotten 117 ears from 90' so it's pretty much on target there. It will be interesting to see how the bush beans finish up. I'm weighing them separately from the pole beans.
I also read what you said on the qty. picked over in your garden thread. This is very useful info. for me.

Estimations in crops are almost always based on large averages. Say, 10, 100 foot rows or something similar. Or maybe half an acre of a crop produces xyz qty. These numbers dont always scale down, or up in a straight linear fashion.

For my purpose with the raised bed corn, instead of counting on a factor of 1.5, I honestly think that a factor of 1:1 would be a better bet. If I assume 1 ear for every stalk, then any extra marketable ears would be a bonus that I can put into the CSA shares as "extra". This is quiet a common practice when a crop is abundant.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:39 PM
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I decided late last night that something had to be done about the Strike Bean issue. Another problem Im having along with the bug bites, is a germination issue. Im assuming that its just become too darn hot in the tunnel for good germination. After a good look at the grow bags, I probably have about a 50% germination rate.

I decided to move the bags out. I put them into the 2 empty raised beds that I have. Had germination been much worse I would just dumped the soil into the beds and started over. But, Im hoping the existing plants pull thru. I replanted some additional seeds in bags that needed it. Hopefully the new seeds will germinate a-ok.

This is an unused space between the tunnels. My plan is too eventually have several raised beds in between.



Moving the bags out also frees up needed space for the additional cucumbers, that by next week are going to need a trellis. After moving the bean bags out, I harvested my first Zuchhini of the season. 1 lone one. I will probably have a couple more by Friday. Might have a few Yellow Squash by then as well.



After the great harvest, I moved the seedling trays over to the benches where the beans were at. I seeded more Squash and Zukes, and also giving "Space Master" cukes a try. If those work out, they might be a great future alternative to growing on a trellis. The regular Cantaloupes have popped up in the last day or so, but the minis havent yet. Also, I gave up on the Acorn squash that I planted. Last night I put a few seeds in a wet paper towel and then into a sandwich bag. Hoping those germinate.



You might have noticed that some stuff I seed directly into the grow bags, and some into the seedling trays. You might wonder why. There really is no specific reason. Right now if I want to plant directly in the grow bags, I have to make more grow media. Personally, depending on my work load, I would rather just get the seeds into the seedling trays and get them going, then transplant in a few days as I have time.

On another note, Im collecting and taking notes on some interesting facts. So far, it looks like that the various squashes and cucumbers dont mind the heat in the tunnels. Also, with adequate ventilation the Homestead, Big Beef, and Prudens Purple tomatoes seem to be setting some new fruit. Evidently all 3 seem to have little issue with the heat and humidity. The peppers grow so slow im not sure. Beans are pretty much out. It appears that using the tunnel to get an early crop and possibly a late crop is a solid plan. A summer crop looks to be out of the question.

I think for beans, regardless if you plant in the ground, raised beds, or grow bags, a plan is in order. For instance something like:

1. Plant the early crop in the tunnel.
2. About when these just start setting the first flowers, plant a crop outside
3. Harvest the tunnel beans as needed.
4. Crop-out the tunnel beans, plant something else like cukes or squash seedlings in their place.
5. Hopefully the outside beans are ready to harvest.
6. If space allows hopefully been doing additional bean plantings outdoors.
7. When the weather starts cooling back down, crop-out inside the tunnel and plant more beans.

Or something like that. All the fun of Market Farming.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:22 PM
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I decided late last night that something had to be done about the Strike Bean issue. Another problem Im having along with the bug bites, is a germination issue. Im assuming that its just become too darn hot in the tunnel for good germination. After a good look at the grow bags, I probably have about a 50% germination rate.
Have you checked soil temp with a soil thermometer? I learned the hard way that beans are fussy about germinating in high temp soil. A few bookmarks I have that might be of use:

Soil temps for veg, germination; minimum, optimum, maximum:
http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/...d-germination/

Seed emergence times at various temperatures:
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/des.../soiltemps.pdf

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I think for beans, regardless if you plant in the ground, raised beds, or grow bags, a plan is in order. For instance something like:

1. Plant the early crop in the tunnel.
2. About when these just start setting the first flowers, plant a crop outside
3. Harvest the tunnel beans as needed.
4. Crop-out the tunnel beans, plant something else like cukes or squash seedlings in their place.
5. Hopefully the outside beans are ready to harvest.
6. If space allows hopefully been doing additional bean plantings outdoors.
7. When the weather starts cooling back down, crop-out inside the tunnel and plant more beans.
That sounds like a reasonable plan. Have you thought about a fall crop of beans? I've been playing with that for the past two years using 'Contender' (40-50 days) and have had decent results except for the 'Strike' that got sown in 90 degree soil and never germinated. A replanting a week later after rain and a cool down came right up. I plant around August 15, first pick around the last week in September and done by Oct 15.

Speaking of fall, unless your two farmer pals at the market flood the place with collards and kale, I bet you could grow the pookie out of those with your rail system for the fall market. Especially that Tuscan kale (also known as Dinosaur kale) with the narrow, almost black leaves. Very foo foo. Just a thought.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:58 PM
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You pick them so tiny! I know that's actually the recommended size, and I've read that if you let them get too big they get tough and seedy, But I've not personally had that probem, and I've grown some monsters. Generally they grow pretty fast for me once they get going. The size you have there is something I would typically let go for two more days, and it would double in size or more in that time.

Maybe I'm just contrarian and I'm "doing it wrong", but it's not uncommon for me to get two batches of zucchini bread out of one fruit. IIRC that's one cup of grated zucchini per batch... my wife actually does the baking.

I'm guessing maybe you stick with that size because it's what customers expect? I'm just curious as to other people's preference for harvest size and why.
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:30 PM
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Have you checked soil temp with a soil thermometer? I learned the hard way that beans are fussy about germinating in high temp soil. A few bookmarks I have that might be of use..Speaking of fall, unless your two farmer pals at the market flood the place with collards and kale, I bet you could grow the pookie out of those with your rail system for the fall market.
No, I havent bothered to check the soil. But I am confident that the heat is the problem. The seeds are fresh, soil is moist. Some bags had no germ. at all. Some bags had 2-3 seeds germ.

As far as the greens, thats a good idea. The rail system is a work in progress. Not sure what the future holds for it.

Thanks for the links. Bookmarked.

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You pick them so tiny! I know that's actually the recommended size, and I've read that if you let them get too big they get tough and seedy, But I've not personally had that probem, and I've grown some monsters. Generally they grow pretty fast for me once they get going. The size you have there is something I would typically let go for two more days, and it would double in size or more in that time.

Maybe I'm just contrarian and I'm "doing it wrong", but it's not uncommon for me to get two batches of zucchini bread out of one fruit. IIRC that's one cup of grated zucchini per batch... my wife actually does the baking.

I'm guessing maybe you stick with that size because it's what customers expect? I'm just curious as to other people's preference for harvest size and why.
Honestly, it just seems like a good size. I do believe that most customer prefer something in this size range. That is something to Google. To see if their is some sort of survey on ideal size.

I do know that they can get out of control, much like cucumbers if you dont check daily.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:07 PM
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That sounds like a reasonable plan. Have you thought about a fall crop of beans? I've been playing with that for the past two years using 'Contender' (40-50 days) and have had decent results except for the 'Strike' that got sown in 90 degree soil and never germinated. A replanting a week later after rain and a cool down came right up. I plant around August 15, first pick around the last week in September and done by Oct 15.
I forgot to answer this. Yes, im hoping to have beens running into the 1st of Nov. Im not sure how possible that is, do to reducing light levels.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:04 PM
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You pick them so tiny! I know that's actually the recommended size, and I've read that if you let them get too big they get tough and seedy, But I've not personally had that probem, and I've grown some monsters. Generally they grow pretty fast for me once they get going. The size you have there is something I would typically let go for two more days, and it would double in size or more in that time.

Maybe I'm just contrarian and I'm "doing it wrong", but it's not uncommon for me to get two batches of zucchini bread out of one fruit. IIRC that's one cup of grated zucchini per batch... my wife actually does the baking.

I'm guessing maybe you stick with that size because it's what customers expect? I'm just curious as to other people's preference for harvest size and why.



I also like them a little bigger. I actually think they are better tasting and just as tender when left to grow another day or so. I think maybe the percentage of 'innards' to shell is a little higher at that stage of growth.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:09 PM
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I also like them a little bigger. I actually think they are better tasting and just as tender when left to grow another day or so. I think maybe the percentage of 'innards' to shell is a little higher at that stage of growth.

Some discussions I've seen on the subject give me the impression that where people run into trouble with letting them get big is when they can only get into their garden once a week or so. A zuc the size of the one in FarmerChad's pic would definitely be past its prime if it were passed over on a Saturday and not picked until the next weekend.
I'm not sure how that works with large commercial growers. Maybe they have to put people in the fields on a rotating basis instead of being able to check every crop daily... I'm assuming that zucchini would be a hand picked crop. I've never heard of squash harvesting machinery. Also taking a guess that the smaller size keeps longer for transport to the stores.
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Old Yesterday, 06:17 AM
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Honestly, it just seems like a good size. I do believe that most customer prefer something in this size range. That is something to Google. To see if their is some sort of survey on ideal size.

I do know that they can get out of control, much like cucumbers if you dont check daily.
Zukes can go from "normal" to baseball bats almost over night, especially if it's rained. Just amazing!

There is the recent fad for foo foo baby veggies among upper end restaurants. I mean tiny! Personally I'm not paying big bucks for an artsy arrangement of a small amount of baby veggies on my plate, but I digress...

Of course, if you are a producer and selling by the pound to restaurants and they want baby stuff, the price goes up if you can't let it grow bigger. Mature size is pretty much personal preference. I like my zukes bigger than the one shown but that's just me. And I've been known to make a lot of zuke bread out of the big, out of control numbers. :D
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Old Yesterday, 06:46 AM
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The one thing I forgot to add in regards to size is that my personal preference is not the baby sized ones. If you are growing things for the market, like Chad, what counts is what the customer prefers. Most (all) of my summer squash is eaten sliced and fried and I've never made zuchini bread myself. I've eaten loads of it because everyone has a surplus during summer. My personal bread making is limited to what I do in the bread making machine

I wonder if customers can be educated or trained to try something a little different or if they just follow a current notion? Maybe throw in a few larger specimens for free to let them try?
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Old Yesterday, 07:51 AM
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Yall are forcing me to defend my Zucchinis honor. The Zuke in question:



Something I found last night. An article published by NC State Extension on Summer squash. https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/summer-squash-production It has all sorts of interesting info. But most importantly:

Quote:
Plan to harvest a given planting only 2 to 3 weeks and then start harvesting another planting....Zucchini fruits should be harvested when they are 7 to 8 inches long.
There now. Are we happy? Something I wonder, in all seriousness. Is squash similar to cucumbers in regard to productivity vs. picking? We know that with cucumbers, the more you pick, the more you get. Does squash work that way? I really have no idea. That would be an interesting trial to run.

I think what LD here brings up is probably the biggest issue:

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Originally Posted by Lord Darwath View Post
Some discussions I've seen on the subject give me the impression that where people run into trouble with letting them get big is when they can only get into their garden once a week or so. A zuc the size of the one in FarmerChad's pic would definitely be past its prime if it were passed over on a Saturday and not picked until the next weekend.
I'm not sure how that works with large commercial growers. Maybe they have to put people in the fields on a rotating basis instead of being able to check every crop daily... I'm assuming that zucchini would be a hand picked crop. I've never heard of squash harvesting machinery. Also taking a guess that the smaller size keeps longer for transport to the stores.
Squashes, cucumbers, all those can certainly go from perfect to a club in a hurry. For those folks who cant get in the garden everyday, that is a real issue. I will be the first to admit that I am very lucky. I am here everyday, I can just go pick at the peak. Unlike the vast majority. But, unlike the vast majority, Im doing this now for income.

I think some varieties (quickpik?? from Johnny Seeds) sets all it fruit at once? I guess you could just harvest the whole plant at once. Just pull it up and go set in the shade and cut off the fruit. I could also be wrong about that.

All this talk about Zukes, that reminded me of how I originally found Survivalist Boards. I was looking at gardening videos on Youtube. I stumbled across one of Kevs early videos. Him and his family are out picking a truckload of Zuchinni. He is talking about saving the seeds and the SHTF situations and MREs. At that time I didnt have a clue what he was talking about. But I was impressed with the field of zukes he had. I clicked on the link, read a bunch, opened my eyes to reality, and the rest is history.
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Old Yesterday, 10:05 AM
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Yall are forcing me to defend my Zucchinis honor.
This topic is a hoot! Depending on variety, I imagine a 7-8" zuke will be thicker or thinner at that length. Mine grow that long but are a bit thicker.

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Something I wonder, in all seriousness. Is squash similar to cucumbers in regard to productivity vs. picking? We know that with cucumbers, the more you pick, the more you get. Does squash work that way?
I imagine most veggies are that way. Frequent picking stimulates the plant to put out more flowers because it's job of making seed isn't done yet. However, determinate tomatoes might be the exception. No matter how often I've picked, the determinates seem to just say, "Well, I've done my part and I'm outta here" and they're done. With cukes, we just get more cucumbers than squash because there are sooo many more flowers on those cuke vines and squash are slower to put out.

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I think what LD here brings up is probably the biggest issue...Squashes, cucumbers, all those can certainly go from perfect to a club in a hurry. For those folks who cant get in the garden everyday, that is a real issue. I will be the first to admit that I am very lucky. I am here everyday, I can just go pick at the peak.
And we retirees are also free to do daily checks. I love it! Haven't grown a baseball bat in a long time because of that.
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Old Yesterday, 10:52 AM
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More picking today. I picked 2 more Zukes! So im now 3 for the season. On the cucumber front I picked another 17, and another 16 pounds in tomatoes.

For the season: 160 cucumbers, and 364 pounds of tomatoes. Im closing in on that 400 pound number. But as the season winds on, getting hotter and hotter, disease is slowly wiping out the existing crop. I have had to start removing more and more. You cant tell in this picture, but thats almost 2 entire rows cleaned out. Only thing left for the rows is the 2 cherry toms. So 20 tomato plants cleaned out.



The cherries are still loaded down.



Even with cleaning out 20 plants, I still have plenty of green maters hanging, just waiting for the moment.





Look at this pepper plant. Around 5 foot tall.



Since the back row is nearly empty, I have been moving pepper plants back there. This is that same pepper plant. After I took the picture I used the plastic clips and string to support it.

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Yall are forcing me to defend my Zucchinis honor. The Zuke in question:


It's not the length, it's the girth!

And just how huge are your hands, man? Comparing the zuc to your hand was what made me think it was so small.
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It's not the length, it's the girth!

And just how huge are your hands, man? Comparing the zuc to your hand was what made me think it was so small.
Ill just leave this at that...

Old Yesterday, 10:33 PM
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Ill just leave this at that...

Doesn't it suck trying to find 2xl gloves? (yes, I do know what it's like.)

And I still kind of prefer zucchini that I can either shred for a couple batches of bread, or use to beat intruders about the head and neck.

Of course I've also grown sunflowers in the past purely to watch them get 10 or 12 feet tall with leaves like elephant ears. Seriously. I don't really care much for sunflower seeds to eat, and my soil is deficient in something (calcium maybe?) that results in lots of empty seed shells with no kernel. But it's still fun to watch those towering giants put out dinner plate sized flower heads.
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