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Weedinhoe 08-11-2020 03:45 PM

Squash update time. This is the first time I've ever tried growing yellow summer squash up a stake. The straightneck was taller than the crookneck for a good while but now the crookneck has gone on a growth spurt and is taller. And it's about to explode with squash.

The straightneck is taking a break but there are lots of flower buds for the next round.

So far these are the healthiest summer squash I think I've ever grown. Perhaps being off the ground provides better air flow, a more dry environment deterring powdery mildew, etc. And they just might have been planted late enough (they were second round plants after the first rounders died) that the squash vine borers (SVB's) had moved on. The fact that I was diligent in keeping Sevin dust around the plant bases and reapplying after rain probably didn't hurt either.

At the other end of that bed there are two National Pickling cukes going, one running and one climbing.

The tomatoes in the garden are nearing the end of the line. It's been a battle against funk after all the rain we've been getting. Over time I've been cutting off infected foliage before spraying and now most of the plants are bare up to the top cluster of fruit and leaves. But there are several that have clean new growth at the bottom so I'm going to play with cutting those plants back down to about 2-3' tall and tossing the rest.

Finally....*finally*... the purple coneflowers I grew from seed have started blooming. Good grief, they were started April 5th!

The plants themselves have been very healthy but just as slow as molasses. And being a generic one, they're not even that pretty considering the wait. Oh well, I'll do something quicker next year. Like maybe more of these Indian Summer Rudbeckia!

Weedinhoe 08-13-2020 05:02 PM

It's tomato update time. It's been a long summer for them and they're winding down fast. These are what the garden tomatoes looked like mid June:

They got twice as tall as that. But after fighting the funk with Serenade and Daconil and having infected foliage cut off piece by piece, this is what they look like now. Just about nekkid! The one full plant in the middle is Bella Rosa and she looks pretty resistant! Beautiful tomatoes too. She'll be back next year.

The plants up at the house aren't much better. This is one half of the row. L to R: Camp Joy (cherry), Stump Of The World, Golden Girl and Rio Grande. Camp Joy funked up pretty fast but the others are hanging in there pretty good and still producing. They'll be back next year too.

In the rest of the row, the center plant with the golden tomatoes is what we're calling Fake Annie. We started two Early Annie plants. One was the real deal with regular foliage and this was the other one with potato leaf foliage! To the left of Fake Annie is the fall eggplant and Early Girl, to the right Early Annie.

A few of the garden plants are showing new foliage emerging down low so I've cut those plants back down to about 2-3' tall, hoping the new foliage will hurry up and maybe put out a few fall tomatoes. We'll see. I've never tried this before but nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Weedinhoe 08-15-2020 11:10 AM

As the season moves along, things come and things go. This past week the big trellis went, as the Cherokee Trail of Tears beans and the blackeye butterbeans were done. Now you see it...

and now you don't. Like magic. :) That mess at the bottom of the photo is where the trombone zucchini and spaghetti squash vines are playing. Likewise, that mess in the middle of the photo in the empty area is sweet potato vines among the weeds. I cut those vines back yesterday to let all the energy go into potatoes for the last four weeks until digging.

The micro tomatoes on the front porch have set another batch of flowers, lot of them. They're been tickled with the electric toothbrush to help pollination but it remains to be seen if the pollen is viable in the recent heat. I should know soon as the flowers are about ready to drop and we'll see if any little green BBs start to appear.

This morning I spied a laced up leaf or two. Closer inspection revealed that the danged southern army worms are back. There were a lot more of them than just the one I happened to see and there were some on the other plants too. Sneaky little bastiges.

Time to get out the bT spray before they get any bigger. The UGA extension folks said bT only works well on these when they're 1/2" long or smaller. Larger ones can withstand bT and that means hand picking. I inspected every branch closely on all of the plants and think I've got most of them. Then I found this one when I went out to take a pic. I need to spray. It's always something, ya know? :rolleyes:

Weedinhoe 08-20-2020 10:21 AM

Since the big tomatoes are about done, it's up to the micro cherries on the front porch to pick up the slack. This has been an interesting experiment this year and a successful one. I started out with four that were started in late January and transplanted into their porch pots late March. By mid April we were eating good cherry tomatoes. There are now about seven out there.

What has amazed me is that those first plants are still going and producing! They were hanging over the railing and while they were producing, new upright growth started on the bent stem. When the hanging branches were done, I pruned them off and now they're like new plants and loaded with flowers again. Here's one of the Whippersnappers:

This one is Ramblin' Stripe, not a micro but more like a dwarf. It was transplanted out mid July and has yet to set tomatoes. With the heat we've had I'm hoping the pollen hasn't been fried on this round of blooms.

This micro is Lille Lise, set out mid July and so very different from the more open Whippersnapper. Very stocky and dense. There's one more still under the lights, a yellow cherry called 'Jochelos" which seems it will look more like Lille Lise.

I hope to keep a few of these going indoors through the winter by a sunny window. They seem to work well on porches and for sure would be something to grow if one doesn't have much room to grow stuff. I think I'll start next year's this December.

There's extra Whippersnapper seed if anyone wants to try some. Just PM me. Hopefully I'll have more of the others to share later once they produce and I can collect some.

Weedinhoe 08-22-2020 06:53 AM

Spring/summer things continue to finish in the garden. It's about time.

The Colossus field peas finished their first round of peas and after a rest they're putting out more flowers. The squash bugs have finally shown up and if I don't do an evening pyrethrum spray around dark, the emerging peas will become full of stings and be unusable. We keep having late afternoon/early evening rains but I think Iíll try to treat them this evening hoping to knock back the squash and leaffooted bugs.

With all the afternoon rains precluding the application of fungicide, the funk is now attacking the cukes. I don't know if it's reversible or not. From internet photos it looks like the start of downy mildew.

I saw wilting at the end of one cuke and one squash vine and found a hole in each.

After carefully cutting off each terminal section I slit them open and found the pickleworm culprit. It looks like both the squash and cukes have been hit by another round of pickleworms, the latest theyíve ever been around. I'm hoping the plants will send out a new vine section to take over the job.

There are two new cuke plants under the lights and about ready for transplanting. This is probably the first time that I've been diligent about having new plants ready to go for succession planting.

Yesterday I harvested one of the two Zuchetta rampicante squash as my fingernail didnít leave a dent in the skin. It weighed in at 7 lbs. I had to use loppers to cut through the hard stem!

Iím amazed that the SVBís didnít find the stem but that may be due to the weeds that have grown up around the vines.

This was one of this yearís ďtoysĒ. Iíve never grown it before but if it truly tastes like a winter squash, it will have a permanent home in the garden. :thumb:

LindaLou 08-24-2020 07:27 PM

Good luck with procedure. Positive thoughts sent your way.

BrettTheOkie 08-25-2020 12:34 AM


Originally Posted by Weedinhoe (Post 20539236)
Yesterday I harvested one of the two Zuchetta rampicante squash as my fingernail didnít leave a dent in the skin. It weighed in at 7 lbs. I had to use loppers to cut through the hard stem!

Iím amazed that the SVBís didnít find the stem but that may be due to the weeds that have grown up around the vines.

This was one of this yearís ďtoysĒ. Iíve never grown it before but if it truly tastes like a winter squash, it will have a permanent home in the garden. :thumb:

I haven't posted much in the way of pics yet, but the Zucchino Rampicante I have looks really excellent. And, just like last year, I have had absolutely no problems with SVBs or Squash Bugs. I think that they're just not attracted to the Moschata species of squash. But whatever the reason, I'll take it...

My experience from last year is that, as a winter squash, you can use it just as you would Butternut squash.

Weedinhoe 08-27-2020 10:28 AM

The garden is going to heck in a handbasket. With all the rain there's not been much work done and so the weeds are taking over in, around and between beds. Funk is showing up everywhere. BUT... we're coming into a five day dry stretch. The sun has just appeared so hopefully this afternoon after things dry out I will be able to start tackling the mess and get some fungicide put out.

All spring tomatoes except a few that I cut back and two grown for fall are gone. This morning I had to pull out the staked crookneck squash as a vine borer snuck in and got it. Although the straightneck got hit too, I found it early and injected bT into the hole, squirting it up and down the stem. It's hanging in there.

The only things still producing are the peppers, okra and the eggplant. The eggplants are smaller but there are a lot of them on the plant.

The Provider and Contender bush beans that were planted on the 22nd in perfect moisture and soil temp conditions popped up yesterday.

There are a lot of jalapenos on those four plants. I've put up all the pickled slices I want and several jars of Cowboy Candy so I'm letting the rest turn red so I can make some fermented hot sauce.

The pull cord on the old push mower broke and 5th Gear is looking for a replacement unit to swap out. In the meantime, there's a new weedeater to use so I'll be able to get around and between beds with that. It's already been tested in a five bed section and works really well. 5th Gear got a Ryobi battery-op model and also a Ryobi pole saw that works on the same battery. Both tools are much needed.

The next planting target is Sep 1, when the next round of brassicas get started along with fernleaf dill and arugula.

Weedinhoe 08-30-2020 02:28 PM

What a nice difference a weedeater makes in the garden. Weeds along the bed edges and between the beds have now been beaten into submission. I love it!

The okra is still kicking out. On the left is the taller Choppee, which I grew for the first time last year. On the right is Cajun Jewel whose new skinny leaves announce that the season for those plants is drawing to a close.

CJ is described by the vendor as "Dwarf-type, 2Ĺ-4 ft. tall spineless plants produce an early crop of tender 1 in. diameter pods up to 8 in. long." These are at the 3.5' tall mark but about 4' wide. Yes, they started producing early and often! But the pods aren't quite tender at 8" long. Probably up to 6" long. Between the five CJ and Choppee plants we're getting all we want and more.

On the left is Choppee, about 6" long although they will stay tender to 8". The slim pods are velvety soft. On the right is the Cajun Jewel at 4". It could have gotten a bit bigger. The pods are ridged and develop a few little bumps as the pod ages. I'm thinking about removing the CJ's so that I can start letting some Choppee pods grow for later collection without any cross pollination.

The Colossus field peas are going nuts with all the showers we've had.

They're setting another round of blooms after having taken several weeks off. However all the rain has funked up and ruined dried pods so I haven't collected any seed yet. They've just gotten all soft and furry!

There are several buckets that held wildflowers last year, have been totally ignored this year and became covered with the weeds growing all around them. Once the weedeater took care of that, I found a surprise. A volunteer tomatillo! I had forgotten one was planted in a third bucket next to these two last year. I guess a tomatillo dropped into the flower bucket and grew this year. :D:

And finally, this morning I was forking a bed up for future brassica plantings and saw a sprout that looked familiar. This is what I pulled up:

Last October I did a test planting of three potato hills in that spot. They didn't do well at all and nothing came back up in the spring. But evidently something managed to live and sprout now! Go figure. Sometimes things are just late bloomers. ;)

Lyuluck 08-30-2020 08:42 PM

vegetables seems growing good

Weedinhoe 08-31-2020 07:30 AM


Originally Posted by Lyuluck (Post 20559996)
vegetables seems growing good

Thank you! And welcome to the board! There's a ton of good information on all of these board forums so have fun exploring. :)

Weedinhoe 08-31-2020 04:39 PM

Peas and peas! At last writing the Colossus field peas were exuberantly overflowing their bed. Meanwhile the four rows of Big Red Rippers are tall enough that they're about to fall over and run. I still have the deer netting enclosure around them and am tempted to remove it. I'll have to think some more on that. I accidentally got too close to the netting with the weedeater the other day and got a tangled mess. Lesson learned!

In a different bed I am trying one row of a small but tasty field pea someone from North Carolina sent me. Her family has been saving this seed for over fifty years. Her father planted them with the corn in mid July and just called them September Peas because that's when they made. I can't wait to try them! But I will have to get the pruners out because the Colossus behind them are wanting to reach out and touch someone. :eek:

And finally, the purple coneflowers I started from seed and planted out way back in May are blooming. The butterflies are loving them. It's an herbaceous perennial so if winter isn't too bad, they'll be back. I'll have to figure out where to move them to because I already have spring plans for that bed!

citykittyatheart 09-01-2020 08:44 PM

Weed eater-yeah, I have one of those and I need to make some use of it too! I have a ton of paying work in house right now, and after the extreme hiatus of the year I'm happy with that, but it does interfere with other things. My garden is dying back but it's not dead yet, and neatness counts with the city. Weed eater and cover crops to rehabilitate some soil, yeah, that's the ticket!

Weedinhoe 09-01-2020 08:58 PM

Haven't given the new pole chainsaw a go yet. It will be so much quicker than that darned pruning saw/lopper on a telescoping pole. There are a lot of hat-snatcher branches that need to go and a few low limbs that are too thick for the pruning saw pole.

Weedinhoe 09-01-2020 09:45 PM

Today the two Cajun Jewel okra plants hit the road and now reside on Mt. Brushmore. It was time and the three Choppee plants will provide all we need. I got out there about 9am before it got too hot but by 10am it was already 90 with a 101 heat index. Those plants were so bushy I had to clip off the branches to get to the main trunk.

The bad news is that the roots of one were all knotted up with nematodes, the other plant just somewhat affected. The good news is that it was a great test of Cajun Jewel's claim to nematode resistance. Ta-daaaaaaa! It passed with flying colors.

Once the okra were history and out of my way I broadforked the row next to it, pulled out the weeds and tomorrow I will plant two more straightneck squash there. They too will be grown to a stake.

Tonight I started seeds for Round 3 of brassicas; two broccoli, four cabbage and two cauliflower. Also a fernleaf dill, two Little Gem lettuces (more to be sown later) and a six pack of arugula which will later be transplanted into a window box for the winter. Behind tonight's starts are two each of collards and kale that need a little more time before transplant.

Round Two brassicas, started Aug 21, are coming along nicely. The Charleston Wakefield cabbage are just now coming up. It was old seed and two of three pots failed to germinate so I did the wet paper towel trick with 20 seeds. Two of those 20 germinated and both got planted.

Round One plants, started Aug 2, are about 5" tall, are on the porch getting used to the heat and will go in the ground on Sunday.

citykittyatheart 09-02-2020 09:02 AM

How much of your annual needs does your garden provide? It looks like you have a huge space and lots growing there. Do you even need veggies from the grocery store?

Weedinhoe 09-02-2020 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by citykittyatheart (Post 20564894)
How much of your annual needs does your garden provide? It looks like you have a huge space and lots growing there. Do you even need veggies from the grocery store?

Hmmm, I can't really put a percentage on it. 50-75%? I can say we do eat seasonally from the garden, buying things we don't grow (like celery) and things out of season if the urge to have some hits. But that's a good question. There's something growing in the garden year round. By vegetable:

Broccoli - fresh eating for about six weeks each spring and each fall. Maybe buy some off season if on sale or for a specific recipe. I can't get it to freeze right.

Cabbage - Fresh eating, krauting and making kimchi. They're grown here spring and fall and maybe bought a few times off season if we need more kimchi or some slaw.

Carrots - Fresh eating spring and fall and we can up enough for the year. This year the spring carrots held in the ground a long time. There's still one batch left to pull. I'm shocked! So we'll buy a few fresh ones here and there once they're gone until the fall planted carrots are ready in February.

Cauliflower - Last fall was the first time they were successfully grown when we got six heads. What wasn't eaten fresh got whizzed into cauliflower "rice" and frozen for use in recipes. I'm growing about 8 this fall and maybe a few in spring.

Cukes and squashes - Spring plantings don't last too long once heat and bugs get cranking, especially the squash. But there are plenty of cukes for all the pickles we need. If it's a good year the fall cukes will do well. Otherwise they are bought for salads in the off season, maybe 8 or 9 months of the year. Growing winter squash is problematic and they are 100% bought except spaghetti squash, which grows well. Can't wait to try that zucchini rampicante and see if it will fill that winter squash slot!

Eggplant - One 'Millionaire' plant puts out from mid June until about now. Then I start one early June for fall. Hardly ever bought off season.

Onions and scallions - Onions don't store well here so I play at growing some which we eat fresh and buy the rest, which is most all of them. :rolleyes: Scallions I grow year round.

Corn, Green peas, field peas, okra, garlic, collards, kale, green beans, sweet potatoes - We grow and freeze enough of the first four for the year. Garlic is all homegrown with any excess dehydrated and made into garlic powder, enough for the year. Collards or kale in the garden maybe 9 months out of the year and not bought off season. Green beans are grown both spring and fall and we usually can up a year's worth. Sweet potatoes do hold well and we grow a year's worth.

Peppers - Pepper plants last from June until November. Enough sweet pepper is cut up and frozen for cooking to last until next year's are ready. Enough jalapeno slices to last a year are pickled, plus a few half pints of Cowboy Candy. Any excess will be allowed to ripen to red and fermented into hot sauce. That's where we are now, waiting for them to redden. Last year was the first year of growing paprika peppers for dehydrating and making into paprika powder. It worked well enough that a few more plants will be added next spring

Tomatoes are iffy, depending on the year. Sometimes a lot get put up, sometimes little. Regardless we do not buy those nasty regular tomatoes off season but do occasionally buy cherry tomatoes, most of which are pretty fresh and tasty. I'm working on that though by venturing into the world of micro cherry tomatoes. They've been wonderful through the spring and summer. I'm growing more for fall/winter, hoping they'll do well indoors under lights, on window sills and on the front porch during those mid winter spells where they can sit outside for the day.

Turnips, kohlrabi, radishes - Turnips are grown spring and fall and not bought out of season. We don't put up turnips. Radishes are grown fall only and bought the rest of the year except summer when store bought ones are small and hot tasting. I can do without them! Kohlrabi is grown now and then. There's too much competition from turnips! One can have too many root veggies at once. :D:

Herbs - I've got potted up parsley, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary and mint available fresh year-round. Arugula gets planted for fall/winter salads and lasts until the weather starts turning and it bolts. Dill is planted for pickling and the seed is harvested. I just started a fernleaf dill for indoor growing and cooking.

So yeah, we eat a lot from the garden and pretty much pass by the veggie counter at the store about half the year and then just occasionally the rest of the year.

Edited to add: Irish potatoes are grown, eaten fresh and then enough canned to last a year. The only thing I can think of that we always buy is romaine lettuce.

citykittyatheart 09-02-2020 08:10 PM

Wow! Indeed your growing season is quite a lot longer than mine. May-October here, if I'm lucky I can plant potatoes and other cold-tolerant stuff about mid-April. Not this year. And it's not unheard of to get a blizzard about then. Trust me. Done this been there.

And I hear you about the tomatoes, and I'll add a few other things like home-made jam. Once you've tasted your own, the stuff from the store is swill. Those tomatoes are imposters and should not be eaten. I'm going to be the crankiest old lady in assisted living, once they try feeding me that garbage again. Ugh. LOL

Weedinhoe 09-05-2020 05:24 PM

We finally got a little heat relief today from a cool front. Ordinarily I wouldnít call 86 ďcoolĒ but the stiff breeze from the north made it sort of feel that way. Weíll take it!

The last several days have been more fall garden prep. The deer netting and supporting poles around the okra patch and field pea patch have been dismantled and put away. The carrot bed has been forked up for sowing tomorrow. The worst weedy bed has been forked and weeded to get ready for the garlic thatís on the way. I have some Lorz Italian softneck coming in to supplement the Russian Inferno and Siberian that might not be enough to plant all I need as they didnít do so well this year.

The beans finally got mulched. This bed has 18í of Contender on the left and the same of Provider on the right.

Thereís been something going on with the leaves. I canít find a photo of it anywhere online and although it sort of resembles leaf miners, I think itís something environmental, like maybe overwatering. Itís happened before, usually every bean planting and very early. I pick the affected leaves off, cut back watering and the plants always grow out of it.

I got the two new straightneck squash plants set out next to where the Cajun Jewel Okra was. This time I applied some diatomaceous earth around the base of the plants to see if it will take care of squash bugs. Note to self: mulch the squash. Squash are on the left by the trellis.

The jalapeno plants are loaded with peppers. The photo doesnít do it justice as they are loaded on the other side too! Between four of these plants, there should be plenty of ripe peppers to make more fermented hot sauce this year.

This morning I was going to fork the area where turnips will be sown, only to find the last of the spring carrots still there. I pulled all the rest of the carrots, about 5 lbs and got into topping and washing them so turnip prep will happen later.

Tomorrow the first of three flights of brassicas get planted so I got those holes prepped today with some fertilizer, compost etc. All I need to do is stick the plants in tomorrow evening. Easy peasy.

Weedinhoe 09-08-2020 03:15 PM

Wow, today's northerly breeze and lower temps are a blessing and a half. The two old black walnuts continue to rain down leaves. They're also starting to drop a few nuts in what we call the fall hard hat area. :D:

Today's mission has been one of cleaning up. The two trombone and spaghetti vines are done and the sweet potatoes will be dug as soon as some rain softens the ground. Both areas were overgrown and today they met the mower.

Before: Sweet potato area in the front, squash area behind the two big pots.

After: Pots gone and both areas mowed except for the actual row of sweet potato hills.

Well, I rolled the dice by taking down the deer netting from around the field peas. Duh. That was a stupid move. They're back and did a nice munch last night., not only along the edges but also inside the bed.

So I got the netting supports back up this morning and this afternoon we got the netting tied to it. I just know the peas will be all up into the netting before it's all over. Those vines seem to grow a mile a minute.

Two evenings ago I got the first few brassicas planted. I was about to head to the house and remembered the deer and how they love broccoli, etc so I put a netting tunnel over them and a small welded wire tunnel over the first two cauliflowers. The broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are being strung out time-wise and by variety. By the time all are planted the bed will be full.

The carrots also got sown, 18' each of Bolero and Yaya. I forgot to soak the seed overnight so they'll probably taker a bit longer to come up. Until we get rain I'll just have to mist the rows twice a day. They're saying rain by the weekend. We'll see. :rolleyes:

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