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Replanted 2018 Spring Garden kev Farming, Gardening & Homesteading 3 05-01-2018 10:20 AM

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Old 06-16-2018, 01:40 PM
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Default Article: Garden Update June 16, 2018 - Tomatoes, Peppers and Okra



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The garden got off to a late start this year. In March we received so much rain the seeds rotted in the ground. It seemed like every couple of days we were getting a cold front.

2018 was the first year I had ever seen potatoes rot in the ground.

All of this means the 2018 garden is running a month behind. Instead of the peppers producing in May, they are producing in June. Which is no big deal because once the peppers start producing, they will continue until the first frost.

Instead of the okra being planted at the first of May, it was planted at the end of May. I was hoping to get some rain to help the okra germinate, but we did not get rain for a month.


Eventually, I decided to plant the okra and water the seeds with a sump pump that sits in a creek. Everything worked out and the seeds germinated. Once the okra started to come up, it is making solid progress.

Tomatoes and Tomato Cages

Some of the tomato cages I used were too small, and a couple of the tomato plants fell over. I knew this was going to happen.

Why did I let the tomatoes fall over?

To show people what can happen when they use small cages.

A couple of my tomato plants are getting close to 6 feet tall. There is just too much weight at the top of the cage.

The tomatoes that were directly into the ground are doing the best. The ones that were planted in pots, then planted in the ground are doing the worst.

So there are two lessons:
  • Plant the tomato plants directly to the soil.
  • Use large cages, and push the the cages deep into the soil.

Next year I may drive some T-post in the ground, secure a section of cattle panel to the post, they tie the cages to the cattle panel. I may do something like tomatoes on one side, and peppers on the other side.

Peppers and Okra

Both are doing well, and both were planted close to a month behind schedule.

However, once the peppers and the okra start producing, they will produce until winter arrives.

Several years ago I had some pepper plants survive the mild winter. As a result, they produced for a year and a half.

Okra is a hot weather crop that thrives in these southern hot summers. There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of, "The hotter it gets, the more okra will make."

Okra is native to Africa, and it thrives in hot summers. As far as I know there is no exact knowledge of when okra was brought the United States. It is speculated seeds were brought over during the slave trade.

Okra has another 6 weeks or so before it starts producing. Okra takes around 60 days before it starts producing. Some of that is based on rainfall, heat, fertilizer.. etc. So let's say two months.

The seeds have been in the ground for 2 - 3 weeks. So let's say another 6 weeks or around the start of July before the okra starts producing.

Some of the cowhorn (chili peppers) got top heavy and fell over. I should have used a small cage to help hold them upright.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
The garden got off to a late start this year. In March we received so much rain the seeds rotted in the ground. ...I was hoping to get some rain to help the okra germinate, but we did not get rain for a month.
That seems to happen a lot. The years we get tons of rain in the spring, we get dry spells early summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
The tomatoes that were directly into the ground are doing the best. The ones that were planted in pots, then planted in the ground are doing the worst...Next year I may drive some T-post in the ground, secure a section of cattle panel to the post, they tie the cages to the cattle panel.
Large pots (like 10 and 15 gallon) work well for smaller plantings, sometimes better than in the ground if disease is an issue in your area. Tying the cages to a stake(s) in the ground (t-post or other) will keep them from falling over. I learned that the hard way!

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Originally Posted by kev View Post
Some of the cowhorn (chili peppers) got top heavy and fell over. I should have used a small cage to help hold them upright.
I used to put a cage on the peppers but now I just pound a stake in the ground next to each pepper plant with about 3' of stake above ground. Then as the peppers grow, the main stem of each plants gets tied very loosely to the stake. Sure helps when storm winds come through and saves on the number of cages I need.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:38 AM
Oldhat Oldhat is offline
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Get ya some 16ft galvanized cattle panels and make your tomato cages. They'll last a lifetime. Out of a 16 ft panel I get two cages and one smaller section that I leave flat and trellis my cucumbers with. Oh, cut the bottom wire off with a pair of bolt cutters for the cages, this gives you 10 or so "stakes" to push in the ground. I weave my plants through the cattle panel to help support them. I also simply use zip ties to hold the panel to it's "roundish" shape.
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