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Thread: The 2009 Garden Thread

  1. #251
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Happened to bring the camera to mskis house after Stanfest and took some pictures of his raised bed kitchen garden. As you can see it looks quite healthy.
    I contribute it to two scoops of miracle grow and positive affirmation. After all, those are some “hot” peppers and juicy tomatoes!
    Trusting a DC politician with your money is like trusting a hungry dog with a raw steak.

  2. #252
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I went outside this morning and cleared out the last of the radishes. There were 110 good ones. I pulled the rest anyway. They were getting mixed up in the pumpkins and watermelon.

    The harvest also yielded 64 strawberries and a couple zucchini. Based on the fact that we have 12 zucchini plants and each will likely yield 15-18 zuchini, I think we will be having one at each meal before long.

    The spinach started to seed so I pulled all of it. Sad to see it go, but I chopped, blanched, and froze about five pounds of it for use this winter. The swiss chard will last another week or two. That is about how long the lettuce will be around, too.
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  3. #253
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I went outside this morning and cleared out the last of the radishes. There were 110 good ones. I pulled the rest anyway. They were getting mixed up in the pumpkins and watermelon.

    The harvest also yielded 64 strawberries and a couple zucchini. Based on the fact that we have 12 zucchini plants and each will likely yield 15-18 zuchini, I think we will be having one at each meal before long.

    The spinach started to seed so I pulled all of it. Sad to see it go, but I chopped, blanched, and froze about five pounds of it for use this winter. The swiss chard will last another week or two. That is about how long the lettuce will be around, too.
    I bet all your friends, relatives, and neighbors breathed huge sighs of relief at the end of the radishes! Of course, they're probably unaware of the zucchini avalanche to come!

  4. #254
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    What is the deal with zucchini anyway? I swear, I can go check the garden every single day and be absolutely certain that I got them all only to find one the size of a large infant the next day. How can something that large hide so well?

    I had this vision one summer of actually dressing some of the more enormous zucs up in baby clothes and leaving them on neighbors' doorsteps in baskets. Take it - please! I can't possibly care for it properly myself!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #255
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    What is the deal with zucchini anyway? I swear, I can go check the garden every single day and be absolutely certain that I got them all only to find one the size of a large infant the next day. How can something that large hide so well?

    I had this vision one summer of actually dressing some of the more enormous zucs up in baby clothes and leaving them on neighbors' doorsteps in baskets. Take it - please! I can't possibly care for it properly myself!
    I'll second that. I picked six the day before yesterday and thought I had them all. I picked four more yesterday and found one giant out there. Two hours later Mrs. Cardinal comes in with another giant one that I somehow missed.

    We are still getting about 2-3 dozen strawberries every other day. These have not been going to neighbors and friends, but end up on cereal or as a desert. The first watermelons are appearing, not more than two inches long. The same for the pumpkins. Cucumbers and acorn squash are a little slower. The peppers are starting to bloom. The cauliflower and brussels sprouts are starting to form. Most of the tomato plants are flowering. These will be a welcome change from lettuce and radishes, or lettuce and zucchini.
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  6. #256
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    The first watermelons are appearing, not more than two inches long. The same for the pumpkins. Cucumbers and acorn squash are a little slower. The peppers are starting to bloom. The cauliflower and brussels sprouts are starting to form. Most of the tomato plants are flowering. These will be a welcome change from lettuce and radishes, or lettuce and zucchini.
    What a difference the distance between the Cheese State and the Sunshine State makes. I've started on my second planting of cucumbers and my butternut squash have been harvested (except for a couple from a vine that looked dead then sprang back to life befor I had a chance to pull it out. It started to flower and I left it mostly for bee food. Now it has two nice sized squash on it.) Tomatos are done. I have a late planting of watermellons, see if I get any before frost. The downside here is that no chance of growing lettuce or spinich in the summer. and I can only reasonable grow the gabbage family in the winter. Some things I really love - parsnips, carrots, beets- just don't doo well here.

  7. #257
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    What is the deal with zucchini anyway? I swear, I can go check the garden every single day and be absolutely certain that I got them all only to find one the size of a large infant the next day. How can something that large hide so well?

    I had this vision one summer of actually dressing some of the more enormous zucs up in baby clothes and leaving them on neighbors' doorsteps in baskets. Take it - please! I can't possibly care for it properly myself!
    I think that zucchini must grow by the minute! I have 1 plant, but I have to watch that beast like a hawk or I'll get a bomb if I miss even 1 day of picking! The last year I planted 3 plants (I lucked out because either a bunny or woodchuck got the 4th one), I gave up trying to pawn them off on people I knew, and just put them out front with a "FREE" sign. I've already shredded and frozen 13 cups of the stuff (enough for 10 loaves of z-bread plus a z-cake).

    The local food bank/soup kitchen now takes produce, so I think I'll take my excess over to them.

  8. #258
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    I think that zucchini must grow by the minute! I have 1 plant, but I have to watch that beast like a hawk or I'll get a bomb if I miss even 1 day of picking! The last year I planted 3 plants (I lucked out because either a bunny or woodchuck got the 4th one), I gave up trying to pawn them off on people I knew, and just put them out front with a "FREE" sign. I've already shredded and frozen 13 cups of the stuff (enough for 10 loaves of z-bread plus a z-cake).
    The first time I grew zucchini I made the mistake of planting 4 of them. No friendly bunnies or woodchucks helped me out, either. I ended composting most of the baseball bats that sprung up near the end of the season. This year I have one zucchini and it is starting to show signs of powdery mildew. I've only gotten one medium sized zuke so far this year.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #259
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    My suggestion for the zucchini growers is hold a Spinal Tap party. Tell everyone to come as Derek Smalls and that you'll provide the necessary accessory for that part.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  10. #260
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Richi, I should be further along with my harvest, but I planted late and planted everything from seed. We have had an unusually cool summer except for one week in the 90's. That has been very good for plants like the lettuce and cauliflower. I have seven 8' rows of carrots that are ripening nicely, and three 8' rows of parsnip.

    I don't understand this concept of growing only small quantities of an item. I felt limited this year because I did not have time to open up the back corner of the yard where I will grow the vine plants in the future. They take up half of the area I would prefer to devote to other vegetables. How am I supposed to survive on just 29 tomato plants, or 74 pepper plants?
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  11. #261
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    I envy the parsnips. They are expensive to buy here (when you can find them). I guess it all a trade off. I can have crops growing all year, but summer here is an awfull time to garden except for a few things. Yopur cooler and I guess drier summers plus your longer days of sunlight, seem to allow larger crop yields all at once. 90 degrees, 90% humidity and 90+ kinds of bugs, fungi, etc. Knock a l;ot of stuff off by thestart of July. I don't much mess with the garden now until September when I will start the fall garden.

  12. #262
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richi View post
    I envy the parsnips. They are expensive to buy here (when you can find them). I guess it all a trade off. I can have crops growing all year, but summer here is an awfull time to garden except for a few things. Yopur cooler and I guess drier summers plus your longer days of sunlight, seem to allow larger crop yields all at once. 90 degrees, 90% humidity and 90+ kinds of bugs, fungi, etc. Knock a l;ot of stuff off by thestart of July. I don't much mess with the garden now until September when I will start the fall garden.
    Yeah, I'll water the blueberries and raspberries we planted this year, but otherwise, we're done. The tomatoes were over by late May, I've got 3 bags of dried cayenne peppers I need to grind up for cooking, and it's just plain too hot to garden and has been for weeks. I'll pull weeds a couple times in the evening when it's tolerable out but that's it.

  13. #263
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richi View post
    I envy the parsnips. They are expensive to buy here (when you can find them). I guess it all a trade off. I can have crops growing all year, but summer here is an awfull time to garden except for a few things. Yopur cooler and I guess drier summers plus your longer days of sunlight, seem to allow larger crop yields all at once. 90 degrees, 90% humidity and 90+ kinds of bugs, fungi, etc. Knock a l;ot of stuff off by thestart of July. I don't much mess with the garden now until September when I will start the fall garden.
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Yeah, I'll water the blueberries and raspberries we planted this year, but otherwise, we're done. The tomatoes were over by late May, I've got 3 bags of dried cayenne peppers I need to grind up for cooking, and it's just plain too hot to garden and has been for weeks. I'll pull weeds a couple times in the evening when it's tolerable out but that's it.
    This is why I could never live in the South, especially Florida. I love to be outside doing something, even if it's only walking my dog, except in the hottest part of the day, and gardening is one of my passions, especially flowers.

  14. #264
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    It's all relative- We can garden in mid Feb and othen in just a long sleeved shirt.

  15. #265
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richi View post
    It's all relative- We can garden in mid Feb and othen in just a long sleeved shirt.
    You don't wear pants??? Even RJ wears pants when he gardens! (Just not so much when he's out by the pool....)

  16. #266
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Harvest Time

    This is about the busiest time of the year for vegetable gardeners in the Great Lakes area. Just about everything is coming in now. Harvesting something every day and we seem to be spending every other day canning and blanching/freezing surplus produce. Yesterday, for instance, I picked 1.2 lbs beans (both bush and pole beans), about 8-10 cherry tomatoes, 6 big tomatoes, 5 beets, 7 carrots, 4 green peppers, and 1 cucumber. And that was a fairly typical day this week.

    I've been keeping a harvest log for certain vegetables the first time this year and am pleasantly surprised at how much we're putting up for later consumption. I've been recording everything by weight and while I haven't totalled anything up yet (still in the midst of harvest), but I'll bet we've harvested well over 15 lbs of green beans so far and at least half again that much in tomatoes. We're half way through the sweet corn (staggered harvest) but still have about 11 more ears to pick. Plan to harvest the onions IF the ground dries out by this weekend.

    Oh, and earlier I thought for sure powdery mildew was going to kill off my zucchini, I pulled two thirds of the leaves off a few weeks ago and the durned thing ended up springing back to life and I've got two more zukes that'll probably be ready to pick the end of this week. Also, I pulled out the dehydrator and tonight plan to dry more herbs. We dried a couple of ounces of dill earlier in the season but plan to cull the rest of the dill (have seeds too) some parsley, cilantro, thyme, oregano, and chives tonight. Hopefully we'll get one more big herb harvest before the frost hits.

    How are your harvests (or fall gardens for the folks in warmer climates) going?

    We plan to make some salsa this weekend, just like wahday. Not sure what recipe we'll use, but we'll try to use as much from our garden as possible.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  17. #267
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Peppers are the only plants still producing. One habanjaro (sp?) plant has already produced about 15 nice yello-orange ripe ones and there are about twice as many green ones on the plant. Still flowering. They are so hot that one doesn't need many. Why is it that stuff you only need a little of produces so much?

    Two Jalapino plants are producing well. I pickled three quarts of them, gave away a lot and this weekend we had poppers! Trally tasty snack. Sweet peppers are still producing, but not as much. I won't start the fall/winter garden until mid-september.

  18. #268
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richi View post
    Two Jalapino plants are producing well. I pickled three quarts of them, gave away a lot and this weekend we had poppers! Trally tasty snack. Sweet peppers are still producing, but not as much. I won't start the fall/winter garden until mid-september.
    I wondered if zone 9'ers were starting their broccoli seeds, or parsley or whatever cool weather veggies they like indoors right now. Sounds like that's not for another few weeks.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  19. #269
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    wondered if zone 9'ers were starting their broccoli seeds, or parsley or whatever cool weather veggies they like indoors right now.
    Maister, I have to admit that I cheat and buy plants to set out mostly. I did start tomatos from seed last spring as that is the only way to get the good old fashoned kind (ie: the ones that actually taste like a tomato). It worked well and I will start more next spring.

    Now that the garden has expanded I may start more from seed indoors. I will plant an entire 12'x15' bed with turnips froom seed directly into the garden this fall.

  20. #270
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Just got back from 11 days on vacation and our pepper plants are now officially "huge". The red bell peppers are the size of grapefruits but have not yet started to change color. The green ones are a bit smaller but still about apple sized. Tomatoes aren't doing nearly as well for some reason. :p
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  21. #271
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    Just got back from 11 days on vacation and our pepper plants are now officially "huge". The red bell peppers are the size of grapefruits but have not yet started to change color. The green ones are a bit smaller but still about apple sized. Tomatoes aren't doing nearly as well for some reason. :p
    In our neck of the woods, a lot of people have lost their tomato plants to a blight. The tomatoes are literally turning black on the vine.

  22. #272
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I started late or I should be as far along as Maister. We have done very well with the root vegetables. I have now begun harvesting the carrots. The tomatoes are just beginning to ripen. The peppers are still small. The brocoli and onions are ready to harvest, but not the brussel sprouts. The pumpkins are growing huge and we now have cucumbers showing up. Not a bad year, but it should be much better next year when I put another 2500 square feet in production.

    Oh, I salvaged enough apples to make eight jars of applesauce.
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  23. #273
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    How are your harvests (or fall gardens for the folks in warmer climates) going?
    I lost my zucchini plant very early (June). The watermelon and cantaloupe plants are on their last legs (I only got about 6 melons from each). I will not plant those again next year.

    My tomotoes, Japanese eggplant and okra are insane. I cannot pick them fast enough. The okra produces about 1-2 fruits per plant per day (I have 6 plants). The red peppers are very, very slow to develop, but they're still going.

    The herb garden is also insane, with 4-foot-high Italian and Thai basil plants and large chive, oregano, thyme and tarragon plants. The pot for the mint was too small and it strangled itself a month ago.

    I have a bunch of sweet potatoes to harvest, but I don't know when they'll be done (any advice?). My fall garden (broccoli, spinach, brussels, lettuce, etc.) will not go in until September.

  24. #274
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    The watermelon and cantaloupe plants are on their last legs (I only got about 6 melons from each). I will not plant those again next year.
    Only 6? I would be elated if I grew 6 watermelons and 6 canteloupe. How many plants did you have of each? They are kinda space hogs and if one doesn't have a lot of garden area to work with there are more productive crops that are probably better to choose from.
    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    I have a bunch of sweet potatoes to harvest, but I don't know when they'll be done (any advice?).
    Based on what I've read, figure about 120 days harvest after planting. The nice thing about them is it's not a big deal if you don't harvest precisely on that date and choose to let them go a couple weeks longer.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  25. #275
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    have a bunch of sweet potatoes to harvest, but I don't know when they'll be done (any advice?).
    Jemello - Poke around in the soil with your fingers and feel the size. I agree with Maister that it is not critical to let them go a little long. What is critical (found out the hard way) is to not plant sweet potatos in too rich soil. I planted in really good compost and all I got were long, thin roots not worth bothering with. But I had really lush vegetation on top of the ground..

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