It has been a strange year. Some crops - like the peas and strawberries - are doing exceptionally well. The last time I tried tomatillos it was a complete failure. This year I have two thick 8-foot rows of plants. On the other hand, plants that are usually no problem at all are struggling. Half of my beans did not sprout. The same with the zucchini. Only two of eight cucumber plants are now just six inches long. The fennel and cilantro are thick and tall, while the basil and rosemary, planted in the same bed, are struggling. I usually have tons of basil. Carrots? I planted an entire bed and can still only see a few starting. Last year I harvested 30 pounds of carrots, and 50 pounds the year before. We are still eating them. Where I planted eggplant I have nothing but a few milkweed plants (which will at least be relocated to a flower bed).
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The bounty of the growing season begins in earnest ...
I've been munching swiss chard and leaf lettuce for a few weeks already, but I had my first harvest from my serious garden crops today:
1 regular tomatoI plan on harvesting mint, dill, parsley, basil and thyme for drying some time this week. I usually hang the stuff in the garage, but it's really humid so I will probably use the dehydrator on some of it.
4 salad-sized zucchini
1 small Lady Bell green pepper
1/2 quart red raspberries
We had 3 planters full of delicious spring mix we were eating almost every night. I went out to water them one evening last week, and a cloud of teeny tiny little white insects flew off. They killed those plants within 3 days. The tomato may be next.
My veggie garden has gone untended since the accident. Mrs. Maister grabbed a few leaves of lettuce the other day, but apart from that it hasn't been weeded, and the maters and cukes havent been tied up. I might be able to do something in the garden maybe in time for fall, but that remains to be seen. Right now not much good news on the garden front.
It would cheer me up, though, to hear about how your gardens are doing
We actually harvested a few tomatoes (not Early Girl which seem to have been hit by blight) yesterday, enough lettuce for some dinner salad, maybe a pound of green beans (bush), a pint of strawberries and even some freakish out-of-season asparagus! Mrs. Maister found a forgotten radish...the size of a tennis ball! (probably both woody and hot)
It was nice, though, to enjoy a few fruits from the garden
The tomatoes are coming! I'm starting to swim in them. Seem to be battling some blossom end rot, but still plenty that are unaffected. Some tasty romas, some kind of orange tomato, and others whose id tages are now inaccessible. But all super tasty!
And the peppers! The jalapenos are almost ready to start picking. Green chiles are on a rampage - I probably have about a dozen ready to pick and roast. Poblanos are the slowest to fruit, but they are coming along.
That's mainly what I have grown this year beyond a number of herbs and bok choy (which actually has done very well - its in a fairly shady spot).
Its been a very hot and dry summer here. I've kept up with watering dilligently, but its been a real challenge and even despite all of that, all my plants have struggled. Recently put up some shade structures and that took just enough edge off - especially for the peppers who have really taken off. I'm very low budget, so I used salvaged wood and screen material (like to repair your windows or screen door) and that seems to work just fine. I'm sure real shade cloth is great, but dang that stuff is pricey!
The purpose of life is a life of purpose
This year, the gardens have been hosting bunny rabbits. Cute things. They are brown with white tails, kinda small, bouncy, almost like a Beatrix Potter book.
And they eat everything! No beans this year. No carrots. No peas. So far they have left the garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, and blue berries alone. But the summer is just getting going.
"Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander
I have been busily foisting zucchini off on my neighbors for the last week -- and more is to come! Co-workers are next!
My sweet peppers are busily ripening, and the tomatoes are just starting to come with regularity. My lettuce is about done as it's ready to bolt, and it was too hot and dry for the late seeding to do any good. OTOH, the swiss chard is still doing well.
The everbearing red raspberries already have their second set of blossoms and the bees are going crazy.
The asiatic lilies along the patio are not only lovely, they fill the air with their scent, especially when it's still. Phlox, liatris, black-eyed susans, glorioso daisies, hollyhocks, heleopsis, and a few late daylilies are filling the garden with color. My shrub roses are pretty well done, so I've got to cut them back so I'll get another crop.
I having had some success with my hydrangeas, finally. I've concluded that the trick is to buy the newer varieties that bloom either on new wood or old and new wood. The two Annabelle varieties I have are absolutely gorgeous, being filled with huge 8-10" mophead blooms. A pink mophead I planted last year bloomed but the plant and blooms were small, My paniculata (PeeGee) tree hydrangea is budded and ready to bloom in a couple of weeks. The mophead out front, which was pink last year, was a very deep purple this year, leading me to think a little Miracid will turn that beastie blue. It still puts on only a few blooms, all lower on the plant. I think it needs a new home. Another hydrangea that needs a new home is my one lace-cap which is pink. It only had 1 small blossom.
It has not been a very good year. Blame it partly on weather and partly on me not doing enough work in the garden. After returning from a two-week trip last night I surveyed the wreckage. The herbs have mostly gone to seed. The peas stopped producing, which was expected. Cherry tomatoes and tomatillos will be good, but no Romas this year. The carrot patch is overgrown with weeds. Some good zucchinis, but others rotting - too much rain? Cucumbers are good, but only three of twelve plants. Beans are a mixed bag. Green beans are doing well, but the coco rubico are drying up.
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Here is a link to my photos on Flickr from the 2008, 2010, and 2011 Buffalo Gardenwalk, an amazing "open house" of yards on Buffalo's beautiful and historic West Side. There were some 350+ gardens open in 2011, all free. There was even a free shuttle bus.
If you are planning a trip to Buffalo next summer and are looking for something to do to get the feel of the city, plan on the last weekend in July, the traditional weekend for the Gardenwalk.
We've been able to do an 11th hour (well, maybe more like 9th hour) salvage operation on the garden and have managed to bring in a little harvest. I don't think we saved any money at Maister Gardens this year and may even end up in the red. The tomato harvest was the biggest disappointment largely due to a mid-season blight that went unchecked for almost three weeks. By that time the damage was done. We've harvested maybe a dozen mid-sized tomatoes and perhaps a score of cherry tomatoes. I think I spent something like $14 on a replacement flat of tomatoes so the disappointing harvest thus far has really stung. There are blossoms on the three or four healthy remaining plants so I may be able to double the harvest by season's end, but no matter how you cut it tomatoes were a bust this year.
Cucumbers have done alright and I just harvested two large cukes last night. All the letttuce unfortunately bolted during the hot spell and I only got a couple of salads and a few individual leaves for grilled hamburgs. Harvested enough dill for perhaps three or four cucumber salads. Beans were about the only area we've done well and I would estimate (didn't weigh 'em) we harvested about 5 lbs of bush beans last night. I wasn't able to complete the bush bean plantings this year and intended to plant an additional 18 beans, but what we got was adequate. Peppers got crowded ouut by the bush beans and it looks like we'll have a repeat of last year and if we're lucky maybe get four or five smallish green peppers by the end of September.
Sooooo...... now that I am ambulatory once again I will put all of my remaining efforts into making the best fall garden possible. I'm hoping to plant lots of lettuce, spinach, turnips, and radishes this week to hoperfully harvest come October.
So how would you go about treating the tomato blight?
We are harvesting our first meat crop since planting the garden. I found four fist-sized bunnies cowering under the bean plants.
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“Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”
Any of you gardeners tried these out yet?
I usually do just fine with a cheap pair from Lowe's, but then I don't do a lot of gardening compared to some of y'all.
The TommyToe tomatoes are coming in nicely.
"Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
"Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver
I am having a tomato issue, though most are doing great. I am getting a fair amount of blossom endrot on my romas. The strange thing is that, in contrast to past years, it only affects some of the fruits, but not all. So the same plant has some with blossom endrot and some that are perfectly fine. My experience has been that if the plant has it, all the fruits will be impacted. So, I don't know what is going on, but I'm still harvesting tomatoes, so I am just keeping an eye on things.
I also have one tomato plant producing beautiful, blemish free yellow/orange fruits that has, for the past two months, had curled up leaves. I thought it was a heat/sun issue and so shaded the plant, but nothing has changed. I also suspected curly leaf, but usually when I have had that, the plants are not able to fruit, or have small, dried up looking fruits before the whole plant dies. But this plant is just cranking out one beautiful tomato after another. Its very odd. But I'm not complaining. Just confused...
Nonetheless, I've made some great salsas this summer with the jalapenos, poblanos and chiles. The red and yellow tomatoes make for a great looking product.
The purpose of life is a life of purpose
My front garden has been nominated by my neighbors and other city residents for the "Grow Jamestown" program! This is a surprising honor for me as I wasn't even aware of the program. Hopefully, pictures of my garden will make the program's website.
Wow, looks like fall came a little early this year. Those of you following this thread know our veggie garden was pretty much neglected for about five weeks and not surprisingly has fared poorly as a result. Some eleventh hour efforts have, however, borne fruit (or veggies as the case may be) and I managed to save a few cherry tomato plants. Junior has enjoyed eating them whenever he goes out in the back yard to play.
I didnt bother to measure or formally count any harvest this year but I'd guess we got a few score cherry tomatoes. Cucumbers fared pretty well this year and I'd guess the three surviving plants produced 14-16 medium sized cukes this year. There are a few more tiny cukes growing but with the weather being as cool as its been its unclear whether they will mature sufficiently to bother picking. Green beans, as I mentioned upthread also did well, but look like they've run their course for the year.
Managed to harvest enough dill to maybe get us through winter and maybe enough green beans to see us through to the end of the year. With my work schedule and some other 'life' issues getting in the way I never did manage to plant much in the way of a fall garden and so no lettuce or spinach to look forward to. The one broccoli plant Junior planted may provide enough broccoli for a meal or two this fall.
The mums are plumping up nicely and will probably start to flower in a couple of weeks and the petunias are managing to hang on too, so there's still a little color in Mrs. Maister's flower beds.
Next year looks like a busy one and I think we will make less ambitious plans for the garden.
I'm curious how did the gardens fare for some of the folks who just started their own this year?
Last edited by Maister; 08 Sep 2011 at 9:08 AM.