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Thread: The 2012 Annual Garden Thread

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Update: sweet corn is now going for $3.00/half dozen ears at the grocery store looks like ddomin had the right idea this year!
    Right idea and wrong execution...

    Most of if not all my ears of corn have rotted/died before reaching edible maturity. I guess its because the corn was too close together. Better luck next year. On the flip side, my Kale has been producing wonderfully all summer. You win some you lose some.

    I just planted some Arugula two weeks ago and it seems to be doing pretty well, and should be ready in about 4 weeks.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally posted by ddomin4360 View post
    Right idea and wrong execution...

    Most of if not all my ears of corn have rotted/died before reaching edible maturity. I guess its because the corn was too close together. Better luck next year. On the flip side, my Kale has been producing wonderfully all summer. You win some you lose some.

    I just planted some Arugula two weeks ago and it seems to be doing pretty well, and should be ready in about 4 weeks.
    Yeah, that's one nice thing about planting different varieties of veggies in one's garden; something will almost always do well where others are doing poorly.

    I disagree about the corn spacing, though. I have successfully grown four stalks of corn per square foot. When planting at this density, the ears will necessarily be smaller (6-8" instead of 10-12" ears) than with traditional spacing, but this is more than made up for by being able to grow four times as many ears in the same amount of space. If the corn died I suspect a different cause.
    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

  3. #78
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    I didn't plant a garden this year But I've got a bumper crop of peaches coming this year. For whatever reason (altitude, I don't know) peaches grow really sweet here. It'll be time for some peaches and cream and then an unholy amount of freezer jam in about 3 weeks.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  4. #79
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    I didn't plant a garden this year But I've got a bumper crop of peaches coming this year. For whatever reason (altitude, I don't know) peaches grow really sweet here. It'll be time for some peaches and cream and then an unholy amount of freezer jam in about 3 weeks.
    I kind of wish I hadn’t bothered… something has been pulling my plants down underneath the ground and I’ve lost all my pepper plants (with baby peppers on them) and one pumpkin plant already. It’s just a matter of time before the others go. I could maybe save my cucumber plant but the others (pumpkin and squash) aren’t really container-able. At least my tomatoes and strawberries are in containers.

    Peaches sound delicous right now!

  5. #80
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    I have been thinking more of the garden again lately. Like Maister, we have a number of tomatoes preparing to ripen. The few jalapeno pepper plants that sprouted are producing a decent crop, but the gree peppers were a no-show. I have harvested only three cucumbers so far and the plants are beginning to brown. The green beans appear to be about finished as well. The tomatillos were all volunteers, and I doubt we will get more than about 250-300. The sweet corn is about a month from ripening. We have three nice watermelons and the potential for more. The acorn squash looks like it will be very productive this year, but the canteloupe is far behind and it will likely freeze before they ripen. All in all, maybe not a bad year considering the drought. Still, it is painful to think of all the work we put in to get such a meager harvest.

    Has anyone else been casing the garden centers for end of season clearance plants and stuff? I have picked up a trunk full of plants. Most of the really good stuff is already gone or not yet clearanced, but I have made a few good finds, in addition to just getting plants to fill in garden spaces.
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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Yeah, that's one nice thing about planting different varieties of veggies in one's garden; something will almost always do well where others are doing poorly.

    I disagree about the corn spacing, though. I have successfully grown four stalks of corn per square foot. When planting at this density, the ears will necessarily be smaller (6-8" instead of 10-12" ears) than with traditional spacing, but this is more than made up for by being able to grow four times as many ears in the same amount of space. If the corn died I suspect a different cause.
    Whats happening is that many of the ears are exposing themselves without being fully developed and bugs are ruining them. I pulled one today and the good kernels look amazing. Hopefully some survive.

    Here's a pictar-


  7. #82
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I have a ton of fall landscaping I need to do. A neighbor hates his climbing rose bushes that are not actually climbing on anything, and was going to through them away. Just so happens I am building a long trellis /green fence between the driveway and the yard so he said I could have them. I also need to redo the front landscaping. We took it out before we started to paint because we did not want to crush the Japanese Maple, hyderangas, or rhododendrons. We did not worry so much about the hosta's since they will be slit here before winter and replanted.

    Maybe I will get some mums and kale into the ground for fall color before the end of the season... if we finish painting the front of the house that is...

    I don't understand why people don't do more fall landscaping.
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  8. #83
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    Quote Originally posted by ddomin4360 View post
    Whats happening is that many of the ears are exposing themselves without being fully developed and bugs are ruining them. I pulled one today and the good kernels look amazing. Hopefully some survive.

    Here's a pictar-

    Not really a gardener but I did grow up on a farm. That looks like you had incomplete pollination of the ear of corn. It would probably be worth while next year to try hand pollination to improve your return. Google "hand pollination corn" to see the technique.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Not really a gardener but I did grow up on a farm. That looks like you had incomplete pollination of the ear of corn. It would probably be worth while next year to try hand pollination to improve your return. Google "hand pollination corn" to see the technique.
    Thanks for the tip. I have had the same problem with my corn. Also, it is not very sweet, and I also have bugs getting into some of the ears. Any thoughts?
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  10. #85
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Thanks for the tip. I have had the same problem with my corn. Also, it is not very sweet, and I also have bugs getting into some of the ears. Any thoughts?
    That pretty much exhausted my knowledge base. I'd guess sweetness has more to do with variety and possibly soils. Can't help you on the bugs at all. My parents would have used DDT and that's not something we ought to go back to. We'd all starve if we had to depend on my gardening knowledge.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Thanks for the tip. I have had the same problem with my corn. Also, it is not very sweet, and I also have bugs getting into some of the ears. Any thoughts?
    Lots of folks this year have incomplete pollination problems - heat and drought. Not sweet is indicative of either inadequate nutrition (corn is a hi-nitogen crop) and/or highly variable water, but best bet is low N. Bugs is a whole different problem that you can't do anything about except vigilance.
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  12. #87
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Not really a gardener but I did grow up on a farm. That looks like you had incomplete pollination of the ear of corn. It would probably be worth while next year to try hand pollination to improve your return. Google "hand pollination corn" to see the technique.
    The whole ear needs pollination, interesting...

    My Arugula is going fine so far. Growing them in buckets so I can bring them into the enclosed porch and get Arugula all winter.

  13. #88
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    Does arugula ever do poorly?
    Tomato harvest is still in full swing. I certainly wouldn't call it a bumper year but the tomato harvest has been adequate, especially considering the weather we've had. I intend to harvest some more cherry tomatoes this evening and will probably net at least a couple of quarts.

    The celery is tad on the anemic side, but most importantly it simply made it through the season. A dozen or so small green peppers coming on line. I'll let 'em grow as long as I can, but barring some miracle, I can already tell they're not going to get very large/satisfactory size. There's also a single perfect (but small) crown of broccoli awaiting harvest this weekend. All in all the word 'bounty' does not spring to mind in connection with the veggie garden 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

  14. #89
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    My tomatoes have prospered this year, both my few plants here and the many plants out at the farm plot. In fact, I've taken to passing my tomatoes out to all my neighbors and coworkers. I've probably going to take some to the local soup kitchen this weekend.

    It was a great year for sunflowers. I have them growing all over my yard, courtesy of the birds that are messy eaters at the feeders, but I also have a nice crop out at the farm that have attracted flocks of goldfinches.

    My spaghetti squash (basically 1 hill since the second hill failed in the heat and drought), has gone crazy ... lots of vines and fruits.

    If you live in deer country and would like to try electric fencing, the deer-proof fence design that my brother used this year has worked like a charm. It NOT only kept out the deer but woodchucks and turkeys out. The only veggie "predators" that made it inside the fence this growing season have been voles, squirrels, and chipmunks. I'm thinking of investing in tall tomato trellises to get the tomatoes off the ground and away from the short critters.

    Quote Originally posted by ddomin4360 View post
    Whats happening is that many of the ears are exposing themselves without being fully developed and bugs are ruining them. I pulled one today and the good kernels look amazing. Hopefully some survive.
    From the pic you had of your garden upthread, ddomin, you had incomplete pollenation because you planted only 2 rows of corn rather than a square, and you planted it up against a solid fence. Since corn is pollinated by the wind, with the pollen falling on the ears when the wind shakes the stalks, you really should plant 3 or 4 rows. Moving it away from the fence if you could would help, too, but more rows is a must.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 28 Sep 2012 at 11:34 AM. Reason: seq. posts
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  15. #90
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    ddom, ofos and LindaD are almost certainly correct about the pollination problem.



    Looking at your photo upthread it appears you've only got maybe two rows planted. You should have at least four rows. If the fence backs to the direction of the prevailing winds you may be able to help things along by gently shaking the stalks several times a week. The idea is to get the pollen from the male tassels on top to the female silk.
    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

  16. #91
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    I spent the last two days canning. Forty tomatoes (along with fresh basil, oregano, onions, and garlic, and a few dried spices) produced about six quarts of sauce. Eighty tomatillos, a eight jalapenos, a couple onions, and a few other ingredients have given me eight pints of chili verde sauce. Mrs. Cardinal also used the tomatoes and jalapenos to make a chili sauce.

    We are still getting a good number of cherry and grape tomatoes. After a poor start it looks like we will get an OK carrot crop (about 1/4 of what I planted), but not so for the parsnip. The melons and squash got off to a late start, so while we did get three watermelon, it looks like there will be no canteloupe. The acorn squash are going to produce maybe about a dozen, but no pumpkins this year.
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  17. #92
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    Anybody save seeds? We are giving it a try with a few this year. The watermelon we planted was exceptionally good, and since I could not remember the variety, the missus suggested keeping some of the seeds to plant next year. Any tips on the best way to do this? I basically just dried them and put them in a bag.
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  18. #93
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Anybody save seeds? We are giving it a try with a few this year. The watermelon we planted was exceptionally good, and since I could not remember the variety, the missus suggested keeping some of the seeds to plant next year. Any tips on the best way to do this? I basically just dried them and put them in a bag.
    If it is an heirloom variety you can save and get the same plant next year. If it is a hybrid, then all is a crapshoot and no guarantee. Wipe off the goo and store dry in a paper bag in a cool dry place and you'll be fine for the storage aspect of the issue. I'm still figuring out what grows here so I don't save at this time, but SOP normally.
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  19. #94
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Anybody save seeds? We are giving it a try with a few this year. The watermelon we planted was exceptionally good, and since I could not remember the variety, the missus suggested keeping some of the seeds to plant next year. Any tips on the best way to do this? I basically just dried them and put them in a bag.
    That's pretty much all one has to do. I have a big glass jar to store all the seed envelopes (both purchased and home-grown). I also keep a few bags of desiccant in the bottom of the jar to minimize moisture and store the sealed jar in the garage refrigerator throughout the 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

  20. #95
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    We had a series of frosts a couple weeks ago that took out the remaining peppers and tomatoes. Harvested the last little tufts of broccoli this weekend. I had no other cool weather plants, so the vegetable garden is officially done for the season. This was overall a disappointing season across the board, and about the only thing I could boast moderate success was with our tomatoes (and even then 'success' is a relative term). I did, however, build a compost tumbler and plan to add some fall leaves to the mix this weekend so we can have a bigger and better garden next year.

    I'm confident next year will be a better gardening year. We'll have the next five months or so to plan what to plant.
    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

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    The good wife and I went to a class at the local ag extension last week about rainwater collection which included building your own rain barrels. They provided the supplies for $50/barrel. That included a 55 gallon food-grade plastic barrel with top and sealing ring, spigot, screen for the intake hole, silicon caulk and use of their power tools. We had planned to build two barrels but they had some extra supplies so we ended up doing three. Now I've just got to install them at home. Next task will be to redo the front yard with xeriscaping and a rain garden to capture more of the runoff.
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  22. #97
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    I was out raking up some stuff from the flowerbeds today and found some crocuses coming up. In November? Has anybody else ever seen this? I'm not really worried about them not coming back again in the spring, I just had never seen them come up in the fall as well... odd.
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  23. #98
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    It was unseasonably warm yesterday, so I broke out the back yard grill. While waiting for the charcoal to heat up, I started a little fall garden care. As I was laying down some leaf mulch I discovered a celery plant hidden behind a tuft of weeds I had quite forgotten about. Frost had damaged it to the point I couldn't really use it, so I tossed it in the composter, but I guess I can say I techinically harvested something out of the garden in mid-November this year.

    While waiting for the charcoal I also broke out the 2012 Park Seed catalogue and dreamed a bit about next year's garden.

    The grilling beverage yesterday: Foster's
    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

  24. #99
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    I was out raking up some stuff from the flowerbeds today and found some crocuses coming up. In November? Has anybody else ever seen this? I'm not really worried about them not coming back again in the spring, I just had never seen them come up in the fall as well... odd.
    I had the same thing happen to me this week. Well, sort of. It was not flowers poking up, but the bulbs coming out of the ground. I believe this was not so much as a result of the weather as it can be blamed on a curious husky-collie mix with muddy paws. (Forgiven)

    There are fall-blooming varieties of crocuses. That might be what you have.

    Maister - Unbelievably, I still have harvestable spinach, cilantro, parley, and sage. Several frosts have still not done them in.
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