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Thread: How Does Your Garden Grow?

  1. #36
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    I'll dig a few more Norland plants this weekend, as we're out of potatoes. The russets and Yukon Golds will get cellared under the basement stairs. They usually keep into May.
    I just pulled a few Red Norlands and Yukon Gems this evening. Most of them will go to some folks that have been giving us some really nice fresh eggs. (I'll save a few of the reds for a breakfast fry, they're great for that.) With the right soil conditions, I really enjoy just stuffing my hands into the dirt to grope around to find the tubers.

    Here's one of the Chief Inspector's first sniff of fresh dug spuds:

    Last edited by J P; 08-11-2016 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    I have quite a bit going on. Just added two more "Abundance" Southern Highbush blueberry bushes to my collection. Have 5 more coming in the next couple months. One is a "Jewel" and an "O'neal" and one or two that slips my mind without looking up the invoice. Also rooting some cuttings from a couple non-patented varieties I have. All are grown in large containers.

    I grind my own pine bark fines, just for these plants. The nursery offerings have a bit too much wood in them for my liking.


    Also have been collecting slips from my pineapples. I started with two plants and now have over 40. Could easily have double that if I had tended to them. Home grown pineapples will change every idea you may have about what they should taste like. The canned version in the stores, or even the commercial whole fruits aren't it. This time, I am trying growing them a bit more controlled with a slightly more acidic potting mix, consistent moisture and a mulch cover. I also added some worm castings (I raise worms as well) and green sand, some gypsum etc.



    Sweet potatoes are sure liking the self watering containers. I grow these every year post vegetable season. I use them to scavenge leftover nutrients from my vegetable containers so that I can start fresh Sept/Oct. In the background, a few carrots that escaped me that I found.




    Here's the mixture for the pineapples coming together in one of the new self water's I made.



    My soil in my yard is pretty poor. Organic matter does not last and I can end up spending more time growing soil than food. I have some ideas for some semi, self contained beds that I may try when it's finally time to recycle the mix in my containers.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Do you grow ginger Pipes ? I do and find it very easy. A 4 foot square patch supplies all we consume.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  4. #39
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Do you grow ginger Pipes ? I do and find it very easy. A 4 foot square patch supplies all we consume.
    No, but I have grown garlic and I discovered that one can have too much, all of a sudden like. I might try it though just because you asked. I am growing some mint, to have on hand for a southern beverage we get a taste for occasionally. I'd like to try my hand at tea, a plant that interests me for some reason.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    I bought fresh bright looking tubers from the veg shop and set them out on 12'' centres x 12'' rows. Then mulched 3'' thick (with planer shavings in my case), they shoot through and form essentially a mat of tubers over the bed under the mulch.

    We're too wet for garlic, it grows OK but rots when the rain arrives.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  6. #41
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    A friend just gave me two little artichoke plants. I've seen them in pots on decks in California, so I guess I'll transplant them to the plastic pots I use for tomatoes and see how they do in the greenhouse.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    I have five muscadine grape vines and all are full and will be ripe around Sept. Three are bronze Scuppernong, one is red and one black. The kids will stand out there and eat them by the handfuls. It's usually a race between me and the possums. An opossum, can walk the trellis wires like an expert circus performer and go through them like nothing you have ever seen. Two can strip a vine clean in a night or three. When I still had the dog, he kept them away.

    Many of the things I planted were a bit discouraging at first, with claims of having to wait 3 to 5 years for enough maturity behind them to be productive. I am at year 8, with some, and some are far enough along to where the new additions aren't requiring that kind of patience.

    Chip skiff, some of the photos aren't coming thru other than a circle with a dash through it, for me anyway.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by pipefitter View Post
    My soil in my yard is pretty poor. Organic matter does not last and I can end up spending more time growing soil than food. I have some ideas for some semi, self contained beds that I may try when it's finally time to recycle the mix in my containers.
    Years ago, a friend had very poor soil down in Virginia. He added straw every year and after time he build up some very fine soil in his vegetable garden. Good luck.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Pipes, next year in the summer when it's too hot and wet to grow much I'll apply a thick layer of cheap "potting mix" from the landscape supplies bulk yard. My soil is good after 30 years of building up with compost and mulch but like your's, the organic matter doesn't last long and the base soil is a very fine clay that holds too much water. I regularly add gypsum and that improves the structure too.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  10. #45
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Just above freezing last night: 33F. Glad I stretched out the row covers— everything looks fine.

    Tonight is supposed to be the end of the cold spell.

    Don't know what the problem is with the photos, which look fine on my devilbox. Google just ditched Picasa and transferred all my hosted pics to Google Photos, so p'raps that's the snag. No idea how to fix it.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    One of the worm boxes. These are red wigglers. I have another with African Nightcrawlers. Just a couple handfuls of this watered into the top perks my plants right up. Once they move into to the new bedding, I can harvest the castings from the other half and it will give some of the coccoons a chance to hatch out. I just bury vegetable and fruit scraps wherever I want them to move to. The Africans are really incredible composters compared to the wigglers. I end up with worms in my plant containers anyway, which is not a bad thing.


  12. #47
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    I just added red wrigglers to my compost bin, that works well and requires no special arrangements but produces a lot of good fine compost . If you decide to try it experiment first, the result is good but different.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  13. #48
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    I just added red wrigglers to my compost bin, that works well and requires no special arrangements but produces a lot of good fine compost . If you decide to try it experiment first, the result is good but different.
    I have a compost bin. It has earthworms in it. The worm bins are just a different compost that I don't have to wait as long for or that the rain doesn't wash. My yard waste is predominately live oak leaves. even with the worms they take a long time and I still would have to screen it to get something so fine and soluble from.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    I've been running a worm box with supers (like a beehive) and will turn it out soon. I usually have to pick worms out of the lower boxes, but this time I'll pop some in the composters. I doubt they'll survive the winter but I might as well give it a go. Short composting season, here.

    Just dug up some of the Red Norland spuds that got frost-nipped in July.



    I love whole new potatoes, boiled in the jackets with butter, or in potato salad.


  15. #50
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    The nights have been either frosty or near that point. The potatoes are under row covers fulltime and I've been uncovering the summer squash and bush beans during the day, so the flowers will get pollinated. The leaves closest to the cover got frost-nipped. The frost-hardy stuff is all doing well.



    The first two plantings of peas were spotty, but the healthy plants are bearing now. Lots of sugar and snow peas, and a few shell peas, which I'll probably blanch and freeze for Thanksgiving.



    The third and fourth plantings look good, with the peas bearing just as heavily as their taller brethren. The spinach looks great— huge leaves.



    The lettuce is nice just now. I think this is a Bibb variety.



    This is a red Lollo variety called Cavernet—



    The 3rd-planting peas are poking through the trellis above the 4th row.



    There's also pac choi, radishes, lettuces, and spinach. No carrots, as they won't have time to develop. The 1st carrots are barely big enough to harvest.

    Overall, planting in stages has worked out better than my old method, which was to plant everything at once. The tender stuff, summer squash and bush beans, are in the same bed. We'll be lucky to get a few zucchinis and maybe some yellow squash. The beans are a long shot. Even if they don't ripen, they fix nitrogen in the soil.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Heavy frosts here in the Adelaide Hills the last couple of nights.
    Oh, you have NO idea how nice that sounds to us on the Mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S.
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  17. #52
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    It's spring. The stone fruit trees a blaze of blossoms and bees are noisily everywhere. Tulips and otther bulbs are all in flower and many native plants also. Birds are nesting everywhere and some already have hatchlings. Most all of our migratory species from previous years are back. Salad vegies are at picking stage and the last of the winter crops just about finishing.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Dug the potatoes, which look okay despite a freeze in July (!) that killed the tops. I put row covers on and they recovered somewhat.



    Top left: Caribou russet. Bottom left: Dark Red Norland. Center: Yukon Gold. Right: Tny Yukon Gold and a mix, tiny, with green spots, or blemished, to use right away.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    Top left: Caribou russet. Bottom left: Dark Red Norland. Center: Yukon Gold. Right: Tny Yukon Gold and a mix, tiny, with green spots, or blemished, to use right away.
    How do you deal with green potatoes and the potential solanine poison? I avoid them.

    I grew similar varieties as yours this year, except my Yukons are "Gem" rather than "Gold". I'll probably hold off until our typical (hopefully) October Indian summer to dig them all for keeping. Love those Red Norlands and we've enjoyed most of ours through this summer season. Might oughta put in a few more next year. I'm undecided yet on the Yukon Gems and haven't tried the (v.?) russets yet.

    We had a nip of frost last Monday night but I got things covered and most everything did all right. No frost in the forecast this coming week so I'm not giving up yet. Still have tomatoes, peppers, squash, and beans that I'd like to see go a little longer.


    Picked the pears from my one producing tree today. A whopping crop of 21 fruits. The timing felt good and they lifted right off; large, firm, and ready to ripen.





    Tons of apples around this year too, and people asking if I want to pick theirs. Time to get the cider press in order.
    Last edited by J P; 09-18-2016 at 10:39 PM.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Beaut pears! Wish we could grow fruit here. When there's a big crop of wild berries, we pick some, being careful not to step in the bear poop.

    RE: green spuds, I cut off the green part plus a bit extra. No problem so far.

    I left a Yukon Gem or two in the ground and they sprouted, so there were a few in this year's crop (note the pink around the eyes.)

  21. #56
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    I just planted yard long beans and a variety of taro my Papuan neighbour gave me. It's delicious !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  22. #57
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Yesterday I staged up two of my blueberry bushes into larger containers that became suddenly overdue this summer. Once I figured out how to fix the ph, they really took off. The densest one will need to be pruned soon. The other, more sparse looking one, I did right after they were done fruiting so those are pretty much all new shoots. Also found some abused pineapple plants that were basically just sitting above ground with most of their roots exposed so I potted them while I was at it, being they have suckers growing on already established old roots, which typically bears much larger fruit than those planted from slips.



    Also today I planted beets and spinach, and there is tomato starts in the solo cups in the hydro rig. The salad table, also pictured, has just been seeded with; "outredgeous," "red sails," "oakleaf," and butter crunch lettuce. I have 4 large containers with sweet potatoes due to come out in Oct, unless I need the containers before then. The black, self watering container with the white mulch cover has 4 pineapple slips that are growing rather nicely.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    My youngberries are just starting to bud up.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  24. #59
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    My youngberries are just starting to bud up.
    I have a lone raspberry bush. Have no idea if it will do anything this far south unless it happens to be some heat tolerant hybrid. I bought the plant on sale as it was looking pretty shoddy and revived it just for the heck of it.

    I used to have some difficulties that I could not always reliably pin down to any sort of nutrient deficiency. Even finished compost at times was not the blanket cure for everything. So I started looking at soil ph a bit more seriously. Started out with those meters you stick in the soil and it would register erratically from one day to the next.

    I got this tip from our local ag extension office on how to more reliably test ph with products that are available to the general public that do not have a laboratory in their homes. Who basically told me that those meters with the prongs you stick in the soil are pretty much junk. Basically, it's ph'ng the water that runs out of the container, or taking a soil sample and taking a solution from it, with the water that you actually irrigate with, and testing that instead.

    As it turns out, my blueberry plants need a ph ranging from say 4.2-5.5. I knew that but, there was a lot more to it than just adding acidic soil amendments such as peat moss or pine bark. Coffee grounds didn't do it, nor did pine straw. Sulphur takes a long time to work, and there has to be a well established soil biology in which to process it into something the plants can actually use, which is hard to do starting out with a sterile mix, even if you do add compost to it initially. Add to that our municipal water, which ranges from 6.7-8.2 ph, only helps turn this ph goal into an unending battle.

    I have both a ph meter, and the simple solution kit with the drops you add to a test sample of the water run off. I use both of them to sort of prove each other. The meter, I use to dial a more specific range. The drops I use to make sure there are no radical changes. The drops are just easier than having to re-calibrate the meter so often.

    This is a test on a container soil that's been sitting open since last spring with nothing growing in it. The ph is ideal for what I want to grow but, it tells me that I should add gypsum as a calcium source instead of lime, and that I don't need a lot of it. Gypsum and Epsom salt instead of dolomite. Lime would make this near neutral soil alkaline.


    So then I figure I will just call one of the blueberry farms just north of me and ask what they do. They add sulphuric acid to their water and spray the rows with it whie waiting for the mineral sulphur to work. He even went as far as to tell me that battery acid is, and would do the same thing. Well, I didn't really want to mess with battery acid more than what I would with car batteries, which is rare. So back to the extension office I go. And they instead prescribe, phosphoric acid, that you can buy in granular form rather cheaply, and add at most .5-1 tsp per 5 gallons with a pretty much indefinite shelf life. At any rate, the effects were noticeable in one week and the plants took off.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    Dug the potatoes, which look okay despite a freeze in July (!) that killed the tops. I put row covers on and they recovered somewhat.
    Those potatoes actually look great. They look as good as, or perhaps nicer than the ones in the store here. I have some potatoes that chitted, and I stuck a piece in a little pot and it's growing like heck. I have several others and may just stick them all in there just to see what they do.

  26. #61
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Pipes, with you interest in container growing you might find this interesting .

    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  27. #62
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Salad veggies ate ready for harvest, the constant pick variety. Stone fruit has flowered and hopefully set fruit, we have heaps of bees and then the native varieties. Quinces are out. Last to flower are the heritage apples and the pears, first are the Mulberries. Plenty of fruit left, and buds on the citrus too.
    Got quite a few wild mushrooms this year. Passion fruit have set well but we have to share with the Ring Tail Possums. Too early to tell about the grapes, the vines are a bit young yet.

  28. #63
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    Got quite a few wild mushrooms this year.
    What kind of mushrooms do you get? We are starting to get a little fall precipitation here and I am expecting to see oyster mushrooms any day now. There are several dead trees on my property that fruit them. Morels in the wildfire areas next spring.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    This evening I picked this pound of dill seed.



    There's about that much more still out there. I haven't planted any dill in years and just let some go to seed every season and work around wherever it comes up the next. Same with some other herbs and kale. Next year I'll probably have to manage the dill a little more.

  30. #65
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    Salad veggies ate ready for harvest, the constant pick variety. Stone fruit has flowered and hopefully set fruit, we have heaps of bees and then the native varieties. Quinces are out. Last to flower are the heritage apples and the pears, first are the Mulberries. Plenty of fruit left, and buds on the citrus too.
    Got quite a few wild mushrooms this year. Passion fruit have set well but we have to share with the Ring Tail Possums. Too early to tell about the grapes, the vines are a bit young yet.
    My grapes produced well but the fruit was a little smaller this year because I did not prune or give them any care. A huge camphor tree seemingly sprung up out of nowhere and was blocking the afternoon sun. I got the tree out, so next year ought to be better. Possums here give my grapes a fit and they can walk that trellis wire and groom all of the grapes right off of it. It's usually a race and I managed to get my share this year. These are bronze scuppernongs, native to this country, which are unusually resistant to insects and birds at least and fruit thru the hottest part of the summer.


  31. #66
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Pipes, with you interest in container growing you might find this interesting.
    I think that guy grows those giant carrots and parsnips as well. I think I have followed him before on there. That's a great idea but I don't know if that would expose my containers to nematodes. Which is the condition that put me in containers to start with. Perhaps could plant a container in a trough or tray and fill it with compost or something.

  32. #67
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    I just planted yard long beans and a variety of taro my Papuan neighbour gave me. It's delicious !
    Those long beans really give a bang for the buck, production wise. Great flavor and hold up well to cooking. I ended up with a heap of seeds from them as well after I could not possibly eat any more beans.

    Here they are in late season. I had close to 40 plants in one, 2 cu ft container.


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    Quote Originally Posted by pipefitter View Post
    Those potatoes actually look great. They look as good as, or perhaps nicer than the ones in the store here.
    I stop watering them a week or so before the harvest- dry soil doesn't cling as hard. Before cellaring, I clean them with a horsehair brush I plucked from a rubbish bin about thirty years back, which gives them a polish.

  34. #69
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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Sweet potatoes could go another month, but I need the containers for other things. I use them to scavenge the leftover fertilizer from last season so I can start over without wondering what's left over and trying to adjust accordingly.


    This container was seriously neglected and got hardly any sun. Was only one plant planted and I never did redirect the vines back in to the mix to make more, or the container would have been full. This is pretty much free. The potato slips were volunteers from spuds two years ago that I kept too long. I still have 3 more containers left. Two of which I did take care of.

    Here's what I need the container for. One of these.


    Soil has been aired out and I added some fresh potting mix to the old, calcium, fertilizer, worm poop etc.


    The roots found their way to the reservoir.

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    Default Re: How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Good-looking plants. I usually transplant tomatoes earlier, before they get rootbound in the wee cup.

    A couple weeks into the frost here. Still getting nice spinach, lettuce, carrots, beets, pac choi, radishes. The 4th planting of peas is pooping out. I'm starting a new generation of tomatoes for the greenhouse. Also thinking about what to plant in the self-watering thingies. Carrots did okay, but I won't need carrots for a while. The cukes and beans got mosaic virus despite being planted in bagged nursery soil.

    Wonder how garlic would do?

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