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Dig

Dig

2023 – Another Year, Another Garden

  
By:  Dig  •  Gardening  •  last year  •  167 comments

2023 – Another Year, Another Garden

I don't know how often I'll be able to post updates, which are pic-heavy and time consuming, but I thought I'd try to blog another garden this summer. 

Quick reminder: I don't claim to be an expert, and I'm not trying to grow heaps of stuff to fill a root cellar or anything. This is just a hobby for enjoyment and exercise – and a few fresh veggies, of course. 

And we're off...

Here's how things looked on January 25th.

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And here's how things looked exactly three months later, on April 25th, as I was about to work in this year's soil amendments. I planted some peas in March, and they were coming up in the back under a few trellises, but I didn't get any photos of them at the time.

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April is when the wrens return...

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...and I was picking asparagus all month long.

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A short time later, the first week of May, snowballs were blooming over my homemade bird fountain and baths.

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Of course the squirrels use them, too.

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And then it was time to plant potatoes. I know people say to plant them on or around St. Patrick's day, but that just sounds crazy to me. I've been starting them in early May, with great results.

Here I had some fast-growing Red Norlands on the left (just from Walmart), and some of my own seed potatoes on the right – slower-growing Goldrush russets that I special ordered, left over from last year's garden. They sat in that bucket in the garage for 8 months, with nothing but a crumpled paper bag over them to catch moisture and keep light out. Not one of them rotted. I was impressed.

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I started by measuring out the rows and marking them in the soil with a hoe. My soil is rather clay-heavy, so I use extra amendments for potatoes – Miracle Grow potting mix, play sand, and straw left over from the previous year's outdoor fall decorations.

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I spread it all out on the rows...

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... and then I tilled it in, raked it up, and pulled roughly five-inch-deep furrows under row lines.

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In went the seed potatoes.

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And finally, covered over and done. It got too dark on me and I had to use a flash.

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And here we are at the end of May – yesterday, the 26th, to be exact.

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Here's a peach tree I planted last summer. Looking great so far.

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This is the starting plan for this year. 

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The left side. Check out those potatoes, about three weeks after planting.

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You can tell the faster-growing reds are the two rows on the right.

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Everything else on this side is planted, but hasn't come up yet. The boards are a germination aid for shallow seeds. They keep the sun off the soil right above the seeds, so it stays damper, longer. The boards are removed when the plants come up.

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The right side.

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Tomatoes and peppers with stakes, and a row of a carrots on the right. I'm only doing three tomatoes this year. 

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Here's the first planting of corn (five rows, not up yet), and three trellises of peas. The empty trellis on the left has cantaloupes under it, but they've just barely started coming up.

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I always special order a specific variety of corn, and for the first time ever I got screwed on the quantity I received. That's supposed to be a packet of 200 seeds, and I usually get a few more than that, but this year I was 20 seeds short. In place of those 20 seeds I got a pile of broken pieces and dust. What a bunch of crap. Not a huge deal, though. I'll still get plenty of corn.

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I haven't grown okra in years, so I figured it was time again. Just three plants, but as you'll see, that will be more than enough for several pots of gumbo, and okra and tomatoes, too. Again, the wood is just to keep the sun off the soil where the seeds are germinating.

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There probably won't be many blackberries this year. They seem to go through a cycle in which they grow big for a few years and then die back. Looks like this is a year for regrowth. Most of the old growth was dead this spring and had to be cut out.

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I'm going to try putting butternuts in a corner this year. I'm curious about how well they'll do running up the fence. This may be a mistake, but we'll see.

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Believe it or not, I still have four in decent shape from last year's crop. They've lasted as long as the seed potatoes did, about 8 months. It was a fantastic year for them. I got over fifty from three plants. They just kept going and going. This year I considered only planting one, but I was worried about pollination, so I went with two.

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Here's a closer shot of some of the peas.

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A few pods are starting to come on.

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Here are a couple of blueberry bushes that were started a few summers ago, different varieties for pollination purposes. They're growing slower than expected, and that might be a pH thing with my soil. I've been trying make it more acidic around them since last summer. Hopefully, that'll help.

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They may be growing slowly, but they're making berries. Still, I can't wait for bigger bushes and a bigger crop.

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Here's the small side plot in the back yard, with watermelons planted in it this year. Just one hill for a couple of plants. I should get four to six melons from them. The extra wire is because something got over the outer wire and was digging around in there right before I planted. I suspect a raccoon.

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A house wren, singing away. I have five birdhouses with mating pairs in them this year. They're one of my favorite summer birds.

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The early spring flowers are done, and now it's time for lilies.

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There were flying squirrels at the platform bird feeder last night. Cute little things, but they're nocturnal, skittish, and hard to photograph. I've done it before and have figured out a method. I set the camera up on a tripod and then vacate the area, using the Wifi remote setting to control the shutter from a distance with a tablet. They're afraid of light, so I have to observe with a flashlight mostly covered up by a hand, letting only a little light slip through my fingers to know when to take a shot. But seeing things a person wouldn't normally see makes the hassle worthwhile.

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That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

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Dig
Professor Participates
1  author  Dig    last year

Feel free to post shots of your own stuff if you want to. The more the merrier. No green thumb is too small. :)

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Dig @1    last year

looks great and it won't be long before you can skip the produce section of the grocery store. as someone that used to love zucchini, prior to my last garden, I'm a bit concerned with how many plants you plan on having. I had 4 plants one year and I could've built an addition to my house with what they produced. my family couldn't eat them all and now I can barely stand to look at them. I OD'd on cucumbers too, but they were much easier to get rid of. the carrots looked zombie apocalypse due to the clay in my soil, even though I basically did the same thing you did to the dirt for 3 years prior. my sister can really grow tomatoes, so much so that I can't eat grocery store tomatoes anymore. do you trade produce with neighbors?

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
1.1.1  author  Dig  replied to  devangelical @1.1    last year

I know what you mean about zucchini. I'm just starting two at a time, though, with a few weeks between plantings. Four will be the most going at any given time. I also usually have problems with squash bugs, and no matter what I do they seem to kill the plants prematurely. That's why I like to stagger new plantings throughout the season.

I've had good luck with carrots not going zombie on me. Some will always hit a pebble on the way down and split, but still, pretty good results. If you ever grow them again, try that Danvers 126 variety. They're really good for heavy, clay soils. You have to make sure they're thinned early on, though. If they grow too close together they'll go zombie on you regardless of the soil, LOL (in my experience, anyway).

Extra stuff always goes to family in the area.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Dig @1.1.1    last year

I was a lazy gardener. I hated the thought of standing there watering, so I designed the irrigation for me to place the garden hose at one end and let it flow around thru the furrows to the end. I put the plants that needed the most water at the beginning and the least at the end. I never pulled weeds, the ex had some kind of mental need for doing that. my 2 sons reaped the benefits of all the garden snakes it attracted. yeesh...

my first garden came in gang busters after I had finished remodeling my home and bringing it up to snuff to qualify for an FHA loan. the inspector/appraiser shows up to do his job and I'm neck deep in zukes, cukes, and 3 types of squash. I asked the guy if he wanted some vegetables and we spent the next half hour filling grocery sacks and loading them in his back seat. he's about to drive off and then remembers what he's there to do. he asks me how much I think my home is worth and I tell him $60K - $65K. (early 80's) he tells me that's what the appraisal will say and drives off. I beat myself up for a couple decades for not saying $80K to him, but I eventually got smarter with age.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
1.1.3  author  Dig  replied to  devangelical @1.1.2    last year

I keep thinking about getting a few those garden water barrels and running drip lines off of them down the various rows, but I still haven't tried it. I suppose I wouldn't need barrels if I just hooked the hose up to a manifold for the lines. Maybe one of these days.

I don't actually mind watering in the evenings, though. It's usually kind of Zen, though it can be tedious at times. Especially during long dry periods.

Lol, at your appraisal story. Those veggies could have been worth 20 grand!

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.4  devangelical  replied to  Dig @1.1.3    last year

one of my friends had a garden zone added to her sprinkler system. it's like 4 or 6 chest high elevated heads running thru the center mounted to the trellis supports. she's happy with it.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @1    last year

That was a really enjoyable trip, both educational and entertaining.  My wife spends a big part of the day on her staked out garden.  Yesterday she brought home a big cucumber, a bunch of string beans (I love them) and some potatoes.  I can't wait for the corn to ripen.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
1.2.1  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2    last year

Fresh-picked corn is an amazing thing, isn't it? People who've never had it don't know what they're missing.

In addition to corn, what I'm most looking forward to right now are cucumbers. I just love those things in the heat of the summer. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @1.2.1    last year

My wife intends to make cucumber soup for lunch - looking forward to it.  My father was well aware that the best time to eat corn was on the day it was picked - because the sugar in the kernels transforms to starch very quickly.  

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
1.2.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @1.2.1    last year
I just love those things in the heat of the summer. 

Same.  Give me a few slicers and the salt shaker, and I'm a happy girl.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
1.2.4  charger 383  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.2    last year

My father put a big pot of water on the stove before he went to the garden to pick corn.  When he shucked and cleaned it, in the ready boiling water it went,  Let it cool while we ate rest of dinner and corn on the cob was like dessert. Damn that was good!

Got some corn from the fruit and vegetable stand for tomorrow's cook out.  Ribs, corn, all kinds of sides and cold beer!   Corn and getting the cold beer is my job.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  charger 383 @1.2.4    last year

My wife just told me her corn is ready to be picked in two weeks.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.2    last year

I just really enjoyed the hot cucumber soup with paper-thin slices of cucumber in it - delicious.  Can be as good cold as it was hot. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.6    last year

My wife just brought home a few cucumbers from her garden, one of which was the biggest one I've ever seen - 10 inches long and 3 1/2 inches thick (diameter).  I took this photo of them with a standard fork to indicate the size.

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Dig
Professor Participates
1.2.8  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.7    last year

Cool. Chinese Cucumbers. Is there much of a difference compared to the ones you remember eating over here?

Every now and then one will hide from me and get big like that, but they aren't very good when they do. The seeds get hard when they're too mature. How was that one when you cut it open?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2.9  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @1.2.8    last year

It hasn't been cut open yet - maybe we'll have cucumber soup soon.  The cucumbers here are exactly the same as the cucumbers I ate in Canada.  That reminded me of a cucumber story my father once told.  In Hamilton, Ontario, the city in which I was born and grew up, there was a big farmers' market behind the old city hall in the middle of downtown.  This is a historical internet photo of what it looked like back then.

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There was an A & P supermarket across the road from the farmers' market.  My father swears that he heard this conversation happen in the farmers' market:

Lady:  How much are your cucumbers?

Farmer:  10 cents each.

Lady:  That's too dear.  At the A & P they're two for a quarter.

Farmer:  Lady, if A & P can afford to lose money, so can I.  You can have two for a quarter.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
1.2.10  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.9    last year

Cool historical photo, Buzz. Looks like a lot of produce was being sold.

Funny story, too. It's a little cringey to take advantage of the mathematically disadvantaged, but still funny. Poor lady, lol.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2.11  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @1.2.10    last year

There's a small farmers' market around the corner from where we live, and a bigger one within walking distance when we lived in Chengdu.  In the past I've posted photos taken at both places.  But neither of them had the magnitude of the one back in Hamilton.  I remember it well having wandered through it with my mother many times.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2.13  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @1.2.8    last year

My wife made an absolutely delicious soup from the big cucumber.  First of all she sliced it in half lengthwise, then into thirds and so was able to easily cut out the seeds.  the "meat" was good and thick between the skin and the seeds.  She then sliced into thin slices and cooked it. 

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
1.2.14  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.13    last year

Good to hear. Glad you enjoyed it. The bigger, more mature ones have denser flesh, and that probably works great in soup.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Participates
2  pat wilson    last year

Great to see your blog again !

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
2.1  author  Dig  replied to  pat wilson @2    last year

Thanks!

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
2.2  charger 383  replied to  pat wilson @2    last year

Seconded

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
2.2.1  author  Dig  replied to  charger 383 @2.2    last year

Thanks!

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
3  charger 383    last year

Your garden is so organized, neat and pretty,  I am way behind but working in mine, headed back out to it in a few minutes

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
3.1  author  Dig  replied to  charger 383 @3    last year

It's not very big, so to get the most out of it I have to take care to measure things out according to a plan. Even so I still always end up thinking I gave things too much space and could have done better.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
3.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  charger 383 @3    last year

It's always so clear of weeds, too.  That's harder to achieve than one would think.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4  sandy-2021492    last year

I've been eating strawberries from my garden, but it's been a while since any have been ripe enough to pick.  It's dry here, and they need rain to ripen.  I've been watering, but it's not the same.

I'll have some lettuce soon, and spinach.  I could probably pick some of each now, TBH.

My cucumbers and spaghetti squash seem to be refusing to germinate.  Or birds are eating the seeds, which is a possibility.  I know birds have been getting to the strawberries.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4    last year

It's been dry here, too, and that's a big change. My problem is usually too much rain in the spring, but not this year. I got some decent rain in early May, but April was rather dry, and now it's dry again. I'm starting to worry.

I've been having a hard time getting cantaloupes going, myself. I order seed for the Ambrosia variety, and I'm almost out. Not like I can just go to town and get more.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1    last year

It's got to the point I've been considering buying plants instead of seeds, but I've always direct seeded after frost, and seldom had a problem until this year.  I've used two differen brands of seed packets.  I don't even know if anybody sells spaghetti squash plants.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.1    last year

If you have a local greenhouse, they'll probably have spaghetti squash plants. 

If you have any seeds left you could try starting plants in little pots yourself, and then transplanting them as soon as they come up. There's still plenty of time. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.2    last year

The one I visit most didn't when I was there Friday.

I've tried starting them inside myself, but I have these little jerks. 256

The last cats I had left plants alone.  These will not.

I used to have a portable greenhouse, but the wind kept knocking it over, even when I staked down the legs.  Maybe I should try that again - it hasn't been as consistently windy here as it is most years.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.4  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.3    last year

LOL, silly cats. 

Maybe just try them in the ground again, but figure out some way to cover and protect them to keep the birds away while they're coming up? Something like old colanders with rocks on top to keep them in place would do the trick, but you probably don't have old colanders lying around. I know I don't. Dollar stores might have them for cheap, though. Something to consider, at least.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.5  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.4    last year

Ooh, there's an idea.  I did try planting again today, so if the seeds are still there tomorrow, I'll see what's in my garage or cupboards.  I wonder if glass pot lids would be ok?  I don't have any old ones, but I can always sanitize them in the dishwasher once the seeds have germinated.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.6  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.5    last year
I wonder if glass pot lids would be ok?

I wouldn't use anything air-tight. I'd suggest something with holes in it so the soil can breathe. I don't know for certain, because I've never tried it, but microorganisms in the soil might use up the oxygen pretty quickly under a solid lid, and plant roots need oxygen (it's the leaves that use CO2).

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
4.1.7  charger 383  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.3    last year

sent you PM about plants

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.8  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.6    last year

They're vented, but to be sure there's enough air, I can prop them up, without leaving enough room for birds to get under them.

I am a bit concerned that they'll get too hot.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.10  sandy-2021492  replied to  charger 383 @4.1.7    last year

Thank you.  I'll give you a call tomorrow.  I'll check Lowe's, too.  I ate lunch at the other nursery in town Friday, and they only had seeds and herbs - no veggies.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.11  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.8    last year

Yeah, propping them up would do the trick.

Heat might be a problem, but maybe not if there's enough airflow. 

Heck, give it a try. We'll all learn something from your experience.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.12  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.3    last year

Your jerks are very cute!

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.13  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.12    last year

Thank you.  They are cute.  They're just mischievous.  But that's a cat for you.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.14  sandy-2021492  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.8    last year

So I looked in my cabinets, and found some empty mason jars I forgot I had.  I covered the seeds, propping one side of each jar up with a small rock to allow air flow.  They hadn't germinated yesterday, so I'll keep checking.

Just in case they don't work, I bought a cucumber plant at Lowe's yesterday.  They didn't have spaghetti squash plants.

Getting some much-needed rain today.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.15  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.14    last year

I saw earlier that the eastern coastal states had rain storms headed up it. I was jealous. My ten day forecast has some rain chances in it, but they aren't very good.

I hope your jars work. I was thinking about your glass pot lid idea and the problem with heat from the sun shining through. I don't know why I didn't think of this before, but wrapping foil around them would keep the sun out, and also protect them a little. It would work with your mason jars, too, if you start to worry about a micro greenhouse effect going on under them.

I just got back in from watering, and everything has come up now except for the carrots, one cantaloupe, and about half of the corn. Hopefully in a few more days the rest will be up.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.16  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.15    last year

I'll check tomorrow to see if the soil feels warm under them.  The rain brought a cool spell, so heat may not be an issue.

Odd thing - some of the cucumber seeds disappeared from one hill, despite it being covered.  So I now have no idea what's happening.  Are there insects or worms that eat entire seeds?  Have I been maligning the birds in my yard?

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.17  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.16    last year

Wow, I don't know about the disappearing seeds. That's weird. I guess it's not impossible that something in the ground could be eating them. Do you ever notice grubs or anything when digging around in your soil?

Looks like you may have a use for the plant you bought after all.

Hey, are you looking for spaghetti squash seeds, or do you still have some and are just wanting plants instead? If it's seeds you need, you could probably order a pack from somewhere on Amazon and get rapid delivery. Even if you have to wait a week, you'll still have time to grow them. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.18  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.17    last year

I've never noticed grubs.  I see the occasional earthworm, spiders, and beetles - not sure about the varieties.

I still have spaghetti squash seeds, and I'm pretty sure Lowe's and Walmart still have both.  I was looking for plants, in case the seeds won't germinate.  But if everything I have planted under Mason jars comes up, I won't have room for any more plants.  At least, not until I've harvested all of my lettuce and spinach and cleared out some space.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.19  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.18    last year

Ok. Good to go then. I hope it all comes up for you.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.20  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.19    last year

Germination!  I have several cucumber vines sprouting.  Only one spaghetti squash, so I hope a few more get going to ensure pollination.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.21  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.20    last year

Good to hear. If a squash plant came up, then you know the seed is at least half-way good and there should be more to come. As long as you have more in the ground, that is. Sometimes when I'm worried about seed quality I'll put 7 or 8 seeds in the ground for every plant I want.

I actually got some unexpected rain today. Almost an inch. There were scattered pop-up storms in the area, and I got one of them. Apparently, there's more chances of that all through the week. I think I need to stop looking at internet weather and just stick with the local weather on the news. The internet had me expecting at least 10 more hot and dry days. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.22  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.21    last year

I usually plant at least 3 or 4 seeds per hill, when I plant cucumbers and squash.

IIRC, you and I both had seed quality issues a few years ago, when Covid was bad and the pickings were slim.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.23  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.21    last year

Most of the cucumber hills have had at least 2 seeds germinate at this point, so I think pollination won't be a problem.

So far, only two spaghetti squash seeds have sprouted, so I'm hoping for more.

Now, to deal with the heat and dry weather.  My lettuce seems to have gone bolt almost overnight, so it's time to pick it, even though it's a bit on the small side.  Same with the spinach.

And I'm hoping the weather forecast with the higher chance of rain is the right one.  We're really dry.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.24  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.23    last year

I usually only have one cucumber going at a time and never have pollination issues. The variety I grow, Marketmore 76, is monoecious, meaning it makes both male and female flowers. I think most varieties for home growers are like that. You likely wouldn't need extras for pollination.

I just looked that up for my butternut squash, and it's supposed to be monoecious, too. I've never checked on that before. I suppose I was wrong to worry about having two plants for pollination. The space in that corner where I planted them might end up being tight, so I'm back to debating whether I should just go with one or keep the two.

I checked my watermelon plot earlier, and only one of about 14 seeds has come up. That's so tiresome. I don't know what's wrong with these seed companies. I keep wondering if they don't sometimes repackage old seed and sell it as new, considering the low germination rates you and I seem to run into with various things every year.

I've only recently started some romaine lettuce, but unlike regular leaf varieties it can usually take the heat. I pickled up some spinach seed for the fall. I think I'll put it where the corn is, after it's done and I've cleared the stalks.

It's 85 degrees here right now, and after the recent rain it's very humid. I need to mow and weedwack, but it's just nasty out there. That's one thing that sucks about summer rain. I got a new Stihl trimmer this year, too, with one of those easy-load heads that holds something like 25 feet of line. It's been great to use so far, never having to stop and reload line, but I still may have to wait for a less humid day.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.25  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.24    last year
I think most varieties for home growers are like that.

I wasn't aware.  I had read somewhere that I needed to plant enough to ensure I had both male and female flowers, but maybe that was specific to that variety.

I've never had luck with watermelons.  I tried growing sugar babies one time.  I picked the first one, which looked and sounded pretty ripe, and it was all rind.  Hardly a bite or two of fruit.  I thought I had jumped the gun and picked too early, but the others actually cracked on the ground, and were all the same.  I decided not to devote any more precious garden space to them, if my results were going to be that bad.

I hope you're able to find better seeds.

It's 90 here, and we're supposed to get some thunderstorms this evening.  It looks pretty cloudy, so I'm hopeful.  I hire people to mow my lawn, but it won't need it until next week at the earliest.  The grass is already pretty crunchy, and the soil looks parched.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.26  sandy-2021492  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.25    last year

There's the rain, a few hours earlier than my weather apps predicted.  Hurrah!

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.27  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.25    last year

I tried sugar babies once, and like you said there was hardly any good fruit in them. Haven't bothered with them since. I usually just grow crimson sweets. 

I didn't bother mowing. I sat and watched the birds for a while instead. Several of them, like House Sparrows and Downy Woodpeckers, have fledgelings following them around the yard still waiting for momma to feed them. It's kind of cute. After that I spent the entire evening hoeing the garden. Got the whole thing done in about 3 hours, and then watered all the new seedlings so they hopefully won't dry out tomorrow. All the boards are off now, so they're in full sun.

A Robin kept serenading me from the power line while I was hoeing, and then I got to watch a huge, full moon rise while I was watering, which is always cool. I didn't get done until about 10. It's been a while since I was out there so late, but doing all of that tonight really makes it feel like summer now, and I'm loving it.

Some early peas got picked yesterday. I ended up with about a shelled quart in the fridge.

Sounds like you get to enjoy the humidity tomorrow, lol.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.28  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.27    last year
Sounds like you get to enjoy the humidity tomorrow, lol.

The humidity went up as soon as the rain stopped.  It did not do my curly hair any favors.  But it did drop the temp pretty fast.

I picked some lettuce and spinach, and finished the weeding I didn't get to last night before dark set in.  It's cloudy tonight, so no moon, but she sure was pretty last night.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
4.1.29  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.28    last year

original

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.1.30  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.29    last year

No comment.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.31  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.3    last year
I used to have a portable greenhouse, but the wind kept knocking it over, even when I staked down the legs.

try those sandbags with velcro straps the outdoor vendors use to keep their canopies from blowing away.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.2  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4    last year

when I was a kid in the mountains we had wild strawberries and gooseberries. when we moved back to town, the home we lived in had a quarter of the yard in raspberries.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
4.2.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @4.2    last year

The wild strawberries that grow in my yard aren't edible.  Well, I don't know if they're poisonous.  But I did try one. It didn't kill me, obviously, but it tasted awful.

I have lots of blackberries and a few raspberries growing wild. My neighbor has the same, plus huckleberries.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5  Kavika     last year

And we're off on another gardening adventure, I believe this is the 3rd year that you've had the gardening blog.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
5.1  author  Dig  replied to  Kavika @5    last year

Actually, this will be the fourth. I started in 2020 during the pandemic. However, I didn't do a very good job of posting updates in '21 and '22, so it doesn't really feel like the fourth time, to me at least. I'll try to do better this year.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
5.1.1  Ender  replied to  Dig @5.1    last year

I am waiting to see the star of the show.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Dig @5.1    last year

you've done the hardest part, periodic updates are good enough...

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
6  Ender    last year

Even in winter, covered in snow, it looks so nice and professional...

Great pic.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
7  Perrie Halpern R.A.    last year

I'm jealous! The deer eat everything, including my pear tree. Now I have a resident groundhog and although he's very cute, He is not afraid of coming onto my deck and eating my herbs. I stopped planting the in the bed because of the rabbits. Seems the only things that do well in my garden are the honey bees, which I am very careful not to harm (they belong to my neighbor). At least they give me amazing honey from them.

Anyway, love to see your garden grow. I look forward to it every year.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.1  devangelical  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7    last year

years ago I was walking out a future project in a subdivision of homes in boulder colorado. the last yard had an 8 foot tall chain link fence surrounding her garden plot with a locked gate. the homeowner was outside and so I asked if she had problems with people stealing from her garden. she laughed and told me it was to keep the deer out. I was polite to her but wasn't exactly convinced that the deer would come down from the foothills into her neighborhood. when I drove off I didn't get half a block away and had to slow down for a herd of deer that were standing in the middle of the street, in broad daylight.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
7.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  devangelical @7.1    last year

So, now you know!! I like deer, but the damage they can do is outrageous!

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @7.1    last year

I almost hit a deer on Main St. in our town last fall.  It ran across the street right in front of me.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.1.3  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.2    last year

the deer out west here are a bit smaller than those in the northeast, and people feed the wildlife here. the deer among civilization are basically just tall rodents and pests. back in the 80's I went out drinking with a friend after work. we were headed thru downtown denver to breakfast at about 4am and we see a heard of deer grazing on the flowers in front of a mansion across the street from the denver country club. we can't believe what we we're seeing and were arguing about both of us having the same hallucination. along comes the paperboy and we jump out of the car to grab him to confirm what we are seeing. scared the hell out of the poor kid. yes, those deer are real. apparently they wander up cherry creek from parts unknown into town to eat. I'm just used to seeing wildlife a lot closer to the mountains, not in suburban areas. the coyotes now roam the suburbs here at night and people's pets regularly disappear around these parts.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @7.1.3    last year

256

That's me and my pup making friends with a young buck a few years ago while on a walk.  I'm pretty sure the neighbors were feeding this guy along with their goats, which isn't really legal here.  Anyway, when we walked by, this little dude just strolled out to say hello.  Hardly nervous at all, even with the dog trying to get away from me and come after him.  I was able to scratch his head, and he followed us part of the way home.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
7.1.5  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.4    last year

That's amazing. Someone definitely must have been taking care of it. Maybe a fawn rescue or something. I've never seen a wild deer act that tame. They're usually scared to death of dogs, with coyotes and wolves being natural predators. Not to mention people.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @7.1.5    last year

That's what I figured, too.  I'm not sure about laws here, but in WV, where I grew up, you're not really supposed to rescue orphaned fawns on your own.  I think there are animal rehabs that will care for them and release them into the wild.  This guy came from where the neighbors' goats were penned, which is why I figured he was an "unofficial" rescued orphan.  Once he was able to sniff my hands, he was quite happy to let me pet him, so it seemed like they interacted with him quite a bit.

Unfortunately, that likely set him up as easy prey for a hunter when he was older.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
7.1.7  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.4    last year

So adorable! 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7    last year

My garden is fenced in because of the deer.  But my pear tree and flower beds aren't, and they feast on those.  I planted some phlox a few years ago, and the first year they came back, deer lopped their heads off before the blossoms even had a chance to open.  I found a deer repellent that works, but it's stinky.  Bears also eat from the pear tree and the wild blackberry bushes.

I was in the flower beds yesterday, using a mattock to fight with some invasive shrubs that are growing near the roots of shrubs that were intentionally planted when the house was landscaped.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to have all the landscaping torn out and redone, and I hate to do that.  I have a lot of heather bushes, and bees and butterflies love them.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.2.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.2    last year

Update - the deer repellent no longer works.  I had some pretty phlox blooming.  The damn deer got them.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.2.2  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.2.1    last year

get a gross of exploding bottle rockets and a 3 foot piece of metal conduit to aim them...

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.2.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @7.2.2    last year

I would think my dog would keep them away.  His bark has a hair trigger, and these flowers are right along my front porch.  I've even had my windows open most of the week, so he should be able to hear them, and vice versa.

But no.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.2.4  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.2.3    last year

... just trying to help. the dept of agriculture used to give fruit orchard owners here the ability to purchase illegal M-80's to keep the deer away. M-80's and cherry bombs were the preferred attention getters at drive-ins in the summer and school restroom plumbing on the last day of school.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
7.2.5  bccrane  replied to  devangelical @7.2.4    last year

That only works the first few times, if there is no sting associated with the noise they will just ignore it.  The farmers in this area have abandoned the use of propane cannons in the fields to scare the deer, it didn't take long, the deer would be seen munching on the crops next to the cannon while it was going off.

The DNR gave us 12 ga. exploding shotgun shells to shoot over the deer in the fields, it didn't take long before they would just run in a circle and then stop and start eating again, so screw this, aimed at them, the sting with the bang worked (of course that wasn't what the DNR wanted done). 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.2.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @7.2.4    last year

I appreciate it, but I think I'll keep the fireworks out of the mulch.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.2.7  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.2.6    last year

meh, you haven't lived until you've needed to extinguish a fire in your backyard...

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.2.8  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @7.2.7    last year

Been there, done that.  My neighbor decided to burn brush on a windy day.  The fire department has been here twice because of him, and should have been here another time.  He burned the corner of his barn - swears it was a portapotty that spontaneously combusted.  It surely had nothing to do with the fact that that's where he burns scrap wood almost every day, leaving the fire unattended.  I've put that fire out a few times on windy days when he was nowhere in sight.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.2.9  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.2.8    last year

look carefully for any outdoor cameras. then buy a super soaker and some white gas at walmart and wait for a moonless night... /s

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.2.10  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @7.2.9    last year

I know he has game cameras up.

If only his actions affected his own property, and nobody else's, that would be one thing.  But it's a wooded area, with plenty of trees to carry the fire to neighbors' homes.  Another neighbor was pretty pissed off the last time he had to call the fire department, because he lives sort of close and downwind.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
7.3  author  Dig  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7    last year

Sorry to hear about your critter problem, Perrie. I love wildlife, but it truly sucks to have gardening efforts ruined by it. It's so frustrating.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
7.3.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dig @7.3    last year

Thanks, Dig. The worst was the critters eating my very beautiful imported Dutch tulips. You should have seen the varieties I had.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
7.4  bccrane  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7    last year

Well, for one thing, I'm not going to get started on the deer problem in our area, but the honey bees, when our apple orchard was in bloom there wasn't a single honey bee instead it was all bumble bees, sweat bees, and leaf cutter bees, plus a few other various insects.

Back a few years the state gave the bee keepers permission to eliminate all wild hives either by capturing the queen or killing the hive, because of mites.  Our local bee keeper had hives on us for decades and finally retired, he sold the hives to a place in Texas and they removed the hives and transported them to Texas and won't be bringing them back until the crops here are in bloom towards the end of June, so we won't have any honey bees until then and they will only be close if a farmer near here rents them.

The bee keeper we had paid us rent in honey, three gallons a year, now that is done and gone.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
7.4.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  bccrane @7.4    last year
when our apple orchard was in bloom there wasn't a single honey bee

That is just plain scary.

I'm lucky as far as pollinators go.  I have some sort of shrub that was planted along my front porch that honeybees seem to love, which is weird, as its flowers are pretty inconspicuous.  I also have heather, lilacs, and a butterfly bush that all attract bees, and honeysuckle and blackberries in the woods around me.  Bees love it here, and I try to keep them happy.  I believe honeysuckle is considered to be invasive, but it can invade my yard all it wants.  I love the smell.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
7.4.2  bccrane  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.4.1    last year

In our area the Amish have been moving in and they inquired about the hives we had on us, for they wanted a bulk supply of honey and wax.  We let them know the bee keeper we rented to was retiring. They may, if they haven't already, get into the bee keeping business themselves and we may approach them to put hives back onto our property. 

We're in the same boat as our bee keeper, we just don't have the time and he couldn't convince anyone in his family to take it over, it took too much time and too much work.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
7.4.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  bccrane @7.4    last year

After having fresh honey, you realize that the stuff you get in the grocery is old. Fresh honey is like liquid gold and just dissolves into everything. It's worth the care of keeping them.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
7.4.4  bccrane  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.4.3    last year

You don't realize just how far honey goes when you get 3 gallons a year, I just checked and we still have over 3 gallons left and we are now going into our second year without the rent from the hives.  I figure that about this time next year, after the family gets their shares, we will run out.

Honey will last 500 years without any special processing, if honey can last through a year of heat, humidity, cold, and having insects crawling all over the storage units without spoiling then it will last for many years.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Professor Silent
8  SteevieGee    last year

Nice garden Dig.  I have a 200 sf plot in a community garden here in Sacramento.  I've just harvested the last of my lettuce, beets and artichokes from winter and the peas are about done but still producing a few.  I've put in some squash, peppers and eggplant now and planning to try a 'three sisters' planting of corn, beans, and squash for the summer.  I also have tomatoes, beets, and collard greens along with some herbs growing in my small backyard which I started in late March.  I'll try to post some pics for you soon.  Happy digging!

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
8.1  author  Dig  replied to  SteevieGee @8    last year

I always find it amazing that some people can grow year round. Sounds like you're making the most of every square foot, too. 

Are there rules about what can be grown in your community garden? In the past I've wondered about how things that can cross pollinate with other peoples plants are managed. Corn, for instance. Different varieties planted near each other can affect what they all end up producing. Are things like that banned, or does everyone just have to agree on the same variety?

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Professor Silent
8.1.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Dig @8.1    last year

I grow some of my best stuff in the winter.  Broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, beets, and carrots all do well here in the winter.  You can't really grow them in the summer here because it gets too hot and they just bolt.

I don't know of any problems people have had with cross pollination in the garden.  Not many people grow corn there because they're just  10x10 and 10x20 plots and most  people do tomatoes, peppers and things like that.  I'm growing my tomatoes at home now so I have the space.  They don't allow mint, blackberries, or morning glories. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
8.1.2  devangelical  replied to  SteevieGee @8.1.1    last year

salsa gardens are real popular here for limited space plots.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Professor Silent
9  SteevieGee    last year

256

This is my downtown garden plot.  Not beautiful right now.  I'm getting ready to plant for summer.

256

The asparagus is all ferns now and has poppies growing in it.

256

My orange tree at my house had about 2000 oranges on it last winter.

256

Beets and collard greens in my backyard.

256

Early girl tomatoes already heavy with fruit.

256

Cherry tomatoes.

256

My huge artichoke plant is done for the year.  Once it gets hot it dies back and I'll cut it down.  It will come back next winter though.

256

Garlic is almost ready.

That's about it right now.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
9.1  author  Dig  replied to  SteevieGee @9    last year

Awesome! I wish I could grow citrus, but winter prevents it. I might be able to grow artichokes, though. I should look into that.

Thanks for the pics! 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
10  devangelical    last year

garlic tried to take over my garden plot when I didn't put in a garden one year. I can only grow cherry tomatoes for some reason.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
11  charger 383    last year

256

Plants in the new greenhouse are doing good.  When it gets warmer I will take the sides off

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
11.1  author  Dig  replied to  charger 383 @11    last year

Boy, they're really moving along!

Mine are still tiny. The greenhouse was all out of the bigger plants when I went, and I had to settle for small ones. 

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
12  Gsquared    last year

Dig, your place is so awesome.  I really love your garden blog.  I'm very glad you're doing it again this year for us all to enjoy,

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
12.1  author  Dig  replied to  Gsquared @12    last year

Thanks, G. How are your tomatoes doing? Did you end up getting the eggplant you mentioned, too?

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
12.1.1  Gsquared  replied to  Dig @12.1    last year

We've had some nice tomatoes.  We didn't get the eggplant yet, although my wife is still talking about it.  She bought a small greenhouse structure last week so I imagine she might get an eggplant fairly soon.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
12.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  Gsquared @12.1.1    last year

Sounds like you're in for a little more gardening. I hope you guys have fun with whatever the small greenhouse ends up being for.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
12.1.3  Gsquared  replied to  Dig @12.1.2    last year

Thanks, Dig.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
13  Trout Giggles    last year

Looks great! I'm envious. When I retire I want to do some more intensive gardening. Right now I have 2 planter boxes on the deck with onions and lettuce. I didn't thin the lettuce and now it's dying. I'll do better next year. I'm going to harvest the onions this week (also not doing well) and make my cucumber/onion/sour cream salad. Next year I want to do some cucumbers.

My tomatoes and bell peppers are looking good

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
13.1  author  Dig  replied to  Trout Giggles @13    last year

Glad to hear you tomatoes and peppers are doing well. I've never been able to grow really good onions. I don't think I've ever had the soil for it.

Build yourself some kind of trellis for the cucumbers when you grow them, and you'll be in heaven. It beats the living heck out of growing them on the ground. And do a little research before you get seeds, to make sure you avoid varieties that will turn bitter in the heat. Personally, I'd suggest staying away from the Straight 8 variety for that reason. I can't figure out why they still sell those things all over the place.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
14  bccrane    last year

Not looking good here, we started out wet through March and April and the ground was too wet to work and planting the fields was delayed, then we had a dry spell and everything started going in, the problem is, the dry spell never ended, we are now into a fourth week of no appreciable rain and the next rain forecast isn't until next Monday and it is an 8% chance.  I worked the garden, which now I realize was a mistake, and I may have done more damage by driving out the moisture in the ground, so I haven't even planted it yet.

My brother just went ahead and planted the rest of the soybeans just to get them into the ground in hopes that a rain may bring them up otherwise they will just sit in the ground until we get some moisture. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
14.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  bccrane @14    last year

Weather is a fickle and frustrating thing when you garden, and especially when you grow plants for a living.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
14.1.1  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @14.1    last year

my kids still laughingly remind me of the time years ago when they watched me thru a bedroom window running around the garden in a hail storm holding a metal trash can lid over my head while trying to save my tomato plants, all for nothing and the last time I ever tried to grow them.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
14.2  author  Dig  replied to  bccrane @14    last year

It's been much drier than usual here, too. I got lucky today and one of the scattered showers in the area gave me almost an inch, but that was the first in a few weeks. I had a drought in the summer and fall last year, and I really don't want another one this year.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Professor Silent
14.2.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Dig @14.2    last year

We probably won't see a drop of rain until Halloween.  We can grow a lot of stuff here in Cali but if you don't irrigate you aren't going to grow a dang thing.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
14.2.2  author  Dig  replied to  SteevieGee @14.2.1    last year

Yikes. Halloween is a long way off. But you guys finally got a good amount or rain this spring, didn't you? It seems like I heard that your reservoirs are all filled up again, for the first time in a while.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
14.2.3  bccrane  replied to  Dig @14.2    last year

Started planting the garden, will finish tomorrow and will add copious amount of water that I have to haul in.  The long range forecast has no rainfall until June 20th, I sure hope they are wrong.  Decided to plant the garden through tarps to keep the moisture in the ground and help control weeds.

It's so dry here that there are now four forest fires to the north of us and one to the west and visibility was down to a couple of miles from these fires and the added smoke from the fires in Canada.  The full moon came up red orange after the sun went down early because it disappeared behind the smoke before sunset.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
14.2.4  author  Dig  replied to  bccrane @14.2.3    last year

Sheesh. I hope you get rain before the 20th, but I imagine using tarps will work wonders for you. I've seen photos of commercial growers using plastic groundcover as a moisture barrier on entire pepper fields out west somewhere.

I hope those fires stay clear of you. I think some of the smoke from Canada made its way down here a few weeks ago. It didn't stick around long, but one day was extremely hazy, and for no weather related reason. 

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
14.2.5  bccrane  replied to  Dig @14.2.4    last year

I hope you get rain before the 20th

It did, just this morning, we had some precipitation, I counted approximately 6 drops psi in the dust this morning.  The unusual cold front came in from the northeast this morning, but it is so dry here it barely could get the rain to make it to the ground.

The garden is now in the ground and watered, now to find out if the tarps will work out.

The fires in Michigan are now out or at least controlled and the only smoke again is from Canada.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
14.2.6  bccrane  replied to  Dig @14.2.4    last year

It rained again, this time just over a 1/2", it was an all day event and soaked in.  The rain was not enough yet, so we have started the irrigation on the fields.  We have an ample supply of water on our property in the center of the original farm, but on the newer property the water is just too far away.  Now our neighbors are wondering if we can get water to their land through ditches or tiling, we're looking into it.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
15  evilone    last year

Great garden, Dig.

We are just getting out to clean up and get started. We had a frost warning last week - 2 days after our first 80 degree day!

Our neighbor on the south side also had his trees removed this weekend so we had to rethink our front yard flower garden planting as we no longer have shade for a shade garden. We ended up re-doing the front garden up against the house and decided the other two in front will just get cleaned up this year and setup to be ready for planting next year. The side garden is such a mess that it's going to take a ton of work to clean up too, but there are flowers coming up. My bridal white spirea bush has been eaten by deer again and I may have to just give up on it. It's not dead, but it's not going to flower either. If I keep it I'll have to make a cage to cover it before winter. 

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
15.1  author  Dig  replied to  evilone @15    last year

Sorry to hear about your flower garden issues. How's the rain been for you this year? Drier than normal there, too?

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
15.1.1  evilone  replied to  Dig @15.1    last year

Thanks Dig. The gardens will be better than ever by next year for sure. As you are well aware this is a process. We had a long wet winter-spring start, but now it's been super dry. Yesterday it rained just enough to wet the sidewalks but that was it. A few weeks ago I read that we moved from a La Nina winter (more snow) to a El Nino summer (less rain).

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
15.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Dig @15.1    last year

we doubled our yearly rainfall average during the month of may. a chance of afternoon showers the next 4 days...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
15.1.3  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @15.1.2    last year

hail yesterday, again, and a lot of funnel clouds east on the plains...

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
15.1.4  author  Dig  replied to  devangelical @15.1.3    last year

I was lucky enough to get scattered storms over me two days in a row and got just under an inch both times. Everything is happy for the moment. You can have the hail and funnel clouds, lol.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
15.1.5  devangelical  replied to  Dig @15.1.4    last year

usually we try to send them to kansas.

derail time...

several years ago I used to drive for uber in the early mornings, because I'd get up at 4am and figured why not make some cash before I went to work instead of sitting around bored. at that time of morning it was usually a trip or 2 to the airport, since there was about 8 hotels within a half mile of my condo.

one summer morning I pick up this tech guy from india to take him to the airport and we're on our way a little before sunrise. there's always towering thunder clouds on the far eastern horizon in the morning and the rising sun lights them up like orange/pink mushroom clouds against the predawn sky.

the guy sees these and is convinced we're under nuclear attack and starts to panic. naturally, I'm very amused and decide to take advantage of it with some dark comedy for a bit. eventually I get him talked down by the time we get to the airport. I doubt I got a 5 star rating on that ride. devangelical, the ugly american.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
15.1.6  author  Dig  replied to  devangelical @15.1.5    last year

Nothing like an early morning nuclear holocaust on the way to the airport. Poor guy, lol.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
15.1.7  devangelical  replied to  Dig @15.1.6    last year

he wasn't the first non-american that I had a little fun with...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
15.1.8  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @15.1.7    last year

englishman - horrified

swiss couple - terrified

german girls - very amused

french girl - delightfully twisted, just like me...

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
16  Drinker of the Wry    last year

[Deleted]

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
17  sandy-2021492    last year

256

Pest control in the primroses.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
17.1  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @17    last year

Awesome! Looks like a baby, unless those flowers are huge, lol. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
17.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @17.1    last year

It's a baby.  If I hadn't leaned in close, planning to smell the primroses, I'd have missed it entirely.

I'm glad to see some mantises.  I didn't have many last year.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
17.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @17.1.1    last year

I usually only notice one or two a year, if I'm lucky. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
17.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @17.1.2    last year

A few years ago, there were quite a few in an evergreen shrub next to my front steps.  Maybe 8-10, IIRC.  But that has never happened since.  Usually it's just 1 or 2.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
17.1.4  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @17.1.3    last year

331068021_903315964197803_279556691346094582_n.png?stp=dst-png_p843x403&_nc_cat=109&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=9267fe&_nc_ohc=V24vn177mREAX9cI6IZ&_nc_ht=scontent-den4-1.xx&oh=00_AfAlUY6_Lju9Hn2-JobQfFnQw_u9iehr6oy76M1DtzphFA&oe=648266DC

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
17.1.5  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @17.1.4    last year

believe it or not, we have mantis in colorado.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
17.1.6  devangelical  replied to  Dig @17.1.2    last year

they're hard to spot.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
17.1.7  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @17.1.6    last year

... all the ones I've ever seen were perched on masonry.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
18  Ender    last year

512

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
18.1  devangelical  replied to  Ender @18    last year

distressing...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
19  Kavika     last year

When Dig plants durian I’ll be satisfied.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
19.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Kavika @19    last year

Durian?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
19.1.1  Kavika   replied to  sandy-2021492 @19.1    last year

Durian is probably the best of all fruits, very popular in SE Asia but it does have one drawback, it stinks when cut open but the taste is beyond anything you've ever tasted. 

It is an extremely healthy fruit with a huge amount of antioxidants.

Most high-end restaurants will not serve them because of the smell but we used to buy them from street vendors, cut them open on the spot, and ummmmmm good.

512

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
20  sandy-2021492    last year

I thought birds were getting at my strawberries, eating them while they were still green.  Nope.  I caught the culprit red-pawed (actually, green-pawed) a few days ago.  Squirrels apparently like very underripe strawberries.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
20.1  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @20    last year

I wouldn't have expected that, with them being so bitter and sour. Must have been a really hungry squirrel.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
20.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @20.1    last year

Same.  And there are still acorns from last fall laying around near my garden, too.  I'd think he'd be much more interested in those.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
20.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @20.1.1    last year

Come to think of it, I've seen squirrels run off with green apples, so maybe the sourness doesn't bother them much. 

I don't know what would keep them away short of making some kind of cover out of hardware cloth or something, but that might be a real pain. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
20.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @20.1.2    last year

The strawberries have stopped blooming, so it doesn't much matter.  I might have to start planning for next year, though.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
21  charger 383    last year

256

The tomatoes in the greenhouse are growing better than I thought and I might have planted too many in there

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
21.1  author  Dig  replied to  charger 383 @21    last year

You can always prune them if you need to. Looking nice, though. Vigorous and healthy.

Does your greenhouse have screening on the sides so you can close it off from insects? I'm interested to see if it keeps stink bugs off of your tomatoes. Stink bugs are why I've stopped growing enough to freeze or make sauce. Cutting all the damage off made processing a nightmare.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
21.1.1  charger 383  replied to  Dig @21.1    last year

No screens, I am going to take some of  the panel out when it gets hoi

Stink bugs have not been a big problem

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
21.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  charger 383 @21.1.1    last year

Consider yourself lucky. I get them so bad at times that they put those little whitish-yellow spots all over the fruits. It's not always like that, but it seems like the more tomatoes I have, the more stink bugs I get. At least they don't kill the plants like the zucchini bugs do.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
22  charger 383    last year

256

This is why I built the greenhouse, my first Early Girl tomato.  I have had some good cherry tomatoes, but this was what I was waiting for.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
22.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  charger 383 @22    last year

Looks good enough to eat. LOL.  Tomatoes are one of my favourite fruits.  My father would eat a tomato like the one in your photo like an apple.  I eat fried grape or baby tomatoes with almost every breakfast.  

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
22.1.1  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @22.1    last year
My father would eat a tomato like the one in your photo like an apple.

I remember doing that once, as a child with my grandmother. Tomatoes from the store today aren't nearly as good. I think they've lost some important genetics, breeding for looks so they sell better, instead of taste.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
22.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @22.1.1    last year

In China the stores sell tomatoes that although they are red, are not ripe and are very hard.  Same thing with peaches - they look good but you could break a window with them.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
22.2  devangelical  replied to  charger 383 @22    last year

what, no cash crop?

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
22.2.1  charger 383  replied to  devangelical @22.2    last year

They would blend right in with the tomatoes

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
22.2.2  devangelical  replied to  charger 383 @22.2.1    last year

same family tree...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
22.2.3  devangelical  replied to  charger 383 @22.2.1    last year

easily grafted to a tomato plant. LE sees the tomatoes and keeps on walking...

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
22.3  author  Dig  replied to  charger 383 @22    last year

I've got a few green ones set now, but nothing ripe yet.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
22.3.1  devangelical  replied to  Dig @22.3    last year

can't wait for the update...

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
22.3.2  author  Dig  replied to  devangelical @22.3.1    last year

It's coming in a couple of days. It's only been about 3 weeks, and the stuff that hadn't come up in this one has been taking its sweet time getting big enough to make an update worthwhile.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
22.3.3  devangelical  replied to  Dig @22.3.2    last year

I have to drive 300+ miles for my sister's home grown tomatoes, but it's worth it...

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
22.3.4  charger 383  replied to  devangelical @22.3.3    last year

Hope you enjoy them and she has plenty for you

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
22.3.5  devangelical  replied to  charger 383 @22.3.4    last year

all I need is a fork, sharp knife, and a salt and pepper shaker...