Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread – 2011 (Vol. 31) August 12
Posted on 08/12/2011 5:28:22 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232
Good morning gardeners. There is not much garden news to report from East Central Mississippi this morning. I am just trying to keep everything watered and alive and picking a couple of peppers and a zucchini every once in awhile.
If you are a gardener or you are just starting out and are in need of advice or just encouragement please feel free to join in and enjoy the friendly discussion. Our Freeper community is full of gardeners, each with varying interests and skill levels from Master Gardener to novice.
I hope all your gardens are flourishing.
Weekly Gardening Thread
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Suggestions needed for vegetables that do well in shade.
I have a big patch of ground that I could expand my garden into but right in the middle is an old apricot tree and in the alley are BIG Pecan trees and then to help shade the setting sun I have a big Walnut tree.
The area in question is shaded maybe 80-90 percent of the day. I was thinking of squash or some other vines but I don’t want the vines growing out into the yard as they search for sun. (Wow, I learned with a pumpkin vine, believe me!)
Does butter lettuce or peas do well in shade? I was thinking of maybe potatoes as well but I’m afraid that ancient apricot’s roots might interfere.
Keep in mind that no vegetable will grow in full, dense shade. The following crops will produce with three to six hours of sun, or fairly constant dappled shade, per day.
My zucchini is getting bushy and my yellow bell pepper is doing well, but my green bell is just sitting there. It’s not dead or dying, but it’s not growing either. I hope to have fruit by the end of September, then maybe the derisive laughter will stop.
Thanks! I think I see some Cauliflower, Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts in my future garden.
Love radishes but I can’t get a decent carrot so... Speaking of which, I have been trying to grow carrots for 45 years, since I was a kid. I think the best I have ever had was some about 6 inches long. Last year I got some midgets...man, they tasted good but two bites and it was gone. WTH am I doing wrong? Too hard of soil? Not enough water? Too much water? more/less fertilizer?
My mother planted a grape vine at the base of an almond tree. It grew up the tree, and there were grapes and almonds growing side by side. Yes, it looked very strange. :)
The "Deck Project from Hell" is completed and inspection signed-off! Now, the Duck Dorm is in process after a two-day trailer camping trip to Maine.
The Dutchess has installed drip irrigation in the two planter beds and we are harvesting delicious tomatoes and the zuchini is still producing. We have two small mellons on the vine and peppers also growing. The heat wave hit the garden hard.
Jack finally got all of the pavers laid down around the firepit and the wood pile moved, so I can mow the lawn and let it recover.
The water lines to the four points in the back yard are a blessing, but now I have to add a line to the deck area where the Dutchess wants to add a drip system.
My wife has gotten a bumper crop of zuchini this year (easy to do) and so far she has about 4 good size green peppers with more coming in. Crookneck squash is doing really well, too.
I was growing roadside cantalope last year, I had no idea a cantalope vine would climb a chain link fence. I was having to make some baskets out of rose tape to support them as they grew to about 7 inches diameter 6 feet off the ground. They were delicious. Wanted to try them again this year but I am working in Alaska and garden is in California.
tomatoes have been doing well. I see, though, that some of the lower leaves are dying. I keep picking them off and feeding them to the chickens. Kinda scared that I’m gonna end up with no leaves left sooner or later...haha
Also, there is some sort of bug that is turning selected leaves to swiss cheese.i think i have tracked down the culprit, but am unsure of even how to describe what it looks like...
Also, began my new job this past week - I just got home from my shift...:)
Carrots need a lot of water and as a cool weather crop they do not do well in hot weather.
Ooooh...a grape vine! Now there is an idea!
Next-best would be quick-growing small root crops (like radishes, turnips, and green onions) --- and if they kinda "under-produce" in the edible root dept., you can still eat the greens.
What you don't want is plants grown for fruits or seeds: that would rule out squash, as well as melons, cukes, tomatoes, peppers, corn, sunflowers, pole beans, etc. Anything that makes a fruit or seeds, needs lots and lots of sun.
Peas? I'm thinking no: even if the vines (and leaves) grew OK, the yield would be low, probably a big disappointment.
Nix on potatoes or shallots or onions: they will not tolerate interfering tree-roots. And as far as I know, almost no garden plant will tolerate walnut tree roots: they are notoriously inhospitable to competition.
Bottom line: in shady areas, stick with greens. In my humble opinion.
That explains it. The garden in in the California Sacramento valley. In the summer you would swear you were in Arizona.
Thanks for the great information!
Try a raised bed if you are concerned about roots.
How is your lovely wife and what are you doing (job)? You can answer by FReep mail, if you prefer.
I need some advice. Although I consider myself a bit of a master gardener I just can’t grow nice specimens of Fennel. I have always tried Florence Fennel but I never get anything that looks like what is in the store. I understand there are male plants that will never get big, but I’m talking about my female plants. This year they are beautiful and healthy, but much smaller than what I hoped.
This is Ohio and I have wonderful soil and plentiful rain. Everything else has been magnificent this year.
My main garden is a raised bed. The “new” area will be raised eventually after I move back home (job in Alaska). I spent 2 years getting rid of an ivy infestation and now I have all this open ground begging for a garden.
In the middle is an old apricot tree. I will cut it down eventually but since it’s still producing fruit, my wife wants to keep it.
The walnut tree is on the other side of the yard. It produces shade in the evening. The pecans across the alley are the shade producers in the morning.
Tomatoes and several varieties of peppers continue to put off a bumper crop this year. I picked another 5 gallon bucket of tomatoes yesterday. (off of 4 plants) Round 3 & 4 of my sweet corn are coming along nicely. I tilled in between the rows of the younger, #4 planting yesterday. Okra continues to produce with abundance. Grapes are just about ready. My speckled field peas are ready to pick. I’ll be doing that this morning. Oh, and my almond trees produce two almonds this year. I wasn’t expecting any this year. Couple more years and I’ll have enough for a snack!
Day #27 with 100+ temps here and no rain. 10% chance for a shower this PM, but didn’t get a drop with the 10% yesterday. We are only 11 days from a new record of triple digit heat, which was 69 days a few years ago.
Your soil is probably too hard. Carrots need loose, rich soil. Try raised beds. I grow lots of carrots year round, both outside and in the greenhouse. They blow the crap you get in the grocery store away. I like two varieties from Johnny’s Seeds, Napoli and Mokum. (www.johnnyseeds.com) Johnny’s offers carrot seeds “peletized” with a coating that looks like frosting on a Krispy Kreme donut. This makes the seeds about the size of a BB, so they’re easier to deal with at planting time (and no thinning!)
Wish I could help. I haven’t seen the sun but twice this summer. It’s only been above 70 once and rain, fog, or drizzle everyday.
Of course, I am in a maritime polar airmass.
King Salmon, Alaska, Southwest coast near Bristol Bay.
Thanks for the link!
I’ve had very good luck with everything I’ve gotten from Johnny’s. Raspberries, thornless blackberries (the size of golf balls), carrots, cantaloupe, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, all very good, high quality stuff. Kinda like Burpee used to be. The cantaloupe I grew this year (Sarah’s Choice) was the best I’ve ever eaten (until the coyotes stole my crop!) Their “Augusta” sweet corn is, by far, the best corn I’ve ever eaten.
Another dry week in Wisconsin. Still hot, but a little more bearable than prior. But, the mosquitoes are back in fine form. I mowed the front 3 acres yesterday and checked on the garden. I had just told my DIL that I had NO tomatoes except cherry ones. Much to my surprise I found 6 huge, fat, ripe tomates on one of my bushes. They were so hidden that I almost missed them. I don’t have any idea which variety they are because the tomato bed is so thick I can’t get to the tags which are hidden. This is how I got bitten from head to toe. Those little devils hide in the foliage.
I brought in 1 small zucchini, but I left 3 huge ones on the vine because they were so buried by leaves that I couldn’t rerieve them beause of the mosquitoes. I’m going to have to have a stern talk to my barn swallows. They are not doing their jobs, although they were out there working while I was mowing yesterday. I imagine the fence around the garden keeps the swallows from swooping in and provides a protected place for those little devils. The swallows follow me on my tractor and gather up the bugs that are kicked up. They fly so fast and display a glint of camel colored feathers on their tummies as they swoop back and forth.
You have never seen such a pretty sight as barn swallows collecting their dinners. I am sorry for those of you who do not have that opportunity. You have missed one of the thrills of nature.
I’ve spotted more than a half dozen watermelons growing nicely, even on the volunteer watermelon vine that sprouted from last year’s planting. I’ve got to figure out a different watering plan.
All the flowers that I planted out there in the “empty” squares are lush and doing well. The herbs are leafy and full too.
Yesterday was the first day we saw clouds this summer. Most days are 100% clear blue skies. Then add a 10 - 15 mph wind and everything dries out within hours. I can put laundry on the line and it dries faster than the clothes drier.
Good morning everyone! I can hardly believe July is already gone....
I spent last month replacing the old fence between my neighbor and I. Cecil 80 years old and his wife is in her seventies, and we’ve talked for years about replacing the old fence, and after the 4th of July we got started. Cecil was out there helping me dig the post holes and get the framing started. We also both hauled a big load of the old debris from the demolition to the dumpster. We had a great time working together on this project, and I think we both kept each other from over-doing...
On the gardening front, we’ve been enjoying summer squash, tomatoes, onions, cabbage and early potatoes. I had a couple of Yukon Gold potatoes that started to sprout, so I cut them up and poked them into one of the beds off of the patio as an afterthought. They started yellowing this week so I dug them up and got about ten pounds of very nice potatoes, along with a bunch of little new potatoes that we’ve been eating for a couple of days.
I roasted a bunch of potatoes on the grill the other night along with some red pepper, yellow zukes and onion. I tossed everything with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, then grilled them until they were done and starting to toast. The Missus made a roasted potato salad out of it with a touch of horseradish in the dressing....amazing!
I’ve already picked a couple of enormous spaghetti squash and have several more forming up. My beans are looking very healthy and should be flowering in another couple of weeks.
Speaking of flowering, my potato bed has been going nuts. The plants have been flowering like crazy for over a month, and the foliage is very healthy. These are all late bearing potatoes so I keep them watered so they can spud-up. I’m confident of harvesting a couple of hundred pounds of four different kinds of spuds from that bed this Fall....we shall see....
The few sweet potato plants that survived our cold Spring are thriving now; lots of foliage on them and considering the quality of the soil they are in and the depth of the bed, I have big expectations of a very nice yield of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving...
I pruned back the old canes on my red raspberries, and have been reconfiguring the trellis so I don’t bump my head on it every time I go in there. I’ll be out there this weekend tying up the new canes for next year’s crop. We had so many this year we couldn’t use them all...so the chickens got lots of berry treats....
My water tank has been working out extremely well. I’m down to about 120 gallons right now and am doling out the water as needed. The forecast is calling for rain on Monday into Tuesday, so there’s a great chance to recharge the tank if it rains enough.
That’s it for me, and I hope your summer was worth waiting for. It sure is here.
“I can put laundry on the line and it dries faster than the clothes dryer”.
I don’t know about you personally but the best, deep sleep in my LIFE is when I rest on sheets that have been dried outside. The smell is intoxicating!
Why are my green pepper plants all healthy and bushy, but few peppers? In fact, a lot of them are just now producing blossoms, and it’s getting colder here in Western Pa. 50 degrees overnight in fact!
We just did a second planting of snow peas and spinach. Also decided to take a chance on a second planting of pole beans, which are starting to come up nicely. I know the snow peas and spinach like cooler weather, but can we expect a crop of pole beans?
I remember my Mom planting carrots when I was a kid. Her first year... a disaster. Very few carrots and they were “twisted”. She thought that she had worked the soil but it was clay dirt. So... she brought back bags of soil from a region she grew up in Pennsylvania. Dark, black soil and that year was a bumper crop of midgets and other types. Thus... I am wondering about your soil?!
My garden is a raised box about 16 feet by 5 feet. The normal soil where I live is river bottom land...very fertile... and my box has a mix of that soil, some bagged soil, cow manure, chicken manure, soil conditioner and some black loam left over from putting in a new lawn. Brings it up to about 18 inches above the yard.
Everything grows great in it. The only failure I have had was the carrots last year but I think Red_Devil 232 pointed out my problem as growing season is hot hot hot in the Northern California valley interior.
Gotcha! Red Devil knows his stuff! He is the “oracle of gardeners!” (don’t tell him that because he blushes VERY easily! LOL!
We love air dried bed sheets too. I had a few towels on the line last weekend and they dried in less than an hour.
I find the towels that dry on the line just seem to soak up the shower/tub water better. Plus, they exfoliate! The only items that I don’t line dry are undies... too rough for tender bottoms! LOL!
I have yet another question.
Brussels sprouts, mine have no sprouts. Big stem, lots of leaves, but no sprouts.
A) what did I do wrong?
B) can I treat the leaves like other greens and eat them?
Here are some suggested eating uses for Brussel Sprout leaves
From Wikipedia, just FYI:
Like many other nightshades, tomato leaves and stems contain atropine and other tropane alkaloids that are toxic if ingested. Ripened fruit does not contain these compounds. Leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain small amounts of the poisonous alkaloid tomatine. Use of tomato leaves in tea (tisane) has been responsible for at least one death. However, levels of tomatine are generally too small to be dangerous.
Tomato plants can be toxic to dogs if they eat large amounts of the fruit, or chew plant material.
...another nice thing about Johnny’s is ‘bang for your buck’...you get lots of seed for the price on many items, especially peas and beans.
Brussels sprouts take a LOOOOOOONG time, and prefer sprouting in cooler weather...
See FReepmail in a few.
You need to do some research on what will grow with that walnut tree so close. Many plants will not grow near them.
I am a somehwat lazy, fair weather gardener (I hate going out when it’s 90 degrees plus) but manage somehow to have gardens that look pretty good. I am having a problem with a plant and am looking for advice. I have a common Trumpet Vine (orange) that has 2 problems. It sends volunteers everywhere (I do not want them and they are a dickens to pull out) and,
It has been in the ground 6 years and produced 1, yes 1, orange flower. I have fertilized, used bloom booster, etc., but no flowers. I put it on a wall that would look stunning with a bunch of orange flowers.
It was really cool here in the Colorado Rockies yesterday. The high temp was 64F. Have lots of flowers on the squash and zukes.
Thanks, I pretty figured they were. I will try cooking some with bacon. That makes everything takes better :-)
End of April? You’ve got a ways to go...some take 130 - 140 days to mature, maybe longer. I would bet your plants are just fine...
I did a search and now I know why my apple tree doesn’t appear to be bearing fruit and not growing.
Apparently you can plant cherry, peach, nectarine trees no problem (my cherry trees were full this year) but apple trees do poorly within the drip line of a walnut tree.
Looks like I will be transplanting my apple tree. I got 2 seasons with apples and then nothing the next 3 and the tree is very slow to grow.
If I had my druthers, I would take out the walnut tree but it’s as old as the neighborhood and provides great shade. I’ll have to think about it a bit.
The Walnut tree is a good 50 feet from my raised garden and even more from my potential garden. Only mistake I made was putting in an apple tree when I re-landscaped the backyard. I had never heard of Walnut tree toxicity to other plants. Learned something new on FR
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