snowguy716July 4, 2008

Well, my gardens are very happy at the moment (and so are the weeds in them... but that's another story)

My flower garden is full of color and my shrubs are busy adding new growth.. my grass is a lush dark green, and my grape vines have made an impressive comeback (after having been munched down to stubs by the deer/rabbits)

But my biggest success has been my vegetable garden. Despite our very late spring, the warmer weather of late has done wonders (well, plus fertilizer and lots of water).

Our soil is pure sand (no rocks, no clay.. a little black soil on top), so it needs watering every day when it doesn't rain, and I fertilize it lightly once per week.

I just pulled out a red radish that was the size of a small apple and a white one that was as big as a carrot... and they were juicy and crisp and very very peppery (almost hotter than salsa).

Everything is so lush.. the peas and beans are growing quickly (the peas are about to flower).. and the beets, greens, broccoli, tomatoes, and potatoes are all doing very well. The corn is over my knee.

The tomatoes I planted from seed are really starting to take off (I plant these for late tomatoes.. I buy plants for earlier ones).. and the cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and watermelon are all vining out...

it's been a lot of effort tilling, amending, planting, watering, fertilizing, and weeding.. but we had a great greens/radish salad the other night.

Up in the north our growing season is short, but there is no doubt it is quite sweet.

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That's great to hear that you are enjoying the fruits of your labor! Doesn't it make all the effort worthwhile when you look around and get that feeling of contentment?

Enjoy the rest of this great season!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 11:37PM
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for those up NORTH who are trying to grow eggplants and peppers and other warm veggies. You might do best to grow them in pots. allow the pots to sit in the hot sun and warm the roots. The plants grow much better this way then in the soil. I can get twice the yield or more in a pot then in the ground. For big plants like tomatoes you can sit the pot on the ground and allow roots to grow down into the soil. This helps supply extra moisture and you will not have to water the plant so often. When the freeze comes just pull up the pot and break off the roots and move the plant into the garage for the night. You might get an extra month of growth this way.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 7:52PM
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Well, here's the thing about where my garden is: It's in the middle of a field that gets sun from dawn til dusk. The soil is rich on the top foot, but still very sandy, and below that it is pure sand... so it does not hold water or nutrients well.. but it has no problem warming up.

Most of my warm weather veggies are either in the raised bed I made (the soil gets quite warm in this soil because it is very black and rather shallow.. about 6").. or I have pumpkins and tomatoes in a small bed right on the south side of the house. Since we have a light colored house, the sun beats down and reflects light, making that side of the house very hot.. which is why I'm doing those veggies there, plus my grape vines.

Everybody said last year that I wouldn't get tomatoes if I did them from seed... but truth be told, I planted the seeds in mid June and by the end of August I had lots of tomatoes.. this year I did a mixture of transplants and seeds.. and both are doing quite well.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:34PM
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chickadee__3a(z 3a Ontario)

Snowguy-- what's your secret to growing those wonderful radishes.I too, live on pure sand with lots of ammendment in my raised veggie beds, but my radishes are never a great success. My DH bought some radishes last week at a veggie market where the produce all comes from southern Ontario ( I live in No. Ont.)and they were the size of beets. Any tips on growing prize radishes? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 8:32AM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

Every year I have volunteer tomatoes come up in the garden and usually have some to harvest off of these by September. It really does depend on the year, and also the variety of tomatoes you sow. There's only been one year when I had very few tomatoes, and that was due to blight, not lack of heat. Here, in southern Manitoba, our summers are quite hot, and having 16 hours of sunlight sure does get things to grow quickly too.:)

Snowguy, congrats on you radishes! Mine always seem to get maggots, so I quit growing them.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 10:10AM
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Laurie, Try digging in some wood ash to get rid of your maggots
Putting it on the surface around the plants helps to keep slugs off lettuce and other plants too

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Snowguy, your garden sounds great! It's amazing how our long summer days and a little heat will make up for a slow start in the spring. I'm noticing that too. My potatoes froze down 2 or 3 times in June and they've been waiting to be hilled a second time for the last week or more. My garden is mostly sand and in the full sun as well and it definately doesn't take long to warm up after cold wet weather or in the spring either. I'd like to put some trees on the north perimeter, but golly, this time of year its still getting sun from the north for a few hours every evening. I hate to deprive it :)

Chickadee, I've had good luck by covering my radishes as soon as I sow them with the light floating row covers and water them well as they're growing. I haven't found one wormy radish yet this year and I think they have a nicer flavour and texture when they get more water. My soil is very sandy as well and dries out quickly.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:06PM
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mcav0y(z3/4 Anchorage)

xtreme_gardener and snowguy,
I know exactly how you feel. My garden has taken off with the 20+ hours of daylight and compost topdressing. Look at my potatoes between last week and this week!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 6:00PM
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