What time is it?

btbarbara(7b/8a)July 21, 2011

I'll say I'm about halfway between Macon and Atlanta since the climate varies a lot in GA.

My summer garden is doing pretty well...we had fresh strawberries coming out our ears for a while and I'm hoping the Ozark Beauties might crank out another batch when it cools off a little but this is my first time growing them so I'm not sure. I've made a ton of pickles and still get cukes every day or so. I'm drowning in Cayennes and have no idea what to do with them all. I've got enough watermelons and cantaloupes to feed an army just calling to me from the vines. My corn is finally getting tassles but that's all so far. So I'm getting a little bored. It seems like it's too late to plant any more summer veggies and too early for fall stuff. What can I do now?

I managed to kill my only tomato plant earlier in the summer...is it too late to plant some tomatoes and different kinds of peppers for the fall (from seedlings so they have a head start)? I know it's too early for carrots or lettuce. I think I've figured out that we're right on the tail-end for planting beans...I might try to get some in this weekend and see if I can pull it off. Can I plant potatoes or sweet potatoes in this heat or should those wait till spring? I've just started researching growing herbs but don't even know where to start. I'm just jonesing to get my hands in the dirt and baby something new...are you resting now or what are you doing for your fix this time of year?

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I'm so jealous, Barbara. What a huge bounty you have.

Definitely plant tomatoes now. My 'volunteers' from last year's tossed leftover toms are growing great.

Will leave answers to your other questions to the experts. Will be reading to learn.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 7:53AM
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Aww...thanks! I've really been blown away by how well everything's done because I kind of started on a whim and then it took on a mind of its own. I've learned so much but mostly I'm making it up as I go. The craziest thing is that I've done everything in containers since my landlord doesn't want me to dig up the yard! I'm definitely hooked though and have already marked my calendar for what I want to plant when in the spring. I also added a greenhouse to the plans for my dream house I'm going build "someday". My 6-year old told me the other day that when we move out of this house, we should move to a house with a big farm so I can grow all our food and food for our friends and people that don't have any money. My heart just melted!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 12:17PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Barbara, it sounds like you have a bang up garden! Mine has been having a harder time this year. Perhaps the prolonged heat, perhaps that we haven't had constant water...I'm not sure. My melon split. I had one. We still ate what we could inside it, (not going to waste it!!!). My other melon is about 4" long, has not moved a bit for 3 weeks. Hmmmm.
A Butternut Squash died!!! I've never had a butternut kick the bucket. My others haven't made a single squash yet. I LOVE winter squash. Frustrating.
Tomatoes are coming in like gangbusters.
For some reason I attracted every cuke beetle in the land this year and so my cucumbers succumed fairly quickly. I have 3 batches of pickles (two from purchased cukes) I may try again.
I planted sweet potatoes as late as July 15th and have gotten super yields from them. Have you already made starts? You can try fall Irish potatoes. I think you plant those in August. I've not tried it.
Soon you can start your fall & winter veggies.
I can't believe how good you are doing purely with containers. Way to go! And that your son already sees the value in what you are doing!
Way to go!!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 5:44PM
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All those beetles must have left your garden when they were done with your cukes and headed over here! They chewed my strawberries almost to death but thankfully it was about time for them to be done fruiting anyway. Of course now, the leaves are all beautiful and bite-free again but it's too late for berrires. Grr... There are beetles and "soldier bugs" and aphids on one of my cucumber plants but they don't seem to be slowing it down any so I just keep watching. The last week or so, that plant has been covered in ladybugs which I think is a good thing because they eat the aphids but apparently the soldier bugs eat the ladybugs so I'm just all kinds of confused! I noticed a new visitor there today but I'm not really sure what it is. Sort of like a little tiny caterpillar (maybe an inch long and skinny) black with bright orange spots or stripes. There were a ton of them on there today but that's the first time I've seen them and have no idea what they are. I fear my cucumber days may be numbered...

The rest of it I attribute to beginner's luck. Isn't it funny how people plan and research and baby their plants and make sure everything's just right and then some dumb newbie throws a few seeds in a bucket and they explode? Kind of like those volunteer tomatoes...people fuss over their tomatoes so much and struggle to keep them going and those just pop up in the compost pile and laugh at you. I'm not getting cocky though. Every time I start to brag about how great things are going, something happens to bring me down a notch or two!

I've read about planting Irish potatoes but haven't done anything yet. Haven't even looked at sweet potatoes although I love them and would like to grow some. My favorite nursery went out of business a few weeks ago and they were practically giving everything away (80% off) They had a bunch of sweet potatoes and I almost bought them but I was kind of frustrated and burnt out because everything seemed stalled right then so I let them go. I wish now that I had gotten them. The other nursery I know of close to here is more landscaping stuff and ornamentals...not many veggies but maybe they can tell me where I could find some and give it a try.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 12:26AM
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I live in Atlanta and I planted bush beans last year Aug. 15 hoping they would be ready for Thanksgiving; and they were ready for harvest Sept. 23. Which is a crazy 40 days. I think it the get a boost from the heat in August. The last frost date is Nov. so I think you're good for sneaking in another of the shorter maturity time vegetables. I do notice when I plant in late August, all of growing slows down in September and they can fall short of making it (no pun intended). I'm fall planting yukon potatoes this weekend for the first time to see if I can get them in for Thanksgiving. We'll see.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 10:51PM
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I planted two basil plants and three peppers today so we'll see. They're pretty good size seedlings so hopefully they'll have time. I thought about something like an Early Girl tomato (supposed to mature in about 50 days) but didn't see any that didn't already look half-dead today and they weren't marked down at all. Tomatoes are tricky enough anyway, so I didn't want to start with the deck stacked against me. I'd love to do some potatoes but for some reason I'm kind of scared of them...isn't that silly! I'm not sure where to get the seed potatoes or whatever either. I might pick up an organic potato at the grocery store and see if it does anything. Hopefully those won't be treated with the stuff that regular potatoes are to keep them from sprouting. I think I've got my fix for now...Hopefully that will hold me over till it cools off a bit and I can save up some money to get some cool-weather stuff going!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 1:27PM
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