Garden notes towards the end of July

david52_gwJuly 29, 2007

- it rained over two inches yesterday afternoon, in less than an hour, and half a mile away not a drop. I can't imagine what would happen to this part of the country if we had the rains like they had in Texas, with 18" of rain in 12 hours - The new subdivision going in by the golf course needs to hire a new drainage engineer, their road is somewhere along the way to Lake Powell, and you need a canoe to get from home to first at the baseball diamond by the park.

- I have a bug that kills Russian Olive trees. This is a good thing. I need to nurture it along.

- I have a single artichoke showing up, on one out of three plants.

- fried egg plant for breakfast is ok.

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michelle_co(z5 CO)

I am so glad you got the rain. We only got 1/8 of an inch, but it's enough to keep me from having to water for another day or two. :-)


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 2:43PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

- Congratulations on your rain, David. I assume from your post that your drive, roads, and gardens are all okÂand happily watered. I got somewhere between a half inch and an inch on Friday. First non-virga rain IÂve had in a couple months.

- Good luck with your Russian olive bugs! Take good care of the little things!

- Yipee for your artichoke! Seems to me itÂs even early enough for it to have time to ripen. (Is that what artichokes doÂripen?)

- Fried eggplant is good for ANY meal! (Mine are tiny yet!)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 3:55PM
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I actually got a little over a quarter inch of rain in my yard, so I didn't have to water all weekend. The brassica liked the rain and lower temperatures. What's still alive is definitely growing.

Four of the 25 zucchini seeds I planted have sprouted. Three look healthy. The fourth, well....

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 7:59PM
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It rained here in Highland, UT too. I was outside watching the most interesting lightning show last Thursday. No thunder, no wind but near constant lightning behind the clouds. When I brought my wife outside, the wind showed up. Within another 15-20 minutes, it really started coming down. So much, in fact, that it came through one of our basement windows. We sucked up over 10 gallons of water from our basement rug late Friday night after it was discovered. First time that's happened to us in just over two years we've been here. Hopefully it was just due to the window being open a crack, but I guess it still would have accumulated in the window well.

This year is our first attempt at growing eggplant. One is approaching the bud stage, I believe. The other is still sort of miniature looking. These were indoor starts that I transplanted into the garden covered by 2 quart clear juice bottles with the bottoms cut off.

While I was mowing the lawn Saturday, I noticed a nice cluster of deer scat. Is that the technical term? Anyway, it explains what was eating the new growth on our cherry tree planted earlier this year and the wax bean plants (sort of experimental, never tried them, not sure what we'll eventually do with them, sort of like the acorn squash, which seems to be almost as vigorous a grower as the pumpkin, but not as productive). Speaking of pumpkin, in our first year, we've got one slightly larger than a gallon milk jug, and a second quickly catching up. There are a couple others that are still developing, but although they are past the blossom, I noticed a couple ping-pong ball sized pumpkins appear to be thinning themselves out. At this point, I'm wondering if I should figure out which plants they are coming from and pulling/cutting all of the others out. The melons (watermelon, cantelope, and honeydew) are probably a little crowded. Last year the vine to the only promising watermelon suddenly died and the melon rotted. We had a couple very small cantelope, and the honeydew all died off. This year I've seen maybe a half-dozen honeydew start to form, two watermelon about the size of a miniature football with a couple others still developing, and one or two cantelope. Since I haven't had the heart to thin back the plants, should I now be thinning out the melons to one or two per vine so they can achieve a decent size?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 4:16AM
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This year I tried growing eggplant in containers as well as the garden. Starting off from the same size seedlings, the container ones are 3x the size of the garden ones, and I have eaten over a dozen fruit off of the container ones and none yet from the garden. It has to do with soil temperature - warms up faster in the containers. Drawbacks, well, they have to be watered very frequently, but I got around that a bit by sticking a huge wad of newspapery compost in the middle of each pot. They also are getting hammered by spider mites.

I have a not-yet giant pumpkin in the works for DD9, it still looks like a zucchini but seems to be doubling in size every two days, so we may have something in a month. The giant cabbage is, however, doing spectacularly well, with a 20" + dia and still going.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:48AM
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Seems like you should be able to do a good job in blasting those mites off with water, David. Since they will land 6 feet away on average, at 12 inches/hour, you've got 4 hours or so to allow the plants to dry then hit them and the floor with soap spray. I can't testify as to the effectiveness of soap on mites but the water alone may work darn near well enuf. Especially if you hose down the plants and move them, oh say, all of 10 feet farther upstream.

I've got sooo many zukes and cukes! At the end of July, about 2/3rds of the cukes are producing and they've just started. It's a game of Twister/Knife out there right now but when the remaining vines kick-in and those going now really get cranked up . . . aaiiiieee!! Cucumber Harvester Ninja!!!

The 2nd planting of zukes may be too late but if they come on and the 1st planting hasn't petered out -- Shoot me come September!

I've already planted sweet onion seeds thinking they may produce scallions before hard frost . . . there's a Fall planting of pea seed in the ground as I'm pretending that I can get something other than tendrils this October . . . and tomorrow, I'll plant some bok choy seed hoping that it won't sprout and bolt immediately - achieving the size of green threads.

Remarkably, a late planting of beets didn't just turn red and stop growing. Beet greens again today!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 1:05AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Dishwashing liquid water should definitely work on the mites, but the problem is that you need to get it into every single nook and crannyÂespecially on the underside of ALL the leaves and on the newest growth (donÂt spray in sun). I know a lot of people use it, but IÂve always been kind of afraid to use the "wash Âem off" method because IÂm afraid they just might crawl back onto something else. Having a small yard doesnÂt help, of course, since washing them off of one thing means washing them onto whatever is right next to it.

Do you really think itÂs time to plant a fall crop of peas already, Digit? ItÂs still so hot down here, IÂm afraid they wonÂt even get started. IÂve been trying to figure out when I should plant them. Since this is the first year IÂm trying a fall crop, maybe I SHOULD plant them now. Just not sure what to do!

IÂll sleep on it,

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:08AM
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Well, here's my old schedule - plant snow peas as soon as it cools in August; grow until they start to flower and frosts put a stop to growth; harvest tendrils for stir-fry.

I think it is not very likely that they will be able to grow well right now. Seems like we just HAVE to get out of the 90's but then I didn't expect the beets planted a month ago to do anything other than cringe in the heat. While they aren't real, real tender, at least they came up well and look good - big surprise.

You should know that my 3rd attempt at fluid seeding did not go well. Planting carrot seed June 27th corn starch gel didn't work. About the only place they came up (spottily) was where it is fairly shady thru the day.

The carrot seed-in-gel plants that went in June 13th are growing but very slowly. I think they'll take off when it cools.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 7:14AM
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I had two rows of peas, one I pulled completely, the other I broke off about 4" from the ground. Those are heavily flowering now. Its cooled off here, this morning at 5:30 was 53º, and its barely getting into the high 80's. If this is it for hot weather, then it won't be much of a tomato year.

I will try soapy water in a gallon sprayer this morning when its cool. I once upon a time tried the 'strong jet of water' approach and was busy strong-jetting away when the entire plant, roots and all, left the pot and landed 5 feet away.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:24AM
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singcharlene(Zone 5)

July (now August) notes from my garden:

_We've gotten some nice rain recently

-I don't have any pumpkins yet. A ton of flowers but no pumpkins? Last year I got about five from my plantings in the tractor tire.

-I grew some beet greens, romaine, swiss chard, spinach, and lettuce seeds in one of those jiffy trays (my first attempt at indoor planting :) and they got so gangly after just a few days I could only salvage about half and just put those in the ground. They've appreciated the rain and bit of cooler weather. My lawn is beginning to green up again too :)

-I've got green beans coming and my corn is starting to tassle (I've never planted either of those so it's exciting!

-We've eaten about four eggplants, some cauliflower (I didn't love and think store bought cauliflower is better?), several zucchini and squash, all the radishes and beets.

-Cucumbers were slow to start this year but finally see some forming.

-the peppers are coming along.

-My broccoli plants just keep on giving small little broccoli shoots that have been great for stir frying.

-I've got tons of kale comin out of our ears (which I put in my breakfast smoothie every morning: soymilk, OJ, frozen blueberries & raspberries, flaxseed, kale, protein powder).

-I don't know when the cabbage or onions are ready for pickin'? I've never grown them before.

-I planted carrots from seed in the ground sometime in June and about half made it and are growing nicely. I took Steve's advice from last year and grew the half size version.

-I planted a bed of mesclun - supposedly heat tolerant- greens and that little bed has given us salads the entire summer so far. Lots of arugula in the mix though and my family has had enough of it. But I love it.

I guess my rambling notes are maybe more than you all wanted ha!

It's nice to hear what's going on in other's gardens.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 8:08AM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

I need to pick some gypsy peppers - one plant fell over from the weight.

I've got a cucumber volunteer that looks real good, but don't know what the fruit is like yet.

Ripped up the peas and planted beans - we'll see if they produce before the freeze.

Beets need thinning again. Chard needs eating.

Corn is silking - this year I'm trying a red one from Burpee.

Too many beans and summer squash. Everyday it's either beans or squash for dinner. The chickens are getting some today.

Picked and ate two of the four cauliflowers I got from the swap. Soon the others will need picking. They turned out very well.

All my gooseberries are picked and frozen.

The water melon look really cute. They are so small compared to the bushel gourds.

Caught two racoons eating my grapes.

Been eating sweet 100's for a while now, and am starting to get some nice larger tomatoes. The ildis are loaded, but not ripe.

I'm amazed how well my sweet peas still look. Still green and flowering real well. They're doing better in the heat than I am.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 9:33AM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

The hot temps have subsided a little in Utah Valley these past few days. Only in the 80s, with monsoon moisture and scattered thunderstorms. I'm enjoying that, except that the storms came a week too early and consumed about half of my big annual family campout in the high Uintas last week.

The good things in my garden:
- My problem rose hedge is actually blooming OK since I started giving it weekly Miracle-Gro feedings (which also gave it a little more water)
- My strawberries are in their second wave of production -- very nice!
- I ate the first nectarine from my tree two days ago, but it was one with some damage that seemed to make it ripen early. Others are still developing, probably for another week.

I have a few problems with mites, too, but I think I'll start a new thread about that to focus on some solutions.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 10:40AM
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