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Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

Posted by lexiegurl NC 8 (My Page) on
Tue, May 29, 12 at 21:44

Hi everyone,

I'd just thought I would share a few pictures of my garden so far. Although there are problems I am dealing with (unidentified catapiller eating the inside of my tomato leaves, insect eating pepper leaves, leafhoppers, flea beetles) the garden is doing amazingly well considering the enormous amount of problems I had at the beginning to include disease, hail, overfertilization, cold, etc. Thank you to everyone who supported and guided me through some of my harder times, you all are the best!! Here you go:

Tomatoes in bed 1:
Tomato Bed

Closer up of some tomatoes in bed 1:
More Tomatoes

Big Rainbow Tomato (Best one in garden so far):
Big Rainbow Tomato

First tomato that formed on BR (but more have shown up on other plants!:
First Tomato on Big Rainbow

Large Garden:
Large Garden

Mostly pepper bed with squash:
Pepper Bed

Tomatoes in bed 2 and beans (beans planted less than a week ago):
Tomato Bed

Cascabella Pepper (first peppers to appear):
Cascabella Pepper

More Peppers:
More Peppers

Pepper that is being eaten. Any ideas what it could be? In same bed as tomatoes
Chewed up Pepper

Overall I am very proud of my garden. I also have cukes and melons that are sprouting, but only have seed leaves at this point (planted about one week ago also). I do realize my peppers and a few tomatoes appear yellow. I fertilized with Liquid Soluble All Purpose Miracle Gro (carefully so as not to overload with N), on Friday or Saturday but I think I will have to put some more as I gave less than the directions. (1 teaspoon instead of 1T). I gave a few of my tomatoes and peppers 1T of Miracle Gro a couple weeks ago and they are nicely green and blooming and the transformation was amazing. I will add more Miracle Gro after tomorrow as we are getting ready to get 5" of rain from Beryl. Hopefully that will help without drowning them! Any other tips to continue improving my garden are always welcome!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

Looks nice! Have you had success with tomatoes in those kinds of cages? I always have found that my tomatoes outgrew them and turned into crazy looking monsters.

The pepper damage looks like some kind of caterpillar which is coming to snack, probably at night. Without a mugshot of him though it would be hard to identify. What are you using to try and control the bugs?

BTW love the raised beds

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

OMG!!!! That is such a beautiful garden! Can only hope to have a garden like that someday. Keep up the good work!!!


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

lexiegirl,

That's beautiful, and shows a lot of work that will pay off.
What bugs/insects/pests you describe can be 'taken care of' (responsibly) with hot pepper wax. Destructive soft bodied predators are no match for capsaicin. -R


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

I love your garden!
Bear in mind however, that depending on the variety of tomato, yours are planted too close to each other & will WAY overgrow those little cages. Judging by the cinder blocks yours are 12"-18" from each other. Indeterminate non-dwarf tomatoes generally have 6-12' vines. They get HUGE.

I generally plant one every 3' unless a dwarf plant. I don't plant determinants so most of my plants continue to grow & can be monsters.


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

Thank you so much everyone!

Chris: My tomatoes usually stay in them but before this year my tomatoes truly were horrible. Last yearr out of 16 plants i got a grand total of 5 tomatoes. Yeah, that bad. I am not expecting them to stay in the cages though. As far as bug control, nothing at this point other than hand killing :) The flea beetles aren't out of control at this point so I'm not going to fret about them yet. I only know they are there based on minor damage and the fact that I actually seen them. I need to go out one night and look for my culprit. I think some hot pepper mix or BT is in my future.

Tuamor1628 and simmran1: Thank you for the nice comments and suggestions!

KCKook: Thank you! Yeah, my 'maters are a little close, but at the same time I was going into this season with very low expectations based on last year. My plants (indet) topped out at MAYBE 4-5 ft and were very pathetic and I gave them lots of room. This year I planted closer with the new beds (the beds are brand new for this yr) figuring I will prune if I need to. As far as the cages, based on what I've read, everyone agrees with you :) I pretty much figured I would eventually have to stake them as well with the wooden stakes you see for the tomatoes without cages. I figured it would help them stay contained at least somewhat lol. The tomatoes in the first half of the first bed (pic 2) ended up WAY closer than I intended. But most of the others are about 2 ft apart lengthwise and 18-24" diagonally. Like I said, I will learn to prune if I need to and I think I probably will as they are growing like weeds now. It is incredible compared to last yr. This is more of an experimental year for me than anything. Learning what works, what doesn't and IF raised beds really do make a difference where I live and so far the answer is yes :) Oh, and starting your own seeds can make an impact to. Out of all the plants above only 1 tomato, 4 peppers and 2 eggplants are store bought. Everything else is from seed, which was a whole new world for me as well!


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

Everything looks great.
But as a fellow North CaroBuglinian I pity you trying to fight off the hordes of the 7 plagues of every kind of crawling, flying, burrowing bug that exist.

Myself I went out and bought a Vegtrug with a bug cover and green house cover so that I can actually grow something that wont get mowed down.
So far everything is doing great in it, some how a single bug of some sort got in and ate part of a leaf in one of my Bok Choy but that is the grand total of all insect damage at this point.

I put "Bird Netting" over my tomatoes and peppers in an effort to somewhat curb the tomato worms.
If those big moths can not get to the plant and my soil is sterile then not to going to get too many tomato worms.
They are fairly good sized moths that I hope can not get through the 5/8" to 3/4" net.
also keeps birds & squirrels out.

This is the buggiest state I have ever lived in.


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

Very nice garden. How are you watering it? From what I can see, its being watered by sprinkler OR surface watering? I would recommend drip irrigation as that eliminates 1/2 of the bugs. For hormworms that eat peppers and tomatoes, I spray Theruside BT, twice a season. Once after plants are established and when I first spot the horm worm. Next when plants are healthy and tall and fruiting well.

BT works great for me.


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

Nunyabiz1: Thank you. Yes, NC is one of the buggiest states from biting us to our plants lol. I'm having a heck of a time with ants this year though. Normally the only bug I really had problems with prior to this year was aphids and the occasional hornworm. But this year I am seeing everything, but nothing overly destructive yet. I am out checking the damage daily and will intervene appropriately when it begins to get out of control. I've never gardened with cloth or netting before but I may have to consider it next yr depending on how bad it gets this year :)

Behlgarden: Yes I am watering with a sprinkler you see in the pictures. I move it to whatever bed needs watering that day. I don't have the money to set up a drip irrigation system yet, but that is part of my project for next year. My only concern/hesitation to using drip irrigation is that I have hard well water that I am concerned will plug up the drip irrigation holes. I mean my water is so bad that it kept clogging up a filter to one of my sprinklers last year where we were having to clean it out almost daily. Not as bad this year but we aren't in a drought yet either. Also, being on a well my water pressure sucks and I would have to water one section at a time until each one was throughly watered as there just wouldn't be enough pressure to run them all at once. Are these things that could hinder me from having a drip irrigation system?


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

Very nice! It's so neat! I know what you mean about the hard water, I am trying to figure out how to clean the head on my motion sprayer, and I don't know how many spray heads we have been through.
Nice work.


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

Glad to see another gardener using cinder blocks for raised beds. Few people realize how attractive it can be until they see a neat well contructed one... not to mention how practical - cheap, no maintenance and permanant. Can't beat it.

I would suggest for basic bug control to alternate catnips, marigolds and basils in the little squares on the outside of the bed. You still may need to spray here and there but it will keep a lot of critters away. It looks nice too.


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RE: Would just like to share my garden success thus far...

LOL, every last one of our marigolds were just eaten down to the roots and I mean that literally by slugs and pill bugs last week. Put out some Sluggo which seems to have curbed that problem.
If my Basil were not under a bug net in the Vegtrug right now there wouldn't be a single leaf left on it.

Only reason we still have any tomatoes, peppers and especially all the tender leafy veggies like the Bok Choy etc is because they are on our deck which is 20-25 feet in the air and under bug nets and bird nets.


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