What Did You Do In The Garden?

flowerbug

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Before and after weeding the strawberry patch. Our 2 kids helped and it sure made the task more fun and fast! Harvested handful of strawberries which we had for dinner. We get strawberries but they are so small. Anything I can do to make the fruit bigger? They taste bit tart too. Half the plants are new this year.
the first berries might not be the best, but in all cases the more you can let them ripen on the plants before picking the better they will be, up to a point. :) the red of the berry is caused by the seeds saying "We're ready!" so in some cases you may even notice that a fairly green/white berry is still sweet enough to eat. but of course the fragrance and flavor are best when they get nice and red. at least for the types that do get red (i've not grown any of the alternatives)... pretty much what happens here every season. the first berries tend to be eaten before they are prime, but i still enjoy them. :)

the challenge with a berry patch is that the birds and chipmunks here like them too. often there is enough to share, but i am also willing to hunt some of the chipmunks because they have this habit of picking the berries, taking a few bites out of them and then leaving them on a brick or a rock. because my method of taking care of a strawberry patch includes removing all damaged fruits to prevent problems with both fungus and bugs it means i have some berries that i will have to trim up before i eat them. yes, i don't mind eating berries if they've had a chipmunk or bird taking a bite out of them. i cut away what is damaged and along with any tops those bits get fed to the worms in the buckets. i don't feed such damaged fruits to anyone else, but i don't mind the minor risk of eating them.
 

flowerbug

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No gardening, just mowing, and mowing and mowing and...mowing. WEEKS of lots of rain, but I can quit for another week, I hope.
we mowed this morning. a bit thick, but we got it done. everything is certainly nice and green now. :)

some garden plants got put out today. they will be acclimated enough and the forecast is for cloudy weather so they can finish hardening off as they get their roots established again. at least that is how i hope it will go...

the lilac tree got frosted those days ago when we had down into the lower 20s. i'm not sure it will bloom this season. as i am allergic so badly to the flowers and plant i do not mind but Mom loves 'em so i'm sad if it won't bloom. i love the smell of them even if i am reactive.

hauled pea gravel today out of the one garden and covered up all the wood i put in the ditch over the drain tubes. it looks so much nicer already even if i don't have it all done. just not to see that pile of wood any more. will have to haul more tomorrow. will be a tough day as i need to get the pea gravel out of the garden trenches where the drain tube was at that i moved, and i have to get that done before it rains or all that dirt will get washed down into the pea gravel. the kind of crouched working in those trenches is pretty tough on the back but i hope to get it done by the end of the day. we have an entire week forecast of chances of rain and storms. no frost or really cold in that forecast at all. 57F is the lowest and that is tonight.

for planting all that remains is 35 tomato plants and a flat of large sweet onion starts. we might be doing some planting in the rain. if it is warm enough we can survive that. :) just have to have two sets of shoes, one for mud/dirt/planting and the other for walking on the pathways. this is a normal habit for me anyways with our gardens. oh, by remains i mean the vegetable garden starts. after we get those planted i fill in everything else with beans. the squash gardens will need to be seeded in too. warm and moist is good for them.
 

Zeedman

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Most of the garden is still wet from the deluge, but I planted a few peppers today. The sole Beaver Dam survivor went into a pot, and four Taltos peppers at the garden's edge, where I could reach in without compacting the soil. A small beginning, but at least the garden has officially started.

Almost all of the tomatoes were potted up, but are still in the greenhouse. A few of the peppers were starting to outgrow their cells as well, so I've started potting up the ones planned for the rural garden. The remaining peppers destined for the home gardens will hopefully get transplanted tomorrow, weather permitting... but I doubt I'll be able to dig deep enough yet to put in the tomatoes.

A lot of things are being started as transplants; so as plants move into the greenhouse, another round of trays takes their place under the lights. All of the squash, cukes, bitter melon, gherkins, watermelon, and an exploding gourd (a story for later) were planted earlier this week, and put in the germination chamber set at 80 F. degrees. The squash were planted 4 days ago, the cukes & gherkins 3 days ago - all are coming up now.

The germination chamber is a collapsible greenhouse, wired with shop lights and a thermostatically controlled heater, and insulated with moving blankets. It is very helpful for germinating old and/or heat-loving seeds. The Zuccetta Rampicante is from 2009 seed, and nearly every cell has germinated. I've mentioned that setup several times, this is what it looks like:
20200522_222323.jpg

This is located in my unheated garage, to prevent over heating. Originally four of the shelves were lit, but half of the shop lights have broken. The missing lights don't matter anyway, because as soon as germination starts, the trays are transferred to the high bay lights indoors.
 

Zeedman

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for planting all that remains is 35 tomato plants and a flat of large sweet onion starts. we might be doing some planting in the rain. if it is warm enough we can survive that. :) just have to have two sets of shoes, one for mud/dirt/planting and the other for walking on the pathways.
(added emphasis mine)
It may come to that here too, judging by the extended forecast... chances of rain & storms every day for the next week. At least it looks like it will be dry during the day tomorrow, guess I'd better get in as many of the transplants as possible. I won't be direct-seeding any beans though; too many losses over the years due to excessive rainfall after planting. This might be another year where all of my beans get started as transplants.
 

flowerbug

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(added emphasis mine)
It may come to that here too, judging by the extended forecast... chances of rain & storms every day for the next week. At least it looks like it will be dry during the day tomorrow, guess I'd better get in as many of the transplants as possible. I won't be direct-seeding any beans though; too many losses over the years due to excessive rainfall after planting. This might be another year where all of my beans get started as transplants.
i won't be starting to planting beans for a few days at the least, perhaps a week or more. not that i'm not tempted but i just have to get this other project done first. :)

i don't think warm and moist is bad for bean planting, it's just if they don't get any breaks in the rains at all. i think there might be enough breaks this week.

it is too much cold and rain together that i don't like... my bean germination problems are more from questionable seeds than from the weather. i've never had complete bean failure here and we have such heavy soil that you'd think it would be an issue, but it isn't. only a few varieties have been finicky. replanting or getting better seeds has always been a help.

also i perch my plantings so that they don't get too waterlogged for long. about six inches. by the end of the season the perches are mostly flattened out again. only a few bean plants don't really like this. i don't regrow them for bulk plantings once i find others that work better.

we don't have enough room any where i could start the hundreds of bean plants. even pre-sprouting just bare seeds would be tough because of how many i put in and the rather random way i do it. i may try to plan a garden as to what goes in there but i rarely figure the exact spacing or counts until i'm planting and that can change as i go along. i do need to start figuring the groups i want to plant this year. i always have ideas of what i want next to what else to encourage specific crosses, but other than that i'm not too obsessed with how things go.

the challenge for me is to get certain blocks of beans to grow that will finish about at the same time. it is hard to have to go through a patch and only have to harvest a few and the earlier plants can sometimes finish up and i don't see them and then there can be a mold issue if they get overgrown by neighboring bean plants. this is where i get white mold problems happening. with clay holding moisture and the foggy bottom we can have it can be a challenge. :)

i hope you have a good season there @Zeedman! i'm looking forwards to trying out those soybeans. :)
 

seedcorn

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Planted okra, green beans, tomatoes in the holes caused by moles and cold weather. Need to do that with corn. Still haven’t decided which pepper plants survived. Have some jalapeños to fill in holes there. Watermelons looked good for week, now 3 out of 4 look to be dead or dying. So much for getting a jump on this year...l
 

digitS'

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Ran rototiller for a couple of hours. Have completed 10 of 12, 45' by 4' beds. That is, ran tiller twice over the ground with tines on forward, twice over with tines in reverse.

It surprises me that on each pass, the tiller responds in different ways. In other words, it is working. With some moisture in the ground and with the tractor guy having gone over it last fall, it almost seems as though I am tilling nearly as deep as possible the first time. It's not that I can go so deep with that rear-tyne tiller. It's about 6". Gotta shake those rocks! Irrigation, rain and simply time will settle the ground quickly. Pleased that the tractor guy had so much organic matter to turn under. There's probably less than usual right now because of such a warm winter. Still, the soil looks good.

Set out more cabbage and broccoli. The plants that have been there nearly 3 weeks are nice and healthy. These today were terribly rootbound but should be okay if the weather cooperates.

Planted the first of what might be killed by a frost - sweet corn transplants! Of course, the bean seed hasn't emerged in a week with morning temperatures of about 40°f and cloudy days. It will warm considerably, the WS assures us.

:) Steve
 

flowerbug

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Ran rototiller for a couple of hours. Have completed 10 of 12, 45' by 4' beds. That is, ran tiller twice over the ground with tines on forward, twice over with tines in reverse.

It surprises me that on each pass, the tiller responds in different ways. In other words, it is working. With some moisture in the ground and with the tractor guy having gone over it last fall, it almost seems as though I am tilling nearly as deep as possible the first time. It's not that I can go so deep with that rear-tyne tiller. It's about 6". Gotta shake those rocks! Irrigation, rain and simply time will settle the ground quickly. Pleased that the tractor guy had so much organic matter to turn under. There's probably less than usual right now because of such a warm winter. Still, the soil looks good.

Set out more cabbage and broccoli. The plants that have been there nearly 3 weeks are nice and healthy. These today were terribly rootbound but should be okay if the weather cooperates.

Planted the first of what might be killed by a frost - sweet corn transplants! Of course, the bean seed hasn't emerged in a week with morning temperatures of about 40°f and cloudy days. It will warm considerably, the WS assures us.

:) Steve
do you have issues with all the rocks breaking the tiller tines?

it is so nice to see all those prior efforts pay off in having nice garden soil. :) while ours looks rather crusty after a few days of dry weather if you scratch the surface a bit you find some nice dark garden soil. after all these years of amending with the various organic materials and encouraging worm life it is much more alive.

how long does it take to go from 8 inch cauliflower and brocolli to production? we don't grow these here very often but one of my brother's requested it and Mom did not say no so we have 3 plants of each just transplanted outside two days ago. i know they are cool weather crops so i don't have much hope for them doing that great, but Mom is Mom and i don't argue too much. :)

the forecast here this week is getting warm, close to 90 three days. cloudy, rains, have to get the tomatoes put in and continue on the project as much as i can. i'm actually hoping today to get to the 2/3rds mark of digging out the pea gravel and so the garden can be gotten ready for planting ASAP. with all the rains in the forecast today might be the only day i have for working on it unless i want to get wet and sandy. the last 1/3rd i will need at least three days in a row of no rain to finish it off. the good news is that with each load of pea gravel i get moved that is filling in that trench now and it already looks so much nicer. :) the top part will still be a mess for a while longer but eventually it will get dealt with too. likely after planting is complete...
 

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