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Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

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Post  brainchasm on 4/13/2013, 4:52 pm

Oh boy...

Just out in the garden, looking at everything (I'm very inquisitive), and I see something new...

well, something new BESIDES the little mushrooms that pop up randomly that I noticed the other night, and last night as well...

There is a pea plant with...a bloom.

It's still closed, but it's there, it's white, and it may have a neighbor very soon...

Shocked

Seems a little early. The plants aren't even 18" tall yet, and were only sown on 3/3, and started showing true leaves 3/17.

I am gonna read up, but I don't think I need to pinch of early blooms, right? They're pretty rambunctious plants...I don't see that a bloom or two will slow them down.

Thoughts?

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Post  jjlonsdale on 4/13/2013, 5:39 pm

I am loving following along with your garden! It's my first year too so I don't have a lot of advice to give... but keep posting the pics! :-)
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Post  plantoid on 4/13/2013, 5:54 pm

Brainchasm,
Lovely set up you have there , I see that your concrete hollow blocks are not filled with earth or sand etc.

The concrete block tends to mimic a wick and will take water from the MM where it is in contact with the block and the rest of the block will evaporate it PDQ.

Lots of people fill the hollow blocks with some form of ammended earth and grow in the block as well usually with quick salad stuff like raddish, cut and come again greenery , chives , spring onions or perhaps instead lots of small bright flowers that are slightly drought tollerant .... this will help keep the beds a bit moister and also add to your growing space.
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Post  brainchasm on 4/13/2013, 9:21 pm

@plantoid wrote:Brainchasm,
Lovely set up you have there , I see that your concrete hollow blocks are not filled with earth or sand etc.

The concrete block tends to mimic a wick and will take water from the MM where it is in contact with the block and the rest of the block will evaporate it PDQ.

Lots of people fill the hollow blocks with some form of ammended earth and grow in the block as well usually with quick salad stuff like raddish, cut and come again greenery , chives , spring onions or perhaps instead lots of small bright flowers that are slightly drought tollerant .... this will help keep the beds a bit moister and also add to your growing space.
Thanks plantoid!

Yeah, filling the holes with something is an eventual goal. As it is, my MM doesn't dry out so far. The surface obviously does, but less than a centimeter down, the mix is moist and cool (gotta love that drainage!).


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Post  brainchasm on 4/13/2013, 9:31 pm

MORE PICS!

Pea blossom!
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My best Black Krim tomato? Still my best tomato plant...
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My French Breakfast radishes are supposedly six days from harvest...they may actually be closer to six HOURS...
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Marvel of Four Seasons lettuce...mine's really red compared to most pics!
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Chard
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Tom Thumb lettuce! I think I need to actually take some leaves to eat from these...
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So, the garden keeps keepin' on! cheers

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Post  Goosegirl on 4/13/2013, 9:37 pm

hungry drooling hungry drooling hungry

GG
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Post  brainchasm on 4/14/2013, 7:11 pm

My first harvest!

I did a partial harvest of my two squares of French Breakfast heirloom radishes. I pulled the ones that looked biggest across, but as you can see, it's still a crapshoot as to whether that will mean length or not!

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I'll be back out there in a bit to snip some lettuces, chard, and spinach leaves for my first salad! Very Happy

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Post  brainchasm on 4/19/2013, 11:13 pm

Finished harvesting my radishes, so that's done.

My secondary planting of cucumber seeds are all sprouting; if they take off and look like they will pass the transplants, I'll pull the transplants.

Been picking some lettuce and spinach occasionally too. Delicious!

Sunflower sprouted, Plot C (last, latest plot) has both lettuces and radishes sprouting already. Still waiting on the marigolds and nasturtium to sprout though.

I think I caught an eggplant sprouting, so I potted it up in a peat cup, and stuck it under my big CFL grow light. Also saw another eggplant seed germinating, so I threw that in a cup as well. We'll see if it hooks in.

Peas are still blossoming, I don't know if that's good or bad this early.

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Post  brainchasm on 5/10/2013, 1:02 am

Haven't updated this in a while, so here goes...

Pea blossoms turned out to be fine. I have peas galore, nice fat pods, delicious sweet peas.
My two melon plants that I planted out VERY young are the only ones that hooked in, and are getting big leaves and thick stems, but they aren't spreading out very far......and they're flowering. I don't think that's what I want this early.
My leggy dumb cucumber plants put on a few more leaves, never really hooked in, and they're flowering as well. Dumb things.
My first nasturtium has a bloom! And more buds on their way! So pretty.
My first marigolds have one bloom, one bud that's ready, and another on its way!
My beans are about 4-5" tall, look terrible and yellow...and I think they're making pods...
One of my spinach plants bolted...pretty cool to see!
The first basil I planted out from Fresh & Easy is bolting.

The thing that most concerns me though, is my tomato plants. They seem to have taken hold well since being planted out, some moreso than others...but they all just tried to bloom. Most of the plants aren't even 12" tall. I pinched them all, and I'm hoping they have a growth spurt.

My okra is a bad joke, and so are the pepper plants. They still look like seedlings.

Oh, and my lettuces need a trim and/or full harvesting badly. The MoFS lettuce is filling its square, and the Tom Thumbs are really dense and tight.

And thoughts or advice is most definitely welcome!

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Post  brainchasm on 6/2/2013, 4:29 pm

Well, I haven't updated this in a while, so here goes!

Plot A

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Plot B

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Plot C

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So, the peas have been prolific, but I think with the heat they may be nearing the end of their time.
The tomatoes I was so worried about? Yeah, no worries. One Black Krim plant (Plot B, left) got stunted and yellow (but no purple veins, so I don't think virus), and will need to be pulled, but everything else is growing very well. I even have a tiny tomato on my Black Krim in Plot A! Everything is flowering, so I have high hopes.
My chard went crazy once it got steadily warm/hot. I thought those giant leaves would be bittered by age and heat, but they're still very good (for chard).
My spinach all bolted, so I pulled it all, and ate most of it. It's good, but definitely not the "store spinach" with soft leaves that I like and was expecting.
My Tom Thumb lettuce did terrific, but it was a PITA, so I pulled it once it started to get weird. The Marvel of Four Seasons lettuce (red) is STILL growing, but all the plants tried to bolt, and so now the leaves are fairly bitter. They make good ground cover though, so I am loathe to pull them yet.
Plot C, that big thing front right? That is a Lemon Queen sunflower, and it's going like it has wheels and a jetpack!
The pepper and eggplant seedlings are moseying along, and hopefully they'll be ok. The lemon basil is coming along fast now, and the rescued basils from Fresh&Easy have really taken to their new homes, but with the heat and a flowering attempt, they'll all pretty bitey flavored, and I can't really use them. They are, however, still good companions to tomatoes, so they're staying as support.
Those little melon transplants that nobody loves? They don't care. They're trying to take over every square near them, and I have to build a second (east) trellis for them today before they choke out my other stuff!
The Dragon Tongue bean plants are doing better, but still not as robust as I'd like. They may end up not producing anything this year.
I've been nibbling on my nasturtiums, as they keep flowering (delicious with a radish bite), and throwing up more leaves (also delicious, less radish).
I harvested my first crop of radishes some time ago, and they were awesome and big. I just harvested a second crop, and while they were smaller in general, they were also in better shape.

Aaand, my okra is still a bad joke.

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Post  brainchasm on 6/7/2013, 1:36 pm

Just a picture post for some closeups.

Plot A: (marigolds are now doing yellow blossoms, in addition to the orange ones)
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Plot B: (now with trimmed chard, and a second trellis on the right for the melon & cucumber plants)
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Plot C looks the same as above, so no new pic.
However, here is a framed shot of the Lemon Queen sunflower in Plot C!
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Close-up of the chard in Plot B:
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My first Cherokee Purple tomato is setting in Plot B:
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My borage in Plot B is doing well, and blooming!
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My Black Krim tomato in Plot A has had this little fruit for a minute, but I only now took a pic:
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And finally, my stunted Dragon Tongue bean plants, though stunted isn't keeping them from trying to make beans!
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Post  mschaef on 6/7/2013, 11:43 pm

I have never grown a dragon tongue bean before but it look like the size of my bean plants cant really tell how tall yours are though. But maybe that is how tall it will get. Everything looks great and green. Things for me are just now starting to sprout. Thanks for the pictures it nice to see how things will look in a month or two.
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Post  Lindacol on 6/8/2013, 1:49 am

@mschaef wrote:I have never grown a dragon tongue bean before but it look like the size of my bean plants cant really tell how tall yours are though. But maybe that is how tall it will get. Everything looks great and green. Things for me are just now starting to sprout. Thanks for the pictures it nice to see how things will look in a month or two.

Dragon tongue beans only get about 18 inches tall. I grow mine on my tabletop beds. My couple of squares are looking kind of ragged right now but have produced well. I think they are about done producing and will be pulling them soon and will replant more in different squares.
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Post  donnainzone5 on 6/8/2013, 10:56 am

Watch out for that gorgeous borage!

When it goes to seed, you'll find you could start a business selling its offspring!

When they first come up, they resemble cucumber sprouts. My practice is to pull and add them to my compost bins.
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Post  brainchasm on 6/11/2013, 3:53 pm

Did a harvest last night! Pulled in all my carrots!

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Post  mschaef on 6/11/2013, 9:20 pm

You got some nice looking carrots there carrot carrot
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Post  Madcapper on 6/12/2013, 10:36 am

Everything is sounding and looking great brain! Glad it is going so well for you. I am definitely planning on expanding mine for next year!
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Post  brainchasm on 6/12/2013, 1:37 pm

@Madcapper wrote:Everything is sounding and looking great brain! Glad it is going so well for you. I am definitely planning on expanding mine for next year!


I have this dream in my head of doing the front yard (since I am basically out of back yard), but I am going to make sure this crop and the fall crop actually work out.

The front yard will be a much bigger project, even if I go small....it's sloped, terrible bumpy dirt, and the watering solution is...inconvenient.

One thing I think I could pull off without too much grief is a sunflower fence right at the front of the house, but again...I have to see what this Lemon Queen sunflower is going to do/look like before I go throwing all the other seeds down.

So, lots to think about!

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Post  brainchasm on 6/14/2013, 12:34 am

My chard is LARGE.
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Also, not exactly my garden, but I had a small project that has made me very happy...re-lighting my back area!

BEFORE (nasty too-bright CFL floods, harsh, beams my neighbors' windows, lotta shadows):
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And AFTER (strung xmas lights!  Soft, ambient glow, much friendlier, diffuse, and easier on the eyes):
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So, there we go!

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Post  sanderson on 6/14/2013, 1:41 am

Just noticed your Christmas lights.  Very, very nice ambient light.  A plus is that you don't have a light right next to the door, attracting moths and beetles, letting them in every time you go in and out the door.  I have a row of white Christmas lights at the yard edge of the solid patio cover, away from the back door, and I don't have the insect problem when I go in and out.
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Post  sanderson on 6/14/2013, 2:08 am

Okay, lost the two paragraphs I just wrote!  Here goes, I have relatives who live in LV.  To me, it is depressing with the teeny patches of grass allowed in the front yards and all that rock!  The soil is NOT!  Pools are nice but it's too hot during the day to just sit around it.  Now that I know about SFG, it seems to be the only way to create living greenery.  You are doing a wonderful job.

For your back yard, I can picture a large cattle trellis between two of your boxes to create a living archway of beans, peas, squashes, melon, or perennially green Bower vines, etc., with sunflowers standing guard at both ends of the archway.  A little bench underneath.  That recent thread with all the squash and melons hanging through is beautiful.  A Bower vine archway in the front yard?  The relatives' front yard is sloped, covered with rock, a patch of lawn that could be cut with scissors, but now I picture a step-down series of 1 or 2 foot wide flower/colored veggie boxes wrapped in siding or wood?, 2 foot pathways between them, drip irrigation . . .  dream, dream
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Post  kristinz on 6/14/2013, 9:39 pm

Hey Brain... Just wanted to say your gardens look like they could be right out of the book!  I loved watching the garden progress... keep posting pics, I'm going to keep an eye out on yours.  How were the dragon tongue beans?  I planted them this year too, never had them before, but everyone seems to really like them.  Keep up the good work, you inspire many!  yahoohappy dancewinner
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Post  brainchasm on 6/15/2013, 2:20 pm

Thanks kristinz!

The Dragon Tongues for me have been a bit of a sore point.  I planted nine in a square, and only got two plants out of it.  The others just never germinated.  Also, those two plants came up and went straight to looking yellow and wimpy.  I seem to remember beans in general being a more robust plant.  I had inoculated them when I sowed, so I was really at a loss as to what might have happened.

I gave them some nitrogen, and they greened up, and are growing, but they're sill pretty small.  They apparently have been blooming, as the other week I found ONE nicely matured bean.  There's now ONE small bean out there, but that's it.

Oh, and I ate that one mature bean.  It was nice.  Very pretty markings.

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Post  donnainzone5 on 6/15/2013, 2:24 pm

Brainchasm,

Did you soak the bean seeds before planting?  That often helps with germination.
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Post  brainchasm on 6/15/2013, 2:44 pm

I did, I think for the recommended time.  I'm thinking it was too much.  With how nicely the watering system keeps everything, I think next time I won't bother.  Call it an experiment!

I have to get out there and do some tomato pruning, but I am noticing that I don't think I am setting any more fruit.  I'm especially not getting any new action on the Black Krims, and the one Black Krim tomato on the plant seems to have stalled in growth.

I blame the heat (finally).

I am going to prune that plant especially, since it's the biggest and likely the most unruly, in hopes that the tomato on that plant will kickstart its growth again, but I have the distinct feeling that these plants might just plod along until the heat is moderated.

The Cherokee Purples do seem to have some decent fruit going on, and some of them are growing rapidly...I'm thinking they may be more heat tolerant than the BKs (gee, heirloom from the Southern US does better in heat than heirloom from Russia?  Go figure!).

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I think my sunflower plant can take me in a fair fight...it's taller than me, and it keeps giving me dirty looks. Shocked

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brainchasm
brainchasm

Male Posts : 475
Join date : 2013-02-26
Age : 44
Location : Las Vegas, NV

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