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New England, July 2016

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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/24/2016, 9:52 pm

Rock, you lucked out!  

CC, I am getting ready to put some lettuce in for fall.  I had ZERO Ruby Crunch germination this spring on the mat/heat/lights....any tips?  It should be very easy to grow!

Ruby Crunch, why do you foresake me?  Germination wise.....Wink

And then some other lettuces....Matchless, a couple BSS, and for my first round, Marvel of Four Seasons!  Thanks, Audrey Jean! 

Fall...can't believe it, still rolling in Summer!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 7/24/2016, 9:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added props to AJR!)
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/25/2016, 9:55 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
CC, I am getting ready to put some lettuce in for fall.  I had ZERO Ruby Crunch germination this spring on the mat/heat/lights....any tips?  It should be very easy to grow!

Lettuce seeds need light to germinate.  Start with heat tolerant seeds.  The ones I'm using are Freckles, Paris Island, Grand Rapids, Marvel of 4 Season.  I put used MM into cell packs, bottom watered til all was moist, sprinkled seeds across the tops, pushed them gently into the MM with my finger (like touching your eyeball), sprinkled oh so little MM across the tops (some seeds not covered, some covered a bit), spritzed with filtered water and put the cell packs into a clam pack 'green house' with about a half inch of water in the bottom and into the bay window but no sun.  I closed the green house lid at night and left it ajar during the day so there was no heat build up.  

Now that they've all germinated (multiple plants in each cell) they are out of the green house and the tricky part is keeping them cool enough.  That window gets warm even in the shade.  I bottom water with cold filtered water.  In the cool of the morning and sometimes overnight they've gone outside to harden off.  So far so good.  

The trick will be keeping them alive thru August.  I made up their SFG box yesterday, which goes into full shade mid day, and covered it with a dome of burlap.  I may plant out a couple of each this weekend just to test the waters.
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/26/2016, 1:45 pm

@bigdogrock wrote:I just checked the gardens, no hail damage. The tomato plants are soaked!

Well I had spoke to soon. But the damage wasn't bad, I think.  I started looking at some of the leaves that are yellowing some and saw what looked like a jagged cut from a sharp knife. Like someone had poked a razor through the leaf. It looks like it is almost starting to heal, but it isn't, just started darkening along the cut. That has to be hail damage. I noticed a few tomato leafs turning yellow, and they had been damaged by the wind. I will gets some pics soon.
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/27/2016, 8:00 am

Here are some pics of the hail damage. I am getting plenty of blossoms with only a few leafs turning yellow.





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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/27/2016, 3:39 pm

Here are some pics of my garden, there will be more coming. These first two show my 8 foot tall pole bean trellis and a close up of one of my hardiest tomato plants. It has been a few years  since I have had tomato plants that had this heavy of a load of tomatoes on them! This is the third week since I built the trellis, the beans are fast movers and they look very healthy. There are two rows of beets just to the front of the beans. The next plant over in the Bee box is a Sun-gold cherry tomato and the two boxes of potatoes.






Next is my potted vegies. The first is an old antique enamel bucket with holes in the bottom that someone threw away. These are bush beans, they look like a small variety.



This one is a five gallon bucket with bush cucumbers, not sure of the variety, but it has really started to grow.



The next two pics are of my trellising cucs, it is going super. It is already almost 4 feet tall. Look at all the buds on it, and it is climbing quickly. The second pic is my first cuc! I want to pick it and eat it right there. It will be ready tomorrow or the next day.



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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/27/2016, 4:22 pm

Looks terrific, Rock!
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/27/2016, 4:49 pm

Beautiful, Rock! How many bush cuke plants are in that bucket? I never knew there was such a thing.

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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/27/2016, 5:51 pm

I think there are 4 plants in it. The seed pack said it was a bush variety, I think I paid $1.00 for 10 packs of different seeds. All of them were packaged for 2015. I lost the notes I took about them, and the empty  packages as well.
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 7/27/2016, 6:15 pm

Rock, you have an excellent garden. Well done! Very Happy

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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  sanderson on 7/28/2016, 12:21 am

@trolleydriver wrote:Rock, you have an excellent garden. Well done! Very Happy
+1

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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/28/2016, 6:24 pm

Nice!  Eat that cuke right now!  Lol
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/28/2016, 8:36 pm

Hey SR, tomorrow I feast on the first cuc!
Here are a few more pics of my gardens. This first is my cucumbers growing up the trellis I built, because I am very frugal (otherwise known as CHEAP) and I use only things that I have around the house. These cucs are very thick, I am surprised that they are not growing up higher very quick, but the only thing that has got height quick are my green beans. There are lots of vines and blossoms, so they are coming!


This is pic of two of my 4X8, the first one has tomatoes, potatoes, and purple beans. The second box is the one of all my coming cucs, with potatoes and Squash.


Hope you all enjoy these pics, it is very pleasing to see all of your gardens too.
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  sanderson on 7/29/2016, 3:09 am

Healthy looking!

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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/29/2016, 10:34 am

Love your photos, Rock!  Everything is so lush.  See what a little hail...er, I mean rain can do?  What a Face

Speaking of which, as I type it's
cloudy-bummer cloudy-bummer cloudy-bummer
hb


Is that black plastic on the left side of that box?  To what end?  Do you incorporate The New Victory Garden book into your gardening?  I do. Very Happy

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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 7/29/2016, 11:10 am

Rock that is a nice looking garden with good healthy plants. I like the way you reuse things for your trellises, etc.  By the way, frugal is good. Mrs TD often tells me I am "cheap".

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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/29/2016, 12:20 pm

I've been called 'cheap' and I laugh all the way to the bank.
rock on
But, as we all know, there's so much more to it than that. Using up stuff keeps it from the landfill among other things.
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/29/2016, 10:21 pm

Hey CC, that isn't black plastic, it is garden fabric, keeps the sun out, lets the water in. Really does a great job at keeping down the weeds. This was the first time I have tried it, I like it so far. Easy to work with, just cut a hole with a sharp knife or razor and let the veggies come up through.
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/30/2016, 4:08 pm

Here is that first cucumber, I used a dollar bill to show the size. I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/30/2016, 4:44 pm

Unbelievable! It's perfect! Do you know what variety it is, Rock?
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/30/2016, 4:48 pm

It is either Market More or a 76. All my notes got wet, I am going from memory.
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/30/2016, 6:25 pm

@bigdogrock wrote:Hey CC, that isn't black plastic, it is garden fabric, keeps the sun out, lets the water in. Really does a great job at keeping down the weeds. This was the first time I have tried it, I like it so far. Easy to work with, just cut a hole with a sharp knife or razor and let the veggies come up through.
I used garden fabric under my tomatoes last year and liked it, too. I reused it this year, since the holes were already in the right places. It's nice not having to try to weed right underneath the tomatoes. There aren't many weeds, of course, but I feel like a bull in a china shop when I try to get down underneath the plants trying not to accidentally jostle anything too much, or lean/push a little too hard against a tender stem...
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 7/31/2016, 3:15 pm

Thanks for your post Beetles. That gives me more confidence in using it again next year.
My friend and neighbor uses it on his garden. I saw it and asked about it. He gave me the leftover part of a roll. He uses it differently than I do, he puts it down then covers it with either leaves or evergreen needles (I think they are pine needles.) He has little in the way of weeds now, after he put it down, but I want to watch it for the rest of the season, in both his and my garden.
Last year was a very weedy year, I was very frustrated with weeding, I spent way to much time trying to control weeds and little fun time making my garden look nice for me. I do like to just sit in my garden and enjoy it, so I make it look the way I want it to look, and weeds ruin that. Last year was difficult  for me because I just didn't have the time to make it look nice. It was productive, but way to labor intensive because of the weeds. The rain and the way I watered contributed to it, along with not getting a jump on them. I didn't let that happen this year.
That is why I started using the garden fabric. I used it on about half of my garden, for two reasons. First I wanted to compare how well it worked by how much time I spent putting it in, keeping it down or maintaining it, and finding out if there are any hidden problems or labor involved. Second, I am able to compare it to the other half that doesn't have it. I spent about the same time preparing the garden with the fabric as I did with the gardens that didn't get it. So, the difference so far has been A LOT LESS WEEDING in the fabric covered gardens.
So far I really like it. Weeds are almost non-existent. I think it holds the moisture in somewhat, and the water seems to drain right through it. I see nothing negative about its use so far. Even the cost doesn't bother me if it saves such a great amount of time weeding.
There are a few positives that I should mention too. I now concentrate my visual senses on just what is growing out of the black fabric. I am not worried about always trying to scout out the little weeds that turn into bushes overnight, I am watching my veggies and I am more in tune with what their status is, so I am actually taking care of them in the moment, not distracted by how many weeds have come up. Another big one for me is the fabric hides the soil, so the wild turkeys  don't come into my garden and take a dust bath, which ALWAYS kills my veggies. The turkeys can see grasshoppers and other bugs on the fabric and make short work of them too. bounce
If there isn't anything drastic, I will use this again next year on all of my gardens. except my garlic garden, it is so easy to maintain because it is the only garden growing early in the season and I am able tweak it and keep the weeds down. I will put mulch over half of the covered gardens next year just to see how it does as opposed to not putting mulch on. So far so good!
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/31/2016, 5:52 pm

It's a great idea, Rock.  The New Victory Garden guy swears by using black plastic over a lot of his beds. One to keep weeds down, two to keep the moisture in, three to keep the soil warmed up for the summer veggies. I use pine needles. Even in the garlic bed.  This is my fall lettuce box all composted, covered in pine needles/leaves and ready for planting:
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/31/2016, 6:44 pm

My weed sitch is mostly invading grass on the window boxes.  Interesting!  Thanks for the ideas!
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Re: New England, July 2016

Post  sanderson on 7/31/2016, 6:49 pm

Rock, Another thing you can try is to lay weed fabric in the isles and cover with wood chips. Mowing and weed whacking around the beds can throw seeds every where. So, if the beds are in a weed-free zone, the weed count should be much lower.

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Re: New England, July 2016

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