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Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded

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Post  marc-in-pa on 5/30/2011, 11:16 pm

Following a very wet spring, we finally caught a break and had a great weekend for planting here in Pittsburgh... good timing for finishing off with warm weather veggies. Here are some pics:

Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded Img_1714

Above are 6 kinds of tomato by Bonnie: better boy, a couple of red beefsteaks, a big beef, giant goliath, super fantastic, early girl, and a husky red cherry. Built a new support system from six foot fence posts with 12 gauge wire strung through the holes in the posts. The goal is to contain the tomato plants better this year and provide more support for the fruit.

Also got cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, and pepper plants in the ground finally.

Trying spinach for the first time, planted back in April from seeds, and is looking good so far.

Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded Img_1715

All firsts as well this year are leeks, shallots, and onions in this box.

Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded Img_1717

The other 3 x 9 bed has trellised cucumber and peas, another pepper plant, a bunch of different kinds of lettuce: baby romaine, paris romaine, black seeded simpson, red romaine, and salad bowl. My wife is loves salad, so we expanded the lettuce squares but may have gone too far.


Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded Img_1718


Not seen in this box are strawberries, which were a bust last year. Interested to see how they do this go around.

The first year with SFG was very rewarding with a couple of challenges. I now know that squash vine borers are evil Twisted Evil and I never thought that something called powdery mildew could cause me to lose sleep. I think I'm ready to into battle though this summer.

Looking forward to what what year 2 brings.

Hope your gardens are treating you well!

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Post  NHGardener on 5/30/2011, 11:35 pm

You know you have it bad when you start losing sleep over your vegetables! Ha!

Looks beautiful. And the fencing with the garden door - nice!
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Post  FamilyGardening on 5/30/2011, 11:55 pm

wow cheers what a wonderful garden you have!....i love, love the set up!

i hear you about loosing sleep....my hubby thinks im crazy Shocked

hugs
rose....who is crazy in love with her garden..... Razz
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Post  Chopper on 5/31/2011, 12:51 am

Gorgeous! No fungus/mildew is going to win this summer. I have no problem using fungicides. It is too much of a problem here and I am tired of tomatoes that look ill half of their lives.
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Post  quiltbea on 5/31/2011, 7:15 am

I love your fencing of the garden. Great way to keep out the critters.

The veggies are lookin' good right now. Keep up the good work.
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Post  marc-in-pa on 5/31/2011, 12:17 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:wow cheers what a wonderful garden you have!....i love, love the set up!

i hear you about loosing sleep....my hubby thinks im crazy Shocked


Thanks for the compliment Rose. My family now likes to take light-hearted jabs at me for how much I look forward to getting plants in the ground and watch over them. It's a great having a hobby that gives back in such tasteful ways.

I had them do the bulk of the planting this year so maybe I'll be poking them back soon.
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Post  marc-in-pa on 5/31/2011, 12:57 pm

@Chopper wrote:Gorgeous! No fungus/mildew is going to win this summer. I have no problem using fungicides. It is too much of a problem here and I am tired of tomatoes that look ill half of their lives.


I've devised my SVB attack plan.

1. Put out yellow trays of water in mid to late June. They are attracted to yellow and get trapped. This is more to alert me to their presence than anything else.

2. Look for eggs laid on the underside of leaves and on the stems. Wipe them off with a damp cloth.

3. Use an organic insectide. Lowes promotes a product called Nutria which says it protects against insects and also Powdery Mildew. Has anyone used this product or similar?

4. When the evil bugger is looking to deliver its pernicious spawn, wrap the stems with either shade cloth or tin foil.

5. Stand vigil with a tennis racquet and a wide-dispersing water pistol filled with insecticide.

6. Another effective method I've read is to use floating row covers to physically block their entry. However, you have to allow the bees in to do their thing, unless you self pollinate. Another factor is if you had SVBs last year they may emerge from within your garden soil underneath your protective cover. What a horrible thought! Seems like a lot of work with this tactic but if the above methods fail this year, I might go the row-cover route next year.

For Powder Mildew, I plan on using the same Nutria product plus another method using baking soda, water, milk, and dish soap. Here's a link to more info on this treatment.

I think more than anything this year is knowing what to look for. In year 1, I had no clue. I actually saw a SVB buzzing around and landing on my veggies last year. I thought it was a great looking wasp! And didn't realize what the PM was doing until it was too late to do anything about it.

Any other tips or comments about the battle plan?

Thanks!
Marc
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Post  NHGardener on 5/31/2011, 1:07 pm

Ew. I never heard of squash vine borers. I'll have to look that up.
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Post  The Cynergist on 5/31/2011, 1:51 pm

@marc-in-pa wrote:
I've devised my SVB attack plan.

Marc

I totally forgot that squash vine borers were mentioned. I was starting to think svb was the plant version of std . . . Laughing

Looks like similar fencing to mine; yours is more elaborate though and I'm still waiting for my door.
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Post  marc-in-pa on 5/31/2011, 2:01 pm

@The Cynergist wrote:
I totally forgot that squash vine borers were mentioned. I was starting to think svb was the plant version of std . . .

Looks like similar fencing to mine; yours is more elaborate though and I'm still waiting for my door.

Sorry... should have spelled that out again along the way.

Squash Vine Borers aren't that different from an std. You have to use adequate protection. Smile


Last edited by marc-in-pa on 5/31/2011, 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  The Cynergist on 5/31/2011, 2:03 pm

Well I hope it all goes well for you this year.
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Post  marc-in-pa on 5/31/2011, 4:23 pm

@The Cynergist wrote:Well I hope it all goes well for you this year.

Thanks! You too.

Love your cartoon avatar.
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Post  The Cynergist on 5/31/2011, 4:30 pm

@marc-in-pa wrote:
Love your cartoon avatar.

LOL thanks; it's one of those yahoo avatars
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Post  marc-in-pa on 6/21/2011, 11:38 pm

Some updated pictures:

Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded Img_1815

First squash blossom. Looking forward to trying some blossom recipes this year. I did not know these were edible until I saw an episode of Chopped where these were a mystery ingredient. Should be fun!

Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded Img_1811

Sugar snap peas are doing great this year. I'll try not to snack so much and some of them might even make it into the kitchen.

Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded Img_1812

First round of lettuce is at its peak. It's been a fantastic spring for these greens. Last year we transplanted. Never doing that again with lettuce. Much better to start with seed and plant early. Also... I was good about thining out to 4 to a square. A couple more hot days and they'll bolt. Looking forward to replanting and also trying rainbow swiss chard for the first time. I've heard that is a very good summer veg.

Tomatoes are coming along a bit slowly... or more likely I'm just impatient. Last year I let them tangle into a massive tomato bush. I've started to prune at an early stage to tame the beasts.

Year 2 SFG - now fully loaded Img_1814

Zucchini leaves have nearly doubled in size in the last week. I forgot how big and how fast they can take off in Mel's Mix. I actually thought my pepper plant would have a shot at getting to a decent size before the zucchini would block all sun with its solar panels. I'll have to relocate that puppy. Never moved a pepper plant before. I'll try and take as much of its square as a I can and hopefully leave the roots undisturbed.

Two things have not gone all that great... Onions do not seem to be growing well and a few are sending up flower stalks already. It's been extremely wet I think that the onions may not like that all that much. Also the leaks seemed to have stalled. This is due to some crowding but also I followed instructions to put them in holes. But with Mel's Mix the holes don't hold up. The dirt eventually fills in. Still too early to tell whether they will come around.

Hope your gardens are treating you well!
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Post  The Cynergist on 6/21/2011, 11:53 pm

Wow! You've got quite a bit already. When did you plant? My lettuce is still barely out of the ground. My tomato plants are pretty tall and I have a few good sized tomatoes on them. Nothing ripe though.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/22/2011, 12:01 am

Kicking squares and taking names! Looks great.
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Post  marc-in-pa on 6/22/2011, 5:16 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Kicking squares and taking names! Looks great.

Thanks! It's been a great year so far. Hope it continues through the summer!
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Post  marc-in-pa on 6/22/2011, 5:28 pm

@The Cynergist wrote:Wow! You've got quite a bit already. When did you plant? My lettuce is still barely out of the ground. My tomato plants are pretty tall and I have a few good sized tomatoes on them. Nothing ripe though.

I planted the cold weather veggies (lettuce, spinach and snap peas) from seed in mid-April. I've harvested the spinach already. The spinach bolted early after a a long hot week. It produced well though. Just did not expect it all to come due at once! The snap peas are just now pickable. The lettuce has been generous... providing us lush green salads for weeks. Also has made us a hit with the neighbors and workmates. People LOVE it when you plop a bag of greens on them and say 'enjoy!'.

Great that your tomotoes are treating your well. I was a little late in getting mine in the ground this year. Hope your lettuce comes around as well!
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