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Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden? Toplef10Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden? I22gcj10Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden? 14dhcg10

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Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden?

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Post  sfg4uKim Thu 4 Jul 2013 - 9:05

We've had a rousing conversation on my Facebook page about this growing season.  It seems that a LOT of people are having MAJOR problems with their gardens this year.  It's especially heartbreaking seeing new gardeners so discouraged . . . until you tell them you are also having problems.

SOOOOOOO how has everyone's yields been this year compared to past years?

For instance, my broccoli raab, arugula and radishes never grew "normally" - they just grew leggy and immediately flowered with nothing edible coming from them.

My carrots were SO delayed that I thought they were a loss and planted other things in the square and THEN the carrots made their appearance.

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Post  CapeCoddess Thu 4 Jul 2013 - 11:02

sfg4uKim wrote:For instance, my broccoli raab, arugula and radishes never grew "normally" - they just grew leggy and immediately flowered with nothing edible coming from them.

My carrots were SO delayed that I thought they were a loss and planted other things in the square and THEN the carrots made their appearance.

My climate is about the same as the mid-At so I'd like to chime in here and say my experience with broccoli, radishes & carrots is exactly the same as yours. Altho the carrots are now sprouting at about 1 in every 100 seeds. And it could be Queen Anne Lace instead. Rolling Eyes 

Last year I had great radishes & good carrots for a newbie...never could and still can't grow broccoli or broccoli raab tho, they always bolt. Last year my chard was huge, this year medium growth is all I'm getting. The rest this year is going gang busters. I likey! What a Face 

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Post  nyrsimon Sat 6 Jul 2013 - 11:17

sfg4uKim wrote:SOOOOOOO how has everyone's yields been this year compared to past years?
Yep threw out the broccoli - basically grew to an enormous size (first time growing it, so it may be normal, seemed enormous to me!) but no broccoli, then got attacked by some aphid bug of some sort...I think I can try for a fall crop, so may give it another go in a couple of weeks.

On the other hand my zucchini is off to the races. I have just started trying the trick where you cut off all the leaves BELOW where you have picked fruit. It's a little frightening, I hacked off a bunch of leaves....I have a trellis and am going to give it a shot at training it up there. 

So I'm a new gardener and this experiment is REALLY exciting - I go on vacation in 2 days and am nervous about missing whatever happens!!!
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Post  SQFTBIX Sat 6 Jul 2013 - 13:45

Mine has done fairly well.  I planted my cabbage waaay too late and it did what I expected.  Made for some good compost material. LOL!  My early cucumbers struggled with all the rain but seem to have recovered.  Tomatoes have been my best producers.  I planted all heirlooms and spaced 5 in an X pattern in a 4 by 4 square.  Peppers are going strong and I just picked a nice bunch of evergreen beans.  All in all I am having a much better year than I did last year.  Has it been easy - oh no!

All the work I did on my soil last fall and early spring has seemed to have paid off (so far).  I planted winter rye in October, turned it in early March, then I added a blend of horse manure (from Big Lots), home made compost and home made leaf mold along with vermiculite (thanks again Big Lots).  I don't like using peat moss as it is non-sustainable from what I can see so I use the compost/leaf mold combo as a substitution.  As I said, seems to have worked very well so far.  My plants aren't water stressing at all even in the heat. 

I am an odd fellow as every fall, I collect about 40-50 big bags of leaves and use two of my composters to break them down.  I am truly very organinc as I follow Mels guidelines and substitute only for Peat Moss.  My neighbors are struggling this year and several have asked me for my secret.  I tell them look at square foot gardening for the answer.  My one neighbor is going to plant rye this fall.  I know  that's not a Mel thing but it does add green manure, holds nitrogen in the soil and adds structure.  All I can say is - my soil seems healthier. 

When I get the time, I would be glad to share what I learned at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello revolutionary garden tour my wife and I took in April.  Very interesting stuff indeed!  Hope everyone has a bountiful harvest.
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Post  Dunkinjean Sat 6 Jul 2013 - 13:48

Yep, this weather this spring/summer has been absolutely crazy.
I got some radishes in the spring which were ok, but after they have been spinedly.
The carrots took a long time but finally harvested most of them. Considering the weather they did fine. Only the Kaleidoscope carrots were very small.
The 1st batch of Swiss Chard started great but then something put holes in the leaves and they started to turn brown so I pulled them out.
Replanted 2nd batch of Swiss Chard but only 2 plants have come up...ugh.
Late Italian Garlic did ok, but Chinese Pink did great - go figure....thinking 
The tomatoes are growing like gangbusters along with my three sisters garden.
The cucumbers and watermelon are doing fine along with my Pole Beans.
My zucchini looks healthy....got two small ones....but then got a few that grew then the tips turned yellow??
I am also going away for a couple of weeks and unhappy to leave my garden!
But I am going of vacation with my family and two grandsons - cheers
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Post  nyrsimon Sat 6 Jul 2013 - 17:32

Dunkinjean wrote:
My zucchini looks healthy....got two small ones....but then got a few that grew then the tips turned yellow??
 Hmmm.i had a couple of those - I guessed it meant they didn't get pollinated - but that is just conjecture - maybe somebody who knows better can let us know!!

Anyway this is what I did to the zucchini today.....
Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden? Imag0210

 Sorry for the quality of the pic....looked better on the phone!!!
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Post  sanderson Sat 6 Jul 2013 - 21:38

Nyrsimon,  The photo is good enough to tell what you did.  The only question I have from the photo is whether you also trimmed off the support leaves for each fruit?

Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden? 5-26-110

Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden? 5-26-111

I saw a video on uTube for training squash to grow vertically.  Each fruit has a leaf right underneath it and the leaf is not suppose to be cut off until the fruit is picked (or it falls off!!).  In my top photo, the top zucchini was pollinated enough to grow successfully.  The bottom one was not pollinated, or pollinated enough, to survive.  These photos are a month old but I just wanted to show the "fruit" leaves.  If you left these leaves attached, then just ignore my post.  Embarassed
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Post  camprn Sat 6 Jul 2013 - 21:48

Best practice is to prune only below the lowest fruiting body. The plant need the leaves to feed itself and make fruit and vegetables.

Like a Star @ heaven Bravo to those growing the zukes vertically! Like a Star @ heaven 

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Post  nyrsimon Sun 7 Jul 2013 - 5:55

sanderson wrote:  Each fruit has a leaf right underneath it and the leaf is not suppose to be cut off until the fruit is picked (or it falls off!!).  In my top photo, the top zucchini was pollinated enough to grow successfully.  The bottom one was not pollinated, or pollinated enough, to survive.  These photos are a month old but I just wanted to show the "fruit" leaves.  If you left these leaves attached, then just ignore my post.  Embarassed

I love your pics. I think the stake method you use is much better than the trellis I am using, I have cucumbers right next door to the zucchini so they are sharing the trellis. I'll have to replan for next year!

 Hmmmm...I may have been a little zealous with my pruning, I probably cut too many off!! 
the good news is I am about harvest one if the "fruits" you can see today - the other two seem not to have got pollinated so probably are about to shrivel up. So hopefully no long-term damage to the plant.

I am just amazed by how resilient these plants are. The plant in the picture was horizontal just 12 hours ago and is now growing vertically, the leaves have all 'turned' towards the sun and they seem to be doing ok. 

i'll be careful with my pruning going forward! Thanks for the advice

Simon
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Post  nyrsimon Sun 7 Jul 2013 - 5:56

camprn wrote:Best practice is to prune only below the lowest fruiting body. The plant need the leaves to feed itself and make fruit and vegetables.

Like a Star @ heaven Bravo to those growing the zukes vertically! Like a Star @ heaven 

 Yep I think I was a little too eager  with the picket knife yesterday!!!! 

Simon
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Post  sanderson Sun 7 Jul 2013 - 8:03

Simon, I should have added that once you grow vertically, you have to be vigilant about typing up new growth. I waited too long on one of my zucchinis and the weight of the leaves broke the stalk. The top half was still partially attached to the mother ship so it is still growing but sideways. There went my effort on that plant to grow vertically.

CampRN, Thanks for the kudos. I have a small urban backyard, so growing vertical is not really an option, it's a necessity!
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Post  gregrenee88 Thu 11 Jul 2013 - 7:18

camprn wrote:Best practice is to prune only below the lowest fruiting body. The plant need the leaves to feed itself and make fruit and vegetables.

Like a Star @ heaven Bravo to those growing the zukes vertically! Like a Star @ heaven 

I did not know you could trim off some of those leaves!!! That would explain why mine died early last year due to to much trimming. Awesome info! cheers 
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Post  llama momma Thu 11 Jul 2013 - 10:12

Oh how Neat !
My four squashes are in various stages of hanging outside the corner of their boxes.  This could be fun to try and get them to grow upwards and kept off the lawn.
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Post  nyrsimon Thu 8 Aug 2013 - 10:37

So I thought I would share an update of where we are with the zucchini now...

here is what it  looks like- over 6ft tall!!!!!

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Mid-At: May 2013 - How has the weather affected your garden? Z210
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Post  WriterCPA Thu 8 Aug 2013 - 14:50

Grow baby! Grow!

I have pumpkins growing 7' up (posted them yesterday.) I have no clue at 5' 1/2" how I am going to get up there for the harvest! At least your zucchini won't try to kill you if they fall on your head. Very Happy 
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Post  sanderson Thu 8 Aug 2013 - 23:38

nyrsimon, Great job growing vertical!

CPAWriter, I have cantaloupes at 7 1/4 feet. We need hard hats and spotters when we climb the ladders.
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