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Really frustrating gardening summer-2014

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Post  Judy McConnell on 8/16/2014, 11:16 am

Too many diseases on the tomatoes - just a few fruit from them.  Since my were leaf diseases, now I see new leaves and blossoms so maybe a few more fruit will form.
Because I've had leaf fungi in the past, I tried growing in 5 gal buckets, a MM bed, and literally just threw the last two seedlings in garden soil - very interesting these have done the best with no signs of diseased leaves, but late in ripening fruit.

Tried a pole bean - Scarlet runner - lots of blossoms, few beans.  However the experiment proved that pole beans would grow in my beds.  Will try Dragon Tongue, etc. next season (from your recommendations).

A zucchini plant and 2 cucumbers (no luck in the past) did produce a fruit or two but again nothing great or outstanding.

Bush beans did OK and the swiss chard is really happy, so there are pluses.
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Post  southern gardener on 8/16/2014, 12:08 pm

sorry Judy Sad  That's soooo frustrating!! There's something "to" real soil. Seems like the healthy plants can fend off things too. Hope next time goes better for you! We LOVE our Dragon Tongue Beans!!
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Post  walshevak on 8/16/2014, 12:18 pm

+1  very frustrating gardening summer this year. Was late getting started  The store bought tomatoes got something early and only the later cherry volunteers are surviving and one maybe heirloom in the compost pile.  Swiss chard,one of the easiest things to grow was a washout. Pumpkins grew great vines and bloomed for over three months but never formed fruit.  Then the vines just turned brown.  Cuke vines turned brown early. Only a few cukes.  Squash produced 1 or 2 fruits per plant then went the way of the cuke vines.  Collards didn't thrive.  Kale which usually survives my summers is struggling.  Beans covered in aphids and very few beans on beautiful vines.  I have a second planting that may make a crop.   Garlic was small. 

Successes - sugar baby watermelons, slightly bigger than softballs, but sweet and got about 10 on 4 vines.  Same with cantaloupe. 
succession plantings of lettuce in the shade of a tree.
banana peppers
yellow cayenne peppers
red, orange and purple bell peppers
short stubby carrots
the few onions I planted

Kay

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Post  martha on 8/16/2014, 12:32 pm

Hugs, Kay.
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Post  sanderson on 8/16/2014, 2:04 pm

bear hug 
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Post  Marc Iverson on 8/16/2014, 10:30 pm

Sorry you had problems, Judy, Kay, and others.  

I know the feeling.  I planted late, but only because my early plantings were all stunted or killed off by disease.  It's a sorta desperate game of catch-up, as far as desperation goes in gardening.  Thank God I'm not a farmer!  I'd really be in trouble ...

Hope you all do better next year, or in the cooler fall season, and have at least a few small victories to tide you over until the next round of good luck.
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Post  llama momma on 8/17/2014, 12:24 am

So lets see where we're all from- Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, and I'm in Ohio and I agree.

2014 is going into my garden notebook as The Big Ol' Stinkeroo   
 I give up!
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Post  sanderson on 8/17/2014, 5:30 am

Add California. Curly leaf disease - so far about 6 tomatoes. Spider mites on beans.
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Post  yolos on 8/17/2014, 9:55 am

Pumpkins - SVB + pickle worms + squash bugs
Pink Eye Purple Hull Peas - aphids
Eggplant- those tiny beetles (can't remember their names)
Sweet Potatoes - chipmunks
Squash - powdery mildew
Zucchini - powdery mildew
Royal Burgundy Beans - some kind of caterpillar
Tomatoes - Early Blight
Watermelon - Downy mildew
Cantaloupe - pickle worms (or equivalent)
Beans - Japanese Beetles
Cucumbers - Pickle worms and downy mildew


This is all very typical of growing here in this garden and environment and climate.  But some of my tomatoes have survived longer than any past summer so I am learning.  I put tulle over my squash and Zucchini bed so no SVB on them (I am leaning).  Next year more consistent and early spraying with copper fungicide and no more unruly pumpkins that hide the SVB and squash bug eggs on their long vines and big leaves.
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Post  GardenGroupie on 8/17/2014, 11:12 am

I've been wondering where the Japanese beetles are as I had seen perhaps two after the deluge of Colorado potato beetles had their way with my lettuce, arugula, and kale. About 25 feet from my garden area is a small round meadow where my husband filled with wild flower - lots of goldenrod. I was looking at the dozens of different kinds of bees (orange?) all over the flowers (on a few of the goldenrod, I saw three different kinds of bees. 

What else did I see? Japanese beetles - a lot of them. Just hoping the flowers in the meadow keep them busy.
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Post  sanderson on 8/17/2014, 11:59 am

Yolos - yikes! Keep the faith.
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Post  yolos on 8/17/2014, 12:49 pm

@sanderson wrote:Yolos - yikes!  Keep the faith.

It is like this every year.  I am learning to keep things alive until I get a decent harvest.  This year I filled my freezer with beans, edamame, peas, zucchini, squash, tomato sauce, some eggplant, tried a frozen cucumber and gave a lot of stuff away.  So I will eventually figure out the best varieties, fungicides, insecticides (all as natural as possible) as well as row covers to keep the garden going throughout the summer.  Taking it easy now and waiting for after Sept 1 to clean it up and start fall plantings.
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Post  southern gardener on 8/17/2014, 2:51 pm

we've had an amazing year. Next year tho, will try only PM resistant varieties if we can. Our cucumbers are still producing like crazy, even tho the vines look terrible. Our pumpkin plants are growing down the hill!! yesssssss!! might actually get some this year! Can you guys chime in on stuff that you've grown that you love and is PM resistant?  thanks!!
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Post  Windmere on 8/17/2014, 9:29 pm

@yolos wrote:Pumpkins - SVB + pickle worms + squash bugs
Pink Eye Purple Hull Peas - aphids
Eggplant- those tiny beetles (can't remember their names)
Sweet Potatoes - chipmunks
Squash - powdery mildew
Zucchini - powdery mildew
Royal Burgundy Beans - some kind of caterpillar
Tomatoes - Early Blight
Watermelon - Downy mildew
Cantaloupe - pickle worms (or equivalent)
Beans - Japanese Beetles
Cucumbers - Pickle worms and downy mildew


This is all very typical of growing here in this garden and environment and climate.  But some of my tomatoes have survived longer than any past summer so I am learning.  I put tulle over my squash and Zucchini bed so no SVB on them (I am leaning).  Next year more consistent and early spraying with copper fungicide and no more unruly pumpkins that hide the SVB and squash bug eggs on their long vines and big leaves.
Ah yolos... I do feel you pain.  They are called flea beetles by the way, and I know them well.  My Asian eggplants fared badly (I got three sad little eggplants), but my favorite Black Beauty is strong and I try to pay it some attention from time to time.  If all goes well (and the existing fruit fully ripen), I will have gotten nine eggplants from the dear thing.

My first experience with zucchini resulted in my introduction to that borer creature.  I am going to try to uproot that tomorrow and plant something else there.  If that borer thing is in the soil...  does that mean there are certain things I can't plant there?  I'd like to plant to fennel in its place.  ---  Oh, and it wasn't a complete bust because I got something like five zucchini that we grilled.  They were amazing!  In light of this...  I'm going to try again next year.

Yolos, last year I had terrible problems with mildew on my cucumbers and I almost did not plant any this year.  However, this year, I learned of the "Eureka" variety.  It is supposed to be disease resistant.  Evidently it is true because I did not have mildew issues with the ones I have.  I produces "pickle" type cucumbers.  I did not know that pickle cucumbers can actually have little thorns on them.  Eggplant too for that matter.  I learned this the hard way (ha ha).

Of course, my tomatoes are also done due to blight.  The exception is my daughter's yellow pear tomato.  She rescued it.  It was a "stump" because it fell as a young plant and the stem snapped off clear to the bottom.  It is succumbing to blight, but it is so heavy with fruit that it fell over (along with its supporting tomato cage).  Overall, I have to say that, despite blight, I am pleased with this year's tomatoes.

Peppers did well.  I was happy about that.  Kentucky Wonder beans were planted late.. and they seem to be ok.

Of the things you mentioned above, what I mentioned is all planted this year.

I learned a lot this year.  I think the most important thing I learned is that BT Thuricide is an organic gardener's best friend.  I realize that some may not be comfortable using it... but I had dramatic results.  I will never be without it again.  I wish used it my first year.

Keep up the fight yolos!
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Post  Judy McConnell on 8/20/2014, 10:56 am

Sorry that others had a poor summer harvest, too.  The 2 healthy tomato plants have begun producing so I was able to can 4 pints of tomatoes this morning Very Happy  not the usual amount but they will be good in soups, etc.

Local farm/garden store had kale seedlings and they seem cabbage butterfly larvae free - a CLOSE eye will be kept on these babies, with a tulle covering when the plants get into their permanent site this evening. 

May your fall gardens outshine the summer ones.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 8/20/2014, 11:21 am

@southern gardener wrote:Can you guys chime in on stuff that you've grown that you love and is PM resistant?  thanks!!
Cucumbers - I'm having good luck with Marketmore and Burpee Burpless.  Not prolific, mind you, but that may be due to the cool summer we're having. 

Zucchini - Dunja is supposed to be PM resistant and I'll try that next year.  Quiltbea is growing it this year and having good luck.

CC
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Post  southern gardener on 8/20/2014, 11:52 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@southern gardener wrote:Can you guys chime in on stuff that you've grown that you love and is PM resistant?  thanks!!
Cucumbers - I'm having good luck with Marketmore and Burpee Burpless.  Not prolific, mind you, but that may be due to the cool summer we're having. 

Zucchini - Dunja is supposed to be PM resistant and I'll try that next year.  Quiltbea is growing it this year and having good luck.

CC
Thank you. Our Marketmore were a big bust with the PM...wondering if there are diff types? The BEST we've grown are the Armenian and Persian. Persians are amazing, long, straight green, NO pm. We get several each week, and no bitterness. The armenian's are covered in PM, but still give lots of cucs! TY again!!
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Post  Windmere on 8/21/2014, 8:39 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@southern gardener wrote:Can you guys chime in on stuff that you've grown that you love and is PM resistant?  thanks!!
Cucumbers - I'm having good luck with Marketmore and Burpee Burpless.  Not prolific, mind you, but that may be due to the cool summer we're having. 

Zucchini - Dunja is supposed to be PM resistant and I'll try that next year.  Quiltbea is growing it this year and having good luck.

CC
Southern Gardener, Eureka cucumber seeds served me well this year.  Eureka is not completely PM resistant, but the amount it gets is negligible.   I've gotten lots of good cucumbers and they sweet and crunchy.
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Post  RJPugh on 10/8/2014, 12:08 pm

This year was my first SFG, and empirically it did not do well.  I planted late (very long story), so a blistering heat wave in June and July appears to have stunted or even killed many of my plants at a crucial point in their growth cycle.  None of my leafy vegetables grew, the peppers and cucumbers never thrived, while the radishes and carrots never got beyond sprout size.  I even tried a few corn, and they didn’t do well either.

What did do well, though, were green bush beans, snow peas, strawberries, and Roma tomatoes.  I didn’t have enough plants to have an effective crop of beans and peas, but they did grow and produce normally, so at least I know they worked and I have a lot of ideas for improving next year's crop.  The strawberries went dormant during the heat wave, but in late August they started producing berries again (that's actually quite normal).  The tomatoes were slow getting started, but once they got going they were very consistent, and are still producing.  I have a bunch of them in the freezer, and plan to make a big batch of sauce after the last ones come in.

Despite the disappointing yield, I’m not deterred.  I did learn a lot, and I have a lot of ideas for next year. I won't be doing a fall crop because one of things I learned was that my location wasn't the best, and the box I used wasn't very good.  So I'll be spending the fall and winter setting up a better pair of boxes at a more suitable point on my land.


RJPugh (Culpeper, Virginia)
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Post  sanderson on 10/8/2014, 12:42 pm

RJPugh, I'm glad you are not deterred and are looking forward to next year. The first season seems to be a big learning curve for a lot of us. Congrats on the beans, peas, strawberries and Roma successes. Really frustrating gardening summer-2014 3170584802 Have fun making your changes this fall and winter. You'll be ready to hit the road running in the spring.

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Post  Marc Iverson on 10/8/2014, 1:47 pm

RJPugh, keep your chin up. And re fall gardening, unless your site is absolutely terrible, you can probably still grow something in pots if you like.
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Post  Cherbear on 10/9/2014, 12:35 pm

The only things that grew well for me this summer were tomatoes, basil and garlic. And raspberries, but they are not SFG. The pole beans did so-so. The beets never grew much and I planted the sweet potatoes way too late. Peppers hardly grew at all. The jalapeno stopped producing and the fruit is still small. Anyone have any suggestions what the problem might be? I have been topdressing with home  made compost, but my garden ended up being taken over by lamb's lettuce.
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Post  sanderson on 10/10/2014, 1:02 am

Cherbear, Being in lower latitude, my peppers get plenty of sun light hours and warmth. Did you start yours from seedlings, move them to a green house? A little more information on how you started them and what their summer journey was like might help trouble shoot. ??

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Post  Cherbear on 10/10/2014, 1:11 pm

I started the peppers in the house, and only got one plant from the many I planted. It went right in the garden as I don't have a green house. I think I planted it in July. Embarassed
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Post  sanderson on 10/10/2014, 1:30 pm

In the house under lights? Starting seedlings early inside is art itself. Last winter (2013-2014) was my first time. I lost all of my tomatoes, some tomatillos and eggplants, and something else (?) to curly leaf disease that is transmitted by leaf hoppers. Somewhere between the house and the green house for hardening, they were attacked. I never saw a hopper.

Do you think they got some type of disease, soggy feet, small insects? Gosh, I wish I could help figure out what went wrong and how to tweak things for you to have peppers.

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