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Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

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countrynaturals
herblover
jimmy cee
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Kelejan
Scorpio Rising
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BeetlesPerSqFt
17 posters

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Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Empty Re: Gardening in Central Pennsylvania

Post  jimmy cee 5/30/2016, 11:26 pm

Spring clips are made by many different companies. Probably all made by one. The coloring of the plastic fades away leaving it dull, I rip off the moveable tips because I don't need them, they work best without them. Caution when fitting and removing, best to try not tearing the netting. Mine shows no sign of rust after being outside for 2 seasons, my seasons are from March, till December.  I do not recommend binder clips. The spring clips I use are the smaller size and fits nicely over 1/2" pvc pipe.


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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 6/2/2016, 9:11 pm

Thanks, Jimmy Cee, Rock, and CC! Somehow I'd never (consciously) heard of or seen these before. The binder clips weren't my first choice. I'd purchased them for something else entirely, and would rather have them back indoors for their original planned purpose. But when it was clear just bricks wouldn't work, I thought, well, Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 3555472862 , and grabbed the only thing I could think of.

I ended up at a camping event this weekend and saw similar clips/clamps holding LED light strings to an awning and asked the camper owner where she'd gotten them. (After being surprised at the synchronicity of these never-before-seen things suddenly appearing somewhere else.) The answer was Dollar Tree, automotive section. I found them across from the automotive stuff, with laundry. Pack of 6 for $1. Almost certainly flying pink elephant quality/longevity, as Rock puts it, but that's ok.
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Sanderson - yup. High humidity here, regularly. The creek running at the back of the yard doesn't help. We can't keep the windows open overnight because if the humidity gets too high inside, the smoke detectors may go off. Once - in the middle of the night - was enough for us to learn this lesson.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 6/3/2016, 11:06 pm

Progress in my quest to make some vertical garden thingies for the pole beans
2ft rebar (because it was cheaper than 18"...?),
10ft 1/2" EMT verticals because pole beans are tall and I've no way as yet to cut metal,
Plastic gray PVC 1/2" on top because I can cut those and can't find metal 3-way corner pieces
3-way PVC corner pieces
Felt wrapped around the tops of the EMT w/ double-sided tape to snug up the fit to the corners pieces - too loose otherwise
Garden twine (I hope it holds up one season! I was at a loss about what to get.)
Zebra grass stems (cut down last fall, stripped of leaves and plumes, and stored in the garage over the winter.) jammed in the ground a few inches, teepeed using the hanging twine, 4 stems per square, each pole will have 2 bean plants.
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_5411
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Post  sanderson 6/4/2016, 3:51 am

10 feet tall! Clever use of the zebra stems!

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 6/12/2016, 12:00 am

The garden is definitely green now! Especially since I need to weed the fence line and harvest the lamb's quarters volunteers through-out the beds.
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Not that it's particularly distinguishable in the photo, but I've got the 7ft EMT trelilis up (after purchasing a hack saw and watching a video online about how to use one) and the tomatoes strung. I used cages and teepees for my tomatoes last year. This is my first year using the string method.  Both bean trellises are now up, and the teepees are up for the unplanned impulse-purchase tomatoes that I removed a Jerusalem artichoke plant to make room for. I learned how to tie pipe hitch knots to keep the twine on the zebra grass stem bundles from slipping when the wind blows.

It's getting crowded in hoop-land #1! Poking around a bit I can feel that the turnips are just starting to form.
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_5415


Cabbage in an Earthbox on the landscape bed.
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_5416
Soon the cabbage will have to share with a zucchini and a yellow crockneck squash. They should have room to ramble on the landscape bed, rather than trying to take up most of a raised bed.

I purchased replacements for my missing Thai basils and found a pair of cardinal flower plants! I've been trying to obtain or grow that for years! I've got eggplants and ground cherries past ready to transplant - life keeps getting in the way. And my allergies aren't helping. Itchy watery eyes, runny nose... :crytowel:a few more days before my medication actually kicks in...

I just started the first set of fall brassica seedlings inside (is it that time already?! Shocked ) I transplanted watermelon seedlings and cucumbers today. I have squash seedlings that aren't root-bound... yet. I got sweet potato slips, but they were free because they are in pretty bad shape. I don't know if I can salvage anything from them.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 7/1/2016, 1:04 pm

Overall the garden is doing well. Cool I have lots of greens through many are bolting. I'm basically done planting summer vegetables and have already started some of my fall brassica seedlings. The rabbits, groundhogs, and deer have been in the yard, but not the garden. A chipmunk apparently got in the garden, but, uhm... Embarassed my fence killed it. Not my intent... but I'm glad I didn't have to figure out what to do about a live chipmunk stuck in the fence.

The celeriac are doing well and I've been watering them almost daily. The Jerusalem artichokes are about 4ft tall. The Chinese artichokes (crosnes) are ready for a trim (wish I'd written down 'why' in my schedule...) Carrots germinated in the ANSFG beds, but not elsewhere in the garden. The peppers are okay, but they are not in the ANSFG raised beds and look hungry for something. I just figured out I am probably over-watering my eggplants. No eggplant flea beetles yet. The okras each have 4-5 leaves. One tomato plant has some leaf curl (likely, over or underwatering stress) and there are a few flea beetle holes in the lower leaves, but otherwise they look great, and I have green tomatoes here and there.
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_5519
The pole and bush beans are coming up with only a few holes (both in the germination and nibbled senses.) The soy beans look good. The fava beans had nice rabbit-head flowers, and now they have some beans starting, but no more flowers, and they look a little sad. I think I started them a bit late and they haven't liked the heat. I also have a mutant with streaky leaves (don't think it's viral since there's no deformation or stunting.)
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Fava_511[url=https://servimg.com/view/19457748/83]Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_5616[/url]

I've been loving the purple peas (Desiree Dwarf Blauwschokkers from Bakers Creek), the color is so fun, and the flowers are beautiful. They are only edible as snow peas for a day or two before they get too tough. My Swedish peas finally started flowering. My Alaska peas have stopped flowering. Is that how I know they are done? How long before I harvest soup peas and can remove the plants?
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My first turnips are ready to harvest. My second round of turnips hasn't gotten enough of a break from the slugs to have the energy to make turnips. The kale and collards in the covered beds look great. Meanwhile, the kale next the munched turnips looks pitiful. The uncovered collards haven't suffered much.

The Earthbox'd watermelons are doing immensely better than last year. But I have aphids, and I think the damage from the aphids and me trying to remove the aphids has attracted other pests. I've removed 8 cucumber beetles and a squash bug from them, but only one cuke beetle from the dozen cuke/squash plants in the main garden. Those are all young, but look good - no mysterious yellowing yet. The zucchini and yellow summer squash in the Earthbox are already flowering.

I had a dumb moment when I realized that I'd been checking my collards and kale for cabbage butterfly eggs/larvae, but I had forgotten about the cabbages. Rolling Eyes The cabbages are definitely forming heads (possibly with caterpillars inside, yuck). How do I know when a cabbage is ready?
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The spring-planted Brussels sprouts are still alive. I cut some of the lowest leaves off since I see teeny little nubbins where the leaf stems meet the 'trunk.'   I threw a cauliflower in a non-SFG corner of my garden, not expecting much to come of a spring planted cauliflower, but I suddenly noticed I've got this:
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_5617
Now what?! thinking Like the cabbage, how do I know when it's ready?
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Post  sanderson 7/1/2016, 1:57 pm

Wonderful garden, with a view to die for!

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 7/1/2016, 4:39 pm

sanderson wrote:Wonderful garden, with a view to die for!
Thanks, Sanderson! I had friends over that agree with you; they came over, saw the deck through my kitchen window and summarily (basically) demanded to eat out on the deck instead of inside. We ate chef's salads using lettuce from the garden. A deer snuck past in the grasses by the creek; the neighbor's calves romped in the meadow, my robin (working on her second brood of the year under the deck) complained at us; the sunset pinked up the well-spaced, friendly clouds; the fireflies started to come out at dusk; and the whippoorwill sang for us as night fell.  It was beautiful.
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Post  CapeCoddess 7/1/2016, 4:42 pm

Mmmm...heavenly...
Smile
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Post  sanderson 7/2/2016, 8:13 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Mmmm...heavenly...
Smile
+1

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Post  AtlantaMarie 7/3/2016, 8:48 am

How beautiful!! Don't blame your guests at all for wanting to see your nature show!

In answer to your question about soup beans - leave the pods on until they turn brown & you can hear the beans rattle when you shake them. The pods should look quite full.

On the cabbage - when it's as big as you want to pick it (or what the instructions on the packet say). Can't believe you've still got cabbage... I'm jealous...
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 7/3/2016, 11:17 am

Yup, I have cabbages... but you have *blueberries* No bushes for me until I'm not renting, so I'm, envious. ...I don't envy your fire ants, though!
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/3/2016, 11:31 am

Lovely! And your avatar kills me, Lol!
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Post  AtlantaMarie 7/3/2016, 12:59 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Yup, I have cabbages... but you have *blueberries* No bushes for me until I'm not renting, so I'm, envious. ...I don't envy your fire ants, though!

I'll be glad to give you all of those you want! I stopped counting at 50 bites/leg & foot.

I also love your avatar!!
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 7/4/2016, 11:37 pm

Thanks for the avatar appreciation, Marie and SR! I can often get bugs to pose for me by asking nicely, but props are quite rare (especially 'unnatural' ones) because it's hard to hold a prop steady in one hand and take a picture with just one hand. Works for a small avatar photo though. The full size original is rather blurry. No beetles were physically harmed in the making of the this photo. But I probably confused it.
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Post  countrynaturals 7/5/2016, 12:15 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:I can often get bugs to pose for me by asking nicely
Would you please come try "asking nicely" to my butterflies? I could start an exercise program by handing out cameras to folks and telling them to take pics of the butterflies. geek

BTW, I love your avatar. Cool
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 7/6/2016, 6:54 am

Thanks for the additional avatar compliment.  Smile  I love talking to new butterflies. Alas, that in person part is a bit tricky being that you're all the way on the other side of the country. Two tips: morning is better than afternoon, and watch your shadow.
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Post  countrynaturals 7/6/2016, 12:41 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Thanks for the additional avatar compliment.  Smile  I love talking to new butterflies. Alas, that in person part is a bit tricky being that you're all the way on the other side of the country. Two tips: morning is better than afternoon, and watch your shadow.
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_7111
AARRGGHH!! NOT FAIR! After all I've done for the ungrateful little stinkers, not one has ever landed on me, and only my favorite -- the common buckeye -- has ever posed for a pic. Sad
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 7/6/2016, 5:42 pm

Nice Buckeye, Suz! I don't see those very often. I don't recall having one of those walk on me.

Today I harvested my three turnips remaining from round one and ate the small one. Somewhat woody - doesn't bode well for round two. Will plant earlier next year. Also, either my felt collars and/or the cover on the bed reduced the cabbage maggots (or there wouldn't have been anything left of that small turnip after cleaning it up)... but didn't stop them. I don't know if the cover didn't help at all, or if I just got it on too late. I guess the next step is putting up yellow-stickies inside the covered bed. Bugs aren't supposed to be in the covered bed anyhow, so I worry less about accidentally catching good guys.

Yesterday I did a quick evening garden check and was astonished to find a small swarm of Japanese beetles. No slow trickle this year. They were having a party, and playing that pheromone song "I think it's so groovy now, that beetles are finally get together!" I broke up the party, and interrupted some make-out sessions, but only caught a few of them. The music must still be playing because they were back today -- if I hose down the plants, will the pheromone wash off? Unfortunately for the beetles they made two mistakes. They've picked a cluster of plants that will never be taller than I can reach. And I can see those plants quite well from the deck. So I can pop out and take a peek to see whether a trip with the bucket is needed. They are down by a dozen, with very little damage done to my purple pea plants.

I've also decreased the already small numbers of tiny grasshoppers in the garden. But the ones that are left are pretty wily. I will hope for another cold morning where I can use my warm-blooded speed (and the power of coffee) as an advantage over their cold-blooded solar-dependence. Look what I found when I moved aside a leaf to go after one of the grasshoppers! Baby eggplant! (Kindly ignore the early blight spots on the background leaf.)
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_5712
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/6/2016, 7:05 pm

Beetles= Bug Whisperer. Just sayin'. And nice baby eggplant!

CN, Ummm, children never ever ever (OK, until they are way older and on their own, understanding of how tough it is) express or demonstrate gratitude. They still love you!

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Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Empty Zucchini Exploded

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 8/2/2016, 11:47 pm

Thanks, SR - you're not the first to call me that. Smile

I have updates to post, but before I get to that: my zucchini exploded.
No, really - not like that - like this Shocked
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Img_6913

I'm guess too much water since it happened after a rain. The zucchini is growing in an Earthbox, with a black plastic cover. Water should be running off, mostly, and/or draining out once the reservoir is full. thinking Some of my tomatoes cracked, too, but that makes sense.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 8/6/2016, 7:39 am

My Earthbox grown cabbage was HUGE: 10 lb w/ the big outer leaves, 6-7lbs w/o. The green cabbage grown in the ANSFG was ~13oz, and the red cabbage was just 6 oz - and they both suffered from slug/snail/sowbugs attacks. The 5-gallon bucket container cabbage is still growing, and has a very tiny head. 
Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Cabbag11Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Redcbg11

Broccoli:  Small heads from Calabrese and Nutribud, not worth the effort of starting so soon indoors.  But I bought seeds for this Summer Purple Sprouting Broccoli that several of you have mentioned to try next spring!

Brussels Sprouts: I still don’t understand when these should be planted in my area.  I thought I would be removing them by now, either due to harvesting sprouts or bolting... but neither have happened yet. The plants are a good size, have survived the worst (I hope!) of the heat, and look pretty healthy, so I’ll keep waiting.

Cauliflower:  The survivor (one died) actually produced a nice cauliflower, exceeding my expectations.

Collards:  Several nicely sized plants. Plants started later didn’t really catch up due to the heat.  Have new ones started indoors last week(?) in case these bolt.

Komatsuna:  first year trying this, clearly planted too late because it bolted quickly.

Kale:  It’s kale. Sowbugs/slugs/snails were a problem earlier in the year. And now the uncovered ones are getting cabbage butterfly’d. A tomato cage wrapped with mesh/tulle would likely fix the problem but I haven’t purchased tulle yet.

Mustard – Planted most of this too late; it all bolted, but the first round yielded some leaves first. I hope to harvest the seeds and use them for seasoning. But the forecast seems to have a week of rain upcoming, and I don't think that will help the seeds dry out.
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Gardening in Central Pennsylvania - Page 3 Empty Soup Peas

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 8/11/2016, 11:02 pm

In mid-July and at the end of July, I harvested and then shelled my mostly dried-on-the-vine soup peas. The green ones are Alaska. The wine-colored ones are Swedish red peas, also known as Bishop's Grey or Biskopens, and the yellowish ones are Dwarf Desiree Blauwschokkers (the ones with purple pods). I planted 20/sq, 4 squares of Alaska, 3 squares of Swedish red, and for the DDB I planted them in a 'circle' of 4 around some of my pepper plants. The pepper plants were a little stifled because the peas took so long -- but they were also protected from the sun/heat. If I did it again I'd start the peas sooner, with some sort of frost protection if necessary.

They all took about 14 weeks from sowing pre-sprouted peas to pulling down the vines. I cut the vines at ground level, leaving the roots in place. I saved the peas from the best pods for sowing next year. I haven't tasted any yet. The DDBs had more duds and don't look as pretty...but I'll see what they taste like before I decide how much to plant next year.
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Post  CapeCoddess 8/12/2016, 12:18 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
Komatsuna:  first year trying this, clearly planted too late because it bolted quickly.


I seeded these a couple weeks ago for fall and they are doing beautifully. Try sowing some now.

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 8/12/2016, 2:22 pm

Noted, thanks! Just have to figure out where to put them. My fall planting plan is in flux and trying to adapt to changes. I misplanted a few things, some things are taking longer to grow than I planned, and I'm trying to figure out where to put some cold frames. I just got a free one that is nearly 3'x3', and I have a bunch of 2'x3' windows waiting to transform. It seems like they need to be there before the first frost, which is awkward, because my summer vegetables are in the way until first frost, and the fall veggies that I already have planted will be in the way until some even later point in time.
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