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SUGA 2018

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SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Empty Re: SUGA 2018

Post  countrynaturals on 4/25/2018, 11:44 am

Wow, Sqwib. How many of you are there?  Shocked I'm sorry about your asparagus. I may have lost just one and it's breaking my heart. I WANT MORE!
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SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Empty Re: SUGA 2018

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/25/2018, 12:03 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:Wow, Sqwib. How many of you are there?  Shocked 

Agree! I'm exhausted just reading the last update!
Well done, SQWIB! Love the photos.
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SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Empty Re: SUGA 2018

Post  SQWIB on 4/25/2018, 2:06 pm

Thanks guys, yeah I'm really bummed about the asparagus, this was the harvest year (3rd year).
It seems like a lot of work but its not really that much when its spread out a bit.

I learned a long time ago not to push it or I end up so sore the next day that the day is shot. Plus I get a lot of days off from the yardwork due to all the rain we have here lol.
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SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Empty Re: SUGA 2018

Post  SQWIB on 4/27/2018, 12:47 pm

April 25th - April 27th


The Canine Waste Digester idea is out, the hole failed the perc test, so I'll be filling in the hole with some house garbage, compost and other yard waste, I busted my n Evil or Very Mad s digging out that clay, I'll be dammed if I put it back in there!!



  • Started digging out the Asparagus bed, I am going to dig 18" deep this time and add Black Kow, my compost and some city compost to the bottom. I set aside the top 6" of soil as it was good, the clay soil is going to my brother for fill. This crown pictured below actually had 2 sprouts, but I removed it anyhow. Purchasing the Black Kow is another thing that has me a bit peeved, my goal for 2018 was to rely on my compost and the recycle center ONLY!!

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  • Hitting hard clay and granite.

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  • I dont know if this is some kind of test or some higher power doesn't want me to be a happy gardener, but after I dug out the crowns and started on the sides I hit something hard, well it appears one of my turtles picked a bad place to hibernate, only the shell was left. I am wondering if it was due to him having a piece of his shell broken off in the front where he couldn't seal up tight. He did overwinter last year... very sad! His shell will be going to an environmental center for an educational display.

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Turtle shell top left.
This morning before work, I picked up a new planter from Lowes for the Koi Pond Patio. I also grabbed some "Detroit Dark Red" Beet seeds. I hopefully will try canning some Red Beets this year.
After work, I stopped at Home Depot and picked up some Black Kow and Peat Moss for the Asparagus bed, I was really annoyed having to do this. My goal for 2018 was to not purchase any type of soil amendment, but with the death of my asparagus bed I had no alternative.

  • Started on the trellis, I'll be cutting the laterals Saurday but will "loose fit" them so they can easily be removed in the fall to be stained.

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  • The horizontal 2" x 6" supports will be stained to match the fence, the upright 4" x 4" will be stained the same color as the Hugelkultur beds.

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  • I had to get a bit creative installing the 10' 2" x 6" horizontal supports with no assistance.

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  • The area under the new trellis will always be used for garden supplies and firewood as well as other miscellaneous stuff, but I wanted to be able to grow something in this spot, I felt the space was wasted from a gardening standpoint, hopefully the Hardy Kiwis will do well here. I need to reorganize the area under the trellis and get my Hardy Kiwi plants in this weekend.

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  • Next up, reinforcing the compost bin with some stainless steel hardware.

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  • Last week I installed a piece of "all thread" to keep the sides of the compost bins 6"x 6" sides from spreading, what was happening was, the weight of the compost was bowing out the sides of the compost bin (plastic part) and the wood below it as well. I'm debating if I want to leave the front open as shown, or cover it up, the jury is still out on that one.

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  • Back to the asparagus bed, dug out a bit more, probably a little shy of 18" total, loosened up some of the clay soil.

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  • Layered in some compost, wood ash/char, Black Kow, Sphagnum Peat moss and 5 gallons of rain water.

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I have some more amendments, including some of my clay soil that I'll be adding this weekend, mixing real well and then topping with the original top soil that was removed. The Asparagus crowns are supposed to be here by Saturday.

  • Planted some Detroit Dark Red Beets. The small Planter is just Red Beets. Large planter has some beets around the perimeter, the center was a Sprite Tomato plant that died, I will be replacing with another cherry type tomato, hopefully.

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  • Planted some beets with my Listada Di Gandia Eggplant...

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  • ... also around this tomato plant.

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Planted some perpetual spinach the other day that seems to be doing OK, I tossed in a bunch of sunflower seeds in the Hugelkultur Beds for the wildlife.

  • Raspberries

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  • Bok Choy

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  • I'll definitely be growing this again, Laura cooked some the other day, sauteed with a tad of oil and garlic, and we both liked it, but she really liked it.

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  • When I built this Hugelkultur bed last fall to replace the planter, I wasn't happy with it, because to be quite honest, it looked a little obnoxious. I was going to tear it out at the end of this season. After we added the uprights (other side, not finished yet), stained it, and moved the bench back to the edge of the patio and added a more proportionate planter it makes the area look much nicer. "Proportionate", lol, thats just my way of justifying a larger planter to plant more stuff. The new planter will be for flowers and leeks. Laura wanted flowers in the planter, I usually plant Leeks in it, so I compromised, I purchased the larger planter that will be half leeks and half flowers... see, I'm easy to get along with.

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  • Phlox

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SQWIB
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SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Empty Re: SUGA 2018

Post  SQWIB on 5/8/2018, 8:13 am

April 27th - April 29th

Friday after work I stopped at Starbucks for some coffee grounds, they gave me a bag that was maybe 2.5 gallons worth, driving all the way over there felt like a waste, so I went in the back of the building and found another bag of grounds, maybe 3 gallons worth. I don't think I'll be getting grounds from Starbucks anymore, who knows.


  • When I got home, my Yacon replacements have arrived, I tossed them in the raised bed immediately then a little later the Asparagus came in. I dipped the asparagus bag in water and tossed in the peat moss bag for Saturdays planting. Then I worked on my Asparagus bed, Amanda had just finished cleaning out the rabbits cages, beds were amended with bunny poo, coffee grounds, then another thin layer of sphagnum peat moss.



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  • Cleaning out an area for the Hardy Kiwi's, I original wanted to plant three but a few looked as if they had died so I contacted Rare seeds and they sent out a replacement set, anyhow after a few weeks they started to bud so now I need to get 6 in the ground, they're planted pretty tight.


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Saturday was very productive and I knocked a few things off of my list.

  • Saturday morning it was time to hit the recycle center, my main goal this trip was to pick up the double ground mulch and remulch the two front gardens.


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  • It was pretty busy today at the recycle center.



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  • Loaded up and headed home.


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  • Todays haul!


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  • Mixed up the amendments and dug a trench and hilled up the center and tossed in the asparagus. Topped with some compost and the earlier removed top soil.



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I closely inspected the old asparagus looking for a possible reason as to their untimely death, I couldn't find any insect damage or rotting. What I did notice was that all but three plants had hollow roots like straw, there were three plants that had very hard roots and upon further inspection looks like these three may have budded, I replanted these three and will see what happens.


  • Setting up my new planter on the Koi Pond Patio, the irrigation line comes up through the center.



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  • I got all my leeks planted, those 2 larger leeks overwintered.


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Mulched the entire front yard.

  • Planted my peppers in the Aquaponics, veggie filter.


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Fixed my Landscape lighting out front.




  • Trying Perpetual Spinach this year.


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  • Finished the Kiwi Trellis


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  • Planted my Hardy Kiwi


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  • I seeded half of my yard with some Oats in an effort to try and break up my rock hard soil a bit to allow for better ground absorption. Hopefully the neighbors wont call CLIP on me! I guess I should explain this a little better. The ground is so hard that hardly any water gets absorbed and it fills the yard up like a pond and sits there creating a mess, so I seeded half the yard with oats to hopefully loosen the soil, I'll be adding some sunflowers and alfalfa this weekend
  • The other half of the yard is grass but I have been seeding in white clover. For the last 16 years or so we have had a dog(s) and their urine wreaks havoc on the yard, I'm hoping both of these ideas work. I also had a pool that was put up in the summer and taken down each fall, this helped compact the soil even more. Grass has been the bane of my existence, planting seed year after year, watching it grow beautifully then be killed. In the front of my house and side, I removed all the grass and put in pavers and gardens.



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2014


  • Dinner


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April 30th

After work I stopped at Lowes and picked up some Mulch for Moms Flower beds, she wanted the Black bagged stuff so it's not for me. lol. I grabbed a couple 10 foot 2x4's to finish the fence and Koi Pond Patio Hugelkultur Bed.

While I was there I was looking for a decent hose, one of those springy ones, the one I have now is a "beotch", its about as flexible as black pipe!
Anyhow, when in Lowes, I came across this Zero G hose that I figured I would give a shot.


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May 1st - May 5th

After work today, I stopped at moms and redone her flower beds, laid down cardboard and mulched. (She wanted the Mulch from Lowes so this don't go against my new strategy, lol.)
I planted some Alfalfa seed and Sunflower Seeds in with the Oats and some white clover in some bald spots in the lawn, we will see!
As the dogs kill the grass I'll be putting in White Clover.


Replanted a cape gooseberry in the Koi Pond Patio Hugelkultur bed and in the larger planter in front of the house. Replaced a Box Car Willie that looked near death, and replaced a Black Beauty Eggplant seedling with a Listada Di Gandia Eggplant seedling. Planted out all my parsley and a few Marigold seedlings.

Tossed an Imperial Star Artichoke in the back area of the pond, the "Tickled Pink Perennial" that I planted last year at Easter died.


May 5th - May 6th


I got a few small things done this weekend;

  • Saturday morning I got a little more work done on the Koi Pond Hugelkultur bed, this is mostly for Aesthetics, I didn't want a plain simple box out front so I tweaked it a bit.


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  • We stopped at Lecks Nursery and Feeney's Nursery and picked up our flowers. I usually get my pond plants from Feeney's but the plants were horrible. My better half and I got the flowers in, we always get the bright red sunpatients, they really pop.


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  • The Spaghetti squash has made an appearance


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Laura was talking to our neighbor and she was saying that they were gonna hire someone to remove her shrubs, I said you go back over there and thell her well take care of it!!


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  • This of course meant...


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Sunday

  • Planted some Swiss Chard.


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  • Tied in the front planters and the planter on the deck to the irrigation line.


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  • I put a valve on every line to give me better control of the watering.


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  • My other project I am working on is trying to restore my yard, half the yard is planted with oats, clover and sunflowers, the other half has been seeded with white clover. Once the dogs kill a spot, I drop down some compost, seed with clover then top with compost.


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  • This week is cleanup week, I'm just trying to get everything back to normal, I decided to remove the small vertical garden.


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  • Cleaned the Koi pond a bit, when we start getting some really hot days, I'll get in the pond and really do a thorough cleanup.


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  • Plants are coming in nicely. Spearmint


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  • Chives


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  • Looks like its time for another chive omelet, pic was from 2016


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  • Sage, Phlox, Horseradish, and Chocolate mint . The sage died back completely this year but last year it held onto its leaves all winter, very odd.


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SQWIB
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SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Empty Re: SUGA 2018

Post  SQWIB on 5/29/2018, 2:44 pm

May 25th 2018


Wow, its been a while since I updated this page, sorry about that.
Not much of anything has happened the last few weeks, it is sort of like watching paint dry.



  • Anyhow, I spent the weekend doing a section of the AT with a buddy, scrambling rocks, dodging snakes, getting soaked, you know... the fun stuff.



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  • We finished up the trail a bit early and headed back to my trailer to reward ourselves a bit. We figured we burnt all those calories on the trail so we need to get them back.


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  • And we did and then some!



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  • OK...Back to the garden



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  • Oats are doing well

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  • I pretty much have given everything free reign to grow, I just chopped down all the cabbages and all but one of the Bok Choy and laid them out as mulch. I even let the weeds get to a decent size before pulling and placing back in the garden...nothing is removed!



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  • Sage, Horseradish, Chocolate mint and phlox are all doing well.


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  • There's always one knucklehead.


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  • Last years leeks, I may save for seeds


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  • The Cape Gooseberry in this planter is doing real well.


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  • Something has been munching on the Comfrey, this was a good call planting the comfrey here, the turtles love hanging here.



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  • Bad pic, but my first year getting Blueberries.


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  • Training the Reliance Grapes


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  • My only head of broccoli, about the size of a quarter, I will never try to grow cabbage, broccoli or Brussels Sprouts again.


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  • Yacon, the only survivor of 4 plants


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  • BeeBalm


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No sign of my Jerusalem Artichokes.



  • The Box Car Willie is doing great. Parsley is doing well too, not sure about the Beets.



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  • Snow Peas



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  • Jalapeno, Jimmy Nardello and Poblanos in the Aquaponics veggie filter are doing well.


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  • The pond plants are doing well.


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  • Artichoke


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  • Blackberries.


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  • Table Dainty


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  • Bok Choy for the pollinators


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  • Training the Concord Grapes


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  • Spaghetti Squash.


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  • Artichoke.


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  • Purple Thai Yard Long Beans, can't wait to make "dilly beans" this year!



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  • Training the Hardy Kiwi's


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  • Mater plant


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  • Lovage


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  • Chives


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  • Pepper.


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Yesterday when I got home I had a flooded yard, thank goodness the wife unit was home. I had a hose burst that feeds my irrigation, so that was the first thing on my to do list when I got home.


I planted a few more Table Dainty seeds and Cantaloupe seeds, all my cantaloupe plants died.





[size=18]May 29th 2018[/size]

  • Friday my trellis supplies came in so I started work on my trellis for the concord grapes.


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I was sick most of the weekend but I did get to try some stuff from the garden



  • Lovage, Chives including florets, perpetual spinach, eggs, american cheese, grilled chicken, topped with Feta. I would have added the Feta to the inside of the omelet but I was splitting the omelet wit my daughter and she cant stand feta, so I topped with feta for the photo then scraped it off for her. lol.



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  • The omelet was dam tasty and the Lovage was really good, I was actually impressed, it was like a cross between celery and parsley (peppery celery) the perpetual spinach didn't taste too good raw but once cooked it was really good, it doesn't wilt quite like baby spinach so I added a tablespoon of water, wilted it down then added some olive oil and salt. A pinch of pepper flakes on the PS would have been nice but my breakfast guest doesn't like red pepper... yeah I know!



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Cant wait to try some Frittatas like this.



  • Better shot of the Blueberries and Comfrey flowers.


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  • Picked the broccoli to eat tonight, just starting to bolt.


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This morning I was out in the yard at 4:30 am half naked due to the water line blowing again, this afternoon I ordered a pressure regulator, hopefully this will fix the problem for good!
SQWIB
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SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Empty Re: SUGA 2018

Post  BlackjackWidow on 6/1/2018, 10:37 am

SQWIB - I feel your pain on the brassicas. I may try broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts for a fall planting this year, but if I lose them all again, I am done!  SUGA 2018 - Page 2 950477
BlackjackWidow
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SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Empty Re: SUGA 2018

Post  SQWIB on 6/6/2018, 12:54 pm

June 6th, 2018



  • Just finished up a small section of the AT with my brother and daughter.


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I have been experimenting with cooking up some perpetual spinach for dinner and its pretty good. Its not so good raw.



  • I rinse the spinach place in a pan with a tablespoon of water or so, cover with a pot lid and steam a bit, I then add a bit of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper, sometimes garlic.


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  • The pond is looking good, I really need to get in the pond and clean it up a bit.


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  • Jimmy Nardello in the Pond veggie filter


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Planted some hollyhock a friend had given me. I had no where to put these so I crammed them in with the Maypops.



  • My sugar snap peas have been coming in, the plants are half the size of the Swenson Swedish Snow Peas but are producing like crazy, I like to pick these when they're young for stir fry's and such.


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  • Planted some crimson clover in the hugel beds. The worms in the Hugelkultur beds are  going absolutely nuts, these are worm castings. They're mostly on the top 2 inches of the beds.


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  • I tucked in some Kraft paper that was headed to the recycle bin for them to munch on.



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I pretty much have been in the garden after work most days just tweaking everything munching on strawberries every day and some mornings.


 
I have my irrigation set for 20 minutes every 48 hours,  so far it has been OK.
Before an expected rain I soak the hugelkultur beds with my collected rain water. This frees up the barrels for fresh rain water. 


I'm hoping by next year I can turn off the individual water lines to the hugelkultur beds and supplement with just rain water, I'll probably have to water the first several weeks until the roots are established, this is my game plan anyhow. 


Been weeding a bit, cutting back the oregano and cabbage, and trying to stick to my strategy... everything is tossed back on the beds nothing is removed

Sowed a bunch of crimson clover in the hugelkultur beds, I figured most of the plants are established so they shouldnt be bothered by the clover.


  • The oats are doing well, these were planted too densely and some are dying off.


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  • The turtles love it in here.

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  • Strawberries have been doing well. I eat some and share with the turtles when I'm out doing yard work.



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  • Cape Gooseberry


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  • Most of the pepper plants are doing well, plants are small but producing.


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  • I have this spot marked as a Corno Di Tor Rosso, but the closest thing it resembles is a Jimmy Nardello


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  • Grow dammit!!


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  • This is my first year with Marconi peppers.


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  • I may need to add some trellis to this area next year, I'll see how the squash performs and decide if I want to make it wider or not.



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  • First year with Blueberries


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  • Last year my first tomato on and last one off was from a Box Car Willie, this year the first on is a Rutgers.


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  • Time to play, my better half took the dog to the vets so I recycled some leftovers for dinner.


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  • Sugar Snap peas roasted with olive oil, garlic, soy, sesame oil, some sriracha sauce, and chives.


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  • Dinner is served, I call this my, "Poor Mans Lasagna", leftover Cheese Raviolis, Caramelized onions, Green peppers, some breakfast sausage from breakfast burritos I made Saturday, in a tortilla topped with three blend cheese and a bit of Sriracha Sauce. Garden Strawberries and Sugar Snap Peas. AWESOME DINNER!



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SQWIB
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Post  SQWIB on 6/15/2018, 8:26 am

June 8th, 2018

I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed with the Hugelkultur beds, actually I'm pretty impressed with all the beds with the exception of the Asparagus bed.
Some of the beds are on their third season and a few are on their 2nd season. The best time to make these beds would be in the fall so they have a full winter season to absorb water, settle a bit and get more established. My beds were all built late winter, I am starting to see some settling now in the beds and have been heavily watering the Hugelkultur beds this season to help the beds settle in better.

From what I have researched, Hugelkultur beds take around three seasons to establish, this is around the time they are supposed to stop taking up nitrogen and start releasing it.

I am very happy with these beds and I feel I am over the hump with them. I'm really pleased with the soil this season so far. It's so nice to be able to use your bare hands.

It looks like the winter prep has paid off. I'm not sure how much the bio-char has made a difference, but it definitely hasn't hindered anything.
Last year I did have a terrible Slug and Aphid problem in section #4 of Hugelkultur bed #2. The slugs were easy to take care of but the Aphids were out of control, I think the main problem was the ants, there were just so many ants. This year I had the same ant problem, and I traced it to the "Rose of Sharon" plant on the hill that is next to this bed. The Rose of Sharon was infested so badly that if I accidentally brushed up against it, I was covered in tiny ants. So I figured treating the ant problem may eliminate the aphids problem, so I treated the area with a Terro bait. I usually leave the ants alone but they were just out of control.


This season I am growing crimson clover in these beds as a living mulch. For a living mulch I already have oregano and strawberries in some of the bed and have been letting the strawberries do their thing.

  • 2nd year Hugelkultur bed (1 winter) The tomato plants in this bed are doing real well, but I am really impressed with the Rutgers plant in the center. Next year this bed will have 3 tomato plants only and I'll leave the Raspberry plant that is to the right.

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  • We couldn't find this guy (Reds) for the longest time I found him buried and he was packed in tight, only his head was visible. Amanda dug him out and we fed him his favorite food and gave him some water, were still clueless as to how he got buried that tight. Poor guy was pretty hungry and really thirsty.

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  • Hugelkultur bed #2 Section #1

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  • Hugelkultur bed #2 Section #4

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  • Raised bed on hill (Right bed)

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June 10th - 12th, 2018


I actually got a jump on my Rain Water Collection. One of my 2019 goals is to utilize more rain water, this year I am using my tossed together system and the plants are thriving. The rainwater Collection progress is posted on another page. See Tabs above.

OK back to the garden

  • Hugelkultur bed #2 Section #3

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After work today, I had the joy of replacing a bad pond pump in the back yard pond, thankfully I had a spare pump. I also tore out all of my periwinkle in the front garden and will reseed with crimson clover.

  • Finally getting some flowers on my cucurbits.

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  • I guess its time to stat spraying with some Bt.

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  • I think I'm going to thin out the Spaghetti Squash next year.

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June 12th, 2018


  • Testing out the "Perpetual Spinach" again. I gotta say I'm really liking this stuff, I may dedicate more space to this plant next year.

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  • Awesome dinner.

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  • Helping mother nature with the spaghetti squash.

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  • The only female so far.

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  • Aquaponics, veggie filter

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  • Front Planter

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  • Hugelkultur bed #2 Section #3

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  • Hugelkultur bed #2 Section #4 [L-R  Cherokee Purple -  Jalapeno - Rutgers - Box Car Willie - Jalapeno]

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June 13th - 15th, 2018

I have been following my Gardening Strategy as outlined in the beginning of this post and it seems to be working out rather well, the only thing I haven't done is side dress with compost after the plants had flowered, but it wasn't needed.


  • This Artichoke is jammed up in between the Spaghetti Squash and Bee Balm. Bee Balm is just starting to flower.

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  • This imperial star Artichoke is on the retaining wall in front of the fence.

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  • Artichoke with Rosemary, Blackberry, Marigolds and some unidentified plant I'm letting grow.

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  • Hugelkultur bed #2 Section #4

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  • Left Raised bed on hill

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  • Grapes, Raspberry, Swiss Chard

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  • Blueberries, Comfrey, Maypops, Hollyhock.

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  • Some random pictures of how I have been managing my new strategy, "nothing is removed" and "Interplanting". This would drive my Mom nuts! If there's a bare spot, I put something there like crimson clover, trimmed plants, bark, onions that sprouted etc...

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Every now and then I'll dig in an old bagel, bread, some paper etc... I also add kraft packing paper, thin cardboard and tuck them in the back of the beds.



  • Pond.

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  • Koi Pond Patio Planter with Leeks and a Gerbera Daisy. This is our Compromise planter, I wanted leeks, she wanted flowers.

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SQWIB
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Post  BlackjackWidow on 6/16/2018, 11:31 am

So many things to admire!  SUGA 2018 - Page 2 3170584802  I'm especially enjoying watching the progress of your Hugelkultur beds. I would really like to try this, once my "life beyond gardening" settles down enough.
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Post  SQWIB on 6/20/2018, 8:35 am

@BlackjackWidow wrote:So many things to admire!  SUGA 2018 - Page 2 3170584802  I'm especially enjoying watching the progress of your Hugelkultur beds. I would really like to try this, once my "life beyond gardening" settles down enough.

Give it a shot, you wont be sorry.
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Post  SQWIB on 6/20/2018, 8:40 am

June 17th, 2018


Food break,
Egg, grilled cheese - Smoked provolone, American cheese, oregano, green peppers, jalapeno, Lovage, on butter grilled Honey Wheat bread, with Sriracha Hot sauce. Beverages - Mint tea and 2% milk
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  • Leeks for seeds. I'll leave a few leeks in the soil from this year to hopefully get seeds again next year.

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  • Some color in the Koi Pond.

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  • Started work on my other Grape Trellis, I'm winging this so I hope it comes out well.

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June 19th, 2018

Not much going on in the garden, haven't really been up to doing any gardening lately, just playing around with my Rain water collection and grape trellis.



  • Calla lilies are happy in their new location, these were moved from the front garden last year.


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  • Every thing is growing pretty good here, except my Cape Gooseberry in the Hugelkultur bed. The front yard filled out nicely, I'm still undecided on removing the Red Maple or not, I really dont want it to shade out all the growth on the hill, but do like a little shade on the patio. I was thinking if I do remove it to put in a Japanese Stewartia.

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Post  SQWIB on 6/25/2018, 11:34 am

June 20th - 25th, 2018

I got some of my garden stuff done after work today.

  • Cut down my Oat Field lol.


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I really wish I had enough land to do this on a yearly basis.


Cut down my Snow Peas, such a waste, we never ate any except for that one batch I made a few weeks ago, I wont grow these again. Trying to keep up with my new strategy, the Snow Peas will be chopped and placed back in the bed for mulch.


Trimmed back the Spaghetti Squash before it eats the neighbor.


Trimmed a few stems and leaves off of a tomato plant that was yellowing, this will not go back into the bed, this heads straight to the firepit.



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Two of my eggplants are loaded with aphids and ants, I did put out a terro bait but the ants are still coming, I ended up spraying  the leaves with Neem Oil.
Sprayed the Zucchini plant with Bt.




Time to compost. I'm already on my way to having a great compost year.

  • Layering my Compost ingredients.


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  • Topped with spent Rabbit bedding.


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I need to top this with my Wood Ash from last weeks cook on the Pit.





  • Prickly Lettuce Compass Plant Lactuca serriola?

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  • Hoping this is my Sunchoke.


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  • I was going nuts trying to figure out what this was, I'm pretty sure its Crimson Clover that dropped its petals.


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  • Finished the trellis for the Reliance Grapes. I really wanted something Low Profile so I came up with this. So far I am happy with how it looks.



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  • Installed gutters on the underdecking.


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  • Compost is kicking butt


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  • Hardy Kiwis climbing nicely



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  • Started the day with a garden breakfast.


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  • Done a bit more work on the Rainwater Collection. Put an overflow on the Koi Pond rain barrel and ran the hose beside the Hugelkultur bed.


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  • Added a 2x6 to the edge of the pavers, hopefully this will divert some water to the drain and not flow on the patio.


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  • Battled some ants








  • I was going to remove this vertical tower next year but the Jalapenos do so dam good here. I think I may leave it be. Maybe it's all the beer I pour in it? Quick explanation... I have a beer meister and the first pour is always foam, this foam gets dumped in this vertical tower. Looks like I'm making Poppers next week!



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  • Chopped up all of the snow peas and mulched the Hugelkultur bed.


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  • Been spraying the heck out of my Eggplants and Artichokes with neem oil, the Aphids are out of control.


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  • First eggplant of the season. (Small planter on the side patio.)



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Post  CapeCoddess on 6/26/2018, 12:41 pm

Amazing!  So much going on in your yard! okay
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Post  SQWIB on 6/28/2018, 8:23 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:Amazing!  So much going on in your yard! okay

Thank you.
So far I'm happy!
This year I started looking at my garden in cubic feet not square feet, So I have been utilizing areas above stuff that is already planted.
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Post  SQWIB on 6/28/2018, 8:24 am

Grow dammit! I'm hungry!!!

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Since I am running out of space in my smallish yard, I started looking at my garden in cubic feet not square feet, So I have been utilizing areas above things that are already planted.


My Corno di Toro Rosso was near death yesterday, I watered it last night and this morning. This morning it looks like it bounced back slightly.
I'm not sure what happened but it looked as if it wasn't getting any water. The only thing I can figure is that the water is channeling through the soil as the soil settles in the hugelkultur beds due to decomposition of the material below. The area is probably drying out too quickly due to air pockets and the water channeling. The roots are not extensive so it may not be reaching water.



I tweaked my irrigation lines and put the timer on for every day instead of every other day until I can get some rain water collected.


What I have been doing recently is when a hole opens up due to settling, I try to stuff it with kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, pieces of wood, grass trimmings, whatever organic matter I can get my hands on.


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Yesterday after work I soaked down all the raised beds and yard, I really soaked down the Hugelkultur beds to dissipate larger air pockets, as I was doing this my son said, "dad its supposed to rain", I said, "yeah but there is only a 10% chance of rain and my luck it wont rain". Guess what it rained so hard my back yard flooded and my rain barrels are completely full.



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Post  SQWIB on 7/6/2018, 2:07 pm

More updates





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June 25th -28th

Rutgers
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  • This is my neighbors yard, this is where I removed all of his hemlock shrubs? Anyhow I was afraid he would spray poison everywhere so I planted him a garden (per request from his wife), Basil, Eggplants, Tomatoes, marigolds, sunflowers and White clover. I go over there once a week and clean out the weeds and pinch the basil. I love my neighbors and have no problem taking care of a garden for them, plus it keeps the poison bottle use at a minimum.

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July 7th



  • Not a whole lot going on in SQWIBS garden, I planted quite a few Okra seeds in various spots, trimming some plants here and there, trench composting quite a bit, working on my Rainwater Catchment/Diverting system. Things are going pretty good, I am battling some kind of Fungus on my Box Car willie plant, removed my Cape Gooseberry from the front Hugelkultur bed and am having some Issue with my Matts Wild Cherry.


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  • I'm a novice with Bee Balm, it go real leggy then flopped, I now know I need to cut it back in early spring. I'm leaving it be for now because its been bringing in humming birds.

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  • I'm real happy with my "Mini Guilds, this one has Maypops, Blueberries, Comfrey, Hollyhocks (that I haven't seen yet) and I just planted some Okra seeds, but I dont expect them to do anything, let alone sprout. When I trim around the yard a bit I toss it in this guild, this is two of the turtles favorite spot.


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  • This guild wasn't really planned, it just happened, there s a rosemary in there that needs to be moved to the front, also Blackberry, Artichoke, marigolds, some weed that I've been using as a chop and drop. I like to leave all this fill in because its perfect relaxation spots for the turtles.

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  • Here is a video of a poor attempt at capturing a hummingbird on video, however the video does give you an idea of how things are doing in my garden. I was out playing with my Rainwater harvesting/diverting setup and trying to film that.


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Post  Roseinarosecity on 7/6/2018, 2:40 pm

Your garden looks great; I especially enjoyed hearing the rain in your video, because in Southern California it is so dry and hot today.
R
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Post  SQWIB on 7/6/2018, 2:51 pm

How long is the window to edit a post I really dont like having typos in my posts and when I go back and try to fix them, the edit option is gone.

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Post  SQWIB on 7/6/2018, 2:55 pm

@Roseinarosecity wrote:Your garden looks great; I especially enjoyed hearing the rain in your video, because in Southern California it is so dry and hot today.
R

Thank you, some of that noise is a transfer pump as i was out transferring some rain water to another barrel.

Yeah, after reading some of the members "Drought" posts on here I'll never complain about rain again. I'm even making a more conscious effort to utilize the rain the best I can.

That day it rained I collected about 120 gallons of water in under an hour, it's raining yet again, so I'm sure my three 55 gallon barrels are all full. I just wish I had room for a couple of those IBC Pallet tanks or better yet two!

Hopefully I can get in a couple mini rain gardens and finish up my Rainwater System by the end of the season.
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Post  SQWIB on 7/9/2018, 10:35 am

The July 7th post above is wrong, should say July 3rd







July 7th

  • I got a little done this weekend, Friday after work I started digging out the pathway stones and a few inches of soil, we decided to put in a mini rain garden here. When it rains the water runs down this path and onto the patio towards the drain, I'm trying to catch some water and channel the water to the drain a little better.


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  • Saturday, Laura and I stopped at HD to Look at some flowers and once there decided to grab these. Our game plan was to look at what HD had then go to a nursery,  but I was actually more impressed with HD's choices, thats pretty sad!



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  • I had Sam help me out, after all the rocks and soil were dug out I cut the lawn and had Sam rake the grass clippings in the rain garden, I then topped with a few small bags of peat moss and 5 gallon bucket of my compost and about a 1/4 cup of Blood Meal. I then mixed everything up with a few inches of the clay soil. Sam planted the new plants for me then mulched the top. The marigolds got beat up a bit when I separated them, I had quite a few up on the hill all growing in a clump. My only concern is this area gets 5 hours of sun from afternoon till evening, I'm hopping its enough. I tested the garden out with a 55 gallon drum of water 90 percent full. I pumped the water out in about 10 minutes and it caught at least half of the water before it went towards the drain.

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I battled some Aphids on my Table Dainty plants but it appears I am loosing, Tried neem oil with a few drops of dish detergent, I guess I'm gonna have to go out and spray the leaves every other day. I also have been keeping up on my Zucchini plants with Bt spraying the stem and soil surface real good, maybe 2 or 3 times a week.



  • I also wanted to try setting up another trellis from the deck. I want to grow Honeydew here next year, as a test I set it up and tossed in a few Cantaloupe plants from HD, This trellis is removable.


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  • I had these stakes left over from when I purchased some landscape edging for diverting the rain water on the patio, these stake the bottom of the trellis nicely.


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Here are a few shots from the garden.


  • The pepper plant bounced back. To be honest, I'm a bit confused as to what it is, I had it labeled as a Tabasco but I think it was replaced with a Corno di Toro Rosso?



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  • Turtle Guild (that's what I call it now, they love it here!)

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  • Artichoke, you really got to watch these guys, they start to open very quickly, I just got this guy in time.


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  • I am really impressed with the Spaghetti Squash plants, I think there are at least 6 Squash so far.

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  • This is what happens when the pepper is bigger than the plant, sunscald.

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  • These Poblanos are earmarked for some Chili Rellenos, woohoo!



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Food break.... we got to enjoy a few of our tomatoes and I had asked Laura to make me some "jalapeno poppers", but there was a mis-communication... my fault. I sent her a list of ingredients and included Jalapenos in the list, so the poppers are not from the garden (sad face).



  • It's pretty awesome when you are having a discussion with your spouse on where to go out for lunch and you both agree you would rather eat at home knowing there's some home grown veggies waiting.


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  • This morning I got a little surprise, my Koi pond was half drained, looks like I'm gonna be late for work today! The veggie filter outlets got plugged and the water was running out of the veggie filter underneath the pond, I usually have the pump that feeds the veggie filter higher up in the main pond just for this reason, somehow it had dropped to the bottom of the main pond. I fixed the problem and added half the water back, I'll top it off tonight and tomorrow so I don't shock the fish.

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/11/2018, 8:11 am

Goodness, you've been busy! And it looks great! Even with the aphids...
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Post  SQWIB on 7/11/2018, 1:51 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Goodness, you've been busy!  And it looks great!  Even with the aphids...

I won the battle with the Aphids over the eggplants but I am seriously loosing ground with the table dainty squash. The plants are decimated.
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Post  SQWIB on 7/11/2018, 2:51 pm

July 10th

The 10 day is gonna be dry!


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  • Me learning how to use the camera incorrectly!!!

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  • Heres the pic I was trying to take.

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  • Weeds serving another purpose.

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  • 2nd artichoke from this plant

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  • My first BB !!!

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  • First flower on the Purple Thai Yard Long Beans

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  • One of my pollinators hard at work on the comfrey.

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  • Sunflower for the birds.

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Post  SQWIB on 7/17/2018, 8:25 am

July 10th

After work today I checked on my Table dainty "aphid problem", it don't look good, I put out a terro bait yesterday to get rid of the ants and will keep spraying for the aphids. It's a shame everything is shriveling up. This morning I checked and it seems the ant population has seriously declined.


I got tired of looking at my Box Car Willie plant in the planter so I ripped that out, it had one tomato the size of a marble and all the flowers were just brown. I replaced the BCW with a volunteer I pulled from my Vertical tower, we will see if it takes.





  • I learned last year to pull the Cherokee purples before they are ripe or they split like a 17 yr old married couple.


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  • Minor split on top


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  • What the hell is wrong with my Rutgers? The plant and fruit look OK, I'm wondering if it was a seed mix up or some funky cross or something, it looks like a Tigerella or Red Zebra. I ordered these seeds from Bakers Creek.


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  • Image from Bakers Creek website

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  • Red Zebra (image from internet)

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  • Red Zebra (image from internet)

[url=http://croatianseeds-store.com/images/stories/virtuemart/product/red zebra.jpg]SUGA 2018 - Page 2 Red%20zebra[/url]

  • Yay, a viable zucchini.

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  • Eggplants are doing nicely, the Listada di Gandia set fruit much quicker than the Black Beauties and the plants are 25% larger. This one needs to be picked soon

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  • The spaghetti squash took over the neighborhood, I think my neighbor is going to have a good harvest this year, lol. This is the first Squash that was green, the rest all started out tannish/white.

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  • Everything looks great from a distance.

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I tasted one of the "Rutgers" last night and let me tell you it was the best tomato I have ever eaten in my life...EVER!!!

But seriously the tomato was OK, sweet with a little acid/tart flavor, nothing to write home about but just a decent tomato, although I was impressed at how thin the skin was.



  • Anyhow here's a few pics of the tomato and plant.





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OK Back to the garden, I went out and sprayed a lot of the plants with some Neem Oil, and Bt on the Zucchini plants. I'm not winning the Aphid battle but I'm not loosing either, I'll know in a few days. I have also been battling some type of fungus/virus who knows what it is. Also powdery mildew has reared its ugly head already on my squash plants, I'm not too worried about the spaghetti squash because there's a good amount of squash set on the plant already. I picked a few tomatoes and trimmed the comfrey a bit




  • There is also rain in the forecast, thank goodness.


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July 17th


Sunday we got a good bit of rain, I filled up my rain barrels and played around a bit. Still waiting for my 90 gallon rain barrel to arrive so I can finish my Rain Barrel harvesting system this year.


Sorry for the dizzying video!





  • Found this guy, not happy. I smacked him around a bit and said, "go tell your friends they'll get the same if they show their faces around here"

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  • Some random garden pics.


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Random food pics.

  • Chicken, Feta, Egg, Red Onion, Chopped popper and Perpetual spinach wrap.


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  • Popper burger - Burger, popper, Am. cheese, red onion, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard (finishing up my poppers, lol)



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  • Turkey club, (shoulda' toasted it)


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  • A Sulcata that we are fostering until we can find her a home. Strawberry all over her face lol.


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  • Apparently I'm not the only one that likes a good butt scratch.





Table Dainty squash isn't looking good, I may throw in the towel if it dont look better by this weekend.



My neighbor was out doing some yard work with his daughter and was thrilled at the spaghetti squash growing on his side. He said they were 30" long and 40 pounds, I laughed and thought he needs to clean off his glasses.



  • There's also a volunteer pumpkin plant that appeared on his side with an itty, bitty pumpkin.


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