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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Toplef10Mark's first SFG - Page 7 1zd3ho10

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

Mark's first SFG - Page 7 I22gcj10Mark's first SFG - Page 7 14dhcg10

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Mark's first SFG

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Post  markqz 12/18/2020, 11:04 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I appreciate your posts, Mark.  We of the North are under snow and live vicariously through you guys!  Same struggles...different season! 

Might be thrips.  Are there lots of holes?  They like my eggplants.

Living vicariously through my gardening must be like drinking molasses with a straw Smile

After pouring through online images, I'm pretty sure that they are aphids. Aphids have a unique lifecycle -- like tribbles, they're basically born pregnant.

Speaking of eggplants, it turns out they are perennials if you don't get frost.  Here's one I harvested yesterday. My daughter roasted it up in our toaster oven and it was really tasty.

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Post  sanderson 1/7/2021, 6:42 pm

@markqz wrote:. .
After pouring through online images, I'm pretty sure that they are aphids. Aphids have a unique lifecycle -- like tribbles, they're basically born pregnant. . . . Mark's first SFG - Page 7 UyGzmDq
Your post prompted me to research aphid life cycle. Wow, no wonder why they can overwhelm in a few days! Shocked

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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Inside the brassica forest.

Post  markqz 1/17/2021, 5:06 pm

The only time of the year when it's cool enough for the mustard family here is the same time when our days are short. So I've been using an LED light on them at night. The plants are about twice the height or more of the ones in the other SFG without a light.

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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Falling Eucalyptus Branches

Post  markqz 1/20/2021, 1:22 pm

I couldn't find the post Sanderson made about eucalyptus being "widow makers".

Here's a "little" 100 lb branch that came down yesterday. This relates to SFG since it struck the corner of one of the SFG boxes. Fortunately, I think the kohlrabi will survive.

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Post  has55 1/20/2021, 11:15 pm

@markqz wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:I appreciate your posts, Mark.  We of the North are under snow and live vicariously through you guys!  Same struggles...different season! 

Might be thrips.  Are there lots of holes?  They like my eggplants.

Living vicariously through my gardening must be like drinking molasses with a straw Smile

After pouring through online images, I'm pretty sure that they are aphids. Aphids have a unique lifecycle -- like tribbles, they're basically born pregnant.

Speaking of eggplants, it turns out they are perennials if you don't get frost.  Here's one I harvested yesterday. My daughter roasted it up in our toaster oven and it was really tasty.

Mark's first SFG - Page 7 UyGzmDq
if they holes in the leaves it flea beatles, but most likely aphid. they love the greenhouse or indoor. Hold the leaves to the light. if it shines thru tiny holes it flea beatles. You spay them with the soapy water or spray light mineral oil.If you spray the oil to heavy, wait 30 min, then wash of with dr. bonner soap.the soap works on aphids, the mineral oil on both.
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Post  sanderson 1/21/2021, 3:19 pm

Eucalyptus trees - I would hate to be hit with a little 100 lb. branch. They just shear off and, wham, they are down.

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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Kale Tree Support Ties

Post  markqz 1/28/2021, 11:51 pm

Our second wind storm this year knocked over the kale "trees". I'm hoping that by tying them up I'll get a few more months out of them. These are now 5 1/2 to 6 feet tall.

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Post  sanderson 1/31/2021, 11:27 pm

Wow!  They are tall.

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Post  markqz 2/4/2021, 5:37 pm

How things are doing in brassica house #2

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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Two foot high Russian Kale

Post  markqz 2/5/2021, 3:44 pm

Russian kale doesn't grow as tall as the Italian/Dino kale, but here's what it looks like after more than a year (2 years?) or so. In this picture, I've already harvested a bunch of leaves for the day:

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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty First broccoli/cauliflower of 2021

Post  markqz 2/13/2021, 10:29 pm

I believe this was transplanted back in early October. So while I can grow things over winter, it is a lot slower even with a light playing on them at night. But it's a huge 7 inch across.  This is supposed to be a purple cauliflower, but it has features like broccoli. The flowers taste like cauliflower, but the stems are green like broccoli. The leaves are about 2 feet long. I learned last year that every part of the plant is edible, to some degree, so I'm saving the leaves for stir fry. In the end, I may need to toss them. The main stem is still out in the garden. The stem piths last year were like mild kohlrabi or water cress, so I'm hoping they'll be good this year too.

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Post  sanderson 2/17/2021, 2:37 am

Mark, Do you think the warm winter caused the branching?

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Post  markqz 2/17/2021, 9:49 am

@sanderson wrote:Mark, Do you think the warm winter caused the branching?
That's a good theory. It doesn't form a hard shell like the supermarket cauliflower. This year I also attempted to grow Brussels sprouts, which like really cold weather. None of the Brussels is bigger than about a pencil eraser, though the plant itself is about 2 feet high.
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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Brussel Sprouts are little ... sprouts

Post  markqz 2/17/2021, 11:11 pm

Here's my tiny little Brussel sprouts.

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Post  OhioGardener 2/18/2021, 8:02 am

There could be several different reasons for the Brussels Sprouts not forming on those plants. Inadequate nitrogen is one cause, and the plants being too crowded is another. If they do not have evenly moist soil, the plants will also suffer. It is hard to tell from the picture, but appears that the leaves on the plants are very small, as well. If that is the case, it would appear that nitrogen deficiency and/or plant crowding should be considered.

These were my plants last year.
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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Brussel Sprouts and warm weather

Post  markqz 2/18/2021, 2:46 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:It is hard to tell from the picture, but appears that the leaves on the plants are very small, as well. If that is the case, it would appear that nitrogen deficiency and/or plant crowding should be considered.

Plant crowding, maybe. But the Broccoli-flower is doing great. And the kale forest. Suggesting soil nutrition isn't a problem:

Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Uc?export=view&id=1TZFSQSaJL-U3cLi7qbUi5sl4RVkqyKrN

But sources I found online said things like

bonnieplants wrote:The small heads mature best in cool and even in light frosty weather.

So I knew it was a little dicey growing them here. And the winter continued to be fairly hot even through December. But I have a family member that really likes them, so I thought I should try once.

Now I understand that there might be hybrids that can deal better with warmer weather.
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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Broccili-flower supersized

Post  markqz 2/27/2021, 11:35 pm

Here's what happens when your purple cauliflower grows a bit too long"

Mark's first SFG - Page 7 NoU0c1o

You know, after waiting 4 months for them to grow, you wouldn't think they'd all come due in the same two weeks! Oh well. We'll just eat them like broccoli.
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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty SFG #2 without agribon cover

Post  markqz 3/7/2021, 9:08 pm

Here's what my best winter box looks like. I'm thinking of leaving the cover off until shade is needed. Or maybe using tulle for Summer.

So, I used a lot of squares trying to grow Brussels sprouts. That's a Brussels right in front. I knew it was a gamble because a lot of sites said that Brussel sprouts want things cold. Unless I hear of a Brussels sprout variety that likes warmer weather, I probably won't try growing them again. Still, we get Brussels sprouts from Mexico. I wonder how they grow them there? High in the mountains?

Towards the back, you can see the Russian kale is reaching 3 feet high.

Wow! I've been doing SFG for 2.5 years now. Where does the time go?

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Post  sanderson 3/8/2021, 2:57 am

Mark, I wouldn't give up on the Brussel's sprouts. Are you removing the lower leaves as they die? I think the sprouts should start growing, maybe ready for Thanksgiving. ??

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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Yard-high Russian Kale

Post  markqz 3/30/2021, 12:02 am

On it's second year, the Russian Kale is reaching 3 feet high.

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Post  sanderson 3/30/2021, 2:19 am

Is it still mild tasting?

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Post  markqz 3/30/2021, 10:20 am

@sanderson wrote:Is it still mild tasting?

It doesn't seem to become bitter the way lettuce does when it starts to bolt, if that is what you mean. But that may be true of most of the brassicas. My daughter thinks arugula tastes even better on the flowering plants. Most of the larger leaves end up in stir fry, so any lingering bitter taste disappears.

My real problem is that I've made a mistake and over-planted kale. I'm going to have to take out one or two kale "trees" to make room for other crops. Maybe I should make a post about that.
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Post  sanderson 3/30/2021, 12:26 pm

Thanks. I only plant kale as a winter annual.

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Post  OhioGardener 3/30/2021, 12:31 pm

Meanwhile, here in SW Ohio, where we have snow flurries in the forecast for tomorrow, I have kale and swiss chard seedlings growing under lights....  Shocked

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Mark's first SFG - Page 7 Empty Compost 4-13 batch - thermometer at 146F

Post  markqz 4/18/2021, 7:00 pm

Day #3 of a small compost pile, and it's fairly hot:

Mark's first SFG - Page 7 AId3h67

The question is, how many days can I expect it to stay hot, if I regularly stir it?

"The book" suggests that compost can be done in two weeks if it's constantly stirred.
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