~*August 2011 Food Growing Mamas*~ - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 32 Old 08-03-2011, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My garden is pretty much toast at this point, but please feel free to discuss your wonderful gardens. lol.gif  Too much of a drought and at 33 weeks almost 34 I don't really care. lol.gif

 

Oh, and were moving the end of October, so really not on the top of my priority list.  I love seeing pics of everyone else's wonderful gardens though.  treehugger.gif


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#2 of 32 Old 08-03-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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I am in the midst of a massive garden clean up right now.  I'll post some pics when I get the area cleared and planted again.  I am a few weeks behind you -- about 19 weeks pregnant now and my belly is not too big yet.  I want to get all the heavy work done by the end of next week.  After that, I can simply hoe the weeds and keep things watered without too much trouble.  I should go out and take some before pics so you can all be suitably impressed with my mess.  winky.gif

 

I am planning on:

 

beets

carrots

salad (several kinds)

kale (red and green)

swiss chard 

brussel sprouts (if I can find the seeds)

bush beans

spinach

 

 

I love a Fall garden.  Seems like the best gardening time in my hot, muggy climate.  


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#3 of 32 Old 08-04-2011, 04:22 AM
 
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Muggy out there this morning!   Too wet to dig, so I got the bush beans planted and edged the garden to make it look neater.  I am headed out later to pick up some soil to start seeds.  I tried using garden soil last week and my seedlings look pitiful.  I get cheap every once in a while and try to get away without buying potting soil and I always regret it.  This is on my list of things to figure out this winter, before the next big planting season.  

 

Tomorrow:

 

Must get the corner area cleared and move the remaining blueberries closer to a water source.  I think I will have better luck keeping them alive next summer in this area.  

 

Move compost pile. 

 

Turn in composted material into beds.  


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#4 of 32 Old 08-04-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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Our garden completely bunt up in the sun after it rained the other day. =( Prior we had tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and green beans.

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#5 of 32 Old 08-04-2011, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What's the deal with all this heat.  They have never seen it this hot for this long here.  Everyone's crops look bad.  Lots of corn crops here and they are pitiful.  We are supposed to get a respite for 3 days and then its back up to the 90's again.  Need some cooler weather here.  I'm going to go check on my garden tomorrow and see if any tomatoes are ripe and check on the melons, which are doing really well in this heat, they seem to love it.


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#6 of 32 Old 08-04-2011, 03:38 PM
 
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Oh so sorry you all are having a bad year.Usually it is us with no yeild in the two gardens we plant here in NY. This year the heat has been a boon, the squash & the peppers are plentiful ( never a one the last few years). We get a small amount of late day sun, so usually everything is stunted. We had strawberries this year (bird proofed them). Only the spinach is a lost cause.

Maybe you all will have a nice indian summer, and recover.


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#7 of 32 Old 08-04-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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 I just cannot figure out how to grow tomatoes!  Mine look beyond pitiful.  In fact, I'm a little embarrassed to call myself a gardener if I showed you my vegetables.  Why are they so damn tricky?  I can grow kale and chard.  Great kale and chard.  Love kale and chard.  Been eating kale and chard *every*day*.  Pretty soon I think we'll get a good crop of green beans.  Some volunteer scarlet runner beans.  When eaten as green beans they are awesome!  Basil actually looks nice and dh hasn't pulled the arugula so I think I'll get it to reseed.  Finally have Jerusalem artichokes in the garden again, and I think we'll be harvesting them this December.  Carrots are long past needing to be thinned, but they look good otherwise.  Blueberries have arrived.  So I suppose most things are OK..... 

     This rainy, coolish summer is growing some nice, big weeds for my chickens.  They get generous helpings almost every day, and there is still more to harvest.  

     Yesterday was 80, today was just shy of that, and this weekend will be more of the same.  Even though the tomatoes look pathetic, all-in-all being in the PNW is a good thing in August!  Hope your heat wave breaks soon.....

    


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#8 of 32 Old 08-05-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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My garden is finally taking off.

Today's harvest was:

zucchini
cucumbers
cabbage
broccoli
green beans

I'm still waiting on the tomatoes. I noticed one or two are starting to turn orange so it won't be much longer. I'm up to 243 pounds of produce, that number will skyrocket when the tomatoes start.

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#9 of 32 Old 08-05-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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This is my first year growing vegetables as we finally own our own home.  My tomato plants are growing like crazy and buried my green bean plant.  I had more green bean plants but my puppy got them (along with my strawberry plant).  I've grown lettuce pretty successfully.  I did grow some spinach but it bolted, I did get to eat some.  I also have a spaghetti squash plant and I hope that turns out ok.  Not sure how my blueberry bush is doing, my puppy also likes blueberries.  

 

I'm using the hay system where you cover your soil surrounding your plants, is anyone else doing this as well?  

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#10 of 32 Old 08-06-2011, 05:28 AM
 
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We started the year out very good in our kitchen garden. I deep dug the beds (2 spades deep) and mixed in plenty of compost soil and organic fertilizer and planted:

- Parsley

- Carrots (2 sorts).

- Lettuce (3 sorts)

- Red beets (first time).

- Onions (mostly to keep carrot pests away).

- Almond Potatoes.

 

On top of that, we have garlic, chives, strawberries, raspberries, black currants, cherries, apples and pears. Oh, horse radish, black berries (not this year, though, because of the cold) and rhubarb too.

 

I was out each morning, weeding the rows, making sure the lettuce had plenty of space to grow and marvelled as things started shooting away. Then, I slipped into inactivity of some reason. Suddenly the weeds took over, and then came the disaster of the neighbour's cat in the parsley bed just as our cherries started to ripen. They never got to ripen fully, because naive as we are, we did not put up any nets which meant the young magpies took them all before they were fit to eat. Lots of half chewed cherries all over our garden.

 

Then, oh then...

 

The red beets are well overdue, becoming sort of bitter in taste because frankly, we just don't seem to eat them.

The lettuce grew to be bitter as no one ate it of some reason (usually the snails do...but not this year), and the new lettuce we planted just is overrun by weeds, poor plants.

There's too much berries to really pick. Especially the black currants are bountiful this year.

 

I think my family is a family who loves planting and seeing things grow, but really are not kitchen gardeners at all because we just are so bad at harvesting. Roses etc. does not have a best before date, so suit me much better. Though, I love our Red Ruby Baltic Pears. So sweet and wonderful. :)

 

 

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#11 of 32 Old 08-06-2011, 06:03 AM
 
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Got up early and dug out 2 more beds.  And I ....... moved the compost bin!!!!    The top bit was nasty!  But the layers underneath were rich and black and moist and wonderful!!!!    My new seeds are going to love this compost.  I spread it throughout the newly turned beds and plan to seed them tomorrow.  Carrots, beets, salad greens go in tomorrow.  I am seeding 2 types of kale and more lettuce as well.   I found 2 more blueberry bushes that survived the brutal summer and will move them to a better location this week as well.  

 

After that, I have one more garden section to get cleaned up and then it is just a matter of hoeing the weeds and keeping things watered.   


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#12 of 32 Old 08-06-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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I'm using the hay system where you cover your soil surrounding your plants, is anyone else doing this as well?  


This worked really well for us as far as water retention, etc, but I suspected it kept our soil cooler that the warm-weather-lovin' plants preferred.  But now I look at my tomatoes this year, and I need to revise that theory again.  


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#13 of 32 Old 08-07-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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This is my first year growing vegetables as we finally own our own home.  My tomato plants are growing like crazy and buried my green bean plant.  I had more green bean plants but my puppy got them (along with my strawberry plant).  I've grown lettuce pretty successfully.  I did grow some spinach but it bolted, I did get to eat some.  I also have a spaghetti squash plant and I hope that turns out ok.  Not sure how my blueberry bush is doing, my puppy also likes blueberries.  

 

I'm using the hay system where you cover your soil surrounding your plants, is anyone else doing this as well?  


I go back and forth on mulch.  I have done deep applications of straw to help retain moisture and am pleased that it does reduce my watering, but I have found that I suffer terrible pests and bugs the year after I mulch heavily.  The mulch seems to give the bugs too much space to breed in my hot, muggy climate.  And certain crops cannot be mulched at all in my garden.  The year I mulched my potatoes, I lost most of the crop to bugs and rot.  

 

I do mulch my beds of perennial shrubs with tree mulch I get form the county.  Works great!!!   But the veggie garden doesn't seem to do as well.  I think it is extremely dependent on climate.  

 


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#14 of 32 Old 08-08-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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This worked really well for us as far as water retention, etc, but I suspected it kept our soil cooler that the warm-weather-lovin' plants preferred.  But now I look at my tomatoes this year, and I need to revise that theory again.  



That's interesting, the book I read was from around 1970 but the woman who wrote it lived in Connecticut, she would put perhaps 6-8 inches of hay on her gardens.  I'm finding it's working so far.  



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I go back and forth on mulch.  I have done deep applications of straw to help retain moisture and am pleased that it does reduce my watering, but I have found that I suffer terrible pests and bugs the year after I mulch heavily.  The mulch seems to give the bugs too much space to breed in my hot, muggy climate.  And certain crops cannot be mulched at all in my garden.  The year I mulched my potatoes, I lost most of the crop to bugs and rot.  

 

I do mulch my beds of perennial shrubs with tree mulch I get form the county.  Works great!!!   But the veggie garden doesn't seem to do as well.  I think it is extremely dependent on climate.  

 

I suppose climate would result in that, I live in a dry climate now.  I'm still learning quite a bit about gardening I keep hearing the healthier the soil the better you plants have to defend themselves from bugs, of course I'm new to this.  Maybe you only need the mulch in the colder seasons.  
 

 

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#15 of 32 Old 08-11-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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That's interesting, the book I read was from around 1970 but the woman who wrote it lived in Connecticut, she would put perhaps 6-8 inches of hay on her gardens.  I'm finding it's working so far.  


I suppose climate would result in that, I live in a dry climate now.  I'm still learning quite a bit about gardening I keep hearing the healthier the soil the better you plants have to defend themselves from bugs, of course I'm new to this.  Maybe you only need the mulch in the colder seasons.  

 

 

Our growing season is very mild.  East of the Rockies, even where growing seasons are short they seem to pack more punch than they do here.  Our nighttime temperatures are pretty dismal, and I think that has a lot to do with it.  I'm usually a champion of deep mulch and have found no added pest troubles.  Except slugs.  But that was followed quickly by the biggest garter snake boom I have ever witnessed!  Gooooo snakes!  (Just don't eat the froggies.  And, by the way, I wouldn't slither into that there chicken coop if you know what's good for you!)
 

 


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#16 of 32 Old 08-11-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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That's interesting, the book I read was from around 1970 but the woman who wrote it lived in Connecticut, she would put perhaps 6-8 inches of hay on her gardens.  I'm finding it's working so far.  

 

 


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#17 of 32 Old 08-13-2011, 05:24 AM
 
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I harvested our garlic just now, just in time since it had started to divide slightly. I love pulling the earth covered bulbs up, then washing them off and see the light purple/pink/white shell come through. Once the roots are trimmed, and the stalks shortened, they are absolutely lovely. Now, I'll just put the most divided ones to the side to dry some, then once the new garlic bed is properly dug I'll plant some for next year.

 

I'm so envious of you who still have a few months of useable kitchen garden time left. Here, where I live in Sweden, it is too late to plant anything now since in less than a month we will probably have our first frost which will kill any young plants that has started to grow. So, my focus is on harvesting and digging the new beds we will need for next year (so it is just a matter of turning them over, and enriching the earth come spring rather than breaking new ground).

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#18 of 32 Old 08-13-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Boy my garden is looking pitiful right now! We already had so much less after I failed at hardening off, but a lot of things simple fried. We're down to tomatoes, potatoes, onions, bell and jalapeno peppers, kale, romaine, one very sad nasturtium, cherry tomatoes, (which are about the only plants that actually look very happy,) radishes, and corn. Our peas made it to a foot and a half tall and then suddenly all died, all of our squashes, zucchini, cucumbers, and melons withered and died, the beans, carrots, arugula, chard, and cabbages never even emerged. irked.gif The corn is being very weird, 4 mounds (each mound has 4 corn each,) are only just over knee high, one mound is about chest high, and one mound has plants taller than me! Wonder what died and made them king lol.gif

 

I would take a picture, but a month, month and a half ago or so, I hurt my back very bad by slipping on some wet, wooden stairs. greensad.gif I went all the way down on my heels and when I landed on my butt at the bottom, something up near my shoulders went CRUNCH and oh has it sucked. So.. I haven't done any weeding in all that time. shy.gif


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Boy my garden is looking pitiful right now! We already had so much less after I failed at hardening off, but a lot of things simple fried. We're down to tomatoes, potatoes, onions, bell and jalapeno peppers, kale, romaine, one very sad nasturtium, cherry tomatoes, (which are about the only plants that actually look very happy,) radishes, and corn. Our peas made it to a foot and a half tall and then suddenly all died, all of our squashes, zucchini, cucumbers, and melons withered and died, the beans, carrots, arugula, chard, and cabbages never even emerged. irked.gif The corn is being very weird, 4 mounds (each mound has 4 corn each,) are only just over knee high, one mound is about chest high, and one mound has plants taller than me! Wonder what died and made them king lol.gif

 

I would take a picture, but a month, month and a half ago or so, I hurt my back very bad by slipping on some wet, wooden stairs. greensad.gif I went all the way down on my heels and when I landed on my butt at the bottom, something up near my shoulders went CRUNCH and oh has it sucked. So.. I haven't done any weeding in all that time. shy.gif



Ouch! I hope you will recover fully eventually.

 

As for the gardening wilting...that always always happens to our potatoes. One moment growing, the next looking all sad and yellow.

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Our growing season is very mild.  East of the Rockies, even where growing seasons are short they seem to pack more punch than they do here.  Our nighttime temperatures are pretty dismal, and I think that has a lot to do with it.  I'm usually a champion of deep mulch and have found no added pest troubles.  Except slugs.  But that was followed quickly by the biggest garter snake boom I have ever witnessed!  Gooooo snakes!  (Just don't eat the froggies.  And, by the way, I wouldn't slither into that there chicken coop if you know what's good for you!)
 

 


At least they are garter snakes, they're cute and small (small right?) 

 

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#21 of 32 Old 08-15-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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Ruth Stout?  She is a hero in my house.  Love her writing.  luxlove.gif

 



Yes Ruth Stout, I found it very useful but I was still confused on starting a garden so I just followed directions on the seed packets and went to organicgarding.com.  

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#22 of 32 Old 08-16-2011, 05:25 AM
 
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Still going strong here.  Most of the beds are cleared and planted.  I have one more back area and am waiting for my lettuce seedlings to get a little bigger before I transplant them.  I think I have most of the heavy work done just in time.  My baby belly is getting big so fast and I am getting tired with all of the bending and digging.  Whew!  How did women keep up with farm work and kids 100 years ago?  Thank goodness our garden is simply supplemental food. 

 

Seeded the spinach bed this morning.  I have been so disappointed with the volume of seeds I have ordered this Fall.  My seed packets are normal size, but they seem to have half the seeds that they normally do.  Is this just another indicator of our declining economy?  I have been extremely careful with my seeds this year and some of beds are very thinly seeded.  I suppose I will have little to no thinning to do later.  


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#23 of 32 Old 08-16-2011, 05:29 AM
 
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Yes Ruth Stout, I found it very useful but I was still confused on starting a garden so I just followed directions on the seed packets and went to organicgarding.com.  

 

 

Yes, I find gardening books wonderful and confusing, too.  I love to read them, but find that I just have to get out there and figure things out for myself.  I make a LOT of mistakes and learn and keep going.  I have at least one spectacular failure every year.  Just part of the learning process, I guess.  

 

Local gardeners can be really helpful.  I like organic gardening as well as Mother Earth news for more info.  And plain, old experience is a great teacher.  
 

 


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#24 of 32 Old 08-16-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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Hey, for those of you with chickens, how do they do in your garden?


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#25 of 32 Old 08-16-2011, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, for those of you with chickens, how do they do in your garden?



They like to eat stuff, esp. tomatoes.  If you have an area in the garden you can fence them in where they can scratch around that stuff is kind of dying, then it would probably be fine, but the best fowl for the garden is muscovy ducks.  They eat the bugs and don't really bother the plants.


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#26 of 32 Old 08-16-2011, 08:05 PM
 
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At least they are garter snakes, they're cute and small (small right?) 

 


We in the PNW are lucky as far as snakes are concerned--nothing poisonous (though we do have newts with toxic skin!)  I've caught our garters a few times, but they release this foul cadaver smell that is hard to wash off your hands.

 


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#27 of 32 Old 08-17-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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We in the PNW are lucky as far as snakes are concerned--nothing poisonous (though we do have newts with toxic skin!)  I've caught our garters a few times, but they release this foul cadaver smell that is hard to wash off your hands.

 

That's interesting, my dh used to handle the garter snakes that were in AZ and maybe TX just because he likes snakes.  Maybe when its when they need to defend themselves.
 

 

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#28 of 32 Old 08-18-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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Gee, somehow I forgot to mention my biggest, worst garden pest. We have lost every single one of every kind of our tomatoes and peppers due to it! All taken, while still small and green. The 1 y/o!! orngtongue.gif


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#29 of 32 Old 08-18-2011, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gee, somehow I forgot to mention my biggest, worst garden pest. We have lost every single one of every kind of our tomatoes and peppers due to it! All taken, while still small and green. The 1 y/o!! orngtongue.gif

Heh.  That's the cutest kind to have. orngtongue.gif
 

 


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#30 of 32 Old 08-20-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Heh.  That's the cutest kind to have. orngtongue.gif
 

 

Except for when they are not your own, escaping from the neighbours into your garden that isn't really toddler proofed yet and are suddenly munching on something that you have no idea if it is super toxic or not since you've never really thought about it since the plant has grown in your garden since long before you came into the world...really, we have such a huge garden, with so many surprise plants appearing each year (many bird planted, so to speak) that I just can't be responsible for knowing if they are toxic to consume or not! Especially not in the sadly neglected back-part of our garden where we almost never go ourselves, letting it grow mostly wild. Which is much appreciated by the hedgehogs etc.

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