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How's your garden doing this summer?  RSS feed

 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 116
Location: Zone 8b Portland
2
food preservation forest garden fungi
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I must say this has been a weird year. Late frosts combined with scorching hot summer temperatures in the northwest has made this a difficult year. My tomatoes aren't happy. My winter squash seems to be doing alright. Onions and garlic aren't doing all that great but that's because of soil problems. I'm also giving sweet potatoes a try again in black plastic pots with plastic mulch. I read a post that was dated back in 2013 I think on Permies that talks about climate change. The strategy that was suggested was to combine heat and drought loving plants with cool loving plants to hedge your bets each season. I think that's going to prove smart in the crazy future we're locking ourselves into.

Luckily all of my perennial fruit trees are doing great! Yay for having diversity. How is your garden this year?
 
James Freyr
pollinator
Posts: 437
Location: Middle Tennessee
50
books cat chicken food preservation cooking toxin-ectomy trees
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My garden's doing pretty good. In the spring I had great success with cabbage, lettuce, and spinach. My kale looked terrible, had some big problems with little green worms chewing on those. The snow, snap and english peas did well too. The onions and garlic did well also. The squash and zucchini did well, I planted multiple successions of those as the year has gone by. They'll be growing great and then a squash borer will find them, but repeated plantings kept me ahead of those little bastards. My rattlesnake snap beans and yellow wax beans have been kicking out bumper crops, but for some reason my lima beans vines have been mediocre this year. The purple green beans did great. Potatoes grew well, only had about half a dozen that had split. Tomatoes are doing alright, not as good as last year. I attribute that to stress early on. Stress early in a plants life can have a large affect on it's performance later in life. When I transplanted them, I failed to remove my straw mulch for a week or two to allow the sun to warm the soil. Right after I planted them, they immediately showed a phosphorous deficiency, looking rather purple. Phosphorous is much less available in cold soil. Leeks haven't grown as well as in years past, I attribute that to crowding. I sowed carrots next to the leeks and they rapidly outgrew them and then the leeks were shaded. I learned my lesson there. Watermelons have done well, the musk melons were slow to get going but are doing well now. I've never had spring planted musk melons this late in the season, they're just now approaching the start of ripening, whereas in the past they're ripening in june and july. Butternut squash are doing ok, the spaghetti squash did not grow that great. Scallions are growing well, so are the beets. Celery root and fennel have done alright, my parsnips did not germinate well, I think the seeds are 5 or 6 years old. The pepper plants are growing nicely, but not as well as last year. It's my first year growing strawberries, so while the june bearing pants look great, they won't fruit till next year. The everbearing variety looks great as well and has been yielding a handful or two of strawberries about every other day.

A month ago I started broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kales indoors to transplant in september. A couple weeks ago I sowed peas again for the fall, they've germinated and are looking good. I've got more fall cool weather crops to start this week and either sow outdoors or start indoors. I know I gotta get a bunch of carrots going in successive plantings so we have some into the winter.

Overall, a really good year thus far. Low disease and pest pressure (aside from my poor kale in the spring) has been real nice, I haven't used any OMRI listed controls this season. I attribute a lot of that to efforts I've put into adding minerals to the soil and overall healthy soil management practices.
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 116
Location: Zone 8b Portland
2
food preservation forest garden fungi
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Wow your garden sounds huge! Keep up the good work. That reminds me that I should start getting fall crops going
 
Jarret Hynd
Posts: 82
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
10
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I'd say my personal garden has been performing acceptably, but I also neglect it as often as possible and experiment as much as I can.

Chris Holcombe wrote:I read a post that was dated back in 2013 I think on Permies that talks about climate change.

My season started with a very big shock around May 29th when the hundred or so peppers and tomatoes I planted that day were destroyed by a surprise frost that apparently no weather forecaster could predict. I had extra trays prepared beforehand, so it wasn't dooms day or anything, but I bought some floating row cover soon after that experience. The tomatoes I have now are a little slow compared to last year, but if we have heat for the next month like we've been getting they should be really nice. Peppers seem to have trouble in my area in general, but the soil in the garden isn't really developed which doesn't really help, so that could be why.

I did all no-dig potatoes this year for the first time and it wasn't too bad. Not a problem, but a note, is that some newly formed potatoes were getting chomped on by what I would assume to be mice. The seed varieties in Sask all seem to come from big box stores, as I know of no local distributors, so this equates to crap quality via seed that has blight. I composted 80 pounds of infected potato seed this year (not all bought, some saved), and so far the ones I've picked don't have any signs of it. Knock on wood.

Beans were a bit stunted in June. They got fried even with weekly watering and mulch. We finally got a good 1/2 inch rain over 2 days after 50 days of 25C+ weather, so I think they'll do some catching up now. Last year I was getting 50#'s of beans a week around this time. Brassicas were not good in spring, but I have more transplants ready for the fall.

The standard garlic I had didn't turn out well which I blame on our mild winter - maybe only 50% success rate. The fun part though is that I have an older friend from my old hometown who has been growing what I would call LandRace garlic/tomatoes for 25 years or more. I got a small box of seed and bulbs from her last year. Those performed really well as they didn't wilt at all even in the heat, and the scapes were at least 3.5' tall. I'm going to see if I can get a larger box of seed from her this year and plant a couple nice rows of them. (and test out the tomatoes next year)

Pumpkins and Zucchinis are doing good. 1 or 2 have signs of mildew, but I had extra space this year so they got spaced apart more than usual so I think that helped prevent a breakout.

I tried growing lavender from seed this year and managed to get 4 plants which have nice woody stocks - what a smell. Hoping they survive the winter and become a perennial delight.

Like you say, Chris, this year was a winner for fruit here, as all the berry plants&shrubs produced about 1 month earlier than normal. My gooseberry plant had so many that it's branches were actually starting to break, which I've never seen before. Yay for diversity indeed!

 
James Freyr
pollinator
Posts: 437
Location: Middle Tennessee
50
books cat chicken food preservation cooking toxin-ectomy trees
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Hey Chris my garden isn't exactly as huge as it sounds. I garden in raised beds, I have 19 of them and I grow everything in a little over 750 plantable square feet of soil. Having the beds spread out in about 4000 sq ft of "garden" enables me to do more. For instance, I plant my vining peas and beans and such on the north side of the garden on 8 foot wide & tall trellises that run east-west, so the sun only casts a skinny shadow on neighboring beds in the morning and afternoon. I also plant ground vines like butternut squash and watermelon close to the edge of a bed so the vines run out along the ground in between beds, and I can plant something else compact and bushy with the squash & watermelon on the other side of their respective beds. I plant skinny things like scallions kinda wherever there's some room along southern edges of beds. There's no way I could do everything I grow if it were in an equivalent contiguous area like a 10x75 (roughly) size garden. There would be too much crowding and shading.
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