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Old 06-11-2019, 10:30 PM   #1
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Garden is in and scapes are getting cut

We are 4b and 5a, just got the garden in and we are cutting scapes.



We decided to use landscape fabric to keep down the weeds, plus straw, helps to mulch. We have 2 raised gardens, one for lettuces and salads, and one for strawberries, then 3 potentially no till, weren't tilled this year (for once), making over 2000 square feet of room to grow food.


The potatoes are a foot high, as well as the tomatoes. Things are lookin' good. The spring in WI has been pretty beautiful.


People in the southern states are already harvesting the dreaded zucchinis. Woo hoo.



How are your gardens growing?
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:42 PM   #2
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With all the rain we have had, my garden is doing great.

My herbs look great. Nice big basil leaves that taste wonderful. My oregano, rosemary and thyme survived the winter, and took off with the heavy rains. My Italian parsley survived the winter, and is alive, but it is pretty leggy.

I have jalapeños and one poblano that are ready to harvest, but the first harvest is always VERY mild. They are just slightly hotter than a bell pepper. No cayenne peppers, yet. Not sure why.

That's about it for the state of my garden.

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Old 06-12-2019, 12:32 AM   #3
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I have a lot of scapes, but haven't cut any. I sometimes cut them, but years ago I read that waiting for them to grow straight up, and woody, before snipping them, helped the heads store better. So I tested it, and it was right! So what I do is snip some of the scapes from my Estonian reds, since that doesn't store very well, and just use that variety first. I forget the numbers of each that I have, but 4 varieties with a total of 172 (minus less than 10 no shows), and I don't need that many scapes!

Besides the garlic, and all those greens, I have some succession planted onion sets, for scallions, and have several dozen, of increasing sizes. I've been using a number of those, in dishes using those Asian greens.

Most things are ahead of schedule, with tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers; about average for the rest. I got my first full sized green Superchilis (always my earliest) on 6-7, but I found some Thai Vesuvius a couple days later, and a Jalafuego and Longfellow today, when I uncovered the 3 protected SIPs (varieties that get pepper maggots). Those covered ones are growing like crazy, since it is slightly warmer under that cover, and hot peppers love heat!
First peppers! Superchilis, 6-7 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Thai Vesuvius, 6-9 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Longhorn pepper, 6-11 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Does anyone here grow bottle gourds? I grew them for the first time last year, as a sub for summer squash (which I can't grow due to squash vine borer), and I got more than I could use from 2 vines! So this year I planted one, on 5-1, and I'll plant another around 6-20, to get them later on. The first vine is growing more than 6" a day, and there are now 4 side shoots on it, like on my butternut! And another thing harvestable from these is the tendrils, when you have so many vines. You can't see all of the vines on this, you see what I mean:
Bottle gourd, with 5 vines growing, 6-11 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:18 AM   #4
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I also have a decent amount of scapes which will be picked over the course of the next few days ( as needed)

Its been a wet spring ( and on hhe cooler side). Only the past few weeks has the heat been ramping up, so now things are starting to kick in.

Garlic, onions, string beans, potatoes and tomatillos seam to be thriving.
Tomatoes (are average or above average depending on the variety.

Peppers and okra average.

Eggplants , for whatever reason, I never have luck with ( except for one year, and I dont know what I did different that year to warrant a good year). The Japanese variety looks nice and healthy, but the others just dont look happy.

Chard , for whatever reason, was a disaster ( the seeds that were directly sown in the ground. Noticing this, I quickly started another batch in isolated cells with potting soil, and they look much better. I ll probably get them out today.

Spaghetti squash ( which kinda plant themselves from the compost) doing very well

Zucchini and yellow squash doing well, but only female flowers at this point. Im hoping to find at least one male flower so I can get my bee costume on and pollinate the others.

Carrots look good, beets not so good .

So basically, if I can get some good advice on beets eggplants it would be much appreciated .
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:04 PM   #5
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I asked management to provide me with a small gardening spot suitable for a handicap person. Certainly, they told me. Well the planting season is well over and there are plants out in the garden plot that the maintenance folks use every year. But nothing their. The little plots are supposed to be for the residents. But none of them are interested in gardening.

By law of Massachusetts they are required to provide me with any reasonable and legal request. All I asked for were a couple of five gallon buckets that I can reach easily when I bend over in my chair. If I am able to pick up stuff from the floor in my home, I can reach the top of a five gallon bucket. Just fill the bottom with rocks, then dirt. I will even provide them with one of the buckets. But the rest is up to them. And I will need a key to the locks on the gate. The maintenance folks just climb over the fence. I had wanted to plant some tomatoes and cukes. Too late in the season now.

Do I have to bring a legal suit against them?
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:16 PM   #6
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Larry, I only grew eggplant about 3 years ago. They were big plants and only gave us about 7 egg plants, which were yummy but nearly all at once. I'm sure we treated them like the tomatoes, just water and sunshine, maybe a little milorganite and epsom salt. But especially about eggplants, I don't know anything.


Your bee costume, lol. Last year hubs and I went out with paint brushes (small ones-one inch wides), 2 each. We didn't want to cross pollinate the two types of tomatoes planted in different areas. We brushed across all the blossoms, thousands of them. We had such a bumper crop of tomatoes last year, 100 quarts of thick sauce, ketchup, salsa, and we ate them like they were going out of style. We forgot our bee costumes.



Pepper--you must be 3 weeks or so ahead of us in weather. Those pepper plants look good.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:34 PM   #7
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Larry, I only grew eggplant about 3 years ago. They were big plants and only gave us about 7 egg plants, which were yummy but nearly all at once. I'm sure we treated them like the tomatoes, just water and sunshine, maybe a little milorganite and epsom salt. But especially about eggplants, I don't know anything.
Eggplants are the only thing I dont have consistency with. I read up on them all winter. I think Im doing everything right, and they just have their minds already made up.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:50 AM   #8
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Larry, Blissful, I love eggplant, and through the years I've grown almost 40 varieties, with only 3 keepers! The ones in bold are the ones I grow every year - Hari (a long green Indian variety), Ichiban (a black Japanese variety), and Neon (a purple, in between sized variety). Ichiban has been around since the 80s, when I got it at a local nursery, that started growing unusual variety (and before I started everything from seed!), and is the first variety to flower for me every season, though it is not resistant to heat, as is Hari, which has also grown close to 7' for me, and produced through the heat of some of the worst summers. Neon is almost as heat resistant as Hari, but not quite, and like hari, is also very productive, and not at all bitter, even if it gets seedy. Many of these varieties dropped their blossoms in mid 90s, and up, as many tomatoes do. I expected some of them to be heat resistant, since they are from the tropics, but it didn't happen. And many simply did not produce much, right next to others that I had good luck with.

One drawback I had with eggplants way back was when I was growing potatoes, and the bugs infesting the potatoes - one of the potato beetles - totally wiped out the eggplants, to a netting of their leaves. Yet the potatoes were barely affected. I never grew potatoes again - I like eggplants much more (as you can tell!).

Have you ever grown these, or anything else, in sub-irrigated planters? Earthbox is the well known brand name, though HD and Lowe's have their own now, they have become so popular. The ones I grow the EPs in are homemade, from 18 gal Rubbermaid tubs. I have harvested so many eggplants the last few years from 6 plants in these that I reduced it to 4 this season!

Here are all of the varieties I have tried. This season, the Hari seeds didn't germinate well, so I had to buy some plants. All they had were Ichiban (which I had, with Neon) and Indian, so I tried the Indian, whatever it is!

Here are the plants, so far. As always, the Ichiban are flowering first; the Neons have some buds, but not open yet. The Indians have no buds yet.
Neon eggplants on L, Ichiban on R. 6-12 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Indian eggplants, 6-12 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Unfortunately, Neon is not available any longer. Even though the "replacement" for it has the same photo, it's not the same! They did that with Neon, and Ichiban back in the 90s, but fortunately, the seeds kept until they showed up about 5 years later, on ebay. I'll just keep looking...

Here are all of those varieties I've tried, in case you want any info on them.

Andaz
Apple Green
Aswad
Bambino
Bangladeshi Long
Bijli
Black Beauty
Casper
Comprido Verde (S. aethiopicum)
Cambodian Green
Dancer
Dark Green Thai
Fairy Tale
Green Goddess
Hansel
Hari
Ichiban

"Indian" EP
Kermit Thai
Little Fingers
Louisiana Long Green
Machiaw
Malaysian Pink
Malaysian Red
Mangan
Moneymaker
[I]Neon[I]
Orient Express
Osterei White
Ping Tung Long
Rosa Bianca
Rosita
Round Mauve
Shiva
Snowy White
Thai Long Green
Thai Long Purple
Thai Round Purple
Turkish Red (S. aetheopicum)
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:07 AM   #9
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I love eggplant Parm. in fact I had it every day last week. And I will be having even more tomorrow. My kids know what I will eat.

So if any of you eggplant farmers have a plethora of eggplant you can send them to me. I will even pay for the postage.

My problem is that every time I buy eggplant for eggplant Parm, I eat the slices as soon as they are cool enough after they come out of the frying pan. The slices don't even get a chance to see any cheese on them.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:50 AM   #10
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Pepper-you have some nice eggplants and lots of experience in those. Very nice and interesting. You've tried so many varieties. That's amazing.
I hope you get a good harvest again this year.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
Larry, Blissful,
Have you ever grown these, or anything else, in sub-irrigated planters? Earthbox is the well known brand name, though HD and Lowe's have their own now, they have become so popular. The ones I grow the EPs in are homemade, from 18 gal Rubbermaid tubs. I have harvested so many eggplants the last few years from 6 plants in these that I reduced it to 4 this season!

Andaz
Apple Green
Aswad
Bambino
Bangladeshi Long
Bijli
Black Beauty
Casper
Comprido Verde (S. aethiopicum)
Cambodian Green
Dancer
Dark Green Thai
Fairy Tale
Green Goddess
Hansel
Hari
Ichiban

"Indian" EP
Kermit Thai
Little Fingers
Louisiana Long Green
Machiaw
Malaysian Pink
Malaysian Red
Mangan
Moneymaker
[I]Neon[I]
Orient Express
Osterei White
Ping Tung Long
Rosa Bianca
Rosita
Round Mauve
Shiva
Snowy White
Thai Long Green
Thai Long Purple
Thai Round Purple
Turkish Red (S. aetheopicum)
Thats some eggplant line you got.

Definitely have Ichiban and Black beauty
There is another variety , its kinda mix of light purple and white. A little stocky compared to what I would consider a normal eggplant shape.

The Ichiban is doing well, the others are growing but just dont look right.

Ive never used the Sub-irrigation planters, but I do growly peppers and eggplants in a way that I have complete control of the soil .

Ive had similar issues with the potato beetle affecting potatoes, eggplants and even my tomatillos.

Its not that ive never had a good eggplant year , but it just seems so unpredictable for me. Ill have a good year, then try to repeat what I did and the next year or two will be crap, then another good year, then crap year .... Peppers I think ive got figured out, as I have more good years than crap years. Its those damn eggplants !!!
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:01 PM   #12
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Larry, are you planting the eggplant in the same spot each year? I once read that pro farmers rotate their crops. They got better results when they did that.

The farmers that grow only one type of plant for market, have the same problem as you do. Some years are good, some not.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:31 PM   #13
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Raised gardens do really well because they can have things added to the soil as needed, smaller space. We have two raised beds. We shovel some aged manure into them on alternate years.



In the big no till (most of the time) gardens, we have aged manure put in during the fall, tilled in, every other year. Then we use straw and landscape fabric on top.
The farmer with the aged manure brings it in, in a big truck she drives right into the gardens, then dumps it. So much better than having to shovel it into a trailer and then shovel it out again.


The black berry area, and the maianthemum stellatum garden, needs peat moss added yearly, to keep it more acidic.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:48 PM   #14
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Larry, are you planting the eggplant in the same spot each year? I once read that pro farmers rotate their crops. They got better results when they did that.

The farmers that grow only one type of plant for market, have the same problem as you do. Some years are good, some not.
For the most part I do rotate the crops ( including the eggplants).
Ive even planted them in large buckets with the same results.

I've just come to the conclusion that I stink at growing eggplants.

Eggplants, Beets, Corn and any kind of melon Im no good at

String beans, garlic, potato, cucumbers , chard and tomatoes Im really good at ( although chard is trying my patience this year)

Peppers , okra, onions Im average

Zucchini and peppers Hit or miss ( more hits than misses, especially peppers in the past few years)

Most of my stuff are in raised beds so I have pretty good control of the soil and what goes in it

I also keep really good records ( on a spread sheet ) of what I plant ( vegetable and varieties) , when I plant, when the bloom, when I harvest and the harvest range ( from first picked to last picked ). I also keep track of how many quarts of tomatoes and pickles I store. I used to have my wife count the cucumbers picked so I could keep track, until she got fed up with it and basically told me what I can do with the cucumbers. So now I just keep track of the end products.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:14 PM   #15
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Oh God Larry, you and my husband would make a good pair. We count everything. He says, this is the 958th tomato, this is the 100th cucumber. I just smile. He's going to be surprised this year. I said he could plant 3 zucchini plants, so he planted 11. EEK.



We started planning the canning this summer, today in the car on our way to a hike. We decided on 60 pints of corn (we will buy from a farmer.) And 100 qts of diced tomatoes (and I'm short on jars right now.) There will also be green beans, sweet and dill pickles but I don't know how many yet. We count our inventory of canned goods in the fall. Last year's fall inventory was between 500 and 600 jars (all sizes.)
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:02 PM   #16
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We started planning the canning this summer, today in the car on our way to a hike. We decided on 60 pints of corn (we will buy from a farmer.) And 100 qts of diced tomatoes (and I'm short on jars right now.) There will also be green beans, sweet and dill pickles but I don't know how many yet. We count our inventory of canned goods in the fall. Last year's fall inventory was between 500 and 600 jars (all sizes.)
Thats an impressive bounty you got there!!

Last year I got about 60 quarts of pickles and I think 50 quarts of tomatoes.

I also dry a bunch of tomatoes and store them in the freezer. Im still working off a batch from 2 summers ago, and still taste as fresh as ever.

Dill I freeze, lemon grass and mints I dry for tea, Garlic I hang in the garage to dry ( inspired by a garlic farm I visited in Connecticut that had his barn decorated with hanging garlic , which was for sale on open farm day.

Potatoes I store in a very modest root cellar which worked out great 2 years ago, last year not as good

Everything else I eat as it becomes ripe ( and give away a lot too )
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:14 PM   #17
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Thats some eggplant line you got.

Definitely have Ichiban and Black beauty
There is another variety , its kinda mix of light purple and white. A little stocky compared to what I would consider a normal eggplant shape.

The Ichiban is doing well, the others are growing but just dont look right.

Ive never used the Sub-irrigation planters, but I do growly peppers and eggplants in a way that I have complete control of the soil .

Ive had similar issues with the potato beetle affecting potatoes, eggplants and even my tomatillos.

Its not that ive never had a good eggplant year , but it just seems so unpredictable for me. Ill have a good year, then try to repeat what I did and the next year or two will be crap, then another good year, then crap year .... Peppers I think ive got figured out, as I have more good years than crap years. Its those damn eggplants !!!
That other EP variety you describe could be Rosa Bianca, which is an heirloom Italian variety, 6-8" in diameter, light purple, fading to white, at the stem. In fact, that was a variety I was looking for, when I had to buy some plants - it produced well, when I tried it, didn't get bitter, and the only drawback I recall was lateness, which they may have improved, in all these years.

Besides those potato beetles that decimated my EPs, because I had so many potatoes that one year, the problem that kept showing up here are flea beetles - those little black bugs that congregate on the undersides of the leaves. My method for keeping these off, as well as black aphids on okra, is Surround. That is that white, powdery substance - kaolin clay - you see on a lot of the plants in my photos, and many insects don't like walking in it. Works great on squash, melons, cukes, and other plants, as well.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:03 AM   #18
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How is everyone here being treated by the weather this season? I know many areas are being pummeled by the rain (not to mention those totally under water, that I really feel for), and can't even get their plants in. I got a total of 3.13" yesterday, after the 1.7" in the early morning, and the rain was coming down HARD, the second time, around 7:30 pm! It may have the first time, too, but I was asleep! lol And on the late news I found out that I was lucky - in Wenonah, about 3 miles down the road, they had a funnel cloud, and in Mullica Hill, there was a confirmed tornado, about 10 miles away, in that second storm. Hopefully, everyone else in that line it came up from, and went to after, was lucky, too.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:32 AM   #19
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Definitely a wetter and cooler spring than normal.
Some veggies seem to be holding back until the consistent warm weather kicks in ( or at least that's what Im hoping is what's holding them back).

During my cross country trip a month ago I experienced flashflooding, Tornado warnings , a blizzard dropping 18 inches of snow and thick fog that extended from Montana to Long Island ( with the exception of Omaha and Chicago, where Mother Nature had the courtesy of allowing us to walk the city without getting drenched and be able to see things.

So with all that, Im not complaining about the wet and coolness ( although my plants are)
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:44 AM   #20
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Our weather in SE Wisconsin is moist but not overly so.


We're trying a few new things this year. We planted soy beans and chick peas--we use them so it's an experiment to see if we can grow them.


And we save seeds normally but have a difficult time finding good germination rates on keeper onions. Onion seeds do best the first year after harvesting them but the germination rates plummet fast. This isn't true of tomato and pepper seeds, those keep for many years.



So we took keeper onions (utah yellow spanish and mako) that kept well all the way to May without sprouting, and we planted them in the garden. Onions sprout the flower stalks and flower the second year of life. It looks like we have 25 stalks now. We put in stakes and that helps hold them up. Each flower will give 40-50 seeds. We'll plant those next feb-march in trays, then put them in the garden in may-june. A few hundred onions will get us through next winter. That's our more fun experiment.
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