The Dawg Patch

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GoDawgs
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An Imposter in the Midst

#161

Post: # 19871Unread post GoDawgs
Wed May 13, 2020 1:02 pm

"Merrily we roll along..." In two weeks it will be June. It's hard to believe that the year is approaching the half way point.

This morning I "groomed" the tomatoes, which for me means limbing up lower branches and pinching out any new shoots. I also mulched the tomato buckets in the garden with leaves, something Pickles had already done to the tomatoes by the house. These are the "house tomatoes".

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Speaking of tomatoes, there's an impostor trying to convince me it's an Early Annie, a tomato that's new to me. We're growing two this year and one's showing itself to be a potato leaf tomato and the other has a regular leaf. A search reveals that Early Annie has regular leaves. It will be interesting to see what kind of tomatoes the other one puts out. I'm pretty sure the seeds came out of the same packet because I only have one packet open at a time when seeding and the pots are pre-labeled and double checked when the seed goes in.

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There are three Feher Ozon paprikas this year. Maybe being where they get a little afternoon shade this year will help them do better. They're looking good so far.

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To prevent another possible fiasco with Pea Bed #2's vines flopping over their fence like those in Pea Bed #1 did, this morning I added two more strings 6" apart above the Bed #2 fence. The peas in that bed are right about at the fence top so the strings will give them something to grab on to.

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The Roma beans are starting to pop up and I think I spied the first two popcorn plants poking up. It's about time! And all of a sudden the tardy, reseeded Black Diamond watermelon hill has five seeds germinated. They'll be thinned down to the best one.

I believe the chilly mornings are gone for good. By the time it hits 90 on Monday, I might wish for a little of that cool breeze!

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#162

Post: # 19920Unread post MissS
Wed May 13, 2020 11:04 pm

The Patch is growing beautifully. You are doing a great job.
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PlainJane
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#163

Post: # 19932Unread post PlainJane
Thu May 14, 2020 5:56 am

@GoDawgs , our run of lovely, dry weather in N. Florida is coming to a close. Similar to yours, our forecast for next two weeks is humidity, temps in the high 80s to low 90s, chance of thunderstorms every few days.
Now it’s a race to keep plants watered and keep ahead of blights so as to get a decent harvest!
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Uh oh......

#164

Post: # 19972Unread post GoDawgs
Thu May 14, 2020 4:24 pm

Sooner than later there's always an "uh oh" moment in the garden. And so it is with the potatoes. There are two plants, one each of Kennebec and Yukon Gold, that have a wilted branch. The plants are not next to each other. In fact, they're each close to their end of the bed.

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They were planted March 12 so they shouldn't be ready to dig until around the end of June. I'm pretty sure the wilt is not the beginning of normal plant decline before harvest. We'll have to keep an eye on them. Anybody have any ideas on what the problem is? I've never experienced this with potatoes before.

On a brighter note, sometimes there are pleasant surprises. There's an old half barrel that had wildflowers planted in it last year and there's a volunteer coming up. It looked somewhat familiar. Tomatillo? I did grow three of them last year. Big plants, very little tomatillos. I looked it up online and yep, the flower is a match. I guess I'll have to drag out the seed and start a second one for pollination purposes.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#165

Post: # 19980Unread post PlainJane
Thu May 14, 2020 6:53 pm

Wow, persistent! Looks very healthy, too.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#166

Post: # 20001Unread post GoDawgs
Fri May 15, 2020 8:03 am

Yesterday I started researching this potato plant branch wilting thing online and came upon a lead in one article I read. Fire ants. When I searched that specifically I found more information. So I went down to the garden to have a look.

I reached in and started pulling the leaf mulch from the base of one of the wilted branches and here they come! Fire ants. I quickly withdrew my hand and started frantically brushing ants off my hand before they could start biting. Around here that becomes an automatic reflex!

Well, I know that a gallon of my "death from above" mix of dishwashing liquid and water (1/4 c dish liquid/1 gal water) really decimates an ant mound and the mix is friendly to plants, so I doused the wilted branch on each of two plants. It can't hurt. We'll see if that arrests the progress of the wilt. Meanwhile I need to check the other potato plants this morning for the start of wilt and check for ants if I find any.

Another experiment!

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#167

Post: # 20039Unread post Whwoz
Fri May 15, 2020 6:11 pm

Good to find a cause and one that you are used to dealing with that doesn't need a shovel to solve
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#168

Post: # 20174Unread post GoDawgs
Sun May 17, 2020 2:20 pm

The garden has definitely shifted into maintenance phase; weeding, watering, mulching, fertilizing, pest patrol, etc. And for the first time in about five months, the light shelf unit where baby plants are born is dark as the last inhabitants have moved out to the porch for hardening off. It feels strange walking into that room and not seeing the glow of florescent lights doing their job.

It's been dry lately and the weather dude says there is a chance of rain tomorrow. Having had too many disappointments with such forecasts in the past, I no longer believe them. So today I assumed my garden alter ego, Dances With Hoses, and got out the overhead sprinkler for the first time this year. If we do get rain, even better.

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This is the lower half of the garden. On the left side of the pic, back to front, is the Silver Queen corn, then a cuke bed, bean bed and Spring Treat corn bed. Behind the ladder, left to right, is a bed of sunflowers with cukes mixed in (one of Pickles' projects), three planting holes (one spaghetti squash, two watermelons), a raised row of six sweet potato plantings and the trellis for the climbing butter beans. Broccoli peeks in from the right.

This is a better pic of the double rowed Silver Queen. I was able to plant eight rows in the space for five rows. Last year was the first time I tried this and it worked well.

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This morning I spent about three hours in the garden, tilling between corn rows and other places with the Mantis tiller, mulching this and that and fertilizing all the tomatoes, peppers, flowers and cucurbits with Miracle Grow. I also picked peas again, cut broccoli sideshoots, and pulled almost 2 lbs of carrots along with five turnips. With the two turnips still in the reefer veggie bin, these will make a really good turnip gratin sometime in the next several days.

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And finally, the microdwarf tomatoes I played with early this year are putting out good cherry tomatoes. It's so nice to have these when the regular ones are still weeks away. There are four of them, three Whippersnappers on the left and one Red Robin on the right. A tasty experiment that's a success. Note to self: "Start these plants even earlier next winter!" :thumb:

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#169

Post: # 20177Unread post PlainJane
Sun May 17, 2020 2:26 pm

Excellent idea using the microdwarfs as porch decoration, lol!
Boy, the Silver Queen is growing fast. Envious over your hefty pea harvest as mine have been done for weeks and now I have a taste for them. I’ll have to eat beans instead.
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#170

Post: # 20179Unread post GoDawgs
Sun May 17, 2020 2:36 pm

I don't know how many peas will make it to the freezer. This is the first year the two beds haven't produced simultaneously. One bed, farther down towards the wet end of the garden that the other, was still too wet to plant when the first was was sown. So now Bed #1's producing and Bed #2 is just now starting to put on tiny pods.

When I pick peas there's enough for today and tomorrow's lunches. Nothing to freeze. They're so sweet and good we've been eating them as they come in. Oh well, live in the moment and enjoy them now, I guess!
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#171

Post: # 20306Unread post GoDawgs
Tue May 19, 2020 10:21 am

There's nothing like watering the garden and complaining about forecasts to prod the water gods into a "Well, we'll show her!" mode. Late yesterday afternoon and evening the sky frowned up and we ended up with 4" of rain that came in 1/2-3/4" bursts. To show how much we needed it, there is no standing water at the bottom of the garden this morning. The ground just greedily sucked it all up. It's a good thing.

It's Handy Hint time! Earlier this month I put some Wall 'o Waters over okra seed hills to keep them warm when the cool spell hit.

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Time to put them away but the water tubes are wet and I don't want any mold forming in them in a warm shed. What to do? Open them up to let them dry. I have a lot of 1/2" pvc sections that are used as anchors for plastic tunnel hoops. The wall o water gets put over a 5 gallon bucket and a pvc tube gets dropped into each water tube. In about two days, the water tubes are dry, the pvc tubes are removed and the wall o water gets stored away.

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Deer are munching the collard and kale plants. I was going to put netting over them but then I thought about the deer moving on to the bush beans. They've done it before. So I think I'll let the collards and kale act as a trap crop until I can get netting over the bush bean beds today. Then I can cut away the collard/kale damage, net them too and let them regrow.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#172

Post: # 20336Unread post PlainJane
Tue May 19, 2020 4:41 pm

The edge of the system just missed us and we got nary a drop. We could use it.
Nifty trick with the wall-o-waters!
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Still Pea Pickin' Time

#173

Post: # 20488Unread post GoDawgs
Fri May 22, 2020 8:55 am

It's still picking time for Pea Bed #1 although it's coming to a close soon. A storm the other night had some wind that caused the top 2' of vines to flop over making picking a mess. Next year they will have a trellis similar to the one the climbing butterbeans have. This bed will be fallow for the summer.

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Meanwhile, Pea Bed #2 is loading up with its first round of little pods so it will kick in about the time the first bed goes away. This bed will maybe get some flowers when the peas are gone or go fallow.

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The bed of Spring Treat corn is throwing up tassels waaaay too early as it's only about 2' tall. That's never happened before. I think the big temp swings earlier might have caused this. We switched several times from very hot to cold. It was watered regularly so I don't think that had a hand in this. I guess we'll see if we get any ears.

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The first round of cabbages (the first three on the left and right sides) are getting ready. I did cut the first Stonehead last night, second one on the left. Next will be the first Charleston Wakefield, third one on the right. The cabbages behind those are about three weeks away. And last evening I cut the last broccoli heads. The warm weather has put bolting into their minds. One head had to be tossed as it got really loose and was threatening to flower. We'll harvest side shoots a while before pulling the plants. Colossus field peas will follow in this bed.

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This is where the spring planted carrots are. One each of Bolero, Envy and Yaya. Forgot to pull a Romance but most likely it's the same.

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And finally, here's the collard and kale "trap crop" for the deer. I decided to let them have it so they wouldn't start munching on the bush beans. Now I think I will cut away all the munched stems, net the plants and see how it regrows. Meanwhile, last evening we put netting over the bean beds.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#174

Post: # 20489Unread post brownrexx
Fri May 22, 2020 9:17 am

My peas have just started to flower. I only grow the bush type that is 28 - 36" max. One year I accidentally bought ones that grow to 48" and they fell over like yours did. It was very difficult to find the peas to harvest so now I am sticking to shorter plants. I have never tried pole type English peas.
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Peas and Taters Day

#175

Post: # 20764Unread post GoDawgs
Tue May 26, 2020 9:14 am

Yesterday was potato digging day. Some of the potato plants had continued that wilting problem and although the potatoes probably could have used the extra two weeks to the 100 day mark, we dug them in case the potatoes themselves had a problem. Other than being a bit smaller than usual, they're fine. In this pic the tops have been cut off so that we could see any ant hills that might be about.

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The Yukon Golds are in the front and the Kennebec in the back. They've been drying off in the shed overnight so they haven't been weighed yet. There's definitely not as many as last year's haul, but it's enough for just the two of us since there's no cellar here. This was the first time growing them in a raised bed and it was hard to hoe up enough soil to do a decent hilling. No more raised bed for potatoes.

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We also did the last picking from Pea Bed #1, pulled out all that mess and dismantled the pea fence. Then Pea Bed #2 got its first picking. All told, Pea Bed #1 produced 5 lb 4 oz of shelled peas and bed #2 yielded 1 1/2 lbs of shelled peas on the first picking.

The Daffodil zinnias are starting to bloom ahead of the red Will Rogers zinnias which are planted alternately in that row. Behind them is the garlic. On the trellis are Cherokee Trail Of Tears beans. Yeah, beans and garlic don't play well together but the Russian Inferno garlic on the right half of the row is about ready to exit. The Siberian in the left half needs more time.

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I had to add the extenders to the hoops over the bean bed as the plants are big enough that they were pushing up against the netting. Now they have more room. That's Contender on the left, Golden Rod on the right.

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Today, weather permitting, I need to get some flowers planted out in the former potato bed and one other place to be determined.

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#176

Post: # 20848Unread post MissS
Wed May 27, 2020 4:32 pm

Your gardens look like they are doing great.
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Garlic Day and Deer Problems

#177

Post: # 20992Unread post GoDawgs
Fri May 29, 2020 4:33 pm

Aw, thank you for the kind words, MissS. So far, so good for the most part. It's been raining off and on every day for the past several days so I'm on the look out for any funky business!

Yesterday I dug the Russian Inferno garlic as the Siberian needs just a bit more time. They are both new to me and are a lot taller than the turban types I had for the past two years. Again I had left them in too long so the four bulbs on the right were starting to open. They’ll get used first.

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Along the stems of a few of the opening bulbs I noticed what looked like baby bulbs growing out of the split stem. You old garlic hands know about these but since I had never seen this before I had to look it up and found they are bulbils. I will save them to plant and in a few years of replanting I might have full sized bulbs. Just something to play with.

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The deer are being a pain in the tookas. Now they’ve gotten into Pickles’ sunflowers so she fashioned some netting supports with stakes and buckets. You make it up as you go along! It works and that’s the whole point of the exercise.

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The deer have also munched the Roma beans (I forgot to cover those) and now the purple coneflowers I just planted last week have been “pruned” but they’ll live. I guess since the deer can’t get at the collards, kale and other two bean beds anymore they went looking for something else. I need to reseed the Romas. Since the Romas and coneflowers are short rows, this afternoon I will open up a few of the tomato cages made with field fence, unbend them a bit and put them over both rows like a wire tunnel.

The tomatoes are coming right along. The ones to the back of the photo are the tall growing ones and today I put the “second story” cages over those as they’ve grown slightly above the tops of the first cages already. The tomatoes to the front of the photo are shorter varieties and probably won’t need a second cage.

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All of the tomatoes are flowering and the Millionaire eggplant sitting on the end is too. It’s hard waiting for that first tomato!

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Re: The Dawg Patch

#178

Post: # 21003Unread post PlainJane
Fri May 29, 2020 9:04 pm

Garden is humming along nicely despite the deer. Potatoes and garlic ... yum!
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Re: The Dawg Patch

#179

Post: # 21005Unread post MissS
Fri May 29, 2020 9:15 pm

I sure do understand the challenges of trying to garden with the deer around. Last year I got to harvest one lonely Black Cherry tomato. This year I am trying the Community Garden adventure. I like the bucket idea.
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Thar She Blows!

#180

Post: # 21029Unread post GoDawgs
Sat May 30, 2020 10:44 am

Last evening a t-storm blew through, dumping 1.3" on us in a short time and I wondered if I'd be able to safely walk through the corn patch today and apply fertilizer. Well, there was no standing water but the corn wasn't standing either. It's always interesting to watch corn stand up. :roll:

This is the Silver Queen. It's young enough that I think it will stand up straight without looking like the letter C.

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This is the Spring Treat corn. It's silking and pollinating right now so I don't know how that's going to turn out now.

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In the bed next to the corn there's a good stand of Blue Lake beans and a sparse row of Kentucky Wonders. Germination wasn't good on the KYs and I replanted the many skips but a lot of that never came up either. A germination test showed 95% germination. Go figure.

I'm always amazed how plants heal themselves. Just eight days ago the collards and kale got severely deer-munched:

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Every munched stem and old bottom leaves got pruned off and the plants got a dose of Miracle Grow. I failed to get a shot of what they looked like after pruning as they were about half of what you see above. This is what they look like this morning. Time to cut some kale!

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And finally, a shot of flowers. Not just any flowers but some big, pretty tomato blossoms of GGWT with thanks to Marsha for the seed. Love flowers in the morning light. :)

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