Will alternate text type for each update so no need to reference prior post for growth history. Reducing clicks on a website, yeah, it's crazy! Order of plants by harvest, first first, once harvest is done for over a week, will place at bottom of the list.
Zone 4/5 Recent Weather, past week - Very little rainfall and slightly higher than average temperatures this past week. Growing season overall dry.
Fertilization note. Sprinkled 1/3 recommended amount of all-purpose Osmocote granules second week in June everywhere with exception of vertical garden and deck plants which were planted in a 1/3 fertilized soil mix, as well tomato and pepper which were planted with their own eggshell/potash/phosphate/all purpose/epsom salt mix (5 Part Mix). Additional fertilizer applications noted. Borage blooming, bees are back.
Beans - PAST PEAK
Production of all three types slowed down. Plants are still smaller than they should be. No clue why. Might simply be typical, research needed.
All three types producing, looks like only one of the three types showing signs of too much nitrogen. Second planting on June 1st now beginning to produce.
All three types of beans now providing delicious sides for dinner. Definitely prefer the green filet beans over the yellow, this year. SO doesn't like green beans unless they are mushy from a can (yeah, I know, it's scandalous I choose to know this person) so what is planted is enough. No need to expand for next year. Plants are a foot tall and bushier. They like this heat. Damage from too much nitrogen reduced. I scattered low strength potash and phosphate over the main garden a few weeks ago, to counter the high nitrogen; that may be helping.
Yellow beans are full size as of today, and a few green filet beans. The yellow beans taste off and have large seed pods, not sure if related to too much nitrogen. Will look for another type next year. The plants are about a foot tall, the rain seems to have helped with the too much nitrogen issue. Plants are about 10" high. The green filet bean plants more sensitive to nitrogen than yellow beans. No more bug damage at all. Haven't applied DE in 2 weeks.
We have baby beans, about an inch or two long. Expect first harvest by 4th of July. Plants are 8-10 inches high. They look healthier without the radish however, some showing signs of too much nitrogen. Plants are still healthier than last year, but watch nitrogen next year!
Bugs love more than anything else in garden. Radish was a bust, hurt germination and health. Neem and DE (diatomaceous earth) helpful, once applied at end of May, as well removing radish so birds can eat bugs. Beginning to flower third week in June. Plants are not as tall as should be, all three types. Second planting June 1st doing better than first planting (around May 10). One Miracle Grow feeding early June only fertilizer.
Summer squash/zucchini - PEAK.
Not noticing further damage from SBV. Summer squash going fine, zucchini is extraordinarily healthy. Lush and bushy. Gold bar is by far the healthiest and most productive of all the summer squash.
Gold Bar going strong. Growth seems to have sped up. Same with Cocozella zuke. Cut back on hand pollinating as now seeing bees in the summer squash. The yellow squash growth reduced. Found one Squash Vine Borer aka SVB, aka SATAN, about a third of an inch long. That said, the plant, as of yet, doesn't look unhealthy. Plants are large, encroaching on other plants, need to leave more room next year. Those sumbitches are very prickly. I always forget how aggravating working in them is. 2018: Zucchini will spread, allow for a barrier to enclose the squash patch.
Plants very strong, bushy and tall. Prick me to pieces as I refuse to wear pants and long sleeve shirts in this heat. It's disrespectful to summer to attire oneself in fall clothing in this wonderful heat. Harvesting all types equally. The supports I chose are not corralling the plants well nor allowing easy access to the fruit. Still hand pollinating as perhaps not enough bees? Not seeing bees on the squash blossoms like I did last year. DE impacting bee pollination? Harvest is still low and slower than it should be, pretty sure pollination issue. Still no sign of SBV. 2018: Research different squash supports.
Harvesting all types equally. Even though bees have returned, still hand pollinating as the numbers seem lower. Still have a few fruits withering on the vine for the crookneck and cocozella. The yellow crookneck has far more female flowers than male. Roasted summer squash is a delight. Plants are large, 4' wide and 2' tall. Spotted the Squash Vine moth but not any larvae.
Harvested more Gold bar and a Cocozella zucchini. Will harvest more crookneck summer squash in next couple of days, moved supports as plants are growing north. Am hand pollinating. The Crookneck has mostly female flowers while the Cocozella has mostly male flowers. The Gold Bar zucchini is a perfect balance of both, since the beginning of bloom. Plants ridiculously healthy.
The first fruits second week of June died small, assuming lack of pollination, plants extraordinarily healthy. This week started to hand pollinate. First fruit was last weekend, a Gold Bar zucchini. Will have more to harvest tomorrow. Zucchini beating crookneck by a week, the cocozella zucchini still has only male flower blooms and will be the latest of the summer squashes to harvest. I have small supports for them but the plants don't seem to need them. Began to flower first week of June, the first zucchini harvested was ripe but small, took 2 weeks, which is apparently unusual. ? Transplanted with Osmocote granules. Seems to be the right choice of fertilizer for this crop. PEAK
Tomato - Ate first Black Vernissage tomato. Not a fan. See individual cultivars for details on each. 1/1 meaning. First number is number of confirmed plants of that type and second number is the approximate number of healthy tomatoes total for that type.
Ate first Yellow Pear mater today. Maybe a day early but still good. See notes for individual types.
Very excited about the tomatoes. This week the plants that have no fruits will be noted, as most plants do. Also beginning to get some usable info from my tomato support experiment. I still have a few megablossoms, all on the potato leaf type maters. Dr Wyches, Royal Hillbilly, Hillbilly. I will also list the tomato types individually for myself and those who want to know details about each type. Plants are 18" to almost 4' depending on supports and type. Support seems to impact height differences significantly. My three identically aged Royal Hillbilly plants are different depending on support. The taller plants in the strongest supports have fewer blooms. Curious to see if that trend holds.
Hillbilly: 5/15. 2 plants have no maters, both are using cheap supports, one on the deck. Largest = baseball sized.
The one mater in the SE corner got BER, I do not think it was planted with the same mater mix as it was a full plant bought at the Farmer's Market and not home grown. Added crushed eggshells and a half strength application of liquid calcium. 5 Confirmed plants, 2 have maters (3 total)
My favorite mater has fruit!! One plant but it's a start. I knew going into the season, per my experience last year, that Hillbilly maters are not prolific and are late starters. Only one of the four confirmed plants has a strong fruit, ping pong size - this plant was purchased in May and is using a cheap tomato support. Two other plants have teeny just-pollinated fruit and the Hillbilly plant that started off the strongest from seed that is protected on the deck, using a cheap tomato support, has no fruit.
Carbon: 4/20 Largest = softball sized.
4 Confirmed plants. All with maters. largest baseball size, 9 maters total.
All but one of the four confirmed plants has fruit. The largest mater I have is carbon, the tomato is almost softball size. My carbon plants have the biggest maters thus far, per earliness of fruiting. I don't think these will be the biggest maters once all have ripened. The one Carbon mater with no fruit yet is using the cheap tomato support. If the flavor is as impressive as the strength and speed of the plants, Carbon will be a keeper for 2018.
Royal Hillbilly: 4/22 Largest = softball
4 Confirmed plants. All have multiple maters, largest baseball size, 14 total.
All four confirmed Royal Hillbilly have fruit. Of all my medium-large mater plants, Royal Hillbilly is the most fruit. I have one RH plant with at least 30 blossoms, and the plant is only 2' tall. If the flavor is as notable as the prolific nature of the plants, this will also make the 2018 list.
Jazz: 2/10 Largest = plum. Megablossom.
2 Confirmed plants, one has 6 quarter sized maters, the other plant on a spiral support has zero. 6 total, one megablossom.
Disappointing so far. Seeds purchased from Totally Tomatoes had a note that extra seeds were given per lower quality. None of the Totally Tomato seeds could compare quality-wise with rare-seeds. Too bad, as I liked the variety TT offered. I only have two Jazz plants that survived thus far. Neither plant has fruits, although both have flowers. Plants look healthy and bushy, if a bit short. Not likely to make cut for 2018.
Dr Wyches: 4/24 Largest = plum. One of the injured plants has the most fruit! Glad I didn't pull them.
4 Confirmed pants. 2 nickel sized maters on 2 plants, quarter sized mater on one, none on one of the two injured plants, spiral support. 5 total.
Four confirmed Dr Wyches plants. Two have baby fruit, two do not. The injured Dr Wyches using the triple plastic support and the Dr W plant in the cheap tomato support have flowers but no fruits. So thrilled that the injured Dr W plant came back that I am happy to be patient waiting for fuit. Some of these plants have mega-blossoms. If flavor is as outstanding as the hardiness of the plant, will likely make cut for 2018.
Hungarian Heart: 3/25. Largest = baseball. Plant along N fence still has BER. Also megablossom.
3 Confirmed plants. Maters on all three plants, largest golfball sized. BER on all three plants, however added powdered eggshells and a half application of liquid calcium, so far so good. 7 maters total.
Three confirmed HH plants. Two of three HH plants have quarter sized fruit. The third HH plant with no fruit is using the main garden espalier type support. Those 4 plants are a bit closer than they should be, that may be the reason for no fruit yet on that HH plant. One baby mater already was discarded for what looked like blossom end rot on the baby plant. I planted with crushed egg shells and no BER problems last year so it may have been something else.
Orange Strawberry: 2/5/ largest golfball. Tallest plant is OS. One plant using the cheap support has no fruit.
2 Confirmed plants. 1 quarter sized fruit. No fruit on plant supported by small stake. 1 total.
Two confirmed plants. One has a small fruit (plant started by my sister), the other plant does not; it is supported by a small stake. Lots of flowers.
Yellow Pear: 2/20. Deck plant not happy, needs a bigger pot. Still producing though.
2 Confirmed plants. Ate first mater today! Not bland but not flavorably either. 25 total fruits.
Two confirmed plants, as one of the mystery plants is also a yellow pear. Both plants have fruit, the deck plant supported with a stake and has at least 15 fruit. I stare at it every day willing the fruit to ripen. The formerly-mystery YP mater was one of the youngest plants and not babied like the other so no surprise it's a bit behind the others.
Rainbow Cherry: 1/25 As suspected, these "cherry" tomatoes in the "Rainbow" cherry package from Totally Tomatoes are the same as the package of free tomatoes from TT, Black Vernissage. My sister and I both planted all the seeds from the package of "mixed" Rainbow cherry tomato seeds and we both ended up with one healthy BV plant each. Not happy. TT filled the seed packet with the bi-color seeds they were trying to get rid of. The tomato isn't good and we certainly didn't get variety. Will be requesting a refund.
1 Confirmed plant. About 20 fruit, looks like they will be a bicolor of some sort.
Another mater, seeds purchased from Totally Tomatoes. Received very few seeds (less than 20). My sister and I split them and we each now only have one plant each. Very disappointing. The one RC plant I have is doing very well. it's in the main garden, supported by modified espalier. It has fewer fruits than expected, but still many fruit. Thinking too close to other maters to be as prolific as I'd like. Or could be crappy seeds. Not likely to make cut for 2018.
Tie Dye: 1/15 Largest = golf ball. This single plant has the most tomatoes so far.
About 5 quarter sized fruit.
One plant using a small stake for support. No fruit yet. Plant purchased mid-May full sized, a bit surprised it has no fruit. It has flowers.
Gold Medal: 1/1.
One new fruit.
One plant purchased mid-May full sized. No fruit yet. Supported with triple steel. Is my tallest plant, almost 4' tall.
Black Vernissage: 2/don't care how prolific plant is as I don't care for the taste. One of the two plants is the Rainbow Cherry.
2 marble sized fruit.
One confirmed plant is sickly. Planted in fertilized soil. Sparse, almost 2' tall. It has 2 nickle sized fruit. Supported by a stake. These were free seeds from rareseeds so I'm ok with this poor performance.
Sunrise: Still sickly and small. Fruit is beginning to ripen. Cross fingers that one of the mystery ends up being a Sunrise!!
Still sickly and small. 1 marble sized fruit.
One confirmed plant. One on the deck only six inches tall, sparse but has one tiny mater. ? Another was formerly a mystery plant. The mystery Sunrise plant is supported by a small stake and has a few baby fruit. The plant is almost 2' tall, yet it was one of the youngest plants so not unusual it's smaller than most of the others.
Gold Rush Currant: About 25 tiny fruit. First harvest. These were tart so maybe picked too soon?
About 25 tiny fruit.
One plant doing well in the basket, especially considering it now requires two watering a day and I almost killed it by forgetting one on a very hot day. Plant has many tiny fruits, the size of M&M's.
Tiny Tim: 1/25. Harvesting. Typical cherry mater taste.
Plant still about a foot tall but loaded with fruit. About 20.
One plant, this red cherry plant was purchased a few weeks ago with the Mortgage Lifter at a BOGO sale. It has bounced back wonderfully. New growth even though plant only a foot tall. First tomato harvest 3 days ago!! Has many fruits and new blossoms. Staked.
Mortgage Lifter: 1/7 Largest = golfball.
2 nickel sized fruit.
One plant. Purchased full sized and in need of TLC a few weeks ago, BOGO. Plant maybe has baby fruit. It's about 30" tall and getting healthier and bushier every day.
German Pink: 1/0 Still no fruit and spindly, leaves dying. Moved to a different location, hoping that helps.
On deck with stake, still no fruit. Plants looks unhealthy. I think it's the soil I used as the other deck plant in that soil also not loving life.
One plant purchased late May, full-sized. No fruit yet, using a cheap tomato support, on the deck. Not as bushy as it should be. A few flowers. It looked stronger when I purchased it.
Mystery: Fruit on most of the plants.
Definitely small fruit on most of the mystery plants.
Seven mystery plants. Pretty sure 4 of them are larger tomatoes. No fruits yet, not surprising as they are the youngest and least babied plants.
~~~End July 28 update for maters.
A few more megablossoms have appeared, so we may get a few huge tomatoes yet. All of my tomato types have fruit with the exception of Jazz, Tie Dye, Mortgage Lifter and Hillbilly. Of course, my very favorite, Hillbilly, is last to fruit. The Jazz tomato plants have been fussy from the get-go. Only some germinated, only some survived to transplant. Not impressed. have had a great deal more trouble with the Totally Tomato seeds compared to the Bakers Creek rareseeds.com. Plants are from 12-42" tall. Tallest plants are in the heavy gauge triple supports, however they are not as bushy as plants in the other supports, even if same type of tomato.
Currently have five types of supports, to see if they make a difference with growth or harvest, so you will see the support types listed with the type of mater. Most megablossoms picked off by me or died on their own. Most first flowers of each plant were killed by the plant. Not sure will have any megablooms to watch. Five tomato plants are fruiting: Tiny Tim red cherry/stake, Rainbow cherry/trellis, Carbon (black)/heavy gage triple, Yellow Pear/stake deck and Gold Rush currant/hanging basket. Most plants still have flowers even after purge. The plants without flowers are: Tie Dye/stake, injured Dr Wyche's/triple plastic and spiral, Mortgage Lifter/stake, Jazz/triple plastic and two Hillbilly/stake and deck. Most of the plants are bushy. Majority of plants are around 18" to 2' tall. Not sure yet but I think a few of the mystery plants are Sunrise or Yellow Pear. The deck Sunrise and Black Vernissage are still weak, no change. No clue why either.
The potato leaf types almost all had megablossoms. Keeping two, snipped rest. Blossoms started second week of June. As predicted, the second week of June is when plants hit growth spurt and began to blossom. I have baby tomatoes on the yellow pear plant I started and the Tiny Tim cherry tomato plant I bought last week in a BOGO sale at the Co-Op. I should start to see baby tomatoes on the other plants by next week. The Carbon, Royal Hillbilly and Yellow Pear tomato plants were the first to flower. The slowest to flower are the Jazz, Dr. Wyches and Hillbilly type. Most plants are 1-2' tall. Two of my deck tomato plants are weak, Sunrise and Black Vernissage. My strongest plant is the yellow pear, which is in the same sized deck pot in the same soil so I have no idea why those other two mater plants are doing poorly. They are not the maters I am looking forward to the most so honestly not too broken up about it. The Sunrise plant is only about 6" tall, spindly and flowering. *shrug*. All tomato plants were planted with either the 5 Part Mix or the deck plants that were planted with full fertilized soil. The Gold Rush Currant tomato plant is planted in a hanging basket and after a weak start, is now flourishing and flowering. I have approximately 8 mystery plants. Those plants are most likely to be Sunrise, Yellow Pear, Dr. Wyches, Royal Hillbilly or Hillbilly. I have two plants out front that are community plants for anyone to take fruit off of if they wish too. I have 42 plants total. I think I can share two. I ended up also giving away approximately ten plants in mid-May to friends and neighbors. Yes, I am looking forward to canning. I canned tomatoes last year, for the first time, so feel I can do it again this year. I plan to also give away as much as I can, same as last year too. I have a total of 17 varieties. Eighteen if the volunteer in the garden is a Mushroom Basket (from last year) as I think it might be. That plant is only 6" tall.
Peppers - Plants exploded this week. Plants are fruiting and fruit is growing quickly. Now with more detail for each type!
Melrose: 2/15 Largest 5"
2 plants. About 16 fruit up to 4" long.
Yellow/Green Monster: 2/8. Largest 5"
2 plants. About 8 fruit total, largest about an inch long.
Gourmet: 2/10 Largest 3" Plant in NE corner came back, chipmunks/bunnies be damned.
2 plants. About 6 fruit toal, marble sized.
Pimiento Padron: 2/15 Largest 3" harvesting
2 plants. About 12 fruit, largest 2" long.
Figitelli: 1/8 Largest 4"
About 8 fruit, 2" long.
Corbaci: 1/25 Largest 8" long. SERIOUSLY impressed by how prolific this plant is.
About 12 fruit, 3" long.
Anaheim: 1/1 Largest 4"
About 1 new fruit.
Green Chinese: 1/0 Lots of flowers though.
No fruit yet
Yellow: 1/6 Largest 4".
About 3 marble sized fruit.
~~~~End of July 28th update
Bunnies ate another pepper plant. On the plus side, my healthier pepper plants are winning the fight against bunnies and nitrogen. Half of my healthy pepper plants have baby pepper fruits. Both Melrose, both Padron, Corbaci, Figitella and Anaheim. The remainder of the pepper plants have flowers. The Melrose peppers on the deck are getting sun scald. So had to eat those two. DELICIOUS! The plants along the E fence are bushier, thankfully. Plants are over a foot tall now! They like this heat. 2018 the peppers need the more protection from bunnies.
Bunnies ate two pepper plants. Other pepper plants gained a few inches of height this week, almost all are around a foot tall. Bushier than typical pepper plants, likely per too much nitrogen. All pepper plants are budding and today I harvested my first pepper, a little 2" happy green pimiento padron. It'll be a nice addition to my alfredo sauce tonight. There are two plants fruiting, the pimiento padron and the Melrose (my favorite), on the deck. The Melrose plant has ten little peppers on it. Two of the peppers are around 4" long, still deep green. I expect the fruits to be 5-6 inches long before ripening to red.
Melrose pepper/deck is thriving, two fruits, 1" and 2". Padron pepper/NFence also has new fruit. Rest of pepper plants overly leafy (smaller, thicker, darker leaves) past two weeks and not gaining more than a couple inches in height, not many blossoms, fewer than last week. Most plants clearly suffering from too much nitrogen. Watch nitrogen for 2018! Plants without the 5 part mix are doing far better. That said, the three pepper plants in the raspberry corner are doing the worst, although those three look better than they did last week. Removing the bindweed helped I'm sure. Neem oil and cayenne pepper preventing further damage from bugs and bunnies. Plants 6-10" tall.
First pepper on my Melrose deck plant as of yesterday. It's my favorite type of pepper so far, so thrilled. Deck pepper planted in 100% fertilized soil. All my pepper plants seem to be a bit shorter than they should be, even the deck plant, at under a foot tall. Most of the pepper plants are budding/flowering, as of the second week in June. The plants planted with the 5 Part Mix look like they are getting too much nitrogen, although I purposely supplemented the mix with potash/phosphate to avoid that, as it was a problem last year. Smaller, thicker, ultra-green leaves. None of the habanada seedlings survived the hardening/transplant process. I left them outside in windy conditions too long during the hardening process. All the other transplants survived my rough handling, only the habanada's died. Bummed, for sure, as this cultivar is not common enough for me to purchased live plants as a backup, anywhere. Next year. The habanada peppers were my strongest pepper plants prior to hardening. Note to everyone, habanada seedlings are FUSSY. The plants in the small NE corner garden were eaten by bugs last May, lost two, three are struggling. They do not seem to be suffering from too much nitrogen, although they were planted with the same mix as the others. None of the plants showed nitrogen overload until the cooler weather hit a few days ago.
Cucumber - 2/1 fruit is 7". A ton of male flowers.
Plants are climbing trellis and are gorgeous. Both have male flowers.
Plants are 1 and 2 feet long. One plant is beginning to climb and has male flowers blooming.
Plants definitely growing but not flowering just yet. No issues with bugs. Third hill of seeds never germinated.
Two of three transplants died and only half of the direct seeded came up. Will not likely plant Soyu Long cucumbers next year. The two surviving plants are still small, not flowering yet. Did get one shot of liquid miracle grow in early June.
Broccoli - Harvesting small heads, going to flower quickly per heat.
Harvesting small heads of broccoli from about half the plants. Not sure why I can't get bigger heads from this crop.
3 more plants eaten by bunnies. Bunnies chewed through plastic fence. NOT happy. Broccoli up front, 3-4' tall and very bushy, unprotected are being left alone and will be harvested today. The 4 broccoli on the N fence are smaller than the rest, about 18" tall, are also being left alone, likely per the neighbors dog. Seems to be a bit too hot as the heads are smaller and bolting quickly.
2 plants are being eaten by bunnies. Still might survive. Plants are 18" to almost 4 feet tall. 3 plants have small broccoli heads. The plants love being out front in the morning shade. Bug damage lessened after a few weekly applications of neem and DE.
All plants a foot tall now, up to 2'. Bugs trying to eat 'em up put DE and neem getting the job done. No further heads yet, but should see baby brocc in about a week or so. Looking very healthy otherwise.
Hail damage has slowed growth in front garden. All other broccoli fine. One small head of broccoli harvested after hail storm, head was about size of a golf ball. Remainder of plants are between 8" and 2' tall. No other heads yet. No clue why that one broccoli plant produced a head early. It was delicious though. Very little bug damage, DE took care of what little I could see. Less bug damage on plants still in clear plastic cup collars. One feeding of liquid MG in early June.
Carrots - No Change.
Carrots in the vertical garden are ready!! Little 3" Little Finger type. Other carrots in main garden are being chewed on by bunnies.
Roots are orange, but not plump. Will still be a month or so before harvest.
Growing fine, no issues.
Just starting to thicken, we are at least a month from harvest, all types. Did not come up in main garden til end of May, a month after seeding. Do not seem to interfere with pea harvest as planted among peas. Change and expand location in vertical garden to N side.
Brussies - No change.
All the brussies in the N garden have baby brussies. Plants 18-24". Very bushy, very healthy. A bit of bug damage and bunnies might be trying to eat but not very noticeable at this point. Brussies in main garden are smaller, about a foot tall.
A few plants have baby brussie buds. The plants are doing extraordinarily well. No more bug damage after a few applications of DE and neem. Plants are 1-2' tall.
Noticed brussie buds on my biggest plant in the N garden. PSYCHED! Neem and DE keeping plants healthy and barely buggy. Cayenne is keeping bunnies away. Very healthy plants in both locations. Plants are 12-18" tall.
A bit of hail damage for plants in N garden but still good. Other plants fine. Plants about a foot tall. Look very healthy. Very little bug damage, DE took care of what little I saw. Plants with clear cup collars yet have less bug damage. Still months from harvest. One feeding of liquid MG in early June.
Kohlrabi - One kohlrabi never bulbed out. Other bulbs about 1-4" large.
Was going to remove clear cups from bottom of plant but if bunnies are in garden, keeping them until they have to be removed. plants healthy, kohlrabi are still 1-2" wide.
Plants are about 18" tall. Plants have baby kohlrabi, the bulb 1-2 inches wide. Looking very healthy.
Almost a foot tall. Healthy. DE and neem getting the job done.
About 8" tall. Look healthy. Still in cup collars. Almost no bug damage. One feeding of liquid MG in early June. Far from harvest.
Eggplant - 1/1 Also has a few flowers.
Plant has two flowers. The baby eggplant that was there just disappeared. Bunnies?
Eggplant still a foot tall, has a pretty purple flower! Looking healthier and bushier every day. The DE powder took care of bug issue.
Eggplant bounced back this week. Looking very healthy, about a foot tall.
My single eggplant is finally getting bushy, although it's still short at about 6" tall. The DE and neem fixed the bug issue that was plaguing it.
I only had one plant make it to transplant. One died and the other I gave away. The one eggplant plant is small, under 6" tall, but finally bushy. It was devoured by bugs until DE applied, now coming back, delayed, yet strong. Planted with 5 Part Mix.
Potato - Plants on the deck have baby potatoes. Deck plants still the healthiest.
Finally finished mulching. Bugs loving the plants along the fence. Might need to put more DE down.
A few plants are blooming and more have buds! Some bug damage. Plants 12-30" tall. Very bushy. Mulched deck potatoes 2 weeks ago, still need to do the plants along N fence. Total of 18 plants. 6 on deck.
A few plants have flower buds. A bit of bug damage. Plants 1-2' tall. Very bushy.
Plants all now at least a foot tall. Very healthy. Mild bug damage, first noticed.
Bushy and strong. Deck plants are about a foot tall. Plants along N Fence are 4-12" tall. Very healthy. No fertilizer applied.
Garlic - Harvest all, currently drying. Very impressed!
More garlic ready for harvest. They are ready once four-five leaf layers are dried out.
Harvested first garlic and hung in garage. Very excited!
Dug up a garlic bulb as I am a newbie at figuring out when they are ready. It wasn't ready but it had many immature bulbs! Was pretty exciting, for me anyway. I'd say we are still a week from harvest.
All are looking very strong. The only garlic that did not come up was the garlic that came up and grew too large last fall. Harvested scapes last week from some. Anticipate harvest in a month or two.
Watermelon - 4/4 2 baby watermelon 1-2" long and two larger melons, size of small football.
All plants now have female flowers, two plants have a goose-egg sized watermelon!
Two of the four plants now have female flowers! Plants are still smaller than I'd like, but getting bigger in the heat. Hand pollinated.
4 plants, anywhere from 1-2' long, one has male flowers. Plants are much smaller than they should be. Look very healthy otherwise, no bug or bunny damage.
GDE Winter Squash - 3/2 So far, I have managed to save the small basketball sized fruit on the most impacted vine. The rest of that plant has died. The other two plants are coming back, but too early to say if I saved any of them. Wish me luck!
Satan has arrived. One fruit is the size of a small basketball. Hope I can save it but too early to tell.
Still no sign of the SVB larvae. Plant has a ton of blooms and a grapefruit sized fruit!! It also had another fruit but bunnies gnawed on it. http://www.rareseeds.com/galeux-d-eysines-squash/?F_Keyword=squash&F_Sort=1
Plants extraordinarily healthy. No bug damage. A bunny has started to chew one of the fruits. 3 plants are about 4-5' long. It was this time last year that the squash vine borer hit. No sign of damage but I have seen a few squash moths. All plants have male flowers and 1 has female flowers and fruits. Have been applying neem weekly, but two weeks since applied DE to not harm bees. Plants growing/spreading NW.
Delicata Squash - 2/6 Very impressed. Plant going strong, no sign of SBV.
2 plants have four fruits. Very healthy, ton of male flowers and a few female. Fruits are 2-6" long.
One plant has a 5" long fruit. Both plants have smaller fruits. No sign of SVB larvae yet. Applied DE last week. Plants are spreading.
2 plants 3-4 feets long. Both plants have male and female flowers and 1-2" fruit. No sign of squash vine borer. Very healthy vines heading NW.
Cantaloup - Small fruit died, but there is another one! Grape sized. Still 95% male flowers.
Ton of male flowers and a couple female. Also a grape sized fruit!
2 plants still small but many male and female flowers. No fruit yet. http://www.rareseeds.com/charentais-melon/?F_Keyword=melon&F_Sort=1
2 plants 2-3' long. Plants have many male flowers. The plants are smaller than expected, but very healthy otherwise, no bug nor bunny damage.
Onion/Shallot - Shallots ready for harvest, onion still not ready.
Shallots very strong, looking to harvest in about a month or so. Onions scatter about, very small. I don't pay them much attention, so perhaps they need more than I give them.
Cherry - No Change
Tree is approx 4 yrs old. Had some baby cherries, maybe 10 in late April, but they all died after a hard freeze. No worries, per tree still quite young.
Apple - No Change
Trees are approx 4-5 yrs old. As suspected, the over-abundance of baby apples last year made this young tree biennial. Zero blossoms this year. No worries, last year was very surprised we had any blossoms per tree so young.
Grape - No Change
Bought two grape vines last year at an end of season clearance sale. One vine is thriving, the other doing ok, it seems to be dying back although has a ton of new growth at the base. Wasn't sure the grape plants would survive the bunnies chewing them down over the winter but they did. The vines are now protected by hardware cloth. A few applications of liquid Miracle Grow seemed to help. No blossoms yet.
Blueberries - No Change
Received four plants as a gift. Two died last year and the two left have a few leaves but clearly not happy. They are protected by hardware cloth but the bunnies also got to them before we protected the plants properly. The soil pH needs to be adjusted. We'll add that to the project list.
Raspberries - No Change
Flourishing. A ton of new canes. No buds yet. The fencing keeps the big bunnies out but there is a smaller bunny that lives in that little patch. Ugh. I can't wait til it's too big to fit through the fence. That patch is also overrun with bindweed, but the plants don't seem to mind. No fertilizer.
Flowers - I finally got my pink gladiolus!! Chipmunks still chewing anything daisy-like.
Salmon sunsets, some have blooms! Also blooming are the gorgeous cosmos that are a favorite of the chipmunks. Gladiolus are blooming, one or two at a time, which is nice. Cut my first bouquet. Sunflower, gladiolus and snapdragon.
Blooming: Poppies, snapdragons, first sunflower and gladiolus (yellow). Carnation plants gaining in height. Salmon Sunset around a foot tall, looks like they are getting ready to hit a growth spurt. Foxglove and lily are done.
Doing very well, everything I purchased was blooming, the transplants are still a few weeks/months from blooming, depending on type. Hail storm set all my flowers back a bit, most blooming plants lost a significant portion of their flowers as my flower garden is west facing. It looks like my plants have a harder time on the west path, will add compost this fall and next spring. Herb spiral looks good. A bunny is getting to the dill and cosmos.
Lettuce - DONE All lettuce types are finished with the exception of iceberg, which has slowed significantly. Vertical garden lettuce areas cleared out and ready for fall planting.
Loose leaf is finishing up, head lettuce bitter and dug up. Peak was last week in May. Thriving. Do a better job staggering harvest 2018. Head lettuces go bitter sooner than expected. When growth heads up instead of out, harvest. Change the location of lettuce on the vertical garden for 2018, all on S side. Optimum harvest timeframe 1 month for looseleaf and 1 week for head. Soil is 1/3 Miracle Grow soil. DONE
Radish - DONE
Most radish picked, given away and composted. Left about five plants to go to seed, on purpose.
Birds do a better job with bugs than radish. Only area with notable bug problem is green and yellow beans. The radish prevents birds from eating the bugs and also crowded out bean plants. Next year, no radish in the beans. Peak radish was first week in June. High heat second week of June sent them to seed right away. Had way more than I could give away. Optimum Harvest duration - 1 week. DONE
Spinach - DONE
Growth has slowed, but no bitterness so keeping for now. Haven't yet decided when to seed second planting. Keep on north side of vertical garden.
Finishing up. Peak first week in June. Optimum harvest duration - 1 month. Soil is 1/3 Miracle Grow soil.
Strawberries - DONE
Noticing size difference between berries depending on spacing, very sweet berries, birds ignoring, removed bird netting.
First harvest second week in June. Birds have no interest, likely because they are full of the insects they dig from the yard. Bird experience very very good. No grubs, no slugs, no snails and very few insects. At least ten birds feed off our land. Friggin' awesome! One feeding of liquid MG in early June and some plants have 1/3 Miracle Grow soil. DONE
Snow peas - DONE.
Pulled all plants on Tuesday. Was still getting peas, but fewer and all went to full seed pod right away, day one of emergence.
Plants seemed to benefit from the lower temperatures last week, even though temperatures currently are higher than normal. Plant grew another six inches and we are benefitting from a bumper crop of peas. Watering every other day once temps hit ninety. Note to everyone reading, the Carouby de Maussane pea is a rock star. Second year planting, second year getting huge bumper crops of tasty snow peas, regardless of heat. http://www.rareseeds.com/carouby-de-maussane-snow-pea/
Harvesting, nutrients are perfect, all plants very strong.
First harvest, second week of June. Expand for 2018, still not enough. Thriving. One feeding of liquid MG in early June. PEAK
Snap peas - DONE and pulled.
Plant is not growing taller, but noticing another round of new blooms. I still think it's past peak, but I'll find out if I am wrong soon enough. Here's to hoping I don't know snap peas like I think I do!
Last week: Growth done, output slowing down.
Harvesting, nutrients are perfect, all plants very strong.
First harvest third week of June. Expand for 2018 or use for snow peas. Thriving. One feeding of liquid MG in early June.