Author Topic: Fritz's garden 2020  (Read 4871 times)

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2020, 05:52:04 PM »
Mason bees. Box looks so much simpler. I may have to bone up on that.
My wife is the bee nut here. I do some grunt work.......eat the honey.....the simple things.  ;D

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2020, 06:51:24 PM »
The bees do all the work.  This is my first year, but my understanding is you can just leave them in their tubes.  But many people will open the tubes to harvest the cocoons.  Then store them in the fridge over the winter.  Many places will have  a thaw in February and some of the bees will come out of dormancy.


Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2020, 05:54:40 PM »
No pics today, but I planted the green beans today.  This year it was Blue Lake beans.  I had inoculate in the fridge in the basement.  I'll need to get more next year.

Hoping to plant Lima Beans next weekend.  Between now and then, I plan to get the rest of the rows built up.  My wife wants to put in a raised bed for the strawberries.  I rarely eat strawberries.  But I feel certain that I'll be doing all the weeding and such.  I told her that's what I thought would happen and she's assured me that's not what is going to happen.  We'll see.

We have a shade garden in the corner of the yard.  We weeded that today.  I have a garden cart, I filled that 3 times, mainly with thistle.  That's all in my compost pile now.

Offline Mona

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2020, 01:57:08 PM »
I find bean plants pleasing because you can almost whatch them grow :D
 Strawberries... I would say plant some and if she doesn't weed them she won't be eating any, but if you have to build a raised bed first that is too much work for that approach. If it is about less acess for snailes maybe just a couple in  big pots or hangers? The farmers around here grow them in huge pick your own fields, if you can ignore potential weedieness you could just pop some in the ground in some corner.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2020, 01:26:54 PM »
Finally got the plants into the ground.  I have a row of Blue Lake beans, half a row of Fordhook lima beans.  I have half a row of okra and will likely get another half row planted.  Those are all from seed.

The squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers are from transplants.  We got those into the ground today.  Not a lot to look at at the moment, but since it there aren't pictures, it didn't happen.

I also put a trail camera in the garden to see if anything goes in the garden.

Zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, cucumber and spaghetti squash in these beds.  The soaker hose is just a temporary measure.  I forgot that I have a bunch of drip irrigation stuff, so I'll be putting that in place.


From the opposite angle.  Far left row is the Blue Lake beans.  Middle row has nothing yet, right row has the lima beans and okra.  The dark patch is where the tomatoes and peppers are planted.  Most of the peppers are Roma since we mainly use tomatoes for salsa, and other tomato sauces.  But also have a couple big boy type of tomato.  These are all caged, I'll be driving a T post down through each of the tomato cages since the tomatoes tend to cause these cages to topple over..

For the peppers, there's the required Jalapeno pepper, I grow these all the time because they make me feel accomplished.  No matter what the rest of the garden does, the Jalapeno peppers will produce.  I also have bell peppers that finish in red, orange, yellow and green.  I plan on putting cages around the peppers as well.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2020, 04:30:07 PM »
Lookin good.

I'm going to save my pennies and invent a hot pad I can put 2' under and dry my garden out.  ;D

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2020, 05:09:30 PM »
Lookin good.

I'm going to save my pennies and invent a hot pad I can put 2' under and dry my garden out.  ;D
I was rushing to get everything in today.  Forecast calls for rain all this week.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2020, 06:28:56 PM »
 8)

Mo more ^$%# here until Wednesday. Maybe I can most of ours in by then. May be Tuesday before it's dry enough though.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2020, 08:09:26 PM »
Forecast has changed, now they are calling for just cloudy conditions this week. Possibility or rain Thursday and Friday.

So I planted pumpkins today.  I planted Jack O'Lantern and Jack Be Little pumpkins.  The former are standard carving pumpkins, the later are small pumpkins.  I haven't grown either.  I also ran a soaker hose for the Blue Lake beans row and the Lima beans and Okra row.

Tomorrow the plan is to run a drip irrigation hose to water the tomatoes and peppers.

Long term plan is to automate the watering of the garden.  I'm thinking that a Raspberry Pi or Arduino solution is in the mix.  Initial thoughts is that the Pi is probably a better solution since an Arduino has a single instruction set.  Either it runs, or it doesn't run.  The Pi, it runs or a section fails to run.

I also plan on running a water pipe down to the garden.  I have an in-ground box on order.  That will hold the manifold to the water spigot or the drip irrigation system.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2020, 05:37:01 PM »
I put in the drip irrigation to the peppers and tomatoes today.  I bought a "drip repair/expansion kit" last year to ensure my wife's plants didn't die.  I think I did it all wrong, but it worked.  I read up a bit on how to do it right and installed in the garden.  I made use of the standard Rainbird stuff, but I ran out of things like bug caps and feed line stakes.  I used 3D printed items when I needed additionals.


Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2020, 06:23:34 PM »
Had my first "harvest" today.  I clipped mint for my mojito and I clipped a bunch of other herbs to add to my hamburger recipe.  Calls for dried herbs, I used the fresh from the herb garden.

I also did a good look at the garden.  All looks good except the green beans.  I planted at least 75 seeds, I see 3 plants growing.  The okra and lima beans seem to be doing fine, I see many more of those and they were all planted a week after the Blue Lake beans.

So I'm doing an experiment with "found" seed.  I keep the seed that I don't plant in my beer fridge.  I went through it the other day and found a bag of Blue Lake beans from 2012 and a bag of Fordhook lima beans from 2014.  I have 18 pots for each of these, filled with potting mix.  Each pot has 3 seeds.  I'm hoping that there are a couple plants that sprout.  If not, I'm out nothing but a little watering time.

I'll probably spin off an experiment thread with pics of the progress.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2020, 06:36:02 PM »
I planted Blur Lake and Kentucky Wonder pole beans, same day.
The Blue lake lagged behind a week, and are still only about a 3/rd up in a 25' row. Spaced about 4".
Both are new seeds this years.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2020, 07:12:06 PM »
Yeah, I'm hoping they still come up.  I'm not planting anything on top of them until I'm sure they won't come up.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2020, 07:42:54 PM »
So I planted 2 packages of Lake Valley Blue Lake beans.  I inoculated them also.  Of the 50 or so beans I planted, 3 have sprouted.  3 F'ing seeds.

My wife went shopping at an Amish store today.  I asked her to see if there were any beans available and to get some for me if they were.

This is what she came home with.



That's 2 pounds of bean seed.  I guess I'll be putting 1.9 pounds of bean seed in the fridge later in the year.  hehe.

I've never grown Strike beans, but looking online, this variety is apparently fairly popular.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2020, 08:54:04 AM »
Never saw that brand before, but if Amish, the brands are usually not the norm from what we see here in our other stores. Burpee and such.....
And those are bigger packages. Yep.
So you have enough beans for 19 more years. Yep.  ;D

My blue lakes are still coming up. Spotty yet, but still emerging. I think we just need warmth and sunshine here, and to dry out for a week or so.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2020, 07:08:07 PM »
Rorher Seed is out of Lancaster, PA.  There's a "chain" of Amish stores called Goods in that area that carry this brand.  Could be Amish, or maybe just in the area.  I replanted the row that had the Blue Lake in it with these Strike variety of bean.  I have another row with nothing in it, I think I'll likely put more of these beans in there.  The Fordhook Limas are coming up nicely.  It looks like only 1 seed didn't sprout.

While down there, I pulled all the mile a minute weed that was coming up all over that row.  We got hit with this crap 2 years ago.  I've been reading up on it a little and apparently it is an annual and have a very shallow root system.  Get them before they go to seed and you stop them in that area.  Last year it was growing so quickly that it completely covered a 20' black walnut tree and starved it of sunlight.  It's nasty stuff.

Quick update on the seed experiment.  The Fordhook Lima beans have a couple that are sprouting already.  Not seeing anything in the Blue Lake beans yet.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #46 on: May 29, 2020, 01:36:51 PM »
It's all looking and sounding very good, Fritz. Those are some nice bean packets your wife got you. You could start an online business selling them in smaller quantities :)

It has been really rainy here, too... it almost drowned a couple of newly transplanted peppers. I started nearly everything from seed this year, but broke down and bought one bell pepper, thyme and lavender. Couldn't get good starts on those from seed, so admitted defeat.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #47 on: May 29, 2020, 02:04:20 PM »
I started nearly everything from seed this year, but broke down and bought one bell pepper, thyme and lavender. Couldn't get good starts on those from seed, so admitted defeat.
If you look at my previous garden threads, I used to do all my plants from seed.  But I didn't get started nearly as early as I started.  I knew that I had my work cut out to get the garden cleaned up, I didn't want to put starting the seeds on top of that.

I really prefer starting from seed.  I like "different" varieties.  With the plants, you have to take what's available in the store.  Hopefully I'll be back to seed next year.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #48 on: May 29, 2020, 02:23:27 PM »
Oops, forgot to add an update on the bean experiment. 

For the Fordhook Lima beans, there's at least 1 plant in each of the 18 pots.
For the Blue Lake beans, there are 9 pots that have a plant peeking out of the soil.

I'm surprised how many have sprouted.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #49 on: May 29, 2020, 02:40:52 PM »

Our blue lakes (from Heirloom Seeds) keep slowly coming up.
Some are 6" tall, and others are still emerging. Odd......

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2020, 11:50:55 AM »
Still not all that much to take pictures of, but the garden is looking pretty good.  Green beans are finally starting to pop up.  The eggplant and cucumbers were looking kind of bad, but they have recovered nicely.  The pumpkins are coming up better than I thought they would.

We have a bunch of strawberries to plant yet, but my wife wants a bed build for them.  So it will be about 3'x30'.  We don't have enough plants to fill that, so the other half of the bed will have watermelon plants in it.  I haven't had a lot of luck with watermelon in the past.

Final update on the bean experiment.  The vast majority of the Fordhook lima beans came up.  I planted 54 of them and only 4 didn't sprout.  The Blue Lake beans didn't do nearly as well.  I had 22 of the 54 sprout.  But both did WAY better than I thought they would, after all, the Blue Lake are 8 years old and the Fordhook are 6 years old.

Here's the final shot of the bean experiment.  They now are planted in my garden.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #51 on: June 02, 2020, 01:49:37 PM »
 8)

I replanted 2/3rds of our blue lake.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #52 on: June 02, 2020, 04:00:49 PM »
The new green bean planting is coming up nicely now.  Well over half of what I planted is now popping through the soil.  Most are just the stem popping through, the cotyledon isn't even out of the soil quite yet.   But tomorrow they probably will be.

This evening I replaced the soaker hose in the squash, cucumbers and pumpkins with drip irrigation.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #53 on: June 03, 2020, 07:35:00 PM »
The other day I had some landscaping timbers delivered.  My wife wanted me to build a raised garden for strawberries.  I rarely eat strawberries, so it's all hers.  It's going to be 4'x30'-ish.  She didn't get enough plants to fill it, so this year part of it will have watermelons in it.  I've started having my garden tractor do a little more work than just mowing.  Earlier in the year, I was pulling the tiller with it.  This time I built some sides for my yard cart to haul the wood from where Home Depot would deliver to the garden.  I was able to haul 13 timbers, but it was obvious that this was close to the limit for this cart.  Not because of the weight of the timbers, but because I couldn't get the weight centered front/back.  My cart is just about riding a wheelie.



While working on the strawberry bed, I put in one of the  timbers and look down to see a small toad.  I love having toads in the garden.  Usually there's a HUGE one in there, this one was just about 2" long, not counting the legs.  Then when I was walking out of the garden and something big buzzed me.  It ended up being an Eyed Elater.  I had forgotten how big these things got.  This was about 2" long.  I just did some searching and the adults are neither beneficial nor pests.  But the young are voracious predators.  They eat all kinds of other larvae, like the larvae that prey on the roots of plants or wood boring beetles.

Here's a shot of this huge click beetle.



Hopefully I'll finish building the strawberry bed tomorrow.  Today was unseasonably warm, about 92F.  Tomorrow will be about the same.  I'd have finished it today if I didn't have to take so many breaks.  I would work about 20 minutes and rest about 40.  I also had to wait to start work, with heat and humidity like this, comes storms.  I couldn't get started until about 1.

Here's a shot of what I did get done today.  The cross pieces are mainly there to give support for the wall that's against the fence.


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2020, 03:58:33 PM »
Looking good, Fritz.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #55 on: June 06, 2020, 02:18:41 PM »
I finished building the strawberry bed.  Filled with a mixture of top soil, hummus and a little potting soil to lighten up the soil.  Nothing planted quite yet, will give it a day or 2 of our nightly rains to settle a little. 



The last 3 pots in the bean experiment finally came up.  They were just running a little late.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #56 on: June 06, 2020, 05:41:41 PM »
Lookin good on the bed

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #57 on: June 07, 2020, 05:29:07 PM »
Planted this afternoon.  Closest bed is miscellaneous herbs.  Next bed are strawberries.  Last 2 are watermelons.  Just need to figure out the best way to water these beds, I'm thinking soaker hoses, but may do some sort of sprayer.



Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #58 on: June 14, 2020, 05:46:47 PM »
Just a bit of an update.

Had my first official harvest today.  Radishes.  A shame that I don't eat many of them.  I planted them for the same reason as I plant jalapeno peppers.  They make everyone seems like a master gardener.  Of course I'll use the jalapeno peppers far more than the radishes.  But if I didn't plant jalapeno peppers, I wouldn't really miss them.



This isn't really the garden, but the fence.  The post holding the gate has been damaged for quite a while.  I decided it was time to replace it.  Instead of using concrete, I decided I'd use that post hole foam.  It seems very sturdy after about 3 hours of cure time.  I did have to cut about 6" of foam that was up above the ground level.  So much easier than concrete, I'll see how it holds up.


Offline Stwood

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Re: Fritz's garden 2020
« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2020, 05:54:53 PM »
 8) on the harvest.

I've never seen the foam in use before. I may have to ck into that.
I have a woodshed to build.