Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:58 pm
Wow, my first garden is having some interesting developments. It's my 100% cub prepaired 50'x100' garden.
First the corn. I planted roughly 20 rows, 40 feet long. Sweet, silver queen & butter something. I have a few stalks which are about 5' tall & look just right. The odd part is that some of the corn is plain old missing. I'm talking bare 5-10' sections with a few straglers here & there. Then perhaps 50% of the corn is only between 2' and 3' tall & have corn husks growing. I've never seen corn so short.
Second. I see squash in the store which is yellowish & smooth. Mine start that way but quickly get bumpy all over. It looks like warts (not that I have them, the squash do). Some of the plants produce dark yellow squash and others are very light yellow.
Zuccini is spectacular & my wife has many different ways of prepairing them
Cantalope was late but growing like mad, carrots are going strong, tomatoes are growing like mad.
Only two eggplants (out of 10) came up & are about 12" tall & not doing much.
Green beans never grew.
Peas are doing "ok".
There won't be a shortage of pumpkins in my neighborhood.
I fertilized it in the spring before planting with help from the local garden centers instruction but have not done anything since.
Any thoughts or tips? I know there is much to be said but a few quick suggestions would be very much appreciated!
Thank you! David
Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:48 am
Dave, some of the missing corn was probably pulled up by the birds. They pull it as it first starts showing out of the ground. The bumpy squash is an old variety of summer squash. Should be picked small and light yellow. Dark ones are over mature. Ed
Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:58 am
Ditto to what Ed said about the corn. Birds, and crows in particular, will walk down the rows and get the corn seed just like they were at a buffet. My squash is the yellow crook neck and it needs to be picked when small. As to the egg plant. I quit planting the globe shaped egg plant in favor of the oriental type. The orential type makes a long egg plant about 2" or so in diameter. It makes much better, for me, than the regular globe shaped type. Plus the skin is tender and can be eaten too, unlike the globe type. When my wife fries the globe type, you have to peel the slice likd bologna. They both have the same taste to me, oriental just makes better. By that, I mean that it makes more egg plants. We set out 6 or 8, whatever is in a flat, and have egg plant to give away. Don't know if this helps, just my thoughts on the matter. Whatever we make in the garden, it tastes so much better that store bought.
Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:07 am
My peas died,my green beans got ate up,replanted,seem to be doing fine.If it is a first year garden your doing good.To wet out here though this week is going to be dry.I can't get my tractors in my graden,they would sink to the top of the hood.Both tracors blew their hyds any ways.Fix it time.Pulled some zuccini and summer squash out of my grade.$150.00 invested $1.00 reurn so far.OUCH Kevin
Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:37 am
Thanks guys! That explains it.
Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:13 pm
The yellow crookneck (warts-as you describe them) squash has a much stronger flavor than the straight smooth skinned yellow such as Sunray. Both of them as well as Zucchini are much better when picked young. The older the fruit is the more "woody" it gets. We pick ours when the thicker part is about 2" diameter.
Our green beans are being eaten by deer for the 2nd season in a row. We went 11 years without a problem. Time for a taller fence or a bigger freezer
Depending on the variety of corn you're growing a short stalk is not out of the question. Hybrids are developed for producing good ears of corn for eating by people versus the hybrids used for silage for dairy cows. Corn requires lots of fertilizer (nitrogen) as well.
Peas are a cool weather crop and should be planted in early to mid-April around you to do well.
Broccoli is another crop to be planted earlier than usual. We got ours in the beginning of May and it's producing really nice heads now. Planted to late and they flower out early.
Have fun - you'll figure out what works and then be amazed how each year is different.
Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:23 pm
When trouble shooting a non-starting new Cub, one of the tests is often a compression test to determine the condition of the engine. It is just the same with a garden. Ya gotta do a 'compression test' in the form of a soil test. The soil test will give you a reading of the 'inventory' of crop nutrients in the soil. Once you know the 'inventory' you can suppliment that 'inventory' with the necessary nutrients to give you a good yield. One of the problems with the garden center recommendations is that it is a generalization and may not meet your needs.
A soil test costs ~$15 and is a wise investment. Normally test your soil every 3 years, so it works out to be $5 or less per year. When you consider all the time, effort, expense, and frustration when things don't work out well - $5 per year is a very small cost to reduce the chance of poor results.
I just checked here http://www.umass.edu/plsoils/soiltest/services1.htm
and UMass does the standard soil test for $9. What a deal!
Bill (Don't guess, soil test.) Hudson
Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:28 pm
Peter Person wrote:Our green beans are being eaten by deer for the 2nd season in a row.
Try a product called Liquid Fence, sprayed directly on the plants. It's a little expensive, but it works. For next year, you may want to consider electric fence for the whole garden, if that's feasible in your neighborhood. It only gets worse. http://www.kencove.com
Broccoli is also a good fall crop. Set out plants about August 1st and keep watered during any dry spells. If you can't find seedlings, plant seed now.
Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:00 pm
Hi again. I just wanted to thank everyone for their responses!!!! I know this will be a learning thing but we (son 6 and daughter 3, my wife & I) are still having a great time with the garden. My kids get so excited when I say "let's go see the garden". They instantly light up & yell out "TRACTOR RIDE TO THE GARDEN!" Just wait till next year!!
When things started to come up & the dear started nibbling, I ended up buying 8', pvc coated wire fence & had to install about 18 4"x4" posts. The ground based pests are being kept out but the flying critters are starting in. The strawberrys took a big hit but thats about all that their interested in so far.
Thanks again for the responses (& phone consultation!)
Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:34 pm
For our strawberry patch (16' x 25') I took some 3/4" pvc pipe and fittings and made 6 ribs to an arch shape about 7' tall at the ridge, 4 with a 4-way connector and 2 with a 3-way connector for the ends. I cut 5 pieces at 5' to create the ridge. On each long side I put a 24" piece of 1/2" rebar into the ground 5' O.C. Once erected we use the black plastic netting used in blueberry orchards draped over the pvc and held in place with plastic cable ties. The whole setup takes us about an hour to put up in the spring and about a half hour to take down in the fall. No problem with birds or deer. The chipmunks and mice get a few berries.
I thought I had some pictures but I don't.
Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:50 pm
On the corn,---wire worms will also destroy the seed in the ground, then cutworms will get some after it comes up,--also most sweet corns won't tolerate cold wet ground!
soil testing can give an idea of what your soil might need too!
This has been an unusual year for gardening since the weather has not been very nice to us!
Consider trying some specific varieties well suited for your area too! Sounds like you did well for first year gardener, so now fine tune your strategy, and really hit it next year!!! thanks; sonny
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