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Thread: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

  1. Back To Top    #61

    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    06/09

    Culled 30 dead/dying/damaged pepper plants, and planted Contender Bush Bean seeds in their place (2 seeds in each location, to be thinned to strongest seedling).
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    While there may have been additional issues, it seems clear that the frost had done far more damage to the pepper seedlings than was initially apparent; and there were a number that, while still in pots, had been particularly prone to being blown over in breezy conditions (perhaps due to weak root systems that had become compromised in some way), several of which had failed to achieve full health and vigor since being transplanted into garden, which pulled up easily today with few roots and same/similar discolored and bare (no roots) stem area just below soil level that Iíd noted while dealing with those blown over seedlings.

    Weeding and replenishing wood chips. With the herb plants having been relocated, and with thorough weeding of inner area of vegetable garden perimeter, began replenishing perimeter wood chips to help discourage weed invasion and make future weeding easier.
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    06/10

    Continued replenishing perimeter wood chips.

    Transplanted both rosemary plants into large enough pots to sustain them for at least the next couple years.

    Began process of creating triangular carrot bed to the left of the garden gate.

    06/12

    Began the process of creating long, narrow bed to the left of the garden gate. Process ultimately consisted of the following: push larger surface chips to fence side, remove remaining chips down to soil level; sift all removed chips (0.25Ē mesh); remove upper 2-3Ē of topsoil; sift all removed topsoil (0.25Ē mesh); loosen soil in-place down to ~4Ē with shovel and then break up clumps and mix in some composted cow manure and some of the sifted wood chips; combine and thoroughly mix three parts sifted soil, two parts sifted wood chips, one part sifted composted cow manure and fill in prepared area to just above wood chip level; water thoroughly to settle soil; plant seeds the following day. Triangular bed had been prepared in the same way, but with about twice as much composted manure as the long, narrow bed.

    06/13

    Planted Scarlet Nantes Carrot seeds in triangular bed.

    06/17

    Planted seeds in long, narrow bed to the left of the garden gate: Scarlet Nantes Carrot; Nantes Coreless Carrot; Early Scarlet Globe Radish; Purple Top White Globe Turnip.
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    06/20

    Bean seeds have sprouted over the last few days and are looking so-so.

    By now the vast majority of squash, pumpkin, melon and cucumber seeds planted on the 4th have either failed to germinate or were killed by striped cucumber, squash beetles, or some unknown pest(s) soon after germination. I highly doubt there will be any squash, pumpkins, melons or cucumbers at all this year.

    Finished trimming lower growth on all tomato plants. Should have given them more of a trim while transplanting them into the garden, as itís recommended to prevent foliage from touching the ground, and I wouldnít have had to remove nearly so much low growth, and the plants could have focused their efforts on upper growth. Itís tough though, given both the average depth of wood chip mulch, and the need for sufficient depth of wood chips to anchor the tomato cages.
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    06/22

    It appears that the majority of carrot seeds in triangular bed have sprouted by now. Similarly, it appears that the majority of radish seeds in the long and narrow bed have sprouted, with a few carrots beginning to emerge.

    06/23

    Bean seedlings arenít looking very good. No idea what the issue might be. Appears to be some sort of leaf blight affecting first set of mature leaves. Newer growth looks okay so far, but will presumably be slow due to whatever the issue is/was with the first set of mature leaves. Weather has been unusually hot and dry for several weeks now, perhaps that has something to do with it. Fortunately, it appears that some relief may be on the way.

    06/25

    Replanted squash, pumpkin, melon and cucumber seeds (in spots where transplanted squash, pumpkin, melon and cucumber seedlings had been killed by insects and frost, and where subsequently planted seeds have either failed to germinate or whose seedlings have been killed by insects. As of today, with only 14 of those 86 planted spots having a surviving seedling, and with two of those 86 spots no longer available due to replenishment of perimeter wood chips, all 70 remaining empty spots were planted with leftover seeds):
    14 Fordhook Zucchini
    10 Waltham Butternut Squash
    9 Tommy Apple Melon Cantaloupe
    9 Strawberry Watermelon
    9 Buttercup Squash
    9 New England Sugar Pie Pumpkin
    5 Connecticut Field Pumpkin
    5 Marketmore 76 Cucumber

    Transplanted four Greek Oregano plants into new flower and herb garden areas.

    Tomato plants are doing very well, with only one (a Jet Star) showing serious signs of some sort of leaf blight. Bunches of tomatoes on each Jet Star plant are well on the way, with the Opalkas not far behind, and a few tiny cherry tomatoes.

    All 52 remaining pepper plants are doing well (though some are now twice the size of others), and there are already a few peppers here and there.
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    06/26

    Noticed this morning that some unknown creature has eaten nearly all of the radish sprouts. Not sure if turnip sprouts are up and/or affected yet. Carrots appear to be doing fine so far.

    Both kinds of basil have not done well at all. I think itís mostly because I planted way too many seeds, way too close together, and then failed to realize (until it was too late) that they needed to be thinned.

    Received a bit of badly needed rain the last couple days, with temperatures down from crazy 90s to normal 80s.

  2. Back To Top    #62
    Noob naiku's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    Nice to see some more updates, sucks that you lost a bunch of plants, but it looks like you still have plenty growing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinder View Post
    Noticed this morning that some unknown creature has eaten nearly all of the radish sprouts. Not sure if turnip sprouts are up and/or affected yet.
    How are you dealing with bugs/pests?

    It can be really frustrating seeing your hard work eaten by pests.... as an example my grape vine was doing really well, in fact I was thinking I might be able to harvest a bunch of grapes from it this year (planted last year, this year the cane is strong enough to grow grapes) but Japanese Beetles have started attacking it and are making short work of it. I sprayed the ground with a water and dish detergent solution to kill off the grubs before they emerge, but realistically, I am not sure I would not have to spray a huge swath of my yard to have any real impact. I'm trying to avoid using too many pesticides, but may have to if I want to actually get anything from the plants.
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  3. Back To Top    #63

    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    I agree. It is incredibly frustrating to see all that effort, hope and potential so quickly and thoroughly destroyed by conditions and/or pests. However, I won't use any sort of chemical or pesticide, or even any non-toxic/organic substance that might harm beneficial insects or soil organisms. While I truly do feel like unleashing thermonuclear war on the little bastards, I'll just have to be patient and take the bad with the good, and trust that a balanced garden ecosystem will evolve in the long run.

  4. Back To Top    #64

    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    07/09

    The vast majority of tomato plants have been severely damaged by some sort of leaf blight. At the rate theyíve been losing leaves, from the ground up, over the last several days, Iíll be surprised if all but a few of the healthiest plants arenít dead within the next week or two. The cherry tomato plants appear least affected, along with a few of the Jet Star plants. Fingers crossed that at least these plants will continue to thrive.

    Pepper plants are doing well, with a number of sizeable peppers already well on the way.

    Bush bean plants (amongst the pepper plants), having had some sort of a rough start, now appear to be doing well.

    The two carrot, radish and turnip beds are doing so-so. While the triangular bed with just carrots has only a few remaining seedlings left at this point, the long bed seems to be doing a lot better Ė mostly due, I presume, to differences in how the seeds were sown. It appears that broadcasting seeds and then a layer of soil worked far better than in holes and shallow rows. Also, the soil of the triangular bed was prepared with around twice the composted manure of the long bed Ė which might have been too much.

    Sunflower seeds sown on the 3rd are sprouting.

    Remains to be seen if any of the very few surviving squash/pumpkin/melon/cucumber plants will ever reach maturity, let alone produce anything. Odds are presumably slim to none.

    Weather has continued to be far dryer and warmer than normal, which hasnít helped matters.

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  5. Back To Top    #65

    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    07/13

    Planted Contender Bush Bean seeds in additional failed squash/pumpkin/melon/cucumber spots.

    07/14

    Received some badly needed rain overnight. Apart from that, the dry spell continues.

    07/18

    Bush beans planted on the 13th have begun to sprout.

    Long carrot/turnip/radish patch seems to be doing well (along with a number of volunteer cherry tomato plants - gonna just leave them be and see what happens; probably a mistake, but oh well). Triangular carrot patch, not so much, with just a handful of surviving carrot sprouts.
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    Two older field pumpkin plants seem to be doing well, with a couple/few younger ones that might make it as well. Itís late in the season though. Iíll be surprised if there are any pumpkins at all this year.
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    Basil (foreground) has finally taken off a bit, though for the most part it has continued to bolt/go to seed.
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    Pepper plants continue to thrive, with a number of plants already loaded with sizeable peppers. Bush beans (amongst the peppers) are doing well and have begun to flower.
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    A number of newer butternut and/or buttercup squash plants (lost track), along with possibly a couple/few pie pumpkin (not sure whatís what at this point) and a couple cucumber plants look like they might make it - though, again, itís awfully late in the seasonÖ The sunflowers, too, are well behind scheduleÖ
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    Tomatoes are already ripening on the Jet Star plants most badly damaged by leaf blight; which if Iím not mistaken, is further evidence that those plants are rapidly dying. The one most badly blighted Opalka plantís tomatoes have begun to ripen as well.
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    While it remains to be seen what sort of tomato harvest there will be this year, Iím a lot more optimistic at this point than I was a week ago. In any case, it seems clear enough that this yearís tomato harvest can only be a small fraction of what it might have been without this leaf blight.
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  6. Back To Top    #66

    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    07/20

    Three cherry tomato plants were blown over at some point during the night or previous day.
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    Added 4í metal fence posts (one each) to support all nine cherry tomato plants, as their greater height and overall size and density make them much more susceptible to wind than the Opalkas and Jet Stars. Thus far, Iíve simply relied on the wood chips (and a bit of soil as well, in areas where the wood chips arenít so deep), in conjunction with the plants themselves, to anchor the cages. In future, I will be sure to more deeply anchor the cages in wood chips and/or soil.

    07/25

    First tomatoes!!!
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    The three cherry tomato plants that had been blown over are doing well and appear no worse for wear.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  7. Back To Top    #67
    Junior Member Alternater43's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    I like these before/after threads. I find it so satisfactory. Which trimmer do you use for such a small area? (If you use it)

  8. Back To Top    #68

    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    Assuming I've understood your question, it's a Ryobi model P2009 13" brushless string trimmer, with one 4 Ah 18 volt lithium battery. It works well. No problems in four summers of more or less weekly use. Battery lasts 15 - 25 minutes (on low speed - no matter what I'm trimming, I've never found a need for high speed), depending on what I'm trimming and how long I'm on/off the trigger. If the trimming is particularly light, and if I'm very quick about it, I can sometimes do the entire yard (including the garden perimeter) on one charge.

    In 2017, before all those perimeter trees were gone, I once cut gnarly full-grown grass and weeds all around and in-between them with the Ryobi. It took a number of days, at 15-minute intervals (each followed by at least 3-4 hours battery cool-down and charging cycle). Of course, such a task would be much better suited to a heavy duty gas-powered trimmer of some sort (and not let the grass get waist-high). With the trees gone, I simply cut the entire one-acre (+/-) area once a year with an old DR brush hog.
    Last edited by Grinder; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:19 AM.

  9. Back To Top    #69

    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    By the way, the garden has been going strong, and I haven't given up posting garden updates. It's just that I've been busy, and I'm waiting 'til I can post pictures via hosting site - rather than continue to upload them here - to help preserve CAJ's finite storage capacity.

  10. Back To Top    #70

    Re: Grinder's no-till vegetable garden

    At long last, here we go again!

    (Iíll let the pictures speak for themselves)

    07/28




















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