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This may be a sacrilege to mention, but the happiest plants in my fledgling garden are.... Rancho Gordo beans! I have Alubia Blancas, Midnight Blacks and Domingo Rojos, and they are all about 3 inches

pulled one last (and only the second overall) large'ish harvest of tomatoes and peppers from the community garden plot today. would have been more if not for the fact that i failed to go out there for

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15 minutes ago, Evelyn said:

smallh, give Dr. Earth Final Stop a try.

Thanks, I will. The disease comes from (as I understand it), infected caterpillars chomping on the cuke stems. The only way to control it (that I can find, anyway) is to drape the plants in netting until the danger is past, late June-ish. Meanwhile, I've replanted. My parsley and kale survive the winter - maybe the cucumbers can thrive into the fall.

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On 7/17/2020 at 3:34 PM, mongo_jones said:

major devastation discovered in our community garden plot this morning. the majority of the fruit from our tomato plants is gone, including the few that had begun to turn. leaves and stems mostly fine, the fruit gone. at first i thought it must have been a human thief but i went back again to check and found a few tomatoes lying near the bases of some plants a a few half-eaten ones around the perimeter of the plot and near the garden fence. another gardener and i found some scat that didn't seem to be produced by deer. looking very much like it was raccoons. i'm sure they'll be back soon for the few fruit they left on the plants.

the tomato season seems like a near total loss now. very disappointing for me--this was shaping up to be my best gardening season ever with more sun than i've ever had. but absolutely crushing for the older boy who got into the garden in a big way this year and who, after helping plant, had been going every other day with me to weed, water, feed and trellis the plants--he'd designed the trellis "maze" for our three rows of tomato plants (27 total). hoping the deer--who also come in from time to time--will spare the peppers and eggplants and that nothing with a taste for cauliflower will show up late as well.

the really bad news is that there does not seem to be any way of keeping raccoons out of a garden--as this is a community garden on public property i can't put in an electrified fence or motion lights or sound.

Oh mongo, how awful! I know how much you love your gardening, especially now when it's one of the few allowable activities. I cherish mine, for sure. I'm sure A is crushed. 

I don't know if this will help you, but I've enclosed my raised bed in chicken wire- mostly to keep out the prolific bunnies. Perhaps a winter project is to build a chicken wire fort? Maybe if it doesn't keep the little shits completely out, it will deter them. I'm so sorry that you lost it all :(

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i forgot to add that i went back on sunday to see how things were going and found the bastards had come back and eaten the few fruit they'd spared the first time. to add insult to injury, deer had also come in and mowed down the top 1-2 feet of each plant. there'd been a bit of pepper munching too but as of sunday at least those plants were  mostly fine (and setting fruit like crazy). let's see how the rest of the season goes for the peppers, eggplant (planted late) and cauliflower.

a friend who is very handy has offered to build us a raccoon-proof "cage" (there has to be a roof or they'll climb over). it would be a modular 8x4 enclosure made with 2x4s and chicken wire and a lighter frame over the top. assemble it every spring after planting and take it down in the fall. could probably grow a dozen plants inside it. but a few years of disappointments i'm seriously mulling cutting down on the gardening: we're usually gone for a month in the summers anyway and finding reliable people to care for the plants is almost as hard as keeping the raccoons out. maybe just doing herbs and peppers will be manageable (for both garden care and emotional investment).

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I am pretty awful at vegetable gardening. I need to stop planting too many plants in each pot. The zucchini I already ripped out. Tomatoes looked like they were growing ok and about 10-15 fruits already formed but none are turning red (not enough sun? Bad soil?). On the plus side our neighbors just pulled down a huge tree that shaded a lot of our lawn in the morning, so I might have a good spot next year to put an actual framed garden in instead of a hodgepodge of pots. At least the herbs are all growing well. 

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The summer squash is coming up, and after a few tries we're finally starting to get little okra pods.  We're still getting a really good berry harvest, including Cape gooseberries.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been pretty lucky this year. Most of my seeds were in storage for 6 years! and still produced. I planted tons of tomatoes, which started ripening about 2 weeks ago. I have: Romas, San marzanos, little red pears, pomodoros, mortgage lifters and some orange one that I'm not sure what it is. 

My rancho gordo beans grew- and produced! I didn't plant many of them, and the yield/plant isn't great, so I'm going to save what I harvested and plant next year. Alubia Blanca, Midnight Black and Domingo Roja all were successful.

Lots of Romaine and Butterhead lettuces, but boy you have to catch it before it bolts and grows bitter. 

Cukes were interesting- I think I planted the Russian cuke seeds, and they are very meaty with few seeds. 

French breakfast radishes did great, and I replanted every 2 weeks for a constant supply.

Collards were amazing- had to pick the cabbage worms off on occasion, but I have 3 massive plants, and have been giving them away to keep up.

Broccoli also a success. 

Tatsoi grew fast and furious, picked and ate weeks ago.

Carrots are doing okay, I'm going to leave them for another month.

For a 4 x 8 garden bed, I think I did pretty well. God I love growing food.

Lessons for next year- more beans, fewer tomatoes. More peppers, like poblanos. Maybe some squashes. 

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On 5/9/2020 at 11:09 AM, Orik said:

I planted the container garden two weeks ago, and put out the kumquat tree. I think the tree will be fine as it only lost the youngest leaves, but peppers, tomatoes, etc. are probably kaput. Seriously, it's almost mid May, it shouldn't be freezing.

Well, we ended up with a bumper crop of chilies - especially the very hot varieties that are usually ripe in mid to late September all produced very early. I think I got about 100 7 pots, which I guess means I can make 700 pots of something very hot. Tomatoes weren't so lucky and suffered from a combo of that early frost and a couple of very rainy weeks. Had one hornworm eat most of a Jalapeño plant but only after much of the fruit had ripened. Good zaatar, oregano, mint, basil until a couple of weeks ago. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unintentional gardening - sorghum - now that I've had it green I finally understand it, and in particular sorghum beer. Banana flavor as in beaujolais, nutty grain flavor, with a clear indication that it will develop off flavors unless immediately fermented, dried, or smoked, like wheat.



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