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Recent Entries to this Blog 2016 Veggie Gardens
Posted: 03 Aug 2016
Summer speed sprouts
Posted: 12 May 2015
Mystery plant just blossomed
Posted: 07 May 2015
Lost track of time
Posted: 06 May 2015
The latest and greatest in my water garden.
Posted: 29 Mar 2015

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Beeker's Blog

2016 Veggie Gardens

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:09 pm

Well, I haven't posted for this year's veggie gardens yet, not because I haven't planted, but because I just haven't gotten around to it.

There is good news, bad news and indifferent news.

Indifferent news:
I didn't get around to starting any seeds indoors this year. Considering that when I do start them, they never grow taller than an inch, I figured it wouldn't make much difference if I started them indoors or outdoors. It would probably be beneficial to start them outdoors via direct sow instead of starting them indoors and then putting the little inchlings through the stress of a transplant, so that is what I did. All went well and sprouted except for some seeds that are getting a bit old. The best performers are tomatoes, summer squash, winter squash, lettuce and watermelon. I also ended up with some volunteer tomatoes.

Bad news:
That groundhog is back. Snipped the tips off my peppers and beans in the lower garden. I'm not expecting much from those but I was able to harvest a couple of peppers for a salad last night. I also found a hole in the upper garden. It doesn't look big enough for a groundhog but something ate the leaves off of one stem of tomatoes. The hole seems too small for a groundhog or rabbit, unless it is a very small rabbit. We obviously need check and repair the fence.

Good news:
The volunteer tomatoes are doing very well, the planted tomatoes are doing very well and the tomato plant starts that were given to me are doing fantastic. The peppers were also given to me and they were great too. It is unfortunate that two got hit by the groundhog but the other two gave me a couple of early peppers. I see a couple of nice watermelons growing and an acorn squash that I am tempted to pick.

Autumn plans:
Build some raised beds and fill them with healthy soil. Our soil is sandy and rocky.
Finish mending the fences and make any adjustments needed to keep the rodents out.

Here is my first harvest for the season:

2016 1st harvest for salad ( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

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Summer speed sprouts

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Tue May 12, 2015 7:55 pm

I planted my cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, acorn squash and butternut squash about a week ago. The cukes, summer squash and zucchini are all sprouting. I plan to put them outside this coming weekend. I also plan to plant my tomatoes, eggplant and watermelon outside this coming weekend too. There is supposed to be one night below 40 this week, but it looks promising that that should be the last one. It should be safe for my veggies to finally go outside.
I've been holding back, not only because of our frost date, but because the past two years we've had very wet springs which caused me to lose a lot of tomato plants to root rot. This year is off to a very dry start.
But, I'm looking forward to the weekend!

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Lost track of time

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Wed May 06, 2015 4:28 am

I only just planted my squash seeds this weekend. I hope they pop fast. It is just about time to plant outside! I probably can do it now, but I don't want to chance it just yet. It has been about 80 degrees yesterday and today, and in the 40s at night. I think it is safe, but I'm just nervous about a cold snap hitting.
Here is an updated photo.
Why aren't the seedlings growing? They haven't grown much in the month they've been in the window.

2015 May seedlings ( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

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Veggie sprouts update

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:15 pm

I'm happy to report that just a couple of days ago, another pepper sprouted. That makes 4 out of 6. I am disappointed to say that I still don't see any eggplant seeds sprouting yet. That leaves two eggplants, two peppers, one beefsteak tom and one watermelon that still haven't sprouted.

2015 - Six seeds won't sprout ( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

But, onward...
I've transplanted 6 more sprouts into pots and took the two tomatoes and one watermelon from the original four that I potted early, and moved them upstairs to the front window along with three of the strongest looking newly potted sprouts.

2015 sprouts in window ( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

I am currently performing water changes on my fish tanks, and am holding myself back from watering my plants with the tank water. I would rather my babies work on their roots than to worry about foliage at this point.
After learning more about potassium and phosphorus, I've decided that when I transplant these seedlings out to the garden, I'll mix some beans and squash mush into the soil to promote root growth. I think I'll also keep that in mind next year when I transplant the seedlings into the pots. Any thoughts or ideas? Currently, I have them in organic potting soil and am watering them with spring water. I know it may be some over-kill with babying them, but I also want the fluoride levels to be minimal, as I have adverse reactions to it and to water them with tap water would not be good for them or me due to the fluoride content.

So, that is the story with the progress of these slow starters. Now, onto the sprinters... I can't decide if I should plant my squash seeds now or wait a couple more weeks. Now that I can get to more pots, I couldn't before because they were in the shed and there was over 3 feet of snow blocking the door, I can plant the seeds directly in pots and not have to worry about them going crazy on me like last year. Any thoughts or ideas?
Next to plant will be summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, acorn squash and butternut squash.

It is really saddening to know that the time is drawing near when I will have to pull out a TON of volunteer tomato plants. My heart is breaking just thinking about it. *teardrop*

So, again, any thoughts or ideas are very welcome!

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Here we go!!! 2015 sprouts coming along!

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:04 pm

I don't know why I don't write things down. I know my memory is terrible, so I should, but I guess I just can't remember to do it... umm... Yep, I just said that...

Anyway... I planted my seeds a couple of weeks ago. I can't remember what day because I didn't mark my calendar. It was either the last or second to last weekend of February. I placed them on the heating pads under the grow light and they sprouted, when, I don't know because I didn't write it down.

( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

Not all of the dixie cups would fit in that mini-green house gadget, so I put the rest in plastic trays. Those seem to have sprouted faster than the ones in the mini-green house. Odd.

( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

But, they are doing well. I took 4 seedlings with their dixie cup of seed starting media and moved them into 6 inch pots with regular, organic soil.

( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

After I did that, I got nervous because I thought they might still be too young, as they didn't have their second set of leaves yet. I decided to leave the rest alone and treat it as sort of an experiment. Thankfully, it has been a week, maybe more, and all is going well. The second leaves are starting to show now.

( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

So, here are the stats so far:

I planted:

7 Beefsteak Toms - 6 have sprouted
6 Plum Toms - all have sprouted
6 Pepper plants - 3 have sprouted
2 Watermelons - 1 has sprouted
2 Eggplants - none have sprouted.

Any thoughts, questions, ideas are welcome!

This blog entry has been viewed 188 times

The season is ending and I'm not getting anything done.

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:39 pm

Must... Move... Too... Tired...

I haven't gotten to move my shade bed yet.
One thing I have been doing is keeping an eye on tag sales and trash piles. My cousins and I are helping our grandmother get her house ready to sell. We are filling dumpster after dumpster with old junk, but I have saved quite a few garden tools and other items I can use for gardening. My latest find was two large glass windows. Maybe I can use those on the raised bed to lengthen our growing season.

I think our first frost hit before the weather people or I knew it. The leaves on my tomato plants turned black. I think I really had better move on those. Most of the fruit splits or gets eaten by bugs before I can pick them. I guess this is the time of year that the bugs really hit our tomatoes hard.

One thing I considered, but my better half doesn't like the idea, is mushrooms. We have an old tree stump that will be right on the edge of the bed, and I was thinking of planting mushrooms on it. I understand there is the fear of being poisoned, but if I buy the spores and plant them, I will know what the mushrooms are and that they are edible. For now, I'll wait and see how the bed goes with the stuff we already have, but that is hanging there in the back of my mind.

So, the season is ending and I'm not getting anything done... but I am planning for next year!

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Aaaahhhh!!!!!! C-c-c-c-ooooollld-d-d-d-d-D-D-D!!!!

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:33 pm

I guess it's almost that time.

I got a good scare last night. It fell into the 30s. I'll check my tomatoes when I get back this afternoon.
I checked the weather, and THEY SAY that it should not fall into the 30s again until the end of the month. I'll probably pull my toms next weekend. Time for the other dirty work!
Pull everything, compost what I can,
Move the shade bed and fill new bed with whatever I can,
Plan for next year
and experiment with indoor veggie gardening!!!
I'll start small and see how it goes.
Maybe lettuce, carrots, radishes and celery.
If it goes well, maybe some peppers and tomatoes.
I just need more space.
Hm, more light would be good too.
A lot of planning to do.

If anyone wants to share ideas, I would love to hear them. Maybe I can use some of them.

This blog entry has been viewed 232 times

Finally... Tomatoes!!!

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:09 pm

Things are finally picking up with my tomatoes.
Yesterday, I went picking through my plants and got about 5 lbs of tomatoes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are some plum tomatoes among my volunteer plants. I got mostly cherry tomatoes, but I also got a bunch of plums and two beefsteaks!
I also found the brown, shriveled remains of my hornworm with the wasp cocoons hanging off one of my yellowed tomato branches, in the same place I saw it last week.
Anyway, I brought my tomatoes inside, rinsed them off, and divided them up into four piles. One beautiful beefsteak with some nice cherry and plum tomatoes goes to my mother. She was very happy to get them. She started eating some cherry toms right away. "Heavenly," she said.
Two piles of cherry tomatoes, there are some large ones and some regular sized ones (there must have been some cross pollination), one pile for each of my grandmothers. The last pile is the other beefsteak and the rest of the cherry and plums that split, for me. The small pile of cherry toms from last week went to my brother and his family. So, there. All of my promises are fulfilled and there are still PLENTY of green tomatoes left on the vines.

This blog entry has been viewed 249 times

Picking veggies and pulling some plants.

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:26 am

I had a somewhat productive evening yesterday.

I got another three pound zucchini and decided to pull the plant. There weren't anymore blossoms, and the leaves were turning, so I figured this plant did more than enough for me. It had a great season. I got three huge zucchinis and 5 average sized ones from that one plant.

One of my acorn squash was getting yellow and a bit mildew-ish, so I pulled that plant out too. I got two good sized acorn squash from that plant. I still have another plant growing on the other end of the garden, so I'm looking forward to more.

Again, I must thank Sjoerd for his wisdom and advice. I cut the blossoms and tops off the tomato plants to make sure the plants' energy will go into ripening the tomatoes that are already grown instead of wasting it making the plant grow taller and putting out more blossoms with the season almost over. I was able to pick about 2 or 3 pounds of cherry tomatoes. I promised tomatoes to certain family members, so I'll fulfill my promises first, and once that is taken care of, I will save the rest for myself.
While I was going through the jungle of my tomato plants, I found an exciting discovery:

Tomato Hornworm with Braconid Wasp cocoons ( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

I am quite excited and have been planning on how to make my gardens more hospitable for these little babies. I was a bit surprised to see that the hornworm was still munching on my tomato plant even with its back so loaded up with cocoons. I read that they stop eating once they are infested with the eggs, nevermind the cocoons. I'm not that bothered about it though. The branch the hornworm was on isn't an important one, it is almost the end of the season, and it is carrying cocoons. Yes, hornworm, keep munching, make sure you are a healthy meal for my baby wasps. I didn't realize what I was looking at, but last night, one of the wasps tried to come into the house. I shooed it away and closed the door.

I know only my fellow stewbies can understand and appreciate my excitement over my hornworm.

This blog entry has been viewed 254 times

Picking some veggies in the garden last night...

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:14 pm

This season is miserable for my warm weather veggies. The only plants that are giving me anything to harvest right now are my cucumbers and my zucchini, and, boy, is my zucchini producing! My first was normal, and tasty. When I picked my second, a couple of weeks later, I found one more HUGE one. It was 4 lbs.! I've gotten a couple more regular sized ones since then, and then last night, I found another huge one along with another regular sized one. I don't know why that one plant is doing so well and my others are pathetic (I've gotten one yellow squash so far and only one more funny shaped one growing now), but I won't complain about it.
I also picked 4 more purple beans off of my one little plant and 4 cucumbers yesterday.
I have a box of my uncle's pickling spices. I am not sure how old it is. How long do those spices keep? I'd like to give it a try on those cukes if the spices will still be safe to use. My uncle made the best pickles.

I also picked my one ripe cherry tomato and shared it with my better half. It was the first of the season to ripen. Yum.
I also took a very wise bit of advice I received and put it into action, picking off the rest of the blossoms from the tomato plants so the plants can focus their energy on ripening the little green marbles that are already there. I have so many green tomatoes.

It looks like I will only get one Softball-sized watermelon this year. My experiment failed. I have one other watermelon on the vine that is about a baseball-sized and a couple of marbles.
Oh well.
Say it with me folks, "There's always next season!"

I'll try that same spot again for the watermelon, but NOT use that awful "alfalfa" feed CRABGRASS!!!!! Can you tell I'm irritated? I'll try harder to hide it.

**Edit: added picture below and also added pictures to previous blog entries. Take a look!

( photo / image / picture from Beeker's Garden )

Last edited: Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:31 am

This blog entry has been viewed 251 times

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