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Beeker's Blog

The leaves are already changing.

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:44 pm

Yellows and reds are starting to poke through the green leaves on the trees. They are appearing a month early.

And, one red poking through my green garden.
I noticed that one of my cherry tomatoes is finally ripe. One. lol.

My eggplant has two more blossoms and one little purple bulb growing on it. My pepper plant has a blossom, and I was able to pick one yellow squash.

I am getting a bit nervous about the blossoms only now forming on my warm weather plants as the leaves are beginning to change and autumn nears. I am getting the paper bags ready for my tomatoes, as I don't believe I have time to leave them on the vines to ripen.

I guess I just have to gain more experience with gardening. The timing of planting being one of my weaknesses is a zone issue and an issue of unpredictable New England weather. I plan to use some containers to shield seedlings from excessive rainfall in the spring and make some other minor changes. This is the second season I've lost plants to spring rains. But, if I wait for the rain to slow, it would be too late in the season to bother planting a garden at all.
I am thankful for the volunteer tomatoes. They more than made up for my lost plants, even if they are still only green.

With the sun shining brightly this past weekend, my better half and I tried to plan where we will be moving our second bed to. If we can get enough cinder blocks, it will be bigger, yippy!! Our only issue is leaving enough room to be able to get in and out of the shed. Hopefully, we can get started on moving and filling it soon, so we will have less to do come spring.

Last edited: Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:46 pm

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Plans for autumn...

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:49 pm

I ended up pulling that broccoli.
At least I have some room to walk now.
I read that my zone 5/6 (I'm right on the line) has a little more time to plant for an autumn harvest. I plan to do that this week and coming weekend. Maybe I can get some broccoli after all.
We finally had a weekend of sunshine so I could see where our shade bed will be moved to. It only needs to be moved about 8 feet and, if I have the materials, I can make it larger. I have made plans to change the veggies around a bit next year so there won't be cross pollination among my toms and squash. *fingers crossed*
Since we use cinder-blocks for the border, I plan to use the holes for the carrots and radishes, that way the resident rabbit can't get at them. The plans are all there and drawn out. I just hope that I get enough space. *toes crossed too!*

This blog entry has been viewed 249 times

Can't get in!

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:47 pm

Thank you to all my volunteer tomatoes.
It is a pleasure to see so many happy plants. BUT, start producing already!

Anyway, first thing is first.
I know it is caused by raking, but all of my volunteer cherry tomato plants are in the very front of the garden. I can't get in! Yesterday, I had to step on some of my broccoli just to get over to the squash and check to see if there are any little yellow sausages on the sad little plants. One.
Pretty pathetic that I got excited over that, but that is how bad the season is.

I'm only starting to see green cherry toms now. I noticed my cherry toms are usually ready sooner than the beefsteak or plums.

I have been getting some cukes and some zucchini. I have a few watermelon that are currently softball sized and some acorn squash on their way. My peppers are just leafy plants. I have one blossom on my eggplant.

Broccoli are large, leafy green plants, but no heads at all. The kohlrabi is doing well. Lettuce is looking good.
The baby spinach is growing like crazy.

I'm strongly considering pulling the broccoli just to get some walking room, as I've given up on the possibility of heads. Any thoughts?

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

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

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

Last edited: Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:09 am

This blog entry has been viewed 261 times

What I do when I'm too exhausted to work in the garden...

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:40 pm

This past week has been very busy, and the coming week will be the same, but for different reasons.
I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

So, I'm just going to sit and plan next year's gardens.

One problem that needs adjusting:
My shade bed gets too much shade.
At the time I built it, I had no choice. It was the sunniest part of the shady area.
But, with so many storms causing problems for people, I am actually one of the people who has benefited. I couldn't take trees down to make more sun in the garden because none of the trees are mine. They all belong to neighbors and grow so large that they shade my garden too. The latest development is, with this latest string of storms, one neighbor has decided to take down their tree, which will lead to more sun in my garden! As soon as it's done, I'll have to start watching how the sun falls and move my shade bed. Perhaps it will become another sun bed!

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Starting to see some action!

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:00 pm

My watermelon plant is starting to produce! Last year I got 4 from it but I watered it too much so they weren't sweet at all. Any advice?

The steps I've taken so far are:
Moved the watermelon plant from the bottom of the hill to the top, where the rainwater won't settle.
Haven't watered it myself, but have left crabgrass around it to hold moisture and absorb excess rainwater.
The crabgrass is getting tall, so I'm considering trimming it down, or possibly pulling it entirely.
What do you think?

I picked my first zucchini! I'll have it in a salad with some fresh spinach from my garden tonight.

I see some little green tomatoes finally.
I also see some tiny cucumbers and squash. There are a lot of male blossoms on these plants but only one or two female blossoms. Is there anything I can do to help the plants along in producing fruit-bearing blossoms?

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Crabgrass pros and cons...

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 am

I pulled the rest of the crabgrass, leaving some around the watermelon a little while back, but now I'm wondering about that. I noticed that the crabgrass seemed to hold the moisture in the soil. I guess the dew would drip down to the soil and since the crabgrass was so thick, it stayed wet along the bottom of the blades. Once I pulled the crabgrass out, I noticed the soil dried out very quickly. It is raining again and I'm not sure which is better, to leave the crabgrass or pull it.

Pulling pros
plants are getting more sun
more nutrients are available for the plants

Pulling cons
It hasn't happened yet, but I'm worried about rain washing out my plants
Moisture seemed to be held by the soil longer

Does anyone have any thoughts?

This blog entry has been viewed 203 times

Pulled out most of the crabgrass. Thinking of leaving some.

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:10 pm

I know, it is an odd thing to say, but I am thinking of leaving some crabgrass in the garden. I've got 75% of it out, and the last bit will be dug into soon. I want to get it away from the tomatoes, beans, and squash, but I am thinking of leaving it around the watermelon. Here's my idea about it: My garden bed is on a bit of a hill. Last year, I had the watermelon at the bottom of the hill. It grew well, but the melons were not sweet at all. I was told that they got too much water. They get sweeter from a little dryness. So, this year, I've moved the watermelon to the top of the garden and, with this crabgrass, I'm thinking that when it rains, the crabgrass will help absorb any extra water around the watermelon. With this tropical storm we just had, I'm thinking the crabgrass may have come in handy. I'm still irritated that it is crabgrass and not alfalfa, so I do still intend to call the company, but this will hold me over until I can get some better flowers or herbs to plant around the watermelon to absorb any excessive moisture.
Any thoughts?

This blog entry has been viewed 181 times

Any volunteers????? Too many!

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:36 pm

I really have to start weeding!
I guess the alfalfa pellets I raked in were full of crabgrass too. Cheap stuff. Now, I've got tons of crabgrass growing in my garden. I was trying to pull some of it yesterday, and counted 9 volunteer tomato seedlings! So much for being short tomato plants! I lost 3 and gained 9! Now I have to give some away! That is fine because I do have people who wanted some. I was afraid I'd have to give them bad news.
What a delight to find so many volunteers! I also found a volunteer bean bush! I guess I pushed everything around when I raked so I really have to get these sprouts organized. Everything is growing everywhere! My organized layout is turning into chaos! I don't mind so much now, but I'm sure I will when they get bigger.

This blog entry has been viewed 183 times

When one door closes, another opens...

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:09 pm

Well, as I mentioned in my last entry, I lost half of my tomato seedlings.
I just noticed a few days ago, that I somehow gained the same number back. I lost two beefsteak and one cherry tomato, leaving me with two plum and one beefsteak. I just found two, possibly three seedlings growing randomly in my garden. I am almost certain that they are cherry tomatoes, as they are growing in the general area I had my cherry tomatoes last year. I will still have to go out and buy some beefsteak tomato plants if I can find the ones I'm looking for, but I'm happy to find these little guys. Yes, I do use heirloom, so they will be just as wonderful as last year's.
I am considering direct sowing in the autumn next year. I am not planning on it this year because I plan to till next spring. We'll see.

This blog entry has been viewed 205 times

Argh...  Tomato redo...  Again!

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:36 pm

I'm not sure what happened this time.
Something in the ground, too much water, too little water, something else?

Two out of three of my beefsteaks flopped. I'm strongly considering going out and buying some seedlings, if I can still find any available.
I planted the seedlings, they were a little over an inch tall. I put a cut toilet paper core around the little guys to avoid any issues with cutworms, I watered them when they needed it. They still died. I don't know why. When I was working on the fence in that area, I did find a couple of cutworms, but they didn't look cut. They looked like they either died from lack of water, or too much, or something with the underground environment. I don't know what happened. I still have one healthy one left.

Just as a note -
Adjustments for next year:
I will plant the seeds, in seed starting soil, in my egg carton/chinese food container mini-greenhouses but next time,
I will cut the bottoms of the egg cups to leave a hole for the roots to grow through more freely.
At the same time, I will set small pots up with potting soil and a spot in the center where the egg cups will go once the sprouts are ready.
Once the sprouts start to grow to about an inch tall, I will put the egg cups into the pots. I WILL NOT WAIT AT ALL. One inch. No procrastinating.

This blog entry has been viewed 384 times

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