Beautiful produce Bernie! We are home and I started ripping out overgrown plants and weeds yesterday. Lots of purslane, it is everywhere!
We picked all the vegetables and dug two beds of sweet potatoes yesterday to take to a little church in a very poor section of the county. They will distribute them today.
While on vacation I planned the fall planting on paper. Of course now I've changed my mind! It always seems like I have so much more room on paper.
Great start to a new thread with all those lovely pictures of the very yummy looking harvest!
My tomato harvest varies from year to year but I usually still have green tomatoes on my plants when I rip them out late fall because it has gotten too cold for more tomatoes to ripen. So commonly tomatoes thru September. Starting dates depend on weather and what I have planted. This year was picking the early tomatoes by the second week of July. There were years were I had to wait till almost August.
Getting ready to start my overwintered-veggie transplants - kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, fennel, etc. The trays are full of media, fresh clean labels laid out, seeds selected; now I need to clear off some table space on the pool deck. Oh, and get the weeds out of the garden (groan). ;o)
I was going to pull up the cucumber vines today but much to my surprise not only did I find still find cucumbers to pick but there are still more comming. So the vines stay for a while still. They sure do look ratty.
A soaker hose or the hoses with the little holes in them will be less labor and probably cheaper. Or get one of the cheap hoses on end-of-summer clearance at the discount stores and poke holes in it.
If you do go with PVC, 1/4" isn't going to be drip, it'll be flood, and you'll lose pressure at the end of the end -- there won't be enough water pressure to make all the holes drip evenly. I'm thinking 1/16th might be a better size? Or 3/32nds?
There's no way I could do that here -- there's just not enough water pressure to fill those lines.
For the size you are doing, you may get more mileage out of making a PVC supply line and then attaching drip emitter tubing to it. Cheaper, too, unless you scored some free PVC.
I have mine every 12" -- 3 lines in each 4' wide bed -- and it really doesn't cover like I'd want it to. I use the 1/4" soaker line. I want to add some lines but I'm going to see how the system does when I double the size first.
Linda, PVC is tricky to work with and permanent. You will have to weld the pieces together to keep them from leaking at the joints and in the pictorial this guy's layout will have to stay in place as well. The only thing I use PVC for is for a header system which I can run four soaker hoses of one riser for my corn and beans.
I do what Nicole suggests with 1/4-inch soaker hose in a 4' x 8' raised bed for Romaine lettuce and it worked well, however it was a bit unweldly when I took it our and tryied to replace it the next season.
I use the better grade of 1/2- inch PVC hose from Lowes for my 60 ft drip feed hoses. I can place the nozzles at various distances on the hose with a small tool which punctures the PVC hose. Nozzles come in various deliver sizes and this gets a bit tricky when you have as many soaker hoses and drip feed hoses coming off a 20 header system so all my connections require a ball valve for adjustment. It isn't finite by any means, but if I'm getting too much water in one location I can either reduce the flow or shut it off entirely.
There has got to be a thousand different ways to set up any irrigation system with all the options available. Trial and error seems to be rule for me. I have gone through six different brands of soaker hoses until I found one in Texas which sells the hoses in 500 ft rolls which I cut to the required length and add my own fittings.
My garden gets completely tilled each fall and spring so at the end of harvest nothing gets left in the field. Once all plant refuse is out I till with a tiller pulled behind my 26hp lawn tractor, add a couple of pickup loads of well composted cow manure and till again. Come sping I till a third time. Point being is the irrigation system has to be removed each fall and put back again in the spring. So flexibility is my main concern in any irrigation set up.
If you can work around an irrigation system with your plantings and harvesting you can make your system more permanent, just be careful how permanent you make it. If you don't like it you will have to tear it apart and start again and I hate to admit the number of times I have had to redue my systems to get it to where I like it, and even then I'm still modifying them with some new idea each year.
Thanks for ya'lls feedback, guys. I have a couple soaker hoses already, just have never laid them out. Also, I have Bocabob's Auto Watering System components (with poly tubing, drip lines, and emitters), and have never put it together, either!
Harvested the French Fingerling potatoes today, due to having to prepare the bed for next season's garlic. It got down to 36 degrees last night, and still working on the green house and the second raised bed. I covered the outside garden plants last night, just in case of frost, and closed up the little hoop hot house nice and snug for the avocado trees, especially. It'll be freezing here in another week, probably. I decided to build a stem wall on the south side of the greenhouse out of 16' 2x12's I already have. Will have to get a couple more for the vertical studs. The angle iron will rest on top of the stem wall header plate, anchored by rebar through the cement block piers, the hoops will rest in the angle iron, and hoops connected with u-bolts. Before snowfall, there'll have to be an arbor in the center to support it, but there's still time for that. I still have to get the 55 gallon drums ($20 each) to help heat the greenhouse. At least I think these are my plans, lol, they've change so many times. I decided, due to the lateness of the season and difficulty of doing a double span, to fore-go that idea this year and make single 16' cattle panel spans stem wall to stem wall. I still have stuff to transplant. Busy, busy, these days. Hope you're all well and happy and able to do all you dream of doing this fall! :)
Freezing in September? Eeek. I don't think I could handle that.
Nothing new in the garden really. Radishes are almost ready. Turnips are almost gone and I've been remiss on planting more. Potatoes are pretty much entirely melted with blight -- two are hanging on with one minor signs. It seems potatoes are one experiment that really failed!
Well I took out the 2 potato plants which were all the way completely 100% dead. I got a few 1-2" potatoes, but they don't taste right, like perhaps the starches hadn't developed properly yet. And there was some heavy slug damage.
Of the two true seed capsules, they were too young so save seed from. I thought more of the plants had seeds on them, but perhaps they fell off or were eaten by something.
Kinda of a disappointing outcomes for this experiment. There are a couple which look so-so and the rest are barely alive. I will leave them in until they are dead for sure; maybe I will do better with the remaining plants.
More collard and cabbage seeds going into the seedling trays. Had to move all my seedling starts off the back porch as DH is screening it in for my birthday present. Also, overwintering some daylily starts I bought in the winter veggie beds. The dog got into them while they were soaking and tore off the labels. I still have the labels but I don't know which is which. Sigh, I have to wait 'till they bloom to see where to put them. I am trying michihili cabbage for the first time. I read on someone's blog that it can be harvested all winter long. We'll see. My personal English pea experiment is going in this weekend. Also will be out at the local nursery scouting for some more blueberry bushes for a second bed. Probably not the best time to plant blueberries, but if they are on end of season sale I'll plant them and mulch well. Should be OK.
Sorry I was off this thread almost all of August. Things were really hectic here at work with many accounting reports due so we can be ready for end of year...
It's been a great melon year here. I brought in a 22 pound cantaloupe recently. It was a Burpee Hyb. Early Crenshaw. Several others were quite large. They can be awesome in taste.
The Sugar Queens bore their hearts out too with scrumptious fruits. A Diplomat bore 23 fruits though many of the last were small and likely to not get picked.
Watermelons really have been very large in many cases. From the 38 pound Raspa on down, it has been a joy to watch them grow. One plant [a Gold Strike] bore three large fruits on the second setting...37, 32, and 30 pounds. And Bernie, the Sangria are very delicious too although they don't size up quite as large as some of the others.
Bernie, I prefer the quality of larger melons...just more oomph put into them. Cooperstown seedless was extremely high quality for a seedless...bore three fruits on one vine...one was about 20 pounds, another about 18, and the third about 12 pounds...great for that little old lady.
I have a sirloin steak & a nice big tomato sliced with sugar.
A new seasoning from Sams on the steak. A nice bite to it!
I will have a bowl of our strawberries for dessert.
Picked 57 pints yesterday, only sold 48, so 9 go in the freezer tomorrow!
I picked three small cucumbers today and that is it. The last of them and they are done for sure. I will be pulling them out shortly. Can't complain. Cucumbers did really well this year.
Picked lots and lots and lots of tomatoes today. Can't believe they are still coming so well this late in the year. Gave two nice sized bags of tomatoes away to two different neighbors. And I have a much bigger bag still for myself of tomatoes.
I am several days late coming in on the drip tube, but i had thirty miles of it in Idaho, so know a little bit about it. The biggest benefit that good quality drip emitter tube gives is even flow, so the water does not mostly run out the low end. Netafim only costs 30 cents a foot, here in CA, so probably cheaper there.
But the drawback you need to be aware of is if your soil is too porous, the low volume from the emitters will soak downward and not spread half way to the next emitter. They make tubes with six inch spacing but most places do not stock that size. So, when i need the holes closer together, i just lay two tubes side by side, and stagger the holes.
It is easily moved, as it does not weigh much, and the wire staples hold it where ever you need it. I have either tried, or seen others try just about every different way, but good self pressure regulating drip tube is the easiest, cheapest and best way to go.
I hope this helps repay all the good advice all of you gave me last Spring, when i was starting the tomatoes. I have had a very successful season, still getting tomatoes, but just got hit with 105 degrees yesterday and today. I see some damage to other things and will find out about the tomatoes in the next few days.
So thanks a lot to all of you, especially Mark aka Ray Der Phan, as that advice really worked for me.
I pulled out all the ratty cucumber vines today and was surprised that I found a bunch of cucumbers still to pick along in the ratty vines. I had picked cucumbers yesterday and figgured that was the last of them. But today this is truely the last of them because all the vines are out and even the roots are pulled. Really this is the latest that the cucumbers have ever made it. Usually they die off long before mid September. Bagged them up for the garbage instead of composting them due to finding cucumber beetle larva. Don't want to help any cucumber beetles to survive to the next generation!
OK- Here's what's happening in my garden-I am getting ready for 2013-1st photo is something I am so proud of! I have strawberry plants making babies everywhere in my veggie space, and I recently ordered these cool planters from http://www.genericseeds.com (free shipping) and I have been trying to figure how to hang them. I was sketching away today when I suddenly thought of sawhorses- ran to Lowe's and got a pair of metal sawhorse brackets- voila! with lumber I had on hand instant sturdy hangers. Next 2 are trellises I am working on for pole beans & cucumbers.This year I had the trellises parallel to the fence and couldn't reach behind to pick- so now they will be perpendicular to the fence. Next is an area where the maple tree roots filled up my growing area, so I put weed block and mulch- now it will hold containers. Last is a long view of most of my garden. The pyramids have carrots, endive, and my seeded onions that I hope will grow in half barrels in the greenhouse.
JoeParrott, you have such an interesting garden. I love seeing your photos as I always get an idea or two! I've seen those planter thingys around. They seem to really be popular in this area. Good luck for next year and this winter!
Do you have a schematic for how you built your pyramids? I've been admiring them for years now, and finally have a source for FREE cedar. It's the perfect time. I just need some visuals or explanation of how they're constructed.
Your garden (as usual) is SPECTACULAR! Can't wait to see everything filled in.
P.S. When did you seed your onions? I started mine this past weekend in the painted drawer seed trays. Hoping to have transplants by late December/early January. I figured out that if Dixondale Farms wouldn't ship me onion transplants before December, I could go ahead and grow my own!
Never have tried growing them before, but there's an excellent video tutorial on the Bayou Gardener's website. Google "The Bayou Gardener growing onions in a container YouTube" and you can see this guy in action!
My tomatoes are loaded with green tomatoes, and I transplanted some big ones out of the north bed outside to pots inside the soon-to-be-covered tunnel/greenhouse. They got frost, but I removed the black leaves and they're doing fine and still loaded with blossoms. Everything's in there except the hay bale tomatoes, okra, corn and some spinach in plastic tubs outside. I'm covering everything with a large sheet of plastic at night, and hopefully, weather permitting, will get the plastic on the hoops tomorrow.
You, Rita, have had a great tomato year, to be sure. I can't wait til mine turn red. :) I have some under a light here in the house, just in case, too, because I hate going through the winter without fresh tomatoes, and I recently discovered that the grocery store leaf lettuce is coated with plastic "smart film" - I peeled plastic off the individual leaves. I'll NEVER buy leaf lettuce at the store, again!! I'll just substitute fresh spinach from my garden if I can't get another lettuce crop going in the greenhouse. Those corporations don't care about us, that's for sure. They think we'll eat anything, if we don't know it's there.
OK, they're not vegetables - so shoot me. It's all the same to me down here - food. I picked these on Oct. 13. The Kaffir Lime (fruit on top) is growing on a large pot on rollers on the pool deck so it can be wheeled inside when a hard freeze is forecast. The Lakeland Limequat (bred from and very similar to a key lime) is growing in the ground just south of the pool enclosure. The picture shows on fully ripe fruit and one picked in the more common green state.
I was surprised that the Kaffir Lime actually does have quite a bit of juice in it (having always heard they were rather dry) and also that the juice was quite bitter (might make an interesting gin drink). The rind is so thick and oily that you need only poke a fingernail in to end up with a very fragrant hand. Wish I had a proper still set up - there's a lot more fruit on the way.
The limequat is tart with the typical key lime aroma and flavor, but unlike the very tender key lime it's hardy up here in Gainesville without any special care. Half of a fruit squeezed into an Iced tea glass of cold sparkling water makes a very refreshing drink, and it's a good addition to a sangria, or for any of the many other uses to which limes are suited.