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Old 07-23-2011, 19:35   #1
farmer-dave
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How are your gardens doing?

I gave up on watering mine, figured the water bill wasn't going to be worth the produce produced. Starting to think more seriously about some sort of rainwater collection system, either that or I need to move my garden closer to the pond and use a pump to irrigate.
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Old 07-23-2011, 20:22   #2
marlinfan
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It didn't rain up here for a month, now we got 6 inches in the last 24 hours. What a weird summer. I just moved to a new place so the only thing I got in were some tomatoes and green beans. They are doing fine but it sure is easier just to by them at the store. lol
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Old 07-23-2011, 20:47   #3
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Wish I had a pond. I have 300 gallons of collected rain water, but it wouldn't go far watering our garden so I save it for emergencies. I'm on a shared well and use drip irrigation every day. There is a fellow down the road with 500 acres of corn that will produce nothing for his effort. We've had one decent rain of about 1.25" of rain in the last month or so. The heat has been terrible. My cucumbers are producing great, tomatoes okay - if I can get them before some critter and the green peppers are doing well. Raspberries are done, so that's it for my garden. Seems like when my produce finally comes in they sell the same stuff at the farm stand so cheap I always threaten to not bother the next year. I know this is the last year of starting things from seed.

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Old 07-23-2011, 22:07   #4
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Rain?? What is this rain you speak of? Seriously our garden is getting baked, it was 109 here today and it hasn't rained in a month. We water daily and we're starting to get some stuff but the heat is destroying most of it. I hate summer time.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:55   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmer-dave View Post
I gave up on watering mine, figured the water bill wasn't going to be worth the produce produced. Starting to think more seriously about some sort of rainwater collection system, either that or I need to move my garden closer to the pond and use a pump to irrigate.
So did I. Dug my potato's and tilled the rest of it up. I had the same thought as you, my electric bill for running my pump will cost more than buying my produce at the store.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:09   #6
farmer-dave
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The Kansas heat has definitely been brutal this year, 109 was what my thermometer said as well. We harvested the last of our squash, and the potatoes are still in the ground. It would be a tough year if we had to depend upon our gardens for survival. Even the crops are wilting away, soybeans are looking pretty poor.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:37   #7
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It's cut the food bill significantly, but it's not been worth the effort, dollar wise. It would have been, had the soil been better. The tractor broke down and without a front end loader, no way was I going to spread the compost on the kind of scale that was required. Other than that, it's been pretty good!
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:12   #8
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Hm. Where I live (Pac NW) we first saw the sun on July 4 of this year. The temperature has been < 70 for most of the summer so far too. I am still waiting for the tomatoes to set, and the pumpkins are a lost cause. I haven't bothered watering much because it rains heavily more often than not. A strange year, that's for sure. . .
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Old 07-24-2011, 22:01   #9
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The garden is not used to supplement real food stores. I have lemons, grapefruit, persimmons, guavas, and small mandarin oranges. It's good for some eating and juicing but I don't grow any vegetables or other staples.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:22   #10
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I know what you mean. Haven't been to KS this year, but I've been to MO a few times. It's the hottest I can ever remember it being. Brutal.

Here is the South, I would say my garden is "ok" this year. Just ok. We planted a bit late since we had some late frosts and near-frosts. But then Spring was cancelled and summer swept right in. Weird year. In retrospect I would have liked to have planted earlier.

Hot-weather plants are doing fine - squashes, peppers, cukes, tomatoes, etc. Zukes started out great but recently got fried. It's been a good year for flowering veggies (fruits) and peaches. Root veggies have been non-starters. Picked some skinny little beets last night for dinner. They were ok, but the overall harvest was poor. Same for radishes and turnips. The sweet potatoes APPEAR to be doing well, but we shall see.

I can't seem to get my okra to grow the way it usually does. I think I planted in a bad spot without enough sun. Replanted two weeks ago and looks like they are coming up. It's a hearty plant so I think I'll be ok for a late harvest. Muscadines are doing fantastic but blueberries got fried after a really good 1st picking.

Strangely, the stink bugs haven't been that bad this year. I don't know what that's about.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:54   #11
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I never thought of the garden as a cost savings measure.

It was always about getting food that tastes better.


Then again, if I was like farmerDave, and had a pond.....
I would think about a solar panel and an electric pump.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:15   #12
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It has been very hot here as most folks have commented. Couple that with almost no moisture and you have a lot of dead plants.

Our garden is actually doing quite well. Tomatoes are going hog wild, jalapenos, peppers, onions and some spice plants are doing great. The zucchini plant died flat out due to bugs/excessive heat.

The main reason our garden is doing so well is that I have hooked up a rain barrel to catch all my sump pump water and run it down to my raised garden. Our sump pump runs often enough that it waters the garden at least 4 times a day with a couple gallons in each watering. Even with that we are still doing a little bit of additional watering every third day or so.

I haven't had to mow my lawn in 2 weeks and I have been running the sprinkler system...that is how friggin' hot it is! The oak tree is starting to shed leaves and it gets water every other day...

Ridiculous...
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:07   #13
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Our rainy season is finally here and man are the veggies starting to take off...

Pole beans, tomatoes, crookneck squash, zucchinis, onions, carrots, Chinese cabbage...

They sure do love that rain!

SC
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:42   #14
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No one tracks the weather more than me in my AO.

We bought a new house several years ago which had a terrible run off issue the builder never disclosed...my attorney advised me to keep a weather journal and I have for the better part of two years.

July 2010 we got just under 6" or rain for the month

July 2011 we are looking at just over .6" for the month.

People are freaking out but what they don't realize is this is normal for Southern Wisconsin

2007-2010 was the wettest four year stretch ever for this area. Granted we have gotten a few downpours this year (Milwaukee got an average July's worth of rain on July 11); but typically July-September is hot and humid.

My worry is we go back to a normal winter. Our last few have been very mild.

As for a garden...we use my MIL's boyfriends...he has been bringing over stuff nearly every day. Then again, he is a like minded person...he has a trailer since he puts most of his money into his business...but has solar, rain water collection and storage...generator...etc, etc.

His garden is doing very, very well
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Old 07-26-2011, 20:57   #15
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Well, I'll start off by echoing what everyone else has said. This has been the strangest year, going back through last winter, that I can remember, and I'm 38 and have lived here outside of Greenville, SC all my life. Sure, we've had a few really cold winters, or really hot summers, and I've watch a 3 yr drought with feet of rainfall deficits erased in a single spring.

We usually get a few snow showers in winter, and occasionally get a big snow of 4-5 inches, but mostly we get ice storms. This past winter saw us getting 3 separate 6" snowfalls. Maybe up north that is nothing, but for the upstate of SC that has never happened. Perhaps the strangest part was that after such a winter, spring came in late January. It warmed, and never got cold again. I think we may have had our last frost in mid-Feb. If we only knew it wouldn't have switched back to cold like it usually does at least for a few days, we could have had fresh tomatoes and other produce by late March. Oh well.

It was in the 80's most of late March through May, and most of my tomato plants were growing well. By the time most were trying to set fruit, it was already in the 90's through May, and no rain to speak of. Frequent watering kept it all together, but most of the maters refused to set fruit. My Brandywine had set 3 monsters early on, ranging from 1.5-1.75 lbs (yes, my pride forced me to weigh them at the grocery store.) The first week of June brought a sense of mystery back to the year. It remained overcast and in the mid 70's. My tomatoes finally popped. July is back to some normalcy, though it has rained enough that I have actually had to mow the grass each and every week to keep it from getting out of hand. The "normal" is little mowing needed during the hot summers here unless we get rain. Its common to go a month between cuttings.

While we have had no triple digits so far, most of June and July have been in the mid-high 90's as usual, with bad humidity. Couple of weeks ago, we had another 3 day stretch in the 70's and rain. That's important to remember, because my Brandywine popped again. Its not supposed to like the heat. Its not supposed to be that God awful productive, but out of 20 or so tomato plants (trying a lot of different varieties this year) I have one Brandywine that would make any hybrid vine tremble in terror.

I wish I had pictures, but get this. I picked 3 monsters about a month ago. I picked 15 more yesterday, all of which are as big as any mater I've seen at the store. 3 are easy 1.25lbers, and there are 5 more still ripening on the vine. The latest cool snap loaded up with another 27 tomatoes, all between 1.5-3" across at the moment. There are plenty of blooms left, so who knows what I'll get with another cool snap. These are all sweet, very meaty tomatoes with minimal seeds. For a vine that isn't supposed to like the southland, and for it to do this during such a strange year, is only fitting...

Why?

'Cause its about the only thing doing well in my garden this year. Sweet potatoes look decent, but its my first year growing them, so its hard to tell. Zukes and squash wouldn't set fruit, green beans did but nothing to brag about.

This just might go down in my memory as the year of the Brandywine. Go figure. Guess the Almighty is just having a little fun with us.
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Old 07-26-2011, 21:46   #16
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First it seemed like it rained for 40 days and nights, I thought we were going for a new record. Finally got planted, closer to mudding in, very late in season. Now we've had near drought conditions and sweltering heat. This years taking a toll on both the gardens and the gardeners.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:55   #17
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I was late getting my tomato plants in this year but they are doing fine and loaded with fruit even though I haven't yet eaten my first tomato from the garden I'm keeping em watered but just enough tp keep em going. They don't flower and pollinate well in the heat but if experience is any indicator they will come on strong in September and October. Squash and zuchinni came in bushels early on but has given out. Half runners and pole beans got et' by the bugs before I could save em. Okra did fine. Cucumbers running out of my ears at the moment. Asparagus patch didn't do squat. Added 6 new hens this spring to the 5 Barred Rocks we started last year more and we have eggs than we can use. I get the most beautiful orange yolks that add so much color and flavor to my cooking I can't ever imagine going back to store bought eggs. I feed my hens lots of vegetable and fruit table scraps along with baked goods...its funny to watch them tear apart and fight over stale cup cakes or pastries.

On a sad note I'm selling my horse. She has been a great hunt horse for me but I got an offer for her from a hunter in Virginia that I couldn't refuse and so I'm back in the market for a new horse and am not looking forward to spending the next year turning it into a solid fox hunter. I haven't been dumped in three years but expect I'll get throwed a couple of times this next season.... Hurts just thinking about it.
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Old 07-29-2011, 15:28   #18
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I am further west than Lawman800. I back up onto a hill that holds the ocean coolness. I have no garden. However, I have 13 fruit trees in the backyard. This means that I nearly have fruit year around.

It has been my great fortune to find a local Mexican grocery that has cheap ripe tomatoes and vegetable that are better than in the large grocery stores. I bought two kinds of tomatoes today for 99 cents a pound.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:48   #19
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Just made our first batch of salsa from our garden tomatoes/onions/peppers. Turned out pretty well. We made about 4 quarts and put most of it a canning jars to keep for later.

I'm jealous Big Bird, I love okra but it normally does very poorly here. With the heat we have had this year though I think it would have done much better. I guess hind-sight is 20/20...
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