2021 Spring Garden Observations

Weather

Winter/Very Early Spring – See posts here about the hard freezes in the low 20s. We built the greenhouse in January so, with the little heater, the freezes did not hinder the seedlings. They did kill the three small Hamlin Oranges so much so they were pulled out. The older larger one on the west edge of the fruit tree grove was not removed until April when it clearly was dead.

Oddly, there was no rain from March 1-18. The nights were still in the 40°s and 50°s so too cold for many seeds.

April 3; The final frost and we avoided damage with many frost blankets placed at 4:30 AM.

Very heavy extended rains in April totaling over 10″ and mornings in the mid 50’s kept soil too cool for some germination. The heavy rains and cool mornings continued thru May. Then there was a very dry spell until the heavy rains returned in early June and the Dog Days set in.


Mary’s Garden

The over-wintered spinach began perking up in March and the three lettuces all grew well with the warmer weather and more feeding with Miracle Grow. But they had bolted by April 1. They may have been planted too close together.

Carrots – In Mary’s Garden Only – Scarlet Nante

Cilantro/Coriander

Cilantro seeds by Lake Valley Seed bought 1/7/2021 at Hurley F&F germinated ok but died very small in the greenhouse. Nights could have been too cool in March.

Lettuce

  • Salad Bowl – Grew well once the temperatures got consistently into the high 40’s at night but pale color.
  • Buttercrunch -Grew well once the temperatures got consistently into the high 40’s at night and good taste.
  • Tehama – Grew slowly until the temperatures got consistently into the high 40’s at night. Has attractive ruffled leaves. By mid April they were lush plants that were beginning to bolt, were tough, and not sweet.
  • Parris Island Romaine – Came up well in the greenhouse and transplanted well at 3-4″ tall into Mary’s garden.
  • Lettuce Dragoon MTO
  • Lettuce Truchas MTO

Oregon Giant Dwarf Snow Pea – Grew up the wire fence/trellis well in Mary’s Garden and the snow peas were very sweet compared to store-bought. Enjoyed them in salads and stir-fries. Once the daytime temperature climbed into the high 70s the vines turned yellow and there were no more blooms. We were pleased with the pods and will grow again.

Tomatoes – See below.


Main Garden

This was the first year to plow with the single bottom plow and able to plow deep; i.e. 8-10″. Also mowed and disked the Elbon Rye cover crop on the north half earlier than last year. The sod clumps were non-existent when that area was plowed.


Beans – Kentucky Wonder Bush

  • Kentucky Wonder Bush – Sowed April 27 when soil at sunrise was 60°. Used HOSS plate 6 with enlarge holes that spaced them further than recommended but they are in double rows 12″ apart.
  • Green Crop Bush Beans

Cantaloupe – Hales Best

  • First sowing was much too early and soil too cold. Later sowing germinated good.
  • Side dressed when began vining and they were blooming then as well.

Cilantro – Coriander LeisureSeed

  • Sowed in a tray in the greenhouse.

Corn – G-90

  • Spread fertilizer in the row location then hilled. Include 2/3 tbsp per row of zinc sulfate per the soil test.
  • Use modified HOSS plate 4 with only two holes to sow the seeds 8.5 in. apart counting on good germination and no thinning. That did not work out.
  • Heavy extended rains well before the planned first side-dressing leached the original fertilizer away. Sidedressed both sides with 8-8-8 with a little lime.
  • Side dressed with 33-0-0 when knee high and again when silk was well out.
  • June 8 – Pulled first ears.

Cucumbers

  • Poinsett 76 Cucumber
    • Sowed in March with soil temperatures in the 60°s with dips into the high 50°s and still had ok germination.
    • First fruit in the 4th week of May.
    • Early June – 10′ row is producing a lot of fruit
  • Wisconson SMR-58 Cucumber
    • Sowed in March with soil temperatures in the 60°s with dips into the high 50°s and still had ok germination.
    • The seedlings did not grow well as the sunrise temps were in the low 50’s with soil temp in the mid 50s. Added seeds between them in late April as it had warmed up some to see if they would grow better.
    • First fruit in the 4th week of May.
    • Early June. – 5 ft. row is producing a few fat yellowish cukes that have a good flavor.

Flowers

  • Beach Sunflowers – Germination: 14 days, 70 degrees F. Full sun. Space 12-18” apart. Poor germination of seed saved from last year. Did have a few volunteers in the Big Garden and at the Crepes in the pond yard. Next year buy new seeds.
  • Periwinkle – Vinca – Planted Cora periwinkle from seed as it is disease resistant to the common fungal disease. Good advice here (see extracts below) and here.
  • Marigolds – The first three Marigold seed below saved last year germinated very poorly; i.e almost none. Next year buy new seeds.
    • Naughty Marietta – 3 rows
    • African Cracker Jack – 4 rows
    • Spanish Brocade – 4 rows
    • “Tall yellow” marigolds – 4 rows
  • Zinnias seed saved last year germinated very poorly; i.e almost none. Next year buy new seeds.
    • Benary’s Giant Mix from Garden Trends (Harris)
    • Park’s Pick Mix – 6 rows
    • State Fair – 3 rows
  • Pentas – Lucky Star Mix. Came up good in trays in the greenhouse.
  • Dianthus Seeds – Diana Crimson F1
  • Cornflower – 1 row
  • Evening Primrose – 3 rows
  • Cosmos – 1 row
  • Indian Blanket – 1 row
  • Nicotiana – 2 rows

Okra

  • Okra, Gold Coast from SESE – Sowed 5/18/2021 when prediction is for 60+ mornings. Seeds were soaked overnight. That afternoon, there was a 1.91″ rain.
  • Clemson Spineless – Sowed 5/18/2021 when prediction is for 60+ mornings. Seeds were soaked overnight. That afternoon, there was a 1.91″ rain.
  • Cajun Jewel from saved seeds – Did not plant.
  • Red Burgundy Okra from HOSS – …a highly productive, heirloom variety that produces deep, red pods that remain tender at longer pod lengths. All-America Selections winner in 1988.
  • Jambalaya Okra From HOSS –

Onions – Both Gardens

  • Warrior Bunching onions came up from direct planted seeds and did well until they bolted. Some planted in the greenhouse did very well.
  • Multiplying onions did fine but bolted soon after they became 1/2″ diameter or more.
  • White and Yellow Onion Sets – Came up great.

Peas

  • PEPH Top Pick, bush variety, did well last year and were easy to pick. Sowed 1 in. deep. Thin to 4 in. apart.
  • Mississippi Silver 
  • Mississippi Purple
  • See Mary’s Garden for Snow Peas
  • Sugar Ann Dwarf Snap Pea
    • Sowed in a double row 12″ apart with HOSS plate 5 so they were spaced further apart than recommended. They were too far apart and we puny plants but did produce some peas in pods that were firm and nice. But, not ones we would typically eat. We try the rest in the fall garden but not likely to buy again.

Peppers

Squash

  • Pascola Zucchini from HOSS
    • Soil Temperature was in the 50-60° at the first sowing in March and no germination.
    • First fruit in the 3rd week of May.
    • June 2nd week – After a lot of rain, the blooming has almost stopped.
  • Delta Squash (yellow semi-crook neck) at HOSS.
    • Sowed in March with soil temperatures in the 60°s with dips into the high 50°s and still had good germination.
    • First fruit in the 4th week of May.
  • Golden Bush Scallop Summer Squash at SESE – Downy mildew resistant.
    • Sowed in March with soil temperatures in the 60°s with dips into the high 50°s and still had good germination
    • First fruit in the 4th week of May.
  • White Scallop – Good germination and healthy plants.
  • Betternut 401 Hybrid Butternut –

Spinach

  • This pre germination worked well. – Soak initially in warm water overnight. Then pre-sprout in a pint jar in the refrigerator turning daily to maintain even moisture to get even germination rates.
  • Recommended to sow 3-5 in. apart; 3/4″ deep but small seeds were not placed that far apart. Did not thin to the 3-5″ spacing and had bolting at very small size. Maybe due to the stress of being too close together?
  • Another year of spinach failures.

Tomatoes

  • Better Boy Tomato F1
    • Transplanted to the garden in March and survived the late frost on 4/3/21.
    • June, 1st week – Have begun to get nice large fruit but Fusarium Wilt started small and is growing worse. Maybe 20% damage now.
  • Super Sweet 100 –  High resistance to fusarium wilt and verticillium wilt. Indeterminate.
    • Transplanted March 15 to Mary’s Garden they survived the last late frost being next to the fence. 4/27/2021 found the first cluster of fruit. All of them have a lot of blooms. Began getting a few in mid-May.
    • Transplanted to the big garden in March and survived the late frost on 4/3/21. Began getting a few in late May.
    • June, first half – While the Better Boys and Celebrities are getting Fusarium Wilt these big busy guys are not. The vines in Mary’s garden are 3′ higher than the fence and producing twice as many fruit. We have bowls full of the little guys. Next year only plant them along the fence in Mary’s garden.
  • Celebrity
    • Transplanted to the garden in March and survived the late frost on 4/3/21.
    • June, 1st week – Have few ripe among the large number of green ones, but Fusarium Wilt started small and is growing worse. Maybe 20% damage now.
  • Diseases
    • Septoria leaf spot – Had several plants of both the larger tomatoes had this.
    • Fusarium Wilt – Both of the larger tomatoes had this to some extent. Sprayed first with Mancozeb and then Liquid Copper.

Yard

Marigolds that did great.

Marigold Inca II Primrose F1 - Seed / Untreated / 250 Seeds
Marigold Inca II Primrose F1 Seed / Untreated / 250 Seeds
Marigold Inca II Orange F1 - Seed / Untreated / 250 SeedsMarigold Inca II Orange F1 Seed Untreated / 250 Seeds
From Harris Seeds

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