Author Topic: Apollyon 2012  (Read 5616 times)

Offline apollyon

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Apollyon 2012
« on: July 14, 2012, 07:25:25 PM »
I'm way behind on posting this year.  We originally talked about scaling back. Yeah, right.  We started working another 10'x50' expansion (on the right), bringing the total to 50'x50' (2500 sq ft). 



We also brought in straw very early on for mulching; not as much as we should have in some spots, but we tried to get it several inches thick (here around the peppers)



This turned out to be a tremendous blessing because of the ongoing drought conditions and high heat we've had.  With all that straw down, it's keeping so much more moisture in the soil after we water or get lucky enough to get some rain.  Even through scorching weather, you can pull back the straw and dig your fingers in to moist, cool soil.  Unfortunately, the straw wasn't very clean and brought along plenty of weeds...but we always have weeds to deal with and the moisture benefits are worth it.

I also decided to do something a little different with the tomatoes this year. I did two varieties from heirloom seeds: Roma and Brandywine.  I put them at opposite ends of the garden to prevent cross pollination, with the intent of being able to save my own seeds this time.  With the Romas I did the traditional "Florida weave" support:



...but with the Brandywine, I decided to try the vertical string trellis.



So far this has worked out really well, keeping the plants upright and with relatively little adjustment (just the occasional additional wind at the top and pruning some of the suckers).  All in all, we have about 36 Roma plants and about the same number of Brandywine, plus a dozen or so more Better Boy and other varieties in the raised bed, and a half dozen volunteers scattered that we decided to let grow.

We ended up a little heavy on the yellow squash, mainly because I grabbed some leftover flats on close out at the local greenhouse, not realizing we already had several my wife had planted.  Likewise went big on the cucumber (seven hills with two varieties) because we love making pickles to store and trade.  Planted a full three 50-foot rows of Blue Lake bush beans. After a pretty good harvest from the small patch we had last year, we decided to put a bigger planting in to freeze and can for the winter.

Peas have been a challenge. We started with a 50-foot row of Dakotas, which are easy because they don't have to be trellises or strung and they produce quickly.  They did give us a modest first harvest in late June/early July, but have since not given much sign of any second batch.  Around the first of July we planted several rows of Sugar Daddy peas, but so far they've been hit or miss coming up and slow to do anything.  It may well be due to the weather conditions and insufficient water.

We didn't get far with the garden expansion, only doing a first till to turn under the sod.  That was enough for me...between the sod and the clay in the soil it did a brutal number on my back and arms.  We took a chance and planted some Butter & Sugar corn in two rows in the new section. So far they've managed to come up, but it's such a rough year for corn that it's hard enough to keep it watered even in decent soil, let alone in a semi-tilled patch of yard.

All in all, the garden is doing really well this year, especially given the weather.  Hopefully we can stay on top of things and see nice yields when the canning starts! :)



Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 09:26:09 PM »
Wow, nice gardens, apollyon!

I'm jealous of the amount of space that you have.

Offline rhiannon.douglas

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 11:26:50 PM »
I'll second that space jealousy!

Your garden looks fantastic. Im interested to see how the vertical string trellising goes with those tomatoes, not somethingive considered doing before.

Offline apollyon

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 07:22:00 AM »
Thanks! We have a little over two acres, but it's very heavy with clay and tough to work.  It's converted farmland that hasn't been worked for 10-15 years.  No trees to speak of on the lot.  I wish I had known more about gardening, landscaping and permaculture when we started out...would have made things a LOT easier and we'd be further along now.

Here's an updated picture of the gardens:



Peppers, squash and zucchini:


Offline not important

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2012, 02:39:46 PM »
Very nice, indeed!  I like the vertical trellis idea.

Offline bigbear

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 11:16:10 AM »
What are the shrubs/trees around your yard?  Not the mature trees, but the little ones in the mowed lawn.

What direction is the picture taken (north, south...)?

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 11:45:46 AM »
Great looking garden.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 07:17:33 PM »
Oh to have that space......

Offline apollyon

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 02:29:00 PM »
What are the shrubs/trees around your yard?  Not the mature trees, but the little ones in the mowed lawn.

The smaller ones along the west side of the garden are pine. They're about two years old...growing slowly because we haven't done a good job mulching/watering them.  The taller ones in the back corner are poplar.

Quote
What direction is the picture taken (north, south...)?

Facing roughly NNW.  You're looking at the NW corner of our property.

Offline archer

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Re: Apollyon 2012
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 02:35:55 PM »
oh i space space envy now also.