It's Official

This is the worst gardening year I have ever had. The peppers have been a d isaster since I started them in January, the voles were a huge problem earl y on, it stayed cold forever and then it instantly got hot ruining the cabb age and broccoli. As of today the cucumbers are all yellow and there are no more flowers and the squash has borers. Guess it is going to be an expensi ve winter. MJ
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On 7/10/2014 7:35 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

And exactly the opposite here in Houston area. Gardens are going nuts with the exception of squash, we have a problem with squash borers. Lots of eggplant, both Ichiban and Black Beauty, sweet chiles are producing like crazy, Hopi red limas doing the same, crowder peas are a little slow but my lovely wife planted tomatoes in front of them and very thick at that. Naturally the stink bugs got into the tomatoes but we thinned the plants and the bugs moved out.
Our very small fig tree has produced about a quart of figs, where we lived before the fifteen year old fig produced dozens of quarts, we miss that tree. The kumquat is covered with blossoms so there might be a small crop of kumquat fruit this fall. Swiss chard is still going crazy, harvest a batch every other day. Cukes also going crazy, giving them to the neighbors as we have a pantry full of pickles from last year.
Getting just enough rain to only have to water the raised beds every other week, supposed to be a bit of rain today according to the wx heads.
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On Thursday, July 10, 2014 9:02:01 AM UTC-4, George Shirley wrote:

a disaster since I started them in January, the voles were a huge problem early on, it stayed cold forever and then it instantly got hot ruining the cabbage and broccoli. As of today the cucumbers are all yellow and there ar e no more flowers and the squash has borers. Guess it is going to be an exp ensive winter.






That is great, you have a much bigger variety of things than I do. I have b een thinking about a fall crop but honestly I am not sure I could take the disappointment. I have never really had any luck with a second round of squ ash. SO I may just wait until later and re plant some cabbage, lettuce and sugar peas. Question? Will the borers stick around? The plants will all come out and I will re-till the dirt but is that enough? Do I need to rotate? The other th ing that has confused me is that I have done more to enrich the soil than I ever have. I have a bunch of black cow and used lots of coffee grounds. I use Epsom for the peppers and 10.10.10 for everything else, always have. I was told the coffee grounds would get rid of the fire ants and well as be g ood for the dirt but the ants are still around and then I was told un-compo sted coffee grounds are bad. I even kept things well weeded, geesh MJ
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Sorry to hear all the bad luck got delivered to the same address.
My broccoli is really puzzling. One of the varieties has a bunch of plants that are about 2 inches tall, and they've been that size for about 2 months. This was direct seeded. I think I'll start them inside next year. I'm just baffled that they neither grow nor die.
The peas gave me about 7 small pods and never got tall, but I know that I planted them much later than I should have. The green beans are dong okay, but I should have planted a second row about a month ago.
--
Drew Lawson

I only came in search of answers, never planned to sell my soul
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Squash vine borers are moth caterpillers, and the eggs are laid directly on/in the vine. So if you are worrying about more of them in the soil, that isn't a problem. Of course, they may still have a nearby population, so there is no guarantee.
I don't grow much that is bothered by them (though I have some acorn squash in this year), but the best thing I've heard is to use row covers. If the adults can't get to the vines, they can't lay eggs there.

Can't hurt, if you have enough planting spaces.

People say lots of things about coffee grounds. I'm not sure how many of them have been confirmed by biologists. Mine go into the compost pile with everything else, mostly because I'm lazy. They tend to be acidic, which is good for some plants and bad for others.

And my failed garden is well mulched. I suspect that some of my direct-seeded problems are from too much mulch zealotry.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Aw , man , I'm so sorry to hear that . We're having a banner year here . Had a few setbacks , but also had great advice from here and a couple of local gardeners .
--
Snag



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Drew Lawson wrote:

Squash borers have a pupa that overwinters in the ground . To quote :" Beginning in late June or early July, squash vine borer adults emerge from cocoons in the ground. Squash vine borer adults are good fliers for moths ..." Tilling helps destroy the coccoon , and is one method of control . Watch the underside of the leaves for their eggs starting in late May/early June . They'll be clusters of small orange/yellow balls that squish easily . Each egg can potentially cost you a vine ... I was lucky this year , I never found any eggs on my vines to destroy .
--
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On Thursday, July 10, 2014 5:46:31 PM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

Again in anticipation of a banner year I tucked in sheets of black plastic last fall. I think, especially with the voles, it did way more harm than good. Won't be doing that again, I will deal with the extra weeds. Thanks for all the sympathy and information everyone. MJ
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All but one pea plant were chewed off by a critter just about as they were flowering. Most of the garden is run to weeds due to time. Garlic is OK, Raspberries probably will be, blueberries might if the critters don't get them all, cherries all vanished off the trees while on vacation for a week or so, and I just (today) planted some potatoes after finding that someone had left a bag of withered but sprouting viably seed potatoes at work - might get some little potatoes late off those, I suppose. Grapes will probably rot or get raccooned, but neither has happened yet. Creeping towards a more bush-based garden, for sure. I only have to plant those once, and I still get to marvel at how the odds stack up against me getting food off them.
;-)
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Ecnerwal wrote:

I must be blessed . In 3 trips thru the wild blackberries I have over a gallon in the freezer . And a cobbler in the fridge ... Though I must admit I've worked my ass off the last 3 months to get to this point - and I think it well worth the effort - we're starting to see produce from the garden . Well , more produce , we were getting salad greens for a while before they bolted . Right now the tomatoes are flowering and ripening , green onions flourishing , eggplant , cayennes , okra , and potatoes blooming . Green beans are starting to come off , and the corn is all tasseled out .
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