View Full Version : How did your summer garden do?

09-04-2008, 09:17 PM
How did every ones summer garden do?

My bell peppers never did not make - the soil is of poor condition. After everything died off I started throwing my grass clipping into the garden area. Maybe everything will do better.

The only thing that made good was the tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and snap beans.

09-04-2008, 09:33 PM
Gosh, I hate to admit the truth. I killed absolutely everything this year except for one pot of peppers.:o I have a good excuse!

Hope everyone else had a garden more fruitful than mine. I'm sure my local farmer appreciates it though.

09-04-2008, 11:59 PM
My tomatoes did well--especially the ones upside down in buckets. The beans and peppers were too tempting for the squirrels and skunks--we only got a few of each :( The herbs are doing very well, though, and the handful of greens that actually made it into the ground did well, too. Our corn experiment did better than we thought it would--we actually got corn! Everything else was about what I thought we would have.

09-05-2008, 01:40 AM
This years garden was better than the last, but looking back, there are still alot of things I would change for next year. I can say the mustard greens at the beginning were great, constant source of greens when nothing else was producing, cherry tomatoes galore!! Pole beans are delicious. Tried my thumb at heirloom tomatoes, the bugs have been getting to them, so I use them for seeds for next year.. Collards and Kale, I have more than enough to feed a small village, and it just keeps coming! Made my own pickled turnips and cucumbers for the first time, can't say I'm disappointed with the results. Going to make wild plum jam this weekend and have so much squash, I don't know what to do with it. I'm going to pickle some beets and cabbage to make sauerkraut the traditional way and I've got sweet indian corn ready for the picking. The only major disappointment for me is that we had heavy rain for two days in the middle of summer that drowned my squash, leaving me with powdery mildew everywhere. Poor plants are just getting smashed... oh well, better luck next year with that!

09-05-2008, 12:23 PM
My summer's still in session up here in the PNW. At least we sure are hoping it is. Our summer has been shorttened by a month but we have the potential for a warm September, which is a must. I've got 130 SF in beds similar to Patti's, but not all was devoted to summer crops.

My tomatoes are still ripening. Thank goodness I planted Early Girls, because my mid-season Momomato's are not ripening well at all. I may end up hanging the plants upside down in my garage for winter ripening. /sigh

My cukes are doing well. I've been hand pollinating them every few days and so far I've been happy with the results. I've got a 12 gallon pot marinading dill pickles as I type and more cukes growing outside.

I just harvested 4 pounds of green beans and froze them. I'm hoping for another harvest from my pole beans, not much expected from my bush.

My corn was a bust. I babied it along but messed up on the harvesting, so it went starchy on me. It was an experiment anyway, planting in beds with 3 inch spacing and 8 inch rows. It worked ok, just not well enough to try again.

Oh, and my cantaloupe was a late late addition that was a big guess. It's got flowers on it now so I'm hopeful if good weather holds I may get something out of them. Next year I'll have the seeds already and can start much earlier.

That's about it. I don't consider my potatoes to be summer crops even though they mature in the summer. My russets bin is a jungle and my yukon bin is doing well. I may be harvesting the yukon finally soon. The russets will cook for a while longer I think.

And that's it for the state of my garden, summer style.

09-05-2008, 09:33 PM
My garden has been producing well, but looking very raggedy lately. I just have been too busy to switch into my second season mode.

Cucumbers did very well, but I have a bacterial problem which consumes the leaves very early. But even still, at least 300 meaty cukes. I put up four gallons of pickles last weekend.

Tomato has been doing great, eight quarts of sauce last weekend. Probably the same this weekend.

Corn a total bust as well. I failed completely with the corn this year. My water melons are still cooking well though.

09-06-2008, 04:43 PM
I wonder if Plant Wash might help with the bacteria on the cucumbers. It is a fairly new product and it made a huge different on the early blight I had on my tomatoes. It is put out by Soil Mender

09-06-2008, 10:51 PM
Somebody just sent me some product, I just figured I'd wait and do a whole video on it. I am pretty sure, that my bio intensive methods make a great environment for all bacteria!

09-07-2008, 05:55 AM
My garden this year was the best I've ever grown here. Spinach, lettuce, cilantro, basil, thyme, rhubarb, peas, swiss chard, strawberries, bush beans, carrots, beets, turnips, zuchinni, parsley, dill, tomato, red bell peppers, cayenne peppers, Thai chili peppers, watermelon, acorn squash, cucumbers, marigolds, nasturtium, brussel sprouts, and onions.

I live in Central Iowa and yes, we had a very wet spring. It was great for the lettuce but not so good for the first planting of bush beans. I live in a small town but my garden is absolutely urban. My backyard is only 15 feet wide and 60 feet long. Fortunately, it has a great orientation and the reflection from the south side of the house makes for a beneficial micro-climate.

I have one long bed 2 feet wide and 50 feet long, a 3 foot diameter strawberry bed, and one new 4 x 10 bed (added this year because of the rise in grocery prices). This was enough space to grow about 85% of all our summer vegetables for a family of four.


The spinach and lettuce were real stars of the spring. These made some great salads along with the first cilantro and dill leaves.
Bean beetles have always been a big problem for me here so this year I stuck some cedar boards in between my rows. It worked. I saw of a few of the nasty critters but nothing like the infestations of the previous years.
More than 500 strawberries!
Peas, excellent crop by the end of June. Then, instead of dying off like they usually do, they bloomed again and gave us a second crop by the end of July.
Cilantro has beautiful flowers and those first few green seeds toasted in a dry iron pan along with sesame really add some excitement to a meal. We ended up with about a pint of fresh ground coriander.
Acorn squash from composted seeds. These came up everywhere I spread my compost. Of course, I let the precious little things grow and ended up with the sweetest acorn squash I've ever tasted. Usually it's a challenge to get the kids to eat their squash. "Put some butter and brown sugar on it." we tell them and they like it that way. Well, we ate one of these squash last night and it didn't need any sweetener. I had no idea it could be so sweet and along with the brown rice, red pepper, basil, sesame, and cilantro side dish it was heavenly.
The zuchinni was sweet too. The kids tolerate zuchinni usually but this year they were raving about it. It wasn't just them. The zukes were unusually spectacular.
There was one meal with steamed swiss chard that was perfect also. Plain swiss chard steamed above water served with lightly salted butter. How can anything so simple taste so good?
Gorgeous dark red bell peppers.
Super tall tomato plants. One of the vines is just over 12 feet long.


The bean beetles.
Flooding. There's about six feet of my long bed that needs some elevating. The neighbors entire back yard was underwater and overflowed in that area.
Dry soil. The same area that flooded also dries out quickly. Here I can pick both berries with the same hand and elevate the bed with mucho organic material.
The cucumbers didn't do very well. We only got about four before the plants withered.

The picture is from June 18th.

09-07-2008, 09:43 AM
Well, The children and I had lots of fun in the !st ever garden for us. We followed many of Patties videos... Pattie would be proud of us.... We received many cherry tomatoes,lettuce,chives,herbs,carrots,eggplants many peppers, beans all kinds... we just went nuts with gardening... my babies loved the idea of planting and getting fruits and veggies... I've learned alot of lessons... and learned the value of composting.... We will be more than ready for next year. We are still getting great goodies... we even have a pumpkin.

Oh yes... we didnt fare to well on: cucs,watermellon,potatoes,cantalope,lettuces,green s,corn.

We will do better next year.

09-07-2008, 07:10 PM

Great garden, my cukes wilt too, but I usually can get a few hudred out of them. I love the pic, thank you! My mouth is watering just reading your post! Wow.


That is great news. I am glad the videos helped you. It is a real pleasure getting the kids involved, and when they get a little bit older they can be very useful helpers too! It's not too late for a fall garden either.

09-10-2008, 06:49 AM
I haven't had a veggie garden in about 7 years but decided to give it a try again this year in order to get some high quality, organic produce that did not cost me an arm and a leg...although I still do shop at our local farmer's market for things I cannot or did not grow myself :) My 3 1/2 year old granddaughter Jordan and I grew all our own plants (planets as she calls them) from seeds and had a blast!

We made a raised bed planter of 4 ft x 24 ft and another of 30" x 16 ft. We made a lot of mistakes with the soil buy getting topsoil. I found the topsoil was either way too wet or dried to almost cement. I added a good amount of vermiculite which helped out a lot and added compost as it was made.

We had very good luck with the tomatoes, beans, peppers, carrots, radishes and herbs. Lettuce did very well in pots as well. The cucumbers did OK but the zucchini did not...got lots of flowers but no zucks :( We grew something called Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry which was interesting and gave us lots of little berry like fruit in husks. The corn grew nicely enough but the few little ones we harvested were just ok...I'll stick to purchasing them next year at the farmer's market. We were able to get 2 sugar baby watermelon which were delicious and a couple Jack Be Little pumpkins for Jordan. Oh yeah, we had beautiful marigolds everywhere that Jordan planted and cared for all by herself!

Unfortunately, we were planning on gardening into the early winter with hoops but I am having surgery in October so won't be able to this year except for a small patch of lettuces. We have been pulling up some of the plants not producing well and digging in the compost to get an early start on next spring.


09-10-2008, 03:38 PM
It sounds like you did great after such a long break! How did the ground cherries taste? I was considering putting some in next year, but I'm unsure how they grow & how to use them. DS will be growing Jack Be Littles next year in "his" garden, too--he's so excited! Keep us updated on the lettuce patch, and good luck with your surgery.

09-10-2008, 07:31 PM
The ground cherries had a different taste that some people say kinda like a pineapple but I felt more like a very mild lime. I was also told they are used to make a jelly called poha in Hawaii and pies as well. The berries keep well if left in the husk.

The space in my garden is very limited and since these were just ok with us I am not planning on growing them again next year...not that they were bad just not exciting. My granddaughter is a fruit nut but was not into these so I will try to find something else different to try next year.

10-05-2008, 03:33 AM
I know I am a new gardener, and don't have a frame of reference, but I've seen it on the news and spoken to other experienced gardeners, so I can definitively say that our PNW summer sucked! The only tomatoes to ripen at all were the earliest varieties and I went through an entire package of beans to get 4 SF to sprout and grow, insane! About the only thing that did well for me this summer was my cucumbers. They're still producing like mad. I will definitely grow them again!

Yep, we essentially skipped August and went straight from a cold and rather wet July to September. We never got our dog days of summer. It was a big problem here for growers of all sizes.

10-05-2008, 07:48 PM
Sin, how did your potato, raised bed, contraption work out? Post some pics for the rest of us to check out.

Garden Green
10-11-2008, 02:26 AM
Unfortunately for us this year, we had 100% crop failure. Rabbits. They sneaked right on in and they eat absolutely everything. Tomatoes, carrots.. I have little nubs where my pumpkin vines used to be. We were just over run with pests this year, too. Black flies, white flies, horse flies, fruit flies, ants, grasshoppers.. we had an earwig infestation under the cedar trees, I'm still trying to decide if this is bad or not.

We're going to be moving next spring from the Tennessee Valley to the Pacific Northwest so no garden for me next spring.

After this year though, I'm seriously considering aeroponics.

10-11-2008, 05:42 AM
Unfortunately for us this year, we had 100% crop failure. Rabbits. They sneaked right on in and they eat absolutely everything. Tomatoes, carrots.. I have little nubs where my pumpkin vines used to be. We were just over run with pests this year, too. Black flies, white flies, horse flies, fruit flies, ants, grasshoppers.. we had an earwig infestation under the cedar trees, I'm still trying to decide if this is bad or not.

We're going to be moving next spring from the Tennessee Valley to the Pacific Northwest so no garden for me next spring.

After this year though, I'm seriously considering aeroponics.

Wow, no kidding! I don't blame ya! I know that moving plants is very difficult, but maybe you could do just one or two of your favorite herbs in small pots for next year, just to lightly scratch that garden itch until you can get a garden in again.

Garden Green
10-11-2008, 04:48 PM
I do have my kitchen garden, various herbs seated in a south facing window in the kitchen (so I know my thumb isn't black or brown here, ya know?). We can't live without fresh basil in this house. It's a sin not to have some growing!

The carrots and pumpkins were my oldest son's, however. We discovered that carrots come in more colors than just orange and we just *had* to grow some. No argument from me, both of my littles can decimate a bag of baby carrots while watching a movie.

It upset him more than it did me. So we're going to experiment with growing some indoors over the winter so that we can have fresh purple, red, yellow and white carrots.

Wish us luck!

10-16-2008, 12:11 PM
Hey Garden Green, where abouts in the PNW? Gardening is great here, just different! Lots of salad greens ans lots of greenhouses, hehe.

Patti, I posted on my blog about the potatoes. I'll take some time and do it here too. Good pics from it.

10-18-2008, 08:41 PM
My garden did better over the winter than in the summer. It was, I think, a combination of too hot and too dry. The only things that really did well this summer were sunflowers and sweet potatoes. :(

But I'm excited about my fall/winter garden. We'll see how it goes!