South Beach Diet - Summer 2009 Gardening Thread

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06-21-2009, 04:03 PM
Alas Spring ( is over but summer is officially here. And I still have plants and seeds to get into the ground!

Right now my perennial bed in front of the house is glorious with lemon lilies, Siberian and bearded iris, and pink and deep rose peonies. The mock orange in the lane is in blossom and wafts of fragrance float across the deck in the mornings.

This is IT! Time to put out the doggie wading pool.

06-21-2009, 04:51 PM
Your garden sounds just lovely, Ruth!

Everything here is lush and green with all the rain, but not too many blooms because of very little sun. It's been cloudy, but dry, today, so we've spent most of the afternoon clearing out an area in the back yard to expand our vegetable garden. Yesterday we stopped by a garden center and couldn't resist buying some of the lush vegetable seedlings. :) Beside the tomatoes and peppers we already had, we planted zucchini, cucumbers, cantalope, watermelon, and put in a pumpkin patch for the grandkids, too. I'm excited!

06-22-2009, 11:02 AM
I definitely could have lived without all the rain this spring, but apparently the flowers I planted are loving it! Since I don't get a whole lot of sun in my garden on a sunny day, the flowers that I have don't seem to mind the gloom and are thrilled with all the wet. We've been in our house for five years, and I think I've finally come up with the right combination of flowers for our garden. The begonias, alyssum and petunias are gorgeous, and the daisies are ready to pop any day. My black-eyed susans are the only ones that look like they're holding out for a little sun and warmer weather, and I can't say that I blame them!

DH went to Johnson's farm with her kindergarten class, and came home with seeds, but she's not sure what they are. She's thinking beans, and they're coming along nicely in the house. I'm hoping they transplant outside o.k. -- I'm interested to see what they actually are!

06-27-2009, 09:26 AM
I am now a slug farmer. Anyone need some? I'd be happy to ship them anywhere

06-27-2009, 10:14 AM
In British Columbia, I've seen slugs the size of pork tenderloins! If you ate meat.....

Yippee! Claire's DH is coming over this weekend to build my raised bed! I see fall lettuce, peas and spinach in my future. Maybe even some beans!

I'm sad about losing my front garden to renovations but that's another story. I'm looking on it as a chance to re-create it exactly as I want. It came into being by just plugging in perennials where there was a space and badly needed editing.

06-30-2009, 08:23 PM
We had our first garden zukes for dinner tonight - sauteed in olive oil with garlic and thyme (from the herb bed) and shaved Parmesan. Lots of yummy noises were heard - those were tasty zukes! Soon there will be tomatoes!!

07-04-2009, 10:29 AM
Having a connection with the East, my garden always has a theme and it's not usually decided by me.
2005-Year of the Giant Pumpkin
2006-Year of the Zucchini
2007-Year of the Canteloupe
2008-Year of the Cherry Tomato

Our yard is very small in GWS but has the most suitable weather for gardening. After years in Alaska we get so excited when March rolls around. This spring we tilled early and sowed some wildflower seeds. When plants started coming up we soon realized they were all sunflowers. Sowed by the birds from our previous years' heads left hanging on the side of my Mothers cottage (we share a yard), we decided to keep as many as we could. We bought 5 varieties of cherry tomato and when it came planting time made a half moon design that we could walk into for picking. We have cucumbers in between and lots of wildflowers mixed with our few heat resistant perennials. Two beautiful rosebushes, a delphinium, and one of my Grandmothers rhubarb plants which had survived in her yard for almost 30 years with nothing but rainwater grace our outer fence.

We kept about 40 sunflowers in our 10x20 plot. The tallest is almost 10’ and we have our first flowers. Using Cyndis idea of a lasagna garden, we mulched up an area of grass on the east side of the house. There reside our pie pumpkins, zucchini and our new “Alaska-style" berry patch-raspberries and strawberries.

Our garden makes us very happy. I smile every morning when I let the dogs out and greet my happy sunflowers. Our compost is our only source of fertilizer and we have remained pest free for five years now.:crossed:

Thanks to everyone for sharing about your flowers and vegies! I'm putting all your perennial beds on my wish list.

How are all your vegies doing??

07-07-2009, 07:30 PM
Hi Debbie, not so great at the moment.

I need advice, gardening chicks. My tomatoes have issues. The leaves at the bottom of the plants turn yellow, then get brown spots on them, then turn crispy brown, and it seems to be working its way up the plant. The top of the plants look green and healthy, and there are plenty of blooms and tomatoes. These beds are new, and so is the soil in them.
What do you think? Too much water, not enough water, nothing to do with water?

07-07-2009, 07:38 PM
I hate to share this Schmoodle, but it sounds bad. I just received this:

Serious Disease Threatens Tomato and Potato Plants
Release Date: 06-29-2009

Author: Vern Grubinger If you grow tomatoes or potatoes, take heed. This
is shaping up to be one of the worst years for Late Blight, the fungal
disease made famous as the cause of the Irish potato famine of the
mid-1800' read entire article follow this link

If you think this sounds right let me know and I can get the info about fungicides from the Master Gardener website.

07-07-2009, 07:59 PM
oh crap, please don't give me a death sentence!
And it was shaping up to be a great tomato year.
Actually from reading the article, it sounds more like the early blight than the late blight. which is maybe not so bad?
Also, I started these from seed, so that also makes me think early blight.
I'll read through all those links later and report back.

Thanks Cyndi.

07-07-2009, 08:09 PM
When I worked in the garden center in AK, we would suggest that a person bring a few leaves in a ziplock where our resident expert could look at them. I read the articles from Cyndi. I was thinking that there has just been so much rain and cool weather this year.

:crossed: Crossing my fingers that it's something that can be dealt with.

07-20-2009, 08:14 AM
Now that the rainy season seems to be done how is everyone's garden? Mine is sad but I'm focusing on fall crops now and hoping for a whole new, happy garden. I pulled the broccoli & cilantro last night. It was time to give those up. I suspect the kale that was planted with the broccoli will have to come up too, but I'm giving it a week without the broccoli. That stuff was a woodchuck, slug, flea beetle magnet :(

I've moved happily into the food preservation phase (thank goodness for farm stands!). Just wanted to make a pitch to anyone with a dehydrator. Dried squash and eggplant are perfect South Beach pantry items. I tossed them into soups and stews all winter. They disappear into the meal but add thickness, vitamins and fiber. I plan to get as many jars of shredded zucchini as I can. Everyone has been helping me and I now have about 12 cases of various sized jars. Time to get filling them ;)

07-20-2009, 08:49 AM
Just popping in to say that the seeds I planted last Tuesday are all up. There is hope for a fall crop. I already am eating lettuces and zucchini and have baby cukes. My daylilies are coming into bloom - the Stella D'Oros are particularly nice this year. Must be all the rain.

07-20-2009, 03:22 PM
Thanks, Cyndi, for reviving our garden thread:sunny: I've been meaning to pick your brain. This is the first year I have dryed veggies. I have a surplus of qt canning jars. Do you think it's OK to store dried vegies in them? I hadn't thought of squash. I wish my zucchini plants would put on more female flowers.

Ruth, Stella D' Oro is my favorite day lily!! I'll bet yours are beautiful. Mine are in Alaska and I haven't had huge success here so far.

I am patiently awaiting tomatoes and zucchini. The pumpkins are doing great! In my simple garden I've not alot to report. I do love growing things!

07-20-2009, 03:52 PM
Ah ha! Something easy I can reply to at work. There are all sorts of great, in depth discussions going on and I can't fous on them right now.

I use canning jars and recycled jars to store most of my dried stuff in (actually I have so many jars from people that I may never need to dip into the canning jars!). I do use a vacuum sealer for most things because it keeps them even longer.

I'm happy to hear that other people have growing plants :)

07-20-2009, 08:01 PM
This is my first garden. My zucchini has come in abundantly and is very tasty! I just did 2 plants because I know it can grow a lot. I blanched and froze about 10 cups worth of slices today for later had some for dinner. Yum yum!

My cucumbers are also coming in and are quite delicious!

I expect to pick the banana peppers any day now...I hear they are very good stuffed with cheese. (Isn't everything?) I also have plenty of herbs growing...

Can't wait for the many green peppers which have started on the plants! I'm also waiting on muskmelons and jalapeno peppers.

The only thing that doesn't seem to be doing well are my tomatoes. Lucky for me, I don't even like to eat them! They are just there for DH...I only liked them cooked. I WISH I was the kind of person who goes on about the delights of a fresh-picked tomato, but try as I might, I just don't like them!

07-20-2009, 09:25 PM
We decided at the last minute to put in a garden this year, and our veggies are several weeks behind most of you. It's hard to be patient, but everything looks healthy and is covered in blossoms, so I guess we'll eventually be able to enjoy our bounty. But I can hardly wait!!!!

07-22-2009, 01:33 PM
I have late blight in the soil of our garden. We tried moving the tomatoes to another part of the garden to no avail. So we were advised to wait three years and try again. For now, I get tons of tomatoes from our CSA, and grow some tomatoes in pots, where they seem to be safe. :shrug:

Our garden is coming along. Something is eating the lettuce and brussel sprouts, so I finally put up the plastic row cover I got to protect them. A bunch of birds fly away when I come near the garden, but they don't seem to be flying from it, merely around it. Very odd. Anyways, yesterday a sparrow was caught in the plastic row cover "tunnel." Poor dear was so frightened! I let him out, but started wondering if the birds could be eating the brussel sprout leaves? :?: That seems odd...

Our Opera green beans are up and starting to produce, but something ate all their leaves, so they are struggling to make it. I planted more and will have to figure out a way to cover them too. Or maybe we need a fence, which would suck, but might be necessary. *sigh*

The best news, though, is that my blue hydrangea has a bud!!!! :cloud9: It produced flowers three years ago but nothing showed up in the last two years, though the plant was obviously happy. This year I refused to prune it at all, and now we have a bud, but go figure, the branch it's on is coming from the very bottom of an old branch--I've never pruned them down that low before. I'm not sure what its issue is, but I'm going to try wrapping it in burlap this winter, just in case. In the meantime, I'm eagerly anticipating the blooming! :love:

08-14-2009, 09:26 AM

It's starting to feel like fall here. I have tons of cherry tomatoes and they just haven't ripened too fast this summer. I read that cutting the water to the plants induces ripening. I'm also wondering if I should start cutting the new growth on the tops. Any enlightenment would be appreciated.


08-14-2009, 09:44 AM
HI Debbie - I've always been told that we should cut off any growth that isn't supporting blooms by now. It's just sapping energy from the plant.

We have late blight here too. It's been all around us this week and this morning I noticed it on my neighbors plants. That's going to mean no tomatoes for me for 3 years because our space just isn't big enough to find an uninfected area. :(
On the plus side my heirloom drying beans look great and are full of beans. Can't wait to try them. My fall greens are popping up too. It's certainly been an interesting year around here.