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What died in your new gardens? so far...

 
Posts: 75
Location: Suffolk County, Long Island NY
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Now I'm getting strawberries in the dog days of summer.  It's anarchy, I tell you!
 
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Location: Zone 3 Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
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Jay Angler wrote: I read about a different tree which seemed to *need* to get the tops knocked back regularly until the roots were strong enough that the plant would grow well, and quickly (an oak maybe?) My experience with the mulberry is mirroring that. Stress it, but don't quite kill it.



That's really interesting. We've had some apple and plums do this. Not dead to the graft, but coming up above the graft. I'll have to keep thinking they'll live and keep watering them.

Morfydd St. Clair wrote:We had a super mild winter, then hard cold snaps in April, then it was a cold May, and then last weekend it was suddenly a bit too warm to comfortably garden (but we did anyway) and this week has been just miserably hot.  It's weird seeing half my garden just peeking out from the ground and the other half already going to seed.



That's how this spring/early summer was here too. Later bloomers not even up where other plants terrified of the season going to seed. My front crabapple had at the same time this year's maturing crabapples and new blossoms. Like the tree was conflicted.

Tereza Okava wrote:Finally my mother in law took pity on me and dragged me off to the home of a friend of hers, another little old lady with a crazy urban garden mostly in paint cans, who dug out a little shiso plant and put it in my hands cackling. I packed that plant back on home, planted it, and it always self seeds and tells me when the cold weather is coming, and I have always, always had shiso since. But for so long I thought it was only a mythical plant!!!



I sure hope I can get a plant going to seed each year as you have. I've had the same bad luck, but finally have 2 tiny plants. Oh please go to seed and self-seed! That's the way my summer savory and New Zealand Spinach come back each year...on their own.

Most seed I planted at the end of June and beginning of July did not grow. The ground was still far too cold. So I kept replanting, then replanting, and replanting again. Some things didn't really get going until long after our "last frost date" of about 8 July, including Tokyo turnips, beets, carrots, cucumbers, squash, beans of all kinds. Even kale. It grew terribly. The greatest relief was my groundnuts. They finally showed up through the ground surface around the 7 July.

Now that it's August the garden is in shock and trying to grow as fast as possible. But the cucumbers are still lagging and the beans are only just putting on tiny beans.

My Crosnes, which I think will winter kill here anyway continue to look terrible!

We keep trying to buy a used hoop house frame from a guy who keeps not selling it but keeps relisting it. Frustrating. Our season here is so unpredictable now. And with a short growing season, the disruptions are major.

And the evil slugs, though off to a late start due to the cold, are growing en masse. I've been using a ton of diatomaceous earth and ground eggshells to try to harden them to death. Also handpicking the slime balls.

Growth in the north is like a ferocious burst of green and seed when things finally get going, plants racing against bugs and fall frosts.
 
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This is kinda weird...

I moved into a new house in April, and so had no time to prepare garden beds. I've never been any good at container gardening, but having no choice, I put together a little "nano-farm"on my deck.  Well, everything's been growing like gangbusters!  I have sage, thyme, basil, lavender, rosemary, sweet woodruff, and "patio" variety tomatoes.   A few leaves have been nibbled by insects and the tomatoes should have been in a sunnier spot, but overall, it's fantastic.  

Except for my pot of mint.  The leaves are all chewed up, it's not spreading in the pot, and it just looks generally miserable.  It stuck out one tentacle in an attempt to invade one of the tomato plants, but it looks like it just got tired of trying and gave up. It's not quite dead yet, but it's circling the drain.  In my previous experience, mint was the one thing that I actually COULD grow in a pot - the more I ignored it, the more it thrived.

Oh wait...maybe the answer is to move it away from the rest of the pots and forget to water it.  
 
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For 2020 I am on my third attempt to start cabbage.  It simply will not sprout.  Yes, I have used different brands of seed.
 
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John F Dean wrote:For 2020 I am on my third attempt ...



Your persistence is admirable.  As is trying something slightly different each time (like new packets).  The keys to success!

What are you starting them in? Pots, and what medium - or are you starting them outdoors?  What are the temperatures like where you are starting the seeds?  Is it possible you are over- or under-watering?

I'm very curious as to what is happening.  Cabbage is usually very easy to start, at least for me it has been.  But I grew cabbage in Oregon which is practically cabbage heaven.  It would start readily indoors or out.  At this time of year, though, I would only start it indoors.

 
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Well, 7 weeks into 2020 & it seems I'm already getting a pretty good "kill list" going.
In perennials, so far I think the lavender, rosemary, and chili petin/pequin gave it up after the cold combined with moisture from the mulch became too much.  Also I suspect some of the comfrey root cuttings ended up rotting in the ground (I tend to be good at killing comfrey). All of the peppers I've attempted to overwinter, except 1, look dead. Probably because it's too warm inside to induce dormancy, but not enough light to keep growing. Still waiting to see on the various trees & shrubs I've put in this winter.
For seeds, none of the carrots I sowed outside have come up despite keeping them moist. I had a great germination rate for tomatoes in the seed trays, but recently had some damping off, plus some broken stems. Amaranth had some damping off, and some pepper varieties have had poor germination. The cat ate the tops of a tray of early nasturtiums and calendulas, plus I broke some of them. I was late in broadcasting poppies, violas, pansies, etc, to get established here, so very few sprouted. Still have several things that haven't started germinating yet, so we'll see if they rot or sprout.
Will probably do an inventory in early March, once the survivors get some growth on them and start a few more seeds of the things I lose the most of (so will probably have more losses to report later )
 
John F Dean
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I am using peat pots with starting soil.  The are in an indoor tent with temps at 75f.  Yeah, I know. I should have bought a BMW to grow them in.
 
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John F Dean wrote:I am using peat pots with starting soil.  The are in an indoor tent with temps at 75f.  Yeah, I know. I should have bought a BMW to grow them in.

I don't consider myself an expert, but 1) cabbage family like less acidity than some plants, so I'd try toilet tubes or coir pots over peat pots, and 2) they're a cool weather plant, so I'd try to get the 75F down to 65-70F if you can. Maybe some of our more expert growies will add their thoughts! (Actually, if peat pots are all you can access, dried and finely crushed egg shells on top and watered in might help with the acid level. In my climate, traditional wisdom was to add lime to the soil, but there are pros and cons to that one as there are with every choice we make.)
 
John F Dean
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The cheap, no brand cabbage seeds have sprouted.
 
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John F Dean wrote:For 2020 I am on my third attempt to start cabbage.  It simply will not sprout.  Yes, I have used different brands of seed.



The Cole family is fussier!
 
Jay Angler
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not exactly died - any hints for getting tomatillo to germinate? It was saved seed, but the fruit had yellowed up before I extracted the seeds.
 
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So far I've killed some peas and cucumber seedlings. Maybe I've murdered a whole bag of potatoes, I am resisting the urge to dig and check.  I for sure have killed a few handful of daikon radish seeds.  They sprouted a root and then it got too cold.  I like to start early and therefore sacrifice seeds and homegrown seedlings.
 
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Inside: I started a ton of Turkish rocket seeds and none came up.  I purchased some tree collards cuttings, did my first growing from cuttings.  They were doing great, I took the plastic off too soon because everything I read warned about mold, and most of them fell over within hours.  

Outside:  I was finally able to get to the garden for the first time in months!  I brought the collard survivors and a bunch of Discoraeas/Japonicus batatas that sprouted unexpectedly well and planted them out.  Now I'm worried because the garden is dry as a bone and while I watered everything in I won't be able to get back for a month.  Let's be clear, there are never droughts here.  I am from PNW-land-o-July-droughts and my German BF sat me down with a local annual precipitation chart, which is pretty much a straight wet horizontal line.  But we're having a drought.  In April.

On the bright side that means that my raised beds aren't growing weeds, because it's too dry.  OTOH the perennials I planted around them to keep the grass out seem to have all died.  It's a mix of alliums, malvas, daylilies, and lupines, and I'm only seeing a few sad alliums poking up.  I'm hoping they'll perk up later.  

One of my dwarf chestnuts died last summer for no apparent reason.  Now the other one looks equally dead.  

My new Roses of Sharon by the someday-pond and the Udo under the apple tree appear to be safe - and dead - in their little rabbit-proof cages.  

Admittedly many trees haven't leafed out yet, but I'm suspicious.  (Come on, kids, the ornamental cherries have been blooming all over town since February!)

I gave every shrub a watering can's worth of water, and the BF watered everything the hose could reach.  I also made him agree not to worry about the garden for 1 month (I worry about my plants, he worries about the neighbors) so I should take my own advice.  Now I have a month to start and kill a whole new crop of seedlings!
 
Michael Moreken
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Apparently none of the sugar peas came up.
 
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Maypop plant I ordered arrived at the end of April just before a late frost that killed it.

Beets did not come up at all; I gave up in them and planted turnips instead.

ON the other hand, the potatoes are going gangbusters, including a lot of over-wintered surprises. I did not think potatoes survived winters here, but guess they survived last winter.  It pays to be an inefficient harvester sometimes.
 
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Something is feasting on all my kale seedlings (tiny things, coming up from seed).  They are working on my greenhouse-seedlings, too, but 3 out of 4 of those still look strong.  There are holes in the tiny turnips from seed, but they look like they can take it.  And one cucumber; the rest were spared.  Puzzling.
 
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This spring has been a process of proving what doesn’t work, apparently. The hundreds of seeds I started in 3/4” soil blocks all got drowned in mud when I accidentally left the cover off the tray. The replacements, in 2“ blocks, roasted when I didn’t remove the germinated blocks from the heat mat. Seedlings didn’t do well in the raised beds; earwigs ate all but one of my perennial kale grex from EFN, the Shantung radishes from SSE bolted at 2” high and no root to speak of, and the dragon carrots that self-seeded were so fibrous they were inedible (though excellent biomass in the compost, so not a complete loss). The asparagus never came up.

BUT.

I have tried so many new things this year, put in a whole bunch of exciting perennials, and expanded the grow space over 300%, so I can’t be too upset.
 
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I had planted ~ four square feet of peas and four of green beans, should have ended up with about 36 of each. ended up with about six pea plants. the green beans sprouted, had a pair of true leaves, then died. I think I know what I did wrong -- my compost pile had been less than good and I didn't mix any of it in before a hard freeze. I did leave the dead plants in and covered the area with cardboard over the winter, but they didn't break down as much as I would have liked. basically, even after I hand tilled the area a bit (tried to minimalize it but the soil is still clay that forms a hard top), it was lumpy.

Of the nine spinach seeds, six came up. I planted more, but nothing else has come up. so my total 'kill list' of didn't sprouts is: Broccoli, cucumber,squash,carrots,beets....

On the other hand, I had tomato plants sprout in my worm bin. I transplanted them out last week but haven't gotten a chance to check them yet. I also have about 12 sprouting all over my garden that I'll have to move. I can't remember if the plants I bought last year were hybrids or not, but they were cherry tomatoes, so I'll have to buy a paste or slicing type regardless.
 
Michael Moreken
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all comfrey did not sprout.  Wrong! see one of 10 plants, up and doing ok.  Elderberry bushes (3 of them) doing good, trees planted one still with no leaves, plus the one we clipped with lawn mower!
 
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Mk Neal wrote:Maypop plant I ordered arrived at the end of April just before a late frost that killed it.



I feel your pain! Our maypop lived for last year, but couldn't survive this past winter. We may try again just in a pot  and winter inside.

So far the cilantro is the only think not coming up! Broccoli and Kale are getting munched by baby bunnies, but some are toughing it out. No ground cherries yet, but they didn't sprout until late June last year so not really a surprise... yet.
 
Graeme Johnson
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Michael Moreken wrote:all comfrey did not sprout.  Wrong! see one of 10 plants, up and doing ok.  Elderberry bushes (3 of them) doing good, trees planted one still with no leaves, plus the one we clipped with lawn mower!



I hope your comfrey keeps popping up! We love our plants. Great flowers, great biomass, great fertilizer (have a 5 gallon batch of comfrey fertilizer tea brewing right now). Just divided some roots and planted them around our new bed of blueberry, pear, plum, fig, strawberry, and bee balm.

How old are you elderberries? Have you had fruit? Ours are at 2.5 years, one of them about 6' tall... no berries yet.
 
Anne Pratt
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Graeme Johnson wrote:


So far the cilantro is the only think not coming up!



Cilantro is slow.  Keep hope alive!
 
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I love this thread!

So far, the deer tackled the new peach tree pretty hard. She's making a comeback but it's a race for time before the deer hit again. They also ate the developing strawberries including all the flowers.

Dog killed one summer squash so far...

Chickens got into the newly planted butterfly bush and delphinium. Covered both of those and hoping they'll revive.
 
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Out of all potato's growing experiments,  one has definitely failed.
It was the first plant to come up  and the wind kinked the stem  against  the edge of the bucket.
I saw it either,  so I broke it off and waited to seeing it would grow back.
After a week with no growth,  I dug it out to find a weak, limp new growth.
I staked it up,  but to no avail so far.
When I get a chance,  I will dig out the bucket entirely and start over.
 
Michael Moreken
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Planted two squash, forgot to water seedlings, so 1 survived or revived, even had it covered with grass about 2 hours!

The Anne raspberries have no leaves on then, 3 out of 5 died last year.

3 new Elderberries doing good, and all new trees except one have leaves, even one we hit with a mower has leaves now!  Jade beans, sunflowers, french shallots and sugar peas planted, little too hot for peas this late.  My mistake.

Clover in bed going gangbusters, slowly trying to fill up beds, with cut lawn grass.  Put down wood boards around garden areas for 3 long 3x24 ft beds, with free wood mulch for pathways.

We cut grass yesterday, so was filling all beds, and covering up clover in beds.  I planted red and white clover in bed.

Japanese beetles showed up today.
 
Jay Angler
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I'm on my 3rd try and second lot of seeds for sunflower with no signs of germination.

I was given a big container of soy beans, so I figured I'd plant them anywhere there was a little space as a ground cover, but one areas been dug up by something and a second got mowed off about an inch above the ground. I may re-seed figuring that there's nothing to loose and the roots still provide soil stabilization and feed the microbes as they decompose, but I've got other priorities this week.
 
Graeme Johnson
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Michelle Czolba wrote:I love this thread!

So far, the deer tackled the new peach tree pretty hard. She's making a comeback but it's a race for time before the deer hit again.



What a sad loss! Have you tried anything to thwart the deer? Deer got to one pear and one plum tree back in middle of June. We've planted lavender, lemon balm, and mint around them as well as sprayed every few weeks w/ lavender Dr. Bronners & water... so far no more deer attacks! We'll see how long that lasts
 
Anne Pratt
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Graeme, did the cilantro ever come up?

Mine are all bolting, even the very small ones, so I'm just planting more.
 
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Broccoli! First batch I sowed sprouted and then grew long thin stems with no leaves - too hot in April. Second batch did the same. Last year I had some plants but no flowers (heatwave & drought), the year before that the slugs got them... I think I'm giving up on broccoli.

And for some reason my parsnips aren't growing (but not dying either). They sprouted in the first week of June and I swear they have barely grown since then, I need a magnifier to see them. If they don't pick up I'm going to plant my leeks there.
 
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Something ate all my cucumber stems where mulch meets air. My peppers aren't doing so well but it's all location, same with pole peas & my first strawberry bed. Not sure what happened to my horseradish, could have been the snow we had in May. Also my sweet potatoes are not doing so well. I've just started building soil in a few spots this year so I think that is most of the problem. For the peppers and strawberries it's the sun or not enough of it.
 
Jay Angler
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James Sullivan wrote:Something ate all my cucumber stems where mulch meets air. My peppers aren't doing so well but it's all location, same with pole peas & my first strawberry bed. Not sure what happened to my horseradish, could have been the snow we had in May. Also my sweet potatoes are not doing so well. I've just started building soil in a few spots this year so I think that is most of the problem. For the peppers and strawberries it's the sun or not enough of it.

A first year garden on bad soil often has a lot going against it. If plants even put down roots for a while, that will help the soil microbes get started and hopefully next year will be better. Digging a few "compost holes" where you compost anything you can, will help attract worms and worms poop microbes along with other things plants like.
 
Anne Pratt
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Broccoli - shade cloth next year?  Or try in the fall?

Cucumber stems - cut worms?  Plant them with little collars made out of plastic Solo cups (recommended here by somebody smart) slightly buried.

I have the soil-trying-to-improve issue too. I need to be more patient!  In a few years it will be great!
 
Jay Angler
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Anne Pratt wrote:Cucumber stems - cut worms?  Plant them with little collars made out of plastic Solo cups (recommended here by somebody smart) slightly buried.

Or if you're trying to avoid plastic in your garden, use sections of tin cans - just be careful of the sharp edge when cutting and tape the edge. A little iron oxide in garden soil is usually not a bad thing unless you're in an area where there's too much already.
 
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Since we're talking about broccoli: am I missing something about broccoli? I get really nice looking plants, but heads that are somewhere between ping pong ball and tennis ball. The plants seem healthy, I'm in a region that is known for growing broccoli and cauliflower (conventionally, of course), what am I doing wrong that I'm getting small heads? Should I be hitting them with some sort of specific fertilizer at a certain time? My soil is pretty decent and it all gets regular shots of rabbit poo tea as well as buried bokashi, it's not really affected by pests at all, just not big, bountiful heads.
 
James Sullivan
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Thanks Jay and Anne. Yes my neighbor has mentioned cut worms.
 
Anne Pratt
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Tereza, my broccoli is just getting started. Some have heads the size of a penny, others have made it to ping pong ball!  I’m in USDA zone 5.
 
Graeme Johnson
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Anne Pratt wrote:Graeme, did the cilantro ever come up?

Mine are all bolting, even the very small ones, so I'm just planting more.



The first round did not! Not a one... at least that I saw. So I tossed some more seeds down in a different bed and got much better results! Hopefully they'll be ready for picking with my tomatoes and peppers so my salsa will be all homemade.

Are yours big enough to harvest, despite the bolting?
 
Jay Angler
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Graeme Johnson wrote:

The first round did not! Not a one... at least that I saw. So I tossed some more seeds down in a different bed and got much better results! Hopefully they'll be ready for picking with my tomatoes and peppers so my salsa will be all homemade.

Parsley is a not bad substitute for cilantro in salsa if you get desperate. Last year I mixed tomatilloes in with the tomatoes and about 1/3 - 2/3, and that added some nice zing.
 
Anne Pratt
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Graeme,
I harvest the cilantro continually to make fish tacos. And there’s plenty!  The bees love the tiny flowers.
 
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