gardening in a cooler, more wet climate

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by tgplp, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    One of my friends used to grow sugar snap peas. They tasted so good! Thanks for the advice, I think I will grow sugar snap peas. What would you recomend to use for them to climb on? I found two metal rod things in my yard, and used them last year to grow pole beans on. I will do the same thing this year, because the beans did great on them. Could I use something like this for sugar snap peas?
    ~tgplp
     
  2. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Peas do not grow well up poles. Beans will wind around things. Peas will not. They have tendrils that reach out and grasp things. They would not be able to grab hold of pole unless it was really narrow. You could use the poles to support a netting. A 4 or 6 inch mesh would be ideal. Here is a photo of the trellis I used last year.
     

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  3. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Here a picture of a smaller trellis. I used electrical conduit attached with 90 degree corners with a nylon netting.
     

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  4. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Okay, so do you think something kind of like a chain link fence would work? I don't have one, but I'm just wondering... Maybe I could get some netting or something. Thanks, JanR!
    ~tgplp
     
  5. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Quote: "Do early tomatoes really have ripe tomatoes about 60 days after transplanting?!"

    In the cool climate of the PNW those advertised days to ripening are only useful as a comparison between varieties. It might be close if you didn't transplant until the end of June; then you might get ripe tomatoes by the end of August. Typically, my early tomato varieties start ripening around the end of July, regardless if they were transplanted early April or late May. And that's after starting them under a cloche. The ripening time depends primarily on the weather the plants encounter, especially during June.
     
  6. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Sure, a piece of chain link fencing would work fine. Peas can be planted really early, as soon as the soil can be worked. I would think early March in your area. Plant them thickly though, as some will rot. They will also take longer to sprout, but you will get earlier peas. Peas don't like heat so you need to get them going early.
     
  7. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Thanks JanR and Vitog! Do you have to buy a cloche for tomatoes, or can you make something?
    I am glad that peas should be planted early, because I really want to get something in the ground soon! Can peas survive a frost? Should I wait and plant them after March 21? Or should I plant them in early March, like you said?
    ~tgplp :)
     
  8. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I like 4L milk bottles, with the tops cut off - works as well as a cloche, but much cheaper. By the time your plants outgrow them, the weather is warm enough not to need the covers anymore.
     
  9. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Okay, thanks Lorax! I'll try that!
    ~tgplp :)
     
  10. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Probably March 21 would be best. :) I believe they will survive a light frost. My book says that the soil temperature should be at least 40 degrees F.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  11. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    You can make a cylinder of firm wire get about 4 foot tall. I use the one with a mesh that has squares and that you can get yr hands through. If pot growing just stand over pot. Daughter used a large tee-pee made of in this case apple tree prunings 5 stuck in a pot tied at the top and added a spider web mesh of pink string. I think she ended up using a building string but any would do.

    Sugar snap are great. Can be used as snow peas in asian cooking or let grow to full pods and then use as peas. We plant ours autumn for winter / spring but I suspect you might be spring to summer.

    Liz
     
  12. candychikita

    candychikita Member

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    hey tgplp!

    we've got great veggie growing conditions in our areas, but personally haven't ventured into the tomatoes yet (neighbours grow tonnes though!)

    last year and the year before i had a tough time growing the carrots in the summer, but early spring and fall i had great crops. (perhaps it was an under watering gardener issue here) radishes, beets, and lettuce turned out great. just make sure you plant them with enough space and water them enough!

    as for the peas, snow/sugar snap peas are FANTASTIC. pretty little flowers, attracts the good bugs, smell great, use up some vertical space, AND you can eat the flowers/pods/peas! just make sure that you have something for them to grow on, as they like to climb.

    about the pH: you can get a soil testing kit at your local gardening shop. you take a little scoop of soil and some water and put the little pill in with it...shake and then the colour will tell you what kind of pH you've got (there are other tests available for nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus too so you know if you plants will need something) often with the soil test kit, it comes with a listing of ideal pH for plants to grow. pine needles lower the pH, making it more acidic with TIME, and it's best to use them as mulch for things that don't mind an alkaline soil like BLUEBERRIES, which grow GREAT in our areas...

    you can get hay/straw at any of the stores that sell pet food...often they have rabbit and small rodent bedding which is shavings and/or straw. pine shavings have the same issue as the pine needles (lowers pH). best to go to a pet food store that sells things for larger animals, so you get a better deal on the hay/straw, and it's best to get STRAW versus hay, as hay carries grass (weed) seeds and straw is the dried out husks past the point of spreading out the love.
     
  13. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  14. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Actually, Candychikita, I have a small rodent pet. She has the kind of wood shavings you are talking about! I guess I could borrow some from her bedding bag. :) Thank you, everyone, for all your great information! I got some sugar snap pea- the picture looks sooooooo tasty!
    Yea, I have a problem. I decided to have a sort of... experiment, and start a bunch of seeds really early, and then see how they do... well, I started some zucchini seeds indoors under fluorescent lights on January 3rd, and now some of them are starting to get flower buds. I think I will be growing them indoors. Any tips??? I know this probably is pretty hard to do, but I am going to try it. Do zucchinis need something to get their flowers pollinated? I know that with growing tomatoes indoors, you need to buzz the flowers with something like an electric toothbrush. Should I just leave the zucchini flowers alone? Should I shake them? Do I need to do anything?
    Thanks!
    ~Tgplp :)
     
  15. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Yes, they are going to need some help. Unless you have some bees flying around in your house. :) You can just use a little paint brush to transfer the pollen from the male flower to the female flower. Flowers will only stay open for a day so you need to do it right away when they are flowering. Sometimes it will be a while before you will have both flowering at once.

    Good luck!
     
  16. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Do you mean the flowers open in the day and close at night, or that one flower will only open once? Because it will be hard to get a male flower and a female flower open at the same time if this is the case. I'm surprised at how fast zucchinis grow! I planted some cucumbers at the same time as the zucchinis, and the zucchinis have a ton of true leaves, while only one cucumber has a true leave-a small one at that. The gourds I planted don't even have true leaves!
    Sometimes a bee gets into my house, but they're aren't even bees outside yet!
    Thanks for everyone's help!

    ~Tgplp :)
     
  17. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Another question about zucchinis- I heard about zucchini end rot, and how it is caused by low calcium. How can I fix this?
     
  18. candychikita

    candychikita Member

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    ya tickle the flowers with a paintbrush, but you need at least one male and one female open on the same day. the flowers will probably only last one day, like daylilies (peak one day, decline the next)

    you sound like you're reading up on your plants, like i do. try growing your zucchinis first, and if you get end rot, then worry about it! growing plants should be fun and easy! :) if you're growing in good balanced soil, you shouldn't have any issues. ground up eggshells provide a good source of calcium, but you can o.d. your plants on anything if you overcompensate on minerals and there are no issues :)

    hope this helps
     
  19. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    The flowers only open for one day and that is it. So if they don't get fertilized the zucchini won't grow. :( Early in the growing season this can be a problem, but later on it's not. It certainly helps if you have multiple plants.
     
  20. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Occasionally a zucchini will rot on the end and die, but never all do it, so I'm not sure what the problem is. I don't know if it is lack of calcium, or the inability to use it, as it is with tomatoes. You could try adding a Tums or two when you plant them into bigger containers. It certainly won't hurt.
     
  21. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Thanks for the help, you guys! So... you said something about having multiple plants. Does this mean that if there is one flower on one plant that is a female, and one flower on the other plant that is a male, you can use two flowers from different plants to pollinate the zucchinis? And also, the female flowers have the baby fruit behind the flower, and that is how you tell it is a female, right? Okay, one more thing! I heard that you can cross pollinate zucchinis with pumpkins and other squash to get some strange varieties of zucchini-squash things that can be used as decorations in the fall. Is this true? Has anyone ever tried it?
    Thank you!
    ~Tgplp :)
     
  22. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Yes, that is correct and any squash will fertilize your zucchini and you will get a zucchini. The seeds though when grown will produce something else.

    You can cross different squashes and you never know what you are going to get.
     
  23. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Wow, that's really cool! I think I will cross my black beauty zucchini with my yellow squash. Why will the seeds make something else? Will it still be different then both of the parents?
    Also, can you cross breed tomatoes like this to get new things?
    ~Tgplp :)
     
  24. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Because you are crossing the two plants what you get is a hybrid. Hopefully, what you get will be the best features of both, but it also be the worst features of both and not be worth eating.

    The same thing will happen with tomatoes.
     
  25. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Sometimes this gives rise to useful new varieties. Our daffodil breeder up the road has some incredable flowers from seed crossings. Some don't even look like daffodils anymore.

    Liz
     

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