OT: Gardening 2020

Creating a new gardening thread per Joe's request.

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Question for the experts here - I seem to be growing a few small white mushrooms in my raised bed. I've been using store-bought compost and soil / mulch, so I think its probably something to do with what was in that composition that's caused it to grow.

This one website indicates that white mushrooms is a sign of healthy soil AND doesn't hurt your plants.

https://growace.com/blog/mushrooms-why-theyre-a-sign-of-healthy-soil/

Can anyone confirm?

Mushrooms are just agents of decomposition, right? So that would probably indicate that yes, you have healthy soil that contains organic matter that is in the process of being aided in its decomposition by a wild fungus of some sort. I wouldn't worry about it unless the mushrooms take over.

"agents of decomposition" is a pretty sick name for a punk band

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'm growing tomatoes for the first time on my own. My family has always grown them, and staked in a variety of ways. Anyone have success with a particular method of staking?

My effort, this go-around, is just using strings on stakes, and winding the plant up through as it grows. It's been enough to keep them off the ground, but they're bushing out beyond the line of the stakes. The rest of the family is using a mix of tying off to fence wire, cages, and some heavier gauge hog panels.

Yeah, tomato plants are a pain to maintain when they get heavier with the fruits. I have used different staking methods and no matter what, gravity wins every time.

What my wife and I used with moderate success is to use ribbons that you buy from craft store and tie the tomatoes as they grow.

I like cages. I have some fiberglass/plastic rods that I insert in a triangular shape around the plant and then can tie the plant into the center.

I have round cages, but my plants have buried my cages this year so may have to get some larger ones.

A gardening friend of mine uses PVC for her cages. I haven't tried it myself, but her harvests are always top notch so she must be doing something right.

Do you ever think when Joe decided to start a Virginia Tech website he had a thought that one day he'd have to make a request to start a new gardening topic on that website?

It is truly the off-season

Joe never thought we would get into the weeds.

Or fifteen-plus threads discussing a pandemic

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'm still hoping for the 666th thread.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I am just waiting for XXX thread. We are halfway there. Curious who that might bring to TKP site with a google search of coronanvirus XXX

We are about done with this garden season. I have already had to pull up some of the boxes out. We are planning to reconfigure the garden layout since we didn't think through the original design.

Half of the garden boxes have been taken out and landscape fabric taken out. Next thing to do is to harvest what is left of the growing season, kill the grasses and then do the reconfiguration of the garden.

One of our mistakes from the beginning was placing the boxes too close to the perimeter of the enclosure. That will be remedied soon.

Done already? Mine is rolling. Want a few cukes or grape tomatoes?

Quite a harvest and I had enough cukes for a while.

Here's mine:

Once we are done with garden reconfigurations, we will resume gardening, planting fall vegetables, probably focusing on lettuces and heirlooms.

Here is my raised bed that I built for the wife this spring.

Very nice set up! My only concern would be deer being able to bend over the fence and eat. It's one reason why my enclosed garden space are slightly over six feet tall.

Deer have the rest of my field to roam around. They don't usually come close to the house because of the dogs.

I hope you are right. We had to also enclose our flower beds because of deer never mind that we have 6 acres of land for them to roam and graze.

same issue, much less land. We also have a raccoon challenge from time to time (not due to me or my immediate neighbors, but someone is leaving out something for them to feast on) and this would do nothing to stop them.

As a dude can I marry you too?

I like this a lot. Very nice work!

Sick. I want something like this.

All it requires is money, time, and not much skill.

Don't have a current shot, but the garden is overflowing now. Green beans and cucumbers on the tall wire of the bed, corn, cantaloupes, and zucchini in the ground.

It looks very nice. Did you line the inside with plastic or metal?

I would have made the exterior walls higher all the way around for deer protection.

Heavy mil plastic stapled to the wood sides. No false bottom, 5 inches gravel on top of the ground, then my soil mix.

That is a lot of dirt!

I did mention above time and money. It took quite a bit of both. Having a large tractor with a front loader helped.

What kind of wood did you use, I am worried about leaching from PT wood.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Pressure treated, plastic lines the entire bed.

Unless you dont mind replacing it every year or so I would go PT otherwise youll be fixing it a bunch considering it will be in contact with dirt and water most days.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Anyone had any success at blueberries? I planted 2 bushes this spring, and I think the recent dry spell and intense heat has been affecting one of them more that the other. Some of the leaves are starting to crisp up and turn brown. Once I realized what was going on, I set up an umbrella to shade it from the sun during the hottest part of the day. I know, I know, blueberry bushes like full sun, but where it's at, it gets sun from 6am until 6pm, so some added shade shouldn't hurt it. I'm also giving it a good soaking every morning, but if anyone has any other suggestions to help me baby it along, I'll take 'em!

Blueberries typically thrive in more mild summers and acidic soil

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Planted 3 blueberry bushes and they seem to be doing ok. As chump said, they need acidic soils. Have you tried to add used coffee ground? They seem to love used coffee ground.

This is a great tip.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

We've had blueberries in pots (in the desert) for 5 years now. I genuinely don't do anything all that special with them, just use a fruit tree specific fertilizer and have them on the same watering lines as everything else. I also pull them into the garage in the winter if it drops to single digits (or lower). But yeah, mine are in full sun in 105+ heat and they're perfectly happy.

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

"Sam Rogers is a college football icon" SB Nation

Thanks Frank!

As a note - there's two general groupings of blueberries - those that need less days below freezing to fruit and those that need more (IIRC it's like <30/>30). I have two of the less-freezing-days varieties, so if you have the more-freezing-days types, YMMV

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

"Sam Rogers is a college football icon" SB Nation

Thanks Frank!

Blueberry roots are very shallow and need heavy mulch and water in dry periods.

Thank you! I did mulch them pretty heavily in the spring, or so I thought. Looking back, now I'm doubting myself. I might pick up a few more bags this weekend to add to the pile. I've also noticed that the weeds are encroaching pretty badly, so I might need to spend some more time out there pulling weeds as well so they don't have to compete for water. Would you say a gallon of water a day would make the bush happier? More because it's been so hot and dry?

My dad has several doing great in full sun in Atlanta, so they can take the heat - once they are established. Do you know where they were sourced from? Some of the mega-stores sell plants that are from colder climates and are not as heat resistant. How much water they need to get started also depends on how well the soil holds water. The roots may also not be developing well depending on the soil and how you prepped it. If you can get it through the summer with some shade and water it should develop a better root base and need less care next summer.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I got them from a local nursery, and they loooove to sell native varieties. I do know that it is a different variety from the one that is still doing well, I'll check the tag specifically when I get home from work and report back.

Edit:
Alright, so we're working with is one "Summer Sunset" and one "Sunshine Blue". The Summer Sunset is the one that is not doing so hot, and a quick google search indicates that should do well in my zone (7a). I think consistent watering is going to be the key to its continued survival at this point, as well as providing shade on the hottest days to get it through to next year.

After a solid week of babying my ailing blueberry bush with shade and LOTS of water, this morning it rewarded me with new growth! Is it safe to assume I should keep up the current regime until the worst of the summer is behind us?

Been having a good summer for tomatoes and cucumbers but finally my tomatoe plants all collapsed under their great weight or so I thought till I found a few tomato caterpillars on them so hopeuflly eliminating them will help them get some foliage back and strength enough to stand up again.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I had one tomato plant collapse over too but I found that it had broke the wire cage holding it up!!

Mine seemed to have collapsed under the weight but I htink the foliage loss was a part in it too they felt weak when trying to prop them back up.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

This is great as long as we don't go down a P Allen Smith rabbit hole!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."