Backyard Vegetable Garden

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Corie Henson, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Our backyard is not really a vegetable garden. We just have some vegetables around the house. First in the list is ginger which also serves as ornamental plant. There's also onions and pepper with the ripening red fruits that are nice to look at. Some lime plants that are all fruiting. But the most prolific is the sweet potato and water spinach. They grow fast so we can harvest often.
     
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  2. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    My garden is a mixed bag. Some things are doing great, some have been a flop.

    I got way behind on the weeding with all the rain we had. We finally got he corn weeded and fertilized. The potatoes are doing great. I cut the vines yesterday. Onions are good but not as big as usual. Tomatoes have small ones growing. Cabbage and beets are about done. One of the purple cauliflowers is making a head. I watered everything yesterday for only the second time this year.

    Lime plants, Corie. You must be farther south than I am.I wish we could grow citrus and avocados here.
     
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  3. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    We left for a short vacation and I just came back home today. But before we left, my husband took shots of the lime that was fruiting, there were 2 lime plants, and the blooming dragon fruit as well. He said that he wanted to see the progress when we come back after 4 days. My husband is serious in his backyard farming. He even checks on the leaves for pests and his usual haunt are the lime plants that never fails to attract caterpillars.

    Now that it is summer, irrigating the plants is a big chore because my husband is not content in simple watering. He would train the garden hose to a plant and come back to it 2 times. The water, according to my husband, is only on the surface so you need to go back for more before the soil could fully absorb the water and provide the roots with food. That was what he does with his plants. And the reward? We got a huge harvest with that banana that yielded more than 200 fruits.
     
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  4. Val White

    Val White Active Member
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    We got a late start in our gardening this year, since we skipped spring and went straight into summer, so I don't expect much from our garden. We do have beans, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and some herbs planted but the tomatoes aren't doing well and I don't know that we'll get full-sized potatoes before the freeze begins in the fall. I also planted some rhubarb, which is a perennial that I hope catches on, meaning that it survives the winter.
     
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  6. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I have corn, snaps, (AKA string beans) sweet potatoes, eggplants, bell and banana peppers, tomatoes, yellow squash and okra. So far, so good but we need rain. I've been watering but that only does so much good. We have a few days of 100ยบ or higher coming up. I'm not sure what that will do to the garden plants. I was out setting the sprinkler this morning and, I can tell you, it was HOT out there.

    I've
    never grown eggplant so I don't know what to expect from them. My son wanted to plant them. Have any of you ever grown them?
     
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  7. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I was late planting this year. The space I usually plant in is not available, a weed has grown to some size between the two fences, has developed limbs that are shading the space I use for my garden. I have to get a saw and go to work on removing the limbs and find some way to remove the tree that is growing. I think I will plant a few things in planters before the end of the month. It is just getting hot here so I still have time to plant a few things.
     
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  8. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Rains started to come last week and almost everyday it rains. Our mango tree has buds and in a few days will bloom. When it is blooming and it rains, the flowers will rot and not turn into fruits. That mango tree is the star of our backyard since it gave us countless of fruits. In one season, we could harvest more than 300 fruits. You can guess that friends are overjoyed with the free mangoes.

    Unfortunately, that mango tree was ravaged by typhoon Glenda. It was leaning on the fence so we had to cut the branches. And despite not having branches anymore the tree gave us 2 fruits which I harvested just last week.
     
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  9. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Our garden is coming along, and we have been getting a few tomatoes here and there, and some of the cucumbers, and squash have gotten flowers on them; so I am hoping that they will also set some fruit from the blossoms.
    Some of mine are in planter pots and some are in the ground; but our soil here is mostly just hard red clay; so I think the ones in the posts with real topsoil are doing better, even if they do not have as much room to expand.
    The front yard is where we mainly have sunshine, and all my veggies are just growing out in the front by the road.
    Hopefully, people won't come along and pick them when they get ripe; but so far we have not had any problem with that happening.

    image.jpg
     
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  10. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    @Yvonne Smith, is that the flowering cucumber? Our cucumber here in our backyard is the wild cucumber with small fruits. I have yet to see the vine of a real cucumber. With squash, we sometimes have that when the seeds that we throw in the compost area would grow and bear flowers but never a squash. We eat the flowers though, we mix that in the native vegetable dish.

    Another similar vine is the melon. From the seeds that we throw, there will be sprouts and some of the sprouts were left to crawl as vines. And they bear fruit but not a lot, just for the fun of it since the fruit is not so sweet. But the point is we get to harvest from those leftover seeds.
     
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  11. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    The vacant lot beside our property is being used by my husband as extension of our garden. He had planted it with a variety of vegetables and other crops. One such plant is my favorite blueberry. It's actually mulberry but we were oriented in it as blueberry so the name stuck. It grows by itself even when there is no irrigation. It's branches are low so it is easy to pick the fruits - green becomes red and when ripe the color is purple. Here is the close up photo of our mulberry... IMG_3129 mulberry RESIZED.jpg
     
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  12. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    That mulberry tree is beautiful, and the berries look SO delicious, @Corie Henson ! I love blackberries; which are similaar; but they grow on vines. We do have mulberry trees here in the US, and if we had room for one; I would love to grow a mulberry tree.
    the mulberry tree was actually one of the first trees specifically planted here in the Eastern United States. Since silk worms live in and eat the mulberry leaves; the early settlers in America were going to grow the mulberry trees and raise silk worms to sell silk; but the whole project just never got going well, and now we just have the trees as shade trees, and to eat the mulberries.
    I have never tasted a mulberry; but they look like blackberries.

    The picture that I posted is one of my little squash plants out in the front yard. Some of the other ones are larger; but that one had blossoms on it; and it does resemble a cucumber vine, as well.
    When I was growing up, we had what was called a wild cucumber vine. The vine grew profusely each year, and would be covered with tiny white flowers, and then later, it developed wild cucumbers. These were like the size of a small lemon or lime, and about the same shape, and had little prickles all over them. The inside was pithy and full of seeds, and my mom said that they were not edible and would make you sick if you did try to eat them.
    I don't know if what you call a wild cucumber is the same thing; but if it is edible, then it must be a different variety of wild cucumber. I will look online and see if I can find a picture of them; so you can tell if it the same as yours or not.
    Picture of the fruit of a wild cucumber plant.

    http://blog.cranesmill.org/2013/05/...-the-cranes-mill-campus-part-2/wild-cucumber/
     
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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  13. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    @Yvonne Smith, the leaves of the mulberry is a good fodder for cattle. But goats relish those leaves when still attached to the branch so you have to let the goat come near the tree. The fruit of the mulberry is very sweet and would be a good dessert.

    We have several lemon trees here. My husband call them plants because he said trees grow big and the lemon stays that small. We have that American lemon with big fruits. The fertilizer used is quite surprising for those who do not know organic. Since we do not use chemical fertilizer, our usual fertilizer is the water used to wash meat or fish from the market. That's it.

    Here is the pic of our American lemon before we harvested it and used to marinate the porterhouse steak. IMG_2817 lemon tree RESIZED.jpg
     
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  14. Val White

    Val White Active Member
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    OOOOH Corrie how good does that look. There is nothing nicer than picking and using fruit straight from the tree. Oranges especially. They taste so different than those that have been shipped. I have a small Victorian garden so no fruit trees.

    My attempts at growing potatoes that after much loving care resulted in 2 tiny spuds which then committed veggie suicide the minute they hit boiling water :(
     
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  15. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Here is another lemon plant with green fruits for now but would be turning yellow soon. Indeed, the lemon and lime plants are in season. But I wonder why they cost so much in the grocery? The main enemy of the lemon tree is the butterfly and the moth. It is imperative to check on the young leaves of the lemon tree every morning because a single larva would finish up to 10 new leaves. Here is the picture of that green lemons.

    PS. I am sorry but I cannot upload photos now. The site is crawling. Perhaps there is a technical problem?
     
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  16. Allie Seay

    Allie Seay Active Member
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    For the past two years we have had record numbers of large juicy tomatoes in our little garden. Not so this year. Not sure what's up, but they're just not faring so well this time around. On the other hand the squash is doing fine and I managed to can my first batch today. I know it's not recommended to can yellow squash but have never had a problem with it and intend to continue doing so. (The FDA, like other government agencies, is paranoid.)

    Looks like we'll get a good bit of okra as well. Just not quite yet. Peppers, too, come later for the most part.

    Those tomatoes, though. Mmmph. Ken and I are wondering if we might be better off to yank a couple of the plants and put some new ones in their holes. At least we have enough now to be enjoying our favorite blt's and tomato slices for sides and salads. Can't complain, really.:)

    Corie, I'm so jealous of you and your lemon and lime trees. I would love to have some in my yard. :)
     
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  17. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    My father in law said that we are lucky to have an abundance of lemon (since it is expensive in the market). What we could do is put a slice of lemon in the pitcher of water and that would be a good healthy drink. Whenever we would harvest lemon, steak would be the menu since lemon is a good marinade for steak, together with soy sauce. Neighbors would usually peek in the gate and ask if there is a ripe lemon. Yes, we share the harvest with some neighbors here.

    As I had promised, here is the unripe lemon in our backyard garden. IMG_3127 green lemon RESIZED.jpg
     
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  18. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Our extension garden is the vacant lot beside our property. We also have some crops there but the first and foremost is the easiest to take care of - sweet potato a.k.a. camote. This camote is a root crop which can be harvested after 6 months from planting. But aside from the tuber, the most popular benefit from camote is the young leaves called camote tops. It is the poor man's vegetable that is boiled and dipped in soy sauce... a good dish.

    Here is the shot of our camote plantation. IMG_4122 camote.JPG
     
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  19. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    Allie, I think yellow squash makes better pickles than cucumbers. We also slice or chop squash and freeze it. I found a recipe for squash cake that is delicious.

    Corie, we grew so many sweet potatoes last year we probably won't need to plant any for several years.
     
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  20. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    We dug our potatoes yesterday. A bumper crop. They say you are supposed to average 10 pounds of potatoes for every pound you plant. I planted 2 1/2 pounds and we got over 40 pounds. Some nice big ones too. I noticed as we dug that the beds were full of big fat earthworms.
     
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  21. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Wow, that's a lot of harvest you have there. If that were here, I'm sure the kids would be bombarded with french fries everyday, hahahaaa. We had tried test planting potatoes 2 times but the plant did not look good. Perhaps the soil is the problem.

    Let's move on the our plantation of cassava that we are looking for an October harvest if the typhoons will not intervene with the growth. Last year, typhoon Glenda had inundated our cassava crops and nothing was saved. All we had was the few cassava planted in our backyard. By the way, our crop is planted in the vacant lot beside our property. Here is the photo of our cassava crop... IMG_4123 cassava.JPG
     
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  22. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    We bought a mamacita banana sapling for $3 in a garden nursery. After 8 months, it bore fruits already. And to consider that it was ravaged by last year's typhoon, it is a sturdy banana that came from Thailand. It has 13 clusters and each cluster has a minimum of 20 bananas. You can imagine how heavy is the entire bunch. It took 3 people to harvest it to prevent from falling on the ground and damaging the unripe bananas.

    Here is the photo of that mamacita banana from Thailand... IMG_1073 saging.JPG
     
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  23. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Have you heard of pandan? It is a plant that has aromatic leaves. The leaves have many uses like flavoring of gelatin drink or flavoring the rice. The primary use of pandan here is in cooking the native snacks. The aroma enhances the attraction of the snack especially to the young customers.

    But there is another use for the pandan leaves that only few people know. We put it in a basket or a net or maybe inside a stocking hose and hang it in the rear view mirror of the car. That is now an air freshener of the car. Neat eh?

    Here is our pandan plant... IMG_4111 pandan.JPG
     
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  24. Jenn Windey

    Jenn Windey Active Member
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    Only managed to put in a small garden and since then it has rained buckets and turned cold, We have strawberries and blackberries, spinach, lettuce collards, green beans and an assortment of herbs. I had wanted to do tomato but in a way I am glad that I didn't get to because it has rained so much. We do have an abundance of dandelion greens which I feed to my turtles. If the weather clears up before the 4th I may do some container tomato and try some pumpkin, that is if I can keep the rabbits away.
     
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  25. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I don't know how our garden is going to go this year. We got a very late start, since winter never wanted to end and, so far, spring and summer have been cold and wet. We've only had a few warm days; it has been in the low sixties and raining today. Our potatoes and onions look good. Of the eight rhubarb roots we planted, only two have leaves. One of the others has a bit of green on the exposed roots, but nothing has developed from it. The others appear to be dead. We have a pepper plant that is doing very well but I don't know that it will have time to produce before the growing season is over. We might have to dig that one up and bring it in the house this fall. We planted a few sunflowers this year and, while the plants look healthy, they are growing slowly, which is not what I expect from a sunflower. Our beans and tomatoes haven't done much of anything, and appear to be half dead.
     
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