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Old 07-04-11, 02:49 PM   #1
tomboy mom
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Default gardening with extreme sun, pictures

We have too many hours of sun, and too high temperatures, for many vegetables. I tried something different this year--

This is a raised bed with a lattice on top and a combination of shade cloth and lattice on the west exposure. Because this is still not enough shade for tomatoes in midsummer I planted two armenian cucumbers, one each on the north and south ends of the bed. I have trained them up through the lattice to shade the other vegetables.

It's working pretty well. My tomato plants are still alive and producing. I also have bell pepper plants, a regular cucumber and an eggplant in that bed that are doing well.

Other modifications,
about 6 inches of mulch,
clay pot irrigation,
wick irrigation. The wick irrigation is placed in the corners of the bed to reduce evaporation. I'm using recycled gallon bottles with socks and ducttape. Less fabric would be better really. Still learning.
I also added one picture of a second raised bed that is planted next to a block wall (west). This one I lined with plastic then puppy pads on the inside. not the first though--wish I would have. If I don't keep things alive through the winter I will definitely modify the inside of that first raised bed before next growing season.

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Old 07-05-11, 08:34 AM   #2
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Is this your first year trying this setup? The plants look pretty healthy in the pictures.

We just moved our garden this year to get more sun. Last year our neighbors garden plants were at least 2x larger than ours due to the lack of sun. It did make watering easy though!
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Old 07-05-11, 09:48 AM   #3
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This is my first year trying the Armenian cucumbers. The other slicers and picklers are declining in the heat but the Armenians are now going to overdrive. They're putting on all kinds of new growth and lots of fruit - always tender and mild and bitter-free. I think they're a keeper in my garden.
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Old 07-06-11, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Is this your first year trying this setup? The plants look pretty healthy in the pictures.

We just moved our garden this year to get more sun. Last year our neighbors garden plants were at least 2x larger than ours due to the lack of sun. It did make watering easy though!
yes, first year trying this set up. last year i planted almost exclusively along the walls to give shade. there were only three plants in full sun--a cushaw squash, a watermelon plant that mostly functioned as groundcover, and an asian purple yard-long bean that thrived in the heat and continued producing until february.

that's cool that your neighbors have a garden .
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Old 07-06-11, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
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This is my first year trying the Armenian cucumbers. The other slicers and picklers are declining in the heat but the Armenians are now going to overdrive. They're putting on all kinds of new growth and lots of fruit - always tender and mild and bitter-free. I think they're a keeper in my garden.
i so love the armenian cucumber! these plants are unbelievable. we've been up to 116 already and they don't even wilt. it's the only cucumber that we'll bite into without bitterness trepidation. my kids like it because it's one of the few plants we have that can be harvested without fear of pokes. this is the first year i've grown it too. did you know it's actually a melon?

have you tried to pickle them? i haven't ever pickled except to cut up cucumbers and put them in the left-over store-bought dill pickle juice for a few days. since those 2 plants are going crazy i was thinking about trying to make pickles. not sure how melons pickle.

what else has tolerated heat well for you? i have a table queen acorn squash that was planted directly into the yard (fairly poor soil) that is doing quite well. it does not require a lot of water. i would like to find more things that will grow in barely amended clay.

Last edited by tomboy mom; 07-06-11 at 10:52 AM.. Reason: to clarify pickle question
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Old 07-06-11, 10:58 AM   #6
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It did make watering easy though!
that is very very good! watering is so hard here. guilt guilt guilt. i am trying every year to incorporate more eco-correct watering methods. it's really challenging though. it sprinkled yesterday, that was the first time my vegetable plants saw rain.
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Old 07-07-11, 08:17 AM   #7
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I haven't tried pickling the Armenians. I hear they can get soft when you do.

I have a long list of what doesn't do well in the heat.

Basil is going well, zinnias too but you can't eat those. Grass weeds too. Zucchetta rampicante (or tromboncino squash) is growing like a weed. It got a late start but now it's doing like the Armenians and taking over. I hear they're zucchini-ish if you pick them young. Around here true zucchini can't survive long enough to produce before the vine borers kill them - three fruit in 5 years. I'm done with them and trying alternatives.
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Old 07-07-11, 10:01 PM   #8
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tromboncino squash--i looked it up. i must grow those once it cools off again, lol! those look so fun!

i don't know what a vine borer is--we just have those horrible squash bugs. oh how i love my three little muscovy ducks. they've made such a difference!
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Old 07-08-11, 08:23 AM   #9
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We have squash bugs as well. I'm keeping on top of them this year by checking daily and squishing what I can find. Last year they destroyed my pumpkins, then squash, then cucumbers. Argh!

Vine borers are a secretive moth that lays a single egg - hard to see. When it hatches the larva bores a hole into the stem and eats the plant from inside out. You don't know it's there until the plant dies. Be glad you don't have them.
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Old 07-08-11, 12:17 PM   #10
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Default ew!

vine borers sound awful. hope i don't get those.

something i figured out about the squash bugs last year--painter's tape removes the eggs without hurting the leaf.

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