-Misty blueberries (3 plants ).
-O'Neal blueberries (one plant)
-Sunshine Blue blueberries (one plant)
-Sweet Quartz Pink Cherry Hybrid Tomato, Tomato Growers Supply Co, seeded 3-17-13 (2 plants)
-Tomato seedling of unknown provenance
-Tendergreen Burpless Cucumber, Ferry-Morse '13, seeded 4-13-13
-Beananza French filet beans, Beananza, seeded 4-13-13
I transplanted the green beans this time in the same soil I amended with sulphur for the blueberries. Hopefully they will grow better if they have the pH they prefer.
The varieties I purchased are:
-Misty (3 plants ). I found out the variety when I looked up Bushels of Berries from River Ridge Farms Inc. http://riverridgefarms.net/aboutourprodu
-O'Neal (one plant)
-Sunshine Blue (one plant)
They are all hybrid Southern Highbush varieties, which do well in the south.
Below are the relevant notes I took on blueberries several years ago (and I'm only just now getting around to purchasing some). At the time, the varieties I was most interested in purchasing were Sunshine Blue and Jubilee.
Blueberries that are normally spaced 4' apart can be spaced 2' apart and the total yield will be almost 50% more fruit over a 5-year period. Dr. James Moore, Distinguished Professor of Horticulture at the University of Arkansas. Once the bushes start to get too crowded, dig up every other bush and transplant it. It is possible to dig 10-12 year old plants with no problem.[i]
Blueberries thrive in the light shade of pine trees, and they like the way pine needles acidifiy the soil.[ii]
Rabbit-eye blueberries (V. ashie) are very vigorous, productive high-bush cultivars that are drought-tolerant but not winter hardy. Several new cultivars of Southern Highbush blueberries have been successful in the Central Valley and Southern California. Require a sunny location, prefer cool climates with well-drained sandy soils that are moist throughout the growing season. The pH should be 4.5 to 5.5 Don’t do well in wet soils. Peat soils are suitable. If pH is above 5.5, acidify the soil by add Elemental sulfur at a rate of 1-2 lbs. Per 100 square feet to lower pH one unit 1 year before planting. Plant in raised beds 8-18” high and 3-4’ wide. Space plants 9-10’ apart. Set plants shallow, spreading the roots in all directions and covering them with 1-2” of soil. Firm soil around plants. Do not fertilize at planting. Strip off all flower buds the year the plants are set out so no fruit is produced. Mulch well. Fertilize 10-10-10 four weeks after planting. Plants require 1-2” water per week from May through September.[iii]
Rabbiteye blueberries thrive in pH 4.5 to 5.5, ideally a loam or sand. A mineral, sandy soil enriched with acidifying organic matter such as peat or rotted leaf litter is good. Good drainage is needed or root rot results if roots remain saturated and starved of oxygen for too long. Roots may penetrate 3’ down. Create ridges or mounds where drainage is poor and high rainfall is expected. In extreme cases, these may be up to 3 ft high, but usually they are 12-18” high.[iv]
In the hotter climates where rabbiteye blueberries are grown, the growing season is long enough for summer pruning (which usually occurs immediately after harvest) to be effective, because the young growth this stimulates has time to mature and produce flower buds before dormancy. Winter pruning is favored by many because research has shown that even though there is a loss of crop in the year following, the amount of growth that takes place in that year more than makes up for it in terms of crop yield the year after that.[v]
Southern Highbush Blueberries are hybrids containing genetic material from 2-4 Vaccinium species (including Northern Highbush and Rabbiteye). Most of the work has been done in Florida, Georgia, Australia and other Southern Hemisphere countries. The main objective was to produce improved highbush blueberry cultivars that would do well in these areas. The first commercially released varieties are Flordablue and Sharpblue. They all fruit very early and have low winter chilling requirements, making them ideal for much of California. The quality of fruit is excellent, and they are tolerant of heat and dry conditions. Some are noted for their tolerance of a wide range of soil conditions, including much heavier soils than are tolerated by most blueberries. The young growth is bronze and mature leaves are gray-green or blue-green. Some varieties are successful from San Diego to Seattle. In areas with warm climates that rarely drop below freezing, they are evergreen and never become fully dormant. Sunshine Blue seldom loses its leaves during winter, but sheds them as young growth starts in spring.[vi]
Removing old, woody canes will cause a bush to have strong, young canes a year later.[vii]
Hybrid Southern highbush blueberry varieties are:[viii]
Introduced in 1987, originated in North Carolina. Vigorous, rather spreading bushes tolerant of a wide variety of soil conditions. Perform best under pH 5.0. Self-fertile, blooms over a long period. Produces good crops of large to very large, firm light blue blueberries with a small scar. Ripening is fairly concentrated. Excellent flavor. Fruit does not deteriorate on the bushes in hot weather. Only 400 chilling hours below 45 degrees are required during dormancy.
Released from Gainesville, FL in 1990. Needs only 150 chilling hours. Fruit has good flavor. Grows on upright bush. Winter pruning encourages larger fruit. Evergreen in mild winters but loses its leaves in cold areas. Takes time to produce new leaves, so stems are vulnerable to stem blight, in which case flowers may precede leaves. Not self-fertile.
Successful in San Diego. Grows in lightly acidic sands to heavy loams of pH 6.0 to 6.5. Easy to grow, bushy, compact, reaching about 3 ft. tall and 3 ft wide. Ideal for small gardens or containers. Retain their leaves in winter and lose them when new growth is imminent and flower buds are coloring. Self-pollinating flowers. Prolific crops of medium berries with an excellent flavor are produced over a long period from midseason. About 150 chilling hours are required.
[i] Joan Benjamin, Editor, Great Garden Shortcuts: 100s of All-New Tips & Techniques That Guarantee You'll Save Time, Save Money, Save Work, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1996, p. 40.
[ii] Joan Benjamin, Editor, Great Garden Shortcuts: 100s of All-New Tips & Techniques That Guarantee You'll Save Time, Save Money, Save Work, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1996, p. 41.
[iii] Paul M. Vossen, “Berries,” Chapter 16 of California Master Gardener Handbook, 2002, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Communication Services, Publication 3382, pp. 4440-443.
[iv] Jennifer Trehane, Blueberries, Cranberries and Other Vacciniums, Royal Horticultural Society Plant Collector Guide, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon and Cambridge, U.K., 2004.
[v] Jennifer Trehane, Blueberries, Cranberries and Other Vacciniums, Royal Horticultural Society Plant Collector Guide, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon and Cambridge, U.K., p. 174.
[vi] Jennifer Trehane, Blueberries, Cranberries and Other Vacciniums, Royal Horticultural Society Plant Collector Guide, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon and Cambridge, U.K., pp. 175-176.
[vii] Jennifer Trehane, Blueberries, Cranberries and Other Vacciniums, Royal Horticultural Society Plant Collector Guide, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon and Cambridge, U.K., plate 32.
[viii] Jennifer Trehane, Blueberries, Cranberries and Other Vacciniums, Royal Horticultural Society Plant Collector Guide, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon and Cambridge, U.K., pp. 177-179.
-Genovese Basil, Seeds of Change packed for 2011, seeded 3-17-13
Last weekend I transplanted the following:
-Dill, Bouquet, Botanical Interests, packed for 2013, seeded 2-23-13
-Sweet Quartz VFNT Hybrid Tomato, Tomato Growers Supply Company, seeded 2-23-13
-Little Lucky Tomato, Victory Seed Company packed for 2006, seeded 2-23-13
-Futsu Black Winter Squash, Pinetree Garden Seeds packed for 2012, seeded 3-17-13
-Papaya Pear Squash, Pinetree Garden Seeds packed for 2012, seeded 3-17-13
Two weekends ago I transplanted the following:
-Genovese Basil, Seeds of Change packed for 2011, seeded 3-17-13
-Japanese Black Trifele Tomato, seeded 3-17-13
-Trombetta Squash, saved seed, seeded 3-17-13
-Blue Berry Blend Tomato, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds packed for 2013, seeded 2-23-13
-Beananza French Filet Beans, Burpee packed for 2012, seeded 3-17-13
Today I harvested:
-A gallon of snow peas
-Nearly a gallon of shelling peas in the pod
-A gallon of unshelled Fava Beans
-A gallon of mixed rutabagas and turnips
I've been harvesting fava beans, turnips, rutabagas, parsley, marjoram, galanga root and celery for soup the last couple of weeks.
I've been making Chinese dumplings with harvested broccoli, green onion, peas and brassica greens.
I've also made two batches of unspicy curry using shelled peas over the last two weeks.
I put down some new soaker hoses last week, and have put dried leaves as mulch around the transplanted seedlings.
I harvested lettuce, arugula, shelling peas, beets and beet greens for salad. I harvested a surprise sweet potato as well as bell peppers for homemade tamales. I harvested the outer leaves of cabbages (steamed for 20 minutes) as well as flat-leaved Italian parsley and marjoram for stuffed cabbage rolls. I harvested a basket of shelling peas for spiceless curry. I've been harvesting green onions, broccoli and shelling peas for Chinese boiled dumplings. I didn't harvest the large Shanghai bok choy in time before it went to seed, though now that I've weeded that area I see there are a couple more plants of that variety that have not yet gone to seed. They could be delicious in phad wun sen.
This week I transplanted the following seedlings:
-Genovese basil, Burpee '11, seeded 2-23-13
-Genovese basil, Seeds of Change '11, seeded 2-23-13
-Mortgage lifter tomato, Burpee '11, seeded 2-23-13
-Black cherry tomato, Baker Creek '09, seeded 2-23-13
-Black trifele tomato, Tradewinds Fruit '11, seeded 2-23-13
-Stupice tomato, seeded 2-23-13
-Futsu black winter squash, Pinetree Garden Seeds '12, seeded 2-23-13
-Zephyr F1 yellow with green hybrid squash, Johnny's Selected Seeds '09, seeded 2-23-13
-Trombetta squash, saved seed, seeded 2-23-13
-Chinese kale, gailann, Botanical Interests packed for '13, seeded 2-19-13
-Pinetree cabbage mix '12, seeded 2-23-13
-Red winter kale, Botanical Interests packed for '13, seeded 2-19-13
-Supershmelz giant white kohlrabi, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds packed for '13, seeded 2-19-13
-French Swiss chard, Nichols Garden Nursery packed for '09, seeded 1-5-12
-Asparagus bean, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange '12, seeded 3-17-13
My other bean seedlings (Beananza, a Burpee filet bean) got bit off their stems, though the tops were not eaten.
I also transplanted some cucumber seedlings about a week ago, and their leaves had been nibbled (and many of the seedlings had their tops bit off as well).
Tomorrow I need to transplant dill and tomato seedlings, and start seeds for the following:
-More tomatoes, especially Japanese black trifele, pink quartz cherry, and some variety of pink tomatoes
-More Futsu black winter squash
-More trombetta squash
-Tetsukabuto (kabocha) squash (if I have any seeds left)
-Burpless, Armenian and Chinese cucumbers
I think the common problem is that I seeded them in composted steer manure amended soil. They also were likely planted too late in the season; we have had several weeks on and off of faux summers during days which get up into the high 70s or low 80s.
The one daikon radish that volunteered over the winter in the shady side garden grew to prodigious size in soil that had not been appreciably amended at that time.
So my plan for the future is to grow these items in unamended soil in shady, moist areas of the garden in November or December.
The reason I haven't grown daikon earlier in the season in past years is I wasn't sure what to do with it, so didn't get around to planting it until I'd planted everything else I wanted for the season.
Now I know that daikon is the secret ingredient that makes soup unbelievably delicious, so daikon will be one of the first plants I'll seed this coming November and December.
Although we still have harvested rainwater, I've had the timed irrigation on three times this week, and twice a couple weeks ago before we had last weekend's rainstorm yielding about 1 1/2" of rainwater.
- Current Mood: cheerful
-Pinetree Cabbage Mix, seeded 1-5-13
-Optiko Chinese Hybrid Cabbage, seeded 1-5-13, Pinetree Garden Seeds packed for 2010
-Ching Chang Bok Choy (baby bok choy), seeded 1-5-13, Pinetree Garden Seeds packed for 2012
-Flashy Butter Oak Lettuce, seeded 1-5-13, Territorial Seed Company packed for 2013
-Ambition Hybrid Shallot, seeded 1-5-13 (from seed), Territorial Seed Company packed for 2013. I transplanted these in the garden bed closest to the plum tree, in the back fence end of the bed, in the half closest to the rosemary bush
-Redventure Celery, seeded 11-24-2012, Pinetree Garden Seeds packed for 2012
-Ishikura Onion (a bunching green onion), Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, packed for 2013
-Violet De Galmi Onion, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, packed for 2013
Last weekend, I seeded the following in pots:
-Superschmelz Giant White Kohlrabi, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, packed for 2012
-Chinese Kailaan, White Flowered brassica oleraceae (Alboglabra group), Botanical Interests packed for 2013
-Kale, Red Winter Brassica olleraceae (Acephala group), Botanical Interests packed for 2013
Yesterday, I transplanted the following spring and summer vegetables in pots. Hopefully the nights won't get too cold for them, and hopefully many of the seeds are not too old to germinate:
-Armenian cucumber from saved seed
-Tendergreen Burpless Cucumber, Ferry-Morse packed for 2009
-Suyo Brocase Cucumber, Nichols Gardne Nursery packed for 2010
-Oriental Cucumber II, Evergreen Y. H. Enterprises packed for 2009?
-Trombetta di Albenga squash from saved seed
-Tahitian Squash from saved seed
-Hybrid Summer Squash, Yellow with Green Zephyr F1, Johnny's Selected Seeds packed for 2009
-Sunny Delight Scallop Hybrid squash, Nichols Garden Nursery, packed for 2010
-Black Zucchini Squash, Bentley Seeds, packed for 2006
-Pinetree Cabbage Mix, Pinetree Garden Seeds packed for 2012 (includes Danish Ballhead, Brunswick, Early Jersey Wakefield, Mammoth Red Rock, Drumhead Savoy, Golden Acre)
-Black Cherry Tomato, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds packed for 2009
-Blue Berry Blend Tomato, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds packed for 2013
-Japanese Black Trifele Tomato, Tradewindsfruit.com, packed for 2011
-Momotaro Tomato (Japanese language package)
-Sun Gold Hybrid Tomato, Tomato Growers Supply Company packed for ?
-Sweet Quartz VFNT Hybrid (deep pink cherry) tomato, Tomato Growers Supply Company
-Stupice Tomato, Hume Organic Seeds packed for 2010
-Mortgage Lifter Tomato, Pinetree Garden Seeds packed for 2012
-Genovese Basil, Seeds of Change packed for 2013
-Dill, Bouquet, Botanical interests, packed for 2013
No more rain is expected today.
The forcast is for a high of about 55 degrees Farenheit, so if I decide to garden midday, I'll have to bundle up.
It will likely be too cold and wet to garden this weekend, but I'll likely harvest generously from the garden.
The seedlings in the two most recently garden beds appreciate the rain, as does the rest of the garden.
On Sunday I transplanted some short day red onion seedlings in a bed that was too wet to have much come up in it.
On our last rainfall, we received about 1/32" of rain.