Wild Men on the North Fork

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Vegetable Variety Pages: | Beans - Carrot | Cauliflower - Corn |Cucumber - Peas
Peppers - Squash | Tomato - Watermelon
2015 Notes | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002
This page: 2015 Planting Guide, When to Start Seed, When to Set Out
Wyogrow...where the tough get growing, by Fred Jacquot
I have been an active gardener in the Casper area now for over 30 years. Back when I first started no one could tell a beginner what kind of carrots or tomatoes grew best here. Because I have been taking notes all these years, you can find out what plants do best in Wyoming on the 'vegetable varieties' pages, whose links are above.
Along with my partners Mark McAtee and Paul Combe I have done a lot of experimenting and research. You can find the results of this activity on these many pages. Please click on the links and start viewing our work. I think you will find that there is a huge amount of information available here for you. Enjoy!

Below are a few links to some nice garden sites.

Fermented Tomato Conserve (Conserva Cruda Di Pomodoro)
Why Do You Soak Cucumbers Before Pickling?
Texas A&M Vegetables
Here is a link to Garden Guides!
Rocky Mountain Garden Forum
Garden Humor
About Composting

Between Season Notes 2015-2016

December 14, 2015

I have recently been reading The Song of Increase by Jacqueline Freeman. Her online site is: www.SpiritBee.com. She is an expert in natural method bee keeping. Here is a long quote from her book.

By coincidence, I just got an email from Bill Simpson. Here is a brief outtake from his email.

I don't wonder at all. Honey bees are extraordinarily sensitive to odors and very susceptible to poisions. My boss at WalMart, who is a bee keeper told me of a court case where some 15,000 hives were put out in a field next to another field where the neighbor was planting corn. Drilling corn throws up a lot of dust and the bees were downwind. All the hives were dead within 8 hours. The corn seed was coated with 23 poisons.

In this country we are running into the danger of having absolute monocultures of corn or wheat in one county. By that, I mean that the WHOLE COUNTY will be planted with just one variety of corn, or just one variety of wheat. That is an ecological disaster waiting to happen. All it takes is for one thing to go wrong and the surface area of a whole county will die.

The great lesson from the Middle Ages is Crop Rotation. In big American Agriculture, that idea is passe, and because it is we will suffer. From the information you see above, monocultures and GMOs may not be the worst of it. Poisons have to work their way up through the food chain and into our bodies. They will.

December 15, 2015

Information from Catalogs:

There is a new kid on the block in the world of seed catalogs: Seeds 'n Such. This is the new effort by the guy who started Totally Tomatoes, then sold it to Jung, and now is competing with Jung after his non-compete period of time is over.

There is a new variety of Tomato listed in both catalogs: Mrs. Maxwell's Big Italian (Indeterminate Heirloom). Both catalogs say this variety will produce 1 to 2 pound fruit. Seeds 'n Such lists this as a 69 day tomato, and Totally Tomatoes lists it as an 80 day tomato. For gardeners in Wyoming this is a big difference. Honest differences in production times do exist between companies. My own inclination is to not trust the 69 day figure. The idea that you could get a 1 pound tomato in Wyoming in 69 days is too much of a stretch.

January 11, 2016

A note from Bill Simpson:

January 21, 2016

I have been going through my various seed catalogs and have found some interesting varieties I thought I would share with you.

From Totally Tomatoes Catalog:

From Pinetree Garden Seeds Catalog:

January 31, 2016

3 Factors for Gardening Success

#1...Selection

I have developed my one third rule for gardening in Wyoming. Basically, you will get 1/3 less from a garden in Wyoming than you will get from one in Iowa, perhaps even less. The fruit that you get will be 1/3 smaller, or the volume of production will be 1/3 less.

When I apply the 1/3 rule to climate I get results that are sobering. I calculate that here in Casper our growing season is 114 days. But those 114 days are not comperable to the same number of growing days in Iowa. Many of our nights dip well below 50 degrees farenheit. To get an equivalent I multiply 114 by 2 and get 228. Then I divide by three and I get 76. Thus, in Casper we have a growing season of 76 Iowa-days. That has serious implications when you are selecting varieties to plant in you garden. You will want to plant very short-season varieties.

Below are links to my vegetable variety pages. There are many tables. In the first column of these tables are four-letter links followed by numbers. The four letters are shorthand links to the sites of seed suppliers and the numbers are the days-to-maturity that each seed provider estimates for that variety. Thus, 'Burp65' is a link to the Burpee seed site and 65 would be the days-to-maturity that Burpee estimates for the particular variety in question. Use these links. I have done a lot of leg work for you.

Beans - Carrot

Cauliflower - Corn

Cucumber - Peas

Peppers - Squash

Tomato - Watermelon


3 Factors for Gardening Success

#2...Soils

Clay soils, in particular, will compact through the process of watering. So even if you never trod on tilled soil you can be compacting it every time you water. Always take the opportunity to mix some humus in as you till, and to mix it into the soil surrounding trees and bushes. Humus is available in the forms of peat moss, manure, and compost. Peat can be purchased by the bag, or by the bale. It comes to us mostly from Canada It is dug there from old lake beds, and contains the plant remains of hundreds, even thousands of years of lake-plant growth. Peat moss provides great humus that is slightly acidic. That acidity will neutralize some of the alkali in our soils.

Manures have different degrees of 'hotness', or concentrations of nitrogen. Sheep manure is the hottest available to Casper residents. To obtain some you may have to drive out into the countryside to ranches that feed herds of sheep over the winter. Never use fresh sheep manure. Use only aged sheep manure, and use it sparingly. Even aged sheep manure can burn plants if it is too concentrated.

Horse manure is 'hotter' than cow manure, and has fewer active seeds. Use manure that has aged in a pile for a least a year, as that composting tends to kill a lot of seeds in the manure.

Tiny grains of clay in freshly tilled soil are widely separated. During compaction there is less and less space between them. Because they are very thin they orient horizontally during compaction, forming a barrier that is virtually impossible for roots to penetrate.
Sandy soil also presents problems. Think humus and manure...or organics. Sandy soil is severly lacking in organics. Till some in every year until you get a more acceptable soil mix.
Please click on this link to go to the Soils page.

3 Factors for Gardening Success

#3...Climate Control

Birds do it, bees do it, farmers do it in a big way.

WINDBREAKS

CONTOUR PLOWING

IRRIGATION
Farmers all over the world modify the climate in which they grow crops. Among the methods they use are windbreaks, countour plowing and irrigation. They know, as we should know, that climate modification is necessary.
The Wind Kills
We once had an 80 mph wind gust the day after we set out our tomatoes. That stripped all the leaves off of the plants. That inspired us to begin using tubes to keep the wind off. All but one of the plants put on new leaves and survived. We found that there are multiple advantages to using thick-walled plastic tubing. It keeps the wind off the tender young plant that is going through root shock. If pushed down into the ground, it prevents cut worms from attacking.
Tubes provide thermal mass, and radiate heat back to the plant during the evening. They allow just enough wind to strike the plant to allow it to wiggle. This makes the stem stronger. When the plant does grow up out of the tube it is ready to handle the wind.
We use tubes for Tomato, Pepper, Cucumber, and Bean. The tender sprouts of the last two attract a lot of attention from the beetles. Tubes provide a barrier to the bugs. In the case of Cucumber, we tie a netting over the tube. When the plant grows large enough to touch the netting, it is also strong enough to withstand beetle attack, and we remove the netting.
Fences and wind barriers of all kinds are used in Wyoming gardens, and you should seriously consider using some in your garden.
Watering
We have found that tubes also help the watering process. When it is super hot outside, we like to water every other day. But tomatoes love water (they also love good drainage...go figure). When I water the Tomatoes and Peppers I simply fill the tubes full of water. The water seeps slowly into the soil for a deep watering, which is what I want. But beware. Do not do this early in the season. I killed some tomato plants one season by watering deeply this way too early. I would not water this way unless the plant is at least twice as high as when I set it out, and the temperatures are very warm.

The time to plan how you are going to water your garden is before you plant. Where exactly will the hose end up when you drag it through your beds? Will you need to drive stakes for hose control?

Please click on the links below to take you to other climate-related pages.

Climate/Conditions

Raised Beds

February 02, 2016

Why Determinate Tomatoes?

Indeterminate Tomatoes keep their vines growing right up to when that growth is halted by frost. Determinate Tomato vines only grow for a much shorter time. Then all of the energy of the plant is put into growing and maturing fruit. Our growing seasons in Wyoming are so variable that you can expect to run into a cooler or colder season at least 4 times out of 10.

In a warm growing season Indeterminate Tomatoes will outperform Determinate Tomatoes. But in a cooler season the Determinate Tomatoes will be the winners. That is why I reccomend that vegetable gardeners grow both kinds of tomatoes, to keep accomodate for both outcomes.

The following chart is from my Tomato through Watermelon Page:



Main Crop Determinate Tomatoes:


ABOUT DETERMINATE TOMATOES:

Bill Simpson is the gardener who really turned me onto Determinate tomatoes. He invited me out to his place to see what he was doing in his garden. I was surprised by the fact that he planted nothing but Determinate tomatoes, and also by how heavily those plants produced.

Determinate tomatoes reach a point in their growth when they stop growing vines and leaves and put all their efforts into growing and ripening fruit. Indeterminate tomatoes (which is mostly what is sold by greenhouses) keep growing their vines until they are stopped by hard frost. Indeterminate plants usually grow taller and require staking and support. Determinate plants usually stay quite short (there are exceptions) and need no staking and no trimming at all.

We started growing Determinate tomatoes in the 2005 season with 10 plants. This 2006 season we grew 26 Determinate plants. Our only regrets are that we did not grow more Determinates and fewer Indeterminates. Be assured that next year the count on our Determinate plants will rise again.

One problem with Determinate tomatoes is that, generally speaking, they do not have the great flavor that Indeterminates have. There is a chart in Johnny's Seeds 2006 catalog that clearly illustrates this point. It is for that reason that we probably will never get completely away from planting some Indeterminates. However, careful reading of the catalogs tells me that there are some great tasting Determinates. It may just be a matter of hunting for them.

The best reason to start growing Determinate tomatoes is the fact that their production matches our growing season much better than Indeterminates. Note the chart below. We usually get a cool spell about September 3rd, and our first hard frost about September 22. Most Determinates will have ripened a majority of their fruits on the vine by the time that first cool period hits on the 3rd. But, as you can see, it is a different story with the early Indeterminates. Later Indeterminates will be lucky to have produced very many ripe fruit by the time of our first hard frost.

Days to

Maturity

Name - Description Product
The Best:
Park 66, Reim 66, Stok 65, Recommend
Applause Hybrd VFFA
- Determinate. Large fruits, 8 to 12 oz., Rich and satifying flavor, big, early, delicious. Grown in 2008-10. Will grow again in '11. We think Applause is the very best Determininate we have ever grown. In a cool summer (2009) we got at least one 16 oz. fruit off of each plant. Overall tomato production was superb! Low Seed Potency
6 to 16 ounces
Recommend
Burp 65, Valley Girl - From the Burpee Seed Catalog: "Combines big luscious fruit with early maturity on dwarf 22" plants, perfect for small gardens and patio containers." Determinate. Grown in 2012-13 with disease free production. Will grow again in 2014. 10 ounces
Ttom 75, Debut Hybrid - From the Totally Tomatoes Seed Catalog: "(VFFASt) This new variety is sure to make a name for itself with its large, 8 to 10 oz., deep oblate, firm red fruits with smooth shoulders and a small blossom end scar. Excellent for fresh eating and holds well on-the-vine for an extended harvest. Plants are medium-sized with plenty of foliage for good fruit cover and are very prolific yielders. Determinate." Grown in 2013. We had great production from this disease free variety. Will grow again in 2014. 10 ounces
Considering:
Ttom 70, Defiant - From the Totally Tomato Catalog: "This variety cracks the genetic code to produce the first tomato bred for Late Blight resistance. This high yielding plant produces 6 to 8 ounce globe-shaped fruits that combine disease resistance with great old-fashioned tomato flavor." Determinate. 6-8 ounces
Jung 79, Mountain Fresh - From the Jung Seed Catalog: "Mountain Fresh - a widely adaptable, highly popluar, fresh market tomato in the East and Midwest." Tolerates cool and damp. Determinate. " Determinate. 10-12 ounces
John 75, Ttom 75, Mountain Merit - From the Johnny Seed Catalog: "Mountain Merit is a medium-large, 8-10 oz., red slicer with an excellent disease package to keep it healthy in the field. Larger than Defiant PHR, though flavor is not quite as good. Mountain Merit has one of the best disease packages around for a variety of field conditions. Determinate. " Determinate. 8-10 ounces
Burp 65, Reim 54, Ttom 57, Bush Early Girl - From the Burpee Seed Catalog: "The earlier, the better. These extra-large, extra-early tomatoes grow on a true bush. The 4” across tasty red fruits are much bigger than Early Girl, and ripen just two days later. The 18” plants are amazingly compact and self-supporting, yet productive. Disease-resistant." Determinate. 10 ounces
Burp 78, Bush Big Boy - From the Burpee Seed Catalog: "Our classic Big Boy has been made better, especially for small-space gardeners. You get the same number of tasty, big red tomatoes (10 to 11 oz. each), with the same sweet, aromatic, melt-in-your-mouth juiciness as the original. But the compact plants are only half the size! Disease-resistant, easy to grow and ideal for short stakes, cages and tubs." Determinate. 10 ounces

Main Season Notes 2016

March 23, 2016

Well, we have all the seeds mail ordered in. Many tomatoes started and many more to start very soon. We are helping more gardeners get a start on the season.

Daffodil Count

I woke this morning to the sight of snow on the ground. My neighbor has daffodils blooming, so the count is on. I have long maintained that it is really not Spring until the daffodils have been snowed on at least four times. That is 'ONE'.

I am adding a new page to the site. It is for Fruit and for Fruit Trees. This is a work in progress.

March 25, 2016

Daffodil Count

A light snow fell last night on my neighbor's daffodils.

That's 'TWO'.

April 17, 2016

Daffodil Count

We had a heavy snow storm in late March (30th) so that made the count 'THREE'. Today it has snowed lightly but continuously all day. So that is 'FOUR'.

April 25, 2016

Daffodil Count

We had a snow yesterday on the Daffodils (See Photo Above). So the count is 'FIVE'.

June 15, 2016

The thing about NPK.

Ever see something like this on a bag of fertilizer?

Those numbers tell you how much Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are in the fertilizer (by percentage of volume by weight).

But what is important about that? What do these three elements do for your plants?

Well, for one thing, plants have to have all three to grow and live. Let us look at each of the three.

Nitrogen

Nitrogen (N) - nitrogen makes leaves grow, and supporting stems.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus (P) - Phosphorus directs root growth, and flower and fruit production.

Potassium

Potassium (K) - Potassium guides overall health of the plant and is essential in DNA.

Now here is the deal. a weak fertilizer would be 05-05-05. A strong one would be 20-20-20. The strong fertilizer in this example has four times as much (by weight) of the three elements as the weak one, and the three element comprise 60 percent of the fertilizer. The weak fertilizer will probably not burn (chemically) your plants, but the strong one might.

Ideally one would use a fertilizer strong in nitrogen (N) at the beginning of the season, and weaker in nitrogen (N) later on. In mid growing season one might desire stronger amounts of the other two elements (P,K). Some gardeners purposely use a weak fertilizer on the ground when the growing season is completely over to boost soils for the next season.

In Wyoming our soils are notoriously weak in iron (Fe). Sulpher (S) is also good for our soils because it acidifies the soil...or neutralizes the alkali. I use IronSulphate (FeSO4) on my lawn to green it up without spurring growth.

Another common additive is Calcium (Ca). Tomatoes and Peppers thrive on it. Bone meal is a good source for Calcium. Bone meal will also deliver Phosphorus (P) to plants.

Between Season Notes 2015-2016

July 5, 2016

This season's big disater has been the beans. I decided that this year I would not plant them in small tubes as I have done in past years.

I got lousy germination, and I got bugs attacking the goods beans that did germinate well (Contender). So, next year, I will be back planting in tubes. I think the tubes help shade the beans at germination time. They evidently do not like extra warm soil to germinate.

July 19, 2016

More on beans:

I am not the only one to be having problems with beans. Yet others have beans which are doing just fine. After puzzling on this, I think that the soils warmed up very quickly this Spring. Those who planted beans early had the advantage. Those of us who planted later, when soils were already perhaps too warm, have struggled.

Cabbages in our Plot in the middle of July.
A picture of part of my wife Judy's plot. She is, and has been, growing plants and flowers for the dying of wool. Picture here, from bottom to top, are: Amaranth (dark red), Cosmos, Garden Chrysanthemum, and Sunflower.
A picture of my wife Judy's Hollyhock plants in a raised bed in our back yard. By the middle of July they have already grown to be over 8 feet tall. Hollyhock blossoms can not be harvested until their second season.

August 02, 2016

This is why we love Applause Tomatoes.
A picture of my wife Judy's Amaranth plant. She will use Amaranth to dye wool organically.
A picture of the Hot Pepper Bed in our plots on July 22.

August 20, 2016

We came home to find these apples from our back yard. Left: Whitney, perhaps the largest of all crab apples, very sweet, productive. Right: State Fair, medium sized apple, tart and delicious.
What we did with the apples.
A picture of tomatoes from our garden plots. In my hand is a one pound Applause.

August 30, 2016

Gardening friend Mike sends these photos of his garden.


July 17, 2016

August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

And Mike writes:

September 10, 2016

I have been evaluating the productiveness of the different tomato varieties we planted this year. Here are my results.

2016 Tomato Productivity
VARIETY
PRODUCTIVITY
SCORE
Brandy Boy
27.5
Sun Sugar
22
Applause
20.1
Tomande
20
Mountain Merit
18
Skyway
17.33
Black Krim
16.5
Mountain Fresh
12.66
Defiant
12

This morning when I went to work the temperatures were in the upper 30's. So I was not surprised to see half the leaves on the squash/pumpkins to be dead and black.

End of Season Notes 2016

September 11, 2016

I have generated another chart which might help you next Spring when you are planning your garden. Next season I will be trying much harder to graduate my plantings with the tallest to the North and shortest plants to the South. Also, I observe that I should not plant tomatoes on an east-west axis next to each other. They would do better if offset from each other.

2016 Plant Height Guide
VARIETY
HEIGHT IN INCHES
. . .
Sunflower
72 to 96
Corn
72
Tomato - Indeterminate
60
Peas
28
Cucumber
26
Taragon
24
Pepper - Tall
22 to 26
Chard
21
Carrot
20
Broccoli
18
Tomato - Determinate
18
Pepper - Short
16
Beets
17
Basil
16
Onion (mid-shaft)
12
Cabbage
9
Raddish
9
Sage
7
Melon
6 to 12
Lettuce
6 to 12
Bean (Bush)
6 to 12

September 25, 2016

ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE GARDEN

Tomatoes Indeterminate

BLACK KRIM - Old Russian Heirloom, excellent flavor, but uniformly small fruit than any other growing season. Had some disease problems this season. Ranked 7 out of 9 for productivity.

SUN SUGAR - My favorite of all the tiny grape tomatoes on the market. This one is sweet but also packs great flavor. My neighbor has been drying the fruit and reports that it has a very 'fruity' flavor. This one ranked 2 out of 9 for productivity.

BRANDY BOY - A hybrid by BURPEE out of the American Heirloom Brandywine. Much shorter season than Brandywine. Mild flavor but very productive. This one ranked 1 out of 9 for productivity. Good disease resistance.

TOMANDE - A hybrid out of the French Heirloom Marmande. Very good flavor and very productive. This one ranked 4 out of 9 for productivity. Good disease resistance.

Tomatoes Determinate

APPLAUSE - A hybrid whose seed is very hard to get. Good flavor and very productive. This one ranked 3 out of 9 for productivity. Lousy disease resistance, but big fruit when you get them.

MOUNTAIN MERIT - A hybrid. Good flavor and reasonably productive. This one ranked 5 out of 9 for productivity.

SKYWAY - A hybrid. Good flavor and reasonably productive. This one ranked 6 out of 9 for productivity.

MOUNTAIN FRESH - A hybrid. Uniformly small fruit. This one ranked 8 out of 9 for productivity.

DEFIANT - A hybrid. Uniformly small fruit. This one ranked 9 out of 9 for productivity, despite the fact that it was bred to be disease resistant.

Sweet Pepper

We planted peppers that were from Bonnie with generally good results.

BIG BERTHA - Big thick-walled fruit from this one. Still a favorite of ours. The best sweet pepper that Bonnie has to offer.

Hot Pepper

We planted peppers that were from Bonnie with generally good results.

JUMBO JALPENO - gets a rave review from us this season. It is truely jumbo. Very productive.

Other hot peppers from Bonnie were also productive. Gardening Partner Mark McAtee gave us one Thai Bird Pepper which was typically very productive.

Cabbage

QUICK START - very productive and early. Next season we need to stagger the planting on this one. Then we need to harvest heads early. I did an experiment and cut heads off this season, instead of ripping the whole plant out of the ground. Small heads have grown out of the sides of the plants. If harvesting was earlier, the new small heads would be a lot larger.

Peas

SUPER SUGAR SNAP - Good production on tall vines which were trellised up.

WYOMING GROWN SUGAR POD PEA - Good production on shorter vines which were trellised up.

I like the combination of two different peas growing close to each other.

Cucumber

COOL BREEZE - Not so great production. Needs a lot more soil prep than it got.

HOME MADE PICKLES - Pretty lousy production from this newbie. Will not grow again

A garden neighbor grew Russian Cucumber from Baker Creek. These were very impressive. We will grow these next year.

Pumpkin

ROUGE VIF D'ENTAMPES - Reasonably good production.

Winter Squash

SPAGHETTI - Reasonably good production.

CREAM OF THE CROP - Reasonably good production.

HEART OF GOLD - Reasonably good production.

RED OCTOBER - Reasonably good production.

Summer Squash

GREEN ZUCCHINI - Very good production.

GOLD RUSH ZUCCHINI - Reasonably good production.

PATTY PAN - Reasonably good production.

Melon

SOLSTICE - Reasonably good production.

HALONA - Reasonably good production, despite the fact that germination was only 50%.

Bush Bean

CONTENDER - Best producer in a really lousy bean year

ROMA II - Lousy production, perhaps caused by shade

DUKE - Lousy production, perhaps caused by shade

So, how hot has it been?

Regular readers know that I keep a degree-day chart each year. I have chosen the base temperature of 50 degrees (F.) because I don't think plants do much growing below that temperature.

Degree days are the cumulative average temperatures above the set base (50 in this case). I always begin counting degree days on May 25, Casper's last average day of frost. If on May 25 the average temperature was 62 degrees, that would be 12 degrees above 50 and the cumulative total would be 12. If on May 26 the average temperature was 64 degrees, that is 14 degrees above 50 . I add that 14 to the 12 I already have, and the degree days for May 26 would be 26. Adding the degrees above the base together is what makes degree-days cumulative.

Here is the 2016 degree-day chart.

MAY 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 JUNE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
HIGH 81 61 66 71 63 66 67 69 75 68 65 74 82 77 78 83 83 88 87
LOW 45 40 36 30 35 35 37 35 37 44 34 31 36 44 38 45 46 51 53
AVER. 2016 63 50.5 51 50.5 49 50.5 52 52 56 56 49.5 52.5 59 60.5 58 64 64.5 69.5 70
DD (50) -1 -0.5 1.5 3.5 9.5 15.5 15 17.5 26.5 37 45 59 73.5 93 113
JUNE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
HIGH 91 93 95 83 73 79 87 86 82 92 88 87 100 87 93 95 82
LOW 53 48 56 50 50 52 45 50 48 50 56 43 55 50 48 59 43
AVER. 2016 72 70.5 75.5 66.5 61.5 65.5 66 68 65 71 72 65 77.5 68.5 70.5 77 62.5
DD (50) 135 155.5 181 197.5 209 224.5 240.5 258.5 273.5 294.5 316.5 331.5 359 377.5 398 425 437.5
JUNE 26 27 28 29 30 JULY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
HIGH 87 86 91 94 82 84 84 91 93 87 88 84 93 96 95 74
LOW 38 46 47 47 54 53 51 57 49 55 47 49 45 48 50 48
AVER. 2016 62.5 66 69 70.5 68 68.5 67.5 74 71 71 67.5 66.5 69 72 72.5 61
DD (50) 450 466 485 505.5 523.5 542 559.5 583.5 604.5 625.5 643 659.5 678.5 700.5 723 734
JULY 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
HIGH 85 85 88 87 93 90 94 95 96 96 96 95 88 97 93 92
LOW 45 43 43 47 50 48 50 70 63 58 59 64 50 47 54 58
AVER. 2016 65 64 65.5 67 71.5 69 72 82.5 79.5 77 77.5 79.5 69 72 73.5 75
DD (50) 749 763 778.5 795.5 817 836 858 890.5 920 947 974.5 1004 1023 1045 1068.5 1093.5
JULY 28 29 30 31 AUG 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
HIGH 83 90 96 95 95 96 96 82 87 85 93 93 94 93
LOW 55 49 51 59 60 55 58 44 48 47 52 61 50 60
AVER. 2016 69 69.5 73.5 77 77.5 75.5 77 63 67.5 66 72.5 77 72 76.5
DD (50) 1112.5 1132 1155.5 1182.5 1210 1235.5 1262.5 1275.5 1293 1309 1331.5 1358.5 1380.5 1407
AUGUST 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
HIGH 81 82 84 92 87 89 92 75 55 76 89 92 83 75
LOW 51 48 48 47 47 42 52 51 40 38 38 52 43 41
AVER. 2016 66 65 66 69.5 67 65.5 72 63 47.5 57 63.5 72 63 58
DD (50) 1423 1438 1454 1473.5 1490.5 1506 1528 1541 1538.5 1545.5 1559 1581 1594 1602
AUGUST 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 SEP

1

2 3 4 5 6
HIGH 65 74 82 87 86 86 87 93 89 85 73 75 77
LOW 47 46 42 53 47 45 46 47 60 53 51 50 50
AVER. 2016 56 60 63 70 66.5 65.5 66.5 70 74.5 69 62 62.5 63.5
DD (50) 1608 1618 1631 1651 1667.5 1683 1699.5 1719.5 1744 1763 1775 1787.5 1801
SEPTEMBER 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
HIGH 78 81 61 80 86 52 60 72 62 68 75 83 85
LOW 45 42 33 30 48 36 36 36 41 39 42 53 40
AVER. 2016 61.5 61.5 47 55 67 44 48 54 51.5 53.5 57.5 68 62.5
DD (50) 1812.5 1824 1821 1826 1843 1837 1835 1839 1840.5 1844 1851.5 1869.5 1882

- - This year's Degree Days compared to past years - -

Degree Days Through June 30
Through July 15
Through July 31
Through August 15
Through August 31
Through Sept. 19
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Season
Total
2016
523.5
523.5
272
795.5
387
1182.5
308
1490.5
209
1699.5
182.5
1882
2015
529
529
282.5
811.5
286
1097.5
311.5
1409
254.5
1663.5
279
1942.5
2014
390
390
299
689
380
1069
312.5
1381.5
243.5
1625
167
1792
2013
524.5
524.5
339
863.5
317
1180.5
426.5
1607
381.5
1988.5
315.5
2304
2012
558
558
362
920
416
1336
314.5
1650.5
317
1967.5
243
2210.5
2011
322.5
322.5
325.5
648
385.5
1033.5
305
1338.5
367
1705.5
195
1900.5
2010
364
364
228
592
264
856
394.5
1250.5
322
1572.5
175
1747.5
2009
327
327
258.5
585.5
256
841.5
267
1108.5
216
1324.5
254.5
1579
2008
292.5
292.5
281
573.5
387
960.5
289
1249.5
282.5
1532
96
1628
2007
431.5
431.5
348.5
780
400.5
1180.5
344.5
1525
278.5
1803.5
277.5
2081
2006
567.5
567.5
332.5
900
426.5
1326.5
308.5
1635
294.5
1929.5
131.5
2061
2005
333.5
333.5
297
630.5
360
990.5
256.5
1247
240
1487
242.5
1729.5
2004
314
314
270
584
269
853
275.5
1128.5
197.5
1326
246
1572
2003
401.5
401.5
307.5
709
399
1108
388
1496
317.5
1813.5
146.5
1960
2002
528
528
360
888
364
1252
278
1530
262
1792
248
2040

September 26, 2016

ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE GARDEN...CONTINUED

Carrot

SWEETNESS - Productivity down. Needs soil work.

DANVERS - Productivity down. Needs soil work.

Lettuce

LEAF LETTUCE - Will grow head lettuce next year and plant it in rows.

HEAD LETTUCE - Will grow head lettuce next year and plant it in rows.

Onion

Onion production was only fair. I will plant sets of Walla Walls next year.

Beet

Beet production was good this year. I will plant less next year due to a reduction in the land abailable.

Radish

Radish production was spotty this year. I will plant less next year due to a reduction in the land abailable. I will also have to improve soils.

November 28, 2016

Downsizing my vegetable garden

I am reducing my planting in 2017 to a third of what it was in 2016. I found myself always playing catchup this last season. I never got the soils worked up like I wanted in the early Spring and I was always behind on the weeds. It was everything I could do to get the plots planted and watered. So I am going to cut back, and break up the garden partnership I have enjoyed all these years. I will concentrate on raising what I can on 1/3 as much space as I am used to having.

General Chart of Downsizing

Type

2013/2014

Variety ...those in lighter green are varieties we are trialing Seed Vigor Area
2016
Area
2017
Weeks to Set Out Start Dates Set Out/Sow
Total counts for Indeterminate Tomatoes: 16 plants 6 plants
Total counts for Determinate Tomatoes: 36 plants 12 plants
Total counts for Tomatoes: 52 plants 18 plants
Total counts for Sweet Pepper: 18 sq ft 6 sq ft
Total counts for Hot Pepper: 24 sq ft 8 sq ft
Total counts for Peppers: 42 sq ft 14 sq ft
Total counts for Cabbage: 18 sq ft 6 sq ft
Total counts for Snap Peas: 32 sq ft 10 sq ft
Total counts for Sugar Pod Peas: 32 sq ft 10 sq ft
Total counts for Peas: 64 sq ft 20 sq ft
Total counts for Cool Breeze Cucumber: 9 sq ft 3 sq ft
Total counts for Homemade Pickles Cucumber: 27 sq ft 9 sq ft
Total counts for Cucumber: 36 sq ft 12 sq ft
Total counts for Pumpkin: 35.55 sq ft 12 sq ft
Total counts for Green Zuchini: 9.26 sq ft 10 sq ft
Total counts for Yellow Zuchini: 9.26 sq ft 10 sq ft
Total counts Zuchini: 18.52 sq ft 6 sq ft
Total counts for Spaghetti Squash: 17.66 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Cream of the Crop: 29 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Heart of Gold Squash: 10.33 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Red October Squash: 28 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Winter Squash: 85 sq ft 27 sq ft
Total counts for Solstice Melon: 12.66 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Halona Melon: 16 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Melon: 28.66 sq ft 9.5 sq ft
Total counts for Roma Bean: 9 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Contender Bean: 18 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Duke Bean: 9 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Beans: 36 sq ft 12 sq ft
Total counts for Brocolli: 12 plants 4 plants
Total counts for Sweetness Carrot: 9 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Danver Carrot: 9 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Carrots: 18 sq ft 6 sq ft
Total counts for Chard: 8 sq ft 3 sq ft
Total counts for Leaf Lettuce: 9 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Head Lettuce: 9 sq ft ? sq ft
Total counts for Lettuce: 18 sq ft 6 sq ft
Total counts for Onion: 26 sq ft 9 sq ft
Total counts for Beets: 12 sq ft 4 sq ft
Total counts for Radish: 6 sq ft 2 sq ft

December 2, 2016

Downsizing my vegetable garden

I am taking the Downsizing Chart from November 28 and adding Plant Height information from September 11. Also note that I am also including Winter Squash, which throw long vines and which I will train to grow up trellises.

Plant Height New Trial Variety Area
2016
Area
2017
Germination
Farenheit
Set out/Sow
72" to 96" Winter Squash - Spaghetti Squash Area
17.66 sq ft
Area
? sq ft
59 to 86 Sow May 25
72" to 96" Winter Squash - Heart of Gold Area
10.33 sq ft
Area
? sq ft
59 to 86 Sow May 25
72" to 96" Total Counts for Winter Squash Area
85 sq ft
Area
27 sq ft
59 to 86 Sow May 25
60" Indet. Tomato - Black Krim Area
8 plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
60" Indeterminate Tomato - Tomande Area
6 plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
60" Indeterminate Tomato - Brandy Boy Area
2 plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
60" NEW! Indeterminate Tomato - ? Area
? plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
60" Total Counts for Indeterminate Tomato Area
? plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
28" Sugar Snap Peas Area
32 sq ft
Area
? sq ft
39 to 62 Sow May 1
28" Sugar Pod Peas Area
32 sq ft
Area
? sq ft
39 to 62 Sow May 1
28" Total Counts for Peas Area
64 sq ft
Area
? sq ft
39 to 62 Sow May 1
27" Yellow Zucchini Area
9.26 sq ft
Area
? plants
60 to 86 Sow May 25
27" Green Zucchini Area
9.26 sq ft
Area
? plants
60 to 86 Sow May 25
27" Total Counts for Zucchini Area
18.52 sq ft
Area
? sq ft
60 to 86 Sow May 25
26" NEW! Russian? Cucumber Area
? sq ft
Area
? sq ft
63 to 86 Sow May 25
26" NEW! Other? Cucumber Area
? sq ft
Area
? sq ft
63 to 86 Sow May 25
26" Total Counts for Cucumber Area
36 sq ft
Area
12 sq ft
63 to 86 Sow May 25
24" Herbs Area
18 sq ft
Area
18 sq ft
???? May 25
24" Sweet Pepper Area
18 sq ft
Area
6 sq ft
68 to 86 Set out May 25
24" Hot Pepper Area
24 sq ft
Area
8 sq ft
68 to 86 Set out May 25
24" Total Counts for Peppers Area
42 sq ft
Area
14 sq ft
68 to 86 Set out May 25
21" Chard Area
8 sq ft
Area
3 sq ft
41 to 86 Sow May 18
20" Carrot - Danver Area
9 sq ft
Area
4.5 sq ft
41 to 77 Sow May 25
20" Carrot - Sweetness Area
9 sq ft
Area
4.5 sq ft
41 to 77 Sow May 18
24" Total Counts for Carrots Area
18 sq ft
Area
19 sq ft
41 to 77 Sow May 18
18" Determinate Tomato - Applause Area
10 plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
18" Determinate Tomato - Mountain Merit Area
6 plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
18" NEW! Determinate Tomato - ? Area
0 plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
18" NEW! Determinate Tomato - ? Area
0 plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
18" Total Counts for Determinate Tomatoes Area
34 plants
Area
? plants
59 to 86 Set out May 25
18" Broccoli Area
12 plants
Area
4 plants
48 to 77 Set out May 18
17" Beets Area
12 sq ft
Area
4 sq ft
41 to 86 Sow May 18
12" Onion Area
26 sq ft
Area
9 sq ft
46 to 77 Sets on May 1
Plants on May11
9" Cabbage Area
18 sq ft
Area
6 sq ft
57 to 89 Set out May 18
9" Radish Area
6 sq ft
Area
2 sq ft
51 to 84 Sow May 11
6" to 12" Lettuce Area
18 sq ft
Area
6 sq ft
42 to 68 Sow May 1
6" to 12" Bush Bean Area
36 sq ft
Area
12 sq ft
50 to 77 Sow May 18
26" NEW! Melon To be grown at Barry Frank's 68 to 90 May 25
26" NEW! Watermelon To be grown at Barry Frank's 68 to 90 May 25

Between Season Notes 2016-2017

2016 Moon Phases

March 10
March 15
March 23
March 31
April 8
April 14
April 21
April 30
May 7
May 13
May 21
May 29
June 6
June 12
June 20
June 27
July 5
July 12
July 19
July 26
August 3
August 11
August 18
August 25
September 2
September 9
September 16
September 23

2016 Planting Guide

Click Here For 2009 Tomato Taste Test

= Rated for Taste
= Rated for Production

Type

2013/2014

Variety ...those in lighter green are varieties we are trialing Seed Vigor Area
2015
Area
2016
Weeks to Set Out Start Dates Set Out/Sow
Tomatoes:
Indeterminates
Black Krim
Heirloom***

Indeterminate
High 8 plants 8 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Tomande - a hybrid from France's Marmande. We have grown this in the past.

Indeterminate
High 0 plants 4 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
*NEW
Brandy Boy - a hybrid from Brandywine with a much shorter season
Indeterminate
High 0 plants 0 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Tomatoes:
Determinates
Applause
Hybrid


Determinate - perhaps the best production of any Determinate - the seed is nearly impossible to find
High 9 plants 10 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Defiant
Determinate
High 0 plants 6 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Mountian Merit
Determinate
High 0 plants 6 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
*NEW
Skyway - We were going to grow this last year but they all died in the greenhouse.
Determinate
High 0 plants 6 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
*NEW
Mountain Fresh
Determinate
High 0 plants 6 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Small Tomatoes and Tomato Relatives:
Indeterminate
Sun Sugar (Orange)

Indeterminate
High 2 plants 2 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Total counts for Tomatoes: 52 plants 48 plants
Sweet Peppers Carmen
Sweet Horn

High 9 sq ft 6 sq ft 9 Mar 23 May 25
Big Bertha
Standard Bell
High 9 sq ft 6 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
*NEW - or back after many years
Bell Boy High 9 sq ft 6 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Sweet Peppers: 27 sq ft 18 sq ft
Hot Peppers Ancho
Poblano
High 12 sq ft 8 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Big Guy Hybrid High 0 sq ft 8 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
All other Hot Peppers High 16.66 sq ft 8 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Hot Peppers: 28.66 24
Total Areas for Peppers: 55.66 42
*NEWCabbage
Quick Start High 18 sq ft 18 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Pea Super Sugar Snap
Medium 32 sq ft 32 sq ft direct sow May 11 May 11
Snap Peas Grown in Wyoming - mixed in with the Super Sugar Snap
Medium 32 sq ft 32 sq ft direct sow May 11 May 11
Cucumber Cool Breeze
Heirloom***
Medium 36 sq ft 9 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
*NEW
Homemade Pickles High 0 sq ft 27 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Total Areas for Cucumbers: 36 sq ft 36 sq ft
Pumpkin Rouge Vif D'Entampes High 35.33 sq ft 35.33 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Total Areas for Pumpkins: 35.33 sq ft 35.33 sq ft
Summer Squash Green Zucchini
Medium 9.26 sq ft 9.26 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Goldrush Zucchini
Medium 9.26 sq ft 9.26 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Total Areas for Summer Squash: 18.52 sq ft 18.52 sq ft
Spaghetti
Heirloom***
High 17.66 sq ft 17.66 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Cream Of The Crop (Acorn)
Heirloom***
High 29 sq ft 29 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Heart of Gold (Acorn)
High 10.33 sq ft 10.33 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Red October
High 28 sq ft 28 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Total Areas for Winter Squash: 74.66 sq ft 74.66 sq ft
Melon Solstice High 9 sq ft 12.66 sq ft N/A May 11 May 25
*NEW
Halona High 0 sq ft 16 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Total Areas for Melon: 24 sq ft 28.66 sq ft
Bush Bean Roma II
High 9 sq ft 9 sq ft Direct Sow NA May 1 - 18
Contender
Medium 18 sq ft 18 sq ft Direct Sow NA May 1 - 18
*NEW
Duke High 0 sq ft 9 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Total Areas for Beans: 54 sq ft 36 sq ft
Broccoli Packman - buy plants locally
Medium 12 plants 12 plants NA NA May 1 - 18
Carrot Danvers
Heirloom***
High 9 sq ft 9 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Sweetness II
High 4.5 sq ft 9 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Total Areas for Carrots: 18 sq ft 18 sq ft
Chard - 6/6 My Own Mix
Yellow, Red, Orange, Magenta

Medium 8 sq ft 8 square feet direct sow NA May 25
Leaf Lettuce Simpson Elite
Medium 3 sq ft 3 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Green Ice
Medium 3 sq ft 3 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Red Sails
Medium 3 sq ft 3 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Head Lettuce Summertime
Medium 3 sq ft 3 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Nevada (Batavian)
Medium 3 sq ft 3 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Paris Island Cos
Medium 3 sq ft 3 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Onion Yellow Sets
Medium 22.5 sq ft 26 sq ft Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
Total Areas for Onion: 32 sq ft 26 sq ft
Beet Detroit
Heirloom***
Medium 12 sq ft 12 sq ft direct sow NA May 1 - 18
Radish Shunkyo Long
(Johnny's)
Medium ? rows ? rows direct sow NA May 1
German Giant Medium ? rows ? rows Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
China Rose Medium ? rows ? rows Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
White Icicle Medium ? rows ? rows Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
Salad Giant Medium ? rows ? rows Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
Green Meat Medium ? rows ? rows Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
Lettuce Green Ice
(Pine Tree)
Medium ? rows 2 rows direct sow NA May 1
Red Romain
(Baker Creek)
Medium 0 rows 2 rows Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
Green Towers Romain
(Jung)
Medium 0 rows 2 rows Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
Leaf Lettuce Mix
(Jung)
Medium 0 rows 2 rows Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
Lettuce Summertime Head
(Pine Tree)
Medium ? rows 2 rows direct sow NA May 1
Lettuce Nevada Romaine
(Johnny's)
Medium ? rows 2 rows direct sow NA May 1

Click here to email Fred Jacquot