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Old 06-26-2018, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Yavapai County
685 posts, read 399,331 times
Reputation: 835

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Great thread! I really enjoyed looking at all of your gardens and containers! I am also growing things in containers here in Arizona (8b). I learned after a few years of growing in ground, that trying to fight the gophers is a losing battle!

We have other critters around here too like squirrels and birds, so I put up bird netting. It works pretty well, but I have to completely surround everything, which makes it a pain to try and get in to water and harvest.

We are thinking of building some kind of screen house to grow in so that we don't have to cover each individual container. Has anyone else done that?
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,139,307 times
Reputation: 1280
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbuglf View Post
Great thread! I really enjoyed looking at all of your gardens and containers! I am also growing things in containers here in Arizona (8b). I learned after a few years of growing in ground, that trying to fight the gophers is a losing battle!

We have other critters around here too like squirrels and birds, so I put up bird netting. It works pretty well, but I have to completely surround everything, which makes it a pain to try and get in to water and harvest.

We are thinking of building some kind of screen house to grow in so that we don't have to cover each individual container. Has anyone else done that?
Thank you, bigbug! Yes, I love growing in containers - it is often more work in the spring, but beyond that, it's pretty care-free. No weeds and with everything on a drip system, I don't even have to water. Lots of pruning of the tomato plants, but that's a given no matter what.

I use 70/30 shade cloth instead of bird netting to cover my "Hall of Tomatoes", which is about 25' long and 10' wide. I find the shade cloth protects much better against bad weather (on top of keeping things cooler when it's 100F outside) and doesn't get caught on stuff the way bird netting does. It's also more forgiving and stretchy. I just put some t-posts into the ground for anchors, then secure 6' poles to those, stretch the shade cloth over and hook it into the barbs on the t-posts. Goes up quick and is extremely effective. I don't have to cover each container individually and birds and other critters don't go underneath it.

I'll post some photos of what I do when I post my update this weekend. I missed last weekend because of unexpected company, but have a big update coming.
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:09 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,105 posts, read 17,646,574 times
Reputation: 22454
I'll post some photos of what I do when I post my update this weekend. I missed last weekend because of unexpected company, but have a big update coming.


She claps her hands awaiting photos ….picked some cukes this am and have them pickling now . My tomatoes are about history which is a good thing with temps getting over 100 here . Hot summer already . But getting used to it ….
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Yavapai County
685 posts, read 399,331 times
Reputation: 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
Thank you, bigbug! Yes, I love growing in containers - it is often more work in the spring, but beyond that, it's pretty care-free. No weeds and with everything on a drip system, I don't even have to water. Lots of pruning of the tomato plants, but that's a given no matter what.

I use 70/30 shade cloth instead of bird netting to cover my "Hall of Tomatoes", which is about 25' long and 10' wide. I find the shade cloth protects much better against bad weather (on top of keeping things cooler when it's 100F outside) and doesn't get caught on stuff the way bird netting does. It's also more forgiving and stretchy. I just put some t-posts into the ground for anchors, then secure 6' poles to those, stretch the shade cloth over and hook it into the barbs on the t-posts. Goes up quick and is extremely effective. I don't have to cover each container individually and birds and other critters don't go underneath it.

I'll post some photos of what I do when I post my update this weekend. I missed last weekend because of unexpected company, but have a big update coming.
That sounds great! We definitely use shade cloth here too, but so far it has been a bit piecemeal. I would love to see pics of how you set yours up. Do you cover the ends of the "hall" too?
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,139,307 times
Reputation: 1280
Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
I'll post some photos of what I do when I post my update this weekend. I missed last weekend because of unexpected company, but have a big update coming.


She claps her hands awaiting photos ….picked some cukes this am and have them pickling now . My tomatoes are about history which is a good thing with temps getting over 100 here . Hot summer already . But getting used to it ….
Boy, you're not kidding about the heat phone. We just tied our all-time record high yesterday of 105F. 101F the day before that. Today was 97F which makes the 20th day above 90 so far and it's not even July. Not unheard of in other parts of the U.S., but unusual here for sure.

With that said, the tomatoes seem to be setting with little issue. The pepper plants are gorgeous, but having a hard time setting fruit. We need a week or two of cooler weather for everything to get a break. Unfortunately, this is supposed to be a very hot summer for us, so we'll just have to see..
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,139,307 times
Reputation: 1280
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbuglf View Post
That sounds great! We definitely use shade cloth here too, but so far it has been a bit piecemeal. I would love to see pics of how you set yours up. Do you cover the ends of the "hall" too?
No worries bigbug - I also piecemeal, for sure. I have my "hall" that I leave up the entire growing season and then I have pieces and parts I use when severe weather threatens or we get a nasty heatwave like we just had. We're getting a two-day break this weekend (70s and 80s) and then back to 90s all of next week. I do not close the ends because it is a PAIN to deal with when I want to get in and tend to the plants or harvest. Most birds and other pests do not like anything over their heads, so I never have issues with anything going under it. I keep it quite elevated so I can easily walk and work underneath it - 6-8' - and have very few issues. Again, I'll post some photos this weekend so you can see. It's not the prettiest thing in the world and I'm sure my neighbors think I'm nuts, but while they lose their gardens to heat and hail, mine absolutely thrives season after season..
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Yavapai County
685 posts, read 399,331 times
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Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
It's not the prettiest thing in the world and I'm sure my neighbors think I'm nuts, but while they lose their gardens to heat and hail, mine absolutely thrives season after season..
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,139,307 times
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Default July 03, 2018 Update!

Okay, time for an update! I still haven't gotten as organized as I would like - this season is just FLYING by! I don't know where time goes, though I know it's around here somewhere..

The weather since my last update has been a combination of very stormy and very hot. We had one evening, in particular (Monday, 06/18/18), where we received 7 separate thunderstorms, 5 of which produced hail. We've had numerous additional severe thunderstorms, though the shade cloth has almost completely prevented any damage. We've also had extremely hot weather with several highs above 100F, including a high of 105F on 06/28/18 which tied the all-time record high in Denver. We hit 107F at my house. June ended as the 7th warmest with 16 days of 90F or higher and an average temperature of 72.4F, which is 5F higher than normal for the month. We've now had 22 days above 90F, not including today which is supposed to reach 95F (it's 93F as I type this at 12:16pm). We're supposed to have a brief and stormy reprieve tomorrow and Thursday with highs in the mid-upper 80s, the back to near 100F this coming weekend with no rain expected. We only have 38 days of 90F+ in an average year, so we're well on our way to besting the average. I believe we had 55 days in 2017.

With that said, I believe the heat is causing quite a few issues with pollination in my garden this season. I read somewhere that most pollen becomes not viable in temperatures above about 92F and, since my garden is in full southern sun all day long and is less than 10' from the back of my house, it easily reaches above 100F even on days where temps are in the 80s. I've had beautiful growth on the plants, but they seem to be slow in setting fruit. Hopefully, we'll get some cooling temps and rain later this month as the monsoon sets in (if it does). I really need cooler weather for everything to thrive. I do still have quite a bit of set, but not as much in seasons past when it's been cooler up to this point.

I have lost 4 tomato plants so far to disease - both Big Zacs (also lost last year to disease, so will not grow again), Cosmonaut Volkov and Earl's Faux. Everything else is doing just fine. I have also lost a few pepper plants, but I attribute that to the soil in one of my Earthboxes which I believe is just spent and needs replacing. I will do so next season.

I hope to begin some greens and maybe beans in the coming weeks. I have several varieties of heat-tolerant lettuces, as well as chard and kale I want to start before it gets too late. I didn't do much during spring, so I am a little antsy to grow some greens.

Lastly, I have some photos below showing the garden and flowers out front. Everything really is doing well even if production is a bit behind last season. We'll catch up. Bigbug, you can see clearly in the first few photos below the 70/30 shade cloth that I used to cover what I affectionately call my "Hall of Tomatoes". I just pound 3' t-posts into the ground, then attach 6' posts to them (found in the garden center at HD), then drape the cloth over the whole thing and attach it to the barbs on the t-posts. I then take 4-5 8' posts and prop them under the cloth to elevate the center of the cloth like a circus tent so hail and other debris doesn't accumulate on top. The 8' posts are under tension, so they stay up without issue since I pull the cloth so tightly. That whole setup goes up before I even plant and it stays in place all season long. I take it down when the garden is done, usually sometime in late October/early November. I used various scraps to cover the remainder of the garden when we have extreme heat or the forecast calls for severe weather. I just haphazardly drape pieces over the cages/supports and use binder clips to affix the cloth to the edges of the containers. I don't have photos of that because it's hideous, but it's also temporary so I don't mind.

Next update should include some harvest photos since I'm just now starting to get a few peppers.. stay tuned..
Attached Thumbnails
My 2018 Container Garden-img_0494.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0495.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0500.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0501.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0503.jpg  

My 2018 Container Garden-img_0505.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0506.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0508.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0511.jpg  
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Yavapai County
685 posts, read 399,331 times
Reputation: 835
Very nice setup, Nick! Thanks for sharing the pics. That is quite a hall of tomatoes for sure! It is always helpful to see how others are doing things. Your flower beds are beautiful, too!

We live in kind of a rural area and there are quails running around that love to mess around in my containers, so I have to surround stuff with bird netting. Then I put shade cloth on the top. We always seem to be adding things after the season has started though and end up working on containers/covers when it is 90+ temps out! I've got to learn to plan ahead better for next year.

Pic is of beans & peppers.
Attached Thumbnails
My 2018 Container Garden-beansp.jpg  
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:43 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,105 posts, read 17,646,574 times
Reputation: 22454
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbuglf View Post
Very nice setup, Nick! Thanks for sharing the pics. That is quite a hall of tomatoes for sure! It is always helpful to see how others are doing things. Your flower beds are beautiful, too!

We live in kind of a rural area and there are quails running around that love to mess around in my containers, so I have to surround stuff with bird netting. Then I put shade cloth on the top. We always seem to be adding things after the season has started though and end up working on containers/covers when it is 90+ temps out! I've got to learn to plan ahead better for next year.

Pic is of beans & peppers.

do you want to get rid of quail get yourself a border collie she cleaned out my entire yard of rabbits . she did not kill them they just don't come in my yard anymore my guess is because they have seen her and smell her . without her my tomatoes would have been eaten by now from those furry varmits .
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