I am not very pleased with the plants that I purchased from Burgess (eburgess.com) last spring, 2015. The shipment was several months late. When the plants finally arrived, they were in poor condition and past prime spring planting time. Most of them died, so I took Burgess up on their replacement warranty. This is the replacement order they sent. The fir trees you see are Colorado Blue Spruce. The 3 Spruce in the original order were DOA on arrival, as was much of the shipment. These replacement trees went immediately into tree pots. They immediately started to drop needles and are now dead. This is how the plants came out of the large green plastic shipping bag – some are wrapped in plastic, some just dried out bare root. Not very impressive. The 3 fat stems with the dried brown root mass are 3 replacement raspberries.
This is another replacement tree. I’m sorry that I didn’t make note what tree was which, but they all looked rather sorry.
This small bare root tree has one of it’s 2 stems broken.
What a sad looking tree.
Well, it’s been a warm February and some of my trees are already budding out. Most of my Burgess.com trees aren’t looking too good and I know some are dead because there are fungus bumps at the soil line and when I scratch a tiny bit of bark it is black, not white or green.
I’ll give an update report in a few months after they all should be budded out and see what the death count is. Burgess only offers a one time replacement, so the sorry plants they sent out this past fall are my replacements for the late shipment of disaster they sent in the spring of 2015. Pretty bad over-all experience with Burgess.
In an earlier post I described how the excessively wet spring has devastated my pepper plants.
These are a few of my sweet peppers. Although it is sort of hard to see, notice that the leaves are turning brown and dying. The bottom leaves are dying and falling off. The cucumbers behind the peppers are happy. Peppers need it hot and dry. These peppers should be full and bushy and full of blooms by this time. Total devastation.
This pic shows tall pepper plants whose bottom leaves have fallen off. It is sort of hard to see, but I outlined the leafless stems with a thin red line.
All of the surviving plants are in such poor condition, I don’t know if I will even keep any of the seeds – maybe just use last summer’s seeds next spring. They are in the freezer so I hope they will sprout next year.
This shot shows all 6 long beds – 3 are straight in front. To the left is my new garden shed. The area around the shed in in the process of being developed. I plan to plant about 4 more blueberry plants and many wild black berry bushes in the area this side of the white shed.
This front bed has hot peppers on the left side of the raised cattle panel and summer squash on the right side. Directly under the panel, winter squash is growing. This bed has Waltham Butternut. You can see onions hanging over the edges. Earlier this year I planted onions around the edges of most of the beds. I have bark and shredded wood chips as ground cover between my raised beds to discourage weeds.
I plant marigolds all over the place – in the edges of the raised beds and in small pots placed all over. If I didn’t have so many seedlings drying out and dying this spring, I would have many more pots of marigolds all over. This bed has summer squash (yellow and zucchini) on both sides of the cattle panel. Early Winter Butternut squash is growing under the panel and will grow up the panel. I grow my winter squash vines up the cattle panels. I planted a couple of peppers at the ends of these beds. This bed has Dwarf Kale going to seed. I didn’t particularly like this smaller leafed kale, but I so enjoy Brassicaceae plants going to seed. I am using bamboo poles to hold the kale plants out of the way so that the squash planted around them have plenty of sun and space to grow.
The bed at the top left has summer squash this year. Last year it was my pepper bed. I try my best – with my limited space – to rotate crops each year. The bed at the top right – the one with my winter tent hoops still up, has a batch of Autum King carrots at the front corner. I need to pick most of them soon. A few of them are already going to seed. I am also letting a couple of these Slo Bolt leaf lettuce plants go to seed. I have the time because this is going to be my Basil bed this year (love that pesto) – but my basil seedlings are not all ready. Some are already in, as are some peppers. The swiss chard at the back of this bed will all be harvested and dried when my latest batch of basil seedlings are ready to go into this bed. At the top left are some large pots with tomatoes, mentioned in another post. Between the beds are bark and wood mulch, in the beds is leaf mulch. I mulch all bare dirt.
These morning glories slowly and steadily grew their vines throughout the summer. They didn’t set many flowers in the Spring because with our move, I was so late in getting them planted. However, with the cooler Fall temperatures, they are now in full bloom. Just a half dozen vines yield dozens of beautiful blue blooms every morning.
Closeup – notice the blooms ready to flower the next day:
Each bloom area has at least half a dozen blooms that mature one or 2 at a time.
Beautiful blooms! These are heirloom Clarks Heavenly Blue Morning Glories.
Look at all those blooms! These vines should bloom until the first frost kills the leaves.
I should get plenty of seeds for next year. One problem: there are smaller purple morning glories that spread their seeds all over the place. I am forever pulling them out of my garden. I am sure there has been some crossing, so I might have some unpleasant surprises next year!
With the move this past spring, as previously noted, all of my garden was planted at least a month late, including some winter squash.
The top left is one of only 2 Seminole Pumpkins that I harvested. They grew wonderfully the last growing season of my old home. I purchased new heirloom Seminole Pumpkin seed from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange this fall. I like them. They are a nice single serving size squash with a nice long stem. Oh, Next spring. . . Can’t hardly wait . . . . . .
The butternut standing up in the top right is one of about 3 hybrid butternuts that I planted. Now, this fall, they are doing better – but it is too late – I am ripping out all of the squash and cukes and preparing to compost the beds and get my fall crops in. More on that later. The little squash laying down is one of about 3 Waltham butternut heirloom squashes that matured. Not a very good harvest. I usually get bushels of the little Walthams. You have to be sure to get your crops planted in the right time frame.
This spring, with the new garden not being finished on time, I planted my crops at least a month late, and some plants, like this zucchini, were planted weeks later. The zucchini that I planted ‘only’ a month late grew into very large, healthy plants. This even later zuch, along with all the yellow summer squash that I planted even later, never fully grew. Interestingly, all of these super-late squash were stunted. This 8 Ball did grow big enough to produce at least one fruit. Look at all of those male bloom on this plant.
I am totally fascinated with these late plantings being stunted. They just never grew big enough before the extreme heat and drought arrived. This is a hybrid 8 Ball zucchini from Twilley seeds, usually a very strong and large plant.
This is the middle walkway between the 2 long rows of raised beds. The beds are 5 feet wide and 16 feet long – to accommodate the 16′ cattle panels. I planned to plant climbing plants – mostly beans, squash and cucumbers – under the cattle panels on both sides of the bed and plant other things along the outer 2 feet of each long side. I planted these squash so that they could grow down into the 4′ aisle between the beds. In the very front, left you can see a long vine growing along the outside of the raised bed. This is one of 4 Crenshaw winter squash that I grew. These seem overly sensitive to powdery mildew and I don’t believe they will live long enough to produce a single fruit. The winter squash growing on the cattle panel on the front left are several varieties including Seminole pumpkin. These did very well last year. On the bottom right side is the cattle panel where my cucumbers are growing.
At the top middle left of the pic is the raised cattle panel on which my Long Red Chinese Beans are growing. They have really taken off but have yet to start producing the 12″ red ‘green’ beans. At the old place, I grew them up twine in a narrow bed in front of the carport. That gave them at least 10′ – which still wasn’t enough room. These cattle panels are no where high enough for the beans. They are growing wildly, but when I try to tuck the growing ends in and out of the cattle panels, they easily snap. Next year I will have to find some place better for them to grow.
The plants on the left side of the pic of the first bed are Basil. I start Basil from seed each year, with occasionally buying a pack of another variety of basil. Most of the seeds that I started from last year are ‘regular’ Basil. This year I bought a pack of Globe Basil seeds – those plants grow somewhat slower, but are very interesting. They do indeed grow in a round ball and the leaves are smaller. Hopefully they won’t cross with my ‘regular Basil’ for next year.
Under the raised cattle panel, I plant a climbing winter squash. On the other edge of the bed are summer squash.
A closeup of Obsidian Zucchini, which is a hybrid that I purchased from Twilley Seed. I like it and plan to purchase some more. It matures shortly after 8 Ball zucchini, and well before all of my yellow summer squash.
This is a bed of zucchini down the middle and a row of summer squash along each side. The zucchini is already producing, but the summer squash is still growing.
I mulch each bed with several inches of dry oak leaves and other leaves.
This pic is from early May, when I finally got my raised beds built. I had to build them myself – quite a job for an old gal like myself! You can see in the beds near the bottom of the pic that I had already planted my heirloom peppers that I start from seed each spring. I put wood chips and mulch in the walkway between the beds – it covers the red clay. The beds were filled with a load of mediocre quality top soil mixed with 18 bags – added to each bed – of cheap Lowes compost and soil. Each spring I plan to add at least 6 or so bags of quality compost to the beds until I can build the soil up. If I am lucky, maybe I can get a load of rabbit poop like I did several years ago. That was wonderful stuff.
This picture was taken June 20, perhaps 5 to 6 weeks after the above picture. The pepper plants have grown in size, but are not as full as I would like. I need to remember that I am not growing in the rich composted soil of my old garden plot. I had been building that soil for 20 years.
Note the thick layer of leaves for mulch in the beds. The sand would dry up in a day and crust over with out mulch. I also like the weed repellant quality of mulch.
Still so much work to do. The garden is on a slope and thus I have to work on the run off problem I am having after deluges.