Shaker Gardens Discussion Thread: August Edition

Heya, gardening Shakers! It's been a couple of months since our last gardening thread, and I thought we'd have another one. For many in the Northern Hemisphere, our gardens, window boxes, and other growing projects are at their peak or near it, while if you're in the Southern Hemisphere, maybe you are starting seedlings or sowing straight into the ground. Whether your "garden" is a single houseplant or a large plot, feel free to share your projects here.


That's our garden in the early morning, above. We've been extraordinarily lucky here: conditions have remained pretty wet this summer, and the garden has produced abundant tomatoes, peppers, and other warm-weather crops. In the picture above, that's a second round of corn you see planted, amongst the beans and pumpkins. We have also begun harvesting our luffa sponges, a very fun project that was pretty easy to grow (if you have enough warm weather). You can just see the yellow blossoms at the top of the picture, behind the main bed. The fruits-- which look like giant cucumbers from some 1950s sci-fi flcik-- have proven extraordinarily resilient to pests and disease.

Alas, the same can't be said for our cantaloupe and cucumbers, which succumbed to a drying, brown, wilt on the leaves that I think is either a bacterial wilt or a form of downy mildew. We've also had a lot of insect issues--a second round of squash vine borers and a new infestation of pickle worm killed our zucchini ver. 2.0. I'm going to give it one more round for the fall, since here in the Southeast we can count on mild weather into early November and sometimes longer. The cucumber beetle and many different types of stink bug have also been major pests.


But I certainly can't complain about our flowers and herbs! The sunflowers had a glorious blooming, and I hope to get another round before cold weather. The zinnias have been amazing, too. The basil, rosemary, and oregano have helped produce some awesome dinners: we roast our peppers and grape tomatoes with rosemary, garlic powder, and olive oil, then toss it with whole wheat pasta, chopped fresh basil, and a dash of parmesan. Very tasty with a bit of chicken or sausage and a glass of wine!

I'm also optimistic about the pumpkins. So far I have one Jack-Be Little Pumpkin (c. maxima) growing (see the picture), and one grapefruit-sized pumpkin on my my Kentucky Field pumpkins (c. moschata), so I am hopeful. I also planted some Jack-O-Lantern (c. maxima) and Lumina (c. pepo) pumpkins, but they haven't done as well. The Moschata type are resistant to squash vine borer, and so far they are pretty resilient to other pests (though I've lost one to pickleworm--curses!!), while the others may be more iffy.


Shakers, whatcha growing? Share your planting projects in comments!

[Commenting note: Please refrain from negatively auditing other people's gardening practices. This means understanding that others may need to prioritize different variables in gardening than you do, whether that be cost, organic methods, maximum production, constrained space, water shortages, or another concern. Please respect other people's right to their own decisions.]

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