Container Garden Update — June 7, 2015

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here. June 7, 2014 post here. June 9, 2013 post here.

Things have changed a lot in two years. The cucumbers and peppers are much larger this year than in 2013. I think a big part of that is because we spread the cucumbers out more — the EarthBox instructions call for four in a row along one side of the box. This year we put two on each side with the fertilizer strip down the middle. There is only one “Calypso” — it’s not competing with anything else, and it’s growing faster than every other cucumber we have. It has blooms! Progress!

(In theory the right answer is to prune out the weakest zucchini and cucumbers and leave only one per hole. I’m hesitant to do that though, because if something happens to the solo plant we’re starting over from scratch. This year we pruned the cucumbers back to two per hole, mostly. However, if the “Calypso” continues to beat the bejeezus out of the other cucumbers then we maybe we’ll need to take a deep breath and go with one per hole in the future… Ultimately the final yield will tell use what to do — two plants at 60% production create more food than one plant at 100%… we’ll see how it shakes out.)

Clockwise from front right on a very bright day:  “Calypso” cucumber, Lemon cucumber (2), National Pickling cucumber(2), Lemon cucumber (2) –

150607 cucumbers

For comparison, here are the 2013 Marketmore cucumbers. (This year’s Marketmores are similar to the picture above):

For whatever reason, the two on the left are much bigger than the two on the right...
For whatever reason, the two on the left are much bigger than the two on the right…

The photo below is facing north. It’s a direction I don’t usually use to take pictures-

Left side, front to back – basil, peppers, tomato

Center – Marketmore cucumbers, pretty container, tomatoes

3rd row – cucumbers, tomatillo, tomato

Far back right – Tromboncino zucchini

150607 side view

A more conventional view. Tomatoes and zucchini on the left. Peppers in the front. The basil (front right) is still floppy, but it’s now growing upwards:

150607 front view

A closeup of the Tromboncino zucchini. The four plants have been trained to their own “space”. One plant on one half of each side of the A-frame trellis. Note the complete absence of powdery mildew.. so far the 1/3 milk spray is working. Or it’s just early yet:

150607 tromboncino

The tomatillos. “De Mipa” on the left. “Mexican Strain” on the right. The “De Mipa” is doing it’s usual flopping thing, and “Mexican Strain” is catching up:

150607 tomatillo

Next week I’ll try to get pictures in the early morning before the direct sun kicks in. I think that makes for much better photos. Today that wasn’t a possibility. Hopefully by next week we’ll have a lot more little veggies to look at.

3 thoughts on “Container Garden Update — June 7, 2015

  1. I found your blog through a post on NW Edible. I’m a Seattle gardener with one raised bed and about ten containers, growing two Tromboncino squash at the short end of the raised bed up a 7′ homemade trellis. It’s great to see how another person’s Tromboncinos are growing in the same season – mine are a week or two behind yours. Your EarthBoxes look great – wish I’d known about them before I bought all my regular containers. Looking forward to your garden updates this summer, and good luck!

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  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment Katherine — I usually just lurk at NW Edible, it’s a great site. Maybe I’ll need to be a little more active over there..

    Have you had issues with PM on your Tromboncino? If so, what has worked best to fight it?

    Also, if you decide to “take the plunge” into EarthBoxes, the most economical way is to buy 10 of them directly from EarthBox. We bought ours without casters and it came out to ~$31 each, including shipping. Not too painful relative to how much containers cost anyway..

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  3. This is my first year growing Tromboncino and so far haven’t seen any PM. Last year I grew bush zucchini and they were decimated by it. I like your idea of preventative milk spraying and may start doing the same. I spoke with a Master Gardener who said “We are seeing powdery mildew already this year. It seems to come out during warm dry weather so we usually see it more toward the end of summer, but this year the weather is already warm and dry. An organic fungicide with neem oil should help.” I haven’t researched this product yet but would only consider using it if it’s non-toxic. Otherwise, milk it is.

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