Ask a Question forum: What am I growing? What do I do with it?

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Name: Christina Wall
Northern Cal. (Zone 8a)
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Wallflower
Jun 23, 2016 9:28 AM CST
With the purchase of our new home we've inherited a garden that I know has been mislabeled. I know a strawberry plant is not green bean as her sign post had said. I know I do have carrots. Two plants on opposite ends of the garden I presume are squash, but they have white dusty spots(I presume that's isn't good). I have tomatoes, half of which we transplanted to space out. I dont know the best way to support them. The last one in the garden have l no clue what it is as well as another area of the back year that could be corn.
As mixed up as this garden is I don't know how often to water, what to do about the white stuff and get this garden flourishing.
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Blessings to you!
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 23, 2016 10:07 AM CST
Hi Christina, Welcome! to NGA

N. CA zone 8... Hmmmm... did you move to Oakdale?

I suspect you have powdery mildew on your vegegables - your garden looks shady. Its a common problem with wet springs and plants that require full sun to do their best.

Your last photo are orchids! Bletilla striata - Hardy Orchid. They are terrestrial, like to stay damp and enjoy some shade. Your's have already bloomed but will be pink or white (actually very light pink). That's why I asked if you moved to Oakdale. I think I gave Bletilla to everyone on the east side before I moved to Reno.

Daisy


Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 23, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Welcome to garden.org, Christina. Lucky you, having lovely Bletillas already established in your garden.

As far as the vegetables go, as Daisy already said they do require a lot more sun than it looks like they're going to get where they are. They are planted very close to the base of a tree on the left. Unless the sun gets to them for most of the day, I think your vegetable garden is somewhat doomed to failure, sadly.

Veggies require a generous soaking of water every day, preferably early in the morning, to produce. Those plants are very hard working, to make a harvest. Besides the sun and water, you also need to give them good rich soil and fertilizer of some sort. This is where the tree roots present the problem as they will invade the space where the veggies are, attracted by the water and fertilizer. Your plants will get going then slowly peter out as the tree roots invade and steal their goodies.

If you can possibly move some of those plants, either into containers or another spot in the garden away from the trees you might have a lot more luck.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Jun 23, 2016 11:27 AM CST
Yep, powdery mildew. I got that when I tried to grow bush squash in a shaded location. You can try to pick up some neem oil and spray that on, it helped my lilacs.

One of the squash there might be cucumbers. The other plant.. almost want to say bush beans but the leaves aren't quite right. Maybe a close picture? that one in the back doesn't seem like corn but maybe... or maybe just a decorative plant? And you do have strawberries there.
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Jun 23, 2016 11:30 AM CST
Try to get soaker hoses to water them.. With that closed shady of a place, you don't want wet leaves. that will just make the mildew worse. My garden is the same distance to a very large pine - though it is situated to get more light. Go ahead and keep them watered and see what you get. Maybe next year try some shade loving plants. bok choy does really well in the shade!
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jun 23, 2016 11:34 AM CST
too much shade, too many tree roots, of course w CA hot temps in your zone, maybe they don't need as much direct sun, but the tree roots will not allow a veggie garden to be very productive most likely.
The white spots could be an insecticide spray the previous owner sprayed over the plants. I use Sevin occasionally, and it sometimes leaves a milky residue on the leaves.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 23, 2016 11:39 AM CST
An easy, cheap, and non-toxic solution for preventing powdery mildew is a baking soda solution 1/2tsp. baking soda to a quart of water, sprayed on the plant's leaves a couple of times per week. I just keep a spray bottle of this out in my garden all the time and spray it on whenever I'm walking through. Nothing will "cure" the spots that are already there, but you can prevent it from spreading any more and when the plants get bigger, just cut off the affected leaves.

But unless you can move some of those plants out into the sun, away from the trees, I think the powdery mildew is the least of your problems.

The squash need to be spaced out twice as far apart as they are now if you plant them in ground somewhere else. Each plant can get to be 3ft across so bear that in mind. I would take out every second plant and put them in some big pots out in the sun. The smaller plants will transplant easier at this stage of the game.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jun 23, 2016 11:44 AM CST
I agree with Daisy, the plants in the last photo appear to be ground orchids, either Chinese Ground Orchid (Bletilla striata) or Phillippine Ground Orchid (Spathoglottis plicata)
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 23, 2016 12:54 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome! Lucky you with an established garden! With some tweaking, I bet you will have bushels of goodies by summer's end. You have a lot of orchids to dress up your yard!
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Jun 23, 2016 1:44 PM CST

Plants Admin

Frillylily said:too much shade, too many tree roots, of course w CA hot temps in your zone,


@Frillylily, we don't know where in No. Calif she is, we don't all get hot temps in CA. nodding Most I get here is a 90+ on occasion where I am, also N. Calif.
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[Last edited by Calif_Sue - Jun 23, 2016 1:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 23, 2016 1:47 PM CST
Its too cold for spathoglottis plicata. Zone 8 temps fall into the high teens to low 20's in the winter. Spathoglottis plicata want it to be a little warmer. Smiling
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 23, 2016 1:47 PM CST
well the OP said zone 8a, so I assume that is pretty warm, I guess more mild winters? I am in zone 6 on the map, really more like zone 5 though in the winter, so she tropical compared to me Green Grin!
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 23, 2016 4:35 PM CST
You are right about the veggies being over planted... also... a common problem is that the beds are too narrow and too close together.
additionally... it looks like someone has been spreading wood ash on it...
I don't know about your area of california, but wood ash should not be used in basic or alkaline soils.
Wood ash is great in acid soils.

what I think I would do... is if there is some loose soil handy... is fill in those trenches.
raised beds are great in clay soils, but... I like them to be at least 3 foot wide... with at least 2 feet (preferably more) between them.

finally, is there even enough sunlight there to grow veggies?

I suggest just keeping your eyes on it, and don't expect much this year.
take the time to read about soil prep, and soil amending.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Jun 23, 2016 4:43 PM CST

Plants Admin

nodding The zones have nothing to do with how warm it is though, it's the average low winter temps so 8a means lowest averages 10°F to 15°F
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Name: Christina Wall
Northern Cal. (Zone 8a)
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Wallflower
Jun 25, 2016 7:44 AM CST
Thank you everyone for your advice I truly appreciate it.
I live in West Sac. As for moving any of it I'm stuck with the garden plot as it is for now. These are the plants that are on the far right side. One does not match the others so I had separated it when I moved the tomatoes out first week here. This area does get a lot of sunlight no direct sun though.
My husband and I have discussed on getting rid of the pine it's fighting with a neighbor's tree. Their tree gives more light. We'll be doing a lot of land scapping next year. I'm going to go with deep raised beds a long the perimeter of the yard.
I will do best will all that you advised again, thank you! Smiling
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Blessings to you!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 25, 2016 8:33 AM CST
I think you have pepper plants in that last picture. They look pretty nice, but are much too close together. I'd advise you to thin out to about a foot apart, and transplant the ones in between to another row or somewhere else. (pots in the sun preferably)

The tree in your neighbor's yard shows up in your first picture, and it is huge! Don't forget the issue with trees isn't just the shade they throw, it's that their roots are under the soil everywhere, out past where the branches reach, so they will invade any plantings you make within their perimeter.

Any way you could cut back a couple of branches of the pine tree to give your veggie plot some more sun? Filtered shade just isn't enough. They need direct sun.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Christina Wall
Northern Cal. (Zone 8a)
Failures the easy way out, press on
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Wallflower
Jun 25, 2016 7:05 PM CST
Looks like I'll be very busy this week!
Blessings to you!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 25, 2016 7:28 PM CST
I agree with Elaine that those are likely pepper plants -- peppers do very well in containers if you're inclined to dig them up, pot them, and move them to a sunny spot, Christina.

And -- welcome to NGA!
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