you can delete what you don't want between the [ quote]........[ /quote] part.
I definitely feel like an over achiever now - 17 raised beds (they're 12 x 4).
One will be put into strawberries this year, I think. And one will go into blackberries next year.
I grow a lot of viney winter squash and pumpkin, and those take up a lot of space. Plus the potatoes and sweet potatoes take up a lot of space. This y
This year I joined the Seed of the Month Club for fun - https://www.facebook.com/SeedsOfTheM...ref=ts&fref=ts - they send your 8 seed packets the first month and 4 each month after. I have gotten some staples - like tomatoes, jalapenos, etc. (staples for me anyway!). But I've also gotten stuff I've never tried like parsnips, turnips, and araminth. I'll try them... it'll be fun.
This year for the garden, I have:
Bell peppers (two full sized varieties and one mini variety)
Cabbage - red and green
Cucumbers (I want to try pickling)
Eggplant (3 kinds)
Garlic (growing now)
Lettuce - both head and leaf
Onions (red and white - plus bunching)
Oregano (I've never had luck growing this - but I am going to try one more time)
Summer squash - yellow straight neck
Tomatoes (4 kinds - I think)
We spent about 3 1/2 hours working out in it today. Built the last 5 raised beds, cleared weeds out of one old bed, put cardboard and landscape fabric down between beds. Tuesday I will plant lettuce, kale, and a few other things.
This year we will only plant tomatoes near strong, sturdy fence.
We are concentrating on short season peppers, smaller too.
Spread out our winter squashes now that we know the rough maturation dates on some of them that weren't labeled in the catalogue.
You can usually buy basic soil test kits at a good garden center. Some are more accurate than others. Easiest thing might be to submit a soil sample to your local extension service office (CES). Call them for directions on gathering the sample. Collect soil as instructed & put in a ziploc. Bring to CES. They will send it to the local university lab & get you printout of the basic soil nutrient levels and pH, for a small fee. You can often get mirconutrients for an additional fee, but I'd save the money unless you have noticed some definite problems.Quote:
Can anyone recommend a soil testing kit? I know we have acidic soil, since we're in NE, but I have no idea if there is anything else I should be adding. My SO is fertilizer happy, as well, and I feel like he puts way too much on.
If you ask, many will also make recommendations on what and how much fertilizer to use. Then you can "share" with DH and show him how you can save money buy not putting out so much fertilizer. :winkgrin: Excess fertilizer use is not only expensive but also bad for water quality when it leaches into the aquifer.
I like to use lots of aged compost for a variety of reasons. It helps stabilize the pH some, adds organic matter, and aids moisture retention. If you need to bring pH up a lot, dolomitic lime is the go-to material. Realize that lime breaks down very slowly and may take a year to show any effect. Again, the soil test results should tell you how much you might need to add. Most fertilizers tend to acidify the soil over time, so DH may be contributing to an acid pH problem. :eek:
Ah, timing is everything. Really it's not that hard for salsa. Remember garlic and onions both store quite well if kept cool/refrigerated. So they are easy to hold until the tomatoes are ready. As for the cilantro - I use a slow bolting variety; literally named that & available from Renee's Garden Seeds.Quote:
My problem with salsa is that the cilantro is ready first, then garlic, then the tomatoes, then the onions. How do people time it properly? I guess I can stagger the cilantro, but there is a problem with the tomatoes and onions being ready....
Do several sowings, one of which is timed for mid summer (late Julyish here in the far north.) The late one is the one that's usually ready at the same time as the tomatoes, but if it's a hot summer and the tomatoes are earlier, you're covered by one of the earlier sowings as well. Also pinching off developing flower stalks may hold the cilantro a little longer before it peters out.
but yeah, staggered sewing.
Plus, you can go really nuts on the one or two special tomato plants, pick an early variety and pamper it,surround it with wall of water and other frost protection and you can harvest your first tomatoes pretty early!
But I did buy an early type tomato so I am hoping it grows well - Stupice - with a 65 day season....we'll see!
I have to buy cilantro at the store as it isn't ready at the right time and I don't know if it'll freeze well. For onions, I've heard you can freeze them but I haven't tried yet. I do have bunching onions that work well in the spaghetti sauce, and they're ready at the right time.
Are things like chard, lettuces, and kale more cold weather? As I live in a townhouse, I typically plant a container garden on my back porch that consists of lots of herbs, tomatoes, sweet peppers and jalapenos. This year I would like to try out some leafy green stuff :)
How early can I plant them down here in NC? Does anyone have a guideline for temps/timing? I've always done plants from the farmers market. Should I do seeds for the green stuff instead?
Also, I do have room to build one small raised bed. Probably 6x3 or 4. Does anyone have a how to?
You can go with the plants from the market, no doubt, but you can pick up a pack of seeds nearly anywhere, really no need to get too fancy, unless the one thing you want is not available.
letuce can go out pretty early, as soon as you don't expect any frost.
Pf course, with containers, you can cover them easily or move them inside. I am thinking about march, but it could be a bit later for you.
It apparently doesn't take much to make me happy. I went into my seed starting room (aka spare bedroom/guest room) to check on the seeds. And I have sprouts now! I just love it when they start peeking above the soil. :)
I have tons more to plant tonight, too. :)
I learned to not even THINK about sowing any indoor seeds until mid-February. My earlier eagerness had me transplanting tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, herbs, flowers, etc., etc., into larger & larger pots that quickly had me running out of room & fluorescent lights. It was a nightmare, since my traditional plant-out date since I was a little sprout myself has always been Mothers Day weekend.
So now I hold myself back as much as possible. I am planning to do a bit of "winter sowing" very soon for a few things - Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley, "Bright Lights" Swiss Chard, some Kale varieties, hardy lettuce, flowers, etc., etc. For those not familiar with the technique, this is where you sow seed in a covered but vented plastic container outdoors. The seeds easily survive the freezing/thawing cycles, since that's what they'd normally do if self-sowing outside. It frees up a lot of room indoors, & requires very little if any care after the initial sowing.
Since I buy filtered water for my coffeemaker, the gallon plastic bottles make absolutely perfect winter-sowing containers. Nothing goes to waste around here. :)