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Gardening: the 2013 season

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  • #21
    Originally posted by kasjordan View Post
    After about 5 years of trying to do the gardening thing, I'm throwing in the towel! We are going to make our garden area a big pen for our chickens and get a couple more laying hens-maybe try a few meat chickens in there too. I just can't find the time to take care of a garden....full time job, teenage kid and hubby who want attention, two horses, two dogs..house chores, barn chores etc etc- the weeds just went crazy! I am going to continue a few things...I grow my herbs in a strawberry pot on the deck- love it!!! I also grow lettuce in a pallet- works perfectly! I will continue those two things but everything else will be courtesy of the local farmer's market which sells things pretty cheap anyhow.
    Keep in mind that many tomatoes - particularly "patio" types - grow & produce just fine in containers. Five gallon size or larger works best; think about a foot across or more as a minimum. You can use regular big terra-cotta pots, old buckets, or the black plastic tubs nursery trees & shrubs come in. All work great for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, etc., etc. Even if I grow veggies in the ground, I always have a deck garden going as well.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
      I just got the new Burpee catalog and they have come out with a sweet corn designed to be planted in a 24" container

      My local Farmers Market sells nice tomato, veg and herb plants for $1ea.
      Last year the yellow pear tomatoes from there took over the World.
      Sadly, they were prolific, but tasteless.
      I did make a tasty tomato/vanilla jam with them.
      The Black Krim were outstanding and I'll be looking for those again.

      My plan is to grow things I use most, based on years past.
      I loved growing greens: kale & collard, potatoes were fun & winter squashes - butternut & carnival - kept well into the cold weather.
      I might try broccoli - Burpee is offering a heat-resistant one - and possibly brussels sprouts.

      I would kill to be able to grow onions & carrots - 2 things that are my Permanent Fail no matter what I try
      I ordered & received Burpee's "mini corn" seeds. Couldn't resist. I gave up on growing corn because it was always like ringing a dinner bell. EVERYTHING on the planet LOVES sweet corn. This mini corn I plan to raise in large tubs on the deck right up against the house. Am hoping that helps to keep predators at bay.

      Re: "Yellow Pear" tomatoes - I always hear how insipid they are to other people, yet the ones I grow are always sweet as candy. I'm wondering if it might have to do with culture - soil, watering, etc. - because it certainly ain't because I do anything special to them.

      And as for carrots - if you don't have luck with straight-rooted types, try the cute little ball types - "Thumbelina", "Paris", etc. They're easy to grow - even in containers or rough soil - & have always turned out sweet for me. Never need peeling, & are cute as buttons in mixed roasted root vegetable preparations.

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        oh, and an FYI for container gardeners:
        If you - like me - try to avoid miracle grow products, you can buy the crystals that absorb the water separately, without buying the MG junk (after I fished out a few good sized sticks last year, I am thoroughly ticked. the crap ain't cheap, you know) and mix it with your own soil.
        Or you can sew it into bandanas and make your own cooling wraps! (also a thing my friendly Lowes guy told me!)

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        • #24
          Ah, speaking of the moisture crystals, I discovered these mats
          http://www.gardeners.com/Hydro-Mats/...t=7&q=crystals

          They really do work amazingly well. I bought a length of the fabric on a roll and cut a section for each container just line the entire inside before filling with soil and they really really work well. Swells up to over 1/2" thick with water.
          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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          • #25
            I try to do the vegetable thing... never really goes all that well. Start with grandiose plans and by the end of the season, the veggies are fighting with the weeds.

            Now the flowers... thats where I shine. I plan on doing a huge shade garden under one of our towering oaks. I have gardens surrounding the house and each year they get just a bit bigger.
            Can't wait...

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            • #26
              Roses. I've been looking at an over-abundance of rose porn lately. I ordered 8 small bands (recently rooted roses) of old garden roses last spring, nursed them in pots all summer, and planted them in beds in the fall. So maybe I'll have some rose pictures for you come May! I've already got a few more on hold for spring delivery and I'm working on the list to add in a few more.

              The veggie garden got tilled then covered in a 4" of somewhat composted manure/bedding last November. It's sitting there finishing the composting process and just waiting for spring. We're going to try weed management this year with an abundance of straw. We lost control last year by the end of July and are hoping this might help in the Weed Wars.

              I also switched from a pine pelleted bedding to a straw pelleted bedding a few months ago. I'm thinking it will create even better compost! We'll see...

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              • #27
                Ah, can't wait for my garden - ordered my seeds last week and will start some indoors for the first time ever. I hope I can do it...not sure why I am doubting, I tend to be a good grower, but I am worried about the timing so I need to think really hard.

                We put in 7 raised beds last year in addition to our 10x30 or so "cucumber" garden (mostly what grows there)...have to say that the raised beds are just so nice. I have no idea WHY they are so much easier, but they are. So, planning to put in two more this year, and hoping to do cold frames for three of them to start some spinach, kale and lettuce in March....

                Has anyone ever grown amaranth, quinoa or wheat? For hand-harvesting, and mostly for fun? I am so intrigued by the amaranth and quinoa, I think Ill try it but am just wondering how successful it will be....

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                • #28
                  Also, this year is the year to put in some fruit trees...we've been hemming and hawing about where they should go for a good couple of years and this year I'm just doing it, and hoping we can live with it. Otherwise we'll never have any!

                  Two years ago I put in 7 currant plants (5 black, 2 red) and last year I got my first berries but I am hoping that this year I actually get enough to do something with them....can't wait for that!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by subk View Post
                    Roses. I've been looking at an over-abundance of rose porn lately. I ordered 8 small bands (recently rooted roses) of old garden roses last spring, nursed them in pots all summer, and planted them in beds in the fall. So maybe I'll have some rose pictures for you come May! I've already got a few more on hold for spring delivery and I'm working on the list to add in a few more.

                    The veggie garden got tilled then covered in a 4" of somewhat composted manure/bedding last November. It's sitting there finishing the composting process and just waiting for spring. We're going to try weed management this year with an abundance of straw. We lost control last year by the end of July and are hoping this might help in the Weed Wars.

                    I also switched from a pine pelleted bedding to a straw pelleted bedding a few months ago. I'm thinking it will create even better compost! We'll see...
                    I had some absolutely lovely roses (am a sucker for the climbers), but alas will not be buying anymore as our area has been severely hit with "Rose Rosette Disease" - a viral disease for which there's no prevention or cure. Here's a link with a description & some pics. It used to be called "Witch's Broom Syndrome" before scientists figured out exactly what caused it.

                    http://www.ars.org/?page_id=3241

                    Unfortunately, once it arrives on your property, you can forget about growing roses - ANY roses - ever again. Sigh.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                      Also, this year is the year to put in some fruit trees...we've been hemming and hawing about where they should go for a good couple of years and this year I'm just doing it, and hoping we can live with it. Otherwise we'll never have any!

                      Two years ago I put in 7 currant plants (5 black, 2 red) and last year I got my first berries but I am hoping that this year I actually get enough to do something with them....can't wait for that!
                      I always wanted to grow currants (& gooseberries), but unfortunately both are intermediate hosts for "White Pine Blister Rust" disease, & we have several stands of mature White Pine on our property that I'd prefer to keep. In fact, there are a number of states where growing currants & gooseberries is illegal (growing black currants is still illegal in VA). So no currants or gooseberries for me. It's not worth the chance of losing all my pines over.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Now that I have room, I want to start some black berry bushes. Maybe an apple tree or three. The south end of my property has some giant foundations of old silos and I had thought about fencing off a tree/fruit bush area there (somewhere I won't feel bad about fallen fruit) but it is next to the neighbors field (corn or beans) and do I need to worry about them spraying something and killing my plants or making everything toxic?

                        I hadn't even thought about sweet corn. Mmmmm.

                        I was planning on tomatoes, tomatatillos, peppers, and everything else for salsa and guacamole. I might try two batches of cilantro, as it seems to get too weedy and then go to seed by mid summer--despite frequent pruning.

                        If I can anything, I would can salsa or straight tomatoes. We love salsa. I have seriously considered getting a job at Chevy's to discover their salsa recipe. I know it is roasted and I love it.


                        I would like to do a pumpkin patch for my nephew. I love cucumbers (I had modest luck growing them in pots on trellis) and would like to try them on the ground. Eggplant too.

                        I think I am starting with plants. I seem to spend more money when I start seeds than when I just buy them from Lewis drug (cheapest I've found).

                        I think I need to go to Chevy's for supper tonight as a result of this thread.
                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Be careful of what you wish for with blackberry bushes, they very easily become uncontrollable and killing them? HA! Next to impossible. They're considered an invasive weed around here.

                          What is square foot gardening posters are talking about? I'm planning a larger garden for this spring but I'm too lazy to start stuff from seed, besides I don't have enough sun or a warm area in the house.

                          I had good luck last year with toms, grew a very sweet variety of yellow cherry toms that were wonderful and produced like crazy. Didn't have luck at all with bush beans, carrots, beets, but did well with broccoli, radishes, lettuce, toms, onions. I'm going to expand and maybe do corn this year.

                          I planted a ton of flower bulbs right before the major frost set in so should get a good show early spring. Can't wait to get out there and dig.
                          Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
                            Be careful of what you wish for with blackberry bushes, they very easily become uncontrollable and killing them? HA! Next to impossible. They're considered an invasive weed around here.

                            What is square foot gardening posters are talking about? I'm planning a larger garden for this spring but I'm too lazy to start stuff from seed, besides I don't have enough sun or a warm area in the house.

                            I had good luck last year with toms, grew a very sweet variety of yellow cherry toms that were wonderful and produced like crazy. Didn't have luck at all with bush beans, carrots, beets, but did well with broccoli, radishes, lettuce, toms, onions. I'm going to expand and maybe do corn this year.

                            I planted a ton of flower bulbs right before the major frost set in so should get a good show early spring. Can't wait to get out there and dig.
                            http://www.squarefootgardening.com/
                            you library might have a book on it.
                            http://www.squarefootgardening.com/

                            I think - from skimming - the idea is that when you have deeply cultivated beds you can plant more intensely and get more out of the space.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                              I had the barn owner set a big chunk of manure/shavings off to the side last spring. It is enjoying benign neglect as it turns into beautiful compost for my poop potatoes! I put it in feed sacks in the spring and plant potatoes in it then dump them out on the garden in the fall before covering with leaves and the last of the grass clippings.
                              OOOO!!!! Question about poop potatoes!!!
                              I have a large pile of all the stall cleanings hidden between my barn and fence/tree line. It does not get much sun at all, but I wanted to try potatoes in it. My DH says there is not enough sun for them to grow, and the poop is too fresh it'll burn anything (its about 6+ months old now).

                              Thoughts anyone?

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I do poop potatoes in smart pots and I put the pots in otherwise ungardenable areas. I find they do surprisingly well in part direct sun, at least 6hrs per day.
                                Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by buck22 View Post
                                  I do poop potatoes in smart pots and I put the pots in otherwise ungardenable areas. I find they do surprisingly well in part direct sun, at least 6hrs per day.
                                  I don't think mine will get anywhere near 6 hrs of sun. They will only get a few hrs of morning sun.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                                    I always wanted to grow currants (& gooseberries), but unfortunately both are intermediate hosts for "White Pine Blister Rust" disease, & we have several stands of mature White Pine on our property that I'd prefer to keep. In fact, there are a number of states where growing currants & gooseberries is illegal (growing black currants is still illegal in VA). So no currants or gooseberries for me. It's not worth the chance of losing all my pines over.
                                    They used to be illegal in NY also, but not anymore. And there are new varieties that are very resistant to the blister rust... this is where I got mine:

                                    http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/currants.html

                                    Hopefully they will change the laws in VA soon - I think there is very little concern anymore, but it's hard to change old laws...maybe you'll be able to get them someday!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                                      They used to be illegal in NY also, but not anymore. And there are new varieties that are very resistant to the blister rust... this is where I got mine:

                                      http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/currants.html

                                      Hopefully they will change the laws in VA soon - I think there is very little concern anymore, but it's hard to change old laws...maybe you'll be able to get them someday!
                                      Thanks for the link. I do check up on currant & gooseberry legality occasionally. I'd particularly like to grow gooseberries, as my parents back in NY grew them & I still remember not only enjoying them right off the bush, but also my mother's wonderful gooseberry pies.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        I put two gooseberries in last year; so far have only gotten 2 berries so it's hard to know if they taste like I remember from my grandmother's farm. I don't recall them having those huge thorns! Maybe I never did the picking!

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Oooooohhhhhhh I can't wait to get out in the dirt. I'm due in June, so by the time our garden really gets busy producing, I should be able to see my feet.

                                          I wish I had access to pickling cukes and green tomatoes right now. I am totally craving both. I make an awesome po' boy with shrimp, remoulade, slaw mix and fried green tomatoes
                                          Originally posted by The Saddle
                                          Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

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