2021 How does your garden grow

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Gun Tramp

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I see I managed to re-start a thread that now has an outdated title (2020). My apologies. For the lucky early-birds, I do have a potato story that may interest...
A second cousin told of a neighbor farmer in the 30's who planted his dried-up lake bottom ground to potatoes as a cash crop. They thrived in the rich soil while others crops and gardens withered and the grower boasted all season until it was discovered the plants had put their energy into the foliage, not the tubers. Excess nutrients were suspected...🤬
 

Carbon 6

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Too much nitrogen can do that to some plants.
A wee bit early to start gardening just yet. Ground is covered with snow. I may start some pepper plants soon though, indoors.
If the winters keep getting warmer like they have been, I'll be able to garden all year long in ten years.
 

BullRunBear

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Too early to do anything except plan. I'm limited this season due to medical matters so everything will be in EarthBoxes and large tubs, not in the ground. So far it looks like mostly salad greens, herbs and tomatoes of various types. I may dedicate a couple of tubs to an heirloom summer squash just because I love squash.

Having said that, when a seed catalog shows up in the mailbox, I can spend hours imagining a garden that would cover half of Rhode Island and require a trained crew to maintain. :)

Jeff
 

zimmerstutzen

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Last year the garden consisted of 16 sunsugar tomato plants and a patch of horseradish. My Mrs. loves those little yellow charry tomatoes and few if any go to waste. Damn squash bugs get most every vine plant and for the number of onions we eat. buying a bag is cheaper than seed. We already pruned the blueberry bushes., all 58 of them. We already have one freezer completely filled with berries from last year.. Black berries, razzberries, wine berries and blue berries. Guess we will be letting the neighbors pick all the blue berries.
 

Kansas Kid

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Last year the garden consisted of 16 sunsugar tomato plants and a patch of horseradish. My Mrs. loves those little yellow charry tomatoes and few if any go to waste. Damn squash bugs get most every vine plant and for the number of onions we eat. buying a bag is cheaper than seed. We already pruned the blueberry bushes., all 58 of them. We already have one freezer completely filled with berries from last year.. Black berries, razzberries, wine berries and blue berries. Guess we will be letting the neighbors pick all the blue berries.
The only product I have found to kill squash bugs is HERO. You need to find someone with a license and get some from them.
 

zimmerstutzen

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The only product I have found to kill squash bugs is HERO. You need to find someone with a license and get some from them.
I got a license for ag spraying almost 20 years ago. I wouldn't know where my certification is now. Moved once and had a house burn down. Probably should get another. Thanks for the info.
 

Treestalker

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Too early to do anything except plan. I'm limited this season due to medical matters so everything will be in EarthBoxes and large tubs, not in the ground. So far it looks like mostly salad greens, herbs and tomatoes of various types. I may dedicate a couple of tubs to an heirloom summer squash just because I love squash.

Having said that, when a seed catalog shows up in the mailbox, I can spend hours imagining a garden that would cover half of Rhode Island and require a trained crew to maintain. :)

Jeff
Man, I know the feeling, if it's in you to plan, you must plant. The desire for a crew is what leads planters to share- cropping and (gasp) slavery. I used to make a garden about 60 by 110 ft. That was when I was young and stout and not a broken up disabled old wreck. now it's usually 1/3 that size, but I can still produce a lot of stuff, getting a better return from each plant. The strength of a young man is in his arms, but the strength of an old man is in his white head.
 

Carbon 6

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now it's usually 1/3 that size, but I can still produce a lot of stuff, getting a better return from each plant.
I do a lot of duplicate planting to hedge against disasters and such, and I find that many of my smaller gardens are more productive than the bigger ones. Bigger ones just take up more realestate.
 

R.J.Bruce

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A raised bed garden, with two foot deep beds, well planned, with proper sun exposure, with soil from the ground that is amended heavily the first fall year with peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, clean sand, and as many bags of WELL SHREDDED leaves (preferably hardwoods) that you can collect; everything dug in the winter before first harvest.

At least a foot of shredded leaves, covering at least 2 overlapping layers of heavy brown cardboard, that itself covers at least a foot of well-shredded compostable vegetable waste that is WEED FREE. No citrus rinds. Cover the shredded leaves with something like Remay row cover to keep them from blowing away during the winter.

In the first spring, dig it all in from the sides of the beds. I like beds that are NO MORE than 3 feet wide, now that I am 66 and with osteoarthritis. Make it simple, I'm OLD!!!!!!

When it gets warmer, a crop, or two, of buckwheat sown, grown to the first flowering stage, sickled, allowed to sit for a couple of weeks, dug in, and re-planted for a double green manure to get the biological juices of the bed's soil really flowing. No harvestable crops to feed oneself that first summer.

In the 2nd fall repeat the layering process with the compostable vegetable waste, the brown cardboard, and the hardwood leaves. Anything but black walnut leaves, which are toxic.

By the 2nd spring the two foot deep beds should be full to the top with highly active, friable, soil that should be able to grow almost any of the row crops that feed man.

For specific crops in certain beds that are destined for any of the heavy feeders, make allowances the prior fall with your green manures. Treat the beds the way a farmer treats, or should treat, his/her fields, with crop rotations, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, allowing at least 1 year in every 5 years for the bed to lie fallow with only green manures tilled/dug back into the bed.

UNLESS, you are trying to grow all of your own food, a small square footage, intensively planted, lightly mulched with finely shredded dry leaves to keep weeds at bay, is capable of growing an absolutely STUNNING amount of food.

Been there, done that with a 9' 3" wide × 27' long × 23" deep raised bed that was sub-divided with cross-bracing (to prevent bowing). With a set of three 2×4's screwed down across the ends, and the braces to create a 1 foot wide walkway down the center of the short side.

This had me ending up with in essence, 14 of Mel Bartholomew's 4' × 4' Square Foot Beds. In reality, the roots of the plants had seven 9' × 4' beds to grow in. In 224 sq. ft. I was able to grow more green beans, eggplant, carrots, lettuce, radishes, etc. then I had ever before. Yields off of plants were 4-5 times what the pot labels, or seed packages were calling for.

I purchased an All American pressure canner just to cope with the green beans.

As long as one keeps adding the leaves, practices crop rotations, mulches, and makes compost, a small space garden will be productive beyond your dreams.

Getting it set up is the hard part. That, and practicing patience before planting the first food crops.
 

Eterry

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Well I was posting on 2020 how does your garden...til Zonie was kind enuf to show me the ill of my ways...(I asked for it). So here's my post from there earlier today...

A month ago I tilled my garden, my troy bilt cranked on the first pull. Me and the mrs planted 4 bunches of onions.
Then i got a foot of snow on it, was not expecting that.
The onions were Dixondale onion sets, the bunches seem to get smaller every year.
Last week i planted spinach and lettuce, it's just coming up. Onions looking good. Gonna plant a row of cilantro next. Cleaned up my asparagus patch.
March 15 is the average last freeze date around here. So next week i'll be busy.

I've never tried Dixondale, they are highly recommended and are native Texan, And the feed store had them transplanted in dirt instead of the usual just laying in the wooden crate they come in, so they were unusually healthy.

PS, I planted a patch of cilantro seeds; I love the stuff and usually buy it, having it in the garden will be nice.
 

Eutycus

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This will be the first year in almost a dozen years that I'm not putting in some of the "Rodeo Tomatos". I don't know how its done in other parts of the country but down here near San Antonio, Texas a new variety of tomato is announced at the San Antonio Rodeo each year. This year it's the Ruby Crush. And my garden is about full of the other varietys, so it looks like I may not have the Rodeo tomato in the garden this year. It's that or give up the space that I have for 5 Large Red Cherry tomato plants which happen to be my wife's favorite. But that's all right, I prefer heirlooms over hybrids anyway.
 

Ames

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Word to the wise. While prepping beds and seed trays, be on the look out for canning lids if you put up produce at the end of the season. Price gouging hit a dollar a lid last year in the shortage. Everyone in the covid shut down thought they would grow their own food. Freezers in the northeast had a four month waiting list. Canning lids were just about as scarce as sasquatch.
This year lids have begun to show up slowly for now. Buy them when you can or its going to sound like a thread on black powder being out of stock all over again.
 

Eutycus

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I planted my second batch of Okra seeds yesterday. They'll be ready for transplanting into the dirt in a few weeks. At the rate we are going the soil should warm up nicely. I'm going with a variety called Emerald Green this year. And yes I know okra don"t tranplant easily but this is in paper cups and the whole thing can be transplanted without disturbing the roots.
 

Eterry

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We got a 1/4" of rain last night, right after I tiled the garden again.

Gonna plant some beans maybe squash when it dries out.
We just wait another 3 weeks to plant okra. I've about given up on tomatoes... the blue jays and mockingbirds get more than i do. The price you pay for living in town.
 

Eutycus

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Bought a "6 pack" of straight neck squash today. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.
 

buickmarti

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Anybody know how long store bought seed are good for?
Bought a whole box full of pumpkin seeds that are from 2019 at a second hand store.
 
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