Garden planning, planting time

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Cherry Kelly
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Garden planning, planting time

Post by Cherry Kelly » 02-23-2011 03:21 PM

YES its only the last of February, and we still have a bit of winter left, but a lot can be done and should be done, especially in this economy.

Planning your garden goes beyond seeds and ground work, but should include thinking even further ahead to saving the produce from that garden.

We start with the planning for what foods you can grow in your area that are the ones you enjoy eating. There is little sense in growing veggies that you enjoy, but only on rare occasions. Concentrate on the ones you use the most. Just remember that while you may enjoy fresh tomatoes, you can have those to eat during the growing season, but preserving them will be for use in soups/stews and similar eating. (Unless you can grow them indoors and that is not the easiest, nor does it produce heavily..exception would be grape or cherry tomatoes.)

You may enjoy green beans and peas and have the space to grow them. Peas do not like heat and will produce early. It requires several rows to produce enough to can or freeze. With these you can also plant later producing crops such as carrots or squash (winter type). Beans when grown in tight rows will continue to produce into first frosts so a smaller area can be used with proper planting techniques.

Sweet corn requires a lot of land area, but with corn you can also grow melons, squash and other produce of these types.

Peppers like afternoon shade, with the exception of hotter varieties which seem to enjoy more sunshine.

Many other veggies that people enjoy but this is a start.

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Post by Cherry Kelly » 03-15-2011 09:56 AM

Snow in March came and just about totally melted in one day - Spring is definitely on the way.

Seed starting continues, though some will be purchased as plants as seeds just not available.

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Post by kbot » 03-15-2011 11:11 AM

I had been discussing planting a vegetable garden in our yard this year since the cost of everything is skyrocketing and it might just be a good thing to do anyway. Only in the planning stages - looking at raised beds, and maybe buying some peat/ hothouse gizzmos to start some plants from seed while I have the time. We had snow yesterday, and probably will have some tomorrow. But, I have a window that is made to hold plants as well was a sunroom. Just have to rent a rototiller and get some loam and fertilizer somewhere in the next few weeks......

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Post by Linnea » 03-15-2011 05:19 PM

Some good information, Cherry.

Hope your project goes well kbot. I'll be back at it this year as well - continuing on with the 'lawn top' garden I started last year.

The garden last year did not do well at all. Experimented with using seeds that were 1 and 2 years old, and starting tomato plants from fresh tomatoes. Did that one year with great results (Texas small and sweet tomatoes). Not so great last year with grape tomatoes and romas from Costco.

The Kentucky Wonder Beans did not do well at all from 2 year old seeds. I should'a known better. Butternut Squash - same dismal results. The Yellow Zucchini Squash did fantastic though. Huge healthy leaves and vines - and huge healthy squash! Had one that was about 5.5 lbs.

As long as the ground is already prepped - I'll do something out there. Just loved the Snap Pea Pods for stir fry recipes! They grew well. Need to plant more of them. I guess, early - maybe now! Soon...

Beets are very expensive here - so, need to research the prospects of growing some. Also will research growing parsley, mint, cilantro, basil - any suggestions here? Will use with fresh salads - and quick broths/soups.

Good Luck to everyone with your gardens this year! Post up your plans and progress.


:cool:

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Post by kbot » 03-16-2011 06:38 PM

Thanks Linnea. Soaking rains again today. I'm hoping to be able to get some supplies over the weekend.

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Post by Cherry Kelly » 03-17-2011 09:54 AM

Ye, some older seeds do not grow all that well - why you do a test on the seeds.

Remember if starting from seed - read the germination time - peppers 10-12 days at least... then 6-8 weeks growing time. Tomatoes 7-10 days for many varieties.

===
Raised beds are great - but remember that sometimes they need more watering, not always, but of the two raised beds here, I do have to water the one more often, but not the other one. The west bed has morning shade, so I water it in morning before sunshine gets on it. The east bed gets afternoon shade and does not require as much watering.

I have had some older tomato seeds that did very well, others that didn't - same variety. Last yr, I took those yr old ones and ran tests, planting the ones that sprouted. Worked well. I do not use older seeds - veggies, but have had flower seeds that did fine.

Seeds from hybrids often do not produce the same variety.

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Post by kbot » 03-19-2011 06:47 PM

Was out picking-up seeds and some other stuff today. Still too cold to do much outside work up here - it only reached into the low 40s today.


Got a question for all of you........I want to use raised beds in my yard for a few reasons, and was thinking of having some screened loam trucked-in to use for the beds. Good or bad idea?

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Post by Cherry Kelly » 03-20-2011 11:53 AM

most loam soil is composed of sand, silt, and clay. I would only use it as a bottom filler with top half of good compost type soil that is rich in nutrients for your plants.

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Post by kbot » 03-20-2011 06:20 PM

Pretty much what I figured......thanks!

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Post by Cherry Kelly » 03-22-2011 09:35 AM

kbot - soon as we get through this rainy off/on weather, will be bob-catting some of our old compost pile to garden areas. Also will have to utilize pre-weed emergence stuff as compost piles of this type always have weed seeds. Frustration in some ways, but one does what is necessary.

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Post by kbot » 03-22-2011 11:41 AM

Haven't even gotten that far along. This is all new to me........

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Post by kbot » 03-24-2011 07:23 PM

Well, just started my garden - my first one in about forty years now. We had more snow this morning (this is really starting to get old.....) but I planted some seeds in one of those multi-cell greenhouse kits you see all over the stores now. Even after using 72 cells, I stil have a bunch of seeds left over - and two other kits, and I'm thinking "Maybe I just bought too much....". Figure I'll just wait until the loam arrives and I have a chance to actually "work" in the garden. The ground here is still hard and the weather goes from frost to snow/ hail/ below freezing temps anyway.

Has anyone here used seaweed as a fertilizer? I was speaking with a coworker today, who has a garden in her yard and she said she's been using seaweed for a few years now. It's all over the place around her and it's free, and the staff who tend the local beaches, and swimmers, are glad to see it gone anyway. Anyone with any thoughts on this?

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Post by Cherry Kelly » 03-24-2011 07:49 PM

kbot -- now that is a good question. Never have used seaweed, but never lived where I could. Might run it by some local greenhouses - say some of the college ones in your area. Or ask that person - how they use it? Do they dry it and use it like a fertilizer? Would think it might be a tad salty (ocean waters). Really do not know but would enjoy hearing out what you discover about it.

RE your seed starting - not all seeds will sprout depending on the source of the seeds of course. I've had some years with an almost 100% and some less than 80%. Now the other thing you can work on is what seeds did you plant and how much growing room will they take? Will you stake the plants and tie them to fencing of some kind or plant them close together with spaces between groups?

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Post by kbot » 03-25-2011 11:41 AM

Thanks. Didn't think about the local colleges. From what my friend told me, she uses it as is, and just works it into the garden. She had a pick-up truck load. But, she's also used compost, chicken manure (which I will pass on......) - basically, she has an established garden.

As far as layout, I have a few types of pole beans and peas and some seedless tomatos that I want to try. My wife can't have anythng with seeds since having a bowel resection a few years back, but she loves tomtatos. So I thought I'd try a few plants before going overboard - maybe three. The rest of the plants are all pretty much "below ground" like potatos, or pretty low, like broccoli, winter squash, scallions, beets and carrots.

I saw this one site online that had a lot of information about how to layout a garden with the taller plants on the north side (such as beans, peas and tomatos) and then spreading out the rest depending on the mix.

As far as the salt content, around here the older farmers and gardeners have used fish for centuries. One of the local stories goes that as the Pilgrims struggled, the local Indian tribes - Wampanoags, showed them how to make the ground fertile, and they used fish caught in the local waters. With the price of seafood lately, I'm not gonna go that route, but I'll try the seaweed if it'll work!!

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Post by Cherry Kelly » 03-25-2011 01:27 PM

kbot -- fishheads! Seriously using fishheads and bullheads (skins and tails) have been used for years and years. Granddad used them and we did too! Any fish you filet or skin (let alone not many really eat the heads or tails) works great.

Yes, taller plants to back and usually north side. Underground plants can be planted under or between such plants as tomatoes. I usually plant tomatoes in groups of five (planted to resemble the five on dice with sufficient space in between the groups).

Winter squash sprawls a lot! Also will need to watch out for stink bugs that love to eat on them. You might consider getting a ground cover cloth you can wrap around the plants once they have sprouted. It will help with any bug problems. I often will use a small tomato basket to raise the plants up off the ground on the squash plants. (and yes I do plant marigolds around my zukes and squash as that has helped as well.

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