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Garden 
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Post Garden
Anyone thinking about doing a small garden next season?

Now is a good time to start if you're thinking about it.

This will be my third year with my little patch. My first year was very successful but this last year was a complete disaster. I think the reason was that I had better prepared the soil the first year, had a really good water timer (witch blew up when it froze - I'm not used to winters :/), and fertilizers I used. This past year I tried to skimp a little, seeing how the first year was so productive. I had some other stuff working against me, too. I had some kind of root rot or disease along with bugs which annihilated my entire crop. Then when I got everything sorted out the season was so well gone that nothing really turned out at all. It was a bad layout, too, and I planted some vegetables at the wrong time. Wow... this year I have my head a little bit more in the game and know that a garden isn't foolproof. I also think the seed I got was old. This year I'm going to go through Gurney's or Harris.

Please let me know if you're going to do a vegetable garden as I'd like to see some pictures and learn about your progress :)



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Chris OConnor
Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:21 pm
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Post Re: Garden
I always do one, or at least have for the past 20 years (yeah, I was just a tyke when I started). That's common, I hear, to have a good result the first year, get overconfident, and have a poor result the next year due the best nutrients having got sucked out. I always get carried away with the raising of plants from seed in the basement. The only real advantage to this is that you can grow the cool-sounding varieties from the seed catalogs and it's cheaper if you're growing a lot. I grow annual & perennial flowering pants as well as the basic tomato/pepper menu. I need a good source for this next year of abundant rotted manure or compost to spread on very deep. I also found this past season to be really tough due to the succession of days above 90. It was impossible to water often enough.

Here's what I always put in:
Tomatoes (6-8)
Peppers (8-12)
Swiss chard
arugula
spinach
leaf lettuce (2 or 3 types)
beets
kohlrabi
pole beans
cucumbers
watermelon
sugar snap peas
green onions or leeks
butternut squash (winter)
summer squash or zucchini

All this can start around the middle of March in north Virginia, for peas and spinach.


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Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:20 pm
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Post Re: Garden
Replies
To DW: I read your post and looked all over for the button that says "like" -- oops wrong website! That would be Facebook. Once oriented to where on the web I was I though to click the thank buttom, but not really quite right. So let me say, "I like, I like."

To PC: Yes, I do a garden of one sort or another every year. Mine have lots of flowers (annual and perenial), herbs, and a few veggies (chard! beets! horray, this makes me happy just to think about). My gardens have been small. Last year I put in 3 raised beds -- I've always wanted raised beds. It was more challenging than I expected, consiquently my garden was extra small last year -- but I had a bumper crop of tomatoes, despite the many days over 90 in Northern VA.
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To DW: I read your post and looked all over for the button that says "like" -- oops wrong website! That would be Facebook. Once oriented to where on the web I was I though to click the thank button, but not really quite right. So let me say, "I like, I like."

To PC: Yes, I do a garden of one sort or another every year. Mine have lots of flowers (annual and perennial), herbs, and a few veggies (chard! beets! hurray, this makes me happy just to think about). My gardens have been small. Last year I put in 3 raised beds -- I've always wanted raised beds. It was more challenging than I expected, consequently my garden was extra small last year -- but I had a bumper crop of tomatoes, despite the many days over 90 in Northern VA.


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Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:59 pm
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Post Re: Garden
Not thinking of gardening here yet though my seed catalog came this week! Locally, the folks do what's called a 'Seedy Saturday' where everyone brings saved seeds and swaps seeds. It's gotten to be a really well-organized event. So I've got all sorts of seeds hanging out waiting to be swapped. Have you ever let swiss chard, for example, go to seed? It's a prolific seed producer. The only beets, however, that go to seed are the variety I don't want (because they go to seed at the least hint of warm weather)... so I buy these. Tomatoes have worked well saving seed from year to year, as have beans and peas. The squash family get all mixed up and I grow a mystery variety every year--crosses between squash, gourds, pumpkins... Makes for fun harvesting (for decoration) come October ( :
I envy your hot summer weather DWill. In the rainy NW watermelon is pretty much out, even if you start it indoors, as are other melons usually. I love pole beans though. And the greenhouse made prolific peppers this last summer, all from saved seed...


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Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:03 pm
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Post Re: Garden
I'd like to plant some strawberries but my mom is in charge of the garden... :x I do think we should plant different stuff this year, because I thought planting the same things every year wasn't good for the soil. Not sure though. xP


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Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:00 pm
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Post Re: Garden
Wow, a lot more replies than I expected! :)

I've tried starting my seeds indoors but most all of my plants when about over an inch high will develop a brown spot on the stem and then fall and die. I guess this is because I tend to over water and don't provide enough ventilation.

I've already ordered some seed from an Asian seed place I found online. They're a little pricey but they have some weird stuff.
http://www.evergreenseeds.com/

I got Gobo (check that thing out, it's a pretty strange root crop), soybeans, carrots, oriental root radish, and some of those really hot Thai peppers.

Check out the heart shaped tomatoes! Look how much they want for the seeds!!! They must be really popular in Japan.


For the Gurneys, I'm going to get:
Honey n Pearl Sweet Corn
Envy Hybrid Carrot
Evergreen White Bunching Onion
Green Magic Broc
Savannah Sweet Onion
Giant Red Ham Onion
American Flag Leek
Brandywine Tomato
Purple Haze Potato
Improved Gurney Girl Tomato
Gurney Giant Bell
Beer Friend Soybeans


I'm getting a bunch from Henry Field's too. Hopefully this year I can salvage some of the seeds from the non-hybrid plants. I don't think you can save them for the hybrid varieties.



Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:34 am
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Post Re: Garden
Camacho, do you start with sterilized soil? They say that's important for starting seeds indoors... and I found I had to add artificial light, just not enough of the real thing here in the spring. Maybe not a problem there. And yeah, probably watch the watering... I tried just watering from the bottom and had good success. Those little seedlings are hardier than they appear!
Looks like you've been having fun in the seed catalogs. Have you ever wondered who comes up with all those fancy sounding names? and whether they influence which ones you choose? How are soybeans a friend to Beer? My grandparents farmed soybeans so it's not something I ever considered doing on a small scale...but why not?! Good luck!


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Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:31 pm
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Post Re: Garden
I feel like I'm at a 4-H meeting.
I have an aunt in Tennessee that does a garden every year. Fresh corn is the best.
She also cans peaches but I think she buys them from locals.

She also makes her own ketchup. That seems unAmerican to me.

Tomatoes are big here in Florida as are Oranges of course. I am in the heart of Indian River Citrus.

We get strawberries early, April/May is their big month.

PC, maybe you planted the seed wrong way up.


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Last edited by stahrwe on Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:40 pm
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Post Re: Garden
Dawn wrote:
Camacho, do you start with sterilized soil? They say that's important for starting seeds indoors... and I found I had to add artificial light, just not enough of the real thing here in the spring. Maybe not a problem there. And yeah, probably watch the watering... I tried just watering from the bottom and had good success. Those little seedlings are hardier than they appear!
Looks like you've been having fun in the seed catalogs. Have you ever wondered who comes up with all those fancy sounding names? and whether they influence which ones you choose? How are soybeans a friend to Beer? My grandparents farmed soybeans so it's not something I ever considered doing on a small scale...but why not?! Good luck!

For starting plants, all you need is a bank of fluorescent shoplights to position just a few inches above the plants. Regular old 48" bulbs work fine, though they say the "warm white" more expensive kind are better. Grow light bulbs are way too expensive. Use a sterile seed-starting mix. Good for you for saving seeds; I've done only a little of that. The seed catalogues are the devil's work.


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Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness


Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:27 pm
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Post Re: Garden
stahrwe wrote:
I feel like I'm at a 4-H meeting.

:lol: Nice change of pace, eh?


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Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:07 pm
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Post Re: Garden
Yeah, I think I'm going to go ahead and see about starting an indoor setup and see how that goes and then maybe see if I can do like a hydroponics type thing. I've seen some plans on the internet and it looks pretty easy. That seems like a fun project.

I always use miracle grow potting soil for starting seeds inside.

I'm getting some weird varieties this year and I'm pretty excited about it.



Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:43 pm
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Post Re: Garden
Have fun!


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Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:51 pm
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Post Re: Garden
Ok,

I've purchased a heating mat, shelving unit, two t8 light fixtures, a temperature controller, and a timer.... I am just about ready for indoor seed starting!!! :)



Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:06 pm
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Post Re: Garden
President Camacho wrote:
Ok,

I've purchased a heating mat, shelving unit, two t8 light fixtures, a temperature controller, and a timer.... I am just about ready for indoor seed starting!!! :)

Wow. You've gone all out and should have great results. I always used to start too early, and then the danger would be the plants lose their nice stockiness and get leggy. I wait until almost March now. But you can put your plants out a few weeks earlier than I can, I'd guess.


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Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness


Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:30 pm
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Post Re: Garden
I'm thinking leeks, lettuce, and broccoli.



Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:34 am
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