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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone plant gardens? We have a good sized one every year, and I an getting anxious to put one in again this year.

The weather has been very nice and mild this winter, makes me want to start the lettuce and cabbage. Working the soil yesterday it seems the ground is still pretty cold though. I was gonna throw the manure on it today, but will have to play the weather.

hoping this year will be better than last years garden. We had very little production due to disease and drought. I never got to Can any tomatoes and only a couple jars of pickles and pickled peppers.


Lets talk gardens.
 

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Going to wait till May 15th to put things in the ground. Might be nice now, and it is deceiving, but we got all of March to go. I'll probably start my seeds indoors about mid March. This will be my first time ever in doing so. Made no sense in buying a pre started cabbage plant for .99 when i could buy an already grown head for .99.

Been reading about how and when to start seeds, transplant, and then to soil and which ones i can just plant as seed in the soil. We'll see how this turns out.

My tomatoes were good until August and then the blight hit them all. Got enough tomato sandwiches to be happy plus a few jars canned. Cucumber were ok, but i had the wrong plant for pickles. All my peppers, zuchinni, and brocoli did good. Eggplant never came up. Had a hard time with onions. Strawberry and asparagus were growing like crazy.

I'm putting the fence back up in April and will look at turning it over again come the beginning of May
 

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We planted tomatoes, peppers and watermelon. The first two did well. Drought certainly wasn't a problem.
 

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I cant wait to get my hands dirty this spring. I will be waiting til at least May 15th to transplant outside. I had problems with my tomatoes, end blossom rot, I believe it was due to inconsistent watering lengths. Typically I have had no luck with my zucchini those vine borer beetles always seem to get the best of them.
 

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ours did very well, 'cept for the onions. hit 'em with a little roundup by mistake, ooops. and for some reason our peppers were real late last year. froze alot of corn, man that stuffs soo good right now, compared to what you'd get from a can.
 

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Our main garden is about 35 x 100, not including the patch where we grow squash and pumpkins. I plow it with the tractor every fall, clean out the barn and spread the straw and manure on it and let that set all winter. Then about the end of March, I run the rototiller through it, spread some sand on top wait two weeks and rototill again. The soil is so loose at some places that I can just stick my hand straight down into the soil.

We grow butternut squash which require alot of room, so we grow those at a separate place away from the regular garden. Last year, we picked about 200 butternut squash. Sold some, ate some and fed the rest to the animals.

I'll be starting some of the tomato seeds this weekend.
 

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I stopped by my old farmer (89 y/o) friends place to pickup some staw last weekend. We started talking about planting this Spring. He thinks it will be a horrible year because the ground never really froze. His worry is blight and other fungus that never died off this year, not to mention the bugs!
 

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Old PA Dutch farmers would spread rock salt on the soil every 4 or 5 years to cut back on nematodes and a few other "soil varmints" I seem to remember hearing something about 100lbs to the acre. But that practice was where the soil was already fairly "sweet" with limestone.

We also take all our egg shells and work them into the garden. The calcium is supposed to reduce blossom end rot in Tomatoes and reduce cut worms.
 

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If you have a problem with tomato blight try putting a 4 or 5" long piece of #6 bare copper in the ground right beside the plants, as soon as you plant them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great reply's all.

I didn't realize veggie gardens belonged in the "wild edible" section. I figured that this was for wild plants.
 

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Can't wait! Adding two or 3 more beds this year. Current plan is 2-3 varieties of tomatoes, Bush and pole beans, Jalapenos, banana peppers, Bell peppers, Zucchini, Cucumbers, greens(lettuce blend, spinach) Carrots, Broccoli, Sweet and red potatoes. Last year I did pumpkins, Butternut squash, and mini watermelons. Think I might just do the butternuts this year, and try and find some way to manage the vines better.

 

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gonna plant a variety of bush beans in may. potatoes and squash will go in the ground the end of april if weather permits. other than that I dont think I will bother with anything else. wasted to much space and time on tomatoes the last couple years just to have them get the size of softballs then rot.
 

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I started my lettuce, onion, herbs, and broccoli seeds two weeks ago. Have nearly 100% sprouting. It's the first time I started from seeds so we'll see. Last year was a bust. I planted when it was too wet at the beginning of May then we got 4 inches of rain, so everything just rotted. This year I planned on moving the garden to a more sloped part of the property. I dug the post holes for the fence but just this afternoon I decided heck with it and tore em all out. Now the plan is to mound up the old garden space with some new top soil, add some of my composted straw, leaves and chicken manure and revamp the old site. We will be planting several tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, onions, beans, zukes, cukes, broccoli and herbs. I have found that gardening is extremely frustrating if it becomes about the destination and not the journey. Good luck with your gardens.
 

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I built my entire garden into beds last year. Hauled close to 300, 4"X8"X16' concrete blocks home. Built 10, 16' beds. 9 are 3 blocks wide and 1 is 2 blocks wide. I used the original dirt, sand, peat moss and leaf compost from the township in each one. I left around 20" paths around the outside and filled those in with bark mulch from the township. Its amazing what you can fit in one of those beds vs. row gardening. Water drains out nicely, but you do have to watch during hot dry weather. The blocks are standing on end so you can use the holes in the blocks for pvc pipe, rebar, whatever to make a frame, string chicken wire around new seedlings,etc.
 

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LONG BEARD 101 said:
I stopped by my old farmer (89 y/o) friends place to pickup some staw last weekend. We started talking about planting this Spring. He thinks it will be a horrible year because the ground never really froze. His worry is blight and other fungus that never died off this year, not to mention the bugs!
Keith, he is certainly on to something there!
 

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For those who start from seed, when do you thin the sprouts? For instance, I dropped several seeds in each hole and nearly all sprouted. Should I wait until they have their first true leaves?
 

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We have 3 raised beds we built in the back yard last year, 8X4, but we had limited success due to shade from trees. We're planning on doing some containers in the front where there's more light, but less room, and my farmer friend offered me some room on her land to sharecrop, but I still want to use those beds in the back since they're built. Anybody have advice on veggies that do well in strong partial shade?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Partial shade shouldn't be a big issue. A little less yield, but still manageable. Better soil should help. Compost bin and manure in the raised beds will help as well. Gardens get better over time with the breakdown of organic nutrients.

Weather also plays a big roll. The Sq/ft garden is neat and yields a ton for the space.

I am now looking into aquaponics and going to hit it full speed. Gonna be a wonderful commercial venture.
 
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