Author Topic: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019  (Read 27196 times)

PMG

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #150 on: February 25, 2019, 07:35:26 AM »
I want to hang out here where the regular conversation will remind me to check on my plants! 

We're in a rental and pretty sure we'll be here thru summer 2020, so not willing to invest a lot, but want to dabble.   

My most successful year in the past was the year I gave up on it and just plopped a few things in buckets and pots.  I've had a couple years off (and gave away all my supplies) but now I'm living in a place where I can dabble again!

I also have a neighbor who gardens seriously and shares generously.

My plan is:
2 approximately 4x4 raised garden beds and assorted pots.

We started some spinach seeds in a pot last night.  Would like to just continually keep spinach going as long as possible.

Our local Cooperative Extension has strawberry plant starts 20/$5.  You aren't supposed to harvest strawberries the first year, but I was thinking I could put half in a small raised bed for next year/long term and just pinch blossoms, and the other half in pots and enjoy whatever small yield they have this year.  There seems to be an online trend of growing strawberries in pots annually.  I've got some experience with berries before, and the landlord is happy with my plan to establish them for longer term, and we'll be here next summer.

The second bed and the pots will also hold store bought plants, (and spinach from seed). I want basil, dill, parsley, mint (that might go in another small raised bed to be a more permanent fixture). Peppers, tomatoes, zucchini.

Neighbor has some rough lumber he wants to share to build the beds.  Another friend has horses and we're picking up a load of well aged manure later this week.  Hoping to pick up the local planting guide from the Cooperative Extension as well.

I did potatoes one year and really enjoyed that, but it doesn't seem like a good way to use such limited space.  Onions too. 

So, we'll just get started with this plan and see what turns up, what kind of plants our little local hardware store gets, and what we can share with others. 

I will also have flowers.  I was given an elephant ear last fall, so this will be my first spring restarting it.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 07:37:41 AM by PMG »

CalBal

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #151 on: February 25, 2019, 08:42:50 AM »
I've also used bamboo pole teepees for growing scarlet runner bean (mostly). Pretty easy and cheap, and once they are covered with vines nice looking. I also wrap baling twine around it in a spiral upward, so there are both vertical and horizontal structures for them to cling to.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #152 on: February 25, 2019, 09:44:56 AM »
Yesterday's swag bag from the conference I was speaking at (didn't pay for the conference but got lunch and a swag bag and a speaker's honorarium) contained five packages of seed.  Four are organic heirloom varieties - two tomato types, a tomatillo and korean mint.  Plus some really heavy duty rubber gloves.  Nice score.


Cgbg

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #153 on: February 25, 2019, 03:13:12 PM »


The second bed and the pots will also hold store bought plants, (and spinach from seed). I want basil, dill, parsley, mint (that might go in another small raised bed to be a more permanent fixture).

Trust me when I say plant that mint in one of those pots, not a bed. Maybe you were planning to already. Mint is ridiculously aggressive. I have some in the ground but itís on a dry patch of land in crappy soil and I still get way more than I need but at least it isnít taking over the entire half acre. Put it in fertile soil with some occasional watering and itís a never ending problem.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #154 on: February 25, 2019, 07:44:02 PM »


The second bed and the pots will also hold store bought plants, (and spinach from seed). I want basil, dill, parsley, mint (that might go in another small raised bed to be a more permanent fixture).

Trust me when I say plant that mint in one of those pots, not a bed. Maybe you were planning to already. Mint is ridiculously aggressive. I have some in the ground but itís on a dry patch of land in crappy soil and I still get way more than I need but at least it isnít taking over the entire half acre. Put it in fertile soil with some occasional watering and itís a never ending problem.

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is in the mint family.  So I am not surprised it is one of the happiest most successful weeds in my lawn.

PMG

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #155 on: February 26, 2019, 08:57:07 AM »


The second bed and the pots will also hold store bought plants, (and spinach from seed). I want basil, dill, parsley, mint (that might go in another small raised bed to be a more permanent fixture).

Trust me when I say plant that mint in one of those pots, not a bed. Maybe you were planning to already. Mint is ridiculously aggressive. I have some in the ground but itís on a dry patch of land in crappy soil and I still get way more than I need but at least it isnít taking over the entire half acre. Put it in fertile soil with some occasional watering and itís a never ending problem.

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is in the mint family.  So I am not surprised it is one of the happiest most successful weeds in my lawn.

Yes!  I haven't figured out what I'll do.  I'd like it to come back next year, but I don't want it to take over a big space.  I've seen people sink a bottomless pot into the ground to try to contain it.  Perhaps it would come back in a pot as well.  Must do some reading.

Rural

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #156 on: February 26, 2019, 06:33:29 PM »
It will come back in a pot, and all around the pot as well if you let it go to seed.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #157 on: February 27, 2019, 11:05:41 AM »
I've been excited for this year's garden since I finished harvesting last year's.

I have a good size in ground garden (12x30+10x10) and one 8x8 raised bed.  I did pretty good with those last year.  I managed 6 gallons of heirloom popcorn, buckets of spaghetti squash, a couple of gallons of dried beans, lots of carrots, beets, and rutabegas, tons of summer squash, and a row of parsnips that I've been slowly harvesting over the winter. 

Thing is... I want more.  I picked up six free 2x4 grow boxes a month ago.  I'm collecting large planters/pots as I find them at our Goodwill equivalent, and I'm planning on building at least four 4x8 beds this year.  Luckily, I can get compost from the municipal yard for about $3/yard.  I also keep an eye out for free manure, and will pick up a couple of trailer loads as I find it this spring.

I went way overboard on my seed purchasing.  I've mostly got heirlooms, because they're more fun.  So far this year, I've bought from MIgardner, Baker Creek, Jung seeds, and Seed Needs.  I'm trying to talk myself out of one more order with Territorial, but their strain of cranberry beans is so much cooler than what everyone else has.

I'm attempting to use a google calendar to keep track of when I need to start seeds.  I'm not sure how that will work out.

My husband has been buying me seed starting things for birthday and Christmas gifts.  I've got a T5 growlight and stand, and a seed mat with thermostat that I'm just itching to get out of their boxes.  I also have a couple of gooseneck grow lights I've picked up on massive discounts.  I'm hoping to have the back room cleared out enough within the next week that I can get my brassicas started. We're on the tail end of a bathroom remodel, and headed into a kitchen remodel, so the house looks like it's exploded.

I'm still working out my plans.  I've got three different varieties of corn, so I'll have to figure out when to plant to avoid cross pollination.  I want to grow a salad garden. I have SO MANY different kinds of dried beans I want to grow.  And about six different kinds of winter squash.  Also summer squash.  And carrots.  And radishes.  A couple of different kinds of melons.  Herbs.  Peas.  Green beans and noodle beans.  Tiny pickling cucumbers!  Okra for my husband.  Cabbages.  Kohlrabi.

I don't know that there's room for all of it even with the new beds, but I'm going to try.  I think the satisfaction of eating food I've grown myself is totally worth it.

Vasilisa

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #158 on: February 27, 2019, 01:23:03 PM »
@10dollarsatatime oh my gosh- love your enthusiasm! I completely understand going way overboard in seed ordering and sounds like you've gotten a good selection of things.

I used to start a lot of seeds outdoors in 4" pots and then transplant the seedlings once they had a set or three of true leaves. Currently we are waging a "squirrel vs any pot of soil" war in our yard and I don't have a large space to start seeds. We've improvised with a fire pit, some old screening and binder clips. Enough space to start about a dozen 4" pots. One of the community garden plots we have has a great "habitat" for birds, which means any sprout or young seedling gets eaten by birds. Anything small must be covered and any new transplants must be protected to avoid squirrels digging up the fresh soil. It's us vs nature, folks.

One of our community garden plots has great sun, and less bird and squirrel destruction so I've been able to successfully direct seed things in those beds. This year's plan is to direct seed veggies in two of the 3' x 14' beds and direct seed flowers in one of the beds for bouquets. This garden is harder to get to regularly so it might be a bit more neglected over the summer but is great for things like garlic, corn and pumpkins- anything we can plant and forget basically until harvest.

I'd love to plan some of the plantings out, so let me know if you come across any good resources for that. It's hard to do the planning of what dates, how many, transplant date and harvest dates. I run into "my garden beds are full and now what?" a lot. I have realized that you just need to start a few seeds- that'll you'll only need five pepper plants or three eggplants, so this means only seeding six or ten seeds and transplanting on.

Eating food you've grown yourself is immensely satisfying.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #159 on: February 27, 2019, 01:55:44 PM »
I had a 10% off from a local nursery so I ventured out in the snow storm to get some soil for seed starting because I am just getting into a funk.  I succumbed to the lovely display of seeds from West Coast seeds.  I am going to try growing parsnips and fennel this year.  Since the packages have a huge number of seeds I am going to try them in the greenhouse really early and then again outside in the ground.

The seedling starter soil was frozen to the pile on the skid.  It barely fit in the trunk and weighed a ton.  It is now on the floor in the garage which is only slightly warmer than outside.  I think it might be able to defrost in the laundry sink - but it might be too big for that even.  This might not have been a great idea to save money buying the bulk bag.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #160 on: February 28, 2019, 01:51:10 PM »
I went through my seedbox and consolidated my seed order at lunch.  Now I can go to the seed supplier and only buy what I can realistically plant.  I have the order for the church garden and my mom's house.
I am going to treat myself to a number of flowers that I can cut for indoor bouquets again this year.  I am also contemplating growing some storage crops at my Dad's farm this year.  Either that or just plant a cover crop for this first season that he is gone to keep down the weeds and then see how much I can handle.  I keep waffling.  I really would like to grow my own pickling cukes and beets and storage onions and garlic and six bushels of tomatoes for canning. 
The sun was strong today and reflecting off the snow made for a very bright day.  Even though it was really cold - it did feel like spring is coming.

Raenia

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #161 on: February 28, 2019, 03:01:24 PM »
I am hoping to be able to join in this year!  We are house shopping now, and I am making gardening space one of my major criteria.  Hopefully we will be able to find a good one, close, and move in before too much of the growing season is lost!  At the very least, I want to plant blackberry or raspberry bushes for next year's harvest, and hopefully a fruit tree or three if there's space.  Then for this year, hopefully a small bed for fresh herbs and a raised bed for vegetables.  It will be difficult to choose what to plant, there are so many things I want to try growing.  I may have to buy started plants rather than starting from seed this year, because of the late start, so that will limit me to whatever is available at my local garden stores.  Probably for the best, to make me start small!

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #162 on: March 01, 2019, 05:48:20 AM »
After three weeks of rain, our deer fence construction started for real yesterday.  DH is digging post holes, and we located the gate, the frame of which will be set in concrete.  Our veg garden is about 60 feet square.  We settled on 4 foot high split rail (which will match the rest of the fencing we have) and then an 8 foot mesh deer fence on thin metal posts right inside that.  I haven't seen any deer fence that looks super good, imo, but I think this will at least satisfy the neighbors.   Since we also have to exclude fat greedy woodchucks, we will be using hardware cloth for the bottom part attached to the split rail, buried one foot down and one foot out in an underground 'skirt' at a right angle.  It will be a lot of work to dig that trench -- hopefully it works!

 

StarBright

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #163 on: March 01, 2019, 07:15:31 AM »
I went through my seedbox and consolidated my seed order at lunch.  Now I can go to the seed supplier and only buy what I can realistically plant.  I have the order for the church garden and my mom's house.
I am going to treat myself to a number of flowers that I can cut for indoor bouquets again this year.  I am also contemplating growing some storage crops at my Dad's farm this year.  Either that or just plant a cover crop for this first season that he is gone to keep down the weeds and then see how much I can handle.  I keep waffling.  I really would like to grow my own pickling cukes and beets and storage onions and garlic and six bushels of tomatoes for canning. 
The sun was strong today and reflecting off the snow made for a very bright day.  Even though it was really cold - it did feel like spring is coming.

Frugal Lizard - I think we are in the same zone (I'm in NW Ohio) - what cut flowers have worked for you? I tried zinnias last year and they failed miserably. The only thing I've ever had luck with is my peonies and their season is so short! But I love cut flowers.

We have a spot along our alley that we've tried raspberry in that just hasn't worked so we are going to just sow regional wild flower seeds and hope they they take.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 09:30:28 AM by StarBright »

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #164 on: March 01, 2019, 07:27:58 AM »
@StarBright   - we may be in the same zone.  Our frost free date is supposed to be May 24 but I have been safe with waiting another week for the really tender seedlings.

I am surprised you had trouble with zinnias.  Did you grow from seed?  I had great luck with my zinnias last year.  I also grew calendula, white status, straw flowers, cleome, nicotiana, sunflowers and nasturiums.  I have grown sweet peas in the past.
This year I am adding asters, bachelor buttons, butterfly milkweed and Persian Jewel mix nigella. 

Everything that I direct sowed was hit and miss.  Everything that I started inside in seed trays worked really well - as long as the squirrel barricades held.

What are the conditions in your alley like?  dry - wet, shade-sun?  Wildflowers are tricky - they typically like to germinate on the soil surface and are later to get going than the weeds. 

Vasilisa

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #165 on: March 01, 2019, 09:08:52 AM »
@StarBright I love growing my own cut flowers too and I'm so envious you can grow peonies where you are. Not much success here in central coast California.

I love the www.floretflowers.com website- they sell seeds and bulbs but also offer good reviews and resources too. Their book "Floret Flowers" is a great resource as well. "Backyard Bouquets" is a good overview of things to grow.

One of the things Erin from Floret Farms mentions in planning her cut flower beds is that she does half filler/greenery sorts of plants and flowers and half showier blooms.

I've been picking bouquets of freesias and anemones this week and have vases of plum branches that are blooming indoors. Sweet peas are a few feet tall and even look like they're developing buds.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #166 on: March 01, 2019, 09:48:10 AM »
The only thing I've ever had luck with is my peonies and their season is so short! But I love cut flowers.

If you grow all the various flower forms you can extend the peony season.  The singles tend to come first, then the Japanese and Anemones, then the semi-doubles and then the doubles.  You can also cut the doubles when they are at the marshmallow stage and refrigerate them, and extend the season that way.  The big fat doubles on weak stems were always florist flowers, not garden flowers (hence the weak stems) and they store well.  Plus there are tree peonies (gorgeous bushes) and the Itoh hybrids.
http://americanpeonysociety.org/
https://peony.ca/

Yes I love peonies!!

Tris Prior

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #167 on: March 01, 2019, 09:51:07 AM »
Grumble grumble effing polar vortex effing bloody AGAIN grumble grumble.

My garden org's free seed swap is Sunday. Since I'm only starting seeds that I can direct sow this year (because kittens + no catproof place to start them in my apartment), I'm probably just going to pick up some new and interesting greens. I already have plenty of peas. Hmmm, I probably need carrots too. I'll need to look. Last year I grew a multicolored mix of carrots from seed but I must've thinned out the colorful ones since I got mostly orange with some white and I think 1 yellow. I wanted the purple and red! Oh well. Maybe this year I'll pick up some actual purple carrot seeds, if they have any.


Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #168 on: March 01, 2019, 10:11:06 AM »
Grumble grumble effing polar vortex effing bloody AGAIN grumble grumble.

Oh I hope that polar vortex doesn't swing its way over us.  I wanna start things in the greenhouse and it can't overcome an effing polar vortex

I extend my season of blooms with native flowering perennials that I can use as cut flowers every now and then for colour inside and pollinator support in my garden.

I love peonies too, but I have little space with all the native asters, goldenrod, coneflowers and sunflowers.  I really need to have twice the size of property for everything that I am growing here. 

And I love Floret Farm's blog.  It cheers me so.


Tris Prior

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #169 on: March 01, 2019, 10:13:42 AM »
It's not going to be as bad as last time. "Only" lows of zero before the windchill. Not lows of -50. But still. It's freaking MARCH. Enough already.

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #170 on: March 03, 2019, 04:53:31 AM »
Spent hours yesterday with DH on the deer fence construction.  Kids and I moved the wire compost bin and leaf bin to make way for the fence line.  Best quote of the day from 12 year old DS while moving the contents of the leaf bin -- "Hey awesome!  I'm through the slimy smelly layer, and there's a weird dry layer underneath it!"

And -- continuing with our discussion about pressure treated lumber, DH and I are considering removing the ancient railroad ties forming those two big raised beds.  That will be a godawful job as they are huge and will crumble to bits when we move them, but might be worth it to just not have to think about that stuff any more in proximity to our vegetables. 

   

StarBright

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #171 on: March 03, 2019, 06:29:25 AM »
Thanks on the cut flower advice! I did direct sow all of my seeds. I don't have a great place to start seeds. I guess I'll just have to buy starts this year and see if they take. 

I'm actually going to make an appointment with the horticulturalist at our community garden to help me lay out our plot this year. I threw everything in very hodge podge last year and it wasn't my best.

Looking forward to doing greens and peas soon!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #172 on: March 03, 2019, 06:30:57 PM »
I got all my seed trays filled with growing medium and cleaned up the mess that occurs in the laundry room when I do this task.  I really should do this in the fall and then store the filled trays in the greenhouse for the winter.  I purchased my seeds and had a nice little excursion by myself to an area that I only go to to pick up seeds but is really pretty.  And I started butterfly weed, osanos pepper, sweet banana and pick-a-pepper hybrid mix. The last one is a mix of green, red, orange, yellow and purple peppers.  The Osanos was silly expensive and only a 65% germination rate.  Hopefully I can save seed from at least one of those future peppers and stop the crazy spending on seed. 

coffeefueled

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #173 on: March 05, 2019, 07:58:38 AM »
@Trifele your deer fence sounds like quite the wall. We're going with a 4ft high fence made from posts and wire cattle fence. I'm hopeful that will be enough to discourage them, but we may have to upgrade next year depending on how this season goes. I'm suspicious that our real problem is rabbits and not the deer. I'm going to post our wildlife camera to find out once we have some plants growing.

We're in for another bout of unseasonable freezing weather here so I haven't started the fence (since posts plus frozen ground sounds like a pain). I also haven't started our kale. We have a winter hardy cultivar, but I'm not sure whether the seeds will germinate in the current fluctuating freezing to 40 degree weather. Has anyone started Kale seeds outdoors in the cold or do you sow them inside and transplant?

I repurposed a bunch of egg cartons and set up a little grow light to start tomatoes and pepper indoors. I'm really excited to get some seeds in this evening.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #174 on: March 06, 2019, 04:19:00 PM »
I finally unpacked the seed starting setup my husband has been buying me!  He got me a light with a stand for my birthday last July, and a heat mat and thermostat for Christmas.  He doesn't understand my gardening bug, but he's sure supportive...

I have started a few things... cabbages, kale, cauliflowers and romanesco, pink and utah celery, lettuces, fennel, kohrabi, and probably something else I can't remember.  I don't have a lot of room, which is fine, because right now I've got six 2'x4' grow boxes to work out of for these things.  I figure this gives me two weeks or so to get those grow boxes out of the trailer and placed where I want them.  The cabbages will be the only thing ready to go out so quick, I think.  They are 45 day mini cabbages, and are already germinating.  I'm going to attempt to get the peas in the ground by the end of this week as well.  And the garlic.  I've never planted garlic before.  I had meant to have some delivered and planted last fall, but that didn't happen.  I picked up a box of garlic from home depot for planting, so I'll get that in and see how it goes.  And be more on top of it next year.

I'm hoping that by the end of April, I'll have my big garden boxes built.  I'm planning on at least four 4x8 boxes made with corrugated roofing metal.  I'm trying to recreate the boxes @horsepoor has.  I think they're pretty good looking, and should hold up to the elements.  I decided this morning that I also want some 2x8s for my front yard, and a couple of 4x4s for herbs and strawberries.  I want to find a few places to put cattle panel arches for climbing beans/melons/cukes.  I love the way those look.

Luckily, I can get compost from the municipal green waste yard for about $6/load.  I'm on the lookout for free manure.  I can usually source some in the spring for my garden.  Current plan is to fill the bottom of the boxes with branch trimmings from my hedge and trees, and then top with a mixture of compost, manure, and coconut coir (if I can find it in bulk for a decent price).  I'm also posting on my local yard sale sites, looking for rained on straw bales for mulch.

If I can have the boxes ready by April, that gives me a little bit to get the in ground garden ready for the long season stuff.  That's where I'll plant the corns (3 kinds... if I can figure out how to keep them from cross pollinating), winter squashes, dry beans, etc.

And, as if I don't have enough going on... Burgess sent me a catalog.  And now I'm contemplating grapes and berries.  If I can figure out where to put them, I'll probably go for it...

coffeefueled

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #175 on: March 07, 2019, 07:57:15 AM »
@10dollarsatatime I definitely suggest a call to ask what goes into their compost before you buy. Some municipal waste yards use sewage sludge to make compost.  On the east coast a lot of compost yards sell it under the name Orgro and say it's organic compost. Even if they successfully get rid of any disease-related issues like salmonella I doubt they're able to process out medications, heavy metals, and other generally icky stuff I wouldn't want next to my food.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #176 on: March 07, 2019, 08:47:14 AM »
@10dollarsatatime I definitely suggest a call to ask what goes into their compost before you buy. Some municipal waste yards use sewage sludge to make compost.  On the east coast a lot of compost yards sell it under the name Orgro and say it's organic compost. Even if they successfully get rid of any disease-related issues like salmonella I doubt they're able to process out medications, heavy metals, and other generally icky stuff I wouldn't want next to my food.

Our compost is just green waste and nothing more.  They don't even allow pallets to be dumped there.  It's not organic, because you can't know what all the people are spraying on their yards/trees/shrubberies before they get taken to the yard, but my garden really seemed to like it the past couple of years.

Cgbg

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #177 on: March 08, 2019, 04:24:52 PM »
@Trifele

We're in for another bout of unseasonable freezing weather here so I haven't started the fence (since posts plus frozen ground sounds like a pain). I also haven't started our kale. We have a winter hardy cultivar, but I'm not sure whether the seeds will germinate in the current fluctuating freezing to 40 degree weather. Has anyone started Kale seeds outdoors in the cold or do you sow them inside and transplant?

Check out this post at A Garden For The House https://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2012/11/winter-sowing-101-6/

Iíve tried this method before and it works just fine.

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #178 on: March 08, 2019, 04:42:43 PM »
@Trifele

We're in for another bout of unseasonable freezing weather here so I haven't started the fence (since posts plus frozen ground sounds like a pain). I also haven't started our kale. We have a winter hardy cultivar, but I'm not sure whether the seeds will germinate in the current fluctuating freezing to 40 degree weather. Has anyone started Kale seeds outdoors in the cold or do you sow them inside and transplant?

Check out this post at A Garden For The House https://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2012/11/winter-sowing-101-6/

Iíve tried this method before and it works just fine.

That winter sowing in jugs is neat. 

I've grown a lot of kale, and IME it does better direct-sown rather than transplanted. YMMV.  I usually sow it straight into the garden early in the spring, but you can also do it in the late fall.  Depending where you live and what kind of winter protection you can give it, you can overwinter it and then collect seed in the second year.  For raw (salad) kale, I love the Red Russian variety.  Such vigorous plants -- you can cut-and-come-again so many times -- and such tender mild leaves.     

happyuk

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #179 on: March 10, 2019, 05:30:55 AM »
I've not long finished preparing a plot solely for the planting of asparagus.

After getting rid of what used to be a tired old herb plot with a rosemary bush that had gotten way too big, I dug it over with plenty of old horse manure, and planted asparagus crowns, with a view to harvesting them in about 2-3 years time.  Asparagus, in case you didn't know is a pretty long term investment (Mustachian) and when ready in approx 2 years time, should be good for another 15-20 years.

I've not quite got the hang of inserting pictures into these forum posts, but you can view more of what I've been doing at this following blog post.  It contains somewhat grainy photos I took while still a work in progress, digging out one of the trenches, creating a ridge before straddling the ridge with the asparagus crowns:

https://plot-30.blogspot.com/2019/03/setting-out-new-asparagus-plot-in-2019.html

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #180 on: March 10, 2019, 02:39:22 PM »
I bought three kinds of sweet potatoes this weekend and cut slips from them.  Hopefully at least one variety will sprout!  The remainder made a nice lunch yesterday too.

My big accomplishment was finally building a seed starting bench in the basement.  I've been making do with a shelving unit and the bar top, but this will be so much nicer.  I took the plunge and ordered 2 LED light fixtures as well; it seemed like good timing since I didn't want to make a setup for my current T5's and then have to re-do it, and potentially drill different holes in the ceiling when it was time to transition.  The T5 bulbs still have a fair bit of life in them, so I'll use them as my "expansion pack" for the short time when I have lots of potted-up seedlings demanding more space.  If I like these LEDs, I will probably order 1-2 more fixtures, depending on how well they cover my 20"x8' bench.  With this better setup, I'm thinking I might venture into growing greens and herbs through next winter.  Will post some pics once the LEDs are up.

Need to get two more trays of seedlings going.  Everything I've started so far is going great, albeit a bit lanky from being a bit too far from the lights.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #181 on: March 11, 2019, 04:36:05 AM »
@Trifele your deer fence sounds like quite the wall. We're going with a 4ft high fence made from posts and wire cattle fence. I'm hopeful that will be enough to discourage them, but we may have to upgrade next year depending on how this season goes. I'm suspicious that our real problem is rabbits and not the deer. I'm going to post our wildlife camera to find out once we have some plants growing.

We're in for another bout of unseasonable freezing weather here so I haven't started the fence (since posts plus frozen ground sounds like a pain). I also haven't started our kale. We have a winter hardy cultivar, but I'm not sure whether the seeds will germinate in the current fluctuating freezing to 40 degree weather. Has anyone started Kale seeds outdoors in the cold or do you sow them inside and transplant?

I repurposed a bunch of egg cartons and set up a little grow light to start tomatoes and pepper indoors. I'm really excited to get some seeds in this evening.

Do you use the Styrofoam or cardboard egg cartons? I have an 18 pack Styrofoam type carton I could use soon. I want to plant zinnia seeds. Anyone know of a good dwarf variety with big flowers? I like the regular tall ones but they tend to break when we have high winds. They need tying up so I would rather have dwarf ones. I want to plant them into big planters.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #182 on: March 11, 2019, 05:48:11 AM »
I lost 23 trees this time last year.  Mostly pines that I'm not sad to see go.  I've decided to try to replant with mostly fruit trees.  I put in two cherry trees this weekend (OMG, my arms/pecs/shoulders are KILLING ME this morning).  I still have one to go, but I'm having to do some work to make the planting hole drain correctly (Ugh...more digging).  There's a whole lot of low area in my yard that tends to stay damp, so I'm thinking that plums and paw-paws might be my only options there.  I have two peach trees and two apple trees that survived last year's storm.  The peach trees tend to bloom out two or three weeks too early and get hit by some late frosts.  In three years, I've had two peaches.  I'm thinking that I'm going to add a few more trees with varying chill hour requirements to see if I can't hedge my bets against the last cold snaps of the year.  The apple trees were bought together at Lowes and labeled as pollinating partners, but they don't bloom at the same time, so they've always been a bust.  I'll have to figure out what I need to get to pollinate each of them.  I've been wanting to try the espalier technique, so I might try that with some apples and/or figs.     

I've also got some strawberry root bundles to go in...somewhere.  I'm guessing a raised bed, but not sure where yet.  We're having some major issues with water flowing from down the hill from the neighbor's house and have nothing to absorb it anymore.  My vegetable garden is probably not going to do a whole lot this year because I have no topsoil left in it. 

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #183 on: March 11, 2019, 06:01:55 AM »
@Trifele your deer fence sounds like quite the wall. We're going with a 4ft high fence made from posts and wire cattle fence. I'm hopeful that will be enough to discourage them, but we may have to upgrade next year depending on how this season goes. I'm suspicious that our real problem is rabbits and not the deer. I'm going to post our wildlife camera to find out once we have some plants growing.

We're in for another bout of unseasonable freezing weather here so I haven't started the fence (since posts plus frozen ground sounds like a pain). I also haven't started our kale. We have a winter hardy cultivar, but I'm not sure whether the seeds will germinate in the current fluctuating freezing to 40 degree weather. Has anyone started Kale seeds outdoors in the cold or do you sow them inside and transplant?

I repurposed a bunch of egg cartons and set up a little grow light to start tomatoes and pepper indoors. I'm really excited to get some seeds in this evening.

Do you use the Styrofoam or cardboard egg cartons? I have an 18 pack Styrofoam type carton I could use soon. I want to plant zinnia seeds. Anyone know of a good dwarf variety with big flowers? I like the regular tall ones but they tend to break when we have high winds. They need tying up so I would rather have dwarf ones. I want to plant them into big planters.

Size-wise you could use either egg carton, but the cardboard ones decompose eventually, so you could plant those straight into your garden if you wanted.  With the styrofoam ones you'd have to transplant, but I guess that means you could also re-use it later if you were so inclined. 

Trifele

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #184 on: March 12, 2019, 03:56:33 PM »
Hooray!  This morning I found my first fruit tree flower of the year.  Our old Kieffer pear tree (such a champ) is loaded with buds and this morning the first few beautiful little white flowers opened.  :)

I have my fingers and toes crossed for some of my young trees that this may be the year they flower/fruit.  I have three cherries that are 4 years old this spring -- high hopes for fruit there.  And some of you on the thread last year may remember the story of Bob the never-say-die apple tree who grew from a seed, survived multiple trials and tribulations, and moved cross country with us.  Bob is now 7 years old, and I have very high hopes that we may see his first flowers and fruit this year.

The little baby apple trees that I grafted last year came through the winter just fine and are budding out.  That was the biggest thrill I've ever had as a gardener -- seeing those graftlings grow and thrive.

Fruit trees make me so happy.  :)

 

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #185 on: March 12, 2019, 06:39:00 PM »
Last year I let my back yard garden go to seed, plus scattered several packs of wildflower seeds on it. It worked out pretty well excpet that I had to pull up several hundred sunflowers that came back from the prior year. A lot of veggies grew back from seed, arugula, pumpkins, lemon balm, sage etc. I also planted lettuce and onions around the edges which worked out well. I have not decided yet whether to do the same this year or let it go again. It's still frozen so I'll think about this over the next month.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #186 on: March 13, 2019, 05:43:56 AM »
Bah, the sellers asked to extend the closing date to the end of May :(  That's probably too late to plant anything for this year, but hopefully I'll still be able to plant some perennials for harvest next year.  It may turn out to be for the best, though, since we'll have time to carefully plan everything instead of rushing to get something in the ground before it's too late.

I'll just have to watch you all with envy for one more year!

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #187 on: March 13, 2019, 06:07:07 AM »
Bah, the sellers asked to extend the closing date to the end of May :(  That's probably too late to plant anything for this year, but hopefully I'll still be able to plant some perennials for harvest next year.  It may turn out to be for the best, though, since we'll have time to carefully plan everything instead of rushing to get something in the ground before it's too late.

I'll just have to watch you all with envy for one more year!

Too bad, @Raenia.  You can do some things in the fall, depending where you live.  I've planted carrots, spinach, and kale in July/August or so, and had good fall harvests. 

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #188 on: March 13, 2019, 06:47:43 AM »
I just got a bag of topsoil at Lowe's for $1.97  for  a 40 pound bag.  It's the cheapest variety of topsoil they sell.

I'm using it to fill in low spots in my lawn, but just thought about using it in the garden too.

Will anything grow in it? I asked the sales lady if anything would grow in it, and she said yes.

Actually I'd be happy just to have grass grow in it.

 

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #189 on: March 13, 2019, 07:43:27 AM »
Two years ago I grew green beans in 5 gallon pails and it worked out really good! So the other day I bought Blue Lake 274 green beans. I bought some basil seeds too. I found some mini zinnia's seeds for my barrel planters. I will buy an already started Rosemary plant too. Trying to keep it manageable because I get carried away with stuff and it all ends up going to hell. Hub is starting to worry that I am out of control but I have reassured him, I reigning myself in!
 

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #190 on: March 13, 2019, 09:02:02 AM »
Bah, the sellers asked to extend the closing date to the end of May :(  That's probably too late to plant anything for this year, but hopefully I'll still be able to plant some perennials for harvest next year.  It may turn out to be for the best, though, since we'll have time to carefully plan everything instead of rushing to get something in the ground before it's too late.

I'll just have to watch you all with envy for one more year!

Too bad, @Raenia.  You can do some things in the fall, depending where you live.  I've planted carrots, spinach, and kale in July/August or so, and had good fall harvests.

Also, some places in the lower 48 people wait until mid May or even later to plant out tender annuals (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants...). WHen is your average last frost date at your new location? These plants don't really benefit from being planted out early without additional protection (eg. Wall o Water), as overnight temps below 50 degrees can stunt them (but I don't do that as I don't want to spend extra money).  If you wanted to, you could start a few now and just keep potting up until you can put in the ground. I will start my tomatoes this weekend and they typically get planted in the garden around mid-May if the temps are not cooperating. I have gone as big as 2# pots before with tomatoes when I had to plant May 15ish. Small varieties work best as they take less time to ripen, so, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and small slicers. Many varieties of peppers and eggplants stay small enough to keep in 1# pots until you can plant out. In addition, some varieties of summer squash are very fast maturers, you could even direct seed at the end of May and get a haul (I am thinking about Easypick Gold and Raven, which are yellow squash and zucchini, respectively. They are both hybrids, and Easypick Gold is parthenocarpic, meaning it does not need to be fertilized but will automatically produce fruit (so no worrying about pollinators). I mostly grow OP and heirloom varieties, but I always grow 1 plant of these as they are very reliable.). (You could start indoors but you don't want to keep them in pots more than a week or two after they germinate, they really generally don't like their roots disturbed once they get bigger). It might be too much with the chaos of moving, but if you are up to try these are some suggestions! :)

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #191 on: March 13, 2019, 09:50:06 AM »
Also, some places in the lower 48 people wait until mid May or even later to plant out tender annuals (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants...).


I'm sighing in agreement - my date for tomatoes is beginning of June, unless we have an unusually early and hot spring.  Peppers probably a week later. My peppers are already started indoors (they grow so slowly at first) but I am a month away from starting my tomatoes.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #192 on: March 13, 2019, 12:43:23 PM »
Thanks for the advice, hopefully I'll be able to use some of it.  Unfortunately I can't start anything at my current place, so I'll be limited to what I can direct sow late, or what I can buy at a local nursery if I can find a good one.  The new place also doesn't have beds yet, so we'll have to clean up the yard, build the beds, etc before planting.  I don't want to be too ambitious and drive my DH crazy while we're trying to move and settle in!

CalBal

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #193 on: March 13, 2019, 01:07:49 PM »
Thanks for the advice, hopefully I'll be able to use some of it.  Unfortunately I can't start anything at my current place, so I'll be limited to what I can direct sow late, or what I can buy at a local nursery if I can find a good one.  The new place also doesn't have beds yet, so we'll have to clean up the yard, build the beds, etc before planting.  I don't want to be too ambitious and drive my DH crazy while we're trying to move and settle in!
Oh gosh, don't build beds. If you have an idea of where the beds will ultimately go anyway, just plant directly in the ground. Last year I expanded my planting area by just literally digging out some grass, amending the area with compost, adding some fertilizer in the actual planting holes, and planting in the ground. I did corn, collards, and tomatoes that way. In fact the tomatoes did better in the ground, probably because in ground holds water better (I live in a hot dry climate). Worry about proper beds next year!

(Or anyway, that is what I would do, because I am impatient! Ha!)

Good luck! If you can find a nursery that is not a big box store you should be able to find quality starts!

Raenia

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #194 on: March 13, 2019, 01:23:42 PM »
Thanks for the advice, hopefully I'll be able to use some of it.  Unfortunately I can't start anything at my current place, so I'll be limited to what I can direct sow late, or what I can buy at a local nursery if I can find a good one.  The new place also doesn't have beds yet, so we'll have to clean up the yard, build the beds, etc before planting.  I don't want to be too ambitious and drive my DH crazy while we're trying to move and settle in!
Oh gosh, don't build beds. If you have an idea of where the beds will ultimately go anyway, just plant directly in the ground. Last year I expanded my planting area by just literally digging out some grass, amending the area with compost, adding some fertilizer in the actual planting holes, and planting in the ground. I did corn, collards, and tomatoes that way. In fact the tomatoes did better in the ground, probably because in ground holds water better (I live in a hot dry climate). Worry about proper beds next year!

(Or anyway, that is what I would do, because I am impatient! Ha!)

Good luck! If you can find a nursery that is not a big box store you should be able to find quality starts!

Good point, I could throw something in the ground this year and build beds next year - I would want to get the soil tested for lead (city living has its downsides), but I'm sure that doesn't take too long.  I should look into places to do soil testing so I'm ready to go.

CalBal

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #195 on: March 13, 2019, 01:26:12 PM »
Thanks for the advice, hopefully I'll be able to use some of it.  Unfortunately I can't start anything at my current place, so I'll be limited to what I can direct sow late, or what I can buy at a local nursery if I can find a good one.  The new place also doesn't have beds yet, so we'll have to clean up the yard, build the beds, etc before planting.  I don't want to be too ambitious and drive my DH crazy while we're trying to move and settle in!
Oh gosh, don't build beds. If you have an idea of where the beds will ultimately go anyway, just plant directly in the ground. Last year I expanded my planting area by just literally digging out some grass, amending the area with compost, adding some fertilizer in the actual planting holes, and planting in the ground. I did corn, collards, and tomatoes that way. In fact the tomatoes did better in the ground, probably because in ground holds water better (I live in a hot dry climate). Worry about proper beds next year!

(Or anyway, that is what I would do, because I am impatient! Ha!)

Good luck! If you can find a nursery that is not a big box store you should be able to find quality starts!

Good point, I could throw something in the ground this year and build beds next year - I would want to get the soil tested for lead (city living has its downsides), but I'm sure that doesn't take too long.  I should look into places to do soil testing so I'm ready to go.

Ah, soil testing - look up your state extension office. They will (most likely) offer testing at very reasonable rates (basically cost). To test for lead would (probably) be an add-on. If they don't offer it, they would likely have a list of companies that will do it. Most extension offices are very helpful and highly knowledgeable, especially about the issues and challenges in your state!

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #196 on: March 14, 2019, 08:06:34 AM »
Thanks for the advice, hopefully I'll be able to use some of it.  Unfortunately I can't start anything at my current place, so I'll be limited to what I can direct sow late, or what I can buy at a local nursery if I can find a good one.  The new place also doesn't have beds yet, so we'll have to clean up the yard, build the beds, etc before planting.  I don't want to be too ambitious and drive my DH crazy while we're trying to move and settle in!
Oh gosh, don't build beds. If you have an idea of where the beds will ultimately go anyway, just plant directly in the ground. Last year I expanded my planting area by just literally digging out some grass, amending the area with compost, adding some fertilizer in the actual planting holes, and planting in the ground. I did corn, collards, and tomatoes that way. In fact the tomatoes did better in the ground, probably because in ground holds water better (I live in a hot dry climate). Worry about proper beds next year!

(Or anyway, that is what I would do, because I am impatient! Ha!)

Good luck! If you can find a nursery that is not a big box store you should be able to find quality starts!

Good point, I could throw something in the ground this year and build beds next year - I would want to get the soil tested for lead (city living has its downsides), but I'm sure that doesn't take too long.  I should look into places to do soil testing so I'm ready to go.

Ah, soil testing - look up your state extension office. They will (most likely) offer testing at very reasonable rates (basically cost). To test for lead would (probably) be an add-on. If they don't offer it, they would likely have a list of companies that will do it. Most extension offices are very helpful and highly knowledgeable, especially about the issues and challenges in your state!
I would recommend researching lasagna gardening for its speed and versatility.   
I also am totally not impressed with raised bed gardening.  In my experience it requires way more resources.  The beds I had dried out really quickly in the heat of the summer.  I had to water every other day while the in ground beds were fine with the rainfall all but two weeks.  It was always been difficult to get a good bean crop in the raised bed.  We have a lot of temperature fluctuations in our area and I have been more successful in protecting crops from frost when they are on the ground and have the thermal mass of the earth.  I prefer the flexibility of changing up row widths and patches for crop rotation.  And I can have way more planting area for a significantly lower cost. 

I have a greenhouse and grow lights so I don't need the advantage of an early start that raised beds give.  I plant intensively so the benefit to less weeding is negated.  I feel that having to lift up the compost and to work the soil in a raised bed with smaller tools is more of drawback than having to bend down to plant and pick.  I find that the raised beds require more arm work while tilling in-ground I can use my bigger and stronger leg muscles.  For tedious harvesting and weeding I sit down on my bucket/stool.  I like to dump tons of straw and leaves in my garden - mostly on where I walk - and with the in ground beds it is pretty easy when working with a wheelbarrow.  And it stays mostly on the ground while everything blows off the raised bed unless I weigh it down with a lot of branches.


If your soil is really damp year round raised beds may be the only way to go.  Or if the soil is contaminated.  Or if you have accessibility issues that prevents you from getting down on the ground. Lots of people love raised beds - but me - I ripped them all out last spring. YMMV

Raenia

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #197 on: March 14, 2019, 02:00:22 PM »
I would recommend researching lasagna gardening for its speed and versatility.   
I also am totally not impressed with raised bed gardening.  In my experience it requires way more resources.  The beds I had dried out really quickly in the heat of the summer.  I had to water every other day while the in ground beds were fine with the rainfall all but two weeks.  It was always been difficult to get a good bean crop in the raised bed.  We have a lot of temperature fluctuations in our area and I have been more successful in protecting crops from frost when they are on the ground and have the thermal mass of the earth.  I prefer the flexibility of changing up row widths and patches for crop rotation.  And I can have way more planting area for a significantly lower cost. 

I have a greenhouse and grow lights so I don't need the advantage of an early start that raised beds give.  I plant intensively so the benefit to less weeding is negated.  I feel that having to lift up the compost and to work the soil in a raised bed with smaller tools is more of drawback than having to bend down to plant and pick.  I find that the raised beds require more arm work while tilling in-ground I can use my bigger and stronger leg muscles.  For tedious harvesting and weeding I sit down on my bucket/stool.  I like to dump tons of straw and leaves in my garden - mostly on where I walk - and with the in ground beds it is pretty easy when working with a wheelbarrow.  And it stays mostly on the ground while everything blows off the raised bed unless I weigh it down with a lot of branches.

If your soil is really damp year round raised beds may be the only way to go.  Or if the soil is contaminated.  Or if you have accessibility issues that prevents you from getting down on the ground. Lots of people love raised beds - but me - I ripped them all out last spring. YMMV

I'm familiar with the lasagna method, and it's what I plan to use to build beds, with the addition of some kind of border to hold up the pile and be decorative.  From your descriptions, though, I think you're dealing with a lot more space than I will have - row spacing and crop rotation aren't really going to be an issue for me, the whole yard is only about 400 sq ft, maybe less.  It's pretty much going to be one bed along the retaining wall on one side of the yard (north-west side), a second bed along the fence on the other side (south-east), and a few feet of space to walk between.  Tall plants in the first bed, short plants in the second bed, so they don't shade each other.  It'll mostly be a matter of negotiating the identities and location of any perennials (raspberries?, strawberries?, black currents?, a single self-pollinating fruit tree?, asparagus?, rhubarb?) and filling the rest with annuals, probably different things each year to get a variety.

No accessibility issues for us, thank heaven, but it remains to be seen if we have lead contamination or extremely damp soil.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #198 on: March 14, 2019, 02:54:57 PM »
I have 3 galvanized water trough's I bought from Tractor supply. They are meant to feed and water cattle. I also have put trellis's on two of them.

We are going to put in an irrigation system in them. I am only talking about 6 tomato plants but I know the trough's do heat up and the dirt gets dried out, so going to try the drip irrigation method this year. We can also put in Miracle Grow fertilizer in the PVC pipes so the solution will go directly to the roots and not wasted.

Here is the video of how this guy makes the PVC irrigators. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUbfpkNEslw

Very simple and will attach to my trellis frame.

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Re: Planting/Growing Your Own 2019
« Reply #199 on: March 14, 2019, 04:17:08 PM »
My winter garden hasn't been too productive, presumably due to the degree of neglect I've given it (it's been an insanely busy winter), but I did harvest several carrots this week.

I planted my early-season crops a few days ago (lettuce, peas, carrots, and broccoli) and did some prep work for my later season crops - planning on cantaloupe, tomatoes, and pumpkins. And I have a couple strawberry plants that I planted last year - we only got a few strawberries per plant last year, but I've read year 2 is more productive.

My chickens have been laying like crazy - averaging 5 to 6 eggs per day from 7 chickens. That's about twice what they were laying a few months ago when we had 9 chickens (we lost two to predators) - it's weird to me that their egg production is so high in the winter.