Author Topic: Post-FIRE Gardening  (Read 3468 times)

blue_green_sparks

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Post-FIRE Gardening
« on: September 10, 2023, 05:53:24 AM »
It's not like I gardened very much when I was still working or had some plan to garden post-FIRE. I just started some herbs and a few pepper seeds and by chance they took off. It's the quality of the food that grabbed my attention. So....THIS is what a tomato is supposed to taste like?

Four years later and we grow about 1/3 of our food with very little external input. We save seeds and they just get stronger and stronger with each generation as they acclimate to our micro-climate. Once the soil gets established, we just keep adding organic matter such as fallen leaves, grass clippings and wood chips. With that the soil takes care of itself and the plants naturally resist bugs and disease. We don't stress over crop losses. Everybody's gotta eat. Planting native wild-flowers brings in the pollinators but I have to admit I did mechanically help sire baby pumpkins and yesterday I harvested a fine collection, and we will be having a spicy pumpkin, hand-made ravioli dinner tonight. Yum.

There are few moments in life sweeter than sipping a glass of wine while strolling through a pungent garden, bustling with life.

lhamo

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2023, 08:06:26 AM »
Heartily agree! 

Another great thing about gardening as a post-FIRE hobby is that if you are creative and resourceful you can do it on very little money.  I just gave away thousands of seeds to dozens of people at a celebration of our local community garden program yesterday.  Almost all of them were obtained for free from local seed swaps/giveaways, or saved by those who grew and wanted to share certain varieties.  I will be getting another carload of free compost from our local public utility in a couple of weeks -- that will feed my veggies next spring and summer. I use laurel branches and bamboo to make trellises and fencing, and used willow branches to weave supports for my raspberries.  Many of my perennials were obtained from neighbors splitting their established plants.


FireLane

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2023, 11:57:46 AM »
I started gardening during COVID, and I've stuck with it since quitting my job. I have a flower garden where I'm planting native, pollinator-friendly perennials, and a small plot where I'm growing vegetables.

I'm nowhere near the point of producing most of my own food, but it's a peaceful hobby and a good excuse to get out in the fresh air. My son likes helping in the garden, and it's a good educational experience for him to weed, water and pick the crops. Every kid should have this kind of hands-on experience with where food comes from.

And nothing tastes as good as food you grow yourself in your own garden. This year, I harvested strawberries that were small but sweet, and cherry tomatoes like little pops of sunlight. I've made mint juleps from my own mint, pizza with fresh basil, and focaccia bread with rosemary I grew, and I have a vase of sunflowers I cut myself on the table right now.

I'm still modifying the garden every year and experimenting with what works and what doesn't. Next year, I want to try growing blueberries, pumpkins and potatoes.

Agatha Thrifty

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2023, 09:55:02 AM »
Gardening (with an emphasis on food production) was always going to be my post-FIRE primary hobby.  That goal has only been reinforced by the pandemic and subsequent inflation.  I've had to put time and money into getting things rolling (tools, a lot of soil amendment, making mistakes and learning from them, the usual start up stuff), but now the gardening foundation is established and I can choose either to spend almost nothing, or, if I feel like it, I can say yes to the $100 French-made secateurs.   

Soon I will be able to focus on new mistakes (there's always more to learn), and more on preserving and cooking. I'm not much of a cook, but I want to do justice to what I grow, so I am going to learn.

Can't wait.

Trede

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2023, 05:58:06 AM »
Another post-FIRE gardener here!  After some experimentation, I'm pretty settled on tomatoes and herbs being my thing, although next year I've got a patch of dirt earmarked to try out pumpkins and butternut squash.  This year I grew Silvery Fir tomato plants and made my own tomato sauce from the output, now in the freezer for fall/winter.  I am still growing Candyland cherry tomatoes and Smarty grape tomatoes as well.  I grow these in Vegepods with mesh covers and also have winter covers (clear plastic) to extend my northern US growing season.  Those plus my herb garden give us unlimited pico de gallo, bruschetta, savory tomato tarts, and salads all season.  This year I discovered the combination of fresh chopped tomatoes and basil dressed with peach-infused white balsamic vinegar, couldn't get enough of that for lunch in summer.

Dreamer40

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2023, 06:11:14 PM »
Yes to post-FIRE gardening! It can really take up a lot of time and mental energy. I started mine in 2021 and am finally getting to a point where it makes a difference in our grocery budget. At least in the summer. I have a veggie patch, but also planted a lot of berry bushes and fruit trees. Plus a few vining things like kiwi and passionfruit. All of last year, I volunteered at a local community orchard, which was helpful for practicing pruning. Now I don’t have time to help them because my own yard is so much work.

As we near the end of the season, my freezer is packed with raspberries and tomatoes. We ate pretty much everything else as it matured. But we’ll let our olives ripen all the way up until it’s about to freeze, so there will still be olives to harvest/brine in maybe 6-8 weeks.

Money Badger

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2023, 05:16:17 AM »
A pre-FIRE gardener here, about to transition to a post-FIRE one in January.   Started the year before COVID and the first 2 years were really the "investing" phase of the process getting tools, "no-dig" approach to garden beds setup, the system in general on composting and weed/pest control figured out.   Establishing asparagus was 2 years of investment, but soooo worth it!   Getting fences around the most desirable crops (if you want to have any hope of scheduling out enough big things like corn/okra/squash with succession plantings).  On year 4, things are becoming "sustainable" sources of food from about March through October, so 3/4 of the year we're about 1/3rd home garden veggies and starches.   Extending some winter crops like leeks, brassicas, winter squash, but also realize the gardener needs to rest as much as the garden does in the coldest months.  But now, a distraction has appeared...  I have a wildflower fetish!   There's an outfit from Texas called seedsource.com that has amazing mixes of wildflowers and I bought a tiller.   Now, every time I turn around, I'm tilling up grass and existing borders to plant wildflowers.   The effects on the garden pollinators are amazing!   

lhamo

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2023, 09:17:53 AM »
Re: establishing wildflower (or other) beds over grass:

No need to bother with the tiller if you don't want to.  I made some wonderfully productive veggie beds over part of my lawn at my old house using Dowding's no dig methods -- just plopped a thick layer of cardboard directly over the grass, topped with 4-5" of good quality compost, and planted seedlings directly into it.  I never had issues with the grass coming through the cardboard (what grass I did end up with in the bed was all from seeds that came in from the surrounding lawn).  This is what the beds looked like a little under a year after I established them

Telecaster

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2023, 12:20:36 PM »
I've been working on my FIRE garden.   This is the first of three juniper raised beds I'm building.   And I'm actually using fire for the FIRE garden.  I used a technique called yakisugi, which entails burning the juniper, wire brushing off the charcoal, and then treating the lumber with oil (tung oil in my case).   This is fairly labor intensive, so you kind of have to be FIRE'd to have enough time.   I dug down about six inches below the ground level and then filled the bed with logs and other yard trimming up to about 18 inches and then soil on top of that.   I planted a cover crop which is coming along nicely thanks to the fall rains, and I'll let it over winter like that.   One down, two to go.   I'll figure out what to do for irrigation at some point.   


lhamo

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2023, 04:51:35 PM »
Ooh -- that's a really cool technique!  Where did you get the juniper from? 

Telecaster

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2023, 07:50:06 PM »
Dunn Lumber in Shoreline.   It is green, rough cut, and some of it is pretty rough, but they let you high grade it.  The rest of my lumber is burned, I just need a couple dry-ish days to prep the bad areas and finish oiling before I can assemble the other two.   The city has some pretty generous rebates if you install rainwater cisterns, so I'm looking into that as part of my irrigation solution. 

mspym

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2023, 09:48:39 PM »
Eighteen months after I FI-red, we've moved to the property I impulse-bought. Good sized section in one of the big food-production areas of the country. The first week was spent taking the car-sized pile of branches out of the garden bed, then breaking them down a bit and putting a more reasonable amount back in. We spent yesterday adding garden soil and mulch to the bed and to a couple of other areas around the place. The plan is to (slowly) turn more of the lawn into garden of one variety or another. I've got some cuttings from my mum that I'm trying to propagate and the compost bin has been started. It's very enjoyable and I also hope that adding more trees and raised beds to the property will help soak up some of the water, since we have a very high water table.

I didn't expect gardening to be my post-FIRE hobby but this is fun so far.

LifeHappens

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2023, 08:35:13 AM »
Hey all you gardeners. Come join us in the Planting and Growing Your Own thread:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/gardening-diy/planting-and-growing-your-own-2023/

lhamo

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2023, 08:35:58 AM »
Dunn Lumber in Shoreline.   It is green, rough cut, and some of it is pretty rough, but they let you high grade it.  The rest of my lumber is burned, I just need a couple dry-ish days to prep the bad areas and finish oiling before I can assemble the other two.   The city has some pretty generous rebates if you install rainwater cisterns, so I'm looking into that as part of my irrigation solution.

I love Dunn! 

I want to do more rainwater harvesting, too.  There is one small rainbarrel in my new backyard, but it doesn't seem to be attached to anything....

Telecaster

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2023, 11:59:59 AM »
I love Dunn too. The wood is nice and straight.  Home Depot is running a propeller factory in comparison.

The rainwise rebates are really generous.   I've been talking to contractors and it looks they will cover about 90% of a cistern system (I have a smallish house.  Bigger the roof, the bigger the rebate).   Check and see if you are eligible:


https://700milliongallons.org/rainwise/

lhamo

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2023, 05:30:39 PM »
Sadly most of my corner of Seattle is not eligible for those big rebates.  I might invest in some anyway.  Especially if I end up redoing my roof at some point.  That's hopefully about 10 years down the road, though.

Money Badger

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2024, 08:12:39 PM »
Just received the "big haul" of $200 of gardening seed from Johnny Seed for the veggie and flower patches and am sooooo excited!  Also super sized the composting operation last month by changing from using free pallets screwed into "boxes" for 3 stages of composting to a scrounged set of play wood and 2x4 framed bays each 8' wide.   The neighbors are contributing leaves and horse manure from their stalls and I put every leaf and green waste into the pile such that it's a whopper this year.
  Already breaking down though...   Did splurge to put pressure treated top boards on the frame and re-used some 4x6 pressure treated fence posts (after cleaning the concrete off the bottoms from their initial lives).   That project only cost about $100 all-in.   So, the question I have this year is how much food, prices and savings in real purchasing do we generate.   I have to exceed $300 in garden output so far this year AND earn some value for time (even in FIRE) to call this more than a hobby...   I have a white board with the planting schedule and produce that I hope I can keep up to track it within reason and time allowances.   How are you all maximizing the real return on your garden?

Telecaster

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2024, 11:56:23 PM »
I saw this thread pop up so I thought I'd give a quick update.  My cisterns are installed!  I got 690 gallons of storage installed, tied into the rain gutters with overflow into the city combined sewer system.  The contract price was $5,500 which cost me, wait for it,...$180 out of pocket. 

I used Tim at Monsoon Rain Gardens.  He's a super cool dude, did a great job.  The city inspector who came out was cool too, really liked talking about rainwater and irrigation.   Really fun project.  I didn't have to do anything but remove one rose bush which I didn't like anyway.   The only condition is that I let the system discharge to the sewer in the winter months.  That's cool.  I don't need to store water in the winter anyway. 

I'm planning on installing a submersible pump in the larger cistern.   I'll need to install a new circuit and an outdoor outlet, but that's not a big deal.  Then plan out and build the underground irrigation. 


ToughMother

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2024, 06:20:32 AM »
Just saw this thread. Started chipping away at building raised beds from scraps (used a.door frame from the construction last year) and am planting native shrubs and wildflowers in sections around our property. Will kick all of this into a higher gear this year once I FIRE at the end of February and a couple weeks of travel at the start of March.

lhamo

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2024, 09:23:03 AM »
I saw this thread pop up so I thought I'd give a quick update.  My cisterns are installed!  I got 690 gallons of storage installed, tied into the rain gutters with overflow into the city combined sewer system.  The contract price was $5,500 which cost me, wait for it,...$180 out of pocket. 

I used Tim at Monsoon Rain Gardens.  He's a super cool dude, did a great job.  The city inspector who came out was cool too, really liked talking about rainwater and irrigation.   Really fun project.  I didn't have to do anything but remove one rose bush which I didn't like anyway.   The only condition is that I let the system discharge to the sewer in the winter months.  That's cool.  I don't need to store water in the winter anyway. 

I'm planning on installing a submersible pump in the larger cistern.   I'll need to install a new circuit and an outdoor outlet, but that's not a big deal.  Then plan out and build the underground irrigation.

So did you qualify for a Rainwise grant?  That is such a great program.  Sadly my zip code doesn't qualify.  I might be able to get a different/lower level subsidy from the county though.

I know a lot of people like installed irrigation systems, but at my last house I had awesome results with drip line that I ran off of regular old garden hoses.  Even scavanged much of the drip line system -- I think I spent under $200 for a pressure regulator and some additional 1/4" hosing/dripper.  Might be a good way for you to experiment with where you want to run the permanent lines, if you decide you need them.  I will happily recycle the above ground stuff if/when you decide you don't want it any more!

I am going to be calling Tim for a bid...

Irateplatypus

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2024, 09:20:37 AM »
Just received the "big haul" of $200 of gardening seed from Johnny Seed for the veggie and flower patches and am sooooo excited!  Also super sized the composting operation last month by changing from using free pallets screwed into "boxes" for 3 stages of composting to a scrounged set of play wood and 2x4 framed bays each 8' wide.   The neighbors are contributing leaves and horse manure from their stalls and I put every leaf and green waste into the pile such that it's a whopper this year.
  Already breaking down though...   Did splurge to put pressure treated top boards on the frame and re-used some 4x6 pressure treated fence posts (after cleaning the concrete off the bottoms from their initial lives).   That project only cost about $100 all-in.   So, the question I have this year is how much food, prices and savings in real purchasing do we generate.   I have to exceed $300 in garden output so far this year AND earn some value for time (even in FIRE) to call this more than a hobby...   I have a white board with the planting schedule and produce that I hope I can keep up to track it within reason and time allowances.   How are you all maximizing the real return on your garden?

I split my garden between veggies and flowers. The biggest bang for buck I've found in terms of getting $$$ from food production are long storage high use items.

This past year I grew about 10 lbs of garlic, 3 small moving boxes of onions both sweet and storage, and 50 lbs of potatoes. I will buy none of those from the grocery store this year. I estimate it at $271 of produce that we would have bought this year. The quality of onions and garlic is so high I plan on selling these locally next year and will likely get $2+ a pound for onions (as they are heirloom/special varieties) and $8+ a pound for garlic.

Oh and I forgot about the shallots that brings the total over $300 without even touching on the savings on snack veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and green beans.

Garlic, onions, and potatoes are really easy to grow in the PNW. Way easier than the snack veggies.

Additionally I grew bush dry beans think ranchogordo.com these beans retail between $6 and $9 a lb. I grew 12.8 lbs of dried beans for another $72 - $108. Bush beans are a bit more high effort than onions, garlic, and potatoes. They are really easy to grow but it got too wet to early in the season here and they started to rot. I needed to pull all the plants and dry them on the porch, then pick the bean pods, then split em up. It was a lot of labor.


mspym

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2024, 11:37:40 AM »
So, the question I have this year is how much food, prices and savings in real purchasing do we generate.   I have to exceed $300 in garden output so far this year AND earn some value for time (even in FIRE) to call this more than a hobby...   I have a white board with the planting schedule and produce that I hope I can keep up to track it within reason and time allowances.   How are you all maximizing the real return on your garden?
I'm not turning my hobby into another job, which lets me enjoy the process of gardening and all the associated mental health benefits without calculating if I'm getting sufficient ROI. I'm maximising: time outside, learning new skills, deliciousness, food security, and slowing down.

Weisass

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2024, 05:41:40 PM »
I just finished putting my “down payments” in the system in the form of a few hundred indoor plant starts… I try to avoid buying too much seed, mostly because there is plenty of free seed out there in the form of stuff people I love bought last year and don’t need, or my own leftovers, or saved seeds, etc.

I don’t calculate how much I “earn” on this investment in anything other than piles of deliciousness in our basement… baskets of butternut squash and garlic, canned tomatoes, frozen kale, fruit, and more. That right there is enough for me.

lhamo

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2024, 05:47:00 PM »
I just finished putting my “down payments” in the system in the form of a few hundred indoor plant starts… I try to avoid buying too much seed, mostly because there is plenty of free seed out there in the form of stuff people I love bought last year and don’t need, or my own leftovers, or saved seeds, etc.

I don’t calculate how much I “earn” on this investment in anything other than piles of deliciousness in our basement… baskets of butternut squash and garlic, canned tomatoes, frozen kale, fruit, and more. That right there is enough for me.

R U me?

I also donate a large amount of produce to three local food banks (our community garden has a team that harvests/delivers to each on one day a week MWF from March-November).  Last year my community garden alone donated more than 5000 lbs of high quality, organic, as locally grown as you can get it produce.

Money Badger

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2024, 08:47:34 PM »
@Irateplatypus,   100% agree with your comment... "I split my garden between veggies and flowers. The biggest bang for buck I've found in terms of getting $$$ from food production are long storage high use items."...

Seems the British/Irish diet of potatoes, onions and maybe a few other root veggies and squash that store well is the biggest (and somewhat easiest) return on labor.   And the hang in well until the hardest freezes of winter get them.   From a real financial standpoint though, tomatoes win hands down in the summer.  People will pay up nicely in July/August for home grown ones and we tend to have enough sauce and other goodness to store for the winter.   This year, I have dreams of rows of good root and bulb type veggies.   The flower collections are good for the gardener's soul to look at while working away int he garden and tend to do nicely to accompany veggie sales...   A few bunches of flowers on an honor system stand for the veggies works wonders for both marketing purposes and because folks need beauty in their busy and highly consumptive lives.

Telecaster

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2024, 09:27:42 PM »

So did you qualify for a Rainwise grant?  That is such a great program.  Sadly my zip code doesn't qualify.  I might be able to get a different/lower level subsidy from the county though.

I know a lot of people like installed irrigation systems, but at my last house I had awesome results with drip line that I ran off of regular old garden hoses.  Even scavanged much of the drip line system -- I think I spent under $200 for a pressure regulator and some additional 1/4" hosing/dripper.  Might be a good way for you to experiment with where you want to run the permanent lines, if you decide you need them.  I will happily recycle the above ground stuff if/when you decide you don't want it any more!

I am going to be calling Tim for a bid...

I did!  The city paid for almost all of it, installation included.  I didn't really have to do anything but stand around and talk about rainwater and irrigation.

I've been doing basically soaker hoses running off of garden hoses for a lot of the garden, but that entails a lot of dragging hoses around and and keeping track of things.  Which feels like a chore.   I like projects, but I don't like chores.  So I'm looking forward to the planning and building of the underground system.  Plus I'm retired.  I have plenty of time.   And with fewer chores, I'll have even more time. 

I'm impressed you guys are donating so much food to food banks.  I've donated a lot to Buy Nothing, which I enjoy, but I should probably consider the food bank instead...


mspym

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2024, 10:21:10 PM »
@lhamo that’s brilliant. What a way to use your freedom.
@Weisass we have a crop/seed swap in my town where people bring excess and trade with each other. They also have a small seed bank.
@Telecaster our food banks will always gratefully receive produce.

Weisass

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2024, 06:57:19 PM »
I just finished putting my “down payments” in the system in the form of a few hundred indoor plant starts… I try to avoid buying too much seed, mostly because there is plenty of free seed out there in the form of stuff people I love bought last year and don’t need, or my own leftovers, or saved seeds, etc.

I don’t calculate how much I “earn” on this investment in anything other than piles of deliciousness in our basement… baskets of butternut squash and garlic, canned tomatoes, frozen kale, fruit, and more. That right there is enough for me.

R U me?

I also donate a large amount of produce to three local food banks (our community garden has a team that harvests/delivers to each on one day a week MWF from March-November).  Last year my community garden alone donated more than 5000 lbs of high quality, organic, as locally grown as you can get it produce.

Maybe? PA edition 😉
That’s awesome about the donations. Currently my kids mow down every vegetable in the garden that qualifies as a snack. We basically have a managed grazing program in our garden, which suits me fine, but at some point there will be excess, and I will give it away at church or to the food bank.

Emilyngh

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2024, 07:45:55 PM »
I have had a garden most years of my adult life, but am looking forward to it more as I’m newly retired this year. Having downsized 1.5 yrs ago from a larger house on 2 acres to a smaller house in a walkable city with a tiny front yard and small/medium back yard, I am enjoying gardening now more than I ever did when I lived rurally. Much of this is bc our old garden was much farther from the house, so it wasn’t on my mind as much, was a pain to walk to, and any updates had less of an impact since it was all so spread out. Now my entire front yard is a flower garden,  the veggie garden is right out the back door,  and I see them both all day out the windows. Because they’re smaller, updates have a larger impact, which is motivating for me to see them becoming closer to beautiful gardens with every update.

The front flower garden is pretty much all planted (we got rid of all of the grass right away and planted it full of flowers, flowering bushes etc since moving in), so  I just need patience and time to watch it grow to fulfill its potential ). So my main focus now is the back veggie garden. There are perennial herbs out there that survived the winter,  and my beds are all ready. I’m planning on planting the typical herbs (basil, green onions, dill, etc), tomatoes of course, zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce, snow peas, and pumpkins. All of those (except the zucchini that got borers) did great last year. We had so many cucumbers that I made a ton of pickles, and so many tomatoes that my freezer is still full of roasted tomatoes and sauce and I donated a ton to family, neighbors, and a free community produce pick up spot.

This year I plan to expand to include strawberries, asparagus, cantaloupe, some garden perimeter flowers (lavender, zinnias and maybe marigolds and/or nasturtiums), get the zucchini borers prevention figured out, and then maybe a fall garden (which I never did before bc too busy with work then) with maybe some more lettuce, Brussels sprouts and …..idk I’ll plan that later. I’m itching to get started on it all this year!

blue_green_sparks

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2024, 01:34:48 PM »
I have had a garden most years of my adult life, but am looking forward to it more as I’m newly retired this year. Having downsized 1.5 yrs ago from a larger house on 2 acres to a smaller house in a walkable city with a tiny front yard and small/medium back yard, I am enjoying gardening now more than I ever did when I lived rurally. Much of this is bc our old garden was much farther from the house, so it wasn’t on my mind as much, was a pain to walk to, and any updates had less of an impact since it was all so spread out. Now my entire front yard is a flower garden,  the veggie garden is right out the back door,  and I see them both all day out the windows. Because they’re smaller, updates have a larger impact, which is motivating for me to see them becoming closer to beautiful gardens with every update.

The front flower garden is pretty much all planted (we got rid of all of the grass right away and planted it full of flowers, flowering bushes etc since moving in), so  I just need patience and time to watch it grow to fulfill its potential ). So my main focus now is the back veggie garden. There are perennial herbs out there that survived the winter,  and my beds are all ready. I’m planning on planting the typical herbs (basil, green onions, dill, etc), tomatoes of course, zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce, snow peas, and pumpkins. All of those (except the zucchini that got borers) did great last year. We had so many cucumbers that I made a ton of pickles, and so many tomatoes that my freezer is still full of roasted tomatoes and sauce and I donated a ton to family, neighbors, and a free community produce pick up spot.

This year I plan to expand to include strawberries, asparagus, cantaloupe, some garden perimeter flowers (lavender, zinnias and maybe marigolds and/or nasturtiums), get the zucchini borers prevention figured out, and then maybe a fall garden (which I never did before bc too busy with work then) with maybe some more lettuce, Brussels sprouts and …..idk I’ll plan that later. I’m itching to get started on it all this year!
Awesome when you still have stuff from last season when Spring is about to be sprung. My last pumpkin just got cooked, LOL. I have a real early start on tomatoes this year because my kitchen compost had seeds and they really took off. I have no idea what they will be, LOL.

Emilyngh

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Re: Post-FIRE Gardening
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2024, 06:41:50 PM »
I have a real early start on tomatoes this year because my kitchen compost had seeds and they really took off. I have no idea what they will be, LOL.

Oh fun, volunteer tomatoes! Last year was probably the first year I didn’t get volunteers (usually tomato and cantaloupe plants from seeds in our compost). I think it was bc the beds were new so I really buried the compost deep with the new dirt instead of mixing it in. I kind of miss my surprise volunteers….

I am really itching to start tomato seeds inside now, but realistically it’s too early. Plus, I’m leaving tomorrow on a trip, so it just doesn’t make sense. But I think I’ll probably do it before the end of the month.