Author Topic: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020  (Read 5215 times)

Trifele

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Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« on: December 05, 2019, 04:57:59 AM »
Hello gardeners!  I didn't see a thread yet for the coming year, so thought I would get things started.  Those of us in mild climates may still have some things growing in the garden, and our more northern friends are starting to get their seed catalogs and plan for the spring. 

I'll start.  I'm in North Carolina, US zone 7a, and still have some greens growing.  We've had a few nights below freezing here and the chicory looks rough.  I will be pulling that soon.  The chard is going strong.  I protect it with mid-weight row cover if it's going to get below 30 degrees or so.  I put milk jugs 2/3 full of water next to the plants as heat sinks under the row cover.  That extends the green growing season by 1-2 months.

I've also been taking advantage of the cool temperatures to plant and transplant a bunch of perennials.  In the last week I've planted 4 apple trees (babies that I grafted last year), and transplanted 4 blueberry bushes inside the protection of our deer fence.

For the coming year's vegetable production I've got a brand new 4' X 24' in-ground bed coming on line, which brings me up to a total of 4.  I'm planning the usual tomatoes, potatoes, greens, peppers, cukes, zucchini, and squash.

What are you up to with your garden?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 11:39:24 AM by Trifele »

Eowynd

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020 (US)
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2019, 09:17:59 AM »
I have hardneck garlic that was planted in October for next year.  These include several different varieties such as 'Music' and 'Chesnook Red' which are my favorite ones.

My sister and I created a new 30' x 40' garden that we intend to put a deer fence around in the spring.  We will split this space in half for our vegetable garden next year.  My sister also has a 8' x 10' unheated greenhouse (hoop house) that keeps lettuce alive from the first frost in October until it gets really cold and dark here in January.

A couple of months ago, my 2 year old apricot tree was taken out by a deer.  I'm guessing it was a deer; all I know is that the tree was snapped in half in spite of the netting surrounding it.  I have to decide if I want to buy another apricot tree or put something else in that spot.

Did you use a specific rootstock to graft the apple trees?  I've grafted differed apple scions on established young trees but I've never grafted a scion on a rootstock.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020 (US)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 10:04:30 AM »
Thanks @Trifele for getting this started. I got my first seed catalogue a couple of days ago but was already dreaming and scheming of garden 2020.  My 2019 garden ended poorly with me being too sick to finish harvesting.  I left so much in the ground but you can only do what you do.  Next year will be better!


Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020 (US)
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 10:41:29 AM »
Did you use a specific rootstock to graft the apple trees?  I've grafted differed apple scions on established young trees but I've never grafted a scion on a rootstock.

That's cool Eowynd!  I haven't yet grafted onto an established tree, but I was thinking of trying that this winter.  Yes -- I grafted onto "Geneva 890" rootstock, which is a hardy disease-resistant semi-dwarf.  It was my first time grafting, so I talked to the guys at Cummins Nursery in New York -- http://www.cumminsnursery.com/rootstocks.htm -- to get their recommendation.  I was really happy with the G-890.  It's super vigorous.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020 (US)
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2019, 11:11:40 AM »
Just saw this thread and was quite excited to see it. Though the title has me wondering...are Canadians allowed to participate?

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020 (US)
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2019, 11:36:59 AM »
Just saw this thread and was quite excited to see it. Though the title has me wondering...are Canadians allowed to participate?

Haha yes of course!  Apologies to our Canadian/European friends!  Will modify the title now.  :)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 12:56:04 PM by Trifele »

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2019, 12:24:33 PM »
:)

Indio

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 05:29:41 PM »
@Trifele You're way ahead of me. I haven't even started thinking about Spring. A few more weeks of cold weather, will get me dreaming about playing in the garden.
I've got radish, cilantro, mesculin, parsley, arugula growing under frost cloth and UV resistant tarp outdoors. Every weekend, I harvest enough to last for weekday salads. Indoors I moved grow lights to a 4 level rack with heat mats. I wrapped the rack with cinexpensive heat reflective blankets to bounce the light around and keep the seedlings warm. Growing basil, sunflower and amaranth greens. I usually have a few amaranth plants growing every year, but I'm thinking of expanding the growing space into where I let the chickens free range. With protection, when the plants get large enough, they should drop seed that the hens can graze on. Hoping the plan will work.
BTW, I wrapped the beehives with 5 layers of agribon. If and when polar vortex hits, I hope that will keep them warmer than the black landscape fabric I've used in the past.

Eowynd

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020 (US)
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2019, 08:17:26 AM »
Did you use a specific rootstock to graft the apple trees?  I've grafted differed apple scions on established young trees but I've never grafted a scion on a rootstock.

That's cool Eowynd!  I haven't yet grafted onto an established tree, but I was thinking of trying that this winter.  Yes -- I grafted onto "Geneva 890" rootstock, which is a hardy disease-resistant semi-dwarf.  It was my first time grafting, so I talked to the guys at Cummins Nursery in New York -- http://www.cumminsnursery.com/rootstocks.htm -- to get their recommendation.  I was really happy with the G-890.  It's super vigorous.

Grafting is awesome!  Apple trees seem pretty easy to work with; I got 4 takes out of 6 tries.  I also tried grafting plum scions on a plum tree but it must have been too late in the spring or something because none of the 3 grafts took.

lv2glrfy

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2019, 09:42:45 AM »
HI, I would love to participate! I'm quite literally at ground floor currently--I've never grown a garden before and I'm intimidated by the thought of starting, but I'm very very determined to get at least one edible thing from my yard this year!! I'm in Georgia zone 7b.

My yard is extremely shady and forest-like, so I'm expecting that I can never grow much beyond some greens, herbs, and perhaps...berries? My goal is to start some lettuce, spinach, and maybe kale indoors in Februaryish. I don't really know when to start shade-loving herbs/fruits, but my guess is not until the summer months...which, around here, means March :)

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2019, 02:55:58 PM »
Welcome @lv2glrfy!  Starting simple is the best!  I would suggest researching how many hours of sunlight various plants need, and measure how many hours your various potential planting areas get.  It'll help you decide what to put where.  Here's an article: https://www.almanac.com/content/garden-plan-vegetables-grow-partial-shade

Hello @Indio!  Wow, you're way ahead of me in terms of what you still have going in the garden. Very impressive!

Yes @Eowynd, I agree -- grafting is completely awesome.  It's the biggest gardening thrill there is, imo.  :)

horsepoor

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2019, 11:11:09 PM »
I'll be following along.  I'm in Idaho, so we're fully done until at least March.  I really should go get a couple truckloads of manure to compost though, as things haven't frozen up completely yet.  I like to have the beds topped with partially composted manure and mulched over with straw by this time, but it just didn't happen this year.  Oh well.

Next year I'm planning to grow plenty of squash, alliums and peppers, along with the usual 15-20 tomato plants, herbs, lettuces etc.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2019, 02:53:42 AM »
Welcome back @horsepoor!  I too meant to get another truckload of horse manure down this fall, but it doesn't look like I'll get it done before it snows.  With the last load I did the same as you -- spread it thick and then put straw on top.   

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2019, 08:58:45 AM »
Seaweed is my manure. :) A truckload was deposited upon my raised beds in late October, where it is currently slowly breaking down and imparting it's magical qualities to my soil. Quite notable is the fact that your garden smells a bit like low tide for a few days. ;)

Articles such as this opened my eyes as to how fortunate I was to have an endless supply of this on my doorbeach step.

https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/how-to-use-seaweed-to-mulch-your-garden/


Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2019, 09:57:53 AM »
William Dam Seed catalogue arrived in mail yesterday - Garden porn......

Raenia

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2019, 10:29:06 AM »
I need to get a start on garden planning for next year.  Right now I'm just trying to keep my potted strawberries alive - I brought them inside once we were getting consistent frost, but they don't seem to like the window where I've placed them.

For next year, I need to plan the actual garden beds.  I started building one bed in the fall, laying down cardboard and piling twigs and leaves on top.  The batch of compost going in my tumbler should be ready to add before planting.  Then I just have to decide if I'm going to try overseeding the seeds I already have, which are several years old but of interesting varietals, or buy new seeds.  If the latter, I also have to decide what veggies to grow.  I have a very small space, and so many things I would like to grow!

ETA: I'm in zone 7a.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 10:43:38 AM by Raenia »

cambridgecyclist

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2019, 10:40:59 AM »
I'm in zone 6b. I started onions for a 2020 fall harvest in a cold frame in mid-October, thinking that they'd grow slowly over the winter and be ready for transplanting in early spring. So far they've survived several nights where temperatures are in the teens.

Seed catalogs are coming in and I'll be reading them cover to cover in the next month.

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2019, 08:27:07 AM »
I'm in and I'm starting literally below dirt level.  After failing miserably trying to grow vegetables at the new location, I tested my soil this year (check your local extension service - my testing was free because I sent in my samples during the summer) and conditions are bad enough that my best option is to build raised beds with trucked in soil.

goal for 2020
step 1 - build raised bed frames using wood reclaimed from decking we plan to replace in 2020
step 2 - source soil
step 3 - figure out safest way to get soil from driveway to beds (15 foot drop along a 50 foot run with multiple obstructions in between)
step 4 - plant!!

It may take me all summer, but I really miss growing some of my own food.

Raenia

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2019, 08:55:48 AM »
I'm in and I'm starting literally below dirt level.  After failing miserably trying to grow vegetables at the new location, I tested my soil this year (check your local extension service - my testing was free because I sent in my samples during the summer) and conditions are bad enough that my best option is to build raised beds with trucked in soil.

goal for 2020
step 1 - build raised bed frames using wood reclaimed from decking we plan to replace in 2020
step 2 - source soil
step 3 - figure out safest way to get soil from driveway to beds (15 foot drop along a 50 foot run with multiple obstructions in between)
step 4 - plant!!

It may take me all summer, but I really miss growing some of my own food.

I'm running into similar issues with building garden beds (our area is notorious for bad soil and possible industrial contamination, though we haven't tested it yet), with the added issue that we live in a rowhome and the only way to access the yard is through the house :P  I'm hoping to get a lot of the fill soil by mixing home-made compost with dead leaves, if we have to buy in soil it's going to be a mess.

Wishing you luck!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2019, 09:11:50 AM »
@Raenia A wise gardener recommended to me doing a germination test on old seed.  Her method involved clear plastic bags and paper towel.  Dampen the towel in the bag so that you have a moist "bed".  Place your old seeds on the wet towel.  Close up the plastic bag so that they stay moist.  Set on a warm surface and check daily for germination.  As soon as the seed breaks germination, plant into the soil.  I now use this method for just about all my older seed - it is brilliant because I only have limited space and each seed tray only has viable seeds and I don't have a bunch of blanks.

haypug16

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2019, 10:04:55 AM »
I'm in zone 6a and looking forward to getting our garden going in 2020. With Puglet's arrival last spring not much got done outside. Though we did take  down some trees and will therefore have more sunlight for growing. We also have a gravel pit that we have slowly been empting of gravel. It takes up about 25% of our small yard so once we finish clearing that out (nearly there) we'll be adding a large chunk of growing space.  I would love to get a fruit tree or two in the yard, peach and apple I think. Then for vegetables we usually try to plant way too many different things so this year I'd like to keep it simple and focus on some tomatoes, zuchinni, cucumbers, peppers, and lettuces for the most part. I know Mr Pug will want to plant 30+ different things though. Maybe I'll take my own section of the garden ;P
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 11:49:12 AM by haypug16 »

Raenia

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2019, 10:54:56 AM »
Thanks @Frugal Lizard, I have heard some similar methods but that sounds like the easiest.  I'll have to give it a try when we get close to planting season.  And not let myself be taken in by the siren song of new seed in the meantime! :P

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2019, 12:45:49 PM »
William Dam Seed catalogue arrived in mail yesterday - Garden porn......

Yes!  My garden porn this week is the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange catalog.  Very nice . . .

I'm super intrigued to try a kale variety they have that they say can live for 3-4 years or more before going to seed.  I'm used to thinking of kale as a biennial.  I knew it could be perennial in warm places like Hawaii and Florida (seen it myself), but I'm surprised to learn people are doing that in zone 7(?)   Interesting!

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2019, 02:00:47 PM »
William Dam Seed catalogue arrived in mail yesterday - Garden porn......

Yes!  My garden porn this week is the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange catalog.  Very nice . . .

I'm super intrigued to try a kale variety they have that they say can live for 3-4 years or more before going to seed.  I'm used to thinking of kale as a biennial.  I knew it could be perennial in warm places like Hawaii and Florida (seen it myself), but I'm surprised to learn people are doing that in zone 7(?)   Interesting!

Knowing you live in WNC, can I recommend you check out Sow True Seed as well?  They're local, organic, heirloom, and support local farmers.  That and past catalogs have been full of local art.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2019, 02:12:21 PM »
William Dam Seed catalogue arrived in mail yesterday - Garden porn......

Yes!  My garden porn this week is the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange catalog.  Very nice . . .

I'm super intrigued to try a kale variety they have that they say can live for 3-4 years or more before going to seed.  I'm used to thinking of kale as a biennial.  I knew it could be perennial in warm places like Hawaii and Florida (seen it myself), but I'm surprised to learn people are doing that in zone 7(?)   Interesting!

Knowing you live in WNC, can I recommend you check out Sow True Seed as well?  They're local, organic, heirloom, and support local farmers.  That and past catalogs have been full of local art.

Awesome!  Thank you.  :)  I've seen their seed packets for sale, but haven't seen their catalog. 

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2019, 03:36:44 AM »
I just signed up for Spikenard Farms spring beekeeping class Parts 1 and 2!  Thank you @Indio for letting me know about that.  :)  This may finally be the year that I start with bees.  https://spikenardfarm.org/store/category/classes/ 

Anyone want to join me?  It's scheduled for the weekend of March 7 and 8 outside Floyd Virginia.  I had never heard of Floyd but here's part of the Wikipedia article:

"The Town of Floyd is becoming known as a regional destination for music, especially bluegrass music, and old-time music. The Floyd Country Store's Friday Night Jamboree, which features local and area bands, has been held each Friday night for many years, gaining in popularity during the past decade. In fair weather, the indoor stage performances and dancing are joined by simultaneous banjo-and-fiddle-centered jam sessions in driveways and seating areas along South Locust Street."

Sounds fun -- I'll definitely check that out.

the_hobbitish

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2019, 07:45:10 AM »
I'm in. Last year I got excited about our first planting season in our new house and tried way too much. Then I got distracted by other home projects and neglected it. Classic overzealous first time gardener. :) Right now it's an overgrown mess, but letting it go for a couple months did reveal some really nice native grasses in that part of the yard.

This year we're going to focus on structures instead of plants. I want to put in some permanent deer fence around that whole section of the yard so I have space for a flower garden next to the veggie patch. I also want to rearrange the beds and make a flat space for a little greenhouse that's been sitting in a box since our wedding. (My favorite present) We also have a drainage issue where all the runoff from next door makes a stream across the lower part of the garden during heavy summer storms. So lots of work to set the foundation for future gardening.

The only thing I saved from last season are a bunch of strawberry plants that I covered with dried grass last week to keep off the frost.

A couple weeks ago I planted 6 apples and a couple pears across the front of our yard. We're really excited about having a mini orchard. That it might screen the view of our neighbor's multicolored uplighting is a bonus.

sui generis

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2019, 10:36:14 AM »
I'm in and looking forward to understanding more what I'm doing in 2020.  2019 went well, but it was basically throwing seeds in the ground and watering and seeing what happened.  We still got a few tomatoes up through last week with which we made some salsa, so it was super fun. But I did always feel bad that I had no idea what I was doing.  I'm currently reading "Golden Gate Gardening" both for the specific recommendations for my area and for basics (like I learned mulch and compost are not the same thing!  That's how much I don't know what I'm doing!).  I'm finding the soil chapter particularly helpful for a beginner's understanding.

My husband is the one who likes to just throw seeds in the ground and water.  TBF, he also goes out and weeds and he started a bunch of seeds a few months ago then recently transplanted them to the garden bed.  We have a lot of cilantro, kale and broccoli poking their heads up already.  We also went and purloined some blackberry canes from a nearby public right of way area and planted them along a fence about a month or so ago.  So we'll see how that goes!

Otherwise, hopefully my education keeps pace and we'll be able to develop a more thoughtful approach to planting in the spring, and I'll feel more confident to get out there and weed, plant and dig.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2019, 10:49:44 AM »
Makes me smile to see the joy folks here have in getting their hands on their preferred seed catalogues.

Got mine. :)



It is a wonderful publication, and probably serves as my garden "bible" every year - though the works of Linda Gilkeson are also always close by - her "Backyard Bounty" is EXCELLENT. Definitely focused towards the mild coastal Pacific climate it is packed with so much good info beyond the impressive seed collection itself.

Speaking of mild Pacific climate, my garden resides within a nice little micro-climate (Zone 9a) at the extreme Southwest of B.C., on a little island kept just a little bit warmer by the surrounding sea. Lots of folks have year round vegetable gardens here and while I have not expressly attempted this myself - most of my beds are now covered with mulch until Spring - there are still things in my garden which are thriving well into December.

It's a strange kale-oasis in the midst of a mostly slumbering garden. Oh, and those are collards in the immediate foreground.


No definite garden plans for the upcoming season as of yet...but I'm pondering the idea of scaling back my usual routine of trying "new things" in the garden in favour of sticking with, and perhaps even doubling down on the things I know that grow well in this climate and things I seem to be good at growing and nurturing. Late Feb/early March I will be gearing up to get some spinach and peas planted out....so...that's not too long to wait!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 09:57:07 PM by Jon_Snow »

horsepoor

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2019, 10:17:25 AM »
@Jon_Snow  I'm jealous of your kale and collards!  My kale is still standing, but not really in an appealing form for eating.

We are having a pretty mild winter so far.  Two weeks ago I finally got around to planting garlic.  I didn't count, but I'm guessing it was around 200 cloves.

This weekend the ground is thawed, so I'm going to dig up some horseradish - some to process and some to foist on an unsuspecting former co-worker I ran into a couple days ago.

The only seed catalog I've gotten so far is Pinetree.  I've only glanced at it, but saw a few things I'd like to try.  Usually Baker Creek is my go-to.  We were granted the 24th as an extra holiday, so I'm looking forward to settling down with a cup of coffee and sorting through my existing seeds and putting together my seed orders.

Lighting is anyone else starting seeds under LEDs?  I switched from T5 florescent to LEDs partway through seed starting season this year.  By far my tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings were the best they've ever been.  However, I tried to start some cole crops under them for fall, and it seems that they were just burnt to a crisp by the light intensity, even though I raised the fixtures about 3' above the seed cups.  I've saved my TF fixtures to do the initial starting under this year, but their bulbs are going to wear out eventually, and it would be nice not to have to switch fixtures, and keep the newer and more mature starts separated.

robartsd

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2019, 08:24:01 AM »
Lighting is anyone else starting seeds under LEDs?  I switched from T5 florescent to LEDs partway through seed starting season this year.  By far my tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings were the best they've ever been.  However, I tried to start some cole crops under them for fall, and it seems that they were just burnt to a crisp by the light intensity, even though I raised the fixtures about 3' above the seed cups.  I've saved my TF fixtures to do the initial starting under this year, but their bulbs are going to wear out eventually, and it would be nice not to have to switch fixtures, and keep the newer and more mature starts separated.
There is a lot of variety in LEDs available (both in terms of spectrum covered and overall intensity of the light); though it is hard to imagine that LED is causing a problem like you describe unless it is  outputting dangerously high UV light.

MaybeBecca

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2019, 09:34:50 AM »
I am very new to gardening.  I had success with a very small selection of plants in raised beds last year (tomatoes did great, got a few nice jalapenos, and had some lettuce that got about 3' tall), but I'm hoping to grow more variety, and possibly extend my growing season with some small covered greens beds next fall.

If anyone could recommend seed catalogs that would be good to get for a relative beginner, I'd appreciate it. (North American Zone 6b) I'm especially interested in perennials that produce something edible or useful.

Projects I'm hoping to do this year: install at least one rain barrel for free water source, start a compost heap. May be getting a garage addition built starting in the spring, but hopeful that it won't hinder me too much. I suppose that is partly a project, though I'm not really responsible for building it.

What I'm already looking to plant: loofah, tomatoes, soybeans, arugula, herbs

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2019, 03:17:14 PM »
In 2020, I'll be adding 200 pawpaw trees to my yard. My order at the Indiana State Nursery went through last week (http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestryexchange/default.aspx). At 30 cents a tree, it's one of the best deals around. Of course, the trees aren't very big (pencil diameter) so mortality rates above 50% are common.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2019, 03:49:46 AM »
Welcome @MaybeBecca!  Most seed catalogs contain more or less the same info about the seeds/plants.  Everyone has their favorites.  I like the companies that focus on heirloom variety preservation -- my all time favorite is Seed Savers' Exchange.  Also Southern Exposure, Sow True Seed, etc.  Johnny's is a great company to work with; good seeds and also tools/equipment.  Baker Creek has a pretty catalog. (ETA: I see that Baker Creek charges $10 for their catalog -- yikes.  Most seed catalogs are free.)  Have fun!

@YttriumNitrate -- Whoa!!!  200 pawpaws is completely fantastic!  Are you growing commercially?  I need a pawpaw tree (to replace one of mine that died) and I will check out that link.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 06:17:54 AM by Trifele »

horsepoor

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2019, 05:59:58 PM »
Baker Creek has a pretty catalog. (ETA: I see that Baker Creek charges $10 for their catalog -- yikes.  Most seed catalogs are free.)  Have fun!

Yikes, this must be new, because I've been getting the BC catalog for years, but not this year.  They're doing free shipping now, which I'd rather have anyway.

@robartsd   Thank you, maybe it's not the lights.  I'll try to start some under the LEDs and some under the T5s and see what happens.

birdie55

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2019, 07:23:50 PM »
Baker Creek has a free catalog AND they also have a $9.95 Extended Catalog like book with much more info.  Lots of stories and history of some seeds, how they find some interesting new varieties, etc.  I get both catalogs.

Trifele

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2019, 05:42:21 AM »
Baker Creek has a free catalog AND they also have a $9.95 Extended Catalog like book with much more info.  Lots of stories and history of some seeds, how they find some interesting new varieties, etc.  I get both catalogs.

Cool, thanks @birdie55.   

Rosy

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2019, 05:09:09 PM »
Thanks for the 2020 garden thread @Trifele

I've been busy in the garden for the past three months, lots of clean up, cutting back and then finally taking out a monster tree in the back yard giving me space for what I hope will become a nice hedgerow.
This month we planted two apple trees (which lived in pots for three years) which have never produced, although they managed to survive in their huge pots - so I have great hopes they will do fine. They are Australian Pink Lady apples that are supposed to like the heat and hopefully will like it in my Florida yard.
Plus a Persian lime tree that I won at an auction a few years back which produced well and seems to be quite happy out of the pot - although the jury is still out on the apple trees, they may need some time to adjust.
A chaste tree - which isn't looking too happy at present - we'll see, it would be nice to mingle in the airy purple blooms.

I plan to add two kinds of edible Hibiscus - one bears fruit similar to cranberries in taste and the other I want for the tea that is made from its flowers, the springtime flowers are especially potent and healthy. Both hibiscuses are native and will run me only about $5 unless I can find some free. They love full sun and are super easy to grow - they don't mind our brutal summers.
I'm considering adding two hawthorns, a willow, definitely a fine black elderberry and potentially a redbud tree and maybe a paw paw or a stopper.

I added two big lemongrasses in the front, also formerly in pots. I'll be experimenting with African Blue Basil, to see if they like that area - I branched off two babies from my mother plant and they are going strong - well enough to plant.
I had about five different kinds of old dill seeds and tried them out in a big terra cotta pot - wildly successful:). So I'll plant some of those once we are past January - meanwhile, they can live in pots in the semi-open carport.
Other herbs I seeded are Calendula and Lime Thyme. Next, I plan on branching off a new lemon verbena from my mother plant and find seeds for lemon balm.
For ground cover I'm using sweet potatoes and if I can get it to grow - comfrey, but I doubt it in our zone 10. I may need to find something different - peanuts maybe? 

In my excitement over having a new area to design and garden in, I admit I turned into a seed-a-holic and one late night succumbed to rare seed offers - all manner of strange tropical delights - utterly irresistible:) oh so tempting.
If nothing else I'd love for the five coffee seeds to sprout as I think I have the ideal conditions for five bushes and you know I'd love to grow my own organic coffee!
Anyway, there will be plenty of flowers, especially scented beauties. I'll be looking for a Macademia nut tree. I had one and it grew fast and well, but it was in the wrong spot, besides it was all spiny spikes and ugliness, not a good idea in the center of your flower bed:).

For the first time in a long while I have two new areas to plant one south - one north and actually a small, narrow strip facing west alongside the house - I'm considering seeding it with red clover and poppies (bread seed for baking and a couple of fun looking ones) and whatever leftover seeds I end up with.
During one of my deranged plant fevers, I devised a bed of salvias, mostly from seed, but I ordered a couple of rare plants online and I'm in love with those amazing salvia scents, can't wait for the blue flowers to appear.
Turns out one of the companion plants I hunted down for my roses does not just look beautiful in bloom but is actually an edible chervil called Raven's Wing.

Next on my list is a trip to the native plant nursery, hopefully I can manage to show at least a measure of restraint - now that I have a new garden plan:).
Next to be planted are about ten big Aloes, currently in pots, a thornless Blackberry and a Raspberry - yum.
Next big project is a new fence on one side of the property and three privacy screens on the other side.
Then there is a new path ... extra gravel ... leveling the ground in the backyard, setting up a new compost area and cleaning up the newly emptied big pots ..... oh and there are all those new seeds to try and existing plants to be divided or re-potted.

Celery and Swiss Chard are going strong, so is Garlic and young Endive - I'll see if they survive being transplanted, African Blue Basil and several Peppers and Garlic Chives are doing fine. Leek is looking promising, but still in the baby stage.
One Patio Tomato and one big Dill plant are also producing rather well.
We'll see how far I get in January - right now, I have three new beds started, some prepped some planted... some need borders, some need compost and leaves...

I am looking forward to having most of it done between January and March, so it all has a good chance to grow while it is still cool(ish) hopefully into June. 

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2019, 06:10:36 AM »
Wow - now I have garden envy @Rosy.  Thanks for sharing the tropic plans.  Yes I would love to grow my own organic coffee.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2019, 07:48:36 AM »
In 2020, I'll be adding 200 pawpaw trees to my yard. My order at the Indiana State Nursery went through last week (http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestryexchange/default.aspx). At 30 cents a tree, it's one of the best deals around. Of course, the trees aren't very big (pencil diameter) so mortality rates above 50% are common.

We've done forest service trees 2 years now. We planted about 200 the first year in the Spring and 100 this past Autumn. I ended up springing for flags and little rabbit guard tubes on the second run. We originally put 1 flag on the first batch, but they easily became difficult to see, and some trees lacked flags, or the flags got pushed down too low/flew away.

All new trees got a rabbit tube and two flags. All old trees that we could find got two flags. Our biggest losses in the first year were to lawn mowers and machinery from building our house. No one (including myself) could see the little trees as the grass started growing. The rabbit tubes help immensely to help spot the trees, and now I make a habit of mowing around the rows of trees to make them easier to see. It increased the cost per tree, but don't underestimate your labor! Planting 200 trees is hard work, and you may get discouraged if you don't set them up for success. I ordered by flags and tubes from the forest service, so they were not very expensive.

The Autumn trees came in much bigger than the Spring trees - I guess because they had a nice, safe nursery to grow in for longer. Our Spring trees also suffered through a drought. So despite the fact that the Spring trees are 18 months older than the Autumn trees, the Autumn trees went in the ground at the same size/some bigger. Most of the Spring trees seem to have hit a growth spurt in the past three months though, so they are now overtaking.

We lost only about 5% of Spring trees to drought/animals/environmental conditions. We lost an additional 30% to humans. Too soon to tell on the Autumn trees - a couple of them died immediately to transplant shock, but no others look dead.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2019, 01:55:53 PM »
@YttriumNitrate -- Whoa!!!  200 pawpaws is completely fantastic!  Are you growing commercially?  I need a pawpaw tree (to replace one of mine that died) and I will check out that link.  Thanks!

A few years back I got to the scale where I was selling at the local farmers market. It was a lot of fun, but horrendously unprofitable. Then I moved and had to start all over again. If I were aiming to get back into the hobby farmers market scene, I would focus exclusively on peaches. In my part of Indiana every few years (such as 2019) a really cold snap will kill off every peach fruit bud and no one will have a crop, so I'd have to sit the year out (not a problem when it's just a hobby). The flip side is that when the local peaches come in they sell so well that I don't think I every left the farmers market with an unsold peach.

Rosy

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2019, 03:39:30 PM »
Wow - now I have garden envy @Rosy.  Thanks for sharing the tropic plans.  Yes I would love to grow my own organic coffee.

I do feel blessed to have a big garden space - about two-thirds of the property is well established and low maintenance. It's wonderful to have a nice place to sit or eat outside or have friends over.
Just watching the birds splash in their birdbath or laughing at the antics of the squirrels or enjoy the beauty of the butterflies dancing in the air or listening to the sound of the water from the fountain is like heaven to me.
I will be planting a couple of Honeysuckle on those garden screens I mentioned - looove that scent:).

The veggie garden was never on the top of my list, (mostly because it is so labor-intensive and it has taken me forever to reach a point where it functions like I want it to - a bit like a potager) although if nothing else I do grow a variety of peppers and different lettuces and at least one new vegggie every year.
I'm more into herbs - for cooking, tea and medicinal. Lately, I've been intrigued by rare herbs and interesting heirloom plants - luckily seeds are a lot more affordable than buying a plant.
It took me years to find veggies that grow well in Florida, like celery and potatoes incl sweet potatoes, things that we actually like to eat and are easy to grow in our microclimate. I hate to put in a lot of time and effort and money and have little to nothing to show for it - I always experiment and try something new each year, that's the fun part:).
Why I can't grow cucumbers is still a mystery to me after gardening in Florida for over twenty years. LOL
I swear gardening in Germany was a cakewalk compared to our climate here.

My newest endeavor is to try permaculture in one of the new garden areas. It is something that clicked with me the second I read about it, (besides I've always leaned toward a natural garden look and sharing some of the bounty with the critters) although I am determined to have plenty of flowers too. Sunflowers for the birds and us and who knew Turmeric had such lovely blooms. I've almost narrowed down which plants I will use in my "Apple Tree Guild" - we'll see how it all goes.
Took a while to find the right plants and nurseries and thanks to YouTube I finally found out more about permaculture in a more tropical setting.

I spent a fair amount of time this year reading garden books for information and inspiration - something I haven't done in years since I already have a nice garden book collection and was not ready to garden/design any new areas of the property. Now I have new favorites, tons of ideas and still hours of reading and re-reading ahead of me:).

My YouTube favorite is Morag Gamble "Our Permaculture Life" - she's genuinely awesome.
Books:
I highly recommend Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway and Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier if you are interested in reading up on Permaculture.
The Beautiful Edible Garden by Bennett and Bittner was also great for two reasons - these designer ladies came up with their own principles for successful edible gardening for veggies, fruits and herbs. It included great tips, good visuals and very well thought out garden planning for new gardeners especially. I found it refreshing to read, modern day gardening in new and unexpected ways and I particularly liked that the emphasis was on beauty, because sometimes veggie gardens end up looking downright pitiful.

I plan to join a local garden group and experiment with Moringa, Bananas, Papaya, but I'm still hesitant about planting the Moringa tree.
Orange and Mandarin are next to be planted along with the edible Hibiscus.
One of the main reasons that I'm intrigued by permaculture is that if you do it right it can, once established, be easily maintained by one person.

The plan is to try out a few perennial vegetables in the permaculture area which should be less time, less effort and definitely less money. I've no idea if we will like the taste of these perennial veggies from around the world but I'm willing to try.
 
I've become quite anti-tomato over the decades - tomatoes are like the prima donnas of my garden - needing excessive attention, feeding and water - constantly. Not that I haven't had bumper crops in the past, but they don't forgive if you don't water one single day in our hot climate and I'm tired of that white stuff which kills the leaves and eventually the plant. I garden organically and have very few pest problems.

Tomatoes seem to do better if I plant them in the fall or the first week of February - right now I have only the one which so far seems to be fat and happy - producing lovely tomatoes. I plan on only two or three plants this year, Mr. R. loves tomatoes and it's enough to cook up a few batches of homemade tomato sauce or make pesto and salsa a few times.

Anyway, what I actually wanted to share is

1. A great nursery in California that I've had wonderful results - experience with - they shipped a few plants to Florida and all of them arrived in great condition and are thriving extremely well.
I like their plant info - they also show the plant zones.
https://www.anniesannuals.com/

For seeds:
2.  I've been happy with SmartSeedsEmporium on Etsy.com - good info and they always throw in a few extra seed packets. Highly recommended and fwiw I also ordered one rare plant which is doing well.
They also have their own website - although their offerings slightly vary from their Etsy store.
https://www.smartseedsemporium.com/

3. I also discovered that there is an Echo Global Farm in Florida which has their own seed bank and nursery which I plan to visit. They seem to be involved with some sort of global hunger - global small farming - ministry?. You can order seeds, books, and supplies online.
It's one of the few places I've found that has seeds suitable for Southwest Florida (which can be persnickety) among other things, they also have seeds for perennial vegetables and heirloom seeds that should be fun to try in my new permaculture area - I hope:).

https://www.echobooks.net/bookstore/seeds/ - they have a separate seed section as well
and
retail@echonet.org

We'll see what ideas I come home with after visiting our local native plant nursery (Wilcox) in Clearwater, Fl and our local University USF gardens/nursery this coming week.
I've taken some time off from gardening over the holidays - thank goodness the weather has cooperated and we were cool and a bit rainy and overcast.
But I really need to stick with the program if I want to be done by spring, so we can sit back and relax and enjoy the great weather and the beautiful garden from March to June.
One can dream - right?:)

But I must say, it is super exciting to design a new garden for a new decade:).

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2019, 08:04:30 AM »
In 2020, I'll be adding 200 pawpaw trees to my yard. My order at the Indiana State Nursery went through last week (http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestryexchange/default.aspx). At 30 cents a tree, it's one of the best deals around. Of course, the trees aren't very big (pencil diameter) so mortality rates above 50% are common.

We've done forest service trees 2 years now. We planted about 200 the first year in the Spring and 100 this past Autumn. I ended up springing for flags and little rabbit guard tubes on the second run. We originally put 1 flag on the first batch, but they easily became difficult to see, and some trees lacked flags, or the flags got pushed down too low/flew away.

All new trees got a rabbit tube and two flags. All old trees that we could find got two flags. Our biggest losses in the first year were to lawn mowers and machinery from building our house. No one (including myself) could see the little trees as the grass started growing. The rabbit tubes help immensely to help spot the trees, and now I make a habit of mowing around the rows of trees to make them easier to see. It increased the cost per tree, but don't underestimate your labor! Planting 200 trees is hard work, and you may get discouraged if you don't set them up for success. I ordered by flags and tubes from the forest service, so they were not very expensive.

Thanks to pawpaw bark and leaves containing neurotoxins I haven't had issues with various critters eating them. While pests aren't a problem, they are quite difficult to get established often suffering from shock, not enough water, and too much sun. Adding in the fact that I'll be grafting them over to named varieties also ramps up the stress and mortality rate on the trees.

I've used fluorescent marking tape in the past to make it easier to spot the trees, but these days I go one step further and put a 6-8" deep ring of wood chips around them to cut down on the weeds and help with water retention.

EDIT: A few years ago, I also got an order of persimmon trees from the state nursery. Those have had survival rates above 90% similar to what you've seen from other forest service trees.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 01:29:16 PM by YttriumNitrate »

DaMa

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2019, 08:21:12 AM »
I'm really hoping to garden this year.  I'm in 6b.  Winter is just starting here.

I just moved to a condo which doesn't allow any vegetable gardening.  My long term plan is to get on the board and change the rules.  My short term plan is 3 fold. 

1.  Container gardening on the deck - which I've never done. 

2.  Stealth gardening.  There is a long flower bed along the deck, but it faces east.  I'm going to see what herbs and ornamental things I can grow in there.  The front of the condo faces south and is perfect for beds.  Right now there are huge old ugly bushes that I intend to replace with more stealth gardening.

3.  I have a girlfriend with a big empty backyard that lives a mile away.  She has invited me to garden as much as I want there.  I'm not sure that will really work for me, because I'm a lazy gardener.  I get really into in the spring, but once the summer gets hot, I like to just walk out the door, pick what I want, and return to A/C.  Any work is done early AM and girlfriend is NOT a morning person.  I do really want to grow garlic, so maybe I'll make it goal to get a garlic bed in next fall in her yard.  I absolutely love scapes and grocery store garlic just skeeves me out now.

Jon_Snow, your kale oasis is awe inspiring. Reminded me of marksvegplot.blogspot.com - he grows year round in England.  He's my favorite garden blogger.

Eowynd

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020 (US)
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2019, 09:52:53 AM »
A couple of months ago, my 2 year old apricot tree was taken out by a deer.  I have to decide if I want to buy another apricot tree or put something else in that spot.

I ordered an new apricot tree in addition to a peach tree and a Whitney Crabapple tree.  The Whitney is supposed to be a sweet crabapple so I'm excited to taste those in a few years.  If they turn out more astringent than advertised then the tree will still be useful as a pollinator for our regular apple varieties.


I'm especially interested in perennials that produce something edible or useful.

Consider planting a few blackberry plants for an easy perennial that produces something edible.  Blackberries grow vigorously in full sun and taste so much better than the store bought ones.  I would recommend the thornless variety: Triple Crown.  Other berry plants are delicious too but blackberries have been the most trouble free of everything that I have tried.  I am in gardening zone 6a.

lettuceevangelist

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2020, 08:32:07 AM »
We're getting ready for 2020 around here, for sure. We're on the cusp of 7b/8a (just outside Atlanta), so I still have a lot of greens--turnips, mustards, kale, and arugula. They'll overwinter unless we have sustained temps in the teens.
I may spend some time today taking our seed inventory--we order from Baker Creek and Southern Exposure, and have a tendency to order more than we need out of excitement. I also save seed from tomatoes, peppers, and beans. So we need to get organized, and try not to go too far off the rails! New seeds are just so much fun, though.
We have 12 4' x 8' raised beds that my spouse constructed from corrugated metal and cedar. Two of them are not in rotation--one is an herb bed, and the other has asparagus (that we'll finally get to eat this spring!). We also have raspberry canes at the back of the garden, and something interesting always emerges from the compost bin, usually squash or pumpkins.
Our specific goals for 2020:
--convert the front yard into an edible/native plan garden. I'm especially interested in growing leafy greens out there in the summer. We have a very large oak, so the front yard gets dappled shade.
--create a composting system that works efficiently. We have a couple of garbage cans with holes punched in them. It works on a subsistence level, but I know we can do better than that.
--produce a tomato crop that isn't 50% lost to &%$#@-ing squirrels and raccoons.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2020, 01:46:25 PM »
Yesterday I went through the seed drying rack and harvested the seed from the various pods that I had collected in the fall. I store my seeds in used paper envelopes in a big plastic bin.  I am not sure what type of cucumber or squash I saved.  I vowed that I would not set something aside to dry without a label ever again but oops, again.

I will now have to purchase cucumber seed so that I actually get all the types I want.  Squash - I still have a couple of them in the cold cellar which I will collect from before cooking them.  And I will label them for sure!


OmahaSteph

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2020, 11:29:28 AM »
For the past few years, I've gone all-out on home gardening, but life has gotten so busy with two active kids. Then when it comes time to harvest everything, there's no time to process it. I'm wondering if it's worth it at this point, or if I can somehow adjust to make things more efficient and demands less time.

Perhaps growing easier, less demanding crops is the answer? Only growing high-value produce that I know we'll use? I failed to get garlic in the ground this fall, but that's one of the easiest things I've ever grown, and we mow through a ton of it. What else is super easy? (I never do "easy" so I don't even know.)

haypug16

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2020, 12:56:21 PM »
I confirmed with Mr Pug that we will get ourselves a peach tree this year. Normally we order seeds from Fedco, I've never ordered a tree before and in my quick research I see that I should plant a peach tree in the dead of winter if it is not in a container of soil. Anyone know of a place that ships in containers? I think we will need a little time to get the yard ready for the tree so probably wont get it in the ground during the winter.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Planting and Growing Your Own - 2020
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2020, 01:24:57 PM »
I confirmed with Mr Pug that we will get ourselves a peach tree this year. Normally we order seeds from Fedco, I've never ordered a tree before and in my quick research I see that I should plant a peach tree in the dead of winter if it is not in a container of soil. Anyone know of a place that ships in containers? I think we will need a little time to get the yard ready for the tree so probably wont get it in the ground during the winter.

My understanding is that bare root peach trees should be planted in the early spring, or at least the ones I've planted were always in the spring. I've had good success with bare root peaches, so I wouldn't bother going potted. If you can put together a larger order (at least 5 trees, 25 preferably), Adams County Nursery has amazingly good stuff (https://www.acnursery.com/).