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Prepping Your Garden Space Early
#51
I rotate some and then I have some permanent things. This year I have a large area of fava beans. Once harvested I will put my tomatoes there. I really wanted the favas to replenish the soil. 

I probably have more permanent things than rotating. It didn't use to be thay but I can see it is evolving into it.
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#52
(02-10-2014, 04:35 AM)Libellula Wrote: I keep a moon planting diary, although I do not strictly adhere to this method, but it has a good section for planning and two pages of graph paper to draw my plan on. This task helps keep me sane in the winter.

Can you share the moon guide and tell why you believe it helps? @Libellula
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#53
One of my regulars is Scarlet Runner beans.  Very pretty plant and very productive, but doesn't look at all like a vegetable.  Excellent plant for forest gardens and situations where it would be best to not have a garden on display, that is with a conducive climate.  Most gardeners in UK grow Scarlet Runner as an annual, but it has strong perennial tendencies.  Here in Transylvania I need to replant every year because the winters are harsh.     www. eattheweeds.com/scarlet-runner-bean/   I would like to mention the website eattheweeds is packed with information on no end of edibles.  Brilliant resource.
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#54
@Whiteangel
The moon planting guide I use is i n French, Celeste, Jardiner avec la Lune. It is in the form of a day by day diary with spaces to write your notes but they have daily advice for what to plant when, what to prune, transplant etc according to basic moon planting principles. Now, I am not an expert in moon planting, and I am not even convinced it works, which is why I use this basic guide. Apparently it is better to do some things in the garden when the moon is waxing rather than when it is waning. There is also a daily weather diary in the back which I fill in religiously, this has a wavy line showing the position of the moon every day, this is very useful as many weather conditions relate to the cycles of the moon, high tides etc.
This year I bought a weather diary from Amazon from the UK as it covers three years but I was very disappointed to find no moon cycles in it so had to buy a tiny pocket sized moon guide.  Have a look on Amazon as this tiny book which cost only 3 euros may have an English language equivalent. It could be used by non French speakers as the main info is in pictogrammes, but there is lots of other info in French. Just put "moon planting guide" into Google or Amazon.
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#55
I need help.  Planning my garden and just getting a bit overwhelmed. 

We were given 20 - 12' x 6" redwood boards that were taken down from a deck.  I plan to make as many 12'x4' raised beds as possible that will have two 6" on top of each other so the sides as 12" high. 

The ground for at least two of the beds underneath is hard as a rock, though weeds grow well there.  Two beds will be placed on grass.  All beds will have cardboard boxes and news paper on the bottom to keep weeds and grass from growing up. 

Now, I want fresh veggies but I also want to can, dehydrate and freeze a lot of my produce and this is where I am having trouble, BIG TROUBLE.  I don't know how many plants I need for my family of 4.  I need rough numbers.  I know some need 20 tomato plants for their families where another would only need 10 for all their needs.  I know some need 20 broccoli, where I am thinking for mine, 10 would work as you can keep harvesting after the first main harvest. 

Can anyone help me with this?? 

I am using this planner and I have to hurry as it is only a free trial for 30 days, lol, then it costs $25 for a year's subscription.
http://gardenplanner.motherearthnews.com...anner.html
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#56
WA - to get an idea of what to plant and how much you should start with making a list of what veggies and how much your family eats. Then check to see if it grows well in your zone. My family likes pineapple and bannas, but I can't grow them here in Michigan. We like celery,but I have had a hard time getting it to come out right. It takes a lot of water and then the other plants near it don't do as well. Brocolli has been hard for me because it bolts into flowers. I would suggest you start with the easy veggies to grow like tomatoes, cucumbers, green peas, potatoes, strawberries. You want your first year garden to be mostly successful. I would not stress over how many plants too much, If you have a good crop you will be giving them away to friends and neighbors. I have been gardening for about 20 years so now we save seeds and start seeds, but when I started I bought the little plants from a nursery.
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#57
(02-12-2014, 04:53 PM)cep89 Wrote: WA - to get an idea of what to plant and how much you should start with making a list of what veggies and how much your family eats. Then check to see if it grows well in your zone. My family likes pineapple and bannas, but I can't grow them here in Michigan. We like celery,but I have had a hard time getting it to come out right. It takes a lot of water and then the other plants near it don't do as well. Brocolli has been hard for me because it bolts into flowers. I would suggest you start with the easy veggies to grow like tomatoes, cucumbers, green peas, potatoes, strawberries. You want your first year garden to be mostly successful. I would not stress over how many plants too much, If you have a good crop you will be giving them away to friends and neighbors. I have been gardening for about 20 years so now we save seeds and start seeds, but when I started I bought the little plants from a nursery.
@cep89 - thank you for that.

I have had large gardens (30 years ago), a medium one 15 years ago, and then the tiny gardening that have I have doing for the last couple of years.  Now, branching back out again which has been much harder as I am not as fit as I was at 24, lol. 

Hoping to have the one main planter from last year which is 40 sq ft.  Then four new raised beds of 48 sq ft each.  This will give me a total of 232 sq ft of garden area that will be done with the sq ft garden method.  Another area will be the one where I work on as I can, for double digging the ground and prepping this soil for amazing soil so I can plant the plants even closer and still have them grow well.  Each year, the other 4 beds will be worked on so that I eventually have 5 raised beds plus the planter growing all the time. 

Herbs will be in the main veggie beds where they will be helpful and those that require more room to spread a tiny bit will be along the fence line.  Asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries will also be along the fence line that isn't always in shade. 

I want to can tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, salsa, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.  We use about 4 cans (24 oz size) of spaghetti sauce a month, with the others at about 1-2 times a month.  This is where I am having trouble....how many tomato plants do I need to plant??? 

We don't like frozen broccoli you buy at the store but frozen from the garden is almost as good as fresh and we love it.  We would love to have this at least once a week, but I don't know how much to plant for this to happen. 

Maybe this would help in understanding where I need help!
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#58
OK I thought you were starting out. For tomato yields I got 36 Quart jars canned of diced tomatoes from 10 full size tomato plants, plus I made salsa and ate raw tomatoes during harvest. So I would think that would cover you needs, but yield varies on type of tomato and soil etc. As for broccoli, we would use about 1/2 a plant per meal and we start more every couple of weeks so we have a longer harvest. I don't normally plant to get a certain yield because it varies so much each year and we are always trying something new.
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#59
(02-12-2014, 05:44 PM)Whiteangel Wrote: @cep89 - thank you for that.

I have had large gardens (30 years ago), a medium one 15 years ago, and then the tiny gardening that have I have doing for the last couple of years.  Now, branching back out again which has been much harder as I am not as fit as I was at 24, lol. 

Hoping to have the one main planter from last year which is 40 sq ft.  Then four new raised beds of 48 sq ft each.  This will give me a total of 232 sq ft of garden area that will be done with the sq ft garden method.  Another area will be the one where I work on as I can, for double digging the ground and prepping this soil for amazing soil so I can plant the plants even closer and still have them grow well.  Each year, the other 4 beds will be worked on so that I eventually have 5 raised beds plus the planter growing all the time. 

Herbs will be in the main veggie beds where they will be helpful and those that require more room to spread a tiny bit will be along the fence line.  Asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries will also be along the fence line that isn't always in shade. 

I want to can tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, salsa, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.  We use about 4 cans (24 oz size) of spaghetti sauce a month, with the others at about 1-2 times a month.  This is where I am having trouble....how many tomato plants do I need to plant??? 

We don't like frozen broccoli you buy at the store but frozen from the garden is almost as good as fresh and we love it.  We would love to have this at least once a week, but I don't know how much to plant for this to happen. 

Maybe this would help in understanding where I need help!

I just wanted to remind you that where ever you choose to plant your asparagus ... it will be there for a lot of years.  Asparagus comes back every year.  If you plant it from seed, you need to wait three years to harvest any.  I got two year plants from Gurneys's and put them in early last year.  I thought they had died, but eventually all twenty popped out of the ground.  They have to get the root system going first.  I didn't harvest any of them though.  It says you can take a few spears with two year plants, but I thought it would be better to let them come up undisturbed for the first year they were in the ground here.  Even once they are established, you want to leave some of the spears still on the plant that are allowed to go to seed.  It makes for a healthier plant that way.

Tomatoes are hard to gauge, because there are so many different varieties.  I would suggest you talk to your local farm store ... like we have the Southern States Stores here in Virginia.  They sell the plants, and someone that has knowledge can help you.  Beware the Lowes type stores ... they sell plants, but couldn't tell you a thing about them. 

I usually plant Roma Tomatoes, because ... well, they are my favorite, because of their taste!  One Roma is just enough for a sandwich, and ... they make great sauce, spaghetti sauce, and they work for ketchup.  Ketchup is something I am going to have to start making for myself, because all the brands have corn syrup in them ... which causes the heart muscle to become inflamed.  My cardiologist told me to stay away from the corn syrup ... especially the high fructose, so I am going to have to make my own sauce from now on.  As far as stewed tomatoes or salsa, I use the Romas, but they don't have as much meat as some of the bigger tomatoes like the Big Boy or Better Boy varieties.  I imagine those are better for stewed tomatoes. 

I also grow a hybrid ... not GMO, but a hybrid tomato called a "Super Sweet One Hundred" ... which I put into the stewed tomatoes and the salsa if I am running low on the Romas ... lot of work though when you are messing with small tomatoes.  They are a cherry tomato with intermediate vines that spreads all over everywhere, but those things will melt in your mouth.  Inahme doesn't really like tomatoes, but I made the mistake of planting a couple of those vines in pots next to his vehicle.  I would see the tomatoes starting to turn red, and then they would disappear.  This past year, I moved them, so I did get a few.

I think I had about ten Romas come up on their own last year, and I bought about sixteen more.  Last year they didn't do as well as they had in past years, but I am figuring that this year I am going to plant at least 30 plants ... 20 Romas and about 10 of the bigger tomatoes, plus four of the Sweet One Hundred's. 

If you have way too much, you can always sell them at a flea market, or find a grocer that will let you trade them for other stuff.  Heck, I use to do that with a little country store around the corner from us back when they use to be open.  The owner retired ... really messed up my trading! The new thing is getting to be "locally grown", so that has opened up some room for trade and bartering.  Same thing goes for the herbs if you get too many.

Speaking of herbs ... quite a few of them that are in the mint family will spread till Hell won't have it!  Mints are something that need to be in a pot, or have a barricade up that stops them from growing/vining into other areas.  One of the best places in the world for mint to grow is a foot or two from an outside spigot on your house.  If you have a place that stays wet all the time from where you run water ... that is the spot the mint will love!
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#60
Thank you @Graywolf !

All my mint types are in containers.  I didn't know that about the water so I will put by the spigots.  I know they also do well in partial shade which helps in those areas as well. 

I think I will up my tomatoes to 10 regulars, 10 roma (that is all my aunt cans with unless she is making tomato juices) and 1 cherry though I will start two.  I hate tossing plants so that will of course means there will be 2 plants, lol.

Thank you @cep89 - I will remember to stagger planting times for the broccoli !!
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