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Whiteangel's Tiny Garden - Zone 5/6
#1
I have a small planter 12'x4' = 48 sq feet. where I can grow veggies.  It isn't much but have plans for next year to expand my growing area by using a PVC pipe garden and hanging garden using 2-liter bottles.  Here is a pic from last year, I will update with new ones when my daughter gets home from church camp this Sunday of this year.

[Image: Planter.jpg]

Here is my potato experiment - also will put up new pictures when daughter gets home, lol. 

[Image: 406e29e9c6b736777e0882a03053868a.jpg]

Last year I had hoped to have more done this year, but our winter started late and we had snow storms till after May that put 2 feet of snow on the ground so I couldn't even prepare the beds for early hardy crops.  We had also planned to build two more planters but the lack of money is making that impossible now.  The PVC pipe garden won't be cheap, just not as expensive as the planters would be and the soil to fill it will also be less. 

This just reinforces that we have to be prepared to learn new gardening methods as our climate continues to change.

Here are pics from Gomez's PVC pipe garden so you will have an idea:

[Image: DSCF7264_zpsb71e874b.jpg]

[Image: DSCF7270_zps09b78728.jpg]

Also the one he said he got his inspiration from:

[Image: garden1a.JPG]

Mine will look more like this as it will be on one of our side fences as this will give it morning sun until about 2pm in mid summer, which means it will be out of the boiling afternoon sun we have here in the west.
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#2
@Gomez - it is time for you to make your own garden thread hon!  We need to know how your PVC gardening is going as well as your fruit trees.  :internet hug:
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#3
One thing I have learned:  You really need to plan what you want to grow well in advance when you have a small area for gardening.  Not just the areas but how many of each plant you really want to grow. 

Do you really need a lot of spinach when you only use it for fresh salads?  How about those onions you planted so you will have lots of green onions - oops, you wanted some to turn into big onions for dehydrating?  How about one of the great medicinal anti-infection plants that God created for our health?  Garlic.  Those two plants take longer than a normal growing season to give you lots so they end up taking up all of the small garden area that many have.  Gotta plan well for those.

Zucchini is a crazy plant that will keep most families happy with just one plant as long as you keep picking the squash as soon as it is ready.  In other words, the 3 plants I planted are going to feed the neighbors!!

Tomatoes are something I never know how many to plant.  I do plan to start them from seed this winter but how many?  I want to can but I don't think my 4 plants will be enough.  This area is a mystery to me which will take planting more and more until I have too many, to know - I guess, lol.

In my old Mother Earth News magazines (1970's), remember reading an article that TOLD you how much to plant for a family of four.  Those are buried in the box room - don't ask.  

We are going to put in at least 3 new fruit trees.  We have an ancient apricot tree that needs to come down.  The fruit is nasty - barely tastes like apricots and has a bad after taste.  One of the main trunks is diseased.  We are keeping it until the other 3 trees mature as it does add a bit of shade and privacy AND green.  I love green so don't want to cut it down until the two we plant on either side of it can take over.

We have a plum tree we will leave in even though again, the fruit isn't that great.  Even making jam out of it didn't make it better.  Now that is sad, two trees we can't even enjoy the fruit from!!! 

Plan!  Plan!!  And then plan some more.  Hey, that is what winter is for right??  It is also what mid-summer is good for, lets you see where you have holes in your plans and what you need to do different.  Save with harvest time.  Did you get enough tomatoes?  Got too many zucchini?  Watermelon went crazy and needs a new area to grow that you can stake the vines to a fence and support the fruit off the ground with sturdy support.  Cantaloupe just sat there and looked at you - got true leave and grew a tiny bit, then went on strike refusing to grow any more even though it looks perfectly healthy.

Oh, oh, a big lesson.  Mark you planted area well.  Shhhhh, no laughing.....I pulled up my broccoli and cauliflower that I direct sowed thinking they were weeds!!!  I only stuck a stick in the general area of the seeds, knowing what I planted didn't need more than that.  Ha ha, the seeds are tiny and they moved a little and because they weren't were I thought they should be, I thought ewwww nasty weeds and yanked.  Since then, the earwigs have ate every seedling that has managed to survive. 

Starting some more tonight for a fall harvest that I plan to protect from frosts for as long as possible.  I may just have enough time if we don't have an early winter.  In my part of the country, we can get a killing frost at the end of September and then not another one until Halloween if even then.  Last year no one even needed a light jacket it was so warm and we were still wearing flip flops. 

Got GRAND plans for next year, lol
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#4
Small is beautiful! Your potato experiment looks great. Thanks for sharing.
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#5
Just measured the potato bag = dirt line is about 2 1/2 feet high.  What you were seeing there was before I attached more sunscreen burlap.  That thing has been very interesting and yes, exciting.  We are hoping to have potatoes - hope we aren't disappointed.  Hubby will be building a potato box for me next year!

p.s. = my other half says the same thing, I am only 5 foot, lol
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#6
(07-05-2013, 03:04 PM)Whiteangel Wrote: Zucchini is a crazy plant that will keep most families happy with just one plant as long as you keep picking the squash as soon as it is ready.  In other words, the 3 plants I planted are going to feed the neighbors!!

Tomatoes are something I never know how many to plant.  I do plan to start them from seed this winter but how many?  I want to can but I don't think my 4 plants will be enough.  This area is a mystery to me which will take planting more and more until I have too many, to know - I guess, lol.

In my old Mother Earth News magazines (1970's), remember reading an article that TOLD you how much to plant for a family of four.  Those are buried in the box room - don't ask. 

That is no problem Angel ... what you do is wait till you have four or five zucchini or a bunch of tomatoes.  I just did this yesterday ... I had about 9 yellow squashes and 4 big zucchinis, but that isn't enough to do 7 quarts in the canner ... I can them in separate jars, so I washed them up, diced each type in small, bite sized pieces, blanched them (Blanching is when you put them in a wire basket and dip them in boiling water for a minute or two.  This stops the growing, so they don't continue to grow in the freezer.), let them cool in a big bowl, drained the water off, put them in gallon sized freezer bags and stuffed them in the freezer. 

By next week, I will have another 5 or 6 squash and 3 or 4 more Zucchinis, which will probably be enough to fill 7 jars.  For you with fewer plants, it might take you three or four weeks to get enough, but once you get to your third or fourth batch, take them all out of the freezer, let them thaw or just throw them in boiling water, cook and process them. 

You don't have to have a lot to can all at once.  I do the same thing with tomatoes.  I will process what I have and freeze them.  When I have enough, I do the canning.

(07-05-2013, 03:04 PM)Whiteangel Wrote: We have a plum tree we will leave in even though again, the fruit isn't that great.  Even making jam out of it didn't make it better.  Now that is sad, two trees we can't even enjoy the fruit from!!! 

My family doesn't like plum jam either, cause they say it tastes gritty, but plum wine is divine!  It isn't that hard to do, and if you want the recipe, just send me a PM!

(07-05-2013, 03:04 PM)Whiteangel Wrote: Plan!  Plan!!  And then plan some more.  Hey, that is what winter is for right??  It is also what mid-summer is good for, lets you see where you have holes in your plans and what you need to do different. 

Don't forget that green spring onions go good with green peppers, so they can go in the same pot.  Green Onions can also overwinter in the ground.  Tomatoes like lettuce and carrots, and they can go in the same pot.  Check out your companion plants ... I did a thread on it a while back!

(07-05-2013, 03:04 PM)Whiteangel Wrote:  
Oh, oh, a big lesson.  Mark you planted area well.  Shhhhh, no laughing.....I pulled up my broccoli and cauliflower that I direct sowed thinking they were weeds!!!  I only stuck a stick in the general area of the seeds, knowing what I planted didn't need more than that.  Ha ha, the seeds are tiny and they moved a little and because they weren't were I thought they should be, I thought ewwww nasty weeds and yanked.  Since then, the earwigs have ate every seedling that has managed to survive. 

If you know you have this problem with seedlings, then it might be smarter for you to buy some of your plants already started ... for now.  The feed and seed stores will have fall plants in like cauliflower, broccoli, greens, cabbage, lettuce, ect., so get some larger plants that the bugs won't attack!


(07-05-2013, 03:04 PM)Whiteangel Wrote: Starting some more tonight for a fall harvest that I plan to protect from frosts for as long as possible.  I may just have enough time if we don't have an early winter.  In my part of the country, we can get a killing frost at the end of September and then not another one until Halloween if even then.  Last year no one even needed a light jacket it was so warm and we were still wearing flip flops. 

Get yourself some PVC pipe ... thin like an inch across that you can bend easily.  Drill yourself a hole that size on either side of your raised bed and insert the pipes to make a hoop over the top.  You can stretch a tarp over the hoops to keep the plants from getting frosted at night.  In the morning, just take it off, and they get the sunlight again.  You can pick up those 10 X 20 foot blue or brown tarps for like $20.00.  Just get something heavy to keep the sides from blowing up.  If you can get the clear plastic, you might be able to keep them going a few extra months, cause it will be like a greenhouse inside.  Only open it when the day is going to be warm, so it heats back up before nightfall.


@Whiteangel
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#7
If we can leave anything in the ground we do. Carrots, parsnips all stay in and we pull them fresh on Christmas morning, and pick the sprouts that will still be growing.  An underground veg store /clamp is probably going to be our winter project.  Cool dark places are good and we have some of those in the house, but the temperature fluctuates, a cold store with steady temperatures would be better.
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#8
Your garden is adorable, Whiteangel!  I love it.  Your potato experiment is fun.  I can't wait to see what you do next year.

Hiker was over and told me about the pvc pipe idea.  It's perfect for around mine...it is fenced in.  Would give me lots of extra planting space.  Love that idea!
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#9
@Graywolf - thank you for the canning idea!  That made so much sense it should have been right there in front of my face.  The wood on the sides of my planter wouldn't be thick enough to put the pvc pipe, it is only 2". 

We have been planning to do something like the pic below. The pipe they use is 3/4", but most use 1/2" for 10-12 foot beds which would be 3 hoops, right?  Did you use 1/2 or 3/4? 
Did you see those cool pvc clamps?  I bet that would come in handy to keep the plastic in place.
[Image: low_tunnel_-_05.jpg]
[Image: low_tunnel_-_04.jpg]
http://groworganic.com/organic-gardening...hoop-house

Thank you @Ambivalent  - we can't wait to see if we have potatoes or not.  Healthy top growth I guess doesn't always been lots of taters.  I planted late season (which is what you want) Golden Russet (which is what you don't want) potatoes.  After reading repeatedly that russets were good for potato bags (whatever the design) and since this is the potato type we love, then read that they do NOT do well in a confined space since they are such a large potato.  Well it appears, we have an added part of the experiment - will the Golden's like the bag?


When Gomez first showed me the PVC Gardening over on the My Prepping in the Burbs thread, you would have thought I was a kid in a candy store!  A way to free up my planter for the big stuff and root crops while giving me lots of space for the smaller stuff.  Throw plastic sheeting over it and you have a mini greenhouse.  My knees were saved again!!!
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#10
This is of beans, there is one more on the left side.  The one on the right the bugs got it along with all the others I planted.  They love young plants and seedlings!!
Green onions are in the foreground, along with some petunias.
[Image: da78beeb151dd079f06bf7997b780b1f.jpg]

There are 3 cucumber plants here though the one in the back right has been in the ground about 3 weeks longer.  All were started from seeds.
[Image: 33015111514d3960aae7642897b3c755.jpg]
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