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What's in your garden?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by basswidow, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Going to try a garden this year.

    I am gonna plant some yellow squash and some sweet corn. Maybe some watermelon and pumpkin. Not sure what the wife is putting down. May do a her side my side. I've cleared a big spot - just got to rent the tiller come saturday and get the seeds in the ground.

    Anybody got any tips? Is it too early? I was always told to plant corn when the oak leaf was the size of a mouses ear. I love sweet corn.

    I was thinking of buying some miracle grow soil (5 or so bags) to mix in with the tilled soil. Gonna have to put up a critter fence too.

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  2. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Lettuce and spinach now.
  3. StackedLumber

    StackedLumber New Member

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    The best way to tell when to plant is get a good reading on your soil temp. Depending where and what type of seed you buy, you should have instructions on what your soil temp should be 6inches into the ground. If it's too cold, you will get seed rot once rain comes. All that is, is wasted seed. If you have access to a farm, get your hands on some horse crap, IMHO the best stuff for growing on earth! For us, we are still two months away from planting. Way better and cheaper than miracle grow.

    For us, we plant two varieties of sweet corn, two of bush green beans, two types of pumpkins, peas, lettuce, cukes, peppers, tomatoes, and radishes. We just purchased the neighboring property to us, so our garden in the next year will be a good 60x60 plot. Will produce plenty for our canning and freezing needs.
  4. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    its about 3-4 weeks early to plant anything in the ground besides cold hardy veggies like peas, lettuce, spinach. Im waiting till late April to plant the rest of the stuff and the tomatoes and peppers will go in a few weeks after that. If you have a cold frame you may be able to start some seedlings now and keep them warm and protected. I have some cauliflower in my cold frame.

    google planting schedule for your zone (which I believe is 6 if youre in northern NJ).

    also skip the miracle grow crap and till in some good compost and or some manure and hummus mixture. Miracle grow is high in nitrogen, which is fine if you want a bunch of leaves to bloom instead of veggies.

    I didnt have any luck with corn last year. I tried it in a 4x4 raised bed, 16 plants in all. Maybe if I planted in a bigger area i may have had different results but im not bothering with it this year. If youre planting squash/pumpkin you could plant that with your corn. the squash/pumpkin leaves act as a natural mulch for the corn. google 3 sisters garden and you'll see what im talking about.

    good luck!
  5. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Tomatoes, squash, beans, peas, lettuce, Kale, collards, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, hot peppers, super hot peppers, basile, rosemary, sage, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, pumpkins, asparagus, garlic. We've got a week or two before even the early stuff goes in.
  6. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    We have spinach and raddishes out right now. I'll direct seed lettuce and peas this weekend. We have tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, herbs, onions, and celery growing inside under lights. Will start squash in another couple of weeks indoors and direct seed beans, corn, and carrots when it's a bit warmer and also start our potatoes. There are 3 beds of strawberries under straw, two rows of blueberries, one row each of blackberries and red raspberries. This coming fall we'll try garlic for the first time.
  7. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Excellent info - thanks. So I am a bit early. I will do the research on the timing. I am not really set up to start the seeds inside. I would need a grow light - right?

    We became inspired after visiting a local farm last October. We went to pick pumpkins - and walked their fields and saw all the great vegi's they had grown and their soil was just like ours..... We kind of have a rocky shale base which we felt wouldn't produce well. Plenty of good dirt with some square rocks mixed in. The farm owner said the soil we have is great as it is.

    Plenty of horse farms around me - so getting some won't be an issue. Come to think of it, thats exactly what I did in my old garden in VA. I am thinking of renting a tiller to finish the plot out. I cleared a big spot. It's probably 50x50 feet. I am concerned about 3 stumps from the brush I cut out - I may have to take and dig them up before tilling - or I could simply go around them. They shouldn't be too hard to take a maddox or an axe to.

    I want to fence it off from the critters - but I don't want to spend alot doing so. I don't want to spend more on fencing then it would cost simply to buy the vegi's. I am hoping this will be a fun project for the kids who are 4 & 11. We have a ton of rabbits and ground hogs on the property and deer too. I am not sure how I can keep them out of it. What's a cheap but effective fence to use?
  8. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    For fencing I suggest 9 foot razor wire with robotic machine guns ...

    If you read more of the gardening threads you'll hear all about various battles against the wildlife, particularly the deer. One of my garden areas has 5 foot high chain link with big bushes planted in front of the fence all along it's length. The deer stay out of this garden area not b/c of fence height but mainly, I think, b/c they can't clearly see where they'd be landing on the other side of the fence should they attempt to jump. Rabbits have infiltrated this garden area though, and have been dispatched. The other garden area has 3 foot mesh fencing followed by two electric strands at 4 feet and 5 feet. I used to only have the electric strand at the 5' level but actually saw a deer run, jump, turns its head sideways, and sail right through the 24" opening between the electric strand and the mesh fencing - deer must have seen "The Matrix" or something like that. Anyway, following this infiltration (during which the deer pruned my blueberry bushes for me, against my will) I put up the second electric strand and baited both with peanut butter the idea being that they'd get a good zap in the mouth and leave my back yard alone. So far, so good, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. I've been reading a new apple growing book in which the author discusses 8' and 9' high fences around orchards and the use of double rows of fencing - talk to SolarandWood about high fences - he's got some pretty high fences and his garden has still been invaded. I'm beginning to think that the best solution is not a fence, but a really competent guard dog that will stay in the yard and chase off the critters. There's also population control - I've seriously considered a crossbow (which I can use to legally hunt in my yard), but the wife isn't crazy about venison and I'd not want to take any deer without using the meat. Rabbits, skunks, and any other infiltrators are eliminated without impunity however - they are simply too destructive and, in the case of skunks, stinky. As far as cost goes, t-posts and electric line aren't too bad - maybe a few hundred dollars worth if you buy all of the components new - t-posts can often be found at garage sales cheap.

    Good luck with your garden!
  9. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    8 foot T posts, vinyl coated fence and poly mesh seemed to be the cheapest solution, pic below, once we concluded the live and let live approach wasn't going to work. This worked for a few years. Last year after the berries, pumpkins and sunflowers were added, they got more brazen and it has been a losing battle since then. This year will be wire all the way up all the way around.

    I would start thinking about a fence before you have too much invested in plants as the deer can take them down in a night or two.

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  10. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    I've heard of a motion sensing sprinkler head that is supposed to scare animals, never seen one though. Not as effective as the machine gun either.

    It's an incredibly warm and dry spring here, so it's tempting to put something in the ground. It's all tilled up and ready, but everything I have ever planted too early has been surpassed by the stuff that's planted later at the proper time. Plus it's so much easier to till it a couple of more times and then plant and have the plants take off, than to plant too early and have to come back and find the rows of small seedlings that are buried in a sea of weeds.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We have been at odds with the deer for 15 years. Options considered were a mass neutering program and even a trebuchet to launch them into Puget Sound! A deer fence finally won out as the best solution. This year for the first time the tulips have bloomed without a single bite taken out of them. We are actually planting hostas. Happy to give the mighty finger to the deer. Let them graze in someone else's yard from now on.

    In our outdoor beds right now we have onions, potatoes, beets, chard, spinach, lettuce, peas, broccoli and herbs growing. The greenhouse has the next wave getting ready.
  12. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    Trebuchet for deer? Sounds like a new sport! Deer Chucking!

    This year I am planting 5 pepper varieties, 2 tomato varieties, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, spinach, lettuce, wax beans, black beans, carrots, zuchs, winter squash, blue hubbard. Should have a nice harvest of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, concord grapes, and possibly peaches this season.
  13. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    OK -

    So we waited and put our seeds in according to the zone on the package. Already - we have plants sprouting up. My 3 rows of sweet corn were the first to see daylight. Can't wait to munch on the first ear!

    I went to tractor supply to look at fencing and just couldn't see sinking $ 300 + into it. (metal fence and t-post).

    The farm up the road used field cedar for posts and attached a top wire and installed deer mesh fencing.

    I had 4 sumac trees to take down and saved a bunch of it to use as posts. I know this sumac will probably struggle to make it through the season - and is by no means a proper substitution for cedar or locust posts. But it's what I had available to me. I put 14 posts around the garden and $ 19 for the DEER Mesh. Some ground anchors and I tied a bunch of tails onto the mesh to alert wildlife to it. I am sure a deer or bear will simply push it down. Rabbits and ground hogs will simply dig under it.

    So we'll see if a $ 19 fence will keep the critters out. Is not a huge investment between the seeds, tiller rental, and fence. I am not over $ 70 total so far. I will post - if it is a success or disaster.
  14. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Sweet corn, now? What zone are you in?
  15. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Also - in addition to the lettuce, spinach, raddishes, and peas out we just added onions and are halfway done planting potatoes. We have around 70 pepper plants, 130 tomato plants, and herbs going inside. Just planted some squash and melon seeds inside last week. Contemplating ordering elderberries and black currants for the berry patch and am definetly ordering Meyer Lemon and olive trees to try growing in containers.

    Left a big welt on the backside of a deer two weeks ago with the pellet rifle and haven't seen them back since. Perhaps they are beginning to get the idea that they are not wanted in my yard.

    The deer trebuchet sounds excellent! I highly endorse that plan!
  16. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Remember to plant garlic mid-fall. Fun to be planting that time of year, and gives you something to look forward to in early spring- mine's doing awesome this year.

    Asparagus is up, parsley from last year survived and is going nuts, peas, beets, lettuce is in, other stuff is in "starts" on the porch right now.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I try to plant garlic on the shortest day of the year, Dec 21st. Pick it on the shortest day of the year. The ground doesn't freeze that often here, so it's usually possible. The timing fits with the solstice spirit and the heathen in me.

    My wife planted some cilantro last fall and it made it and is thriving too. Lots of herbs growing right now. Tarragon has come back full, savory, parsley, thyme are all looking good, basil will be in the greenhouse until later in May. Potatoes are poking up through the soil along with the onions, leeks and garlic. Lettuce, spinach, chard and radishes are in harvest mode. Kale made it easily through the winter. There are lots of warmer crops in the greenhouse itching to get outdoors and get big.
  18. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    It's very tempting to put stuff out now, as it's been warm and even at night not below the 50s. We'll still hold off until at least mid-May.
  19. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Right now, mostly sagebrush and deer hoofprints. I'd like to build and plant a garden, but just haven't gotten there yet in our (relatively) new home. My cousin 3/4 mi. east of us grows corn, cukes, radishes, beans, and I don't know what all. I have space, but would need to build raised beds because of all the rock...then I gotta figger out the irrigation (a must here in the desert), and how to discourage the wildlife (mostly the deer). Then all I gotta worry about is our short growing season. Maybe one of these years. :smirk: Rick
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I planted some Natural Light cans and some rip bones. But nothing ever came up. Must have been too wet that year.
  21. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    What the hell's a "rip" bone? Is that what's buried everywhere you see one o' them "RIP" things? %-P
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    No, it is how you spell "rib" after you have started the Natural Lights for the night. Luckily the crop for the store produced better than my garden did. ;-P

    Been hot and humid here Rick. We miss you in NOVA guy. Misery and company and all of that... You missed the one dry seventy degree day between a night fire and turning on the A/C. That should be a State holiday here.
  23. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, dammit, I missed Open Window Day? Shoot. Well, I'll just have to honor it the best I can all through from later this month on into October. Bummer. :-S
  24. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Well - I think I am in zone 6

    I may have jumped the gun on some of the seeds, but the corn is coming up nicely (couple inches already). I think I read the soil should be like 70 degrees and later is better, but we planted anyway. We've had some nice warm weather (mid 80's). I think it's gonna be alright. I am a complete garden rookie - so what do I know? But I see all the farmers in the area tilling and planting - so I hope I timed it right.

    I looked again this morning and we had a nice heavy dew. Most all of the seeds are up and growing, which has me pleased. I used to dread rain - but now I don't mind alittle now and then to water the garden.
  25. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    basswidow - doing what the local farmers do sounds like a good plan. I had assumed that you guys were in a similar garden zone as we are in NEOhio (5b). Last year I put my corn out mid May and that was still too early. Of course, alot depends on local soil conditions, etc. This year, it won't go out until the end of May.

    Glad to hear that you are having success thus far!

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