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What will you do different?

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What will you do different?

Post  darci.strutt on 8/24/2012, 12:50 am

I've started a fall garden so am not 'done' yet, but have started to think about what I'll do different for my year two with my new SF garden.

Four zucchini is too much. You may laugh, but I've never had zucchini grow for me before! Next year I'm planning on two plants. I packed my tomato too close (and too many) as well. They totally rock in Mel's Mix! Next year I'll actually listen to Mel's advise in his book instead of doubling it. Embarassed

Rutabaga and Turnip leaves are HUGE and really aught not be in the center squares...I didn't know better! Next year I'll grow them on the corners and have a little fencing to save the squares close by.

I'll plant more greens (leaf lettuce, spinach, kale) and scatter radish with other slow growing plants instead of dedicating a square to them.

Couple things I'll do the same (ignore the title of the topic): Do multiple plantings a couple weeks apart of beet, carrot, kohlrabi, and cilantro. This was wonderful! I'll also do "companion" planting of radish with my zucchini again. They were awesome for the first time ever! Too awesome...

And the flowers in the block anchoring down my deer fence was super cute - an idea from this forum - so will be repeated.

How about you? I'd love to learn from your year too!




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Re: What will you do different?

Post  cheyannarach on 8/24/2012, 2:08 am

Well I will be getting a fence!!! Lol, I have gardened for years and this being my first year of SFG the deer have found irresistable... I will also plant more zukes, I only have one this year! I will try to water more consistantly (which is hard because I have a bad well and can only water when I have enough water). I might plant radishes with slower growing plants as well and I will deffinately plant way more potatoes (I have 9 squares this year).


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Re: What will you do different?

Post  Kelejan on 8/24/2012, 2:34 am

This year I will make sure that the leaves I collect this fall are shredded before adding to the compost pile. This year I had to redo my compost pile because all the leaves were in layers with no air space and did not decompose at all. the ressult was that my compost was not ready to use in the spring and I only now have managed to get it ready to put on my beds for fall this year. I have been stockpiling dried green grass to help with this year's leaf fall.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  llama momma on 8/24/2012, 8:11 am

Expansion of beds from 5 to 7 and add a cattle panel arch this fall so its all ready for next spring. Enlarge 3 wooden pallet compost bins to 5. Then whatever amount of compost it makes will determine the end of my garden expansion. To me the garden work is definatly in compost care not the gardening itself. Have to get serious about a drip system, this summer's heat and drought with daily hand watering was and still is a bit much.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  RoOsTeR on 8/24/2012, 9:40 am

I'm going to plant like with like and get away from mixing everything all up. While it may look eye appealing, it can be more trouble than it's worth...at least to me. I think it was camprn who mentioned this in a post someplace and I'm starting to see the effects and hassles of planting this way. I'm to the point that I'd like to see my peppers in one place. Carrots in another, and my beans here, not a few here and few over there etc. etc. I can see how care, harvesting and watering would be so much easier planting things together.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  GWN on 8/24/2012, 10:09 am

What a great thread.
I am going to plant my seeds later (I have said this every year for the past 3)
I am going to play much more attention to my pepper seedlings, this year they just basically sat there for about 2 months without doing anything, I should have up potted them sooner.
I am going to make a higher bed for my green beans, they are the only crop that I have to bend over a lot to pick and my back cries out each time I go to pick beans.
This year I planted 11 x3 beds with spinach in front, peppers and then tomatoes on the north side, none of these peppers have done well, so I am going to keep my peppers in their own bed. I am not going to plant so many peas per square foot, and work harder at keeping the old vines cut down to allow for constant new pea growth.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  CharlesB on 8/24/2012, 10:13 am

I am with Rooster about the mixing. I had issues this year when things finished up and I was to plant my next items. I had some plants too big next to them, etc. So I want to plan that better to make more efficient use of the space. A simple rule would be the longer the expected life span of the plant the more North in the box it should be ;-).

As others have said, a staggered planting of radishes and kohlrabi to keep them coming all season.

More pepper plants. Size of the plants just works great for the SFG beds. Low water requirements, tolerance to heat, most pests don't mess with them and they can be cooked so many different ways makes them a big win for me.

If I am going to do any more eggplant I will buy them as bigger starts. From seed takes too long even with starting indoors.

Stop trying to grow melons, pumpkins and winter squash that is succeptible to Squash Vine Borers. SVB will win.

However big you think your tomato plants will get, double it.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  RoOsTeR on 8/24/2012, 10:28 am

Lol. +1 on your last comment Charles!

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  cpl100 on 8/24/2012, 10:57 am

This is my first year and first SFG. I will not put my bush green beans in anything but an outer square. They are totally shading my other crops to their detriment as well as spilling over into all the surrounding squares.

I will also try to be more careful and make less planting mistakes! Hopefully, next year I will also be better able to tell a weed from a seedling and will not water and nurture so many weeds! Embarassed

I will pay more attention to the expected germination time of seeds and replant more quickly when they fail so as to lose less precious growning time.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/24/2012, 11:27 am

Ditto on the tomato size! I have one Sungold that has to be 9 ft now, but since my trellis is only 5, I've rigged it to crawl along some yarn that I strung across the top of box to a stake. Now it's reached the stake so I'll string up some more in another direction I guess. A walker upon looking at it actually asked me if I was growing grapes.

Next year I will do prevention spraying for powdery mildew. I lost the battle this year, even tho I'm still getting produce here and there.

I will plant more carrots and beets, and leave them in the ground longer.

I will turn my mulch/compost pile more often, and maybe hit the local coffee shop and health food stores for additional compost food.

I'll use more shade protection on tomatoes & leafy greens during heat waves.

And like llama mamma, I'd LOVE to get some sort of watering system going, even if it just my mother with the watering can while I'm at work. AND somehow get off city water.

I'll cover my Mels Mix with pine needles in early spring to deter slugs.

I'll use tulle on my cruciferous veggies. Even tho the cabbage moth is pretty, the worms are VERY hungry.

I'll take the pine needles off the strawberry patch so the runners can root. I also like the idea of potting them up and letting them hang down into the dirt.

I'll definitely switch the Earthboxes & any pots I need to use to MM. Even tho I'm grateful for the help, having to add Epsom salts or whatever is needed for what is missing is not appealing to me.

I'll search for a better price for vermiculite before laying out $45 for 3.5 cu ft.

I'm going to arch the toms and beans together coz that just looks so cool having them come down thru the top. cyclops

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  walshevak on 8/24/2012, 8:45 pm

The Wilmington garden.
Call the water company about getting a separate meter for landscape purposes. (just found out they have this)

Redo one of the pond beds. It was the first one and is not wicking like the others,

Add 2 or 3 more pond beds. 5 is not enough for a family of 6

build a more attractive compost area so maybe my son will use it.

The Elizabeth City garden
MORE PEAS
a better watering system for the tabletops
redo some of the beds where the unlaying plastic is crumbling and replace with weedblock

fewer tomatos, earlier squash,
resist adding more beds. 10 is enough for one person

Both gardens
Use more cattlepanels as trellis.

Kay





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Re: What will you do different?

Post  TexasTracy on 8/25/2012, 10:40 am

Get a good trellis in place for my tomatoes.

Put a watering system in place.

Try to grow melons next season.

Give up on squash (svb just gets them all).

Start composting!



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Fall assessment

Post  Turan on 10/28/2012, 9:31 pm

Last spring I set up a few tryouts of various ideas Razz
Here are some conclusions:

Tomatoes do indeed fair well with deep planting here. I have not yet managed to keep even one plant pruned though. Next spring I want to try growing 2 plants together.

Potatoes under corn might work but this year's late and early frosts make it hard to know. I think the potatoes between the broccolli is a better idea and I want to try Josh's double planting.

Besides the greenhouse I made 3 varieties of coldframes/hoops houses. One was a cattle panel bowed and then covered with plastic film to make a squash/cucurbit house. One was plastic irrigation hose bowed over a bed with thin plastic film clipped on for eggplants and peppers and tomatillos. One was a bought double walled cold frame on an extra foot of wall i added with wood for Roma tomatoes and eggplants and peppers. The plastic film shredded in the wind and did not give enough protection but still gave some help early on. The double walled cold frame really did do the best job. It took a lot of tinkering though to get the screws to keep holding it together. I am going to add that foundation vent that opens and shuts to keep better air flow through.

4 foot wide beds are too wide and I hope to change the 2 I have at some point. Like when the wood rots out..... Rolling Eyes I did take out 2 smaller old beds that wood had rotted and replaced them with a 3X8 bed.

The oyster mushrooms were fun and I hope they pop up again.

Quinoa grows well here but needs an earlier start to flower and make seed. I wonder if the plant starts are hardy enough to plant out when i plant out the broccolli.

Which leads me to that I must learn restraint and not push the envelope so hard. My broccoli and carrots would of liked not being planted outside until close to May Day.

I wonder how easy it is to grow lentils. Dry beans is hard here.

It has been a productive year and I have learned a lot by hanging around here. One thing being that I trade growing season length for fewer bugs and no SVB. Worth it

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  GloriaG on 10/28/2012, 11:07 pm

I will make note on my calendar of the temperature and first date I saw each type of pest or disease starting in the garden and another note when/if I got it under control.

Many insect pests and diseases are triggered by day length, temperature, and weather conditions. By having it on the calendar, in future, I can look back to get an idea when specific problems might crop up.


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Re: What will you do different?

Post  binfordmj on 10/29/2012, 12:16 am

I will keep the BT handy at the first sign of SVB!
I will start me green beans outside where they will stay and not try to transplant them. They REALLY hate that.
I will plant more tomatoes in the ground instead of the topsy turvey things. Plant bells in the ground too.
I will not cover my baby cucumbers too early - I thought they were pollinated but turns out not really. Knee hi hose work great at this!
I will get a soaker hose and stop watering from above. (I don't know how I would act if my squash didn't have spots of powdery mildew!)
I will use a calender to remind me of when I fed them and with what.(I suffer from CRS - can't remember s*^%.)

And last but not least, try to talk mother into letting me cover even more of her yard with raised veggie beds. lol!

I have learned tons from this forum, and found some really great folks along the way.
You all are great teachers of knowledge learned first hand.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  plantoid on 10/29/2012, 6:53 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:I'm going to plant like with like and get away from mixing everything all up. While it may look eye appealing, it can be more trouble than it's worth...at least to me. I think it was camprn who mentioned this in a post someplace and I'm starting to see the effects and hassles of planting this way. I'm to the point that I'd like to see my peppers in one place. Carrots in another, and my beans here, not a few here and few over there etc. etc. I can see how care, harvesting and watering would be so much easier planting things together.

I too have had difficulties doing a square here , there & over there & inter planting .

The quality of my beds , lots of rain ( over 50 inches so far this year ) and auto watering had given massive growth that has in lots of cases choked/ swamped or massively tangled into adjacent squares . We have so very large root vegs so it's not all dom & gloom .

The thick over canopy of vegetation has also caused several cabbages & other brassicas & onions to go rotten as there was no air flow or decent levels of sun light getting to them .

I'll also have to change my plant spacings to allow for bigger plants as here in Wales the growth conditions we are getting seem ideal for many of my crops.

I have 12 beds of 9 sq feet each of veg to play with so will try a regime akin to the length of time a crop will be in the bed from seed to harvest, I can still run it as successional sowing in most cases .


Earlier this year I set up time clock controlled auto watering in the veg , flower beds & green house.

I will be much more careful about the auto watering in the greenhouse for I ended up with bag grown potatoes making seven foot tops but not many potatoes .. too much water and too good a quality MM rich in nitrogen in the bags gave massive top growth.

This next season I'll try adding a bucket of plain composted coir or peat to each bucket of new made up MM and see if the dilution helps . I'll also use the moisture tester a lot more often to make it happen so that the contents of the bags are just moist rather than very moist.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  Kelejan on 10/29/2012, 2:42 pm

I think planting a variety in one bed is OK if you only have one or two near home, and it looks pretty, but I agree that when you get so many beds, mass planting is the way to go.

What I will do differently in future are three-foot beds x whatever length I need or have space for. I do find that a four-foot bed is hard for me to reach the 24 inch mark, whereas three-foot I can reach in 18 inches comfortably. As my wood 4x4s need replacing I will replace with 3x6s. When I started I bought a job-lot of 10-foot wood planks and the first thing I did was cut off 4-foots for my first beds. The remainder of course are 6-footers, so my newer beds are 3x6, much better for me.

I like the idea of cattle panels for trellising as they can be bent over to allow stuff like runner beans to be harvested easily instead of being tangled up at the top.

I will plant my tomatoes deeper and deploy the roots horizontally.
In addition, plant with a cup of wormcastings, hopefully available in spring from my WH.

Be a bit more careful in maintaining my watering programme as sometimes I have missed a bit and not watered deeply enough.

Be more precise with my labelling so that I know what to plant again next season and what not to plant. Also, plant more of what I love to eat.


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Re: What will you do different?

Post  landarch on 10/29/2012, 3:50 pm

Next year I would like to get my soil dialed in for better root crops (beets and carrots)...maybe not as rich (compost) and add hard wood ash...not having squares here and there, but bunched together.

I also will concentrate on planting species that my family will actually eat...cutting back on what we didn't like and planting more of what we did.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  Triciasgarden on 10/29/2012, 8:08 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:I'm going to plant like with like and get away from mixing everything all up. While it may look eye appealing, it can be more trouble than it's worth...at least to me. I think it was camprn who mentioned this in a post someplace and I'm starting to see the effects and hassles of planting this way. I'm to the point that I'd like to see my peppers in one place. Carrots in another, and my beans here, not a few here and few over there etc. etc. I can see how care, harvesting and watering would be so much easier planting things together.

That's what I do Rooster. I group things. It's hard for me to get my brain around (like you said) a square of something here and over there. I "try" to group things that are from the same family in the same bed so I can rotate my beds. I am not 100% successful because I have more than one bed going of one family, but I try. I also have different light hitting my beds. One set of three beds are West of a fence so they get morning shade. I try to keep my cooler weather crops rotating in those three beds.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  Goosegirl on 10/29/2012, 9:53 pm

@landarch wrote:...I also will concentrate on planting species that my family will actually eat...cutting back on what we didn't like and planting more of what we did.

This is exactly what I plan for next season. I also am going to do specific boxes for specific crops: Corn Box, Potato Box, etc. I am going to do some companion planting, such as Carrot/Onion box, as onions supposedly repel certain flies that damage carrots and carrots likewise do the same for onions. Also, my tomatoes will be planted with come carrots, and the outside border of my Corn Box will be planted with pole beans, and I will plant my pumpkins in the center of that box to make it a 3 Sisters Box. Planting only 2 varieties of tomatoes (okay, maybe 3-4), and hopefully I will end up with 100% useage of my harvest!

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  plantoid on 10/30/2012, 9:21 am

Ggirl ,
I companion planted onions & carrots but the carrot tops gave far too much shade to the onions and caused them to go slimy and not develop.
I do add that this was for
big 4 inch diameter store onions not the green stem white sticks we call salad onions
I think would have just about made it with the salad onions before the carrots took command of the squares in each bed

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  Goosegirl on 10/30/2012, 11:22 am

Thanks for the tip, Plantoid! I will watch for that.

GG

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  Turan on 10/30/2012, 11:23 am

@plantoid wrote:Ggirl ,
I companion planted onions & carrots but the carrot tops gave far too much shade to the onions and caused them to go slimy and not develop.

I am guessing there was another variable involved as well.
Last season I raised onions through out the carrot/beet/oriental greens/raab/cilantro and pea squares with out such problems. The one spot I had a couple slimy onions was the one spot the carrots showed maggot/wireworm damage. So I assume the onions were affected by what ever it was chewing through the carrots. This was a 2 sq area in a bed that was all else were fine. I put that area into the middle of the hot compost pile in hopes that cures it.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  Triciasgarden on 10/30/2012, 7:28 pm

@GloriaG wrote:I will make note on my calendar of the temperature and first date I saw each type of pest or disease starting in the garden and another note when/if I got it under control.

Many insect pests and diseases are triggered by day length, temperature, and weather conditions. By having it on the calendar, in future, I can look back to get an idea when specific problems might crop up.


Great idea Gloria! Others have probably done this but I never have.

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Re: What will you do different?

Post  GloriaG on 10/31/2012, 9:09 am

Thanks Triciasgarden


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