Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» CHALLENGE - Smallest possible footprint
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 5:05 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Today at 4:56 pm

» Greenhouse dreams
by countrynaturals Today at 4:27 pm

» California's Drought
by countrynaturals Today at 4:19 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by sanderson Today at 3:18 pm

» New England, December 2016
by sanderson Today at 2:25 pm

» Anyone out there tried crosne tubers?
by llama momma Today at 2:20 pm

» 1,000 worms on their way....
by llama momma Today at 2:16 pm

» Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans
by llama momma Today at 1:59 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by Ginger Blue Today at 1:57 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by trolleydriver Today at 8:21 am

» New Member
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:29 am

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:24 am

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:20 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:09 am

» Calcium and Magnesium Deficiency
by sanderson Today at 2:14 am

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 9:32 pm

» Happy Birthday!!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:29 pm

» Facebook - SFG Foundation postings
by sanderson Yesterday at 12:32 pm

» Mid-South: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 7:40 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:16 am

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver 12/8/2016, 5:21 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by donnainzone5 12/8/2016, 12:13 pm

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by camprn 12/8/2016, 7:05 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 12/7/2016, 10:43 pm

» GF Collard Greens, Kale Recipes
by BeetlesPerSqFt 12/7/2016, 12:49 pm

» Bon fires on the Levee
by Cajun Cappy 12/6/2016, 12:17 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:24 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:06 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee 12/5/2016, 9:08 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

So confused about seeds?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

So confused about seeds?

Post  Countryprepper on 12/9/2012, 2:57 pm

This will be my first SFG and I have been looking at seed catalogs online but am confused on what to buy....I don't want to over do myself ...
I want to do
bush beans for soups and stews/chili (will be drying them for winter use)
Carrots for canning
Onions for drying
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Sugar snap peas
Peppers(green,red,yellow)
Cucumbers for pickles and summer salads
Thanks for the help

Countryprepper

Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-12-08
Location : Northern IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  Countryprepper on 12/9/2012, 2:59 pm

And of course tomatoes for canning whole,diced and pasta sauce

Countryprepper

Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-12-08
Location : Northern IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  camprn on 12/9/2012, 3:14 pm

The main thing to consider when planning the garden and ordering seeds is how much time the plants will have to grow and how much time the need to grow. All plants have different growing requirements and times. Here are a few things to consider:
*What is my growing zone?
*What is my average last frost date and average first frost date?
*How long does each plant take to produce a harvestable fruit/root?

Where I live in the north this is my list...

*What can I plant directly into the garden?
Carrots
peas
beets
spinach
radish
chard
turnip
parsnip
lettuce
onion sets
shallots
garlic
potatoes

*What do I need to plant weeks in advance inside my house to get a harvest?
broccoli
cauliflower
cabbage
Brussel's sprouts
onions
leeks
tomatoes
aubergine
peppers (chilis)
sweet potatoes
a variety of herbs

Well, those are my first thoughts... What a Face

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13984
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  quiltbea on 12/9/2012, 4:48 pm

When you say you're confused, is it the amts to buy or the varieties to buy?
For a home garden, you want probably 3-5 seeds per plant so if you lose any to non-germination, you have enuf left to grow more. These would be peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, turnip, radishes and cukes. Cukes can be started from seeds very successfully.
The radishes, lettuce and greens can be harvested and more sown again and again, so you'll need more seeds for those.
Don't forget, what seed you don't use can be saved in the crisper of your fridge for another 1-7 years depending on the crop.

It being your first spring, you will probably be buying transplants for your broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, herbs and a few others, so you won't need to buy seeds. Starting them inside can be fun but you need the proper germination heat, lighting and seed-starting soil and containers. Its a one-time investment and pricey, but its such fun to choose your own seeds and grow types you can't find at the nursery.
If you are buying your transplants at Walmart, Lowe's, Home Dept or a local nursery, you only need one plant per square for those named above.
Remember, some things can be planted twice or thrice in a season. There are both spring and fall crops from broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, beets, spinach, sugar snap peas, lettuce, carrots and greens.

For fall crops you want to start them outdoors in the summer allowing 14-21 days added to their days to maturity before your first frost date so you can have some to harvest before it gets too cold to grow. The summer heat is good for germination and then they have the cooler days to mature, which they love, and there are fewer insect pests in the fall.

As for varieties, choose the ones that do best in your area. The catalogs usually give lots of info on that front. I usually look for the words 'great, excellent or best taste or flavor' on the package.
Do you want to save seeds for the following year?
Then get open-pollinated or heirloom seeds. These can be organic or not. Hybrid seeds won't breed true the next year.

Being new you'll have questions come spring. Remember, we are all here and we like to help each other. Just ask the question and you'll get your answers. I hope this gives you an idea on what you might want to order this winter as you dream about your garden.

quiltbea

Female Posts : 4613
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  quiltbea on 12/9/2012, 4:51 pm

Oops, I forgot. Buy onion sets in the spring to plant if you want onions by early fall. Seeds won't grow in time.
Beans are sown from seeds in the spring to harvest when fully formed but I don't dry them so have no info to give you beyond buying a bit more seed than you might need.

quiltbea

Female Posts : 4613
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  camprn on 12/9/2012, 4:57 pm

@quiltbea wrote:
Being new you'll have questions come spring. Remember, we are all here and we like to help each other. Just ask the question and you'll get your answers. I hope this gives you an idea on what you might want to order this winter as you dream about your garden.
oops! Embarassed I forgot cukes on my list. QB is so right about planning for possible failure of plants and sowing extra or keeping seed in reserve.

The types of tomatoes I like to can are Gilberties and San Marzanos. they make excellent sauce. There is a host of other tomatoes that are fantastic for table fruit but don't can particularly well. I second the recommendation of buying transplants for the first year or two of starting gardening. It just makes it easier.

Another thing is there are so many back threads about many things you may have questions to that you may find an answer to your questions there.

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13984
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 12/9/2012, 5:03 pm

This past summer we grew four squares of Good Mother Stallard beans (Baker Creek Heirlooms) for dried bean use. They are some of the most delicious dry beans we've ever had, very creamy, and keep their shape without disintergrating. My regret: not planting twice as many! Another dry bean we have fallen in love with, though haven't found a seed source for it, is a large Italian bean called "Pope's Bean." There is a source through Amazon.com that imports it from Italy. I have kept enough uncooked to plant 4-8 squares next spring. Fingers crossed, Nonna

Nonna.PapaVino

Female Posts : 1437
Join date : 2011-02-07
Location : In hills west of St. Helens, OR

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  Countryprepper on 12/9/2012, 5:25 pm

I'm more confused by the varieties to buy

Countryprepper

Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-12-08
Location : Northern IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  camprn on 12/9/2012, 5:29 pm

@Countryprepper wrote:I'm more confused by the varieties to buy
What vegetable are you looking at and what do you want to do with it? I am assuming you would like to fill your pantry for next winter... is that correct? If so, choose varieties that will store well, can well, pickle well, dry well. A lot of stuff can be frozen. Some stuff is best for the table as fresh produce.

For example, I like the Space Master cucumber because it is a compact grower, the young cukes are tender and they hold up well in pickling.


Last edited by camprn on 12/9/2012, 5:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13984
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  quiltbea on 12/9/2012, 5:33 pm

Nonna....Those beans sound great. That sounds like a wonderful endorsement for those varieties.
Camprn....I know the Gilberties are superb. I got seed from you and I have to tell you that among the transplants I started last year and grew for the local community garden, the Gilberties were among the best producers (along with Sausage, another sauce-type, and Velvet Red) and all 3 escaped the blight far longer than many others.
Country.....You can probably use the varieties we use in New England from among the zones 5 and 6.

As for transplants.....your local nurseries will sell varieties that work well in your area but often a little too early so you might need to protect your transplants and keep them indoors nights until your days are below freezing.

quiltbea

Female Posts : 4613
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  cheyannarach on 12/11/2012, 10:40 am

I like to read through the seed catalogs some of them give great advice as to which type is best for storing, canning, pickling, etc. My favorite so far is the Bakers Creek Heirloom Seed catalog, that helps you compare different varieties side by side and it also tells you which areas certain plants do best in. As for drying your beans, look up the Rookie Topics, GWN did a rookie topic on it this summer, it should help! Have fun!

cheyannarach

Female Posts : 2037
Join date : 2012-03-21
Location : Custer, SD

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  Triciasgarden on 12/11/2012, 8:12 pm

@Countryprepper wrote:This will be my first SFG and I have been looking at seed catalogs online but am confused on what to buy....I don't want to over do myself ...


You will have to have will power of steel if you don't want to over do yourself! At least that is the problem most of us have! lol!

I think what might help you is to make a list of which types of tomatoes, etc. are good for your zone, then write down which variety you like and why and then narrow down the list. I know if I try to just remember which ones I like, I get confused. But I think I can do that without much work! The more you read and study, the more you will understand what you do and don't want. You can also check out the varieties that people mention they like and check and see if those grow in your zone. Do you know how to find out your zone?

Triciasgarden

Female Posts : 1628
Join date : 2010-06-04
Age : 61
Location : Northern Utah

View user profile

Back to top Go down

cost vs "real estate"

Post  daryl.weaver on 12/12/2012, 5:28 pm

Last summer was my first SFG. You are in for all sorts of fun, so congrats! As for what to plant, I understand exactly how you feel. For me there are a couple of questions I ask.

My garden space is very limited because of the shape and shade of my suburban lot, so I always look at how much of something I can grow in a given space. Leaf lettuce is perfect, IMHO, because you can get 4 heads to a square and by breaking off only what you need for each salad, a few heads go a long way.



Same goes for Swiss chard, spinach, etc. Sugar snaps were fun because they produce early and for several weeks and aren't something we usually buy at the grocery, so they were "special." While tomato plants take up 2 squares...that's a lot for me, I had one grape tomato that "spewed" fruit faster than we could eat it all summer. (I showed off to anybody who would look at it like a proud papa!).

On the other hand, broccoli for instance or head lettuce seem like they take up a lot of space for a single stalk/head compared to the price at the grocery, but I'll bet they taste way better fresh from the garden if you have the space.

Also, keep in mind some things are just too difficult or take way to long to grow from seed. Mel's book is great about recommending what to get as transplants from your local nursery, and your local nursery (vs. big box store) knows which varieties do best in your area, so definitely go local if you can.

Good luck and post pictures.


daryl.weaver

Male Posts : 104
Join date : 2012-01-10
Age : 54
Location : Madison, MS (zone 8a)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  landarch on 12/12/2012, 5:40 pm

I tend to agree with Daryl...I've found that some plants, in myh opinion, take up way too much space for what they produce (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). I have basically given up on these crops in my area for the spring garden (it's been too hot too soon the last several years) but they fit nicely in the fall garden when more space is available. I have learned that they should probably as far north in the SFG so as not to shade out other fall crops like lettuce, beets, carrots, swiss chard, radish, etc.

landarch

Posts : 1124
Join date : 2012-01-22
Location : kansas city

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  CharlesB on 12/13/2012, 5:59 am

A great place to start is here:

http://www.highmowingseeds.com/easy-to-grow-organic-vegetable-varieties.html

Just because these varieties are easy to grow or hardy doesn't mean you are sacrificing on taste/yield.

Getting to the best varieties for where you are is a process that happens over years. You get your plan, see what works best and get rid of what doesn't work and pick new ones to try.

I have a spreadsheet with many pages that keeps track of varieties that work well for me in my area. It isn't just your climate or your soil it is also how you garden. Someone who has automated irrigation may find a very different set of varieties work for them than someone who waters by hand or basically dry farms.

Consider taking a look at your local dollar stores. Some of my best varieties actually come from 33 cent or less stuff they are selling.

If you are looking for specifics these are my favorites, should work fine in your climate (I'm in Eastern PA):

Muncher cucumber
Early Girl Tomato
Blue Lake S-7 Stringless Pole Bean (Jung)
7-top Turnip Greens
Kohlrabi (Kossack Hybrid or Early White Vienna)


CharlesB

Male Posts : 273
Join date : 2012-01-02
Location : Philadelphia, PA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  walshevak on 12/13/2012, 8:41 am

Just to add another view, the leaves of the broccoli and cauliflower plants are just as good as the heads of florets. Think of them as another form or cabbage. This makes them a better space choice than if you just eat the florets. And the leaves will withstand frosts that will kill the florets.

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4310
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 73
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  daryl.weaver on 12/13/2012, 9:24 am

@walshevak wrote:Just to add another view, the leaves of the broccoli and cauliflower plants are just as good as the heads of florets. Think of them as another form or cabbage. This makes them a better space choice than if you just eat the florets. And the leaves will withstand frosts that will kill the florets.

Kay

Good to know. Thanks for the idea.

daryl.weaver

Male Posts : 104
Join date : 2012-01-10
Age : 54
Location : Madison, MS (zone 8a)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  Triciasgarden on 12/15/2012, 8:55 pm

My grandson, who is five, told me he likes the stems of the broccoli better than the florets. I was surprised. When I harvested my broccoli I had also cooked some of the leaves and I tasted it. It tasted yummy! That was before I knew that people actually ate the leaves. Think how much farther broccoli will go in feeding us! I grow a full bed, 4' x 6' of broccoli. One year I grew probably 4-6 plants of broccoli and we had lots of family over. I cooked it as a side and before I could get any, it was gone! After that I made sure I grew a full bed of it!

Triciasgarden

Female Posts : 1628
Join date : 2010-06-04
Age : 61
Location : Northern Utah

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  thegreatcob on 12/15/2012, 11:53 pm

the answer to the original poster question about production can be found by using
vegetable plant production calculator. there several are good ones in print and online. you can find them with online search or a visit to book store or library.
Since the original poster was vague how much of each he/she need I can not give
answer based on any of calculators that have on subject. most other poster did answer this question with number since not enough info was given.

now if you ask how many plants you would need and the space needed to produce on x lbs of dried beans I could give range. But top production and weak production has range difference of 25% in space and plant needs.

thegreatcob

Posts : 52
Join date : 2012-08-23
Location : usa

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  yolos on 12/16/2012, 9:12 am

Triciasgarden Yesterday at 8:55 pm
My grandson, who is five, told me he likes the stems of the broccoli better than the florets. I was surprised.


I agree with your grandson. I like the stems better. I think it is a consistency thing. The florets have these little beady ends but the stem is nice and smooth. sunny

yolos

Female Posts : 2861
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 66
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  walshevak on 12/16/2012, 10:40 am

I used to resent the cost difference in the broccoli at the store. Then years ago I started buying the cheaper per pound broccoli that had the big stem attached. I learned to used the stems like celery in my oriental stir fry. That way a head of broccoli made two meals, one of florettes and one of stir fry. Somewhere along the line, I started making broccoli stem sticks for dipping in ranch dressing along with the carrots and celery. Then I saw the broccoli cole slaw mix at the store - Shredded stems. This forum started the talk about eating the leaves and I discovered they are quite tasty. Made a big difference in my decision to plant space hogging broccoli.

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4310
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 73
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/16/2012, 11:12 am

This is so interesting! I'm so happy that we can eat the leaves as I still have broccoli growing in my garden but no florets this late in the year. Thanks for all the great info!
santa walshevak, this kinda looks like your li'l guy, right?

CC

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5381
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: So confused about seeds?

Post  Sponsored content Today at 5:21 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum