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What will you do differently this year?

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  cyclonegardener on 1/17/2013, 9:51 pm

I'll be growing radishes to sell in the grocery store via my cold frame. I also will move a cold frame and then put a raised bed in its spot and plant an heirloom muskmelon. I will also experiment with daikon radishes and develop a landrace for a cover crop.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Lemonie on 1/17/2013, 10:49 pm

@GWN wrote:SHEESH. with all this talk of obnoxious geese and turkeys, I think I might just train my dog to hunt grasshoppers. He usually sits mystified at them pondering whether they are worthy of a chase..... or not..
My tarantulas LOVE grashoppers! Twisted Evil I have a little boy that likes to catch them in the summer for me to feed to them....but have half considered letting them loose in the garden for the summer if I knew they'd stay there. I stick with letting the little orb weaver and wolf spiders make their homes in the garden. They don't seem to bother people but took care of a lot of bugs last year. I'm learning that my attempts for organic gardening are taking some creativity. study

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  GWN on 1/18/2013, 11:27 am

I have a little boy that likes to catch them in the summer for me to feed to them....but have half considered letting them loose in the garden for the summer if I knew they'd stay there. I stick with letting the little orb weaver and wolf spiders make their homes in the garden. They don't seem to bother people but took care of a lot of bugs last year.
My you seem to have an interesting menagerie....

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  quiltbea on 1/18/2013, 12:01 pm

I used lightweight row cover over my strawberries last year to protect from the 'hoppers. I didn't find any holes in the cover when I folded it up in the fall. Maybe they can't get a grip on it like they can with tulle, which has all those little openings throughout.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Kelejan on 1/18/2013, 1:47 pm

What I am going to do for the first time when the next snow season comes, is to dig a path right around my garden, so that I can visit each of my beds, compost piles and my shed, get easy access to crops such as carrots, and provide an enclosed loop so that I can push my dog outside to do his business so that I don't have to dress up like an Inuuit.
If I start as soon as the first snow falls when the stuff is light and fluffy, it should be easy to have a two-foot wide path. Pile the snow on the outside of the loop so that Jazz will not want to climb over that side.
What brought this on is when I carved a path through a two to three foot deep snow pack to put some "liquid" on my compost pile. The snow was very hard packed and tough going. I was mostly up to my thighs and still sinking into my footprints.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  quiltbea on 1/18/2013, 1:57 pm

Kelejan....that should help. My grson shoveled a path in a loop outside my kitchen door for the dogs' nature calls, and after each snow its very easy to shovel away the new accumulation.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Kelejan on 1/18/2013, 2:07 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Kelejan....that should help. My grson shoveled a path in a loop outside my kitchen door for the dogs' nature calls, and after each snow its very easy to shovel away the new accumulation.
I wish I had thought about before the snow fell. But thanks for the verification, I knew it ws a good idea and easy to do if start right away and not as hard work as clearing my driveway.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  jillintx on 1/18/2013, 2:20 pm

quiltbea - that's a good point about row covers vs tulle. I'll add that to my battle prep for this spring! Thank you!

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  sfgteachers on 1/19/2013, 9:55 am

I'm determined to install drip systems in at least some of my boxes. I also want to plant edamame (soy ) and purple mustard. Since i keep chickens, I hope to strengthen my compost with more chicken manure.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/20/2013, 12:51 am

This will be my second year. I started on a whim last April/May and didn't know about Mel's mix, so I brought a truck load of commercial planting mix and filled my 5 x 10 bed (yeah, I wish I'd read before building!) I'll be amending that soil quite a bit this year and adding a lot of compost to it, it's pretty sandy and doesn't hold water really well but things grew great in it last year.

I remembered seeing the SFG PBS show and knew I had bought his book years back but couldn't find it so I just dove in. A couple months later I came here, read a bunch and bought the new book and created 3, 4 x 4 table tops for this year.

I am going to rig up one table top with heavy shade cloth to try to grow my lettuce all year if I can. That table is behind a tree and the house on it's east side so it will have morning cool shade. We have a full 2 months or more just below or above 100 degrees.

I want to attempt the worm tower concept in my beds, even if they might not survive in my heat I want to at least give it a try as some people have had success.

I want to buy the winter growing book I've seen talked about here (must go look to find it) and next fall have things really growing in my large bed that has a light weight greenhouse frame around it. Then I can harvest through the winter rather than trying to start things in the winter.

AND last but not least, I'm giving straw bale gardening a whirl this summer for my big plants that take up so much room. Room I have (5 acres) so I'm going to give them their own space and let them run a little wild.

This year I'm growing to feed 3 households: My husband and I, our daughter and son-in-law and our daughter and her room mate. The pressure is on, LOL! affraid

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 1/20/2013, 12:07 pm

AudreyJ: you're going to love the bale bed; but be forewarned: filling the center of the rectangle formed by the bales takes a lot of compost. Our experience was to partially fill the center of our hay bale rectangle with commercial compost/forest compost/garden soil and homemade compost, then add 6-8" of Mel's Mix on top. Yield from the plants in this bale bed was very generous. After that season (2 years ago), the bales had really started to decompose, was full of worms, and sprouted lots of mushrooms. I planted potatoes in the bed and was rewarded with the biggest harvest of potatoes we've had in 30 years of gardening! For its third year, I will build a frame around the area, with a hardware cloth lining (to keep out moles/voles) and fill the center with the 2-yr-old Mel's Mix augmented with the composted hay surrounding it, some additional vermiculite, and a dose of combined kelp/blood/bone meals. Will be fun to see how it all works out. Keep us posted on your experience, will you? Nonna

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/20/2013, 1:20 pm

Nonna;
I'm going to use the bales themselves as the garden. I'll be starting the process at the end of this month, beginning of next. You actually start the bales composting themselves and then plant your seedlings or seeds in them after the process works, it gives off enough heat to give you about a month's jump on the garden (hot bed-ish)

There's a post on here somewhere where I posted the links to what I had learned. We have a family that uses our land to run about 25 head of cattle and I bought their left over, moldy straw bales (which is perfect for this use). My melons, tomatoes, potatoes and squash are going into them. We'll see how it goes!

My seedlings are doing well out in my mini greenhouse covers for my table tops. It's so fun to see the 1-2 inch babies grow a little each day! I can't wait for spring.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  johnsonjlj on 1/21/2013, 7:26 am

@jkahn2eb wrote:I'll make 100% effort to find tasty eggplant dishes. It is my best producer in the desert summer and so far I've failed at the various recipes. Grilling seems to be the best. I know I need to let it soak in water/salt before cooking longer.

I plan to put up a permanent structure of wood beams to increase vertical gardening and hang shade cloth (instead of using flimsy, ugly PVC pipes)

Lastly, do a better job maintaining my irrigation system and watering cycles.

jkahn2eb, I also have to use shade cloth here in the summer. My garden has partial morning shade, no noon or afternoon shade, and by 2 pm is being blasted by the hot Florida sun. Last year I found that using metal electrical conduit in a large U shape was perfect for holding up shade cloth (attached with zip ties). I just screwed 2 of the metal clamps into each side of my raised beds and slid the metal pipe into them. Extremely strong but looked clean, and inexpensive. This winter I used those same clamps to hold 10' plastic conduit to form a hoop house over my beds and have been growing all winter long.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

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