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looking forward to 2014 spring

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looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  FamilyGardening on 12/5/2013, 2:50 am

Hi folks are you all working on your spring garden plans?

our family is working hard on having a spring, summer and fall/winter garden for 2014

we will be feeding four of us and 5 new ladies.....

our new family will arrive as chicks in April cheers  yes we took the plunge after a couple of years wanting to get rabbits or chickens but our city laws were preventing us....now that our city changed some laws this year and are allowing us to have 5 chickens or ducks or rabbits or even 2 min goats....we decided to order some chicks and give it a go I love you 

that has led us to working even harder on getting as much out of our gardens as possible to feed all of us next year.....

I believe we pretty much have all area's filled except 2 5x8 beds for spring....these two beds are going to be filled with summer corn but until then.....

not sure what to plant that's fast growing in spring to be able to be done by the time we plant corn.....any idea's?

so far for spring in are gardens we have planned:

Potatoes

leeks

onions

carrots

broccoli

cauliflower

cabbage

bok choi

lettuce

spinach

radishes

peas

celery

we are still eating kale that will take us through spring until it goes to seed

what plans are you making?.......any new seeds your trying?

happy gardening
rose

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  boffer on 12/6/2013, 9:28 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:...we decided to order some chicks and give it a go I love you 
Good for you; I'm sure your kids will love them!

@FamilyGardening wrote:...not sure what to plant that's fast growing in spring to be able to be done by the time we plant corn.....any idea's?
I direct seed my corn, and typically the ground isn't warm enough for corn until late May at my house.  You could definitely do lettuce, spinach, radishes, and bok choy. I planted bok choy in February last year, and couldn't believe how fast it grew.

If you planted seedlings in a hoop house in early Feb, you should be able to get some broccoli by corn time.  I'm usually eating broccoli for the first time of the year when row gardeners around me are just getting theirs planted.

@FamilyGardening wrote:...any new seeds your trying?
Just a short list so far.

Lady Bell green peppers
Romanesco broccoli
Banana peppers
Georgia sweet onions

I've got broccoli, cauliflower, chard, kale, and celery still under hoop houses with no supplemental heat.  It will be interesting to see what survives the 15° nights I've been having.  I have a space heater in the chicken coop, so my girls are doing fine.  But I have to switch out their outdoor water dish twice a day because it freezes up so fast.  Shocked

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  quiltbea on 12/6/2013, 10:56 pm

My plans for next spring have changed dramatically with health issues entering my life.  I'll have less veggies but they'll be closer to my back door for easy access and care.  The 'back nine' (my raised beds up a steep hill) will be mostly flowers and some root crops that take little attention.  I can't navigate that hill too often to suit regular veggie beds.  I intend to grow veggies as long as I can so plans continue at my house.
I realized my flower beds were a perfect space for some of my veggies this year so I plan to tuck some in between roses and irises once again.
In the meantime, for the long winter, I'll make my plans and change them a dozen times before planting, I'm sure.
Good luck everyone and enjoy the planning.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  camprn on 12/6/2013, 11:04 pm

@quiltbea wrote:
In the meantime, for the long winter, I'll make my plans and change them a dozen times before planting, I'm sure.
Good luck everyone and enjoy the planning.
+1 Ayuh!

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  southern gardener on 12/7/2013, 12:26 am

Rose, I'm sure you and your family will love your chickens! They are so much fun, and a lot of entertainment! We put our compost bin inside of our chicken coop, and they are doing a great job of helping to turn the pile, and "fertilize" it while they're doing so! Good luck with your babies and your upcoming garden. We are in So Calif, so are still gardening and harvesting Smile

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Marc Iverson on 12/7/2013, 1:14 pm

Familygardening -- I saw a toy choy advertised that supposedly takes only 30 days. I know you're growing bak choy already, but maybe some of those quick-growing ones would also be good? Also, mache is great in cold weather, extremely durable, though it takes up to a month to germinate.

I'll be trying to grow entirely from seed this year, which should cut costs quite a bit. Overall, I think I'll be growing many more greens, as I planted so many tomatoes last year that I'll have to take it easy on them this year, and I can go through greens very quickly in the summer.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  plantoid on 12/7/2013, 7:26 pm

@boffer wrote:
@FamilyGardening wrote:...we decided to order some chicks and give it a go I love you 
Good for you; I'm sure your kids will love them!

@FamilyGardening wrote:...not sure what to plant that's fast growing in spring to be able to be done by the time we plant corn.....any idea's?
I direct seed my corn, and typically the ground isn't warm enough for corn until late May at my house.  You could definitely do lettuce, spinach, radishes, and bok choy. I planted bok choy in February last year, and couldn't believe how fast it grew.

If you planted seedlings in a hoop house in early Feb, you should be able to get some broccoli by corn time.  I'm usually eating broccoli for the first time of the year when row gardeners around me are just getting theirs planted.

@FamilyGardening wrote:...any new seeds your trying?
Just a short list so far.

Lady Bell green peppers
Romanesco broccoli
Banana peppers
Georgia sweet onions

I've got broccoli, cauliflower, chard, kale, and celery still under hoop houses with no supplemental heat.  It will be interesting to see what survives the 15° nights I've been having.  I have a space heater in the chicken coop, so my girls are doing fine.  But I have to switch out their outdoor water dish twice a day because it freezes up so fast.  Shocked
Boffer I know this is off topic ( it can be moved if required )  :-

 Ever tried making a simple drinker to go on the inside of the coop ( I used  to do this with glass bottles when I was a kid) . 
 
Make a capital ( uppercase )  wooden letter " F" about 12 inches from top to bottom , 2 inches between horizontals and the whole letter " F"  made of 3/4 x 3 inch wide planed wood stock.

In the short bit/horizontal , bore a 1 & 1/4 hole so you can fit an inverted plastic quart soda bottle in it when the "F " is inverted  .
 
Make a 1/4 deep thin cut   ( grind it out  ,  file it out   or make  a double blade  hacksaw cut ) in one side of the bottle thread from the opening towards the base of  screw  thread , this lets air into the bottle to let water out. Once the level of the water covers the air hole it stops coming out.   Have some sort of band to retain the bottle to the " F" .

 Invert the " F with a filled water bottle in place  ,( keep your thumb over the hole )  slip a saucer under the open neck . You might use deep sided  plastic jar lid instead of a saucer and locate in a depression in the wood etc.( I used four x  1 inch long  panel pins to retain the saucer )  to stop the chooks moving it .  Don't glue  or screw the lid in place as  it does need cleaning every few days . 
 
 If your interested I can do a sketch for you and post it in a separate thread .

Hey Presto you have an automatic drinker that you can hang inside the coop to stop it freezing

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  boffer on 12/8/2013, 10:28 am

@plantoid wrote:
 Ever tried making a simple drinker to go on the inside of the coop ( I used  to do this with glass bottles when I was a kid) .... 
 
 ...If your interested I can do a sketch for you and post it in a separate thread .

Hey Presto you have an automatic drinker that you can hang inside the coop to stop it freezing
Thanks, Plantoid, I follow what you're saying.  Others might appreciate some sketches/pictures.  Auto-waterers aren't cheep Wink  these days.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Goosegirl on 12/8/2013, 1:52 pm

Trying to decide what carrot variety to try this year.  Anyone ever tried St. Valery?  Can't decide between that and the Danvers Half Long.  Already know I will be putting in Purple Dragon.  Done Cosmic Purple for the last 3 years.  Love them!

GG

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/8/2013, 2:39 pm

I don't know St. Valery, but I grew Chantenay toward the end of this year and had great luck with them. They were amazingly tasty, too, and fat. I will be using them again next year since I've had such a hard time with carrots in the past.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Goosegirl on 12/8/2013, 2:53 pm

The Cosmic Purples have been consistently good for me, and this year they were the best ever.  Had some Danvers 1/2's which did pretty well.  The selling point for me on the St. Valery is that they are 10-12 inch length.  More carrot bang per square than a 6 incher.  My boxes are bottomless and were set on previous lasagna (sheet composting) beds so I know I have the soil texture deep enough for these whoppers, but I am concerned about flavor - I don't want 50 lbs of flavorless orange.  

GG

Update - read the reviews on Baker about the St. Valery and they all say sweet even when big, so I placed the order!


Last edited by Goosegirl on 12/8/2013, 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added Update)

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/8/2013, 5:08 pm

Excellent! Keep us updated, 'kay?

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  FamilyGardening on 12/8/2013, 6:06 pm

 GG...... let us know how the carrots grow and taste....we are still working on growing our carrots.....seems like each batch we sow we get a couple good ones a lot of small ones and a few weird looking.....LOL....we are still striving to get nice looking BIG sweet ones .....says our 7 year old son Razz 


wow Boffer your hoop beds do so well!!.....We really love banana Peppers.... this year we are going to grow them in our SFG beds, in the past we have grown them in topsy turvy hanging planters and they did great Smile .....Hubby and I have been talking about what to plant before our corn.....our cole crops always seem to take longer then they should so we are afraid to put them in.....what do you think about a short season potato ....like Yukon golds.....they don't store well but they are my favorite tatter and I can always can them.....

quiltbea.....keep us posted on how you are doing.....im glad to hear you can change some plans and move gardening closer to the house to allow you to continue to grow Very Happy we turned our front yard into garden space, left some grass and have planted in and around other plants and bushes.....this year we planted 100 garlic cloves in and around our roses Very Happy they are companions ... the garlic helps control aphids!

SG......we love the idea of our chickens becoming our composters Very Happy since we are going to put wire fabric down on the floor of the chicken run we are thinking about putting a thick layer of woodchips down first.....we have used the chips in the dog kennel and it works out great!......wish we had the warm weather here to continue to grow and harvest!.....we are working on it though....we cant control the weather but we are learning and planning at least to have a spring, summer and fall/winter garden....having chickens is motivating us to grow more for them!

marc.....last year was our first year to grow all from seed.....we only bought a couple plants at the store because something happened to our seedlings and we wanted replacements....but other wise its all from seed and sooo much cheaper!....thanks for the idea of the toy choy and mache....I will have to look that one up.....never heard of it.....Very Happy 

plantoid I would like to see one of those as even our dogs water buckets have been frozen every day.....which is not as big of a problem as they are brought indoors during the winter, but once we get chickens im positive my husband would frown on the ladies coming indoors......Razz 

happy gardening and dream well of spring to come Very Happy 
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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  herblover on 12/9/2013, 11:28 am

I grew 'Scarlet Nantes' and another variety of carrots (I think it was 'Little Finger"; will double check that when I am at home). It was my first year growing carrots and they were a huge success! Will definitely be planting them again.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  gwennifer on 12/11/2013, 2:01 pm

Oh how cool that the laws have been updated and you can get the chickens now! Or goats? Wow!

YouTube is your friend - tons of DIY chicken keeping tutorials. Here's an easy, cheap water heater:

Be sure to check the comments. Putting it on a piece of plywood instead of spending a buck on a cement paving stone seemed extremely stupid after warning us about the fire hazard from straw. Also not a big fan of all those extension cords. I'd want a permanent line in buried conduit.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  plantoid on 12/11/2013, 3:40 pm

Here is the non electrocuting chicken drinker made out of an old soda pop bottle
It works well so long as it does not drop much below freezing inside the hen house.

If such conditions are likely to arise perhaps use a ceramic or black heat low wattage bulb  in the vicinity of the drinker.
Do try and reduce draughts to a minimum not only will they cause the drinker to chill /freeze it doesn't do the chickens much good either.  

I had a look at the halfwit's video using a incandescent bulb under a plastic container.
 IDIOTIC in the extreme , no safety margins or thought about getting electrocuted if he ( he used a crutch  to get around ??) falls /trip forward , spills water on the bulb and it pops the glass leaving live wires in the bulb body exposed.

Didn't think much of him using an internal use only socket extender either as he was using it outside under a tin roof where condensation can run down the underside of the roof and drip into the extender making the thing live if touched but not causing a fuse blowing short .

 I would have simply used his plastic drinker suspended from the roof deep inside the hen house to keep it about 8 inches off the floor and use a ceramic heater bulb ( wire secured inside an earthed metal conduit ) much higher up above the drinker inside the hen house.


Anyway here's the picture.



Any probs with it please feel  free to post .
You can also make the same set up but instead of cutting a slot in the bottle thread  melt a couple of small holes in the bottle cap , fit it on a filled bottle  and suspend it on the neck holder  1/2 from the bottom of the saucer /bowl .
It will drip in 1/2 " of water ..every time the chooks drink and the water falls below the holes air will enter the bottle and a few more drops of water will come out ..it's not as effective as a slot cut in the bottle thread .
.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  gwennifer on 12/12/2013, 1:31 pm

Yeah Plantoid, like I said - you gotta read the comments under that video to take the idea and make it safer.  Laughing  Here's another with the same concept, but with conduit instead of an extension cord, a porcelain fixture for the bulb, and the whole thing is enclosed in cement/stone so the waterer isn't sitting over the exposed bulb. (Plus the inverted funnel over the waterer so the chickens can't jump up on it).

However, since you're relying on the bulb heating the stone that the waterer is sitting on, if you read the comments you'll see people are having a hard time figuring out what wattage of bulb to use to heat their stones up.

By the way, you're method seems to be an automatic waterer - a way to keep a clean supply of water for the chickens. I can't see how it keeps the water from freezing? Maybe I'm missing something.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Turan on 12/12/2013, 1:52 pm

@gwennifer wrote:Yeah Plantoid, like I said  - you gotta read the comments under that video to take the idea and make it safer.   Laughing   Here's another with the same concept, but with conduit instead of an extension cord, a porcelain fixture for the bulb, and the whole thing is enclosed in cement/stone so the waterer isn't sitting over the exposed bulb.  (Plus the inverted funnel over the waterer so the chickens can't jump up on it).

However, since you're relying on the bulb heating the stone that the waterer is sitting on, if you read the comments you'll see people are having a hard time figuring out what wattage of bulb to use to heat their stones up.  

By the way, you're method seems to be an automatic waterer - a way to keep a clean supply of water for the chickens.  I can't see how it keeps the water from freezing?  Maybe I'm missing something.  

This looks pretty much like what my DH came up with.  We gave up on the capping stone and are using a metal tin piece instead. DH worried about no cap at all because of water might hit the bulb and shatter it. In the last cold snap he did take off the metal cover as well. Just very careful.

We talked about just using my grow mat for starting seeds on.  In the long run they will use a lot of power but for a cold snap they should do fine.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Goosegirl on 12/12/2013, 5:46 pm

I got my Baker Creek order today! Now I just have to contain myself for the next few months.   

GG

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/4/2014, 3:54 pm

This is going to be our 5th season at the Toy Box. I keep wondering how much more we can squeeze in. We are going to take the plunge and put our potted trees into the ground, raspberries and blueberries too. Holding our breath as we move more food plants to the front garden.

I have nearly been on pins and needles waiting for the TSC catalog so I can order a pound of Sugar Dots corn .....but they stopped carrying it! I Googled it and found that a couple of companies (that I have never bought seed from before) that Home Depo carries, include Sugar Dots in their selection, so maybe I can find at least a few packets. I know others in the PNW grow corn, what works for you-s?

The New York Early onions are storing as nice as they grew. It is almost time to start more. Season 4 was my first time ever to grow onions from seed to storage. It was an odd year last year (for the first time EVER I wondered what to do with all those tomatoes).

Can hardly wait to see what kind of cuteness Rose's chickens will live in!

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  FamilyGardening on 1/6/2014, 4:50 am

so good to hear from you Debs!

your little homestead sounds like what we are trying to do too....squeeze in as much as we can....

how is the front garden area going for you guys? what do you have planned for this year?

last year was our first year to really grow food out front....we planted an apple, peach and two cherry tress and with just from 4 squash plants we harvested at least 25 squash...the most squash ever for us to harvest....we also got the biggest walla walla onions ever....in fact all of the spring garlic, kale, swiss chard, green onions and strawberries are all staying out front   Very Happy 

I believe the key is finding the right spot for each type of veggie and make it their home...now that I know the squash will do so much better out in our front garden that's where its going to stay.....so excited to see what else we can grow out front.....cant wait to hear what you guys are planting out front!

in our back garden we are also going to make permanent area's for our root veggies.....first spring planting potatoes and then carrots, beets, turnips and such for fall/winter harvesting

we are also thinking about keeping our corn beds and cole crop beds permanent as well.....just seems reasonable to be able to plant and harvest on a larger scale to put up for winter.....then using these beds to get a fall/winter crop planting by the square for more of a varrity of veggies and herbs..... ...for us and the chickens......

I understand crop rotation and that's what we have been doing.....im hoping with adding hens to our gardens it will help cut down on bugs and disease from not rotating ......if it doesn't work out....then we will go back to rotating.... Very Happy we are hoping to make a chicken box to put over the beds like we have seen in your videos and rotate the hens around when the beds are empty.....

we still have our official SFG area with 2 4x4 SFG beds for planting of mix veggies per square.... 1x8 for root veggies....with lots of baskets, pots and containers filled with herbs and goodies.....kind of like a kitchen garden area.....

again I look forward to your updates! been following your FB page as well  Very Happy 

happy gardening
rose....who was able to get her onions and leeks started in doors

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/6/2014, 2:28 pm

THE FRONT GARDEN: It is mostly dreams. We have a multi pear tree that we want to plant there. But, if there is room, we would like to put in a couple of pie cherries. The Artichokes look like we lost them to the first frost.

Imagine my surprise So we cannot afford to make more SFG's. What to do, what to do? I've been following this guy in Sequim who does this whole, Back To Eden thing. I notice a thread (practically a yarn) on my favorite board, so I have a look see, since we are going to start doing that with the new beds. Who started it and who is the resident expert? Why it is my sweet Rose!!! Suprise! I am only up to page 5 of the post, but am I ever jazzed!

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Marc Iverson on 1/6/2014, 6:21 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:I got my Baker Creek order today! Now I just have to contain myself for the next few months.   

GG

Merely by buying a single seed packet, I wind up with enough seeds that I have to contain myself from buying new packets, for most vegetables, for years at a time.

Marc Iverson

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Goosegirl on 1/6/2014, 6:59 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:I got my Baker Creek order today!  Now I just have to contain myself for the next few months.    

GG

Merely by buying a single seed packet, I wind up with enough seeds that I have to contain myself from buying new packets, for most vegetables, for years at a time.

Each variety package generally lasts me a few years, but each year I tend to try a new variety or 2. I just have to contain myself from trying to start them in the house too soon because I already have them but have at least 4 more months of ice and snow.

GG

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

Post  Marc Iverson on 1/6/2014, 7:29 pm

Me too. We've had snow till May here before.

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Re: looking forward to 2014 spring

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