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2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

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2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/4/2014, 3:03 pm

Here are my musings from last year to this year.  Thank you Brainchasm for the idea!  

1.  Corn - never again.  Tried 3 different seasons, 3 different varieties, all busts - unless I break out the recipes for corn smut (it is a delicacy in other parts of the world).

2.  Tired of battling the bindweed.   frustration  That one box will be dug and sifted and if necessary, lined with titanium.  If it doesn't do better after that, I will move the box and pour a patio - unless Boffer has any other suggestions (like how to sneak a blow torch past Hubby).

3.  My asparagus bed has been a constant battle against the phlox that was there before.   waste of time  This year I am going to seed it with flowers and herbs to attract pollinators, let the phlox do its thang, and be happy if I find a spear or 3.  I give up! 

4.  As much as I like experimenting with new things, I just don't have the time or energy, so I am sticking to the basics I know we love and eat, and will just experiment with different varieties of those (trying a 10-12" carrot this year! bounce

5.  I have been lax on the pest control, and lost all eight broccoli starts to the local rabbit.  Will be ON TOP OF THE PEST CONTROL THIS COMING SEASON!!!  neener 

6.  I want to expand my composting operation.   

That's all my brain can come up with right now, but having it down in writing is helping me gel my plans for the season.  Everybody chime in about your successes and failures, and what you want to do differently or continue - and why.  can't wait to hear some stories!

GG

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  jmsieglaff on 1/4/2014, 4:08 pm

My 2014 change list:

1) Agreed on the corn, but for me because the production just didn't justify the room, that and there is really good sweet corn from many nearby farms.

2) I got some tarp grabbers to make my own sized tarps, but I'll be using burlap.  I'm going to try to use the burlap tied to my fence posts over regions of the garden for 1) tie it very close to the ground for protecting spring planted seeds of lettuce, spinach, radishes, etc. from heavy rains and 2) tie it up higher for shade for summer growing lettuce and summer sowing fall crop of spinach

3) As usual mixing a few new varieties (3 new tomatoes, 1 bush plant of zucchini, 2 new sprouting broccoli, 1 new hot pepper, 1 new lettuce, 1 new radish, 1 new cuke, 1 new herb and trying sweet potatoes!).  I usually don't try as many new varieties, but I'm expanding things a bit so I've got some more real estate to use!

4) Starting a multiple year squash breeding project to come up with my own variety of vining summer squash.

5) Starting onions from seed.

6) This is year 3 of my asparagus bed, so I'm hoping for a nice harvest, we picked for about 3 weeks last year and hoping for more production and will harvest a couple weeks longer as long as the spears are big enough.

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  sanderson on 1/4/2014, 7:19 pm

#4 sounds exciting!

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/4/2014, 7:25 pm

@sanderson wrote:#4 sounds exciting!
+1

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  boffer on 1/5/2014, 9:25 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:...That one box will be dug and sifted and if necessary, lined with titanium.  If it doesn't do better after that, I will move the box and pour a patio - unless Boffer has any other suggestions (like how to sneak a blow torch past Hubby)...
GG

1. A short TT
2. Join the Volunteer Fire Dept. and become a torch expert!

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/5/2014, 9:48 pm

@boffer wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:...That one box will be dug and sifted and if necessary, lined with titanium.  If it doesn't do better after that, I will move the box and pour a patio - unless Boffer has any other suggestions (like how to sneak a blow torch past Hubby)...
GG

1. A short TT
2. Join the Volunteer Fire Dept. and become a torch expert!

 rofl rofl rofl I knew you'd come through for me Boffer!
A good friend of ours is ON the Volunteer Fire Dept! Maybe I could get him to take care of this for me!  thinking 

GG

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  boffer on 1/5/2014, 9:58 pm

Home baked cookies open lots of doors!  Wink 

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  walshevak on 1/5/2014, 10:01 pm

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dragon-VT-2-23-000-BTU/dp/B00004Z2FP

Will this work?  Smile 

Kay

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/6/2014, 8:06 am

@walshevak wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dragon-VT-2-23-000-BTU/dp/B00004Z2FP

Will this work?  Smile 

Kay

That will work! Now, where do I get the cloaking device to get it past Hubby?!

GG

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  walshevak on 1/6/2014, 6:18 pm

Guess it's too late to give it as a gift to him.  rofl 

Kay

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/6/2014, 6:45 pm

@walshevak wrote:Guess it's too late to give it as a gift to him.   rofl 

Kay
He'd just tell me to take it back..... sobbing sobbing sobbing 

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  boffer on 1/6/2014, 7:13 pm

@walshevak wrote:Guess it's too late to give it as a gift to him.   rofl Kay

So that's why I received a crock pot and an enameled cast iron Dutch oven for Christmas!  I shoulda thought of that!   silly me

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  landarch on 1/6/2014, 7:41 pm

1) start more veggies from seed myself.

2)  be better prepared for seed starting dates.

3)  be better prepared for extended season plantings (early spring and fall gardening).

4) get my grow light shelving and T5 fixtures set up.

5)  sell seedlings to members of my community garden.

6) grow good bell peppers (going to try Socrates, Aristotle, King Arthur)

7)  remain hopeful...my SFG boxes are within the street Right-of-Way and there is construction scheduled for the spring and summer.  Plans show that I am to get a new curb and gutter so hopefully disturbance and damage is kept to a minimum...was glad engineers decided to put the new sidewalk on the other side of the street or the only space for my SFG's would be gone.

Cool learn more recipes...grow more of what we enjoy eating...(garlic and basil for fresh pesto, beets for pickling, tomatoes, onion, peppers for salsa, herbs like rosemary for roasted chicken, dill for pickling and butterflies, etc.)

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  R&R 1011 on 1/21/2014, 12:38 am

Ahhhh this year:

Im going to baby those eggplant seeds and get them to sprout!

Im adding garlic, potatoes, strawberries, and shallots this year.

Set up a rain barrel, watering system.  Reaching 3 hoses across the lawn was a PITA.

Buy a pitchfork and actually TRY to compost.  I just threw stuff in my bin last year and did not much else to it.

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2014 plans, SFG year 2

Post  ETNRedClay on 1/21/2014, 11:05 am

Not again:

1) Corn, too little for too much space and work when the whole valley has corn in pick-ups 3/$1.  Three sisters a bust in 2 different beds/locations.
2) Eggplant, 6 types in 3 beds and got ONE tiny eggplant and lacy leaves, may get some as bug traps
3) Tomatoes: 6 types in 3 beds and was overrun with tomatoes, which turns out, I don't like all that much, rather eat a cuke or zuchinni (and did).  I was composting toms, feeding toms to dogs, giving away toms, froze a bunch of toms and threw those away, because I need maybe 1 tom/week for soup and that's plenty. Can buy one really good/week from neighbors who are in love with toms.
4) Tomatillos, same as above.  Hugely prolific, didn't care for them.
5) Lavender, epic fail, when the Rosemary was a ginormous success.  May try again different location, different mix, but it was just sad...
6) Winter squash, 3 kinds, produced OK, took uip tons of space and turns out I don't like it.

Definitely do again:
1) Greens of all kinds were monsters in the garden, produced hugely, and I had a garden meal a day from 4/1 to 6/1 then the squash came in and yowza.
2) Summer squash, I love it, dogs love it, massive production, especially scalloped/patty pan and yellow crookneck
3) bush beans -- love love love beans
4) potatoes, plant and water and dig, simple.
5) Sweet potatoes, plant and water and dig -- yum -- simple.
6) Peppers, peppers, peppers (sweet ones anyway) want more peppers
7) Carrots, the trick is patience, stop pulling one a week to see. 
Cool Strawberries -- will be expanding that lovely section of the SFG for sure
9) Cukes, boy howdy,can I grow cukes!
10) Icebox Watermelon on cattle panel arch, fantastic!  Small, but sweet and worth 2 squares and the arch
11) Snow peas, already started under lights,I want to plant about a 100x what I did last year.
12) Swiss chard northern lights. for the color it adds to garden if nothing else
13) Basil
14) Rosemary

Trying again and hope for better:
1) Garlic
2) onion starts

Trying new:
1) Ground cherries
2) Walking onions
3) mulitplier onions
4) New Zealand spinach
5) Yardlong beans
6) golden zucchini
7) mini Bok Choi
Cool Pak Choi
9) chinese cabbage
10) a dozen new salad greens
11) garden (summer) peas
12) celeriac

I'm still waorking on varieties.  Had 7 kinds of green beans last year and loved 3, keeping those and adding 9 more.

By eliminating corn and toms, I freed up TONS of space!

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  sanderson on 1/21/2014, 1:22 pm

ET, It's nice to know what you really like to grow and eat. Sounds like you will really enjoy this year's garden.

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  ETNRedClay on 1/21/2014, 4:24 pm

Thnx, Sanderson,

I knew going into SFG, it would be a lot of trial and error -- not in the build/mix/plant process, but in the What-do-I-really-want-to-grow part.

There are a lot of things that might find their way on my plate at a salad bar, but one bite once/month doesn't justify the seed/work/space.

And for a person who ADORES any tomato-based sauce, I was amazed at how few toms were necessary to make a quart of tomato sauce.  And how little I actually use.

I'm having fun experimenting with varieties as well.  Blue Lake bush beans are terrific and well-deserve their reputation among row farmers -- produce, and produce, and produce.  Taste good, freeze well, cook up nicely.

Grow and learn.

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  sanderson on 1/21/2014, 5:36 pm

I enjoyed the bush Dragon Tongues.

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  ETNRedClay on 1/21/2014, 7:16 pm

I'm trying the following beans this year:

Bean, Bush, Baby Gourmet
Bean, Bush, Blue Lake 274
Bean, Bush, Cherokee Wax
Bean, Bush, Contender
Bean, Bush, Derby
Bean, Bush, Dragon Tongue speckled
Bean, Bush, Goldrush
Bean, Bush, Kitchen King
Bean, Bush, Royal Burgandy
Bean, Bush, Stringless Burpee
Bean, Bush, Tendergreen
Bean, Bush, Tenderpod

Love those beans.  And these, too.

Bean, Pole, Black Turtle 1700s
Bean, Pole, Rattlesnake
Bean, Pole, Red Noodle yard long
Bean, Pole, Yard long

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  sanderson on 1/21/2014, 7:46 pm

I will grow Dragon Tongue, and maybe Kentucky Wonder, again this year.  Plus try Rattle Snake, Chinese Red Noodle, and Purple Podded.

So, do you like beans?   Very Happy

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  ETNRedClay on 1/21/2014, 9:42 pm

I like bush beans right off the stem or boiled with bacon grease and new potatoes or in soup or....  they make a great addition to a lot of things, hardly any calories, low fat, high fibre, EASY TO GROW, pretty as they grow -- a nearly perfect food. 

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  Marc Iverson on 1/21/2014, 10:14 pm

I like that they have both that characteristic "green veggie" taste and are very high in protein, two things that don't usually go together. They really are a great food.

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And stir-fried

Post  ETNRedClay on 1/22/2014, 12:10 am

Forgot fresh green beans stir-fried lightly in EVOO with:
- diced new potatoes and rosemary,
- sweet peppers and onions and cracked pepper,
- dill, or 
- crumbled bacon

Now, I'm REALLY hungry and it's way too late to be eating anything...

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  slimbolen99 on 1/22/2014, 12:28 am

NOT DOING AGAIN / REDUCING THIS YEAR :
Corn -- for whatever reason, either not enough sun, not enough water (hottest year I've been alive), or too close of spacing, and the cost of water and space, the corn won't be returning to my garden this year.  There are several small farms nearby that sell great sweet corn for less than I can produce it.

Broccoli - didn't do well my first year, and we really don't eat enough to justify enough square foots to make it worthwhile.

Tomatoes - Instead of doing four plants of four varieties, we'll be doing two plants of six varieties -- one plant for the squirrels and one plant for us.

NEW THIS YEAR:
Potatoes: I did these in a container as an experiment last year, and we'll be expanding these 10 fold this year.  They did great, and it was a good learning lesson about what can be done in a small space.

More Flowers: Adding two varieties of pansy, two of violets, six kinds of coneflower, one sunflower, milkweed, and eighteen different types of native flowers for caterpillars.  We want to create a butterfly haven; a place for adults to feed and lay their eggs, the 18 types being caterpillar food.

Herbs: About 25% of our 20 new 4'x8' beds will be devoted to herbs; basil, lavender, thyme, cilantro and parsley, oregano, marjoram, tarragon, sage, basil, rosemary, chives, dill, mint, fennel, etc.

Asparagus: I am determined to have success with asparagus.  This year, we are digging up some tubers from our parents' houses, as well as purchasing some seedlings from the local nursery, and I am going to baby these things like nothing else.

Zucchini & Cucumbers: Found out we (the kids and I) really like fried zucchini, and cucumbers in our salads.

ADDING MORE (double, or triple, or more):
Peppers - sweet
Carrots
Onions
Beans
Peas
Spinach
Potatoes (mentioned previously)
Okra

These vegetables we have found are pretty expensive in the 'off season', and are easily frozen or otherwise preserved, to where we can use them later in the year, and we have had great luck growing them.

Looking forward to a great 2014.  And hopefully less hot weather!

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

Post  ETNRedClay on 1/22/2014, 12:47 am

>"our 20 new 4'x8' beds"

Nearly fell out of my chair when I read this, then sat and stared.  I am so humbled.... and looking forward to seeing all YOUR hard work and what it produces.

(Did he say TWENTY new beds?  Wow, just wow!)

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Re: 2014 N&C Midwest - What are you changing for this year?

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