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Winter crops puzzling

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Trial and error

Post  scruffyfeathers on 11/26/2015, 9:58 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
@scruffyfeathers wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:My timing was waaaay off for both early spring and late fall crops.  Learning as I go!  Start earlier is my take-away.  But I have a much shorter season than you, scruffy.
Yep, the varied season lengths and climate do come into play.

I have been reading as much as I can but it's the differant planting seasons from the various posts make it such a confusing search. 

The way I look at it, this is just a small experimental winter garden so rather than panic I am just going to set back and observe.  That way I will know what works for "my" next years winter garden in my area.

Yes, I agree.  Really, this whole first year was a trial and error thing.  I planted too much patty pan squash, too much chard, and too many pole beans.  Not enough carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach, and need more variety in the tomatoes.  All came on at once.  It really is interesting.  My squash crowded out my carrots.  Yukon Gold potatoes were great!  Peppers did nothing, for whatever reason....

The Yucon Gold did come out tasty but they were really small. Most everything I planted in my spring garden came out small as I discovered there was a severe nitrogen deficiency in the soil. A few of my Yucon reached the size of tennis balls but the vast majority were lucky to get any larger than golf balls. Most of them were even smaller. The taste was spot on but out of 130 plants we didn’t get entire bushel.

My yellow squash and zucchini really took a serious hit. Out of 45 plants each we only got three meals. I planted the “bush” variety. While they were small as well, Bugs and grubs were the culprit there killing the plants. My second planting faired not much better even though I put 4 inch collars around the stems. While these plants produced a huge yield the squash all got attacked when they were about two inches long by little grubs. I only got a handful from that planting. Next year I plan to plant the vine variety and trellis them to keep them off the ground. I lost almost all of my corn. Out of 1200 stalks we only harvested about a bushel. Again, lack of nitrogen as the majority of ears were not much larger than okra. All in all, with just a few exceptions my garden would have turned a professional gardener toward basket weaving. On the good side, I have almost ten yards of compost cooking for next year.

All in all, while my garden did not turn out any where near as well as I had hoped, I have learned a lot. I have made some great friends at the extension office and I pay close attention to what they tell me. Because my goal is a continue harvest throughout the season they have given me some great instructions of how to stagger my planting, how to properly amend the soil and most importantly, where to plant specific plants according to the results we got back from the soil samples.

Next year, if I duplicate this year’s harvest the odds are I will direct my energy toward woodworking or a “Dear Scruffy” blog /column for forlorn gardeners.


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Re: Winter crops puzzling

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/26/2015, 2:06 pm

lol! Too true. I think you will find the SFG experience MUCH moer satisfying, Scruff. Really high density plantings help soooo many issues. The bible is All New Square Foot Gardening 2nd Ed. It is the BOMB.

I agree, though, like many pursuits that are worthwhile, making food from the Earth and your own efforts is a very worthy one. Sailing....yeah....enjoy the planning, and know that you can take your time!

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Re: Winter crops puzzling

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/26/2015, 2:10 pm

My Yukon Gold were amazing. I planted 1 per SF of seed YG, and got about 5 or 6 lbs. Nice taters.

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Re: Winter crops puzzling

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