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Minnesotan - 2nd yr. of sq.ft. garden - newbie

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Minnesotan - 2nd yr. of sq.ft. garden - newbie

Post  jkdistad on 5/10/2010, 1:33 pm

Hello, newbie from Minnesota here... I'm in my 2nd year of square foot gardening. My first attempt last year was a mixed bag, but mostly GREAT! I started off very small, only 2 4x4 boxes. My biggest failure was my corn and bush beans.... total flop, but I think some disease got the corn, as the ears totally looked like cancerous tumors (YUCK!)... the beans, who knows, they just never took off. The carrots experienced a wash-out due to the over-zealous watering contributions of a friend's 3yr. old, and I don't think I did really thin the survivors well enough... lesson learned. Everything else did pretty well.... my broccoli was the gift that kept on giving (love those side shoots!) and my spinach went great guns! The zucchini and yellow summer squash had their moments, but may have been a bit crowded (2 plants in a 4-sq.ft. space). The poor tomato just didn't stand a chance against the cool summer we had last year, and the strange vine-rot they kept getting on their bottoms, and by the time we got our first snow in October, I had over 2 dozen green tennis ball size fruits that I had to harvest all at once to keep them from freezing (they ripened decently in my veggie basket in my kitchen).

All in all, it was a great experience, and this year we are doubling the garden (for a total of 4 4x4 boxes). I'm also trying lots of new veggies, as well as several of last year's tried and true favorites! I'm looking forward to lots of great advice and ideas here on this forum from all you wonderfully experienced gardeners. Now I'm off to the general forums to ask some questions about potatoes and parsnips!

Cheers!

Jennifer
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jkdistad

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Re: Minnesotan - 2nd yr. of sq.ft. garden - newbie

Post  shocks20 on 5/10/2010, 3:26 pm

Welcome to another Minnesotan!! I am in the same boat as you...had two 4x4 boxes last year and doubled it this year. Hopefully everything does even better this year than last for you!!
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shocks20

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Re: Minnesotan - 2nd yr. of sq.ft. garden - newbie

Post  jkdistad on 5/10/2010, 3:36 pm

LOL! had to start out small to convince DH! He says I'm great at going big... too big! hehe... we're good at getting in over our heads, so I knew if we were going to be successful, we had to exercise some restraint! It may be small, but it is amazing what you can pack into that small space!

Thanks for the welcome!
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Welcome!

Post  auntiemommy on 5/10/2010, 3:50 pm

Welcome from another fellow MN! I am in the southeast part of the state.
I am new to SFG this year, but have been gardening for well over 10 years. I have 2 4 x 8 boxes and a 4 x 6 box this year and am already planning my addition for next year.
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auntiemommy

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Re: Minnesotan - 2nd yr. of sq.ft. garden - newbie

Post  milaneyjane on 5/10/2010, 5:14 pm

Hi from another MN gardener. Don't feel bad about the corn. I lost an entire 20ft x40ft garden of corn last year due to the poor weather. What did grow in ours was horrible. We usually have phenominal corn. I have gone back to the tried and true "Gotta Have It" variety---super good!
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milaneyjane

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from MN also

Post  faith8080 on 5/10/2010, 9:06 pm

Hi, I'm from MN, too, and this is my second year! I started with 1 4x4 and 1 2x8. My best crops last year were grape tomatoes and cucumbers. The rest of the crops were, shall we say, learning experiences? Things I learned: fence to keep rabbits out, plant more of certain things (beans, peas), pay more attention to timing of planting.

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Re: Minnesotan - 2nd yr. of sq.ft. garden - newbie

Post  new2this on 5/11/2010, 7:54 am

Welcome, MN gardeners!
It'll be nice to swap ideas/tips from so many of you in my zone......I am a first time gardener, so this'll be interesting. My bed is doing good so far. And I'm patiently waiting for some warm weather to get my toms going....love those toms!!
I wish we had a longer growing season here, but I shouldn't complain - I do like MN!!

Nice to "meet" you, and good luck with things.

Tonya

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Re: Minnesotan - 2nd yr. of sq.ft. garden - newbie

Post  jkdistad on 5/11/2010, 12:31 pm

Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

Yes, a fence against the rabbits is a must, not to mention the deer! Where we live (right smack in the suburbs!), we have a HUGE deer problem! There is a herd of approx. 70 that roam behind my house. I have to have a 4ft. tall fence around my garden site just to make sure the deer cannot reach over/into it to help themselves. I also make sure my boxes are about 2 feet from the fence just to increase the distance. Seems to be working so far! I'm looking to replace the fence this year (since we are expanding a bit), and am having trouble finding 4ft. tall anything of any quality that doesn't cost an arm and a leg! I also have 5 children, and the younger ones are highly interested in the garden and push on the fence, so not only does it have to deter the deer and rabbits, but also a 3 yr. old and an 18 mo. old! LOL!

We scrapped the corn this year.... maybe we will try again another year when we expand the garden even further... maybe if/when we move to another house/more permanent location and can justify really investing in a garden site. I'll keep that "gotta have it" variety in mind!

And yes, I wish this weather would hurry up and get nice.... it sure is hard to get any decent gardening done, with it drizzling and only 40 degrees out!
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Re: Minnesotan - 2nd yr. of sq.ft. garden - newbie

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