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Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

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Re: what have you learned?

Post  trustinhart on 9/24/2010, 11:43 pm

Re: Old Hippie's post, +1

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Megan on 12/31/2010, 6:18 am

I was about to post a reply to the "Planning... help!!" thread (http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4840-planning-help#38939) when I realized my content really belongs over here instead. Smile

In playing with an online garden layout tool, just fiddling to see how it worked, I found I was making some interesting plant choices.

There are some things I'm not going to try again, or, if I do, only if I really have space for them. Corn, for one. Don't get me wrong on that one... I grew up on a farm and I LOVE fresh corn, but with limited space, low yield per square, and farmer's markets, I will put that one low on my list.

I am not going to plant pole limas again. I got a nice crop, but only a few cups of seed for one square. (Not a bad harvest... just want to economize on space.) I am torn about the pole (green) beans, though. I got a better harvest from them, but it became clear as the season went on that the variety I bought is really meant for dry seed. I got a couple cups, again... but along with that, a batch of dilly beans put up and a bunch of messes of fresh beans through the season. Undecided, there. May just have to. Smile Someone gave me some cowpeas, maybe I will try those instead.

I want to plant more of the things I had fun working with. Cucumbers, for sure. I was so sad I couldn't can any of my own last year. Double the amount of basil, more lettuces and radishes. Maybe I can keep the peas alive this year. Try potatoes again. And try again with the tomatillos, though I may be too far north to make a good go of those.

I told myself last year I would stagger plantings, but I didn't do a good job of that. I staggered different crops, when what I really needed to do was plant squares of same crop, a few weeks apart. I loved my broccoli raab last year, for example, but with only two people you can only eat so much at one time. That only counts for some crops, though. Others that are cut-and-come-again, like Swiss chard, can keep going all year.

I will be be more careful about planting large plants close to smaller ones. I had my tomatoes one square over from the peppers last year, and that was just too close. The peppers got shaded/crowded and I think they needed more air circulation, too. (Speaking of air circulation, I will also be much more of a brute about pruning!)

If I manage to make these boxes in my backyard work, I think I'll want to divide up by plant size, to a certain extent. It makes sense to me to put the cut-come-agains all together, and it would be doubly nice if they were at TT height.

I will plant herbs/plants I want to eat the greens from (like chard) far away from plants I know I'll be spraying, like cukes and squash. I had a good crop of cilantro last year that I was afraid to eat, as it was right in the middle of the rampicante patch and I was spraying heavily with Neem oil.

Again, speaking of which... I will be a brute about DT and Neem oil, too. Going to hit it early and hard! The cucumber beetles and squash bugs almost made me forget about those dratted flea beetles. Almost.....! Mad

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  outsideasy on 12/31/2010, 1:21 pm

What a great thread and thought provoking read, I was looking at my garden and thinking of what to plant to make it better than last season, also my first season. So much relates to my experience of one season and things to do and not to do. Our biggest threat was the cut worm, and inch worm, I'm sure they will be back and we are more prepared this season. But the one thing I learned is Fennel planted from seed doesn't bulb out if planted in Spring, it just bolts when it gets hot and when planted in late summer (Aug-Sept) it grows well in the remaining hot days and bulbs out nicely by November-Dec. This was worth learning and now I know when to make room for lots of fennel in my SFG. Others wrote of overcrowding spaces with large plants shading out others, I did that too and I hope to plan better this season.
I also agree that SFG is addicting.

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  camprn on 12/31/2010, 4:26 pm

I am going to plant more tomatoes (Gilberties) but pretty much stick with what worked last year. However, I am so going to cut the tops off of the tomato plants when they get to 7 feet. 10' was too tall. Rolling Eyes

I am going to leave some of my first beets in the ground to a later date so that I may display them at the County Fair.

Carrots were agonizingly slow going this past year and they are pretty cheap at the store, I may skip them and use the space better.

Powdery mildew doesn't have to be a death sentence for my summer squash.

I learned that December 15 is far too late to try to harvest late onions. Hopefully the earth will release them in springtime.




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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  erbarnett on 1/1/2011, 10:00 am

I plan to simplify this year. I will plant only vegetables I really like, which are easy to grow by personal experience, that produce in good quantity, and which do not require staking. I plan to start as early as possible, and grow romaine lettuce, red and green lettuce, turnips, beets, radishes, and Swiss chard. The only experiment this year will be one broccoli plant.

I planted 2 green cabbage plants in September 2001, and they now seem to be doing well, in spite of all the snow and low temperatures. In November, I mulched them with pine needles, and have only the tops exposed to the atmosphere. Will they produce heads eventually?

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Spraying

Post  ander217 on 1/1/2011, 10:28 am

@Megan wrote:I told myself last year I would stagger plantings, but I didn't do a good job of that.

I will plant herbs/plants I want to eat the greens from (like chard) far away from plants I know I'll be spraying, like cukes and squash. I had a good crop of cilantro last year that I was afraid to eat, as it was right in the middle of the rampicante patch and I was spraying heavily with Neem oil.

Again, speaking of which... I will be a brute about DT and Neem oil, too. Going to hit it early and hard!

+1 - I haven't sprayed even organic Neem oil in my garden because I'm so afraid I'll kill the bees, but I've got to do something this year to get the bugs under control. They were awful last year. Dipel and Neem oil will be on my list of things to buy. I'm tired of providing an all-you-can eat buffet for garden villains. frustration screm

(BTW, what is DT? I know about DE - diatomaceous earth, and BT - bacillus thuringiensis, but I can't figure out what DT is.)

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  outsideasy on 1/1/2011, 12:20 pm

If you spray Neem oil in the evenings after the bees stop flying it will dry before morning and no harm will come to the bees. Also I have been using Dr Earth organic insecticides and fertilizer with great results. I don't mean to sound like a commercial and I'm not pushing their product but it is what I am using with great success.
Al

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Megan on 1/1/2011, 4:32 pm

I meant DE, sorry! And last year I tried to spray the Neem oil very early, or very late.

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Megan on 2/10/2011, 9:26 pm

Bump! And I learned that three really healthy squares of basil are enough for pesto to last you all winter! Very Happy

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Blackrose on 2/10/2011, 9:41 pm

@Megan wrote:Bump! And I learned that three really healthy squares of basil are enough for pesto to last you all winter! Very Happy

Oh dear! I have 4 squares of basil planned. I was thinking of freezing some chopped basil in ice cube trays too for dropping into pasta sauce, etc.

I've learned that you definitely need more than 3 different kinds of compost. I will be rectifying this mistake this year by re-mixing my current MM.

I've also learned that one 4x3 box is not big enough. I had containers all over the place for the overflow. SFG is addictive! I may need a 12 step program.

good job!

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Megan on 2/10/2011, 9:45 pm

@Blackrose wrote:
@Megan wrote:Bump! And I learned that three really healthy squares of basil are enough for pesto to last you all winter! Very Happy

Oh dear! I have 4 squares of basil planned. I was thinking of freezing some chopped basil in ice cube trays too for dropping into pasta sauce, etc.

I intended to freeze mine too... but it has lived in the fridge all winter. I didn't mix in the cheese and nuts (just basil, garlic and olive oil) in an attempt to save money and calories; I mix the cheese and nuts in when I want to. The basic mix is wonderful on top of pizza! I have close to a quart left.


Last edited by Megan on 2/10/2011, 9:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  middlemamma on 2/10/2011, 9:47 pm

@Blackrose wrote: SFG is addictive! I may need a 12 step program.

Bite your friggin tounge! I have no intentions of seeking help, but if my family gets wind of a 12-step I am gonna have to call y'all for help!!!!

HA HA!
Jen

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Blackrose on 2/10/2011, 10:00 pm

@middlemamma wrote:
@Blackrose wrote: SFG is addictive! I may need a 12 step program.

Bite your friggin tounge! I have no intentions of seeking help, but if my family gets wind of a 12-step I am gonna have to call y'all for help!!!!

HA HA!
Jen

Well, I guess it's better than smoking or drinking. Although, I'm thinking a glass of wine out by the garden might be nice.

Hmmm.. or maybe the bottle...
bottoms up

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Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/10/2011, 10:07 pm

I have learned that country gardners really, really do need deer fencing around the garden.

I have learned that deer will eat all but three leaves off a good sized fig tree.

I have learned that, if I collect them as I work in the garden soil, cut worms and other larvae are very popular with birds when lined up along the deck railing!

Is this a great place to share thoughts, or what?

Nonna

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/10/2011, 10:51 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:I have learned that country gardners really, really do need deer fencing around the garden.
I have learned that deer will eat all but three leaves off a good sized fig tree.
I have learned that, if I collect them as I work in the garden soil, cut worms and other larvae are very popular with birds when lined up along the deck railing!

Is this a great place to share thoughts, or what?

Nonna

Nonna, you don't have to live in the country in order to need deer fencing around the garden, and around your roses, hydrangeas, cherry tree, dahlias, herbs, geraniums and and and......

I have learned that if you bother to put up deer fencing, that you must actually CLOSE the fencing when you are done for the day. Ask me how I know.

I have learned if you did not cover your broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower when those pretty whiteish butterflies with the single or double dark spot on each wing were flitting about your garden, you will NEVER be able to pick off all the cabbage worms. BT is the cure and you must do follow up sprays, not just one treatment.

I have also learned it is not safe to leave me alone at Territorial Seed Co without adult supervision. I now have many more packages of seed than I will have squares in my boxes.

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/11/2011, 10:31 am

SFG 12-step program: One Box At a Time (until you've completed all 12) Laughing .

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  boffer on 2/11/2011, 10:37 am

donnainzone10 wrote:SFG 12-step program: One Box At a Time (until you've completed all 12) Laughing .

And just to be on the safe side, re-do the 12-step program a second time! Wink

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  Blackrose on 2/11/2011, 1:00 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:SFG 12-step program: One Box At a Time (until you've completed all 12) Laughing .

funny post darn funny

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

Post  LaFee on 2/11/2011, 1:38 pm

Let's see..that'd be a 3 x 4, or a 6 x 2.... Wink

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Re: Care to share what you have learned in the last few months?

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