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Veggie gardens, anyone??

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by geekette, May 11, 2019.

  1. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    I am gearing up to have a massive veggie garden this year, with lots of help.

    Part of it is reducing food cost, part is physical therapy, part is nature therapy (for me, that is a Real Thing - the hawk visited my deck TWICE yesterday, mood lifter for me), and maybe I can make a few bucks or barter with excess.

    it was in the 40s overnight, it is sunny and past 50 now and ready to get out there. I got the babies out of the greenhouse, thankful to have it, and everybody has had a drink and now enjoying sun.

    Most everything is starting from seed, but I did buy tomato plants, eggplant (a first for me!) and ... crap, what was the other...? I'm going to say Cabbage, not something I normally grow.

    The kale seeds are off to the fastest start, but I will today be getting into the ground actual plants (toms, eggps and we think cabbage). Oatmeal in my tummy, morning coffee done, just waiting on a call back from my main helper that usually brings at least one extra guy with him.

    Anyone else into gardening?
     
    mpumilia, Chrispee and Panina like this.
  2. chellej

    chellej TUG Member

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    I did. A 4 x8 raised bed last year....herbs, tomatoes and zuchinni. It was a learning experience. No more zuchinni for me, it over ran the peppers and tried overturning everything else. The tomatoes and herbs did really well.

    So this year I am adding 6 beds that are about 18 inches across and 5 feet long....they will go along our fence and keep the dogs from digging at fenceline. Planted the big bed last weekend and doing the smaller ones this weekend.

    Trying corn, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, and 3 varieties of peppers and herbs, carrots and radishes.

    Funny thing is, my husband has never been interested but I travel a lot in the summer for work and he did most of the. Watering and care (he is semi retired). It was his idea to add the additional beds....he hasn't admitted it but I think he enjoys it
     
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  3. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    oh, that's the best part, actually liking it!! Great expansion plans!!! I'm excited for you, that sounds like an endeavor!

    Definitely nice to have a partner that will help, all the better when they like it! Maybe he will enjoy grilling veggies? Peppers are great grilled. Tomatoes, also, but messy.

    It's fun to build the area, and nice to eat results of toils. Adds something to pride of ownership and I find it fulfilling to live off the land.

    I'm glad you had tomato and herb success, as those are really the underpinnings of it all for me. I always plant tomatoes, such a big bang for the buck, such a useful vegetable (or fruit, depending on who taught you what in grade school). Be sure to try different Bloody Mary concoctions, I hid a lot of great herbs in mine, so it was really a healthy smoothie with an adult twist. I've done sundried, too, the years I was overflowing in them. I don't/won't can. I have added Romas to the lineup for the first time, bought em the day before I heard about the MX tomato problem.

    I haven't done raised beds before but planning it this year just for speed and convenience. I have a pile of old deckboards that can be boxes. I have not ever been able to successfully grow carrots due to clay soil but they might make it in a raised bed, so giving it a go. Corn, I did it once and will not repeat. Takes too long, too much space, and deer eat the stalks. Good luck, I hope you get several plants with several ears each. Peppers, I had success for the first time with them last year. Variety bell this year, no hots or chilis. Radishes first time, too. Not sure I even like them, but good snack food and salad zest, so what the heck. Someone donated parsnip seeds, so I guess I will find out if I like them (if very old seeds still work).

    Zuchini, I give them a massive corner to themselves and plant few, I get sick of the stuff and eventually you can't give it away because everyone else is sick of it, too!!! Last year, 2 plants, seriously disappointing crop. One mature zuch. Tomatoes were a bust last year, too, except the cherry toms, but, I did not have my Better Boy in the ground, he was in a pot, it makes a huge difference.

    Herbs, yes, oddball assortment of those going. Tough to keep chipmunks out, tho. They love basil. I have a volunteer from last year, looks like parsley. Today I'll munch a leaf and find out!

    Good luck!
     
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  4. Free2Roam

    Free2Roam TUG Member

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    I started with an AeroGarden a few years ago as a hobby. Then last year did my first container garden on the deck (I'm not growing to feed the deer that roam freely in my backyard.) However I'm considering transplanting the basil to the yard because it just grows so fast I can't keep up with it. If I do that I'll look into repellant for the deer and other creatures. My daughter wants me to try a few root vegetables, so I may put those in the yard also.
     
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  5. clifffaith

    clifffaith TUG Member

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    I think we are done with artichokes after this year. I won't cook them since I won't eat them (way too much effort for a small return), and Cliff got tired of me hollering at him every time he destroyed another steamer because he wandered off while they were cooking. We've supplied the neighborhood with artichokes for two years now without cooking one ourselves, and last week I sold my artichoke plates for $10 and threw in a half dozen of the vegetables. As soon as the last dozen babies get big enough to give away, he claims he's going to give away the plants too, but we'll see.

    He was pissed at me this winter because he planted lettuce but I kept buying it at the grocery store. Here's the thing -- home grown lettuce requires me to bend over (bad back), pick it, wash it, spin it. And I have a low threshold for bitter. Don't have to do any of that or worry about bitter greens with store bought romaine. I watched him harvest the last of it last week, then he washed it and put it away without spinning it. Checked the bag yesterday and it is not quite brown and mushy enough to hand it to him for the compost pile. With any luck he's been cured of planting lettuce again.

    Now strawberries on the other hand are well worth bending over for. We've always gotten a handful any time we wandered by the beds, but the last two years they've gone crazy with several pints at a time. This year he doubled the "acreage" and I think next year will be a banner year. I don't mind picking the pole beans or tomatoes, but by about mid-summer I've pretty much had it with both.

    Orange juice bothers my stomach, but Cliff enjoys harvesting a few oranges a day for juice between Tax Day and Thanksgiving ( to me they aren't sweet enough before Juneteenth Day). Most years there are still oranges for me to use in my Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, but occasionally we have to buy them. My mom and the neighbors are the only ones who benefit from the lemon tree -- I may cut one open for wedges in ice tea, but that's about it. We had the second lemon tree removed 4-5 years ago and a tangerine planted, but I think we paid $500 (half labor, half new tree) for nothing. Tangerine tree is still knee high and produces exactly one delicious fruit each year. Apple tree produces way more apples than we can eat, but can't really give them away because too cumbersome to explain that these are not apples to eat whole, they need to be cut in half to be sure there isn't a bug inside. Seems to be no rhyme or reason to the years we have just a few bugs, and years 2/3 of the apples have a bug in the core. In July/August when the fig tree has ripe fruit the great big iridescent green flying beetles find us. Yuck! Best to pick figs before the marine layer burns off in the morning, or after it comes in during late afternoon-- the beetles seem to prefer sunny conditions.

    All this gardening takes place in a suburban back yard; 3/4 of it concrete with large in ground planters for the trees, 1/4 in raised beds for flowers and veggies. For thirty years we sold window coverings and Cliff never had a mishap with the ladder. He learned the hard way that the oranges at the very top of the tree are best left unpicked. About five years ago the ladder twisted ( of course he had leaned it into the branches) and down he came onto the concrete on his back. After I said to him "I told you so" ( I was in the yard but had purposefully turned my back so I didn't have to watch his foolishness), I brought him a pillow for his head ( which he tells me he consciously avoided landing on) so we could take stock of his injuries while he laid still. After determining legs and arms seemed to be intact I sent him off to get X rayed-- three cracked ribs. But considering we know of two local men who fell off ladders and died (gutter cleaning and Christmas light installation), he got off easy.
     
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  6. Chrispee

    Chrispee Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] IMG_0153.jpg [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    We’re living right in the middle of urban Vancouver, but have six raised beds in our back yard along with fruit trees and a chicken coop. It’s a lot of work but our son loves it, and it’s satisfying to have fresh produce that we grew on our own!

    This year; peppers, potatoes, kale, asparagus, runner beans, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, cabbage, cantaloupe, apples, plums, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  7. amycurl

    amycurl TUG Member

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    I have a CSA for that. We've been a member of one for probably seven years now, at least, following farmers, mostly. Here's our current one. We've been really pleased with the produce so far--we're drowning in some of the most beautiful lettuce ever! The best part is that this farm is literally just a few miles from my (pretty urban) neighborhood. :)

    In addition, we do usually grow a few things ourselves, in containers on our porch. We gave up on tomatoes, because the squirrels always got them. This year, we're growing jalepenos; thai, lemon, and sweet Italian basils; calendula.
     
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  8. "Roger"

    "Roger" Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    One word of warning ... don't put your pepper plants into the ground until the soil has had a good chance to warm up. The plants will survive, but later you won't have that many peppers to pick.

    We always have people asking us why they had such nice looking plants late in the year but (almost) no peppers. The first thing we ask is when did you plant them. It never fails ... early. Not quite as critical, but delaying the eggplants is also a good idea.
     
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  9. Ralph Sir Edward

    Ralph Sir Edward TUG Member

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    I do almost all gardening in containers. Soil where i am is heavy black clay. (I call it "black concrete"). I have had sporadic success with potatoes in bags. (they do taste better homegrown.)

    Mostly I grown raspberries and Blackberries. I have an orange tree that lives but does not product. (Cultivar "Arctic Frost".)

    And roses. 23 rosebushes. . . .
     
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  10. stmartinfan

    stmartinfan TUG Member

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    I've had a 20x20 plot in the community garden at my church for 10 years now, mostly to grow some heirloom tomatoes plus experiment with a variety of things each year. I garden for the exercise, the incentive to get out and enjoy our too short summers in Minnesota, and for the sociability. (By the time I pay the rental fee, buy plants and seeds, etc., it would be cheaper to visit our local farmer's market!)

    But I have loved getting to know a whole new group of people at the garden. We have a large area dedicated to growing fresh produce for our local food shelf and part of the “fee” to have a private plot is a commitment to help in the food shelf section. We grow fhousands of pounds of food each year and help them meet one of their highest demands..fresh produce. And I've gotten to know some fun people as we work together to pull weeds and harvest. Anyone in the community is welcome to rent a plot, so i've also gotten to learn about an interesting mix of new plants from some of the newer immigrants to our area.
     
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  11. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    Wow, I'm so glad to read all these posts and great pics!!!

    I have been rained out but got some things done before it got too heavy. Some kale needed to be rehomed along with some other items that don't have a spot yet but were getting root bound (red cabbage and eggplants). I am zone 5, it was 41 last night and not sure it made 60 today. Back into little green house with everybody that's still portable for the night again. I am doing what I can to keep the seeds warm but some are in the ground and they'll just have to fend for themselves.

    Oh well, not every day is meant to be spent outside. I did want to relo a lilac but probably better to do it post-bloom anyway.

    Had also hoped to start chopping crap in the way of the big garden but the rain came faster than expected. Tomorrow is another day! On to housework! blech. I prefer playing with outside dirt vs inside dirt.
     
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  12. clifffaith

    clifffaith TUG Member

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    We took some stuff over to HazMat today. On the opposite side of the small lane that winds back to where the guys in bunny suits take your crap, is a bunch of really decrepit looking garden patches for the public. It reminded me that the city had said a few months ago that the garden was toast, but then they changed their mind, at least temporarily. Of course it is early in the season so that's why some of it looks bad, but I don't know how well used it is. HazMat, the spot where Cliff goes to get free compost from the city and the scruffy gardens are between some railroad tracks and the base of a small hill, so I suppose that is good use for what is probably railroad right of way.
     
  13. mdurette

    mdurette Sighting Expert & TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We really haven't had a good warm spell here yet. (It's only 41 degrees at the moment!). Off our back yard is a path that leads through the woods an open area that is my garden. It is so peaceful back there, I love it. And since it can't be seen from house/yard it doesn't have to be "pretty" like the rest of my landscaping. My trellis system is old and ugly - but functions. And it is ok back there!

    The garden has progressed over the years from a field to defined areas with landscaping timbers, added a fence around it a couple years ago and last year I added 6 raised beds.

    I first started growing everything I liked to eat - but have stopped most of it:
    Broccoli - always had tiny worms
    Romaine lettuce - always ended up being spider homes
    Asparagus patch - I could never grow enough for a complete side dish to a meal.
    Summer squash and Zucchini - I could have fed 20 houses with what 2 plants of each produced!

    I still do plant:
    Tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beets, carrots and peppers and I have a raspberry patch.

    The remaining veggie areas are now just for fun: We have done baby watermelon, butternut squash, pumpkins, gourds, corn and potatoes. I'm not sure what my just for fun plantings will this year yet!

    BUT.....what has taken up most of my garden now - is MY FAVORITE part of the garden. This is the one I plan double in size this year. It is a cutting flower garden. Oh, I love it! I go back there with my clippers and cut away. I love fresh arrangements in my house - I'm not a master at it, but my messy vases of missed matched flowers are pretty. And when the height of the season comes around - I bring the extras into the office and leave bouquets on my neighbors porches. Everyone seems to appreciate them more than a bag of zucchini!
     
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  14. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    We don't have a lot of sun in our courtyard but do have some areas where we grow various edibles. We've finished up with lettuces, spinach, and greens and picked our first two tomatoes this weekend. The tomatoes and herbs are probably all we'll have from now through summer.
     
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  15. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I never was into it or good at it. I don't like digging in the ground and then all the work and fighting the elements and wildlife. I just stop at a farm stand sometimes. When I was working there was always someone bringing in the excess from her garden for anyone who wanted it.

    It is just the two of us anyway and we can only eat so much. I don't do canning or any of that.

    That said, if we were going to stay here in this house I did think of buying a small greenhouse where I could just use pots and grow some basil and tomatoes, etc.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  16. Ralph Sir Edward

    Ralph Sir Edward TUG Member

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    And maybe a few flowers to feed the soul in the winter?
     
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  17. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Yes! I can pick those up cheaply in the supermarket. LOL!

    I actually do put a few pots of flowers outside around the house- two to hang on the deck and one at the front door. I don't do this usually until the end of June because the weather is so unpredictable until then. (Right now it is in the 40's!) I am even rethinking doing it at all since we go away the end of July and no one is around to water them anyway and they usually dry up and die.

    Really, it is such a short season here in the Northeast. Then I have herds of deer that eat everything anyway. Then before you know it the leaves are falling down again.

    I had a neighbor who had a beautiful perennial garden (she was always working on it) and I would enjoy seeing her flowers when I took my walks. She was doing the work and I could enjoy the fruits of her labor. Ha, ha!

    We actually just tore out 2 shrubs that were pretty much dead in front (they died because I chopped them down too much- they were blocking our windows). Right now there is nothing there but mulch. I might leave it that way or get another dwarf bush- or maybe put a pot of flowers there. But I'm in no hurry to do anything with it.

    A few years ago I decided that I hated the way the bushes looked up against the house- blocking the windows and siding. And the work involved trimming them and all that. So- we took them all out except one in the corner. We replaced a couple with dwarf size bushes and spreading ground level evergreens. On the other side of the house we put ground cover.

    We are trying to get some ground cover to spread around our ground level deck also.

    We have also given up on keeping a lawn and now it is mainly clover and whatever green stuff grows and we just mow it. (We do have grass that had insisted on staying on one side of the house).

    The rest we let go to meadow. It is all very freeing and it looks fine.

    When you live in the woods like this, less is more. We just try to keep it neat.
     

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