Beekissed

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I plan a vastly different garden than I had last year if the Lord wills that I be here and am able to garden. I'm getting lettuces out on time and they will likely be one of my main crops all year, as I'd like to continue to grow them into the winter this time by actually planting them at the end of August like I'm supposed to do. We eat more Romaine lettuce here than any other fresh vegetable...I'd like to successfully grow enough here to supply our needs.

I'm thinking of doing low tunnels for lettuce or at least floating row covers. I'm going to study up on that more.

I'll not be planting my tomatoes in a block of trellises like I always have...learned my lesson last year with our very first episode of blight. My efforts to prevent that this year will be to scatter my tomato trellises throughout the garden, with no trellis set being directly downwind of another. Each trellis will have a bean and a cuke vine as well, so even those will not be close to one another...both got blight last year too. I'll plant them further apart, less total plants but with more attention to high yield on each plant. Will likely stick with my reliable Brandywines, Yellow Stripeys, etc.

I'm also planting my tomatoes MUCH later than we always have..with the warm fall and winters we've been having, we don't have to worry as much about heavy frost before we can get a crop in. This past year it rained so much and was so cool in the spring that my tomatoes just sat there and didn't grow an inch, while they were susceptible to pests and fungal blight. No more of that. I'll not likely put my maters out until the end of June or even later.

Same with peppers...mine don't start to bear until September anyway, so why put them out early to just sit there and look diseased until the soil warms up? I think this wood chip layer may just keep the soil a tad too cool...which is great for lettuce, not so much for peppers. I won't put peppers out until July.

Squash, pumpkins, etc. will be fewer but more protected when seedlings to prevent the vine borers....seedlings will have wood ash all around the base, plastic straws slit length wise and placed around the stalk and they will also have a cloche of some kind over them to keep that dratted moth from targeting them. I may plant a sacrifice plant or two for the moths, then yank them up when all their mating cycle and egg laying is done.

No onions this year...can't grow them here and I'm just going to accept that. No potatoes in the garden, taking up space. They will be grown in the rings around the apple trees and, if I get that compost bin/chicken snack bar built up by the coop, I can plant some in there.

No corn...we can't grow enough for our needs, so we wind up buying it from the farm stand anyway, and it takes up space in the garden.

I'm going to use Neem oil this year and be more proactive about pests...I'm going to be on them like white on rice this year with my little spray bottle of Neem oil, picking them off, inspecting every leaf, etc.

Flowers~I already have a lot of Black Eyed Susan's along the fence line now, some tickseed and calendula coming back each year, and the honeysuckle over the gate, so the only thing I'm adding to that this year are two annuals....zinnias and marigolds. They will be in several places in the garden and in all the flower beds.

They are pretty fool proof flowers to grow, they last well after first frost, they can repel some pests while attracting bees and the zinnias were just LOVELY last year. They don't lop over when they get big, which is nice, and they usually grow very easily in most soils and they make long lasting and gorgeous cut flowers. They look like a party!

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I'm going to try to keep the garden more neat, all areas will be easily reached and weeds will be systematically worked on instead of left to go wild and ripped out at the end of the season. Am going to get the right kind of hoe for this kind of garden....this one...

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I'm going to buy stock in Sluggo so that none of those little suckers can breed...ever. I'll even buy beer and bait them if I have to. This is WAR.
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I'm running my lettuce rows long ways in the garden and will plant in succession plantings every two weeks. The squash and such will be on opposite ends of the garden from where they usually are grown, as will the tomatoes, beans, cukes. I want nice, wide walk paths and super straight rows this year...I'm tired of being ashamed of showing people my garden. Any squash or pumpkin vines will be wound up around their hill in a circle...no more growing all over the garden and fencing like Audrey II.

I'm going to try to remember to take my spud fork and loosen up the soil around all the plants every now and again, nice and deep...just a little rocking motion to let in air. I'm also going to try and remember to traumatize my tomatoes and peppers more...they don't get much wind at all here in the summer, so knocking them lightly with a rolled newspaper or just shaking the trellis will go far towards getting them to produce more.

http://www.seedsnow.com/blogs/news/14809653-spank-your-tomatoes-get-more-fruit-on-every-plant

I tried this concept with green peppers one year and I had a bumper crop with HUGE green peppers, rivaling anything I've ever seen in a store. I really went to TOWN on those plants, beating them right and left, some were even knocked sideways for awhile but soon righted themselves.
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There's more to tell of new plans but this post is long enough, so I'll let it rest.
 

Beekissed

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I've got a stirrup hoe but am not impressed with it's efficacy in these wood chips...just can't seem to make it work properly in the chips like it does in loose soil. Maybe they stay too moist or the particle sizes are too large for it to work well there.
 

Beekissed

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I'm thinking of planting my greens in flats this year and setting them out as seedlings instead of free sowing them. I want to make them my main focus this year as we eat Romaine lettuce more than any other veggie year round. I'd like to use row covers on the greens this year to keep out bugs and for shade as well.

I like how neatly this guy has grown his, though I doubt I'd invest in his whole setup, I like the use of the paper and wire here. I think I'll have to do something like this in order to start any lettuce for a fall/winter harvest here as well, so I might as well get the setup in place this spring.

 

ChickenGrass

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Has anyone ever grown sweetheart Mellon?
I was thinking of buying some seed,
But I wanted your opinions on it,
Because it costs €3.00 for just 5 seeds!
Thank you,
Fionn.
 

ducks4you

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I'm thinking of planting my greens in flats this year and setting them out as seedlings instead of free sowing them. I want to make them my main focus this year as we eat Romaine lettuce more than any other veggie year round. I'd like to use row covers on the greens this year to keep out bugs and for shade as well.

I like how neatly this guy has grown his, though I doubt I'd invest in his whole setup, I like the use of the paper and wire here. I think I'll have to do something like this in order to start any lettuce for a fall/winter harvest here as well, so I might as well get the setup in place this spring.

Me, too. I'll just have to remember to harden them off before I put them in the ground. Our biggest problem is windburn.
 

Zeedman

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My plans are much more complex and cannot be concrete - ever.
That pretty much goes for me too. I plan to start planning any day now. My climate is too temperamental to have plans set in stone... what I plan, and what I actually end up growing, have been the same thing once (2005 was a good year). Besides, there are always new trades that I will be trying to fit in somewhere.

That being said... I intend to plant a lot of sweet corn this year; had a bad year in 2016, and really miss it this winter. And cover all of my squash seedlings immediately after transplant, before the cucumber beetles & SVB can get to them. Two soup peas that I planted last year failed due to late planting, so I'll try to get them in earlier this year.

For now, though, nothing will happen until February. I have a lot of potato onion true seed that may have wide crosses, and will be starting a lot of seedlings in a couple weeks. The results should be interesting.
 

Beekissed

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Got my seeds today!!!!!
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Ordered from Fedco this year, as I've had a few years of disappointing germination rates with Pine Tree, particularly their lettuces.

Got five kinds of romaine lettuce, sugar snap peas, rainbow carrot mix, red carrots, rainbow chard, pac choy, broccoli, marigolds and zinnias.

I already have tomato seed saved from last year, as well a cukes, beans, squash, pumpkin, peppers, hot peppers, melons, etc. Then various seeds sent to me by certain sweet people of beans, cukes, etc.

I don't think there's much more I need at this point, other than hot banana peppers maybe.

I also bought a 50 ft. row cover from that place for $15 and shipping.

I'm starting to feel the gardening fever growing inside.....
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