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My current garden at the house is about 3'x10', only it's up against the house so I can't get to both sides of it. I read a little more about sqft and I'm surprised he recommends using peat moss. I'm not a fan of using stuff that requires draining wetlands, peat moss and cypress in particular. There's plenty of other amendments that do the same thing.

Post up how the hanging garden thing works out. I've wondered about that too...

Actually, with that space, you could do two 3X4's with a foot or more room between them to make it easier to harvest. That'd be what, 12 plants per area? The neat thing about square foot gardening is that you can produce so much more in so much less space than in a conventional garden. Plus, it's a whole bunch easier to take care of.

As to the hanging gardens, I sure like 'em so far - we mixed our own planting soil mix from composted manure, peat and palm kernel vermiculite, so if nothing else, we're already ahead of the game where slugs, grub worms, weeds and other residual/indwelling undesirables are concerned. Will definitely update as the season progresses.

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I only picked enough for 4 pints...but these are my first canned of this season!  Spicy little devils... they're cooling off now. Gonna be good in about 4 weeks.  

I had to work this past weekend so just catching up. It looks like everyone is staying busy and doing quite well! 👍 Interesting concept Jon! Thank you for the vid. I might give this a shot.  Much

We picked our sweet corn last night, before the coons ate all of it. We're putting it up now. BUNCH of friggin' corn! I've killed 4 coons, one possum, and lost count of the crows, but haven't put

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I tried those upside down tomato things for three years. The plants started out great but once they got really big and started bearing, we just couldn't keep them watered enough and ended up letting the plants get hurt and they ended up not bearing enough to pay for the hanging pots (they rotted out after three years) and the dirt.

Glenn

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Anyone know how to convince broccoli plants to actually make broccoli? My plants are relatively large and seem quite healthy, yet... no broccoli. Not even a hint of a head forming. What's up with that?

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I have a 15X40 foot garden but it's not packed full of plants - 8 tomatoes (2 heritage, 6 Better Boy), 6 green pepper, squash & cucumbers. I have a separate 10x10 raised bed with onions, lettuce and spinach. Rain is too infrequent to risk the expense and effort of planting more, especially beans. Don't have a well and can't afford to buy the water needed - it's cheaper to go to the local Amish market and buy what I don't grow.

The soil's pretty poor where I am. It's hard to grow weeds.

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Haven't seen any comments about non hybrid seeds here, definitely worth having an inventory in case the bottom ever does drop out. Store bought seeds will not yield plants with viable seeds for future plantings.

If anyone has limited space, or lack of tools for making an in ground plot, you can plant directly in bags of potting soil. Poke several drain holes in one side, cut "x's" with a utility knife in the other side and plant seeldings there. Bags can be used up to 4 years. Requires watering twice daily in hot weather.

Edited by subsonic
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Haven't seen any comments about non hybrid seeds here, definitely worth having an inventory in case the bottom ever does drop out. Store bought seeds will not yield plants with viable seeds for future plantings.

I was thinking about saying something about hybrids. Go with someone like Hart Seeds or Baker Creek, both are very good companies and both are heirloom seeds, not hybrids. Edited by gjohnsoniv
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I plant a big garden every year, and last year I bought a couple of "hanging tomato" plant thingies. Was a pretty big waste of money. Couldn't keep the watered enough. Lesson learned about "as seen on TV". Good thing I had regular tomato's planted.

I have 2 raised beds in my garden. They are 3x8 and contain Chives, Onions, Garlic and Parsnips. That's all the beds get used for. This year I also planted Greek Oregano, Sage, Rosemarry and Cilantro. Big Boy Tomatos, Jalapeno, Cayene, 4 different squash, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Spinach, Turnip Greens and my Daughter's dumb pet goat done got in the garden and set me back a bit. Everything is doing well, except I would like some rain. Have had very little here!

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My yard is, front and back, a jungle to the extent I can't even grow tomatoes. I'm thinking about buying grow lights, but that

won't help when the power goes out. In the meanwhile, the locals will just think I'm growing pot, won't they? I need a piece of

land out in the boonies, bad.

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I have sage growing now! Started from seeds and I am finally seeing sprouts. That is all I have so far, but we started lettuce and hope to see some soon.

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Collards are prolific and easy, so is okra. Yellow squash is another high yield item. Gotta have hot peppers too, their medicinal! :)

Edited by subsonic
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I have sage growing now! Started from seeds and I am finally seeing sprouts. That is all I have so far, but we started lettuce and hope to see some soon.

It may be too late (warm) for lettuce. I planted lettuce seeds about 2 months ago. A couple seedlings came up then quickly died, nothing else. What I've read says they're very early spring or fall plants, they don't like the heat.

I planted two types of green bean seeds. One version has lots of sprouts coming up, the other only a few so far.

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I was just bumping this thread back up to check and see how everyone's gardens are doing.

I'm in Knoxville (and Suburbia). The drought and heat are making this year a challenge.

We have about 1/2 acre, but a third of it is our backyard and has a southern exposure. We feel Blessed for that.

This is our 4th year gardening since our childhoods (my Wife & I), and there has definitely been a learning curve.

We also use rain water catchment and try to water the garden from that…but this drought has us using our garden hose…

rainwaterbarrelOct20092-1.jpg

We have multiple raised beds, and seem to keep adding them each year.

Back yard view

garden2012May31st003-1.jpg

Our primary cucumber bed is finished, the heat got ‘em. But we managed to put up quite a few Bread & Butter limed pickles and a dozen quarts of Kosher Dill pickles.

Our tomatoes are starting to ripen. We only put in about 10 plants, mostly heirloom varieties, and 2 are indeterminate varieties…smallish globes for making pickled green tomatoes, and some grape cluster types that are producing faster than we can eat them.

14June2012grapeclustertomatoes.jpg

I have a couple of beds (one 4x4 and one 4x8) of red kidney beans. It took 3 planting to survive the friggin’ rabbit population boom this year.

Fwiw these are Equate brand red kidney beans from our stores. Imho there are no finer tasting beans than fresh red kidney beans.

14june2012redkidneybeanbed.jpg

The below is two joined 4x8 beds with asparagus beans and butternut squash.

The beans haven’t started to blossom yet (they take at least 90 days), but the squash are forming up well.

14June2012butternutsquashbed.jpg

asparagus beans

asparagusbeans1Aug2011.jpg

We planted 2 peach, 2 pear, 3 apple, and 2 fig trees last year. Good Lord willin’ they’ll be producing in a few years. Time will tell I suppose.

I’m not some pot smoking tree hugger…not even a little. But we are doing our gardening using no pesticides and Steve Solomon’s Complete Organic Fertilizer or COF. a link in case anyone is interested.

The COF is phenomenal. It won’t “burn†your plants, and as was mentioned, you won’t get the nitrogen burst to your tomatoes that give you tall plants that don’t produce. And it provides nutrients that yield more nutritious and better tasting foods.

Solomon’s Book Gardening When it Counts has been invaluable to us.

So, how are your gardens doing? Great I hope.

Later,

Prag

eta: photo correction

Edited by prag
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I've got fried green tomatoes growing on the vine. If we don't get some rain, I'm going to have blanket of ash. Almost all my rain barrels are empty.

I'm Praying for some rain Good Sir. For you and all the rest of us. We sure do need it.

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I'm Praying for some rain Good Sir. For you and all the rest of us. We sure do need it.

Well, to be honest with ya, I've been asking HIM for snow, but he keeps telling me no.

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Greetings Everyone!

How y'all like this heat and drought. In my location all the rain has been to the East and South of us, and the ground is dust.

I've had to string 4-5 lengths of 100' garden hose to give my garden some water every week, otherwise it would have been a bad year.

This year is my best garden, EVER! But with the heat it's killing this old man especially picking all those green beans. Picked, canned and froze three bushels of green beans already. Not even done with the first picking of the first row of three. The weeds in the rows of green beans have taken them over so I have to dig through all that to get to them.

I got too carried away with my garden this year! Just the two of us, the wife and I, and I planted about three hundred linear yards of green beans? Have zucchini, green beans and potato's coming out our ears. I planted 16 zucchini plants because that's how many the package I ordered came to planting 5 seeds per plant. So they didn't all come in at the same time I planted 8 of em 2 weeks later. The first planting of 8 plants have produced about 100 or more zucchini, and the second planting is flowered and about to spit them out. Got so many the neighbors see us coming and are locking and not answering their doors.

Tomatoes! Ahh tomatoes! The first year I moved here I planted 12 tomato plants. We had lots of tomatoes to eat everyday and enough to can some stewed tomatoes and maybe a dozen pint jars of delicious spaghetti sauce. The second year I wanted to can more tomato products, enough to get me through the winter, so I planted 24 plants. For what ever reason, really didn't produce enough to keep us in sliced tomatoes everyday?

This year I planted 40 tomato plants in total. I've planted tomatoes many years during my life. My goal has always been to get my first ripe tomato by July 4th for bragging rights I suppose? That never came close to happening as they always came in ripe late July, well... Here it is June 25th, and today we accidentally found three huge ripe tomatoes deep with in the plant. At 6 A.M. a crack of light was just right shining at a small gap in the plant as I was driving my tractor by and I spied it. I've never had plants this HUGE loaded with softball sized matters :up: Yes Virginia, we'll have canned matters this winter!

I managed to keep the millions of beetles off my fruit trees this year by spraying them every few weeks and have a bumper crop of peaches. One peach tree is 50% ripe for the picking so I picked 1 bushel of them. Oh I love fresh peaches! Sure would be nice to have fresh canned peaches this winter, so I sat down and read my "Ball preservation book" and got started, no problem. Well, to make a long story short, I'm not going to be doing that again! It took me all day after I picked them to can just "six quarts"! I didn't realize how much time it takes. Had to get out my propane torch to help get that much water to boil in a hot water bath. My propane stove is not adequate enough to get that much water to boil. Then having to dip the peaches in boiling water to peel easier and making a mess all over the place. Making and keeping hot the syrup while the glass jars are boiling, keeping the lids on a separate burner hot and using the additional blow torch keeping the hot water bath boiling. To much work and confusion!

Going out again at 5 A.M. and pick more green beans until the sun crests the trees and the sweat starts to flow. I learned my lesson, next year I'll use my hand tiller to keep my garden small and in check. Well, I keep telling myself that every year anyway?

Hope everyone has an excellent garden this year.

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The garden at home produced reasonably, though I'll change some things next year...

I planted the broccoli too close together and I didn't plant enough. The heads we got were tasty, but I was a little disappointed with the total yield. We ate all we got, no extra to save.

I planted too much spinach. It grew so fast and made so much that the plants got away from me. It got bitter and went to seed quickly. Given that both spinach and broccoli are "cool weather" plants, I was surprised how long they lasted.

I didn't plant enough snap peas and they need something to climb. I was lazy and didn't get the trellis put in soon enough after they began to grow. The bed has a base of pine needles and I thought that might be enough, but the peas on the ground rotted. That was about half my plants. The plants that climbed the chicken wire around the garden (lots of rabbits around) did fine and the peas were quite tasty. Again, we ate all we got, none to save.

The tomatoes are growing quite well with lots of small green tomatoes, but none ripe yet.

We put cantaloupe in another flower bed where a bush died and left a hole. It's doing ok if I can save it from the rabbits. I'm also a suburbanite so unfortunately rabbit stew isn't a good solution.

The garden at work is doing ok... sort of. I didn't till my area after the tractor did the whole thing and that seems to have been a mistake. My area is full of weeds, it's terrible. Most of my plants are alive, but not really thriving.

I've harvested some okra, but the plants are still tiny (knee high). When I've grown them at home they'd get 8 ft tall. A lot of it was too tough to eat as well.

My tomato plants are also tiny... less than half the size of the ones at home. They've also got lots of baby maters, but no ripe ones yet.

The green beans that sprouted are tiny (noticing a theme?). I planted two types of bush beans, about 1/2 of one type came up and less than 1/4 of the other came up. I've gotten a couple handfuls of beans, which were tasty, but that's it.

The cucumbers seems to be the only thing that's growing reasonably, though it's somewhat hard to find them amongst the weeds. I've gotten maybe 1/4 bushel so far and they've been tasty.

The watermelon plants are still alive, but not really growing.

If I do this work garden again next year, there will have to be some serious changes. EPA regs not withstanding, something's gotta be done about the weeds (being an industrial site, we're responsible for our water run off and were told we couldn't use chemicals). It also desperately needs more compost.

The drought/heat is taking a toll as well. I put a section of perforated corrugated pipe on the downspout adjacent to my garden at home so all the rain that hits the roof ends up in the garden. I think that's helping. My rain barrel is nearly empty too.

At work, the company has let us run a hose from the building to the garden and a fellow gardener put up a sprinkler system. Unfortunately, the sprinkler doesn't reach all of my area so I have to hand water a bunch of it.... which I'm headed out the door to do right now...

Edited by peejman
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I must have done something right bc my tomato plants are producing like a champ, nice big ones. Must be the fertilizer, Plantone organic fertilizer if my memory is correct. One plant would easily be 6ft tall if the weight of the tomatoes didn't weigh it down. However, while I'm getting awesome tomatoes, I seemed to have attracted the attention of the local rodent population. They are taking out the ripe ones and my peppers 2-3 before I'm ready to pick them. I've had to wage all out war on the bastards, live traps, kill traps, snares and pellet rifle.

Edited by Shorty
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Prag those are great garden pictures. Excellently designed and laid out (not that I know enough to judge). Whenever I get too fried to even pretend to be productive and have to retire, that is looking like a fun thing to try to do. Maybe next summer, who knows? :)

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Thank you LW. I appreciate that.

Having raised beds with kind of a permaculture concept, at least as far as "zoning" makes them relatively easy keepers. (i.e. zone 1 which requires the most attention being the easiest to access and tend...).

I work 4-5 12 hr shifts per week, but I generally only need 20-30 minutes per day to tend the garden, sometimes not even that much. Occasionally...about every 2 to 3 weeks...it'll take a few hours to tweak things up or harvest what's growing.

It's a learning experience for us. But the idea is to have an expandable garden that requires minimal energy input.

We made sure we spaced everything so that our riding mower fits in between...just makes things simpler. Good Lord knows I'm simple...

Heck, besides...I got other things to do...like reloading and shooting. :pleased:

peejman;

Hang in there! :up:

I think working a community-type garden is a great concept. It must be a challenge getting the soil into good working order.

I wish you the best, and look forward to hearing more about your project.

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We put cantaloupe in another flower bed where a bush died and left a hole. It's doing ok if I can save it from the rabbits. I'm also a suburbanite so unfortunately rabbit stew isn't a good solution.

Crossbow? :)

PS: Sorry for the hijacking, but couldn't resist. Also, thanks for all the tips/info you guys. We let our garden lapse a few years ago, but trying to get motivated for next year.

PSS: Since I've already hijacked might as well thank gjohnsiv for the Sq. Ft. gardening tip. Neat concept....

Edited by Makiaveli
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Hey Dennis1209... I am with you on how much work canning can be. I started this year with some apple butter. Had to peel about a ton of apples to get 4 pints of product. But, I keep working at it. I've added a pressure canner so that I can do some other stuff that can't be water bath canned. It works well. I'm lucky on the gas range part. Plenty of heat available.

I wonder if you could use a turkey fryer or fish fryer burner? It wouldn't be completely convenient to run back and forth outside but you should have plenty of BTU's to keep a nice rolling boil.

Mark

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Hey Dennis1209... I am with you on how much work canning can be. I started this year with some apple butter. Had to peel about a ton of apples to get 4 pints of product. But, I keep working at it. I've added a pressure canner so that I can do some other stuff that can't be water bath canned. It works well. I'm lucky on the gas range part. Plenty of heat available.

I wonder if you could use a turkey fryer or fish fryer burner? It wouldn't be completely convenient to run back and forth outside but you should have plenty of BTU's to keep a nice rolling boil.

Mark

While I haven't tried a turkey burner, I have used a Camp Chef 2 burner for pressure and waterbath canning. Works great.

From folks I've talked to about using a turkey fryer, and from what I've read on other forums, a turkey fryer will work. But the challenge is turning one down low enough and keeping them lit.

A turkey fryer has a high btu output for it's designed purpose. It seems folks have had some success by either building a windscreen so that when it turned down as low as possible it doesn't blow out, or using some form of metal to raise the canner up higher over the flames.

:2cents:

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The tomatoes, chilis, and asparagus in my garden all look great, but not the cucumbers - they're kinda limp and yellow. Any ideas? I've been trying to keep them watered, and they're growing ok and don't taste bad, but they are just not right.

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The tomatoes, chilis, and asparagus in my garden all look great, but not the cucumbers - they're kinda limp and yellow. Any ideas? I've been trying to keep them watered, and they're growing ok and don't taste bad, but they are just not right.

Our primary cuke bed has finished it's run. But we managed to get a good crop of various pickles out of it. They were looking as you describe during their last week before I pulled them. This heat is wrecking havoc on many plants.

Since you're keeping them well watered, you might want to try an organic nitrogen supplement. I don't know if it'll help, but my other cuke plants, just a couple in 2 other beds, have responded well to a healthy application of COF.

We are really into hot weather season plants now, like you described....tomatoes, chilis, okra, etc.

Good Luck. :up:

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