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Planting Change in your garden plans for this year?
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  1. #1

    Change in your garden plans for this year?

    I relocated from Missouri back down to Oklahoma last year, and it was to late to start a garden at that point in time. My husband and I had several wicking beds that we had made while up in Missouri that produced an amazing amount of food considering their size. We spent years creating the perfect soil, and have to start that process all over again.

    This year, we are on our few acres again, and started to reclaim some of the land that had set unattended for the years we were up north. Anyway, we are looking to put in more this year.

    My question to you is with the current political turmoil (deep state) in the country, are you expanding your gardening this year? Are you planning on adding new fruits and vegetables to your garden? If so which, as I am always looking to expand my selection. Herbs?

    It figures that the time we come back down here with no real gardening area, it's the time I feel we will need it the most. I plan on putting in fruit trees this spring, as well as berry bushes. Additionally, I hope to get a bed of asparagus started (we have purchased a couple bags of roots) so that we will have that in a couple of years time.

    While we do plan on having things in wicking beds again, we are also considering making a greenhouse, although not sure if that will be this year as we have so much other to do on our priority lists.

    Have any of you looked into food forests? Do you grow in that method? If so, what are your experiences. While I do plan on having my 'beds' near the house, I am considering the food forests for certain things that will 'blend' in with the environment of my acres.

    Thanks,
    ..D

  2. #2
    If I'm able to garden at all, I'll be making changes to meet possible weather changes, rather than because of the political situation.

    I may tend to try more root crops and cooler weather greens. And I'll surely plant any frost-fragile things where I can cover them if we start getting sudden dips in summer weather like we've been getting this winter. This "yo-yo" weather is mostly a nuisance in the winter, but one frosty night in the summer can ruin an entire year's worth of above-ground produce and then maybe even cause some root crops to bolt early when it warms up again.

    The more I read about the weather around the world the last few years, the more I fear this cool-down is here to stay and likely to get plenty worse in a very short time.

  3. #3
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    My wife tells me I should cut back on my gardening as we has a lot of canned goods and I'm getting too old for it. Nonsense, I said. But she is right. We do have a lot in the pantry. (grin).
    AKA bobinky, just an old coot livin' on a hillside in Kentucky.

  4. #4
    My reasons for wanting to expand are economical. One never knows if the Deep State will actually be successful in the collapse of the economy. I want to hedge my bets and make sure I have more than enough to keep the tummy full. If everything remains status quo, then I'll have plenty to share with the neighbors.

  5. #5
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    THis year is going to be a more economical use of the space. I am moving the bees out of the garden to give us more space and going to try to be more organized in my planting. I have a habit of throwing stuff where ever. Drives my wife nuts because everything isn't nice and straight. As for actual planting I am planting a lot of mangels for the chickens, more sunflowers for oil and chicken feed and more root crops for us, beets, onion, carrots and potatoes. Fewer tomatoes because we never eat them all. I will also be experimenting with oats and flax on a very small scale. At least that is the plan.

  6. #6
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    I'm going to plant more winter squash, and giving sweet potatoes one more try. I'm trying to grow things that I can store in my basement over the winter. Last year I planted one Upper Groud Sweet Potato plant, which is actually a squash. The plant got huge, with many little squash on it. The problem was, I learned of them too late to plant it early enough, so none had time to mature. Baker Creek Seeds was the only place I could find them.
    I could make it cheaper!!!

  7. #7
    Dinghy, try Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. They have several of that sort. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donna_in_OK View Post
    My question to you is with the current political turmoil (deep state) in the country, are you expanding your gardening this year?
    My gardening plans are NEVER based upon the market or political shenanigans. I plant what I know we will eat, and need to put up for the rest of the year. This past fall I planted a lot of garlic, am hoping for a decent harvest this summer, we eat a lot of garlic in this house.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    If I'm able to garden at all, I'll be making changes to meet possible weather changes, rather than because of the political situation.

    I may tend to try more root crops and cooler weather greens. And I'll surely plant any frost-fragile things where I can cover them if we start getting sudden dips in summer weather like we've been getting this winter. This "yo-yo" weather is mostly a nuisance in the winter, but one frosty night in the summer can ruin an entire year's worth of above-ground produce and then maybe even cause some root crops to bolt early when it warms up again.

    The more I read about the weather around the world the last few years, the more I fear this cool-down is here to stay and likely to get plenty worse in a very short time.

    This^^^ Will be getting my tunnel covers for my raised beds up and going here in a couple of weeks.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donna_in_OK View Post
    My reasons for wanting to expand are economical. One never knows if the Deep State will actually be successful in the collapse of the economy. I want to hedge my bets and make sure I have more than enough to keep the tummy full. If everything remains status quo, then I'll have plenty to share with the neighbors.
    Look it matters not what the deep state does, the stock market in it's current status is totally unsustainable. Period. We all know it's going to crash, the question is when.

    Plant what you need for the next years fruit and vegetables and supplement from truck farmers or the farmers market until your place is up to snuff. You might want to add some ducks and chickens for this year, eggs are a wonderful thing to have when times are tough.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinghy View Post
    I'm going to plant more winter squash, and giving sweet potatoes one more try. I'm trying to grow things that I can store in my basement over the winter. Last year I planted one Upper Groud Sweet Potato plant, which is actually a squash. The plant got huge, with many little squash on it. The problem was, I learned of them too late to plant it early enough, so none had time to mature. Baker Creek Seeds was the only place I could find them.
    Never heard of them, will have to look into this since you're area is even cooler than mine.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  12. #12
    For southerners who grow okra, here's something I tried this last summer. I'd heard that some people had their okra ruined by grazing deer when they were out of town but they left it in the ground instead of pulling it up. It grew back all bushy with lots of branches and they said they got multiple times more than usual because all those extra branches grew each their own pods. I put mine in too late to take full advantage of this, but I did cut the tops out and those plants all grew three to six extra producing branches.

    This might be a way to get a decent okra crop if you have to use a smaller space for it that can be covered with plastic to keep it warm enough to grow and produce properly. If it gets a lot cooler all the time, okra should probably be started indoors and then put in single pots so it's at least a foot high when it gets planted outdoors. This is the only way I can think it would grow in a cooler shorter growing season.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LC View Post
    Dinghy, try Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. They have several of that sort. Good luck.
    Thank you, I've never heard of them. I'll look into it.
    I could make it cheaper!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by packyderms_wife View Post
    Never heard of them, will have to look into this since you're area is even cooler than mine.
    I had never heard of them before either. I watched a Deep South Homestead video, and they mentioned them. The one plant I had got huge, and had at least 8 little squash on it. I have never had that many of any squash on one plant. I don't have ideal growing spaces, but I keep trying different things. The vine was so nice, that I hope by starting them inside first this year, maybe I'll have some mature. I had my first butter nut last year, and was soooo excited.
    I could make it cheaper!!!

  15. #15
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    Martinhouse, that pruning works with pepper plants also, if they're planted early enough. I did that with jalapeņos last year. I started them inside in February so there was enough time for them to grow back, and they grew a lot of peppers.
    I could make it cheaper!!!

  16. #16
    Be fun to experiment with pruning back all sorts of things. Too bad we can't try it with corn but I doubt it would work on corn..

    Can you imagine a CORN BUSH?!!!!!

  17. #17
    This pruning might be a good way to grow more food in a smaller area. Something to think about for just a hand-worked garden. I wonder if squash vines would branch out if they were pinched off just in front of a node? Maybe the thicker plants of any kind would need extra amounts of compost or manure to feed the extra growth.

  18. #18
    A really good variety of squash for singles or couples is Delicata. There is a bush form, as well, for smaller gardens. Best of all, it's open pollinated, so if you can find a way to protect a few female blossoms from cross pollination, you can save your own seeds.

    It produces a lot of smallish fruits... 1-2#. I've gotten up to a dozen per plant in a good year. They ripen even in short season areas, and they get even sweeter in storsge.

    Maybe their only drawback is that they don't stored as long as some of the really big, hard shelled squashes do... about 4 months, although a few may go give.

    We just cut them in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, put some butter and maple syrup in the cavity, and then either cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or so, or put a glass cover on the casserole dish and nuke for 7-8 minutes.

    You should be able to find seeds at Johnny, as well as other catalogs.

    Summerthyme

  19. #19
    Off topic, but there is a type of squash that smells like fresh-baked bread. I learned about it a really long time ago and for the life of me I can't remember what it was called.

    Anyone?

  20. #20
    This southern girl loves some Okra, so will be planting plenty of that. As of late, this household has also fallen in love with butternut squash, so will be planting a BUNCH of that across the property, along with yellow and zucchini. I plan to transplant a bunch of my herbs as well as flowers down here as soon as they start popping up out of the ground.

    I also want to start a medicinal herb garden, although it will probably be outside the fenced in area that our little dogs have as I don't really want them to get into things like that.

    We'll grow our normal tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and the like, just hopefully on a larger scale. Over the past years, we have grown enough to ensure that we have enough pickles, hot sauce, and salsa for a few years.

    I remember when we lived down here before, my first garden was going like gang busters, then one night the deer had a feast. The only thing that they didn't eat was the habanero peppers (they even took a taste). Well ghost peppers planted around will hopefully keep them at bay. However, I do plan on overplanting because one never knows if it will be a wet year or a drought.

  21. #21
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    Thanks Summertyme, I'll have to look into that one too.

    I did some looking around. Baker Creek has the Delicata seeds for about half of what they cost from Johhny's. I didn't check to see if there is a difference in shipping costs yet though.
    Last edited by Dinghy; 02-10-2018 at 12:19 PM.
    I could make it cheaper!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinghy View Post
    I had never heard of them before either. I watched a Deep South Homestead video, and they mentioned them. The one plant I had got huge, and had at least 8 little squash on it. I have never had that many of any squash on one plant. I don't have ideal growing spaces, but I keep trying different things. The vine was so nice, that I hope by starting them inside first this year, maybe I'll have some mature. I had my first butter nut last year, and was soooo excited.
    I got one tiny acorn squash last year, like you I got it started and too late. Had planted some butternut but a late frost killed those off. Will plant some inside this spring for a better start this year.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  23. #23
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    Delicata squash is a rare example of truth in naming- Good stuff.

    As far as garden changes because of the politics, not really. However, I really do want to tuck some plants around the property that might not be obvious food sources: Jerusalem artichokes (good for diabetics, screening, look like sunflowers, perennials) Collards. Also want to try and get some berries growing at random locations, instead of all inside the orchard.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jward View Post
    Delicata squash is a rare example of truth in naming- Good stuff.

    As far as garden changes because of the politics, not really. However, I really do want to tuck some plants around the property that might not be obvious food sources: Jerusalem artichokes (good for diabetics, screening, look like sunflowers, perennials) Collards. Also want to try and get some berries growing at random locations, instead of all inside the orchard.
    I was watching a cooking show on PBS this weekend and I do believe the squash the guy was cooking was delicata, he said it was easy to hide in the landscape of an average yard.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by packyderms_wife View Post
    I was watching a cooking show on PBS this weekend and I do believe the squash the guy was cooking was delicata, he said it was easy to hide in the landscape of an average yard.
    Yes, it was a delicata and he was also cooking with Chayote, or pear squash. I don't know if Chayote will grow up here in Iowa or not but I have seen delicata at the farmer's market.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by packyderms_wife View Post
    Look it matters not what the deep state does, the stock market in it's current status is totally unsustainable. Period. We all know it's going to crash, the question is when.

    Plant what you need for the next years fruit and vegetables and supplement from truck farmers or the farmers market until your place is up to snuff. You might want to add some ducks and chickens for this year, eggs are a wonderful thing to have when times are tough.
    ^^^ This. This will be mine and my husband's second year of living in our own house--when I'm not pregnant--and I intend to not let this year go to waste. I want to get established with a sustainable homestead as quickly as possible, and plan to finish the chicken coop, and put chickens in them, and trying something called gutter gardening. It looks like a better way to conserve space and keep your crops from rotting.

  27. #27
    I tried growing strawberries in sections of gutter. Found I had to water them twice a day in the hottest part of summer and they had to be watered SLOWLY because the dirt washed over the edges to easily.

    Maybe small early greens would do well in gutters since they wouldn't dry out so quickly when it's cooler.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Dinghy View Post
    Martinhouse, that pruning works with pepper plants also, if they're planted early enough. I did that with jalapeņos last year. I started them inside in February so there was enough time for them to grow back, and they grew a lot of peppers.
    I have a Tabasco pepper plant that I overwintered in a pot. I started it late last fall and it never fruited. It is now about 2 1/2 feet tall. Was trying to decide if I should prune it because I would love to get a harvest from this plant. Should I just cut it at the base and see if it grows back?
    "...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:14-17

  29. #29
    I'd cut that pepper plant above the second or third branching node from soil level. It would probably die if it were cut off right at the ground.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    I tried growing strawberries in sections of gutter. Found I had to water them twice a day in the hottest part of summer and they had to be watered SLOWLY because the dirt washed over the edges to easily.

    Maybe small early greens would do well in gutters since they wouldn't dry out so quickly when it's cooler.
    Ah. I will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks! I wonder if it would be easier if I put in some cheap irrigation hosing--that way, I wouldn't have to worry about spilling the soil over the edge. I was also looking into tower gardening. Anyone here tried that?

  31. #31
    JMG91, I've tried a lot of those new ways of gardening, and without having to buy a bunch of stuff, none of them did very well.
    I planted all the vining things, cukes, squash, melons, on cattle panel fences so they could be trained upward and sideways,and grew Rattlesnake pole beans instead of bush beans, but other than that, I think plants do best growing the way nature intended them to...and that's right in the ground.

    A few things grow okay in containers made of the plastic food grade 55 gallon barrels cut in half, but they need watering more often than direct ground plantings, and they need just one little quarter inch drain hole at the bottom of the side of the container, not underneath where it can't drain very well. Lots of good compost and chicken or rabbit manure will grow good potatoes, kale, broccoli, etc., but the containers take up room, too. They are nice for where you can't actually till up a real garden. Be warned that wild rabbit CAN jump up into them and eat everything they like.

    Another space saving method is to plant in wide rows with the seeds either scattered or in a grid, instead of single row planting. This works well with things like carrots, beets, celery, anything that doesn't get real big and you can reach across easily from one side for weeding. I like this kind of bed about 18" wide. Three staggered rows of potatoes will grow in a three foot wide row.

    You can plant green peas on one side of your pole bean fence and much later, plant the pole beans on the other. The peas will be finished bearing by the time the beans grow as tall, and be all dried up and gone by the time you need to pick the green beans. (Rattlesnake beans will go up ten to twelve feet here in an Arkansas growing season, if they are supported for it.)

    If you care to, mulch EVERTHING with straw (not hay!) and you will need to water half as much or less during hot weather. And six inches of straw will cover potatoes well enough that you don't need to hill them with dirt.

    Sorry if this is long-winded, but these are some of the things I've learned about gardening since I moved to Arkansas from Minnesota 41 years ago.

  32. #32
    Martinhouse, and others, in addition to the space saving ideas you discuss, I plant ALL beans and southern peas in double rows, that is, as close together as I can draw the hoe. It ends up putting them about 5-6 inches apart. For pole beans I plant both sides of the cattle panel. I am still working on the perfect spacing for them but I suspect that it varies by variety and type somewhat. And I love Rattlesnake beans. I also agree about straw mulch.

  33. #33
    LC, I plant my Rattlesnake beans single row but the plants are about 2" to 2 1/2" apart. My big garden is totally framed in. 8' 2 x 4s in joist hangers in a grid of 4x4 posts. A row of 2x4 welded wire for strength around the outside of the whole garden and then the entire thing covered, sides and top, with 1" chicken wire. Chicken wire is laced together with orange baling cord which is just now wearing thing in a few places from wind sway. Doors at front and back are four feet wide so easy to get big wheelbarrow in. At one time I divided off the entire north side, for an 8' wide run for the chickens plus the first 16' for the rabbitry.

    I've had fencing or panels attached to the 4x4 posts in a lot of different ways. The rattlesnake beans grow up through and lie on top and the beans hang down through the chicken wire. Also my Rutgers and Marglobe tomatoes always grew up through and I'd have to get a ladder and hitch around up top to pick them so the guineas didn't get them.

    When things grew the best was any year when I'd let the chickens run in there all winter. My bell pepper plants were six and seven feet high, with huge thick walled peppers, many to a plant.

    This garden was a lot of money and a lot of work to build, but well worth it.

  34. #34
    I do the same with peas, using cattle panels and planting on both sides. I use full (54" tall) panels for the Alderman (also known as Tall Telephone) variety, and those have to be tied to metal t-posts. But I also cut several panels in thirds lengthwise, leaving uprights without a horizontal wire on the bottom. They vary between 15" to 18" tall (unavoidable due to the necessity of having those unattached vertical wires), but they are absolute simplicity to install... I just push them into the soil, and then tie them together at the ends. I can set up a 50 foot row and plant both sides (using my beloved push seeder) in about half an hour. I use these for the dwarf pea varieties.

    The push seeder doesn't get a ton of work, because i use the same wide row techniques for planting most crops as martinhouse does... did you hapoen to read Dick Raymond's Joy of Gardening book in the 1980's? Great book, BTW, and itsl now available on Kindle. His ideas made it possible for me to grow everything we needed to feed an active family, even during times when I was struggling with my back and foot.

    These days I grow my carrots in raised beds, all one solid block (the beds are from Sam's Club, made of plastic lumber, and are 3 1/2 feet by 7 feet, with a divider in the center. I planted two of them in carrots last summer, and harvested over 110# of carrots! Beautiful roots, too, and harvesting is a breeze. No backbreaking using a fork or shovel... I just grasp a bunch of several carrot tops as close to the roots as I can manage, and then rock them back and forth gently just a bit, and they pull out. Once the bed is "opened" (this year I did have to use my spading fork to start the beds,because some of the carrots had outgrown the 8" depth of the bed, and upon reaching the landscape cloth on the bottom, made a right hand turn and grew another 2" or so!), it goes really fast, and only rarely do tops break from the roots.

    I use the culls and small roots as supplemental horse feed, along with all the cull apples, and it keeps my big pony mare in slick condition all winter without having to feed any grain.

    I also grow beets in the raised beds, and my Walla Walla sweet onions. The Copra keeping onions are planted in a wide row in the main garden, as I plant too many to want to use up all the raised beds in onions.

    As far as container gardens go, THE absolute best I've ever found are a homemade version of the EarthBox planters. As the EarthBox is WAY out of my price range, I found instructions on the 'net for a homemade "clone", using Rubbermaid type containers. I used cheap dollar store collonders in place if the more expensive "pond baskets" they called for, and repurposed some old black plastic water pipe we had around for the fill pipe. You cut down the top to slide inside and make a divider between the planting chamber and the water reservoir. They are thus self watering, and can often go close to a week, even in hot weather between fillups, although if you have a couple very large plants, they might need warring twice a week.

    I have 7 of them lined up in my tiny greenhouse, and they're a wonderful way to produce greens very early and late. Mine are over 10 years old, and holding up amazingly well, but I suspect the greenhouse (2 layer polycarbobate) is blocking a lot of the UV rays. For outdoor use (these would be great on a patio or deck, or even under lights in the house, because unless you overfill the water reservoir, all drainage is internal) I'd suggest painting them with some sort of paint that would help protect them from UV breakdown. Heck, you could probably even wrap them in tinfoil...(and if you live where it gets really hot in the summer, that would help kerp the soil ftom overheating and cooking the roots. I've found that many plants can survive amazingly hot temperatures as long as their roots don't overheat.. planting directly in garden soil is best for that, but I think many of us are getting to ages where crawling around in the dirt or bending for hours to weed and harvest is getting difficult.

    I'll see if I can find the plans for the EarthBox clone I used..

    Summerthyme

  35. #35
    Here is one plan:
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Ulti...uot-For-CHEAP/

    Also, just Google "EarthBox clone plans" and tons of links come up. Once you understand the basic idea, you can probably repurpose all sorts of stuff and it will work fine.

    Summerthyme

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    Here is one plan:
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Ulti...uot-For-CHEAP/

    Also, just Google "EarthBox clone plans" and tons of links come up. Once you understand the basic idea, you can probably repurpose all sorts of stuff and it will work fine.

    Summerthyme
    Good stuff- Thanks

  37. #37
    Summerthyme, I don't think I've ever read a gardening book. I just grew things the way I needed to do to make the most of my space. Before I moved south, I grew a huge amount of tomatoes and cukes and carrots in a couple of little back yard gardens where others would have planted flowers. Carrots make a pretty border along a patio! And when I saw the cucumber vines trying to grow up the cyclone fence, I started helping them along. This was just a 40' lot and the guy next door loved to come over and just point and say "that one". He'd spot a cucumber and watched it grow. He was rather amazed. I was happy to oblige. He was really nice and his wife was neurotic but I could tell she tried to be nice.

    Down here I started growing potatoes in turned soil by laying them out in three staggered rows covering 3' of width. I put them barely under the soil and then put at least 6" of loose straw on them. Then I put four foot wide 2 x 4 welded wire on top of that with a block at each end to keep the wire in place. The potatoes grew up through all this and barely needed any weeding. This way, I could let the chickens and guineas free there and never had a single potato bug, and they knew not to eat the potato plants. It was super easy to dig the potatoes later. I sat on the ground and used a little hand scratcher tool and pulled pails around with me. There was just no downside to growing them this way.

    Planting things in wide rows just sort of occurred to me because I hated to waste so much garden space to just walk on.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenIan View Post
    I have a Tabasco pepper plant that I overwintered in a pot. I started it late last fall and it never fruited. It is now about 2 1/2 feet tall. Was trying to decide if I should prune it because I would love to get a harvest from this plant. Should I just cut it at the base and see if it grows back?
    I would just cut a few inches off.
    I could make it cheaper!!!

  39. #39
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    I am really looking forward to being able to have a garden again, once we get settled in at our new place in Kentucky. Here in the high desert, our average frost-free growing season is only forty days (although some years it's longer, and some we hardly have any). Without a greenhouse, it's almost impossible to garden here, and since we get close to zero precipitation for several months, you have to have water in order to grow anything. One of the first things on my list for after we get to the new place is to find someone who can cut out a few of the old black locust trees in the back yard, so we have a place for the garden (the trees will get turned into fence posts and firewood). I don't know how big of a garden I dare try to tackle this year, because my back is pretty bad, but we are at least going to have a small garden and grow some stuff.

    Kathleen
    Behold, these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him.
    Job 26:14

    wickr ID freeholder45

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