What changes will you make in your next garden?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Terri, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    :dance: I's time to plan the gardens, it's time to plan the gardens! :dance:

    More green beans, I think. Probably top crop because the beans are early and less likely to get muddy. I saved from seeds from some AWSOME early sweet corn, but it did badly in the late season so I will need to buy seeds of a later-season variety. One with heat tolerance.

    I have a lot of carrots left in the ground from last year. If the soil thaws, I can dig a bunch for the fridge. The rest of them I can leave in the ground to bloom, and plant zinnias and cosmos to make it even prettier.

    I will plant some determinate tomatos for a change, to lengthen the tomato harvest. Determinates produce earlier. When I rip out the spent tomatos I can replace them with Austrian peas to enrich the soil: The season here is a bit short to double-crop tomatos.

    And OOH! I can get a bag of Fava beans from the ethnic grocery to plant! Fresh Favas are MUCH earlier than regular beans! And, I can plant the determinate tomatos to take over the row when the Favas quit from heat! (Favas taste a lot-but not quite- like regular beans. There is a thin layer around each bean that I prefer to remove before eating them).

    Now, if only the ground was not so frozen.... :p
  2. desnri

    desnri Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2003
    I always push too soon in getting my garden in. I live in East Texas and we have a long growing season here. In January I'll be planting Sugar Snap peas. This year they will be planted in a patch rather than in rows. I'll need to get my seeds started now for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and onions. I have all the seeds, I just need to get my greenhouse built this next week. I've got hay put on my garden right now. I'm experimenting with no till in some areas. That should be interesting. I've never planted potatoes before, but I think this year I will. I can't wait to get started on this year's garden. Planning is half the fun.

  3. I'm going to try to extend my garden season along with doubling the size. Right now if I plant all the cool weather crops that I like it crowds out the warm weather crops that I need to plant later. So I guess I need two seperate garden spots. I'm also going to try to extend the season by using cold frames so I can start earlier in the spring and garden later in the fall. After reading the thread about Hydroponics I might try my luck at that again also.
  4. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2002
    At the end of the road.
    I will be adding another 40 to 50 feet in the length. I have got to have more room for corn and taters this year.
  5. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 17, 2004
    I think I'll try container potatoes, something like growing them in tires except that I don't have any tires. Also more late season chard because it does so well and the chickens and sheep love it, even if my family doesn't. Also, I left the okra stalks up and thought I'd try to grow spring peas on them.
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    The biggest change is that I moved from zone 3 to zone 6 ! Where I was with my last garden I was very lucky to have 60 frost free days and the nites were usually very cool, tho the days could get quite hot. It was in the high mountain desert of NW CO. Now I'm in OK. I've also gardened in AK, MS, and TX so I'll get to try something in the middle! LOL

    I'm thinking about doing really raised beds, because of my back problems. I thought I would find some old straw bales and lay them flat and side by side to make a raised area. Then use boards or concrete blocks (not sure about this part yet) for sides to hold some soil and compost on top of the bales. Kind of a SFG concept. I don't want to use Mel's mix tho, because I have a problem with buying all that peat. Then I'll mulch heavily.

    Because we will be moving I'll have to put in my perennial stuff. I want to get asparagus started right away in a nursery bed to transplant next year. Then I want to get some rhubarb and some grapes, berry vines and fruit and nut trees put in. I also need to plant out a lot of herbs. And on top of that, I want to put in several patches of heirloom corn that I need to grow out before it loses viablility. That will mean several smaller plots rather widely separated. Then I have to grow veggies for the table and to freeze, dry and can.

    All this in addition to getting poultry pens and coops set up. And I want to grow some of the feed for the birds.

    WHEEWW! I need a clone or three!
  7. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Our garden will be smaller. It will contain easy crops to grow and won't include corn. It will be planted later to take advantage of the rainy season in July. We will plant more okra and bush beans; peas and probably not carrots. It will include lots more sweet potatoes and the same of eggplant. It will have lots of zucchini and various varieties of squash. We will start beets earlier as everyone wanted them. Won't grow as much basil as we didn't sell any herbs except to another market gardner who sold it at a different market. We will grow more cantaloups, melons, hot peppers, cukes, and tomatoes. We will only grow one variety of tomato this year as no one wanted the cherries this year so we didn't even pick them ourselves.
  8. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    SC and soon to be NC
    mrs oz here :)

    I want to plant corn this year for the first time. I will definitely not plant more than 2 eggplants.........we were over run last year, and we really like eggplant. I will also DEFINITELY be staking my tomatoes this year. I don't care if they are determinate or indeterminate.......they're getting staked!!! I don't know what else yet. I haven't sat down to start planning it all out yet. I am starting to get the bug though.
  9. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

    May 11, 2003
    It will be alot bigger, was 40' x 40', will be 60' x 50'. I will be growing a bunch of potatoes, and a bunch of bloody butcher corn. I think I'm gonna even try to grow some rice! Inspired of course by the thread on the homesteading forum. :rolleyes: Might even try my hand at wheat or something silly like that. Ooo, dry beans, lots of em.

    I wish I had a mini greenhouse to start seeds in...
  10. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2004
    This will be our first year on a new, ten acre homestead we just bought last year.

    I didn't get the tractor and tiller until late May, so I didn't have as much opportunity to plant a garden as I would like to have had. I did plant nine indeterminant tomatoes, even at that late date, and they produced quite well, though later than I normally have to wait for them. I also planted six (crimson sweet) watermelon plants, two bell pepper plants, four basil plants, about 25 feet of bush and pole lima beans, about 10 feet of pole green beans, and about 50 or so ears of corn.

    In late August, I also planted 10 buttercrunch lettuce plants, 4 red green lettuce plants, 12 cabbages, 3 broccoli and 3 cauliflower plants.

    These were the successful crops, all grown on raised beds of imported top soil and organic humus that I hastily built after tilling the original clay soil.

    I tried growing carrots, parsley and yellow crookneck squash too, but for whatever the reason, they were not successful last year.

    This year, I will have more time to plan, and more time to labor. So as good as last year's garden was, I would expect next year's garden to be so much better.

    For one thing, I will build more raised beds.

    Right now, I have two hastily built raised beds -- each about three feet wide and 50 feet long, with only about three and a half feet of walkway between them. Hardly enough room to force my smaller garden tractor through.

    I'm going to actually destroy one of those hastily built raised beds, since it was placed too close to the other one to fit my overall, permanent plan for this garden.

    Then I'm going to widen the other bed, so that it is five feet wide and 50 feet long. (I'll take the soil from the bed I'm demolishing to widen the other bed).

    Late in the season last year, I built a third bed -- one that was five feet wide and 50 feet long, and five and a half feet from the narrow bed I will keep.

    That bed, too, I will keep.

    Then I am going to build some more beds.

    By the end of the season, I plan to have six beds built. Each bed will be 5 feet wide and 50 feet long. There will be a 5 and one half foot walkway between each bed, with regular grass growing (but kept plenty short) in each walkway.

    The wide walkways allow me to come through with my garden tractor and bagger, to keep the walkway grass cut short. The garden tractor only has a 42 inch deck, so it will take two sweeps to cut each walkway. But the reason I want the walkways so wide is because we have a 33 hp New Holland tractor which is 5 feet wide, and I have a water tank that can be towed behind that big tractor. In the dry season, I plan on using that water tank and a spraying wand to irrigate the plants.

    I figure on cultivating four of the six beds in any given year. The other two beds will be given a year of rest and soil enrichment. So that means that any given bed will be asked to produce crops for two years, and then given a year to rest and get enriched.

    Of course I plan on rotating crops in a systematic and botanically sound manner.

    Right now, I have a cover crop of rye and vetch on the area that I will build up in the spring. The beds I built last year still have their four to six inches of shredded pine bark mulch on them, with holes where the plants used to be. I've already pulled out the corn stalks and old plant residue from last years beds.

    At the end of the fall, I went out to the nearest city and gathered leaves that people left on the curbside for the city trucks to pick up. I got about 6 or 8 pickup truck loads full of them, which I have in a big pile out in the back of the property. I didn't have time to shred them before it began to rain, and rain, and rain, so I guess I'll shred them first chance I get.

    I'll combine them with the grass clippings that the little garden tractor bagged from around our trailer and in those garden walkways, and let them compost together. But I haven't done that yet.

    With four actively cultivated, 5 foot by 50 foot raised beds to grow in, I shouldn't have any shortage of ground to grow on this year. I'll plant even more tomatoes, bell peppers, watermelon, corn, green beans, lima beans, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower this coming year than last.

    Plus I'll try again with the yellow crookneck squash (which probably messed up because I was so rushed to get it into the ground that I took too many shortcuts in the initial planting), and with the carrots.

    I plan on growing yellow bulbing onion, garlic, parsley, basil, and maybe even some oregano and borage. I figure on planting some zucchini this year, perhaps some spinach or turnip greens, and maybe a pumpkin or two for Halloween.

    And there will be plenty of area to plant alot more corn then I grew last year.

    I have a bunch of 55 gallon plastic barrels that I can afford to cut in half to make half gallon planters out of them. I'm going to get my husband to cut those barrels for me, and then fill them with potting soil. I'll then fill those half barrels with little strawberry plants. I don't like to grow strawberries on the ground, or even in a regular raised bed, because it is too hard on the back to have to harvest the little critters. So I'll use the half barrels instead. It'll keep Chubby Hubby from having to rub in the Ben Gay later.

    We planted about 20 fruit trees late this year, mostly peach, plum and nectarines. So I'll have to keep them sprayed and watered too. They will be too young to produce, however.

    BTW, I'm notorious for planting early. I don't have a greenhouse yet, so I'm going to have to buy transplants this year.

    But most places around here begin to sell not only the cooler crop transplants but tomato transplants too by the end of February, to early birds like me who want a jump on the season.

    I kid you not, I will plant my first tomatoes into the ground in late February (even though our last frost day isn't until the end of April), enclose them in a Wall of Water (which you can get from Gardener's Supply Catalog), and them nurse them like a mother nurses a new born baby through the rest of the winter.

    I've been know to plug up my husband's halogen construction lights on nights when it was going to get real cold, and beam that warm light onto my tomato plants. It works here in Tennessee, though my husband says it is not good for the electric bill.

    Oh heavens, folks, you've got my adreneline going full force now! We're having non stop rain right now, which follows on the heals of a nasty Christmas ice storm. I can't wait for the "monsoons" to stop, and for the land to dry out a bit, so I can go outside and start building my new garden beds!
  11. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    I'm going to HAVE a garden...first time since I moved from Texas almost three years ago. I'm planning a raised bed organic garden...about an acre in size. Yup, I've got grand plans and big dreams for this Spring...and it's time to get started on them.
  12. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    SE PA, zone 6b
    I have a great need for beauty as well as order. This year, no matter what, we are going to finish what has been designed. The garden will be 35 x 98' It will be divided into four quadrants with 4' paths, with a bench/arbor on the end of one path and gates at the ends of the other 3 paths. Then there will be seven 4' x 12' raised beds in each quadrant with 2' paths between. The perimeter will be 5' (3' on the north side) wide beds with the 6' + fence bisecting all except the north side. Approximately 1/2 will be in veggies, and the other half will be in flowers. All will be rotated through in orderly progression. I want this to be a thing of beauty in my eyes, and hopefully for anyone else who wanders by.

    Once the beds are established, no one will ever walk on them nor till them again. I will use the mulch system outlined elsewhere. If I am diligent in the weeding dept., as well as the mulching, this should rapidly become pure pleasure to work in. I have one of those little rolling stools to sit upon, so I can do much of the maintenance without dislocating something. Milky spore and nematodes will be spread as far and wide as I can possibly afford. (yes, even into the neighbors yard.)

    I have an old book, Better Vegetable Gardens the Chinese Way by Peter Chan. Try to get a copy if you can. It was published in the 70's. This is a real thing of beauty and extremely productive. It is my pattern to follow. Yes, I want the veggies and flowers, but the design has to be built this year. I've waited four years--no longer. Picture the asparagus ferns along one fence, sweet peas along another, rhubarb in the semi-shady corner, corn, beans, and tomatoes rotating along the North fence, nasturtiums, marigolds, and yarrow scattered throughout. I'm almost as excited about this as I am my new quarters starting construction as soon as the permits allow.

    In the meantime, I will order a bunch more of ornamental shrubs for my new backyard nursery project. Takes awhile to pot those up, etc. I'm probably feeling more ambitious than my body will allow. I'm not sure if my post isn't more about New Year's resolutions than about what I plan to do differently. Be patient. The fall report will tell all!!! :no: :no: :no:
  13. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    Another new thing (old thing?) I want to do is the '3 sisters'. Since I need several widely spaced plots for corn, I thought I would use the same plots to plant different varieties of winter squash and beans. I'm thinking of separating my plots with my orchard trees and bush fruits.
  14. mtnhighgirl

    mtnhighgirl Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    a mountain in BC Canada
    I have alot of changes for this year's garden. We moved to a cabin on 5 acres of land. There is a garden plot 25 by 40 feet waiting for me in the spring. :haha: That's about 2 or 3 times the size of my last garden. I also have running water now :worship: which will make my life soooo much easier. My hubby salvaged one of those portable sheds ( pole frame with tarps) that we will convert into a greenhouse to start seeds and protect the heat lovers like cukes, tomatoes, zuccinni, peppers and melons. I plan on trying to grow some corn this year, using a strain that is specific to BC gardens. I'll plant a bit of the usual; peas, beans, carrotts, beets, lettuce, spinach, chard, radish, parsnip, turnip, broccolli, cauliflower, lots of squash. I'm also going to try brussel sprouts , taters and cabbage. There is a bed by the front porch that I want to turn into a herb/rock garden and some beds by the back porch that I will fill with sweet peas, daisies and poppies. Before the fall, I want to have some raised beds that I can turn into cold frames to prolong our short growing season. I'm fascinated by Elliot Coleman's method of growing year round. Hopefully I can keep us supplied with fresh greens through the winter. I also want to prepare some beds for garlic in the fall.
  15. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

    Dec 7, 2002
    Dysfunction Junction
    Why did I suddenly imagine a GOAT in the middle of it all, eating everything in sight?!

    Oh, right -- that's MY garden! :haha:

    It has been fun reading everyone's replies. :)

    Next summer I will be gardening for the first time with my good friend Carol. We will be sharing a plot. So what we plant will depend, in part, on what she wants to grow, too! :)

    I didn't get any corn in last spring because the season was so late, and wet! Hopefully Ma Nature will be more cooperative in '05.

    I'd like more tomatoes this year, especially heirlooms, and more peppers, too.

    I started experimenting with propagating shrubs last fall, and look forward to doing more of that, too!

    I will have enough plants in my set-aside garden to begin selling some this spring. Eventually I would like to have a small seasonal nursery here, as I did earlier in a previous location. :)
  16. JennDBass

    JennDBass Wannab crunchy mama

    Sep 19, 2004
    Lassen County, California
    Last year I was diagnosed with Diabetes and so we are cutting back on fruit... and planting more vegies!

    My carrots have always tasted so strong that I am cutting back on those.

    I have 3 - 4'x10' raised beds for early/late planting that can have portable/collapsable greenhouses over them. The rest of my garden is for mid season stuff. I hope to get an avacado tree this year.

    I am going to try my hand at potatos. and Eggplant. Those are my new ones. Also the other half of the yard (Populated by 2 kids under 4, grass and a dog...) will be surrounded by sunflowers. I haven't done that at this house yet. I always think its magical to have their yard surrounded by flowers that look over the fence. It makes my borders look so lonely at the bottom but so bold at the top!
  17. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 26, 2003
    New York
    This year I will take better care of the asparagus bed. I was so busy with the set-up of other areas that the weeds got the best of the asparagus :( .

    As Sandi said, I also need to finish the design that I started 2 years ago. I have 3 raised beds 8'x4'; two of them have hoops for holding plastic so I can start greens early in the spring. I have rough-cut lumber for 3 more raised beds, and they will be a few feet longer and a foot wider. I've been saving paper feed sacks to put down in the walkways, and then cover with thick mulch. I want my garden to cause folks to say "Wow, that's so beautiful!". I think the mulched walkways and additional raised beds will allow me to spend more time on the harvest and less on weeding.

    I planted a dozen fruit trees 2 spring's ago, so this year time will be spent spraying and maintaining them. I am going to try NOT to plant any more fruit trees this year!

    I'd like to plant an animal feed garden. Field corn, sunflowers, kale, etc.. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I start most all my seedlings indoors, and I've got my box of seeds right here in the livingroom, waiting, waiting, waiting............