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2018 gardening season!!!

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JohnT

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The cherry blossoms are finally coming out. Time to plan my garden for this year!!!!

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JohnT

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This year, I am partnering with a good friend of mine. Each one of us has a "double-plot" measuring 6 feet by 30 feet. This year we are combining our two plots in the community garden to form our own, two family mini farm.

On Saturday the weather was beautiful so we roto-tilled our plots and tucked in some onion and potato sets. We then planned out the rest of the garden over a nice cold beer.

Here is a pic of my friend and the tiller.

Normally, the soil is a sandy off-yellow. We conditioned the soil last fall with some standard compost, composed horse manure, and a good amount of composed grape skins. I swear that grape skins make the best compost!!

We gave the plots another shot of horse manure and tilled the heck out of it. That soil was loose, dark, and even smelled sweet!

We plan to get the rest of the garden planted next weekend. I can't wait!
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wildhair

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We finally had some warm weather! Still mounds of snow here and there, but I was able to plant the garlic and onion sets and clean up the winter debris. Too wet to till. I got all the pepper, tomato and other seedling out of their little starting flats and transplanted into pots. Got my "southern" plants moved outside - the passion fruit, Angel Trumpets, the lemon grass and the peppers & herbs I brought in for the winter.

And so - it begins...............
 

JohnT

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Well it was planting day on Saturday.

It was sunny and a perfect 80 degrees. Perfect weather for working outside.

A neighbor and myself are partnering up. We have two 30 by 8 foot plots in our community garden.

Our community garden is great! It is surrounded by a 12 foot deer fence and there are watering spigots every 20 feet. Perfect for folks like my self that live in "critter country". It also has a nice gazebo where gardeners, weary from his/her labors, can sit and enjoy a beverage of choice (like a nice 2014 barrel reserve).

In our first plot, we planted 24 Roma VF tomato plants, 3 rows of lettuce (romaine), two rows of onions, and 2 rows of garlic. Hopefully, we will end up with plenty of tomatoes to can this summer.

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In our second plot, we packed in some beefsteak tomatoes (6), bell peppers (6), jalapeno peppers (6), some bush beans (seed), a row of carrots and radishes (mixed seed), zucchini (3), cucumber (seed), eggplant (6), 2 rows of garlic, 2 rows of onions, and a row of russet potatoes.

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I am SOOOO STIF!!!! My legs are not used to all of that squatting.
 
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wildhair

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Still too cold and wet for me to get plants in - we can still get frost until just before Memorial Day. I did get my garlic and onions planted last week, but unless it stops raining and the garden has a chance to dry out - it will be another "no-till" year.
On the upside - it doesn't look like our April blizzard killed the cherry blossoms - they are just starting to open.
 

JohnT

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TIP...TIP...TIP

While planting on Saturday, the lead agriculturist from one of our larger farms came to give tips and advice. We got to talking and he mentioned that the two most important components for a healthy garden are nitrogen and potassium.

GRAPE SKINS!! think about it. Most of us add nutrients and K-meta to our musts. One would think that the grape skins, therefore, would be loaded with nitrogen and potassium.

I have been composting my grape skins for years, heaping the skins from one year to the next on top of a single mound. Every now and then, I would toss on some wood ash (when my fireplace needed cleaning) to try to balance out the acid in the skins.

I dug into the mound and the compost was jet black and smelled of earth and roses. It was loose and loamy. I showed the compost to the agriculturist, he advised to add as much as possible to the garden. He kept saying over and over "This is great stuff".

So, we added a boatload of the compost into our two plots. This is a community garden, and we are the only ones using the skins, I should be able to compare and differences as the gardens grow.

I am very interested to see what happens.
 

wildhair

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Back at ya -
#1 - I also put the lees and sediment from the fermenter on the compost. The yeast and enzymes will speed up the decomposition. Flat beer also great.
#2. - Put some Epsom salts around tomato & pepper plants a couple times a year. A table spoon or 2 worked into the soil or added to the watering can - helps the plants absorb nitrogen from the soil. You get greener, healthier plants and better tomatoes & peppers.
#3 - add a small amount of borax to the soil when planting beets - beets need boron for best growth and production.
 

balatonwine

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We conditioned the soil last fall with some standard compost, composed horse manure, and a good amount of composed grape skins. I swear that grape skins make the best compost!!

We gave the plots another shot of horse manure and tilled the heck out of it.
If you have enough compost, consider trying no dig. It is less soil prep work and less weeding. ;)


 
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ibglowin

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John. Looks great! But how do you keep the deer (and other critters) from eating everything right down to the ground!?
 

Johnd

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John. Looks great! But how do you keep the deer (and other critters) from eating everything right down to the ground!?
See post #4 - "Our community garden is great! It is surrounded by a 12 foot deer fence and there are watering spigots every 20 feet. Perfect for folks like my self that live in "critter country". "
 

JohnT

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Spent some quality time in the garden on Sunday.

I took a hoe and worked both plots. Had this done before my partner arrived. When he sow me, he simply said "you are the best hoer in all of Chester". Still laughing on that one.

After tending the garden plots, we sat in the central gazebo and partook of some cheese, salami, bread, and a glass (only 1) of my 2015 cab.

Weather was beautiful!

I then went home to start planting the pots on my deck.

Very productive day considering how I felt in the morning (crush was the day before).
 

JohnT

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Now that you got the weed pressure down, if you have not already done so, is the time to lay down a good mulch. Straw for example. So you don't have to hoe again. ;)
But I like hoeing...

 

GreenEnvy22

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Ours is coming along well too. This year I planted a lot more hot peppers (habanero, jalapeno, and ghost pepper).
We have: Zucchini, beans, sweet peppers, hot peppers, celery, garlic, leeks, potatoes, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, various herbs, strawberries, rhubarb, beets, tomatoes, squash, melons, tomattilios, onions. In other parts of the back yard we have Raspberries, blackberries, currants, blueberries, figs, apples, pears. Plus lots of grapes of course :)
 

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Johnd

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Full tilt boogie here in the south, with temps in the 90’s and lots of gulf breeze showers, the garden is going nuts.
Creoles producing a big crop so far, enough rain to plump up, but not enough to split them, which can be an issue here with too much rain. Had to replace the 6’ poles with 8’s this morning.

Cucumbers producing well, vines are already 6’ up the growing trellis and loaded with flowers and baby cucumbers.

Basil and pole beans off to the races as well, can’t wait for the first tomato and some fresh basil to make the first caprese salad of the year.

Pretty decent looking squash, just hoping we don’t get any mega rain on them either.

We’ve been picking cherry tomatoes off of the Sweet 100’s for a week now, couple dozen a day, that’ll continue for months. They’ve already outgrown their 7’ cages and had to be topped this morning.

Lots of baby bell peppers and jalapeños on the bushes, should be picking in a few more weeks.
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pgentile

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Full tilt boogie here in the south, with temps in the 90’s and lots of gulf breeze showers, the garden is going nuts.
Creoles producing a big crop so far, enough rain to plump up, but not enough to split them, which can be an issue here with too much rain. Had to replace the 6’ poles with 8’s this morning.

Cucumbers producing well, vines are already 6’ up the growing trellis and loaded with flowers and baby cucumbers.

Basil and pole beans off to the races as well, can’t wait for the first tomato and some fresh basil to make the first caprese salad of the year.

Pretty decent looking squash, just hoping we don’t get any mega rain on them either.

We’ve been picking cherry tomatoes off of the Sweet 100’s for a week now, couple dozen a day, that’ll continue for months. They’ve already outgrown their 7’ cages and had to be topped this morning.

Lots of baby bell peppers and jalapeños on the bushes, should be picking in a few more weeks.
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Nice, i'm jealous how far along your crops are.

Cool cool spring in the Delaware valley this year as everyone knows. I have tomatoes and peppers happening, basil and herbs look good but everything is 4-6 weeks behind the typical spring.

Trying potatoes for the first time this year, planted two ago already flowering.
 

JohnT

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@Johnd ....

WOW!

That basil looks great! so do your tomatoes!
 

JohnT

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Saturday was spent in the winery. Sunday I was rained out. So, Monday was spent in the garden..

A neighbor and myself teamed up to have a combined 60 foot plot. I headed up with 1 bottle of wine, 3 glasses, and my Bluetooth speaker. I put on the Frank Sinatra channel and had great music as I spent 3 hours weeding. I then spent 1 hour simply looking at the job I did.

Then, after all was done, it was time to head into the central gazebo to share a glass (one only one) with my fellow gardeners. Hear are the "before" and "after pics...

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Not done yet! I then headed home to tend to my deck garden...

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Over all, a rather productive day.
 
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