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Always busy
Aug 3, 2012
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Hey everyone!
After the snow last weekend, I'm hoping to finally get my garden planted this weekend. Things seem to be warming up, and Dad stuck his feet in the mud an pronounced it "time".

In the last couple of years, I've been doing what is basically Square Foot Gardening, and I've really been interested in Heirloom seeds. I'm a total novice with gardening, but am enjoying the ride!

So...I thought I would post the fun things I'm planting this year, in the hopes that some of you will share what you're doing!

Tomatoes (the focus of all things heirloom)
Weissbehaarte (white tomato)
Black Plum
San Marzano
Black Krim
Jersey Devil
Banana Legs
Forme de Coeur
The first two are some of the best tasting tomatoes I've ever eaten. The flavour literally explodes in your mouth and you can hardly believe you've grown something so fabulous. I'm hoping I'll get enough of each this year for both fresh eating, and to do a dedicated black and white tomato sauce.

Ancho - I'm hoping to smoke these once they're ready
Big Chili
Hungarian Hot
Hungarian Sweet
Peter's Pepper (Seriously, google this one. It's entirely for discussion purposes!!)

I like to get as many jars of tomato sauce, chunks, marinara, and salsa into my cupboard as possible. We go through those like other people eat (insert pantry staple here). We even found an amazing corn salsa recipe a couple years ago that is incredibly addictive. SO good.

After these, it's the usual complement of onions (white, yellow, red), beans (green, gold, and purple), peas, baking beans, a rainbow of heirloom beets and carrots (red, purple, white, orange), and a ton of herbs (thyme, cilantro, dill, sage, rosemary, savory, lemon verbena, oregano, chives, 3 different basils, etc.)

A couple of exciting ones for this year are the melons and pumpkins.
Icebox Heirloom Watermelon (various colours)
Minnesota Midget Melon
PMR Delicious 51 Melon
Orange Smoothie Pumpkin (did this last year and it was amazing for pie and muffins!)
Aaand, for the kids: Atlantic Giant Pumpkin. I have no idea if this will grow well, but thought I would give it a go! Even if it only gets to a large-ish pumpkin size, the kids will love it.

I've been also starting fruits over the last few years, apricot trees, tart cherries, blueberries, haskaps, white currants, strawberries, etc. They're all really small, but one cherry, and both currants have flowers this year!

Anyhoo, what's everyone else growing? Anything to recommend for things to try or things you've had great success with?
Wow rayway, your garden must be something. Can you post some pictures? Perhaps you could also post some later in July, and then again in August? It is a lot of fun to compare when first planted to how it end up.

In seeing all of those tomatoes, I have suggestions on what else to plant ..

More Basil,
More Basil,
and even More BASIL!!!!

How about some cucumbers???
Here are photo's of mine

We have too many deer, so I deck-garden. Herbs in pots, veggies in Earth Boxes (seriously cool deck gardening system)

First Picture - A tomato plant in an earthbox plater
Second and third pictures- my herbs, flowers up on the railing. Cucumbers and hot peppers are in the large earthbox planters.

Fourth Picture - I had this "topsy-turvy" that I though I might try out on a cucumber vine. We will see....





Hi Ray, I to am a novice gardener doing raised beds this year. Last year I did rows and I didn't fair so well. So I took my approx 80x40 garden and put 34 - 4x4 raised beds in. I have about 3 foot walkways, ground cover and completely mulched ( courtesy of the electric company from last year) I am determined to not let the weeds get the best of me this year! We also have been spending the last few weeks building a coop next to the garden for several beneficial reasons. Chicken dung is awesome for the garden and now it is close by. We also built a chicken tunnel all the way around the perimeter of the garden and this serves as our bug control. In the non growing season we will open the tunnel and let the chickens have all the space in addition to their regular pen and duck pond we put in for the malard and yellow duck we just got. We also have grown this year from 4 to 21 chickens. I swear those chicks are like potato chips, you just can't get one. Lol
This year we have planted
Tiger melons (cantaloupe)
Beans- purple,green and pintos
Peppers- banana,jalapeno,sweet and rainbows
Tomatoes- purple, mortgage lifters, beef steak, and cherries
Cucumbers pickling :)
Brussels sprouts
Pumpkins- small and large
Watermelons -sugar babies and a larger variety
Corn- sweet white and yellow
Squash- yellow breakneck, zucchini, and butternut
And something new I am trying is Virginia Peanuts! I'm not sure how this is going to turn out but I'm giving it a whirl.
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I am mostly a container/bucket Gardner due to deer but we planted celebrity and better boy tomatoes as well as a few patio princess in pots. As for peppers, a few poblano but mostly fish peppers. I have been growing fish peppers for a few years now and we absolutely love them. Usually I'll dry them and make a powder and put it in everything. They have the perfect amount of flavor and heat for us. Love the fish peppers!
John they look good! I would like to do some herbs as well. Your rosemary is looking good! My garden is so full, maybe too full, I might grow herbs on the deck as well, if I can find the time.
John they look good! I would like to do some herbs as well. Your rosemary is looking good! My garden is so full, maybe too full, I might grow herbs on the deck as well, if I can find the time.

I got my herbs right by the grill. So nice to just "snip a bunch" as I cook.
I have a large garden area but nothing is planted yet. Most Missouri gardens are well on their way but mine is still too wet to plant. I live in a valley and after it rains it continues to drain down into my garden for many days. This year it has been frustrating because we have had so many heavy rains. I think I should try some gardening on my deck. I do have lots of herbs in pots and they always do well. But I do love okra and green beans and neither of them would work on the deck. Thankfully I have friends and family that garden and share with me.

Mary Lou
Hi Rayway, very ambitious garden! The deer around here are like rats, so many and the folks running the DNR seem to see them as money to sell to hunters and the heck with the people who have to live with them. I was putting in an 8 row cider orchard but reconsidered and gave my wife 3 of the rows for her to move her garden into the deer fenced orchard. You are going to scold us but we are anti heirloom tomato, they do not do well here for us, and plant a lot of hybrids, Big Daddy from Burpees saved our summer a couple of years ago following a Derachio wind storm, all of our vacation we spent cleaning up trees that were blown over and it was so hot that when we harvested the first ones of these the sun had baked into them incredible flavor and sugar and balanced acids, like a good wine:) We are also finally planting some sweetcorn again, last couple of times we planted it there was 100% crop loss to racoons and deer. We are also going to put up an electric fence outside the high deer fence, some little freak gnaws thru the plastic fence for fun but we are going to shock that little sucker. We have a bunch of peppers ranging from Marconis to roast to Scorpions to roast us. We take old horse fence and form a 7 foot tall cage by folding it around itself and put in pole beans and yard long beans, groundhogs have climbed the cages to eat every bean years past, not this year if I get the eletric fence up in time. The wife also loves basil so she has Italian and lots of Thai basils, the bees really like the flowers so we use basil as our flowers in the garden to attract the bumble bees that pollinate the tomatoes. Wife is also experimenting with putting her squashed under fabric tunnel this year, we have a host of borers and squash bugs that usually wreck the plants so we would get a small harvest vs having to fill wagons lots of zuchins, we dont like to spray because we keep bees and we are surrounded by fields and forrest with lots of hosts for our bugs to overwinter in. If I could I would plant an acre of basil for the bees, all the native bees and the honey bees swarm over the Thai basils and complain when we interupt them to do a little harvesting:) WVMJ
I planted potatoes, onions, radishes, lettuce, kale, sugar snap peas and spinach on Good Friday, ole' wives tale about planting on Good Friday, but it works for me. But I have a hybrid green house, somewhere between a hoop house and a green house, to help protect against our unpredictable weather. But it has been soooo cold I have yet to plant anything outside. We had snow just 4 days ago. I now have green beans, spaghetti squash, beets and cucumbers coming up in the "green" house. I've given up on the heirloom tomatoes, just a lot of trouble with them, they are touchier, got fungus one year, they don't produce as much fruit....had to give up on those also. But what a list rayway! How many acres do you plant??? I do like this green bean heirloom I plant. I just leave a few pods on the plants then gather them up right before the first freeze and plant them in the spring, haven't bought green bean seeds in a while. If I had my way, I would do without the yard and have my green houses instead! I also fight deer and antelope, so the green houses are great at keeping them out....and I have 55 gallon barrels that gather the rain water from our roof. But this cold weather has been great for my rhubarb and I already have 35lbs in the freezer!
We also do lots of heirloom veggies. Lots of tomatoes. We like Hungarian Ox heart, Mortgage lifter, San Marzano, Italian Heirloom. And a yellow one that I dont recall the name of now.

Also Carrots, radishes, onions, kohlarabi, zucchini, peas, green beans Lettuce, spinach , and lots of herbs and garlic. Our 2 vegi gardens are about 50x50 each. Lots of raspberries and Strawberries also. We also have chickens and use lots of compost. Finished planting today. The picture is of the garden last July. The grapes are at the top of the photo

6-1-14 garden.jpg
Well if you ever get to Madison Wi. Give a shout. We love to show it off. I do spend alot of time down there. It feeds us for 6-7 months sometimes longer.

And no photoshop WVMJ. I can barely navigate this site let alone photoshop.

Rayway We get a lot a seeds from a place in Iowa called Seed Savers Exchange. They have lots of interesting stuff. We also save a few of our own. Got to keep those old varieties going.
Wow! I sounds like we've got some real gardeners here! I have a very small area for square foot gardening = basically a 4'x12' in a "U" shape, the new box is 4'x12 as well. No acreage for me, I'm right in the city! I'm trying to get rid of my grass by planting fruit trees and bushes. My sister in law is letting me plant some of my beans and root veggies in her garden. She's got a couple of acres (jealous!)

@JohnT my best friend has a yard that looks similar to your deck. She pretty much does only pots with a couple of little boxes.

@Jack I totally understand about using what works in your micro-climate. I'm learning a lot these days and have nearly as many failures as successes.

@fabrictodyefor and @drumlinridgewinery I'm super jealous of your setups. I wish I had access to a greenhouse or nice large plot.

I've attached pics of the newly expanded boxes we're working on (pre-filling and planting), so you see I have very little space to work with!


drum, that looks beautiful. I, too, rayway, live in town and am somewhat limited. I love the looks of your raised beds, rayway. Will probably never attempt grapes, not sure they would make it in our inconsistent weather, although I have heard the despair of several grape growers on the forum this spring. I am able to "put up" a lot, but would love to do more. My husband is prepping to build a deck and move our pond, so in the process yesterday, in order for things to work, he had to build another "bed" on the outside of the greenhouse...I told him I would have no trouble planting something in there! :D
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I have grown a veggie garden for 25+ years. It is a raised bed on the south side of my house measuring 28' long by 8' wide. With the nice weather this spring I planted on May 1st which is about a month earlier than usual. This year I have a row of snow peas with a 2' fence in place for them to grow on, 1/2 row of Japanese daikon radishes, 1/2 row of leaf lettuce, 1/2 row of bunching onions, 1/2 row of carrots, 1/2 row of chinese cabbage and 1/2 row of spinach. I have some cherry tomatoes started that will be transplanted shortly. This last Friday night they were predicting a hard frost into Saturday morning and I put this sheet plastic in place to protect the garden. It worked well and I did not lose anything. Hopefully that is our last frost of the year.

Hard frost 5 22 15 P2 001.JPG

Hard frost 5 22 15 P1 004(1).JPG

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