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Next year's garden

Post by kerrig on Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:18 am

The past 2 years I have lost our garden due to heat and the drought. I had decided to not do a garden again but instead, to buy what we need for canning from the Amish. They have a produce auction. And I still might buy some from them but I don't want to give up on having our own garden. We've had some good harvests in the past.
My question is this. Does anyone have any advice on gardening when we have the heat and drought like we have?
I have a good sized section for my garden. I had also considered some container gardening. My dad only lives a block away and he has gardened all his life. I always feel like such a failure compared to him because no matter how hard I try mine is never as good as his. Just one year I'd like to have the picture-perfect garden that is well maintained and produces well.
I do have some disability that hinders some of what I can do in the garden. I have arthritis in one knee and the other knee is very weak from nothing being there to hold my patella in place. So I have to be extremely careful when I'm working in the garden.
I can use a roto tiller and till my own. I can also do the mulching and weeding but if the weeds get out of hand then that's when I run into problems.
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by Evie1 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:45 am

awww bless your hart. don't compete with your dad. you will never win. just do you own thing. it don't have to be as big, or as pretty. and weeds are your friend. believe it or not. weeds don't like shade. so mulch works well. your dad has had lots of practice and maybe he had to compete with his folks. and taking it out on you. grow a garden because you love it. and then it will grow. just the way you wont. i have been gardening for over 40 years. and I still don't have it right. but sometimes you have to give your self a pat on the back for what you have done right. no one else will . not even dad. I don't do many things that are hard. I just put back in the ground what I took out. like leaves, and good old horse manure. yes horse manure. lots and lots of it. it puts humas in the ground, that holds water. like a sponge. the leaves give ash, and phosphate. anyway. just do it. leaves underneath, then lot of horse manure. wet it down good, then till . if this makes seance to you. let me know, and I will continue. its a long discussion. ........just one more thing. .......you came hear to live your life, and when you die, don't you wont to know it was your life you lived. ........
Evie
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by dizzy on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:08 am

First off, if you don't have to, don't till your soil. That can actually be counterproductive. Depending on where you live, you can put a ton of mulch on top of your garden. In the fall, pile up leaves on the garden. You can also put cardboard down under the leaves. This will encourage earthworms to tunnel in that area and make it nice and loose. Then when spring comes, just rake the leaves away from where you want to plant, and when the plants come up, mulch around them. This will help keep moisture in and weeds out. If you're getting a ton of rain, and the soil is too wet, then pull everything away from your plants.

You can also try planting something like clover in between the rows. This will help add nitrogen to your soil. The only problem w/doing this is that the clover may not stay where you want it. I tried it once, and found it made more work for me.

Horse manure is good-as long as it's been aged properly. If not, you can end up w/a ton of weeds in your garden. I've gotten to where I no longer use it even though I have the 3 horses. Instead, I use bunny and goat poop. It doesn't need to be aged and you don't get the weed seeds.

Check your pH. If your pH is off, it can really affect your garden. You may need to add some lime if your soil is too acidic. And, if your pH is too basic, adding oak leaves and pine needles can help add acid. (I don't know if there's any product you can put on to lower your pH since my soil tends to be acidic, but I know that oaks and pines are naturally acidic.)

If you haven't done it yet, try a combination of companion and square foot gardening. You won't have as much to take care of but still get quite a lot out of your garden.

I can relate to the knees. I had an operation on my right knee in January, and have found I can no longer kneel. I have a little rolling tool caddy that I sit on when I work in the garden. I can't remember off hand what it's called, and it's too late to go out and look now.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by kerrig on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:15 am

Thank you, both of you. I would do the garden the way I want but when he comes over to "help" I find out at least one thing that could have been done differently. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. My dad is 78 years old, my mom is gone now, and I am thankful to have him. I really am. I just wish my garden would do what I want it to.
I will definitely try some of the ideas you both mentioned.
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:44 am

When I get in from work tonight I'll post details on how my Dad tipped his hat to my gardening, and I did it my way.

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:38 pm

Well, best laid plans... My computer is down and I cannot access the files I was going to share. In a nutshell Dad grows tomatoes better, and his crop of green beans is consistently better than mine, but my potato crop, carrot crop, and sweet corn and squash crops consistently out perform his efforts. A bit of friendly competition, but we freely share with each other as well as my brother. Dad mulches with grass clippings and uses synthetic fertalizers. I use leaves, lime, wood ashes, and biochar along with compost to encourage earthworm health. As for hot and dry conditions, there is an e-book about using dust as mulch, and increasing the space between plants so that there is more area for root development, and less competion for soil moisture. When combined with companion gardening techniques (and avoiding intensive plantings) you can get higher per plant yields and have a good garden even during a drought. I plant with enough spacing to use the roto-tiller between rows, leaving only small areas between plants for weeding.

I do not use manures because my soil is a medium heavy clay loam, if you have a sandy loam by all means add manure, but be prepared to deal with weeds.

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by kerrig on Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:43 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by Evie1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:02 am

I agree with dizzy on horse manure some. I have heard lots of folks say that you will get lots of weeds. But. this is what I have available to me. also horse manure is very high in nitrogen. in my area, it is hard to rot horse manure. even though we pile it high, if it don't get wet it wont rot. I tried this so many times. so then I discovered, if I just put it on my leaves , in the garden. it would rot the leaves, and I could water it down and till it in, and it would rot right in the ground. faster then if I piled it up. she is right about goat and rabbit and cow manure, but they are very hot, and you can't put as much on, to create humus, I live in the Mojave desert, and we don't get much water hear. so I have to depend on that humus in the ground to hold water. I also have lots of clay. my property has tons of clay, and sand, you can dig in one place and sparks will fly off you shovel. and just next to that, sand. and putting humus , and organic matter into ether soils, helps hold water. I have neighbors that use store bought soils, and others who use cow manures. and they have the same weeds I do. and there dirt wont drain, or hold water. others say you can't put to much nitrogen in the garden , like on tomatoes. and horse manure is very high in nitrogen. but if I could show you pictures, I would show how they grow just fine. my tomatoes get 8 to 10 feet tall. and produce tons of tomatoes. heck it is winter now, and I am still picking tomatoes. it finally froze the other night. so I think they are done. whhhuuu.
I think you have to use what you have, and that is what you would have to use in a hard time. as far as the weeds. like I said they don't like shade, so yes you do have to weed some. but once your plants get going. they will over grow the weeds. depending where you live, I am sure. I also use my ash's from my wood stove. but just a little. lightly spread. and don't burn toxic things. like colored news paper, and kreasot. is that a word. hehe. good luck.
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:42 am

creosote Wink

I think you mean weather treated wood.

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by Evie1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:52 am

Yep Creosote, didn't know how to spell that. and no. not weather treated wood. I mean creosoted wood. like rail road ties, and telephone poles. toxic oil. thanks for giving me the spelling. even my spell check doesn't know what the heck I am trying to spell. lol. I guess that would qualify for weather treated wood.
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by Sonshine on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:05 am

kerrig, I'm not sure where you live, but our area of Georgia has been in drought conditions for years. We tried raised bed gardening, but it seemed to me like it dried out quicker than regular row gardening, so we went back to what I was most comfortable with. We raise chickens and goats and in the winter do deep bedding, in the early spring that all gets tilled into our garden area. We have well water, so we have no problems keeping our garden watered. We bought some cheap timers at Walmart and have the watering set up on timers, so they automatically get watered. Unfortunately, this past year we had extreme heat so we didn't get as good as a harvest as we had hoped.

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:08 pm

Speaking of next years garden efforts, I recieved my first 2013 seed catalog this week. It wasn't even December when it arrived.

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by kerrig on Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:41 pm

I received my Baker's Creek last week!
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by Rohn on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:29 pm

Last week I also received some seek catalogs - Baker's Creek, Totally Tomatoes, and Seed Saver's Exchange.
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by kerrig on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:44 pm

I received Totally Tomatoes too!
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:47 am

Bakers Creek is the earlybird here. I have to respect the efforts, but I am curious if this will lead others to push their catalogs out earlier as well. The marketing example would be all the Christmas displays that stores put up before Thanksgiving.

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by Evie1 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:02 am

ok I am jealous. I have no seed catalogs. not even burpy.
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by kerrig on Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:35 am

Just you wait. You'll get them. Smile
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:32 pm

burpy (sp?) comes out in January normally

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by Evie1 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:55 am

you would catch my spelling....... thanks Kerrig. no shame hear.
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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:58 pm

sorry, I know that does not look correct, but for the life of me cannot call the correct spelling.

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Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by dizzy on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:13 pm

Do you mean Burpee?

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:43 am

That looks right!! Thanks Dizzy!

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by backtotheland on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:13 pm

Where I live now I can only have a small garden space, which the person I'm renting from has already made for me bless her heart. She used horse manure and leaves to mulch deep because that is what she had. I'm going to get some black plastic and cover it over and let it cook all winter and break down. I might just use black landscape fabric that I already have because the water will get through. Any comments on that. I'm just not sure it will get hot enough. Since it is small, and I wanted to grow so much stuff, I'm going to some container gardens and there is a big you pick produce farm right down the road from me so I will utilize them. I'm going to be preserving this year if it kills me. I haven't done it in years and I really miss it.

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Re: Next year's garden

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:27 pm

The manure and leaf mix should be plenty hot. Infact the heat source on some hot beds was a layer of manure. Is your garden small enough that you could put a cover over it to extend your growing season?

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Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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