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This year I am going to do things diffrent!

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This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Harvey_Birdman on Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:58 pm

This will be my 4th year gardening. So far I haven't been a very good gardener. So this year I got a ledger book, and I am going to document may garden from start to finish. I have a awful memory, so I need all the notes I can write if I don't want to make the same mistakes. Every year so far I have relyed on my dad to tell me when to plant what. So the first thing I am going to do is sit him down, and ask him about when to plant everything so that will be the first thing in the book. I plan to record rainfall, when I water, when I till, when I plant, amount/type planted, yeild, and anything else I think will be usefull as the season goes on. I hope this will at least help me to figure out exactly how bad a farmer I am. Last year I am sure I planted more taters than I dug, but I didn't keep track of howmany I dug so I don't know if I had a yeild or if I should have just eat my seed.

So what do you think? Do any of you keep a garden ledger? Is there something else I should keep record of?

Oh, I also plan to make a rough layout in the ledger for crop rotation purposes.

I have already started a ledger of my rabbit breeding. This is more of something to show people how well a doe has done if I go to sell offspring to be breeders, and to keep up with how much I have invested by the time the meat reaches the table.

God bless,
Chad
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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by dizzy on Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:50 am

I've had years when I've had a really good garden, other years when it doesn't do that well, and some years that I'll have a mix.

One thing that I've been doing some studying on is planting by the moon phases. I'll admit that at first I was a bit leery about trying it. But, Genesis tells us that the moon and the stars were to be used as signs and as seasons. So, I've found a link to a list of what to plant when according to the moon's phase, so I'll be trying that this year.

And yes, I'm writing down what I plant and when it sprouts. Plus, I'll also be keeping track of my yield.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Harvey_Birdman on Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:02 am

I am not sure if the moon phase helps, but there are a lot of folks here that swear by it. I have to plant buy the dry days the I don't have to work. What a Face
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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by dizzy on Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:32 am

Well I know there have been times when I've planted onions, and when I've harvested them in the fall, they haven't grown a bit! So, I figure it can't hurt to try.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by 12acrehome on Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:03 pm

My grandfather used to swear by planting by the moon.

Chad, step one should be a soil test. This will tell you if your soil is acidic or alkaline, or neutral. It will also tell you if you need to amend the soil nutrients. A rule of thumb for all garden vegetables is to have a soil ph of 6.0 to 6.8.

Also, mulch, mulch, mulch, and did I mention using mulch. Pile grass clipings and leaves and newspaper around every plant, until you have a 4 to 6 inch layer over the entire garden. Leave it there until spring. This will encourage earthworms to do their thing.

Google search earthworm gardening for all the benefits worms provide to the soil. You cannot have healthy plants without healthy soil.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Harvey_Birdman on Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:33 pm

Soil test showed 6.5 so PH is ok.

I did learn (maybe even on here somewhere) that I was using the rabbit droppings wrong. I was just spreading them around the base of the plant. I found out it should be under the plant, and worked into the soil around the base.

12acrehome, do you put the grass clipping streaght on after cutting or do you let them dry out some first?
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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by dizzy on Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:07 pm

I put them on just as they are, as well as any weeds. If I don't have enough organic matter to cover the whole garden, you can see a big difference in the plants that are mulched and those that aren't.

Not only does the mulch encourage the worms, but it also keeps the majority of the weeds from coming up and hold moisture in the soil. So, you have less weeding and watering to do.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Harvey_Birdman on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:44 pm

On the soil test I am sending a sample to UK for full work up, but the results won't be back soon enough to help this year. But I will know for next year.

I have tons of leaf litter that I was going to burn when I got off work today. I guess now I will save it for the garden.
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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by 12acrehome on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:06 pm

I let the grass clippings wilt down and dry a bit. I have piled fresh green clippings around young squash plants and killed them from the heat build up.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by kerrig on Sun May 19, 2013 8:09 pm

How do you do a soil test? I need to do this. I've gardened for years but have never had it tested and the soil keeps getting lighter in color.
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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by 12acrehome on Mon May 20, 2013 1:14 am

hmm, me personally?? I use an at home test kit available at most garden supply stores, and an electronic acid / Ph tester. About every 7 years I send a sample to the co-op for a more thorough analysis. If you have a county extension office, a USDA office, or some other agriculture office they can direct you how to have it done.

typically lighter colored soils are lacking lime, and humus (vegetation matter that is partially decomposed.

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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: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Harvey_Birdman on Tue May 21, 2013 5:22 am

I did a home self test, but most co-ops will do it for free, but it takes a couple of weeks to get the results back. My co-op suggested doing it in the fall.
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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Farmfresh on Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:06 pm

dizzy wrote:Well I know there have been times when I've planted onions, and when I've harvested them in the fall, they haven't grown a bit! So, I figure it can't hurt to try.

If my onions have a year like that, and they often do for some reason or another, I just harvest the onions that are the proper size and leave the rest in the ground. Sometimes I sprinkle a little bone meal on them and then I re-mulch them and just leave them over the winter. The next spring they have usually multiplied into two skinny bulbs. At that time I pull them up, separate the bulb and pull away any loose or soggy parts and then I replant each piece. The second year those bulbs are often huge. I am Zone 5/6 where we are an I have seldom lost any onion that I have overwintered like that. An added bonus is that doing this you can keep increasing your onion stock without buying any new ones.

Two more onion tips.

Never let them bloom. always cut off the flower buds or remove the whole flower stalk to use as a green onion would be used. If they flower they put their energy into the seed.

When summer is almost done and the onions are starting to dry up, bend over the stems of the onions that you are planning on harvesting. It will make a better storage onion for your troubles.

As far as the journaling goes, being married to a rather doubtful man from the Show-Me state has its advantages. Because hubby was always wanting me to prove how much I grew or how a homestead project was fairing financially, I started measuring, weighing and journaling a long time ago. It has turned into a blessing.

I try basically to run this tiny city homestead like a second business. If a project is just not paying off then I will usually be able to let it go if I can see the numbers in black and white. I can also learn from my past mistakes much easier and turn some projects into real money makers or savers because of it. For example, I usually raise my own replacement pullets. One year I decided to buy a batch of 25 sexed pullets of several breeds that I was interested in. I kept close track in my journal (which is on the computer) of all expenses including bedding, feed, original cost of chicks and other stuff. Then I picked my favorites and sold the extras. By looking at the journal I was able to see what worked and what didn't. The next time I raised replacement pullets the sale of the extras paid for all of the costs... AND I had money left over to buy a batch of meatie chicks and 4 bags of feed!

That is the power of a journal!
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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by dizzy on Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:25 pm

FF, that's a great idea.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by backtotheland on Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:25 pm

I'm using the Back  To Eden gardening method this year and so far it seems to be working great. We have had a very wet year so far and I've noticed that when the sun does shine the soil doesn't dry up under the wood chip mulch and there are no weeds. I am going to give them some calcium water I'm making with my egg shells because some of the tomatoes started to get yellow leaves right after I transplanted them but now they are fine. I've already put one load of chips on the and will be putting one more down this summer and then in the fall I will put another one down. You can watch the film Back to Eden on the internet. Just type Back To Eden in your search engine.

I'm going to start a journal this year too I think. I only planted the garden two weeks ago so it is still pretty fresh in my mind. I'll pick up a notebook today at the dollar store and get that started. I planted my beans last Saturday and they are already coming up, well the green and yellow beans are. I think I saw a little dry bean variety coming up last night too. I would be extremely happy if it jus stopped raining.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by dizzy on Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:30 pm

I'm wondering if we should have a section on here where people can do a journal.  They could include what they've planted, how they've planted it, etc.  Kind of like a public diary so that others could maybe learn some stuf, comment and ask questions.  They do that on a couple of other forums I'm on, and I've found it to be helpful.  Of course, most of us include other things besides gardening stuff.  It helps to get to know the person better, their interests, etc.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Sonshine on Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:24 pm

We could do it as a sticky under the gardening section maybe.  One of the things we're doing that would allow comments and questions is our chats.  Do you think we should do them more than once a month?

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by 12acrehome on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:45 am

done as a sticky would make it difficult to find and follow one garden...maybe a sub section in the garden area titled journals??

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Sonshine on Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:04 am

Keith, that could work.  I'm just concerned about having too many sections.  Makes it harder for people to find what they're looking for, so a sub section under the gardening section would probably work.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Farmfresh on Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:48 am

How about putting it under the Frugal Ideas and Living section?  After all a journal is kind of the story about your life.

I second the motion that this is a good idea.  I have had journals now on a couple of different sites.  It has been valuable more times that one to look back and see what I did when.  Sharing it with others makes me remember to write in it and often I put more down that I would because someone asks a valuable question.
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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by dizzy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:49 am

FF, I was just going to sugest the same thing.  After all, I'm sure most of us wouldn't just have things about our garden in there, but also about any animals we've had, or just life in general.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by 12acrehome on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:37 pm

hmm...location location location

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by Sonshine on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:28 pm

Maybe make a sub section under General, seems it seems like the topics will vary.

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Re: This year I am going to do things diffrent!

Post by dizzy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:49 pm

Well, we're always told that location is important
Laughing

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