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Old 03-01-2018, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,143,862 times
Reputation: 1281

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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Wish I was your neighbor, to share in your bounty.

Good idea to encourage gardening and growing your own food...nothing like summer tomatoes in the middle of winter!

Enjoy your planning (fun) and garden
Come on over, gbh!! I hope to have plenty to share!! I try and share some with neighbors, but most either don't like tomatoes (WHAT?!?!) or they grow their own gardens. Sometimes we swap, but mostly just chat.
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,143,862 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
My wife and I checked into Earthboxes and found them to be too pricey for our taste. Instead, I modified Rubbermate totes (which often went on sale) by cutting a hole in the side about three inches up on one end, cutting 4" supports from PVC pipe to go inside, and then using hardware cloth on top of that. Rolled newsprint was used for wicking, and one of the PVC pipes was cut about a 18" high for adding water to the well.

They weren't as fancy as Earthboxes, but we were able to grow Malabar spinach and a few other veggies in south Florida, where nematodes and heat killed any veggie we planted in the ground. It was nice not to have to rescue flooded plants after the torrential downpours, or constantly water.
HC, they are very expensive - it's a serious investment to be sure. I always get them on sale, though, and the website runs 2-3 each year that are very much worth taking advantage of (BOGO or 30% off or free shipping). I grew very successfully in homemade 5-gallon self-watering buckets for a few seasons, but our high, dry, sunny climate destroys that type of plastic within 2-3 years. My buckets from 2014-2016 became so brittle by 2017 that they would all need to be replaced if I wanted to keep them going. I very seriously considered making my own Earthboxes in a similar manner you describe, but with the amount of food I grow, the amount of work needed to build them myself and knowing that I'd have to replace them in a few years meant that I chose to invest in something I knew would last much longer. Some of my Earthboxes are going into their 5th season and look nearly brand new save for some scratches. They sit in uninterrupted south-facing sun year-round and really take a beating.

I think growing in containers in general is awesome and I love seeing DIY projects and the like. I will likely try some more in the future - like trying to make my whiskey barrels self-watering..

Are you using your grow boxes again this season, HC? When did you make yours? Do you use them in winter for tomatoes or peppers?
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,143,862 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
I'm not growing anything in tomatoes but hybrids this year heirlooms take too big of a hit and very lil production here . so I will go to the local market and pick up my hybrid plants . Now squash is a different story and so is cucumbers . cukes and squash do very well here despite the heat . Now I will put in as many flowers as I can I love helping the bees and the butterflys and feeding the wild birds they seem to love eating the bugs out of my garden in return .
What hybrids are you planning to grow, phone?! I love hybrids just as much as heirlooms, mostly because they do tend to be more productive and are generally more reliable year-over-year. I will admit, though, that few hybrids rival heirlooms in flavor - heirlooms are hard to beat. Of course, you have to pick what works best for you!!

Squash and cucumbers LOVE the heat, though I rarely have good luck with cucumbers. I may throw a few seeds down this season since I skipped growing them in 2017. My partner loves them - I don't eat enough to make it worth it - but again, to appease the needy..
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:19 PM
 
2,701 posts, read 1,781,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
I grew some kale last season, Non, even though I don't like it. I thought maybe I'd like it more growing it myself (you know, the whole "home grown is always better" mantra?).. yeah, I still don't like it. It was a very large, hardy, gorgeous plant, but I just don't like it. I am growing some this season, though, because a friend of mine LOVES it and does not have space to garden, so being the good friend I am..

My Swiss chard did very well, too, and it's so beautiful, isn't it? I'm amazed how delicate it seems, but it can totally handle heat, cold, rain, snow, frost. One of the toughest greens, for sure.

I know you love your beans!! I did grow 4 whiskey barrels full of bush beans last year - they did well early, but crapped out pretty quickly. I probably didn't harvest often enough or I may have had them crowded. I will likely plant a few this year, but only purple and yellow varieties so I can SEE them.

Good luck with your black tomatoes! I have really come to dislike them and I don't really know why. I'll give them a shot again another season, but this season is all about colors (lots of pinks, reds, whites, yellows, oranges and greens).

SOOOO looking forward to spring!! They keep upping the temperature forecast for Saturday - now they're saying 64F. Sounds PERFECT for spring maintenance!!
That's why we're sticking with yellow beans this year! We never did purple, but I might consider it.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:02 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,153 posts, read 17,705,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
What hybrids are you planning to grow, phone?! I love hybrids just as much as heirlooms, mostly because they do tend to be more productive and are generally more reliable year-over-year. I will admit, though, that few hybrids rival heirlooms in flavor - heirlooms are hard to beat. Of course, you have to pick what works best for you!!

Squash and cucumbers LOVE the heat, though I rarely have good luck with cucumbers. I may throw a few seeds down this season since I skipped growing them in 2017. My partner loves them - I don't eat enough to make it worth it - but again, to appease the needy..

I'm not sure which ones , any suggestions ? anybody ? it is just too hot here for heirlooms . I get three good sized maters off the bush of a heirloom and the rest they are tiny and not tasty .
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,999 posts, read 3,633,881 times
Reputation: 23050
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
That's why we're sticking with yellow beans this year! We never did purple, but I might consider it.
Purple are fun to grow...just know when you cook them they lose that lovely purple color....come out a pale greenish-purple. But they taste fine...
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,999 posts, read 3,633,881 times
Reputation: 23050
[quote=NickMan7;51183572]HC, they are very expensive - it's a serious investment to be sure. I always get them on sale, though, and the website runs 2-3 each year that are very much worth taking advantage of (BOGO or 30% off or free shipping). I grew very successfully in homemade 5-gallon self-watering buckets for a few seasons, but our high, dry, sunny climate destroys that type of plastic within 2-3 years. My buckets from 2014-2016 became so brittle by 2017 that they would all need to be replaced if I wanted to keep them going. I very seriously considered making my own Earthboxes in a similar manner you describe, but with the amount of food I grow, the amount of work needed to build them myself and knowing that I'd have to replace them in a few years meant that I chose to invest in something I knew would last much longer. Some of my Earthboxes are going into their 5th season and look nearly brand new save for some scratches. They sit in uninterrupted south-facing sun year-round and really take a beating.

I think growing in containers in general is awesome and I love seeing DIY projects and the like. I will likely try some more in the future - like trying to make my whiskey barrels self-watering..

Are you using your grow boxes again this season, HC? When did you make yours? Do you use them in




I go on google images and put in container vegetables....up comes hundreds of photos that you can get ideas from...
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,143,862 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
That's why we're sticking with yellow beans this year! We never did purple, but I might consider it.
I grew Velour a few seasons ago, but the dog pulled them all out and ate them. They were gorgeous French filet beans - long and thin. The plants were LOADED, but I only got a handful or so. I will be growing them again this season.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,143,862 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
I'm not sure which ones , any suggestions ? anybody ? it is just too hot here for heirlooms . I get three good sized maters off the bush of a heirloom and the rest they are tiny and not tasty .
Burpee, in particular, sells seeds and live plants for all sorts of hybrids, but Early Girl is usually reliable and ubiquitous nationwide (for a reason).

From my own list, I'll be growing an indeterminate Early Girl for my mother (who gets hundreds from one plant) and several determine Bush Early Girls for myself. From what I've read online, many people don't like the BEG, but I find it one of my favorite determinates. It produces larger fruit overall than the indeterminate, at least for me, and the plants stay very tidy. Production isn't as high for obvious reasons, but it's a consistent plant and produces near-perfect fruit.

Other hybrids from my grow list are Big Beef, Big Zac, Celebrity, Golden Girl and Yaqui. The rest are heirlooms. Of course, some websites that sell seeds of the same name sometimes specify heirlooms and hybrids incorrectly, but I don't take too much stock in that. I do, however, generally only save seeds from fruit I know are heirlooms.

I grew Brandy Boy last season, which was very good. If you want a large beefsteak that's very heirloom in looks and flavor, it's an excellent variety to try. It wasn't overly productive for me, but it has a reputation for being extremely productive and there is a ton on the internet about it. I'm sure you can get plants at your local nursery - might be worth a try.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,145 posts, read 2,808,661 times
Reputation: 5623
Thank you, OP, for your extensive list of plants. I will study it before I make my decisions for this season.

Last year I planted 6 tomato plants in my Earthboxes. they grew quite well, but I had a terrible problem with squirrels eating them just before they were ripe. It was enough to rather discourage me from planting them again. Wish I could figure a way to keep them off. I tried bird netting over the plants, but had one squirrel get caught in it and I had to free him. No more of that!
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