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Old 03-10-2009, 07:58 AM
Status: "I cannot wait for the heat to break..." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,368 posts, read 25,483,948 times
Reputation: 87958

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SCGranny- Thanks for all the info. You sound extremely organized and I'm sure it all pays off for you. This year I am just doing the basics and I will chart and record everything I do. This is my first year gardening. Hopefully each year I will learn more and become comfortable enough to start experimenting.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:49 AM
 
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SCGranny - My seeds are exactly on this verge - second and third year seeds LOL. You are right, experimenting!

Would love to have a horseradish plant, both for organic spray and for condiment. Nettle juice spray (nettle plants left to decay in a barrel) makes good organic spray.

Organic Pest Control
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:22 AM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,155 posts, read 16,871,109 times
Reputation: 5009
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
LOL Jaxson, I used to live in SC and have a year-round greenhouse - but I moved last May to Nebraska. As it snowed and blew outside tonight, with a windchill of -12, I am planting seeds in flats in a huge south-facing bay window!

No mothballs and cayenne are not mean - what's mean is to put out small pie pans of antifreeze. Just don't let your dog or cat near it.

Younglisa, I ordered the bulk of the vegie seeds this time from Jung's seeds. They were cheaper for the types I wanted - mostly F1s and heirlooms, with some hybrids for some canning and bug/disease resistant or short-growing-time specialties. I did order some other things from Johnny's seeds - I have a pasture I am trying to start natural-seeding with some cattle build-up grasses, and some real clover - not the kind you see by the roadside with the white or red flowers, but the tall kind the animals and honeybees like. I also am going to try some red spring wheat and hulless oats in the experimental garden. I won't have cattle for 2-3 years but building the pasture now makes sense. We bake our own bread here and I want to see if I can get wheat to grow - and oats make a nice addition to bread or cereals.

How I order vegie seeds - In January, I line up all the seed catalogs on the Kitchen table and make a list of everything I want to grow this year. then I write down the prices in columns of each company for what seed, also counting the seeds - some only have 25 in a packet, others have more. Then I compare shipping costs - a BIG part of the cost if you are not careful! as well as compare any 'sales' - and order the basics from whomever is cheaper. Since most seeds are similar and many develop or purchase their bulk seeds from the same places, you have to be kind of careful that a "$25 off your next order!" sale is REALLY worth it when you compare the total prices.

If you think that is a pain in the wazoo, I also create a yearly spreadsheet where I compare growing times, production levels, and annotate any difficulties with produce from year to year... This way I know if, say, the Blue Lake beans won't do well in this type of soil, or are overly attractive to local bugs, or have wilt or mold problems. It's a whole lot easier than trying to remember what failed or why the following year. It also helps if I try a new type of plant, to know if it is what the seller says it is or if it is good for my particular area. When you plan to eat from your garden year-round, throwing away $300 a year or more on seeds that don't sprout or cost more in fungicides, fertilizer, or bug preventatives than they are worth is not an option.
SCGranny, would you be willing to sell a copy of your spreadsheets to this NCGranny? (You should put out a small gardening book!) I'm thinking of the time that these spreadsheets would save everyone. all the seed places you mention could pay you a nominal amount to be included in your spreadsheets.

Or, to save even more time, just send me a copy of your spreadsheet, please.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,113,598 times
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Ummm... errr.... well, they are rather 'unique', in that I make the annotations for myself and not for anyone else to look at - as in comments like the final "yanked them, scorched the earth!" under "ok this was CRAP" under the annotations like "appld di. earth;think the aphids are snorting it"!!! LOL Somehow I don't think the seed companies or companies where I buy my insecticides, fungicides, etc would really appreciate them.. Besides, I don't usually blame a seed for what the soil, the bugs, or my own slackadaiscal late summer harvesting practices do! Grin

Nuala, you can grow horseradish simply by buying the fresh (crisp and hard, not soft) root at a whole foods or natural foods outlet and burying it like any other bulb or rhizome. Mine die back terribly in the first frost (which is when you dig them), stay buried under snow and ice, and then spring to life at the first sign of warmth! I used to do this with garlic and potatoes too... usually cheaper than buying the garlic or tatoes from the seed places; plus you get to PICK your root for size and strength. I'll do it here too as some of the potatoes in the basement are starting to get 'eyes'.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:45 PM
 
4,218 posts, read 7,849,480 times
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Great idea, SCGranny, - whole foods stores, as I've been wondering where to get horseradish. I've been appaled actually at the seed potatoes prices - for * sake, they are just old potatoes! Last year, I went cheapo and cut every one potato into pieces with a single eye - scraps basically. They grew awesome! Can't never have enough potatoes to over-winter, this year I am planning to plant my whole old garden (where I used to plant EVERYTHING) - just for potatoes.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:48 PM
 
4,218 posts, read 7,849,480 times
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Root cellar

Does everyone have root cellar? How does it look like (under your house, stand-alone)? How much are you aiming to store (to provide for certain number of months, or till the next harverst)? Do you have anything growing in it? (like celery in a bucket)
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:53 PM
 
9 posts, read 288,446 times
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Default Planting old seeds

Nuala---I started planting marigold seeds from my mother's yard in 1965, planted seed from each year's flowers over and over again in six states for 15 years-- always got the same gold/rust marigolds. Great fun and saves money and memories.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:00 PM
 
4,218 posts, read 7,849,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catmom69 View Post
Nuala---I started planting marigold seeds from my mother's yard in 1965, planted seed from each year's flowers over and over again in six states for 15 years-- always got the same gold/rust marigolds. Great fun and saves money and memories.
Cool! 44 years of seeds. My question though was about hybrid veggies that were created with various experimenting, some of them as a result don't produce viable seed (or so I am told), so I was worried.
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:17 AM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,155 posts, read 16,871,109 times
Reputation: 5009
SCGranny...I was only kidding. My gardening is not that complex. I like to dig around in the earth, but don't bother me with spreadsheets. That's way too organized for me.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,093 posts, read 20,052,593 times
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Mother nature is teasing me with the sunshine and mid 50's in temp today. The farmer that farms the land all around us is out burning ditches, pulling tractors out of the barn readying for planting soon. This being Indiana I know we have some more cold days and nights ahead but won't be long now folks!
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