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Old 03-03-2012, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Covington County, Alabama
259,024 posts, read 90,765,054 times
Reputation: 138568

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxson View Post
I'm feeling something in my bones too Nomad but I think it is nerves. We've had 70º days up here in IN for the months of Jan & Feb. No planting here until May but I can start getting soil ready end of this month.
70° up there would give me nerves too. When I first moved to MO I was delighted at an 80° day in Feb until a friend told me what it could mean. I learned to cheat with some things in the garden as tomatoes by using gallon milk jugs as mini greenhouses on small plants that had been planted on raised beds and covered with black plastic mulch to warm the ground. Later the middle of the rows and the black plastic were mulched heavily with wheat straw to keep the ground cooler in the heat of the summer. Every year I till in about a hundred bales of wheat straw as organic matter into that heavy black soil.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,771 posts, read 104,987,285 times
Reputation: 49250
We are going to start cleaning up the garden this week, add the cardboard to the one area and top with the straw, compost including the coffee grouns, etc, leaves and then the actual top soil. From the information in the paper this morning it looks like we can think of our garden earlier this year than usual. It is prediceted to be a better year than last as well. Last year we had record breaking snow and freezing temps, followed by foods and wind damage (we are only 35 miles from Joplin) and then we had record breaking heat from June on.

I am going to try to start my basil in pots this afternoon I think I will put them on the screened porch and if frost in predicted I can bring them in pretty easily.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:23 PM
 
2,401 posts, read 4,693,143 times
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First of my seedling sprouted... yay!!!
Its my cherry tomato seedling.

Oh and I helped DD start her Strawberry kit today too!
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Covington County, Alabama
259,024 posts, read 90,765,054 times
Reputation: 138568
My favorite link for strawberries. I bought my berry plants here all the way back when it was only mail order on paper from a catalog. This site gives information about the varieties and their uses as well as disease resistance and order of ripening for a full season of berries.

Strawberries
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Covington County, Alabama
259,024 posts, read 90,765,054 times
Reputation: 138568
During the late 70's I grew a lot of sweet potatoes on heavy clay soil once I learned how. At first they would take the shape of the cracks in the ground that came after pounding rains and summer heat. Both my grandfathers were market growers and taught themselves so I took it upon myself to solve the problem. I realized I had to keep the heavy soil all summer long just like it was tilled into raised beds. These beds were about 200' long with is just a few feet shy of being what would make a row across a square acre. I had a heavy duty Troybuilt tiller to work with that had a hiller/furror attachment to build the raised beds with. I made half the bed in one pass on each side and then coated the soil with 6-24-24 fertilizer. Next another pass to finish the bed to a nice 16"'s or so. Then I covered the bed with black plastic mulch to keep the rains from packing the soil hard and it also warmed the soil for an early start. To make a long story short, my neighbor and fellow co-worker walked down to see what in the heck I was doing so I explained it to him and he bought it. That fall he comes down the street with a big cat that ate the canary grin holding a bucket. In the bucket was a vine of a single hill of sweet potatoes that weighed in at over 13 lbs. I don't think I had any hills that weighed in that much but I had perfectly formed potatoes and a lot of large ones that we canned. Even the largest had no cork in the center as they can have. Here is the plant grower that I used back then and I'll use them again as soon as I have some of that black dirt once again to play in. I really want to try some of the Asian Whites to make sweet potato chips out of. If any one grows any this year please post about your results. BTW - while researching sweet potatoes last year I found a link to a U of MO site that is now recommending using the black plastic mulch for the same reasons I used it. I wonder who told them?

Sweet Potatoes
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,771 posts, read 104,987,285 times
Reputation: 49250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadicus View Post
During the late 70's I grew a lot of sweet potatoes on heavy clay soil once I learned how. At first they would take the shape of the cracks in the ground that came after pounding rains and summer heat. Both my grandfathers were market growers and taught themselves so I took it upon myself to solve the problem. I realized I had to keep the heavy soil all summer long just like it was tilled into raised beds. These beds were about 200' long with is just a few feet shy of being what would make a row across a square acre. I had a heavy duty Troybuilt tiller to work with that had a hiller/furror attachment to build the raised beds with. I made half the bed in one pass on each side and then coated the soil with 6-24-24 fertilizer. Next another pass to finish the bed to a nice 16"'s or so. Then I covered the bed with black plastic mulch to keep the rains from packing the soil hard and it also warmed the soil for an early start. To make a long story short, my neighbor and fellow co-worker walked down to see what in the heck I was doing so I explained it to him and he bought it. That fall he comes down the street with a big cat that ate the canary grin holding a bucket. In the bucket was a vine of a single hill of sweet potatoes that weighed in at over 13 lbs. I don't think I had any hills that weighed in that much but I had perfectly formed potatoes and a lot of large ones that we canned. Even the largest had no cork in the center as they can have. Here is the plant grower that I used back then and I'll use them again as soon as I have some of that black dirt once again to play in. I really want to try some of the Asian Whites to make sweet potato chips out of. If any one grows any this year please post about your results. BTW - while researching sweet potatoes last year I found a link to a U of MO site that is now recommending using the black plastic mulch for the same reasons I used it. I wonder who told them?

Sweet Potatoes
I have found sweet potatoes about the easiest veggy to grow..I simple start with one or two of them about this time of the year, put them in a jar of water. In about a month or so, after there are several roots, I put them in the ground. I think I could grow a barrell full if I had room. We usually get about 20 to 30 each year, some are huge, others just little guys, but based on the investment we put it, I think we get our money's worth about 10 times over.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Covington County, Alabama
259,024 posts, read 90,765,054 times
Reputation: 138568
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
I have found sweet potatoes about the easiest veggy to grow..I simple start with one or two of them about this time of the year, put them in a jar of water. In about a month or so, after there are several roots, I put them in the ground. I think I could grow a barrell full if I had room. We usually get about 20 to 30 each year, some are huge, others just little guys, but based on the investment we put it, I think we get our money's worth about 10 times over.
Yep I have done the same with the potatoes in jars of water. I just love the little guys candied at digging time. I won't have two acres any more for lack of free kid labor. I best downsize to a half acre. So many things I like and always trying something new each year. The first year Burpee Big Girl tomatoes were on the market I put out a test row of 80 or so plants. The reward was great. Speaking of free labor, it wasn't all that free. I had to provide for these guys and girls... We worked that night by the headlights of the truck but we got all the strawberries in the ground. The same kind of raise beds you see here were used for squash, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and the strawberries.

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Old 03-05-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: denison,tx
866 posts, read 1,140,139 times
Reputation: 1537
I planted sweet potato slips that I started from a store bought potato last spring in a
plastic trash barrel that I cut in half...waited all spring, summer, up to thanksgiving to
give them enough time to grow...I harvested about 23 sweet potatoes about as big
around as my index finger...not sure what I did wrong but I really thought I would
have a better crop than that...they were not bad tasting, just so small...
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Covington County, Alabama
259,024 posts, read 90,765,054 times
Reputation: 138568
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftmyheartintennessee View Post
I planted sweet potato slips that I started from a store bought potato last spring in a
plastic trash barrel that I cut in half...waited all spring, summer, up to thanksgiving to
give them enough time to grow...I harvested about 23 sweet potatoes about as big
around as my index finger...not sure what I did wrong but I really thought I would
have a better crop than that...they were not bad tasting, just so small...
Sweet potatoes require ample Phosphate and Potash if I remember correctly. In a barrel I'd look to use some salt free stuff in one barrel of a 10-30-20 ratio. Just a little along. Don't over do it. That is made by Peters and can be found in bulk size bags at far supplies that service green house growers and most garden centers have a small container that would be more than ample. I liked this also for tomatoes that are sensitive to chlorine.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,771 posts, read 104,987,285 times
Reputation: 49250
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftmyheartintennessee View Post
I planted sweet potato slips that I started from a store bought potato last spring in a
plastic trash barrel that I cut in half...waited all spring, summer, up to thanksgiving to
give them enough time to grow...I harvested about 23 sweet potatoes about as big
around as my index finger...not sure what I did wrong but I really thought I would
have a better crop than that...they were not bad tasting, just so small...
try the jar with water. I would do it right now, when you have lots of roots, just put in the soil. I don't do anything else except make sure they get some water. I don't know what else to tell you, but I have been doing it for about 10 years now. One year (I think it was a couple years ago) I didn't have many and they were not large (more like what you are saying) but always, other years I have been more than satisfied.
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